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Dead Giveaway

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    I don't believe this! That bag of bones proposed to mom?! AND SHE SAID YES?! Good god this went downhill so fast!

     Heya. The name's Chara.  Well my full name is- nope, nevermind, you can use that against me. I'm nine.  Frisk is my sister, Azzy is my brother, and Asgore WAS my dad but momma just HAD to have a bigger bone.

Frisk was the flower girl, Azzy was the ring bearer, which left me thinking they were playing favorites.  So when mom asked me to be the maid of honor I was just in shock.  I figured Sans wouldn't agree with that, he hates me. 

Turns out the bride picks the maid of honor, not the groom.  Who knew.

So there I was standing across from Sans as mom walked up to the alter.  He would've had tears in his eyes if he had any. Frisk and Asriel were standing patiently.  I was restless. 

I started messing with my dress.  I tugged at the lace- I hate lace- until it tore.  I quickly covered the tear and looked up nervously.  Sans was glaring at me.  I flipped him off and turned back to mom. 

Holy shit.

She was glowing.  My mother was a vision in white.  Her elegant dress was strapless, with a beaded torso and an entirely tule skirt.  The train was made of tule as well,  and two temmies were holding it behind her. 

My mouth fell open at the sight.  She was gorgeous.

The two said their disgusting vows,  consisting mainly of puns, and kissed,  causing me to dry heave then and there.  Frisk and Azzy moved to stand by me, and I got a good smack upside the head from Frisk for gagging. 

They walked down the alter arm in arm and the rest of us followed. 

From there we were allowed to change.  I changed into a simple green dress with a short skirt. I was highly uncomfortable in it but I wasn’t about to explain to mom why, so I would suffer.

Azzy, Frisk and I stuck to the corner. From there I sat and watched.  Undyne and Alphys were dancing normally,  Papyrus and Mettaton were doing their normal flashy dancing,  and Sans was doing his best to slow dance with mom despite their height difference.

Frisk and Azzy left to go get food which left me dancing by myself. I swayed around to the music. I noticed Sans looking at me throughout. It took all my willpower not to shoot him a dirty look.

Sans invited people to stand up and give speeches.  Frisk immediately grabbed my hand and held me back. 

First Papyrus stood.  "Attention? Attention! Ah yes there we go.  Well, I must say im very pleased with my brother for finally finding the girl of his dreams and settling.  Though I do suspect that he will continue to adventure, and drag Miss Toriel, well now Mrs Toriel, through those adventures with him.  Toriel, I give you my brother. Take care of him. Best of luck to you two. And have a splendid life!" the audience burst into applause as he stepped down. 

Frisk got up next,  and as soon as she stepped up everyone was cheering.  "Hi guys.  I know you all think of me as that hero who saved you" I rolled my eyes.  "but today im just Tori's daughter. Sans has acted like the father I never had since we were free  and continued to act like that towards Chara and Asriel as they were brought back.  Today he is officially my father,  and I've never been happier" More applause.

Without Frisk there was no one to stop me from running up and grabbing the mic.  Everyone fell silent as my hand closed around the microphone.  They all hate me. I know it.  But that didn't stop me.

"Alright enough of this fluffy shit.  It's time for this to get real"

"Watch your mouth kid" Sans called from the front table. 

"I am, I'm watching it expose you.  Anyway, it's time you all knew the truth.  Toriel is exactly who she seems.  A sweet little old lady who makes pie and cares for children." I pointed to Sans. "This bitch however,  is a different story.  He has killed me AND FRISK in multiple timelines"

At the mention of the timelines everyone fell into hushed whispers.  Sans eye sockets went black.  "Kid... " he said in his warning tone.  But I ignored this. 

"Yeah.  He straight up murdered me, and Frisk too.  And would you look out the window? The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming,  so maybe people like Sans should be-"

I hit the ground before I could finish. Sans was on top of me  breathing hard.  His left eye was glowing a steady blue and his left hand had a tight magical hold on my soul. Thank god he turned it blue. I did not need people seeing my horrific soul. I fought against him but he held me down effectively. 

"Shut your mouth if you know what's good for you kiddo" he growled. 

No one spoke for what felt like hours.  Finally Frisk coaxed that idiot off of me and helped me up.

Well, that was that.  Sans and Toriel are married.  There goes my last shred of happiness.

Chapter Text

I sat in my normal chair, three rows from the front, six chairs from the door. Second grade. Yes I was supposed to be in third. I got held back, which put me in the same class as Frisk and Asriel. The teacher was droning on and on about Native Americans. I had zoned out a long time ago.

What no one here knew was that there was a kid laying unconscious in the bathroom.

Little prick tried to take my lunch money. Dragged her into the bathroom and knocked her out. Left her with a bloody nose and a broken arm, besides being unconscious. Waltzed right out without anyone suspecting a thing.

Or so I thought. The teacher called my name. "Chara? Chara? Charia-"

I sat up. "Say my full name and your dead. What do you want?"

"You got called to the office" .

I groaned and walked to the principal. Mom met me in the hallway, her arms crossed.

"Chara, please explain to me why I got called out of my class for your antics?"

I shrugged and opened the door for her.

When we got in, we were soon joined by an angry Sans and very serious principal. Also a kid who looked pretty banged up- shit it was the kid from the bathroom.

The principal raised an eyebrow. "Young Jenna here says she was attacked by 'a delinquent in a dark green sweater and black jeans’. Miss Charia-"

"Don't say it"

Principal Wilson sighs. "Miss Chara, it appears that the description fits you perfectly. Do you have anything to say to this?"

I turn to the little prick. “Yeah. First of all, I’m not a delinquent. Second of all you’re the one who fell back on the old cliche of trying to take someone’s lunch money”

Everyone in that room fell silent. Principal Wilson coughed. "Miss Dreemurr. I'm afraid we're going to have to suspend your child for two weeks."

I groaned. "Fuck my life... "

Sans growled. "Kid you're already in a heap of trouble, I'd watch your mouth if I were you."

I rolled my eyes and snarled at him. "Whatever"

**************************

I got my stuff and sat in the front seat of Sans car. Just my luck, we got caught in traffic.

"Can I ask you something kid?"

"I guess"

"Why are you doing this? You've been acting out since I proposed. What's your problem?"

"Anger issues, medical insanity, PTSD, depression, anxiety, I have a lot of problems"

He slammed on the breaks. "Medical insanity?!"

"Trashbag I was in an asylum for five years, I thought you knew that"

"I didn't"

"Oh"

"...So why do you hate me?"

"Because you killed me and Frisk, because you make stupid puns, because you interrupted my work, because-"

"Okay, I get it. I've done a lot of shit. But kid, here's the thing. I've seen you with Asriel. You're gentle as anything with him. Or with the little kids at the park. But with us you're suddenly big and bad? Why the CHARA-des?"

I groaned. "Because I'm crazy. I'm the ruthless killer, I'm the angel of death, I'm the representative of destruction. Fight me you little shit, I can-"

"Chara-"

"-take you any day, you don't stand a chance-"

"Chara... "

-I'm the baddest kid to ever come out of that place, and they dared to keep me-"

"Chariana!"

I froze. He knew. Goddammit he wasn't supposed to find my full name, how did he-

"Breathe kid". His surprisingly calm voice interrupted my thoughts. I wasn’t used to the people who called me that being so calm with me afterwards.

I took a deep breath.

"So you do this because you have some shitty reputation to protect? Is that what you're telling me?"

I nodded. "I mean, I guess."

Sans pulled forward as much as he could in the heavy traffic. He twisted in his seat. "Kiddo. Look at me. "

Hesitantly I obeyed. "What do you want?" I grumbled.

I got a bony backhand across the cheek.

"Ow! What the hell you asshat?!" I cradled my right cheek, my head already swarming.

"You're being a dick to protect your bad girl rep. You deserve a lot more than a slap for that."

"That wasn't a slap that was a fucking pimp style backhand"

"I don't wanna know how you figured out what a pimp is."

Finally traffic cleared up and we got home. I ran in ahead of him and to the room I shared with Frisk and Azzy, but when I got there he was sitting on my bed. Stupid shortcuts.

"While you're home, I think it's time we talked about something."

Chapter Text

I froze. If he wanted to talk it meant I'd done something.

"Relax kid. I just want to talk"

"Sans those five words are the very representation of evil"

He cocked his head, making me shiver. The sound of his skull moving.... Ugh.

"Representation of evil? But kid, you didn't say them, I did" he chuckled at his little joke.

I rolled my eyes. "Haha, very funny. Now what's this about, what did I do?"

"You're a strange kid. You won't say a word about your past, or that weird soul of yours... "

My soul is different. Most monsters and humans have a soul that's one color. I have a soul that's half red and half black. Everyone's figured out that the red part is what weak DETERMINATION I have, but no one understands the black half. No one except me, of course.

"I'm just a secretive person, I guess. What's it to you?"

"Well I have been doing some research. Or, trying to at least. Searching the name Chariana didn't get me anywhere. Except something about France. Is Chariana a French name?"

I nodded. "Yeah. My mom was French so..."

He nodded. "So you have two choices here. You can tell me or let me find out the probably ugly truth on my own. Because I'm a stubborn ol' bastard, I'm determined to figure out your background. You're a fucked up kid. You know it. You're proud of it. But the level of fucked up you possess could not have spawned regularly. No you went through some shit, didn't you?"

I looked at the floor.

He didn't know.

He couldn't know.

The memory of that day makes me vomit.

No one could find out.

Celestè.

**************************

At dinner everyone was quiet. Toriel was clearly pissed at me. Frisk and Asriel stared with their innocent faces. I knew what was really behind those wide eyes they had. I grumbled into my potatoes.

"Ya know Tori, it's a shame that Chara has to stay home. No one to watch her, unless we hire a babysitter..."

Yeah like that was gonna happen.

"...but come on, no ones gonna wanna take care of this deranged little lunatic"

Toriel huffed. "Sans, first of all. She's not a lunatic"

"Medical insanity" I choked out, hiding it between fake coughs.

"But you are right. I hadn't even thought about what she will do."

I picked at the roast beef, questioning why a goat would cook a cow. "Why can't I just stay by myself?" I mumbled.

Or at least I thought I did. Sans and Toriel just...stared at me. It was unsettling, honestly. Especially because Sans's eyes were black. I shivered.

"....Anyways... " Sans continued. "I was thinking. She's suspended for two weeks. I have the next month off from work. I was going to spend that time helping Grillby open his new place, but I can stay home with the kid"

I stabbed my fork into the table. "And why do you think I'm going to put up with you for two weeks, trashbag?"

Toriel gently guided my hand away from the utensil. "Use the fork for eating, Chara. Well Sans, I guess that's what we'll have to do"

I groaned. "Dear god, why not just kill me now? It'd only be the 75th time, right?"

Frisk and Sans visibly tensed up. Frisk grabbed my shoulder. "Chara maybe you shouldn't talk about that... ".

"No promises" I whispered.

I slammed my head on the table, covering my face in flakes of beef in the process. “Why are we even eating beef? For all you know this was dads best friend back on whatever farm you came from"

Frisk burst out laughing. Everyone else was confused. Oh right, my mother and little brother are sentient farm animals. I say as if all mammals aren't sentie- you know what that's not why you're here, stop reading this paragraph!

Why are you still here?

Chapter Text

The first day of my fortnight of agony was spent spinning in a swivel chair because Sans was "researching" and wouldn't let me leave. 

In all honesty I think he's just watching porn. 

I spun around until I was lightheaded and then some.  This was boring! I started to stumble out of the room, dizzy from my adventure on the chair.

"Get back here Chariana"

"Do you have to use that name?"

"It gets your attention so I'm going to use it.  You know you aren't allowed to leave my sight these next two weeks.  And I think I found something useful anyway.  Guess what website I found"

"Xxtube? Ugh, the quality is horrible, it's not worth it." I groaned and returned to spinning. 

"Nah I found this website with mental asylum files-wait...  Chara... xxtube is a porn website,  how do you know what it is?!”

"How do you know what it is?" I got out, saying a couple words every time I was facing him. 
"It's a new website.  You'd have to have been watching it recently... "

"...Alright you little shit, I won't tell Tori about it if you don't" His cheeks glowed a bright blue.

I smirked.  "Deal. Wait. Are you blushing?"

"No. Shut up"

"Holy shit you're blushing! How do you do that?! You don't have blood!"

"Just drop it kid".

I giggled..

Yes, okay, I giggle. It's a medical insanity thing. 

I scooted the chair until I was next to him. “So what's this website?" I was already bored out of my mind. 

"It's a list of old mental asylum files, from all over the country. I mean, I doubt Chariana is a common name. Shouldn't be too difficult to find you"

I sunk back in the chair. “Sans, you're not gonna like what you see okay?"

"Chara don't be silly. I never like what I see when you're around me" he replied, sliding the cursor up to a search bar at the top of the screen. He clicked once in the bar and typed out Chariana in a painfully slow fashion. Good god. 

Only one file popped up in the results.  Chariana Elizabeth Reed. St Mary Mental Institution. I held my breath as he clicked the link. 

Name: Chariana Elizabeth Reed
Diagnosis: Medical Insanity, Anger Issues,  PTSD, Depression, Anxiety
Reason for Treatment: Killed three children,  both parents, and two doctors. 
Treatment: Too far gone. Execution.

Yeah that sounded about right. 

Sans stared at the screen.  If he could drop his jaw it would be on the floor.  I stood with a slight ‘I told you so' smirk on my face. Neither  of us spoke for what felt like forever. 

"Wow... "

"I warned you."

"What the hell..."

"I warned you"

"How is that... "

"I warned you"

"You were in that place for five years... YOU MURDERED SEVEN PEOPLE WHEN YOU WERE FOUR?!" his eyes had skipped the completely black stage, and now his left eye was glowing every shade of blue and yellow. 

"Four and five technically. I mean, I got put in there a few weeks before our fifth birthday, I didn't kill the doctors until after the birthday."

"What do you mean, 'our' fifth birthday?"

I bit down on my tongue, mentally facepalming. Stupid...

"Nothing, can we be done with this conversation?"

"I want the truth Chariana"

"I can't tell the truth"

"What do you mean you can't?

"Are you deaf?! It means I can't! I've kept him a secret for five years, plus however long I was dead for, and as long as I've been back. And I'm not talking about him now, especially not to-"

"Who is he?" Sans's gaze had drifted to my red eyes and locked onto them. He gripped my jaw tightly, in his hand, not his magic, keeping my eyes in contact with his. I fought against the unwelcome touch, batting at his arm. But he simply grabbed both my wrists in his other hand and stepped forward. His small step trapped my feet between his own, making it impossible for me to escape.

I growled and tried to snap my teeth at him, a motion that he knew as 'I can and will bite you'. But his hand on my jaw lowered my range of motion and the result was a weak click! of my teeth. I settled for growling.

"Who is he, Chara?" He asked softly. I shook my head, biting my lip trying to hold back tears.

"Sis, sis! Look at the ducks!"

I smiled at the "ducks" which were actually geese, but whatever made him happy. "I see them Celestè. They're swimming towards us"

"Hiya duckies!"

The tears were flowing steadily.

"Oh, kiddo..."

"Shut up!" I roared, burying my face in his greasy sweatshirt and sobbing my eyes out.

Sans froze. He seemed unable to comprehend what was happening. All at once his grip shifted from my jaw and wrists (respectively) to over my shoulders and on my back. He was...hugging me? Why was the trashbag showing me affection?!

There was a click and I felt the familiar warmth of his magic surrounding me. Through my tears I saw the blurred image of him walking through the house to the couch, me floating behind him. He sat down and waved his hand in a beckoning motion, causing me to float over to him. I had never realized how tall he was. When I landed unceremoniously on him, my short frame stayed on his "stomach". I buried my face in his sweatshirt again, still crying.

I don't know how long we stayed like that. Eventually he pulled me up to face him.

"Okay Chara. I can tell that whoever he was really important to you. You're acting the same way I did when you and Frisk killed Papyrus." I wiggled uncomfortably at that. "And I do want the full story, eventually. But for now it's like two o'clock and Toriel's gonna kill me if you don't eat something resembling lunch. So how's about we drop it and head up to Grillby's new place to eat?" He carried me (much to my embarrassment) back to his office and logged off the computer.

I hesitated. I hated the grease, and the meat made me want to vomit. All meat does. I knew there was no chance of getting a salad, but...

"Does he have veggie burgers? Or sweet potato fries?"

"He might, he's made additions to the menu now that he's serving humans AND monsters. Gotta say, the humans love the monster establishments. The food doesn't spoil so the leftovers keep amazingly in the fridge. Why the healthy food though?"

"Uh..."

"Chara, are you vegan or something?"

"Vegetarian. Yes there's a difference."

"Why didn’t you tell anyone sooner? We’ve been making meat for dinner this entire time! Also...how do you live without bacon?"

"You're judging my eating habits when you have a shelf in the fridge devoted to bottles of ketchup?" I raised an eyebrow at him, shimmying out of his arms to stand with my hands braced on my hips.

"...Touché. Go get your shoes"

As I slipped on my lime green Converse, I realized something.

"Hey, Sans?"

"Yeah?"

"You called me Chara. Three times." I informed him.

He gave me a confused look. “Isn't that your name...?"

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, but you called me Chara. Not Chariana. Chara. The name I like." It was weird to me, the concept that Sans would do something I liked.

He made some noises of protest for a minute and then sighed. "Yeah. Yeah I did. Now come on, we gotta get some food in you before Tori comes home and slaughters me in cold... Dust..."

I laughed and followed him out the door.

Chapter Text

I was curled up on the roof outside my window. I had no idea how I was ever going to give the full story. It was just a mess and I’d probably never be left alone again when they knew the truth.

I sighed as a small white car pulled up. I jumped off the roof and ran out to meet my siblings. Sans, who was in my room looking for something, teleported outside.

"You're gonna break your damn neck jumping like that kid. You're too reckless" he said, coming up behind me. Frisk handed me my homework for the day, causing me to groan.

"What I don't understand is how Miss Robinson expects me to do two weeks worth of homework when I'm not gonna be in the classroom to learn how to do it" I complained. But I took the homework packet from her.

"Dont worry Chara!" Frisk said, throwing an arm around me.

'Yeah!" Asriel chimed in, putting his fuzzy arm on the shoulder that wasn't occupied by Frisk's limb. "We'll help you!"

I moaned, that being the exact opposite of what I wanted to hear. With these two on my ass I'd have no choice but to get my work done. "My heroes" I offered with a weak smile.

Sans broke us up. "Alright kids, go get your homework done now. There's four cookies and a glass of milk for each of you on the coffee table."

Frisk shot him a confused look. "But we do our work after dinner, daddy"

I nearly choked hearing her call him that. I'm not exactly innocent.

"Well tonight Chara has a story to tell us. You won't have time. Do it now."

Mom stopped us from running off. "Children, how does chicken and noodles sound for dinner?"

I winced. Chicken. Ugh. But Sans somehow saved me.

"Actually Tori, it's my night to cook remember? I was thinking vegetable stir fry, with some grilled chicken on the side if they want it." He grinned at me. I gratefully returned the smile.

"Oh that's right. How could I forget that? Well that sounds lovely, Sans. Alright, run along and do your work."

We obeyed.

**************************

"So Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of State, right?"

Frisk shook her head at me. "No, that was Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton was the Treasurer."

"Oh that's right." I pencilled in the answer. "But does everything else look right?" I showed them my paper. We had spent the last two hours reading from a textbook and filling out a worksheet on Hamilton.

Sans poked his head in. "Kids, dinners ready".

We ran out to sit at the table. At each seat was a bowl of stir fry, and a platter of shredded grilled chicken in the center. My mouth was watering. I didn't have to eat meat tonight!

Of course that meant I only had roughly 45 minutes before I had to spill everything. Fuck it.

**************************

After dinner, I quickly fake yawned as I walked through the living room, looking directly at Sans. "Wow, thanks for dinner but I am a exhausted and I shouldreallygettobed,goodnight!" I turned and made a mad dash for the stairs.

Sans had other plans though, and teleported behind me, because I felt the back of my jacket being yanked back. I stopped on the third stair, as far as I could go. He jerked his hand back quickly and I lost my balance. Skeletal hands wrapped around my waist, catching me and carrying me back to the giant indigo couch.

"Where do you think you're going? You can't get too tired to tell that story"

I groaned. Fuck you Sans.

"Oh yeah, Chara, what's this story you have to tell us?"

I sighed. "Listen guys. I know you wanna know about my past. But its not pretty. I went through some traumatic shit. I just... I don't want you to think any differently of me when I tell you this. Its not pleasant".

I looked around. Mom looked concerned beyond belief. Ariel was leaning into Frisk for comfort. And Sans was next to me with a hand on my shoulder, giving me an encouraging smile. Not that it was saying much since he's always smiling. But it definitely made me feel better.

"Okay. Here goes nothing."

**************************

"So my parents. Jeanette and Devon. Jeanette was French, hence the French names. Anyway.

I was born a twin. Chariana Elizabeth Reed and Celestè Edward Reed. Except we were conjoined at the head, which is a nightmare of a place to be conjoined at. So we had risky surgery to separate us. And it worked but we both got messed up mentally. But Celestè got it worse.  He suffered severe brain damage. It got him bullied a lot, even though we were only in preschool.

So, our parents. They... They were pretty bad. Dad was a drug addict, mom was an alcoholic. Mom blamed me for Celestè being as bad as he was. She started abusing me when I was two. Don't ask me how I remember.

My dad got jealous. See, mom was always either knocking me around or babying Celestè. So she didn't have time to uh, pleasure him anymore. He started making me dress in more revealing clothes, when I was three. He would have me stand in front of him in these skimpy outfits and he'd get off to it. Eventually he started r-raping me. He used the pleasure he got from it to replace the pleasure my mom wasn't giving him. I started keeping a small knife in the waistband of my skirt, in the hopes of hurting him when he got handsy. Which is why I’m so skilled with knives nowadays, heh.

But I still cared about Celestè. I would always protect him. I loved him to death. The bullies came after him mainly at recess, at the preschool we went to. So one day I was staying in. I can't remember what I got in trouble for, probably got dress coded for the skimpy outfits again. So I wasn't there to protect him and the three bullies took advantage of that.

There was a fence around the playground, obviously. But across the road was a pond...lake...thingy. My brother, being mentally damaged as he was, fell for their tricks and they lured him over the fence to the pond. They pushed him in. They were just trying to annoy him, get him wet and uncomfortable. So it was a shock when he called out "Charia-" and drowned.

I ran out of the building and jumped the fence but I was too late. He was... He was dead. They were still in shock. I started yelling at them, and they covered their shock and fear by saying he deserved it. He was a freak. So I kept yelling, not even bothering to hold back my tears. And I reached into the waistband to grab my knife. They started making fun of me for crying and I.. well... I stabbed all three of them to death. And I ran home.

I yelled at my parents that Celestè was dead. They both were drunk off their asses. They started accusing me of killing him. My mom broke my nose, again. My dad started to strip me down. And I stabbed them too. If I had to pinpoint exactly when I went crazy I'd say that was it.

I guess the neighbors called the cops, because I got caught. But when they saw all my scratches and burns and bruises from my mom, they took me to the hospital. Well while they were trying to treat me, I freaked out. Pulled a knife on the doctors, and they knocked me out. They apparently decided my sentence, because when I woke up I was in the high security cell of St Mary's Mental Institution.

I was there for a few weeks when they realized that the treatment I was on wasn't working. In fact it was just a week after my fifth birthday. So two doctors were leading me to my new therapist. And when the elevator doors closed I strangled the doctors.

Well I was there til I was nine and a half. On high security all the while. But I figured out how to sneak around. So when I was sneaking around one day I found my file. I saw my official diagnosis. Medical Insanity, PTSD, severe anger issues, anxiety and depression. And I saw the new treatment I would be put on. Only it wasn't really a treatment. They were gonna execute me. And it would be the next day.

I decided that suicide would be better than giving the doctors the satisfaction of getting rid of me. So I left a note. It said. "Gone to kill myself so you don't have to. Don't come looking for me". There was an inactive volcano about fifteen minutes outside of the town so I can escaped the asylum, ran to the mountain and jumped into the crater.

Only it wasn't a volcano. It was Mt Ebott. And I didn't die. I landed on a bed of flowers"

I sat back in my seat, signaling that I was done. When I looked at my family no one had anything to say. When they recovered they still weren't speaking in full sentences.

"Holy..."

"Um..."

"How..."

"Wow..."

"I warned you. It wasn't pretty. Can I go upstairs now?"

Sans was the first to recover. "Not yet. Two questions. If you're name is Chariana where did Chara come from?"

"Oh that's easy" I looked at Asriel with a gentle smile. "When Azzy asked my name I was really out of breath and he couldn't understand what I said. He thought I said Chara and I liked the name so I didn't correct him"

Asriel hugged me from behind. "I did a thing!"

I giggled. "Yeah. You did a thing"

Toriel smiled as Frisk joined in the hug and took a picture. I rolled my eyes. That would be on Undernet forever.

"Second question." Sans continued. "What's up with your soul?"

Mom gave him a puzzled look. "What do you mean, Sans? Her soul is red."

I shook my head, shooing Frisk and Azzy off me. I stood up and stepped in front of Sans. "Sans, summon my soul, would you?"

He did. My abomination of a soul appeared. Half of it was a dull, dark red and the other half was black.

Mom and Asriel gasped.

"The red half is my DETERMINATION, though I don't have much. The black half was Celestè. Since we were conjoined, we shared a soul. We each had one half. When he died I got the other half, but it was... Dead. I still only have half a soul, technically. The black half is dead, it's just... There."

"What do you mean it's dead?" Azzy asked. I turned to Sans again.

"Sans, summon a small attack. Don't send it yet. Just summon it and tell me how much HP it should take".

Sans continued to keep his hold on my soul as he summoned a small bone. "This should take 4 HP."

I nodded. "Gimme a sec." I stepped as far back from the soul as I could and summoned my HP bar. 80 HP, same as normal. "Okay. Now send it at me"

The bone flew at me. It hit my soul directly and I caught it on the other side and threw it back to him. Out of battle fighting physics are weird okay?

My HP went from 80 to 78.

Frisk was the first to question it “I thought it would take 4."

"It would've, if anyone else had taken the hit. I have half a soul so I only take half the damage"

"Ooooohhh" the four of them said in unison.

I sat back down. "There ya go. My horrible life before Mt Ebott. Any questions?" I asked sarcastically.

I wasn’t expecting them to actually ask more questions, Jesus fucking christ!

"Yeah" Azzy said. "What's suicide?"

I burst out laughing. Azzy, you’re so bad with subtlety.

Chapter Text

The two weeks passed relatively quickly once things weren't so awkward between me and Sans. We mostly sat in silence, but it was comfortable silence.

On the last day of my suspension, Sans was constantly nervous. I was confused. He didn't do any of his usual activities that day. I sat on the couch eating a salad and watched him. He was surrounded by a landline, his cell phone, his computer, a laptop, and a tablet. As he typed away he kept staring frantically at the landline, as if willing it to ring.

I checked the time. Mom's class would be in lunch right now, so I texted her.

Hey, Sans is freaking out, you might wanna call him.

I sat back and scrolled through Tumblr.

A couple minutes later the landline rang. Sans snatched it up on the first ring. His voice was frantic.

"Hello?! Tori?!..... Oh Tori thank God you're okay! .... I've been trying to reach you all day. Listen, you've got a couple monster children in your class right?.... It's a code 7.... Yes, really, it's a code 7. ... Do whatever you have to, get the word out to every monster. Code 7. ... I don't know write it on the board, give all the monster children a note! Do something! Okay.... Thank you love. ... Yes we'll discuss this later.... Love you... Bye".

He slammed down the receiver and returned to his frantic typing.

After an uncomfortable ten minutes of clicking away at his keyboard, I spoke up.

"So are you gonna tell me what just happened and what the hell a code 7 is or...?"

He visibly jumped. "Ch-Chara! I forgot you were here! Listen you d-dont need to worry about it"

"Sans you're stuttering enough to pass for Alphys. What the fuck is a code 7?!"

He sighed. "You don't pay much attention to Frisk's embassy stuff do you?"

"Why would I pay attention to that? Humanity hates me anyway"

"Fair point. Alright, a code 7 is a signal we agreed on. Basically it means there's a human attack and there's a chance at going back to war"

My eyes widened. "Well shit."

"Something about the military this time? That's like the royal guard, right?"

I nodded. "Yeah. So every monster knows what it means?"

"The adults do. Some older kids do, like Grillby's daughter. I've alerted almost everyone. The monster kids will be evacuating school today."

"Sans this doesn't make any sense. What happened to trigger an attack?"

"We don't have time to discuss that right now, we have to get to Mt Ebott immediately. Pack your sack kiddo, we gotta go now."

"Please tell me we're teleporting."

"No shit kid. I said as soon as possible. Come on!"

**************************

Standing at the base of Mt Ebott is never fun. I've done it too many times now but none of those times involved every monster that I've ever met and killed surrounding my family. Yikes.

So everyone was in a panic, freaking out about this whole "code 7" deal. Apparently it was something they never thought would happen.

"What are we gonna do?!"

"We dismantled the guard!"

"We can't handle another war!"

My mom and her ex husband looked at each other. He nodded to her and she walked a ways up the mountain where everyone could see her.

"Monsters, please. I ask you all to rethink your logic. You are jumping to conclusions. It is not definite that we are going to war again. Sans only called this code to warn everyone. If we should have to fight, we are prepared. " She motioned to Undyne, who, as a result of suddenly having the attention on her, struck a warrior pose. "Our guard may be dismantled but they can reform any time. You underestimate them"

"Yeah, we can take on anything!" Undyne cheered, and a chorus of sentry dogs howled in the background.

"B-but the human world has changed so m-much since we came up here!" A familiar scientist stuttered. "H-how will we know what t-technology they have now?" She adjusted her glasses on her nose, blushing madly since everyone was looking at her.

"I think I have a couple people who can help you with that" Sans said, smiling at Frisk and I. I looked at Frisk, assuming he was talking about her.

"We have two human representatives!" Azzy cheered from beside us.

"T-two?!" I sputtered. "Why the fuck do you think I can handle this?!"

I saw monster parents covering children's ears.

"You're a human, aren't'cha?" Sans questioned.

"Bone Bag, I'm in a life long identity crisis, I don't know my own species".

"You're more familiar with it than any of us."

"Well what help are they going to be without magic?" An obnoxious robot asked from the back of the crowd.

"Mettaton, we don't HAVE magic" I reminded him, rolling my eyes.

"Oh pish posh, what about those seven magicians that trapped us in the first place? I can guarantee you have magic just WAITING to be tapped into!"

Everyone dissolved into murmurs of agreement. Frisk and I just stared at each other. Could we really do this? Wasn't magic supposed to be impossible?

"We'll be right back" Frisk said and dragged me around to the opposite side of the mountain.

"Wha- Hey!"

"Chara we have to do this" Frisk said excitedly.

"But what if we can't? Those magicians are long dead, for all we know they were the last of your kind with magic!"

"Your kind?" She asked. "You mean our kind?"

"No Frisk. I don't consider myself a human. Not after all the shit I endured from humanity. I'm a monster, all the way through." I thought about this and realized my logic here was immensely flawed. "...And if I'm a monster, then I'm willing to do whatever I can to help them. Including try to tap into any magic I have" I sighed in defeat. The evolved gay calculator had won.

"Yay!" Frisk hugged me and was dragging me around back to the group before I could say another word.

"We'll do it" We said together when we were back with the group.

"But if this goes wrong I take no responsibility!" I said, finding it necessary to interject before anyone expected something from me.

"Fair enough." Someone said. Everyone seemed to agree.

"But they aren't the only ones who's magic need tapping into." Asgore spoke up. "What about our son?" He asked, looking at Toriel.

Frisk whispered to Azzy. "I thought you had magic in your God of Hy-"

He whispered back "I did, but I can't access that form without absorbing all the souls again".

"Perhaps it would be a good idea to tap into Asriel's magic. But who will be responsible for each of the children?"

"Asriel fights with weapons. You, Toriel, fight with magic alone. I think it would be best if I taught him"

That left me and Frisk. Everyone would be willing to take Frisk, no one would be willing to take me. I already knew it.

"Mrs Toriel, you or my brother would be great with either of the children!' Papyrus said. Goddamn it. I knew he meant well, but neither of them could handle me. It would end badly.

Toriel looked over me uneasily. "I don't trust Chara with fire magic" I mean, she had a point. I'd definitely burn the house down.

Fuck. No. Shit. Wait. That meant-

"So you take Frisk and I take Chara?" Sans asked her.

"Yes, I suppose that will do."

FUCK.

Chapter Text

"You realize that you're literally training me to get revenge on you for all the times you killed me and Frisk, right?" I asked, trudging down to the basement behind Sans.

"No I'm not. I'm not an idiot. I'd never let you get that strong".

We were about to start training. Asriel had gone to Dad's and Toriel and Frisk were outside. Sans and I were in the basement because I was going to start with levitation. And Lord knows there was a bunch of old junk in the basement to practice on.

"So how are you planning to do this?" I asked. "It's not like I can just summon my powers like you can. Hell I still don't think I have any".

"That's why I wanted to help you. Telekinesis may look simple but it takes a lot of focus until you get used to it. I figured that making you focus on something would help you tap into your magic- if you have it. So....." he drifted off, looking around. He picked up a black button that looked like it was from Mom's coat and set it on a table. He dragged the table over to me and pointed triumphantly at the button. "Imagine that floating. Focus all you've got on imagining that floating".

