What it says on the tin, on March 6-12, 2017 we will be celebrating the classic pairing Valhalla Enchanted (AKA OneChar), which is the enigmatic and brutal One Eye (Valhalla Rising) with the stubborn and endearing Prince Charmont (Ella Enchanted). Romantically. Platonically. However you see them in whatever timeline or universe.
To do this post gifs, edits, fic, headcanons, art, whatever you want of Valhalla Enchanted.
Remember to tag “#Valhalla Enchanted” to make your post accessible and easy to find and let’s have a magical fairytale of a week~
“ahh Jemma Redgrave, she’s a fine looking big woman isn’t she? a big darling!”
“now I always think that Jemma looks like she’s being embraced by a midget wearing nail polish there” *laughter* …“she’s being embraced by Imelda Staunton”..
DAT HEIGHT GAP THO OMGGGGG! I CAN’T EVEN..
p.s ^ Notable appearance by Louise Delamere who played Colette in Holby city, who I shipped so hard with Serena I can’t explain. And yes that is Rupert Giles s h o o k e t h.
Did I mention the film also stars Charlotte Church??
*All quotes by director Craig Ferguson and some other producer dude*
I DODGED SOCIAL PLANS FOR THIS AND I REGRET NOTHING!
Your comic is amazing, clearly inspiring hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of people, myself included.
It got me thinking, judging how mostly successful Elsewhere University is for the Fae, that other lessor courts would do similar things at other universities, some more successful than others. Possibly even forming rivalries between the courts/schools.
This is just a quick set up of one other university, doing things somewhat differently than Elsewhere, but the game and the rules of the Fae are still the same.
Elsewhere University is not the only University of its type.
The University of Fairfield
The University of Fairfield is old, established sometime before the Industrial Revolution.
Fairfield is named such due to its location, an open field where the weather is somehow always fair: sunny, a few clouds, a light breeze.
The founders of the school had not done their research. Or perhaps they were otherwise influenced. For Fairfield has its name for another reason.
It is home to a court of Fairfolk. (make no mistake it is no field, it is a fairy hill with old and strong magic to appear not as such)
The University of Fairfield was small, only a couple of buildings built upon the land of the Fairfolk. (although the silly mortal humans did not realize their error until it was too late) They had failed to ask for permission to build, but the Fairfolk let them, thus a favored was owed. The price of that favor was people, regularly. So people went missing and some, not all, came back and they came back changed. Some clearly fae-touched, others simply charmed, most just scarred from the experience.
Officially the University of Fairfield did not even last a decade, shutting down and closing after a couple of years.
…Café Musain may become a Starbucks where Enjolras and Grantaire discover they are gay; Marius may find himself torn between a loyal wife and a passion for Eponine; or Enjolras may pursue a romance with the undead Eponine - a formerly popular ‘ship’ that received its own 'smush name’, 'Enjonine’. Since then, there’s been a wave of 'alternative universe’ rewritings that have nominally resurrected revolutionaries discussing not the political issues of the nineteenth century but questions of greater relevance to the writers themselves. Chief among them at the moment is the representation of 'marginalized groups’, so the 'Friends of the ABC’ now figure on sites like An Archive of Our Own as a rainbow of different racial, sexual and gender identities.
David Bellos, The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables
So Laura @athenaeyes and I went to this author’s talk tonight in London on his book about the publication of Les Mis - which was super interesting! - and I haven’t bought the book yet… but I did snap a quick picture of a page and certain shoutout in it to all of us lurking in the Les Mis fandom, and thought you guys might like to see! Lo and behold, Bellos knows about the coffeeshop aus and everything! He clearly did his research ;)
[ as you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, onefor helping yourself, the other for helping others.
- - - - . « I don’t like to throw around the word “justice”, though I do admire the concept… Whatever the reason,if something was the doing of a person or persons, there is no justice or evil there. There is only our will. » & - - - - . « Jack is indeed inside me… and people tell me I look like him… But please, don’t get me wrong. My name is Oz. »
Papyrus character seemed very sweet, but you weren’t sure if he was completely
sane. He’d been talking to Miss Hart for the past half-hour, flailing his arms
about as his voice boomed about the shelter. It was a large building, but not
big enough to soften his words. The deer monster hushed him several times, but
his volume would eventually climb back up. The quiet and shy readers had hidden
themselves away in one of the doll houses in the far corner of the playpen,
while the energetic and curious ones watched the skeleton excitedly. The rest
of you were playing, enjoying your time before dinner and bed.
