“Boys, hurry up! I told my parents I would meet them there!”
Christmas was always chaotic, and living with skeletons was no different. Red was too busy lazing around, whining about how he didn't want to leave his bed and get dressed in actual clothes. Which, I could understand. I sure as hell didn't want to either. And Papyrus was the opposite, throwing everything in his closet around until he found the perfect suit to wear to meet my parents.
I sat cross legged on the couch, folding my arms across my chest as I counted the minutes down in my head. It was my first Christmas with them, and with their family. I couldn't help but feel a little sad that Wings couldn't be with us, but I knew he would be home soon. I had talked to him the other night, for only a few minutes. Wings had explained he couldn't make it, but that I should enjoy the holiday for him. And that if all went well, which it was, he should be home by the end of next month.
I had been excited, unable to sleep. Then the anxiety had kicked in when I remembered my parents were meeting Papyrus and Red. And it wasn't even Papyrus I was worried about. Or any of the others for that matter. Maybe Undyne and Mettaton. But definitely not the others.
When it was brought to Asgore's attention that my parents were coming by, he'd actually seemed more than okay with it. Frisk and Toriel had been all for it as well. Flowey had been, and still was, on the fence about it. Alphys seemed intrigued, and Undyne was skeptical. Mettaton was over the moon about it. Grillby seemed happy he could finally meet my parents, and Muffet promised she wouldn't put spiders in her food this time.
That made me shiver.
My dad had been on the fence about, only agreeing so he could see me. I knew why he was as unsure about it as he was. But it was something that he even agreed to come to begin with.
I began rubbing my wrist again, moving the bracelet up my arm so I didn't accidentally hurt myself. I could already see the looks my dad was going to give me for wearing the dress that Toriel had picked for me.
It was cute little thing. It was a red dress with a leather belt, and it stopped at my knees. While the top was tight, and showed only a little cleavage, it was still too much in my opinion. The skirt reminded me of a skater skirt, loose and flowing. I had smiled when looking at myself in the mirror; it had really felt like something I would wear. I had paired it with little diamond studs and one of my necklaces and a pair of black heels before thinking it was good enough to go.
I had even managed to curl some of my hair, yanking on them a little bit to make them look somewhat looser. Add a bit of eyeliner and mascara, and I was good to go.
That had been almost an hour ago.
Impatience growing, I sighed. “Boys! Seriously? I thought girls were supposed to take longer to get ready!”
“THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS WILL NOT BE SEEN IN ANYTHING LESS THAN PERFECT!” Papyrus bellowed down from the stairs.
“Oh, for fuck's sake,” I growled.
I stood up from my seat and marched for the stairs. When I made it up, I went to Red's door first, pounding on it with the side of my fist.
“You better be getting ready!” you snapped.
I then made your way over to Papyrus's room. Which still looked tidy as he laid out all of his clothes on his bed to look put away when he was done searching. I went into the giant closet to see him looking through his suits again. From his expression, I could tell he'd done this a hundred times already.
“Which one are you looking for?” you growled.
He looked over at me in surprise, but covered it up with one of his usual scowls. “THE DARK RED ONE YOU GOT ME LAST MONTH DURING BLACK FRIDAY,” he admitted. “I THOUGHT IT WOULD GO WELL WITH YOUR DRESS.”
I really wanted to melt at how touching that was, but kept my face in a snarl as I made my way to the suits on his bed. I carefully picked my way through the suits just to make sure he didn't miss it in his panic. When that was done, I made my way back into the closet and shooed him out. I picked my way through each one carefully, having a general idea of where it could be at.
Doing their laundry sometimes really paid off.
With a small “ah ha!”, I pulled the hanger off the rack and held the suit in question out to him. He didn't even look mad as I came out of the closet with it. Instead, he took it and leaned down, giving me a chaste kiss on the cheek.
“Now I get to make sure your stupid brother is actually getting ready,” I mumbled, closing his door on my way out.
I stomped to Red's room, hitting the door three times with the side of my fist. That seemed to be my signature when I was coming after you, or just coming to get you. Three knocks, all in a row. Hell, this time I was tempted to just kick the door. Part of me just knew he wasn't ready to go, and I was ready to raise high hell on him.
