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You'll Be Mine

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Two years. Two years since the barrier broke and the monsters were given free reign of the Surface world. It had been two years since Frisk, the young man who had freed them, been made as an Ambassador of sorts to these guys. And it had been two years since he'd released the monster mafia onto the world.

While not all of the monsters were part of the mafia, the more terrifying monsters most definitely were. That included the King, or the Don, of them, Asgore. His wife, who had rejoined his side after many centuries apart, Toriel. Then there was the Boss, who was head of the Royal Guard. Undyne, who was his right hand girl. Alphys was rumored to have terrifying amounts of knowledge, the scientist. But there was one everyone feared more than any of them.

And that was the Judge.

The name alone could clear out a store in a matter of seconds. No one really knew what he looked like. And those who did usually ended up dead, or were at least never seen or heard from again. The only thing anyone really knew about him was that he was dangerous and often a last resort for the Don to go to in the first place.

While he ran an empire with an iron fist, he was still a soft hearted monster. While no one would dare admit it out in public, they often whispered it. And no dared get on his bad side. He didn't give out warnings often, and he only gave it to the people who had generally helped them when they came back from the Underground. And even they were on a short stack as it was.

I lived in a fairly safe part of the city. My parents lived all the way out in the country taking care of horses and such. By the time the barrier had broken, I had already moved out into my own apartment and had even gotten an old black cat from the kill shelter nearby. While the city I lived in was still pretty bad in crime, the mafia had their hands in deep here. And everyone knew it. They stayed in Ebott City for that reason.

While my parents worried, I knew they trusted me to make better decisions than the people on the news. Keep your head low and if you see a monster known to be part of the mafia, try and go a different direction. Don't make eye contact with them, and keep your nose clean. Mom had definitely been keen on that rule.

I ran around the apartment, juggling a couple things while I got ready for a surprise makeup shift at work. While the apartment was nice, it was still a little rundown and the landlord was sleazy. I didn't like dealing with him and only did when I had to pay rent once a month. And even then I tried to run as soon as the money exchanged hands. But I liked having receipts so he couldn't say shit if it ever came down to it.

Soldier, the black cat, was sitting on the arm of the couch, watching me with a half lidded gaze that screamed “traitor”. I paused a couple times while getting ready to give the old warrior pets, but then I went right back to getting ready. And the entire time I apologized to him for being such an asshole for leaving him on my day off.

I usually didn't work my days off unless it was an emergency or someone called off last minute. But there had been news buzzing around the last week that the Judge was supposed to be in town today to visit my boss. Plus, it would help me catch up on a few hours that I had missed from being sick a few days prior.

I paused in my manic running around and sighed, rubbing my forehead with the flat of my hand. I loved working for Grillby at the bar, but sometimes the uniform he chose drove me insane. It was a pain to wear with drunken workers glaring at my ass all the time. Tight fitting pants and a corset like top to match it off. I usually wore tennis shoes, but Grillby told me boots would work just fine. So long as they had good grips and I didn't fall and bust my head.

I loved my boss, but I hated wearing the blasted corset. While I wasn't exactly graced with a big bosom, others were, and it blatantly pointed it out. Other patrons would, too, if they were drunk enough. But Grillby was a good boss. If there was someone making you uncomfortable, you best believe he'd be right there making sure you were good. There were a few occasions where you had to tell people you were spoken for, despite the fact you hadn't had a boyfriend since high school.

And even then, sometimes it never worked. Working in a bar could really blow.

I finally got back into motion and made my way through the apartment to gather the things I needed. At the door, Soldier strolled up to me and gave me a small, deep petulant meow. I bent down and gave his fur a few strokes before standing back up and blowing him a kiss.

“I'll be back in a few hours, baby,” I said as I opened the door. “I know you wanted cuddles today, but I can't. Grillby needs me and you're a strong independent cat, who don't need no human.”

I was just met with a blank stare.

I waved him off and closed the door, locking it before heading for the stairs. I took them down two at a time and ran out the front of the building, waving to the people moving about. I jogged down the street, keeping my purse close to me. I hated carrying one, but I was in a hurry and didn't want to drop my phone or wallet by accident.

When I got to the bar, it was flowing out the doors. People stood around the entrance, trying to peek inside and shout at each other. I rolled my eyes, put my pinkies in the corners of my mouth and blew. The loud piercing whistle caught all their attentions, and I glared at all of them.

“Knock it off,” I snapped. “Ya'll will get to see whatever you want. Be fuckin' patient, would you?”

I moved past them and a few people got out of my way. I heard a few of them whisper about my eyes, but no one made a direct comment to me about them. I was used to it; the things they said were nothing new. I liked my eyes enough to not wear contacts to cover them.

I finally managed to make my way to the bar. I went into the back and stuck my purse in the safe with the others' things and came back out, rubbing my hands together. Grillby was busy at the far end of the bar, tending to one of the more rowdier patrons. I tied my apron around my waist and looked over at him. He glanced back me and nodded.

Looks like I was helping to bartend.

Without a word, I went around and made sure people had their drinks. A few people were still waiting for food, so I went into the kitchen, where everyone on staff was hard at work. I walked over and started calling out orders, getting told a few of them were just about ready.

I took them out to their proper places and whistled for one of the other girls. Annie, a bright eyed eighteen year old made her way over to me to grab the stuff she needed. Then I helped Grillby with the drinks.

People watched the way we worked. We slid around each other easily, not speaking a word. I need a lime, one slid my way. He needed the vodka I had, I slid it right at him. We moved around each other and easily got out orders at the bar and for the others seated in the other parts of the bar. A few times he would stop and glance up as if checking for his friend, but when there was no sign of him, he would right back to work.

After about an hour of this, the din in the room was silenced. Grillby stopped what he was doing and placed a hand on my shoulder, giving me pause. I looked toward the door, where everyone else was looking and struggled to see what they were staring at. With a deep chuckle, the fire elemental lifted me up by the waist and sat me on the top of the bar. I shot him a grateful smile before turning back to the spectacle of the day.

The skeleton monster that stood in doorway was...short. Though he was short, he also carried a big presence. He wore a three piece, all black except for the vest and handkerchief in the breast pocket. His hands were shoved into the pockets of his slacks. His eye lights were red, bright and wide in the black sockets they nestled in. There was a fedora sitting atop his head. I was more impressed with the fact he managed to make it stay on such a smooth surface. He was definitely bulkier than a human skeleton, too. I wouldn't say it would be like having a belly if he had skin, but he definitely had power behind him.

He came into the room, his shiny leather shoes out of place on the bar floor. No one spoke, no one even moved. To my eyes, it didn't even look like anyone was breathing. It was like he was some kind of rare animal. Which, in a sense, I guess he was. It was a chance to see him and not die. Who wouldn't take that offer?

He sat at the far end of the bar, and most people toward that area shifted so they weren't sitting near him. They all eyed him from the corners of their eyes and made no move toward him. If he noticed any of this, he didn't comment or seem to give a shit.

The others had come back around and I noticed Julian, one of the waiters that didn't work too often because of work, had scooted a little closer to the other girls. Annie and Phoebe seem captivated by him, their eyes like big stars. I rolled my eyes and moved off the top of the bar, Grillby helping me ease myself down.

I moved around him as he went to go say hello. The others went back to their jobs, heading into the kitchen or back out on the floor. I moved to end of the bar where someone had finally moved, waving me over.

For the better half of two hours, I moved around the back of that bar by myself, filling drink orders for people at the bar on the floor. At one point, I paused to grab a bottle of scotch off the top shelf and a couple of shot glasses. I slid them down the bar, both of the monsters catching something. I also noticed when he lit up a cigar, the smell of cherry floating through the air. I slid an ashtray down his way, which he also caught without pausing their conversation.

It was days like this that I was glad Grillby trusted me enough to run the back area by myself. While I was shit on the floor because of my horrible temper, I did fairly well behind the counter. I remember when I had finally turned twenty-one, he had instantly picked up on it and moved me behind the bar, training me himself. Within months, he was watching me with an approving eye before jumping in with me.

And that was when we got our rhythm down. While it had taken a few tries to get down, specially during the busy rushes on the weekend, I had easily picked up on how to move around him. Turn just that way, spin around just like that. While it was tedious those first couple weeks, it turned out to be like a dance lesson with the hottest monster around.

Hah, I crack myself up.

After about an hour and a half of frantically running around and making sure the kitchen was keeping a good pace, things finally started to slow down. Food orders had mostly stopped coming in, so I let the cooks go on a break real quick to get out all the adrenaline and get some air. When you told the patrons so, none of them were bothered by it. They had worked their asses off and they definitely deserved it.

Annie came up to the counter and rattled off some drinks. While you made them, Julian came up and sat on the stool beside her, groaning.

“What's wrong, Jules?” I asked as I shook the mixer. “Not used to the hustle and bustle?”

He snorted. “Hardly that.” He glanced over toward the two monsters. Grillby made a comment and the Judge was sent into a fit of laughter. I looked back over at the two of them and they both had their lips curled up in disgust, but true fear had settled into their eyes. I raised my brow at Annie.

“You were fawning over him just a couple hours ago when he walked into the bar,” I pointed out handing her one of her drinks.

“That was before I heard some of the stuff he's done,” Annie murmured, keeping her eyes downcast. “I don't know how you can murder someone and not feel bad about it.”

I shrugged. “You need to keep in mind that their way of life was way different down there. We don't know what happened or what was going on,” I said. “So don't point fingers and judge. I get he's done some awful things. But...”

“I don't give a shit,” Julian sighed. “I just don't like the way he's been watching you. Gives me the chills.”

I chuckled. “He wasn't. And if he did, Grillbz probably pointed something out to him and he was looking in this general direction.”

I gave Annie her drink and shooed them both off. I began wiping down the bar with a rag and moved my way around. When I drew close to the talking monsters, I paused, wiping my hands on my apron. I came up to Grillby and touched his hand, grabbing his attention. It was still weird to touch fire and not get burned. I had learned early on he only burned things he deemed a threat. And it wasn't very often.

“Everything's cleaned up and ready for your later rush,” I told him. “Do you need me to stay longer or do you think you'll be alright?”

While Grillby could talk with humans, it still sounded kind of garbled. While his voice was smooth, his human speech was a train wreck. I remember offering to learn sign language from him and had earned myself a playful swat from a rag.

“I think we'll be alright, thank you,” he finally said. He wrapped an around my shoulders and gave me a small squeeze. “I'd like you to meet an old friend of mine, actually.”

I looked toward the skeleton. I had noticed that since I came over, his eyes hadn't left my face. I shifted under the weight of his gaze, and started rubbing my wrist in my one hand. It was a bad habit I had when anxiety hit or when I felt uncomfortable. And I honestly didn't know which one I had right now.

He held out a hand. “nice t' meet'cha, kid. name's sans. sans th' skeleton.”

I gave him my hand and, shockingly, he brought it to those razor sharp teeth, pressing what could have been a kiss to the back of my hand. I noticed he had a thick gold ring of some sort on each hand, and each band was definitely different. Some had jewels inlaid in them and others were just a regular band. Those mixed with the bone of his hand were cool against your skin. I also took notice that his phalanges ended in claws instead of usual fingertips. Huh.

“I'm Levy,” I said softly.

He made a humming noise, giving my hand a squeeze before letting go. I took my hand back and started rubbing my wrist again. It didn't go unnoticed by him, as I saw those red eye lights flick down then back up, but he didn't make a comment. He didn't even comment on my eyes, which was the most shocking thing of all.

Everyone made a comment about those.

Grillby gave me another small squeeze. “You can head home, if you'd like. We should be able to handle the dinner rush just fine with us. But if we need you, I'll give you a call again.”

I was untying the apron from around my waist as I spoke. I went to the back and put it where I found it before gathering my things and heading back out to the front. Grillby had gathered some of the glasses I hadn't gotten to with a new rag and was polishing them. I stood on my tip toes and he bent down without missing a beat as I kissed his cheek.

“Thank you again for helping out,” he said as I adjusted my corset top. “I know it was such short notice.”

“Hah, you're fine,” I laughed, smiling. “The one you should be apologizing to is Soldier. He was definitely not happy with me leaving today. But it helped me catch up on some of the hours I missed when I was sick.”

He nodded thoughtfully and gave me a kiss on my cheek in turn. He wasn't usually like this. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him like this. I waved to the girls and Julian as I left, even saying goodbye to the...to Sans. Grillby told me to text him as soon as I made it home safe just as I left the door.

On my way home, the sky started darkening above. I let out a small whine in the back of my throat and started jogging home, the events of the day playing over in my head.

It was shocking to think that the Judge had a soft side. I had thought when he grabbed my hand he would be rough, but his touch was gentle. It took me by surprise, and I definitely had liked it. But I didn't think anything more of it as I thought about the way he had stared so intently at my face. Most people made comments on it. He hadn't said one word about, hadn't asked a single thing.

It was refreshing.

I ran the rest of the way home as thunder boomed overhead, a smile on my face.

**

Holy shit.

Red had seen many a human woman, and had done enough stuff with human women, to know that she was definitely a rarity. The way she moved and the way she spoke, the gentle way she was with monsters. It was like someone could hit the jackpot with that one.

As she watched her walk out, her hips sashaying away, he couldn't help but think what they would feel like under his claws.

And those eyes.

He looked at his old buddy, blowing a flume of smoke from between his teeth. “so you an' 'er, huh?”

Grillby shook his head. “No, nothing like that. I'm just her boss.”

Sans snorted. “you ain't goin' fer it?”

He shook his head once more, using the flames from his body to examine the cup he was polishing. Red ashed the cigar in his fingers before gazing around the bar. It was set up just like the one down in the Underground, only there was a better TV plastered up in the corner, playing some kind of human sport. And there was a jukebox that actually worked. The waiter, who had been mean mugging him since he came in, was busy talking with a patron, one of the Big Mouth's that had come up and stayed in the city. The girls were busy talking to the Royal Guard dogs, who were deep in another game of poker.

He looked back at the door, as if waiting for her to make another entrance. But when she didn't come back, he turned back to face the fire monster, who was eyeing him warily.

“Sans, I would prefer if you didn't try and go after her,” he said suddenly, his monster speech much better than the garbled voice he had used earlier with Levy.

“an' why not?” he demanded. He took another hit of the cigar, letting the smoke out slowly.

“Because I will not have my hardest worker run off by you,” he said simply. “Plus, she's innocent. She might not act like it, but she most certainly is.”

That only sparked his interest more. The innocent ones were the most fun to break, to make beg. And in his head, that made her something he needed to have. But, unlike monsters, he couldn't just have his way. Humans were more delicate beings and didn't usually want monsters. Let alone one from the mafia.

He stubbed out the cigar, taking another shot from the scotch she had slid his way. Grillbz had often bragged about her, and he could see why. She definitely had a fantastic body. From the curve of her hips to her plump ass. Not to mention the way the corset pushed up her chest, he could already tell you were well evened out. He didn't like bitches with the big tits. They were usually fake and stank of chemicals. The way she moved while she had worked was amazing, like she was dancing and gliding rather than like she was running. The way her black ponytail moved and clashed perfectly with her sun kissed skin.

But what he couldn't get over were her eyes. They were two very different colors and one was a color he hadn't seen on a human before without the help of colored contacts. One was an icy blue, almost white in the flames coming from Grillby. The other was a dark royal purple. It would have almost looked black if the light didn't reflect on it. Plus, after years of being Underground, he had an amazing sight, and had seen the purple flashing perfectly.

Goddamn, she was fuckin' hot.

He had seen the way she fidgeting under his gaze. It wasn't promising, but it was a start. He knew from experience that stuff like that was always a way to deal with anxiety. He was shocked she didn't try eating her nails or some shit. That's what most bitches do.

“Sans, old friend, I'm only asking this one thing.”

He looked at Grillby, who wore a serious expression.

“Please. Do not bother her. She is a good girl just looking to survive, just like the rest of us.” He set down the glass he'd been polishing. “It is the only thing I ask of you.”

Red snorted and looked at the door once more. “no promises, grillbz.”

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next few days, the sky poured a steady rain onto the people of Ebott City. I worked most of those days, and I always seemed to find myself looking toward the door waiting for Sans to come back through. But he never did, and I would continue on without giving it a second thought.

I don't know why I felt like I wanted to see him. Usually seeing him meant that you were literally going to die. But something inside of me wanted to see him. See those teeth and that grin. He didn't judge me because of my eyes. He didn't shy away from my hand. He had actually offered his.

It blew my mind.

Today though, was a day off and I was spending it cuddled up on the couch with Soldier. He sat in my lap, eyes closed and purring while I watched Netflix. I wasn't really even watching it. I was watching the rain outside pitter patter against the metal fire escape. I rubbed behind Soldier's ears as I watched the rain fall.

Rain always made me feel nostalgic. I would remember my days growing up on the farm. Learning how to break horses and feeding the goats and chickens. When Dad would let you ride on his shoulders or gallop around with horses while they grazed.

Then Dad got sick.

With a rough grunt, I pulled myself out of those thoughts and went back to watching my show. I scrolled through Facebook on my phone, looking at the same old memes I always saw or showed my coworkers. I mean, even Grillby laughed at them, so they must be funny if a stoic flame monster saw them, right?

Soldier finally decided he'd had enough, so he hopped off you lap and sauntered into the kitchen. I watched after him a moment before shaking my head and getting up. I stretched my arms over my head and grabbed my purse, digging out the pack of cigarettes I've had for a couple days.

I didn't smoke often, and when I did, it was either usually from boredom or stress. I knew I could easily quit, but then something else would pop up. I went to the window and opened it, some of the rain hitting me in the face as I lit up.

I blew out a plume of smoke and looked down at the view below. It was a nice neighborhood, it really was. But that didn't mean it didn't have it's own vermin walking the streets. I watched people pass by as I flicked the ash off and sighed. While I had thought about getting a dog, I preferred cats over everything else. But thinking about it, maybe it wasn't such a good idea.

Soldier had been the oldest cat in the kill shelter I had saved him from. While being an older cat, he had called out to me, crying softly and demanding my attention. I knew then and there, I had to have him. He was a good cat, and had at first been a bit timid. But looking back on his history, you could understand why.

I finished the cigarette and came back inside, closing the window and going to the kitchen. I usually hated days off because there was nothing to do or look forward to. All of my friends had either moved or had different schedules, making it nearly impossible to meet up. And Friday nights were the worst.

I juggled my phone between hands, debating on what to do. Days off were always boring, and I never knew what to do with them. I liked hustle and bustle in my life, but I couldn't think of what to do. I could go for a run, but nothing was chasing me. I could sleep, but then I would mess up my sleep schedule. If I went for drinks, chances are by myself, there would probably be creepers out and about, and I didn't like dealing with them.

Screw it.

I went into my room and threw on some actual clothes before adding just a touch of makeup and fluffing up my hair just enough. I put on a pair of smart shoes, opting out for my favorite heels. I had learned once that drunk me doesn't do well with those. The thought made me cringe and I held back a shutter as I made my way into the living room. Soldier looked at me through a half lidded gaze, yawned and curled up on his spot on the sofa, tucking his tail under him.

I went over and gave him a gentle kiss on his fluffy head before grabbing my purse and heading over to the front door. After I gave my final goodbyes to the large ball of fluff on the couch, I closed the door and locked it, making my way to the stairs. While I didn't mind the elevator, tight spaces always made my skin crawl.

I left the building, humming under my breath as a random thought struck me. What if I ran into Sans again? I mean, no one would want to, granted. But it had been nice. Someone had noticed my eyes, and had made no comment. I knew this had been a constant train of thought, but I couldn't help it. Even my own family members had whispered how freakish they were.

The familiar stab of pain was there again, and I couldn't help but think of the first time someone had told me to get away from them. It was my first cousin, my mother's sister's daughter. She was a pretty little thing, but spoiled rotten. When I had come to her, she had instantly cringed and told me to get away from her. She didn't wanna be friends with a freak.

It had been the first sting among many, but it stuck out the most since it was family. I tamped down on the swelling emotions and made my way to my favorite watering hole. You know, other than Grillby's.

For being so late in the day, it was pretty dead. I ambled my way up to the bar, placing my bag beside me before waving to another one of the regulars. He eyed me a little longer than usual before turning back to his food. I shrugged it off before turning back as the bartender came over to me.

“Hey, Levy, was wondering when your lovely ass would come back,” Garrison said, leaning over the bar top. He turned on the charm for me once again, even as I rolled my eyes at him, “What'll ya have tonight, doll?”

I snorted. “Okay, first, leave my ass out of this. Second, my usual.”

He guffawed, moving away to grab a bottle of Jack Daniels. He grabbed a shot glass and handed me both while I dug out my wallet. I grumbled as I dug through all the crap I had in there when a hand was laid on my arm.

I looked up to see Garrison giving me a smile and a wink, before sauntering off. I sighed and closed up my bag once more. As much as I loved coming here, my tab was starting to raise higher with each visit. And as much as I loved coming here, I hated when Garrison was here. He was the owner's son and felt entitled to almost everything. Including the women who walked through the door.

He usually didn't work Fridays, but he must have been filling in for someone tonight.

I cracked open the bottle and poured the first shot, throwing it back with ease. I could feel the sweet burn all the way down, warming my stomach. I opened my purse back up and dug through my bag and pulled out my cigarettes and Zippo. I laid them beside me on the counter top and closed up my bag once more before turning back to my drink.

I usually didn't keep a whole bottle to myself. But for some reason, tonight, I had the feeling I was really gonna need it. I looked over at Garrison and curled my lip at the way he was shamelessly flirting with a couple of tourists. I looked away, poured another shot and threw it back. The burn felt smooth going down, but part of me knew I'd regret this tomorrow.

As I put the glass down and poured another, I saw a flash of red and gold. I whipped my head around, my hands landing on my smokes and Zippo as a skeletal hand closed over them. I blinked before looking up and staring eye to eye with a pair of red eye lights.

Sans stood there, one hand in the pocket of a pair of gray slacks. He wore a red silk vest over a white collared shirt, the sleeves rolled up the to his elbows. There was a gray fedora that matched perfect with his pants and the coat that hung over the bar stool beside mine. His rings and that golden tooth flashed in the dim light of the bar, and his eye lights roamed my face before his grin widened.

“well, well, whaddaya know.” He moved his hand, picking up his jacket. “so sugar does have some bad habits.”

I bristled, glaring at him. I don't know why I thought this was a good idea; he was the fucking Judge, for heaven's sake. I snagged my smokes from him, deliberately pulling one out and flicking my Zippo open. As I flicked it, I noticed there was a movement just above his eye socket, like he was raising an eyebrow. I lit up and flipped the lid shut, setting it back on the bar top. I moved the cigarette from my mouth and blew the smoke right in his face.

I'm pretty sure it's the alcohol that's making me ballsy enough to do this right now.

He blinked slowly, much like Soldier would. He didn't try and wave the smoke away. His eye lights were trained on my face, his mouth turned down in a frown. For a split second, I thought I had stepped over some boundaries and was mentally beginning to will my possessions away.

And then he laughed.

This motherfucker laughed.

And it was one of the most beautiful sounding things I'd ever heard in my existence.

He slapped the bar stool beside him, shaking his head, eye sockets closed as he laughed. People were turning to look at us. Most people paled when they saw him, others were kinda shifting away. I heard footsteps approaching and felt my heart drop. Garrison, please don't...

“Everything okay over here, Levy?” Garrison's voice carried over the now fading laughter.

I tensed, crushing the butt of my smoke between my fingers before putting it in the nearby ashtray. Sans had completely stopped laughing, standing to his full height and looking right at Garrison. His red eye lights seemed to have dimmed a little, almost like they were going to extinguish. He still held his grin, his cocked slightly to the side.

Seriously, can't get over how the fedora sits on his head like that.

Sans casually pulled out a cigar from the pocket of his jacket. He lifted his hand and I watched, transfixed, as it encased in a blood red glow. I watched as my Zippo became surrounded by the same glow, lifting from its perch on my pack and floating over to him. He snagged it from the air, flipped it open and began lighting his cigar. With the puffs he was taking, the area around us quickly began to smell like sweet cherries. He handed me back my Zippo as let out a large flume of smoke from between his fangs.

His attention shifted to Garrison. While the guy didn't look like he was fazed, I could see the sweat beading on his brow. His breathing had also gone a little more shallow, and his hand was trembling where it lay beside me. And there was a true look of fear in his blue eyes. And I didn't feel bad in the slightest way possible.

“ya know, buddy,” Sans started, “i don't take too kindly to folks buttin' in on my conversations. in fact, it's th' easiest way t' piss me off.”

Garrison was noticeably sweating now. It ran down the sides of his face into the neat little stubble he wore. His eyes were darting around the bar, looking for any kind of aide, but no one was dumb enough to cross paths with Sans. His reputation definitely preceded him in this city. Hell, it did almost anywhere.

But when you were confronted with it? Nope.

He flicked ash from his cigar and gave him a cheeky smile. His sockets were lowered as he leaned one arm on the bar, taking in another drag as he puffed the smoke in Garrison's face. The lesser of the two finally pulled away, almost running to the other end of the bar. While everyone around us went back to what they were doing, I looked at Sans from underneath my lashes. He was still poised with his arm on the bar, watching Garrison with blood red eye lights. The cigar was clenched between his fangs, smoking slowly moving upward in a thick cloud.

His eye lights finally moved over to me, giving me a wink. I felt my face heat up and I stubbed out my cigarette before pouring another shot, throwing it back fast before I could second guess myself. When I slammed the glass down, giving myself a shake before looking over. He had taken the place of his jacket, putting the discarded article of clothing on the bar top.

“What are you doing?” I asked, pouring another shot out of habit.

He eyed the liquid with distaste. For some reason, the way his face moved made me break into a fit of giggles. When his eyes shot to me, I couldn't help but break into a fit of laughter. The thought of him scrunching a nonexistent nose was more than tipsy me could bear. I buried my head in my arms and kept laughing, even when he made a grunting noise.

“i jus' helped ya out, an' now yer gonna laugh at me?” he said gruffly.

I squealed. He sounded a lot closer than he was supposed to be. I peeked out from between the strands of my hair and saw how close he had really gotten. He was leaning in his chair, his cheekbone resting on his radius. His eye sockets were half closed, but his eye lights remained trained on my face. I could feel my face heating up, and I couldn't tell if it was because of the alcohol I'd consumed or because of the way he was looking at me.

We stayed like that until I moved, bringing my head back up and pouring another shot. Before I could tip it back, though, he grabbed it out of my hand and put it back on the bar. A little sloshed on his phalanges, and I eyed the liquid. Two words popped in my head from the old parties I used to attend.

“Party foul,” I mumbled.

His brow plates lowered and his eye lights once more flicked between my eyes. “party foul?”

I don't know what came over me.

I picked up his hand and licked one of his phalanges, the taste of alcohol hitting me. I vaguely heard the strangled sound he made in the back of his throat, a red hue coming over his cheekbones. I looked up at him and tilted my head. I put his hand down.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

His jaw opened and closed for a moment before he let out a husky chuckle. The rings on his fingers I had just licked twinkled in the light as he brought that hand up, catching my chin between his forefinger and his thumb.

“yer a lightweight, ain't'cha?” he murmured. His thumb came up to stroke my lower lip, and chills ran through my body. “'ve half a mind t' take ya home.”

“Pfft,” I moved his hand away. His face showed his shock. “I'm fine. Just a little tipsy.” I placed his hand on the counter, my finger tracing over his claw like tips. “Your phalanges are interesting.”

He seemed to shake himself of his shock and pull his hand away, sitting up and ashing his cigar. I couldn't be sure, but it looked like there was some kind of renewed vigor in his actions. When he looked back at me, he wore a cheeky grin on his face.

“yer th' first t' comment on em,” he said.

And that's how I spent my Friday night. I sat in my favorite bar, drinking and smoking with one of the most terrifying monsters in our history. And, even though I've pointed it out numerous times...

Not once did he mention my eyes.

**

He couldn't over her eyes.

Red nearly crumbled over the twinkle her eyes got when she laughed. It was incredible. Plus the way she carried herself despite being the odd black sheep was something he could connect with. He couldn't help but ask about random things about her. While he was waiting for the ball to drop on this, it wasn't happening.

She had to be scared of him. Everyone was. That's why people leaned away when he came close, or outright left. He noticed the way they watched the interactions between the two of them. Even the guy behind the bar was watching everything with a keen eye. But he didn't like the way he looked at her. Something about him just seemed creep.

Who was he to talk though? After the other day, he had called Frisk and demanded he use everything in his power to find what he could about this girl. While the little brat had protested, he still did it, giving him basic information to Red could have figured out on his own. Birthday, hair color, eye colors. But Frisk had said that the eye color thing could be directly related to magic somehow. It was the only thing he could have thought of. With a final warning, much like Grillby's, he'd hung up and left Red to stew in his own thoughts.

He could connect with her on the levels of being the black sheep. While he may be the strongest, he was also the weakest. With only one HP, he was often hidden behind others so he didn't get dusted. But once people realized the power he held behind the laziness, they were quick to turn tail the other way.

Life Underground hadn't been easy. Dusting monsters who were too weak, or who were deemed a threat to Don Asgore. At first, it had been Boss's job to deal with it, letting Sans tag along. His finger traced the air where that heavy ass collar used to be, thinking back on how much it had really saved his coccyx before his power came to light.

Levy stretched, checking her phone while ashing another cigarette. Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head. “Holy shit, it's already one in the morning?” She shook her head and started gathering her stuff. “I gotta go. If I don't try and get some sleep, Grillbz is gonna have my ass.”

He watched her as her hair swished around her face, the way her thighs jiggled and the way her body moved while she wasn't even thinking about it. She was fuckin' perfect, and he wanted her with everything in his soul.

He made his resolution there. He wanted her, and he was going to have her.

As she slid off the bar stool, she stumbled. He quickly caught her, noticing the difference in their heights. While she must have been five foot six, he was easily six feet tall. He looked down on the top of her head before she managed to gain her balance, using his ulna for support. When she finally stood upright, she looked up at him.

“Thanks. Guess I had too much to drink,” she chuckled. She let go of him and started heading toward the door before stumbling again.

Muttering a string of curses, he grabbed his jacket and jogged after her. She had barely made it outside before she was about to eat pavement. Panic set in and he used his magic to make sure she stayed upright, encasing her in his red magic.

Luckily, it was late, so there was really no one out. He managed to keep her there while he made his way to her, gripping her upper arm as he released her from his magic. She righted and looked over at him, blinking a few times before speaking.

“That was interesting,” she murmured. “Magic, right?”

He only gave a nod.

“Yours is red, but I've never really seen magic in colors before,” she observed, moving in a direction he was hoping was her home. “Green for healing magic; I've seen it in the hospitals. But I think that's about it.”

He hummed as they walked, slowly releasing his grip on her. “it depends on th' monster. most monsters don't have color t' their magic. i do, an' my brother does. as do th' don an' his old lady.”

He watched from the corner of his eyes as her nose scrunched and her eyes narrowed, like she was trying to piece something together. Her walk was slowed, and she clung to her bag loosely, letting it swing by its strap.

“Old lady...you mean Toriel?” she asked.

“ya got it.” He nodded as he spoke. “i'd call 'er boss, too, but then it'd jus' get confusin'.”

“That's right. Isn't that your brother's name? Boss?”

He chuckled. He liked how inquisitive she was. “not technically. my bro's name 's papyrus. but we call 'im boss.”

She nodded along, turning down another street. It was quiet for a while, and the occasional car passed by. He was on high alert; he always was. There was never a reason not to be when you had a reputation like him. If someone happened to see him walking her home, it could be perceived the wrong way and end horribly for everyone involved.

“You don't have to walk me home, you know.”

He looked over at her. She was smiling. As they passed under a streetlight, she looked at him. Her one purple eye flashed and that really light blue one seemed to twinkle. It was amazing how someone could have two different eye colors, and the fact one was a color that was extremely rare, could be so captivating.

“i know i don't.” He shrugged, one hand in his pocket and the other having slung his jacket over his shoulder, using just one finger to hold it there. “'m not a total dick, though.”

She paused in front of a building. An apartment building, he realized. She seemed hesitant as she turned to him. There was a conflict going on in her head, like she didn't know what to do from here. Turn him away, invite him in? He could tell she was having trouble with it.

“take care, sugar,” he said, stepping away, heading back the way they came. “'ll catch ya around sometimes, yeah?”

He faintly heard her agree before he heard the sound of the door to her building open and then shut. He turned once more to see if she really made it inside before shaking his head, a smile on his own face.

And, for the first time in many years, it actually felt genuine.

Chapter Text

I don't remember a time in my life where I had questioned a decision in my life. I was always solid in whatever choice I made, even if it was a bad one. Like the time I had decided ice skating on a not-so-frozen pool was a fantastic idea. Or when one of the horses had been bucking and I got a little too close.

When I made a choice, I stuck with it.

But I had seriously wished I questioned the one I made with Sans the other night.

I worked behind the bar with Grillby again, moving around him in our usual dance. Lemon here, lime there. Ice goes in this and that drink goes in that cup. While I mulled in my thoughts, I couldn't help but think on the choices I had made the night prior.

Who the fuck licks a skeleton's hand and gets away with it? Especially one belonging to the Judge? I had thought about what those hands have done to people, monster and human alike. But it was like the caring part about it just doesn't matter. To me, he was like any other monster. He just held a rather terrifying title.

Sans was a monster. Just like the rest of them. Grillby had talked about him before, but he had never mentioned that he was the Judge until the day he came into the bar to say hello. Honestly, this guy sounded like a riot to be around, when he wasn't...”working”. The way Grillby had talked about him, you wouldn't have ever put the two together.

According to him, Sans tended to be incredibly lazy. He liked to hide out and slack off and do different things. And the Underground hadn't been too much different from the way things are run up here. The only difference is that they were dressed a lot nicer. I guess Sans had some kind of fluffy hoodie that was his signature mark.

Something about Sans rubbed me a certain way. It was like I already knew him when I met him. But that was probably because Grillby talked about him so much. It was quite endearing, to be honest. His flames would light up just a little more when he was thinking back on old times.

I wiped down the bar after someone got up, giving him a smile and the usual customer service response. He gave me a hand wave and stalked off, leaving a tip for me. I snagged it and stuffed it in my apron, casting a glance at Grillby. He only gave me a smile and continued serving, his voice sounding similar to popping logs in an evening fire.

I went back to the kitchen, asking if there were any more orders that came in. When I got the negative, we all stopped for a bit to talk now that it had slowed down. It was easy for me to talk to the monsters. A lot easier than it was most humans. While I adored my friends, sometimes they were too much for me. They always wanted to gossip and drink gross shit. I was more simple.

Monsters knew what it was like to rough it out. While I didn't know to an extent, I knew what it was like to rough something for a while. Living on a farm had its own qualities, after all.

As I was laughing at a joke one of the cooks said, Grillby came in the back. He gave me a smile and I returned it as he approached me.

“Can I have a word with you for a moment?” he asked lowly.

I hated when people said just that and never specified. I had horrible anxiety. When I followed Grillby back, the only thing I had going through my head was that I was probably fired. Could be for anything. Usually the more touchy customers got a slap to the back of their heads or something. That wasn't the worst thing I've done, but maybe I had really done something awful.

We went into his office. It was a nice little room, comfy with a touch of business. There was a desk in the center of the room. He had a leather couch sitting on one side of the room and a leather chair behind the desk. Two more chairs were sitting in front of his desk. There was a newer computer sitting on the desk with a few stacks of papers and a lamp. There was a pen beside one stack, and the safe was tucked into a corner with a bookshelf. Experience reminded me those books were all from Waterfall Underground, where things we threw away would somehow make their way into their version of the dump.

I plopped myself on the couch, groaning as my feet finally had a break. I rolled my left ankle as he situated himself beside me. Sometimes it was hard to remember he wasn't the usual color of fire. He was purple flames with a touch of blue and green. When he was angry, the flames would grow hotter and shine with more purple. When he was embarrassed, the green would tend to come out like a blush dotting his cheeks. When he was sad, blue was the color that came through the best.

Though he didn't often show emotion. I wondered if that was because he knew which color would come through the most.

He crossed one leg over his knee, his slacks riding up a little bit. It reminded me of the time I had asked him how his clothes don't just burn off his body. It was the first time he had flirted with me, even after I had told him about...

Don't go there.

I cleared my throat and shifted, rolling my right ankle this time.

“So I heard you and Sans met up the other night again.”

I looked over at him, tilting my head at him. He was gazing down at me behind a pair of glasses he usually only wore when he was doing his paperwork for the night. He was gazing at me intently, the white ovals he had as his eyes disappearing briefly as he blinked. I gave him a smile and a chuckle.

“I wouldn't exactly call it 'meeting up' so much as 'he ran into me at my watering hole',” I mused. “I went out to drink by myself and he happened to show up.”

Grillby's face turned into a glower, looking away from me and looking at his hands. I always appreciated Grillby. He acted like a father figure, even though mine was still around. I guess he took it upon himself to give me a hand when I was out on my own after everything that had happened. He had given me a job and pointed me in the right direction when my own father couldn't.

After a few more minutes of silence, he seemed to think something and turned his head back to me, the flames that made up his body flaring up slightly. I frowned. The only times they did that was when he was peeved about something.

“I would prefer if you tried to avoid him,” he suddenly said, shifting his gaze. “It would be best for both parties.”

I scowled now, looking up at him. “Grillby, what are you talking about? Sure, he's...he's the Judge, but he hasn't tried harming me.”

Grillby hummed, and it sounded a lot like a fire crackling. “I understand, my dear. But you must be aware of what that title entails.”

I sighed, looking away from him. “Of course I do. But he...he even walked me home the other night. It's hard to put the two together.”

Grillby glanced at you now. “What do you mean?”

Now I was the one who hummed, settling back against the couch. “How do I put it? I mean, granted, he is the Judge. I have thought about the things he's done to people with the same hands that made shadow puppets on the wall the other night. Those hands have killed people, sure. And those hands have also, I'm sure, helped some people. Sans and the Judge, to me, are two separate people, leading two different lives. He's had it tough. You all have, but he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders. The Judge? He just doesn't care, and will mow down everything in his path.”

He had gone completely silent, even his flames had died down on the top of his head. I took a peek at him and watched his reaction. There was no anger, sadness or embarrassment. There was something like awe there, something you hadn't seen in his expressions before. The way he looked at me brought me back to the way Sans had when I was talking at the bar.

He finally shook himself and gave me a chuckle. “You most certainly are a wonderful human, my dear. I'm glad there's someone out there, thinking the best for him. But...I would still prefer if you didn't see him.”

“Grillby...”

“And,” he continued, drawing out the word, “if you do, try and keep everything at a minimum. When Sans sees something he wants, he'll stop at nothing to get it. No matter what it is.”

I smiled and touched his hands, wrapping it in mine. “I'll be alright, Grillbz.”

He chuckled, bringing the my hand up, his flames kissing the back of my hand lightly. “You are like the daughter I never got to have, Levy. I only wish to see you safe and sound.” He brought my hand down took his hand back, placing it on top of my head. “The mafia is a dangerous business. But put monsters in with the word, and it can cause absolute chaos.”

My heart fluttered at his words. It wasn't romantic, but it was definitely with how kind this monster was. I thought back to how so many anti monster groups formed, saying how dangerous they were and how deplorable they could be. But this one, he was an amazing monster with so much love for the ones he cared about. He was the definition of a good father figure. It saddened me he couldn't have a daughter of his own.

I gave him a grin and giggled. “I promise, Grillbz, if anything happens, I'll come to you straight away. I know where you live and I have your personal number. If anything goes awry, you'll be the first to know. Promise.”

He seemed placated and nodded, standing and running his hands down his usual suit. After he was sure all the creases were out, he held out a hand to me. I took it and laughed as he lifted me off the couch, giving me a twirl before kissing my hand once more. I watched the flames lick along my skin, slightly warmer than normal, but perfect.

This man was a treasure.

We went back out to the front of the house, where there were people gathered around the TV. Grillby and I looked at each other from our peripherals and went to stand at the bar, leaning over and keeping our eyes on the news caster.

 

“...and while we are not sure what was done to cause this consequence, it seems like the Judge has struck once again. This time, though, the details are unknown. In fact, the tip about this body was sent in anonymously...”

 

Grillby shook his head and sighed. He looked at me. “I'm thankful you at least see Sans as himself. Not like these...” He motioned to crowd gathered at the base of the TV, watching with rapt attention. “...these people. It is truly astounding how little they view one monster and compare us to him as a whole.”

I patted his head and went over to the shelf where all the alcohol was. As I went to reach for something, I heard a low wolf whistle almost directly behind me. I dropped to be flat on my feet, turning. Someone, a human, sat there, turning his glass of dark booze around in a circle before throwing it back and slamming it back on the table. I winced at the noise, but made no move to do anything else.

“Can I help you?” I asked, my voice rising in pitch. Always did with the fake customer service act. Grillby got a huge kick out of it.

“Yeah, I wanna piece of that ass,” he slurred.

I rolled my eyes. It was literally five in the afternoon and this dimwit was drunk. Great. Just what I wanted.

“Well, that's not going to happen. Would you like more to drink?” I asked politely.

“No,” he groaned, dragging out the 'n'. “I want you to go on a date with me.” He paused, his eyes narrowing in a leer. “Or is it only monsters that get ya rocks off, princess?”

There was a ringing in my ears and I didn't even see the flash of purple until it was too late. Grillby had grabbed this guy's hand, slamming it down on the bar top. I stepped back, moving so this way Grillby hid most of me. While I didn't mind the clientele, the worst kind was these guys. The racist pricks who thought they were above it all, even in a monster run establishment. I kept a tight grip on Grillby's coat, trying to remind him that this guy was still human and that he could easily hurt him. I knew the fire monster would beat himself up for it later if he hurt someone.

He quietly took the guy's shot glass away, handing it off to me. I put it next to the other dirty ones I still had to clean later before turning back to see Grillby's purple flames crackling and rising in the air. The purple began to show more color, much like the color of my eye. I winced. This poor dude didn't know what he just did.

“I would like if you could please leave my establishment,” Grillby said, his voice faint over the sounds of his flames.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” the guy ground out, yanking his hand back. “I was just asking a question.”

“Quite inappropriate, if you ask me,” I heard one of the dog regulars answer. I looked up and saw Dogaressa standing there, paws on her hips. Dogamy was behind behind her, his paw on her shoulder. “So what if she likes monsters more than humans. Maybe she likes them equally? That was just rude, and pretty fucking racist if you ask me.”

I heard a bark in the back and watched as Greater Dog shifted in his seat, as though getting ready for an attack. Doggo was keep his eyes on everything, but they kept coming back to that guy. While the rest of his face was hidden behind a black cloth covering from muzzle down, I could still clearly see the way his eyes narrowed.

I shifted my eyes back to the situation in front of me. A lot of the monsters in the bar were bristling. Big Mouth was staring pretty hard and punk hamster was standing upright instead of leaning casually on the jukebox. Red Bird and Ugly Fish had turned in their chairs and were glaring at the guy beside them.

The guy didn't even seemed fazed, a grin on his face as he regarded me. “Gotta let these things do the dirty work for ya, huh, puddin'?”

The pet name sent a chill down my spine. I watched as Dogamy came around his wife, grabbing the guy by the collar of his shirt and heading for the door. Everyone, human and monster alike, were all cheering as Dogamy tossed the guy out of the bar. I looked at Dogaressa and she gave me a toothy smile and nodded. I hoped over the bar and ran to Dogamy, giving him a hug and a kiss on his furry cheek.

He gave one in turn, and I ruffled the fur on top of his head. He barked, one of his old habits I'm sure he couldn't help before they made their way back to their poker game. I went back to bar, pausing to give the other monster regulars a little bit of love. I knew they would have done something if they could. They were a family here and I loved them to pieces for welcoming me with open, if not wary, arms.

“Goddamn city slickers, I tell you,” I heard Punk Hamster mutter. “Pain in my ass.”

I chuckled and gave him a scratch behind his ear before sliding back behind the bar. Annie came in then, her coat over her arm as she took in the scene around her.

“What did I miss?”

**

After my shift ended, I made my goodbyes to everyone, giving Grillby a long hug before he kissed my cheek. He had definitely been becoming a lot more affectionate like that over the last couple weeks. It was strange. I caught Annie up on what needed to be done and gave Dogamy one last little smooch and head rub before I left the building.

I made my way to the left, deciding I needed to stop and pick something up for Soldier and I before heading home. The night was quiet, and there were still people moving about and heading home or whatever they were doing. It was fine with me; I hated being alone.

The other night when Sans had walked me home had been totally welcome. I hated being alone, mostly for the fact I had been raised in a big family. There was always some commotion, even at night when things should have been pretty quiet. It's part of the reason I got Soldier in the first place; there would be noise throughout the house where he was.

I didn't particularly mind the quiet more than it made me uneasy. Something about it always made me feel nervous. They always said silence speaks louder than words, and the way my family worked, it certainly did.

I went into the little deli near work and went up to order. The lady behind the counter smiled and raised a finger, running off to grab something from the back. When she came back out, there was a container of tuna in her hands. She handed it to me as she got work making my usual. I laughed as I took it from her.

“Thanks, Tina. How have you and Jeffy been?” I asked as she worked.

“Ah, fine as usual,” she muttered, her eyes shifting. “I think he's doing better now that we've gotten rid of the alcohol in the house.”

“That's good.” I held up the container as she started ringing up my food. “Thanks, by the way. He loves this stuff. Even though my apartment will reek of it for days after.”

She laughed now, her brown eyes twinkling. “That's because that little baby is a street warrior. He knows he needs to eat his protein to keep him strong!”

I smiled. Tina loved Soldier. When she had found out I had taken him in, she made it a habit to have some tuna ready for him every few days when I would come in and get something to eat. She really loved doting on him. It was no wonder he'd gained so much weight so fast.

After I got my food and paid, I thanked her once more before heading back out. I paused by the door, frowning. Though there were still people milling about and walking around, there was an odd feeling in the air. Like something wasn't quite right. Something was about to go down. And I certainly didn't want to be here when it happened.

A lot of the time when I got this feeling, it usually involved one of the assholes that lived nearby. Or it meant the mafia meant business in this neck of the woods. And if that was the case, they usually had one of their scouts come through and tell everyone to keep their shit locked and don't come out for any reason.

That was a real terror. The first time it had happened I had been having tea with my neighbor. When the shots rang out, I had nearly jumped out of my seat. She had simply shook her head and sipped her tea, telling me it was like this sometimes. There was nothing to be done, and to just let them battle it out. We would be free to go in the morning.

I shivered at the memory. I hadn't been able to sleep for days afterward because of that.

I made my way around the corner and ran into someone, dropping the container for Soldier. Thankfully, it held together. I went to pick it up.

“I'm so sorry about that,” I said hastily. “I must have too lost in my thoughts.”

“You.”

The slurred word brought my head up. It was the guy from earlier. He was in front of me, glaring down at me with a sneer, his eyes narrowed. A feeling of dread pooled at my feet as his eyes narrowed in on my corset top. I mentally cursed myself for not bringing an extra shirt with me, on today of all days.

“You're the monster loving bitch from earlier,” he slurred out, stumbling. He gripped the side of the building to keep himself steady. “I've got a bone to pick with you.”

He reached down and roughly grabbed my arm, throwing me into the alleyway beside us. I cried out as my back collided with the wall. He slammed a hand over my mouth, slamming my head into the wall behind us. Stars danced across my vision as he leaned in close. The smell of his breath made me gag behind his hand.

“Because of you, I got thrown out of a great place,” he muttered, his other hand grabbing my throat. “I'm gonna teach you a fucking lesson, you little monster fucker.”

He released me and I tried screaming again, my heart hammering in my chest. I didn't even feel the slap until I was looking the opposite direction, tears springing to my eyes. I swallowed the scream, my cheek burning. I reached a hand up, watching as my things fell to the ground beside me. I touched my cheek before standing up again, a small sob in the back of my throat.

He didn't say anything else as he kicked my feet out from underneath me. I fell to the ground, crying out for someone, anyone to help. But it was like the streets had suddenly emptied. My head slammed on the ground, bouncing up once before coming down again. Then there was a foot in my stomach, over and over again. I tried curling in on myself, crying silently to avoid the blows.

He didn't like that as he kicked my chin. My teeth clacked together hard, and I bit my tongue hard enough to taste blood. I spit it out, begging him to stop. He didn't let up though as his foot came down hard on my ankle.

I screamed now. I couldn't help it. There was a small snap, and I screamed bloody murder. All I could feel was the pain in my ankle and stomach.

A shadow fell over the alleyway, and my attacker turned to it, growling. The growl died in his throat, though, as he caught who was there. I couldn't see anyone; I was hunched on myself trying to make the pain stop. My vision was going dark.

“ya really 'n for a b a d t i m e now, asshole.”

That was all I heard before I blacked out.

Chapter Text

It was dark when I woke up. When I tried moving, every bone in my body protested. I groaned and tried sitting up, the silk sheets underneath me causing me to slide just a tad.

Wait...

Silk sheets? Mine were cotton.

I bolted upright, regretting it almost instantly. I hunched over, whining a little in the back of my throat as I clutched my stomach. It hurt like a bitch, and I couldn't remember what I did to make it feel like that.

Then it hit me.

That guy Dogamy had thrown out of the bar. I had been on my way home with stuff for Solider and I to eat. I had been by my apartment when I had run into him. He had thrown me into the alley and...

I shivered and looked up, trying to take in my surroundings. It looked like it was light outside, but the blackout curtains knocked it back. There was a desk on one wall, with a little table lamp and a few scattered papers. The floor was littered with socks and wrappers from fast food places. There was a dresser that had a few drawers haphazardly shoved in. The closet was shut and there was a bottle of water on the nightstand beside me.

The clock wasn't working and I couldn't find my phone. I reached for the bottle of water before hissing. I looked at my arm, noticing a few rashes and bruises. I winced and grabbed the water anyway, opening it and taking a small sip of it.

I looked down. I was sitting on a huge bed with red silk sheets and a black comforter. The pillow cases behind me were covered in red silk as well. Just where the hell was I? I tried thinking back on what had happened. But nothing was there, except for a weirdly familiar voice. Only it had been much darker. Deeper, too. I had thought I knew it, but when I thought back on it, it wasn't familiar to me in any way.

I put the cap back on the bottle and placed it back on the nightstand, moving the covers off my legs. I threw them over the side of the bed and slowly tried to stand, using the stand as a support. I winced as my knees popped and my back cracked. Just how long had I been out? Hell, how long had I been in the same position?

Just as I was gaining my balance, there was a slight knock that came to the door. I looked up at it, bracing myself.

“sugar? ya awake?”

I blinked slowly. Sans?

“Yeah, I'm up,” I called out, my voice cracking.

The door opened slowly and Sans stepped inside, closing it behind him. He was in a pair of slacks again, tan in color with suspenders clipped to them. The straps were thrown over his shoulders and he wore a white button up collared shirt underneath them. The sleeves were once more rolled up to his elbows. He didn't have a fedora today, and his jacket was nowhere in sight.

What was in sight what the gun holster, the gun tucked safely inside of it. I took it in, but I didn't comment on it as he came further into the room.

“what're ya doin' outta bed?” he grumbled, coming over to me. He grabbed my hand from the stand beside his bed and slowly lowered back onto the bed. “yer still healing, sugar. gotta stay in bed or ya could hurt yerself again.” He knelt down by my legs.

“What happened?” I asked.

He paused, looking up at me. His brow plate rose and he blinked, his red eye lights taking me before he said anything.

“i like lookin' at women as much as th' next monster, but ya aren't exactly wearing pants,” he grunted, looking back down at my legs.

I gasped and moved quick, almost kicking him the face as I brought my legs back up to the bed and covering them with the thick blanket. He chuckled and stood up once more, taking out a cigar from his pocket and his lighter with it. After it was lit, he moved to the window. Light shone in the room as the curtain moved so he could open the window.

“t' answer your question, you were jumped,” he said, his voice flat. “i found ya just in time b'fore he could'a done some real damage t' ya.”

The way he said it...it sent shivers up my spine. I regarded him from my spot on the bed, my eyes flicking around. He was leaning against the wall by the window, blowing thick plumes of smoke out of the window. While part of me told me not to...

“Sans, what did you do?” I whispered, drawing my legs up to my chest.

He froze, like he had been expecting any question except that one. I could see his eye lights shrink in his skull, and he turned his almost empty sockets to me. It was quite the look, and one I felt was the last one most people saw before he did something. Paired with the fang filled smiled, it could send even the biggest body builder running.

In the back of my mind, though, I knew he wouldn't hurt me. If he wanted to do anything, he would have done it while I was knocked out. He wouldn't have helped me. Though I'm beginning to wonder just how much he really helped. Part of me knew not to ask that question, but I couldn't help but be curious. I mean, I'm literally sitting the Judge's bed.

I'm gonna be ballsy if I want to.

He regarded me with those still dimmed out eye lights, watching as they flicked over my face and my position. He took another long drag before blowing out the smoke through his nasal cavity, his mandible clicking quietly as his teeth separated. It was actually kinda cool.

“i made 'im pay,” he said simply.

His tone brooked no argument. I didn't bother, my eyelids drooping closed again. I watched through half closed lids as he stubbed out the cigar in an ashtray before making his way over to me. The scent of cherries filled my nose as he helped straighten me out in the bed, bringing the blanket under my chin. His phalanges ran over my hair.

“sleep, sugar. you'll be safe 'ere.”

I did as he said, and slipped back into a deep sleep.

**

Red watched as her breathing evened out. He let his phalanges string through her hair again, watching the black strands slip through them. His eye lights flicked over her face again, wincing at the bruise on her cheek. Boss had tried to make it go away, but he hadn't been able to despite it being fresh enough.

He had found out why though. That douche bag had hidden magic, and often used it to bully others into having his own way. When Red had dug through the reports, he had seen lots of cases against the asshole for domestic violence. Red had made sure to report it to the Don about this useless pile of garbage and had gotten the okay.

Red was still having fun with him. But he had to make sure Levy was alright. Despite Frisk having the last known determined soul, she had some of it in her. It was one of her better traits. Something he definitely liked with her. She was determined, and she was kind. She had a little bit of each soul color swirling within her soul.

It was hard not to want someone like her. While Frisk's soul was the last determined soul, hers was the only one he had ever seen with something like that. Sure, humans generally had a mixture of all of the soul traits, but he had never seen a soul like this, where it held all of them.

While he had wanted nothing more than to see it, it was something that monsters held carefully sacred. Looking at one's soul was intimate enough. But he wanted to touch hers, feel it dance under his touch. It was a dangerous path to go down, and was akin to rape in the monster culture. And while he wanted this woman with every fiber of his being, doing something like that could cause her to never talk to him again.

He brought his hand away and went to turn before something latched onto his radius. He looked back down. Her hand gripped his bone, her knuckles white. When he looked up at her face, she was giving him the softest smile he had ever gotten from anyone.

“Thank you, Sans,” she whispered, his name almost foreign on to his metaphorical ears. “I know I shouldn't know, but thank you. For saving me. For finding me.”

He didn't know what to say. He took her hand off of his bone and tucked it back under the blanket, giving her a chaste kiss on her temple. She was asleep again as he came back to a standing position, her mouth partially open.

He turned away and left the room, shutting the door quietly behind him. He nodded to Aaron, who was guarding the room while he took care of business. The half man, half seahorse nodded back and took his place back by the door. After that was done, he left, hands behind his back and went through the house.

Boss was standing by the basement stairs, gazing down into the dimly lit room with an expression of confusion.

“MUST YOU HAVE THESE THINGS IN MY HOME?” he demanded, his voice loud.

Red had grown used to it, but most never did. He wondered how Levy would handle it before he shook his head.

Don't go there.

“'ts fine, boss,” he said nonchalantly, giving his brother a pat on the shoulder on his way back down. “would'ja like t' come join?”

“WHAT DID THIS SCUM DO TO YOU?” his brother sighed, rolling his eyes. “DID HE THROW A ROCK AT YOU AND BRUISE YOUR EGO?”

He hadn't told Boss anything. While Papyrus was as much a hardass as himself, he also had a softer side. He tried killing the kid once, before he realized the kid was having none of it and dodged every attack thrown his way. Red had watched from the sidelines, not trusting a damn thing after that stupid flower and Murder Child.

“he's th' one who hurt m' friend up there,” Red said, shrugging and moving back to go down. “comin' or not, paps?”

He didn't use that name often for his brother, but it helped him feel better. It helped ground him when he felt really disgusted and wanted to do something Red knew he'd really regret. Like almost snapping this fucker's neck as soon as they got back to the basement. Cause that was definitely at the forefront of his mind.

He didn't know why he did what he did to her, but he was gonna pay for it before the day was through.

He walked down into the basements, his steps steady as he entered. Under the dim bulb sat the guy who had hurt Levy. He already looked worse for wear. Blood dripped onto his face from his hairlines and there was a bone stabbed through his foot. One of his eyes was swollen shut and his mouth was filled with blood. One of his arms was resting at a funny angle, lying twisted on his lap.

The guy looked up at Red and glared at him, spitting some of his blood at the skeleton's feet. “You act like you're so fuckin' tough. You're just a pile of magic and bones. One move and I'd dust ya myself.”

Red's brow plate raised, his eye lights roaming over the dude. “ya'd do 't yaself, huh?” He chuckled, the sound dark even to his own metaphorical ears. He came further in the room and placed his shoe on the guy's foot, leaning over him. “see, i don't care what'cha do t' me. but...” He summoned one of his bones, the end whittled to a sharp point. He whipped it out faster than the guy could blink, burying it in his shoulder. Blood spurted forth as he screamed. “but when ya hurt someone like 'er? then we 'ave a problem, buddy.”

The guy continued to scream, his mouth open so wide he thought the dude's jaw was gonna pop off. Boss stood in the corner, his red eye lights taking in everything. He came out of the dark corner, coming by Red and leaning over. The asshole had finally stopped screaming, his sweat mingling with the blood on his forehead as it appeared in little dots. Red watched his brother from the corner of his socket. Usually Boss let other people deal with this. He loved his clothes too much to help out in situations like this.

“WHAT DID HE EXACTLY DO TO HER?” Boss asked, his eye lights raking over the guy in front of them.

While Red laid out in detail what happened, he watched as his brother's face twisted into a mask of hatred. He didn't need to know, but he asked for a reason. Boss hated humans, but when Red had brought Levy to him, limp in his arms, he had acted immediately, no questions asked. He even looked upset when he couldn't get the swelling to go down on her eye. Which was new for Red.

He acted like Levy was a burden, but he knew he was just as curious about her as Red was. Though that would mean he would have to put his foot down with Boss, which he didn't often do. It was probably why he turned out the way he did.

“I SEE.”

That was all Boss said before he grabbed the bone still lodged in the guy's thigh and gave it a hard twist to the left. The guy screamed out again, growing louder as Boss slowly pulled it out. Bits of muscle and sinew came out with it, clumped together on the pointed end of the bone. Blood oozed from the wound, soaking his pants and the floor beneath them.

Boss pulled it out completely, flicking off a piece of muscle that had clung to the tip. He observed the blood soaked bone before he looked down at the pile of shit in front of them and with a quick movement, stabbed him in the other thigh with the same bone. His screams pierced the air around them and Red shifted his feet, grinning. Boss straightened, fixing his suit jacket before taking the bone in his shoulder and giving that a slow twist as well.

When his brother was done, he stepped back and Red stepped forward again. He leaned in close, getting nose to nasal cavity with the guy. Red could smell the fear radiating off of him, mixed with sweat and tears. He was pretty sure he smelled piss, too. He gave a loud laugh. The guy couldn't hold his head up, looking like he was about to pass out from the pain.

Red tusked as him. “oh no, ya don't, pal. yer gonna be awake fer every. little. thing.”

**

When I woke up again, it was dark outside, the light coming from the streetlamps out on the street. The off orange light cast a strange glow from under the blackout curtains. I slowly brought myself to rest on my elbow, reaching for the water bottle that was still on the nightstand. I took a drink of it, looking around the room.

It was definitely dark. There was an orange hue from the light outside bathing the little bit of the room it could reach. I could see that the room had been picked up a little bit, the wrappers and socks gone. I saw a pile of said socks in the corner and there was a garbage bag full of the wrappers. I scowled a little, trying to adjust my eyes to the darkness.

A light pierced the darkness as the closet door opened and Sans came out, rubbing a towel around his skull. He must have been changing after a shower, a pair of pajama pants hanging low on his hip bones. His feet were covered with red slippers and there was a black tee shirt covering his ribs. I could see some of his suit jackets from where I was sitting before he came out and turned off the light to the closet.

He tossed the towel over the chair by the desk before he turned and spotted me.

“yer awake,” he murmured, coming over to me.

There was something off about him in this instant. He seemed more predatory, like he was hunting for his prey. I could smell his body wash, and something else...something like bonfire smoke? That's what it smelled like to me. It was faint, almost hidden under his body wash. There was also something...metallic in the way he smelled. Like copper.

When he got closer, there was a red spot on the side of his skull. I reached up and wiped it off, watching it smear under my finger. My heart hammered in my ears as I stared the spot before looking at my finger.

Blood. It was blood.

I swallowed the scream, looking back up at him. He didn't say anything, his eye lights flicking between my eyes. His eye lights were a brighter red now, almost like a nightlight in the dark room. They cast an almost eerie glow throughout the room. My heart was in my throat as he realized what I had seen.

“Sans...”

He held up his hands. “b'fore ya say anythin',” he said, moving away from me again. He motioned to the door. “ya can leave at any time. i won't stop ya. but...would'ja hear me out?”

Chapter Text

He continued to stare at me, even as my gaze switched from the blood on my fingers back to his eye lights. I didn't really know how to react to his request. The more logical part of my brain was screaming at me to run far away from him. Get back to my apartment and get back to Soldier. But the more curious side, which often led me into all sorts of issues, was curious what he had to say.
\
Plus, I didn't know where I was. I mean, I knew I was in Sans's house. But...that was all I knew. I didn't know where he lived, and how far away it was from home. I didn't even know if I would recognize this part of the city. For all I knew, I was in a part that I hadn't even come close to before. So what would be the point in running if I didn't know where I was going?

“sugar?”

There it was. That nickname. That little pet name he had given me the first time we met. While I was usually off put by people calling me things like that, hearing it come from him...it sounded sweeter than wine. It sent delicious shivers up my spine and damnit, I couldn't help myself.

I finally looked back at his face, my eyes flicking between his own eye lights. “I'm giving you five minutes. And only because I have no idea where I am.”

He seemed to relax, his shoulders slumping as he sat on the bed beside me. He perked up suddenly, getting back up and heading into his closet. After he dug around for a minute, he came back out with something slung over his arm. He got back to the bed and handed it to me, turning away and crossing his arms over his sternum.

I looked down and felt my face flush with heat. It was a pair of pajama pants.

“those should do fer ya,” he said, still faced away from me. I looked back up at his back. “put them on an' then we'll talk.”

I did as told, and shoved the blanket off my legs long enough to pull them up. I had to tie the strings in the front otherwise they would have fallen off of me. I moved the blanket back over me despite the heat in the room and I looked back over at him.

“You're good,” I whispered.

He turned back and reached over to his bedside table, pulling out a thing of wipes and taking my hand in his. He gently wiped the blood from my fingers before using his magic to throw it away. When he looked back at me, he sat on the bed by my legs. I folded mine underneath me, tucking them criss cross style and settled back against the pillow I put against the headboard.

“ya know m' title, sugar,” he started lowly. “though i am sans, 'm also th' judge. an' when i see people i give a shit 'bout gettin' hurt, it pisses me off. i had to show 'im...” He paused, a red ethereal glow appearing behind his teeth. It sparked against his golden fang and once more, I was transfixed by it. He took in a deep breath through his nasal cavity and out of his mouth, a red tongue poking out between his teeth. “i had t' show 'im ya weren't t' be fucked with, sugar.”

Pieces of what he was saying were clicking together in some kind of horrific puzzle. The urge to run away from him was growing stronger, and it took all of my willpower to sit there and listen to him talk. Grillby's words came back into my head.

“I understand, my dear. But you must be aware of what that title entails.”

I had told Grillby then I couldn't put Sans the Skeleton and the Judge together in the same body. And even now, I still couldn't.

“Sans, what did you do?” I whispered, my voice cracking on a couple of syllables.

“i didn't kill 'im,” he said quickly, putting up both hands palms out. “i wanted to. hell, even boss wanted to. but we didn't.”

“Wait. Boss? As in the Captain of the Royal Guard?” I straightened immediately. “He's here?”

Sans now eyed me warily, an emotion flitting across his face I hadn't seen from him before. Was it suspicion? Jealousy? It was something, and I had never seen it on his malleable features. But it was there, and his eye lights looked me up and down. I looked down and saw that his claw were digging into the bed. I heard a slight ripping sound and looked up again.

“'s there a problem with that?” he asked slowly, his voice deeper.

“What? No. No! Of course not!” I quickly managed to tumble out. “I just...didn't know you lived with...him...”

Sans seemed to relax a little as I raised my own hands in surrender. I stared at him, my eyes flicking quickly between his sockets. He wasn't really looking at me, but more like he was staring far off. It was almost like he was watching a movie with the way he looked so focused.

“boss...papyrus is m' brother,” Sans clarified. “i've raised 'im on m' own since he was a babybones.”

I chuckled a little at the term and relaxed. “Oh, I see. It's just I've heard some things...”

Sans shrugged. “they're prob'ly true, but don't hold it against 'im. he's jus' doin' his job.”

The way he said it so nonchalantly made a shiver run up my back. I mean, I understood, it was his job. But it was a job that took prisoners and lives. I didn't know his brother like I kinda knew Sans, but if he was anything like Sans, then he took his job seriously.

“Sans, what did you do to him?” I asked again, not so kindly this time.

He shook his head, pulling out a cigar from his nightstand. He also took out my Zippo and a pack of my cigarettes from the drawer as well before closing it. When he had placed them in my lap I blinked up at him, confused.

“yer purse was covered 'n alleyway water an' garbage,” he said, shrugging. “i managed t' salvage yer phone an' these, but i had t' get rid o' ya wallet.” He jerked his head over to the desk. “th' contents are all laid out o'er there dryin'.”

“Oh...thank you,” I murmured. I took my cigarettes and lit one up. I put my stuff on the table beside me and put the ashtray between the two of us, an old habit from when I'm usually waking up and smoking.

“t' be honest, he got off easy,” Sans muttered, taking a long drag of his cigar. The smell of cherries flitted around me, like little butterfly kisses. “we only hurt 'im a lil' bit. nothin' too bad, in my opinion.” The smoke filtered out from between his teeth as he spoke.

I looked down, flicking the ash from my cigarette before it could hit the bed. I took a long drag, my throat burning before I finally pulled the butt away from my mouth and sighed, letting the smoke out. I couldn't imagine what he, what they, could have possibly done.

It made me wonder, but it wasn't like I could just ask. I didn't want to taint the image I had of Sans laughing with me in the bar the other night. Or when he had walked me home. I had two different people in mind when it came to the Judge and Sans the Skeleton. And I really wanted to keep it that way.

I stubbed out my cigarette, moving the ashtray more toward him. I hadn't said anything, and Sans was watching me with those shining eye lights. He didn't wear any kind of emotion on his face, and his usual perma-grin was set in a frown. In truth, I didn't know what to say to him. I didn't know if I could tell him thanks for maiming a guy for me. Or if I should take all my things and leave, just wander the city until I could find a place that was familiar and head home from there.

