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Papyrus let Sans sleep. He was happy to let Sans sleep, folded in his arms, head resting against his chest. He was happy to let Sans have those precious few hours of peace, silent in the darkness, before the human came, before they died, before the cycle started anew.

He was happy to let Sans rest.

Papyrus was also happy that Sans had finally confided in him. Even if it took him remembering each cycle, even if it took him coming to Sans, crying and desperate, he was happy Sans had finally let him share the load that had burdened him for so long. And he was happy that he knew what was wrong, now, what was causing Sans so much distress, because that meant he could fix it. Of course, maybe he didn't know exactly how to fix it, he didn't know how to stop the cycle, or even what was causing the cycle, but he knew the cycle was the problem, and the first step to solving a problem was always identifying what exactly the problem was, which in this case was the cycle, and now that Papyrus knew what the problem was, he could start trying to fix it, even if he didn't know exactly how to fix it.

Yet.

He knew he could solve it, somehow, because there had to be a solution. He knew there did, there just had to be one! He just had to figure out what it was.

And then he could help Sans!

And finally, Papyrus was happy that, even if it caused his brother so much pain, it was, in fact, Sans who was remembering. Because, for as much as he played it off, Sans was smart. For as much as he used them for jokes, Papyrus knew, Sans had read every one of those quantum physics books cover to cover, and actually understood them to boot. If anyone could figure this cycling business out, it was Sans.

And, of course, for as much as Papyrus berated Sans about his laziness, and scolded him for his lack of work, and sighed and groaned at every one of his puns, there was no one Papyrus trusted more, no one Papyrus would rather have at his side when bad went to worse. And right now, things were getting pretty worse.

But Sans was there, at his side, remembering right along with him. And so Papyrus was happy.

Papyrus was hopeful.

Smiling to himself, Papyrus rubbed Sans' back a bit. Sans let out a soft little noise in response, nuzzling against Papyrus's chest.

Papyrus just let out a quiet sigh and closed his eyes. Sleep well, Sans. We have a lot of work ahead of us!

~o0o~

Papyrus woke just a few hours before the human would arrive. That was, more or less, how it always was. It seemed some events were constants, fixed moments that happened almost every cycle.

Things like him, and Sans, dying.

This time, though, this time Papyrus was sure it would be different. Because this time, he had Sans to help him! This time, they could plan ahead, figure something out, and stop the cycle! And if not this time, then next time! Or the cycle after that, or the one after that. Papyrus was sure that, no matter how many cycles it took, they would figure something out.

Speaking of which, Papyrus realized, he ought to wake Sans up. He was loath to do so, since Sans was sleeping so peacefully, and Papyrus knew that was a highly valuable commodity to him. But, they only had a few hours to plan before the human arrived, and Papyrus wanted their plan to be a good one.

"Sans," he said softly, gently shaking his brother. Sans let out a small murmur. "Sans, come on! It's time to wake up!" Papyrus shook Sans a little harder- not to say he was shaking Sans hard, in fact, he was still hardly shaking Sans. It was just a little harder than the last.

Sans grumbled a bit, but shifted in Papyrus's lap to look sleepily up at him. "nnnggh..?"

Papyrus smiled at him. "Come on! We only have a few hours before the human comes, we have to figure out how to stop the cycle from happening again!"

Sans' brow furrowed. "'n' how d'you propose we do that?"

Papyrus frowned back at him little. "Well... I'm not entirely sure. To tell the truth, I'm not even entirely sure why the cycles keep happening! But that's why I'm asking you! Because you know a lot about weird time stuff!"

Papyrus couldn't quite catch what Sans said under his breath, but it sounded an awful lot like "it woulda been better if we hadn't learned..." Then he shook his head any looked up at Papyrus. "i thought you knew. it's the— the human, if they really are one, who causes the resets- 'cuz that's what they are, not cycles. the kid, when they die, they can reset time to try again-... or, they can do it if they just feel like it. if-... if you wanna stop the resets, you gotta-... gotta stop 'em."

Papyrus frowned thoughtfully. "Well... how do we do that?"

Sans just shrugged. "if i knew, i woulda done it. and don't think i haven't tried, 'cuz i have."

Papyrus frowned for a moment, silently brooding. Finally, he said, "Well, they seem awfully intent on killing everyone. Maybe-... maybe if we can make it so they don't kill anyone, or can't kill anyone, they'll stop?"

Sans shook his head. "again, how do you propose we do that?"

Papyrus thought on that another minute. "... Everyone already ends up evacuating to the lab anyway, right? So... we just get everyone there before the human comes, and then, they won't be able to fight everyone, because everyone will be safe in the lab!"

Sans just looked at Papyrus for a long moment, his expression unreadable, but, Papyrus thought, awfully close to skepticism. Then he just sighed, his face slipping back towards that exhausted look. "guess we can try. i mean, absolutely nothing will change when it doesn't work."

"If, brother," Papyrus corrected, "if it doesn't work."

§

A/N

Wow, two whole chapters now without a reset! Granted, the two combined only take place over a few hours, and... not much happens, there's just a bit of dialogue. But things might start picking up soon! Maybe! Because I actually planned ahead a lot less for this story than I normally do, and kind of only have a vague idea of what needs to happen in some spots.

Oh well! Once again, after all, this one's just for fun!

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it! Comments and votes are my Favorite Things and biggest motivators, and every notification I get makes my day!

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