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Trust One Shots

Chapter Text

Prompt from ichiwashername-o

In which a few years after Trust, Grillby learns a lesson about the kids.

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Grillby sighed and looked at the mess around him. Sauce stains were splattered against the kitchen walls where they dried hard and thick. Somehow, there was batter on the ceiling, which constantly dripped stalactites of flour and eggs to the floor below. Noodles were stuck to the cabinets and floor and there was a mini explosion of flour on the counter-top, looking like a full on snow storm. The sink was stacked high with dishes and pots, most of them burned and smoking. Half cut vegetables and ingredients were mashed up on the floor and for some reason there was exactly 10 spoons arranged in a circle around one single whole tomato.

He supposed the mess was inevitable. Since their rescue a few years prior, his children have always enjoyed sitting down to watch him cook. They seemed fascinated and floored by the whole process of making and preparing food. He imagined that they, in their starved state, couldn’t really imagine a whole new world of different food and flavors that were now available to them.  But now that it was they were usually there to watch, scrutinizing his every move with their wide inquisitive eyes.

Sans for the most part was still quiet as always, but Papyrus was using his new vocabulary to ask a thousand questions at once. Grillby tried to answer as best he could, but Papyrus usually would not wait for an answer before he was asking another question.

Eventually it was Sans who came forward and quietly asked if they could help. A cook at heart, Grillby was delighted that they were showing an interest in something he was passionate about. He resolved to give them a hands on lesson.

This was the result of it.

Despite the mess, they had managed to make something…edible. They were so proud and Grillby could only smile as he choked down burnt, crispy noodles and the lumpiest cake imaginable. They were happy, and as long as they were happy, he was.

After the…dinner…he had escorted the children to the living room to play, while he dealt with the mess. Sans of course curled up on the couch as usual while Papyrus grabbed up paper and crayons and set to drawing. Grillby for one, was thankful that Papyrus was out of his chewing phase, he was getting a little tired of replacing eaten crayons on a weekly basis.

Once they were settled down, he went back in the kitchen and shut the door. He pull on some gloves and unlocked a cabinet in the corner, pulling out cleaners. Of course, when he adopted the children, he had taken all cleaners and remotely poisonous things and kept them in a locked cabinet. Normal children he knew would sometimes get into cleaners, but the risk was especially higher with his children’s more canine instincts to get into and taste EVERYTHING. So he was especially cautious.

This was the only instance where he would close and lock a door. The fumes and exposed chemicals were not good for children to be around. He listened to be sure the children were in the other room, before beginning the long task of cleaning.

He was about halfway through the scrubbing when the door knob began to jiggle. There was a soft voice from the other side of the door, unmistakably Sans’s. “Dad?”

“I’m sorry Sans, you can’t come in now.” Grillby continued to clean. “It’s not safe for you to be in here now.”

Sans was quiet on the other side of the door. “Why?”

Grillby had never had to really explain it before. Most of the time the children were sleeping after a meal, so he could clean while they were unaware of what he was doing. But now, they were relatively healthy…physically at least, so they were more alert than before.

“Because I am cleaning, and the chemicals I am using are not safe for children to be around.” He explained through the closed door. “It won’t be long until I am finished.”

There was a pensive pause from behind the door, before Sans replied. “…not safe for you either?”

“No, not really…” It was best to be honest. “But I will be fine. You do not need to worry about me.”

There was the soft patter of nervous pacing on the other side of the door as Sans was obviously thinking about the situation. Despite it being a few years, he was still extremely protective, which has extended from his younger brother to his adopted father. After a moment of contemplation, the door knob rattled again, this time a little more frantic.

“Sans. It is alright. You can’t come in here now.” Grillby tried to be firm but reassuring. Sans was still having anxiety issues and no doubt being closed off wasn’t sitting well with him. “I am safe. Please go back and look after your brother. I’ll be done soon.”

The knob reluctantly rattled one last time before Sans’s soft footsteps wandered away from the door and hopefully back to the living room. Grillby sighed with relief and went back to scrubbing away at the stain on the ceiling.

Scarcely five minutes later (which might have been an eternity to two anxious children) there were foot steps in front of the door again. There was a scratch at the door and a soft whine, which no doubt belonged to the youngest skeleton.

“Papyrus…” Grillby sighed, “I’m fine. I’m just cleaning.”

The first set of scratches was joined by another set, as Sans’s whines joined his brother. They both sounded distressed as they were doing their best to scratch their way through the door.

Grillby frowned. He really didn’t want to let them in…but if they were so anxious….

He didn’t have the chance to do anything before the crack in the bottom of the door was awash with white light and the sharp high humming of gathering magic filled the air. He barely had the time to blink before the door exploded inwards in a mess of light and wooden shards. Pieces of wood burnt in the air and larger pieces landed hard on the floor and the force of the blast cause Grillby to stumble backwards.

There in the doorway was Sans in ‘canine’ form, his lower jaw split and swung to the side as the last sparks off energy dissipated from his maw, his one eye glowing blue. Papyrus was also in the same form, standing safely behind his brother. Sans’s jaws swung in with a click and pulled together again, as he rushed in past the now removed barrier and straight towards his father.

