Chapter 3 – Can’t Hide It Forever
Papyrus felt like a ninja in one of those “childish cartoons” Undyne and Alphys watched but without the goofy outfits as he followed his brother for the next couple of weeks. Initially there nothing too out of the ordinary, well for Sans at least. As time went on, though, the younger skeleton began to notice some changes in him. His brother started to do more tasks physically, which was odd because typically he used his magic so either he didn’t have to get up or it was just too heavy or awkward to do manually. His movements also became more sluggish than usual and he seemed to nod off all the time. One night he even fell asleep at the dinner table with his head falling into a plate of snail pie! The event was funny at first but the more Papyrus thought about it and everything else he had observed, the more worried the younger skeleton became. He wasn’t the only one.
Toriel had suspicions that Sans was carrying a young soul for a while. She didn’t want to confront him about it at first, thinking maybe he just needed to sort things out but when he never did, she just became more and more frustrated. Now her boyfriend wouldn’t even let her get within three feet of him and he was avoiding speaking to her whenever possible. If he really was expecting, Sans trying to do it by himself would put both him and the baby in danger. Why wouldn’t he tell her? It was her child as well! Why does he feel the need to keep secrets? The boss monster decided to try and coax the truth out of him.
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Toriel tried to wake up early the next morning to beat Sans out of bed since he had been up and about unusually early recently. She would probably be grouchy all day now from the lack of sleep but fortunately, that’s what coffee was for.
“Sans… are you up?” she asked singsongingly.
The skeleton grumbled and pulled the sheets in closer to him as he curled into a ball.
Good. Maybe I can get some info out of him while he’s not fully awake, she thought. “How are you feeling?”
“...tired…” he responded, half-asleep and not really aware of the words coming out of his mouth.
“May I ask why you have been so tired lately?”
“…low magic… ”
“…been… sharing it…”
Sans then realized what he was saying and quickly jolted into an upright position, fully conscious. “all right tori, what are you trying to pull?” he asked as he crossed his arms while at the same time trying to cover his abdomen.
Her boyfriend glared back angrily.
“Okay, I was. You’ve just been so distant lately and I was hoping...”
“you were hoping to pump some information out of me, right? well, nice try.” Sans quickly got out of bed and stomped into the walk-in closet to get dressed.
Well that didn’t work. It looked like Toriel would have to use a more direct approach but since everyone was going to be awake soon she would have to try again later after they both returned from work. However, Papyrus beat her to the punch shortly after he came home that night.
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“HEY SANS, CAN I TALK TO YOU FOR A SECOND?” the younger skeleton asked while his brother was putting away his belongings.
“sure, what’s up bro?” he asked.
“ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU’RE ALL RIGHT? I CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE THAT YOU REALLY HAVEN’T BEEN USING YOUR MAGIC RECENTLY AND YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVEN’T SLEPT IN DAYS.”
“i’m totally fine, papyrus. don’t worry about it.”
“BUT I CAN’T HELP BUT WORRY, YOU’RE MY BROTHER AND I WANT TO HELP YOU.”
“i’ll be all right. i just need to be left alone for a while.”
“BUT YOU ARE NOT ALL RIGHT. YOU HAVE BEEN AVOIDING EVERYBODY AND ME AND TORIEL ARE VERY CONCERNED.”
“i know but there is nothing you can do. so please, just leave me alone...”
“NO, I WON’T!” Papyrus stomped the ground with his right foot in anger. “I PROMISED TORIEL AND I WOULD KEEP AN EYESOCKET OUT FOR YOU AND I WILL NOT BREAK THAT PROMISE! NOW TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON, SANS!” he demanded.
“i said leave me alone!” Sans snapped. His left eyesocket began to glow a bright blue as he flung his arm at his brother to get him to back off.
Papyrus recoiled at his response as his brother ran out the front door and slammed it behind him. “BROTHER…” He knew right then and there he had to tell Toriel everything.
Sans needed a moment to recover after his little freak out. He knew he shouldn’t have shouted at his brother like that but a combination of fear and “hormones” had taken over. Hopefully he would feel better after a short walk. The skeleton got maybe a few blocks down when he was confronted by two men dressed in dark clothes, one of them brandishing a knife.
“Hand over yer cash, bone man,” one of the muggers demanded.
“Unless you want to get a knife in your skull,” the other added.
Sans took a few steps backwards before he took off on foot, with the two thugs following right behind him. It was all he could do at the moment to keep from being turned to dust. Teleporting was out of the question because he didn’t have enough magic to pull it off without becoming fallen down. It was a good thing he was a fast runner. He was able to keep pace until he ended up in a small alleyway.
Crap, dead end! he thought in dread, sweat dripping from his skull.
“End of da line, skele,” the armed robber grinned menacingly as Sans turned around.
“Did you really think you could run away?” his accomplice stated.
