The Human Disguise Project
Note: Technically, this takes place in the same story line as The Space Between, but it's not necessary to read that story to understand this one.
I sat on one of the high workbenches in the lab while Alphys made slight adjustments to the instruments. The bulky machine took up half of the room, and I watched as various monitors and displays gave a constant readout of a hundred different variables. I had a vague sort of idea about what was going on, but the details were lost in the higher-levels of magic and science well beyond my understanding.
The simple way Alphys had explained it to me went like this: Monster bodies were composed of dust and shaped by magic. The dust had a natural shape that could be slightly reformed with various catalysts. One of the catalysts was Determination, and I still shuddered at the horrors created by that. But Alphys was using something much safer and in far smaller dosages. She had explained exactly what it was, but it all sounded like science word salad to me.
It was safe, and that was the important part.
Safety was the whole reason why we were here. Above ground could be a dangerous place, and although there were no outright battles, there was a certain amount of danger inherent in every meeting between monsters and humans. Thus Alphys had proposed the idea of human disguises. This was easier said than done, because there were few monsters that could be effectively disguised with a wig and some makeup. Undyne might have been able to pull it off on a dark night if she wore a fake nose, but her case was the exception.
So that led to the idea of reshaping the dust of a monster's body to more closely resemble a human. There were limitations, of course. The disguise would last less than 48 hours under ideal conditions, and there was a cool-down period before it could be reapplied in order to prevent permanent disfigurement. But Alphys still had high hopes that it could be used in extreme circumstances to help a monster escape from harm. And so, with Asgore's encouragement and his charmingly pragmatic way of naming things, the Human Disguise Project was born.
It still needed to go through rigorous testing, though, and that was why we were here today.
I kicked my feet impatiently and looked over some of the few monitors I actually understood. The first was magical stability, and it warbled well within the acceptably safe parameters. The next was a Determination detector, and it was hovering right at the peak of the safe range, but it had not crossed the line, and it too was holding steady. And the third was the analysis timer, counting down to the completion of the current test run. It was less than a minute now, and I tapped my fingers on the workbench impatiently.
According to Alphys, the obvious choice for the initial tester of these disguises would need to be someone who required a relatively slight amount of change. Undyne had been the first to offer, but Alphys had flatly refused to experiment on her. It wasn't that the process was unsafe, but a scientist had to keep a small amount of distance from the subject or else mistakes were likely to happen. So the next choice was understandably a skeleton, because all they needed was a veneer of dust over their existing bodies. Nothing to chop off, and little to add. Papyrus had nearly burst from enthusiasm when he offered, but Sans had nixed the idea. He did not say why, because Papyrus still did not know about the Determination experiments, but Sans would not allow Alphys anywhere near his brother until he knew for a fact that the experiment would work.
And so, after some sighing and a few meat-based puns, Sans had offered to be the first test subject.
"Alphys, darling, I need you!"
Alphys looked up as Mettaton, in his Metatton Ex form, strode into the lab and waved his hand under Alphys's nose.
"I've broken a nail, tragic I know," he said, sighing and looking mournfully at the wounded digit. "It's sending some type of error message through my system, and I simply cannot transform. I have a show in twenty minutes. Save me, Alphys, darling."
I shook my head and went back to staring at the door to the chamber.
The machine gave three quick beeps, indicating that the process was complete, the body was stable, and Sans was ready to step out of quarantine. There was a heavy thunk as the latch was opened, and mist poured out of the door.
The first thing I thought when Sans stepped outside was: Oh, I should have remembered to tell Alphys that anime is not a good reference for natural human hair color.
The second thing I thought was: What. Is. That?
I turned to Alphys with my mouth gaping open and pointed at Sans, or what I thought was Sans. Alphys was blushing and stammering something about it being a work in progress. Mettaton's eyes lit up with a bright pink glow. His hands went to his mouth with a delighted, "OOOoooOOooOOOooOOOOOooo, darling."
Right, Mettaton, Alphys other creation. I supposed I should be more surprised that Sans hadn't sashayed out in thigh-high stiletto boots. I turned back to my formerly boney friend and took in his distinct new features. I'd been expecting something that look like…well Sans. Short, round, and a little chubby. This creature had short, messy white hair, pale skin with the barest trace of color, and icy blue eyes that blinked at me from behind thick eyelashes. He had delicate, pointed features, and a slender body that could not be completely hidden by his sweater and jacket.
In other words, he was a bishie boy.
A strangled 'hrk' was all that made it out before I clamped my hands over my mouth and tried not to burst out laughing. Sans caught my expression and rolled his eyes. He slumped into his habitual slouch which somehow managed to give him an illusionary paunch. I swallowed my laughter at the gesture. It was enough to remind me that, although he looked very, very different, this was still Sans.
"see something humerus, kid?" he asked.
"Well, it's not exactly a face that strikes fear in the hearts of evil men," I said, because no one would run screaming in terror from him now. And Sans was still a guardian of New Home, charged with keeping its people safe from the humans who sought to hurt them.
Sans chuckled, and in the time it took to blink, he was across the room, staring directly into my eyes. He was taller, too, I noted distantly. Distantly, because his sclera were bleeding black until his right eye was a dark void and his left glowed with a fiery blue light that just screamed 'you're gonna have a bad time.'
I swallowed thickly.
"Okay, point taken," I said. Sans blinked and his eyes were human again. He leaned back and shrugged with a small smile. I smiled back and allowed the small bit of remaining tension drain from my body. There had been a chance, however slight, that something would go wrong. And, as unexpected as Sans's appearance had been, he seemed perfectly fine. Besides, this was only temporary. It wasn't as though anyone else would see him like this.
"Oh, my stars," said Mettaton, sliding up to Sans and placing a delicate hand under his chin. "You simply must appear with me on my show. You're far too delicious to stay in this musty old lab—sorry Alphys, darling. My viewers will just eat you up."
I snorted because there was no possible way…
"sure, why not?" said Sans with a lazy shrug. He materialized a bottle of ketchup. "i even come with my own condiments."
Mettaton squealed with delight, and I could only watch helplessly as he scooped up Sans and flounced through the nearest door.
"Alphys, I'm home!"
There was a short series of crashes and Alphys rushed out of the room, calling for Undyne to stop, and I thought I could hear Megalovania playing somewhere in the distance.
Well, at least it looked like the human disguise was a success.
Note 2: This was a short, silly one-shot. Also, Mettaton is really fun to write.