Red Light District
Chapter 8: do you know them?
Onion kept on holding Sans even after his hiccoughs stopped and his breath evened. Sans let tentacles pet him without objection. It felt good, very good, and he sighed a little from the attentions—he was too tired and relieved to be ashamed of himself.
Maybe a stronger monster would take pain and punishment over the demeaning soft touches of an enemy, but it was becoming increasingly obvious which Sans preferred.
“What is it, Sans?”
“The B-boss…my brother…is he…did the dogs…?”
“Oh! Oh, Sans, don’t worry. Papyrus is fine. And I’m sure he’s still in the dark.”
“How do you know that?”
“You weren’t awake when he came to get you the first time, but let’s just say his entrance was…well, you know your brother, don’t you? Red City didn’t wake up buried in a sea of bone attacks, so I’m guessing your secret’s safe.”
Sans found himself breathing a little easier at that.
Now there was just his own hide to worry about. He might get this small break, but then there was what was going to happen when he went back to Red City. As far as it had gone, his session with the dogs had been interrupted, and it probably wasn’t going to be a one time thing either way.
“Onion, do you think you could maybe…I didn’t tell Muffet what was going on. With the dogs. I was s…scared that she would…but I don’t think that I can keep—I don’t think I can d-do that again.”
Sans didn’t know if he needed to keep going. Onion probably knew what he was asking, but the octopus was suddenly rubbing his own forehead with a tentacle as though he was frustrated, which didn’t seem like a fair reaction when Sans was here spilling his guts to him. Cautiously, Sans pushed on.
“Do you think, if Muffet knew it was blackmail, she wouldn’t m-make me…do this? B-but I don’t know what the dogs would do, and I’m…I…”
Onion still didn’t respond, but he was looking closer to breaking. Whether it was in anger or pity was unclear. Sans decided to gamble.
“I don’t know what to do. I’m scared for my b-brother. B-b-but I.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “I’m s-scared too. Of the dogs. I don’t think I can do what they…want. I know I m-messed up, but I…”
He bowed his head.
“Would you believe me if I said I t-tried? I know it probably d-didn’t look good…”
A tentacle massaged Sans’ neck. It was probably pity, then. That was good enough. He could work with that. Sans snapped his head up to look Onion in the eye, and Onion looked taken aback.
“If you could tell Muffet, if it came from you, then—”
Then Sans finally got a read on Onion’s expression.
Nothing happens here without me knowing.
Sans spoke before he could stop himself.
Onion looked to the side, still quiet.
“Muffet knew…she did this…on purpose?”
Muffet had never said she wouldn’t make Sans entertain a group. She’d only said he wouldn’t be asked for. Come to think of it, it perfectly fit Muffet’s M.O. thus far to allow Sans to suffer delusion in order to feed a client’s fantasy. The dogs probably thought blackmail would be good fun, but Clarence was right. They would get in trouble with Asgore if they spoiled his plans for Papyrus, and unlike Muffet, they were likely to face real consequences. It wouldn’t have been hard to figure out who was responsible.
They’d been bluffing.
Sans was such an idiot.
Onion broke his silence.
“Do you think you deserve to be punished, Sans?”
No. Oh no. He shouldn’t have said anything. He’d gotten himself into more trouble.
“Wh…I don’t…I d-don’t know how to…answer that.”
“It’s not a trick question. Knowing everything that you know, do you think you deserve punishment?”
Knowing what he knew? Like how he’d been set up to fail? But he also knew that, fair or unfair, Onion wasn’t forgiving of Sans fighting his clients. Sans opened his mouth. What was the right answer? If he said yes, would that spare him, or not? Was he just being forced to be responsible for his own torture? Was this an extra sadistic spin on his punishment for daring to point out their hypocritical mind games?
Sans crumpled into himself, sniveling and whimpering.
“Well…that is a sort of answer.”
Onion pulled Sans closer and stroked his back.
“Sans. Shh. Don’t try to please me. Speak honestly. Don’t treat this like a game you have to win.”
“But it…is. You can’t just pretend you’re not looking for the answer you l-like. You can’t…blame me for trying to figure out what answers don’t end with me getting punished. Or f-fucked.”
“Sans, you know me. You know I wouldn’t overwork you. I would never use sex to punish you.”
As far as Sans could tell, that was true. After the slug, at least, Onion hadn’t so much as touched Sans. Muffet had made Sans paranoid about expecting sex no matter the circumstances leading up to it, but maybe Onion really was different.
“You’re not…you’re really not going to…?”
“Not right after you were hurt so badly, of course not. It’s too bad you’re not up for it, though. I’ll have you know, I am very good at cheering monsters up.”
Onion knew exactly how to emphasize a point—he didn’t touch Sans anywhere below the belt, but the suggestive spiral rub of his tentacles right over Sans’ shoulder blades sent a relaxing vibration pouring through him like a waterfall. Sans’ mouth parted a little, like he was going to moan, then froze there, dumbly open. He didn’t want to test his luck by giving Onion any signals that would initiate sex. He quickly pushed words out instead.
“H-ha. I wouldn’t bill that as a selling point if I were you. ‘Come for the trash soda, stay for the tentacle rape.’”
The abrupt, crackling atmospheric shift of the room reminded Sans of the time he was electrocuted. Sans knew that Onion, contrary to his image, wasn’t much for black humor, but he was usually at least surprised enough at Sans’ jokes to get a chuckle out of him. But at Sans’ words, Onion looked eerily stricken. Something about the expression made Sans feel that it was an honest reaction, and it was ten times more unnerving than the octopus’ threatening smiles.
“Sans. I never raped you.”
A part of Sans screamed at him not to say anything to that, but he found himself still trying to keep a joking tone.
“I hate to break it to you, Onion, but when you fuck someone and they don’t want it…”
The tentacles gripped Sans tighter.
“There wasn’t one thing I did to you that you didn’t enjoy. I made you feel good. I may have punished you for misbehavior, but I never hurt you with sex.”
He really shouldn’t respond. Just agree to whatever Onion said, what did it matter? What would he get by arguing? But Sans felt too shocked to stop himself, his voice breaking a little.
“You didn’t…you didn’t even let me say no. You can’t just d-do that and call it whatever…whatever you want. The only reason I went along was because you would k-kill me otherwise.”
“How dare you.”
The octopus’ eyes seemed to glow brighter, pupils narrowing like a cat’s. Sans felt the room’s temperature drop to a low chill.
“Kill you? I took care of you. I was nice to you. Exceptionally nice. I didn’t have to make you feel that good, you know—this is your job. Do you even realize how much I’ve done for you, you ungrateful little monster?”
It may have been a rhetorical question, but in a desperate bid to calm him, Sans tried to actually think of something.
“You…you told Muffet to leave me alone for a while. When I f-first started.”
Just like that, the anger visibly drained from the octopus’ face like air from a balloon. He held Sans’ face with a tentacle.
“And that still wasn’t long enough, was it?”
Onion’s expression softened.
“Oh Sans…this isn’t your fault. It’s not your fault you’re being bad. You’re confused.”
He huffed angrily.
“Two weeks just isn’t enough time for training. And after that slug, there was so much more work to do…you can’t shortcut through that kind of work, using some drug to get you artificially aroused before you’re even sorted out enough to feel anything real…”
That sounded suspiciously like a slight on Muffet, but Sans wasn’t sure what a safe response would be. He was shaken by Onion’s dangerous mood, and wanted to avoid it at all costs. He was done with pain. He wished he could have a cheat sheet that got him the easiest route for every interaction from now on. He wished he could find the switch that made him say the stupidest thing at the worst possible moment, and turn it off for good.
“Onion, I’m…d-done fighting, I promise I won’t—I won’t cause trouble anymore, I j-just need to know what to do and I’ll, I’ll do it, so please don’t…”
The tentacle holding Sans’ face stroked his cheek.
“You’re probably wondering what you’re doing here, aren’t you? That’s why you’re so nervous. To be honest, I was still deciding what to do with you up to the moment. But I think I’ve settled on using our time to ease your stress a little. How does that sound?”
For a tense moment, Sans was uncertain what that would entail. But when tentacles went back to petting him, some under his clothes but still not touching anywhere near his hips or upper thighs, his relief must have been a visible reaction.
Sans allowed himself to surrender. It was about time he started viewing this as his permanent situation. Not a bad dream. Not something he could snark his way out of, not something he was going to be rescued from.
And it was apparently worth the effort to act properly.
Sans remembered a long while ago, a time when he’d gone several days without eating more than a couple bites of food at a time. On a good day, Sans wasn’t partial to the Mettaton steaks sold in Hotland. He could eat them, but they tasted like ego.
On that day when he was close to starving, almost an entire batch of the things had been thrown out because they didn’t look precisely enough a likeness to the vain robot. Sans happened upon that windfall in a garbage pail behind the MTT Resort, and that night, he could swear that nothing in his whole life had tasted as good as those reject steaks.
The tentacles caressing him now felt like those steaks tasted, like he was starving for a gentle touch. The fact that so many of the touches Sans had experienced lately had been painful or cruel probably had something to do with his reaction. This was a small taste of mercy, and Sans could practically pinpoint the moment endorphins released to flood his brain.
