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Can you save me?

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You remember when the monsters still lived on the surface, sure you were so very young at the time. A child with no power and no say in anything that happened within your Circle, but you remembered playing with the monster children and your elders all working cooperatively with their magical brethren. The day the monsters all disappeared you remembered crying that you would miss your friends and while your parents and the other elders looked at you with pity they didn't do anything about it. The humans did what humans do, they overpowered their perceived enemies and locked them away. The Fae did not fear the humans banishing them, they hid their comings and goings from the mortals, their sprawling cities and tiny villages alike were cloaked with magical veils that the humans were no longer capable of searching out. And over time they became myth just like the monsters did. Oh of course your people never disappeared, they would pop up just often enough to keep the humans guessing, but that was because they couldn't resist the mischief. It was just who they were, and so you grew up slowly until you reached your maturity where you just stopped. You wouldn't age anymore and that was fine, such was the way of your kind. You weren't immortal, you just didn't ever die of old age. No one was sure if it was possible, there were theories and myth but that was all stories and couldn't be substantiated. No one had died of natural causes in several millennia. Then one day all the people of the fae communities could feel the magic fluttering, turning to the human's technology for answers. And what answers they were. The monsters were freed. A human child had broken the barrier and let them return to the surface.

Of course the royals reached out to their once allies, begging for sanctuary as the humans grew more and more hostile to them. The younger of your kind wanted to take them in, they were kin in a way. Humans would kill them this time, you and your allies were sure of that. You saw what they did to their own kind day in and day out. These monsters, fierce warriors that they may be, would be no match for bombs and guns. No. They would die. The argument was fierce and heated, you and several of your friends shouting that you could make the space if each city and village took in just a few each, but the elders feared what would happen if the monsters vanished just as quickly as they appeared and fought back that the humans would find them if they aided the monsters. They felt bad for their old friends but they would not offer aid.

And then the royal family was murdered. All three of the Monster's hopes for a safe future on the surface were destroyed in one fell swoop during a conference with a few politicians from around the world, each of whom were offering asylum. Thus the Veritus movement was born among the Fae, the young rebellion breaking ties with the elder fae and building their own strongholds and settlements in deep, old forests and mountain ranges. Far, secret places where they planned. You shed your given name, not that anyone outside the fae would have been able to pronounce it, and took on the moniker Meadowlark. You weren't the leader of this group, you didn't have the patience, but you were steady and reliable. You followed your crew leader, Hemlock, without faltering and always trusted her judgement. It took many years to get ready to help the monsters, 8 years to be precise though you would have been ready much faster if your elders had helped! During that time the humans enslaved the monsters, using them from everything from sex slaves to manual labor, breeding them like stock and killing them without a thought when they didn't have a use anymore. Every new development of the humans acts on the monsters fueled the rage of your peers and slowly you began to raid convoys of monsters being sent to auctions, or to work farms. It was dangerous work and you had to all be careful not to let any of you be caught, but that's what made you and the fae like you so useful. You were a useful spy and an even better transport.

“Meadowlark!” Hemlock's voice called out and you looked up from your laptop where you were tracking a convoy heading through your territory. It would be within striking distance of one of the fairy rings by the afternoon.

“Ma'am?” you called back, walking over when the woman called her over. Hemlock was a Dones d'aigua, meaning she looked partially like a lovely young woman and partially like a colorful bird of prey. The woman had stern, grey eyes and deep blonde hair that matched the feathers on her wings and tail. Inclining your head to your superior the woman began to talk softly.

“I need you to go with the strike team today. I've heard there will be at least one rather traumatized monster in this shipment, a Puca like yourself is perfect for getting them away quickly. I know you prefer the spy missions but please, do this for us.” She hummed and you sighed. Of course, you were the only shapeshifter in this stronghold who could do this, the other shifter fae were wolves. While you COULD be a wolf, it was not your favored or even best form to take on.

“As you command, Hemlock.” You responded snarkily, resignation in your voice and you smirked teasingly at the other fae. She may be your commanding officer but you were all friends here, and everyone knew puca were mischievous and tricky. They accepted these quirks of yours without thinking about it. “I will start out then, it will take me time to reach the team that is already in wait.” Nodding her head Hemlock watched you walk off, pushing the hood off your head as your dark brown hair fell neatly from the tight ponytail you kept it in. Your lapine ears flicked, proof that you'd been on a spy mission recently, rabbits and foxes were so easy to overlook for humans. They paid you no heed, even if your golden eyes did glow strangely. Stepping into the fairy circle you activated it's magic and the world shimmered before you were alone in a dense forest. The single guard glancing down from the oak beside the circle.

“Are you going out?” Ivy called out, his dark green scales making his brown eyes stand out. The illes was a great guard, it's snake like form allowing it to hide in the branches of the forest without much effort.

“Aye. I've been asked to be transport.” you hummed in response, pulling your deep red hoodie over your head and stashing it in a hollow tree, your shorts soon followed along with your sneakers and socks, the illes above politely looking away as you shed your clothing so you could shapeshift. It was always an unpleasant feeling, changing forms, and as your body changed to that of a black coated horse you could feel your bones grind uncomfortably, shaking your mane and letting your tail lash behind you a few times as your now hooves pawed at the ground. Looking up at the fae in the tree he hummed a goodbye before you picked your way carefully from the small clearing towards the team. It was a nice journey on most days, you enjoyed being out of the stronghold if you could help it, but for now you had to move with urgency, it was a 20 mile run and you had to get there with time enough to be useful. The sun flickered through the trees, leaving patterns on your hide that were constantly changing as you trotted through the trees. Passing a few more sentries and tossing your head in greeting as you passed, you could not call out to them like this but they knew you well enough to not think you were a trespasser.

It took just over an hour but you arrived in the concealed camp shortly before the convoy was scheduled to pass through. You didn't normally take monsters into your stronghold, but if they were too fragile for transport though the faelines your post was able to take on a few. Hemlock had gathered that the case for such an exception was on this convoy and so here you were. You glanced over at the wolf shifter who lead the team, his ruddy gold eyes blinking at you in confusion and you stomped your hoof on the ground. God, what you would give to be able to speak in this form, still he seemed to understand and nodded his head before looking out at his pack, the four other wolf shifters nodding and beginning to shed their clothing to shapeshift.

“Nice to see you Meadowlark.” He hummed, reaching out to touch his palm to your forehead, a common greeting for shifters and you appreciated the sentiment. “We're are about to head out. It's the usual for the pack. I'll pose as a hiker being attacked by a pack of senseless animals to stop the convoy and the kobald and tisiphone will take out the humans, take em to the dragons for disposal. I'm guessing Hemlock sent you to pick up a monster or two that is too traumatized to take the Lines?” You tossed your head in an affirmative and he chuckled. Hemlock was a good leader, sending you meant that the monster must be pretty messed up. Probably wouldn't let him touch them since he looked like a human like this. “Well let's get going.” He started through the trees to the loggers road below, the four enormous wolves flanking him and as he walked he began to smear dirt and fake blood on himself, one of the wolves biting him on the calf to make it more believable. He winced but it would heal fast enough so he wasn't concerned. Once they hit the road you backed into the trees so you would be difficult to see, glowing amber eyes watching the team as they got in position, the four each taking a flank around their alpha and he thumbs upped your direction. You flicked your ears forward, indicating you saw the movement and your head turned as you heard the trucks coming, he nodded when your head turned and he threw himself to the ground, throwing up his arms as the wolves instantly began to lunge at him as he swung his arms wildly, screaming for help. There was only one transport truck flanked front and back by a heavily armored truck. They halted as they saw the man being attacked and the humans in the swat vehicles got out, guns drawn.

They never saw the kobolds coming, the small, rat like fae rushing the humans, sinking their teeth into their legs as the spider fae dropped from the trees. You momentarily were a bit amazed that the humans were so stupid to fall for it, the wolves stopping their 'attack' on their leader as soon as the humans began flailing and screaming as they were overwhelmed by the fae that quickly killed them. Walking to the driver's side door he knocked on the window and the human male within shook his head. He wasn't gonna open that door. He sighed and lifted a hand, and you began to walk from the trees.

“Meadowlark, could you give me a hoof?” He chuckled at his joke and you snorted in disdain. This really was no time. You could see the monsters within the truck eyeing what was going on outside between slats in the metal panels. “C'mon, it wasn't that bad was it?” He chuckled and you flicked your ears back in annoyance and looked at the human. Stomping your hoof you watched as he shook his head, apparently digging for a cell phone to call for help. Well that wouldn't do, you had no choice it seemed. Rearing up you sent one of your hooves through the tempered glass pulling your leg out so that the wolf could reach in and yank the door open. Tossing the human to his pack, the wolves were on him instantly, his death was quicker than that of the soldiers It really was the small mercies. One of the kobold ran up to the wolf leader and tugged on his sock.

“Swift, we have the humans corpses being sent to the dragons, they will take care of the rest.” The kobold's soft voice came out and Swift smiled one of his winning smiles.

“Thanks Ranger. Good job guys, not a single bullet fired this time! We're getting better at this.” He grinned and pulled the keys from the ignition. You followed him to the back of the truck where he unlocked the gate and pulled it open. The monsters within cringed away and you peeked in curiously. You never got to see many of the monsters and your memories from before their imprisonment were hazy, they were all so different looking. “Now now, no need to fear everyone. We are here to help you. My name is Swift. I'm alpha of the Elderwood Stronghold wolves. This is my pack,” He began by pointing at a soft beige wolf. “This is Legacy, followed by Arrowhead, Forte, and Foxglove.” he pointed at each wolf in turn who nodded their heads, much to the surprise of the monsters.

“A... are you going to take us to another human settlement?” A soft voice finally asked, the rest looking over in horror and waiting for the poor monster to be shocked for daring speak to a human.

“Naw naw. We're not human! We are members of the Fae, and we're here to get you out of this hell. C'mon then. Follow the wolves and we will get you all to safety.” Swift grinned easily and while the monsters looked skeptical they slowly began to walk from the back of the truck. Only one didn't move and Swift hopped into the now nearly empty truck to lean over the trembling skeleton monster. He started to reach out and was greeted by a low growl. This must be the one Hemlock was afraid for. Looking to the door he sighed. “Meadowlark, can you come here?” You hated trucks, everyone knew that, you'd gotten stuck once, 'captured' by a human until you managed to get out of their sight long enough to transform into something small enough to escape. Still, you were needed so in you went, hooves clacking softly on the wood floor and you leaned your head down to the skeleton monster. He was still growling, one of his eye lights a deep crimson, the other fuzzy white. His bones were crisscrossed with scars and you huffed softly before nudging him with your nose. Well, you assumed it was a him. He smelled like spice and fire, he smelled dangerous, but he also smelled afraid and when you pressed the velvet of your nose against his cheek he nearly bit you. “Now now, don't be like that dude. This is Meadowlark. She's gonna take you someplace where humans will never be able to hurt ya again. You want that right?”

“M'place is with m' master.” He snarled low, a programmed response if Swift never heard one and he looked at you, your own burning eyes watching the monster with a softness.

“Well that's good, because Meadowlark will take you right to your master.” He tried and the skeleton lifted his head, confusion on his features before his expression went to a kind of hollow joy. It was disturbing to say the least and you slowly lowered yourself to the floor so that the monster could climb on your back. Once he seemed secure you stood back up, walking from the truck and waiting for Swift. “Make sure you grab a handful of her mane, don't fall off her back now.” The monster seemed to blankly nod and curled his phalanges in a bit of your mane to secure himself. You tried not to snort when he pulled a few strands out. “Be careful on the way back Meadow. We'll get rid of these trucks and meet up with Hemlock when we get back. You should get him to safety, he doesn't look so good.” You nodded your head and began up the embankment and into the trees, once you hit the deer trail you were able to pick up your pace into a distance eating trot. Glancing up at the sky you noticed it was rapidly getting late, luckily there hadn't been any late spring snow to give any hint of where they or the monsters vanished to. It was nearly dark by the time they got to the fairy circle and you had to lay down again, looking over at the monster who looked even more confused. Nudging him with your nose to try and indicate he should get off. After a few moments of prodding he seemed to get the picture and he moved off your back, sitting on the ground and pulling his tattered clothing tight around himself. Poor thing. Standing up slowly and beginning the process of returning to a human-like shape, hoping you didn't get stuck with the tail this shift. Horse tails were the worst to try and work with.

A groan escaped your lips as you finished the transformation, starting to pull on the clothing you had stashed earlier and you returned to the monster who had shut down again, rocking slowly on the old leaves and dirt. Pulling your hoodie over your head you flicked your ears towards him and sighed softly.

“Hey there. I'm Meadowlark, we should get inside okay?” you offered, offering one of your hands to him and he snarled low when you tried to touch him. “I won't hurt you, but you must be hungry. I'm sure you're cold too, we can get you some new clothes and some warm food.” She tried again, and he tried to bite her the gold tooth on the left side of his face gleaming in the moonlight. This was a hassle, what were you going to do if you couldn't get him to follow you? Then you glanced at the collar on his neck, it kept a monster's magic in check and punished them if they acted out. She hated them, she hated the humans for making them. But, in this case it may be useful. Reaching to it you saw the button you were looking for, the 'set' button used when a new owner was registered to the collar. Pressing your thumb against it you could feel the warmth of the scanner as it memorized her print and the light on the side blinked green, you was registered as his 'master' and a feeling of disgust settled in your stomach. It wouldn't matter soon, once the collar was removed it wouldn't be able to be used against him again. His eyes twitched up when the light flashed and instantly the growl disappeared, replaced by a soft purr. She didn't know monsters could purr.

“mistress.” He hummed the word and nuzzled his face against her hand when she reached towards him again. “s'nice t' meetcha mistress.” His voice was rumbly and quiet, slightly gruff from what she suspected was disuse. The title of mistress made her stomach flip uneasily and she groaned. This was not what she signed up for, she wanted to help but this was... she could only imagine what this poor monster had been put through.

“C'mon, let's get you inside.” You said softly again, the monster instantly getting to his feet and following you to the circle. He looked confused when you stopped there and you lifted her hand to Ivy above before activating the circle and reality shifted around the magical transport. You both were back in the stronghold, Hemlock looking over sharply when you appeared and a look of relief hit her.

“Meadowlark. I see you were successful!” Her voice trilled and you nodded. The monster growled lowly when she approached and she sighed. Yes, she had heard this monster was a difficult one, but you seemed to be handling him decently. “I know this is unusual, but until we can get his collar off tomorrow could you take care of the monster? I've read the file online about him, apparently he is known for bouts of anger and aggression against anyone who isn't his owner. He seems to recognize you as that figure. Just until tomorrow?” Now the bird woman was batting her lashes at you, earning a roll of your eyes but there was really no point in trying to argue out of it. You saw how he snapped at Swift and at you before you pressed that damnable button.

“Yeah, sure. Make sure to send Radar over early to help get it off him. Can't start rehabbing him to a healthy state of mind till that hell device is gone.” You muttered with a fold of your arms. You were hungry by this point and Hemlock was dumping more responsibility in your lap. This is why you liked to stay as a scout, no extra duties. “Does he have a name on file?” She asked and Hemlock glanced at her tablet.

“Hnn. Says here responds to the name Sans.” She offered and you nodded. Fine it was fine. Whatever.

“Sans, lets go get some food and get you some clean clothing.” You sighed and the monster turned his head to you instantly. You didn't like this. It made you feel weird and put on the spot, you really couldn't wait until this whole business was over. Nodding your head towards a house in the distance you started to walk, the monster falling in step behind you. “What do you like to eat?”

