Ive had this idea on my mind for a while. What if Sans stumbles upon a human that can do magic, and of course he's wary, so he keeps an "eyesocket out for them", but the more he watches them the fonder he grows of them.(turns out they're a huge dork)
better late than never, right?
(hope you like this, i had so much fun and i kinda got carried away with it)
Summary: Given the complicated history between monsters and humans, wariness of each other is nothing personal. Well, except between you and Sans. That’s very personal for one big reason: you can use magic.
After moving up to the surface, Sans sort of noticed that he’d been more reserved than usual.
He couldn’t really blame himself for that. Trust…was a hard thing to muster. Especially when he spent most his life watching not only over his brother, but himself.
It wasn’t as if the Underground was a harsh place to life. The camaraderie of monsters was simply more prevalent than it was on the surface. Humans had so much to learn. They focused more on what was different between them than what was the same. Despite being trapped on a small planet in the middle of nowhere, they still managed to create new wars over old ideologies.
…well. Maybe he shouldn’t have been so harsh on them for that. After all…monsters held on to a certain kind of hatred for so long that it warped their realities and morals, too.
Back to the point: Sans wasn’t as friendly to humans as he was to other monsters. He hid it well with casual banter and whacky jokes. Anything to make people comfortable with his presence. If he could make himself seem safer by putting on a façade, then he would do it with the fakest smile he could muster.
But…living on edge all the time was tiring.
Especially since nothing had changed. When he was part of the sentry back in Snowdin, he would watch the world go by and keep his upbeat attitude for his brother.
Now, everyone he interacted with – aside from Papyrus – received the same treatment. Keep the humans away. Make sure your SOUL was locked up tight. And never let your guard down.
Even here, in the park, he couldn’t rest his bones. Seated on the bench, the sun raining down on his bleached skull, there was still a prickle of uncertainty flitting down his spine. He let his eyelights go dark in his sockets, relishing the warmth of this heady summer day, and absorbed every shred of stimuli that swept through him.
“Whoa! Are you okay? I’m so sorry!” you shouted, having nearly mowed down the skeleton.
The gaggle of dogs continued to sniff and prod at him with wet, slimy noses, snuffling at his clothes and their tails growing stiff from pinpointing the source of the smell. You had your hands full. Literally. Their leashes were tangled up and around your wrist and fingers.
He had to admit, for a dogwalker, you were bold. Rollerblades strapped to your feet, wristguards and a helmet to keep you safe. You were already drenched with sweat trying to keep up with them, but luckily the tanktop and shorts were there to help you cool off from being worked so hard.
“heya, pups.” Sans reached out and patted one of them on the snout. They immediately reared back and barked playfully. “heh, yep. figured you’d get a kick outta me.”
“Sorry about that,” you repeated, burning from both the weather and sheer embarrassment. “I didn’t even see you here. The park is usually empty this type of day since it’s during school.”
“yeah, guess both of us don’t have that commitment then, huh?”
“Nope. I’m living the dream, as you can see.” You nodded to the group. “I work at the…well, it’s a nonprofit organization for rescued dogs. Maybe you’ve heard of us. ‘Bark Over Bite’?”
He hadn’t, but nodded anyway. “sure have. doin’ great work out there.” He figured as much, based on how comfortable the pups were with you.
“Anyway, gotta get back out there. I’m on a tight schedule. Thanks for not scolding me! You wouldn’t believe some of the nasty things old people say when you get in their personal bubble. I’m guessing you’re a little on the younger side, then.” You smiled politely. “See you!”
He didn’t bother saying anything back, already relieved you were gone.
Sans was content to spend the rest of the afternoon by himself, like he’d planned, but you obviously had other plans.
“WHOA! Slow down, guys! Wait!”
Even from this far away, he heard the sheer panic in your voice. Something that sent an unpleasant skittering along his bones. He glanced over and saw how wobbly your stance was, how your muscles strained as you did your best to come to a stop. But the full weight of your horde of dogs was enough to tear you from that hope and put you back into a dangerous reality.