Onion hummed to himself as he laced tentacles through Sans’ ribs, squeezing lightly on each rib as he went. A tiny, rebellious part of Sans insisted he should be disturbed that this felt good. But the part of him that was in control now couldn’t help but think that at least he wasn’t entirely consigned to misery and pain from now on. There could be bright parts. He just might need to change his attitude about them if he wanted to be able to appreciate them.
Then a tentacle was traveling up his spine, tingles spreading where it stroked—
“N-no, no wait!”
It slid back down with a firm grip, and Sans momentarily forgot what he was so worried about. He leaned into the hold, his body going slack. He could feel wetness between his legs.
Oh. That was why.
Sans snapped his legs together, his breath quickening. He couldn’t let Onion know; it was as good as an invitation for the octopus to forget all his nice promises and start fucking him. But there was no way he hadn’t noticed.
Sans kept his gaze fixed to the side as he shakily spread his legs back open, revealing the glow in his pants. He’d lost his chance at having a sex-free visit, but so long as he stayed agreeable, Onion wouldn’t hurt him. At least there was that. Sans could probably find a way to enjoy this. He shut his eyes tight.
Tentacles nudged Sans’ legs back together at the knees while the tentacle gripping his spine tenderly pressed each ridge as it slid down. Onion spoke softly in his ear.
“What a good boy. Don’t be afraid. I think it’s safe to say your pussy’s had enough recently. Can you make it disappear, Sans?”
Sans didn’t know if that was an order or not.
“Go on and try, then.”
It was a little more difficult than he was used to, since he was still aroused, but he managed it.
“Do you often have that problem?”
“Usually only when…I’ve been drugged.”
A smirk spread over Onion’s face. He held Sans closer.
“And I got the same reaction sober? Looks like I still ‘get’ you, hm?”
A tentacle tickled up his spine and pushed hard between his shoulder blades, earning a halted gasp. And Sans’ pussy formed again. Onion tittered.
“Sans. Control yourself.”
Sans’ face lit up in a bright glow. Onion tugged on Sans’ head to look him in the eye.
“Shh, shh, I’m only teasing. No need to be so sensitive.”
The tentacle wound its way down his spine.
“But I guess everything about you is sensitive.”
How many limbs did Onion have, again? It seemed like there was hardly a part of Sans left unattended by the stroking tentacles. His pussy was still left alone, and he managed to get rid of it again. And the tentacles weren’t anywhere that should be particularly erogenous, so there was no reason for the relieved whimpers and sighs coming from Sans’ throat.
Onion had a way of pulling and pressing on joints, of using suckers to reach into crevices, that was turning Sans in his entirety into a wet puddle. And there was some kind of tingling still spreading through him, not quite like a sexual release, but intense and relaxing and warm. When the feeling was reaching its peak, Sans whined a little and shuddered, eyes drooping like he was giving in to sleep.
Something about accepting this treatment, of allowing the touches to make his body reach a climax, felt dangerously intimate. It felt like Sans had come upon another point of no return and crossed it. Like he’d somehow surrendered something he hadn’t given up to this point. Maybe he was imagining it, but the way Onion was smiling told him something between them had just changed.
“There. There we go. That’s it.”
Onion took his tentacles out of Sans’ jacket and went back to petting him over his clothes. Sans tried to focus harder on Onion’s expression. The octopus had the look of a monster who was taking pride in his work.
The massage had relaxed Sans enough to push the panic back, but it was also clearing his head a little. And with that came a whole slew of thoughts.
Onion said he’d done a lot for him, and by the standards of Sans’ situation, he did appear to have gone out of his way for him in a number of respects.
But what was the point? Did Onion think he could soothe Sans enough, or teach him just the right trick that would make him somehow able to fuck five dogs at once, or take a broom without complaint? How could Sans possibly pick back up where he’d left off at Red City?
“Onion, why are you bothering with all this? I can’t…I can’t do this job.”
“Hm, no Sans, you’re very good at your job.”
He said it so casually that at first Sans automatically heard it as an insult, until he went back over it in his mind and realized what words had actually been said.
“Wh…how can you say that?”
“Fishing for compliments, Sans?”
Sans buried his face in embarrassment. Onion lifted his chin to look at him.
“Teasing, I’m teasing.” The tentacle turned Sans’ face to either side, like Onion was inspecting him.
“You’re intelligent, and you pick up on nonverbal cues well. You’re something of a people-reader—you’re able to guess with impressive accuracy what different clients are looking for. And of course, you have a natural talent with magic. You don’t think just any monster can perfectly execute anatomical magic after only being shown how to do it once?”
Sans didn’t know how to take this. None of it was anything he should want to be good at, and he shouldn’t want to be praised for it, but he had never heard words like ‘impressive’ or ‘talented’ being directed at him.
The tentacle on his face moved to press lightly against his teeth, and without thinking about it he opened his mouth to allow it in, sucking on it in response to its entry.
“You could always stand to be more obedient, but when you are…”
Sans stopped sucking as soon as he realized he was doing it, mortified. The tentacle pulled out of his mouth and scratched his chin affectionately.
“…you do wonderfully.”
Sans’ face felt hot. Onion looked pleased with the reaction.
“You’re just going to have to trust that I know what I’m talking about.”
“If I’d been given more time to train you, I think things would be going smoother for you now. I think I could have saved you some suffering.”
That was the second time Onion said something to that effect. It seemed it really bothered him. Maybe Sans could use that, if he chose his words carefully.
“Onion, do you…do you…” Sans searched for the most neutral way he could say this. “…disagree with Muffet?”
Onion stared at Sans for a moment, expression purposefully blank.
“Sans, I would never say anything negative about my coworker in front of you. It’s not professional.”
Something about the way he said it reminded Sans of Cecil’s tone just before they flaunted Muffet’s rules. Against Sans’ will, he felt some hope glowing inside him. Just a little bit.
And then the words flooded out.
“Muffet, she…she lets monsters into my room, and I n-never know when it’s g-going to happen, and if it were just clients I could…m-maybe, but it’s…sometimes she’ll test me, and I can’t. It f-feels like it never ends, like there are no b-breaks, and it’s—”
A tentacle rested on Sans’ mouth, abruptly stopping the babble of grievances.
Onion put Sans down on the platform, then fished for something under the water. What he pulled out were two dripping walkie talkies.
“You’ve convinced me that you want to be good, so don’t break my trust, okay? I’m going to see about getting things easier on you. I don’t want you taking on more than one client at once anymore. Maybe two. But I definitely don’t want to hear that you’re being hurt.”
He slipped one of the walkie talkies into Sans’ jacket pocket, then pressed on it through the fabric. “As for this?” Onion gave Sans a calculating look. “You can use it to talk to me if you get lonely.”
There was some meaningful juxtaposition being used here, Sans was sure.
Onion held up his own radio and pointed at a dim red bump under the speaker.
“I’ll see this light up if you turn your end on.”
Then he looked like he was considering something.
“Sans…do you want to see your brother?”
Sans nearly choked.
“Wh…you would…let me?”
“Do you think you could lie to his face about your job?”
The bubble of hope popped.
“…no…I don’t know.”
Sans looked at his feet.
“I mean, we’re family, so I’ve lied to him about all sorts of shit…but. I think this would be. Too hard. I don’t think I could do it. I f-feel like he’d take one look at me, and he’d…know everything, somehow.”
Sans was quiet after that. He wanted to have a different answer, a braver answer. Especially when he was being given a chance to make his life a little less like hell. But the gift felt like a Trojan horse, like something that would end up torturing him and his brother both more than it would help either of them.
Maybe Papyrus would be better off if Sans just quietly slipped out of his life, Papyrus all the while having his lovely story about what was happening, unburdened by the ugly truth.
Sans tried to tell himself that it would be more selfish to see Papyrus than to leave him alone.
Onion pet Sans’ back.
“We’ll revisit that later, then.”
Tentacles slipped under the handcuffs and rubbed Sans’ wrists. Onion made a ‘tsk’ of disapproval.
“…I don’t want them using these on you. I suppose it’s one step at a time.”
Onion turned and used another tentacle to bring out a phone, still absently stroking Sans.
“I’ll get someone to pick you up. You be good, all right?”
The way Muffet glared at the walkie talkie made Sans grip it tighter. He had only taken it out of his pocket to look at it, and he was pretty sure he wasn’t going to use it, but her eyeing it like that made him afraid she would take it away. He put it back in his jacket, still gripping it.
Muffet had greeted Sans almost immediately after he returned, and her reaction to him was difficult to read. She still looked irritated, but Sans wasn’t 100% sure who the source of her frustration was. It could be him, but it could also be Onion for giving him the radio, or the dogs for damaging her merchandise, or Alphys for coming in without paying for anything.
When Muffet took Sans to his room, she looked him over for a moment before approaching him. Sans automatically took a flinching step back, but tried to keep himself under control. He didn’t want to be in trouble again so soon, even if it were a small infraction.
“Stand still, dearie.”
Sans obeyed. Muffet went up to him and took him into her arms. The hold was a little awkward for a hug, but Sans knew that feelings weren’t Muffet’s strong suit. Maybe this was her way of apologizing for what happened.
Sans felt a grip on his shoulder and then a pop.
Muffet had dislocated his arm—the ball joint was hanging in his sleeve, clean out of the socket. Muffet checked him.
“I thought so! You actually have quite a bit more than 1 HP.”
Sans was too shocked to scream, but the pain brought him to his knees. Muffet let him fall.