YOU SURE?” The skeleton boomed as he was led over to the pen, looking a bit
nervous. Miss Hart rolled her eyes behind his back and pushed him forward.
talk to them,” she insisted, “get to know some of them. I’m certain you can
find the perfect Reader for your brother. I’ll go fill out the paperwork.”
tall skeleton tapped his gloved hands together and, still looking nervous,
knelt beside the two-foot-high wall that separated the playpen from the rest of
the store. He looked really, really uncomfortable
at being so close to you all. He wasn’t the first nervous monster you all had
seen, and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. All the Readers that hadn’t been
chased off by his boisterous attitude immediately gravitated towards him, like
pins pulled by a magnet.
hello there, little ones!” He greeted upon realizing he had an audience. He was
hilariously tall, and even kneeling down he towered over the wall. Several of
them called out ‘hello’ or ‘hi’, while the rest simply waved. “I, the GREAT
PAPYRUS,” his bellowing nearly blew several of the smaller Readers off their
feet, “am looking for a companion for my brother!” He twitched his fingers a
bit, and had he lips you were certain he would be chewing on them. When nothing
more was said, a few of you shared amused expressions. Nervous, anxious
monsters were always so cute when trying to speak with Readers the first time.
your brother like?” A curious Reader piped up, urging him on with a soft smile.
immediately brightened up. “Oh! My brother is the best!” Literal stars appeared in his eye sockets and he
hunched over to get closer to you all, arms draping over the wall so they
nearly touched the floor. “His name is Sans. He’s older than me by a few years,
but I’m taller,” he bragged with
little-brother-pride. “He works with the Royal Scientist, Dr. W. D. Gaster,
who’s also our dad.”
curious and intellectual Readers ‘ooh-ed’ and moved forward, eager to hear
more. A few of the active ones wandered off, not interested in being with a
cerebral monster over an energetic one. You stayed towards the back, listening
as Papyrus went on and on about the experiments his father and brother had told
is science stuff all your brother does?” One of the creative readers asked.
no!” Papyrus laughed. “He’s a lazybones – dad says he barely does his job at
work. He likes to nap a lot, or just lay around and read.” The rest of the
adventurous and active types of Readers left the group, going back to scaling
the plastic model of Mt. Ebott (complete with a cave system with hideaways and
a fake little waterfall-esque twisty slide down one side). Papyrus didn’t seem
surprised when they left – Miss Hart must have warned him about the whole
‘thinning the herd’ effect his description would have.
does like jokes, though! All day long he makes puns.” The ridges above the
skeletons nose cavity wrinkled. “It drives me nuts, but it makes him happy.”
His voice dropped a bit at the end, and you caught a glimpse of something sad
deep in his sockets.
stepped past the handful of Readers left and frowned up at him. “Are you okay,
Mr. Papyrus?” You asked, reaching up and patting one of the boney hands hanging
over the edge of the wall.
alright,” he rushed to assure you and the others, who had followed your lead
and gathered closer, all having to crane your heads back to look up at him.
Jeeze, he really was ridiculously
tall. His smile looked a bit more strained than before. “It is simply that
lately Sans has not been as happy as before.” He hung his head a bit. “I have
not been able to cheer him up, and my father doesn’t have any ideas on what
could be wrong. I think that he may be lonely…”
you patted his fingers again, getting his attention, “Don’t skull-k, Mr. Papyrus. You’re obviously
doing a skele-TON to help your
brother. I’m sure one of us can help him feel less bonely!”
of your fellow Readers groaned at the puns, and you shot them a guilty grin. A
few of them, seeing what being around a punny skeleton all day might be like,
wandered back to play with the toys. You didn’t really notice them, though –
your focus was on Papyrus.
skeleton was staring at you with even bigger stars in his eyes than before. His
jaw had dropped, and before you realized what was happening you’d been scooped
up in a pair of boney hands covered in thick, red gloves. He lifted you to his
PERFECT! You tell the same stup – uh, the same jokes as Sans!” He gushed
excitedly as he stood. You had to grab onto one of his thumbs to keep from
falling on your face. He spun around and rushed to the far side of the room,
where Miss Hart was sitting at her big desk, filling out paperwork. She glanced
up at he came to a halt in front of her, an amused smile on her lips.
you meet someone you think your brother will like?”
Papyrus boomed, holding you out in front of him. The deer monster blinked, then
huffed in laughter.
told him jokes, didn’t you?” She accused, poking you in the stomach with the
end of her pen. You couldn’t help but giggle and wrap your arms around
yourself, trusting the skeleton wouldn’t let you fall from his fingers.
a hart, ma’am! Don’t tickle me!” You
squealed when the pen gentle jabbed your side again.
deer rolled her eyes but was smiling widely. She pulled out a page from the
stack she had been filling out. It was an adoption form – gilded edges and
everything, very official looking with curly writing and her signature in the
bottom corner. “I just need you to sign this here,” she pointed to a blank
space beside her own, “and a few other things.”