I rolled my eyes, but obeyed him. I pictured the button rising into the air and floating around. I subconsciously started pointing around the room, imagining the button following my finger. I imagined it falling, clicking my fingers as it "fell" back on the table.

When I clicked my fingers, there was a flash of red light. I looked down in confusion and clicked my fingers again.

There was a blast of red light.

"Shit!" I yelped, backing away from he light and falling as a I did. I slid into the wall, banging my right shoulder on it and hissing in pain.

Sans slid over to me. "Fuck, kid are you okay?" He asked, helping me up.

I clutched my shoulder with my left hand, still wincing. "Y-yeah. Just shocked I guess".

"Well I think we can safely say that we've accessed your magic."

"Whoooooo..." I cheered halfheartedly, still holding my shoulder. Sans suddenly turned me around

"Shit, kid, I hope your shoulder- FUCK ITS BLEEDING".

I panicked. "No no no no no it's not, it's definitely not".

I felt a finger on my shoulder. He showed a phalange to me. It was red. Was the blood soaking through my hoodie?

I stripped off the hoodie and reached around to my shoulder. It wasn't bleeding too badly. Which meant tha-

"Chara? What are these scars?"

The scars would be visible through the blood.

"Nothing!" I yelped, trying to cover them.

"Chariana don't you dare lie to me. You and I both know that these are far from nothing. They're- Jesus Christ kid it looks like someone tried to cut you open!"

I stayed silent.

"Chara, you do realize that we're gonna have to clean this up."

I shook my head. I didn't want him having to look closely at them.

"Yes we are. They'll get infected. Come on". He grabbed my left arm and lead me upstairs. I hissed in pain.

"What?"

"My arm... you can stop pulling me. Let's just go"

He didn't. He just looses his grip and looked down at my arm.

There was a collection of scars there. Some were smaller, from my fingernails. A few were from scissors, a sizable number was from a razor blade. But the most prominent ones were from Ol' Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary is what I call my dagger. The one mom and dad got me for my birthday. I had opened it on my deathbed after poisoning myself. I had asked them to wrap it back up and keep it safe until I was strong again. But I knew I wouldn't be strong again.

That was the knife that had killed Sans. And it was the knife that had sliced my arm to shreds.

Sans said nothing. He just shoved me in the direction of the stairs. I ascended to the main floor and waited for him. He joined me and grabbed my right arm this time, pulling me towards the bathroom. He walked out and I heard shuffling. I hoisted myself onto the counter and waited.

Soon Sans returned with one of my long sleeve shirts and a first aid kit.

"Okay kid. I know you're self conscious, especially considering you're a rape victim. But I need your tank top off. I can't fully clean your shoulder with it on and it's soaked in blood anyway. So...". He took off his blue hoodie and tossed it at me. "I'll leave the room. You take off the tank top and use that to cover yourself however you need to. Just keep that shoulder uncovered. Kay?"

I blinked in shock. "Okay...".

"Call me when you're ready". He left the room.

Years of hospitals had taught me to dress and undress quickly. As soon as the door was closed I ripped off my tank top. I set it and my hoodie (which I had decided was important to carry up the stairs) on the floor and slid off the counter. I tied the sweatshirt around my torso, covering my breasts (or lack of) and leaving my shoulder free. Finally I hoisted myself back into the counter so my back would be to Sans. I made sure the hoodie wouldn't slip and then I was good. "I'm ready". I called.

The door opened and Sans was silent. He dug in the first aid kit. I decided not to look at what he was doing. I felt a stinging sensation, then something cold, then a towel. Finally, he wrapped something around the shoulder.

"Who did that to you?"

"Jeanette". I said simply.

"Your mother?" He asked

"She's not my mother anymore" I snapped.

He held up his hands in surrender. "Okay, kid I hear ya. Look, I know she abused you and you have every right to hate her, even if she is dead. But you know you don't have to hide it from us anymore, right?"

I nodded.

"Now let me see your arm".

I shook my head, pinning my arm to my side. No way in hell was I letting him see my self harm scars. "You'll be mad at me" I said quickly, attempting to explain my actions.

He frowned, furrowing his "brow", which was really just his brow bone. "Why would I be mad? Unless it's something you did yourself, of course....".

I said nothing.

Sans sighed. "Chariana Elizabeth Dreemurr".

I winced. At least he hadn't said my original last name. It wasn't quite enough to give me a PTSD flashback, but it still stung. Knowing I had lost, I extended my arm to him.

He whistled. "I'm not letting you near sharp objects again. What did you use?"

I shrugged. "Different things. Fingernails, scissors. Those big ones are from my old dagger." He was reaching for the first aid kit again. "Sans, they're old ones. They're healing. That's not necessary".

He glared at me, pointing to the most prominent one. "That's a fresh one. I'm cleaning you up".

I pulled my arm away. "No!"

"Chariana you have two choices. You can let me clean you up or I take you to Alphys and get another person involved."

Damn he was good.

I submitted and let him clean my scars. He scooped up the blood-stained clothes and walked out. "Put that shirt on and come out when you're done". He closed the door.

I obeyed quickly. I hated every second of that. Why would I ever willingly reveal my weakness to him?

Chapter Text

I grumbled as I stepped out of the bathroom. Sans was whistling to himself, seemingly having forgotten about me. I had never been so humiliated in my life.

I sat down in mom's armchair. I always felt small in this house. I was short. 4, 1" to be exact. But I had always held a power over people. I was unpredictable and everyone was terrfied of me. I stabbed three small children and left them for dead without a sound. I strangled two doctors, both with loving families at home, in an elevator and I walked out smiling. I killed my own parents. I'm a psychopath. There's no denying it.

They tried to help me but that hospital was too much of a shit-show to do anything. They strapped me to tables. Lobotomies were a weekly routine for me. The security system was shit. I snuck out every year to visit my brothers grave and tear up the flowers that Tante Eponine replanted every year. They didn't notice. The night I escaped to jump off the mountain, they didn't even notice I was gone until I was at the base. By the time the alarm went off, I was gone. They would never find me.

As far as they know I'm dead. They didn't find my body at the base of the mountain anywhere. They know I jumped into the crater. They thought it was an inactive volcano, so as far they knew I either had burned to death in the molten lava or cracked my neck from the fall. Even if I had, by some miracle, survived both of those, I would never have made it out of there before I starved to death.

If they knew the secret of that mountain then they'd be fuming. They tried to get rid of me. I was a menace to society. I still am. That creepy little red-eyed twit who killed her parents. No one cares that they had abused and raped me. No one cared that I was the victim. So I made them my victims.

I can still see the hospital. It's abandoned and closed down because it got busted by authorities for its illegal practices. I wonder who was still there. That guy who practiced satanic rituals in the bathroom? The woman who spent all day staring at her hands? The people who did what the voices told them to? Did they make it? Were they freed of that hell and sent somewhere that would actually help them? Are they free and healthy? Maybe they have families and jobs. Maybe they were accepted by society. It's been 50 years since I was there. And I'm still 9 years old. And I'll still never be accepted.

No one thinks a kid can have these problems. Kids are supposed to be happy and carefree. But for years my only focus was protecting my brother. And for years after that my focus was telling the doctors what they wanted to hear. Doesn't sound like some la-la sunshine happy land for a kid to live in if you ask me. In the end, it was all for nothing, completely pointless.

Have you ever woken up and asked yourself why you couldn't have died in your sleep? That was my mindset for three years at that hospital. I wanted out of the treatments and the medicine and the therapy. Of the people trying to help me when they wouldn't even listen to the problem. I wanted to go home, but I had no home to go to anymore. So I decided I wanted to die. It was the only way I could escape. I was living through hell. And then I realized that if I died they would win. I couldn't let them get the best of me. That's why I jumped. I wanted to kill myself before they could. I was determined.

My determination is very scarce. It's there but it's faint. But I was determined in that place. Determined to get the hell out somehow.

My souls is red. It's faint but it's there. My eyes are red. My determination shines true. And when I have that kind of power over someone else I will never feel small.

Chapter Text

Everyone was coming over for dinner. And by everyone I mean Alphys, Undyne, Mettaton, Muffet, Papyrus, Napstablook, Asgore, and even Monster Kid, who had been more or less adopted by Alphys and Undyne. The bad news for me was that they were staying for the weekend, not just for dinner.

Sans and I had agreed to keep my scar situation under "wraps" (he made a stupid pun about my bandages) while everyone was here. First of all, Undyne had gotten very protective of me and Anger Fish ™ is not someone to be challenged. Second of all that was not a conversation I needed to get into at the dinner table. That would just ruin it.

Sans was making hot dogs and fries, since it was pretty much all he knew how to cook. I was mentally preparing myself for a night of explaining why I wasn't touching the meat on my plate, but he said he had it covered.

Before I knew it, cars were pulling up. Papyrus arrived first in his red sports car. I have to admit, he looked pretty cool driving around with the top down like he always did.  Next came The Jeep. Emphasis on "The". It was Undyne's car and she seemed to be appalled at the idea that more than one Jeep existed in the world. So she had named hers The Jeep. I could see Monster Kid sitting in the back, secured by more seatbelts than any human kid would be because he didn't have arms to catch himself if something happened. Pulling up behind them was a dainty little purple Beetle. I just wish I could've seen the looks on the neighbors faces as floods of spiders poured out of the doors. They were Muffet's entourage, and the spider queen soon stepped out and started following the crowd. Next to arrive was Asgore in a beat up grey minivan. Emphasis on the mini. It looked like a SmartCar. Lastly, an enormous magenta and black limo that took up half the block pulled through. Out of the very back door spilled a red carpet and Mettaton came prancing down it. I rolled my eyes from the window. Floating gently after him was Blooky, who was wearing a little hat and bow tie.

Soon everyone was crammed into the living room. Sans was wearing his "Kick the Kook" apron. It originally said "Kiss the Cook" but I had done some scribbling on it to make it more accurate because he's kooky.

...Listen I grew up in the sixties, I use weird words sometimes!

He called Mettaton and I over to him and took us to the kitchen. A piece of paper was clutched in his hand. "Okay. So, Mettaton, you're a vegan, and Chara, you're a vegetarian. I found a tofu dog recipe that I can make. I just need to make sure you guys can eat it. I know next to nothing about your diets". He handed me the paper.

I scanned through the recipe. It was fine for me. I handed it to Mettaton. He had the stricter diet so it might be more difficult for him. But he nodded and handed the paper back to Sans.

"Thank you for taking our eating habits into consideration, Sans. I don't think there's anything in this recipe that conflicts with our dietary habits"

"Uh, Yeah. What he said" I stuttered. I would never understand why Mettaton used thirty words to say something that can be said in five. He's like the real life version of the King James Bible sometimes.

"Sweet. Thanks guys".

Mettaton and I started to leave the room, but Sans stopped me.

"Wait up a second kiddo".

I stayed behind, walking back towards him. "Y-yeah?"

"How's your scars?"

"Which ones?"

"All of them"

"Still in pain". I shrugged. I wasn't really sure what he expected me to say.

"But you liked the pain didn't you?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.

I went dead silent. Damn it how could he see through me?

"Goddamn it kid. You're begging for some kind of emotional release right now. But cutting is not the answer. There are so many other things you can do. That's why I've hidden the knives".

I looked around the kitchen. He was right. All the knives were missing. Damn it.

"What do you expect me to do? I was never taught to cope with it I was taught to repress it. I don't know how to feel about my suicidal thoughts Sans."

"We'll talk about that later. Just trust me, okay kid? I know how to deal with this kinda thing"

I nodded.

"You wanna help me finish dinner?"

I did indeed.

**************************

An hour later, everyone was seated around our dining table.

"Is milk okay for all the kids?" Toriel asked.

Alphyne was digging in her bag. "Oh sh-shoot. We forgot his juice."  She looked up, blushing. "We recently d-discovered that Monster Kid is lactose intolerant. W-we usually b-bring his juice with us but-"

"It's no problem" I said. "I drink almond milk. He can have some of it". I stood up and walked to the kitchen to get two glasses of milk.

Mom started to stand up. "Chara, I can get it, if you want to sit down".

I sped up. I have a problem with other people pouring my milk. I carefully poured two glasses of almond milk and carried them back into the dining room. Sans was following me with a few plates in his magical grip. I set one glass down at Monster Kids place and sat back down in my chair, between Frisk and Asriel.

Sans walked in and out with the plates and started setting them in front of us. Once he had everyone's food out except mine and Mettaton's, he went back to the kitchen for he last time. He came out with two plates of hot dogs that looked identical to the others, but we knew they were tofu dogs. I gladly dug in.  I love tofu.

"Red-eyes, are you lactose intolerant too? Is that why you drink almond milk?"  Undyne asked me. Even though I hate my eye color, the term coming from her is affectionate.

I shook my head. "I just like the taste of almond milk better".

"Why were you so insistent on pouring it yourself my child?" Toriel asked me, her voice laced with concern.

I took a deep breath, trying to figure out how to phrase this without getting ruining appetites. These people know me too well for me to lie. "Let's just say last time someone poured my milk for me, it wasn't milk". Curious eyebrows went up around the table. "It was a different white liquid"

Sans, Mettaton, Undyne, and Alphys proceeded to choke on their food. I quickly bit into a fry to avoid their stares.

The subject was quickly changed and dinner went smoothly. Until Mettaton decided to question me. "So, Chara, darling, is there a reason you participate in the vegetarian lifestyle?"  I swallowed hard and considered my answer. Sans was focused on me, and I knew he was waiting for my answer. I had to think carefully about my words.

I looked around at the hot dogs everyone was eating and that's when I got my answer. "Lets just say" People visibly tensed at those three words. "Last time I ate a hot dog it wasn't food". I shoved my tofu dog in my mouth, ignoring the pure rage in Sans's and Undyne's eyes. Anger Fish™ had arrived. Fuck my life.

This was gonna be a long weekend.

Chapter Text

Thankfully Undyne and Sans calmed down. Pretty sure if Undyne hadn't calmed down then the house would be on fire. We all stood around the living room eating pie. Mom's pie is not something you can sit down and enjoy. You better be walking all over the house eating that shit. Everything was calm when Sans and Toriel suddenly glided into the center of the room.

Sans called told everyone to quiet down and stay still for a bit. Undyne ended up leaning against a wall and I followed suit. Once everyone was in place he sat next to Mom, holding her hand.

   "We have very exciting news to announce" Sans said, grinning ear-to-imaginary-ear. Mom smiled warmly and nodded in confirmation. I saw Alphys squeal and tuck into herself.

   Heh. It was almost like when human couples announce that they're preg- oh hell no.

   Wait. That was impossible. Two different species can't have a kid without some seriously freaky science shit going on. And if Alphys had managed to help them with.... that, then they'd have her helping to announce it. That's just the kind of people they are. Besides, Sans doesn't have genitals. No balls equals no sperm equals no fertilization of eggs. Whatever the news was, it wasn't pregnancy. 

   "I'm happy to announce that I am pregnant!" Mom gushed.

What the fuck

Papyrus aggressively 'nyah'ed. Mettaton nearly fainted. Undyne cheered. Alphys completely fell over from squealing. Asgore went wide eyed and silent, lookin real fucking depressed. Muffet nodded approvingly, smiling oddly warmly for Blooky kinda hovered, being his confused ghost self. Asriel and Frisk danced around each other, chanting about new siblings. Monster Kid danced around, not seeming to know what was going on, but wanting to join the fun.

And me? I was ready to kill Sans. And I didn't even need a knife this time.

In the midst of all the cheering and congratulating I managed to catch Sans's eye.

"Hey Sans can I talk to you iiiiiiiiiii....." I strung out the word, looking for an escape. I realized that the front door was my only option. "....iiiiiooonnnn the porch?" He shrugged and I started dragging him towards the door.

Once we were outside with the door firmly shut, I lost it "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO MY MOTHER". I yelled.

"Kid relax it's just-"

"You don't-"

"That's not how-"

"And she can't-"

"You aren't even-"

"You don't even have a dick!" I finally said, at last figuring out the words.

He kind of chuckled at that. "Well no, no I don't. Not one that can actually produce sperm anyways. I have an ecto-body, but that didn't come into play here".

I began to pace the porch. "I mean with her and dad I understood it because they're just goats so it's just like raging barnyard sex and it makes sense. You however are a completely different story and I have no fuckin clue how-"

"Kid please stop. The neighbors are staring. Please stop screaming about goat sex. By their standards you shouldn't even know what sex is."

"I have known what sex is for the majority of my life I lost my virginity when I was two!"

He coveted my mouth with his hand and whispered urgently, "If I tell you how I got your mother pregnant will you shut the fuck up"

I nodded, collapsing into the porch swing. He sat next to me, sighing loudly.

"Soul merging" he said finally.

"Soul what now?"

"How your mom got pregnant. It's called soul merging. It's the only form of monster sex that can create offspring. It's how we get around the no genitals thing. It's kinda cool because even homosexual couples can use it. So if Undyne and Alphys ever decided they wanted a baby of their own, it'd be possible. But anyway. That's what happened."

"...Oh"

"Kid, I'm not gonna hurt your new sibling. I didn't hurt your mom, I didn't hurt Asriel. I jumped to conclusions with you and Frisk. I'm the first to admit that. You had both manipulated each other and I didn't give you a chance, even when you were basically begging for mercy. I'm not gonna make that mistake with this kid. I know you're overprotective of Toriel. But she's gonna be fine. And in 8 months or so when this kid joins our family, I'll be holding her hand every step of the way. I'm not gonna abandon her, or the baby, or you guys. We're a family now."

I stared at the ground.

"You were worried I was just gonna leave, weren't you?"

I nodded. "I've been abandoned too many times".

He sighed. "God, sometimes I forget just how insane your parents were. And how shit that mental hospital was".

"Yeah."

"Well unfortunately for you I'm not going anywhere. You're my stepdaughter now, kid. Toriel and I are gonna make sure you're raised right this time. No getting beat or raped and no getting strapped to tables or locked in padded cells, not this time. I'm not like your birth father. Im not a sick pedophile and I get no enjoyment from seeing you naked, mainly because it usually means you're hurt. And I'm not gonna say anything negative about the big fuzz ball, but I'm not gonna be like Asgore either. I hope you'll understand that I am going to be a dad to you. And all your siblings. I'll be there through the awkward teenage years and the first dates and the first heartbreaks. And I'll be be dad you need me to be. All I can hope is that you'll give me a chance and put a little trust in me. Believe me kid, if I hurt Tori, or Frisk, or you, or Asriel, or the baby, I'd be killing myself because you could even get your knife. You don't have to worry about me. You just get to be a good sister to all your siblings and fight alongside your family in whatever happens next."

Before I could stop myself I had jumped up and was clinging onto his neck. Thin arms wrapped around my back and I sunk into his shoulder. We stayed like that for a minute before I heard him talking.

"Now listen. As happy as I'm sure you are that your mom is pregnant, that means you've got some work to do. You guys have to step up in your training, even though it's only been one day. You have to keep quiet at school, you have to step up around the house. And don't worry, Frisk and Asriel are gonna get this talk too. Don't think I'm singling you out on that stuff. What I am singling you out on is your troublemaking. You've gotta be able to stay out of trouble. If Tori's stress levels get too high she could lose the baby, and I know you don't wanna be the cause of that. Stay out of trouble at school, stop being a little brat at home, just try and behave, okay? Because can I tell you something Chara? I've seen you when you're not trying to constantly be a little rebel. And I know everyone likes the nicer side of you a whole lot more".

I nodded. "I can try"

He chuckled. "I guess that's all I can ask. Hey, while we're alone, come talk to me before you go to bed tonight, alright? Probably need to change your bandages."

I nodded again.

"But you've got like two hours before you have to go to bed. Let's spend some of that time eating pie".

I grinned, already on my way to the door, my stepdad right behind me.

Chapter Text

Sans, Frisk, Azzy and I all have a strange relationship. It's confusing. 

Frisk and I, well, its obvious what our relationship is, isn't it? She's the reason I'm here. I owe her my life, honestly. The sheer amount of raw Determination she has, I couldn't help but wake up. I was deep in the ground beneath the golden flowers. I followed her as a spirit through all of our resets, giving her advice, translating the dogs and the various monsters she couldn't understand. She was too nervous to speak, so I helped her communicate. A lot of her "flirting" was either me taking control of her body and complimenting them or telling her to wink or blow a kiss. It was really weird sometimes, like listening to her flirt with my mom over the phone.

On the genocide runs, I took complete control of her body at times. Her 20 HP was nothing compared to my 80, so it was easier for me to kill. I took over and killed the monsters that were either too hard for her or that she couldn't bring herself to kill. I did 73 of our 78 Sans fights. She gave up after the first five and handed control to me. It was rough and we died 77 times, but I did it. 

And then we reset because we both felt unbelievably guilty. 

But it wasn't my fault. Well, not entirely. It wasn't either of our faults, not entirely.

We manipulated each other. I was bored of the pacifist routes. I convinced her to kill. I didn't expect her to go along with it, but I wasn't about to go back on my word. When she couldn't kill some of the monsters, I told her to just give up and reset. She asked me if i could try it for her, convincing me she was curious what would've happened. My curiosity was peaked too and we could just reset if something went wrong, so I took over and tried to kill Undyne. It was oddly satisfying when I got it right. From then on we she was struggling I jumped at the chance to kill for her. So we were both at fault. 

When we finally agreed to stop the resets and let everyone be happy, we finally got the surface. Mom walked in on her talking to me. We agreed to tell everyone I existed. Mom burst into tears when she saw my little spirit-face emerge next to Frisk. At the time, Alphys was in the process of trying to use the dust on Flowey to recreate Asriel's body, so mom just lost it at the chance of getting both her kids back.

I hung around as a spirit until Asriel was back. He tried to hug me me being non-corporeal it didn't work. Then we realized something. The soil underground was different than on the surface. It protected my body from decay. My body was still completely intact under those flowers. We dug it up and Alphys worked on pumping the flower poison out of my system. The only thing that had kept me from repossessing my body and digging myself out was that my body was to weak to do anything. Once my body was strong enough, i repossessed my own body and there I was. 

Frisk pretends to be innocent. Sans, she and I all agreed to keep it under wraps. She pretends not to know about the resets and all the times we've killed people. Sans and I know the truth. 

As for Asriel, well, that's still something only Frisk and I know about. They all figured out that Flowey was actually Asriel, but no one knew about that whole God of Hyperdeath thing, which I joke about being Asriel's cringey OC, or the Omega Flowey thing. Only we know his true intentions, to reset, to kill, all the terrible stuff he did. We agreed to let him play innocent. 

I'm the only one of us that doesn't play innocent about all the stuff that happened. Yeah, I try not to talk about the resets and the genocide runs, but that's all I do in the way of innocence. I openly cuss, I ramble on about things that no nine year old should ever know about, and I've been self harming since I was 7. Which was like, 50 years ago. So, yeah, a long time. Frisk and Azzy don't actually know about my self harm, and that's not them playing innocent. Sans is the only one that knows, because most of the doctors that found out about it killed themselves shortly after because I was too much to handle. I've been the cause of a lot of deaths, and I make suicide and self harm jokes on a regular basis, not concerned about anyone's responses. 

And then there's Sans. He knows. How could he not know? He killed Frisk and I 77 times. And it was rough, but he can't forget. Undyne took forever to kill, too, but she doesn't remember anything. She loves us now, she's like the fun vodka aunt of the family. But Sans, he knows. He didn't forget. He never will. He knows we feel guilty and he knows why. He knows Frisk is handling her guilt better than I am. I can barely handle what I've done. Yeah it was fun in the moment, but afterwards it all came flooding back to me. I felt awful. Frisk and I spent a while in the void, hovering by the reset button, crying. And when we came back, oh boy, Sans was not happy. But after a couple more resets doing the pacifist run, he saw that we had changed, and he became the goofy pun-loving skeleton we knew. 

And mom knows nothing about any of it. 

I cut for three main reasons. It started when I was 7, in the hospital, because I was just so done with how my life had gone to shit. The doctors did all they could to stop me, but they couldn't figure out how I kept getting new scars. The truth is it was my fingernails. The made us keep our nails short anyway, but I still found ways to do it. They would've had to rip my fingernails and toenails clean off. That's how determined I was to hurt myself. 

The second reason was the guilt from the resets. The guilt really got to me. The first thing Frisk did when my body came back was give me the knife and locket we found in the castle, and oh boy, did I make use of that knife. 

The third reason is.. Well, you'll just have to see, won't you?

Chapter Text

The third reason I cut? Oh yeah, I'm sure you were just dying to know. Well, fine.

Ebottville is the same town I've lived in since I moved to America. This crazy town with Mt. Ebott sitting on the edge of it that's now filled with monsters. Because of that, my family is buried here. But not just in normal gravestones.

No, my aunts, except the one whose still alive somewhere, my grandparents, my parents, and my brother are all buried in one of those mausoleums. It's one of those big ones,and in the middle of the cemetery.

And guess what it has printed in huge block letters on the side of it. My birth last name. Reed. You know what looks sort of like Reed if you change and add some letters? My actual last name. Dreemurr.

How does this tie into my cutting? Simple. I cut to use the blood to paint Dreemurr over the word Reed. (AN: See above picture).

Because everyone was staying for the weekend, it was going to be harder to sneak out tonight. But I could do it. I've been doing it for two months now and no one has caught me yet.

Luckily, only Monster Kid was sleeping in our room tonight, everyone else was in guest bedrooms or couches.

When we settled down for night, I made sure my camo jacket was close under my bed, next to my shoes for easy access. I found Bloody Mary, the knife Sans forgot to take and hide, and stuffed it in the inner pocket of the jacket. Then I could throw on my jacket and shoes and be ready to go.

I pretended to be asleep for a good three hours. It was around midnight when I decided that everyone was asleep and that it was safe to get up. I put on my shoes and jacket, making sure my knife was still in the pocket. After one last check to make sure no one had heard me get up, I slipped out the door.

Forgetting my phone and keys entirely. But whatever. I'd pay the price for that later.  

**************************

I trudged across town. The cemetery was a ways away. The bad news was the only way I get through without being arrested or otherwise caught was to go through a bunch of back allies and dangerous spots of town. The weak spot in the fence that I'm able to climb is behind a bunch of sketchy bars.

I'm used to having to walk through that part of town though. It's where I lived before I fell.

It was about 1 AM at this point, and it was pitch black except for the few broken streetlamps. They gave off a dim glow.

The bars around there get really fucked up at this time of night. I could hear the sounds of screaming and glass breaking from where I walked. I kept my head down and kept going. I had walked this route too many times to be scared of the chaos going on inside the decrepit buildings. Bar fights were normal around here

As I crept behind the back-ally bars where shootings definitely happen on a nightly basis, it started to rain. Just my fuckin' luck I guess. There was no safe place to duck under until it cleared up. I just had to tough it out and keep going.

Up ahead, I saw a definitely drunk guy stumble out of the back door of a bar, holding a half-empty bottle of beer. I gripped my knife tighter in the inner pocket of my jacket, sensing a fight about to go down when the bartender followed him. I heard angry shouting from both of them but I wasn't listening closely enough to figure out what it was about. I paused to look for a detour as the bartender went back inside. 

As I stood there, the drunk guy stumbled up to me and started groping me, spilling his beer down the front of my jacket in the process. In a panic, I whipped out my knife and stabbed him. I don't even know where I stabbed him, it was that dark out. I tucked the knife back in my jacket and ran for it.

Finally, I had made it to the last block before the cemetery. Above me, the only streetlight on this street went out. Great. Just fucking great.

I had to squint in the darkness. I had forgotten my phone and I didn't want to call attention to myself by using my flashlight anyway. Stupid broken streetlights. I pulled the knife back out and took a tentative step towards where I remembered the fence being.

I saw a familiar flash of blue light in front of me and immediately froze. I looked at the short figure that emerged from the light and my eyes went wide. He was a little taller than me and pale. He was like, dead white. His left eye was glowing bright blue.

"K I D D O"

I didn't think. I just fuckin ran for it.

**************************

Trigger Warning: Self Harm

That probably wasn't smart, but I didn't care at this point. I wasn't about to get my ass beat or something. Who knows what Sans would have done if he had caught me?!

Soon enough, I found myself in front of the mausoleum. Because my grandparents were like, filthy rich, the thing was well lit. I quickly found where the last name was carved, and I couldn't help but smile when I noticed how well my past "art" had stayed on. All I had left was the two Rs. I rolled up my left sleeve and started slicing.

As I always do, I worked on autopilot while cutting. I was barely paying attention to what I was doing. Once it registered in my brain that I had enough blood to work with, I stopped and dropped the knife. I could always cut deeper if I needed more blood.

I swirled my index finger in the blood and got to work. Painting the letters got difficult at times. The angles could be problematic. And working with my own blood meant I often had to stop to wretch and try not to throw up. I hate how it feels on my skin. But it was good enough for me.

I stepped back to admire my handiwork. Finally. The "legacy" of my stupid birth family had been erased. Chariana Reed was no more. The Reeds were no more. Chara Dreemurr was here to stay. Dreemurr is my last name and that's how its gonna stay.

I turned to the side. My intent was to head inside the mausoleum and tear up the flowers. Every year my Aunt Eponine plants these elaborate flowers on her twin sister's grave. Every year I rip them up and dispose of them. Of course I lost some years when I was dead, but I made up for it in the long run. If my calculations were correct, she'd planted them five days ago.

However as I turned to go inside, I was stopped. I felt the familiar warmth of telekinesis magic surrounding me and I looked up into the eye of an angry Sans.

He flicked his wrist, bringing me closer to him. Up close I saw that he was soaked to the bone, literally. He was panting and... sweating? Wait, he's a skeleton, how does he- you know what never mind. His permanent grin had been replaced with a look of... fear? I thought he’d be pissed off? I never thought he’d be scared.

But that also raised the question of why was he scared? Scared... for me? No. There was no way. Sans doesn’t care for my safety. I know it.

He was probably scared for himself. Scared that mom was gonna kill him if he didn’t get me back home safe.

His eyes were half closed, as if he was imitating when beings with eyelids narrow their eyes. His pupils were gone and his left eye was glowing blue. A typical angry Sans.

Except this time I knew he wasn't fucking around. He was genuinely pissed off and I knew exactly why. I gulped and dropped my eyes to the ground, awaiting some sort of lecture. More accurately, bracing myself for death.

I half expected my soul to turn blue and then for him to slam me into the wall of the mausoleum. Its what I’m used to happening when I fuck up.

After a minute of heavy panting, he caught his breath. What in the actual hell. He doesn’t have lungs. It felt like an eternity before he spoke, and what he said was not what I expected.

"You're gonna be the death of me, Chariana"

Chapter Text

Sans’s POV

Okay. I can admit. I expected Chara to be a rebel. What I wasn't expecting was exactly how rebellious she can be, and for the stupidest reasons.

I also didn't expect a timid looking Frisk to tiptoe into my bedroom at 12:16 AM nervously telling me Chara wasn't in bed. When you're a stepdad, nothing will terrify you more than your troublemaking daughter vanishing in the middle of the night. I was up in an instant, throwing open the door to the kids' room to see a concerned Asriel sitting on his bed holding Chara's phone. Monster Kid was on the air mattress on the floor in front of the beds chewing on his lips.

Sure enough, Chara was nowhere to be seen. A quick glance at the kids' storage rack revealed Chara's coat and shoes to be missing and her house keys remaining. Not only had she snuck out, but she didn't have her phone or keys.

"We searched the entire house," Asriel said. "She's not here"

Apparently, most of our guests had woken up during that search, because everyone was soon tiredly sitting in the living room.

"Honestly, that girl cannot stay out of trouble" Toriel whispered. No kidding. And after all I'd said about Tori needing to keep her stress levels down, Chara goes and pulls a stunt like this?

"Daddy, you find her. You can teleport, you'll get to her faster, and its raining" Frisk suggested. A sudden flash of lightning proved her words.

"I'll come too" Toriel started to say, but I stopped her.

"No. Let me go alone, sweetheart. Frisk is right. I can get there faster, and you need to stay rested. Why don't you make us some hot chocolate for when we get back?"

She nodded. Good. I'm not letting my son or daughter be lost to stress just because my oldest kid wants to be an idiot.

I grabbed one of my hoodies from the hall closet and put it on, pulling the drawstrings tight around my face. The rain was really coming down.

As soon as I left the house I caught the trace of her magic. It was faint, probably because she had been gone for a while. I followed the trail like a bloodhound finding prey.

I was completely blind to my surroundings and soon found myself in one of the most dangerous parts of town. Her magic trail was significantly stronger here. She’d gone walking past bars and shit. I heard the sound of broken glass and looked around.

I saw two figures, one of them taller, but hunched over, and the other one about Chara's height. The taller one fell and the shorter one took off running. I approached the fallen man. He was definitely drunk, and he had dropped a beer bottle as he fell. That was the glass breaking. And he'd been stabbed. Chara's magic trail was very strong. As I leaned over him I realized the trail was overpowering around the area of the stab wound.

Chara's knife! I took off running in the direction the shorter figure had run. I caught up to her pretty quickly and teleported in front of her.

"K I D D O" I started, but she darted past me and wove between buildings. I could hear how heavily she was breathing. She wouldn't be able to run much longer. She's a resilient kid but she has small lungs.

As I ran, my mind wandered. Why was she out here and why did she have her knife? Was she planning on coming back or was she trying to leave home for good.

Had I done something wrong? Was she scared? Did she think I lied to her when I said she could trust me?

I couldn’t worry about that right now. It was time for the kiddo to feel my good old fashioned wrath.

And also my extreme self doubt.

I ran between the buildings until I picked up the traces of her magic again. She was going towards, the cemetery?