“It must be all that sleeping you do. It raises HP above max, you know. I’d suspected this before, but the dogs ripping you open like that really should have killed you if there were only 1 HP between you and death.” She clapped her hands together. “This opens up so many more possibilities! You’ll be able to earn your keep and then some.”
Sans took heaving breaths, trying not to jostle the loose arm. With his good arm, he made an automatic grab for the walkie talkie in his pocket. Muffet’s smile fell when she saw it, and that only made him hold it closer to himself.
This could be a smart move, or a very, very stupid one. He turned the walkie talkie on.
He and Muffet were frozen in a stand off. Muffet was glaring down at him, and Sans couldn’t look away from her, gripped by her eyes. He didn’t dare speak. Suddenly, the static from the radio broke, and Onion’s voice came through.
Muffet’s expression kept Sans silent. He trembled and hugged onto the radio tighter, his breath hitching a little.
“Sans? Are you there?”
The dislocated arm slid further down Sans’ sleeve. He bit back a whine.
A cheerful tinkling song came from Muffet’s hip. She stomped a foot and took her phone out. She gave Sans a bitter look.
“Excuse me, dear.”
As Muffet left the room to talk on the phone, Sans could hear venom from the other end of the line. He curled up to cradle his bum arm.
There was no telling what would happen to him later after a stunt like that, but he’d won for now.
Sans tried pushing his arm back into its socket before bed, but he couldn’t grit his teeth hard enough to get the job done. He set his arm on his bedside table and slept, or made an attempt. Rolling on his side caused him more pain and woke him up through the night. By the time he was supposed to be going to breakfast, he was a sweaty mess.
He took one look at his arm on the table and decided he wasn’t going to try to set it himself again. He turned his old jacket into a sling with his detached arm cradled in it, and made his way to the cafeteria like that. Maybe he could get another worker to help him. Someone other than Shyren or Cecil, who he wasn’t in a particular mood to see. But he could tell by now which of the other workers were friendly to him, and which weren’t.
Even though he didn’t want to talk to them, he was surprised that he couldn’t see Shyren or Cecil anywhere in the cafeteria. It was usually hard to avoid running into them, and he couldn’t remember a morning when they hadn’t been around at this hour. Their absence disconcerted him so much that he fumbled through breakfast without asking anyone else for help.
When he went into the hall, Muffet was there. Sans froze in place.
Muffet looked at Sans’ still dislocated arm and scoffed.
“Oh for Heaven’s sake, Sans, I’m really losing patience with you. You’re not going to be winning any pity points with me.”
In one swift motion, Muffet took his arm and snapped it back in its socket. Sans at least saw it coming this time, and did his best to control his reaction as much as possible. He spoke through clenched teeth.
“Muffet, where are Cecil and Shyren?”
Muffet suddenly turned cagey. She busied her hands with other tasks, not fully looking at Sans.
“Oh, I’m…sure they’re around here somewhere.”
Sans stared at her.
“You can’t expect everyone to be at your beck and call, dear. Now run along.”
A creeping fear overtook him.
They were dead. She’d killed them.
Sans took a step back.
He walked too quickly down the hall, holding off until he rounded a corner to clutch at his chest. His breathing was getting too fast, his head spinning.
He couldn’t go any further. He leaned against a wall and sat on the floor, breaths turning into gasps.
This was his fault, wasn’t it? Muffet didn’t like him being treated special, and Cecil and Shyren had helped him too much. This was his fault, he’d ruined their lives by being weak, by being too weak to do a simple job, and their only crime was being kind.
A worker came by—a grasshopper he’d seen around before. They did a double take as they passed Sans, then stooped in front of him.
“What’s going on with you? Do you need me to take you to Muffet?”
“No! No, just…Cecil, when was…when was the last time you s-saw Cecil? And Shyren?”
“Huh? Uh, not since last night. They got up pretty early to go this morning, earlier than I ever bother.”
“Oh, you were gone last night. Yeah, they both took a day off today so they could go around New Home together.”
The monster looked closely at Sans’ face. Sans had no idea what expression he could be making—relief? Confusion? Exhaustion? The grasshopper seemed unsure as well.
“Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen you out of here. Haven’t you saved up at least a day yet? It kinda seems like you need it.”
“Uh. Yeah, probably. Heh. I’ll…do that.”
He shouldn’t start lying now, or obscuring the truth, what was the point? He should ask more about what they meant. But he felt so out of sorts, so whiplashed, that lying to cover up his lack of knowledge was a familiar comfort.
“You don’t…need to go to Muffet?”
“No, no, I’m. I’m good. I’m f-fine. Just g-gotta sit for a sec, heh, got winded on the way to breakfast.”
The grasshopper wasn’t leaving. They just stood there.
Sans didn’t have anywhere near the required reserves to keep up his cardboard cutout smile. His voice came out barely audible.
“Jesus! Of course they are! What the hell did you think happened?”
“I don’t…I d-d-don’t know. I don’t know.”
Sans put his head between his knees, doing his best to breath evenly.
“I don’t know.”
It took asking three more workers independently and getting the same answer for Sans to start believing that they were probably telling the truth, weren’t likely to all be covering up the callous murder of two of their own. Shyren and Cecil weren’t supposed to be back until much later, when Sans would already be with a client. They were going to make the most of their day off and go barhopping late into the night.
As Sans made his inquiries, another worker asked Sans when he planned on taking a day off.
This all did offer a more sensible explanation for Muffet’s secretive attitude. And of course, it wasn’t as terrible as the paranoid world in Sans’ mind in which she’d killed his only friends in Red City. But it was still discouraging.
Sans was a captive after all. This wasn’t a job. He hadn’t asked Muffet about pay yet, hadn’t had the stomach for it, but she hadn’t brought it up either.
He wasn’t going to be paid. He wasn’t going to get days off. He wasn’t allowed to go outside of Red City. And as conflict-avoidant as she was, Muffet had wanted to put off him asking about those things as long as possible.
He really wasn’t going to get to see anyone from his old life again. Unless they…came to see him here.
Sans drifted listlessly through the day until dinner, when he saw some familiar faces.
He only saw their faces for a moment before Shyren enveloped him in her cool arms, his face tucked under her chin. As relieved as he was to see them, Sans took the affectionate contact stiffly. Shyren rubbed his shoulder with a fin.
“We didn’t think you’d be back from Onion so soon! But Loox told us you’d been asking where we were, and we didn’t want—”
Sans caught the tail end of Cecil giving Shyren the ‘cut it out’ gesture before they quickly lowered their hands. Shyren let Sans go and backed up. Sans looked between them, then at the floor.
“You…you came back early because of me.”
Shyren seemed to realize what she’d said.
“Oh! I…not really, we were going to come back around now anyway, we didn’t want to miss…”
She looked behind her at the cafeteria spread.
Cecil rolled their eyes.
“We heard you were going through some kind of paranoid breakdown, and yeah we didn’t want you to wait until tomorrow to find out we weren’t dead. Forgive us for giving a shit and don’t make a big deal about it, okay?”
The little mouse had a way with words that Sans could really appreciate.
Shyren took something out of a purse.
“I got you this in the city.” It was a puffy bow with wide ribbons hanging from it. “You can wear it instead of a necktie, if you want. You don’t have to tie it, see?” A thinner ribbon attached to the back of the bow had a buckle she clipped together and then snapped apart in demonstration. As Sans took the bow into his hands, Cecil tugged at their own bowtie.
“I haven’t been into wearing neckties around here since the hundredth or so time a customer pulled on it ‘playfully.’ Thought you might nip that in the bud.”
Sans closed his hand around the bow.
“Sans, after yesterday, are you oka—”
Shyren went quiet. Sans didn’t want to talk about yesterday at all, but something else was also pushing him to speak. He wasn’t usually one for lame apologies, especially to any monster who wasn’t his brother, because who gave a fuck really? But he did think both of them were dead only a little while ago. He looked at Cecil.
“I’m sorry I was an asshole to you. And I’m…I, uh…I’m…”
He couldn’t look at Shyren.
“Sans, do you mind?”
Sans chanced a brief look up. Shyren was pointing to the bow. Sans held his hand out, and Shyren took the bow, then started undoing Sans’ necktie. Sans still didn’t meet Shyren’s eyes as she spoke, but her voice was kind.
“I’m afraid I’m not creative with words. Touch is more my area. I hope you can understand.”
She slipped the necktie off and fastened the bow around Sans’ shirt collar, then brushed Sans’ face with her fin, her webbed thumb lingering for just a moment on his cheek.
The contact was brief enough not to be alarming, but long enough not to feel reluctant. She was right: her touch did seem to be saying something.
‘It’s okay. I don’t think you’re disgusting.’
Sans caught Cecil looking at him fairly intensely. When he met their eyes, they schooled their expression to a more neutral one and gave a thumbs up.
Sans was just about to leave his room to look for her when Muffet came in. She hadn’t told him where he’d be going tonight, so he waited for her to tell him now, but she was silent.
She didn’t say a word as she fastened the dog collar around his neck, then turned around to go.
She was almost out the door.
She shut the door behind her.
Sans scrambled to grab the walkie talkie, almost trembling too much to turn it on. When he heard the static break, he tried to speak, but couldn’t. Onion spoke.