“whatever you like to feed me.” the immediate response came and you groaned. Oh sweet Aine, why?!

“What is your favorite color to wear?” You tried again and once again he seemed confused.

“i will wear whatever you like for me to wear mistress.” He hummed, his voice wasn't unpleasant to listen to but she was getting annoyed with the programmed responses even though it wasn't his fault.

“Sans. It is okay for you to tell me what you like, I want you to be comfortable.” She tried, gritting her teeth as that look of confusion crossed his skull again. It was like talking to a really stupid dog.... one that wanted so badly to do the right thing for it's owner but kept running in circles instead of sitting down. Cute but GOD DAMN ANNOYING.

“but mistress, i like whatever you choose. i will always like what you choose.” If he was a dog he'd be wagging his tail, as it was he looked so pleased that she was talking to him he might burst. Giving up, you incline your head and walk into the stronghold's restaurant. The head cook was a slightly pudgy Cait Sidhe who always looked about half a second away from falling asleep on the spot.

“Hey Rainspite, what do we have for dinner tonight?” you asked and the feline like fae laughed quietly.

“Ah Meadowlark, was wondering when you were gonna get yer dinner lass. We're having hamburgers today. Got some fresh french fries too.” The fae smiled warmly, glancing over her shoulder at the monster. “See ya brought a friend with? Good evening, I am Rainspite, if you need anything or are ever hungry please stop in!” Sans just glared half heartedly at the fae and the cait laughed. “He's a sullen one eh?” He offered and you grumbled. Rain didn't know the half of it, with a shrug he handed you a pair of plates heaped with food and you smiled in thanks before turning to a table, sitting down. You nearly died of embarrassment when Sans sat on the floor, the other fae in the hall turning to stare.

“What are you doing?” Panic in your tone and the skeleton blinked at you, confusion once again clear on his face. “Please come sit up here with me.” you hissed, his head tilting to the side as if he didn't understand what you were saying. “Sans, please, come sit and eat.” Reaching down and he flinched away as if you was going to hit him and a knot of pity clenched in your chest before you looped your arm around one of his and tugged him onto the bench. Panic filled his eyes and he whimpered loudly, the sound quickly filling the room and the rest of the fae blinked at you in obvious concern, even Rainspite was curious. You stood quickly and picked up the plates. “Rain, I'll bring your plates back. I think I need to get him somewhere quiet.” The Cait nodded his head and watched you make for the door, the skeleton quickly shuffling after you with a nervous anxiety clinging to him. You rushed to your small home, it had two bedrooms but one had been converted into a tactical office so as you led the wincing skeleton in you wondered where you were going to put him. Running your hand through your hair you glanced at the monster who was shuffling his feet nervously, he clearly still expected you to hit him and flinched every time you moved.

“m' sorry Mistress.” He mumbled and you blinked. Yeah it was embarrassing to have him sit on the floor in the hall and to start whining like a beaten dog when you tried to get him on the bench but it wasn't something you were gonna hurt him over.

“It's alright. Please. Call me Meadowlark, or Meadow. I'm gonna go grab you some clean clothes alright? Please wait here and eat.” You offered him the plate walking to the fridge and pulling out a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mustard and held them to him. “Here. I'll be right back. Alright?”

“yes ma'am” He looked at the condiments and at his plate as he sat back down on your floor and you sighed, setting the bottles in front of him. Once you was sure he wasn't going to follow you out you locked the door and started down the road to the quartermaster. It was getting chilly and the scent in the air threatened rain so you pulled your hood over your head, your equine ears twitching when the fabric touched them. Entering the stone building that held all your stronghold's supplies you smiled at the satyr that was manning the desk.

“Meadowlark. Long time no see dearling. What brings you in?” he smiled and she sighed.

“I'm taking care of a monster for Hemlock til we can remove the collar tomorrow. I need some clean clothing for him. Mind if I look for something that will fit?” Even he could hear the annoyance in your voice and he laughed good naturedly, nodding his head to a table of assorted clothing that hadn't been put away yet. “Thanks Raven.” you sigh and he laughs again. Sifting through the pile of clothing was a chore and a half, but after a few moments you found a red cable knit turtleneck that looked like it should fit him, a pair of black jean shorts and a belt catching your eye. You snagged a pair of black gym shorts and a t shirt for him to sleep in then nodded, good enough. As you started to walk from the pile a black hoodie caught your eye, it wasn't fancy but he might appreciate a coat until he could come down and pick out some things for himself. Grabbing a few pairs of socks and a pair of sneakers for him you raised your free hand to Raven who waved amicably as you walked out. Returning to your house you unlocked the door and stepped in, Sans scrambled away from you as soon as you entered. The look of terror on his face was unmistakable as was the way his eyes twitched towards the now completely drained bottle of mustard.

“m' sorry.” He muttered quickly, shying away from you when you set the pile of clothing on the counter and reached for the empty bottle. That had been completely full. Did he drink it? Twisting off the cap you glanced into the bottle before setting it on the counter next to the sink.

“Nothing to be sorry for. It's fine.” It wasn't fine, you liked mustard and now you had none for your meal, but you didn't want to make him more afraid then he was now. “Here, I hope this stuff fits, if not we can get some more stuff tomorrow after we go see Hemlock.” You offered him the new clothing and he blinked at it incredulously then looked at you again. That look of dazed confusion was a near permanent thing on his face but you couldn't help it. “Would you like to take a shower? Or a bath?”

“... yes?” His voice was hesitant and you smiled when he seemed to make a decision for himself. He noticed the look and looked away from you again, he wasn't sure what was going on, you had been nice so far but lots of other owners had too until they weren't. Until he wasn't attractive or attentive enough... or just because they could. Twitching one of your ears you started towards the bathroom, nothing fancy, had a tub shower and the necessities. Stopping at a linen closet beside the bathroom you pulled out a fluffy towel and set it beside the shower and left him alone. If he wasn't so sure that his panic would make you angry he would have started hyperventilating when he found himself alone in the small room, what were you doing? Were you preparing to punish him? He looked at the shower before deciding that it was best to do what you wanted and shower to keep you from getting angry at him. He didn't miss the annoyed looks on your face when he did something you clearly didn't want him to do but he couldn't help it. A few minute of fiddling with the knobs and the water turned on, the pleasantly warm water filling the room with steam quickly.

Out in the living room you smiled when you heard the shower finally turn on and you started working on your meal while you read the debrief information put out by Swift. After half an hour you heard the shower turn off and minutes later the skeleton slowly opened the door. The t shirt was bit too big but it was useable for the night, the shorts fitting well enough as well. A bit of steam drifted from the bathroom as he nervously wandered your direction, for a moment you wished you had transformed but he might panic if he was left here seemingly alone all night. It was just for a night, tomorrow Hemlock would get him settled in his own place and you wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.

“Have a good shower?” the soft way you spoke surprised you as much as it did him and he focused his eyelights on your ears where they were twitching slightly atop your head. “Are you tired? Would you like to sleep on the couch or the bed?” He shifted his weight nervously as you spoke, not sure what the right answer was. He felt backed into a corner so he returned to his safe answer.

“where ever you would like me to sleep mistress.” He hated how you winced each time he said something like this, but what was he supposed to do? He didn't want to touch anyone or be touched by anyone but he had no control of what he had to do and when you stood up to walk towards the bedroom he felt dread curling in him. Were you going to make him sleep with you? Oh stars he hoped not. He hated when humans made him do that. It was degrading. A few minutes later you emerged from the room with a fluffy pillow and a thick blanket you set them on the couch before waving for him to follow into the dark room. He whined softly but followed, the room was not clean but it was tidy, a queen size bed dominating most of the space.

“You can sleep in the bed. I have some work left to do before sleep so I'll take the couch. Sleep well Sans, if you need anything please come get me.” Walking from the room you closed the door halfway to make the light from your livingroom not hit the head of the bed. An ear twitched as the mattress creaked quietly when he sat on it, a smile turning the corners of your lips. Poor guy. She felt bad for him but she couldn't do anything to ease his fear of being hurt while here yet. Once the collar was off he could heal properly. The hours ticked by and aside from whimpers from the room the house was silent, you groaned and rubbed your eyes. Why did you have to submit a statement for the mission too? All you did was run transport! So much work, you hated paperwork. A scream startled you out of your thoughts and you leapt off the couch before racing to the bedroom, expecting some sort of attack. How you would get attacked in the stronghold you had no clue but you could feel your fangs start to form as your body wanted to shift to your wolf shape. In the room your eyes scanned the room before falling on the form of Sans, gripping his skull and rocking back and forth as his eyes stared blankly at his lap, the eyelights gone. Moving to his side quickly you were unsurprised when he shied away from you. “Sans, you are alright. It's alright. It's just me, Meadowlark. You're safe.”

“s-safe?” His words were trembling and you nodded.

“Do you want me to stay for a bit till you go back to sleep?” He looked terrified and you weren't sure you wanted to leave him alone. Yeah you were awkward but it was clear he was broken and needed support. “I can shift to something small and furry if that will help.” At the statement he turned to you and his eyelights slowly reignited, his look quizzical.

“What?” His voice was small.

“Like... a cat or a fox? Or a dog? I can become a wolf if that would be better?” You offered and he looked so very confused.

“i... you can become a fox?” He questioned. He remembered seeing a fox running around at night at his old master's house, it was cute with it's red-brown fur and twitching ears. “humans can transform?”

“I'm not a human, Sans, remember? You rode on my back when I was a horse.” Patience wasn't your strongest suit when dealing with others, but you were trying. He looked even more confused. She was the horse? That didn't make sense, but going to sleep was too scary to think about. You hummed and stood up, pulling the hoodie over your head and walking from the room.

“Be right back.” Closing the door part way again you shed your clothing and began the transformation. A fox was one of your prefered forms, and after a few minutes you shook yourself and trotted back into the room. Chittering quietly to alert him that you had returned you jumped onto the bed and sat in front of him, your coal black fur gleaming in the dim moonlight that filtered through the window, the glow of your amber eyes slightly unsettling and the soft dove gray tip of your tail standing out against your dark pelt. He looked absolutely flabbergasted, not understanding what was going on at all. But the fox was cute, and carefully he reached one hand out to touch it. You would have laughed if you could, he looked so nervous, standing up you pressed your head into his hand to soothe him. It was alright, you wanted to say, I will stay with you like this and you can sleep. Placing your paws on his legs you pushed at his sternum with your head, trying to indicate he should lay down again. Once he did you chirped softly in approval and stretched out beside him, resting your head on his palm as he slowly calmed down from whatever nightmare had scared him. He fell asleep not long after, and you heaved a sigh before closing your own eyes. Might as well sleep here like this, you didn't want a repeat of the scare he gave you by screaming. As sleep took you, you thought you heard a quiet thank you from the monster, but you weren't sure so you just twitched your ear in case he had said something and let sleep claim you.

Chapter Text

Sunlight and a warm breeze filled the room from the open window, the sheer curtains fluttering almost silently as the morning brought the stronghold to life. Gone was the brisk cold of the dark as the late spring sun warmed the rooftops as the sentries headed to the fairy gate to head to their posts for the day. You were still dreaming peacefully, rolling your body into the splash of sunlight that poured through the open window and onto part of the bed and letting out a coo of pleasure as it warmed your fur. Lazy mornings were amazing and you never got enough of them, but a knock on your door made you stir, a ear twitching before you lifted your head. Why was someone knocking on your door? Amber eyes blinking before you glanced beside you to notice the skeleton from yesterday's rescue still sleeping peacefully, a bit of crimson drool sliding down his chin and you chirped in amusement. That was right. It was probably Radar coming to take this guy's collar off, hopefully that would help him get out of this programmed funk so he could become a functioning monster again. Hopping from the bed you stretched out and opened your muzzle in a a wide yawn before trotting from the room as you began to shift. The feeling of your body stretching and growing was always the most unsettling thing about shifting, but by the time you reached the front door you were mostly human in appearance, your vulpine ears twitching atop your head, a swish behind you made you aware that your tail hadn't disappeared and you groaned, that made things a challenge. Pulling open a drawer by the front door you pulled out a large sarong and started twisting it around you like a dress, tying it shut before hearing the knock again.

“Coming coming!” You called out and heard the twitter of amusement from outside. Radar was such a strange pixie, she found amusement in the oddest things. Still, she was competent with tools and technology and you couldn't really fault her her quirks. You had plenty of your own. Opening the door the tiny fae grinned up at you brightly.

“Hiya Meddie!” the pixie was big for her kind, her hair a vibrant pink color and her eyes a wide, curious cerulean. She was a cute thing, you had to admit. “I haven't see ya around the hall lately, been out?” She chirped and you chuckled with a nod. You had to scout out the convoy that had been hit yesterday after all to make sure Hemlock sent the right size team to deal with it. “I get it, too busy to come visit me. Sooooo, you gots yourself a monster in there huh?” She lifted up on the tips of her toes, still not even reaching your hips, and peered past you finding the couch empty.

“Yeah, he's still sleeping, come on in and set up. I'll go grab the three of us breakfast then wake him up. Don't go near him, he nearly bit Swift yesterday.” You warned lightly, the pixie saluting you sarcastically before you grabbed the plates from the night before and headed towards Rainspite's. The pixie trotted in and moved to your tiny table, fluttering her wings so she could hover and set up the assortment of specialized tools she needed to remove a magic inhibitor collar. The pixie hummed softly to herself and flitted back and forth, she didn't hear the door to the bedroom creak. Sans peeking out silently to see who was in the house before he closed the door just as quietly and moved to the closet to hide. Tools always meant bad things, he wasn't about to just sit around and wait. Even when he heard your voice again he didn't emerge from his hiding spot, trembling as he awaited the pain he knew was about to be inflicted on him. Even the smell of food didn't bring him out of hiding, though he did peek from the cracked door to the closet when he heard the bedroom door open. “Sans? Are you still sleeping?” Your voice filled the room, the tone gentle and curious. He didn't say anything, he wasn't sleeping so that wasn't going to cause the collar to hurt him.

Your eyes looked at he bed, completely empty, and the window screen was still in place so he hadn't snuck out that way. Your hand went to the spot he had been and it was still slightly warm, so he was likely hiding. He was probably afraid. Who wouldn't be? A lot happened in his life yesterday. Vulpine ears twitched, listening intently and you turned your head when you heard the closet door pull shut with a soft click. Moving to sit beside the door you let out a soft breath, you really needed to let Radar get to work but getting him out of the closet without using force might be an issue.

“Sans, are you alright?” Eyes moving to the door where you could hear him move around slightly, he didn't answer. “What's wrong? Is it Radar? She won't hurt you, I swear it.” You heard him rumble something quietly but couldn't make out what he said. “Can I come in?” The door slowly opened just a little bit and you glanced into the dark beyond where his eye lights glowed faintly. You could see him trembling slightly, one of his hands gripping the metal of the collar nervously. “Will you come out? I promise that nothing bad will happen to you.” Your voice was quiet, like you used on the Grim when they were agitated after a hunt, and you could see him half glaring half watching you as you eased the door open.

“dun wanna come out.” he whispered, waiting for a bolt of pain that didn't come as your eyes softened.

