PREPARE TO BE ASTOUNDED BY THIS CHAPTER, HUMAN!
...right, like Papyrus says, I hope you'll like this chapter!
HOW COULD THEY NOT? IT HAS THE GREAT PAPYRUS IN CENTER STAGE, SHOWING OFF HIS STRONG MUSCLES AND COOL SKILLS!
I... didn't write about you having muscles?
THAT'S OKAY! I'M SURE THEY'LL REALIZE IT FOR THEMSELVES WHEN THEY REACH THE APPROPRIATE SECTION! AND THEN THEY SHALL WONDER IN AWE AT MY MAGNIFICENCE!
Well, okay, you've got a point there. But, ah, sorry, Reader. I guess this isn't the normal chapter notes, but Papyrus wanted to speak to you? And I'm really sorry about not updating this for almost 3 months... Hopefully there's enough here to help make up for it?
Chapter 10 - Doggone It
A blur of white dashes through the room as the sound of barking fills the air, happy yips and playful growls. Your eyes widen as you realize that it's a dog, a small fluffy thing that is currently bouncing around Papyrus' room as if the walls and floors are trampolines.
"NOOOOO!" Papyrus screeches. "IT'S THAT ACCURSED MEDDLING CANINE!"
The dog yips happily in agreement as it dashes between Papyrus' legs, almost tripping up the skeleton. It dashes over to you, tail wagging madly as it props it's feet up against your legs.
"Arf, arf!" Drawn by its cries, you look down, only to for its warm eyes to trap you in their gaze. Soft black puppy eyes stare at you while its tail wags madly, and you find yourself unable to look away. There's clearly intelligence in its dark orbs, and they bore into you; seeing you clearly, penetrating soul deep. For a long, eternal moment, you think the dog is judging you, and you're afraid of where your judgement will fall. You wish you could turn away, but you can't. It can see what you've done, who you are, why you're here –
It lunges forward, flying straight for your face. You raise your hands, but not quickly enough to avoid being knocked backwards. You fall flat on your butt, breath knocked out from you in a surprised gasp, and you flinch as the dogs bared teeth seem to fill up your entire vision –
*slurp* Your face feels slimy, wet, and you blink in shock. Rather than biting you, the dog was licking you. Happy little sweeps of a tiny pink tongue, and you can feel the dog's tail beating against your legs as its paws weigh heavily on your chest. Despite the additional weight, your soul feels lighter, as if this dog's acceptance of you was something special.
"NO! BAD DOG! DO NOT EAT MY FRIEND!" You can't help but giggle as the dog winks at you mischievously, before pointedly curling up in your lap. Wait – was this the Annoying Dog? Toby Fox's avatar? Did you essentially have the creator of Undertale curled up in your lap, now snoring softly? You glance down with no little amount of awe as you tentatively reach out to touch him, see if he's really there –
His fur is soft. Your fingers twitch, curling inward, and you feel the slide of silky strands across your sensitive fingertips. You stroke him carefully, lightly, afraid to upset the sleeping dog, but all he does is sigh happily in his sleep. The pure white fur is just as soft and clean as it looks, and you reach out with your other hand as well.
That throws you off balance, but you resettle almost immediately, sitting upright and partly curled around the dog in your lap. He's laying across your folded legs, an expression of bliss on his canine face. Was this really the Annoying Dog, the representation of Toby Fox? It was acting like him, looked like him, but you'd never seen him here in the game. What did this mean ? Why was he here – how was he here? What were the ramifications of his presence?
Things were different from the original game made by this 'dog' before you. You were here, after all, which was so incredibly wrong. Your presence could have caused ripple effects – Flowey's reaction to you – but that couldn't explain everything. Sans had still made the promise, but he also made a snowman; an actual snow sculpture, not just a carelessly shoved together lump. There hadn't been many teenaged monsters in the woods, which you had originally attributed to the weird hour. Now Toby was popping up, careening into you?
Your head hurt. You hold back a whimper, burying your hands in the soft fur. You were okay right now. Your ribs had been healed, Papyrus was watching over you, and you were petting a dog. A dog who was not a dog, a dog that had seemingly peered into you, a dog that had accepted you and ambushed you not with an attack, but with affection.
He wasn't that annoying; even the scare he had given you was easily forgivable as you stroked the soft fur in your hands. You dared to play with his little ears, slightly bending the soft cartilage and watching how the fur twisted and turned. You pause when you realize there's a spot of red on his muzzle, and wipe it off. You bring your hand to your nose and sniff it to see if it was what you thought, and the aroma of spices filled your nose.
