Times New Roman
Note: This story is in the same timeline as Remedy, so there are a few references back to it. I've had this idea for a while, and then I received a request for a Sans/Frisk family story, so here it is. I hope you enjoy!
Five seconds before giving birth is one of the worst times to discover that your soul is pregnant. It stands just slightly worse than finding out nine months before hand, because while you don't have to spend nine months worrying, you also don't get nine months to prepare. And it stands just slightly better than finding out five seconds after birth because with five seconds of warning, I at least had the presence of mind to catch the baby skeleton that came popping out of my soul.
I stared down at the tiny form in my hands, its eyes firmly closed and its mouth open to wail with an impressive set of non-existent lungs. Then I looked up at Sans, who appeared as shocked as I felt. Then I looked at the baby. Sans. Baby. Sans.
"What?" I asked stupidly. "What is…I mean…what do you mean pregnant?"
"well, not anymore," said Sans helpfully, sidling closer with his hands hovering under the child's head just in case I should drop it. The gesture reminded me that I had a very tiny person in my arms, and I moved it carefully until it was cradled in a much more secure position against my chest.
"Sans…" I said, my voice quivering. "I need explanations. Now."
"oh, I thought Tori went over the birds and bees with you," said Sans rubbing the back of his skull apologetically.
She had. In fact, she'd covered the birds and bees for both monsters and humans. Monsters had many different forms of child-birth depending on the magic and biology of the monster. While humans carried babies within their bodies, monsters carried them in their souls. Monsters were, after all, made of magic. This didn't always mean that there was no biology, though. Alphys and Undyne had produced an egg through soul bonding, while the royal guards had simply chosen a 'mother' to carry the child in his soul until it was ready to be born. As a member of the royal family, I got invited to all sorts of parties for the newborns and new parents. These things sort of came up in the conversation, whether I wanted them to or not.
But even in cases like Alphys and Undyne, the egg wasn't entirely necessary. They'd done it because it was easier and safer. Monsters were made out of magic, and so the babies were made from the combined magic and souls of their parents. This is why monsters were immortal until the birth of their children. Once a child was born, they would slowly siphon off their parent's magic until reaching full maturity, at which point the parents would die of old age. Because of this, no one had children unless they really, really wanted them. Besides, there was supposed to be an intense transfer of magical energy needed to make the 'soul seed' that the baby would grow from.
I was pretty sure I'd remember something like that.
Well…there were plenty of times when Sans transferred some of his magic into me. During our wedding we'd undergone a soul-boding ritual that allowed our souls to remain in tune with one another. I could feel his presence even from a short distance away, could sense his mood, and could even communicate on an emotional level in some cases. But even that should not have been enough to create a soul seed. I didn't have any magic in my soul, and it took two people. No matter how often Sans gave me his magic, my soul was still human.
Wait. Magic. In my soul.
It had been centuries ago when the lab scientist monsters sacrificed their souls to let me live, to help free the Underground forever. I didn't have magic. But they did. And it was possible to gather enough over a long period of time to create a soul seed, but even so…
"You're a monster…and I'm human," I said.
"hi, human, I'm dad," said Sans. He saw my expression and backed away, hands held up defensively. Not that I could do much, as I was still holding a baby. The immensity of that thought made my knees go weak, and Sans was by my side to steady me in an instant. "…but the truth is, I'm not sure. this should be impossible."
That was not what I wanted to hear as I cradled new life to my chest.
"I need a guess," I said. "Anything."
Sans hummed in thought.
"it might have been my dad," he said. "he was always telling me how much he was looking forward to grandkids. I wouldn't put it past him to have…done something when he merged into your soul. you know, made it possible."
Gee, thanks grandpa.
Sans touched the baby's forehead and his hand glowed gently with blue magic. It settled down almost at once.
"What did you do?" I whispered, afraid of making it cry again.
"he's hungry," said Sans, eyes narrowed in concentration as he channeled power into the infant. I wasn't sure how Sans knew the baby was a boy, but at this point I wasn't going to question him. "c'mon, we need to go to the lab and run some tests. I want to know that he's healthy."
