There were too many things you didn't know.
The things you heard. The things you've seen. All of it was different, and the only word that repeated was 'experiment'. Hands, time, space, core...None of it made sense. The entry number you found you could not read. It was only legible to him who wrote it.
You watched the man in front of you shuffle through pots and pans. Ingredients were laid out on the counter, and a pot of boiling water sat on the stove. In front of you were piles of plates and utensils. It was a lot like back at home; setting the table before dinner and cleaning up afterwards. But things were different now.
Alphys didn't know, and Asgore was far from knowing what had happened. The only one who knew was him, and he could not speak. Papyrus knew little of him, and Sans said nothing about him. Anyone else who knew had vanished.
You looked up from the plates and saw that he was standing there, staring at the pot. He looked over in your direction, and gave you a smile. Well, at least the one that was scarred on his face widened. You took the plates and walked over to the table in the other room. You set it as you did back at home; plates in the middle, napkin to the right, and utensils on top of it. Instead of setting regularly for 2, you set for 4.
When you walked back into the kitchen, Gaster was preparing to set the noodles in. You sat back in your seat and continued to watch him. He turned to you and gave you gestures.
Thank you for setting the table, Frisk.
For the first time in ages, you actually understood. Enduring a few months of lessons given by Papyrus, you learned how to communicate with Gaster. It seemed a lot more simpler now that you knew it.
You nodded. "Anytime."
He turned back to the stove and stirred the noodles in. His movements were gentle, and the words he chose were kind. From what you knew, he was a lot like this before. The only time he hurt anything was Papyrus' feelings when he once suggested they'd skip pasta one night. Why would anyone tell you to beware of him?
At that moment, Sans walked in with a bag of chips in his hand. He turned to you and gave you a nod. "'Sup, Kid."
You waved, a bit unsure on how to respond. It was rhetorical, anyway, because Sans passed you without a word and crumbled his trash up. He aimed and threw it towards the trash can, making it in. The skeleton wore a smug smile and sat down beside you. You saw Gaster roll his eyes.
"You makin' some grub, pops?"
He ignored Sans' question and gestured. Where is your brother?
"He's out with Undyne, I think," Sans picked at his teeth. "Probably training."
Gaster didn't say anything before turning back to work on the pasta-in-progress. Sans' eyes wandered around the room before looking at you. He asked, "How did Toriel let you come over for dinner?"
You explained that she went out to a restaurant earlier to study their pie recipes. His eye sockets widened in surprise, and he leaned back in his chair to rub the back of his skull.
"Oh, right. I saw her there...Haha, woops."
Gaster suddenly turned back towards you two, gesturing: Frisk, can you please call Papyrus? Dinner is almost ready.
You nodded, getting out your cell phone and dialing his number and putting the receiver next to your ear. It took a couple of rings before a response was heard.
"YES? THIS IS THE GREAT PAPYRUS SPEAKING!"
Things didn't really change within the months. Papyrus nearly responded to every one of your calls, and it only took him about a few seconds to. In fact, you were so used to talking to him that you didn't have to cringe upon hearing his yelling across the receiver.
You explained that dinner was nearly ready and that he was asked to come home.
"Really? What are we having?"
Sans leaned in near the speaker and said, "Your favorite, bro."
The sound of the front door being kicked down made all of you jump. Papyrus' voice rang through the house: "I'M HERE FOR MY SPAGHETTI!"
The skeleton walked into the kitchen, and you could see several blue spears penetrated through his costume. His scarf was a little worn down, and his leggings were scratched up. Gaster set some things aside and gestured to him.
Get yourself clothed, Papyrus, and come down when you're done. You'll be serving everyone dinner tonight.
"YES!" He exclaimed, pumping up his gloved hands into fists. He ran out of the room and you could hear his footsteps running up the stairs. Sans got out of his seat and stuffed his hands in his pockets, watching Gaster.
He asked, "Do I have to do anything?"