Sans followed your trajectory and saw where you were headed. There was a small crowd of kids with ice cream cones wrapped in their sticky hands, lapping at the treats. They spotted the dogs and decided to call them all over with their afternoon sweet as an incentive. Between the high-pitched cooing and the whooping and cheering as the dogs zeroed in on the ice cream, Sans saw a recipe for disaster.
“HEEL! SIT! STAY! GUYS, PLEASE!”
By some miracle, you’d managed to stay upright despite the leashes propelling you forward at breakneck speed. Sans stood on top of the bench to get a better view, his SOUL flaring to life in the middle of his chest, and his fingers ready to snap into action despite how little he really cared.
In a split second, he felt the CRACK! of magic.
Your body turned light blue. So did the dogs. And kids. Their SOULs were drawn out of their chests, so heavy and thick with excess magic that they ran in slow motion. None of them knew what was happening to their bodies so they all hesitated…just long enough that you passed through each other.
He couldn’t believe it.
Sans didn’t do that.
So who did?
He searched around but couldn’t find any other monster. It was just humans here.
At the end of the path, you had managed to stop long enough to tear the rollerblades from your feet. You’d met a rough stop by crashing into a tree and flopping into the grass, but the dogs were completely fine. The kids were shocked. Shaken up a bit. Some of them jumped up and down and shook out their limbs as best they could, at least not hard enough to have the scoop of ice cream fall from their cones.
Sans scanned the perimeter but for some reason he couldn’t take his eyes off you.
Maybe it was because…
You were the one who used the magic.
You approached the kids more calmly this time. The dogs panted and wagged their tails, licking the fallen ice cream cones and tears from the kids’ faces. The teacher, who must’ve stepped away for just a minute to help another kid with a bloody nose, saw the commotion and rushed over.
“Are they all trained? Will they bite?”
“Nah. These are our best-behaved dogs. Err, I mean, they’re still learning boundaries, but none of them are aggressive and work closely with kids.”
Sans watched you check the kids secretly for wounds. And then…
“Hey, I think I’ve got a few leaves in my hair.” You approached a child with a slight scrape on their elbow. “Can you help me get it out?”
She nodded and reached up, pudgy fingers tangled in your locks. You winced from her rough handling, but she managed to grab one. It looked…especially green. Almost like fresh grass sprouting in the spring after a long, earth-quenching rain. And after she took it, it almost…faded away. Her scrape didn’t look so red any more…wait, where did it go?
If he had a stomach, it would’ve dropped.
“See you later, puppy!” one of the kids cried. “Bye bye!”
You waved and the dogs followed you, satisfied with their midmorning treat and the overwhelming affection of the kids.
Sans wasn’t going to ignore this. It was crucial information.
A human. Could use. Magic.
And maybe it wasn’t that well developed. Maybe you were just the freak product of some ridiculously recessive gene soup. But he knew one thing: humans with magic once wrought havoc on monsterkind hundreds of years ago. If they had the advantage now, who knew what kind of selfish, horrible things they could accomplish?
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING TODAY, SANS?”
“heading over to the animal shelter.”
“OH, EXCELLENT! I HAVE SOME EXTRA CANNED FOOD THEY MIGHT USE. FRISK DROPPED IT OFF BECAUSE TORIEL MADE THEM GIVE BACK THE PUPPY THEY TOOK FROM THE SHELTER. NYEH HEH HEH! IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT, I DON’T THINK…ANIMALS ARE DRAWN TO THEM. I THINK THEY CAN SENSE WHEN KIDS ARE GOOD. DON’T YOU THINK?”
Sans poked at his breakfast. The milk in his cereal bowl bubbled at him in response.
“you’re awesome, bro. i’ll make sure to ask if they want it.”
“HOORAY! THEN EAT UP. YOU’LL NEED YOUR STRENGTH. I’LL LOAD THE FOOD IN THE BACK OF YOUR MOPED. MAKE SURE THAT THE TRUNK IS LOCKED THIS TIME.”
Papyrus was busy on the surface. Which was good. He had his own business going and made a lot of friends. Sans knew that his brother would flourish so long as he held on to his boundless optimism and confidence. He met so many cool people in town after seeking out friends, and Frisk introduced him to the more proper way of expanding his social network. By now, he had far more friends than he did strangers in his life – and Sans was very proud of him for that.