“Sans? I’m a bit busy right now, so if this isn’t important, then I can’t—”
Sans couldn’t hold back a terrified whimper at the prospect of being left to his own devices.
But he still couldn’t speak.
Luckily, Onion was some kind of mind reader as far as Sans was concerned, or was maybe supernaturally good at interpreting context clues.
“…she put the collar on you.”
Sans managed to force out a confirming noise.
“She didn’t tell you anything.”
A frustrated sigh came through from the other end. Sans curled around the radio like it could protect him.
“Listen to me. It’s just going to be Doggo. Not the other dogs. I told her no more groups. And you’re not going to be hurt, I promise. Okay? Do you understand?”
Sans was trying to understand. Trying to catch up, to feed himself this story like a relieving medicine, but he couldn’t come down just like that from the spike of panic.
He made a noise into the radio, and he wasn’t sure if it sounded like confirmation or confusion. It at least showed he was listening.
“You’re going to be fine. Be good for me, all right? You can do it. Just be good. It’s all going to be okay.”
Sans breathed in and out, holding the radio to his head like it was a pillow.
“Sans? You’re listening, aren’t you?”
“llbegd…I’ll…I’ll be good. I’ll be good.”
“Good. Good. It’s okay, Sans, all right? You’re good. Just relax and try to enjoy yourself, okay?”
Sans shut his eyes.
Sans concentrated on regulating his breaths. It didn’t sound like Onion had hung up yet. Sans spoke slowly as his wits came back bit by bit.
“I…don’t think any of the dogs want me to enjoy it.”
“Then enjoy it just to spite him. Maybe they’ll all get bored and stop coming to see you.”
Despite himself, a small smile spread on Sans’ face at that.
Then a bit of the panic came shooting back as he realized.
“Onion, do I…does it have to b-b-be in my…room?”
“What?? Of course not! Why would—UGH. You’re in your room now?”
Sans nodded as though Onion could see him, then swallowed. “Yeah.”
“Go to Lounge B. I’ll make a call. Doggo will meet you there instead.”
“Th-thank you—thank you—!”
“Sans, it’s okay. I’m going to hang up now, all right? Go do your job.”
Sans hadn’t actually meant to say that, but Onion had done some kind of…thing with his voice that triggered it. Sans could practically hear Onion’s grin.
The radio hung up.
It was showtime.
Sans got himself up and made his way to Lounge B, walking as dignified as he could manage. There was no reason he had to make this look any worse than it was.
Doggo, though. Of all the dogs, Doggo was the one who had the most concrete reasons to want revenge on Sans. Lesser Dog seemed to have redirected all of his anger at Papyrus and released it full blast on Sans, but Sans could actually remember several things he’d done to Doggo personally.
The dog had a unique disability that made him unable to see monsters who were holding still, and Sans had a great deal of fun taking advantage of that weakness to prank him mercilessly. He’d even pestered the dog out of pure curiosity a few times, wondering whether he could see any of his surroundings. After all, things like buildings and trees didn’t move much, either.
The answer was that he could sometimes see them, but not very well, as evidenced by the number of objects Doggo had been tricked into stepping on. Sans thought the dog’s cartoonish howls of distress would get tiresome, but they’d only gotten funnier each time.
And now tonight was happening.
Lounge B was busier than it had been when Lesser Dog took Sans here. It looked like it was a regular Lounge Night, since no one was directly touching each other, and the workers had their pins on. Good, at least Doggo wouldn’t be allowed to do anything to Sans in here tonight.
Doggo wasn’t anywhere in sight yet. Sans should probably start by setting them up some drinks. Sans had seen Doggo drink beer before, so that was probably a safe bet.
On the way to the bar, Sans spotted the crocodile at a booth all alone. That’s right, Cecil still had the rest of the night off. Sans didn’t think he’d seen anyone else sit with the crocodile. The other workers didn’t seem to feel the need to hide with him the way Sans and Cecil did. Was it possible for a customer to get no service all night?
Sans only grabbed one bottle of beer to go with the two glasses on his tray. That way if Doggo made him drink, it wouldn’t be much, or else Sans would need to spend time going to get another beer. Sans had just about given up on the idea of drugs helping him through his situation. Most of his worst experiences so far had been drugged, making him even worse off to protect himself from what happened to him.
He was going to be present for this. He was just going to do it as properly as possible, and maybe that would help. Maybe he could finally find a balance and suffer a little less.
He looked over the bar counter. Doggo still wasn’t here. Sans kept himself busy by finding the ingredients for an Old Fashioned and muddling sugar. He took the tray over to the crocodile monster and dropped a cherry in it in front of him.
“Oh my, it’s you!” The crocodile took a grateful sip, then tipped the glass in Sans’ direction. “Cheers.”
“Yeah, I’m not gonna be here long, though. I’m—”
“What are you doing over here?”
The annoyed voice was familiar. Sans turned to see the impatient worker that had bullied him on his first Lounge Night.
“Are you serious with this? And where’s your pin? Come on, there are tables to serve.”
“Uh, I’m not—I’m spoken for—”
The worker nodded to the crocodile, sneering.
“Him? You know he’s just a barfly, right? We’ve gotta keep the paying customers happy.”
“Doesn’t he have to pay to get in here?”
But the worker was ignoring him, grabbing him by his upper arm and dragging him away.
“Someone was asking for you.”
Sans followed, but the worker didn’t answer him. They came up to a booth, and the occupant stood up. A caped scarecrow monster with a queerly still smile on a fabric face.
Sans was about to make some noise of protest at the other worker, but when he looked around they’d already left him. The scarecrow took one step forward.
“Hey, I was just thinking about you, and in you walk. I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of being served by you in here.”
Sans took one step back, then fought with his own instincts to keep himself in place. At some point his body would receive the message his brain was spamming that the scarecrow wasn’t allowed to touch him here, that he wouldn’t be hurt. But his body was still too busy deciding between flight or paralysis as the best option.
“You’ve been busy. When’s my name coming back up on your list, huh? I enjoyed myself.”
The scarecrow leaned down, face only an inch from Sans.
Sans tripped backwards and fell on his butt. The tray of drinks was a lost cause. The scarecrow cackled at the spill.
“Reminds me of our first date.” He reached down and brushed a hand over Sans’ lap, ostensibly to wipe beer off. Sans went rigid. The scarecrow bent over him. “Not so cute anymore, is it? Maybe you need to be punished for repeat offenses.”
He was touching him. He was still touching him. He wasn’t allowed to do that, but if no one stopped him, what did it matter? Sans shook hard, unable to get up. The scarecrow’s wrinkly smile widened.
“I can go easy on you next time if you’re nice to me now, you know.”
His thumb went between Sans’ legs and rubbed his crotch. Sans felt like the breath was knocked out of him, like he couldn’t say a word.
“There you are.”
The scarecrow swiped his hand away and Sans whipped his head around. He never thought he’d be relieved to see one of the dogs.
Doggo was staring directly at him, which was a little odd. Sans didn’t think he’d ever seen the dog able to focus on him before.
He looked impatient. They hadn’t even started and Sans had already fucked up.
Sans tried to stand up, but his legs weren’t working. He made a noise of distress. Doggo grabbed him by the collar. Then he seemed to change his mind and grabbed Sans’ hand to pull him up. Sans moved himself forward on shaking legs, but evidently wasn’t fast enough for the dog’s taste. Doggo kept dragging him by the hand toward the exit of the lounge. The scarecrow called after them.
“Thanks for the chat! Hope I didn’t make you late~”
Doggo took Sans out of the lounge and to a private room. Sans finally got his voice back.
“Do you…do you want…drinks? I dropped, um…”
“Nah, I don’t need a drink. I don’t feel too great anyway.”
Then what are you doing here.
Doggo sat on the couch, easing himself back as though he had difficulty getting comfortable. He rested his elbows on the couch back.
“Just do whatever you do first.”
“Usually, it’s you guys who—”
Sans stopped himself. He probably shouldn’t start this out by correcting him. Instead, he walked up to Doggo and got on his knees between the dog’s legs, then waited. Doggo looked unsure.
Was he serious?
“What do you w-want me to…do?”
The dog was annoyed again. Sans shouldn’t have asked.
“Just get on with it.”
On with what??
Sans supposed he’d had enough experience to move things from here. The dog would stop him if he did something he didn’t like. Probably.
He reached for the dog’s zipper and unzipped his pants, then felt for his cock. It wasn’t erect yet, so it was still buried in the soft mound of fur at his crotch. Sans paused. He’d never actually gotten one of the dogs erect himself. It probably wasn’t much different from other monsters.
…but come to think of it, most of the penises Sans had encountered were already hard by the time he had to deal with them.
He massaged the mound of fur to try to excite it. After a moment when that didn’t get much reaction, he bent his head down uncertainly. Where was he supposed to lick?
What if he got a hairball?
Sans closed his eyes, lowered his head, and sucked on the end of the mound. Finally, he started to feel something hot and wet poking up. He dipped his tongue on it, getting a low moan out of Doggo, the first audible reaction he’d made. Doggo leaned back more and spread his legs open wider, apparently relaxing.
As the dick poked up further, Sans took more and more of it in his mouth, swirling his tongue around it. Soon it grew enough that it couldn’t fit in his mouth, so he stroked the bottom of it with his hand. Doggo’s hips bucked.
Doggo sucked in a breath.
