When I woke up the next morning, I stared at the ceiling. There was an unsettling nervousness in the pit of my stomach and I felt like I could get sick at any time. I had told Red last night I would tell him and the others everything. Down to the last detail.
I was nervous. The only thing that was going through my head was that he wouldn't want me here anymore. The Binachi family was one of the top dog mafias around, and they owned almost half the city. I could be of value, or I could be dead within a matter of seconds. Everything would be in their hands.
I hated leaving my fate to someone else.
I finally rolled out of bed and grabbed clean clothes, heading into the bathroom. I ran the shower water extra hot, taking in a deep breath and standing under the stream. The scalding water hit my back harshly and I let out a hiss. But I stayed, letting the water wash away the nightmares from the night before.
My night had been plagued by the memories of my time there. Of having my personality stripped. Of losing sight of who I was. Giving in to whatever he wanted. Giving Dominic what he felt he deserved. All because I had no control over my life because my dad got sick.
I scrubbed my hair a little harder than normal. I kept trying to get the thoughts out of my head, the memories that I had carefully locked away. But they kept coming back full force. I squeezed my eyes closed and took in a deep breath of the humid air around me, blowing it out slowly.
He wasn't around. He found me, but he couldn't know where I was. If he did, he would have already shown up to take what he thought was his.
I blew out a breath and rinsed myself off of everything before stopping the water. I opened the curtain and wrapped my hair in a towel, squeezing in a few places before I grabbed the other towel, wrapping it around myself. I went to the mirror and wiped some of the steam off of it, giving myself a once over.
My two different colored eyes stared back at me. I looked like shit. I ran a hand over my cheek, wiping some excess water from my face. My cheeks were red, flushed from the heat of the shower, and a piece of my hair wasn't caught in the towel. I looked over myself, only pausing for a minute as they landed on my stomach. I wasn't the skinniest, and I wasn't too far on the heavy side, but I did have some weight. My thighs touched and they jiggled...
I touched my thumb to my bottom lip. Last night, Red had been so close...and if I had made any indication it was okay, he would have...he could have kissed me. I could still feel the heat from his bones burning themselves against me. The way his claws had dug into the skin of my hip...
I unwrapped the towel and looked down. A big purple and black bruise had already formed in the shape of his claws and hand. I wrapped myself back up, sighing. I would have to find clothes that actually covered my hip enough. Luckily, I wore a lot of baggy clothes anyway. Shouldn't be too much trouble.
I went back into my room and headed for the dresser, pulling out my clothes for the day. I even took one of my favorite pairs of jeans out and tossed them on the bed, along with a bra, panties, and a shirt. I dried the rest of myself off before changing, going to hang both towels up in the bathroom.
After brushing my hair a bit to get most of the knots out, I left my room, heading downstairs. Papyrus was in the kitchen, moving about. The smell of chicken permeated the air, and I poked my head around the corner.
“Hey, Paps. What'cha got going on in here?” I asked.
He looked over at me before mixing something in the pan he had in one hand. There was the sound of sizzling, before he grunted.
“COOKING LUNCH. I AM SURPIRSED YOU SLEPT THIS LONG,” he said.
I shrugged. “I usually sleep a little later after a shift over at Grillby's. It's only because I work so late.”
He nods. “ACCEPTABLE. UNLIKE THAT LAZY, GOOD-FOR-NOTHING BROTHER OF MINE,” he stated, his voice raising as he insulted his brother. Red must still be asleep.
“So what's for lunch?” I asked as I crawled into the seat.
I realized that, thanks to their heights, their table and chairs were extremely high off of the ground. I had to climb the chair like a tree so I could sit. I was still a little too small, but I managed to figure out a way to make it so I actually made it to the table.
“I GATHERED FROM WHAT I READ THAT HUMANS LIKE COMFORT FOOD WHEN THEY ARE IN A STATE OF SADNESS, OR ANGER,” Papyrus said gruffly. “SO I LOOKED UP SOME TYPES OF COMFORT FOOD AND IT SAID THAT A HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP WOULD HELP.”
My heart just melted right there.
He had looked up ways to help me? Why? Because of my apartment getting broken into and raided or from the stress of meeting all of their friends? I couldn't imagine why he do that. But just the thought that he would try and help me like made me feel just a little happier.
“NO NEED TO THANK ME, HUMAN,” he said. He turned away from me, but I caught a faint blood-orange tint across the top of his nasal cavity.