The skeleton slowly back up against the wall and began to focus the little bit of magic he could use to fight back. He knew it would be dangerous for both him and the baby but he had no choice. If he was going down, it wouldn’t be without a fight. However, before Sans had a chance to attack, something crashed at his feet, scaring off his would-be assailants; a familiar aqua-colored spear. Undyne jumped down a second later from a nearby rooftop, coming to the aid of her friend’s brother.
“Yeah, you better run you bastards!” she yelled, shaking her fist in the air as the muggers fled.
“wow, good timing,” Sans told her.
“Hey, they don’t call me the ‘Spear of Justice’ for nothing,” the fish monster grinned widely. “Are you all right?”
“i am now. thanks a bunch.” Boy, was he glad to see her. Another moment later and it could have been the end for him and the little soul. “uh, say, undyne, you wouldn’t mind walking with me back to my house would you? after that incident, i don’t want to go back alone.”
“Not at all.”
“thanks.” Sans felt so much better after hearing that response.
The two monsters strolled back together, an air of awkwardness flowing between them. Undyne decided to strike up a conversation to help break the silence.
“So what are you doing out this time of night?” she asked.
“oh, i got into a heated argument with papyrus and i needed to cool down,” Sans responded, not noticing he made a bit of a pun there.
“I’m surprised you didn’t just use one of your ‘shortcuts’ or something when you ran into those thugs. I know you’re not one for conflict. Is there some reason you’re not using your magic?”
Sans paused for a moment in dread. If he told her what was really going on, she would blab it to his brother, who would then tell Toriel. “no reason. guess i was too much in a panic to think about it,” he lied.
“Good. The last time I had to help someone who couldn’t use their magic it turned out they were expecting.”
“yeah, heh heh heh heh… ugh…”
The rest of the walk was pretty quiet after that. Undyne glanced over at her silent companion to check on him when she saw the fairly rounder shape of his stomach. Her eye widened for a moment before quickly turning away so she wouldn’t embarrass him.
“thanks for walking with me home, undyne,” the skeleton said when they got to the front of the house.
“Hey, no problem and tell Papyrus I said hi.”
“Oh, and don’t worry about me spilling the beans,” she added as he headed towards the front door. “I’m sure you have your reasons for not telling your brother about the baby yet.”
“wait, you know?” Sans was shocked.
“Hey, I‘m no dummy. Papyrus was talking to me the other day about how he was worried about you and after what happened I just put two and two together. Plus, you’re starting to show a bit.”
The skeleton looked down and his face began to glow a bright blue as he tried to cover his belly with his jacket. If she was able to notice, there was almost no way he could keep on hiding it. “it’s starting to get that obvious, huh?”
Undyne nodded. “I hope you tell him soon.”
“yeah but first I better tell toriel.”
“Wait, you haven’t even told her yet?! Is it not hers or something?”
“Then what’s the big deal? I would tell Alphys the moment I found out I was pregnant.”
“yeah but i’m not you.”
“Listen, if you’re hiding this just because you’re afraid of a few stares then that is just a poor excuse for putting yourself and the kid at risk.”
“but… toriel was supposed to be the pregnant one, not me! she was the one who wanted a child!”
“Then how come you’re the one having it?”
He was silent for a moment.
Undyne sighed in exasperation. “Well, I just hope you make the right decision. Good night, Sans.”
Sans cautiously entered the house as Undyne took her leave, the recent conversation they had buzzing through his skull. He probably should tell Toriel now before the pregnancy became even more obvious, especially if Undyne was able to spot it. If he just kept on lying and she found out on her own, he would never hear the end of it. Now if he only had the nerve, both figuratively and literally. Maybe some ketchup would help him “mustard” up the courage. He was able to make it into the kitchen when his girlfriend’s voice echoed from the master bedroom.
“Sans, I want to talk to you,” Toriel said in a stern voice.
Crap! he thought. “uh, coming tori,” Sans responded. The skeleton slowly made his way towards the room and peeked his head through the doorway. Toriel sat on the foot of the bed, hands sitting in her lap. He approached his girlfriend and sat down next to her. “so, uh, what is it you want to talk about?”
“Sans, Papyrus told me what happened between you two earlier. You shouldn’t have yelled at him like that. All he and I want to do is to help you and we can’t do that until you tell us what’s wrong.”
He kept his gaze away from his girlfriend. He couldn’t bear to tell her the truth, especially because he was being forced to do so.
“Sans… I know you’re hiding something.” Her tone of voice was harsh. “All I want is the truth. If you’re really sick, we have to know so you can get the help you need.”
His hands trembled a bit but he knew that she was going to find out sooner or later. Sans tried to confess but the words did not come to his nonexistent lips. All that came out was mumbling.
“What was that?” she asked.