But I knew that was silly. Why would I do that after Sans had literally taken me in? I touched the bruise on my face, wincing at how tender it still was.

“sorry 'bout that,” Sans mumbled, looking away from me. The light cast from his eye lights showed me where he was looking, and it was kind of weird. It like they were a beacon in the night, something I could find if I was ever in danger. “paps tried t' help ya, but th' guy used magic 'n his hits, so it didn't exactly...help.”

I scowled now, moving my hand away from my face. “Magic? I thought only monsters had magic.”

Sans took another drag of his cigar. As he let the smoke out, he said, “that's not necessarily true. ya see, monsters all have magic, yes. but, humans do, too. not all of 'em, o' course. that would jus' be a nightmare.” He nodded to himself. “everyone 'ere has magic. but through the generations, as they passed, the magic dwindled. an' now it's just a basic part o' yer anatomy. it's still there, but it's so dormant, there's really no chance that it'll come back.”

I hummed, taking in the information he was telling me. For being a mobster monster, he sure was knowledgeable. It was odd to see, honestly. Most people who had joined gangs or mobs usually dropped right out of school, or they weren't too bright to begin with unless it was violent. I knew a few people personally who had done it. A couple of them were dead in their graves now.

“Could it be the magic from the Sages who locked you guys down there? Or...?”

I let the question hang in the air between us as he stubbed out that fat cigar, the smoke rising from it thick. The smell of cherries seemed to wrap itself around me as I took in a small whiff. Even under the smell of cherries, I could smell the bonfire smoke. It was a little stronger than it had been when I first woke up.

“for some, yeah, it does.” He nodded and moved so one leg was up on the bed. He tucked it under the one that was still hanging off the side of the bed as he faced her. It was still quite eerie how his eye lights seemed to light up the area around her, letting her know he was giving her his full attention.

“fer some, it's b'cause those assholes possessed a bunch o' that shit,” he growled, his hatred for those that locked him away obvious. “but it dwindled fer most, like I said. fer others, magic was jus' a part o' their daily lives. so it wasn't really something the body would process as needed.”

I nodded slowly, getting what he was saying. It made sense. So something in the guy must have triggered his magic to go full force, which is why she wasn't able to be healed by his brother. Somehow magical injuries on humans weren't as easy to deal with than ones that weren't laced with magic. I tucked that information away in a safe space. I looked at him, my eyes flicking back and forth between his.

“You haven't commented once.”

I couldn't help it. It had been bugging me for days. My eyes were those for freaks. One so bright blue it looked white in the light and the other so deep a purple, it could look black in the darkness. While one was definitely not a normal human eye color, the other one borderline wasn't either. And it made a lot of people and monsters uncomfortable.

But he had yet to say anything about it. Was it that bad to him? Did he really just try to avoid her stare? That couldn't be it. I always caught him staring at my eyes, his own lights flicking between mine. Like he was transfixed on them. Like they were hypnotizing him. I couldn't say it made me uneasy, but it did make me think a little bit about what he thought.

With the way his face shifted, he knew exactly what I was talking about. His eye lights locked on mine the second I mentioned it, a faint red blush roaming over the area above his nasal cavity. It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen up until that point. Mister badass, blushing over being caught staring.

What was happening to my life?

He finally chuckled, nervously, as his hand came up and rubbed the back of his skull. His eyes shot to the right, that strange glow following suit. His other hand made a fist in the pajama pants and when he finally looked at me, he had a strange smile on his face.

“didn't wanna be rude when we first met, sugar,” he said, shrugging. “'m a better monster than that.”

I smiled at him, chuckling before a yawn took over. I covered my mouth, wincing at the sting that hit just below my eyes. This goddamn bruise was gonna be death of me. Couldn't even smile properly without wincing. How was work gonna go if I couldn't even do that much?

I gasped, keeping my mouth covered. “Work! Grillby! I gotta – fuck!”

I hissed as I tried stepping down and a pain shot through my leg. I must have been too out of it earlier to notice the pain. I yanked my leg back on the bed and shrieked when I felt Sans's bony hands wrap around my upper arm and move me back further on the bed. I looked from my ankle to him, glaring as he moved and placed the ashtray between us once more.

“no need t' worry, dollface,” he said, his voice sounding strained. “i already talked t' 'im fer ya. jus' make sure ya give 'im a call tomorrow.”

I wasn't sure if I was just hearing things or not, but it sounded to me like this skeleton was jealous. Of my boss. His old friend. I could have been just imagining it, but they way he was clenching his fist, I couldn't help but have that thought. It was a silly assumption make though.

He was a skeleton. I was a human. Human. Monster. There is not a single way that it would work. Sure, there were some...monster/human relations, but those were usually with the prostitutes trying to catch the eye of the mob. And that sure as hell wasn't me.

I nodded, reaching for my cigarettes once more and lighting up, snapping my Zippo closed with one hand. I set it back down on the bed. Sans moved it to the bedside table with my smokes and I inhaled before I rubbed my temple.

“You already spoke to him?” I asked hesitantly.

He nodded curtly, moving around until he was fully sitting on the bed. “sure did.”

I smiled at him. “Thank you. He was probably worried when I didn't show up for my shift. He's been like that with me since I moved here.”

Sans's brow plate moved up again. “ya haven't always lived 'ere?”

I shook my head, taking a thoughtful drag of my cigarette. “Nope. I used to live out in the country, believe it or not. Just outside the city.”

He smiled. I noticed then that it was an actual smile, not just his usual permanent grin. It made something inside of my jump, and it felt like butterflies were fluttering around in my stomach. I shifted and ashed my cigarette.

Sans checked the watch on his wrist, scowling before he plucked the cigarette from my fingers, stubbing it out. I opened my mouth to complain, my face contorting into a scowl.

“nah ah, sugar. it's almost midnight. ya gotta get some type o' sleep.” He tutted, moving the ashtray off the bed.

“I've been sleeping, like, all day,” I shot back. “I'm fine.”

Even I knew a lie when I heard one. Though it was true I had slept the day away, I was still pretty damn tired. It was only because sleeping was letting my body heal, but with the magic that the guy had used, it was probably going to take longer than the normal bruises and cuts I usually got. I sighed and tucked myself under the blankets, covering myself up to my chin and turning so I was facing him.

He didn't make a move. He still sat there with his legs crossed under him. The glow from his eyes was on me so I knew he was looking at me, but I didn't understand why he wasn't laying with me. It was his bed, wasn't it? I didn't want to kick him out of his own bed. Fuck.

“Sans...”

“red.”

I blinked up at him. He wasn't looking at me anymore, but off to the side. He was watching the floor under us, like something was really intriguing with it. He didn't say anything else and I just stared at him, the single word hanging in the air between us. It felt like my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth and I could only utter out one word.

“What?”

“red.” His eyes looked back at me. He hasn't even blinked, and it was really strange as he just stared at me. “call me red. all m' friends and family do. 'cept grillby. 'im and paps're th' only ones who don't.”

I opened and closed my mouth like a fish out of water. I didn't know how to respond to him only to nod. He moved to get up. I didn't even think twice about it. I moved so I could wrap my hand around his bone. He paused, looking between my face and my hand before looking at me with a slightly tilted head.

“This is your bed,” I whispered, suddenly shy and unsure of how to approach this. “I...I don't want to kick you out of your own bed. I can take the couch...”

He scoffed at me. “ya can barely stand. i ain't lettin' ya sleep on that couch, sugar. an' it's fine. 've slept in worse and weirder places than th' couch.”

“Stay with me.”

The words were out of my mouth before I could take them back. He looked as shocked as I felt; his eye sockets had widened a fraction and there was a small bead of red sweat on the side of his skull. I didn't know if I should take that as a good thing or bad thing. I didn't even know what had come over me. All I knew was in that moment, I didn't want to be alone. Not in a place I was so unfamiliar with.

“...awright.”

His almost whispered words drifted between us. He moved away, taking my hand off of his bone and he got under the covers with me. But he didn't get real close to me, keeping his distance even under the blankets. I made a silent noise of irritation before I moved, laying my head on his shoulder.

I felt him stiffen under me, but when I didn't move, he relaxed a little bit. He had shut his eye sockets; that ethereal red light from his eye lights was gone. This close to him, I could hear a small hum coming from him. I furrowed my brow and tried to hone in on the noise, but couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from.

I finally sighed, the day's events finally coming to a close and I felt my eyelids get heavy. Though I tried to fight it off, my eyes closed as if they were working on their own.

“Goodnight...Red.”

“g'night, sugar.”

Chapter Text

I woke up the next morning with sunlight trying to peek into the room under the curtains. I took a moment to gather where I was and why. I moved slowly, touching my hand to my face. When I winced, I knew my face was still tender. I went to move before something gripped my middle, tightening its hold on me.

I froze, moving my head as little as possible to look behind me. Red was there, his eye sockets closed and his breathing steady. His arms were wrapped around me, cuddling me close to him as he slept. He didn't move other than to keep me close to him. When I tried to pry his hands away, he groaned, getting closer.

I held back a squeak as his knee moved up and formed perfectly behind me, his femur resting just underneath my butt. One of his hands moved away from my waist and slid further to rest alongside the bottom of my rib cage. I tried squirming around to try and wake him somehow, rouse him. But he was sleeping like a goddamn rock.

I groaned and tried turning at least my head so I could see him a little better. “Sa...Red. Red, wake up. Let me go.”

He just grunted again. I grit my teeth and blew a breath through my nose. This stupid skeleton.

“Red, I swear to god, if you don't let me go, I'll knock your coccyx across the room,” I growled.

He groaned again. “too early. go back t' sleep, sugar,” he muttered, burying his face in my back.

I bit back a squeal and groaned myself. I tried to reach for my phone before forgetting it all the way on the other side of the room. On his desk. With all of my other things. And the clock on his bedside table didn't work. I couldn't even tell him what time it was.

I could hear the faint sounds of loud footfalls downstairs. There was a clattering of metal and some talking. The footfalls fell quiet for a moment before they got quicker. And louder. Like they were coming right for the door.

“GET UP, YOU LAZYBONES.” The door was smashed in. I screamed and buried my face under the cover as I felt Sans shoot up behind me.

“boss, seriously. ya gotta be like that?”

Under the dark of the covers, I couldn't help that my face turned red. It just dawned on me that I had slept in Red's bed. Under the same blankets. I didn't know how I felt about this. I mean, I wasn't a virgin, but I wasn't exactly a whore. And the thought of sleeping with a skeleton seemed silly anyway. They were literally fucking bones.

“OH. SORRY, HUMAN. I FORGOT THAT BROTHER BROUGHT YOU HERE.”

I peeked over the top of the covers. The skeleton before me was dressed immaculately. Like, I thought Sa...Red had dressed well. This one put him to shame. The black suit he wore didn't have a single crease in it, and I noticed his hands, which were covered by black gloves, were constantly smoothing it out. His shoes were exceptionally shiny. There was a red vest underneath his suit and a tie that was tucked underneath it, with a white collared shirt completing the look.

But what drew my attention were the cracks in his skull. He had three lines running from the top of his skull and over his left eye. It stopped along the cheek bone. His teeth were jaggedly sharp, much like Red's were. His features also seemed...sharper, somehow. He was also tall as hell, standing at what I could only guess at eight or nine feet.

These monsters were really no joke.

“Uh...yeah. It's okay,” I whispered, shielding most of my face.

He had called Red his brother. Red had called him “boss”. That could only mean he was the Boss from the top of the mafia. The one who led the Royal Guard. While I knew part of me felt sick that he would do something to me, another part of me told me Red wouldn't let anything happen to me. Even if it was his own sibling.

“boss, yer scarin' 'er,” Red grumbled from above me. His voice was husky.

I kinda liked the sound.

“OH. AGAIN, I APOLOGIZE. IT'S TIME TO GET UP, THOUGH, BROTHER. IT'S ALMOST TWO IN THE AFTERNOON.”

I gasped, and shot straight up, narrowly missing Red's skull. “I have to leave!”

When I tried climbing out of bed, though, I cried out when my foot hit the ground. I sat back down and pulled my leg up, moving Red's pants out of the way. It had definitely swelled up while sleeping, and it had turned a funny shade of purple. Red cursed, moving off of the bed and knelt by my leg. His phalanges moved over my skin softly.

When he put the lightest amount of pressure on my ankle, I let out a yelp, almost kicking him and lodging my foot in his eye socket. He fell back on his ass, grumbling as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“sugar, ya ain't goin' anywhere. not wit' that ankle,” he said, standing up. He looked over at his brother, who looked guilty.

“I'M SORRY I COULD NOT MEND YOUR WOUNDS, TINY HUMAN GIRL,” Boss proclaimed loudly. “I, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS, FEEL TERRIBLE I COULD DO NOTHING.”

I gave him a small, if not shaky, smile. “It's alright...”

When I trailed off, Red chuckled, putting his hand on my head. “jus' call 'im boss.”

“I THINK NOT,” the taller skeleton said. “SHE SHALL CALL ME PAPYRUS OR PAPS. JUST LIKE ANY OF OUR OTHER FRIENDS WOULD.” He straightened and fixed his suit jacket. “IF YOU COULD PLEASE HELP HER DOWN TO THE KITCHEN, I HAVE PREPARED LUNCH.”

“sure thing, bro.”

Papyrus made his leave, giving me one last glance over before leaving and shutting the door. Red expelled a breath it sounded like he'd been holding for a while. His red eye lights shot over to me, taking in my ankle before he met my gaze.

“well, ya can't exactly go anywhere like that,” he murmured.

“But I have to go home,” I whispered, looking down at the swollen mess. “My cat needs fed and I need to make sure he's okay...”

Soldier was more than a cat to me. After everything that's happened within the last few years alone, he was more like an emotional support animal. He always seemed to know when my anxiety attacks were coming. And on my bad days, he never left my side unless I had to go to work. Picking up the old feral tomcat had really helped me out in more ways than one.

And right now, I really needed him.

Red sighed and sat beside me. “'ll make ya a deal, sugar,” he said. “we go down an' eat. then 'll take ya to yer apartment so ya can see th' cat.”

I looked over at him with wide eyes. “Really? You'd do that?”

He only nodded. Sitting this close to him, I was reminded that though he was short, he was still much taller than I was. I'd put him at at least six and a half feet. Maybe even seven feet. It was intimidating when you were only five foot seven.

“yeah, i don't see why not,” he said, shrugging. “ya really need ta see th' cat, right?”

“Preferably,” I murmured, looking down at the ground.

A single digit came up, curling under my chin and lifting my gaze to his. When I tried breaking contact, his finger curled a little more and poked at the soft skin under my jaw. I kept my eyes locked on his as he flicked his eye lights between my own gaze.

“then we'll go see th' little furball,” he said softly. “we c'n also stop at grillbz place an' see if he'll needja.” His eyes flickered down to my ankle. “it's gonna take some time fer ya ankle t' heal, sugar.”

I scowled now, moving his hand away from my chin. He blinked slowly, but let his hand fall away. I looked away from him as his eyes searched my face, straying to the bump I'm sure was under my eye. I didn't say anything, though. I simply nodded and kept my hands folded in my lap.

It was quiet for a moment before he blew out a breath and stood, holding out his hand to me. I placed my hand in his, and when his fingers wrapped around mine, he gently pulled my to my feet. I managed to shift my weight to my good ankle before I fully hit the floor. He moved around me so he could wrap my arm around my waist and lock me right against his side.

Despite not having skin or any kind of muscle, he was warm to the touch. It wasn't like his bones were on fire, but there was heat to them that made sense for a monster without any kind of way to stay that way. Maybe it was the magic he had, or maybe it was just how he was. I wasn't sure, but it was how it was.

He brought us out of the room and I took in the small upstairs that made up the second floor of this place. The carpet was thin, but it wasn't uncomfortable. The hallway was empty as we made our way through. When I saw the bathroom, I almost tugged Red to the ground with me. He wordlessly helped me into the bathroom, turning and closing the door as he left to give me my privacy.

After using the bathroom, I went over to the mirror to wash my hands and check the damage. I nearly broke into tears as I took in the damages on my face. I moved my shirt up and swallowed a sob as my eyes roamed over my abdomen.

Blue, purple and black bruises decorated my stomach. When I tried touching them, I hissed in pain, watching as the muscle rippled, seeming to try and get away from my own touch. There was a black and blue bruise surrounding my purple eye, the swelling making the side of my eye pop out. I moved my shirt back over my stomach and opened the bathroom door, using the counter to help me move.

Red was there the second the door opened. He wrapped his arm around my waist once more, but this time I wouldn't let him bring me in any closer. He seemed miffed, but didn't comment as he slowly helped me come down the stairs. I ended up just hopping on one foot as he went down one step before me. When we reached the bottom, he carefully helped me make my way into the kitchen.

It was a small kitchen, but it was definitely nice. If I hadn't heard Papyrus say he made lunch in here, I would have guessed no one even used the kitchen. It was spotless, with every surface seeming to shine brightly in the well lit room. I was helped into a chair before Papyrus himself came up and set a plate in front of me.

The smell of tomato soup with grilled cheese made my mouth water. It reminded me of a time when things had been a little simpler, and I could remember my mom humming as she smashed the tomatoes herself. I picked up the spoon in the soup and took a small taste. It was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth and I looked up at Papyrus with a huge grin.

“This is great, Papyrus,” I enthused, taking one triangle of the sandwich and dunking it in the soup. “It's almost as good my mother's.”

He let out a booming laugh. “NYAH HAH HAH. THANK YOU, TINY HUMAN. I TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN MY CUISINE.”

He wandered off and Red sat beside me, taking his own plate and setting it in front of him. He glanced at me here and there while I ate. I didn't pay him much mind, going over things in my head.

Like, for example, how was I going to take care of things in my home? Now that I was more awake and alert, I could recall the snap the bone had made when the dude had brought his booted foot down on it. There was no way that was healing quickly without magic. And they both had already said they couldn't heal it with their magic.

I rubbed my forehead, trying to figure something out. I didn't have the money or the insurance to go to the hospital. That would already be expensive enough because they would need to scan what was wrong with my ankle. Not to mention, just walking in alone was going to cost money.

I didn't have any crutches or a random wheelchair. And I had no idea how to make a makeshift stint so I could keep my ankle righted.

“ya awright, sugar?”

When I looked over at Red, he had already finished his food. I was still only halfway through my own meal. I ate the rest quickly, the thought of seeing my cat spurring me on. Even during the thought process, I could feel my anxiety rising.

The average broken bone took six weeks to heal, and I was absolutely positive my ankle was broken. I could still hear the snap and crunching sound it had made. It sent shivers up my spine and pain racing through my ankle.

When I finished, Red got up and took our plates and bowls into the kitchen. When he returned, he leaned his hip against the table beside me.

“lemme get dressed an' we c'n go. Awright?”

I nodded and he vanished, leaving a trail of red smoke to drift into the air. I squealed, my eyes opening wide as I looked at the spot where he had been. I reached out a hand and waved it around, but I didn't hit anything. He really wasn't there anymore.

“DID MY BROTHER SCARE YOU?”

I turned to see Papyrus running his hands over his suit again as he came into the room with me. He took a seat on the other side of me, crossing one leg over his opposite knee. He placed one long arm on the table and threw the other one over the back of the chair. I couldn't help but stare at the fedora on his head, blinking slowly.

I finally answered, “Kinda. I've just, uh, never seen him...vanish like that.”

Papyrus nodded. “NOT UNCOMMON. SANS DOESN'T LET PEOPLE SEE HIM DO THAT OFTEN. IT'S USUALLY ONLY MYSELF AND THE DON. THE MADAME ON OCCASION AS WELL. BUT NOT ANYONE ELSE, ESPECIALLY NOT A HUMAN.” His eye lights flicked to me. “NO OFFENSE.”

I chuckled. “None taken.” I looked over toward the doorway. “I'm sorry about coming into your home. Your brother told me you weren't very fond of humans. I feel like I'm intruding.”

The taller skeleton shook his head, keeping his eye lights on my face. “I DO NOT MIND. YOU HAVE PROVED TO NOT BE LIKE MANY OF THE OTHER HUMANS I HAVE ENCOUNTERED. THEY'RE AFTER THE MONEY OR THE THRILL OF IT. OR JUST TO SAY THEY WERE ABLE TO BE WITH THE BOSS OR THE JUDGE.” He shook his head again, this time in disgust. “YOU WANT NONE OF THAT. AND FOR THAT, I GIVE YOU MY RESPECT.”

I was taken aback. He got up and left as Red came back into the room. Red paused when his brother's back turned a corner, but came over to me and held out his hand to me. I hesitantly took it, letting him help me up. When he didn't make a move for the door, I looked up at him curiously.

“Red?”

There was a deep growl in the back of his throat, but he acted like it never happened. He gave me his classic grin. “we're gonna take a shortcut. 'm gonna need ya t' hang on, sugar.”

“Red...?”

“an' hang on tight.”

I did as he told me to as the world faded to black around me. I expected there to be some sort of weightless feeling to this, but there was nothing. By the time it started, it was already over. We were standing in front of my building. Sans held out the contents of my bag. I grabbed my keys and phone as we made our way inside the building.

I must have been so used to his company because I didn't think about how people would react with him coming inside with me. Everyone paused in their movements, their eyes shooting our way. Even the receptionist didn't do her usual smile and wave with me. I didn't pay them any mind as we made our way to the elevator.

I swallowed the lump in my throat. Just the thought of getting inside of it sent my anxiety on high alert. When I paused in front of it, Red paused beside me, shooting me a look.

“ya awright, sugar?” he whispered.

I shook my head. “I don't like cramped spaces.”
He seemed to mull it over for a moment before he came to a conclusion. He bent down and, being mindful of my handicap, lifted me into his arms and cradling me to his chest. I squeaked, wrapping my arms around his neck.

“Red, what are you doing?” I whisper yelled.

“ya don't wanna go 'n th' elevator, right?” At my nod, he continued, “then we'll take th' stairs, an' 'll carry ya.”

It was quiet up the four flights of stairs. When we got to my apartment door, he didn't put me down. Instead of complaining, I stuck the key in the door and turned the lock, opening the door. The second Red stepped inside, I heard the deep meow of Soldier. My head turned to see him coming out of my room. Red swiftly shut the door with his foot. Soldier never paused once.

He followed Red, who was heading into the living room. He set me on the couch, removing his hands slowly as to not jar my ankle. The second Red moved back, Solider jumped up onto my stomach, coming to lay on my chest with his head tucked under my chin. I took in a big breath through my nose, inhaling the familiar scent, nuzzling his fur.

I wrapped my arms around the cat. He didn't move a muscle, just laid there with his head under my chin and his deep purr radiating through my chest. Red's phone went off, and he held up a single digit as he walked off to answer it.

I watched his back before I turned back to my cat, frowning. “Now what?” I whispered.

I wish I knew the answer.

Chapter Text

Red went into the kitchen before answering his phone. He took in the little space of Levy's, his eyes roaming over the small stove top and the little counter space she had. There was a microwave taking up a small bit of it, and the fridge was too tiny to even be considered a full sized one. When he peeked into the freezer, he nearly fainted at the small amount of space there was in there. And there wasn't even anything in there!

Part of him was scared to see how small everything else was in the apartment.

He answered the phone with a curt, “what izzit?”

There was a snort and a small curse on the other end before the Don's voice greeted him. “Sans. I apologize if I caught you at a bad time.”

He instantly regretted not looking at the caller ID before answering and smoothed his voice out. “not a problem, sir. what c'n i do fer ya?”

There was some noise on the other end of the phone before his boss spoke. “I apologize again, if this is a bad time, but Frisk wanted me to call you about something he found odd about this...girl you fancy.”

He was definitely listening now. He whispered for them to hold on for a moment. He quickly poked his head into her living room, his eyes searching her out. She was still sitting on the couch, talking sleepily with the cat on her lap. He moved back into the kitchen, leaning against the counter, his fingers gripping his phone tightly.

“whatcha got fer me?”

“Well, it seems her family was in high debt a few years back,” the Don mused. Red heard rustling papers in the background. “They were on the verge of losing their farm, their home, the whole nine yards, my boy.”

“does it mention why?” he muttered, trying to keep his voice down.

“It does not, sadly,” his boss murmured over the phone. “But it does say here it was paid off. All of it was, in fact, and then not even three days after, your young Levy had disappeared.”

He felt his soul twist in the most unpleasant way possible. “what d' ya mean, sh' disappeared?”

“Red?”

His eyes snapped to the kitchen, where Levy leaned against the wall that separated the living room and the kitchen. Her eyes were narrowed and she was gripping the wall beside her so hard her knuckles were white. She seemed to be shaking, and from her expression, and the way both of her wonderful eyes flashed at him, he knew she had heard something.

The Don's smooth chuckle on the other end of the phone. “I'll speak with you later, my boy. Sounds like you have a wildcat to take care of.”

The dial tone sounded in his ear and he moved the phone away from his skull, never breaking eye contact with the girl in front of him. Her eyes were flashing their anger, and had she been able to put both of her feet on the ground, he knew she could have easily been standing there with one hip out, her arms crossed. He could see the mental image in his head and it took everything in him to not chuckle.

“Red, what were you talking about?” she demanded.

Her voice was trembling slightly. That was always one of the first clues Red had when someone had something they wanted to hide, and keep hidden. He was close to uncovering something, and he knew it. She knew it, too. But he needed to approach this carefully. He wanted her bad, but he needed to play his cards right.

“jus' some job th' don wanted me t' do.” The lie slid off his ethereal tongue effortlessly.

She continued to glare at him, her fist at her side tightening. Then she sighed, shaking her head. She turned, using the wall to help her limp back to the living room and onto the couch. He followed her, entering the room just as she sat on the couch and cuddling the cat close to her.

He really wanted to be that mangy feline.

Neither of them said anything, but he could feel her suspicion. It hurt, but he knew why. She didn't completely trust him, and she knew he dealt with some shady shit. So it wouldn't be a far shot for him to have the Don call him about something. But maybe she heard something before he even knew she was there.

He looked out the window and watched at the sun began to kiss the horizon, starting to move behind the mountaintops. He looked back at her.

“get ya shit, sugar,” he gruffed out. “we gotta get goin' now.”

**

I stared at him, my brows raised. This motherfucker expected me to go where? Back to his house with him? Where there was Boss, and where he had tortured a guy in his basement? Was this guy insane, or was he just messing with me?

I really hoped it was the latter option.

Soldier stay curled up, purring on my chest. His eyes were partially closed, resting steadily on Red. His tail was tucked underneath him and his paws were resting comfortably on my chest. The old tomcat was resting, but keeping his guard up around the stranger.

Not wanting to move him, I muttered, “Go where?”

“back t' th' house,” he said simply, his back leaning against the wall. “yer not even able t' stand on yer own. ya think 'm gonna letcha be here by yerself?” He snorted. “yer insane.”

I was just thinking the same thing about him.

“Red, I'm fine here on my own,” I argued.

“th' fuck ya are,” he snarled suddenly, moving off the wall.

Soldier whipped his head upward, baring his teeth and emitting a low growl. I placed my hand on his head and looked back up at Red, narrowing my eyes at him.

“Red, look...”

“sugar, ya can't even walk on yer own two feet, let alone stand up. ya think 'm gonna jus' walk out that door and leave ya t' try an' fend fer yerself?” He scoffed. “yer insane.”

I could tell he meant business, and I knew I wasn't going to win this. But I had to worry about Solider. And Grillby needed me to come in to help behind the bar since I was the only other person there who could help without getting in the way. No offense to the others, but they weren't exactly great on their feet.

“But, I have work. And Soldier...”

“ya c'n bring th' cat with us, and as fer grillbz, i'll take care of 'im,” Red grumbled. “'m not heartless, sugar.”

I sighed, leaning my head back against the arm of the couch. “Fine. I'll pack some stuff, and get Soldier in his carrier. He's not gonna like it, though.”

“fine. get yer shit t'gether while I call paps and let 'im know what's goin' on,” he said, bringing out his phone again.

I moved Solider off of my chest, to which he let out a deep whine. I gave him a little kiss on his forehead, and used the wall to help me as I made my way over to my room. I hopped my way inside and grabbed a couple of my bags from the closet. I could hear Red speaking to his brother while I moved around my room, using the wall and furniture for support.

I managed to hobble myself to the bathroom and grab my shampoo and stuff before my ankle started to throb. Red came around the corner as I was leaning against the wall, huffing and sighing. I looked over at him as he rose a brow plate, fighting off his usual grin. I glared at him, pointing the conditioner at him.

“Not a word,” I hissed.

He chuckled instead, and came over, helping me off the wall and getting me to my room. He deposited me onto my bed and moved around the room, gathering the rest of my things. I breathed out in a silent thank you and watched as he stuffed everything I needed in my bag. He finally zipped everything up and put them on the bed beside me.

“where's th' carrier fer yer cat?” he asked.

“Top of the closet,” I said, pointing.

He used his magic to grab it and bring it down, letting it trail behind him as he went to go find the grumpy old black cat. It was quiet for a minute before I heard the telltale screeching and hissing and Red's cursing. I couldn't help it, but I cracked up laughing. The cursing and hissing got louder as Soldier darted into my room, jumping onto the bed and turning to face the door. His ears were back and his fur was standing on end as he hissed at Red's approaching form.

“stupid, mangy...” Red growled, panting. Dots of red sweat dotted his skull as he put the carrier on the floor. “fine. we'll do this my way.”

Before I could say anything, red magic surrounded my cat. He was lifted and, amazingly, went into the carrier. When the door shut, the magic left the carrier as it settled on the floor by his feet. Soldier was growling, but not really moving. He knew he was caught, but he definitely didn't like it. I shook my head as Red came to stand beside me.

“look, I know ya don't like havin' t' leave yer home,” he said, kneeling in front of me, “but until yer on yer own feet again, this is something that has t' happen, okay, sugar?”

I sighed. “Fine. But don't expect me to depend on you and your brother for everything,” I said, crossing my arms.

He chuckled before grabbing the carrier and my stuff. He disappeared, a trail of thin red smoke left in his wake. Within seconds, he was back, shaking his head. Without a word, he moved back and grabbed me, one arm under my leg and the other under my shoulder blades.

The trip back was strange, and over before I could really comprehend what happened. We ended up in a room I didn't recognize, with Soldier's carrier rocking on the plush mattress in the room.

“'ts the spare room we keep fer when we have company,” Red gruffed out, setting me down beside Soldier. “since yer stayin' awhile, figured ya could use it yerself.” He scratched his cheek with a single digit. “ya know, since yer a girl an' whatnot.”

I smiled up at him. “Thanks. It'll give Soldier his own space, too.”

He nodded and went to leave. I noticed that the litter box and the cat's stuff was already here and set up in a corner of the room. Soldier's bed was beside mine and his food dishes were in the opposite corner of the room from the litter box.

Red was already gone when I turned my head to thank him. I hadn't even heard him shut the door. I let out a long sigh and looked around, grabbing my phone from my purse and dialing Grillby's number from memory. I put it on speaker as I wrestled with the door to Soldier's carrier.

“Levy!” Grillby's crackling voice came smoothly, if not slightly panicky, over the speaker. “Levy, dear, are you alright?”

“I'm...oof...fine,” I grunted, finally releasing the angry cat. “Red was there in the nick of time, I guess.”

“So it seems,” the fire monster mused quietly. “Are you home? I'd like to come see for myself that you're alright.”

I smiled at the phone. “No. I'm not. Red isn't letting me stay at home. I...well, I can't walk right now.”

There was a long pause. I had to press the button on my phone to flash it back on to make sure it didn't cut the call or anything. But Grillby was still on the phone. Just probably trying to take in all the information.

“Levy,” he said slowly. “What do you mean he isn't letting you stay at home.”

Oh, I was in for it now.

**

After arguing with Grillby, I used the wall and furniture in the room to help me move around. I was gonna be here for a while, so I knew I should probably unpack. The first thing I did was stuff all my underwear and bras into one drawer. God only knows what Red or Papyrus would do if they walked in on me dealing with that stuff.

The next thing I did was take a good look around the room. There was a closet by the door, and a bathroom attached to the room beside that. When I went into the bathroom, it was pretty big for one person, but the extra space meant I could keep my stuff more spaced out. And I'm sure it would help me be able to keep my leg up somehow.

I placed my favorite blanket on the bed before moving to put my toiletries away. I placed them how I would have at home before shutting off the light and moving back to put my clothes away. I sat down on the plush carpet as I folded them, putting them in neat stacks.

Solider was sniffing around the room, slowly and ears back. He definitely didn't look happy, but he was exploring, and I knew he would get used to it all at some point. I wasn't sure if I would. I mean, I knew Red and his brother would never do anything to hurt me. But I didn't know about any of the others they...associated with.

There was still a lot of stuff I didn't know about. As I worked, I hummed to myself, trying to think over what I knew as of this moment.

I knew Red was the judge, and his brother Papyrus was known as the Boss. Both were very well known in the monster mob, and both of them were quite feared. Hell, Red's name alone put the fear of God in monsters and humans alike. But I didn't know anything about the people they worked with, or worked for.

Red had been talking to someone in my kitchen. I didn't know who, but it sounded like they had been talking to me. Sadly, with my busted ankle, I couldn't exactly, move quick enough to hear who or what they were talking about. Red had said it was some job his boss had wanted him to do, but with how fast the call had come to a stop, I couldn't really believe it.

Part of me wanted to believe he wouldn't go snooping into my past. But I knew better. The logical part of me knew much better than that. This wasn't my first rodeo around these types, but I really didn't want to go anymore rounds with guys like this.

Not after the last time.

It was the whole reason I was even in the city, and why Grillby felt he had to protect me. I looked out the window to my right, blinking slowly at the setting sun. I could remember all the events clearly in my head as if they had all happened yesterday, not years ago. Just the thought of it made my stomach roll.

It hadn't been a pleasant experience, but it shaped who I was at this moment.

It's admittedly probably the only reason I saw Red for who he was. Everyone made him out to be some horrible monster, and I guess in reality, he really was. But to me, there were two versions of him. Like I had told Grillby just a couple days ago. There were two of him, and I was just one of the few who only saw the gentler side of him.

I never wanted to see the Judge side of him.

I shook it off, slowly getting up and moving to put all my things away. A soft knock sounded on the door, setting Soldier off. He ran and ducked under the bed, crying.

“You were literally the most fearsome cat on the streets,” I berated him. “Now you're like a big baby. Well, I guess that's my fault.” I shook my head. “Come in!”

Red moved quickly, so the cat didn't get out of the room. He was back in his spiffy looking clothes, minus the fedora. He leaned against the closed door and surveyed the room, his permagrin set in a frown. When his red eye lights landed back on me, I used the dresser to help me stand back up. I opened one drawer with a gentle tug and bent down to grab a set of shirts I had neatly folded.

He didn't say anything as he came over, sighing, doing it himself. He did it all, including my pants and pajamas. I kept out a pair of sweatpants that I planned on sleeping in later that night before he closed the drawers and turned to look at me.

“ya should've asked fer one o' us, sugar,” he grumbled, moving to the door. “paps wanted me t' tell ya dinner was done if ya wanted t' come down.”

“Let me feed Soldier real quick,” I said, hobbling over to his food dish.

I paused halfway there, blinking slowly before turning to look at Red. It was already filled, with his water dish done as well. There was a tub next to his food, with Soldier's name scribbled sloppily on top of it. There was a bunch of water bottles next to it, same deal with his name. I turned to look at Red, raising a brow. He only shrugged.

He wiggled his phalanges at me, grinning now. “magic, sugar.”

I rolled my eyes and hobbled over to him. He grabbed me around the waist, but instead of opening the door, he studied my face. I looked up at him, bewildered.

“Red, are you--”

I didn't finish my sentence as his face filled my line of vision, his teeth on my lips.

Chapter Text

There were a million thoughts that scrambled through my head at once. The first thought was that Red was kissing me. He was somehow kissing me. I didn't think it was possible that skeletons could kiss people, what with the lack of lips. The other thought was that I wasn't stopping it.

I pulled myself away, almost falling on my ass as I moved. Red, without hesitation, held his hand up. The red glow of his magic surrounded me, and I could feel myself momentarily stuck where I was, watching him with widened eyes. He didn't seem put off or miffed, he actually seemed kinda smug. The glow slowly faded and I managed to keep myself upright.

There was a moment of silence between us. I felt myself beginning to rub my wrist again, that nasty habit rearing its head. He said nothing still, those red eye lights remaining on my face. He moved to open the door and offered his hand.

I took it cautiously, letting him bring me close. He leaned down by my ear.

“we'll talk later, sugar,” he murmured, breath fanning my ear. “right now, we need ta get ta paps. he gets impatient real quick.”

Just as the sentence left his mouth, I could hear Papyrus himself stomping around downstairs before hollering up at us, demanding to know where we were. I gave a weak chuckle and nodded, letting Red help down the stairs of their home. From what I've seen so far, it was a big home, but it still small and quaint nonetheless. It was like they knew they had cash, but they didn't want to flash it everywhere.

For that, they had my own respect.

When I managed to hobble my way into the kitchen, Papyrus was putting down plates of food on the table. I noticed it wasn't spaghetti, but I didn't comment on it. Instead, I felt my mouth watering at the smell of the steaks that were still had steam rising up from them.

“I FOUND A COOKBOOK IN THE STORE JUST A FEW DAYS AGO,” Papyrus declared. “I FIGURED YOU COULD BE MY TEST SUBJECT TO TRY THEM.”

It had been so long since I had steak. Hell, it was welcome after I used to live off of frozen TV dinners and ramen. This was something I was definitely willing to try.

Red sat me in a chair, bringing around another one. Papyrus placed a cushion on it before he helped me lift it up and place it in a comfortable position. My eyes wandered to the plate, eyeing the food in front of me. There was the big slab of steak that would cost her an arm and half a leg, a big heap of mashed potatoes with some gravy and a side of green beans. It all looked so good.

I took my fork and tried the potatoes first. I got a little gravy on them and stuck the food in my mouth. It practically melted on my tongue, the taste of butter and beef gravy mixing perfectly. There was a hint of salt and pepper in there as well. Even some garlic. But there was something else there she could taste, something she couldn't quite place her finger on.

“MONSTER FOOD.”

I nearly jumped at Papyrus's voice. I looked between the two brothers, blinking a few times. “Monster food?”

“it'll help ya heal a li'l faster, sugar,” Red commented, taking a bite of green beans. “it contains th' cooks magic, usually some kinda healin' magic. paps isn' too powerful wit' it, but he's gotten betta at it.” He motioned to my ankle. "at least i think so."

Papyrus seemed to beam with pride, his grin wide as he cut into his steak. I turned back to my food and did the same, picking up the steak knife and cutting into it. Only a little bit of blood oozed out of it; medium rare, just how I liked it. I stuck the small piece in my mouth and bit back a moan. This single piece of meat tasted like heaven.

The rest of the meal was spent with light talk. Papyrus was asking me random questions about seasonings and such, which I was almost no help with. I was terrible in the kitchen and couldn't cook to save my life. When he found out I worked at Grillby's, the loud skeleton snorted.

“THAT USED TO BE SANS'S FAVORITE PLACE TO GO,” he declared. “EVERY NIGHT JUST TO DRINK HIMSELF INTO A BOTTLE OF SPICY MUSTARD.”

I almost spit out the iced tea that I had been given with my meal. After a small coughing fit with Red's hand patting my back roughly, I looked up at the taller of the two with wide eyes, tears pricking the corners.

“Did...did you just say 'spicy mustard'?” I sputtered.

“sure did, sugar,” Red said, catching my attention and waving a bottle of it in his hand.

Then, in one fluid motion, I watched as he tilted his head back and squirted some into his mouth. I didn't know if I should be shivering in disgust at the mere look of it, or laughing at the total absurdity of it all. Just the look of the bottle of mustard in his hand had a grin forming on my lips. Papyrus, however, only shook his head.

And that's how it went. We talked over some of the silliest things. I learned more about them both, and I couldn't help but find it strange how...domesticated Red looked, for lack of a better word. He was this big bad ass out in the world, but here, in the confines of his home, he was almost like a docile puppy.

It was bewildering.

After dinner, I scooted my chair back, carefully lowering my leg to the floor. I used to the table to help me stand, but began putting my dishes together, stacking everything on the plate. When I went to lift it, however, Papyrus's hand on my shoulder made me pause. I looked up at him, tilting my head in confusion.

“I'LL TAKE CARE OF THE DISHES. YOU CAN GO RELAX ON THE COUCH,” he said. “I WAS THINKING WE COULD HAVE A NIGHT OF MOVIES. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING WITH METTATON?”

**

I was back in my room around midnight, leaning against the headboard of the unfamiliar bed. Soldier had dared to come out and inspect his surroundings not that long ago, carefully stalking around the room. He sniffed at the this and pawed at that. It reminded me of when I first brought him home. When I had first gotten the still kind of feral tomcat and turned him into this giant baby.

It had been after everything happened with my ex. I had felt lonely after spending so much time with people. I had been on my own for the first time in many years, and I thought maybe a dog would help me feel better. I was always around them and they brought a sense of comfort. But when they had taken me to see the animals, I saw Solider, sitting in the far corners of his cage, growling at everyone who walked by it.

Except for me.

He had stopped growling and approached me, even though I wasn't near the cage. When I had turned to look at him, those deep green eyes had captivated me. And something compelled me to forgo the dog and get this angry ball of fluff instead.

There was never a time since then I regretted the decision. He was a wonderful companion, and I would trade him for the world. He reminded me a lot of myself, in a weird way. He was picked up off the streets to have a better life. Only, I wasn't picked off the streets. And I did everything I could to get out of that horrible situation.

I shivered at the thought.

I shut that train down real quick.

When he made it to the bed, he looked over and up at me. He gave me a small meow, jumping up and curling into a pillow. He slowly began to sink into sleep, opening an eye every now and then to look around.

“Don't worry, bud,” I murmured, running my hand down his fur. “We'll be home once I'm able to walk on my own without falling over.”

He didn't even make it seem like he was paying attention. Just like he was to me, I was his rock and comfort. It had grown to be like that over the little amount of time I had been with him. And it was nice to think I could be a comfort with someone. Even if it was a cat.

After the Mettaton movie binge, Papyrus had excused himself to bed. Red hadn't said very much, cracking off the occasional pun. Papyrus had snapped at him numerous times for it, and it only earned him a shrug as I laughed like an idiot at each one. Red had helped me to bed, then excused himself to his own room.

From there, I had taken a long, hot bath. I kept my leg propped up, trying to think of where I could go nearby where I could grab a brace or something. In reality, I should be going to a hospital to get a cast put on it. The bone had snapped, but it didn't even look like it was deformed. There wasn't even an indication that the bone was still broken.

They did mention Papyrus trying to heal me, and that they couldn't heal everything. Maybe this was something they had been able to fix, but only the bone. Not the fact that the pain was still there. I couldn't even get out of the tub without lifting my ass up and over the side of it.

After barely managing to get dressed in my sweats and huge shirt, I hobbled my way over to the bed, where I now sat petting this snoring cat.

But my thoughts were still on just a few hours ago. My eyes drifted to the door, where Red had kissed me. His teeth against my mouth. While I didn't think about why he did it, I couldn't help but think how he did it. I knew magic was weird, but experiencing it in person is unique.

Kissing a skeleton is no different. I couldn't help but think back to what Grillby said only a day or two ago in his office.

“When Sans sees something he wants, he'll stop at nothing to get it. No matter what it is.”

Is that it? Did Red...want me? I mean, there was no way. He was in the mafia, for fuck's sake. He could have his take of any woman, monster or human, on the planet as of this moment. And I'm sure there had been plenty of women, monster and human, before me. So why the fuck did he kiss me? I couldn't make sense if it was because of a “in the moment” thing, or if he really wanted to try and win me over.

If he was trying to win me over, there was no way in hell that was happening.

I had been around the mafia once, before the monsters came to the surface. There was no way in hell I was getting mixed up in that again.

I looked over at Solider once more before moving him from the bed, carefully placing him on his own. He looked around for a moment, found me, and then curled back into a tighter ball, going back to sleep. Right as I moved to get under the covers, a small knock sounded on the door.

“sugar?”

Red's voice carried through the door clearly, even if it was lower than normal. I looked down at the cat, who was still asleep. If he wasn't freaking out over Red being near the door, it should be okay.

“Come in.”

Red opened the door slowly, his eye lights casting that weird ethereal glow around the darkened room. When he saw Soldier curled up in his bed, he came in quick, closing the door softly. After another moment of quiet, he turned and faced her, his eye lights dimming down some so it wasn't so bright.

I could only watch him, uncertain of what he wanted. Was he going to try and surprise another kiss on me again, or was he going to act semi normal and have an actual conversation with me? The possibilities were endless with him.

“'m sorry.”

I tilted my head at him. “Sorry?”

“fer kissin' ya earlier,” he said, rubbing his sternum. “i shouldn'ta done that. it was outta line, an' 'm sorry.”

I didn't say anything for a minute, regarding him. He was wearing a black shirt that stretched over his bones, and a pair of baggy sweats that almost covered his socked feet. There was a small bead of sweat on one side of his skull, colored red in the sim light of his eyes. I noted that he shifted slightly and something shiny glinted from his other hand.

Upon closer look, it was a collar. It was kinda thick, with spikes around it and a big metal loop in the front. The clasp was undone, and clinked lightly against his bones when he moved it.

I looked back up at him, realizing he had been staring at me, waiting for some kind of response. I swallowed the lump in my throat.

“It's alright,” I murmured. “Why did you do it?”

He gave pause, before blowing out a breath through his nasal cavity. It made a small whistling noise, which made Solider stir in his sleep.

“i don' know,” he finally answered. “i jus' felt i had to.”

I glared at him, but he didn't continue. I only made a small noise in the back of my throat and I looked down at my hands. There wasn't anything spoken for a long time. He just stood by the door, holding that strange collar in his hands. I still sat in my bed, keeping my legs under the covers while I glanced toward the window.

The moon was full, and even though it was late at night, I wasn't tired. And it seemed Red wasn't either. He seemed like he was lost at the moment, just watching her look out the window. Grillby's words came back to my mind, and I looked back over at him.

“I won't be with you, you know.”

My words seemed to jar him out of whatever he was thinking. It took a second for them to register, but when they finally did, he narrowed his sockets at her. For a split second, his eye lights brightened in the room before dimming again.

“whaddaya mean, sugar?”

“Grillby told me you'll chase what you want, and you'll get it no matter what,” I said, rubbing my wrist again. “I...I've already had my hand in the life you lead, and I'm not about to do it again. We will never happen, so don't even think about trying to win me.”

Something seemed to snap in him, and his grin seemed to turn feral. She didn't see him move until he was already at the bed, leaning over her. She heard Solider shift in his sleep, but other than that, there wasn't anything else from the cat. I looked up at Red, his red eye lights flashing at me and illuminating the area around us. The collar clinked together as it rested near me on the bed.

“'s that what'cha think, sugar?” he asked lowly, his voice deeper than it usually was. “ya think I won't try an' woo ya so hard, ya fall fer me? that ya won't try to stay even when i tell ya t' go? or do ya think i won't jus' win ya over at all? 'cause grillbz was right, sugar. if i want somethin', 'll get it, no matter th' hoops i gotta go through.” He hummed, studying my face. “but it's interestin' t' know ya've been through this before. jus' what, exactly, did ya go through?”

He didn't back away when he asked the question, and his claws dug into the duvet around me. I instinctively tried to back away, but my head bumped against the headboard behind me. I couldn't move if I wanted to. He had me trapped. And I didn't know how to answer him, because I didn't want to tell him what happened with Dominic.

He was still a sensitive topic, and the only person who really knew what happened was Grillby. It's why he was always so protective over me. Even with random strangers at the bar that were just passing through the city, he made sure I was watched out for. If he wasn't there to do it, he had Julian or one of the cooks keep an eye on me.

Dominic was the reason the mafia scared me as much as it did.

And why Red frightened me even more.

He was the Judge. He could easily tear anyone limb from limb without even thinking about it. And I didn't want to think what he would do to someone who hurt me. Even though he'd only known me for a little while, he seemed very keen on protecting me.

“That's none of your business,” I hissed lowly, trying to throw him off.

I didn't. In fact, my little act only seemed to make him laugh. It was quiet, and his lowered while he shook it. Suddenly, there was a loud crack as his hand shot out and hit the headboard beside my head. His head came back up and he regarded me another moment before the predatory air around him faded. He moved back, keeping the collar in his fist.

“we'll see about that, sugar,” he said, heading for the door. Before he left, he looked over and shot me a wink before closing the door behind him.

I sank into the bed, rubbing my arms against the sudden chill in the air. I had so many questions. But none of them would be answered. If it's one thing everyone knows about the Judge, he's got a lock on any answers you'd want unless he wanted you to know them. And while he seemed protective over me, he still didn't know me.

The moment he would learn of my past, which I'm sure he would whether it was from me or not, he would kick my ass to the curb and leave me alone. And that's what I needed. I didn't need him to be mixed up with more shit than he can handle.

I sank into the bed, closing my eyes. Even though I tried, sleep still evaded me, my thoughts running around the color red.

Chapter Text

When I woke up the next day, the smell of bacon was roaming through the house. Soldier was pawing at the door, unaware that he probably wouldn't get any this time around. I usually gave him some on the lazy Sunday mornings, but my leg would barely move. If anything, I was wary of moving it.

I sat up, slowly moving my ankle. To my shock, it didn't hurt as much, and I could kind of roll it in a complete circle. I got a little smile on my face before throwing both legs over the side of the bed, carefully standing up. The pain that shot through my leg wasn't expected, but I managed to steady myself on the nightstand beside me before I made any real noise.

It made no sense. I could move it just fine, but trying to stand on it was something else entirely. I winced when I set my foot back down gently. Soldier came over to meow at me, twirling in a circle to go back to the door. Before I could say anything, there was a loud banging on it that resembled knocking.

“HUMAN, ARE YOU AWAKE?” Should have figured it was him.

“Yeah, I'm up!” I called. He went to open the door. “Stop! Solider will get out! He's been pawing at the door for a while.”

That didn't deter him as he opened it anyway. Solider flew out of the room, a black blur as he passed by Papyrus's feet. He watched the cat zoom right by him before looking back at me. He rolled his eye lights around in his skull before coming into the room and picking me up. I let out a squeal as he shifted me so I was under one arm, and shuffled us out the door.

“HONESTLY, HUMAN. YOU COULD ASK FOR SOME HELP,” he berated me, shaking his head. “I HAVE NO PROBLEMS HELPING YOU DOWN THESE TROUBLESOME STAIRS.”

I just crossed my arms and pouted. I wasn't helpless, but it was a nice gesture and I couldn't fault him for helping me out. My ankle had seemed fine, but I guess it wasn't as okay as I thought. The thought made me grumpier than it really should have.

Solider was already down in the kitchen when we came in. Papyrus sat me in a chair and scooted another closer, just like he had the night before. Solider was already curled up on a white fuzzy chair...

Wait.

I blinked a few times, watching this black, angry ball of floof purr contentedly on the lap of a giant goat monster. In fact, this same giant goat monster is the one and only Don Asgore of the monster mafia. I could feel my jaw dropping, but had no will to stop it from doing so.

How does one really react when the Don of the monsters is literally sitting three feet away from you petting your cat? Do i stay silent until spoken to? Or do I actually say something? I had no idea what to do in this situation, and quite frankly, I was panicking ever so slightly.

“I APOLOGIZE YOU HAD TO WAIT, DON,” Papyrus said sincerely, bringing a plate and silverware over to me. “SEEMS SANS DECIDED TO GO OUT EARLY FOR THAT JOB YOU GAVE HIM.”

The Don hummed. “It's quite alright, Papyrus. Thank you for allowing me into your home on such short notice.”

His voice was a deep rumble that sent vibrations deep inside of me. It was like his voice reverberated inside, and it sent a small shiver up my back. He turned his eyes to me and I let out a small squeak of surprise. I quickly looked down and snagged a piece of bacon from my plate, taking a bite from it and chewing.

He chuckled now, his giant paw running over Solider carefully. “So you must be the Levy these two have told me so much about.” His free paw was held out to me and I sheepishly put down my bacon and wiped my hands before gripping his paw. But, much like Red had when I first met him, he flipped my hand over and brought it to his muzzle, pressing a gentle kiss to it. “I'm flattered to finally meet you, dear.”

I couldn't process any thoughts. I took a small sip of the iced tea in front of me before answering. “It's a pleasure to meet you, sir.”

Another chuckle. “Please, call me Asgore. Or even Don, if that makes you more comfortable. Any friend of Papyrus or Sans, is a friend of mine.” He looked over at Papyrus, who was sitting down with his own plate. “Speaking of, you said he left already?”

“YES. HE LEFT IN QUITE A HURRY,” Papyrus mused. “THAT LAZY ASS ALMOST NEVER GETS UP ON TIME FOR ANYTHING, EVEN HIS ASSIGNMENTS. I WONDER WHAT WAS SO IMPORTANT ABOUT THIS ONE THAT HAD HIM SCRAMBLING HALF DRESSED FOR THE DOOR.”

You tilted your head to the side, looking between the two monsters. “Red...lazy?”

Papyrus huffed and Asgore shook his head. “Give that boy an inch, and he'll go a full football field,” Asgore commented. “He loves his sleep, and slacking off, from what I recall of him. Though, when he does actually want to work, he does a fantastic job of it.”

“Did he slack off often Underground?” I asked, my curiosity spiked now.

Papyrus made an aggravated noise in the back of his nonexistent throat. How?  “THAT'S ALL HE DID. SLEPT AS HIS SENTRY STATION AND HE NEVER RECALLIBRATED HIS TRAPS. NOT TO MENTION HE SLEPT ALMOST ANYWHERE AND THEN NEVER HELPED WITH THE CLEANING.”

I chuckled this time and chewed on another piece of bacon. Hearing the crunch, Solider slowly raised his his and slowly blinked his eyes at me. I rolled my eyes and broke off a piece for him. Before I could hand it to him, Asgore cleared his throat and I looked up at him. His eyes threw me for a loop –although I'm not really one to talk – with his irises being red and the pupils being yellow. There wasn't any white anywhere, even when he blinked. It was...strange.

But again, I'm not exactly one to talk.

He was holding out his hand silently, his eyes shooting down to the cat and back up. He wanted to give the bacon to Solider. It clicked as soon as I handed him the bacon and he drew back, a silly smile on his muzzle. I watched as Soldier perked up and stood on his hind legs, placing his front paws in Asgore's one huge paw. He sniffed around for a minute before taking the bacon right from his palm and chewing it before hopping down, curling back up and shutting his eyes.

“That's amazing,” I whispered.

“What do you mean?”

“DO NOT ALL ANIMALS DO SUCH THINGS?”

I shook my head, cutting into a small piece of sausage, another food item Soldier likes. “Watch. Papyrus, would you mind trying for me?”

The skeleton monster gave you a quizzical look, but shook his head and took the food from you. I prodded Soldier awake and motioned for Papyrus to hold the food close. After a moment, Soldier sniffed the food, pulling away from it and studying it before he turned away and went back to sleep on Asgore's lap. Papyrus actually looked offended the cat basically gave him the cold shoulder.

“Soldier was a stray that apparently brought a lot of problems for the neighborhood he was found in. When I got him from the animal shelter, I was the only one he didn't growl or hiss at. He actually came to me when I passed by the cage looking for a dog.” I smiled at the black cat before continuing. “So I brought him home. He's been a good crutch for me since. He's made me feel better even when I wasn't doing okay. And I think I do the same for him.” I scowled. “But with other people, he was usually...angry. He didn't like Red either when they first met. In fact, I'm pretty sure he still doesn't like Red.”

Asgore hummed. “Maybe it is because I, too, am technically an animal?”

Oh, boy. You were stuck in a corner. I could agree and offend this giant goat, who could easily give Papyrus the word to kill me off. Or I could disagree and look like a total moron in front of these two. I didn't know which would be worse.

Papyrus erupted into boisterous laughter, saying, “HUMAN, IT IS OKAY TO AGREE. IF HE DID NOT THINK SO HIMSELF, HE WOULD NOT HAVE SAID SO.”

“O-oh...is that so,” I chuckled nervously. “I just didn't want to...to offend him, is all.”

Asgore appraised me for a moment before he gave me a rather genuine smile, showing off all of his sharp teeth. His canines looked rather intimidating, but I didn't comment. “My dear, it is quite alright. I've actually come just to meet the young human my Judge and Boss have taken quite the shine to.”

Papyrus rolls his eye lights. “I HAVE DONE NO SUCH THING,” he claimed. “I MERELY STATED SHE IS DEFFERENT FROM THE OTHER HUMANS THAT TEND TO CLING TO US SINGLE MONSTERS WITHIN THE HIGHER RANKS OF THE MAFIA.”

Asgore nodded. “I see as such. Sans told me as much himself.” He looked at me. “I would also like to ask you some questions, and I hope you're not offended by what I ask.”

I shook my head and ate some of the eggs. “Go ahead and ask.”

“As much as I generally hate doing it, I had Alphys dig up some information about you when Sans...mentioned you to Frisk. It is merely precautionary,” he explained. “But your file seems...rather upsetting for someone as young as you to have gone through. Tell me, do you still keep in contact with your ex?”

I felt all the color drain from my face and my fork clattered to my plate. Soldier looked up from the commotion and looked at me, giving me a soft, deep cry. I looked at him for a moment before taking in a deep breath, closing my eyes to steady myself.

Everything is fine. He's not here; he's merely asking if I have any contact with Dominic. Which, thankfully, I don't.

“No, Asgore,” I murmured, picking my fork back up. “When he and I...broke up, I left entirely and moved into this city to get as far away from him as possible. I want nothing to do with that...that cretin.”

The words are spat from my mouth, and I miss the looks Asgore and Papyrus gave each other. There was obvious there was more than I was saying, and they seemed to catch onto that. But I didn't have the heart to tell them what happened. I couldn't think anything of it. I didn't want to. What happened in the past needed to stay there, and I didn't want to remember any of it.

That's why I had moved here. To get as far away from him as possible. To get as far away from that “family” as I possibly could while still being near my parents. They didn't have me for three years; I owed it to them to stay close and keep in contact.

“I apologize if I hurt you with the memories,” Asgore said sadly. “I merely don't want another family barging in on my territory. While it took a while, we already had to drive out one family to lay claim over this territory, and to show the people we were much more lenient than their prior...property owners.”

Each word he said was careful and calculated. It was like he wasn't trying to scare me off, and for that I was grateful. I really enjoyed spending time with Red, and even Papyrus when he wasn't being a douche to my own race. Asgore seemed like a nice monster, with his head in the right place and his soul set on a good path.

Whatever happened down there must have been brutal, there was no wrong way to say that. But that didn't seem to cloud his judgment about the people he kept around him. He mentioned their previous Royal Scientist, Alphys, so she must be the smart one I've heard so much about. I played with the remainder of the food on my plate while nodding.

“It's fine, I understand.” I looked up and gave him a shaky smile. “It's alright. Dominic and I haven't had any communication, and I don't plan on that happening ever again. Not as long as I can help it.”

Asgore nodded. “Perfect. But,” he said quickly, reaching a paw across the table. He placed his hand on mine and gave it gentle squeeze. “If you ever find yourself in a situation you don't want to be in or are uncomfortable in, please let me know. Or Sans or even Papyrus. We will help you take care of the situation as soon as we can.”

I could read between the lines. He was telling me if he Dominic did ever make an appearance or if anyone from his “family” came through to see me, I could call on him and his own. He was giving me his protection, and with Papyrus right there to assure anyone who thought otherwise. I was under the protection of the monster mafia, officially.

This should be good.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

“Of course, my dear. Now,” he brought his hand back and clapped, causing me to jump, “why don't we settle down for a nice cup of tea?”

**

Red didn't like this one bit.

Sitting in the warehouse with all the weapons, sitting at a grimy table with a human who said he had the whereabouts on a specific person who had been causing the Don trouble. While Red definitely didn't come alone, and all his back up behind him, this human was alone. He was shaking like a leaf as he waited for Red to say something, his beady eyes flitting around to all the monsters behind him.

Don Asgore had given Red one job when they found out that Dominic's occupation was much like Red's own. And the fact that he had been around Levy made the marrow in his bones boil. He wanted to know who this bastard was and give him a slow and painful end. He read on this man's background, and he knew everything that had transpired between the two.

But it didn't explain why Levy was so against having a man – or monster in this case – by her side. It didn't explain why she tended to shy away from touches, and why she flinched whenever someone raised their hand just a little too high. Red had a sneaking suspicion, but he never said anything. Instead, he opted to find out on his own, and then double check his facts when Levy was finally ready to talk.

Until then...

“ya smell like a rat t' me, buddy,” Red said loudly, causing the human across from him to jump. “an' i don' want any kinda rats in or 'round m' crew. clear?”

The human nodded furiously. “I-I-I understand perfectly, J-Judge! But this file h-h-has all that you n-n-need to know about D-Dom.”

Christ, this little weasel stuttered more than the fucking psychotic lizard. With a sneer, he snagged the file that was handed to him, flopping it on the table before opening it. The first page held nothing he didn't already know. Name, age, birth date, driver license number, and a picture of him paper clipped in the corner. Red took a solid look at him. He must have been attractive by human standards. He had big green eyes and deep black hair. He had dimples in his cheeks when he smiled and two rows of straight, white teeth. Although he could only see from head to mid-chest, he saw he was dressed in a silk suit of his own.

He looked fake as fuck.

Red growled low at the picture before one of his claws punctured it, slicing through his eye. He looked back up at the weasel, who was sweating bullets. “ya've got m' attention,” Red said with a huge grin. His gold tooth glinted in the light as he tilted his head forward, the brim of his fedora hiding one of his eyes. “what else d'ya got fer me, human?”

**

There was a day I thought I would live just a normal life alongside monsters and humans. While I would never really pay them much mind, they never paid me much mind. Only the ones at Grillby's did, and even then it wasn't bad attention.

But now, here I am, having golden flower tea with the Don of the monsters and Boss, his old Captain of the Royal Guard. Not only that, but the Judge, the Boss's older brother, was letting me stay in said house until my ankle recovered.

Speaking of which...

“Hey, Papyrus,” I said, turning to him. “Do you have an ankle brace or something I can use to wrap my ankle up in? It'll help it heal faster. And I'm sure it'll help in the future when I have to stand for long periods of time.”

Asgore's furry brows shot up. “I didn't realize you were still that injured. I can have Frisk bring over one of theirs. They lose a them a lot, so Tori and I stocked up on them one day when they were still quite young.”

“Oh, no, that's –”

“THAT'S A FANTASTIC IDEA!” Papyrus exclaimed. “I WOULD LOVE TO SEE FRISK AGAIN. I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM SINCE HE WENT ON THAT TRIP TO EUROPE WITH MADAME TORIEL.”

Asgore chuckled lightly. “Then it's settled. I'll message him momentarily to have him bring by an ankle brace or two. I'm sure he'll be equally ecstatic to meet the human that has Red so enamored.”

I let out a small squeak, almost spitting out the tea I just took a sip of. I just couldn't catch a break today, and I've only been awake for a couple of hours. At the rate this is going, I'm going to end up meeting all the high ranking monsters of the monster mafia. I could only imagine how that would work.

But, thinking on it, Red wouldn't let any of them harm me. They've all obviously heard about me, somehow. And it seems some of them are eager to meet me. Papyrus seemed a little iffy about Alphys coming herself, but other than that, he gave no real qualms about any of them coming out to meet me face-to-face.

Not to mention, Asgore just gave me his blessing about being protected under this very family. While I held some reservations, I just hoped it was better than when I was under watch at the other family I was with.

The thought alone sent a chill down my spine. I sighed, knowing I was in a losing battle. “I have an idea, actually.”

“what would that be, sugar?”

I screamed, thanking the stars above that I had put down my mug. I twisted so I was facing backwards on the couch, one arm propped to help me lean back and the other on my knee to keep me from falling on my ass in front of everyone.

Red stood there, leaning on the backrest of the couch. His red eye lights were looking down at me and he wore a lazy grin. His fedora was settled over one eye socket, so I only really saw one light, but his gold tooth and rings flashed in the light above us. He had his suit jacket draped over the back of the couch, and his white collared shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbow joints. His clawed phalanges were casually tapped against the fabric of the couch.

After my heart rate settled, I heaved out a huge breath, using one hand to swat him. “Goddamnit, Red, don't sneak up on me like that!”

MISS

He stepped aside from my swat at the last second and his grin got wider. “sorry, sugar. didn' mean t' spook ya.”

“Oh, I could just...!” I let out a frustrated groan.

When Asgore's laughter sounded off behind me, I felt my face heat up. Red's grin never left as he made his way around the couch and plopped down beside me, putting the side of his shoe on his knee. He stretched his arms out behind him, brushing the back of my neck with one of his claws. I didn't do anything except turn back around and try to hide my face.

“What was your idea, my dear?” Asgore finally asked, wiping just under his eye.

“Oh, right,” I mumbled, clearing my throat. “I was going to say, why not bring all of them here? I mean, from what I'm understanding, all of them want to meet me, and even though Papryus says it's a bad idea to bring Alphys, I don't see the harm.”

“i do,” Red mumbled now, rolling his eye lights. “she's fuckin' psychotic, asgore.”

He nodded. “I know she may not be all there in the head, but let's just go with what Levy here has said. Maybe she'll behave a little more with you here. After all, you got done what you needed to get done, correct?”

Red nodded, his face devoid of all emotions. “ya got it, sir. everythin' i found out 's on yer desk.”

“Perfect! Then why don't why invite everyone for dinner?” Asgore suggested. “It's closer to lunch, so it would be a pain to try and wrangle them all here at one time.”

“I AGREE. I'M SURE UNDYNE WOULDN'T MIND CUTTING TRAINING SHORT TODAY TO COME BY AND MEET THE HUMAN.”

“Alright. If Papyrus lets me, I would love to cook for everyone. I just need to know a definitive number of people showing up.”

“ya c'n bet frisk 's gonna bring mk and that shitty li'l flower 'round,” Red said, sticking a cigar between his teeth. “an' i'm sure 'dyne and the psycho are gonna come together fer sure.”

“Well, that's five,” I said. I brought out my phone, which Papyrus had gotten for me earlier. I went into a notepad app and began writing down names. “And obviously us, which makes eight. Then there's the Madame, so that's nine.”

“HAS METTATON RETURNED FROM HIS MISSIONS AND TOUR?” Papyrus asked Asgore, to which he nodded.

“He returned sometime last week,” the goat monster mused.

Red somehow managed to make his bones move so it looked like he was crinkling his nose. The smoke from his cigar wafted around me and I plucked it from his mouth. He didn't make a move to stop me as I took a drag, holding it between my fingers in one hand and typing with the others. I blew out the cherry flavored smoke as I typed in the robot's name.

"Is there anyone else you guys can think of?” I asked.

“think grillbz and muffett would like to make it?” Red asked his Don.

He nodded. “Of course. Doesn't Levy work under the fire elemental?”

“Of course! I would love to see him; I miss him, actually,” I murmured, typing down his name and taking another hit of the cigar. I also put down the spider's name with a smile and handed Red his cigar back, which he happily took. “So that's twelve people. Is there anyone else?”

Each of them shook their heads, and I saved the number of people in my phone, thinking on what possibilities I could make. While part of me was nervous, I was even more excited to meet more people. But would they like me, too?

“don't worry, sugar,” Red murmured beside me, seeming to nod off. “yer gonna be fine; ya got us 'ere t' protect ya.”

