Once he’s sure the Sans is alright, Rust wastes no time teleporting Black back to the apartment, straight to his bed. Black is still curled into a tight ball, head buried in his arms. Rust sits down on the bed next to him, and puts a hand on his back. Black is trembling. Rust hadn’t wanted to seem panicked in front of the other Sans, but now that they were home…
This has never happened before. Black is always in control, he’s always been someone for Rust to lean on. But back in that alley…he’d been on his own. That scared him. He looks down at Black. He…is he saying something? Rust leans over to listen.
“Nonononodon’tdon’ti’llbegood.” Rust pulls away as if he was slapped. That didn’t sound like Black at all.
“Black?” he asks quietly. He starts to rub his back, in slow circles. “B-Babe? You okay?” He doesn’t know what to do. Black shudders, not looking up. Rust tapping his teeth together anxiously. He thinks back to what Black usually did. I can’t hold him he’s too big…? Rust scoots closer. He reaches out, and then pauses, unsure of himself. But then he places his hand on the top of Black’s skull. “Black?” No response. Rust strokes his head. “S’okay. It’s- it’s gonna be okay.” He lowers his voice, feeling stupid and clumsy. “We’re home an’ that guy’s not here and…you’re safe.” He moves again, to lay down next to him, draping his free hand over Black’s back, maintaining the stroking of his skull.
“It’s- I don’t know why you’re all freaked out. But- but it’s just us now. And…I love you and m’not gonna let anybody hurt you. Cause you’re great and…” He pulls himself closer to Black. “Please be okay,” he says, throat tight. “I’m not good at this and- and I dunno what to do,” he whispers. Rust closes his eyes and touches their foreheads together, willing whatever’s come over Black to stop.
They sit like that for twenty or so minutes before he feels Black’s trembling start to die down. Rust opens his eyes, to see Black rubbing at his sockets furiously. “…Black?”
“Sorry- s-sorry dude I’m fine.” He sniffs and takes his hands away from his face, smiling at him weakly.
“…you’re…you’re not fine, Black. What- what happened?” Black shakes his head. “C’mon dude you were- saying- some stuff.” Black just shakes his head again. “I- okay.” He didn’t want to make things worse. He’s pretty sure he’s messed all this up anyway.
“What…happened?” Black isn’t quite looking Rust in the eyes.
“Well…uh. We were tryin’ to help out that Sans, right?”
“And then- you punched him in the face and then…” Rust reaches up and touches his face. There’s bruised bone across his cheek. Black winces. “I think he hit you with his whip? I- got distracted I’m so sorry.” He had only looked away for a moment. Black leans into the touch, though.
“Nah. Not your fault. I- just. Guess it hit me harder than I was expecting.” Rust narrows his sockets. He’s not buying that. Black still won’t look at him.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Rust says hoarsely. Black finally looks at him guiltily. “Please? I just- you don’t gotta- you don’t have to tell me anything, okay? I just- need to know how to help.” He grips Black’s hoodie tighter. “I- you- scared me there, you know? I- didn’t- I don’t…” Black reaches out and wraps his arms around Rust, pulling him closer.
“Nothin’. You don’t gotta do anything.”
“No I mean- you did great.”
“Huh?” Black nuzzles the top of his head.
“I mean you already helped. Ya got me home, right?”
“And ya made sure I was safe. And you stayed with me.” Rust clicks his teeth together in consternation. Black wrpas his arms tighter and rolls over onto his back, pulling Rust on top of him.
“Hey-” Rust begins to object, but Black kicks off his shoes and leans back against the pillows.
“S’not something you gotta worry about, Rusty. M’not gonna leave you high an’ dry again, okay?” Rust lets out a small huff and shakes his head. But he kicks off his own shoes as well, and then lays his cheek on Black’s chest.
“You know that’s not what I’m worried about…” Black is quiet, and Rust shifts a little to look at his face.
“Yeah, I…I know.” Rust reaches up and touches near the bruise again.