Ignoring my confusion, I took off running, hopping the fence and looking around. A short shadow was standing by a well-lit building. I recognized it as a mausoleum. I slowed my walking and steadied my breathing. The rain was pouring and the unkept yard of the cemetery was full of holes. I stepped in at least 6 mud puddles trying to get to her.

Thanks to the lights on the outside of the mausoleum, I could see a red substance dripping into the grass below the figure. The figure stretched up and ran a finger down the surface of the building, leaving a dark trail in its wake. My heart jumped into my throat as I drew closer.

It was Chara. Her left sleeve was pushed up and her forearm was covered in blood. Her knife was clenched in her left fist, bloody. I watched in silent horror as she swirled her right index finger in the blood and ran it across the stone, as effortlessly as a small child would do when fingerpainting. I looked up at the stone and I wanted to scream.

The mausoleum had clearly said Reed, but now the r had a D in front of it and the d was painted over with an M. Following the M was a U and two Rs, one of which was being painted by Chara's blood right before my eyes. All of the added letters were painted in blood. And all of them except the two Rs were faded and brown.

She was using her blood to paint Dreemurr over Reed and she'd probably been doing it for months I wanted to scream at her for so many reasons, but I managed to keep my mouth shut.

She looked up at the work she'd done and I saw that damn smile. That sadistic smile that should only be seen on the face of a serial killer. It has no place on a nine-year-old face, even if that face has eyes that have seen as much as Chara has. She was proud?! Of this?!

She turned around and I thought fast. A quick stretch of my left hand had her encircled in my magic. I levitated her a few inches off the ground, pulled her closer, and forced her to face me. I wanted to yell. I wanted to tell her how stupid she had been. But when I looked into her eyes, all I saw was fear.

I'd never seen her look legitimately scared. She put on a brave face and acted fearless most of the time. She wasn't even this frightened when we fought in the final corridor. I couldn't yell. I could barely even lecture her in the state we were both in. She wasn't even fighting to get out of my grip.

I sighed and I saw her eyes flick down the stare at the grass and stay there. So she wasn't gonna look me in the eye? I could understand why.

It was pouring down rain, we were both soaked through, she was bleeding badly, and back at home everyone was awake and probably freaking out. She was in need of a punishment and a punishment there would be. I didn’t know what it would be but I’d find something.

But not in the middle of a stormy night next to a blood-covered mausoleum. For now, I just had to get her home.

"You're gonna be the death of me, Chariana" I said, to break the horribly tense silence more than anything. I pulled her closer to me and gripped the back of her jacket tightly, releasing my magical grip on her in the process. She was NOT running. "Let's get home"

"Wait!" She suddenly cried and fought against my grip. She ended up just wrestling out of her jacket since I wasn't holding onto her shirt, and she was free from my grip. In a split-second choice, I started to levitate her again, but she had taken off running into the mausoleum calling "I gotta do this first!" I followed her into the building.

What kinda idiots leave a mausoleum unlocked anyway? Or have a lock simple enough that a nine year old can pick it?

"Kiddo, don't make me chase you. It's 12:33 AM, we're both soaked, and your mom is gonna kill us both. If you're trying to dodge the lecture you're getting, just know there's no chance of that happening. Let's just get home and dry off". If I was being honest, I just wanted to go back home and crawl into bed. I was burned out.

She blatantly ignored me and continued walking in. The centerpieces of the building were three coffins. Two larger, and one even shorter than Chara herself. A bouquet of fresh flowers rested on one of the larger ones, which Chara took and promptly broke the stems. I was too in shock to try and stop her. She knelt down in front of the smallest coffin with a sad smile and spoke in the smallest voice I have ever heard that kid speak in

"Salut, Celeste..."

Chapter Text

Chara's POV

Yeah, I probably shouldn't have broken free from his grip but I had a brother to talk to. I knelt beside the grave and closed my eyes. Did I have any proof that his spirit was actually here? No. None.

"Je suis ici maintenant. Je sais que je t'ai laissé seul mais tu n'es plus obligé d'être seul. Tu es là-haut au paradis. J'aurais aimé être là-haut avec toi, mon pote. Mais je vais au diable pour sûr.
Je l'ai bien ici. Les monstres sont bons pour moi. Je les aime. Mais jamais autant que je t'aime.
J'ai commencé à apprendre la magie aujourd'hui. Pas le genre que nous lisons dans le conte. Magie réelle. Votre grande sœur va combattre les méchants humains qui attaquent ma famille. Je vais les protéger. Comme si j'aurais du te protéger.

 

Non tu as raison. Je vous ai promis de ne pas m'en vouloir.

 

Sans est toujours un gros malin mais il fait de son mieux pour me mettre à l'aise. Je sais que tu n'as jamais compris ce que papa me faisait, mais Sans comprend. Il s'assure que je n'ai pas de flashback ou quoi que ce soit. Il n'est pas comme notre papa. Il est gentil avec moi. Eh bien, surtout.

 

Je n'ai pas vu ma tante. Je suis heureux. Elle était méchante. Tu te souviens comme elle était méchante? J'espère ne plus jamais revoir son visage méchant.

 

Je t'aime Celestè. Tellement de. J'aimerais pouvoir vous dire que je vous reverrai bientôt, mais nous savons tous les deux que je n'entrerai pas au paradis. Mais Frisk le fera. Elle est vraiment gentille Elle m'a sauvé la vie. Tu vas l'aimer.

 

Je dois y aller maintenant Celestè. Je sais que tu es quelque part là-haut. Étant un des meilleurs anges de Dieu, je parie. On se voit le mois prochain.

 

Au revoir"

("I'm here now. I know I left you alone but you don't have to be alone anymore. You're up there in heaven. I wish I was headed up there with you buddy. But I'm going to hell for sure.

I have it good here. The monsters are good to me. I love them. But never as much as I love you.

I started learning magic today. Not the kind we read in storytime. Actual magic. Your big sis is gonna fight off the mean humans who are attacking my family. I'm gonna protect them. Like I should've protected you.

No you're right. I promised you I wouldn't blame myself for that.

Sans is still a big goon but he's trying his best to make me comfortable. I know you never understood what dad was doing to me, but Sans does. He's making sure I don't get flashbacks or anything. He's not like our daddy. He's nice to me. Well, mostly.

I haven't seen Auntie. I'm glad. She was mean. Remember how mean she was? I hope I never see her nasty face again.

I love you Celestè. So much. I wish I could say I'll see you soon but we both know I won't get into heaven. But Frisk will. She's really nice. She saved my life. You'll like her.

I gotta go now Celestè. I know you're up there somewhere. Being one of God's best angels I bet. I'll see you next month.

Goodbye")

I stood up and brushed off. Sans was staring at me in shock.

Sans's POV

What am I doing? I should be taking her home, not listening to her talk to a coffin in some other language!

Something in these ol' bones was telling me to leave her be. When she finished I could only stare at her. I didn't know what she said. It was all in French. But I had never heard Chara use that tone of voice.

Chara was always bold and brash. She had no filter and didn't think before she spoke. But her voice was whisper quiet and she seemed to be thinking very hard about every word she spoke.

Maybe it was because she had to mentally translate everything. But she's fluent so I didn't think that was an issue. I have a lot to learn about her family history I guess.

"He uh, meant a lot to you"

She seemed taken aback. "You could understand that?"

"Oh hell no, not a single word" I chuckled. "I just assumed based on your tone of voice"

"Oh. Well you're right. He was my world. Life never broke him down. He was always the good one, the innocent one. I took all the abuse because I knew he couldn't handle it. It'd destroy him. He was all I had." She had looked sad until this point, but her sadness suddenly turned into rage. "He didn't deserve the shit he got! Any of it!"

I didn't know what to say. In that moment all I saw was a broken kid. She acts so tough but she's so broken inside. It's heart wrenching to watch her pretend she's okay. Kid has been fighting for her life since birth and yet still put her brother first. Hell, not even just Celestè, Asriel too. That plan they had was all her idea. To try and free us.

But here she was. With all the rape and abuse and death she's experienced, she's still saying her brother was the one who had it worse.

I'm real glad I gave this kid a chance. She needs a better family than what she's had. She's gonna be a good role model for my new son or daughter.

"Ya know, it's not like you deserved it either. You had it worse than he did. You didn't do anything to earn it. No one deserves that kind of abuse kid"

"Don't try and paint me as the hero Sans. We both know I'm the villain of my own story"

I wanted to slap her for that. But I wasn't about to sink to that level. That was the level her birth parents were on. And hadn't I just spent the afternoon reassuring her that I wasn't like them?

That being said, she wasn't off the hook entirely. She had acted really stupid tonight. She probably didn't even know some of the dangers she had gotten herself into.

Toriel and I had long since agreed that I was better suited to handle Chara and that's what I did. Toriel trusted my decision when it came to Chara's discipline. But I had to be careful. The kid was just starting to trust me. I couldn't break that trust now.

"Are ya done here? Because I think it's time you and I had a talk"

"I already know how the birds and the bees work"

I rolled my eyes. "Not that talk. A talk about what happened tonight. Not gettin out of it"

She sighed heavily. "Fine."

I handed her her jacket. Once she put it back on, I took her gently by the wrist and teleported us home.

Chapter Text

Chara's POV

When we got back home, Mom was waiting for us in the living room. The smell of hot cocoa was thick in the air and a steaming mug of it sat on the coffee table. I slipped my jacket off my shoulders and went to hang it up when Toriel suddenly hugged me tight, making me drop it in shock.

"Chara, my child! You gave us quite a scare when we realized you weren't home! Are you alright?"

I nodded. She sighed in relief.

"Thank heavens. There's a mug of cocoa on the counter for you. I know you like to pour the milk yourself."

"Thanks Mom" Before I could slip away she dropped a towel around my shoulders.

"You're going to be the death of us my girl"

I smiled weakly and padded into the kitchen. I poured my almond milk into the mug of cocoa powder and stuck it in the microwave.

I heard Sans and mom talking in hushed whispers. I just knew it was about me. What else would it be about? Nothing.

Mom came in and hugged me. "I'm going to bed, Chara. You should too. Your siblings must be worried about you"

"I know mom. Goodnight. I love you".

"I love you too, my dear." She glided down the hall to her room.

I pulled my cocoa out of the microwave, gave it a stir, and started towards the living room, but Sans stopped me. He was holding my green flannel pajamas and a pair of clean socks.

"Stay in here and get changed. Toss the wet clothes to the laundry room and then come out here. I don't want you waking up Frisk and Asriel and you're goin straight to bed after we talk"

I rolled my eyes when he turned his back.

I changed into the soft pajamas and carried my mug of cocoa to the living room. Sans was sitting there in his navy blue robe sipping the mug of cocoa that had been on the table when we walked in The first aid kit was next to him.

He pointed to the spot in front of him. "Arm". He said simply.

I stood in front of him and rolled up my left sleeve. I avoided eye contact as he scanned the cuts. There were four of them and they were pretty deep. The bleeding had stopped and the blood around them was dried.

He took some antibacterial wipes out of the first aid kit and scrubbed at my arm. I winced in pain and instinctively flinched but he kept a tight grip on my wrist.

Soon, all the blood was off. He dug in the kit until he found some kind of gel, which he spread over the kits. It was a pale green and kind of shimmered. I stared at it in fascination until he wrapped it in a fresh bandage. He grabbed my jacket off the floor and reached into the inner pocket. He pulled out my knife.

Bloody Mary is my prized possession. It's the knife mom and dad gave me. The handle is jet black. A small green button releases the blade, and my name is engraved in handle in green cursive writing.

He pressed the button and released the blood covered blade. I couldn’t read his empression. He took another one of the antibacterial wipes out of the package and handed me the wipe and the knife.

“Don’t try anything with it. Just... get in cleaned off”

I carefully and deliberately wiped down my treasured blade. I watched as the clean white wipe slowly turned reddish brown. When I had finished I handed it back to him.

He stared at it contemplatively for a minute and then looked up at me. My eyes went to the floor, but he titled my chin up, forcing me to look him in the eye.

"Start talking. How long have you been doing that?"

"J-just tonight..."

"Bullshit." He practically growled the word. "I know damn well you didn't have enough time to paint the first 3 letters between your little escape act and me finding you doing that shit. The first 3 letters were brown. They'd been there way too long. Plus if you had bled that much you would be unconscious right now. Probably even dead. So cut the shit and tell me how long you've actually been doing this"

How stupid am I, honestly? Of course he'd figure it out. There was no point in lying about it anymore. I was already royally fucked.

"I've been doing it for about three months now. Sneaking out once a month”.

"Figured. Have you been using this knife all that time?"

I nodded.

"This is the knife you used to stab the drunk guy, right?"

Another nod.

"You didn't clean it in between" It wasn't a question. It was a fact.

"No. No I didn't".

He seemed to get... more angry? If that was possible?

"Chariana Elizabeth Dreemurr" It scared me how calmly he said it. "Do you realize how much danger you've put yourself in?! When the cops find out they can trace it back to you so easily it's not even funny. Not only did you paint your last name on the thing, but it's your blood. DNA tests don't lie, Chariana! Not only can you be traced very easily, but you combined your blood with the blood of some back alley drunk guy who got kicked out of a bar. Do you know what kinda diseases that guy could've had? You could've gotten AIDs from that guy's blood! Did you even think about that?!"

I stared blankly. I hadn't.

He sighed. "Of course you didn't"

I didn't know if I should have taken offense to that or not.

"So what are ya gonna do? Beat me? No surprise there. Let's get this over with. I'd rather go to bed with bruises than get them first thing in the morning"

Sans's eye was flaming. Oh shit.

"What the fuck, kid?! You automatically jump to conclusion that I'm going to beat you?!"

"That's what you did last time I did something wrong! 74 times that I died at your hand, Sans!" I fired back.

Sans looked stunned. Yeah take that you fucking hypocrite.

He grabbed me by the wrist and dragged me down into a sitting position next to him. I visibly flinched at the contact but he wasn’t trying to hurt me. Much to my shock. He whistled out a note of disbelief.

"Damn. Didn't realize you were holdin a grudge."

"Can you blame me?"

"Honestly, no. I mean, you did do some stupid stuff, but you've long since made up for it." He gave me a small smile, but I could see the grimace behind it. "Guess you weren't the only one with some making up to do"

I blinked in surprise.

"Kiddo, I've been going about this wrong. Before I proposed to Toriel I swore up and down that I was gonna give you a chance to be good. And I, well, I haven’t been doing that.

And no, you haven't been the best kid so far. But Toriel handed me the reigns for you, so to speak. You and I think alike. If we weren't at each other's throats we'd probably be a force to be reckoned with. You've got amazing potential. I wanna bring it out of you. I just haven't been doing that the right way.

My point is, I don't know how to handle you, but I know I'm not doing it right. I'm on your ass the second you do something wrong instead of listening to you. We're not gonna make it like this. One of us is gonna end up dead before this war against humanity even starts. And it honestly could be either of us."

He moved his arm in a way that looked like he was trying to wrap it over my shoulder, but he stopped. "Can I?"

I realized he was asking permission to touch me. I nodded slowly. His hand rested on my shoulder and pulled me in a little tighter. I took a long, slow drink of hot chocolate. It was warm and sweet. I felt my skin, soaked from the rain, slowly warm up again.

"So I'm gonna figure out what you need. We're gonna figure it out together. You've been repressing this shit for years and that's not healthy. So when you snap, you really snap.

But you weren't taught any other way. I don't know what those so-called doctors put you through but it obviously wasn't anything useful. You've been through a lot, and you've got a lot to work through. I get that.

From now on I'm gonna try harder to listen to you and figure out why you acted out. Hopefully we can get it to where you don't act out at all, but I'm no miracle worker" he chuckled. I punched him lightly in the shoulder. "Okay, okay, I get it."

I kinda smiled at that.

"The exception to that is tonight. You're in huge trouble because that was just plain stupid and any story you can come up with to explain yourself is just gonna be bullshit. So you're getting extra training for a week."

That didn't seem like a punishment. That sounded exciting.

"Can that start now?”

"Kid you need some sleep."

"You got me wired on hot chocolate, I'm not gonna sleep! I wanna train! Come on, my first lesson got interrupted, why don't we finish it?"

Sans gave a small smile. "God you're a maniac"

"No shit Sherlock"

**************************

Two hours later, I was panting heavily. I had been trying to lift up my own jacket the entire time. I took what felt like 700 tries before I succeeded but I fuckin did it. Take that universe!

"Holy shit that's awesome!"

"Eh. Guess it is when you're not used to it"

"Well you're not exactly used to doing anything besides slamming me against a wall"

"Low blow, kid"

I snickered "You know you deserve it. So how dead are we when mom finds out we trained all night instead of sleeping?"

"Oh kid, she's not lettin you near hot chocolate again after that"

"Aw damn it"

Chapter Text

Sunday night. Everything was peaceful. The three of us had been training hard all weekend. I had almost full control of my telekinesis, and even though I was exhausted, I knew it would be worth it in the end.

Everything was going fine until Mom's phone rang.

She answered, but was silent as the person on the other line told her the situation. She bit her lip, causing Sans to scoot closer to her. I was cross legged on the floor, working on a puzzle with Frisk and Azzy. I looked up.

Mom hung up the phone without a word, sighed dejectedly, and looked down at us.

"I'm afraid this conflict between the races is growing. That was the school. The decision has been made that lunches will be segregated. The monster children will eat lunch separately than the human children. I'm afraid there is nothing we can do to change their minds. Starting tomorrow, a security guard will be going around to classrooms and collecting the monster kids to make them eat separately. I'm so sorry you children are having to deal with this".

"What?!"

"That's not fair!"

"They can't do that shit!"

"They can and they have. I'm sorry kids. It's out of my hands now. I'm going to clean up the kitchen. You three need to think about bed"

I was fuming. They couldn't do this to us. They wouldn't do this to us! Frisk and I weren't gonna be separated from Azzy! We're a team!

I thought carefully about what mom had said. I glanced at Frisk, and I could tell she was thinking about it too. Before I could get any ideas, Sans piped up, already shaking his head.

"Oh no. I practically see the gears turnin’ in your heads. You're staging some kind of rebellion. I know this isn't fair, but you're just going to have to go with it. Please, don't cause a scene" He looked directly at me when he said that.

I rolled my eyes. "Fine. Whatever"

He left to go after Mom. I turned to the others.

"So we're causing a scene tomorrow"

**************************

The next day, the teacher explained the lunch situation. Before, we ate at noon. Now the monster kids would eat at 11:00.

Sure enough, at 11, one of the security guards came around to our room. We saw MK and Fuku, Grillby's daughter, behind him, as well as some others. Asriel stood up and walked over to him, probably dead set on eating alone since he didn't know our plan. Frisk and I stood and followed him.

The security guard gave us dirty looks. "This is for the monster children. You two need to sit down."

I dragged Frisk past him. "We are monster children".

"Don't argue with me. You're human"

"Really? Because that's our brother." I pointed to Asriel. "And Mrs Dreemurr, ya know, the most loved kindergarten teacher here, is our mom. And she's a monster. We are the children of monsters. And therefore, monster children."

The guard looked like he didn't know what to say.

Frisk joined in. "We're eating lunch with our brother one way or another. It's just the question of are we eating with his lunch or is he eating with ours?"

I snickered internally. Frisk was normally never one to challenge authority.

"I will have to bring this to the principal you two"

"Bring it to the principal all you want. We're eating with our brother"

**************************

Sans was picking us up that day. When we spotted his car in the parking lot, he was standing outside it with his arms crossed. Anyone else would think he was angry but we knew him. Frisk and I could see the glimmer of pride behind his eyes.

We got to his car and the rock paper scissor tournament for shotgun began. I won. The other two started to climb into the backseat, but before I could walk around to the passenger door, Sans put a hand on my shoulder.

"I thought I said no staging a rebellion"

"I did no such thing" I said, faking an offended tone "I just wanted to eat lunch with my brother!"

"Why'd I get a call saying you were sassing a security guard?"

I scoffed. "I sass everyone, the guard wasn't special"

He chuckled. "Get in the car, kiddo. I'm not sure you realize what you did."

It was a long and awkward car ride.

When we arrived at home, he was dead silent. Jesus. I didn't think it was that bad.

He pulled into the driveway and pointed wordlessly to the door. The other two made their way inside. I started at him, trying to read his expression. There was nothing to read. He shook his head and pointed more insistently towards the door. I shuffled up the steps and into the living room after my siblings. I heard a click behind me, leading me to believe he had teleported. Sure enough, we walked in and there he was. He pointed to the couch.

I slipped my bag off my shoulders and sat down on the couch. I pulled my knee up to my chest and looked at him questioningly.

"Who's idea was it?" He asked. He was already looking at me.

The other two pointed at me. Way to throw me under the bus guys.

He sighed and collapsed to the floor in front of the couch.

"Explain yourself." Well at least he was sticking to his promise.

"We're not about to sit by and let the racist idiots of this town take over the school. And we're damn well not leaving Azzy to eat lunch alone"

"Daddy, you can't expect us to sit by and let all this happen. You're training us to fight in the war itself but you won't let us stand up for ourselves at school?"  Frisk chimed in.

"This isn't something you three need to be concerned with. You're going to get yourselves in trouble and they could very well get Toriel fired!"

"She's not getting fired because her kids wanted to eat lunch together" I shot back at him. "You really think they're gonna let the finest teacher in that school go over this? I don't fuckin think so. They love her. They’re not firing her because her kids are idiots.”

"This is something you need to let the adults handle" he snapped.

"Well the adults said it's out of their hands" Frisk retorted.

"What has gotten into you today Frisk? You're normally much better behaved than this and you know better then to follow Chara's schemes"

"You and I both know that neither of those statements are correct".

Sans got very quiet. I coughed awkwardly. Azzy, sweet little Azzy, had no memory of our Judgement Hall experience.

Sans cleared his nonexistent throat and continued in a much quieter voice. "You need to talk to us if there's a problem. You can't just take it into your own hands. We're a family, right? That means we gotta work together on things like this."

Azzy nodded. But I wasn't having it and based on her defensive stance, neither was Frisk.

"You'll just tell us not to do anything" I retaliated. "You expect me to sit there and take it? I broke the rules of physics and you think I'm gonna sit on my ass and take this blatant racism? It's our fight too Sans. We know what we're doing. There's no reason we'd stand by and let this happen. Ever"

Frisk nodded. "I don't care if you ground me forever. We're not going down without a fight".

"You shouldn't have to fight in this stupid thing! You should be able to just be kids!"

“Azzy and I have never been able to ‘just be kids, whatever that means” I practically snorted.

Asriel finally spoke up. "Sans. Mom isn't here so we don't have anything to sugarcoat. We've all done awful things. We've all gone through some stuff. All four of us have died at one point or another. So let's not pretend we're innocent just because we're kids. We all had to grow up faster than we should've." He trailed off, not sure how to finish.

I picked up where we left off. "It wasn't right that we had to go through what we did, but regardless, we're mature enough to handle this. It's our fight too. You can't shut us out just because we're physically younger"

"What do you mean physically?"

"If Asriel and I hadn't died we'd be almost 60 by now. If Frisk had never touched the reset button she would be almost 16 by now. We're all a lot older mentally than we are physically".

"Which means we're mature enough to handle a fight".

Sans stared at us. I couldn't read his thoughts. I had no idea what he was going to say.

He sighed and gave a small smile. "Alright. I'll bite. I'm extremely proud of ya for standing up for what's right. As much as I hate that both of you have such strong determination sometimes, I'll admit it's useful. When we do have to fight, I know you two won't back down. Frisk won't ever stop trying to make things right, and Chara is too stubborn to lose. I know you're gonna go far, kid". I assumed he was talking to both of us there. "And Asriel, look at ya. You normally barely say a word to me and here you are sassing me just like your sisters. I'm amazed."

I snickered. Asriel showing any sort of attitude was not common at all.

"Does this mean we're not in trouble?" Classic Frisk.

"Not this time".

"Fuck yeah!"

"One of these days I'm gonna wash your mouth out with soap, Chara"

I raised an eyebrow at him, challenging him. “I'll bite your fucking hand off".

Chapter Text

"Your stupid family doesn't stand a chance against the humans! We're a lot stronger than we used to be!"

"Wanna say that to my face, hot shot?!" I fired back from the front of the room. Stupid Jacob trying to act tough again.

"Maybe I would if you'd actually face me instead of yelling at me like the wimp you are! What? Afraid that skeleton guy is gonna smack you around?"

I tried to keep my cool. I couldn't stress mom out. Not now. Sans was keeping us updated on her progress so we'd know what to expect. And right now was a very fragile time for the baby. I couldn't afford to stress her out. I just couldn't.

"Hey freak, I asked you a question!"

Mon dieu, why did Miss Robinson have to pick the day when Jacob was on his man-period to leave the room?

"I asked you a question!" He repeated. "Hey I'm the man here, you answer to me!"

"Is that what your dad tells the little whore you call mom before he beats her?" I shot back. I’s never play the wife beater card but this kid deserved it.

"Hey! My dad doesn't beat my mom! And at least my mom is the same species as me!"

"Explain why she's so ugly then? A face like that only happens when someone gets whacked by the ugly stick" Weak comeback but it was what I had.

Jacob was visibly losing his demeanor. "W-well at least I didn't get held back!"

"Bitch please we all know you deserve to be held back more than I do, only reason you made it this far is because your little whore mom is blowing the principal"

"Says the girl who blew her own dad!"

That was it. I calmly stood up and walked over to Jacob. "You seem to think that because you are of the male sex you have power over me. You are quickly going to realize that is not the case. The difference between you and me is it won't hurt me nearly as much if you were to do THIS to me" And with that I kicked him. Straight in his scrawny little dick.

I heard a collective wince from the boys in our class as Jacob doubled over in pain. But I didn't stop there. Hell hath no fury like an angry second grader.

I practically tackled him. It quickly turned into an all out brawl. Fists were flying, hair was pulled, bruises quickly formed, the whole deal. Madness I tell ya.

By the time a guard could yank us off each other Jacob had several broken bones. I don't even know what all I broke. He was breathless and sweaty and I had some bruises on my face. I was banged up. Bad. But that's not even the worst of it.

My jacket sleeves had gotten rolled up in the tussle. Everyone was staring at the bandages.

I yanked my sleeve back down and snarled at the other kids. "What are you looking at?!" I growled.

"Chara...." Oh god. Not Azzy. I can't lie to Azzy. "How did you hurt your arm?"

"Don't worry about it. I'm fine" I said, a little colder than I intended to. I turned back to the other kids. "Didn't you idiots hear me? Stop staring!"

There was some awkward silence before I got sent to the principal. And Principal Wilson was NOT happy.

"Chariana Elizabeth Dreemurr, do you-"

"I'm gonna stop you right there because you know damn well not to use my full name" I snapped. I was not in the mood for this idiot.

"Watch your attitude, missy!"

"Sir I would appreciate it if you would kindly stop telling my daughter what to do".

It sounded like Sans but there was no way he'd defend me on this, right?

Nope, it was Sans.

"Mr. Serriff. I understand that this is your child but you cannot day that she is not at fault for this. She attacked another student"

"I was just mindin my own business and she kicked me in my private part!" Jacob whined from across the office.

"BULLSHIT" I snapped. Amanda, his little whore mom was there. She looked so offended it was laughable. "YOU KNOW DAMN WELL YOU'RE THE ONE WHO STARTED INSULTING MY FAMILY!" I was fuming at this point and tiny red sparks started to shoot out of my fingers. Something Sans took notice of and immediately grabbed my hands.

"Jacob, would you please tell us what happened in that classroom?"

"I was talking with my friends and Chara came up and called my mommy the bad word. Then she attacked me"

"Chara? Is this true?"

"Nope."

"How dare she call my baby boy a liar?!"

"You're a whore and your kid is a lying little shit. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Let me tell you what actually happened."

I recounted to the people of the office the real story. I admitted that I used violence first and called Amanda a whore. When I finished, Sans calmly released my hands.

"Chara is a violent kid but doesn't fight without reason. Her story makes more sense to me"

I stood silently. I was honestly shocked that he was on my side about this.

"Mr Serriff I realize that you want your child out of trouble but-"

"That's not what this is about at all. Chara did admit that she started the violence. And for that I would agree that discipline is in order. However you're overlooking the borderline racist remarks that Jacob used against our family. You've had Chara in this school long enough to know that she is very loyal to her family and doesn't tolerate anyone insulting them. I really don't know what you expected to happen, kid" He said that last part to Jacob.

Principal Wilson coughed. "Jacob will be suspended for two days for starting the argument and using violence. Chara will be suspended for three days for using violence"

"The fuck?! He has more crimes on his head and you give me the harsher punishment?! Oh I see what this is about. You don't want your little whore to stop blowing you behind the school just because you gave her son what he deserves. You're a real dick, Wilson. I'm surprised you're allowed around kids at all".

Sans was stifling laughter. He was trying so hard to be serious it that it was almost laughable. I could tell this was a joke to him.

"Mr Serriff please remove your daughter from the equation!"

"Oh I'll be removing all my kids from the equation. As a principal it is your job to make sure that this school is safe for every child, no matter their race. And it's clear to me now that you're biased against my kids because they're monster children. I will be taking them all home today and removing them from this school later tonight. And I will be advising my fellow monsters to do the same. Our kids are not safe here."

Holy shit, Sans.

Principal Wilson's eye was twitching now. But he couldn't argue. Take that you fucking prick.

I lead Sans down to our classroom. I went to my desk to gather my things and then to my cubby.

"Frisk, Asriel, pack up. You're leaving"

Miss Robinson, of course, got all pissy. "Mr Serriff I am teaching a class here"

"And I'm unenrolling my children from this school. What's your point? Let's go, guys"

Frisk and Asriel jumped up to do as they were told.

Chapter Text

As we were walking out the doors to the school, Sans was walking oddly confidently. I had to jog a little bit to catch up. Stupid fucking short legs making me run.

"Hey! You wanna explain what that was about back there?!"

Sans put his arm to the side. A sign that, in our family, had become the universal signal for "I'm stopping, stop before you run into me". We slowed to a halt and waited.

He turned to face us. "You're being taken out of school. Toriel is going to tutor you for a couple weeks until we can get you into the online program Alphys is setting up. We were planning on doing this for awhile. Chara just happened to get into a fight and I happened to have to be called in"

"But mom is at work all day! How is she gonna tutor us?" Frisk asked.

Sans sighed. "This isn't a conversation to have out here. I promise I'll explain everything at home. I can't say it here. No clue who could be listening. Do your Rock Paper Scissors tournament thing and get in.”

I turned around to find Frisk and Azzy already playing. Guess the winner is gonna play me.

"Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!"

Frisk played rock. Azzy played scissors.

Azzy climbed into his spot in the backseat. Frisk turned to me with her hand ready. I got into position.

"Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!"

Frisk played paper. I played rock.

Frisk climbed into the front seat and I slid into the back next to Azzy.

Sans sat in the drivers seat and pulled out of the parking lot.

**************************

When we got into the house, he sat on the large armchair across from the couch. He leaned forward with his hands folded in front of him. That's how we knew it was getting serious.

"Okay. Well I'm not gonna down talk you. You've showed me you're more mature than that. So here goes. That school will no longer be associated with the monster community"

"But so many people work there!" Azzy retaliated. "Mom, Undyne, Muffet..."

"Not anymore. They all quit. We refuse to work for a community that is not going to be fair to our children. Alphys is setting up a kind of homeschooling program for you to do. It'll be ready in a little over a week. We are cutting ties with the human community entirely. We're laying in wait for an attack and we can't risk any information getting out"

I snorted. "You make it sound like World War II"

His expression grew solemn. "It is for us, kiddo."

I went quiet as I realized the truth in his words.

"S'okay kid. You didn't mean anything by it. Don't freak out. Anyway, this obviously means there's gonna be changes around here. Ya don't exactly have homework since you're not goin back. So you two" he pointed to Frisk and Asriel. "have free time for now. You" he turned to me "are comin' with me"

"Ah geez I'm in trouble for that fight aren't I?"

"Nope. In fact I'm, impressed with you. Few months ago you would've jumped the kid the second he opened his mouth. But you kept your cool. I can understand why you snapped when you did. So you're not in trouble this time"

I was shocked. I thought for sure he'd snap the second I got into another fight. Maybe he really was keeping his promise.

"You're comin' with me because I wanna show you something." He started towards the basement that we turned into our training room, but stopped.

"Go change into something you can work out in and meet me down there"

**************************

I changed into a miscellaneous t-shirt and a pair of leggings and made my way down to the basement.

Sans was down there next to a shitty looking punching bag. He looked up at me and grinned.

"I got this old punching bag from Undyne. It's a little beaten up but I think we can put it to use"

"Put it to use... how?"

"I've been thinking about your time in the underground. You're great with weapons and hand to hand combat. We just need to hone in on that a little more. With any luck we can get you going with magic training and combat training"

I raised an eyebrow at him. "You're going to teach ME to fight. You REALLY think that's a good idea given my past?"

"Actually your past is the reason I'm doing this. Remember how I said you needed some kind of emotional release that wasn't cutting?"

I nodded slowly.

"Here ya go. Your method of emotional release"

"Don't most people go to therapy for that kinda stuff?"

"Do you really think you'd do well in therapy? You're not exactly the type to talk about your feelings. This is gonna be like your type of therapy. But you get to beat shit up"

"So it's therapy.... but with punching"

"Yeah. Guess you can think of it like that. Therapy but with punching"

This sounded like a good idea. But one thing was extremely puzzling to me.

"Why are you helping me? After all I've done?"