“Okay. All right. Let’s get to it, then.”
Sans felt his waist grabbed, then he was lifted up and lowered over Doggo’s lap. He wasn’t put down low enough to sit, so he braced his crouched legs on the couch and fiddled with the buttons of his pants. When he’d undone them and kicked the pants off, Doggo brought his waist lower over his lap, positioning Sans over the cock.
Sans reached a hand down to guide the cock in. Sans wasn’t particularly wet—they’d neglected that part—but Doggo allowed Sans to lower his hips at his own pace, using his crouched legs to support himself. Sans made some pained whines the more he took in, but he was able to fit all of it and sit fully in the dog’s lap.
Sitting stung. Moving would probably sting. At first Sans worried that Doggo would expect him to ride it, but after a moment, Sans was lifted into the air with the force of the dog’s first thrust.
Doggo built up rapidly. The thrusts were stimulating, but still painful. Since Doggo didn’t seem controlling about Sans’ actions, Sans surreptitiously reached between his legs and fondled his clit. It eased the tension a little.
Then the pain was lessening a lot more. It took Sans a moment to realize that was because the dog’s cock was going flaccid prematurely. Doggo gave a few more angry thrusts, but the dick wouldn’t harden.
Sans tensed with nerves. The dog was mad, what should he do. What would Onion tell him to do? He had to calm Doggo down. Keep him satisfied.
Sans eased himself off of Doggo’s softening cock, then gripped it with his hands. He worked at it for a moment with both hands, then bent his head down to lick at it.
Sans licked up the shaft and sucked on the tip, still pumping the base with a hand, feeling the cock start to harden again under his attentions. Doggo moaned and panted. The panting got faster as Doggo rut up into Sans’ mouth.
Sans remembered Shyren’s trick and moved his head up with the rutting so it wouldn’t give the friction the dog wanted yet. Sans thought that might get the dog pissed at him, but all he got in response was Doggo’s needy whine.
Sans held Doggo’s thighs down with both hands, then gulped more of the dick down his throat and hummed. Doggo’s hips jolted.
This time he didn’t sound angry.
Sans pulled his head up and licked around the tip again. He was about to bob his head back down, but Doggo grabbed his face and held it still.
“Stop, I’m…I wanna do it now.”
Doggo pulled Sans’ mouth off his cock and pushed Sans onto his back. As Sans looked up into the feral, drooling face above him, he realized he’d never done it with one of the dogs in this position before. Never had to look very closely at the look they got when they were lost in arousal.
Doggo’s usual shifty-eyed, nearsighted expression had been replaced by pinprick pupils and a curled lip, his snout scrunched up in a snarl. Sans’ breath hitched at the sight of it.
Sans spread his legs wide, hoping he could earn himself some mercy somehow. This time, before entering, Doggo rubbed his cock teasingly on Sans’ pussy.
Okay, that was…that was helping a lot.
Doggo held the tip against the opening of the pussy, stretching it in a circle, then prodding at it without entering. He kept teasing until his cock was slick with Sans’ juices, then he started pushing in.
The cock slid in painlessly this time. Sans let out a breath of relief. When Doggo began pumping into him, Sans’ legs trembled in reaction. Sans wrapped them around the dog’s waist so that as Doggo continued to pound into him, Sans’ whole body was lifted from and pushed to the couch.
Doggo still hadn’t given Sans much in the way of instruction, but he was growling with pleasure. Sans felt the growls vibrate inside him. This wasn’t so bad. This wasn’t the worst. It was livable, Sans thought as a hard thrust made him howl in pleasure to match the dog’s noises.
Sans felt the cock starting to swell. The knot was going to grow and Doggo was going to come.
And it was going to feel very good.
A little encouragement couldn’t hurt. Doggo did say for Sans to do what he’d done before.
“Please…come inside me…”
Doggo made a face, then pulled out and came on the cushion next to Sans.
He did that on purpose. That was the exact opposite of what Sans asked. He did that just to humiliate him, or to…what was he doing now?
Doggo was still panting, still stroking himself and squirting out some cum onto the couch, but he was also reaching into his pocket for something that he bit with his teeth. When he’d released most of his cum, he used his now free hand to take out a lighter to light the dog treat he’d put in his mouth. He took it out and blew a shaky breath of smoke to the ceiling.
Then he was approaching Sans again, holding the smoking treat out.
Sans snapped his legs together in horror.
Doggo hadn’t come inside him because instead he was going to…with that…and he was going to burn him…but Sans hadn’t done anything wrong, or he thought he hadn’t. He’d tried so hard, he’d fucking begged him to come inside him, he’d been so good—but that was why Doggo hadn’t been able to stay hard, wasn’t it? He’d just wanted to hurt Sans.
Sans scurried off the couch, crashing onto the floor. He scooted himself away, then stopped dead. Doggo had been startled enough not to see the escape coming, so now if Sans held absolutely still, he wouldn’t be able to find him and burn him with that.
Doggo got up from the couch and stepped in front of where Sans was sprawled on the floor. He looked down and stared directly at him.
“I can uh…still see you. On account of, you’re uh…”
Doggo gestured over Sans’ body.
“You’re shaking a lot.”
Doggo let out a tired sigh and sat on the floor with his back against the couch arm. He took another drag from the smoking treat.
“Jesus…this is so fucked up.”
He blew out a smoke ring.
“L.D. said this would make me feel better about all those times you made me look like an idiot. To tell you the truth, it just feels like more shit to add to the shit pile. It stinks. You want it, or not?”
He was holding out the dog treat again. Oh…because he was…offering a smoke. Because that was a normal thing that monsters did. Because that was the conclusion anyone should have come to when they saw someone hold a smoke out to them.
Doggo waved the dog treat a little when Sans took too long to reply.
Sans held his hand out, making sure his hand wavered visibly, and Doggo paused for moment before handing the treat over and lighting another for himself. Sans chewed on the end of his but didn’t inhale.
Doggo was staring at him. Sans fidgeted uncomfortably. Doggo kept staring at him, not saying anything, then rubbed both paws over his own face and grumbled.
“I’m really a piece of shit.”
Sans didn’t have anything to say to that. Doggo blew more smoke.
“We’re the reason you’re in here, if you hadn’t guessed. L.D. was mad drunk one night and started joking to Muffet that he’d come here every weekend if you were here, only she didn’t take it as a joke, and then they were talking about it…L.D. brought up how the king was pissed at you…”
Pieces of the dog treat crumbled out of Sans’ mouth as he ground down on it. He had no idea what he was feeling. Doggo looked at him, focusing on the dog treat’s smoke.
“Look, I don’t know why I’m telling you this. It doesn’t make a difference to you, right? You already hate us as much as you can, probably.”
Doggo leaned back on the couch arm and watched the smoke from his own treat.
“But I feel like I ignored a lot of signs before still ending up here tonight? Yesterday I overslept and got this awful soul-ache outta nowhere, so I didn’t come to the whole group…thing…and when I came in here and saw you, well…that’s just it. I’ve been able to see you clearly since you got here. Cause you’re always…jesus, what are they doing to you in here?”
Doggo was about the last person that Sans wanted to divulge his various violations to, the last person he wanted to hear this sympathetic bullshit from, so he stayed silent.
“Don’t think this is pity or anything. You’re a piece of shit. But all this is just…garbage. It’s fucking gross.”
Doggo flicked the stubby end of his treat on the floor and stamped it with a foot.
“I never felt like L.D. steered me wrong before, but…I don’t know what to say really. ‘Sorry’ sounds pretty stupid.”
He got up, his paws in his pockets.
“Thanks for not laughing when I couldn’t get it up.”
He walked out and let the door close behind him. San got himself up and sat on the couch.
Sans didn’t know what pissed him off more. The dogs destroying his life, Doggo’s bizarre non-apology, or the fact that he’d ruined the first time Sans had managed to do a good job. Doggo may have been done with this whole business, but Sans had to keep going after this. He didn’t get the option to call it garbage and walk out with his fucking head held high.
And in spite of everything, not finishing had left Sans with an intimate understanding of what it meant to be ‘hot and bothered,’ and it wasn’t nearly as fun as people liked to make it sound.
His pussy was still throbbing with an insistent ache. Sans looked at the spent seed on the cushion. He swiped two fingers through it, ending up with a sticky glob dripping from them.
Now what in hell was he planning on doing with that? But some kind of instinct drove him, needy and deep. He stuck the fingers in himself, leaning back and swirling them around. He bit down on his other hand as he pulled out to rub on his clit, smearing the cum around, then pushed the fingers inside himself again. The cum was still hot and sticky, and now it was going deep inside, clinging to him—
There are cameras in here, you idiot.
But Sans was too far gone. He bucked on his fingers, thumbing his clit and gasping. If someone was getting a show, Sans would have to live with it. He’d been made to do worse for an audience. Actually, it was unlikely anyone was still watching this room—the customer was gone and the monitors had more important things to look after.
No one was making Sans do this, which meant he was doing it for himself. He was doing something he maybe wasn’t supposed to, and most definitely shouldn’t want to, and god for some reason that was only making him feel hotter.
He curved his fingers and jabbed in more rapidly, trying to get a rhythm going. It wasn’t quite enough. Truly hating himself, and the magma-hot spike of arousal it caused, he swiped his hand through more of the cum left on the cushion and rubbed it over the lips of his cunt, then pushed more in.
