ETA: IT'S FINE. I did always have trust issues.
Therapy tomorrow, then going to see my parents and grandmother after work. I'm still pretty numb. It's weird, and it's useful but I don't love it.
I'm going to get ready for bed in case the heat does cut out completely, because showering is nicer when it's not freezing in the bathroom. Not much interesting to report; I was almost efficient at work today.
Anyway, have more mob AU! In this bit we have, um, accidental, weird, unhappy Sans/Toriel. I have an elaborate backstory for how they met in this 'verse, but I honestly don't know how it's going to turn out because she's still married to Asgore and it's clearly not working but the humans think Asgore's still the mob boss. When I started writing this fic it was going to be 100% gen! But apparently not. Anyway, I posted part of this on FFA earlier, and people seemed to like it.
"You gotta get that kid outta there, Tori. A warehouse full of cheap gin is no place to raise a kid." A beat. "At least we can get 'em some cheap champagne."
She smiles, the kind of dangerous smile that makes the newshawks clam up and the cops step out for donuts. "I assume you mean grape juice."
"Yeah, yeah," I say, waving it off. Shit. Do we have any kid-edible stuff in the apartment? What do kids even eat? I pick up the map and look at the kids' menu side, and frown at it. "...Boiled chicken? Spinach? Ain't kids got tastebuds these days?"
"...Sans?" Toriel asks.
"I just realized I don't know what kids eat anymore. Or humans, for that matter. They have that weird human food, don't they? I've heard about it. Sounds kinda gross."
She laughs. "They eat normal food! And, hm, Undyne must have mentioned that I would like you to look after the child once we have liberated them from the Flower Boys."
"Yeah," I say, trying to look more confident than I feel. I'm good at that, though; I don't think she's noticed. "Yeah, she might've said something about that."
"It is only that… I do not think I can -- it is very -- it is very difficult, just now." Oh no, she's got that look now, the one I hate seeing and I can't look away from. "I did not tell you, Sans, what happened between Asgore and I. Did I?"
And I don't wanna know, because then I'll feel ...obligated, or something. They're still together, nominally, and I don't wanna jinx that, the political situation being what it is. "I figured I'd keep my nose clean, and since I don't have a nose it's clean by default."
"...Yes," she says, a glimmer of humor coming back into her eyes. "Well. After I left… as you know, things got out of hand. I do not entirely trust him to take good care, considering how he has reacted in the past, and…" She rolls her eyes. "Well. I suppose he thought he was doing what was best."
At this point I decide to change the subject, employing my trademark care and subtlety. "Right, so, the kid, I'll take the kid for however long you need me to, it'll be great, I'll teach 'em how to cheat at poker and Papyrus will make spaghetti, it'll be a grand old time." I manage to get it all out in one breath. (So to speak.) It's clearly not making Toriel happy, but I also don't have to watch her get all sad, either. I am a very smooth guy, for a skeleton, although this is maybe not saying much. "Anything else I need to know?"
"...No. I suppose not," she says.
The silence that ensues is about as awkward as a snake on stilts, and twice as long. I'm on the verge of saying something (what it is I don't know, but something, at least, even if it's not funny) for an entire thirty seconds, before the Spaghettore himself waltzes in and saves us both.
I love that guy.
"Good evening, Mrs. Dreemurr! Good evening, Mr. My Brother!" Toriel starts to tell Papyrus to just call her Toriel, but as usual, she gives up halfway through the first word. She's learned from experience that Papyrus' enthusiasm makes him resistant to all attempts to correct him. And neither of us bother to remind him that it's early afternoon. "What fine culinary concoction may I, the proprietor of this world-class spaghetteria, present to you tonight?"
The menu, such as it is, is four pages of spaghetti. Spaghetti with meat sauce. Spaghetti with tomato sauce. Spaghetti with chocolate sauce. Spaghetti with a cherry on top. But Tori always makes a show of paging through the menu before ordering her usual. "I would like the spaghetti aux escargot, please," she says. It's marked TORIEL'S FAVORITE on the menu; I was never really clear whether that was an advertisement or a warning, but at least she seems to genuinely like the stuff.
"And I'd like the spaghetti on rye," I say. I haven't looked at the menu in years, but I know that's not on it.
"Sans, you know we don't have spaghetti sandwiches," Papyrus says, exasperated.
"Really?" I ask. "That's a shame! Rye-ever not? Wheat better consider adding them."
"Sans, stop grilling your poor brother," says Toriel, who has not quite managed to keep a straight face. Like I said, she's my best audience, and sometimes I wonder if I might be hers. "At the very least, you should not be Reuben it in. Papyrus is a real hero for putting up with it!"
"It's true, I should wrap it up," I admit. "Otherwise some day he's gonna banh mi from this club."
Papyrus makes a sort of despairing wail. "Can you please order something without puns?"
I pretend to consider it for a moment. "Nah, that's completely impastable."
"You used that one last time!" In my defense, it is a classic of food-based wordplay for a reason.
"Ah, but those who cannot remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it," Toriel points out wisely.
At this point the two of us start cracking up. "Fine!" says Papyrus, throwing his hands up dramatically. "If I had a penne for every terrible pun you two tormented me with, I'd be the world's wealthiest spaghettore in addition to its greatest! ...Or at least I'd have a lot of penne and nowhere to store my other ingredients! You are both getting the spaghetti aux escargot! Nyeh!" He swipes his menus back like we're unworthy.
"Oh dear," says Toriel.
I shrug. "That's okay. I've taken a couple slugs in my time."
"You might as well bite the bullet," she agrees. And after that we have a pretty good time. Papyrus' spaghetti is almost okay today, although I can't say the same for the snails, as they're an acquired taste I have yet to get my hands on. We hash out the timeline and details of Friday's extraction while Papyrus is busy wearing his chef hat (no, really, I got him one) and drive him off with puns whenever he puts his waiter hat (more metaphorical) back on.
I try not to worry too much about the care and feeding of mysterious human kids.