Sans sighed and sat on the floor next to the bag. "Kid, I'm gonna be honest with ya. I've done the same thing. Well, sorta. I haven't cut, that's kinda difficult on bones. But I hurt myself in other ways. I know how dangerous it is and how long it takes to get over it."

"What? You're a recovering self harmer?! Why?!"

Sans kinda winced. "I prefer to think of myself as recovered, but yeah. And... you remember the stories about Gaster?"

"Yeah..."

"I was blaming myself for what happened to him"

"...Oh"

"Yeah.... Anyway. Do you wanna try it?”

I looked to him and then to the bag. He seemed genuinely excited about this, and to be honest, I thought this could work.

"Yeah. I think I can try it."

Sans grinned. "Hell yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Now show me what you got"

**************************

After about ten minutes I was breathless and sweaty. My hands were hurting and the bag was in worse condition than before. I had really done a number on it.

Sans whistled. "Damn, kid. What the hell were you thinking about to fuck up a punching bag that much"

"Jacob's stupid face" I replied honestly.

Sans practically snorted with laughter. "Yeah I should've guessed that. Well, your technique isn't terrible, needs some work though. We gotta get you some gloves before you manage to tear the skin off your knuckles with the force of your punches. Maybe a new bag if you keep going at this rate..."

I smirked. I had fucked up that bag good.

"But yeah. I think this is gonna work out. Do you wanna give it a shot now that you know what you're capable of?"

I took a second to analyze to situation. I was sore, breathless, and sweaty. But I was also happy.

"Yeah. I wanna give it a shot."

"That's what I like to hear. Jump in the shower while I find some lunch for you"

"Got it".

Chapter Text

Sans's POV

Chara continues to blow me away. She used to be so vengeful. I swear she was running on pure hatred considering she's always the last one awake and the first one up in the morning.

Now look at her. She just attacked a punching bag like it... like it.... ah geez what would piss Chara off...

Like it insulted her family and didn't have its facts straight.

Yeah that sounds like a Chara thing to do.

I tidied up the basement and headed upstairs to find food. Toriel was sorting out the lesson plans on the homeschool thing with Alphys so it was up to me.

I threw together some burgers for the younger two and pulled some vegetables out of the fridge to make Chara a quick salad.

While the burgers cooked I peered into the living room. Frisk and Asriel were doing a puzzle on the coffee table. I heard the water running so Chara was still in the shower.

I preheated the oven for some fries and started chopping up the veggies. I've learned a thing or two from Toriel and now I really like cooking for the kids.

Chara padded into the living room to join her siblings on the couch. She was back in one of her long sleeve shirts and a pair of black jeans. Her red hair was still wet. She grabbed her sneakers from by the door and slipped them on.

By the time she was dry and ready, the food was ready. I was sat on the couch with Frisk and Asriel. All three of us were happily eating cheeseburgers and fries. When I saw Chara come out, I motioned to the bowl of salad on the coffee table. I watched her eyes light up and she took the bowl.

"Thanks!"

I smiled in response.

Chara sat on the floor and reclined against the leg of the table. I had turned on some random Disney movie. It was about a Chinese woman who cut her hair and snuck into the military. I couldn't remember what it was called but I know the kids loved it.

When the drumbeat started, Chara visibly perked up. All the kids had finished their food so we were just watching the movie now.

Suddenly the younger ones were scream-singing the lyrics.

"LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!"

I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing. That was the most coordinated thing I've ever seen them do.

Then I noticed Chara hadn't joined in. She had said something that sounded like "lex air sis".

Then I tuned in to what she was actually singing.

"Attaquons l'excercise!"

I quickly realized it was French.

She turned around with a grin. "This was one of the few Disney songs I was able to mostly accurately translate between French and English".

The song continued like that for awhile. The younger two sang in English and Chara sang in French. That continued until it got to the whole part with the 'I'm never gonna catch my breath' part. Frisk and Asriel kept singing, alternating the parts. Chara watched them with a semi-defeated smile. I shot her a questioning look and she gave me her explanation.

"This is why it's mostly. I could never translate this part".

Chara joined back in after that part. She gradually got more confident.

When the song ended all three kids were laughing. It was the happiest I've ever seen Chara.

It's hard to remember that she's just a kid. She's certainly a fighter. The kid knows things beyond her years. It's strange to see her sitting down and enjoying a Disney movie. Then I remember that she's not even ten yet.

"Mulan reminds me of Chara sometimes" Asriel said.

"What do you mean?" Chara asked. She pulled her knee up to her chest and looked at her brother.

"Strong, brave, a little reckless, boyish. Doesn't need to impress some matchmaker to be happy" Asriel rattled off. Chara was staring at him contemplatively and I could tell she was thinking about it. A lot.

"Plus you're both princesses" I added.

Chara stood up and whirled around to face me. "Mulan was not a PRINCESS you little shit! She was not ROYALTY she was a WAR HERO you ignorant FUCK!"

"I didn't realize you'd get so defensive about a Disney movie"

Chara crossed her arms over her chest in her typical manner. "Well I did. A princess has to be born into royalty or marry into royalty. Mulan was an ordinary peasant girl and she married a general" she explained to me.

"Ah, gotcha" I was laughing eternally. I'd never seen her so passionate before.

"Besides, I'm not a princess either. Not anymore. I’m just a kid. Mulan wouldn't have made a good princess anyway. She was reckless and didn't know how to handle herself under pressure. She panicked too much and couldn’t think on her feet”

"Someday I wanna hear what you two went through being royalty"

"We weren't your traditional royal siblings" Asriel piped up. "We got into all sorts of trouble" he giggled.

Chara laughed but there was no humor in it. "Yeah. We did"

I could tell there was something they didn't want to mention and I was willing to bet
I knew what it was. But I decided to let it go for now. I had to go to Toriel and Asgore to get some stories about these two. I was determined to get the full story.

But for now I've got three kids to homeschool and one on the way. I can worry about their dramatic pasts later.

Chapter Text

So let me get this straight, GOD. Or SCIENCE. Or whoever the FUCK CREATED THIS SHIT.

I'm a nine year old. With a pregnant goat mother. And some sorta magic shit. And you're gonna dump this on me?

So lemme start from the beginning. Mom went to Alphys for the monster equivalent of an ultrasound. I had been dragged along to talk to Undyne.  Undyne had taken me into her home gym area and let me practice some basic sparring on her punching bags. They were much more sturdy and I could barely move them but it was definitely giving me a goal to work towards in the future.

Suddenly a loud squeal reached us from Alphys's lab-turned-exam-room. Sans suddenly threw open the door to the gym. He looked like he was about to faint.

"Chara you're gonna wanna fucking see this!" He yelled.

I dropped my gloves and practically slid across the room to see what had him so excited. He caught my hand when I was close enough and dragged me behind him as he made a mad dash for the exam room.

Mom was laying on a bed in her new maternity dress from Mettaton. It was some magic thing that would grow with the baby so you wouldn't have to keep switching sizes. There were glowing cords hooked to her stomach that I suspected were magic and not actual wires. On the screen next to her, I recognized that it was an ultrasound but it looked different. It was just a soul.

Sans rubbed the back of his head with an embarrassed grin. "About that. Since the baby is product of soul merging it only appears as a soul. It'll form into a full monster when it's born. But look!" He pointed to the screen eagerly.

I stepped forward to take a closer look. Holy shit.

The faint outline of a soul was there. But behind it, peeking from over the point of the heart shaped organ, was another point.

A second soul.

Twins?

"Twins!" Alphys excitedly squealed. "A b-boy and a girl from what I c-can tell!"

This was incredible. But my first thought was something else.

"But can we afford two babies?" I asked quietly.

Toriel rolled her eyes with a gentle smile. "My child. Chara. You need not concern yourself with financial affairs. You only need to worry about yourself"

Worrying about myself was new to me. I had spent all my life worrying about others.

"Besides, ya think we can't support ourselves? Geez kid, have a little faith why dontcha?" Sans said with a laugh.

But something was off about that laugh. It wasn't his normal chuckle or anything like that. It was almost like it was forced. He was worried. About mom? The twins? Both? No way of telling.

All the while Alphys was staring at me. I finally glanced at her and made eye contact. I expected her to look away but oddly, she didn't.

"T-Toriel? Sans? Would you m-mind if I k-kept Chara here for a little b-bit? I m-may have figured out h-her soul..."

I raised an eyebrow. I know my soul. There's no figuring out my soul. It's red. Determination. Very very weak determination.

Toriel looked very tired but Sans was clearly interested. He looked from me to Alphys to mom.

"Lemme get Toriel home and then I'll be back"

Alphys seemed to accept that.

"Hold on tight, Tori. We're shortcutting" Mom grabbed his arm and they vanished in a puff of blue smoke.

Alphys meanwhile led me to a second exam room.

"Are you c-comfortable with t-taking your shirt off?" She asked me nervously. Ever since word got out about what my birth father did, people have been very careful to make sure I'm comfortable.

I nodded and peeled off my t-shirt. Underneath I had a green tank top. That seemed to be okay because Alphys nodded quietly and began hooking up some of her equipment.

There was a thumping sound from the room next to us followed by a loud "FUCK!"

I burst out laughing.

A sheepish Sans entered the room and awkwardly took a seat as I caught my breath.

"What did you do?" I asked between breaths.

"I miscalculated my trajectory and ran into the wall. Something I'm gonna look forward to watching you doing when we get you teleporting" he added.

I rolled my eyes and turned back to Alphys. She outstretched a flawed hand but stopped.

"M-may I?"

I nodded. Her hand curled slightly and there it was. My soul.

Alphys had seen it many times before. It was the original soul she worked with to find Determination and when that didn't work, it went into the generator to power the lab. Then when I came back to life she was the one to figure out how to put my soul back into my body.

It was a perfect split. Half blood red. Half black. I hated to look at it. It was just more proof of how weak I am.

Alphys glided across the room to a computer and pulled up files that I recognized all too well. They were the same files she had made when bringing me back to life. A few more clicks got her to the section on my soul.

"T-tell me why your soul is sp-split again." Alphys requested.

"Celesté and I were conjoined twins and our souls were conjoined in the process. When we were both alive we each had half a soul. When he died I gained his half but it was as dead as he was." I rambled off.

"Okay... D-do you know what his s-soul colour was?"

"Not a clue."

"O-Oh. And were you b-born with the r-red eyes?"

"Yup"  What was the point in this?

"You're aware th-that your eyes also r-represent your Determination, r-right?"

"I mean I've suspected that's what they mean but I've never confirmed it" I responded honestly. Seriously where was this going?

"What colour were your brothers eyes?"

"Blue. Like everyone else in our family except me for the past seven generations"

"Aha! Th-that may b-be our answer!"

"What do you mean Alphys?" Sans asked all of the sudden.

"I believe that because neither of you h-had a c-complete soul, the aspects of y-your traits that c-could not be contained b-by your half a soul went to your eyes. S-so his trait was p-probably either Patience or Integrity. However th-that wouldn't explain why the D-Determination in your eyes d-didn't go t-to the other half once you g-gained it. And y-your soul is much d-darker than F-Frisk's, despite you have th-the same trait. So I b-believe that your D-Determination is stronger".

I stared blankly at her.

She looked nervous. "Oh. Y-you didn't get it. What I'm s-saying is-"

"No no I got it. I'm just trying to process it" I explained.

I had always thought Frisk's was stronger. That would've explained why she woke me up when she fell.

Sans cleared the throat he didn't have. "I think I got it. Your soul is stronger but still only has half its resources. Frisk's soul is strong as well but not quite as strong as yours. The two of you depend on each other. Your Determination completes each other"

Alphys looked relieved. “Y-yes that’s also a p-possible explanation”

I nodded. So... My Determination was stronger than hers.

This was new to say the least. I mean it wasn’t confirmed but Alphys is rarely wrong.

“Kid I can see this is gonna be a bit of a struggle for you. But you don’t have to worry. If anything this is good. You gotta be willing to trust yourself.”

I snorted. “Faith, trust, where’s the cocaine?”

Sans shot me a shocked look.

“PIXIE DUST! I MEANT PIXIE DUST I SWEAR!”

That was all it took. Sans LOST IT laughing.

“Holy shit you’re fucked up kid”

“You’re just now figuring this out?”

“Nope. I’ve known it”

“Good”

Chapter Text

Sans had apparently sensed my discomfort at suddenly finding out about this new power of mine.

"Alright. Workout gear" he ordered the second we got home.

"Uh, What? But we trained earlier." I protested.

"Yup. And now you're worked up again. The entire point of teaching you hand-to-hand combat is that you'd have an emotional release. You need an outlet for your stress. So we're having a training session." He raised an eyebrow at me. "Unless you're not up for the challenge...?" He smirked.

Curse my inability to back down from a fight. God damn it.

"Nope. I'm up for it"

"Yeah that's what I thought. Let's go"

**************************

Once I was in my typical workout gear I found myself faced with a wall of blue bones.

"You know how to dodge these"

I jumped over the wall easily.

"Good. But do you know how to dodge... THIS?!" Out of nowhere a white bone was launched at my head.

I threw myself to the side and it sailed past my ear. Jesus fuck.

"Good. This type of magic always comes with some sort of weapon. For me and Papyrus it's the bones. But bones aren't exactly a key part of you like they are for us. Tibia honest" he smirked. I groaned. "I've got no clue what kinda weapon your magic would form. Especially because you displayed so much skill with basically every weapon in the underground."

I paused to take this in. "So our goal for today is...?"

"To see if you can summon your weapon"

"Where do I start?"

"...Good question."

I sighed. "Okay well, where'd you start? When you were first learning all this?"

Sans kind of froze. "Uh, well, to be honest, I was attacked. Well, I wasn't. Papyrus was. I threw myself in front to protect him and... bones. Happened"

"So you were thrown into a situation where you had to have a weapon and it just happened"

He nodded. "Are you saying that's what you think we should try?"

"It's worth a shot". I replied.

Sans thought about it for a minute. Maybe this was a bad idea. Having Sans attack me. It would be like the Last Corridor all over again.

"I've got it" he finally said. I looked up to meet his gaze. "I'm gonna teleport outta here and turn off the lights. You can illuminate the room with your magic. Stay quiet. Stay still. I'll attack you at random. You'll get one hint as to where it's coming from and then it'll be hitting you. We'll see if your weapon appears out of defense. If it doesn't, it'll be a blue attack. All you gotta do is stay still if nothing happens?  Okay?"

I found myself thinking about our time in that dreaded golden corridor. Every time we had fought before this he had warned me what was coming so I could figure out how to block or dodge. This wasn't like that. This was like back in the corridor.  He seemed convinced that it would work. And I had suggested this. I couldn't exactly back out now, could I?

Sans seemed to read the uncertainty on my face because he was right there in front of me making me look into his eye sockets.

"Chara. Listen to me. I will never attack you like I did back then. If this doesn't work and your weapon doesn't form, all you have to do is stay still. If anything goes wrong I will immediately stop the attack. I would never let you get hurt like that. Are you sure you're ready for this?"

I took a deep breath, swallowed hard, and nodded.

"Alright then".

**************************

I soon found myself standing alone in the dark basement. I activated my magic and soon my right hand was glowing with the familiar red aura. It was almost comforting now that I was used to it.

I don't know how long I stood there. Good thing I'm not afraid of the dark.

The basement was quiet. I could hear the gentle hum of the old heater in the corner but that was it. I looked all around me and listened closely. That hint would be coming any second.

Suddenly the heater switched off.

I whipped around the face the corner where the heater was and found a series of blue bones flying at me. I locked into position in case something happened and tried desperately to summon my weapon. Not that I knew how to, of course, I was flying blind!

It wasn't working. I closed my eyes tight and braced for the attack to be over

Suddenly I heard chuckling. "Kid. Open your eyes"

I slowly blinked my eyes open until I saw what he was talking about.

The bones, which had formed a half-circle formation around me as they flew, were all being blocked by glowing red knives.

My jaw dropped as I looked up at Sans. He seemed to be studying the knives. They were small. Only about half the size of his bones. But they were strong enough to hold the bones back.

Sans flicked his hand and his bones vanished, leaving my knives floating freely.

"Violent and strong. But small. Yep. Definitely a case of the magic reflecting the user" he grinned.

I stared in awe at my knives. There they were. My weapons.

"Try moving them" Sans suggested.

I twisted my hand from side to side. The knives swirled around following my hand.

"Great. They're already sentient" Sans said with a grin.

"That's a good thing?" I asked. I copied his hand flick from earlier and successfully made them vanish.

"Yup. Your weapons, and your magic in general, are directly linked to your soul. It can sometimes take awhile for your magic to catch on to what you want and it tends to be flighty at first. But your knives are already sensing your wishes. That's good." He reassured me. "With a little more practice you'll be an expert with them"

I grinned and stared down at my right hand, the hand that had somehow created magical glowing knives. Then out of nowhere, realization hit.

"I can stab so many things now!" I said with a smirk.

Sans facepalmed. "Here I am trying to keep you away from knives and they end up being your magical weapon. Great. Well, we accomplished our goal for the day. You wanna practice or stop here? We did have a session earlier today too. So it's completely up to you"

"Let's stop here. I've had enough excitement for a day".

"You got it"

**************************

After I changed clothes I came out and was met with a worried looking Sans and Toriel fretting over a sheet of paper.

“This bitch is just coming to us now?” Sans angrily whispered.

Mom looked like she was on the verge of tears. “I can’t lose her Sans... not again...”

“Hey, don’t talk like that, we’re not losing her”

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

Both of them jumped when I spoke. Well that wasn’t a good thing.

“It’s nothing, my child!” Toriel exclaimed, the note of fear very evident in her voice.

Sans sighed. “She’s got the right to know, babe. It’s about her after all” He beckoned me over.

I stepped closer. “Is something wrong? What do you mean it’s about me?”

“Kiddo. Chara. We got a call from the courthouse while you were changing clothes.” He showed me the piece of paper. It had various dates, addresses, and phone numbers on it. He pointed to the center of the page. “We need to know if this name means anything to you”

In the center of the page was a name I thought I’d never have to see again.

Eponine Brodeur.

Chapter Text

"THIS FUCKING BITCH IS BACK!"

"I take it you know her, my child?"  Toriel asked gently. "Because she seems to want custody of you"

"You're goddamn right I know this bitch! She's my aunt! My mom's twin sister! And she's a fucking abuser that doesn't deserve to have kids anywhere near her!" I found myself screaming.

"Okay, geez, kiddo. Why don't you sit down and explain the situation? It's looking like she wants to take this to court so we need as much information as we can get"

I sat on the armchair and sighed. "Tante Eponine always lived with us. Well, not in the same house, but she was always close by. You see my dad was a foreign exchange student who met my mom went he went to France. They hit it off due to their mutual drug interests. He knocked her up with twins, panicked, proposed. We lived in France til Celesté and I were two. Then moved to the States. And Eponine moved with us but none of the rest of mom's family did.

She babysat us all the time. And she did NOT like the fact that I picked up English so quickly. She never beat me for it. Not like they did at the hospital if I spoke French. But she did lock me in a dog cage. She also knew about the abuse and rape I was getting at home. Did nothing. Encouraged it, actually". I explained.

I could see the fire in Mom's narrowed eyes. "And after all of that... she wants you back.... probably to beat you some more..." Mom's eyes were full of rage. Oh shit. Mama bear was here to play. Fuckin run.

Sans was at her side in an instant, calming her down. "Relax, Tori. This lady isn't taking Chara anywhere. Chara's our kid. You need to stay calm, for the twins' sake. Please?"

I watched the exchange with curiosity. I'd never seen mom so worked up. Did I blame her? Of course not. Her child's old abuser was trying to take said child back. Of course she was worked up. But Sans calmed her down so fast.

I guess they really are in love.

Sans lead her through some deep breaths and then she was fine. "Okay kiddo. So apparently this Eponine wants you to visit her. Wants to reconnect with you I guess? You've gotta do it, but you're not going alone. Especially not after what we just heard"

I nodded. I could handle it. It'd be a quick visit. Mom and Sans would win custody of me and I'd never see the bitch again.

Ideally at least.

"Okay. So who all is coming with me?"

**************************

"This would be the bitch's house" I confirmed when we stood outside the grimy-looking shack two days later. Behind me stood my immediate family as well as Asgore.

"Guess we should knock on the door then" Sans said with a shrug. But I stopped him.

"Wait! There's uh. Something I gotta tell you before we go in. About her"

"Shoot, kid".

"Auntie only speaks French. She can understand English but she doesn't speak it. I'll be talking with her in French most of the time but I'll translate if you need it. Okay?"

Everyone nodded. Sans knocked on the door.

A woman with the same red hair as me opened the door. Her eyes were bright blue and her hair was pulled up into a high ponytail on her head. She had to be like 70 by now but I'd lost track. She was probably doing a fuck ton of Botox and hair colouring to make herself look younger. She had an obnoxiously bright pink lipstick on along with bright blue eyeshadow up to her perfectly shaped brows.

Her blue eyes found my dark red ones and narrowed.

"Bonjour, Chariana...." (Hello, Chariana)

"Bonjour, Tante" (Hello, Auntie)

"Qui sont ces idiots?" (Who are these idiots?) She asked, her nose turned up in disgust.

I rolled my eyes. "Tante, soit gentille. Je voudrais présenter ma mère, Toriel et mon père Asgore. Ceci est mon beau-père, Sans, mon frère, Asriel, et ma soeur, Frisk" (Auntie, be nice. I'd like to introduce my mom, Toriel and my dad Asgore. This is my stepdad, Sans, and brother, Asriel, and my sister, Frisk) I replied, pointing to each person in turn. They all smiled gently at her and waved politely. She did not try to shake any hands but that didn't surprise me with how racist she is.

She nodded in response. Apparently she picked up on the fact that they didn't know French and turned back to me with a look of disdain. "Vous les appelez vos gardiens? Tu es vraiment un enfant stupide." (You call them your guardians? You really are a stupid child).

I was already overwhelmed. She lead us inside and motioned to her collection of chairs. "Adultes sur les chaises, enfants sur le sol, s'il vous plaît" (Adults on the couch, children on the floor please). She ordered.

I directed my parents and Sans to the couch and sat on the floor. I motioned for Frisk and Asriel to sit with me. Auntie glared at Sans.

"J'ai dit les enfants sur le sol Chariana." (I said children on the floor, Chariana). She snapped at me, her eyes narrowed and her brows furrowed in disdain.

I rolled my eyes so hard I was worried they might fall out of my head. "Sans est un adulte. Et je m'appelle Chara, salope insolente!" (Sans is an adult. And my name is Chara you insolent bitch!) I fired back. I had been here less than five minutes and I was already prepared for murder.

Sans leaned forward to whisper in my ear. "Translate what just happened for me?"

I turned and hissed back at him. "She thought you were a kid and was trying to make you sit on the floor. I told her you were an adult and told her to stop calling me Chariana". Sure it wasn't an exact translation but he really only needed that much.

Toriel cleared her throat. "So... Miss Eponine. I understand that you are trying to regain custody of Chara?" Mom was nervous. Incredibly nervous. I could hear her voice shaking.

Auntie sniffed and turned up her nose. "Je n'ai pas seulement l'intention d'obtenir la garde. Je vais l'obtenir. Et Chariana reviendra à Paris avec moi où elle appartient et ce non-sens anglais lui échappera pour toujours." (I don't just intend to get custody. I'm going to get it. And Chariana will come back to Paris with me where she belongs and this English nonsense will be out of her head forever.).

I rolled my eyes and translated to the others. "She says she's going to get custody and take me back to Paris so I'll stop speaking English".

"Paris? But that's so far! I can't lose my sister!" Azzy said.

Eponine glared at him. "Dans cette maison, tu parles quand tu parles, petit garçon." (In this house you speak when spoken to, little boy).

I stood up and stepped towards my horrible aunt. "Putain tu ne lui dis pas quoi faire, merde de chien." (Don't you fucking tell him what to do you piece of dog shit). I growled. You don't fuck with my family like that unless you're trying to die.

"What's going on Chara?" Asgore asked gently.

"She tried to tell Asriel not to speak unless spoken to. She's a crazy old bitch". I answered.

I could tell that everyone was uncomfortable. I couldn't blame them. My aunt is a nasty person who doesn't deserve any sort of respect. She's bitter and evil and downright awful.

"Is this visit long enough yet?" I groaned. "This house is bringing up some awful memories."

Sans say forward all of the sudden. "I just got one question for her. Eponine. What kinda torture did you put my kiddo through that she hates you so much?" He knew the answer of course. He probably just wanted to see if she'd be honest.

Auntie got all defensive. "Je ne l'ai pas torturée! Je lui ai donné les punitions appropriées pour sa langue fétide!"  (I did not torture her! I gave her the appropriate punishments for her foul tongue!)

I stepped closer. My hand was on my back pocket where I kept my knife. "Tu m'as enfermé dans une cage pour chien pour avoir parlé anglais!" (You locked me in a dog cage for speaking English!).

Behind me I heard the gentle click of Sans's magic activating. It dragged me backwards towards him until I felt his real hand clamp around the hood of my jacket. Damn it he was holding me back.

"Translate for us Chara. Calmly, please." Toriel requested.

I took a deep breath to calm myself down. "She claimed she used 'appropriate punishments for my foul tongue', as if locking me in a dog cage for speaking broken self-taught English was appropriate" I informed them.

I could see Sans's eye flickering. I knew we wouldn't be here much longer.

"You locked my kid in a fucking dog cage for trying to learn a new language?!" Oh shit. Now Sans was on the warpath. "There's no way you're getting custody of her! This kid has had rotten luck all her life and she deserves a loving family who's going to care for her and protect her, not beat her into next century!"

Eponine actually took a step back. Yeah take that you fucking bitch.

Toriel placed a hand on his back. "Breathe, Sans."

"He doesn't even have lungs" I muttered.

Once things had calmed down, we stood up to leave. "Well I've deal with you for long enough. Anything you wanna say to the bitch before we leave, Chara?"

I thought for a second and then smirked. "Yeah. Gimme a sec"

I turned and walked towards my aunt. "Vous savez ma tante, je ne vois pas pourquoi vous essayez même. Ils ont tellement de preuves contre vous, rien que de ce que je leur ai dit à votre sujet. Non seulement vous n'obtiendrez pas la garde, mais vous serez probablement arrêté pour avoir maltraité des enfants lorsque cela sera dit et fait. Donc, si vous pensez vraiment que vous me ramenez, vous devez vous sortir la tête. Et sortez votre gode pendant que vous êtes là-haut" (You know auntie, I don't see why you're even trying. They've got so much evidence against you just from what I've told them about you. Not only will you not get custody but you'll probably be arrested for child abuse when this is said and done. So if you really think you're getting me back, you need to get your head outta your ass. And get your dildo outta there while you're up there).

With that we left.

As we walked back to the car Sans stopped me. "So when are we gonna get the translation of the last thing you said to her?"

I glanced to mom and chuckled. "When mom isn't around to get me in trouble for it".

Chapter Text

Sans's POV

That kid has suffered. She's angry. She's got every right to be. I'm amazed shes opened up to us at all to be honest.

Sometimes I wish I could see what she went through. She's not telling us the full story. I used to hold that against her, but now I understand why. She went through hell.

But now it's more important than ever that Toriel and I know the truth. We need evidence against Eponine if we have any hope of keeping Chara. Not only is she a strong fighter and a hell of a challenge for any human to beat, but she's my daughter.

Hey you, reading my inner monologue right now. Can ya keep a secret? I'm legally adopting the kids. Once Tori and I for sure have custody, Frisk and Chara are officially gonna be Serriff-Dreemurrs. Asriel might too but we think he wants to carry on his father's name. Ultimately it'll be his choice.

I've been doing some research on that hospital she went to and I don't like what I found. They were shut down back in the sixties due to some serious issues. A lacking security system for one, which explained how she escaped. Patients were found with serious injuries they didn't have before they were admitted. One girl was killed because they performed a lobotomy on her. She was only two. Patients arms were locked in position and would never move properly again due to the amount of time they spent in straightjackets. The patients weren't properly fed and it was basically a death sentence. A man who should've been let go over a decade before it shut down was found chained down to his bed and shivering, half dead from cold.

Chara had survived all this? Sheesh. Determination is powerful thing ain't it?

That night I called Chara in to change her bandages. When she came into my room in her tank top, my head was racing. How many times had she been ordered into her parents' room in less clothing than this? Did they even let her wear clothes or was she just expected to walk around naked so her dad could do whatever he wanted?

I didn't miss how she tended to tense up when I touched her shoulder. Even if it was only with an antiseptic soaked cotton ball. Every touch must've brought her back to the day it happened. Every touch must've felt like the knife her mom used on her.

As I studied the scars on her upper back and shoulder I couldn't help but wonder.

How many scars did she have on the bottom half?

Well that was something I was going to be left to wonder. I was not going to do that to her. She was uncomfortable in anything less than a t-shirt. I wasn't gonna make her get those treated unless absolutely necessary and even then I'd let Toriel handle it.

Chara has behaviors you'd never pick up on if you didn't know her. She's always trying to protect her siblings. She doesn't want to lose them like she did her twin. Or at least, I'm thinking that's the reason. She's gonna be great with the twins.

I hate that I don't know how to help. Chara's a wildcard and unpredictable. I can guess how she'll respond to things but sometimes she does a complete 180 on me and does something different. We've worked hard to get her where she is now and she's doing a lot better. But it won't be enough for the court.

Admittedly, I don't know much how custody battles work. I don't think it's the kid's choice but they have to take SOME input from the kid, right?

I really hope Chara can stay calm when the court date comes. I've seen her nervous. I haven't seen her really break down. Ever. And part of me is expecting that to happen during the trial. Is it even called a trial in this case? Human justice systems are weird. Then again the only custody case monsters have ever had was if Undyne and Alphys would be allowed to adopt MK, so what did I know?

As I cleaned up her arm I thought about just how shit that hospital had to be if she had this many scars. There's no way she would've had access to sharp objects. She did say she'd used fingernails before though. Apparently they didn't keep a close eye on her. Or do anything to help her stop cutting in the first place.

Part of me wonders if the fingernails were her own.

How bad was that kid tearing herself up in that place? If she does have scars on her bottom half, are they self inflicted? Has she been cutting her thighs or her stomach?

She's hurting so bad right now. I can't imagine the stress she's under. She probably feels like the world is against her right about now.

Then again I can't assume anything. She’s not gonna make it if she doesn’t give us some answers. As much as I hate to admit it, she’d probably commit suicide if she had to live with her aunt.

I wouldn’t blame her.

I think we can get through this. It’ll take some time. But we’ve got nothing but time until this homeschooling thing starts up. I don’t wanna lose my kid.

I treated her horribly before. I see that now. Never even gave the kid a chance. But Toriel and I are gonna change that. She’s improving every day and I’ve never seen her so energetic and full of life. She loves to train her magic and she loves combat training. It’s a challenge for her and she likes it.

A course, I can’t assume that. But there’s some things a dad just knows, ya know?

Chapter Text

That night wasn't fun. Frisk was gently rocking back and forth on her bed. I could hear the gentle creak of her bedsprings. But she was silent. No noise. No whines or whimpers.

I sat up and pushed myself off the bed. I glanced at the alarm clock, which almost never actually had an alarm set. It was nearly 2 AM.

Frisk usually wasn't an insomniac. She slept well most nights. So something was up.

As the LED numbers rolled over from 1:56 to 1:57, I approached the bed and sat down gingerly on it, letting her register that someone had joined her.

When Frisk rolled over to see who had joined her, I saw she had been crying silently. Her wide blue eyes were glassy and streaked with tears. But still no noise.

"Can you tell me what's wrong?" I said gently.

Frisk said nothing. She buried her head in her knees and raised her left hand. She balled it into a fist and shook it side to head.

Sign language for no. I groaned inwardly. I knew what that meant.

When Frisk first fell, she never spoke. She was scared and in a new situation. She did know sign language though. How she knows it is up to her to tell. But I learned from being in her head.

Now whenever she's scared she tends to revert back to sign language.

"Why are you scared?" I asked her. I kept my voice low and cool.

She looked back up at me. Her tears were drying in sticky trails down her cheeks. I reached for the tissue box we keep on the bedside table and gently wiped her eyes.

She raised her hands and moved them rapidly. Her fingers flew into different shapes. I could really only pick up on about half the words, but I figured it out.

"Everything's happening fast. You're leaving. Were fighting. Mom is having twins. I'm overwhelmed."

I pulled her into my shoulder. "Listen to me Frisk". I said, dropping my voice into a whisper. "I am your big sister. I'm not going to leave you. You know what I am. I'm your ange gardien. And I'd be a pretty rotten one if I left you. You can count on that"

I looked back at the clock. 1:59.

Frisk cried gently into my shoulder. I held her and let her cry. We both needed emotional release from all this.

That didn't mean I was gonna give myself one but who was I to deprive my sister of hers?

As her crying calmed down, she pulled away. Red eyes met blue.

Red eyes on that face. Blue eyes. Glowing. Blue and yellow eye. Eyes. Blue. Bones. Flying. Gold squares. SHUT UP! This isn't about you!

I cleared my head of those thoughts and honed my sight in on Frisk's hands. They were flying through the air in different shapes again.

"Do you ever wonder if we picked the right side?"

I shook my head immediately. With full confidence. "No I don't. We picked the right side. The monsters have given us both better lives than we had before. You know that."

She nodded solemnly. "We were in bad places. Isn't that why we fell in the first place?"

I remembered the running. The straightjacket pinning my arms to my sides as I dashed to the base of the mountain. The sounds of sirens in the distance. And the fall.

"Yeah Frisk. That's why. We had some awful luck. But look where we are now"

She looked around. "In the middle of a war?"

