Man I’m gonna need some quality sin after this much fluff.
“Ow – fuck!”
Papyrus glanced up from the pot of boiling water to where he’d
left Red chopping carrots for their dinner soup. The smaller skeleton had
dropped the knife on the cutting board, his thumb stuck in his mouth and his
brow knitted in pain. Papyrus took a short step to Red’s side and lifted a hand
to his wrist, giving it an asking tug.
“C’mon, let me see,” Papyrus said.
Red rolled his eyes and took his thumb from his mouth,
showing Papyrus the thin line of rising blood where Red had slipped up and nicked
himself while chopping.
“Hmm,” Papyrus hummed, turning Red’s hand over in his own, “not
too bad. Let me just…”
Papyrus lifted Red’s hand and took the smaller skeleton’s
thumb in his mouth, sucking softly and rolling his tongue across the bone with
a playful grin. Red flushed and yanked his hand back, smacking his elbow on the
edge of the counter in the process.
“The fuck you doing?” Red growled, cradling his arm. “Ya
Papyrus chuckled, turning the stove off and plucking at the
hood of Red’s jacket.
“Sorry, sorry – but seriously, let’s put a band aid on that
Red grumbled but followed the taller skeleton into the living
room anyway, sitting down on one of the couch’s armrests while Papyrus fetched
the first aid kit. Papyrus opened the little kit Sans had put together during
one of his “emergency preparedness” phases and blinked in surprise. Damn, they
were running low on supplies. Funny, he remembered stocking it not too long ago…
Papyrus glanced toward the living room where Red sat examining
his thumb. Oh…right…
Papyrus raised a hand to the back of his neck and scratched
at the vertebrae absentmindedly. Damn, he’d almost forgotten that first night.
It’d taken most of the supplies in Sans’s little kit just to patch Red back
together with how badly he showed up on the doorstep…
Papyrus opened the
front door with a furrowed brow, nose catching a whiff of burnt magic in the
air. He’d heard an almighty crack that had nearly made him drop his cigarette
on the living room floor and thought it best to investigate. It was late –
almost too dark out for him to see much, but the light in the house cast a cone
of visibility over the snow just far enough for Papyrus to spot a…lump?
No, a body. A body
curled in the snow.
Papyrus’s soul jumped
and he took a few hesitant steps outside, the cold air rolling over him and
making him grateful for his hoodie.
No – that didn’t make
any sense. Sans was in Waterfall with Undyne. But it was so weird – even curled
in on itself the figure on the ground looked an awful lot like his little brother.
Same build, same weight, same height. Papyrus took another few steps and halted
Burning. He smelled
burning. Like…sulfur burning, and magic burning, and fire burning all mixed
together. It smelled…dangerous, to put it mildly. Dropping his forgotten
cigarette in the snow, Papyrus squatted down an arms-length from the body and
summoned a bone, giving the figure a solid, wary push with its blunted end.
The body unfolded and…huh
– well, damn. Another skeleton?
Something clicked in
the back of Papyrus’s skull and he frowned. It’d been a while since he’d looked
into alternative timeline theory. But that cracking sound, and that godawful
smell, and the state of this “other” Sans all seemed to be pointing toward…
Papyrus blinked, his
soul missing a beat.
Blood? Was that blood
in the snow?
Shit – that was…a lot
of fucking blood. Already the snow beneath the other Sans was haloed in a pale
pink that rapidly transitioned into a bright, soaked red. The small skeleton
wasn’t moving and the more Papyrus’s eyesight adjusted to the poor lighting the
faster his soul thumped. Angry red scrapes covered most of this other skeleton’s
face and the one shoulder of his jacket was damp and black from whatever wound
it covered. His mouth was slack and his eye sockets dark, the only movement
being the stirring of the ragged fur on the hood of his jacket in the slight wind.
Papyrus glanced over
his shoulder at his audience of shadows and snow. This was…bad. Or rather, just
– not right. If alternative timeline theory wasn’t so much of a theory after
all and this other skeleton really was from another timeline the implications
were…complicated. Papyrus wasn’t sure he could fix this…
He watched the smaller
skeleton’s slightly exposed ribcage for any sign of movement.
Well…maybe he wouldn’t
have to. What would happen if this other skeleton was dusted in a timeline that
wasn’t his own? Would he reset back to his original timeline? Would he just…cease
to exist? Papyrus contemplated the body for a long moment. If Sans were here he
would insist they bring this strange monster inside and attempt to patch him
Papyrus tilted the
bone toward the curled-up skeleton’s throat, adjusting his magic so the blunted
end became a sharpened point. Maybe it was a good thing Sans wasn’t around for
this. It would probably be best if he just put the poor monster out of his
The bone tapped
something hard – something not bone. Papyrus cocked his head questioningly,
trying to get a better look at the other skeleton’s shadowed face and throat.
Was that…a dog collar? Papyrus’s gaze flickered from the studded collar to the
small monster’s face. He regretted it immediately.
Shit, he really did
look like his brother. If not for the…scars and that terrible crack and all the
Papyrus sighed and
allowed his magic to dissipate, the sharpened bone at the other skeleton’s
throat fading away into orange wisps. Stifling his better judgement, Papyrus gathered
the disheveled monster up, surprised at how light he was compared to Sans’s
sturdy weight, and turned toward the house. Maybe he could bring him back
around. Maybe he couldn’t. Either way he wasn’t about the let someone who
resembled his little brother so closely bleed to death in a snow bank.
And the first thing he
was going to do was get rid of that fucking collar…
Papyrus startled, fumbling the roll of bandage tape he’d
been turning over absently in his hand. Red blinked up at him, having abandoned
his perch on the armrest of the couch, his head cocked in question.
“What cloud are you on, Stretch?”
Papyrus chuckled, picking up Red’s hand and winding a short length
of the tape around the cut on the smaller skeleton’s thumb. Red curled and
uncurled his phalanges experimentally, making to turn away, oblivious to
Papyrus’s reminiscing, when he was halted by the taller skeleton looping both
arms around his chest from behind and yanking him backward against his ribcage.
Papyrus buried his face in the crook of Red’s neck and took a deep breath of
his smoky smell, ignoring Red’s yelped protest and halfhearted squirming.
“The hell’s wrong with you tonight?” Red muttered, giving in
to the other’s embrace.
Papyrus shrugged the best he could while still keeping a
tight hold on Red.
“Eh, nothing. Just thinking is all. Hey, Red?”
Red grunted evasively.
“Can I have a kiss?”
Red stiffened a bit, like he usually did.
“Please?” Papyrus muttered, surprising himself with how much
he suddenly felt he needed this. Red heaved an exaggerated sigh and twisted
around in the taller skeleton’s arms, lifting himself up on his tiptoes in
order to press his mouth against Papyrus’s.
They stayed like that for a moment and Papyrus was grateful
Red allowed it. He didn’t even flinch when Papyrus kissed him twice more and
laced their phalanges together. And Papyrus wasn’t sure how exactly, but he
could’ve sworn that crack on Red’s skull looked a little…better…