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do you wanna have a bad time? (MASSIVE SPOILERS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED)

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8. Of Multicolored Tiles and Discussions

What is your mission?

Sans' thoughts bounced around in his head.

The human kept a stony face as they passed through puzzles. Papyrus grew more and more frustrated with every instruction the human didn't follow, but they never showed any attention to him. The only time Frisk would have the slightest bit of emotion on their face would be when they looked towards San, a sweet smile on their face, but an unsettling look in their eyes.

“y'know puzzles might be fun, if you tried them,” Sans said one time, after Papyrus had once again stormed out of the room in frustration. Frisk frowned, like he had said something wrong, and passed on by.

I have to keep the human from hurting anyone- anyone else.

Keep the human from hurting Papyrus.

Not Papyrus.

A flash of red, a flash of blue. Yellow. Red blood washing over yellow tile, blue shirts stained with red.

A red cape, sticking out of the snow, a contrast against the blue sky-

Sans hadn't realized he was screaming until Papyrus was standing in front of him, shaking Sans' shoulder. “SANS!” they yelled. “ARE YOU ALRIGHT? I COULD HEAR YOU SCREAMING FROM ALL THE WAY FROM MY NEXT PUZZLE, AND IT FRIGHTENED ME. I WAS AFRAID THAT YOU WERE HURT.” Papyrus scooped up the smaller skeleton, despite his protests. “COME, THE HUMAN HAS ALREADY BEATEN US TO OUR NEXT PUZZLE!” Holding Sans in his arms, Papyrus jogged to where the next puzzle lay, a giant square made of smaller gray squares. Sans' head pounded, even more so once Papyrus set him down. He wobbled on his feet, leaning on the machine to keep from crashing into the snow.

“HUMAN!” Papyrus said. “I WILL NOW EXPLAIN THIS EXTREMELY SIMPLE PUZZLE TO YOU.”

The human stepped out onto the tiles.

“AHEM,” Papyrus cleared his throat. “HUMAN, I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD KINDLY ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN THIS PUZZLE TO YOU. NOW, WHEN I FLIP THIS SWITCH, THE PUZZLE WITH RANDOMIZE INTO A VARIETY OF COLORED TILES. “

The human took a second step.

Papyrus had closed his eyes. “RED TILES ARE IMPASSABLE. YOU CANNOT WALK ON THEM.”

The human took another step. They looked over at Sans, and he slowly shook his head.

“YELLOW TILES ARE ELECTRIC! THEY WILL ELECTROCUTE YOU!”

Another.

“GREEN TILES ARE ALARM TILES! IF YOU STEP ON THEM, YOU WILL HAVE TO FIGHT A MONSTER!”

The human continued to cross over the gray squares, one at a time. They stared straight at Sans.

“ORANGE TITLES ARE ORANGE-SCENTED! THEY WILL MAKE YOU SMELL DELICIOUS! BLUE TILES ARE WATER TITLES. SWIM THROUGH THEM IF YOU LIKE, BUT... IF YOU SMELL LIKE ORANGES, THE PIRAHNAS WILL BITE YOU.”

Two more steps.

“ALSO, IF A BLUE TILE IS NEXT TO A, YELLOW TILE, THE WATER WILL ALSO ZAP YOU!”

Papyrus took a deep breath, and the human stepped forward. They were close. So close. Sans narrowed his eyes, clenching his fists.

“PURPLE TILES ARE SLIPPERY! YOU WILL SLIDE TO THE NEXT TILE! HOWEVER, THE SLIPPERY SOAP... SMELLS LIKE LEMONS!”

Again.

“WHICH PIRHANAS DO NOT LIKE! PURPLE AND BLUE ARE OKAY!”

They were so close. One step away. Sans took a firm step forward, glaring harshly as Frisk.

“FINALLY, PINK TILES. THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING. STEP ON THEM ALL YOU LIKE.”

To Sans' surprise, the human stepped around his brother. They stared straight at Sans as they did so, grinning widely. Then they were gone, waving their bright green hand at Sans.