I chuckled a little darkly at that. "Technically yes but I meant where we are right now. We're in a bed. In a warm house. With a brother that loves us. With parents that listen to us." I gave her a pointed look with that one. "That's more than either of us had growing up".

"My parents weren't at fault" She corrected me.

I nodded. "I know they weren't. But whether they could help it or not, you weren't in a good place. That's why you had to run"

She nodded, confirming what I knew was the truth.

"Listen. We have to sleep. If we're gonna prove to the humans that we can kick their asses, we have to train and train hard. Plus school starts tomorrow. Do you want me to stay with you?"

She nodded and settled herself back into the blankets. I lay down next to her and wrapped my arms around her shoulders protectively. She buried her head in my shoulder.

I looked at the clock again. 2:06

Then, she pulled away to lift her hands again.

"Goodnight Chara" her hands said to me.

In the heat of the moment I'm not sure what I was thinking. Maybe it was the fact that she was asleep and couldn't punch me for saying it. Maybe it was the fact that we'd been talking about her past. Maybe I just wanted to remind her of who she missed. Whatever the reason,
I did it.

I pulled her in tighter and whispered to the darkness.

"Goodnight, Francesca".

**************************

The next day, Mom and Sans had arranged a joint training session for Frisk and I. This would be the first time each of us had seen the other girl's magic.

"Okay children". Mom started. "You've both been doing excellently on your own. Now we have a challenge for you"

They stepped aside to reveal large clear bowl of oil and water.

Mom raised her giant clawed hands and focused on the bowl for a minute. Suddenly the oil was lit with a bright purple fire.

Sans turned to us with a grin. "You have five minutes. Overpower it".

Frisk and I looked at each other in panic.

We tried a number of things. I tried raising the bowl, Frisk tried to change Mom's fire into her own, nothing was working. We were running out of time fast.

"One minute!" Sans called to us from across the yard. I stared at the bowl and suddenly it hit me.

"Oh my GOD I'm STUPID! Frisk, listen. I'm gonna put out the fire. The second it's out, replace it with yours."

"How are you gonna put it out?"

"Like this".

I walked over and magically raised the water from the middle of the bowl. I spread it out slightly, then dropped it. It fell on the fire but did not extinguish it. I looked at the bowl in shock.

Suddenly Frisk was at my side. “Look at Sans” she whispered.

I looked up and saw the slight smirk tugging at Sans’s mouth. His hand was shimmering a very slight blue. I looked closer at the fire. Sure enough it had a blue aura surrounding it. That bastard! He was trying to trick us!

Well we wouldn’t be tricked. I whispered back to Frisk. “Distract him”.

Frisk suddenly had her hands blazing. She turned her attention towards the fire and intensified her flames. They were a dark indigo in colour.

While she did that I gathered up the water droplets on the grass in my aura and ran around the house with them in my magical grasp.

Suddenly I was behind them. I have no clue how, but I was. Did I teleport?

Oh well. I snuck up on Sans. His left hand was still shimmering blue and in his right was his phone, ticking down the timer.

Five seconds left.

I dropped the water on his left hand and heard the tell-tale fizz of his magic deactivating. He made some sort of noise of surprise and dropped his phone. Across the yard, Frisk had extinguished her flames and the water, which had been sitting on top of the barrier Sans had created, had fallen onto the purple flames and extinguished them.

Sans looked back at me with a look of shock.

Now it was my turn to smirk. “I believe we overpowered it”

Sans look confused for a second and then suddenly was laughing. “Yeah. You did. Well, this was supposed to get you to think outside the box. Guess I wasn’t expecting to get wet in the process” he explained.

“That’s what she said” I half-said, half-snorted.

Sans nearly fell out of his chair. “Jesus Christ kid you gotta stop these jokes!”

“Never!”

Chapter Text

Sans's POV

So Chara's not gonna be happy. This court thing humans do. Well they gotta dress up for it. And I know damn well that the only dress she's got is her maid of honour one that she hates.

And the kid hates to shop. So I called in backup.

When Chara and I had the house to ourselves, I decided to spring the shopping trip on her. We sat in the living room, taking about her training and basically anything but shopping Suddenly a drag queen robot and a hench fish were slamming our door in.

"Oh, hellooo, Chara my little darling!" The metallic rustbucket practically sang. I hated the guy but we needed fashion advice.

"Red-Eyes!" Undyne cheered. She was taking the gentle approach for once.

Chara's eyes lit up at the sight of her aunt (her real aunt) and her uncle. "What are you guys doing here?"

I hissed out my breath and rubbed the back of my skull. "Well, kiddo, we have to go clothes shopping."

Chara's POV

I. HATE. Shopping. It's so annoying. All the frilly shit and the changing rooms and wondering if someone was gonna try and get in there when you were half dressed. It's madness! Madness I tell ya!

"Why do we need to go shopping? I have plenty of clothes!"

"Not formal clothes though. You're waaay too much of a rough and tumble kid to own formal clothes. We gotta find you something you can wear in court. And I know you hate shopping so I brought in some backup" Sans explained to me.

"But that's months away! Can't it wait at least?" I whined. I normally don't whine but shopping is such a pain in the ass that I'd do anything to get out of it.

Sans chuckled at my antics. "C'mon kid. We'll get you something good and make it as fun as we can"

"Yeah, punk! You're in good hands with us tod-"

"Before you fin-ish that sentence Undyne" Sans said with a grin. Undyne responded with a tight lipped frown. "You're gonna have to try stuff on today kiddo. How're ya with changing clothes in public?" It would've been a strange question for most people but I saw the hidden question he was asking.

I shrugged. "I'm fine as long as I'm left alone long enough. I don't like people seeing me.... uncovered."

He nodded. "Well that's not gonna happen. You'll be safe"

"I'll kick the shit outta anyone who tries to get in there kid" Undyne assured me.

I sighed. "Let's do this shit"

**************************

Fifteen minutes later, Mettaton's limo was pulling up to the mall. I groaned inwardly. This was gonna suck.

The flamboyant hunk of metal practically sashayed into the first store we found. Suddenly he had vanished among the overly frilly clothes that looked like someone's prom picture gone wrong. Blegh.

The evolved pop-tart reappeared with a dress in his carefully manicured hand. "Well? How's this darling? Would you like to try it on?"

It was a simple white dress with a pale green tie around the waist. Judging by my height it would come to about mid-thigh on me.

Something about this felt wrong but I couldn't put my finger on it. He looked so happy to have found it that I shrugged and nodded.

The overgrown calculator known as Mettaton got a dressing room for me. I stepped inside and listened to the firm click of the lock behind me. It was comforting knowing that no one would come in. Under the slim crack of the door I could see Undyne's spear resting on the ground. Yeah. No one was getting in.

I slipped my jacket off my shoulders and hung it up delicately. I followed it with my t shirt and jeans which I folded gently and layed them on the bench. My combat boots came off and were set in the corner of the dressing room.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I was short and underweight. My shoulder, still bandaged, seamed to stick out like a sore thumb. The wrap around it was much darker than my pale skin. The wrap around my cuts was the same way. 

I sighed and picked up the dress. It didn't zip or anything so I pulled it on over my head. I shoved my arms through the sleeves and looked at my reflection.

The memories came rushing to me all at once.

Hands. On my legs. Up. Going up my thigh. Ropes. Handcuffs. Exposed skin. Pain. Blood.

I realized what felt off about the situation as I hit the wall hard and fast.

Suddenly I was three years old again. Backed up against the wall by a man much larger than myself. The too-small crop top and too-short skirt clinged to my tiny form, soon to be ripped off of me.

"Si vous plait!" I was suddenly shouting.

The door slammed open. On the other side was Sans, breathing heavily and his eye flaming.

"Who the FUCK-" he growled. But his entire demeanor changed when he saw me.

Huddled against the wall, breathing heavily, nothing but fear in my eyes. I can only imagine how that must've looked to anyone.

Suddenly he's by my side. His voice was quiet and soothing.

"Ssh, ssh, it's okay. You can take it off. You're gonna be fine. No ones here to get you and no ones gonna touch you"

I studied his movements. Only to find that there were almost none. He really wasn't moving a lot. He was very calm, as if he was trying to get me to mimic his attitude.

When my breathing slowed he took my wrists in both hands. "Chara. Kiddo. Listen. Take the dress off. Put your normal clothes back on. We're gonna get rid of it. We're gonna find you something else. Breathe for me"

I took a deep breath and tried to steady myself. I knew if I answered aloud my voice would break so I just nodded.

Sans slowly backed out of the changing room, his eyes weighed down with concern. Once he closed to door I locked it quickly. I don't know how he broke the lock open in the first place.

I shed the dress as quickly as possible and hung it back on it's hanger. I hung it on the low hook on the door, taking a little comfort in the fact that it was blocking the gap underneath the door.

Suddenly a blue glow seized the dress and it floated up and over the door.

"Take it back. No dresses for the kiddo. She had a complete meltdown in there. Think it had to do with her dad" I heard Sans tell the others in hushed whispers.

I heard the distinctive click of Mettaton's high heeled boots prance away from the changing rooms, supposedly with the dress in tow.

I slipped on the worn black jeans that were always on my legs. They were soft and a little ripped up. Not the in the way that clothing companies rip jeans. Frays in the hems from scuffing against the pavement. Scuffs in the knees from sliding against the rough basement flooring whenever I dodged an attack a little too hard during training. They were comforting.

Next followed my t-shirt. A jade green, decorated in 8-bit style pixel hearts. It was newer than the jeans but still very comforting.

And then my combat boots. Worn black leather with sturdy, thick laces and pieces of steel in the toes. They were custom made me for me back when I fell. They were scuffed up and there was almost no traction on the soles from how often I wore them. But they were mine.

Finally my jacket. It was nothing special, nothing at all. A plain old leather jacket. Black with silver studs on the upturned collar and silver snaps on the sleeves and pockets. The ones on the pocket were decorative, as the pockets actually closed with the silver zippers that were concealed underneath the leather. It was easily my favourite jacket.

I stepped out of the dressing room, much more comfortable in my skin.

"So ya don't like dresses. Eh, they're not my thing either" Sans chuckled.

"Don't know what MTT was thinking" Undyne added. "You're a tomboy through and through. Dresses just wouldn't work out for you"

I rolled my eyes. "You don't have to make me feel better you know. I know I had a meltdown."

The two of them went silent.

When Mettaton's heels came clicking back to us like this was the fucking wizard of oz, we knew we were in for it.

I stared at him with a dead-eyed expression as he came into view, grinning brightly.

"I believe I've found an excellent section for Chara to find clothing in! Follow me!" And off he went, fully prancing at this point.

Undyne and I exchanged a mutually annoyed look and followed. Sans snapped his fingers and teleported in front of us.

We made our way across the large department store to an area labeled 'Mix'n'Match: Boys' Suits'. It had racks of different dress shirts, slacks, vests, overcoats, and ties. There was also a rack of dress shoes.

"Now before you say anything about his being the boy's section, gender roles are stupid. There's nothing wrong with a young girl wanting to wear a suit" he said with a knowing grin.

As I looked around, I found myself cracking a smile. I'd be completely covered if I wore something like this.

"First you pick out a base. Then either an overcoat or a vest. Then a tie or bow tie. And then shoes." Mettaton explained to me.

We separated among the clothes, each of us trying to find something. I was drawn to the ties for some reason. I hunted through and found an emerald green one. I don't know why I like it so much. I can't even tie a tie.

When I found Sans and Undyne they had somehow coordinated. Sans was holding a long sleeved button up dress shirt that was a tannish colour. Undyne was holding the matching slacks. I laughed to myself.

Undyne approached us with two vests in one hand and two overcoats in the other. "I didn't know which one you'd prefer so I got a couple". He told me. I studied his options and picked out the vest that matched my tie.

"Courthouses are hot" I explained.

The four of us looked over our choices. They seemed to match and they all looked like my style.

Undyne snapped her fingers. "Oh right. Shoe size?"

"6" I responded, folding the clothes over my arm.

"Gotcha. Meet ya at the dressing rooms" she said, and she was off to get shoes.

Mettaton took us back to the changing rooms and got me a different one. I was ushered inside with my small pile of clothes.

I went back through the process of undressing and folding my own clothes. Then I picked up the long sleeved shirt.

It was made out of the same stiff cotton as the slacks were. I unbuttoned it and pulled it on over my tank top. I buttoned all the of the tiny white buttons.

When I looked in the mirror I flinched. I'm not used to seeing my own legs. I quickly pulled on the matching slacks, tucking the shirt in. That was much better.

I slipped on the vest and buttoned it up. This was overly complicated for a court outfit. Then I picked up the tie.

I quickly realized that I didn't know how to tie a tie. So I draped it over my neck, took a deep breath, and opened the door of the change room

Sans looked up from where he was leaning against the wall. Undyne was standing next to him and playing on her phone holding a pair of tan shoes. Mettaton was the closest to the door.

"Wow, that, actually works really well for you, Red" Undyne said, nodding in approval.

"Looks good, kid" Sans put in, giving me a thumbs up.

"Oh darling, that outfit looks wonderful on you! Oh but sweetheart, that's not how you wear a tie" Mettaton chided gently.

I smiled sheepishly. "I don't know how to tie a tie" I admitted.

Sans chuckled and stepped forward. "Guess that's my job as the stepdad" He said. "Unbutton the top button of your vest" he added in as he kneeled in front of me.

I unbuttoned the top of the three buttons, and expected him to grab the tie and start tying it. Instead he grabbed it and whipped it off my shoulders.

"Well for starters this is completely backwards" he said with a chuckle. He turned it around and wrapped it back around my neck. "Well you put this part under here and then tie it here, then shorten it and tuck this part back, and there you go".

I stared blankly. "I have no idea what you just did".

He laughed and shook his head. "At some point I'll teach you. Or Asgore might. I guess it's kind of a dad thing, teaching your so- kids how to tie a tie". He tucked the tie into my vest, albeit awkwardly since he was trying not to make me uncomfortable. Then he buttoned the vest back over it. "There ya go. How do you feel?"

I paused to think about it. I wasn't used to dressing like this. I preferred clothes I could run around in. But if I had to dress up then this was much more comfortable than a dress

"...Comfortable" I finally said.

"Great. Alright, we're going with that one. Go get it off and we'll buy it"

As I closed the door to the dressing room and started fiddling with the tie, I heard him muttering under his breath.

"I just hope the kiddo isn't 'suiting up' just to let everyone down".

Chapter Text

I knew it would happen. It was bound to. Everyone who's recovering from some sort of addiction goes through it. A relapse.

I had been training hard all day. Dodging bones left and right, perfecting my skill with my knives, and kicking a punching bag hard enough to twist my ankle. Sans insisted I take a break and go get mom to heal it but I laughed and kept going, aggravating the injury further.

Deep down I knew I deserved the pain.

I was a firecracker today. Once I got that suit I was a hundred percent ready to kill. I wanted to march into the courtroom right then and show my aunt up.

Somewhere around eight o clock at night all that confidence ended. I fell headfirst into a violent flashback of cages and loud French screaming and cussing.

Worthless, stupid girl! You will never amount to anything unless you learn to do as you're told! My aunt's harsh words filled my head and echoed over and over in my ears.

I was oddly silent as I put up my gloves and put my sneakers back on.

That night was sleepless. I spent what felt like hours tossing and turning and trying to get her icy blue eyes to stop haunting me from the corner of the room. I had to get up multiple times to make sure she wasn't actually there.

On my third time getting up to go violently assault the corner, I noticed the clock. The LED numbers flashed from 4:13 AM to 4:14 AM. I wasn't getting to sleep at this point. I carried my workout clothes down to the basement.

When I got down the stairs I quietly slipped into my clothing. Then I attacked the punching bag with everything I had. Left hook, uppercut, roundhouse kick, jab. I did it all on that sack of canvas.

On a particularly hard lunch I missedI really don't know how I managed to miss. My hand collided against the brickwork. I screamed in pain and then realized the others were asleep. I covered my mouth with my other hand while I studied the injured one.

It wasn't too bad. I wrapped it up with the first aid kit we kept down here. Then I picked up my gloves. I'd forgotten to put them on, that was all.

I continued my attack on the punching bag. My hand was still sore but I let it slide.

I kept at it until I was absolutely exhausted. By that time I had knocked the bag off its hook and it was laying on the ground, with a split seam on the side of it. But even then I still felt awful. Every time I blinked I saw her icy eyes boring into my very core.

I threw my gloves to the ground and ran back up the stairs. I found my jacket in the darkness of the bedroom and blindly reached into the pockets. When I had Bloody Mary in my hands, I raced back down.

——————Trigger Warning—————

I ducked into the corner of the basement and rolled up my sleeves. The green button released the clean silver of the handle. I tore off that stupid wrap on my arm as fast as I could and placed the knife to my forearm. With a deep inhale and my teeth clamped around my lower lip, I made the slice.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six

I dropped the knife and hollered in pain after cut number six. I went too deep. The warm blood spilled out and down my arm. The sight of it was overpowering. I gagged and swallowed bile.

Blood. Pouring everywhere. I grabbed the wrap and used it to wipe away some of the blood. It was no use. The pain was awful. Burning, deep cuts that stung and drove me mad. I scrubbed my arm raw trying to get the blood cleaned up. But it just kept spilling out.

I suddenly found myself being telekinetically thrown against the wall as a series of frantic footsteps clattered down the basement steps.

——————Warning Over—————

"Who are you and why are you in my ho- Kid?!"

I looked into the glowing blue eye of a concerned skeleton who had raced down the stairs thinking there was an intruder.

I analyzed this situation. I was bleeding badly from an arm he'd caught me with self harm scars on twice before. A bloody knife was on the ground in front of me. A punching bag was on the floor and my hands were scraped up. There wasn't much hiding this.

I stayed perfectly still as he approached me. His left hand glowed with a blue magic aura and his right scooped up the knife. He examined the silver blade that I always kept clean. Only now it wasn't silver. It was red.

His eyes drifted from the blood on the knife to the blood running down my arm. His eyes widened and he flicked his wrist. I was floating towards Sans. When I was close enough he grabbed the back of my shirt. I could hear the shakiness in his breath.

He clicked the green button at the base of my dagger's handle. The blade vanished into the hilt. He pocketed the knife and used his now free hand to pick up my pajamas. Then he turned and walked up the stairs, calm as anything.

"So, kid". Sans said, not releasing the back of my shirt as he carried me into the bathroom and sat me on the counter. "Apparently we ain't outta the woods yet".

**************************

Five minutes later I was balanced on the counter. Sans had one of my arms in his hand and he was scrubbing my cuts with a damp, cool washcloth. His grip wasn't overly tight but it was definitely firm. I knew that I'd be screwed if I tried to escape his grip. I held the towel rack next to the sink with my free hand so I wouldn't fall. I refused to look at him.

When he had gotten the excess blood off my arm, he looked up at me. I wasn't looking back. "You wanna explain, kiddo?" Despite it being phrased like a question I knew it wasn't.

I flicked my eyes towards him. I expected anger. But all I saw was concern and expectation. I returned my eyes to their former spot.

"Chara. If this is about your aunt then-"

"Of course it is. Who else would it be about?" I snapped. I had much less vigor than I normally did. "I can't close my eyes without seeing hers and hearing her god forsaken voice."

Sans looked contemplative for a second, with his small white eye dots boring into the cuts. Then he took out his phone and snapped a picture of my arm.

"What the fuck was that?! Delete it!" I snapped, reaching for his phone

He shook his head and put the phone back in his pocket. "Sorry kid. But if you're torn up enough about her that you're still tearing yourself up then that's what's gonna convince the court that you're not safe with her."

I sank back. He was right.

"I'm not gonna show anyone except the judge kid. And whatever lawyer takes up our case. This is still a secret between us. I promise". Sans tilted my chin up, forcing me to look at him.

"I thought you hated making promises"

"I also used to hate certain little girl with red eyes and a knack for sass. Things change" he said with a chuckle. "Now let's finish up with this arm"

He dug in the first aid kit until he found a jar of green gel that I recognized, as well as bandages, a new strip of ace wrap, and a pack of disinfectant wipes. He began the long process of swiping the green gel over my cuts, causing me to flinch. When I did flinch, he just tightened his grip and held me still. It took a second for the gel to dry down so he just held my wrist and kept me there. Again, I couldn't look him in the eye.

He unwrapped six bandages and placed them delicately over each cut. He's done this for me three times now and this is the freshest they've been. Which meant this this time hurt the most. Then he took out the ace wrap and wrapped up my arm tight. He tucked the fabric under itself to hold it in place. I sighed in relief when it was over.

He pulled his phone back out and checked the time. "Well it's nearly 5 AM. Have you slept at all?"

I shook my head. "Couldn't. Every time I tried all I saw was her".

He nodded. "Well, I'm gonna go make some coffee. Get dressed and meet me in the living room. I'll make ya some hot chocolate and we'll see if we can't get you at least some sleep".

I nodded. Sans quietly left the bathroom.

I jumped off the counter and peeled off my sweaty work out clothes. They'd definitely need a wash before our next training session. I tossed them in the hamper and put on my pajamas. Then I headed back out to the living room. I found Sans waiting for me with a mug of coffee in his hand and his eyes glued to his phone. He pointed to a steaming mug on the table.

I activated my magic and floated the cup towards myself. Then I paused. "Does this have water?"

"Yeah". He said absently. He tapped on his phone for a minute and then set it down. "C'mon up. I ain't gonna bite"

I lifted myself into the couch and sipped my cocoa. Had to admit. It was pretty good.

"So. Tell me about your aunt kiddo".

I sighed. "Sans I'd rather not".

"I know. But it's keeping you up at night and causing you to relapse. So you gotta talk about it".

I stared at the floor.

"Chariana...." There was definitely a warning note in his voice.

"Okay okay!" I sighed loudly. "Well she's racist, sexist, and an abuser. She got mad when I spoke English and locked me in her dead ch- ch-". I sighed. "It's a dog. It's Spanish. Small and vicious". I rattled off. I didn't know how to pronounce it.

"Chihuahua?" Sans asked. I nodded.

"That. She put me in his cage for speaking English. My brother got to play board games and all this fun stuff while I was in a cage all night. And every chance she'd got she'd come in and tell me how worthless I was and that I was sinking to some inhuman level by trying to learn a new language. I was terrified outta my mind. I was three years old and converted in scars and bruises. I was in a foreign country where I wasn't allowed to speak to anyone because I wasn't allowed to learn the language of the country." I rambled. "Even when I was in St Mary's, I was afraid of her visits. You think I'd be happy to have some company in there. But I wasn't. She was cold hearted and never cared. She got me beat. She wouldn't let me speak English to her so I had to speak French during her visits. But the hospital didn't allow me to speak French. It was a vicious cycle every month."

I felt Sans pull back a little. "She scares you?"

I nodded solemnly. "Yeah. She does. Why do you ask?" I swung my feet and stared at the carpet.

"Because, Chara". He turned me towards him. "You are the most fearless kid I know. You've never been genuinely afraid. So when I see you in your moments of weakness? When you're having flashbacks? It terrifies me kid. You terrify me. You're a force to be reckoned with. So to see you crumble at the mention of some incidents in your past? God kid, it shows me just how much you went through and how serious this is. You're a registered psychopath and you fight like your life depends on it. But a woman with too much lipstick on sends you scrambling for your knife?"

"Yeah I know it makes no sense. I don't need a reminder of how broken I am" I rolled my eyes and turned away from him.

"You're not broken"

"Except I am!" I fired back.

"Chariana Elizabeth Serriff-Dreemurr, calm down and listen to me. You are not br-"

"What the fuck did you just call me?" I cut him off.

Sans froze, backtracking like crazy. "Chariana. You are not broken"

"No, you called me Serriff-Dreemurr. Like some kinds hyphenated last name" I said, nearly accusingly.

Sans sighed. "I'll tell you later. For now you need to listen. Can you do that?"

I nodded.

"You are not broken. You were in a bad place before you fell and no one is denying that. But you've come this far. I know you can be saved."

I turned back to him. That word choice had to be a coincidence right?

Judging by the glimmer in his eyes it was not s coincidence. "Chara. You can be saved. Do you believe that?"

I looked down at my wrist. It had been torn up so many times with so many different things. My stomach and thighs used to be the same way.

Maybe I could be saved. But my sanity was something I'd never get back

I slid off the couch. "I don't believe it for a second" and with that I was gone.

Chapter Text

On the platform above me, Frisk's indigo fireballs were being shot at Sans. I ducked down to avoid the purple fire mom shot at me and ran for it, firing a red knife behind me.

Sans formed a cage of blue bones around me. I froze instantly upon seeing a cage, but pulled myself back to reality before I could have a breakdown. I looked up to see mom creating a fireball and weighed my options. We had plenty of healing items on hand but a blue attack would take a lot less damage than a fireball. This wasn't like a formal battle with taking turns. I had to heal as little as possible.

So I did what would take the least damage. I broke free of the blue bones. It hurt but I knew the fireball would hurt worse.

Your strength are speed are your good qualities in a fight. Your height is not. Get to a higher vantage point whenever possible. Sans's voice echoed in my ears.

I ran for the swings, ducking to avoid the white bone sailing over my head. I scaled the swing set and was soon at the top. I surveyed the area and found Frisk jumping over a wall of bones that had appeared in front of her. I ducked to avoid the fireball being launched at my head and summoned a cascade of knives to fall on mom. She dodged excellently, except for one knife that hit her in the arm. I winced as I watched her HP go down to 75.

Our goal in this training exercise was simple. Keep our HP at least halfway full while knocking the other team's down at least halfway. For mom and I, we had to keep ours above 40. For Frisk, she had to stay above 10. For Sans it meant, well, stay alive.

Frisk and I had agreed to take down Toriel's HP first because once we hit Sans it was over. I fired a knife at mom and she couldn't dodge it in time.

Toriel:
HP: 70/80

I jumped down off the swingset and took off running. I caught Frisk's eye and signaled to her to distract Toriel. I dodged a bone from Sans. As my counterattack I levitated it and shot it back at him.

As Toriel and Frisk shot their fire at each other, I crept up behind the goat woman and shot a series of knives at her.

Toriel:
HP: 60/80

I took off as fast I could, only to find myself blocked by a wall of blue bones expanding to circle me. I slipped out through the gap and dashed on top of the climbing wall.

From the top platform I was back behind Toriel. I grabbed the monkey bars, tangled down, and kicked her in the back of the head. Then I launched another round of knives at her. Some of them she dodged but a lot of them hit her.

I whipped around to find myself in hand-to-hand with Sans. He grabbed my right arm. I twisted out of her and projected my leg into a roundhouse. He swept to the side and retaliated with a left hook. I ducked to avoid it.

I climbed up on top of the monkey bars and skillfully walked across. Sans was right behind me, and with a body slam, I was on the ground. I looked around and scanned everyone's HP.

Sans:
HP: 1/1

Toriel:
HP: 45/80

Frisk:
HP: 16/20

Chara:
HP: 73/80

So mom was close. Frisk and I were fine. Then we just had to take out Sans.

Wordlessly, Frisk and I split up.

I reclaimed my position on top of the swings and turned my attention to mom. I focused everything I had into lifting her.

Too heavy. A goat woman pregnant with twins is not something I could lift.

Instead I took hold of Frisk's body and yanked her out of he way of an attack from Sans she had missed. She nodded her thanks and shot a ball of fire back at Sans. Her counterattack. I got her attention and signed to her.

"Tag team this bitch".

She looked at me for a second then smirked and nodded. I summoned about 7 knives and crept over to mom. I caught Frisk's eye and counted to three with my fingers.

On three we both attacked. Me with knives, her with fire. Mom would only be able to dodge so much.

She managed to sidestep some of Frisk's fireballs but not all of them. The rest hit her in the chest. And a good three or four of my knives hit her in the back.

If I had time to think I probably would've realized I had literally stabbed her in the back.

Toriel:
HP: 37/80

Mom shot her hand in the air, our signal that we had reached half HP or lower. She was okay but she was breathing harder now. She made her way off the playground to the park bench. One down, one to go.

Now that Toriel was out it was us against Sans. On one hand, two against one. On the other, he had to kick it up a notch now that he was alone.

Really it could go either way.

Kick it up a notch he did. The second mom was out of the way he moved into action. He sent his attacks flying everywhere and Frisk and I were sent sprawling trying to avoid him. We only needed one hit but he’s an expert at dodging. This was definitely gonna be tricky.

We fired attack after attack with not much luck. He was dodging all over the place and my HP was draining fast. I narrowly avoiding a white bone sailing into my feet and took off running for the top of the play set.

I fired a knife at him, sure he wouldn’t suspect it. But he did. He stepped out of the way as if it was the most casual thing in the world. Damn it.

I watched Frisk shoot a ball of fire at him and suddenly got an idea. I knew his dodging patterns by now.

As the flame was about to hit him, he sidestepped. I took hold of the flame in my magic and maneuvered it back to him.

Hit him square in the skull.

“Out!” He called, frantically reaching into his jacket pocket for the cinnabunny he had in there. He ate it rapidly before his HP could drain.

I jumped down off the climbing platform and high fived Frisk.

“Congrats. You figured out how to combine your magic”

Frisk looked at me and I look back. It was clear neither of us knew what he meant.

“What are you talking about?” She asked. But he just winked and motioned towards the picnic blanket mom was laying out for us.

“C’mon. Let’s get you two healed up”.

We gulped down our water and graciously accepted the monster food. Instant healing is very welcome sometimes.

“So why couldn’t Asgore and Asriel join us?” Frisk asked.

“Asriel’s trident is a physical weapon. You and Chara’s attacks are purely magical. We will have the three of you train together one day but for your current skill level it just would not fit”.

I nodded as I chewed my veggie Glamburger.

We continued to talk about training and staying up to date on our work. Out of nowhere a random woman with brown hair comes up behind Sans.

“You creatures are not allowed in here”.

I looked up, already sick of this bitch. “Lady its a public park. Fuck you”.

“How rude! Your child can not speak to me like that!”

I stood up. “You can’t speak to my family like that. I will ask you once to kindly walk away before things get uglier than they already have.” I snapped.

“Little girl you are so confused. These hideous creatures are not your family. You deserve-”

I had heard enough. I charged the woman down.

Dagger drawn.

Chapter Text

Blood. Blood everywhere. Stab wounds. So many of them.

The woman was dead. I hadn't even known her name. I just killed her.

Before I knew it my dagger was whipped out of my hand and three pairs of arms were grabbing me and yanking me back from the body.

As I came to my senses I realized that we were surrounded. People were on their phones and covering their kids' eyes. In the distance I saw a little boy sobbing and a man holding him back.

"Mommy!" The little boy screamed and ran to the dead woman's side. The man followed him and grabbed him by the arm.

"Don't go near her, Logan! She'll do the same thing to you!" He looked at me with pure terror in his brown eyes as he pulled his kid away from me.

Oh god. I had killed a mother.

"Yes I'd like to report a murder..."

"This crazy kid just stabbed a woman!"

"She killed her, sir. ...Yes I'm serious. The woman is dead".

The phone conversations started to hit me from all angles. Fleshy hands wrapped tighter around me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sans frantically packing up our picnic.

Police sirens. Oh god. The noise was deafening. So many officers. All running towards us. Some with tasers. Some with guns.

Toriel's grip on me tightened as she looked at Sans. Sans looked back. Both of them were heavily panting.

"Plan B". Sans said out of nowhere.

"What?!" Toriel nearly shrieked. "We can't-"

"Plan B, Plan B, PLAN MOTHERFUCKIN' B" Sans was yelling. His magic wrapped tightly around the four of us and I only had a second to close my eyes and brace myself before we vanished in a puff of blue smoke.

**************************

When the smoke subsided, I opened my eyes. We were in a large empty room. Well, nearly empty. It was full of beds. Like some kind of fucked up hospital wing.

Sans and Mom were both struggling to catch their breath as they looked around the wide room. Mom basically collapsed onto the closest bed, holding her stomach. Her coughing and panting were turning into crying. Sans, seeing this, flew to her side and held her fluffy hand tightly in both of his bony ones.

"Breathe, Tori, breathe. The kids are safe. You're safe. I'm safe. We're gonna be fine. We're gonna call everyone."

"Asriel!" She choked out through her heavy sobs. "I need my son!"

Sans squeezed her hand tighter. "I'm going to call Asgore right now and tell him, Tori"

"No!" Mom cried. "Go get him. Now! I need my son!" She continued to blubber but it was masked by her sobs.

Sans stood up and vanished in another puff of blue. Frisk and I stood there staring at each other. Neither of us knew exactly what to do.

When Sans appeared less than a minute later, he had both Dad and Azzy in tow. Both were holding giant tridents. Azzy promptly threw his down and ran to hug mom.

"Shh! Don't cry mom. Look, I'm safe!" He said, giving her a wide grin. I saw the pain and confusion behind it. I don't think anyone else did.

Mom was starting to calm down. Mom is, well, a mom. Through and through, she never rests until all her kids are safe. That includes the unborn ones.

Azzy ran to us next and threw his fuzzy arms around my neck and then Frisk's in turn. I hugged him back tightly.

Sans approached me and handed back my dagger. "Normally I wouldn't. But things are about to get crazy and you need all the defense you can get".

I pocketed the knife, making a mental note to clean it later.

"Time to make some phone calls"

**************************

It took hours to get everything sorted out. But y the end of the day we had pretty much every monster crowded into this... bunker? Warehouse? Whatever it is.

Sans and Mom were sat on the bed closest to the door. They were holding hands and seemed to be trying to soothe each other. Monsters were shoving suitcases under beds and loudly questioning what was going on.

Undyne came forward with her spear in one hand and a chair in the other. She set the chair down and motioned to mom.