I hid my smile behind my hands as he continued to prepare the food. We made idle chat, and he never once brought up that he knew about Dominic or the Bianchi family. Did he know about that? Red knew, and I'm sure that meant Frisk and Asgore knew. Did anyone else in their tight little circle know about my past?
What did they learn about it?
Red came down just as Papyrus placed a bowl of the hot soup in front of me, sliding a spoon my way and placing a cup of lemonade in front of me. He slid into the seat beside mine wordlessly, accepting a bowl from his brother.
He looked beat. There were dark spots under his eyes that looked like bags. He had no snappy words for anyone, and he looked like he could pass out any second into his bowl. I looked away and focused on my own food.
It was hot, and it was delicious. After being here for as long as I had, I could taste the slight after taste of oranges in Papyrus's magic. I sighed as I ate, letting the warmth fuel me. Red looked over at me as I ate.
“ya look like yer 'bout t' eat th' bowl, too, sugar,” he said, his voice throaty.
I ignored the shiver of desire rolling down my spine. “I like his cooking!” I huffed. “He made it so I could be happy.”
“he did, huh?”
Red and his brother shared a look. Red didn't look happy, but Papyrus looked indifferent. In fact, he even looked a little smug. I looked between the two of them before returning to my food. Not my monkeys, not my circus.
Eventually, they began to talk. It was about something with work, and they tried to keep it as vague as possible with me sitting there. I ignored them anyway. I glanced at my phone and scrolled through my social media, looking through dead memes and angry people. I texted my mom to let her know I was still doing okay and I'd call her when I got the chance.
“get dressed, sugar.”
I looked at Red and he was sliding off his seat to put his bowl and mine in the sink. “For what?”
"king fluffybuns wants t' talk at 'is place,” Red said, turning to face me. “so get dressed an' we'll head that way.”
I only nodded before sliding off of my own seat and went upstairs. I went into my room and changed into a pair of slacks and a nicer top. I grabbed a necklace and put it on before grabbing my wallet and headed back downstairs. Apparently, Red had already been to his room to change. He wore a three piece suit, much like I had seen him in when I first met him. He wore a pinstripe this time. He was fixing the cuffs, grumbling to himself as I came up next to him.
“All set?” I asked.
He turned to me and looked over me. His gaze was slow as he roamed over my body, lingering a little longer on my breasts and legs. I rolled my eyes.
“Eyes up here, buddy,” I mumbled.
He chuckled before facing me fully. I looked down and scowled, reaching out and grabbing his tie. The red silk beneath my fingers was smooth, and I took a moment to run my thumb over the material. It was cool against my fingers, and my thoughts were going in a totally different direction.
“It's lopsided,” I sighed, undoing the tie. “How do you tie your shit if you can't even get it straight?”
“usually, frisk 'r paps help me,” he said as an answer, shrugging. “i don't see a need t' wear 't, but...”
I rolled my eyes again as I redid his tie, straightening it and making sure it was tight. It went well his gray suit, and I just looked him over for a minute, trying to imagine how he had so much bulk behind him when he was literally just bones. I didn't understand it.
I'd seen him in just a regular tee shirt before, but it was different. I just didn't understand the mechanics of it.
“eyes up 'ere, sugar.”
I let out a tiny squeak as I looked back up at his eye lights. There was a hint of amusement in his voice, and he was wearing his shit eating grin. I only huffed and looked away from him, watching as Papyrus joined us. He was straightening his own tie.
He even wore a fedora. How the hell did these guys keep these things on their head?
After everyone was set, we all got into Papyrus's convertible. I kept my hands in my lap as we moved he drove through the area. Red and Papyrus talked about more things related to their jobs and I ignored them, opting to stare out the window.
The area they covered was a lot bigger than I had originally guessed. I watched as people and buildings zoomed by, nothing but blurs in Papyrus's speed baby. I nervously tucked my hair behind my ear and rubbed my wrist. I hadn't done it much these last couple weeks, but the thought of telling them all my story was making me a nervous wreck.
When we pulled up to a golden gate with a giant intricate “D” engraved on it, I had to do a double take. They lived lavishly. I mean, I figured they did, but just how were they able to afford all this in such a small amount of time? It must have been from all the gold they had from Underground. I remember hearing how the value for it had actually dropped after they had come up. It had been a whole thing.