Grillby was too stunned to really do anything as the older child grabbed him gently by the pant leg and began to pull him to the door as the younger pushed from behind. Still in shock he allowed himself to be lead out of the room where the two pushed him on the couch. The two pups instantly climbed on top of their father protectively, growling at the destroyed door and the faint scent of cleaner wafting from the kitchen. Clearly they decided to 'rescue’ Grillby from the locked room where the 'bad things’ were.

Grillby learned that day to never lock doors in the house again.

Chapter Text

To WD.G – E2 – 001 – S, there was no passage of time.

There was only a dull existence that seemed to stretch on forever. The constant boredom and feelings of numbness were once and a while interrupted by sharp instances of pain and activity. Neither of them were good, but 1-S sometimes looked forward to the interactions with the one with the Scary Hands. At least then it was something. The pain was a welcomed sensation from the wide encompassing numbness that kept him lying down.

Most of the time he just laid in his cage. Pacing had become boring in time, what was the point? Though sometimes it was soothing to move rhythmically…but he grew tried of it eventually. There was nothing to do in the dismal expanse of gray metal, so he had to invent his own things to do. He often chewed on the bars with his little teeth, feeling them wearing down and splintering as he gnawed on the bars. Soon they were blunt and would no longer deliver the painful needle-like bites that the others in White had come to fear from him. Sometimes they would make an effort to stop some of his more mindless behaviors, but for this they didn’t.

When he didn’t feel like chewing on the bars, he’d chew on himself. Mostly he’d lick and attack the numbers etched into his foreleg. He remembered how it hurt when the round loud sharp thing carved the symbols into the bone. The burning dust smelled awful to his sensitive nose and no matter how much he screamed, the one with the Scary Hands continued on. Even after the long time since, it still ached and pulsed with wrongness that 1-S would set his teeth too. Even if he managed to damage the symbols, they would just carve them in again.

Every-time he managed to chew open his own bones or break something, there would be a confused blur of green light and it would just be like it never happened. So he continued to do so. Why not? It was something to do at least.

What he did to his own self was nothing compared to what the ones in White would do. He was sometimes taken away, given painful hot pinches that would make him convulse and scream. There was a lot of red in those pinches and they hurt so much. He learned that they were called needles. They always made him tired, more than usual that is. He probably hated the needles most of all, as everything burned and burned and no matter how much water he would drink, it would still burn.

There were other things that often confused 1-S. They didn’t like him chewing himself, but then would break one of his bones to measure how long it took to heal, or how strong it was. He didn’t know what to call that at the time, but he knew it wasn’t quite fair to him.

Sometimes they would just take him out and yell things at him until his mind seized up and he retreated into the back of his head where nobody would ever hurt him. He would awaken somewhere else, feeling sad and drained. There were also times where he would fall asleep, only to wake up later with bandages on his head or a few food cycles of blindness. His head would hurt terribly after them, there was always a horrible buzzing noise that took so long to go away. Sometimes the silence hurt as much as the buzzing.

He was miserable, but didn’t understand a word for the feeling.

It got to a point where he began to refuse to eat and drink. Why bother? He understood that these things would keep him alive, but what was the point of being alive? After the 4th food cycle of not eating, the pain had started to fade away and only left a cool sense of finality. The White ones ended up forcibly feeding him, but at this point his soul had begun to give up.

It was alright to 1-S. He could just lie down and sleep and nothing would hurt him.

He was shocked out of this mentality when the White ones opened the door to the cage. It was perhaps  a lot of missed Food Cycles later, he wasn’t so sure on time. Instead of dragging him out or trying to force him to eat, they shoved a small bundle of blankets inside and locked the door again.

1-S just stared at the blanket and started backwards when it began to move.

They put a live thing with him? What was he suppose to do with it? He had been ordered to kill live things in the past…was this a test? What was he suppose to do now?

For the first time in a long time, he got up, his limbs shaking with the effort as he carefully crawled forward to investigate the bundle.

He sniffed, touching the bundle with the end of his snout, trying to discern the creature by smell. The bundle made a soft mewling noise and he drew back, confused and surprised.

The bundle…smelled a lot like himself. It was different, but it was similar. A smell of bone and lingering chemicals, and soft indescribable things buried underneath. A good smell despite the taint of the harsh smelling liquids seeped into bone. 1-S found himself shoving his snout in further into the soft bundle.  What as this?

He was stopped when a tiny paw touched the end of his nose as the blanket began to fall away. The being made a soft mew when the source of warm was gone and it immediately began to crawl over to 1-S.

1-S backed up until his backbone touched the end of the cage. The thing coming towards him on shaky undeveloped legs…was something like him. It was so ridiculously tiny, how could anything be that small? He just watched, completely confused as the tiny being sneezed and wagged its little tail. It opened its eye sockets to look blearily up at the bigger monster, a small smile spreading across its puppish muzzle.

Across it’s foreleg, were brand new carved symbols. WD.G – E2 – 002 – P.

1-S didn’t know weather to be relieved or horrified. A thing like him! He wouldn’t be lonely! There would be someone to help bear the pain and numbness….

But then, they would have to go through the same thing. They would have to deal with it too. Like him, they were born into a life of pain and hardship, bound to the whims of the people in White.

1-S was conflicted, watching the tiny…litter-mate? Kin? He didn’t quite know the word for what the being was to him, but instinctively he knew it was someone very close. The little being finally crossed the cold expanse of metal and settled in to sit under 1-S’s legs, purring softly. 1-S huffed and laid down, nudging the being to his side and curling around it. It yawned and feel asleep, purring as it slept. 1-S stretched down his snout and licked at the numbers on the little one’s arm. He could comfort the being. He could make a difference.