Sans and Undyne helped mom stand up and onto the chair, where she stood and took a deep breath. I saw her back naturally straighten as she pushed her shoulders back and rested her hands at her sides. It was a very regal stance for the former queen to take and it was a stance I knew well. It was the stance that meant it was time to shut up and listen.

"Monsters of Ebbotville!" She said as loud as she could. Immediately, the chatter ceased and all eyes went to the old queen. "I understand your confusion. Many of you were not even aware that this place existed, let alone the circumstances under which it would be used." She steadied herself. "Tension between our races only grows with years. Today the breaking point was reached." 

I plugged my ears as she recounted the story of how I stabbed the woman. Azzy kept a hand on my shoulder and Frisk clutched my hand tightly. I tried to keep my mind off of all the eyes I knew were staring at me.

I unplugged my ears at Azzy's signal and was greeted with mom saying. "That is it. It was clearly the last straw for the humans. They raced at our beloved princess ready to kill. It was through the quick work of my husband's magic that we got out safely and that you all are here now. I'm afraid the time has come, monsters. We are not safe in this town."

Mom stopped talking, but I knew she wasn't done. She was just letting the information sink in. She had also employed information that wasn't entirely true, like me being a princess still, but would tug on the monsters’ heartstrings. It was a skill she had mastered and it guaranteed that people would stay attentive.

"Papyrus and Undyne have been scoping out this place for some time. With some help from many of you, they have renovated it into a suitable living space should the need for us to hide and stay undercover arise. You see the beds. There is also ample room through the doors you see for training and exercise or play. There are multiple restroooms for all body types. There is a kitchen with a fully stocked fridge and cabinets. It would be a wonderful place to stay should the need arise"

Mom stopped to clear her throat. "Monsters. The need has arisen. We are expecting an attack any day now"

This started the hushed whispers and gasps again. Mom still wasn’t done. The final sentence she spoke was the one that shook the monsters to its very core.

“The humans and the monsters are officially at war. Again”.

Chapter Text

There were never many of us. Asriel, Frisk, and myself. Fuku and Heats, Grillby's kids. MK, Alphys and Undyne's Kid. Sprinkle, one of Muffet's nieces. Dogamoré, Dogamy and Dogaressa's son. Eight kids.

I thought there were more. Apparently some monsters are just small. Not young. Because when Toriel shoved us into a room to 'play' while the grownups talked, it was only us.

"Alright children. Play nice"

Oh we were gonna play nice alright.

I had sort of gained a reputation as the leader of the group. So when the door was closed, all eyes went to me.

I climbed on top of a bookshelf to give myself a little extra height. The others collapsed into beanbags or just on the floor.

"They're lying to us" I started. Rousing speech, Chara. "They won't let us see the damage. They're keeping us in the dark and trying to make everything out to be okay. Well that stops. We revolt today". It was a really rough speech considering how bad my English is.

"How do we do that?" Azzy asked me.

"We stop listening to them. We find out information for ourselves. Tomorrow, we're gonna spy."

"Chara, you've got enough to worry about with this whole court thing. Can't we just let the adults handle this?" Sprinkle whined.

"Hell no!" I retaliated, promoting Fuku to cover Heats's head where his ears would be.

The fire entity took a deep breath. "Chara, we're kids. Do you really think we can do anything to stop a war?! Look I know you two saved the Underground and you're all big and tough and sh- stuff. But that doesn't mean you're perfect. The monsters are doomed, Chara"

I sat down on the bookshelf to look Fuku in the eyes. "Listen to me, Fuku. I know I'm not perfect. This situation in general is just rotten and I know I can't fix it. But think about it."
I leaned back in my temporary seat. "You all know what I've been through by now. I won't sugarcoat it. I've been through hell. But look at me. Still fighting and strong as a horse. You know why I got this way? Because I had help. I can admit that I can't do these things on my own. I wouldn't be alive if not for Frisk. And I wouldn't be doing..." I paused to summon a few of my knives. "This, if it weren't for Sans. I can admit that I need help. The adults need help too. They just don't admit it".

Speaking of Sans, the door opened to reveal him, holding a first aid kit. "You're damn right we won't admit it" he said, a gruffness to his voice. "Bandages, Chara" He looked around at the gaggle of children surrounding me. Then he looked back at me, his worried expression silently asking what he wouldn't say out loud.

"I don't care if they see anymore" I responded to the unasked question. I took the collar of my top and yanked, pulling my t-shirt off my head.

Heats instinctively looked away, which made me laugh. It's not like there was anything to look at.

Sans motioned for me to turn around, so I spun in my seat. I pulled my own tank top strap down. It was the first time Frisk and Azzy had seen my injuries.

As Sans unwrapped the ace wrap from my shoulder, I broke the silence we had fallen into. "You didn't just come in here to change my bandages, did you?"

He chuckled. "Am I that obvious, kid?"

"Hey. Not her fault she can see right through you!" Frisk pointed out.

I rolled my eyes as Sans laughed. "Good one, baby bones. But no, Chara, this isn't the only reason. Antiseptic". I hissed as the cold liquid on the cotton ball made contact with my shoulder. "They're out there talkin' about hiding spots and making all these plans. Don't they know you can't make plans in war? We never had plans during that original war. Bandages"

As the sticky plastic was smoothed over my shoulder, I started to relax. The antiseptic was the worst part.

"You guys are really bad at this" Fuku observed. Sans snorted.

"Yeah. As smart as your dad is, he is not cut out for war effort".

"Most of us aren't" Asriel said. I could tell by his voice that innocence was out the window. "We've been aboveground for like, 7 months now? And we've dismantled the guard entirely. Yeah that training is drilled into them, but it's muscle memory. They don't know how to fight anymore. If we don't get it together we're pretty well dead".

A tense silence fell over the room as we realized the truth in his words. Or at the fact that he actually talked, maybe. Who knows.

Sans was wrapping up my shoulder. "Chara? You sure you want them in here when I do your arm..?"

I turned around and looked at these kids. Asriel, who I'd grown up with. Frisk, who saved me. Fuku and Heats, who were practically my cousins. MK and Sprinkle, who were my cousins. Dogameré, who wasn't related to any of us, but was a cool kid regardless.

I trusted this guys. Besides. No one said I had to tell them anything.

I nodded. "They can stay". I held out my left arm.

Sans carefully undid the ace wrap around my arm. "So what are you guys gonna do about this?"

I shrugged, trying to keep myself from wincing as the bandages were pulled off. "We can't do much without more information. We need to figure out what the humans are up to before anything. Can't really do that when we're stuck in a bunker"

Sans laughed and took the bottle of antiseptic back out. The cuts were still sorta fresh so this was gonna hurt like a bitch. "Don't you think Alphys took that into consideration?" He repositioned my arm so that it was resting on his. That way I could scratch his arm or grab it if the pain was too much.

Outside the door something crashed, but it was followed by Undyne rage screaming into the heavens so we thought nothing of it.

He poured the antiseptic onto my cuts, causing me to curl my toes and clench his arm. “Al has cameras set up all over the place. Mainly to keep an eye on attacks but they’ll help us here. She’s trying to figure out how to get into that footage. If they’re planning an attack, we’ll know about it. Okay?”

That relaxed me. “Okay. Well we can’t plan out everything like they’re trying to do. But we do need a strategy. And we have got to get it together.”

Sans nodded, now starting to apply new bandages to the cuts. “We’re gonna make it out of this. Alive”.

“Sans?” Fuku spoke up. “How are we gonna get them to stop planning and shutting us out?”

Sans stared at the ceiling in though as he rewrapped my arm. “We show them what you guys are capable of. Frisk. Chara. I know what you two can do. Asriel. I’ve heard what you can do but I have yet to see it myself. The rest of you... well we’re gonna have to do something. You guys are our future. You see things we don’t. We need your help now more than ever.”

Once my arm was wrapped, I let it fall back to my side. Sans handed me my t-shirt and I gladly put it back on as he kept talking.

“If there are any doubts in your mind that we are gonna make it through this, squash them. We’re stronger together, kids. We won’t get anywhere if we don’t help each other. I’m gonna try and talk some sense into your parents. You guys need to-”

There was another crash and then a loud scream.

“Shit!”

“Oh god now?!”

“Your majesty, are you okay?!”

Another scream. Azzy and I turned to each other in panic.

“Mom!” We exclaimed in unison.

The door slammed open to reveal a very out of breath Alphys. “Sans! Kids! Twins! Coming!” Was all she could get out before she tore out of the room and back in mom’s direction. When I looked at mom, she was hunched over next to bed, clutching her stomach.

I grabbed Azzy’s hand and raced out of the room, dragging him behind. Frisk and Sans followed close on our heels.

“What’s going on?!” Fuku shouted from behind us.

I turned my head over my shoulder to answer her, not breaking my stride for a second. “Mom is going into labour!”

Chapter Text

It had been hours now. A makeshift screen had been set up around mom's bed, consisting of blankets and towels thrown on top of lamps, a broom, and several of Undyne's spears.

Sans paced back of forth in front of the screen,
occasionally scrambling to get mom ice chips or water. Alphys's silhouette showed us her frantic movement around the bed. Azzy and I, our hands clasped tight together, cuddled together to try and block out the noise of mom crying. Frisk was behind us, holding a massive blanket that she was using to cover all three of us. We didn't cover our faces so we could see what was going on.

Sneakers shuffled over hardwood floors. Mom's discarded maternity gown lay on the floor. A towel fell off the 'screen', prompting a startled squeak from Alphys.

Sans came over to make sure we were okay from time to time. But every time, we collectively shooed him away. Mom was way more important.

Three hours turned to four. Four turned to five. Five turned to nine. Nothing had changed except that the sounds were just getting louder and more frantic. Frisk joined us in burying her ears in the blanket.

"No!"

"Tori!"

"Fucking hell!"

Azzy pawed at my shirt. I opened my arm to let him bury his head in my shoulder. He was starting to shake.

"God damn it!"

"What happened?!"

"Oh god..."

And the screams. Oh god she just kept screaming. It was sickening to hear.

"Is that..."

"No..."

"Sans!"

"Baby, I'm here, you're okay!"

"I'm not fucking okay, Sans! Don't you see that?!"

Azzy covered his ears. Mom only cussed when something was really wrong.

"Tori, babe, listen to me, you're gonna be o- OH MY GOD!"

"I told you!"

"Alphys!"

"T-trying!"

Sans stumbled out from behind the screen, looking like he was about to vomit. He looked up at us. He slowly raised his hand. There was a gray sheen over it.

"I... tried to hold her hand... but..."

He stepped closer, and showed us his hand.

Dust.

**************************

Blood. Blood and hair were all over. Screaming doctors. A small doll. A pin. A stone.

Two stones. White pin.

Angry doctors. Pentagrams.

Seven pentacles. Wheel of fortune.

"Burn her! She's a witch!"

Maniac laughter. "But she's back..."

Silence. And then a crying baby.

**************************

I shoved Sans away and raced around the screen.

"Mom!"

"Ch-Chara.... my dear daughter... you'll protect them for me... won't you, my... little fireball?"

"No, mom, you can't die! You can't die on us!" I grabbed her dust covered hands tightly. Her feet were already dust. Tears stung the corners of my eyes.

"I'm sorry... my dear. You have to.. protect them... They'll love you... Just as... as we did...."

I glanced to the small cradle and wished I hadn't. Two souls. Glowing and expanding  into shapes I couldn't make out. The tears spilled over.

"Mom.. mom your kids, they need you! We need you!" I scrubbed the tears away. "I... I need you, mom..."

Her hand turned to dust in my grip.

"Y-you really hate me that much?"

I looked at her. My eyes wide in shock. "W-what?"

She smiled, ever so gently. "I said I love you my child"

I practically slid out from behind the screen.

I was about to do something stupid.

"Alphys! Why?!"

"The twins were taking t-too much of h-her magic" Alphys stuttered. "She hadn't b-been preserving it".

Sans slapped a hand over his skull. "Damn it
Toriel! I told her to take it easy. I... told her..."

"You can't blame her. Or yourself. No one is at fault" Frisk tried to console him.

It was stupid. But it had worked for old White Eyes and Misty. Monster food won't do anything once a monster starts to dust. But whose to say some older magic wouldn't?

"Sans."

He didn't answer. He was sobbing.

"Sans!" I tried again.

He looked up. "What?"

"Do we have cord anywhere here? Craft cord, wire? Anything? Hell even rope will work. I need white and purple."

"Chara is now really the best time to make a craft project?!"

"I'm not making a- Look just tell where I can get those. And some candles."

Sans sighed. "Check the supply drawer in the kitchen".

And I was off. I gathered the candles. Seven white. Seven pink. I grabbed a box of matches too. I floated them back to the screen while I dug in the drawer. White plastic cord. Purple plastic cord.

I raced to her sewing basket. Scissors. Two white pins.

Soon I had everything piled behind the screen. Frisk and Azzy had fled the scene.

It was just Sans and mom. One of them was slowly dusting. Sans looked at the supplies I had gathered in disbelief. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Shush. Move" I ordered, taking my knife from my pocket. "Don't stop me".

I drew the knife sharply across my arm and then threw it to the side. I focused on the memory of White Eyes. I copied her carefully tracing of the cursed shape. Line. Line. Line. Line Line. They formed a star. Circle.

Now it was a pentagram painted in my blood.

I swirled my finger in my makeshift paint and created the symbols.

Candles. Five white, on the outside points. Five pink. Two white in the room. North and south. Two pink. East and west. I ripped open a matchbox and scraped it across the strip of sandpaper. I ran around the room and lit the candles.

Sans stared at the pentagram. "Chara, that's the sign of-"

"Let me work!" I snarled.

Next came the cord. I wrapped the cord over my hands and around itself until I formed the rough shape of a doll. Over that, I wrapped the purple until it formed the shape of a dress.

Pins. Two white. In the center of the pentagram, I laid the tiny doll. I took one of the pins and stabbed it through. Right in its stomach. The second white pin went between the doll's legs.

"Are you doing some kind of voodoo?!" Sans sputtered.

"Yes, now shut it!"  I snapped.

I looked at my handiwork. White and pink candles for healing. White pins for healing. The blood. My offering. The pentagram. The summoner. What did White Eyes have that I was missing?

The stones. "Don't touch anything!" I called as I ran out of the room.

**************************

I practically body-slammed into the door of the small room where everyone else had been shoved for the past nine-well now ten- hours.

"Anyone have rose quartz? Necklace, ring, anything?" I called to the confused crowd.

The monsters looked to each other in confusion. "Why do you..."

"I'm saving your queen. So if you want her to live you better fucking speak up. Rose quartz. And agate. I'll need that too"

It was a standoff. We stood there for about thirty seconds before there was shuffling.

It was a small dragon monster. The wife of the dragon in the resort, who had said there was pizza in his treasure hoard for her. She took off her earrings and handed them to me.

"If it will help... then I must do what is right. They're agate, young one". She bowed slightly and stepped back into the crowd.

A large monster that looked a bit like a wombat cane forward. They pulled an engagement ring off their finger. "It is rose quartz, your highness".

Nevermind that I didn't have that title anymore. I had the stones. I thanked the two monsters and went back to my dying mother.

**************************

When I launched myself back behind the screen holding jewelry, I can only imagine how suspicious that probably looked.

"Chariana!"

"I didn't steal them" I snarled, before he could get any ideas. I approached mom's bed and placed the stones. I placed the agate earrings on her stomach and the quartz ring on her thighs. The latter of which were starting to dust.

I looked to the cradle again. The balls of light were unbelievably bright. I had to turn away.

I knelt beside the pentagram and tilted my head back until I was staring at the ceiling. From here I began my chant.

"Wrap thee in cotton,
Bind thee with love
Protection from pain
Surrounds like a glove
Brightest of blessings
Surrounding thee this night
For thou art cared for
Healing thoughts sent in flight"

The candles began to waver and the lights blinked out for a second. Sans's eye glowed blue, ready to fight whatever hellspawn was coming.

But nobody came.

"What do you want from me?!" I raged at the sky. “I don’t want my mother to die! Do I have to kill myself?! Because I’ll fucking do it!”

Sans had given up at trying to quiet me and was just backing away slowly, probably thinking this is my insanity going haywire.

Oh how wrong he was.

I felt it before I heard it. The smallest breath close to my ear.

Sacrifice him

“What?! I can’t exactly commit murder right now!”

“Whoa whoa whoa murder?”

“I don’t even know who you want me to sacrifice!” I threw my head down on the floor and tried not to burst into sobs.

This was it. I had tried and I had failed and now my mother was going to die! And it would be my fa-

“Ahem”

I looked up into the face of my father. This kind old king who everyone loved. He looked very somber. His eyebrows were knitted together over his drooping eyes, and although there was a smile, it was a pained one.

“It’s me they want you to sacrifice, young one”

He stepped into the room as my eyes went wide in shock and fear.

“And I want you to go through with it”

Chapter Text

"You want me to what?!"

Asgore quietly beckoned me away from my dusting mother. I followed him out into the main room, out from behind the screen.

When we were out of earshot, he kneeled down in front of me. "My child, I have no place left here. I have done all I can for you and Asriel. My work here is done. I want to die, and I want to die saving your mother. She is and will always be the love of my life. If I can do something to protect her I will do it."

This made no sense to me. He expected me to kill him?!

"I can't!"

"My child, the spirits get angry when they do not get their way. They will save my dear Toriel if they have me in her place. A life for a life"

I threw my head in the direction of the screened in bed. I could hear Sans quietly sobbing.

I looked back at my father. He was looking back with those big kind eyes and that sad smile.

"I promise you that this will work, my girl. A life for a life." He repeated. "Take my life and save your mother"

"But we need you!"

He shook his head. "I have done all I can to contribute to this fight. You will find Asriel stronger than you ever thought possible. Toriel no longer needs me. You children don't need me. The kingdom doesn't need me. I have no place left here"

Large, deep purple eyes were looking for something in my eyes. An answer. Would I do it? Would I let my father die to save my mother?

"Chara. I'm sorry to have to place this choice on you. But I am going to die soon. I want you to kill me and give my life for hers. I do not want my death to be a waste"

I quickly wiped the tears from my eye. I couldn't keep crying.

He seemed so defeated. What did he mean, he was going to die soon?

Was he planning suicide?

Well in that case....

**************************

I raised the knife above his chest. He had closed his eyes and braced himself for death. He was surrounded by black candles and the dust of my
mother.

"Do not hesitate child. They will only be angry with you."

I thrust the knife into his chest and sliced down to his ribs. I followed that by drawing it across the cut I had already made, forming an upside down cross.

I wanted to turn away from him as he dusted but I found myself fascinated by the dust pouring from his chest. He was not struggling.

He accepted his death peacefully. As if it was exactly what he wanted.

I collected the dust in a small jar as it ran from his body. I felt sick and twisted. But that's what voodoo is after all.

After what felt like an eternity, Asgore's body was gone. All that was left was a pile of dust and a white soul.

In a split second decision I trapped his soul in another jar. Who knows, it could come in handy later.

Probably not.

**************************

Needless to say when I hurried back into the room with a jar of dust in one hand and a jar of soul in the other Sans was concerned.

"What the hell did you do?!"

"Quiet!" I snapped. I quickly relit the candles and knelt back before the voodoo doll. I uncapped the jar of dust and poured it in a circle around the voodoo doll of mom.

I looked up to mom's bed. She was nearly dust. Her soul was starting to appear. I looked to the cradle. The blinding light was forming into shapes but they were blobby and unrecognizable. Alphys had reentered and was keeping an eye on the twins, occasionally pausing to wipe tears and snot from her face.

This had to work.

I resumed the position I had been in before and repeated my chant.

"Wrap thee in cotton,
Bind thee with love
Protection from pain
Surrounds like a glove
Brightest of blessings
Surrounding thee this night
For thou art cared for
Healing thoughts sent in flight"

The candles flickered and the lights above us went out. I closed my eyes and let the ritual run its course.

Dark. Darker. Yet darker. Then light. I opened one eye.

Alphys turned in awe as the same bright light that my new siblings were currently working on forming into bodies was surrounded mom. It was brighter than any sun.

The dust on the floor around her rose into the air and was sucked into the light like a moth to a lamp. I had to cover my eyes as the light grew brighter and brighter.

Light. Lighter. Yet lighter.

And there she was. My mother in all her beauty, body and soul fully restored.

Sans and Alphys collapsed.

As the light died down I crossed the room to her. She was asleep and probably would be for some time.

I became painfully aware that there were two other lights in the room that had become unbearably bright. I busied myself with cleaning up the remains of the ritual.

**************************

An hour passed before Sans was sliding out from behind the screen again, looking at me with nothing but wonder in his eyes.

"It wasn't a dream?!"

"You thought it was?"

"Yeah but it wasn't! You did it!"

I rushed into the room. Mom was on her bed, fully awake. She looked tired as anyone would after nine hours of labor. But she was alive.

And in her arms lay two small bundles. They weren't wrapped in the stereotypical pink and blue blankets. They were both wrapped in white. To hell with gender roles in this family.

I cautiously approached the blanket wrapped bundles. In one blanket was a tiny goat. He had dark green eyes and his hair and ears were a gradient of light green to dark green. The other blanket concealed a skeleton with deep purple eyes that looked so much like Asgore's that I had to look away for a second.

"The goat is Satyr. The skeleton is Nova". Toriel told me softly. She seemed to have no memory of what happened before. Or if she did she was hiding it really well.

It felt wrong for these kids to be here. To stare into the face of a tiny goat child when I had just murdered a larger goat felt wrong on so many levels. To gaze into the eyes of a small skeleton gave me chills knowing what her dad could do and what she'd grow up to be. Those children would never know what we went through for them.

I briefly wondered if I could put a protective spell on them.

Suddenly the weight of what I had done hit me at full force. I tore out of the room to find that back room everyone had been chilling in. As the monsters filed out, I darted through the crowd.

When I had the room to myself I hunched over and cried. My voice was hoarse. I cried for everything that had happened.

For the mother I killed.

For my own mother nearly dying.

For my father.

For the twins.

For all of them, I cried.

It wasn’t until I had raised my knife to my forearm with shaky hands that I had company. Tan coloured hands threw the knife out of my reach. White fuzzy ones embraced me and held me tight.

“I’m so-sorry Azzy”. I choked out. I wasn’t even sure what I was apologizing for.

Frisk stroked my hair and Azzy practically tackled me to hug me tighter. “It’s what he wanted, Chara”

Outside of our little zone I could hear Toriel addressing the others.

“I am pleased to report that I gave birth to two healthy twins today with the help of Dr. Alphys. This one is Satyr, and this little girl is Nova”. I could only assume she had held up the children because a chorus of ‘awe’s followed. “However. I’m afraid we have lost one of our own. Our dear Asgore Dreemurr has fallen down”. I plugged my ears at the gasp from the crowd.

“The King has fallen. The monsters once again fall into mourning”

I didn’t deserve to mourn with them. I’d been the one to knock him down after all.

Chapter Text

"How're you holding up?" Came the dreaded question a few days later.

"I'm not" I snorted, watching Nova's tiny phalanges wrap around my pointer finger.

Sans chuckled at my antics. "You're the only one who hasn't been to his altar"

"Do I deserve to go?" Was my only response. Nova stared at my hand like it was the most fascinating thing in the world.

Babies, right?

Satyr watched as Sans's magic wrapped around a tiny bear toy and made it dance for him. "So you don't want to go?" He was avoiding my question.

"What's the point? Everyone knows what I did. And they know about my arms"

He winced. "Yeah I heard the other two found you with the knife to your arm that night. How'd that go?"

"It was supposed to be between you and I" I mumbled. "Now they all know. They're all gonna be looking at me and thinking 'oh what a poor little girl, cutting her wrists up like that'. I don't need their pity" I playfully tugged my hand away from Nova and couldn't help but smile when she flailed to grab it again.

Sans had the bear doing backflips for Satyr now. "Kid I don't think anyone ever has or ever will feel the need to take pity on you." I rolled my eyes. "And hey. I'm sorry"

"Sorry for what?"

"A lot of things. I'm sorry that your secrets got out. I'm sorry that you had to watch your mom nearly die. I'm sorry that you had to be the one to... save her."

"You didn't have control over any of that. Don't apologize"

"What I mean is-"

"No. You can't apologize for it if you didn't cause it. Jut say you feel bad that it happened"

Sans sighed. "God you're stubborn. Alright. I feel bad that this all happened. Horrible, really"

I opted to stare at Nova rather than look at him.

"C'mere kid"

"Sorry, but I'm playing with a baby and she may develop abandonment issues if I leave her in the middle of the game" I retorted.

"Really? Because I dropped Satyr's toy and he seems to be sleeping peacefully"

I looked over. Indeed, the bear was on the floor now and Satyr was fast asleep. "Why is it that I got the one person in the entire world who can match my sass as a stepdad" I pondered out loud. I gently wrestled my finger from Nova's grip and turned to face him.

"You're hurting"

"No, really, I never would have guessed"

"Are you sure French is your first language? Because I'm starting to think it's sarcasm" He asked with a cocky smirk plastered on his skull

I rolled my eyes for the second time this conversation. "Whatever"

His cocky smirk fell into a frown. "Planning on keeping this shit in, aren't ya?"

"Yup."

"Why?"

I stared down at the twins. "That's the only way I was taught".

Sans slowly crossed the room and took me by the hand. "Come on". Before I could protest he was pulling me away.

**************************

Dad's altar was crowded. Monster altars aren't much. A picture of the monster sits in front of a vase of dust. Next to it sits the monster's favourite thing for the dust to be spread on. Dad's didn't have a favourite thing yet. There were so many things he loved.

"Princess comin' through" Sans announced, pulling me though the crowd. I kept my head down as I listened to the whispers.

"Guess she really is a filthy murderer"

"She's the reason we're in this mess"

"Just another waste of space"

Sans tightened his grip on my hand.

We made it to the alter and I knelt down beside it. It was then I saw what picture had been chosen.

It was us. The day after I fell. Azzy was laughing with his flower crown halfway off his head and Mom and Dad were smiling gently behind us.

And then there was me. With my hair over my eyes. Not showing my face or smiling.

Always the outcast.

I gathered my thoughts and did something that I hadn't done in years. I hadn't done it since I was forced to repent for my 'sins' after being nearly drowned during my baptism.

I prayed.

But it wasn't to any Christian god. It was to the spirits. To whatever voodoo god would listen. I knew no prayers so I made it up.

"Oh great spirits around, I beg thee to protect the father of thou humble subject he completes his journey into your realm. He was a beautiful soul who did not deserve his fate and yet he succumbed to it to save the one he loved. Je tiens à vous exprimer notre gratitude

When I stood the hushed whispers began. Something in me snapped when I saw them all staring at me. Those eyes that said Crazy little girl killing people all over again. It was the same look the doctors gave me when they were about to do something horrible, and that set off. Yet when I made eye contact, they looked away.

"Enough of this. Look at me". Some obeyed. Some didn't. I could feel a pulsing in my eye. It pounded it my head, but not painfully. It was like a heartbeat, pumping steadily in my right eye.

"You choose to see me as your princess? Prove it". The pulsing increased in intensity as I glared at the cowering crowd. "Bow."

No one moved. I suddenly lost sight in my right eye as it flashed. Someone ran forward and grabbed my arm, but I pushed them aside. "I said BOW ." I regained my sight, but everything was stained red. My hands burned, and I knew they were pulsing and burning with the same raw power.

A hand grabbed my shoulder. I tried to throw it off but it held me too tight. But my focus was on the terrified crowd, who I raised an eyebrow at.

Another hand grabbed my shoulder, this one gloved. Another, scaled and clammy. Two more, fuzzy and warm. Two more, thin and bony. Then eight more. Then not a hand, but a head. All on back and shoulders.

It was mom who spoke first, her voice more cold and unforgiving than I'd ever heard before.

"Is this any way to treat a princess?"

Around me, ahead of energy rose. Some justice, some perseverance, some bravery, but one was missing. When the last hand, small and fleshy like my own, touches my shoulder, the most powerful aura shone through.

DETERMINATION.

A ripple of movement ran through the crowd as monsters scrambled to bow. Some bent from the waist. Some threw themselves to the ground. All I know is when they saw the pure energy radiating from my eye, they scrambled to obey.

The unreal moment is when I realized I had close to the entire monster population bowing at my feet.

I smirked. "That's better. For a minute I thought I was losing my edge"

I don't use the title of princess, but if they're dead set on calling me royalty, so be it. I can rule on fear. Treat me right and I am capable of giving you the world and then some.

But much like the work of voodoo, one false step could destroy your entire life.

**************************

I didn’t stick around for the dust ceremony. I assumed they’d all be crying and telling me about it. But I just wanted to get the fuck out of there.

I curled up in the corner of the training room Sans had set up. I couldn’t even bring myself to start punching.

After what felt like hours, Sans entered the room. “Alright, up and at ‘em. Time to get you teleporting”.

Chapter Text

"Not gonna lie, kid. You've already got a leg up on me in teleporting." Sans started. "You've already done it a couple times during training sessions. On a small scale that is. I've noticed you kind of jump from one spot to another, but the distances are so small you probably didn't realize".

I peeled off my jacket, as any kind of training session can get uncomfortable with that thing on. "Why? Shouldn't I not know until your teach me?"

Sans shook his head. "I told you how magic is sentient? TTW Magic, the kind we use, has three main components. Telekinesis, Teleportation, and Weapons, hence the name. You've mastered 2 parts of it, so the magic decided it's time for you to master the third. Pair that with your natural speed and strength, not to mention the sheer power of your Determination, and it's no wonder you'd pick it up faster. We just need to get you going on a bigger scale"

I smirked. "Where do we start?"

"Well, like always, we start small. Here's what you do. Picture a spot. Or if it's within your line of sight, look at it. Concentrate hard enough and the magic will understand what you want and move you there. Sounds stupid but that's really the best way I can explain it. Try teleporting across the room."

I stared dead ahead at the corner by the door. Despite it feeling silly, I focused all of my intention on that corner.

Suddenly I was hitting the wall with my nose. "Shit!" I yelped.

Behind me, Sans snickered. "Oh kid, if that's your reaction from bumping your nose, I can't wait to see what happens when you go crashing into a wall"

I turned around, rubbing away the sting in my face. "And how many times have you done that?"

His smile fell and he coughed awkwardly. "More times than I'd care to admit". He said sheepishly. "Anyway! That was pretty good. Did you land where you wanted to?"

I looked down at the spot I was stood in. "I was just happy to get into this corner to be honest" I admitted.

He shrugged. "Fair. So you were focused on the wall?" I nodded. "Try it again in a different spot. But this time go to the middle instead of to the edge of the room. That way you've gotta focus on the floor. Then you can practice landing exactly where you want to"

I focused all my intent on a spot on the floor about ten feet away, well into the middle of the room. With a sudden burst of energy, I was there.

"Yeah, there ya go!" He cheered. "Okay. Last thing I want you to try. Try going out of the room."

I thought about it and decided the safest bet would be my bed. I concentrated on the path between the door and the bed and in a flash I was moving there.

I opened my eyes to find myself surrounded by inky blackness and some multicoloured numbers. "What the fuck?!" I shrieked.

"Shit" Sans said, though I couldn't see him anywhere and his voice was muffled. "Hang in there kid, I'm comin" He stepped through the numbers in a cloud of blue smoke, grabbed me by the elbow, and teleported us the fuck outta there.

We were back in the training room. "Sorry kid. Guess you weren't ready for that yet"

I gasped and sputtered, trying to catch my breath. "What the fuck was that?!"

He shrugged. "The code. Anyway, guess we need to stick with short term teleporting for now".

**************************

After a long ass training session, he leaned against the wall. I took a long drink of my water bottle.

"So. Voodoo, huh?"

I choked.

"Or would it be Hoodoo?" He pondered. Then shrugged. "Wouldn't have pegged you for a Wiccan. Or... whatever the fuck the religion is. Can't say I'm really surprised though. How long have you been in practice?"

"Since I did that stupid ritual"

"First of all, it's not stupid if it works. Second of all, that was the first time you'd done anything like that?"

I shrugged. "I was just mimicking what White Eyes did. I don't have tarot cards though".

"White Eyes?"

"A witch at the mental asylum. Locked up for witchcraft but saved a bunch of lives with her ceremonies and rituals. Her tarot readings got us through the week and she helped teach me English when none of the doctors would."

"Hm. Tell me about this ritual you were mimicking"

I went back in for another drink of water, pondering what to tell him.

"It was the end of midnight"

**************************

It was 12:01 AM. The end of midnight, White Eyes always called it. I was seven at most. As she drew more healing sigils across my open straightjacket, Lefty slid into the room, panic written on his face.

"White Eyes! Misty went into labour and it's not going well! We need your help!"

The old woman stood up and took my wrist. "Come, Ana, a witch's work is never done".

She lead me into Misty's chambers. Misty had been raped by one of the doctors last year. That doctor was viciously murdered by several of us, including myself. But she insisted on keeping the baby.

Misty was holding back a scream. Lefty ran to her aide.

White Eyes took off her gloves. "Ana. Fetch my my kit."

I ran across the hall back into White Eyes's chambers and picked up her bag. I carried it back.

"Can I assist you?" I asked. The wise old witch shook her head.

"I am sorry Ana. But this work is delicate. You may watch, as always."

I seated. myself in the corner. I watched her remove a nail and use it to slice across her wrist and use the blood to draw a pentagram. It was second nature to her at this point. Then she took her tarot cards from her back and I went dead silent to watch her do her reading. She pulled two cards out.

Wheel of Fortune. Seven Pentacles. She grinned. "Excellent". She drawled in her raspy voice.