I sure hope so...

Chapter Text

Asgore left not long after that, and Red said he was gonna go take a nap. As he made his way up the stairs, Papyrus and I were cleaning up from breakfast with Soldier wandering around the kitchen. I used the chairs and table to help me balance as I stacked everything together. I handed him things, watching as he washed the dishes with a keen eye.

“HUMAN, ARE YOU OKAY WITH MEETING EVERYONE IN ONE GO?”

I looked over at him, thrown off by his question. I shook of the shock as I answered, “Yeah. I mean, I figured it's best to do it in one go. Ya know?”

He hummed. “I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT IF THEY DON'T ALL WARM UP TO YOU INSTANTLY.”

“What do you mean?”

“UNDYNE IS A REAL BITCH WHEN IT COMES TO HUMANS. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I'M THE ONE THAT HAS TO DRAG HER AWAY BECAUSE SHE SEES RED AND THEN GOES AFTER WHOEVER IT WAS THAT DID A THING.” He paused and shut off the water, drying off his hands. “ALPHYS, MUCH LIKE ASGORE AND MY LAZY BROTHER SAID, IS A BIT UNHINGED. SHE TENDS TO GET BURIED IN HER WORK, AND SHE'LL SEE YOU AS A NEW PROJECT OF SORTS.”

“Okay, what about Mettaton?”

I thought I saw red stars replace his eye lights for a split second, but they weren't there. I must have just been seeing things. “HE'S PROGRAMMED TO BE A HUMAN KILLING MACHINE. BUT FRISK HELPED UPDATE HIS SOFTWARE.”

It was my turn to hum and nod. “Okay, I see. Well, I should get started on trying to see what we're going to have for dinner tonight that will feed twelve people with no problems.”

He nodded and made his way out of the room, heading upstairs to his own room. When I heard the door shut, I made my way into the living room and sat on the couch, turning on their TV. If I was gonna be stuck here by myself for a few hours, you bet I was going to watch something.

After a few minutes, Papyrus came back downstairs in a loose red top and track pants. His sneakers were tied perfectly as he opened the door. “I'LL BE OUT TRAINING WITH UNDYNE. I'LL MAKE SURE WE'RE BACK BEFORE DINNER, HUMAN.”

“Hey, Paps?”

He paused at the use of his nickname and slowly turned to face me. Soldier sniffed by the door, but decided it wasn't worth it and went to go sniff somewhere else.

“You can call me Levy. I'm not just 'human',” I commented.

He didn't say anything. Just nodded and was gone, slamming the door shut behind him. I stared at it for a moment before giggling a little bit, turning back to face the television. I opened up my phone and spent the next couple of hours going over big dinner ideas. I finally settled on something akin to a spaghetti dinner, and decided I would use my mom's special recipe.

I got up from the couch and headed for the kitchen. I looked in their fridge and freezer, scoured their spice cabinet, seeing if they had everything that I needed, but they were missing a few things. I grumbled to myself, but decided that I needed to go out on my own.

I didn't need Red to always be at my beck and call, and he was sleeping. Papyrus was out with Undyne. I could hobble my way to and from the store without any real difficulties. I reasoned with myself that it wouldn't be too long, and I would back in a flash.

I scooted myself up the stairs, grunting with the effort. By the time I made it to the top, my arms were tired I was sweating a little. I stood up and used the wall to help gimp my way to my room, trying to be as quiet as I could. I didn't know if he was a sound sleeper or not, but I wasn't going to chance it and make an utter fool of myself.

I made it to my room and shut the door, heading to the dresser and pulling out clothes I was going to wear. I sighed, sitting on the bed so I could change. This was a serious pain in the ass. When I made it through this, I was going to start carrying a knife with me wherever I went.

Once dressed, I grabbed my wallet and my shoes before leaving my room. I crept past his room again, sliding down the stairs on my butt until I reached the final stair. I used the railing to get myself back up and I hobbled to the couch, trying to put my shoes on. Key word, trying.

My ankle hurt so much trying to put on the one shoe was almost impossible. Anytime my hand went to even move by my ankle, it would throb. I grunted and tossed the shoe, scowling at it.

“did it offend ya?”

I screamed again for the second time that day. Red was sitting beside me now, when a moment ago it had been empty. Smoke drifted up from his cigar as he took a slow drag in, his eye lights looking at me from the side. I held a hand to my heart and glared at him now.

“You can't keep doing that!” I snapped. I relaxed back on the couch somewhat. “Fuck, Red. You have to give me some sort of warning before you just pop in here like that. One of these days I'm going to have a heart attack.”

He chuckles, and I recognize the husk in his voice. It was from him just waking up, even though he still looked relatively put together. The sound sent a pleasant chill down my spine and I hid my face to hide the blush that was spreading across my cheeks. Instead of just sitting there, I attempted to stand, only to fall back onto the cushions with a groan.

From tying to sneak around and hobbling on my one leg enough already today has taken a toll on the poor thing. I rubbed my thigh, trying to mentally give it strength to keep going. I didn't want to keep asking for help; I was a grown woman and I could take care of myself.

“sugar, 'ts okay t' ask fer help, ya know.”

I let out a deep sigh. “I know. But I'm not going to ask for help over a little injury.”

“ya can't even get up,” he argued lazily. “lemme help ya. yer goin' t' th' store, right?”

I nodded, holding up my phone. “Yeah, I figured I could do a spaghetti dinner with garlic bread and salad. Planned on using my mom's recipe, but I need a few things you guys don't have.”

Red nodded slowly and hefted himself up with a groan. He held his hand out for me, and I took it. The rings were chilly on my skin, but his hand was warm to the touch. I smiled up at him and he gave me his usual lazy grin in turn. When I went to turn to head for the door, he chuckled.

“ya think yer walkin'. that's cute, sugar.”

I wasn't given a choice as he picked me up. I squealed and wrapped my arms around his neck, my eyes going wide. I knew he was tall, but when he picked me up, I felt farther off the ground than I should have. I looked up at him and he winked at me.

He shifted me, being careful not to jar or touch my ankle, and I ended up draped over his back. I grabbed my wallet, and stuck it in my back pocket, triple checking that I had everything I needed before we left. He used his magic to open the door and we left, using the magic to shut and lock the house up. I took a look around me, unsure of where I was.

It was definitely a nicer part of town, and there were more monsters than humans roaming the sidewalks and roads. Not many cars were out on the streets either. I knew we were still within the city, but I didn't recognize this part of it. The streetlamps were more sparse in this part of town, but I guess that's because monsters could see well in the dark after all those years stuck Underground. While there were some well dressed monsters, some were just wearing plain, everyday clothes.

"Hey, Red.”

“yea, sugar?”

“Why are some of these guys dressed like you, but yet others aren't?” I asked, my eyes roaming over the differences.

He hummed, and I could feel the vibrations through my ribs. “i don' know how it is wit' you humans, but fer us, it shows status.” He bounced me a little bit higher on his back. “while th' don an' madame 're keen on makin' sure we're all equal no matter status, 's an unspoken rule 'round 'ere so th' civilians don' get mixed up wit' th' actual infantry, ya know?”

I nodded, forgetting he couldn't see me. “I get it. It's kind of like your guys' way of making sure no one gets unnecessarily dusted, right?”

He chuckled. “ya catch on quick, sugar.”

I didn't say anything, but he noticeably slowed down so I could take in my surroundings a little easier. I had been in some seedy parts of town, and heard rumors that the monster part of the town was even worse off than those. But looking now, it looked just like the rest of the city.

There were a couple of vendors with carts around the block, and there was a bunny monster with a bunch of baby rabbits running around in a park. There were a few monsters dressed much like Red, strolling around with their eyes checking their surroundings. When they spotted Red and I, they gave a wave, which Red shockingly gave back.

There were stores all up and down the place, and I noticed there was a building that looked a lot like Grillby's, but it was closed and shut down. I tucked that away to ask Grillby about later.

When he entered the supermarket, I made a move to get down, but he still held on to me. I grunted and used my good foot too kick him lightly in his hipbone.

“Put me down!” I hissed, looking around.

There were stares coming from every direction.

“nah, 'm good,” Red said, grabbing a basket. “whaddaya need t' get, sugar?”

I sighed and directed him around the store. While he picked up everything we needed, he was quiet and his eye lights seemed to shift everywhere. It was like he was on edge, but why would he be? This was his territory.

Though, I guess, it was still only a matter of time before someone tried taking this territory. The warring mobs were always after each other, and it never seemed like they could take a break. And when they did, that's when disaster struck. It's why Dominic was always pensive, even while he was on his off time.

It was a pain, and I knew the lifestyle all the same, although I only got a brief glimpse before I was thrown to the wolves.

“No, get that beef instead,” I said, pointing. “It's cheaper, and it still tastes the same.”

He shook his head. “'less ya want beef wit' paps, i would go wit' this,” he said, picking up his original pick. “he c'n pick out differences wit' ease when 't comes t' this shit.”

I grumbled, but acquiesced. I didn't argue, and I didn't even hit him for the pun. I knew I was setting myself up for. If anything, everything I said could be construed as such. I always had to be on guard with his horrible word play. How Papyrus dealt with it, I wasn't sure. But I could tell it made the taller brother irritable.

He moved over to the spice rack and I looked everything over, trying to recall which spices they had, and which ones I still needed. I think the only thing they were missing was oregano. When I told him, he used his magic to bring it down from the shelf and put it in the basket. We made our way through the rest of the store with him cracking off senseless puns and using crafty word play until I was hitting him upside the skull.

Throughout the entire time in the store, all eyes were on us. I didn't know if it was because I was a human, or if it was because Red was carrying me. Either way, the stares were beginning to get uncomfortable, and I shifted slightly when I made eye contact with the cat monster behind the supermarket counter.

He didn't say anything, but I could tell from the way he was looking he was rightfully confused. I mean, who wouldn't be? Red was the Judge, and the ones he “Judged” the most were humans. The lowest of the low, the dirty and filthy. He had gone miles away just to get rid of politicians who had their hand in some...questionable things.

The others, however, were whispering low and hiding their mouths and muzzles behind hands, paws, or whatever form of hand they had. Their eyes would constantly shift back to us, and then back to whomever they were conversing with. I shifted on Red's back and looked away, opting to look at the basket in front of me instead.

I blinked when I looked in there, and then at Red. He didn't mention anything, and I didn't either. But while I had been hiding away behind his back, he had wordlessly gathered everything else. There was everything I had been lacking in the basket, and I could see he even picked up extra things for himself and Papyrus. The spicy mustard make me crinkle my nose.

“Nasty,” I muttered, lying my cheek on his shoulder.

He chuckled loudly, which made a few of the monsters around jump and go back to what they were doing. He bounced me again to realign me on his back. I tried locking my legs and thighs a little tighter around his waist and hipbones, but it was hard to do when he was a freaking skeleton.

He went to stand in line behind someone, who seemed to be visibly shaking. I rolled my eyes and switched shoulders, lying my cheek on the cool silk of his vest. After a moment, it seemed everyone calmed down. They started talking again, even asking Red who I was and how he was doing. Everything was taken in stride, and he shrugged off their earlier unease about him.

It made sense to me. He was the Judge; he was someone to be feared. I could see where they were coming from. I mean, I've heard the stories from people, but I didn't know which ones were real, and which ones were fake. They all seemed to end the same though.

Someone always died.

But I guess you didn't get the reputation he had by being soft. I could only imagine if someone did get on his bad side in here. Not like I would let him do anything stupid. I'm not down for watching an innocent monster get dusted.

When we made it through the line with a huge, fake smile from the clerk whose name tag read “Burgerpants”, we made our way out of the store, Red keeping the grocery bags in his magic floating beside us. I was looking around again, watching as the few humans that were here interacted with the different monsters. Hell, some of them even seemed buddy-buddy with the ones in the suits.

It was...nice.

The fact that humans that lived in this part of the city were comfortable enough to talk to these guys, knowing what they did and didn't seem scared by it, was a breath of fresh air. I've been surrounded by nothing but bigots and angry folks about how these mobster monsters were ruining everything. But watching them interact, it was like a whole different world was in front of me.

When we got back to the house, Red unlocked the door and went in, carefully placing me on the couch. I plopped into the cushions and dug my phone out of my back pocket. I placed it on the table beside my wallet and turned...

Wait a goddamn second.

I patted my pockets, triple checking myself just like I did before we left. I had my wallet in my other back pocket for sure. I would never leave to go anywhere without it. But there it was, sitting on the table in front of me, like it had never moved. I could only sit there and stare at it while I looked over at Red, who was leaning in the doorway of the kitchen with his permagrin set in a smirk, that gold tooth glinting at me mockingly.

“Red.”

“yeah, sugar?”

“Why is my wallet here?”

"i dunno. maybe ya left 'ere by accident?”

I glared at him. He shrugged, holding his hands up and turned to walk away. I kept glaring at his back as I heard him shuffling around in the kitchen and putting things away. I turned back around and grunted, picking my phone back up and opening my stuff up. I checked my bank account and, sure enough, all my money was still there. The fucker had pickpocketed me and paid for everything himself.

Jerk.

I backed out of it and went to all my social media sites, just to check in and see if anything else was happening. I noticed I had an unread message from a number I didn't know. When I clicked on it, I felt my entire body freeze, and my phone clattered to the floor.

I can see you, Bunny.

Bunny.

Only one person called me that. Anyone else who tried was dealt with by fists. My blood ran cold in my veins and I could feel my breathing quicken.

It couldn't be.

There was no fucking way.

Absolutely no way.

“sugar?”

I heard Red, but it felt like he was a thousand miles away. I couldn't stop staring at the phone on the ground, the screen brightly lit and staring right back up at me. The words looked like they were bold, and they had been sent while Red and I were in the store.

He found me.

There was no way to deny it at this point. Dominic found me, and I was in some deep shit. At least I had help...

“sugar!”

With another forceful shake, my head snapped up. My eyes locked on Red's. He had red beads of sweat rolling down the sides of his skull, and his eye lights were looking over my face, darting to see every inch. My hand gripped his radius, my fingers sliding in the area between that and the ulna. I don't know what he saw, but whatever he did see made his expression darken. When he went to pull away, I let out a whine.

He just stared at me before he removed my hand from his arm and shushed me before I could let out another protest. He got on the couch beside me and sat. He grabbed the blanket from a chair on the other side of the room with his magic and brought it over and he scooped me up and put me in his lap. I tried moving so I was more comfortable and he draped the blanket over us.

“'yer gonna be okay, sugar,” he whispered, his teeth against my hair. “ain't nobody gonna hurt'cha while 'm 'round.”

I could only hope that that was the case.

**

Red watched as Levy slipped slowly into slumber. Her chest rose and fell at a steady rhythm, and her lashes fluttered against her cheeks. Her lips were slightly parted, and she curled further into his arms. He brought the blanket up farther, covering her up to her shoulders.

With his magic, he brought her phone up off of the floor. The phone had blacked out by now, and when he clicked it in, there was a password. He thought it over for a minute before he typed in the mangy cat's name. When the screen popped up, he gave himself an imaginary pat on the spine.

He looked through her texts for a moment, trying to find something that would give a clue as to what spooked her so bad. When he saw the text from a number not programmed into her phone, the marrow in his bones began to boil. Whoever this person was knew her, and they knew how to get under her skin. And the way they called her “Bunny” didn't sit well with him. It was like a pet name for someone you didn't want an actual emotional attachment to, in his book.

Someone was watching her, following her. Someone she didn't want around her at all.

It must allude to the person who she refuses to speak of, but he already knows about. But he can't let her know he already knows about the prick. That would ruin all sense of trust she could build up in him, and it made his bones crawl. Whoever this was, it was a person from the past she was trying so hard to run away from.

He backed out of her texts and used his magic to put the phone on the table beside her wallet. He pulled her closer to him, and buried his nasal cavity in her hair. She looked so peaceful while she slept, and he felt like a creep for lurking like this. But he didn't have it in his soul to let her go.

Everything in his soul screamed he needed to mark her. To claim her as his so everyone would fuck off. But he couldn't do that to her; she even said it herself she already had a taste of this life, and wanted nothing more to do with it. Whatever she had experienced was nothing compared to what he could show her.

Hell, he would even spoil that mangy cat if he had to. He seemed to be a weak spot for her.

Said cat had come up and laid beside them, falling asleep with his head resting on Red's femur. He didn't bother trying to shoo it away. The cat seemed to try and comfort her when she wasn't doing well, and he wasn't going to fault the feline for that.

He tried to think of any way he could potentially win her over. He knew she said she couldn't. But that wasn't going to stop him trying. He wanted Levy, and he wanted only her. He wanted to make it to where he was the only thing she could think about.

The urge to mark her was getting stronger, and it took everything in his soul to stop it from actually happening. The urge to protect a potential mate was strong, but he needed to try and fight it off as long as he could so he didn't scare her off.

Hell, he wouldn't scare her off. He would just piss her off so much, she would ghost him. And that was a train of that he didn't think he could bear.

While his mind ran rampant, he closed his eyes, letting himself drift off into what was probably the best sleep he'd had in many years.

Chapter Text

When I woke up, I was alone. I heard Red not too far away on the phone, and his deep rumble brought me back to reality. I slowly reached for my phone, checking the time. I had been asleep for a few hours. It was just about time to start cooking. But first, I needed to get cleaned up. I looked like a wrinkled mess.

I took the blanket off and laid next to me. I grabbed my phone and stood up, keeping my bad ankle behind me and stretching my arms up over my head. I felt a pop in my shoulder and one in my back and sighed in relief at the same time Red made a strangled noise behind me.

I looked over at him, a brow raised. His face was covered in red a deep blush that covered his cheekbones and the area above his nasal cavity. I would have to see if I could make him do it more often. It looked good on him.

“You okay?”

“jus' ah...would prefer 'f ya didn't crack yaself like that,” he stammered out, turning away and going back to his phone call.

I chuckled and used the table beside me to balance as I got off the couch completely and hobbled my way over to the kitchen area. Red watched me before rolling his eyes, saying a few more comments and hanging up. He came over and looped my arm around his shoulders, helping me across the kitchen to grab one of the pops I had stored in the basket earlier.

I cracked it open and took a drink before closing it back up and placing it on the counter. I looked at him. “I'm gonna need help up the stairs. I'd like to shower and change before everyone shows up.”

He snorted. “i guess i fergot that this's a meetin' fer ya rather than a get t'gether,” he muttered. “awright, let's getcha up th' stairs, sugar.

With his help, I made my way up the stairs and to my bedroom door. When I opened it, he turned away. After telling me to give him a shout when I was ready, I went inside as he left. I shut the door and went through my clothes trying to figure out what would be appropriate to wear in front of all these people. I finally settled on a pair of skin tight jeans and a purple tank top. After fishing out a clean pair of panties and getting a new bra, I headed for the bathroom, using the wall as my support.

I sat in the tub, letting it fill with the wonderfully hot water. I kept my ankle propped up, turning it this way and that every couple of minutes. Maybe if I did this, it would make the pain lessen over the course of the next couple of days.

Not to say I didn't mind staying with Papyrus and Red. It had only been a couple of days, and the first night I had stayed over was because some dude roughed me up in an alleyway by my apartment. And last night, Red had kissed me, and then told me he was going to try and win me anyway despite me telling him it would never happen.

I was still sticking by what I said. I wasn't going to have anything to do with him. Maybe a platonic thing, but that would summarize it up. Red was a good monster, a great person in general. But he was part of a family I wanted nothing to do with. I had basically told him as much last night.

I sank into the water, watching as my hair moved around me in the mini waves I created. I sighed and closed my eyes, thinking back on my days then. I really didn't want to, but it would help solidify the fact I wasn't going to just...fall in love with the smug motherfucker.

I sighed, and let my memories encompass me.

“Bunny, what are you doing back here?”

His voice made me wince, and I visibly shuddered when he came up behind me. His hands circled my arms over old bruises and he leaned down next to me so his face was beside mine. He stared at me through the mirror as I applied the lipstick I was forced to wear.

“Come on, Bunny, talk to me,” he said huskily, one of his hands leaving its place on my arm and snapped the string on the thong I wore. I winced again, and lightly moved his hand away as he kissed the side of my neck.

“I have to go on soon, Dom,” I murmured, moving away to fix my clothes. Well, if you could consider them clothes. The top was nothing more than a bikini top that could barely cover my nipples, and the bottoms were just...a thong. There was literally nothing left to the imagination. “Boss said I go on next after Diva.”

I sighed when I called her that. That wasn't her real name, and we all knew it. Just like mine wasn't “Bunny” or fucking “Diamond”. The lot of morons around here are just so unoriginal. And while I thought this, I knew better than to say anything. The first and only time I did, my clothes were torn to shreds until I was standing naked in a room full of men. Stripping me of my individuality.

It was the most embarrassing and degrading time of my life.

Instant regret washed over me, taking the money from Dominic.

“C'mon, Bunny,” he said, coming toward me. He reached up and cupped my face in his hands. “Just a little quickie before you go on. It'll loosin' you up real quick.”

There was a time that when he held me like this, I would have been awestruck and fallen deeper in what I thought was love. Now, all I felt was slimy and disgusted. Everything I had once felt for him was gone, and it was replaced with a seething hatred.

But he controlled whether I lived or died. He was in charge of how much I got, and whether I lived to see another week. So I had no choice to play nice with him.

“Diamond? You're on.”

I jumped at the voice that drew near. Dominic's suave face was replaced with a scowl as he leaned away from me, letting me go and moving away. Another figure was coming closer, and he had his hand on his holster. When the newcomer saw Dominic, he returned the sour look, but took his hand off the gun.

“I'll be seeing you later, Bunny,” Dominic said, shoving past me.

I stumbled, catching myself on a rack of clothing. One of the other girls, Angel by name, came over to me quickly, watching her step in her huge heels. She enveloped me into a big hug and held me there, letting my shake and decompress in her arms.

“Thanks, guys,” I whispered.

“Anytime, baby,” Angel murmured. “Us girls gotta stick together..."

Stick together. Pfft. I left them all there to rot when I ran away. They told me it was okay, and they understood it was just my time to be “released”, but I still felt like shit for it. Those girls protected me and helped me learn how to defend myself. I even got to help them help the other new girls that would inevitably come in after me.

Everyone there who had surrounded me with nothing but support...they were probably all still there. Some of them were either in way too deep, or others were sleeping with some of the big dogs. I remember asking why they did that, and the answers were usually all the same.

So they could be protected.

Isn't that why I let Dominic get away with what he did for so long?

I scoffed to myself and shook my head. It was time to let all of that go. I wasn't going to let that stupid text get to me. There was no way he knew where I was. Sure, I knew they might have someone out to watch me every now and then, just to make sure I don't go to the wrong people and start giving them information. But, who would I really tell that stuff to?

I mean, I could with Asgore and this family. But, I wouldn't do that. I didn't have a death wish so early on in life.

After scrubbing my hair and my skin, I managed to slide myself out of the tub onto a towel I had set onto the floor. After creating an ocean the last time on their floor, I had learned a trick or two. I dried off and put some lotion on my skin, smoothing it in before I heaved myself up and went to the counter where I had placed my clothes. I got dressed, drying my hair quickly with the towel before I pulled out the hair dryer. After I finished with that, I hung up the towels to dry and made my way into my room. I pulled out my makeup and jewelry, digging through everything.

I pulled out my eyeliner and some mascara, but that's all I would really need. With my eyes, finding eye shadow that would work with them was hard to do. One would always clash with the other and it looked gaudy or out of place. So I never bothered. I applied those before I put all of that away and opened the little bit of jewelry I had left.

I had sold most of it, not regretting as I handed off the big diamonds and sapphires that Dominic had gotten me during our time together. The only things I had now were a diamond necklace from my mother, amethyst earrings from my late grandmother, and a ring from my father. I put on all of those and put the box away before straightening my clothes and headed out. When I left the room, I hobbled toward the stairs and called down.

“Red?” I called. “Could use some help.”

He appeared beside me and I yelped, my hand slipping on the smooth wood of the rail. He managed to catch me just in time, bringing me flush against his body. I placed my hands on his shoulders, just by his clavicles. I took in a breath, breathing in the smell of bonfire smoke. He chest wasn't moving, which meant he wasn't even breathing. Did he even need to breathe?

My heart was hammering in my ears as I realized just how intimate I looked with him. I didn't want to look up at him, and I told myself I wasn't going to. But I lied to myself, and my eyes looked up through my lashes, watching his reaction.

He wore an easy grin, his tooth glinting from the hallway light. His eye lights were looking down on me, and they seemed to be sizing up whatever I was wearing. When he locked eyes with me, I defiantly didn't look away, holding my ground even as his grin widened.

“ya lookin' good, sugar,” he said lowly, his voice sending chills down my spine. He leaned a little closer, cocking a brow bone. “lookin' good enough t' eat, too.”

I let out a startled gasp and hit his clavicle, sending him into a fit of chuckles. He finally moved back and we got down the stairs just in time for Papyrus to come back in.

“JUST PLEASE BE KIND TO HER – ”

Red managed to get me to the kitchen before I could see who he was talking to. He helped me maneuver around, grabbing the things I asked him to from where he had put them away at. It was damn near impossible doing anything in this kitchen because the fucking counters were too damn tall! Freaking giants and their height will always be the death of me.

“HUMAN, DO YOU NEED ASSISTANCE?” Papyrus asked from behind me.

I turned to answer him and was met with the scathing gaze of one of the monsters I was supposed to meet. She was a freaking fish monster, with blue skin – scales? – and long red hair that was mostly pulled back into a high ponytail. She was fit, and I could the hint of a six pack from where her shirt cut off as a crop top. She wore black leather pants and wore a red belt with spikes around it. Over her right eye was an eye patch, and her one eye I could see was much like Asgore's. The iris was red, and the pupil surrounding it was yellow.

She was appraising me much like I was her. Unlike her, though, I wasn't radiating much confidence, and I felt myself moving away from her and hitting my back against the counter. Jesus, this woman was intimidating just standing there. How was I supposed to get meet and greet and get along with any of them if they were all like this?

“So you're the punk this one was telling me about?” she asked, her voice loud enough to cause me to jump. I only nodded. She snorted. “Are you fucking mute?”

I narrowed my eyes ever so slightly. “No, but I didn't know I had to answer vocally. So terribly sorry you scare the ever living fuck outta me.”

She drew back slightly, her eye going wide. It was quiet for a few moments before she began laughing uproariously, slapping her hand on her knee. I blinked at her, before turning to Red and Papyrus. They only smiled before I turned back to the odd woman.

“Oh, I like you already,” she whooped, coming into the room further. “Name's Undyne, Boss's second in command.”

“Well, thank you. It's nice to – what are you doing?!” She had come in the room only to pick me up by my midsection, placing me on the counter. She got in front of me, glaring at me with that one eye. It was seriously unnerving.

“I'm warning you now, loser, you try anything with either one of these two,” she started, motioning to the skeletons behind her, “and I catch wind of it, you're gonna wish you had never met any of us. Got it?”

“Yup,” I squeaked.

When she went to bring me back down, I shook my head and grabbed the things I needed. Everyone watched me as I prepared. I didn't mind it, and as I began to season the meat, the doorbell rang. To be honest, I was so jittery from Undyne that I almost fell off the counter. Red noticed and stifled a laugh that came out, sounding like a snort. I glared at it while Undyne and Papyrus went to answer the door.

“I have no problem throwing this meat at you,” I stated in a hiss when they left the room.

“rude.”

I scoffed as a familiar voice filled the house. Asgore rounded the corner and paused, watching as I mixed the meat and seasonings with my hands, my tiny ass on the counter. Compared to all the monsters so far, I was tiny as hell. And while it should have made me uncomfortable, it didn't. It only made me angry I couldn't just be taller.

Asgore came in, and I noticed, he was wearing a different suit than before. He had on a beautiful gray suit with red beneath it, and a red handkerchief in the breast pocket. He wore a fedora that settled between his horns and ears perfectly, casting just the right kind of shadow for him to come off as the Don of the monsters.

Behind him was a guy who could only be a few years younger than me. He wore something similar to what the male monsters wore; immaculate suit, vest, fedora, and...a flower? The kid was holding a flower pot in front of him, wrapped underneath one arm. He had a bad around his shoulder that looked like it contained a laptop or something for him to pass the time. The flower looked a lot like the golden ones that the Don had brought up with them and placed around the dingy parts of the city where he had control of. But this one...had a face. It was disturbing.

But at the same time, the flower seemed...nervous? Almost frightened. It was shifting its eyes to the others around them, but they tended to linger on Red. And in turn. Red would always look back and give it what I had come to refer as his feral grin. It was almost sadistic the way his eye lights lit up when he caught the flower staring at him.

The next one was another goat monster, but a little smaller and feminine. She was only a little smaller than Asgore, with two horns protruding from her head. She had a very curvy figure for being a goat, and it was accentuated by the dress skirt and top she wore. Both were almost the same colored gray as Asgore's suit. Underneath she wore a black turtleneck that stopped just below her muzzle. Her iris and pupil were the same, and I noticed a common theme when it came to them. Yellow and red, with what looked like red eye shadow on her lids.

How did that even work with fur?

Beside the young man was a yellow and brown dinosaur monster, who literally had no arms. He wore a suit jacket and a fedora on top of his head. His eyes were red as he stared at me, the top of his muzzle curled up like he was sneering at me. I glared back at him. What a little shit.

She held herself regally, and her eyes found me, just sitting on the counter, mixing seasonings into the meat. Hell, I had stopped when they came in.

“Hello, child,” she said. “My name is Toriel and this,” she motioned to the guy and flower beside her, “is Frisk and Flowey. They're my children. That's MK, Frisk's best friend.”

I had heard some rumors that Frisk had been adopted officially by the Don and his wife when they came from the Underground. I didn't know they had adopted a plant as well. I just smiled and put the meat down, turning to the other side and washing my hands before scooting to the edge of the counter, intent on just jumping off.

“oh no ya don't.”

Red was by my side in a heartbeat, pulling me from the counter and placing me gently on the floor. I rolled my eyes and used the counter to make my way over to her, Frisk, and Flowey. Holding onto the counter, I held out my hand and gave her a small smile.

“My name is Levy,” I said. “Thank you for coming.”

She grasped my hand in both of her paws and gave me a toothy smile. “Of course. I have heard some stuff about you and I'm glad I was given the chance to meet you.”

“Here.” I turned to see Frisk holding out a couple of boxes to me, his voice a short baritone. “Dad said you'd like these, and I have plenty to spare. My ankle is really fuc...messed up from when I fell in the mountain. So they stocked up on them for me.”

I chuckled. “That's what I heard. Thanks, kid.”

He huffed, playfully sending me a glare. “I'm not a kid; I'm only a little younger than you.”

“still a kid, buddy.”

He turned his glare to Red, who chuckled. That sound did things to me that I didn't want to discuss, so I took the boxes from him, thanking him before taking one and putting off to the side. I hobbled my way back as everyone made their way into the kitchen and began to talk. Red came back over and hefted me onto the counter. I watched as he took the box and tore it open with his claws, taking out the brace and bending down on one knee. I opened my mouth to stop him when he looked up at me and shook his head.

Well, fine.

He worked the brace onto my ankle and velcroed it together, standing back up and going over to his seat at the table. He kept his eyes on me, but I went about cooking, humming to myself as I did. I filled up the huge pot that Papyrus had fished out for me and had him set on it stove, turning the dial up to decent temperature. With the water beginning to boil, I used the other pan and had him switch on that heat too, throwing the meat on the pan.

Everyone was making pleasant talk, and they even included me in on it. I laughed with them and enjoyed their company. The bell rang and Papyrus marched off to go get it.

Grillby came through the kitchen first, his eyes landing on me. I gave him a sheepish smile and a wave before he came over and scooped me up into his arms, giving me a huge hug. I laughed, wrapping my arms around him before he set me back on the counter. All eyes were on us before Red spoke up.

“she works fer 'im,” he mumbled.

“Ahuhuhu~, that's precious,” the spider woman behind him whispered behind one of eight hands. She looked at me, extending another one of her arms toward me. “My name is Muffet,” she told me, smiling. All of her eyes blinked at different times, and it kinda tripped me out, but I gave her a smile nonetheless.

“Levy,” I replied, giving her hand a shake. After them came a yellow lizard monster wearing huge, thick glasses, red eyes scanning the crowd in front of her.She was short, and wore a red turtleneck under a white lab coat. She wore what looked like black leggings, covering stumpy legs. She held a clipboard under one arm and she wore red gloves almost similar to Papyrus's. Her spikes seemed to have been dulled on purpose.

When her eyes landed on me, her eyes got wider than saucers. She immediately came over to me, holding her clipboard in front of her, a pen held in her hand already. I smiled down at her and held out my hand.

“I'm Levy,” I said softly.

She seemed taken aback, but put her gloved, clawed hand in mine. “I-I'm Dr. A-Alphys.”

Oh, so this is the monster Red was the most worried over? She seemed kinda harmless. She was even tripping over her words like she was nervous or something. If I didn't think I would die, I would have called her cute, even.

She seemed to look me over before lifting up her clipboard and jotting something down. I scowled, trying to see what she was writing. But she pulled away, shooting me a look before moving back to where Undyne sat. I huffed and turned back to the food, mixing everything around so nothing got burned or stuck.

“Darlings~!”

A four armed robot made his way into the kitchen now, grinning as he slid against the doorjamb, using one arm to drape across his metallic forehead while the other four placed hands where his heart or soul would have been. He looked...really attractive, actually. He had black hair with red dye mixed in. One pair of hands had on red gloves, and the other two had yellow gloves, each pair going up to where his elbows would be. His chest plate was red, with black spiky shoulder pads. He also had on knee high black boots. There was a giant heart where his stomach would have been.

“It's been so long~”

“not long enough.”

His eyes, which were yellow with black irises, looked over at me and he let out an electronic, excited squeal of sorts. Before I could say or do anything, he had come over to me and swooped me up in a giant hug. I was dangling from all of his arms, and he was slightly swinging me side to side as his cold cheek nuzzled the crown of my head.

What?

“You must be who've I've heard about from Papy!” he cooed, holding me out at arms length. “You are so precious! My name, darling, is Mettaton.”

“Levy,” I supplied almost breathlessly. I held up a finger and motioned to the food. “Can I...?”

“Oh, of course~! I'm so sorry!” He placed me gently back on the counter and turned back to the group, coming around and almost smooching everyone. Frisk was especially excited for his presence, talking about how he hadn't seen the robot in a while.

I shook my head and went back to make dinner, beginning to prep the garlic bread. It was going to be a long evening.

Chapter Text

Everyone ended up eating dinner in the living room since there was next to no room in the living room. Alphys kept sneaking glances at me and writing things down on her clipboard. Red stayed beside me, close enough that his bones would occasionally rub against me. I glanced over at him every now and then, but he was focused on eating the dinner I had prepared.

Everyone enjoyed it. Papyrus begrudgingly praised the food I prepared, even if it was kind of backhanded. Toriel had asked if I could give her the recipe, and I told her I would talk to mom about it. It was her recipe, after all.

I thought about them now. I should probably give them a call tomorrow to let them know I was okay. I had talked to them not long ago, but they hadn't heard from me in a while. I was sure they were giving themselves anxiety over how I was faring in this place. They hated the city.

But could I tell them what I was really doing? They had trusted me enough to move out here when I had come home. After Dominic. They hadn't let me out of their sight for months, and I told them it I wouldn't go near this kind of crap again.

But then Red had to come marching into Grillby's, and I got mixed up in this all over again. Though I guess, thinking on it, once I was healed up and could go home, I could just not come around as much. I would still work at Grillby's, of course. He was a great boss, and a wonderful figure to look out for me the way he does. But, I would have to try and avoid Red.

I didn't know why, but it my heart constrict thinking like that.

Mettaton took a sip from his oil can. I figured out he couldn't have actual food, being a machine and all. “So tell me, precious, what brought you around to theirs?”

I looked at him, swallowing my food before answering. “What do you mean?”

“What brings a human from a shitty area to live with two of the most powerful monsters in the family?” Undyne said, her voice laced with suspicion. She looked me over. “You don't like one of their nightly bitches.”

Toriel gasped and Flowey cackled. “Undyne! The children!”

She waved a hand. “My apologies, Madame. But seriously,” she said again, looking at me, “why are you here?”

Before I could answer, Red did it for me. “'cause sh' was attacked not far from 'er home. 's why sh' needed th' brace 'n th' first place. i found 'er in time an' brought 'er 'ere t' heal up.” He pointed his fork at her. “not like 's any o' yer business.”

“SANS. PLEASE.”

Undyne huffed, placing her empty plate on the coffee table in front of her. “I'm just asking. It just seemed weird after your visit with Grillby is all.”

“I would prefer if you would stop interrogating her,” Grillby now said, his purple flames flicking upward to show his irritation. “The attack she went through messed her up and I would like it if you left her alone.”

Undyne rolled her eyes, but let it drop. Alphys was looking between me, Grillby and Red. Her face was becoming orange in color, almost like she was blushing. She let out a squeal before she pointed one of her claws.

“I-I ship -i-it!” she gasped, her face now fully enflamed.

I blinked at her slowly, tilting my head. She couldn't possibly mean shipping me with Red or Grillby, right? Like we were some kind of weird anime love triangle. I wanted to think that, but with the way Undyne was sizing the three of you up as well, you could tell that's exactly what she meant.

Who knew the insane doctor liked anime?

“I agree with Alph,” Frisk offered, stuffing a piece of garlic bread in his mouth. He chewed thoughtfully before adding, “This is gonna be fun.”

Toriel rolled her eyes as MK agreed with her. Watching Frisk feed the armless monster was a little weird. Hell, just the fact that he was armless was a little strange to me. But I guess there was nothing to be done about that. I simply shook my head and started gathering plates.

Papyrus promptly took everything off my hands, saying he would do the dishes. Conversation picked up again, but I couldn't get into it. I was feeling tired. It was always like this with a lot of people; it was just draining. Plus, being interrogated by Undyne was enough to make me want to dip the fuck out and go snuggle my cat.

Speaking of my cat, Soldier had curled up in Asgore's lap again. I groaned and snapped to get the cat's attention.

“Soldier, come on! He's trying to eat,” I grunted.

Asgore laughed. “It is fine, young one. He is perfectly fine where he is.”

I sighed and nodded, rubbing my temples. I had a horrible headache. Not to mention, I could almost feel the giant elephant in the room, but not one person said anything. And it was driving me crazy. It was the same thing when I first met Red.

They all saw my eyes. They stared. They looked confused as they tried to figure out what was going on with them. But not a single one of them pointed it out, or asked about it. No one made a mention, but there was the underlying question in the room.

It was all just exhausting.

“ya tired, sugar?”

I looked over at Red, nodding. “Yeah. I don't...do well with a lot of people at one time.”

“let's getcha t' bed then,” he said, grunting as he got up.

I was pulled into a flurry of thank yous. Toriel gripped my hands between her paws, saying she would love to repay the favor and have me over for some dinner and pie. Undyne and Alphys both begrudgingly waved to me, letting me know it was nice to meet me as the pored over what it was Alphys had written. Frisk gave me a hug and MK gave me a footbump. I guess it was his version of a fist bump. Flowey was still eyeing me like I left a bad taste in his mouth, so I just stuck my tongue out at him. Grillby gave me a hug and told me to get well enough so he could have his help back.

Mettaton was definitely dramatic, lifting me up and telling me not to miss him too much. He would be back again to make sure these horrible skeletons hadn't taken me in just to ruin me. I laughed as Red grumbled behind him. Muffet invited me into her cafe at anytime, saying she would maybe give me some money off my order. I waved her off. If she was like Grillby, she was greedy as fuck. I wasn't playing with that fire. Papyrus came in to bade me goodnight, soap and water dripping from his bones. I thanked them all again before Red helped me up the stairs. I noticed that before we left, there was the smell of bonfire smoke again permeating the air. All the monsters seemed to notice as well, their eyes on Red. I couldn't tell what their expressions were, but they definitely either seemed angry, annoyed or shocked.

When he moved me to my bed, I collapsed, grumbling into my blankets.

“Can you grab me some pajama bottoms and a different shirt?” I asked, my voice muffled. “I wanna get out of these clothes.”

“no problem, sugar.”

I heard him move to the dresser and shift around inside of it for a moment before it shut and I felt the clothes land on the bed beside me. I weakly turned over, staring up at the ceiling. I moved to sit up and watched as Red went for the door.

“Red.”

He paused and looked over at me.

“Ah..thank you,” I murmured. “For...for everything. Not just today, but...”

He chuckled coming back over to me and placing a single digit under my chin. He turned my face up to his, our eyes meeting. There was a pause where I thought he would trying to kiss me again, but he didn't. Instead, he placed a gentle kiss on my forehead, his fangs scraping slightly against my skin. When he looked back down at me, he gave me a wink.

“'s really not a problem, sugar,” he said huskily. “get some sleep, yeah?”

He left me there, closing the door with a soft click behind him. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding, slowly changing from my dinner clothes. I sat down to put everything one, readjusting the brace to make it a little tighter.

When I fell back against the pillows, I sighed, turning onto my side and staring out the window. The night sky was dotted with stars, and I found myself thinking it was nicer in this part of the city. I could actually see the stars since there weren't as many street lamps around. I felt my eyes slowly closing as I continued to stare.

On the brink of sleep, I swear I thought I heard Red muttering something.

**

She wasn't kidding when she said too much social interaction tired her out. This was the first time Red had seen her pass out as quick as she had. Usually, he could hear her tossing and turning a lot before she finally settled into a deep enough sleep.

Red ran his claws through her hair, feeling the silkiness under his tips before he pulled away, his teeth set in a frown.

“g'night, sugar,” he murmured. “'ll see ya t'morrow.”

With that, he left the room, and headed back downstairs where everyone was waiting for his return. Muffet had taken MK and herself home, saying it was getting late. She had to open the bakery early, and MK didn't want to be there anymore. Toriel had given him the okay to head home with her.

When he sat back down, he pulled out a cigar, using his magic to light it. The taste of cherries hit his tongue and he blew out the smoke through his nasal cavity.

“So w-what's the d-deal with her?”

Alphys's voice made his eye lights snap over to the little psycho. She looked like she wanted to pepper him with questions, but stopped short when he watched her. He didn't say anything, and she was beginning to get twitchy under his gaze. Finally, she spoke again.

“I'd like t-to do some tests with h-her–”

“no.”

“S-Sans, I don't think y-you u-understand...”

“i said no,” he snarled, leaning forward. “she's not somethin' ya c'n experiment on, got it?”

Alphys glared at him. “I d-don't want to r-really experiment. I-I just w-wanna see why her e-eyes–”

“i fuckin' said no. drop it.”

The silence that ensued after was thick with tension. Undyne looked ready to summon one of her spears and impale him on it until he turned to dust, but he didn't care. They weren't Underground anymore. There was no need for this stupid lizard to experiment on her or hurt her.

He'd looked up a term for her eyes, but it still didn't explain why the one was such a deep purple. It was such an odd color on a human. But it seemed to fit it. It matched one of the colors of her soul. And the way her soul reverberated its colors was magnificent. It made his own soul pulse and beat in his chest almost painfully.

It resonated, and he wasn't about to let this bitch hurt her.

Frisk leaned forward, elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. “Sans, for real, what's her story? I've looked into some stuff, but most of it looked like it was just...erased. I mean, Dad and I know about her ex, but it was like after they got together...nothing. Nothing until they split.”

Red grunted. “sorry, kid. tryna figure that out m'self.”

Red scowled as Asgore moved forward placing a hand on the kid's head. “You did your best, young one. We've all done our best with what we're given.”

Frisk nodded as Undyne moved, shifting herself. “She works for fireball over here, right?” she asked, hooking a thumb in Grillby's direction. “Maybe he knows something?”

All eyes turned to the fire elemental, who was leaning against the couch, just watching them. His eye flashed white for a moment in surprise, his purple flames deepening in color. Red knew he was thrown off at being tossed under the bus like that. But this was important. Surely he would try and offer up something? Anything?

“The only thing that I am aware of,” he said slowly, “is that she came from a really bad past. She talks a lot about her mother and father, so I know it's not that. But when I ask her about the ages of eighteen to twenty-one, she pulls a Sans and redirects the entire conversation.”

Red scoffed. “didja really jus' use m' name like that?”

Grillby nodded. “I most certainly did, my friend,” he said. He turned back to the Don's family. “Those will probably be the years you need to look for. She doesn't seem keen of answering questions about those days, either.” He scowled. “She also has a bad habit of hiding certain parts of her body. Like when I gave her the uniform for my bar, she asked a lot of questions about keeping her stomach and a part of her arm covered.”

Red paid attention to that. There was nothing wrong with her arm. And her stomach? What, did she think she was fat? The broad was crazy if she thought that. The text message she had received earlier ran through his mind, and he hummed, attention coming back to him.

“sh' did getta text earlier from a random numba,” he said, inhaling more of his cigar. “sh' seemed freaked out over 't, too.”

Frisk looked over at him with a snap of his head. “Get me the phone,” he said. “I can probably trace it back to whoever sent it.”

“And from there we could probably see what the missing links are in her past,” Toriel mused quietly, running a giant paw over his head. “Good thinking, my child.”

Frisk smiled up at his adoptive mom before looking over at the others. Papyrus made his way back into the room, sitting down beside Grillby. He was caught up to speed, and Papyrus gave out a loud “NYAHAHAH”.

“THE SILLY HUMAN LEFT HER PHONE IN THE KITCHEN, SO THAT WILL BE NO PROBLEM,” he explained.

Frisk shot up and dashed into the kitchen, taking his bag with him. Red chuckled and turned back to his brother.

“yer th' best, bro.”

“I KNOW.”

Conversation continued, but no one brought up her eyes again. Red glanced at the stairs every now and then, making sure Levy wasn't walking in on the conversation. But he could also hear her. She was sleeping peacefully, his little sugar. She was sweet as candy, and he could almost feel his fangs falling out of his face from how precious she was.

But he wouldn't be caught dead actually saying that. Red knew better. He knew that showing weakness for someone could get you killed, especially in this line of work. He had to play his cards carefully if he wanted to keep her around.

And that was the end goal. He'd make sure she'd want to stay. Even when she finally left, she wouldn't be seeing less of him. He would make sure of that.

He caught the faint whiff of bonfire smoke and closed his sockets, willing himself to rein it all in. He can't get too ahead of himself. Marking her with his scent now could pose a problem. He didn't want to scare her off.

But any time he thought of her with another person, monster or human, the marrow in bones boiled. He wouldn't allow that to happen. He wanted her, and stars be damned if he wouldn't have her. Despite what she had said in her room the previous night, he was going to win her over. He was going to make sure she was begging him for more when he got her with him.

He was going to claim her as his own for the entire world to see.

And he couldn't wait.

**

When I woke up the next morning, I looked over to see my door had been slightly cracked, and that Soldier was sitting beside me, sleeping. He was nestled happily in the crook of my legs, his head lying on the sides of my kneecaps. I smiled sleepily at him and reached out to stroke his head. He shifted, making a chirping noise before rolling away and falling back asleep.

I was content to just lay there, looking out the window once more. The sunlight was just beginning to peak out over the horizon in the distance. The sky was cast in hues of pinks and oranges, purples and some blues. It must have been really early in the morning if the sky was painted like that. I groaned and pulled the blanket up over my head, yanking it a little to make Solider move a little.

The cat mewed softly, instead just getting off the bed entirely and went to his own. I rolled my eyes and encompassed myself in the darkness of the comforter. I kept a little hole open so I could still get a little air and sighed, shutting my eyes again.

Last night, I had slept fine for the first little bit. Then I woke up, swallowing the scream that was in the back of my throat. It had taken me ten minutes to realize I wasn't there anymore. I was in a different room, in a different house. With an entirely different species. I wasn't back in that place, and I wasn't about to be yanked out of bed for anything. I was here. I was with Red and Papyrus.

When I had finally settled, I realized I had left my phone downstairs. I decided they wouldn't do anything since there isn't anything of interest in there, and I went back to sleep. For only know these guys for a couple weeks, I was weirdly comfortable with them. I let that thought alone carry me back off into a, thankfully, pleasant sleep.

I turned onto my side and hummed to myself before taking in a deep breath and moving the blanket away. I got out of bed, placing the gentlest amount of pressure on my ankle as I made my way to the bathroom. Good, I was able to put some pressure on it today.

After going through my morning routine, I made my way downstairs, carefully trying to maneuver myself to the side to make walking a little easier. I hobbled my way into the kitchen, where my phone was laying on the table. I smiled and picked it up, unlocking it and scrolling through the notifications. Nothing major. I checked the time and smiled. I went through my contacts and found the one I wanted, pressing call.

After three rings, they picked up.

Hello?”

“Hey, momma.”

“Oh, Lev!” she breathed out. “I was worried sick. How have you been?”

I caught her up on all the events she missed, including the attack in the alleyway. My dad had overheard that and was now trying to convince me coming home would be much safer. I hesitated on telling them about the monsters I was currently residing with. I already could see how that conversation would play out, but I hadn't really ever lied to them. Except for when I was gone for those three years.

“I'm just glad you're doing okay now,” she sighed. “Are the people you're staying with helping you? How is Grillby holding up without you?”

She knew I worked for the fire monster. And while they had their reservations about it, they haven't really spoken against it. They weren't racist against monsters, but they didn't like the kind of businesses they ran. I bit my lip, swirling around the cup of coffee I had made while I was talking to them.

“He's fine, momma. He knew I needed time to get my ankle healed up, and told me to come back when I was ready to,” I answered. “And, the monsters I'm–”

“Monsters?” My dad's voice broke through now, sounding both curious and worried. “Which monsters?”

“Dad, it doesn't...”

“Which ones, Levy?”

The way he said it made me recoil. Part of me said to just lie to him, so he would let it go. But I knew he would see through it, even over the phone. I took a deep breath and told him the names of the monsters.

The silence on the other end was so bad I thought they had hung up. When I confirmed they didn't, I held the phone back to my ear.

“Dad? Momma?”

“Are you serious, Levy?” my dad's voice seethed through the phone and I winced. Oh boy. “You seriously can't be staying with not one, but two of the most dangerous monsters in the mafia?”

“Dad, listen to me–”

“There's nothing to listen to,” he said. “You could be in serious danger.”

“One of them saved me, dad!” I snapped now, my anger boiling. “Neither of them would ever hurt me! Hell, the Judge is the one that saved me that night, dad! He's the reason I wasn't raped or killed!” I didn't hear anything and I growled, “I'll talk to you later.”

I hung up the phone and let it fall to the table, groaning. I really didn't want to tell them that, but they weren't giving me much of a choice. I expected them to be mad, but not that mad. But they didn't understand.

Neither Red nor Papyrus would hurt me. They have had so many opportunities. And neither of them have raised a hand to me. At least, not violently. It was great, and I wasn't going to sit there and let them control who I talk to and what not.

I got up and headed for the fridge. I pulled a chair over to the counter and began rummaging for ingredients and pans. I grumbled to myself. If I couldn't calm down by reason, I would cook. It was the least I could do for the monsters who opened their home to me.

I just needed to take my mind off of everything.

Chapter Text

By the time my ankle healed, the boys and I had come into a comfortable routine. Even on the days where they left for work, I would mindlessly clean, trying to get my ankle used to the pressure I would put on it. Red didn't like it, but I told him I would eventually need to get back to my own life at some point. He reluctantly agreed to let me wander around and clean, but to stay out of his room, Papyrus's room, a spare room and the basement.

Deal.

I went shopping to make sure they were stocked up on food. I dusted the house and I made sure all their stuff was sparkling clean. I cleaned their kitchen top to bottom and cleaned their bathroom, trying to keep my mind busy.

It had been a couple weeks since I had talk to my parents, and while they had both tried to call, I wasn't ready to talk. I was still really upset that they had said something like that without knowing them. Granted, I couldn't really blame them. I mean, I was staying with the Boss and the Judge. Who wouldn't think the worst?

Red had been laying it on thick, and had been giving as much attention as possible. A sweet word here, a lingering touch there. And while I was telling myself it didn't affect me, it did. It really did. I made it seem like it didn't do much and would laugh it off, or tell him to get lost. But on the inside, my heart was pounding out of my chest.

Papyrus seemed to notice his brother's advances, and had even made it a point to avoid me the first couple of days after the dinner with the others. He always muttered something under his breath, and at one point I heard him mention bonfire smoke. I wanted to ask him about it, but something told me I wasn't ready for the answer just yet.

On the day I was supposed to leave, Papyrus offered to come with Red and I, just so he could see where I lived. Also, to make sure he knew how to get to me if his lazy brother couldn't. I agreed, and we packed the beautiful sports car with my stuff and Solider, who was angry at being stuffed back into his cage with Red' magic. When he parked in front of the building, I could feel the hair's on the back of my neck stand.

Something wasn't right.

And I wasn't the only one who thought so. Red and Papyrus looked at each other, motioning for me to stay in the car. But like hell I was.

I raced up the stairs behind them, grabbing the apartment keys from my pocket. Neither of them said anything as they peeked around the corner into the hallway that had my home. When the coast was deemed clear, I made my way to my door, unlocking it with trembling fingers. It took a few tries, but when I got it open, I could only stare blankly.

My home had been ransacked. My furniture was overturned, and papers were thrown everywhere. My books and games had been tossed around and there was a small hole in the wall where I kept a picture of me and an old friend. My kitchen was demolished in rotted food. I covered my mouth and nose with my shirt, heading for my bedroom.

The bed was halfway through the broken window, and most of my things were thrown about in the room. Even my closet had been raided, and my clothes were piled in heaps throughout. My jewelry was laid out in different places, and one piece of jewelry was stuck to the wall with a large knife, and a note written in familiar handwriting. I felt my blood run cold as I went over to it, wrapping my hand around the handle of the knife.

I gently wiggled it as I moved it out of the wall, keeping my hand on the paper and the necklace. It was a recognizable piece, and one I thought I had sold off when I left that life far behind me. When I finally managed to get it out, I let it clatter to the floor before reading the note, the handwriting giving mass amounts of anxiety.

I found you, Bunny. Can't wait to see you.

I couldn't breathe. When had I fallen to the ground? I could hear my name being called, but it sounded so far away. The sounds of footsteps, someone calling for someone else. There was a loud noise like a thud. Someone was grabbing me, trying to coax me to breathe. Did I stop breathing?

I took in a huge gulp of air that released on a quiet sob. The note in my hand stared back at me, taunting me. His flawless handwriting was there, which means he had been here. He'd been looking for me. After trying so hard after these last three years, he had found me.

“sugar, what d'ya mean 'e found ya?”

Was I talking out loud?

“ya are. an' yer not makin' much...shit.”

That was Red's voice. The Judge. The skeleton mobster who killed people when told by his Don. The skeleton monster who struck fear in the hearts of those who didn't know him. Who didn't know him like I knew him. That was Red, and he sounded his curse out on a hiss.

“boss!”

Those loud thuds were coming back as I came down from what I was feeling. I released the note like it burned me, letting out a panicked gasp. It landed right next to the necklace, the little bunny charm glinting up at me mockingly. I felt my hands shake as I sought out where Red was, trying to ground myself. Not again. I couldn't go back to that.

“sugar, yer makin' no sense. ya gotta tell us what's goin' on.”

I had to stop doing that.

I wasn't ready to tell them. I curled myself up in Red's lap, burying my face in his red vest. My tears were hot on my cheeks, burning my eyes. I couldn't draw in a deep breath, and my fists tightened themselves in Red's clothes. God, I was probably wrinkling all his good clothes. Would he be mad at me, too, for doing that?

Dominic always was.

“Bunny, what have I told you about that? Fuckin' Christ, bitch, this shit costs more than you're worth.”

The memory made dread crawl down my back like a snake. Fear gripped me and I couldn't help myself as I let out a small whimper. Red's arms were around me, his teeth pressed against my forehead in a feather of a kiss. I was shaking. But I wasn't cold.

I was so fucking terrified.

There was nothing else said. Papyrus came back inside with an extra suitcase and began packing things into it. He grabbed my discarded jewelry box and started putting my pieces back inside of it before putting it in the suitcase. When everything he could fit was in it, he shut and locked it, heading back out and leaving the apartment.

Red still didn't say anything, even when Papyrus didn't come back. He simply held me on the floor of my room, his eye lights trained on the note that was crumpled up on the ground, its message loud and clear.

Dominic had found me, and he obviously wasn't okay with me leaving.

I don't know how long he and I sat there like that, me just curled up in his lap and his arms wrapped around me. He kept my head tucked under his chin, and he ran his phalanges through my hair. He didn't say anything the entire time, just rocked us back and forth and hummed something low in the back of his throat. At first I didn't recognize it, but then it hit me. It was a song about an indie game I had been meaning to play.

In a moment of clarity, trying to cheer myself, I picked up singing along with where he was humming.

I used to be so beautiful,

Now look at me

My actions are undutiful

It's clear to see

Come on and step out of that cage

There's a new chapter, turn the page

I'll take my place up on the stage

All eyes on me

 

I can hear you calling

Calling out for me,

I'm falling down,

I'm falling

Won't you set me free?

He stopped humming and I immediately stopped singing. His soft chuckle reverberated through my body and I found myself burying myself further into him, hiding my blushing face. Oh, God. I actually sang in front of him.

“didn't think ya'd know that song,” he murmured above me. “most people don't.”

“I play a lot of games,” I chuckled hollowly. “Probably a bad coping mechanism, but I like playing a lot of games.” I looked around. “Where did Paps go?”

“he packed up th' rest o' yer stuff...or what was salvageable o' it,” he muttered, adjusting us so I could see the room a little better. “yer gonna be stayin' wit' us, an' i won't hear anythin' 'bout it.”

I blinked up at him and tried to think of a way to tell him no. I could always stay with my parents, but they lived three hours out. Grillby had a daughter he took care of, since the mother wasn't in the picture. So I wasn't going to bother him. Other than that, and the skeleton brothers, I had no one else in the city. And I could live on the streets.

I let out a breath through my nose. “Fine.”

“boss already went back t' th' house,” he said, “so we're gonna take a shortcut.”

“A shortcut?”

He nodded. “m'gonna needja t' take in a deep breath and hang on tight, sugar,” he murmured in my ear. His voice sent shivers down my spine. “an' whatever ya do, don't let go.”

I gripped him by his vest, burying my face in the silky fabric. When I inhaled, he wrapped his arms around me a little tighter, before there was a sense of weightlessness. It felt like everything was floaty, and when I took a peek, there was just endless black around us. I turned and kept my face buried into his sternum while we came back down from his shortcut.

I took in a huge gulp of breath, moving away from him as I looked around. We had landed in my room. Papyrus had been here, and the suitcase I vaguely remember seeing was sitting on the floor right beside the door. Solider was in here and when he saw me, he gave a loud cry.

Red slowly detached the rest of himself from me and picked up the cat. Like, actually picked him up. While Solider didn't seem happy with it, and when he was deposited in front of me, he instantly came over and curled up in my lap, purring softly against my legs. His eyes remained on Red, but he just sat on my bed still, one of his hands laced with mine.

“we're gonna find out who did it,” he said lowly. “yer not goin' t' do this on yer own.”

“Red, I...”

Did I really want to tell him what was going on? Everything had been fine until I ran into Red. Everything had been going fine. I hadn't heard from Dominic since I left. Since he willingly let me go and told me he would never see me again. He had told me I wasn't worth the rest of the effort he thought I was.

The memory stung, but there was something off with this. Dominic doesn't like putting effort into things he wouldn't eventually get. That's what I had been told by the many men I had sat with at night, listening to them tell me how lucky I was I had Dominic to protect me. And he said to my face he didn't want me around anymore. I wasn't worth it. That he had to set me free.

Did I really want to tell Red everything about what had happened? Cause if I told him, I should tell everyone involved. This could affect them, too. Besides, I had a sneaking suspicion that they were going behind my back anyway to try and get information.

After all, I didn't have Frisk's number before the party, and the day after, it was in my phone. And I remember leaving said phone on the counter, not the table.

I chuckled humorlessly. I must be losing my mind, or maybe I was just paranoid. Maybe I was just meant to be with him, after all. Leaving behind Red and the others would be hard. But I didn't want anyone getting hurt because of my past.

The memory of the bunny charm was in my head. Wait...no.

Red was holding it in his hand. The thin chain was wrapped delicately around his phalanges, and he was watching me for a reaction. Even after years of teaching myself to school my features, that necklace still seemed to bring out the worst in me.

“Happy birthday, Bunny.”

All of the biggest people in the family were gathered, and I could see all the expenses they went to, just to make me feel like family. It took them months to trust me. After all, I was just a country girl who came to them for help. My dad had been sick and we needed the money.

And here I was now, a few months later, sitting with them having a lavish dinner and laughs. Some of the girls didn't like me, but Dom said it was just because I was prettier than them. I didn't believe him; these girls were flawless. Their clothes and makeup were well done and proper, and I just sat here in a pair of faded jeans, mud-caked boots and an old shirt.

But, when I saw the necklace in Dom's hand, I felt like the prettiest girl in the entire world.

The chain was thin and silver, and the charm underneath was a bunny rabbit. It was covered in small, shimmery stones and there was a small sapphire in place of the eye. It twinkled up at me and I held my breath as I went to touch it.

“Dom, this is...”

“Wanna wear it now?”

I nodded eagerly and turned so he could put it on. I moved my newly cut hair out of the way and let him fasten it in place before he brought me against him, nuzzling my neck. I laughed, placing my hands on his arms.

“Happy birthday, Bunny. I love you.”

Love. What a shit word.

I looked away from Red, down at the cat and ran my hand over his fur. He would need a bath, and I would have to make sure he knew which rooms he could and couldn't go in. Would need to learn a whole new set of rules for him. Maybe they wouldn't even let him in the actual house...

“sugar.”

Red's hands were on my shoulders, shaking me gently. I took a minute to blink and come back around before looking up at him. He didn't look mad, but he definitely looked worried.

Wait, no. Curious. There was no reason for this vicious monster to worry about a silly human girl. He was the Judge. He had more important things to do rather than worry about me. I was just being burden to him. Eventually, just like everyone else, he'll leave.

They always do.

“sugar."

His voice drew me out of my thoughts again, his eye lights searching my face. I slumped down, gathering Solider in my arms.

“It's alright. There's no need for that. I'll just move,” I murmured into the cat's fur. He purred in response to my voice. “Everything will be okay.”

Red's brow bones furrowed as he regarded me and shook his head. He held the necklace up and watched as I flinched away.

“sugar, ya gotta tell me what's goin' on,” he said, his voice gruff. “ya clung t'me like a lifeline. not that 'm complaining, but...”

I shook my head. “I can't, Red. You'll be in danger. I'm in danger. Papyrus is in danger.”

That made Red scoff, so I paused and listened to him as he said, “danger? us? 'n danger? sugar, ya wound me wit' th' lack o' faith,” he muttered. His eyes went to the necklace in his hand before he met my gaze again. “we're not 'n danger 'ere, sugar. you are.”

I could feel my lower lip tremble and I buried my face in the fur of my cat. I felt like I couldn't breathe again, and I couldn't bring myself to look at him. I didn't want to see that stupid necklace. I didn't want to hear his stupid voice. And I didn't want to be in this position. I used to be so carefree, and so excited for the life of the city. And then the bastard came and took a doe eyed country girl and fucked her up.

Dad got sick, and I thought I had what it took to pay them back. How was I supposed to know it wasn't with actual money?

I felt myself being moved. Solider lazily moved from my lap after giving me a lick on my hand, moving down to his bed. Red curled me into his lap, laying his mandible on the top of my head. I saw him toss the necklace onto the table beside us and moved my face so it was buried in the silk of his vest again.

“i know ya got yer secrets, sugar,” he said gruffly. “but if we're gonna help, we need t'know these things. that includes whatever yer hidin' from us.”

I shook my head. “I'm not ready,” I gasped out, trying to find my breath. “I can't.”

He gave an aggravated growl in his chest, rumbling against my cheek. But he said nothing else and he just curled me into his arms and held me. His fingers stroked through my hair, and he was humming again, a different song this time. I didn't recognize this one, but I definitely liked it. It sounded good in the rumble that was his voice.

I shut my eyes, trying to will myself to breathe. Everything would be okay. Red would protect me. Papyrus would, too. They were here for me. I wasn't alone anymore. Or at least, not as alone as I had felt.

I had them.

**

Dom chuckled to himself, watching as his bunny had a meltdown in the arms of the filthy monster with her. There was an extremely tall one with them that was packing up her stuff, and he scowled now, looking closer. Shit. It was the fucking Judge with her. And Boss.

How does she end up with someone like the goddamn Judge?

He leaned forward, taking a small sip of the lukewarm coffee. His eyes narrowed as she buried herself into the monster's lap, curling into a small ball. Something she had once done with him, back when she was scared of his world. When this was all new to her.

He rolled his eyes and leaned back in his seat again. It didn't matter. What did matter was that she thought she had actually been free to go. It was laughable how easily she tried to blend into society after her time with his family. He could almost remember the fear in her eyes when they dumped her on the streets.

It made him tingle in the most funniest of ways.

He ran his thumb over his bottom lip as her sweet voice carried over to him. He had always loved the way she sounded. Listening to her sing first thing in the morning when she was cooking or showering had become something he'd gotten used to. Her voice was soft enough he couldn't pick up what she was singing, but he could pick up her voice out of a crowd any day.

Like when he'd seen her in the that gross bar, working with a monster. Over time, he'd see her stop looking over her shoulder and actually smile. The small that had always been just for him was shared with others. And he hated it.

He hated letting her go. He knew he didn't own her, specially not now with debt paid off. Now she could just a regular person, living a regular life with a very shitty past. That's what his boss had said. But Dom couldn't agree. He had always felt better with her at his side, even if she was a little air headed.

But that was just another thing to love about her.

When they vanished, he muttered a curse, watching the necklace vanish as well. He couldn't even be mad. Hell, if he had half a mind, he would disappear, too. But, over the years, he couldn't get his mind off of her. His Bunny. She had made it clear she loved him, and he didn't realize until it was too late when his boss had told him to give up.

After some persuasion, he had convinced the boss man she would be fine to come back. She would come back, and everything would be okay.

But he didn't count on the fuckin' skeletons.

He glowered at the abandoned apartment before standing and leaving the little cafe across from Levy's old building. He'd have his work cut out for him, but having his Bunny in his arms would be all worth it in the end.

Whether she liked it at first or not.

Chapter Text

The next day around lunch, Red left to go attend a meeting with Frisk. He left after checking in on me, telling me if I needed anything to give him or Papyrus a call. I nodded, giving him a small smile and waving him out the door. When he left the house, I went downstairs and curled up on the couch, sighing heavily.

The last couple of weeks played out in my head and I rolled my eyes. I had basically become something close to a live in maid, and neither of them had complained about it. I didn't have much of a problem. I mean, it helped keep me busy. I couldn't work at Grillby's with my ankle messed up and I had managed to keep myself busy.

Not to mention, Papyrus was already such a clean freak. He did the dishes as he cooked, and he kept the things in the house stocked. He made sure that Red ate and did what he needed to do just to function in the most basic ways. Hell, he even made sure I was eating and getting out of bed and stuff. He reminded me of a mother hen.

After I calmed down last night, Papyrus had made sure to remind me I was welcome in their home. Whether I wanted to stay or not was up to me, but if I wanted to stay until I found a new place of my own, I was more than welcome.