“I understand that you're unsure, you only met me yesterday. Would you like to meet Radar here first?” He seemed to consider that and after a few minutes he slowly nodded his head. Turning to the door you looked at the pixie watching from the other room curiously. “Come on in Radar, sit next to me where he can see you.” You could hear him growling lowly as the tiny woman came close, she didn't seem at all afraid and instead she sat near your knees, flashing a bright smile. “Sans, this is Radar. She came over to get your collar off.” He seemed to flinch at the word collar but then he froze when you mentioned it coming off, his eyelights slowly shifting your direction as if he couldn't believe what he just heard. The collars weren't removeable. Every monster knew that, if you tried to rip it off you'd dust. He whimpered loudly and gripped the metal tighter, as if to protect it.

“Oh don't worry skelebae.” Radar chirped, instantly sensing his unease. “We know how to take them off properly, we do it all the time! We have a healthy monster population in some of our other strongholds. Once you are feeling up to it I'm sure we can arrange for you to go see.” She was bubbly and it was infectious, his eyes darting between the two before him and you nodded in agreement to the pixie's words.

“I swear on my life, no one will hurt you Sans.” Your voice was gentle and slowly reached his direction, he shied away from her hand. He couldn't trust her or you, he couldn't trust anyone. When you trusted anyone you got dusted. You saw him flinch away and pulled your hand back, glancing at Radar who just smiled encouragingly. “Radar, did that flame elemental move to the city yet?” She shook her head and you sighed in relief. This would make it easier. Standing up you walked to the living room to get your tablet and request the elemental be brought to your house. You got confirmation that Rainspite would send him right over, the elemental had taken to the cait sidhe and had been staying with him while he recovered himself. When there was a quiet knock on the door Radar got up and rushed to answer it. She spoke quietly and the response from outside the door was even quieter.

“Meddie! He's here!” She called and you stood up, walking to the door and inclining your head politely to the deep violet flamesman who stood at your door. He was a grumpy monster most of the time, but then most monsters were a bit moody.

“Heya, come on in. He's in here. Maybe he'll come out if he sees you.” The monster sighed and shrugged before walking in and following you to the bedroom, moving to the closet door and opening it to let light fall across Sans who sat huddled against the back wall growling lowly. He froze when his eyes fell on the fire monster, the flamesman looking similarly surprised at who was within.

“grillbz?” Sans' voice was unsure and quiet, hope filling his eyes and he hesitantly moved closer. “i heard th humans dusted ya. how'd ya get 'ere?” Radar sat by her tools, fiddling with the tulle of her skirt idly as she waited, you stood by the door to the bedroom, not watching or listening per say, just making sure nothing got out of hand. You couldn't hear the fire elemental respond, but then you couldn't speak elemental so that wasn't surprising. But you didn't doubt that something was being said between them, though Sans didn't say anything for a long time. You glanced behind you into the room, Grillby extending a hand to invite Sans out of the closet and for a moment the skeleton retreated, gripping his collar again. Grillby sighed and loosened his tie then tugged down the collar of his shirt to show that his collar was gone, Sans' eyelights going wide. He glanced your direction and you twitched your ears his direction, patience on your face seeming to put him at ease now that he saw the collar gone from Grillby. Nodding his head the flamesman looked at you then excused himself back to Rainspite's place. You walked towards the skeleton and offered a smile.

“You alright Sans?” He nodded at your question but didn't speak, shuffling his feet nervously. “You want that off?” Again he nodded and you offered a hand to him. Sans blinked at the offered hand, your amber eyes watching him with softness. “Come on, Radar would be happy to get that off you. You can have some breakfast while she works.” She offered and he slipped his hand into yours, nervousness radiating off him. He flinched when Radar smiled at him and you glanced at him before letting him sit on the chair next to her tools. Walking to your counter you grabbed a plate of eggs and bacon and set it in front of him with a smile, pulling out a bottle of mustard you got as well and offering it. His eyelights were suspicious but thankful.

“Why're ya bein so nice ta me?” He mumbled quietly, “Where didja'll come from? What are ya?”

“You explain Meddie, I gotta get working.” the pixie smiled and you nodded your head. She pulled out a few small metal pick like tools and leaned close to his back as she stood on her stool, carefully beginning the process of removing the offending item from his body. “Let me know if you feel any buzzing okay?”

“Alright then. First things first. We are Fae, long ago we were allied with the monsters. I remember a bit about the time before the barrier, but I was very very young then so the memories are fuzzy.” He watched her carefully. “When the barrier broke your royal family reached out to the Elder Court, but they were afraid that offering aid would expose us and we would die with you.” Sans' eyes widened, these people had known they needed help, the Dreemurr family had tried to get help from them? And they had done NOTHING? You could feel the rage build up in him and you pinned your ears apologetically. “What happened to the monsters didn't sit well with some of us, and we fought against the Council to offer sanctuary to the monsters. And then they were murdered and the rest of you were rounded up like cattle before we could convince them to help. I'm so sorry. Many of us left the Circles we had been born in and created these new Circles, strongholds and cities to rescue and hide the monsters in. It took a lot of magic and time sadly.” Your voice was morose and while he wanted to accept the apology you had offered he couldn't. There had been entire hidden cities on the surface that could have helped them. Could have saved his brother. Saved Tori, saved FRISK. And they had just turned their back on them?! He felt the collar's power flicker off and with a click it opened and fell to the floor in front of him. His eyes went down to it, his magic released for the first time in nearly a decade. If he wasn't so mad he would have cried.

“S' let me get this straight. Ya coulda saved us, but ya didn't? Ya coulda taken us in, but ya didn't? Why?” His last word came out as a growl and you looked away guiltily.

“Fae culture is a difficult thing Skelebae.” Radar's voice came quietly and he glanced her way with a growl. “Our Elders lead the population of each Circle, they call the shots, we didn't have the army we have now.”

“Shut up.” He snapped and your ears twitched, his eyes glowing brightly for a change and you blinked. Now that fear of that collar punishing him was gone he seemed braver, standing up and glowering at the pixie then turning his eyes on you. Yes, you had been kind to him, but because of your kind innocents had died. “Why'd ya take s'long? If ya got magic ya shoulda helped out!” He was yelling now, and you let him. Radar smiling sadly, their magic didn't work like monster magic but he didn't know that.

“I'm sorry Sans.” It was all you could say.

“Yer SORRY!?” He roared and you took a half step backwards, if he attacked you weren't sure what you should do. “We've been slaves! They...” his voice broke for a moment as he thought back to all the disgusting things he had to do “They murdered a human child, treated us like animals! It's been 8 fuckin years! Ya couldn't do nothin before?!”

“I know you're upset. I was upset too, but if we moved before we had built new Circles, built new strongholds and cities where would we have hidden any of you?” You tried softly and he snarled.

“YA THINK YA WERE UPSET!?” He roared and you held your hands up in surrender. “Ya have no idea what we went through!”

“But I do Sans. I am always out there, scouting, looking for weak points, watching convoys, trying to get more free. I see it all and it's terrible. But what would you have me do? What can I do?” you asked helplessly and he glowered at you.

“Get back out there and find mah bro.” He snarled and you twitched your ears. “Go out there and make it right! Don't talk t'me again till ya find 'im.” He stormed to the bedroom and slammed the door shut, the sounds of fabric moving coming from within and you sighed, Radar blinking at the pure rage she just saw and quickly packing up and rushing from your house. Sans did not come back out and you sighed, knocking on the door. He growled from within, menace in his tone and you knew if you opened that door you were in for a bad time. Gone was the timid nature of the day before, he had his magic back and he was angry. Rightfully angry in you opinion but that was not the point. Best to let him be, but you wanted to tell him where you were going.

“I'm going to go talk to Hemlock and see what I can do.” You offered quietly, you were annoyed he took out his frustration on you, it wasn't YOUR fault, you and your allies were doing the best you could. But if finding his brother would help him, you supposed you would do what you had to do. He snarled at the door and you let out a breath. “Feel free to stay here, I'll probably be out in the field for awhile looking.” Walking from the house you started towards Hemlock's command center, running your hands through your hair and sighing quietly. How were you going to do this? Convince Hemlock to let you go out there to find ONE monster? If he was even still alive... You had no idea how she would take this, but you felt responsible for his anger. They had thrust this monster on you and you didn't just walk away from responsibility, even if it was one you hadn't wanted originally.

“Meadowlark! There you are, did everything go well with removing his collar this morning?” Hemlock's cheerful voice jolted you out of your thoughts before you reached the command, glancing over at the bird fae in surprise. She was usually at strategy meetings by now.

“Ehhh. Could have gone better.” You started, cringing and she blinked in concern. “He's... very angry right now.”

“Understandable, humans did have him in slavery.” Hemlock didn't follow and she blinked a few times.

“No... he's mad at US. He blames the Fae for monsters dying... and it's true that we didn't help them fast enough in any of our opinions.” Hemlock's eyes widened and she nodded her head thoughtfully. “He wants me to go find and save his brother.”

“Absolutely not.” She snapped and you blinked in surprise. Did she already know about the brother? Your questioning gaze made her glower and she folded her arms across her chest. “No. Yes I know where he is. And there is no way for it to happen. Too many guards, too much could go wrong.”

“Hemlock, I gotta. At least let me go scout it out!” She shook her head and you growled, ears pining. “I know I can do this Hemlock! We turned our backs on them when they needed us! You put him in my care and I intend to do what I can to help him! With or without your help!” You were surprised by your own tone, her shock apparent as she stared at you and you folded your arms across your chest. “Please.” Scrubbing her face with her hand she glared at you and nodded for you to follow her.

“Sans has a younger brother named Papyrus. Powerful monster, was a member of their Royal Guard. He's being held in upstate New York at a Breeding farm. He's a guard there. High security and we have not yet found a way in or out.” Hemlock sighed and looked at you. “If you go then you make no unnecessary risks. Stay in disguise as much as possible, and don't get caught!” She snapped. Pointing to the Faeline nearly two days run north. “This line will take you to the general area. Are you sure you want to do this? I can't send you back up.”

“I don't know what else we're gonna do. He's never gonna trust us if we don't give him some reason to. And a monster that doesn't trust us is a liability to our security.” Your tone was matter of fact, no emotion, Hemlock nodded her head.

“If you find a way to get him out, come back and report and we'll see if we can get some way to get a team of shifters ready.” the bird woman did not look pleased that you were doing this. You were the best scout they had at their disposal, the wolves were good but they were big and conspicuous. Nodding your head you turned back to your house to pack a scouting pack. Walking in you heard Sans in the other room, muttering angrily to himself. You sighed and pulled out a bag that was small enough for you to carry in your mouth when you were shifted and stuffed your hoodie, a few pairs of shorts in and a few shirts as well as other necessities and your sneakers. You walked to the bedroom door and knocked once.

“Sans. I have a lead on your brother. I'm not sure how long I'll be gone but I'll do my best. I'll come back as soon as I know more.” You called and he snarled.

“Get th' fuck goin bitch!” He snapped and your ears twitched, you'd gone from being someone who he tentatively trusted to 'bitch' in a single morning. You shouldn't care, he was a stranger after all why would it matter what he thought about you? Still it stung. Sighing you picked up the small bag and slung it over your shoulder.

“See you when I see you I guess.” You offered and shook your head. On the other side of the door Sans was leaning against the thick wood door waiting for you to leave. Bright crimson tears in his eyes, all this time they could have all been safe in these surface strongholds and cities. He shivered as memories of all the humans who had raped him flashed in his mind, curling his phalanges against his skull. “I'll have Radar and Grillby check up on you from time to time.” You offered through the door and he snarled again. Why couldn't you leave and let him be alone!? He heard the front door close and collapsed against the door, crying quietly now that he could be sure you were gone.

Walking to the Fairy ring you chewed on your cheek, why were you risking yourself for some damn monster? He should be GRATEFUL to you! Then you thought back to the anger and pain that showed on his face when he realized that your people could have saved them from the humans and you didn't. You felt RESPONSIBLE, even though it wasn't your fault. You were still very young to your people, the equivalent of a 19-20 year old human. Swift saw you heading out and nodded his head, having been filled in by Hemlock already.

“Be safe out there Meadowlark.” He called and you nodded your head. Stepping into the magic circle you activated the magic and the forest materialized around you. Ivy glanced down at you as you began to undress, the sarong shoved into the bag and he looked away politely.

“Going out again?” He hissed and you nodded your head.

“Will be gone for a bit. Keep up the great work.” you called up and set the bag down as you began to shift, vulpine ears shrinking to that of a wolf, your body falling forward as your skeleton shifted to a quadrupedal shape. Shaking out your pitch fur you grabbed the bag in your muzzle and wagged your tail to Ivy before turning north and disappearing into the forest. Even as a wolf it would take you the better part of a day and a half to get to the line you needed. It was still early and so long as the crosspoints of roads were clear you shouldn't have any delays. The first road was empty and you wagged your tail at that before sprinting across the road and into the trees on the other side. It was a few miles till the next road, this one was a highway and that was a much more dangerous situation. Looking at the four lanes of death machines you put your bag down and slipped your head into the loop with a bit of effort, wouldn't do for it to be bouncing around in your vision as you ran across this. Your paws picked your way to the road, keeping to the dense brush as your eyes scanned the road in both directions. It would be so much easier if you could fly it but you wouldn't be able to carry your bag as a raven, and you needed your clothing just in case you needed go go into a town and do recon. Your head lifted as a bit of agap in the cars was approaching and you wiggled your shoulders before sprinting as it drew close, you just barely passed through, sliding to a halt in the sparsely forested median and you began to look the other direction for your chance. Roads were the worst. It took another hour to get across the other half of the highway and you bared your teeth at the car that nearly hit you. The human within slamming on the brakes when they saw your massive form and letting you dart into the trees.

You stopped travelling around midnight, lifting your nose to the sky to sniff for others. You were well outside the Elderwood pack's territory at this point and you howled loudly to call back to them. Ears pricked as you waited for a response, after a few minutes a distant howl responded and you nodded before curling up and resting your head on your tail, drifting to sleep.

The coyote sniffing at you woke you up sometime in the early morning hours, your amber eyes opening and you pulled your lips away from your fangs in warning. The animal seemed to understand what he had stumbled across and ran off before you could get to your feet. Smart animal. Smarter then most humans. Lifting your head to the sky to try and gauge the time you groaned, it was barely sunup? Well, at least you'd get to the faeline earlier this way. You wondered how Sans was doing then snarled at yourself. Why should you care? His guilt trip is why you were out here at all!

'No no Meadow.... it's not his fault. Yeah he made you feel guilty but you woulda helped him out anyways. S'just how you are.' you reasoned with yourself, shaking your whole body and a few old autumn leaves falling from your dark fur. Setting off you huffed and took off at a lope, covering distance you lost yesterday at the highway and by noon you saw the marker for the Faeline. The pile of rocks looking like nothing to someone who didn't know what it was. Amber eyes scanned the area and you huffed a bit before you saw it. The sparkle of the geode gleaming dimly in the light. Rushing to it you looked around to make sure nothing was around before you touched one of your paws to the stone, the pressure of travelling the faelines was uncomfortable but after several minutes of darkness you reappeared in a patch of trees. Glancing around you noticed there was snow here. That complicated things a little. Sleeping in the snow was never comfortable. Shaking the bag off from around your neck you stuffed it into a hollow under a tree and covered it with a bit of snow before shifting between forms, fur giving way to feathers and you hopped a few times when your legs started shifting into wings. This was always so awkward. Moments later you flapped your wings experimentally before hopping a few times and cawing loudly. Nothing responded and you hopped up into a tree, looking out over the sprawling complex beyond the trees. Monster breeding facilities were always sad places, and the smells of pheromones and drugs made you mentally gag.

