The After Party Isn't As Fun
The two skeleton brothers were walking down the cold, dark streets of Snowdin on their way back from a New Year’s party at Undyne’s house.
The fish-like monster had invited all of her friends and (at Alphys’s insistence) Mettaton as well to celebrate the beginning of the new year. The fish-like monster noticed that the old friend group hadn’t been spending as much time together as they had back when Asgore was still alive and Queen Toriel hadn’t returned to the throne from the RUins. So, in a split-second decision that was definitely not out of character for her, she invited all of them over for the whole night.
Papyrus was eager to go, as he hadn’t seen Alphys and Mettaton in a long time, and he heard that Undyne was inviting some of her friends in the Royal Guard, which could be his chance to find friends there before he himself joined.
Sans didn’t want to go in the first place. As per usual, all he wanted to do was sleep for the whole day and ignore his Sentry job, but Papyrus managed to convince the lazy skeleton to go with him. The younger brother lamented that Sans hasn’t been out of the house in days, and he needed some actual social interaction with other monsters, instead of just staying in his room.
The shorter skeleton finally relented to make his brother happy and both of them headed to the party. Much to Sans’s relief, Papyrus let them take the River Person’s boat, which saved them the long walk to Waterfall.
Once they arrived, Sans proceeded to eat half a hotdog drowned in ketchup, and then passed out on the couch with half of his legs hanging off of the armrest, completely dead to the world.
Papyrus let him be, proud that he managed to convince his brother to get out of bed for once in his life, and went to go chat with Alphys and Mettaton, who was being uncharacteristically quiet in the face of all of these people.
Undyne wasn’t so forgiving and prodded the lazy skeleton to wake up and actually socialize with everybody. Sans didn’t even stir. After a few more seconds of trying to arouse him, she eventually gave up, calling the skeleton a “hopeless case.”
The rest of the partygoers had talked late into the night, and, despite having opened several cases of beer and everyone, (except for Sans, as he was asleep, Papyrus, who refused the alcohol, and Mettaton, for obvious reasons), drank more than one, there were no shenanigans or really inappropriate stuff that occurred. It was an honest surprise to everyone there. Undyne’s parties were rumored to be some of the rowdiest in the Underground, and both Papyrus and Sans could vouch for that 100%.
“Sans,” Papyrus halted on his walk and turned around. His brother had been lagging behind with every step, unable to find the energy to keep slogging through the snow to keep up with his brother’s longer strides. “Do you want me to carry you?”
“nah, bro.” Sans said tiredly, brushing off some snow off of his tattered hoodie. “i’m good.”
“Are you sure?” Papyrus frowned. “You’ve been slowing down considerably for the past 10 minutes, and if you’re tired, it won’t be a problem. I know how late it is”
“yeah, i’m sure.” Sans waved him off. “you keep walkin’. i’ll ketchup.”
Papyrus sighed at the pun. “If you say so, brother.” The taller skeleton turned and continued to walk down the seemingly deserted streets, slowing down his walk significantly to keep pace with his older brother’s slower strides. He decided to fill the uneasy silence with quiet (quiet as a skeleton can be who doesn’t know the definition of a whisper) chatter about Undyne’s consideration for him to join the Royal Guard, and his thoughts about the party.
Sans was only half-listening as he was exhausted down to the bone. In between keeping track of the progress Alphys was making in Anomaly Science and other human-related things, shuffling his Judge duties around managing Papyrus, and his Sentry duties his brother needed him to do, he had next to no time to sleep or get some rest. Because he’s too lazy to walk everywhere in the Underground, he always has a constant drain on his magic and no way for him to replenish it. He tries to snag naps when he can, but Papyrus usually wakes him up, claiming he needs to get out more and stop being such a lazybones.
Sans can’t blame his brother for his sleep-deprived self. If anything, it’s his own fault for keeping Papyrus as far away from the concepts of Resets, Timelines and Save Files as possible. Sans doesn’t want to trigger a domino effect in Pap’s brain and make him remember all of the times Frisk, being possessed by Chara, murdering all of his friends and then him. He doesn’t want him remembering the piles of monster dust littering the streets of Snowdin, the air being clouded by the excess dust, choking anybody who was unlucky enough to still be alive during these desperate times.
Sans sighs heavily and tries not to slow down again. For some reason, walking along this darkened street with no other monster in sight and only hearing the crunch of snow underfoot and the faint clack of bones is really creeping him out. Papyrus had stopped talking when he realized that Sans was only half paying attention to him, and the older skeleton felt a stab of guilt in his SOUL. I’ll have to make it up to ’em.
A shadow flitted in his peripheral vision, and Sans whipped his head around, only to spot nothing in the little alley branching off the street. By all- Sans, you’re getting too paranoid again. Nothin’s there. There’ s no reason to jump outta your skin. Heh.
After a few minutes, Sans could hear the crunching of snow behind him. The short skeleton stiffened and quickened his pace. It was probably just another figment of his imagination, but he couldn’t be too careful. He knew he was vulnerable to attack because his magic was so depleted after using it up so much without replenishing it. He inwardly cursed himself and tried to ignore the snow seeping through the paper-thin fabric of his ratty pink slippers.