He could protect them.

Maybe…it was worth it to live? To see what would happen next with this tiny being.

A warm feeling blossomed in his soul, and for the first time in a long time he felt hungry.

It wasn’t long until there was  Food Cycle, and the one with Scary Hands appeared personally to give out the brick of hard chewy stuff.  

Despite himself, 1-S hissed and bared his blunted fangs at Scary Hands, moving instinctively to shove his smaller charge out of sight.

Scary Hands merely chuckled at the sight.

{ “Good to see you have some fight left in you, 001. Who knows, your ‘brother’ might turn out like you.” }

Scary Hands tossed in the brick, which 1-S snapped up with a growl.

{ “You’re going to need it. Especially for him.” }

The comment was directed to the tiny sleeping being. 1-S knew a threat when he heard one and he hissed in response.  Scary Hands simply left, seemingly unbowed by 1-S’s little threat.

Thankfully, it left them alone. 1-S chewed the bar in half, and then the one half into small pieces for his brother. There was a name for it now. It was an important name. He helped his brother eat the little pieces, until his brother had enough and curled up to sleep again.

...brother

What a good word.

Chapter Text

Papyrus was asleep, tucked into his race-car bed as his alarm clock slowly ticked down the early morning hours. He’d be up bright and early, like usual for him, but it was a little harder for him to fall asleep that night.

After all, it was his first night in his new house. Such things were always different, unsettling.

It wasn’t like their father didn’t want them home with him, but they weren’t tiny baby bones anymore. Both him and his brother were adults, and needed to strike out on their own and have spaces for themselves. Sans was in college, and he was undergoing outdoor training. It seemed much too big to fit that all into their cozy childhood home. It felt like the right thing to do was to attempt to stand on their own feet and do things like a proper adult.

So, their father had helped the both of them find a new place to live, which was literally two houses down from his. They wanted to be on their own, but not that far away. They had promised to visit often, which placated their father. Plus they’d see him at his bar daily, so it wasn’t like they had gone very far.  They could tell it saddened their father to see them go, but it’s the same pain that every parent must bear once their children are grown and ready to face the world.

It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, for either of them.

Papyrus heard a soft shuffle in his bedroom, the noise loud enough to him that he wearily opened his eye sockets to peer into the darkness. He had always had good low light vision and it didn’t take him long to find the source of the noise. 

He sighed.

Of course, it would be his brother.

Sans sat on the floor in his blaster shape, eye sockets forward as he stared at the door, haunches fully planted. He was as still as a statue and positioned directly in front of the door. Nothing would be able to get into the room without running into some serious teeth. Though Sans was much smaller than Papyrus’ beast form, he still packed a serious punch. The shuffling noise was Sans’ claws on the carpet as he subtly shifted to root himself firmly to the floor.

“Brother, what are you doing?” Papyrus turned down the usual volume of his voice to address his brother, doing his best not to startle him. Sans said nothing, and continued to stare at the door. He probably didn’t hear him, not when he got like…this.

“Brother.” Papyrus tried a little firmer, sitting up and pulling his rocket ship patterned covers away from himself. He reached for the lamp on the end table next to his bed and switched it on. Immediately, the room was bathed in warm light and chased away the dark shadows. The sudden change made the elder brother jump with a soft yelp. He whipped his head around, one eye socket black, and the other with a flickering blue/yellow round pupil. He stared for a moment, before he blinked and the usual soft white lights appeared in his sockets again.

Papyrus crossed his arms against his chest, fuzzy pajamas bunching up here and there. “BROTHER, WHY ARE YOU IN MY ROOM?” Now that Sans was lucid and alert, Papyrus switched back to his regular volume.

Sans thought a moment, clicking his fangs in thought.

<“i…was watching…”> His clicks and barks was just as clear as Common to the younger brother.

“YOU WERE STANDING GUARD AGAIN WHEN YOU SHOULD BE SLEEPING FOR YOUR CLASSES TOMORROW.” Papyrus voice took a hard edge to it. Sans’ condition required him to get plenty of rest, and here he was, sitting up all night staring at a door. How long has he been sitting there before the noise awoke him? Any time was too long for Papyrus’ liking.

<“couldn’t sleep.”>

“OF COURSE BROTHER, THIS IS A NEW HOUSE. IT IS STRANGE AND WILL TAKE SOME GETTING USED TO.”

Sans nodded slowly, eye sockets blinking as his body sagged a little. Tension left his bones slowly, reducing his look from a frightening creature of teeth and claws to a tired friendly critter who could use  a hug or two. <“s’ different. yeah”>

“I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WANT TO PROTECT ME, BUT I AM NOT A LITTLE PUP ANYMORE. THERE IS NOTHING THAT THE GREAT PAPYRUS CAN’T HANDLE AND I CAN SOUNDLY DEFEAT ANY INTRUDER WHO DARES  INVADE OUR SANCTUM.” It wasn’t quite scolding, but a declaration of fact. Papyrus was an adult. An adult who was skilled at magic and was training to literally rip through rock to find trapped people. He didn’t need protection anymore. “I AM FAR PAST THE DAYS OF YOU NEEDING TO CHECK UNDER THE BED FOR HUMANS.”

