Actions

Work Header

The Party Incident and Other Embarrassing Anecdotes

Chapter Text

Sometimes you wondered if you were put on this earth for God’s amusement. Did the big guy upstairs enjoy watching a bumbling, blustering idiot traverse her way through life via one embarrassing situation after another? Probably. You know you would.

Currently, you were hiding out in the coat closet of a stranger’s house. You thought about the timeline of events that had to transpire for you to end up here. You took way too many units this semester which meant you had to work fewer hours at your job. Since you worked fewer hours, you made less money. Instead of saving up what little funds you had, you depleted your bank account to buy new art supplies because that shit ain’t cheap. Unfortunately, this meant that there was little money left over for things like groceries. Which is why you decided to crash this party.

You didn’t really plan to become a party crasher, but when you were walking home from a late class your nose caught the scent of something absolutely delicious and your ears perked up at the sound of the thundering bass. You knew you wouldn’t be able to stomach another night of mediocre ramen noodles, so you resolved to go in, get some food and beer if they had any, and then leave.

It wouldn’t be the first time you did this. College parties, unless you were in a top tier fraternity or sorority, didn’t exactly have bouncers keeping strangers out. Most of the time the party goers didn’t even bat an eyelash when you walked in. All you had to do was pretend that you were invited and most people just assumed you were allowed to be there.

So you had walked up to the front door and walked in like you belonged when you realized that you potentially made a huge mistake.

See, it wasn’t a run of the mill college party that you walked in on, oh no. The second you walked through the door you saw that the house was filled wall to wall with monsters of various shapes, sizes, and colors. A lot of them were dancing, some were drinking, there were a few socializing off to the side. It was…a regular party. But with monsters.

You knew that you would probably stick out like a sore thumb if you stuck around, but you could see a few other humans here and there, so you chose you risk it. Besides, monster food had crazy energy replenishing qualities, which you could really use. So you put on your best smile and made your way over to the snacks and drinks. A few of the monsters standing around were surprised, but were very welcoming to your presence.

“Here, have some popato chisps.”

“Try a starfait!”

“No, no, if you want to have a good time you need to down a Sea Tea!”

It was almost comical how your new monster buddies fussed over you. Much like how humans became fascinated with monsters when they came to the surface, monsters found an equal fascination in humans. You knew from experience that there were often residual effects from eating too much monster food, and monsters thought it was hilarious to see how humans reacted to it.

You munched on the popato chisps. They tasted almost exactly the same as regular potato chips, but like with all monster food, eating them created a magical spark in your mouth, something similar to eating pop rocks. It was weird, but not unpleasant.

After a few more chisps and a shot of sea tea (which was more or less like drinking water straight from the ocean – cold, salty, and filled with seaweed) you felt pretty content. Another benefit to eating monster food: it was surprisingly filling. You left the snack bar, intending on leaving, but the ghostly DJ started playing a remix of your favorite song. You hesitated, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to stay for a few more minutes.

One song and a few more minutes turned into dancing for nearly an hour. Much like your foodie monster pals, the monsters on the dance floor all welcomed you to the party. You danced with them until your feet started to hurt. Quickly excusing yourself, you moved to a quieter part of the party – a hallway off to the side – to take a breather. You knew you should probably leave soon because someone was going to realize you weren’t invited.

“hey pal.”

You jumped and let out a small squeak. You turned to see a skeleton in a blue hoodie, hood up, hands in his pockets, leaning up against the wall. You placed a hand on your heart to try and calm yourself. “Hi,” you greeted in return.

“not used to seein’ your kind at these kinda parties and i’ve been to a ton,” he paused, “a skele-ton.”

You blinked. Was that a pun?

“gotta ask then, how d’ya know papyrus?”

You didn’t really know what a papyrus was, but you assumed that they were the host of the party. You knew you were stuck in a bit of a mess now. You were much too embarrassed to admit that you were just a party crasher, so you blurted the first thing that came to mind, “I’m, uh, I’m dating their brother.”

The skeleton just stared at you. Crap, you thought to yourself, does this papyrus even have a brother? Did I totally mess up? I should’ve just said I was friends with someone who came goddamn it.

But then he gave you an easy smile. “oh, didn’t know pap’s bro was datin’ someone.”

You breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Yeah, we’re keeping it on the down low for now.”

The skeleton hmm’d. “is it cuz he’s a monster?”

“What?! No! Of course not! I’m not, um, I’m not ashamed of dating a monster. Who cares these days anyways? Lots of humans date monsters now.” You knew you were digging yourself into a very, very big pit of no return.

“good, cuz he’s a pretty swell guy. when’d ya start datin?”

You really wished he would stop asking you questions. “Um, really recently.” You started taking a few steps back. Maybe you could just excuse yourself quickly and make a beeline for the front door.

The skeleton’s smile widened, “how recently exactly?”

“Um, you know, it really isn’t any of your business,” you said, backing up a few more steps. “And now I really should be goi-” You bumped into something behind you. You turned around and was face to chest with another skeleton.

“OH, I’M SORRY FOR BUMPING INTO YOU,” he shouted down at you with a smile. He patted the top of your head, but then looked at you strangely. “I’M SO SORRY AGAIN, BUT HUMAN, I DO NOT RECOGNIZE YOU,” he glanced over at the smaller skeleton standing behind you. “BROTHER, DO YOU KNOW HER?”

You felt a bony arm slide around your waist and now the blue hoodied skeleton was at your side. “yup, this is my girlfriend.”

Wait.

“WHAT?!” the tall skeleton exclaimed loudly. “HOW COULD YOU NOT TELL ME YOU WERE DATING SOMEONE?! HUMAN, I DEEPLY APOLOGIZE. IF I KNEW MY BROTHER HAD A GIRLFRIEND I WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU A PERSONAL INVITATION TO MY PARTY.”

“…s-so you…you’re Papyrus?” you asked meekly.

“THE ONE AND ONLY AND GREATEST,” Papyrus said boastfully. “YOU SIMPLY MUST JOIN US FOR DINNER. I WILL MAKE YOU SOME ARTISAN SPAGHETTI,” he paused and glanced at his brother, whose arm was still around you, “YOU HAVEN’T GIVEN HER THE SPAGHETTI YET, HAVE YOU?” he asked in a loud whisper.

“nope.”

“GREAT. SO YOU COME BACK SOME TIME SOON AND I WILL MAKE YOU A WONDERFUL PLATE OF MY SILKEN SPAGHETTI,” Papyrus patted the top of your head again. “NOW I WILL LEAVE YOU TWO TO YOUR CANOODLING.”

Once Papyrus left, the smaller skeleton snickered at you. “did i not mention that i was the brother? didn’t know i was into humans.”

You were absolutely mortified. You tore away from the skeleton’s grasp and ran. Once out of sight, you ducked into a coat closet to recollect yourself. In hindsight, you figured you should have just ran out the front door, but you were afraid it would have caused too much of a commotion.

So here you are, inside a coat closet, wishing that the floor would open up and swallow you whole. Your entire face felt as though it were on fire and you could barely hear the music over your deafening heartbeat.

After sitting in the coat closet for another few minutes, you opened the door and slid out. A few monsters glanced in your direction and smiled knowingly. You cringed. Had Papyrus already told everyone here that you were dating his brother? You waved at them and made your way to the door.

With the knob within hand’s reach, you glanced one last time behind you. From across the room you could see the skeleton in the blue hoodie staring at you. He winked. You shook your head and left.

You decided never to crash another party again.

Chapter Text

Hangovers are never a pleasant experience. In fact, that is putting it incredibly mildly. Hangovers are made of 1 part regret, 2 parts nausea, and a sprinkle of Satan’s hellfire. The pounding in your head was unbearable and you made a silent, but very empty, oath to swear off drinking.

The stale taste of vomit was still in your mouth, swirling with your spit and what you suspected was the horrific aftertaste of $2 scotch. Never, ever drink cheap liquor again, you tell yourself. It only brings misery. Now all you could focus on was the foul taste in your mouth, so you removed the cool rag (that you don’t remember getting yourself) from your face and opened your eyes.

“…where the hell am I?”

You blearily stood up, regretting it almost immediately. You felt woozy and sat back down on the couch you were resting on. You closed your eyes. Did one of your friends bring you back to their apartment?…you couldn’t remember, but it seemed as though no one was home. You opened your eyes again and looked around. Simple living room. A couch. A recliner. A (really nice) TV. Several books – some on the shelves and some on the floor. A lone sock sitting in the middle of the room. No photos. No college regalia. No sign of any pizza boxes or empty beer cans or notebooks or school supplies.

You didn’t really know where you were, but the house seemed strangely familiar. However, you couldn’t really place your finger on where you had seen it before.

You stood up again, slower this time, and tried to piece together what happened the night before.

--

You were at a weekend kickback. It wasn't your usual scene but classes were hard and your friends really wanted you to go. You agreed, partly due to your shitty professor getting on your ass about an art assignment you had yet to start and partly due to your shitty boss switching you over to the morning shift (and there was nothing worse than opening shift at a coffee shop). You really needed to unwind, and you were only planning on having a beer or two...but it escalated when your friends brought out the (really cheap) hard liquor and started doing shots.

Drinking really wasn't a hobby of yours, but you thought 'hey, what the heck?' and went with it anyway.

Several shots and a couple more beers and you were, for lack of a better phrase, completely sloshed. And unable to drive home. You decided to walk back instead – your apartment wasn’t too far. You stumbled along the sidewalk until you heard a weird noise.

--

You paused. That was all you could really remember. You carefully tiptoed around the house until you found the kitchen that you mysteriously already knew the location of. You took a cup from the dish rack and started filling it from the tap. You knew you should probably be a bit more worried that you were in a stranger’s house, but you needed some water to quell your hangover. Then, you would leave.

“hey pal.”

You yelped in surprise and dropped the cup into the sink. It made a loud CLANK sound and you winced. You rubbed your head gently and turned around to your new…pal?

Oh.

Oh my God.

“i sink you dropped somethin”

Oh no.

You felt your face redden and you started to sweat. You looked away from the skeleton who was now smirking at you.

“two weeks and not even a phone call. are all human girlfriends this fickle?” he reached around you to grab the cup fill it. He pulled back and handed you the cup, which you reluctantly took. The small skeleton looked exactly the same as he did when you first met – still in the same tattered blue hoodie, hands in his pockets now, and - god, he was giving you this look that showed just how much he was relishing in this moment.

You awkwardly took a few sips of water. “Um, so I hate to ask, but what am I doing here?”

The skeleton snorted, “you mean you didn’t drunkenly stumble up to my house last night to see me? i won’t tell a fibula – that breaks my metaphorical heart babe.”

You bristle at the nickname, but you push your embarrassment aside and you try again, “Look, I don’t…really remember much of what happened last night so…” You couldn’t believe this was happening.

He studied you a moment before shrugging, “dunno, it was 3 in the mornin’. that annoying dog who keeps stealing our bone attacks was outside yappin.”

Oh.

That’s right.

--

You were walking along the sidewalk when you heard the tell-tale sound of a dog’s bark. You stopped to look. A small white Pomeranian dog was bouncing around the yard, ready to be pet. You opened the gate and walked through, kneeling to pat the dog.

It licked your face and you cried.

--

A new wave of embarrassment washed over you. You winced and you could feel your cheeks burning. You didn't know what was worse: blacking out at Papyrus's doorstep or crying uncontrollably just because you were so happy that a dog had licked your cheek.

“but then all my bro and i heard was cryin’ so i went outside to investigate. surprised to see ya actually,” he mumbled. “uh, and then…you…” he trailed off. He chuckled. "i dunno if ya wanna hear any more."

You tried thinking back again. Some of the blanks were filled. You could vaguely remember someone patting your back gently. They stroked your back and asked if you were okay and then…

You were almost afraid to ask what happened next, but your insatiable curiosity was greater than your feelings of embarrassment.

“well..." he scratched the back of his skull, looking at you with a mix of amusement and pity. "it happened like this…”

--

“D-d-d-dogs are just so w-wonderful,” you sobbed.

“paws-itively paw-esome.”

You ignored the pun and continued to cry while cuddling the dog. By this point you were lying down in the dirt in fetal position, still blubbering about how great dogs were.

“look, buddy, as much as much as i’d love to continue this dog-gone conversation, you should really get home,” the voice said as he wrapped his arms around you in an attempt to get you to your feet. You stared at him like you just noticed he got there and you started shaking.

"Ohhhhh myyyyyy Goooooood it's youuuuu, my boyfriend," you said said swatting at the arms still trying to lift you. "I'm still sooooo sorry," you hiccuped. "W-w-wait lemme...lemme, shit, okay," you struggled to stand, but once you were on your feet you fell into the skeleton's arms.

"...what are you doing?"

"I'm. What does it look like I'm doing I'm-I'm hugging you. To apologize."

Unbeknownst to you at the time, you were not giving the skeleton a hug. You were awkwardly petting him much like you were with the pomeranian not even five seconds ago. Your hands ran up and down his ribs and skull and he stared at you, white lights getting smaller.

"...uh, yeah it's time for you to go," you felt bony hands pushing you away but keeping you steady on your feet.

“Nooooooooooooo!” you wailed.

“pal-”

“NOOOOOO!” you cried again, wiggling out of his grasp. He let you go and you fell to the ground with a thud. Your stomach began to churn – it was too much movement too quickly. “Oh…I don’t…”

“uh, bud?” The voice said as he knelt down a bit to hold your shoulders, “you okay?”

You promptly threw up on his slippers.

--

“I...am so sorry,” you couldn’t even look at him in the eye (sockets?) any more. Your focus was on your feet. Your face was hot and your heart was thumping wildly in your chest. Twice you had humiliated yourself in front of this guy. Twice.

“don’t worry about it,” the skeleton said lightly. “no skin off my nose,” pause, “if i had one that is.”

“Please don’t tell me that there’s any more to this story,” you begged.

“nah, you passed out after that so paps brought you in and settled you down on the couch.”

This didn’t really bring you a sense of comfort. You drank the rest of your water in silence. A few more minutes and another glass and you should be ready to leave. You peeked at the skeleton through your peripherals. He was lazily leaning up against the counter. Silence felt too awkward. You chanced small talk. "Um, so, where is Papyrus?"

“work,” he paused, “he’s very upset my girlfriend's yet to come by and eat his spaghetti by the way. you should. he’s a pretty good chef now. i'd say his spaghetti is impastably good.”

You were starting to get a good picture of this guy's sense of humor. You were about to comment when a thought hit you, “Wait, wait, wait, did you not tell him we weren’t actually dating?!”

“nah.”

“Why not!”

He shrugged.

“Does he not think it's weird that you haven’t seen your ‘girlfriend’ in weeks?”

He shrugged again.

“You should really tell him that we’re not dating.”

“nah. he's all excited about it now. you can do it. but then you’ll just disappoint him.”

You felt your stomach twist. You didn’t want to disappoint Papyrus - you didn't want to disappoint anyone - but you couldn’t pretend to date someone to appease him. You shook your head. You resolved not to come back to this apartment. It wasn’t your job to keep Papyrus happy. You swallowed your embarrassment and your pride, placed the cup back into the sink, and left the kitchen.

You grabbed your bag that was lying by the couch and slung it over your shoulder. Without as much as a goodbye, you left the apartment for hopefully the last time. You could feel the skeleton watching you, but you didn’t dare turn back around.

You decided that maybe you would keep your oath to stay off drinking.

Chapter Text

Morning shifts for anyone were bad.

Morning shifts for baristas? Oh yeah, they were the worst.

4:30 am was an ungodly hour to even be awake, much less already be at work opening shop. You could barely keep your eyes open as you stocked the bakery display. You mentally took inventory – scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls were all accounted for. You started placing the baked goods from Muffet’s Patisserie. Spider cider donuts, cobweb crispies, and monster macaroons. You nodded to yourself – everything was in stock and looking fresh.

“Here,” your co-worker handed you a mug of coffee, “you look like you could use it.”

You grunted and took a long swig. You wiped down the counters and made sure there was enough money in the register. You finished your coffee and brewed yourself another cup, hoping that the caffeine would cure you of your tired eyes.

At 5:00 on the dot you opened shop. Several monsters and humans trickled in to grab some coffee to go before work. A few chose to stay in and enjoy their drink while reading the newspaper. It was fairly quiet for the first few hours of your shift.

At around 7:00 or so, a pair of monsters – an alley cat and an alligator – walked into the shop and ordered some breakfast. You whipped up some monster mochas (the secret was dark chocolate laced with magic) and put some cinnabunnies on a plate for them. When you handed them their food, they glanced at each other and giggled.

“You ask her.”

“No you ask her.”

“Like, let’s both ask her.”

The girls locked eyes with you and grinned devilishly. You flinched and glanced at your co-worker, who shrugged. You turned back to the pair who had now leaned in and were very clearly invading your personal space.

“So, like, would you smooch a skeleton?”

Your cheeks started to redden, which was a satisfying enough reaction to the two girls who started howling with laughter.

“O-M-G, Bratty, like look at her face!”

“I know Catty! Like, I think she already has smooched a skeleton!”

They both looked at you expectantly. You violently shook your head. “No, no, it’s all just this huge misunderstanding. I barely even know him.”

“But, we like saw you leave his house yesterday morning!”

“Yeah, like don’t even try to deny it. Your hair was like, all disheveled.”

“And you were totally wearing wrinkled clothes from the night before.”

You looked over at your co-worker, who was very clearly trying to hide her own muffled laughter. Ugh, she was of no help then. You shook your head again. “Look, okay, it’s true that I spent the night at their house, but-”

“OH MY GOD! SANS, LOOK IT’S YOUR GIRLFRIEND!”

“well whaddya know.”

This could not possibly be happening. Bratty and Catty immediately started laughing hysterically. You shrank a little where you stood. The two skeletons walked up to the counter and your co-worker finally decided to step in.

“Hey there Paps, the usual?”

“BUT OF COURSE!” Papyrus said with a nod. He turned to you now, “HOWEVER YOU ARE NOT USUAL. DID YOU JUST START WORKING HERE?”

“Erm, no,” you said shuffling your feet a bit, “I got switched from closing shift to opening.”

“WELL THAT IS GREAT! WE COME IN EVERY MORNING. WELL EXCEPT FOR YESTERDAY OF COURSE. HOW ARE YOU FEELING? WAS SLEEPING ON THE COUCH ADEQUATE?”

Papyrus was definitely a morning person. And he was definitely sweet and friendly but oh…he was just so loud. Not only were Bratty and Catty still eavesdropping but you could see the other customers in line and at the tables listening in. You nodded lightly. “Um, yes it was fine. You have a nice couch.”

“THANK YOU.”

“aha, um, you’re welcome,” you rubbed the back of your neck nervously. “Although I should be thanking you for letting me spend the night. I was…a bit of a mess.”

“NO NEED FOR THANKS HUMAN. OH, BUT NOW THAT WE HAVE MET AGAIN IN PERSON I MUST RE-EXTEND THE INVITATION OF SPAGHETTI DINNER. I AM VERY EXCITED TO GET TO KNOW MY BROTHER’S GIRLFRIEND.”

You winced. There he went again, using that word ‘girlfriend.’ “Look, um, Papyrus, there is something I should tell you…” You paused, trying to think of a way to put it delicately, “Your brother and I…we’re…um…”

You didn’t know what was so difficult about saying ‘we’re not dating’ but when you looked at Papyrus’s face, he gave you this wide, puppy dog eyed stare that left the words dying on your lips. He was looking at you expectantly, but you couldn’t keep your resolve.

“We’re…um…”

You look over at your fake boyfriend who looked like he was napping against the wall. You rolled your eyes. What a bonehead. Absolutely useless right now. You focused on Papyrus again, who was starting to look concerned.

You couldn’t believe it.

You were actually incapable of saying you weren’t dating his brother. You were actually going to accept his proposal of the spaghetti dinner and dig yourself into an even bigger grave. You let out a long sigh. “Yeah, I’ll be there. Sounds like fun.”

Papyrus let out a loud cheer. Your coworker reappeared and handed Papyrus a bag of treats and a large to-go cup filled with milk. “OH, BEFORE I FORGET, HERE IS MY NUMBER. NYEH-HEH-HEH! NOW YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE NOT TO STAY IN BETTER CONTACT WITH US. YOU HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY JAPED BY THE GREAT PAPYRUS!” He gave you a slip of paper and patted your head gently. “AND NOW I WILL LEAVE MY BROTHER HERE SO THE TWO OF YOU CAN CATCH UP!” He effortlessly lifted the smaller skeleton from his leaning position against the wall to a seated position on your counter. You were about to protest, but Papyrus was already seated at a booth on the other side of the shop.

You snapped your fingers in the skeleton’s face but he didn’t stir. Whatever. You didn’t care that much. Bratty and Catty were both smirking at you. Your co-worker was also giving you an amused stare.

“You know,” she said as she cleaned a glass, “Papyrus did mention his brother getting a girlfriend a few weeks back. Didn’t realize it was you.”

You groaned, “It isn’t me! Like I said before, it’s this huge misunderstanding. I’m not dating him,” you glanced at the sleeping skeleton and lowered your voice, “I don’t even know his name!”

“Oooooh! Scandalous!” the two girls said in unison. You gave them a sharp glare and they snickered quietly.

“’sok, not like i know yours either,” he mumbled. He lazily opened an eye. “so, ya gonna take my order or what?”

“O-oh. Yes, of course. What’ll you have then?”

The skeleton closed his eye again. “surprise me.”

“Can you even drink?” you asked. “Wouldn’t it just go right through you?” You immediately regretted asking, your question suddenly seemed rude especially since you saw Papyrus with the milk.

“hey now, that’s my line. ya stealin my jokes already?” he chuckled, “just make sure you add some magic powder to whatever you make.”

You hesitated, but nodded. You took a cup and the marker on the counter. “Name?”

“sans.”

“Sans?”

“in the flesh. ya know, sans the flesh.”

You scribbled his name on the cup. Snas. Whoops, you were more tired than you thought. Oh well, it was close enough. You added a small doodle of his face. You began pulling various syrups from the shelf.

“Chocolate or vanilla?”

He hummed noncommittally. Okay. Well, then fine. You blended together a frappe base with some caramel syrup and dark chocolate. You added in a few spoonfuls of magic powder and blended the drink.

“Here.”

Sans took the cup from your hands. “snas? c’mon babe, at least i don’t mess up your name.”

“You don’t even know my name,” you said bluntly.

The skeleton smiled and tapped your name tag with his finger. “i do now,” he said smugly. He took a sip of the frappe.

“Good?” you asked hesitantly.

“i’d say i like it a latte,” he winked and jumped off the counter and motioned to his brother, who perked up and started walking back. Sans reached into his hoodie pockets. You wondered if he owned any other clothes. “how much do i owe ya?”

You were about to say $3.50, the standard price for all your blended drinks, when Papyrus arrived and picked up Sans from behind. He was giving you a happy and innocent expression you didn’t even think a human was capable of, much less a skeleton.

“Uh…it’s…it’s on the house,” is what fell out of your mouth. Damn that Papyrus and his sweet face.

Sans’s hand froze, wallet dangling between his fingers. “uh…geez, you’re mocha-ing me blush here. ya sure?”

“OF COURSE SHE IS SURE. WHY WOULD YOUR GIRLFRIEND NOT TREAT YOU TO FREE DRINKS? THAT IS PART OF THE PERKS OF HAVING A GIRLFRIEND SANS. OBVIOUSLY.”

Sans slowly put the wallet back into his pocket.

“GREAT! NOW IT’S TIME TO SAY OUR GOODBYES.”

“bye.”

“SANS YOU SACK OF LAZYBONES! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GIVE THE HUMAN A KISS GOODBYE. THEY LOVE IT WHEN YOU DO THAT.”

“N-n-no! It’s okay Papyrus, really!” you squeaked out. Could skeletons even kiss? How the heck does Papyrus know so much about dating?!

“NONSENSE. YOU ARE DEFINITELY AT THE APPROPRIATE STEP FOR THIS!” Papyrus lifted Sans towards your face. From the corner of your eye you could see Bratty and Catty barely keeping it together. “NOW KISS.”

You’d admit that you hadn’t known Sans for very long, but he didn’t seem the type to be easily flustered. He had mercilessly teased you about the whole girlfriend thing without so much as a bat of the eye, yet right now he looked….well, he looked like you every time you met. Several beads of sweat had formed on his forehead and he was blushing a very dark navy blue.

Sans leaned forward a bit and tapped his teeth against your cheek. You couldn’t tell if his bones were warm or if your blush overpowered any other feeling on your face. He recoiled quickly and looked away, looking embarrassed.

“OH MY GOD YOU’RE DOING THIS ALL WRONG! YOU ARE THE WORST BOYFRIEND! YOU NEED TO MAKE THE SOUND EFFECT OR ELSE THEY WON’T KNOW IT’S A KISS. LIKE THIS!” Papyrus nuzzled his teeth into the top of Sans’s skull and let out a loud “MWAH!” He pushed Sans back towards you a second time.

Sans leaned in again and tapped his teeth against your cheek. “…mwah.”

“HONESTLY, YOU’RE LUCKY THAT I WAS HERE. YOU WOULD BE COMPLETELY LOST WITHOUT ME. HUMAN, I’M SORRY YOU HAVE TO PUT UP WITH MY BROTHER’S COMPLETE LACK OF EXPERTISE. FEAR NOT, I HAVE A DATING GUIDE BOOK THAT I WILL MAKE SURE HE STUDIES!”

You nodded lightly. Sans used his free hand to pull up his hood and yanked the drawstrings closed. You wished you could do the same.

“WELL THEN, WE WILL SEE YOU TONIGHT. I TRUST YOU ALREADY HAVE THE ADDRESS!”

And with that, Papyrus carried Sans outside and the two went along their merry way.

Now that the skeletons were no longer within earshot, Bratty and Catty let go and doubled over with laughter. Your co-worker was also laughing, but she at least had the decency to cover her mouth and look away from you. You did your best to ignore them as you touched the cheek Sans had kissed. It tingled.

“Like, I guess that totally answers our question.”

“Yeah, you totally want that skeleton to smooch you and stuff.”

Your cheeks and ears burned. You could feel your heart beating quickly in your chest and you quickly moved around the shop trying to burn off your nervous energy. This was a huge mess, and you knew it. Sans clearly didn’t think his brother would go that far and neither did you. You had to set things straight tonight.

Wait.

Tonight?!

Chapter Text

You glumly walked up to the front door and smoothed out your skirt. You couldn’t believe that this was happening to you. You fidgeted for a few moments and took a deep breath before you finally knocked on their door.

You will tell Papyrus the truth by the end of the night, you told yourself.

The front door swung open to reveal Papyrus in a Kiss the Cook apron and chef’s hat. You are…not that surprised actually.

“WELCOME TO OUR HOME HUMAN, ALTHOUGH YOU’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE, HAVEN’T YOU?” Papyrus ushered you into their living room. It looked the same as it did yesterday. “SANS WILL BE HERE IN A MINUTE. THAT LAZYBONES HAS BEEN SLEEPING IN HIS ROOM SINCE WE GOT BACK THIS MORNING.”

You felt as though Sans wasn’t sleeping so much as he was wishing that the earth would open up and swallow him whole. At least, that’s what you were doing the second you got home.

“UM, BUT HUMAN I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING BEFORE SANS GETS HERE.” Papyrus lowered his voice to a loud whisper.

You wondered what on earth he could possibly have to say to you. “Yes?” you asked hesitantly. Was your lie so thinly veiled that Papyrus actually saw through it this whole time? You hoped so.

Papyrus gripped your shoulders tightly. “THANK YOU,” he said earnestly.

“…for…what?” you were very confused. Was he thanking you for coming to dinner? For the drink this morning?

“SANS HAS BEEN…WELL HE’S BEEN NOT THE BEST LATELY. SAD. NOT REALLY HERE. HE THINKS I DON’T SEE IT BUT I DO. AND I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO HELP HIM. BUT THEN YOU CAME TO MY PARTY AND THIS IS THE MOST HAPPY I’VE SEEN HIM IN WEEKS. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”

Oh no. You willed Papyrus to stop talking. That twisting feeling in your stomach came back and it felt like someone had driven a knife straight through you. You didn’t sign up to be the be all end all cure for Sans’s depression. You weren’t even sure if the cause of this newly found happiness was you or something else since you’ve only interacted with him for three days. But now telling Papyrus you weren’t dating was going to be so much harder.

“Um…yeah…about that…” you paused. “Uh…is something burning?”

“THE SPAGHETTI!” Papyrus hurried back into the kitchen and you heard a door creep open from down the hall. There were some shuffled footsteps and then Sans came into view. His hood was still up and his face was still dusted in blue blush.

“We need to talk,” you said, glancing back towards the kitchen. You swore you could see some smoke. You cringed and hoped everything was okay.

“ooh, the break up speech already? am i that bad of a kisser?” You and Sans both winced, the embarrassment wound was still fresh. “sorry. whaddya need?”

“This can’t go on. We’re not dating. We were never dating. I am now the laughingstock of my workplace and you…you’re still hiding under that hood!” You rubbed your temples. “Listen, I’m so, so, so sorry about lying to you the day we met. And for throwing up on your slippers. I don’t think I will ever be able to live it down if today has shown me anything. But please, I beg of you, help me tell your brother the truth.”

Sans’s pupils flashed towards the kitchen and then back to you. “paps…not really someone you can say no too.”

“Yeah. I’m starting to realize that. But…you can’t keep kissing me goodbye every day to make him happy. That makes no sense and is preposterous and embarrassing for the both of us!”

“well we could-”

“NYOO-HOO-HOO!”

You both jumped at the sudden sound of Papyrus. Sans cocked his head towards the kitchen and shuffled over. You followed. Papyrus was on the floor, crying over his burnt spaghetti. Literally crying. Orange tears were welling up in his eyes. Oh. Oh no. Your heart ached and he was only upset over a small and easily fixed problem.

“MY SPECIALTY PASTA. RUINED.”

You knelt down and patted his back gently. “It’s going to be alright. We can just go out for some spaghetti. There’s a cute little Italian place only a few blocks from here.”

Papyrus sniffled. “BUT I WANTED OUR FIRST PASTA TOGETHER TO BE SPECIAL.”

He was giving you that puppy stare again. You wiped the tears from his eye (sockets??). “It will be special because the Great Papyrus will be there.”

“yeah bro. it’s impastable not to have special spaghetti with you.”

Papyrus still looked a bit crestfallen, but nodded anyway. He stood up, mentioned something about changing into a cooler, more appropriate outfit, and rushed to his room.

“thanks for not disappointing my bro,” Sans said stuffing his hands into his pockets.

“Don’t thank me yet,” you murmured. “We still have to get through this dinner.”

Sans hummed and rocked on his feet. He looked as though he was about to say something when Papyrus came running back into the room wearing a…well…

He had thrown on a crop top that originally read ‘Bad Grrrl’ but these were crossed out and replaced with ‘Cool Papyrus.’ He was also wearing a flipped visor and shutter shades. You wanted to burst out laughing, but you were afraid of hurting his feelings.

“This is my hangout outfit!” he said proudly. Ah, okay. You’d let him have this one. He really did pull off the crop top quite well.

The three of you left the apartment and walked along the sidewalk towards the restaurant.

Papyrus was a good conversationalist, and made sure that the walk wasn’t filled with awkward silence. “I KNOW IT IS POLITE TO FIRST TALK ABOUT OTHERS BEFORE YOURSELF, SO HUMAN, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO?”

You wrung your hands as you walked. You took two steps for every one from Papyrus. “Um, well as you know I work at the coffee shop. And I’m an art student at the university…coincidentally my art is showcased at the coffee shop.”

“WHAT?! YOU DREW ALL THOSE NICE PAINTINGS ON THE WALL?”

You blushed at the compliment. “Not all of them, but a lot. The owner commissioned me for some artwork at a pretty good price.”

“WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?”

“It means that the coffee shop wanted some art, told me what they wanted, and then I made it.”

“YOU CAN DO THAT?!”

You laughed. “Yeah, it’s how a lot of artists make their living.”

“CAN YOU DRAW ME?”

You deflate a bit. It was probably the most asked question right after “do you draw anime?” But…goddamn Papyrus and that sweet face of his. “I dunno if I’d be able to accurately draw all your greatness, but I can give it a try…um, so what do you do Papyrus?”

“ME? I WORK AT THE FLORIST!” he said proudly.

“Really? That’s a surprise,” you said truthfully.

“YES, WELL, MY DREAM JOB UNDERGROUND WAS TO BECOME HEAD OF THE ROYAL GUARD…BUT NOW THAT WE’RE HERE THAT JOB BECAME UTTERLY MEANINGLESS. SO AT FIRST I WAS JUST A HOUSESKELETON BUT THEN AFTER SANS’S TRASH TORNATO CAME BACK FOR THE TWELFTH TIME I REALIZED I NEEDED TO BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE WITH MY LIFE.”

Sans flashed his brother a sheepish smile, “sorry bro.” He didn’t sound very sorry.

The three of you reached the restaurant and were seated almost immediately.

“WOWIE, THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES IN PASTA DISHES! I DON’T KNOW WHICH ONE I WANT!”

“the pastabilities are endless.”

You couldn’t help but giggle. “Yeah. You know, we could eat family style and try a little of everything.”

You swore Papyrus’s eyes began to sparkle. “PEOPLE CAN DO THAT?!”

You chuckled, “Mmm, yeah of course. You want to?” Papyrus nodded vigorously. You smiled. This was going much more smoothly than you could have hoped. In fact, you were starting to get the feeling that if you told him the truth, you could still potentially be friends. You figured that you couldn’t pretend to date someone’s brother and not be friends afterwards.

So you ordered several of the pasta dishes as well as garlic bread because, let’s face it, you knew there was nothing better in this world than garlic bread. When the waiter left, Papyrus not-so-subtly took Sans’s hand and placed it over yours. You blushed and were about to pull away when you heard someone scoff at the next table.

“Can you not do that out here in public?”

You looked around, for maybe a young couple making out in a booth, but everyone in the restaurant was quietly eating or talking amongst themselves. You glanced down at your hand which was still covered by Sans’s. You looked back at the man who made the remark.

“Yeah, I’m talking to you. What you’re doing is disgusting.”

You began to sweat nervously. You didn’t like confrontations. “…excuse me?”

“You heard me. Those…things…I understand your need to disappoint your parents, but don’t bring it out here where I can see you. It’s making me lose my appetite,” he spat.

You stole a glance back at Sans and Papyrus who were both looking at you apprehensively. You knew they wouldn’t dare start any kind of conflict but…someone had to say something. “They’re not things,” you said with a steady voice. You were trembling in your seat. You could feel Sans’s fingers twitch around yours. “They deserve to be treated with the same respect as you,” you said bravely.

The man rolled his eyes at you, but thankfully returned to his meal. You breathed a sigh of relief. Your waiter came by and placed three large serving bowls of various pasta. Papyrus looked as though he had gone to heaven. You could salvage this night, even with the soured atmosphere. You dished out some spaghetti on each of your plates.

“thanks sweetheart,” Sans said with a wink. You frowned at him.

“Sans,” you started, but you were cut off by a voice behind you.

“Monster fucker.” You heard it as clear as a bell. Papyrus’s eye sockets widened. Sans was frozen.

You turned, still in shock. The man was giving the three of you a dirty look. You felt your lower lip wobble. “What did you just say?”

“Don’t even try to deny it. You’re a nasty monster fucker.”

A lump was forming in your throat and you were visibly shaking. You suddenly stood out of your chair and for a moment towered over the man. “So what if I am? What does it matter to you?!”

“It’s disgusting and I shouldn’t have to see it. You should be ashamed,” he snarled.

“Well, I’m not ashamed. I’m…I’m very proud to be dating a monster and it’s your loss for being such a bigoted piece of garbage who can’t see a good thing even when it’s sitting right in front of him!” you were sweating, your heart was pounding, oh god why couldn’t you shut up?

Sans pulled on your arm. “its ok,” he whispered a bit dejectedly.

You turned to look down at him. You shook your head. “It’s not okay! It’s unacceptable, it’s racist, and it’s just downright rude. You shouldn’t be treated like this. No one should be treated like this.” You faced the man again and took a deep breath before saying, “It’s pathetic. You’re a grown man and yet you-”

Slap!

The force from being hit so hard made you stumble backwards. Your hands hit the table and you tumbled to the ground. You grasped to hold onto something as you fell, but your hands only found the spaghetti bowl. You dragged it with you and it tipped over as it came crashing down. Pasta sauce dripped from your hair, noodles were in your shirt, and as you lifted the bowl over your eyes you could see every patron in the restaurant staring at you. Some people had their phones out, clearly recording the incident. Your cheeks flared up in embarrassment and you covered your eyes as you began to cry.

“nope.”

In an instant you were scooped up into Papyrus’s arms. Sans grabbed his brother’s forearm and with a blip you had disappeared from the restaurant and reappeared in their living room. Papyrus set you down gently. He traced the sore spot on your cheek and grimaced. “I’ll…get you some ice,” he said, uncharacteristically quiet.

You sniffled, unsure if you were crying due to pain, embarrassment, or anger. Probably a mix of all three.

“shit, i knew i shouldn’t have said that. i was just teasin’ ya, i didn’t…think…” Sans trailed off. “sorry, this isn’t…”

“Don’t,” you choked out, “don’t be sorry. Not your fault. That dude was a total dick.” You rubbed your cheek tenderly, “I should’ve kicked him in the balls.”

Papyrus rushed back in with an ice pack. He gave it to Sans and then ran back into the kitchen to make you a cup of tea. Sans led you to the couch and gingerly pressed it to your cheek. You were surprised at the gentleness, but also a little uncomfortable. There was a certain tenderness and intimacy to being this close that you weren’t mentally or emotionally prepared for.

“gonna leave a bruise,” he whispered.

“Bruises heal,” you whispered back.

Papyrus came back, this time with some golden flower tea. He promised it would speed up the healing process of your cheek. You took a few sips. It tasted like honey and sunshine and as the tea crackled in your mouth and down your throat, you did start to feel a little bit better.

But you were still covered head to toe in spaghetti.

“WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE A SHOWER AND BORROW SOME CLOTHES?” Papyrus asked.

You were tempted, but you just wanted to get home and crawl into bed. Papyrus seemed disappointed, but he understood.

“i’ll walk ya home,” Sans offered.

Under normal circumstances, you would rather walk by yourself, but you were feeling a little jumpy still. After waving goodbye to Papyrus (and promising to text him once you got home), you started walking with Sans.

At first, the two of you walked in a comfortable silence.

This time, it was Sans who chanced small talk.

“so you said you were an artist?”

You nodded in affirmation. “Fourth year art student at the university.” Pause. “Um, what about you? What do you do besides create trash tornados?”

Sans snorted. “first of all, the trash tornados are self-sustaining. secondly, i work around.”

“…work around?”

“odd jobs here and there.”

“Ah. You like it?”

He shrugged. “i’d rather do nothing. but then my bro would be all up in my pelvis about it.”

“Pffft, you did not just say that.”

“say what?”

“All up in my pelvis? Who says stuff like that?” you asked between giggles.

“well since i’m a skeleton and all, i lack an ass for him to be all up in,” he said.

This just made you laugh harder. “That sounds so, so wrong,” you said, letting out a loud snort of laughter. You cover up your mouth as your cheeks reddened.

“heh. your laugh’s real cute ya know,” Sans said lightly, bumping into your side.

You looked away from him. “No, it’s embarrassing like the rest of me. And you shouldn’t tease me like that. It’s mean.”

The two of you continued your walk. You watched Sans carefully. His pupils flickered between you and his shuffling feet. “ya know you didn’t have to do that back there,” he said, voice just barely above a whisper.

“Yes I did,” you said plainly. “Because, you know, even if we’re not together, there are lots of humans and monsters who are. And, to be quite honest with you, I would totally do it again even if it meant getting hit in the face twice as hard.”

“why? you don’t know us, not really.”

You paused. “That’s…very true. But here’s the thing. I’ve made myself out to be a huge fool every time we’ve met, and you’ve got every right to not want to ever see my godawful face ever again. But, despite that, you chose to walk me home even though I’ve taken this route back every day for four years. Monsters…are much kinder than us humans.”

“well what kinda fake boyfriend would i be if i let my fake girlfriend walk home alone? that would be pastatively saucy of me,” he said with a wink.

You rolled your eyes. “If I had a penne for every dumb pasta joke you used today, I’d fake break up with you and focus my attention on my one true love – the flying spaghetti monster.”

“i see what you’re spaghetting at here.”

You let yourself laugh. It felt good to laugh. You almost felt regret when you walked up to your building. “This is me,” you said. “Um, thanks for walking me back. This was…uh, surprisingly nice?”

“i told ya i was a swell guy,” Sans reached into his hoodie pockets and pulled out his cell phone. “we may as well keep in touch.”

You nod as you type your number in. “Yeah, yeah, maybe we can try spaghetti dinner part two or something soon. I feel bad about ruining Papyrus’s night, although maybe it was for the best. I was a little worried he was going to try and pull a lady and the tramp move on us.”

“what?”

“Uh, haha, oh it’s nothing. Just a dumb kid’s movie. Anyway, here’s your phone. Text me? I guess? If you want. Um, and I’ll…see ya?” you asked hesitantly.

“yup. pasta la vista baby,” Sans pointed finger guns at you and then with another blip he was gone.

Chapter Text

You woke up to your phone buzzing and your cat sitting on your face. This was more or less of a regular occurrence and while it normally bothered you, you were happy for the normalcy. You picked him up, placed him by your side, and started petting him as you read your messages.

Paps: 6:21 am
GOOD MORNING! :D

Paps: 6:22 am
ARE YOU ASLEEP?

Paps: 6:22 am
I HEAR IF HUMANS DON’T SLEEP THEY DIE

Paps: 6:23 am
IS THAT TRUE? D:

Paps: 6:24 am
IF IT IS, AND HUMANS ARE DESCENDED FROM SKELETONS…

Paps: 6:25 am
WOULD SKELETONS ALSO DIE FROM LACK OF SLUMBER

Paps: 6:25 am
MAYBE SANS WAS ONTO SOMETHING AFTER ALL >_>

Paps: 6:26 am
SPEAKING OF SANS

Paps: 6:26 am
MAKE SURE TO DRINK A LARGE CUP OF WATER MIXED WITH MAGIC POWDER

Paps: 6:26 am
HE TELEPORTED YOU WITHOUT PROPER PREPARATION

Paps: 6:27 am
WHICH IS REALLY BAD FOR HUMANS WHO DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MAGIC IN THEM!

Paps: 6:28 am
THAT TEA I GAVE YOU SHOULD HELP

Paps: 6:28 am
BUT YOU’LL STILL PROBABLY FEEL DIZZY

Paps: 6:28am
OR DRUNK

Paps: 6:29 am
NOT THAT I’D KNOW WHAT DRUNK FEELS LIKE

Paps: 6:29 am
SINCE I AM A SKELETON

Paps: 6:29 am
BUT MY SOURCES SAY ITS AN APT DESCRIPTION!

Paps: 6:30 am
HAVE A NICE DAY HUMAN! :D :D :D

You wondered why Papyrus insisted on texting in all caps.

Your cat pawed at your arm and you, heeding Papyrus’s warning, stood up slowly and carefully to feed him and get yourself some magic. You felt a really bizarre sensation of vertigo and that feeling of falling you sometimes got while sleeping. It wasn’t quite like being drunk but it was unpleasant and you really wished Sans had the forethought to warn you about this the night before. Although, you thought to yourself as you stumbled through your hallway, it would be just like a monster to not say anything and watch the magic infused human trip over their own two feet.

As it was, you had a container of magic powder in your apartment and you thanked the god of deus ex machina for this happenstance (aka your boss who wanted you to practice making monster drinks). You weren’t sure you would’ve actually been able to walk all the way to the coffee shop in your current state. You walked into the kitchen and were surprised to see a small to-go cup – from the shop you worked at!!! – waiting for you on the table. There was a note attached.

dunno how to espresso myself, but i figured you’d need this.

You flipped the note over.

ps. your co worker is worse than you. at least you got all the letters right.

You glanced at the cup. Sanz. Ha. That’s hilarious.

You flipped the note over again and, to your surprise, the text changed.

pps. is this too weird? i knocked first, if that helps

You took a sip of the coffee. It popped and tingled in your mouth. Dark chocolate swirled with the espresso and magic. You hummed in content and pulled out your phone.

xxx-xxxx: 6:36 am
Jokes on you because I already had magic powder in my apartment

snas: 6:37 am
well then i want my coffee back

xxx-xxxx: 6:37 am
TOO BAD! I already drank it

snas: 6:38 am
guess i’ve bean japed then

xxx-xxxx: 6:38 am
Japed indeed. Also I should call the cops on you for breaking and entering. And for your horrible jokes.

snas: 6:38 am
technically i only entered. also my jokes are humerus. im suing for slander.

xxx-xxxx: 6:39 am
Oh no! I, the japer, have become the JAPED.

xxx-xxxx: 6:40 am
But like really I need to go get ready and feed my cat and stuff. Ttyl?

snas: 6:40 am
k

You put down the phone and finished off the coffee as well as a cup of magic water for good measure. You were feeling much more energized, and now that you could see straight you felt so much better.

You quickly fed your cat, got dressed, and made yourself a piece of toast. You grabbed your bag and you were out door.

The walk to campus took about 25 minutes from your apartment, but only about five from the coffee shop. You passed by the café window and waved at the baristas on shift. Place was completely packed. You were glad that you weren’t scheduled today. Picking up speed, you walked onto campus. For once, you were excited about going to class. The blundering weekend you just experienced left you restless and anxious and you were ready for a normal day of school.

“Sup?”

“Hey Wyatt,” you greeted sheepishly. You were low-key blaming him for all the drama since the kickback that started this embarrassing journey of no return was his idea. The two of you walked through the art building to the first class of the day.

“Heard we might be getting a monster for figure drawing today,” he said coolly. Too coolly.

Although your friend sounded quite suspicious, you immediately perked up. It was rare that monsters volunteered to be models since it involved being ogled at by humans for extended periods of time without really being allowed to move. But monsters were so much more fun and interesting to draw than humans.

“And speaking of monsters, I knew you liked them and all, but I didn’t know how much you LIKED them,” Wyatt paused. “I mean, I feel like I should be making a necrophilia joke right now,” he said teasingly.

Your skin prickled.

“Oh, and you looked really stupid with all those noodles in your hair by the way.”

“Oh my god!” you exclaimed, face lighting up in embarrassment. “Were you there?” You started swatting at him.

Wyatt dodged you easily. “No, but someone posted a video of it on YouTube. You got…a few hundred hits?” his eyes flickered to your cheek, “Man, do you need some monster candy or something? That bruise looks painful.”

You waved him off as you approached the classroom. You opened the door and…

Honestly, nothing could have prepared you for this.

Dressed in a robe while wielding a scythe in one hand and a thorny rose in the other…was Sans. He was making some joke about killer good looks to the other artists.

You had to admit that the giant scythe was really impressive and you wondered if this was what he had meant when he said he “worked here and there.” Of course, you weren’t expecting him to randomly show up at your school and you squirmed a bit. This was not going to end well.

“This is fucking hilarious,” Wyatt said, shaking with laughter.

Sans peered over at the two of you and he trotted over. He raised his brow bone. “hey pal,” he greeted.

You managed to let out a small squeak.

Wyatt, through his fits of laughter, wheezed out, “Seriously, what are the fucking chances? That out of all the monsters, out of all the classes, out of all the days, your bone buddy decides to show up. Holy fucking shit this amazing.”

“do i know ya?”

“Naw man, but I saw the video of you at the restaurant. That’s some crazy shit that happened. But you know you could’ve given me a head’s up that you were seeing someone,” he chided, elbowing you.

“bother ya?”

“Pfft, bone her brains out all you like, buddy. It’s not really my prerogative,” Wyatt said with a shrug. “It’s a free country. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go chat up that hottie over there.”

There was an uncomfortably long pause.

“…friend of yours?”

“Um, of sorts. He kind of…invited himself into our group and now it’s too awkward to ask him to leave. He’s tactless and tells tasteless jokes, but you get used to it. He’s…okay…I guess. Someone to talk to,” you shifted uncomfortably. “Sorry, I know that whole conversation was super rude of him. Um, but…what…what are you doing here?”

“toldja i worked here and there.”

“Yeah I know I just never really pictured you as the type to get into figure modeling? It’s um, not what I expected is all. Not that it’s a bad thing!”

Sans chuckled. “ya know…you humans are really interested in skeletons. dunno why, we’re just sacks of bones. but i get paid to sit around and look like a skeleton, so i’ve become a real bone-a-fied model.” His pupils flickered away from you. “uh, i can see where this might be awkward though, so if you’d be more comfortable if i left…”

“No, no, no it’s fine!” you quickly interjected. “Don’t lose your job over me, it’s fine. I know what a skeleton looks like um…uh…”

“naked?” Sans supplied, slight twinkle in his eyes.

“Yeah…” you looked away, embarrassed. “Um, are you okay with this because I can just ditch class…?”

There was a very distinct blue blush on Sans’s cheekbones, but he shook his head. “don’t fail a class over me, pal. can’t have ya becomin’ a bonehead too.”

And so it was settled. This would be a very awkward experience for the both of you, but it was a thing that was happening right now. Right. Uh. Now. You hurried to your seat by Wyatt and pulled out your sketchbook. You were feeling really nervous about this, even though it wasn’t you getting naked in front of a bunch of strangers.

“Aye, you alright with your bone buddy showing off what he’s got in his pants?” Wyatt asked suggestively.

You looked at him, square in the eye and said as deadpan as you could, “He’s a skeleton. There’s nothing IN his pants.” At least…you were like 99.9% sure there was nothing in his pants. And this really wasn’t the thing that you should be thinking of right now. Or ever. You decided to go with ever.

“So what then? Does he break off his femur and shove it up your-”

“Stop talking!” you hissed, your face already starting to glow again. “Just shut up. I’m not talking about this now or ever. And he’s not my bone buddy so stop calling him that,” you said with a tone of finality. You opened your sketchbook. And then, against your better judgement, you turned to Wyatt one final time, “And if you think repeatedly thrusting your dick into someone’s vagina is the only way to have a good time, you must be having some really awful sex.”

Not that you would know much about that, but at least you sounded like you knew what you were talking about.

“Jesus, chill out. Am I…ribbing you the wrong way?” he asked, waggling his eyebrows. You rolled your eyes.

But speaking of ribs…

Okay, you knew what a skeleton looked like. Almost everyone over the age of six knew what a skeleton looked like. Yet there was still something really weird about looking at all the exposed bones. Because the thing about Sans was that he definitely looked like a human skeleton but it wasn’t so unnervingly uncanny valley. There were some obvious distinctions.

For instance, Sans’s bones were much larger and thicker than a human’s and he was missing a few. There weren’t gaps or anything, it was more like the bones had fused together to make one large bone instead of two or three smaller ones like his ribs. He also lacked visible joints, and the bones connected seamlessly like skin did. His skull was differently shaped as well and unlike Papyrus he didn't have a disconnected lower jaw. Not all of his teeth were bared either, but you noticed they were sharper than the average human's. Your eyes glided over his pelvic bone where there was unsurprisingly nothing. It was larger and thicker than a human skeleton's though, just like the rest of his bones. You almost wanted to tell Wyatt 'I told you so.'

“paint me like one of your french skeletons,” Sans joked. The other artists laughed and started looking a bit more comfortable.

As you sketched, you understood why Sans was sought out as a figure model. Even when he was just sitting and doing nothing, his face was very expressive. You never really noticed before, since you barely could stand to look at him in the eyes when you were together, but his face was malleable. Arguably more so than a human’s.

After a few minutes the pose changed. You lightly sketched out his body, bones were deceivingly difficult to draw. A few more minutes and another pose – this time Sans was lazily propping himself up against a chair, eyes closed. The class murmured in fascination.

A few artists began to request poses with some various props. Sans actually stuck the rose into his eye socket at one point. You had to admit it looked really cool artistically, but you wondered if it was painful or if he couldn’t feel anything there at all.

Class began wrapping up, and one of the artists really wanted a good reaperesque sketch with the robe and scythe and everything. Admittedly, Sans looked pretty…badass? A word you never really thought to associate with Sans before and a word you probably never associate with him again.

There was time for one more pose and Wyatt glanced at you mischievously. “I’ve got one,” he said, “but this pose will require a partner.” He patted you on the back, “Get on up there, champ.”

All eyes shifted towards you expectantly. This wasn’t how posing sessions went. This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. You slowly stood from your chair and walked to the center of the room. Sans lowered the hood of his robe over his eyes.

You were half expecting Wyatt to tell you to start screwing in front of the class, which might’ve been better because then you could’ve called him a dick and that would be the end of that, but instead he said he wanted a tender moment.

So there you were, standing where everyone could see you. You were shyly rubbing your arm while Sans had one hand behind his back holding the rose and the other hand resting on your bruised cheek. This was extremely reminiscent of yesterday’s fiasco, but this time there wasn’t an ice pack barrier between his hand and your face. You tried your best to give him a reassuring smile, and he tried his best to give you one back.

You realized that this was also the first time you really got a good chance to look at his eyes. They were incredibly interesting. The backs of his sockets were dark, the blackest of blacks you’d ever seen, like small pooling black holes or smooth obsidian. It was impossible not to notice the large white pupils of light floating around. His pupils almost resembled the shining of a flashlight in a dark room. They didn’t seem to react to the light like human pupils do, but you had seen both really big pupils and really small almost impossible to spot tiny ones. Right now they were the size of two little pinpricks. You wondered if that meant anything.

The timer went off, signaling the end of class. Sans retracted his hand almost immediately. You turned away from him to try and calm the heat in your cheeks. Hands down the most awkward figure drawing class to date.

You packed up your materials and completely ignored Wyatt’s goodbyes. The other students trickled out of the classroom and Sans shifted awkwardly by you.

“sorry if that last pose ribbed ya the wrong way,” he said lightly.

You decided that the rib pun was much more endearing when Sans said it.

“No! I’m sorry…I didn’t think he’d…well, he’s an ass so I should’ve seen it coming but I’m sorry about him.” You did your best to keep calm. “Um, we’re cool yeah?”

His pupils widened. “dunno, you seem to have a bit of a femur over there.”

“You’re not funny!” you said, swinging your bag over your shoulder.

“don’t go spreading fibulas, i know i’m a humerus skeleton,” Sans said as he followed you out the door.

“You know what’s funny? For someone who lacks flesh, you did a pretty bone up job of nude modelling.”

“hey now, i’d say bein’ a skeleton is the bare bones of nudity.”

You’re both still blushing as you walked out of the art building, but you figured it could’ve been worse.

Chapter Text

Usually babysitting went more smoothly than this. Kids usually liked to draw, so you could entertain them for hours with a couple of crayons and some paper. But some kids, namely Nathan, the six year old you were watching now, were harder to handle. He didn't want to draw. He didn't want to watch television. He didn't want to play board games. You finally managed to coerce him into going to the park, which is where you were now. You took in a big breath of autumn air and looked at all the trees that had already changed colors. Vibrant reds and yellows filled the park. You started pulling Nathan along to the playground, but he was suddenly distracted.

“Can we get some Nice Cream?” he asked pleadingly, pointing to the Nice Cream cart.

You shrugged. You really didn’t really want to reward him with ice cream since he hadn’t been good, but you wanted to get back at his mom for making you babysit and returning her son with a sugar rush was the perfect petty revenge. “Sure thing.”

He ran over to the cart and started looking at a menu of options. You looked around for the vendor – usually the cart was manned by a blue bunny but today he didn’t seem to be here. You noticed a note sloppily taped to the front of the cart: Ice of you to drop by. Ring bell when ready.

Nathan nearly punched the bell off the cart and a loud, wet, farting sound echoed around the cart. Nathan burst out laughing, doubling over as Sans lazily stood up from behind the cart. He glanced between you and Nathan.

“yours?”

You looked at Nathan, who was now repeatedly ringing the bell and laughing harder every time the fart noise rung out. You rolled your eyes. “Family friend.”

“i can appreciate a kid who enjoys a good fart joke,” Sans said, looking extremely amused.

“Your caliber of humor has reached a new low,” you said teasingly. “I’m sure Papyrus wouldn’t approve.” You had to admit though, it was good to see him. You hadn’t actually spent a whole lot of time with Sans since the whole figure modelling thing. Sure, you saw him and Papyrus every morning when you made his drinks (which you were now labelling as Sanz, snas, $&$ and similar variants) but you hadn’t gotten a chance to really talk to him. And you’ve yet to tell Papyrus the truth about the two of you.

Sans chose to ignore your low blow insults in favor of greeting Nathan. “ice to meetcha kid. you gotta name?”

Nathan warmed up to Sans almost instantly, which was a fairly easy task since Sans’s sense of humor catered to six year olds. You were a little jealous about it though, since you had literally known Nathan since before he was born and he could barely stand to smile at you politely. Kids.

“so what’ll you have?”

“I wanna chocolate nice cream!” Nathan cheered.

“sure kid. what about your sitter over here?”

“She wants…ummmm,” Nathan studied the menu. “She wants a bisicle!”

“lemon, lime, or blue raspberry?”

“BLUE!”

Sans chuckled, “makes sense, it’s berry great, ya know? $5.”

You reached into your wallet and pulled out a five dollar bill. You placed it in Sans’s hand and his grin grew wider.

“sorry, i meant $10.”

“Five dollars per ice cream? You’re running a scam here,” you said jokingly, but put another bill in his hand. It wasn’t like Sans set the prices, right?

“actually, it’s $15.”

You narrowed your eyes suspiciously. “It isn’t.”

“it is.”

“Then we’ll just have to take our business elsewhere, then won’t we?” you threatened lightly. You were sure Sans was kidding, but it was hard to tell.

“NOOOOO!” Nathan shouted, stamping his feet. “You HAVE to buy the nice cream!”

“yeah. you have to buy the nice cream,” Sans repeated.

You placed a third bill into his hands, but you were starting to feel ganged up on. You gave Sans a look that just dared him to raise the price again. He winked.

“$35.”

He was totally fucking with you right now.

“No way,” you said firmly.

“YOU HAVE TO!”

You shushed him and gave Sans a dirty look. He shrugged, not looking guilty at all. “you have to,” he copied.

“Yeah! What the scary skeleton man said!” Nathan said as he pointed at Sans.

“you wouldn’t want the scary skeleton man after you, wouldja?”

You rolled your eyes in irritation, but pulled out a twenty dollar bill.

“…heh. really? gee, that’s nice of ya but I was just messin’ with you. it’s only $5.”

You snatched the rest of your money back from his hands and grabbed the two frozen treats. You handed Nathan his nice cream cone and then took off running for the playground. You leaned against the cart and unwrapped your own dessert. You broke off half of the bisicle and offered it to Sans. You nibbled the tip of the popsicle and grimaced. The blue raspberry flavor was stronger than you thought it would be.

“so hows it goin?”

“Oooh,” you winced. “well…there’s a reason I’m watching Nathan today.”

“hm?” he eyed you suspiciously.

“Yeahhh, so see I need you to do me a favor.”

“i’m not really one for doin’ any favors,” Sans said. You noticed that his half of the bisicle was gone. You wondered if he ate it or threw it away.

“Well hear me out. You see, my family got invited to his mom's wedding, but she has this godawful 4th cousin like 5 times removed, I don't know or really care, but his name is Milton and I was supposed to be his escort date whatever you want to call it," you threw your hands up in the air. "This was based on the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend as a plus one and they had to balance out pictures and some other stuff I didn't really understand. And, so I…um…you know, I told my mom I was dating you so she could fix it. And…uh…now I kind of need you to come to this wedding in like a month and pretend to be my boyfriend please?” The absurdity of this whole situation made you uncomfortable, so you distracted yourself by sucking on the popsicle. The blue raspberry was slightly more tolerable.

The whole conversation with your mother had just been awkward from start to finish.

“Moooooooom, I can’t be Milton’s escort at the wedding he’s basically the Jerry of their family!” you whined into the phone receiver.

“Who’s Jerry?”

“Someone you want to DITCH!”

“There’s no need to be rude. You wouldn’t even have to be Milton’s date if you went out and got a boyfriend yourself,” your mother chided. “That pretty face of yours is at its prime, so you better hurry up or you’ll never find a man.”

You resisted the urge to roll your eyes. If only she knew about…

Oh.

“Actually,” you practically purred into the phone, “I am dating someone.”

Sort of.

You felt bad about potentially using Sans to get out of going to this wedding with Milton but Milton was just so…Jerry-like. In fact, you were sure that if it came down to it, people would pick Jerry over Milton any day. You were pretty sure he was only invited because he would turn up with or without an invitation, and you were pretty sure you were only his date because they assumed you would stay woefully single, and as your mother so lovingly put it at the time: “it'll be fine, all she does is shut herself in and steal food from others.”

Ironically, it was the act of being a shut-in and wanting free food that led you to this moment, but who cared about small details such as that?

You continued sucking on the popsicle, trying to finish it before it began melting. You could feel the sticky popsicle juice forming a ring around your mouth. Ugh. You knew you definitely weren’t looking attractive right now as you slurped up the melting ice.

“they don’t mind me bein’ a monster and all?” Sans asked, resting his skull in his palm. Sweat was starting to bead at the top of his skull, and you noticed he was looking at you kind of funny.

“Excuse me? You're not seriously just telling me about a plus one a month before the wedding!”

“Um…no.”

“Jesus Christ I JUST finished figuring out seating arrangements and now…” you heard her sigh in a way not dissimilar to your mother’s. “Okay, I’m happy for you. I’m really happy for you, it's almost like seeing my own daughter growing up. I mean, I saw that video on YouTube but I wasn’t sure if it was true or if you were just being a woman of integrity.”

You flushed crimson. “What do you mean you saw a YouTube video?”

“It's a video of you and a pair of skeletons at a quaint little Italian place. I thought you knew about it, it's got nearly ten thousand views. I meant to call and ask you, but wedding planning got in the way, you know how busy I’ve been.” She clucked her tongue. “Actually, I need to run a few errands tomorrow, do you mind babysitting Nathan for me? You are his favorite sitter after all.”

You groaned. “Come on! You know he hates me and I can see exactly what you’re getting at here. I watch Nathan and you let Sans come as my plus one.”

She giggled. “You said it, not me. Oh, but it’s true, that’s exactly what I was planning.”

You pulled the popsicle out of your mouth with a pop and shrugged. “She took it in stride. She was more upset about seating arrangements than anything else. I don’t think my mom knows, since didn’t call me crying hysterically, but she’s not a monster-hater or anything.”

You licked the side of the popsicle to avoid it dripping onto your clothes. You missed and blue raspberry syrup dribbled down your chin. You did your best to clean it with your tongue, momentarily forgetting Sans was there. When you remembered that you were with someone, you looked up, slightly embarrassed, and you noticed Sans being unusually quiet. His face was flushed, pupils focusing on the popsicle in your mouth. You pulled it away from your lips and gave him a quizzical look.

“Sans? Are you…alright?”

“never better,” he mumbled, still looking at you weird.

Your eyes flickered between his face and your popsicle wondering what the connection…could…be…

The cogs in your brain began turning and your first instinct was to laugh, more so out of your own embarrassment rather than Sans’s flusteredness. You didn’t really consider eating a popsicle to be lewd behavior, and you weren’t sure about how skeletons would interpret the action, but a dude skeleton was still a dude, right? Although…something Wyatt had mentioned came to you.

“How does a skeleton have sex?”

You froze.

“wow that is a conversation i’d rather not be having,” Sans said nervously, the pinpricks in his eyes shifting and nearly disappearing entirely.

“Fuck, I mean. No. Definitely not fuck. Um. I mean,” you started frantically waving your arms around, “Was that totally rude? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say it out loud but I’m pretty sure you’re all weird because of the popsicle thing? Right? Which I don’t understand because it’s not like you have a dick I can suck. I would know I’ve seen you naked. Um. Uh. And not that I would. Suck it. I mean. That would be weird,” you looked literally everywhere but at Sans. “It’s just that Wyatt made this dumbass comment about breaking off femurs? Or something? I don’t know I don’t really remember I’m sorry.” Stop. Talking. “And I don’t know if you even CAN have sex. Like did I just insult you or something? I…um…okay well this was fun, bye.”

You scrambled to throw the rest of your uneaten popsicle in the trash bin and make a quick getaway when Sans chuckled lowly. He was trying to regain his composure, although he was still completely blue in the face, and you looked at him apprehensively.

“uh, ha, ok, for the record, skeletons can, ya know, take a trip to the bone zone. i mean how else do you think i’d be here?”

“Well excuse me for not brushing up on skeleton pregnancy, I didn’t think we’d ever be having this conversation!” you exclaim hotly, trying to suppress the blush in your face. To Sans’s credit he looked fairly embarrassed himself.

“maybe you should consider boning up on your monster anatomy. i mean aren’t you a little old for the moldsmals and the whimsuns talk?” Two bone puns and a bad birds and bees metaphor within a minute, but you had to admit that his jokes relaxed you a bit.

You realized he just said that it was, in fact, a possibility that skeletons could have sex and instantly your morbid sense of curiosity was begging you to ask how, but you refused to dig this hole any deeper. Even though now you were really, really curious.

“Um, okay. Well thanks for the nice cream,” you said awkwardly, shuffling your feet. “But I gotta take the kid home now.”

“sure,” Sans said. “uh, lemme know about the wedding details, ok? i’ll go with you if…if you really want.”

You were surprised. You thought for sure he would deny your request after all that word vomit. You gave him a thumbs up.

Later that night, your mom called. Now that she recollected herself from the news that you were dating someone (and wow, you took a bit of offense to that jab) she wanted to know more about him.

You could practically feel your mom’s suspicion radiating through the phone.

“What’s his name?”

“Sans.”

“What does he do?”

“He works multiple jobs.”

“Is he well educated?”

You…had no idea? Did Sans end up going to college? Was there a college equivalent in the Underground? You figured he was smart enough to at least please your mother. “Yeah. And really witty too.” That, at least, was true.

“How long have you been dating?”

You hesitated. It’s been three weeks since the party, so you decided to add a little bit of time, “A month.”

“And you couldn’t make the time to call your mother?”

“Sorry,” you half-heartedly apologized. In your defense, you weren’t planning on keeping up the dating façade for this long. “It’s been a crazy few weeks.”

“That’s no excuse,” your mother scolded. You heard her sigh and could practically see her start to pinch the bridge of her nose. “And I hear that he's a monster?”

You chewed your bottom lip. “Yeah, he is. Does that…um…bother you?”

“No. And don’t take it the wrong way when I say this, but it’s oddly fitting for you.” You weren’t sure what that was supposed to mean. “Oh, and please be a dear and send me some pictures."

Crap. “Pictures?”

“Yes! God knows how much you hate Milton and I wouldn’t put it past you to make up this…what was his name again?”

“Sans.”

“I wouldn’t put it past you to make up this Sans fellow to get out of going with Milton. Pictures!”

The line went dead.

Well then.

xxx-xxxx: 11:43 pm
Hey

Snas: 11:43 pm
hey there verte-bae

xxx-xxxx: 11:44 pm
Clever. But actually I need to ask for another favor.

Snas: 11:44 pm
?

xxx-xxxx: 11:45 pm
Can you send me a selfie?

xxx-xxxx: 11:45 pm
Not for me!

xxx-xxxx: 11:45 pm
It’s for my mom!

xxx-xxxx: 11:45 pm
Wait that sounds bad doesn’t it

xxx-xxxx: 11:45 pm
I swear it’s nothing weird

xxx-xxxx: 11:46 pm
She just needs your picture as proof that I’m not making you up because that’s probably something I would do

xxx-xxxx: 11:50 pm
Sans?

You shrugged. It was late and you knew Sans liked to sleep. You figured he went to bed. You turned off your lights and crawled under your blankets. A few minutes passed and your text tone went off.

snas: 12:01 am
sorry it took so long. bones dont have many good sides
[Attachment: 1 image]

You swiped to look at the photo.

Thump. Thump.

You felt a warm blush creep onto your face.

Nope, no, not happening, you were squashing those feelings right now. You were in enough of a mess as it was. You tapped out of the picture and forwarded it to your mom, hoping to placate her. You turned your phone to silent and snuggled up to your cat.

Thump. Thump.

Your morbid sense of curiosity was back. It was definitely starting to create thoughts you were never supposed to think.

Thump. Thump.

Chapter Text

3:49 am.

Someone was banging on your door at 3:49 am. This wasn’t entirely unusual, drunk college kids were always banging on someone’s door, but who was getting turnt on a Wednesday? You also weren’t too upset because you were awake anyway, just about ready to leave for work, so you went to go tell whoever it was to knock it off and go to bed.

“Who the heck do you-”

CLICK! FLASH!

“What’s it like dating a monster?”

“Are you planning on pressing charges against Mr. Delaney?”

“Did the restaurant even give you compensation?”

“Have you always been a necrophiliac?”

Nearly a dozen reporters were all clamouring up to your door. Several were shoving microphones into your face and the flashes from all the cameras were starting to blind you. What is even happening right now?! You panicked and covered your face. This was too much, why were reporters here? How did they even find out where you lived?

“If you don’t get off this lovely young lady’s property within the next ten seconds I will be forced to blow up the whole premises!” A sultry voice rang out. Your heartrate began to speed up. Please don’t blow up my home, you thought desperately. You wanted to speak up and beg for him to keep your house intact, but you couldn’t find your voice. “Don’t test me darlings, I’ve been known to do much, much worse.”

You heard retreating footsteps and peeked through your fingers. In front of you was a tall, imposing robot. You let your hands drop. The robot flipped his hair. “Goodness, it’s worse than I thought. Just because you’re dating the dead doesn’t mean you have to look like him.”

You scowled and slammed the door in his face. Or, well, you tried but the robot’s arm caught it and you were no match for his raw strength.

“Oh, I’m just kidding, darling. But wasn’t it awfully nice of me to get rid of those nosy reporters? Don’t you think it would be common courtesy to invite me in?” he pushed himself into your apartment without waiting for an answer. He looked around your tiny living room and shook his head in disappointment. “I suppose I will have to make do. A little light and some curtains will make this place more respectable.” He hummed to himself and then clapped his hands together twice. Four burly men barraged through your front door carrying studio lights, chiffon curtains, vases filled with various flowers, plush chairs, and some recording equipment. They began setting up around you.

“What do you think you’re doing? Who are you?” you asked, finding your voice again. “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“My internal clock says it’s 3:58 in the morning, the perfect interviewing hour,” he beamed. “Early robot gets the story, darling, and trust me the timing on this one cannot be more perfect. You’re going to be the face of monster-human relations before sunrise, and it will be all thanks to me!” He clapped his hands together again and the men left your apartment.

Your mind was going a million miles an hour. “Uh, okay let’s back up a second. First of all, who are you?”

He stared at you, open mouthed, clearly not expecting that question. He coughed. “I’m the glamourous Mettaton – television personality, actor, singer, dancer! I have a variety of series on the monster network – Cooking with Mettaton?” you shook your head. “No? What about Mettaton’s Got Talent?” you shook your head again. “Keeping Up With Mettaton? Well then, what about my scripted shows. Undernovela? Pretty Little Mettaton? How I Met Your Mettaton?”

You shrugged.

“My movies then?” Mettaton pushed. “Oh My Love I through XVIII? Mettaton Wars? Meet the Mettaton?”

You shook your head again, now feeling a bit embarrassed. Did he really have this much influence in pop culture?

Mettaton looked absolutely flabbergasted. “Well then, my darling I must say that you have been living under a rock.” He coughed again and recomposed himself. “But you know, it’s refreshing. A new fan! Someone who’s never been exposed to my work and can then enjoy it in it’s entirety!”

You decided to ignore that suggestion for now. “Okay Mettaton, why are there reporters outside my door asking me about my…relationship?”

“That YouTube video of course! Didn’t you know darling? It got incredibly popular with the monsters you know! Never has there been such a public declaration of monster-human relationship advocacy! And naturally, when I showed it on my morning talk show, humans began watching it as well. You’ve gotten quite a bit of fame,” he paused dramatically. “But, as with all fame – there comes a price. And that price is having to handle the paparazzi! My dear, your life as you know it is about to change!”

“Uh…”

“I mean, so much fanmail for you has already come into the studio! Normally, I would be incredibly jealous, but the ratings have never been higher!”

“…fan…mail?”

The robot snapped his fingers and one of the burly men came rushing in with a large bag filled to the brim with letters. You felt a pit starting to form in your stomach. You opened one of the notes.

I just want to thank you so much for standing up to that guy! You’ve made me and my monsterfriend decide to finally go public with our relationship!

You’re such an inspiration to all us monster-human couples!

We’re rooting for you!

I always thought humans were mean creatures, but seeing you defending us like that really changed my mind. I wish you and Sans the best.

Thanks. You’re really making a difference for us.

Oh.

Tears trickled down your cheeks.

“Save the waterworks for the cameras darling!”

“I’m…I’m sorry this is too much,” you choked out. Why, oh why didn’t you clear up this situation with Papyrus back when it was still manageable? There must have been hundreds of letters from humans and monsters expressing their gratitude. You felt terrible. You didn’t mean for it to go this far.

“Nonsense!” Mettaton studied you for a minute. “Well, I was going to have someone come in and make you more presentable, but you know what? Your natural look is quite charming. I think it will make you much more relatable.”

“Relatable?”

Mettaton snapped his fingers and the man who brought in your letters daintily powdered your nose and placed you in one of the plush chairs.

“It’s your time to shine darling!” Mettaton said, “We’re going live in 3…”

“Wait!”

“2…”

“No!”

“1…”

“Don’t!”

“Action!” A small light on the camera turned on. Your eyes widened to the size of dinner plates and you felt like a deer caught in the headlights. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to run. This was live?

“As many of you already know, a young college student has caught the eye of one of the Underground’s most notable monsters!” Mettaton winked at the camera, “Not to worry darlings, it isn’t me. Her outstanding courage had made this YouTube video go viral and ever since there have been requests to have her on my show. And you know that if you ask you will receive, so here she is!”

Lights began rapidly flashing around you as some background music began to play. You felt like you were on a gameshow rather than an interview. Your heart thumped wildly in your chest, suddenly worried about what Mettaton was going to ask.

“Greet your fans darling!”

You looked at the camera awkwardly. “Um…hello?”

“Fabulous! You’re a natural!” Mettaton turned to the camera, “But now it’s time for some hard-hitting questions. According to some incredibly reliable sources, you’re dating a certain skeleton monster?”

You were too deep in this lie to start telling the truth now, so you nodded shyly, wishing you could be anywhere else. You fidgeted with your hands in your lap. You wondered if Sans watched Mettaton’s show and if he did what he was thinking right now.

“And what’s his name darling?”

“…Sans.”

“And how did the two of you meet?”

You couldn’t say that you met at a party because then Papyrus would know that you lied. Where did people even meet people these days? You blurted the first thing that came to mind, “A bar.” You winced almost immediately afterwards. Wasn’t it Papyrus who told you skeletons couldn’t get drunk? Why on earth would Sans be at a bar?

“This bar wouldn’t happen to be Grillbys by any chance, would it?”

Sure, why not. “Yeah…that’s the one.”

There was a moment of silence before Mettaton said, “You simply can’t let a juicy piece of gossip like that go unfinished. Tell your fans exactly how it happened. We want the full scoop, not a detail left out.”

“Um. It was…dark out?”

Mettaton nodded in encouragement. “And did you ravish him with your womanly charm at the bar?”

“Uh…ha…ha…I don’t think…ravish…that’s not really the word I would use,” you stammered. Your brain was struggling to come up with any kind of believable story. “Um, it was late. I was coming back from a class…and…I walked in…?” you glanced at your watch. You were definitely going to be late for work. “And uh…I saw him…from across the room?”

“And did your heart begin pounding and were there lights and angelic singing? Did he sweep you off your feet and carry you off into the sunset?”

“Um…no,” you said, wondering if Mettaton had any realistic idea of how people actually interacted in real life. Mettaton deflated. “I royally embarrassed myself.” Probably the only realistic aspect of this fabricated relationship.

Instantly, Mettaton perked up again. “Embarrassment only brings people closer together. Go on darling, we are all intrigued.”

You laughed to yourself. “Ah, well. So I go up to the bar to order…and uh, he was there…being…a skeleton and all,” you trailed off, not really sure where you were going with this. “So I did what any rational person would do…and…I…” your eyes caught sight of the roses decorating the interview space. You remembered something Sans did with a rose at the figure modelling session. “I stuck my finger into his eye socket.”

Mettaton’s smile faltered. “I’m…sorry? What was that?”

You couldn’t decide if you were great or terrible under pressure. “Yes. That’s a thing. That I did.”

“…but…why?”

“I have no idea,” you said, questioning whether or not you should be allowed to ever speak again ever.

Mettaton looked at a loss. “And how did Sans react to this, exactly?”

Sans liked jokes right? He’d probably…he’d probably make some stupid pun. “Eye see what you’re doing there pal, but iris you’d stop.” Nice, nice you commend yourself. Pun game on point.

Mettaton let out a loud laugh. “Oh, darling, certainly sounds like him. And so, what, was it happily ever after?”

“Um. Basically?” you said, unsure. Well, your made up story would certainly break the ice though you didn’t think a sane person would actually date you after that. Oh well. No one else had to know that.

“Well that story truly took us to places I never imagined. Intrigue! Drama! Passion! But, my dear, I have to ask. All of the protesting, do you ever regret your decision to start openly dating a monster?”

“No,” you said softly. “I would never regret dating a monster.” That, at least, was honest. “I think people are cruel for trying to diminish the loving relationships that monsters and humans have formed. It…you can’t help who you love.”

Mettaton’s mouth twisted into a small smirk. “Love?” he purred. “Are you saying that you love Sans?”

Your cheeks started to burn. “Um, what? I didn’t say that! It’s. Um. It’s much too early for us to be thinking about things like…love.”

“Oh there is absolutely no need to be shy, darling! Why, if I had feelings for someone as strong as your feelings for Sans, I would shout it from the rooftops! There’s no need to be ashamed my darling. Go on, it’s alright. You’re only proclaiming your love to approximately 1.2 million viewers!” he had the camera focused on you.

“I…we’re taking it slow!” you exclaimed. “It’s…we’ve only been dating a month it’s too soon to say I love Sans!” You desperately protested.

“Oooh, but darling you just did! Unbeknownst to you we cut to commercial until you said those three beautiful little words. Now the whole monster community knows your exact feelings!” Mettaton said dramatically, patting you on the head gently.

“Wha…why would you do that!” you cried out. “It’s…I’m…” you were trying to think of a way to dig yourself out of this.

“You humans are so silly with your ‘it’s too soons’ and your ‘we need to waits.’ Where is the romance in that? Besides, this is the rating boost that I’ve been dreaming of!” He turned to the camera, “You’ve heard it here first my beauties! The very first of hopefully many proclamations of love! Stay tuned, and as always…remember to stay fabulous!” Mettaton blew a kiss into the lens and the camera clicked off.

“Well that was certainly a treat!” Mettaton said. He clapped his hands and the men began dismantling the interview setup. “I will set up a schedule of appearances for you and Sans on my show as well as some meet and greets. There are so many monsters looking to meet you. And me, of course.”

With everything packed up, Mettaton gave one last wave of his hand and was out of your apartment. You sat on the floor in your living room, wondering what the hell just happened.

You picked up your phone. 4:34 am. Definitely late for work. You also had two new messages.

snas: 4:16 am
those eye puns are rather corne-a dontcha think

snas: 4:29 am
you love me? well shucks pal. you could at least buy me dinner first

You threw your phone across the room, buried your face into your hands, and started screaming.

Chapter Text

“…You’re asking me on a date?” you asked, almost dropping Sans’s drink (today labelled Sansafrass).

“i wouldn’t say date exactly-”

“WELL WHAT ELSE WOULD IT BE SANS?”

“a friendly…hangout.”

“AM I INVITED?”

“…no.”

“SANS YOUR VEILED LIES ARE TOO EASY TO SEE THROUGH. IF IT WAS TRULY A FRIENDLY HANGOUT THEN I COULD COME. AND UNDYNE AND ALPHYS TOO. AND TORIEL AND FRISK AND MAYBE EVEN KING ASGORE!”

“ok paps you got me it’s a date,” Sans caved. “so, whatdya say?”

“Oh…um, sure. What did you have in mind?” you asked nervously.

“thought i’d bring you ‘round to grillbys. ya know, the place we met,” he said casually. You winced, remembering your dumb cover story. “thought it’s been awhile since ya been, figured we could talk about somethin.”

“GASP!” you glanced behind Sans to see Papyrus looking like he was trying really hard to keep himself from saying something.

“Sure,” you agreed. “Tonight?”

“tonight,” he confirmed. He turned to leave the shop, but paused when Papyrus didn’t follow. “paps, you comin?”

“J-JUST A SECOND. I NEED TO TALK TO THE HUMAN! A-ALONE! GO OUTSIDE!” Papyrus exclaimed, pushing his brother towards the door. Sans looked confused, but shrugged and complied. Papyrus practically sprinted back to the counter. “HUMAN, I BELIEVE I SHOULD FOREWARN YOU ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TONIGHT.”

Papyrus didn’t even give you the chance to ask what he meant when he started barreling into his monologue.

“EVER SINCE MY BROTHER HEARD YOUR SINCERE DECLARATION OF LOVE FROM THIS MORNING HE HAS BEEN ACTING WEIRD. I THINK HE FEELS INADAQUATE BECAUSE HE DID NOT SAY IT FIRST, AND TONIGHT HE WILL EXPRESS THESE FEELINGS FOR YOU BY TAKING YOU BACK TO THE PLACE YOU MET. IT’S AN UNUSUALLY ROMANTIC GESTURE FOR HIM TO MAKE…” Papyrus trailed off and then brightened, “HE MUST HAVE BEEN STUDYING MY GUIDE. I’M SO PROUD OF HIM. MAKE SURE TO ENCOURAGE HIM SO HE WON’T BACK OUT AND THEN SHOWER HIM IN KISSES.”

You really wished Papyrus wasn’t so loud. Your co-worker was giggling behind you, as were some of the other customers. You cleared your throat, “Thanks, I’ll make sure to…uh…treat him well?”

“OH AND BE SURE TO ACT A LITTLE SURPRISED WHEN HE TELLS YOU!” Papyrus patted your head and then headed for the door, departing with an audible wink. Ah, geez.

“Not dating, my ass,” your co-worker snickered.

At 9pm that night, Sans knocked on your door. Much to your surprise, and your embarrassment, he also had a small bouquet of flowers. He shyly handed them to you.

“i know you’re prolly wonderin what in carnation these could be for, but paps insisted i bring you some,” he joked. You laughed nervously. This felt so reminiscent of an awkward first date from your high school years. You went to go put them in a vase when you noticed a small card tucked in the middle of the arrangement.

HUMAN, I THE GREAT PAPYRUS, HOPE THAT THIS GESTURE WILL HELP BRING YOUR…TULIPS TOGETHER. NYEH-HEH-HEH.

(JAPED BY THE GREAT PAPYRUS)

PS. DON’T TELL SANS ABOUT THIS OR HE WILL SPEAK IN ONLY FLOWER PUNS FOR A WEEK.

You laughed to yourself. Papyrus was such a good brother. You placed the flowers into a vase and nodded approvingly. You grabbed your purse and took a deep breath. You reminded yourself that this wasn’t a real date, just a…friendly hangout.

“ya ready?” Sans asked when you came back. You nodded and locked your apartment door.

“So what’s this place like?” you asked as the two of you started walking.

“just a small pub. grillbz had one underground, first thing he did topside was open up shop. got a lot of human attention,” Sans explained.

“Yeah?”

“yeah, became a real hot spot,” Sans said, looking quite amused with himself. “not much on the menu foodwise, but grillby cooks up a mean coupla burgs.”

“I could always go for a good burger,” you reassured him. “Fries too?”

“now we’re talkin pal.”

The two of you reached an old brick building in the middle of town. The windows were darkly tinted, so it was difficult to see inside. A large sign in the shape of a flame rested over the top of the door with Grillbys written across it in golden scripture. You’d probably walked right by this place a dozen times before. You weren’t sure why it never caught your attention.

Sans opened the door. “After you,” he said, waving you in.

The inside of the pub was just as charming as the outside. The walls and bar itself were made of all brick and stone. There were several tables and booths spread throughout the space and dozens of candles. You were unsure about having so much fire around alcohol being a good thing, but then you noticed who was manning the bar.

“Hot,” was the only thing you could say.

Sans chuckled. “In what way?” you moved to jab him in the ribs, but he dodged you and started walking up to the bar.

“Sans, my man!”

“Hey there Sans!”

“Oh, is that your girlfriend?”

“Wow she’s so cute!”

“Sansy, why haven’t you been dropping by? Surely you’d know we’d all want to meet your girl by now?”

You were blushing. Sans was clearly very popular here. You wondered just how often he frequented this place before you so rudely dropped yourself into his life. He lazily threw an arm over your shoulder. “well she’s here now, ain’t she?”

“This is so cool!”

“Like having a celebrity couple in our mix.”

“Can I get a picture? You guys look so good together!”

“Please let me buy you a drink.”

You were so unused to having this much attention, it felt a bit like they were bombarding you. You glanced at Sans uneasily, who squeezed your shoulder. You tried to relax as you were introduced to several monsters, all of whom knew Sans back in the Underground.

You didn’t really peg him as the popular type, as it seemed more like Papyrus’s shtick, but Sans was a funny guy. It made sense that he had a lot of friends. They were really nice to you too, and you took pictures and signed a few autographs. You really did feel a little bit like a celebrity, it was kind of overwhelming, but at least everyone was welcoming.

After the novelty of a newcomer wore down, the monsters returned to their seats and Sans lead you up to the bar where a flaming bartender was already mixing up some drinks. You and Sans each took a seat on a bar stool. The bartender crackled a bit and nodded in your direction. You felt as though you had curled up right next to a fireplace. The bricks of the bar were warm, and you felt instantly soothed. You wondered if that was the heat in general or some other kind of magic.

“this is grillby,” Sans said, pointing in his direction.

Grillby nodded at you, eyeglasses bobbing. “Evening,” he rasped, his voice popping and crackling like firewood. He poured the drink from his shaker into four shot glasses. The liquid bubbled as if carbonated and it was an almost transparent shade of blue. Grillby placed his hands over two of the glasses and the liquid immediately changed to an angry shade of red and started boiling. He placed the glasses in front of you and Sans and nodded.

“i think you’re really gonna like this, it’s grillbz favorite trick. keeps the humans comin back for more.” Sans picked up the red shot first. “red then blue.”

You picked up the red shot, liquid still boiling. Sans seemed to noticed your apprehension because he said, “it won’t burn ya.”

You took the shot, expecting a burning sensation in your throat anyway, but instead it was just pleasantly warm, like you had taken a really big sip of tea. It tasted like warm cinnamon and the smell of a burnt out candle filled your nose. You could feel the liquid oozing and crackling its way through your whole body even though, logically it made no sense. You looked down to see your veins glowing a bright red, pulsating to the beat of your heart.

“Woahhh,” you said, tracing the veins. “Wait but what does it do for y-”

The white lights in Sans’s eyes had gone red and you could see his bones glowing a soft reddish-orange. Instead of pulsations, the glow was almost vibrating along the outer edges of the bone, similar to static. He winked. “pretty cool right? here gimme your hand.” You complied and Sans pulled out a lighter from his hoodie pocket. You instinctually tried to retract it, but Sans held it still and flicked the lighter on underneath. You waited for pain, but the flame merely lapped at your hand, the feeling not unlike the water from a warm bath.

“I’M INVULNERABLE TO FIRE NOW?!” you shrieked. You could tell that the monsters were staring you with mild interest. They always did love seeing humans interact with magic. “Oh my god, this is so cool!”

“heh, well you’re invulnerable until the shot wears out in an hour anyway. neat trick though, but we’re just warmin up,” Sans tilted his head towards the blue liquid. “go on then.”

You took this one more eagerly, tipping the glass into your mouth. There was a cooling effect that started to subdue the warmth of the red drink. It tasted like vanilla and the taste mixed with the cinnamon in your mouth. It was like a dessert and a drink and an experience all wrapped up together. Your body started to react similarly, both heating and cooling simultaneously. You looked at your veins to see blue swirling around the red. You really wanted a photograph of this, you felt like a canvas.

“This is really relaxing,” you said offhandedly.

“mmm, yeah. the blue is to help you ‘cool down’ and relax. this is usually the first drink he gives newcomers to ease them into monster liquor,” Sans said, his eyes flickering between red and blue. He slumped over into his hands.

“Well it’s working, this is awesome!” You didn’t know if you’d ever get used to the feeling of magic.

Grillby looked pleased with himself and glanced at Sans. The two seemed to have a wordless conversation before Grillby nodded and hurried to the back. Sans looked at your quizzical face and said, “ordered us some burgs. should be out pretty soon.”

“Ah, cool,” you said, still staring at your veins.

“so are we really doin this thing?”

Oh. He wanted to talk about it now. You ripped your attention away from your arms to look at Sans. “I mean, it literally got international coverage this morning, we’re a bit past the opportunity to call it quits, don’t you think?”

Sans absentmindedly swirled one of his bony fingers around the top of his shot glass. “i s’pose,” he paused, “never thought my ugly mug would be the face of monster-human relations.”

“Hey now, first rule of,” squint, “boyfriendship,” great, “no self-deprecation! Your face isn’t ugly. It’s…well, I mean honestly it’s pretty cool? Like all moveable and stuff. I mean, okay I get that doesn’t sound like much of a compliment or anything but like from a human’s perspective it’s so neat! Like your expressions are so interesting and um, okay I’m rambling but I’m trying to say you have a nice face.”

“heh,” Sans chuckled, his blue blush betraying him. “i’m just an old bag o’ bones, ya know. no need to compliment me so much.”

“You’re not old!” you argued. “…are you?”

“not by monster standards, but i think you might panic if i told you my real age.”

“Ballpark figure?” you pressed.

“let’s just say i’m older than paps and he’s around 230 years old.”

You let your jaw drop. “WHAT?!” you shouted. “Geez, what am I in monster years, a baby? Wow…I was thinking like. Maybe 70 or something…”

“it makes sense. humans are made of physical matter, your bodies die long before the soul does just because what makes you up can’t keep regenerating. monsters…we’re made of magic, in theory we could live forever. but there’s a downside, i s’pose. we’re so in tune to our emotions that we could die from feelin too much so, uh, don’t go breakin my heart or anythin buddy.”

“I couldn’t if I tried,” you said, instantly cringing. Sans grinned.

Grillby returned with two plates filled with a burger and fries. Your mouth started watering. He placed a plate down in front of you and gestured towards the various bottles of alcohol on the shelves.

“Oh, uh, I dunno? What goes best with your burgers?”

Before Grillby could answer one of the patrons called him over. He made the wait motion at you and went to go check in with what looked to be a humanoid rabbit (who looked drunk off her ass). You were about to dig into your burger when Sans used the ketchup bottle to tap your arm.

“Want some?”

“Nah, it’s cool,” you said.

Sans started sweating, and then he chuckled and shrugged. “More for me then.”

“You have a whole BAR full of drinks sitting literally three feet from you. Is it normal for monsters to do that?” you asked. “Are condiments sacrilegious to you? That’s disgusting. Why would you do that?”

“no. no. i know. i don’t know.”

Grillby came back to the bar and you started eating. God, this had to be one of the best burgers you’ve ever tasted in your life. It was cooked to perfection. The fries were also crispy and seasoned and each bite you wanted to both savor and wolf down.

While you and Sans had been eating, Grillby mixed another drink. He filled two glasses about halfway with a pink liquid. Small bubbly hearts floated around the mixture. He placed them in front of you and Sans and nodded his head towards the other customers in the bar. You turned to see everyone’s eyes on you. Many of them were snickering.

“c’mon grillbz,” Sans said lifting the glass, “you too, huh?”

Grillby sparked a bit and his flames got brighter.

“What is it?” you asked, inspecting your glass. It smelled like pomegranates and cranberry juice.

“a passionette. it’s…aha, it’s an aphrodisiac,” Sans mumbled, looking away from you.

“Lots of things are aphrodisiacs,” you reasoned. “Like pomegranates, chocolate, oysters. I mean, it’s fine. Common, even.” You took a long sip.

“wait, you don’t understand-”

Oh. Ahh.

That felt really nice.

You felt completely warm from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Your eyes drooped so they were half lidded and you could actually feel your pupils dilating.

“Wow look at her pupils! They’re such cute little hearts!”

“And she’s so flustered too! Rosy cheeks and all!

“Gee Sans, you better take care of her real soon!”

You felt a growing heat pool in your stomach and a fluttering feeling in your heart. And then you felt a growing need for affection. Any kind of affection at all. You were craving it. A hug. A kiss. Sex. Anything. You just wanted to be with somebody.

You made eye contact with Sans.

“Ahhhhh, Sa-hans,” you moaned.

“Oh my gosh maybe you two should go get a room!”

“I think she’s the first human to have one of these.”

“Saaaaans,” you moaned again. “Pleeeeeeaaaaassssee.” You reached out for him, wanting something, anything.

“Did you hear that moan? Wow, Sans you sure are lucky.”

“Kiss! Kiss! KISS! KISS!” the bar started chanting.

You didn’t even think, you just pulled Sans in by his hoodie drawstrings and kissed him right on the teeth. Everyone whooped and hollered around you. Your heart fluttered. Fluttered. Fluttered.

Wow this feels nice. This feels really nice.

Thump. Thump.