Papyrus abruptly spun around after he heard a sickening crunch and a small thump muffled by the snow. His jaw dropped open and a small gasp when he saw his brother lying in a crumpled heap on the snow with two tough-looking monsters looming over his body.
Both monsters had on large leather jackets that were ripped in several places, a white shirt with suspicious-looking red stains on the monster on the left’s shirt stood out against the white fabric of the shirt. He also had a long pink scar running through his right eye and the tell-tale black swirls of ink of tattoos. He looked like a cross between a tree, a rock, and a fire elemental. His head spouted out red flames that lashed the air, seemingly having a mind of their own. His right hand was curled into a humongous fist the size of a house, If it was made up of what looked like millions of tiny pebbles smashed together. On the other and, his left looked like the trunk of a sequoia tree that had been injected with some weird alien lava. Small green vines intertwined with the red bark and disappeared up his sleeve.
The other monster was shorter than the other but made up for his lack of height with the cold and threatening look he leveled at Papyrus. He was another fire elemental, and the color of his flames was black, which is the rarest color for those particular monsters. However, half of his face was completely devoid of flames. They too seemed life-like in their appearance, snapping and crackling in the air. There was only cold, hard rock that steamed a little in the cold night air.
It was clear to Papyrus that these two were a part of the Mafia in Snowdin if their cloak and dagger emblems on their shirts were anything to go by.
As head of the Sentries of Snowdin, the younger skeleton had been asked by Undyne to help in the capture of the bosses of them. So far, the Royal Guard had only captured one of them, and he wasn’t talking. But they all hope, Queen Toriel included, that the monster would reveal important information.
The black flame monster opened his maw and spoke in a harsh and guttural voice that grated against the skeleton’s ears(?). “Papyrus. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” His voice was dripping with sarcasm, and Papyrus immediately recognized it. After all, Sans had used that very same tone with their friends and even Papyrus himself on some occasions.
The younger skeleton decided to play dumb to see if the two menacing monsters would reveal any information and to stall for when Sans would regain consciousness. “Oh, are the two of you fans of mine? Well, I am the Great Papyrus after all, and I am happy to sign any autographs that you give me.” Papyrus looks down at his brother with worry in his gaze. “Though you could have asked without incapacitating my brother.”
The monster with the tattoos growled and stepped forward, answering for his partner. “We ain’t fans a’ youse, and we definitely don’t want yer autograph.”
Papyrus felt cold chills running down his spine, and it felt like somebody just dumped a whole bucket of snow down his backbone. The skeleton told himself that whatever happens, he will stay strong for his brother. I’ll also have to bring the two monsters in for questioning… after I defeat them of course. “Then what do you want?” Papyrus asked, keeping up his dumb act. “Undyne’s autograph? I’m very good fr-”
“NO!” The scarred monster roared, his magic and flames lashing out angrily. “You stupid little-”
He cut himself off when his partner raised a warning hand. “Your friendship with the Captain is exactly why we’re here. You see, a very powerful friend of ours has realized that you’ve been snoopin’ around our business, poking your head where it don’t belong and asking questions that you shouldn’t be askin’.”
The tattooed monster took over for the fire elemental, as he looked tired from using his voice. “He asked the two of us to bring youse in for some...friendly questionin’ about...your line of work.”
Frowning, Papyrus readied his magic for an attack, and he subtly shifted into the beginnings of a battle stance. “Well, this doesn’t seem that friendly. If you came by tomorrow, I would’ve been happy to answer any questions you might have! You’ve already knocked out my brother, which you didn’t have to do if you wanted to simply chat.”
The black flamed monster laughed, or rather, did an impression of a laugh. It sounded wrong, like somebody poorly pieced together recordings of laughter and then pasted a staticky sound over that. Papyrus tried not to let his discomfort show. “Oh, yes I did. If your brother knew where we were taking you, he would dust the both of us.”
Papyrus cocked his head, visibly surprised. Sans...dusting any monster? It’s unfathomable! My brother is one of the laziest monsters in the Underground. He’s barely able to get up to go to work, let alone work up the magic needed to dust a monster. What is he talking about? “Sans would do no such thing!” He said aloud with a hint of fondness. “My brother is too much of a lazybones to do that.”
The black flamed monster laughed again, the sound making Papyrus flinch imperceptibly. “You’ll be surprised at what Sans can do.”
Apparently, there was some unspoken communication between the two monsters, and after the black fire elemental was finished speaking, the other gang member summoned a long spear made out of rock and flame. It made a whistling noise as it sliced through the air, and Papyrus only just managed to duck under the weapon right before it made contact with his skull.
His own magic flared up defensively, and he channeled that into summoning a spear of his own, though it manifested as a bone, and not a rock spear. Lifting it up, he blocked an attack from the black fire elemental, and in return, he sent an attack of his own, the blue light illuminating the night and turning the snow around it a neon blue.
A whip made entirely of red flames cracked over Papyrus’s head, and the startled skeleton looked up just in time to catch a face full of black bullets, sending Papyrus flying backward to land in the snow.