Sans, on the other hand, mainly kept in contact with old pals through his phone. He and Toriel texted often. Alphys tagged him in bad memes on Undernet. And he was always typing up bad jokes on the selfies his old buddies took.
For right now, he worked by himself on some independent science projects. He never thought he’d jump back into it, but after Undyne bought him that kid’s chemistry set as a joke one year, he was determined to create something that would knock the big grin off her smug face.
He parked in front of the place and managed to pull the box full of food out. He was sure that the shelter wouldn’t reject the donation.
The atmosphere inside was…nice. Seemed like a clean and friendly enough place. There was a playpen off to the corner where several puppies were barking and wrestling with each other. A cat seated on top of the counter stared at him, slow blinks and all, as it repositioned itself to lean toward the bell at the counter.
Ring me! it read.
He did as he was told, but not before setting down the box on the ground so he wouldn’t have to deal with it any more.
He recognized your voice. He hadn’t expected you to be here today; he thought maybe he’d snoop and try to pick up on some clues. Not that you would actually show up. He really hoped that you didn’t—
“Hey! It’s you!”
You grinned and leaned over the counter, your hair in disarray. It looked like one of the animals had gotten sick all over your shirt. That or it was paint. “Nice to see you again. I’m glad you decided to check us out! What can I do for you?”
Sans bent down and brought up the case full of food. “got some donations for ya, courtesy of my bro. he was real touched when i told him about what you do, so this is from him.”
“Oh man, tell your brother he’s the best!” You reached over and snatched it from him without any hesitation. You must’ve been used to hauling dog food back and forth, because you didn’t even flinch from the added weight in your arms. “Hey, he should stop by sometime. The dogs would probably thank him personally. How does he feel about wet puppy smooches?”
That got a smile out of him. “eh. think he’d rather they don’t. he’s got a thing about affection.”
“Ah, no problem, then. We’ve got some oldies here who don’t wanna do anything but cuddle. Did you want to take a tour?”
He wasn’t sure why he said it. He meant to do some light spying and then take off. Not interfere with what you were doing. Maybe he was just curious because he wanted to see the extent of your powers.
As far as he knew, you could do two: blue and green magic. That was more than what he had control over, and it was unheard of for anyone to use more than one. What was your deal?
The rest of the building was basic. There were a few acres of land in the back with a tall enough fence that the dogs couldn’t jump over it. Lots of worn toys strewn everywhere. Drool around every corner, some pictures of the dogs that some kids drew hanging over their beds. It smelled bad, and the place looked like it’d seen better days, but you were trying your best to keep it together.
“crazy what happened yesterday, huh?”
You paused. Finished stacking the cans in the cupboard. “Oh, the kids? You saw that?”
“yeah. it’s real lucky no one got hurt.”
“I know. I should’ve been more careful.” Your voice was soft now. “Sometimes it’s hard to control…the dogs. You know. And they can be a little…wild, when they’re distracted. I think all they need is…practice? I can help them the best they can.”
“sounds like you’re stretched thin here.”
“Kind of. One of our supervisors quit. He moved away to retire somewhere warm and tropical with his husband. Not that I blame him. But that means longer nights for me! Which, I don’t mind, I practically live here. And overtime pay is great. Still kinda lonely though.”
He stared at your dejected expression.
“But I mean. Anyway. It’s not that big of a deal.” You shoved it all aside. But even from here he could see the uncertain waver to your SOUL. “So, uh, where do you work, Sans?”
“right now i’m takin’ a break. who knows. might end up teaching a few courses down at the community center. but eh. besides that, don’t really got a plan.”
“Man, that’s so cool. I mean. You seem pretty well put together. I never would’ve guessed.”
“heh. uh, thanks?”
It started to get dark outside. Sans hadn’t learned much about you in terms of what your magical skill was like, save for the very clear uncertainty from your awkward runaround about yesterday’s near mishap. So this was a bust.
“I gotta get back to painting this new playroom. I’ll see you around, hopefully.”