'Let's do this.' you puffed your feathers out and took off into the sky, flying over the fences and gun toting humans, watching them all curiously. Once you made it to the lines of monster 'guards' you landed on a pile of crates and cawed. None of the monsters payed you any mind and that was good, you were just a dumb bird after all. Hehehe. Hopping around a bit you inspected the monsters, looking for anything that might give you some clues. A rotation schedule. SOMETHING. A dog monster walked past you and perked his ears curiously and you cawed quietly, hopping away from him and he lunged. Damn dogs! You jumped into the air and cawed a laugh as he hopped and barked under you. Flying to a different spot you glanced around. Nothing. This was going to be harder then anticipated and a bit annoyance touched your mind. You looked until dark fell and then flew back to your stand of trees to shift again. Birds were great during the day but their night vision was terrible and you were no owl. Fox it was. Picking your way back towards the chain link fences you lifted your nose, sniffing and trying to find a scent that was similar to Sans'. Nothing. What if he wasn't here? What would you do then? Maybe he had been recently transferred? No. This was the only lead you had right now. You'd give it time. Until you found him, it was time to start building some secret tunnels to get in and out through. Even if he wasn't here, having tunnels would make scouting it later to liberate the monsters within easier. Getting to work your paws dug into the frost hardened ground. It was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

It had been over a week, no sign of the damn skeleton that you were looking for. Hunger gnawed at your stomach as you hopped through the underbrush heading towards the vegetable garden that was hidden deep inside the compound. You'd found it by accident and had been using it to fill in your meager fieldmouse meals. Sans owed you BIG TIME for this. Hunting for mice and voles and eating raw was not your idea of a good time by a long shot. At least you could steal a cucumber or two through these holes you had been digging and drag it back to your makeshift camp. Peeking from your tiny hole between two barrels of water you made sure the coast was clear before darting out to the vegetables. Your teeth made sort work of the vine holding a medium sized cucumber and you dragged it back to your hole before looking around. Cucumbers were nice but you doubted it would satisfy you. Well... so long as you didn't leave any evidence you were there you could eat some beans before you left. Rushing back out you lifted up on your hindquarters and chewed a few off their plants, quickly eating them and rushing back to your hole as a few rabbit monsters started to pick through the veggies. That was close. Wiggling your nose you made sure you were in the clear before starting to drag your cucumber back to your camp. It took over an hour. Rabbits are quiet and stealthy but not so good at gathering food. You could do it the rabbit way and leave half eaten veggies behind but you didn't want to give away that you could get in. Exiting your little hole at your camp near the Faeline you shifted back to your human shape and pulled on your shorts and hoodie, lapine ears twitching to and fro as you ate quickly. You looked over at the pile of mice beside you and nearly puked. You hated roughing it. URG. Sans owed you SO BIG. You buried the mice in snow to save them for later. It was midday and time to get moving. Stowing your clothing again you shifted back to a raven, bouncing around a few times to get your bearings before leaping into the air and cawing loudly.

The humans didn't look at you twice as you flew overhead, you were just some bird, hundreds of them flew overhead every day. Silly humans. So gullible. You flew towards the center of the compound, where a hallway separated the male and female monsters and patrols would wander back and forth slowly to make sure no one was trying to sneak across and hide. And then you saw it, on one side of the hallway there was a guard station. You couldn't see what was inside but you could risk getting closer, swooping your wings close you dove down and landed lightly atop the table of the station, cawing and hopping to one side slightly. JACKPOT. Inside you saw a skeleton monster, you couldn't smell him in this form but you knew skeleton monsters were not common. He perked up when he saw you, about to shoo you away when he stopped and looked thoughtful.

“GREETINGS BIRD.” He nearly shouted and you flapped your wings in surprise. “I AM THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BIRD LAND HERE BEFORE.” he inspected you carefully, perhaps looking for injury to explain why you were here. Finding you uninjured he rubbed his chin and narrowed his unscarred eye. “YOU SEEM LIKE A SMART ANIMAL, TRYING TO BEFRIEND SOMEONE AS GREAT AS I.” You cawed in laughter and bobbed your head, sure buddy. You believe that all you want. He seemed to take your action as an agreement and he smiled. Aww he seemed nicer when he smiled, ya know if you didn't look at his sharp teeth and scars. “WELL THEN. I SHALL CALL YOU DEATHWING.” What a terrible name... he was gonna call you Deathwing? Fine you were gonna call him Edgelord. He glanced around before reaching under his table and pulling out a bit of bread, offering it to you. If you were physically able to drool, you would. Accepting the gift you cawed and ate the small bit of bread before flapping and bobbing your head. You heard him sigh sadly when you flew off. You'd be right back. You'd snagged a notebook and a pen from a guard station where the humans sat as a fox, feeling quite proud of that. You had written messages on tiny slips of paper. Paper that was easy for you to carry and easy for him to destroy. Picking up the first one you flew back and saw his sockets widen when you landed on the desk again. Setting the small roll of paper down you pushed it his direction with your beak. He picked it up and unrolled it curiously.

'Hello! I bear a message from Sans.' the message read and his eyes widened, you thought you saw a few dark orange tears before he hastily wiped them away. He quickly handed it back and you squawked happily at his thought, easier for you to get rid of the evidence then him. Leaning forward conspiratorially he looked into your faintly glowing eyes and you cawed in laughter. He expected you to talk? Oh he was adorable.

“What Is Your Message?” His voice was a stage whisper. Not entirely quiet but it would do. Flapping your wings you flew away with the scrap and picked up another. Flying back and setting it before him. He opened the tiny roll and you bounced back and forth as he read.

'He is safe, we are coming for you. Need to know how to get you out.' He looked at you in confusion. Out? There was no way out. Every monster knew that. He handed the scrap back again.

“Unless You Have An Army. That Isn't Going To Happen.” He sighed, resigned it seems and you cawed in laughter again. Flying away and returning a few minutes later with a new scrap.

'I am your army. If you can trust me. My name is Meadowlark.' He blinked at you and tilted his head, clearly assuming you were a trained animal to deliver these messages. But how did you communicate his words to the person you were going back to? He was clearly confused. You flew away and grabbed another slip, dropping your old one in a pile. He watched you land and accepted the paper without word. 'I cannot communicate more right now. I will be in touch soon.' He looked at you and tilted his skull quizzically, clearly trying to work this puzzle out.

“Alright Than Deathwing. I Will Watch For You.” He smiled again and you cawed, flapping to land on his shoulder and rubbing your feathers against him before flying off. He thought it was you trying to be friendly, you really just needed to get his scent on you so you could track him down easier. Landing in your camp you shifted back to a fox and sniffed at your side, memorizing his smell and nodding to yourself. No wonder you couldn't smell him, his scent was completely different from Sans, you had been looking for spice and fire, he smelled more like rain and pine. Weird. You had to wait for darkness to go back in and in the meantime you snapped down a few of those mice to stave off hunger. Grabbing a slip of paper in your muzzle as soon as the sun was gone you darted into your maze of holes and began towards the center of the compound. You had to dig a few new tunnels to get to the sentinel station of that hallway and were rewarded with the skeleton still sitting there, looking bored. Pushing your head past the cinderblock wall and looking around carefully before sitting under his table where you would be hidden and leaning up on your hind legs to place the scrap of paper on his lap. He jumped slightly, one of the humans on the wall above glancing his direction and he made a show of swatting away a bug. Clever skeleton. Glancing at the paper in his lap, slightly damp from your mouth, he read it quietly.

'It is me again, is there any way you could tell this nice foxie your rotation? It will take me weeks to learn it otherwise.' Straight forward, he glanced up at the humans before patting his lap just under the table and you hopped up so he could run his fingers through your fur. He didn't know if this was a trap by the humans, but he wanted to be with his brother. Yeah his brother was lazy and stupid, but he was HIS brother. And if help was here, that meant Sans was thinking about him. Maybe his brother wasn't so worthless after all.

“The Closest I Come To The Main Gates Is On Weekends. I Assist With The Weekly Cycle At The Terminal On The East Side Of The Farm.” He stage whispered and you twitched your ears and wagged your tail slowly, understood. Well, the weekend had just passed so you hopped to the ground and flicked your ears forward. Snagging the paper and running back into the tunnel. You had seen the terminal once when you found it by accident, and had a tunnel leading there. Poking your head out you glanced around, it wasn't guarded by more then 2 humans, but on weekends they brought in large dogs to help as well as the monster guards. Honestly the humans were easy to kill, she could sneak in overnight, hide in her wolf form and take them out, but the dogs. Those would be a challenge, they were big dogs but you may be able to intimidate them. You couldn't bring the other wolves in here, they would have no means of getting in. And you wanted to have as little casualties as possible. You would have to talk this over with Hemlock. Heading back to your camp you grabbed a slip of paper and quickly returned to Papyrus. You were starting to grow fond of the lug, sure you only met him today and he didn't know you were sentient but he seemed sweet under that tough guy attitude. You set the paper in his lap when you arrived and he glanced down at it.

'I have to go and get my backup now. Don't worry. I'm coming back for you. See you soon.' He reached down after glancing around and petted your head before speaking.

“Alright Fox. Tell Your People To Send Sans. Trust Me. He Can Help.” You perked your ears and twisted your head slightly. “And Tell That Lazybones I Said So.” Chirping quietly you rubbed against his legs to try and reaffirm that you understood before you darted back through the hole to your camp. You stashed your paper and pen under the tree where they would be safe and secure and pulled out your bag and gripped it in your teeth. You would need to get running. You needed a good meal before you went for this, and if you followed Papyrus' advice and brought Sans with you that would slow you down a bit returning. Your body shifted to a wolf, growing and stretching uncomfortably before you growled and glanced around to make sure the coast was clear, pressing your paw against the geode and the familiar pressure of the faeline coiled around you. Emerging back in familiar territory you shook out and looked at the sky, you'd gained a few hours of daylight for your run back, by the time you reached the highway it should be dark. That would be bad honestly until it got late, the highway tended to be pretty empty around midnight so that may be the best time to cross. You started in the direction of the Circle, you could feel that you had lost a bit of weight over the week, having only mice and small animals to munch on, and Hemlock was sure to be a bit alarmed by that but you'd done worse while on scouting missions. As you approached the highway you settled down to nap until it was fully dark.

You grumbled when you woke up to the sound of a screech owl and you looked up at the trees with a growl, baring your teeth before standing up. The moon was high in the sky but as a waning quarter it didn't offer much light. You glanced down the highway, it seemed mostly clear, if you could get across you could be at the Circle by mid morning if you ran through the night. You raced across the first stretch, a 18 wheeler almost getting you as it came up on you faster than you expected it to. That was close, the other side was more challenging, a lot of traffic heading that direction and you had to dart through a small gap and hope or the best, one car slamming it's breaks and you almost hit it as you darted into the woods on the other side. You panted and glanced back at the road, you'd have to do that again. How were you gonna get the skeleton across? God this was getting complicated. Your stomach growled, a cucumber, a few mice, and a tiny piece of bread was not enough for all the shapeshifting you were doing lately. You thought about hunting but the call to go home was too high and you tilted your head back, howling loudly and hoping one of the pack was nearby, it would be nice to have company. A howl responded a few miles further ahead and you took off at a run through the underbrush that direction. When you got to the spot the howl came from you saw Legacy and she wagged her tail in greeting, you shook out your fur and panting as you caught your breath. She trotted around you, sniffing you and recoiling when she smelled the snow and dirt in your fur, her head tilting quizzically and you huffed in annoyance that had her parting her muzzle in a wolfish smile and panting out a laugh. You pointed your nose towards the Circle and she nodded, trotting ahead of you and you fell into pace behind her.

It was nearly noon when you got to the circle, Legacy wagging her tail before running back the way you had come from. You started the shift from your wolf form, your bones creaking and muscles aching in protest as you transformed. Once you were back on two feet you pulled your shorts on, thankful your tail had gone away, and tugged one of your form fitting 3 quarter sleeve athletic shirts on, your hoodie quickly following it. You were filthy, you noticed, and you could see your ribs far too easily for your liking. Your hair was a disgusting mess and your stomach was roaring in hunger. Ivy looked down at you and hissed something sympathetic that had you shrugging your shoulders before activating the magic and appearing in the Circle. You could see Rainspite at one of the tents, probably turning in the week's menu to the command so it could be emailed to the stronghold and he gaped when he saw you. The feline rushed over and began fretting instantly.

“Nyaaaa! Meadowlark! You look horrible! Where have you been? You look famished!” He flitted around you, barely reaching your knees and you tried to smile reassuringly.

“Was scouting. Got a lot of good information about a breeding farm.” You sighed and he folded his arms, scolding. “It's alright, I was roughing it but I ate while out there.” You tried again and he hissed softly.

“Come down and eat as soon as you report to Hemlock! I will send Grillby to get you if you don't!” He growled and you smiled weakly.

“Can I shower first?” He thought about that then nodded, no sense bringing that filth into his hall. You were rather smelly at this point. He wrinkled his nose at you to illustrate exactly how gross you were at the moment and you stuck your tongue out at him. “I'll come eat after I get clean.” You promised and he nodded sternly before pattering off to finish what he was doing. Moving to the Hemlock's command building you walked in and twitched your ears towards the receptionist. “I need to talk to Hemlock.” You stated simply and the tiny pixie guy nodded his head.

“Hemlock is in a meeting right now, and won't be out till this evening but I will send you a message on your tablet as soon as she's out Meadowlark, and I'll tell her you're back. No doubt she'll come looking for you.” He offered and you nodded, that was good, you could get clean and eat something before you had to go over all you found out.

“Thanks Pike.” You offered and he grinned and waved, his dark green hair bouncing as his dark yellow eyes took in your appearance. Waving you left the building and started towards your house, Swift running up beside you and you jumped when he touched your arm. “OH FUCK. Swift. Don't DO that.” You hissed and narrowed your eyes at him.

“Sorry Meadow. I just happened to see you. Did you find out anything?” He was like an eager pup, but then he was barely older then you were, so it could be expected of him. You nodded your head and he leaned towards you a bit only to pull away when his nostrils flared and the smell of dirt and sweat assailed his sensitive senses. “Oh my Aine! You reek, Meadow!” He laughed and you glared again.

“I know! I'm trying to get home and shower then go eat. I'm famished.” You sighed and he smiled amicably. “And I'm meeting with Hemlock later, you can join us if you wanna know, I want your input on the ideas I have too. The farm isn't too secure from what I've seen.” He brightened at that, a full assault? Interesting, a reason to call the whole pack together. It had been awhile since all 30 wolves were needed at once. He would certainly be there. He grinned widely then ran off, probably to talk to his betas. You sighed and turned the key in the lock of your door and stepped in, dropping your bag by the door and closing the door before sagging against it heavily.

“yer back eh? where's mah bro?” A growl greeted you and you growled back. You weren't in the mood.

“If you really think one Puca can get anyone out of that place on their own you're insane or stupid.” You snapped and he glared. “But I have a plan, I found him. He's safe, seems unharmed. He said he wants you to come along to get him out. So get off my back!” His eyes widened slightly, he hadn't been expecting you to throw his anger right back in his face. Glancing over from where he was reading on your couch, an astronomy book you noticed, he took in your appearance. Dirt smeared nearly every inch of your body and he could smell you from where he was, your hair hanging loose behind you and your face gaunt.