We were buzzed through and we wound our way through the long driveway before parking in front of the garage. Frisk was waiting for us on the large front porch, holding Flowey in his hands. I scrambled out of the car, smoothing my hands over my slacks before I made my way over to where he was.
Frisk gave me a small smile, his eyes holding a small twinkle. It was hard to think this was the same person who freed the monsters. Had been adopted and been loved by the same beings so many people feared.
I wasn't much to talk though. After all, I was living in the same house as the Judge and the Boss. For fuck's sake, most people would think I have a death wish. I didn't, but I felt like one wrong move and I would be cut to pieces.
That was a scary thought.
“Welcome,” he told me when I got close enough. “Sans called us this morning to let us know you were...gonna talk about your past.”
He said the last part lowly, and for a brief second, there was a flash of distrust in his eyes. I didn't blame him, but it made me feel bad. I knew about this, but I didn't want anything to do with it. It's not like I wanted this to happen. But in a matter of seconds, the look was gone and the twinkle was back.
“C'mon. Sans and Papy can catch up,” he said, turning. “Mom wanted me to come get you myself.”
I nodded and followed him. I glanced down to notice Flowey had been staring at me the entire time. But when I looked at him, he let out a small yelp and looked away, hiding behind the human who was carrying him. I gave a small smile before I went inside with them.
The front room was huge. It opened up into an open area that had blinding white tiles and two sets of stairs, one on either side. There was a large picture next to one of the doors. It was a family portrait with the Don and Madame, along with Frisk and Flowey. They were all smiling and even I could see it was genuine.
He led me up one set of stairs and led me down a ridiculously long hallway. He pointed out the different rooms and such, and I couldn't help but think how optimistic he was being. I could have gotten any one of them killed because of something that I was part of years ago. And he was showing me around his house like I was a new friend.
We made it to the end of the hall, where there was a door cracked open. Frisk knocked before a grunt answered. He poked his head in.
"They're here, dad,” he said, poking his head inside. “I went ahead and brought Levy up first.”
The door swung up and Toriel stood there, a gentle smile on her muzzle. She gave Frisk an affectionate pat on the head and waved me inside the giant room.
There were a couple of bookcases overflowing with books, and a fireplace in one corner of the room. There was a couple of chairs sitting in front of the fireplace with a tea set laid out, complete with lumps of sugar and some milk or cream. Asgore was seated behind a long mahogany desk, looking up momentarily from whatever he was writing. He shot me a smile and waved me over to one of the chairs.
“I'm sure the others will be up shortly,” he said, his voice soft. “Please have a seat. Have some tea.”
"Thank you,” I murmured.
I sat down, basically having to climb in this chair, too. Toriel helped me get a little more comfortable on the chair before helping me make the tea. Whatever it was, it smelled delicious. Like the candies I would find in an old person's home. My grandmother's house smelled like this often, but I never knew the smell...
“Butterscotch,” she said, giving me a smile before moving to help Frisk with his. “It's one of my favorite flavors, and an amazing smell. Tell me, do you like cinnamon?”
I blinked before nodding. “I do. I often put cinnamon on the whip cream of my hot chocolate.”
She beamed now and clapped once. “Alright. I'll be back. Hopefully, the tea will help ease your mind.”
“Thank you,” I said quietly to her retreating back.
Then I was alone with the Don and his sons. I looked around and saw some pictures of Frisk and his adoptive parents. The one that struck me about them was that they were all genuine. There were no fake smiles, and everyone seemed truly joyous. I smiled at the pictures and looked over at Frisk, who was regarding me with a guarded look.
I took it in stride. I didn't blame them for being as guarded around me now that they knew I had once been in with the Bianchi family. Hell, I probably knew more things about them than these monsters did, and this was their job. They did this for a living and here I sat, just a girl who had a horrible past of getting mixed in with the wrong people.
Red and Papyrus came into the room quietly, still talking in low tones. Undyne and Alphys came in behind them. The lizard monster looked over at Red, who was completely ignoring the fact she was standing there. A second alter, she came over, standing in front of me with her clipboard held to her chest.
Frisk sat upright, looking between the monster and I. I glanced at Alphys as she restlessly tapped her clawd against the clipboard. It was quiet for a moment before I sighed, taking a sip of the tea.
“What is it?” I asked gently, afraid I would startle her if I spoke any louder.