“yeah. see ya.”
From the corner of his eye, he watched you stare hard at the blank wall you’d been working on. Your clothes were a mess, the paintbrushes frayed, and it looked like you’d all but given up on trying to preserve the floor from your wrath. In the middle of it all, you managed to let out a weary sigh and push yourself to finish.
Sans headed home and found Papyrus already setting the table for dinner.
“SANS! HOW DID IT GO? DID THEY ACCEPT THE FOOD?”
“yep. a girl at the front desk told me to tell you that you’re super cool for thinkin’ of them. think you’ve got a new fan.”
“WOWIE! I SHOULD STOP BY AND GIVE HER ONE OF MY GLAMOR SHOTS. IT WOULD HELP SPICE UP THE BUILDING! EVERY PLACE IN THE CITY NEEDS A PIECE OF PAPYRUS, BUT ONLY THE MOST HONORED WILL RECEIVE IT!”
“YOUR PHONE IS MAKING NOISES AGAIN. IS IT ALPHYS?”
“think so.” He drew the text up to read it and respond before he shoved his phone away.
aly aly oxenfree: snas, i found the info ur lookin 4!!!
snas: ok, so what’s the deal?
aly aly oxenfree: the organization is legit. right now there are only 3 employees. they pay a little above the minimum wage, but rely on public donations and fundraisers to keep their doors open.
snas: and the girl?
aly aly oxenfree: found out where she lives. that’s about it. are u sure that u saw what u said u did?
snas: i’m sure
aly aly oxenfree: & u don’t wanna tell toriel???
snas: gotta make sure she’s ok with monsters before all that.
aly aly oxenfree: she can take care of herself, oh my god
snas: yeah but she’s too nice sometimes
aly aly oxenfree: & ur not?
Maybe it was cowardly to snoop around while you were at work. But he had to know just who it was that he was dealing with.
Your apartment wasn’t too far from the shelter. It was probably a ten-minute walk. Not the best neighborhood, but not the worst either. It looked like you lived alone. And you forgot to close the curtains before you left. He was just lucky you were on the ground floor.
Inside, your place was somewhat of a mess. Wrappers and empty fast food containers piled up in the kitchen. Your décor was a little…weird. Lots of figurines and collections from various fandoms. Alphys would’ve gotten a kick out of this if she came.
In the corner of the room, almost indiscernible among the thick layers of dust, was a statue of a figure so familiar it made him sick.
A human mage.
So that explained it. You knew about your magic use. This wasn’t some sort of weird coincidence where you were discovering your powers. You had stacks of library books around the statue – maybe references about the history of your talents. Maybe techniques to help you refine your craft.
Whatever the case, this only furthered his suspicion that you needed to be kept in check.
It didn’t take him long to get to the shelter.
“Hey, it’s you!”
“name’s sans. here for a job.” He planted the flier on the counter. “you still need help takin’ care of the animals?”
For the most part, you were always suspicious of people that wanted to work at your shelter. Mostly because so many people had flaked out before. It wasn’t easy introducing a lot of traumatized dogs to new people.
But Sans seemed different, in a way. And not because he was a skeleton or a monster. It was…more because of his attitude. A little laissez-faire. A little cynical, from what you could tell. Despite all of that, he seemed genuine in his desire to work with all the dogs. It…wasn’t as if you could afford to turn anyone else away. Not when the flu was going around and the person covering your days off was sick to their stomach.
“So…what made you wanna apply here?”
The interview was incredibly informal since you were the only one who could give it.
“seems like a neat place. you’ve got a good thing going. met some of your pups, and i think all they need is some tlc.”
“Do you have any experience with pets?”
“course i do. we got our own dog back home. he mostly sleeps in my room.”
“Aww, cute. So, let’s go through some scenarios…”
Suffice it to say, Sans passed with flying colors. He was so damn charismatic despite acting so casual. It was an admirable trait.
“When can you start?”
“you got time to train me today?”
“Sure! Let’s do it!”
