Papyrus sat up in bed, instantly awake.
That was how it usually was; he'd always been quick to start in the mornings. Not like Sans, who practically had to be dragged out of bed. Yes, mornings were one of Papyrus's many and widely varied specialties.
But, the problem was, it wasn't morning. Well, it was, technically, but... Papyrus was quite suddenly wide awake at, according to his bedside clock, two AM. He didn't usually get up until six. Which was still four hours away. Which didn't make sense, because Papyrus should have slept rather soundly until then.
Which made his Soul race, because if he was awake now, then something must have woken him up.
For a long moment, he sat in bed, a chilling familiarity sinking into his bones. The Great Papyrus was nearly completely fearless, but a few things did still scare him, and the dark, and the things in the dark were both included in that very, very small selection.
Because there could be any manner of beasts roaming about in the dark.
There could even be one out there right now, in his house!
The thought made Papyrus shudder a little, in turn making his bones rattle as they knocked together. He scrunched his knees to his chest and pulled his blankets up to his chin. He just had to stay here, stay quiet, and he would be safe. Just like always, he would be safe.
But then an even scarier thought occurred to him, a thought he was surprised he didn't think of sooner.
If there was a beast in his house...
It could hurt Sans!
Papyrus was strong, and for however scared the thought of a faceless, nameless beast scared him, he could stand to take a few hits. Sans, on the other hand, wouldn't survive one, and, more than the dark, that terrified Papyrus.
It terrified him so much that it spurred him into action, despite the dark.
He tossed aside his bedsheets and leaped to his bedroom door. Without a second's hesitation, he flung open the door, ready to face whatever beast might be fleeing the house.
But there was nothing there.
For a moment, Papyrus simply stood in the hallway, Magic fairly bursting at his palms, ready to be summoned at a moment's notice. From here, he could see down into the living room, which was quite empty of any Sans-harming beasts.
And suddenly, a sinking feeling washed over the tall, heroic skeleton. If it wasn't in the hallway or in the living room...
That meant it could already be in Sans' room!
Papyrus lunged down the hallway and flung open Sans' door. And finally, Papyrus saw that which had awakened him, and saw that he had, in fact, been right.
Admittedly, the beast wasn't a physical one, but one in the form of a nightmare, but still, a beast all the same.
Sans was thrashing about on his bare mattress, muttering under his breath in a sort of panicked tone. Papyrus stepped into the room and sat down on the edge of Sans' mattress, careful to stay out of the way of Sans' flailing limbs. Papyrus knew that when Sans was asleep was the only time he ever fought harder when things got more difficult. That was why Sans' mattress was bare. Some time ago he had gotten tangled up in his sheets during a nightmare, and the more tangled up he got, the more he struggled, and...
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No More (Undertale)Fanfiction
For years, Papyrus knows, Sans has had nightmares. Horrible nightmares, nightmares that leave him crying in the dark, crippled in the mind, and barely able to function in life. And that's why Papyrus stays so happy, so bright, for Sans, to keep his...