He panted with each thrust of his fingers. The cum was warming more inside him, was sticking to the walls like it had been shot in. It made him feel full and taken care of in a way he couldn’t rationalize to himself. He whined into his other hand, biting down harder.
Sans came in a gush, still jabbing into himself to encourage the aftershocks of pleasure. He pulled his hand out and laid back.
He couldn’t decide if his little moment had been worth it or not. He’d gotten to get a little more acquainted with himself, as one does when they explore their own body, but unsurprisingly it had only supplied more fuel for his self-loathing.
What the hell had possessed him to play with himself with dirty, used spunk. From a monster who was so disgusted by him that he couldn’t even finish inside him.
But maybe that was part of it.
At least his other rapists had the decency to want him.
Sans came back to his room exhausted, ready to surrender to sleep and put one more awful day behind him, which was why it was such a blow to see Muffet waiting in his room for him. When she saw him open the door, she snapped on a latex glove and put the walkie talkie in a drawer, using another hand to beckon him inside. Sans gulped and walked in, closing the door behind him.
“Pop quiz, Sans. Who’s in charge here?”
“Very good.” She pointed to the bed, and Sans sat down on it, looking up at her. “I don’t ever want to find out you’re going behind my back again. Onion won’t be hearing about this, now will he?”
“Good. Masturbate for me.”
Sans froze. Had she seen, or was that a coincidence?
But Sans had already been afraid something like this was coming at some point. After he refused to do it in front of the dogs, he figured it was only a matter of time before Muffet forced him to ‘get used to it.’
He didn’t know why he chose to make a cock this time, why something about it felt just one shade less violating to have her watch. Muffet raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment.
Her silent waiting made Sans want to vomit. Her expression—she had no interest in watching this at all; Sans was like a lab experiment. If she didn’t even take any joy in tormenting him like this, what was she doing it for? To prove she was stronger? As if that were necessary.
Sans reached a trembling hand down and gripped himself, pumping once. He didn’t feel anything. He worked his hand faster, but the friction didn’t accomplish much. The dick stayed stubbornly soft.
“Look at me.”
Sans squeaked. He slowly lifted his gaze to look Muffet in the eye.
“I didn’t say you could stop. You can look and jerk at the same time, can’t you?”
The motion of his hand became mechanical. He wasn’t numb, but it was like the feeling didn’t mean anything at all, like he couldn’t register the movements as pleasurable. He kept looking obediently at Muffet, but his movements slowed, and he bit back a grunt of frustration. Muffet’s expression darkened.
“If you’re having that much trouble, you don’t have to do it. I’ll do it for you.”
Sans let go immediately and gripped the sheets on either side of his legs, shuddering. He closed his eyes as Muffet approached him, a plea on the tip of his tongue. He didn’t know whether she would rather he beg or stay silently compliant.
Sans felt something metal clink against his teeth. Eyes still closed, he opened his mouth and swallowed the pudding. Muffet secured his hands together with webbing and pushed him onto his back. Then she roughly pumped his cock until he was thrusting desperately into her hand. He was close, painfully close.
Then she let go.
The bed rustled. Sans finally opened his eyes. Muffet had remained eerily silent. Now she was walking to the door.
Sans couldn’t make himself call out for mercy, ask for her touch. It was as though he couldn’t speak until she broke the silence first. But the only thing to cut through the quiet was the slam of the door.
He rolled over onto his side, then managed to get himself on his stomach. He was close enough that a few thrusts into the sheets got him off. He came with a muffled cry as cum squirted into the bedding underneath him.
His cock didn’t remain soft for long. The hot, sticky feeling around it, soaking in his own cum, quickly got him hard again. But this time, his weary thrusts weren’t nearly enough to build him up to another climax.
He spent the rest of the night waking up periodically from the painful arousal, and when he did sleep, he was swimming through sex dreams of Shyren, of Muffet, one dream about that bear that hung out in front of the Librarby…and one dream where Doggo laughed at his cock, spat on it but refused to do anything else to pleasure him. Sans pleaded, begged him to help him come, begged him to get Lesser Dog to come fuck him. But Doggo just kept laughing and smoking, blowing a ring in Sans’ face and calling him a pathetic piece of shit.
Sans woke up in a sweat. His dick was still rock hard, and the pain was becoming overwhelming. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to sleep anymore tonight, and the clock said there were still three hours until breakfast.
Sans whimpered. For some reason, what hurt the most was that as well as he’d followed directions, as submissive as he’d been, Muffet hadn’t said a single word of praise to him the whole time.
When it was finally properly morning, Sans woke up wiped clean. The webbing binding his hands was gone, and the magic of his cock has disappeared. The drug had run its course.
There was a taste in his mouth.
Sans nearly panicked, possibilities streaming through his mind—Woshua had cleaned him while unconscious plenty of times, and that wasn’t great, but Sans couldn’t for the life of him imagine the janitor violating him in his sleep. Did it even have a dick?
The taste wasn’t cum, anyway.
It wasn’t an organic or magic taste. It was something caustic and worn and immaterial…he would call it time-burnout, but he didn’t have the equipment to analyze it.
Still, that was a taste you didn’t forget, even across resets. Unfortunately he couldn’t remember the last time he’d sensed it—all he had to go on was the vague idea of what it could mean: time rewinding and playing the same short period over and over resulted in the same smell and vibration in the air as a motor being revved repeatedly.
That was the problem with knowing about time travel. From his time in the labs with Gaster, he knew it was possible, Alphys told him they had gone so far as recording it happening, but even the resources of the labs could only tell them so much, and they weren’t omnipotent. Knowing about it didn’t mean he could do much about it other than carefully study faces and see if anyone else knew what they shouldn’t. And even though he retained his knowledge about time travel itself, he was just as susceptible as everyone else to forgetting previous timelines.
At least the mystery gave Sans something to chew on instead of mulling over recent events. It was about the strangest thing to happen that day, up until Muffet introduced Sans to his client that night. When Sans met them outside the private room, he was greeted by Muffet with two right arms on the shoulder of a red-eyed human in a striped shirt.
“Oh, Sans, you remember Frisk?”
What was going on? Muffet knew the human? They were here? Why were they here? Sans looked into the human’s face, but it was like they were keeping their expression purposefully controlled.
Muffet covered a giggle with a hand.
“Silly me, I’d forgotten they’d been your client before. I was certain I knew them from somewhere.”
What the hell?
Muffet pushed Sans and Frisk on the back, guiding them into the room. She spoke in a sing-song.
“I trust you’ll be just fine together. Everything’s already set.”
The door closed behind them. Sans turned to look at the room. On a table in the middle were several platters of foods, mostly desserts and fruits. Sans stared at the human.
They looked awkward, but had the air of someone who was pushing through regardless. They sat on the couch in front of the food.
“Would you mind sitting next to me?”
Sans froze solid.
What was going to happen to him now? Was it possible he’d misjudged the human’s age, and they were really here for…?
The human didn’t appear bothered by Sans’ hesitance. They took out their knife and grabbed an apple, then sat back and started to peel it while they waited for him to respond.
Sans suddenly felt his breathing slowing, calming, found himself walking to the couch and sitting beside them. He couldn’t say what about the sight of them was so reassuring, but now that the human was here, something insisted to him that his suffering would come to an end soon. That their appearance could only be a good sign.
When he’d sat down, the human spoke quietly enough that Sans had to lean over to listen.
“The room was bugged with a mic. I think I took care of it, but it can’t hurt to be careful.”
Sans started, fighting the instinct to look around. The human placed the peeled apple slices back on the table and pocketed their knife as they continued to speak softly.
“It would be too suspicious if I blocked the cameras, though, so that’s what this is all about.”
They gestured to the platters of food.
“I told Muffet I have a thing for watching people eat, so that way we have something to do for the camera that’s not too…weird.”
Sans looked at the food, then back at the human.
They were definitely a child, right? Their size didn’t indicate much to him, considering they shared Sans’ height. And their manner was confusing. They were fancifully childlike in some respects, but alert and adult in others.
But Sans was still convinced they were a child. What was it they’d said when they first met? ‘I’m here to save you.’ Only a kid could say that. And this time, even though they appeared to have a cohesive plan, there was still something about the whole thing that screamed ‘kid playing secret agent.’
That thought should definitely have made Sans mad, because who had the right to treat his situation like a game, what kind of asshole would tease him with hope, especially in as stupid and convoluted a way as this?
Instead, Sans felt a bit of his heart melting against his will. When he spoke, he felt tired.
“Sweetheart, what are you doing here?”
They paused for a very long moment, apparently concentrating hard on something. Whether they were thinking carefully about their answer or trying to play a game of crossword in their head to pass the moment wasn’t altogether clear. Either way, their answer was thinner than he might expect after the tense wait.
“I wanted to…check on you.”
So, no more talk about ‘saving’ him, then. Sans didn’t know why he felt disappointed, why he thought they were going to say something different. He didn’t know why he had a persistent feeling that they really had said something different, like they’d already answered this question before. But as far as he knew, this was the first time.
“Do you want some apple?”
The human held out a thin slice they’d cut. There was something calculated about how uninsistent their offer was. They were sitting right next to each other, but nothing about the human was breaching Sans’ space. Not the apple, not their hands, not even their eyes stayed on him for very long at a time.