Immediately, Sans stretched and yawned. He said, "Well, I'm gonna' take a nap. Wake me when dinner's ready."
He gave Gaster a firm pat on the back before turning to you and giving you a nod. He stretched another time before walking out of the kitchen, lazily hitting his arm on the wall. Gaster shook his head, and you smiled.
When dinner WAS ready, Papyrus was all to happy to run downstairs and nearly break his ankle getting hold of the pasta first. Instead of wearing his costume, he had on a casual attire. This must be a rarity because even Sans was surprised to see him like this.
Papyrus huffed out his chest proudly and grabbed the bowl of noodles along with the bowl of sauce in each of his hands. He leaned down and served you first, a good portion of noodles with sauce formally poured on top. He repeated this pattern with Gaster and Sans before standing in front of the table.
He said, "Before we eat tonight, I would like to engage in this, what humans call, 'prayer'."
"Bro," Sans gave him a confused look. "We don't have a religion?"
"Then we'll just name things we're thankful for!" Papyrus slammed the bowl on the table. "Humans do that, right?"
He turned to you with an expectant look. You gave him a thumbs up and nodded. At this, he stood back up straight with a smug smile. You neglected to tell him that it was only February.
He put a good amount of spaghetti on his plate before putting the bowls aside and sitting up straight. He exclaimed, "I'll go first!"
Instead of downright yelling about how much he loved pasta(like he usually did at dinner), Papyrus placed a thoughtful hand to his chin. He said, "Well, for one, I'm thankful that we're having spaghetti again. I'm also thankful for...my friends....house....lazy brother."
He glared at Sans. The skeleton grinned and said, "C'mon, bro. You know I've been working hard. Down to the-"
"DON'T YOU DARE SAY IT!"
Papyrus stood up straight and slammed his gloved fists on the table. Sans' hand paused midair, and you could tell he was about to finish the pun. Before he could, though, Gaster clinked his glass with a fork and motioned for the two to eat. And, just like that, they complied. Papyrus plopped back in his chair and immediately went to stuffing his face with the spaghetti. You looked down at your plate and took a bite. It was actually pretty good. A lot better than what you last tasted...
"Gee, Dad!" Papyrus cleaned his plate. "This is really good! How'd you make it?"
"Like every normal person would." Sans shrugged. "10 spears mixed in with 400 degree-cooked sauce. How else would he do it?"
You looked at Gaster, and saw that he was currently resting his face in his palm. Papyrus slammed his fist on the table in excitement.
"SANS, YOU'RE A GENIUS! I've only been cooking to 399 degrees! Maybe 400 would work?"
Gaster leaned forward and gestured. Papyrus, no.
This, of course, resulted in him throwing a fit. You watched the back-and-forth between them two, and Sans was all too happy but to watch them bicker. The scene reminded you of a typical family. Then your eyes landed on Gaster. He gave up on arguing with Papyrus, whom was busy scooping out seconds. Gaster wasn't eating much, but, then again, you weren't quite sure if he could move his mouth at all.
You looked up and saw Sans staring at you. He asked, "You gonna' finish that?"
You looked down at the plate of spaghetti placed in front of you. You weren't that hungry, so you slid down your plate to him and he gave you a smile.
You watched the two brothers pig out on the food and you looked at Gaster again. He was staring at his plate. His eyes traveled up to you, and you nervously looked away. Why did his stare suddenly alarm you?
You heard something tap on the table. Gaster was looking at you, and he gestured: Would you like something to drink?
There it was again. That formality. Was he like this before? You shook your head, nonetheless. "No thank you."
He gave you a nod, turning back to his food. You felt yourself stare. Was he really that dangerous? If anything, he seemed like a good person. Why was everyone so hesitant on talking about what happened?
You tap the table with your fork. Gaster looks up, and you hesitate. Papyrus taught you a bit on speaking sign language, but you didn't want to risk it with such a formal question. So you asked, "Can I fight you?"
The table fell silent.