Sans sagged a little more until he was outright lying on the floor like a puddle. <“i know bro. i’m sorry…i just…you know…”>

“WITHOUT OUR FATHER YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MUST ASSUME HOUSE PROTECTOR STATUS, YES I KNOW. FATHER HAS TAUGHT BOTH OF US WELL, IT IS TIME YOU SHARED THAT BURDEN. IT IS MY HOUSE AS MUCH AS IT IS YOURS. YOU ARE SLIPPING BACK INTO BAD HABITS, BROTHER.”

Sans was quiet. He couldn’t deny anything being said to him.

Papyrus scooted over in his bed, making a space and patting it with a hand.

“YOU ARE LUCKY THAT I, THE AMAZING PAPYRUS, DO NOT NEED AS MUCH SLEEP AS YOU, AND THUS CAN ASSUME GUARD DUTIES IN YOUR STEAD. YOU SHALL CUDDLE HERE AND BE SAFE UNDER MY CONSTANT UNINTERRUPTED VIGILANCE. YOU WILL SLEEP AND BE RESTED. ”

Sans chuckled softly, and slowly stood. <”can’t argue with the great papyrus, can I?”>

“NO YOU CANNOT! NOW GET UP HERE BEFORE I PICK YOU UP AND MOVE YOU MYSELF.”

Sans climbed up into the bed with a huff. Of course he was wearing the same clothes he wore that day and not pajamas. No matter. As soon as the elder skeleton had his paws steady he was immediately shoved against the now much-larger Papyrus. Papyrus’ beast form was long and wiry, completely different from the short and stocky form of his brother. The best part, though, was that they fit together into a comfortable cuddle pile. It was the same way they slept as children up until they were old enough for separate beds. Even then, during bad nightmares and bouts of anxiety, nothing calmed them down faster than a cuddle. Even the vague upsetting dreams Papyrus had from time to time about steel and snippets of white were dashed away in such piles. Sometimes their father joined, but nowadays they were much too big and would smoosh their poor father.

It didn’t take long for both beasts to settle into the bed, Papyrus pulling the covers over them both with his teeth. Sans sighed, pancaking out as he truly relaxed. Papyrus gave him a soft comforting nuzzle.

<“thanks bro.”>

<“OF COURSE, AS IF YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT SAFETY. REMEMBER WHAT FATHER SAID?”>

<“to howl if in trouble and he’d come reduce anything messin’ with us to ash.”>

<“NOT ONLY WILL THEY FACE THE WRATH OF OUR FATHER, BUT EVERYONE IN SNOWDIN. YOU ARE SAFE, BROTHER. NOBODY IS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO HURT US. EVEN IF IT TAKES OUR WHOLE LIVES, I, THE FOREVER UNFORGETTABLE PAPYRUS, WILL REMEMBER TO REMIND YOU OF SUCH THINGS.”>

Papyrus knew what Sans was afraid of. He knew ever since he was old enough to be sat down and be told why his brother acted the way he does sometimes. Sans rarely talked about their lives before their adoption, but he knew what it was. After all, he had the Undernet and it didn’t take long to find archived newspaper articles about it. His brother sacrificed a lot to protect him.

He understood, which was why he did his best for his big brother. It was time for Sans to be protected.

Sans nuzzled in close and yawned as he got comfortable.

<“you’re the best bro around.”>

“THAT’S RIGHT, NOW SLEEP.”

It wasn’t hard to fall asleep after that, nor the nights after.

Chapter Text

It’s crazy how fast time flies.

Grillby pondered this as he sat in his chair, surrounded by lots of other monsters. The auditorium they were in was packed, families crammed into every available space. A few whimsums and whimsalots perched themselves up in the ceiling rafters, clearly too intimidated to attempt to fight for seating below. Once in a while, he glanced towards the curtained stage along with a few other monsters, and then to their various watches.

Soon, it would begin, and Grillby would get to see something he never thought he’d get to experience.

Today, he gets to see one of his sons graduate from college.

“UGH.” To the right, Papyrus shifted in his seat, trying to be comfortable. “I WISH THEY WOULD JUST START ALREADY.”

“Patience Papyrus, this is a big day for a lot of people.” Grillby couldn’t help but softly chuckle. Papyrus was a monster who rarely hated anything. But his one true nemesis would always be having to sit still in a chair. He was simply too animated to be contained in one spot for long. He figured that out long ago, when his kindergarten teacher would call him in a panic, only to find Papyrus happily doing his schoolwork outside. How he managed to escape unnoticed proved he was the complete opposite of Sans, who enjoyed staying in one spot for hours at a time. Papyrus lived for the outdoors.

Angel above, kindergarten was years and years ago.

It was hard to believe that such a tiny little skeleton grew up into a monster that was easily taller than nearly everyone in the room. He stuck out terribly even when seated. A few monsters had to move around him just to see. It was clear how much he hated being here, but there was something far stronger keeping him there, and that was the bond he shared with his brother. Those two would do anything for each other.

Grillby allowed himself to slip back into the past for a while, tuning out the excited chatter and Papyrus’s fidgeting for now. It was difficult to understand just how much time had passed. Good memories and bad ones alike past by with speed. Nothing passed so quickly before to the old general. Not even the first few centuries of entrapment under the mountain went by as fast.