And then the feeling dissipated entirely. You pulled back from Sans and covered your mouth, mortified. “Wh-what was that?”

“a passionette,” Sans supplied, cheeks tinging a dark shade of blue. “it…monsters don’t usually react that strongly to it, uh, you might never want to serve that to a human again grillby.”

“I just…moaned your name in front of a bunch of strangers,” you said. You hid your face in your hands. “I just…MOANED your name in front of all these people!”

“hey you coulda jumped by bones right there on the counter,” Sans joked. You chose not to mention that you probably wouldn’t have opposed it under that stuff. You pushed away the thought.

“Erm, well, if it’s all right with you, I think we should be heading back,” you said. You turned to Grillby, “How much do I owe you?”

Sans held up his hand. “this is a date, remember? grillbz, put it on my tab, will ya?”

Grillby popped and sent a few small sparks in Sans’s direction.

“don’t worry, i’ll pay ya back eventually.”

“Come again,” Grillby rasped out when you said your goodbyes. You promised you would return soon. Maybe when you could look the people there in the eye again.

You left around midnight, a little upset that you were going to get such little sleep that night, but overall happy that the “date” went well, despite the small hiccup. You shivered as the night wind picked up.

“cold?”

You shrugged. “A-a little. Once we start walking it’ll be fine,” you said right as a big gust of wind blew. You shuddered.

“you’re shiverin’ your ass off because it’s 30 degrees outside,” Sans said plainly. “here,” he shrugged off his jacket and passed it to you. The fluffy lining looked so warm and appealing, but you felt bad about it. You were going to protest when Sans thrust his jacket into your hands. “don’t. i’m not cold. the air just goes right through me.”

You slipped the hoodie on and zipped it up all the way. It was super warm and cozy, and you were thankful for it. Sans shoved his hands into his pant pockets and the two of you started walking back to your apartment, chatting amiably along the way. When you reached the front door, you smiled. “Thanks for the great…fake date. It was actually pretty fun, erm, well…you know.” Sans didn’t say anything, just looked a bit amused. “Anyways, I guess that’s it then. Oh, um, you know Papyrus will ask about it so,” you plucked up the last bit of courage you had in you for the night and gave Sans a quick kiss on the cheek.

You were about to say goodnight when you noticed your door slightly ajar. Sans leaned over to see what was bothering you.

“hm? looks like your door is unlocked,” Sans said. “you got any roommates or visitors?”

Your heart was beating quickly. You shook your head and said, “I…I definitely locked it.” You nervously pushed open the door and your breathing hitched.

There was trash all over the floor, your curtains and furniture were ripped, plates had been smashed, your drawings were ripped from their books and scattered, and it looked like anything of value had been stolen. But worst of all was the graffiti on the walls. In large, unmistakable print, were the words “necrophiliac,” “sick bitch,” “fucking freak,” “monster fucker.”

You stood in your doorway, too afraid to move a muscle. A lump started to form in your throat and you began to crumple. There wasn’t much else you could do besides break down crying. You quivered before your knees buckled and you fell to the floor. You picked up one of the flowers Sans brought earlier, now half wilted and stepped on. You cupped the crushed petals in your hands and began sobbing. Sans placed himself down on the floor beside you and wrapped his arms around your trembling figure. “’m sorry,” he murmured, so quietly you almost missed it.

You leaned into him, buried your head into his shoulder, and you cried.

Chapter Text

You weren’t sure how long you and Sans sat in your now broken home. Every time you opened your eyes it was like reopening a wound and you felt a pressure in your throat and stomach that refused to leave. Your tears stained Sans’s jacket sleeves and his flimsy t-shirt for sure, but you doubted that he would care that much about it. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the tears ran dry.

“I…can we leave?” you hiccupped.

Sans stood and scooped you up into his arms. In a blip you were in his living room.

“hope ya don’t mind spendin’ the night here,” he said.

“No, no it’s fine, it’s great, actually, um, thank you,” you mumbled. He set you down on the floor and you fell to the couch. You were exhausted.

“SANS IS THAT YOU? HOW DID IT GO? WAIT I ALSO HEARD HER VOICE. SANS IS SHE HERE I DON’T THINK YOU’RE AT THE APPROPRIATE STEP YET” you heard a door open and loud footsteps race into the living room. “YOU’VE GOT TO-OH. HELLO?” Papyrus took one look at you and then immediately turned to Sans. “WHAT HAPPENED?!”

“some monster haters broke into her house,” Sans explained briefly.

Papyrus glanced back to see you curling yourself up onto the couch cushions. “WAIT HERE!” he said as he rushed into the kitchen.

Sans plopped himself down onto the couch beside you. “i wouldn’t blame ya, if…if you wanted to cut ties and run. don’t bother me any. seems to be doin you more harm than good.”

“No,” you said angrily. “Those assholes would think they’ve won. We can take this up in court. We’ve got…fans now? I guess. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure the only reason they found my house was thanks to Mettaton…” you took in a sharp breath. “No, I’m not going to blame him either. This was…ugh, this was just the work of some really nasty humans.”

Sans didn’t say anything for a moment, then he chuckled quietly, “i dunno if you’re bein brave or stupid.”

“Both, probably,” you said.

Papyrus returned with a tray of tea. He sat down on the other side of you and handed you a cup. “IT’S ECHO-FLOWER TEA. IT REPEATS THE LAST THING THE BREWER SAYS!” He smiled at you. “THIS IS THE COURAGEOUS BLEND!”

You peered inside the cup. It was a dark blue liquid with a bright blue, almost white center. You took a tentative sip, recalling the last incident of drinking an unknown substance without caution. In your mind you heard a soothing whisper, “You can do this, stay determined.” With each drink, the soothing whisper repeated its message. You assumed it was going to get annoying, but surprisingly it felt comforting to be told that everything was going to be okay – even if it was from a cup of tea. You started to relax.

“hey, i’m gonna go grab some blankets for ya. hang tight with my bro, ok?” Sans asked. You nodded and he hurried off to a different part of the apartment.

“IT’LL ALL WORK OUT HUMAN! I PROMISE!” Papyrus said. You had to smile at his positivity. “UM, BUT WHAT…WHAT DID THEY DO?”

“Oh…umm…well. Most of my stuff has been smashed – pictures, kitchenware, things like that. A lot of my furniture was ripped up and there was so much graffiti on the walls…I think all my good stuff, my valuable stuff, was stolen. I don’t know, Sans and I didn’t look around much but it was awful what they did.” You shook a bit. “I’m kind of worried what they would’ve done to me if I was there, you know?”

“WELL, I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, WILL MAKE IT MY MISSION TO FIND THE PERPETRATORS AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE!” he declared, “IN FACT, I ALREADY CALLED THE BEST PERSON TO HELP!”

You furrowed your eyebrows. “Really, who?”

Without warning, the front door was kicked open.

“WHO AM I GOING TO HAVE TO UNLEASH THIS CAN OF WHOOP-ASS ON?!”

Standing in the doorway heaving was a tall, buff fish monster with a spear in each hand. You could tell from her rumpled police officer outfit and mussed hair that she came in a hurry. She looked scary and imposing with her sharp teeth and eye-patch. You hid behind Papyrus.

“WOWIE UNDYNE I ONLY JUST CALLED YOU 3 MINUTES AGO THIS IS A NEW RECORD!” Papyrus said joyously.

Still catching her breath, the police officer looked around the house. She looked a bit puzzled. “Papyrus you said there was an evil human wandering around,” she looked at you square in the eye and you made the mistake of squeaking and burying yourself further behind the tall skeleton. She took her chance and pounced, leaping over Papyrus and onto the back of the couch. She lifted you by the hood of Sans’s sweatshirt with one hand. “Is it you?” she snarled.

“NO UNDYNE THAT IS SANS’S DATEFRIEND! PLEASE SHE IS THE REASON I CALLED YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE!”

The officer, who you were assuming was Undyne, glared at you suspiciously. “Sans’s girlfriend eh?” she gave you the once over. “Yeah, you must be. That loser never takes his hoodie off for anything.” Seemingly satisfied, she let go of the hood unceremoniously and you fell to the couch with a loud thud.

“what’s with the get up undyne?” The three of you turned to see Sans propped up against the wall. His brow bone was raised. “in your uniform on your night off? don’t tell me you got all gussied up for us.”

“I…” you watched as Undyne’s cheeks purpled. “Papyrus called and said it was official police business, okay? Don’t make this out to be any more than what it is!”

“police tell us what else there is to make of this,” he said teasingly.

“Nothing!”

“so, alphys isn’t just sittin at your place in bed…resistin a rest?”

That appeared to be the nail in Sans’s coffin because Undyne summoned about fifty spears. “SANS I’M TRYING TO MAKE A BADASS FIRST IMPRESSION OVER HERE AND YOU’RE RUINING IT!”

You were watching this interaction with such intrigue, you’ve never seen Sans interact so casually with anyone but Papyrus. Even at the bar he didn’t seem this open with any of the patrons. You were so focused on watching Sans and Undyne’s strange game of cat and mouse that it didn’t occur to you that Papyrus was no longer sitting on the couch.

THWACK!

It was so fast you almost missed it. Papyrus had summoned a bone and threw it at Undyne square in the chest with pinpoint accuracy. The bone clattered to the floor and the room went silent. Undyne looked at Papyrus, face more shocked than angry. “The hell was that for?!”

“THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR DILLY-DALLYING ABOUT! MY FRIEND’S HOME WAS ATTACKED TONIGHT AND YOU’RE…YOU’RE…BOONDOGGLING. UNDYNE I CALLED YOU BECAUSE THIS IS IMPORTANT POLICE BUSINESS WHICH IS YOUR JOB. AND SANS YOU ARE COMPLETELY NEGLECTING YOUR DATEFRIEND WHO IS PROBABLY IN DESPERATE NEED OF KISSES!” Papyrus snatched the blankets from Sans’s hands and Sans shrank a little. Papyrus huffily turned and walked back to you. He wrapped you up in the blanket and leaned down to nuzzle the top of your head. He pulled back with a loud ‘mwah’ and crossed his arms, almost daring Sans to do something. When he didn’t, Papyrus picked you up and threw you over his shoulder, “WELL THEN I’M GOING TO TAKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND TO MY ROOM AND TUCK HER INTO MY RACECAR BED AND GIVE HER ALL THE TENDER LOVE AND CARE SHE NEEDS RIGHT NOW!”

And with that Papyrus marched you straight into his room. You were half expecting him to slam the door shut, but he closed it with a very quiet click. He set you down on the floor and his demeanor suddenly changed.

“WELCOME TO MY ROOM!” he said, gesturing to the space. “I HAVE LOTS OF VERY COMFORTING ITEMS IN HERE. WOULD YOU CARE TO READ A BOOK, OR MAYBE PLAY WITH AN ACTION FIGURE? THAT ALWAYS MAKES ME FEEL BETTER.” He pointed to his bed. “OR DO YOU JUST WANT TO GET IN BED AND SLEEP?”

“As tired as I am, I’m not sure I can fall asleep right now,” you admitted. Your head was still reeling from everything that’s happened in the last hour.

“DO YOU WISH TO PLATONICALLY CUDDLE THEN? I’M VERY GOOD AT THAT!” he paused for a moment. “UNLESS YOU THINK THAT MIGHT MAKE SANS UPSET. ON THE HUMAN TELEVISION THEY ALWAYS HAVE SILLY LITTLE MISUNDERSTANDINGS SUCH AS THESE.”

“Sure,” you agree, feeling both a little pleased and a little embarrassed at Papyrus’s doting. “I’m sure Sans won’t mind.”

Papyrus crawled into his bed and opened his arms for you to join him. You noticed his choice in pajamas – soft basketball shorts and an oversized t-shirt with the “Soft Kitty” song written on it, but with several words crossed out and changed. It read: soft Papyrus, warm Papyrus, little ball of bones, happy Papyrus, sleepy Papyrus, Nyeh-Heh-Heh. In the bottom corner of the shirt was a poorly drawn picture of a plate of spaghetti.

Still burritoed in your blanket, you climbed into bed with him. “I like your shirt,” you tell him. Papyrus practically puffs up with joy at the compliment.

“OF COURSE YOU DO! I CHANGED IT MYSELF, YOU KNOW. YOU CAN ALWAYS UPGRADE YOUR WARDROBE BY DOING THIS!” You laughed and leaned back against his ribcage. Thanks to the padding of the blanket, you couldn’t even really feel the bones. “IS THERE ANY TOPIC OF CONVERSATION YOU WISH TO DISCUSS?”

Well…you were wondering about something.

“How much do you know about skeletons?” you asked.

“I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT SKELETONS!” Papyrus boasted.

“Okay, well, you said something earlier about not knowing what being drunk was like because you were a skeleton. But Sans and I had a few shots at Grillbys and I mean…he was able to drink them so…?” you trailed off, unsure if you should rephrase yourself. Papyrus rubbed his lower jaw in thought.

“HMM, I SHALL AMEND MY STATEMENT THEN,” Papyrus said. He moved his hands to the top of your head. “SKELETONS CANNOT GET DRUNK THE SAME WAY HUMANS CAN. BECAUSE WE HAVE NO BLOOD. JUST BONE.” Papyrus threaded his bony fingers through your hair and started massaging your scalp.

“So…what does it do then?”

“IT…HMMM, IT AFFECTS OUR SOULS.”

“Souls?” you had only briefly heard of souls before. It was a controversial topic in the media when monsters first came to the surface and started yanking out human souls when they encountered each other. Apparently it was out of habit, not malice, but it caused a lot of problems. You hadn’t thought much of it since.

“YES! HOW COULD YOU BE DATING A MONSTER AND NOT KNOW A THING ABOUT SOULS?” Papyrus said incredulously. “WELL…ACTUALLY…SANS IS SUCH A LAZYBONES IT’S NO WONDER HE HASN’T TALKED TO YOU ABOUT THIS.” He paused his massage for a moment and you looked back to see that he was making a very concentrated face. He resumed. “YOU HAVE A VERY NICE SOUL.”

“You can see it?” you asked, feeling a little exposed.

“NO, BUT I CAN FEEL IT.”

“I want to see,” you said. “Can you take it out? I’ve never seen a soul before.”

“I KNOW THAT IT IS WHAT YOU DESIRE BUT I CANNOT. YOU ARE IN NO SHAPE FOR A CONFRONTATION SETTING RIGHT NOW,” Papyrus patted the top of your head. “MAYBE WHEN YOU’RE LESS FRAGILE.”

“Why can’t you just…take it out?” you asked. “Does it have to be a confrontation…whatever that entails? What’s wrong with just showing me right here?”

“HUMAN, I KNOW YOU HAVEN’T BEEN DATING MY BROTHER FOR VERY LONG BUT SURELY EVEN YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF BREACH IN SOCIAL CONDUCT YOU HAVE JUST MADE,” Papyrus pulled back, looking almost flustered. “FEAR NOT, AS YOUR COOLEST FRIEND I WILL FORGIVE YOU FOR YOUR BLUNDER AND FORGET IT EVER HAPPENED.”

…well if that didn’t raise more questions for you.

“I…don’t know? What did I say?” you asked, hoping to coax Papyrus into telling you. “Is it an incredibly personal experience? Have you ever done it?”

Papyrus shifted his eyes and looked a bit uncomfortable. “ALRIGHT, SINCE YOU ARE A COOL HUMAN FRIEND LOOKING FOR ANSWERS I WILL INDULGE YOU. SHOWING YOUR SOUL OUT IN THE OPEN ALL WILLY NILLY IS A VERY SPECIAL MOMENT. ONLY FOR MONSTERS WHO HAVE BEEN DATING FOR A VERY LONG TIME. IT IS VERY PERSONAL.”

“So…did I just do the monster equivalent of asking to get naked with you?”

“MORE OR LESS,” Papyrus was definitely blushing now. “BUT SOUL SHARING IS WAY MORE PERSONAL THAN THAT. CAN WE CHANGE THE TOPIC NOW I’M VERY UNCOMFORTABLE?”

“…well, would you mind if I asked just one more question?” you asked, only because Sans kind of gave you a roundabout answer when this came up the first time.

Papyrus looked a bit dismayed, but nodded anyways. You made a mental note to make the poor thing some spaghetti tomorrow.

“This, um, soul…sharing? Yeah, is it…like…is it the only way monsters can be…intimate?” you cringed a bit, now suddenly regretting asking this in the first place, but you barreled on, “Like I mean can skeletons have sex? Like humans? Do you, um, do you even know what that is? I mean Sans said you were like 230 or something so I’m assuming you know but you’ve literally been living under a rock and-shit, uh, that was really insensitive to say wasn’t it? I’m sorry. But I guess, like, what I’m trying to ask is like do you have a hidden dick somewhere or…?”

Well…you could have phrased it worse.

Papyrus just stared at you, unmoving, for what felt like forever. And then, much to your surprise, he started laughing.

“Wh…what are you laughing at?!” you cried out, feeling a little distressed. “It was a very serious question that took a lot of courage to ask!” You retracted your mental note to make spaghetti.

Papyrus waved a bony hand in front of his face but it didn’t stop his laughter. “F-FRIEND I’M SORRY,” he apologized between giggles. “BUT I WAS JUST NOT EXPECTING SUCH A RIDICULOUS QUESTION. I MUST ADMIT THAT YOU GOT ME.” He patted the top of your head proudly.

“But…I wasn’t…” you furrowed your brows.

“YOU REALLY HAD ME GOING THERE. I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO ASK ABOUT SOMETHING TO DO WITH SOUL SHARING. BUT I’M GLAD WE ENDED THAT CONVERSATION ON SUCH A PLEASANT JAPE.” Papyrus shuffled out of bed and walked over to a laundry basket in the corner of the room. He pulled out some pajamas and handed them to you. “HERE ARE SOME CLOTHES FOR YOU TO SLEEP IN. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY GET READY FOR BED NOW.”

You took the clothes – a pair of blue shorts and an oversized shirt that just said ‘Condensation’ across the middle. You looked at Papyrus, unsatisfied that you didn’t get your answer (or perhaps, maybe you did) and left to go change.

The apartment was fairly quiet, but you could hear Sans and Undyne still talking amongst themselves in the kitchen. They were probably figuring out what to do about the whole situation. You felt a bit guilty, Papyrus seemed very angry at the both of them. You hurried into the bathroom and quickly washed your face. You looked pretty miserable; your hair was tangled, your clothes were wrinkled, and your face was tear-stained. You unzipped Sans’s hoodie and placed it on the bathroom counter and then reached behind you to undo the zipper to your outfit.

You couldn’t reach the zipper. You huffed and tried again. No dice. Normally you would just use a hanger, but there weren’t any lying around the bathroom. You opened the door and walked through the hallway again. Sans and Undyne were still chatting, and you felt weird about interrupting for this, so you went to Papyrus’s room.

“HUMAN, WHY ARE YOU NOT IN YOUR NIGHTTIME OUTFIT?”

“I, um, I can’t unzip this,” you said gesturing to your clothes. “Do you mind?”

“OF COURSE NOT! NO TASK IS TOO SMALL FOR THE GREAT PAPYRUS!” He carefully unzipped your garment and gave you a thumbs up.

But, because fate clearly didn’t think you had suffered enough within the last 24 hours, it was at this precise moment in this rather unfortunate position that Sans decided to finally come and check on you.

For a full, silent, five seconds he just stared. And then he leaned against the doorway. “whatcha doin?” he asked.

“Nothing!” you squeaked just as Papyrus said, “I’M HELPING HER GET OUT OF HER CLOTHES!”

Goddammit Papyrus.

“that’s pretty nice of you bro,” Sans said, voice laced with amusement.

“IT IS! IT WAS ALSO NICE OF ME TO COMFORT YOUR HUMAN IN YOUR STEAD. WE WERE HAVING A GREAT AND NOT AWKWARD CONVERSATION!”

God. Dammit. Papyrus.

“oh yeah?” Sans asked, interest clearly piqued. “what about?”

“WELL, SHE HAD A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT SKELETONS.”

There was a longer pause. You could practically see the gears turning in Sans’s mind. He trained his eyes on you. “did she now?” You felt regret crawling down your back. You shouldn’t have tainted the poor cinnamon bun. You should’ve just waited to ask Sans or, better yet, just forget your questions altogether.

“YES BUT SHE SEEMS VERY MISINFORMED. YOU NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR HUMAN. SHE IS-” Papyrus broke off. Giggle snort. “SHE’S UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT-” More muffled laughter. “THAT SKELETONS HAVE-” Papyrus couldn’t even get the words out because he started laughing again. The lights in Sans’s eyes went out almost completely. Dark sockets bore into your head.

You started to sweat nervously. “Ha…ha…well, I’m gonna go change now bye bye!”

“WAIT!” Papyrus called. You froze. God. Damn. It. Papyrus. “SANS STILL NEEDS TO APOLOGIZE FOR NOT KEEPING YOUR WELL-BEING A PRIORITY!”

You really wanted to mention that Papyrus himself was laughing at you not even five seconds ago, but you could tell you were already in enough hot water with Sans as it was.

“SANS APOLOGIZE.”

“sorry.” He didn’t sound very sorry.

“SANS CAN’T YOU JUST BE SERIOUS?”

“how can i be serious if i’m sans?”

Papyrus looked like he was about to yell again, so you stepped in by saying, “All’s forgiven. It’s been a bad night for everyone.”

Sans visibly winced. “sorry,” he said with more sincerity. “undyne’s doin a full report tomorrow. you mind goin back?”

“It’s fine,” you said, even though you really didn’t want to look at your apartment for even a second more.

“GREAT! NOW THE KISS PART OF THE MAKE-UP!”

“uh, now might not be a good time,” Sans said gently.

“SANS YOU HURT HER FEELINGS. NOW IS THE ONLY TIME!”

Sans eyed you and you shrugged in return. You were too tired to fight it, and you sort of didn’t care if it meant you could leave this room. He leaned in and pressed his teeth against your cheek. “mwah.”

Papyrus looked satisfied with that so you rushed out and into the bathroom. Once you had on fresh clothes and you had recollected yourself a bit, you opened the door.

“hey pal.”

“JESUS CHRIST!” you yelped, jumping back a bit.

“nope still just sans. c’mon let’s have a chat.”

“You’re upset,” you said flatly, though you weren’t too sure what he had to be upset about.

“if you were so curious, you coulda just asked me. no need to involve paps in your quest to satiate your curiosity,” Sans said. There was a strained edge to his voice, like you had actually told Paps that…Santa wasn’t real or something.

“…are you actually insinuating that your 230 year old brother has yet to have ‘the talk?’ Weren't you just making fun of me for that not even a week ago?”

Silence.

Oh my God.

You were about to tell him that Papyrus was clearly an adult who knew basic biology (and clearly a thing or two about souls), but you stopped yourself. You realized you had no idea what kind of relationship they really had. Maybe Sans wanted to preserve Pap’s innocence where he could. Maybe he just wanted to believe that his brother was completely shielded from everything. You didn’t know. You didn’t feel like you were in a position to be able to ask.

“so.”

“So what?”

“you gonna ask?”

Now that you were put on the spot, you had lost the nerve. And, in any case, Papyrus cleared that particular issue up if his laughter was anything to go by. You shrugged. “Seems a bit re-dic-ulous now, doesn’t it?”

Sans now looked more at ease. “yeah, bit of ra-dic-al thinkin you had.”

You laughed half-heartedly and leaned against the wall, letting out a loud sigh. “I can’t believe this happened to me.”

“yeah…” Sans shuffled a bit. “sorry for, uh, everything. i know i’m not the most sensitive skeleton around. people don’t really come to me for a clavicle to cry on.”

“No, no,” you said, “your jokes are great! The most powerful thing you can do when you’re sad is smile, right? So…you’re helping. In your own way. And you brought me here, I mean you could’ve left me on my front doorstep. This…erm…relationship? Doesn’t involve just me you know.”

Sans hmm’d.

“Well…in any case it’s nearly 3am…no chance of me going into work today…I think I should just go and sleep…” you sidestepped around him. “G’night Sans.”

“goodnight.”

Chapter Text

You groggily woke up the next thanks to the bright lights illuminating from the open living room window. You stirred a bit and noticed that someone had placed Sans’s jacket over you while you had been asleep. You brought the hoodie over your eyes to block out the lights. The strong scent of bonfire (probably from Grillby’s) mixed with tangy ketchup and sweat washed over you. You couldn’t decide if you liked the smell or not. You pulled the sweatshirt off your face to get a better look at it.

For starters, there were lots of stains. Some new like the red ketchup stain around the collar, and some old looking faded from being scrubbed but never coming out entirely. The inside was still plush and warm, but you could see where it’s been pressed and matted over time. The sleeve ends were frayed and tattered and you could see various spots of color fading all over it. You wondered how many years he’s owned this jacket, how many wash cycles it’s been through. ‘He never takes it off for anything,’ is what Undyne said. You ran your finger along the zipper, noting that the matching blue paint had been chipped off almost completely. You slipped your arms through the sleeves. Warm.

You lean over the side of the couch to see your phone on an end table so you pick it up. 11:27 am. Missed work and half a day of class. 1 missed text from Wyatt.

Wyatt: 8:42 am
Hey what gives did your bonefriend pound you too hard last night?

You exhaled sharply.

xxx-xxxx: 11:28 am
House was broken into. Graffiti everywhere. Everything is gone.

Wyatt: 11:30 am
Shit, sorry. do you need a place to crash?

You thought about that. You were definitely imposing by staying here, but you weren’t too keen on staying with Wyatt either. You chewed on your lower lip in indecision.

xxx-xxxx: 11:32 am
nah, I’ll figure something out.

“FRIEND! YOU’VE AWAKEN!” Papyrus walked into the living room. He was dressed in a “got spaghetti?” apron. “I’VE MADE YOU BREAKFAST. NO BURNING THIS TIME NYEH-HEH-HEH!”

You got up off the couch and Papyrus led you into the apartment’s kitchen. You sat down at their table and he presented you a stack of pancakes decorated with strawberries in the shape of a smile.

“HE’S HAPPY TO SEE YOU!”

“Looks great Paps,” you assure him, and they were great. Perfect and fluffy and while you weren’t sure how exactly Papyrus managed to find perfectly ripened strawberries in the middle of October, they were delicious. You ate every bite.

“Where’s Sans?” you asked, wondering if maybe he had gone off to whatever job he had that day.

“HE’S ALREADY AT YOUR APARTMENT. WE FIGURED IT WOULD BE BEST TO LET YOU SLEEP. I PROMISED TO ESCORT YOU ONCE YOU WERE UP!” Papyrus took a stack of folded clothes from off his kitchen counter and handed them to you. “I WASHED YOUR CLOTHING FOR YOU THIS MORNING.”

You felt like you didn’t deserve Papyrus in your life. You thanked him and went to the bathroom to quickly change. After a bit of debate with yourself, you decided to keep Sans’s jacket on.

You and Papyrus hadn’t been walking long before he turned to you and said, “SINCE I DIDN’T GET TO ASK LAST NIGHT, I THOUGHT I WOULD NOW. HOW DID SANS CONFESS HIS UNRELENTING LOVE FOR YOU?”

“Oh…um…he…” you trailed off. Papyrus looked at you expectantly. Do. Not. Lie. You told yourself. “He…never got the chance to. With all that’s happened.” Good. A half lie. That’s better.

“OH,” Papyrus definitely looked disappointed. “I REALLY THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO. HE WAS ACTING ALL WEIRD SINCE THE BROADCAST. MORE NERVOUS AND SWEATY THAN USUAL. ESPECIALLY WHEN I STARTED ASKING HIM QUESTIONS.”

You gulped and hoped Papyrus didn’t start asking you any questions.

“WELL I’M SURE HE WILL TELL YOU VERY SOON!” Papyrus said, picking up the pace, “DON’T LET THESE RECENT EVENTS DISCOURAGE YOU. EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT AND I’M SURE SANS WILL FIND AN OPPORTUNITY TO ROMANTICALLY SURPRISE YOU WITH HIS DECLARATION OF LOVE!”

You had to laugh a little at that. It was a bit difficult to imagine Sans as a romantic, but you agreed with Papyrus anyway. The two of you talked about cooking and art the rest of the way, but came to a dead halt when you turned down your street.

Your apartment was almost unrecognizable. There was police tape surrounding the entire premises and police dogs (like actual bipedal dogs) wandering around the building, looking for some evidence. Several of the residents were talking to human police officers. You and Papyrus ran towards the apartment and headed inside where Undyne was busy writing up a report.

It was worse seeing it in the daylight. You could visibly see all the damage that they had done. Lights were broken, holes were hammered into the walls, the graffiti looked even worse when you could see it clearly.

“Hey, how you holding up?” Undyne asked. She looked much more professional now than she did the night before. Hair in a slicked back ponytail, uniform looking ironed out and official. She looked more commanding than scary. “We got some security footage, but most people were in masks,” she glared, “Assholes weren’t even brave enough to show their faces.”

“Oh…” you said, trailing off.

“Erm. Sorry. About last night,” Undyne said. “Papyrus was right, he did call me to his place on official business and I think we got off to a bad start. I’m Undyne, chief of police.” She shook your hand, nearly crushing it in the process. “So, Sans’s girlfriend? Never thought I’d see the day he’d get off his lazy ass to hold down a relationship.”

“Um…yeah,” you shifted. “Where is Sans?”

“He’s been collecting your salvageable belongings all morning. I think he’s in your room now.”

You nodded in thanks and walked to your room. It looked just as bad in there as it did in the living room. Necromancer. Sick fuck. Graverobber. Go kill yourself. Filthy slut. You stared at all the hateful words.

“don’t.”

You ripped your eyes away from the walls and focused on the floor where Sans was sitting. He had a box of your stuff beside him. “Don’t what?” you asked.

“don’t look at it. trust me. you won’t ever be able to stop.”

You sat down next to Sans. “Speak from experience?”

“…yeah. freedom was harder to get than we thought. it got pretty nasty at times. people do crazy things when they’re scared.”

“People are shitty,” you said bluntly. “People have always been shitty.”

“not all people,” Sans mused. He glanced at you. “some are good.”

Your cheeks started feeling warm, but before you could say anything you heard a loud meow. You stood up frantically, “OH MY GOD MY CAT!” you rushed to the noise coming from your living room. Your cat strolled in through the front door, stretched, and curled up on the floor as if nothing was wrong. You picked him up and cuddled him close to you. “I’m so sorry I forgot about you,” you said, petting him. “Your paws are all muddy. And…” you squinted your eyes, “pollen is all over your fur. You were eating the neighbor’s flowers again weren’t you?” Your cat merely meowed innocently.

Well. You couldn’t be mad. He was fine.

“WHO IS THIS?” Papyrus asked, looking intently at your kitten.

“Oh, it’s um…this is my cat. Do you want to pet him?” you ask, turning a bit so Papyrus would have better access. “He’s pretty friendly but he likes causing trouble so watch out.” Papyrus lightly pet the top of his head. Your cat purred into the touch, nuzzling his head against Papyrus’s hand.

“OH I THINK IT LIKES ME!” Papyrus said happily. “I MEAN, WHAT IS THERE NOT TO LIKE?”

“I…actually really need to go back and help Sans sort through my stuff. Do you maybe want to hold him?” you asked. Papyrus’s eyes lit up which you assumed was a yes, so you handed him your pet. He seemed to have it handled, so you walked back to your room. Undyne had also moved to the bedroom and when you walked in, she whirled around, clearly embarrassed about something. Sans looked like he had just been laughing.

You tentatively continued forward to see what they were looking at.

It was your figure model sketchbook. Figures.

It was mostly ripped up with garbage written all over the drawings, but one of the pages that had fallen out, the one they were looking at, was one of the Sans sketches. It was half ripped, but you could still see most of the image. You snatched it out of Undyne’s hand, blushing.

“It’s not what you think,” you said, crumpling the image. Pity, it was one of the better ones.

Undyne snorted. “None of my business what you two do in your private lives.” She was still blushing.

“We don’t do anything!” you exclaimed.

Undyne raised an eyebrow. Oh, right, you reminded yourself. We’re dating.

“Like that,” you amended lamely.

“…right,” she said. “My team’s got some pretty good leads on where to go from here and they’re going to launch an investigation soon. Hopefully it goes somewhere.” Undyne glanced at the walls and you watched her fins droop. “Sorry about all this.”

“Not your fault,” you said quietly. You glanced at your box of possessions. A few drawings, even fewer photographs, a couple items of clothing, cat toys. There wasn’t very much that was left. “It doesn’t even matter,” you said to yourself, “it can all be replaced. It’s just stuff.”

Undyne slapped your back lightly, “That’s the spirit! Tough as a rock! Sans you picked yourself a good one.”

“yup.”

“Hey, you punks down for grabbing lunch? It’ll give me a chance to properly introduce myself to your new gf,” Undyne said looking at you with a toothy smile.

“Yeah,” you said, picking up the box, “lunch sounds really great.”

The four of you (plus your cat) piled into Undyne’s police car. Papyrus called shotgun and you climbed into the backseat. Sans got in after you, bumping into you slightly. “Oh, sorry!” you apologized, and scooched away from him so he would have more room. Undyne looked at you funnily, but drove off anyway. You dropped your pet off at Sans and Papyrus’s place. When you got back into the car, you simply stayed on your side. Undyne kept stealing glances at you in the mirror.

At the restaurant, a small bistro located not too far from where the skeletons lived, you were seated almost immediately at a booth. Papyrus climbed in and Sans was about to sit down next him.

“AREN’T YOU GOING TO SIT NEXT TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND SANS?”

Sans stilled. “…right. thanks bro.” He moved to the other side of the booth. You awkwardly sat down next to him. Undyne was staring right at you.

The waiter came by and gave everyone menus and some water. You took a very long sip, hoping to avoid Undyne’s stare. You were not successful.

“It’s nice to finally meet you,” Undyne said. “Papyrus won’t shut up about ya. I was worried he was just making you up. Sans dating somebody is a pretty big deal, I wonder why he didn’t say anything earlier.”

“We were keeping it on the down-low,” you said defensively. “Neither of us were sure about this at first.”

“yeah. thought it’d fizzle after two weeks,” Sans said lazily. “but she just came back for more.” You blushed, knowing what he was referring to, and focused all your attention on the menu. Soup sounded nice.

“You dorks look real cute together. You should get a picture,” Undyne said coyly, holding out her hand for your phone.

“GREAT IDEA UNDYNE!” Papyrus exclaimed.

You relented and handed over your phone. You and Sans scooted closer together and smiled. Papyrus frowned. “YOU’RE NOT EVEN KISSING! HOW IS ANYONE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT THIS IS A DATE!” He paused, remembering that it wasn’t a date, and then continued, “HOW IS ANYONE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT YOU’RE DATING IF YOU DON’T KISS!”

Undyne was practically cackling thanks to Papyrus’s outburst. You huffed, but once again relented, and pressed a very caste kiss to Sans’s cheekbone. You pulled back quickly.

“Aw, sorry, I missed it,” Undyne said. “Can you do that for us again?”

This time it was Sans who leaned in and pressed his teeth against your cheek. When he pulled back Papyrus yelled, “SANS, YOU FORGOT THE SOUND EFFECT! YOU HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN!”

“Hey, maybe I’d actually get the shot if you two would stop pussyfooting around and just kiss on the mouth!” Undyne said. You glanced at Sans, who really wasn’t making a move one way or the other. You blushed, unsure if you wanted to do this, but closed your eyes and kissed him on the teeth. Undyne and Papyrus cheered.

When you pulled back you immediately turned your attention away from Sans and towards Undyne. She handed you your phone back and said, “Oh yeah, I did get those other pictures of you two lovenerds.” You scowled. “But I gotta ask,” she continued, “how long have you guys been dating? You kiss like you’re baby monsters on a bad first date.”

“WELL THAT’S HARDLY THEIR FAULT UNDYNE! SANS DOES A FINE JOB FOR HAVING NO LIPS!”

“Yeah well they’re not putting any PASSION or HEART into it!”

“NOT EVERYONE CAN BE AS SPIRITED AS YOU UNDYNE!”

Undyne shrugged, and accepted Papyrus’s statement as true. The waiter came back. You all got spaghetti. Undyne’s eye trained on you again. “So tell me how you two met again.”

You blushed. Stupid Mettaton. “I walked into Grillby’s and stuck my finger into his eye socket.” It did not sound less cringe worthy when you sounded sure of yourself. In fact, it sounded worse. “I think I was already drunk.”

“And what, Sans, you just date any girl who sticks their finger in your eye?”

“just the one.”

You could tell Undyne was suspicious. You didn’t like that. You didn’t want to blow your cover over this. “Well, there’s more to the story than that!” You winced. Great. Sans was sitting up now, clearly interested in seeing what you were going to come up with. You coughed. “Ahem. Yeah. Of course there’s more to it than that. Um. Obviously…” you paused.

“Well, what is it? We’re all waiting.”

“Right. Um. So after the whole sticking my finger in his eye thing we…uh…I…thought he was really cute. So…I…hit on him. With…my very best pick-up line.” What. Was. That. You racked your brain for a good enough pick-up line to use.

“can you give me a map? cuz clearly i’ve gotten lost in your eyes.”

“YES!” you said, a little too loudly and suddenly, “because of the. Um. The eye thing. That I did. Clever, right?”

Undyne was looking at you even more suspiciously.

The waiter came back and served everyone their spaghetti. You started slurping up noodles to avoid allowing anymore garbage spew from your mouth. You couldn’t believe how much of a fool you were making of yourself. And Undyne seemed so cool too! Why did she have that permanently suspicious look on her face!

“So? Don’t leave me hanging there punk, finish up your story!”

“Right. Right. Uh.” Slurp slurp. “So I said my line and he laughed. And then I asked for his number and then we went on a date and now we are here the end.” Twirl slurp. “So now tell me about you.”

And so Undyne let it go. And she told you about herself and her sweet dumpling of a fiancée named Alphys, who was a scientist working in the field of monster medicine. Undyne sounded very proud and showed off her ring to you. It was cute when Undyne gushed and didn’t look at you suspiciously. She almost seemed to warm up to you when you asked questions about Alphys. The waiter came back and Sans paid for lunch. The four of you got back into Undyne’s car and she drove you to the brothers’ house.

“Sans, you mind if I borrow your gal for a few minutes.” Undyne asked, though she phrased it as more of a demand. Sans shrugged and walked into his house. Papyrus followed shortly after. You started sweating. Undyne’s face twisted into a frown. “You’ve doing the deflecting thing Alphys is always talking about,” Undyne said. “She said people do it when they’ve got something to hide.” She manifested a spear, “Whatever it is, I’m not a fan of punks like you messing with my friends, so what gives?”

“I’m…not dating Sans,” you admitted.

“Yeah. It shows.” She pointed the spear at you again, “But why does everyone think you are?”

So you told her the whole story, start to finish, not leaving a single (embarrassing) detail out. You cringed throughout most of it, regretting most of your poor on-the-spot decision making skills, and Undyne was a (mostly) patient listener who only threatened you, like, five times. It actually felt good to let someone know about what was going on, most people cornered you into saying you were dating Sans or left you no other choice but to fall back on the lie.

By the time you were done, Undyne was tearing up from laughing so hard. “FUHUHUHU, and people actually BUY THIS BULLSHIT? Man, I knew you weren’t dating Sans from the second I saw you interact today.”

Damn her and her keen eye and dating savvy.

“Listen you nerd, and listen good. Sans is a great dude who is seriously sticking out his neck for you. You’re not the only one getting threatened.” She took a breath. “It’s real bad for us sometimes. Honestly, after seeing your apartment I’m not sure why you’re choosing this, but hey, I guess you could’ve picked a worse monster to be with. Indefinitely,” Undyne started laughing again. “Seriously though? Sans? I should’ve known from the start this was a sham. Knew he’d never go for a human girlfriend.”

“He’s not that bad!” you said defensively, feeling the need to protect your fake-boyfriend.

Undyne raised an eyebrow. “What? Are you crushing on him or somethin? Fuhuhuhu!”

And with that, Undyne waved you (and your protests) off, and drove away.

Chapter Text

It only took two days until you had a new place to live. Fate was kind in her timing, as your co-worker from the coffee shop had a friend who was studying abroad and had been trying to sublease her apartment for quite some time. It was a completely perfect complex – close to campus, close to work, good security, and monster friendly as well.

It was just…

Fate was cruel in her placement.

You were practically sobbing into the phone when Roxy, the renter of the apartment, said you were more than welcome to move in immediately and she would fax the office about the updated renter’s agreement. You were so thankful not to have to hop around your friend’s couches indefinitely, this place was already furnished, and she was offering it at an extremely affordable price.

And then she told you the address.

If this was not happening to you, you wouldn’t have believed it in a million years.

There must have been at least 25 apartment complexes within a 10 mile radius. This particular complex had about 80 units. Of those units more than half were 1 bedroom. The chances of getting the apartment RIGHT next door to your object of fake-affection were so slim you were almost convinced that someone had planned it. It was so absurd, but you didn’t have the choice to live somewhere else because you had no money for higher rent or new furniture.

Naturally, Papyrus was the most excited about the entire ordeal. He said it would be almost like having a 24/7 hangout party. Bless his soul. He and Sans helped get you settled in yesterday, not that you had much to settle in. Still, it was a nice place, though you felt weird because you were easily able to hear them parading around, and it really reminded you of just how loud Papyrus was. You wondered what Roxy had thought about them, or if she had left before they arrived.

Undyne swung by to give you an update on the police report. So far no suspects had been caught, but they had a few leads on where to look. Anti-monster activist groups. Local businesses with “Human Only!” signs in their shops. Even the internet made it easy to track down certain people in the area with connections to the crime. She also gave you her phone number so she could keep in touch with you and so you could reach her if you ever needed any help. You were also pretty sure that a big reason for giving you her number was because she wanted to be kept in the loop with the whole Sans situation. Whatever. You didn’t mind that much.

Your friends from school stopped by as well. They all chipped in to buy you some new art supplies. You cried. You had lost so much work and your tools weren’t cheap. You only wished you had something to give back to them. They said you needed to throw a house warming party. You promised you would.

Right now, you were lying on the floor of your new apartment. Sans was on the couch, flicking through the different channels on the television. He came over earlier that morning with Papyrus, but Paps had to leave for work at the florist. You waited for Sans to leave, but he said he was too lazy to move.

Mettaton appeared on the screen. Sans flipped right through it. He was pissed at the robot and, quite frankly, so were you. MTT had given you a call yesterday as well.

“Oh, what a tragedy! What an outrage! Darling, I’ll have you know that you will be well compensated for all your troubles if you and Sans just come on my show-”

“No,” you told him. Not after the last time. Your ears burned just thinking about it.

“But…but darling, you need to address the public! People need to know of all the hardships and heartache and drama and turmoil that you’ve faced! You have so many fans who are all counting on you, and also me, to report on what’s been done to you. And-”

He was right. He was annoying, but he was right. You had a lot you wanted to say to the people who attacked your home. To let them know that they didn’t break you.

“Yeah, okay, sure,” you grumbled into your phone.

“Great! And make sure to really play up the interspecies romance angle will you, dear? We need to make sure that everyone knows how pro-monster you are and to really feel if you’re genuine. Work the romance and the audience will be putty in your hands – and more than willing to help you. So feel free to hug and kiss and show off all your beautiful love!”

You thought about what Undyne had said. That you kissed like you were inexperienced. You knew she was right, but you couldn’t blame yourself too much for that. Kissing a stranger was harder than you thought it would be. You knew you always looked flustered, but you had been hoping it came across as shy. If you were really going to commit to this façade, you knew what you had to do.

“I think we need to kiss more,” you said suddenly, eyes glued to the television and not on Sans. Your skin prickled.

“wow, so forward of you,” Sans said with a chuckle. “careful, or i might start thinkin you’re comin on to me.”

“I’m serious!” you exclaimed, voice raising an octave. You were still facing forward. Heart beating faster now.

“hi serious, i’m sans.”

“SANS!”

“that’s the name.”

“This is serious!” you turned around to face him finally, frustration in your eyes.

“i thought you were serious.” When he noticed your expression he reclined in the couch, throwing his arms behind his head. “i dunno why you’re gettin all worked up over this. didn’t think you wanted to kiss me that bad.”

“I don’t!” you said, folding your arms, “But…well, I don’t think we’re believable enough. You heard Undyne – she said we kiss like babies!”

“undyne thinks unless you’re one step away from rippin off your clothes you’re kissin like babies.”

“But it’s odd, don’t you think?” you asked. “We’ve supposedly been dating for a while now, we should be past the awkwardness of kissing right? And PDA in general? Right? I mean, I don’t want people to think we’re faking. We’ve got to make it convincing during Mettaton’s interview or else everyone is going to find out that this is all a rouse! An embarrassing rouse! And so many people are following us in the news now and-”

“if it’ll make ya feel better then come on up here and kiss me.”

You wavered. You weren’t expecting him to be so forward about it. The two of you more or less danced around kissing in public and when you did you were both a blushing mess. You got onto the couch and sat down on the opposite end as him. You twiddled your thumbs for a few seconds, wondering how exactly to approach this. You thought he was going to turn you down.

“what, do i have cooties or somethin?” Sans turned his head so he was looking directly at you. “make up your mind, are ya gonna kiss me or not?”

“Just give me a minute!” you recollected yourself and inched your way closer to Sans. He looked at you expectantly. “Can’t you, I dunno, close your eyes or something! The way you’re staring is making this very difficult!”

Sans complied, closing his eye sockets, and you leaned in. You hesitated, this was really weird, kissing him when no one was around and when you weren’t mildly drugged, but you pressed your lips to his teeth anyway.

Now that nobody was watching you and you weren’t so completely flustered and rushing to get it over with, you could really focus on what kissing Sans was like. His bones were smooth like ivory and warm to the touch like skin. You could feel a small tingle in your lips, probably from his magic. And while it wasn’t unpleasant exactly…

It was still a really shitty kiss.

You pulled back, suddenly realizing what Undyne meant. “That was the worst kiss of my life,” you said without thinking. “Uh, sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“worst of your life? wow, am i honored.”

“I didn’t mean it!” you said defensively. “It wasn’t the worst!”

You leaned in again and pressed your lips against his teeth with more force, hoping that kissing him harder would make it better. It didn’t. You pulled back. You wondered what the problem could be.

“what can i say? kissin’ isn’t in my kiss-met.”

“Have you even kissed anybody before?” you asked, a bit accusingly. “I mean, I know you’re…you know…old and stuff. But are we talking about old and experienced or like 500 year old virgin? Not that I think…you are. I don’t think anything about you. Or your sex life. If you even have one. Or had one I guess. Shit, man, did I ruin some like friends with benefits deal you had going with this whole debacle? Oh my god, I never even asked you if you were actually seeing somebody. I mean, I guess you could’ve just not said anything at the party if you were but, um…”

Sans had grabbed your chin, forcing you to look up at him. “stop. for someone who’s not interested, ya sure do ask a lot of questions about skeleton sex, dontcha?” he looked away from you, light blush dusting his own face, “i’ve been with a monster or two here and there, but i can’t say i’ve ever been one for kissin. didn’t get the appeal with no lips and all.” He let go of your chin. “are ya really that concerned about this?”

“…maybe.”

Sans sighed and leaned in again, getting really close to your face. His eyes were focused on you. He tucked back a strand of your hair and cupped your cheek. “paps always makes me watch these romantic comedies with ‘im. can’t really say i thought they were all that funny, but humans always kissed the same way.” He placed the other hand around your waist and pulled you in closer so your bodies were touching. You were starting to blush. Your heart was pounding.

You just wanted a few practice kisses, you hadn't expected him to take it seriously - when did he ever take anything seriously - and you were freaking out over it a little. You almost couldn’t care less if you looked inexperienced. You squirmed a little, but Sans held you in place. Your heart beat faster and faster, the thumping of it rang in your ears. You closed your eyes and waited, still shaking a little.

And he bumped his teeth against your lips and for a moment you thought you were on fire because of all the tension that had built up. But…

No. It was still a terrible kiss.

Sans pulled back. “we done?” he asked with a small smile. You nodded and he resumed watching television as if nothing had happened. You leaned into the couch and watched with him, pretending that you were alright.

You couldn’t decide if you were grateful or disappointed that the kiss was a dud.

Chapter Text

You had a long and tiring day. It had been your first day back at work. Your co-worker was sweet enough to arrive before you and make you a large cup of coffee. It was nice being back at the coffee shop, it gave you something to do without being allowed to think too much. You were focused on making drinks, and that was all.

Sans and Papyrus came in as they did every morning. You wrote Sansamon bun on Sans’s cup. He kind of laughed. You were worried that you scared him off yesterday when you tried to force the kissing thing to happen. Papyrus was none the wiser as he enjoyed his milk and pastries.

Bratty and Catty stopped by too, gossiped at the counter. Asked if you had been up to smoochin’ more skeletons. You showed them the pictures Undyne took on your phone, a little glad and a little embarrassed that they actually turned out pretty cute. This placated them (“But, like, you totally need to set one as your wallpaper.” “Oh my God, you’re right she totally does!” “Um, we’ll, like, do it for you of course or else you’ll pick an ugly one!”) They picked one where you were giving Sans a kiss on the cheekbone. You planned to change it at home.

Unfortunately, this semi-peace didn’t last long because Mettaton decided that the best time to get a hold of you was by bombarding you at your work place. He more or less escorted everyone off the premises save for you and Sans and started an interview that did not go very well. He asked about your dates and what you liked doing together and what your song was and what your first kiss was like. You and Sans did your best to sidestep questions by politely denying to answer anything. Mettaton was not pleased and he warned you that he would be back for a follow up.

Class wasn’t much better. You could hardly focus on lectures and Wyatt was generally not of any use to you. Your other friends did their best, but they couldn’t understand the pressure you were feeling. They bought you lunch and watched the MTT broadcast and asked you if you’d share with them instead. You left the table.

You studied and did your homework and worked on an art piece for the annual senior project gallery showing in May, but you had very little inspiration for what to do. You decided to put the gallery on the backburner, cut your losses, and go home for a nap.

You went to sleep for a few hours and when you woke up in was dark…no…wait…it was fabric covering your eyes. You sat up and removed the cloth that was covering your face. It was a pair of boxers with cartoon bones as the pattern. You felt a pit of dread growing in your stomach. The underwear was labelled – SANS (in Papyrus font). You groaned and glared at the culprit.

Your cat was a mischievous creature who liked getting into places where he didn’t belong. Flower gardens, kitchen sinks, and underwear drawers were frequent places your cat visited. You weren’t unused to him stealing your panties and creating a cat nest for himself back at your old apartment, but you couldn’t believe that he got out of your apartment, snuck into their apartment, and stole…shudder…Sans’s underwear.

You weren’t going to question why he even owned underwear, it was a conversation for another day.

“I can’t let anyone see this. I have to get this back before anyone finds out I have it,” you said to yourself. You threw on a pair of shoes and hurried over to the apartment next door. It was completely dark, meaning no skeletons were home, thank god. The doors and windows were all locked though, so you had to find the extra key.

“Alright…if I was Papyrus…where would I hide the spare key?”

You looked under their doormat, hoping a spare key would be there. No key, but you found a note that read: NYEH-HEH-HEH, SO DISTRACTED BY LOOKING FOR THE KEY IN THE MOST OBVIOUS OF PLACES IT’S TRUE LOCATION HAS GONE RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD! NYEHFULLY YOURS, THE GREAT PAPYRUS. You were glad that the two brothers liked puns as you reached overhead and found the key sitting on the top of the doorframe.

Once you were inside you dashed towards Sans’s room, underwear in hand. You turned the knob and…it was locked.

“Who the heck locks their bedroom door?” you asked despairingly, looking around for something to pick the lock with. You saw a paperclip and unfolded it. You fiddled with the lock until you heard a soft click from the other side. You opened the door and flicked on the light.

You had never been in Sans’s room before. It was a mess, and now you understood what Papyrus meant by trash tornado. The bed was unmade, so much so that the sheets were more or less just balled up on the mattress. Dirty socks littered the floor, miscellaneous papers were found on his dresser and underneath his bed, and he had a treadmill that was more or less repurposed as a coatrack because you couldn’t really imagine him actually using it. His actual coat closet door was open and inside you could see a few boxes as well as several different colored hoodies and an old, cracked telescope shoved into a corner.The room smelled like his jacket – which, incidentally, you realized you never got around to returning – hints of ketchup mixed with sweat and musk and something that kind of reminded you of cologne but not quite. A couple of crayon drawings were haphazardly taped to the wall by his bed. You wondered if they were gifts from Papyrus.

You were right about to open his dresser drawer to put back his underwear when you heard the front door creak open. You froze in place and begged for it to be Papyrus who would find this situation much less creepy and invasive than Sans.

“…paps?” you heard a low voice call out. “door’s unlocked. you home?”

Damn.

You bolted for the closet and quickly shut yourself inside. You realized that you should probably start thinking about your actions before you do them because this issue could’ve been resolved without you breaking into Sans’s house and consequently his bedroom. You at down and curled your knees up to your chest. You tried to think your way out of this situation. There was a good chance Sans would just go to sleep soon and you could make a break for it. Maybe if he thought someone had broken in he would just leave.

You heard him at the bedroom door, which you had left slightly ajar. He pushed it open and shuffled inside. You held your breath, hoping he wouldn’t think to look your way, and looked through the closet door slats. Sans moved around his room casually, checking certain drawers. You assumed that’s where he put his valuable stuff. He let his eyes roam around the room and then trained them on the closet door. His eyes narrowed. You backed away from the door, but you could still see through the thin slots. It looked like Sans was concentrating very hard on something.

And then. He relaxed.

“ya know,” he drawled, “usually it’s the skeleton hidden in the closet.” He shuffled to the door and opened it. He glanced down at you, almost smiling. “don’t tell me – it’s not what it looks like.” He offered his hand. Instead of taking it, you handed him his underwear. “do i wanna know why you stole a pair of my boxers?”

“My cat stole them! He tends to go through open windows and I came here to put them back before anyone noticed and trying to avoid this embarrassment and…ugh, it doesn’t even matter go ahead and laugh at me,” you said, crossing your arms.

“ok,” Sans said and started chuckling. He chucked the underwear over his shoulder and onto the floor. He offered you his hand again, “welp, i’ll be brief,” Groan. “i was gonna go over to your place and ask, but since you’ve seemed to box-ered yourself in,” Grumble. “i brought back food from grillbz, care to join me?”

Oh.

“…I break into your house and you ask me to dinner?”

“i was already gonna ask you to dinner, you breakin in was just a plus. now i don’t have to walk all the way to your place. so. you in or what?”

You took his hand and he gently lifted you to your feet. “…burgers?” you asked, remembering how good the last one was.

“and fries.”

Well…how could you say no?

Sans relocked his bedroom door and led you to back into their living room where a steaming bag of Grillby’s burgers and fries were waiting for you. You let your mouth water. It smelled so, so good. You both took a seat on the couch and you grabbed one of the burgers. You sunk your teeth into it – still piping hot and just as good as the first one you had. Sans turned on the t.v. and started flipping through channels.

“How did you know it was me?” you asked, mouth half full.

“you got a very distinct soul,” Sans said, still focused on the television. Flip. Flip. Flip.

“Hey Sans…” you trailed.

“yeah?”

“Can we start over?”

Sans paused. He muted the television and looked at you. He made the motion to show that he was listening and for you to go on.

“It’s just…you know. We didn’t start off on the right foot from the very start of all this and then the night at Grillby’s I thought was a really nice, solid, moment for us as friends but it ended so terribly and ever since I feel like…things since then have been forced and awkward. I dunno. Maybe it’s just me. I pushed you with the kissing thing, and then there’s Mettaton being…well…Mettaton and I mean you only half laughed when I wrote sansamon bun on your coffee this morning and not that I really…loved your dumb pet names, you don’t even tease me anymore.”

You swallowed. This was hard. Sans wasn’t saying anything, so you continued.

“And I know you didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for this. But can we just…push all that drama out of the way and focus on being friends who just so happen to also have a secret double life? Since…you know, you can’t just go through a fake celebrity relationship and not become friends afterwards…so…um…uh,” you stuck out your hand, “hi, my name is-”

Before you could finish introducing yourself, Sans gripped your hand in his and a loud farting sound rang out through the apartment. You pulled back your arm in shock and Sans started laughing. “the ole whoopee cushion in the hand trick, never gets old,” he smiled at you. “name’s sans. sans the skeleton.”

“Sans the flesh,” you echoed, remembering the last time he introduced himself like this.

“was tryin’ to give ya some time and space to deal with everythin, but i guess ya couldn’t stand to be afart from me. guess i’ve been actin like a pretty bad verte-bae?” Sans sunk into the couch, white pupils visibly growing some.

“No self-deprecation,” you reminded him. “And where the heck were you hiding that whoopee cushion anyway?”

“prankmaster never reveals his secrets.”

“Come on, not even to his…ugh, verte-bae?”

“’specially not to his verte-bae,” Sans paused, then grinned wider. “ya know, you’re kinda stuck with me for the time bein which means you’re the only one who has obligation to sit through my hilarious jokes.” He paused and smiled as if this thought had just occurred to him. “what’s a skeleton’s favorite musical instrument?”

“I dunno, a xylobone?” you answered right as Sans gave the punchline, “a trom-bone!”

He stared at you, kind of in amusement and kind of in awe, and then started laughing. He had a nice laugh, a full laugh, a genuine laugh – one that made you think he actually believed that those punchlines were funny. It was an infective laugh as well, and you found yourself also succumbing to the giggles. It felt good to laugh. You liked that he made you laugh. You liked that you made him laugh even more.

“it’s impossible to start over,” Sans said firmly, “we’re stuck with the choices we’ve made, but, uh, heh, hey, could be worse. you coulda been datin jerry.”

You let your jaw drop. “I WOULD NEVER!”

And the two of you started laughing all over again. You finished eating your burgers and fries and Sans dragged out the fanmail you and him had received from MTT Studios. There were a lot of really nice letters and some fanart (and fanfics, but you chose to set those aside for the time being). Some fans even sent you matching couples shirts which made you feel warm and also embarrassed.

“c’mon, put it on,” he said. Two shirts – “Don’t go bacon my heart” and “I couldn’t if I fried” were given to you as a set. You groaned, but complied. You had to admit that it was kind of cute.

“Let’s take a picture,” you suggested, pulling out your phone. Sans leaned in, and held up the peace sign. You winked and stuck out your tongue. It was a much cuter and more natural picture than any of the ones Undyne took. You reset your wallpaper.

“hey,” Sans said suddenly, looking up from the pile of notes now covering the couch. “tomorrow night, what are you doin?”

You shrugged. “Homework?”

“i wanna introduce ya to some other friends. you interested?” You nodded.

The two of you went back to reading letters to each other until you both fell asleep. Papyrus came home shortly after, moved you around so you were spooning, and covered you up with a blanket.

For once, everything was fine.

Chapter Text

You hadn’t given much thought to what Sans’s friends would be like until the time he was supposed to pick you up was drawing closer and closer. You felt really nervous, mostly because Undyne seemed the closest to Sans and your mind kept conjuring up a room of Undynes all looking at you with that toothy, knowing smile. And then your mind wandered to the other interaction you’ve had with Sans’s friends at Grillby’s who kept chanting “kiss kiss kiss” until you finally did. You weren’t sure who you would rather deal with.

snas: 7:34 pm
here

“SANS WHAT KIND OF GENTLESKELETON TEXTS HIS GIRLFRIEND UPON HIS ARRIVAL? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO POLITELY KNOCK.”

“oh right.”

snas: 7:34 pm
knock knock

You chuckled to yourself and ran your hand through your hair one final time before grabbing your purse and Sans’s jacket.

“Who’s there?” you asked through the door.

Before Sans could get out his part of the joke, you heard Papyrus say, “WAIT, WAIT. I GOT ONE. SANS SAY AL.”

“…al?”

“Al who?” you asked, leaning up against the door, hand already on the knob. You heard muffled whispers.

“…al…give you…a kiss if you open the door…” he was much quieter now. You could already hear Papyrus’s “NYEH-HEH-HEHS” and you turned the knob, opening the door a small crack. Sans was standing right in front of the door in a new galaxy jacket, a light blush spread on his face, with Papyrus using Sans’s skull as an armrest. You could just make out his “Hug Dealer” shirt from behind Sans.

“WELL GO ON THEN HUMAN, YOU MUST RECEIVE YOUR REWARD!” Papyrus exclaimed, nudging Sans forward a bit.

Sans swiftly brushed his teeth against your cheek before letting out a hasty “mwah” and then furling into his hoodie. You smiled at him gently, hoping not to ruin the fragile friendship the two of you had formed. Papyrus looked pleased at least.

“Nice jacket you’ve got there. Guess I don’t need to return this one then,” you said, gesturing to the blue hoodie in your hands. “I’ll have to keep it for myself,” you added teasingly, slipping your arms into the sleeves. Sans mumbled lowly, but didn’t try to stop you.

“I, FOR ONE, THINK YOU LOOK RATHER CUTE IN IT. DON’T YOU THINK YOUR HUMAN LOOKS CUTE SANS?”

“yeah bro, real cute.”

“WELL DON’T TELL ME THAT. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GIVE HER THE GENUINE COMPLIMENT. THAT’S HOW YOU BUILD A STRONG BOND IN RELATIONSHIPS YOU KNOW.”

Sans clearly didn’t seem to be wanting anymore dating advice, so you locked your door. “It’s alright, don’t worry-”

“you look real cute in my jacket.”

Thump. Thump.

“OKAY, WE CAN GO NOW!” Papyrus said happily and he started walking towards the complex’s parking lot, not even noticing how far you and Sans trailed behind.

You decided to attempt for humor. “So you think I’m real cute, huh?”

“only cuz you’re in my jacket,” he said with a shrug, but you could see him relax a little.

“You telling me that your jacket is what’s cute here?”

“yup. it’s made of copper and tellurium, that’s the secret to how i’ve stayed so charmin, darlin.”

“Science jokes now? Wow, funny and smart, seems I’ve hit the jackpot,” you said lightly. “But I think you’re wrong about what it’s made of,” you grinned widely, “because, if you ask me, I’d say it was made of boyfriend material.” Impressed by your own brevity and wit, you burst into uncontrollable laughter, letting out a small giggle snort by the end. Sans was also chuckling to himself.

The two of you finally caught up to Papyrus, who was already in…oh, oh wow.

“You own a red sports car?” you asked, almost afraid to even be near it. It looked so cool, and perfect for Papyrus, but it also looked very, very expensive. You glanced at the other vehicle in the parking spot. “Woah, sick bike.”

“heh…ya think so?” Sans asked, looking all too pleased with himself. “first thing paps did when we came to the surface was get a driver’s license.”

“Really?” you asked, still staring at the vehicles.

“YES! IT HAS BEEN A LIFELONG DREAM OF MINE TO DRIVE A CAR DOWN THE HIGHWAY AND LET THE BREEZE BLOW THROUGH MY HAIR!”

You smiled and climbed into the sports car, still afraid that you were going to somehow ruin it, and Sans got in after you and stretched his body out in the backseat, putting his slippered feet in your lap. “boyfriend privileges,” he said jokingly. Whatever, you didn’t mind.

The ride was mostly uneventful. You stared out the window while Sans slept. Papyrus turned on the radio to a pop station, but the music was low. Papyrus was a surprisingly very careful driver. After about twenty minutes on the road, Papyrus turned down a side street. You were in a really, really nice neighborhood. The kind of neighborhood where all the lawns were still green and landscaped, the houses were all at least two stories with eight bedrooms or something ridiculous like that, it was the kind of neighborhood where kids went to trick or treat for the king sized candy bars on Halloween. You suddenly felt like you didn’t belong.

Papyrus pulled into the driveway of the house at the end of the street. “HERE WE ARE,” he said, jumping out of the car and opening the door for you. The three of you walked up the cobblestone walkway. Papyrus rang the bell. A tall, fluffy, goat woman opened the door and gave the three of you her friendliest smile. Your eyes grew to the size of saucers.

“Good evening everyone,” she said warmly.

“sup tori.”

“GOOD EVENING MISS TORIEL!”

“Oh, Sans, this must be your girlfriend. What a beautiful young lady,” she said, extending her paw towards you, “Hello, my dear, my name is Toriel. It is so lovely for you to finally come and join us. Sans has been hiding you for much too long.”

“H-hi beautiful goat lady,” you said, still holding on to her hand. You inwardly scolded yourself. What kind of response was that?

“Oh,” Toriel retracted her hand and covered her snout. She was smiling and giggling, “Heehee, how kind of you to say. Good to know that I still goat it.”

Was that…?

“c’mon tori, who ya kid-din? you’ve never lost it,” Sans said casually.

Toriel began giggling again. “Please, do come in,” she said in between bouts of laughter, moving aside to let you into her home. “Everyone else is already here.”

You entered her house and took the sight in – beautiful artwork and tapestries everywhere. Countless bookshelves lined the halls and there were several potted plants – buttercups, you assumed, were lining the hallway and walls. You could heard jovial laughter and yelling come from the end of the hallway. Papyrus practically sprinted towards the group, but you hesitated.

“relax, they’re not gonna bite ya.”

“Yes, please, any friend of Sans’s is a friend of ours. We’re more than happy to welcome you into our home, so please enjoy yourself. I’ve got a butterscotch-cinnamon pie in the oven that I’m sure you’ll love,” Toriel said sweetly. “Now if you’ll excuse me, this old lady’s got some hosting that must be attended to.” She rushed down the hall, following Papyrus.

“they’ll love ya, i promise,” Sans said, and then reassuringly squeezed your hand before lazily walking down the hall to join everyone else.

You were about to follow suit when a loud, screeching voice from behind you called out, “Howdy! Who the hell are you?”

You turned around to see a small child in a striped sweater and overalls holding a flower in a pot. They bopped the flower in its in center and made a tsk tsk motion with their index finger. The flower slumped over and growled. You took a step back, unsure of what to make of this.

“Fine, Frisk. Golly, you sure looked spooked over lil ol’ me. I guess I should introduce myself. Howdy! I’m Flowey. Flowey the flower!” Flowey(?) smiled at you. It was a bit weird seeing a flower with teeth and an expression that looked more irritated then anything else. And while it seemed to be saying nice things, there was an undertone of sarcasm that you didn’t really appreciate coming from a magical daisy. The child in stripes gave it (him??) a thumbs up.

“Hi…?”

“You’re new around here aren’t you? Which piece of garbage did you come in with?” The child once again bopped the flower, or Flowey, you guessed.

“…uhhh.” Did that flower say Frisk earlier?

“What? Are you stupid or somethi-AH!” the kid had taken a weed control water bottle and spritzed the flower with it. “JUST LET ME HAVE THIS ONE FRISK!” The kid shook their head and then looked at you.

“Hey…kid,” you said awkwardly, unsure if talking flowers and silent children were standard protocol in this household. “Um, I’m here with Sans-”

The kid’s face instantly perked up.

“UGH! The smiley trashbag?! Why would you-” Flowey was cut off by the kid covering its mouth with their hand. Flowey hissed and chomped down on their fingers, but the kid didn’t seem bothered by it in the slightest. They held out their other hand for you to shake, which you did.

“Flowey said your name was Frisk?” you asked. They nodded. “As in…the…ambassador, Frisk?” They nodded again and stood up a little straighter, puffing out their chest in pride. You smiled. “Pleased to meet you,” you said with a dramatic bow.

“You’re Uncle Sans’s girlfriend, right?” they asked. You nodded. “Okay. You’re Auntie then.”

“Woah, woah, there,” you said, holding up your hands, “I’m not…I mean…Sans and I…um…we’re not, you know, married. You know that right?” you bent down to shake their shoulders. “We’re just…uh…dating. Dating. That’s all.”

They nodded. “But Auntie fits you well,” they said, and then they waddled away. You weren’t sure if Frisk entirely got the message.

Bracing yourself, you decided to finally go and meet everyone else. It wasn’t that many more people. You were first introduced to Asgore, a very sweet goat man who kept offering you tea. Then you met Undyne’s fiancée, Alphys, a very cute and tiny yellow…dinosaur? Lizard? You weren’t sure what animal you likened her as, but you figured that Alphys really wasn’t either. She was just a monster. An adorable dumpling of a monster.

She was probably the most relatable of everyone you had met so far. She seemed shy and nervous, but also she listened to you talk about color theory for god knows how long so she was clearly also very patient. You noticed right away that she stuttered when she spoke, unless she was speaking very quickly.

Case in point, the first thing you bonded over: anime.

You had to admit that you weren’t a big enough anime fan to really know that much about it or what was especially popular, but you had seen some of the classics and a few episodes of some recent stuff here and there.

“And-then-the-magical-girls-all-came-in-to-save-the-protagonist-even-though-she-initially-betrayed-them-it-was-a-great-episode-that-really-showed-the-meaning-of-friendship-and-oh-oh-I-just-spoiled-it-for-you-didn’t-I?”

“You forgot to mention the part about the BIG-ASS swords and the KICK-ASS fight scene!” Undyne interjected. “Those were the BEST parts of the entire thing babe!”

“O-oh, yes you’re r-right Undyne!” Alphys agreed, blushing a little. “V-very cool.”

“Language!” Toriel chastised from across the room. Undyne did not look apologetic in the slightest.

Soon it was time for dinner. The eight of you (plus Flowey in his pot) sat around the dining room table. Toriel served up the dishes, and you were practically salivating in your seat – all the food looked so good!

Everyone dug in and made light small talk for the first few minutes, but silence soon took over. You were wondering if you were the one making things awkward. Trying to fill the quiet stillness, you asked Frisk, “What was it like being in the Underground.”

Frisk ate another forkful of mashed potatoes. And then said, “Everyone at this table tried to kill me.”

“Well don’t put it like that you punk!”

“I WAS MERELY ONLY TRYING TO CAPTURE YOU!”

“M-mettaton w-wouldn’t have actually k-killed you!”

“My child, I was only doing what I thought was best to protect you.”

“Frisk, I cannot express my regret enough.”

“I told you it was kill or be killed!”

You glanced over at Sans with mild horror etched on your face – had he tried to kill Frisk too? He shrugged. “hey don’t look at me, i kept my promise and kept the kid’s nose clean. didn’t even die once on my watch.” He gave Frisk this knowing look, like the two had an inside joke…though Frisk did not look all that amused.

Okay this path of conversation was not going how you thought it would. You coughed and tried again. “Well, uh, how do you all know each other then?”

“MISS TORIEL AND KING ASGORE USED TO RULE THE UNDERGROUND!”

“R-really?” you asked. “You were a queen?”

Toriel looked less than pleased. “Yes, but after…some things happened, I left Asgore and stayed in the Ruins. I watched for fallen humans for hundreds of years. Most of them died.”

“…oh.” You were really putting your foot into your mouth.

“Not to worry my child, it ended up being for the best in the end. But while I was in the ruins, I did have someone to talk to,” she looked pointedly over at Sans, “he would keep me company and tell me jokes from behind the door,” she explained. “I would tell him some back, it was all in good fun.”

Oh. Toriel and Sans seemed to had had a thing. You felt kind of bad, and you wondered if they would be living happily ever after (or at least happily ever dating) if you weren’t in the picture.

“WELL I WAS TRAINING UNDER UNDYNE TO BECOME PART OF THE ROYAL GUARD!”

“Oh, is that how you met Sans then too Undyne?” you asked.

“Yeah,” Undyne said, “they worked under me as sentries.” You tried, but you couldn’t picture Sans as a very serious sentry. Probably slept while on duty.

“ON THE WATCH FOR HUMANS. TO CAPTURE. AND NOT KILL.”

“A-and I was the r-royal scientist,” Alphys offered. “S-sans used to stop by the l-lab sometimes to do his own r-research.”

“Really?” you asked, surprised. “You never told me you were interested in science.”

“Y-yeah. He’s got a phD.”

“What?!” you yelped, looking at him now, “A phD? In what?!”

“astrophysics,” he said with a shrug. “got it in the underground. more or less useless up here. found better things to spend my time doin. watchin the kiddo, hangin with my bro, it’s been real nice up on the surface.”

“AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT KISSING YOUR DATEPAL RIGHT SANS?”

“…er, yeah. right.”

“O-oh, yeah! S-sorry about Mettaton, I b-believe it was m-my fault for sharing so many s-statuses about you. It’s just…w-well, you both look so c-cute together,” Alphys stammered, rubbing her claws together. “H-he doesn’t mean harm, b-but the first thing he did coming up to the s-surface was work on become a s-star and uh, w-well it clouds his judgement.”

You didn’t know if you’d choose to phrase it as kindly as Alphys, but you did your best to shrug. “Don’t worry about Mettaton. If anything he’s…uh, keeping other reporters at bay…probably not by the best means…” you trailed off, “but, oh, uh, thanks. Um. Sans and I…we’re…very happy together.” You hoped that sounded genuine, but you could have sworn you heard a snort coming from Undyne. You grabbed Sans’s hand and interlaced your fingers. “Very happy,” you repeated.

Everyone at the table looked at you warmly and friendly (save for Undyne’s knowing little half smile) and you felt so completely accepted and unjudged. You thought of the hateful humans that lived beyond this house and wished, for their sake, that they would one day have a moment where they were loved so unconditionally by monster strangers.

Love that you didn’t actually deserve.

“I suppose it is time for pie then!” Toriel suggested and she cleared the table.

The pie was delicious. It crackled and it popped and it practically melted in your mouth and you wanted to eat the whole tin but Sans beat you to it. Toriel promised to bake you some more so long as you promised to come by for another visit soon.

“It was a delight to meet you, my dear. We’re so happy for you both.”

You were sent away with three Tupperwares filled with leftovers. Papyrus drove while you and Sans once again reclaimed the back seat. You fell asleep not even five minutes into the drive, marking the second night in a row where you had fallen asleep on Sans.

But for once you didn’t feel embarrassed.

You just felt happy.

Chapter Text

You soon realized that you couldn’t go many places without being stopped by somebody. Sometimes they would want a picture or just a chance to say thank you – those were your favorite people, even if at times they made you feel slightly guilty. Other times the people who stopped you just wanted a chance to yell at you. These were the worst kinds of encounters because you were always too afraid to argue back when you were on your own.

Life was more or less normal, and you were doing your grocery shopping when a small human child waddled up to you.

“Escuse me?” he said as they tugged on your skirt slightly. You looked down from the display of soups and smiled at them. “Are you the skele-lady?”

“That’s me,” you said, not bothering to correct him. You went back to looking at soups, idly wondering where his parents were.

“Escuse me?” he asked, tugging on your skirt again. “Why are you the skele-lady?”

“Because I’m dating a skele-man.”

“Oh.”

You put a few cans in your basket. The kid was still gripping onto your skirt. “Escuse me?” You looked down at him. “My mommy says people like you are why she gets to keep me. Is that true?”

“Oh…uh…I…don’t know?” you asked, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. You didn’t really know what the kid was talking about, and you looked around hoping to find an adult to claim him. He tightened his grip on your skirt, pulling it down slightly. “Uh, kid, can you maybe…uh…not…do that?” you started to pry his hands off the fabric, but he wouldn’t budge. You sighed. “Where is your mommy?”

“Buying some coombers.”

You had no idea what he was saying, but he kept pulling at your skirt. “What are you doing, stop that! It’s rude to pull at a girl’s clothes!” You were praying for this mom to come back.

“But I want it,” he said, pulling even harder.

“Well, you can’t have it!”

You noticed people starting to look over at you. You could feel yourself blush as you did your best to keep this kid at bay.

“But. I. Want. It.” he said. You could sense the start of a tantrum. Now you just wanted to leave.

“Kid, let go!” you said firmly, doing your best not to call any more attention your way and also not wanting to yell at a kid that wasn’t yours.

“NOOOOOO!” he screamed, tugging on it harder. “I DON’T WANNA!!!!!!!” He was starting to go red in the face and tears formed in his eyes. He screamed and started hitting you with his free hand.

People were definitely staring now. You tried to keep one hand securely wrapped on the waistband of your skirt and one hand to block him from hitting you, but he gave you a swift kick in the leg. You let go of your skirt and he gave a hard tug, pulling it down a few inches. He moved to pull it further and you sharply pulled up, using more force than necessary, and a loud RIIIIIIP echoed down the aisle.

Immediately, the child’s tears were gone and he started laughing. “That was funny! Let’s do it again!”

Blushing madly, you scrambled backwards before he could rip another large hole. You stumbled into the soup display and fell into the tower of cans.

You swear that it happened in slow motion. You dropped your basket, sending all your groceries across the floor. Your carton of milk burst open, spilling milk all over the floor. Your fruits and vegetables rolled out and swam in the milk. The tower of soup cans wobbled and your eyes grew wider and wider as you started flailing to keep them from hitting your face. The entire display came crashing down, denting most of the cans and some bursting open in the process. Distantly, you could hear the click of someone’s camera tone go off, but it was mostly blocked out because the sound of your heart pounding filled your ears.

You were laying in a puddle of milk and chicken noodle with your skirt only half covering your ass and a large tear down the front defeating the purpose of covering you at all. The attention you grabbed from trying to handle the screaming child was still focused on you, and everyone was deathly silent.

And then.

“Clean up on aisle 12. I repeat, clean up on aisle 12.”

You squeaked and tried to get up as quickly as possible, only to slip and fall flat on your face. Now your clothes were soggy and wet and cold. Your face felt hot and you didn’t know how this situation could get any worse.

“why am i not surprised to see ya here?”

It got worse.

Sans was standing above you, in the grocery store apron, casually propping himself up with a mop. You couldn’t bring yourself to look him the eye, but you felt your face slowly getting hotter and hotter. Typical.

“You seriously work here too?” you asked quietly, a question more for yourself than for him. Did he actually have 50 secret jobs you didn’t know about? You fidgeted on the floor, wondering if you should run away (with the risk of your skirt falling down entirely) or slowly walk (which may draw more attention to yourself in the long run). People were still staring. You wanted the floor to open up and eat you alive.

“well i was on break,” Sans drawled, “you got a real bad habit of makin me bust my chops.” He glanced down at you, pity clear in his eyes. He turned to the crowd that had formed around you. “shows over, nothin to see here, no reason to pry over spilt milk.” A few people chuckled, but most looked disappointed as they dispersed. Sans started mopping up the mess and you scooted over to the side, still wanting to die.

“wanna hear a joke?”

You nodded silently, still not looking at him. You did your best to adjust your soaked skirt.

“knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“honeydew.”

“Honeydew who?”

“honeydew you know how fine you look right now?”

You furled up even more, but you smiled.

“wanna hear another?”

You nodded again.

He knelt down to pick up your bag of (now half squished) tomatoes. “why was the tomato blushin?”

“Why?”

“cuz he saw the salad dressin.” He placed them in your basket and picked up a package of bagels. “what do ghosts spread on their bagels?”

“What?”

“scream cheese,” he said with a wink.

“Did you just get a job at a grocery store as an excuse to make bad food puns?” you asked, relaxing some.

“lettuce believe that is the case.”

“Sans.”

“what, are my jokes gettin too corn-y for ya?”

“Sanssss.”

“c’mon, i gotta milk them for all they’re worth.”

“Sans!”

“ha, ha, you’re smilin.”

With all of your groceries packed away in their basket and the mess mostly cleaned up, Sans offered you his hand. You took it graciously and stood up, trying to ignore the milk and soup dripping down your legs. You readjusted your skirt as best as you could, tying the tear. It sort of helped. Sans looked away and started chuckling.

“Wh-what?!”

“nothin,” he covered his mouth. “thought of another joke, but ya wouldn’t think it’s funny.”

“…what?” you asked anyways.

“ehh…eh…aha…” Sans looked kind of embarrassed now, “nah, never mind.”

“Whaaaaat?” you drew out. “Come on, you may as well tell me,” you said, egging (GROAN) him on.

“i was just thinkin how i’d need to step up my game, considerin a four year old could getcha outta your pants before i could,” he said, rushing his words together. You couldn’t tell, but you were pretty sure your face flushed a very vibrant scarlet. “sorry, bad joke, bad timin.”

“Erm,” you shifted uncomfortably. “Yeah, well…I asked for it, didn’t I?” you shuffled your feet. “Uh, can I go pay for my groceries now? I kinda…wanna leave.”

“oh, yeah, ok,” Sans said, not looking at you. He went to his till and tapped a few buttons on the register. He started scanning your groceries.

“So, uh, Mettaton wants an exclusive interview with us,” you said. “Alphys, uh, messaged me about it this morning. We’re talking like…international coverage at his studio or something? Lights and music and the whole nine yards. Um. I guess with Undyne’s help they finally tracked down all the people who trashed my apartment. And they want us to…make a statement? Or confront them? Or…something. I don’t really know, I’m not quite sure what Mettaton’s show is really about.”

“it’s about a whole lot of nothin,” Sans said, bagging your stuff. “but, eh, yeah if it means seein those guys get dunked on then sure we can go on Mettaton’s show.”

“Okay…great…” you trailed off.

“yup.”

Your phone beeped, alerting you to a new status update from Alphys.

*tfw #pryoverspiltmilk goes viral

*I should maybe call my friend about this

*Oh I don’t know, she might be too embarrassed

*Ahh the fiancée wants to know the full story what do I do????

*Okay I’m gonna do it! I’m gonna call!

You squinted at your phone. Viral already? The internet sure worked fast. It’s barely even been fifteen minutes. You scrolled through Twitter to see #pryoverspiltmilk trending with people commenting their most embarrassing grocery moments. It made you feel kind of better.

“has this story become…a sansation?” Sans asked cheekily, reading statuses from over your shoulder.

“Yeah, seems as though people aren’t too…sansative about my situation,” you responded wryly, grabbing your bag of groceries.

“heh…could be worse.”

Your phone rang and you picked up the call. “A-Alphys here!” Pause. “U-uh, you probably already knew th-that from caller ID…”

“It’s…fine,” you said, leaning against the till. Some people were not-so-subtley walking by to get a look at you and Sans (who was now sitting in a chair that you were at least 99% sure wasn’t there before).

“O-oh…um…so…what h-happened?”

“Oh. You know, publically embarrassed myself and became a viral trend. A normal day in my very average and typical life. Sans told bad jokes. I probably have to pay for the milk and all the soup I ruined.”

“O-oh…” she trailed off. “W-well at least S-sans was there to help you, r-right? It could have been a r-random employee.”

You were honestly surprised that Undyne hadn’t let your secret slip to Alphys yet. Well, you were also grateful that Undyne hadn’t let your secret slip to Alphys yet, but you felt weird about the whole situation. She had been sending you very nice and supportive messages since you added her on Facebook the night you met.

“W-well if th-that’s it then…”

“Yeah, I’ll talk to you later.”

You hung up and immediately got a new notification.

*I did it! I made the call!

*Everything is a-okay on her end!

You smiled and pocketed the phone. “Well, uh, I guess I’ll be seeing you?” you said to Sans a bit awkwardly. You weren’t looking forward to the walk home. Your underwear, skirt, and top were all completely wet and sticky.

“wanna take a shortcut?”

“Excuse me?”

“not really somethin i usually offer, but, uh, i doubt you’d wanna be photographed the way ya are…” he scratched the back of skull, “uh, more than ya already have been.”

“…uh, sure?” you said. You had never teleported for the sake of teleportation, it had always been out of necessity. You hadn’t given it much thought before, but you were kind of excited. You never got to focus on how it felt or really got to see what was happening since the last two times happened while you were crying or closing your eyes.

“alright,” he grabbed your arm and in a blip you were gone.

You reappeared in your apartment’s living room. The whole process took a grand total of maybe two seconds. You were kind of disappointed that more didn’t go into it than that. “Thanks,” you said.

“welp, gotta get back to my break. drink some tea. see ya,” he waved and with another blip he disappeared.

You rushed to kitchen to start brewing some of the echo flower tea Papyrus gave you, the calming blend, and then went to your room to change into some non-gross clothing.

As you stripped down to change, it finally occurred to you that not only had you flashed half the world your underwear, but you flashed half the world your childish, floral day of week Tuesday underwear.

And it was Friday.

Chapter Text

Mettaton was a bit of a wild card. You weren’t quite sure if he was meant to help you, use you, or make a fool out of you. Maybe all three. You nervously sat in the wings, waiting for the show to start. All of Sans’s friends were personally invited to sit in the audience. This made you extra nervous. Nothing went wrong the last time you met, but considering your last meeting with Mettaton…

You shook your head and tried to stay positive.

“H-hey!”

You looked up and saw Alphys waving at you. You nodded in greeting. “Hi Alphys, how’s…uh…Mettaton doing?”

“H-he’s alright,” she paused and twiddled her claws before choosing to sit next to you. “H-he’s really excited about th-this interview. U-uh, but S-sans doesn’t think it’s a g-great idea.” Alphys fiddled with her glasses nervously. “B-but! I’ll be right h-here! L-looking out for you. And…and you’ll do well!”

You shrug, hoping that you looked casual. “What exactly should I be expecting?”

“O-oh…” she trailed off. “U-um. W-well a lot of questions about your r-relationship I guess…uh w-well to be honest I’m not sure what M-Mettaton is planning. S-sorry I wish I had more I could t-tell you.”

You gently pat her shoulder. “It’s okay, thanks anyways.”

A petite volcano monster sashayed over. “You’re on in two minutes, my lava.”

“S-stay determined out there!” Alphys said with a thumbs up. You give her your best and most determined smile, even though the only thing you were filled with was anxiety.

You stepped up to the side entrance of the stage and waited for your cue. Mettaton’s intro theme played. Lights flashed. Confetti was fired. You shook in your boots.

“Hello my beauties, welcome back to the Early-Late-Morning MTT broadcast. It brings me great pleasure to announce that we have two highly requested guests appearing on our show today,” he gestured grandly at the neon ‘applause’ sign which started flashing. The audience complied with the request and he continued, “But as an early thank you for all you wonderful audience members please check under your seats!” Mettaton paused as he waited for the viewers to pull out their packages. “YES that’s correct you lucky lovelies each are receiving an early edition SIGNED copy of my newest manuscript. That’s right! YOU get a manuscript and YOU get a manuscript!”

The audience started cheering again and you heard a very distinct “WOWIE” and “I DON’T WANT A STINKIN MANUSCRIPT YOU IDIOTIC PIECE OF SCRAP METAL!”

“Well, without further ado, let’s bring out our first guest! The one who has won our hearts with a face full of spaghetti, the one who had created the viral sensation of #pryoverspiltmilk nearly overnight, our town’s resident skeleton keeper, the girl who started it all! COME ON DOWN!”

The music began to pick up and you rushed out on stage. A spotlight focused on you as you walked towards Mettaton, who was now lounging on a couch, one leg posed straight up in the air. He gestured for you to sit in the chair across from him. More confetti fell and the crowd was cheering your name. You awkwardly waved at Papyrus, who looked more or less like he was about to implode from all the excitement. You sunk down in the chair and nervously smiled.

“No reason to be frightened of me or our 100 thousand viewers darling, please relax,” Mettaton snapped his fingers and a team of people rushed in. “What do you need? A massage? A mani-pedi? Some fine wine? We’ve got it all my dear! Indulge!”

You warily looked at Mettaton’s staff. Boxes of nail care treatments, facial scrubs, towels, bottles of wine, chocolate, Mettaton was really pulling out all the stops, but…a spa day in front of all these people wasn’t what you had in mind. “No. Um. No. Thank you,” you said shyly, looking away and hoping you weren’t…offending him or anything.

Mettaton whipped out a nail file and began doing his nails. “And you said you haven’t seen my show before,” he drew out, smiling at you devilishly. “How else were you to know that…all of those lavish gifts…were really TRUTH BOMBS!” The music made a sharp change and you were forcibly thrown out of your chair. “You’ve got two minutes to diffuse all the bombs or else this whole studio is going to go KABOOM.”

“WHAAAAAAT?!” you knew he was crazy. Definitely crazy! The neon sign was blinking ‘DEFUSE’ in bright red letters. From the corner of your eye you could see the audience watching your every move with careful trepidation. Where the hell was Sans???

Okay, okay, you thought to yourself. There’s the polish, the face mask, the wine bottle, and the chocolate bar. Diffusing four bombs in two minutes? Yeah…piece of cake.

Okay no, you were panicking. You ran up to the closest one – the face mask – and picked it up. On the screen behind you a question appeared. Mettaton’s voice came in through the speakers: Spill the juicy details of your first kiss with your skele-man. You winced. “Um, it was a very sweet and ten-AHHHH.” A searing electric shock flowed through your body.

“Come now, darling. These aren’t called truth bombs for nothing! How else were we supposed to coax out this information from you?”

Crap.

“Uh…”

“Tick tock my dear.”

“It was at the coffee shop! In front of all my co-workers and customers! It was really embarrassing and we only did it because Papyrus made us!” you shouted.

A loud dinging rang out. The facial mask dematerialized from your fingers. If you weren’t shaking before, you definitely were now that you realized this would could potentially blow up in your face.

Goddammit you had been hanging around Sans for too long.

You rushed to the next bomb – the bottle of wine this time – and picked it up. You wondered if Mettaton would actually blow up his precious studio or if you could run the risk of calling him out on his bluff. His sultry voice came over the speakers again: There’s been talk of a late night rendezvous at Grillby’s where a certain someone had a rather, ahem, passionette moment. Care to share?

You didn’t actually want to share, but this wasn’t too bad at least. “Um. Yeah. One of the patrons ordered it for us. I…um…reacted very poorly.”

“Ohhhh, really?”

The bomb still wasn’t diffused.

“I was overcome with the desire to…kiss…Sans…”

“Oh, darling, we all know it was more than that~” the screen changed from the question screen to a video clip of you at the bar. You cringed at the dopey expression on your face and you watched as you, once again, moaned out Sans’s name in front of all the monsters there. If you thought it was embarrassing then, you felt much more embarrassed now. You heard some audience members snickering. Toriel was covering Frisk’s ears. You cringed, but the wine bottle dematerialized.

“Only two more left my beauties. Can she do it?” The audience cheered much louder than they were before.

You went for the chocolate bar next. The question appeared: What is the most romantic gesture your verte-bae has done for you?

Shit, a romantic gesture? You had no idea! And it was completely subjective! Sans was not particularly romantic guy and the two of you had very few romantic moments. You stared at the candy bar, unsure of what to say. You looked helplessly out into the audience and you make eye contact with Undyne, who started tugging at her jacket sleeve.

“He…gave me his jacket,” you said, suddenly remembering you had it on and cuddling it close to your body. You didn’t really consider it a romantic gesture, more one of kindness, but you supposed it could be construed that way.

“AH, what love! And you only have one bomb left! Ladies and gentleman, I think our love here can do this! Let’s cheer her on!”

The crowd cheered even louder, almost deafening you. One left. It couldn’t be that bad! You picked up the polish and the question appeared on the screen: Tell us the story of how the two of you really got together?

The audience gasped in shock. You gasped in shock. Every curse you knew and some you just made up swam through your head.

“My dear, some extremely reliable sources tell me you never actually stepped into Grillbys until the night of passion, and so you have failed your audience in telling us the full story in how the two of you reached where you are today. So please. Don’t. Leave out. A detail.”

It couldn’t last forever, right?

You had to come clean at some point.

You took a shaky breath. It was fun while it lasted, “Sans and I actually…”

The studio was plummeted into darkness, the sound was cut out, and the bomb diffused itself and disappeared. …What.

Suddenly, Alphys’s voice came on over the intercom, “U-uh, s-sorry everyone! T-technical difficulties! L-let’s j-just go to commercial.”

Mettaton glared up at the screen and huffed. “Oh fine! Well to my 535,600 beauties watching, we will be back after this short break. Stay tuned because next up we bring in Sans to uncover HIS baggage!” He snapped his fingers and his crew appeared and carried him off. You ran offstage into the wing where Alphys was and threw yourself at her, wrapping your arms around her in a thankful hug.

“You know, don’t you Alphy? Undyne told you, right? I am so thankful I don’t even know what to say!” You were practically sobbing at her feet, still shaken up from being so deathly afraid from blowing up the studio and dying. She patted you awkwardly on the back, clearly unused to situations like this.

“Y-yeah…c-can’t keep secrets from each other anymore,” Alphys said. “B-but I’ve had secrets t-too. S-so I didn’t want to b-bring yours up. Uh. I. I th-thought you m-might not want to be my f-friend if I asked.”

“Oh Alphys you are officially my best friend after what you just did!” you said, still crying and still frightened and now more than ever wanting to go home.

“W-would it be b-bad to tell the truth?” Alphys asked. “It. It s-seems like a lot of t-trouble.”

“Uh,” you paused. “Well, rationally, no. But…” you glanced at the floor, “we’ve gotten so much fanmail about people who look up to us. We’re…role models? Or the reason people aren’t as afraid of mixed couples? If we took it away…I’m worried people will use it as an example of why these relationships don’t work out. It’s…bigger than just us.”

“O-oh. I s-see,” Alphys said. She brightened, “W-well I c-can be of help! I’ve w-watched s-so much anime with f-fake dating! I’m p-practically a p-pro! Um. I. I mean. If…you w-want?” She looked at you, a little worried you might turn down her proposition. You smiled at her and nodded in agreement. “G-great! W-we can h-have a movie m-marathon soon?”

“Yeah,” you agree. “Sounds awesome.”

The tiny volcano came back. “You’re doing great,” she said sashaying along. “Next segment soon, you should get ready.”

You take a deep breath. Hopefully now that Sans would also be there it would be easier. He was much more level headed than you were at these kinds of things. You took another deep breath. In. Out. Okay. You were ready.

The music started up again, but this time both you and Sans were entering the room. The ‘APPLAUSE’ sign was flashing away and you both awkwardly waved at the audience before sitting down next to Mettaton, who had three suitcases in front of him. When Mettaton said baggage…did…he mean that literally. You glanced at Sans quizzically, but he just shrugged.