“fuck. didja even eat while ya were out thar?” He spat and you pulled your lips away from your teeth, flashing your fangs in an unfriendly way.

“Yeh. I fuckin ate. I ate fuckin mice and voles and shit like that. You fuckin owe me Sans!” You spat back standing up and kicking your bag. “I had to dig my way into that fucking place, transform more in one week then I usually do in a month, sleep in the fucking dirt and snow, yeah. I had a great fuckin time out there!” You hissed the words, storming close to him and while he glared back at you the anxiety and fear he reeked of was enough to make you back off. “I'm gonna go shower.” You sighed, smearing a bit of dirt from your palm across your face as you walked away. He blinked as you shut yourself in the bathroom, closing his book and setting it down. He would never admit it out loud, but you were hot when you were angry. He heard the water turn on after a few minutes and he stood up, grabbing his sweater and pulling it on before walking out the door and heading to Rainspite's. He had no intention of showing off his shortcuts here just yet. Walking in the cait sidhe narrowed one eye at him, he wasn't overly fond of the skeleton's rash attitude and foul mouth.

“What do you want skeleton?” the cait called out, his yellow-green eyes watching him carefully and he shrugged nonchalantly. Walking up to the counter he smirked a bit wider, his gold tooth gleaming in the sunlight.

“came ta grab a bit of grub fer meadowlark.” He smirked and the Cait blinked, obviously surprised. The week the monster had been in the stronghold he'd been aggressive and petulant, unwilling to help out anyone and instead spending his days sleeping in Meadowlark's house. “wa' is tha' look fer, think I can't be nice?” he smirked and the feline huffed before pulling out a plate and piling it high, rounding it with beef tips and potatoes and gravy, a huge pile of green beans on the side. He slid the plate to the skeleton and he winked his left eye at him. “Thanks pal.” He grinned and started back towards the house, hoping she didn't go into her room and see the mess he'd left before he could get back. He kinda wanted to see her face when she saw. Hehehe. Maybe she'd bristle and growl at him again. God that was sexy. Then he could win her over for the moment with food. Perfect. Opening the door he set the plate of food on the bistro table and walked back to the couch as he heard the water turn off, a few minutes later you walked out of the bathroom. A cloud of steam followed and a thick towel was wrapped tightly around you as she walked toward your room. He shifted in his seat eagerly as you opened the door, the ensuing shout was everything he could have hoped for.

“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MY ROOM!?” Your voice was shrill and angry and you stormed back out, still in a towel and your eyes were narrowed and furious.

“ya told me t' make mahself comfortable, sweetheart.” He grinned and you sucked in a breath, your eyebrow twitching and your jaw gritting. Oh he was eating it up, even if it was a bit nerve wracking. You were sputtering, yeah you said be comfortable but he didn't even HAVE much, how did he make such a mess?! Oh it was precious. He flashed a lazy smirk and pointed to the table. “got ya some food.” He purred and he didn't miss how your ears perked up, your eyes darting to the plate heaped with food and your stomach growled loudly.

“Th... thank you.” You muttered, you were still angry and now you were confused, trying to figure out this monster. You held the towel tight around you and he smirked, eyeing your form, your long legs making him wonder what they'd look like with thigh highs on em. You vanished into your room again and pulled on a pair of denim shorts and a blue athletic crop top, your usual hoodie was dirty so you sighed walked back to the table with a pair of black socks over your shoulder. Sitting down you began to eat ravenously, barely hearing the skeleton chuckle as you practically inhaled your food. You couldn't bring yourself to care as he watched you in amusement, a moan of pleasure escaping you, missing the blush on his cheeks. Why was that sound so good? He'd heard those damn stupid humans moan all the time, if anything the sound should be a turn off. He shoved the thought aside, remembering that her kind were just as much to blame for the fact that moans should turn him off now. A bit of gravy dripped from her fork and rolled down her chin before her tongue swept out to catch it, noticing her tongue was longer then a human tongue. That was interesting. You stopped just short of licking the plate clean he noticed and you leaned back in your chair, a rumble of satisfaction escaping you and your eyes sliding most of the way shut. Full now. So full. Standing up you moved back towards your room. “I'm gonna sleep for a bit. Been on my feet since mid morning yesterday. Wake me up if Hemlock shows up.” You glanced his way and he shrugged his shoulders. Urg fine. “Or don't. Whatever dude.” You weren't in the mood to argue it and flopped onto the bed, not even bothering to get under the blankets, asleep almost as soon as your head hit the pillows.

It was nearly dark by the time there was a knock on the door, Sans looking up from his book again as he listened to you snore quietly on the bed. That was probably the bird bitch, he didn't care for her much. He almost didn't answer it but figured you'd get angry about it if he didn't, still you WERE doing him a favor going out there even if he did guilt you into it. Might as well do as you asked and he walked to the door, opening it up and looking up at the tall fae beyond, behind her was that guy from the truck too. He growled softly and he grinned as if that amused him.

“Is Meadowlark here?” The stern voice of Hemlock made him want to slam the door, instead he nodded and inclined his head towards the bedroom.

“Sleepin.” He grumbled and Swift perked up, he swore if the guy had a tail it would be wagging.

“I'll go get her Hemlock!” He yelped, pushing past Sans to bolt into the bedroom. He didn't see what happened in there but the scream of surprise and then the slapping sound from within gave him a good idea. Swift walked back out, the handprint across his face already turning red but he looked proud of himself. You stalked out after him, hair still a mess from sleep and amber eyes bleary. He could see your hands flexing and unflexing in agitation and chuckled, going back to his book. He didn't miss the glare you sent his way and winked at you before you ran your fingers through the mess of hair and moved towards Hemlock.

“You look like shit.” Hemlock stated matter of factly and you sighed, folding your arms. Well at least you didn't smell anymore, and you were hungry again but that could wait until after this was done. “Well, let's hear what you found out.” That had Sans attention and he closed the book again, glancing over and you nodded before indicating that they could sit at the table while you got out your tablet and pulled up the satellite view of the compound.

“I counted guards every day I was there, aside from the switching of the human guards at 2am and 2 pm there is never more than 40 humans at the location at any given time, including the janitorial staff and the warden.” Your voice was stern and matter of fact, this was your job and Sans could tell you took it seriously. You pointed at the eastern gate and the road that lead to it through the woods. “This road here is where they do Monster rotations from every weekend and that is our best chance, the last bus comes in at 12 noon. If we ambush each leaving bus and get rid of em and the last incoming bus we can get all the wolves in as well as a squad of Kobolds. We could empty the entire farm to the western gate where the Faeline is before the guards would be due to switch so long as we don't dawdle. Be gone before they knew what happened.” You stated simply and Sans blinked. “I would say I spoke to Papyrus, but that's untrue. I cannot speak when shapeshifted but I did deliver him notes and he spoke to me. He called me Deathwing.” You chuckled at that and shook your head. Yeah that sounded like his bro. “I told him that we were coming for him, if we ambush the facility and don't take all the monsters they will double down their security and we will never get them out. However, we need to confirm that other strongholds and cities have space ready for them. I suggest we call Morning Glade and check with Honeysuckle if they have room at their apartment complexes for upwards of 50 monsters and the younglings born there.” Swift nodded his head in agreement. “We could also ask for backup from their shifters, I think the bears would be very useful against the human's dogs. And we'd need Radar and her team to remove collars on the fly of the monster guards so they could help us. They know the layout and how to get into the various halls, they would be invaluable.” For the first time you looked over at Sans and he blinked in surprise. “Do you agree?” You were asking HIM? He went blank for a minute, trying to figure out why you were asking HIM. “Sans, do you agree the monsters would aid us in getting through the compound?”

“yeah. yeah o'course.” He agreed after a minute. You nodded and looked at Hemlock expectantly. The bird fae looked at you, then at Swift who was nodding enthusiastically, and then at Sans who just stared back with a curiously bored expression. Seeing something in his eyes that made her relent and she sighed and rolled her eyes.

“You younglings and your penchant for wanting the dangerous missions.” She sighed. “Fine. I will call Morning Glory and probably Hightop and see what their apartments can offer, I'll ask about the bears and maybe another pack. Better to be safe, and to have lookouts in the woods for the switch of guard.” Swift was slow punching the air, looking about to dance and you shook your head at him, you couldn't blame his enthusiasm. All we got out this way was convoys and he had stopping those down to an art at this point. He was itching for something big, something to get the Elderwood pack recognized. You rumbled at him and he reigned his excitement in, though you could almost see his tail wagging behind him in excitement. “Swift, go and begin the preparations for your pack, we move on thursday. Meadowlark, if you bring the monster then he's once again YOUR responsibility. No harm is to come to him. Am I clear?” Sans growled when Hemlock spoke like he wasn't even there. Now that his magic was usable he was able to take care of himself. He didn't need anyone watching out for him. You nodded your head, making him growl and glower at you and you glared back, you were NOT in the mood for his attitude right now. “Good, now go eat something.” She snapped and you stuck your tongue out at her. “Need you in top form, you're heading out Wednesday to prepare. I expect you to bring a Circle camp with you and set it up.” Nodding again she turned and walked out of the house, Swift bouncing and grinning at you and Sans before chasing after her.

“This is gonna be GREAT!” He laughed as he disappeared out the door. You laughed and rubbed your temples, looking over at Sans.

“You alright over there?” Your voice was tired but concerned.

“ya dun need ta protect me. i'll take care a myself.” He snapped and you laughed, earning yourself another growl.

“Easy now. I'm sure you can. Just don't go getting yourself caught again alright. You do you, and I'll do me, and we won't do each other.” You smirked a bit and grinned wickedly as he flushed. Oh that was adorable. He glowered and kept flicking his eyes between your chest and your eyes. After a few minutes you huffed in annoyance. “What?”

“why can't i see yer soul?” He questioned, it was really bothering him that he couldn't get stats for anyone in the fort who wasn't a monster, not a single Fae had a soul he could sense or see.

“A what?” You blinked, confused and he blanched. How did you have magic if you didn't know what a soul was?”

“yer soul! the very culmination of yer being! why can't I see it?” He shouted and you shrugged, you had no idea what he was talking about.

“Maybe I don't have one? I don't know. Fae aren't religious so we don't believe in that eternal life bullshit.” You offered and he groaned.

“ya shouldn't be able ta use magic without a soul, how could you not have one?!” He snapped and you shrugged again.

“I don't know Sans. Never been asked that before. Can we figure this out later? I am really hungry.” You asked and he glowered and made to argue the point. He wanted to know. But the puppy dog eyes you were giving him when your stomach rumbled made him sigh in resignation. He wouldn't get any answers like this. Maybe he'll pull you into an encounter later or something, figure this out.

“fine. grillbz should be in charge at the hall, maybe he can get us some fire whiskey while we eat.” Perking your ears at the whiskey you blinked. You'd never had alcohol before, wasn't something that Fae drank often, unless celebrating something. Nodding you grabbed one of your casual jackets, stuffing your dirty clothing in a bag and dropping it of at the laundry on your way to the hall. You stuffed your hands in your pockets, Sans wasn't so bad when he wasn't being a petulant little shit, maybe with time you could be friends. 'Ha! Yeah right, he hates me. Friends. I'm funny.'

Chapter Text

“S'what yer saying is... Souls are where magic comes from? And everything has one?” You slurred your words, leaning on your arm as you laughed with each word. One of your eyes was narrowed in concentration, your pupils fully dilated and he snickered at how easy it was to get you drunk. “Then why dun I got one?” you were confused and very, VERY drunk. Sans was about to explain again that he didn't know why you didn't have one when the elemental stormed over and glowered at Sans, shaking his head at the two of you as your lupine ears twitched. You tried very hard to concentrate. Grillby was refusing to give you any more of that fire whiskey and you whined and whimpered in protest giving him puppy eyes that he ignored.

“aw grillbz, yer gonna make 'er cry.” Sans teased and you stuck your tongue out at him. You wouldn't cry! At least... you didn't think you would. You didn't feel like crying that was for sure. “ya doin alright thar sweetheart?” He smirked and you nodded, bumping your chin on the table with each nod of your head. He snickered and Grillby looked at him, clearly saying something but you had no idea what. Even if you were sober you wouldn't have had a clue, monster languages were weird. You watched his purple flames flicker giggling when they flared blue and he pointed at Sans then at you. Grinning you poked his finger with your own while he was still gesturing your direction, making him flash with red fire and twist to look at you when you touched him.

“Yer cute.” You laughed and stuck your tongue out at him, the flamesman crackling and folding his arms across his chest, glowering your direction. “Awww, dun be like thaaaa. Ya look a lil hot unda the colla... muhbe I can cool ya off?” You continued, you had no clue why you were flirting with the monster, only that his reactions were great and you wanted to see how far you'd be able to go. The flame elemental flared red again as you winked at him. Sans was cracking up even if he was a bit jealous that you flirted with Grillby and not him, this was better than he expected if he was honest. He totally thought you would be an angry drunk, flirty drunk is not what he would have guessed in a thousand years. Grillby cursed at him loudly and he grinned before chuckling.

“aight grillbz. i'll take 'er home.” Sans muttered and he nodded his head, arms still folded across his chest as you shimmied closer on the bench to him. Walking around the table he scooped you up, he wasn't really any taller than you were but you didn't seem to be hindering him. You turned your hazy eyes to him curiously as he started walking out before you looked over his shoulder again.

“Buh bye hotstuff!” You slurred and Grillby scowled your direction. How did you know he was scowling? You just did, it made you erupt in a fit of giggles, your attention turning back to Sans. “Haaay skelebae.” You purred the words, taking up Radar's little pet name. He blinked at you and you giggled. “How'dja get so stronk? I'm like... super heavy.” You giggled and he rolled his eyes. You weren't really all that heavy, truth be told, but you were drunk and so he didn't say otherwise. “Ya know. Yer kinda cute up close.” You purred against his skull, the skeleton promptly dropping you on the cobbled sidewalk. You yelped loudly and pinned your ears, pouting up at him. “What was tha fer?” You were confused. “Ah was jus complimentin ya, 'm not gunna jump yer bones.” Folding your arms across your chest as you spoke then you snickered. “hehe. Jump yer bones... that's funny.” You staggered to your feet and sidestepped a few times before your balance stopped failing you, for once wishing your tail had stuck around. They were great for balance. Sans stuffed his hands in his pockets and shuffled towards the house, you skipping behind him and leaning close to sniff at him. “Saaaaans. Why do you and yer brother smell so different? It was hard t'find 'im cuz I was smellin fer someone like you.” You didn't notice the blush on his face as you mentioned his scent and he blinked a few times.

“i dunno. why don't ya have a soul?” He muttered back and you tilted your head.

“I don't have a soul? What's a soul? Can I buy one?” You bounced after him again and he groaned. You had already forgotten everything he had already explained. Great. Just wonderful. And to top it off tomorrow was wednesday and that meant you and he had to head off to wherever it was you were setting up. Well, with any luck you'll just let him ride on your back again. The only consolation was that this whole deal was because he guilted you into saving his little bro. He supposed he was grateful you had put yourself through so much in that regard. Glancing over his shoulder at the woman who followed him with unsure steps he had to admit that she was going above and beyond, he'd had a week to ruminate on what he said before she left. It wasn't her fault or the fae's fault per say that the monsters ended up as they had. Did he wish they'd jumped in and helped from the start, of course, but he really couldn't fault em. If it were the other way around, the monsters would have been unlikely to help out if they fae called on them. They were doing more then his kind would have, and that sat poorly in his soul.