Instead of just answering, the door swung open just a few centimeters. I opened it enough to slip through, noticing that the lamp was on and he wasn't in his bed. I was actually kind of impressed with him then. But not so much that my glare lessened. My eyes snapped around, trying to find him.
“We were supposed to leave twenty minutes ago,” I snipped. “What are you – Jesus Christ!”
Red had snuck up behind me while I was looking for him. His arms came around me too fast for me to shove him off and he squeezed me to him. From the smell that rolled off of him, mixed with the bonfire smoke, he had actually showered, too. Man, he was pulling out all the stops tonight.
“sorry, sugar,” he whispered in my ear. “didn't mean to startle you.”
Before I could open my mouth to tell him out the pun made no sense, his hand came up in front of my face and...a necklace. The thin silver chain glinted in the light of the lamp, but what held my attention was the star that dangled off of the end. It was made from gold, looked like it was almost too heavy for the chain itself. In the middle, of course, there was a shining ruby.
It reminded me a lot of the ring that sat on my middle finger.
“merry gyftmas, sugar.”
That's right. To them, it wasn't Christmas. Red and Papyrus had both told me stories about how Gyftmas was actually a day you lived in fear, hiding from some god awful monster who would rather kill them all. Papyrus had told you, when I questioned, that the monster no longer lived, had been dusted a long time ago before they even made it to the surface.
But here was the proof they were celebrating a bit of both. If the gun holster digging into my ass cheek was any indication. Or, at least I was hoping that was his holster.
He took off the necklace I was wearing, placing it on his nightstand before turning back around and moving the curls from the back of my neck.
“dunno 'f frisk told'ja,” he said as he moved it around my neck, “but there used t' be crystals on th' roof o' th' caverns 'n waterfall. used t' wish on 'em a lot. jus' like i do wit' ya.”
I didn't know what made my heart constrict more; the thing he just said, or the fact he'd gone out of his way to get me something that meant a lot to him. Just for me. I could feel my heart pounding in my ears as he clasped the necklace together and turned me to face him.
I didn't even get a word out before he kissed me. His tongue ran along my bottom lip and I opened for him, my arms throwing themselves around his neck. He tasted of mustard and alcohol, and I could taste the cherries on his tongue. It was the most intoxicating taste I could have imagined.
We broke apart, and my breath came out in short pants as he rested his forehead on mine. His eyelights flicked between mine and I gave him a small smile. Before anything else was said, Papyrus knocked on the door and called to us that he was finally ready to go.
Red moved me toward the door with a swift pat on my ass as he grabbed his fedora and his jacket. I smiled a little wider seeing him wearing the suit I got him last month, too. They had both really loved them, and I guess both boys decided we were gonna go and match in style.
As we got in the car, Red kissed my cheek before he shut the door. I felt my face heat up and I knew right then and there, I needed to have that talk with him. Maybe it was time to really give whatever this was a chance to blossom. Or maybe it would die in flames.
Would never know unless I gave it a shot.
While on the way there, I thought of all the ways I could bring it up. I knew I needed to do it in private. I hated being around crowds as it was, and I knew this entire endeavor was going to take its toll on me. But the thought of seeing my parents made everything that much more worth it.
When we pulled up to the house and got through the gate, I saw my parents standing at the door, waiting for me. They both looked amazing, and I almost jumped out of the car while it was still moving to go to them.
When it did stop, Red's magic was already opening the door. I didn't bother with my coat as I made my way, as best as I could in heels, over to my parents, wrapping them up in a hug. As they hugged me back, I had such a strong urge to tell them everything. I wanted them to know, I wanted to lean on them like I had when I was a kid.
But that was dangerous, and I knew it could be used against me. It was best to leave them in the dark and hope they never find out what has happened or what could happen.
When I pulled away, my mom dabbed at a tear at the corner of her eye. “Oh, sunshine, look at you!” she said. “You look amazing!”
“Thanks, momma.” I turned my smile to my dad. “How's the farm?”