You had already given him a tour, so some basics wasn’t that bad. Showing him the chart of all the dogs’ diets, where the food and water was kept, the schedules with everyone’s exercise and play time. Sans approached them carefully and always respected their boundaries, especially when you included him in the scheduled fun.
Over the next few weeks, Sans performed way above your expectations, which was already high to begin with. But you noticed something…weird.
For one, Sans would barely make eye contact with you. Hey, everyone had their issues and interacted with the world differently. But it felt like he was so engaging with possible foster parents and adopters. Not you. Which kind of hurt your feelings.
Second, he never wanted to hang out with you after work. Which. Okay. You sort of understood why he wouldn’t, since work and personal lives were easiest when kept separate. But he was so cool with you before, when you first met, so you wondered why his tune had changed.
Third, and weirdest of all, Sans was never alone with you. If you needed his help with something, he would find another task to do and complete it on his own. There was no small talk between you anymore. If anything, it felt like he was keeping you at arm’s length on purpose. As if he was just around the corner, observing but never engaging. How weird was that?
“Hey, Sans. You want to grab something to eat?” It was bath day for the dogs, which meant you were in no position to cook tonight. Not with your aching body. “I know this really cool place down the street.”
“thanks for the offer, but i’m good. my bro is comin’ to pick me up. we’ve got a dinner to get to.”
“Oh. Sounds awesome. I hope you have fun.”
You were putting on your shoes when the door burst open. “SANS! THE CAR IS RUNNING OUTSIDE AND YOUR FAVORITE SONG IS ON! WE HAVE TO HURRY BEFORE IT’S OVER!”
Who was that?!
Well, obviously it was Sans’ brother. But he was so TALL. He and his brother looked like exact opposites. You expected another slouchy monster with a weird sense of humor, definitely not this ridiculously handsome and cool dude who peered at you like you’d just grown another head.
“YOU!!! I HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOU.” He dug into his pocket and grinned as he handed it to you. An autographed picture of himself. “I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THE PERFECT MOMENT TO GIVE THIS TO YOU.”
“Wait a second, you’re the brother who donated food to my pups?”
“THAT WOULD BE ME, PAPYRUS!!!”
“Whoa.” That was all you could muster before he reached out to shake your hand, which you returned warmly. “I’m gonna put this on my list of STAR donors! Is that okay?”
“A-ABSOLUTELY!” He put his hands up to his chin and you laughed at the faint blush dusting his cheekbones. “I WOULD EXPECT NOTHING LESS, FOR I AM THE MOST GENEROUS OF PEOPLE.”
“Seems like it. Hey Sans, your brother is just as awesome as you said he was! He’s getting washed up, I think, we were knee-deep in soapy water all day.”
“YOU HAVE DONE WONDERS WITH HIM. ONCE UPON A TIME HE USED TO FEAST ON CRUMBS IN-BETWEEN COUCH CUSHIONS BECAUSE HE WAS TOO LAZY TO GET A NEW BAG OF CHIPS.”
“INDEED! NOW HE IS ACTIVE AND HELPFUL HERE. I HAVE YOU TO THANK FOR THAT. YOU MUST BE AN INCREDIBLE TEACHER!”
“Ah, I’m okay….”
“I HAVE A SPECTACULAR AND AMAZING IDEA!!! PERHAPS YOU COULD COME WIH US TO DINNER TONIGHT. WE WILL HAVE LOTS OF FUN!”
Papyrus glanced over. Sans stood in the doorway, suspicion written all over his face.
“you’re here early.”
“YUPPIE! I CAME TO MAKE SURE YOU WERE PRESENTABLE. BUT GIVEN YOUR WORKLOAD TODAY, I’LL GIVE YOU A HARD PASS. OH! I WAS INVITING YOUR COWORKER TO COME WITH US. I’M SURE THE OTHERS WOULD LOVE TO MEET HER!”
“Oh, I don’t know…” You chewed on your lower lip. “I—I uh, don’t think Sans will want me there.”
“WHAT? PREPOSTEROUS. YOU TWO ARE COWORKERS. SANS HAS ALWAYS BEEN CLOSE TO THE PEOPLE HE WORKS WITH. IN FACT, HE WAS VOTED ‘FRIENDLIEST SKELETON’ IN SNOWDIN! ONLY BECAUSE I RELINQUISHED MY TROPHY TO HIM, OF COURSE.”