“Yer gotta keep up kitten.” He growled and you perked your ears.

“OH OH. I can be a kitty!” You grabbed his hand and tugged on it lightly. “D'you like kitties? Will tha make ya like me?” Your voice was excited but hazy with alcohol and he blinked a few times. He could tell you had no clue what you were talking about. “If'n I become a kitty will that make ya like me?” You tried again and he sighed.

“ya don't need ta change into a damn cat. I like ya just fine damnit.” He growled and you tilted your head and he sighed. “just c'mon already, damn!” You smiled brightly and started walking with him again, giggling.

“I think yer pretty cool. Yer a good friend when yer not mad.” She snickered and he rolled his eye lights. “Ah'm srrrs Sans. Yer a nice guy.”

“listen kitten. i ain't nice. i'm an asshole. i had ya running all over the place an' eatin damn mice fer a week because i'm selfish.” he snapped and you tilted your head the other way then wrinkled your nose.

“Mice don't taste good, but I don't mind livin rough. It's alright.” Your voice was heavy, sleep would be claiming you soon he was sure. “Yer brother is awesome. He's nice.” You hummed and Sans looked over at you like you had ten heads, though he did agree his brother was pretty great.

“mah bro is not nice...” He grumbled and you laughed

“Naw, he's a sweetie. He started t' cry when he learnnnnnned yer the one who sent fer help.” You rumbled the words and he stared at you outright. Boss doesn't cry! You seemed to notice his shock and giggled loudly, leaning on him. “M srrrrs. I dropped a note sayin 'ello. I 'ave a message frrm Sans.' and he had great big tears. Wiped em away fast though.” She hummed thoughtfully at the end, Sans shaking his head and opening the door to the house and leading her in.

“I think you're imagining shit kitten. Boss doesn't cry.” He snapped and you blinked, leaning on him heavily and pressing your face against the vertibre of his neck.

“M tellin ya. Saw with my oooooown two eyes. They were ooooooorrrange.” She purred and he stared over at her, she stared back looking much like the cat that ate the canary. “Why were they oooorange? Saaaans. Are yer tears ooorange? Hehe. Orange is a funny word.” You giggled and he plopped you onto the couch without a word. You giggled and stuck your tongue out at him before pulling your sneakers off your feet, leaving you in just the black ankle socks and you smirked when his flush caught your eye again. “Sssssmaatter Sans?” You hummed and he grumbled and stormed to the bedroom, closing the door. “Fiiiiine. Call me if you want a snugglebuddy!” You yelled and giggled when he snarled loudly at you. Flopping onto your side you curled up on yourself, hugging a pillow to your chest and letting out a hmm of pleasure.

Morning light was far too bright and you pushed your face against the cushion of the couch with a groan. What the fuck is going on!? Everything hurt, your head was pounding like a Troll had taken refuge there! Urrrg, this was all Sans' fault! You don't know how, but you were sure it was true! Getting up slowly you opened one eye, glancing at the bedroom door when you could see his legs on the bed where he was still out cold. You had to get moving soon, so he had to get up. First things first. Water. You drained there glasses of water before you felt hydrated enough to keep going with the day, gripping the countertop you groaned and began to rummage through your coat closet beside your door. Pulling out a backpack, a heavy, hooded cloak, and a pair of gloves. Something to hide most of his features, you supposed. If he was going to be riding on your back it was best if he didn't look like a monster as much as possible. It was still cold enough to allow for hoods. Setting the cloak on the back of one of your dining chairs you started to stuff the bag full of non perishable foods, mostly for Sans. You were sure that the wolves would bring enough food for an army when they got to the Circle camp you'd set up in the clearing by the faeline. Setting the bag by the door you returned to the closet and pulled out a pair of sleeping bags and a tent, tying them together tightly and sighing, you were going to have to wear the saddle, it was the only way these things wouldn't fall off your back. The only way it wouldn't look weird is if you also wore the false bridle. The things you are doing for this damn monster. You grumbled and shook your head, the motion making your vision spin as your headache flared slightly. Oh my god alcohol was the worst! Never again... never ever... until he invited you again of course.

The knock on your door was way too loud, and you groaned before growling at it. Who on earth would be knocking? You had stuff to do! Pulling it open you were face to face with Hemlock, carrying the bag of powder for the Circle camp creation as well as the kobolds who ran the laundry with your clothing. Squealing happily to have your hoodie back you leaned in and kissed the kindly old kobold on top of his head and he smiled brightly before scurrying off. Leaving just Hemlock who gave you a once over.

“You still look like shit.” She observed and you grumbled. Holding out the bag of faerie dust you stowed it in your personal bag with your now clean clothing, strapping that bag to the bottom of the backpack. “How are you going to get him to the line?” You pointed to your cloak and gloves and she rolled her eyes. “No. Use this.” She said and handed you a silver chain. “It's not perfect and it certainly won't pass if someone gets too close and really looks at him, but this will mask his features to more human like to any mortal who sees him. However the enchantment is such that no one will really want to look at him long. You can still have him wear the cloak as a back up but this should do for the duration of the trip to the line. On the way back he can go with the pack.”

“Yes Hemlock.” you muttered quietly, rubbing your temples to ease the ache behind your eyes. She smirked wickedly, clearly she heard about your shenanigans the night prior. She glanced at your bedroom and at the mess of pillows on your couch. You were a good fit for watching over the monster, she was sure of that, you were going out of your way to help him. She made a note to give you a break after this was done with, maybe send you to Seabreeze Cape for a week to recover. “I gotta get going, is the saddle and stuff still in the rock locker?” You mumbled and she nodded. “Can you have Swift meet us there to help me get ready? I doubt he knows how to put em on right and I don't want sores.” Hemlock laughed and nodded before taking one final look at you.

“Eat before you go.” She ordered and you nodded your head. Then she left without another word, disappearing into the stronghold and you glanced towards the bedroom. Picking your way towards the monster on the bed you resisted the urge to flop beside him and go back to sleep, things to do. Monsters to rescue.

“Sans, wake up. We gotta get moving.” You shook him lightly and he jolted away from your hand, a low growl in his throat as panic filled his eyes and his scent. You held your hands up in silent surrender and he scrubbed his face with his hands. “Time to go. Gonna grab a bite at the hall and head out. C'mon. I have to get working on the camp as early as possible.” You rumbled and he grumbled something under his breath but got up, you walking from the room as he pulled the white t-shirt over his head to get his turtleneck on. He didn't bother with the jean shorts, preferring the gym shorts and kicked off his slippers to pull on the red sneakers. You, in the mean time stayed in the outfit from before and began to pull on a pair of flats that you could slip on and off easily since you had to do more shapeshifting today. Pulling the backpack onto your back and slinging the bundled sleeping bags and tent over shoulder you watched as he walked out. You nodded at the cloak and gloves. “Grab those, and put on that chain, it will cloak your appearance so long as no one looks too close, and I'm only gonna be on the roads when absolutely necessary so it shouldn't be an issue but better safe.” He frowned in confusion but grabbed em anyways. If it would help get his bro back he'd wear whatever you told him to. “Come on, let's get some grub before we head out. I packed some food stuffs until the rest of the 'army' gets to us tomorrow.” You walked out without waiting for a response, your stomach snarling in hunger. It didn't take long for Rain to slide you a plate that was nearly overflowing with eggs, bacon, and toast. Demanding you eat every bite and you chuckled. Rain really was one of your better friends in the stronghold, he took care of you since you emancipated from your parents.

“cat seems ta like ya.” Sans observed as you sat next to him with a glass of juice and began to dig in, nodding your head. “s'up with that?”

“He's like a dad to me. Took care of me when I disowned my parents over the whole not helping the monsters thing. I was still technically a child then by our people's standards.” You answered after swallowing then promptly began eating again.

“how old are ya?” The question was a good one and you thought about it for a few minutes, counting.

“Uhhhh. 2,320... no wait, my birthday was last month. 2,321.” Your answer seemed to shock him and he blinked, you did not look old enough for that. But who was he to judge, he didn't even KNOW how old he was really, and he knew that Toriel had been older than you were now. He watched you pack away the food as if you were starved, and you hummed happily as the nutrients made the pounding in your head fade away mostly. “Also, alcohol is the devil. Oh my god my head. Did I do anything stupid last night?”

“naw, flirted with grillbz, made up some story about my bro crying, said you can change into a cat.” He shrugged and you blinked at him.

“Well... the first thing I don't believe. There is no way I flirted with him.” You adamantly were going to stick by that story. “As for your brother crying, he totally did. Not like full on ugly cry, but he teared up when he read I was there because of you. And I can turn into a cat, useful in urban areas.” You recited and he blinked.

“there is no way mah bro cried.” Sans was standing by that and you shrugged.

“You weren't there. Big old orange tears, wiped em away real fast and pretended it didn't happen. I won't tell him I saw.” You chuckled and Sans glowered at you. Finishing your last bite of toast you waited for Sans to finish eating while draining your glass of juice. Once he was done you waved to Rain who called out for you to be careful, and you grinned wickedly before gathering your bags. “Let's go Sansy.” You chuckled and he stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jacket. Hemlock waved as you left, standing in the circle you glanced at Sans. “Last chance to stay behind, I know he said to bring you but I'm giving you the choice.”

“i'm comin.” He growled and you lifted your hand, activating the circle and moments later you were both in the forest. Ivy overhead hissed softly and Sans looked up in alarm. “th' fuck is that?!”

“Hey Ivy. See you in a few days.” You called and the snake fae nodded his head. Walking out of the circle you noticed Swift sitting on your saddle and the false bridle. Your nose wrinkled and he laughed. “I hate you Swift.” You growled and he laughed louder.

“You don't hate me Meadow. Let's get you ready to ride, skele.” He winked at Sans and you grabbed the edge of your shirt after dropping your bags, pulling it over your head and ignoring the bright blush on Sans' face, Swift already turned away politely.

“why're ya getting undressed!?” He shouted and you glared at him, Swift grabbing his shoulder and turning him away from you.

“We can't shift properly in clothing, gets all bound on our limbs. If she was becoming something small she could get away with not undressing but horses are pretty freaking big.” Swift snickered goodnaturedly and Sans heard the zipper of her shorts and was hit in the back of the head with them, sweating visibly at the thought of someone stripping right behind him. You groaned in discomfort as your bones stretched, popping loudly as your skeletal structure completely changed. Once done you snorted loudly and stomped a hoof. Swift gathered the clothing and stuffed it in your bag before placing a small blanket on your back and dropping the saddle on after, making sure it was on right and there were no wrinkles in the blanket. You exhaled hard as he tightened the girth strap and felt him strapping the bags on behind the saddle. He fitted the bridle over your face and pressed his hand against your forehead, it was a small comfort and you shook your head a bit. He turned to Sans. “When you get to where you're going just undo this strap here under her belly and she'll get it off, then you just lift this over her ears and it will side over her head. Up you go.” Swift pointed to each thing before offering Sans a boost up, it was harder to lay down with a saddle on and the extra weight already on your back. Once Sans was on your back and secure he handed the monster the false reins and looked you in the eye. “We'll see you tomorrow evening. Be safe.” He growled softly against your cheek and you stomped a foot in affirmation before turning to the north. Sans pulling up his hood and you were off.

The first road was easy to cross, traffic was sporadic and you only had to wait about ten minutes for a space that let you race across. The highway was a different story, you wouldn't be able to cross it in this form... especially loaded down like you were. Looking up and down the highway you noticed a sign for a freeway exit a few miles east and you started that direction. You kept to the woods and could feel Sans bouncing against your back. Once you saw the off ramp you slowed to a trot and picked your way to the road that ran under the highway and looked around before turning north and heading under the busy road. Sans stiffened on your back, his heels digging into your sides and you tossed your head before to glance at what he was looking at. A human police car was a short distance away, watching you both carefully before turning his lights on. Flicking your tail you kept up at a trot, Sans not looking back at the car as it slowly pulled out of it's spot to trail behind you. He saw you come out of the woods clearly and knew there was no trail there. You couldn't panic, you had to make your way under the bridge before you took off, they would catch you both if you bolted now. Hooves clopped loudly and echoed in the area under the bridge and you heard the police car roll down a window.

“Hold up son.” The voice called out, grizzled and old. Your head lifted to look again, the human within was about 45-50. Good, he'd be slow. Sans tensed and tugged lightly on the reins out of reflex and you slowed slightly as the cop stopped and opened his door to get out. You waited till he shut the door and when he got close you kicked at him, snorting loudly before taking off at a gallop. The human darted out of the way as you kicked at him, clearly thinking he startled you by walking up behind him. You heard him yelling to stop and ignored him, Sans ducking close to your head as you drove right back into the trees, breaking through the underbrush and feeling the sting of the whiplike branches striking across your chest and neck as you raced through the trees. You kept the pace up until you got back to the well hidden trail that lead to the faeline. That was close, if he had stopped the car ahead of you then you would have had to kill the human, and you didn't need that right now. You were sure that humans were going to be looking for you since you 'ran from the police' but they wouldn't find anything. The trail was magically treated so your hooves wouldn't show up, they would just fade into nothing within a few steps of being on it. Slowing to a trot you craned your neck to look at Sans, his eyelights were small and you could smell his nervousness. Slowing to a stop you nudged him lightly, making sure he was alright.

“m'fine.” He finally grumbled and you nodded your head before starting down the pathway again. You saw a pile of food in the middle of the path and you lowered your head, sniffing at it. Forte left it and you wickered at Sans. Lowering your self as much as you could so he could get down easier. Once he was on the ground you lowered your head to chomp at the pile of apples left for you, a burger and fries wrapped up and left for Sans. He got the better option if you asked her but it was hard to eat meat in this form. He seemed to notice you eyeing the burger longingly and laughed softly, offering it to you and you shook your head, mane flying as you did. Chuckling he continued eating, finishing before you finished the pile of apples and once you ate as many as you could tolerate you lifted your head and bobbed your head before looking at the saddle. Ready to keep going. Sans looked at the saddle for a long moment, trying to figure out how to get back on your back and you twisted your head but couldn't reach. So instead you lifted one of your hind legs and stretched it forward to kick one of the stirrups, praying you didn't get caught by it. That would be embarrassing. He seemed to figure out what you meant after a few minutes of you making the movement and, after a few false starts, managed to get himself back in the saddle. “if we never do this again it'll be too soon.” he muttered and you snorted and nodded your head in agreement. Once he stopped fidgeting and seemed settled you began down the path again, moving to a distance eating canter. You saw the pile of rocks that meant you were close and nearly whinnied in relief. Slowing to a halt you noticed this only took a day, you lost more time then you had thought at the highway those last times. What a pain. Still you were glad you wouldn't have to camp in the dirt tonight. Sans swung down, looking at you curiously and you lowered your head to him, his hands hesitantly lifting the strap behind your ears and you pulled your head free. He pulled the strap that held the saddle on and you sighed in relief when it came loose and you nudged him away, turning him with your head so you could transform back. You felt the saddle and bags slide to the ground and your bones and muscles groaned as you shifted. Once you were back in the right shape you pulled out your shirt and shorts and pulled them on hastily.