But I was nervous. Dominic had found me. I didn't know what terrified me more; the fact he had found me, or the fact he made it as known as he did. Not just by text message, but by trashing my apartment and even tracking down that stupid necklace. That goddamn necklace brought back so many bad memories, and I couldn't take it.

It had been a sign of his love at one point before it had been a brand. It had been a brand of his ownership to all the sleazy people that came through the bar. It had been the only rock I had to ground myself when things got too hard. It had been the only thing I had to remind myself that love was nothing but a game to some people.

And it was a hopeless thing to hope for in their line of business.

I huffed, watching as Soldier came out of the kitchen. Papyrus had moved his food and water into the kitchen, and was beginning to spoil the cat all the time. Nowadays, I saw him only when I was having bad days. The other days, he was often following around the taller of the skeletons. If not that, then he snuck into his room and curled up on the end of his bed, waiting for him to come home.

It's a good thing most of their stuff was already black. I chuckled and bent down to pet the cat. He meowed at me and hopped up beside me, curling up and falling asleep. I sighed and got up, deciding it was time to try and get something done today. I grabbed my phone and plugged in my headphones, putting them in before scrolling through and choosing a random song.

I bopped about, moving to clean the house as best as I could. Or at least get to the things that Papyrus couldn't. When I checked the cupboards, I noticed we were running out of a few things, so I went over to the fridge and freezer, checking them. Papyrus must have been distracted if he didn't do any shopping.

I hummed, heading to my room to grab a little notebook I had used to keep track of what I needed to grab. After checking my toiletries, I went downstairs to see what they needed in their house food-wise. I jotted things down as I went, humming along with my music. During a lull in my tunes, I heard the front door open.

“Welcome home...boys...”

I went into the front foyer to see that it wasn't either of the skeletons I was used to seeing. In fact, this was a skeleton I had never seen before, even in the two weeks I had been here. He wore an immaculate suit that reminded me of Papyrus's cleanliness. His vest and handkerchief was a lighter shade of red than Red's usual bloody color. The fedora on his head came off, revealing a long crack down from the top of his skull to the top of his left eye socket. When he looked up, I noticed there was a similar crack the went from the bottom of his right socket to the top of his mouth. He took of his shoes as he held eye contact with me.

“So, you must be the girl I've been hearing about,” he finally said. He voice sounded strange, like there was a strange garble behind his words. It reminded me a lot of Grillby's crackling flames. “I don't think we've had the pleasure.”

I silently shook my head as he came closer. Neither Red nor Papyrus had mentioned another skeleton living here. They never mentioned any other family other than themselves. I took my time to notice he was taller than Red, but still a little shorter than Papyrus. Maybe seven feet. Which was still a lot more intimidating than my own five foot ten.

He stood in front of me, offering a hand. I took notice almost immediately that there were holes missing in each of his palms, as though someone had carved them out. I hesitantly took his hand and he brought it to his mouth, giving it a chaste kiss.

"My name is Wingdings, but you can call me W.D., if that's easier for you,” he said graciously. “I apologize for not coming to meet you sooner.”

“O-oh, I'm sorry,” I stammered. “My name is–”

“Levy, I know,” he chuckled, letting go of my hand. “Or sugar, depending the brother you're talking to.”

“I'm sorry for intruding on your home,” I said, pausing my music on my phone. “Red insisted that...it would be okay...”

“Mm, yes. I heard what happened with your apartment. Shame, really,” he murmured. “Was anything of value taken from you?”

I shook my head. More like someone bringing the value. “No, nothing. It mostly looked like they were trying to find something I didn't have. My apartment was totally trashed.”

“I'm sorry you had to go back to that,” Wingdings said sadly. “I hope my brothers have been hospitable while you've been here.”

“Oh, of course!” I rushed to say. “They've been wonderful.”

He nodded. “If you'll excuse me, I need to retire. I've been out on business for a while and need to recharge.”

“Of course,” I said, nodding. “Would you like me to bring you dinner later?”

He smiled. “Ah, that would be lovely.”

He gave one more kiss to the back of my hand and then he was gone. He moved around me and headed upstairs, probably to the other spare room I wasn't allowed in. When I heard the door shut, I fell to my knees onto the floor. I blinked at the carpet before I could regain any sense of what had happened.

I just met their brother. Wingsdings. Hell, I didn't even know their last name. I was in turmoil over here, trying to make sense of what had just happened. I finally managed to stand up and move to the kitchen again. I finished taking stock of what I needed and went back upstairs to get my wallet. After grabbing that I went back to the kitchen to grab the list, tucking that in my back pocket with my wallet. Once I made sure I had everything, I paused. Should I lock up the house? I didn't have a key to get back in...

“Go ahead; I'll keep the door unlocked for you.”

I almost jumped out of my skin when Wingdings came back into the room, smiling as he headed for the coffee pot. I thanked him before heading out the door, putting my music back in my ears.

I walked the same path Red had numerous times when my ankle had been shot. A lot of the more familiar faces gave me a smile and a wave, and I couldn't help but return the favor. A lot of these monsters had come around after they heard about what happened to make sure I was okay. It was really endearing.

I hummed along to the song, dancing along the way. I felt a smile rise on my lips as I turned in circles and skipped around. I hadn't felt like this since before Dominic. So carefree and happy. It felt like everything that happened yesterday had happened a lifetime ago.

I noticed a lot of people were smiling and laughing with me, waving and giving me thumbs up. It was one of the things I enjoyed about being out this way. Even when I acted like a fool out in public, there were oftentimes people, monster or human, would stop and dance with me. Or they would laugh and wave like they were now. They weren't afraid to be around me.

I wasn't afraid to be around them.

One of the songs changed, and I giggled, beginning to sing along to the song.

“She had them apple bottom jeans,

boots with the fur!

The whole club was lookin' at her.

She hit the floor

Next thing you know,

Shawty get low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low,

The baggy sweatpants and the Reeboks with the straps,

She turned around and gave that big booty a smack

She hit the floor

Next thing ya know

Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low!”

People were coming up to me, grabbing my hands and twirling me. Even for such an inappropriate song, they were laughing with me and dancing. There was one guy who even pretended to smack said ass. Last minute, he smacked his own. And I could help but crack up laughing.

The guy was in a full blown business suit, and he was sitting here with me as I sang about some bitch dropping it low. And smacking his own ass. I continued, even rapping the lyrics as I walked. A lot of people looked at me stunned before they had their turn to joke around with me. So, just to continue the reactions, I kept going.

“Hey, Shawty what I gotta do to get you home

My jeans full of gwap and they ready for stones

Cadillacs, Maybachs for the sexy grown,

Patrone on the rocks that'll make you moan

One stack (come on)

Two stacks (come on)

Three stacks (come on, now that's three grand)

What you think I'm playin' babygirl?”

When I entered the store, I stopped, taking out on of the earbuds and smiling over at the cat monster. I waved over to him. “Hey, BP.”

He hated his name, which wasn't even his actual name. He didn't give me his actual name, but told me to call him BP instead. I had easily agreed. The poor monster looked ready to pass out standing up. I came over and held my arms out, giving him a small pouty face.

He rolled his eyes, but he reached over and gave me hug from the other side of the counter. I laughed, giving his furry kiss on his cheek. He leaned away, one of his ears, which was missing a chunk, twitching. I chuckled.

“How ya been, little buddy? Thought you were goin' home yesterday?” he asked, chewing on a toothpick.

I sighed. “I was supposed to. But...someone broke in a while back and trashed the place. The food I had in the fridge was thrown out and rotted.”

BP moved his toothpick to the other side of his mouth. “Shit, that sucks. Where ya staying at now?”

“Back with the boneheads until I can figure out my next step,” I hollered to him as I brought my list out of my back pocket. “I'll be going back to work tomorrow night.”

He didn't say anything else as I grabbed a basket and began to fill it up. I double checked the list and went to the aisles I needed. I muttered my music to myself as I gathered everything. The songs changed one by one as I moved through the store, grabbing what I needed to. When I went to the front counter, I almost tripped over my shoes.

Red stood talking to BP, leaning over the counter. He looked relaxed, even though he must have just gotten back from whatever meeting him and Frisk had. I took in the scene with narrowed eyes, though. BP looked like he was shaking, wringing his paws together, and his fur looked like it was standing on edge. When he red eyes flitted over to me, they widened considerably more.

As if noticing the cat monster's eyes not on him anymore, Red's head swiveled and we locked gazes. I almost shrank away from him. He looked...angry. The bones in his face looked like they were pinched, and his teeth were making a weird kind of creaking noise; almost like he was grinding his teeth or clenching them. His hands were curled in front of him where he was leaning on the counter.

“Red. I thought you had a meeting today with Frisk?” I asked softly, coming closer slowly.

“s'over,” he said simply. Short. That wasn't good.

It was quiet as I paid for everything. When BP handed me the backs back, he gave me a look I could only describe as apologetic.

What did he have to be sorry for?

When he got outside, Red grabbed my arm and there was a second where there was nothing. When I blinked, we were in the ktichen, and he was putting everything on the counter. Then he turned to me, glaring.

“are ya fuckin' stupid 'r somethin'?” he growled.

I blinked. This was new. He had been nothing but nice and now he was snapping on me like I had kicked his dog across a field.

“Red...”

“i don't wanna fuckin' hear it,” he snapped.

He came closer to me, his steps eating up the distance between us. I backed away as far as I could until I hit the fridge. I let out a loud gasp as he slammed both hands against the fridge beside my head, trapping me in. I looked up at him with wide eyes as he stared down at me. His eye lights were flickering, like he was trying to control his rage.

“'ve been goin' through yer history, sugar,” Red said lowly, his voice slightly shaking. “when were ya gonna tell me that ya were in with th' bianchi family?”

That name alone had the color draining from my face. My hands shook but I fisted them in the hem of my shirt as he glared down at me. Even though the fridge was cool on my back, my front was beginning to sweat. I let out a large gulp, but he didn't pay any mind to it as he stared down at me.

I thought they had gotten rid of my time with them. They said they would get rid off all ties with them, including the time before they made me do that stupid fucking job. Oh god, I was panting now.

“see, frisk 's kinda good wit' computers an' shit like dat,” he said, his accent thicker. “ya left yer phone down 'ere th' other night, an' 'e went through 't t' see what'cha got t' hide from us.” His hand came back and slammed against the fridge again, eliciting a small shriek from me. “why didn' ya fuckin' tell me ya were 'n wit' 'em, levy?”

He used my name. He didn't call me sugar or try to joke it off. He had used my name. He was seriously pissed off. All because he wanted to know my past. But I hadn't known him that long...and I didn't want to ruin what was going on. Everything had been going fine.

I looked away angrily, huffing. “Because it's in the past, Sans.”

If he wanted to use my name, I could do the same thing to him. Call it petty, but this wasn't a playing time, and I was really upset with this.

“a past dat coulda gotten one 'o us killed, ya fuckin' moron,” he snarled now. His clawed phalanges were digging into the fridge now. “yer in bed wit' 'em still, ain'tcha? dat's why ya haven't said a fuckin' word.”

I must have been asking for a death wish at this point.

I shoved him back. His eye lights flickered in surprise as I advanced on him now, grinding my teeth together. How fucking dare he? He didn't know the goddamn story. But I guess that's why this was all happening. But that didn't give him the excuse to accuse me of something I would never do in a million years.

“I don't know who you think you are,” I snapped lowly, “but don't ever accuse me of that shit again! I left that shit behind, and I never intend on going back. I told you that.”

I could feel my lower lip trembling, and I could feel the telltale burn behind my eyes and my nose. I jabbed a finger at him as I spoke and when I finished, I left him leaning against the kitchen table. I marched up the stairs and past the three bedrooms before getting into my own and slamming the door shut. Probably with a little more force than necessary.

But I didn't care. I let the dam break, and my face was wet with tears as I landed on my bed, gathering my pillow close. I curled around it and let out a broken sob.

I didn't want to go back there. If he made me go back there, they would kill me. One of the only conditions I had for leaving was to make sure I was never associated with them. I would be an asset, and they didn't need that with all their shady ass businesses. They didn't need to know about their drugs and guns and other bullshit.

Memories surfaced, and I tried to bury myself deeper into the pillow. There was a gentle knock on the door, but I said nothing, just continuing to cry. Fuck them and fuck this. I would find out how much I had saved and I would leave. If I was that dangerous, I would just leave them all alone and never see them again.

That was the plan originally anyway. So why did it hurt that I thought like this?

I looked away from the pillow, blinking against the onslaught of light before focusing on the glinting necklace that was in front of me. I could sell that again and get away from it completely. The stupid thing was just taunting me, reminding me of a time when fearing for my life was normal. Where I thought someone had loved me, but they were just using me.

And they used my family against me.

And to have that stupid fucking skeleton accuse me of lying in the same bed as them? How dare he. He didn't know the shit I had to go through. How hard it was just to wake up, just to crawl back into my room and cry myself to sleep.

I stared at the wall. In a sense, I couldn't blame him for being upset. The monster family had been having problems with the human mafias. Claiming territory was getting harder, and the monsters were fighting back. But the humans were relentless, and having one on the inside could really hurt them.

I guess I could understand why Red was upset, and he had asked for my story. But I didn't want him to look at me any different. I didn't want him to see the scared nineteen year old who was shaking in her heels when she saw the pole. I wanted him to see the strong twenty-four year old who knew what she was doing, and knew what she wanted. That I was strong. I was brave.

Not meek. Not scared and frightened hiding in the corner.

The thought sent a shiver through my body.

I wouldn't let this douche win. I would just sell the necklace again, gather the money I had, and start looking for a different place. I would get my stuff after work tomorrow and find a hotel to stay in. I wasn't going to cower to him.

Though, it was kind of hot. One of the reason Dominic and I hadn't done anything very often was because he was too soft. He talked a big game, but it was always too...lax. It lacked any real fire or passion I would have expected to come from him. In hindsight, it was probably part of the reason he always got mad at me. But Red? He could talk a big game, and something told me he could back up what he said. Pinned to the fridge, my mind had gone to many different directions, but I didn't act on any of them. He was rightfully mad, he just shouldn't have taken it out on me like that. But, in the end, my panties were a little damp, and my hormones were a little on the hyped side.

I sighed. I needed a cold shower and to start calculating what to do.

Chapter Text

The next night, Grillby watched as I worked silently. Usually I would carry on conversations with the patrons, one of the things he liked about me working behind the bar. But tonight, I was silent and angry. I slammed down cups and bottles a little too hard. I shoved things at people instead of handing them off with a smile. He knew there was something wrong, but he didn't approach me.

Annie and Julian were at the bar now, taking small breaks in between lulls. Right now there were three people at the bar not including the usual poker playing dogs. I had caught them up to speed on what had happened. Dogamy gave me a gentle pat on the head and Dogaressa told me if I needed their help again to let her know. After getting her number, I had gotten to work.

I was only two hours in on an eight hour shift, but I was tense. Red had tried talking to me at dinner the night before, but I hadn't even looked in his direction. Wingdings and Papyrus had shared looks while I was talking to them, but they said nothing about what was going on. Red had excused himself real early to head to bed, and slammed his door shut. I had only rolled my eyes.

Wingdings offered to show me a good hotel to go to, and offered to help pay if I didn't have enough. I smiled and said I had something I needed to sell, but thanked him nonetheless. Papyrus and Red had been shocked when Wingdings and I talked for a while. I found out he was the eldest brother, and that he often had to babysit them when they got into trouble. He'd made a snide remark about Red being in the doghouse now and I had choked on the hot tea, spewing some from my nose.

And while he'd gotten a kick from it, Red certainly didn't.

That night, I went through finances. I had enough saved up from not having to pay bills, and I could only imagine what the necklace would get me. It had been a hefty price before, but now? Who knew. I took in account all my clothes and other things and Solider.

So I got to looking for a hotel that accepted pets. So far, nothing.

“Levy?”

I looked over at Julian, who was squinting at me. When he got my attention, he gave me a half smile.

“You alright? You've been pretty spacey the last couple of hours,” Annie commented, taking a fry from Julian's plate.

“I'm fine. Just didn't sleep very well,” I chuckled, waving them off.

They looked at each other but didn't say anything. As we talked, I noticed there was a bunch of guys moving things to a new stage like area Grillby had put in when I was out of work. There was a microphone stand and a cordless mic set up along with a karaoke machine. There was a bunch of instruments even set up along the back wall.

I looked over at Grillby. “What's going on, fireball?”

With a chuckle, he said, “It's a change I thought we could do. I noticed there was a lot of people talking about a karaoke bar not far from here, so I thought maybe every Friday night we could have a night as such.”

I grinned. “Great idea, Grillbz.”

“i agree.”

I looked from the corner of my eyes to see Red strolling in, his jacket slung over his arm. I glared slightly and moved away from my two coworkers, who were both eyeing him warily. He only shot them a wide smile before heading to what Grillby said was his usual seat. I went to the other end of the bar and helped one of the humans there.

I could feel his eye lights on me, and it only made me angrier. He knew I was working today, and he knew I didn't want him here. I didn't want to be anywhere near him right now. When I made my way past him, he snagged my arm.

“Hey–”

“we need t' talk,” he said lowly, his eye lights darkening. “and 'm not takin' no fer an answer, sugar.”

Oh, so I was sugar again, was I? I huffed and yanked my arm back. “Fine.”

For the next six hours, he sat there, drinking his stupid spicy mustard. Grillby and him were talking in low tones, and I couldn't make out what they were saying, but Grillby looked kind of irked. Red looked like he was about to eat his words or, at best, the counter top. It picked up toward the end of my shift and I offered to stay longer, but Grillby wasn't having any of it. With a shove in the direction of the karaoke machine, I looked mortified.

“What? No.”

“Yes,” he said, the flames on his head rising a little. “I would like you to be the first to use it.”

I sighed, handing him my stuff. “Hold this shit for me then.”

I went up to the stage and huffed, playing the machine for a moment. The din in the bar quieted for a minute before picking up again, but I could feel eyes on me. I fidgeted, but kept touching through everything until I saw the perfect song. I smiled and pressed it, letting a timer go before I walked away.

I grabbed the mic and looked around. Red wasn't in here anymore, but who cared. He probably finally gave up after I avoided him all night. As soon as the music started so did the music.

“You can always bring me down, but I come back around,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round.”

I let the music flow through, letting a smile come to my face the music got a little heavier. I brought the mic back to my lips.

“One time, did it two times and now three times you call me baby,

Why don't you let it all out, you'll only drive me crazy,

Let it go, I said, 'No, no, no!' I said, 'No, no, no!'”

When I opened my mouth for the next line, a new voice cut in. The growl of it sent a chill right down to my toes and I watched as Red hopped up on the stage beside me. His jacket was still missing, but his white long sleeved shirt was pushed up to his elbow joints and his fedora sliding off of his skull. His eyes were trained on the people in front of him, but I could feel his voice, that animalistic growl go right through me.

“I am sarcastic, can you cope with my rejection,

One time, did it two times, it's now, you can reach your own reflection,

Turn around, go down, down, down, down, down, down.”

“Why can't you leave me, cause I'm saying that I had it all

It's like you cannot see that it's just what I wanted.”

“I cannot take it that you're thinking that you can know it all,

Never goin' down, like a boomerang, 'round.”

 

 

“You can always bring me down, but I come back round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

You can always bring me down, but I come back round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round.

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round.”

Part of me had worried that he wouldn't be able to do this. There were two males that did vocals in this band, and he was already doing this deep ass growl. But, without missing a beat he moved into the next verse without so much as a breath, his voice turning up to a bit of a higher pitch.

“I try to face it as you're staging a defiance,

I will reroute to remain, you know that you are driving me insane,

I said, 'No, no, no; let it go, go, go.'”

 

“I'm on the edge, it's like I'm caged, I'm mass destruction

Eye for an eye, I see you know you face your deconstruction,

Turn around, you go down, down, down.”

The way he flawlessly shifted his voice to fit the vocalist, the way he moved on the stage, and the way he enunciated each word...It was brilliant. He had the crowd eating out of his hand. Hell, if I wasn't up here with him, singing along, I would be, too. It was...just wow. I wanted to say it didn't get to me, but I would be lying. My panties may have been a little wet. Oops.

“Why can't you leave me, 'cause I'm saying that I've had it all

It's like you cannot see it's just what I wanted.”

“I can not take it that you're thinking that you know it all

Never going down, like a boomerang, 'round.”

 

“You can always bring me down, but I come back 'round

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

You can always bring me down, but I come back 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round.”

I had almost missed my cue to sing, and his eye lights were dancing around in his skull. He knew he'd thrown me for a loop, and he wasn't going to let me just slide away. I glared at him a little as held the mic back up to his teeth.

“Think you're blood-bound, then I am a mastermind,

Think you're sky-bound you are going down, down,

If you're underground, then I am a king crowned

Now you're going down like a boomerang round!”

“Why can't you leave me, 'cause I'm saying that I had it all,

It's like you cannot see it's just what I wanted.”

“I cannot take that you're thinking that you know it all

Never going down like a boomerang round!”

 

“You can always being me down, but I come back round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

You can always bring me down, but I come back round,

Like a boomerang, like a boomerang, 'round,

Like a boomerang, 'round.”

The song ended and the bar was quiet before there was a huge applause and whistles. I couldn't help myself as I laughed, hiding my smile behind my hands as people called out for more or they ran to Grillby to sign up to use the machine themselves. I placed the mic back on the stand and he placed his on a stand by the instruments.

I jumped off the stage and went to Grillby. I couldn't tell, but it looked like he was fighting back a grin as I came and collected my things. I threw on my jacket and pointed an accusing finger at the fire elemental.

“You set that shit up,” I hissed at him

He only nodded as a cold hand grabbed my free one and hauled me out of the bar. I kept glaring until we left, the cold of the evening settling into my bones.

Summer was coming to an end and I hated it. I loved all the hot days and warm night. The chance to see the stars on a cloudless night. I could lay in a field and watch the world pass me by, and not get cold or have to wear a jacket. It was almost the perfect time of year.

Outside the din of the bar, I looked to Red. He was fidgeting anxiously, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his slacks. I watched him for another moment before turning on my heel and heading toward his home.

He caught up quickly, and for a while the only sound I heard was of our shoes hitting the pavement under our feet. After a while, he spoke.

“m'sorry.”

I hummed, but said nothing else. In reality, I guess it really should be me apologizing. I knew the dangers of being involved with another family like this. The mafia was a dangerous life, and being in bed with another family could ruin everything these monsters have built. And while they were still in same shady business, pitting the two against each other didn't seem like a good idea.

“Why are you sorry?” I asked.

“i shouldn'ta yelled at'cha like that,” he mumbled, shrugging his shoulders. “'m jus' upset ya hid shit like that from me.”

I felt my shoulders droop. “Guess I should tell you guys the whole story, huh?” I murmured. “I really don't want to; it'll bring up bad memories. But...if it'll help you guys understand I'm not 'in bed' with them, I'll do it.”

He looked over at me, and in the dark of the night, his red eye lights cast a strange glow over me. I looked over at him and stopped. His eye lights traveled up and down my person and I fidgeted underneath his gaze. In a flash, he had me pinned up against the side of building.

In the dark, his eye lights were all I could see as he stared down at me. I let out a small squeak and looked back up at him.

“Red?” I breathed out.

“ya smell o' another dude,” he snarled now, his voice low. “who touched ya?”

“No one did–” “liar,” he whispered now, his voice husky. “i c'n smell 'im on you. in yer clothes, on your skin. ya smell of another guy an' it's drivin' me fuckin' insane.”

“Why would it bother you?” I murmured, my eyes flicking between his sockets. “I'm not yours.”

Something snapped in him then, and his eye lights burned a little brighter as he regarded me. One of his hands slid onto my waist and gripped it, his claws digging into the flesh. I let out a small gasp as he leaned in close, his teeth by my ear.

“i'd watch yaself, sugar,” he murmured. “yer walkin' on thin ice wit' me, an' 'm already close to the edge.” His breath was hot on my ear. “'ve held m'self back, but if I need t' demonstrate jus' how much 've been holdin' back..."

I could hear my heartbeat in my eardrums. His breath was fanning the side of my face, and his claws were digging into the flesh of my hip, but I couldn't bring myself to shove him away. I couldn't bring myself to tell him to back off. If anything, in the back of my mind, I was begging him to close the distance.

My breathing was coming out in pants. My mind was muddled and I was clenching onto his vest with a tight fist. The other hand was on his carpals, but I wasn't moving his hand. My brain was telling me to keep it there. Like it needed his touch...

I turned my face away, taking in a deep breath. I was thinking with hormones, not my brain. I shut my eyes for a second before opening them again and looking at the monster in front of me. He was still in front of me, but he had moved away a bit. His face was coated in that red hue, his magic rushing to his face.

We were both standing there in the dark, panting as we stared at each other. The lights in his sockets were studying over my face, and the glow they cast moved with them. I opened and closed my mouth once or twice before anything came out.

“I told you,” I said, my voice coming out a husked murmur, “that I wasn't going to do this again. We will never happen.”

He chuckled, his voice husky as he appraised me and knocked his forehead against mine with a dull thud. That feral grin was back on his face and I felt myself shiver under his stare as a red tongue poked out from between his teeth, running along the top of his teeth. I followed the movement, but looked away.

He gripped my chin and brought my face up to look at him. “an' i told'ja that i don't care, sugar,” he said, smirking. “i told'ja i would go t' any lengths t' get what i wanted. an', 'f we're gonna be honest, i want you.”

The way he said that last word made a chill roll through my entire body. He didn't make a move to try and stake his claim on me right there, though there was a part of me that was screaming I needed him to. Then there was the logical part of me that was screaming at me to ignore the horny part and just go on my merry way. There was no need to get tangled up into this life again.

A life he now knew of.

Okay, well only some of it. But the point of the matter was he didn't know everything I had gone through. Once he found out what happened, he'd likely toss me back into the Binachi family's lap. I wouldn't say I'd blame him, but it was a scary thought nonetheless.

He released my chin with a “cat caught the canary” like grin and moved away from me, giving me room to breathe. I took in another deep breath and blew it out slowly. I began walking toward his home again, with him lazily trailing alongside me. It took everything in my power to calm the hormones raging within me.

When we made it home I went to the stairs. Before going up, I turned to face him as he was loosening his tie.

“Red.”

“'sup?”

“I'll tell you everything tomorrow. I have the day off, so if the others in the tight knit circle you have are free, I can explain it to them, as well.”

His eyes flashed to my face. After a moment of silence he said, “ya sure 'bout that, sugar? i can't tell ya what th' others might do or say t' ya.”

“I know.”

He regarded me for another moment before nodding finally. “'f that's whatcha wanna do, i'll give everybody a ring later. go get some sleep.”

“Night, Red.”

“night, sugar.”

Chapter Text

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.

“Papyrus...”

“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.”

Chapter Text

I stood outside the store, waiting for my dad to get done buying what he needed. I rocked on my feet, taking a small sip of coffee as I looked around me. Ebott had always been a wonderful place to grow up next to. But mom and dad preferred to live out in the country, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Personally, I liked it.

I liked listening to people walking by talking on their phones. Just going about their daily business. I guess I was a people watcher. People always had quirks that only strangers ever noticed. How they fiddled with their belt loops. Shifting on their feet while wearing uncomfortable heels. Shying away from people they didn't know. Constantly switching their phone from ear to ear. The way they would double take when they saw prices on their buys.

It was always interesting to me.

I glanced back when my dad came out, rubbing his forehead in agitation. He was a tall man, built with muscle from years of working on the farm. His tanned skin was almost crispy, roughed up from years under the sun and hard work. His graying hair was mostly shaved off, mostly around the sides. His honey colored eyes looked down at me.

“Hey, sweetie, sorry about leaving you out here,” he said, ruffling my hair.

I chuckled and swatted his hand away. “You're fine, daddy. How's everything going in there?”

He grimaced and shook his head. “Not very well. Probably gonna be here a while. Why don't you go wander about?” He dug in his pocket and handed me a couple of twenties. “Here's some money for you. Buy yourself some food or something, alright?”

I nodded, putting the money in the front pocket of my overalls. “You got it, dad. What time should I head back this way?”

He hummed. “I'll call ya, baby. Go have fun.”

I waved goodbye to him and started off down the street. It was a huge place, with a lot of big buildings and a lot of people. I'd seen movies where people in New York were like this, but this just seemed a little more tame. Maybe it was because New York had many cities and areas where they were like this. But for me? This was it.

I wandered along the streets, staring up at the buildings and statues. I ran my hands along the brick buildings and looked around at the people who moved around. The sun was high in the sky, and it was kind of hot. I adjusted the straps on my overalls and went to take a sip of the coffee in my hands.

Until I ran into someone and spilled it all over their expensive suit.

I gasped, jumping back a string of dark curses spilled from the stranger's lips. I held a hand over my mouth as I watched the empty cup roll away and onto the street with oncoming traffic. Before I could go and try to grab it, the same voice that was cursing sent a chill down my spine.

“I wouldn't go into the street unless you want run over, pretty girl."

I turned and looked at the man in front of me. I almost had to do a double take. He looked incredible in a three piece suit. He had a white collared shirt under his black jacket and wore expensive looking loafers with his suit. There was a handkerchief in his hand that was beginning to stain a dark brown from trying to wipe the coffee from his suit. He had piercing green eyes that reminded me of the grass at the farm, and hair as dark as night that fell over one eye.

He was gorgeous.

I sucked in a breath and looked between him and the now crushed coffee cup. I looked back at him and moved further onto the sidewalk. He moved with me, watching around us before looking back at me with a faint smile.

Then I noticed the giant brown stain forming on his crisp, white shirt.

“Oh, damnit, I'm sorry,” I groaned. “I didn't watch where I was going...”

“Hey, hey. It's alright,” he soothed, holding up both of his hands. “It was an honest mistake, yeah? You look like you haven't been around these parts before, sweetness. What's your name?”

I bit my words back. This man was a total stranger, and I didn't know him from any other John walking the streets right now. If it was one thing my dad has taught me, it was that pretty boys with fancy hair and nice looking nails are the ones to avoid the most. They could turn a hard working girl into a spoiled brat.

When I didn't answer, he gave a weak chuckle. “Alright, I get it. I'm a stranger. I apologize for being so forward, but you're a beauty among this sea of dead fish.” His eyes flicked to mine, moving between the two. “Especially with eyes as beautiful as yours.”

I was taken aback. No one had ever commented something good on my eyes. Even my parents didn't say nice things about them. They never did it while I was around or awake, but I've overheard them. How unnatural my eyes are. That it must be some kind of freaky magic that cursed the family line for my eyes to come out like this.

I touched my hand to my cheek absently. “Thank you...” I murmured softly. He gave me a smile that was nothing but snow white teeth. I could feel a part of me melt, not to mention feeling the guilt eat away at me. He looked like he was in a hurry, and he kept checking out the area around us like he was waiting for someone to come out and strike him down at any moment. The thought alone was a little disconcerting, but I gave him a tiny smile.

“I can pay you back...” I began reaching into the front of my overalls before his chuckle stopped me.

“It's alright, really,” he said. “If you wanna pay me back that bad, why not come with me to get another cup of coffee.”

I hesitated, my smile slipping a little. I touched the flip phone in my pocket, thinking of all things that could go wrong because of that simple request. Looking around me quickly, I didn't know where I was and I didn't know how far the store was where my dad was at. I couldn't just run and hope to find my way back. Ebott was a big city, and I was afraid I would end up lost if I just ran away from a bad situation.

If anything, the worst this guy could do was rape and-or kill me. And that was something my mom had taught me at a young age. Guys could take advantage of a girl like me. I didn't know what she meant, and hell, I still didn't.

But he was being nice. I had spilled coffee on the guy and I was hesitating over going to get another coffee. Something I desperately needed after being up since four o'clock this morning to let the horses out of the barn. After debating it for another moment, I gave a timid nod.

“Okay...”

He smiled down at me and offered his arm. I took it shyly, moving my hair to cover my face. He led me along the path, pointing out random things here and there. I would laugh a little when he would crack a joke and I would peep at him every now and then from the corner of my eye. He really was handsome, and I liked the way his eyes lit up when the sun hit them just right.

He led me inside a small cafe, holding the door open for me. The bell above jingled as we made our way inside. I made my way up to the counter and he came up behind me, placing a hand on the small of my back. I jumped a little at the contact, my face heating up in a little blush.

“I'll take a large coffee, regular blend, with five sugars and six creams. Oh, and some thin mint flavoring,” I told the lady at the register. “And whatever he wants.”

The woman looked from me to him. Her bored expression switching, and I noticed there seemed to be a sheen of sweat beginning to bead on her forehead. She looked between the two of us while ringing up what he ordered, which was nothing but a medium black coffee. When I went to reach for the money, she held up a hand.

“It's alright, honey. We got it covered,” she said. Was her voice shaking a little? “Will that be all?”

“Oh, could you add an everything bagel with cream cheese?” I asked. “I haven't had one of those in forever.”

“Of course,” she said. Yep, her voice was definitely shaking. “Anything else for you guys today?”

“No, that'll be all,” the guy said. “How much?”

“We've got it covered for you guys.” Man, even her smile looked like it was going to tremble.

We made our way over to a booth where he sat facing the window. He looked out it a few times while we made idle chit chat, and our drinks and my bagel came out. The smell was absolutely heavenly and I let out a sigh before taking a sip of it. Spot on.

“God, this is great,” I murmured.

The guy grinned. “Glad to hear it.”

He pulled out his phone and tapped on it a few times before placing it screen down on the table beside his coffee. He linked his fingers together in front of him, elbows on the table and his chin on the back of his hands. “So what are you doing around these parts anyway?”

I swallowed the bite of bagel I had before wiping my mouth of the extra cream cheese. “My dad is in the shop right now doing some stuff, so I came with him. He said it would be a little longer, so he gave me some money and told me to go explore,” I explained. “I've never really been off the farm, and not for long.”

“Farm, huh?” That seemed to pique his interest. “I didn't realize there was a farm around Ebott. Stories say that all the farms were burned or torn down after the monsters were locked under the mountain all those centuries ago.”

I laughed. “What, do you believe those stories?” I teased him. “Those are just made up tales to scare little kids into behaving themselves. At least, that's what my parents did with me.”

He chuckled again. His chuckle sounded so amazing. It was husky, and his voice even had a slight rasp in it that reminded me he was a smoker. I could smell it on his clothes and the small square bump in the breast pocket of his jacket. He hadn't smoked around me yet, but I was dying for one.

Filthy habits die hard.

“Nah, I don't think those hold any truths to them,” he said. “In fact, I think the real monsters are all around this city.”

I tilted my head. “You think so?”

He nodded. “I do. There are dangerous people out there, sweets.”

I mulled it over when he checked his phone again. I wasn't stupid. I knew there were things humans did that were cruel. War, torture, murder. It was plastered all over the news my mother watches on the TV during her down time. I knew the farm was just a happy little bubble that I would eventually have to leave.

After taking a thoughtful sip of my coffee, I asked, “Are you one of them?”

He gave a pause before looking at me over the top of his phone. Those green eyes just pierced right through me, and I felt myself melt a little more as I watched him. After a second, he put down his phone and dropped his arms, laying them on the table in front of his, his fingers still linked together. He wore a smile that sent an unfamiliar shiver through my body.

“I could be,” he whispered, “but only in the best way.” He winked at me.

Holy shit, my heart.

He looked at his phone again and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Sorry, bunny. But it looks like work's calling.” He stood up and grabbed his coffee cup. Before he walked away, he turned around, giving me a smile. “I totally forgot to give you my name. I'm Dominic.”

He went to walk away again before I called out, “Dominic?” I like the way his name slid off my tongue.

He paused and looked over at me, something crossing his face before he tilted his head. “What's up, bunny?”

“...Levy,” I murmured. “My name. It's Levy.”

He seemed to relax and grinned now. Mirth flashed through his green eyes before he said, “I like 'bunny' better.” He turned back and went toward the door. “Hope to see you soon, Bunny!”

And just like that, my world was turned upside down. When my dad went into town, I would go with him. The first month I felt bad, sneaking around like that. I would often meet Dominic in the cafe he took me to the first day we met. We would usually get our stuff for free, and I had begun to save up the money my dad would give me to go wander about. At some point, we started sitting closer. He had asked me my age once, and when I told him I was eighteen, he seemed excited.

Everything was going great. He even would get me flowers. Though having to tell my dad that I had a suitor who got them for me didn't go over well. But, when my parents met him, they were just as smitten as I was.

But...then my dad got sick.

Trips out toward the city grew far and in between. They grew shorter, and I wouldn't be able to finish having coffee with him before my dad said it was time to go. He wasn't eating, and he was losing weight too fast. He started getting discolored patches on his skin, and he often complained about his stomach hurting. He was getting worse as the months passed. He looked like he could pass out at any moment.

And then he did, while trying to break a wild horse. The horse had almost smashed his head in, had I not been there to stop it. When he was taken to the hospital, it had been worse than he let on.

He had cancer. Liver cancer. And he wasn't going to make it out without some high quality care. If we let it continue as it was, he wasn't looking at a future at all.

At almost nineteen years old, I had finally had a taste of fear. I had finally learned what it felt like to almost lose someone so close to you.

I called Dominic, despite being late into the night. I bit my nails waiting for him to pick up and when he did, he sounded kind of miffed.

“What?” he grumbled into his phone, his voice raspy with sleep. “It's fucking four in the goddamn morning–”

“Dom...”

There was some rustling on his end and a faint click. Probably turning on the lamp beside his bed. When he spoke, he sounded a little more alert. “Bunny? Baby, what's wrong?”

“It's my dad,” I choked out. When had I started crying. “Remember how I've been telling you he hasn't been doing that great?”

“Yeah, you said he wasn't eating much? What's going on?” His voice had gotten a little louder, like he was a in a slight panic himself.

“He has cancer,” I whispered quietly, causing the people around me to give me sympathetic looks. “Liver. They can't...we can't...” A sob escaped my throat. “Dom, we can't do anything about it. The care they could use now to try and put it in remission is too much for my mom and I to try and come up with and...” I took in a giant, gasping breath. “He's going to die, Dom.”

“Bunny, I need you to listen to me, okay? What hospital are you at?”

“Ebott Mercy's.”

“Stay there. Send your mom home and let her rest, alright? Stay there until I get there. Give me half an hour, you hear me?”

“Okay,” I hiccuped. “I'll be here.”

“Alright, Bunny. I'll see you soon.”

He hung up and I brought the phone away from my ear. I clicked the screen on it, staring at the background. It was a picture of Dominic and I from a picnic we'd had a few months prior. Before my dad had started to stop eating. Or was he not eating then, too? He did get sick a lot then, but it wasn't as bad as it had been.

Numbly, I went back inside and went up the stairs, letting mom know I would take it from here. I told her to go home and try and get some rest. She didn't even argue and quietly made her way out of the room. Her eyes were red and puffy; she'd been crying the entire time.

Half an hour passed, and I could hear Dominic's voice coming from down the hall. I looked at my sleeping father one more time before I left the room, striding down the corridor until I spotted him. He stopped talking when he heard me coming and opened his arms for me.

I damn near threw myself into them, letting out a loud wail that made the nurses, patients, visitors and doctors alike look away from us. I clung to the suit he wore, burying my face into his chest. He ran his hand over my hair, whispering to me. I heard him promise things I didn't think he could really promise, but I clung to the hope that he could help. That he could do something.

Anything.

After a few minutes, he led me back down the hall and into my dad's room. He kept his arm around my shoulders and I couldn't have been more grateful. I didn't know if I could stay upright, and with the exhaustion, I didn't think it would be physically possible.

When we made it to the door, he stopped, his arm bringing me around so I could face him. He placed both hands on my shoulders and his eyes scoured my face. After a minute, he sighed, a frown on his face.

“You haven't slept.”

“I've been here all night.”

I waved him off weakly, but he grabbed my hand and interlaced our fingers. I felt my heart stammer in my chest and looked up at him, blinking slowly. He'd been doing a lot of things like this lately. Giving me pet names other than “bunny”, holding me longer in our hugs, holding hands. All the couple stuff I would read in those trashy romance novels my friends liked to sneak me every now and then.

He leaned down and kissed me. I let go of his hand and held his cheeks in my hands as he did, shutting my eyes and reveling in the feeling of him. It was then, in that hallway, I knew I had fallen deep in love.

When he pulled away, he brought me close. He was so tall, my head just hitting his chin. He let one of his hands intertwine in my hair and the other held me loosely by the waist. He bent down enough to give me a chaste kiss on the top of my head.

“We'll figure it out, Bunny,” he whispered. “I promise.”

And we did. I stayed with him at his house for a few days while he set my mom up in a cushy spa, letting her get out all her stress. We let him take care of doctors and payments. My mother had tried fighting him on it, but he wasn't going to have it. But my mom didn't trust him. She said there was something wrong with the way he was acting.

After bidding my mother goodbye, I spent my few blissful days with Dominic. And that's when things started to piece together, and completely fall apart.

I didn't mean to walk in on him and Don Bianchi during a meeting. I didn't mean to see things I wasn't supposed to. I didn't mean to have my hand in that. But by the time I noticed all of this, I was too late. I was so far in, and I knew too much. Not to mention, now I owed them the money for helping my dad get his treatments to he could have a fighting chance.

When I told Dominic that mom and I had saved up the money to pay him back, he changed. He had turned hostile, throwing something onto the ground in his fit of rage. It scared me, even when he came toward me while he was calm.

“There's no paying back in money, Bunny,” he murmured, lifting my chin with his finger. There was a cruel smile on his lips I didn't recognize. “I have something a little more suitable for you.”

I cried that night. I had slept in a different room and cried, burying my face in the fluffy pillows while I did. He had told me that I was to cut off all contact with my parents, even after my dad made a recovery. I didn't know what he'd had planned, but I didn't like the way he acted.

He had done a total flip, and it made my heart hurt. I had found out after walking in on him and the Don, that he was in with the mafia. That's how he was able to afford all of this. This lifestyle, my phone, why people feared him and gave us free things at the cafe. He ran that area, and he ran it with an iron fist.

I had seen it too late.

A few days later, I sent one last text to my parents and tossed the phone in a lake nearby the mountain. I watched it sink to the bottom and I turned and walked back to where Dominic was waiting. He opened the car door for me, and I slid inside. With that, I was whisked away to my new home, and a whole new life.

Nothing happened, though. I was on edge for months, just waiting for something to happen. But he treated more as a girlfriend than he did as some kind of money owing farm girl. He bought me the nicest things. Took me out to the greatest places. Treated me like a queen. Even got me that bunny necklace on my nineteenth birthday. Where he told me he loved me in front of everyone, even the Don. Said Don didn't like that. He was angry that his right hand man was “in love” with some “trashy farm girl”.

Then shit got worse.

A few days after my nineteenth, I was summoned to see the Don. By myself. Dominic wasn't allowed to come with me. Not that he cared to. He went from loving and caring to being cold and callous. When I went to see the Don, I saw one of the girls from his most successful strip club standing beside him, looking away from me. He told me to pay back what I owed him, I would be working with them from now on.

I cried that night again.

For the next two years, to pay back what I had borrowed, I worked the pole. They took the new farm girl with big dreams and hopes and just...crushed her. I was scared everyday, even when I had one of the girls with me. I hated who I had become. I slowly watched myself become this other person. I had become “Diamond”, my stage name. I had become a shell.

A few months after I turned twenty-one, they let me go. I knew there was something wrong with that. They didn't just let people go, knowing what I know. Being in the stripper business, rumors and secrets fly. And I knew a lot. Maybe they didn't know I knew, but I couldn't say.

They had Dominic let me go. He gave me a couple thousand and my old clothes back. He gave me some of the nicer things he got me while I was with him. Even that stupid necklace was buried in the pile somewhere, hidden from me. I had put it on his bed when I left, and he snuck it back into all of my things.

He told me he didn't love me anymore. He told me I wasn't worth the hassle. And that I would just get in his way. I took it all, sitting there in the car that would take me back to my parents' arms. I just let it wash over me that the one person I thought would always love me, just told me all of it meant nothing.

It was heart breaking. I left.

And I stayed with my parents for a year. That's when the monsters came up and emerged. I left for the city again, making sure I stayed away from that specific part of the city. I got a job at Grillby's, and...

Well, the rest is history.

Chapter Text

I was going to rub my wrist raw. The silence in the room was deafening, and I kept my gaze down. I let out a small hiccup, my piece of pie and cup of tea sitting cold in front of me. I didn't want to eat it, and I didn't want to have any tea. I had just bared a part of myself that I was told I would never have to bring up again.

All to the monster family.

No one spoke for the longest time. I refused to look up, switching up my wrists and rubbing them frantically. The thought of Dominic now made me sick, and looking back, I should have seen it all coming. But I thought I was in love, and was willing to look past all of that crap just to be with him. And I got burned by it.

There was a creaking noise behind me and I looked back. Skeletal hands with golden rings greeted me, and I looked up to see Red staring out the large window. His claws had dug into the fabric of the chair, and I reached up to touch his hand.

His head jerked in my direction and he stared at me, his crimson eye lights glowing bright and even seeming to waver a little. It was like they were flickering in and out of existence, but I couldn't tell if they were. It was happening too fast for me to see.

Asgore was the first to speak, and his voice was gruff.

“I apologize that this has happened to you,” he said, leaning back in his chair. “It seems you were dragged into this world rather than willingly coming into it, much like Captain Undyne thought.”

Undyne was looking away, her features pinched. She was staring at the ground, and Alphys was holding her hand while looking at the table. Toriel looked horrified, with both of her paws held up to her muzzle and Frisk looked ready to actually cry. Even Flowey looked upset over this. Mettaton looked utterly aghast, all four of his arms over his chest plate. Papyrus looked like he was shaking, his gloved hands shaking as he gripped the arms of his suit. Muffet looked ready to start a riot. None of them could look at me.

I looked at them with a tiny smile. “It's alright. I'm not mad. I thought it would be best to clear the air.”

Wingdings came from my left, standing between Asgore and I. He clasped a holed hand on the Don's shoulder. “It seems we were wrong,” he said softly. “Maybe we should let her go.”

“not happenin'.”

All eyes turned to Red. Even myself, turning in my seat a little. He was still looking down at me, and his eye lights were almost nonexistent as he watched me. They flicked over my face, taking in my features as he ripped his claws from the chair, stiffly turning to the window. He clasped his hands behind his back and I could hear him take in a deep breath.

I thought he didn't need to breathe?

“Sans, please...” Toriel trailed off when his shoulders stiffened, but she continued, “If she doesn't want to be in this anymore, she doesn't have to.”

“THAT'S CORRECT, BROTHER,” Papyrus nodded. “SHE IS FREE TO LEAVE. SHE HAD THE CHOICE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER ONCE, WE DON'T WANT TO KEEP HER IN SOMETHING SHE WANTS NO PART OF.” He paused, looking over at his brother. “WE NEED TO RESPECT THAT, SANS.”

"i c'n respect that jus' fine,” Red said, turning his head to face everyone. “what'cha fucks 're forgetting to remember 's th' same guy that she thought she was leavin' in th' dust 's back on her doorstep.” His gaze sliced to me. “'m not lettin' her out of m' sight.”

It was quiet in the room minus the creak of leather from people shifting in their chairs. I held eye contact with Red, narrowing my eyes at him. Not a single person spoke up but no one went to tell him otherwise.

It was true. As much as I didn't want to admit it, Red had a fair point. Dominic wasn't supposed to come back around. He was supposed to leave me alone, so long as I never mentioned anything about what happened within the family. I had agree to that when they sent me back to my parents. I thought he wouldn't come after me. After all, he's the one who told me I wasn't worth the effort. I wasn't worth keeping around anymore. I was old. I wasn't good enough.

I tried coming up with any excuse, but nothing came to mind in the moment. We kept glaring at each other until he moved away from the window and looking behind me to Asgore. I huffed and turned in my seat to look back at the table, rubbing my wrist furiously.

Red's hand came down and snatched my hand, prying it away gently from my wrist. I kept glaring at the table, but the contact made my heart skip a beat. Even something as innocent as that could get my blood pumping from him. I couldn't say I hated it, but I definitely didn't appreciate it. Maybe I had just gone too long without getting laid.

That must be it.

“listen, sugar,” he said now, drawing my attention back up to him. “i know ya don't want nothin' t' do wit' this life. but ya don't got th' choice anymore. th' second that prick brought ya 'n, you were doomed.” His eye lights flickered for a moment before he continued talking. “fer now, yer gonna be stayin' wit' m' bros an' i. we c'n keep an eye on ya an' make sure ya ain't gonna get kidnapped or some shit.”

I ground my teeth together. After a moment, I deflated, dropping my head. I could feel my shoulders slump forward, and I knew I wasn't going to win this. Red was right. With Dominic this close, I couldn't stay by myself. I've seen him do some questionable things and he wasn't afraid to go to some dirty lengths to get what he wanted.

“Fine,” I mumbled. “But I'm telling you, all of you, that I want no part in any of this.” I waved around the table. “I want nothing to do with it, and I don't want to stop working with Grillby. I need to keep moving. And if he sees I stopped showing up for work, depending if he knows where I work, he's gonna get suspicious instantly.”

Asgore looked at me, furry brow raised. He sat with his hands linked together over the table. Wingdings was standing beside him still, his hand sliding off of his shoulder. Papyrus looked at me, blinking slowly. Everyone was watching me, various expressions of surprise on their faces. I looked away back at the table and tugged my hand from Red.

Or tried to. He held firm, his phalanges tightening just a tad. I kept staring at the table, but I knew he didn't want me to rub my wrist. Instead, my other hand played with the extra fabric of my pants.

“My child, would you mind coming with me?” Toriel asked suddenly, standing up. “I would like to speak with you privately.”

I looked up at her, my brows raised. She was standing now, coming around her husband to come stand next to me. She held out her paw and when I looked around the table, it was nothing but nods and smiles. Even Frisk gave me a thumbs up and Flowey made “shooing” motions with his leaves.

I nodded, taking my hand from Red and placing it in her paw. She smiled at me and led me out of the quiet room. The door shut with a soft click behind us and she turned and headed for stairs. I had to practically jog in order to keep up with her; her legs were so long, and one of her steps was equal to at least three of mine.

We went down the stairs and entered a huge dining room before going into the kitchen. The monsters in there all waved to her, giving her smiles and talking about the dinner plan tonight. I stared with wide eyes. The last time I had seen a high ranking member of the mafia talk to their cooks or maids it usually ended in them getting fired or smacked. The thought made me cringe.

“This is Levy. She and I will be doing the cooking tonight with Grillby,” I heard her say. “I know a few of you wanted to go home to your families early today.”

I looked up at her. It struck me now, how insane she could look. Her eyes, her little twitches here and there. Even the eye shadow above her eyes made her seem a little crazed. But she was so kind. The monsters gathered around us and introduced themselves, giving me a smile and even a handshake if they could do it. One monster, Woshua, even stopped washing the floor long enough to say hello. He was actually kind of adorable.

They eventually cleared out, and Grillby came down a moment later, pushing up the sleeves of his shirt. Toriel clapped once, grinning as she went to the huge fridge toward the back of the room.

“Alright, my child,” she said, waving me over, “since you are our guest of honor, why don't you pick what we make tonight? Asgore isn't too picky of an eater, and Flowey...” She giggled a little behind her hand. “Flowey doesn't like eating his greens.”

It took me a minute to process why that would be funny, but when I did, I grinned and hid my face behind my hands. When I was done laughing, I took stock of what they had in the fridge. Even in the freezer and what they had in the cupboards. After gathering what I could, I turned to her.

“Maybe we could do a chicken cordon bleu?” I suggested. “It'll be a lot of work, but if there's three of us, it should move just fine, right?”

Grillby smiled down at me and placed a hand on my head. The small heat from his hand was welcome, and it warmed me to the bone. I grinned up at him and Toriel began pulling things out that she needed from the fridge and freezer while Grillby helped me gather stuff from the cupboards.

Maybe it would also help distract me from my own story, and the sympathetic gazes of the monsters I began to think of as friends.

**

Red took over Levy's abandoned seat, dropping his head into his hands. He scrubbed furiously at his eye sockets, causing bone to scrape together in his frustrations. He didn't even think how bad it was getting until Wingdings grabbed his wrists and slammed them back onto the table. Tiny bits of bones and dust fell with his hands and Red looked up at the eldest brother.

Wingdings was staring down at him, his eye sockets narrowed and eye lights moving over his face. He released the middle child before taking a seat beside Papyrus. The others began to move in a little closer, and Frisk was the first one to speak.

“So what are gonna do now?” he asked. “I'm not comfortable with letting this creep get closer to her.”

"I don't think any of us are,” Undyne said, rubbing her temples. “I feel like shit for thinking she was still in bed with them. Stars...”

“I think Sans is right,” Wingdings said. “While I don't agree with the fact his scent is all over her–” He snapped his glare over to Red, who shrunk back a little. “–I think it would be a good idea for her to stay with us until everything is taken care of.”

Mettaton let out a small giggle, clapping one set of hands together as he regarded Red. “So I wasn't just imagining things.”

Red rolled the lights around in his head. “'it wasn't on purpose,” he said. “i did 't outta anger.”

Alphys snorted, tapping a claw a few times on her clipboard. “I-I don't think you c-can use that as an excuse a-anymore.” She regarded him with a raised brow. “The night of t-the dinner she w-was covered in your scent.”

Red sighed. He really hadn't meant to. But during her story, he couldn't help but feel protective over her. She'd been so young, so ready to see where her life would take her. And this one guy had come in, ruining it. She had thought he was her knight in shining armor, and he turned out to be an asshole in tinfoil. It made Red's teeth grind.

He looked back at the group. “look, 't doesn't matter now. Right now, we need t' figure out what we're gonna d' from this point forward.”

Undyne nodded, running a finger over her eye patch. “She works with Grillby. So whenever she's working, he can keep an eye on things while she's there.”

Wingdings and Papyrus both nodded. “THE HUMAN COMES HOME TO US FOR THE TIME BEING,” Papyrus mused. “BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE BEST IF SHE DOES STAY WITH US IN THE MEAN TIME.”

Wingdings muttered his agreement. “She's pretty useful around the house. Could get her a little maid outfit...”

The growl that cut through the room made Wingdings pause. Everyone looked at each other and grinned while Red's eye light dimmed out. One even vanished for a minute before Wingdings chuckled at his brother's reaction.

“Calm down, Sans,” he said, waving off the angry skeleton. “Listen, she'll stay with us, and she'll be fine when she's out working at Grillby's. But when she goes out, or to and from work, she'll need someone with her.”

“i c'n escort 'er t' an' from work,” Red said gruffly. “'less 'm busy that day. sh' can't come wit' me on m' work days.”

“I can take over those days,” Undyne offered. “Or Papyrus, depending if he's available, too.”

“What about me?” Frisk huffed.

Asgore placed a large paw on his son's head. “Sorry, young one. You're the Ambassador. There's people after yo already. Don't need two open targets.”

“Do you think this prick's boss is after her? Or helping him in anyway?” Flowey asked now, turning to face their dad. “I mean, what if he's not working alone?”

“from what sugar said, this guy got a whole lotta power on 'is own,” Red said, his voice hinting at a snarl. “i don't think 'e's got anyone helpin' 'im. but 'ts possible.”

Asgore stroked his beard, nodding to himself. “For now, we'll keep an eye out. She seems like a nice girl. And Grillby has spoken highly of her before. She just had a rough patch that shouldn't have happened to her.”

Everyone agreed silently. Red nodded and stood, making his way out of the room while everyone talked about the next steps. He sauntered his way into the hall and down the stairs, humming to himself. When he placed a hand on the door handle to go out for a smoke, he heard her giggling and he paused.

It was only then he noticed the smell of chicken. The scent was drifting through the air, and he could smell her along with it. He could her the laughter in her voice, and could hear Toriel and Grillby talking to her. He could hear the banging of pots and pans, and when one of them dropped she let out a frightened shriek quickly followed by laughter.

He went out the door and closed it quietly. He brought out one of his cigars and lit it with his magic, snapping his fingers in front of it. As the smoke filtered through the air and the smell of cherries surrounded him, he pressed a hand to his sternum. The way she made him feel was frightening, but something about it was exhilarating. She was so full of life, and even with everything that had happened to her, she persevered. It was no wonder her soul was so...beautiful.

He needed her more than he needed anything in that moment. Something about her tugged at him, and he needed to figure out what it was. Caring for someone this much could get him killed. Stars, it could get any of them killed. Humans were far and few in between when it came to their family. Asgore didn't trust any of them enough,except for those Frisk had personally vouched for. And even then, they were usually kept far away from the important business.

But her...she could easily fit right in. Even if it wasn't the life she'd had planned for herself. He wouldn't leave his line of work, and maybe she would keep to her word. But he doubted that. He noticed the way she leaned into his touch. The way her eyes lit up when he called her “sugar”. The way her body seemed to react to the lingering touches.

Oh, he noticed.

He loved the way she reacted to his attention. It made his soul thump in his chest. It made him achy, needy. He was never left like this. He was the one who could put on a grin and flash his rings and the panties would be dropping instantly.

But she was making him work for it. She was making him wait, and he couldn't take it. He was craving her touch. Her smell was driving him crazy. And living with her had become a chore. There were nights where he would just stand outside her bedroom door with his hands on the door, aching to go in and show her just who she belonged to now.

But he kept himself in check. He knew he had to take this slow, go at her pace. If he got ahead of himself, she would run off. And he couldn't stand that thought. Hell, the thought alone made him feel sick to his nonexistent stomach.

Taking another drag from his cigar, he reined in his thoughts. He had to be good. He had to pace himself or he could completely lose her.

“Red?” Speak of the temptress...

He turned to her, watching as she made her way out of the house, closing the door behind her softly. She had put her long hair up in a messy bun on top of her head and there was an apron covering her nice clothes. She had little bits of white in her hair and her cheeks were a rosy red.

She looked perfect.

“what izzit, sugar?” he asked lazily.

“I'm letting you know dinner is almost done...” She paused and she looked like she was about to say something else. Those wonderful fucking eyes looked over his face. In the light of the sun, the purple popped out, contrasting with the icy blue of her other eye.

“an'?”

She smiled a little. “And I wanted to thank you.”

He blinked. “fer what?”

Her arms were behind her back and she rocked on her heels as she talked, her face looking toward the yard. “For letting me explain things. For not judging me about my past. I'm not proud of it, and there are days where I wish I could scrub all my skin off so I can get rid of his touch.” She was rubbing her wrist again, a nervous tick Red didn't like; she would do it so hard and rough it would turn her skin red. “But...thank you. For letting me get it out. My parents don't know much. They know that Dominic helped them with my dad's care when the cancer hit. But I didn't tell them much else. They don't like that...”

She was rambling now, and the way her lips moved made Red shift on his feet. Her rubbing was getting rougher and he grunted, stubbing out his cigar and placing it in the butt tray Tori had gotten for him. He went over to her, causing her to squeak.

He took her hand off of her wrist and intertwined their fingers again, his other hand holding the one in his grip. She didn't flinch away from him, and she didn't protest. She just stared up at him with an open mouth, her plump lower lip moving up and down for a moment. Those goddamn eyes always pulled him in...

“fuck't,” he growled.

He gathered her close, his arms around her back and drew her to him, slamming his teeth down on her mouth. She let out a surprised noise in the back of her throat, but didn't fight him off. If anything, it felt like she was melting into his touch. He felt the brush of her lashes as her eyes fluttered close and one of her hands fisted around his tie.

Asgore's beard, this woman was going to be the death of him.

He slid his hand up her back, his phalanges running through her hair. Until he grabbed a chunk and locked it in his fist, pulling her head to the side to get a better angle. The tiny gasp that whispered across his teeth only made him growl as she reached up to wrap herself around him, her hands linking by his cervical vertebrae.

He had to rein himself in, temper down the real monster that was lying beneath the surface. He was clawing and howling, demanding to be heard, to be seen. To take her right there on the porch in front of this house, in front of everyone.

He finally managed to disentangle himself from her, moving back and watching her expression as she opened her eyes. Her face was flushed again, and her eyes flicked between his sockets for a minute before she removed herself from where she was pressed against him. She backed up a few steps. He could see it all over her face her mind was racing and probably trying to convince herself if what had happened was okay or not.

But, fuck, if he didn't want her right there. It wasn't a mistake, but he knew he wouldn't be able to convince her. He would have to let her come to that conclusion herself. It would be a long wait, but it would be fucking worth just to have her wrapped around him.

Wearing his mark, his collar, covered in his scent and laying in his bed. Wearing his clothes around the house and clinging to him every night before bed.

He grunted, shaking the thoughts off and plastering on a smile, holding an arm out for her. She watched him curiously for a moment before she smiled herself, placing her hand gently on his radius. Without another word, he led her into the house, scanning the yard one more time before entering.

The wait would be worth it.

Chapter Text

Throughout dinner, Red would switch between watching me from the corner of his socket or placing his hand on my thigh. When he touched me, I could hear my heart hammering in my ear and would gently shove his hand off of me. But it didn't deter him in the slightest.

A couple times, I would touch my finger to my lower lip, pressing down on it. It was still kinda of swollen from the kiss. My face flushed thinking about it and I stuffed another piece of chicken into my mouth as Asgore listed off the things that were going to happen now that they knew of my situation in detail.

At work, I would be with Grillby, so there was nothing to worry about. I would just have to be in his line of sight most of the time. Which I worked behind the counter there, so that wouldn't be an issue. I would be staying the skeleton brothers until all of this was solved, and for that, I didn't have any kind of choice. When I brought up the mention of a hotel or something else, all of the monsters in the room shook their heads.

“Darling, while I would have a room ready for you at no expense,” Mettaton had said, “it would be so much safer for you to stay with the boys.”

After that, there was a schedule of who would accompany me where. Even to small trips like the store and to and from work. I played with a piece of chicken while they decided, telling myself this was for the best. I did think this, but it felt like my control was slowly slipping.

When I left Dominic and the Bianchi family behind, I thought that I wouldn't have to deal with this anymore. I could be free, be myself. But, they had a point. Dominic found me, and I don't think he was going to let me go this time. That thought alone made me shiver.

Once dinner was done, I asked if I could head back to the house. I wasn't feeling good. It wasn't a lie. After telling them everything, I felt sick, and I felt dirty. I needed to scrub myself clean, and I needed to get the memories out of my head. Just thinking that he was coming after me was like a snake rearing its head back to strike. And when the snake decided to strike, I was going to go down.

“Wait, one more thing!” Frisk said, holding onto my arm.

I looked down at him, tilting my head. “What is it?”

He moved back, tapping his lower lip. “Well...I don't think they've told you their heats are coming soon, have they?”

Grillby mentioned something about keeping the bar shut for two weeks at a time, up to three times a year. He said it was just a bad time for him to be open, and he needed to take a break himself. I had written it off as something to do with his own work worries, but he did mention something about having to leave town for a bit to stay with a lady friend.

“Their heats?” I asked.

Frisk nodded, motioning to where Toriel was giving Red the third degree about protecting me. “Yeah. Boss Monsters go into a heat a lot more than regular monsters. Like Froggits go into heat once or twice every couple years. Boss Monsters, because of all the magic they have, go into heat a couple times a year. For more than a week. It can last up to two weeks, give or take the extent of pent up magic.”

“So everyone here is gonna be insanely horny, is what you're saying?”

Frisk nodded again. “But the skeleton brothers are the worst cause they need to use extra magic. But of the three of them, Red is just horrible. Even Papy and W.D. leave the house.”

“kid, yer killin' me 'ere.”

Red's voice broke us out of cur conversation. I glared over at him, pointing at him accusingly.

“When were you going to tell me?”

“pro'bly never, t' be honest,” he said, shrugging. “it'd be nice t' 'ave ya 'round th' house during that time.”

“And stupid,” Wingdings snorted, Papyrus nodding beside him. “We, as Boss Monsters, have way too much concentrated magic for her to remain...safe in the house during those weeks. Especially alone with you.”

I raised my brow at him, earning me another shrug. I rolled my eyes and turned back to Frisk, who was shaking his head and rolling his eyes. When he looked back at me, he grinned.

“They'll probably have you with me!” he said excitedly. “Mom and Dad usually send me out to a little country house no one knows they have. It'll be quiet and reclusive, and we can spend our time playing video games and eating junk food.”

I laughed. “How old are you again?”

He faked a hurt gasp, hand over his heart. I grinned. I threw my arms around his shoulders and chuckled along with him. He and I began planning which days were gonna be for what. I could feel Red's eyes on us as he and I talked and laughed, and I glanced at him once. He was talking with Undyne about escorting me to work on days he was working, but his eyes were on me.

Even with eye sockets and eye lights, I could feel the hunger radiating off of him. He was like a wild animal, ready to pounce at any time. And if that kiss was anything to go by, I wouldn't have long before he became too impatient.

But, in reality, he wouldn't do anything I didn't agree to. I knew he wouldn't hurt me. He wouldn't try and do something I didn't like. And that's what made me feel the safest.

After saying our goodbyes, Red and I walked out of the house. Wingdings followed, placing a hand on Red's shoulder. They motioned me ahead and I went along down the driveway, taking in the flowers and bushes that littered the yard.

The Dreemurr's had a huge place, and I couldn't but admire the work they put in to keeping it maintained. Most people with their money would hire others to do it, but they told me that Asgore tends to the flowers and yard work while Toriel tends to take care of the household chores. They had an amazing dynamic and I couldn't help but be a little jealous of them.

Red came up to me, rubbing his skull. “ready t' go, sugar?”

I looked over at him with a small smile and nodded. “Yeah. I am.”

He brought me in close, his huge arms going around my shoulders. I was made well aware of how much smaller I was compared to him. I mean, yeah, he was only a few inches taller than I was. But the fact I could feel so tiny compared to his big frame like this was...oddly comforting. I gripped his suit jacket, looking up at him.

He was looking down at me with flickering eye lights. He bent down and pressed his teeth to my forehead. The world around us shifted, and I kept my eyes closed as I clung to him for warmth. The void was cold, I noticed. It was cold and empty, just like it's name. The weightless feeling made me feel a little sick.

When I came to, he was still holding me close to him. We were in his room; I noticed from the haphazardly placed clothes in the corner. I hadn't been in here since that first night when I had been attacked in the alleyway. It seemed like so long ago now

It had only been a few weeks, but it felt like a lifetime ago. Before my life had taken a total turn and the Judge entered my life.

No, not the Judge...Red.

I tried to move away, but his arms were locked tight around me. It was then I noticed his chest was heaving, and his breaths were coming in short, quick pants. I knew by now they didn't need to breathe. Papyrus had mentioned they had picked up the habit from watching over me, specially when I ended sleeping on the couch.

“Red...we're–”

“never again.”

His voice came out a vicious growl. It was torn from his throat and his teeth gnashed together as he spoke. There was a faint rumbling in his chest where my cheek rested. His claws were digging into my back, careful enough to not pierce skin, but enough to where there was a little bit of pain.

I swallowed. I had heard him growl before, sure. When he was teasing me or playing with me. Never when he was angry. He was shaking; I could hear the faint rattling in his bones. There was still the gruffness in his voice when he spoke again.

“yer ne'er gonna hurt again, sugar,” he ground out. “'m not gonna let that shit 'appen again. not as long as 'm 'round ya.”

I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. I furrowed my brows as the smell of bonfire smoke surrounded us, stronger than I had smelled it before. It wrapped itself around us, and I took a peek up at him. I held my breath as his eye lights met my gaze, and I don't know what came over me. It could have been the intoxicating smell, it could have been my own lack of being with someone. I didn't know.