Stunned, he lay there, recovering his breath before the two gang members stalked towards him, the tattooed monsters whip-cracking threateningly above the injured skeletons’ head.
That was the moment Sans begrudgingly rejoined the waking world. Groaning, he sat up, rubbing at a tender spot on his skull. It throbbed as if he’d drink too much alcohol at Grillby’s again, and his vision was blurry. Even the dim light of the artificial moon in Snowdin made him want to puke. He dropped onto his elbows, his head too dizzy to hold him up.
He was about to sink into dreamland again when a pained grunt from his brother made his eye sockets fly open. “P-paps…?” He croaked, propping himself up on one elbow again.
Papyrus was sure that he had a broken rib. He was on his feet, facing his advancing attackers, when the whip sliced across his chest, tearing a hole through his body armor and striking his rib. He stumbled back, one hand on his wound, his blood blending in with the red fabric of his glove.
He heard the black flamed elemental laugh once more and say to his partner, “Don’t beat him up too bad, Tat. The Boss still wants ’em alive for questioning. Just knock him out.”
“I make no promises.” Tat sneered.
Sans shook his head, trying to rid his head of the clouds residing there, blurring his vision. I-I’ve gotta… gotta go help Paps…
But when he tried to stand, his legs simply collapsed underneath him, his bones unable to sustain his weight. “N-no! Gotta get…”
He couldn’t finish his sentence, and his magic flowed up around him, the dark blue color draping around him like a protective blanket. His eye sockets widened in realization. I’ll just...t-teleport over to h-him and summon G-Gaster... Blasters.
Papyrus gritted his teeth against the pain of his rib and rose his head, gathering his magic for a simple bone slide to distract the two while he gets his bearings. But all attempts at magic were halted when he saw his brother’s familiar blue magic flare-up.
Quickly turning on protect mode, he quickly assessed the battlefield. The two monsters were almost directly in front of him. Only a few yards separated them. Luckily, Sans was behind him, so the gang members couldn’t use him to their advantage. Hopefully, he’ll stay put and not move anywhere before he can take care of the threat.
But that wish was futile. With the slightest bit of exasperation and a heavy dose of surprise, Papyrus witnessed his brother’s magic gathering together like a cloud of smoke trapped in a box, and then simply...disappear.
Tat and his partner saw that Papyrus was looking at something behind them, and both of them turned just in time to miss Sans popping up next to Papyrus.
A dusting of snow lifted up into the air at Sans’ arrival, and the older skeleton grunted at his heavy landing. It wasn’t as smooth as his other teleports, and his skull was pounding in protest. He was lying uncomfortably in the snow; somehow he managed to get his right arm stuck under him, and his clothes were heavy with moisture.
“Sans?” Papyrus squeaked in surprise. “H-How…?”
Sans blinked, his magic rising up to curl with Papyrus’s own. “honestly, i’m surprised that the teleport worked.” The smaller skeleton looked up at the blurry outline of his brother and immediately focused on the blood seeping through Papyrus’s white battle armor. “...did they-?”
Papyrus’s eyes widen and he quickly looks up to see the two attacking monsters readying their second attack, their magic radiating anger and surprise. “We can’t speak now, brother. First, I have to take care of these two hooligans.”
Sans internally flinched at the pain he heard in his brother’s voice, and he resolved to make the two strangers pay for what they’ve done. “paps, you don’t have to do it alone. you’re injured, bro, and they’re too strong for you to take on alone.”
Before Papyrus could respond, the unnamed black flame monster sent another barrage of bullets, this time aiming for the more vulnerable skeleton on the cold ground. “No-!”
Lifting his hand, Sans barely managed to summon a wall of bones to block the attack. The bullets exploded against the bones in a flash of purple light.
Sans let the edges of his mouth curl up in a smile as he looked at Papyrus. “see? i can help too.”
Papyrus summoned another bone spear and blocked Tat’s whip as it flew towards him at lighting speed. He winced as that movement jarred his broken rib, but he brushed off the pain to deal with it later. “Sans, you can barely stand!” He called over his shoulder, yanking Tat’s whip out of his hands with his spear. “Just leave this fight to me. Don’t worry, The Great Papyrus will protect you!”
Sans flinched at every flash of light from the fight monsters attacks. “but...who will protect you…?” He whispered, blinking again, ignoring his probable concussion, and held out his hand, seeing a long bone materialize in the air. Snatching it, he slowly sat up, and using it as a crutch, he painfully stood up.
Papyrus gasped in surprise as the black fire elemental sent a wall of flames roaring his way. Thinking quickly, he rolled out of the way and put up a wall of his own in front of Sans, the blue bones blocking the deadly fire from harming his brother.
It’s a good thing I have no lungs to speak of, Papyrus thought wryly, sending a storm of bone bullets over to their attackers. Or else I would’ve been dead right now. My rib feels like a loose stick, rattling around in my ribcage.
A crack from behind him made Papyrus whirl around, and he watched helplessly as Sans got roughly picked up by blue magic and then tossed unceremoniously against the side of a brick house, landing on the snow with a sickening crunch. “Sans!”