I never knew what the cards meant. She swore she'd teach me one day.

I watched her take Misty's doll out of the bag and set it in the middle of the pentagram. She carried out the ritual, but it wasn't working.

Before I knew it, Lefty was dead. He had sacrificed himself. A life for a life.

With his hair as an offering, the ritual worked. The doctors tore into the room and tried to restrain her.

"That old kook needs to be burned! We all know she's a witch!"

White Eyes cackled. "But look whose joined us..."

A baby cried. A collective cheer went up from the patients. White Eyes has succeeded again.

The doctors looked terrified. And White Eyes knew why.

"The child is a work of my craft now. And you all know what happens when you tamper with my craft...?" She sneered.

There was a thunder of footsteps as the doctors tore out of the room.

White Eyes smiled at me, the only expression she ever seemed to look at me with was a smile.

"Well Ana? Did you learn something?" It was a question she asked every time I got to watch a ritual.

I grinned back and nodded. "I learned that those two cards are good ones. What do they mean?" I asked hopefully.

Although she kept her smile, she shook her head at me. "Another time, my young one."  Then she turned to Misty, who was clutching a baby in her arms now. "What is the child's name?"

Misty, glistening with sweat and tears, looked lovingly at her child. "His name is Zachary". A collective gasp rose from the patients. It had long been known that Lefty's real name was Zachary.

Flyer, an old man with a wooden arm and a love for jumping out windows, was the one to acknowledge it. "Namin' it after the sacrifice. Honourable." 

White Eyes looked down at me. "Now Ana. Now our work is done."

**************************

I took another sip of water as I watched his reaction.

"So White Eyes was... a friend?"

I stared at the ground in thought. "Yes and no. She was a friend but she was a teacher. She was all I had. Besides Claire"

"Whose Claire?"

I had to fight back tears for this. "Claire Laroux. She was two years old. She also was from Paris and she knew less English than I did. No one knows why she got locked up. But a month into her time there, they decided to perform a lobotomy on her." I wiped away the tear that had fallen. "She was dead in ten minutes"

Sans's eyes went wide. "She's the one I read about when I looked up the asylum".

I nodded. “Probably. It was all over the news back then”

 

Sans whistles. Not like I could blame him. It was a lot to take in, being in that place.

“Kiddo, the fact that you survived that place is a miracle”

“Why do you do that?”

“Do what?” He looked genuinely confused.

I paused to rack my brain for words. “Remind me that I survived shit? Act like it’s some miracle? I did it through brute force and sheer willpower and not going a fuck. There was no cunning or clever. Anyone could’ve done it”

He raised a ‘brow’ at me. “But did they?”

I didn’t have an answer for that.

“You made it, Chara. You got out of there. That in itself is a miracle. Even if you insist that it’s not”

I cracked a smile.

Sans glanced over at the clock. “Damn. Why do we always stay up late training again?”

I followed his gaze, and the smile I’d cracked quickly became a laugh. “Because were both night owls”

It was the end of midnight.

Chapter Text

Sans's POV

As Chara and I trained, I noticed a few things. I noticed how the light danced in her red eyes when she got it right. I noticed her absolute panic at being confronted with the code.

And I noticed the dark blob hiding in the corner of the code. It's part of the reason I got her the fuck out of there so fast.

The kids lounged on the bed, reading or playing games on their phones. Whatever it is kids do these days. I turned around to go see Toriel, only to find her contentedly nursing the twins. I turned my ass right back around to give her some privacy.

She laughed. It was high and clear as a bell. "Sans, hon, if you think I'm going to be that self conscious about nursing you are very wrong. They're your kids too, for crying out loud."

I laughed awkwardly. "You know I'm just trying to do what's breast for you, Tori.

Outside the room Chara shrieked. "Gross!"

Tori laughed even harder than before, causing Satyr to wine. She quieted herself and resumed her previous position. "How are they doing?"

"About as well as we could hope" I said with a shrug. "Stressed out. But that's to be expected. How's that battle plan?"

Toriel sighed. "Nonexistent" she laughed. "There's no pleasing these monsters sometimes. It's like they don't care"

"Give it time, Tori. Their king just died. They need time to grieve"

I watched as my wife's maroon eyes darkened. "I know he's dead. But we functioned just perfectly without him this entire time"

I sighed and sat on the edge of the bed. "He was more than a king, babe. He was a father. And a husband. Asriel misses him"

"And Chara?" She asked, her eyebrow raised. "Does she miss him after she killed him?"

"Well, no. She's a psychopath." I leaned forward and put my hand on top of hers. Satyr released himself from her breast and settled into the crook of her arm. Nova was already fast asleep. "I'm having trouble understanding how you feel here babe. You don't want them to grieve but then you get upset that your kids aren't grieving? Are you alright, hon?"

She shook her head. "I don't know how I feel. It's been a long couple of days"

I reached over and grabbed Nova from her. "Rest up, sweetheart. Can't plan a battle when you're exhausted"

She chuckled. "Who says I can't?"

"Me" I deadpanned. "Your loving husband who doesn't want you or the twins getting hurt"

She smiled softly at me and settled into the bed with Satyr curled up on her chest. I grinned to myself as I carried Nova into the next room.

I carried her to the older three. Asriel and Frisk came right over to see her. Chara hung back with her phone, but I saw the smile hiding in her eyes.

My phone buzzed. I pulled it out and my eyes widened at the name. Trying not to panic I turned to the older kids. "Can you three keep an eye on her? I've gotta take this"

"Yeah, sure!"

"No problem"

"Whatever"

Knowing that my child was in capable hands, enthusiastic or not, I went off to answer the call.

**************************

Chara's POV

Yeah hi. I don't know what the fuck to do with a small child? I'll end up teaching it bad ways. I'm not a good influence. At all

Is it socially acceptable to teach a baby to cuss? Oh my god I'm gonna teach her to say cunt.

It's still so weird. She has mom and dad’s eyes but looks almost exactly like Sans. I was expecting some kind of hybrid between a goat a skeleton. Not one of each.

As the tiny skeleton napped, I talked with the others.

“Jesus. We’re a family of seven now. Fucking seven”

Frisk shrugged. “I was the oldest of four. Before... you know”.

I nodded solemnly. What had happened to Frisk’s family was not for the faint of heart.

“Any news on Rani or Gio?” I asked quietly.

She shook her head. “I’ve given up hope that they made it out in time. I know that Simon didn’t.”

I glared holes into the bedclothes, angry with myself for bringing the conversation to this depressing note.

“What about you?” She asked. “Did you ever hear about Jae?”

I shook my head, letting my hair fly. “I don’t want to.”

Frisk nodded and sat back on her heels. She and Azzy were both sitting in front of Nova.

Out of nowhere her tiny eyes fluttered open and she looked at us with curiosity glinting in them.

Frisk smiled gently. “Hi little one” she cooed.

Nova gave a happy little gurgle in response
I grinned and used what little magic I could manage to retrieve a toy and float it around for her. She giggled and watch it soar around her head. I had to fight to keep the grin off my face I have a reputation.

When Sans came back to us his expression was grim. He was still putting his phone back in his pocket. With a flash of blue magic, Nova was in his arms. “Hey guys. Got some bad news for you” he started, sitting on the edge of the bed and clutching his child.

Azzy sat up. “What kind of bad news?” He asked.

He let out his breath in a huff. “I don’t think I told you but we have to go to Terse County to do this trial. Decks County won’t cut it. Not with this war going on”.

I shrugged. “Okay”

He sighed, deeper than before. “Well that was them on the phone. We have two options. The first option is this battle can happen in six and a half years with you being in foster care that entire time”.

I flinched at that. “Six and a half years? No fucking way am I doing that!” I gasped.

He nodded. “I know, I know. I picked the option I thought you’d like better. Which is.... in a week”.

My jaw dropped. “ A week?!

Chapter Text

My throat was dry and raw from crying. Tears burned my eyes and filthy piece of fabric was stuffed into my mouth. It was salty and stiff with sweat.

"Sans valeur, enfante stupide! Comment osez-vous parler danscette langue diabolique sous mon toit?!" (Worthless foolish child! How dare you speak in that devilish tongue under my roof?!"

I could only whimper as she berated me through the bars of the cage.

"Chara? Chara? Are you awake back there my sweet?" Mom's calm voice cut through my chaotic thoughts.

I had to sit up and look around. We were in the car. I was slumped against the window, having been lost in my own thoughts. According to the GPS, we were ten minutes away from the courthouse to meet with the lawyer.

"...Yeah" I finally said. "I'm up".

**************************

"Nice meet you Chariana. I'm Niel Parks" The man who was to be my lawyer said, reaching for a handshake.

I did not return the handshake. "Call me Chara" I said simply.

Neil sat down across the table from me and spread out some files. "Okay. Here I have your aunt's interview in French and English..." he slid two papers in front of me, which I immediately began reading. "And here we have-"

"These are wrong" I cut him off, still scanning the paper.

Niel shot me a confused look. "No, those are the documents I got from-"

"No they're the right documents. But these translations are shit. It looks like they used google translate for this." I scoffed.

"How can you be sure?" Niel asked.

I glared at him with a deadpan expression. "I think I know my native language thank you very much" I snapped.

Toriel placed a hand on my shoulder to calm me. "Patience, Chara"

I backed off but didn't apologize.

Niel covered up the awkward silence with a cough. "So! What's wrong with the translations?"

I ran my finger down the page until I found it. "There. Bête. They used it to mean "stupid" but in this context it would meant "beast". And that's just a few lines in. I don't wanna think about the rest of that page. If they can't even find a good translator how do we know any of this statement is true?"

“Well-“

“The answer is we can’t.” I cut him off. “French is a very delicate language. Mess up one word and the entire sentence is wrong! If there’s any errors in here then the entire thing is wrong. This statement just can’t work” I explained.

He gave me a skeptical look. “Miss Reed, I ask you to remember that-“

I stood up and slammed my hands on the table. “I am not Miss Reed. I am Chara. Chara Serriff-Dreemurr” A blue glow surrounded me and pushed me back into my seat.

“Watch yourself kiddo. No need to get worked up” Sans said calmly.

But my anger couldn’t be contained this time. “Isn’t your job to help me win this case? Why are you questioning me?” I demanded.

Niel looked sheepish. “I’m very sorry Miss Chara. So why don’t you tell me about your aunt’s treatment?”

**************************

“...And that’s why I constantly got chained up in the asylum. It was either the chains or getting slapped. I picked the chains every time”

Niel nodded as he wrote this down. “Did you ever feel safe around your aunt? At all?”

I shook my head. “As long as I can remember I’ve been in danger around her”

His pen scribbled this down. “Now Chara there is a flaw in this. Well maybe not flaw. But definitely something that could complicate things.” He pointed to my birth certificate. “You were born in 1956. You should be nearly 60 years old now. But you’re not even ten yet, not until October.”

I smirked. “You leave that explanation to me.” I said.

He looked like he wanted to protest, but stopped himself. “Well... Alright. Now we won’t see each other again until Friday, right before the trial begins. Is there anything you want to tell me before we part ways? Anything you could’ve left out?”

I shook my head. “Anything else that needs to be spilled can be spilled on the courtroom floor”. I said with full confidence.

“Alright then.” He looked up at Sans and Toriel. “Do either of you two have anything to add?”

Sans took out his phone. “I have a recording. And a few photos.” Even though I wanted to glare at him I didn’t. Niel needed those photos. The recording however, I had no idea what the fuck that was.

Niel scribbled something on a sticky note, which he handed to Sans. “Email them to me and I’ll handle the rest.”

Sans took the note, nodded, and stuck it to his phone. “Will do”.

He stood up and reached for a handshake. This time I returned it.

“Chara, I’m sorry we got off to a rough start. I have a daughter of my own. She’s quite a bit older than you, and has kids of her own now. But if she had ever been in your situation I would’ve done everything I can to help her stay with me. And I promise that I’ll do the same for you.”

**************************

At the bunker, I played with the twins. Barely two weeks old and already bundles of joy.

I didn’t trust myself to lift them with my magic yet so I settled on floating their toys around for them. They ate up every second of it.

I heard footsteps and looked up to see Sans and Frisk. The former had his hand on the younger one’s shoulder.

Frisk’s piercing blue eyes were laced with worry. “I felt you slip today”

I sighed. “Yeah Frisk. I did. A little bit”

“Well that’s not all I felt” she continued, climbing up next to me. “I felt it shoot up too. Your DT was spiking and falling. It was scary” she admitted to me. “I didnt know if you were okay”

I sighed again. “Frisk, we both know DT does strange things. I’m pretty sure it’s stabilized now, so-“

She shook her head. “That’s just it! It hasn’t! It’s still low. You have to get it back up to normal levels”. She urged. “You have to go train!”

I looked up at Sans with a raised eyebrow. “Your partner in crime is right, kid” he told me. “Listen I don’t care what you do. Just go in there and punch the shit outta that bag. Don’t gotta do any routine or anything. No drills. No warmups. Well you might wanna warm up. Just don’t stop for fifteen minutes.” He was grinning.

I smirked and dashed off to the training room. Time to break my fucking knuckles.

Chapter Text

I was sore all over. My legs were killing me. My hands were bruised to hell and back.

I sat patiently in my chair while mom went around healing me. Even through the shock, I could see the amusement written on her face.

"I thought you were crazy for trying to spar Undyne my child. But you've been doing so well I shouldn't have been concerned."

Sans was across the room, holding down the angry fish with Alphys's help so Papyrus could cover her injuries in Hulk bandages. It was the only way she would even remotely let it happen.

Mom bandaged up the bruises she wasn't able to heal fully and stepped back to look me over. "Are you hurt anywhere else, my dear?"

I shook my head. I was smirking my head off at Undyne because I'd managed to pin her for a full ten seconds. I almost won today.

Undyne, freshly covered in superhero bandages, made her way over to my and ruffled my red hair, sending it flying in all directions. "Nailed it today, Red." She grinned.

I smiled gently to myself.

Alphys pulled Undyne away to go watch the season premiere of an anime they'd been waiting on. Papyrus and Sans high fived for their "Masterful Healmanship" (yes that's what they called it) and then Papyrus left the room.

"Alright now that you've spent the last five days training until you pass out, do you feel any drop in your stress levels about this trial? Or your DT?"

"No to both" I answered honestly. "I don't think I can stop being stressed about this trial" I sighed. "What if it goes wrong?"

Toriel howled with laughter. "Oh, Chara, good one. As if something could go wrong!"

Sans smirked at me. "We got this in the bag kid. Nothing is gonna go wrong"

I scowled at their confidence. "But you don't know that. What if they try to blame you for my injuries? What if they don't believe me? What if they think one of us is lying? What if my aunt gets custody of me? What if I lose the best thing that ever happened to me?!"

Toriel pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket but Sans was already brushing the tears from my face. I didn't even realize I was crying. I was suddenly swept up in a warm tight hug and carried away to the bed I shared with Frisk and Azzy.

"Chara, where are these worries coming from?" Toriel asked me, placing a comforting hand on my leg. On the other side of me, Sans had a bony hand resting on my back.

"They've been here. I've never vocalized them. But I've had them. I always have them. I don't want to lose this. I don't want to lose you. I'll die if I'm with her, mom! I'll be dead within a day! And if it's not from her killing me then I'll fucking kill myself because I am NOT living with her! I hate her and all that she's done and-" I suddenly realized I was struggling to breathe.

My vision blurred and everything was spinning. I couldn't draw enough air into my lungs. Spinning. Moving. Loud. Voices. Talking. Too much too much too much!

I was face up on the bed with a panting skeleton on top of me. Sans had tackled me backwards.

He pushed himself to arms length away from me and looked me dead in the eye. "Kiddo, Chara, kid, come on, what's happening? Can you see me?" I gave him a weak nod. "Okay good. Can you breathe?" I shook my head. My throat felt like my was closing in on itself. "Okay, come here, let's do this" He pulled me up and magically shifted my feet so they were resting on the ground. Having lost control of my legs I scratched rapidly at my arms.

I couldn't control anyone around me and I needed to be in control of something! So I started picking away at my skin until it broke.

Sans, spotting blood, pinned my hands. "Toriel can you get in here with some green magic please?" I could hardly hear the frantic note in his voice.

I fought hard against him, scrambling for any control. I had to free my hands. I had to.

Sans maneuvered behind me and kept my hands pinned to my sides. He wrapped an arm across my chest and I responded in the best way I could.

I bit down hard on his arm.

He winced but didn't pull away. "Chara, you're okay, no one's going to hurt you so there's no need to hurt anyone else" His voice was about a million miles away. "Please kiddo, stop fighting so we can help you. We can't do anything when you're lashing out"

"My dear, you are safe and okay. You are surrounded by family that loves you" Toriel places her hand on my broken skin and started to heal me. "Nothing is dang-" I kicked her.

"Ow!" She yelped, and backed away long enough to double over in pain. I scrambled for an exit but Sans had a tight grip.

"LET ME GO!" I screeched.

Sans shook his head firmly. "I'm not letting go. I'm not giving up on you. I'm not letting you run free when you can't even breathe right." With that he yanked me backwards.

I yelped as I was suddenly sitting between his legs with my arms pinned tightly to my sides and my legs trapped under one of his. His voice was low and comforting even if it was right next to my ear.

"Chara, we are not leaving you. You are here with us now and thats not going to change even with this court date. Everything is gonna be good. You're alright. Breathe with me".

Part of my brain wanted to listen. Part of it wanted to keep fighting for control. The latter part won.

I flailed wildly, not even sure what I was trying to do. Behind me Sans sighed.

"Kiddo I didn't wanna have to do this but I can't risk you getting yourself hurt"

I felt a sharp pressure on the back of my neck and everything went black.

**************************

When I came to, the clock next to me said 10 PM. I was tucked loosely into bed. Around me, everyone seemed to be asleep.

Sans sat up from his chair next to me. “You can put up quite a fight during a panic attack, huh?”

I gave him a blank look.

“You were fighting me every chance ya got. Quick pressure point on the back of your neck. Knocked ya right out” he informed me.

“Where’s mom?” I suddenly blurted. “I kicked her. I have to-“

Sans quieted me. “Toriel is okay. You didn’t even bruise her. She’ll be in after your shower. Which reminds me. Grab a shower before you go to bed”

Beside him I noticed a box of razors. I pointed at it. “What are those for?”

“I didn’t miss your little comment about killing yourself. Tori and I agreed not to trust you in the shower alone with razor blades after that. Razors are getting locked away until after the trial”

I fumed. I didn’t have anything to shave so I never used the razors anyway. But the fact that they didn’t trust me with them infuriated me. “I’m not gonna slit my wrists in the shower Sans!” I snapped.

He kept his cool. “I know you won’t. Because you won’t have anything to slit them with. Go take your shower kid”

I stomped off to the bathroom, growling all the way.

**************************

When I had clean clothes on and was sitting on the bed, Mom came in with a hairbrush in her hand. I winced when I noticed the heavy purple spot on her leg. Apparently I’d left a bruise after all.

“Do you want me to brush your hair my child? I remembered how that would relax you when your first fell” When I nodded, Mom sat behind me and ran the hairbrush through my short ginger locks. I relaxed my shoulders and sighed. Sans was already re-wrapping some of my injuries, paying special attention to my cuts and my shoulder.

I should’ve expected the miniature therapy session.

“Think you’re gonna get sleep tonight?” Sans asked me. I shook my head. “Well that’s no good. You need to rest up. Trial is tomorrow.”

I winced. “I know it is but that’s not gonna magically cure my insomnia.”

“Have you tried sleeping pills?” Mom asked me out of nowhere.

“Why would I have tried sleeping pills”

Sans chuckled to himself. “We’re just looking out for you kid. Last thing we need is a sleepy Chara stumbling around a courtroom. You could trip and end up with a-torn-knee” He snickered.

Mom howled with laughter like it was the best joke she’d heard in a hundred years. It probably was.

“I will DECK YOU if you make more courtroom puns” I snapped.

Sans wiped tears from his eyes, still laughing “Sorry, sorry!”

As the two idiots caught their breath, I swung my legs back and forth. “Can I try the sleeping pills?” I asked finally.

Mom and Sans looked at each other very apprehensively. They had an entire conversation through eye contact. Finally mom nodded and Sans dig through the first aid kit.

Upon producing a small pill bottle he shook out two pills. “I’d let you get them yourself but we aren’t taking chances after the suicide comment kiddo”

I groaned. “That was one little comment!”

“Yeah and you’ve done it before so I don’t trust you not to try and kill yourself again. So I’m doling out your pills until I don’t feel like you’re gonna do something stupid.” He handed over the two white tablets. I dry swallowed them.

“We’re gonna be alright kid. Chara.” He told me as I climbed underneath the covers to join Frisk and Azzy, who were long asleep.

“I’m gonna walk into that courtroom as Chara Dreemurr and walk out as Chariana Brodeur” I squeaked.

Sans shook his head firmly. “Nope. You’re gonna come outta there as Chariana Elizabeth Serriff-Dreemurr”

Chapter Text

I was the last one to leave the room after getting dressed. Everything was on except for my tie, which I had attempted to tie about five times and only succeeded in making a knot of fabric. It dangled limply from my hand as I gazed into the faces of my family.

Mettaton's chiptune voiced chirped. "Chara, my darling, where is your tie?" I flapped the useless strip of fabric around in my hand.

"I don't... I can't... It..." I sighed. It had been a long time since I was so nervous that I couldn't think in English. "...Help" I finally said, dropping my head.

Looking at the ground, I saw black dress shoes shuffling towards me. The wearer stopped and dropped into a kneel, and I was face to face with a concerned skeleton.

"Kiddo? Do you need help with your tie? Is that what you're saying?" He asked softly. I nodded, feeling my face beat up. He took the tie from me and started to undo the giant knot I'd done in it. "Hey, there's no need to cry. It's alright" Was I crying? I didn't remember crying but I was. "You want me to help you?" I nodded furiously. "Okay. I'll help you. Lift your head up for me"

He looped the tie over my neck, tied it in a tight Windsor knot, and tucked it into my vest. "Okay kiddo. Now you just have to keep your head up until we win this trial, got it?"

Even though I nodded, I knew I was gonna fail.

I climbed into the car and slumped against the window. The cool glass felt nice on my overheating face. Azzy climbed in next to me and Frisk followed. In front, Mom positioned the car to pull out and Sans eased into the passenger seat. Everyone was so dressed up. I felt awful that they all had to wear such nice clothes just to watch me get taken away from them.

Behind us, Mettaton, Alphys, Undyne, and Papyrus climbed into The Jeep. I had an entire army behind me but we were still going to lose.

The car pulled out of the driveway.

**************************

The wind wasn't even that cold but when I was already shaking anyway it felt like a blizzard.

I was surrounded at all angles. Frisk and Azzy were holding my hands. Mom and Undyne stood behind me, flanking me. Sans was holding my shoulders. Mettaton, Alphys, and Papyrus brought up the rear.

A burly security guard arrived by the door to greet us. "Chariana Dreemurr and family?" I winced hearing Kah-REE-a-nah instead of SHAH-ree-ah-nah .

"Chariana" I repeated, pronouncing it correctly.

"Sorry about that. Right this way if you would"

He lead us through several back hallways and into what looked like a coat room. Niel was standing against the wall in a tuxedo, looking over a clipboard. Upon seeing us he gave us a huge smile and crossed the room to us.

"Hey Chara. How you been?"

I groaned. "Stressed as fuck"

"Well don't worry. Thanks to the evidence Sans gave me last week, we got this case in the bag" He shot Sans a grin. I shot him a suspicious look.

"Okay I know what the photos are. What the fuck is this recording?"

Sans shook his head. "You'd kill me if you found out. You're gonna kill me when you find out"

I narrowed my eyes. "What do you do" I deadpanned.

"You'll see kiddo. Trust me. I had to"

Niel nodded. "It's a valuable piece of information Chara" As he introduced himself to those who hadn't met him and shook hands, I glared at Sans.

We took off our coats, even though Mettaton's elaborate pink fur coat was the only one, and the guard lead us into the main courtroom. He directed us to a bench and we sat. Sans and Frisk were on each side of me, giving me reassuring looks.

On the other side of the room, a door opened to reveal my aunt and her lawyer, along with a woman who I assumed was her translator. My breath caught in my throat as she made eye contact with me. Frisk immediately squeezed my hand.

My hands flew up to my tie, desperate for something to fidget with. I fussed with it until Sans had to grab my hand.

"Hey" he whispered. "I know you're nervous but the last thing we need right now is for you to look frazzled. C'mere" he turned me toward him and adjusted my tie. I couldn't look him in the eye. "Sorry kiddo. Didn't mean to scold you just then".

I shook my head, trying to communicate that that wasn't the problem. "I'm freaked out right now" I tried to explain.

"All rise!" Called a guard standing by the door. As I stood for the judge I felt my heart beating out of my chest.

The trial began.

"We've gathered today to settle a dispute of who will gain custody of Miss Chariana Reed. Or, as she has asked to be called, Chara Dreemurr. Chara will either be living with Toriel Dreemurr and Sans Serriff, her adoptive parents, or her aunt, Eponine Brodeure. Tucker Jones, please give Eponine’s statement. In English, please”.

“Certainly”. The other lawyer stood and produced a piece of paper.

“I helped my sister to raise Chariana and Celesté since they were born. They grew up seeing me as a mother figure. I cared for them every weekend. I believe that Chariana is better off living with me because I am her last living relation. She is a danger to society and if she’s not going to be locked up then she needs to be i the hands of someone who can handle her. I highly doubt these monsters know how to raise a human child, let alone a child with as many mental problems as Chariana has”.

“Bullshit!” I snapped.

“Silence!” The judge called. He cleared his throat. “Niel Parks, please read out the statements you received from Sans Serriff and Chara Dreemurr”

Niel stood. “Sans’s statement is as follows: Upon meeting Chara, we did not click well. She held resentment towards me, as any child would when faced with a step-parent marrying into the family. However as time went on I discovered she was a brilliant child with a rough past that kept her from living to her full potential. I discovered the traumatic abuse she faced as a young child and I carry a lot of anger towards her parents and her aunt for what they did to her. I believe she’s better off with Toriel and myself because I see the dread in her eyes when her aunt’s name is spoken. She’s fearless, so when I saw her break down at the meer prospect of living with her aunt, I knew something more sinister was at work. Chara has been both physically and mentally scarred by events in her past. I believe the person who has care of her should be healing those scars, not making new ones.”

I stayed silent this time. I had no objections. He judge nodded and turned to Neil again. “Parks, please read Chara’s statement now”.

Niel nodded and read out my words as I’d given them to him only five days ago.

“My life was utter hell growing up. Eponine only made things worse. I originally thought that the weekly trips to her house would be a break from the violent physical and sexual abuse I endured at my parents’ house. Instead they were weekends of no sleep and being shouted at in rapidfire French through the bars of a dog cage. They were weekends of being afraid to go near anyone, being afraid to speak, being afraid to even exist. But since living with the Dreemurrs I felt safe. I’m not scared to live. I’m not ready to die anymore”.

I stared at the wall. No objections. The judge sighed loudly. “Oh my. Well we have a lot to work though. Alright then. Jones, call your first witness”.

Chapter Text

"Is it true that your aunt is the only family you have left?"

"Biologically yes"

"Can you elaborate on what you mean by 'biologically'?"

I gestured to the monsters. "These are my family. I don't consider her-" I paused to gesture to my aunt. "to be family anymore"

"But you considered her family at one time?" Jones grilled me.

"Before I figured out what an awful, horrible person she is, yes."

"Is it true that Miss Brodeure was the only one who visited you in the mental hospital?"

"Yes". I deadpanned.

"How did you feel when she would visit you?"

"Scared" I blurted. "I hated her visits. She would demand I speak French with her, but I couldn't with so many doctors. Each visit was a choice. I could either get beaten or I could get berated until I passed out from crying. And neither one of those choices were right to a fucking child. 

Jones looked thoughtful for a moment. "Was there ever a visit of hers that you... enjoyed?"

"No. By the time I got shoved into that dump I knew damn well that she was only going to make things worse. I hated the thought of her. I hated seeing her. I hated hearing her voice and seeing her damn eyes boring into me with all the passion of a rock. I hate her."

"Surely you can't mean that? She's still family after all. Aren't you exaggerating here dear?"

"Don't call me dear. I am not a dear by any means. And no, I am not exaggerating. I am well aware that hate is a strong word but that's why I use it"

He looked taken aback. 

The judge spoke up. "Parks, please begin questioning."

Niel stood up and motioned for Azzy to stand. "The court calls Asriel Dreemurr for questioning"

Azzy stood, looking nervous in his little suit. He adjusted the buttercup he had pinned to his breast pocket and looked expectantly at the judge.

"You were the first to find Chara when she fell into the underground, correct?"

"Yes. I brought her to the castle and she stayed with us until the... buttercup incident."

"You saw firsthand the effects of her life on the surface. Can you give us some examples of how she acted around her new family?"

Azzy thought. "She was quiet. And it wasn't just because she barely spoke English. She was scared. She would flinch when dad looked at her, or when she saw mom's fire magic. If they said something wrong, she wouldn't correct them unless someone else spoke up. She was always walking carefully like she feared breaking something. She was scared to eat. And on the first day she fell, she continuously asked if we were going to hurt her. I didn't question any of those things. I had never met a human before and I thought it was normal. Now I realize that it's not. And when she told us what she had gone through, it all made sense."

"Did you help her when she would get scared?"

"I tried to. A lot of the times she didn't want to be touched. So I'd let her be and wait until she was ready for comfort. It was hard because she didn't speak much English, so I couldn't always figure out what she wanted. A lot of times I just hugged her and played with her hair. That seemed to work."

"If you were separated from your sister..." Niel started. "...how would you feel?"

"I wouldn't know what to feel. Chara and I need each other. We're siblings to the end, and I don't think anything could keep us apart. I think Chara would fall apart without her family nearby, and we'd do the same. She's strong. She keeps us safe, and we keep her sane.It's a win-win."

"I see. Thank you very much Mr. Dreemurr." A tension spread through the monsters. Azzy wasn't Mr. Dreemurr. Dad was Mr. Dreemurr. No one said anything though. 

"Shall I continue with my questioning, Your Honour?"

"Yes, Parks. Please continue"

"In that case the court calls upon Alphys... Winton?"

Alphys stood, her spotted dress twirling slightly with the movement. "Y-yes?"

"You are the previous Royal Scientist of the monsters, am I correct?"

"Y-you are"

"You are the one who brought Chara back from the dead?"

"I am. I f-figured out how to b-bring together her soul, sp-spirit and body and bring b-back her as her nine y-year old self."

"We'll get more on that story later. In the meantime, you observed Chara's body in it's most natural state, right?" Alphys nodded. "Can you deserve what you saw when observing her?"

"W-well. I had to undress her to p-properly allow her t-to absorb her own soul again. Even though I put her b-body into a... w-well I'll call it a hospital g-gown, I noticed her g-ghost form looking uneasy being... e-exposed. I also noticed collections of scars on her body. Namely on her wrists, inner thighs, and stomach. Upon further observations, she also had severe scarring on and around her genitalia." 

"Interesting. Did you notice anything else strange? Nothing is miniscule here, Alphys. Anything out of the ordinary will help your case."

 

"I noticed she was a b-bit skinny for her age. I w-wouldn't say severely underwight, b-but definitely less than an average healthy weight for her age. As every m-monster knows, the k-king and queen would never let anyone, l-let alone a ch-child, go hungry." There was a collective nod from the monsters. "So I d-deduced that something kept her body from retaining the n-nutrients."

"And did you figure out what that 'something' was?" 

"Th-that's a negative"

"I see. Well, thank you very much, Alphys" Al sat down and immediately clutched Undyne's hand, still shaking from nerves. Undyne leaned down to whisper what I assumed to be reassurance. "The third and final person, besides Chara herself, that I have to question is Mr. Sans Serriff." 

"Thank you, Parks. However I believe it's time to hear from Miss Brodeur first. You may begin with your cross examination"

"Thank you Your Honour" Niel crossed the courtroom to my aunt, her lawyer and her translator. The latter two stood for questioning. 

"Miss Brodeure. Are you aware of the treatment that your neice was enduring under your sister's care?"

"J'étais au courant. Cependant, je ne l'ai pas vu comme un abus. Je l'ai vu comme une punition appropriée pour ses transgressions."

" She says that she was unaware" the translator said, prompting me to stare at her absolutely disgusted. That was not what my aunt said by a long shot. 

"And you gave Chara the best life you could during the times she was under your care?”

J'ai donné au morveux exactement ce qu'elle méritait”

“She says she did in fact, do all she could to give Chara a good life”

“What the hell...” I muttered.

“Chara? You have an objection to what she said?”

“Yeah, the translator is lying through her teeth. She’s saying almost the exact opposite of what my aunt is actually.” I heard a sharp intake of breath from my aunt. I kept my eyes trained on Frisk’s shoes.

Neil smirked.

“Would you please inform us what you believe my client is saying?” Jones said, bristling at the very idea that my scumbag aunt could be lying.

“First she said she was fully aware of the abuse that I endured but thought it was a proper punishment for my transgressions. Second she said that when I was in her care she gave me exactly what she thought I des-“

“Your Honour, do you honestly trust the words of a mentally deficient child?” Jones cut me off.

All hell broke loose.

“Chara is not mentally deficient!”

“Throw the bitch in prison!”

“She’s lying!”

“That brat is just looking for attention!”

Bang! Bang! Bang! The judge rapped his gavel on the podium. Hard. “Order!” He commanded.

Silence fell over the courtroom.