But I gripped his tie and pulled him down to me, his teeth knocking against my mouth roughly. He didn't even hesitate; he gripped me by my hips and picked me up, his hands moving so they were cupping my ass. I could feel him walking as I kept one hand wrapped around on the tie and the other one gripped his cervical vertebrae. He grunted against my mouth as my back pressed against the wall.

I arched against him as he pressed against me. His body heat seared right through the clothes I wore, and his pelvis pressed against me. I felt a small groan make its way from my throat, and he took that opportunity to use his tongue. As he swiped it across my bottom lip, I had two seconds to gather there was something there before it tangled with mine.

He pressed against me further, his ribs rubbing against my nipples. One of his hands left my ass after giving it a squeeze, moving up my side slowly before tangling itself in my hair and giving a rough yank to the side, exposing my neck and deepening the kiss.

My hips moved of their own accord and I heard him growling in the back of his throat, the hand in my hair tightening. I could feel his claws digging into the skin of my scalp. My body felt like it was on fire, and nothing would slake the flames except him. I needed him.

I pulled back, taking in a huge gasping breath. He didn't miss a beat, his face nuzzling into the skin between my shoulder and my throat. I could feel as he took in a deep breath and gasped as he thrust against me. My head leaned back and I was staring at the ceiling as his tongue traced light, lazy patterns along the skin.

I cried out as he bit down, his fangs almost piercing the skin.

“one day, yer gonna b' mine,” he growled out, his hands tightening around me. “an' 'm gonna mark ya right here. then everyone will know...” He brought his head up, crimson eye lights meeting my eyes. “yer fuckin' mine.”

His words shot through me, and I let my mouth fall open. But nothing came out. I couldn't deny him, even though everything in me told me it was dangerous right now to try and do that. Red's demeanor had changed. He seemed more animalistic, and his eye lights were frantically moving over my face and the little bit of body that was pushed up against him.

Frisk had never been able to finish telling me why Red was the worst of the three brothers during their heats. It was even bad enough that Wingdings and Papyrus left the house. Looking at him now, I could kind of see why. He was losing his grip slowly, and I was watching it unfold.

If I didn't stop it now, he'd mark me this instant and be done with it.

“Red, I can't...”

“i know.”

His voice was gruff and hoarse, and it sounded like he'd had to force out the words. He kept me there, pressed against the wall. He had been frowning, but the malleable bone moved upwards now in a definite cocky grin.

“but now i also know ya wanna jump my bones as much as i wanna get under yer skin,” he growled out.

The tip of his tongue came out and traced my lower lip and something twinkled in the light of his eyes. When he moved back I felt my eyes go wide.

“Is your freaking tongue pierced?” I asked, blinking to make sure I wasn't just seeing things. “How in the fucking world...”

He chuckled. “don't worry 'bout that, sugar. yer gonna learn all sorts of new things wit' me.” He met my gaze and held it. “when yer ready.”\

Even in this state, he knew I wasn't ready. My heart couldn't take this shit anymore. I needed to get out before he said something else that just made me scream “fuck it!” and proceed to lay flat on my back with my legs spread. Christ, what was he doing to me?

Maybe it was the smell. As I left him to get changed, the smell of bonfire smoke followed me. I took a shower, hoping it would get it off. It got most of it, but there was still that lingering smell. It sent shivers down my spine, and I couldn't help but smile at myself in the mirror as I dried off.

Once I was in more acceptable clothes, I made my way out of my room and down the stairs. Red wasn't anywhere to be found, so my guess was that he was probably napping. Napping was always a safe bet with him. But Wingdings was there, in the kitchen. He was drinking a cup of coffee while poring over notes in front of him. His eye lights frantically moved about, like he was trying to find a keyword or pick something out among the words.

“Hey, Wings,” I said, heading to the fridge. “What'cha got there?”

“Just some stuff from Asgore...” He paused and turned slowly to look at me, his eyes moving over my frame. “Were you just with Red?”

I felt my face heat up and grunted. “Yeah. Nothing happened, though.”

When I got what I wanted, I turned back around to find that he had somehow managed to crinkle the bone above his nasal cavity like he had an actual nose to crinkle. I tilted my head to the side and looked around for a minute before sighing.

“Okay, I'll bite. What's with the face?” I asked.

He cleared his throat and took a long drink of his coffee. When he put the cup down, he looked over at me once more. He was watching me closely, I realized. He was trying to gauge my reactions about what was going on. I went over and crawled up into the chair beside his. After an amused chuckle while I got myself settled, he spoke.

“Frisk wasn't joking when he said my brothers and I are the most dangerous during heat times,” he mused lowly. “He also wasn't joking when he said that Red was the most dangerous. His heats tend to start early, and end a little later as an Alpha monster. He's also...territorial.”

“I'm following so far, minus the 'Alpha monster' bit.”

“An Alpha monster is basically one of the strongest monsters, and he is, in fact, the strongest monster,” Wingdings explained patiently. “He's even stronger than the Don and Madame. But the only people to know this are my brothers and I, and now you.”

“Even Asgore doesn't know?” I asked quietly.

“We thought it best to not say that,” he chuckled. “Underground, before all of this mafia business, it was a dangerous world. Kill or be killed. And Asgore was...not very keen on being told he wasn't as powerful as he thought he was. So we kept it to ourselves."

“Duly noted.”

“So when a monster finds another that they fancy or whatever your term for it is, they pursue them, like humans would. But often times, there's marking involved. There's different types of marking, though.”

“Different how?”

“You have the scent marking, in which the monster puts their scent on you. It's basically another beacon for monsters to either avoid you, or warning them they have a contender should they try to go after the same monster,” he said, taking a small sip of his drink. “Then there's the physical marking. That one varies with different monsters, but it's often done in the same spot, in a place where it could be shown. Such as your shoulder.”

His eyes flicked to my shoulder for a split second before coming back to my face. I absently ran a hand over my shoulder, as though making sure Red hadn't actually punctured the skin. When I looked at him, he seemed to be thoughtful.

“So how did you know I was with Red?”

“You're wearing his scent.”

I blinked. He didn't sound condescending, but he didn't look pleased. His eye lights, which were a dark currant red were moving over me. I looked away and started rubbing my wrist again.

“I took a shower...”

He chuckled, though it didn't sound like it held any mirth. “It might not smell as strong for you, but for us, it lingers and it's powerful. Specially coming from Sans...” He paused and took a sip. He watched you for a moment before bringing the cup back down. “You took a shower...what did you smell?”

The intensity of his gaze was making me fidget, rubbing my wrist just a little harder. It was uncomfortable, but the way he was looking at told me he already knew I knew what the smell was. It was just a matter of confirming what he was thinking. I took a drink of my pop before answering, slowly screwing the lid back on before returning to my wrist.

“Bonfire smoke...” With a loud curse, he scraped a hand over his skull and groaned into the hole in his hand. I looked up at him with wide eyes, watching as he scrubbed the hand over his face before letting it drop to the table. When he looked over at me, he gave me the barest hint of a smile.

“I apologize on his behalf,” he said. “It seems he's been ready to claim you for a while now. And he seems to have gotten ahead of himself.” I waved a hand at him, playing the label on the bottle in front of me.

“It's alright. It's not like anyone else is trying to get my attention.”

“Oh, but on the contrary...”

I squealed when my chair was moved suddenly, almost sending me toppling to the ground. I was yanked toward Wingdings, who had brought it closer to him by wrapping his foot around the leg of the chair. When I was close enough, he let it go. I fell forward, my hands landing on his chest as his hands clacked against the back of the chair.

When I looked up, his face was merely inches away from mine. Wide eyes met his sockets as his gaze flicked between my own. Even with lights being his only way to see, I could see the jealousy that was written there. It was on his face, even as he managed to crinkle his nasal bone again. I swallowed thickly as he moved his hand, catching a strand of hair between his fingers.

“Wings?” I whispered.

He gave me a slow smile, his eyes on the strand of hair he was playing with. His voice had dropped and the low octave was sending chills down my spine.

“On the contrary,” he repeated, “it seems as though my brother does have some competition. What a shame for him that it's his own sibling.”

I opened my mouth but snapped it closed again as he let the strand of hair fall from his phalanges, his smile still in place as the same hand cupped my cheek. It was a strange feeling with the hole in his hand, and out of reflex I brought my own hand up to hold his. Whether I was holding it there or getting ready to tear it away, I wasn't sure.

But something about his demeanor was fierce. There was another smell that began to wrap around me. It reminded me of something...spicy. Like cloves. I leaned in closer, trying to discern the smell. Or was it because I wanted him to kiss me?

All thought seemed to be wiping itself from my mind. I tried thinking of something to ground me about where I was, and who I was talking to. But I couldn't think of...anything. Even Red seemed to be a fleeting thought, even though my heart hammered in my chest when I only thought of his name.

“whaddaya think yer doin'?”

I jolted back, letting out a tiny gasp as I fell out of the chair. I landed on the tiled ground on my ass, looking up at Red. He was leaning against the doorjamb, his galre not on me, but on his older brother. When I looked at Wings, he wasn't even intimidated. He was just smiling, leaning back in his seat holding his cup of coffee.

The air between them crackled with magic. It reminded me of the animes where those little bolts of electricity would clash between two rivals. This was the same case, only the rise in magic was causing the little hairs on my arms to stand on end. I looked between the two of them, trying to decide what to say to dispel the situation.

“i thought i made m'intentions clear, dings,” Red snarled now, getting off the doorjamb and heading further into the room. He stopped by me and held out a hand. I grabbed it, letting him help me up. “or did i not make 't clear 'nough?”

“Oh, you made it very clear, Sans,” Wingdings said slowly, taking a chug of his drink. “But, you only have a scent mark. Until she agrees for you to actually mark her as yours, it's fair game.”

I glared between them now. Fair game? What the fuck was I, a wild animal? I yanked my hand from Red's, gritting my teeth before turning my back to both of them. They didn't seem to notice as I left the room and went back up to my room, closing the door.

Once I was alone, I let out the breath I had been holding. The feeling of the heavy magic in the air wasn't as bad up here. If anything, it didn't seem to touch my room at all. I looked down at my bed before effectively falling onto it, letting out a combination of a groan and a scream.

So not only was Red after me, so was Wingdings. And, to top it off, Dominic was back in the picture. Though to be fair, either of the skeleton boys had a better chance than Dom. Hell, Satan himself had a better chance than Dom.

But stars, why did it need to be brothers? Of all the things life could have thrown at me, it had to be this. I kept myself there the rest of the night, even feigning sleep when Papyrus came in to make sure I was okay.

I just needed a break.

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next few weeks, the tensions rose in the house. I did everything I could to avoid being home for long periods of time. I even began to pick up extra shifts at work just to avoid being there for longer than a couple of hours at a time. Hell, even Papyrus was getting sick of his two siblings' silent war over me.

There really shouldn't have been a war to begin with. Neither of them had a claim over me, and I sure as hell wasn't going to be fought over like a piece of meat. I took out my frustrations at work, silently working with Grillby. He had looked over at me a few times, and had questioned me a little more. But I never answered, just shrugging him off and telling him it wasn't dealing with Dom.

Part of me at this point wishes it was. Then I could just tell him to fuck off and be on my happy, merry way. But no. It couldn't be that easy. Life had to throw in a wrench named Red, then laughed manically while it threw in the screwdriver known as Wingdings.

I was about to throw in the towel and give up.

As the weeks progressed, so did the time for their heats. Like Wingdings had told me, Red was beginning to exude his signs early. He was acting more quiet, more predatory. He liked to sneak up on me and scare me, and seemed to loved the reaction he got out of me. There was a sparkle in his eye lights, and the mere sight of him sent a weird chill of fear through me.

But it wasn't bad. Like, if he had wanted me dead when he did that, he would have killed me no problem. But the issue is with his scent. The bonfire smell got stronger with each passing day. It was getting to the point where it was all you could smell throughout the entire house. Papyrus often complained of it, and Wingdings seemed to not breathe while he was home.

Something about another monster's scent, even a relative's, made Wingdings try just a little harder. My guess was because he was going against an Alpha monster, and his own brother. He had a double whammy.

Whenever he tried to get near me, Red always seemed to be conveniently right there, ready to lead me out of the room and show me something. There was one night he came and got me from work when he had finished his own work for the day. Red had been following the entire time. I knew it, Wingdings knew it. But neither of us said anything as he and I talked on the way home.

The final straw that broke the camel's back was a day and a half ago while I was packing for my trip with Frisk. I had been filling one of my suitcases with clothes when Red had found me.

“whatcha doin', sugar?” his voice purred by my ear.

I fought back the pleasurable shiver that threaten to crawl up my spine as I moved away from him, heading back to the dresser. I pulled out some more pajamas and a few of my sleeping shirts and moved back, placing them neatly in the suitcase. Papyrus had told me not to ignore him, because of how bad his heats can get, but there wasn't a single thing I wanted more than to leave in that moment.

During the last couple weeks alone, he'd getting closer and closer. But the way he looked was like a predator with his prey. He was hungry. He was needy. He was clingy. His scent clung to my skin and clothes, and at one point, Grillby had to send me home as soon as I got there because the smell was that bad.

He was in a primal state of mind. And while it scared the shit out of me, it excited me all the same. I didn't know if it was the pheromones talking or if I just really wanted to see what he was like when he was in heat.

“I'm getting ready to go,” I answered finally, feeling his eyes on my ass. “Frisk and I leave in a couple days.”

“yer really goin'?” he asked, sounding genuinely surprised. “but i thought ya'd wanna stay 'ere, wit' me.”

He came over and wrapped his arms around my waist. When I went to try and move his arms, he growled low in his throat. I paused, looking at him from the corner of my eye only to see he was watching my reaction. I took in a deep breath and was assaulted by the bonfire smoke again. I gently removed his arms from around me, turning and placing them by his side.

“I can't stay, and we know why,” I said pointedly. “I'm going with Frisk, and I will return in two and a half to three weeks when your heats are all done.”

He looked at me. I didn't know how he managed to do it, but I was pinned against the wall in mere seconds, one of his hands holding both of my wrists above my head. My legs were lying on the crests of his pelvis and my back partially arced into him from where my hands were being held. I let my eyes widen a fraction as he leaned in close.

He didn't kiss me, but he pressed against me fully, and let the overpowering smell of his scent marking wrap around me. When he spoke, his voice was a near growl.

“ya do that, pet,” he murmured and I felt my jaw partially fall open in shock at the change of my nickname. “but 'f ya need a quick fixin' while yer gone...” A single digit came up and caressed my cheek before his thumb and forefinger gripped my chin, making our eyes connect. “'ll be 'ere waitin' fer ya. th' house is all mine fer th' next sev'ral weeks, pet.”

He let me drop, careful to make sure I landed on my feet. When I was steady, I looked around to see he had disappeared. I took in a shaky breath and went into the bathroom to shower, scrubbing myself and having to set the water as cold as it could go for a few minutes.

Jesus Christ.

When I got out, I packed the rest of my stuff and left the house, going out for dinner for the hundredth time in the last few weeks.

Today, I made sure I had everything I thought I would need and maybe some extra stuff. I even packed one of my bikinis just in case Frisk really did want to go jump in the lake. I even had Solider staying with Annie from work, who made sure I was certain I didn't want to stay with her. I chuckled silently as I made my way to the front door, where only Wingdings and Papyrus stood. I tilted my head at the both of them as I rolled my suitcase to a stop in front of me.

“Where's Red?” I asked, looking around them.

“Locked in his room until we all leave,” Wingdings chuckled. “Is your room locked up and lights out?”

I nodded and he held up a finger as he meandered his way upstairs. Two seconds later there was a thud, and a growling noise that sounded a lot like talking. I didn't hear the eldest skeleton brother, but I did feel the tingle in the air from Wingdings's magic. Once that was done, he came back downstairs and nodded to Papyrus, who then gave me a chaste kiss on the back of my hand and left, getting into his car and driving off at top speed.

Wingdings ushered me out, locked the door behind him. He waved his hand over it, deep blood currant colored magic lighting it up before he nodded to himself and ushered me to his own car. It wasn't as flashy as Papyrus's, but it still made me do a double take before I chuckled.

“Mercedes, huh?”

“Ah, but it's such a wonderful car,” Wingdings said dramatically.

I laughed and stuff my suitcase in the backseat. When I went to open the passenger door, I heard a thud and looked up at Red's window. He was staring down at me, red smoke coming from his mouth as his cigar hung there. His eye lights were watching every tiny move I made, even when my fingers twitched on the door handle. He wasn't dressed as snazzy as he usually was, but he looked like he was ready to leap out of the window at me.

His eye lights flicked to something over my head and I realized he was watching his brother. I looked over at Wings, who just shrugged and got into the car. I looked back over to Red, who had his claws digging into the glass of his window. When he didn't see his brother anymore, he looked at me and sent me his feral grin with a saucy wink.

I felt my face heat up and dove into the car, clicking my seat belt in before Wings would drive away. When we left the house, I looked in the rear view mirror to see Red watching the car go, damn near trying to break the glass to continue watching or get out.

“Not to worry, Levy,” he said, both of his hands on the wheel. “I have magic set up around the house he can't get past. He won't be able to leave the house, and he won't be able to enter your room.”

“That's why you disappeared,” I muttered. “I should have thought that maybe Red would try and get into it since I wouldn't be home.”

He chuckled and kept up the idle chatter while we drove to the Don's place. Frisk said he'd be waiting for me there. During the ride, Wings had placed his hand on my knee once, and kept it there until he needed it to change something. Then when he had put it back, it was on my lower thigh.

I didn't know how to respond to that. It was the first real time that I had any real alone time with him. I stared out the window, watching everything pass us by as we continued to talk. And not once did his hand move from where he placed it.

When we made it to the Don's place, he parked in front of the gates, where Frisk was waiting by a car for me. He waved and came over, grabbing my suitcase out of the back and heading to the car and placing it in the trunk with his own stuff. While he got into the car, I unbuckled myself and went to get out of the car.

Wings tightened his grip on my leg and I looked over. I let out a small squeak. He had gotten pretty close, leaning over the center console. He was smiling down at me, and placed a single finger under my chin, tilting my head up a little more to meet his gaze.

“I'll see you in a few weeks, Levy,” he murmured.

He leaned down and gave me a slow kiss on the mouth. I blinked a few times before he pulled back, giving me a wink and moving away. I scrambled out of the car and power walked over to where Frisk was waiting, sliding into the passenger seat. Once I was buckled in, he put the car into drive and we were off.

I watched as Wings's car made a U turn, heading back the way he and I had come. When his car was out of sight, I slumped into my seat and let out a sigh that turned into a groan about halfway through it. Frisk chuckled, heading onto the highway.

“Been a long few weeks, huh?” he asked, maneuvering the car through traffic easily.

“You have no idea.”

I began to tell him about the day when Wings had claimed he wanted to date me like Red. While he hooted with laughter, I explained the rest of the last few weeks, ending with Red trying to claw his way out of the window from his room. He was laughing the entire time.

“Oh, boy. Sounds like you got it rough, Lev,” he sighed, wiping his eyes. “Who do you think would be best?”

I let out an inhuman noise as I looked over at him. “You know I have more op–”

He shook his head, getting into the slower lane and getting off at an exit. “You don't have options anymore. Once Red made it known he wanted you, all bets at anything else were off. Add in W.D.? Oh, girl, you're doomed.”

I groaned for the tenth time since I got in the car. We continued talking as he pulled into the parking lot of a grocery store. We made our way out, heading for the store. He and I made a mini list as we walked through the aisles. There were snacks thrown into the cart, and meats and other lazy frozen things just in case. We grabbed his favorite drinks and a few of mine, plus some alcohol to try and keep me sane through the maze that was my life now.

We checked out and got everything into the car before I took the wheel, driving through the city before hitting a patch of country. Frisk told me which ways to go and the path to look for.

As we pulled into the driveway that had the lodge we would be staying in, I wasn't even surprised that it was as big as it was. Once we were out, people in suits came out of the house and began to grab things from the car. I managed to snag the bag that had my alcohol, holding it to my chest as I followed one of the women who led me into the room that would be mine.

It was amazing. Wooden walls and floors. The large bed was king, and it was leaning against the wall in the corner. There was a nightstand beside it and there was a large dresser leaning against the opposite wall. There was a walk in closet and a en suite. When I poked my head in, I almost squealed. There was a whirlpool bathtub in there, white porcelain shining in the light.

Oh, I couldn't wait to use that.

I came back out to see my suitcase resting on the bed. I smiled and went over to it, unlocking it and popping the lid open. When I went to reach for something, I paused.

There was a hoodie in there I didn't remember having. I didn't even think I owned something like this. I lifted it out of the suitcase, studying it. It was all black with a yellow zipper and white fur around the hood. There was a small red patch on the side, and when I looked it seemed to be a dragon or dog skull embedded in the fabric.

I turned it over a few times before the smell of bonfire smell wafted from it, hitting me in the face. I got a small sense of homesickness, moving to place the jacket back down. A piece of paper fluttered to rest atop the rest of the clothes and stuff I had packed in the suitcase. I paused, placing the hoodie down on the bed and picking up the paper. It was a note...

hey, sugar.

figured ya'd want somethin' t' remember me by while yer gone. gonna miss havin' ya 'round th' next several weeks. wear this an' think o' me when ya get lonely, aight?

-red.

I touched my hand to my cheek. I read it one more time before putting the note on the nightstand beside the bed and grabbed the hoodie again. After regarding it for a minute, I decided to put it on. It was huge on me, covering the entirety of my upper body and went down to the middle of my thighs. I zipped it up halfway before moving all of my other things around into the dresser or the closet. When I was done, I closed the suitcase and stuffed it under the bed.

I went downstairs, where Frisk was moving around the kitchen. There were a couple of men clad in black that were standing nearby, watching as I came down. When they saw the hoodie, one of them gave a faint smile while the other one chuckled, giving us a wave before heading outside.

Frisk turned to see what had been so amusing and he let out a low whistle. “Haven't seen that in a long time,” he murmured, turning back to what he was doing.

“Is it important or something?” I asked, plucking at the sleeve a little.

Frisk shrugged. “Before the monsters came up and got real involved with mafia business, they were just like regular people, just trying to survive. Their world was kill or be killed. If you had a weakness to exploit, they did. Red and Paps were the worst of them.” He paused and looked at you. “When Papy got into the Royal Guard, he made Red wear a collar with a tag. It had Papyrus's name on it just in case anyone tried to go after him.”

I frowned, my brows furrowing as I came further into the room, sitting on the island behind him. “But isn't Red older?”

“While that's true, Red isn't...as strong as he makes himself out to be, but that's for him to tell you,” Frisk muttered, looking through his phone at something. “Papyrus made sure Red was safe, since he's Papyrus's only real weak point, W.D. can take care of himself, but Red needed watched after a lot of the time. He raised Papyrus mostly, since W.D. was busy doing Royal Scientist things.”

I hummed. “Sounds like Papyrus was returning the favor.”

He nodded absently. “That's true. Him and Grillby always kept tabs on Red, even when he wander off to go talk to someone or go to work in the lab with his brother.”

I raised a brow. “Just how smart is he?”

He only chuckled. “Again, you'd need to talk to him about that. It's not my place.”

We continued chatting quietly about his adventures through the Underground. I nearly died of laughter when he mentioned how much worse Mettaton was up here than he was down there. But I guess he'd still been horrible even down there. Talking about the dance off made me chuckle, and he even showed me some of the moves he pulled during the fight.

Lunch was amazing. It was mini cheeseburgers and fries, with a small dill pickle on the side. As we ate, he began to tell me about the things to do around here. There was a mall not far from where we were and Toriel had given him a card to give to me. Everything I got on this trip was on her since I had come with him so he wasn't lonely this time. It had an unlimited amount, and she would pay back whatever was spent.

I made a mental note not to go too crazy with it.

There was a small lake nearby that he wanted to take me to go swimming or fishing. Hell, or both. He learned I had grown up on a farm and asked how I was with horses. I hadn't been riding on a horse in years, and I was ready to ride again. Apparently, there was a ranch that wasn't too far off from where we were.

Plus, he told me there was a freaking Jacuzzi on the porch on the back. You bet your sweet ass I'm going there tonight.

We cleaned up and Frisk went off to do his own thing for a bit. Which probably meant take a nap. However, I was too wired. It was starting to get chillier in the nights again, and I wanted to go do something other than just sit there. So I went up to my room and grabbed my phone, a book and my headphones. I changed into my bikini and headed out to the back, plugging in my headphones and scrolling through the music.

I turned on the jets and set the temperature before stepping inside of it. The guards I saw earlier were lurking around, and I noticed them looking my way every now and then to make sure I was still where I was. I gave them a wave each time they looked to let them know I was doing okay.

After scrolling through my music and choosing a song, I went through my notifications. Annie had texted me letting me know Solider was definitely eating and doing okay for his first night without me. I felt bad about leaving him, but maybe always depending on my cat wasn't exactly the healthiest thing...

I noticed there were numerous messages from Red, one that even been sent several minutes prior. I went through all of my other things before scrolling through his messages.

Cherry: u get there ok?

Cherry: i miss u already

Cherry: r they treatin' u ok?

Cherry: sugar, i need u 2 answer me

Cherry: woman, i fuckin' swear when u get back, m gonna tan ur ass red as my magic.

Cherry: sry, sugar; kinda gettin' bad. wish u were here t help.

Cherry: [picture]

I paused in the scrolling, seeing the top of the picture. I could see some white, and see the walls of the living room. It took me a while to remember Papyrus and Wings both took off while the heat was still in play. I chewed my lip before thinking fuck it, and scrolled down.

I let out a little yelp and almost dropped my phone in the water. After calming down the guards, lying to them that I had just seen something on my phone that startled me, I settled back into the warm water, daring to look at the picture again.

He was sitting there on the couch, shirtless. I could see the nicks and scars on his ribs, but that wasn't what threw me for a loop. What threw me for a loop was the long, pointed red tongue that was sticking out, curling up between his two fingers shaped in a V against his teeth. His gold tooth and piercing glinted as his eye lights looked right at the camera, one lowered in a wink.

I didn't know if the heat on my face was because of the Jacuzzi, or if it was because of the picture at this point. I scrolled to see what he had written underneath.

Cherry: cum 'ere, pet. lemme take care of ya.

Fuck.

I put my phone up beside me, taking in a deep breath. Nope. Not doing that. He was in heat, and he didn't know what he was doing. This was just his head talking. And not the head that was attached to his spine. I just had to ignore him, and he might go away.

I picked up my book and settled back, leaning against the cushion that rested against the back of my neck. In the quiet of the fading light, with my music and my book, I read. It was the most peaceful time I'd had since this whole heat started.

That's where I was almost the rest of the night, reading in the porch light and listening to my music while being watched over by the guards.

Perfect.

Chapter Text

The next couple of days were quiet and nice. Frisk and I decided to spend those days inside, playing games and watching trashy horror movies. One night, we had sat in the Jacuzzi for a few hours, pointing out the different constellations and stars. He seemed impressed by my knowledge, and I shrugged off his praise. I guess the only reason he knew any of it was because of Red's obsession with the stars.

“They were locked Underground for so long,” he said, shaking his head while looking up. “There used to be these crystals in the ceiling of Waterfall. He used to pretend those were stars and would often wish on them. Hell, I was trapped down there so long, I even started to do that.”

I frowned. He'd told me bits and pieces since our first talk about it. But all I could gather was that Toriel had truly gone insane, and Asgore really didn't like humans after they killed his son, the prince of the mosnters. All because he was trying to save another child.

Frisk stopped talking after that, and you enjoyed the silence with him. It was nice having another human around. There were monsters all over the place, and I had grown so used to it, I didn't realize how much I missed human interaction too. There was just some strange peace with it.

“Has Red or W.D. messaged you?” he asked suddenly, quiet.

Red hasn't messaged me since he sent that last text that had my brain doing all sorts of strange things to me. Wings had messaged me a couple times, asking me how things were going. His messages were always tame. There was one point where he had been saying something crude before excusing himself for the night. I had simply put my phone down and went about my day.

Red had been oddly quiet, which was weird. Red was always so vocal and just an all around talkative guy. But him being quiet? I couldn't tell if it was the heat or if he had found someone to help him with it.

The pang of jealousy that went through me went ignored at the thought.

Frisk excused himself, heading back inside the lodge while I stayed a little while longer, staring up at the stars. Part of me wished Red really was here to watch them with me. I didn't know why, but something about him really drew me in. And while I wanted to admit it was just the smell of his heat, or maybe the smell of him in general, I would just be lying to myself.

There was something about him that just made me crave more. His touches and kisses sent tingles racing up my spine in a way Dom had never done before. His voice was like honey, smooth and sweet to the ears. His grin was always there, but he always seemed to have a special smile in place just for me. The way he looked at me with a mix of wonder and pride. It was a heady mix of things that I told myself I needed to be far away from.

After the Bianchi family, I needed to stay away from them. From all of them. There was no way in hell I could go through something like that again. What if they put me to work in the same shit that Dom and his father put me through? I didn't think I could handle that a second time. Plus, being back in this side of the business was taking its toll on my nerves.

Just how long would it take before I heard something they don't want me to? And from there, would they kill me? Christ, would they have Red kill me? That thought alone made me feel sick to my stomach.

Then there was Wingdings. While I hadn't known him as long as his brother, he was still willing to go against said brother to be with me. But something about him set me on edge. While he was the perfect gentleman, he also seemed to be hiding something. He was gone for days at a time, and then he would end up locking himself in his room. He said he was working on a big project for the Don, but he couldn't tell me what.

And that was fine. The less I knew, the better. But there was something about just how secretive he was being. It didn't seem right. Maybe I would grow a pair and ask Frisk or Asgore about what was being done that would require Wings to be this bad.

I eventually got out, picking up the towel Frisk left for me and wrapping it around myself before I padded inside. I went up the stairs to my room and got undressed for the night, placing the wet bikini on a towel rack in the bathroom. After taking a quick shower, I went back into the room wrapped in another towel and sat down on the bed.

There were a couple more texts from my parents, asking my how my mini vacation was going. I let them know it was going well, and I was doing fine. Wings hadn't texted me back today, and Papyrus was checking in as well. There were some texts from Grillby, letting me know that the bar was shut down until both of us returned. I sent him a positive that I got it, and set my phone back down, frowning.

There hadn't been anything from Red again. I was starting to get worried that something had happened, but I shrugged it off as he was getting his rocks off on some girl. Again, the pang of jealousy was ignored.

I got up, putting on a pair of pants and his hoodie, taking in a small breath to calm my nerves. I slipped on my house shoes, grabbed my phone and headphones before heading downstairs. Frisk had made fun of me for still using the headset with wires. Tomorrow was going to be a mall trip, so we could get things he felt I needed.

I made my way into the kitchen, scrolling through my music till I found the one I wanted. It had been stuck in my head the last couple of days, so why not play it until I grew sick and tired of it? That's what sane people did, right?

I opened the fridge and rummaged through it before grabbing a few things I could make snacks out of. Toriel and Asgore really outdid themselves this far out. Personal cell phone tower, wifi, the whole nine yards. So I was going to snack on some stuff and I was going to binge watch Netflix wearing nothing but this hoodie.

I banished a certain thought before it made its way fully through my brain.

As I made my stuff, I sang along with the song.

“I'll admit, I was wrong,

What else can I say, girl?

Can't you blame my head and not my heart?

I was drunk, I was gone,

That don't make it right, but I promise there were no feelings involved.

“She said 'Boy tell me honestly

Was it real or just for show?'

She said 'Save your apologies,

Baby, I just gotta know.”

As I sang, I danced around, striking random poses and twirling on my feet. I was smiling as I worked my way through the song, swaying my hips and laughing to myself. I was absolutely certain if anyone found me right now, they would either join in, or send me straight to a mental hospital.

“How long has this been going on?

You been creepin' 'round on me,

While you been calling me 'baby'

How long has this going on?

You've been acting so shady,

I've been feeling it lately, baby.

“Ooo-oh (yeah)

Ooo-oh (encore)

Oooh-ooh-oh.

“I'll admit, it's my fault, but you gotta believe me,

When I say it only happened once

\I tried, and I tried, but you'll never see that

You're the only one I wanna love!”

At this point, I grabbed a wooden spoon from the drawer, making triple sure my phone was in the giant pocket of Red's hoodie. I didn't realize I really did have an audience until I turned to see Frisk standing there, his phone held up in his hand. The little fuck was recording me. I gave him a laugh and big grin.

Game on.

“She said, 'Boy, tell me honestly,

Was it real or just for show?'

She said, 'Save your apologies,

Baby, I just gotta know!'

“How long has this been goin' on?

You been creepin' 'round on me,

While you callin' me 'baby'

How long has this been goin' on?

You been actin' so shady,

I've been feelin' it lately, baby.

“Ooo-oh (yeah)

Ooo-oh (encore)

Oooh-ooh-oh.

How long has this been goin' on, baby?

“Ooo-oh (yeah)

Ooo-oh, you gotta go tell me now

Oooh-ooh-oh,”

Frisk was doing his best to keep his laughter in, slapping a hand over his mouth as I sashayed my way around the kitchen singing into the wooden microphone. I still managed to make my food while doing all of this, letting it cool on the counter while I pointed at the camera and sang my heart out.

I really felt bad about whoever received this.

“She said, 'Boy, tell me honestly,

Was it real or just for show?', yeah

She said, “Save your apologies,

Baby, I just gotta know!

“How long has this been goin' o~on!

You been creepin' 'round on me,

While you callin' me 'baby'.

How long has this been goin' on?

You been actin' so shady,

I've been feelin' it lately, baby!

“How long has this been goin' on!

You been creepin' 'round on me,

While you callin' me 'baby'.

How long has this been goin' on?

You been actin' so shady,

I've been feelin' it lately, baby!”

The song came to an end and Frisk ended his stupid recording as I yanked out an earbud. I pointed my makeshift microphone at him as he started to uproariously laugh, tapping away at his phone.

“You know, you're lucky I don't spook easy!” I chuckled, waving the spoon at him. “I could have used this handy device as a throwing star as well as my mic, you know.”

He cackled some more as he returned the phone to his pocket. “Fair enough, but it was definitely worth it. I just came down to grab some juice and I see this–” He motioned around the kitchen. “–show going on and I couldn't pass it up. I'm just glad I didn't leave my phone like I was going to. Fuckin' priceless.”

I laughed and chucked the spoon at him before I grabbed my snacks and made my way back up the stairs. When I entered my room, I shut the door and placed all of my things on the bed before heading for the mini fridge they kept stored in the closets, opening it to grab one of my own drinks and placing it beside my food. I shucked my pants, hopping on the bed and turning on the TV.

Once I decided on a movie, I plugged my phone in and got comfortable, happily eating the popcorn I made.

**

He couldn't fucking stand it anymore.

It had only been two days since they left, and he was ready to scratch the marrow out of his bones. They were too hot. The entire house was too hot. His room smelled too much like him, and he couldn't even get into her room to get something of hers. Stupid Wingdings and his stupid magic.

All of the other rooms, meaning both of his brother's, had magic locking him out. He had cursed them up and down the entire first day they had left. He could still see her as he got into his brother's car. He could even still see his brother's face as he stared down at them.

The smug fucking bastard knew this was his time to strike, since Red was basically reduced to nothing more than an animal in this state. He even gave her a wink before she left since he wasn't even allowed a kiss. Which was probably for the best, if he had to admit it.

But just to think about the way he could touch her, the way he could hold and caress her...oh, Red's marrow was boiling again, and he hated it. No, he loathed it. He wanted to take her out of that goddamn car and bring her ass back here to him, where she would be comfortable and able to relax and rest.

At least for a little while until he ravaged the fuck out of her little body.

Even now he was sat outside her bedroom door, panting slightly in the dark of the house. The only light he had was from his eye lights as they cast their glow around the house. He needed to find someone, he knew. Someone who already knew how he was during his heats, bring them over and just get this shit over with.

But he didn't want just anyone. He wanted her. He wanted his sugar. His pet. His precious angel who dared to go the extra mile and even put him in his place when she felt he was out of line. No one dared to ever stand up to him, except maybe his brothers. Hell, even the Don and Madame were uneasy around him.

But not her. She had no problem going toe to toe with him and stars it was fucking hot. The way both of those eye colors would flare up in anger. Like when he had confronted her about the Bianchi family. The way her eyes had gone from fearful to outraged in mere seconds had killed him. He would never admit it, but she was always hotter when she was angry.

The way the blue of the almost white eye flashed at him, how the purple one would darken just a tad more. The way she would cross her arms and push those delicious tits up a little higher. The way her hip would jut out, or how her mouth would turn down.

Fuck, that mouth. He slammed his head against her door, cursing. He needed her here. He needed to feel her against him. Nest her, love her, bury himself inside of her until her godsdamn voice is hoarse and broken from screaming his fucking name.

He would be damned if his brother got a leg up on him.

He blipped away from her door, heading into the living room. His phone had been lit up, and he went over to it. There was a text from Frisk, and it was a video. If this was another video of the little shit bragging about how he got to see her in a bikini, he was going to claw his way out of this house and kill the mercy giving brat.

He tapped it open and saw Levy. She was singing a song, and dancing around in pajamas and...his hoodie. The hoodie he'd managed to sneak into her luggage. Seeing her wear it brought forth the animal he'd been trying to contain.

She continued for a while, not noticing Frisk behind her. She'd grabbed a wooden spoon and was using it as a mic, swinging herself around and working her hips to the song she was singing along to. She turned and finally saw Frisk. She grinned into the camera and even from here, he could see her eyes flashing at the welcome challenge.

She began again, sashaying her hips to the beat only she could hear. The way she stepped, and the way she moved her hands through her hair. The way she held herself as she confidently danced through the kitchen singing into the damn spoon was making his magic simmer.

When she hit the high note, she stopped moving, pointing toward the ceiling while she belted it out before dropping her arm and moving around again. He watched as she moved around the island and sang the last of the song before smiling, breaking out into laughter as Frisk ended the video. Underneath the video was a message.

Brat: She hasn't taken off your hoodie since she found it in her stuff.

The thought she's been wearing the hoodie, wearing his scent, was driving him mad. He snarled as he dropped the phone the couch before crushing it in his grip. Asgore's beard, he didn't think she knew what she did to him. And that just made it that much more dangerous.

He stared at his phone, wondering what she had thought of the picture he sent. Wondering any amount of coaxing could bring her back to him before his heat was up. He needed to hear her squeal with fear before he made her cry out his name. He needed to feel a lot of stuff with her before he lost his fucking mind.

He ground his fangs together and turned away from the phone, beginning to pace the house for the hundredth time. It had only been two days. His heats could last up to three weeks. How was he supposed to be okay while she was out there without him? With only that hoodie to mark her as his. Hell, Wingdings could be ready to go get her, since his heats were bad, but not as horrible. He also learned how to deal with it, how to deal with the need to mate.

Gods, the look he had on his face when he watched Levy watch Red. The way he had been hungering after her had been enough to almost dust his own brother. He'd been clawing at the window to protect her, to get her back to him and remind her just who she belonged to. She belonged to him. She was his.

No. No, don't think like that. Thinking like that could get her to run right into his brother's arms. He needed to play this careful. Safe. He needed to keep her close, but with enough room to let her make her own choices. Even though he was obviously the best choice.

He gnashed his teeth together as he thought about that car ride again. What did he do? What did they talk about? Did he try anything? If only she had found his hoodie sooner and wore it during that stupid ride.

He wasn't going to let his brother win this time. His brother always won whatever he wanted and Red was sick and tired of it. He wanted Levy, and he was going to have her. In more ways than one. And Wingdings couldn't take that from him.

As his magic rose again, he made that promise.

Wingdings wouldn't take that from him.

Chapter Text

The next day, Frisk and I went out shopping. The guards came with us in a separate car, driving behind us at a good distance so as not to feel too claustrophobic. Frisk let me have control of the music as we moved through the countryside, belting out stupid songs as we made our way back into civilization.

I had woken up this morning with a text from Red, but I had yet to read it. It was only day three, and I was ready to go home. I didn't mind hanging out with Frisk, but I didn't want to stay there for three weeks at most. I was ready to go home and cuddle up to my cat on the couch while watching horrible Mettaton movies. I wanted to hear Papyrus screaming at Red for his terrible puns and “NYAH HAH HAH”ing when he made his own.

I was homesick. I knew that's what it was. Frisk told me what he knew about their heats, and it basically covered everything Wingdings had told me. But he also told me that Red's jacket, and his smell, wouldn't have an effect on me like it would if I had been standing in front of him. So if it was anything, I was homesick.

It was weird how I had begun to call it home. I had made it my own place. There was a specific chair for me, and there was a step ladder now readily available in the kitchen for me. There were a lot of things that were there now made for just me. Hell, they even got me a new TV and PlayStation since mine were busted when we went to my apartment.

They even gave Soldier new beds around the house. He used them all, and even Papyrus was beginning to warm up to him. There had been more than one occasion where I had walked in on Solider in his lap, happily purring while Papyrus read and petted him. Or where I found them moving around the kitchen together, Solider watching this tall skeleton do his work.

It was really nice to be able to call it home, now that I thought about it. At first, it had just been me. When I couldn't take that, I got Solider. And while Solider would always be my baby, it was hard to have a conversation with him. It was one sided with looks that could vary from bored to angry, slitted eyes.

Now, when I came home from work, or going out, I was always greeted by Papyrus. Maybe Red and sometimes even Wings. I wasn't alone anymore, and it was one of the nicest things I could have. I looked out the window as we came closer to the city, watching as the trees that blurred by became sidewalks and bushes.

I really did want to go home. It was only day three and I was ready to throw in the towel. Reading the text from Red would only make the ache worse. I just needed a sense of normality. Even though my “normal” is a chaotic house full of skeletons and a cat.

The thought made me smile.

We pulled into the parking lot of the mall and holy crap it was huge. We parked in front of the food court and got out the car. I stood there, staring at the giant place before Frisk's voice got my attention. I jogged to catch up to him, where he was already waiting by the doors of the food court.

Walking inside, I was hit with the smell of combining foods. Chinese, pizza, tacos, burgers. There were two walls lined with food places that had lines of people waiting to get food. I glanced around with big eyes, and I didn't notice how Frisk was looking at me until I heard him chuckling. I looked up at him.

“What's so funny?” I demanded.

“You just look so starstruck,” he mused. “Come on, let's get you a better headset to use so you're not yanking out the cord every three seconds.”

I followed him as he made his way through the mall, looking at all of the stores. Phone services and little kiosks were set up along the way. They offered things like little figurines and jewelry. Body piercings and the like. There was even one for knives! Who in the hell came up with this stuff? Why were knives allowed to be in the open like that anyway?

We passed by a few more stores before entering an electronics store. Fridges and deep freezers lined up along the wall as we passed by. Next were large speakers and sound systems for cars. There was one I was looking at for the pretty color changes when Frisk whistled, snagging my attention. I looked over at him to see him waving me over a few aisles away.

When I went over to him, pausing to look at a few things, he held up a pair of bulky headphones. I took them and looked them over before I looked at them further and a grin split my face. They had cat ears on the top. Freaking cat ears. I chuckled as I looked over the specs and nodded to myself.

“These are purrfect,” I cackled.

Frisk groaned. “Don't even start. I'm not near Sans; I don't have to deal with it for three weeks.”

I raised a brow. “You don't?”

By the time we made it over to the games thirty seconds later, Frisk was absolutely done with my shit. I laughed as he hid his hands behind his hands, rubbing his temples. I finally stopped long enough to look at the games they had, moving through them and humming to myself. When I found one I wanted, I paused, chewing on my lip.

The card that Toriel had given me was burning a hole in my wallet. It was then burning a hole in my back pocket. I had told myself I wasn't going to use it unless necessary. But was this game actually needed? I only took ten seconds to decide, grabbing it up and putting it with the headphones. I watched as Frisk grinned beside me.

“Y'know, Mom gave you the card to use,” he finally said. “I know you don't like accepting help, but you need it. You've been through a lot of shit, especially recently. I couldn't imagine about your past.” He glanced over at me and gave me a toothy smile. “Don't think of this as a way to get away from their heats. Think of this as a vacation. We're out on vacation, having fun with each other.”

I thought it over as we made our way to the lines. He was right in the fact I didn't like accepting help. But that's all I seemed to have been doing the last couple of months. From my ankle to having my apartment ransacked. These monsters and Frisk had been there for me. And when had I really had a chance to just sit back and get away from all the chaos?

I blew out a small breath as I put the stuff on the conveyor belt, pulling out my wallet and taking out the card that Toriel had entrusted to me. The shiny black glinted off the dim light in the building and I pushed the chip into the machine. Frisk nodded with a satisfied smile on his face and when everything was done, we left the store.

Looking around, I asked, “So what now, kid?”

I looked to him again to see him giving me a small grin. “Hope you left some space in your suitcase. Today is gonna be all about spoiling yourself. Let's go shopping!”

**

Three hours later and we had to have one of the guards come to help us carry bags. They took the keys from Frisk to go put everything away while we made our way back to the food court. Looking around, I hummed slightly and pursed my lips. Everything looked good, but I was burnt out on Chinese. Pizza, too. And I literally worked at a burger joint...

Tacos. The smell hit me like a semi and I looked over to it and went that. Frisk himself had gone to get Chinese food. I made my way through and ordered my food, excitedly watching as they put it together in front of me. After I paid, I went over to join Frisk at a table, where he was patiently waiting for me before stuffing his face full of orange chicken.

We went over the plan for the rest of the day. We would spend a couple more hours here before heading back to the lodge. Frisk wanted me to explore by myself, since I would be tailed by one of the two guards with us. I would be safe, and I would learn my way around the two floor mall. He was going to check out something for his parents, and wanted to be alone while he did it.

I raised a brow at him. “Official business?” I inquired.

He nodded. “Yeah, they wanted me to check a few sources while we were out here. I know you don't want to be dragged too far into this, so I'm letting you go off on your own.” His phone buzzed on the table and he rolled his eyes. “Plus, you need to text Red back. He's been driving me crazy.”

I sighed. “I'm sorry. I just...it's only been three days, but I already miss the chaos that had become my life.”

He chuckled. “Just text him and let him know you're okay. Please?”

I nodded in agreement as he got up from the table. After throwing his trash away, he went over to the two guards and talked quietly. One of them stood up and followed him out of the food court, giving me a tip of his hat. I smiled as they walked out of sight.

I sighed and looked down at my phone, playing with a nacho on my plate. I debated on just ignoring the text anyway, but if I did that...I shivered. Red right now was not someone to fool around with. Maybe once he was out of his heat, but right now was definitely not a good idea.

I picked up my phone and unlocked it, tapping a few things and getting rid of notifications before opening the text from Red. There was only one text, and I felt my heart thump in my chest.

Cherry: i miss ya, sugar.

Christ, if I didn't want to go home before, I sure as hell did now. I played around with what I would say for a minute before just sighing and typing out a response. I hit send before I could think twice about it and chicken out.

Levy: I miss you, too, I guess.

When that was done, I stuffed my phone in the pocket of his hoodie. I got up to throw away my trash and my personal guard joined me, grinning down at me. His chocolate eyes were almost the same shade as his skin, and I could see a tuft of black hair poking from underneath the ball cap he wore. It looked absolutely ridiculous with the suit. I liked it.

“So, where to, sweetness?” he asked.

I hummed and thought it over before mentioning seeing a clothing store I wanted to check out. He nodded and led the way, making sure to keep me by his side or at least within his sight at all times. I appreciated it, because part of me was becoming paranoid.

While I did appreciate the day out, part of me felt like I was being watched. I didn't like the feeling, and I knew I was probably overreacting. But with everything that had happened, I wouldn't honestly be shocked to learn that's what was happening. I mean, Dom raided my apartment and stuck his old necklace and a note to the wall with a knife.

The guy was really crazy, I finally decided. He had let me go, telling me he didn't want anything to do with me anymore. Especially after what my job had been. Part of me was still hurt, but now I was just angry. He lets me go, only to come chasing after me like I would have been here waiting for him with baited breath like a fucking Southern Belle?

Is he high?

Entering the clothing store, my phone vibrated a couple of times, signaling I had a text message. The guard wandered off, letting me know to stay within eyesight at all times. I nodded and went over to a rack of clothes, grabbing my phone from my pocket and opening it up.

Cherry: d'ya really mean that, pet?

There was that silly nickname again. Red always struck me as the dominating type. Someone who didn't like to give up control, and he wanted to own every part of who he was with. Like the way he'd pinned me to the wall several times, marking my hip with his claws.

I debated on what to text him back. It was hard, since he was in heat. A lot of the teasing comments I would usually make would probably make his ass go crazy and destroy the house before we got back. My fingers moved over the keys, testing the waters

Levy: Of course I do.

I sent it and went about looking through some of the clothes. There were a lot of things I wouldn't wear, but I came across a shirt that made me grin. It was a skull printed on the shirt in deep red fabric paint. There were roses underneath it, with the words “Bad To The Bone” written in pretty font between them.

I snatched it up, going over to see what kind of jeans they had. At this point, I had more pajama pants than I did jeans, and I could use some new ones. I picked out a few pairs before looking for my personal bodyguard. When he connected eyes with me, I motioned for the fitting rooms. He nodded, moving closer as I went toward an empty room.

I locked the door behind me, hanging up the stuff I picked out before looking at my phone again.

Cherry: prove 't t' me, pet. i miss yer pretty lil face.

Well, shit. How was I supposed to go about this? I shook it off and snapped a quick picture of myself in the mirror before putting my phone down and taking off his hoodie. I stripped my shirt over my head and grabbed the one I found before I heard my phone go off beside me. I grabbed it, opening it up to read the text.

Cherry: stars, ya lookin' so fuckin' hot in that hoodie. 'm sure my scent is all over yer skin and i wish i could be there...

I had to keep reminding myself I was playing with fire. I looked at myself in the mirror and paused. I could either stop this now, and tell him to knock it off and deal with his heat, or I could fuck with him and make it worse on myself. Logic told me to put a stop to it before it got too bad.

But I wasn't always logical.

I quickly threw his hoodie back on without putting the shirt on. I snapped another quick picture in the mirror, quickly typing something out before I sent it. I basically yeeted my phone across the dressing room before I started trying things on. The shirt was a tight fit, but it actually fit well enough I was willing to buy it. I put it back on the hanger and tried out the different jeans I had picked out.

It took me thirty minutes to go through all of it. And the entire time I was glancing at my phone. I didn't hear it go off once, and I didn't want to chance there being an actual reply that would make me want to jump off of the roof of the building. As I started putting my clothes back on, there was a loud bang, causing everyone within the vicinity to scream. I threw myself to the floor, years of being in the club coming back to me.

I knew a gunshot when I heard one. There had been many nights where we had to pause our shows because someone got shot was ready to shoot. The echoing was loud, and I heard the voice of my bodyguard as he swung open the door to the room. He was crawling over to me, his own gun drawn and ready to fire.

It sent me through many memories, but I held those off until we were safe again. I looked over at him, my eyes round as saucers.

“What the fuck is going on?” I demanded.

“Don't know. Frisk isn't answering his phone and neither is my buddy,” he grunted, pushing himself up a little. “We need to get you the fuck outta here, sweetness.”

He got up, still hunching over as he gathered me to him. I managed to snatch the shirt I had wanted, tugging it off the hanger and stuffing it in the over sized pocket of Red's hoodie before snatching my phone from the ground. He led me out, keeping himself mostly over me and looking around corners before he and I went on ahead.

When we got to the entrance, Frisk and his bodyguard were there, both of them red faced and out of breath. There was a large gash on Frisk's forehead and his bodyguard was holding a bloody arm. I ran over to them with my guard, grabbing Frisk and hightailing it to the car. The guards went to their own, doors slamming shut engines roaring to life.

As we peeled out of the lot, Frisk's hands tightened on the wheel. His eyes stared ahead with hard brown eyes, his knuckles turning white. I felt my heart racing in my chest and I placed a hand over it, trying to relax.

“Dominic was there.”

His voice cut through the silence like a knife and I tensed up. I clutched the front of my shirt in a tighter grip and I could feel the panic rising.

“We've been compromised, then,” I murmured sadly. And the day had been going to well, too. It was a shame...

Frisk nodded stiffly. “We need to pack the fuck up and get out. I'll have other people come by and clean out the lodge. Time to go somewhere else.” His eyes snapped to me for a minute. “Do not tell Red about this. He'll be on a warpath, especially since he's in his heat.”

I nodded and grabbed my phone from my pocket. Red had texted me not once, but eight times since I left the phone on the floor from where I threw it.

Cherry: pet, i stg yer playin wit fire.

Cherry: how bout u take that bra off fer me

Cherry: fuck, did i go 2 far

Cherry: good pets answer their masters, ya know

Cherry: u alright, sugar

Cherry: srsly, u need 2 answer me i'm panickin.

Cherry: wtf is up wit the news, levy

Cherry: u better answer th goddamn phone

I cursed silently as I typed out a hasty reply to him.

Levy: We're fine. Everything is okay. I'm alright. Sorry.

I hit send and almost threw my phone on the floor, shouting out any curse I could think of. Frisk was looking at me like I had grown a third head as he smoothly moved his way through the panicky traffic of people leaving the mall. I groaned as I dug the heels of my hands into my eyes until I was seeing colorful spots.

“Was that him?” Frisk asked.

“Yeah, looks like the news was fast as hell on this one,” I muttered. “He saw everything on the news. He just put two and two together from the pictures...”

I trailed off and slapped a hand over my mouth. Frisk looked over at me with big eyes before looking ahead again, laughing his ass off. He even took one hand off the wheel to slap his thigh as he drove. He hooted and hollered at me for a good ten minutes before he was able to finally calm down enough to talk to me like a normal, sane human being.

“Hoo, I told you before you're gonna be playing with fire,” he finally wheezed out. “Are you sure you're ready to be burned?”

I chewed on my lower lip before looking out the window. I didn't answer, and he didn't push me to.

We pulled into the driveway and I jumped out before the car came to a complete stop. Looks like the guards called in backup before we had even...

No.

I recognized these two guys, and the third in the middle. I paused in my tracks as those haunting green eyes stared back at me, a smile playing on the mouth I had kissed so many times as a younger, foolish version of myself. And seeing him sent chills down my spine.

“Hello, Bunny.”

Chapter Text

I felt frozen to my spot. Memories flooded my brain, and I did my best to shove them back into the depths of my mind. I watched as Dominic closed the distance between us and stopped a foot away from me, smiling serenely. His eyes danced with mirth and I felt nothing but sick to my stomach. I could feel myself rubbing my wrist, but I couldn't bring myself to stop.

“Dom,” I finally managed to croak out.

He didn't acknowledge me talking, instead taking in what I was wearing. His lip curled up slightly when he saw Red's baggy hoodie hanging off of me. I pulled the sides together, keeping myself as shielded as I could from him. His eyes roamed over me, and stopped at my neck, where I knew he'd been looking for that stupid necklace.

His face fell. “You're not wearing it.”

“Of course I'm not,” I managed, even if my voice was shaking. “That doesn't matter. Why are you here?”

Frisk had come up beside me, gun in hand. The other two were behind him, aiming their guns at Dom's buddies, who were grinning at me. I held onto Red's hoodie as I tried to slip my hand into my pocket. Dom tutted and I paused. He was watching me, a smile back on his lips.

“Bunny. Don't tell me you'd rather be in the company of that...monster,” he scoffed, his voice turning into a snarl at the last word. “Wouldn't you rather come back to me? To come home?”

Home. That word wasn't something I'd associated with him for the last three years. I had left and told myself I would be better off without him. Home was with my parents, sitting by the fire as I cried and held on to my dad. Home was coming into my apartment and watching Solider come to greet me after a long day of work.

Home was with my skeletons, those three stupid bastards who held a huge part of me. Red, Wings, and Papyrus. All of them meant so much to me. They had helped me when I needed it and still continue to help me. They had given me a home to come back to. They had given my life a little bit of life when I was just beginning to think it was too dull.

Dominic wasn't home. They were.

“That's not home,” I finally muttered, drawing in a deep breath.

“What was that?” I could hear that familiar temper rising.

“I fucking said,” I repeated, snapping my head up to look him in the eyes, “that that's not home.”

His lip curled in disgust and he went to move toward me. I shot rang off beside me and I covered my ear, watching as Frisk expertly held his gun steady, aiming at Dominic's foot. He missed on purpose, I noticed, observing the way he moved with the gun in both of his hands. For just a little handgun, it sure as hell packed a punch.

When I looked back at Dominic, he was cursing, still dancing around on his feet like an utter fool. When he finally settled, his two favorite goonies were there, cocking their own guns and taking aim behind me. I grit my teeth and glared at the three of them, planting myself between them and Frisk and his guards. I pulled the hood of Red's hoodie up and held my arms out, baring my teeth.

These guys were my family. Not the Bianchi family that had happily thrown me to the curb. Everyone that had heard my story, actually heard me, and didn't kick me out or judge me....they were my family. They were the ones who cared, and they were the ones I was going to stick with.

Though, I thought sullenly, I wonder if I'll be single, with Red or Wings at the time. But this is the worst time to think of those possibilities.

Shaking my head a little, I looked up, moving the hood back slightly. I looked at Dominic, who was holding his hands on his guys' shoulders. His eyes met mine, and I felt a tremor of fear go through me for a minute before I steeled my resolve.

“There's no home with you,” I managed to snarl. “You left me alone after you claimed for three fucking years I meant everything to you. Go away.”

There was a twitch under his eye before he moved, throwing one of the guys back far enough to grab the gun out of his hand. Cocked and aimed, he held it at level with my head. I heard Frisk curse behind me and heard the shuffle of feet. I held my stance even as Frisk's hand landed on my shoulder, trying to pull me back.

“Then you can take the Bianchi family secrets to the grave, you little whore,” he snarled, and fired the gun.

“i t h i n k n o t.”

I gasped as the bullet was encased in a red glow, stopping it entirely in its tracks three inches from my face. I let out a shaky breath I hadn't known I'd been holding and dropped to my knees. Or I would have had an arm not wound itself around my waist, hoisting me to my feet. It brought me close to a bulking frame, and the smell of bonfire smoke filled the air.

Again, Frisk cursed, but so did the other two. I looked up to see Red's left eye light completely extinguished. His right was was lit up in a red flame, the magic leaking from his socket in thick, red smoke. His ever present grin was curled upward, almost manically. His free hand was held out toward the bullet, which now dropped onto the ground with a small clink.

I looked to Dominic, and it looked like he was about to shit his pants. The gun was trembling slightly in his hands and his eyes were as wide as dinner plates. The other two were looking on in utter terror as they took in the hormonal skeleton holding me.

Two things ran through my head in that moment.

One: Red was here with me now, and I was safe.

Two: Red was here and he was still only three days into his freaking heat.

His phalanges dug into my waist. My stare was fixated on the smoke of magic pouring out of his lit eye socket, his eye light trained on Dominic. I stared numbly at him for a minute more before I turned to see Frisk easing closer to us, his gun holstered. I saw the straps now crossing over his suit, and I guessed he wore a shoulder holster.

I shook my head at him ever so slightly. With Red this way, he wouldn't care about Frisk and who he was. He was in heat, and the object of his desire was in danger. He was twice as dangerous now than he was before his heat struck him. Frisk paused, but I caught the look. He was making sure I was okay.

Oddly enough, I was. Red wasn't hurting me. Sure, the claws were uncomfortable. But the way he held me close to him was more for protection and claim rather to try and drag me off with him and ravish me in the woods around us. Although that thought wasn't too bad.

Whoa. Down, girl.

I placed a hand slowly on Red's radius. His head snapped to me, and his eye light roamed over my face as if he was trying to make sure I wasn't hurt. When I gave him a shaky smile, he seemed satisfied before looking back at Dominic.

“If I were you, Buck,” I told the other guy holding his gun, “I'd put your gun away.”

“nah, sugar,” Red said beside me. His voice was rougher than normal and I felt a small shiver race through my body. “let'em keep their pussy ass weapons. 't won't matter 'nyway.”

Buck looked to his buddy, who was staring at Red with sheer horror. I kept my hand on Red's arm, almost burying myself into him. The smell of him was welcoming, and I felt comforted by the thought he had somehow managed to get out and come to me.

Though, I was definitely asking him how he managed to get out when Wings put magic up all over the house so he couldn't.

Red's arm slowly moved off of me, slowly pushing me back toward Frisk. The human grabbed me, almost snatching me away and pulling me to him. He was much taller than I realized. But not by much.

Red rolled his neck a couple of times before turning to look at me. He gave me a wink before he was gone. Before anyone could question as to where he went, he appeared beside Dominic, knocking the gun out of his hand before shoving the prick off to the side. The offending human dropped to side with a small crack and harsh curse. From here I watched as he grit his teeth and held his arm.

With no time wasted, he turned to Buck, who had only just turned to see what the hell was going on. Red grabbed him by the face, his claws piercing the skin around it as he got a good grip and lifted him off the ground before throwing him over his shoulder with a sickening crunch. Buck was groaning, so we was alive, but from the funny way his leg was bent, something was definitely broken.

Red wasn't finished though as he held the other guy with his magic, and that thick plume of smoke leaking from his eye almost covered the two laying on the ground. Red placed his foot in the middle of Buck's chest, and I watched as he applied pressure. Buck was screaming incoherently. I heard the words “stop” and “sorry” a lot, but it didn't matter.

Red was in killer mode.

It hit me right then and there that this wasn't just Red anymore.

This was the Judge.

I could hear more cracks, as I watched as blood poured from Buck's mouth. He was gargling on his words, his eyes leaking tears as he stared up at the skeleton who was ending his life. But before he was killed, Red lifted his foot. Buck let out a gurgled cry before screaming again as Red buried the toe his shoes into his jaw. There was a snap and his jaw went slack, even as he tried to talk some more.

“'m tired o' hearin' yer stars be damned voice,” Red snarled. “this should teach ya not t' t o u c h w h a t 's m i n e.”

Those last three words came out in a feral snarl. Part of me was scared, but the other part of me was so turned on from this. What the hell was wrong with me? I didn't even think to bother correcting him on his words.

Red picked Buck up by his hair and threw him into the tree, and I watched as he almost wrapped around it. With a final snap, he fell to the ground and stopped moving, blood pouring from the broken jaw and staining the ground brown. The lifeless eyes staring back were wide and slowly losing the light they held.

I heard Red tutting, moving over to the other lackey, who was struggling to get away. But Red's magic held him in place. I watched in sick fascination as Red meandered his way over to him, pulling a cigar out of lapel of his jacket. Even in midst of his heat, was still mindful enough to dress accordingly. Impressive.

He lit the cigar with a flare of magic from snapping his fingers. When he looked over he frowned, his tooth glinting. I looked to where he was and noticed that Dominic had gotten away. Probably while Red was having a grand old time with Buck. I was disappointed, but I looked back over to where Red was letting smoke drift out from between his teeth, eyeing the man in front of him.

I went to take a step forward but Frisk held on tight. I turned to look over my shoulder. He looked frightened, his eyes never straying away from the skeleton. I gently tugged myself away from him.

I made my way over to Red, coming to a stop in front of him. His eyes flicked over to me for a second before going back to the guy in front of us. I took a look at the guy, narrowing my eyes. I remembered him well enough. He was always the one who kept trying to slip me away from Dominic for his own disgusting needs. And he always struck when Dominic wasn't around to help me.

I looked between him and Red for a minute before I said, “Get him outta here.”

Red's grin widened once more, flicking the end of his cigar gently before taking another long hit from it. “as ya wish, sugar.”

The magic was still leaking from his socket as he took three of his phalanges, yanking out the guy's tongue. He made a strangled noise as his eyes widened. Red nor myself flinched as Red looked at the cigar between his digits in his other hand before slowly moving it for his tongue.

The sizzle of flesh was overpowered by screams. I moved to stand behind Red, keeping one of my hands locked on his suit jacket. The smell wafted in the air and I didn't dare to look away, locking eyes with one of my greatest tormentors as Red pressed the heated cherry a little further onto his tongue. I only gave him a smile.

When it was completely out, Red's magic dissipated from him, letting him fall to the ground. His first instinct was to claw at his mouth, weeping, trying to get the offending burn off of his taste buds. Red didn't waste a minute before smashed his nice looking shoes into the guy's face. There was a nasty crunch of cartilage as he reeled back, falling on his ass.

He held a hand to his nose and drew it away, watching the blood staining his hand. The fear on his face was almost as delicious as the popcorn I had the night before. Part of me was reveling in the fact Red was dragging this out. But the other part of me was worried.

His scent was everywhere. Even Frisk and his guards were having a hard time staying there. They were fidgeting uncomfortably and wouldn't even look at me. And while Red was dealing with this, he was keeping me with him. He chuckled now, his voice deeper and rich. It sent tingles along my body.

“y'know, ya shoulda jus' stayed home t'day, pal,” Red said lowly, moving closer to his prey. The guy was trying to back up on one hand, staunching the flow of blood with the other. Red easily caught up, sending on of his feet down onto the guy's kneecap. Another snap, and a howl of agony. “see, i don't take t' kindly t' people messin' wit' m' sugar. an' since ya buddy o'er there 's dead, and yer other buddy dipped out on ya, looks like yer a l l m i n e.”

“Red, wait.”

Before Red could do anything, Frisk spoke up. He was holding out a hand and cautiously moving toward him. Red growled low in his throat. He gnashed his fangs at him, but Frisk didn't back down. His eyes shot to me.

“Lev, you're gonna need to talk to him, or do something,” he said, pausing in his steps when the growl grew louder. “I'm gonna take him with us to the next place, and keep him there until the heats have all settled. Then we can get some information, right?”

I nodded. “But how am I supposed to calm him when he's like this?” I waved at him frantically, which made Frisk tense up before he realized Red wasn't about to come after me. “He's freaking feral. There is nothing I can do that can help.”

“Talk to him. Make out with him. Something, Levy,” Frisk said. “Anything at this point, so long as he distracted long enough to get this guy out of here.”

I groaned and took a small step forward. Red turned to me, the one eye full of magic still leaking that weird red smoke. I gave him a shaky smile, holding out a hand to him. He didn't move, just watched me with a long stare before he turned and came to me, wrapping me in his arms.

I clung to his jacket, my heart racing in my chest as his nasal ridge nuzzled the top of my head. He took in a deep breath, getting my scent into his nonexistent lungs as he held me still. On the side of his arm, I watched as Frisk's bodyguards hauled the bloody and broken man out of the way and into their car before they got in themselves and sped off.

Frisk stayed behind slowly moving around Red to come to stand beside me, but at a safe distance. I moved and Red grumbled something. I didn't pick it up but I managed to move away a little bit before I spoke.

“Red, how did you get out?” I asked softly, my eyes looking over him. There was some blood spattered across his skull, some of it fresh and some drying. “I thought your brother put up that magical barrier so you couldn't get out.”

“broke out,” he mumbled, bringing me back closer to him. “needed t' come t' ya. was scared. 'll fix 't when we git back.”

His sentences were breaking. I tried calming my heart rate but it was becoming impossible. I tried to wriggle out of his grasp again, to head over to Frisk so we could leave. But what he said finally caught my full attention. Frisk's, too.

“What do you mean 'we'?” Frisk asked slowly.

He only earned a growl from Red, who was quickly approaching his baser instincts again. For fuck's sake, I needed to get him out of here.

“Answer him, Red,” I murmured gently against his mandible.

“'m takin' ya home wit' me,” he finally sighed out, nuzzling into my hair again. “not lettin' ya outta m' sight again.”