He must have gotten into Papyrus' pasta. The thought of the 'Spaghettore Extraordinaire" caused you to jolt slightly, and you forced yourself not to move. You'd completely forgotten about Papyrus, ignoring him entirely. Shame washes over you as you register his voice. You can't bring yourself to listen to his words, feeling too disgusted at yourself. This was just one of the many reasons why you weren't a good person, why you weren't a good friend, why you felt terrible – were terrible – why you shouldn't exist…
You need to forget those thoughts. You let your mind slip out of focus, petting the warm dog in your lap and letting the sound of Papyrus' voice wash over you. You just sat there, breathing slowly and trying not to think.
You didn't know how long you were there, mindlessly stroking Toby and letting Papyrus' words wash over you. You just let the sounds pass without trying to comprehend them, simply letting the tone and emotions behind the words carry you away.
The friendly skeleton had a voice that commanded attention, very clearly enunciating his words as they rang out. It wasn't a harsh sound, but it was slightly dry, a little rough around the edges. You felt like it should be annoying, and it had initially bothered you, yet you had quickly grown accustomed to it and already found it far more comforting than irritating.
His pervasive happiness pushed through with every word, and his caring soul shouted out to you through every syllable. There was no quiet or subdued way to put it – his soul was practically radiating warmth to anyone that cared to pay attention. As you were trapped on his floor by the tiny furnace of a canine in your lap and Papyrus babbling away right beside you, there was nothing you could do but pay attention. Well, that, or panic and dissociate, but his voice was acting as a tether to this insane world.
In fact, Papyrus seemed to be explicitly calling for your attention now. "HUMAN? HAVE YOU FALLEN ASLEEP SITTING UP WITH YOUR EYES OPEN?" You blink in surprise as you struggle to pay attention to the word's meanings, not just their reassuring presence. "I KNOW THAT MY LAZY BROTHER CAN FALL ASLEEP ANYWHERE, BUT I WASN'T AWARE THAT THIS WAS A TALENT HUMANS SHARED!" The words were slightly accusatory, but you could hear the fond exasperation in his voice.
"Sorry, Pap," you murmur. The dog whines, and you realize that you had stopped petting it. You resume your actions, sliding both hands through his silky fur and playing with his ears. "I just zoned out for a bit there."
Papyrus nodded sagely, apparently taking no offense at your less than complete attention. "AH, YES. SANS IS VERY TALENTED AT THIS 'ZONING OUT' AS WELL, SINCE IT IS AN ACTION THAT REQUIRES ZERO EFFORT… BUT I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, ALWAYS REMAIN FOCUSED AT ALL TIMES! AND RIGHT NOW, I SEE HOW FOCUSED YOU ARE ON THE BONE-STEALING NUISANCE! ARE YOU FOND OF THESE CANINE CREATURES?"
You look back down at the dog, now awake and sitting happily in your lap, tail batting a steady beat against your leg in excitement. He looked up at you with a wicked grin on his little doggy face, his eyes warm as his pink tongue lolled out. You felt your heart melt slightly at the sight. "I guess I do like this dog." At that, the dog jumped up and started bathing you in sloppy puppy kisses, spreading doggy drool all over your face.
Torn between amusement, affection, and disgust, you gently push the dog away and off of you. You scrub furiously at your skin, grimacing as you try to wipe all the slobber off of your face. "I guess that means that he likes me too?" You wipe off your hands on your pants as an agreeing yip sounds through the room, and the dog burrows between your side and your arm, trapping himself by your side. What a weirdo.
Papyrus looks more than a little grossed out himself, but it seems like he agreed with you. "ALTHOUGH IT IS QUITE ANNOYING, THAT DOG DOES HAVE GOOD TASTE! IT ENJOYS ONLY THE FINEST BONES AND CUISINE – MINE! NYEH-HEH-HEH-HEH!" You find yourself laughing quietly alongside Papyrus, although you have to disagree with him there. If the dog had any sense of taste at all, he wouldn't come within ten leagues of you.
Even though you thought he was wrong, you weren't about to argue with Papyrus. You'd already done enough to hurt him today. You didn't want him to have to try and talk you out of 'self-deprecating yourself' – which was really just being honest about yourself – and you were a little afraid that he wouldn't. That would just mean that you were right… so if you never said anything, you can pretend that he would argue with you about your self-worth.