“I-I was wondering if y-you wouldn't m-mind answering a f-few questions,” she asked quietly. “For scientific p-purposes.”
I narrowed my eyes slightly as I regarded her. “You're talking about how my eyes aren't matching colors? And how one is an odd color to begin with?”
She nodded, fidgeting under my stare. “Y-yes. I feel t-that I could get some g-good data from it...”
I glanced over at Red, who still had yet to notice that Alphys was even close to me. He was talking with Asgore in a low voice, the baritone sending delightful chills down my back. Ignoring the feeling, I looked back the lizard before nodding curtly.
“That's fine,” I said. I held a finger when she opened her mouth to speak. “But I won't be there by myself. And I will not answer anything too personal,” I added.
She didn't seem to like that but nodded her assent anyway. She scurried off to go stand beisde Undyne, who was watching the entire exchange. She sent me a withering look, even as Alphys told her what was going on. Undyne had said she liked me, but this must have changed a few things. Again, can't really say I blame them. I held eye contact with her until Frisk cleared his throat.
I looked over at him and he held Flowey in his lap now. Both the flower and the human were watching me with strange looks.
“Why would you agree to that?” Flowey asked, his voice high pitched. It reminded me a lot of a child. “You must have a few screws loose.”
“Flowey,” Frisk admonished quietly. “Be nice.”
I waved them both off. “It's alright. I know how everyone feels about her, that's why I'm not going alone, and why I'm not answering anything too personal. Besides, you'll know most of my history once everyone is ready.”
Flowey just rolled his eyes and looked away, folding his leaves across his stem. Frisk regarded me for another long moment before he nodded.
Grillby and Muffet came in next. Grillby saw me and came over to me, picking me up and setting me down on his lap. I rolled eyes as he brought out his phone to take care of some stuff for work. As he went through and crunched numbers, I pointed out things on there that needed fixed. He and I went through and did this while the others talked about what needed to be done.
I heard a small squeal and looked over Grillby's shoulder. Alphys was covering her muzzle, a bit of blood soaking through her fingers. I raised my brows as she looked away from me.
When did monsters bleed?
I shook it off and went back to crunching numbers with my boss. His hand rested on the arm rest behind us and I leaned against his chest, my elbow resting on his shoulder and my chin resting on the back of my hand.
Twenty minutes later, Mettaton came strutting into the room, heading over to stand with Papyrus. The taller skeleton seemed to melt a little when he got close enough and Red was watching him with distaste written all over his bones. Wingdings came in behind him, and both skeleton boys paused. They looked between Wingdings and I.
I looked over at the other brother and gave him a smile and a wave. “Welcome to the shit show,” I said, drawing Grillby's attention.
The fire monster looked between the two of us. “You've met him?”
I nodded. Wingdings spoke this time, saying, “Yes. The day after she found her apartment trashed. I ran into her. She thought I was one of my siblings.” He chuckled.
Red rolled his eye lights, and Papyrus seemed to relax. They both had looked on edge with Wingdings, and I couldn't imagine why. He seemed pretty chill in my book. I just shrugged it off to sibling shit as Asgore stood.
“Shall we go into the meeting room? I'm sure Tori is just about done with that pie as well,” he said, shooting a smile at me.
I nodded and slid off of Grillby's lap. Everyone followed Asgore to another room more toward the stairs. Red kept by my side the entire time, his ulna occasionally brushing against my arm. I would look at him, but he was deep in conversation with Frisk. I shrugged it off as we entered the room.
There was a long table in the middle of the room with just enough chairs for everyone. They all seemed to go to their own seats. Red held out a chair for me in the front of the room, sliding it back in when I sat down. That's when I noticed that Red wasn't sitting, but standing beside me. So was Wingdings. They both stood on my left and right, with their arms behind their back. Asgore sat on my left and Papyrus sat on my right.
They were guarding me, I thought absently. Just in case I say something that could set them off. They were setting up a small barrier, to be safe.
Toriel came in then, and with her came the smell of butterscotch and cinnamon. BP even came in behind her, carrying plates and silverware. Muffet was setting up the tea, handing them out to everyone with their preferred takings. When she handed me mine, she winked at me with three of her eyes.
I would never get used to that.
When everyone settled, I took in a deep breath. All eyes were on me, and I fidgeted a little under their scrutiny.
“Well...I guess I'll start from the beginning...when I first met him.”