Papyrus opened his eyes. “SANS! DID YOU LET THE HUMAN ESCAPE?”

Sans shrugged, forcing his voice to be as nonchalant as possible. “they just slipped right by me, bro.”

Papyrus glared at him suspiciously. “WAS THAT A PUN?” When Sans didn't respond, Papyrus dismissed it. “WHATEVER. ANYWAYS, LET'S GO, LAZYBONES. WE NEED TO BEAT THE HUMAN TO THE NEXT PUZZLE.”

Sans smiled wearily. “then we better hurry up.”

He followed his brother through the snowy. Occasionally he would see Frisk, beating a monster into dust.

He steered his brother into the pine tress, and they took the forest path. Papyrus protested, but followed Sans deep into the forest.

“I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU'VE MADE US GO THIS WAY, BROTHER,” Papyrus complained, ducking under pine branches, shaking snow from atop his head.

“papyrus...” Sans sighed. “i need to ask you to promise me something.”

“YES? WHAT IS IT?”

“you... i think you're going to end up facing the human soon.”

“YOUR POINT?”

“don't fight them. just leave them alone, and get as far away as possible. do something, anything. lock yourself in the house, and don't leave.”

“SANS...” Papyrus looked down at the snow covered ground. “I KNOW THAT THE HUMAN IS DOING SOME AWFUL THINGS. I SAW THEM KILL-” he closed his eyes. “I SAW THEM. I KNOW YOU THINK YOU'RE TRYING TO PROTECT ME, BUT I'M NOT OBLIVIOUS, SANS. THEY WERE HURTING... THEY WERE HURTING OUR FRIENDS. AND THEY MIGHT HURT MORE.”

Sans stared at his brother, mouth open in shock, all traces of a smile gone. “bro... i didn't want you to see that. i've been trying to protect you.”

“YOU CAN'T PROTECT ME FROM EVERYTHING, SANS,” Papyrus said gently, laying a hand on the smaller skeleton's shoulder. “I'M AN ADULT. I'M NOT AN IDIOT, AND I'M NOT BLIND TO WHAT THE HUMAN HAS BEEN DOING. THAT'S WHY I CAN'T JUST STAND BY WHILE THE HUMAN HURTS OUR FRIENDS, AND WHY I CAN'T FOLLOW THROUGH WITH YOUR PROMISE,” Papyrus smiled softly. “THERE'S STILL SOME GOOD IN THEM, I CAN SEE IT. I WANT TO TRY TO REACH OUT TO THEM. TURN THEM BACK ON THE RIGHT PATH. MAYBE THEY JUST HAVEN'T GOT AS MANY FRIENDS AS THE GREAT PAPYRUS. I CAN BECOME THEIR FIRST FRIEND. SANS,” he grinned a bit wider. “I HAVE TO TRY, DON'T YOU SEE?”

“no, papyrus, you can't talk to them!” Sans said loudly. “if you do... they'll kill you. they're not a good person. there's nothing good left in them! they'll kill you, just like they have before. i don't think... i don't think i can go through that, not again.”

“AGAIN?” Papyrus frowned now. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?”

“i don't know. this has happened before, but maybe not like this, i don't know what i mean, but please...” Tears began to form in Sans' eyes, but he furiously wiped them away. “please, just don't try.”

“HM...” Papyrus tapped his chin thoughtfully. “I'LL CONSIDER IT, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW. IF THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE, MAYBE IT'LL BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME. MAYBE WE'LL BE FRIENDS THIS TIME.”

Sans took a shuddering breath. “please. at least think about it.”

“PERHAPS,” Papyrus said. “NOW, I DO BELIEVE WE MUST CONTINUE IF WE ARE TO REACH THE FINAL PUZZLE BEFORE THE HUMAN.”

He marched off, leaving Sans with clenched fists and a prayer.

I have to keep the human from hurting anyone- anyone else.

Keep the human from hurting Papyrus.

Not Papyrus.

Please.

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