"I guess he must have a good sense of taste if he likes eating your food," you say with a wink, adding extra emphasis to the pun. His face twitches through multiple expressions, as he seems torn between betrayal and amusement. "What's wrong? Dog got your tongue?" They weren't your best jokes, but it was enough for Papyrus to give in, burying his face in his gloved hands as he started laughing.
"HUMAN!" he wailed. "I THOUGHT YOU WERE ABOVE SUCH TERRIBLE JOKES!" When he lifts his head and looks at you, there's a wicked twinkle in his eyes. "I PREFURR MORE PUPULAR AND RUFFINED HUMOR THAN THAT!"
You give up, and crack up laughing, holding your healed ribs tight as your chest heaves. Toby barks and blurs in a run around the run, yapping excitedly until he darts back into the closet. Tears are starting to form in your eyes as Papyrus starts wailing in horror, but you still can't stop laughing.
"NOOO! COME BACK HERE, YOU CANINE FIEND! RETURN MY BONES TO ME AT ONCE!" You wipe your eyes even as fresh tears form, but it's enough to see Papyrus raging at his closet door. He's frustration incarnate, gesturing wildly at the neatly closed door before he slams the door open, only for it to reveal a neatly organized closet – with no dog inside. This isn't helping your laughter, and you nearly fall to the floor as Papyrus enters his closet, carefully tearing through his clothes and collections as he tries to pursue the thief.
"Papyrus," you gasp out. "There's a skeleton in your closet!" You break down in a fresh set of giggles. You know that you're overreacting, that this probably isn't really that funny, but you're so tired and laughing feels so strange to you by this point. It's been such a long time since you last let yourself laugh this freely – or was it really? It felt like you'd spent an eternity in darkness, a cold chill covering your heart that these people were doing their best to thaw.
Gloved hands enter your vision and carefully pull you upright. You don't resist, sagging into the hold. You've expended all your strength on the hysterical laughing fit you were finally coming out of, and everything is starting to hurt. Your ribs ache, and your non-existent abs are sore. Your throat feels scratchy, and your lungs over-extended. This is what happens when you let yourself fall apart; everything hurts when they try to start working again.
You try to assist Papyrus, forcing your muscles to bend to your will. You let out another hoarse chuckle before wincing, clutching onto Papyrus' firm arms as he helps you stand upright. "WELL! I AM GLAD THAT YOU SEEM SO AMUSED BY MY PLIGHT!" That stops your giggles short, but when you look up, there's no real distress on his face, just a teasing grin. Once you find your balance, Papyrus moves away, gesticulating wildly to a half-empty box filled with – yes, those were definitely bones. "LOOK WHAT HE DID! THAT INFURIATING MUTT TOOK MY BATTLE BONES!"
You reach over and crouch down, hesitantly looking at Papyrus for permission before reaching out and picking up one of his bones. "These are your battle bones, then?" You ask somewhat uselessly. You're only slightly surprised that they aren't hurting you – magic depended on the caster's intent, after all, and they weren't exactly slamming into you at high velocities.
They were actually rather nice to hold, less chalky then you might have imagined. The white 'bone' felt smooth, almost velvety, and very sturdy. You held it up, examining it as Papyrus spoke. "INDEED, HUMAN! I AM GLAD YOU ARE SO INTERESTED IN AND IMPRESSED BY MY COLLECTION!" He beams, picking up a bone of his own. "YOU SEE, THESE ARE WHAT I USE IN TRAINING AND IN BATTLE!" He steps back several paces, and then swings out his bone like a sword. You watch in genuine awe as he flows through several movements, stringing together a set of flowing attacks. He gracefully twists and turns in the limited space, the weapon never coming close to hitting you as he proudly shows off his skills.
This strong skeleton wielding a sword of bone would be a terrifying figure facing you down, if he wasn't clearly showing off and projecting his intent to impress you. You were glad that you'd never tried to fight Papyrus, if this display is anything like what he could truly do. There's no way you could sufficiently dodge or defend yourself, not against this display of sheer grace and power.
You can feel your jaw limply hanging open when Papyrus finally finishes with a particularly fine flourish, the bone falling neatly back into the box as he bows to you. You nearly drop the bone your holding as you rush to applaud, catching yourself and holding it against yourself so your hands are free. The sound of your clapping fills the air as well as a brass rendition of Final Fantasy VIIs victory theme. You're impressed by Sans skill and timing with the trombone, but you're far more focused on the dazzling display you just saw. Papyrus is blushing proudly as he meets your gaze, an almost shy sense of gratitude at your clear awe.