Sans took the apple slice.
“You know what kind of place this is.” It wasn’t a question.
The human looked uncomfortable. They wrapped their arms lightly around themselves.
“…yeah. I do.”
Okay, Sans seriously didn’t want to dig into that.
“How did you even get in?”
The human looked at their feet and kicked their legs.
“Well…I don’t think most monsters can tell I’m a kid. They don’t even seem to recognize me as human. I guess they’ve never seen one before.”
“But what about Muffet? Why did she say that before, you were…my…”
Sans found he couldn’t say it out loud.
“I’m good at convincing people of stuff. Muffet thought she knew me from somewhere, so I told her I’d been to see you before.”
The child gave Sans a worried look.
“I…know that? Hell, I would remember.”
Something wasn’t adding up. The human wasn’t saying everything, but Sans wasn’t sure whether calling them on it would be worth it. After all, they had presumably just spent a lot of gold only to say hello to him.
That did add a rather uncomfortable angle to their visit. Sans owed them in the most literal sense—in the eyes of any other monster looking in, they’d bought his body for the night. Until they walked out the door, until they said so, they owned him.
While the human didn’t seem intent on taking advantage of it, the imbalance of power still nagged at him, made him uneasy.
Sans grabbed another fruit and chewed on it. The human snickered.
“You eat weird.”
“That’s nothing. Check this out.”
Sans grabbed a banana and stuck it in one eye socket, poking the end out the other eye. The human’s hand flew to their mouth in shock, then they fell back in a fit of giggles.
It hurt like a motherfucker, but that laugh was worth it.
“Wait, I can do something like that.”
“Uh, I’m pretty sure you can’t—”
But the human was already sucking hard on the straw of a fancy virgin drink from the table. They were still hiccoughing with laughter, and the drink came out their nose. That made them laugh even more, then they waved their hand rapidly in front of their nose like they were putting out a fire.
“Ow! Owww! Oh, that hurts! It burns!”
Tears were streaming down their face, but they were still choking out giggles. Their confusing show of pain made Sans laugh in their face.
“You fucking moron, was that worth it?”
“Like sticking a banana in your eye didn’t hurt.”
“Pain is comedy and comedy is pain, sweetheart.”
Frisk snorted, and another gush of drink came out their nose. A base instinct made Sans reach out and rub their back.
“You’re some kinda freak, y’know that? You’d make a good skeleton.”
Frisk was looking at Sans’ arm. Oh. Did they not want him to touch them? He whipped his hand away. Their expression was mixed, but he thought they looked a little sad. Sans changed the subject as he grabbed a mini pie to keep his hands busy.
“Where’s your boot flower?”
“Flowey’s waiting outside. He didn’t want me to go in, but he couldn’t stop me, and…it would look weird to take him in anyway.”
That was just fine. Sans didn’t want to see the fucking weed and have it putting its vines where they didn’t belong again. But thinking about the last time they’d met brought another pertinent question to mind.
“Kid, how did you…how did you know I was here?”
Sans took a bite of the pie while he waited for an answer. He licked at the seeds sticking to his teeth, but the human was still silent. He looked over at them. They had their hands clasped together, resting between their knees, their back hunched over.
“…I’m not ready to tell you yet. Is that okay?”
Sans didn’t know how to respond to that. Was that okay? Not really, but what was he supposed to do? They looked so uncomfortable, and Sans couldn’t see what he stood to gain by making them unhappy. He probably wouldn’t like the answer anyway. Maybe they were doing him a favor.
Both of them let the interrogations take a backseat to doing more unique stunts with food. Sans fit ten grapes in his eye to compete with the impressive amount the human could fit in their nose. The game stopped when Sans’ body jerked and he discovered he somehow accidentally absorbed a few grapes through his eye. Whoever was watching the cameras was undoubtedly getting a peculiar impression of the kinks involved in this session.
Sans didn’t know how they got to talking about family, but right in mid-sentence he was struck with a flashback. The last time he got this comfortable with a client, the shapeshifter almost had him thinking he was talking to Grillby for real.
It wouldn’t be rational to think the shapeshifter would imitate the human, would go through all this subterfuge to act mysterious for no real reason when just impersonating them would have been enough to relax Sans’ guard. Besides, Muffet told him it was a shapeshifter last time—one of the few indications she followed any sort of protocol. She would have done the same this time, right?
But she was mad at him…no, she still wouldn’t do something like this. Right?
It wouldn’t be rational at all.
It wasn’t rational, Sans told himself as his thoughts spun in a tornado inside his skull, as he started breathing hard and clutching at his chest. The human’s voice sounded far away, like it was fighting through a storm to reach him.
A touch on his arm brought him back. Sans reactively curled into a ball. The hand was swiped away, and he heard more clearly what the human was saying.
“Sorry! I’m sorry! Whatever I did, I’m sorry!”
Sans took his breaths in gasps, trying to concentrate on getting words out.
“You’re not…you’re not him, right? You’re not going to…you’re not g-gonna change…all of a sudden…”
“I’m not who? Who are you talking about? I promise I’m not—I’m not whoever that is. I’m Frisk. You remember me, right?”
Did he remember them? Sans felt a rush of dark memories flutter by behind his eyes, but they weren’t familiar. It was like watching someone else’s home videos. A dark room, warm red eyes, the promise to save him—that was when they rescued him after the slug, wasn’t it? If this was still him having a flashback, it was having the opposite effect from usual. He felt calm flood in and wash out the panic.
“You’re n-not him.”
“Yeah. I promise.”
Frisk hesitantly touched Sans’ arm again, and this time he didn’t recoil. Sans had gotten the idea that the human was trying to respect his space, probably in deference to his situation, but it was hard not to associate their hesitance with disgust. He didn’t want to give them the impression that they couldn’t touch him. He remembered their embrace last time, and yearning roiled in his gut.
The human took their hand away and got up from the couch.
“Our time’s up. I’m supposed to leave now, but I think you’re allowed to keep eating in here if you want. I’ll be back again.”
Sans uncurled himself and let his legs dangle over the seat cushion, but didn’t look up. He wasn’t sure he could handle a face-to-face goodbye, not when this had been such a good break, such a long one. It was only now fully hitting him that they’d bought an entire night for him, that he didn’t have to fuck anyone all night, and gratitude was sticking in his throat.
He stared into his lap for a while until he realized the human hadn’t opened the door to leave yet.
When Sans looked up, the human had their arms spread wide. The gesture broke him. He took a stumbling step toward them, but before he made it to their arms, Sans sat down right in the middle of the floor and rubbed at his eyes with his sleeves. The human came over, got down on their knees and threw their arms around his neck. Sans’ words were broken by hiccoughs and gasps.
“I’m sorry, Sans…”
“I m-miss the B-boss so much. I want my…d-dad. I wish he wasn’t d-d-dead…”
“He’d…kn-know what to d-do about this. He was really s-smart. I’m…so s-stupid and this…whole s-stupid…mess is…my…f-fault!”
Sans curled forward, his hands over his head. Frisk bent over him and rubbed his back.
“I d-d-don’t…want this to…be my…life…I d-don’t wanna d-do this. I…”
He shuddered with a sob, and the human held him tighter.
“…I’m so f-fucking scared…”
They shushed him a while longer, and neither of them spoke.
Finally, when the moment stretched on beyond what would probably be allowed for the client to linger, they broke away from each other. Sans still had the presence of mind to feel ashamed.
“I’m uh…I’m sorry, kid, jeez, that wasn’t right. You shouldn’t be in a…p-position like this. You didn’t need to see that.”
But Frisk was looking at him curiously.
“Your brother…he’s not dead, is he?”
“No! I…” Sans whispered. “…he’d better not be.”
“But they won’t let you see him.”
“A…actually, Onion said I could see him, but…I…”
Sans looked down.
“…I don’t want him to see me like this. I kinda want him to keep thinking I’m doing some super cool science job…I want him to think of me like that, even if I don’t get to see him. Ha. Stupid, right?”
“I don’t think it’s stupid. But he would probably rather know the truth.”
“Sweetheart, everybody thinks they want the the truth until they get it. Believe me, this is better for him too. It would…”
It didn’t make any sense, they shouldn’t care about him this much, but it looked like his words were breaking the human’s heart. That only made him finish the thought with more conviction.
“…it wouldn’t do any good, seeing him.”
Sans wasn’t able to read the expression Frisk was making. It was like they were trying hard to control their emotions. Shit. Sans wasn’t good at comfort in a functional state, much less now. He could at least try to be polite. He hadn’t even thanked them for coming.
“It’s…it’s seriously good to see you.”
At last there was a flash of something in their eye that Sans almost thought he recognized.
“Hey, what’s with that expression? You heard me say this before?”
Frisk turned their head away.
Sans sat on his bed and turned the walkie talkie on.
He didn’t say anything into it, didn’t indicate he’d started using it, but after a minute or so of static, Onion’s voice came through from the other end.
“Do you want to talk, Sans?”
“Don’t be tsundere; it’s not half as cute as everyone says it is.”
“what the fuck is a tsundere”
“Ask me once and I’ll pretend I don’t want to tell you. Ask me again and I’ll be reluctantly enthused.”
“…what, is it some kind of weird sex thing?”