You couldn’t believe what you were hearing. Sans? Being nice and amicable with his coworkers? Treating them like friends? Seriously?
“SO IT’S SETTLED. WE’LL GO TO THE BAR TOGETHER! I CAN GIVE YOU A RIDE. COME WITH US.”
You knew Sans didn’t want you there. But you were starving. And it would be nice to get out of the house. Your couch was going to have buttprints soon with how much time you spent there.
“Sure. Thanks, Papyrus!”
“NO PROBLEMO. YOU CAN RIDE IN THE BACKSEAT! LET’S GO!”
Oh. The air was tense. Sans was so uncomfortable the entire ride there. Which…you really didn’t understand. Was he embarrassed of his friends? Of the place? Or…was he embarrassed of you?
The bar was one you’d walked by probably a hundred times. A cozy place that wasn’t too busy at night, at least not enough that you wouldn’t be able to hear yourself think.
“I’LL INTRODUCE YOU. THIS IS ALPHYS AND UNDYNE. THEY ARE VERY MUCH IN LOVE!!! I HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE THAT BECAUSE IT EMBARRASSES THEM. TORIEL IS UNABLE TO MAKE IT SINCE FRISK HAS THE STOMACH FLU. HAVE YOU HEARD IT’S GOING AROUND?”
“Yeah, my other coworker caught it not too long ago. She got over it, but now she’s taking care of her kids.”
“SKELETONS ARE LUCKY THEY’RE SAFE FROM CONTAGIONS. OH. UNDYNE, ALPHYS, THIS IS THE HUMAN GIRL THAT SANS WORKS WITH AT THE SHELTER!!!”
It was awkward at first, sure, but Papyrus did his best to make you feel welcome. Alphys and Sans were texting on their phones all night. You were…like ninety-nine percent sure that it was to each other. Maybe they were in a group chat with this Toriel person to check up on her. Undyne wasn’t really interested in you very much, since she was watching a swimming competition on the TV. Papyrus was the one to engage you the most, asking you all sorts of questions about working at the shelter.
“AND WHAT IF THE DOGS ARE RESTLESS? HOW DO YOU HELP THEM?”
“…she sings to ‘em.”
“I—I definitely do not,” you laughed nervously, taking another long drink. “I just take them for a little walk, that’s all.”
“heh. not really. she’ll sing ‘my only sunshine’ to ‘em and snuggle with them in their rooms.”
“I definitely DON’T do that?”
“yeah you do. they like her voice. mostly ‘cuz she gets so passionate.”
“she dances, too. then they howl with her.”
He was exposing all your secrets! What the hell! You made sure to only do that kind of shit when he said he was going on break!
“THIS SOUNDS ADORABLE. STOP, I CAN’T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS.”
“didn’t even tell ya the best part. she has nicknames for all of ‘em. and she trains ‘em to give high fives to people when they take a lot during adoption drives.”
“W-what?” Alphys giggled. “That’s so cool!”
“It’s really not a big deal…”
Sans continued, not bothered in the slightest by your panicked protests. “she makes flower crowns for ‘em, too. most of ‘em let her put it on and then she takes photos for the website. then she backs out on uploadin’ ‘em because she thinks the crowns aren’t good enough.”
“It’s because they eat most of the flowers in the backyard or they wilt them!”
Sans locked eyes with you. The suddenness of his eye contact was jarring, to say the least.
“you care a lot about those animals. that’s real clear.”
“just statin’ the obvious.”
After eating a hearty meal, which Papyrus insisted he pay for in exchange for you dealing with his brother at work, he offered to drive you home. You agreed.
“OH! I WANT TO WASH MY HANDS. IS IT OKAY IF I USE YOUR BATHROOM?”
“Sure. Come on in. Uh, mind the mess. I wasn’t expecting company.”
The apartment was quiet, too much for your taste. You always needed the TV on to make it seem less lonely. Sans was lucky – he had a sibling to share his life with.