“And we are back to the show. To those just tuning in, you missed one heck of a show thanks to our local human girl here. But that’s quite alright because now we are going to be focusing on the skeleton boyfriend himself!” The audience clapped loudly. “Now, the question is all on our minds. What skeletons are in this skeleton’s closet? He’s got a few secrets and a few pieces of baggage that the public MUST be made aware of.”

Sans already looked like he was done.

Mettaton turned towards you. “I’m going to show you these three pieces of Sans’s baggage and it is up to YOU to decide whether or not you accept it! Don’t be alarmed, it’s nothing too terrible. I do have to watch out for the 1.7 million people watching. Can’t be too scandalized.”

You thought this was a pretty pointless segment considering the two of you were already “together.”

Mettaton posed dramatically. “The SMALLEST baggage!” he slowly opened the littlest suitcase. Inside was a card that read: Leaves dirty socks around the house. Mettaton looked at you as if he had been scandalized, even though he had promised there would be no scandal. “And what do you think of this? What concerns you?”

“Uh…” you weren’t really sure what to think exactly. “I don’t…care?”

“better tread lightly there mtt,” Sans said, “she is toe-tally not into this game show set up you got goin on here.”

Mettaton narrowed his eyes.

Suddenly, lights began flashing wildly around the studio. A deep voice boomed, “RANDOM ESSAY~~~~” loud 80s music blasted through the speakers. The audience went wild. You had no idea what was happening but you were pretty sure you didn’t like it. A pad of paper and pencil were given to you.

“Oh my stars, you know what this means! It’s time for you to write an essay about why Mettaton is so great! You each get 30 seconds!”

A clock began ticking, you had no idea what to write so you quickly drew a sketchy doodle of his legs. You supposed they were pretty impressive. When the 30 seconds was up, Mettaton grabbed your paper and let out a loud gasp.

“Ohhhhhh yesssss, finally someone who sees the greatness of Mettaton! Legs, legs was the number one answer for all you playing at home!” he winked at the camera. He didn’t even look at San’s pad of paper (it was empty from what you could tell). “Well I suppose NOW would be a good time to introduce our super secret special guest, who has decided he would rather his identity remain private. Such a shame, darling. Such a shame.”

Someone was wheeled in with a screen covering them entirely. You could barely make out a figure from behind it.

“Welcome darling to the Now-Late-Early-Late-Morning broadcast hosted by the one and only me. Say hello to our approximate 8 million viewers!”

“Who the *f*l*u*b*k* are you?!”

“Ooh, close my dear. The correct answer would be ‘Who is Mettaton.’ Sadly, this means you get no prize. Also, this is a family friendly establishment, so please watch your language. The beautiful children at home must never hear of you!” Mettaton waved his hand in disgust, although you were seriously wondering where he drew the line and what he considered ‘family friendly?’

“But we shall be moving on to the segment everyone is looking forward to darlings! We are here with our super secret special guest to find out,” Mettaton took a dramatic pause, “IF HE DESTROYED THE APARTMENT!”

“I didn’t destroy no *g*o*o*d*u*m* apartment!” the man hollered.

“Well my lovelies you know I cannot accuse without proof so we collected a fingerprint sample AND a lie detector test was performed on this very man!” Mettaton pulled out an envelope from seemingly out of no where. “I have the results here! We will truly see if he is the mastermind behind this horrific scheme…right after the break!”

You turned to look at Sans. “Is…this…normal?”

“yup.”

“…really?”

“yup. mettaton loves causing a fuss and after seeing so much human garbage tv he adjusted his style,” Sans reclined a bit in his seat. “i don’t like it but he’s the only monster on tv.”

“I don’t think I like it either…” you trailed. “It feels surreal, too many things have been thrown in I’m exhausted.”

Sans hummed in agreement.

“AND WE’RE BACK! I was just about to announce the results to our 15 billion viewers. Mr. Mystery Man, do you have anything you’d like to say for yourself?”

“I didn’t *f*l*u*b*k*i*n*g* do it! I’m not a racist!”

He didn’t sound very sincere.

“And…the results say…YOU ARE THE CULPRIT!”

“No! It wasn’t me I was…framed! Your test must be wrong!”

Mettaton snapped his fingers and in walked in his team, this time carrying judge robes. They dressed Mettaton in this robe and gave him a gavel and podium. Mettaton slammed the gavel down on and shouted, “Overruled, darling! We now have concrete evidence, which means you are out of here. You’ve been eliminated from the race. You are the weakest link. Your time’s up. You’ve been chopped. Sashay away. And in case I wasn’t clear, that means you’re out. Auf Wiedersehen.” With another snap of his fingers, two guards clad in black armor walked in, picked up the man, and left.

It happened so fast you almost couldn’t believe it. You barely had time to react at all before Mettaton shoved a microphone in your face and asked, “Well, do you have a message for any of our 31 quadrillion viewers. They’re all watching.”

You took the mic hesitantly. And then said, “When I was asked to come here, I thought this message I’m about to say was the point…uh, clearly I wasn’t expecting any of this…um. Well. Ahem. I just wanted to say that I’m glad the…culprits have been caught and will potentially be facing justice for their actions very soon. I would like to thank the police force and a very special chief of police for taking this all so seriously.”

“HEY YOU PUNKS SHE’S TALKING ABOUT ME!” Undyne said.

You smiled at her and gave a little nod. “Uh, anyway. Sans and I…would like to say that monster haters are going to have to learn to accept progress. It’s ridiculous that monsters have yet to receive the same basic rights as humans. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and if you disagree with me well…you’re not going to last long in this world. Interspecies relationships are growing in numbers every day. You don’t have to want one. You don’t even have to like it. But you have to show the world just how decent humanity can be. Please. For…for all of us.”

Sans slung his arm around your shoulder. Mettaton passed the microphone to him and he said, “well, to patella the truth i don’t have much to add. i think she said it all. but we ain’t doin this dramatic show again. stop botherin her about it. stop botherin me about it. we’re just two souls in love, can’t a guy just enjoy that kinda simple life?”

“But-” Mettaton interrupted.

“don’t got one to give ya pal. no more mtt exclusive interviews. all we want to have is a coupla laughs, some good food, and time away from you.”

“But…” Mettaton pouted. “Oh, fine! Episode over, bring in the dancing Migosps.”

As two dancing migosps entered the stage, Sans tapped your shoulder gently. “let’s go home, babe.”

You nodded and in a blip you were on his living room couch. Sans reached over the arm and grabbed two game controllers. “wanna be my player 2?” he asked cheekily.

You huffed and grabbed one. “Two souls in love, huh?” you asked as he set up the game.

“i can bullshit on the spot too ya know.” The title screen appeared and you settled into the couch. You realized you were sitting on something kind of lumpy. You reached for it and saw it was a balled up pair of dirty socks.

Actually, now that Mettaton had mentioned it, you finally noticed all the dirty socks in the living room. You were pretty sure there was only one the first time you were here.

Well. It was baggage you didn’t really mind carting with you. Romantic partner or not.

Chapter Text

“Here you go, Sansaparilla,” you said tiredly, handing Sans his drink. Two more hours until the end of your shift. Then class. Ugh. You propped your elbows up on the counter and rested your head in your hands.

“heh, you’re gonna run outta names one of these days,” Sans said as he took a sip.

“$3.50,” you said, pointlessly. You already knew what Sans was going to say.

“just put it on my tab,” he grinned.

“We don’t even do tabs here, you’re robbing us blind,” you joked.

“eh…boyfriend privileges?” he asked, waggling his brow bone.

You squinted and him and grumbled, adding it to your running tally of free drinks you’ve given him. 11. You wondered if he would avoid paying his “tab” forever. Probably.

“so, uh, what are ya doin tonight?”

“Homework, probably. Draw a little. Stalk the news.”

For the last few days you have kept a careful eye on the local news, as reports have been coming out with more information about the criminals who destroyed your apartment. The man who was brought onto Mettaton’s show was part of a small ring of human supremacists in the area. Unsurprisingly, the man from the Italian restaurant – a Mr. Robert Delaney – was involved and had reportedly singled you out specifically to make a point. Everyone in the ring was sentenced to time in jail. It was a huge relief to you, knowing that some kind of karma did exist in this world, but their bail was fairly easy to make, so you were keeping tabs just in case.

“wanna come over? for a…” Sans paused to chuckle, “for a friendly hangout?”

“Is…that…code?” you asked, unsure and starting to blush. Was he asking you out on another date?

“NO, FOR ONCE MY BROTHER IS BEING UPFRONT ABOUT SOMETHING. THIS, INDEED, IS AN EXTENSION TO OUR MONTHLY ANIME VIEWING PARTY WITH OUR FRIENDS!” Papyrus said, clearly having been listening in on your conversation.

“I wouldn’t want to intrude,” you said, even though it sounded like fun.

“NONSENSE! YOU ARE A PART OF OUR GROUP AND WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU. PLUS, I NEED TO FINALLY MAKE YOU MY WONDERFUL SPAGHETTI.”

“Well if you’re sure.”

“OF COURSE I’M SURE, I’M THE GREAT PAPYRUS!”

You laughed and said, “Then yeah, of course. I’d love to join you at this…friendly hangout.”

“THEN WE WILL SEE YOU TONIGHT! GOODBYE FOR NOW!” Papyrus waved goodbye.

“see ya.”

“SANS AREN’T YOU FORGETTING SOMETHING?”

“huh? oh, right,” Sans leaned over and quickly gave you a kiss on the cheek. “mwah.” He pulled back and gave you a wink. You’re pretty sure you heard the distant click of a camera from one of the customers. Whatever. The two skeletons left the shop.

“Heehee, I wish you could see the dumb smile on your face right now,” your co-worker teased.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

--

When you got home that night, you immediately changed into sweatpants and a t-shirt, and then deciding to also slip on Sans’s hoodie. You zipped it up and then walked over to their house. You pulled out your phone.

xxx-xxxx: 8:03pm
Knock Knock!

snas: 8:03pm
whos there

xxx-xxxx: 8:03pm
Ach

snas: 8:04pm
ach who?

xxx-xxxx: 8:04pm
Sounds like someone’s coming down with a cold!

The door opened. Sans casually propped himself up against the doorway. “that was the worst joke i’ve ever heard. gotta tell me a better one if you wanna get inside.”

“Come on Sans!” you said, crossing your arms. “It’s cold out here let me in!”

“alright, wouldn’t wanna give ya the cold shoulder. i’ve got a really good knock knock joke, but, uh, you’ve gotta start it.”

“Um…okay. Knock knock?”

“who’s there?”

You open your mouth in confusion and then glared. He got you. Sans started snickering which turned into chortling which then just dissolved into outright laugher.

“i can’t believe you actually fell for it.”

“Will you let me in now?”

Sans stepped aside, still laughing to himself. You entered the apartment to see the others already there. Alphys and Undyne were snuggling under a blanket. Papyrus was slurping down some spaghetti. You shrugged off Sans’s jacket and threw it over the recliner chair.

“What’d I miss?” you asked, plopping yourself down next to Alphys.

“O-oh, w-well…they-committed-the-ultimate-taboo-by-bringing-someone-back-to-life-and-now-one-boy-is-trapped-in-armor-and-the-other-one-is-half-robot-and-they-are-on-a-mission-to-try-and-get-their-old-bodies-back”

“I don’t know why they would!” Undyne interjected, “THOSE METAL LIMBS ARE RAD! Babe, do you think you could make ME half robotic?”

“U-uh, I’d r-rather not.”

“alphs doesn’t seem all that nuts a-bolts that idea,” Sans said, sitting next to you. You all groaned.

“SANS I THINK YOUR HUMAN LOOKS COLD!” Papyrus not-so-subtly hinted as he pulled a blanket off from the back of the couch. “PERHAPS THIS IS WHEN NON-PLATONIC CUDDLING CAN TAKE PLACE.” He handed Sans the blanket.

Alphys and Undyne giggled to themselves and that’s when you realized that everyone else here knew what was going on except for Papyrus. You were worried this would feel like a double date with a fifth wheel but it felt more like everyone was in cahoots except for one person. You felt kind of bad, and it wouldn’t be so terrible if Undyne would quit laughing, but you sat and chewed your lower lip.

You blushed a little bit as you said, “It’s alright, Paps. I don’t need-”

But Sans had already covered the two of you in the blanket. Suddenly, you were feeling very warm. He scooched a little closer to you and Undyne just about lost it. You could see her cackling, eyes twinkling with mirth. Alphys did her best to hush Undyne. Bless Alphys.

Well, it wasn’t so bad actually.

The five of you watched various episodes of anime for the next few hours. A few were hits, a few were misses. A lot of them had tropes. Tsundere. Yandere. Moe. Alphys also really liked Mew Mew Kissy Cutie so you watched some of that as well. Undyne would smother Alphys in kisses whenever the transformation sequences took place – so, Alphys was more or less always being kissed.

It was…cute, actually. You were a little envious.

But soon, the late hours of the night trickled into the early hours of the morning. Alphys and Undyne took off, leaving behind the collection of DVDs so you could watch them in your spare time. Papyrus decided it was also way past his bedtime and went to his room, telling Sans he didn’t need a bedtime story tonight.

This just left you and Sans. You weren’t really ready to leave.

“I’m not really tired yet, you up for another?” you asked, already rifling through the DVDs Alphys left. You picked one that looked pretty shoujo and stuck in into the DVD player. You rejoined Sans, who had moved to the couch, and pressed play.

“Looks like another one of those school girl animes,” you said offhandedly, snuggling yourself into the blanket once more.

“ten bucks says she’ll be yandere,” Sans said, spark of amusement in his pupils. He raised his voice an octave, “notice me senpai, i love you senpai! i will kill you out of love for senpai!”

You let out a loud snort of laughter, covering your mouth as you did so. “You sound ridiculous and you’re wrong. I bet you she’ll be tsundere,” you looked away and let yourself pout, “B-baka! It isn’t like I LIKE you or anything!”

“pretty good tsunderplane impression.”

“Wh-what! Why are you complimenting me you WEIRDO?”

Both of you were laughing now, and just as you were about to say another joke, a very loud moan came from the television that you had been neglecting. Your face went bright red as you looked over to see what was happening.

The schoolgirl from the intro was now in an incredibly lewd and provocative position. Shirt off, skirt flipped, panties pulled aside. She was being restrained and poked and prodded by what appeared to be a very big and creepy tentacle monster.

What the hell Alphys?

It was like a bad car accident. You were horrified, but you couldn’t look away. You stole a glance at Sans whose skull was almost completely blue. He looked equally disturbed by what was on the television, but he couldn’t look away either. Well, until the girl let out another loud cry.

“turn it off!”

You scrambled to pick up the remote but it slipped through your fingers and landed on the floor. You quickly reached down to grab it, but in your haste you clamped down on the volume button, turning up the sound.

“AHHHH YESSSSSSSSS!”

“what are ya doin, give it to me!” Sans said, reaching over you for the remote. You jerked from his sudden movement and, since you were still panicking from trying to turn the sound off, you moved too quickly and started toppling over. You let out a startled scream and grabbed onto Sans’s arm, hoping to catch yourself, but his bones were more easily moved than you thought, and you ended up pulling him down with you. He landed on top of you, faceplanting right into your chest. He started scrambling to sit up, muttering nervous apologies and looking very flushed.

“ARE THE TWO OF YOU OKAY I HEARD SCREAMI…OH.” Papyrus had, naturally, rushed in at the most inopportune moment. Sans still wasn’t completely off of you yet and you were both blushing brightly. Papyrus stared at you and then at the television where anime girl was probably getting face fucked if the muffled moans were anything to go by. He suddenly looked very embarrassed and uncomfortable. “UM. YOU KNOW. I JUST REMEMBERED. I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. YOU TWO…HAVE…FUN…” and then he ran out the front door.

You and Sans just stared at each other for a few seconds before remembering the position you were in. He laughed nervously as he separated himself from you. You stood up and awkwardly looked at your feet. Mismatched socks. Super interesting.

“uh…can you turn it off now?”

“Oh!” you exclaimed, coming out of your awkward daze. “Yeah, yeah.” You turned towards the t.v. and grimaced. You watched a few more seconds with morbid curiosity. Then you winced and turned it off.

The two of you stood in an awkward silence.

A really awkward silence.

What do you even say to someone you just accidentally watched part of a hentai with and made the implication of getting it on in the living room to his brother?

“wow you humans are into some weird shit.”

“There’s worse things out there than that. Probably.”

Nervous laughter.

More silence.

You chance humor. It’s your strong suit, apparently. “Totally called it. Complete tsundere. Now you can finally pay off your tab.”

Sans chuckles, “heh, c’mon i’ll pay ya back one of these days.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” you mumbled. You checked your watch. Late. “I better get going to sleep. Working tomorrow and all that…and uh, you should probably go check on Papyrus.” Your cheeks burned. Sorry Papyrus… “So…uh…goodnight then.”

“night.”

The two of you were unsure how to say goodbye. Anything with a semblance of affection would feel too weird right now. You held out your fist. Sans met it with a light fist bump. Perfect. You left the apartment, feeling a little better.

You walked into your apartment and checked your messages. Several statuses from Alphys were made.

*Movie night with the gang!

*#GPOY
(attached was a photo of her spaghetti)

*Had a great time, can’t believe the fiancée thought of such a good prank #bless

You narrowed your eyes.

HOW WAS THIS EVEN PLANNED?!?!

You grumbled, mentally reminding yourself to talk to Undyne, and quickly crawled into bed where your cat was already waiting for you. He purred as you pet him while scrolling through your feed. You got a new text from Sans.

snas: 1:23 am
how many tickles does it take to get an octopus to laugh

xxx-xxxx: 1:23am
If you say tentacles I swear to god I will end you

snas: 1:23 am

snas: 1:23 am
TEN-TICKLES

You groaned loudly, but you could hear Sans’s laugh through the walls. Your mind wandered back to him laying on top of you. Your face grew warm. You patted your cheeks and tried to stop thinking about it, but the harder you tried to stop thinking the more you thought about it.

‘humans are into some weird shit’ his voice echoed in your brain.

Your stomach twisted.

Thump. Thump.

Chapter Text

snas: 5:03pm
why didnt the skeleton cross the road

xxx-xxxx: 5:03pm
Why?

snas: 5:03pm
he didnt have the guts

snas: 5:04pm
wait i got another

snas: 5:04pm
whats a skeletons favorite room in the house

xxx-xxxx: 5:04pm
What?

snas: 5:05pm
the living room!

xxx-xxxx: 5:05pm
How many skeleton jokes do you even know?

snas: 5:05pm
a skele-TON of them

snas: 5:08pm
knock knock

xxx-xxxx: 5:08pm
Who’s there?

There was a loud knock on your front door. Sans, Papyrus, and Frisk were standing outside, each in costume and carrying a pumpkin candy bucket. Frisk, in their slightly too big for them Totoro onesie, bounded forward, holding out the bucket. “Trick or treat,” they said sweetly.

“Oh,” you said, covering your mouth a bit in embarrassment. “I’m sorry, I don’t really have any candy I wasn’t…there aren’t too many kids in this area and I wasn’t planning…on…uh…”

“WELL IF THERE ARE NO TREATS, THERE MUST BE A TRICK, YES?” Papyrus asked, entering your apartment, Frisk and Sans following closely behind. “A PUZZLE, PERHAPS?” He looked at you hopefully, and you glanced away in embarrassment.

It had been two days since…the hentai thing. Apparently Papyrus ran all the way to wherever Alphys and Undyne lived. Those two had a great laugh at your expense, but had to explain to Papyrus that it had been a jape that was all in good fun and he just so happened to walk in on (you were pretty sure he thought it was more than that though). He didn’t seem to be acting weird about it, but you were still too mortified to look at him in the eye.

“Uh, I don’t really…have puzzles either,” you said. You could tell both Papyrus and Frisk were disappointed. “But, uh, how about a brain teaser? Those are kind of like puzzles.” You grabbed some paper and drew an outline of house with a stick figure inside. “Okay, now draw this exact image without lifting your pen off the paper.”

Papyrus grabbed the drawing and squinted at it. “BUT THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. THERE ARE NO LINES CONNECTING THE HOUSE AND THE PERSON.”

“That’s the point of a brain teaser,” you explained, “You’ve got to think of a solution to overcome that challenge.”

“THIS PUZZLE IS NO MATCH FOR THE GREAT PAPYRUS AND HIS ALSO GREAT COMPANION FRISK!” Papyrus exclaimed as he and Frisk grabbed more sheets of paper and sprawled out on your living room floor. “MY LACK OF A PHYSICAL BRAIN WILL NOT BE A HINDRANCE TO THIS…BRAIN TEASER…OF YOURS. WE SHALL NOT BE BESTED!”

You smiled.

“where’s your costume? don’t tell me you’re not celebratin,” Sans said. His “costume” was a white shirt with the words “error 404: costume not found” written sloppily across the center. You rolled your eyes.

“I got invited to a party later tonight, but I’ll admit that I’m less embarrassed about my half-assed costume now that I’ve seen yours.”

“hey,” Sans said with a shrug, “cut me some slack. spent all month helpin paps with his.”

You glanced back down at Papyrus. Actually, his costume looked really good and put together. You had assumed that he bought it, but it definitely looked better quality than a store bought costume.

“Wow, smart, funny, and sweet too? You surprise me more and more every day,” you said nudging Sans’s shoulder lightly.

“am i meeting all your standards?”

“OF COURSE YOU ARE SANS. SHE WOULDN’T STILL BE HERE IF YOU DID NOT SATISFY ALL HER EXPECTATIONS. WHY WOULD SHE DATE YOU IF SHE DIDN’T LIKE YOU?”

You laughed awkwardly and shuffled your feet. “Yeah, I guess you’re right, Pap.” Papyrus smiled and returned to his puzzle. He and Frisk were on their third sheet of paper. Now that you were looking over his costume, you noticed that it actually kind of looked familiar. “Papyrus…are you…dressed up as Skeletor?”

“WHY YES! SOME OTHER HUMANS I KNOW HAVE COMPARED HIM TO MY LIKENESS. I DO NOT SEE THE RESEMBLANCE, EXCEPT FOR THAT HE IS ALSO A COOL SKELETON DUDE. BUT AT LEAST NOW I HAVE MUSCLES!” Papyrus stood up from the floor and started flexing his muscle suit. You had to stifle a laugh.

“You look great,” you compliment.

“THANK YOU, I KNOW!” Papyrus said boastfully, and then returned to the teaser.

“hey, if you’re not busy until your party, frisk was kinda hopin you might wanna join us for trick or treating.”

Frisk looked up and gave you an eager thumbs up and smile. Oh God, they were also giving you puppy dog eyes. The hood to their costume flopped over their eyes for a bit. Oh no, too cute. You couldn’t say no to that face.

“Sounds like fun,” you said, “I’ll, uh…go change I guess.”

You rushed off to your room to throw on your…costume. If you could really call it that. Black shirt. Black shorts. Fuzzy cat ears. A makeshift cat tail. You knew it was unoriginal, but it wasn’t like college parties cared about pouring heart and soul into costumes. That, and your original outfit was destroyed with most of your other possessions.

You gave yourself some dramatic cat eyes. Three whiskers on the right cheek. Three whiskers on the left cheek. Pink nose. Red lips.

Well.

That was as good as it was going to get.

You reemerged from your room and pitter pattered back to the living room. Papyrus and Frisk were still on the floor and Sans had parked himself on your couch. You sat down to join him as Papyrus and Frisk finished up the brain teaser.

“…looking purr-ty cute there, kitten,” Sans said with a teasing grin.

“Must you? That’s worse than verta-bae,” you said, feeling your cheeks already start to redden.

“i think it’s the purr-fect pet name for ya.”

You didn’t say anything.

“your cheeks are all red. you feline ok?”

Before you could answer him, Papyrus and Frisk stood up victoriously. “WE HAVE FIGURED OUT YOUR SO-CALLED BRAIN TEASER. IT WAS BUT A TRICK, YOU CAN SIMPLY FOLD UP A CORNER OF THE PAPER. NYEH-HEH-HEH! I KNEW THIS WOULD BE NO MATCH FOR US!”

Papyrus and Frisk high fived.

“nice going bro.”

“THANK YOU! AND NOW THAT WE ARE ALL IN COSTUME WE CAN GO GET SOME TREATS AND POSSIBLY ALSO SOME TRICKS!”

The four of you left the apartment and started walking towards the neighborhoods nearby. Papyrus and Frisk led the way, swinging their buckets back and forth as they skipped along the sidewalk.

“You’re not totally weirded out by Halloween?” you asked Sans.

“i mean, it was kinda weird seein a buncha skeletons hangin around,” Sans said with a shrug, “but, eh, ya know me. not the type of guy tibia sour puss about it.”

“A bone pun and a cat pun in the same sentence?” you said incredulously. “That’s just…clawful.”

“heh,” Sans chuckled. “seems i’m not the only one with a tail-ent for cat puns.”

“Ah, man, I guess the cat’s out of the bag then?”

“purr-haps,” he said, voice laced with laughter. “but, uh, i guess another reason it’s not so weird is we had our own version of halloween down in the underground. all the monsters would dress in striped shirts and solve puzzles for candy. came from some old myth where monsters would get attacked unless you were a kid, so they would disguise themselves as one.”

“Oh, interesting,” you said. “That’s cool that monsters have their own mythology. I think the backstory to our Halloween was humans were trying to confuse monsters or demons or something by dressing up like them…” Oh. You paused, thinking of the implication. When the two stories were put together like that it sounded pretty awful. Seemed like underhanded warfare actually. You grimaced.

“hey don’t worry about it, kitten. all water under the bridge,” Sans said lightly. “we’re supposedly living purr-oof of that, remember?”

“Stop with the cat puns!” you said, “And stop calling me kitten!”

Sans only laughed and ran –yes, that’s right, ran– to catch up to Frisk and Papyrus, who had both managed to charm themselves into getting nearly full buckets of candy within the first few houses.

--

You trick or treated with your friends for a few hours and ended up getting a lot of candy as well. People recognized you and Sans and asked you to pose for some pictures. Other people recognized Frisk as the ambassador and stopped them for questions. But the person who got stopped the most was Papyrus for his amazing Skeletor costume. He felt like a celebrity by the time the four of you got back to the apartment at 9.

“WELL I’M GOING TO TAKE FRISK TO MY ROOM AND WE’RE GOING TO EAT ALL THIS CANDY!”

“papyrus.”

“…SOME OF THE CANDY.” Papyrus leaned into Frisk and, in a very loud whisper, said, “DON’T WORRY IT’LL BE ALL OF THE CANDY. GOODNIGHT!” And then he picked Frisk up and dashed into their apartment.

“he’s going to rot all his teeth out,” Sans said flatly. “thanks for comin out with us. frisk was pawsitively pawleased to have ya around.”

You smiled, glad to have made a good impression. They called you auntie like thirty times, but you figured it was fine. A good majority of the way home they wanted a piggyback and you had obliged. They were just too cute in their onesie, and really worked the candy givers. You were pretty sure they managed to get at least 3 pounds of candy on their own.

“Yeah, it was nice getting to hang out with them too,” you agreed. “It was fun.”

“yeah. welp, g’night then,” Sans said, turning around to walk back into his apartment.

“W-wait!” you called out. “Um. Do you…maybe, uh, wanna come along to the party? I mean, don’t feel like you have to it’s just we were having a good time and, um. Haha, uh, I don’t really know a lot of people there so-”

“sure, but that means ya gotta sit through more of my hiss-terical jokes, kitten.”

“Stop that! It’s not going to stick!” you said.

The two of you went separate ways for a few moments – you to fix up your makeup and feed your cat, and Sans to make sure Papyrus and Frisk didn’t eat too much candy – and then met up outside again. You started walking towards the college.

“you left my jacket last time you visited,” Sans said, making conversation, “took me by surprise. thought you had jacked-it forever.”

Ah. Yeah. That’s right. You had fled the apartment so quickly you forgot to take the stolen jacket with you. Damn. You really liked it too.

“I don’t even see you wearing it,” you said.

Sans shrugged. “what can i say? i’ve gotten used to this one,” he said as he gestured to his galaxy jacket.

“You into space?”

“yeah,” Sans said, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “we came out of the mountain at sunset, i stayed there all night and watched the stars.” He glanced up at the sky. “not as easy to see here in the city, but still better than the nothingness of the underground.”

He sounded a little sad. And this moment felt too weirdly personal. You didn’t want to pry, but now it was quiet and neither of you were saying anything. You coughed. “Uh, I have a joke for you.”

“yeah?”

“Yeah and it’s a really good joke too.”

“is it?”

“Totally.”

“…are ya gonna say it?”

“Yes,” you paused. “Uh…where does a cat go when it dies?”

“where?”

“Purr-gatory.”

Sans laughed. You patted yourself on the back. The two of you told jokes the rest of the way to the party (okay, well, Sans told you jokes since you didn’t actually know that many, but still).

The house was completely packed. The music was blaring, lights were flaring, sweaty bodies were pouring in and out of the front door, red solo cups littered the yard. You grabbed Sans’s hand and pulled him inside, where the atmosphere wasn’t much better. Half naked college students were grinding on each other, a group of students were in the corner smoking, and a large game of beer pong was set up off to the side.

“this is fun for you?” Sans said doubtfully, looking around at everything that was happening.

“Er, well, parties aren’t usually my thing, but I mean I guess?” you said. “They, I dunno, give you a chance to cut loose and have some fun. I mean you threw a party didn’t you? It’s not that much different.”

“you gonna find a new boyfriend here, then?” Sans asked jokingly.

“Hmph.”

“i’m just kitten with ya.”

“HEY look who finally decided to show up to the par-tay!”

The two of you glanced over to see Wyatt coming towards you. Dressed in a toga. You rolled your eyes. “Hey, Wyatt. Nice outfit.”

“Could say the same about you,” he retorted. He leaned in to talk to Sans, “Hey man, if you play your cards right, her costume’s not the only pussy you’ll be seei-OW, ow, hey why you gotta hit me so hard?”

“No one wants to hear your dumb jokes,” you said, folding your arms.

“Just trying to be a great wingman over here,” he said defensively. You glared. He raised his hands up in defeat. “Fine, fine. You guys just get here? You want something to drink? There’s a shitton of drinks and snacks in the kitchen.” You shook your head. “Kay, cool. Get comfy. We’re gonna start a game of beer pong in a few.”

With that, Wyatt took off.

“now what?” Sans asked.

You hummed to yourself in thought. “Wanna dance?”

Sans looked apprehensively at all the people grinding. You laughed. “Not like that. That would be weird. But there are other ways of dancing you know.”

“not much of a dancer,” Sans mumbled.

“That’s okay,” you said brightly, dragging him to the dance floor by the hand. “Neither am I.”

You started moving to the beat of the (really bad) remix of Monster Mash. You beckoned Sans to come and join you. You had a feeling of how ridiculous you looked, mostly based on Sans’s amused expression, but he joined you anyways. He is such a good sport about stuff like this, you thought to yourself. And, yes, your dancing was incredibly awkward, but the two of you were actually having a good time.

“Hey man, mind if I cut in?” a college boy said, already stepping between you and Sans.

“Um. I was kind of dancing with him,” you said, trying to sidestep him.

“You didn’t look all that into it,” he countered with a smug smile and a shrug.

“Don’t you watch the news?” you asked. “We’re kind of a thing you know. So back off.”

College boy smirked. “Me-owwww, kitten’s got claws.”

Ew. That nickname sounded even worse coming from him. “Don’t call me kitten.”

“seriously, pal, you better quit while you’re ahead. she really hates that nickname.”

College boy looked between you and Sans and then sneered. “Fine, you frigid bitch. I just wanted to dance. No need to flatter yourself. You can call off your demon now.” He glared at Sans. Sans glared back.

You grabbed Sans’s arm. “Come on, let’s go.” You pulled him over to the beer pong table. “You wanna play?”

“don’t think i have the stomach for it,” Sans said, picking up one of the cups, “pretty sure it’ll go right through me without any magic.”

“Oh, shit, yeah you’re right. I kind of…forgot?”

“forgot that you were datin a skeleton?”

“Kinda?”

Sans chuckled. “’s fine. go on and play i’ll watch and make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”

You blushed lightly. “Good luck with that then.”

It didn’t take long for you to get pretty tipsy. You were a pretty lousy shot against someone who…you know…wasn’t lousy. You giggled to yourself. Sans walked up to you, pulled you aside, and took the ping pong ball out of your hands.

“you’re drunk and about to do somethin stupid.”

“Shhhh,” you said placing your finger on his teeth. “Just. Just one more shot, okay?” you plucked the ball out of his fingers and went back to your position. You looked up to see him off to the side across the table. You waved. He waved back.

And then you just.

Chucked the ping pong ball across the table. More force would help you land the shot right? Makes total sense.

Well, the ping pong ball hit the tabletop, bounced off, but bounced off pretty hard thanks to the force you gave it, and was launched off the table…

And right into Sans’s eye socket.

“…should we…count that?” one of the players asked.

“I mean…it’s like the only shot she made all night.”

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” you said, rushing up to Sans, “wait, man, I’m…like I’m like so sorry wait lemme. Just lemme get that.” You started fishing around Sans’s eye.

Sans tried pushing you away. “what did i just say?”

“Yeah yeah,” you hiccupped, “give me. Give me the I told you so speech later. I just. Let me. Okay???” you said, pushing your fingers deeper into the socket. How far did these eyes go anyway? Your fingers started tingling. “Hahaha, your eyes feel funny.”

“But like what are the chances?” the players kept talking behind you.

“It was a once in a lifetime shot, I say we just drink to it.”

Sans grabbed your wrists. “eye see what you’re doin there pal, but iris you’d stop.”

You blinked.

OH.

“I can’t. Is this even happening?” you asked, laughing now. “Am I. I’m psy-psychic right? That bullshit story,” hiccup, “is actually happening. Right now?” You dissolved into giggles. You couldn’t stop. Sans lowered your hands away from his eyes and pulled out the ping pong ball himself.

“Woah did you see that guy?”

“Just pulled it out of his eye like it was no big deal.”

You leaned against Sans. “I think it’s time to go home.” You clutched his arm. “Let’s go the long way.”

“you sure?”

You nodded.

You weren’t sure.

About five minutes of wobbly walking, you asked to be carried. Sans, to his credit, did not complain, but actually let you climb onto his back so he could piggyback you the rest of the way.

“you sure do cause a lot of purr-oblems dontcha?”

You nuzzled into his hood.

“i’m surprised those guys didn’t call ya a cheetah with that last shot.”

You hummed.

“well, it coulda been worse. coulda been a cat-astrophe.”

You giggled.

“Hey Sans?”

“yeah?”

“Am I frigid bitch?”

“the complete opposite.”

“Sooooo…a hot cat?”

“heh,” Sans laughed, shifting you a bit, “purr-fect com-purr-ison.”

“Hey Sans?”

“yeah?”

“Thanks.”

Chapter Text

With everything that has been happening to you recently, you realized that the upcoming wedding had slipped your mind. And you didn’t even realize that yourself – you got a text from the bride to be reminding you of the upcoming bachelorette party this Saturday. You had completely forgotten, and now you had a problem. You no longer had dresses for either event which meant having to do some serious shopping after class today.

The local mall wasn’t anything special, just a few department stores slapdashedly put together with even fewer high end stores. Its only redeeming quality was the massive arcade which proved homage to you in your earlier college years when you actually had extra money to spend. In fact, it has been several months since a trip to the mall for that specific reason, even after the robbing at your apartment you only went to the closest Target to grab some essentials.

Although, Mettaton did make good on his promise to compensate you and Sans for appearing on his show by giving you a large check. You had more money in your bank account than you had in a while and, alright, truth be told it was mostly going towards being able to eat something better than ramen noodles. Still, now that you weren’t so strapped for cash you were kind of excited you were going to be able to go shopping without worrying (as much) about prices.

You found the dress you were going to wear to the bachelorette party almost immediately. It was right at the front of the store – red, lacy, short, and backless – not really something you would choose on your own, but you were told to dress sexy for the occasion. The difficulty now was finding something appropriate to wear to the ceremony.

Actually…come to think of it, you realized you never actually asked Sans if he had something appropriate to wear either. You thought for a minute. You couldn’t imagine him owning a suit of his own aside from one of those joke tuxedo t-shirts. You grimaced. That wouldn’t do.

xxx-xxxx: 3:32 pm
Quick question. For that wedding in next week, you’ve got something nice to wear right?

xxx-xxxx: 3:32 pm
Not insinuating that you don’t or anything! Just…uh, checking. To make sure. Because I’m shopping and you can always join me…if…you need to.

You waited a few moments for a response, but none came. You wondered if he was busy working. Working whichever job he happened to have today. You pocketed the phone and continued to look around the store. Nothing really caught your eye, so you bought the red dress plus some cute black heels to go with it.

Your next stop was the lingerie store to buy an appropriate bra to go with the dress. You walked in, almost half expecting Sans to be working at the register, but were pleasantly surprised by a familiar looking face.

“Alphys!” you greeted.

Alphys squeaked and dropped the pair of panties she was looking at, a spotty blush started to appear on her face. “H-hey there! U-um, didn’t expect t-to see you here.”

You shrugged. “Got a new dress, need a new bra…probably also some new underwear too actually now that I think about it…” you trailed off, thinking of all the laundry you had waited for you at home. “But what are you doing in here? Looking for something for you and Undyne?” you teased.

Alphys shyly covered her face with her hands. “Y-yes but I’m n-not good at this sort of thing. Undyne usually p-plans these th-things. B-but she wanted a s-surprise. A p-passionate surprise.”

“Well,” you said, “what are you passionate about?”

“O-oh,” Alphys paused to think. “I r-really love anime! I-it was s-something Undyne and I b-bonded over when we were st-still Underground. Although…sh-she thought it was h-human history.”

You blinked a few times, unsure if you heard that correctly. “Undyne…thought…anime was human history?” Alphys nodded. You burst out laughing, clutching your sides. “Un-UNDYNE thought anime was human history?!”

Alphys shrugged sheepishly and said, “I-it was m-my fault. I t-told her it was real.”

You snorted with laughter. “Oh God, Alphys, she must have been so MAD when you guys finally got here.”

“Ha…ha…” Alphys looked even more embarrassed, poor thing. “Sh-she wasn’t actually t-too upset, b-but I did craft her a g-giant sword for our f-first anniversary.” She rubbed her claws together and smiled as she remembered. “Sh-she wouldn’t put it down for w-weeks. Crime was at an all t-time low then.”

“I’ll bet…” you murmured, thinking of how scary Undyne would be wielding a giant sword. “It looks like there’s a bunch of novelty lingerie in the back of the store. Let’s go have a look, maybe you’ll find something there.”

The two of you went towards the back of the store and looked around. You leafed through their Halloween clearance section, hoping to maybe find some sexy costumes. You pulled out a pair of underwear and took a glance. Oh. On the back of the underwear was an image of skeleton hands, grabbing where your butt would be if you were wearing them. Your situation notwithstanding it would have been hilarious. But for now all you were trying to do was suppress the blush creeping onto your cheeks and to not think certain things.

Of course, when one tries NOT to think of certain things that’s the only thing one can think of.

“O-oh. Hee-hee.”

You immediately crumpled the underwear in your hand in shame at the sound of Alphys’s nervous giggle.

“I-if it makes you f-feel better, y-you and Sans are our OTP r-right now.”

You grumbled. “You know we’re not together.”

“T-true but you’re v-very cute! U-um if the u-underwear makes you n-nervous you can p-put it down you know,” she said, eyeing your balled up fists.

“It doesn’t make me nervous!” you retorted, not really sure why you felt the need to be so defensive over it. “In fact,” oh no, “I think it’s hilarious,” stop talking, “I’m going to buy it.” You immediately asked yourself what point you had to prove, but it was too late now you already said it.

“R-really?” Alphys said, now giggling to herself. “W-wow Undyne was right.”

“Right about what?” you asked suspiciously.

Alphys averted your gaze. “O-oh n-nothing. W-we just have a small b-betting pool b-between us to see how long it t-takes for you t-to get together. She thinks it’ll b-be sooner r-rather than later.”

“Really?!” you screeched. “I…oh, geez, Alphys, I don’t even think I like him that way. And I know he doesn’t like me. I mean, everyone is always commenting on how surprised they are he’s dating a human. He…we’re not…it’s not going to be a thing.”

Alphys didn’t say anything for a moment, and then she said, “B-but you might like him?”

“What?”

“Y-you didn’t s-say you didn’t like him. Y-you s-said you didn’t think y-you liked him. Th-there’s a difference,” she smiled at you, “O-oh this-is-like-the-climax-of-mew-mew-kissy-cutie-3-where-the-protagonist-finally-figures-out-that-she-is-in-love-with-her-suave-and-debonair-partner-but-they-swore-to-never-fall-for-each-other-but-they-are-so-clearly-meant-for-each-other-and-she-admitted-her-feelings-by-taking-him-out-to-a-special-place-in-his-heart-and-she-confessed-and-they-had-four-kids-and-lived-in-magical-bliss-for-eternity.”

“…I wouldn’t call Sans suave or debonair. And I don’t like him. Emphasis on the don’t.”

With that, you bid Alphys goodbye for now and paid for your items, underwear included. Whatever. No one had to know. You left the store and wandered around the mall feeling nostalgic. Was it weird to feel nostalgic about a shopping mall? Well, it certainly reminded you of simpler times before you had a fake relationship to maintain and graduation to worry about.

You shuddered. Graduation being only a few months away filled you with dread. Not only that, but graduation meant capstone project, which was rumored to be both brutal and time consuming. Plus you still had your gallery art piece to think of and draw. When was the last time you thought of that? Probably weeks ago.

You sighed. Being an adult was hard. Being a procrastinating college student was even harder. You stopped in at the food court to buy a cinnamon bun.

snas: 4:46 pm
your in-suit-iation offends me

snas: 4:47 pm
i am in-suited

snas: 4:47 pm
dunno if i can think of any more suitable puns off the cuff

xxx-xxxx: 4:48 pm
Well I can always try and follow suit :-)

snas: 4:49 pm
woah there pal slow down. an emoticon? dunno if our relationship is at that level yet

Paps: 4:50 pm
DO NOT LET SANS JAPE YOU FRIEND. OF COURSE YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS READY FOR ALL THE SMILEY FACES

Paps: 4:50 pm
EVEN /OUR/ RELATIONSHIP IS READY FOR ALL THE SMILEY FACES

Paps: 4:50 pm
:-)

Paps: 4:50 pm
;-)

snas: 4:51 pm
clearly not suited for a match between you two

Paps: 4:51 pm
:-D

snas: 4:52 pm
yeah dont worry about it i clean up ok

Paps: 4:52 pm
YES FRIEND I BELIVE YOU WILL FIND SANS QUITE THE…SUITOR.

Paps: 4:52 pm
NYEH-HEH-HEH

Paps: 4:52 pm
HEH :-P

You couldn’t help but laugh a little. You typed a few messages back to Sans and Papyrus and finished up your bun. You weren’t really in the mood to go back and look for your second dress yet, so you were at a bit of a loss of what to do. You stood up and shoved your hands in your pockets, fiddling with the loose change inside.

Hmm.

You figured it might be a good idea to pay that old arcade a visit.

You walked in, the smell of burnt rubber and stale popcorn filling your nose. It smelled like home. All the games were still up and running, and you were pretty certain that there were a couple of new ones.

You walked up to the counter to exchange your coins for tokens. A familiar face was sleeping at the call box.

“Hey there lazybones,” you greeted, already trying very hard to suppress the conversation you and Alphys had.

Sans cracked open an eyelid. “whatcha doin here?”

“Taking a break from shopping. Mind exchanging some coins for me? I’ve been itching to play some games.” You handed Sans the money and he slowly made the exchange.

“ya know,” he said, “been a while since my last break and everyone’s here. wanna hang?”

“Oh, um, sure,” you said, even though now you were a bit nervous about what he meant by ‘everyone.’

He left his booth and the two of you walked towards the inner part of the arcade where Undyne and Papyrus were battling it out on the DDR machine. Undyne appeared to be winning. Alphys was sitting off to the side. “S-stay determined, s-sweetie!” She looked over at you and Sans. “O-oh hey g-guys!”

Hearing your arrival, Undyne glanced over as well. “HEY PUNKS WATCH ME PUMMEL THIS SACK OF BONES TO DUST IN THIS BATTLE OF RHYTHM!”

“UNDYNE THAT IS VERY RUDE AND UNSPORTSMANLIKE.” Papyrus huffed as he tried to keep up. “AND YOU HAVE THE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. THIS IS VERY MUCH LIKE YOUR ATTACK.”

“Her attack?” you asked.

“her confrontation attack,” Sans explained.

“Remind me to show you later!” Undyne called, “It’s way cooler than Papyrus’s!”

“I DISAGREE UNDYNE, I BELIEVE MY SPECIAL ATTACK IS VERY COOL. IT REQUIRES STRATEGY, WIT, AND STRENGTH. YOURS IS SIMPLY…A RHYTHM GAME.”

“You wanna run that by me again, punk?!”

“Are they always like this?” you asked.

“just when competing. they both like to be the best.”

“Ah.”

And so Undyne and Papyrus competed through DDR battles (point to Undyne), driving games (point to Papyrus), first person shooter (both equally matched). You, Sans, and Alphys played skeeball and you tried your hand at the claw. The three of you mostly just chatted, you sitting in fear of Alphys bringing something uncomfortable up.

“THIS IS THE LAST GAME!” Papyrus announced, dropping his tokens into the air hockey machine. “WHOEVER WINS THIS IS THE ULTIMATE RULER OF THE ARCADE. I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, CANNOT FAIL NOW.”

“You may be great, Papyrus, but I can feel the pounding of a thousand souls coursing through my veins! I will not fail them!”

And they were off, the puck going back and forth so fast it almost hurt to watch. Papyrus and Undyne were matched in both speed and strength, or so it seemed. Undyne struck the puck, nearly reached the goal, but Papyrus intercepted it by a HAIR, and sent it back. Undyne, who looked surprised and angry at not making the shot, slammed her striker into the puck and sent it flying through the air. The puck came towards the three of you sitting at the table and you all ducked to avoid getting hit in the face. The puck struck the collection of shopping bags, sending them toppling over and their contents spilling out.

You squeaked and tried to scramble to put everything back.

“Oh shit, sorry dudes!” Undyne said, “Here, let me.” She started reaching towards all the clothes that you bought earlier.

“No!” you exclaimed.

But. Naturally. It was already too late.

It was almost in slow motion how Undyne lifted the pair of panties and just stared at them for a second, as if she couldn’t believe her own eyes. She glanced at Alphys and then at you and then back at Alphys and then back at you.

And then Undyne completely lost her shit.

She was roaring with laughter, practically doubled over and crying from how hard she was laughing at you. Even Alphys was joining her by giggling off to the side. You hated both of them. Oh, how you hated them.

Papyrus was now confused and wanted to know what the fuss was about. You snatched the underwear right out of Undyne’s hands and shoved it back in its bag. “It was a JOKE!” you exclaimed hotly, before grabbing your other shopping bags and running out of the arcade, not even bothering to look at Sans’s expression.

You ran into the closest store so you could take a minute to catch your breath and maybe stop your heart from thudding so loudly in your chest. You stood against a wall with your eyes closed, trying to block out everything that had just happened. You wondered why you did such stupid things like buy skeleton hand underwear and not think that the worst was going to happen.

You took a deep breath and finally opened your eyes.

In front of you was the perfect dress to wear to the wedding.

Chapter Text

You looked good.

Actually, strike that, you looked hot. Hair done, makeup dramatically applied, tight red dress hugging you in all the right places, black pumps giving your legs a toned look. You felt confident and sexy and ready for this bachelorette party, which thankfully your mother opted out of.

Your phone buzzed and you stiffened, wondering if it was Sans. The two of you hadn’t really talked much in the past few days. Whenever you made eye contact while collecting mail or at the coffee shop, one of you would look away in embarrassment. You found out later that Alphys took the fall for you and that she said she put you up to purchasing the underwear, but you were pretty sure Sans didn’t buy it. You sure wouldn’t after the complete and utter display of humiliation and fuck-upery at the arcade.

And, as you were still mortified, you couldn’t bring yourself to text or talk to him first. You knew that, most likely, Sans was ready to forget about it and move on, but you couldn’t stop thinking about it and what he thought about it–if he even thought about it at all. When you were in bed, you could hear him shuffling around in his room, dragging his slippers across the floor, and bad thoughts and embarrassment plagued you. The more you recounted the incident, the more embarrassed you felt.

You had thrown the underwear into the deepest parts of your closet the second you got home, as if the panties physically burned your hands.

But enough lamenting about that. Tonight wasn’t about panties. Tonight was about having a good time at this bachelorette party and enjoying yourself.

Once you summed up the courage, you checked your phone. It wasn’t from Sans, it was a message from the bride telling you to get your ass outside because everyone was waiting. You grabbed your purse and headed out – only pausing for a moment to look into Sans and Papyrus’s apartment, which was dark. They must be at Alphys and Undyne’s place, you figured.

A black limousine was waiting in the street. You entered to see about a dozen of the bride’s friends – most of whom were older than you and not a familiar face aside from the bride, you smiled at you warmly.

“So glad you could make it, you look great!” she exclaimed, tugging on your arm and handing you a glass of champagne.

“Not as great as you,” you admitted, sipping on the drink.

She laughed haughtily. “Oh look at you, precious little thing. I’m just an old lady who could barely squeeze into her bachelorette dress. But you’ve got the first love glow, doesn’t she girls?”

The other women nodded, now looking at you eagerly. You shrank a little in your seat, really hoping you could avoid talking about Sans. You downed the rest of the champagne. “You’ve only got ten years on me, you’re not old,” you argue. “And I don’t have…a glow. Whatever that means.”

“Look, her cheeks are already turning red.”

“Ah, what I wouldn’t give to go back to my first love.”

“What’s it like?”

The women quieted, waiting for your answer. You shifted uncomfortably. “What’s what like?” you asked.

“You know…dating a monster.”

You looked over to the bride, hoping she would want to take this attention for herself, since it was her party after all, but she looked just as intrigued as the other girls. You cleared your throat. “It’s…a lot like dating a human,” you said, already feeling hot. They were clearly not impressed by the answer. You fiddled with your glass, wishing you could have some more wine, and continued, “Y-yeah. It’s just like any old relationship. You know. Dating. And k-kissing,” your voice cracked, “and yeah all that good stuff it’s great.”

The bridal party erupted into soft giggles. “Oh she’s too cute, so innocent.”

“You know we saw you on…oh what’s it’s name…? Metta something? We saw you on the show. Precious, the way he protected you like that.”

“I wish I had someone like that in my life.”

“But how do you kiss? Does he have invisible lips or something?” They all started giggling again at the thought.

You sank further down into your seat. These questions weren’t uncommon. When you would get stopped in the street a few brave (and many ignorant) people would ask you the same things. Still, it was embarrassing. “It’s…uh…more like a lips to teeth thing,” they all giggled, “Um, it’s not…that bad…”

“Such a shame he’s a skeleton. You’ll never be able to French kiss.”

“Oh shut up, with your dating streak you’ll never French kiss either!”

“She’ll never get to enjoy sex.”

“Haven’t you ever heard of a vibrator?”

“Ladies, please, we’ve teased the poor thing enough for one evening. She looks about ready to combust.” The bride pat the top of your head kindly. “Sorry, it’s just a bit thrilling to see a budding romance. You and Sans seem very good together and I can’t wait to meet him. Your mom sent me a photo. You’ve definitely got a cute one.” She winked at you. You gave her a guilty smile.

The limousine pulled up to an Italian restaurant where the lovely couple had their first date. She told the story of how he accidentally set his tie on fire and she tried to put it out only to get her hair scorched in the process. Everyone laughed – then and now. She said it was still the best date she’s ever been on because it meant their relationship could only get better from there. She said she knew it was love from the start.

You thought about when you and Sans and Papyrus went out to an Italian place. Could that be construed as a date? It was pretty terrible, but you weren’t sure if things had gotten better from there. You rubbed your cheek in memory. You ordered spaghetti and took a picture to send to Papyrus.

Paps: 10:01 pm
WOWIE THAT SPAGHETTI LOOKS MARVELOUS!

Paps: 10:01 pm
ALSO…

Paps: 10:01 pm
THIS TEXT OF PASTA PROVES THAT YOU STILL CARE ABOUT ME.

Paps: 10:01 pm
EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN AVOIDING MY APARTMENT.

Paps: 10:02 pm
FRIEND, YOU ARE SENDING ME VERY MIXED SIGNALS!

Paps: 10:02 pm
DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH YOU RUNNING AWAY?

Paps: 10:02 pm
NO ONE WILL TELL ME WHY YOU LEFT.

Paps: 10:03 pm
WHENEVER I ASK UNDYNE SHE STARTS LAUGHING.

Paps: 10:03 pm
BUT I DON’T THINK MY FRIEND BEING SAD IS VERY FUNNY!

You felt bad for neglecting Papyrus during your time of avoiding Sans. It wasn’t fair, you knew he was so often left in the dark for a lot of things. You decided to try cheering him up with a joke to show that you weren’t sad, that you were just fine.

xxx-xxxx: 10:04 pm
Sorry Paps. IDK why Undyne keeps laughing, this whole thing isn’t very /humerus/

Paps: 10:04 pm
>:(

Paps: 10:04 pm
THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR INCESSANT HUMOR!

Paps: 10:05 pm
SANS HAS ALSO BEEN ACTING WEIRD.

Paps: 10:05 pm
AND I THINK I KNOW WHY!

“Mmmm? You talking to your boyfriend?”

You squeaked and shoved your phone back into your purse. “N-no! I was talking to a good friend of mine. He’s wondering why I haven’t visited lately!” You couldn’t tell if they believed you or not, but it didn’t seem to matter one way or the other.

Everyone finished up their food and soon you were back in the limo getting ready for the next destination. You checked your messages again.

Paps: 10:05 pm
YOU AND SANS MUST HAVE HAD SOME KIND OF SQUABBLE!

Paps: 10:06 pm
WHY ELSE WOULD THE TWO OF YOU AVOID EACH OTHER

Paps: 10:06 pm
AND NOT LOOK AT EACH OTHER IN THE EYE?

Paps: 10:06 pm
WELL!

Paps: 10:07 pm
FEAR NOT!

Paps: 10:07 pm
FOR I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS,

Paps: 10:07 pm
MASTER CHEF AND SUPREME DATER,

Paps: 10:08 pm
AM ALSO A CHOICE COUNSELOR!

Paps: 10:20 pm
FRIEND?

Paps: 10:26 pm
WHERE DID YOU GO?

Paps: 10:32 pm
DID I CHASE YOU AWAY WITH MY SUDDEN REVELATION?

Paps: 10:32 pm
I UNDERSTAND IF THAT IS THE CASE

Paps: 10:32 pm
BUT YOU AND SANS SHOULD TALK!

Paps: 10:33 pm
I HEAR IT SOLVES EVERYTHING.

Paps: 10:33 pm
ON YOUR HUMAN SHOWS NO ONE TALKS AND EVERYTHING GETS WORSE

Paps: 10:34 pm
SO TAKE ADVICE FROM ME, PAPYRUS, AND GO TALK TO MY BROTHER

Paps: 10:35 pm
I THINK HE MISSES YOU.

Your stomach twisted a bit when you read Papyrus’s messages. He thought Sans missed you? You figured that, okay, MAYBE, the two of you were getting to be really good friends and, SURE, you both more or less stopped talking for five days and YEAH, you were missing him a little bit but that didn’t mean Sans missed you . Maybe he just missed the company or someone to be the butt of his jokes or a person to make bets on who was going to be Chopped first or someone to explain the ridiculous slang humans came up with.

You hadn’t realized how much time you actually spent with Sans when you weren’t embarrassing yourself.

Maybe he did miss you after all.

Thump. Thump.

Goddamn you Papyrus and your keen eye.

You didn’t bother sending a text back. You promised yourself you would go to their apartment tomorrow and swallow your embarrassment and pretend that nothing ever happened. Because if Papyrus was starting to pick up on your avoidance, soon every monster in the city would start asking questions.

The bachelorette party was moved to a local bar. The bride told the story of her first kiss with her fiancé from ages and ages ago. It had been on a dare in this very bar, a set-up from their friends who wanted to get them together. She swore the whole bar was staring at them when it happened and that it was so embarrassing, as she hadn’t dated anyone since Nathan was born four years before this even happened. She admitted she thought she forgot how to kiss someone.

You thought of Grillbys. It was a much warmer place to be than this dingy dive. You thought of your own passionette infused kiss. Everyone in the bar was staring then, weren’t they? The details were fuzzy. They said that drink was too strong for humans. Sans said it affected monsters differently. You wondered how. You wondered if the drink would make him want to kiss you as much as it made you want to kiss him.

Thump. Thump.

Everyone else in the group took shots and drank in celebration. You chose to have cranberry juice mixed with pomegranate. No one asked about your choice of drink, and you were glad because you weren’t sure you would be able to explain it.

Back in the limo, one more stop for the evening. One more story from the bride. She talked about her most embarrassing moment. For reasons unknown besides maybe she was as bad at on-the-spot questions as you were, she told her husband-then-acquaintance that she worked as a stripper at the club on Fifth and Main. It was the first thing she thought of, probably due to seeing a billboard advertising it earlier that day or something, but as it was, the club was for male strippers. And as it was, she had no idea and invited him to come see her.

“Why would you do that?!” her friends shrieked, even though they have likely heard this story countless times before.

“I don’t know!” she responded, “Seemed like a GREAT idea.”

In the end she was mortified, but he asked her for her number, and the rest was history. She said it was worth it because if someone had seen her humiliate herself that badly and still wanted to date her, he must be something special.

So, in commemoration to this, to celebrate her last weekend as a “free” woman, the limousine dropped of the group at the strip club. Everyone stumbled out of the limo and towards the entrance when…

Of course.

Leaning against the wall, eyes closed in lazy slumber, was Sans in an oversized security shirt, black pants, and his blue hoodie. You figured he must be some sort of bouncer or perhaps (more likely) a monster there to scare away any potential threats. Not that Sans was particularly scary.

“OHHHHHHH! IT’S SANS!”

Lazily cracking open an eyelid, Sans saw a rush of women coming towards him. He jerked awake, stumbling to the side. Unfortunately, there was no running from ten drunk women all bent on teasing you.

“We have your girlfriend with us tonight!”

“Oooh, I’m sure she loves a man in uniform!”

“Sure you don’t work for the club inside?”

“She’s been gushing about you all evening!”

You knew that you had definitely not been gushing all evening, but that it was futile to try and argue. You smiled and nodded stiffly, shying away from Sans’s gaze even though just hours ago you promised to swallow your embarrassment. Suddenly all you could think about was the underwear and his hands on your-

Thump. Thump.

No.

Thump. Thump.

Stop.

You forced the thought away to look at Sans, who was trying his best to thwart of the bride’s friends. They pushed you together and pulled out the cameras, all exclaiming that they needed a picture. They wanted a kiss too, so you hastily planted one on his cheekbone, and it left a lipstick mark. When they were satisfied you recoiled from him a bit. The bridge approached and shook hands with Sans.

“Nice to get the chance to meet you before the wedding, Sans.”

“heh, yeah. good to meetcha too. hey, wanna hear a joke?”

She nodded eagerly.

“what do you call the melon that’s not allowed to get married?”

“What?”

Sans grinned. “a can’t elope!”

A beat.

And then uproarious laughter from the entire party, some probably too drunk to actually get the joke but laughing anyways. Some slapped their knees. Some leaned against the wall. Giggles were had all around. Sans looked amused.

“You,” the bride said turning on you now, “you never said he was funny!”

You shrugged. “He sometimes tells bad jokes. You’re laughing because you’re drunk.”

“I’m laughing,” she hiccupped, “because it was hysterical. Being funny is sexy! That’s three checkmarks you’ve got – protective, cute, and funny. If he’s got some smarts you better keep him snatched up real tight because men, men like that don’t come around every darned day.” With that, she turned and said over her shoulder, “And now I’m going to go enjoy myself by watching naked people. Come on girls, let’s leave them alone.”

“that’s a…new look for you,” Sans said, treading lightly. “looks nice.”

“Could say the same about you,” you retorted. “A man in uniform? Since when do you work for a strip club?”

Sans shrugged. “people generally don’t go messin around with spooky skeletons. pretty easy concept. lotsa monsters work security.”

Silence.

To address the elephant in the room.

Or to not address it.

“Papyrus thinks we’re fighting,” you blurted. “Why does he think we’re fighting?!”

“ya haven’t come around the house, i haven’t really mentioned you either,” Sans said, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “easier than tryin to explain.”

You disagreed, but whatever. You crossed your arms, shivering a bit in the cold – it was nearly one in the morning now. You shuffled your feet, heels clacked against the pavement. “I kinda miss your face,” you admit. “I know it’s dumb because it’s been like. What? Three days? Four days?”

“five.”

“Yeah. Five days. And we haven’t talked which is, like, um, weird. Not like oh we’re faking dating and it’s weird but like in a we’re friends who actually hung out almost every day kind of weird. You know? And, okay, it’s mostly my own fault because of the whole underwear thing,” you cringed, “but, um. Can we like. Forget that ever happened? Like we do with most things I embarrass myself with? Because that’d be great. And then I can stop thinking about it. Not! That. I think about it! Or anything. Because I definitely don’t think about it. Or you. Um. Especially not in the sense that-”

“stop,” Sans said gently. “we can forget about it if that’s what ya want.”

“Okay,” you said. “Well. The wedding’s next week. You…still wanna come with me?”

“sure, the lady laughed. i couldn’t possibly deny her more of my hilarious jokes,” he said with a wink. You rolled your eyes. “didn’t you wanna go in?”

You looked at the neon club sign. Inside you could make out the shadows of strippers. You could faintly hear the pounding music. You leaned against the wall next to Sans. “Nah,” you said, “I’d rather spend my time out here with you.”

“you’re gonna catch a cold,” he said, shrugging off his hoodie. He handed it to you.

“Careful, you might never get it back again,” you teased. “I kept the other one for nearly two weeks are you willing to part with this for that long?”

Sans shrugged. “prefer the other one. keep it as long as ya need.”

Thump. Thump.

“Hey, I got a story that might trump some of my embarrassing moments,” you said, zipping up the hoodie.

“dunno about that pal.”

So you launched into a retelling of how the bride and groom got together. You couldn’t help but recount a few parallels from their story to yours. You stared at the lipstick mark on Sans’s cheek. You kind of wanted to kiss the other one – for symmetry! And nothing. Weird.

Thump. Thump.

As you told the story, your mind wandered. What if you and Sans really were dating?

Thump. Thump.

What if all the kisses were genuine?

Thump. Thump.

And he took you on dates because he liked you romantically?

Thump. Thump.

No, you tried to tell yourself.

Thump. Thump.

Feelings will complicate things, you tried to rationalize.

Thump. Thump.

Stop it, you screamed at your heart.

Thump. Thump.

Thump. Thump.

Thump. Thump.

When did you start liking Sans?

Chapter Text

xxx-xxxx: 4:04 pm
Knock Knock :-)

snas: 4:04 pm
whos there

xxx-xxxx: 4:04 pm
Orange

snas: 4:05pm
orange who

xxx-xxxx: 4:05 pm
Orange you gonna open the door for me?

snas: 4:05 pm
maybe when you learn to tell better jokes ;-)

“SANS IS SHE WAITING OUT THERE?” you heard Papyrus cry from inside. “YOU CAN’T SIMPLY LEAVE YOUR DATE WAITING OUTSIDE. GO ANSWER THE DOOR.”

“ok.”

You waited.

“WHY AREN’T YOU MOVING?”

“well you never said i had to answer the door now.”

“CAN YOU ANSWER THE DOOR NOW?”

“ok.”

“SANS! YOU’RE STILL NOT MOVING.”

“you asked if i could answer the door not if i would.”

You heard Papyrus make a very loud distressed sound. You couldn’t help but laugh. The door swung open and Papyrus stood in the frame, pinching his nasal bone. “I APOLOGIZE ON SANS’S BEHALF. HE HAS BEEN LOUNGING AWAY ON THAT COUCH ALL DAY. THE LAZYBONES WOULDN’T EVEN PACK UP HIS BAGS WITHOUT MY CONSTANT NAGGING!”

You peered around Papyrus to see Sans lazily lying across the couch. Thump. “It’s okay,” you reassured, “he’s got a really long weekend to look forward to. He’ll need all the rest he can get.” You fished out your apartment key from your pocket and handed it to Papyrus. “Thanks for watching my cat and the house plants.”

“OF COURSE! YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON THE GREAT PAPYRUS!” he said. He picked up Sans’s duffle bag. “SANS IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO GO ON YOUR WEEKEND GETAWAY.”

Sans grunted but got up off the couch. He took his bag and Papyrus handed him a garment bag as well. “thanks bro.”

“DON’T WRINKLE IT! I SPENT ALL MORNING WASHING OUT THE GREASE STAINS AND IRONING OUT THE WRINKLES SO YOU WOULD BE AT LEAST SOMEWHAT PRESENTABLE!” Papyrus said, putting his hands on his hips. He reminded you a bit of a doting mother. “THE ART OF WEARING CLOTHES IS VERY IMPORTANT IN DATING SO DON’T MESS IT UP SANS!”

“i’ll be shirt to remember that.”

“SANS.”

“have an is-shoe with my jokes?” Sans asked, lifting his slippered foot a few inches from the ground.

“SANS!”

“dunno why you’re so upset. puns are in your jeans too.”

“NOT WHEN WE’RE ADDRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF WEARING CLOTHING.”

“ad-dress you say?”

Papyrus narrowed his eye sockets. “GO LOLLYGAG SOMEWHERE ELSE! I REFUSE TO BE A PARTICIPANT IN THESE SHENANIGANS.”

You and Sans glanced at each other. You smiled. “Partici-pants?”

“YOU TWO ARE PERFECT TOGETHER.”

Thump.

“R-right,” you stammered. “Well, we actually do need to get going. It’s like a two hour drive without traffic. You ready?” Sans nodded. “Okay. Bye Paps! See you Monday.” Papyrus waved you off and you and Sans headed towards your car.

Wedding weekend was finally here. The plan was to drive to the venue and hotel Friday, attend the wedding on Saturday, and then head back Sunday night. You were actually kind of excited about this short trip. Not only was a good friend getting married to the love of her life, but you were getting the chance to spent a whole 72 hours with Sans.

And, yeah, you were looking forward to enjoying it.

The last week you grappled a lot with your feelings towards Sans. How much of it was because of your predicament? You figured not a lot, considering that this crush had reared its head weeks ago and you chose to ignore it then. But now there was no more ignoring it. You tried to deny your feelings. You tried to use logic to stop the feelings. You tried to bury them. Forget them. But the thing about falling for someone is that you sometimes don’t see it coming. And once the feelings are there they’re hard to shake.

Unfortunately, now you had to deal with a new set of problems. To say something or to not say something? It was…complicated.

You and Sans reached your car. You tossed your duffels into the trunk and laid both his and your garment bags gingerly on top. You tried to imagine Sans in a suit. You couldn’t. It was too weird. He was a hoodie and shorts and slippers guy.

You both got into the car. You flicked on the radio. “You ready to head out?”

Sans nodded and leaned his head against the backseat. “wake me when we get there,” he said with a smile, already closing his eyes.

“Nu-uh!” you said, nudging his shoulder slightly. “You don’t get to sleep now, you have to keep me company. It’s…road trip rules.”

“road trip rules?” Sans asked, resting his arms behind his skull.

“Yes, exactly!” you said, pulling out of your parking space and driving down the street. “Other road trip rules – we sing as loudly as we can to the radio, we play those stupid license plate games and I Spy, and we have at least one deep and meaningful conversation. That’s how these trips tend to go.”

“heh, dunno if two hours constitutes a road trip.”

“SHHHHH,” you hushed him. “We’ve got to make the most of our time here.”

“alright, alright. i see you’re really drivin this point home.”

You smiled to yourself and turned up the radio. You sang along to the music blaring from the speakers. Sans claimed he didn’t know any of the songs on the radio, even though you knew he did because he was totally humming along. The two of you played some road trip games like I Spy (which Sans managed to win every single time even though his eyes were always CLOSED!)

“Tell me a joke,” you said. You were now about an hour away from your destination.

“knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“dishes.”

“Dishes who?”

“dishes probably the worst joke you’ve ever heard,” Sans said, widening his grin a bit. You blindly swatted at him. He laughed as he dodged your hand. “actually your text this morning was probably the worst you’ve ever heard. i came up with better jokes as a babybones.”

You hummed. “Sure, sure. Well we can’t all be comedic geniuses like you.”

Silence.

“do you really think i’m funny?”

You glanced over at him. He wasn’t looking at you. He was staring out the window. You turned your attention back towards the road and said, “Yeah, I do. Really funny, actually. Witty too, you’re good at thinking of jokes on the spot. I wish I could do that. When I think on my toes I end up digging myself into a deeper grave. But. You make people laugh. It’s a good gift to have.”

You stole another glance at him. His cheeks were stained a light blue. You wondered if your praise embarrassed him or if he was happy to be complimented. Maybe both?

“aw, gee, you flatter me so,” he said. He sounded like it was nothing, but his face was giving him away.

You wondered how often he was praised.

You were going to test it.

“You’re a really great brother too. I don’t know too many older siblings who care for their brothers and sisters nearly as nicely as you do for Papyrus. I mean that Halloween costume you made for him was amazing. And Papyrus showed me his old battle body for the first time last week. It was so sweet of you to help him make it. And you know, Paps won’t shut up about you even when you’re not there. He really loves you, you know. Wants you to be happy.”

You snuck another look. His cheeks were a darker blue.

“And you’re so smart too. I remember what Alphys said. You basically have a PhD right? That’s really impressive. I’m sure if you went back to school you’d graduate almost right away. You could probably get a degree in any kind of subject you wanted to study. I’m jealous of that. I mean, art is cool and I’m great at it, but science was something I could never wrap my head around.”

You continued on, “And you’re a really great friend. You seem to have connections with just about every monster, at least all the ones I’ve run into anyway, and they all really like you. It’s hard to be liked by so many people, but it’s probably because you’re so easy to talk to. And you let things be. And you let things go. And you use those jokes of yours to make conversation lighter. It’s no wonder you have so many friends.”

“ya don’t have to…ya don’t have to sweet-talk me so much,” Sans mumbled. He was completely blue in the face now. You almost felt bad, but it was all good things you said!

“Sorry,” you apologized. “Did I…embarrass you?”

“nah,” Sans said, propping up his arm against the window, “just never been complimented so much before.”

You smiled. “Remember what I said all those weeks ago? No self-deprecation. Which means lots of nice words. You…” you trailed off. “You’re a great person.” You said finally. “You deserve all the praise in the world.”

You had to admit that was a very bold statement and you could feel your cheeks start to redden a bit. You held your breath, wondering if Sans was going to comment, but he just continued looking out the window.

Soon after your conversation you found the exit of the venue and hotel. “We’re here!” you said excitedly, as you turned into the parking lot and parked your car. You and Sans grabbed your bags from the trunk and you sent a quick text to your mom letting her know that you arrived. You and Sans walked into the hotel to check in and get your room key. You just received it when you saw your parents approaching from the corner of your eye.

“Mom! Dad!” you called out. You waved, and they waved back and picked up their speed a bit. You ran to meet them and embraced them in a warm hug. You pulled back, really happy and excited to see your parents. You glanced over at Sans. You grabbed his wrist and pulled him over to meet your family. “This is Sans.” He waved. You waited with baited breath. Your parents already knew about you ‘dating’ a monster, but you were still a little worried that they might disapprove now that they got to see Sans face to face.

But…your mother pulled him in for a hug as well. And your father invited the two of you to join them for dinner, which you politely declined. You weren’t ready for the awkwardness that would definitely happen if the four of you went out. You could already hear your mom’s non-stop questioning of Sans – what he did, who he lived with, how you met, and so on and so on. Luckily, your parents were also extremely tired and took no offense to your refusal. You wished them goodnight and they left.

You and Sans went up to the room. You opened the door and-

Oh.

You started to sweat. Why was there only one bed? Didn’t hotel rooms usually come with two? You were not freaking out about the whole sharing a room thing because you assumed there would be separate sleeping arrangements. You mentally cursed the bride. She was the one who booked the hotel. She had to know. You felt very warm.

Thump. Thump.

You knew you shouldn’t be, but you couldn’t help but be kind of excited at the prospect of sleeping next to Sans. You glanced over at him. He was also staring at the bed, face a little blue. He scratched the back of his skull.

“i, uh, could sleep on the floor. or teleport home. wouldn’t bother me any-”

“N-no!” you cut in. “It’s okay. Um. Don’t. Uh. Worry about it? We’re like…kind of…dating? Sort of? I mean it wouldn’t…I mean it’s…” breathe, “what I’m trying to say is that…uh…it’s big enough. For the both of us. And I wouldn’t want…to…you know. Put you out or anything. And I don’t really mind! It’s okay. It’ll be like…a sleepover. It’s…uh…yeah. A sleepover. Nothing to worry about.”

You wondered where all your confidence from a half hour ago went. It was much easier to sound sure of yourself when you weren’t a babbling mess!

“ok.”

“Yeah?” you asked, kind of surprised.

“yeah. sleepover.”

“Right.”

An awkward stillness hung in the air.

“Um. I’m going to go change into my pajamas. And then we can order take-out and rent a really bad movie, okay?”

“ok,” Sans said, looking more relaxed at the mention of food.

You grabbed your pajamas and rushed into the bathroom. Now you were faced with another predicament. Bra or no bra? Sleeping in bras wasn’t the most comfortable, but also you’d be sharing the space. You contemplated this for a moment. And then decided no bra because comfort over everything else.

Did Sans even like boobs?

You shook your head. Stop thinking about that you told yourself. You slipped on some pajama bottoms and one of the t-shirts a fan had sent you: a piece of bread with some jelly on it with the words “each other” written across the top. Yup. You were now very comfortable.

You walked back into the main room. Sans was already relaxing on the bed. You let out a snort of laughter. He was wearing his piece of bread shirt as well. His was bread with peanut butter and the words “made for” written on it. You didn’t even plan this! He eyed your shirt and gave you an easy smile. You jumped into bed with him and grabbed the phone to order in food. There was a monster-fusion place nearby. Perfect. Called in for delivery.

The two of you ate food and laughed at the horrible movie (a poorly made horror flick which looked more like a home movie made in 2006). You snapped a few pictures of you in your shirts for Papyrus to prove you took wearing clothing very seriously. And the hours ticked by and soon it was time to sleep.

“ya sure you’re okay with this?” Sans asked. “you’re not gonna be weird about it?”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” you reassured. Thump. Thump. Thump.

Sans turned out the light and got under the covers. You slowly eased yourself under the covers as well. A few minutes ticked by. You already felt warm and shaky. Thump. You could already tell Sans was asleep from his steady breathing.

Breathing.

You actually never noticed that he breathed before. It made sense. He could eat. And blink. And do other human things. You wondered if it was a subconscious act like in humans, or if he could live without it. You watched the lump in the covers rise and fall.

You couldn’t believe you were in bed with Sans.

Thump. Thump.

If you listened closely you could also hear a soft hum, almost like static, accompany the rise and fall of his breathing. You wondered if that was his magic. Your face felt very warm. You were so close to him. You inched a tiny bit more towards him, doing your best not to wake him or be weird about this. Your heartbeat felt deafening to you. It pounded in your ears.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

You hoped he couldn’t hear it the way you could hear him. You didn’t want to let yourself unravel. You really liked being his friend, and if that’s all you’d be –your heart ached at the thought– then that was okay. You shifted so you were on your side, facing him, and you let his steady breath and static hum lull you to sleep.

Chapter Text

Waking up cuddled next to Sans in bed was much different than waking up cuddled next to him on the couch. For one thing, he was actually in the bed. As for when you fell asleep in his apartment, you could only vaguely recall spooning, but he didn’t stay. If he had, at least you would have expected to wake up cuddling just based off the small size of couch and lack of anywhere else to be but pressed up against each other.

And another thing…when on the couch your touching was mostly limited to his arm resting around your waist. What you were not expecting when you woke up here was Sans’s face pressing into the crook of your neck, his leg wrapping itself around your thighs, and his hand cupping your breast and pulling you into him.

You didn’t peg him as a cuddler.

Damn. It was really cute.

Thump.

Honestly, you were kind of half expecting yourself to be in his position with your hand tangled up in his ribcage or something. But…this was nice. You closed your eyes to get a few more minutes of sleep.

WAIT.

Your eyes flew open and your drowsiness dissipated now that you realized what an incredibly compromising position you were in. Sans’s HANDS were holding your BOOBS. You started to squirm as your face reddened. Should you try and get out of his grip or should you pretend to be asleep until he woke up and realized what he was doing?

Sans could probably sleep forever, so option two was out.

You tried to gently push his leg off yours, but it wouldn’t budge. How was he so strong? You continued to squirm and you tried to pry his hand off your chest, interlacing his fingers with yours.

Twitch.

You paused and held your breath. Please. Do. Not. Wake. Up.

Nothing.

Phew.

You tried moving his hand again.

“what’re ya doin?” he mumbled.

“Um.”

His fingers twitched and brushed against your nipple. You could feel him stiffen behind you. You cautiously turned your head so you were facing him. His pupils had shrunken to tiny pinpricks and his gaze flickered between your eyes and your hand over his hand over your breast.

“YOU WERE GETTING FRESH WITH ME,” you blurted.

He pulled back his hand and unhooked his leg as if touching you burned him. “sorry,” he apologized quickly, “sorry i didn’t mean-”

“No, it’s okay, I know,” your voice cracked as you spoke over him, turning back around so you were on your side and facing away from him. Why did you say that? You cleared your throat. “Ah. Um. You. Uh. Really like cuddling is all. It’s fine. I get it. You were sleeping.”

Awkward.

Really awkward.

You should’ve just WAITED.

“sorry,” Sans said again. “i don’t usually…” he cut himself off. “heh,” he laughed nervously. “i'd tell ya, but it’s embarrassing.”

“You don’t have to explain yourself,” you said, rolling over so you were facing him again. He looked extremely flustered. “But I mean…you’re talking to me here. The queen of royally embarrassing oneself. So. You know. It’d have to be something really bad to take that title from me. And I’ve seen you naked. Remember that? That was a thing.”

Why the hell did you bring that up?

No.

Stop thinking about it.

“I mean,” you continued on, pushing away the mental images, “like that’s typically the most vulnerable someone could be so I mean. You know. You kind of already used the trump card of embarrassing moments. And you know me. And for some reason my life was perfectly fine until we met and I became an embarrassing puddle of a human. I swear I’ve had more embarrassing moments in the last two months than in my entire life.”

Where were you going with this?

“Um. So. If there’s ever anything you want to tell me. Like. Go for it. Really. You can…uh…confide in your…um…verte-bae.”

Well. You could have said it worse. But that was still pretty bad. Sans wasn’t looking at you anymore, he was fiddling with a loose string on the pillowcase. A few silent seconds crawled by and then finally.

“i…sometimes get nightmares,” he said quietly. His cheekbones were a very dark navy. “bad ones. holdin onto somethin while i sleep helps. usually pillows. i didn’t think i’d…” he trailed off. Beads of sweat started forming on his forehead and his blush darkened. “sorry,” he apologized again.

“No! No! It’s fine!” you reassured. You felt kind of bad. Nightmares? You’d shared a wall with him for nearly 6 weeks now and you hadn’t even known? How bad were they you wondered. Did holding on to something soft help? Did cuddling with you help? You wanted to ask, but figured it probably wasn’t the time. “Thanks, um. For telling me.”

You got the feeling Sans didn’t really let people know about it. The two of you sat in silence for a minute, unsure of what to do next.

“…breakfast?” Sans asked, already climbing out of bed.

“Breakfast.”

Hotel breakfast wasn’t particularly interesting. A few of the wedding guests wanted to meet you and Sans – they had seen you on the news after all – and Sans made some dumb pun – “ya gotta be yolkin me with how eggcellent this is” – and your parents butt in to ask Sans a million questions – “We hear you have a degree. Did you get it validated by an accredited university?” “Why haven’t you driven over for a visit we’re only three hours away?” “What are your career goals?” – but to be honest your brain kept thinking of this morning. And your heart would respond with its annoying Thump. Thump. but you couldn’t stop your mind from drifting.

“you ok? you’re kinda turnin those pancakes into flatjacks the way you’re pushin em on your plate.”

“Yeah they’re the breast” fuck. “I mean best!” You quickly stood up. “I have to go and get ready.” You hurried out and practically ran back to the room. You slammed the door shut behind you and leaned up against it so you could catch your breath.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

You pressed a hand onto your heart and willed it to stop beating so hard. “Why did I freak out?” you asked yourself. “I’ve said worse under better circumstances.” You took a deep breath. Stop being weird about this. Nothing has changed. You’re just two casual friends who sometimes get into zany situations in which embarrassing things happen. Nothing strange about that.

You grabbed your garment bag and went into the bathroom. You unzipped it, revealing the beautiful dress you had bought. Beautiful and blue. You traced the neckline of the dress. The color complemented your skin tone perfectly. It fit like a glove when you tried it on in the store. You put it on, and it fit like a glove now. You gave an experimental turn, watching yourself in the mirror.

Your feelings of embarrassment were slowly replaced with confidence as you sashayed in front of the mirror. Beautiful, you thought to yourself, you were beautiful.

You applied some makeup – light and dewy for the occasion – and messed with your hair until it looked as great as the rest of you. You smiled at your reflection. This was going to be fun. You were going to have a great time. Maybe, if you were lucky, Sans might even want to dance with you at the reception.

You left the bathroom and saw Sans. He was in a suit. Thump. Papyrus did a good job of washing and ironing it because it looked so neat and polished and…well, not very Sans-like (not even a single wrinkle in the shirt!). He was fiddling with the bow tie around his neck when he glanced up to look at you. Thump.

“You. Um. Clean up nice,” you said lamely.

“heh, aren’t you tie-red of givin me compliments?” he asked jokingly.

No.

You shrugged and said, “Want some help with that?” you pointed towards the bow tie.

Sans handed you the fabric. “that’d be tie-rrific.”

“Your puns are getting really tie-rrible.” You looked at the bow tie in your fingers and frowned. The dark blue fabric was covered in a bone print.

“it’s a bow-ne tie,” Sans said, grinning and snickering at you. “isn’t it bow-tie-ful?”

“That’s really pushing it,” you said, wrapping it around his neck and doing your best to tie it. It really wasn’t working the way you wanted it to. You continued to fiddle with it, but…well, okay you had no idea how to tie a bow tie and you really just wanted an excuse to be near Sans. “Um. I don’t know what I’m doing. Hang on, I can Google it,” you grabbed your phone to look up a wikiHow on tying bow ties. You glanced at him while the page loaded. “You could be looking it up too!”

Sans was laughing at you. “can’t,” he said, pulling the crumpled tie from his neck. He wrapped it around his fingers loosely. “’m all tied up.”

Eventually, the two of you figure it out (and by that you mean you figured it out and Sans laid on the bed like a lazy lump). You gently pat the tie and then pulled back.

Thump. Thump.

Yup.

Sans in a suit? Yes. You could definitely get on board with that.

“so uh, do we go now?” Sans asked, shifting on his feet. You nodded and he offered his arm hesitantly. “paps, uh, said the first step in bein a gentleskeleton is to always offer your arm to a pretty lady.”

Pretty. He thinks you’re pretty?

“Oh really?” you asked, looping your arm around his. You grabbed your bag and the two of you started to walk out of your hotel room.

“yeah,” he snickered, “only, when he told me i detached my arm and asked ‘like this?’” Sans laughed fully now. “and then i said if i had to, i could always disarm anyone within radius with my humerus charm and wit.”

“You can detach your arm?” you asked in surprise.

“huh? oh. yeah,” Sans shrugged. “no big deal. nothing to get all up in arms over,” he laughed. “you wanna see?”

“Um, no,” you said with a small laugh.

You and Sans got into the elevator and went to the lobby, where the rest of the wedding party was waiting around. The ceremony was going to take place at a church up the street and then the reception would be back in the hotel. You could see people coming and already starting to set up the reception space. You and Sans walked out the door and made your way over to the church.

“So…you think I’m pretty?” you couldn’t help but ask.

Sans seemed to study you for a moment as the two of you walked. You felt a little nervous being under his scrutiny, but finally he said, “don’t really understand human beauty standards, but paps says ya got good bone structure,” he paused again and you could feel him looking right through you, and he said, “and a really nice soul.”

You blushed a bit at the compliment, but then remembered what Papyrus said. He said something like being able to feel your soul right? You blanched. Could Sans feel what you were feeling right now? Or this morning? Or EVER? You chewed on your lower lip in nervousness. “Um. So can you feel it? Like um. Is it like mind reading or something?”

“’s like…readin someone’s facial expression, but not.”

You waited for Sans to continue, and when he didn’t you asked, “Is…that…it?”

“bare bones explanation? every soul has a trait that more or less embodies who that person is. their, uh, core trait i guess. monsters more or less can sense it and decide if you’re a threat. when we say someone has a nice soul it means we can feel that you’re a good person. it’s not…i can’t read your mind or anything.”

That was good. You calmed down a bit at that. “So what does my soul feel like then?”

Sans didn’t respond right away. He looked as though he were trying to figure out how to put it into words. “warm and inviting,” he paused, “genuine.” He scratched the back of his skull and said, “a happy hum.”

“A happy hum?”

“don’t gimme that look, i’ve never had to tell someone what their soul felt like before. it’s hard to explain.”

A happy hum. You could live with a happy hum.

You and Sans reached the church and went inside to take your seats. Sans looked around at the flowers and décor. The pianist was playing some music as more guests trickled in. Your parents joined you and Sans as well.

“Go on then,” your mother said, “come together so I can get your picture.”

“Mom,” you protested.

“Don’t ‘mom’ me. I need to show you off, just do this one thing for me, will you?” she said teasingly, already pointing the lens at you and Sans. You smiled and the flash went off. Your mom looked at the picture and showed your father. “Isn’t this a good picture of them?”

Your father nodded and smiled at you, eyes twinkling. “Reminds me a bit of us, doesn’t it?”

Okay. Nope. Not dealing with that. You turned to Sans. “Sorry,” you whispered, “I think they’re just excited at the prospect of me not being an old maid.”

Sans eyed them warily. “not expectin me to marry you this weekend are they? dunno if we could really pull that off in the long run.”

Your heart clenched. Right. Not dating. “Nah, weddings just bring out the emotions in most people.” The room stilled and then the pianist began to play the wedding march, “Oh, I think it’s starting!”

The wedding party walked down the aisle – beautiful bridesmaids with their equally handsome groomsmen. The groom at the altar was beaming already. A little flower girl, who you were pretty sure was the groom’s daughter, came barreling down the aisle tossing petals everywhere. The guests laughed. Nathan came down the aisle as well as the ring bearer, holding the pillow very steadily. You were surprised to see him taking his job so seriously.

Sans watched everything with mild interest, sometimes whispering questions to you that you could only half answer because you weren’t sure where a lot of wedding traditions came from. Finally, the doors to the church opened and it was the bride’s turn to walk down the aisle.

She was grinning from ear to ear, her dress was sparkling, but it didn’t match the radiance in her face. The train of the dress followed each of her light footsteps. She looked like she was walking on air as she made her way to the altar.

Her soon-to-be-husband looked at her so longingly and so lovingly you wanted to cry of joy. When she finally made it to him, he took her hands in his and it looked like it was taking all of his willpower not to kiss her right then and there. You impulsively grabbed Sans’s hand in yours. It was so beautiful.

The couple exchanged their vows and you could feel yourself getting a little choked up. You wiped a few tears away with your free hand.

“you ok?” Sans asked.

“Yeah, it’s just really beautiful,” you whispered back, “I love weddings.”

Sans hummed. You didn’t know whether he was agreeing with you or not.

The bride and groom shared their first kiss as a married couple and the church erupted with applause and cheering. He scooped her up and carried her down the aisle and out the church doors. Everyone stood to follow them out. Sans looked really confused.

“that’s it?”

“Well no, we’re about to go to the reception which is like. A big party and stuff. Why? What were you expecting?” you asked, nudging him out of his seat.

“monster weddings are…a bit different.”

“Really?” you asked, intrigued. “I mean it makes sense. What are monster weddings like?”

“depends.”

“On?”

“on where you are in your bond.”

“Sans, I’d really appreciate it if you would stop assuming I know anything about monsters. Because I don’t.”

“right, sorry,” he considered his next few words. “monster marriages are tricky because they don’t work unless your souls properly bond. it takes a while, so you can be ab-soul-utely sure you’re with the right monster.”

The two of you walk outside and are handed bags of rice to toss at the bride and groom as they climbed into their car. You joyously throw the rice in the air, but Sans looks at a loss. “You toss it at them. It’s like a way of saying I hope your marriage is filled with prosperity.” Sans gave an experimental throw. It didn’t go very far. He shrugged.

“dunno if this would be the rice way to grain prosperity,” he said with a wink. You gave him a nudge.

“Traditions don’t have to make sense. I’m sure there are monster marriage things you don’t understand.”

“sure. we always give socks as wedding gifts.”

“Socks?”

“yeah. and they have to put all of them on, and for the rest of the…i guess our version of a reception, the guests send bullet hells to try and remove ‘em. we literally wanna knock their socks off.”

“That sounds ridiculous.”

“so does throwing away perfectly good food.”

The bride and groom waved goodbye to everyone as the car drove back to the hotel for the party. All the wedding guests began to walk back, all murmuring to themselves about how wonderful the vows were.

“what keeps humans together? vows?” Sans asked.

“I mean,” you shrugged. “I guess. Vows are like a verbal promise to stay together, but there’s paperwork involved too. You have to sign a marriage license, which keeps people from marrying more than one person, legally anyway.”

“a piece of paper?” Sans looked less than impressed. “but there’s nothing stoppin you from leaving right?”

“I guess not. Divorce happens all the time. Do monsters not have love affairs?”

“not if you bond.”

“Even if you want to leave that person?”

“you don’t want to leave,” Sans said firmly. “once you bond it’s done. that’s why it takes a long time. monsters will go through three or four weddings before properly binding together.”

Interesting. Also very scary. Monsters could live forever couldn’t they? You couldn’t imagine being with someone for all eternity. The thought terrified you. It was probably better that human relationships were far less intense.

“What about monster-human relationships?” you asked, “Can a human and monster bond?”

“no idea.”

You recalled seeing the news a push for monster-human marriages, but you couldn’t remember if anyone had successfully done so. You wondered if a monster would even be willing to marry a human and take that step knowing they would die in a few decades. “If a human dating a monster died, would the monster turn to dust?”

“maybe.”

“What’s it like?”

“turnin to dust?”

“No!” you exclaimed, horrified that he would make that conclusion, “Bonding!”

“how should i know?”

Good point.

“You’d know more than me!” you paused. “Is it intimate? Like taking out souls?”

“ya don’t have to bond to do that,” Sans said. “anyone could do that.”

“Okay well. I’m curious. What do you know about bonding?”

Sans flushed a light blue. “it’s like an exchange.”

“Of what?”

“of everything. you share everything. magic, feelings, souls. you become one, i guess. you become soulmates.”

You let out a long and shaky breath. It sounded terrifying. It also made human marriages pale in comparison. You didn’t even think it was possible for two humans to reach that level of love and intensity. Even the term soulmate used in human context didn’t seem to live up to the kind of expectations monsters had.

You and Sans reached the reception area. Music was blaring and a few guests were already dancing. You found the table with your name cards and dropped off your purse.

Deciding, for the moment, to file away that information overload to the back of your brain, you turned to Sans and held out your hand. “Ready to party human-style?”

He let out a snort of laughter. “sure.”

Chapter Text

Cocktail hour was usually your favorite part of a wedding because there was lots of socializing, tiny appetizers, and…well, cocktails. But you were staying away from the alcohol this weekend because you knew it would end in a drunken love confession that neither you nor Sans were emotionally prepared for.

So. Tiny food and socializing it was.

Sans looked around at all the people and you wondered if he was feeling uncomfortable being around so many humans. “Sorry about the crowds,” you said, “I didn’t know how many guests would be invited.”

Sans held up a hand and waved nonchalantly and said, “don’t worry about it, babe.”

You knew he said it teasingly, but god did your heart tingle at the pet name.

“figured there’d be a lot of people. monster weddings invite practically the whole underground.”

“Really?”

“you think i’d tell ya a fibula?”

“I mean the sock thing seemed a bit farfetched.”

“you questionin me? i’m insulted. i should sock ya right now,” he said, gently pressing the knuckle of his index finger into your cheek.

A rosy glow appeared on your face and you swatted his hand away. “I would’ve never thought you’d be inskullted by something so trivial.” You playfully stuck your tongue out at him.

Sans smiled, his lights glowing a little brighter. “heh, alright ya got me.”

You started to notice that a few of the wedding guests were eyeing you and Sans shyly, looking as though they wanted to approach you, but were unsure how. You smiled at them nicely, hoping that they’d either ask their questions or move on. Finally, one of the groomsmen came over and asked, “So…you’re a skeleton, right?”

Sans gave him a wry grin and flexed his fingers. “last time i checked, buddy.”

“Do you mind if I…maybe look at your bones?”

You were about to protest for Sans on the grounds of it not being the time nor place, but he already stuck out his arm, and pushed up his jacket sleeve to expose the underlying bone. “have at it pal.”