I chewed on my lip and glanced over at Frisk, who looked horrified at the idea. Logically thinking, though, it would be for the best now. He could get out of the house. So even if we left here and he went back home, he could always follow us. He could always pop in to wherever we were at that moment.

And the thought was dangerous, but it was probably for the best.

“Okay, sweetie,” I said quietly. “I need to get my stuff, alright? Can I go grab my stuff?”

Christ on a cracker, I felt like I was talking to a rabid dog.

The tingle of magic in the air gave me my answer and I looked to Frisk. He looked like he was ready to chance it and to come over and get me.

“I'll be alright,” I said. “I'll keep you updated. Promise.”

Then everything went black, and there was something soft against my back. I took in a gulp of air from being teleported. I tried looking around, but the only light that was available were from his eye lights, which both were now back. He was staring down at me, his head tilted. From the little light I got from him, I could see the walls of the living room, along with the giant couch I had landed on.

I looked back to him to see him studying me, his eye lights on my every movement.

“Red, you know this is a bad idea,” I told him softly. “It's only been three days."

He let out a gutteral growl that sent vibrations to the tips of my toes. I took in a deep breathe and his smell just washed over me. It was all over the house, and it was beginning to stick to the fabrics of the sofas and surfaces. I looked up at him and opened my mouth.

But I didn't get anything out.

He moved down and kissed me, his teeth moving against my lips in absolute desperation. I gasped against his teeth, and he took the opening to run his tongue along my lower lip. In a show of dominance, he tangled his tongue with mine, his hands finding my wrists and pinning me beneath him.

I should have stopped him. I should have pushed him off and told him no. He wasn't in his right mind, and I didn't know if he could even stop at this point. I tried moving beneath him and a small groan came from him as my lower half rubbed against him. He gave a hard thrust and I couldn't help it; I moaned, almost melting underneath him.

I had to stop this. I needed to stop him right now, before it got too far and he wouldn't stop. But there was that lusty part of me that was trying to tell me that this would happen anyway. Why not do it while he was in heat? I wish I could come up with a coherent answer while he was grinding into me, eliciting little mewls from my throat.

He pulled back, his tongue lolling out of his mouth. The piercing on his ectotongue glinted in the dim light of his eyes. I took in a deep breath and watched as he seemed to struggle with himself. Like he was trying to fight off the urge to strip me down and rut me into the couch like a freaking animal.

I sighed, wringing one of my hands free and touched his face. He seemed to purr, rubbing his cheekbone into my hand. I moved my thumb over the smooth bone and watched as he seemed to melt under my touch. Like this was the one thing he craved the most.

To be fair, I had, too. The entire time I was with Frisk, my instinct had been to come home. I wasn't sure if it was to check on him or get fucked nine ways to Sunday. But there had been a need to come home. Come back to him. Wearing his hoodie had made me miss him so much. Part of me had wished that he would come get me and whisk me away.

But I never actually expected this shit to happen.

“Red...”

His eye lights snapped to me, and it seemed to be a small moment before he released me, moved off of me and picked me up, bridal style. I squeaked, holding onto the front of his suit as he moved through the house. I didn't really pick up much from the way his eye lights dimmed out, but I knew we were heading upstairs.

To his room.

He kicked open his door and placed me gently on the floor before he moved away. I didn't see much else, but I did hear a lot of rustling. There was a time or two where he came over to me again to make sure I was still there, but then he would go off again. A door opened up twice out in the hallway before he came back. When he seemed satisfied with what he had, he took my hand and led me over to the bed.

He pushed me down and I landed with a soft whomph. Feeling around me, I noticed there were more blankets and pillows on his bed than there previously had been. I moved further onto the bed, testing it out. It was soft, like a huge cloud that could swallow you whole. I sat there, feeling around me for a minute before looking up at him. His eye lights were still dimmed and he was still standing there, now wearing nothing but his pajama pants a tight fitting black tank top that clung to his ribcage.

Why were bones so hot?

I absently swiped a hand across my mouth; I didn't want to be caught drooling. I didn't hesitate as I patted the spot next to me. He clambered onto the bed and wrapped me in his embrace, bringing me into his lap. He was purring again, his chest vibrating against my arm. I placed my hand on his sternum, moving my fingers across his shirt softly. His claws were picking at my jeans and it took me a minute to realize he was silently asking if they could come off.

Did I dare?

I only nodded, and he let me move away. When I went to do it myself, he shooed my hands away before unbuttoning and unzipping them quickly, tugging them off of me and throwing them across the room. I heard them land somewhere, but I didn't care where they had gone. I went to take off his hoodie as well, intent on giving it back and his hands stopped mine.

I looked up at him.

“looks good on ya,” he said, the first words he's spoken since we've been here. “keep 't.”

I nodded again and climbed back onto his lap. His arms came around me once more and I snuggled against him among the clouds of blankets and pillows. It took me a few more seconds to realize he was nesting. He must have this insane need to nest and protect the person he wanted, who he would be with. I closed my eyes as I let out a sigh through my nose.

“'m sorry.”

I opened my eyes a sliver. “For what?”

“fer ya havin' t' see that,” he admitted softly. “yer prob'ly terrified o' me now. neva wanted ya t' see that side o' me...”

His accent was a lot thicker when he was in heat, too. He nuzzled the top of my head and I felt myself grow lax in his hold. I let my eyes open all the way as I shifted, moving so I could hold his cheekbones in my hands. He was refusing to look at me, and I glared, clearing my throat. He looked at me then, his eye light almost gone.

“I'm not scared of you,” I said firmly. “Never of you.”

I said the last words softly, smiling up at him a little bit. Admittedly, the only thing I was scared of right now was that my hormones were raging being this close to a monster in his heat. I didn't know what to expect, but it definitely wasn't this soft ass shit he was pulling on me. From the way everyone had talked, and from the way he acted before this week, I would have thought he'd have hunted me down and fucked me wherever he found me.

“ya should be.”

I gasped as he flipped us. I landed on my back, the impact soft as I landed on the pile of blankets and pillows around us. He was above me, pinning my wrists above my head as his feral grin came back and his eye lights lightened. There was a little smoke pouring from his right eye socket as he regarded me.

“ya should b' scared o' me,” he repeated. “'m 'n th' startin' o' mah heat, sugar. this's th' most dangerous time, 'specially 'f i don't find some release...” He ground against me, and I gasped against the bulge the was obviously there, rubbing against me. “'m no betta than an animal right now. an' yer jus' m' plaything 'f that's what i chose fer ya.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat as he ground against me again and I let out a loud moan. That seemed to spur him on and he did it again. I bucked against him, and I could feel the heat pooling in my core. He leaned down, chuckling by my ear when I tilted my head, feeling his hot tongue lick up my jawline.

“ya don't e'en want m' brotha, d'ya?” he asked heatedly, his claws digging into the skin of my wrists. “'e's too soft fer ya. ya need somebody who knows what'cha really need. t' git that freak inside o' ya t' come out.”

He gently bit down on the lobe of my ear and I gasped, arching into him. He seemed to purr at that, his fangs gliding gently, dangerously over my jugular. I couldn't seem to form coherent thoughts. I finally managed to choke something out, though my voice trembled with need.

“But...you, you would stop if...” I gasped as he licked my collarbone. “...if I asked you to, wouldn't you?”

“o' course,” he said while he pulled away. “i may be an animal in m' heat, but 'm not an asshole. ya don't wanna anymore, we stop.”

“I'm not going to lie; I do want you,” I whispered huskily. “But I don't want to go all the way right now...”

His grin was absolutely ferocious as he regarded me, and his left eye light flickered out of existence as he moved up. His hand moved with him, and I was able to move my hands back to lay on top of my chest. His claws traced my thighs, pressing into them every few centimeters. I was panting by the time one of his claws hooked into my panties.

“d'ya trust me?”

Did I? In this state, I should say no. I didn't trust him to stop when I told him to. He was completely gone, but at the same time, he wasn't. The longer I've been with him, the more he's been able to talk in longer sentences. Something about my presence soothed his inner beast. I thought about for a minute before I nodded.

“verbal consent, pet.”

There was that nickname. I wasn't sugar now. I was pet.

“Yeah, Red, I trust you.”

“then lemme take care o' ya.”

He slipped my panties off before I could even open my mouth. He discarded the garments somewhere, leaning down to kiss me as his claws moved closer. I groaned into his mouth as he would get close, then move away, his phalanges dancing just out of reach where I really wanted them.

When one of his claws slightly brushed my clit, I let out a cry, bucking into him. He growled into my mouth, letting his pierced tongue tangle with mine. I let out a soft moan when his finger slowly circled my clit, sending jolts of pleasure through my body. Every movement seemed to set my body into little tremors. Just when I thought I was going to explode, he moved away.

I whined in the back of my throat, his chuckle in my ear moving away as he sat up. He placed little kisses along my body as he moved down his mouth opening and letting his tongue take little dips into my hipbones. His teeth gently nicked my skin along the way, but not enough to draw blood.

The light in the room was gone, and I could see nothing. I was panting, upset that he had just stopped and didn't finish the fucking job–

I let out a cry, his name tumbling from my lips as his tongue did a slow, long lick along my folds. He did it again, and his cool tongue ring flicked against my clit. I cried out, my thigh trembling as I tried to think of what to say, what to do.

This never happened. Dominic didn't like all the foreplay and he didn't like the way a female tasted. He said they were all just disgusting acts and it was easier to just slip it in. And the last guy I'd slept with didn't like eating it general. He was more of a “receiver” than a “giver”.

I felt my back bow off the bed as he continued flicking my clit, the sharp points of his teeth gently nibbling it.

“Fuck..Red...”

I was panting, and I was being shameless. I didn't care. I had read those trashy books about how females would react to it. I thought it was all malarkey. But, apparently, it was true. The way my thighs shook and my heart pounded in my ears. I could practically hear myself losing my grip on my resolve to not do anything with him.

When his tongue speared inside of me, I came, screaming his name. He lapped at me, the growl in his chest the only noise loud enough in the room to hear. I was gripping his skull as best as I could as his tongue moved me through the orgasm.

After a minute, he chuckled. I was panting, trying to keep my eyes open as he moved above me again. He smiled down at me, and it was gentle. There was nothing animal like about him in that moment. He was just happy to have me beside him in his little nest, in his house, in his bed. He placed a gentle kiss on my forehead as I closed my eyes.

“g'night, pet.”

Chapter Text

Over the next three days, Red was trying his best. I could tell he was holding back for my sake. The only real times he let me leave the nest was when I had to go to the bathroom, shower, or when I needed food. Most times, he got me the food while I went and took a shower. Then it was right back into the nest and into his arms.

Even though I knew his heat was really getting to him, he didn't try anything else since the first night I was back. He would nuzzle against me and whisper things to me, but unless I gave him the okay, he didn't try to reach out and do anything. If we were laying down and sleeping, I was curled up in his lap, talking about nonsensical things about growing up on a farm.

He always seemed so amused by my stories. He told me at one point that it didn't even sound like me. When I made the comment about Dominic ruining me, he had kissed me silent. Probably for a lot longer than needed.

But that's as far as he ever went. He never made a move to try and “mark” me like he told me he was going to do the one night we returned home from the meeting at the Dreemurr house. He always made sure I was in his little nest, and he always made sure I was comfortable. There were times when I was sleeping I would wake up to him shifting in his sleep, like he was trying to keep something away from me. Or I would wake up to find him nowhere in sight.

Then there was the fact that my phone was blowing up.

Everyone that could reach out to me did. Frisk and Wings were the worst. I managed to placate them, even convincing Wings that I was safe. Red hadn't tried anything, and I wasn't lying to him. I had taken a picture where Red had me, which seemed to surprise Wings, but he finally stopped messaging me after asking me one more time if I didn't need him to come and get me out.

But there would be no use. He had managed to get out once when he thought I was in danger. I mean, I was, but that wasn't the point. He had managed to get out of the hold of the house to come to me, which means if it happened once, it can happen again.

It was safer for all of the males around me if I stayed with him. At this point, if I was out of his sight longer than a few minutes, he would hunt me down.

And that was another thing.

He seemed to like that hunt. He didn't like having the lights on; it hurt his eyes since they were so sensitive during his heats. That was fine; I could use the flashlight on my phone. There would be times I would be in the kitchen grabbing something and it felt like he would be there. But when I looked over my shoulder, he wouldn't be there. There would times I would be in the shower. There would be a flash of red, but when I peeked out the shower, he wouldn't be there.

It was kind of frightening.

I would never be afraid of Red. That was true. But there was something about the way he acted. Like he was willing to wait for the hunt. Like he was ready to pounce. There was something about the way he coiled, like a tiger ready to spring on its prey. I would have to ask what all that's about.

Right now? I just wanted to get out of the house for a minute. I needed to get a few more things to eat since he was so intent on keeping me here.

He was whining and holding onto me. I rolled my eyes, using my flashlight to find my shoes, scanning the floor around his bed where he had placed them the other day. I finally managed to snag them from under the bed, sitting down on the floor after detaching himself from me to put them on.

“don't go,” he groaned. “c'mere an' stay comfy wit' me.”

I rolled my eyes and looked over at him. “Red. I need to go get more food since you insist on feeding me three to four times a day. Plus, I need to grab a few more things that are necessary for me to survive. Like caffeine.”

He grumbled and nuzzled his cheekbone against the top of my head again. At this point, I was sure he was just spreading his scent all over to make sure any monster that was still around wasn't going to mess with me. Or try and hit on me. Heaven forbid anyone do that.

I stood up, kissing his forehead before snatching my phone and his wallet. I still had yet to get my stuff from the lodge. Frisk said everything was packed up and waiting for me, including the bags of things I had before our mall trip was ruined. He texted me at least three times a day to make sure I was okay and to let me know if he needed to come get me, he would.

I left the house, locking up with Red's key before making my way to the store. There were only a few monsters out right now. The others were probably hiding, or in their own heats right now. The humans that milled about seemed to look at me questioningly before waving at me and talking to me for a bit. I never told them why I was back, but they all told me the same thing. Be safe.

That's the thing. Everyone didn't realize it, but the safest I'll be is with Red. Hell, probably with any of the skeleton brothers. I made my way into the store, where BP instantly gagged. I smiled at him apologetically as he snagged a bag clip and put it on his nose, his ears pushing back against his head as he looked at me.

“Sorry, BP,” I sighed.

“Why the hell d'ya smell so strongly of him?” he grumbled, his voice a little higher pitched with his nose pinched shut. “I thought they agreed you were gonna go with Frisk for the next several weeks, little buddy.”

I sighed and rubbed my temples. “Some shit went down and somehow Red managed to escape the magic that kept him locked inside the house. The ironic part is, I'm probably safer with him than I would be with Frisk or any of the others.”

“Ugh, tell me about it.” He shook his head.

I laughed quietly and grabbed a basket, going through the familiar aisles and grabbing things I would need. I even picked up some whipped cream to put on my hot chocolate. Red insisted that hot chocolate before I passed out would always let me have good dreams. But I think he did that for me.

Nope. No. Stop. Not that train of thought.

If anything happened with him, it would strictly be fun until I found a nice, normal person to spend my life with. Normal. With normal things. Doing the same things. Boring things. Yeah, that's what I wanted. A vanilla life, with friends who would come over and get wine drunk with me when the kids and fathers weren't home.

I crinkled my nose as I read the label on a can of whipped cream. Vanilla life. I had truly wanted that at some point. With some normal, boring person who did a normal, boring job. They would come home to either a home cooked meal or something. We would have a small family, and probably live on the farm when my parents finally kicked the bucket. There would be at least two kids, maybe more depending. There would be a boring life for me to live, and I would be content.

But that was the issue now. I didn't want boring. I had been spending so much time in the chaos of this little family that I was beginning to enjoy it. Not to mention the fact Red seemed intent on making me realize there was a “freak” in me.

Whatever. I don't think I would be into all of that as much as he thought I would be. I gathered the rest of what I needed and took it to the counter. Poor BP still had his nose plugged and he rushed through checking me out. He paused, grabbing my hand in his furry paw, causing me to look up at him in shock. He regarded me a minute before he spoke.

“You really need to be careful, little buddy,” he finally said, letting me go. “Sans is...primal right now. You might feel safe with him. But he'll flip his switch soon. Just watch out for it, okay? If you need help, come to me and I'll have Frisk come get you.”

I nodded, paying and making my way out of the store.

I would seriously need to talk to Red about this scent marking thing. It was making my life so much more difficult. And I wasn't dealing with his crap like this. I made way back into the house, unlocking the door before quickly shutting it. I dug my phone out of my pocket and went to turn it on. But nothing happened. The screen remained black.

Strange. I know it at least had over three quarters of battery power. I frowned as I stuffed it back in my pocket and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. When I was able to make out faint outlines of where things were, I slowly moved my way into the kitchen. I slid my hand along the walls until I found the doorway leading into it.

There was a deep chuckle somewhere off to my left and I looked over that way. But there was nothing there. I blinked, and my breathing hitched in my throat. I was just imagining things. I was getting so used to Red being around I was just hallucinating him being there. I turned back and made my way into the kitchen, placing the bags on the floor as I began to put things away. I bent down to grab a can of something and placed it on the counter when there was a rush of wind behind me.

I squeaked, turning to look over my shoulder. Still, nothing. There was nothing nor anyone there. I scanned the area before I turned back to what I was doing, my heart hammering in my chest. I worked quickly, opening the fridge to give me a little more light.

As I put everything away, I paused, counting and double checking the things I got. I had gotten two can of whipped cream, hadn't I? Maybe I had put one of them back by mistake. I shrugged it off and kept the fridge open as I grabbed my step stool. I placed it front of the counter and started reaching up to put things away.

A feral growl sounded from behind me and I paused. I held my breath, waiting for something, anything to happen. But nothing did. I turned slowly, so I didn't fall off. Again, nothing and no one there. I swallowed the lump in my throat. I turned back around just as slowly, putting things where I knew they needed to go. I finally closed the cabinets and got down from my stool, putting it back where it needed to go before shutting the fridge. I pulled out my phone one more time, mumbling to myself as I tried to turn it on. Still nothing.

I sighed and started to feel my way along the counter. Red was probably upstairs. Whether he was sleeping or...taking care of himself, I didn't know. But I was about to find out one way or the other. I finally managed to get out of the kitchen when a pair of red lights looked right at me.

I gasped, almost falling back on my ass as they disappeared, a loud rumble of laughter following. I took in a deep breath, trying to calm down my rapidly beating heart. I gripped the door to the kitchen, looking around and trying to find the lights again. But I didn't see anything. I did, however, feel the deep intake of breath at the back of my neck.

All the hairs on my arm stood on end.

I turned to look over my shoulder, but there was still nothing there. I faced forward, trying to get used to the encompassing darkness once more as I searched. Another chuckle and I let out a small whimper.

“'wha's wrong, pet?” Red's voice didn't come from one specific direction, but it was definitely him. His voice was deeper, growling almost as he spoke. “ya lookin' a lil...scared right now...”

I let out a shaky laugh. “I-I'm not scared. I just can't see you and–”

“liar.”

I let out another gasp as I felt Red press up behind me. Though the fabric of his clothes, I could feel just how hot his bones had gotten in the hour and a half I was gone. I could feel his fangs against my ear, his jaw opening to catch my lobe between the sharp points. Heat immediately rushed through my body and pooled in my lower abdomen.

I went to move away from him, but he wrapped an arm around me, from my shoulder and slanting diagonally down from there. His forearm rested in the valley between my breasts and I tried to struggle a little more. Christ, he was on fire. I could see why this got so uncomfortable for him after so long.

“i c'n smell yer fear, pet,” his voice husked against my ear. “i c'n even smell how wet yer getting' fer me. ya like th' hunt, don'tcha?”

“Sans is...primal right now. You might feel safe with him right now. But he'll flip his switch soon...”

Is this what BP was talking about? I tried thinking back on my old biology classes, but nothing was coming to mind as Red moved around behind me, adjusting our position while he drew me into his lap, my back pressed against his front.

“T-the hunt?” I managed to stammer out.

“hm. 's one o' th' reasons everyone leaves while 'm 'n heat, pet,” he murmured against my ear. His tongue traced along my throat. “b'cause whoever gits 'n th' way o' me an' m' prey...well, they tend t' either lose limbs 'r lives.”

Holy shit.

I didn't know whether to run from the house, or continue this cat and mouse game he seemed to want to play.

I was slowly beginning to put two and two together. Heat to monsters was the same thing as mating seasons. And everyone had talked about avoiding Red like the plague when he started his heat. Hell, he was locked in his room like a rabid animal until we all left the house almost a week ago.

I had read something about this before. It's not a very common kind of kink, but it was one that made Red's rocks get off. Did he even have rocks to get off? Christ, what am I thinking? He thinks I'm fucking prey. Would he stop if I told him? What if he didn't?

No. He would. He may be slightly mindless, but he would know when to stop. If I said to stop, he definitely would. I had no reservations about that.

But all the teasing I had done to him...how did he manage to hold himself back?

He caught my wrist suddenly and brought it toward his face. He took in a deep inhale and a low rumbling noise vibrated in his chest. “'ll kill that stars damned cat,” he snarled.

“Red, no.”

“red, yes.”

“I swear to God – fuck.”

I let out a yelp and a curse as he gently bit into my wrist. It didn't feel like he had pierced the skin, but I was proven wrong as something warm and wet rolled down my wrist to my arm slowly. He growled again and his tongue laved against the wound he left, sounding like he was...whimpering? Was he upset he hurt me in his anger?

I was getting whiplash.

He nuzzled against me, purring against me as his hand moved up my body and grabbed my breast, his claws digging into the soft flesh. I moaned against him and his purring turned into a low growl. He thrust against me, and I arched into him. Gritting my teeth, I took in a deep breath and, with as much will power as I could, I pushed him back.

He must have either been shocked enough, or just willing to chase. He let me go with ease and I managed to get myself up, feeling my way for the stairs quickly. His laughter behind me was a mix between mocking and enjoyment.

“oh, pet. yer 'n fer 't now.”

There was a rush in the air and his eye lights came into view. I gasped, halting my steps as he stared down at me from the top of the stairs. I kept my grip on the railing beside me, watching as he put his hands behind his back. He didn't move, but I wasn't trusting it.

I dodged back into the living room as the lights from his skull went out, and I was thrown back into darkness. I collided with the back of one of the couches, and I used it to steady myself as I looked around. There was a pause before the heat of his breath was on the back of his neck.

I went back for the stairs, and this time he didn't stop me as I vaulted myself up, using the railing to guide my ascent. When I made it to the top, I rushed for my room, thinking that maybe I could away there...

I didn't make it past his room.

He slammed into my side, and I cried out in shock. He pinned me against the wall, his pelvis pressing against me as I tried to look for his eye lights. Or, right now, eye light. Magic was leaking out again in that red smoke, highlighted by the bright flame that engulfed his right socket. He was staring down at me, his breathing ragged and heavy.

This skeleton, who was usually lazier than a sack of potatoes, had actually given chase. And he enjoyed it. No one was kidding when they said he was primal in his heat. This is just the beginning and I knew it.

But did I really want it? We've been playing a dangerous game of back and forth over the last month or so, and I didn't know if I was ready for this life again.

But I wouldn't be back in this mafia lifestyle. I was just sleeping with one of the most powerful monsters on the surface. Did I really want to do that?

Yes. Yes, I definitely did.

He didn't say anything as he kissed me, demanding my submission, my attention. I kissed him back feverishly as he was me, and I pushed his shirt up, grabbing his lower ribs in a tentative grasp. He let out a low rumble of approval, and I stroked the bone gently before tightening my hold on them and pulling a little. His growl became a purr of gratification.

“sugar, 'f ya don't tell me t' stop...”

“Fuck me.”

He paused and looked at me. Even while he was panting and obviously holding himself back, he was watching me with curious eyes. “'re ya sure...?”

“Yes.” I looked up at him. “Just fuck me.”

He didn't have to be told twice as he moved me away from the wall and threw me onto the cloud of his nest. He stood over me as I propped myself up on my elbows and he stared down at me. The smoke had gotten thicker, and he licked his teeth with his glowing red tongue, a feral smile on his face.

“oh, pet,” he murmured throatily. “yer really in fer 't now.”

Chapter Text

The way that Red was watching me right now made me feel like I was a female lion in his den. The smoke had definitely gotten thicker, and he came over to the bed slowly. I backed up into the wall, bumping my head as I hit the wall. But I didn't feel anything as he disappeared, reappearing beside me. I felt my heart racing as I let out a yelp and he was on top of me.

“last chance, pet,” he murmured into my neck. His tongue glowed around us as he licked along my throat. “last fuckin' chance.”

“I stand by what I said. Just no marking, no claims. I mean it.”

“'ll take 't.”

With that he kissed me, his teeth moving against my lips hungrily. My arms wound around him, my hand gripped his cervical vertebrae. His low growl reverberated through my body and I arced into him as he moved against me. His rib cage brushed against my breasts, scrapping against my nipples and it was the most perfect sensation in that moment.

His clawed phalanges were digging into the pillows beside me and I could hear the fabric ripping. In the back of my head, I wondered if he would use those to claw the shit out of me. While part of me was kind of scared he actually would, another part of me was excited.

Was this was he meant by freak?

He pulled away, his claws moving to tangle themselves in my hair. I gasped as he tugged back, my head moving so I was staring at the ceiling and my throat left exposed. His tongue laved against the skin, and I could feel the cool metal of his tongue ring. His fangs scraped against the side of my throat and I could feel my pulse jump.

He chuckled, laving over the spot before tugging on my hair again and I let out a moan. He moved up and his teeth were next to my ear now, his fangs gently biting down.

“'m gonna make ya really bring that freak out in ya, pet,” he whispered, his voice husky. “we're gonna have all sortsa fun.”

“Th-there is no freaaah!”

My voice cut out on a groan. He had bitten down on my ear again, running his tongue over it to soothe the wound. There was no talking, and he released my hair to move down. His hands instead pushed my shirt up, his claws raking against my sides slowly as he moved it up. The sensation left me feeling tingly and my back bowed off of the bed.

When he finally exposed my breasts, he ran his tongue along the valley between them, growling. His fangs traced over one of the mounds on my chest before snagging my nipple between his teeth. I let out a strangled cry as pain and pleasure melded into one. I helped him make quick work of getting my shirt off and threw it somewhere in his room. His other hand had come up to caress the other one, tweaking my nipple between his thumb and pointer. Out of nowhere, he gripped it and twisted hard, sending shocks of that sweet pain and pleasure mixture rolling down my spine.

He moved to the other nipple, laving it with his tongue before biting down on it, suckling on it like it would be his last time. I groaned his name, my fingernails scraping over his skull. His smooth chuckle sent little puffs of hot breath across my skin and it only made me crave more.

I felt his hand leave me for a minute while he went to grab something on the floor beside us. It was still too dark to see anything, but I caught a flash of the second can of whipped cream in his hands as he popped the top off of it, giving it a little shake. So that's where it had gone!

“Red...”

“time fer some dessert.”

He swirled a little on my nipple, and I gasped as the cool product hit my skin. I could feel goosebumps rising, and I let out a groan as he licked it from me. And he continued this pattern on each breast, swirling just enough on them before licking it off, keeping eye contact with me the entire time until the can was empty. And then he threw it somewhere like the classy man Red really was.

The thick smoke from his eye socket had completely surrounded us, and I found myself playing with a little, feeling a tingle run through my fingers as I ran them through it. Red tightened his hold on my side before he moved away from my chest, his tongue tracing my bottom lip. I parted my lips, but he never accepted it.

Instead, I could feel the static in the air and watched as a glowing, red shackle appeared on my wrist. With a gasp, my hands came together above my head and there was a distinct sound of metal chain. When I tried to move my hands, they didn't get very far. He had effectively shackled me to the bed.

Admittedly, I was just getting more excited. What was this?

Red had disappeared, but he was back just a second later. In the red glow from his eyelights, I saw a collar in his hands. The same one he had when he and I talked about that first kiss in my room forever ago. He didn't even pause as he wrapped it around my throat, tightening it into place before he traced the area just underneath it.

“fuck, yer so stars damned hot,” he muttered.

His teeth crashed against my mouth again and I could feel his claws making quick work of my pants. He shoved them from my hips and, with a growl, completely tore them from my body. He discarded them somewhere in the room. My moan filled the room, allowing him access to tangle his tongue with mine.

His claws dug into the thickness of my thighs and I could feel a small trickle rolling down. He had pricked me, pressing just hard enough. But there was a thin trickle of blood moving down my thigh and I felt his phalange catch it. He moved back just enough, holding my gaze as he licked it from his digit.

The little act made my face flush, even as I felt myself only get that much wetter for him. Jesus Christ, what was wrong with me?

He moved back and I let out a whine, unable to get free from his magic as he kept me in place. He watched me as he shed his own clothes, his rib cage on full display. When his pants were gone I felt my eye nearly bug out of my head. His cock wasn't very long, but definitely made up in girth. He was thick, and I caught the glinting metal of not one piercing, but multiple. He had freaking Jacob's ladder piercings along the underside of his cock, and I felt myself clench.

How the fuck was he going to fit?

He leaned back over me, grinning, and hooked a finger into the metal loop of the collar, bringing me up. I grunted, my heart hammering in my ears as the chains rattled. He positioned me so I was sitting up and moved the shackles holding my wrists higher. When I was sitting up decently, he came over and tapped his glowing, red dick against my lips.

“open wide, pet,” he growled.

I complied without thinking about it and he shoved himself inside my mouth without preamble. I gagged for a second, taking in the slightly musky taste. But there was a hint of cherries in there, much like his cigars he loved to smoke. He moved the hair back away from my face and I could hear his bones rattling from where he was trying to hold himself back. When I looked up at him, you could hear that resolve snapping.

He grabbed a fistful of hair in each hand, drew out, and slammed home again. I gagged, hearing the clack of his dick piercings against my teeth as he continued doing that. I hollowed out my cheeks from habit, still looking up at him. He had his teeth parted, his tongue lolling out the side. There was a even a little bit of drool coming from his tongue, which dropped and landed on my tit.

He growled low in his throat as he slammed home again and I gagged around him, my hands rattling the chains as I tried to reach for him. His grin was feral, and his tooth glinted in the dull red light of his eyelights and tongue. A red glow took my face over for a few seconds when he would pull back.

“such a good pet,” he crooned, tugging my hair. A shot of pleasure crawled through my body. “yer such a good pet, baby.”

I made a little keening noise in the back of my throat, ending in another gag as he fucked my throat. He answered with his own grunt as he chased whatever high he was on, red tinted sweat beading his skull.

He finally pulled back and left my mouth with a loud pop. I took in a gasping breath, coughing a little bit as he moved, his phalanges gripping my thighs as he pushed them apart. He tore my panties in half, discarding them as well before his claw stroked my clit.

I let out a small scream, ending in a begging mewl as he slowly rotated the little nub. It was so sensitive, and I could feel myself dripping on the little nest we were in. He seemed satisfied with this, dipping just the tip of his claw in before moving back to stroke the wetness over my clit. I groaned, tugging at the chains.

“Sans...”

His real name slipped out and I heard his growl get louder. He seemed to like that...

He didn't say anything through as two fingers speared inside of me. My scream filled the room as he pumped, and I could hear the sickening sound of my wetness against bone. If I wasn't already flushed from what was going on, I would have been red from embarrassment. He didn't pause as he came up and leaned close, never once pausing.

“listen t' yerself,” he whispered thickly in my ear. “ya say there's no freak 'n ya, but jus' listen.” With that he withdrew his hand and gave my pussy a little, wet smack. I cried out, my thighs twitching. “ya liked th' chase, an' ya like th' bitin' an' th' pullin'. ya like bein' m' lil plaything.” He drove his fingers in side of me again and my cry was muffled as he slammed his teeth onto my mouth again.

I could feel my hips moving now, trying to find their own release. Red's free hand came up and gripped me around my throat and I gasped, leaning my head back as I looked up at him with wide eyes. He stared down at me, all traces of Red gone.

He was watching me with eyelights made of blood, and the smoke had stopped, but there was still magic leaking out of his eye socket. There was a wetness pressed against my belly, and I knew it was the precum from the tip of his dick.

He tossed me back onto the bed, the shackles adjusting as I bounced against the pillows. I didn't have a chance to get comfortable as Red's tongue entered me.

I cried out his name again, his real name. He continued his ministrations, his eyelights on me as I gasped, trying to figure out how to handle this. It was so much in one go and I needed more. I needed everything in that moment. I could feel myself tightening, getting so much closer, right there...

And he stopped.

Before I could protest, he moved up, readjusting himself. He pushed my legs back, lining himself up before, in one hard thrust, slammed himself inside of me.

I screamed now, my orgasm hitting me as his thickness filled me. I felt full. So fucking full. His piercings scraped against my inner walls and it wasn't even painful. It felt so good to feel them drag along, and I arced up. He leaned over taking a small bite at the top of my breast before I felt something else pressing against me. It demanded entrance and I groaned as he pushed and pushed. I felt my legs fall wide as he grunted.

“yer so fuckin' tight,” he ground out. “but yer gonna take m'knot, whether ya fuckin' like 't 'r not.”

His what?!

Without a chance to ask, something pushed past my opening and my mouth opening in a silent scream. I lurched off the bed as he completely filled me, panting in my ear. I felt myself tighten around him and we both groaned. He felt so good. I was so full. I needed him to move, but he didn't, and I could feel himself throbbing inside of me.

Then he moved.

And it was like there was something there keeping him inside of me. I moaned as he started out slow at first, little pumps to get me used to it. But eventually his patience ran thin and I cried out as his cock slammed home, numerous times. His knot was keeping him inside of me, and I could feel it pulling him.

I felt every piercing, and I struggled against my restraints as he rutted me into the bed. He never paused, licking and biting whatever surface he could touch. He licked and bit at my nipples, my collarbone. My neck, where the collar wasn't blocking, and my ears.

“Sans, please...!”

He didn't answer, but buried his claws into my hips and thrust harder, chasing his own release as he continued. When he'd had enough of that, he yanked himself out, turning me over onto my stomach and lifting my ass in the air. With a good thwack to my hind end, he entered me again. I was wet enough the knot slid in easier this time. But, fuck, it still hurt.

But it still felt so good to feel this fucking full.

It felt even better. His hand curled in my hair and yanked until my back was bowed and that was only way I was being held up. My screams and groans filled the room and I could feel the second orgasm quickly coming. I bounced back against him, which seemed to only make him go faster, fuck me harder.

In the end, I came screaming around him, my voice hoarse as I called out his name. With that, I felt him continue to swell inside of me, and with one final thrust, he came.

And came.

And came.

There was so much I could feel it leaking out and he was groaning against my back, giving me little pecks and whispering how much of a good girl I was. I groaned as I felt his seed spill down my thighs and hit the sheets below us and I felt his magical appendage disappear. I was left feeling empty as even more of his seed, now unobstructed, fell from me.

The magic on my wrists finally disappeared as well, and I collapsed onto my stomach. I would have been grossed out from all of his magical semen had I not been so worn out. I could feel the swelling in my throat and around my nipples. My lips were a little puffed up and my clit was so sensitive.

It was the best feeling.

Red left for a minute before coming back, running something warm and wet over my opening. I groaned and tried to weakly bat him away, listening to his deep chuckle as I swatted nothing but air. It continued and I could feel my eyelids drooping. The entire experience had worn me out, and I felt it slowly creeping over me.

“yer awright, pet,” his voice smoothed over over me, his tone throaty as he continued doing whatever it was that he was doing. “'ll get e'erythin' cleaned up. rest.”

I let my eyes fall close, my breathing evening out as I let exhaustion take over me, and let sleep carry me away.

**

When Red was sure that Levy was asleep, he gently lifted her and moved her to the floor. But only for a moment as he took off the giant blanket and threw it across his room somewhere. He replaced it with another one and then lifted her back onto the bed. She barely stirred as he wiped off his seed from her belly.

When he was done, he threw the rag in the same general direction as the blanket. He put his shorts back on but left the shirt somewhere, crawling in to nest beside her. He gathered her in his arms, putting a pillow between her head and his ribs so that she didn't have to sleep against his ribs.

It had been better than he imagined.

Her voice crying out his name. The way his collar fit just perfect around her throat. Her noises, her taste. The way she let herself just let go. Stars, she was just fuckin' perfect.

But the words from Wingdings ran through his mind, making him hold her just a little closer, a growl moving its way through his chest and out of his throat.

“Why don't we see who she'll really want? We've both made our intentions clear, Sans. She knows both of us want her, and it's only fair to give each other the chance. So, what do you say? Shall we play the game?”

He didn't want to give her up. But he wasn't about to trap her with him without letting her play the field a little bit. She deserved more than being tied down with him for the rest of their lives. But he couldn't help the flare of jealousy, the flare of the beast within him when Wingdings tried to claim her as his already.

But he had done the same thing, hadn't he? Putting his scent all over her, without her even knowing. He knew she knew; she had told him as much. She had even chastised him a little for it, telling him that wasn't something he'd needed to do and blah, blah, blah. He'd just kissed her to shut her up.

Worked every single time.

She made a soft mewling noise in her sleep and snuggled closer. The crease that had formed between her eyebrows faded and there was a soft smile on her swollen lips. Her hand curled slightly against his rib cage and he knew he was doomed.

How was he supposed to have this kind of “competition” with his brother when this is the one woman he really wanted? She made his soul come alive just by being there. It was like that sappy shit you read in books where there was color when there was none before she came around.

Stars, she was just perfect.

Wingdings thought this was just some fun game to play. But it wasn't; not to him anyway. This was something he was willing to get off his lazy coccyx for. He wouldn't leave the family; there was no way that was going to happen. But maybe he could convince her she'd be safer with him. That she'd be okay when he was around, or when the others were around. She wouldn't need to leave for the lodges anymore during heats, and even then if she did, she could always come home.

To him.

Stars.

What has he done to himself?

He gathered her as close as she could get, and a soft sigh escaped her lips. There went his soul, throbbing in his chest again. When did he turn so fucking sappy?

Maybe when she saw him as not Sans, or even Red. But as the Judge. What he did for a living was gruesome, sure. He got to play baseball with some peoples' skulls, or even knock out a few teeth and break a couple of bones. But never had he felt more rage than he did in that one single moment. How the humans hadn't seen him appear out of thin air was confusing enough.

But the rush of pleasure he felt from breaking their fragile bones. Watching the blood. Hearing the sizzle of flesh. It had really gotten to him. He hadn't done any real big jobs like he usually did because he was scared of coming home, covered in blood and scaring her off completely. The thought of her wide eyes full of fear, it crushed him.

He couldn't imagine what he would do if she left.

He didn't want to push her away, but he needed to be reassured that she would be with him. He needed her to be with him, and he really didn't want to fuck that up.

But what if he just had?

He's in heat. Horrible timing for them both to do this as their first time together. Now that he'd had her once, he was going to want her over, and over. And what if she hadn't really wanted to be with him? Just wanted to make him stop hunting her down? What if she was really scared of him?

“I'm not scared of you. Never of you.”

Her eyes had never lied to him before, and they didn't in that moment. She wanted him, just as much as he wanted her. But she didn't want anything official. He could handle them messing around, sure. But just for how long? How long did he need to wait before he lost his mind and just marked her without even thinking about it?

No. He couldn't think like that. Sure, he was in his most beastial state, but he knew she would come around. He could convince her that this lifestyle is better than what she had experienced before. And she would come to accept it, and everything would be okay.

They just needed to go slow. That's what she needed.

As she let out another sigh, and he felt his soul thump in his chest, his whole world felt complete in that one moment. This would be every day, and every night, soon enough. He just had to be patient.

“what're ya doin' t' me, sugar?”

Chapter Text

Two days.

He and I had been going at it for two whole days. We would go at it for hours before he would let me eat and shower, and even then I wasn't showering alone. Being pinned to the shower wall was a new experience for me, that's for sure.

My phone had been blowing up, and Wings had apparently felt something shift. He said he knew, he could feel it. He seemed a little jealous in his messages, but said he would need to talk to me after everything was over. When I went to respond, Red had tossed my phone somewhere before he shoved his phalanges inside of me once more.

He was about two weeks into his heat, and he was beginning to calm down. He mostly just cuddled me in his giant nest and made sure I was eating and sleeping. When we did fuck, it was quick and easy. Not much foreplay like the first time, but there was definitely still some. He seemed to enjoy that part the most.

He also seemed to like making me wear that collar. I'd have to ask him where it came from at some point. The spikes on it were pretty cool.

After the second day of fucking like bunnies, I heard the front door open. Red's magic enveloped his door as footsteps came rushing up the stairs and slammed shut. There was pounding on it for a good minute before Wings's voice came through the door.

“Sans, you let her out this minute!” he shouted. Oh, I'd never him sound that mad before. “Right now! We've got some things to discuss, you and me!”

He only answered with a growl and brought me closer to him, his face buried between my breasts. I rolled my eyes and pet the back of his skull, which earned me a purr. It was hard to tell which animal he was most like. There were days he would act like a cat, and other days where he would act like a rabid dog. Most of the time, it was a cat.

The pounding on the door didn't stop and I sighed. I went to get up, grabbing my phone so I could use the flashlight to find my pants. Red let out a whine and I rolled my eyes, gently peeling him off of me. I gave him a small pat on the skull and moved grabbed my discarded pants, which I'd had to grab from my room.

He'd destroyed so many articles of clothing that if I didn't switch up what I was wearing, I'd have been left with nothing. The fucker was insatiable.

When I left the room, I blinked covering my eyes against the onslaught of light. I had been stuck mostly in the dark for so long I had begun to get used to it. Wings grabbed my wrists and pulled them down, moving the hair from my neck to check out if there were any bite marks. I waved him off, looking rather irked.

“He didn't mark me,” I said lowly. I looked back at the closed door, where Red would surely stay because of all the lights being on. I looked back Wings and motioned for the stairs. “Can we go down?”

He nodded wordlessly and I followed as we made our way to the first floor, going into the kitchen. I went about making some coffee, moving carefully so as not to irritate anything. My legs were definitely wobbly, and my arms shook, but the monster food Red had been giving me worked like a charm every time.

I set down Wings's coffee in front of him and crawled into my own seat. We sat there in silence for a while, and I heard the floor creaking above us. I chuckled a little into my cup before taking a small sip. Ow. Still too hot.

“So you're okay then, dear?”

I looked up at him, slightly startled from my thoughts. I nodded. “Yeah, I'm okay. He...I told him he wasn't allowed to mark me, so he kept to his word.”

Wings hummed and took a sip of his own coffee. He seemed to be thinking of something before saying anything and I would have given anything in that moment to see what was going inside this skeleton's head. I took another tentative sip of my coffee and rubbed my wrist absently.

“So do you think you'll stick with just him?”

Wings's voice brought me out of my own thoughts and I regarded him. I replayed the kiss with Wings in my head and I could feel myself flush again, deciding to look at my coffee instead. His kiss hadn't been anything like Red's, which we hungry, powerful, consuming. His was sweet, gentle. He had been so careful with me.

“I...I don't know?” I answered, even though it came out more like a question. “I mean, I'm technically single, so I can kind of...I don't know, play the field a little bit? I haven't really considered dating anyone.”

He watched me for a minute before reaching over and brushing the hair away from my face. I jumped, looking at him. He was definitely closer now, and I could see that currant color in his eyelights when he was this close. His gaze flicked between my eyes and I could only sit there, transfixed.

The smell of cloves surrounded me again, almost overpowering Red's bonfire smoke smell. I knew I was feeling some type of way still, and being this close to another skeleton, who was probably still in heat, was really messing with me. I didn't know if it was because of their pheromones or whatever, and I'd have to look into that again.

But when Wings finally closed that distance and his teeth met my lips, I didn't pause or push him away. I wrapped my arms around him as he gathered me to him. One hand came around to caress my cheek softly and I bunched my fingers into his suit, which had been immaculate when he had come in. His other hand ran through my hair and gave a sharp tug.

I gasped and yanked on his coat. He moved, pulling me and then lifting me up. When I was put down, I ran one of my hands over the surface I was sitting on. I pulled away to look and ran my hands over the table's surface, before looking up at him.

Without a word, he grabbed both sides of my face and kissed me again, coaxing my mouth open by prodding at my lower lip with his tongue. I grabbed one of his hands out of shock and let out a small noise, moving back a little bit. His femurs kept both my legs trapped between them, and he moved his tongue to tangle with mine.

He tasted a lot like chestnuts that had roasted over a fire. It was bitter, but with him it tasted just right, and I found myself responding to him. I kept one arm locked around him I gripped his hand with the other. I could feel my fingers curling into the hole in his hand.

He used his other hand to tangle in my hair, yanking it to the side and deepening the kiss. He kept moving me back until I was needing to use my forearms to keep my balance. He was pressing against me and there was the feel of a bulge against my leg.

Jesus.

There was a low growl that tore through the room and I broke away, almost feeling guilty as I rolled from the table. I would have landed on my face had the red glow of magic not engulfed me. Instead of righting me on my feet, I was brought over to Red and he gathered me to him.

He was still snarling and I could feel it in his chest. I touched my hand to my lips and stared over at Wings. He wore such a smug expression and his clothes were rumpled from where I had grabbed a hold of him. I looked between the two of them now, keeping myself as still as possible.

There was a charge in the air and I could feel the hair on my arms rising into response to it. I gave a gentle tug on Red's shirt and he looked down at me, his eyelights flickering in his skull.

“I'm okay,” I whispered. “It was...mutual.”

He looked torn when I said that. His teeth were turned up and he looked like he either wanted to drop me where I was, or hold me closer to him. He looked completely torn, and I reached up, placing a hand on his face, just by his teeth. My fingers traced lightly, and he seemed to relax before putting me back on my feet. But he still kept me close to him.

“Sans, that was quite rude,” Wings finally said. “I was just making sure she was okay.”

“didn't need t' put yer tongue down 'er throat t' do that,” Red said, shrugging.

“Boys, please,” I said quietly. “I'm a big girl. I can do what I want. This isn't a game, you know that right?”

Red grunted his affirmation. When Wings didn't answer I glared over at him. He simply stood there, smiling, hands behind his back. He had managed to get some of the creases out of his suit and I saw his gaze flick to me. He only gave me a nod and I sighed.

“Look,” I said, moving to crawl back into my seat. “I'm capable of making my own choices. Sometimes they' aren't very well thought out and I get in trouble. But, in this case, I'm a single woman. I will do what I want, with whom I want. And if that means I wanna be with Red–“ I cast a glare at Wings. “–then I will. Same goes to you.” You looked over at Red. “If I wanna be with Wings, then I will.”

Red looked crestfallen for only a moment before he seemed to decide something and nodded, holding his hand out to me. I grabbed my coffee and got off the chair, going over and grabbing his hand. Without another word or look at Wings, he took us up to his room, slamming the door shut and locking it. I was already putting my cup down and climbing into the nest.

He joined me seconds later, gathering me into his arms and holding me to his rib cage. I could hear the thrum of magic and shut my eyes.

“'m gonna try fer ya, ya know that?”

“Hm?”

“'m gonna try an' not get too...possessive o'er ya,” he muttered into my hair. “i know 'm really bad at that, but yer right. 'ts not a game t' win ya o'er. an' 'm gonna do m' best t' make ya be wit' me.”

I smiled, feeling myself falling a little further into sleep. His hand tangled with mine, our fingers locking together. I didn't answer him, just pressed a kiss to his sternum as sleep finally took me over.

**

Once Red's heat had finally passed, I helped him wash all of the sheets and blankets and pillows he'd used to make his nest. Wings had gone off on business shortly after I told them both I wasn't some kind of game. Frisk had come back through and almost broke down the door of the house, looking for me. When I showed up, he asked me a few things and brought my stuff inside, letting me know that the guy that caught was doing better.

Even if there was a giant burn on his tongue that got rid of most of his taste buds. I talked things over with him while we took all the stuff to my room. Apparently, the Don and Madame were excited to be having someone from the opposing family be caught. I could only imagine why.

I didn't ask any questions.

After he left, Red appeared and wrapped his hoodie around me again. I groaned and tried to struggle putting my arms in it as he rubbed a hand over his skull.

“I'm gonna have to go back to work tomorrow,” I muttered as I worked with the zipper. “I'm sure every monster in town knows I was over here during your heat.”

He shrugged. “yer gonna be fine, sugar. 'sides, nothin' wrong wit' fuckin' like we did.”

I glared at him. “I'm gonna kick your coccyx.”

“mm, kinky, sugar. maybe next time.”

I picked up one my pillows and threw it at him.

MISS

He dodged it easily and was in my face just a second later. I yelped, falling back against the bed and he followed. He pinned my wrists above my head and grinned down at me. But, unlike the last couple of weeks, his grin was playful and it was a welcome change.

“ya missed.”

“Thanks for pointing out the obvious, Einstein.”

He chuckled and leaned down to press his teeth to my lips. I responded almost instantly. My fingers brushed against his hands as he used his free one to grab my chin, turning it ever so slightly so he could get an angle.

“i gotta get goin' now,” he breathed out when he finally moved back. “th' don and madame wanna talk to th' guy i...mangled when i broke outta th' house.”

I sat up on the bed. “Alright. I have to go get Solider from Annie's anyway. Pretty sure he's freaking out by now.”

Red grumbled about the “mangy cat” and leaned down for one more kiss before he left, actually using the door. His suit was pinstripe again, I noticed. His fedora even matched. I had to remember to ask him how he made that thing stay on his head.

When I heard the front door close, I took out my phone and texted Annie quickly about bringing my cat by. She was already halfway here. I sat up, and left my room, getting Soldier's treats ready for when he was let out of his cage. When I made it to the stairs however, I paused.

“Brother, This Is A Dangerous Game You're Playing."

Papyrus? Was he using an inside voice of some sort?

“It'll be fine. She said it in front of both Sans and myself that it isn't a game,” I heard Wings saying. “She'll pick who she wants, but I'm going to make it me. Sans can try, but he's too rash in his decisions.”

I scowled at the walls. They were talking about me. But what for? I guess Papyrus was worried one of his brothers would get hurt, and the thought that he would be mad at me for hurting either of them crossed my mind. Would he be mad if I broke one of their metaphorical hearts? I mean, maybe. But there wasn't anything I could in that moment.

When the front door closed again, I finally made my way downstairs. The house was quiet, and I took the opportunity to head over to the hot water thing and start heating up some water for my tea. I used my stool to pull down the sugar and grab a mug. Putting it back, I snagged a spoon and a tea bag as well. When I finally made my tea, I leaned against the doors of the counter, humming as I blew against the steam that rose from the cup. I placed it on the table anyway, heading to the door. Annie was just pulling up.

After catching up with her and letting Soldier free from his hell, I waved her off and went back into the kitchen, drinking my now cooled off tea. I watched as Solider ran around to every surface he could, rubbing against it or clawing it. I rolled my eyes.

All the men in my life were way too territorial.

I went about getting things ready for when the boys came home. My mind wandered to the last few weeks and I scowled, deciding I needed a bath first. I was still sore from the rampant fucking that had occurred even after Wings came home. I was pretty sure that was mostly just Red trying to get a rise out of his brother.

My mind wandered as I got my bath ready. It had been a couple of months since I had started living here, I thought. Maybe shorted, maybe longer. Being cooped up during my ankle being twisted I had been losing track of the days.

As I soaked, I sighed, sinking in until my chin hit the water. There had been some good days, and some bad. Like when Red and I fought after he found out about the Bianchi family. There was also a time Papyrus almost managed to catch himself on fire thanks to my cat. And Wings actually losing track of time to the point he didn't realize he'd stayed up all night reading over some papers.

I had learned little quirks about them. It was like being that younger version of myself again, just watching people be themselves. I knew about Papyrus's tendency to turn up the heat on the stove just a little too high sometimes. Red tended to literally fall out of his bed. Wings would run into walls on occasion, especially if he was just waking up.

It was the little things that made me feel that much closer to them. Not to mention the fact that Edge had made me chicken noodle soup to make me feel better. I mean, these monsters are big bad asses that strike fear into the people around them. Even other monsters were scared of them. But at home, they were like anyone else.

And I got a front row seat to enjoy it all.

I felt a small smile come to my face. They treated me like family, and there was nothing more that I enjoyed more. I needed to call my family soon to let them know I was okay. My parents were always worriers, and me not calling them while living here would give them issues. I chuckled to myself as leaned back and shut my eyes.

**

“batter up!”

The human's shout filled the air as Red swung the bat down again, hitting him right in the stomach. Blood spat from his lips as he coughed, dribbling off of his bottom lip in thick, red drops. Red smiled and placed the bat on the ground in front of him, leaning on it. He crossed one ankle over the other as he regarded the waste in front of him.

His name was Mark. The Don had done some digging before they had all gathered at the house to get some answers. Apparently, he was one of the boys who ran the strip club where Levy had worked at. He had also had a record of taking advantage of the girls there, and had even tried to go after Levy himself once.

Papyrus had handed Red the bat and shooed him off.

Wings and Asgore had joined him, but never made a move to stop him. Red had come down to the room and said nothing. When the dude looked up as Red was walking, Red only raised the bat and swung. Both of the other monsters had looked on, their arms crossed in front of their chests. Their anger had been simmering, but it was best to let Red take this one out. Even Wings knew better than to step between his brother and that bat.

Red tutted as blood was spat at him, landing on the shoes Levy had so carefully polished. He shook his head and looked over at the other two for the first time since they were down there.

“he ain't budgin',” Red sighed playfully. “whateva shall we do?”

“Maybe if you hadn't come down swinging, he would talk more,” Asgore mused. His tone still held mirth and his grin showed all of his teeth.

“You monsters are nothin' but freaks,” Mark spat, blood and spittle flying from his mouth. “She isn't gonna stay with you; she'll fucking run away and come back to Dom. She always does. And then he's gonna fuck her–”

“and swing!”

Red didn't let him finish his sentence as he cracked Mark in the kneecap. There was a sickening crunch of bones and a scream tore from the human. Red reveled in it, his grin wide as he watched this scum try and hold back the tears he could see pricking at the corners of his eyes.

The shed in the very back of the house, in the farthest part of the yard, was the perfect place for things like this. While the room inside was dark, gloomy, and smelled of blood and death, the outside was the best contrast. Red had to hand it to Asgore; the guy really knew how to garden.

He had taken his jacket off some time ago, and the sleeves on his white button up were rolled up to his elbows. The white of the shirt was spattered in red, and he knew his bones even had a bit of the blood on him. Hell, he was sure a spot or two had gotten on his gold tooth. And for that, he would just have to give the guy another whap.

Red leaned on the bat again, crossing his ankles as he watched this human spit more blood out of his mouth onto the tarp below him.

“ya really think suga would go back t' that?” Red chuckled, causing the human to jump. “not willingly, nah. she'd ratha spend th' day gettin' fucked by someone betta.”

Red could hear his accent getting thicker, and mentally cursed himself for letting his temper get the best of him. It never got this bad unless he was really pissed off, and that was his weakness. She was his weakness, and if that came to light to anyone outside of the family, he was dusted. He had to protect her at all cost.

“Disgusting,” Mark groaned. “I knew she was already nasty, sleeping around with the don's kid. But with monsters?”

Asgore's head snapped toward him. “The don's kid? Dominic?”

The human realized he made a mistake and his jaw snapped shut, his teeth clicking. All three monsters in the room were now paying close attention, all the mirth wiped from their faces. The air was still and thick, and Red was getting impatient.

He summoned one of his bones, gripping it in his hand loosely. The human's eyes widened as the bat dropped to the ground and Red approached, swinging the bone between his phalanges. Behind him, Red knew there was a glowing red trident and at least one giant hand behind him. Judging by the yellow color, his older brother wasn't playing games.

Red's grin looked almost manic as the human in front of him bounced his gaze between the the three of them. His sneer had slowly faded, and his eyes were wide. He smelled of fear. Red could practically taste it in the air as he stopped in front of his prey and chuckled.

Without another word, he spun the bone once more through his digits quickly before he caught it midtwirl and stabbed down into this human's shoulder.

The sound of flesh tearing and the blood that spurted forth made Red eager to keep this beautiful game going. Asgore had come closer and put the trident under the human's chin, lifting it. The human was sweating, and he's sure the fucker pissed himself. But he couldn't tell, reveling in the tears that were streaming down his face, mixing with the dried blood. His teeth were ground together. The sight was lovely to him.

“Now, I think you must understand something here.” Asgore's voice was soft. “Levy is under my protection now. And Dominic is a big threat to her. Whether he plans on actually killing her or not, I don't care. What I do care about, however, is that you have spilled a detail that has been overlooked...”

Asgore's grin widened as he moved the trident and moved it down, impaling the middle spear into the meat of the human's thigh. He had just missed the artery, and it was painful.

“...and you are going to tell us every. Single. Detail.”

Yellow dots appeared beside the two with the human, and Mark's eyes shifted to the other skeleton. He hadn't moved, but his socket has begun glowing with a yellow light and there was a large, unsettling grin on his teeth. His panting had become more audible.

“I-I can't do that!” he sputtered through the pain. “Dom will kill me!”

“ya may as well sing, buddy.” Red said, summoning another bone. This one he drug the pointed tip across his arm, earning a yowl of pain. Blood surfaced and Red could even see the tiniest bit of muscle and meat beneath. “yer not gonna be makin' it outta 'ere t'day.”

His eyelights went out and he looked down at the human.

“yer fate was sealed th' moment ya tried t' fuck wit' us.”

Chapter Text

It had been almost a month since the boys had interrogated the guy that Red maimed in his heat. I hadn't asked what happened that day. They had all come home covered in blood and satisfied smirks on their teeth. I had simply asked if they were hungry and cooked them dinner. While they were showering, I went into all of their rooms and gathered the bloody clothes.

Red's and Wings's were the worst of them. Papyrus had some spatters I knew I could get out. But the other two? Their clothes were done for. I had merely balled them up and threw them into the fire pit. I was sad to see such beautiful clothes go, but I knew it would be damn near impossible to get those stains out.

When the boys came down, I had made dinner and handed it out, letting them get settled and got them some drinks. I handed Red his spicy mustard and a shot of vodka. Wings had a glass of coke and rum ready for him. And I got Papyrus a small glass of his favorite scotch. They had all given me weird looks, but I simply ate my food in peace, scrolling through my phone.

That night, we had a pretty bad ass bonfire.

Over the month, both Red and Wings managed to try and ask me on dates at the same time. I had told them both no, and neither of them pressed. But I knew something was going on. The way they acted around each other was different than when they acted with Papyrus. I was growing more and more irritated as the days passed.

Papyrus was, too. After a month passed, and we were promptly growing tired of it. At one point, the more boisterous of the brothers had told them he was about to throw them back down the mountain and hope their bones break on the way down.

Grillby, however, was one hundred percent amused by the entire thing. He seemed to want to know every detail, as did Annie and Julian. I never mentioned really anything substantial to the two human coworkers, but with Grillby I spilled my guts.

He almost lost his mind when he found out I had gone back to the house during Red's heat. I had to state numerous times that it was consensual, everything that happened had my okay, and I wasn't going to die. He looked me over anyway and I had to shoo him off so I could do my job.

When Papyrus picked me up, he had done so in the car. I looked at him quizzically, but didn't ask anything as he opened the door for me. He was immaculately dressed once again, and closed the door once you got in. You turned to see there was a duffel bag in the back seat. When he got in, he put the car into drive and drove the opposite way from home.

“Papyrus?”

“I'M TAKING YOU TO METTATON'S HOTEL FOR THE WEEKEND,” he said, his eyelights focused on the road. “THERE ARE SOME ACTIVITIES THERE THAT SHOULD HELP YOU RELAX AND BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY BE ALONE FOR A WHILE.”

I smiled. I settled back in the seat and glanced out the window. Neither of us said anything as he turned the music on in the car. We drove in silence, and at some point, I dozed off. It had been a long night at work, and it was close to three in the morning.

When Papyrus woke me up, we had arrived and my eyes were assaulted with glittery reds and yellows shining in the now rising sun. I grunted as I unbuckled my seat belt and got out, heading to the back of the car to grab the bag he had packed for me. I went back to the front door where he rolled down the window and leaned over some so he could speak to me.

“I WILL BE BACK MONDAY AFTERNOON,” he said. “BE READY TO LEAVE AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL OF YOUR THINGS. METTATON HAS A ROOM ALREADY SET UP FOR YOU AND EVERYTHING.”

He had called ahead? Wow, he must have known how stressed out I was getting. I gave him a large grin and said, “Alright. Just give me a call when you're close, okay?”

He gave a nod and a wave before I stepped back from the car. He rolled the window up before making a U turn and pulling back into traffic. I waited until his car had disappeared from view before I went in through the revolving doors of the MTT Resort.

The place was huge! The ceilings were large and there were many employees, monster and human alike, that were running around in their uniforms. I cringed a little in sympathy at the sheer amount of glitter that was pasted to those poor clothes. Part of me was happy I didn't like glitter all that much.

I made my way over to the counter, where there was a familiar monster chewing on a toothpick as he looked over something in front of him.

“So this is where your second job is at.”

BP jumped and looked up at me before giving me a crooked grin. His usual store clerk outfit was replaced with the same glittering one I had seen running around. He had a cigarette tucked behind one of his ears and the toothpick he was chewing on looked a lot more worn than the ones I usually saw him chewing on.

No wonder he never liked talking about his second job. He looked so stressed out.

“Christ, little buddy. Was expecting you a little earlier,” BP said, shaking his head. He turned to the computer next to him and pressed a few things before he handed me a room key. The red and gold theme seemed to continue even through that. “You've got the best room in the building, thanks to the boss. He's expecting you to come down and drink with him tonight.”

I blew a raspberry, which made him chuckle. “Only because he gave me the best!” I called as I walked away.

He said nothing as I went to the elevator and looked at the room key. The best room in the building? I looked at the card for the number before pressing the button for it. As it went up, I felt my brain begin to want to shut down again. I was still tired from working, and I wanted to get some sleep in before seeing everything that this place had to offer.

Not to mention I had to call my parents to let them know I was alive.

They had made me promise to call at least once a week. It didn't matter what day, just so long as I called to let them know I was still alive and breathing. I kept them updated on things, but never once did I bring up Dominic. They would go full parent mode on that and demand I come home so they can protect me.

But they couldn't. They just didn't know it.

When the elevator dinged and opened, I had expected to come out into a hallway. Instead, I came into a fully furnished room and I stepped out of the tiny space, my eyes roaming over the expanse of the room. There was a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom. There were two other rooms, which included a master bedroom with an en suite and a guest room. There was ample room to move around and relax.

The kitchen was a fully functioning kitchen, and both the fridge and freezer were stocked. There was stove and a microwave and a lot of counter space. I went and checked out the living room next, marveling over how comfortable the couch was. The TV was huge and took up a good portion of the wall. The coffee table looked brand new, and was a beautiful mahogany color.

I went to check out the guest bedroom first. There was a huge queen size bed pushed up against the wall, and there were sliding glass doors that led out onto the balcony. There was a couple of nightstands with the bed, and there was a huge mirror that led into a closet. Then there was the desk that was pushed into the corner with a huge leather rolling chair.

It took everything in me not to jump on it and roll around the entire suite.

Next I ran into the master bedroom and I nearly squealed like a five year old. The giant California king bed was pushed against a wall, the floor below raised on a dais. There were even steps that led up to it! The closet and sliding doors were the same as the guest room, and I made my way into the en suite.

The giant tub caught my attention first. It was like the one at Frisk's lodge, and it was absolutely fabulous. Definitely was using that one later. There was a shower separate from it and the sink was big enough for me to use as a mini bath. The mirror above the sink was clear, with absolutely no smudges or spots to be seen.

I made my way back into the bedroom and ran up the dais, throwing myself onto the bed. It was so soft, and I kicked off my shoes and undid the corset and jeans I wore for work before climbing under the covers. I shut my eyes, sighing contentedly while I let sleep take me away.

Vacation weekend was going to be great.

When I woke up next, I had only been passed out for four hours or so. There was still sunlight streaming through the windows of the sliding glass doors and I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. I lay in the bed for a few more minutes, staring up at the ceiling and dozing in and out.

I finally found the effort to get myself out of bed and headed into the main area. I picked up my duffel from the floor, bringing to the master bedroom.

I took the time to bring out everything that had been packed. From the way things were organized, I knew it was Papyrus who had done it. There was even a brand new package of panties in there. The thought of him going to the store and buying these had my stomach hurting from laughing. The picture was the greatest thing I could see.

I also brought out the hoodie Red had given me when I left for the lodge. I smiled and held to my face, taking in a small breath. I knew for a fact Red must have snuck this in there himself; there was no way Papyrus would put this in there if I was being sent away to get away from them.

I continued pulling things out and finally got to the bottom, where there was another sweater tucked carefully in the corner of the bag. I pulled it out, and I looked it over. It was a wool turtleneck and was cream in color. There was no discernible pattern to it, but it was warm to the touch. A note fluttered from it and fell to the bed.

I was having a sense of deja vu.

I picked it up and opened it. I recognized it at the stationary that Wings kept around the house to for me to leave notes for the boys in case they came home late from their jobs for the day. I looked over the flowing script, my eyes following the smooth handwriting.

 

My dear,

I know that this may seem like me getting ahead of myself. But when Paps mentioned you going away for the weekend, I was saddened to think you would have nothing of mine to think of me by. This sweater is old, and hasn't been worn since I began wearing the suits. I hope this makes you think of me in your times of lonliness.

Regards,

W.D. Gaster.

 

I chuckled and placed the note on my nightstand beside the bed. I lifted the turtleneck to my face, taking in a small breath. It smelled a lot like cloves for not having been worn in so long. I put it back down and placed the bag in the closet, grabbing some clothes and heading to the bathroom.

The shower was fucking heavenly. There were jets that shot down from above, from the sides. The one from the bottom shocked me, even if it didn't blast as hard as the other ones. I laughed as I scrubbed shampoo and conditioner into my hair, feeling the suds roll down my back as I washed it all away. Watching the soap run down the drain as I lathered my body was interesting. There were at least five drains in the shower alone.

I finally got out, wrapping my hair in a towel and my body covered with another one. I looked around the sink with a scowl. Of all the things Papyrus didn't pack, it was my hair dryer. How was I supposed to have fluffy hair if the silly skele didn't pack it? I huffed, opening as many doors as I could. I finally stumbled upon one and grinned.

After getting myself ready for the rest of the day, I grabbed my phone and placed it in my pocket, along with my wallet.

I glanced at Red's hoodie, smiling a little. He had definitely found the shirt I had stolen from the mall. It had still been tucked inside the pocket of his hoodie when I had tried to give it back to him after his heat passed. He had snagged it and looked it over, a huge grin on his face as he studied it. He gave it back and said nothing as he slung his hoodie back around my shoulders.

I knew he'd like it.

I made my way over to the door, heading out to the elevator. On the way down, I decided I was going to try and relax as much as possible. The boys, minus Papyrus, had been making really difficult to just sit back and read or do anything. Hell, even Soldier was getting fed up with their crap. He wouldn't let either of them near me.

So I was going check out what the hotel had to offer. When the doors opened, the hotel was full of activity. There were people checking in and out, there were bellboys moving around like chickens with their heads cut off. I could see people coming in and out of different areas, and the smell of chlorine was slight in the air.

I followed that smell first, heading into what looked to be the pool area. The area, however, was huge. The pool took up three fourths of the room, and you saw there was another door that led to a bunch of hot tubs. Not even one, but maybe three or four separate ones. I whistled low and left, heading back into the lobby and heading through another archway.