carefully set you down on the desk and accepted the ballpoint pen she handed
him. The skeleton signed his name in a flourish on the adoption certificate,
and you noted that his handwriting looked oddly like a font you’d seen in a
book about a desert place called Egypt. Weird. He quickly read through the
accompanying paperwork – all outlining the laws involving owning a Reader, care
instructions, proper feeding instructions (READER, YOU CAN EAT PASTA! I CANNOT
WAIT TO MAKE YOU MY SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI!), using magic around Readers,
and such. Miss Hart, meanwhile, pulled a small white bag from the bottom drawer
of her desk and set it beside you with a bright smile.
that?” Papyrus asked curiously as he handed her pen back, along with the
just a little care package for new owners,” Rivet held the plastic bag open for
him to peek in. There was a pamphlet about Reader health, along with some
Reader-sized toiletries, a few simple changes of clothes, some snacks, and a
few books and toys.
beamed and accepted it from her. “Thank you so much, ma’am!” He tugged out his
phone and the bag disappeared in his storage space. “I’ll make sure Sans reads
every word of the paper, I promise!”
know you will, sweetie.” Rivet stood and shook his hand across the desk, before
poking you in the side again. “You’ve found a good little friend, sir. I’ve
never had such a funny little Companion Reader before.”
paused half-way in picking you up. “Companion Reader?” You leaned against his
fingers, which prompted him to lift you to chest-height.
Rivet pointed at a poster on the wall. One of the pictures was of a reader in a
soft gray sweater, the same color as your own, beneath the words ‘COMPANION
READER.’ “Companion Readers are wonderful, caring friends to any monster they
meet. A lot of therapists and doctors in the area have Companion Readers –
they’re very good at calming children and comforting monsters. As long as your
brother can handle this ones terrible jokes, he’ll never feel lonely again.”
not terrible!” You crossed your arms and pouted. “I think I’m very humerus.”
monsters groaned loudly. “They will get along fine,” Papyrus assured her as he
carefully lifted you to sit on his shoulder, where his pauldrons met his scarf.
You had to grab onto his scarf to keep from sliding off, but his height meant
you could see everything. It was
incredible. “Now little Reader, let us be off!” With a dramatic twirl, Papyrus
scampered out of the shelter, and you were barely able to toss a wave to Rivet
on the way out.
don’t know the best way to do this.” Papyrus had given you a whirl-wind tour of
the house, which was a nice two-story cabin, before depositing you on the
kitchen counter as he began to cobble together a spaghetti dinner for his
brother and father.
what does your brother like? Besides jokes?” You prodded, watching as he began
beating tomatoes into submission. It was an interesting technique. You’d never
really seen cooking before, but you were fairly sure Papyrus was doing it in a
very unique way.
Japes. Jokes. Pranks. My spaghetti. He doesn’t like sweets much but he’ll eat
them when they’re in reach…” The tall skeleton gasped and stopped mid-punch.
“That’s it! I’ll bake a cake, and you can pop out of it and surprise him!”
grinned, then glanced at the clock on the oven. It read 4:45. “Um, didn’t you
say they’d be home around five?” You pointed at it, and his face fell.
right, there’s no time to bake a cake.” He pouted a bit as he scraped the
tomato remnants into a pan along with several spices and a few other vegetables
he’d already beaten to death. The noodles went in the pot, the pan when on the
back burner, and dinner would be ready in fifteen minutes, he told you.
else can we do?” You asked. He leaned against the counter, arms folded over his
anime-themed t-shirt (he’d changed before cooking, not wanting to get his
Battle Body dirty). You mimicked him, leaning back against a jar of olives he’d
left out and crossing your arms.
skeleton sighed and tried to think about what else he could use to surprise his
brother. You mimicked his pout and posture, drawing a smirk from him when he
caught what you were doing. You smirked back.
even a moment later he slammed his fist into the counter a few inches away,
making you jump. “I’ve got it!” He had started to vibrate in excitement. “You
can jump outta the spaghetti!”
You blinked uncertainly. “Wouldn’t that, uh, be hot? And, like, get me and the food dirty?”
if I use my magic!” Papyrus was rocking from side to side now, one hand on his
chin as he planned it out. “It would only be for a minute – they always come
straight to the table when they get home!” His face was a bit flushed now,
cheekbones orange in excitement.
clock over the oven beeped and Papyrus became a whirlwind of activity, draining
the pasta, stirring the sauce, and dishing it all up into serving bowls. Then,
he quickly set the table – three spots, three plates, two glasses of water and
one bottle of ketchup, forks, napkins, everything needed for a nice spaghetti
dinner. Just as he set down the last fork, the front door unlocked and swung
Papyrus grabbed you off the counter and swept you over to the table. An orange
glow surrounded you – it tickled a bit, and you squirmed against his palm.