“Doing spectacular,” he said, pride evident in his voice. “Some of these clients have amazing chances at winning this year's race. Though some of those horses won't be able to hold,” he added as an after thought.
I chuckled as Red and Papyrus came to stand beside me. I only knew this because the smell of cherries and two large shadows forewarned me. My parents didn't look intimidated at the slightest as I held each of my hands out to regard the boys.
“This is Papyrus and Sans,” I said. “Now that you're formally meeting them.”
My dad held out a hand, and even though there was a slight quiver, he held fast when Papyrus gripped his hand. “Its nice to finally meet the men responsible for keeping our daughter healthy and alive.”
No one missed the way he said men. He was emphasizing the fact they were people to him, not just monsters. My heart warmed a little.
“YES, OF COURSE!” Papyrus said. “SHE HAS BEEN A BIG HELP HERSELF, AND HAS MADE HERSELF QUITE USEFUL AROUND THE HOUSE WHEN MY BROTHERS AND I CANNOT OR ARE TOO BUSY!”
“Come on, let's go inside,” I muttered, moving past them. “I'm freezing out here.”
Everyone moved inside and Toriel was there to greet us almost immediately. My mom seemed to be just as taken with her as Tori was with my mom. I smiled as they talked, and the second the subject of cooking came up, I knew my mom was caught. Hook, line and sinker.
My dad was talking to Frisk, eyeing Flowey a little as they did. I smiled at them as I wrapped the young man up in a hug. I even gave Flowey a kiss on the cheek to prove to my dad he wasn't by any means a threat. After that, I went off to find Asgore, since he was excited to meet my family.
But when I entered the dining room, I found an even better present. I let out a loud squeal, kicking off my heels before running off and jumping. Wings caught me, his arms going around my waist as he held me off the ground, chuckling and swinging me in a circle.
“I thought you couldn't be here, you liar!” I laughed, feeling happy tears pricking the corner of my eyes.
“Ah, I couldn't spoil the surprise,” Wings chided as he set me back on my feet. “Plus, I'm only here for the day and one night. I head back tomorrow.”
I wasn't going to think about that in any way. I had him here right now. I could see him safe in front of me, and I was going to be damned if I let those horrible thoughts ruin that. I noticed the way Red and Papyrus weren't even surprised to see their brother, and I knew instantly they knew he was going to be here.
They were going to get a metaphorical earful later.
Asgore called everyone to dinner and my parents made their way to sit beside me. I clutched their hands and gave them each a squeeze before engaging with Undyne, who I had to remind I wasn't in normal clothes so she couldn't just haul me off the ground and spin me around like a lunatic. I laughed as Alphys came over, stuttering to her girlfriend about how she needed to put me down.
Wings and my parents even got along splendidly. My parents put aside their indifference, and I knew they were watching me interact with the others. I couldn't see their expressions though as I was swung around and joked with. They didn't say anything as I gave as good as I got. I never missed a beat, and I didn't have to change myself for them.
It was the best feeling.
At one point, I stepped outside for a smoke, burying myself in the fur of my coat that Red insisted he and Papyrus give me as the colder weather settled in. I heard the door open and close behind me, almost expecting to see Red. Instead, I was met with my father lighting up his own cigarette.
“Could say the same thing about you, Levs.”
I chuckled as he came to stand next to me. I leaned against him, taking in the smell of earth that always seemed to surround him. I always had felt comfort when it came to my dad, and today was no different as I sighed, watching my breath fog up in front of me before taking another inhale of my cigarette.
“Thanks for coming, daddy,” I murmured. “It really does mean a lot.”
“I know, princess.”
A man of few words, but they always carried their weight behind them. I smiled, watching the sky as the stars began to pop out against the darkness of the sky.
“So that Sans fellow seemed pretty nervous about something,” my dad said suddenly, his own blowing coming from his nostrils. “Something I should know about?”
I shook my head. “Whatever that asshole is up to is a secret to me,” I answered, shrugging. “Maybe he wants to talk to you about something.”
“Do you like him?”