"That's amazing, Papyrus!" you say as you finally stop clapping, your palms stinging to badly to continue. "That was just – you're so- " you babble, at a complete loss for words. You had absolutely no idea that he could do anything like this, and you lacked the words to sufficiently respond. You let out breathless laughter, beyond impressed. "Wow. I can't even – just wow." You beam at the equally grinning skeleton. "I don't know all that much about sword fighting, but even I can tell that you're absolutely amazing! That skill – your grace – you just –" you break off, shaking your head in awe. "That's incredible, Papyrus."
There's almost no white left on the skilled skeleton's face, he's blushing so hard. "TH- THANK YOU FRIEND! I'M GLAD THAT YOU CAN PROPERLY APPRECIATE MY FIGHTING PROWESS!" You're tempted to say something about how he should definitely be in the royal guard with that skill, ask if he's showed Undyne his fighting talent, but you know that's not the problem. You shove that thought aside as you just keep grinning at the skeleton, letting the awe and delight run through you even as your emotional bank begins to run dry.
"SO!" Papyrus says. "I'M SURE YOU CAN SEE NOW, HUMAN, THE VALUE OF MY COLLECTION!" You nod as your grin turns into a slightly smaller smile. "IN FACT, IT IS PERHAPS THE MOST VALUABLE THING IN MY ROOM FULL OF TREASURED OBJECTS!" He beams, whirling around to gesture to his room. "MY ROOM IS FULL OF ONLY VERY VALUABLE THINGS. AFTER ALL, THEY BELONG TO THE GREAT PAPYRUS! NYEH-HEH-HEH-HEH!"
He rushes over to the other side of his room, proudly showing off his table full of figurines. "THESE ARE MY BATTLE SIMULATORS! WITH THEM, I CAN CLEARLY COME UP WITH THE CLEVEREST OF CUNNING TRICKS!" You head over to see a variety of models, from a large collection of robots to battle toys to cool models, set up in clusters. When you squint and tilt your head, you can see a pattern and the makings of a battlefield, as befitting of the Great General Papyrus.
"YOU'VE ALREADY SEEN MY ULTRA-COOL BED,BUT IT BEGETS A SECOND LOOK!" You obligingly turn to look at his bed again as he prods you forward. "IN FACT, IT IS SO COOL THAT I INSIST THAT YOU SLEEP HERE FOR THE NIGHT!" He pauses as you gape at him, looking sheepish. "THERE IS A GUEST HOUSE SET UP, BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S PROPERLY PREPARED TO HOUSE AN INJURED HUMAN."
"Wha- Papyrus, no! That's your bed!" you protest despite your shock. Was he seriously offering up his bed to you? You knew he didn't seem to sleep much, but still!
"I INSIST, HUMAN FRIEND!" True to his words, he gently shoves you onto his bed. You windmill slightly as you tip backwards, landing with a soft bounce on the bed. "YOU MUST REST HERE FOR TONIGHT, AS YOU WERE INJURED EARLIER TODAY!" He pauses, then reaches out to ruffle your hair. "WHEN YOU ARE READY TO SLEEP, YOU MUST LET ME KNOW SO THAT WE CAN PROPERLY TUCK YOU IN!"
We? Tuck you in? Your mind gives in to the unrelenting skeleton before you, and you realize that you're going to sleep in Papyrus' bed tonight. Oh, boy.
I don't know Toby Fox, but from what I've seen from him and based on everything that Undertale is… I'd like to think that he'd think I'm an okay person, and that you are as well. :)
…Have I mentioned how much I love Papyrus? Honestly, writing him made me so happy… He's trying so hard to impress you, the person reading this, his new friend! Yes, I did make Papyrus into a skilled swordsman. Frisk is so lucky that Papyrus is such a nice guy...and so are we all. :)
Once again, I'm really sorry that it's taken me so long to update. I've been trying, and I've finally pulled through with this new chapter... but I can make no promises as to when the next chapter will come out.
I also wrote a tiny, 500 word oneshot about what comes after a happy ending up on the surface. I'm going to post it over on AO3, and it's already been posted to my tumblr... but it's not fluffy, I'm just warning you of that. Every time I read a story with 'You' and the skelebros on the surface, solving issues, I always wonder... what about the next Reset? What happens then?
I'm going to work on posting these chapters to tumblr as well at annaisu tumblr com, in case you want to check them out there with the other stuff I've done
Thank you for reading this! I hope I haven't lost many readers... I would love to hear from any of you, whether it be a comment on the chapter, my disappearance, or even just telling me about your day!