“Don’t worry, my magic will protect you! As soon as he starts to serve, I’ll
help you pop up and we can both yell surprise!” He was trying to whisper, his
voice softer than normal but still a bit loud. He pushed around the spaghetti,
and you were glad he had put the sauce in a different bowl, or this would be a
very messy prank.
tucked you among the noodles, and you did your best to ignore how much it felt
like worms. A moment later he covered you, and everything was shaded in an odd
Paps! It smells good, did you make your special Friday-night spaghetti?” A
tired, cheerful voice asked.
brother! Hello, father! No, I made my special friendship spaghetti!”
spaghetti? But son, I thought we were already friends?” A second voice asked,
humor underlying fake hurt.
was a slight stutter before Papyrus managed to answer. “Ah-ah-a well, yes, of
course we are friends! But it is always good to reaffirm it! With spaghetti!”
two new voices laughed, and you heard the chairs around the table scrape as
they were pulled back. There was some creaking and groaning as the chairs were
occupied, followed by the fluffing of napkins.
look hungry, Sans. Why don’t you get yours first?” Papyrus urged, and you did
your best not to wiggle a bit in anticipation. Dancing spaghetti would ruin the
thanks Paps.” Sans answered. The magic around you tensed slightly as one of the
chairs scraped against the floor. You drew your knees against your chest and
took a deep breath. Your stomach lurched as the magic made you pop out of the
spaghetti like a cork, suspending you a foot above it and only a few inches
from the face of a startled skeleton.
You and Papyrus yelled at the same time, his voice easily drowning out your
own. The shorter, rounder skeleton jerked back with a cry of surprise. The
chair legs caught his own, and with a yelp he crashed to the ground.
Papyrus’ magic disappeared as he rushed around the table to check on his
brother. You dropped back towards the spaghetti and were only saved from a
painful noodle-y bath by an odd-feeling hand catching you.
third skeleton – tall, thin, wearing a nice turtleneck – had saved you from the
Italian meal. His face was smooth and white like his sons, but there was a
crack moving upwards from his right eye and trailing down from his left eye to
the corner of his mouth. You glanced down at his hand and realized why it felt
odd – there was a hole right in the middle of it!
the skeleton said, his deep voice rolling over you like a cloud. “My sons can
overreact when startled.” He set you on the table beside his plate, making sure
you were steady before placing both hands beneath his chin and his elbows on
the table, leaning forward slightly so he could see you better.
alright, sir.” You reassured him, glancing at the other side of the table.
Papyrus was bent over his brother, babbling worriedly at a million miles an
would I be correct in assuming that Papyrus has brought you home to be a pet
for Sans?” He asked, eyes flickering between his sons and you.
nodded, not a fan of the term ‘pet’ but lots of monsters used it without
meaning anything by it. “Yeah, he mentioned his brother has been sad lately.” There
was a thunk as said brother smacked his head against the edge of the table as
he tried to get up. Papyrus whined in surprise and knelt back down to assist
Gaster’s eyes crinkled at the edge (somehow – bone wasn’t supposed to move that
way, was it?) as he watched his sons interact. “Sans suffers from depression,”
he confided in you, “and often has negative mood swings.” He was very clinical
in the way he spoke, though there was a warmth in his voice that showed the
affection he had for his sons. “Papyrus spoke of finding a way to cheer him up,
but I did not expect him to bring a Reader home.”
frowned suddenly, struck with a rather daunting thought. “Um, that’s okay,
right?” Biting your bottom lip, you glanced up at him nervously. He was their
father, right? Sans and Papyrus seemed to be adults, but this was probably
their dads house. That meant he had final say on if you stayed, right?
child, that is perfectly fine,” he was quick to reassure you, noting your
nervous expression. “There is always room in this house for one more.” He cast
you a quick wink, then glanced over as his sons finally managed to find their
feet. You shot him a quick smile then ran across the table, dodging past the
serving bowls and cups, to stand beside Sans plate.
skeleton was shorter than Papyrus by a good bit, and had a wide, squat face
with large eyes and a bright smile that, at the moment, looked a bit dazed. His
eyes met yours and he simply stared for a moment, giving you an unsure smile.
You chirped, waving happily and flashing him your biggest grin.
He repeated, before turning to glance up at his brother. “You…?”
got them for you!” Papyrus was bouncing in place, looking delighted with
himself before sobering.
