The mysterious case of the sock in the night-time
"And that's why I'm not allowed in the garage unsupervised anymore" -- Anon Guest
[AN: For those keeping score, this reduces my overlap count to 25]
Papyrus was happy. He was now part of the royal guard. Even though his duties consisted mostly of watching over New New Home (King Asgore was still terrible with names) and preventing humans from causing trouble, he took his duties seriously.
"HALT! WHO GOES THERE?"
The tiny figure in the darkness wriggled like a worm and said, "...'alt! 'Oo gosdere?"
Papyrus shone his light on the movement, and found a sort of... greenish sock with a face. "Are you lost?" he asked.
"...yoolost?" said the sock.
"Never fear, little monster... for I, the Great Papyrus, will see you to a safe haven in next to no time at all!" He bent to offer his hand as a ride. "Come! I can carry you there."
This seemed to excite the sock monster. It jumped around in a great frenzy, shouting, "Ne feer! Li'l! Great Pap'rus! Seesafe! Nexno! Comcar! Yoothere!" But it eventually landed on his hand and finished with a socky grin.
It was a short, and evidently funny trip to the home he shared with his brother, Sans. Every time Papyrus uttered his trademark, "NYEH HEH HEH," the sock monster would join in.
Sans was up. For limited definitions of up. His sockets were still half-closed and he hadn't bothered to put his slippers on over his socks. "Why'd you make so much noise for?" he asked. "You know I'm... bone tired."
Papyrus rolled his eye sockets. "Ah, brother! You're the best person I know for the job! This little sock monster is lost and needs a place to stay for the night. And since you have a sock collection, you should know the most about socks out of anyone I know."
The monster in his hand said, "...make noise? Best p'rsun asok! Lost asok! Hav asok! No most any'wun..."
Sans stared at the sock. The sock stared back. "This has to be the third-weirdest thing I've been through," he mumbled.
Sans was three. His father, the royal scientist, had been trying very hard to contain his powers. Without much in the way of success. He giggled as he lifted himself out of the playpen again.
Gaster, now wise to what the giggling meant, turned and caught his son out of mid-air. Hugged Sans close. "Now, now, baby bones," he cooed. "Don't go waking up your mama. She needs her rest." He sighed. "We all need some rest. And you're not meant to have your powers until your teens..."
Sans, not understanding much at all, muttered, "Dada..."
The pan-dimensional siphon stood waiting in a corner. According to all his calculations, it should safely bleed off Sans' abilities until he was old enough to handle them responsibly.
What he was about to do was for the greater good. Nobody knew about his secret lab in the garage. Nobody knew about this machine, for certain. And with the best of luck, nobody would.
Only a scientist would think of placing their firstborn in an untested machine. It was one of the arguments that sundered Gaster's family. This was, much to his regret, the edge of the wedge that began his personal ruin.
The sight of his wife's face when she saw Sans, still crying, in the middle of the complicated machinery... it almost broke him. Almost. It certainly turned his marriage very cold. She demanded that the garage be shut and locked and the key surrendered to her custody. She took Sans to doctor after doctor to be certain that Sans was not harmed.
And despite the repeated diagnosis of a perfectly normal baby skeleton... Gaster had to sleep in his lab, thereafter.
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