This one led me to a casino. The sounds of clinking coins and the machines filled my ears. I looked around and saw all sorts of tables filled with blackjack and roulette. This had never really been my scene, but I could see why people could addicted to this type of thing. I weaved through, checking things out and watching some people. I didn't understand a lot of it, but my first thought was that Red would have a bunch of fun here.

I left there and made my way out toward the back area. It was like a country club out this way. There were many different courts for all sorts of things. Tennis, basketball. There was a golfing area not too far, if the sign was any indication. I even saw a batting cage some ways down from there. I could hear the occasional sound of a ball popping out of the machine.

When I went back inside, I went into another room that looked much like the bar was at Grilby's. There was even a karaoke machine set up on a makeshift stage. People were still milling about and the smell of food hit me like a train. I went over to the bar area and slid into a seat.

While I glanced over the menu, my phone began to vibrate. I scowled and took it out of my pocket. Red's number flashed across my screen and I sighed, answering it.

“What is it?”

“not even a hello? sugar, 'm crushed.”

Hearing his voice sent chills down my back and I had to suppress a shudder. Part of me really missed being home, but at the same time, I was really glad to be away from the chaos that had become them trying to win my favor.

“I'm supposed to be on vacation away from you and Wings,” I pointed out. “So why are you calling?”

“there 's actually a reason,” he said, his voice taking on a businesslike tone. “'m sending alphys and 'dyne yer way, sugar. after th' last time when dom tried getting' t' ya, well...don't want any repeats. specially if no one 's there.”

I hummed as the bartender came over to take my order. It was a bird monster, and he looked thrilled to be there. I pointed out what I wanted, smiling as he jotted it down and slid me something to drink. I gave my thanks and took a sip of the Coke in my hands.

“So you're keeping tabs on me?”

“well, when ya put 't like that...”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. But, listen, I'm trying to enjoy my time away. This means no talking to you, and getting drunk in the bar by myself.”

“don't tease me now, sugar,” his voice came out a growl and I could hear the crinkling of papers in the background. “'member, i 'ave no problem comin' by t' reclaim what's mine.”

I really should back peddle here, but I just scoffed. “Would you really intrude on a lady and her time alone?”

He growled. “any other lady? nah, not interested. but with you, however...yer my lady.”

“I never said I was yours,” I pointed out once more. “I don't belong to you, or to Wings. Remember that, and check yourself.”

“not yet, sugar. soon enough...”

My food came, and I sighed. “Look, I'll keep you updated, but that doesn't mean you are invited to come here. Are we clear on this?”

“crystal, sugar.”

“Goodbye, Red.”

“'bye, levy.”

Oof. Real name.

I couldn't tell if he was mad, or if he was just using my name just to use it. I put my phone down and groaned, rubbing my temples. Only a few hours into my vacation, and I was already getting a headache from one of them.

I polished off my food and when I went to pay, the bird shook his head. He explained that it was already paid for by Mettaton himself, and that everything here would be paid for by him. I rolled my eyes and made a mental note to talk to the robot later.

When I left, I saw Undyne and Alphys making their way into the building. I waved at them and they came over to me. Undyne's eyes were shifting all over the hotel, but Alpyhs was focused on me and it made me shift a little bit.

The last time I had seen either of them was when I had told them about my past with Dominic. Undyne had apologized to me a lot, and I knew it took a lot just for her to do that. I was grateful for it, nonetheless. I had told it was alright, but she kept talking about making it up to me.

When they got to me, I gave them each a smile. “Welcome to the party.”

Undyne's grin was nothing but fangs as she looked down at me. “You're telling me! Sans called me saying we needed to come watch you since Papyrus took you away.”

I shook my head and rolled my eyes as I waved them with me to the elevator. “I'll tell ya everything. Come on.”

Back up in the penthouse, I made them drinks from the fully stocked mini fridge. Alphys didn't drink much, but she took a cup of tea that I found in the cupboard. I didn't fail to notice how the entire place was stocked with my favorite drinks and snacks.

As I worked, I explained everything that had happened. They didn't know I had been with Red during the last of his heat and Undyne hooted with laughter as Alphys's face turned a deep orange. From there, I explained why I had to do so. They listened carefully, and I could see Alphys moving a bag around, bringing out a laptop. Once opened and she got something going, she began typing, her clawing making little clacking noises against the keyboard.

I explained how Dom had found the lodge where Frisk and I had been staying. That's why Red had shown up and that's why he had taken me back to the house with him. From there, I also explained about how Wings had made his intentions known, bringing me back to the last month of being hounded by both brothers. At the end of the story, Undyne was shaking her head.

“Man, those two really know how to fuck shit up,” she muttered. “Well, it's only Friday, and you have until the middle of Monday. What are the plans?”

I raised a brow at her. “What, you guys planning on actually sticking around?”

Alphys gave you a tense smile. “I-I would s-still like to ask t-those questions to see i-if I can discern w-why your eyes are t-that color. If that's a-alright with y-you?”

I hummed as I took a drink of the rum and coke in my hands. “I don't see why not. I would prefer if Red had been here as backup, but I'd rather not deal with him right now.”

Alphys brought up something else on her computer and through the reflection of her glasses, it looked like there was a list of questions she had typed out. She went through each one, digging through her bag. She brought out a mouse to move things around easier and...holy shit, that was a big needle.

“What the hell is that for?” I asked, my eye wide.

“That's just in case she needs to test the magic of your soul, see if it has any effects on your eye color having changed,” Undyne explained.

I felt a shiver crawl up my spine. I might suffer Sans's presence long enough for that. Alphys continued going through the questions until she struck one I had to really think about.

“Childhood traumas?”

Alphys nodded. “Oftentimes, souls will shine through the most when they feel you're in trouble,” she explained. I noted that she lost her stutter when she was talking about something she was really into. Apparently, science was that something. “It's really rare, but there have been records of traumas happening and something to do with their soul color will change something about them.”

“Like eye colors...” I murmured.

“Precisely.”

I had to think really hard. I knew my eyes hadn't always been like this; there were baby pictures that proved otherwise. But there had been a time where something must have happened when my eye color totally changed. I blew a breath through my nose before one certain incident came to mind.

“I did almost die.”

That made both monsters look at me. They both studied me before Alphys waved a clawed hand at me to continue.

“I don't remember much of it, and my parents didn't really like talking about it. I guess when I was, like, three, I had escaped the house. They think my dad left the door open or something. Either way, I managed to make my way into the field after him while he was breaking a customer's horse in. I remember I had crawled under the fence because I wanted to ride the horse...”

I trailed off, trying to remember what it was they had told me. I sighed and rubbed my forehead, listening to Alphys's claws against the keyboard as they both listened to me tell the story.

“Anyway, from what I was told, the horse knocked into me. Worse case scenario? I should have died that day. A horse's hoof is no joke, and to a toddler it's just downright dangerous. Best case? I'd have been wheelchair bound my entire life.”

“But that didn't happen,” Undyne said, stating the obvious. She glanced at my legs before looking back at my face.

I nodded. “I came to, and the doctor's called it a miracle. I went through months of physical therapy, and even had a doctor try to see if there was a part of me that could have some kind of special science thing to it.”

“That was magic,” Alphys said, her claws pausing on her keyboard. “Do you know the color of your soul?”

I paused, shaking my head. “No idea. I've never had it brought out. Never really been curious either.”

“I know this isn't really appropriate, but for research's sake...” Alphys cleared her throat. “Would you mind if I pulled it out and took a look at it?”

Chapter Text

I stared, stunned, at Alphys. She was fiddling with the lab coat she was wearing and even Undyne was looking at her with her wide eye. I went over some of the things Red and I had talked about. He had said souls were very important to monsters. It was also considered intimate to see them. Usually it was only bonded mates, or married couples who saw their significant others' soul.

He had said that even asking was a very private matter. Just talking about soul had made him get flustered and he never got like that. So it was definitely something I didn't deal with often when it came to him.

But hearing Alphys ask about it made me pause, and I looked from between her and Undyne. The latter seemed just as taken aback, and the usually loud mouthed fish monster seemed at a loss for words. I finally managed to form a word, but it came out choked.

“W-what?”

“It's only for science p-purposes,” she said frantically, her face heating up. Her stutter also made a comeback. “I-I only want t-to see the colors a-and then we'll p-put it right b-back.”

I mulled it over for a minute. It was strictly for scientific purposes, and it wasn't like it was for anything scandalous. I hummed and set my cup down, rubbing the back of my head.

“Okay, so...then how do I...?”

“I can do it for you,” Alphys said, her stutter once more again gone as she leaned forward.

She held a hand out and, with one clawed finger, gave a “come hither” motion. There was a slight tugging at my chest, and I grunted, rubbing my sternum. With another motion, there was another tug and a small, almost inaudible pop before the entire room was bathed in a dual glow.

“Whoa...”

At Undyne's quiet whisper, I looked up and stared at the glowing heart in front of me. I remember seeing in different books and hearing from other people that souls look like what humans consider hearts. But what amazed me more was the fact that there wasn't just one soul color, there was two.

Human souls had one definitive soul color. When they're young, they're a rainbow of color until their choices and actions dictate which one will be theirs. It was always only one. But I watched with these two monsters as purple and orange swirled around each other.

“Just as I thought...”

I looked over at Alphys with raised brows. “I'm sorry?”

“Your soul found its trait far sooner than a normal human,” Alphys explained. She pointed to the purple, careful not to let her claw touch my soul. “Purple is for perseverance. However, it seems your soul has taken on two primary traits.”

“That's the orange, right?”

She nodded, pointing to that trail next. “Orange is for bravery. So, at some point, your soul decided it was meant for two traits, not the normal one.”

I watched my soul, watching as it hovered above Alphys's hand. It spun in a slow circle, and seemed to bob up and down while it floated above her hand. I held my own hand out, and it came over to me, still spinning and bobbing around. When it hovered above my hand, I gently placed a finger on it.

A swarm of memories and thoughts hit me like a bus, and I couldn't pick out any certain ones. But one came forth almost immediately, and it was a picture of Dom and I at a party. It had been when we first got together, and before I even had an inkling of what his world was, or what it was like. It was my happiest times with him.

After that, it seemed to catch fire, and there was a memory of Red and I. It wasn't long after my incident with my ankle, and we were laid up on the couch together. There was a random TV show on in the background, and I was playing on my phone.

“the answers 're so fuckin' easy...”

I looked up over at him, furrowing my brows. “What?”

He waved a ringed hand at the TV. “th' game show, sugar. ya even payin' attention?”

“Nope.”

“put th' phone down an' play wit' me.”

I could hear the double innuendo, and it took everything I had not to rise to the bait. From the look on his face, he was waiting for me to. I bit my bottom lip before I could answer and shook my head, going back to my phone.

“Nope. Not even.”

“aw, c'mon. nothin'?”

I laughed, taking one of the pillows from behind me and hitting him with it. “No. Now stop and just watch your show, you freakin' perv.”

He chuckled and caught the pillow, putting it on his lap and gently bringing my injured ankle up to rest on the pillow. And we sat like that the rest of the night, talking idly and watching some stupid game show. Like it was the most normal thing in the world.

“Levy!”

I snapped out of it, tearing my hand away from my soul. It slid back into the comfort of my chest, taking a moment to readjust itself before quieting. I blinked a couple of times before looking around. I could see the monster females watching me with wide eyes before they settled back into their own seats.

“Welcome back,” Undyne said as Alphys began furiously typing. “Where did you even go?”

“...I think memories?” I said, sounding it more like a question. “I just...there was a picture of Dom and I...then there was a memory I had of Red and myself when my ankle was busted.”

Alphys hummed, still typing away. “I think your soul is trying to tell you the difference between the two of them.”

“What do you mean?”

“Both you and Red have made it clear you want nothing to do with this life,” Undyne mused. “Maybe this is your soul's way of saying that the two of them are nothing alike. Like, it's pointing out something you should be seeing yourself, you know?”

“That's too fucking deep for vacation,” I stated, throwing back the last of my drink. “I'm going to the hot tub.”

“We'll come with,” Alphys said, shutting her laptop. “I-I'm really interested t-to see if anything e-else has happened to m-make your soul h-have two colors like that.”

I smiled and got up from my seat to head into the master bedroom. I heard the other two talking about bringing their bags up from the car later on once everyone was settled for the night. I changed into my swimsuit that Papyrus had been smart enough to pack for me and wrapped my hair up in a messy bun. When I padded back out into the living area, Undyne took one look at me before whistling low.

“If I didn't already have my bondmate right here, and we were both single, I'd bang you right into the furniture,” she said, turning to change out of her suit.

My face heated and Alphys stuttered after her, apologizing to me briefly before scurrying after her and admonishing her.

I blinked and shook my head, picking my phone up off the table and checking it. There were a couple of new messages from everyone, and I saw Red's name lit up among them. My finger hovered over his name before it was shifted down, and Wings name popped up. The ding followed not long after and I moved my hand away.

This was supposed to be a vacation away from them, I thought to myself. Not so I can tease and message them about anything. This was to give myself time away from them. Time to think about things. The time for me to just unwind from their constant bickering and them growling at each other.

With a sigh, I backed out of the app and placed my phone back on the table. I would spend this time with Alphys and Undyne, maybe make friends out of them. I knew Mettaton wanted to see me and talk over drinks later since I hadn't seen him since before all their heats hit.

Deciding to leave my phone here, I went around to clean things up as the others changed in their room. When they came out, I gave them each a smile and grabbed my key card, tossing them one as well. Undyne had put on a pair of swim trunks and a bikini top, tired securely around her neck. With everything in place, we all headed out and to the elevator.

Alphys seemed nervous about something, her claws clicking together. She was wearing one of those one piece suits you would find in animes, that the school would make the students wear. I had a small feeling she was an Otaku with the way she acted, but I wasn't going to call her out for it and embarrass her. Instead, we left the elevator and I made a beeline for the pool room, heading into the hot tub area.

It was warm as hell in here and I sighed as I stepped into one, nearly melting into the water. When I looked over, Undyne and Alphys were talking, and Undyne jumped into the pool. Alphys said something before she made her way over to the hot tubs and went into one for herself.

That was fine with me. I sank into the water, sighing. The water was warm, and the way the jet near my back hit the center was just right. I leaned my head back and stared upward, sighing heavily for the millionth time since I've been here.

I wasn't going to think about Red, and the way he made me feel. I wasn't going to think about Wings's confession. I wasn't going to think about any of that. I needed to focus on just having fun, and relaxing. Papyrus and Mettaton had obviously set this up for me, and I wasn't going to let it go to waste. This hotel was one of the biggest ones in the country.

I leaned my head back and shut my eyes. I wish I had brought my phone and headphones. At least then I could have had some music and something to read while I was relaxing in there. I would do anything at this point to get those two off my brain.

And, like a sick disease, they came back. Red's smile and rough voice. Wings's smooth talking and demeanor. It was driving me crazy. They kept acting like I was some prize to be won, and I couldn't take that. I wasn't anything special, really. At least not by my standards. So why these two thought they had a reason to fight over me was beyond me.

Grillby was even confused. According to him, Red barely liked doing anything aside from sleeping and just figure out that easiest way to get a job done. While he was dangerous when he wanted to be, as I witnessed, he was incredibly lazy.

Maybe I was just some conquest to them. A lot of guys over the years had seen me like that, specially the ones from the strip club. The thought of those men trying to earn a few hours with me in the VIP rooms made me physically shudder in disgust. The only saving grace I had was Dom, and even then, he was no better than the others.

I was a trophy. A naive little country girl, living in the big city with a big, bad “boyfriend”. He had catered to me, and had given me the necessities needed to live. I had times where I could go out on my own during my nights off. But I had never really been alone.

I was something to be won among the men in my life, and I was tired of it. I blew out a breath, making a mental note to sit them both down when I got home. I was a single female, able to make her own choices. I was allowed to at least go on dates and play the field a little.

But it would be harder considering I had already slept with Red. I didn't think about how this could hurt him in the long run. I groaned and opened my eyes, staring at the ceiling above my head.

I looked over at Alphys, who was running her claws through the water. “I have a question.”

She looked over at me, her eyes blinking slowly as she nodded. “Okay, g-go f-for it.”

“So, you say that my soul is the reason I pulled through the accident, right? Because I wanted to pull through?”

She nodded. “That's correct. Like I said, your soul didn't want you to perish, so instead of simply...letting you die, it was powerful enough to pick out its trait, and use the magic from that to help keep you alive.”

“So humans have...magic?”

She seemed to mull this over for a minute, trying to think of a good answer. Or at least one that I would understand. I shifted in my own hot tub, moving so I could face her as she spoke.

“I wouldn't say yes, but I can't exactly say no,” she finally decided. “While there were once humans with magic – the Barrier and all of that – it began laying dormant over the years as humans evolved, and science became a thing. There may be traces of small bits of magic within humans because of their souls. But I wouldn't say that humans can use magic.”

I hummed, nodding slowly as I weigh what she said. It certainly made sense. You go hundreds of years over time, and magic just seemed like a fairy tale. There was nothing saying that magic wasn't real, though. Fictional stories loved talking about magic, and its properties, but there had never really been anything definitive.

“I can kind of see what you're saying,” I said thoughtfully. “I admit, science was never really my thing growing up.”

Alphys gave me a timid smile. She seemed to relax a little more around me, and I knew it was a milestone for me. She always seemed so timid, even in the couple of times I met her. Maybe she just had terrible social anxiety. Which would even explain the stutter.

“Well, what do you know about souls?”

“Just the basic stuff. The dominant traits, their colors. Nothing really beyond that, though,” I admitted.

“So, then you know about determination, bravery, justice, kindness, patience, integrity and perseverance.” I nodded and she continued. “Each soul has it's own...personality, I guess you could say. We'll use yours for example, perseverance and bravery.”

She then launched into one of the most complicated description about how those “personalities” had a magic of their own. I paid attention as much as I could, but there were a lot of words in there I didn't understand. I was also enjoying the fact her face seemed to light up as she talked. Science was really her thing.

“So...you're saying that a perseverance soul like my own will continue to fight against something, even if the odds are stacked against them,” I said after she had fallen silent. “And because of that, sometimes the soul will give off...waves or a signal of some sort?”

“Correct.”

“Wow. That's...a lot to take in,” I said, blowing out a breath. “But thank you, really, for telling me. Learning this kind of stuff is actually really interesting.”

She seemed to get flustered again, her claws clacking against each other. “W-well, thank you. Maybe i-if you'd like, you could c-come by my w-work s-sometime and I-I could teach you a-a little more o-on it.”

I grinned/ “That would be fantastic!”

We fell silent, and it was another twenty minutes before my stomach rumbled. Alphys looked over at me with a knowing smile and we both got out, heading out the door and back into the pool area where Undyne was doing laps around the edge of the pool. I watched her go and raised my brows at her.

“I keep forgetting she's a literal fish,” I muttered to Alphys, who gave out a small giggle.

It took a couple more laps for her to realize that Alphys and I were standing there. When she did finally notice, she cut through the water with ease and came up to us, coming out of the water and grinning down at us.

“We're heading upstairs to shower and change,” I said, motioning for the door. “I'm getting hungry again.”

“Then lets get to it, losers!”

With her jovial cry, she moved us out of the pool room and into the elevator. On the way up, Undyne shook herself like a dog, spraying both Alphys and I with cold water. I let out a screech and punched her, while she was laughing hysterically.

Once in the room, Undyne paused, her smiling falling from her face as she glanced around. She narrowed her eye, holding one of her arms out to stop both Alphys and I from entering the suite. I looked up at her and she held a finger to her lips. When she moved off, Alphys and I stood by the door, watching as she scoured around the apartment.

When she entered my room, I caught the smell of bonfire smoke right as she let out a loud battle cry. Red blipped out into the suite and I gaped at him as he winked at me before blipping out again. Undyne came out and looked around, her fanged mouth curled up in a sneer as she looked at where he had been. She huffed out a breath, crossing her arms.

“That guy...” She shook her head. She looked at me. “Might wanna go check your stuff, punk. He was looking in your room.”

“Of course he was,” I grated out. “He just can't...ugh.”

Unable to form words, I stomped over to my room while they went to theirs. I looked around my room first before, not really seeing anything out of place. Wings's sweater was still there, and so was Red's hoodie. My clothes were all still there, and all the other things I had were still around.

When I looked back at the bed, I noticed there was a little box sitting on the bed. Furrowing my brow, I went over and picked it up, opening the box. I recognized the ring inside as one of Red's. It was a skull with two ruby eyes, the stones glowing in the dimly lit room. I knew it was one of his favorites, and I couldn't understand why he would give up something so important to him.

When I looked back down, there was another note lazily scrawled out. I picked it up, glancing over it with a faint smile over my face.

i know i wasn't supposed t' come, but i couldn't stand th' thought of you out there wit'out an instant way t' get a hold o' me. so here's m' ring; i've imbued 't wit' some o' m' magic fer ya. twist it three times, an' it'll bring ya right t' me. no matter where either o' us are.

take care, sugar. 'll see ya monday.

-red.

I put the note down and took the ring out of the box. When I slid it on my middle finger, it was a perfect fit. I let it glitter in the sun for a minute before I sighed, shaking my head. I went to take a shower, letting the warm water run over me as I worked the hot tub water from my hair.

Once I was done and managed to get dressed, I walked out into the living room and saw Alphys typing away on her laptop, her clothes changed and her glasses sliding off her face. I smiled and grabbed my phone as Undyne came out, moving to put her long red hair into a ponytail.

“Alright, we ready to go?”

Everyone made their way to the door, Alphys shutting her laptop and sticking it back in her bag. I couldn't help but wonder what exactly was in that laptop, and why she was always typing so furiously like that. But it probably had to do with science stuff, and I couldn't even deal with that shit.

We made our way down in the elevator, talking over what we could have to eat. When we stepped off, my phone began buzzing in my pocket. I couldn't tell if it was a call or just a whole bunch of texts and notifications coming in. I sighed and rolled my eyes, waving the monsters ahead.

“I'll be there in a little bit, guys,” you said softly. “I better see why someone is calling.”

They nodded and made their way into the bar area, discussing which food sounded better. Undyne sounded appalled that they had sushi in the restaurant, and she instantly declined anyone getting that for dinner. I chuckled to myself as I pulled my phone out. Red's name popped up on the screen and I sighed, rolling my eyes.

Should I answer it?

With a press to the green button, I held the phone to my ear. “I'm supposed to be on vacation away from you,” I said, hand on my hip. “Yet here you are, coming into my room and calling me. That's rude, you know.”

His chuckle vibrated through the phone, tickling my ear and making my heart pick up its pace. “ya know, sugar, maybe i jus' wanted t' her yer voice.”

“You could have waited until I got home,” I muttered.

“didja get 't?”

I looked at the ring on my finger, letting the rubies reflect off the light for a minute before answering. “Yeah, I did.” My voice came out as a whisper.

“good. i meant what i said, sugar,” he murmured, his voice husky. “if 'dyne can't get t' ya, or you can't get t' her 'r whateva, twist 't three times. 't'll open a shortcut an' send ya right t' me. use 't if yer in danger...'r if ya just miss me.”

I could hear the wink in his voice. I smiled and chuckled. “You got it, Red. I'll see you when I come home, okay?”

“sleep well, sugar. don't get too drunk wit'out me.”

We hung up, and I stared at the ring on my finger a moment longer before I went to join Undyne an Alphys in the bar. They had already ordered drinks and well through their first ones as I took a long drink of mine.

The bastard really knew how to get to me.

Chapter Text

The next day, I laid in bed, staring up at the ceiling while I listened to Undyne and Alphys taking in quiet tones in the living room area. I didn't have the willpower to move today, and I didn't really want to do much. Plus, with Undyne's loud mouth and my headache, it wasn't going to happen. After informing the monsters that I was staying in bed, they had decided to go out for a date.

I sighed, grabbing a book from my bag. Papyrus had grabbed one of the books I had been reading, placing a couple more in there just in case. I smiled and placed it on the table before getting out of my bed and heading for the little kitchenette. I grabbed a cup and put water in the kettle before placing it on the stove and turning on the heat.

Reading a good book always required a cup of tea. Or five.

As I moved around the kitchenette, I grabbed a teapot and a few teabags. I took the cup and bags to my room before coming back out and gathering the sugar I would need. When I got all that gathered, I waited for the kettle to start whistling, sighing and rubbing my temples. I should have seen if Undyne and Alphys could pick up some medicine for me or something.

Once the kettle whistled, I poured the water into the teapot and put the lid on it, heading back into my room and shutting the door. I looked around the room and saw that Wings's sweater was hanging on the closet door. I smiled a little and grabbed it, throwing it on before heading back to the bed and curling up under the covers.

I made myself a cup of tea and opened my book back up to where I had left off, the sounds of traffic the only sound around me.

After a couple of hours, I noticed my phone going off. I looked over, surprised to see Wings's name pop up on the screen in a call. Did they not understand that my vacation was to get away from them? I answered the call anyway, bringing the phone up to my ear before going back to my book.

“First Red, now you,” I drawled out sarcastically. “What can I do for ya?”

“Sassy today,” he said, his voice coming through smooth. “I'm outside the suite; I have some medicine for you.”

I nearly dropped the phone, staring at the door of the room before I sighed, hanging up the phone and closing my book. I left my room, heading over to the door and yanking it open. True to his word, Wings stood there, holding a bag in front of me and giving me a small smile. I took the bag, listening to pills rattle around in their bottles.

“Thank you,” I said. I hesitated before stepping aside. “Would you like to come in? I was just reading and having some tea.”

“I would love to.”

He came inside, taking his shoes off before following me back into the room. I grabbed another cup from the cabinet before heading into my room again with him following. I kept the door cracked this time, and motioned for him to help himself. I already knew how he liked his tea, but I wasn't his maid.

I sat on the bed again and moved my book to the side. “How did you know?” I asked, motioning to the bag.

He grinned while he poured water into the cup. “I had been speaking to Undyne and noticed your voice wasn't in the background. She mentioned you were here because you didn't feel so good.”

“So being the gentleman you obviously are, you took it upon yourself to being me some medicine,” I chuckled. “Clever.”

“Well, I do know my brother made a surprise visit yesterday,” he said, adding his sugar. “If that ring and his shit eating grin are anything to go by.”

I felt my face heat up and shrug. “I talked to him about it. Told him no more.”

Wings hummed, bringing his cup to his teeth and taking a small sip. He set the cup back down and looked over at me. He paused, tilting his head to the side and grinning now.

“I see you found my gift.”

I felt my face heat up, completely forgetting I had donned his sweater to keep warm in the chilly room. “I...yeah. Thank you. It's really comfortable.”

He nodded, shifting further so he sit on the bed a little better. “I used to wear it all the time. Had some others made to look just like it, but that was always my favorite. Keeps one warm in a chilly lab.”

I perked up at that. “The lab?”

He nodded, sending me a smile that screamed I have secrets. “That's right. Before Alphys was the Royal Scientist, she was my assistant. Some...stuff happened, so I had to give up my position. But, I came back around, and she seemed to fit the role a little better than myself, so I let her keep it.”

“How thoughtful of you,” I chuckled playfully.

He grinned and looked over my face for a minute. He looked over my body as he took in the sight of me wearing his sweater, and I watched as he blew out a small breath. Then his hands came up, gripping the sides of my face as he leaned down and kissed me.

Every rational thought flew out of my head at this point, and I knew I was going to regret this. I grabbed one of his hands with my own, my fingers curling into the hole in his palm. He moved us so I was resting against the bed, one of his hands moving from my cheek to capture one of my hands. His leg had slid between mine, his knee resting just below my center.

His tongue prodded my lower lip, demanding entrance, and I willingly gave it. His tongue tangled with mine, demanding dominance as I seemed to melt into a puddle underneath him. His hand on my cheek began moving, skating down my face and around the curve of my neck, over my shoulder. It was fleeting, like a butterfly kiss, and his hand stopped just beside my breast, seeming to be asking permission.

Vacation be damned, I guess.

I coaxed his hand over to glide over it, his distal phalange grazing my nipple through the sweater. I gasped against his mouth, bucking against him a little. He didn't move away, but I could feel the curve of his smile in the kiss.

He did let me go at some point, and I took in a huge gulp of air as he moved down to my neck, nipping me on the opposite side of where Red said he would mark me. He tugged the sweater out of the way, the glow of his tongue lighting up the area around us. I gripped his hand with the one he was holding, moving my head to the side.

“You don't understand just how crazy you really drive me, Levy,” he murmured, his tongue licking the shell of my ear. His breath puffed against my jaw as he spoke. “The way you move, the way you speak...you drive me fucking wild.”

He bit down on the side of my neck and I cried out, my back bowing off the bed. My heart was racing in my chest as his hand moved lower now, creeping under his sweater and my shirt. I hadn't worn a bra, since I had decided to stay in my room. His fingers grazed my nipple again, before they grabbed a hold and twisted it just enough.

I swallowed the scream, letting it come out as a small gasp. He thrust against me, and I could feel the bulge in his slacks just like I had during the session in the kitchen. Only this time, there was no Red here to stop either of us.

Wings moved, getting off of me long enough to take off his sweater and my shirt. My first instinct was to move my arms over my chest, but he pushed them away, moving me to lay back down as his yellow tongue came back out, swiping across one of them. I groaned his name, his nails digging into his skull. He chuckle seemed to vibrate through me as he clasped it between his teeth, covering the entire areola with his mouth.

My panting and groans filled the room. He continued to tease me, to lick and suck on my nipple, his other hand paying attention to the other one. I writhed beneath him, gasping his name every so often. He never moved, seeming content to suck on my tit the way he was. I wasn't complaining.

He moved, coming back up to kiss me. I wrapped my legs around his hip bones, thrusting up once, almost desperate. It was like I was high off of his kiss, and it felt like the entire room was so hot. Almost too hot.

Is this what they felt like when they went into heat?

“Wings...”

His name came out on a moan as our clothed bodies rubbed against each other. I needed more of him, and I needed it now. I tugged at his suit jacket, which he sat up to happily discard. He slowly undid the buttons of his shirt, and I watched, impatient. His smile was absolutely shit eating as he watched me stare at him.

When his ribs were on full display, I reached up to grip the bottoms one, squeezing ever so slightly. And just like Red, he buckled, gasping my name as he came crumbling down on top of me and slamming his mouth back onto mine. His ribs rubbed against my nipples and I moaned at just how satisfying it felt.

His hands traveled down again, and one hooked in the waistband of my pajama bottoms. He slowly reached inside, and when his finger grazed my clit I nearly bucked us off the bed. Holy shit, that was powerful.

“Someone's extra needy,” he murmured, his finger grazing across me again ever so slightly. When I groaned, he chuckled, his eyelights on my face. “What's wrong, love?”

“I...my body...”

“That would be the aphrodisiac my magic gives off,” he said. “It works wonders when I'm about to fuck somebody senseless.”

The last sentence came out a throaty whisper as his finger trailed down and touched by my entrance. I let out a smile whine from the back of my throat, grabbing onto his lower ribs once more. When I gave them a firm tug, he grunted, spearing inside of me with his finger.

Christ, his finger was long. He moved it in and out of me slowly, so slowly. If I gripped his ribs any harder, I was sure they were going to break. One hand let go to tighten in the sheets, and I whimpered when he added another finger. He whispered my name as he continued to slowly move his fingers inside of me, nipping the lobe of my ear every now and then.

He finally pulled his hand out, bringing it up to his face and studying my arousal on his fingers. He looked me dead in the eye while his tongue came out and licked it off. Holy shit. He moved down and with a sharp tug, yanked my pajama pants and panties off, throwing them across the room somewhere. He kept my legs spread, his eyelights roaming along the skin of my thighs and landing on the juncture between my legs.

His tongue poked out from between his teeth, gliding over his canines before he leaned in close and gave a long, slow lick. I bucked off the bed again, only held down by the arm he now threw around my waist. The tip of his tongue flicked against my clit and I swear it was like I was seeing stars. I tried to buck against him, make him go faster, do something to end the torment, but he had me firmly locked in place.

His tongue continued its ministrations and I could only writhe above him, groaning his name and panting, silently begging for more. It was getting to be too much, and the tension in my abdomen was becoming painful.

“Wings, please, I need...”

“Then cum for me,” he suddenly snarled, his voice cracking.

He finished his statement with a sharp slap to the inside of my thigh and I lost it, crying out his name and bucking beneath him. He held tight, his tongue flicking against my clit slowly to help ride it out. When I finally come down, he ran a hand softly over the spot he had smacked, his fingers grazing gently.

“Your skin turns such a beautiful shade of pink,” he murmured reverently. He moved up my body, placing tiny nips and kisses on my body along the way. “And you make the most delicious sounds.”

He finally kissed me, and I could taste myself on him. I kissed him back, my hands moving to his belt and undoing it, trying to push it down. He chuckled against my lips, shoving my hands aside and doing it himself. When he pulled away, I looked down and swallowed thickly.

He wasn't as girthy as Red was, but he definitely had some girth still, along with him being much longer. Like I did with Red, I didn't think it would fit and I could feel my thighs trembling in anticipation.

He moved me so I was sitting up and coaxed me forward, his hand tangling in my hair as he smacked his yellow, glowing cock against my lips. I took what he was saying and parted my lips, my tongue snaking out to flick along the head.

His groan was encouraging enough as I took the tip in my mouth and gave a test suck. He bucked a little and I had to fight back the smile that threatened. Instead, I went down as far as I could, hitting the back of my throat. And even then, there was still a good couple of inches that I wasn't able to get.

I hollowed my cheeks around him as I sucked. His hand tightened in my hair, and then released the pressure. His hand was trembling and I could hear his bones rattling above me. I bobbed up and down, actually enjoying the taste of the cloves and musk that surrounded my senses.

“Enough.”

His growl came out broken as he pulled me off of him, throwing me back onto the bed and leaning over me, pinning my wrists to the bed by my head. He kissed me desperately, his tongue gliding along my lower lip before his and my tongue tangled together. His cock was sliding teasingly along my folds, and I could feel myself moving against him, trying to angle it just right...

When he slid in, his groan mingled with mine. He thrust in only halfway, pausing so I could adjust to him. He really wasn't as girthy as Red, but he was definitely longer. I could feel him continue sliding his way in, and I arced my back, pushing my breasts against his ridcage. He growled low, his mouth moving down and his tongue wrapped around one of the sensitive buds.

When he was sheathed all the way in, I wrapped my legs around his hip bones and gyrated my hips just the tiniest bit. It seemed to send him over, because he pulled out almost all the way before driving himself back inside me with such force, I felt myself bounce. I cried out, his name leaving my lips as he continued his break neck pace.

His name continued to tumble from my lips and his groans filled the room as I could feel the tension coiling back up in my lower abdomen. His grip never left my wrists, keeping me pinned there as he continued to rut into me.

“Wings, please...I need...please.”

My voice sounded hoarse as I begged the skeleton for release. His chuckle was dark as he shifted a little, and the tip of his cock hit just the right spot and I could feel a scream rip from my throat. The coil came undone and then tension left my body as Wingdings gave one final thrust. I could feel the warmth of his seed spilling into me, and I panted against him.

Neither of us spoke for the longest time. I was pretty sure at one point, he had dozed off, but he finally moved when his cock disappeared, releasing his grip on my wrists. I pulled them down, shaking them to get the blood flowing through them once more. There were already dark purple marks forming in the shape of his sharp phalanges.

Fantastic.

I went to the bathroom to clean up real quick before coming out. He handed me the sweater, his pants already on, but his belt still undone. I quickly threw it on, my face a heated mess of blush. I didn't think I could look at him again, let alone his brother.

Oh, Christ. Red was gonna figure this out.

It shouldn't have bothered my as much as it did. I had told both of them I was a single girl and could do what she so desired. And if that was to see who would make a better bonefriend, so be it. I shouldn't feel bad that I fucked one, then the other. I should feel pretty good, especially considering both of them seemed to be great lovers and left nothing to be desired.

But as I put on the sweater, Red's ring caught the light in the room. I paused and stared at it, my thoughts going back to when I had first met him in the bar at work. I remember seeing this ring. I had seen him play with it so often. He usually slid it up and down his finger when he was reading paperwork at the dinner table.

“I see.”

Wingdings's voice brought me out of my thoughts. He had a small smile on his face, but it looked sad. Almost defeated. He held out a hand and I hesitantly took it. He pulled me into a hug, wrapping his long arms around me as he buried his face into my hair. It was quiet for a minute.

“Make sure he takes good care of you, Levy.”

I pulled away slightly and looked up at him, frowning. “Wings? What do you mean?”

Wings chuckled and brought a hand to my face, his thumb stroking my cheek. “I see how you look at him. And, while I know you don't regret what just happened between the two of us, I know you'll feel bad about it nonetheless.” His thumb now traced my bottom lip as his currant eyelights flickered between my gaze. “You really care for my brother, don't you?”

“Wings, I care for all of you,” I argued weakly.

“Ah, but not like you do him,” he admonished lightly. “It's alright, Levy. Maybe you can tame his wild nature. He'll take care of you. Probably more than I could have.”

“Wings...”

“I'm leaving again, for a while,” he said. “Asgore is sending me out on a...mission you could say. It's unrelated to what's happening with you, and it needs to be taken care of.”

The news threw me for a loop. He hadn't been here just to even the odds with Red. He had come by...to really say bye. I knew it wasn't a permanent goodbye, but the thought still stung. I had grown so used to having him around the house, and Soldier really liked him. Hell, that cat liked all three of them. Even if he was still warming up to Red.

“When will you be back?”

His grin widened as he let out a hollow sounding chuckle. “Ah, the 'when', not an 'if'. It's refreshing to know you have faith in me. I am unsure, it could be a couple of days to a few months. I won't be able to call often, if at all.” He moved the hair away from my face and flicked his thumb across a stray tear. “Don't cry, beautiful.”

“I-I'm sorry,” I said, my voice wavering. “I just...it threw me for a loop, is all...”

“It always does for me, too,” he muttered and I let out a choked giggle. “I need to go now, but I will try and get a hold of you as soon as I am able, Levy.”

He moved away and I watched in silent melancholy as he got dressed the rest of the way, smoothing the wrinkles out of his clothes as he picked them up off the floor. Once he was dressed, he headed for the suite door. His hand was on the knob before he paused and looked over at me.

I stood by the couch in the living room, my hand rubbing my opposite wrist. He let go of the handle and strode over to me in three long strides. He cupped my face in his hands before he crushed his mouth to mine, his kiss desperate. Once he pulled away, he gave me a smile and kissed my nose sweetly.

“Red knows I came over,” he said. “He knew what was going to happen, but he doesn't know I'm leaving. You might want to let him know. And don't be sad; it's not a 'goodbye'; it's a 'see you later'."

With that, he was gone, the door shutting with a soft click behind him. Once I was alone again, I fell back against one of the couches, just staring at the door. Part of me wanted him to come back through and tell me it was a joke. But I knew it wouldn't happen. Papyrus had told me once I hadn't met him before because he'd been out on a job for months. And that this was a common occurrence.

After ten minutes of sitting there, I finally got up and padded over to the bedroom, where I slipped on a new pair of panties and grabbed my phone. Sure enough, Red was calling, and had been calling for a while. When I answered the phone, I didn't even get a word out before a tiny whimper made it through the phone.

“sugar, what's wrong?” Red's voice now sounded panicked. “he didn't fuckin' hurt'cha, did he? i swear to asgore, if he hurt ya...”

“He left, Red,” I finally whispered. “And he doesn't know when he's coming back again.”

“oh.”

That was all he said, and I sat on the bed, curling up and staring out the window. “I'm sorry,” I finally murmured to him, my heart aching.

“what're ya sorry fer?” he asked. The sounds of papers rustling caught my attention. “because ya fucked 'im?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“nothin' t' be sorry fer, sugar,” Red said, his voice growing soft. “yer a grown woman an' can make yer own choices. i didn't like it, but i wasn't gonna stop ya.”

“Thank you.”

We talked for a little while longer before I heard Papyrus yelling at him to get off the phone with me. I chuckled as he threw his phone across the room and hung up, placing my phone on the table beside me. I looked over at the abandoned teapot and cups of tea before shaking my head.

It would be fine. Wings would be fine, and he would come home again. It wasn't going to be the last time I saw him, and there was no way in hell he wouldn't be able to come back if he really needed to. So I was going to enjoy the rest of my vacation and have fun with the girls. That's what I needed. I just needed a distraction.

Especially now that Wings had reminded me that it would always be Red. I didn't know how it happened, or when. But it did. It was always going to be Red. I knew I didn't love him, but I did like him. I did want to fuck him more, sure. But love was still far off. Maybe we could have some kind of trial run.

That's called 'dating', dumbass, I thought to myself in exasperation.

I shook myself from my thoughts and got comfy in the bed again. I picked up my book once more, checking the time. The two monsters should be home soon, so I still had some quiet time before they came around to grab me for dinner. With that, I buried my nose in my book, trying to ignore the bombshell I had just been given.

"See you later, Wings..."

Chapter Text

Sunday was just as uneventful. Alphys and I had decided to binge on anime while Undyne went to talk to Mettaton about something. I felt bad, considering the robot really wanted to have a few drinks with me. But I figured I could do that later in the day. So I laid on one couch with a bowl of popcorn in my lap and Alphys was sprawled across the other one, a bag of chisps in her hands.

She was also lazily looking over notes and stuff on her laptop screen while we watched one my favorites she hadn't seen yet, Ouran High School Host Club. I knew she liked Mew Mew Kissy Cutie, but she'd never even heard of Ouran. I knew I had to change that one immediately. Luckily, I was able to convince Papyrus to let Red swing it by real quick.

After beating Red off with a shoe, I had put it in, and halfway through the first episode she was hooked. Even now she was avoiding her work as much as possible to watch the Wonderland episode. It was one of my favorites, even if it did hurt my heart. As she glanced over her notes, I checked my own phone, scrolling through notifications and clearing out some of my game things. When I made sure everything was done, I checked my messages one last time to see Red had messaged me.

I ignored it, rolling my eyes and putting my phone back down. He could wait another day to talk to me. I was too busy pulling a him and being lazy. I pulled the hood of his hoodie up over my head and dug into my popcorn again.

When Undyne came back, she moved Alphys's tail, sat down and placed it in her lap. She blew out a breath through her fangs before she looked over at me.

“Papyrus will be here later tonight to get you rather than tomorrow afternoon,” she announced. Her voice was tight. “Dom was spotted not too far from here. Whether it's coincidence or not, I'm not taking a chance. Neither is Mettaton.”

I nodded, kind of sad that my vacation, which wasn't really a vacation at this point, had come to a close. I left the show running as I made my way into my room, keeping the door open as per Undyne's request. I grabbed my bag and began throwing things into it, making sure I went to the closet to make sure I didn't leave anything in there. I went into the bathroom and grabbed my stuff from there, heading back into my room and putting it all in the bag. When I made sure I had everything, I zipped the bag up and took it back out into the living room with me, setting it down beside me before flopping back onto the couch like the potato I was.

I looked over my stuff again before stuffing my face full of more popcorn. I glanced back over at Undyne and Alphys, who were both looking at me weirdly. I swallowed what I had before speaking.

“Why are you guys looking at me like I grew another head?”

“Because we figured you'd be a little more upset about leaving your vacation away from the boys,” Undyne said.

“F-figured you c-could really use a b-break with how bad W-Wings and Red were coming o-onto you,” Alphys added.

I shrugged, trying to ignore the sad pain in my chest over having to watch Wings walk out the door. “It's alright. They kept popping by anyway. May as well go home and kick Red in the ass.”

Undyne and Alphys both looked at me sadly before I turned back to the TV. They knew Wings had been called away. The only one who hadn't known about him had been me. And that was only because I had told everyone all their mafia bullshit business could be kept to themselves.

I hadn't even had the chance to really see where things could have gone with Wings. I mean, sure, I probably would have chosen Red either way, but still. It was the imagination of how he could have treated me, how he and I could have worked together under different circumstances. I hate not getting the chance to see where things will ever go. The thought pained me.

I picked my phone up and looked at the text from Red.

Cherry: ur comin home soon; need sum company? ;)

I rolled my eyes before sending a quick reply back.

Levy: I'm still really mad at you, boy. You don't get anything.

Cherry: aw, c'mon!

Then I did the next best thing I could do and left him on read while the three of us binged on anime and food. Undyne reactions were priceless and often set Alphys and I into a loud set of giggle fits. She was confused about an entire episode so we had to go all the way back to the first episode.

My favorite reaction was when the St. Lobelia Academy girls entered the scene. She had been ready to chuck the entire TV out the window with how annoyed they made her. While Alphys struggled to get her to calm down, I was clutching my sides in pure laughter.

We stayed like that for the most part, until a knock came to the door. I rolled off the couch once more, making sure to place my popcorn on the table before going for the door. Before I could could go and open it, Mettaton swung the door open and wrapped me up with one pair of arms in a bone crushing hug. In the other pair, he had alcohol for days.

“Darlings~!” he greeted. “I know I should have come up sooner to have this drink, but I was so busy with running the hotel and keeping an eye out for our dear and lovely human!”

Undyne groaned at the dramatics, and Alphys just seemed unfazed. I chuckled and leaned my elbow on one of the metallic arms as he took both of us over to the couch I had abandoned. He set me down before placing the bottles down. Undyne quickly dove into the bags and dug through before she brought out a huge bottle of...glowing pink liquid.

“Uh...I thought alcohol wasn't supposed to glow?” I asked, glancing at the monsters around me.

“Oh, sweetie! Don't tell me you've never had monster alcohol!” Mettaton looked and sounded like he was appalled. “We've been up here for so long already and you've never had it before?”

I shook my head. “Haven't had the chance, I guess. I don't go out drinking stuff that looks like this,” I said, waving a hand at the bottle Undyne was opening.

“But you work for Grillby,” Undyne said, grunting as she finally got the bottle open. “I know for a fact he sells this stuff. I get it from him all the time.”

I thought back to when I first started working with him. I did remember there were glowing bottles in the store, but I had always thought they were there for decoration. I had never handled them before and neither had any of the other humans that worked there. If Grillby did sell it, I had no idea, and was sure he was hiding it from me.

“It's not a big deal,” I decided, shrugging. “Lemme try it!”

Mettaton brought one out, and I was instantly mesmerized by the swirling colors that were in the bottle. There were greens and blues and hints of pink that swirled within, and little white dots that reminded me a lot of stars.

He opened it and poured me a small glass from one of the bags. When he handed it to me, I took a small whiff of it. It smelled a lot like a rain forest right after a thunderstorm. It brought a small smile to my face and I took a little sip of it.

It was definitely better than I thought it was going to be. The burn was a little tougher than my usual drinks, but I was a big girl. I bit back the cough at the back of my throat as the warmth slid down my throat and settled in my stomach. The taste was similar to berries, like the mixed berry juices you gave to kids. It threw the rest of it back, earning me a whoop from Undyne.

“Now that's how you do it!” she cackled. “I call for a drinking contest!”

I knew it was a bad idea. But she had issued a challenge, and those were my absolute weakness. I grabbed the bottle from Mettaton, who looked amused as I pointed the top of the bottle to her.

“You're on!”

I was going to instantly regret those words.

By the time dinner was rolling around, I was trashed. I managed to keep up with Undyne though, and she was even having trouble keeping herself upright as she chugged yet another version of monster beer. I had managed to polish off the first bottle and was halfway through the second when the door opened. I turned over and there was Papyrus, straightening his tie before he looked up.

“Papyyyyrus!” I slurred. “Welcome to the party!”

“WHAT IN TORIEL'S NAME IS GOING ON HERE?” Papyrus demanded, coming further into the room. He looked down at the table that was between everyone, then focused in on the two more sober monsters. “WHY IS SHE LIKE THIS?”

“U-Undyne challenged h-her,” Alphys said, shrugging. “This i-is a great m-moment for scientific r-research.”

“Oh, loosen up, Papy dear~!” Mettaton crooned at the tall skeleton. “Come on, why don't you have a couple of drinks with us!”

“I'M DRIVING!” Papyrus snapped, though his face flushed with his magic as he regarded me. “ARE YOU GOING TO BE OKAY ON THE DRIVE HOME?”

I let out a loud belch and slurred, “I could really go for some tacos.”

Undyne was laughing really hard and Alphys was even chuckling a little bit as Mettaton pouted next to me. After a few minutes of discussion, Papyrus took the bottle from my hands as I was lifting it for another chug. I let out a loud protest as he set the bottle down and lifted me into his arms. He had my bag slung around his shoulder and, after saying our farewells (in my case screaming how much I loved them), we made our way out of the room and into the elevator.

By the time we made it to the ground floor and walking to the car, I felt my head slumping against Papyrus's shoulder. He said nothing as he put me in the passenger seat and buckled me in, closing the door and putting my bag in the backseat. When he got into the driver's seat, he started the car, buckled himself in, and we pulled out into traffic.

“So, Wings left.”

I don't know why I said it, but I did. It had been bothering me most of the day, and the alcohol hadn't helped numb the hurt I felt. He had been so keen on chasing me and getting me to be with him and all sorts of stuff. We'd even fucked, to be blunt, and it had been amazing. And then he goes and tells me he's leaving, and doesn't know when he'll be back. It hurt my heart, and I didn't even understand why.

“YES, HE DID,” Papyrus said. “HE DOESN'T KNOW WHEN HE'LL BE BACK, BUT JUDGING ON PATTERNS ALONE, HE SHOULD BE BACK IN A FEW MONTHS.”

I made an odd noise in the back of my throat. “Do you think he actually gave a shit about me, or just wanted me because Red does?”

That was another problem. He did seem enamored with me, but I just couldn't help but think maybe, just maybe, it was because I was something I couldn't have? Well, he could have. But...maybe he was right. It was Red; it will always be Red, and something told me I needed to come to terms with that.

“THAT, I DON'T BELIEVE,” he said. “WINGS MAY LIKE TO CHASE AFTER THINGS WE DO, BUT HE DOES IT ONLY WHEN HE HAS A GENUINE INTEREST. HE KNEW FROM THE START THERE WAS A HIGH CHANCE HE WOULDN'T MAKE THE CUT WITH YOU. HE STILL WANTED TO TRY.”

I sniffled, not even realizing I was crying. Papyrus reached over and popped open the glove box, pulling out a box of tissues and handing them to me. I shut it with my knee so he could drive as I took the tissues and pulled one out, wiping my eyes and blowing my nose.

“Thanks, Paps.”

**

Soldier was all over me the moment we entered the house a few hours later. I tried waving him off, still stumbling over my own feet. I was still horribly drunk, but Papyrus had stopped off to get my some tacos like I wanted. And as I stumbled into the living room, Red's skull came poking around the corner.

“'ey, sugar, ya alright?”

“Reeeed!”

I set the bag of food down on one of the tables and slung myself around him as he came into the room. He caught me with a grunt, and the smell of bonfire filled my senses. And the only thought I had through that smell was that I was home. And it was nice.

“paps, what th' hell is this?” Red demanded of his brother. “she reeks of monster booze.”

“TALK TO METTATON,” was Papyrus's only answer.

“fuckin' bucket o' bolts.”

Red managed to get me to sit on the couch and grabbed my food, pulling out one of the tacos I'd ordered. He dug through the rest of the bag like a vulture, but I'd anticipated that even as drunk as I was. He gave a little whoop of victory as he pulled out his usual order and handed the bag to his brother. He also pulled everything out of the bag and put it back on the table.

Papyrus turned the TV on to some shitty movie, and we sat there, watching it as we ate. Even though I didn't want to, I did notice how empty it was without Wings making snide comments about whatever we were watching and Red snapping off a pun in turn. Or Papyrus and Wings getting into a heated debate over something as silly as if pineapple goes on pizza.

Which it totally doesn't.

I didn't realize I was crying again until Red wrapped me up in a hug, pulling me against him and nuzzling the crown of my head. My taco had been taken and placed on the coffee table in front of us, and Papyrus continued watching the movie, his eyelights flicking over to me every now and then.

I cried quietly, and Red's voice came over me as he told me it was going to be okay. And I knew it would be. Wings would do this mission, call when he could, and then he would come home. He would come back and we would all be here waiting for him. Even Soldier, who was curled up in Wings's usual chair and staring at the door. As thought waiting for that suave skeleton to come through it any moment.

I was going to leave his bedroom door open for him tonight.

Once I was done crying, we finished off our meals. Papyrus excused himself to bed. He even surprised Red and I when he planted a chaste kiss against my temple and left the room. Red didn't even look like he was mad about it, just stunned and confused.

I gave a small smile. Now that I was a little more sober, I put all the trash around in the bag and went to go throw it away. My hand was snagged and I was pulled back, my ass landing back on the couch. The garbage was taken from my hands and placed back on the coffee table as Red wrapped me back up in his embrace. His nasal cavity was against the top of my head as he breathed evenly, his fangs getting caught in my hair slightly.

“'e'll come home, sugar,” he murmured against my hair. “'t could be a while, but 'e will.”

I snuggled closer to him, burying my face in his ribs. He didn't say anything, and I didn't either. The movie played while we sat in silence, just reveling in each other's company, and the thought of Wings leaving made tears come back to my eyes.

I don't remember when I dozed out, but when I woke up, I was being carried to my room, being laid on my bed. Red went to move away but I reached my arm out before I could stop myself, my hand barely hanging on to his phalanges to halt him.

He turned and looked down at me, his eyes looking at something on my face. Whatever he saw must have spoken more than words could have; with a gentle sigh, he turned back, shaking my hold off of him and he lifted me back. He carried me bridal style from my room and I had him pause so I could crack Wings's door for Soldier before he carried me to his room.

He laid me down on the bed, which was no longer covered in sheets and thick blankets and pillows. I remember my first night in this house, when I had stayed in here just because he didn't want me to sleep on the couch. When I didn't want to take his bed. So we shared it. He stayed with me that night, too.

He went into his closet to change out of his suit, coming back out in a pair of baggy sweats and that same tight black tee shirt that always seemed to drive me crazy. He climbed up into the bed next to me, turning to face me and held one of his arms out to me. Without a word, I went over and tucked myself underneath it. He threw the blanket over us and ran his claws through my hair, whispering small things to bring me comfort.

It helped, but only marginally. I knew I wouldn't feel the tiniest bit better until I heard from him and learned that he was okay. I shut both of my eyes and sighed, letting sleep wash over me once more as Red held me close, still whispering to me.

**

It had been three weeks since Wings left, and I hadn't been able to sleep much. Red and Papyrus had spoken their worries about me, but I merely shrugged them off. Even Grillby and my coworkers were watching me extra hard. I ignored them as best as I could, but the stares were getting to me.

I knew there wasn't too much of an emotional attachment to him like I did with Red, but him leaving still left a hole in my heart. Eating dinner with an empty chair, watching the door or looked at his chair. The emptiness of his room that had the door cracked.

Soldier spent a little more time in there, but I didn't have the heart to close the door and keep him out. I knew from experience if he wanted in a room, he would get in there one way or another.

I went out of my way most days to go in there and tidy up some of the dust and cat hair that got on all of his things. Red nor Papyrus stopped me, but I could tell they were getting worried. Especially since I hadn't slept in my own in room in these last three weeks.

I had been sleeping with Red in his room, and at one point I'm pretty sure I was snuggled up to Papyrus. Even thought he vehemently denied it the next morning. I knew better, but I didn't bring it up again. Red and I spent every night together, with him mostly just comforting me and reminding me Wings was alright.

That night, I was at work when my phone began to vibrate incessantly in my back pocket. It was slow for the most part, so I turned a little as I pulled it out of my pocket. When the name flashed across the screen, I almost dropped it in relief, the feeling spreading through my entire body. I showed Grillby my phone and he nodded before I ran out toward the front door.

Once outside, I ducked into the alleyway and answered the call just before it stopped ringing. “Wings?”

“Hey, honey.”

The relief that crashed through my body made my knees go weak. His voice, slight garble and all, was one of the biggest stress relievers I'd heard in weeks. I kept myself upright by placing my hand on the brick, bending over a little even though the corset I was wearing took away some of my breath. I was really going to have to talk to Grillby about these uniforms.

“Are you okay? Everything going smoothly? Do you know when you're coming back? Solider really misses you and...” I took in a deep breath, slowly myself. “Sorry. How are you doing?”

His chuckle made me smile and small tears pricked the corner of my eyes. “I'm fine, Levy. Everything is going just fine. According to plan, actually. I can't talk long, but I did promise I'd call, didn't I?”

“Yeah,” I sniffled. “Yeah, you did.”

“Stay strong, Levy,” he murmured. “I'll be home before you know it. So long as everything continues going as good as it is. How are my brothers and the cat?”

I let him know how the boys were doing. When I made the comment of keeping his door open for the cat, he let out a smooth laugh. I talked to him a little longer, avoiding any kind of conversation that would lead back to whatever mission he was doing for the Don. I didn't know if someone was listening in on his call, or if he just wasn't able to talk about it.

I was still on the out with the family, but they were slowly bringing me around more, not really trusting me to be on my own. I had been spending a lot of time with Frisk and Flowey on my off days when Red and Papyrus were out doing work, and Wings sounded satisfied with that.

“Anything to keep you busy, huh?” he teased.

After another twenty minutes of talking, there was the slam of a door on his end and he sighed, calling out to someone and telling them he'd be out there in a minute. Once he came back to the phone, my heart dropped to the pavement by my feet.

“Gotta go?” I whispered.

“I do,” he said quietly. “Take care of yourself. And my brothers, please. Boss I'm not worried about, but Sans is...he needs the attention.”

I chuckled. “I know that one.”

“Goodbye, Levy. I'll call again when I can.”

“Bye, Wings.”

When I hung up with him, I held my phone to my chest. All the anxiety I'd felt over the last couple of weeks seemed to melt away and I let out a sigh. The tension in my shoulders seemed to relax and I held the heels of my hands to my eyes as little tears pricked the corners.

I had been so worried and it was as though hearing his voice had washed it all away. I knew I could never like him as much as I do Red, but he had still grown into a huge part of my life while he'd been home. And him being away where I couldn't make sure the workaholic himself eats was worrying, but I could manage. I knew I could.

When I went back inside, the smile never once left my face.

Chapter Text

“SANS. FOR THE LOVE OF TORIEL, GET YOUR LAZY ASS IN HERE.”

I jumped from my seat as Papyrus came into the room, and I clapped a hand over my mouth as I forced a laugh to stop from coming out. The tallest of the skeleton brothers had worn one of his favorite suits that day and had me iron it out for him that morning. It looked impeccable on him, the color matching perfectly with his magic and the pinstripes definitely going for his image.

And it was now soaking fucking wet.

I couldn't help it as the laugh finally broke through my lips when Red made his appearance in the kitchen where I had been doing some finance stuff for Grillby. Red's shit eating grin did nothing to help my wheezing laughter.

“yeah, boss?”

“WHAT IS THIS I HEAR ABOUT FRISK BEING ASKED TO HAVE A WATER BALLOON FIGHT TODAY OF ALL DAYS?”

That was another thing. Today, Papyrus had been going to the Don's house to look over some stuff for their shipments of whatever crap they had their hands and paws in. It was the only time Papyrus brought out his favorite suit, unless he was going out on some extremely important business. I had made sure Papyrus had been set and ready to make the ladies swoon when he left the house.

And now he just looked ridiculous.

“don't know what'cher talkin' 'bout, paps.”

Papyrus let out an angry snarl and took a step toward his brother. Red muttered an “oh shit” before he dipped out of the room again, Papyrus hot on his heels. I was clutching my sides in laughter as I watched them play cat and mouse around the house. Red would let Papyrus get just close enough before he teleported away and popped up somewhere else on the other side of the room.

This time he ported himself right behind me and ducked behind me. “protect me, sugar. i think i really pissed 'im off this time.”

I shrugged as I went back to what I was doing and punched some numbers into the calculator on my phone. “Doesn't seem to be my problem, buddy.”

Red made a hurt sound in the back of his throat and leaned over my shoulder, his breath tickling my ear. “c'mon, sugar. i'll reward ya fer good behavior.”

A tingle of need went through my body, shooting down into the pit of my stomach. I unconsciously clenched, my thighs squeezing together as I pretended to be unfazed by what he had said. In reality, he really got to me and I couldn't even deny it.

I had been debating on talking to Red privately at some point to discuss how I was feeling. I mean, I might be the girl, but I had to take the initiative somewhere. Red was all gung ho about this whole thing and claiming me and whatever else. But I didn't think I could do this shit again.

And that was really the only thing that held me back.

I truly did like Red. Being around him was something I was beginning to need, to crave. Whenever I was around him, I could feel my heart racing and the need pumping through my system like a drug. It reminded me of when I had first been with Dominic, before he had turned into something I detested.

It was just this strange need I had. And I didn't know how else to describe it. Part of me knew I needed to take a step back, really evaluate everything going on in my life right now. But at the same time, I knew it was only a matter of time before I gravitated toward this silly skeleton again.

Wings had been right. It had always been Red, no matter how much I wanted to deny it. Red was always the one who just seemed to come to my aid. To know when I needed him the most. He knew when I was in danger, and he knew when I just needed the comfort. He knew how to respect my boundaries, and had even fought with his heat for three days in the beginning of it before giving in. And that had only been because I gave permission. Not because he just wanted to take it.

He had been going slow on my behalf, and with the holidays coming up, I wanted to do something special for him. But I had no idea what. What do you get a monster who was in the mafia, when he had the money to get whatever he wanted?

Papyrus came storming into the room and Red yelped, something I had never heard from him before, as his brother came around the table.

“TRYING TO USE THE HUMAN TO PROTECT YOU,” Papyrus scoffed. “I THOUGHT YOU KNEW BETTER THAN THAT.”

“what's that supposed t' mean?” he asked.

“YOU KNEW SHE WASN'T GOING TO HELP YOU!”

I snorted as I laughed again and Red ran from the room. Papyrus growled and I looked over at him, shaking my head.

“You're not going to get him, Papy,” I chortled “Why don't you go change and once I'm done crunching these numbers, I'll run it through the wash and dry it. I'll even iron it again and hang up in your closet.”

Papyrus seemed to think it over for a second and nodded, patting my shoulder before moving to head up the stairs. I smiled as the silence finally settled over and I went back to doing the numbers for the bar.

It wasn't like Grillby couldn't do them himself, but he preferred when I did it because I tended to get it right the first time around. Whenever he did it, there were always so many mistakes and then he'd get frustrated and set the entire thing on fire. This was the fifteenth sheet this month and alone I chuckled to myself as I continued my work.

I had always been great with numbers, and this was a great way for me to actually use my brain rather than trying to think about the laziest skeleton – or monster in general – on the planet. But then the ring on my finger flashed in the light above my head and I paused to look at it.

I hadn't taken it off except for once, when I had showered. And even then, I panicked when I couldn't find it because my cat had found something shiny and decided to play with it. After that, I never took the thing off, and it had drawn a lot of attention, from both human and monster alike.

A lot of the monsters were welcoming in the fact that I was with the brothers. They said that they were happy to see another human around these parts, and that I was just a nice person in general. The humans, however...

The humans often whispered things behind my back. They called me a dirty monster fucker, or a monster lover of some regards. There were other slurs used, like I was just some kind of street walker or a random whore looking to make money from them. I ignored them, going on my way to be extra sweet to them.

And maybe spit in their food.

I knew that a lot of people were still pissy about the whole “monsters being on the surface” deal. But what did it matter to them? If they had been the ones trapped Underground for as long as the monsters were, they would have been the same way. Monsters tried giving them space, just trying to make a name for themselves and their syndicate. But humans were always afraid of the unknown, and this was no different.

I sighed and put my pencil down, rubbing my hands over my face. I could hear the shower running upstairs and heard the creaking floorboards above me. Living in a human community versus the monster one wasn't too different, but there was a different kindness among the monsters around here.

They were genuinely nice to people, even peoples who weren't their own species or race. Frisk had mentioned that Underground, it had been a “kill or be killed” world. Which means as nice as everyone seemed to each other now, at one point, they had been ready to dust each other.

And Red had needed protecting for something.

The thought alone made my heart clench as I picked my pencil back up and went back to what I was doing.

A few moments later, Papyrus came back down, dressed in a pair of jeans and a Mettaton tee shirt. The bones of his feet clacked against the tiles of the kitchen as he made his way in and began to pull things out for dinner. When he glanced over, Red was coming into the room, dressed in a similar fashion.

It was still weird seeing them in regular clothes. I'd been here for a few months already, and I was so used to seeing them in their usual suits and fedoras. I remember when Papyrus had finally worn a pair of jeans around me, I had done a double take as I spit my tea out of my nose in shock. Papyrus had panicked for a minute while I had cleaned up and told him I had never seen him in jeans before.

Red plopped next to me, passing me my cigarettes and setting an ashtray between us. I absently flicked open the pack and grabbed one, putting it between my lips as Red snapped his fingers in front of it. I inhaled as he did, and let him light it with his magic. He continued doing the same to his cigar, and I took my cigarette from my mouth, blowing out the smoke in his face.

He chuckled. “classy, sugar.”

I grinned and went back to my work. Red leaned over, watching me for a minute before he took the paper from me while I was trying to write on it. I growled at him as he looked over what I had done thus far before nodding to himself.

“what're ya even doin'?” he grumbled. “this looks so confusin'.”

“It's called work,” I snarked, grabbing it back from him. “I have to do these numbers for Grillby so he can do stuff properly. How much we're making, how much we're losing, how much we're spending, what we're selling. Stuff like that. I also keep track of all the hours everyone works so they can get paid properly.” I sighed. “Grillby is horrible with these and gets so angry he sets the paper on fire, so I offered to do it.”

Red chortled and I went back to put some numbers into the calculator before writing down what I had gotten. “so yer pretty good wit' numbers, huh?”

I nodded. “Math was always my thing.”

“hey, paps. isn't 'gore lookin' fer someone t' take care o' th' number crunchin' fer the businesses?” Red lazily asked his brother.

I could feel the blood in my veins run cold. He couldn't be insinuating what I think he is. There's just no way he would put me on the spot like that. Even Papyrus stopped muttering to himself long enough to look over his shoulder at his brother, and when I looked up, his face was set in stone.

“SANS, SHE SAID SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN ANYTHING WE DO,” Papyrus said bluntly. “THERE'S NO WAY I'M GOING TO ASK HER TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT.”

“c'mon, 's jus' a buncha numbers.” Red shrugged, leaning back to blow the sweet smell of cherries my way in the form of smoke. “she won't be actually doin' nothin' but makin' sure all th' numbers are 'n order an' correct. this way, 'gore doesn't hafta worry 'bout 'is shipments bein' wrong anymore.”

“Red, I don't want to be involved in anything. Even if it just numbers,” I argued. “I don't like being around this already.”

It was a lie and the both of us knew it. I didn't know how he knew, but he did. I had come to that realization when he was in heat. That the vanilla, boring lifestyle wasn't for me, and I didn't want to just be some housewife cooking meals for her husband to come home to and then take care of the kiddos all the time.

I loved living in this chaos. And it had taken me a bit to really, truly come to terms with that. But that didn't mean I wanted to be involved with it like he suggesting. Besides, I was still on the outs with the family. While the treated me like their own, I was still a stranger. I was still someone they were just looking out for until shit blew over.

And then I would be on my own again. Just Soldier and I fighting our way through life and I needed to think about that in the long run. While I did enjoy this, and I loved being within the chaos these boys brought me, I didn't want to be fully part of it.

That was the thing with syndicates. Either you were all in, or you were all out. And if you were in and you left, you life was just all out. There was no going back from it.