He could still vividly recall finding the two tiny skeletons rooting around in the trash behind his bar. How small and sick they both were. How long it took to get them to believe that not everyone was out to hurt them.

Sans was so fragile both in body and mind. It took years of finding the right therapy and medication before he can actually begin to live the life he was supposed to have from the very beginning. Scars faded, including those horrifying bar-codes, now only remnant grooves with no meaning to anyone else but themselves. Sans rarely spoke, rarely instigated anything, even just asking for something to drink was just too intimidating to him. There were many nights passed holding him and promising that nothing would ever hurt him again, and more time until he believed it.

But here he was now, years later, about to get his bachelors degree in theoretical physics. The first of many, he was told. Sans fully intended to collect plenty of PHDs under his belt, but this was the first stepping stone to that dream. He was happy with his smiles now reaching his eye sockets, all genuine. He had a large group of friends, including his dearest two, Undyne and Alphys. Alphys was in the same class as Sans, while Undyne went off to boot camp with Papyrus. All four made it a point to meet up as often as they could.

It was a transformation so subtle, it hit him then just how much the two have changed.

“OF COURSE IT IS A BIG DAY!” Grillby was snapped out of his thoughts by Papyrus. “BROTHER IS GETTING A PIECE OF PAPER THAT SHOWS WHAT HE ALREADY KNEW BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL.”

“Yes, Sans is very smart, but that piece of paper is what he needs in order to continue his dreams.” Grillby laid a hand on the taller skeleton’s shoulder to get him to sit still a little. “It’s like your certificate, you are now a licensed professional. His just….needs a lot more certificates.”

“FATHER, YOU KNOW THAT WE WILL BE HERE AGAIN FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. HE’LL NEVER STOP GETTING THEM. I ONLY NEEDED ONE.”

“It’s different for you. I am sure that they do not give out college degrees for tracking lost people and digging out cave-ins.”

“AND THAT’S WHY I DIDN’T GO TO COLLEGE. THEY SHOULD HAVE THOSE! I TELL YOU FATHER, THAT IS UNFAIR.”

Grillby laughed. For someone with past like his dear Papyrus, he turned out completely different than what most people would have expected. Born to be tortured and forced to kill, Papyrus instead has turned into one of the most kindest he has ever seen. Grillby did his best to nurture that in his youngest, and he grew up into someone who would help anyone regardless of who they were. It made sense he would go into his current line of work, search and rescue. His beastly form, designed to kill humans, instead helps him dig out trapped monsters and find lost children. Even as a powerful creature, he always looked kindly, and is adored by children.

Sans’ beast form was the complete opposite. Being so short and stout, he was like a large teddy bear. He would park himself in one place and not move for hours. He often ended up as a cuddle buddy for anyone looking for a nap, as he just looked so cuddly

Gaster did his best to design creatures of violence and death, but he failed. He completely and utterly failed.

And, Grillby was happy for that.

Before he could say anything further, the lights dimmed, and the current dean of New Home university floated to the stage. The crowd hushed and Papyrus did his best to sit still and pay attention. The dean opened up one of his mouths, and began to speak, and Angel above, was it awful to listen to.

Grillby heard all the boring introductions as the dean droned on about a story of a frog trapped in a bucket of cream and something about never giving up and butter and it related to science somehow. Grillby felt himself sighing along side Papyrus as they waited for him to finish the convoluted story and get on with it.

The ceremony didn’t even start, and already Grillby could see Bertram in the row in front of him, sobbing into a handful of tissues. Frank was doing his best to keep Gnash awake as the poor guardsmen kept nodding off. The crowd was doing their very best to stay seated and wait out the terrible story.

FINALLY the story ended, and one by one they began to call students out to retrieve their diplomas. Each student was met with applause and cheering, but then….

“Sans Fire!”

Sans stepped out, his graduation cap crooked and with a size too big robe. He of course, was met by cheers, along with the howling of the Snowdin Canine unit, and “THAT’S MY BROTHER!” shouted over the noise. Sans went to shake one of the many, many tentacles of the dean and took his diploma case. There was a soft ‘bzzt’ and said tentacle was pulled back sharply, as Sans showed off the joy buzzer hidden in his palm. The dean harshly pointed at one of the seats on stage, as Sans grinned. He then turned around and scanned the crowd before resting his eyes on Grillby. It wasn’t like he was hard to find, after all.

Grillby could feel tears of magma build up around the embers of his eyes as Sans winked and nodded, and went back to sit with his fellow students.

For a moment, he was speechless.  A strange feeling overcame him. The past and the present blended together for a moment, and he could almost see that tiny six year old Sans sitting up there instead of the adult he is now.

“FATHER! THE CHAIR!” Papyrus suddenly shouted.

Grillby jerked in alarm and looked down, to see that some of his tears had fallen and started to set the chair he was on fire. Bits of flame fell down and set the tacky carpet alight. A commotion broke out around him as fellow parents evacuated the space around the flame and Papyrus went into full ‘rescue’ mode. Grillby was trying to apologize as Papyrus moved him away from the flames as to not make them worse.

From his seat up on stage, Sans watched and sighed as Alphys patted his back. The commotion at least, livened up the ceremony, as now the dean was trying to calm people down with another long boring story.