Can I talk to you for a sec?” He grabbed his brothers arm and, with surprising
strength for his height, dragged him out of the kitchen.
them, your heart sunk into your stomach, and you sat down hard on the side of
his plate. This was not a…complication you had thought of. Being bought as a
gift was risky, but none of the Readers you’d known that had been gifted had
ever been returned. Rivet would never allow them to be adopted in the first
place if that was a risk.
voices (a truly shocking feat, from what you had seen from Papyrus so far)
hissed from the far side of the living room, too soft for you to make out any
words. Oh god, what if Sans didn’t want you? He didn’t seem happy about this at
all – what if he took you back? Had you done something wrong? Was popping out
of the spaghetti too mean? Had you offended him some way?
the time the two brothers returned, both were much calmer than before. Papyrus
seemed a bit chastised, but gave you a bright smile before taking his seat and
serving himself some spaghetti. Sans righted his chair and plopped down in it,
then slumped down, resting his chin on his arms so he was at eye-level with
kiddo,” he gave you a large grin, “You gave me a bit of a fright – really rattled my bones.”
sorry,” relief swept through you, making you feel a bit giddy, and you returned
his smile. “Papyrus just wanted to get you a little gift, to help you feel less bonely.”
snorted, the air ruffling your clothing and hair. His breath smelled like
ketchup and French fries. Behind you, Papyrus groaned (muffled by his mouthful
of spaghetti) but Gaster let out a soft laugh.
one, kiddo,” he laughed, the bones in his jaw and around his eyes relaxing.
“I’m Sans. Sans the skeleton. But I think you already knew that.” He held his
hand out, offering a finger for you to shake. You accepted it, shaking it
firmly as best you could.
pleased to meet you, Sans.” You peeped happily.
He sat up straighter and dished himself some spaghetti, noting that the other
two had already started eating. You sat at the edge of his plate as he
smothered it in tomato sauce, watching him. “So, I’ve never really, uh, met a
Reader before. Do you like pasta?”
smiled as he cut up a few pieces of noodle into small bites and pushed them
towards you, so they rested within reach of you. “I like pasta,” you confirmed.
“Especially special friendship spaghetti, cooked by the Great Papyrus!” You
picked up one of the warm noodles and dipped it in a bit of sauce before
munching on it.
heh! I am glad you like it, Reader!” Papyrus had already cleaned his plate and
was giving himself a half-serving for seconds.
is very good, Papyrus.” Gaster complimented his son, also nearly finished. You
watched curiously as they ate, noting that despite not having lips they were
all able to slurp the noodles and flick sauce over their cheeks and nose.
you, father!” Papyrus began on his second helping. “So what did you do in the
we have found a fascinating connection between SOUL energy and plant growth…”
listened as Gaster and Sans described an experiment they had run that day,
altering the DNA of an echo flower so it worked more like a recording machine,
able to remember and echo many messages instead of just one. Most of it was
completely lost on you, but as they spoke Sans brightened, lost in the
technical mumbo-jumbo he and his father were spitting back and forth across the
table. Papyrus looked just as confused but happy non-the-less as he had a third
helping of pasta.
the four of you had eaten your fill, Gaster gathered up the dishes, insisting
he would wash them since Papyrus cooked. The tall skeleton rushed off to the
living room, yelling something about a Mettaton marathon. Sans dragged himself
away from the table and glanced down at you.
enough to eat, pipsqueak?” He asked, voice light and teasing. You nodded and
stood, brushing parmesan cheese off your lap. He stood in front of you, hands
shoved in the pockets of his hoodie for a moment, looking unsure for a moment. When
you realized why he seemed nervous, you raised your arms up towards him.
heh, I’m not really, uh – I don’t want to hurt you.” He rubbed the back of his
head, and you grinned.
won’t hurt me,” you insisted, smiling at his hesitance. “It’s okay, I promise.
Us Readers are really durable!”
still twitched for a moment before biting the bullet and reaching out with both
hands. One hand was set behind you, palm up, and you easily sat down, legs
dangling over the edge of his boney pinky. Slowly – oh so slowly, ridiculously
so, but you didn’t tell him that – he lifted you off the table, bringing you
straight up against his chest to minimize the chances of you taking a dive.
do you wanna do?” Sans asked, still standing awkwardly in the kitchen, as
though afraid to move. You shrugged, leaning against his ribs, tugging at the
squishy layer of his jacket curiously.
you want!” You kicked your legs a bit. Sans huffed a soft laugh.
suppose you’re ready for bed, huh?”
could sleep,” you reassured him. “Getting adopted is really tiring.”
let out a bark of laugh and carefully left the kitchen, walking slowly. This
babying was, at the same time, incredibly annoying and delightfully sweet. “I
bet it is,” he shuffled across the living room, where Papyrus was sitting on
the edge of the couch, watching the large TV with big, sparkling sockets.
READER!” He boomed, bouncing a bit in his seat, “Do you wish to join me?” He
motioned to the TV.
bro. Me ‘n’ the pipsqueak are gonna go bond.” Sans winked at him before
starting up the stairs.