“Sorry,” he said, already closely examining Sans’s hands, “I know it must seem rude, I just have never seen a monster up close before. There aren’t too many where I’m from.”

“we tend to stay together. safety in numbers.” Sans looked almost amused at how intense the man was examining him. “since i already know what you’re gonna ask, yes, i can feel you, no it doesn’t hurt, yes they’re very different to human bones, they stay together because of magic and yeah, bud, that really is the answer.”

“Your physical form is based on your soul isn’t it? Can you change how you look?”

This piqued your interest. You had never heard of this before. Sans looked contemplative before shrugging and said, “nah, but i can do this.” Tiny wisps of blue wiggled out of his chest and down towards his hand. They all came together to form a coating over his fingers and palm, giving his bones a more fleshy looking exterior. Granted, it was blue and translucent, but it definitely looked like skin.

“…what?” You asked aloud, your hand already basically caressing Sans’s new magic blue one. “What the hell? Since when can you do this?”

“pretty handy, am i right?”

You were too enthralled in this new hand to even try to make a pun back.

“i see you like a hands-on approach.”

“This is so cool? Can you do it to other parts of your body too? Can you like, encase yourself in this stuff?” you poked at the hand, now completely in the groomsman’s way. “It’s so weird! Squishy! Who knew a skeleton could be so squishy!” You interlaced your fingers with his. “Wow it’s just like holding hands with a human. Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”

“what, force my hand and tell ya all my tricks?” Sans said, gently prying his fingers from yours. “gotta keep you interested in me somehow, don’t i?” The wisps started dissolving away. “but, heh, i’ll be straight with ya, i didn’t think you’d be that fascinated by some magic that even babybones could do.”

“Is that true?” another guest asked. “Can baby monsters really do that much magic?”

“well…uh. depends, really,” Sans said sheepishly, “some are better than others. and the type of magic is important too. blue magic’s the easiest to learn and control. guess you could say it blue my mind to see humans so impressed by it.”

A good crowd started to form, all hanging onto every word Sans was saying. He was looking at you a bit nervously, now clearly uncomfortable to have so much direct attention placed on him. You quickly jumped in and said, “Come on everyone, is this a lecture or a wedding? Let’s um. Get jiggy with it!” You mentally slapped yourself. Get jiggy with it, really? The guests laughed and reluctantly left, although some were mumbling.

“get jiggy with it?” Sans asked, practically snorting at your choice of words. “please tell me you’re just jivin with me.”

“Hey, it got them to leave,” you said. You tried to think of another dancing pun, “They really hip hopped out of here.”

“yeah, they clearly wanted to tan-go.”

“Shuffled right on out the door without so much as a goodbye.”

“i mean ya did waltz right into their conversation.”

You couldn’t think of any more good puns, so you shrugged in defeat. “You’re too quick for me Sans,” you paused. “So. What kinds of other magic is there? Can you show me?”

“gee, you should really ask papyrus. he knows way more than me. i was too lazy to learn anything besides blue magic,” he shrugged. “actually, do you mind doin me a favor and not tell him about this? i really shouldn’t be showin off. he’d have a heart attack if he knew i was usin magic like this.”

“Would he be all up in your pelvis about it?” you asked teasingly.

“yes,” Sans said sternly, although his eyes were twinkling.

“Yeah, okay. I won’t tattle, but only if you tell me just what other kinds of magic there is,” you bat your eyelashes. “Please? I’m really curious now?”

“when did this relationship turn into me bein your go-to guide to monsters?” Sans asked.

“Well I’d totally be your go-to guide to humans but you never ask me anything,” you retorted.

“alright, fair enough. there are hundreds of types of subsets of magic, but it pretty much boils down to elemental magic and everything else. there’s magic of all different colors, and the color of a monster’s soul usually corresponds to the magic they’re most natural at. mine is blue, so i’m best at blue magic. paps’s is orange, but he prefers using blue, as it’s typically the least threatenin in attacks.”

“Why?”

“because in a blue attack you wanna stay still to avoid injury, but in an orange one you have to constantly move around. it…he got used to having to use blue because he used to have to train with me,” Sans must have noticed the confused look on your face because he said, “i know it’s confusing. seriously, ask paps and undyne to confront you when we get back they’d be thrilled. now can i stop bein your monster textbook and go back to bein your date?”

Sans didn’t really fully answer your question, but you figured he really had just been a well of information for you the past two days and your heart skipped a beat at the thought of him wanting to return just being a date, so you nodded. “Of course.”

Just then, the DJ announced the arrival of the newlyweds. Everyone clapped and hollered at them as they ran in, holding hands and grinning from ear to ear. Music started to play and the couple had their first dance. You stole a glance at Sans, who was looking at them curiously. You leaned in and whispered, “It’s their first dance as a couple. It’s pretty traditional – after this they’ll dance with their parents and then we eat. Do you dance at monster weddings?”

“kinda.”

“Your attention to detail is astounding.”

“your sarcasm is duly noted,” Sans said jokingly. “it’s like a giant celebration, the first wedding. a chance to show off, big rings, big buffets, big everything. and everyone is doin somethin different, so yeah some are dancin but there’s no specific couples dance or…parents dance.”

You hummed in response and continued watching the happy couple. They danced so fluidly, they must have practiced for hours. You could tell how happy they were from the lightness in their feet to their straighter posture to the beaming smiles on their faces. The way they pressed up against each other as they spun and danced to the music. You wished that could be you.

Shortly after the dances, food was brought out to the tables and you and Sans returned to your seats. Thankfully, the bride was kind enough to make sure to include a plate infused with magic for Sans. Your parents joined you shortly after, both looking proud and happy.

“she’s nice,” Sans said absentmindedly as he took another bite of food.

“We’ve known her for almost her whole life,” your mother said. “She used to babysit for us.”

“Mom stop embarrassing me,” you said, covering your hand a bit.

“Honestly, you get embarrassed over the littlest things,” your mom said.

Sans couldn’t help himself, he let out a small snort of laughter. You not-so-gently kicked him under the table.

“So Sans,” your mom said, turning her attention away from you, “What are your thoughts on children?”

“Mom!”

“What?” your mother asked. “I’m allowed to ask! You don’t call me in ages and now that I’m finally getting the chance to meet your boyfriend, the least he can do is answer a few questions,” she said. “Besides, it isn’t like I’m telling you to go and have them now.”

You let out a deep exhale.

“obvious complications aside, i like kids, don’t want ‘em.”

“Really?” you asked, kind of surprised but at the same time not, “Not even…back in the Underground? Not even with another monster?”

“nope.”

A pregnant pause (or, uh, whatever the opposite of that is) fell over the table. Suddenly, someone started clinking glasses, prompting the couple to kiss at their table. You watched them fondly. When you turned back you explained that the act of clinking glasses meant the couple had to kiss.

“oh. we have somethin like that, but you drink passionettes.”

“That sounds…dangerous.”

“for you, maybe,” he said with a grin. “but i’m tellin ya, your reaction wasn’t the norm. Most monsters just get all fluttery and flirtatious. i mean, by the end of the night they’re like you, but one drink wouldn’t do it for us.”

“What’s a…passionette?” your mother asked.

“Nothing!” you squeaked, pulling on Sans’s arm. “Come on Sans they’re doing the bouquet toss!” You tugged him far away from the table and said, “Sorry. I know she can be a little…overbearing at times.”

“’sok. sorry it got weird with the kids thing.”

“No!” you exclaimed. “It’s fine! Um. My family just really wants me to settle, for some reason? It’s too weird to think about marriage and kids right now, even though this, uh, environment kind of makes it more…real to me.”

Sans looked contemplative for a moment and then said, “sorry i’m warding away any potential suitors.”

“No!” you said, your heart thudding in your chest. “You’re kinda doing me a favor! I mean, I don’t wanna date anyone else right now and it gets my parents off my back and, well, if…when we break up my, uh, past dating history will thwart off any potential monster racists. So. Um. Yeah. Thanks?”

Sans stared at you and then chuckled. “if ya say so.”

“I do,” you said. Then you smiled at him warmly. “Not much left to do at this wedding but party, so you wanna dance?” you offered him your hand.

For someone who claimed to be so lazy, Sans wasn’t a half bad dancer. You noticed this at the Halloween party as well. The two of you weren’t, by any means, great, but you were having fun and most of the guests were drunk anyway, so it wasn’t like it even mattered.

The flower girl, Lucy her name was, and Nathan came bounding up to the two of you at some point, each wanting to dance. Sans let Lucy stand on his shoes and you picked Nathan up in your arms. You were like 99% sure your mom got pictures. Whatever, it was adorable.

The music died down a bit and the maid of honor grabbed a microphone and stood at the front of the room. “Good evening, is everyone having a good time?”

The room erupted with loud cheers.

“Great! Well, at the special request of the bride and groom, I will be singing one of their favorite songs,” she said.

“GET OFF THE STAGE!”

“Milton that’s rude,” she said simply, then cleared her throat. “This is for all the couples out there, you know who you are.”

You were about to head back to your seat, but the bride stopped you dead in your tracks. “Nu-uh,” she said, directing back towards Sans. “You’re gonna dance and you’re gonna have a good time and you’re gonna be happy. Bride’s wishes.”

The music started to pick up and you inwardly cringed. Why did it have to be this song?

“you ok?”

“Fine,” you said. “Um. We don’t. Have to. Do this, you know. I mean I know she said bride’s wishes but-”

“relax. it’s just a dance.” Sans delicately placed his hands on your waist.

Thump. Thump.

You gently placed your hands on his shoulders. Somehow this felt more intimate than sharing a bed or even kissing him. Maybe it was that willingness on his part to be with you? Did he like you just as much as you liked him? Why was Sans so aloof and hard to read?

You swayed softly to the music.

Take my hand…take my whole life too…

You held on a little tighter, desperate to drag out the moment for as long as you could. If you were dating, this would have been the perfect moment to lean in and kiss him. The mood and the music and the set up and everything created the perfect scene. If only you were a little braver, then maybe you could.

For I can’t help falling in love with you…

And as quick as the moment was there, it vanished as the song ended. The guests clapped and the maid of honor gave a quick bow. Sans released his grip from you and gave you a soft smile. You returned it, but wanted nothing more than to just hang on a little longer.

Cake was served, the last song was played, and the wedding came to an end quickly after that.

You and Sans returned to your hotel room late and quickly changed to go to bed. You crawled in under the covers, but he looked a little hesitant. “I don’t bite,” you said.

“i know.”

“Sans I couldn’t care less if you cuddle up to me in your sleep. If you do, it happens.”

“ok.”

Sans got into bed too, and you turned off the lights. Sans fell asleep almost immediately, but you lay awake, thinking. Wishing.

For I can’t help falling in love with you…

Chapter Text

“Hope the two of you had a good time,” the bride said to you and Sans. Everyone was starting to leave the venue, but the happy couple was making sure everyone got a proper send off.

“yeah, wedding was so emotional that even the cake was in tiers.”

The bride blinked, and then she burst into a wide grin, snorting slightly at the pun. She pushed on your shoulder. “See! He’s still funny even when I’m sober. You better keep this cutie snatched up or I’m gonna go after him.”

“You literally just got married not even 24 hours ago,” you said jokingly. She only smiled and winked in response.

Your parents also wished you and Sans a goodbye. Your mother chided you for not calling more often, and they both told Sans how great it was to finally meet him. Sans responded in kind, letting them know how great it was to meet them too and –of course we’d love to come for dinner. You elbowed him very harshly in the ribs after that comment.

Then the two of you got into your car and started driving home.

“Th-that’s all that happened?” Alphys asked. You had just recounted the entire weekend – awkward morning boob grabbing and all – and she had been a very patient listener. You decided to be honest with her about your feelings, if for no other reason so you wouldn’t have to grapple with it yourself. It was weird, you had texted her out of the blue asking about her feelings for Undyne and it ended with you confessing your feelings for Sans. She had been very kind.

“I think this is the most action Sans has gotten in centuries.”

Undyne was not.

You knew, of course, that telling Alphys everything also meant indirectly telling Undyne everything. Their opinions were pretty much the same, but Undyne’s brashness often made her seem much…ruder. You’d rather just talk to Alphys and have the information relayed when you weren’t around but as it was, where there was Alphys, Undyne was not far behind.

“S-sweetie p-please,” Alphys said.

“Please nothing! They should stop being such babies about this. Even you managed to pluck up the courage to tell me your feelings!”

“I…I w-wouldn’t s-say that exactly…” Alphys trailed off. “It w-was a b-bit…unintentional?” She turned to you, “I, um, roleplayed w-with F-frisk at the d-dump. I got a b-bit…carried away?” A light orange tinge appeared on her cheeks and she rubbed her claws together. “I…I may have p-prematurely d-declared my love f-for Undyne. B-but it was a good exercise! Maybe…uh, maybe you sh-should give it a t-try.”

“OH MY GOD! Babe, can I be Sans?”

“Um-”

“We’re not roleplaying!” you cut in. “Besides, there…is a bit more to the story.” You wrapped your arms around yourself. “When we were driving home, I couldn’t help myself, I just suddenly had the urge to know everything about him. I mean, what do I know about Sans besides the fact that he is funny and likes fries?”

It started out simple enough. Questions like ‘what is your favorite color?’ (black) and ‘who is your best friend?’ (papyrus) kept the car conversation light for a while. He asked similar questions in return, but…

“You said a long time ago the first thing Papyrus did when he got to the surface was learn to drive. What did you do?”

Sans stared out the window for a long time, so long that you were afraid he had fallen asleep. Finally, he sighed and said, “i stayed on the top of mount ebbott and just looked up at the sky. i couldn’t believe it was real. that we were here on the surface. i stayed there for three days and never went back.”

“It’s said we’ll never forget what we were doing that day,” you said with a light laugh, despite the heaviness of his statement. “I was washing dishes as I watched the news. I broke a plate I was so shocked.”

“heh, what did the big bad monsters scare ya?”

“It was more like…I couldn’t believe the old myths and legends were actually true. But, yeah I guess I was a little scared,” you answered honestly. “I was afraid you would be angry and mean, but then everyone turned out to be so friendly.”

“ya know, that party you crashed was actually in celebration of the anniversary of us all coming up topside.”

“Really?” Well now you felt extra bad about crashing it.

“been meanin to ask why you were even there.”

Oh.

You blushed.

“Um. Well it’s like really stupid in retrospect but…uh…I was hungry and wanted free food.”

Undyne snickered loudly. You shot her a glare and said, “You already knew about this part in the story!”

“Sorry, but it just,” she laughed again. “It’s so stupid! You waltz into someone’s home for free food like a total punk and you walk out dating…god, SANS!”

“It’s not as f-funny now that s-she likes him,” Alphys said. “S-so you were at that p-party then? W-we came late, must have missed you. B-but now that I think about it…P-papyrus d-did say S-sans had a girlfriend who left in a hurry.”

Undyne started laughing again, forcing you to duck your head in shame. It was probably the least embarrassing thing you’ve done since you started this whole dumb adventure, but it made you cringe to think about it. You hid in their closet.

“G-go on.”

Sans just got really quiet, and then he said, “does that happen often?”

“I mean,” you paused, “I had to take more classes this semester and you know art supplies aren’t cheap, but because of the extra classes I couldn’t work as many hours at the coffee shop, so…you know, sometimes I don’t have food in the apartment. It’s part of the college experience, really, having to live off of ramen noodles.”

“you can, ya know, drop by. pap always cooks way too much. or text tori, she’ll bring you some pie and probably enough food to feed a small army,” Sans said. “she’s a real nice lady, would probably come by your place every day for a month to make sure you were eatin something.”

A question that’s been at the back of your mind since you met Toriel surfaced. You clutched the wheel a little tighter and said, “You and Toriel. Were you…you know, a thing? Or potentially a thing?”

“YOU DIDN’T?” Undyne shrieked. She practically smashed the cup of tea she made you. “You actually asked him about Toriel?”

“Well how was I supposed to know not to?!”

“NGHAAA! It was obvious! Obviously!?”

“Clearly not!” you said hotly. “And he informed me that no he didn’t have a thing for her and that she was rebinding with Asgore anyway.” You huffed. “And after all that talk about bonds that weekend he really made it seem like it was impossible to break them once sealed.”

“You t-talked about b-bonds?” Alphys asked. “R-really?”

You shrugged. “Yeah. I had a lot of questions about monster marriages,” you paused. “Why are you looking at me like that? It’s not as if I asked him…I don’t know…to take out my soul or something.”

Alphys and Undyne giggled.

“Oh grow up.”

“would you ever marry a monster?”

The question seemed so much different than his simple, casual ones. You nodded and said, “Honestly, I would totally marry a monster. Actually, I’d be a bit more surprised if a monster wanted to marry me. Humans don’t live long. We’d have such a short life together, at least to them.” You paused, thinking about Sans in his suit and slow dancing with him. “Would you ever marry a human?”

“i’m not the marryin type. monster or human.”

Oh.

“I see.”

“don’t get me wrong, if i found the right person then maybe i’d reconsider. but eh, c’mon the only ring i see in my future is my bro wringin my neck for playin incidental music left ringin in our ears.”

“You don’t even have ears.”

Sans chuckled.

You took a long sip of tea. Alphys looked a bit sadder now, but she tried to cheer you up by saying, “W-well, he d-did say he’d reconsider if he met the right p-person!” She gently touched your arm, “Stay d-determined!”

Undyne was scrolling through her phone. “Hey punk, you see this news update?” she turned the screen towards you, “It’s a special little article featuring you and your verte-bae.”

“What?!” you yelped. You grabbed the phone. Tabloids weren’t all that uncommon for you to deal with anymore ever since Mettaton stopped scaring away the other reporters. Still, it wasn’t like you were even home for the last few days, what on earth could they have dug up?

DAILY NEWS: FAMOUS ‘VERTE-BAES’ SEEN TOGETHER AT LOCAL WEDDING. DOES THIS SPELL OUT A POTENTIALLY BRIGHT FUTURE? The article wasn’t much of an article and was really more just candid pictures of you and Sans. You were so confused. Everyone at the wedding was pretty respectful of your space and did their best not to stare. Then you looked at the author.

“Milton,” you hissed. “God, he would try to capitalize on this.” You squinted at the phone angrily and then handed it back to Undyne. “You guys should have seen him at the wedding. He was this blustering, sweaty, rude mess. And he tried to hit on me. On me!”

Milton approached you during the reception carrying two glasses of sparkling wine. The glass looked so small in in pudgy fingers. “For the beautiful lady who still owes me a date.”

Was this guy for real? Did he not watch the news?

“No thank you,” you said. “I’m not drinking tonight.”

Milton set the glass down on the table and ran his hand through his (very greasy) hair. He then grabbed your hand (with the grease-hand – ew!) and brought it up to his mouth. He had a moustache with some wedding food still caught in it, and it was there where he gave your a very sloppy kiss (gross!). You smiled politely and retracted your hand. God, this guy was supposed to be your date? You couldn’t even handle small talk. And Sans was doing nothing!

“How about a dance?”

“No thank you,” you said again, this time pulling your body as far away from him as it could go.

“Well how about-”

“she said no pal,” Sans said, finally stepping in. “ya know, it’s real rude to hit on someone’s girl right in front of them.”

His girl. His girl. HIS girl.

Thump. Thump.

Milton finally took notice of Sans’s presence and said, “It’s just a dance, I’m not going to run off with your girlfriend. She was supposed to be my date you know.”

And thank God you weren’t. You could smell his BO mixed with bad cologne. Ugh.

Sans got up from his spot at the table and put himself between the two of you. “she said no.”

Milton started to sweat. You could see the stains start forming on his shirt. You could tell he was clearly feeling threatened, even though you didn’t think Sans was particularly threatening. Milton shrugged and said whatever, mentioning something about sour grapes and then leaving. You let out a sigh of relief.

“Thanks.”

“anytime.”

“W-well that was nice, right?” Alphys asked. “He c-clearly w-wanted to p-protect you.”

“What, do you have nothing to add?” you asked snarkily towards Undyne, who was still on her phone. “Usually you jump at the chance to make some kind of comment.”

Undyne was focused on reading her screen. She looked tired and sad when she finally looked up again. “Those guys we nabbed awhile back, the ones who destroyed your place?”

“The…the human supremacists right?”

“Right. Well, it appears most of them have been let out on bail, seems a court date for their trial has also been set,” she looked at you. “Sorry to cut story time short, I was really interested to see if Sans was gonna kiss you or something.”

“Should I be worried?”

Undyne tossed her phone onto the table. “You and Sans might wanna drum up a favorable public opinion. Hold some kind of press conference or meet and greet or, ugh, ask Mettaton even.”

You glanced at Alphys who nodded. “I’ll m-make sure he b-behaves!”

The fluttery feeling you had in your stomach was replaced with a feeling of dread. You thought this chapter in your life was over? But you supposed it would never be over – that was the unfortunate reality of dating a monster. Racist people would always give you trouble.

Undyne stood up abruptly from the table and said, “I have to get down to the station and already LD and GD about this so they can strengthen patrol units. And you,” she pointed at you, “yes you, we’re going to train, bright and early! I won’t have you standing around like a defenseless weenie!”

“But…I have work. And then class.”

Undyne scoffed. “Fine. Dark and late! I’m going to kick your butt either way.” She leaned into Alphys and pressed a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be back late tonight babe. Sorry about this.” She looked at you again, “Listen, I like you, so here’s my advice. Be PASSIONATE about the things you love in life. No REGRETS!”

“Easy for you to say,” you mumbled.

“T-take the chance,” Alphys said. “I…I’m glad I d-did.”

You mumbled again. Easy for her to say too. They were in a happy relationship.

Shortly after this, you went home. It was nearly dark, you had spent almost the whole afternoon at their house. You went inside your apartment – very clean and well stocked with spaghetti thanks to Papyrus – and went to your room to sleep. You crawled into bed and your cat snuggled up to you. You could hear Sans shuffling around his room and then the squeak of his bedsprings as he sat down.

You wondered if he would sleep okay tonight.

“What are your nightmares about?” you asked, and then suddenly regretted. “Sorry! I know it might be personal. Don’t feel like you have to tell me or anything.”

Sans didn’t respond for the longest time. The hum of the car driving along the road was the only sound you heard for several minutes. You almost chose to drop it and tell him a stupid joke instead, but he finally answered, “do ya ever experience déjà vu?”

“Sure, we all do.”

“well i dream about living the same few days over and over and over. i dream of wakin up in snowdin and havin all of this be gone. i dream that pap,” he took a sharp intake of breath, “that pap doesn’t live long enough to see it all.”

“That sounds awful, I’m so sorry.”

God, dreams about his brother dying? Of being trapped in the Underground all over again? You couldn’t imagine what that must feel like, even though they were just dreams.

“But you’re here, so it’s all okay,” you reassured him. “They’re just nightmares. It’s not real.”

“hm.”

“And I bet cuddling up to such a great human totally helped get rid of them, didn’t it?” you asked teasingly (but were really hoping for a ‘yes’).

“sure, the nightmares drowned from all the drool ya got on me,” Sans said with a chuckle.

You let your mouth hang open in shock. “I do not drool!”

“maybe they were scared by all the loud snorin you were doin.”

“I don’t snore either!”

You were gonna do it.

xxx-xxxx: 12:12 am
Do you like me?

You stared at the message for a long time before erasing it and going to sleep.

You were too scared the answer might be ‘no.’

Chapter Text

Over the next few days, news of the ring of supremacists – the Defense Exploits Against Demons (DEAD – yes, that was their name and under different circumstances you may have been amused at how hard they must have tried to come up with creating the acronym) – came to light. As it was, there was a court order legally barring the (free) members of DEAD from approaching you and Sans. The trial was set for sometime in January, and charges against this group kept cropping up – property damages, assault, arson, and, most worrying of all, homicide.

Meanwhile, you and Sans had been busy talking to the press about how this whole ordeal was affecting your relationship. The two of you went to a press conference and you did several interviews and everyone asked the same questions again and again. It was getting tiring, but Alphys was right. Getting public support would help in the long run, not just for you but for everybody, you just wished reporters would ask better questions.

You and Sans also had to meet with Toriel and Frisk to set up a plan to make a statement at an embassy meeting – yikes – as this trial would be precedent to how other cases would be handled in the future. Toriel was very understanding and made you some pie, which helped destress you a little but, geez, it was scary to think about.

Needless to say, with everything that was happening, your feelings for your fake boyfriend were placed on the backburner.

Well, until today. Finally there were no journalists or interviews or meetings. Undyne tried to coerce you into starting training today, but you politely declined, citing that you needed to destress from all the drama (it was mostly true, but also you were a little scared of Undyne). She agreed to postpone, but called you a wimp.

Whatever. Wimp you could deal with.

Currently you were sitting in your apartment, working on some art. You had just a little over a month to finish your piece for your school’s art department’s yearly gala, which was not nearly enough time, but it had been a pretty low priority considering everything else that had been going on in your life. You were a bit sapped of inspiration, so you were sketching to get some ideas. And sketching for ideas quickly turned into sketching skeletons. And well…sketching skeletons turned into doodling tiny little Sans and Papyruses across the page.

You were about to start getting serious again when your phone’s text tone jingled.

snas: 2:13 pm
sup

xxx-xxx: 2:13 pm
Art stuff, pretty boring. What’s up with you?

snas: 2:13 pm
kinda hungry

snas: 2:14 pm
ya wanna get lunch

snas: 2:14 pm
i was thinkin the new monster fusion place

Your heart leapt in your chest before reminding yourself that you’ve gone out to eat with him and Papyrus many times before today. You took a deep breath and your text tone went off again.

snas: 2:14 pm
assumin ya have the art to say yes :)

xxx-xxxx: 2:14 pm
Ugh, of course! I wasn’t getting any work done anyways :-)

xxx-xxxx: 2:15 pm
So should I meet you and Paps at his car?

snas: 2:16 pm
actually

snas: 2:16 pm
its just us today

Thump. Thump.

You knew that getting excited over lunch seemed a little silly, but considering you haven’t had a moment with just the two of you in over a week, you were pretty excited. You started shaking a little, your hand trembling a little as you typed in your reply.

xxx-xxxx: 2:17 pm
Okay cool. Do you want me to drive then?

Snas: 2:17 pm
nah my bike is faster

He…he couldn’t be serious, could he? You swallowed. You had completely forgotten about Sans’s motorcycle. Going on his bike would mean holding onto him wouldn’t it? You blushed at the thought. Was he doing this on purpose? Did he want to be as close to you as you wanted to be to him?

You took a deep breath and typed out:

xxx-xxxx: 2:18 pm
See you there :-)

You hoped two emojis wouldn’t make you seem too eager, but then you figured Sans wasn’t the type to read into the amount of emoticons in text messages anyways. Too lazy.

You quickly changed and fixed your hair before grabbing your purse, slipping on his hoodie (which Papyrus had been kind enough to wash for you during his weekend stay), and heading out the door. You walked to the parking lot where Sans was already leaning over his motorcycle. Your heart started pounding harder in your chest. You swallowed again and hoped he couldn’t hear it as you approached.

“Hey!” you greeted, waving.

He glanced up and smiled at you. Thump. “hey. you ready?”

You looked at the bike apprehensively.

“c’mon, i think you’ll wheelie, wheelie like it,” Sans said jokingly.

“Is that the best you got?”

Sans seemed to think on this for a moment and then asked, “when is a bicycle not a bicycle?”

“Uh. When?”

“when it’s turnin into a driveway,” Sans said, already laughing.

You groaned. “That was terrible,” but you were definitely smiling.

“what can i say? this bike and i got a lot in common. we’re both two tired to come up with anymore jokes,” he chuckled. “but, uh, really, are ya ready?”

You nodded and Sans swung a leg over the bike. He beckoned for you to join him, so you hesitantly got on behind him. Where do you hold on? The shoulders? The waist? You stared at his back for a few seconds before he started laughing at you.

“doesn’t matter where you hold on, just make sure ya don’t let go.”

You settled for wrapping your arms around his middle. You could feel the outline of his ribs even through your jacket as well as his. You let yourself lean into him, your heart pounding hard. “I won’t,” you said, squeezing him tightly now.

He revved the bike, kicked up the stand, and off you went. He drove his bike through the streets of the city and you squeezed your eyes shut, pushing into him further. The wind blew through your hair, whipping by faster and faster as the motorcycle picked up speed. Sans was actually a pretty good rider, or at the very least you didn’t want to scream and cry because it was going too fast.

You did wonder though why he had a motorcycle in the first place. You had known about it for a while, but never really questioned why he made the choice of a bike instead of…well, a scooter. You pictured Sans as more of a scooter guy. Actually, you could even picture him in one of those red and yellow cozy coupe toddler cars before really ever imagining him on a motorcycle. A motorcycle just seemed…well…badass.

And you thought you’d never use that term to describe him ever again.

“hey, we’re here. you can, uh, let go of me now,” Sans said chuckling, gently removing your hands, which had a death grip on him. Had you really been holding him that tightly? You blushed and yanked your hands back, not taking any more time to linger.

“Sorry,” you apologized, feeling a little embarrassed.

“heh, i get it. can’t keep your hands offa all of this?” he said jokingly, gesturing to himself.

Thump.

“That’s the confident attitude I’ve been looking for,” you said. The two of you walked up to the restaurant Monster Bites (monsters were still not all that great at naming things it seemed).

The hostess, a little sprite elemental monster, recognized you and Sans almost immediately. She gushed a bit, “It’s so nice to get the chance to meet you, what a perfect place for the two of you. A fusion restaurant for a fusion couple. Please come, please sit. You like magic right?”

“Love it!” you responded enthusiastically.

“Great! I know you’re dating a monster, so the novelty might not be as great, but I hope you enjoy,” she said, leaving you and Sans at the table.

“Maybe the novelty might’ve worn of if my so-called boyfriend ever did any magic,” you said, giving Sans a pointed look.

Sans looked pensive for a minute and then said, “ya wanna see some magic?” You nodded. “alright, i s’pose i could throw ya a bone.” He concentrated and then suddenly something white whizzed past him and straight into your head.

CONK.

“Owww,” you said, rubbing the sore spot on your forehead. You picked up the object – a singular bone no bigger than your pinky finger. Sans started laughing, not bothering to muffle himself. You tossed it aside and said, “You literally threw me a bone.”

Sans was still laughing, so you attempted to kick him underneath the table. “It’s not funny!” you protested. “I totally thought you were going to show me something cool!”

“what, did that not tickle your funny bone?”

“No!”

“sorry, didn’t think i’d cross any bone-dries.”

“You know Sans, to pa-tell-a the truth, your skeleton puns are getting old.”

He shrugged and smiled. “sorry, can’t say i’ll be runnin bone dry any time soon.”

You were about to retort when a monster approached your table. They were short and dressed like a wizard. “Hello?”

“Hello my friend, may you enjoy your stay, sit and spend, what can I get started today?” with a soft glow, two menus were produced and handed to you.

You glanced over at Sans. He noticed your quizzical stare, so he said, “madjicks can only speak in spells. sometimes they gotta get creative.”

You nodded and glanced down at all the options. There were way too many to choose from! You glanced back up at the madjick and said, “I’ll just have whatever is popular.” Sans hummed in agreement.

The madjick nodded their head and two orbs appeared. “Stellalumos,” they murmured with a wave of their hand. Several white sparks popped around the orbs, both of them spinning around the wizard, who was carefully controlling them with magic. You watched, completely entranced, until the orbs were gently cracked in half and set in front of you and Sans. Two straws were added and the madjick disappeared.

The drink was beautiful. The orb cup was almost like a giant pearl, containing what looked like sparkly opaque white liquid. “What is this?” you asked, picking it up and inspecting it. You could just make out tiny twinkling stars floating in the drink.

“no idea,” Sans said, looking at it apprehensively.

“Cheers?” when Sans didn’t lift his cup towards yours you said, “Don’t worry, I promise I’ll only have a tiny sip at first.”

He picked up his cup. “cheers.”

You each took a small sip. The effects were instant – you felt incredibly relaxed and tingly all over. You glanced down to see your skin was all sparkly and shimmery. You looked over at Sans, who looked as you expected – bones twinkling, but you noticed that the small white pinpricks of light in his eye sockets were now in the shape of stars.

“Woah your eyes!” you said pointing. “Wow this is cool. I don’t think I’ll ever get over monster drinks.” You noticed a small card on the side of the table. It explained the various type of magic used in preparing dishes as well as the drink you had. A Stellalumos, both the drink name and spell, was a condensed form of liquefied magic (not unlike the red shot that made you invulnerable to fire at Grillbys). It apparently acted as an agent to help with the fusion of the other types of magic.

Honestly, even if the drink just made you sparkle you would have been impressed.

The madjick came back, this time with a tray full of several items. The first they pulled out were bowls of vegetables, sauces, and something green and glowing. They picked up the green glowing blob and gestured for your hands. They ran the blob against your palms and you watched as green, almost vine-like swirls took the place of the white sparkles, stopping just above the wrist.

The madjick laid out the vegetables in a long line. You noticed that many of them were low quality – small and not quite ripe yet. You were about to mention this when they grabbed your hands. They started steadily moving across, your palms grazing over the tops of the veggies. As soon as you touched a piece of produce, it ripened and grew in size. You stared in shock between your hands and the sets of perfect vegetables.

“OH my God?!” you shrieked. “Am I doing that?”

“hey, looks like ya got yourself a green thumb.”

A few of the monsters who came on their own glanced over in your direction, all clearly amused by your excitement. You couldn’t help it! You were never, ever, ever going to tire of all the amazing things monster magic could accomplish.

As you touched the last carrot, the green magic slowly dissolved, the white sparkles coming back. You were still in awe. The madjick levitated the vegetables and sliced them mid-air, juggling the pieces around. You stared in a complete trance. You were so enthralled in what the madjick was doing, it was truly amazing. They sliced and diced the vegetables before mixing them in with a sauce and pushing them aside for a moment.

The next thing they did was pull out another blob, this one orange and fiery. The madjick went for Sans’s hands this time, lightly coating the bones with the blob. You watched as the white sparkles transformed into lightly lapping flames. “Fire magic?” you asked.

“huh,” Sans said, flexing his fingers, “doesn’t feel quite like real magic.” The madjick pulled out several kinds of meat and rice and started running Sans’s hands over the food, which popped at the touch, cooking instantly.

“So, is it hot in here or just you?” you asked teasingly.

“hey no need to act all haught-y,” he said, but you could hear the laughter in his voice.

The madjick started doing a few grill tricks, tossing the meat and vegetables in the air, twirling knives, moving the orbs to gather the food. The orbs were once again cracked in half and the food was placed inside and placed in front of you. You were about to say your thanks, but the madjick pulled out one last magical blob – pale pink in the shape of a heart. They placed your hand over Sans’s and gently coated yours and his with the magic.

A light dusty pink heart cloud appeared above your hands and then disappeared. You pulled your hand away from Sans’s to see his name inscribed on your palm and your arm peppered in tiny rosy hearts.

“accordin to this ad if we have this mark we can claim a free dessert,” Sans said, voice somewhere between amused and annoyed. You had to laugh though, as the rosy pink contrasted against his stark white bones much more harshly than it did on your skin. Oops?

“I mean who could turn down free dessert?”

Sans only smiled at you. The two of you started eating and chatting. This lunch was actually going really well. You both agreed that the restaurant was a little on the gimmicky side, and Sans explained that that wasn’t how magic actually felt when you were doing it, but hey, it was still really cool! Several monsters stopped by to say hello and see how you were doing as well. Some of them snickered at the hearts on your arms, but you didn’t really care.

This was nice.

Nice lunch. Good laughs. Fun magic.

Your knee was brushed up against Sans’s and you started to feel that pounding in your chest again. You know, the place was right, a fusion between monster and human. The timing was nice, there weren’t too many other customers, no one would overhear you. The Stellalumos had relaxed you enough to not be as anxious as you would normally be in this circumstance.

The more you thought about it, the stronger your confidence grew. He had been giving you all the signs. Flirting with you and taking you out and calling you those stupid pet names even when no one else was around. And he hadn’t turned you down at the wedding when you wanted to dance, and he willingly slept next to you too. Yeah, you thought. I can do this. Sans had just finished telling a lame joke and you laughed. He was about to say another when you cut in with, “Hey, Sans?”

“yeah?”

It was now or never. Swallowing your fears, you bravely said, “I like you.”

The expression on his face was completely unreadable, but he wasn’t saying anything. Your heart started pounding quickly and loudly. Why wasn’t he saying anything? You felt your face burn more with each passing second. The feelings of relaxation gave way to anxiety and suddenly you felt like you couldn’t breathe. You couldn’t even look at him, choosing instead to stare at your lap. He was still so quiet? Why was he so quiet?

“yeah,” he finally said. “didn’t think i’d ever be such good friends with a human until i met ya.”

Oh.

“Friends?” you asked meekly, hoping he didn’t catch the crack in your voice.

“…yeah.”

Ouch.

Oh God, you felt like such a moron. This was his way of gently letting you down without embarrassing you too much? To friendzone you? You wondered if he had known. Of course he had known! Sans knew everything! You couldn’t believe that you thought there was something there. You just wanted the floor to open up and swallow you whole. You did the best you could to compose yourself and act like you had totally meant it in a platonic way.

“Friends, yeah, of course,” you said, voice only slightly wavering. You lightly punched him in the arm. “The best, right?”

“it’d be a real fib-ula if i said we were anythin less,” he said, visibly relaxing.

“Ha…ha,” you forced, choking up a little. Somehow you thought that this hurt more than flat out rejection. You reached into your purse and pulled out a few bills. “This should cover me,” you said, “sorry I have to cut lunch short I just remembered I promised I’d help Wyatt with his art piece.”

“you wanna ride?” Sans asked.

“No, no, it’s okay we planned on meeting at a café nearby anyway,” you said, already standing up. “Um, thanks for the…uh…friendly hangout…pal.” You stumbled away from the table and out the door to the restaurant without giving him a second glance. Once outside you started running, hoping to put as much distance between yourself and the restaurant as you possibly could, tears blurring your vision the whole way.

Your pace slowed once you ran out of breath and you started slowly walking back instead.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” you murmured to yourself.

This hurt.

This really hurt.

Why had you even done that? Why had you opened your mouth and said that and ruined everything? You were lucky Sans was kind enough to let you save face by pretending you were only talking about friendship. God, how could be so stupid?

But you weren’t, you thought to yourself, not really. The signs were all there, weren’t they? He seemed so comfortable and open with you, he flirted with you, didn’t he? You thought he did.

Your heart panged. You took a shaky breath, and you kept moving forward, slowly walking the rest of the way home.

By the time you got back, it was already pretty late. You passed by the parking lot, but Sans’s bike wasn’t in his spot. You were grateful. Now you could cry out your feelings without risk of him overhearing. You rushed into your apartment, locking the door behind you, and grabbing a thick blanket to hide under.

Before you were afraid that he would say no, but now you were afraid that you might've lost out on one of the greatest friendships you've ever had.

Chapter Text

* Remember that heartbreak just means your story hasn’t finished yet!

* Stay strong like Momo from the Kissy Cutie spinoff!

* Which…admittedly is still not as good as the original :T

* But at least it isn’t garbage like season 2 :V

* Sorry there was a point to this.

* Right! Um, you’ll be okay. I promise.

It had been a rough few days. You avoided Sans as often as you could, even sleeping on the couch some nights to avoid hearing him in his room. Fall break came and went, giving you an excuse to not talk to anyone since you were with your family (and when your parents asked why Sans didn’t come with you, you made some bullshit excuse about some monster holiday which you were definitely sure was not a thing).

The first night was the worst. You had called Alphys and she did her best to cheer you up. Every day she sent you little inspirational messages. They were usually anime related and you missed a lot of references, but the sentiment was there.

You let yourself wallow. You threw yourself a pity party. You ate ice cream in bed and cried. The rejection hurt so bad you didn’t know how you were going to handle it. You had been so certain that he liked you…but once you thought about it, you realized there weren’t as many signs as you thought, you were just hoping there were. And that only humiliated you further. How desperate did you look back there?

But he made his choice, and you had to accept it. So you did. You picked yourself back up, and taking time away from him really helped. He didn’t text or call while you were away. Papyrus did, of course, and you wondered if Sans had said anything to him. Paps mostly just wanted to make sure you were okay, since you weren’t working at the coffee shop (you temporarily switched shifts with other workers – some at night, some in the afternoons) and you also weren’t home (or answering the door when you were). You didn’t answer his messages.

You felt like you would be okay seeing him again and get things back to as normal as you could.

It was your first day back at work. Morning rush was crowded and hectic as always. Today was especially bad because it was raining and people were ducking into the shop to avoid getting wet. You drank two cups of coffee out of anxiety, and finally the shop’s bell rang and in walked Sans and Papyrus.

You and Sans locked eyes for the first time in a week. Thump.You did your best to give him as casual of a smile as you could. “Hey,” you greeted.

“hey,” he said, slowly walking up to the counter. “how’ve ya bean?” he asked, lightly tapping on a container of coffee beans.

“Good,” you lied, unable to bring yourself to laugh at his pun. “Busy. You know. With school and family and work. And stuff.” It sounded so awkward and miserable coming from your voice. “And you?”

Sans shrugged. “tori said the kid wanted another dinner with everyone, so paps and i went to that,” he paused, hesitating for a second, before saying, “they wished you could’ve come.”

You swallowed. “Yeah? That’s too bad, wish I could’ve been there.” You cleared your throat, “Um. Anyway. Drinks, right? Right.” You grabbed a cup, scribbled his name on the side, and started mixing. Focusing on the task helped keep your mind off of things. When you finished, you handed him the drink – a frappe.

For a moment he looked disappointed.

“WHERE IS THE CUTE NAME?” Papyrus asked. “YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CUTE NAME FOR SANS.”

“Oh,” you said, shrinking a little. Was that why he made that face? “I guess I just forgot.”

“ARE YOU GUYS OKAY? YOU’RE ACTING WEIRD.”

“Yeah,” you said, trying to sound sure of yourself. “We’re fine, I’m just really tired. My schedule’s been thrown off. Haven’t gotten any sleep, you know? I’m fine.” You gave Papyrus a wary thumbs up. He didn’t look like he bought it, but he didn’t argue with you either.

“$3.50,” you said. Out of habit you grabbed a pen to add a tally mark to the count of free drinks.

“here.”

Oh.

Sans had the exact amount of change in his hand, ready to give to you. Right. Makes sense. You took the money from his hand and put it in the register. The three of you were quiet as the transaction happened. “Receipt?” you asked.

“nah.”

“Okay.”

This was terrible. The silence was back and you and Sans were just staring at each other. Finally you tore your eyes away, hoping he didn’t think you were being creepy for looking at him. You cleared your throat and said, “Well, um. I guess I’ll be seeing you then.”

“yeah. see ya.”

“SANS YOU HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN YOUR GOODBYE KISS HAVE YOU?”

Please, Papyrus, for the love of God.

“don’t think she’s up to it today, bro.”

“BUT-”

“Yeah,” you said, “I’m a little under the weather. I wouldn’t want to get Sans sick or anything. So…you know, we should probably not kiss.”

“NONSENSE, HUMAN ILLNESS DOES NOT AFFECT MONSTERS THIS WAY,” Papyrus argued. “I AM VERY CONFUSED. DO YOU NOT WANT TO KISS EACH OTHER?”

You blushed a bright red.

“SANS, LOOK. YOUR HUMAN IS CLEARLY FEELING FEVERISH. SHOULD YOU BE WORKING TODAY? MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO HOME AND REST FOR A WHILE. I KNOW YOU HUMANS ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DISEASE WHEN YOU’RE ALREADY SICK.”

“Papyrus, I’m fine!” you snapped. “Sans and I aren’t kissing each other goodbye today, it isn’t the end of the world!”

Papyrus looked shocked that you raised your voice. Small orange tears started pooling at the corner of his eyesockets. You immediately regretted yelling.

“I JUST WANT TO SEE TWO PEOPLE I LOVE BE HAPPY!” Papyrus snapped back. “EXCUSE ME FOR THINKING YOU WOULD WANT TO KISS YOUR BOYFRIEND.” And with that, Papyrus ran out of the coffee shop.

“don’t yell at him because you’re mad at me,” Sans said darkly. “it isn’t his fault.”

“I’m not mad at you, I just…” you groaned in frustration. “Sans, I’m sorry. Okay? I didn’t know how to react because I’m a stupid, bumbling mess of a human who can’t help feeling frustrated right now.” You glanced up to see nearly half of the coffee shop watching your fight. You scowled and grabbed Sans’s hand to pull him out back.

You let go and lowered your voice to ask, “Did you really want me to kiss you? Because you made it perfectly clear last week that you didn’t and I just want to step back from the whole ‘I’m dating you thing’ as much as possible for obvious reasons.”

“i didn’t think things would be so different.”

“Why wouldn’t they be?” you cried. “I confessed my feelings to you and you don’t reciprocate, which is…I mean if that’s how you feel than that’s how it is. And I know you were nice enough to pretend that I meant it like friends, but you and I both know it was only to cushion the blow of rejection. But I don’t know what to do anymore, okay?!”

Sans was silent, and then he blipped and was gone.

You went back inside to finish your shift, and when you were done you walked down to the florist. You opened the door hesitantly. Papyrus was cutting flower stems, looking very focused and very upset. You approached him slowly.

“Hi Pap,” you said gently.

“HMPH.”

“Yeah, I know. I totally deserve that,” you said meekly. “I’m sorry for yelling. I’m…not having a very good week.”

“IT’S NOT JUST THE YELLING. YOU’VE BEEN IGNORING ME.”

“I know.”

“WHAT DID I DO? DID I UPSET YOU?” Papyrus put the scissors down to look at you instead. “DO YOU HATE ME?”

“Of course not!” you said. “…Sans hasn’t told you anything, has he?”

“NO. AND HE’S ALSO BEEN IGNORING ME. ESPECIALLY WHEN I ASK ABOUT YOU. I KNOW SOMETHING HAD TO HAPPEN BECAUSE YOU WERE FINE A WEEK AGO.”

You shuffled your feet. Man, this sucked. Having Papyrus angry at you felt like you had just kicked a sick puppy or something. The guilt was eating at you. “Yeah. Something happened between me and Sans. But I…I can’t really talk about it.”

Papyrus didn’t answer you. He started arranging the cut flowers. You watched as he bundled together several bouquets, tying each with a neat ribbon bow. The shop was mostly silent except for the rustling of the flowers and the ticking of the wall clock. Finally, he asked you, “DO YOU THINK I’M STUPID?”

Your heart sank. “No! God no! What gave you that idea?”

“YOU AND SANS LEAVE FOR A WEEKEND AND COME BACK HAPPIER THAN EVER. AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU’RE BOTH MISERABLE. BUT YOU BOTH ACT AS THOUGH EVERYTHING IS FINE WHEN IT VERY CLEARLY ISN’T. I ASK YOU BOTH WHAT IS WRONG AND YOU SAY IT’S NOTHING OR THAT YOU CAN’T TELL ME. DO YOU THINK I CAN’T HANDLE IT? SANS STILL BABIES ME ALL THE TIME, BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE…AS MY COOL HUMAN FRIEND…YOU WOULD TREAT ME LIKE AN ADULT.”

Oh.

Ow.

“Oh my God, Papyrus…” you swallowed. “I…no, no you’re right. You are an adult, aren’t you?” You paused. Okay, yeah, it was definitely time to let Papyrus in on it. “You deserve to know. But I really can’t tell you here. Come visit me at home and I promise I’ll tell you everything.”

“REALLY?”

You nodded, already feeling sick to your stomach. You couldn’t even break the news to him when you barely knew him, how would you be able to do it now.

“WOWIE. I CAN FORGIVE YOU THEN. HERE, HAVE A DAFFODIL.” He handed you the flower. You took it gently in your hands and left the shop, feeling somehow worse than before.

It was pouring outside and you didn’t have a jacket, but you didn’t even care. You walked up the sidewalk, shivering in your work uniform, going over everything that had gone wrong today. Awkward first meeting with Sans. Yelled at Papyrus. Fought with Sans. Reminded him of your feelings causing him to teleport away from you. Made Papyrus feel stupid. Promised him you would tell him the truth.

You sat down on the curb. “Can today get any worse?” you muttered.

A car drove by, hitting a particularly deep puddle, and sent a wall of water towards you. You were already drenched from sitting out in the rain, but now you were covered in dirty water as well. You stared at the puddle in disbelief. “Of course,” you said bitterly. You placed your head into your hands, still feeling pretty miserable.

Suddenly, the dripping of rainwater on your back stopped. You glanced up to see Sans standing above you with a bright yellow rubber duckie umbrella in his hands. You blinked a few times to make sure you weren’t dreaming.

“c’mon, can’t have you sitting out here gettin soaked to the bone,” he said.

“How did you find me?” you paused. “And why are you here?”

“felt bad for leavin,” he offered his free hand to help you to your feet. “had the feeling you weren’t done talkin yet.”

You didn’t know how to respond really, so you said the first thing that came to mind. “Your umbrella looks ridiculous.”

“would ya say it looks ducking ridiculous?”

“That joke’s fowl in more ways than one.”

“really? it quacked me up.”

This felt so familiar, yet so different. You could feel yourself smiling. Jokes. Jokes were good. Jokes were safe. It was going to be okay. You could do this. Then you realized you were still holding onto Sans’s hand. You pulled yours away as quickly as you could. “Sorry,” you apologized.

“don’t.”

“Don’t?”

Sans looked straight at you. “don’t go apologizin for every little thing. it’ll kill you.”

“I…” you looked away and started blushing. “I just don’t want you to think I’m coming onto you. You know. A touch that’s a second too long or a cutesy name on your coffee…” you trailed off. “I don’t want things to be weird.” You grimaced. “Okay, like, I don’t know how to say this without it sounding full of romantic feelings, but it isn’t…ugh, you’re amazing, you know that? And I mean that in a totally platonic way. I mean, maybe not totally, but stupid feelings aside you’ve somehow managed to work your bony butt into my heart in the matter of, what, three months is it? And yeah, I mean, granted our first few meetings were not the best and I’ve been sticking my foot in my mouth ever since, but you…you gave me so much. New friends and new experiences and lots of laughs and I…ha…ha…” You wiped your eyes, “I can’t believe I’m crying about this in front of you.” You sniffed and trembled. “Why am I crying?”

“because you’ve seen my bony butt and it doesn’t meet your ass-pectations.”

“Is the phrase ‘bony butt’ the only thing you’re taking away from that?!” you screeched. “That has nothing to do with anything! Were you not paying attention to the rest of that speech?!”

“i had to think of a good pun.”

“Sans, can’t you just be serious?”

“tried bein serious once, but i prefer bein sans.”

“Oh my God, you’re the worst.”

“i am the worst.”

“Why do I even like you anyway?!”

“dunno, i’m just a skeleton who likes bad puns.”

“And fart jokes.”

“those too.”

“And you’re so lazy.”

“the laziest. i sleep for at least 30 hours every day.”

“And you leave socks all over the living room floor.”

“each with a sticky note from paps tellin me to pick them up.”

“And you create trash tornados! Who even does that?”

self-sustaining trash tornados at that.”

The two of you were silent for a moment. It was quiet save for the light pitter-patter of rain falling on the umbrella. You and Sans were back to looking at each other. You sighed. Despite what you just said, Sans had too many wonderful qualities about him that made you fall hard and fall fast. But still, you appreciated the moment of normalcy. You had almost forgotten how badly your heart was aching.

“ah, geez, listen. i meant what i said a week ago. you know, about how i didn’t think i’d ever be such good friends with a human,” Sans said, looking away from you. He looked a little shy. “i didn’t really like humans much when i got here and most humans didn’t really like me. but i tolerated ‘em for frisk’s and paps’s sake,” Sans broke off, and looked over at you. “and then we met and you, uh, sorta bullheaded your way into my life.” You made an indignant noise and Sans continued, “not a bad thing, pal, just…ya know i’d be lyin if i didn’t say you meant something to me…uh…”

“Platonically,” you filled.

“platonically,” Sans confirmed.

Rejection did not hurt less a second time.

“Okay,” you said.

“ok,” Sans echoed.

“Okay,” you said again. “Then friends it is. We…we can go back to how it was before, right? Back to being normal? You know, back before I…well, you know. Before that. Um…please? I, uh, I kind of missed you. And stuff.” You winced. Everything sounded so different in the context of romantic feelings. You hoped Sans didn’t take it that way, you wanted to apologize but remembered he said you shouldn’t. “And…uh, I mean actually normal. Not…this weird kind of normal from this morning. That…that was…”

“yeah.”

“Yeah?”

“if that’s what you want.”

“Okay.”

“ok.”

“I apologized to Papyrus. He’s upset at you too. Thinks you baby him too much.”

Sans mumbled something you couldn’t make out.

“I…I really want this to work,” you said, feeling stupid for saying it. “I know sometimes people get weirded out when they hang out with people who…you know…like them.”

“i don’t care about that.”

“Okay.”

“ok.”

Silence. Pitter-patter went the rain.

“Um, so, it was…Sansoas, by the way.”

“hmm?”

“The name I thought of this morning. You know, like samoas, the cookie. Your drink was even inspired by it – chocolate base with caramel and coconut. Not one of my better names, but…” you trailed off. “Yeah. I don’t know. I thought it might be too weird to write it at the time, you know?”

“i like the names,” Sans said. “really appreciate a good pun first thing in the morning.” He smiled and said, “i want my money back.”

“Oh hell no,” you said, laughing. “You chose to pay me which means free drinks are officially off the table. Your tab is closed indefinitely.”

“guess i really milked it for all it was worth. bean a real fun time. dunno how to espresso my sadness. i liked those drinks a latte.”

“You’ve used those coffee puns on me too many times before, they’re no longer funny,” you said.

“alright, alright,” Sans relented. “do you wanna ride home?”

You shook your head. “I have some stuff to do here, but thanks.”

“ok,” Sans said, handing you the umbrella. “thanks, for…uh, not making this weird. see ya round? tori and asgore want you to come by again soon. maybe you, me, and paps could go this week.”

“Yeah,” you said, looking at your feet. “Sure thing.”

And with a blip Sans was gone, leaving you standing alone in the rain. Now that you had time to process what happened, your heart felt like it was twisting it hurt so bad. But friends was better than nothing.

You tried to rationalize this – based on everything your friends said, Sans was not much of a relationship kind of guy anyway, so you tried not to take it too personally (although your heart was taking it very personally). And he was so chill, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he agreed to have things go back to the way they were. You wouldn’t be surprised if he thought you were already over him.

You started walking home. You were still completely soaked with dirty street water, and your shoes and socks squished with every step you took. The umbrella was pretty pointless since you were already wet, but you didn’t want to let it go.

The walk took longer than usual, but you kept stopping to recollect your thoughts and feelings. By the time you got home, it was pretty late into the afternoon. When you got home you unlocked your door and collapsed on your couch, too exhausted to make it to your bed. Suddenly, there was a loud knock on your door.

“FRIEND IT IS ME. PLEASE OPEN YOUR DOOR.”

You got up off the couch to let Papyrus in. Once inside, you led him to the couch and the two of you sat side by side. “Would you like anything?” you asked. “This is going to be one really long story.”

Chapter Text

You and Papyrus each had a cup of echo flower tea (the kindness blend, you felt it would be needed for this story) and a blanket wrapped around you. The rain was still pouring outside. It would have been very cozy in any other set of circumstances.

“Where do I even begin to explain…” you murmured to yourself.

“THE BEGINNING IS USUALLY THE PLACE TO START.”

“R-right,” you stuttered. You took a long sip of tea. “Right.” You took a deep breath and said, “Sans and I didn’t meet at Grillbys.”

“I KNOW,” Papyrus said, “THAT WAS REVEALED ON METTATON’S SHOW. I WAS THERE. I NEVER DID UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WOULD STICK YOUR FINGER IN SANS’S EYE SOCKET. THAT IS VERY UNCOMFORTABLE FOR SKELETONS YOU KNOW. BUT IT MAKES SENSE IF IT WAS MADE UP.”

“Well,” you laughed a little, “I mean, I did stick my finger into his eye socket…under very different circumstances,” you paused, “a ping pong ball was involved. But, uh, that’s not very important. Um…Sans and I actually met at a party.”

“BUT SANS DOESN’T GO TO PARTIES,” Papyrus said, matter-of-factly. “HE DOES NOT LIKE THEM VERY MUCH. IN FACT, I HAD TO BRIBE HIM INTO LETTING ME THROW A PARTY HERE,” Papyrus squinted, “…WAIT.”

You winced. Just say it quickly and let it be over, like ripping off a band-aid, “We met at that party.”

Papyrus stared at you. “I DO NOT FOLLOW.”

“Uh, okay so like. I was kind of crashing it? For free food? I mean, all I had at home was ramen and you gotta do what you gotta do to survive. I didn’t know it was a monster party!” You put your head in your hands. “And then Sans was all suspicious because a random human showed up at his house. So he’s all ‘how do you know papyrus?’ and I was like ‘what the hell is a papyrus’ but I figured he must be the host, right? But I couldn’t say I was party crashing, it was too embarrassing! So I said the first thing that came to mind, which was ‘Oh, I’m dating his brother.’”

You didn’t give Papyrus the chance to interrupt before you continued.

“And like, of course, Sans couldn’t call me out then, no, he had to grill me about this boyfriend I had fabricated, and I was about to make a mad dash out of there when…well, when you showed up. And that’s when Sans dropped the bombshell of him being the brother, surprise, surprise. So I hightailed it out of there, thinking I would never come back but of course, two weeks later, I’m drunk in the garden area out front. And, well, Sans apparently never told you we weren’t dating and I sure as hell didn’t think it was my responsibility to do it and I seriously thought this would be the last time seeing him, but the NEXT day you showed up at the coffee shop and…uh…well you know.”

“…WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?” Papyrus asked, voice cracking a little.

“We were going to, I swear,” you explained, “That night, at the restaurant but…that racist asshole got involved and it was a whole thing and the timing wasn’t right. And after that…I dunno, you seemed so happy that we were together, Sans didn’t want to break the news to you. Then I kind of used Sans as an excuse to get out of a bad wedding date? And then suddenly everyone knew who we were and Mettaton brought me on his show and everything happened so fast and then we couldn’t be truthful now that everyone is looking at us. I just…” you trailed. “I’m so sorry, Papyrus.”

He looked pretty crestfallen, but you weren’t sure if that was because you and Sans weren’t dating or because he didn’t know the whole thing was fake. “THIS…EXPLAINS SOME THINGS,” he said with a sigh.

“…like what?”

--

Papyrus and Sans were cleaning up after all the party guests had gone home. And by that, Papyrus was cleaning up and Sans was laying on the couch, picking up and dropping the same MTT brand soda can to say that he was cleaning when his brother nagged.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU HAD A GIRLFRIEND SANS?”

Sans lazily cracked open an eye, “heh, haven’t been dating long. didn’t think it was time yet bro.”

“HMM. WELL SHE SEEMED VERY NICE. WHAT’S HER NAME?”

“…uh…”

Papyrus whirled to face his brother, “SANS! YOU CAN’T DATE SOMEONE AND NOT KNOW THEIR NAME. THAT IS INCONCEIVABLE. THE FIRST STEP IN DATING IS TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF.”

“…yeah bro,” Sans said meekly. He actually got up to throw away the soda can.

“CLEARLY YOU ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF MY HELP. TOMORROW WE START YOUR TRAINING REGIME!”

Sans paused. “…you’re gonna train me for dating?”

“OF COURSE. I AM THE MASTER AFTER ALL. I WILL MAKE A GENTLESKELETON OUT OF YOU YET! NYEH-HEH-HEH!”

--

“AND THEN HE HID OUT IN ONE OF HIS TRASH TORNADOS UNTIL I FINALLY STOPPED ASKING. I THOUGHT…MAYBE HE WAS SHY. HE’S NEVER REALLY HAD A GIRLFRIEND BEFORE.”

“Yeah, I know…” you shifted uncomfortably on the couch.

Papyrus was quiet for a few moments before saying, “BUT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. WHAT DOES BEING IN A FAKE RELATIONSHIP HAVE TO DO WITH YOU BEING UPSET?”

You twiddled your thumbs, feeling a warm blush creep across your face. “Because. I really like Sans. A lot.”

Papyrus brightened. “BUT THAT’S GREAT! NOW YOU CAN REALLY DATE INSTEAD OF FAKE DATE AND, EVEN THOUGH MY DATING GUIDE DOESN’T COVER THIS, YOU CAN CONSULT ME ON-”

“He doesn’t like me.”

When Papyrus didn’t answer, you continued, “Yeah, so, um, I don’t know. I guess I started kind of liking him a while ago and then suddenly I couldn’t stop myself and…well, you know…we had been hanging out a lot and we slow danced at that wedding and he willingly cuddled up to me and I thought maybe, just maybe, he would like me back. And he asked me out so I thought it would be a perfect time to confess my feelings so…I did. And he totally friendzoned me. Which is, you know, fine, and all. I just…I really, really thought he returned the feelings and it. It really hurt. I was so mortified. And I avoided him for about a week. Made up excuses about working on homework. Changed shifts with other co-workers so I wouldn’t have to see him everyday. Tried to stay out of the apartment as long as possible. I wanted to get over him.”

“DID YOU?”

“…no.” You took a deep breath. “It’s going to take a lot of time to get over him. And, well, between the rejection and you being so…positive about our relationship, I just snapped. And that’s why I yelled at you.”

“I SEE.” Papyrus set down his cup. “WOULD YOU CARE TO PLATONICALLY CUDDLE? YOU SEEMED TO ENJOY IT LAST TIME.”

You hesitated, but nodded, putting down your own cup and shifting so that you were laying with your back against Papyrus. He soothingly stroked your hair. Bless Papyrus.

“YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND WHAT SANS IS FEELING. ONCE I DATED A HUMAN WHO HAD COMPLETELY FALLEN IN LOVE WITH ME AND I HAD TO GENTLY LET THEM DOWN.”

“Really?” you asked.

“YES, BUT WHO COULD BLAME FRISK FOR FALLING IN LOVE WITH ME, I AM PRETTY GREAT YOU KNOW. AND BY EXTENSION, SANS IS ALSO QUITE GREAT. I WOULD SAY HE IS AT LEAST SECOND BEST.”

You shifted so you were looking at Papyrus. “Wait, you dated Frisk? Weren’t they like…five when you met them?”

“IT WAS VERY COMPLICATED AND I WAS NOT YET THE DATING MASTER THAT I AM NOW,” he paused, “PLUS THEY SAID THEY COULD MAKE SPAGHETTI. AND THEY GAVE ME A GENUINE COMPLIMENT ABOUT MY COOL CLOTHES. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW? THE SIGNS WERE ALL THERE.”

You laughed and leaned against him again. “And how did they handle rejection from the great Papyrus? I hope they didn’t take it too hard.”

“THEY TOOK IT QUITE WELL ONCE I EXPLAINED I LACKED THE LIPS TO KISS THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. THIS WAS BEFORE I WAS MADE AWARE OF THE POWER OF SOUND EFFECTS.”

“Ah yeah, the ‘mwah’ makes all the difference.”

“THANK YOU. FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT.”

Papyrus played with your hair for a few minutes before settling into wrapping you in a warm hug. It felt nice, but you couldn’t help but worry that he was upset. He did just basically find out his OTP was all a lie. You weren’t sure how to ask it gently, so you decided to be direct.

“Are you mad that we pretended to date for so long?”

Papyrus tightened his grip on you slightly. “No,” he said quietly. He shook a little before saying, “Thank you for telling me.”

“Yeah,” you said, squeezing his hand in yours. “I know you mentioned being babied by everyone. That really sucks Pap. You deserve better.”

“…YOU MAY FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE, BUT BEFORE I MET UNDYNE, SANS WAS MY ONLY FRIEND IN THE UNDERGROUND.”

You did find it hard to believe. Papyrus was so easily liked, so happy and kind to everyone he met. You couldn’t even find it in you to disappoint him upon knowing him for five minutes. You couldn’t believe that he didn’t have any friends.

“HE TOOK CARE OF ME WHEN I WAS JUST A BABYBONES AND NEVER STOPPED CARING. AND HE USED TO BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME. HE USED TO TAKE ME TO HIS LAB AND HE WOULD PLAY WITH ME EVEN THOUGH HE WAS WORKING. WE MADE SNOWDOGS AND ATE CINNABUNNIES AND HE ALWAYS HAD SOME NEW STORY ABOUT THE SURFACE TO TELL ME. IT DIDN’T BOTHER ME THAT NO ONE ELSE WANTED TO TALK TO ME, BECAUSE I HAD SANS.”

You smiled. You already knew how much the two cared about each other, but it was really nice to hear from Papyrus what a good brother Sans was.

“BUT THEN ONE DAY HE STOPPED BEING HAPPY. SUDDENLY HE LOOKED REALLY OLD AND TIRED AND I DON’T KNOW WHY. HE GOT REALLY LAZY AND WAS CONSTANTLY WASTING HIS LIFE AWAY ON THE UNDERNET OR SLEEPING. HE DIDN’T WANT TO DO SCIENCE. HE DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY IN THE SNOW. HE JUST STOPPED TRYING. I TRIED EVERYTHING TO GET HIM BACK TO NORMAL, BUT NOTHING WORKED.”

Papyrus was shaking again.

“HE STILL READ ME BEDTIME STORIES AND WATCHED OUT FOR HUMANS WITH ME, BUT HE WAS DIFFERENT. HE THOUGHT I DIDN’T NOTICE, BUT I DID. SO I TOOK UP COOKING – NOTHING MAKES A MONSTER HAPPIER THAN FOOD MADE WITH FIRE MAGIC AFTER ALL – AND HE ATE IT WITHOUT COMPLAINT EVEN THOUGH I KNOW IT WASN’T VERY GOOD…”

Your heart was starting to hurt, you thought this conversation was going to be full of your own heartache.

“BUT HE WAS SAD AND HAD GIVEN UP COMPLETELY. AND THEN WE CAME TO SURFACE AND HE GOT A LITTLE BETTER, BUT HE WAS SO WARY OF HUMANS FOR SOME REASON. UNTIL HE MET YOU THAT IS.”

“Me?” you asked.

“YES! AFTER HE MET YOU HE WAS MUCH HAPPIER. THAT’S WHY I TRIED SO HARD TO KEEP YOU TOGETHER.”

“Oh…” suddenly everything Papyrus has ever done made a lot of sense. “Well…I guess you can count meeting me out of the equation. Maybe Sans just finally got enough sun on him. Or he finally found a job he liked. Or-”

“OF COURSE IT IS BECAUSE HE MET YOU!” Papyrus shifted you so you were facing him. “DATING OR NOT DATING YOU’RE THE ONLY HUMAN HE REALLY LIKES ASIDE FROM FRISK. AND HE’S BEEN MUCH BETTER LATELY AND THAT’S WHY I CANNOT BE MAD AT YOU. SANS IS HAPPY AGAIN.”

You felt your heart flutter and your stomach churn. You weren’t sure how exactly you felt about this, exactly. Sure, you and Sans got along well enough, but really? You thought Papyrus was giving you too much credit. You tried to protest, “Pap, I just don’t think-”

“NYEH. I WILL NOT HEAR IT. I AM A SANS EXPERT AND I KNOW HE LIKES YOU A LOT. ERR…PLATONICALLY. YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN HIM THAT WEEK YOU WERE AVOIDING HIM. HE DIDN’T TALK TO ME, BUT I THINK HE MISSED YOU. MORE THAN YOU KNOW.”

You weren’t sure how to feel. This really wasn’t helping you try and get over Sans. You swallowed. Papyrus sounded so sincere though, and it wasn’t like him to lie. Were you really that important to Sans? “It’s just, I haven’t known him very long. Are you sure he cares that much about me?”

“YES.”

You smiled to yourself. Somehow, you felt both happy and sad at the same time. “Thanks Papyrus, you always know what to say.”

“OF COURSE I DO.”

You sat in silence for another few seconds before Papyrus said, “YOU KNOW, I’M GOING TO HAVE TO GET YOU BACK FOR SUCH A MEAN JAPE.”

“I’m sure you will.”

Papyrus went home soon after that, after giving you another hug and telling you how happy he was with how much you trusted him. You felt really guilty about keeping it from him for so long, but it was nice to see him taking it so well.

You closed the door and went to bed.

--

Papyrus left your apartment and opened the door to his. Sans was sunken into the couch. The two brothers made eye contact.

“how’d it go?” Sans asked.

“IT WAS NICE TO HAVE SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT WAS GOING ON.”

Sans winced, “sorry bro.”

“HMPH.”

“papyrus-”

“YOU LIED TO ME FOR MONTHS.”

“i know. ‘m sorry.”

“I FORGIVE YOU SANS,” Papyrus said, walking to his room. “AND SHE HAS MISSED YOU TOO.”

And whether even Sans caught it or not, Papyrus definitely didn’t miss the happy stir in his brother’s soul.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, what can I get started for you?”

“Peppermint mocha, please.”

“Sure thing. And your name?”

“Alice.”

You scribbled down the name and order on the cup and handed it off to your co-worker. It was now December which meant holiday drinks were finally available and everybody and their mother came in to ask for gingerbread lattes and peppermint mochas and whatever fanciful new winter drink you had.

“sup?”

“WERE YOU AWARE THAT IT’S THE HAPPIEST TIME OF THE YEAR!”

Sans and Papyrus leaned against the counter, both wide smiles on their faces. It had been a couple of days since your chat with Papyrus, and things had mostly gone smoothly since then. They both texted you, giving no indication that anything bad or weird was going on, so you could only assume that everything was fine (and that Sans did not want to kill you for spilling the beans).

“Hey guys!” you greeted, already grabbing cups. You scribbled Sansta on one an added a little doodle of Sans with a beard and Santa hat. In an effort to make the exchange less flirty, you started writing Pap special names as well. Pappermint plus a little Papyrus face and candy cane. Good. Good.

Sans didn’t ask to put drinks on his “tab” anymore, and now Papyrus was in charge of paying for everything. Sans moved to the side to wait for drinks while you bagged Papyrus’s spider pastries and rung him up. You glanced over to see Sans chatting with Alice. You couldn’t help but chuckle. For someone who supposedly didn’t like humans, he seemed to make friends with them everywhere he went. You took Papyrus’s money and deposited it into the register. You were about to give him his change when you heard Sans yelp.

Sans was a fairly unflappable dude, and you could do just about anything and he wouldn’t flinch a muscle…err, if he had muscles to flinch (nice, nice, remember that one). But Alice had managed to corner him and was more or less running her hands through his ribcage. You let your jaw drop. Your co-worker had just finished making her drink so you grabbed the cup and slapped a lid on. “ALICE!” you called out sharply, coming from out behind the counter, drink in your hand.

The sudden call of her name seemed to snap her out of whatever the hell she was doing (because seriously, who has the audacity to feel a stranger up in public) and she immediately apologized. “Sorry, I was just really curious! I’ve never seen a skeleton monster before! I didn’t think…”

You slung your arm around Sans’s shoulders out of…jealousy? Protectiveness? You weren’t really sure of your reasons, but that’s when she seemed to put two and two together. She grabbed her drink and hightailed it out of the coffee shop.

“thanks. not really a fan of most people touching me without asking.”

You glanced at the arm you placed around Sans and pulled it back quickly. You really hadn’t meant to do that. It wasn’t like you owned him or that you were actually dating or…

“hey, don’t worry about it,” he said, looking at your recoiled arm, “you’re not really most people. ‘sides, you already crossed that line the second time we met.”

Cringe.

“I was drunk!” you exclaimed. “And I barely remember it!”

“heh, what do a human and skeleton have in common?”

Beat.

“they both love spare ribs!”

From the corner of your eye you saw Sans and Papyrus’s drinks waiting on the counter. You grabbed Sans’s and handed it to him. “That was terrible,” you said flatly. “Get out.”

Sans looked at the name and drawing on his cup and smiled, “what says oh-oh-oh?”

You sighed and leaned your back against the counter. “I dunno Sans, what says oh-oh-oh?”

“a sansta walking backwards,” he said, using his free hand to give you a finger gun as he took a few steps backwards.

You rolled your eyes and grabbed Papyrus’s drink. “Here’s your milk Pap. I’ll see you guys later?”

“ACTUALLY, SINCE IT IS FINALLY THE APPROPRIATE SEASON, I WANTED TO ASK IF YOU WISHED TO PARTAKE IN THE EXCHANGE OF GIFTS. IT’S AN IMPORTANT HOLIDAY YOU KNOW.”

“Aw, you don’t have to get me anything Pap,” you said, now a little bashful. You went back to your station behind the counter. “Seriously, no pressure on the presents if you guys have too many people already. I know you must be friends with at least half the Underground. Just having the gift of knowing the Great Papyrus is enough.” And it was true, you considered getting them something small, but didn’t really expect to get anything in return.

“I KNOW THAT THE SENTIMENT IS GENUINE, AND WHY WOULD IT NOT BE, FOR MY PRESENCE IS QUITE AMAZING-”

“are you saying you can present your presence as a present?”

“BUT LET’S BE REAL. EVERYONE LIKES A GOOD PRES…” Papyrus spared a look at Sans, who was grinning ear to ear, eagerly waiting for Papyrus to notice his play on present presence presents. Papyrus pointedly ignored him, “A GOOD GIFT. I KNOW I DO. SANTA ALWAYS BRINGS ME LOTS OF THINGS TO OPEN. I’M SURE IF YOU’VE BEEN GOOD THIS YEAR HE’LL BRING YOU THINGS TOO, BUT JUST IN CASE, THE GREAT PAPYRUS WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CHRISTMAS IS NOT JOYLESS.”

“Santa you say?” you asked, looking at Sans, who bashfully shrugged. “You know what, yeah. Count me in for gift exchanging, it sounds like it’ll be wonderful.”

“NYEH-HEH-HEH! I WILL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT I AM THE BEST GIFT-GIVER AND YOU WILL NOT BEST ME!”

“I will try my very hardest to match you,” you said. “Have a good day at the florist. The poinsettias look very nice this year. And, uh, Sans have a good day at…where exactly are you working today?”

“gotta new job that’ll really put me in the spirit of christmas,” Sans said. “see ya.”

“SANS DON’T FORGET TO-” Papyrus cut himself off. “UM. NEVER MIND.”

Long silence. Oh, so close to not having an awkward goodbye today. Papyrus was still getting used to the two of you not kissing each other. Sans awkwardly waved and quickly shuffled out of the store. Oops.

“SORRY. I KEEP FORGETTING,” Papyrus apologized.

“It’s alright,” you reassured him. “I…forget sometimes too.” You paused and chewed on your lower lip. “So, uh, Santa?”

“OH. YES. I KNOW IT’S REALLY SANS, BUT HE USES CHRISTMAS AS AN EXCUSE TO SPOIL ME AND IT MAKES HIM HAPPY AND I REALLY LIKE PRESENTS. SO, AS FAR AS YOU KNOW, I GET GIFTS FROM SANTA. WINK.” Papyrus turned to leave, “GOODBYE FRIEND!”

You waved as he left the café.

Did he just…audibly wink at you?

--

This year you were determined to do all your Christmas shopping early and not wait until the last minute, especially now that you had extra people to shop for. After class, you, Wyatt, and a few of your other friends headed over to the mall to do a little window shopping to get an idea of what to get everyone.

You were starting to realize that your list was getting a little long: your mom and dad, a secret Santa gift for your group of friends (you got Wyatt this year – oh joy be with you), Sans, Papyrus, possibly Alphys since she’s been such a good friend to you lately, but you felt that if you got Alphys something you’d have to get Undyne something as well. You considered getting something for Frisk as well, despite not knowing them all that well (er, well they called you Auntie so you figured you could get them a toy or whatever it was 8 year olds enjoyed these days). And then you felt that if you were going to get gifts for everyone else in that group, that you should get Toriel and Asgore something too…

You mostly spent your time around the mall trying to get some ideas without buying anything. You actually had a pretty good list going. Next time you got paid you’d have to remember to take a trip back to the mall (or shop online in your pajamas in bed, which sounded way better than a second trip to the mall).

You noticed that Santa’s station was fairly uncrowded. “You know what could be fun guys?” you said cheerfully, now really feeling the holiday spirit. “How about we get a picture with Santa?”

A few grumbles.

“Oh come on!” you said. “The line is short and we’re all here. It’ll make for a great Christmas card.”

With some convincing, your group decided that it didn’t sound like a terrible idea.

“Hey, wanna do something to make this picture with Santa much funnier?” Wyatt asked.

“You have that look in your eye that means whatever you’re thinking is a shitty idea and I want no part in it.”

“No, no, it’ll be hilarious,” he assured you.

You were at least 500% sure whatever he was thinking would mostly definitely not be hilarious. You sighed and shrugged to show you were listening.

“Okay, so I was thinking. Mall Santa’s got to be pretty bored right? We should break up that monotony with one of us going up and laying on our best pick up line. I mean, dude’s been dealing with snot-nosed brats all day so I doubt he’d mind. What do you say, you in or are you in?”

“What are you, thirteen?” you asked incredulously, “Come on, no need to bother a sweet old man at his job. Don’t be shitty.”

“You’re just saying that because you’d be too chicken to follow through if your straw got picked,” Wyatt said smugly, holding out a row of straws in front of you. Where did he even get straws? “Short straw has to go.”

The mature side of you said to walk away because this was a shitty thing to do to a person at their job. The immature side of you said fuck it because a challenge has been issued and you really wanted to wipe the smug smirk off Wyatt’s face. You roll your eyes but nod. Each of your friends chooses a straw and plucks it out of Wyatt’s hand.

God dammit.

You let out a breath. Ugh. Okay. Time to get this shit over with. Sorry mall Santa.

“Alright, alright, you don’t have to say anything too racy now,” Wyatt said with a wink. “Something like I must be a snowflake, because I’ve fallen for you. Yeah? I think the old man will like it.”

You grunt. Somehow even the most innocuous lines seemed way too awkward and personal to say to a nice Santa only doing his job. You just wanted a group picture!

You and your group make your way over to the Santa’s greeting area. It’s mostly empty, so you get in line. You were trying to think of some dumb clever line when suddenly Wyatt burst out laughing.

“Isn’t that your bone friend?” he asked between bouts of laughter, pointing at the Santa.

You blanched.

God dammit. Of course this would be his new job.

“Man, do I ever not regret this decision,” Wyatt said, “I just handed you some roleplaying kink setup. You’re welcome.”

“…why do you think a Santa roleplay would be a part of our sex life?” you asked.

“Excuse me for not knowing the ins and outs of how you fuck,” Wyatt said, crossing his arms. “But, you know, on the subject of fucking, I’m still curious how exactly-”

“Shhhh! There are children that can hear you, you know! And, for the record, I’m never telling you any details of that ever in all of eternity ever, ever. So nyeh!” you waved your arms frantically, hoping he would just take the hint and shut up. You weren’t really all that focused on Wyatt’s one track mind though, as all your attention was now trained on Sans in his Santa outfit and how much you wanted to sink into the floor.

“I’ve, um, I’ve changed my mind, bye-bye!” you said, trying to push back through the line, but your friends grabbed your arms. “No, really, it’s weird that I know him! Too weird! I can’t do this now, it’s embarrassing!”

“You’re dating a dude who dresses up like Santa Claus, how does it get more embarrassing than that?” he smiled and said, “And you’re the one who kind of suggested this, so you’re not gonna get out of it so easily.”

Your group finally made it to the front of the line, and you groaned to yourself. The girl dressed as Santa’s Helper Elf didn’t look all that impressed with the large group of college students. Wyatt flashed his most charming smile and said, “Don’t worry about us, we’ve got a Mrs. Claus visiting today.”

Helper Elf looked over at you. You hoped that she would say no and send your group away, but her eyes suddenly lit up in recognition. Dammit. You shyly tried to step away from her gaze, but your friends were boxing you in.

“Of course, right this way to the North Pole!” she said, unclicking the ropes barring you from Santa. You were already inwardly cringing as your friends pushed and pulled you towards –ugh- Sansta.

“ho, ho, ho, and how are yo-” Sans cut himself off once he realized it was you. “hey, had to see the jolly man in action?”

“Something…like that,” you said, shifting around on your feet awkwardly. “Why didn’t you tell me this was where you were going to be working?” It would have saved you from the embarrassment that was about to happen.

Sans shrugged.

Wyatt nudged you and said, “Come on Santa, don’t you wanna have your missus sitting in your lap?” He didn’t give you or Sans a chance to answer before he pushed you down onto Sans’s thigh. Or. Femur. Whatever! It was putting you in a very close proximity with him and from the corner of your eye you could see Sans looking a little strained.

A long pause.

“UM. YOUR LEGS ARE REALLY SUPPORTIVE,” you said, at a volume that was way too awkwardly loud.

“heh…uh…yeah, to patella the truth they’re stronger than they look,” Sans answered. God you were only inches from his face this was too close for comfort.

Your friends all had their phones out, snapping a few photos and a few getting videos.

“Aren’t you going to ask her what she wants for Christmas this year?”

Sans, his usual composed self, squinted suspiciously at your friends, then turned to you and asked, “ya been good or bad or what?”

You squirmed uncomfortably, briefly making eye contact with Wyatt before forcing out possibly the worst Christmas pick up line you’d thought of, “I’ve been such a knotty girl, I should work for you in the ribbon-tying department.”

Blush.

Blink. Blink.

Silence.

Hysterical laughter.

You snapped your attention towards Wyatt, who was coughing from laughing too hard. Serves him right. You hoped he was in pain.

“i don’t think ya sleighed that one,” Sans said, although he was clearly having a hard time not laughing at you either. You grumbled. It was the best you could come up with on a whim!

“I don’t see you coming up with anything better.”

Sans thought for a few seconds and then said. “are you an igloo? ‘cause you seem pretty cool.”

“Surprise, surprise, you’re much better at this than my-elf.”

“gee, i’m no snowman, but you’re really makin me melt.”

You traded a few harmless lines back and forth. Sans really was much quicker on his feet than you with the puns and one-liners. Finally you felt relaxed enough to get your group photo (and, at everyone’s insistence, a couple’s photo too). Before you left, you thought of another line and didn’t even give it a second thought before blurting out, “So if I jingle your bells, do I get a white Christmas?”

Oh God.

The pupils in Sans’s eyes were almost non-existent. Your friends were cackling like a pack of hyenas, none the wiser about what was happening. You flushed and stood up frantically, not even believing you even said such a thing. What happened to NOT being weird? you asked yourself.

"WELL THAT WAS FUN, BYE!"

You stumbled through the area, going the wrong way and finding yourself at the entrance. Your cheeks burned too much and you felt too embarrassed to go back the other way, so you pushed through the line of small children and parents, rushing as quickly as you could by them, knowing that now everyone was looking at you.

Great.

Well, at least there were only 23 more days to Christmas.

Chapter Text

You woke up the sound of a loud crash coming from Sans’s room. You sat up groggily and banged on the wall a few times. “You okay Sans?” you asked loudly. A few moments went by before your phone buzzed.

snas: 7:41 am
fine

snas: 7:41 am
guess you could say i fell out on the wrong side of the bed

Hm.

You couldn’t tell for sure, but something felt off. Before you had the chance to respond, you heard your cat meowing. You looked up to see him sitting on the window ledge, pawing at the glass. Outside your window was all white, a huge pile of snow with more flurries coming down. Your eyes widened.

You quickly got out of bed and ran to your front door, not even bothering to put on any shoes or a jacket, so that you could go and look at the snow. You hurried out the door saw the ground was covered in a thick layer of snow. You could hardly contain your excitement as you stuck your hand out to catch a few falling snowflakes.

“HELLO FRIEND!”

You turned to see Papyrus coming out of his apartment. You smiled at him and said, “Hey Papyrus.”

“ARE YOU ENJOYING THE SNOWFALL?”

“I am, thanks. Are you? I can’t imagine you getting much snow underground.”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? OF COURSE WE DID,” Papyrus said, “WE DID LIVE IN SNOWDIN AFTER ALL.”

You vaguely recalled Sans talking about where he lived before coming to the surface, but he hadn’t mentioned that it snowed there. You felt a little embarrassed that you had known Sans and Papyrus this long but never bothered to ask them about where they lived. But more importantly, did Papyrus just say that it snowed where they lived?

“You actually got seasons underground?”

“NO YOU SILLY HUMAN. EACH PART OF THE UNDERGROUND HAD ITS OWN WEATHER. SNOWDIN WAS ALWAYS SNOWY,” he paused and smiled at you, “I BECAME QUITE PROFICIENT AT MAKING SNOW PAPYRUSES.”

“Did Sans become quite proficient at making snow Sanses?”

“HE WAS A LAZYBONES WHO WROTE HIS NAME INTO A SNOW POFF.”

“Ah,” you said, not very surprised at all. “So you lived in the snow for hundreds of years? Did it ever fall so hard that you were snowed…in…wait. Is that a freaking pun?!”

“YES! ONE THAT I HEARD EVERY DAY…BUT, IT WAS A MUCH MORE CREATIVE NAME THAN HOTLAND. WHERE IT WAS HOT. AND THERE WAS LAND. OUR KING IS NOT THE BEST WITH NAMES.”

You laughed a little and asked, “Do you miss it at all?”

Papyrus considered this for a moment before saying, “NOT REALLY. THERE IS MUCH MORE TO DO HERE ON THE SURFACE. MORE PEOPLE TO MEET AND BECOME FRIENDS WITH AND JAPE NYEH-HEH-HEH. BUT I DO MISS THE SNOW SOMETIMES.” Papyrus glanced down and snapped his head back up to look at you and say, “FRIEND. YOU ARE NOT IN THE PROPER WINTER ATTIRE. YOU’RE TURNING A VERY NON-HUMAN COLOR.”

You wiggled your toes, finally realizing just how cold it was outside. You were so excited that you didn’t even realize it was freezing. You nodded at Papyrus and said, “Yeah, I guess I better head inside and warm up.”

“ACTUALLY. SANS AND I WERE ABOUT TO GO VISIT MISS TORIEL AND KING ASGORE. WOULD YOU CARE TO COME WITH US?”

You hesitated. You were about to say that you didn’t want to intrude on their day out with their friends, but Papyrus didn’t give you the chance.

“OF COURSE YOU WOULD. WE ARE ALL VERY COOL PEOPLE, MANY OF WHOM HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN WEEKS. GO PUT ON SOME CLOTHES TO COVER YOUR FLESHY BITS AND WE CAN GO.”

Well, you couldn’t say no to that small guilt trip. You hurried back inside to put on a better winter outfit – thick socks, snow pants, boots, and a warm sweater. You also quickly snagged a jacket from your closet and started putting it on as you rushed back to the door when suddenly, a familiar scent hit your nose. Ketchup and bones and sweat and bone cologne (which you’ve been able to easily identify ever since Papyrus used way too much one time and you swear that the smell hasn’t left your nostrils since).

This is the first time you’ve worn Sans’s jacket since your confession. You had completely forgotten that you even had it. You fiddled with the sleeves, wondering if you should return it to him. It’s weird that you had it still, right? Even though he basically gave it to you? You chewed on your lower lip and considered changing.

“ARE YOU READY TO GO?!”

“Yeah um…one sec!” you called. Well, you figured it was probably the warmest jacket you had and you didn’t want to keep them waiting. You zipped it up and opened the door. Papyrus beamed at you and Sans peeked at you from behind him. You nervously gauged his reaction. He was going to think this was overstepping some kind of boundary or…

“ice jacket ya got there. must’ve gotten it from a pretty cool guy.”

Or he’ll just be Sans.

“For the most part, although couldn’t help but think he was a little spaced out this morning,” you said, nodding at Sans’s galaxy jacket.

He shrugged. “sorry if i gave ya the cold shoulder, snow wonder you think that.”

“CAN WE GET GOING NOW?” Papyrus said, jingling his car keys.

“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to take a car in this weather,” you said, looking out at the snowy road.

Sans shrugged again and said, “ehh, snow problem.” He placed a hand on your shoulder and Papyrus’s forearm.

“REALLY SANS? YOU HAVE ALREADY USED THE SNOW PUN-”

Blip.

In an instant you were standing in Toriel’s kitchen.

“-ELEVEN OTHER TIMES TODAY.”

“what can ice-ay bro? i don’t snow very many others.”

“TWELVE.”

You heard loud giggling behind you, so you turned towards it to see Toriel covering up her mouth trying not to laugh. Her eyes were twinkling as she said, “Good to see you had snow trouble getting here.”

“roads were blocked, but we figured we had to snow up anyway.”

“MMMM!” Papyrus threw his hands up in defeat. “THIS IS LAZY EVEN FOR YOU SANS. YOU CAN’T JUST REPLACE EVERYTHING WITH THE WORD SNOW.”

“why the hail not?”

Squint.

“BECAUSE,” and with that, Papyrus left the kitchen, but not before popping his head back through the doorway and saying, “YOU’RE ON THIN ICE SANS. NYEH.”

Sans and Toriel both chuckled, and Toriel finally took notice of you. “It’s so nice of you to come by, we’ve really missed you,” she gestured to the kitchen table, where Frisk and Flowey were busy decorating what looked like gingerbread men. Well, Frisk was decorating. Flowey looked more like he was just scowling and eating the limbs (did he just tell Frisk to eat or be eaten?), but you were pretty sure this was the happiest you’ve ever seen him. Asgore sat at the other end of the table, supervising and also eating a most of the cookies once they were frosted.

“Please, come and have some hot chocolate,” Toriel said to you, already pulling out a mug from the cupboard.

“whatcha doin there kiddo?” Sans said, sliding into the chair next to Frisk.

“Howdy!” Asgore greeted.

Toriel handed you your hot chocolate and said, “It’s been a while, how are you? How have you and Sans been?”

You sipped your hot chocolate, the thick cocoa and spark of magic not doing anything to help the lump in your throat. Sans’s eyes had gone mostly dark and you knew he was eavesdropping (how could he not you were literally five feet away).

“U-um,” you started, “we’re uh, ahm.”

Eloquent as always.

“Hee hee, what it must be like to be young and in love again,” Toriel gushed, glancing over at Asgore, who smiled at you.

“And Tori and I haven’t been able to properly thank you for everything you’ve done.”

You haven’t done anything! Ah, you started arguing with yourself. Do you say something? Sans didn’t look like he was particularly interested in interjecting, but could you really keep this a secret from the former KING and QUEEN? You hoped that Sans would pick up on your strained glance, but he ignored you, so you just smiled and nodded. Toriel and Asgore were practically beaming at you. Ah, crap. You started to sweat nervously as you gripped your cup tightly. You cleared your throat and mumbled something about going to the living room and you fled. It was Sans’s turn to talk about the truth to someone.

In the living room was Alphys, curled up on the couch nose deep into a manga. You plopped yourself down next to her. “Hey Alphs.”

“O-oh, hi there!” Alphys said, dropping the book a bit. She studied you for a minute before saying, “You s-still have his jacket?” She smiled, “D-did something happen? Are you t-together now?”

You coughed. “No. I didn’t even notice I had it,” you admitted, “It was just the first thing in my closet I grabbed. I feel kind of weird about it, but Sans didn’t seem to mind…I guess.”

She looked a little disappointed. “How are things g-going for you? S-still awkward?”

“Crazy awkward. I had to sit on his lap on the mall. I told him an extremely inappropriate pick up line.”

She looked at you expectantly, so you leaned in and whispered it into her ear, too mortified to say it any louder.

“You d-didn’t!” she said, giggling uncontrollably. A light blush spread on her scales. “There’s n-no way you s-said that!” She snorted a bit, not bothering to hide her amusement, which just made you feel even more embarrassed about the whole situation. “What d-did S-sans do?”

“I left before I could find out, but according to Wyatt he got all blue in the face and had to take a break.” You winced, the memory still very fresh in your mind. “I’ve decided that pretending it didn’t happen works out best. But…um…enough about us! How’s the manga?”

Alphys was still giggling, but she said, “It’s g-good. I’m r-reading it for research.” She held up her claw, which had a dainty band on one of the fingers. “Undyne and I are p-planning a theme w-wedding. N-neither of us w-wanted to be all that t-traditional.” She smiled to herself as she admired the ring.

“So in your vows are you going to say how much she makes your kokoro doki doki?” you teased.

“D-do you think that would be cute?”

“I think it would be perfect,” you said honestly. Alphys beamed at you. Before you could ask her more questions about the wedding, Undyne rushed in with Papyrus trailing not far behind, both of them yelling and screaming and throwing snowballs.

“FRIEND,” Papyrus said, extending his hand towards you, “COME JOIN FORCES WITH ME IN THIS SNOWBALL WAR.”

“ALPHIE!” Undyne said, picking up her girlfriend in her arms, “We need to take these punks down! And I need you to help me!”

“O-oh, I d-don’t know sweetie,” she said.

“Well I DO know!” Undyne bellowed.

And that’s how you ended up outside in a snowball warzone. It was you, Papyrus, Frisk and Asgore vs. Undyne, Alphys, Toriel, and Sans. Flowey was the official referee and he sat in his pot (festively decorated with snowflakes) on the sidelines with his own set of tiny earmuffs and a small knitted scarf.

Undyne also had part of her canine unit visiting today. You recognized them from when they worked on the investigation at your old apartment. They hopped around and ran through the snow, looking as happy as they could be. Greater Dog (or G.D., as you were told to call him) chased after the snowballs that were thrown, bringing back mouthfuls of crushed up snow. Lesser Dog (L.D.) was busy making snowpups to stand next to all the snow Papyruses that littered the lawn. You wanted to cry they were so cute.