“I'm decent.” You offered and he turned back slowly, a bit of crimson sweat clinging to the back of his skull. He watched you pull the flats on your bare feet and you hefted the bag onto your back, slinging the bundle of sleeping bags and tent over your shoulder. “Ok. Faelines. Magical transportation. All you have to do is touch the stone and it will pull you through. The whole process varies in time, this one is only a few seconds long, but it will feel like you're being squeezed. I'll go first. Wait 2 minutes after I go so I can make sure we're clear. If I don't come back then follow me.” Your voice was no nonsense. None of your softer personality showing out here. You were all business and he could tell. He watched you walk over to a tiny glittering rock and place your hand on it, vanishing before his eyes and he sat down to wait a few minutes. The pressure of the faeline eased and you looked around. Good it hadn't snowed again. Glancing around the clearing you were satisfied that no one had been here in your absence and you set the bags down and pulled out the bag of powder. Moving to a safe area that was shielded by several large trees and bushes you drew out the circle and concentrated. You could feel reality folding on itself. Creating a space within the circle that was shielded completely from the rest of the world. Big enough for a small army, a great clearing surrounded by a wall of trees that were impenetrable and false. A magical barrier that kept humans out. Nodding your head you glanced over as you heard the sparkling sound of the Faelines bringing someone in and Sans appeared several minutes later, wavering on his feet. That felt NOTHING like a shortcut. You chuckled. “Over here. We're gonna go through the circle I just set up. You placed a circle of nondescript rocks on the white lines of the powder that would vanish when the first person activated the circle and picked up your bags. “Let's go, then I'm gonna go see your brother.”

Once you were in the clearing you made you started setting up your tent near the circle, wanting to be close just in case. Sans was rolling out the sleeping bags and you shook your head and told him to use both for himself. You would likely be in fox or wolf form or could switch to one of those instead of taking up blankets. It would get cold at night and you wanted him comfortable.

“Wait here. I'm gonna fly in and see Papyrus. Is there anything you want to say?” You offered offhandedly and he looked at you.

“jus tell 'im i came... like he said ta.” Shrugging your shoulders you nodded and stood in the circle, activating the magic. You hadn't taught him how to activate it so you felt safe he wouldn't try and follow you or something equally stupid. Pulling out your paper and pen you wrote a small message. Tearing it out and rolling it into a small coil you pulled off your clothing and began to shift from human to raven. God this was a pain in your tailfeathers. Once you were fully shifted you hopped a few times to get your bearings before picking up the roll in your beak and fluttered into a tree before breaking through the branches and taking to the sky, you saw the sentry booth and fluttered down, happily the skeleton was there and his sockets got wide when he saw you. Dropping the paper for him you cawed in amusement when he reached out to stroke along your head and back.

“Deathwing! You Came Back.” He seemed at a loss for words before picking up the paper and unrolling it. 'I told you I'd be back. Sans is with me. The rest of the army is coming tomorrow. Nod to the bird if all the monsters will help if we get rid of the humans.' He looked at you and nodded his head slowly. Yes, if there was no threat of dusting due to the humans, there wasn't a monster there who wouldn't help get out. You hopped close to him and let him stroke along your feathers softly, you were quickly growing fond of the skeleton and you made quiet croaking sounds as his fingers found a sore spot along your back and you could feel his magic try to heal you only to be stopped by the collar. What a sweet skele! You pressed your head against his cheek and cawed quietly as a thanks for trying and hopped to the table, grabbing the paper and flying off. Landing in the clearing you grabbed one of your other pre-written messages and flew back. He unrolled the paper and blinked in surprise at what was written. 'I hope we can be friends when you get out of here.'

Chapter Text

You woke up the next morning to the sound of Sans snoring, you weren't even sure when you fell asleep, but apparently you had rolled your body closer to his and your dense fur was pressed against his chest, his head resting lightly on your thick tail. Lupine ears twitched and you smiled wolfishly as you took in the look on his face. He looked so sweet and innocent when he was sleeping. Too bad he was a royal pain in your ass when he was awake. If you weren't growing fond of his brother you'd be tempted to drag him back to the stronghold and leave him there. You wiggled free of his grip and stepped out of the tent. You looked back at the tent and wagged your tail, okay. He was a pain in your ass but you were getting used to having him around. You thought about your second bedroom, you didn't really USE it for planning, maybe you could let the brothers have it. Or you could keep the couch and they could have the rooms. That would be fine for you. It was nice to not be home alone. You moved to the circle, lifting your nose and activating the magic so that the camp faded to the clearing and you lay down near the faeline to wait. Sans would likely sleep until it started getting loud in the camp anyways, no sense in you sticking around. You thought about taking a run over the base but figured it would be better to wait for the others to start showing up.

The sun was nearly overhead when the first few wolves showed up and you wagged your tail in greeting. It was Legacy and Arrowhead, they nodded their heads and moved to the circle, vanishing moments later when they activated the magic and were put in the camp. They started arriving rapidly after the first two, wolves in so many hues and shades of brown, gray, black, and white. A pair of bears showing up in their human shapes, their eyes half lidded lazily and they smirked at you before going into the camp. The kobolds barely glanced your way, but they were an antisocial bunch normally, only a few enjoyed the company of other fae. Swift was the last to arrive, his reddish-brown and creamy beige fur making his red-gold eyes stand out and he shook as the faeline dropped him in the clearing. You wagged your tail in greeting and he grinned and pounced on you, sending you tumbling in a flurry of teeth and fur. You snapped at his leg and he yipped and jumped away only for you to pounce on him in response. Teach him to tackle you like a brat! You heard a cough behind you and both of you looked up to see Hemlock and a pair of troll fae carrying an army's worth of supplies on their backs. You tipped your ears sheepishly and Swift lolled his tongue out of his mouth in amusement.

“Are you both quite finished flirting?” she deadpanned, though you could see the amusement in her eyes and you growled loudly. You were NOT flirting, Swift whined at you and you growled at him too! You were NOT flirting, you do not flirt! Not with anyone! Both of them snickered at your grumpy rumblings and you pinned your ears in annoyance and stalked away from them back to the circle, vanishing back to the camp and slinking into your tent. Sans was still laying on his pile of blankets, not asleep, you could tell, but trying to pretend he was. You sat and stuck your face into the corner of the corner away from him, sulking. Everyone was always picking on you... the assholes. Hemlock peeked her head in a few minutes later. “Change back and come talk to me. We have to plan.” You made a wolfish jabber back at her, clearly mocking her and she snickered, Sans doing his best to appear asleep still. She left and you turned your eyes to the monster who was half smothered in his blankets. Well you couldn't shift out there.... you better keep those damn eyes shut Sans! You glared at him as if he would know what you were think-yelling at him and began to shift. The pop of your bones both a relief and a source of pain and once you were done you reached behind you to grab your clothing that you left on your side of the tent, hearing a suck of a breath and closing your eyes to mentally curse before looking over at Sans. Yep. He was staring at you, your body turned halfway towards him though your arm and your leg blocked any lewdness from being seen. Thank Aine for small mercies.

“s-shit... stars, m' sorry.” He stuttered out and you shook your head. Of course this would happen. You had the worst luck.

“D'you mind? I'm trying to get dressed real fast. At least let me get decent then you can apologize or yell at me about how I shoulda gone somewhere else or whatever.” You sighed and he span away so fast you would have thought you burned him. Pulling on your white crop top and your usual tan cargo shorts you huffed to let him know it was okay now and pulled your hoodie over your head. “Sorry. Figured you would keep pretending to be asleep a bit longer.” He sweated, he didn't know you could tell he wasn't asleep.

“dun worry bout it, doll.” he muttered back, his pupils shrinking in his sockets as you pulled out a pair of thigh high black socks, tiny stripes of dark red around top of them and began to pull them onto your legs. You had no idea what you were doing, how suggestive what you were doing was, and he almost couldn't contain the small growl that threatened to escape him. He knew you didn't like him, and fuck he hated you, but that was so damn sexy. He was almost sad when you pulled on your sneakers and tied the laces. Exiting without a word he sighed and he scrubbed his face with his palms. What the hell was he doing? Nothing. He was doing nothing. Once his bro was back you and he would go your separate ways and that would be that. Good.

You walked to where Hemlock was setting up her pavilion and folded your arms, she smirked your direction and you scowled slightly. You were blushing slightly from that little incident with Sans and you folded your arms across your chest and flicked your tail in agitation. She noticed you didn't have animal ears this time, that was unusual, but not unheard of, and she tossed you an orange from the basket of fruit on the table before her.

“So, what are we looking at?” She stated simply and you pointed at the middle of the 'farm' where Papyrus usually was.

“This is where he generally is during the week, however he will be at the dock at the east gate to assist the unloading and loading of monsters to the buses so he will be expecting us. He said he would get word to the other monster guards that a coup is going to happen and they will be ready to assist us as soon as we get in. Did you figure out how we're going to turn the collars off so they can't dust the monsters when the figure out what is going on?” You stated, drawing your finger along the road idly.

“Hightop sent us something.” She smirked and pulled out a box about the size of a briefcase and you looked at it curiously. “This is a magical EMP basically. It scrambles the collar signals and jams them. We are also going to cut the phone and cable lines as soon as you take the bus in to the station.” She hummed and you balked. YOU were going in? She chuckled and nodded her head. “This is your raid, Meadowlark. You planned it, you scouted it, you came up with the strategy. So you are going in. We need all the wolves and bears in shape before we get in there so that leaves you.” You wanted to argue but she had a point, still you weren't a warrior, you were a scout and you avoided conflict as much as you could. Hemlock called the wolves and bears over as you began the process of going over the battleplans, the bears nodding their head sleepily as they stole glances at each other. The taller guy leaning on the shorter one and running his fingers along a scar on the shorter guy's shoulder as Hemlock talked, you watched the groups of wolves to distract yourself. At some point someone shoved a plate of food in your hands and you ate distractedly as you listened to Hemlock, Swift occasionally interrupting. It was hours before Hemlock nodded. “Alright. Get rest, we strike tomorrow!” You nodded your head, starting to leave and she held out a hand to you. “Wait. Can you bring something to the monster in the facility for me? A note.” She stated and you looked at the dark sky. You had all been talking a lot longer then you had thought.

“Yeh. I can get in through the tunnels.” You responded, thinking. You hadn't gone to see Papyrus yet today, you hoped he didn't think you weren't coming back. “He should be back at the station or on the east inner guardpost at this time of night.” You felt her press a folded piece of paper in your hand and you nodded before walking to your tent, Sans wasn't there so you assumed he was wandering around the camp. Maybe talking to the pixies who were getting ready to remove possibly hundreds of collars. You were surprised when he was at the Circle, waiting for you. “What's up?” you asked and he shoved a piece of paper at you, blinking at him in surprise.

“show tha' t' my bro wouldja.” he mumbled awkwardly and you smiled and patted his cheek. Flashing him a thumbs up you stepped into the circle before pausing, he looked nervous and you thought you should at least try to ease his worries.

“Oh, tomorrow you're with me. We're first wave. When we get in I want you to grab your bro and stay close, if I say get the fuck out then you get the fuck outta dodge got me?” You stated, you didn't care how. “The gate will be open because I'm stopping halfway in with the bus so take him out the gate or whatever I want you both out of there. Radar will be waiting by the Circle to let you in or if she's not there take the faeline back to the other end.” You waited till he nodded his head in understanding before you lifted your hand and activated the Circle, vanishing and quickly stripping to shift to a fox. Shaking your fur out you snagged the two folded sheets of paper before disappearing into the hole you had dug, moving through the cramped tunnels until you pushed your head out at the sentry booth. Empty. Damnit. Pulling your head back you backtracked til you found the tunnel you wanted, sniffing and searching for the rain and pine scent of Papyrus. After a few minutes you noticed it was almost right on top of you and you started scrabbling with your paws, digging your way upwards until you found yourself in a bunkhouse. A few dog monsters lifted their head to look at you as your head popped your head through the packed dirt floor. One of them growled and you pulled your head back down into the hole with a chirp of alarm.

“Stop That! This Is What I Was Telling You All About.” You heard Papyrus hiss and you pushed your head back out into the room, running over to him and hopping into his lap. You held the pieces of paper to him and hopped onto the bed beside him to sprawl your body out on his blanket. One of the dogs was still eyeing you and you perked your ears at them, satisfied that Papyrus wouldn't let anything happen to you. He opened the first paper from Hemlock. 'Greetings Papyrus, I am Hemlock. I am commander of the army that will be assisting the monsters escape from the humans. We are attacking tomorrow, when you see a woman with brown hair and golden eyes that is your contact, Meadowlark. She will make sure you get out safe. Please do as she asks. Also can you please tell the messenger of this note how many transfers will take place on the morrow?' It was signed with all the titles Hemlock had and he skimmed over them idly, it was a bit impressive. Looking at the fox you twitched your ears and wagged your tail cutely, if that's what they wanted then who was he to judge it? “There Will Be Two Transfers Tomorrow. One At 10 AM And One At 11:30 AM.” Then he looked at the more crinkled paper, wondering if that was from Meadowlark again, usually her papers were crisply folded as well and only bent by being clamped in a beak or muzzle. When he opened it he nearly started crying again. His brother's handwriting was impossible to mistake and you glanced over his arm to look at the paper, curious. 'boss, sorry it took so long to come get you. see you tomorrow. -Sans' You blinked your eyes and looked up at him, sitting up to press your nose against his cheek as he fought to keep his emotions in check. No no don't get upset. There will be time for that tomorrow. His hand lifted to pet along your head and you chirped softly and looked at the other monsters then nosed at him again. He folded the papers and was thoughtful. So the Hemlock he had been contact with was a woman? Interesting. He looked down at you and you flicked your tongue at his hand. “You Should Go. They Will Check On Us Soon. I Will See Miss Meadowlark Tomorrow.” You parted your muzzle in a laugh and he rubbed along your ears, oh that was nice, then you stood up, grabbed the papers, and moved back to your hole only hearing one thing from the dogs.

*Are you sure we can trust them?

“Yes. They Are Trustworthy.” He sounded so sure even though he had never officially met any of you, if you had his brother then he'd trust you all explicitly. You ran through the tunnels before coming out and shifting back. You felt the tail remain and sighed, your vulpine ears twitching slightly as you pulled your clothing back on best you could with that bothersome tail in the way and hurried into the Circle. Sans was waiting and you, looking just as nervous.

“Sans? Why are you still here? I thought you would be eating, or resting for tomorrow.” He scuffed one of his shoes on the ground, sending a bit of grass flying past you and you tilted your head. “Sans?”

“did... he look alright?” his voice was quiet and you glanced him over curiously. It didn't seem like that was what he was really asking and you walked past him, his eyes following you as you thought.

“He looked happy to hear directly from you.” You responded and watched as he seemed to relax slightly before puffing out a bit and narrowing his eyes. That wasn't what he asked you, you smirked he was so easy to fluster and read. “He is anxious to see you tomorrow. Remember what I said, stay close to me and if I tell you both to get the fuck out of there, you go. Don't wait on me. I can get out on my own.” Your eyes went hard and he took a half step back, he realized he hadn't seen you smile since they were drinking the other night.

“thanks doll.” he mumbled, watching your posture. You held your head high, but it didn't take much to see that anxiety and worry were etched into each muscle. What were you worried about? He wanted to ask but the look in your eyes said all to clearly that you didn't want to talk about it. You nodded your head to him and turned towards the pack of wolves, some in human shape and some in what he thought of as their actual form, all singing and howling their battle songs to the moon. Folding your arms and watching as they tussled with each other and raced in large circles. Your kind had your own battle preparations that you would do, but you were the only Puca here and so your prayers to Aine may not reach. Still, you should do them even if it was silly superstition. Walking away from the pack you moved towards the back of the camp where it was quiet, not aware you had a skeleton following you silently, curious as to what you were doing. You looked up at the dark sky, the moon only a sliver of white in a canvas of deep blue and you slowly dropped to your knees.