Sans pulled me—us!—through a shortcut into his lab. The baby sniffled at this, but quieted again as Sans gave it—him!—another magical transfusion. I sank into a chair, still holding the baby…my son. I had a son. This baby was my son…
That thought made me glad that I was already sitting down, because my legs certainly wouldn't have supported me any longer. I sat in a dazed, almost catatonic state while Sans fired up the instruments and gathered tools. When he looked over and saw my pole-axed expression, he stopped and gave me a long hug, pressing his teeth into my hair and rubbing my back to sooth me.
"We haven't even started talking about baby names," I said eventually.
"Roman," said Sans. When I looked at him in confusion, he laughed. "skeletons are named after their fonts. Papyrus speaks in Papyrus. I speak in Comic Sans. this little guy speaks in Times New Roman. so, since Times and New sound a little awkward, I figured Roman was our best bet. what do you think?"
Roman? Roman. I could see that. I could imagine calling Roman in for dinner and telling him to clean his room. I could imagine calling him Ro affectionately when he did something particularly cute. I could imagine Ambassador Roman being introduced at political events. Yeah, that was a good name.
"How do you know what font he uses?" I asked curiously. Sans shrugged. "Well, I like it."
Then Sans pulled away and carefully took Roman into his arms. He started running tests while I fidgeted nervously in the background. When my anxiety finally reached a boiling point, I excused myself from the lab and went to talk to Toriel.
Mom reacted as if I'd told her that her butterscotch cinnamon pie had won every single pie competition on the planet all at the same time. Absolutely expected, and yet still thrilling beyond words. While she hadn't known that I was pregnant, she knew I'd been looking into adoption and that it was only a matter of time before tiny feet were pattering through the small cottage Sans and I called home.
I had been looking into adoption and the laws surrounding it, but I hadn't expected something quite so soon…or bony. How was I supposed to care for a baby monster? They fed off of magic from the soul, which I couldn't give. Would Sans be able to produce enough for the both of us? What did baby skeletons need?
Thankfully, Toriel had books and centuries worth of knowledge and experience. I was not the first person she'd walked through this process. When we'd finally exhausted all of my many worries and questions, and after offering all the baby-sitting help I could ever want, Toriel asked if she and Asgore could drop by tomorrow to see their new grandson.
"Yeah, Mom," I said, slightly giddy at the thought of Toriel holding Roman, my son. "You're going to love him."
Sans was lying on the couch with Roman draped over his chest when I arrived home. Both were fast asleep, but as I approached and reached out to touch his shoulder, Sans's hand shot up to catch my wrist. I met his blazing gaze, and for a moment I thought he was going to attack me. Then he seemed to recognize me and realize that I wasn't a threat. My lazy skeleton blinked sleepily at me, and used his hold on my wrist to pull me down and brush his teeth over my lips.
Well, no one would say he lacked for protective instincts.
Roman stirred and whimpered. Sans ran a magic-coated hand over his skull to sooth him.
"he missed you when you left," said Sans.
There was no accusation in his voice, but I felt a little ashamed anyway. What sort of parent panicked like that at the sight of their own child, unexpected as the child had been? I knelt down beside the couch and ran my fingers over Roman's smooth skull. He calmed at once, just as he had for Sans's magic. He knew me. I felt my soul grow warm and looked up to see Sans smiling, his body totally relaxed and his soul humming in tune with my own, content beyond words.
"Is he…I mean, how did the tests go?" I asked quietly.
"he's a happy and healthy baby skeleton," said Sans. "absolutely perfect."
Well, there was one fear that could be mostly put to rest. Now that I knew he was fine, I just had to keep him that way. No problem. No problem at all.
What the heck was I going to do?
"Can I hold him?" I asked, feeling another spike of nerves. What if I dropped him? What if I hurt him? What if I was a bad parent?
Sans did not seem concerned as he handed Roman to me. My son curled into my chest, touching a tiny boned hand to the space over my heart. I felt my soul beat in time with his. His and Sans's.
"he likes it best when we're both here," said Sans, though I would have known even if he hadn't said anything. Both of their souls radiated happiness that echoed my own.
He hadn't been expected, but Sans was right.
He was absolutely perfect.
Note: This was a small idea, but there isn't much of a story behind it yet. I may expand on it later if there is interest.