“Can you heal that?” Black shakes his head.
“My own green magic doesn’t work on me.”
“That doesn’t seem very fair.” Black chuckles.
“It’s not a big deal. S’just a little bruise, right? It’ll heal on its own.”
“Mmm…” Rust looks doubtful, but rests his head back against Black’s chest. “You sure you don’t- want me to do something?” Black shakes his head and Rust can feel the movement.
“Just bein’ here. S’all I want.” Black’s voice is quiet.
Rust closes his eyes. “All right. As long as you’re okay.” Black’s grip tightens.
“Y-yeah. I’m g-good.”
Rust frowns, and scoots up, so that their heads are closer together. “Hey. Hey…babe.” Black is doing his best not to start to cry again. Rust puts an arm under Black’s head. “We’re not gonna see that guy again. An’ I’m sure it’ll heal fine.” Black shakes his head.
“Huh? Wait what?” Black is crying and Rust is starting to get worried again. “What- for what?”
“I f-fucked up. I let you down. I’m- you’re not- even supposed to u-use magic and-”
“Shhh, no. No it’s- babe…” He cradles Black’s skull. “I was fine. The other guy was fine?”
“I s-said I’d pr-protect you.” Rust’s soul clenches.
“Black.” Rust nuzzles his forehead. “I’m fine. We’re both fine. You didn’t- you didn’t fuck up anything. You’ve never let me down. “Shhhh, it’s okay. It’s- babe…” He strokes Black’s skull, careful of the bruise. “You know perfectly well that that yer the best fuckin’ think that’s ever happened to me, Black. An’ I don’t just mean you getting’ me outta there. I mean everything. You always- know just- just what t’do. An’ you make me feel safe. And- I don’t need you to be at 100% all the time, okay? You should get to chill too, y’know? I’m not a kid. We’re in this together, right?”
Black sniffs and wipes his face. “R-Right. Right. Y-You’re right.” Rust leans over and clacks his teeth against Black’s unbruised cheek. “Heh…I love you.” Rust’s cheeks turn the tiniest bit pink.
“Yeah, well- I love you too, big guy.” Black smiles.
“Sorry we didn’t get a chance to pick anything up.”
“Pssh, it’s fine, dude. I think I’ll live.” He gives him a little head bonk. “You wanted to help that guy out. Weed out an asshole. It was a nice thing to do. That Sans seemed cool.”
Black chuckles at the pun. “You think he actually did something shitty? Not totally clear on what he was stealin’”
“I don’t think it matters.” Rust does his best to curl around Black, but the other skeleton has over a foot on him, so he’s not totally successful. “That Papyrus was a dick. It probably didn’t matter what the guy actually did. You know a lotta them here are like that. Like to push people around. ‘Specially Sanses. S’weird, you know?”
“Mmmm,” he responds noncommittally.
Rust isn’t sure what to do with that, so he changes tacks. “Anyway, yeah. He was a giant dick, blah blah blah. Deserved to be knocked down a notch or two.”
Black snorts. “Yeah, I sure showed him. I bet the way I fell over really made him rethink his life choices.”
“Shhhh.” Rust puts a hand over his face. “You punched him in the face and you were hot and don’t worry about all that other stuff.”
“…I was what?”
“You were- uh………..” Rust hides his face in the crook of Black’s neck.
Black snickers. “Can’t b’lieve you, Rusty. Callin’ your boyfriend hot. S’pretty scandalous.”
“Shutup,” he mumbles into his neck. Black chuckles and rubs his back.
“D’ya wanna go back out n’get the stuff?”
Rust shakes his head. “Nah. M’tired. Let’s just take a nap or something.” Black wriggles in the bed to get comfortable.
“Ya don’t have to tell me twice.”
“Let’s just take a nap or something.”
“…smartass.” Rust chuckles into Black’s neck, and they both settle down. They don’t even bother getting up to turn off the light, but nevertheless it only takes them a few minutes to drift off.