“OKIE DOKIE, BE RIGHT BACK!” Papyrus dashed off after you pointed him in the right direction. It was…nice?…to see him so enthusiastic about proper hygiene.
Sans stood in front of your bookshelf. A collection of all sorts of things that you were interested in. He seemed to fixate specifically on a leather book wedged between several young adult novels, though he wasn’t going to mention anything to you.
“That’s…um. Well. I borrowed that from the library that closed not too long ago.”
“the precision of magic control, huh?”
“Monsters are really cool. Being able to do magic. It’s normal for you guys. For humans, that sort of thing was debunked a long time ago. Now people are only beginning to understand it. Hopefully we can learn more from you.”
You flinched at the coldness to his tone. “Sans?”
“Do you not like me?”
He paused for a moment, but didn’t even bother looking at you. “what makes you say that?”
“Just a feeling. It’s okay if you don’t. I’m kind of weird. I talk to animals a lot, I spend most of my time playing around, and I work my ass off to give away dogs that I really do love and am attached to. It’s kind of dumb. The two of us have grown up in different places, so…I can see why you’d have a hard time getting along with me.”
Sans reached out and plucked the book from the shelf. There were scribbled notes in it.
“why do you read about this kinda stuff? looks like it’s been here longer than we’ve lived on the surface.”
You swallowed. “Well. Actually. Uh. The thing is…I want to learn about it because…I…”
A long silence. Sans waited a few more seconds before he spoke.
“that day, in the park. saw you use magic.”
“You did.” Of course he did. You weren’t exactly subtle. “It was so stupid. But I didn’t know what else to do.”
“humans don’t even have that ability any more.”
“They don’t. I’m a freak.”
He wasn’t sure why, but his chest ached at that accusation. “nah.”
“No, really. I am. I’ve had magic for as long as I can remember. I’ve taught myself so much. But it feels like all I ever do is hurt people with it. Unless I’m alone. Then the only person at risk is myself. And it’s not like anyone would care.”
That last bit wasn’t what you meant to say. It just fell out.
But Sans closed his eyes and stuffed the book back to its rightful place.
“that’s where yer wrong.”
He turned toward you. Hands in his pockets. Eyes locked with yours. That signature grin of his fading to more of a grimace.
“i gotta apologize. i got you all wrong. had this…notion of ya in my head. about what you’d be like. what kinda person you were. looks like i’m just…a bonehead.”
“It’s okay, Sans.”
“Was that a pun?”
“Ewww, I regret this immediately!” you laughed. “I don’t wanna be friends any more.”
“aw, c’mon. throw me a bone here.”
Papyrus came out to the both of you laughing. “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? HAVE I ENTERED A PARALLEL UNIVERSE?! OH NO. NOT AGAIN!”
Sans grinned. “relax, bro. we’re just doin’ what coworkers do. rib each other.”
“Get him out of my house!” you joked.
“OF COURSE. I DON’T KNOW WHY I EVEN THOUGHT HE COULD BEHAVE HIMSELF!”
“Wait, Papyrus, no! I was kidding!!!” You chased after him as he carted Sans out the door over his shoulder, already starting what looked like an hour-long lecture.
It was funny how a simple forced hand could be the turning point you were looking for. After that night, Sans seemed…more like himself, if that made any sense. He joked more often, smiled more wholeheartedly, and…
Couldn’t leave you alone for a second.
“so how old were you when you first realized you could use magic?”
“Um, maybe four or five? There was this butterfly with a crippled wing. So I healed it with a shower of leaves. I thought I could show it how to fly and it would take off again. Turns out I just used the leaves as a…conduit so I could use healing magic on it.”
“so you know green is for healing?”
“Yup. I do read monster literature, you know. It’s helped me a lot.”
“ok. what about the blue magic?”
“That one came a little later. I almost got hit by some creep on one of those scooters. He was trying to scare me and get me to jump into the lake to avoid him, but I ended up choking. I just stood there when he came full force. Then he passed right through me.”