The nature of growing up is a transformation in of itself. Time passes and things must change, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But as Sans watched Papyrus put out the fire by dumping a container of pasta over it, he was sure that not everything has to change.

Chapter Text

Papyrus was running.

His breaths came in quick, shallow pants as his booted paws propelled him forward, each paw barely touching the ground in his haste. Water flew up in droplets in the wake of each step, causing the sound of it to continuously echo in the cavern.

“Keep going!” Undyne roared over the sound of his breathing. She sat astride him, one hand gripping one of the spines at the base of his neck, the other gripping a magical spear. She was heavy, fully armored, but it was something Papyrus was well used to. Papyrus was also geared up: googles protecting his eye sockets, strategic leather padding, and a saddlebag of supplies made sure he would be ready for anything.

But no matter how long and hard he trained, he would never be ready to hear that his father was in danger.

Undyne shouted directions over the noise of echos, Papyrus turning on a dime to keep up his rate of speed. Together, they twisted in and out of various nooks and cavern walls, until Papyrus skidded to a stop. It was only years of working together that kept Undyne from flying off her friend at the sudden stop.

Before them, was a cave in. A whole passage in Waterfall was blocked with chunks of stone too large to move for a normal monster. But Papyrus was not a ‘normal’ monster. With practiced speed he immediately got to work, peeling away pieces of stone and crushing them into tiny harmless bits. Undyne threw her magical spears into the tunnel, keeping it from collapsing any further. They were the first to arrive, which was usually the case, with the rest of the rescue team on their way. Papyrus could not be stopped and he was gone as soon as the call came in.

I’m heading to New Home to visit Sans,” Grillby had called merely a few hours ago. “and Asgore has invited us to tea, should you like to come.

Papyrus had replied that he was on duty at the moment, and as much as he wanted to travel along with his father to visit his brother, he was a professional. Grillby was subjected to a speech about how the Great and Vigilant Papyrus must keep an eye out until relieved. Chuckling, his beloved father wished him a good day and hung up.

It was only a while later that the entire cavern shook and sent dust and stone flying everywhere. The long dead volcano that has been their source of power shuddered in an earthquake.  Then came the phone call.

Grillby was trapped, along with a few other monsters in Waterfall. They had managed to get into a safe spot before the tunnels collapsed around them. While nobody was hurt, it would not be long until the oxygen ran out. Being a fire monster, he relied on on it to keep his flames going, if they snuffed out….

Papyrus refused to think of what would happen. He won’t allow that to happen. So there he was, using his bare strength to claw away chunks of stone, his soul thumping in his rib cage. An icy fear gripped his bones as his body felt numb. It was almost like a bad dream, but the pain of his claws digging into stone and the burning thump of his soul told him it was very much real.

He snarled in frustration. It wasn’t as easy as just digging down. Every stone had the potential to cause yet another cave in If removed. It was like a horrible puzzle. Papyrus was great at puzzles, but at the moment he could not appreciate them. Tears stung his eyes behind his goggles as a crooning noise bubbled out from his muzzle in distress.

The monster who had raised him and his brother was below his paws, but separated by piles of stone. Stone that was currently smothering him along with other innocent monsters. His entire life was bonded to the kindness that was shown to him and his brother so many years ago, he wouldn’t know what to do if-

“KEEP GOING PAP!” Undyne shouted from her work of reinforcing the cave. As boulders rolled away from his paw, she was picking them up and slamming them into sturdy piles to hold up the roof of the cage. “YOU GOT THIS!”

A warmth flooded his ribs. Yes. He DOES have this. He was an expert now! He backed up, locking his limbs and straightening his neck and tail. A humming, blue glow built in his chest, rising higher and higher in pitch until the magic launched right into the rocks. His claws gripped into the floor, pouring magic as strong as he could into the rocks. The rocks began to glow orange, then red as the intense heat softened them. As soon as they were red, Papyrus cut the blast and shoved his fore-paws into the stone. His claws dug out melted rock, clawing until his paw broke through into a pocket of air.

He could smell the stale air get pulled out of the hollow as fresh air replaced it. He stuck his muzzle into the hole and barked.

He could hear monsters talking, yelling, crying. He smelled fear, but at least no pain. He dug his claws in after his muzzle and began to rip into the hole, making it wider.

Papyrus?” He could smell smoke, french fries, and pine cones. A warm hand touched his muzzle and he burbled out a response of happiness and worry.

Keep going son, you’re doing well.” The hand was removed as the fire monster moved back, giving Papyrus more room to dig.

See? I told you all. We’ll be okay, that’s my son. Just stay back for a while.” The other monsters quieted down, and Papyrus felt a swell of pride and love in his soul. He had always known that his father was immensely proud of him, but it was always wonderful to hear it.

He could hear the other Rescue Monsters show up. Some were taping off the area to prevent civilians from coming in, some were discussing the cavern’s integrity, and others began to help Papyrus dig. He had to be careful not to accidentally knock someone out with his tail, as it began to wag in relief. By now most of this co-workers had enough sense to stay away from his back end whenever possible.

It wasn’t long until he had clawed a hole large enough for even the biggest monster to escape, the others helping to reinforce the hole so there wasn’t any more danger of collapse. Undyne jumped into the hole, and began to help the trapped monsters out of it, moving quickly and carefully. Papryus used his snoot to act like a railing, keeping the monsters from tripping and falling down the slope of stone. They were quickly ushered off to the side, where blankets and medical personal were waiting. Together, everyone got out safely, the last being a very familiar monster.