I had seen it from Dom more than once.

“look.” Red leaned forward, taking his cigar where it was set between his fangs and blew out smoke while he talked. “yer not gonna be all in, ya hear? everyone knows ya want nothin' t' do wit' this. 'gore wouldn't lemme do that t' ya. all ya gotta do 's jus' make sure king fluffybuns has all th' numbers right.”

I sighed. “You can ask. But that doesn't mean he'll agree,” I pointed out. “I'm not part of this family. They're not gonna trust me like they do you or Papy.”

“THEY TRUST YOU.”

I whipped my head around to Papyrus as he was mixing something in a bowl. He didn't look my way, but he didn't offer anything else. I stared at his back for another few seconds before turning back to my seats. Red was already tapping away on his phone and I went back to my number crunching. No one else said anything else on the matter.

I finally finished the numbers right before dinner was done and went to put all of my things in my room. I put the papers in a folder and went back down the stairs. Papyrus and Red were already seated with their food, but had waited until I had crawled into my own chair to sit and eat with them.

This was the normal now, I realized. This was really my normal life. I had called my parents weekly with updates, and as the weeks went by, their suspicion seemed to dwindle. They were asking me how the boys were doing and told me to wish Wings well on his vacation. They only thought he was on vacation at least; they had heard a lack of his commentary and asked about him. I wasn't telling them the truth.

My normal was eating with skeletons, talking with them and living with them. You could see traces of me all over their house now. My blanket on the couch, one of my phone chargers nearby my usual seat. I had a teapot and some of my favorite tea in the cupboard. My recipe books that Papyrus looked through were sitting on the counter top. The hallway closet had some of my towels and my extra shampoos and conditioners. The smell of flowers would sometimes even overpower the smell of testosterone.

Or whatever male monsters smelled like.

Slowly, I had learned their likes and dislikes. I had learned when they fall asleep and when they wake up. I learned their work schedules and when I should be awake to make sure Papyrus and Red each had their coffee and at least something small for breakfast. I always made sure things were tidy when they came home and even Soldier had a cat tree by the door so he could jump up and greet them when they came home.

Somehow, somewhere in all this mess, I had made a home.

 

**

 

“Mom, I'm not coming home for Christmas.”

I listened to her rampage over the phone, clearly upset I would be missing my first Christmas with them. She wasn't angry, just more upset. I put her on speaker as I used my step stool so I could clean the kitchen, wiping down the counter and reorganizing the cupboards, taking stock of what we had and what we needed.

I knew where she was coming from, and I did feel bad. It had been a couple of months since Wings left, and things had come to a routine with him gone. Thanksgiving had come and gone without any real problems, and no one had heard anything about Dominic. According to Red, it could be good news, or bad news.

I was leaning on the latter choice.

My mom wasn't happy that I didn't come for Thanksgiving. She had pulled me into an unintentional guilt trip when I told her I was just going to hang out with the monsters. I felt horrible, and I still do. But I didn't want my parents around if Dominic tried something. I couldn't bear the thought they could get hurt because of me.

Red came into the kitchen, placing his fedora on the table. He looked over at me as my mother continued her rant, waving a hand at my phone. I shook my head and put my finger to my lips. It was better to let her get it out now than interrupt her and hear it later.

Personal experience and all that.

When she was finally done, I sighed. “I know, mom. And I'm sorry. I want to be there for it, I do. But things aren't looking up, and I'm sure Grillby is going to be open that night anyway.”

Lame excuse, but it was better than telling her what was really going on. If she or my dad knew, they would drag me home by my hair and I wouldn't see the light of day ever again.

“I haven't seen you in months,” she sniffled. “I miss you, and your dad misses you. Even Bongo misses you.”

Saying the dog missed me was a lie. That little fucker loved to chase me around the house any time I went for a visit and she knew it. He was cuddly though, and did often love to sleep by me whenever I went to stay there for a weekend.

“why not come 'ere?”

I shot my stare over to Red, who was shrugging. I could hear the silence over the phone on the other end, and I knew there were two things that could possibly be going over in my mother's head.

One: the skeleton offered both of us to spend Christmas with them.

Two: the Judge was speaking to her.

But she didn't react how I thought she would have. Instead, she actually hummed, as if she was really thinking it over. It wasn't to say I was really that surprised. After my initial blow up on them months ago, they had slowly come to the idea that Red and Papyrus weren't going to do anything to me. They even made side comments about Papyrus being loud, and when I had told him that was just his thing, they turned around and accepted that, using it to their advantage.

He had ratted me out more than once.

I rolled my eyes at him. “I don't think they'll go for that.”

“I disagree.” I snapped my head back to my phone. My mother's voice was shaky, but she held firm as she continued what she was saying. “I think that's a good idea.”

“Mom?”

“Levy, my sunshine,” she sighed, “I haven't been able to see you in months, and while I love hearing your voice knowing you're okay...I need to see you, too. While I do appreciate these boys coming around and taking you under their wing, along with all of their friends, your father and I need to see for ourselves how well you're faring with them.”

I could feel a small weight coming off of my chest when she said that. They had never been against monsters, just wary of them. And the fact they were willing to come and meet not only Red, but Papyrus and the others...

It spoke volumes about how much they valued my opinion, and just how much I had gotten to them over these last few months.

“Alright, momma,” I said softly. “I'm sure it will be okay with everyone else, but I'm still going to double check since Christmas is only a few days away.”

“Alright. I should go tell your father,” she said. There was rustling on her end and she sighed. “I'll see you in a few days.”

“I'll let you know.”

When she hung up, I turned to Red, crossing my arms over my chest. “Seriously? They're not that stupid, Red. I know for a fact they'll try and come to take me away from you and the others.”

“how do ya know, sugar?”

“Because they know you guys are in the mafia,” I said, exasperated and uncrossing my arms. “Do you think my dad will let me stay?”

He came closer, leaning over me. Even in my stool, I was still shorter than him. It wasn't by much, but the difference was still there. I kept my stance even as I glared up into his red eyelights.

Neither of us said anything, and I could feel my heart racing in my chest. I had been mostly avoiding him as much as I could while making it seem totally normal. I had even had Papyrus come to pick me up from work most nights. Or Undyne, even. The thought that I could truly like this brute was something I couldn't fathom, and was trying to figure out before I really took a leap.

His hands were on my waist and he pulled me to him, his teeth against my lips. I didn't even think as I wrapped my arms around him, one hand gripping his cervical vertebrae. He let out a growl as his claws dug into the skin of my hips.

He practically yanked me off of the stool and my legs settled on the arches of his pelvic bone. I wrapped my ankles together as he pressed my against something cold, my mind to frayed by what he was doing to me.

His kisses always set a fire a light inside of me, and I groaned as he thrust against me. The other issue was the sexual tension had been insane. I blamed it on my hormones, and how the last person I had slept with was Wings. But I knew no matter what, Wings had been right. It was always going to be Red, and there was no way to fight that.

But stubborn me was still trying. Even now as one of his clawed hands came up, the sharp tips of his phalanges moving my shirt up to graze against my skin. I could feel goosebumps rise along myself as his hand came just below my breast, one claw tracing the underside of it.

“calm down, pet,” he whispered, pulling away. I could see the red light from his tongue flash before it trailed along my neck and I sighed. “everythin' will work 'tself out, ya know? yer dad'll let'cha stay wit' me.”

“Red...”

His name came out on a whimper as I tugged on his suit jacket, which had miraculously stayed on. He usually had it off before he even came home.

“now, now. yer gonna be awright, pet,” he murmured. “promise.”

As we continued the make out session on the fridge, I could only hope he was right.

 

Chapter Text

“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.

“THANK YOU.”

“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.

“I...”

“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.

“Red, what...”

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.

“Dad, seriously?”

“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.

“issat so?”

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.”

“understood.”

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.

 

Chapter Text

New Year's Eve was also being spent at the Dreemurr residence. I sighed as I packed a bag to go, making sure to put all of the things I would need for one night in there. Wings had gone back to his mission, like he had said. But he had promised with finality that he would be home real soon. And with a final kiss on the cheek, he'd left.

Missing him was becoming a chore.

The few days spent after the holidays were almost wary. Red had been awfully quiet, regarding me with a strange look in his eyes. But when I caught him staring, he would just send me some kind of smirk or wink that would distract me and I would move along every time.

Bastard that he was, I knew he was planning something. I just didn't know what. And I still hadn't found a way to bring up he and I...dating. It was a foreign concept to me these days. Like, how do I even be a proper girlfriend? Do I leave him in a corner with porn and just feed it once or twice a day?

Christ, I was being unreasonable today.

Once I made sure I had everything I needed, I yanked it from the bed and put the strap over my shoulder, picking up Soldier's cage on my way out the door. I had made mention of it briefly how I had felt bad leaving Soldier alone. He'd been with me these last couple of New Year's, and I felt bad just leaving him home.

Asgore had told me I could bring him, so long as we kept him in line and made sure he had the stuff he needed. There was going to a room just for him to explore, since they had a few spare bedrooms that never saw any use anyway. So, with that, I had gotten some more litter, a couple of new bowls and a new litter box for their house specifically. Red had made sure there was magic in place around his new collar as well, so we would always know where he was at if he decided to wander off and explore.

When I made it downstairs, the boys were all packed up and waiting for me. I smiled at them and we all made our way to the car, Soldier meowing and growling furiously at being packed away again. I chuckled as I placed him on the seat next to me, pulling out my phone and messaging Grillby one more time.

 

Levy: You sure you don't need me to come in tonight? I can get ready right now, since I know you'll have a full house.

 

Bartinder: We will be fine, Levy. Please, have a good night, and I'll see you in a couple of days.

 

I let it drop. I knew he wasn't going to budge, and I needed to remind myself of that. I sighed and before I could tuck my phone away, it vibrated in my hands. Thinking Grillby texted me again, I pulled it out, blinking in confusion.

 

Cherry: need t talk t ya later, privately.

 

I could feel the doubt already swarming in the back of my head. I sent back a simple message agreeing and put my phone away, staring out the window of the car as we rolled through the city. There was a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I began to doubt everything I thought I would be able to say to him.

What if he tells me he's done with me? I was only a quick fuck and that was it? Honestly, I don't think I could handle that right now. Let alone live in the same house with him after that. My heart constricted, and I felt queasy. I shook my head and let out a silent breath through my nose. No, I couldn't think like that. Maybe it had something to do with Dom. It usually did when he texted me things like this. I just needed to stay confident.

But the thoughts still wriggled in the back of my mind like a dark cloud. Even as we pulled up to the mansion and we all piled out. Soldier had gone silent a while ago, so I made sure he was still okay. Once the crying started up, I made my way to the door, where Toriel was holding it open as I made my way inside.

“This must be our furry guest,” she cooed as I set down the carrier. “This is Soldier, yes?”

I nodded. “Yeah, he's not so happy right now. I brought the stuff he'll need while he's here. The boys said they'd bring it in.”

She led you up the stairs and we made our way into the room that was going to be strictly for Soldier. It was already furnished with a couple of cat trees, some toys and a few beds scattered around. There was even a little train going round and round in circles. I chuckled; he was really going to like that train once he calmed down enough to enjoy it.

Papyrus and Red came in behind us, setting things down and examining the room. Papyrus claimed it was because he was curious what they got for the cat, but I already knew it was because he wanted to make sure everything was good enough for his little feline friend.

I didn't mention that though.

After I had set up his food and litter box, I shooed everyone out before letting the cat from his prison. The black fluff ball shot out, heading right for one of the cat trees and climbing it frantically, sitting at the top of it and glancing around the room.

“We'll still be here, baby,” I cooed at him. “Have fun in your room.”

I quickly made my exit and shut the door behind me. I would come up after dinner was done and open it, just to check on him. He hated closed doors the most.

We all made our way downstairs and back into the dining room, where everyone had gathered. I hated not having Grillby there, but New Year's Eve was a good business day for him. Muffet wasn't even there, and she didn't run a shop that was open this late at night. Maybe she just wanted to spend it with her family.

Asgore came over and wrapped me in a furry hug. Grinning, I hugged him back. The smell of ham wafted through the air around us as we pulled apart and Frisk came to hug me as well. I watched as some of the kitchen staff flitted around between the dining hall and kitchen. Everyone was talking and laughing in low tones and it was so nice to see everyone able to unwind.

When dinner was called, I sat between Papyrus and Red. They made sure I had a big helping on my plate, which everyone joked about. When it came to light I hadn't been eating enough, Toriel got this look in her eyes that reminded me that, at one point, she had been insane. And she pointed her fork at me then at the food.

I obliged without question to the wordless order. No way was I incurring that wrath.

Dinner went by smoothly, paired with wine and some classical music for background noise. Frisk talked to me about our upcoming holiday, since ours got ruined last time. Asgore and Toriel were worried about it, but Red assured them he would pop in everyone once in a while to check up on them. I chuckled when Asgore made the sly comment about only coming to see me in my bikini.

“That'll probably just be a plus,” I snipped. “He's got more important business to attend to.”

Red huffed and grumbled, but didn't dispute it. Frisk and I looked at each other before giggling into the green bean casserole and continued our meal. It was so easy talking to them, it was hard to remember these guys had their hands and paws into some pretty deep stuff. They were just like a normal family. That ran a lot businesses. And were in the mafia.

When dinner was done, the kitchen staff came cleared the table, rushing back in to get everything done so they could go home for the evening. Some of them were bringing out snacks and stuff to the living room area, placing them on the tables that were set up in there. I noticed there were actually some other monsters that showed up, and Mettaton came through the door with Alphys and Undyne in tow.

“Darlings~! I'm here!”

“we know,” Red grunted, shouldering past him to go outside.

I smiled up at him. “Hey, Mettaton.”

He swooped me up into a pair of his arms, using the others to hand Asgore a bag of something. I laughed and wrapped my arms around his cold neck. There were times I forgot this human looking robot was an actual robot. With circuits and the whole nine yards. So when I realized he was freezing, I let out a screech.

Everyone was laughing as I tried my best to wriggle out of his grasp. I was laughing while hitting his shoulders demanding he let me go before he lost one of his four eyes.

“Now, sweetie! That's no way to treat your friends!” he admonished playfully, rubbing his frozen cheek on mine.

I didn't noticed Red slip out until I was already on the ground. I wasn't able to after him, maybe try and talk to him out there, but Mettaton brought me into the living room to show me all of the monster alcohol he brought this time. I gazed at them all in wonder, my eyes wide at all of their swirling colors. Mettaton handed me a note and I took it, smiling as I opened it to see Grillby's swirling hardwritting.

 

Levy,

Please be wise how much you drink and if you need me for any reason tonight, just give me a call, okay? I will be there in a heartbeat and bring you to the bar for the night. Have a fun night, be safe.

Love,

Fire Dad

 

I chuckled as I tucked the note away. He still remembered that joke all these years later, and I couldn't be happier. I had called him that once when he went father figure on me, and ever since, it had stuck. But we only tended to use that when we were writing notes to each other and when we were alone.

Papyrus came up beside me and placed a hand on my shoulder. I looked up at him as he motioned with his head he wanted me to follow him. I went with him over to Asgore who was sitting near the roaring fire. When I came to stop in front of him, Frisk came over and joined us. Flowey, like usual, was with him. But instead of in a flower pot, he was curled around his arm.

“Levy, dear,” Asgore said, smiling at you. “Are you having fun?”

I nodded. “Of course. Should check on Soldier soon to see how he's fairing.”

He chuckled and nodded. “Of course. First, Papyrus told me how splendid you are with numbers. Grillby even attested to this, showing me your work that you've done for his bar.”

I felt my face flush. “Yeah, well. Numbers were always my thing.”

“I would love it if you could help Frisk with his work,” Asgore said. I opened my mouth to protest, but he held up his furry paw. “Now, now, I know. You don't want any part of this. But, I will have you know none of my businesses are hiding anything, and anything that could be hidden in them are taken care of by Red, Papyrus or myself personally. You will never once touch any of those rosters or be needed to calculate those numbers.”

“Dad won't even let me touch them,” Frisk said, my attention turning to him. “I'm good with numbers, but I keep messing up and then dad has to stop all of his stuff to start all over again. And I would really like to try and avoid that in the future.”

I smiled a little before letting it drop and turning back to Asgore. “I...let me think on it. I don't see why not, but I do still intend to work for Grillby.”

“Of course, young one,” he mused. “That's fine with me. Take your time.”

I smiled and let them carry on their conversations. Maybe now I could sneak away and find Red. He'd been outside for a long time already, and I'm anxious to know what he wants to discuss. The waiting is killing me.

The night wore on, and I saw Red here and there, but he never came over to me. I shrugged it off and excused myself at one point so I could go check on Soldier. My shoes echoed in the empty hallways as I made my way up to the room.

I poked my head inside and, sure enough, he was at ease, following the train around with curiosity. I smiled as I came further into the room.

“Hey, baby,” I whispered.

He looked up at me, letting out a happy cry before coming over to me the train totally forgotten. I bent down, keeping myself balanced on my feet as I reached out for him, running my fingers through his fur. I didn't want to get it all over my clothes, but I did want to feel the comfort from him.

“What do you think he wants to talk about?” I murmured to him. “Maybe he's tired of me? That happens a lot.” I chuckled. “Or maybe he just wants his ring back. Or maybe that comfy ass hoodie. I don't think he'll get that back though.”

“sugar?”

I yelped, standing and turning. The cat hissed, heading back to one of the cat trees and burrowing himself inside one of the holes, staring out at Red with slanted eyes. I stumbled, my arms waving around in the air as I tried to find some kind of balance.

Red caught me before I fell on my ass, bringing me close to him. He smelled heavily of cherries, and there was the smell of vodka and mustard on his breath. I pulled away a little to look up at him and there was an easy grin on his teeth as he looked down at me.

Without a word, he and I left the room and made our way across the hall to what was supposed to be my room for the night. He shut the door behind us as I went to sit on the plush bed, bouncing a little as I swung my legs back and forth. He sighed and looked over at me.

The only light in the room was coming from the lamp beside the bed I had turned on. His golden tooth glinted and, as he came to stand in front of me, I reached up a hand to place a gentle fingertip on it.

“What did you want to talk to me about?” I asked softly.

His hand came up, catching a tendril of my hair as he looked down at me for a minute. His claws came around and slid along my cheek, his thumb brushing over my bottom lip. My lips parted involuntarily, and I could feel the tip of his claw touching my teeth gently.

“yer so fuckin' perfect,” he muttered. “stars, yer like a fuckin' angel.”

“Red?”

“i talked t' yer dad on christmas,” he said finally, lowly. “and he gave me his permission, so long as you accept.”

“What are you talking about? Accept what?”

“be with me.”

My whole world froze in that moment, and I could only stare up at Red as he continued to stroke my bottom lip, his claw dragging along my teeth. His eyelights searched my face and I could feel my own oddly colored mismatched eyes flicking between his own.

He was serious. This brought me back to the day of that first kiss, when I had told him I would never be with him. And yet here he was, still taking that chance. I was taking that chance. Or, was about to. I still had yet to answer him, but I was wary. Would he just walk away and tell me he was joking after I said yes and made a fool of myself?

“Red...”

“listen, sugar,” he said, his voice gruff. “i've been a patient skeleton. i wasn't playin' when i said i wanted ya. yer so damn perfect t' me. that's a weakness 'n this life, an' one 'm willin' t' take fer ya.”

“Remember that day when you first kissed me? When I told you I would never be with you, no matter the circumstance?” I asked now, my voice quiet as I grabbed his hand in mine.

His face fell, and I watched as he looked like he was ready to fall apart. He didn't answer me verbally, just gave me an affirmative nod of his head. I wrapped his hand in mine and gave a sharp tug, bringing him closer to me.

I looked up at him right in the eyelights when I murmured, “I lied.”

It took a few seconds for it to register, but when it did, I knew I was doomed. He leaned down, his teeth against my lips as he pushed me farther on the bed, following me. He pinned me down by my wrists, straddling my hips as his tongue traced my bottom lip.

I gave in to him, letting my body melt against his as I felt my heart hammering in my ears. His claws dug into the skin of my wrists and I let out a small whimper as I flexed my hands. He moved back, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth as he stared down at me.

“ya really should see yerself right now, sugar,” he purred, leaning farther down to nip at my earlobe. “yer face 's flushed such a gorgeous shade o' red. yer chest 's heavin' fer breath. an' yer eyes 're beggin' fer more.”

I couldn't answer. He chuckled. Moving his hands from my wrists and slowly gathered me to him, licking along the side of my neck. The same side he said he'd bite when he was going to mark me, claim me. The thought made a shiver run down my spine and I let out a tiny groan.

“now, now,” he chided softly. “no need to make so much noise; the others might hear you.”

I slapped a hand over my mouth to hide the cry as he bit down, not piercing the skin but enough to send shocks of pleasure racing through my body. That wonderful smell of bonfire wrapped around me, and I let out a hoarse chuckle as he moved away, pinning me with a look that spoke volumes.

“but after t'night?” he murmured, his eyelights flashing and his grin turning devious. “after t'night, yer all fuckin' mine.”

I didn't even argue with him as he slammed his teeth against my mouth once again, silencing any cries I would have made as he pinned me to the bed once more.

 

Chapter Text

When Red and I went back downstairs, his arm was around my shoulders holding me to him. Everyone turned to look and, like I thought they would, they all began cat calling and whooping with laughter. Toriel even mentioned how “it was about goddamn time, Sans”. I hid my face behind my hands as everyone chuckled.

Red sat us down and Mettaton came bounding over to me, pulling me flush against his body. Thankfully, it was warmer this time around and I laughed as he rubbed his cheek against mine. Red's eyes were on him and I wrapped my arms around Mettaton.

“Oh, you didn't even give me a chance to show you any kind of love!” he playfully whined. “And I even have a human body, precious~!”

“i'll rip all yer arms off if ya don't take them off her,” Red snapped, his eyelights flashing.

“Oh, Sans, you're no fun!” he pouted. He did put me down, though, smoothing out my hair with a pair of arms while the other pair brought me over a cup. “Here, sweetie. This is the same stuff you drank last time.”

Undyne's laughter filled the room. “What do you say, punk?! Round two!?”

“ABSOLUTELY NOT!”

“You're so on!” I said over Papyrus, who only groaned.

Red chuckled. “jus' be careful, sugar. don't get too bad, awright?”

“Just make sure you have tacos ready!” I said over my shoulder as I went to sit by Undyne.

The next two hours were a blur of people taking bets and everyone gathered around to watch as the monster and human went head to head. Laughter was heavy in the air, and Alphys was busy scribbling down notes. I even watched Red help her with them, both of them writing down some stuff on a pad of paper she had brought with her.

She must love studying me.

By the fifth bottle, I was definitely feeling it, and I let out a loud belch again that had Toriel gasping and Frisk, Undyne, Asgore and Red cackling. Flowey shook his head and whispered something to Frisk which only made him laugh harder. Alphys was smiling at Undyne, who gave her a wink.

Man, this was great.

Red disappeared for a few minutes as Toriel helped Frisk clean up the bottles that Undyne and I had downed. I leaned against Papyrus, who was told to watch me while Red left to get something. I looked up at him and poked and prodded at his own sharp teeth. He looked annoyed, but took it all with good grace as I drunkenly slurred at him.

When Red came back with my tacos, I all but threw myself in his lap, sitting there as I dug through the bag. Everyone was talking now, laughing and letting the TV play in the background as the countdown for the ball continued. I know I saw Soldier come down once, but ran back upstairs when Alphys tried to go see him for herself. She looked upset, but I told her I would let her see him when I wasn't so messed up.

Red was perfectly relaxed against the couch as he and a few of the others played a card game and nursing his own drink of vodka with a chaser of mustard. I stayed in his lap, happily munching on tacos and drinking the water that Toriel demanded I drink. Who was I to tell the goat mom no?

Once it was a few minutes away from midnight, everyone paused what they were doing to look at the screen of the TV. We watched, transfixed, as the ball dropped, signaling the beginning of the new year. I watched as Toriel and Asgore shared their small kiss, and Undyne had Alphys tipped over the side of the chair, her little yellow arms flailing around.

I felt my face being turned and was met with the teeth of Red, moving against my lips. I melted against him, smiling a little bit. The tang of his god forsaken mustard was heavy on my tongue with the brief taste of vodka. It was probably the second best taste of the night.

That monster alcohol came first.

When we pulled away from each other, he looked at me with lowered sockets, his nasal ridge nuzzling my cheek. I chuckled and took another bite of my taco as everything resumed, including now Alphys frantically telling Undyne she didn't need to do something so unnecessary. Undyne only chuckled as they resumed their card game.

By three in the morning, I had finished my tacos, and I could feel sleep trying to claim me. I leaned against Red's shoulder, nodding off slowly as he talked to everyone about some kind of business they had to take care of. He cut it short, though, opting instead to take me to bed. I waved bye to everyone, and gave Papyrus a small peck on the cheek as he stood up to leave.

“I WILL BE HOME IN THE MORNING,” he said. “SLEEP WELL, LEVY. BUSINESS CALLS.”

Red carried me up the stairs, bridal style, to the bedroom. But it wasn't mine. The smell of cherries and bonfire smoke curled around me and I whined at the loss of contact when he set me down. He vanished for only a second as he came back from grabbing my bag.

He then changed me into a pair of my pajamas and tucked me under the blankets before leaving and digging through his own bag. While he was changing, I wanted to make some kind of snarky comment, but couldn't even bring myself to open my mouth to do so. My eyes were closing by the time he made it into the bed.

When I finally fell asleep, he brought me to him, holding me close and kissing my temple.

 

**

 

Wings looked at the stripper on the stage, a placated smile on his face. The girl caught his socket and smiled back, sending him a wink as she twirled herself on the pole with both of her legs. To anyone, it would have looked like some random girl flirting with some random monster.

But Wings had a plan in mind, and he was going to burn this building to the ground while he was at it. This building was the same one Levy was forced to work in for three years, working her way through grimy men and a grimier boyfriend. If he could even call him that. His first order of business though was to make sure all of the girls got out first.

He had talked to Levy once upon a time about this place. How much she had hated the building and the men there, but the women there had all helped her. They had become her family in such a short time and showed her the way to make a better buck, and to make sure no sleazy men follow you. Wings had hung onto every word.

That's why when it came up that this building was a big site for human trafficking in the Bianchi family's syndicate, he was quick to take the job. Red had tried before him, but Wings had shut him down. Levy needed Red with her. She and Wings had a connection, but not one as strong as hers with Red.

It almost made him a little jealous, if he was honest with himself. But he supposed that's the karma he got for always leaving the boys at home to fend for themselves and never being there for them growing up.

But if it had to be anyone, he would have chosen Levy for Red any day.

His eyelights wandered the area around him. He could see all of his men posted up exactly where they should be. He had chosen a night where it wasn't too busy, even though it was New Year's Eve. It shocked him until he remembered not every man was going to cheat on his wife with some sleaze from the club.

There were plenty of men in his group, but he was still wary in case something went wrong. There was only one monster syndicate, so if one of them got dusted, the human police forces would be kicking down Don Asgore's door without any thought to it.

The girl, Angel by stage name, came off the stage once she was done with her set. She sat across Wings's lap, her top sending little bits of sparkle across his suit. She smiled down at him as he caressed her face, bringing it down closer.

When her hair had obscured his mouth, he whispered, “Go get the others out of here. You sure all the girls were here tonight?”

“Of course,” she whispered back. “It'll take me ten minutes. Don't waste a second after that before you begin getting rid of them.” She pulled back and gave a thankful smile. “Knock them dead, W.D.”

“Always, gorgeous. See ya later.”

“You better.”

She got off his lap and sashayed her way across the floor, talking to one of the guards about heading back to her rooms really fast. He agreed and followed her back, sending Wings one last wink. He smiled as one of his men slid from his seat, taking care not to be noticed by the other guard standing nearby as he slipped around the corner after Angel and her escort.

He slowly shifted in his seat, trying not to draw attention to himself as the din picked up around him while everyone waited for the next girl to come on stage. Many of the humans around him were talking in quiet tones and looking at him, but none of them recognized him. His grin was practically shit eating.

The only good thing about being the spy for the Don was that no one knew he was part of the monster syndicate. It was one of life's greatest treasures after he was brought back from the void somehow.

He still had yet to ask Sans and Alphys how they did it. But that was a discussion for another day when his life wasn't on the line.

His youngest brother should be in the back already, waiting with a vehicle big enough to take all the girls out of here. He was sad to learn a lot of the girls who had worked with Levy were no longer here. Some had simply been able to leave, one or two ran away, and the rest?

Well...he hated thinking of their fates.

His hand slid down to his holster, his eye sockets shutting as he counted the seconds in his head. It had been just enough time, and the girls should be making their way to the back exit. He knew his man well enough to know the second he was able, that guard was knocked unconscious. If they all made it out of this, he was giving his men a hard earned vacation. They definitely needed it after these last few months.

Just as he mentally hit the ten minute mark, there was a shout, and gun fire started scattering around the building. The quiet talks turned into rage, into absolute chaos as Wings slid from his chair and bustled over to an overturned table, his back pressed against the top and his main man, an older Astigmatism of a dimmed blue color, sitting next to him, his one eye glancing over at Wings.

“What do you think, boss?” he asked. “Think Paps got them out in time?”

“If those gunshots and that dead guard are anything to go by? You bet your ass they're outta here.” Wings grinned, cocking his gun and looking at his right hand. “Let's end this, yeah? We have family to get home to.”

“Damn right.”

Wings whipped up around the table, his magic flaring to life in his socket while little yellow beads began appearing in different places at once. Men shouted as they began to rain down, his own men showering them in their own bullets.

Wings took aim and fired at one that seemed to dodge a little too quickly. He could feel the sweat forming on his skull, but the picture of Levy being treated like the garbage they thought she was fueled him on further. He had to make the Bianchi family pay for everything they have done. To those girls, to Levy, to the people they had trafficked.

“Head's up!”

One of the humans across the way bust down the last bits of the front door, bullets flying from the semi automatic he had brought in. Wings ducked, ground his teeth together, and watched as two hands that looked like his own formed in the air above them. The holes let out a dark blue glow before two giant saw blades appeared, and the screams that followed were like music to his metaphorical ears. He loved hearing that.

When it was all said and done, and there wasn't any movement around, Wings came out from his hiding hole.

“Roll call!” he barked.

All fifteen men sounded off, and the guy that had followed Angel gave him the thumbs up. Papyrus had shown up in time to get the girls out and safe before the bad shit happened. He nodded and looked around at the blood soaked walls before gazing down at his suit.

Damn. A few droplets. He thought this time he could have avoided it entirely.

He couldn't stop the smile that came to his face when he thought of Levy scolding him for getting blood on his whites again. He couldn't wait to hear that when he got home.

“Alright, boys, you know what to do,” he called out, his magic dispersing. “Let's get everything piled and burned. I don't want a scrap of this left when this is all said and done. Check offices and make sure there isn't a basement.”

Everyone scattered around. Wings took stock of everything he could, but didn't find much use in the alcohol there. It was all cheap shit that wouldn't even get a child drunk. He went into the offices and summoned a mini hand, using the red magic from it to open the safe.

And there it was.

The roster that held all of Levy's information and everything that had happened while she was in with this family. Everything that traced her back to them. He took the wad of bills from there, stuffing it in his pocket before bringing out the folder and leaving the head office.

When everything was clear, he moved everyone out, sending them home as he dialed a number on his phone.

After a few rings, a gruff voice picked up. “this'd betta be good, dings,” Sans groaned. “'m sleepin' wit' sugar.”

“Still wanna burn that building down?” he asked, his grin not leaving its place. “Then you can go right back to sleeping with your girl.”

There was a click on the phone and Sans was there a second later. His sweatpants were a little twisted on his pelvic bone and his shirt was halfway up his rib cage. Wings chuckled as he righted himself, muttering under his breath. When Sans was partially straightened, his eyelights met Wings's own and his grin was absolutely feral.

“ya doin' this wit' me?”

“Of course.”

Within seconds there was a hum in the air as the brothers summoned their Gaster Blasters. While Wings's had one set of eyes and a deeper ridge on its nasal cavity, Sans's had four eyes, and had a golden tooth, much like he himself. The boys stood facing each other, grins in place while partially facing the building. Their Blasters opened their jaws, the red lights from their attacks lighting the street around them.

And once they let loose their power, the wind whipping the boys' clothes around, the entire building was up in flames, more than half of it already disintegrated. Sans and Wings both watched as the building before them burned, along with anything they had ever had on Levy and her debt she'd owed them.

“'ll see ya at home, yeah?”

“Yes. Go back to Levy. I'll see you two in a couple of days. The girls will be showing up in the morning, so be ready for some kind of hell,” Wings warned, chuckling.

“fuckin' fantastic,” Sans groaned before he disappeared, a thin trace of red smoke and the smell of bonfire leaving with him.

Wings smiled at the now empty spot before he made his way into the shadows of the alley. Sirens were blaring already some ways down the road, and he made his way through the darkened streets before finally coming to the house he and his men had been staying at. Most of them had already gone home except for one or two who would stay and help him tie up loose ends.

“Everyone was in there right?” he asked without preamble, moving to sit on the couch in front of a laptop. “All bodies, all belongings?”

“Every little bit,” the Astigmatism confirmed. “Get some rest, boss. Gonna be a busy day tomorrow with the drive.”

Wings huffed. “You're telling me. Good work out there. Get some rest yourself, pal.”

Wings picked up the phone and dialed Papyrus. There were still a few more things he had to take care of before he could let this go. Like why they had kept Levy's file, but every other file was gone for the girls who had left, escaped or had lost their lives. There was something that didn't add up there, and he was certain that Dominic Bianchi was the reason behind it all.

This was going to be a long night.

 

Chapter Text

When I awoke the next morning, I rolled over and groaned, bringing the duvet up and over my head as sunlight poured in through the windows. My head was throbbing, and I could taste tacos and monster alcohol. I could hear the birds outside chirping, and all it made me want to do was throw a fucking pillow at each one.

“mornin', sugar.”

“Be quiet,” you whispered, ending on a groan. “Fuck, how much did I drink last night?”

“like, five an' a half bottles 'fore tori took 'em away.”

“Mistakes were made.”

He chuckled, bringing me closer to him blanket and all. He held me like that as I tried to halt the pounding in my head and crooned to me softly. It would have been sweet if I didn't feel like my head was going to explode.

After another hour of just laying there, I finally sighed. The headache had ebbed just enough that I could uncover my eyes and squint at my surroundings. With a chuckle, he got out of bed and headed for his suit that was hanging on the door of the closet. After changing into it, he came over to me and held out his hand.

“let's go see 'f tori has somethin' fer ya,” he said as I took his hand. He hauled me out of bed and helped me stand on my feet. “'m sure she was prepared fer this after th' amount you downed last night.”

“If I ever try to out drink Undyne, stop me,” I grunted as we made our way out of the room.

I was met with a lot of chatter downstairs, but it sounded like there were a lot more females over than usual. I scowled as we got closer, trying to pinpoint them. A few of them sounded so familiar, but my memory was escaping me as my head pounded.

When we made it downstairs, I let out another groan. There was a gaggle of girls milling around, on phones and talking to people, or outside and smoking. I couldn't help but wonder if this was some kind of joke, or if life really just liked boning me right now.

“Diamond?”

I tensed up at the name. Red held onto me firmly, but turned me slightly to see who said my name. I wouldn't mistake those unruly red curls anywhere, and against my better judgment, I let out a small squeak, taking a step forward.

“Angel?”

“Oh my God, it is you!”

I was wrapped up in a familiar embrace, being lifted from the ground as I wrapped my arms around her shoulders. Holy shit, Angel was here? Which could only mean the others were the girls from the club I had worked at. And they all came over to me, taking turns hugging me and talking and chatting. My hangover was mildly forgotten as I tried to stem the flow of questions and chatter.

“I would love to catch up,” you breathed out, “but I have got a horrible hangover, and I need something to fix that.”

“Right here, my child.”

Toriel came from the dining room, smiling as she handed you a saucer. I smiled gratefully at her, taking it from her and holding the handle of the teacup perched on it delicately. The golden liquid swishing inside of it smelled sweet, and I took a small sip of it. Butterscotch exploded on my tongue and I bit back a moan as I took another drink of it.

The headache behind my eyes was slowly ebbing away, and I breathed a sigh of relief once I had finished the cup. Toriel gave me a wink and toothy grin before heading back into the dining room.

“Breakfast will be served in just a few moments!” she called over her shoulder.

“m' breakfast 's right 'ere,” Red grumbled next to me, his arm going around my waist and tugging me to him.

I sighed and pried his hands off of me. “I need actual food, so you're shit outta luck,” you said. You turned to Angel, smiling wide. “Plus, I have some catching up to do.”

The girls surrounded me as we all made our way into the dining room. Red didn't even look the slightest bit miffed, and I was thankful for that. These were the girls who had helped get me through those three years of hell. They had been my entire life, and I gripped their hands as we all sat down around the table, talking excitedly.

I let them know what I had been up to since I had been kicked from the Bianchi's. I was hesitant to say anything about Dom rearing his entitled head, though. The more people who knew, the more who were in danger. I didn't want that, so I just said I hadn't been safe in your apartment and moved in with the boys.

It was also nice to be able to say their real names, not the ones those assholes had given us for the stage. The girls were definitely taking advantage of it, reveling in the fact they got their identity back. I smiled as they joked around and laughed. It was something I hadn't really gotten to hear when all of us had been trapped under the Bianchi family's fingers.

I could relate. I remember when I had gotten home to my parents. I had stared in the mirror after scrubbing my skin raw, wringing the water from my black locks as I had repeated my name to myself.

“I am Levy. I am not Diamond; I never was Diamond. I'm Levy.”

The memory was actually kind of painful.

During breakfast, I noticed Papyrus was looking over all the girls, narrowing his sockets ever so slightly. But I knew that look. He was tallying them up in his head; doing a head count to make sure they were all there. Did he help get them out last night? I couldn't help but wonder who had actually been the one to do it.

To my embarrassment, all the girls who had known me in my time there regaled the table with horrible stories about my time there. They never once mentioned anything risque, nor did they bring up the harder times we had all shared together. It was a relief still, when no one asked about those details. Red was laughing so hard, red tears were pricking the corners of his sockets and Papyrus had leaned back, his arm thrown over the back of the chair and one of his legs atop his opposite knee; his grin hadn't left his face in almost twenty minutes. Frisk and Flowey were laughing, Asgore shaking his head and Toriel chuckling.

Undyne had finally stumbled her way into the room, looked up. She scanned the room once before she took the tea Toriel gave her, turned, and left again. You chuckled as Alphys came into the room, watching her girlfriend march away.

By noon, there were cars piling out into the driveways and some of the girls ran out to meet their occupants. Red and Papyrus handled the business inside, taking note of who was here and who was being taken. There were calls to some woman shelters and friends of family for the ones who didn't think they had anyone to turn to. Toriel, Asgore and Frisk took care of meeting the family and friends that did show up, asking who was who and whom they were here for.

I sat off to the side, sharing a smoke with a couple of the girls. There was one I didn't recognize, but from what she told me, I was some kind of strange legend at the club. That I had been spoken about before, but it was never anything bad. Well, from the other girls and the workers, anyway. There were a lot of men there that visited that trashed my name. It didn't bother me in the slightest.

There were tears and wails in the air as people were reunited. One of the girls, Haven, clung to her grandmother as she shook in her arms, clinging to the old woman like she was a lifeline.

“I thought I wouldn't get to see you again!” Haven wailed. “I'm so sorry! Nana, I'm so, so sorry!”

Another girl, Yvette, was wrapped in the arms of her father, who hugged her close and I could have sworn for a minute there the poor girl stopped breathing. The father was crying, his cheeks red from quiet sobbing as he whispered something to her that had her breathing again, relaxing in his embrace. Her own lower lip quivered as she said something back to him just as softly.

It was amazing. Each girl here had their own story about how they came to the club, and each one would be scarred for a lifetime from what happened within those walls. But many of them were surrounded by such love and forgiveness, it was hard to think that some of these girls had run away in fear of their futures, only to come across a family that wouldn't let them have their own.

As the last of the cars left, Angel – no, Deidre – sat next to me, lighting up her own smoke. She looked over at me, blowing out the toxic fumes from the side of her mouth.

“You look happy.”

I smiled, my own smoke coming from my nose. “I am. It was always on my mind how you guys were faring, you know? I felt so bad because they just...let me go. And the rest of you were still there, suffering at their hands.” I sighed, rubbing a hand down my face. “The guilt was eating at me all these years.”

Deidre's hand took mine. It was a familiar embrace, her hand holding mine. Our fingers locked together as we smoked and talked quietly. She watched as Red came out, hands in his suit pockets as he came over to us, using his magic to light his cigar.

“'ey, sugar. paps 's gonna go head out soon. figured 'd take us home since 'e has some stuff t' do 'fore 'e c'n head home 'imself,” he said, the smell of cherries wafting over me.

“Okay, sounds good,” you said, smiling up at him.

“Oh, shit. There's my mom...”

Deidre had talked about her mom before, and their relationship had been rocky at best. She had described the woman as someone she loved, but had no respect for. She had run away in hopes of escaping her mother and the shit she was put through. She had been starving for days at that point, her mother refusing to allow her to eat.

So when my rage boiled, I tightened my hand on hers. She squeezed back and we stood together. Red got the hint and followed behind us as we came toward the woman that had chased her daughter off.

She looked sad, almost defeated, but when she saw her daughter approach, an old flame seemed to ignite itself. There was a loud screech before Deidre's mother came charging, raising her hand and smacking her daughter clean across the face.

“You little fucking hussy!” she yelled. “I gave you life! I gave you a roof over your head and clothes on your back and you still felt the need to go off and whore yourself out?”

Before she could strike again, I snagged the woman's wrist in my free hands. Red took Deidre away, shock clear on her face as she held her reddening cheek. He was talking to her, trying to ground her in his roughened voice. I could hear him digging for her cigarettes and I faced the woman that had caused my friend so many nights off terror.

“'Whore herself out', huh?” I said quietly. “That's funny. While that club was a horrible place for us, they never let us off with the strange men. Especially ones we weren't comfortable around. Instead, if we didn't meet the nightly quota with cash from the pole, or from drinks, it was taken some other way. But maybe if you had actually fucking cared about your child, she wouldn't have felt the need to go looking for love somewhere else.”

Her mother openly gaped at me. She struggled in earnest to get her hand from my grip, but I held tight, keeping my hold solid. The fury that encompassed me must have really hit her when I shook her by her arm, baring my teeth at her in a silent snarl.

“Do you even fucking realize what you fucking did to her?” I barked, shaking her again. “Do you even realize the fucking mental and emotional damage you put her through?! You're a pathetic excuse for a parent, let alone a mother!”

I didn't even realize I was about to strike myself until I felt myself yanked backward, white, furry arms pulling me close to them as I grunted, trying to break free of the hold. I struggled while Frisk stood in front of me and talked to the mother. I yelled out, lashing out with hands and feet trying to get the woman that hurt my friend.

“My child, it is okay,” Toriel's voice murmured in my ear. “I know you're mad, I know how frustrating it must be. But, please, my child, I need you to calm down.”

And just like that, I slumped against the goat woman, letting my body hang in her arms as she cuddled me close to her. Her claws ran through my hair, whispering to me that things would work themselves out. I dug one of my hands into the fur of her arm, trying to keep myself grounded as Deidre's mother screeched how she was taking her daughter home.

“Quite frankly,” you heard Frisk saying, his voice even, “she's over the age of eighteen. That means she is a legal adult and unless she had some kind of disease or disorder that prevents her from functioning at fully capacity, she can make her own choices.”

You could see the Ambassador in him now. His back was rod straight and his hands were by his sides. Flowey hung on his arm, curling around his shoulders. His vine looked stiff, and he looked like he was shaking. You smiled thankfully at the two of them.

“I think she would be best suited here,” you heard Toriel say above you. “I always wanted a daughter, and I would love to have the company when the boys have to leave.”

“She's not your fucking daughter, you cretin!” the woman howled. “Give me back that little tramp!”

“I'm not going, momma.”

Deidre's soft voice carried over the cacophony of noise. I looked around Toriel to see Red holding her arm in support. There was a cigarette in the other hand and I smiled a little. She had always talked about standing up to her mother. I could remember sleeping in the same bed as her after one particularly bad dream and she sobbed about how she had wished she had done that one thing before leaving.

Which meant she had only called her mother just to tell her goodbye. For good.

“What?”

The woman's vile barking had finally come to a halt as realization settled in. Deidre smiled over to Red, who gave her a wink and patted her on the ass to move her forward. Still within Toriel's arms, I held out my hand and felt my body finally release that little bit of tension I had left as she came to stand next to the goat mom and I, taking my hand in hers.

“I called so I could say goodbye,” Deidre explained, handing Red the butt of the cigarette so he could stub it out. “I don't want to go home. I went through hell and back again. Not just at home, but in that stupid club. If Levy and the others hadn't been there, I would have been done for. I won't go back to it, momma.

“For years, while I worked there, I had someone close to me keeping an eye on you. They reported to me, you know? About how you didn't even care that I was gone. That I had just vanished in the middle of the night. Instead, you invited one of your guy friends over that night, to...to celebrate.”

Her voice was turning venomous, and her grip on her hand tightened. Pride was swelling in my chest as Red came around the other side of Toriel. She passed me off to him so she could wrap her huge arms around, what I would assume, her new daughter. I could already see the love Tori had for her, and it made my heart warm. Deidre deserved this, more than anyone.

“But, despite that, I saved up so much. And twice a month, I sent you money. I sent you this money to help with bills, mortgage. Get you a car so you could have a better area to search for a job. I sent you that money for food and clothes and maybe even to get a new place to go; you didn't need my bedroom anymore, after all.

“And all you did was waste it. You fucking wasted it on drugs and alcohol! I sent you so much money, somewhere in the thousands per month, just so you could do better! And instead, you spent it all on shit you didn't need! I got the reports, momma. I got them at least twice a week! There were times my friend had to carry you home from the bar because you were too drunk to even stay awake! And this is the thanks I get?!”

Toriel's grip had tightened considerably, holding back the crying girl. Red had tightened his grip too, so I just held her hand a little tighter. The area around us was thick with tension, and I felt Red's bones stiffen, as though he was ready for an attack. Frisk didn't move from his spot, and Flowey was even holding firm where he was. Asgore had come up behind Toriel, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Undyne and Papyrus were off to the side, poised and ready to strike if they needed to. Alphys was standing a ways away, quivering as she took in the scene before her. Mettaton was even stoic, which was highly unusual for him.

Without another word, the monster family won the battles of wills. The human woman got back into her car, screeching out of the driveway and hightailing it from the group. The golden gates firmly shut and there was a noticeable breath leaving everyone in the group.

I tore myself away from Red and tackled Deidre, Toriel letting her go. “I'm so damn proud of you!” you whispered to her. “I told you years ago you could do it, and you did!”

She smiled and hugged me back, her arms wrapping around my shoulders. “Thank you.”

“Well, this is touching.”

The garbled, but clear voice had me yanking myself away from her, my eyes landing on Wingdings as he came up the driveway. He looked haggard, and his usually pressed suit and tie were nothing more than rumples and creases at this point. But his smile was there, his currant eyes looking us over as he came up the drive.

“Wings?”

“Hello, Levy.”

I ran over to him, jumping into his open arms. He chuckled deeply as he wrapped his arms around my waist, taking in a deep breath. I figured he was probably using my scent to calm him down, which was fine. I didn't care. He was here. Which could only mean the job was done...

Wait.

“Wings.”

“Yeah?”

“You saved them, didn't you?”

He let me go, putting me down on my feet as Deidre came over and leaned against him. “That's right, darlin',” she said, using her old Brooklyn accent. “This ol' bag of bones really got us out. Burned the entire buildin' down, too.”

“Wait, really?” My eyes shot to his wide.

“not even rubble was left.”

Red came and swooped me into his arms, letting my head rest against his shoulder. I looked up at him and winked down at me. I didn't even ask, but I gave him a small peck on his chin. He let out a low rumble of appreciation and nuzzled his nasal bone into the crown of my head.

After talking with them for a minute, Red and Wings went off to talk to the Don for a moment. I waved them off and Deidre wrapped an arm around my shoulders, grinning from ear to ear.

“You're really going to need to tell me how you came to the conclusion you're not only going to stick with a new family but how you came to be boning a skeleton,” she chortled.

I laughed with her, shoving her shoulder. “I'll tell you the story another day. It's a lot to go through, and it's a roller coaster, but I would like to go home with the boyfriend I've only had for less than twenty-four hours.”

Boyfriend. The word sounded foreign to my ears, but it rolled nicely off the tongue. I mouthed it again, that Red was my boyfriend. And it was...nice. It felt like it actually belonged there. As she and I walked over to the skeletons, Red looked over at me, his red eyelights focusing on me. When he winked at me, I chuckled.

Yeah. This would be good. We could do this.

 

Chapter Text

Red finally gathered me to him and I clung to him as he telelported the two of us home. The rest of the day had gone smoothly, and Papyrus and Wings had decided to go off and do their own things. I had simply given them both hugs and told them to be careful before Red had snagged me away.

When I got my bearings together, Red was slamming me against the wall, snarling as his teeth met my lips heatedly. I returned in fervor, my arms wrapped around his shoulders and yanking him closer to me. His hands gripped my sides, his claws digging into the thin cloth of my shirt. I heard the tell tale rip and nearly kicked him for ruining yet another shirt.

He hoisted me up, my legs settling on the arches of his pelvic bone and I arced into him. I could feel his rib cage pressing into me and I nearly jolted from his hands grabbing my ass roughly, his fingers digging into the soft flesh clothed in my sweats.

His tongue fought mine for dominance, and I gave as good as I got. I gripped his cervical vertebrae and gave a tight squeeze. He nearly buckled, turning and walking us one way. I couldn't see behind closed lids until I was thrown from him, landing on the couch in the living room.

He stared down at me, his eyelights flashing in warning, his tongue lolling from the side of his mouth as he panted. There was smoke leaking from his right socket, though it wasn't as heavy from when he was in heat. The thin little wisps reminded me of the smoke that came from his cigars.

I reached up and yanked on his tie, bringing him back down to me and kissing his teeth again. His hands pushed my shoulders against the couch, leaving me stuck as I writhed against his hold. He chuckled as he moved away only the slightest and the glow from his eyelights caught my attention.

“do ya fuckin' understand yet, pet?” he panted, his breath hot on my mouth. He was just out of reach. “d'ya understand how long 've fuckin' waited? jus' how patient 've fuckin' been? 've let ya go at yer own pace. now...” His eye flashed, the left one disappearing as the right one glowed brighter. “now yer fuckin' mine, an' 'm gonna make sure ya know just who ya belong t'.”

He moved one of his hands and replaced his with his skull, nuzzling the soft juncture, the same one he said he'd mark. I could feel my heart racing in my throat, and I knew he could feel or hear it as well, his chuckle reverberating through my entire being. I groaned, my now freed hand coming to scrape my nails against the back of his skull.

“aw, don't worry, pet,” he murmured against my skin. His tongue poked out, and I could feel the stud from his piercing as he traced it in a wet path along my shoulder. “'m not gonna mark ya jus' yet. that's not till we're good an' ready t' settle down. maybe give ya some babies.”

I groaned again and arced into him. The heat was turning unbearable. “Red...please...”

“please, what?” he whispered. “ya like that thought, pet? fillin' ya up so much, ya get a lil soul inside o' ya?” His hand splayed out across my lower belly and I moaned into his skull. “mm, yea. yer gonna look so good wearin' m' collar from now on. 'll even get'cha one o' yer own, ya little slut.”

He moved back, tearing my shirt from my body as he went. I shivered as the cool air hit my body, my nipples perking under the bra I wore. He tore that from me, too, letting it fall to the ground beside him as he loosened his tie, threw his jacket somewhere and his shirt was unbuttoned before I'd even been able to sit up.

He sat down heavily beside me, yanking me over and sitting me on his lap. I whimpered above him as his tongue laved against my nipple, nipping on it. The pain of the pleasure rolled through my spine and I gasped, grabbing fistfuls of silk in my hands as I ground myself against his femur.

His chuckle was thick as his hand toyed with the waistband of my sweats. I could feel the elastic of my panties being pulled away from my body as his tongue continued their ministrations. His clawed finger crept slowly down my front until one of his metacarpals brushed against my swollen clit.

I damn near came right there, my body about buckling. His hand other hand gripped my hip, his claws digging into the flesh. I could feel myself tugging at his shirt, begging, pleading for him. He only laughed, the smoke from his eye still thin wisps floating through the air. I felt like I could strangle him if he didn't let me cum...didn't let something happen.

When his finger entered me, I clenched around him. He grunted, and his free hand tugged my pants and underwear the rest of the way down. There was a pause and then there was a loud smack that filled the air. I cried out, my back arching into the air as he rubbed where he'd smacked.

“don't. fuckin'. try it,” he growled. He gripped my throat and brought me down so we were eye level. His grin curled up at the corners, and I felt myself swallow thickly. “yer only gonna cum when i say ya can, bitch. am i understood?”

“Yes,” I moaned.

“yes, what?” He was practically snarling.

“Yes, sir,” I cried out as he speared his finger the rest of the way inside of me, his hand releasing my throat.

“good lil whore.”

I was soaked, the bone of his hand making sickening, wet sounds and he slammed the palm of his hand into my clit. Anytime I came close, he would stop. I was sweating, panting, gritting my teeth and whimpering. His tongue moved between my nipples, laving one with attention before biting down on the other.

His hand came down on my ass again, and I yelped, my pussy clenching around his finger. He glanced up at me, grinning as he finger fucked he harder. Without warning, two more fingers joined the first and I gasped against him, my cunt trying to accommodate his sudden intrusion. He still managed to keep me in place so I could bounce in his fingers, his claws digging their points into my ass cheeks.

“sucha good pet,” he purred below me as my body shook. “look 't ya. yer body 's so desperate. 't's so delicious.”

He punctured his statement by trailing his tongue from my navel to the valley between my breasts, nipping at the skin there. I groaned, my body trembling. I needed the release so bad, but I wouldn't give this fucker the satisfaction of begging for it.

He suddenly ripped his fingers from me and tore my bottoms off of me. His claw tore the thin fabric of my panties to shreds, leaving me bare to him. He unbuckled his belt, undoing them so that his glowing cock sprang free. His piercings glittered in the light, the head leaking precum. I nearly came undone from looking at it.

“on yer knees, on th' floor,” he snapped. His hand wrapped around himself and gave himself a few good pumps, grinning up at me. “'f yer a good slut, 'll give ya what'cha want.”

At this point, I didn't know if I just wanted him to fuck me until I was seeing stars or if I just wanted to cum. It was one of them, but I still did as I was told, slowly backing off of him and landing on my knees on the floor. I replaced his hand with my own and gave the head a small lick, looking up at him.

His eyelight flared with magic and his clawed hand ran through my hair before giving a firm yank. He didn't have to say anything as I took him in my mouth, hollowing my cheeks and slowly bobbed my head up and down.

If he wanted to be a fucking tease, then so would I.

His groans filled the empty house and I could hear his claws digging into the fabric of the couch. There were the sounds of it ripping a little, and I felt a surge of satisfaction flare through my body as I sped up little by little.

One of his hands came up and tangled itself in my hair, damn near ripping my ponytail out as his claws dug into my scalp. A little whimper escaped me, clenching my thighs together. I could feel my arousal dripping, leaking between my thighs and down my legs.

“good girl,” Red crooned above me. “such a good little slut. c'mere, baby.”

With a loud pop, I got up, crawling back over him as he lazily dragged one of his phalanges over my clit, sending my body into spasms. I gasped, damn near collapsing on him as he chuckled in my ear.

“'ts okay, pet,” he murmured. “'ll make sure ya get whatcha need.”

With that, he lined himself up and hilted himself in one thrust. I let out a small scream as his girth filled me, his piercings rubbing against my walls. I clenched around him and went to try and move, but he held me there, tutting.

“now, now,” he chuckled. “ya were a good lil slut, but ya still tried to tease me, didn' ya?” I whimpered as he smacked my ass, the loud noise reverberating in the room. “didn' ya?

“Yes!” I gasped, my body shaking. “I'm sorry! Please!”

He chuckled, his claws scoring pink marks down my body. “'re ya really sorry?”

“Yes, sir! Please! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!” I was practically sobbing now.

He leaned up, nipping the lobe of my ear before whispering, “good girl, baby.”

He leaned out and almost left my hole before shoving himself back inside full tilt. I cried out as I came, gripping onto his ribs and feeling my tits bounce as he rode me through my orgasm. He never slowed, his hands gripping my hips as he thrusted up and into me. His grunts filled the air, claws digging into the skin.

He broke skin, and I could feel the warmth slipping down my body and over his phalanges. He brought his digits up to his teeth, eyelights locked onto me as he licked the red liquid from his metacarpals. I felt myself clench around him as he chuckled.

He bounced me harshly, pulling another three orgasms from my trembling form before I leaned down, moaning his name and clawing at his silk shirt. I could feel my juices coating his pants, my thighs. I was pretty sure there was drool rolling down the side of my mouth, but I didn't care.

I leaned down and and bit his cervical vertebrae, moaning around the bite as he groaned, his head tilted back ever so slightly. He continued to chase his high as he continued pounding into me, relentless.

“Please, Sans,” I panted. “Please...I want...”

“oh, i know what ya want, ya cock thirsty little bitch,” he growled into my ear. “and 'm goin' t' give 't t' ya.”

With a loud curse, he emptied himself into me, keeping me locked in place as he came. I groaned his name, feeling my thighs tremble. He stroked my back, murmuring to me and kissing my cheek. I panted against him, feeling around for something and handing it to him. He tucked it under us before his magic disappeared and I moved away from him, landing next to him and holding the shirt against me as I curled into his side.

“ya did good, baby,” he murmured, pressing his teeth to my sweaty temple. “'n a second, we'll go draw ya a bath.”

“Okay,” I mumbled.

“then we'll go get soldier.”

“I thought Wings had him?”

“does he?”

“Ask him, please?” I groaned.

“later. let's get you settled, sugar.”

His voice was so wonderful. I smiled as he lifted me into his arms and carried me up the stairs and into the bathroom, kicking open the door and setting me down. He ran the water, running his phalanges through it, even though he couldn't even feel temperature differences very well. I still watched anyway as the steam rose from the water.

He came back over, pushing his sleeves up as he picked me up. He went back, placing me slowly in the tub. I groaned as the water hit my skin, almost instantly turning it pink where his claws hadn't gotten to first. He took the shirt from between my legs and watched as some of his seed spilled from me.

A growl emitted from his chest and I placed my hand on his sternum. “No. I'm not fucking in the bath right now. I'm soaking. I'm sore.”

He chuckled, his claws digging through my messed up hair. He motioned for me to turn around and when I did, he gently coaxed my hair tie from my hair. Using his claws like brush bristles, he brushed my hair as best he could before putting it in a messy bun.

“Wow. Didn't know you knew how to do hair.”

He shrugged. “there were a few times i had t' d' 't fer frisk.”

I brought one of my hands out of the water and stroked it over one of his cheeks. He leaned into my touch, his teeth pressing to my knuckles in the ghost of a kiss. His hand came up to capture mine, his phalanges intertwining with my fingers.

“i hated waiting fer ya,” he said quietly. “i was always scared ya would book 't th' fuck out soon as ya got back on yer feet.”

“You mean when my ankle was busted?”

He nodded and looked away from me sheepishly. “'m...sorry 'bout that,” he mumbled. “may 'ave prolonged th' healin' process t' keep ya 'round longer.”

My jaw dropped and out of reflex I splashed him with some of the water. “I fucking knew it!” I choked out through my laughter. “Busted ankles don't take three months to heal!”

He chuckled lightly, using a dry part of his shirt to wipe the water from his face. “heh, yeah. sorry an' all that.”

I smiled running my fingers over his metacarpals. “It's really not okay,” I sighed. “It's a wonder my ankle healed fine.”

It was quiet between the two of us, and I idly traced his phalanges, running my finger over the ivory of his bones. He didn't say anything, using his other hand to trace little ripples in the water I sat in. I vaguely noted he was keeping the water hot, making sure it was comfortable enough for me.

“I'm scared,” I finally whispered.

“o' what?”

“This,” I said, motioning between the two of us. “Like, the last person I thought I liked, loved, what have you...he broke my trust. He broke me. I'm not even just scared, Red...I'm terrified. I don't want to hurt like that again.”

“sugar, look at me.” When I did, he let go of my hand and cupped my cheek, his thumb stroking just under my eye. “yer not jus' a piece o' ass t' me. i mean, maybe at first. but...yer somethin' special. yer soft on paps, an' ya don't take any shit.” His eyelights dimmed. “ya know this world, sugar; 't ain't kind, an' ya know m' work. ya've seen th' shit 've done, an' i do that all th' time.”

“I know,” I whispered. “But I don't see you as...as 'The Judge'. You're Red. You're the stupid skeleton who hits on me and keeps trying to get in my pants. You make shitty puns and drink fucking spicy mustard like it's water. Your jokes are terrible and you're such an asshole.” I paused, a little smile lifting my lips. “But you're a good soul. You've been through hell, and your title has painted a target on your back. One I'm sure will be on mine when word gets out.”

“an' yer gonna b' th' most protected dame o' th' entire syndicate,” he grunted. He leaned down and nuzzled against me. “stars, sugar, ya don't understan' th' lengths 'll go jus' t' see ya smile. 've been pushin' m'self t' stay patient and wait fer ya t' make a decision.”

“I...had a lot to come to terms with,” I admitted. “And it's not going to be easy. I'm going to be on edge for a while, you know? But you need to know one thing right now.” I locked gazed with him, my eyes flicking between his lights. “I trust you. One hundred percent.”

He leaned down and pressed his teeth to my lips. As I wrapped my arms around his cervical vertebrae, pulling myself out of the water a little, I took note. This wasn't the usual hungry kisses, the ones that could light my body on fire and crave him in every manner we saw fit.

This was the kiss of a skeleton starved for one person's attention. His hand cupped my face, his claws pricking my skin gently as he held me around the waist. My heart hammered in my ears as he slowly pulled me from the water, never breaking the kiss even as he grabbed for a towel. He wrapped his around me, before tugging me to him. Instead of grabbing my clothes and walking across the hall to his room, he teleported us.

I landed on the bed with a soft whoomph. He was on top of me, gazing down at me, his eyelight moving over my face. I smiled up at him, one finger moving down and tracing that golden fang.

“yer so fuckin' perfect,” he muttered. “yer best feature, after that ass and those tits, 's definitely th' eyes. those 're m' favorite things 'bout ya.”

I chuckled. “Is that so?”

“couldn't get enough o' 'em when i first saw ya at grillby's.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “he tol' me t' stay away from ya, too.”

“And yet here we are,” I laughed.

“an' 'ere we 're,” he agreed, leaning down to capture my lips once more.

And again, it wasn't hungry and demanding. It wasn't us fighting for dominance over the other. It was just a kiss, simply, slow. An affable exploration. His claws moved over me, pinching and poking there, moving the towel aside, but never skimming over anything he knew would set me on fire.

In turn, I unbuttoned his shirt, making quick work of that and his vest. He chuckled as he helped me remove them from his bulky body, and I skimmed my hands and my fingers over all the nooks and crannies between his ribs. I could feel the nicks and crevices where he'd been hurt, where he could have been easily dusted. And my heart sighed in happiness, knowing he was here with me now.

“yer m' star, sugar,” he murmured. “'member that.”

“I will, Red,” I said, moving so he was laying next to me. I moved so I was snuggled closer to him, burying my face near his rib cage. “I will.”

 

**

 

“AND JUST WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING?”

I looked over my shoulder, Red pausing in his tracks as he tried to sneak for the door. I rolled my eyes, turning back and going to the book I was reading. Wings sat in his chair, Soldier sitting on the arm beside him as he went over paperwork. He glanced over at Red, those currant eyes looking his brother up and down.

“You have had her holed up almost the entire week,” Wings mused. “Asgore thought he was going to have to come here and drag you away himself.”

I snorted. “He's lucky my boss is a monster who understands how it works with this one, and monsters in general,” I added in. “Grillby wasn't happy, but at least he isn't going to dock my pay or anything.”

Wings chuckled. “Ah, classic Grillby.”

Red sighed and went into the kitchen, noisily grabbing his bottle of mustard and chugging half of it before pulling the bottle away, sighing dramatically. He shrugged after.

“was gonna go get somethin' fer sugar as a surprise, but o' course, ya fuckers ruin 't,” he snarled. “stars, can't even go get somethin' nice fer m' girl.”

Wings hummed before setting his papers down. “A word?”

Red mumbled but acquiesced, following his brother out the front door. I really wanted to hear what they were saying and I cursed myself for being a human. Judging by Papyrus's chuckle, he heard what was being said and now I was damn near desperate to know what was being discussed.

Wings came back inside, alone. For the next three hours, at random times, I bothered both boys, asking about what was heard or what was discussed. And each time, I got the same “family business” answer that made me want to stomp my foot like an eight year old. It was so aggravating, and Red wasn't answering any of my texts. And the ones he actually got back to, he made stupid ass jokes.

I was going to throttle all three of them, scary mafia men or fucking not.

When Red finally came home, I was lounging on the couch, watching some random reality TV show with Wings. As I was about to make another snarky comment, Red appeared in my vision, leaning over me. I saw Wings grin before I sat up.

“And where did you go?” I demanded, exasperated. “You guys have been avoiding my questions and I'm tired of it.”

“come wit' me real quick, sugar,” he muttered.

With that, he turned and left, heading for the stairs. I let out a loud, dramatic groan as I threw the blanket off of me, dragging my feet toward the stairs and following him up. He went into his room, shutting the door behind me. When I turned around, he held out the bag he was holding.

I glanced between it and him before taking it slowly and opening it up. Inside was a collar, not as thick as his was, but it was something I could wear in public and not be questioned about by humans. I reached inside and pulled it out, marveling at how cool the leather felt on my skin. It was a deep purple, almost the same color as my eye. It wasn't heavy and I glanced at the tags on it.

One was the Delta Rune, the symbol for all monsters and the insignia for the monster family. The other was a skull, of course, and engraved on it was “SUGAR” written in...comic sans.

I chuckled as I looked up at him. “Really? Like I'm your pet.”

He grinned, taking a few steps forward. He swiftly took it from me, unclasping it and moving around me. As he stood behind me, he spoke.

“yer m' pet,” he growled lowly, sending shivers up my spine. “yer mine, period. but yer now under th' protection o' th' family. ya 'ave been fer a while, an' i made sure 't was okay wit' king fluffybuns 'fore i added that to the cost.”

“Red, how much did you spend on this?”

“not tellin'.”

“That's code for 'way too much'.”

“'ts fine.”

He clasped it, letting it settle against my neck as he came back around. The tags were cold against my skin, raising little goosebumps around where they sat. He tilted my head up, moving it this way and that. He grabbed my hand, the one I kept his ring on, and brought it up to his teeth, grinning down at me.

“now yer all fuckin' mine, sugar,” he whispered. “an' i don't plan on lettin' ya go.”

“And what if I decide I'm going to leave anyway?” I snipped, popping my hip out.

His chuckle was dark, coaxing a reaction from me as he used the loop from the collar to pull me close. I gasped as his eyelights flashed.

“looks like 'm gonna 'ave t' remind ya who ya belong t', pet.”