Papyrus waved you both off with a thumbs up before going back to drooling over
were three bedrooms upstairs, and one small bathroom (no toilet, just a shower
and sink). Sans went to the middle door along the hall and threw it open
pipsqueak, to scenic my room!”
room was – well, it was a bedroom, most likely. There were socks and trash
spread across the floor, some of them twirling in a self-sustaining tornado. A
lamp with a flashlight taped to the bulb was set on a dresser that had seen
better days. Opposite the dresser was a mattress on the floor, no bedframe in
about the mess,” Sans sounded a bit embarrassed as he kicked some trash into
the tornado before shuffling over to the bed. With his free hand he spread some
blue-tinted magic over the bed, smoothing out the sheets that had been balled
up and messily tucking them into place. “I wasn’t expecting company.”
scratched at the back of your head and shot him a small grin. “Sorry,” you felt
compelled to apologize. “I know you didn’t ask for a Reader, but Papyrus really
did just want to help you.”
need to say sorry, pipsqueak.” He sat on the bed carefully to keep you from
bouncing, before laying back so his head plopped down on the pillow. You ended
up laying on his sternum after a bit of maneuvering, stretching out on your stomach
and resting your head on your arms so you could look up at him. He shifted the
pillow a bit and put his hands behind his head so he was able to peer down at
you. A lazy grin stretched across his teeth and you returned it. “Hey, I just
realized, I didn’t ask your name.”
startled a laugh out of you. “I don’t have one. Most Readers don’t. Sometimes
when Miss Hart gives one of us a nickname it sticks, but I never got one.”
Sans raised one boney brow. “Well, what do you want to be called?”
shrugged, having never really thought of naming yourself before. “I dunno. You
can call me whatever you want.”
eyes drooped a bit, looking heavy and tired as he thought. “Hmm. I may need a
few days to think of a good name for you.” He winked.
few days? You’re a real lazybones aren’t
you?” You teased gently, remembering what Papyrus had said about his big
brother’s awful sense of humor.
surprised laugh boomed through his chest, shaking his sternum and, by
extension, you. You fisted your hands in his sweatshirt to keep from rolling
off his chest.
“I do like to laze around. In fact, sleep
comes so naturally to me, I could do it with my eyes closed.” He shut his eyes
as he said it, his smile stretching as you giggled.
don’t you ever get tired of
sleeping?” You prodded.
sleeping all day is my dream job.”
what do you call a parent who sings their kids to sleep?”
What do you call a cat sleeping in a sunbeam?”
could almost hear Papyrus groaning as
you and Sans exchanged jokes. Despite him seeming hesitant to keep you as a
companion earlier, you and him managed to keep the line of jokes going for
nearly half-an-hour before he began to snore, hands falling to his sides. He
didn’t roll over at least, and soon after his breathing slowed to gentle rolls
of his sternum and ribs. The odd rocking sensation was relaxing, and it didn’t
take very long for you to join him in dreamland.
woke to an odd little weight on his chest that wasn’t supposed to be there. His
jaw cracked as he yawned and blinked the sleep from his sockets. Just before he
sat up to stretch, the weight on his chest moved.
He froze and glanced down, eyes widening slightly as he remembered the previous
reader on his chest, clad in a too-big silver sweater and jeans, was curled
into a cute little ball, fast asleep, one hand fisted in his jacket, the other
tucked under their head. They were breathing in time with him, inhaling
whenever his ribs raised, and exhaling whenever they dipped. It was a very odd,
yet comforting feeling.
still couldn’t believe Papyrus had gone out and gotten him a Reader. Hadn’t he ever heard that giving
pets as gifts was one of the worst ideas ever? There were entire articles on
it! True, those mostly revolved around puppies at Christmas and bunnies at
Easter, but aside from sentience Readers were the same thing!
again, that sentience was what made them such wonderful pets and companions. They
weren’t simple animals with a need for food, shelter, affection – they were
complex beings with advanced thought patterns and an understanding of
metacognition and a strong sense of self. He’d met a few around the lab when
they accompanied their monsters for the day (they would never test on a Reader – Alpha Asgore would have
all their heads on a silver platter if anybody even thought of that, if Alpha Toriel didn’t dust them all first), but
he’d never had a true one-on-one conversation or held one himself before. He
was too lazy to do that.
he’d been understandably (though perhaps a bit excessively) annoyed when
Papyrus had sprung the little thing on him. Honestly, popping out of spaghetti
– the jape just screamed Papyrus. While
having their whispered tête-à-tête in the living room, he’d demanded to know
just what his little brother had been
getting sad again, Sans,” Papyrus had whispered, torn between guilt and
annoyance. “I can see it – your smile has gone all fake again, like when we
were Underground! Nothing father or I have tried has helped cheer you up. We
love you, Sans.” He’d rested his big, gloved hands on the smaller skeletons
shoulders, “We want you to be happy. I truly think having a Reader will help.”
Sans still didn’t look convinced, Papyrus whipped out his smartphone. “Wait,
look here. I did research, see!” He showed Sans the screen; it was loaded to a
mental health website, specifically on an article connecting higher levels of
serotonin to owning pets. “And the Reader I found for you, they’re what’s
called a Companion type!” He flipped to another tab, showing a gray sweater
with a list of traits beside it.
