You manage to catch the word on your lips before it escaped. You were in a park after all, and there were children nearby. So instead you caught yourself and ended up shouting "FfffffFUDGE!" like some kind of lunatic.
Hot coffee was burning into your skin and there was a huge brown stain down your jumper. Every fibre of your being wanted to throw the rest of the coffee at the person who had just bumped into you, but you wanted to save what you had left, so instead you lifted up your arms like some kind of ragdoll and let the now cold coffee drip down your sleeves and onto the floor.
Great, that's 2.50 gone into the wind.
Gritting your teeth, you decided to calm yourself down, apologise to whoever you bumped into, and carry on your way. You glanced up, highly doubting that you would be able to contain the rage that was simmering near the surface.
"damn, you ok?"
The rage that had been threatening to burst melted away like ice on a hot summers day. You shrank back a little when your eyes met the hollow, black sockets of a Monster.
A skeleton Monster.
Well, that's what he appeared to be at first glance. He was much bulkier than a human skeleton, with thicker and longer bones. His face was rounded and his huge teeth were sharp points, like shark teeth, and they fitted together perfectly. One of them was... Golden?
He sported a black hoodie with a fur-trimmed hood and red sneakers. You had no idea why he was able to wear SHORTS on a cold day like today, but you put it down to skeletons not feeling the cold or something.
Monsters had been 'released' from the Underground a few years ago. It had been incredibly exciting, learning that monsters and magic all existed, but once the whole story was uncovered it became apparent that they weren't at all friendly. In fact, their king and the captain of their Royal Guard had served time in jail for murdering children. Monsters had integrated themselves into societies all around the world and had been somewhat prejudiced against by a lot of people, but eventually, like all things, everyone stopped giving a shit. You were one of those people who didn't care but tried to stay out of the way.
Spilling coffee over one was NOT your definition of 'staying out of the way'.
"I'm fine." You said, voice coming out a lot shakier and squeakier than you had intended. You glanced around you, eyes begging for help, but all the adults were turning their children away and avoiding eye contact.
"you sure?" His voice was deep and smooth. Had he been human it would have been quite sexy, but you banished that thought from your mind.
You looked into his... eyes...? and saw that, contrary to what you had assumed at first, he had tiny red pinpricks of light inside his black sockets. They seemed to be studying you intently.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine. Sorry, It was an accident. Yeah. Uh, I'll be on my way." You tried to skirt around him but you were yanked back by a vice grip on your arm. You turned around and saw that his thick skeletal fingers were wrapped around your forearm, preventing your escape. He looked genuinely concerned, eyelights roaming from your coffee stained blue jumper to your probably ghostly white face.
"you spilt your coffee, right? i'll buy you another." He turned around and moved towards the coffee shop, dragging you along with him.
"No, really, I'm ok!" You blurted, trying to yank your arm out of his grip.
"it wasn't a request, sweetcheeks."
...What did he call you?
True to his word he got you another coffee. He also got one for himself and a small chocolate cake to say sorry for 'spilling your coffee fucking everywhere'. You were given apologetic glances by the staff, which you appreciated.
So now you were sat opposite a gigantic skeleton monster, drinking coffee as if you were close buddies, and every eye in the cafe was on you two. You could feel yourself draining of self confidence with every sip you took. How were you going to leave? Could you just get up and go? Or was he going to make you stay longer?
And why were all the monsters in the cafe giving you that strange look?
"you ok doll? you've gone really fucking pale." He was sat opposite you, red eyes glowing gently.
You almost spat your coffee everywhere at the nickname he gave you.
"Y-yeah, umm, just..." Real smooth, (y/n). Real smooth.
"it's cause i'm a monster, isn't it?" he chuckled to himself, resting his elbows on the table top. You flinched at the casual way he accepted your stereotyping, and you felt really guilty, pulling your legs up to your chest and holding the coffee cup close. He, on the other hand, was oozing self confidence and you caught a whiff of cigarettes and... mustard? "don't worry, i won't eat you. not without permission anyway." He winked one of his sockets.
You felt yourself go white as a sheet and you focused on your coffee cup. Suddenly the prospect of eating the slice of chocolate cake in front of you made you feel sick to your stomach and you stared at it, willing it to move away and create some kind of distraction.
"h-hey, i was joking."
You were surprised to hear him stutter. He was also... sweating? Do skeletons sweat? There was a moment of silence, filled only with the sound of you taking another sip of your coffee and him sighing. Had you pissed him off? Your heart was beating against your ribs, trying to break out and run for it.