But you didn’t have much time to pet the dogs because you were in the middle of the snowfight of the century (Papyrus’s words). Although it was mostly a competition between Undyne and Papyrus as they lobbed snow spears and snow bones at each other (how was that fair??) Asgore and Toriel seemed to forget that they were on opposite teams and they playfully chased Frisk around the yard. Alphys took refuge in a lounge chair after making a few half-hearted throws at you. She was perfectly happy being Undyne’s personal cheerleader.

And Sans? He stepped off to the side and created himself a snow poff blanket before dozing off. You rolled your eyes. Typical.

You did your best to stay involved with the snowball fight because Papyrus and Undyne were so excited, but once Undyne started suplexing snow boulders you noped right on out of there and ran away.

You ran until you found a place far away from all the craziness, and that’s where you saw Sans, still covered in his snow poff. “aren’t you worried about me hitting you?” he asked.

You laughed. “You’re way too lazy to bother with that.”

“heh, yeah. wanna hear a joke instead?”

You tilted your head to show that you were listening.

“what’s the difference between a snowman and a snowlady?”

“What’s the difference between-”

You were cut off by Sans smushing a snowball into your face.

“snowballs,” Sans said, already chuckling and looking way too pleased with himself.

“I trusted you!”

“your mistake.”

“I thought we were friends!” you exclaimed, dramatically falling back down into the snow.

“ehh.”

“You’re such a butt.”

“what, are we name calling now?”

“Yes,” you said, putting your arms behind your head. “Bonehead.”

“fartface.”

“Numbskull.”

“poopyhead.”

“OH my God, are you five?” you asked, but unable to contain your own laughter. “Pompous fossil.”

“unevolved monkey butt.”

“Undead lint licking spork.”

“…jerry.”

You howled with laughter. “Okay, I surrender.”

The two of you lay in the snow, your giggles finally dying down a little. You smiled as you looked up at the cloudy sky. Today had been pretty great. You looked over at Sans, who was resting peacefully, still under his snow poff and staring up at the sky. Cute… Thump went your heart as you tried hard not to stare.

Squash it, you told yourself.

You got up and dusted off your pants. You stood over Sans and offered him your hand. As he moved to take it, you said, “I have a joke for you.”

“shoot.”

“Where do snowmen go to dance?”

“wher-ahh!” you caught Sans off guard by pulling him towards you by the hand and smashing a snowball into face. You’re pretty sure most of it fell into his sockets, oops.

“SNOWBALLS!” you shrieked before sticking your tongue out and then running away. You could hear Sans chuckling, not even bothering to chase after you.

Chapter Text

Being sick is fun for no one, but it is especially terrible when you have final exams and final projects due in a week and you can barely find the energy to breathe. Stupid snow. Stupid cold. You barely registered your cat leaping up to the foot of your bed and curling up at your feet. Good cat. You rolled over to try and get back to sleep.

Bzzzz Bzzzz

Groggily you reached for your phone and checked your messages, squinting a little at the brightness of the screen.

Paps: 8:46 am
FRIEND!

Paps: 8:46 am
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING THIS MORNING!

Paps: 8:46 am
WHERE WERE YOU???? D:

Paps: 8:46 am
(ARE YOU AND SANS HAVING PROBLEMS?)

Paps: 8:46 am
OH. HE SAID NOT TO ASK YOU THAT.

Paps: 8:47 am
AND THAT YOU WEREN’T.

Paps: 8:47 am
BUT THAT MEANS YOU HAVE DISAPPEARED FOR NO REASON!

xxx-xxxx: 8:47 am
Sick with the flu. I’ll be fine.

You tossed your phone aside and closed your eyes again, hoping to go back to sleep. Not more than a few minutes went by before there was a loud, relentless knocking at your door. Ugh. You took a spare pillow and put it over your head in an attempt to block out the sound, but the knocking just got louder and faster.

Then it just stopped. Good. Maybe now you could finally get some peaceful cold-medicine induced slumber.

You were probably asleep for about ten minutes before you heard your bedroom door creak open. You sat up quickly, a mistake as it made you feel dizzy, but you tried to clear your head and grab a pillow.

“uh, hey.”

“…Sans?” you asked. Were you dreaming right now?

“heh, what were ya gonna do, clobber me to death in a pillow fight?”

“I hate you,” you said, laying back down. You let out a long cough. “Ngh, what are you doing in here anyway?”

“uh, papyrus-”

Almost as if he was waiting for his name to be said, your phone started to ring. You picked it up. “Papyrus-”

“WOWIE, YOU SOUND TERRIBLE.”

If it were anyone but Papyrus, you probably would have hung up on them. Instead, you cleared your throat and asked, “Why are you calling and why is Sans in my bedroom?”

“TO HELP AID YOU DURING YOUR TIME OF NEED! IT IS IMPORTANT TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVE TO GET BETTER FASTER. SANS BROUGHT THE BAG FULL OF HEALING SUPPLIES, YES?”

You glanced over at Sans, who did indeed have a large brown paper bag with him. You could only assume it was a mix of medical supplies and some pasta. You grunted. “Yeah, he’s got it, and not that I don’t appreciate this or anything,” you broke off to cough again, “Ah, ugh, right. Not that I don’t like you caring for me, but I’m fine. This isn’t the first time I’ve been sick with the flu. And seriously, all I need is some sleep. You guys don’t have to go through any trouble for me.”

“NONSENSE!” Papyrus shouted, “HOW COULD WE CALL OURSELVES YOUR COOLEST FRIENDS IF WE DON’T HELP YOU WHEN YOU ARE AT YOUR MOST FRAGILE? I, UNFORTUNATELY, HAVE WORK TODAY, BUT I HAVE PACKED YOU THE MOST AMAZING CARE PACKAGE ANYONE COULD NEED FOR WHATEVER AILMENT THEY HAVE.”

“And Sans is here because…?”

“BECAUSE YOU NEED SOMEONE TO LOOK AFTER YOU,” Papyrus paused, “AND YOU WOULDN’T OPEN YOUR DOOR SO I MADE HIM TELEPORT INSIDE. ACTUALLY, CAN I TALK TO HIM?”

You handed your phone off to Sans and pet your cat a few times before resting your head back down on your pillow. This wasn’t how you planned for today to go at all. Ugh, you felt all groggy and tired and gross. You blew your nose and tossed the tissue with the rest strewn about your bed.

Sans finished his conversation with Papyrus and hung up your phone. He looked at you a bit awkwardly. “…ya look awful.”

“Thank you, ‘preciate it,” you said sourly.

“sorry.”

“Hmn,” you rolled back over so that you weren’t facing Sans anymore, “well if you’re going to be here, just check in every once in a while to make sure I haven’t choked on my own vomit okay?”

“can i do anything else for ya?”

“Mmn…” well if he was offering, “Could you get me some tea?” you asked.

“sounds tealightful.”

“Ha, ha,” you laughed quietly, before closing your eyes again. You heard Sans shuffle out of your room and into the kitchen. You could hear him getting you a mug from the cupboard and scuffle around the kitchen. It really was sweet of him and Papyrus to come and check up on you. You smiled to yourself.

You were woken up moments later with a light shake of the shoulder. “here,” Sans said, handing you a warmed mug filled with tea.

You sat up and gingerly took the cup. You took a sip and nearly spit it back out. “Jesus Christ Sans! What did you just give me, gasoline?” You winced as the liquid slid down your throat with an uncomfortable tingle. You wanted to gag. “When I said tea I meant…something like English Breakfast?”

“it’s monster tea, packed with quali-tea healing magic,” Sans said with a wink.

“I don’t care if it’s holy water, I’m not drinking it, I’d rather suffer,” you said, scrunching up your face. You held out the mug to Sans. “Thanks though, I know you tried.”

Sans stared at the cup for a few moments and then back up at you. He set it down on your bedside table, as if you were going to drink it later.

Bzzzz Bzzzz

Paps: 9:28 am
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Paps: 9:28 am
IS SANS DOING AN ADEQUATE JOB AT MAKING SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE MET?

xxx-xxxx: 9:29 am
Really, Pap, I’m doing fine. But yes, Sans made me some tea for my sore throat. Thank you for checking in.

Not even a minute after your text sent, Papyrus called. You looked up at Sans, who shrugged, and you answered, “Hello?”

“OH MY GOD!”

You winced and pulled the phone back from your ear. “Wh-what? What is it Papyrus?”

“YOU HAVE A SORE THROAT AND A COUGH AND ACCORDING TO THIS HUMAN HEALTH WEBSITE, I THINK YOU MAY HAVE LARYNGITIS. OR TONSILLITIS. OR THE WEST NILE VIRUS. DOES SANS NEED TO TAKE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?”

“...Papyrus, are you on WebMD?”

“YES. IT LOOKS LIKE A REPUTABLE HUMAN WEBSITE.”

You laughed and said, “Papyrus, trust me, I’m fine. I’m just going to try and get some sleep okay?” You hung up the phone and placed it on your bedside table. You looked at Sans and said, “You really don’t have to stay, but there’s food in the fridge and you know where the remote is...I’m just gonna sleep.”

“ok.”

Sans turned and left your room, so you buried yourself into the covers and went back to sleep.

When you woke up next there was a tall glass of water next to the disguising concoction that was still definitely not tea. You sat up and drank half the glass, letting the cold liquid run down your scratchy throat. There were also a few cold pills laying there that Sans must have left out. You took one and slowly stretched.

Ouch.

The muscles in your back where not happy about that at all. You groaned and slunk out of bed. You shuffled out of your room to go find a hot water pack when you saw Sans laying on your couch watching some old cartoons.

“How long was I asleep for?” You asked, approaching the couch.

“an hour or so.”

You groaned. You didn’t feel any better, and the medicine you just took wasn’t going to kick in for another few minutes. “That’s it?” You mumbled as you sat down at the end of the couch by Sans’s feet. You started shivering, so you grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around yourself. You leaned against the arm rest and tried to focus on the television and not your aching head or trembling body.

“you ok there pal, you’re shivering pretty bad.”

“I’ve just got chills,” you said, “it’s probably the result of a fever. Nothing to worry about.”

“a femur you say?” Sans asked jokingly, prodding your thigh with his foot.

You glared. “I will sneeze all over you.”

“well that threat is nothing to sneeze at.”

Before you could retort, Sans’s phone buzzed with an incoming text message. He read it, chuckled, and responded. His phone buzzed again and he looked up at you, “paps wants to know if you have cryptococcosis or Lyme disease.”

“I have the flu.

Tap tap went Sans’s fingertips against the phone. After sending the text, he set his phone down and focused his attention the tv again. You also tried to watch, but you couldn’t stop shaking.

“Hey, don’t you know some fire magic or something?” you asked.

“ehh,” Sans shrugged.

“Wow, useless.”

“sick burn.”

“Saaaaaans,” you whined. “Be serious, I’m f-freezing.”

He hesitated. “are you really?”

“No, but I’d really appreciate you warming these blankets up for me.”

“heh, it doesn’t work like that,” Sans chuckled.

“Well, then what good is it having a magical monster friend to be around when I’m sick?” you asked, pulling your blanket in more. You couldn’t tell for sure, but you were pretty certain he rolled his eyes at you. Rude.

Whatever, it was fine. You were starting to get really drowsy anyway. Just as you closed your eyes to let sleep take you away, there was a shift in the couch.

“...hey, c’mere.”

“Hmm?” You opened your eyes again and looked over. Sans had moved so he was sitting upright against the opposite armrest.

“come here,” he said again, gesturing to himself. You furrowed your brows in confusion, but scooted over so you were right next to him. He wrapped his arms around you and -- wait, what?! What?! He pulled you in closer so that your head was resting on his chest -- again, what?!

Before you could convince yourself that this was some strange, fever induced dream, he said, “don’t overthink this.”

And then you felt as though you had been dipped in a warm bath as a tingling heat surrounded you. You could faintly hear the sound of a soft buzz in your ear. This was really close, wasn’t it? Too close, even? You squeezed your eyes shut so that you could avoid looking at him. It was definitely too close, and it was making your heart race and your face light up, but…you felt so relaxed and sleepy, you couldn’t even fight it.

“it’s been awhile since i’ve done this,” Sans admitted. “i think it was the last time paps was sick.”

“Mmn. Feels nice. What else would you do?”

“i’d make him drink his tea.”

“Never mind,” you mumbled quickly, “I don’t care about what you did.”

After a few moments of lying still, Sans asked, “what do humans do to feel better?”

“Take medicine, drink water, sleep, eat if they’re up for it, usually soup,” you murmured. “Take a bath,” you yawned. “Stuff like that.” You shifted one of your arms to rub your aching shoulder.

“shoulderin a bit of weight there?”

“Muscles hurt.”

“that happens when you’re sick?”

“Mhm, sometimes.” You eased back into San’s chest.

Slowly, San’s hands began to gingerly trace circles into your shoulder blades. The heat that radiated off his fingertips relaxed your muscles.

“You should go into massage therapy,” you said.

“i doubt they’d consult the guy made of bones on human muscles,” Sans said with a quiet laugh.

“Mmmmm, their loss.”

“you sayin i got the magic touch?”

You didn’t say anything because you had already fallen asleep.

The next time you woke up, the living room was dark save for the last trickles of sunlight coming in through the blinds. You stirred and noticed that you were still laying on Sans’s chest. He was quietly snoring and he held onto your back. You stiffened. Not a dream. Not a dream. Not a dream. You gently poked him in the side, but he didn’t move.

You continued to lay there, hand on his side. You could feel the outline of his rib through his jacket. Hmm. You never really thought about it much, but he was pretty comfortable for a skeleton. His bones didn’t dig into your skin as much as you would expect them to.

You tiredly began to trace his ribs with your fingertips, absentmindedly wondering if he would be ticklish there like a human, when you suddenly realized just what you were doing. Your clouded mind became clear and you took a sharp intake of breath. Overstepping so many boundaries. Crossing so many lines. You retracted your hand and pried yourself away from his grasp before hurrying to the bathroom.

You closed the door and locked it behind you before taking a few deep breaths. You shuddered, your head still hurt. You were tired. But you needed to take a bath. A nice long bath where you could forget what just happened.

He doesn’t like when people touch him like that, you berated yourself. You couldn’t believe you had done that…uh…again. And while he was sleeping, at that! You filled up the tub, shaking now from both chills and anxiousness. It’s okay, you said to yourself, he doesn’t have to know.

Once the water filled up, you stripped down and stepped in. You started lightly scrubbing your skin, doing your best to wash the sick away. Nothing better than taking a nice hot bath while sick.

But your mind kept drifting, and the more it drifted the more you-

“HUMAN!”

Uh.

“Papyrus?” you called.

“ARE YOU OKAY IN THERE? ARE YOU PROJECTILE VOMITING? I COULD COME IN IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE. THE DOOR LOCK IS OF LITTLE HINDRANCE TO ME.”

“N-no thank you!” you squeaked. “And I’m fine!”

“SANS SAID YOU WERE HAVING BODY ACHES EARLIER. ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FATIGUE? LOSS OF APPETITE? SWELLING? DO YOU HAVE THE MUMPS? AS MUCH FUN AS IT IS TO SAY, MUMPS IS ACTUALLY A VERY, VERY BAD THING.”

“Have you been tracking my symptoms on WebMD ALL day?” you shouted incredulously.

“…MAYBE.”

You rubbed your temples. Okay. “Paps, when you put in all of my symptoms, what do you get as the top result?”

“…INFLUENZA.”

Pause.

“I’M SORRY. I’VE NEVER LOOKED AFTER A SICK HUMAN BEFORE. MISS TORIEL AND KING ASGORE ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF FRISK WHEN THEY ARE SICK AND RARELY ALLOW FOR VISITORS. ALPHYS SAID SOMETIMES HUMAN SYMPTOMS CAN BE MISTAKEN FOR SOMETHING WORSE. I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE MY COOL FRIEND.”

Oh.

Ow.

“You’re not going to lose me, Paps, it’s just the flu,” you reassured him. “Humans tend to get sick around this time of year. It usually lasts three to four days, but it isn’t anything to worry about. I’ll be fine.”

“REALLY? BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE BATHROOM FOR A REALLY LONG TIME.”

“I mean, I’m sort of taking a bath.”

“OH.” Pause. “SHOULD I GO?”

You sighed and said, “It’s okay, I’ll just get out.”

“IT’S OKAY FRIEND. STAY IN YOUR BUBBLES. I HAVE TO GO HELP SANS IN THE KITCHEN ANYWAY. AND THEN I WILL READ YOU MY FAVORITE STORY AND TUCK YOU INTO BED.”

Help Sans in the--?

“Papyrus!” you called, “What do you mean help Sans in the kitchen?”

No answer.

“Papyrus?”

You finished scrubbing off and drained the tub. You got into your pajamas and opened the bathroom door. You looked down the hall to see Papyrus running towards you, blanket in his hand.

“I WARMED IT UP FOR YOU IN THE DRYER. NOTHING BETTER THAN A WARM BURRITO BLANKET.” He wrapped it around you snugly.

“What is Sans doing in the kitchen?”

“ERM. THAT IS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE. COME ON I WANT TO READ YOU ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS.” Papyrus quickly ushered you into your bedroom, made a fuss about the mess of tissues and glasses, and promptly cleaned up while you got comfortable in your bed.

“OKAY, STORY TIME.”

You scooched over so Papyrus could join you on the other side and show you the pictures as he read. Your cat leaped up into Papyrus’s lap and started purring. You hummed and leaned back into your pillows. This was nice.

“FLUFFY BUNNY COMES DOWN WITH THE HOPS.”

“Sounds appropriate.”

“I KNOW. I AM THE BEST AT PICKING BOOKS FOR THE PROPER SITUATIONS.”

“What would I do without you Papyrus?”

“I DO NOT KNOW. I SUPPOSE YOU WOULD HAVE TO GET ON LIKE OTHER HUMANS WHO HAVE NOT YET BEEN GRACED WITH MY PRESCENCE.” He opened the book and was about to start reading when your bedroom door creaked open.

“hey you’re not starting story time without me, are ya?”

“You’re just in time, come in.”

Sans shuffled in with a pie, still in its tin, plus three forks. He plopped himself down at the end of your bed. “eat,” he said, handing you a forkful.

“Is this going to be like the tea?” you asked suspiciously, but you took the fork anyway.

“nah,” Sans said, “you’ll like this.”

It was a berry pie. You had no idea what kind of berries they were – probably something from the Underground – but they were yellow in color and tasted sweet. Papyrus insisted that he spoon-feed you, except he got overexcited and missed your mouth, nearly stabbing your cheek in the process. Needless to say, his job was to hold the book and read – and only hold and read.

Sans and Papyrus read you the whole tale of Fluffy Bunny Comes Down with the Hops, but you were so tired you could hardly focus on the actual story. You managed to eat your way through a whole slice of pie, but by the end of it all you were ready to sleep.

“HAVE WE SUCCEEDED IN MAKING YOU FEEL BETTER?” Papyrus asked.

You nodded and gave him a thumbs up.

“NYEH-HEH-HEH! I KNEW IT!” Papyrus laughed and got out of bed to straighten out the sheets. “GOODNIGHT MY FREND. I AM CERTAIN YOU WILL BE BACK IN ACTION SOON!” He leaned down and placed his teeth on the top of your head. “MWAH!”

“yup feel better soon,” Sans said, also getting out of bed.

“WAIT. SANS, HAVE YOU DONE THE THING?” Papyrus asked.

Sans spared a glance your way. You noticed a light blue tinge forming on his cheeks. Well, now you were really intrigued.

“…no.”

“WHY NOT?”

“’s embarrassing,” he mumbled.

“BUT YOU ALWAYS DO IT WHEN I’M SICK.”

“yeah, but-”

“DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE DISHES,” Papyrus said, taking the pie tin from Sans’s hands. “I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT.” He nudged Sans towards you and left your room.

Silence.

“Uh, so the pie was good, thanks,” you said. “Did you make it?”

“nah,” he said, kicking his foot against the ground, “’s one of tori’s.”

You blew your nose. Sans still didn’t move or do “the thing,” whatever that was. “So…what was Papyrus talking about, exactly?”

“’snot any of your business,” he said.

You threw your tissue at him.

“ew, get your human germs away from me.”

You stuck your tongue out at him.

“Get your monster germs away from me. I may catch bad-joker-itus.”

“a lifelong disease, you know,” Sans said, stepping a little closer to you, “very infectious. in fact, i think you prolly already have it.” He poked you in the cheek lightly. “yup, very serious case. thinks she can out smartass the master.”

You grunted.

There was a long moment of silence.

And then Sans said, “paps wants me to sing to ya.”

“You sing?”

“not usually. special occasions only.”

“Ah, I see. I hope I can hear it one day,” you said sincerely.

Sans shifted on his feet. And then. “close your eyes for a sec.”

You obliged.

You could feel the weight of the bed shift as Sans sat down. And then he started to softly hum the melody of a song you didn’t know. The sound of his humming filled the room and your heart started to ache. It sounded so beautiful and so soothing, soft and low like a comforting lullaby.

You tried to fight sleep so that you could hear more, but your tired eyes betrayed you before the song was even over.

Chapter Text

INTERSPECIES MARRIAGE? WHAT THE PUBLIC IS SAYING ON THIS CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC.

--

RECORD HIGH NUMBERS FOR INTERSPECIES COUPLES

--

IS YOUR MILLENNIAL A MONSTER APOLOGIST?

--

MYSTERIOUS SKELETON MAN AND HIS HUMAN, WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

--

‘FIND YOUR OWN WOMEN!’ SAYS DISGRUNTLED HOMELESS MAN – SPARKS RIOT IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA

--

ARE THEY LOSING THEIR TOUCH – AN EXPOSE ON THE FACES OF HUMAN/MONSTER RELATIONSHIPS

--

You have been cordially invited to the Dreemurr Family’s Holiday Party

Come for a special night filled with dancing, food, friends and family as we celebrate the holidays with all of our loved ones.

Please RSVP at your earliest convenience

--

“S-so you’re d-definitely coming t-today, right?” Alphys asked. “A lot of, um, a lot of m-monsters are going to b-be there. Are you and S-sans…?”

You cradled the phone in between your ear and shoulder as you sifted through your closet to find something cute enough to wear. “I…ugh, yeah, well, it was only a matter of time before we’d have to start acting like a couple again. It’s amazing that we’ve gone on this long with so few public displays of affection,” you paused. “Ah, I guess I shouldn’t be, but I feel really weird and nervous about it. I feel like it’s finally starting to…I dunno, be almost normal between us again. It’s been nearly a month since. Ugh. You know.” Your cheeks still burned at the memory.

“Y-yeah,” Alphys said quietly. “B-but you can count on m-me! I’ll m-make sure no one s-suspects a thing. O-oh, what is that Undyne?”

In the background you could hear muffled screaming. Alphys laughed and murmured something you couldn’t quite catch. You pulled out a few cute dresses and threw them onto your bed. Hmm. You grabbed a pair of cute tights and boots. Good, good. You were going to look nice.

“W-well, at least other p-people feel s-safer about entering interspecies relationships,” Alphys said. “I m-mean, it’s a b-bit unfair for you, b-but-”

You looked at your desk where a few opened letters were strewn about. On top of the pile was a small photograph of a water elemental and his boyfriend. They had written you a thank you card and the elemental mentioned knowing Sans and how he was happy knowing his skeletal friend was happy with such a lovely lady.

“It’s okay,” you said. “The idea is growing on people more and more lately, so who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to break up soon.” The thought made your stomach twist a little.

“Y-yeah,” Alphys agreed, “maybe.”

“Okay, well I have to go and get ready,” you said. “Thanks for the chat. I’ll see you later.” You hung up the phone and tossed it onto your bed.

A holiday party was just what you needed, even if it meant fake-dating. The semester had just ended, you submitted your final projects. Exams were finally over, and now you could take a breath.

You quickly got ready, throwing on one of the dresses plus some thick tights and boots. You checked your watch. Noon. Okay, you weren’t running too far behind schedule.

You walked next door and was about to send a knock knock text, but Papyrus came barreling out of the front door. “FRIEND! I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU!” he shouted. “YOU NEED A BEAUTIFUL KNITTED SWEATER IMMEDIATELY!”

“…Uh.” It was then that you noticed Papyrus’s attire. “Is that…a Jack Skellington sweater?”

“YES! HE IS A SKELETON WHO ENJOYS CHRISTMAS. IT REALLY SPEAKS TO ME.”

“sup?” Sans said.

You studied Sans’s sweater. It looked like salt and pepper shakers with dialogue bubbles. Squint. “Oh my god. Seasons greetings.”

“heh, yeah, you got it.”

“That’s either really clever or really dumb, where did you even find it?”

“I MADE IT!” Papyrus said proudly.

“Really?”

“isn’t he the coolest?”

“BUT YOU NEED ONE TOO. HANG ON FOR JUST A MOMENT!” Papyrus dashed back into the house before you could protest. When he returned, he gave you a giant green sweater, at least three sizes too big on you, that said Meowy Christmas. In the center was a giant cat with a Santa hat. “IT’S PERFECT. BECAUSE YOU HAVE A CAT.”

Well you couldn’t say no now. You shrugged off the blue jacket and pulled the sweater on over your dress. You may as well have just put on a second dress. You put the jacket back on and gave him a thumbs up.

“ready?” Sans asked, grabbing his galaxy jacket from the coat closet and throwing it on over his sweater.

“YES I AM READY FOR AN AFTERNOON OF JOY!”

The snow wasn’t as bad today, so Papyrus insisted on driving. Sans slept the whole way to Toriel and Asgore’s (again!), but it was okay because you and Papyrus sang along to all the Christmas songs on the radio. It took closer to forty minutes to get there because of traffic, so you were a little late and the party already seemed to be in full swing by the time you arrived.

You approached the house, smoothing out the sweater. The door was already opened and music was pouring out of the home. You had just stepped in through the doorway when you heard a familiar shriek.

“Oooh! Bratty take a look, it’s that girl who loves smooching skeletons!”

“Oh my God! Catty, you’re, like, so right! And look there is her skeleton boyfriend right behind her!”

“And look what’s right above them!” Catty snickered, pointing up at some hanging mistletoe.

“Hey, this means you guys need to, like, kiss, and stuff!”

The two girls giggled at your expense. Gee, already? Before you could protest, Sans threw his arm over your shoulder and pulled you in so he could press his teeth against your cheek. “mwah,” he added hastily before withdrawing. You wondered if this was out of habit or to make it clear to Bratty and Catty that it was, indeed, a kiss.

“Awww, only on the cheek?”

“That’s, like, so lame!”

“Yeah we were hoping for some lip on lip action!”

“I think you mean some lip on teeth action!”

“Oh my God Bratty!”

“Oh my God Catty!”

The girls snickered, but left right after, completely ignoring you and Sans. Okay. That wasn’t so bad. You resisted the urge to touch your cheek. He dropped the arm still slung around your shoulder like nothing happened.

The three of you went further into the house, going straight into the living room where people were gathered on the couches, eating and talking. Toriel and Asgore were sharing drinks by the fireplace. You managed to catch Asgore’s eye and he lifted his glass and smiled at you warmly. You waved back.

There was happy holiday music playing from a piano and a few monsters were dancing. You saw Alphys and Undyne twirling around the room, Undyne leading Alphys under the pieces of mistletoe. You smiled at them too. Everyone looked really happy. Papyrus immediately went to go join in on the festivities, heading upstairs where you assumed there were other monsters and dancing.

“c’mon,” Sans said, tugging on your arm a little and leading you into the kitchen. Grillby was talking to a cute spider monster who you recognized as Muffet, the supplier of all the monster treats at the café. She noticed you and Sans entering and waved with her fingers.

“Ahuhuhu, well look who decided to show up. Nice to finally meet you dearie,” she said, extending one of her hands to you. You took it and shook it gently. “Maybe now that Sans has someone to help with finances he’ll finally pay his fucking tab.” She shot Sans a menacing glare.

“hey, muff, ya know i’m good for it.”

“Talk is cheap,” she said folding her arms. “I suppose since it’s the holidays I will let it slide for now, but remember time is money.”

“yeah, yeah, you got any spider cider on ya?”

Muffet glanced at you slyly, “Treating your girlfriend, dearie?”

“somethin like that.”

Grillby took out two glasses and poured what looked like grape juice into both of them. You watched in fascination as the liquid swirled around in the cup. He handed them to Sans. Muffet handed you a small plate of treats as well.

“Enjoy, my dear. And tell your boss thank you for doing business with me. Sans-”

“put it on my tab,” he said, as he led you out of the kitchen and back into the living room. “here,” he said, handing you a glass, “spider cider, pretty good stuff if you forget what it’s made of.”

You took a tentative sip. It tasted more like apple cider than anything else, so you were a bit surprised. The two of you went to sit on the couch to eat the small cakes and cookies Muffet piled on your plate.

“Do you just have a tab with every monster in town?”

“and most humans.”

“And they just…let you do that?”

“you did.”

“Under the pretense of boyfriendmanship,” you looked around. Everyone was chatting or dancing. The house was decorated with a mix of normal Christmas decorations – tinsel, twinkle lights, -ugh- mistletoe – and crafts that Frisk probably made such as cut snowflakes, crayon drawings of Santa, and cotton ball snowmen. It was really cute. “This is really lively, I didn’t know monsters celebrated Christmas. Did you start after coming to the surface?”

“ehh, nah. we had christmas underground. some teens back in the day tormented a poor gryftrot, so the community left presents under a tree. somethin like that.”

“That…sounds silly.”

“why do you have christmas?”

“To celebrate the birth of Jesus. I think.”

“so you celebrate this dude’s birthday by giving each other gifts?”

“Pretty much.”

“that sounds silly.”

Suddenly a familiar plant was dangled in front of your face. You looked over to see Frisk, smiling in their own ugly Christmas sweater, Flowey in one hand (his pot reading: I am jolly! in badly painted handwriting), and a rod with mistletoe tied to the end in the other hand. They were grinning from ear to ear.

“what’s up kiddo?”

“KISS!”

“you wanna kiss? ok,” Sans leaned over to give Frisk a toothy kiss on their cheek. Frisk puffed out their cheeks. “hey, what about me, don’t i get a smooch from you kid?”

Frisk dramatically rolled their eyes, but complied and gave their Uncle Sans a peck on the cheek as well. They dangled the mistletoe in between you again, staying determined to their goal.

“Oh, my turn?” you asked, playing along and pulling Frisk’s face in for a sloppy kiss on their cheek.

“Now will you guys kiss?” Frisk asked after wiping off the lipstick on their cheek.

“aw, c’mon kiddo, you don’t really want to see that mushy stuff do you?”

“WELL I DON’T!” Flowey screeched.

“Um. YES?! Sans you need to lock this down!” Frisk said, waving at you. “She is the human lady of your dreams, you need to kiss her or she will leave you. And then I won’t have an aunt. And you’ll be alone forever!”

Ouch. Frisk was cold.

Much like before, Sans leaned in and pressed a kiss against your cheek and you felt your heart flutter a bit. He pulled back and looked at Frisk, who was now definitely pouting. You chuckled. “What’s wrong?”

“You aren’t kissing right! Sans, she is your PRINCESS!”

“my fair maiden in a cat sweater,” he said, gently taking your hand in his.

“Good! Now go in for the smooch!”

You and Sans locked eyes for a split second. Will you? Won’t you? You took the plunge and shyly leaned in, pressing your lips against his teeth.

Apparently, having very strong feelings did not change the fact that kissing teeth was still really terrible.

But now Sans had a lipstick stain on his face. You could tell Frisk was trying really hard not to laugh at him (and failing miserably), but before they could say anything MK ran up behind them.

“Yo! Frisk! A bunch of us are going out to play in the snow, you and Flowey coming with?”

Frisk nodded vigorously and the two ran off, MK tripping a bit.

“wanna head upstairs?”

You laughed and set your glass and plate on the table. “Sure thing…uh, but you got a little something.”

You used your thumb to wipe off the lipstick, kind of smudging it around his mouth in the process. You snorted. This looked ridiculous. “H-hang on,” you said “I’ve almost got it.” You gave one last swipe and then a thumbs up.

Well. You got most of it off.

By the time you made it upstairs, Papyrus was already commandeering the karaoke machine for himself. Apparently he had sung through half the track list already. You laughed, but you couldn’t blame him. It was hard not to want to sing every carol you knew around this time of year.

Several monsters were arguing over who got to sing next. A buff seahorse type ended up winning out.

“All I want for Christmas is you ;) ”

You weren’t going to question how he was able to audibly wink without even saying ‘wink.’ You figured it was a monster thing.

After him a different fish type of monster stepped up to the mic. She seemed pretty shy, but she had a really nice singing voice.

“MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE, MY FRIEND?” Papyrus asked, offering his hand out to you. You took it gingerly and then Papyrus proceeded to literally sweep you off your feet as he twirled you around the makeshift dance floor.

“Ah, you’re really good at this,” you said as he spun you around. You felt pretty graceful, actually. You were surprised that Papyrus was such a good dancer.

“OF COURSE! I AM A SKELETON OF MANY TALENTS. I DON’T KNOW WHY I MUST CONSTANTLY REMIND YOU OF THIS.”

“You’re just too cool of a dude for me to keep up with.”

Papyrus looked down at you and smiled. “NYEH-HEH, IT’S FUNNY, YOU SOUNDED JUST LIKE SANS WHEN YOU SAID THAT.”

You blushed and laughed a bit. “Oh, well, he must just be ribbin’ off on me.”

“YES. EXACTLY LIKE SANS.”

The dance ended and Papyrus dropped you back off with Sans before running back over to the karaoke machine to try and reclaim his place. Silly skeleton.

You and Sans talked for a while as different monsters took their turn singing. You did your best to convince Sans to go up there, but he shot you down almost immediately, so instead you just talked and ate. You even managed to coerce a dance out of him (if lazy swaying counted as a dance). Most monsters were nice when they approached you and didn’t ask outlandish and rude questions the same way humans did. They seemed to genuinely want to know how you and Sans were doing, given the latest media coverage. You suspected that monsters were generally less nosy because they didn’t want to step on any toes and ask about bonding (you were instantly reminded of Papyrus’s reaction to the mere thought of seeing a soul). It was…honestly refreshing to have strangers want to talk to you because they knew Sans and wanted to meet you, as opposed to strangers straight up asking about your sex life.

Tons of photographs were taken. A few of the younger monsters tried to get you and Sans to kiss using Frisk’s mistletoe stick and then ran away exclaiming “Ew!” the second you started leaning in. Kids.

Alphys and Undyne came to check up on you as well, although they were having more fun giving each other small pecks under all the mistletoe in the house. They were probably the cutest couple you’d ever seen in your life.

“I AM HERE DARLINGS!”

Oh. No.

You hadn’t really seen Mettaton since his…game show? Interview? Whatever it was. And you hadn’t left with the best opinion of him. He strut right up to the karaoke machine and took over, singing songs from his Christmas album, “Mettaton’s Christmas Classics” which were just regular Christmas songs, but sung by Mettaton. Why he didn’t sing monster songs was beyond you.

Eventually, he finished his tracklist and had to take a break. And that is when he pounced.

“Why, hello there,” he purred.

“Hi Mettaton,” you greeted. “How are you?”

“Me? Oh, well you know me, I’m fine. But I’m more curious about you, my dear. How are you and Sans? Have you changed your mind about coming back to my show yet?” he asked.

“Uh, no,” you said kindly. “It’s just not us. We’re, um, pretty private people you see.”

“Hmmm,” Mettaton tutted. “Well, I guess I’m just going to have to change that. Have you sung a song for everyone yet?”
.
“Uh, no,” you said, looking warily at the machine and at all the monsters crowded in the room.

“Oh but darling, you simply must!” Mettaton grabbed onto your arm and started leading you over to the karaoke machine.

You nervously laughed and tried to slip away from Mettaton’s grasp. “I’d rather not. It’s embarrassing. Uh, and, I can’t, um. I have to go and, you know I think I owe someone a dance so,” you squirmed, but Mettaton’s grip on your hands was too tight.

“Nonsense my dear, it’s just one quick song!”

You looked around for anyone to save you. Where the hell was Sans when you needed him? Or even Papyrus? Or Alphys, didn’t she say she would have your back tonight? But it seemed as though all of your friends had vanished. “I can’t even sing,” you tried, hoping that maybe if you could convince Mettaton you weren’t worth listening to, he would let it go.

“Don’t be silly! Anyone can sing once they’ve been given a shot of MTT brand Sonata. Have you heard of it? It’s a deliciously blended drink that gives you the voice of an angel. It’s made by myself.”

Damn monster magic and its all-too-convenient uses. Who even heard of such a ridiculous thing? A drink that can make you sing? Preposterous, but here it was. Mettaton thrust a cup you’re your hands. “You’re not going to let me go without singing a song, are you?”

“You know me so well, darling.”

You know what. Whatever. It was a party. Almost everyone else had sung a song as well. Fuck it. You knocked back the drink. It tasted like warm honey and lemon water. You wondered if that’s what it was because it lacked the tingle that came with most monster food. You cleared your throat and went up to the karaoke machine to grab the mic.

Mettaton smiled and gave you a thumbs up before the music began to play. You were starting to feel anxious now that you had an audience, not that monsters were an especially judgmental bunch.

“Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me…”

You chose this song because it was stupid, but you didn’t really take into account that you were not nearly drunk enough to sing it without feeling mildly embarrassing. You were suddenly feeling pretty grateful that your friends were all downstairs.

“Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight…”

Actually this wasn’t so bad. You were pretty sure even Papyrus sang this earlier. The monsters weren’t grimacing at your voice so either that MTT Sonata drink worked or you were actually pretty good at this. Several were even dancing. Hey, this was kind of fun.

“Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight…”

Geez, this song was much longer than you thought it was going to be. You smiled as you sang when all of a sudden Sans was back upstairs and looking at you with mild amusement.

You couldn’t help it. “Sansta cutie hurry down the chimney tonight” came tumbling out of your mouth before you could stop it. Why, oh why, did he have to be a Santa as his job? No, it was okay, you could definitely recover from this. “Sansta baby, forgot to mention one little thing,” AH! You grimaced. Monsters were snickering, a few were elbowing him in the side. Okay, well…if everyone already thought you were doing this on purpose, “Sansta baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight.”

The song ended and you embarrassedly put the microphone down. From the corner of your eye you could see Sans laughing, although he was a little blue in the face. A few of the monsters were joking with him. Geez. You suddenly felt hot. You didn’t know why, it wasn’t like this was the most mortifying thing you’ve ever done.

Maybe it was just the stupid slip of the tongue.

The next time you looked up, Sans was heading out on the second floor balcony. You wondered if your outburst embarrassed him more than he let on. You were about to follow him when Mettaton stopped you.

“That was marvelous darling!”

“Thanks, we’re still not interested in the show though,” you said with a shrug.

You went outside and found Sans leaning against the balcony. Perched on his index finger was a small bird, chirping happily as he gently pat its head with the fingers on his other hand. You approached slowly to not scare away the bird.

“Real life Snow White, aren’t you?” you asked.

“heh, monsters are just naturally better with animals than humans i s’pose,” he shrugged. The bird ruffled its feathers and then took off flying. “they’re pretty amazin.”

“Birds?”

“yeah. they can go wherever they want,” he said, staring wistfully off at the sky, bird now but a speck in the distance. “must be nice.”

You leaned against the balcony. You were quiet for a few moments before you said, “Did I embarrass you? Is that why you left so suddenly?”

“what? no,” Sans said, gesturing to the sky, “i came outside to watch the sunset.”

“Oh,” you said, now feeling a little silly. “Oh,” you repeated, “well, I guess I’ll just, um, go back inside and leave you alone then.” You turned to leave Sans, but stopped when he awkwardly cleared his throat.

“you can, uh, ya know, pop a squat and sit with me if you want,” he said. He was already starting to sit down, slipping his legs in between the bars of the balcony. “i don’t mind.”

“You sure?”

“yeah, go for it,” Sans said. “could use some good company anyway.”

You smiled at sat down next to him. The two of you sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes before you said, “Sorry again about that song earlier.”

“heh, forgettaboutit.”

“Kinda hard to do when there are like a hundred people in there, several who will probably remember it,” you said, bumping his shoulder lightly with yours.

“welp there are two people out here who don’t give a shit, and i think that’s where i’d rather be.”

You watched as the sun dipped behind the horizon. You pulled your jacket’s hood up over your head and watched the last few slivers of sunlight began to disappear. And then you heard Sans softly humming...a very familiar and embarrassing tune.

“Hey!” you exclaimed, shoving his shoulder lightly, “What happened to not giving a shit?”

Sans chuckled. “i don’t give a shit about what people inside think, but, shucks pal, i gotta say i’m pretty flattered you were thinkin of me. hmm? sansta baby? did my mall santa outfit make that much of an impression on ya?”

“You’re teasing me,” you pouted. Wow, it was suddenly very warm considering all the snow on the ground.

“you betcha.”

“I hate you,” you said, shoving him again.

He was full on laughing at you when he said, “ha ha, you love me.”

Silence.

Thump. Thump.

Sans seemed to realize what he had just said because he suddenly rubbed the back of his skull nervously. “uh. that is, i, uh,” he stumbled with his words.

“No, no, it’s okay,” you fumbled awkwardly. “It’s fine. We’re good. Totally good. It’s what people say, you know? I hate you, no you love me. It’s a normal thing that I’ve said to my very extremely platonic friends a thousand times. Buddy.” You stopped and cleared your throat, “And, uh, anyway, we’re supposed to be the only two people at this party who don’t care, right? That’s what you said.”

“yeah.”

“Yeah! And uh, so it’s fine. Besides, we shouldn’t be stepping on eggshells around each other anyway, right? It, um, it’s kinda stupid, all things considering,” you paused, now feeling miserable, “It doesn’t…it doesn’t bother you does it? That I…” still have feelings for you, your mind supplied, but for once your mouth couldn’t get the words out. “You know.”

“nah.”

“Okay, good,” you said. “Um, so, did you wanna go back inside?”

“nah, i think i’m gonna stay out here a bit longer.”

“Do…um…do you mind if I stay out here with you?”

“not at all. it’s actually kinda nice.”

Chapter Text

Paps: 4:02 am
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!

Alphys: 7:09 am
Merry Christmas (=*o*=)

Undyne: 7:12 am
MERRY CHRISTMAS NERD

Mom: 8:06 am
Merry Christmas! It’s too bad about the snow, maybe we’ll swing by for New Years! Love you!

snas: 9:24 am
merry xmas

You let yourself sleep in until after 10, it was your vacation after all! You promised to hang out with Sans and Paps later in the afternoon to open gifts, but for now you were blearily typing out happy holiday messages to your friends and family. The snow was falling outside and your cat was cradled in your arms as you buried yourself further into your blanket.

Paps: 10:37 am
FRIEND!

Paps: 10:37 am
I KNOW IT IS IN THE SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS TO LET YOU BE MERRY

Paps: 10:37 am
BUT YOU HAVE BEEN LOLLYGAGGING AROUND IN BED FOR FAR TOO LONG! >:(

xxx-xxxx: 10:38 am
Wow, an angry frowny face, must be serious. Sorry Paps, did you want me to come over now?

Paps: 10:38 am
THAT IS WHAT I WAS HINTING AT!

Paps: 10:38 am
I AM NOT SURE HOW I COULD HAVE MADE MYSELF ANY CLEARER!

You climbed out of bed and threw on your jacket over your pajamas. Your cat meowed up at you, so you picked him up and cradled him in your arms. “You wanna come too?” you asked. He meowed again and nuzzled your arm. You grabbed the back of gifts and walked over, finding that the front door was already unlocked.

“what, would it hurt to knock?” Sans was laying on his couch, watching television. You could just make out the sounds of Papyrus flittering around in the kitchen.

You dropped your bag of gifts and set your cat down so he could walk around. Then you dramatically sat down on the edge of the couch.

“Sorry, you’re right. Knock knock.”

“who’s there?”

“Ho ho.”

“ho ho who?”

“Huh, your Sansta Claus impression could use a little work.”

“heh that joke was so bad it doesn’t even deserve a dignified response.”

You threw a pillow at his face. “You’re still chuckling, I know you know I’m hilarious.”

“I HEAR THE SOUND OF MY FRIEND TELLING AWFUL JOKES IN THE LIVING ROOM!” Papyrus said, bursting in and sweeping you up into a giant hug. “IT’S THE HAPPIEST DAY OF THE YEAR. CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE?”

“Yeah, Pap, your love is kind of crushing me.”

He set you down gently.

“Nice decorations,” you said, noticing the small tree they put up. A few homemade ornaments decorated the branches. “Did you use spaghetti instead of popcorn balls as a tinsel?”

“I DID. I THINK IT REALLY ADDS SOMETHING. REALLY SAYS THAT IT’S A PAPYRUS TREE.”

“I think so too,” you said sincerely.

“SO...PRESENTS?” Papyrus asked, eagerly looking at you, waiting with bated breath.

“Of course.”

And so Papyrus immediately dumped out the few gifts you had in your bag under the tree to make it a more authentic Christmas experience. You could already tell how spoilt Papyrus was going to be, as he had far more gifts under the tree than you or Sans (even as a combined effort).

Finding a gift for Papyrus was actually a lot easier than you thought it was going to be, as Papyrus simply loved everything, and there was little pressure in purchasing the perfect gift. However, you happened to notice the blatantly obvious fact that Papyrus really loved clothes. Especially modifying clothes. But since you had only ever seen him use a jumbo sharpie to make his clothing improvements--

“A SEWING KIT?”

You nodded, “With patches and iron ons and new markers. So that you can upgrade your clothes with more than just a black sharpie.”

“I LOVE IT!”

You figured he would.

From Papyrus you received an oversized sweater, a motivational poster with his face on it, and a tupperware full of spaghetti, although you were pretty sure that almost everyone was going to be receiving a tupperware full of spaghetti.

You really only expected to have a handful of things to open. You exchanged secret Santa gifts with your friends before the holidays, but chose to save opening the actual present until Christmas. Somehow, someway, Wyatt managed to get your name for the gift exchange again and so you were planning on opening it in the privacy of your own home where nothing could go wrong and nobody could judge you but, as it was, the gift was in the bag you brought over.

Typical.

You would’ve just ignored it had it not been for Papyrus handing out presents and practically thrusting it into your hands. Well. It was a fairly small box, so what the hell?

You undid the wrapping (old newspapers, classy) and opened the lid.

A bra. With skeleton hands. Skeleton hands copping a feel.

You stared at the piece of fabric, not even surprised. In fact, this was much more mild than you had been expecting. You rolled your eyes and said, “Real mature,” as if he were in the room with you.

“you humans sure do love handsy skeletons.”

You shot Sans a glare. “It’s. I don’t know! A novelty item! Shut up! He only bought it because he thinks I’m dating you and that it would be, I don’t know, funny!”

“ACTUALLY, COME TO THINK OF IT, I DID SEE A PAIR OF UNDERWEAR WITH THIS DESIGN ON IT IN YOUR CLOSET.”

You balked.

“Papyrus, when were you in my closet?”

“WHEN I WAS HOUSE SITTING OF COURSE. I THOUGHT, AS YOUR NEIGHBORLY SKELETON FRIEND, IT WAS MY JOB TO DO A BIT OF TIDYING. YOUR CAT BROUGHT THEM FROM OUT OF THE CLOSET. I THOUGHT SANS HAD JUST GIVEN YOU AN EXTREMELY DISTASTEFUL GIFT.”

Sans started snickering. You thought, maybe if you had been dating, he probably would’ve bought them as a joke. Hypothetical jerk.

“Oh shut up,” you mumbled.

“BUT NOW I MUST AMEND THIS CONCLUSION. THIS ANNOYING FRIEND OF YOURS MUST HAVE BOUGHT THEM.”

“Sure,” you said quickly, too ashamed to admit what really happened.

“WELL, ANYWAY, IT IS TIME FOR SANS TO OPEN A PRESENT.”

“Sure, yeah, open up the one from me next,” you said, pushing the box towards Sans. “It took a while to figure out, and I had to search long and hard for it, but I think you’ll really like it.” You couldn’t help but smile at him. You felt pretty pleased with yourself. Sans was a hard person to shop for, and you wanted to get something he’d like (without it being too impersonal or silly like a joke book) but also something kind of meaningful (without it serving as a reminder to your unrequited feelings).

“heh, really?” Sans said, tearing off the wrapping paper, “gee, i woulda been fine with a joke book or a-” He cut himself off as he opened the box and stared. “uh…a…”

This…wasn’t the reaction you had been anticipating. In fact, Sans looked like he was blushing as a blue hue slowly began to creep up onto his cheeks. You furrowed your brow. Did he hate it? You really, really thought he was going to like it.

“WHAT IS IT SANS?” Papyrus asked, craning his neck so he could see into the box.

“nothin!” Sans said, immediately closing the lid.

You felt a pang in your chest. Did he really hate it that much? You couldn't help yourself. Your lower lip wobbled.

“SANS YOU’RE BEING VERY RUDE TO OUR FRIEND.”

“‘m really not”

“SANS LET ME SEE THE PRESENT,” Papyrus said, making a grab for the box. Sans picked it up to move it from his grasp. “SANS!” Papyrus made another swipe for it, this time succeeding in grabbing the edge of the box. Sans held on tightly, mumbling for Papyrus to let go, but Paps was faster than Sans and pulled with enough force to make Sans lose his grip. Surprised at the lack of resistance, Papyrus dropped the box, causing the lid to fall off and the gift to fly out.

A big, thick, neon pink dildo.



...

The room was silent. Papyrus simply stared at the dildo with a half open mouth, almost as if he wanted to say something but couldn't find the words. Sans was looking at nothing in particular, refusing to make eye contact with anyone. He looked like he was caught between awkward laughing and feeling embarrassed. You were melting into a puddle of embarrassed goo. What do you even say to this?

Finally breaking the silence, Papyrus turned to look at you, “WHY WOULD YOU--”

“OH MY GOD!” you screeched, cutting him off before he could finish his question, “I’m sorry. I swear I had the perfect gift for you. I really, really did. But you know I was doing the whole secret Santa thing. Remember back like five seconds ago when we were all laughing at the skeleton bra haha yes great times I mean yeah, so you, uh, see Wyatt was my Secret Santa and I was his and I just wanted to embarrass my friend but I must have mixed up the gifts by mistake and ah, oh uh, oh god, it's getting hot in here isn't it?” You cleared your throat “it was supposed to be a gag gift, gag like funny you know, not gag like gag might be associated with something like this and uh, why did I even say that? You don’t suck off dildos! Not that, um, I would know. Or that you would know. Or, I mean, who am I to tell you how you should spend your time? Oh God, I am so sorry, I really need to stop cocking--talking! Talking. I really need to stop…”

You paused, taking a deep breath. Sans and Papyrus haven’t moved an inch since you started your rant. You felt your stomach churn as you stared them down. You couldn’t tell if your word vomit made things better or worse, although you were betting on worse. You looked at the offending dildo, just sitting there. Looking especially big and bright.

“I'm going to drink until this embarrassment goes away,” you said, standing up and heading into the kitchen. You realized that Sans and Papyrus probably didn’t have much alcohol. You checked the fridge. Eggnog. Sniff. Alcoholic eggnog. Why did they have this, was it for you? Who cares? You poured yourself a glass and downed it. You already knew drinking was a poor solution to this problem since it never fixed anything and lead you down the road of further embarrassment. But. If you were going to dig yourself into this grave at least you could blame your embarrassing behavior on the alcohol.

“heh c’mon it's not that bad,” Sans said. He was leaning in the kitchen doorframe. His blue face is giving away the fact that - yes, it really is that bad.

Pour. Drink.

“i mean i may be getting a-head of myself here-”

Groan. Drink.

“sorry, do you not like me dickin around?”

Groan louder. Pour. Drink.

“Oh God,” you said setting the glass down and putting your hands into your face.

“that's uh. probably what people say when they use them.”

“I am so sorry.”

“you may have mentioned that once or twice already.” Sans said gently. “maybe you should slow down there pal.”

Pour. Drink.

“I will drink until I forget this happened.”

“hey you haven't even opened my gift to you and uh. well i definitely feel less stupid about it now.”

You sighed and put the glass down. “Glad I could help,” you said, rubbing your temples slightly. You grimaced, feeling a buzz. Not nearly enough to help you forget what just happened. Maybe you should just leave and go home and hide under your blankets until this was all but a distant memory.

Sans tugged on the jacket sleeve. “c’mon,” he said.

You huffed, but nodded. You stumbled back into the living room and Sans led you back to your seat. Papyrus’s face was still flushed a light orange and he wasn’t looking at you. You couldn’t blame him. He was probably feeling so many varying degrees of embarrassment right now. The dildo was back in its box, now pushed way off to the side. You wonder who put it away.

Sans handed you a large, poorly wrapped square package. You started ripping off the paper slowly, and it revealed a canvas.

A canvas with probably the worst painting you had ever seen. It was clearly handpainted - and by that you mean it looked like it was painted by someone’s hands. A kindergartener, maybe? You couldn’t even really tell what it was - it kind of looked like brown and white blobs? You looked at Sans, who was clearly trying to gauge your reaction.

“i know it’s not as good as the stuff you make, but i didn’t really know what to get ya. and i know you like art and coffee. bean a real latte trouble to make it for ya, i’m not...i’m, uh, not really the artistic type,” he said. “It’s, uh, you know, meant to be coffee beans.”

You could feel your eyes welling up. Suddenly this terrible painting became the most beautiful piece of art you had ever seen. Don’t cry, don’t cry, you told yourself. “You made this for me?” you asked for confirmation, even though you could see his scribbled signature in the corner. You knew it was silly to get all worked up over a painting, but you couldn’t help but feel really giddy and happy inside.

“LOOK ON THE BACK FRIEND!”

You turned the piece over to see a list of all the dumb punny names you had given him written in his bad writing. You couldn’t even stop yourself from smiling. “Oh my God, Sans! You’re such a softie!”

“nah, you just had some real good puns.”

“No, you’re just a huge mush of a skeleton!” You looked over the list. You had forgotten about some of these. Sansafrass, Sansamon Bun, $&$...

You set the canvas down and threw your arms around him. “Thank you so much!” you exclaimed. “This was really nice of you to do for me!”

“yeah, yeah,” he said sheepishly. “it really isn’t anything special.”

You smiled at him warmly. He made you something. Even if it wasn’t the greatest painting, the fact that he actually took the time to try and paint for you instead of just buying a joke gift (which is more or less what you were expecting) was very touching. But. You figured it might be best to keep that to yourself.

Papyrus opened up some other gifts from “Santa” and you showed Sans a picture of what he was supposed to get for his gift -- a remote controlled drone with a built in camera, so that he could see the world from a bird’s eye view. You promised you would pick it up from Wyatt's as soon as you could so that he would be able to start using it right away.

You weren’t completely sure, but you swore you saw actual stars in his eyes.

The three of you finished opening presents and then immediately sat down on the couch to watch the Christmas specials on television. Your cat cuddled up to Papyrus - a true Christmas miracle in his eyes. You felt...really happy, even though your mind kept drifting back to the...uh, dildo incident. Minor hiccup, really, all in a day’s work for you.

You watched movies until you fell asleep.

You vaguely recalled someone carrying you home.

Chapter Text

New Years Eve.

New year. New you. Or something like that.

You didn’t really have any resolutions except to hopefully graduate and get a job, much like every other student in your class.

Oh. And to possibly stop sticking your foot into your mouth every time you talked to somebody. Growing past your awkward and embarrassing phase this upcoming year would be great. Hopefully. Maybe.

Well, you could dream.

You didn’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve this year. Usually your friends had some kind of party, but after the whole dildo incident (which ended with you chucking it at Wyatt’s head the second you saw him) you weren’t really all that interested in the inevitable teasing your friends would give you.

Besides, maybe a quiet night in is what you needed. You could watch the ball drop on TV from the comfort of your couch underneath a bunch of blankets.

Bzzzz Bzzzz

Paps: 7:08 pm
ARE YOU SURE YOU DON’T WANT TO COME TONIGHT?

You hesitated, fingers hovering over your phone. You scrolled through old messages from a few days ago.

Paps: 1:16 pm
WE - AND BY WE I MEAN ME AND SANS AND UNDYNE AND ALPHYS - WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND AN (IN)FORMAL INVITATION TO A NEW YEARS HANGOUT!

Paps: 1:17 pm
WE ARE GOING TO GRILLBYS

Paps: 1:17 pm
I MUST ADMIT THAT IT IS NOT MY MOST FAVORITE PLACE

Paps: 1:17 pm
BUT THEY VETOED THE GREAT SPAGHETTI FACTORY SO I GUESS WE MUST ALL MAKE SACRIFICES.

Paps: 1:17 pm
ARE YOU IN OR ARE YOU IN

Paps: 1:18 pm
(DO YOU SEE MY AMAZING JAPE THAT LEAVES YOU WITH NO CHOICE BUT TO AGREE. I THINK IT IS QUITE CLEVER.)

The wounds of embarrassment were still fresh, as Christmas was about three days before this exchange and Papyrus had been unable to look you straight in the eye. Sans more or less dropped the issue, especially after you gave him his drone (and this time you were definitely sure that his pupils formed stars, like what, since when was that a thing?). But, either way, you still weren’t entirely sure you could recompose yourself for New Year’s, so you declined.

But now that Papyrus extended the invitation a second time...

...ugh, it was so hard to deny him.

xxx-xxxx: 7:13 pm
I’ll think about it Paps, I promise.

And you watched television for a bit, played with your cat, did some laundry.

It was probably the most boring New Year’s Eve ever.

Around 9 pm you got bored with lounging around your apartment and decided, okay, fine, you’ll go and meet everyone at Grillby’s. Sitting at home doing nothing was getting sad and lonely.

...You just really hoped that they didn’t tell Alphys and Undyne about the, uh, gift mishap.

You called for a cab and made to the bar just after 9:30.

You entered Grillby’s to see the whole place was packed wall-to-wall with monsters. Many of them looked smashed despite it being relatively early in the night. You scan the restaurant until you see Papyrus’s tall figure leaning on a wall by one of the booths.

“Paps!” you called as you started pushing your way through the crowd.

Papyrus perked up at the sound of you calling for him and walked over to meet you halfway.

“YOU SHOWED UP! I KNEW YOU WOULD!”

You smiled. “Yeah, couldn’t let my coolest friend down, could I? Besides, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in here, so…” you trailed off, “So where were you guys sitting, over there?” you pointed towards the booth Papyrus was hovering over just moments before.

“YES, BUT, UH…I SHOULD WARN YOU ABOUT SOMETHING.”

“Should I be worried?” you asked.

“...HAVE YOU EVER SEEN AN INEBRIATED SKELETON BEFORE?”

Your eyebrows shot up. “What? Uh, no? I can’t say that I have?” Inebriated?

“WELL. YOU ARE ABOUT TO. WE DIDN’T KNOW IF YOU WERE COMING AND UNDYNE GOT OVEREXCITED AND SO SANS...YOU’LL SEE.”

You smiled and shrugged. “I’m sure it’ll be fine Papyrus. Half of my college career has been having to deal with drunk people.” Papyrus looked unsure, but nodded. You walked over to the booth where Sans was sitting, cradling a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mustard in his arms. You slid into the spot next to him. “Am I interrupting something here?”

Sans looked at you. Holy crap, his white pupils were so dilated and his face was flushed a light pastel blue. He stared at you for a few seconds, like he was processing your presence. And then all of a sudden, he dropped the condiment bottles and latched onto your arm, nuzzling it slightly.

You stared at him, waiting for the punchline to some kind of weird joke. But then he moved so there was no space between the two of you and continued to nuzzle. Uh…? Was this happening? This was Sans right?

“Oh my God, you’re a cuddly drunk,” you said, laughing a bit. You weren’t sure what you were expecting - maybe for him to be half asleep or maybe amiably chattering away. Although...you weren’t even all that surprised considering what happened at the wedding. But, oh man. You were never going to let this go.

“N’ ‘m ‘ot,” he mumbled into your sleeve.

“You totally are, you're practically making out with my arm the way you're holding it.” You looked at Papyrus. “Is he always like this?”

“I’M NOT REALLY SURE, BUT I DISCOVERED SOMETHING COOL. WATCH THIS!” Papyrus leaned over you and pried Sans’s hands off you and gently picked him up out of his seat. Sans immediately wrapped his arms around Papyrus’s neck and his legs around Papyrus’s torso. You were vaguely reminded of a koala. Damn. This was so ridiculous and so cute and you would never have believed it if it weren’t happening right in front of you.

“Oh my god, does he just naturally cling like that?” you snickered.

“YES AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO HOLD HIM.”

“but you could bro, because you’re sooo cool. the coolest. i have the best bro in the world. i love you sooooo much.”

You covered your mouth with your hand to try and suppress your giggling.

“OF COURSE YOU DO, WHO DOESN’T?”

“Hey punk, you finally decided to show up!” Undyne shouted, slamming down several pints of...well you weren't sure what it was exactly, but it was bright purple and fizzy. Undyne gave you a toothy smile. “Catch up, lightweight.”

“I’m not-” the retort died in your mouth before you could get the words out. Whether you were a lightweight or not didn’t really matter because Undyne was going to make you drink the...uh...whatever it was anyway.

“undyne! my favorite koi gillfriend. sooooo tough and badass and cool and lookin especially...uh...murdery tonight.”

“FUHUHU, gee Sans never knew you felt that way, should I be flattered?” Undyne asked, leaning towards him, teasingly fluttering her eyelashes. “You do know I’m-”

“T-taken!” Alphys squeaked, appearing behind her fiance and grabbing her hand.

“alph! my main paleontological pal.”

“Hey Alphys,” you greeted.

“H-hi! Glad t-to see you could make it,” she shifted on her feet a little, “S-so...how was Christmas?”

Sigh.

“she got me the beeeest gift everrrrr.”

“Best gift ever, hmm?” Undyne teased.

“Yup!” you squeaked. “A drone! Just a drone! That’s it. Nothing else that starts with a D nope…”

From the corner of your eye you could see Grillby waving you over. Thank God. You quickly slid out of the booth to go and meet him. You had to push your way past a few people standing around, but you easily made your way to the bar counter.

“So...seriously Grillby, fess up, what did you give him to make him act so clingy? I know it wasn’t just some weird beer mixed with some magic.”

Grillby merely smiled at you. Hm.

“Okay then, how much did he have to drink? I’ve never seen him like this before.”

Grillby held up four fingers. Four of what exactly?

“Is that a lot for monsters?” you asked, not entirely sure of the science of monster liquor. It affected the soul somehow, right? What were tolerance levels like here?

Grillby pondered this for a moment and shrugged. “Depends,” he finally said.

You were about to ask more questions (because, wow, you had so many questions), but all of a sudden you felt a pair of arms snake around your midsection and a certain someone nuzzling your neck.

“sooo soft. sooo warm.”

Uh.

What.

“Uhh...yeah, you know. Very fleshy and all that. Soft and warm comes with the package,” you said, a light blush warming your face. “You can let go of me now,” you said with a chuckle.

“noooo.”

“Sans, I can't move.”

“don’t goooo,” he whined, “i need youuu.”

Thump.

Thump.

Shit.

You knew, of course, that you could only take what a drunk person says with a grain of salt. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s alcohol-induced affectionate babble. Babble he would probably be mortified to remember in the morning, but babble nonetheless. And, besides, you tried to tell yourself, he was acting like this around Alphys and Undyne and Papyrus and-

“heyyy, grillbz,” blip Sans poofed away from you and popped up behind the bar. “You’re the-hic-the hottest guy i know, ha, ha.”

And Grillby.

You rolled your eyes. Yeah. There was nothing to worry about. He was just overly affectionate. It was fine. This was fine. And you weren’t going to take this personally. Grillby lifted Sans up and moved him across the bar. Then he pulled you out a glass.

“Uh, no thanks,” you said. “Really, tonight is probably the last night I need any alcohol, no offence. Maybe some water or tea instead?”

The next couple of hours was mostly spent laughing with your friends and other patrons at the bar with Sans glued either to you or Papyrus. Alphys and Undyne gushed about their wedding (“J-june!” “To symbolize how we are the HOTTEST couple ever!” “Uh b-because it’s the off s-season for this town.”) They were really excited about sharing all the details until the topic of a bachelorette party came up and Undyne mentioned something about strippers...her and Alphys shared a weird look and immediately clammed up.

It was pretty quiet after that.

“Sooooo, is this it then?” you asked.

“W-well...we could go t-to the park. They have a b-beautiful fireworks display for New Year’s.”

“Yeah, come on, let’s get out of here.”

Before you had the chance to step away from the booth after scooching out of it, Sans was already on you, clinging to your back much like how he was with Papyrus. He seemed like he was already sleeping. Whatever. Piggyback ride it was then. You left the bar with Sans on your back, and you stumbled down the sidewalk for a few blocks, focusing on not toppling over because Sans was proving to be heavier than you anticipated. Papyrus, Alphys, and Undyne trailed close behind you until you finally got to the park where another party was happening.

You rushed over to the playground and dropped Sans in front of a swing and you sat in the other. Sans sat down in his swing and began to sway. You could tell he was starting to sober up a little bit. You watched Papyrus jovially carry both Alphys and Undyne around a big mixed group of monsters and humans. Everyone looked impressed. You smiled to yourself.

“Hey so, uh, is this, like, is this even a thing for monsters?” you asked.

“hm, what?”

“New Year’s. Did you have it? Everyone seems so excited, you know?” you said, eyes still trained on your other friends.

“uh, i guess. ‘s pretty sad though.”

“Sad?”

Sans was quiet for a minute and then reached out for your hand. You briefly wondered if this was because he still a little drunk, or because it really was super sad, but you complied, gently resting yours in his.

“just a reminder we were trapped, i guess.”

Oh.

Well when you put it like that.

“But now…?”

“a reminder that we’re not.”

The day the barrier broke still wasn’t considered a holiday, so you supposed that this probably was the reminder of another year topside.

Gee. Heavy stuff for a fun night out.

You and Sans swayed for a while on your swings. A handful of people walked by, some wanting a photo or an autograph. You did your best to be polite, but it was annoying to have all these people bothering you tonight.

“Hey come on,” you said, tugging on Sans’s jacket sleeve. “Let’s go.”

“where?”

“Let’s go,” you repeated.

“go where?”

You looked around. Monsters were everywhere. People were everywhere. You just wanted a moment to yourself. A quiet space to ring in the new year. Squint. Search.

“There,” you said, pointing at a small, snowy hill towards the far end of the park. It looked pretty empty. You got up from your swing and pulled on his hand again. “Come on you lazybones.”

You and Sans stumbled up the hill, giggling and with him clinging to your arm the whole way up. It would be a lie to say that you didn’t enjoy it even the tiniest bit. Sans immediately plopped himself down and patted the ground next to him before laying down completely. You sat beside him and stretched out your legs. You decided (against better judgement, probably) to rest your head on his chest.

Hum.

You and Sans were both looking up at the sky. The top of this snowy hill felt so far from everything, so high up. You could hear the distant shrieks of other people in the park, but you felt as though there was no one else except the two of you.

You had a thought. A very stupid thought.

“Hey Sans?”

“ha, ha, that’s the name.”

“Did you know people kiss at the stroke of midnight?”

“yeah?”

Well. What were you supposed to say now?

“why? didja wanna kiss?”

Thump. Thump.

You didn’t think that anything was going to happen tonight, but now that his question was put out there, there wasn’t anything more you wanted. A New Year’s kiss. From Sans. For tradition’s sake. Probably.

“Oh come on Sansy, that’s hardly fair.”

“...pfft, sansy?” he asked, chuckling.

Shit. Did you really just call him that. Sansy? Really? You gulped. “Yes, Sansy. Like Sans. But better. And cuter. Forget I said it, it just slipped out, I didn’t mean to, I-”

“kinda cute.”

Oh.

You blushed.

“Yeah.”

“hmm?”

“Yeah, I’d want to kiss at midnight.”

It’s not something he doesn’t already know. Even while drunk, he’d probably be able to tell when you were lying anyway. Still. A few minutes of silence crawl by before Sans says something.

“ya seem rather interested in kissin a guy with no lips,” Sans said teasingly.

“Can't you just. I don't know. Make some?” you asked offhandedly.

He shifted. “i could but it looks stupid.”

Oh god. You were just joking but now the thought of seeing Sans with a set of lips sounded both appealing and hilarious. You sat up so you could look at him directly. “I wanna seeeeeeee,” you whined.

“noooooo,” Sans said, turning away from you. “you're gonna laugh.”

“Aw, come on Sansy, I'm not gonna laugh at you.”

He looked at you skeptically, but slowly thin blue wisps began forming around his mouth. You watched, completely fascinated. A few seconds later and there they were. A pair of blue translucent lips. Right where lips should be. Just sitting there. On his face.

“...oh my God.”

You couldn't help yourself. A snort of laughter escaped and then you couldn't stop. It just looked so ridiculous and out of place. Unlike the synthetic hand, this was more comical than cool. You could still see his teeth from behind the lips. You tried hiding your face, knowing he was probably going to be upset, but you couldn’t stop the giggling.

“ya said you wouldn't laugh,” he pouted - actually pouted with his lower lip and everything which just made you laugh harder.

“I'm sorry,” you apologized. “I didn't mean to laugh it just looks...so silly.”

The look he gave you was almost indignant. Oh my God. The lips made all his expressions hysterical. You bit on your lower lip to try and stop yourself from laughing. You were feeling kind of bad considering you did promise not to laugh at him.

“geez, i’ll give ya something to laugh about,” he said, suddenly wrapping one of his arms around your waist and pulling you into his lap. He started to tickle you and you squirmed to get out of his grasp, laughter escaping you.

“Haha, ha, stoooop it, hahahaha,” you said, still struggling. His grip on you was strong and he was unrelenting.

“nooooo,” he mimicked.

“This isn’t even faiiiiiiiiiiiiir.”

“heh, ‘s your own fault, ya promised you wouldn’t laugh,” he slurred, pressing his skull into the hood of your jacket.

“I’m sorryyyyy,” you choked out between giggles.

Finally, Sans relented and let go of you. You turned to look at him and you watched as his lips began to fade out until all that was left were teeth. You snorted, thinking that after all that just happened you’d rather kiss his teeth or else you may lose your nerve and dissolve into another giggle fit.

You settled back down into his lap comfortably and his arms wrapped around you gently like how they were earlier in the night. You were feeling really content. But...with the minutes ticking down...you just had to ask.

“Did you wanna?” you asked, turning your head slightly to try and look at him.

“what?”

“Kiss me.”

His grip on you tightened slightly and he buried his face into the hood of your sweatshirt, as if he were trying to hide his face even though you couldn’t see it. “i dunno.”

His voice had lost its mirth and you could hear his hesitation. You actually kind of expected it. You looked down at the bottom of the hill, and from where you were you could see everyone gathering together, getting ready to count down. You wriggled a bit in his lap, positioning yourself so you could look up at the sky. It was so dark, and you could only see a handful of stars that were twinkling.

“Never mind then. I mean, it’s just a silly tradition,” you said out loud.

The last few moments of the year started to pass, and you could hear the faint chorus of counting down happening far from you.

10…

“...hey.”

9…

“Yeah?”

8...

“c’mere a sec.”

7...

You shifted so you were sitting up and facing him.

6...

“What is it?”

5...

Sans hesitantly put his hand on your cheek.

4...

“’s just a tradition, right?”

3...

“Y-yeah,” you stammered, suddenly feeling nervous. Your hands began to shake.

2...

“ok.”

1...

At the stroke of midnight, Sans pressed his mouth against yours. In the background you could faintly hear everyone at the bottom of the hill cheering. Loud, booming fireworks began to go off around you, the high pitched shriek of the rockets filling your ears. But in truth you could hardly hear them over the sound of your heart, pumping loudly enough to drown out all the other noise. You couldn’t help yourself, you wrapped your arms around him and pulled him in closer. This was a mistake. This was wrong. He’s drunk. But he offered, didn’t he? He initiated it, right? What did it mean? Did it even mean anything? Would he even remember it? Did you want him to? You knew this was so selfish and self-indulgent but you didn’t care. You wanted this so bad. You needed this so much.

You felt all tingly and you didn’t want it to stop.

Please don’t let it end.

But the fireworks died out and the tingling feeling faded and suddenly Sans was pulling back and looking all confused at you.

And you burst into tears.

You’re not sure why you’re crying exactly, maybe it was because you were feeling really emotional. Maybe it was because you thought lying to yourself under the guise of wanting to kiss him for “tradition” didn’t ease the ache in your heart. Maybe it was because this was a taste of what you wanted but could never have. Maybe it was because you thought this could make him love you back, even though you know how stupid that sounds.

Maybe it was because you didn’t want to forget this moment.

Maybe it was because you did.

“why are you crying?”

You felt too choked up to answer, so you did your best to wipe the tears off your face. You sniffled and tried to stop them, but you couldn’t. This was so stupid. You couldn’t believe you were crying about this.

Hesitantly, Sans placed his arms around you in an awkward hug. “sorry,” he said.

Why was he apologizing? What was he apologizing for? This made you feel even worse, and you started crying harder, shoulders shaking as you continued to sob. What was happening? Why was he still here? He was repeating ‘sorry’ over and over. Why? You sniffled and cried until you were just too exhausted to keep your eyes open anymore.

Chapter Text

New Year, new you, which meant finally listening to Undyne when she said you needed training. Not even a day had passed when she texted you to get your ass in gear and start working (“New Year’s Resolution means you have to listen to what I say punk!”). But it wasn’t just Undyne who was getting on your case. Even Papyrus insisted that you start a training regimen with them to get stronger in case you were ever in a fight. You tried to protest on the grounds that monster and human fighting styles were completely different, but they were unrelenting – and you could never say no to Papyrus (too adorable) or Undyne (too scary).

So here you were at a park? If you could even call it that. It was mostly just this big open field that was several miles away from the city. It was still freezing out, despite the warm jacket and boots you were wearing. Undyne said not to worry about wearing workout clothes, that it wouldn’t matter for the kind of fighting you were about to do. Whatever that meant. There weren’t any other people around (probably because of the big empty field thing), so it was just you, Papyrus, Undyne, Alphys, and Sans. Although, he was mostly just watching from his hot dog stand (you weren’t going to even bother asking why he set up a hot dog stand in the literal middle of nowhere) in the most ridiculous worker’s uniform imaginable – with a propeller hat and everything.

Actually…you were kind of glad Sans was here. It had been two days since New Year’s and now that he wasn’t drunk or hungover, you really wanted to talk to him about what happened. Well. You didn’t, really, but you knew that you had to talk to him about what happened. You just knew that lying about it, even by omission, would come back to haunt you eventually.

Sans caught you staring at him and waved. You gulped. Should you talk to him now or wait? Would waiting make it worse? Have you already waited too long? You nervously waved back and started walking over when Papyrus stepped in front of you.

“OKAY FRIEND ARE YOU READY TO START?” Papyrus asked.

“Uh…” you glanced behind him to see Sans snoozing. How does he do that so fast? You refocused on Papyrus and nodded. “Yeah, I guess as ready as I’ll ever be?”

“ALRIGHT, I’M GOING TO TAKE OUT YOUR SOUL NOW!”

“Wait, wha-”

Before you had the chance to protest, you suddenly a hard squeeze in your chest. You winced. What the hell? For a moment it felt as though you had two heartbeats – a steady paced bu-dum bu-dum bu-dum and a stuttering bu-du-du-bu-du-dub-dum. Out of instinct you slapped yourself in the chest hoping to change the irregular heartbeat, but you only made yourself choke on your own spit. Okay, okay, not a great start. The squeeze released and you took a deep breath.

Alright, so that wasn’t really what you were expecting. Well…you weren’t really sure what you were expecting. You had been wanting to see your soul for a while now, since it seemed like such an important thing with monsters. But that felt pretty weird.

“ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”

You gulped, but nodded.

“CAN I TRY AGAIN?”

You nodded, this time bracing yourself for the squeeze. Bu-du-du-bu-du-dub-dum. And then you felt a piece of yourself break off. No, wait. It was still there. It became an extension – of your mind, of your body? The tight squeeze started to lessen, and you felt like you couldn’t breathe. But also…you didn’t feel like you needed to breathe. Your vision began to blur until all you could see with clarity was a white outline of Papyrus (uh…?) and…oh.

A dainty purple heart hovered right in your line of vision, slowly dipping downwards towards the floor. You stared at it in awe. This small, precious beating heart was the embodiment of your soul? Actually, in all honesty, it was a bit lackluster. Considering the importance of souls, you were expecting something a little more impressive. Still, it was pretty cool to finally see it in person.

Papyrus gasped. “WOWIE, A PURPLE SOUL. I THOUGHT FOR SURE IT WOULD BE GREEN. UNDYNE COME LOOK.”

You tried to reach out for your soul, but you realized that you couldn’t move your arms. You couldn’t even see your arms. You felt pretty rooted in your spot, but you noticed that by reaching out, your soul slowly moved a few centimeters up.

Okay. That’s going to take some getting used to.

“THAT PUNY THING?” She shouted. You think she shouted? It was so garbled, like you were sitting underwater. “Oh, we’ve got our work cut out for us.” You heard Undyne crack her knuckles and suddenly she came into an outlined clarity as well. “Alright, so as former head of the royal guard I feel that it is my duty to explain to you the inner workings of a confrontation…”

You waited patiently.

“UNDYNE WHY AREN’T YOU SAYING ANYTHING?”

Undyne grit her teeth together and then let out a loud, “NO! SCREW IT! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! WE’LL TEACH BY EXAMPLE!” She sent a sharp arrow flying in your direction. You screamed and tried to duck to avoid getting shishkabobed in the face, but you remembered that you couldn’t move. Your soul buzzed around wildly, and thankfully missed the arrow.

Jesus Christ.

“The hell was that you punk?! I didn’t even shoot it that fast!”

Papyrus looked at Undyne disapprovingly. “UNDYNE THAT IS NOT HOW WE TREAT A WHIMSATOT!”

“Whimsatot?”

Undyne snorted. “Monster slang for a baby who’s new to fighting. Meaning you. And I don’t see why you should be coddled.” Papyrus glared. Undyne sighed loudly, rolled her eyes, and relented, “Fine, you win. Do it your way.”

Papyrus looked pleased with himself as he focused on you. “OKAY FRIEND, WE’LL START WITH A SIMPLE BONE ATTACK. JUST IMAGINE YOUR SOUL JUMPING OVER THEM AND IT WILL. ARE YOU READY?” You nodded and a row of small bones no taller than your calf slid in your direction. You concentrated as hard as you could, but your soul didn’t move an inch. The bones collided right into your soul, and you felt a throbbing pain all over your body.

You cried out. Was this going to bruise? Why did you agree to this?

“UM. WELL. THAT WAS AN OKAY FIRST TRY.”

You groaned, but the pain was subsiding, almost like you were never hurt at all. You felt hurt all over but at the same time you…didn’t? “It’s okay, just give me a minute.” You tried to take a breath before you remembered that you didn’t really need to breathe, “Okay, um. Go again?”

“NO, IT’S YOUR TURN NOW.”

“Oh,” you looked around. Everything but Papyrus and Undyne was blurry. Were you supposed to summon bones or something? Was that only a skeleton thing? Were you supposed to swing at him with your fist? Even if you could move your fists, you’d probably only end up hurting yourself if you took a swing at hard bone. “Uh…what do I do?”

“YOU CAN DO LOTS OF THINGS. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO HAVE A PLEASANT CONVERSATION, OR PERHAPS CHECK MY STATS, YOU CAN EVEN FIGHT ME IF YOU CHOOSE.”

Considering you couldn’t even figure out how to move, you chose to talk. “What are stats?”

“THEY’RE…YOU KNOW…STATS.”

That was definitely the most unhelpful answer you could have gotten.

“I th-think I can explain,” Alphys said as she came into view. “Everyone, m-monster or human, has a set of Structured Traits And Tactical Strategies. You have DEF and ATK traits, f-for DEFense and ATtacK p-patterns. You also have a LOVE s-score, w-which is Level Of ViolencE and HP-”

“Let me guess, Health Points.”

“Y-yes, although some believe it s-stands for HoPe,” Alphys paused, “M-monsters really like acronyms.”

This sounded like a generic videogame. You couldn’t even believe that this was real life. “So how do I check?”

“J-just think about it.”

“Think about it,” you said doubtfully. Really?

“Y-yes! That’s right!”

“Okay you’ve used up your time punk! Now it’s my turn!”

This was definitely the least conventional fight ever. Was this really going to help you? You nervously waited, half expecting another arrow to come flying at your face, er, your soul. Undyne produced three small spears and they…slowly approached your soul. You tried to remember how you got it to move the first time.

Just like with Papyrus, you concentrated all your willpower on moving, but your soul didn’t budge. And all three arrows hit you.

“Damn, you really suck at this. I don’t even have to turn your soul green.”

“What?”

“My special attack! Keeps you in one spot so I can CLOBBER YOU!” she made a fist with her hand. Wow, she was terrifying.

You took this opportunity to follow Alphys’s advice and try looking at Undyne’s STATS. You did your best to focus on her for the check, and suddenly a few fuzzy numbers appeared in front of her.

10 ATK
10 DEF

...these numbers meant nothing to you, but you assumed it meant Undyne was pretty darn strong. You wondered if there was a way for you to check yourself.

Alphys’s turn. You braced yourself, but she didn’t even try to attack you. Instead, her glowing white outline began to turn a soft yellow. “Y-you can tell when you’re b-being spared once we turn y-yellow. It means we d-don’t want to fight. I’m j-just here to explain the s-science. Just say you’re showing mercy or that y-you’re sparing us.”

“I’m…showing mercy?”

A bright golden light began to trace around the outside of your soul. It was really pretty, you wished you could reach out and touch it.

You continued in rotation for a few more rounds. After some practice and general advice from Alphys, you figured out how to get your soul to move without too much of a problem, although your movements were still pretty limited. Much to Undyne’s annoyance and instance that you wouldn’t learn anything, Papyrus’s blue attacks became your favorite, although it did feel funny to have a bone ghost through your soul like it was nothing.

Still, blue attacks or not, you got tired pretty quickly. The sharp points of pain from attacks on the soul were really wearing you out. You were exhausted, both physically and mentally, so you asked to take a break to recuperate.

Now that you were out of the fight, you dropped to the floor and sat in fetal position. Oh man, you were definitely feeling all the pain you thought you wouldn’t have to endure. And they did this to Frisk? Good God.

“MAYBE FIGHTING THE MONSTER WAY IS TAKING MORE OUT OF YOU THAN WE THOUGHT IT WOULD,” Papyrus said as he picked you up off the floor and placed you onto your feet.

You nodded weakly. Your legs felt like jelly. God, ow, this hurt so bad.

“WHY DON’T YOU REWARD YOUR HARD WORK WITH 100 LAPS AROUND THE PARK?”

You stared at Papyrus blankly.

“UM. 50?”

You continued staring.

“OKAY, YOU DRIVE A HARD BARGAIN. 25 LAPS AND YOU GET TO SHOUT ABOUT HOW GREAT YOU ARE WITH ALPHYS.”

“Paps, there is no way I can even do one lap around the park right now. I think I just need to go sit down for a little while.” You glanced over at the hot dog stand where Sans was working. “Yeah, I think I’m just gonna go and sit with Sans for a bit, okay?”

Papyrus looked like he was about to sulk, but nodded and turned towards Undyne to start a fight between the two of them. Alphys was off in the distance, running around and screaming that this was the life of an anime protagonist. Well. Alright then.

You walked over to Sans’s station, suddenly feeling nervous. This was your chance to talk about what happened on New Year’s. You quickly formed a plan. You were going to start with some small talk, see how he’s been, then ease into-

“heya,” Sans greeted. “care for a dog?”

“I have to tell you something.”

Or go right for it, that’s cool too.

“ok?” He propped his head up with his hand, “gee, what’s with the face? you're really bracin me for the wurst,” he winked, you groaned, and he gestured to the empty seat next to him, “wanna sit down?”

“I, uh,” you chewed your lower lip, “Uh, yeah. That’d be great.” You walked over and sat down in the seat beside him. Sans reclined a bit in his chair.

“sup?”

“So, uh, look,” you started, “I don’t know how much you remember from New Year’s, but I thought I should tell you. Um. I didn’t, um, I didn’t want you to find out through someone else or find out way later…you know… I’ve realized that kind of thing really bites you in the ass so…uh, for starters, you do know how you were acting most of the night, right?”

The bright blue blush that began to bloom on his face told you the answer to that was ‘yes.’

“Right. So. Um. We were at Grillby’s when Alphys mentioned fireworks at the park so we went and we talked a bit but, uh, eventually we left the group to go lay on the hill to stargaze and be away from the crowds and I, um, I brought up kissing at midnight and you…asked if I wanted to. And we did. We kissed.”

Silence.

“ok?”

…This was the part where you expected Sans to yell at you. Or say something. Anything, really. But he was just looking at you, still reclined in his chair. Relaxed, although slightly confused, look on his face.

“You’re not mad?”

“why would i be mad?”

“Because I kissed you. I…I totally took advantage of you, I-”

“hey,” Sans interrupted, grabbing your hands in his, “it’s fine. don’t worry about it. we were drunk so-”

“I wasn’t.”

“what?”

“I wasn’t drunk. I was sober when it happened.”

“oh.”

You sat there anxiously, waiting for Sans to say something. He was going to be angry with you now for sure. He was so quiet. You looked away from him, choosing to stare at the ketchup stained countertop. Gross.

“i mean, we already kiss in public all the time. it isn’t a big deal.”

“It is a big deal! This was different. It wasn’t just any small peck on the teeth. It felt like-” something.

“don’t,” Sans said sharply. “just a tradition right? it didn’t mean anything.”

Silence.

“I…I know,” you said, voice wavering slightly. “I know.” You started trembling. “I just wanted to make sure you knew. Because you…you apologized. After it happened. I thought, maybe, I don’t know…” you trailed off.

“look, pal,” he started, retracting his hands from yours.

No.

“i don’t want to hurt you,” he said.

Too late.

“i don’t mean to lead you on.”

You already have.

“i probably apologized cuz i knew that i can’t be what you want,” Sans said. He glanced around, clearly looking uncomfortable. “look, i gotta go. unionized break and all that.”

What? He was leaving? He couldn’t just go in the middle of this conversation!

“Sans, I’m trying to talk to you.”

“there’s nothin’ to say,” he mumbled as he started shuffling away from you.

“There’s plenty to say! There’s so much I have to know. Like...like why it felt so different. Like...maybe...maybe this isn’t as one sided as you make it seem.”

Sans flinched, but didn’t turn around. Your heart was beating wildly. This wasn’t how you expected this conversation to go. You waited. You felt like you couldn’t breathe. Why did you say that? You could already hear him saying he was sorry and that he didn’t feel the same way and-

“ya know, you’re real good at seein’ things that aren’t there.”

…oh.

He started to walk away again as you felt a lump grow in your throat. You tried to ignore the coldness of his voice as you reached out for him, intending to grab him by his jacket sleeve to keep him from walking away or teleporting, or at least travel with him if he did, but all of a sudden…

Bu-du-du-bu-du-dub-dum.

You weren’t sure if you or Sans was more surprised by the sudden fight sequence. You didn’t even know you could do this sort of thing on accident.

He was already yellow. Instantly spared? You were about to just let him go, but your eyes couldn’t help but focus on him. Maybe after being forced to practice all day, checking became a habit. You didn’t really mean to, but you couldn’t help but notice…

ATK 1
DEF 1

“...Why are your STATS so low?”

“nunna your business.”

Blip.

Did he…did he just leave in the middle of a fight? You could do that???

Everything came back to clarity, you were still in the park, but Sans had completely disappeared. You looked around, but it seemed as though Sans teleported home. You sat there, stunned. Not only from your own actions, but from Sans’s as well. You tried to digest what just happened.

And the more you thought about it, the more confused you felt. Sans wasn’t even mad about the kiss. In fact, it seemed like he couldn’t care less about it. Was he so desensitized by your antics at this point that something like that didn’t even matter?

But why get upset and leave when you bring up feelings?

It was just...so unlike him.

You didn’t even mean to bring it up, it just sort of happened. It wasn’t even what you were thinking, not really. You just wanted to apologize, maybe hash the situation out a bit, and then…what? Now that you were sitting here and thinking, you wondered if you were intentionally trying to pick a fight by saying what you did.

“WHERE’S SANS?”

You looked up and saw Papyrus looming over the hot dog stand. You guiltily shrugged. “I don’t know. I kind of…uh…confronted him about some stuff that happened recently and he got upset and teleported away.”

Papyrus suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “I SEE. I’M SURE THAT’S TOTALLY 100 PERCENT NORMAL. RUNNING AWAY...IT’S WHAT BROTHERS DO. I’M SURE. YES. I AM TOTALLY NAILING THIS DISTRACTING YOU THING. COME, LET’S DO VICTORY PUSH UPS POWERED BY OUR RIGHTEOUS FURY.”

Okay, now you were incredibly suspicious and an uneasy feeling starting forming in your stomach. “Distract me from what?”

“NOTHING. CERTAINLY NOT MY BROTHER’S FLIPPITY-FLOPPITY ATTITUDE. ARE YOU SURE YOU DON’T WANT TO SUPLEX SOMETHING? UNDYNE SAYS IT’S VERY RELAXING!”

“Papyrus-”

“WE CAN DO FRIENDSHIP SIT UPS. WHICH ARE JUST NORMAL SIT UPS BUT WE SCREAM ABOUT OUR AMAZING FRIENDSHIP.”

“Papyrus-”

“I COULD PROBABLY BENCH PRESS YOU, BUT LET’S SEE FOR OURSELVES. FOR SCIENCE.” He was starting to sweat.

“Pap-”

“NYOO-HOO. PLEASE DO NOT BE UPSET BY MY FANTASTIC DECEPTIONS. I ONLY HAVE EVERYONE’S BEST INTERESTS AT HEART. WELL. NO. THAT’S A LIE. I AM ONLY DOING THIS BECAUSE SANS TOLD ME NOT TO SAY ANYTHING. AND HERE I AM. SAYING THINGS. BUT ONLY BECAUSE I CARE.” He started wringing his hands.

You feel like you were forgetting to breathe again. What was happening? Your stomach felt like it was being tied up in knots. You were trying to focus on what was going on. “Papyrus, I don’t understand.”

“I...MUST ADMIT THAT I DO NOT KNOW EITHER. SANS HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY SECRETIVE, BUT FAIRLY STRAIGHTFORWARD. NOT THE TYPE TO BEAT AROUND THE ECHOFLOWERS IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. IN FACT, I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE YOU KISS ON NEW YEARS BECAUSE OF HIS UNRECIPROCATED FEELINGS.”

Ouch. Didn’t need the reminder, Papyrus.

“SO SURPRISED THAT I SCREAMED WITH JOY. WELL. UNDYNE USED THE WORD ‘SQUAWK’ BUT THAT IS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.”

“But he was drunk-”

“YES, BUT HE TOLD ME...THINGS.”

…what?

“What kinds of things?”

“UNFORTUNATELY, GREAT YOUNGER BROTHER PAPYRUS CANNOT TELL YOU AS HE IS BOUND TO SECRECY BY OLDER BROTHER SANS. WE EVEN MADE A SPIT PACT. MINUS THE SPIT, BECAUSE THAT IS SIMPLY UNSANITARY. ALSO BECAUSE SKELETONS CAN’T REALLY SPIT. BUT IF WE COULD, I CERTAINLY WOULDN’T-”

“Papyrus, you’re getting a little sidetracked,” you said, feeling anxious. What kinds of things? What did Sans say? “Can I just have a hint?”

“WELL. ALRIGHT. BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU’RE A COOL HUMAN FRIEND WHO WORKED VERY HARD TODAY. AND BECAUSE SANS IS TOO EMOTIONALLY CONSTIPATED TO TALK TO YOU HIMSELF…” Papyrus trailed off. He looked at you nervously, trying to choose his words carefully.

“Paps, I’m not crazy in thinking...that all of this is totally platonic, right?” You felt unsure, since you had misinterpreted the signs before. And despite what Sans said about you seeing things...everything just felt...different.

Papyrus blinked owlishly at you, and then turned to look across the field. “WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALPHYS AND UNDYNE?”

Alphys was drinking water and laughing as Undyne talked. They were standing pretty close together and Undyne went in for a noogie. Both of them were giggling, and once Undyne relented, Alphys leaned up for a kiss.

“Happiness.”

“DATING LEVEL AT THE HIGHEST MARK. THE GREATEST LOVE STORY OF ALL TIME FOREVER PROBABLY. BUT, IT STARTED OUT WITH UNDYNE GOSSIPING ABOUT HOW GREAT AND HOW COOL ALPHYS WAS. IT WAS ALWAYS ‘ALPHYS IS SUCH A GENIUS’ AND ‘ALPHYS MAKES AMAZING RAMEN.’ AS IF THAT HUNK OF INFERIOR DRIED UP CARDBOARD NOODLE WAS SOME KIND OF GODLY METTATON FACE STEAK.”

...uhh?

“AND THEN SHE WOULD INVITE ME OVER TO HER HOUSE UNDER THE GUISE OF FRIENDSHIP SLUMBER PARTIES, BUT THEN SHE WOULD STALK ALPHYS’S UPDATES ON THE UNDERNET AND ASK ME WHAT I THOUGHT EACH OF THE FUNNY SMILEY FACES COULD MEAN. AND THEN THREATEN TO PUMMEL ME IF I EVER TALKED ABOUT THIS WITH ANYONE.” Papyrus cut himself off and squinted over at Undyne, who was still enamored with Alphys. He moved over a few extra feet.

“SO I SAID. UNDYNE, WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO AND HANG OUT WITH ALPHYS. I MEAN, REALLY, IT WAS THE SIMPLEST SOLUTION. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT SHE SAID?”