Sans,” Papyrus pocketed his phone again, “I have a good feeling in my SOUL.
It’s been there ever since I had this idea. I really think this will work.”
had sighed beneath the weight of his brother’s words and agreed to get to know
the Reader. Obviously his brother had good taste – they’d kept up with him
joke-for-joke, pun-for-pun, before he’d fallen asleep in the middle of a
punchline. Apparently they were also just as much of a lazy-bones as he was – a
glance at the clock on his dressed showed it was nearly noon. They’d slept for
almost eighteen hours. Thank god it was Saturday, and he didn’t have to go into
laid his head back and began running a finger over the Readers head, not
wanting to wake them, but at the same time needing a good dose of ketchup to
get his day started.
woke to a finger running over your head, coaxing you from your rest. You lazily
lifted your head and smiled up at the round-faced skeleton you’d fallen asleep
pipsqueak,” he greeted with a large smile on his face. You yawned and sat up,
stretching your arms over your head.
bighead.” You returned, then realized what you’d said. “Er, I mean, uh-“
skeleton snorted in laughter, cutting off your apology. He cupped a hand around
you as you sat up, allowing you to fall back slightly and sit comfortably in his
palm as he got off his bed. “You’ve got me there, pipsqueak. C’mon, let’s grab
about breakfast?” You asked. He shifted so you were seated on his shoulder,
comfortably relaxed where his clavicle dipped.
slept through it.” He explained, leaving the messy room and making sure the
door shut behind him. The other two doors were open – his father and brother
were already up and about, apparently.
held onto his jacket as he meandered down the stairs and through the living
room, heading for the kitchen. “So, what do you want to do today?” He asked.
seemed his lazy attitude was contagious – you just shrugged and leaned against
his puffy hood, which was bunched up around his shoulders a bit, creating a
perfect resting spot.
Sans chuckled and went straight to the fridge, pulling out a bottle of ketchup,
which he promptly uncapped and drank. You wrinkled up your nose and stuck your
tongue out at the sight. “What, not a fan of the sauce?”
you quipped, “I don’t have the stomach for
it.” He chuckled, the vibes reverberating through his chest and shaking you a
bit where you sat.
it is a unique taste.” A luminescent
blue tongue licked over his teeth, catching the stray drops of ketchup on his
bones. “Jokes aside, what do you want
pointed to the white bag sitting on the counter, where Papyrus had placed it
when you arrived last night. “There’s some snacks for me in there,” you explained.
took the bag over to the table and poured it out. The pamphlet on Proper Reader
Care flopped out first, followed by all the treats the shelter owner had packed
for you. The skeleton whistled and set you down on the table. “Heh, and here I
was worried you’d only brought the clothes on your back.”
You dug through the stack of
supplies, pulling out the few bags of treats the shelter owner had packed. There
was a bag of Muffet’s cookies, a box of flavored chips from Grillby’s, and a
variety of monster candy and snacks. You popped open the chips and munched on
them as Sans continued sipping his ketchup.
“So what do you normally do on
Saturday?” You asked around a bite of the BBQ flavored snack.
Sans shrugged. “Sleep,” he
admitted, “or hang out with Paps or Alphys.” He had finished about half of the
bottle now, and got up to put it back in the fridge.
“Exciting stuff,” you commented
as he came back.
“Yep,” he agreed, retaking his
seat and slumping back, hands on his stomach, as he looked at you with lidded
eyes. “We appear to be two very exciting people.”
bones about it.” You agreed, feeling a bit proud as he snorted with laughter.
good one pipsqueak. So, lazy day in?”
licked salt off your fingers as you agreed. “Lazy day in.”
hours later Papyrus arrived home and lambasted you both for being lazy, as well
as marathoning his TIVO’d episodes of the hilarious dating show ‘Would You
Smooch A Ghost?’ without him. He was all bark and no bite, though, and by the
end he simply sighed and stomped off to the kitchen to make lasagna.
seemed happy enough with the lambasting, and when he went into the kitchen to
help Papyrus with something (leaving you on the couch cheering for the cute
bunny and reptile couple in Royal Guard armor), you could hear him speaking softly
and affectionately to his brother. Just as the applause for the kissing royal
guard couple tapered off, you heard the older brother quietly thanking his brother
for finding you.
proud smile crossed your lips, and you hummed happily as Sans returned and
plopped you back on his stomach to watch the next episode.
and Sans bonded over bad puns and a shared love of hamburgers. He took you with
him to work a few times, when he and Gaster weren’t dealing with chemicals or
running experiments. You sat on his desk as he filled out paperwork, sometimes
distracting him with spontaneous tic-tac-toe games, other times just reading
some science books from his shelves. It was a bit daunting, having to stand on
the pages to read, and flipping the pages was a bit of a hassle, but his astronomy
and joke books kept you both entertained for hours on end.
days you couldn’t go to the Royal Labs you hung out with Papyrus, discussing
Italian cuisine and watching Mettaton marathons. When Papyrus had work you
enjoyed exploring the house, challenging yourself by climbing to the top of the
couch or playing in the kitchen. At least until you accidently shut yourself in
the fridge and Papyrus came home to a Reader-scicle. A quick warm bath and a
lecture later, and you were banned from the kitchen when they weren’t home.