"knock knock." He said, his face completely serious. Was he seriously doing this? Right now?
You took a deep, shaky breath through your nose and looked up at him.
"C-cows go who?"
"i'm pretty sure cows go 'moo', ya dingus."
The atmosphere cracked a little and you let yourself snort with laughter. He looked like he'd hit the jackpot, his grin growing even wider, golden tooth sparkling.
"did that joke tickle your funny bone? was is humerus? tibia honest, i can do better than that. i have a skele-ton of jokes in my joke book. don't give me that look, it's 'killing' me..."
He threw terrible joke after terrible joke at you, constantly making you either snort with laughter or put your face in your hands with how cheesy it was. Eventually he did one about a photon walking into a hotel and you absolutely HAD to tell him one.
"Okay, okay." You put your coffee back down on the table and looked up at him, trying hard not to smile. "What are cats composed of?"
He tapped the table with one skeletal finger for a moment then shrugged.
"i don't know."
"Iron, Lithium and Neon." You bit your upper lip to stop yourself chuckling as you said the punchline.
It took him a moment but when he finally got it, you both broke out into a fit of giggles.
"i'm sans, by the way." He offered his hand for an introduction. "sans the skeleton."
You took a moment, looking at his huge hand. You took in the sharp fingertips and disturbingly white colour. Eventually, however, you took his hand and shook it, cautiously.
Sans. Where had you heard that before?
The conversation went from jokes to idle chatter and you found yourself relaxing. The room was no longer stifling and you weren't afraid that Sans was going to bite your head off or something. In fact, from what you could gather, he was a massive doofus. A massive doofus with a very, VERY scary face.
You found yourself doing most of the talking and you had to actively ask Sans more questions than usual and try to rebound questions back at him to get him to talk about himself. He had a knack for dodging questions and it pissed you off. From what you could gather, he had an older brother and a father, but he seemed to talk about his father in the past tense, so you tried not to focus on that subject too much.
The time slipped by without you realising and you felt your phone buzz with a text. When you saw the time displayed on the screen you flinched. Two hours!? How had you been talking to Sans for TWO HOURS!? It barely felt like ten minutes!
"Oh MY GOD! Sans, I gotta go. Thanks for the coffee and the cake and all, but I really have to leave." You stood up so fast you knocked the table, the fork clattering against the empty plate, your empty coffee cup falling over.
"oh. ok." you heard his shoulders slump.
The resignation and disappointment in his voice made you stop for a second and before you could think about what you were saying, you had given him your number, and he had given you his number too, his grin turning into something that resembled cheeky. On the way home, you realised to yourself that monster or not, you had just traded numbers with a guy.
You tried to sneak into your room without your parents noticing, but Dad caught you going up the stairs and gave you a huge lecture about how you were wasting your time doing nothing, lazying about without a job, and he expected your share of the rent by the end of the week. You responded by slamming your door and screaming into a pillow.
How were you supposed to get the rent? You were stuck in this endless cycle of losing money. You were stuck at your parents house and you didn't have enough money to move out. To get money to move out, you needed a job. And it wasn't like you hadn't tried! You'd lost your jobs one by one for the most ridiculous reasons. You lost your job as a cashier because you mouthed off a guy who smashed a bottle of wine on the floor, you lost your job as a waitress because you slapped someone for grabbing your ass, no one in the neighbourhood would let you walk their dog because you 'scared the dogs'. And any money you were able to make in the meantime was drained because you had to pay for rent!
You took off your coffee stained blue jumper and threw it into the corner. You'd wash it later.
Ok, probably not.
You fell onto your bed, groaned into the pillow and shut your eyes. It would be easier if Mom and Dad were vaguely nice people. For as long as you could remember, Mom had been an asshole, but Dad had always seemed to be your knight in shining armour. Then you got older and he got more and more detached until he just seemed to... turn on you.
Until you found a stable job and bought an apartment, you were stuck. Heck, a potting shed in the middle of a city would do. Anything to get out of this hellhole.
You hated it. You hated your parents. You... You didn't want to admit that you hated yourself but you did feel like a burden. Especially with your parents driving it into your head like that.
Sighing and rolling over to get out of bed, you turned off the light and threw yourself back onto your bed. You didn't care if it was too early to sleep. You'd just read in your pyjamas until you couldn't keep your eyes open anymore, and you'd go back to the taunting nightmares of being trapped in a slowly shrinking box.
That's what happened every night.