The skeleton closed his eyes, took a deep breath and tried again. He was actually able to speak a sentence this time. “all right, i guess you deserve to know.” Sans swallowed hard and discreetly placed one of his hands on the side of his slightly larger than usual tummy. “i’m… uh… we’re… uh…” There’s got to be an easier way to do this, he thought, scratching his cranium. Then he got an idea. “hey, tori. what do you call a monster with two souls?”
“Sans, this is not the time for jokes.”
“come on, what do you call a monster with two souls?”
Toriel sighed. “I don’t know.”
Toriel tried to keep a straight face but began to laugh anyway for a moment until she realized that her suspicions were confirmed. “W-w-wait a minute… B-but, how? I thought…”
“same here but i guess life is full of surprises, huh?”
Toriel became ecstatic and squealed with joy. “I knew it! I knew there was the reason I was feeling so awful a few weeks ago and couldn’t find a thing!” She hugged her boyfriend tightly, but not too tightly so she would not to hurt either him or the fragile soul he was carrying. “I can’t believe it! We’re going to be parents!” The boss monster broke from the embrace a moment later, held Sans by the shoulders and looked at him with unease. “But you shouldn’t have hidden it so long from me. You know that it takes a lot of magic to carry a baby to term and it would be dangerous for you to do it alone.”
“i know. i was just too ashamed to admit it.” The skeleton looked down and placed his hands over the little soul. “i was… afraid of all of the awful stares and comments i would get, especially from the humans. many don’t know how monster biology works and they would see me as a freak and might try to hurt me or the child or any of you.” He let out a sigh. “also, i didn’t want you to worry about me. i’m so use to looking out for everyone else and keeping secrets that i thought i could handle it on my own.”
“Oh, Sans… You know you never have to hide anything from me and you’re never alone. You have me, your brother, Frisk and all of our friends! We’ll always be there for you.”
The same look of support that he had given his girlfriend months ago was being reciprocated towards him. Sans smiled in response, took Toriel’s hands and placed them on his growing midsection. “well, at least the kid will have a womb with a view,” he joked.
She chuckled and quickly got to her feet, grabbing her boyfriend by the arm. “Come on, we have to tell everyone!”
“no!” he protested.
“This is important news, Sans! Would you rather wait and let the baby tell them?”
He did not like the thought of that, especially considering neither his brother nor Frisk did not know exactly where baby monsters came from. “i’m… just not sure they can handle it, especially papyrus. you know how naïve he can be.”
“Listen, I know he’s your brother but you can’t protect him from everything in this world. He’s going to have to learn about these kinds of things sooner or later. How do you expect him to function on his own if you keep holding his hand?”
The skeleton sighed. “you’re right. i can’t baby him anymore, especially with another baby on the way.”
Toriel nodded. “Now since that’s settled, shall we go get them?”
“might as well,” Sans shrugged as he got up from the bed. “i’ll do it.”
“No, we’ll do it. I don’t want you running off again.”
Sans went to Frisk’s bedroom with Toriel close behind since it was the closest room to them. The child was finishing their last bit of homework when he knocked.
“Yes?” they asked.
“hey, frisk,” the skeleton greeted. “can you go and get papyrus and tell him to meet tori and i in the dining room? we have something important to tell you both.”
“Okay,” the human replied. They got up from their desk and went to go get the younger brother.
The group gathered in the dining room a minute later with Toriel and Sans sitting next to each other on one side of the table while Frisk and Papyrus sat at the other.
“SO WHAT’S GOING ON? DID YOU FINALLY FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS UP WITH SANS?” Papyrus asked the boss monster.
“Yes, he’s perfectly fine,” Toriel responded.
“THEN WHY WAS HE ACTING SO WEIRD?”
“Tell them, Sans,” she whispered to her boyfriend.
The short skeleton was still nervous about sharing the news with Frisk and Papyrus but he felt more comfortable saying it himself than having Toriel do it for him. Sans rested his left hand on his abdomen and patted the barrier as he took a deep breath. “i’m, uh, going to have a baby,” he eventually said, unsure if they would understand.
Frisk just sat there, confused, while Papyrus was dumbfounded.
“A BABY?!” the younger brother shouted.
“Mm-hmm,” Toriel added. “You’re going to be an uncle and Frisk is going to have a little brother or sister.”
“BUT HOW? AREN’T ECHO FLOWERS ARE ONLY FOUND IN THE UNDERGROUND?”
“What are you talking about, Papyrus? You don’t need an Echo Flower to have a child.”
“BUT THAT’S WHAT SANS TOLD ME.”
The boss monster glared at her boyfriend, who hid his face in shame. “Well, that’s not how it works.”
“SO LITTLE MONSTERS DON’T COME FROM PARENTS WISHING ON ECHO FLOWERS?”
“No, they do not.”
“And isn’t Sans a guy monster?” Frisk added. “How can he have a baby?”
Toriel pinched the bridge of her muzzle in exasperation. That was not the reaction she was hoping for. “Papyrus, Frisk, I think it’s time we had a little talk.”