"In the case of the outbreak, we discussed the negative affects to the souls of monsters. The monsters that have been studied while in the crystallisation process have displayed varying attributes, from signs of falling down to bipolar like symptoms. A predominant feature witnessed has been the loss of sanity within the monster, and this can usually be gauged in severity by how bad the infection has affected their physical appearance. Monsters that have has less crystals forming on them have been far more stable than the ones who have more, in normal cases. Monsters that have fallen down do not dust however, as the infection lives on and forms a complete statue of the host it had been infecting. I saw this happening in person, prior to last weeks events. I offer my condolences to those involved...it truly was horrific."
-Excerpt from an Anonymous blog post.
Growing up in the Underground is hard. The Old Home is in ruins, after decades of neglect, and the New Home suffers consequences of overpopulation. Close to no monsters can live in Hotland due to the extreme radiation and heat caused by molten magma and the CORE, excess energy radiating from the previous CORE meltdown. The polar opposite, Snowdin, with the surrounding snowfields and forest recieve close to no radiation, including heat and light. Snowdin is perpetually in a dim twighlight, and due to no heat, snow forms from the cold air currents circulating the Underground.
Waterfall as a neutral temperature, would be ideal for any monster, however, the size of the area is rather small, and that's where the infection begun.
/seemingly indifferent. A past consequence./
"It is cold!"
Not a soft cold, however the tips of the skeleton's phalanges played with the edges of his pockets.
Papyrus never minds the cold too much, it keeps him focused.
-"Alive" they chuckle.-
"Heh, told ya it would be. It was snow lie."
Sans grinned to his little brother who grumbled back, burying his small face into his black scarf.
"Sans...that's the worst one this morning!"
Papyrus huffed, his small scarlets boots stomping through the new snow.
Sans still grinned, grabbing Papyrus' bare hand, marching through the last of the long grass, the waterfalls slowly turning to ice as they continued.
Their orange and blue striped coats stood out against the pallid snow and stone, as the two small skeleton brothers stumbled onward, into civilisation.
Letting go of Sans' blue mitten, Papyrus forgot his previous troubles and gazed onward in awe.
The town they finally reached was lit up spectacularly with an array of coloured hanging lights, providing a delicate soothing warmth to the dull, pallid night.
Sans gave a lopsided grin, which Papyrus returned with a beaming smile.
"This is amazing Sans! Nyehehe!"
Papyrus laughed as he turned his head back to look at the town.
"I think so too. It'll be great! Mr Boom was nice enough to talk with Mr Dreemuur to get us a house! And Paps, its our house. So we've gotta take care of it, okay?"
Sans eyed Papyrus who turned back and nodded.
"And you're not allowed to put your sock on the floor! What if Mr Boom came to check on us and saw that you still did that! You're the bigger bones here Sans!"
"Paaap...I can't promise tha-"
Sans looked at Papyrus, who sent the best bone-chilling glare a seven year old could.
Papyrus' face softened into a grin.
Following Sans' footsteps in the snow, Papyrus trailed behind, observing. He enjoyed seeing people going about their day. It made him feel happy-
"Alive", they whispered.
-" And here we are!"
Sans pulled one of his midnight blue mittens off his hand, which then he promptly dug around in his pocket for a key.
Pulling it out with a flourish, Sans grinned.
"Do you wanna unlock the door? ...Pap?"
Sans turned away from the door, looking behind him.
/forgotten forgotten remember remember
"Pap? You okay?"
Sans stared at the little skeleton.
Reaching out, Sans tapped Papyrus' shoulder.
/heavy discord static cacophony/-
Flinching, Papyrus blinked and stared back at Sans.
"Y-you all good bro?"
Papyrus nodded and scratched his neck with a phalange.
"You scared me for a sec there...did you zone out or something?"
Papyrus mumbled out, to which Sans gave a small smile.
"You can rest inside, okay? We're here."
Sans turned back and unlocked the door with mild difficulty before guiding Papyrus inside.
Their new residence consisted of a homely array of furniture left by the previous owners.
/fallen down, reside here/
Papyrus stumbled inside, Sans half holding him up.
Dropping into a large armchair, Papyrus' eyesockets drifted to a close, soft sleep soon to close in.
Sans gave a relieved smile.
"It'll be okay Paps...It'll be okay."
Papyrus gave an illegible murmur, before snuggling into the armchair, curling up and wrapping his arms around his knees.
Sans picked up a black cushion from the adjacent chair and lifted the small skeleton's skull up softly to place it underneath.
Placing down his backpack that he carried for the two of them, Sans unzipped it and pulled out the item that lay ontop. A small scarlet blanket was gently pulled out and placed on the small orange-clad skeleton, tucked under his chin.
Sans sighed, and sat down in the opposing armchair, glad they were for monsters far larger than them.
Nearly out of his stripes, Sans almost qualified as an adult, which means he would soon have to work, and doing so, Papyrus would be all alone.
Sans was determined to find someone to look after his babybones brother. He had to.
/H E L L O./
Papyrus opened his eyes.
/Y O U.../
Papyrus sat up.
/A L I V E.../
Papyrus glanced around.
"...yes. That's what I was told by the funny voice... Who are you?"
Papyrus stared into the-
/I AM NO-ONE./
-/I AM SOMEONE/-
-silent night, the air still apon the floor. Sans slept on the armchair opposite; adjacent.
They were home...?
"This is...home now...isn't it?"
Looking down at his small phalanges, he gave a shiver.
"Sans and I are home...?"
Papyrus clenched his fist.
"I want to go home..back home..."
Papyrus' voice gave a high pitch whine, trying to not cry.
Rubbing his eyesockets with his sleeves, orange tears pricked at the corner of his eyes, spilling over quietly.
Shaking, Papyrus stood up from the chair, boots squeaking on the icy floor. He stumbled over to where Sans was sleeping, and sat by the bottom of the armchair.
Pulling his legs close to his body, Papyrus sat, his brother's presence comforting him.
He listened and silence greeted him, so he was glad.
He sat up.
Pulling the rough scarlet blanket off his knees, Papyrus got up.
Looking over to his bed where he had been yet again for 7 hours and 34 minutes, staring at the ceiling while recounting past events.
Bones clicking in a rhythmic pattern, popping vertebrae, snapping phalanges.
He scratched his neck.