I almost choked on my smoke after inhaling too deeply. I let out a cough before I looked up at my dad, moving away a little bit. There was a knowing, but sad smile on his face. I'm sure the only thing he's thinking of is the heartbreak I experienced with Dominic, and it took everything in me to try and not defend Red.
I knew it was something he'd have to see for himself. I gave him a bright smile and reached up, planting a gentle kiss on his weathered cheek.
“Give him a chance,” I said instead. “He's really a good person. His job title just sucks.”
Hell, seeing it in action sucked more. I didn't think I was going mention seeing it in person though. That would just make him take me away and never let me near any of these amazing people ever again. And I couldn't have that.
I don't think I could see myself leaving their sides. Ever. Life...life would just be too boring without having all of them in it.
And that was the most beautiful thing about it.
Red could never remember a time when he was nervous. Sure, maybe as a babybones. Or maybe when he first started working in the lab with Wingdings. But over women? Never. Not even when he first stuck his dick in something other than rubbing one out.
But the thought of talking to Levy's father by himself, just to get his permission to even talk to his daughter about being together, made his bones rattle.
He watched the two interact outside, listening to their low voices. He was doing his best to ignore what they were saying; he could have easily eavesdropped, but he thought it best not to. This was the first time she was seeing her parents in months, let alone a holiday. He could only imagine what she was feeling as she leaned up against her father.
Stars, she was an angel.
She seemed taken aback by something he said and she stared at him before a soft smile crossed her face. The way his soul thumped in his chest made agreeing to let them come here so much more worth it. He would do anything to keep that smile on her face.
She stubbed out the cigarette she held, giving her father one last kiss on his cheek before she moved to come back in. Red got his cigar ready, hands in his slack pockets as she came in and she smiled at him, her head tilting.
“Hey, Red,” she murmured. “Be careful with him, yeah? Don't give him a heart attack.”
With a light chuckle, she moved into the living room, where her mother and Toriel were still going on about recipes and the like. Red gave a quiet chuckle as she plopped herself next to Wings, who was looking over something on his phone.
Red drew in an unneeded breath before moving and stepping outside before he could think twice about it. Her father didn't move as Red went to stand beside him, lighting his cigar with the flick of his magic. Neither man said anything for a while, and Red was sure he was going to lose his nerve before the old man spoke.
“I thought you were supposed to ask me for her hand in marriage, not to date.”
Red couldn't help the chuckle that slid past his teeth. So the old man thought he was funny? He could appreciate that. Red released the tension in his shoulders as he blew out a thick flume of smoke into the cold night air.
“yeah, well. sh' really loves ya, so i thought i'd at least d' somethin' a li'l more appropriate,” Red told him. He grew quiet before he added, “i really like ya daughter, sir. ya raised 'er well.”
“You're damn right I did,” the other man chuckled. “Though it was a challenge not to rip my hair out along the way. Especially when that Dom fellow came around.”
It took everything in Red not to gnash his teeth together. He really hated that name. And hated the man it came with.
Her dad hummed. He turned slightly, holding out a hand. Red noted he had lit up another cigarette. “Name's Benny. You must be Sans from the way you speak.”
Red chuckled and took Benny's hand in a firm grip. “ya got that right.”
“I'll only say this once,” Benny said, taking his hand back. “Take care of my daughter. If she comes home crying and broken like that again, I'll have no problems finding you and dusting you where you stand.”
The two smoked as they talked, and it wasn't until Levy herself came out to grab them that Red realized they had been talking for a good half hour. Everyone inside was impatient and waiting for them to come back so they could open presents.
As Red sat beside Papyrus and Benny took a seat next to Levy and her mother, Olivia he'd learned her name was, he couldn't have felt more at ease. And his mind was coming up with all sorts of ways he could ask her to be his girl. His. Officially and totally his.
And if things went well, he could finally claim what's his. And his little sugar didn't even know it. It was all the more intoxicating, thinking of ways he could take her and claim her. Own her. She wasn't just a conquest anymore. No, now she was going to be fully his, and he was going to work hard to make her his. Not force her; he could never do that to her. No. He was going to take his time and treat her right so he could claim what was his.
She just had no clue yet.