Alphys thought Sans might be in shock. After all, his brother had lost a leg and he was just sitting there watching TV with Papyrus' head resting comfortably in his lap. Albeit he wasn't really focused on the program and looked more like he wanted to nod off despite having apparently slept most of the day anyway. The scent of alcohol clinging to his clothes had become much more forgivable after he'd given both girls a proper explanation.
Guilt hung in the air so thickly it could be cut with a butter knife.
Even so, though, the three tried to move forward. Despite Sans' explanation neither Alphys nor Undyne wanted to leave Papyrus- still not convinced that he was as ok as his brother tried to convince them. Believing that he needed rest just as badly as his brother, Alphys had tried to reason with him. She'd explained that exposure to fermented magic alcohol for an extended period of time could cause 2nd hand drunkenness on some monsters and that Sans was still obviously very tired but he'd declined. "you guys are really blowing this out of proportion," he'd said, "really, it's fine."
Undyne had refused to accept his refusal and made it quite clear that neither were going anywhere.
Because she didn't want to believe that her friend might not be…as sober as he thought himself to be and because she knew it would take a borderline dangerous amount of sleep deprivation to misread the situation- especially between Sans and his brother- Alphys turned to thinking he might be in shock. The right amount of sleep deprivation against the right kind of stress could do that to the best of monsters, after all.
She watched him from the kitchen, trying her best to be subtle, and thought she was doing a pretty good job. Undyne sat beside her putting no effort into concealing her intense stare.
On the couch Sans was tucked neatly against the backrest, running gentle phalanges over his brother's skull. A pillow between his head and his brother's lap, Papyrus seemed to have calmed down exponentially. He'd sunk against the cushions in a perfectly relaxed way and if it weren't for the permanent structure of his mandible giving him a just as permanent grin she'd say he was smiling. His snores had gotten quieter- a sign that he was entering a deeper sleep according to Sans. Papyrus' brow had smoothed out too. He just looked so at peace and comfortable in comparison to his usual energy and gusto that Alphys almost couldn't help the worry.
Finally, after what felt like an hour or so, Sans sighed and turned towards observers. Exhaustion written in hooded eyes, smile almost eerie, he started watching them in a very clear indication that he'd known they had him and his brother in their sights from the second they'd sat down.
Sans was extremely protective of his brother, Alphys was learning.
Undyne looked like she wanted to shout something obscene at him. Alphys thought she didn't mean to be so aggressive but was just reacting to her concern. She was just an observer though, it's not like she actually knew anything…
Eventually Sans sighed, defeated, and made a quiet offer, "you can't stay in the kitchen all night. i'm not going to be using my bed and seeing that you both don't look raring to go anywhere you can use our beds." He nodded towards the stairs, "pap's room is the first door at the top of the stairs and mine is at the end of the hall. and don't worry, i may be a slob but pap washed my sheets and everything this morning so my bed is as clean as his."
"No," Undyne refused stubbornly, "no offense but you look like you're a few seconds away from passing out yourself, Sans, and someone needs to stick around to look after Papyrus."
The skeleton's expression softened with warmth, clearly appreciative of their concern, "guys, come on, we've been over this."
"You don't seriously think you're gunna convince us, do you?"
Sans just kept smiling, though Alphys saw a bead of sweat form on his temple.
"S-Sans," she'd begun sheepishly before she could think better of it. Surprised, Alphys emitted a little 'eep' and slapped her hands across her muzzle to silence herself. Stupid, stupid, stupid! No-one wants your input, idiot! She told herself vigorously.
"yeah, alphys?" Sans prompted. He didn't look offended but she knew better than anyone that an expression could not hold a thousand words for a stranger.
"U-uhm," her voice was shaky and she turned to fiddling with her hands. Get a grip already, this isn't about you, the venomous voice she'd become familiar with hissed. Sans and Undyne both waited patiently for her to speak. Left with no other choice she fought the words out of her mouth, "h-has th…this e-ev-ever ha…happened b-before?"
"yeah a few times," he replied.
"A-and it's been f-fine before, right?"
"mm'hm. never anything complicated."
"So yo-you're c-c-ertain Papyrus will be ok?"
"We-well, if y-you're sure-" Alphys looked to Undyne for her support. She was afraid for a moment that the fish-woman would continue to refuse and was thankful when she didn't.
Instead she sighed and folded her arms across her chest, "well if the doctor says its ok then I guess its fine." Then she was being lifted into the air and placed on the floor, her hand caught in Undyne's. "We'll use Sans' bed- it better be as clean as you say it is, punk!"
"Don't trout it," he said relaxing, "it's as clean as it's been for years, not even squidding."
Surprisingly, Undyne took his fish puns in stride.
While Alphys was sputtering about the concept of sharing a bed with her crush- who was also floundering on the inside in her own excitement- Undyne dragged them up the stairs and the brothers were left to spend the night in private, familial companionship.
Papyrus was awake the next morning and, while not quite as energetic as he might usually be, he was leagues better than the previous day. Sans- good god- had taken up the kitchen to make "pun-cakes" that actually tasted pretty good. Though Papyrus looked like he wanted to refuse them when the first plate landed in his lap. In syrup Sans had written across it; it's going tibia okay.
Satisfied that Papyrus was not only going to be okay but also in capable hands the two girls were able to pack up and leave.
At the end of it all, Alphys decided it really was quite cool the unique way the skeleton brothers' bodies worked.
I wanted to write more but I actually don't feel well at all right now so I'm cutting it short. Sorry guys.
Thanks for reading!
Ultra-special thanks to MindVScape, fox tamer 113, Ollie (this is your fault I can't believe you've dragged me into this you awful human being), Streefwaterbutter, Glass The Absol, and TheDeductionist for being 6 of 1,207 readers to have left reviews.