You handed him the fresh bowl of food as he dropped them down one by one. You’d trained the dogs to all wait their turn eating, and spread the bowls across the lawn so no one would have an issue with you. And some careful redirecting would be in order in case any of them decided to be greedy, but they’d been much more well-behaved lately.
“So what are we? Blue buddies?”
“Blue buddies. We both have blue magic.”
“oh my god.”
“Whaaaat. Don’t laugh at me, Sans! It could be a thing!”
“hey, i can think of something else that could be a thing.”
“Oh yeah? What?”
“you…n’ me…” He started to sweat. Was he okay? Could skeletons overheat? “uh…heh…grabbin’ those tennis balls we lost over the fence.”
“Shit, I forgot about that. Let’s go right after the dogs are done.”
Movie nights. Dog walks in the park. Touring the city’s restaurants. It was all uphill from there. Sans was always looking for an excuse to hang out, a far cry from what you experienced firsthand. He and Papyrus were experts with blue magic, so a lot of the time you would stop by their place and learn more about control and finesse. Papyrus was far more helpful in that sense, since he showed you how to do things, while Sans just distracted you from the sidelines and tried to make you laugh.
You and Sans took overnight shifts waiting for a new litter of puppies to be born. One of the strays you took in from the shelter this past week was pregnant and ready to burst, but you just knew that the breed of dog was going to be hard to adopt out, so they handed them all over to you.
It was about four in the morning when you took the phone call. It was Sans.
“hey, you wanna come down here for this?”
“Yeah,” you mumbled. “I’ll be there.”
Fifteen minutes later, you joined him on the floor, at a comfortable distance from the mother as she did her best to deliver her litter. Sans had his back against the wall, knees drawn up, watching the sight in morbid fascination. Probably not at all how monster deliveries worked.
You could tell something was bothering him. “Are you sure? You seem a little out of it. I can sort of tell these things now. You have different smiles.”
“do i?” That one was for amusement. “guess you would know. yer gettin’ to be a little too perceptive for me to pull one over on ya.”
“I guess I am.” You glanced over at his hand, which twitched against the cool tile of the sterile room. “Hey, Sans?”
“Being here with you is like green magic.”
“uh….” He stammered. “i don’t get it.”
“Feels good. Like…the feeling I get when I heal someone. It’s warm in a good way. Starts out in the center of your chest, then goes all the way down to the tips of your toes…and your fingers.”
Sans nearly choked. He looked down and saw your hand resting on top of his. He could see his reflection in your eyes. Scared. Confused. What were you doing?
“And it’s kinda weird, but blue magic too. Where you have to stop and take everything in, otherwise you might get hurt. You take your time and wait it out to see where it goes.”
Oh man. He blushed. Hard. This was not happening. Was it?
“I think maybe I might get experience with orange magic soon. Where you look at the path ahead and just…go for it. Because sometimes you have to be brave to progress.”
He didn’t have a chance to ask you if you were being serious, because you had promptly kissed him just hard enough that yeah, he knew exactly what you meant. Warmth. Hesitation. Excitement. All of it wrapped up in a bundle of static that settled in the center of his chest, sparking outwards and sending every last part of his body on fire.
You pulled back. Lips swollen from the kiss. He hadn’t even realized this earlier, but your face was flushed too.
“Whoa…is right. Is it…um…a whoa of approval?”
He could barely nod.
You laughed and your nose wrinkled, leaning forward to plant another one on him. “Oh. That’s good to know.”
At five in the morning, eight puppies were born. Sans named them after all the magical traits. Of course, you gave them silly nicknames everyone would use around the building.
At six in the morning, you and Sans left the shelter. Your coworker’s shift started and she would watch over the new mom and her pups.
At seven in the morning, you both went out for breakfast. Apparently, there was even a fight in the restaurant, but the both of you were so engrossed in each other that you hadn’t noticed. Sans picked up the bill and you promised you’d get it next time.
At eight in the morning, Sans stood outside your apartment as you sealed your new relationship with another long, ardent kiss. You struggled with the mechanics of it still, but nothing a few bouts of awkward laughter wouldn’t fix.
Sans walked on air as he made his way home to share the good news with his brother. Maybe moving to the surface wasn’t a mistake after all.