“...No?”

“SHE SAID SHE WAS TOO SCARED. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? UNDYNE WAS TOO SCARED TO DO SOMETHING. SHE THOUGHT ALPHYS WAS TOO COOL FOR HER. BUT NOW LOOK AT THEM. HAPPY AS CLAMS. DO YOU SEE WHAT I AM GETTING AT HERE?”

“…No?!”

“I’M NOT SURE HOW MUCH MORE CLEAR I COULD HAVE BEEN. DID YOU MISS THE PART WHERE I MENTIONED THE HAPPY CLAMS?”

“Are you trying to tell me Sans is…what? Scared to hang out with me?”

“I’M SAYING THAT SANS CAN BE…DIFFICULT…WITH NEW THINGS. I MEAN, YOU’RE KIND OF A BIG DEAL. AND HE REFUSES TO ADMIT THAT THE KEY TO BEST FRIENDMANSHIP IS OPEN AND HONEST COMMUNICATION SO…TRY NOT TO BE TOO MAD AT HIM BECAUSE HE HAS THE EMOTIONAL RANGE OF A WATER SAUSAGE SANDWICH.”

You did your best to stifle a laugh at that. “Ah, thanks Paps. You really know how to make a girl feel better.” You still felt upset, and you still didn’t really get an answer to your question, but you would try not to let it get to you.

--

snas: 11:04 pm
hey sorry for bailing on you earlier. you were just tryin to talk

xxx-xxxx: 11:05 pm
It’s whatever. “Fuhgettaboutit,” right? :)

snas: 11:05 pm
heh, yea :)

snas: 11:05 pm
so…see you tomarrow?

xxx-xxxx: 11:05 pm
Yeah of course

xxx-xxxx: 4:03 am
WAIT I JUST REALIZED THAT WAS A PUN

snas: 4:46 am
betcha youre smilin

Yeah. Maybe you were just seeing what you wanted to see.

Chapter Text

Dark.

So dark.

So cold.

So alone.

You ran until your chest felt like it was on fire and you couldn’t breathe. You called out for help. You screamed at the top of your lungs, but it was as if your voice died before it even left your mouth.

The silence was daunting.

The screaming was worse.

Screaming. So much screaming.

Where were you?

Why were you?

You crumpled, shaking in fetal position alone, listening to the screams and the laughing and the tears running down your cheeks ran red and you couldn’t move.

Stop, please.

Stop.

You couldn’t-

...

You woke up, covered in cold sweat and tangled in your sheets. You shivered, trying to shake off the remnants of the nightmare you just had. It had been a while since you had one. You sat up in bed to stretch a little, turn on the light, and drink some water.

“Geez, where had that even come from?” you said aloud.

“Mrow,” your cat purred as he pawed at the wall between your room and Sans’s. You had grinned and moved him gently when you heard a loud rattling.

Yes.

The actual clack-clack-clack of bones rattling against each other. You snickered quietly to yourself. “You know,” you called out in jest, “if you’re trying to scare me, you’re doing a pretty shit job. Monsters usually hide in the closet, not behind a wall.”

Clack-clack-clack

You deflated a little. “Aw, c’mon Sans I know that wasn’t my best joke, but it’s late and I just woke up from a bad dream. Humor me?”

Clack-clack-clack

You furrowed your brows. You and Sans had been on a pretty even peace truce over the last few days following the fight in the field. Everything had pretty much gone back to normal. Light-hearted jokes, making fun of Mettaton on TV, funny coffee names, that kind of stuff. But even so, having Sans continue on like this was...weird? What point was he trying to prove?

Clack-clack-clack

“Uh...” you knocked on the wall softly. “Sans, are you okay?”

No response.

You tried again. Knock Knock.

You expected him to call back “who’s there?” but all you get was the steady sound of clacking. You knocked harder this time. Knock Knock.

Still no response.

Maybe he...couldn’t hear you? Maybe your walls weren’t as thin as you thought they were. You picked up your phone off the bedside table and dialed his number. It went straight to his voicemail. Hmm. You tried Papyrus’s number. It was pretty late, but Papyrus didn’t need much sleep, so there was a chance he only took a short hour nap tonight. The phone rang four times and then you reached his voicemail.

Hmm.

Well, whatever. Sans was a weird dude. You settled into bed and turned out the light, hoping that you could sleep through the noise. You pulled the covers over you and closed your eyes when suddenly you heard a low whimper amongst the clack-clack-clacking. Wha-? It sounded like he was in pain. You sat up again and smacked the wall as loudly as you could. “Sans?”

Clack clack.

Whimper whimper.

“Sans? Are you okay?”

Knock knock smack.

You chewed on your lower lip. You remembered Sans telling you that he occasionally had horrible nightmares. Clearly a loud noise wasn’t going to wake him up, so what else could you do? At this point you couldn’t ignore it - hearing Sans like this...it hurt to listen to.

You climbed out of bed, pulled on a sweatshirt and a pair of slippers, and walked next door. You reached up and found that the key was still sitting on top of the door frame. Good, reliable Papyrus. You unlocked the door and tiptoed into the apartment and down the hall to Sans’s room.

You quietly opened his door and shuffled over to his bedside. Sans was lying in bed, sockets screwed shut and sweating bullets. Was he crying? You’ve never seen him like this before and it was really starting to scare you. Sans never struck you as someone who was much of a crier, it wasn’t something you ever even thought of before now. You reached out to stroke the side of his skull, but you hesitated and started softly shaking his shoulders instead.

“Sans!”

Were you even supposed to wake up people with nightmares? Or was that sleepwalkers? You shook him a little harder. Damn skeleton slept like a log. You would have assumed that he was messing with you if not for his constant shaking.

Shit, he still wasn’t waking up. What were you supposed to do? You could try...slapping him awake? You cringed. It was probably going to hurt you more than it would hurt him but...you sighed.

You propped him up a bit with one hand and reeled the other one back. “Sorry, Sans.” You slapped him as hard as you could. “Ow, fffu-” you winced as you held your hand. That hurt more than you anticipated.

You glanced down to see that Sans had opened his eyes. Two completely dark sockets stared back at you and his pupils began to fade into luminescence. Sans stared at you for a few seconds, a panicked look on his face. He reached out towards you, hands still shaking. You took his hand in yours and held it gently. “It’s okay,” you said. “You were just having a nightmare.”

Relief began to spread across his features. He began to relax and settle into the bed. “good,” he said.

“Do...um, do you want me to get you something? Like a glass of water or...?”

Sans nodded.

You left his room and went to the kitchen. You felt better now that he was awake. He looked like he was in pain. He sounded like he was in pain. You filled up a glass with some water and rushed back to Sans’s room. You placed the glass on his bedside table.

...so...now what? You wondered if you should leave or stay or...

...Sans had already fallen back to sleep. He was snoring away, but you could still see that he was shaking a little. You hesitated. Maybe you should take this as your opportunity to leave but...instead you sat down on his bed and started gently rubbing his back. You could feel the edges and the pointed bits of spine poking through the shirt.

You wondered what his nightmare was about. He mentioned stuff like deja vu and Papyrus dying, but he never really talked much about it, understandably. If they were as horrible as you imagined, you really wouldn’t want to talk about it either. You hoped it would be okay. You watched him, but his face was pretty expressionless. With a final pat on the back, you decided to go home and let Sans sleep.

“stay.”

You heard that right, didn’t you? You turned to look at Sans, but he still looked asleep. “Are you awake?”

Nothing.

You started to walk away again.

“please.”

“Sans, come on, I’m tired, you’re tired. Stop messing with me,” you said, trying to ignore the cracks in his voice. Was he already dreaming again? You glanced over your shoulder to see if his expression had shifted, but he was facing away from you. You sighed and figured you should probably go home now.

You made it to the door knob when, in the saddest and most desperate voice, you heard Sans say your name.

...

So this was your current predicament. Do you stay and be an emotional support for the night and deal with the fallout in the morning or do you leave and let Sans deal with this alone?

There really wasn’t a choice. You couldn’t leave him now. And truth be told, you weren’t exactly eager to spend the night in the dark alone in your room either. So you climbed into bed and wrapped your arms around him in an effort to be soothing. You hoped it worked.

...

This was such a bad idea.

No. Scratch that. This was a terrible idea.

You were laying in bed with Sans. You were laying in bed with Sans trying not to think about laying in bed with Sans as you pulled him in closer to you as your little spoon. Don’t think about it. He grabbed your arm and held it tightly. Don’t think about it. He was still shaking pretty badly. Don’t think about it.

You sighed.

You hoped that you wouldn’t wake up tangled up in skeleton.

--

Of course, when you woke up you were tangled up in skeleton. What else were you really expecting? Sans was on top of you, suffocating you in a cage of bony limbs.

You weren’t really sure where to go from here. Your plan was to make a quick dash out of the apartment without being noticed but it didn’t seem like that was an option. You weren’t sure if Sans would remember waking up and seeing you in the middle of the night, and you didn’t want to risk him getting upset with you for essentially breaking into his room. Unfortunately, Sans was heavy and his bones were pointy and starting to dig into your skin.

...at least this time he wasn’t squishing your boobs.

So, with no better option, you shook him, and his sockets opened a bit.

“mornin,” he said gruffly, rolling over off of you and onto his side. “’m sorry.”

You weren’t sure if he was apologizing for the cuddling or for making you stay over the night before. “It’s okay,” you said. “There’s nothing to apologize for.” You smiled a bit. “You know, you sleep like a log. I tried everything to get you to wake up.”

“don’t tell me you were worried about me,” he said, a lightness in his voice.

“your bones weren’t the only ones rattling last night,” you cautiously joked.

Silence.

Shit, did you go too far?

“heh, heheh, good one.”

“Ha, really?”

“nah, i’m only sayin that to make you feel better.”

“You tell a better one then.”

“why couldn’t the sick vampire get to sleep?”

“Why?”

“cause of all the coffin.”

You groaned and pulled a pillow over your head. “Stop, it’s too early for your lame jokes.”

“did you sleep in the garbage last night? cause you’re lookin trashy!”

You threw the pillow at Sans’s head. Ah, well, at least he was laughing. That was usually a good sign. You glanced around his room. Food wrappers, old clothes, balled up dirty sheets and...yup, a trash tornado spinning away in the corner. Did he ever clean in here? You wrinkled your nose. “I may as well have, this place is disgusting.”

“ouch.”

You rolled over so you were facing away from him. You curled yourself up a bit and asked, “Why couldn’t the skeleton get a good night’s rest?”

“heh, why?”

“I dunno. You tell me.”

“...eh, nightmare stuff. you know,” he said nonchalantly. You could feel him roll over onto his side, facing away from you. The laughter in his voice died a bit.

“You...wanna talk about it?” You weren’t exactly expecting him to answer. Maybe you should just leave. This would probably be the best time to just say never mind and get out of there. You shifted so you could make your escape.

“yeah.”

You froze. “Yeah? You want to talk?” you tried not to sound too eager.

“...yeah. you wanna watch a movie?”

“Sure,” you said, figuring it might be easier to talk if you both had something to fill in gaps of silence.

Sans leaned over the end of his bed and picked up an old laptop. He opened it and pulled up a cheesy one star rated horror movie on Netflix. You waited patiently for him to finish.

It was weird that you found this so exciting, but Sans was always so mysterious. It seemed like you barely knew him at all. He propped up his pillows so the two of you could sit up and watch the movie. Or, rather, pretend to watch the movie. You grabbed the end of a blanket that was falling off his bed and brought it up to the two of you.

This was...nice.

The movie started playing, cheap royalty-free music coming through the speakers. The opening credits rolled onto the screen. They were in some horrific font.

“So...?” you prompted.

Pause.

“’s the worst one i’ve had in a while,” Sans said. “usually it’s ah...groundhog day featuring sans the skeleton.”

“A day repeating?” you clarified. He’s mentioned this before.

“somethin like that.”

“Sounds frustrating.”

“yeah, it probably is,” he focused his attention on the screen. “betcha the skinny blonde is gonna die first.”

“Before or after the obligatory awkward horror movie sex scene with Mr. Macho high school quarterback?”

“during.”

You laughed. “But only after they all decide that it would be a great idea to split up to cover more ground.”

“ya think the killer is gonna be a mildly or overly offensive depiction of a monster?” he asked wryly.

You briefly wondered if monsters were at all offended by your cult classic monster movies. Some were pretty tacky.

“Human.”

You could already tell within the first few minutes that you could hardly even call this a B-list film. It was more like. C-list. Or F-list. Like a bad home movie someone filmed in their garage on some old cheap Canon camera from 2006.

After the protagonists of the movie realized the car wouldn’t start and their phones were dead, Sans finally let out a long breath. “most of my nightmares are reoccurring. same four or five cycle through i guess.” He paused. “i dunno. you get used to that sorta thing. but...”

“Last night was new?”

“yeah.”

You quietly picked at some loose threads on the jacket. His jacket. Your jacket? The movie had some 8-bit horror music track playing. Looks like the black guy might die first after all. “So, what happened?” you asked.

“you, uh, you died.”

Your eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Me?”

He told you once before about nightmares of Papyrus dying. It made sense. Sans and Papyrus were very close siblings who had known each other for hundreds of years. As far as you knew, they were the only family they had. If Sans was going to have awful nightmares about someone close to him dying, of course it would be Papyrus. And yet...he was trembling over you?

“H-how?” you stuttered, almost afraid to ask.

“i...i killed you,” he winced, “it was pretty gruesome.”

As if on cue, a loud blood curdling scream came from the skinny blonde. She was being stabbed. The knife looked like it was made of a flimsy plastic.

“called it, you owe me $5.”

“We never placed a bet!”

“heh, you’re right. we never placed a bet that low. minimum bets are always $10.”

“Sans!”

“do ya think they’re using ketchup as fake blood?”

You could see him deflecting, but also...yeah, it did look like they were using ketchup as blood. Just what was the budget for this movie anyway? Ugh, whatever. “You’re never going to get that $10.”

“must-ard you be so pickle? i wanted to relish my victory and-”

“We’re not going down condiment pun lane,” you said, cutting him off. “You’ll just go on forever.”

“mayo reconsider once you’ve mustard up the strength to pay your debt where it’s due?” Wink.

“I will consider paying you just so you shut up,” you said, playfully pushing him.

You really missed moments like these.

The two of you were quiet for a few more moments. It seemed like Sans was reluctant to say anything else, so you spoke up instead. “I had a nightmare last night too, you know.”

“yeah?”

“It was really dark. I was completely alone, save for the screaming. So much screaming. It was like that feeling of falling without even moving. Someone was laughing, and I felt like I was in so much pain,” you swallowed. “I...I don’t know. I woke up covered in sweat. I was about to go back to sleep when I heard you shaking.” You paused. “I guess we both had a rough night.”

Sans’s pupils dimmed a little and he hesitantly grabbed your hand. “sorry,” he said. “i’m sorry.”

You shook your head and smiled. “Don’t be, it’s not your fault. It happens sometimes. Everyone gets nightmares.” You squeezed his hand tightly. “It just makes us appreciate the dreams.” You smiled reassuringly. “Did you end up having any good dreams last night? Your nightmares must’ve stopped because you didn’t wake me with tossing and turning.”

Sans’s cheekbones began to turn a light shade of blue.

“Oh my God you did! What did you dream about?”

“nothin,” he said, but the blush started darkening.

“Ha, oh man, were these good dreams or good dreams.”

“shaddup.”

“Sorry,” you apologized, although you were still snickering, “you make it too easy to tease you. Can’t help myself.”

Sans made some kind of disgruntled noise. He was too easy to rile up. The two of you focused on the movie, and by that you meant the two of you made of it and joked back and forth with each other without really paying much attention (except, of course, when Sans pointed out how all his guesses were right and now you owed him a 50,000G. Nerd.)

Then, just as the movie was starting to come to a close, Sans said, “they’ve always been that way.”

“Huh?”

“my...uh, my stats. they’ve always...they’ve always been low.”

Oh.

“I thought monsters could raise them through training?” you asked, hoping you weren’t coming across as insensitive. This seemed like a very touchy subject, so you were feeling a bit apprehensive talking about it.

“most can, but...i never could. not enough hope, i guess. i’d say this topic would strike a nerve, if i had any.”

The half-hearted pun did not disguise the sadness and disappointment in his voice.

“We don’t have to talk about it,” you said.

“i feel bad,” Sans said. “you’ve...you’re a real good person and i’ve been...uh, not.” He twiddled his thumbs. The bones striking against each other made a click-click sound.

Click-click.

“you deserve better.”

You felt your heart sink at those words. “Hey, hey, where’s all this coming from? If anyone deserves better it’s you. I mean, you’re the one putting up with...” a girl who won’t get over you, you thought to yourself. “With someone who doesn’t make good on her bets.”

“ha.”

Click-click.

“But,” you took his hand in yours again, hoping the gesture came across as reassuring, “you’re a great person. You really are. I mean, what’s a friendship without a few bumps in the road, right? We’re fine. I mean it. And if you wanted to keep certain things about yourself private then...well, I shouldn’t have pried.”

Sans shrugged. “eh, ya just caught me off guard with all your questions. i don’t have anything to hide. no skeletons in my closet,” he said with a wink.

You rolled your eyes. The credits finally finished. “I guess our shitty movie is done...we’ve been here awhile, haven’t we? I should probably be going home...feed my cat...that sort of thing...”

You kind of didn’t want to leave.

“sure, but can i ask you somethin?”

“Yeah, go for it.”

“i just wanted to ask you if you would mind-”

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

“SANS!” Papyrus said, opening the door to Sans’s room wide open. “YOU HAVE A-OH. HELLO. I DIDN’T REALIZE THE TWO OF YOU WERE HAVING A SLEEPOVER.”

“We weren’t...I was just...” you trailed off.

“sup bro?”

“ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT IT’S PAST NOON AND YOU’RE STILL IN BED?”

Sans’s pupils brightened a bit before he literally rolled off of his mattress and onto the floor. “i dunno what you’re talkin about bro. i’m not in bed.”

“SANS.”

“did i floor ya with my groundbreaking jokes?”

“SANS.”

“seems like someone got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

“SANS, YOU HAVE A GUEST.”

“oh.”

As if on cue, a tall bipedal cat with a cigarette came strolling into Sans’s bedroom. “Hey little buddy, long time no see.”

Chapter Text

Realization dawned on you. You let your eyes go wide and jaw drop a little. Was this happening right now? Was this real life? You couldn’t believe you didn’t recognize him when he came into the room. You scrambled to get to the foot of the bed to get a little closer.

“Oh my God! It’s you! You’re Burgerpants right?” you asked, words tumbling out of your mouth. “Oh geez, what are you even doing here? How do I look? Probably awful, I’ve been lying in this bed all night...uh, I mean, it’s not what you think. I mean...it’s totally what you think! Yup! Couples sharing a bed like always! We do this all the time! Just sharing the bed casually. And sexually! Of course. Um. Yes. That’s a thing. We do. Doing the do. And-”

You jumped when you felt Sans’s bony hand clamp down on your shoulder. “relax,” he said, squeezing a bit harder than necessary.

“S-sorry,” you apologized. “It’s just, you know, you’re funny and cool and this is really a surprise, I guess I’m just flustered and...wait, Sans, how do you know Burgerpants?”

He shrugged. “eh, just about everyone knows everyone underground. plus i’d run all my food related material by him. his burgs aren’t as good as grillbz, but it was a small sacri-fries to make.”

Burgerpants’s ear twitched slightly as he exhaled a long trail of smoke into Sans’s face.

“heh, check it out, i’m smokin’.”

“UM. CAN YOU MAYBE NOT SMOKE INSIDE THE HOUSE? I SPENT A VERY LONG TIME GETTING THE WEIRD STENCH OF SANS’S ROOM OUT AND I DON’T NEED TO GO THROUGH THAT PROCESS AGAIN.”

Burgerpants pulled the cigarette out of his mouth and crushed it between his forefinger and thumb. He let the ashes crumble around his fingers and onto the floor. Sans didn’t seem to mind, but Papyrus looked annoyed. Burgerpants pulled out a lollipop from his pocket and leaned against the wall where you could see the tip of his tail swishing back and forth. It...kind of reminded you of your own cat actually.

Was that weird?

...

Probably.

“wait, how the hell do you know burgerpants?”

You looked at Sans incredulously. “Really?! How can you be on the Internet and not know Burgerpants? He’s a popular monster YouTuber. His videos are hilarious. You really haven’t seen them?”

“nope.”

“Hey, always nice to meet a fan. Put ‘er there, little buddy,” Burgerpants said, extending his paw towards you.

You enthusiastically shook hands. “Oh my gosh, this is so cool. Your videos are so funny.”

“really?” Sans said skeptically.

“Well...” you started, “I mean, he tells a lot of stories of his old job at the Burger Emporium. And the Internet was fundamentally built on cute cat videos, so you put the two together...anyway! Like, should I call you Burgerpants? I know your real name is Felix, but would you rather be called Burgerpants or BP or-”

“You can call me anything you’d like, beautiful.”

You were about to bashfully thank him for the compliment when Sans started laughing, “heheheh, since when have you been so suave, chairman meow?”

Burgerpants stared at Sans, whose grin was slowly widening. Burgerpants’ eyes suddenly narrowed, and you thought he was going to fire back some kind of clever insult. Then he said, “Come on man! Just let me be cool this one time in front of a cute girl! You always get all the chicks! I just want to prove that I’m just as cool in real life as I am on screen.”

“relax joe dimeowgio, didn’t mean to rub your fur the wrong way.”

“Stop with the cat names!”

“you said i could call you anything i’d like.”

“I was talking to the beautiful lady!”

“hey, i think i’m beautiful too ya know.”

Burgerpants’s tail began to twitch and his fur began to ruffle. He took a deep breath and returned to a more suave posture. “Well, as much as I hate to break it to you, little buddy-”

“don’t call me that.”

“-I’m actually here on a business call. I need to cash in a favor.”

“favor for what?”

Burgerpants looked at you a little anxiously. He smoothed out the fur in his paws and looked at the floor, “You know...for sneaking you and the kid into the MTT Resort Restaurant back Underground,” he twiddled his thumbs. “You promised me a big payout and I’m hoping to cash in.”

“aw, i’m good for the cat-sh. i always pay off my tab. you know me.”

Burgerpants bristled a bit at the pun and said, “You never paid me back afterwards! And you made the kid cry! And you know who had to deal with that? Me! You know who didn’t get paid enough for that? Me! I had to give them a starfait on the house to get them to calm down!”

You turned your attention back to Sans, who was now starting to sweat. You were about to ask what in the hell happened, but Papyrus beat you to it.

“SANS?! YOU WERE MEAN TO MY THEN NEW-FRIEND?! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME? NO WONDER THEY CALLED! AND ALL UNDYNE AND I DID WAS THROW SPAGHETTI AT THE RECEIVER! WHAT DID YOU EVEN DO?!”

Sans was now sweating profusely as he tugged at his shirt collar. “nothin. it was just a bad joke that got taken a little too far. no harm done.”

Burgerpants crossed his arms, irritated expression on his face. He clearly wasn’t buying it. “Listen, little buddy, let me give you some advice,” he closed his eyes and sucked on the lollipop thoughtfully. “Don’t be an ass to little kids man, that’s all I can say.”

“alright, alright, whaddya want?” Sans asked.

“So I’m planning this livestream-”

“no.”

“Come on man! I really need the views! It’s all going to charity-”

Sans and Burgerpants continued to argue, but you were lost in your own thoughts. After the whole Mettaton debacle (which he was still sending you apologetic fruit baskets about) you and Sans agreed that less exposure was for the best. And it had worked out well so far, without spending time in the limelight people started getting bored. Maybe it would be better to lay low. That way no one could catch you in a lie and question your…“relationship.”

But, on the other hand, Alphys said you and Sans should drum up popular opinion to keep the anti-monster groups at bay. With the community more or less policing itself, people would be less likely to start shit, right?

Plus, you would get to be in a video with BP and who else got a chance like that?

“500g is my final offer.”

“heh, alright. we can do it for 500g.”

Wait, what?

Burgerpants reached into his wallet and pulled out a few heavy coins. He handed several to Sans and the other half to you. “Glad you could see things my way,” he said with a smirk as he pocketed his wallet. “I’ll be setting up my stuff. See you cool cats in twenty.” He swished his tail as he walked out the bedroom door.

You stared at the coins in your hand. 500 gold. Sans was grinning widely. “What did I miss?” you asked incredulously, tracing the coins with your finger.

“SANS HOW COULD YOU CON SOMEONE OUT OF A FAVOR YOU OWED?” Papyrus said disapprovingly.

“i’d be lion if i said it wasn’t a gift,” he said, grin stretching a bit.

“THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR JAPES AND PUNS SANS,” Papyrus said. “ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO LIE TO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE? I COULD ALWAYS STALL THE CAT MAN WHILE YOU SNEAK OUT THE WINDOW? OR START A HOUSE FIRE BY BURNING SOME SPAGHETTI? ALTHOUGH THAT WOULD BE A WASTE OF PERFECTLY GOOD PASTA…”

“don’t worry paps, we got this.”

“ALRIGHT. WELL IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND THE CODEWORD IS JOGBOY. WINK.”

Sans closed the door with a light click and turned around to face you. “you ok with this?” he asked.

“Mm, bit too late to take it back now, isn’t it?” you said with a smile. You fell back from your seated position on the bed.

Click click went Sans’s bony feet as they hit the floor. You felt the bed sink as he sat down next to you.

“So,” you started, a little afraid to look at him, “what were you gonna ask me?”

“huh?”

“Before, you said if I’d mind doing something, but you never actually finished asking me. So…what?”

……

………

“ah, it was nothin important. But hey, you better go get changed. i know you’re the cat’s pajamas and all, but you might wanna change from your cat pajamas.”

You looked down. Dammit. You were wearing a shirt with a giant cat face on it. What an impression you must have made.

--

Now fully dressed and back in the skelebros’ living room, you were anxiously waiting to start filming. BP said it would be a livestream, right? He had the camera and a laptop set up, and you were feeling nervous. This had to be a bad idea. What if this turned out to be Mettaton 2.0? You were getting a bad feeling about this. What if you messed up and said something contradictory? What if you couldn’t BS your way through a question?

“hey.”

You yelped in surprise. How did he always manage to sneak up on you like this?

“you ready?”

“To make a fool of myself in front of thousands of people? Sure.”

You and Sans went a joined Burgerpants on the sofa. Papyrus was clanking away pots and pans in the kitchen, not so subtly listening in on the conversation. This will be fine. What’s a few more lies at this point anyway?

He said hello to the crowd watching and introduced you and Sans, but you were hardly listening. You just watched as the view count started to climb and questions began pouring in. You could vaguely hear Sans talking to the camera. You were going to start answering some questions soon.

You skimmed through some of the options.

How do you guys do the do?

How do people treat you.

GAYYYY!

What does a sacrum taste like?

Gurl you are a kinky bitch.

80085

Is a monster skeleton like a human skeleton?

Want my digits in case it doesn’t work out?

SKELETON WAR SKELETON WAR SKELETON WAR

Frick frack deets?

Monsters are so sexii!

Can he have kids?

You squirmed in your seat. A few normal questions were starting to trickle in, but all the talk of sex was making you a little uncomfortable. You wondered if you should just nip it in the bud now or ignore the questions all together. Hmm.

Sans lightly clacked his fingers against his chin. “no kids for me, thanks. don’t let my bro hear you say skeleton war or i'll never hear the end of it. no digits, ten is enough for me. a skeleton monster is bigger than a human skeleton and way less fragile. my sacrum is nunnya goddamn business.”

“Ahem,” Burgerpants coughed.

“right. guess bp wants to run his own show.”

He read the first question, “What’s it like to cuddle a skeleton? Doesn’t it hurt because of all the bones?”

You glanced at Sans, considering the question. Huh, you never really thought about it much before, but he was kind of pudgy for a skeleton? And yet he was all bones? You had cuddled with him several times up to this point with varying degrees of success but it was never as painful or poky as you would expect. “He’s surprisingly comfortable for a bag of bones,” you answered honestly. “A chubby skeleton, if you can believe it.”

“hey, i’ll have you know that dieting is not a piece of cake.” Wink.

You made a face.

“What’s your favorite thing about each other?”

Sans reached over and pulled your cheek slightly. “heheheheh,” he laughed as you slapped his hand away. “she’s squishy and fun to rile up.”

You rubbed your cheek. Ow. “I was gonna be all sentimental, but now I don’t think you deserve it.” You elbowed him lightly and smiled.

“c’mon, i know there are a skele-ton of things you like about me.”

“Certainly not your crummy jokes.”

“certainly yes my crummy jokes.”

“Definitely not your kindness or patience either.”

“ha…heh…uh…”

“Or how smart and helpful you are when I need an answer, or how sweet you are to your family and friends, or how understanding you can be given…uh…our situation.”

All true. You felt that same itch to praise him as you did several months before. Just like then, you watched him get completely flustered and undone by your compliments. Was this too mean to do in front of a live audience? You felt a little bad now, but at the same time you just wanted to let words of encouragement fall from your lips.

Sans looked away, cheekbones starting to turn cerulean. “next question.”

Before Burgerpants could read off from the comments, you saw a question that made you howl with laughter. “Where do you keep Sans’s litter box?”

“underneath all my shit.”

You could hardly contain yourself. He said it so matter-of-factly. Who the hell thought Sans used a litter box? In fact, who thinks that skeletons poop in the first place? And if they didn’t why wouldn’t they use a toilet? You dissolved into giggles. Sans looked proud of himself.

“you’re more than welcome to stop by conductor whiskers.”

BP shot Sans a dirty look. You weren’t sure if it was because he wasn’t taking the questions seriously, because of the litter box insinuation, or because he was tired of the Neko Atsume nicknames.

“Who said ‘I love you’ first?” he asked.

“i did,” Sans said before you could even think of an answer. Uh. You felt your cheeks start to get warm. “one afternoon right there in the kitchen. she was washing a plate because i left it out overnight. and i just knew. so i said it. and she dropped the dish.”

You blankly stared at him for a few seconds before erupting into a huge blush. Why was he so convincing? That sounded totally realistic and like something he would do. You tried to hide your face. You were trembling now.

“Any nicknames for each other?”

Sans looked at you and made eye contact. Without breaking his stare he said, “she calls me bone daddy.”

“I do not!” you scream, appalled that he would say that. Seriously, what the hell, Sans?

“there’s no need to hide it from the world anymore.”

“You’re terrible!”

“ok, ok, i will concede by telling everyone that i call you hot mama.”

“You do not!” you screech, grabbing a throw pillow from the couch. You hit him over the head with it and he topples over, laughing. Your cheeks are definitely red now. No one believes this, right? He’s so obviously screwing with everyone.

Pffft hot mama and bone daddy

I wish my gf had this sense of humor

LOLZ BD+HM OTP 5EVR

Dammit.

“If your relationship was a candy bar, which one would it be?”

You thought about this for a minute before shrugging. “I don’t know, a Snickers?”

“mars bar.”

“Wha-? Why?”

“cause you’re outta this world.”

Shit. That was cute. You crossed your arms and tried not to look as flustered as you felt. You didn’t think it was working, as Sans started chuckling. People were typing in similar questions to the comment box. You started feeling a little overwhelmed, so you picked one at random.

“I’ve heard monsters can do magic, is that true? What cool things has Sans done?” you paused. “Well, yeah, monsters do magic. It seems very personalized. I don’t think two monsters’s magic is exactly the same. I guess…as a human, all magic is really cool? He could just make wisps or something and I’d think that was neat.”

“Aren’t you afraid of Sans? Don’t monsters absorb human souls?” Burgerpants bristled. “That’s racist little buddy. Not all of us are soul sucking pieces of garbage you know.”

Huh.

“But you can absorb a soul?” you asked.

Sans shrugged. “sure, but no one really has. it’s complicated and you’d have to be dead.”

Shudder.

“So if I died, you could take my soul?”

Sans made a face. “that’s just creepy.” He looked really put off from the idea. You figured it was kind of creepy to carry around the soul of your dead friend in your body, so you dropped the subject.

What’s your soul look like?

I bet skeleton man doesn’t even have a soul

Can you eat a soul

What’s a soul feel like?

Have you bonded yet?

“Have you bonded yet?” you read. “No, we haven’t. And I think that’s getting a little personal, don’t you think?”

Did she say bondage?

I heard you could fuck with souls

Sans – boobs or ass?

Uh stupid q but does sans have a skeledong?

Or a penis bone?

Skeledong.

SKELEDONG?!

Who the hell thought up of the phrase skeledong?! You wanted to start laughing again because it was so silly. You wanted to point it out but didn’t want to draw attention to it. Oh man. Skeledong. You’d have to share that with Alphys.

Sans seemed to notice you having a fit because of the questions. Like when you first started, several questions about your sex life started popping up on screen. He kind of glanced at the screen, bored with them. “to all of ya askin, no. i don’t have a penis bone. and if you think thrusting your dick into someone’s vagina is the only way to have fun, you must be having really awful sex. that’s all i’m gonna say about that.”

You recognized those words.

You definitely said those exact words before.

You blushed a bright red. That felt like so long ago when you told Wyatt off like that. And to know that Sans heard it and remembered what you said…you felt pretty embarrassed.

“sans, does seein a dog chew a bone make you nervous?” Sans chuckled a bit. “nah, you get your fibula dragged off enough times and you’re just desensitized to it all at some point.”

“How do you kiss if Sans doesn’t have lips?”

“gee, anything for a view, huh?”

Sans leaned up and gave you the smallest skeleton smooch on the cheek.

“YOU FORGOT THE SOUND EFFECT!” you heard Papyrus shout from the kitchen.

What the hell Papyrus.

“mwah or whatever,” Sans said as he gave you another kiss. You tried to compose yourself as Sans leaned forward to read the question.

“if both of you ended up on the moon and one killed the other with a rock would that be fucked up or what?” Sans read from the monitor. “uh, yeah. why would you kill me with a rock, babe?

“I think if it came down to it, you’d be the one killing me,” you said. “And, yeah that’s so fucked up. Why would you kill your girlfriend with a rock of all things?”

“i appreciate the sediment but that rock is my pet, and i could never turn him into a killer. what, you think i’m a monster or somethin?”

The way he sounded so genuinely offended made you smile, which turned to soft giggles. Your giggling made Sans start chuckling. You felt like such an idiot for laughing over something so stupid, but he was laughing too and it just fed into your uncontrollable giggles.

Burgerpants ended the livestream pretty shortly after. Everyone was pretty disappointed that you couldn’t talk for longer, but you raised a few thousand dollars for…something? Wow you should’ve been paying attention when he and Sans were talking. After that he gave you his autograph – ‘To my new little buddy, thanks for bein a cool cat – Felix’ – but he had to leave pretty soon after. You didn’t mind though. Today had been a long day.

You cuddled up with your cat and thought about the day. You thought it went pretty well. It was almost like you and Sans were really a couple. Hm. Guess if you’re around a person long enough it’s sometimes hard to tell.

Chapter Text

“GOOD MORNING FRIEND. CAN I INTEREST YOU IN MAKING ME THE FINEST CHOCOLATE MILK YOU HAVE ON HAND?”

You snickered as you pulled out a plastic cup. “Chocolate milk, Pap? What’s the occasion?”

“I’M JUST A SKELETON LOOKING TO TREAT MYSELF.”

“Well good for you. Should I get Sans’s drink ready or is that lazy bones still lying in bed?” you asked, scribbling ‘Palmpyrus Tree’ on the side of the cup.

“ACTUALLY, SANS IS ALREADY AT HIS NEW JOB. OR, WELL, I SUPPOSE IT’S HIS NEW-NEW-NEW-NEW-NEW-NEW-NEW? JOB. HE SAID HE HAD BEEN MEANING TO TRY IT AND IT WAS A PERFECT BLEND OF HIS SKILLS. WHATEVER THAT MEANS.”

You poured the milk and closed the lid with a short snap. You shrugged and said, “Who knows? But since it’s Sans, it’s probably the punchline to some hidden joke or a pun or something.”

“WHAT?! BUT A CLEVER JAPE IS ONLY CLEVER IF ALL PARTIES ARE IN THE KNOW. HOW COULD HE PULL SUCH A ROUSE?”

Before you could reply, your co-worker stepped out from the back room. She looked at her watch and said, “Don’t you have to get to class?”

Your eyes darted to the clock. Oh, crap, she’s right. It had been so long you forgot that the first day of the new semester was today. You threw off your apron, quickly poured yourself some coffee and grabbed a bagel from the display case. “Thanks for the reminder!” you shouted as you grabbed your backpack from underneath the counter. “I’ll talk to you later Paps!”

You had almost forgotten the feeling of being rushed as you left the coffee shop and hurried towards campus, small coffee in hands. Still, it was an exciting rush. The last first day of school you were ever going to have. Thank god, you thought. Graduation couldn’t come fast enough.

“Watch it!” you heard a voice call out, but before you had the chance to turn and look, some dude on the skateboard swerved past you, clipping your shoulder in the process. The surprise forced you to drop your coffee, which then spilled all over your shirt and the backsplash from hitting the ground smattered coffee spots on your shoes. Your bagel wasn’t fairing any better, as it had fallen out of its bag and onto the dirty sidewalk.

“Seriously?!” you called after him, but he was already long gone. You looked at the damage and grimaced. “Ugh, now it’s going to stain,” you said to yourself. And you no longer had any breakfast. You checked your phone and noticed that you still had some time before class started to visit the campus coffee cart. You didn’t like the college’s coffee that much and you didn’t want to have to pay for a drink you would otherwise get for free at work, but it beat going to an 8 AM class without any caffeine in your system.

As you hurried towards the cart you stopped by the vending machine on the south side of campus. It was cheaper than paying for another bagel, even though you weren’t exactly thrilled about it. You put in some coins and picked out a treat.

You bent down to get your snack from the machine’s slot, but it hadn’t quite fallen through. You sighed, but crouched and pushed your arm in a little further in order to snag the edge of the wrapper with your fingers. You tugged and the snack came through.

You started to stand up when you realized that, despite getting your food, your arm was not coming back through the slot. You pulled a little harder, but it wouldn’t budge. You used your other arm as leverage, but your hand was not moving.

“Are you kidding me right now?!” you hissed. You looked over your shoulder. It seemed no one was looking. You dropped your backpack and sat down, hoping you looked discreet as you began to pry your arm from the death grip of the machine.

“heya.”

You flinched and turned your body to see Sans looking down at you, amusement clearly in his eyes. “I’m not doing anything weird,” you said, scooching closer to the slot, hoping to disguise your clearly stuck arm.

“sure. i mean from my vantage point you’re clearly just casually fisting this vending machine over here. nothing weird about that.” Sans leaned against the glass, browbone definitely raised in amusement.

You groaned and rested your head against the machine. “Alright, so I may have gotten my hand stuck in an attempt to get my food which this death machine was clearly withholding.”

“mhmm.”

You looked up at Sans. “I know this looks really pathetic, but can you please help me get out?”

“heh, i dunno, this is pretty funny. not everyday i see a self-respecting human get bested by a horde of junk food.”

“Joke’s on you because I clearly have no self-respect seeing as I’ve been ‘bested by a horde of junk food.’”

“well then i butter help you out,” he said as he whipped out a tub of butter from his pocket.

“…”

“yes, i've been waiting to say that since i came over.”

“Why the hell are you carrying butter?” you asked.

“welp, it’s a margarine-ally better lubricant than whatever it is you’re doing.”

“Sans.”

“i was in the middle of working my shift when i saw your face off with this, how’d ya put it? food withholding death machine.” He knelt down beside you. “figured you’d need some help at some point. thought a joke may…butter you up.” He grinned.

“Do you just stockpile these jokes or…?”

“hey, gotta milk each situation for what it’s worth and keep churning them out until you’re sick of me.”

You rolled your eyes as you pulled up your sleeve. “Alright, well get to it then. Lavish me with your tub of butter.”

Sans scooped out some of the butter and began to spread it on your arm. You looked away from him to stare out into the quad. There were a few stares of confusion, but most people were moving quickly to get to class. You sighed and refocused your stare on Sans. This was weird. Not like how things were normally weird between you two, but weird because this wasn’t actually that weird and, to be honest, it’s actually a somewhat feasible and expected thing to happen to you.

Because it was still January and the weather was still cold, the butter really wasn’t melting very effectively, making your arm share a striking resemblance with a piece of unevenly buttered toast. Also, the butter kept squishing into the crevices of Sans’s palm and fingers – a downside of being a skeleton, clearly.

After a few more silent minutes of awkward buttery arm stroking, your hand was slippery enough to escape the vending machine. You breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks Sans, I owe you one.”

“heh, i'd say anytime but…don’t do that again,” he said. You both stood up and he stretched out a bit. “c’mon. i’m not gonna let you starve after goin through all that.”

You followed Sans for a few feet until you realized that he was the barista at the coffee cart. You laughed, not even surprised. You figured this must’ve been what Papyrus meant by Sans’s new job.

Sans went behind the counter. You remembered what Papyrus said that morning. “A perfect blend of your skills, huh?”

“like a coffee blend. pretty good right?” he said with a wink. He grabbed two towels and gave one to you. You began to wipe the slabs of butter off your arm.

“I guess this a nice change of pace,” you said, smiling. “Hey, how’ve you bean?”

Despite having told this joke himself many times before, Sans looked pretty pleased to see you use the lame coffee pun.

“can’t complain a latte,” he said, eye-lights brightening a bit, “although i could use better hours. real tired of the red eyes.”

You smiled a little, even though his puns were overused. “It was a serious question. I feel like I haven’t seen you in days.”

This was because you hadn’t seen Sans in days as you were scrambling trying to get all your books and supplies ready for school. Your bank account has once again been depleted thanks to college expenses.

He shrugged, “eh, been doing nothin, really. since bp came for a visit it’s been pretty uneventful. oh, but paps has been reading up on all the news that’s been coming out recently. and brushin up on as much civil liberty law as he can.”

Your face fell a bit at the reminder. Undyne told you several months ago that there was going to be a formal hearing in January for the group who trashed your house. Well, it was January and the trial was just around the corner. You just liked to pretend that it wasn’t happening soon.

“...hey.”

“Hm, what?” you said, snapping out of your thoughts and lifting your head to meet Sans’s gaze.

“what’s that?” he asked, pointing at your shirt.

You looked down to see what he was pointing at and said, “Oh, haha it’s coff-”

FLICK

You stopped mid-word, stunned. “D-did you just flick my nose?!”

“heheheheheh, i can’t believe you fell for that,” he said, grin widening. “you’re always so easy.”

“What did you do that for?” you said, shielding your nose in case he decided to try it again.

“seemed like fun,” he said, pulling out a cup and pen, “now what can i getcha?”

You cautiously lowered your hands and leaned up against the counter to pretend to look at the menu. “How about a large iced hazelnut-caramel latte with two extra shots and I want the milk to be half soy half cream, lite ice that’s been blended, and topped with whipped cream and mocha drizzle. Chop chop Sans.”

“sorry, your request has been denied on the grounds, heh, that i don’t wanna make that.”

You glanced at your watch. “Alright, well I have about five minutes, so any coffee will do.”

Sans started the espresso machine and you watched while he worked. None of the bottles were labeled, so you weren’t actually sure what he was making for you or if he even knew what was in them. He handed you the drink.

“it’s on me,” he said as you moved to hand him the bills in your hand.

“...You sure?” you asked, this exchange feeling very familiar.

“yup. a complementary drink and i’ll throw in a muffin provided you don’t want any butter with it.”

You held up your used towel. “I think I’m good,” you said. You dropped the towel on the counter and took your coffee and muffin. “Ugh, thanks again. You’re a lifesaver.”

“you butter believe i'll take that iou in the form of 100,000G on a later day.”

“Yeah, yeah,” you said. “I’ll see you later.”

You began to power walk to your classroom, hoping that your detours hadn’t totally screwed you over the first day of class. When you got to the art building, you glanced at your schedule to make sure you were in the right place and then entered the classroom. First days of the new semester always felt so bittersweet. It was exciting to be back at school considering you were only a few short months away from graduating, but it meant going back to balancing school, work, and your fake-relationship all at once. You also knew that this last semester was going to be a grueling experience as you worked towards maintaining at least semi-good grades and working on your senior project.

Senior art projects were always displayed at a large public gallery at the end of the year. It was meant to be an expo of sorts where the art students could network and, if they were lucky enough, get a good job. You had meant to work on this project since the beginning of the year, but the reality was that your new (albeit fake) life got in the way and you lacked the time and motivation to get started.

Well…it would be alright, you figured. Procrastination wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Right?

Thankfully, the professor hadn’t arrived yet. You sat down at an empty desk and watched as other nearly-late students began to trickle in. You took out your materials and tried to get comfortable.

“Hey there Hot Mama.”

“Excuse me?” you said, looking up from your table. “What did you just call me?”

The person in question was a tall woman in a beanie, arms crossed with a camera slung around her neck. She gestured to your coffee. “It’s on your cup, I figured it was a good ice breaker to come talk to you.”

You turned your cup around.

hot mama – look on the bright side, at least now your skin’s as soft as butter

Complementary coffee. Complimentary coffee.

“Oh geez Sans.”

“Sounds like the coffee guy is trying to flirt with you,” the girl said. She took the seat next to yours. “I’m Heather, by the way.”

“Actually, the coffee guy is my boyfriend,” you said.

“Cool. How’s that working for you?”

You turned to face her. “Do you not watch the news?”

Heather made a face at you before she said, “No, not really. Like, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake these days, so I stay out of mainstream media. You know?”

“No, not really,” you said.

Finally, the professor walked in and introduced you to the course. He went over the syllabus and shared some advice about senior projects. And by advice, he strongly suggested not waiting until the last minute and that we should already have started if we want to be on track.

Oops.

“What are you doing Heather?” you asked, hoping that maybe you could get some inspiration from her ideas.

She turned on her camera and went to her images. “It’s a passion project on different kinds of love.”

“Really?” you asked.

“It’s beautiful, so shut up, and don’t rain on my love parade.”

She flicked through the photographs and started describing how society tarnishes the concept and idea of love and it was honestly probably a good speech if you were paying any kind of attention to it.

When your professor dismissed you, you grabbed your things and walked out of the building.

A senior project based on love.

How interesting.

Chapter Text

You were shaking like a leaf in front of the courtroom, nervously wringing your hands together. You supposed that your nervousness was completely your fault. You had more on your plate than dealing with the law, and when you met with lawyers you probably weren’t taking it nearly as seriously as you should have. Up until this point it all felt so unreal; like this day was just never going to happen at all. When you first got to the courthouse, you felt…strange. You couldn’t stop fiddling with the sleeve of your dress. You couldn’t stop looking around at all the people. There were so many people.

There were your friends of course, members of your college rallying in your defense, other humans in the neighborhood. The monster turnout was better than you had expected and it seemed as though every monster in the area had shown up to see what would happen. You supposed it was pretty typical. Monsters tended to stick together in order to celebrate in good times or help support in times of need.

You knew that, at best, members in the group Defense Exploits Against Demons (you still couldn’t believe how hard they must’ve tried to make that acronym) would be charged for breaking and entering as well as vandalism as the result of a hate crime. There was the potential that you would get restitution considering they made your place unlivable, and they would go to jail for a few years.

At worst, the case would get thrown out and they would walk free. You tried not to shudder as you thought about these people who had invaded your home, your personal space, and were willing to go after monsters. It made your heart hurt. You didn’t want to think about the fact that there were probably just as many people who showed up in support of DEAD as there were against the organization.

In the grand scheme of things, this criminal trial was a small fish to fry and while it was a bit more high profile thanks to you and Sans, at the end of the day it was still just a very small case. However, this small case meant a lot to you and to the monsters who have loved and supported you this far. It set precedent and would definitely send a message about what hate groups could potentially get away with in the future.

Still, you were trying your best to stay cool and confident. It seemed that this case would definitely go in your favor so long as the justice system was really for justice. You forced a smile and took a seat on a bench in the hallway. Things were going to be just fine. You just had to have a little faith in humanity.

You were waiting outside the courtroom, still on your bench, staring off into space. You were growing more and more uncomfortable the longer you had to wait. You were still shaking, unable to get rid of the uneasy feeling in your stomach. Suddenly, you felt a warm hand on your shoulder. You turned to see Sans standing there, glum look on his face.

“hey,” he said.

“Hey yourself,” you said, smiling at him.

“big day,” he said, not really addressing you in particular. He had this far off look on his face that you hadn’t seen before, but you could hardly blame him given the circumstances.

You shifted uncomfortably. “Is it? They were proven guilty on live television right? There’s proof that they did it so…”

“you say that like it matters.”

“It does matter.”

Sans shuffled a bit awkwardly before sitting down. He didn’t respond to your statement, but words really weren’t needed, as his answer was already etched on his face. He didn’t seem to believe that anything good was going to happen in that courtroom.

“It does matter,” you repeated, as if stating it again made it any more true. You felt your stomach twist into knots. That’s what happened. They were bad people. Bad people proven to be bad and are going to go to jail.

“they’ll find a way to make it go away. or reduce their sentence. no offense or nothin, but i’m not exactly the biggest fan of your justice system.”

“Monsters have won cases before.”

Sans looked at you, mouth in the tightest smile you’d ever seen. “sure. and then the law suddenly changes to prevent us from winning again in the future.”

You felt a bit angry that he was giving up and you wanted so desperately for everything to go right. You deserved a win. Sans deserved a win. Monsterkind deserved a win. So, you tried to remain confident when you were finally called in, but Sans’s words echoed in your mind.

As you walked in, you eyed the jury box. Twelve humans of various ages and backgrounds. Not a monster in sight. You sighed, accepting that you already knew that was probably going to happen and you shouldn’t be surprised.

When the trial began, there was so much back and forth legalese that it was hard to keep up with what was happening. You were charging DEAD with breaking and entering, vandalism, and theft under the pretense of a hate crime. Your attorney showed pictures of your apartment, the video clip from the Italian restaurant, and various parts and interviews acquired from Mettaton.

Then the opposition began their case.

“Your honor and members of the jury. This cannot possibly be construed as a hate crime towards monsters as it wasn’t targeted towards a monster. Furthermore, this girl’s involvement on social media has slandered my client, who is an upstanding member of our community. Because of her, he’s lost his job, his wife-”

“Objection, speculation.”

“Withdrawn. Men and women of the jury, you must realize that this is simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. My client and fellow members of their organization are simply exercising their right to free speech.”

And so on.

It felt like being a part of a train wreck as you slowly watched the members of the jury buy into the defense’s claims. You testified. Sans testified. Undyne testified. People from DEAD testified. It was a ridiculous amount of time and energy being spent on something that was very clearly an open and shut case. You felt like you had been in this courtroom for hours.

When the members of the jury went to deliberate, you finally felt like you could breathe. Things were going to be fine. They looked like rational people and you felt as though you nailed it. You had the evidence and the heart.

And yet...when they came back.

“We the jury find the defendant not guilty.”

Not guilty.

Not. Guilty.

Your stomach dropped. You could almost feel the mood of the room shift. You blinked, not registering the words people were saying to you because in that moment the only thing you could focus on was your disbelief.

You finally ripped your eyes away from the jury box to find Sans only to see that he had disappeared. Great.

When you exited the courthouse, reporters began to swarm you.

“How are you feeling that you’ve lost?!”

“What are your plans now? Are you going to file an appeal?”

“Where’s Sans? Why isn’t he here to support you in this hard time?”

“NGHAA! Hey! Listen, we’ll answer your questions when we get to them!” Undyne shouted, wrapping an arm around your shoulder. “Come on, let’s go,” she said. She glared at the reporters and they parted so she could escort you to your car.

You drove home in silence. You walked up to your door to see Sans leaning against the frame. You crossed your arms, but couldn’t find it in you to be mad at him for bailing. You would too if you could teleport.

“we still on tonight?”

You had made plans to celebrate at Grillby’s. You had invited most of your friends – monster and human – to come. Now you weren’t going to be celebrating like you planned, but you knew that everyone was going to be there anyway. You nodded.

“ok.”

Blip!

Leave it to Sans to ditch you at a time like this.

You sighed and went inside to hopefully sleep the disappointment away.

When you woke up from your nap, you changed into jeans, a warm sweater, and your blue hoodie. You looked in the mirror and sighed. The last thing you wanted to deal with was the inevitable pity.

snas: 8:03pm
ya ready?

xxx-xxxx: 8:03pm
Are you?

snas: 8:03pm
touche

xxx-xxxx: 8:04pm
We could always ditch.

snas: 8:04pm
what go rogue?

xxx-xxxx: 8:04pm
Yeah, why not?

snas: 8:04pm
where would we go

xxx-xxxx: 8:05pm
I don’t know. Top of a mountain? Bottom of a ditch? Oh, maybe the middle of the ocean. Drowning sounds like fun.

snas: 8:05pm
oh i sea.

xxx-xxxx: 8:05pm
Sooo, how a-boat it ;)

snas: 8:05pm
c’mon let’s just go with the flow and sea what grillby’s brings us

You frowned, but conceded, and grabbed your bag. You were going to go next door to get Sans, but when you opened the door, there he was - sitting on the ground in front of your door, hood up over his head.

“How long have you been out here?” you asked.

“doesn’t matter. let’s go,” Sans said, avoiding eye contact. You looked at your phone and then at Sans. Hm.

Most of the people who gathered at Grillby’s to give you and Sans emotional support. It felt weird having so many people give you condolences, but you supposed it wasn’t too bad. Although, you had been so busy talking to people that you had completely lost track of Sans. It didn’t seem like he was even in the building any more. You figured Grillby would have seen where he went, so you pushed your way towards the counter, stopping to talk with another handful of monsters along the way.

It seemed as if Grillby was waiting for you because he already had two glasses out and filled. He gestured his head towards the side window, where you could just make out Sans’s shape lying in the snow. You thanked Grillby and grabbed the glasses before heading outside.

Sans was laying on a lump of snow petting a small white dog and smoking. Smoking! You approached him quietly, making no sound but the crunching of snow beneath your feet.

“hey,” he said, pausing for a moment to look at you. He looked pretty out of it. You thought back to the text messages. He seemed fine then but...

“Didn’t take you as much of a smoker,” you said lightly. You handed him the drink.

Sans shrugged. “’m not usually. it’s been awhile since i’ve had a dog treat.”

“A…a what?”

He chuckled and held up his fingers. In between them was, in fact, a bone shaped dog treat.

“…Is that an actual dog treat?”

The little dog perked up and cocked his head at you, as if he was expecting you had treats to give. Sans laughed even louder this time. “nah,” he said, “just think of it like a novelty cigar or somethin.” He took another drag and then offered it to you, “wanna try?”

You shook your head. “No thanks.”

“humans are weird. you’ll kill your liver but not your lungs?”

“Easy for you to say considering you have neither,” you said. “But, why are you smoking anyway? Something on your mind?” you took a seat next to Sans in the snow poff.

He shrugged. The pup in his lap began to swat at his arm. Sans conjured up a small bone and sent it flying across the lot. The dog yipped and ran after it, leaving its prints in the snow. “guess everyone’s gotta bone to pick with me today,” Sans said with a small chuckle.

You took a sip of your drink. It tasted warm...but sad. “I can’t believe you’re making jokes right now.”

“they’re a real treat,” he said as he waved the dog treat under your nose. It smelled like burning dog food.

“You’re weird, you know that?” you said. “You’re sad. You look exhausted. Yet, you make jokes like nothing’s wrong.” You took another small sip and laughed bitterly. “I wish I had that kind of emotional control.” Even as you were speaking, you could feel tears well up in the corners of your eyes. You wiped them away with your free hand and set your drink down on the ground.

“…hey.”

“Hmm?”

“i think i do wanna show you somethin, but it’s kinda far. you still up for a trip?”

You looked at Sans curiously, but nodded. “Yes. I bet anywhere is better than here.”

“alright,” he said, putting the treat out and tossing it in the bin, “hang tight.”

Blip!

The snow on the ground crunched underneath your feet and you felt an icy breeze blow through your hair. You opened your eyes and saw an enormous, gaping hole in the ground. You looked further into the distance and saw the downwards slope towards flat ground. Far off into the distance you could see the faint outline of a city. There were a few trees, naked without their leaves, but the area was otherwise empty. You looked towards Sans.

“Is this…where I think it is?” you asked.

“mount ebott, yeah,” Sans said, taking a seat on the ground. He looked at the opening of the mountain, a strained look in his eyes.

You fidgeted with a loose string on the cuff of your sweatshirt. There was an uneasy pit forming in your stomach. Sans had mentioned once before that when he left this place he never turned back. Quietly, you made your way over to him and sat down beside him. You inched your hand towards him until your fingers were barely touching. Sans tore his eyes away from the entrance to the mountain and you watched his focus shift towards your fingers. You went to pull away, but he gently laced his fingers between yours.

A long silence passed before you could muster up the courage to ask, “Why did you bring me here?”

Sans’s grip tightened a bit before he said, “i needed the reminder that even though shit is happening topside, at least i'm not trapped down there.”

“Sans, I…” you paused, unsure of what to say in this situation, “I’m sorry that I…” you sighed. “I don’t know. I guess I just thought that…maybe, just maybe, if we had a win then something good would happen. That people would take monsters seriously. Interracial relationships seriously. It…I know that the charges weren’t exactly new or groundbreaking or carried that much weight and they wouldn’t have been jailed for very long but it just…I just thought…” you broke off, unsure of what point you were trying to make anymore. “I don’t know what I can say to make this right.”

Sans closed his eyes and let out a breath. “you’re…you don’t need to say anything.” He opened his eyes and looked at you, pupils shining bright in the darkness. “what kind of clothing do you wear to court?”

You raised an eyebrow. “What? Sans what are you talking ab-”

“a lawsuit.”

“Sans…”

“what’d the lawyer name his daughter?”

“Sans-”

“no, sue.”

“Why are you-”

“what’s one thing that never works when it’s fixed?”

“What?”

“a jury.”

“Sans, stop,” you said, placing your hand on his shoulder.

The two of you made eye contact. He wasn’t smiling. There wasn’t the usual twinkle in his eye that appeared when he made a joke. He looked defeated and strained.

“please laugh.”

“Am I laughing for my sake or yours?”

Silence.

“i really wanted you to be right,” he whispered.

“Me too, but…it’ll be okay,” you said. “People hate change, it’s just how we are. We’ll get another chance one day. A different couple, different case. Maybe something bigger than vandalism. Like a civil rights case or something. And we’ll rally together and we’ll win. This is just…a set back.”

Silence.

“can you…just sit with me for a while.”

“Sure,” you said, “I can do that.”

And you did. The two of you laid on your backs and stared up at the cloudy sky. You could barely make out the moon, let alone any stars. It was kind of depressing, just like how the rest of your day was. The wind whistled and you watched as a few dead leaves fluttered. You heard the faint whirring of Sans’s magic and it lulled you to sleep.

When you woke up, the sun was rising and the sky began to light up. Sans was already sitting up and looking out towards the horizon. You sat up and watched as the sunbeams reflected off the sparkly zipper on Sans’s galaxy jacket. You inched a little bit closer so the two of you were sitting side by side, knees touching. The warmth and glow of the sun filled you with happiness, in spite of how low you were feeling yesterday.

“beautiful, huh?”

His voice was just barely above a whisper, but you were so close you didn’t miss it. You looked over at Sans, who was looking towards the horizon, and saw as the warm oranges and pinks of the sunrise washed over him. He looked really tired, but still had this lazy, lofty smile on his face.

Thump thump

You sighed and, despite the ache in your heart, you leaned your head onto his shoulder.

“Yeah…it’s real beautiful.”

Chapter Text

“Um, what is this?”

“It looks like our city’s sad excuse for a newspaper.”

Heather’s expression soured. She threw the newspaper down on the table and there, in big bold letters, was the headline: COURT CASE LOSS OF VIRAL SUPERCOUPLE and a picture of you and Sans from the courthouse. That felt like so long ago, but really it was just from over the weekend. Damn, did you both really look that haggard? You winced and pushed the newspaper away. You kind of wanted to forget about it, honestly.

“How could you not tell me you were dating a monster?” she sounded personally offended.

“Dude, I don’t know? It never came up? I don’t know you that well?” you said.

Heather looked almost indignant. “I tell you that my capstone is all about the expression of love and how love of all kinds is beautiful and should be appreciated and you don’t choose to disclose that information? It was practically an invitation.”

Ugh.

You took a sip of your coffee. “Fine, I’m dating a monster. His name is Sans. It’s been…about five months by now.”

Heather slid into her seat and looked at you. She propped her head on her hand and leaned into you with a sweet smile. Oh no. “So…can I ask you for a favor?”

Ughhh.

“Nope.”

“Oh, come on! I don’t have any monster-human relationships included in my project and it’d be so interesting. Like you kind of fascinate me and I really want to see where this goes.”

Ughhhhhh.

You turned to look Heather directly in the eye. “We’re not a project or some case study for you to fawn over or examine. I already have one jerkish friend who I can never tell if he supports us or not, and I really don’t want another one. We’d really rather just be left alone.”

“What if I paid you? Would you consider it then?”

Ughhhhhhhhh. Money. Your kryptonite.

“I’ll ask Sans, okay?”

Heather seemed pleased with this answer and turned her attention towards the front of the room. You slouched in your seat and pulled out your phone.

xxx-xxxx: 7:57am
Soooooooo…if I…hypothetically had a favor to ask of you, would you consider it?

snas: 7:57am
ok.

xxx-xxxx: 7:57am
Really?!

snas: 7:57am
sure. for a price.

xxx-xxxx: 7:58am
Always the bottom line with you, isn’t it? Okay, what’s the catch?

snas: 7:58am
i dunno yet, but i'll let ya know when i figure it out

 

Okay well…it looks like the two of you were going to be a part of an art project.

A few days later, you and Sans drove to Heather’s place. She already had her camera equipment set up in her yard. She seemed incredibly enthusiastic when you introduced her to Sans, and mentioned her excitement over her project nearly thirty times.

“We’re going to do a couple of trial shots before the real deal, so…go over there and be lovey-dovey or whatever it is you do, okay?”

You and Sans walked over to the bench sitting in the middle of the yard. It was still covered in white snow. Should you sit on the bench? You both awkwardly sat down on the edge of the bench. Sans lifted his arm at the same time you moved your hands to embrace him. Oh. You both lowered your hands. No? You tried again. Sans also moved his arms. Nope back down. Uhh. You looked to the side, slightly scooched yourself closer. Maybe if you held hands…?

“No, no, no,” Heather said, stepping away from her position behind the camera. “This isn’t romantic at all. You, ugh, okay I’ll pose you myself.” She walked up to the two of you and adjusted your hands. She guided them so they cupped the sides of Sans’s face. Wow, bones sure were cold out in the snow. Yup. This is what you’ll occupy your thoughts with as Heather moves Sans’s hands to your waist. Mhmmmmmm, oh and now she’s pushing your heads together so your foreheads touch.

This is fine.

“Can you both try not to look like awkward, sweaty puppies? Sheesh, I know people who aren’t even dating who have better chemistry than this.”

If only she knew.

You did your best. You tried to calm down as Heather repositioned you and Sans in a variety of poses. It actually got a little less awkward the more pictures you took. Alright, maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. Sans was starting to ease up a bit as well. Heather was looking through the pictures she took, nodding to herself, happy with whatever it was that the two of you managed to do.

“Alright, these look pretty good I think I’ve got a good selection. Come here so I can add the words,” Heather said as she pulled out a black marker from her back pocket. She uncapped the marker and began to write on the back of your hand.

“Hmm? Are you writing something super cheesy like ‘I’ve got a monster crush on you’?”

“you’re so hot you’re giving me a femur?”

“Hah! Oh my God. What about our love is humerus?”

Sans snorted. Heather released your hand and you looked, excited to see what cute note she had written.

N e c r o p h i l i a c

“Why did you write this? I thought you liked us?”

“Of course I like you. Your whole story is so…new and exciting. Like you’re total progressive pioneers. Like, alright, imagine this! Your faces, so happy and so in love and it’s all pure and beautiful. But the whole world wants to tear you down, right? The juxtaposition between your happy faces and the mean names people call you will showcase how your love conquers hate. Your light beats out darkness. Here, I went ahead and did a Google search on you and pulled comments to make a list.” She handed the paper to Sans.

Sans looked over the first page of the list in his hands. You tried to gauge his reaction, but his face remained expressionless. Was he upset? Did this hurt him? You didn’t really mind going home, this project was getting kind of offensive anyway.

“these are hilarious.”

…Or he was totally fine.

“Really?” you asked, peering over his shoulder to read the list. You inwardly winced. Heather really didn’t pull back any punches with getting material. Some slurs were ones that you’ve seen or heard of before – demons, animals, predators. And then there were…

“heh, an incubus, huh? should i take it as a compliment that so many people think i'm getting some?”

Oh? so you mean…you two haven’t…?”

Sans locked eyes with you, face going completely deadpan. You knew that expression. You could tell he was thinking the same thing you were. Why do you keep hanging out with these kinds of people? You tried to shrug and convey that it wasn’t your fault annoying people were attracted to you.

“Well that’s not important! I’m not judging.” Heather exclaimed (kind of judgmentally if you were being honest) as she raised up the marker again. Sans looked at you and you shrugged because – what were you supposed to say? He closed his eyes and tilted his face towards Heather who began scribbling along the side of his skull. Stroke after stroke of the pen and pretty soon you were marked with what people saw you as.

d i s g u s t i n g

d e v i l ’ s s l u t

v i l e

t r a i t o r

d e m o n

You and Sans both had a few words scrawled onto your faces. You shed your jackets and your arms were marked up as well. Sans looked like he was completely fine and unaffected by this whole process. You knew that, really, some words shouldn’t matter, but they were chipping at your self-esteem. Sometimes it was easy to forget that so many people hated you when it wasn’t staring you right in the face. But here it was.

“Okay, I really liked the pose where you were holding his face, go ahead and do that,” Heather directed.

It was now freezing out and you no longer had your hoodie, so you shivered as you put your hands against the bare bone.

Click! Click! Click!

Heather directed you into another position, and you took a step back to adjust yourself when you slipped on an icy patch of snow. Your heart skipped a beat as you began to fall backwards. You squeezed your eyes shut, bracing yourself for impact.

But it never came.

You hesitantly opened your eyes and saw Sans’s face only a few millimeters away from yours. One of his hands was interlocked with yours and the other was securely on your back, holding you in a deep dip. You could feel your face start to get hot as a prickly static feeling began to trail over your body.

“YES! That’s the sexual tension I’m looking for! Hold that pose right there.” You barely registered the sound of the camera flashing as the hot staticky feeling continued to cause your skin to goosebump and your hair to stand. Sans was frozen in his spot, barely breathing. You were starting to tremble and you could see his pupils dilate just a fraction.

Thump thump

You swallowed.

Shit.

Sans made sure you were steady and back on your feet. There was a small part of you that wished you could have stayed in that dip bubble a little while longer. There was another small part of you that wished Heather would just be like ‘KISS HIM’ because it sure felt like a kiss him moment.

“hey? uh, you alright? kinda giving us the cold shoulder here.”

“Huh?”

Sans chuckled. “she wants to take some photos inside.”

“Oh. Yeah,” you said, nodding, “Sure, whatever is fine.”

You followed Sans and Heather inside. The house was nice, a bit small, but really nice. You suspected that she lived with her parents because you knew the houses in this area weren’t cheap. She led you to her living room where there were a few nice couches, a small wooden coffee table, and a large stone fireplace.

You tried a few poses around the room, but you could tell that you were being awkward again based on Heather’s less enthusiastic facial expressions. You couldn’t help it though. Where do you put your hands? How do you look comfortable in front of a camera? Sans was also just as bad. He refused to look at the camera or you, so a lot of the times his head would be turned the wrong way or his arm would be blocking you.

“Weren’t you a nude model for a while? Why aren’t you better at this?” you asked aloud. “Oh! I mean…not that you’re bad or we’re bad or…anything. I just…uh…”

“What?” Heather interjected. Her eyes brightened and she clasped her hands together in joy. “Wait, woah, woah there. You were a nude model? Can we utilize that? It might make this way better. You’re both so awkward here on the couch like this it’s almost painful. Please? Just shirtless. We can write on your ribs.”

“uhhhhhh…”

“Uhhh…”

This really wasn’t how you were expecting today to go, and the whole situation was getting so weird and out of hand. You checked your watch. Maybe you should just consider telling her no and then walking out.

“I can pay you more, if that’s what you want.”

Sans briefly glanced at you and you could see realization in his eyes. You felt bad, you didn’t want him to know that you were having financial issues again. You weren’t even sure if the money was worth it anymore, but you didn’t even have the chance to say anything because Sans was already taking off his shirt. You didn’t even bother to try and hide your surprise because whaaaat???? You knew that he didn’t personally care about nudity in general, he’s told you just as much himself. It’s just…this was weird, right? You put your hand on your forehead to try and gauge your temperature and make sure this wasn’t some weird fever dream.

You averted your gaze, though you weren’t really sure why. He was still just a skeleton and last time you checked, ribcages weren’t exactly lewd. You had drawn that exact ribcage not even 4 months ago.

Heather consulted her list, flipping a page, before finally settling on “Cradle robber.”

“…what?” Sans asked flatly.

“You know, because you’re a skeleton so you must be like…super old. Way too old to be dating a human anyway. But you know, I’m sure that’s just a stereotype.”

Right. He was pretty damn old wasn’t he?

“…Or…not…” Heather trailed off. “Well…you know, not judging.”

Still sounded very judgey.

“Anyway, may I?” she asked, raising the marker.

“no,” Sans said, a bit colder than expected, as he took the pen from her hand and started clumsily writing the letters onto his bones himself. “let’s just finish this.”

Heather posed you and Sans over by the stone fireplace and went to go get a different lens. You rested your head on his shoulder. “We can go home. This isn’t fun anymore,” you whispered. “It definitely isn’t even worth the money anymore. You’re clearly miserable.” You paused. “I’m really sorry.”

“huh, guess i shoulda known photography would’ve been a negative experience.”

You tilted your head. “Photography puns? Now?”

“when else canon i use them?”

“She’s using a Nikon.”

“hmm. ok. you deceive people, right? and we’re almost done here, so the time is nigh, con.”

“The amount of setup needed for that pun is appalling.”

“heh.”

“Is this your way of saying that you’re okay?”

Sans shrugged, but gave you a reassuring smile.

You, in a swift moment of bravery, lurched forward to give Sans a big hug. He was caught off guard and made a strangled noise before toppling over due to the sudden force of your weight.

“gee, warn a guy before you do that, will ya?” he asked, chuckling and wrapping his arms around you.

“You’re a great friend, you know that?”

“hah…well...”

“OH! Hold it right there!” Guess she had come back. You heard the pop of the marker top coming off and Heather crouched by you. Oh. Your shirt hiked up a tiny bit, but it was apparently enough to get the Heather seal of racism™.

“Do I want to know what it says?” you asked.

“no.”

Click! Click! Click!

After a few more awkward pictures of you and Sans, Heather finally paid you and you were able to go home. The whole drive was quiet, like the two of you didn’t really know what to say after what happened. What did just happen anyway? You decided that, like everything else, you would push this memory out of your head for a while.

You and Sans walked up to your apartments. You were about to say your goodbyes when Sans asked, “wanna come in?”

“Oh!” you exclaimed, a bit surprised, “Yeah, sure.”

Sans opened the door and the two of you walked in and immediately collapsed on the couch. You pulled out your phone and opened the camera app. Ugh. Now that you had sweat a bit, the words were starting to smudge and it made you look worse than before.

M o n s t e r f u c k e r.

“i think we look ink-redible,” Sans said, poking his head into the camera frame. He began tracing the words on his skull. “heh, maybe i am an ink-ubus after all.”

“It makes me feel like shit. Doesn’t it bother you that people sincerely think this stuff?”

“…kinda. but whatddya expect? i can’t change what they think of me. it's easier to just roll with it.”

You looked back at your phone screen to see your miserable reflection staring back at you. You quietly turned it off and got up off the couch. “Give me a sec, okay? Don’t move,” you said.

“ok.”

You dashed over to your apartment and grabbed some non-toxic paint and a handful of different brushes. You hurried back over to Sans’s and grabbed a paper plate from the kitchen. You squirt out a bunch of paint, creating a makeshift palette. You walked into the living room and sat on the floor. “Sit,” you said.

Sans complied.

You dipped a thin brush into the paint and gently began to create designs around the slurs written on Sans’s face. You lightly held the back of his head to keep it steady as you worked. You started drawing the outline of a blue flower.

“Hey Sans?”

“hmm?”

“Did you know that turquoise is the best color?”

“what? why?”

“…It’s been cyantifically proven.”

Pause.

“heh, heh. you didn’t tell me we’d be starting color puns. feels so out of the blue,” Sans said, smile widening. You couldn’t help but smile back.

“Does that mean you’re giving me the green light to keep going?”

“yeah, no red flags from me.”

You continued working on Sans’s face, making delicate lines along his skull. It was almost therapeutic to erase the ugly words with your own colorful art. “Thanks for indulging me with this,” you said. “I know it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. We’re not even dating, but these words really bother me anyway. And…I’m sorry.”

“for what?”

You filled in the last spot. “For…well, this whole day and also for not really asking you if I could turn you into my art piece.”

“heh, i'm tickled pink you wanted to draw on me in the first place,” Sans said, reaching for his phone to look at your completed handiwork. “and, uh, not gonna lie, it felt kinda good.” He looked into the phone screen. “oh…”

“Oh?” you asked, slightly worried. “Do you not like it? Sorry it wasn’t exactly planned I haven’t done that many sugar skull designs before and-”

“relax. i love it.”

Thump thump.

“O-oh,” you said, face warming up a tiny bit. “Thank you…”

A comfortable silence.

“ok. my turn,” Sans said, reaching for a thick paint brush.

You started laughing. “Really? You wanna?” You remembered his Christmas present. Terribly painted coffee beans. You could only assume what he was going to do to your face…but you didn’t really care to be honest. You closed your eyes. “Okay, my face is your canvas.”

“careful, trusting me with paint is asking for a brush with death.”

Ah!

The paint was really cold and you were trying really hard not to flinch, but it was really hard. You felt Sans’s hand graze your cheek as he held your head in place. You sucked in a breath and tried not to think about the tingly feeling right where his hand was. It wasn’t working. Also, you had no idea what Sans was doing but it was definitely taking up your whole face and he was not being as delicate as he could have been.

“ok.”

“Okay?”

You opened your eyes and Sans showed you your reflection.

Oh!

“Hahaha,” you laughed, “Oh you made me into a skeleton!” You admired his work. It was a little sloppy and uneven, but you could see where he was going with it. You smiled at yourself. “Come here, let’s take a picture.” You stretched out your arm a little.

Click!

The picture actually turned out really cute. Much better than all the other awkward photos you took today. This one felt real. It actually felt like something that would be included in a showcase about love.

“looks pretty good. startin to look like a real bone-a-fied skeleton.”

“Ha, really?” you said. You hummed. “So, by skeleton standards, would I be considered attractive?”

“nope.”

“What the heck? Ouch, I have feelings you know.”

“what? you got all this hair,” he said, ruffling it slightly, “all this extra fat,” he prodded at your cheek, “and cartilage,” he pulled on the tip of your ear. “to patella the truth, you’re a pretty ugly skeleton.”

“Yeah, well, your stupid face wouldn’t look so good as a human, so,” you playfully stuck your tongue out. “Gee, and you’re how old again? If you had skin it’d be so wrinkled…like a raisin. It doesn’t match your personality at all.”

“ha…uh…ha…”

Sans’s smile had tightened the tiniest bit. You scrambled, had you gone too far? He seemed fine earlier! “Sorry, are you okay? I didn’t…I’m sorry, that was stupid of me to say.” You hadn’t meant anything, you were just trying to tease him.

“uh…be straight with me, d’ya think i'm a cradle robber?”

“What?!” the question caught you off guard.

“…does my age bother you?” Sans looked away. “i mean, i didn’t think much about it before. i always knew you’d be weirded out by it. i mean, i'm young for a monster but…” he broke off. “heh, i dunno. sorry for askin, i’m not sure why i care-”

“I kind of forgot,” you said. “I mean, if that makes you feel any better. I really…I haven’t thought about your age in a long time.” You placed a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry about it, okay? People are…judgmental and extreme. You’re not a raisin, you’re like...a finely aged wine!”

The smallest twitch of a smile and then. “heheheh, oh. wow. i'm so flattered. i decant even take the compliment.”

You couldn’t help yourself. You started giggling, which only fed fuel to the fire of Sans’s laughter, which made you laugh even harder.

You were so distracted by your own laughter that you barely heard the door open. Papyrus must be home.

“OH MY GOD??? WHAT THE HECK???? WHAT HAPPENED? WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE SOMEONE BEAT YOU UP??”

You realize that, to Papyrus, you looked absolutely crazy. You had these painted faces, dozens of slurs written all over your body, and you were laying on the floor practically in tears laughing over a pun that really wasn’t super funny. You and Sans made eye contact and then laughed even harder because of Papyrus’s reaction to you.

Papyrus closed the front door and approached. You could tell he was reading the words marked all over your skin. Suddenly, you felt all sobered up and the laughter died out. Now you just squirmed in discomfort, wishing that he hadn’t walked in on you. There was confusion and anger in his expression.

“WHY WOULD SOMEONE WRITE THESE THINGS? THIS IS SO MEAN?” He glanced at Sans, who was trying to cover himself. “YOU TOO? WHAT DID THEY WRITE?”

“nothin bro,” Sans said rather unconvincingly.

“It was for someone’s photography art project,” you explained. “It’s meant to be commentary. Or a juxtaposition of something…I’m not really sure what direction she was going for exactly.”

“IT’S TERRIBLE. THE WORST ART I’VE EVER SEEN. ZERO OUT OF TEN STARS.”

“oh snap.”

Papyrus squinted his eye sockets at Sans and in one swift motion, Papyrus had hoisted Sans over his shoulder.

“Okay, well, that’s my cue to get out of here,” you said, getting up. You started for the door, but Papyrus managed to snag the hem of your shirt before you got out of range. The tug was just enough to expose a small peek of your stomach, but it was enough.

“HERE TOO?”

“Paps, it’s not that big of a deal.”

But it was too late, Papyrus was already lifting up your shirt to inspect the rest of your body. You scrambled and flailed. “What are you doing?! Oh my god, Papyrus that is so indecent!”

Papyrus let go and you held the hem of your shirt down tightly. He put his free hand on his hip. “YOU LITERALLY HAVE BONE FUCKER WRITTEN ON YOUR ARM, WE ARE SO FAR GONE PAST INDECENT.”

Papyrus oh my god!” you hadn’t ever heard Papyrus swear before.

Papyrus lifted you and slung you over his other shoulder and carried you and Sans towards their bathroom. He set you down on the floor and dumped Sans into the tub. He reached up and grabbed what you were assuming was his rubber ducky loofah. He squirted on some soap and began to scrub away at Sans’s bones.

“Papyrus-”

“YOU THINK I DON’T NOTICE WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU? ABOUT SANS?”

Small orange tears appeared in the corners of Papyrus’s eye sockets. “I KNOW THAT I AM VERY GREAT, BUT THOSE COMMENTS HURT SOMETIMES ME TOO. I MAY HAVE STRONG BONES BUT I AM NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE YOU KNOW.”

Scrub scrub went the loofah against Sans’s arms.

“YOU KNOW WHAT SOMEONE CALLED SANS THE OTHER DAY? A FLESH REAPER. AS IN A REAPER OF THE FLESH. JUST SCREAMED IT FROM THE INSIDE OF HER CAR AND DROVE OFF. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?”

Sans’s eyelids were screwed shut and he suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “i thought we agreed not to tell her about-”

Scrub. Scrub.

“Is it really that bad? Have I really been that shitty of a friend to not even notice?”

“W-WELL NO! YOU ARE A GREAT FRIEND. ONE OF TOP QUALITY. IF YOU WERE A STAR IT WOULD DEFINITELY BE GOLD. SOME DASHING SKELETONS MAY EVEN CONSIDER YOU THE BEST OF HUMAN FRIENDS. NOW BESTOW YOUR GRAFFITIED APPENDAGE AND YOUR HORRIFYINGLY INACCURATE SKELETAL FACE.”

The tense atmosphere shattered as Sans began wheezing from laughing. You started giggling as well, tears beginning to well up in your eyes. You did your best to explain what happened with the face paint.

“WOW SANS, YOU HAD ONE JOB AND SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE GOT HIT BY THE UGLY BUS.”

“c’mon bro it’s not that bad. i, for one, think my improvements have made her dead gorgeous.”

Thump thump.

Did he just…?

“NYEH!” Papyrus threw the loofah at Sans’s face.

Well. This was a day that took many unexpected turns, but you couldn’t deny that you felt lucky enough to have such good friends. Even if that meant getting your skin scrubbed raw. But it’s only because they care.

Chapter Text

February now. Even though it was warm enough that the snow had stopped for the year, it was still too cold to be able to go enjoy outside. So you found yourself spending most of your free afternoons inside on your couch watching television or playing video games with your cat curled up by your feet. Most days Sans and Papyrus would hang around, usually bringing by food. You were getting the feeling that they have decided to feed you for the time being and you were…totally fine with that. And you liked having their company anyway.

Today it was just Sans joining you on your couch.

You were currently crushing him in a round of Mario Kart. Rainbow Road. Final lap. Currently in first place, rounding the final turn of the track. Victory was in sight.

“heh, sure would…be terrible…if i happened to have a blue shell on me.”

“Don’t you dare!” you screeched. You had been losing to him all afternoon.

Sans only grinned before sealing your fate. The blue shell hit your kart and you went sliding off the track. You watched Sans’s side of the screen as his character drove over the finish line.

“Suck a dick, Sans,” you said, bitterly dropping your controller.

“gross, no thanks. not interested,” he said as he scrolled the menu to pick the next course.

Hmm.

“Can I ask you something awkward?”

Sans lowered his controller and looked at you with a raised brow. “what, you’re askin before sticking your foot in your mouth now?”

“Just preparing you for the inevitable is all.”

Sans pulled up his legs so he was sitting cross-legged on the couch. The controller was set aside and he turned to face you. You had his full attention. “well, go on then. ask whatever burning awkward question you have for me.”

Okay. Now that you were on the spot you felt much more nervous and embarrassed. “Um. Would you ever…consider…fucking a human?”

To your surprise, he started chuckling. “why? you offerin?”

Uhhhhhhhhhhh. What do you even say to that????

When you didn’t respond right away, Sans’s face fell. “oh. you were being serious.”

“I guess I’ve never seen you show a preference for anything: sex, gender, species, whatever. So I guess I’m just curious, is all. Do you even feel attraction?”

Sans contemplated your question for a minute before saying, “yeah, i feel, ya know, desires. but the rest is…up in the air. i just like what i like.”

“That’s really non-descript.”

“i dunno how i'd feel about sex with a random human though. i’m not sure i'd like it much.”

“Why’s that?”

Sans scratched the back of his skull. “it’s kind of an emotional thing,” he answered. “and you know me, all about the touchy-feely emotions.”

“Yeah, you’re real warm and fuzzy.”

“thanks, it’s all the calcium. makes for extra warm and fuzzy bones you know,” he said without missing a beat. “uh, seriously though. humans? you’re all kind of gross. no offence. but i'd have to care a lot before sleepin with one.”

……

The question was on the tip of your tongue. Do you dare ask?

“…What about me then? Would you fuck me?”

In a flash, Sans was on top of you. He leaned in, voice low, gravelly, and whispered into your ear. “sure that’s what you’d want? another skeleton in ya? you want the big bad monster to dom you and fuck your brains out?”

“…Yes?”

Another blink and Sans was sitting upright on the other side of the couch again, controller in hand, returning to the course list. “welp, that sucks for you. i’m not gonna take advantage of your feelings just to get laid. i have standards.”

“I can do casual sex!”

“no you can’t.”

“So, what? You’re going to get me all hot and bothered with that voice of yours and then leave me hanging like that?”

“uhh, yup.”

“Even in my dreams I still somehow manage to get cockblocked.”

Everything suddenly slowed and you felt yourself pull away. You were suddenly looking at the scene through a window. Sans turned from the you on the couch to the you in the window. He wore an odd expression on his face. Like he was looking right through you, judging you somehow.

“heh, alright.”

The scene shattered and you were suddenly in Sans’s bedroom, laying on a large pile of socks and both of your clothes on the floor. He was on top, using his pelvis to thrust and grind into you. There was a loud, distinct slap-slap-slap sound of the bone meeting skin. You were desperately hanging onto his ribs, pulling and rubbing as much as you could.

“is this what you wanted?”

“YES!”

“you’re kind of a freak, you know that?”

You reached down and began pinching at his pubic bone, eliciting a deep moan from Sans. “Yeah, but so are you, huh?” You continued to rub the bone, increasing the speed and pulling him in closer to you.

Sans was panting, but still speaking to you between huffs and puffs. “ya know…you shouldn’t…tease a monster…may come back to bite ya.” He buried his face into your neck and bit down gently.

You let out a groan and lifted your hips to buck into Sans, trying to alleviate the pressure that’s been building there. Sans moved his hands and squeezed your ass, letting the fingers dig into the skin a bit and pulling you towards him.

Then he let go and you fell straight through the sock mountain and into a large, steamy shower. Warm water ran down the sides your skin. There was a ledge on the shower wall that you sat on.

“heh, whenever i get naked in the bathroom, the shower always gets turned on,” Sans said in your ear.

You giggled and he moved so that he was kneeling in front of you, smiling.

“didn’t realize you were also a shower.”

“Har har, Mr. Funny Bones.”

You reached over Sans to grab a bar of soap. You lathered up your hands and began washing Sans’s bones, taking extra special care with them. You let your hands slide along the edges of his bones and trace along the crevices and empty spaces between the bones.

“ooh, yeah, hit me with those bubbles. i'm such a dirty boy.”

He was giving you such a cheesy grin that you couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh my god, what is that all about? Geez. C’mere you dirty boy and let me clean you then.” You were still giggling but he complied and inched closer so that you could also wash the top of his skull.

Sans got his own bar of soap and began rubbing it into your thighs, letting his hands graze along the skin and grabbing where he could. He lathered up your stomach and squished that too before finally getting up to your boobs, which he squeezed gently. “you’re so squishy.”

“Human skin and all.”

“hn.” He inched closer still, pressing his face against your crotch and gently spreading your legs apart. Something soft and spongy licked at your slit. A tongue? Your fingers scratched the surface of his skull.

“guess i always did prefer eating out,” Sans said, sending a wave of vibrations against you.

You couldn’t help it, what sort of dirty talk was this supposed to be? You laughed out loud again, but before you could retort, Sans stood and attempted to carry you on his shoulders, but your bodies were both too slippery. You fell through his arms with a schloop.

Now you were on your knees and Sans was looking down at you, face unreadable for a second before he started cracking up. His laughter made you start giggling too. The water poured out of the shower head and the steam covered you and Sans. The bright bathroom lights began to fade and you were now standing.

When you opened your eyes, you were on a mountain, Ebott maybe. It was night, the stars and moon were out. You and Sans were standing on the top, looking out into the horizon. The moon was massive and practically shimmered in the night sky.

“you trust me?” Sans asked, offering his hand.

You took it and he brought you in close to him, lifting you up, and the two of you began to float in the night sky. Pink and purple clouds began rolling in and you flew past them. Sans was still holding you close, like you were the only thing that mattered in this whole world. You floated closer and closer to the moon and stars.

“It’s beautiful.”

“yeah, you are.”

You were so far above the Earth now. So far from judgment, prying eyes, problems, inhibitions. It was just you and Sans in front of the moon. You stroked his sternum softly and he pulled you in closer, cradling your face with one of his hands and holding your lower back with the other.

“i can’t promise you the moon, but this is pretty close,” he said, leaning into you to kiss your neck. The hand that was cupping your face was now dipping into your shorts. He ran one of his fingers along your entrance.

“S-sans…”

“you’re so beautiful,” he said as he began massaging your clit with his fingers.

You whined out his name again.

“i want to hold you forever.”

“Please, Sans.”

“i love you.”

“I love you t-”

THUD

You were startled awake. A bunch of books had fallen off your bookshelf. What the…?

‘meow’

You peered over the edge of your bed, saw your cat hanging out on the floor, surrounded by a pile of books. You sighed. “Did you knock over all my stuff?” you asked your cat. “I told you I can’t give you attention when I’m sleeping.”

Your cat meowed in response.

“Fair enough.”

You glanced at the clock. It was just before 3am. If you went back to sleep you could probably get away with snoozing for another hour before having to get up for work. You rested your head against your pillow and closed your eyes.

…Okay, you were still turned on from that dream. No problem, you can finish yourself before going back to sleep.

WAIT. THE DREAM. BIG PROBLEM.

You sat up in bed. “Oh, crap!” you said to yourself. “I just…I just…” had a sex dream about a guy who is my friend that I have feelings for and who I really shouldn’t be having wet dreams about because he’s someone who doesn’t like me like that yet always gives me these weird mixed signals and OH GOD I just had a fucking sex dream about SANS.

It wasn’t as though you hadn’t thought about this…briefly…in passing…out of sheer curiosity. Sometimes you enjoyed thinking about what it’d be like to date and all that would entail. However, you did your best to not make a habit of thinking about friends in that way, even if you had a massive heart-on for the friend in question.

You shook that train of thought. Nope. Not going to go down that rabbit hole. You took a deep breath. It’s just a dream, you couldn’t help it. Now you will just…not think about it.

But you still needed to get off.

You were trying to conjure a fantasy that would occupy your brain, but all you could think about was you and Sans banging on the moon. Ugh. Okay, you were just going to…do something else then. You kicked off the covers and hopped out of bed. Cold water. A shower.

You practically ran to the bathroom and began running water. You jumped in, but despite the temperature of the shower all you could think about in here was Sans between your legs, making dumb jokes and eating you out. You shut off the water. Hop out.

Living room. You’ll just turn on a murder show or a documentary. Nothing like blood and dead people to take you out of the mood.

…skeletons are kind of like dead people.

Nah, that’s a stretch.

Although now you were imagining Sans pinning you down on the couch and having his way with you, whispering in your ear all low and gravelly. You trembled. Was it weird that you never thought much about how attractive his voice was until now?

Maybe you were just over thinking this. Yeah, that’s it. If you just lay here and try to go back to sleep it’ll be fine. You got comfy on the couch and closed your eyes.

i love you

Ugh, did love really have to be such a turn-on?

He doesn’t have to know you thought idly. Maybe you could quickly finish yourself off to the thought of him and be done with it.

No. Sans may not ever find out, but that knowledge would sit with you forever. There was a certain boundary there that you didn’t want to cross. Besides, Sans was a good guy and you were already constantly sabotaging your own friendship with him through other means. You let out a sigh. Yeah, you’d just forego that option. You couldn’t imagine looking him in the eye as it is.

You went back to your room and plopped down on your bed. For now, you figured you could get your mind off things by looking up the meaning of your dream. Yes. That makes sense. You took your phone off its charger and began searching.

Search: dream meanings video games

Playing a video game suggests that you are trying to escape from the problems in your real life, instead of confronting it.

Search: dream meanings socks

To see socks in your dream indicates that you tend to yield to other’s wishes. You are flexible and understanding in your thinking. May also represent feeling casual or unprepared.

Search: dream meanings shower

Dreaming about showering with someone suggests that there is something you need to “come clean” or confess to this person. It is time to be honest.

Search: dream meanings floating

Floating on air indicates satisfaction, contentment and acceptance of some situation

Search: dream meanings moon

A full moon signifies completion and wholeness

Search: dream meanings love

To dream that your friend is in love with you, may be one of wish fulfillment. Perhaps you have developed feelings for your friend.

Well. You had no idea what any of this was trying to tell you. And the ache hasn’t dissipated, so it didn’t help any either. You sighed in frustration, but got up to get ready for work.

Despite your current feelings, you were never more thankful to have to go to work and be able to think about very unsexy things like ordering coffee beans and staring into the abyss of people’s eyes before they’ve had their caffeine and smelling the morning breath of people who thought they could get away without brushing their teeth. Yes. Very unsexy. And you had a few hours to recompose yourself before you ran into –

“Sans!”

Sans was outside his apartment door, smoking.

Did that have to be so goddamn sexy???

You didn’t know what to say, so you just…gave him a really big and painfully awkward smile. “Morning!” you forced out, a little too cheery. You’re doing great at this keeping it cool thing.

“heya.” he said.


……

He knows.

…Maybe. You can’t actually tell. But now you’re paranoid. You share a wall with the guy. There’s a good chance he heard you and…uh…oh…You look away, choosing to look at your shoes. Your shame overpowered you. You felt your guilt crawling up your back.

“Okay well, good talk I have to get to work now!”

Smooth.

“ok, see ya.”

Definitely knows!!!!

Chapter Text

A couple weeks passed and you had been doing your best not to act weird around Sans. After going to work and thinking about things, you were pretty sure he knew nothing and you were just being paranoid. Or, if he did know, he wasn’t letting on and you weren’t about to ask him about it anyway. You decided to try and ignore the dream thing since it hadn’t happened since. It’ll just be your secret.