Grillby was barely even out of the hole before he was snatched up by the back of his shirt and carried to even ground. With soft clicking noises, Papyrus shape-shifted back into his bipedal form, and immediately hugged so tightly that Grillby felt his flames compress.

“OH FATHER, I WAS SO WORRIED!” The usual brash and confident voice was now colored by fear and relief. “I WAS AFRAID I WOULD NOT GET TO YOU IN TIME!”

I didn’t worry.” Grillby smiled as Papyrus squeezed tighter. “After all, it was you coming to rescue me.

“I WAS STILL WORRIED! DO NOT GET TRAPPED IN ANYMORE CAVE INS, FATHER! I FORBID IT!” Papyrus shook a bit, sniffling back tears as he outright lifted Grillby off the ground and into an even tighter hug. “YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE IN DANGER!”

Grillby coughed up a plume of smoke from the tightness. “Okay, I won’t!”, he wheezed as he received a skeleton nuzzle. Then, he was put back down on the ground and Papyrus removed his scarf to try and brush off the dust on Grillby’s clothes. Grillby looked over at Undyne for help, but she just smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

Papyrus was so relieved, his soul calming down from the terror he was subjected to. The entire rescue barely took more than an hour since getting the call, but it felt like so much longer. 

As he began to pick the dust off his beloved father’s shoulders, he vowed that he would always be there to protect his family, no matter what.

Chapter Text

Sans was hungry.

The biting relentless wind tore through the thin rags on his body like there was nothing there at all. The scant bits of cloth he could find was useless in such bitter cold. Not only were they thin, but froze solid into an unusable mess. The damp and wetness of the place of caves and water didn’t do any favors. He had learned to let them dry first, but the sheer humidity of the caves prevented them to fully dry. No matter what, they would be cold.

Once they have reached the furthest place they could away from the place of heat and red he had dug a shallow den under a fallen log. There, it offered a little bit of warmth and shelter from the wind. In that den, was his tiny sibling, waiting for him. Waiting for food that won’t be coming unless Sans did something about it.

Little Pap didn’t have thicker bones like his older brother, and thus suffered terribly in the freezing temperatures. Even given any spare bit of cloth that wasn’t frozen solid, he still suffered. His soul was like a tiny furnace, and whatever meager morsel that could be found went to his baby brother to feed it. If that little fire went out, he would die.

Sans refused to let that happen, not while he could still walk.

He shook in the cold as he trudged further into the woods, carefully putting one paw in front of the other. He tried to concentrate on moving in order to block out the chill, but the cold was all over. Inescapable. He knew he needed food too, but he could go on just a little longer than his brother could.  He had tried to find fish like the kind in the caves, but the wide rivers were either frozen solid or too deep to risk. There would be no fish for sure.

He had observed the buildings and monsters in the distance of course, but yet did not want to risk being anywhere near them yet. He didn’t trust the good smelling places in the distance. He didn’t trust the monsters that walked about here and there. All of them could secretly be a person in a white coat. They could be waiting to take them back. The whole town could be one elaborate trap.  

So they avoided it.

Which lead to Sans’ current predicament.

Through the whirl of the wind and snow, he heard something. A something…was close. Startled, Sans quickly took cover, ducking behind a tree trunk and trying to conceal the fog of his breath. There, he stayed still. Silent.

The shuffling noise grew close and a very familiar scent touched his muzzle. It sent him on edge, the spines on his neck and back bristling. He carefully peeked around the side of the trunk, eye-lights blown wide in fear.

Only a few feet away, was a rat.

Sans crouched down to observe the thing. It didn’t look like the rats he saw before, in the bad place. Those rats were white and sleek. They had trusted him for a moment, a fellow animal in experimentation, before he was ordered to…

He shook his head. He didn’t want to think about it.

The rat in the present was large and brown, scraggly coat tussled in the wind. It was shuffling about, digging into the snow here and there for any chance of a morsel buried beneath. Despite the cold and scarcity of food, the rat was round and plump. Luckily, Sans was down wind and thus it continued on, unaware.

Sans felt the knot of hunger tighten in his rib-cage, and something began to well up into his mind. It felt cold and calculated. His decisions were always colored with an air of fear and worry but…somehow…he didn’t need to feel worried. He knew how to do this, deep down. He was born with it. He felt himself crouch down to his belly, tail stretched out and snout forward as he sniffed. Silently and carefully, he placed one paw down after another, moving at an incredibly slow pace as he inched forward. The shiver of hunger and desperation kept him moving. Words that he felt more than heard rattled about in his skull.

Prey moving. Prey unaware. Prey forward. Move slow. Stop. Move slow. Prey there. Move. Wait. Stop. Move.

He crept closer, the sound of the wind masking his foot steps as the rat continues to dig about.

Prey. Food. Stop. Go. Stop. Wait.

He crouched, his meager magic bundling in his hind legs.

Wait. Wait. Wait. K I L L

He leapt forward and seized the rat in his jaws. It squeaked and fought, bringing teeth and claws down on his muzzle. Scratches and bite-marks sent bits of dust into the wind, but Sans could not feel them. Possessed by something he couldn’t understand, he growled and shook his head back and forth, squeals masked by the wind.  It became a blur of motion and sound as he savagely attacked. All he could think about was the hunger and increasingly tired form of his sibling. Dying.