Sans was quiet. Onion was quiet. Why had he turned this thing on? He didn’t have anything to say to the octopus. He wasn’t in danger at the moment. What kind of conversation could they even have? But getting a break had only made him paranoid that more was coming tonight, and just having the radio connection on made Sans relax. He wasn’t sure if there was a way to ask to have the radio on when there was nothing to talk about.
“It’s late. Are you having trouble sleeping?”
“Oh. Uh. Yeah, I guess.”
“Would you like me to sing to you?”
“Put the radio on the nightstand and lie back.”
“そお～ 一つ目の夜に いずこから小石が世界におちる…”
“Onion is this a fucking anime song.”
“Don’t be rude. I sing you a nice lullaby in another language, and you automatically assume I’m some uncultured cartoon addict? Just because it’s Japanese, you assume it’s anime?”
For a moment Sans had a crazy notion to introduce Onion to Alphys, and then he realized how awkward it would be to explain who he was.
“Well? You can turn the radio off any time. I assume you’re done listening.”
“You can’t leave me hanging there, Onion. I almost filled out a bingo card of missed notes.”
“I notice that the better you’re feeling, the more of an ass you become.”
Then the radio unexpectedly cut out.
Sans looked at it in surprise. He turned his end off, then on again. He gripped it, listening for the break in static. He found himself holding his breath. It was suddenly far too quiet in his room.
Then Onion’s voice came through.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t—uh—I mean, I say stupid shit all the time, you know, and I wouldn’t mind if, uh. I want you to keep going, I really—”
“Sans. Sans! I know that’s the way you are. I usually find it funny, but I’m sensitive about my singing. But I shouldn’t have turned the radio off. I’m here, all right? I’m here.”
Sans’ breathing steadily slowed. The radio crackle was the only noise between them for a moment.
“Sans, I’m so sorry.”
Sans did a double take. He tapped the side of his head like he was testing the sound on a microphone.
“I shouldn’t have changed your schedule without talking to Muffet first. I knew she doesn’t like me sticking tentacles in her business, she likes control in her house, but I got so fed up—she probably punished you after that, didn’t she?”
“I-I plead the fifth.”
“I had a talk with her today. I want you to go see her tomorrow.”
Sans’ breath hitched.
“It’s all right. She won’t do anything to you, I promise. I want you to rest easy tonight, okay?”
Sans laid back down, the radio next to him in bed. It was as though Onion’s command for him to rest easy had made him sleepier, right on the brink of blacking out.
“C-can I…keep this on…?”
“Sure. We just can’t do that every night, or I’ll run out of batteries.”
Sans’ eyes drooped. He swirled into darkness to the sounds of Onion humming and occasionally singing more lyrics.
Muffet faced Sans with a mixed expression. He didn’t know what he expected, but what followed was certainly not it.
“You know, Sans, if that Frisk is a friend of yours, then they don’t have to—” Muffet looked a little pained to say this. “They don’t have to pay to come see you. I’d rather use the slots for real customers, so they don’t get impatient.”
“I…I can have visitors?”
Sans wasn’t sure if he should risk saying this, but it had reached the point where he had to know for sure.
“I’m…not allowed to go outside, am I?”
Muffet looked like she was actually considering. As if she hadn’t already made her mind up.
“Maybe later, when things settle down more.”
So Sans wouldn’t get his hopes up, then.
Still, Muffet was acting different. It was as though nothing had happened. In fact, she was being nicer than before, minus the deluge of pet names. That was more a relief than anything.
“Muffet, aren’t you. Aren’t you m-mad at me?”
Muffet looked taken aback. She stared at Sans for a moment before stifling a giggle.
“Sans. There’s no point in getting mad at you. I was just disciplining you, dearie. It’s not like I’m going to hold a grudge.”
Right. Because Sans wasn’t a monster to her…he was something lower, like a pet. At first Sans was too busy contemplating his demoted status in the world to hear what Muffet said next.
“Do you want your brother to visit you?”
Muffet looked shocked by that response. Sans did his best to control his reaction after that.
“You mean, him coming here? I—I mean. Th-thanks, that’s really…uh…n-nice of you, but…”
Muffet put hands on her hips.
“Well, you’re going to have to call him anyway. He’s been calling your phone endlessly, and it’s becoming a nuisance.”
She shoved the phone into his hands. His phone. She was giving his phone back. Something about the gesture, about the ownership of an object that could get him into contact with someone other than one of his captors raised his internal measure of self-worth just a millimeter above ‘walking garbage.’
But then there was what she wanted him to do with it.
“Just put his mind at ease, all right?”
Sans stared at the phone in his hands as though it would turn into a deadly animal if he looked away. Muffet huffed and turned to go, then paused.
“Alphys wants to come see you. Shall I let her?”
Alphys had seen him. He’d tried not to think about it, to forget it happened.
She’d seen him half naked, torn apart, covered in other monsters’ fluids, and screaming for mercy. She’d gotten the closest first-hand look at what was happening to him out of any of the monsters he considered friends from his old life. How could he even look at her, much less talk? What could she possibly have to say to him after seeing him like that? That she was ashamed he had the nerve to keep on living? That would make two of them.
Maybe it was a feeling that he owed her an explanation, or a spark of hope, or just plain old loneliness, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Especially when he was in so much turmoil over even a phone call with his brother.
“She wants to see me as a…visitor?”
Muffet rolled her eyes.
“Yes, dear. I don’t believe you’re exactly her type.”
“You’ll see her?”
“Yeah…I’ll. I’ll see her. Please.”
Muffet smiled warmly at the politeness. She brushed a hand under his chin. He flinched, but forced himself to stay in place. He couldn’t handle being in trouble with her anymore. Muffet’s smile broadened.
“There’s a dear.”
While he waited for Alphys to show up, Sans tried to listen to his voicemail for the third time. There were eleven messages. He gripped the phone tight, rocking on his seat, still not pressing the button that would play the messages.
Muffet had directed him to wait in an area he hadn’t been to before. He supposed this was a room Cecil had neglected on their tour on account of it being too boring. It was more like a hall than a room, a large space with open doorways on either end. It looked like it was meant as a community space, but it was empty except for him at the moment.
Sans shakily held his phone up to his ear and pressed a button.
~*beep*~ click. BROTHER! IT IS I, THE GREAT-
Sans turned the message off and curled over to clench his elbows between his knees, rocking back and forth.
He whipped around. Alphys was standing in the far doorway. She walked over to him, looking uncertain about sitting on the bench next to him. He scooted far enough to one end that she wouldn’t have to come in contact with him even accidentally if she didn’t want. Sans couldn’t help but be relieved when she sat down.
She was still quiet. Everyone was making him take initiative lately.
“Hey Alph. Sorry about, uh, almost killing you before. No hard feelings?”
Sans heard a shaky ‘oh’ and a sniffle, but he didn’t look at her directly. He heard her shift.
She reached out a hand, then pulled it back. Sans finally allowed himself to look at her full on.
She was pale and sweaty, her eyes bloodshot. She had the look of someone who’d gone through a number of scratchy tissues before deeming herself able to talk to another monster face-to-face. Sans appreciated the effort, anyway. She sniffed again.
“This is all so wrong. This is all wrong.”
But there’s nothing I can do about it, is what he assumed followed that up.
The visit with the human almost had Sans thinking that this visit could be joking about grapes in their noses, but of course Alphys was going to talk about what happened. She was a softer touch than most monsters Sans met; she actually tried to talk about her feelings sometimes.
“Look, I don’t exactly want to, uh…I’d rather not—”
“Sans, I d-didn’t want to b-b-believe they were taking endogeny out for something like—I was so happy they’d come to see them. They’re family. I thought maybe they’d changed, that they m-missed them, b-but that weird monster was right, I was b-being a hopeless…hk…idiot…”
“Whoa, Alph, slow down. What are you…what weird monster?”
Alphys wiped her eye with the knuckle of a finger.
“After the d-dogs…took the amalgamate from m-my lab, this other monster I’d never seen before came to talk to me. They told me what the d-dogs were going to d-d-do, and that I needed to g-go help you. I d-didn’t…even know you needed help, I could have guessed, but I just d-d-didn’t want to…think about it.”
Her voice softened to a whisper.
“I d-didn’t want to think about what I’d let…happen to you. I didn’t want to b-believe that the dogs would take endogeny out after so, so long just to…for some stupid…I…”
She held her head in her hands.
“I lost it. What I’d b-been ignoring, with the cameras, I realized I knew what was really g-going on, b-but I just. It had never hurt anyone I knew p-personally, so I just kind of. Sat b-back and turned a b-b-blind eye. That monster that came in…kept on hounding me until I g-got up and came here.”
“Heh. ‘Hounding.’ Good one.”
Alphys snapped her head up to stare at Sans in disbelief. His smile probably wasn’t reaching his eyes. They felt droopy and tired. Alphys’ mouth opened in a small protest of shock before she snorted into her hands.
“Sans, it’s g-good to see you. It’s so good to see you. I’m so glad you’re alive.”
Her voice was muffled by her hands, tears rolling over the backs of them. Meeting with the human so soon before this almost made him expect an embrace at this point, until he remembered that he and Dr. Alphys had never hugged each other once in their lives.
“The monster that told you, uh…about me…was it a short monster, about my height, with a striped shirt?”
Alphys looked confused.
“No? They were tall. It was a b-b-blue bunny. Do you know them?”
Sans wasn’t so sure he did.