Sans thought it was hilarious, of course – he made ice and snow puns for
several days afterwards.
stole you sometimes, whisking you away to his office on the first floor, just
to chat while Sans napped. He tried to teach you to play chess – it was a bit
difficult since the pieces were the same height as you, but once you got the hang
of it, you…still couldn’t beat him.
of the time, though, you were with Sans, riding on his shoulder or in his hood,
sleeping on his chest, or exchanging puns and jokes (much to the annoyance of
those around you). While he was often tired and did sleep a lot, you never
noticed him being overtly sad or obviously upset.
why the nightmare was such a surprise. One moment you were asleep on his chest,
dreaming about accompanying Papyrus to an Italy made entirely out of pasta and
bread sticks, the next you were jarred awake by hitting the mattress. It had
happened a few times – Sans slept like a brick, rarely moving, but you had
rolled off his ribs a few times during the night. It wasn’t painful, just sudden.
This, though – this felt more like you’d been pushed or thrown off his chest.
big-boned skeleton was thrashing in the sheets, his legs tangled, arms
flailing, a blue glow curling up from his left eye. You scrambled away from the
tossing and turning body, nearly losing your head when his elbow came too
close. Luckily, you were able to reach the pillow with all limbs intact. Thanks
to your time climbing around the couch and kitchen (when supervised), you
easily scrambled up the cotton pillowcase and crawled across the plush surface
to Sans head.
were on his left side, and the magic leeching through his socket sent an odd
chill over your skin. For a moment you hesitated, not entirely sure what to do,
but a pained whine from between the skeletons clenched teeth spurred you on. Inching
forward, you moved to sit right beside his head and, with trembling fingers,
began to gently stroke his cheek bone.
jolted at the sudden (if small) contact, but luckily he didn’t lash out. You
continued to pet his cheek, running your hand in a line before switching to
rubbing circles along the arch of the bone. Absently you began to hum, the same
soft tune Papyrus sometimes did in the kitchen when he was cooking. You didn’t
know what the song was, or even if you were loud enough for Sans to hear you,
but miraculously the skeleton began to calm down.
kept petting and humming for what felt like hours, though surely was only
twenty or thirty minutes. You had to switch arms halfway through, the muscles
in the one having gone sore from the repetitive motion. Just as your other arm
was about to give out, the flickering magic of Sans left eye (which had been
dying down steadily for the past half-hour) went out, and he lazily opened his
sockets to reveal his pupils. They shifted to you, and very slowly he turned
his head so you were both eye-to-eye.
He asked sleepily, reaching up to rub at his now magicless eye tiredly. “What’re
you doing up here? Heh, get bonely down
on my hoodie?”
ran your hand along the bone just above his nose cavity, as though petting a
dog with a big muzzle. “You had a nightmare,” you explained.
I uh, get those sometimes.” You swore you could see tears beading the bottom of
his sockets, but he blinked them away before you could be sure. “I don’t
normally wake up before they end, though…” His teeth lifted in a smile. “Guess
I have you ‘n’ your pretty humming to thank for that.” His hand slid over to
brush a finger over your bedhead. “Sorry for wakin’ ya up, kid.”
okay, Sans.” You reassured him, standing to lean forward and press a kiss
between his eyes. A blue blush crossed his cheeks as he carefully rolled over,
so he was on his side, facing you.
eyes were still heavy with sleep. “Think you can sleep a few more hours?” He
asked, even as the lids began to fall.
you flopped down onto the pillow beside his head, giving him the same
half-lidded stare he was giving you. His hand came up to lay over you, warm
bones better than any blanket.
Pipsqueak.” Sans shut his eyes all the way and within moments, he was breathing
deeply, fast asleep.
Sans,” you whispered back, grinning and hugging his pointer finger like a teddy
bear, hoping the touch would keep any lingering nightmares away. It must have
worked – the rest of the night passed peacefully.
Thanks for all the questions and ideas! I’m working on putting together a infograph about the Itty Bitty Reader AU, please let me know if you have any questions so I can try and answer them! I’d also love to hear any ideas - not a promise to write them, of course, but I enjoy inspiration!
A sneak preview of the cover to my debut picture book as
author/illustrator! We’re still working out the printing, but everything
looks really nice. Official publishing is late summer 2016 through
Henry Holt/Macmillan. I’m not sure how to feel at this point — a
mixture of exhausted and grateful. More updates are on their way…