February was looking pretty great so far. All of the department stores were completely decked out in Valentine’s Day decorations. You wondered if monsters celebrated Valentine’s Day or not, although when you got a text from Sans a few days ago, you were doubtful.

snas: 3:09pm
figured out what ya owe me from the photo thing

xxx-xxxx: 3:09pm
Oh no. What is it?

xxx-xxxx: 3:09pm
Ten million G?

xxx-xxxx: 3:09pm
A lifetime supply of my bone marrow?

xxx-xxxx: 3:09pm
Oh wait, my first born. You’ll definitely want that.

snas: 3:10pm
lol

xxx-xxxx: 3:10pm
What’s the price of an awkward afternoon?

snas: 3:11pm
oh. do i get to count all our awkward afternoons?

snas: 3:11pm
gonna be quite the debt there pal

snas: 3:11pm
if you spend all your time owing me it’s gonna be hard for your friends to get you a loan

xxx-xxxx: 3:12pm
Wow.

snas: 3:12pm
:D

xxx-xxxx: 3:13pm
Gosh, a smiley emoticon? You must feel pretty proud of that one.

snas: 3:13pm
it just made cents

xxx-xxxx: 3:27pm
I coin not come up with any puns to rival that.

snas: 3:28pm
should’ve banked on the fact that im just better at puns than you

xxx-xxxx: 3:28pm
Ugh.

xxx-xxxx: 3:28pm
Fine. What do you want?

snas: 3:29pm
everyone is going on a road trip to the best place for stargazing this weekend

snas: 3:29pm
come with us

xxx-xxxx: 3:30pm
Haha, that’s it? A friendly hangout?

snas: 3:30pm
i mean i'll also take that 10mil g

xxx-xxxx: 3:31pm
Nice try. I’m down for hanging out though.

It just so happened that this group outing was taking place on Valentine’s Day. Going to watch some stars felt very date-like, although it was a group outing, so you didn’t feel as awkward. You thought that maybe monsters didn’t understand the significance of the day, because if they did you’re pretty sure that Toriel, Asgore, and Frisk (and maybe Flowey…?) would have insisted that you and Sans did your own thing.

You decided you’d still celebrate though, so you made everyone in the group really cheesy, punny homemade Valentines. You used watercolors to paint and then adhered the art to a piece of purple cardstock you cut into hearts along with some kind of puzzles, since you knew monsters enjoyed them.

You grabbed your backpack and headed out to the apartment’s parking lot. Sans and Papyrus were already out by Papyrus’s car. Sans was putting his drone in the trunk and you couldn’t help but feel a little happy that you finally would see him put his gift to good use.

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” you said.

“heh, happy what now?” Sans asked, closing the trunk.

“SANS! DON’T PLAY DUMB! FRISK GIVES US A CARD AND ONE OF THOSE CUTE CHALK HEARTS EVERY YEAR. LAST YEAR THEY GAVE ME ONE THAT SAID ‘TOO COOL’ EVEN THOUGH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO BE TOO COOL.”

“Ah, nice! So you know about it then,” you said, smiling. “I was wondering if you did or not. I actually got you something too.”

“OH? IS IT ONE OF THOSE FANCY HOLOGRAPHIC CARDS FROM THE SUPERMARKET? THOSE ARE PRETTY NEAT.”

You pulled out Papyrus’s card from your backpack. “Nah, I spent time making these myself,” you said. “Here.”

You held out Papyrus’s card towards him.

“IT’S IN PIECES?”

“It’s a puzzle card, solve it for a message.”

“OH! A PUZZLE! THE BEST FORM OF GIFT. FEAR NOT, FOR I WILL SOLVE THIS PAPER PUZZLE RIGHT AWAY NYEH-HEH-HEH!”

Papyrus took a seat on the ground and began assembling the pieces. You and Sans watched in amusement as he figured out where each of the slots and tabs fit each other.

You’re an impastably cool Valentine! <3

He stared at the card for a long minute, not saying anything. Sans started snickering. You started to feel very uncomfortable with their reactions. Why wasn’t he saying anything? Usually pictures of pasta would get him all excited. And it was a puzzle too? Why was Sans laughing? Was it the pun? This wasn’t what you were expecting at all.

“UH. YES. THIS PUZZLE CARD. THAT YOU MADE. FOR ME. SHAPED. LIKE THIS. IN THAT COLOR. AHEM. THAT’S FINE. IT’S LOVELY. THANK YOU AND THERE IS NOTHING WEIRD ABOUT THIS EXCHANGE AT ALL, RIGHT SANS?”

snrk “yup.”

“RIGHT. SO I WILL…TAKE THIS AND…FIND A SPOT FOR IT…IN MY ROOM…WHERE IT WILL BE SAFE AND UNSEEN BY OTHER MONSTERS. PLEASE EXPLAIN HER EGREGIOUS ERROR WHILE I’M AWAY.”

He snatched the card from off the floor and sprinted into the house. You could barely make out the orange tinge on his face. You turned to Sans. “What social faux pas did I make now?”

He was still smiling, although his face was also a little blue. “uh. heheh, you really wanna know?”

“Well now that you’ve said that, no, not really.”

“eh, it’s kinda stupid, but it’s because you made it a puzzle.”

“I’m sorry, what? I thought Papyrus liked puzzles. He literally just said puzzles were the best form of gifts.”

Sans rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. “it’s just…the shape. and the color...”

“A purple heart?”

“yeah?”

“Sans you have explain this better. I’m so confused right now. What’s the big deal? Is it because it looks like a soul? Because nearly every shop in town is decorated with them and I don’t see any monsters losing their shit over it. And if Frisk gives you heart shaped cards and candy-”

“it’s romantic when you do it.”

“I still don’t get it.”

Sans reached into his pocket and took out his phone. “ok, puzzles that are shaped like souls are meant for romantic partners. look, here is the puzzle box alphys made undyne last love day,” he paused before clarifying, “that’s kinda what we have instead of valentine’s day.”

You took Sans’s phone and watched the video of Alphys demonstrating the puzzle box. It was way more complex than your paper tangram puzzle. Sans did his best to explain that she set it up to react to Undyne’s magic, she’d need to make her spears in order to open it, but once it popped open it revealed a tiny holographic heart hovered in the middle of the box.

“if you make a puzzle for someone, it’s special as it is, but if the end result is a soul you…uh…” he scratched his skull, trying to find the words, “it’s just seen as somethin for couples. lots of monsters propose this way.”

“Oh,” you said, feeling a tad embarrassed. “I’m still confused, but sorry for accidentally proposing to your bro.”

Sans snickered again. “not sure how these kinds of accidental relationships keep happenin to you.”

“Don’t laugh at me! How was I supposed to know?” You still didn’t quite get this weird custom. There was so little on monster culture that was public knowledge.

“did you make one of those for everyone?” Sans asked while eyeing the pocket of your backpack where you were storing the valentines.

You self-consciously clutched your backpack closer to you. “Well. Each one was different but I guess I won’t give them out after all.”

“aw, c’mon buddy, i wanna see my unintended propo-soul.”

“You’re the worst,” you said, tightly holding the backpack. “Making fun of me for cultural differences I had no idea about.”

“heh.”

“I HAVE RETURNED.”

“Ah, Papyrus, I’m so sorry for accidentally proposing to you.”

“NONSENSE. NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IT. ALTHOUGH I MUST SAY IT WAS VERY FLATTERING TO GET SUCH AN UNEXPECTED SURPRISE. I SUPPOSE THE GREAT PAPYRUS, WORLD’S BEST HUSBONED, HAS A NICE RING TO IT. NYEH-HEH-HEH.”

“nice one.”

“IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER, I HAVE PLACED THE VALENTINE SOMEWHERE SECRET. AND I DUG THROUGH SANS’S TRASH TORNATO TO FIND MY COPY OF THE DATING MANUAL. THIS WILL HOPEFULLY HELP YOU FROM MAKING ANY FURTHER SOCIAL BLUNDERS.”

“i wouldn’t count on that bro.”

You made a face at Sans. “What? Is today poke fun at the idiot human day?”

Sans stared at you, and you swore his pupils gleamed for just a second, before he reached over and pressed his index finger into your cheek. “yup.”

You swatted his hand away and took the book from Papyrus. You shoved it into your backpack and vowed to read it thoroughly to hopefully spare yourself from anymore cross cultural awkward moments.

As if.

But you could try and maybe the book will do better at explaining things.

You cleared your throat. “Thank you. Um. So where are we going first? Undyne and Alphys’s place?”

“UM. ACTUALLY. UNDYNE WAS UNEXPECTEDLY CALLED AWAY ON AN EMERGENCY SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT AND ALPHYS HAS TO TRAIN SOME NEW MEDICAL INTERNS.”

“Oh,” you said, trying to hide your disappointment. “Well, I guess that’s what happens when you work important jobs. Kind of sucks though. Straight to the Dreemurr’s then?”

“FRISK HAS GOTTEN SICK WITH THE ‘COLD’ AND SO ASGORE AND TORIEL HAVE OPTED TO STAY HOME.”

“really?” Sans asked.

“WELL. YOU KNOW HUMANS. THEY’RE FRAGILE WITH THOSE FLESHY BODIES OF THEIRS. I’M NOT SURPRISED, REALLY. SO, THEY’RE OUT. OBVIOUSLY.”

“The three of us will have a great time though,” you said. “We’ll take a lot of pictures and everyone will be jealous that we got to go.”

“YES. WELL. YOU SEE. SINCE ASGORE IS AT HOME TAKING CARE OF FRISK…SOMEONE NEEDS TO RUN THE FLOWER SHOP. AND I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, OFFERED MY SERVICES IN THE KING’S TIME OF NEED. AS ANY GREAT SKELETON WOULD. I’M JUST HERE TO PACK THE CAR AND GIVE SANS THE KEYS.”

“So, you’re telling me that this big plan for a friendly outing has now basically been cancelled because, even though you’ve had it sorted for at least a week, suddenly everyone is busy?”

“PRECISELY. SO GLAD YOU UNDERSTAND.”

“paps, you were more excited than anyone. i can run a simple shop if you wanna go.”

“NOT TRUE SANS. YOU HAVEN’T STOPPED TALKING ABOUT THIS TRIP ALL WEEK. IF ANYONE IS SHOWING EXCITEMENT IT’S YOU. DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME. I CAN FROLIC IN THE MOUNTAINS LIKE JULIE ANDREWS ANOTHER TIME.”

Sans looked like he was about to protest again, but his eyes flickered towards the trunk of the car where his drone sat. He let out a sigh. “you sure?”

“DUH. THAT’S WHY I’VE ALREADY SLID THE KEYS INTO YOUR HANDS.”

Sans opened his palm. Sure enough, there were the car keys. “heh, too slick for me these days,” he said. He turned to you. “you okay with…this?”

Ah. Yes. The true dilemma. Spending some quality one on one time with Sans with no one around to turn to when things got weird. Going in with the knowledge that you were probably going to do something stupid even though your awkward quota has been filled for the day. Not to mention it’d be the first time being alone with Sans since…the…dream…yes. That. Thing. But on the other hand…quality one on one time with Sans was something that was really hard to pass up.

“Yeah, it’s fine.”

“cool.”

“GREAT. THEN YOU BETTER GET A MOVE ON BEFORE TRAFFIC GETS TOO TERRIBLE. I HAVE PACKED YOU A WONDERFUL LUNCH AND DINNER. SOME SNACKS ARE ALSO IN THERE. OH, AND SOME BOOKS ON DIFFERENT BIRDS AND FOLIAGE IF YOU WANTED TO STAY INFORMED. OKAY HAVE FUN, GOODBYE!”

Once again, Papyrus darted off and ran back to his apartment.

“Do you get the feeling that this was planned somehow?”

For just a second, Sans had this look of suspicion on his face, but just as quickly it was gone and softened into a smile. “nah.”

“…Really? This all seems convenient. Too convenient.”

“paps would never lie.”

You weren’t so sure, but whatever. Sans knew Papyrus better than you did anyway, and maybe this was all just a series of unfortunate mishaps. Everyone else was just very unlucky this week. Plus, everyone but the Dreemurr family knew about your situation so…you knew they weren’t trying to get you alone with Sans. Yeah, you were just overthinking this. It was probably just as Papyrus said.

“We better get going. We’re burning daylight,” you said, walking over and opening up the passenger door. You hopped into the sports car and threw your backpack on the floor. Sans got in on the driver’s side and you noticed that he couldn’t reach the pedals because of the size difference between him and Papyrus. You did your best to stifle your laughter, but there’s nothing funnier than the whirring sound of the car’s seat adjustment in otherwise total silence.

“yeah, yeah, yuck it up. get your short jokes out now.”

“Gee Sans, no need to get all short-tempered with me.”

“ha. ha.”

“Can I borrow a dollar? Or are you gonna short change me?”

“ha.”

“…How’s the weather down there?”

“that’s your worst one yet.”

“Eh, so I don’t know that many short jokes. Guess I’m coming up-”

“don’t do it.”

“…SHORT!”

You burst into laughter, happy to finally be on the side of the exchange that made the joke. Aw, Sans had this faint blotchy blush creeping up on his neck and face. Did you embarrass him? He really wasn’t even that much smaller than you, it was just that Papyrus was a giant.

“Don’t worry about it,” you reassured him, “your height fits your personality. If that makes sense. It’s charming…” you paused for a second before adding, “it’s cute.”

He was quiet for a moment as he started to drive down the street. Finally he said, “didja know that short people have the best outlook on life?”

“Why’s that?”

Sans smiled. “cuz we’re always lookin up.”

You laughed. “You’re a great sport,” you said. “I’m sorry if I made you feel bad.”

“meh.”

“Are you just saying that so I’ll stop talking about the issue entirely?”

“meh.”

You took that as a ‘yes’ and relaxed a bit in your seat. This was such a nice car. You loved when Papyrus drove because this car had all the bobs and whistles. You wondered how much it cost. Also this was probably the first time you actually saw Sans driving a car.

“Why aren’t we teleporting?”

“what? you think if i could teleport anywhere in the world i’d stick around our tiny apartment?”

Good point.

“i need to have already been somewhere for it to work and we’re going somewhere new.”

“Makes sense.”

Sans drove for a bit. At one point he turned on the radio and you tried to coax him into singing along, but he adamantly refused despite your pleads. Oh well. The two of you talked about where you were going, what little knowledge you had about stars versus Sans’s vast knowledge on the subject, and you attempted to read parts of the dating manual except Sans said the book was full of it and that you shouldn’t look into it too much.

It wasn’t long before you got to your destination. You had to travel up some winding mountain roads to get here, but it was a beautiful little alcove that was perfect for cloud or star gazing. Part of you was happy that it was just you and Sans, but another, and even a bigger part of you wished everyone else was there to share it with you.

You and Sans unloaded the car – blankets, picnic basket, a battery powered stereo, and Sans’s telescope and drone.

Sans connected his phone to the stereo and handed it to you. “go ahead, pick somethin to listen to.”

You scrolled through his music options. It was a lot of songs that you didn’t know and a few jazz songs that you did know. You just hit shuffle, cranked up the volume, and let the music select itself.

“I didn’t know you were into jazz,” you said absentmindedly.

“it’s my favorite type of music.”

“That seems equally fitting and not fitting.”

Sans didn’t say anything, but he smiled. You sat down on the blanket and listened to the sax and the low baritone of the singer. Sans fiddled a bit with the drone until it began to whirr to life. He expertly navigated the remote controls and the machine took off.

“I see you’re experienced.”

“it really brought my piloting skills to new heights,” he said.

“Do you fly it often?”

“uh, only almost every day since i got it.”

Oh. That made you feel really warm inside. “Really? I never see you using it.”

“eh, i didn’t wanna accidentally crash your expensive gift in front of you,” he said, “anyway, c’mere, come look at the video feed.”

You crawled over to him and looked at the screen. It was pretty impressive to see the mountain range at this height. It made you feel so small, but in a good way. “This reminds me how big the world is, but I kind of feel like this is pretty close to being able to see it all.”

“yeah, that’s how i feel too.”

Sans flew the drone for a bit, stopping every now and then to actually look at the books Papyrus packed to figure out what some bird was. Occasionally he would see something really cool and would have to show you. You were happy to see him so excited about something.

You were parked on your blanket, enjoying what little warmth you were getting from the sun in otherwise chilly conditions. The music was nice, the company was good, and you felt…happy.

“I’m hungry, you want anything?”

“hi hungry, you want anything, i'm sans,” he said without missing a beat.

“No dad jokes. I’m banning them.”

“you’re banning them? i thought you were hungry, you want anything?”

“Shut up.”

“woah, the ‘s’ word. you should really watch your tone there.”

“Whatcha gonna do about it, huh? Send me to my stone over there?”

Sans briefly glanced at the formation of rocks behind you before turning his head back, pausing to look at your backpack. Oh no. You could see the slight twitch of a smile and before you could react he had already snatched your bag.

“Ugh, fine, say all the terrible jokes you want then.”

“i dunno. you used some pretty explicit language back there. doesn't seem worth it now.”

“Come on Sans, it’s embarrassing.”

“did you write a shakespearian sonnet about your undying love for me?”

“No.”

“is there a compromising photo in it?”

“What?! No!”

“are you tryin to put a ring on this?”

“Last I checked you weren’t a single lady.”

“so…?”

“Why do you even want to see it?”

“i dunno.”

“Weak answer, try again.”

“i’m curious about the puzzle you gave me. paps got a puzzle that required reassembly with the different tabs and slots. had to pay attention to detail. it was a visual and kinesthetic puzzle. very paps. shows that you really thought about him and his personality when you made it.”

“You got all that from a simple jigsaw that took him maybe two minutes to complete?”

“we take our puzzles very seriously.”

“Monsters are weird.”

“so can i see mine?”

“Fine.”

Sans opened the backpack pocket and rifled through the papers until he found the Valentine addressed to him. You opened the picnic basket and pulled out the Tupperware labelled LUNCH - HUMAN and started eating.

“huh, word scramble.”

“Are you disappointed?”

“did you pick it because you thought it would be challenging for me?”

“No, I picked it because I thought it’d be easy for you and therefore less work.”

Sans seemed satisfied with that answer and he began working on the word scramble. There was a joke at the top and several words to unscramble below. Each word had a few highlighted letters that would be used to figure out the punchline. You did your best to keep your composure, but you couldn’t help but wonder what he thought about it. It did come off as a little flirty, but so did the rest of your Valentines, not that anyone would see them now.

“heh, what did the human girl say to the font skeleton? hey you’re just my type. i'm surprised i haven’t used that one yet.”

“So you like it?”

“yup.”

“Not weird?”

Sans made a so-so motion with his hand. “do humans give valentines to anyone?”

“They can. A lot of kids will buy Valentines at the store to pass out to their friends. Family members will buy them for each other. Friends will buy them for each other. Of course, significant others will buy stuff for each other too if they want to celebrate.”

“and it’s all the same? the…hearts?”

“Kind of? It doesn’t have the same connotation for us, really. But like. A boyfriend or husband may buy like a dozen roses or a box of chocolate or something extra. That’s what some people do. You know, instead of puzzles. What’s Love Day like?”

“monsters gift each other puzzles mostly. kids can do whatever. friends and family will usually make them personalized for the person. couples will go all out. sometimes go as extreme as escape rooms, sometimes make puzzle boxes, usually ends with their partner sort of solving or winning a piece of their soul.”

“So puzzles, no soul are okay for platonic friendships. What about hearts not connected to puzzles?”

“ehh, it’s fine with good friends and families.”

“Okay, puzzles and no hearts are okay. Hearts and no puzzles are okay. But puzzles and hearts put together is seen as really romantic and possibly proposal worthy?”

“yup.”

“That’s confusing.”

Sans shrugged. You supposed it wouldn’t be confusing for him since that’s the way he has lived his life for a long time. You were sure that there were a lot of human customs he didn’t quite understand either, so you were doing your best not to be too judgmental even though you didn’t get it.

Sans took out his lunch and the two of you talked and ate. He asked about Cupid and whether or not he was a real baby who went around shooting people. You asked about any mythology or other Love Day customs and beliefs. You tried to get Sans to sing along to the jazz music – even stating that his low voice would probably sound really, really good if he sang along – but it didn’t work. You also tried to get him to dance and got him as far as standing up before he went limp on you and you were dancing with something more like a rag doll than a skeleton. Rude.

You finished lunch and Sans showed you how to fly the drone, helping you navigate through the landscape. It was so cool although you were afraid you were going to break his present. It was pretty fun though, and you could understand his excitement a little bit more now.

Afternoon melted away into evening. This was actually a pretty good day. There was a small river nearby where you skipped rocks, you took a bunch of selfies and uploaded them to social media (#vday #couplesgoals #myboyfriendisbetterthanyours…you know, the normal stuff). As usual, the majority of comments were pretty positive. Good to know that, at least in the public eye, you and Sans were a good couple, normal.

Soon the sun was gone and stars began to appear.

“Best place to see the stars in the area, huh?” you asked, looking up. It was true. There were no streetlights or city buildings blocking your view of the amazing sky above you. “I’m surprised you haven’t ever come up here before then.”

“always too busy. no one to go with.”

“I guess I’m glad you finally got to see it, even if it was with me.”

“you think you’re supposed to be my constellation prize?”

You shrugged. “I mean. I guess I just figured you’d rather be here with the friends you’ve had for a really long time? This seems important to you.”

“you’re important to me?”

Thump thump.

“Oh?”

Sans was looking at you like he had said one of the most obvious things in the world. You fiddled with your jacket sleeve. Okay. You’ll accept it.

Then he launched into a long explanation about the different constellations, pointing out the different ones. He was so passionate about the stars, and you could make out some of what he was saying, but a lot of the stars just looked like specs and blotches to you. However, Sans was so excited you didn’t want to burst his happy bubble. And they were really pretty.

He looked through his telescope and pointed it towards his favorite sets of stars; turns out those were the stars named after dogs. You could get on the same page as that. You looked through his telescope as well and tried to ask questions that didn’t sound totally stupid.

“I wish we could be closer to them,” you said, stepping away from the telescope. “I mean, your telescope and the drone get us pretty close, but…I can’t help but want to be closer.”

“hm.”

Sans looked contemplative.

“What? Don’t tell me your magic lets you fly now too?”

“heh. not exactly. but i have a trick up my sleeve if you’re serious about gettin closer.”

Your heartrate began to increase. Sans was going to show you some magic? He always had such cool tricks and they always seemed to surprise you. “I’m always serious when magic is involved. Oooh, please tell me you’re going to make some synthetic wings? That would be so cool!”

Sans chuckled. “nah, it’s not that impressive,” he said as he offered his hand to you, “just lay down and don’t let go.”

You held his hand tightly and you closed your eyes. You felt a very cold and heavy weight on your…heart? And then a gentle pull upwards. The hard ground floor had seemingly disappeared underneath you and the music from the stereo was fading away.

You opened your eyes and stared at Sans in amazement. He had this big, goofy smile on his face. One pupil was a pastel blue. Huh.

“This is amazing! We’re flying!!”

“i just changed our gravity a bit.”

“You can do that?!”

“so can paps. guess you could say anti-gravity really floats our boat.”

You laughed. What a nerd.

“can’t believe this actually worked with another person.”

“Wait, you didn’t know if this would work?!”

“nope.”

“Sans!”

“you didn’t die.”

“Sans!!!!”

“what? you’re floating on air. literally and figuratively.”

You couldn’t find it in yourself to even pretend to be angry. You trusted him, and he was right. You were so happy in this moment. Everything in the sky seemed closer now. The images you saw from the telescope now felt more real. You knew stars were lightyears away, but they felt close enough for you to reach out your hand and grab them.

“so whaddya think?” Sans whispered.

“This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” you whispered back. You squeezed his hand. “Thank you for inviting me out here, Sans. I love this.” You felt so calm floating like this and being able to see the stars and moon from the point of view that most people would never get the chance to experience. “It’s beautiful.”

“yeah, it is.”

yeah you are

Suddenly, the parallels of your dream and what was happening in reality all clicked together. Don’t think about it, you told yourself. Don’t do it.

But it was too late and the memory of your dream came flooding back. The peacefulness you were experiencing had been replaced by the anxiety of HE’S GOT TO KNOW, RIGHT? and you weren’t looking at him anymore. Focus on the stars.

“uh, are you okay?”

Yeah, I’m fine is what you wanted to say.

“I had a sex dream about you.”

It felt like something snapped and the two of you went plummeting towards the ground. You screamed and gripped onto whatever part of Sans was closest, silently praying you wouldn’t die. The cold air whipped past you, almost feeling like a slap to the face.

You weren’t falling for too long before Sans recovered, pulled you in a bit closer, and the two of you were lightly floating in the sky again. He began to slowly descend until the two of you were safely on the ground again. You rolled off of him immediately and turned your body so you weren’t facing him.

Idiot! You’re a freaking idiot!

“geez, give a guy some warning, wouldja?”

You felt too sick to your stomach to even find the words to apologize. Your face was burning hot. Why did you say that? Why did that have to be what fell out of your mouth. It isn’t even what you wanted to say! Even saying ‘I love you, marry me’ would have been better! You wanted the earth to open up and swallow you.

Sans was also very quiet now. You wondered what he was thinking.

Is he disgusted by me?

“uh, so that was…”

“That’s okay you don’t have to say anything I’m sorry I’m so sorry I didn’t even mean to say that I wasn’t even thinking about it I mean I kind of was but not really I didn’t want to and I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry I know this is just totally making things worse and I understand if you’re totally grossed out and don’t want to talk to me ever again because holy shit I thought, maybe, just maybe, I could have a day where I didn’t make a total fool of myself but here I am. I just, ah, I don’t know, in my dream we were kind of banging in the sky but in a romantic way and not that I think about you sexually and not that this was romantic it just we were floating just now and I was reminded and I didn’t think you’d actually be able to and oh my god I’m sorry please don’t hate me.”

At this moment you turned to look at Sans, only to see that he was facing away from you. You swallowed.

“i…uh…i don’t know what to say to make this less awkward.”

“Right,” you said to his back. “I…don’t know either.”

Silence.

“uh…i mean…i can tell you something embarrassing about me…if…if ya want,” Sans mumbled.

“Don’t, um, don’t feel like you have to. Please. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable.”

A bit past that point, though, you added silently to yourself.

“no it’s…i…” Sans reached back and pulled his hood over his skull. “uh, remember when i had that horrible nightmare?”

“…Yeah?”

“and…i asked you to stay?”

“Yeah?” you weren’t sure where this was going.

“well i didn’t ask because i was scared. i asked because…” pause “because…because i dunno, it felt good when you touched me and i didn’t want you to stop.”

“What?!”

“please don’t make me repeat that.”

“I’m sorry, it’s just that this is all coming out of nowhere,” you said, not even bothering to try and hide your surprise. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Sans groaned. Oops. Maybe you shouldn’t ask any questions.

“Sorry, you don’t have to answer that.”

“it’s just…i don’t exactly…” he groaned again, “’m not exactly someone who…i don’t have a lot of experience with…people don’t exactly come ‘round to cuddle, ok? but…i want…that.”

“Oh.”

You had no idea what to say. You were still reeling from the part when he said he liked when you had touched him. What does that even mean? He wants a cuddle buddy? You weren’t ready for this at all. It’s been awhile since that incident happened, had he really been sitting on this? Did he mean that he wanted that feeling with you or with anyone? Why was he so confusing?!

“This isn’t what I was expecting at all.”

“heh, me either, trust me.”

You hoped that you weren’t overstepping, but you scooted in a little closer and hesitantly wrapped your arm around him. “…Is this weird?”

“it’s totally weird,” Sans said, but didn’t try to move away.

But here, underneath the moon and stars, away from everyone, weird didn’t seem so bad. The two of you looked up at the sky. For a moment, there was silence, and then the faint sound of music from the stereo filled the air.

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars

“…i love this song,” Sans whispered.

In other words, hold my hand

“Yeah…me too.”

In other words, baby, kiss me

You got the feeling that when you got home, you and Sans were probably going to need to talk. You weren’t completely sure of what it was he wanted, although it sounded like something more than whatever it was that you already had.

You couldn’t help how hard your heart was pounding right now.

In other words, please be true

“hey, uh…just…thanks. for today. for everything.”

In other words, I love you

“Yeah, of course.”

In other words, I love you

Chapter Text

You were nervously pacing around your apartment. Just what even was last night? What did Sans mean by wanting…something? What was that supposed to even mean for you? You kept pacing. The two of you agreed that you really needed to talk after taking a day to sort through your thoughts. Sans said he’d be over sometime this afternoon and it was currently half past one.

You looked at the clock. Still half past one.

Hnngh.

You didn’t even know what to say. You didn’t even know what to feel.

snas: 1:34pm
knock knock

You stared at your phone, fingers hovering over the buttons. This is an exchange you’ve done a million times before, you reminded yourself. That didn’t seem to matter now because you were suddenly feeling sick to your stomach.

xxx-xxxx: 1:36pm
Who’s there?

snas: 1:36pm
dozen

You walked to the door. He was waiting there, on the other side, but you hesitated. Breathe. It’s just Sans.

xxx-xxxx: 1:39pm
Dozen who?

snas: 1:39pm
dozen anyone wanna let me in?

Okay. This was it then. When you opened the door, Sans stared at you like a deer caught in the headlights. Maybe he wasn’t actually expecting that you’d open up to him. You shuffled your feet a bit. “Hi,” you said.

“hey.”

“Um, yeah…uh, you want to come in?”

Sans didn’t answer you, but he walked inside. You noticed that he was carrying a huge stack of papers. You awkwardly gestured towards your couch and he sat down wordlessly. You followed, sitting at the other end. The air was tense and it was so quiet you could’ve heard a pin drop. You picked at the edge of the couch. Last time you had a heart to heart with a skeleton on this couch, things went totally fine. Maybe…maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

“Um, I,” you said at the same time Sans said, “so, we.”

You both paused.

“go ahead” Sans said as you said “You first.”

He made an ‘after you’ motion with his hand. Alright, you were up first it seemed. Breathe in, breathe out. “Um…so I thought about what you said and I guess I’m just a little…confused? Like you say you don’t want a relationship, but you want someone who will hold you and touch you and be your friend? Make jokes? Do stupid stuff together? But cuddle? Have a deep conversation? Rub your back soothingly? Hang out? Spoon?”

“…yes.”

“That’s a relationship.”

Sans visibly winced.

…ouch.

“Well, I don’t know what else to tell you. Why are you making a face like I just burned you?” you asked, trying to hide the hurt in your voice. “What even am I to you?”

He mumbled.

“Sorry, what was that?”

“a squish.”

“A what?”

“it’s uh,” he rifled through his papers, “an attraction or appreciation for someone you want to be close with.”

“Like…becoming best friends? Is it like that?”

“n-no. uh…” He focused on his paper again, “it’s more intense than that.” Pause. You watched him take a deep breath, “and i feel…really happy when you show how much you care about me.”

A squish. You were his squish. He wanted to be close to you. He was very happy when you actively showed him how much you cared for him. A warm tingle spread through your body. You couldn’t help but feel a little touched, even if this may not have been what you wanted. A squish. “So something in between friendship and a crush?”

“yeah, i guess.”

“How long?”

“…a while,” he scratched the back of his skull nervously. “it started around the time you…uh…confessed your feelings, but i didn’t know for sure until you got really sick that one week in december.”

That was nearly two months ago. Two months he’s had this feeling and you didn’t even know. Some friend you were.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

Silence.

“Sans, why didn’t you tell me?”

“i was afraid you would read into it. i couldn’t be what you wanted. i didn’t know what i wanted. i didn’t know what to do, i'd never felt like this before,” he paused. He looked really uncomfortable. “i didn’t know how to tell you.”

A thought occurred to you. “So…New Year’s Eve. That was…what?”

He looked embarrassed, a light blue blush on his cheeks, his eyes focused on the floor and avoiding your stare. “i thought maybe i was wrong. maybe i did like you like you liked me. so…i tested it. but it was the same as before,” he paused. “i'm sorry, i shouldn’t have.”

Memories of that night and the days following began flooding back to you. You were up on that hill, kissing as fireworks went off and you knew something was there. You had tried not to think too much about that night – he was drunk, you were sad – but now it wasn’t…you were thinking about it differently. It stung. You felt kind of used. The reason for his apologies finally clicked. The argument you had afterwards suddenly made sense. But it hurt.

“shit, please don’t cry.”

You didn’t even realize that tears were pooling in your eyes. You reached up and wiped them away. “I’m fine,” you said. “It’s fine.” You took a few deep breaths before speaking again, “So, after testing it, I was still…a squish?”

“a squish,” he confirmed.

“I see,” you said. You thought for a minute, processed what he told you. It still hurt a little, but you said, “I mean…okay, a squish. Okay, we can work with that. Why do you look so terrified? I’m not, I’m not about to go and reject you or think you’re weird or anything. You can’t…you can’t help what you feel.”

You knew that better than anyone.

Sans was very quiet. He looked simultaneously like he wanted to sink into the floor but also like he wanted to say something. You waited patiently as he shuffled through his papers. You weren’t even sure if he needed them or if they were there as a safety blanket. After a few minutes of awkward paper pushing, he said, “that was before recently, but now i don’t know what i feel.”

What?

“What do you mean?”

“i…thought it was a squish. it was definitely a squish before. but then something changed. i felt,” he paused again and put a hand on his sternum, “different. weird. i realized how much you loved me, i guess, and…”

“And?” you prompted, the word getting caught in your throat. It was hard to breathe.

“and i can’t tell anymore if my feelings are only there because you’re the first person to show me any genuine interest or if maybe i really do like you more than i did before.”

Your heart was pounding. You felt like you couldn’t breathe. Your face was hot. This is what you’ve been waiting all this time to hear. Are you sure you heard him correctly? You swallowed and realized that there was a lump in your throat. “…Uh-huh. I mean…I can’t say I saw that coming.”

“heh, yeah, tell me about it.”

There was a lull. Your cat had wandered into the room and was currently cozying up to Sans. Sans began to pet him absentmindedly. He looked like he was in physical pain. You supposed you couldn’t blame him. Nearly all of your serious conversations had some sort of buffer. That seemed to be what he was looking for right now.

…What are you supposed to say?

What are you supposed to do?

“Uh…sorry, I just…I don’t really know what to say. This is…it’s a lot. I didn’t…I wasn’t expecting this. I wish I knew what to say.”

“it’s ok.”

It really wasn’t.

You were happy. So happy, actually, but you felt like you couldn’t smile. You didn’t want to scare him off or worry him. He might have feelings for you? But he also might not? That was so confusing and it was both wonderful and also sad to hear. Your heart felt happy and light but it also felt like lead. He likes you. He definitely likes you in some capacity.

“Does a romantic relationship with me disgust you?”

“…”

“Sans, please.”

“no.”

No.

“…So…is that what you maybe…want…now?”

“…no?”

No.

No???

“Do you even know what you want?”

“i was tryin to figure that out before getting put on the spot.”

“You didn’t have to tell me.”

“i kinda did.”

You felt like you were getting nowhere with this. You brought your legs up to sit cross legged on the couch. “Please just talk to me. I can’t help you unless you tell me what you want. Stop bottling it up.”

“i just never really got the whole relationship thing, ok? i tried it a few times before, it didn’t really work out, so i guess i only know the negative side of them. and, yanno, i’m not…i'm not someone you go to for a clavicle to cry on or big romantic gestures. i'm weird. i know i'm weird. and i've never been interested. and i really don’t like humans, but you…are an enigma. i dunno what it is. i care about you. i l-like you. when you confessed i thought…i thought it was the same. that you realized monsters were better than you thought and i meant a lot to you…in a…platonic way. it wasn’t until later i realized what you meant.”

“Oh,” well shit.

“and it feels good to be thought of that way. i get why paps likes attention and admiration now. i've never…no one’s ever been into me that way before. not really. and i thought it would go away. you'd realize that i'm not worth your time or you’d get over me or somethin. but it never happened. and…i have been really selfish. used you when i shouldn’t have. but i started feeling something and i don’t wanna…i don’t wanna fuck it up if it’s nothin. if it’s just me bein selfish and clinging to someone showin me attention.”

You had gotten so used to seeing Sans composed and relaxed. Watching him ramble on and get bluer and bluer the longer he talked was a weird experience and you felt uncomfortable watching him become uncomfortable. You felt a little bit bad, although now that he was talking it felt like you were making some progress.

“Then how do you want to find out?”

“huh?”

“Your feelings. You can’t just sit and wait to find out. So how are you going to figure out what you want?”

“um…” he glanced at his papers. “now that i think about it, it’s a really stupid idea.”

“Are you kidding me right now?”

He reached for his hood. He looked like he was about to pull it up over his head. You took a breath.

“Sans, whatever it is, it’ll be fine. I promise. If you need to figure out if you have a squish or a crush or nothing at all or whatever then your idea isn’t going to be stupid. Just tell me.”

He grabbed a packet of paper and practically threw it at you. You looked through it. It was a bunch of blank lined paper poorly stapled together. Um…?

“i thought…maybe we could approach it like a scientist and…run an experiment?”

“An experiment?” you asked, a small smile creeping up on your face. Is he serious? What a nerd! So cute though? He looked so embarrassed to have brought it up.

“yeah…try out different kinds of…relationships…write what we feel, and see…where…it…goes?” he voice got more and more uncertain with each word. “i know it isn’t fair to you but-”

“It’s fine.”

“but-”

“I’ll be fine,” you said. “You…seem to be going through a lot of really confusing feelings right now. A lot of feelings you don’t understand. It’s okay. So, what, we try being…friends for a while? And then…try out this squish thing? And then…what, date? And at the end see what just works for us?”

“…it sounds stupid when you say it out loud.”

“It’s fine.”

“but-”

“Nope. I’m into this now. We’re gonna do it.”

“i-”

“It’s actually a really good idea.”

“…really?” he asked flatly.

“Yes, really,” you said with a reassuring smile. “And even if nothing ends up changing then at least we’ll both know for sure and will be on the same page. So…don’t worry about it too much, okay?”

“ok.”

You both sat on the couch in a content silence. Your cat’s purring was the only sound you heard for a few minutes. That felt…good. To talk. You hoped Sans felt the same way.

“You want to stay over for some lunch?”

“i would but paps is probably waitin by our door for me. so i have to avoca-go.”

“That joke really only works if I tell you we’re eating avocadoes.”

“what are you eatin for lunch?”

“Um…I have some mangoes, chips, and a pudding cup, so probably that.”

Sans thought for a moment and said, “sorry about the time crunch, gotta be a man ‘n go, thanks for puddin’ up with me.”

“I swear you stockpile these.”

Sans shot you his finger guns.

The two of you stood up and you walked Sans to the door. He turned to you and said, “uh, you know, just wanted to say…thanks. again.” You nodded and he waved bye before walking towards his apartment.

He made it about two steps before you called out his name. He barely had time to turn around before you wrapped your arms around him in a warm hug. Sans was frozen for a minute before he returned the gesture.

“No need to thank me Sans.”

“heh. alright. whatever you say.”

Chapter Text

After your hug, Sans went back to his apartment and you went back inside yours. You let the door close with a soft click and leaned against the wood, not saying anything.

And then.

“Holy shit, holy shit, holy shiiiiiiiit did that just happen oh my god I can’t believe that just happened I can’t believe I managed to stay so composed through that ahahaha oh my god, holy shit. Oh my god.”

You ran a hand through your hair and tried to digest what just happened. It was still hard to believe that this was real life and not some weird dream. You eyed the stack of papers left on your coffee table. You went over to your couch and picked them up. There was some stuff about squishes – internet searches, definitions, experiences from other people. You flipped through the pages, feeling your heart soften a little more with each one. Sans had written little notes in the margins.

You skimmed through posts about people experiencing their first squishes and whether or not those feelings were validated. You paused to read Sans’s notes, which were mostly a lot of underlining passages like: “I wanted to be with this person all the time” and “True, deep connection with another person.” There was a whole thread about people distinguishing a crush from a squish. That was currently all marked up with Sans’s scribblings, the most notable being “follow this thread!.”

Turning the page you saw a long list. The paper seemed to have been crumpled up more than once. Oh, Sans. It was titled “what i’m looking for.” Finally. A legitimate list detailing what Sans wanted. This is what he should have just read from when he was over here. You began to read.

makes me laugh
gets along with paps – most important.
backrubs
patient
spooning? – big? little? both?
kind
hugs
watches bad movies
can cuddle
holding hands - too much?
banter
cares about me
likes my friends
…nuzzli - nope
gentle
naps
kisses?
trust
easy to talk to

There were a few more lines written, but they were crossed out to the point where you couldn’t read them. “Oh geez, Sans.”

The list confirmed what you had said earlier – everything he said he wanted really was just pointing to a non-sexual relationship. Maybe Sans was just ace? Or maybe he got burned really badly by a former significant other? That would be really sad if it was the latter. You hoped that wasn’t the case. He reacted really negatively when you said what he wanted was a relationship. Maybe it was just going to be as simple as not wanting to label himself. Maybe he was just a commitment-phobe.

You sighed.

…You loved him.

You felt like you always knew that, but saying it to yourself solidified it somehow.

You wanted to help him figure this out.

But you couldn’t help but feel worried. Worried that this was going to blow up in your face. Your track record with Sans and feelings wasn’t outstanding so far. This wasn’t a common situation to be in, you didn’t think. Everything felt really complicated and a small piece of you wondered if Sans was going to put in the effort or if he was going to shy away at the last minute.

You thumbed through the rest of the papers.

There were some articles on intimacy and friendship that were marked up and highlighted. There was a copy of the scientific method and Sans wrote out experiment protocols and hypotheses for your upcoming…“experiment.” Attached was research on touch starvation.

He feels touch starved.

“Sans…”

Your heart hurt to look at all of this. At the same time, you were also taken aback as to how much thought, research, and work Sans did. He’s clearly been thinking about this a lot. You knew it probably took a lot of courage and trust to finally come to you and talk about it. Even if it was just a confusing conversation and a stack of papers.

You felt like you had more pieces to the puzzle now.

You took the paper detailing the experiment and skimmed through it again. Sans could deny it all he wanted, but he definitely seemed to be a scientist through and through. He had gone through and categorized varying levels of affection by where they might fall in different relationships and wrote up about the control group (how you usually acted around each other) as well as what seemed to be defining characteristics of each relationship stage.

Jesus, this skeleton was overthinking things.

You almost wanted to laugh. Or cry. You set the paperwork down.

I’m going to do my best you thought to yourself. I’m going to be there when he needs me and take this one day at a time.

There was no sense in you also overthinking your situation. Clearly whatever it was that you and Sans were, you were going to figure it out through unconventional means. And…you were surprisingly feeling okay with this. Maybe that was weird, but there was something nice about being trusted enough to get a glimpse of what he must be feeling at the moment.

For now the research was just going to go into a box and get shoved into a corner. You will just approach your situation with fresh eyes and your current knowledge. Maybe you couldn’t test love. Maybe this would end horribly. But you wanted to try.

The following week was relaxed. You saw Sans and Papyrus in the morning, went to school, and sometimes hung out with him and Paps at night. You didn’t really talk about your situation, you just sort of fell into a friendly rhythm with each other.

You kept notes in your journal. You were mostly treating it like a place to vent feelings, kind of like a diary rather than a place for your “findings” but whatever. Right now it was pretty empty, since it seems like overall nothing had really changed in your dynamic.

It was finally Friday afternoon. Classes were over and aside from the pile of homework you had to finish this weekend, you were feeling pretty good. You were walking home and about to cross at the stoplight when some guy stepped out in front of you.

“Hey, you like music?”

You stopped. “Uh…yeah?”

“Great! Free concert at The Yard tonight,” he said, pushing a flyer into your hands.

You looked at it skeptically. “The Yard? Isn’t that the shipping container junkyard? Doesn’t seem like much of a concert venue.”

The guy wasn’t even listening to you anymore. He found a new person to give out his flyers to. Whatever, you thought as you crossed the street. As you walked, you read the event details. You didn’t recognize any of the bands that were playing, but it seemed to be an all night concert. You did a quick Google search. Seemed like the junkyard turned into an impromptu event center a few months back.

You walked up the steps towards your apartment and opened the door. Two skeletons were hanging out on your couch. Sans was on his laptop in a slouched position. Papyrus was on his phone and petting your cat.

“No, no, please, welcome. My house is your house. I love having you in here uninvited,” you said. You dropped your backpack and slipped off your shoes.

“cool, our wi-fi is out.”

“Uh, and you couldn’t call your provider?”

“SANS, TELL THE TRUTH.”

“i may have left the bill in the trash tornado.”

You rolled your eyes. “Whatever, mooch away.”

“what’s that?” he asked, looking at the flyer.

“Free concert tonight in a suspicious part of town. Music seems kinda lame. There will probably be a ton of drunk and or high college people there. You wanna go?”

“I SURE AS HECK DON’T.”

Sans held out his hand and you gave him the flyer. He typed something and put his headphones on.

“You sure you don’t want to go tonight Paps?”

“UGH, AND BE SUBJECTED TO INEBRIETED HUMANS? NO THANKS. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY INTOXICATED PEOPLE ASK ME ABOUT THE SKELETON WAR? OR CALL ME A SPOOKY, SCARY, SKELETON? AS MUCH AS I APPRECIATE THEIR GENUINE COMPLIMENTS AND THEIR SUGGESTION THAT, SHOULD THERE BE A SKELETON WAR, I WOULD MAKE A GREAT SKELETON LEADER, IT DOES GET A BIT TIRING TO HEAR.”

“Sure, I get that.”

“BESIDES,” he glanced at Sans and then lowered his voice to a dramatic stage whisper, “I Know You And Sans Haven’t Had Any Recent Hangouts With Just The Two Of You. WINK.”

“Oh…” you trailed off and rubbed the back of your neck. “That’s considerate of you, but we’re just friends-”

“JUST FRIENDS WHO HAVEN’T HUNG OUT ALONE IN AWHILE. CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU’RE REALLY FRIENDS IF YOU CAN ONLY HANG OUT IN A GROUP SETTING?”

We haven’t hung out just the two of us in a while either,” you reminded him.

Papyrus considered this very seriously and then said, “GOOD POINT. WE WILL NEED TO HAVE A SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY WHERE SANS IS NOT INVITED.”

“I look forward to it,” you said with a smile.

Sans removed his headphones. “music’s not bad. if you wanna go, i'll go with ya.”

“Sweet, sounds like a plan then,” you said. You grabbed your laptop and wedged yourself in between the skeletons, letting your back lean against Papyrus and propping your feet against Sans’s side.

The three of you spent a relaxing afternoon just hanging on your couch in comfortable silence. Papyrus made an early dinner. The sun began to set and you got ready to go.

“aren’tcha gonna get cold in that? it’s still february y’know.”

Maybe a shredded tee and studded shorts wasn’t the best outfit choice for February in general, but concerts usually attracted a ton of people. “All the body heat from everyone else is going to be stifling. I can’t believe you’re wearing more than usual.”

And by more than usual you meant distressed jeans and sneakers, a change from his usual basketball shorts and slippers, but not an unwelcome one. You were pretty sure this was your first time seeing Sans in jeans.

Thump thump

Dammit.

“Cool shirt though.”

It was white tank with a skeleton hand making the rock on gesture. Thematically appropriate.

“heh, thanks. been waitin to wear it, hope it doesn’t cause any treble.”

“Wow.”

He grinned, “glad that joke landed, would’ve hated for it to b-flat.”

“WOW. Shut up, let’s just go.”

You and Sans caught the bus towards the downtown area. It wasn’t a long ride to get to The Yard. When you got off the bus, you were a bit confused. This was the shipping container yard. It was one of those places that you always saw while driving but never really noticed before now. It really was all cleaned up, the buildings got a fresh coat of paint, there were string lights and torches everywhere, music was blasting and stage lights were moving. There were a ton of people milling around right outside.

“seems…loud.”

“It’s a concert, I’m not sure what else you expected,” you said. You shivered a bit. It was so cold out here. Maybe Sans was right, you should’ve brought a jacket.

“HEY! You want some glow sticks?” Two people came running up to you, bags in hand, “We’re handing them out to anyone who wants them. You interested?”

“Sure!” you said.

They looked at Sans expectantly.

“…sure?”

You each got a bag of glow sticks. You reached in and grabbed some of the smaller bracelet glow sticks. Sans just looked confused.

“What, you’ve never seen one of these before?” you asked him. You cracked one and the neon pink color began to spread. “You just bend them until they crack and you see color, then you shake it. Pretty neat, right?” you wrapped the pink band around your wrist.

“color me impressed.”

You reached into the bag and pulled out a few more bracelets and began to crack them. Soon your arms were adorned with a wide variety of colors of the rainbow. You even made yourself a crown of glow sticks which you placed precariously on your head.

“Here, let’s get yours out too.”

You took Sans’s set of bracelets and began cracking them and attaching them to his wrists. He looked a bit silly.

“There, now you’re glowing,” you said, stepping back.

“what?”

…Not the reaction you were expecting. He looked a bit panicked. …Uh?

“What? You’re wearing like fifteen glow stick bracelets. It’d be pretty amazing if you weren’t glowing by this point.”

“oh…right.”

You frowned. “You’re acting weird; are you okay? I realize this isn’t your thing. We can go home if you want.”

“nah.”

“You sure?”

“yup.”

“Because I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable,” you said, giving him one last out.

“i'm fine.”

You were less than convinced, but whatever, if he said he was fine then he wasn’t going to budge. You reached into your bag and took out the thicker glow sticks. “We just hold these,” you said, tossing him one.

“why?”

“I dunno. It’s fun? They’re pretty? It’s just…what you do,” you explained as you cracked yours. As you shook it, you continued to talk, “Some people can do tricks and stuff with them I think. But they’re just here to look cool. I mean, it’s dark here, you know and…and why are you looking at me like that?”

Sans had this sort of faraway expression, like he wasn’t totally focused on the conversation you were having. His eyes were now looking at the glow stick in your hands. You looked down, had it burst or something? You turned it over in your hand. Nope. Seemed normal. The blue had spread evenly. What was he so concerned about?

“Um…you positive you’re alright?”

That seemed to snap him out of it. “yup, never better.” He snapped his own glow stick. Shake shake shake. “let’s go in.”

The two of you began pushing past people in the entry way until you were within the gates of The Yard. Each shipping container seemed to be its own area. There were spots for food and alcohol of course. Lots of seating options. A few hookah bars. The majority of the space was made up of dance floors though. Towards the back of the lot was a full stage where the music was coming from.

It…wasn’t good.

“I thought you said the music was alright,” you said.

Sans’s face scrunched up. “it was alright, online.”

You weren’t sure what it was exactly, but the whole song just sounded…off. Distorted. Maybe that was just their style and Sans didn’t notice? “Well, guess the music front fell flat.”

“clef-er pun. didn't think you could measure up to mine.”

You laughed. “Hey, well, even if the music sucks, you wanna dance?”

“here?”

“Uh, yeah, here? Where else?” you took his arm, “C’mon, if we go more towards the center all the dancing we’ll have to do is bob our heads for a bit.”

After pulling Sans into the center of all the chaos with you, you started to dance. It was hard to find the beat of the music because the beat seemed to change every couple of seconds, but you swished and swayed and bobbed along as best as you could. It seemed everyone else in the crowd knew the lyrics to the song (there were lyrics???) except you and Sans. That was okay though, it was still fun to dance along. Even Sans started lightening up a bit. He was such an awkward dancer though.

He leaned forward to tell you something, but you couldn’t hear it over the sound of the music.

“What?!” you shouted back.

He leaned forward again and seemingly repeated himself, but you still could not make out what he said at all.

“WHAT?!” you shouted again.

He came close again, repeated himself again, but you still completely missed it.

…Ehhhh. It’s probably not important.

“Uh-huh!” you said with a vigorous nod and smile, hoping that he hadn’t just told you he once murdered a man. You continued dancing, suddenly taking back the thought of wanting a jacket. You were right. The amount of bodies in such close proximity made so much heat. You could even see Sans start to sweat a bit.

“Coming through, COMING THROUGH! MOVE!”

Some big, burly dude was pushing his way towards the front where the band was, and was dragging this tiny woman behind him. You did your best to make space, but he ended up body checking you, sending you flying forward a bit. You did your best to steady yourself, but ended up tripping on your own two feet and landing on your butt in the wet grass. Your phone slid out of your pocket and onto the floor.

“you ok, pal?”

“Peachy,” you said, grabbing your phone and standing. “Geez, not even an excuse me. What a jerk.” You handed your phone to Sans, “Mind holding this for me? It’s been slipping out of my shorts pocket all night.”

“yup,” he took your phone and put it in his jean pocket. He said something else you couldn’t quite understand, but he was pointing to the tables in the back. You nodded, hoping he was asking if you wanted to take a seat.

The two of you grabbed a seat. You also got yourself some water. You were going to get Sans something to drink too, but this place didn’t serve monster food. Another reason it sucked.

“are you having fun?” he asked.

“I’m…having an experience,” you answered honestly. “are you having fun?”

“can’t say i’m really ravin about this place.”

You laughed. “Hey, well, half the fun of doing something with friends is that when it sucks, you can laugh about how much it sucks together.”

“maybe next time we’ll actually plan something.”

“Uh, spontaneity is the other half of the fun of doing something with friends.”

Sans thought about that for a minute before he finally shrugged. The two of you chatted for a few more minutes and you did end up talking about other things you could do. You finished your water and then stood up and stretched.

“I’m going to go use the bathroom,” you told Sans.

“ok.”

You walked towards the front of the venue where you remembered seeing a line of Port-a-Potties. When you got there, you noticed how long the lines were. You squirmed, unsure if you could hold it that long. Wasn’t there another bathroom around the corner somewhere?

You wandered around the corner and sure enough there were some other bathrooms with less people. You hurried inside and did your business as quickly as you could. You washed your hands but when you wiggled the door handle and pushed forward, the door wouldn’t move. You tried again, using a little more force, but it still wouldn’t budge.

…no.

You tried again, using even more force, and felt the structure tip a bit. Haha, nope. Not gonna do that again.

…well, shit.

“This can’t be happening to me right now,” you said to yourself.

But it was. It seemed as though you were trapped inside a Port-a-Potty.

You banged on the door. “HEY! CAN ANYONE HELP ME?!” you shouted while hitting the door as loudly as you could. Even as you screamed you knew it was a pretty pointless endeavor. The music was so loud you could feel the vibrations even from your spot in the bathroom. Everyone outside was probably listening to music or standing in line for the other bathrooms that weren’t horrific, smelly lock boxes.

Wait! You could call someone for help! You patted your shorts pockets only to discover your phone wasn’t there. Ugh! That’s right, you gave your phone to Sans early in the night because it kept slipping out of your pocket.

So. Door was locked and not budging. No one could hear your shouts or knocks because of the loud concert music. There were about a million other bathrooms so it wasn’t like people would wait around this particular one to use the restroom. You had no phone or any way to contact someone that could come to your rescue.

Basically, you were screwed.

Sans would have to realize that you weren’t back by now. You checked your watch. You had been gone about 10 minutes. Did he know how long it took humans to use the bathroom? Would he even go out and look for you? And if he did, would he even be able to find you?

Your sneakers squeaked against the wet floor of the Port-a-Potty. Gross. God, it stunk in here. It was also really stuffy. You were freezing when you were outside, but now you felt that even a tank top and shorts were too many clothes.

It was also dark. You were thankful for the abundance of glow sticks now because they were your main source of light in here.

“Help!” you tried again, kicking the door this time.

But nobody came.

Your stomach was churning a bit. What if you never got out? What if you slipped and fell face first into the bowl and drowned in piss? What if you fell asleep and the smell and lack of oxygen killed you first?

You knocked on the door again. “HELLO?? Anyone out there????”

Another 15 minutes had gone by. Sans had to be looking for you by now. Ugh, you were feeling light headed now, but you couldn’t even sit down because every surface of this bathroom was gross and disgusting. You were sweating. It was so hot in here.

A tiny knock. You perked up.

“you in there?”

“Sans?! Is that you?” you called out, a smile forming on your face. “Yes, I’m in here! I can’t get out.”

“there’s a pile of cinderblocks blocking the way.” What?! You heard a bit of shuffling around and then he said, “try it now.”

You jiggled the door handle and this time the door to the Port-a-Potty swung open. Sans was waiting for you on the other side, hands in his pockets. You exited the bathroom, welcoming the cold air on your sticky skin. You took a deep breath. Fresh air. Thank god.

“That was horrible.”

“welp, seems like a shitty situation.”

“Shut up, now’s not the time for jokes!”

“i know you’re feelin pretty pooped, but it’s always the time for jokes,” he snickered.

You crossed your arms. “Watch yourself or you’ll be trapped in there next,” you threatened.

“i’m gettin a good idea of what it’s like out here,” he said. “you stink.”

“Oh?” you reached forward and grabbed him by the collar. He stumbled forward and you managed to trap him in a forceful hug. “What? You don’t like my eau de toilette? Breathe it in. Embrace smelling like public bathroom.”

“wow, you’re pretty gross today. you ok, buddy, or is your poopfume finally getting to your head?”

“Shut up before you end up on my shit list,” you said, releasing him.

“heh, what a potty mouth.”

“Quit taking the piss out of me.”

“heheheh.”

“Didn’t realize how many puns you could make in this situation,” you mused. “I kind of hate myself for laughing. It really was pretty miserable in there.”

“sorry,” Sans said. “i woulda started looking for you sooner if i knew.”

You shrugged. “It’s okay. You didn’t know. How did you end up finding me anyway? There are a ton of other bathrooms here.”

“i followed the stench of awkward and it lead me to you.”

“Sans.”

“i rubbed a magical genie lamp and my third wish was to find you in a compromisingly hilarious situation.”

“Sans!”

“i'm secretly a hitman and my orders were to trap you inside a port-a-potty on the outskirts of town. this was my plan all along.”

“Sansssss!!!”

He was laughing, clearly amused with himself. You were doing your best to look at him disapprovingly, but it was a hard task to accomplish when he was so into his own jokes.

“You’re not funny,” you said, arms crossed.

“heheh, you’re smiling.”

Dammit.

“Wait, cinderblocks were in the way?”

Sans frowned. “i overheard someone say they were playin a prank on their friend, but i think they got the wrong bathroom. you weren’t back yet so…” he made an indiscriminate gesture. “i went looking for ya.”

What a stupid prank.

Your face must have showed your irritation because Sans tapped your shoulder. You looked over at him and he said, “hey, you wanna head home?”

You sighed. “Yeah. I’m sorry this night ended up sucking. I thought it would be fun for us to come here together. But…” the music sucked, the people sucked, the location sucked, and your whole shitty situation sucked.

“whatever, fuhgettaboutit. not every friendly hangout can be perfect,” he shrugged.

He offered you his hand, which you took and squeezed.

Blip!

Suddenly, you were standing outside your apartment door. You released Sans’s hand. “Thanks.”

“no problem. sorry about earlier. you took that whole shit show situation like a champ.”

“Hah. Well, pretty easy when I’ve got someone like you to help lighten the mood. Figuratively made the whole thing less crappy. So, thanks. Again.”

“heh, no problem.”

There was a lull in conversation and this weird atmosphere in the air. You looked at the floor. If this had been a date, you would’ve leaned over to kiss him. But it wasn’t, so you awkwardly shifted your feet and then let your eyes move back up so you were facing Sans again.

A snort of laughter escaped you. “Hey, what the heck? Why’d you put a glow stick in there?” you asked, pointing to Sans’s ribcage. “I mean that looks cool but also silly. You should’ve done that back at The Yard.”

“heh, uh, just a reminder that shitty puns light up my life.”

“Woww. Lame.”

“i dunno, i slapped my neon that one.” Wink.

“Whatever, dude.”

He snorted. “dude? since when do you call me dude?”

“Trying to keep it casual!”

“buddy,” he said, placing a hand on your shoulder, “nicknames are like farts. you force them, it’s just gonna be shit.” He removed his hand. “anyway, see ya round dudette.” He pointed his finger guns at you and blipped away before you could respond.

Hm.

Okay, maybe this night didn’t totally suck after all. But one thing was for sure.

...You really didn't want to be just friends.

Chapter Text

When Sans and Papyrus invited you to come along to Game Night, you had been expecting games like checkers, cards, puzzles or dominoes. Maybe a few board games like Scrabble and Clue or, if everyone was feeling particularly daring, Monopoly.

You had not been expecting this Battle Royale-slash-Capture the Flag-slash-Battleship-slash-deadly Dance Dance Revolution fusion of a “game.” A lot of the rules really went over your head when they were explained to you, but the main point of the game was simple enough. Strategize with your teammate and hide your team flag behind traps and puzzles that would hopefully be too hard for the other teams to solve. Then, go out and find the other teams’ flags and don’t get caught in any traps yourself. You won either by being the first to collect all flags or by being the last person standing and not having fallen into any traps. Apparently this was a popular party game in Underground as it required both strength and cunning and made use of puzzles and magic.

Frisk had won the job of team selection when you all drew straws. They thought long and hard about the teams but eventually decided on themselves with Toriel and Flowey, Alphys and Asgore, Undyne and Papyrus, and you and Sans.

Sans jokingly lamented that they were putting the two handicap players together, but Frisk’s only response was “I know what I’m about Uncle Sans.”

An hour of set up and an incredibly confusing invisible electric maze later, you and Sans were currently hiding out in a closet at the other end of the Dreemurr mansion. Sans ended up napping for a good fifteen minutes before your pacing and talking woke him up.

“I just…shouldn’t we be, like, finding team flags or something right now?”

“nah, ya gotta be patient if you wanna win.”

You leaned against the closet wall. “I don’t know about that. I mean, Papyrus and Undyne seem like they’d be a really good team. Good at puzzles and magic and fighting.”

“heh, don’t be so sure about that,” Sans said as he pulled out his phone from his hoodie pocket. He handed it to you so you could see a barrage of text messages from Papyrus.

paps: 11:06 am
SANS I KNOW I SHOULDN’T BE TEXTING RIGHT NOW

paps: 11:06 am
BUT UNDYNE KEEPS TELLING ME MY PUZZLES ARE NOT ‘BADASS’ ENOUGH

paps: 11:06am
AND I’VE TRIED TO TELL HER THAT PUZZLES ARE ABOUT FINESSE

paps: 11:07 am
AND BESTING YOUR OPPONENT IN BOTH STRENGTH AND WIT!

paps: 11:07 am
A PUZZLE THAT ONLY TESTS BRUTE STRENGTH….

paps: 11:07 am
IS A PUZZLE UNFITTING FOR A MASTER PUZZLER SUCH AS MYSELF!

paps: 11:08 am
MY REPUTATION AS A TOUGH BUT FAIR SKELETON…WILL BE TARNISHED!

You couldn’t help but snort at the text messages. “I guess their power dynamic is a bit…extreme. They both like to be the best…” you paused.

“two powerhouse personalities on one team.”

You had only heard stories about Papyrus and Undyne’s cooking adventures, but it seemed like it was always taken to the extreme – to the point of occasionally burning someone’s house down. They both were very passionate, but you supposed that Undyne’s directness versus Papyrus’s need for precision probably caused a clash early on in the game.

“guaranteed someone will have a conveyor belt puzzle that will get paps. he hates those.”

You weren’t even going to bother asking how anyone was going to get conveyer belts into the household. Just accept the chaos you told yourself.

Suddenly, a loud scream echoed in the house. You perked up; the noise sounded like it came from the prank room you had set up. You reached for the closet door, ready to rush out and see the result from your handiwork.

“listen pal, you don’t wanna go out there.”

“But…but my trap…”

Since you didn’t have any magic yourself, you ended up resorting to making the most of human cleverness. Inspired by The Parent Trap and Home Alone you set up a sequence of traps that would successfully capture anyone who fell into it. You felt pretty proud of yourself, setting up a maple syrup slippery slope leading to a rope trap, buckets of feathers and water set atop of various doorways, and of course there was no shortage of whoopee cushions with Sans around.

Sans didn’t actually seem too concerned with making a ton of puzzles or traps. He lazily posted a few crosswords on the walls. You had no idea how that was going to stop anybody though.

“just trust me,” he had said.

But now you wanted to see the results of your hard work. You crossed your arms. “Come on Sans, we clearly got whoever it was. Let’s go! We’re wasting time in this stupid closet.”

“just wait. you wanna win, dontcha?”

You groaned. “Yes, but it doesn’t seem like you want to!”

“just wait or you’re gonna get stuck and i won’t be able to complete the puzzles on my own.”

“Your 1hp is really inconvenient right now.”

“your lack of magic is really inconvenient right now.”

Fair enough. You decided to wait. You couldn’t decide if Sans was being patient or lazy as he reclined on an old cardboard box. Maybe both. Probably both. You sat down on the floor and waited.

A few moments later, there was a loud crash and a deafening airhorn sound. Sans stood up from his box and offered you his hand, “welp, time to get goin.”

Blip!

You popped into midair in the next room. Sans was keeping the two of you suspended from the floor, a good call because Undyne was currently throwing spears into the bucket you used to house your water and syrup. “NGHAAAA!”

“sup?”

Before Undyne could respond, Sans took you through another shortcut into the main house. The two of you walked through the corridor. You looked around suspiciously, wary of any potential pitfalls. Sans moved along at his normal pace.

“You have a lot of experience with this game?” you asked.

“eh. it's what kids played underground. kind of fun,” Sans replied. “we made some board games using the leftovers from yours in the dump but this was what most kids did.”

“Oh.”

Sans eyed you warily. “don’t…don’t give me that pitying look. when we were kids most of your games didn’t even exist yet. can't feel sorry for someone not havin something when it hadn’t been invented.”

Had you really been looking at him that way? “Sorry, I just-”

Sans waved you off. “it’s cool. c’mon, i think we can go through here,” he said as he gestured to a door. He turned the knob to reveal a long multicolored square tile pathway. At the end was a yellow box that housed the flag that belonged to Alphys and Asgore.

“How…?”

“ok red tiles are impassable, you can’t walk on ‘em. yellow tiles are electric so unless you wanna shockingly bad experience, avoid them. green tiles are alarm tiles, you’ll have to fight a monster – don’t look so alarmed pal, it’ll just be one person on their team – orange tiles are orange scented. they'll make you smell like oranges. blue tiles are water tiles, you can get through those just swimmingly…unless you smell like oranges. then a piranha will bite ya. also, blue tiles next to yellow tiles will electrocute you. purple tiles are slippery and covered in lemon scented soap. lemon makes the piranhas pucker so you can go through purple and blue. pink tiles are always safe. so. try to stick to those. got it?”

“…No.”

“ok red tiles are impassable-”

“You know the rules, why don’t you go through the pathway to get the flag?” you asked.

“1 hit i'm down,” Sans said, gently placing his hand over his chest, “it’s with a heavy heart that i transfer this responsibility to you, my trusty comrade.”

You groaned, but went through the puzzle anyway. Pink-pink-blue-purple-pink-blue you dodged the red and yellow tiles carefully. Pink-orange-purple-orange-pink-pink-bl-AH! You stumbled back. A mechanical piranha was there, snapping away at the edge of the tile. Shoot, you smelled like oranges, didn’t you? Backtrack. Purple-blue-pink-pink-orange-pink-purple. Pretty soon you made it to the end.

“Aw, man! Their flag is already gone!” you pouted, looking into the empty box sadly. “Someone must’ve beaten us to it.” You turned back, ready to cross back over to where Sans was.

Blip!

“eh, can’t win them all.”

“…You could’ve teleported here the whole time?”

“did i forget about that?” he asked, smug grin forming on his face. “how can you have a to-tile-ly fun time if i took a shortcut?”

You softly punched his shoulder. “Worst partner ever! Next time, dibs on Papyrus!”

“gonna have to fight me for him.”

“Sure, sure, Brittle Bones. I just have to knock you over into a laundry basket and then victory would be mine.”

Sans chuckled. “ok i think i know where to go next.”

He took your hand.

Blip!

A different part of the mansion. It looked like the room had exploded. There were broken bits of conveyer belt lying on the floor. Sans looked around the room before finally settling on a doorway with a dancepad and a screen with a bunch of Xs. “stand on that green square would you?”

You obliged, but the second both feet were on the square you were rooted to your spot. “Sans!”

He tossed you a bone. “deflect the spears.”

Booming music played on the speakers above your head. Small spears started appearing around you. You began deflecting as best as you could. Sans used his magic on the screen to start changing all the Xs into Os. It was hard to concentrate on what he was doing, but he quickly finished and the puzzle diffused. You opened the door.

“Damn! No flag here either!” you cried.

“c’mon, one last room to check then.”

Blip

You ended up in what looked like Frisk’s room. You looked around. Everything seemed normal…

“You came here thinking you could win?! You?! And the smiley trash bag?! What a bunch of idiots!”

You glanced at the bookshelf. There was Flowey, snidely looking down at you. Next to him in the pot was the team flag.

“What? No puzzle?” you asked, wondering why they had Flowey guarding the flag.

Flowey’s smile widened. “Didn’t you notice?! You’re already trapped! Wow, humans are so stupid. Think they can just come into any room and just get the flag. Look down.” He began laughing at you.

You did. You were standing on a big blue stop sign.

“wow this flower means business.”

“…Am I missing something?” you asked, lifting up your foot. You weren’t stuck in place. You hesitantly stuck your arm out. Nope, not stuck in any invisible cage either. No piranhas. No conveyor belts…nothing.

You stepped off the stop sign.

“wait-”

Flowey’s little mouth opened slightly. “Wh-what?! You’d resort to CHEATING?! FINE! CHEAT OR GET CHEATED THEN!” Dozens of tiny seeds appeared around his petals before he began hurling them at you at top speed. They pelted you in the stomach mostly, but a few nailed you in the head.

The main bedroom door flew open. All the seeds immediately dropped to the floor with a clatter. Frisk came bounding in, all team flags in their hands. “WE WON! Mom and I really got stumped on Sans’s crossword, but we finished eventually, and oh. Flowey!” Frisk rushed over to the dresser and got their spritzer. They sprayed Flowey in the face. “Don’t bullet heck the guests. That’s really rude!”

“They’re CHEATERS!” He bobbed his petals in your direction, “She stepped off the stop sign!”

“…What is the deal with your stop sign?”

“YOU SEE WHAT IDIOCY I’M DEALING WITH HERE FRISK?!”

“You can’t step off the blue stop sign. It means stop,” Frisk said plainly. “I mean, just read it. Those are very clear directions.”

You had no idea what was happening anymore, but it seemed like the game was over. That was…an experience, to say the least. But you had fun, mostly. Everyone pitched in to clean up the household while Toriel made some food.

After everyone had their late lunch, Frisk declared it was time for “Human games!” and then raced upstairs to grab a bunch of board games from a hallway closet and placed them in a stack in the living room.

Despite already eating, Toriel brought out a bunch of snacks for everyone to munch on. Frisk led everyone in a game of Clue and then Shoots and Ladders and then Operation. It was one short board game after another. Soon another few hours had past. The sun was beginning to set.

“Last game!” Frisk said. “Sit in a circle, it’s time for truth or dare.”

You groaned. “Kids still play that these days?”

“Yeah!” Frisk exclaimed, “Just last week I got half my class to play during this really boring assembly at school and-” they noticed Toriel’s cross look. “I mean…at recess!”

“nice save kid.”

Everyone got into a circle. Frisk explained the rules of the game – choose truth or dare and either answer the question honestly or perform the terrible dare. You got one pass for the whole game, so use it wisely.

Frisk started. “Papyrus. Truth…or DARE?!”

“HMM. I GUESS I WILL START OFF THIS GAME WITH A DARE. GIVE ME YOUR WORST TINY HUMAN. I ASSURE YOU I CAN HANDLE IT.”

“I dare you to give us your best moldsmal impression!”

“AN EASY TASK FOR THE GREAT PAPYRUS, FOR I AM AN INCREDIBLE HIP WIGGLER,” Papyrus proclaimed as he stood up and began to wiggle in place.

Frisk broke into laughter and everyone in the circle followed suit before Papyrus sat down again.

“ALRIGHT…HM…UNDYNE. TRUTH OR DARE?”

“Pffft, I’m not a wuss. Lay your best dare on me! And don’t you go easy!”

“HMMMMMM…I DARE YOU…TO ONLY SAY NICE AND ENCOURAGING THINGS UNTIL YOUR NEXT TURN.”

“That’s it?!?! FUHUHU I…uh, I mean,” Undyne’s fins drooped slightly, “what a…cool and impressive dare…best…buddy.” She cleared her throat, “Toriel, truth or dare?”

“Oh!” Toriel’s eyes lit up, “I suppose I will follow suit with everyone else and choose dare.”

“YEAH! You go mom!” Frisk cheered.

Undyne picked up the package of marshmallows sitting on the coffee table and tossed them to Toriel. “Roasted chubby bunny challenge.”

Frisk shrieked with laughter. “SHOW HER MOM! DO IT!”

“Oh goodness,” Toriel exclaimed as she pulled out a handful of marshmallows. “I sure hope I can stay mallow through this challenge.”

Toriel snorted at her own joke and Sans chuckled as well. Everyone else exaggeratedly rolled their eyes. Toriel began pushing marshmallows into her mouth.

“Why did you say roasted?” you asked.

“ya ever see monster mallows?” Sans asked. “there’s not marsh to it, but…” he motioned for one and Toriel handed over one of the puffs. Sans placed it into your hand. “go for it.”

You eyed the candy before popping it into your mouth. Immediately you felt the fizziness that indicated monster food followed by warmth and the smell of campfire. The marshmallow began to melt in your mouth and take on the slightly burnt taste.

“It’s obviously infused with fire magic you stupid human-” Flowey started, before Frisk flicked one of his petals. “UGH. Fine! It has fire magic in it. Obviously. You…not idiotic human.”

You swallowed, although a stickiness remained in your mouth. It was pretty cool though. Toriel had already stuffed nearly twenty marshmallows in her mouth. It was actually hilarious to watch her lose her regal and motherly composure as she stuffed marshmallow after marshmallow into her mouth. Frisk was definitely capturing the moment on video. Another handful and she couldn’t even speak anymore, although she was shaking from her giggles until finally she shook her head and held up her hand.

“Only 30?! Lame! Uhh…iisssss what I would say if I was a mean and unsupportive friend.”

“THAT WAS A PRETTY BAD SAVE.”

Toriel waited until all of the marshmallow melted before swallowing. “Sans! Truth or dare?”

“eh, dare.”

“Tell me a joke.”

“LAME!”

“That’s it?!”

“He does that ALL THE TIME ANYWAY TORIEL!”

Sans only chuckled in response. “what do you call a skeleton that rings doorbells?”

“What?” Toriel asked, eyes already twinkling.

“a dead ringer.”

Both Toriel and Sans began cracking up.

“Boo!” you said. “Bad joke!”

“heh, alright, truth or dare?” he asked you.

You were planning to pick truth but so far everyone had done a dare and you didn’t want to be the one to break the streak. “I guess dare.”

“great,” Sans said as he reached into his jacket. He pulled out a red bottle and tossed it to you. “bottom’s up.”

“…Is this ketchup?” you asked.

“mayo-be.”

You rolled the bottle in your hand, looking at it with displeasure. Before you could talk yourself out of it, you tilted your head back and squeezed. A huge glob of ketchup hit your tongue and you swallowed before you could think about it too long. You shuddered. The strong tomato taste was mixing with the remaining marshmallow. It was a mix of flavors that you really weren’t enjoying together. “Blech, alright,” you wiped your mouth with the back of your hand. “Flowey, truth or dare?”

“Me?!” the flower asked, looking caught off guard. “Pfft. Neither, this game is dumb,” he said, leaves rustling.

Frisk wagged a warning finger.

“Fine, Frisk. Truth, I guess.”

“Uh,” you paused to think. This was your chance to learn something about him, since you really knew nothing about him at all. You didn’t even know how old he was. What he liked and disliked. All you seemed to gather was that he didn’t seem to enjoy anybody’s company. “Which person in this room would you consider your closest friend?”

“Papyrus, obviously.”

Paps beamed, clearly happy to be Flowey’s number one choice as a friend. You were really surprised; he answered without hesitation but you hadn’t ever seen the two of them interact…at all, really, when you were around. You had pretty much expected him to pick Frisk. Oh well, you figured it was hard not to enjoy Papyrus and consider him a friend.

“Frisk, truth or dare?”

“Truth!”

“What’s a terrible thing you’ve lied about?” Flowey asked with a wide grin.

Frisk was quiet for a moment. You suddenly felt a bit bad and figured they would use their ‘pass.’ It’s hard to come clean about a lie to friends, let alone a group of adults. But everyone at the circle was kind of eyeing Frisk, curious about their answer. The atmosphere felt completely different to what it was before. The still quietness hung in the air, making everything feel incredibly tense.

“…last week I finished the bag of chisps even though mom said no snacks and told her you did it,” Frisk said, hanging their head guiltily.

Everyone in the room immediately relaxed, Undyne laughing a bit and Alphys stating how relatable that was. Toriel reached over to pat Frisk on the head, although she had a slightly disapproving mom face.

Frisk heaved a sigh of relief. “Glad to get that off my chest. Alright, Alphys! Truth or dare?”

“D-dare?”

“I dare you to pretend to be a salesman and sell some garbage to someone in this room.”

Alphys looked at Undyne. “I’m t-trash. B-buy me. 1G.”

“SOLD!” Undyne shouted, pulling Alphys into a hug and placing a loud smooch on her cheek.

Frisk gave Alphys a thumbs up. “I knew you could do it. Way to sell yourself.”

Alphys glanced at Asgore, “T-truth or dare?”

“I think I will stick to truth, if that’s alright with you.”

“T-tell us the story of how you g-got the nickname F-fluffybuns.”

Fluffybuns?! You had heard that Asgore received many nicknames over the years but this was the first you’d ever heard of Fluffybuns. Asgore’s smile faltered a tiny bit. “Ah. Gerson gave me that name in our youth. We were good friends you know.”

You had no idea who this Gerson was.

“shopkeep. knew asgore before the war. has a bit of a, heh, tough shell.”

“Came by to visit the family many times before we built New Home. Those were livelier times in the Underground. Another shopkeep was a talented cook and made wonderful…ah, sticky buns.”

Asgore began looking a bit bashful.

“Toriel and I were very young rulers, and it was rare for us to be able to walk freely even amongst our own people in those times. However, I would get cravings for a little something sweet. Not that Tori’s butterscotch cinnamon pie wasn’t good, but occasionally I would want one of the small sticky buns. Gerson would bring a few by.” Asgore cleared his throat, “Ah…but when I would eat them, the fur on my paw would stick to the bun.”

“Daaaad! Nooooo!” Frisk shouted, already putting the pieces together. “All this time I thought it was because you were soft!”

“It’s a fitting name in more ways than one,” Asgore said, once again looking embarrassed. “Alright, let’s move on. Undyne-”

“YES! MY TURN! AW, DUDE THAT FLUFFYBUN STORY, SERIOUSLY?!” Undyne doubled over with laughter, “I always knew you were a giant, fluffy, weenie!” She cleared her throat, “Dare!”

“Go ahead and attempt to benchpress everyone in the room.”

“HELL YEAH!”

“Language!”

“HECK YEAH!”

Undyne immediately went for Frisk first, lifting them up with ease and doing a few easy benchpresses. Frisk egged her on, whooping and cheering, before Undyne moved on to Sans and Papyrus, whose combined weight was probably less than if not equal to Frisk’s. Then she turned to you.

“How much meat you got on those bones, punk?”

“It’s impolite to ask someone their weight, ah w-woah!” you fumbled as Undyne also picked you up without any problems.

“Dunno if you noticed nerd, but I am 200 pounds of pure muscle. Lifting your measly human body is nothing,” she demonstrated this by lifting you multiple times. She flashed a toothy grin at you before setting you down and proceeding to move on to lifting Alphys. You were actually pretty impressed, although you were pretty sure she could deadlift a semi with no problems. Asgore was the one who gave her the most struggle, if you could even call it that.

“Easy! Alright!” she pointed at you. “Truth or dare?!”

“I think I’ll try out a truth.”

Undyne practically cackled. “What is your most embarrassing moment, punk?!”

Everyone at the circle was now paying attention. Geez, were you really that much of a mess of a person that it was hard for you to decide what your most humiliating moment was?

Actually, you knew exactly which one was the most painful, and you cringed every time you thought about it. “I’ll pass, thanks,” you said.

“Laaaaaaame!” Undyne groaned.

You shrugged. “Sans, truth or dare?”

“eh, dare is fine.”

“I dare you to sing a song for us.”

A loud chorus of ‘ooooohs’ echoed in the living room. To Sans’s credit, he didn’t even flinch or blush, but he did shove his hands into his hoodie pockets. “i think i'll use my pass now too.”

“Wow you’re both a buncha WIMPS!”

“Undyne, do not force anyone to do anything they wish not to,” Toriel said, coming to your rescue, even if she also looked a tiny bit disappointed.

“tori, truth or dare?”

“I think I’d like to go truth this time,” she said with a small smile.

“what’s the true secret to the butterscotch cinnamon pie? c’mon lady, give up the goods.”

Toriel snorted into her paw. “It’s quite simple, really. The secret ingredient is a mother’s love. And spider dust.”

You let out a bark of laughter, Toriel’s joke catching you off guard. Not her usual type of humor, so you found it funny, until you realized that no one else was laughing. They were all looking at you with varying degrees of amused expressions.

“…Wait, really?”

“Yes my dear! Spider dust has many uses Underground, but their main use is being repurposed for baked goods. It’s very expensive though. It must be used sparingly to savor it.”

Your jaw dropped slightly. “Do…all monster pastries…?”

“N-not all but i-it’s a p-pretty standard ingredient,” Alphys said.

“It’s okay! I thought it was weird too at first,” Frisk said, trying to help. “But Muffet explained that it’s part of their culture! Spiders love knowing that they’re going to be a part of something someone will enjoy.”

You immediately thought back to that bullshit statistic that all people eat seven spiders a year in their sleep. This really made you rethink how many spiders you had eaten while awake in the last month. But…this really wasn’t that much different to food companies allowing a certain percentage of bugs into chocolate bars so…that eased your stomach a bit.

“Guess there’s a lot to monster culture that I don’t really know yet,” you said.

“Geez Uncle Sans, haven’t you been teaching your girlfriend anything?” Frisk asked.

You and Sans both flinched at the word ‘girlfriend’ which you were pretty sure didn’t go unnoticed by those who were in the know. The whole Dreemurr family seemed to not notice. For a truth or dare game, you supposed you weren’t exactly being too truthful.

Damn. You kind of forgot about your whole situation for a minute there. You and Sans clicked so well as friends you hadn’t even thought about the fake relationship or keeping up appearances while here. Oops. Should you say something now?

“eh, what can i say, kiddo? your auntie over there prefers to make things up and learn as she goes,” Sans said easily.

“Alphys,” Toriel said, cutting that line of conversation. “Truth or dare?”

“uh, d-dare?”

“That’s my baby!” Undyne cried out.

“Hmm,” Toriel thought about it for a moment before she said, “I dare you to…croak like a froggit.”

The game continued on for over an hour. A few more highlights included Papyrus being dared to act like a tough edge lord, you being dared to putting a handful of ice cubes down the back of your shirt, Asgore singing children’s songs fully choreographed by Frisk, Alphys being subjected to watching the first 10 minutes of Mew Mew Kissy Cutie 2 (which she said was trash, even though you thought it was kind of cute), Undyne spilling the beans about how long she had been pining for Alphys, which then turned into everyone talking about their first crushes.

Turns out Asgore and Toriel’s first crushes were each other, but apparently that was in a time where arranged meetings were pretty common. They just happened to have a spark when they first met. It still sounded like a fairytale story to you.

Alphys embarrassedly shared a story of her crush – a fictional character from a book you’d never heard of, but she was apparently a dashing hero who faced much adversity in her life, but who performed heroic deeds for the less fortunate. Tall. Strong. Beautiful.

“You sure that story wasn’t written about me?” Undyne asked jokingly.

“w-well! maybe it was a prophecy!”

Undyne’s first crush was a waterfall sentry who was a dual-wielder. She apparently kicked ass but was also really cool to all the local kids. Undyne really wanted to impress her, but she ended up dying because her spouse had fallen down. Undyne acted out, but shortly after was picked up by Asgore and was trained to join the Royal Guard.

“METTATON,” Papyrus said when it was his turn.

“As…the box?” Frisk asked, giggling.

“…YES. HE WAS QUITE THE DASHING RECTANGULAR SHAPE.”

You shared the story of your own first crush, and then looked at Sans. Your mind flashed to him on your couch, frustratingly telling you about how you were the first person to show genuine interest. Hesitantly, you asked, “Did you…?”

“eaumora. water elemental.”

“I DON’T REMEMBER AN EAUMORA,” Papyrus said.

“was about…24 or so. you wouldn’t have known her.”

Sans looked relaxed, but the way Sans talked made you feel uneasy. It didn’t sound like whatever this crush was ended very well. You wanted to know more and you were already starting to guess what happened, but…now didn’t seem like the time to ask.

“your turn,” Sans said, glancing at Flowey and Frisk.

“Ew,” was Flowey’s response.

“Y-yeah! Ew!” Frisk joined in. “Crushes! That’s gross! I don’t have any! And…I never will! Certainly not any monsters! Or kids! Or monster kids!” They got up and picked up Flowey. “And it’s late. Mom, how could you let me stay up this long? That’s bad parenting. I’m going…to put myself to bed! And not talk about crushes I don’t have!”

That cut the game off. Everyone stood up from their spot. Toriel and Asgore followed Frisk and Flowey to tuck them into bed. Papyrus took on the responsibility of cleaning up all the leftover puzzles and games left in the household. Undyne was making everyone a cup of tea in the kitchen with Alphys’s “help” (you were pretty sure that was an excuse to smooch). You headed outside to hang out on the balcony for a bit of fresh air. After a moment of being alone, the doorway creaked open.

“Hey Sans,” you greeted, “you had fun today?”

“i thought it played out pretty cool. really was on my a-game and all.”

“I don’t think napping counts as being on your ‘A-Game’ you know,” you teased.

He shrugged with a grin and stuffed his hands into his hoodie pockets.

“But I had a lot of fun,” you said, “so…thank you for inviting me along. You didn’t have to do that.”

“you’re part of the group,” he said, waving your gratitude off.

You didn’t know what to say now. You always knew that the Dreemurr household was an open door for you, as was the company from Alphys and Undyne. You just didn’t hangout with them often enough, so you felt a little like you shouldn’t have been there. It was dumb, but you felt warm and happy knowing that you were accepted into this group of friends.

Part of you didn’t want the night to end. You leaned against the balcony. “Truth or dare?”

Sans eyed you for a moment, but you only raised an eyebrow in retaliation. “one on one huh? careful, could get too real out here. wouldn't wantcha to perform an extraordinary dare without an audience.”

“I think the world can wait to see me guzzle another bottle of ketchup.”

“heh, fine then. truth.”

You almost pressed him about his former crush but…instead, you glanced up at the sky. The stars were sparkling. A thought occurred to you. “Bit of an out there question, but why’d you study astrophysics? It’s one of those things I’ve always wondered about. Not too many stars for you to study Underground, so it’s an interesting choice.”

Sans scratched the back of his head. “i didn’t exactly planet to be my field of study.”

You resisted the urge to roll your eyes at the pun.

“actually, i was lookin for ways to break the barrier. there was this old story about somethin called a save star with astronomical power,” he said with a wink. “legend said that the save star could even take someone back to a fixed point in time, so i tried to study stars and see if i could, y’know, get it and go back to before the barrier was even created.” He shrugged. “but i never found anything. guess that’s what i get for chasing myths.”

“Yeah, can’t believe a real scientist such as yourself would look into old stories,” you said lightly.

“yup, ya got me. total fraud.”

You were quiet a moment before adding on, “I’m sorry you didn’t find anything. How long did you study for?”

“awhile. then i spent a few decades learnin how to take shortcuts to see if that would work. spent forever figurin out how to disintegrate my entire being and then recomposing it somewhere else.”

THAT’S how it works?!” you asked, stomach doing a few flips. You remembered all the times he’s taken you on one of these teleportation trips. And each of those times you had…disintegrated?

“what? thought we just disappeared and reappeared in one piece?”

Um. Yes. That’s exactly what you thought.

“heh, don’t worry about it too much. you're in good hands, i wouldn’t let ya die,” he said. He looked a bit distant now. “anyway, after learning how to do it on myself i learned how to bring other things, people, with me. always thought, hey, maybe if i could get past it, even if i couldn’t break the barrier, i could bring everyone through…” he trailed off, “actually, that’s a lie. i was really just lookin out for me ‘nd paps. i wanted to bring him through and get away from that place.” He stopped and looked down at his feet. “does that make me selfish?”

Kind of.

“No.”

He looked at you skeptically.

“Well, the situation is more nuanced than it seems. You’re just…looking out for your family. It makes sense,” you said, as another thought occurred to you. “So, Papyrus is your only family then?”

“i think you’re already too many questions over, buddy,” Sans said. “so…truth or dare?”

“Uh, truth.”

“what is your most embarrassing moment?” his eyes were practically gleaming.

You groaned, “Really?”

“i'm kinda curious. you have so many to choose from.”

“You’re making fun of me now.”

“heheh. so, which is it?”

“…The night we met,” you confessed.

Sans snorted. “really? that’s like a four on the scoville scale of shame.”

You almost wanted to smack him. “I can’t think about that night without cringing. Like…ugh,” you groaned and hid your face in your hands. “At the time I was like, crap, why is this guy grilling me so much?”

“heh.”

“And, ugh, the moment of realization…” you made a face. “Ahh, I don’t want to think about it anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more embarrassed, which is saying a lot.”

“would ya go back and change it if you could?”

“…I guess not. Because if I went back and avoided the party, we wouldn’t have met, right?”

“hmm, nah. we'd see ya at the coffee shop. i woulda shown up as a model for your class. you'd see me around town at my jobs.”

“But would we be friends?” you asked seriously. “I mean, sure I’d see you around, but then you would be that skeleton who lives in my town. You wouldn’t be Sans the Skeleton, my friend. And I wouldn’t…I mean, your distrust for humans is no secret. I’m an exception, aren’t I? I wouldn’t be under regular circumstances.”

“i…look, it’s nothing personal i just,” he cut himself off. “nah, you’re right. we probably wouldn’t be friends if it weren’t for that night.”

He looked a bit disappointed.

“It’s worth it then, and I wouldn’t change anything if I could,” you said with a smile. “Truth or dare?”

“truth.”

“So, Papyrus is your only family then?”

“pass.”

“Aw, come on.”

“pass.”

“You already passed on the singing dare. You can’t pass on two turns.”

“that was a different game. i get a new pass.”

“Then I dare you to sing.”

“i chose truth.”

You groaned exaggeratedly, which made Sans laugh. “Fiiiine. Why do you hate to sing? It seems like you would have a really wonderful voice. And Papyrus said you used to sing to him as a kid. Is it really that embarrassing for you?”

“yup.”

“…Care to elaborate?”

“nah.”

“Sans, this game is no fun unless you actually answer the questions.”

He turned so his back was leaning on the railing. He looked at you and said, “it’s not that i hate it. just it…it’s been awhile and i've only…i'm not…” he seemed a bit lost for words. “it helped paps sleep and that was the purpose, really. never…no one was meant to hear it so i…”

“Are you self-conscious about it?” you asked, hoping to supply him with an explanation.

“yup.”

You didn’t want to push him, if that was the case, even though you got the feeling he would be an excellent singer. You sat down on the floor and let your legs hang down through the balcony rails.

“truth or dare?” Sans asked as he joined you on the concrete.

“Hmm, dare.”

“i dare ya to lick the balcony railing.”

“Ewww!!!” you shrieked. “That’s gross!”

He started laughing. “i know. you gotta do it.”

You made a face, but you weren’t about to be a quitter! You pressed the flat of your tongue against the rail and licked upwards a bit. You pulled away. “Bleh. Not as gross as I thought it would be, but still disgusting. Truth or dare?”

“will i regret it if i choose dare?”

“I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not,” you said, smiling.

“dare then.”

“Since you don’t want to sing for me…maybe…hum for me instead? I really liked it the last time, but I fell asleep before the song was over. I’d…I’d really like to hear it again. Please,” you asked as nicely as possible.

Sans retracted into his hoodie a bit. “i…uh…” he lifted the hood over his head. “i mean…could you…close your eyes then?” You obliged. “ok. uh…”

You heard him shift a bit and then felt him nudge your side. He began to hum. His baritone voice was right in your ear, he must’ve been incredibly close to you. The tune was familiar, you were pretty sure this was the same song he hummed the last time. What was it called? It sounded like a lullaby, it was so soothing. You could feel yourself getting goosebumps.

All too soon, the song had finished and you no longer felt Sans at your side. You opened your eyes and he was sitting with his legs hanging from the balcony, further away than he was before.

“I liked that,” you said. “What’s the song called?”

“no idea. there was a statue hidden in waterfall that would play music if you solved its puzzle. paps loved it, was obsessed with it actually. he'd throw a huge tantrum if we didn’t go see it every day, and the song made him sleepy. so…it was easier for me to just learn it.”

“Oh. So you’d sing that to him?”

“nah. song doesn’t have any lyrics. i'd sing other things to him though. old jazz songs. a few lullabies i remembered. infomercial jingles. whatever, really.”

“I hope I can hear you one day.”

“heh, well, don’t treble yourself by thinking about it.”

That was probably the nicest way he could tell you it wasn’t going to happen. You sighed. It was worth a shot. “Thanks for the hum though, that was really nice.”

There was a long pause. You were about to suggest going back inside when Sans suddenly said, “can i…ask you something?”

“That’s the point of the game, isn’t it?”

“guess it’s more of a favor then.”

“I mean I suppose I could oblige for a price,” you said jokingly. “Ask away.”

He got up from his spot and offered his hand to you. You took it and stood up as well. “can you…maybe close your eyes again?”