Need food need food need food need food.

He didn’t stop until he could taste something warm and the bites and scratches ceased.

He collapsed to his belly, the sheer amount of motion exhausted the tiny beast who had barely any energy to spare. He opened his mouth to pant and something plopped softly to the snow.

Sans shook his head and blinked, and looked down. His eye-lights shrunk to pinpricks as awareness crept back into his vision.

The snow in front of him was splashed with red, the dead rat’s body steaming as the wind stole away its warmth. Its claws and teeth were riddled with dust and a dark mass of red marked where it had been seized. It’s mouth was open in one last final scream as it laid there.

He backed up with a loud yelp, falling over end as he tried to escape. But he couldn’t escape what he did, the taste of blood still fresh in his muzzle. He felt sick, but there wasn’t enough spare magic to throw up. He gagged and flailed in the snow until he was on all four paws again, fear gripping his soul.

He turned and fled.

Tears prickled at the corners of his eye sockets as he ran. He didn’t know why he did that. He didn’t know what possessed him to kill something without an order. Alphys said he wasn’t an animal, wasn’t a killer. But he just…

He stopped, ramming his snout into the snow to wipe away all the blood on him as he whined in distress.

He was just so hungry. So hungry that he slipped into something unthinkable. He had been thinking of his brother before, but he couldn’t ignore the pain in his own ribs. Thoughts tumbled around his mind, thoughts of gaining back his strength, hunting bigger prey, his brother with thick bones and energy, warmth…life. All it took was to take away the life of another living creature by his own conscious choice.

He moaned miserably into the snow. He couldn’t do that. He couldn’t bring home dead animals for Pap to eat. Just the thought of it turned his soul again and sent him into a fit of sobbing. Self loathing crept into his soul. Pap could eat, but at what cost? Was he really a monster or was Alphys telling cruel lies?

He collapsed and cried.

He didn’t have the energy to waste on tears, but the unfairness and horror of the situation was just too much. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but by the time he could compose himself, his tears had frozen to his face. He grumbled and miserably picked at them with a claw to clear them.

He had to make a choice. It was clear now, that there was no food in the forest. He could not fish. He could not bring himself to hunt. He and his brother will be dust in only a day or two without something to eat. Shakily, he got up again, shaking the freshly fallen snow off his body and face. His joints were stiff, painful, but still he stood.

He peeked outward at the lights in the distance, at the town and the good smelling things in metal cylinders.

It was risky. So very risky, but it didn’t seem like he had much of a choice anymore.

He slunk to the ground and began to carefully sneak towards the edges of the town.

Someway or another, Pap was going to eat tonight.

He’ll make sure of that.

Chapter Text

“TWICK OR TREET!”

“trick or treat!”

The rabbit monster chuckled, a bowl of candy held in her paws. “My my, what spooky costumes you have!”

It would be spooky, if the statement wasn’t addressing a tiny skeleton dressed up like a pumpkin. The sibling just chuckled, standing next to him as a DIY robot. Of course, everyone in Snowdin and most of Waterfall knew about Sans and Papyrus. They were polite, happy children who often played games with the other kids in town. Now Halloween was in full swing and kids were moving from house to house, asking for their treats.

The two were alone, most likely their father was at home handing out candy. Sans, the eldest, always kept an eye on the little ones, so they were trusted to wander about.

And, they are oh, so cute.

Papyrus wiggled his arms, barely able to move in the large plush pumpkin costume. A little pumpkin top (with a teeny tiny vine) sat on his head as a hat to complete the outlet. He had to waddle about to accommodate such a large costume, but damn, was it adorable. It wasn’t even a jack-o-lantern, just a regular harvest pumpkin.

“YEAH! SPTHOOKY!”

The youngest was starting to get TEETH now, causing the poor dear to lisp a bit at every new tooth. He shook his candy bucket, little eye lights shining brightly in excitement. He nearly fell over, but his brother was there to prevent it.

“Well then! Here’s some candy for the scariest spookiest little pumpkin around!” She put some candy in said bucket, causing the child to bounce up and down.

“THANK YEW LADY!” he giggled and waddled in a circle, so pleased to have yet more candy for the growing hoard.

The elder just stood there, keeping and eye on his sibling to make sure he didn’t fall down and start rolling away (like what happened two houses away, she saw!). He was a cardboard robot, painted silver with little buttons glued to the front. A box with the front cut out made for a nice ‘head’, and two television antennae were sticking out of the top. He clearly made it himself, and wore it with pride.

She deposited some candy in his bucket, with [INPUT] painted on the side. “Oh no, not only is there a scary pumpkin, but a scary robot too!”

He looked pleased at the compliment and then spoke in a fake robotic voice.

“you have imputed candy: activating joke subroutine. beep beep. what do you call a witch that lives at the beach?”

Of course, it was going to be a joke. She pondered for a moment before sighing and shaking her head. “I don’t know, dear.”

The grin on his face got impossibly wide. He knew exactly what he was doing. “beep beep. a sand-witch.

He erupted into laughter and didn’t stop as his little brother dragged him off to the next house, chuckles fading into the distance.

In terms of Halloween ‘tricks’, it could have been a LOT worse.