“Mister Jones. I have no reason not to trust Miss Dreemurr’s story and you will do well to remember that I am remaining unbiased in this situation”. Jones almost seemed to shrink back. “As for Miss Brodeure... we will take a fifteen minute recess so she may sort out her story. Court is momentarily dismissed” He rapped his gavel on the podium once more and then exited through the door behind him.

Niel motioned for me to head back to the bench, where my family scooted over to let me sit down. I padded down from my platform and collapsed onto the hard bench.

I laughed. At the time this was the funniest thing in the world. I covered my face with my arms and laughed. It was so funny I couldn’t stop. This entire thing was hilarious.

A hand clutched my shoulder. “Kiddo?!”

“Chara are you okay?!”

I uncovered my face, which I was sure had gone red from laughing. I looked into the faces of my concerns family and sighed. I nodded.

“I’m fine. It’s just that this is all so...” I trailed off. I swung my legs back and forth. Stupid shortness.

“...Stupid”. I finished.

Chapter Text

The recess was over far too fast. As convinced as Niel was that this would go off without a hitch, I was in no state of mind to face my aunt again.

Yet I was back on that stupid platform in what felt like a minute. Maybe less.

The judge called the court to order as Jones shuffled back into his position. He cleared his throat once, and then twice. Something had happened. There was no sign of the translator but a new woman was sitting with my aunt. My aunt looked pissed by this entire arrangement.

"We will now continue the custody case of Chara Dreemurr" the judge said shortly. "And I do believe that one side has a confession for us"

Jones stepped forward and cleared his throat yet again. "It has come to my knowledge that the translator Ms. Brodeur hired was lying to protect her. It is a long-term friend of Ms Brodeur who faked her credentials. I do apologize for this. I was unaware my client was participating in such a scheme"

The judge nodded solemnly. "Ms Brodeur has been given one of our translators to help with the language barrier. One whom we know she has not met and is impartial and honest. Ms Brodeur, I do hope you realize this has severely limited your chances of gaining custody of your niece"

My aunt bristled like a cat who had water thrown on them.

"The translator has confirmed to me that Miss Chara's statements about what her aunt said are correct. Her aunt was well aware of the abuse and believed she deserved it".

Neil grinned.

"Parks, you have one more person to question?"

"Yes your honour. Although he is more of a witness."

"The court calls Sans Serriff to the witness stand"

Sans stood up and Niel pointed me to a chair off the side of the platform. I stared blankly at him. I thought I always had to be on this platform. He urged me down more insistently. Sans and I switched places.

"You're Chara's...?"

"Stepdad." Sans said instantly.

"I see. Parks, you may continue."

Niel stood across from Sans. What I saw next can only be described as a signal in some kind of vicious attack plan. Niel set down the tablet he had been using and grinned. Sans braced his hands on the platform railing and grinned back.

Oh motherfucker they had PLANNED something!

"I've spoken to Sans in detail about Chara's upbringing" Niel clarified to the court. "Now, Sans. What differences have you noticed in Chara that a typical nine year old would not be dealing with?"

"Well, there's a lot. She cusses more than most of the royal guard. She knows what sex is, in vivid detail. She has PTSD flashbacks and has been in a mental hospital. She's deathly terrified of being remotely exposed due to being brutally raped. She has a serious attitude problem. Shall I continue?"

"No that's quite enough. You've discovered a collection of injuries on her. Would you elaborate more on those?"

Sans nodded. "I am training her in magic. During our first session she had an intense power surge that sent both of us flying backwards. I was able to get my balance, but being a beginner she could not. She hit the wall before I could stop her. I helped her up and noticed blood on her shoulder. I told her she was bleeding and she got very concerned about it. More than most kids would be over something like a scrape. She took her sweatshirt off and examined her shoulder, and that's when I noticed the scars. Jagged, pink scrapes across her right shoulder-blade. They'd been made with a steak knife. I asked her about them but she refused to explain. So I grabbed her by the other arm and tried to take her upstairs. But she yelped with such force that it startled me. I stopped and looked back at her and she was wincing and rubbing her arm. She begged me to just let her go upstairs. I looked down and... I can't even describe what I saw. Horrible, really. An extensive collection of lacerations. I was horrified by it. She was nearly shaking. I just knew that they were self-harm scars. I got her upstairs as fast as I could and treated her wounds. She told me her birth mother had tried to cut off her arm with a kitchen knife. And the scars on her arm were indeed her doing. I've caught her with fresh scars again twice since that incident."

Silence fell over the monsters. None of them knew the extent of my problem. I picked uncomfortably at my arm, only for my hand to be grabbed in a shield of soft blue magic. I snapped my head up, startled. Did he have eyes in the side of his head or something?

"Sans has emailed me photos of the damage to Chara's arm and shoulder." He took out two large prints. One of which I recognized as the picture Sans had taken a month earlier. The phone flash was harsh against my extremely pale skin but the jagged cuts were clearly visible in both photos. I cringed.

"And Chara has confirmed to you that her aunt is the cause of her self harm, you've said. Please, tell us about that night"

I tensed up. A lot. That was a rough night. I knew Sans wouldn't spare the details. The devil is in the details after all. This was torture. Having to listen to my own problems being recited and recorded.

"I woke up in the middle of the night for a drink. I heard noises from the other side of the house but didn't think much. I had three kids after all. But I realized that the noises were coming from the basement and there was a muffled scream. I ran down as fast as I could. And sure enough there was someone in the basement. I blindly threw them against the wall with my magic and demanded to know who they were. I turned on the light and realized it was Chara. Her knife was in her hand and her arm was bleeding. It didn't take much to put two and two together. I got the cuts wrapped and treated and we sat on the couch and talked" When he said that he nodded to Niel.

Niel went to his tablet and clicked on it for a minute. "Sans also emailed me this". He clicked a button and suddenly Sans's voice, along with my own, echoed through the courtroom.

"C'mon up. I ain't gonna bite. ......So. Tell me about your aunt kiddo".

"Sans I'd rather not".

"I know. But it's keeping you up at night and causing you to relapse. So you gotta talk about it. ...Chariana...."

"Okay okay! Well she's racist, sexist, and an abuser. She got mad when I spoke English..."

I listened in horror as the entirety of the talk Sans and I had played for everyone to hear. I glared holes into his head.

That fucker had recorded me.

“...But a woman with too much lipstick on sends you scrambling for your knife?"

"Yeah I know it makes no sense. I don't need a reminder of how broken I am"

The recorded finished and I looked for reactions. My aunt was flushed red. Caught.

The judge was raising his eyebrows.

Sans and Niel were both smirking.

I was humiliated.

“Thank you Mr. Serriff. I believe you’ve given us plenty.”

Sans took his seat and Niel ushered me back into the platform. I stood quietly, glaring intensely at Sans. He just shrugged. I was gonna get him for that.

“Now something doesn’t make sense here” Jones announced. “Chara’s records say she was born in 1956. Not only that, they say she died in April of 1966. How on earth do you explain that?”

Niel turned to me. “My client requested that I let her answer that herself”.

“And I’m more than willing to answer.” I confirmed.

The judge was looking at me now too. “The floor is yours, Miss Chara”.

Now it was my turn to smirk. I knew exactly how to prove to them that I was better off with the monsters. “The Dreemurrs are the reason I stopped wanting to die” I started.

Despite feeling myself shake I kept it up. I had to keep going. And I was damn well going to.

Chapter Text

"I had a complete breakdown at preschool. My brother was drowned by some idiot bullies and things kinda went to shit. I killed three children. I ran home and told my parents. They advanced on me, in completely different ways, I lost my shit and stabbed them. Yeah yeah you know that. You all know how I ended up in St. Mary's. That shit was all over the news and you ate it all up. You're fucking sick.

What you don't know is what patients in a mental ward actually went through. It wasn't like today where they're always watching you and you have to take the drawstrings out of your jacket so you don't strangle yourself with it. They don't come into your room and shine a light in your face to make sure you're asleep. If they got sick of you, they trapped you in a straightjacket and threw you in isolation for awhile. Because I was a killer, I was in isolation for my entire time.

I wasn't helpless. I figured out how to break out of the straightjackets. And the leather bed restraints. And the chains. And everything else they tried on me. I forced myself to throw up t medications to the point that my body just rejected them. I wasn't an idiot. I knew they were trying to kill me. I was the only one who got constant lobotomies. I have multiple scars under my eyes that not even my family knows about. They're hidden by my dark circles. I was the one who was constantly locked up. They wanted me gone. They didn't want to bother trying to treat me. What are you supposed to do, cure a psychopath? Not gonna happen. So they just didn't want to have to deal with me.

I had friends. The patients were a team.  It was us against the doctors. Except for a few who either couldn't get out of their rooms or just didn't trust the rest of us, we were one force. Against the doctors, they knew we were unbeatable. We were protected by White Eyes. 

No one knew where White Eyes came from or what her real name even was. She was a skilled witch. Her rituals and readings kept us from being hurt by our own dying sanity. The doctors were too afraid of her to even try and hurt anyone she cared for. She helped to deliver a baby and they tried to kill it. They backed out immediately when they realized she had blessed the baby. They stopped being outright cruel to me upon knowing she'd taken me as her apprentice. She was untouchable.

The doctors couldn't give up on trying to kill me though. Doing my rounds one night I figured out that in the morning I was going to get the electric chair. I wanted to die. I was so beyond suicidal at that point. But I was also stubborn. I didn't want them to have the satisfaction of killing me so I did it myself. I broke out of the asylum. I got across town to Mt Ebott and jumped down it. I wanted death so bad. And I was presumed to be dead.

Only instead of dying.. I woke up. Against my will I was alive. Azzy helped me up and brought me back to the castle. I must've shut myself in a room alone for three days before I came out for a slice of pie. And I was always scared. I thought I was going to be killed.

Azzy and I became inseparable. I lived with the Dreemurrs for six months. I lived and was treated as a princess.

In September of 1966, I got an idea. The monsters needed seven human souls to break the barrier trapping them there. I tricked Azzy. I poisoned myself with buttercups and fell ill. I told him to absorb my soul when I died and take my body to the surface. You see, a human soul combined with a monster soul will let one being cross the barrier. So we did it. I poisoned myself and fell sick. I died on October 11, 1966.

Azzy absorbed my soul and brought me body to the surface. The plan was for him to kill six humans. My soul combined with the other six would break the barrier. But he couldn’t fight back. They killed him. His dust fell over Dad’s flowers and Mom buried me underneath the flowers at the mountain’s entrance.

Fast forward about 60 years. Frisk fell into the Underground and her sheer Determination woke me up. I followed her as an unwilling guardian for....” I mentally debated if I should explain the runs but ultimately decided not to “...about a year. We got to the surface and she stayed with our mom. I was tied to her via her soul so I had to stay too. We brought Flowey up to the surface. Dr Alphys extracted the dust off him to bring my brother back. She also combined my body, soul, and spirit back into... me. Apparently the soil in the underground preserves dead bodies. So I’m back in my nine year old body, which was chock full of poisonous flowers but otherwise intact.

I frankly don’t care how unbelievable this sounds. There’s no other way I could stay nine years old despite dying in the 60s. You asked for an explanation. There you go.”

Awkward coughing followed. No one knew what to say to me and I loved it. I took so much pleasure in confusing the shit out of people.

“Anything is possible when you’ve fallen into a land of monsters who use magic” Niel pitched in.

“...I suppose your story checks out. I believe that we have made our decision. Now to clarify. Miss Brodeur. Your intentions are to take Chara back to France. Mr and Mrs Serriff-Dreemurr, your intentions are to legally adopt her and continue raising her as you have.”

Both parties nodded.

“Chara. You’ve made your opinions of who you want to live with quite well known.”

I nodded vigorously. Something would really be have to be fucked up now for me to go with my aunt.

“I have reached my decision. It is clear to me who Chara is better off living with.”

I found myself biting my nails. Despite knowing that there was no way I was going with Eponine I was freaked out. What if they thought I lied? What if they thought my family couldn’t take care of me? What if I had to go to foster care? What if-

“Congratulations Chara Serriff-Dreemurr”.

Chapter Text

Holy shit.

Holy shit.

We won.

WE FUCKING WON.

"I've received word from an anonymous source that Eponine Brodeur is wanted for drug abuse in New Mexico. Therefore she wouldn't have been able to take Chara in even if she didn't have the abuse and neglect charges on her head. Eponine, you are being placed under arrest for drug abuse, child abuse, and child neglect. Custody of Chara goes to Sans Serriff and Toriel Dreemurr. If you two would follow my guard you can get the paperwork signed to get her adopted. Dismissed". The judge banged his gavel on the podium and he was gone.

Niel ushered me down from be platform and I looked across to my aunt. She was screaming bloody murder as she was dragged away in handcuffs.

I ran off the platform and was swept into an enormous group hug. Hands ruffled my hair and pressed my face into shoulders.

I was home.

I broke free of the huddle and looked up at everyone. Smiles. All smiles. I felt the tears slip down my face before I could stop them.

"Hey, kiddo, no need to cry anymore! We won. You're safe now"

I responded with a watery giggle as I wiped my face. "Happy tears Sans. Happy tears."

**************************

I feel sorry for the restaurant. We aren't rowdy but we can get noisy.

We'd gone to a little Italian restaurant on the edge of Terse County. Everyone was celebrating. Undyne was already drunk. Love that.

I quietly slurped up my cheesy pasta, listening to the joyous conversations around me. As happy as I was to be out and about, I was tired. So very very tired.

"Hey, kid. Ya with us?"

I nodded despite my yawns. "I'm awake. I swear."

Undyne downed what I assumed to be her fourth tequila. I laughed a little before yawning again.

"Heya Red, what's goin in with you?" I was amazed she could still talk right.

Sans squinted slightly and leaned forward. He whispered something to Undyne I couldn't hear. Her eyes went wide and she poured herself water from the pitcher, immediately downing it while eyeing me nervously.

"I'm good, Undyne. Just tired."

"Eh don't sweat it Red. You had a loooong day"

I nodded. I didn't know what to say to a drunk person.

After awhile, the warm atmosphere of the restaurant combined with my full stomach and happy chatter of my family, I slumped against Sans's shoulder.

I heard a snicker and a "Hey Sans, watch it". There was a soft gasp and a hand on my shoulder before I completely drifted off.

**************************

When I came to, all was quiet. I was on a couch back in the bunker with a blanket draped across me. My vest, tie, and shoes were strewn over the back of the couch. I got up and padded into the kitchen.

A few monsters were in there, stirring tea or having cookies before bed. I looked at the clock on the stove. 11:46 PM. I'd slept awhile. I opened the fridge and found a styrofoam box with my name written on it. I opened it to find my leftover pasta. Grinning to myself I grabbed a fork and climbed on top of the counter. No one payed me any attention as I dig into my cold pasta.

By the time I'd finished it the kitchen was empty. I floated the empty box over to the trash bin. The bag was seized in a blue glow and tied. It vanished as Sans came into view, rubbing his eyes. He saw me and jumped.

"Geez kid, make a sound or somethin'!" He yelped. I smirked at him.

"Sans?"

"Yeah kiddo?"

"You and Toriel took awhile to sign the adoption papers."

He froze. Caught.

"It takes awhile kid. No big deal"

I straightened up, bringing my knees out from under me to sit cross-legged. "Lies." I accused gently. Is it possibly to accuse someone gently?

He sighed. "You're not gonna like what I tell you."

"Spill" I deadpanned.

"No getting mad?" He asked me, his pinky extended. I rolled my eyes and locked my pinky with his.

"No getting mad" I promised.

"Part of the deal we made with the judge is that we would get you into proper therapy within the next year."

"Oh come on!" I groaned. "Therapy is so bullshit!"

"I know you haven't had great experiences with it but you were also in a really bad place. If it really doesn't work out then we can take you out. But we have to give it a shot. Because you weren't really released from the asylum you're still considered dangerous. Under our protection you won't get locked up again. But we have to at least try and help you. Does that make sense?"

I nodded. I really didn't want it to make sense. But it did.

"Besides, it can help you. Really it can. You know how much Frisk benefited from it"

I rolled my eyes. "Frisk and I have completely different mental problems."

"Okay, fair. But we've got a year. Promise me you'll give it an honest chance when the time comes?"

"Yeah sure. Whatever. Promise"

"That's my girl" he said, climbing onto the counter next to me. "Do you feel better now that you're safe with us?"

I scoffed. "Obviously."

"And you're totally alright with the adoption?"

I nodded, hiding my smile. "I guess I can live with it"

"Good. Because ya know, when that paperwork comes through..." he rested his hand on my back and I instinctively moved closer. "...You're gonna be my daughter. For real now"

I I looked up at him through my lashes. "Do I have to call you dad?"

He laughed. "No, no, absolutely not. I could never take that from Asgore. You'll never have to call me anything but Sans. I stand by that rule"

I slumped against his chest. I was still so tired from the day's events. "We've got bigger nuts to crack now"

I shifted in place as he turned his head down to look at me. "Nuts to crack?"

I shrugged. "I'm vegetarian. Frying fish doesn't matter to me"

Sans stared at me for what must have been a full thirty seconds before his form shook with muffled laughter.

"And what are these 'nuts we have to crack', so to speak?" He asked.

I looked up at him. "We're kinda in a war" I reminded him.

He sighed for the millionth time that conversation. "Jesus, the second you get one conflict fixed you're into the next"

I shrugged. "We need to focus on the fight, Sans. In the grand scheme of things, that court case was fairly miniscule. It doesn't matter now"

"Hey" He said, his voice suddenly stern. "Don't talk like that." He... scolded? I wouldn't really call it scolding. I rolled my eyes and curled myself tighter into him.

Two finger found their way under my chin and tilted my head back. I looked into his eyes, catching the slight shimmer of his magic.

"You matter, kiddo. Don't ever think that you don't"

I was so tired. So out of it. And so emotional. In that moment I just broke down. I found myself burying my face in his wrinkled sleep shirt as I just openly cried.

He didn't say anything. Thank god. He just sat there gently rubbing my back. We rocked slightly as he tried to calm me down.

It took a solid five minutes for me to stop and breathe. Very shakily.

"Are these still happy tears?" He asked.

I sighed. "Kind of. These are more... stressed and tired tears" I clarified.

Suddenly we were walking. We stood up and walked. Sans settled into something soft and I was vividly reminded of a day... god, four months ago?

Sleep was going to overcome me. Again. Both times I'd fallen asleep today it'd been on my stepdad.

Stepdad. That title finally sounded right.

**************************

When I woke up the next morning, Sans and I were still on the couch. Frisk And Azzy were pulling on my hands.

I yanked my arms free and rubbed my eyes. “What...” I groaned.

“Chara, come on!” Frisk urged. “You gotta see this!”

I looked behind me. Sans was still asleep. I teleported a few feet over so I could escape his grip without waking him up. “What’s going on?”

“Come look!” Azzy said urgently. They both took my hands and pulled me away.

What had they done this time?

Chapter Text

"We're gonna play Apples to Apples!" Azzy cheered, getting the game down from the closet. Next to it I spied a black box in the pile of 'not for kids' games.

I rolled my eyes. Apples to Apples was such a boring concept. I knew what that black box was and I'd much rather play that. But it wasn't innocent. So I guess we have to keep it PG.

I lates down on the floor while they set the game up.

"Okay. We each get... seven cards?"

"I thought it was ten"

"Excuse me what the fuck" Sans's voice rang from behind me.

"Son of a BITCH!" I yelped, whipping around to face him.  He stood there grinning, holding the black box from the closet.

"Alright kiddies. Your mom is busy with the twins so no need for the innocent act. We're playin this". He held out the box.

Cards Against Humanity.

"Chara why the hell are you still in your court clothes. Go get changed we got a game to play"

**************************

I layed on my stomach in my sweatshirt and leggings, snickering wildly at my cards.

"Alright Frisk. You're the Cardtsar first" Sans said with a smirk.

Frisk drew a black card from the pile and stared at it disappointedly. "Oh god I can see where this is going"

"Read it, coward" Sans said.

"Just saw this upsetting video! Please retweet! #stop________"

I chuckled to myself as I put my card forward. Sans and Azzy did the same. Frisk gathered the cards and shuffled them for a minute before reading.

"VR Porn. Saying 'I Love You'. Severe Brain Damage" she rattled off while looking through her options. "Ohhhh boy."

As the three of us shot pointed looks at each other and snickered, Frisk stared at each of us, in turn, with a disappointed expression.

"Alright Sans. I'm assuming you played VR Porn" As she accused him I took a gulp of my soda.

Mistake!

"Nope that was me" Azzy piped up.

I choked and nearly spat out my drink.

"Damn" Sans said with a whistle. "You really took me seriously when I said drop the innocent act"

Frisk wordlessly handed Azzy the black card, which he took with a grin.

Sans drew a black card as Frisk picked up her hand. Oh boy. Cardtsar Sans.

"What never fails to liven up a party?"

Frisk and I both put our cards forward immediately, causing Sans's eyes to go wide.

Azzy pondered his cards before sighing and adding his to the pile. "I'm probably gonna lose this but fuck it"

Sans gathered the cards. "Bees?"

Azzy facepalmed. Yeah he was definitely losing this time.

"Are you asking?"

"No it has a question mark. There's also A Lifetime of Sadness" he looked pointedly at me. I shrugged.

"Guilty as charged"

"Which means Frisk wins with... grave robbing!" He said passing her the black card.

I burst out laughing. "Hey guys this party sucks! Let's go dig up grandma! She got buried with a massive fuckin diamond!"

Frisk took the black card. "Something you wanna tell us about your grandmother, Chara?"

I shrugged and drew my fingers across my lips in the 'lips are sealed' motion.

Azzy picked up a black card. "It's a pick two" he told us. "When I was tripping on acid, ____ turned into ____".

This one stumped us. I hesitantly put together two cards and set them down. Sans did the same. I looked over at Frisk. She had one card in her hand and was intently studying the rest of them. Finally she picked out her second and put her cards forward.

"Chugging bleach turned into... getting this party started" Azzy read off. "Okay... wow. I mean I guess if you're on acid then bleach couldn't make things much worse"

"Agreed" I mumbled. Sans did a literal double take.

"Excuse me what Chara?"

"Nothing. Continue Azzy"

He shrugged. "Penis envy" he looked up thoughtfully. "Is that a thing? Anyway. Penis envy turned into... sweet sweet vengeance. I'm not sure I wanna know what that is implying."

"Probably not" Frisk agreed.

"I already know I won't get this last one. Having a vagina turned into panic and confusion"

Frisk and I snickered.

"Alright well I understood the chugging bleach one so that wins"

"Thank you" I said, gladly taking the black card. "I guess it's my turn for Cardtsar?"

"Yup"

I reached in and drew a black card. "Oh this one is gonna end in disaster" I said, muffling my laughter. "What's the most problematic?"

I was stunned as three cards were immediately piled in front of me.

"You all have strong opinions on what's problematic, okay" I picked up the cards. "Fear itself. Lovely. Bad emotions I don't want. Okay, relatable. And..." I flipped to the last card and nearly snorted. "This wins." I couldn't say it out loud because I was laughing too hard so I just showed them the card.

All it said was 'God'.

Frisk took the black card. "Thank you. Thank you very much"

I choked again. "Since when do you have a problem with God?"

Frisk shrugged. "I don't. But I know how to play to what you like"

Holy shit Frisk.

She reached for a black card. "CNN Breaking News! Scientist discover _______"

I stared at my cards with a sigh. I had no good ones for this. I put a random card forward. "I'm so gonna lose" I muttered.

Sans put forth his card with a chuckle. Azzy was giggling as he put his in.

"Nickelback" Frisk deadpanned. "Really Chara?"

"How'd you know?"

"You said you were gonna lose. And you were right. That was horrible" She set the card aside. "Okay... an assortment of-" Frisk was cut off by her own laughter. Azzy joined in and I immediately knew whose card it was.

"An assortment of what?!" Sans asked incredulously.

"Pickles!" Azzy announced proudly.

Sans and I just stared at each other.

"You two have..." I trailed off.

"...The weirdest sense of humour ever" Sans finished.

"Not what I was gonna say but I'll take it" I confirmed.

Azzy shrugged as Frisk handed him the black card. "Are we ever gonna know what Sans's card was?" He asked.

"Oh mine was 'This boring ass white bitch from work'. It's relatable"

"How the hell it relat- You don't have a job" I questioned.

Sans looked me dead in the eye. "Chara, every workplace has a boring ass white bitch. It's unnecessary but it establishes a power exchange so it's a trope that confirms itself"

I stared blankly. "I don't think any of that made any form of sense" I said.

He shrugged and drew a black card, looking at it with a chuckle. "Well this a little too on the nose for us" he mumbled. Then he cleared his throat. "War! What is it good for?"

Azzy snort-laughed. "Shit Sans"

I studied my cards as I choked back my laughter. As I put one forward I caught Sans's eye.

"If I can't joke about it what's the point?" He was directing that at me.

"Oh so I'M not allowed to make self deprecating jokes but YOU are?" I asked, feigning offense.

Frisk and Azzy put their cards on top of mine as Sans answered me. "Oh honey that wasn't self deprecating that was me DRAGGING both humans and monsters" he picked up the cards. "Alright so we have.... Dying. Good start. We also have... The Gays." He looked to each of us. No one spoke up so he moved on. "And..." he out his head in his hand, chuckling. "A live studio audience!" He announced, complete with jazz hands.

As Frisk dissolved into laughter I slow clapped. "I need you to show that to Mettaton later"

Sans suddenly looked horrified. "He can NEVER see that!" He gasped.

Azzy raised an eyebrow. "What are you worried he'll put you in one of his sho-"

"Yes!" Sans exclaimed.

All three of us burst out laughing.

"Alright you know what, just because of that, The Gays won" he said, sliding the black card into the center. I took it and added it to my stack.

"That's what I thought" I said smugly.

Azzy picked up a black card from the now-lopsided pile. "Okay... It's a Shame The Kids are Getting Involved With_____"

I studied my cards. How the hell was I gonna do th- Nevermind. I slammed a card down. Azzy flinched.

"Jesus Chara"

I shrugged.

Sans muttered "None of you are gonna understand this but okay" as he put his card down. Frisk submitted her answer with grace.

"Go-Gurt" Azzy read when he picked up the cards. "Now is that a euphemism or does that mean actual Go-Gurt?" He pondered.

I snickered. "Yeah that's the real question here"

"We also have... Pig-lipped facist fucks" he looked up. “Chara I already know that was you”

I shrugged. “I won’t deny it”

“And last we have... euro-dick. What does that even mean?”

“The fuck?”

“European dick? Because European dick is not good” I chimed in, causing Sans to choke.

“I’m not telling any of you what it means” Sans said.

“Yeah okay, fair” Frisk answered.

“Anyways. Chara wins” Azzy said, passing me the black card. I added it to my pile and grinned.

“Your turn for Cardtsar Chara” Frisk informed me. I grabbed a black card.

“Okay what do we have... Girls just wanna have____”

This one sent everyone into silence as they looked at their cards. One by one, each person slowly picked out a card and handed it to me. I gathered them in my hands.

“A whole thing of butter” I read off. “Gross. Rock hard tits and a huge vag- Disgusting. What the fuck. Who would want that?”

Sans coughed awkwardly. I frisbee-launched his card at him, catching him in the cheek. “Bad”

“Shit!” He yelped, rubbing the spot where the card hit him.

“And finally we have... China”

“The entirety of China?” Frisk asked. “Who would want that?”

“The Huns” Azzy answered, looking at me.

My eyes widened as I handed him the black card. “You win for the reference alone. Congrats. It’s yours. Take it, love it, you deserve it” I rambled off.

Azzy gladly accepted his twisted prize.

“Lunch is ready!” Toriel called. We heard her footsteps approaching.

“Shit” Sans whispered. “Help me Chara” he hissed urgently.

Using our combined telekinesis we soon had the cards back in the box and the box up where it was. Successfully hid the evidence.

“Coming mom!” Azzy called, jumping up. Frisk followed suit and they ran into the kitchen. Sans and I stood up and went after them. As we walked we made eye contact, both of us smirking like hell.

What mom didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her.

Chapter Text

"The hell are you on about?" I demanded.

It had been nearly a week since the trial and as far as I was concerned things were back to normal. So I wasn't expecting to walk in on the rest of the monster kids speaking in hushed whispers that stopped when they saw me.

"Are you guys seriously trying to hide shit? From me?" I looked around at my cousins and siblings. "What the fuck?"

It was Frisk who gulped and spoke up. "Chara we heard Undyne talking. The humans are about to attack soon. And they're hiding it from us.

My eyes went wide. "Everyone is coming with me. Now"

**************************

We practically slammed into Mom and Sans.

"Who the fuck are you?!" I demanded.

Mom was shocked to say the least. "Chara, What are you talking about?"

"I wanna know where my mother is. Because my real mother wouldn't hide something like an attack from her children! So who are you and what have you done with the woman who just adopted me?" I rambled on.

Both of them froze. I spotted the side eye they gave each other.

"Well you see kid-"

"No!" I cut him off. "No you don't get to work your way out of this! We're under attack, Sans! So cut the shit and talk to me like an adult, because you know damn well I can handle it"

Mom sighed. "We have a lot of explaining to do. I think it's best if we call a meeting."

**************************

Soon enough, Frisk and Azzy stood on either side of me as we stood at the front of the crowd.

When Mom stood, all fell silent.

"Monsters. It is come to my attention that rumors have spread throughout the community about evidence of a human attack." Murmurs of agreement sounded from around the room. "I'm afraid the rumors are true" the murmurs immediately swelled to shocked cries of protest. "Monsters! Order please!" Mom shouted with her hand raised to stop them. The chatter ceased soon enough and she spoke in an even tone. "Thank you. As I was saying the rumors are true. Undyne intercepted a message that was going around the children's old school and some other community buildings. Someone saw us coming back from the trial of Chara's aunt and they located the bunker. They're planning a sneak attack, set to launch on Saturday."

I looked to Sans in shock and panic. It was Wednesday. He couldn't keep eye contact with me and that infuriated me even more.

"Are we even equipped for that?!"

"We need more time than that to prepare for a battle!"

"We can't win a fight like that"

Similar protests went up all over the room, much to my dismay.

Toriel sighed. "I'm sorry, all. But Undyne has informed me that we aren't ready. I can't believe I'm about to say this but..." she inhaled deeply. "Perhaps we'd be better off surrendering"

I watched in outrage as no one spoke out against her. They weren't seriously...

"No!" I snapped before I could stop myself.

A pulsing blue eye found contact with me. "What?" Sans said coldly.

I choked. But damn it I was in it now and I couldn't back down. "I know you heard me Do I suddenly have a stutter I don't know about? You know what I said" I reached down and grabbed Frisk's hand. "We've been training and preparing for this day for months and you're going to throw it away and give up. You have two daughters with access to a powerful ability that physically will not let us give up!" I paused. "And you expect surrender. Un-fucking-believable" I shook my head as I dropped Frisk's hand. "You guys are supposed to be the adults here. You expect us to look up to you and yet you lead us astray." I found myself being urged forward by a push on my shoulder. In a moment of instinct I jumped onto the staged platform with my parents. "Tell me why the kids are ready and the adults aren't. You block us out and shut us down and you expect us to take this sitting still. We are ready to defend our history and our future while you all cower in the shadows like frightened dogs. Monsters I speak to you not only as your princess," I paused, knowing what that single word meant to them. "But as your future" I continued. "But there will not be a future if we surrender. This attack is coming. You claim we can do nothing but we can defend our community.  For our children. For our mountain. For our queen."

"Chariana." The word was choked out. I turned to face Sans with a raised eyebrow. "You can not charge into battle headfirst. You need to-"

"Oh yeah?" I asked. "Fucking. Watch. Me"

"I don't appreciate being interrupted."

"I don't appreciate you ruining what our lives can be." I retaliated. "If we get into this battle and have to give up then so fucking be it. But I just don't buy it". I continued, my eyes narrow. "You either train us harder and show us how to win this thing or you be irresponsible parents who let their kids charge headlong into battle with no plan. We'll win this war with or without your help". I finished with nothing but ice in my voice.

The silence was deafening. I couldn't take it for more than a few seconds.

"Oh NOW you're silent?" Frisk spoke up. She jumped onstage with me. "Chara and I didn't save your asses for you to run and hide a couple years later."

"Language, Frisk!" I couldn't tell who said it.

"Fuck off!" I shouted back. "You don't get to play some language card just because she's right."

Fuku leapt up next to us. "They're right. We aren't going down without a fight"

"We aren't going down at all" MK declared, climbing up with some help.

"Mom..." Azzy said as he jumped up. He looked directly into Mom's eyes. "We can't let dad down"

Mom choked back tears. She whispered something I couldn't make out.

"I'm.. I'm sorry my children. I can't believe I was so foolish to even suggest such a thing.." she muttered. Then she wiped away her tears and faced the crowd again. "For Asgore" she declared. "We keep our home".

A few monsters grinned.

"We avenge his suffering".

A few cheers.

"We show the humans we won't back down!" Mom said with certainty.

"Hell yes!" Okay that was Undyne.

"This isn't the end of us!"

"We won't back down!"

I smiled to myself as I listened to the crowd. I admired my handiwork as the crowd cheered words of encouragement.

“What are we waiting for?” Undyne called. “Let’s go!”

As the crowd dispersed, Frisk smirked at me.

“Come on Chara. Let’s show Asriel what we got!”

“In a minute” I said vaguely.

When the crowd had cleared, I started down to get off the stage. A hand on my shoulder stopped me.

“What was that?” Sans asked. “Since when do you know how to talk like that?”

I shrugged. “I’m a princess. And I’m damn good at my job. Now come on. I can’t train without you”