You followed his instructions and shut your eyes. You waited. Maybe he changed his mind and he was going to sing to you after all? You grinned and were about to egg him on when all of a sudden you felt his arms wrapping around you. “Oh…” you exclaimed.

For a moment, you were so stunned you couldn’t even move. And then you started to laugh as you returned the hug. “What’s this for?” you asked.

“just…because…”

Somehow, ‘just because’ felt better than any other reason he could’ve said in that moment.

Jesus Christ, this skeleton was going to kill you.

“You don’t have to ask for a hug, you weirdo.”

“…”

“…Truth or dare?” you asked. You hadn’t broken away from the hug yet, so you were mostly speaking into his hood.

“truth,” he whispered.

“What do you think of me?”

……

………

“Sans?”

“i think you’re-”

“SHHHHH! I can’t hear anything!”

You and Sans quickly broke apart. Was that Undyne’s voice? You strained to listen for it – you could hear some quiet murmurs.

“I th-think we should g-go back inside! W-waiting to call them in for t-tea turned into eavesdropping!”

“Well,” Undyne hissed, “if they didn’t want people to listen to them, then maybe they should lower their voices!”

You peered over the edge of the balcony. You couldn’t see them, but you were pretty sure that the two were right underneath you. “Geez,” you said, “what are we, a goddamn soap opera?”

Sans leaned against the rail. “dare ya to make it one,” he said, a small smirk forming on his face. “you ever end up watching mettaton’s show, undernovela?”

You smiled in return. “Oh! But what a travesty!” you shouted. “How could you say such horrible things to me? Do such terrible things to me? I thought I could trust you.” You sighed dramatically, and leaned against the railing, hoping to hide your giggles.

“i thought i could trust you,” Sans said. “all this time, stringin me along. knew i couldn’t trust a human. i shoulda left you in that coma.”

“How dare you!” you pointed your finger, getting into the scene despite no one else being able to see it. Sans shrugged, easy grin on his face. “At least I wanted to do good in this world. You’re the one who was only in it for the money.”

“them’s the breaks. make no bones about it, it’s a tough life out there for a skeleton.”

“That’s not very humerus.”

“your ex-cousin three times removed’s sister’s friend’s brother’s son’s funny bone was pretty tickled by that one.”

You gasped. “My ex-cousin three times removed’s sister’s friend’s brother’s son?! He is my mortal enemy, how could you?!”

“ALRIGHT! Give it up you nerds! We know you know we’re listening.”

“UNDYNE! I WAS REALLY GETTING INTO THAT! I WANTED TO HEAR MORE ABOUT HOW HER EX-COUSIN THREE TIMES REMOVED’S SISTER’S FRIEND’S BROTHER’S SON BECAME HER MORTAL ENEMY. COULDN’T WE HAVE WAITED UNTIL THEY WERE DONE WITH THE EXPOSITION?”

You and Sans both laughed. “That was pretty fun,” you said, “some nice bullshitting you did there. Really nailed the dramatic flair that sold the performance.” You held out your fist. Sans gently knocked his against yours in a soft fist bump. “Guess we better head inside now,” you said.

“you go on ahead. i’ll catch up with you later.”

It’s been a long day. You figured Sans probably wanted a little bit of time to himself. You could understand that. You opened the door and went inside to join the group for your cup of golden flower tea. You hung around the Dreemurr residence for another few minutes before you, Sans, and Papyrus went home.

You were so tired, you nearly fell asleep the second your head hit the pillow. You checked your phone one last time and saw you had a few new texts from earlier that you hadn’t seen.

snas: 10:12 pm
u r gr9

snas: 10:12 pm
that’s what i think of you

snas: 10:15 pm
…heh, well. turns out its hard to write what i'm thinking so i’ll exchange one of my passes from earlier and sing for ya.

Your heartrate picked up. He changed his mind?

snas: 10:20 pm
[Attachment: Audio File 0002]

You tapped on the file, excited to finally hear his singing voice. You had built it up in your head that it was this beautiful baritone – low, jazzy, and pleasing to the ear.

……

Wait.

You knew this song.

Oh god, how long had it even been since you had heard this song?

We’re no strangers to looooove
You know the rules and so do I

“SANS!” you shrieked.

From the other side of the wall, you could hear him practically wheezing from laughter. Messages began to ping on your phone.

snas: 11:34 pm
oh wait i think i know what to say

snas: 11:34 pm
never gonna give you up
never gonna let you down
never gonna turn around and desert you

xxx-xxxx: 11:34 pm
I can’t believe you Rickroll’d me. How dare you?

snas: 11:35 pm
but did i make you cry
or say goodbye
or tell a lie and hurt you?

xxx-xxxx: 11:35 pm
Shut up. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I fell for that.

snas: 11:35 pm
geeeeeeet dunked on

xxx-xxxx: 11:35 pm
You’re the worst!

snas: 11:35 pm
10 g says your smilin

snas: 11:36 pm
heh, but uh. truthfully you mean a lot

snas: 11:37 pm
couldn’t imagine my life without ya

Field Notes: FRIENDSHIP

Is it weird to consider Sans one of my best friends? We met 6 months ago, but I couldn’t imagine my life without him being a part of it…and apparently neither can he. We just click really well – like our time at the concert and during our game night. He always knows how to make me smile.

And he trusts me. Don’t know how much exactly but it seems like a lot.

Sometimes I get the impression that he’s flirting with me, but…if these last few weeks showed me anything…if we ultimately stayed friends…well, it’s better than losing out on his company.

Maybe I should take this as my sign to move on. Aside from his hug and strangely touching (if not OLD SCHOOL MEME-LIKE) texts, he’s been acting pretty normal. But maybe he’s better at compartmentalizing than I am.

Am I still a squish?

Guess based on the way he reacted about his first crush, he probably isn’t too keen on having another one.

You put down the pen. That was enough for now.

Chapter Text

You groaned in exasperation after erasing the same line again for what felt like the fiftieth time this afternoon. You put your stylus down and rubbed your eyes, finally taking in the fatigue you were feeling after staring at the tablet screen. Why on Earth did you ever decide to major in art?

You stretched quietly in your chair. You promised yourself that you weren’t going to leave the college library until you finished your project. However, you had already been here for a few hours and barely got a dent in it. Maybe you’d grab a quick bite to eat and then get right back to work. Yeah. Yeah you’ll totally follow through on that.

xxx-xxxx: 12:19 pm
Hey if you aren’t busy with one of your 4 million jobs, you want to get some lunch?

snas: 12:19pm
guess i could stand to loaf around ya

snas: 12:19pm
it’ll be nice to ketchup

snas: 12:19pm
so long as you don’t render me without words

snas: 12:20pm
ya know…

snas: 12:20pm
speachless ;0

xxx-xxxx: 12:20pm
Invite revoked.

snas: 12:20pm
where didja want to meet?

xxx-xxxx: 12:21pm
I’m at the school library, working on an assignment. But I can clean up and see you outside our building?

snas: 12:21pm
nah i'm nearby. i'll meat u soon.

xxx-xxxx: 12:21pm
I hope you’re imagining me rolling my eyes.

snas: 12:21pm
heh

snas: 12:21pm
alright. see ya.

You set your phone down and looked at your project. You sighed. Well you thought guess I still have some time to work until Sans shows up. You checked the time and figured you could treat yourself to a new chapter while you drew.

Lately, you had been getting into listening to audio books. They really helped pass the time while you worked on homework and other art. Plus, you finally started getting through some of the books you’d been meaning to read, but hadn’t because there wasn’t any time. These last few weeks you ended up listening to five books on your list.

You were currently in the middle of an extremely raunchy novel that was hard to put down. It read like a trashy fanfiction someone wrote from the depths of their closet, so it was a bit of a guilty pleasure. You weren’t even planning on reading it, but it had glowing reviews, so you thought you’d give it a chance.

You put in your earbuds and pressed play. Then you grabbed your stylus and began working on the lines that were frustrating you.

Chapter Seven – The Second Cumming

Estelle woke up in a stranger’s bed. She rose quickly until she realized that her bosom was exposed. She gasped, how scandalous! She began to realize that she was naked in a stranger’s room wherein the stranger was nowhere to be found. Estelle grabbed the rosy silk bedsheet and wrapped it around herself.

None of Estelle’s clothes were on the bedroom floor, so she quietly opened the door that led to the hallway. There, she saw her thong and little black dress from the night before strewn on the floor.

‘Oh fuck me!’ she swore to herself.

‘I believe I already did, mi amour.’

Turning slightly, she saw the tall and muscular hunk of man who bed her last night. He had on form fitting boxer briefs and a fluffy white robe that was untied, exposing his strong, hairy chest to her. Tiny beads of sweat were forming on his forehead, reminding Estelle of the sweaty rendezvous they had the night before.

‘Pablo,’ Estelle said breathlessly.

Pablo and Estelle had a back and forth ‘will they won’t they’ deal going on for a while. They finally got together in the last chapter. You finished up some lines (finally they looked right) and had moved on to a different part of the drawing.

Thinking of will they, won’t they…you had a journal filled with entries of you and Sans doing things together as friends. Honestly, you were a tiny bit worried that you were stagnating and that he wanted to back out of your ‘experiment.’ Which…while you still harbored feelings, wouldn’t be the absolute end of the world. Even if it did make you feel a little sad.

You just wanted to take things at his pace because he seemed so nervous about anything related to emotions and dating. But ever since you shared a moment back during game night, all you could think about was that hug and how he never really answered your question. It hadn’t come up naturally again and you felt too awkward to bring it up yourself.

You sighed and turned up the volume a little.

‘We can’t,’ Estelle said wistfully. Her bosoms were heaving, causing her to flush even more. ‘We’re not supposed to be together like this.’

‘I know my love,’ Pablo said, stroking Estelle’s cheek with his hand. ‘But my passionate love for you knows no bounds. My heart burns for you.’ He leaned in to nibble her neck fervently. ‘God you are one ravishing woman.’

Estelle stared into Pablo’s amber orbs, feeling lost but also found. Sexy but also innocent. She would give the world to the man; and this man would bring this world to her. She knew what she had to do to find her happiness. She let the bedsheet pool around her ankles, fully exposing herself to him.

Pablo swore under his breath before fully embracing Estelle in his arms and crashing his lips into hers. Estelle gripped the back of Pablo’s neck and deepened the passionate kiss, letting her wet tongue prod the entrance of Pablo’s mouth. Pablo followed suit and let his tongue dance in a battle for dominance with hers, while his hands trailed along her body.

You slyly looked around you, to double check and make sure no one could hear what was happening in your book. Based on the last few chapters, you could see where this was headed. It didn’t seem like anyone was looking you. You raised the volume a little bit more.

Pablo’s manhood was now at full attention, throbbing with desire to once again plunder Estelle’s inner sanctum. Estelle pulled down Pablo’s underwear with her manicured hand to free the love muscle for her bidding. She began stroking impatiently and with ardor. Precum was spilling out of the tip, giving Estelle the freedom to move at an even more passionate pace.

With one swift move, Pablo had lifted Estelle up over his shoulder with ease. He lightly slapped her buttocks and began delicately fingering her flower garden as he sauntered to the bedroom. Once he arrived at the foot of his bed with Estelle all slicked up, he pushed her onto the bed and gripped her ass tightly in his hand.

You wondered if you needed to replace your headphones, as this wasn’t the normal sound quality you usually got from wearing them. You’d have to pick up an extra pair when you went to the store this week. In the meantime, you figured you would just turn up the volume to max since it didn’t seem to be hurting your ears.

‘You are mine,’ Pablo breathed, ‘all mine, Estelle. You are my angel. My breath of life. And I, I am your devil. The one who will only bring you down and corrupt everything you’ve worked for.’

‘So prove it then,’ Estelle replied, blowing her luscious locks from her face. ‘Show me what it means to do the Devil’s Tango.’

Pablo used his knee to spread Estelle’s legs and used one of his hands to push her into the bed. He used the slick from her honeypot to lubricate her asscrack and his man rod. Gently, he pushed in, carefully widening her hole with every thrust. She screamed his name out in pleasure, loud enough for the neighbors to know just what they were up to. Pablo burrowed himself even further into Estelle, letting himself fill her up entirely--

Suddenly, someone tapped your shoulder. You flinched from the touch and tore your eyes from your work to look up. Sans was standing above you with a strange look on his face. You cleared your throat and put down the stylus before subtly touching your cheeks to dispel some of the heat.

“heya.”

You removed your ear buds to greet him, but you were interrupted by the narration: --pounding into her ‘You’re so tight, mi amour,’ he cried in time with each plunge. This was a forbidden ecstasy--

Your eyes widened as you followed the trail of your earbud wire…the end of which was not fully plugged into your phone.

Oh.

No.

You froze as the atmosphere of the room began to sink in. There was a crushing sense of judgment that began to loom over you. Your heart began to pound hard in your chest and your throat closed up as your cheeks started to burn. You slowly looked up at Sans, mouth falling open as if you wanted to scream. You were almost pleading for him to lie about your situation.

“um…your headphones aren’t all the way plugged in, by the way,” he said.

You looked around the room to see everyone in the library staring at the two of you. Some looked impressed, others scandalized, but the attention was focused on you and your romance novel. Which you realized was still playing, broadcasting to a good chunk of the school about Pablo blasting Estelle’s tight asshole. You scrambled to hit pause, but the damage was already done. The room was quiet, but all you could hear was your pounding heartbeat and your shaky breathing.

Wordlessly, you began shoving your belongings into your backpack. Get out you thought to yourself. Get out. Get out. Get out. You slung your bag over your shoulder and made a mad dash out the library doors, leaving Sans behind.

Once outside, the lump in your throat eased up and you could breathe again. You scrunched your face up, physically cringing at the embarrassing moment that was currently singing itself into your memory. You were speed walking as fast as you could, hoping to put as much physical distance between yourself and the library as possible.

“hey, wait up!”

“Not now, Sans,” you mumbled without looking back. You could not look him in the eye right now. Or possibly ever again. “I’m not hungry anymore. Just go without me.”

“c’mon, it’s fine.”

“People are already tweeting about it.”

Sans eyed the phone in your palm and plucked it right out of your hand. Before you could protest, he tossed it into his hoodie pocket. “i’m calling it, time for you to get over this minor hangup.”

You forced a small smile. “That sounded a little phoney.”

“heh, and here i thought i was making a smart-phone pun.”

“Shut up.”

“but seriously, c’mon. we don’t have to eat. let's just hang,” Sans said. “unless…you really wanna stay here.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to show my face in that library again.”

“eh, librarbies are for nerds.”

“Did you just call it a librarby?”

“yup,” he said. “so, whaddya say? i brought my motorcycle with me, ‘n i thought we could take a ride.”

“I just want to crawl into my bed and die,” you said, even though a motorcycle ride sounded pretty good.

Sans stood in thought for a moment before saying, “let’s ride anyway. i have an idea i think you’ll like.”

“Okay.”

“ok.”

“Okay.”

Sans took your hand and in a Blip! you were both standing next to his motorcycle.

“This is still the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, by the way,” you said.

“heh, you know…the guy i bought it from used it as an escape vehicle to flee from crime scenes?”

“Wait, what?!”

“yeah, he was a real cycle-path.”

“Saaaans!” you shrieked. He handed you a helmet. “You’re full of especially bad jokes today. Don’t tell me you’ve lost your subtle finesse.”

“hey, my subtle finesse is just fine,” Sans said. “but, ya know…” he turned from you, “it’s more important that you’re smiling.” He hopped on the bike and said, “alright, let’s go.”

Thump thump

You sat behind him and held on tightly. Sans revved the engine and took off down the streets. Everything blurred around you and the only things you could really focus on were holding on and the small voice in the back of your head repeating Sans’s words: it’s more important that you’re smiling.

Was he always this much of a sap?

You clung tighter.

Sans pulled into his parking space at the apartment complex. The two of you got off and you handed him his helmet back. He motioned for you to follow him up to his apartment. Papyrus wasn’t home yet, so it felt a little empty. You dumped your bag at the door and took off your shoes.

“come here,” Sans said, walking to his room. You followed closely behind, curiosity piquing. Sans dug through his closet and pulled out a pair of comfortable looking sweatpants and a worn t-shirt. He tossed them at you. “get into some comfy clothes.”

“What is all this about?” you asked. “What are we even doing?”

“you trust me, right?”

“…Yeah, of course I do.”

“then just put on the clothes, you’ll feel better. i promise.”

Sans winked and left the room, leaving you alone. You looked down at the shirt and pants he gave you. They clearly belonged to Sans, so you had no doubt that they were well loved and would be very cozy. You took off your shirt and put on Sans’s. It smelled just like him. You inhaled deeply. Actually, you were reminded of the first time you wore his blue hoodie…smelled like ketchup and sweat and smoke. It was nice.

You changed out of your jeans and into the sweatpants. They fit you nicely, though the bottom hem was tattered and you could only guess that was because Sans wore them out by constantly stepping on them. You chuckled to yourself.

You took the time to look around his room. It was a mess, with most of his belongings laying out on the floor or strewn over his drawers. It looked pretty much the same as the last time you were in here…oh, but…the photo of the two of you in skeleton face paint was tacked into the spot above his bed. You walked over to the photo and traced the edge of it.

“Oh, Sans.”

Knock knock

“Who’s there?” you asked, moving towards the door.

“wooden shoe.”

“Wooden shoe who?”

“wooden shoe come on out and join me?”

You opened the door and saw Sans standing in the hallway holding an armful of blankets. “grab the sheets and pillows from my bed would you?” He turned and walked back into the living room area.

You balled up the sheet on his bed and grabbed the fat pillows that were leaning up against the headboard. You walked out and into the living room where Sans was on his knees draping blankets over the arm of his couch. There were sheets tied to different parts of the living room. Through an opening you could see a huge stack of pillows and blankets on this inside. You dropped the bundle of bedding. “What are you doing?” you asked.

“well…you said you wanted to crawl into your bed and die.” He gestured to the pillows and said, “here’s the bed and i’m the death. all you gotta do is crawl into my arms.”

You shook your head in disbelief. “You did all this for me?”

“you say that i’m not gonna enjoy sitting on a bed of pillows.”

Sans crawled through the opening of the blanket fort. You picked up the bedding you dropped and brought it in with you. Sans was already leaning against the foot of the couch. He opened his arms wide for you to sink into. You let yourself be enveloped in his embrace, resting your head against his skull.

“I’m so embarrassed.”

“’s’ok. i don’t care that you listen to porn while working.”

“It’s a romance novel and it got great reviews.”

“just call it what it is – trash for horny humans.”

“What are you, some kind of porn connoisseur? How do you know that kind of stuff is trash? Don’t tell me,” you let out an exaggerated gasp, “is monster porn not doing it for you anymore? Is our human trash the only thing getting you off these days?”

You turned your head a tiny bit to see a blue tinge make its way onto Sans’s face. His grip on you tightened. Was that taking it too far? The two of you never really talked about this stuff before and you weren’t sure if you’d just crossed yet another line.

“glad to see it’s not too early to make a mockery of you.”

“Only you are blessed with that privilege. And only because you’re being so nice to me right now,” you nudged him. “But…is monster porn a thing? Do you have your own version of erotica novels? Or…?”

The blue on his face darkened. “it’s…don’t worry about it. and don’t go looking for it.”

…Well, add that to your to-do list when you were alone in your bedroom.

“hey, remember when you were sick a few months ago?”

“Yeah?”

“just…sit in front of me.”

You complied, shuffling yourself so you were sitting in front of Sans. He adjusted himself so he was right behind you, legs spread out around yours. He placed his hands on your back and you felt a pleasant warmth through your shirt. Sans’s hands were gently drawing circles on your back. You closed your eyes and let out a soft sigh.

Sans started massaging your neck and shoulders. He firmly pressed into the fat and muscles. You let your head fall forward slightly. His fingers squeezed a spot on your neck, releasing tension that you were holding. His touches were purposeful as he lightly dragged his fingers across the skin. They felt less bony than you were used to, more akin to human fingerpads.

“That feels so good,” you murmured. “How did you get your fingers to feel so soft?”

“heh,” Sans laughed and reached forward with one of his hands. You saw that he was using blue magic to make a cushy skin-like barrier. “figured it’d be more comfortable for you.”

“I forgot you could do that,” you said with a smile.

Both of Sans’s warm hands returned to your back. He started drawing lines along your spine and tracing the outline of your ribs. The magic from his hands lingered on all the spots he felt before, so it felt like you were melting in a warm pool.

Sans reached your lower back and paused. He fidgeted with the hem of your shirt for a moment before lifting it and slipping his hands underneath to touch your bare back. “is this-”

“Yes.”

“o-oh.”

His fingers started going back up your back.

“Could…can I just feel your real fingers?” you asked quietly.

Slowly the cushy pads faded away, leaving Sans’s bare fingers on your lowermost ribs. He seemed to freeze up at the sudden contact. He let out a short breath and softly pressed the tip of his fingers into your skin. Sans traced each of your ribs again, but the pressure from the bones felt…different. It was a ticklish, tingly feeling.

Sans took his time going up your back, taking special care that you felt as relaxed as possible. He got up to your bra strap and lightly brushed over it before you stopped him.

“It’s…it’s okay. You…you can unclasp it, if…if you know, you want.”

Sans’s fingers quivered and you thought you had pushed your luck and his good graces too far. However, before you could take it back, he was already fumbling with the clasp. It was definitely clear he’d never done this before, but that was endearing in its own way. After he got your bra unclasped, you slipped the straps off and pulled it out from under your shirt. You tossed it to the side.

“are they painful?” Sans asked. “there are all these marks that shows where it’s dug into your skin.”

“Nah, but it is nice to be able to take off,” you said. “Like heaving a big sigh of relief. Or like. When you’ve been standing all day and finally get to lay down.”

“hm.”

Sans’s warm hands made their way back up to your neck and shoulders. He gently massaged those areas a second time before pulling back.

You laid down on your back and beckoned for him to join you. Side by side, the two of you stared up at the cloth ceiling Sans made. You reached out towards him, knocking his pinky slightly with yours. He hooked his pinky with yours and put his other arm behind his head.

“Are you being extra nice because you feel bad for me?” you asked.

There was a long pause before Sans responded, “i'm bein nice because i like bein nice to you.”

“Aww, you’re sweet on me?” you teased.

“someone’s gotta keep your libido in check.”

You grabbed a pillow and hit him over the head. “Watch it. You can only tease me so much in one day.”

“heheheh, what’s the limit on that?”

You made a face and went to hit him again, but his free hand grabbed ahold of your wrist before you had the chance. His eyelights were bright and you noticed that his sockets crinkled like eyelids when he was smiling. It was…really cute. Your expression softened. Then you noticed a soft glow in the middle of his chest. You tilted your head.

“What’s that?”

Sans’s pupils lowered to follow your gaze. When they landed on the glowing spot in his chest he released your wrist and zipped up his hoodie. “just a side affect of using too much magic, sorry. guess i'm out of practice.”

“Aw, you don’t have to hide that,” you said. “It looked cool, kind of like a glowstick.”

“uh-huh.”

“It kind of reminds me about the time-”

“WHAT IS THIS?!”

“sup bro?” Sans called.

You heard Papyrus close the front door and take off his shoes. His head appeared in the entrance of blanket fort. “CUDDLING? WITHOUT THE GREAT PAPYRUS?! BLASPHEMOUS. PREPOSTEROUS. OTHER WORDS ENDING IN -OUS. YOU CAN’T HAVE A QUALITY CUDDLE WITHOUT THE WORLD’S MOST COMFORTABLE SKELETON.”

“you’re right paps. c’mon. join the cuddle puddle.”

Papyrus crawled into the spot on your other side and pulled you in to spoon. You leaned against him and smiled. “Thanks Paps.”

You moved your pinky just enough so you had leverage fully interlace your fingers with Sans’s. You squeezed his hand. “Thanks Sans.”

“heh, anything for you.”

Chapter Text

You hastily bubbled in your last answer before tossing your pencils into your bag and rushing to the front of the room. You handed your professor the last midterm you’d ever have to take. Your professor took your test and added it to the stack.

“Have a nice spring break,” he said.

“Thanks, you too!” you replied.

You walked out of the art building…and began jumping for joy. “YESSS!” you shouted up into the sky. It felt like a huge weight had been taken off your shoulder. Only a bit longer until you were done with school, thank goodness.

You practically skipped all the way back home because you were so happy. You thought about how you were going to spend your spring break. Hanging out with Sans for sure, Papyrus mentioned wanting to teach you how to cook his specialty pasta…maybe Alphys and Undyne would like to visit the beach? The first week of April was probably a little too cold for that though.

You were walking towards your unit when suddenly, Sans and Papyrus’s door burst open. You stumbled back a bit, surprised from the loud noise.

Papyrus stormed out, turning back to shout inside, “WELL WHEN YOU FINALLY FIGURE IT OUT, LET ME KNOW, UNLESS THAT’S TOO INCONVENIENT FOR YOU!!!!!!” He slammed the door with a force so strong, you were sure it was about to break off its hinges.

You couldn’t help yourself, you let your mouth fall open. You blinked several times in disbelief. What the hell happened?! Papyrus was wearing his work uniform and carrying a large bag. He fidgeted with the strap, angrily pulling at the tabs, face contorting into a tight scowl.

You don’t think you’ve ever seen Papyrus this upset before. You didn’t even know it was possible for him to scream at his brother and slam doors like that.

“Hey Paps, are you alright?” you asked as you approached him. You noticed tiny orange tears in the corners of his sockets.

“OH!” Papyrus jumped. He must not have noticed you were there. That was weird. He stopped fidgeting with his bag and forced a smile. “YES. I’M…I’M FINE. HOW WAS YOUR TEST?”

You looked at him incredibly skeptically.

“YOU HAVE CAUGHT ME. CURSE MY LOVELY, EMOTIONAL FACE. YOU WERE PROBABLY ABLE TO TELL RIGHT AWAY THAT I WAS MAYBE, POSSIBLY, A TEENSY TINY BIT UPSET. JUST A LITTLE. OR MORE THAN A LITTLE. WOWIE, IS IT GETTING HOT OUT HERE?” he babbled.

You gently placed your hand on his arm. “Do you have work or did you just get home?”

“I…WELL. I GOT BACK ABOUT AN HOUR AGO,” he said. He glanced at his bag. “THEN SOME EVENTS TRANSPIRED AND I THOUGHT, WHAT THE HECK, WHAT’S ANOTHER 24 HOURS OF OVERTIME. I AM BOUND TO GET SKELETON OF THE MONTH NOW.”

“Papyrus, you don’t have to go back to work. C’mon. I’ll make us some tea and we can hang out together.”

Papyrus glanced back at his apartment, but nodded and followed you into yours. He immediately picked up your cat to have a little buddy to hang out with as he sat on your couch. You brewed up some echo flower tea, kindness blend.

He looked pretty miserable, sitting on the couch all dejected. Whatever happened between him and Sans must’ve been really bad because it was hard to get Papyrus this sad looking. You picked up the two mugs of tea and set them down on your coffee table next to your “scientific” notebook.

Papyrus picked up his cup and took a long sip.

“SANS AND I, WE HAD A FIGHT,” he said.

“I figured that,” you said, kindly. “The way you slammed that door shut gave it away.”

“YES…I FIGURED IT WOULD’VE ALERTED THE WHOLE BUILDING THAT SANS IS A COMPLETE SPOON.”

“Creative, I like that,” you said. You placed your hand on Papyrus’s knee. “Would you like to tell me about it? We make pretty good progress when we have these little heart to heart moments.”

“HMM. YOU MAKE A GOOD POINT. UNFORTUNATELY, SANS IS STILL MY BROTHER AND THERE IS A PACT ONE MAKES AMONGST BROTHERS. EVEN IF YOU COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH THEM.”

Papyrus thought for a minute and then brightened. “BUT THERE IS NOTHING IN MY PACT THAT SAYS I CAN’T TALK ABOUT MY OTHER FRIEND WHO IS HAVING A DILEMMA I TRIED TO HELP WITH. I MEAN. MY HYPOTHETICAL FRIEND WITH A PROBLEM ABOUT…PASTA. YES. A HYPOTHETICAL PASTA PROBLEM MY HYPOTHETICAL FRIEND IS FACING. HYPOTHETICALLY.”

He nodded to himself, so you assumed that was technically getting around the rules just enough. You leaned against the couch cushion. “Alright Paps, tell me about this pasta problem.”

“SO MY FRIEND. HE…HAS LIVED HIS LIFE THINKING PASTA WAS JUST OKAY, YOU KNOW? LIKE IT WAS THERE, BUT NOT ENJOYABLE. HE WOULDN’T CHOOSE TO EAT IT, AND THAT’S FINE. MORE PASTA FOR EVERYONE ELSE, RIGHT?”

“Yeah, of course. Not everyone…likes pasta.”

“RIGHT. I CAN’T RELATE, BUT THAT’S OKAY. I SUPPORT AND LOVE HIM ANYWAY. HYPOTHETICAL LOVE.”

“Right. Of course. Completely hypothetically.”

“SO, LIKE, MY FRIEND HAS IGNORED ALL KINDS OF PASTAS IN HIS LIFE LIKE SPAGHETTI. AND FETTUCINE. AND FARFALLE. AND SO ON. BUT! ONE DAY HE TRIES OUT SOME ROTINI AND HE DOESN’T HATE IT? HE KIND OF LIKES IT, EVEN THOUGH HE’S NEVER BEEN A FAN OF PASTA.”

“Okay…?”

“SO I GET REALLY EXCITED BECAUSE I’VE ALWAYS LOVED ROTINI AND KNEW HE’D LIKE ROTINI IF HE WOULD GIVE IT A CHANCE. AND HE STARTS TO REALLY LIKE THE ROTINI AND WAS REALLY HAPPY AROUND THE ROTINI. BUT…HE DOESN’T WANT TO ADMIT HOW MUCH HE ENJOYS THE ROTINI.”

You were pretty sure that you were the rotini in this situation. “That hypothetically really sucks,” you said. And it was true. If Sans really liked being around you, you wished he would make that clearer.

“RIGHT?! SO I ASKED SA-UH SADLY. I ASKED SADLY WHY HE WASN’T TELLING THE ROTINI ALL HIS FEELINGS.”

You glanced at the notebook sitting on your coffee table. You wondered if that had anything to do with it. Because you thought you made it pretty clear where you stood in terms of feelings and would be more than happy to toss the notebooks in the garbage and start smooching that skeleton if that’s what he wanted too.

“Maybe he’s just…waiting for the right time to say something?”

Papyrus crossed his arms. “IT’S BECAUSE MY FRIEND IS A REAL WEENIE. HYPOTHETICALLY. A HYPOTHWEENIE. SO I GO TO HIM BECAUSE…UM…IT WAS GETTING HARDER FOR HIM TO CONTAIN HIS FEELINGS. ONCE I CAUGHT HIM WITH…PASTA SAUCE ON HIS CHEST. CLEARLY FROM THE ROTINI.”

Okay, you had been pretty in the loop for most of Papyrus’s metaphor, but he was starting to lose you with this pasta sauce bit.

“I THOUGHT MAYBE THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THERE WAS PASTA SAUCE INVOLVED. THAT REALLY…HEIGHTENS THE PASTA SITUATION. SO I GAVE HIM SOME TIME. AND HE DID NOTHING! HE SAID HE’S BEEN SPILLING PASTA SAUCE FOR NEARLY SIX WEEKS NOW AND DID NOTHING.”

Yes, the metaphor was definitely lost on you now. You tried to count back six weeks. That would be…the end of February. What had you and Sans done around then?

“I WAITED TO SEE HOW HE’D ACT ON HIS OWN, BUT FINALLY, I HAD TO TELL HIM. I HAD TO TELL HIM THAT HE ENJOYED PASTA AFTER ALL. AND HE KEPT SAYING HE ONLY LIKED ROTINI AND IT WASN’T A BIG DEAL. AND I HAD TO TELL HIM THAT ROTINI IS A PASTA AND IT WAS A HUGE DEAL AND HE SAID THAT IT WASN’T A CONVENIENT TIME RIGHT NOW, WHATEVER THAT MEANS.”

Six weeks was about the time you and Sans went to the concert.

“AND, WELL, OKAY I’LL SAY IT. I WAS PISSED OFF. WOWIE. THAT’S ONE FOR THE SWEAR JAR. I’M SO MAD RIGHT NOW. IT’S LIKE HE’S THROWING AWAY HIS ONLY CHANCE AT ENJOYING A NOODLY TREAT, BECAUSE IT’S NOT THE RIGHT TIME. OR WHATEVER.”

It was an interesting experience, though you didn’t feel that it compared to some of your more tender moments. Why would that day be so significant? Maybe that’s not what Papyrus was referencing, but you really couldn’t think of anything else that happened around then. Valentine’s Day maybe? That’s what started this whole mess, but that didn’t fit into the six week time frame.

“I DON’T KNOW WHY HE IS SO ADAMENT THAT HE DOESN’T LIKE PASTA WHEN IT’S STARING HIM RIGHT IN THE FACE.”

Now that you were thinking about it, he did seem kind of weird the night of the concert, especially when dropping you back off at home. Like he did that weird thing with the glowstick which seemed…random?

“AND I AM HIS BROTHER, I MEAN…HIS REALLY GOOD FRIEND. AND I KNOW HE IS EXTREMELY BAD WITH HIS INNER EMOTIONS. BUT I HAD TO TELL HIM THAT IF HE WAITS ANY LONGER, HIS ROTINI BOX IS GOING TO BECOME EMPTY AND HE’LL HAVE NO MORE ROTINI LEFT. SOMEONE ELSE WILL HAVE THE ROTINI ALL TO THEMSELVES INSTEAD.”

And…come to think of it, the soft glowing color was similar to when Sans was over just a few days ago in the pillow fort. He said it was because he overused his magic, but you’ve yet to see a monster do that. And if that was true that probably meant he overused his magic during the concert night, but…you couldn’t remember him using a ton of it.

“AND IT’S LIKE HE THINKS IF HE’S APATHETIC TO THE SITUATION EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE, BUT PEOPLE AND PASTAS ARE GETTING HURT AND I! AM! TIRED! I AM TIRED OF WATCHING HIM GO OUT OF HIS WAY TO SABOTAGE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS ROTINI. HE’S A GODDAMN MESS WHO WON’T LISTEN TO REASON AND THAT’S ANOTHER ONE FOR THE SWEAR JAR.”

“Papyrus.”

“S-SORRY. I GOT A LITTLE CARRIED AWAY.”

You didn’t know how to explain that you had only been half listening to his story for the last few minutes because you were still stuck on the ‘pasta sauce’ part. “Hey, does a monster glow when they’ve used to much magic?”

Papyrus gave you such a confused and quizzical look that you had your answer before he even said, “MONSTERS HAVE NO LASTING EFFECTS AFTER USING MAGIC. THEY MIGHT FEEL QUITE FATIGUED, BUT OTHER THAN A DELIGHTFUL SWEAT THERE IS NO OTHER CHANGE.”

Huh.

So Sans lied.

You supposed you weren’t so much angry as you were disappointed. You thought the whole point of this trial period (that was currently going nowhere) was to be open and honest the whole time.

Now you had to ask yourself: why would Sans lie?

And you supposed that the reason for that would be the truth behind this mysterious glowing. “Alright…so if it’s not because they overuse their magic…why do monsters glow?”

Papyrus opened his mouth, and then he closed it. He went back into a thinking pose for a few moments. “I CAN’T TELL YOU. BUT! HAVE YOU TAKEN A LOOK AT THAT DATING MANUAL I LOANED YOU?”

“I’ve been really busy so I guess I haven’t yet.”

“THAT’S OKAY!” Papyrus said with a grin. “NOW MAY BE A GOOD TIME TO BRUSH UP ON YOUR DATING TECHNIQUE AND LEARN SOMETHING NEW.”

Papyrus suddenly seemed suspiciously giddy. It made you feel uneasy, like you were going behind Sans’s back. “I’ll go grab it,” you said, getting up off the couch and walking to your room.

You quietly shut the door behind you and pulled out your phone. You scrolled through your contacts until you found Sans’s number and hit ‘Call.’ As the phone rang, you searched for the dating manual that was hidden in your bookshelf.

“hey, is paps ok?” Sans answered.

“Papyrus is really mad at you,” you said.

“oh…that’s fair,” Sans said. You could hear a twinge of sadness in his voice, so you felt a tiny bit guilty. But only a tiny bit.

“And, quite frankly, so am I,” you continued. “I know that when monsters glow it’s not because they’ve used a lot of magic.” You found the book and took it from the shelf. You placed it on your desk and opened up to the index.

“…did…did paps tell you-”

His voice sounded so small.

“No, I figured it out on my own,” you said. “I’m going to find out what it really means one way or the other and I’d much rather hear it from you and not some book or some bullshit lie you made up to…to…to I don’t know! To throw me off. Or keep me from figuring something out. Why would you lie to me?” you said, voice cracking at the end.

Sans made a noncommittal noise. “i…i thought it was easier than the truth,” he said quietly. “this is more of a face to face conversation.”

“Then come over,” you said. “I’m in my room.”

Click.

Moments later, Sans landed on your bed with a soft poff! He looked exhausted, like he hadn’t slept for a few days. You left your desk to sit on your bed next to him.

“Well?”

He closed his eyes. “this isn’t how i pictured having this conversation.”

“I wasn’t able to picture this conversation at all,” you said. “Seriously, why? I thought…I don’t know. I thought we were past that. I thought we were close. I thought you were the one who wanted to do an experiment but that’s gone no where and I just…” you broke off. “It just seems weird that you wouldn’t tell me.”

“…i lied because i was embarrassed.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Sans shifted positions, rolling over so he could look at you. You saw several blue splotches start to form on his neck and face. “when a monster soul glows it…it means…” he shifted again and then got off the bed. He walked to your desk and grabbed the book. He thumbed through a few pages before he found the right one and handed it to you.

What’s That Feeling in My Soul?

Many monsters are able to make soul connections with each other. You and your datemate may wish to call this new connection a kinship, partnership, or even a soulmate link. No matter what term you are comfortable with, this is a natural part of your life!

When your soul starts to glow around someone you’ve been dating a long time, this isn’t a reason to panic. It simply means that your soul has officially established a compatible connection and wants to bond with another.

At first, you may find that it’s difficult to control the glow the soul emits. After all, in order to experience such a phenomenon, you must be experiencing dozens of emotions or an overwhelming happiness. It’s a strong, pure feeling that may feel as though it came out of nowhere. You may start to consider your datemate as your lifetime partner, your bond pair. Any moment in time that conjures these thoughts are usually very happy and sometimes that makes it hard to think straight.

Over time, you can learn to suppress the glow until you start to bond with your significant other. But we don’t believe in shying away from it at all! You should proudly show off that glow. For more information on which step this is, please refer to our Quick Date Start Guide from Chapter 1.

Before you could even start to process this, Sans tossed you a messy notebook, opened up to an older entry.

i can’t believe i just did that. i cannot believe myself. i am disgusting and unworthy of anything. if she ever found out she would hate me-

Your heart started to break. The entry went on, but you couldn’t read what he wrote about himself. “I can’t…I can’t read this,” you whispered. “I can’t read this self-hate. It’s not right.”

You turned the pages and Sans didn’t even try to stop you. There were a couple scribblings of some jokes in here as well as some doodles. There were also little notes of your favorite things listed in the margins.

You flipped through the pages to find the most recent entry, which was from a few days ago.

squish but at this point not really

it happened again today. i’m pretty sure paps saw it and i don’t think i can hide it that much longer. she’s gonna find out what it means and i need a better way to show it than this journal. there have been too many close calls as it is. i just…

it was my own fault. i gave her my clothes and things went farther than i planned. i loved getting the chance to finally touch her this way though. guess i should grow a spine (ha) and ask more often. i didn’t want her to leave. she just had such a bad day. i was glad i could make it better.

i can’t keep doing this. lying to her feels wrong. but humans get so weird about this stuff and i've already messed up with her so many times before now. i just want to do this one thing right.

There was a lot of scribbled out writing that followed, but if you squinted you could barely make out the final sentence.

i just wanna kiss her so bad.

“this isn’t how i planned it,” Sans said, “but i…i just-”

He looked apprehensive for a moment and then gently cupped your face with his hands before touching his nasal bone to your nose and lightly nuzzling you. Every moment you’d had together seemed to rush to your memory all at once, feeling like a dose of concentrated love, resonating from the point your faces made contact all the way out through your body. Several bursts of a tickling warmth peppered your neck and back. Your toes began to curl and your arms wrapped themselves around Sans, pulling him in closer so you could get more of this blast of happiness and adoration. You felt like your whole being was safe and warm and whole.

Is this what kissing a skeleton is supposed to feel like?

All too soon the kiss ended, leaving you breathing heavily and staring at Sans with a wide-eyed expression.

“when a monster glows it means i love you.”

Chapter Text

“when a monster glows it means i love you.”

You stared at him, mouth agape. This had to be some sort of dream, right? You had to be imagining things. Sans was telling you point-blank that he loved you? No. No. You were definitely dreaming, and that meant you had to snap yourself out of it.

You promptly slapped yourself in the face.

“…uh, buddy?”

Deep inhale.

“What?!?! You mean to tell me that this glowy thingy is like a soul boner?” you gasped. “A heart on.”

“an affection erection.” Finger guns.

“No! No puns! No finger guns! What the hell man?! Yesterday, we were buddy chum pal friends with some romantic maybe undertones and working through some shit but NOW you’re saying you love me just like that? I mean, I’m sorry, do I sound ungrateful? Oh God, this is the worst acceptance of a love confession ever I’m still screaming in your face and rambling and OH MY GOD I’m just realizing back at the concert is when you figured this out. Why?! That’s how you’re going to remember realizing you have a crush on me?! I looked so awful. I smelled so awful. Why then?! That wasn’t super special, I don’t get it. And OH MY GOD AGAIN I’m realizing I called this thing a heart on, like a hard on. Was there more to this pasta sauce metaphor?!?!?! I just assumed he was talking about the glowing but was there more and why didn’t you tell me?! I’ve been here, waiting, for months, and you knew exactly where I stood on us. Again, not ungrateful but Sans. Sans. I’m so confused man,” you paused to take another breath.

And then fainted.

--

When you woke up again, you were lying in bed with a damp towel on your forehead. Something about this exchange seemed familiar.

You groaned. What kind of idiot faints during a love confession? What was he thinking about you now? You smacked yourself in the face again, silently berating yourself for your reaction. Stupid, I’m fucking stupid.

You sat up and looked around your room. Everything seemed to be in order, although now your cat was curled up at the foot of your bed instead of in the living room with Papyrus. You got up and walked out of your room, poking your head out the doorway to see if Sans was around. Did he just leave? Not that much time had passed, so you hoped he was still lurking around.

Your stomach flipped and you froze.

It finally hit you.

He said he loved you.

You couldn’t stop the smile forming on your face even if you wanted to. You pressed your forehead against the wall and let out a happy squeak. Butterflies were in your stomach and your cheeks were getting rosy. Your heartbeat started pounding.

He said he loved you.

You couldn’t believe it. You thought today was never going to happen. You walked down your hallway and into your living room and saw Sans snoozing on the couch. You stopped and smiled. He had taken your blankets and made a little couch nest for himself. You briefly wondered what he ended up telling Papyrus.

…He said he loved you.

Thump-Thump

That felt really good.

You sat down on the edge of the couch. How did you not pick up on the signals he was leaving you? He was leaving signs, right? You thought back through these last couple of weeks. They were an admittedly weird few weeks. The two of you had to continue pretending to date each other, which was a constantly awkward ordeal and reminder of unrequited feelings (which were maybe possibly not so unrequited?). The more you thought about it, the more signs you thought you missed – a lingering hand here, a flirty text there. There were so many things that you maybe misinterpreted.

You looked at Sans, wondering how much you were overthinking things and how much of it was actually him having feelings.

You grabbed a pillow and hugged it close to you. Maybe the biggest hint you missed was him actually agreeing to a date.

You grocery shopped together now. Or rather, you looked for the cheapest price and good deals on things and neglected to buy a whole lot of good food (that good old college budget was really kicking you in the butt after paying spring tuition). Sans had realized a long time ago that you didn’t buy enough food to keep yourself healthy or that you enjoyed, and whether you liked it or not he would throw that extra package of chicken or the pint of ice cream you were eyeing into his own basket.

“Hey Saaaaaans…” you said, dropping some Ramen packages into your cart.

“that’s the name,” he said, not looking away from the shelf.

“We’re…friends…right?” you asked, shifting on your feet.

“huh…i donut know,” he joked, tossing in a package of donuts. “not to step on your dori-toes, but i guess i should come clean. i just keep you around for comedic relief. like a dancing circus monkey.”

You shook your head, but smiled. “Sans.”

“would a friend cart you around to the store every week just to pun at you?”

“Yes.”

“huh. i should charge you twice as much a week for making me come with you and buy you food.”

You scoffed. “You don’t charge me anything.”

“twice of nothin’ is still nothin’ pal.”

You rolled your eyes at him. “And you don’t have to buy my groceries you know. I mean, it’s nice and all but-”

“ ‘girlfriend’ privileges. don’t worry about it.”

You paused. “I…am so glad you mentioned that fun girlfriend thing because that segues nicely into this awkward favor I really need.”

Sans looked at you, amused acceptance in his eyes. “oh. an awkward situation. never encountered one of those with you before.”

You decided to ignore him and rambled on, “I may have accidentally, possibly, maybe agreed to a double date with a friend from school. She’s dating this guy and the two of them wanted to go on a double date, so she asked if we could come and I was going to say no but then instead I found myself just agreeing anyway and now I’m socially obligated to follow through because it’s too awkward to take it back. Soooooooooo…?”

Sans didn’t respond right away, he was still grabbing things from the shelves. Finally he turned to you and held something up, “hey, is this a raisin?”

“Huh? Oh, no, it’s not. It’s a date…wait. Sans!”

Wink.

At the time, Sans seemed really nonchalant about the whole ordeal but…maybe he was anticipating it. Even before he knew about the date, he used the term girlfriend with you. Even as a joke it just…seemed like it could’ve been real.

Like how it can be real now.

You couldn’t stop the smile forming on your face. Your cheeks were starting to hurt after all this smiling.

He said he loved you.

It was really weird how things felt totally different, yet they also felt exactly the same. You looked at Sans, who was still curled up and asleep. He was pretty cute like this. That was a weird thought to have. Or maybe not. He just looked so small all wrapped up like a burrito.

You inched a little closer to him, hugging the pillow a little tighter.

One time, you caught Sans looking at you while you were asleep. It was another one of those movie nights with the gang, this time at Alphys’s and Undyne’s house. You were probably watching anime until past midnight, but you still weren’t tired.

“I MUST TAKE MY LEAVE,” Papyrus said. “I HAVE AN INTENSIVE NIGHTTIME SKIN CARE ROUTINE THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER LEST I WANT DRY AND SCALY CHEEKBONES. SANS. I TRUST YOU WILL GET OUR FRIEND HOME SAFELY.

“yup.”

Another episode later and Alphys and Undyne were also ready to call it a night. “J-just t-turn the tv off b-before you leave,” Alphys said before the two of them went to bed.

You and Sans must’ve gotten through another hour’s worth of episodes before your eyes finally felt heavy. You tried to fight the feeling, but you eventually fell asleep on the couch. You weren’t sure how long you were asleep for, but when you woke up it was still dark outside. You wondered if Sans had left you there because he didn’t want to disturb you but…

When you shifted ever so slightly, you realized that you were laying across his lap.

You also started to take in your surroundings – the television was on, but the only thing playing was the home screen for the current DVD that was in the player. You thought Sans fell asleep, but you could feel his bony hand twirling a piece of your hair idly. You dared to take a peek at him.

Sans’s eyelights were looking down on you. When you made eye contact, he retracted his hand, looking startled. “uh, sorry about that, i-”

In that moment, you felt too awkward for him and for yourself that you let out a long snore, with your eyes open, and then rolled over as much as you could.

…It totally worked.

Sans finally stirred. You quickly looked away from the blanket mound and pretended like you weren’t just creepily staring at him. “hey.”

“Hey.”

“so uh. you’re awake.”

“So are you.”

There was a long pause. You weren’t really sure where to go from here. You took a couple deep breaths. From the corner of your eye, you could see Sans was waiting for you to say what you needed.

“I, um…sorry for fainting.”

“it’s cool. can’t blame you for falling for me.”

Thump-Thump

“Big words coming from someone who kept his feelings a secret for how long exactly?”

Sans looked away. “yeah, i know. it’s just, i dunno. i always figured ya move on or realize i’m not worth your time. it’s easier to be a friend than a…” he trailed off.

“A boyfriend?”

“yeah, that.”

You played with the edge of a cushion. “Did you think I was going to reject you? I mean…my feelings haven’t changed, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“kinda,” he sat up, blankets sliding off his shoulders and pooling on the couch. “i’ve never,” he paused and put one of his hands on his sternum. “i’ve never felt like this before you. so i chickened out.”

You let that sit with you for a minute. It wasn’t really a secret that he hasn’t really been with anyone before you. You thought back to his list, his journal entries, everything that he’s said. You knew that he must’ve been feeling really confused and unsure of himself. You tried to remember the first time you had a huge crush…but you supposed it really couldn’t compare to this. Not really.

He’s never really loved anyone like this.

But he loved you.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this, you know,” you said.

“and now i have to forever live with the fact that you responded to this supposed long awaited love confession by slapping yourself in the face and then fainting.”

“I still have to live with the fact that just a few months ago, you thought I was giving you a platonic love confession. No one does friend confessions.”

“touche.”

Silence.

You reached out and grabbed his hand, interlacing your fingers with his. “Now what?”

“i dunno. you tell me.”

You glanced at him. Sans’s eyes were looking at the carpet. He was trying to hide his face in the hand that wasn’t holding yours. The decision was yours to make, it seemed. Sans really had no idea what to do, did he?

You scooched a little closer so that your hips were touching his. “You could start by looking at me.”

Sans turned his skull ever so slightly and you took your opportunity to press a small kiss on his cheek.

“cheeky.”

“I try.”

“He, is like, so not your type!”

“O-M-G! Bratty! He, like, so was!”

“Like! Ew! Girl, he was a dog!”

You handed Bratty and Catty their cups. They grabbed them and took a seat nearby just as Sans and Papyrus walked in.

“mornin,” Sans said as he slumped against the counter.

Papyrus put his hands on his hips. “SANS! POSTURE! A SKELETON CANNOT BE CAUGHT DEAD WITH BAD POSTURE.”

“heh. nice. sure bro, i'll put my backbone into it,” Sans said as he slid down and laid on the floor.

You started preparing their drinks when you noticed that Catty and Bratty had stopped talking in the middle of their gossip session. You eyed them warily. They were staring at you and Sans with expectant, toothy grins on their faces.

“So like,” Bratty started.

“Are you gonna smooch and stuff?” Catty finished.

It wasn’t like you guys…never kissed in public anymore. But you did your best to keep it on the down low to avoid being awkward. Especially in situations like this, where you didn’t really expect to have people asking for a kiss.

“Um.”

“um.”

“UM.”

“y’know…i…uh,” Sans stood up to awkwardly lean on the counter. “lemme give ya some sugar.”

“Ooooh! Oh my god!”

You raised an eyebrow. “Sans, what?”

“just close your eyes real quick. trust me.”

You obliged, despite the loud snickering from Bratty and Catty. Even though nothing was happening, you could feel yourself turning red. Then, you felt something swipe your bottom lip. You instinctively ran your tongue over it. Sweet?

You opened your eyes. Sans was retracting one of his hands. In the other was the sugar canister from the coffee bar.

“heh, what? said i’d give you some sugar,” he said before leaning over to give you the fastest kiss he could before stepping away with a little shrug.

It took you a minute to fully process what he’d said and done. You scrunched up your face in disbelief and embarrassment. “Stop embarrassing me at my workplace!” you screeched.

Bratty and Catty were cackling, and you were pretty sure they got a photo or two from the whole ordeal. But they didn’t ask you about smooches for at least another two weeks after that.

“Is this real?” you asked, still not believing you were really awake.

Sans gently pinched your arm. “huh, seems pretty real to me. real skin. real muscle. real fat.”

“Sans.”

He lifted your hand to his mouth and hesitantly touched it. Bursts of tingling energy popped where the connection was made.

“…mwah?”

Snrk.

“Are we going to be using the sound effects for real now?” you asked, giggling. “I didn’t think that was your thing.”

“how else are you s’posed to know it’s a kiss?”

“I can tell that’s a kiss!”

He smiled. “you sure? because…i wouldn’t mind if you wanted to check again.”

Having the request be so indirectly direct threw you, but you could tell Sans was asking for you to kiss him. He looked pretty nervous, staring forward and not really at you. A lingering memory from months ago suddenly came into your head. Those months seemed like years ago now.

You leaned in and placed your arms around his neck, letting your forehead press against his.

“Careful,” you whispered. “I might start thinking you’re coming onto me.”

You kissed him the way you knew how, softly pressing your lips on his mouth. It was not an unfamiliar feeling to press your lips to his teeth, but it was certainly more enjoyable. Each spot you kissed you felt a small pressure in return. Not quite the same as kissing a human, but this new feeling sent a jolt of electricity through your body. You felt happy and safe with Sans, the way that you’ve always felt around Sans, if you were being honest. Your tiny kisses got that happy and content feeling in return and you figured that, just short of actually creating his lips, this was how Sans could reciprocate this kind of kiss.

You pulled away with a smile. Sans’s eye sockets opened and he grinned back.

“am i still the worst kiss of your life?” he asked cheekily.

You laughed at the memory. Did you really say that? You lightly punched his arm. “Stop. You know I didn’t mean it like that.”

“no, no, you definitely did. stole a kiss and then insulted me without even thinking about it. and look who’s laughing now.”

“It’s not my fault you were such a terrible kisser.”

“heh,” Sans scratched the back of his neck. “it’s a bit different with the intent and all. that’s how it works, by the way. we both have to want it.”

Huh.

Interesting.

“Well, in any case, do you get why people like it now?”

His grin widened.

“i dunno. might need another to be sure.”

Oh?

He cradled your face in his hands before leaning in to nuzzle you. Unlike his first one, this nuzzle didn’t have the same kind of bursting energy. It was calmer and more soothing, like the feeling of coziness from candles or something baking in the oven. This calm feeling washed over your body, causing goosebumps to rise and your hairs to stand. A pleasant shiver went down your spine.

He pulled away again, goofy grin apparent on his face.

“You sure now?” you asked teasingly.

“hey, a real scientist needs multiple tests in order to draw a conclusion. i just really wanna test out my hypothe-kiss.”

You pressed your lips on his nasal bone. “Mhmm.”

“what can i say babe, i'm truly a man of science.”

“Babe, hmm?”

The nickname felt good. Felt right, coming from him.

“oh, i forgot. you prefer going by hot mama huh?”

You grabbed a pillow and lightly hit him with it. “NO and shut up!”

“heheheh, make me.”

The small droplets of sweat on his forehead betrayed Sans’s confident words. For a moment, you were frozen in your spot, not letting yourself move. For a moment, the only sound you could hear was your heavy breathing. And then, you lunged forward, pinning Sans to the couch with you on top of him.

For just a second, his eye lights went out and you made a mental note to ask about how that worked at a later time. For now, seeing him under you, really smiling…that was enough.

You leaned in and pressed your forehead against his and slowly nuzzled. It felt like a big hug to your soul. Sans wrapped his arms around you to pull you closer. It felt like all those songs about sparks flying and the room spinning and fireworks were all finally coming together into a single moment. This moment.

When you pulled back, Sans was glowing.

“Hey Sans.”

“…yeah?”

“I really like you.”

“aw shucks, pal. don’t get all mushy on me.”

“…Your heart on is showing.”

“ok, ok. ditto.”

“Sans!”

“ok, ok. double ditto.”

“Saaaans!”

He looked at you, bravado gone from his eyes. “i really like you too. can i interest you in upgrading from the fake dating to the real dating package?”

You snorted. “What’s the catch?”

“it’ll cost you 10,000g and your heart.”

You gently took his hand in yours and squeezed it tightly in yours.

“Yes.”

Chapter Text

You smoothed your hair out for what felt like the hundredth time tonight. Did you look okay? Do you smell okay? You must’ve changed your outfit five times before settling on this one. It’s been awhile since you’ve wanted to doll yourself up for a proper date.

You looked in the mirror and sighed.

It’s just Sans you reminded yourself. And Sans isn’t going to care about what you look like.

You sighed again. You knew that outward appearances had no affect on Sans. That isn’t what matters to him. You know this. But you still didn’t feel right when you looked in the mirror. Tonight was your first date. A real date. You wanted to impress him and look good, even though he’s seen you in sweatpants with tangled hair. He’s seen you drunk out of your mind, covered in spaghetti, bathing in milk, marked with slurs. He’s, without a doubt, seen you at your worst.

So you really, really wanted him to finally start seeing you at your best.

snas: 8:01pm
knock knock

You took a deep breath.

Thump-Thump

xxx-xxxx: 8:01pm
Who’s there?

snas: 8:01pm
aretha

xxx-xxxx: 8:02pm
Aretha who?

snas: 8:02pm
aretha flowers for you?

You opened the door, and Sans pushed a small bouquet into your hands. You chuckled softly, “Is this supposed to be a do-over of our first fake date?”

“that was a friendly hangout. i didn’t wanna…uh…press our tulips together.”

You snorted. “I think I did that anyway,” you said, feeling warm and mentally reminding yourself no passionettes. “Let me go and grab a vase for these.”

You hurried to go grab a vase. You put the flowers in delicately and you saw a small card tucked into the arrangement. You plucked it out.

i’m not pollen your leg when i say lilac any knowledge about flowers…

You turned the card over.

but sending you some has been on my bouquet list for a while.

You smiled and turned the card again to find the text has changed.

after our date i hope you’ll say i rose to the occasion.

You placed the card next to the vase. It’d be a nice memento from tonight. You walked back into the living room. Sans was awkwardly standing there, hands in his pockets. You finally realized that he while he was wearing his trademark galaxy jacket, he also had a nice dress shirt and dark jeans. You…were a little surprised, honestly. You didn’t think he would dress up.

“uh…peony for your thoughts?”

“Sorry!” you said. “It’s just…um…sorry, you just look really nice.”

Sans awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck. “heh, paps said that nice clothes were important and i remembered you liked when i wore jeans so...”

You were touched that Sans took your opinion into consideration. You grabbed your purse and pet your cat’s ears. You smiled at Sans and he looked at the floor, smiling nervously.

“so, uh, i dunno too many other places around here-” Sans started to say.

“Grillby’s will be great,” you interjected. “Don’t worry so much Sans. It’s just me. We could sit at home and do nothing on our first date and I’m sure it’d still turn out wonderful…because, well, because it’d be with you.”

You hoped you hadn’t laid it on too thick, but Sans was blushing and had turned his head. “right. let’s go.”

Grillby’s was close by and it was a nice night, so the two of you opted to walk to the bar instead of drive. You had your hands in your pockets and you kept your eyes firmly on the ground. For several minutes, neither you nor Sans said anything. Every time you glanced at him, he was looking in the complete opposite direction, lost in his own thoughts.

You felt hyper-aware of everything surrounding you. Your palms were getting sweaty. Your mouth felt like cotton. Every gust of wind made you prickle. The cars going by sounded louder than usual. Each step caused your feet to feel heavier and heavier.

And you and Sans weren’t saying anything.

Come on, you thought to yourself. It’s just Sans. You’ve done this walk a hundred times before. This can be like any other night.

“It’s a nice night. The stars are really pretty,” you commented.

“hey, why did the star get arrested?”

“Ha, why?”

“cuz it was a shooting star.”

Ba dum, tss

“Ooh, ooh! Another!”

“what would you give a star that loses in a contest?”

“What?”

“a constellation prize!”

Ba dum, tss

“why doesn’t the annoying dog star laugh at my jokes?”

“Why?”

“it’s too sirius!”

You smiled, feeling a little bit calmer. Sans was very endearing, especially like this, glancing up at the sky and smiling too.

“hey, are you a thief?”

“Haha, no, why?”

“cuz someone stole the stars to put into your eyes.”

Thump thump

Heat rushed to your cheeks, and you averted your eyes. You nervously played with a lock of hair and choked out a giggle. “I didn’t realize we were doing pick up lines now,” you said. You laughed again, covering your mouth and hopefully your embarrassment. “Caught me off guard.”

“i can stop, if you don’t like it,” Sans said.

“No!” you exclaimed, “Don’t ever stop.”

“ok,” he said. “your hand looks heavy. want me to hold it?” He held his hand out towards you as an invitation.

You could feel your heart pounding in your chest. You reached out to take his hand in yours, lacing your fingers together. You’ve held hands before, but this felt completely different. You squeezed tightly, unable to come up with the right words to say. It was still unreal, like you were still in a weird, alternate reality. You glanced over at Sans.

“…You’re glowing again, you goof.”

“oh, shaddup,” he said, using his free hand to completely zip up his jacket.

“What’d you say it was? An excess of magic? A glowstick in your ribcage?” you teased, squeezing his hand again.

“yeah, yeah, you yuck it up – your soul’s practically vibrating out of your skin right now.”

Thump thump

“yeah, that.”

You paused. “You can feel that? I thought that was just my heart like, skipping a beat or something. How long have you been able to feel that?”

“i dunno, always?”

“Always?!” you balked. “Did you know what it meant?”

“nope. kinda used to think you were afraid of me though.”

You couldn’t imagine ever being scared of Sans. Even when you first met, he never struck you as a particularly frightening dude. You looked him over. You supposed he could be scary if he wasn’t wearing a puffy jacket and sneakers, but still…it was hard to picture. “I’ve never been scared of you,” you said. “You were always too nice.”

“heh, well shucks.”

“I’d really like to know more about souls,” you said.

“ok,” Sans said offhandedly.

“…Could you tell me a little bit more about, you know, souls?”

Sans’s hand tightened around yours. “ok.”

……

Silence.

Will you tell me a little bit more about souls?”

“ah, look, we’re here.”

“Convenient.”

Sans shrugged, but held the door open for you and you regretfully had to let go of his hand. You walked into the inviting bar, nodding at a few monsters seated by the door. They raised a glass at you and smiled.

Sans joined you and threw his arm over your shoulder.

“Welcome back!”

“Good to see you both!”

“Come in, come in. Get out of the cold. Grab a seat!”

The two of you walked past several tables and booths filled with monsters. Most of them you recognized as regulars, though there were a few unfamiliar humans in the mix. Kind of nice, feeling welcomed like this. A few of them even greeted you by name and asked how school was going.

“Aww, Sansy, look at you!”

“eh, i'm not much to look at berenice,” Sans said.

The bunny smiled. “Aww, no need to be shy just because you’re nestling. We’re happy for you.”

“Nestling?” you asked.

Sans pulled you in a little closer. “c’mon pal, stop embarrassing me in front of my girl.”

Berenice smiled at you coyly, “Awww, you haven’t told her about nestling, have you? You’re too cute. What it must be like to be young and in love.” She downed the rest of her pint before getting up to wobble away, “See you around, Sansy. Don’t be so shy.”

Your girl, Sansy?”

“i-if you’d like.”

You mustered up some courage and planted a soft kiss on his temple. The bar was filled with hooping and hollering when they saw your kiss. Sans just smiled and shrugged his shoulders like it was nothing, although you could tell he was sweating bullets. The two of you sat down on a couple of barstools.

Grillby merely nodded at your presence and went off to make food, knowing exactly what the two of you were going to order.

“…so, you do wanna do this right?”

“Is that your lame way of asking me out?” you asked. “Why are you so nervous all of a sudden? We were making out on my couch barely 24 hours ago.”

Sans drummed his fingers on the bar.

“What’s nestling mean?”

He flinched. “it’s just the period of time where souls start to settle. they glow, to show attraction, and over time they start to settle down, or nestle. the soul realizes it has another to resonate with and it…has its match. it just realizes that it doesn’t have to show itself. it’s why you don’t see alphys and undyne walking around constantly sparkling.”

“Huh. Does it feel different? Like…is your soul changed at all?”

Sans was silent for a moment before he asked, “how sappy do you want me to get on a first date?”

“100% sappy. So sappy that pine trees get jealous. I want a one way ticket to sap city so I can hear all about your sappiness.” Okay, you were definitely starting to sound overeager, but you couldn’t help yourself. You were all too curious about what Sans could possibly say to you right now.

“i feel…protected. like i know you’re looking out for me. i'm happy of course, but in a way that’s just filled with content and peace. because there’s no need to worry if i've got you. i feel so tender and warm and affectionate, which…y’know i’ve never been a touchy-feely type of skeleton,” he paused to lace his fingers with yours. “it’s like if i fall, someone’ll be there to get me. or if i'm lost, someone can find me. or when i reach out, someone’s already holding my hand. and-hey, don’t gimme that look.”

“I didn’t realize you were such a romantic,” you said. “Are you sure you’re the same Sans the Skeleton who greets everyone he meets with a whoopee cushion and guzzles ketchup on the regular?”

“i thought those were quirks you could just…overcomb,” he said, whipping out a pocket comb and running it over his skull.

“You do not just have one of those!” you said. “What, do you carry that around with you waiting for an opportunity?”

He shrugged.

Grillby returned and placed two plates of burgers and fries in front of you and Sans. He also brought over two pink, bubbly drinks that you definitely recognized. Before you could refuse the drink, he nodded at you and rasped, “I made it much weaker, not to worry. Tonight just seemed…special, so I thought I’d make one to celebrate the occasion.”

He looked at Sans, flames flickering…meaningfully? Sans kicked his feet a little. “aw, c’mon grillbs. first the drunk bunny and now you? it’s not that obvious pal.”

Hmmmm…

Grillby shrugged and walked away to serve some other customers, but you did see the ghost of a smile. You turned to Sans, who was staring at his plate. You picked up your drink and held it up to him, “Cheers?”

“to a good date i hope?” Sans asked, holding up his glass and clinking it with yours.

“Of course,” you said, taking a tentative sip.

Ahh, well this was better. You instantly relaxed, vision getting a tad rosy. You looked at Sans, who grinned at you.

Thump. Thump.

“how ya feeling, bud?”

“Drink must still be pretty strong because I still want to jump your bones.”

You swore Sans’s eye lights shrank to the size of pinpricks. You started laughing uproariously before taking another sip.

“I’m just kidding,” you said. “I guess I am a little flirtier though.”

Sans took a sip of his own drink, and you couldn’t help but notice the tiny bit of white glow you saw slowly turn a soft pink. You smiled to yourself, not wanting to embarrass him anymore. The two of you ate your burgers, enjoying the music. Nerves now subdued, it felt just like any other night the two of you spent together, except that your touches lingered and you caught each other staring just a bit more often.

Grillby had given you enough liquor throughout the night that you were definitely slightly tipsy. You felt more giggly than usual, anyway. He placed a new shot in front of you, looking pretty pleased with himself. It looked a bit like transparent orange juice and was literally called “Liquid Courage” so…it’d probably be fine, right?

You downed the shot in one go. The faint pinks in your vision melted into a soft orange instead. You felt invigorated, like you could go and do anything.

Suddenly, a song you recognized came on over the jukebox and you felt the need to start dancing. You hopped out of your seat. “I like this song!” you said, moving towards the open space in the bar, clumsily dancing along to the beat.

Sans watched you, clearly amused.

“Sans, aren’t you going to go dance with your girl?”

“dunno, she seems to be getting pretty chummy with that bar stool over there.”

You stuck your tongue out at him, “Come on!” you stumbled back to your seats and snagged him by the jacket collar.

He swallowed his liquid courage (and, let’s be real – probably also his pride) and obliged. You couldn’t help but notice the tiny little hearts he had for pupils. You wondered if yours looked like that too.

The two of you danced, and you knew how awkward you were being. You didn’t really care though, but you weren’t entirely sure if that was the effect of the shot or just being with Sans. You sang along with the music as you tried to lead in a weird, shuffling sort of dance. Sans followed without complaint.

“You still having fun?”

“sure, so long as you don’t mind me having two left feet.”

You wanted to kiss him so badly.

So, you did.

You gently pulled him by the strings of his jacket and planted your lips on his teeth. He backed away slightly, but before you could start panicking over whether or not it was too much, you felt another pair of soft lips touching yours. You instantly thought back to New Year’s when he made those blue wispy lips on his face. Was that…was this…?

You pulled away and saw…nothing. You poked at the spot his lips would be if he had any and felt a resistance. “WHAAAAT? How?”

“my lips are sealed.”

You touched the spot again and they were gone. You were going to have to ask about that later, but the song was picking up and you were eyeing a nearby, empty table. You couldn’t explain it, but you had the urge to get up and dance on it.

With nothing stopping you, you moved on over, dancing the whole way, and climbed up onto the tabletop. The other patrons of the bar were cheering you on, drinking to you. You continued to clumsily dance to the song on the jukebox, loudly singing along with the lyrics. You made eye contact with Sans, who was watching you with a strained expression on his face.

“alright buddy, you’ve had enough, time to come down,” he said. “we can table our conversation for later.”

“I’m not that drunk!” you said, having too much fun to want to come back down.

He laughed at you. “heheheh, sure you’re not. c’mon,” he offered his hand, and holding hands seemed like a lot more fun than this.

You took it and hopped down from off the table. Sans held you up and took you back to the open area. The two of you danced for a bit, mostly swaying and keeping you from completely falling flat on your face. You tried to spin, but tripped over your own two feet and into Sans’s arms.

Your fall surprised him and he lost a bit of grip; you slipped through his arms and onto your knees. You started laughing at yourself, “Help me up,” you giggled, tugging on his sleeves.

Sans snickered. “feeling knee-dy down there?”

“Is it happening?!” someone loudly whispered. “Isn’t that how humans do it?!”

“I told you he was nestling,” someone else murmured.

“She must be too…”

“On one knee, just like the movies. So romantic!”

Then, just for a moment, Grillby’s was totally silent. Every eye was on you and not because of your dancing. You glanced around, some people had the decency to look away once spotted, but there were some who were just staring in disbelief.

Oh…you were now down on your knee. In what you supposed was your regular date spot. Lots of smiles being thrown your way…they…they totally thought you were proposing right now! You let your mouth drop in surprise. Surely they would know how early this was.

God, this was awkward.

And you, of course, did exactly what you did in all your awkward situations.

You snagged an onion ring from the table behind you. “Yes. This is totally how I planned it. Sans-whatever-your-last-name-is, please accept my onion ring of affection. I’ll change your life for the batter.”

You dug yourself into an increasingly unnecessary hole.

A cocktail of emotions was mixing with the actual cocktail effects currently swarming your brain as you waited for Sans’s response. He would…realize you were joking right? Surely he must realize that you’re just kidding.

snrk, ok.”

Before you could say anything, Sans slipped the onion ring on over his wrist, holding back a snicker. “looks like, snrk…our love will go onion on.”

And then Sans was doubled over, wheezing from laughter. You couldn’t tell if it was his own joke, your drunk proposal, or the whole situation, but his laughter was infectious and soon you were laughing with him. The moment you stopped, the two of you looked at the onion ring and were giggling all over again.

“Our reception is going to be so a-peel-ing,” you said through giggles.

“yeah, only because this relationship has so many layers,” Sans wheezed out.

No one else understood why the two of you were laughing like a couple of drunk idiots, but you felt so happy. For a moment, when you made eye contact with Sans, you almost felt like joke could’ve been real. That just made you laugh even harder.

Eventually, after composing yourselves, you decided to leave. You did your best to ignore all the repeated “Congratulations!” being thrown around by the other patrons. Hopefully this would just be a one night thing and not get blown out of proportion. Sans put his arm around you again as the two of you walked out.

It felt right.

The two of you walked quietly for a moment before you got the courage to ask, “Why me?”

“hm?”

“I mean…I guess, why do you have a crush on me?”

“you’ve reached your allotment of sappy speeches. try again.”

“Well I have a crush on you because you’re funny and you put up with all my bullshit and awkwardness, like tonight. And you’ve been nice to me since the day we met, well, except for how you kept messing with me, but I guess that worked itself out. I mean, you did all these favors for me and asked for nothing in return. Who else is that generous? Did you know I’ve liked you since that night of the bachelorette party? You were a bouncer outside a club. Feels like years ago,” you rambled.

“huh, that’s what did it for ya? seeing me in uniform?”

“Shhh,” you hushed him. “It’s the night you gave me this hoodie.”

“oh, it was my dirty laundry that won you over then. you must really like the stench of bone cologne.”

You tried to elbow him, but he expertly dodged your movement.

“a proposal on the first date though,” Sans said, holding out his onion ring wrist and already shaking to try to keep himself from laughing.

“You’re the one that said okay!”

Sans shrugged. “i’m thinking a full orchestra of only trombones for the wedding band.”

“Sure, and they only play Rick Astley songs the entire evening.”

“we’ll serve onion rings covered in ketchup.”

“The theme will be fast food, my dress will be made out of hamburger wrappers.”

“pfft, our getaway car will be a little tikes cozy coupe from the toy store.”

You’re both laughing again, trying to keep each other from falling over entirely. Sans slid the onion ring off his wrist and split it, offering you half.

“Wow, returning the ring. And I thought I picked the perfect one,” you said teasingly. You took a bite and munched.

Sans’s half seemed to disappear before you could tell he’d eaten it. He shrugged again.

“You know, most people don’t talk about marriage on a first date,” you said. “Tends to chase people away.”

“is it weird?”

You paused to think. “It’s not really weird, exactly, but it’s pretty serious. People find that kind of commitment really uncomfortable, especially if they’re just first meeting someone. I would think you’d feel uncomfortable. Aren’t monster marriages forever? Forever seems a little heavy for the first time you go out with someone.”

He mumbled something.

“What was that?”

“nothin,” he said, lacing his hand with yours again. “i’m sure the way we’re goin, our sham engagement will turn into a sham marriage.”

“We’ll have to get our three sham dogs – Hyphen, Semi-Colon, and Caret. Dunno how we’re going to forge a marriage license and adoption papers though. Also, am I taking your last name? I don’t even know what it is.”

“gotta keep the mystery alive.”

“I bet it’s something dumb, like ‘the Skeleton.’ I bet you use your full name when you introduce yourself.”

Sans was silent.

“OH my god, it is, isn’t it?” You snickered.

The two of you walked a little further, your apartment was fast approaching and the liquor had mostly worn off. There were a few crickets chirping, but it was an otherwise quiet evening. No cars or people on the road. You weren’t even sure how late it actually was.

“did you have fun?” Sans asked.

You blinked, surprised he even had to ask. “Of course I had fun. This was probably one of the best first dates I’ve ever had.”

It felt effortless.

“cool.”

“Did you have fun?” you asked as the two of you approached your apartment unit. Your door was only a few feet away.

“yup.”

Even though you lived right next door, Sans walked you to your doorstep. You unlocked the door, and turned to him.

“Hey Sans, are you a thief?”

He chuckled. “i dunno, but it sounds like you are, stealing my lines and all.”

“Come on! Just…are you a thief?”

“nah. why?”

“Because you’ve stolen my heart,” you said, quickly smooching him and ducking inside your apartment. “Goodnight!”

Chapter Text

“You sure you don’t want to join us for the rest of spring break?” Wyatt asked. “Cabo is really fun, we got this tight as hell Air BnB.”

“Thanks, but I’m good,” you said. “A lot has happened in the last couple of days and I just don’t think I can afford to fly out of the country right now. But tell everyone I said hi.”

“Sure, sure. You spending time with your bonefriend?”

“Goodbye, Wyatt.”

You hung up the phone and rolled over. At the beginning of the semester some of your friends briefly mentioned a spring break trip, but you didn’t think they were being serious. You wondered how they were even able to afford to go, since most of them were complaining about bills and rent all semester. You sighed. A trip would be nice, but it clearly wasn’t in the cards for you.

Besides, you were pretty excited to be able to have time off to spend with Sans. You smiled to yourself, giggling as you pulled your comforter over your head. Did last night’s date really happen? Your belly filled with butterflies as you remembered your date and your walk. You couldn’t help but smile like an idiot at the memory.

You felt a little silly to be so giggly over a first date, but you couldn’t help it. It still felt like a dream, and you were planning on relishing in these fuzzy feelings for as long as possible.

Your cat jumped up on the bed and swatted at your face.

“Hm, as long as possible wasn’t quite as long as I thought,” you said. “Guess I should feed you, huh?”

You cat meowed and swatted your face again.

You sighed and rolled out of bed, quickly shuffling to the kitchen. You dished out some food for your cat and some cereal for yourself. You sat down at a table and pulled out your phone, looking at the selfie you had taken the night before. You smiled to yourself as the butterflies filled your stomach.

After eating, you went down to collect your mail, still in sweatpants with your hair pushed back out of your face. To your surprise, Papyrus was also in the mailroom. He had just opened their mailbox and a stream of notes and envelopes spilled out onto the floor.

“Letters from your adoring fans?” you asked jokingly.

“PLEASE, I’M HIP AND WITH THE TIMES. I GET E-FAN LETTERS LIKE A MILENNIAL.”

“How environmentally friendly of you. No wonder everyone thinks you’re great,” you said, sticking your key into your own mailbox.

“THANK YOU. THE TREES ADORE ME.”

You laughed as you pulled out your mail. Bills, ads, ads, ads, ads, another bill, something addressed to the apartment below yours. You sighed and closed your mailbox with a soft click.

“WAIT. WHY AREN’T YOU IN SCHOOL? DON’T YOU HAVE CLASSES TODAY?”

“Ah, no. I’m on spring break this week, so I’m off until next Monday.”

“WAIT, YOU’RE ON SPRING BREAK?! WHY AREN’T YOU OUT FORAYING THE BEACHES OF MIAMI? OR GAMBLING AWAY YOUR SAVINGS AT A DARK AND MYSTERIOUS CASINO? OR DRINKING UNTIL YOUR INCONVENIENT HUMAN LIVER GIVES OUT? THAT IS WHAT SPRING BREAK IS ALL ABOUT ACCORDING TO ALL THE MOVIES.”

You shrugged. “It’s okay Paps,” you said. “I’m fine with doing nothing over my break. It’s honestly been pretty relaxing.”

“SPRING BREAK IS FOR SHENANIGANS AND LONG CAR RIDES. THE WIND THROUGH YOUR HAIR, THE OPEN ROAD OF POSSIBILITIES.”

You nodded your head thoughtfully. “Well I mean, there’s a water park nearby. It’s not Vegas or Miami or anything but-”

“PERFECT! WE WILL ALL BE THERE!”

You laughed. “What? What do you mean we’ll all be there?”

“PRECISELY WHAT I SAID. ME AND SANS OF COURSE BUT ALSO UNDYNE AND ALPHYS AND FRISK IS PROBABLY ALSO ON THIS SPRING BREAK AND IN NEED OF A SEASONAL OUTING WHICH WOULD MEAN TORIEL AND ASGORE COULD CHAPERONE. AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT FLOWEY, I’M SURE HE’D ENJOY SOME CHLORINE-INFUSED NUTRIENTS.”

Papyrus was practically beaming at you as he pulled out his phone to send a text. You sighed. Well…a trip to the water park wouldn’t be the worst way to spend your afternoon. The weather was still a little cold, but it shouldn’t be too bad. And it was your last spring break, so you figured you may as well enjoy yourself instead of camping out in your bedroom.

“Sure, Paps,” you agreed. “Waterpark sounds perfect.”

“GREAT. BE DOWN AT THE CAR IN HALF AN HOUR!”

With that, Papyrus sprinted back to his apartment, leaving the open and overfilled mailbox behind. You held your own mail and then tucked Papyrus’s absolute mess of letters, bills, and catalogues underneath your arm.

You walked back to your apartment, taking only a minute to open Sans and Papyrus’s door to dump their mail in their entryway before closing the door and entering your own place. You placed your own mail down on the table and hurried to your room to grab a bag and get dressed for today’s adventure.

It’d been so long since you’ve worn a swimsuit and even longer since you’ve visited a waterpark for fun. You rummaged through your drawers until you found your old swimsuit. It was a two piece, which wasn’t the best for a waterpark, but it was all you had. You shrugged. It’d be fine.

Half an hour later, you had your swimsuit and coverup on, your bag packed, and you were ready to head out. You were waiting down by Papyrus’s car.

“WOWIE FRIEND, YOU MUST’VE BEEN REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS TRIP TO GET HERE BEFORE ME.”

You smiled. “Of course, I love spending time with everyone! Love your swimming trunks by the way.”

Papyrus placed a hand on his hip. His trunks had flaming skeletons on them. “THANK YOU. I THINK THEY REALLY CAPTURE MY SPIRIT.”

Unlike Papyrus, Sans didn’t have any flashy swimwear. In fact, it looked like the only thing he did was exchange his usual white t-shirt with a white tank. “What, no punny or tacky swimsuit for you?” you asked jokingly.

Sans shrugged. “can’t cramp my own style.”

The three of you climbed into Papyrus’s car and drove to the local waterpark. You and Sans sat in the back, Sans stretching out and placing his feet on your lap. You could tell what he was thinking from his sly grin. Boyfriend privileges.

He’s done this every time the three of you have gone for a car ride together, but this time it felt strangely intimate to have his feet resting on your thighs. Sans was wearing flip flops, so you could actually see each of his toes. Much like his hands, the little bones on his feet more or less fused together into a bone cluster.

You briefly wondered if the soles of his feet were ticklish like a human’s.

Suddenly, your phone chimed.

snas: 11:14am
you done checkin out my feet?

You glanced at Sans, heat rising to your face, but his eyes were closed as he leaned against the interior of the car.

xxx-xxxx: 11:14am
I was NOT “checkin out” your feet!!

A boldface lie.

snas: 11:14am
is this a fetish i should know about?

xxx-xxxx: 11:14am
NO!!!

snas: 11:15am
ya sure? cuz i’d want you to get off on the right foot.

You pushed Sans’s legs off of you and stared out the window. He chuckled and launched into a conversation with Papyrus about the different rides at the park.

Dork.

The rest of the car ride was pretty short and uneventful. You met the rest of the group in the parking lot. When you entered, the waterpark was already fairly crowded with families and other students on their break.

“WOWIE! LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE!”

“yeah, it’s swimpressive.”

Your group got a couple of stares from the swimmers, but it wasn’t anything too bad. Toriel set her bag and towel down on a lounge chair. Asgore set his stuff next to hers.

“Mom! Can I go get a floatie for the lazy river?!”

“Of course, Frisk. Are you taking Flowey or leaving him here?”

“Taking him, duh! He wants to see the waterpark too!”

Frisk couldn’t stop smiling as they toted Flowey along the edge of the wavepools. You watched as they grabbed a large inner tube and set out on a journey of their own.

Everyone else took their belongings into the locker rooms. You slipped off your cover up and placed it in your bag and gently checked the straps of your swimsuit, making sure it was snug.

“LET’S GO!” Undyne shouted, tossing her bag into the locker with a loud clang.

“Remember, this is s-s-supposed to b-be relaxing, s-sweetie.”

“RELAXING IS FOR WIMPS!” Undyne said, grabbing Alphys’s hand and rushing out of the locker room and towards the pool.

You quickly followed them. Sans and Papyrus were waiting outside. Papyrus had put on a set of arm floaties (which also had flames) and him and Undyne immediately raced each other to see who could get to the diving pools faster.

“Th-thanks for inviting us,” Alphys said as the three of you walked back to the loungers.

“welp, water we wading for? guess we should go and have a splashing good time.”

Toriel snorted.

“ALPHIE! COME WATCH ME DIVE BABY!” Undyne shouted from across the pool.

“SANS! SANS! COME WATCH ME BECOME THE ULTIMATE DIVER I WAS BORN TO BE!”

Alphys and Sans both awkwardly smiled and waved you all a goodbye so they could go watch Undyne and Papyrus. You sat in a lounge chair by Toriel and grabbed the sunscreen. Even as you spread the lotion on your legs, you could tell that both Toriel and Asgore were looking at you.

“I’m so sorry to impose but…are the rumors true?” Toriel asked in a hushed voice.

You paused. “What rumors?”

“Why, the engagement of course,” Asgore said. “We heard about it from a friend of a friend.”

“Yes!” Toriel exclaimed, “We just felt so excited by the news. We didn’t want to get carried away of course. We just didn’t expect such a…prominent monster/human couple to move so quickly in their relationship.”

You nervously rubbed more sunscreen into your skin. “Uh…well, actually, I mean, I guess technically there was a proposal but-”

Toriel gasped, her paws in front of her mouth, covering her smile.

“It’s really not what you think. I mean, first of all, it was with an onion ring-”

“Uncle Sans proposed to you with an onion ring?”

You jumped at Frisk’s sudden entrance. Their smile was wide, just like Toriel’s. “Well, I mean, actually I did-”

“You and Uncle Sans are getting married?!”

“Ew, with that trashbag? Even for a human you can do better than that.”

“Wait just a second-”

“Yay! This means I really can call you Auntie now!”

“Big whoop, you called her that already. Did we really get out of the water for this I was in the middle of a great Jaws impression!”

Toriel and Asgore were already talking about diplomacy and meetings with government officials about the legality of interspecies marriage. Frisk and Flowey were arguing over whether or not to attach a shark fin to Flowey’s stem. Suddenly, you felt very much like you didn’t want to be here. It was fine. You’ll clear up the situation later. For now, you quietly slipped away to a different part of the park – the rides.

The waterpark had dozens of waterslides, a lazy river, a few different sets of water rapids, diving boards, and a surfing station. Most of the attractions were connected by a giant pool, filled with dozens of people swimming about.

Right away, you queued up for a small slide after going down, you found it hard to stop queueing. After Papyrus and Undyne finished whatever competition it was that they were having, Papyrus joined you on the slides, grabbing a big innertube and taking the twists and turns with you.

You dove in and out of the water, occasionally passing by Alphys, who was relaxing on Undyne’s back as she did laps in the pool. You caught Toriel dipping her toes into the water and Asgore doing a cannonball at the deep end. Frisk and Flowey were suspiciously not around the water, but you’d catch sight of a tiny shark fin every once in a while.

Sans seemed to slip in and out of being in the group and around you. You were almost positive you caught him with a whistle sitting in the life guard chair but the moment you blinked he was gone again.

You did manage to pull him away for a quick trip down the lazy river in a shared innertube.

You stared up at the sky, letting the warm sun beat down on you. The waves of the river pushed you along its path. Ever so gently, you hooked your index finger with his.

“This is nice,” you said.

“i'd say today is going swimmingly.”

You couldn’t see his face, but you were 100% sure he was wearing that same cheesy grin he always had. And you couldn’t even flail or anything unless you wanted your raft to tip over. “Oh, shut up!”

“heheheh.”

You floated along and he curled his finger tighter around yours.

“Did last night really happen?”

“yep.”

The butterflies returned.

“no sudden regrets, right?”

“No.”

Sans tugged your hand up by the finger and placed it against his teeth. “mmmmwah.”

You snorted. “Dork.”

Sans said nothing, but you knew he was smiling.

After your trek down the lazy river, you split up again. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing in the park and enjoying themselves. You grabbed a snack, hung around the shallow end of the pool, and then went back on the rides. There was a tall, curving slide you hadn’t gotten the chance to go on yet. No one else was around to go with you except Sans, who wasn’t interested in the waterslides, so you opted to go yourself. You grabbed an innertube to ride on and queued up.

Once you reached the top, you grabbed hold of the rail, feeling giddy. The lifeguard gave you the nod, so you let go of the side rail and slid down in your inner tube. You let out a screech of delight as you dipped and turned down the curves of the slide. You were quickly approaching the bottom, so you raised your arms up, squeezed your eyes shut, and braced yourself for impact.

You landed in the water with a loud SPLASH!

You peeked your head up from the water, spotting Sans on his floatie. You smiled and ducked underneath the water to swim over to him.

You returned to the surface of the shallow water, standing up and shaking out the water from your ears with a laugh. “Did you see that, Sans!”

“…”

You rubbed your eyes. “What? No you made a great splash pun? You too busy trying to make a lazy river out of the pool?”

Your hands fell to your side as you opened your eyes, vision now clear. Sans was very pointedly not looking at you. You watched his eyelights flick down towards the water. “uh. you uh…uh…your…top.”

N-no.

No.

You were frozen in your spot, unable to get yourself to look down and confirm your fears.

No. No. No. No. No.

“Mommy, why is that lady naked?” a little voice shouted from across the pool. Suddenly, you could feel the eyes of everyone in the area right on you.

Sans looked at you for just a second before turning away as quickly as he glanced. He mumbled something and then blipped away. Dammit. You swallowed and looked down to see your exposed chest. You slapped your arm over your breasts and sunk back into the water. You took a couple of deep breaths and looked around. You could notice the gazes of people slowly look away and pretend like they hadn’t seen anything. But you knew. They saw.

Damn. Was this water always so cold? You waded around, keeping one arm securely covering your chest. You hoped to create enough ripples to avoid being noticed by the other swimmers. You kept your eyes open for your top, unsure if you should try and find it or make a run for the towel rack.

“hey.”

You turned and saw Sans kneeling at the edge of the pool, big towel in hand. He was still looking away from you.

Quickly, before anyone else could spot you, you jumped out of the pool and took the towel. You wrapped it around your torso, fashioning it into a makeshift dress.

“I’m, um, going to…go,” you said awkwardly. “Thanks for the towel.”

“yup.”

You pushed by him and hurried towards the lockers. You figured you could just throw on your cover up. It wouldn’t be a perfect solution, but it was better than walking around with a towel.

You entered the locker room and sighed.

Well that wasn’t…exactly an ideal situation. You hadn’t meant to flash the entire park. Lesson learned, never wear a two piece to a waterpark. You walked over to the locker you’d placed your stuff in to grab your cover up, and then sat down on the bench. You couldn’t help but laugh at yourself a little. This whole situation was so comically you. You buried your head in your hands. Did everyone really see you topless? You knew Sans did for sure.

This wasn’t really how you planned to show yourself off for the first time.

…You weren’t even sure if he was into that.

…A tiny part of you hoped that he was. A bigger, more mortified, part of you hoped everyone who saw you topless, Sans included, suddenly had their minds erased.

“Hey, head’s up!”

You glanced up to see Undyne at the end of the locker’s aisle, your bikini top in her hand. She tossed it at you. You squeaked as the wet material hit the side of your head before falling into your lap. You turned to face Undyne. “You didn’t have to bring this back. I was just going to pull my dress on.”

“Pfft! And waste the rest of the afternoon walking around instead of in the pool?! As if, punk!”

You scoffed. “I wasn’t…going to waste my afternoon. And, hey, how did you even know that this was mine? You weren’t in the pool by the slides.”

Undyne’s fins twitched. “Uh, well! Actually! …Sans found it!”

“…”

“Hey!! Don’t be embarrassed by this! Ngahh! Look, we literally don’t care when humans are naked! It’s all the same to us!”

“…”

You should probably feel grateful for that, but a nagging feeling of disappointment was there anyway.

“Stop making that face!!!”

“Sorry, I just…” you twisted the swimsuit in your hands. “Is it all the same to you, though?”

Undyne blinked before her fins curled upwards. She smiled widely, baring her teeth. “FUHUHUHU! Is this the gross locker room talk everyone keeps mentioning?!”

“No!”

“I didn’t think you had it in ya!” she bellowed, slapping you on the back.

You crossed your arms. “It was just a question,” you said.

Undyne shrugged. “I wouldn’t worry about it. Not like Sans to suddenly give a crap about some human’s appearance, even if it is you. Why you asking, hmm?”

…Did…did you forget to tell Undyne that the two of you were dating?

Oh my God, we forgot to tell Alphys and Undyne that we were dating.

“Actually, Undyne we-”

Before you could finish, Undyne cut you off, “Pfft, or were you trying to seduce him that way?”

You paused. You could tell Undyne the news. You were just about ready to anyway, before she interrupted. She was giving you this toothy, teasing smile. You could totally tell her, and she and Alphys would be happy for you.

But this was a rare opportunity to mess with your friends, and you knew Sans would find it hilarious.

So instead of telling her the truth, you over exaggeratingly shrugged and said, “Yup. Totally trying to seduce his bony bod for myself. I undid the strap before going down the slide so he’d see my boobs. OH well, guess that didn’t work.”

Undyne stared at you. “Hah…haha…hahahaha, oh you’re serious, punk?! You’ve got serious guts! Come over here!” She sat next to you, pulling you in for a strong noogie.

“Don’t noogie the human!!!!” you said, squirming out of her grasp.

“Hey, I’ll leave you to it, but quit trying to show off!” Undyne said, before running out of the locker room.

You exited as well and walked around a bit before you spotted Sans sitting at the edge of the pool. You sat down next to him and dipped your feet into the water. He didn't even look at you. For a moment, the two of you sat in an awkward silence.

“So Undyne thinks I’m trying to seduce you.”

Snrk. “w-what? why?”

“I may or may not have told her I was trying to seduce you.”

are you trying to seduce me?”

“No!”

Sans finally tore his eyes away from the water to meet yours. A tiny blush speckled his cheeks. “it was my feet, wasn’t it? couldn’t help yoursolef,” he said.

You splashed him with some water. “No, you weirdo!”

Sans chuckled as he shook some of the water off. “sorry, did i…toe the line with that one? do you need to pool off?”

You groaned.

“...hey, uh, don’t feel awkward by the way...seriously.”

Thump. Thump.

“I’m not feeling awkward,” you said. “I mean that’s a perfectly normal thing that could happen to anyone and really this reaction just speaks to so many obsolete gender roles and the oversexualization of women and-”

“stop. you're human. isn’t that your most vulnerable or somethin?” he asked. You watched his eyelights flicker downwards. “i