“Aine, may my paws be swift.” You pressed your hands against the ground and bowed your head. “May my wings be agile.” One hand lifted to the sky and you twisted your palm so it faced behind you. “May my teeth be strong.” You pressed your other hand forward along the ground, creating a deep line away from you. “May my mind be cunning and may the battle turn in my favor.” Sans was watching you curiously as your body began to shimmer and shift, still retaining it's human shape but aspects of all your different forms began to meld on your body, great twisting horns sprouting from your head and curving over you in a halo. Feathers and fur mixing as your amber eyes opened to stare up at the cloudless sky. Opening your mouth you pressed your wrist to your teeth and bit down, the coppery tang of blood filling the area and you let a line of your blood drip into the line you created in the dirt. An offering to the goddess Aine, the eldest and strongest of the fae. Your offering complete you swiped your tongue over the wound and your body melted back into it's human-like shape, hopefully one Puca's prayer would be enough to protect them. Sans felt a hand on his shoulder and he span, coming face to face with Hemlock.

“You shouldn't be spying on her.” She stated quietly and he glowered, growling quietly. “What you're watching is a sacred rite of her clan. And it's clear she's nervous about tomorrow.” She stated and looked over where you bowed one final time to the offering of blood and began to move towards your tent. “Meadowlark has no faith in Aine, the 'goddess' of our people. She believes that if Aine were so powerful she would have helped your kind. She would have shown mercy on a small human child and the monsters who needed our help. That she prayed at all is surprising, she is not a fighter. She is not a warrior, even among the wolves where she would be seen as equal in terms of power, she does not fit the role.” Hemlock turned her eyes on him and he froze, the bird woman was always cold and collected to him, but this was a level of cold he was sure would freeze even Grillby. “Do exactly as she says to do, if you don't I will end you myself. She did all this for you, don't make it a waste of our time.” With that Hemlock turned, her golden feathers gleaming in the stars and she walked away, leaving him there alone.

----

The forest was thick on each side of the road, wolves filling the trees and wiggling anxiously as as they waited. The first bus had been not an issue at all, the kobold and wolves quick to kill the humans and Hemlock boarded the bus and drove off with the monsters. She would take care of them. The rest was up to you. Glancing at the sun you realized it was almost time, as if on command the bus engine was heard and the bears lumbered back into the road, the second group of kobold ready. Really that the fae were a secret was a great help to them, the humans never saw their ambushes coming. It was a rinse and repeat as the three humans were quickly killed and dragged into the woods to be sent to the dragons. Anxiety pulsed in your body and you stepped onto the bus, looking at the monsters who stared at you with scared eyes.

“Do not worry friends. We are here to rescue you. Please get off the bus and follow the bears. They will bring you to safety.” Your voice was steady but you felt anything but, the monsters shivered and fretted and you sighed, Sans stepping on the bus behind you and you heard the monsters begin to whisper, knowing his name.

“do as she says. unless ya like bein toted about by the fuckin humans.” He snarled low and it was as if the strings of anxiety were gone, all the monsters getting up and following the bears into the trees. You looked over at him gratefully, a blush crossing his cheeks and then you whistled, the bus instantly filled with the bodies of wolves, not all of them would fit on the bus, but you had to make it seem full as you pulled up and give the raid a good initial attack. The rest of the pack was waiting near the trees by the gate, ready to strike, Arrowhead pressed against your leg gently and you pet his head before sitting in the driver's seat, Sans sitting down just behind you and setting down the box that would scramble the collars. Closing the doors you started down the road, your fingers twitching in agitation as Sans watched you struggle to keep the calm face on. This was your battle, you would make sure it was a success. As the gates came into view you sucked a breath, slowing down as the gate slowly opened and you nodded your head, Sans pressing the button on the side of the box and he could FEEL the magic emanate from the device, a mixture of electric charge and healing magics if he had to put a finger on it. You pulled to a halt where the bus would prevent the gate from fully closing and threw the doors open before the humans could react, the wolves surging past you and racing to the humans with their lips pulled from their teeth, the dogs screaming in terror as they were overwhelmed by sheer numbers. You threw open the back door of the bus just in case they tried to close the gates around the bus so the wolves and kobold could still get through and you stepped out behind the wolves, your golden gaze staring across the now bloody courtyard.

“Monsters! We come to free you!” You shouted and turned to the wolves who were standing over the corpses of the humans and dogs. You felt sick, battle was not your place. “Leave no human alive.” The pack knew the drill, they were far less squeamish then you were about human lives. You reached a hand out the pack turning their heads to the sky in howl and they began to race down the hallways. The sounds of screams filling your ears and you turned to the monster sentries. They were slack jawed, they knew you were coming but they didn't expect this. Sans was waiting on the bus for you to give the word that it was safe to come out, waiting as you walked up to Papyrus and inclined your head to him. “I am Meadowlark. It is a pleasure to finally be able to speak with you properly.” You could feel his eyes burning into you, taking in your human appearance and not sure what to make of it. He wasn't sure what he was expecting, you were the one who sent him the notes? Who wanted to be his friend? You were so... small. “You know me better as Deathwing.” You smiled coyly and he blinked in obvious surprise. Before he could respond you lifted your hand and Sans stepped out of the bus, Papyrus' eyes going wide before he marched across the courtyard, towering over Sans and picking him up.

“YOU TOOK YOUR TIME BROTHER!” Papyrus shouted before tossing the shorter skeleton over his shoulder and marching back to you. “Thank You... This Means More Than You Know. We Can Have Hope Again.” You bowed your head and inclined that they should hurry, you were sure alarms were being tripped by the wolves and even if you had cut the phone and cable lines you were sure that some of the alarms got through. It wouldn't take that long for humans to come looking into what happened when they couldn't call.

“Let's go.” You hummed anxiously and began to walk down one of the halls, following the dog monsters who sniffed at you curiously.

*It is the fox! * A female dog monster exclaimed and you nodded your head to her. *How are you not a fox? Do fox-humans pet dogs? * you chuckled quietly.

“We can explore that later, we should hurry. Are there any young to transport?” You asked and she nodded. Sending the other dog monsters to release the monsters held deeper, it would take a few hours at least to get every monster out. You heard Papyrus shout to send the bunny monsters to the children's quarters immediately and allowed yourself to be led deeper into the compound. Anxiety began to well in your stomach, this was too easy, yes humans were foolish but you had not heard a single gunshot. This couldn't keep going so well, as much as you wished it might. A group of rabbit humanoids came running to catch up with your group, all of their eyes wide and scared and you smiled kindly to try and reassure them.

It took too long, having only an hour and a half to work and having nearly 200 monsters to get away from this place. You began to panic, Swift quickly leading the pack in herding the monsters from the compound until just you and the skeletons were left with a handful of wolves making sure every monster was out. You looked around, something was wrong. You could feel it.

“Go... Get out. Hurry, something is wrong.” You stated coldly and Papyrus opened his mouth to object when the sound of gunfire was heard, the wolves scattering and trying to herd the stragglers away from the building. You span, looking at Sans directly. “GO. Do as I say, hurry!” You snarled, turning just as the door from the warden's office burst open, he'd grown brave now that the wolves were gone and had come out of hiding, the gun in his hand pointed at the monsters behind you. Sans looked at you in worry and you nodded your head, sucking a breath he flared his magic, the two monsters falling out of existence behind you and leaving just you and the human. Just one human. You could do this. You didn't have time to think about how the two monsters had just vanished into thin air. The gun turned to you and you lifted your hands in silent surrender. “Brave now that the wolves are gone huh?” You hummed, glancing at the clock. You had taken to long! It was a few minutes after 2, the other humans would be here within minutes if they weren't here already. The stomp of boots had your eyes widening, you needed to run now! You span on your heel and bolted towards the trees, seeing Sans and Papyrus waiting for you there just beyond human vision. And then the world went white as burning pain raced up your side, the deafening crack of gunfire making you flinch. Collapsing you pressed your hand where the fire burned from, pulling your fingers back to find blood and your eyes widened. Had you actually been shot? You scrambled to your feet, trying to ignore the pain as more shots rang, only being hit one more time and you fell back to the ground, gasping for air as the pain burned in your head. Looking up at he trees you hissed low, wincing one eye shut. Mouthing the words 'GO! YOU IDIOTS!' and then they were gone. Good, Hemlock would make sure that all traces of the monsters would continue past the clearing and then just fade away. You rolled over onto your back and grinned at the human as he walked across the dead grass towards you, his eyes narrowed hatefully.

“Who are you?” He snapped and you spit a bit of blood in his face, yelping when he kicked you in the ribs and forcing yourself not to shift, your fangs digging into your cheek to ground you. “What terrorist group do you come from? HWM? United Alliance? WHO ARE YOU?” He was desperate for someone to blame for this and you grinned, a tiny manic giggle escaping you, you would give him nothing.

“You're a coward, and I won't tell you anything.” You purred the words thickly, laughing and collapsing on your back to stare at the sky. You thought about transforming, but he'd likely shoot you before you could finish and then you'd be stuck halfway and dead. Naw, better to die looking like a human. You heard the stomp of booted feet and felt as you were grabbed by the arms, dragged back into the compound. They wouldn't reveal what happened here yet, they needed you to talk first. Tell them where the monsters were. You had time to escape. From the trees Hemlock watched, Swift growling and whining in protest as they dragged you back inside. The bullet wounds oozed blood and you chuckled as the lead tingled against your ribs, laughing maniacally as a thought bubbled from you. At least it wasn't iron.

Chapter Text

The room was sterile and cold, cinder block walls and a cement floor, a few old spatters of your blood standing out on the pale gray paint that was chipping a bit at the corners. The door was thick and steel, a small window of plexiglass showing the barren hall beyond. You tugged at your arms, the thick nylon of the zip ties holding your arms behind you painfully. There was no bed or bathroom, so clearly they didn't expect to keep you here long. You couldn't shapeshift like this, your arms would break or your shoulders would give out. And you'd tear all the ligaments in your chest and shoulders if you tried. Luckily you healed quickly and the bullet wounds, while stinging, were no longer bleeding. Shoving yourself to your feet you walked to the door and kicked it hard, you could feel your fangs lengthen in frustration as the wolf tried to claw its way free. You could see a pair of humans outside, glancing nervously your direction as your amber eyes glared at them. They didn't know or understand why, but you made them incredibly anxious. You knew it was their self preservation instincts, they could sense the magic and the beasts that lurked under that human facade but their logical mind couldn't process it properly. You bared your teeth at them in an unfriendly snarl and the one on the right looked little more then a child and you grinned deviously at him, making him flinch and look away. They were all going to die when Hemlock figured out how to get you out. You had no doubt of that. You kicked the door again and snarled in anger, a warning to let you go now, the younger one looked tempted to just toss you out before more deaths came looking away sharply. Sure you were using magic on him somehow. You began to pace the room in circles, you could feel the wolf in your mind.

----

Sans paced, Papyrus watched him, Hemlock glared his direction. The skeleton was blaming the bird fae and the bird fae was CLEARLY blaming the shorter skeleton though neither said a word to the other. Swift looked between the two of them, laying beside Papyrus and the few pack members who hadn't been sent with the monsters to make sure they arrived at the cities safely were pacing anxiously a bit behind them. He looked up at the tall skeleton who was still idly rubbing his neck where the collar had been. He had many conflicting emotions right now, but only one stood out. While these two were posturing at each other, the woman who wanted to befriend him was likely being tortured. It had happened before, humans who tried to break in or sneak monsters out were caught. He didn't want to think about the things the humans did to them, even he, the GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS, had standards for torture. He glared between the two then glanced down at Swift, who looked back up at him when he felt the skeleton's eyes on him.

“Come With Me.” he muttered and Swift was on his feet in moments, wagging his tail slowly as Papyrus stood and walked away from the two who were still shooting glares at each other. Once they were on the other side of the camp he sat back down and Swift span in a circle before sitting as well, looking at him expectantly. “Are You Like She Is? Are You A Shifting Human?” Swift huffed a wolfish laugh and shook his head then thought about it and wagged his tail before standing up and trotting into one of the tents he had claimed as his own. It took several minutes but he walked out a few minutes later, a pair of sweatpants sitting lightly on his hips and a plain shirt half covering his torso as he hastily pulled it on.

“Hey there Bone dude!” He grinned and Papyrus gaped. “So, explanation time since those two are gonna be over there being useless.” Swift pointed over his shoulder with his thumb and shook his head at Hemlock. “My name is Swift, I'm leader of the Elderwood wolf pack.” He sat back down on the dirt and ran his fingers through his hair thoughtfully. “The one who commanded the whole operation, the one you were in contact with, that's Meadowlark. She is one of the scouts for Elderwood, a Puca.” He grinned and played with the hem of his shirt anxiously. He wanted to call his wolves and storm the farm. It wasn't so secure they couldn't get in, especially when it got dark. “Pucas shapeshifters like me but also different from me, I can only become a wolf. Meadowlark can be many things.” He scratched at something behind his ear and huffed, glancing over as Hemlock snarled when Sans got to close to her and he snapped back at her. “D'you know where they would keep her in there?” Papyrus glanced back, having been listening but making sure the bird lady and his damn brother didn't start fighting, they came close a few times and he was close to putting a wall between them.

“They Will Keep Her Where They Kept The Other Humans Who Tried To Save Us.” He stated simply and Swift leaned forward clearly expecting more and Papyrus really didn't want to think about it too much. Seeing the bloody bodies dragged out and tossed in shallow graves outside the walls. Swift noticed the flinch and his eyes narrowed.

“Tell me.” He stated cooly, his voice dropping almost an octave and Papyrus glowered his direction. He did not want to think about his...maybe friend... ending up like the others.

“They Will Torture Her, To Get Information.” Papyrus almost whispered and Swift shrugged.

“She won't tell em nothing.” He tried and Papyrus glared at him. “She heals fast, we all do, she'll be fine till we get in there.” He offered and Papyrus shook his head.

“No. She Won't. The Last Girl They Captured... She Screamed For Mercy And The Warden...” Papyrus couldn't say it, wouldn't say it, squeezing his sockets shut at the memory, the poor girl had been so young and just wanted to save them, her soul had been soft green before it shattered. Swift stared at him for a long minute before shooting to his feet with a snarl and looking at Hemlock.

“I have to go get her!” He yelled and Hemlock snarled back at him, the two standing off from across the clearing and she took a step towards the wolf who wavered slightly and averted his eyes. “Hemlock. We need to... they're gonna....” He tried and she glared daggers his direction, effectively muzzling him.

“they're gonna what?” Sans called and Papyrus looked away guiltily, he had heard some of what had happened to Sans when they were separated and he didn't want to bring up bad memories. “wha are they gonna do t' her? boss. tell me.” Papyrus shook his head and kept his gaze away, Sans wasn't stupid, even if he pretended he was. He was putting the pieces together and he didn't like what he was guessing. Swift shifting his weight from side to side, looking between his wolves, the Circle, and Hemlock. It would be insubordination. He couldn't. He had to trust she'd be alright for now.

“I've called for Beau. He will be here soon, and he will be our best bet.” Hemlock snapped and Swift froze. Beau was overkill, surely.

“who is beau!?” Sans snapped. He was getting pissed off, no one was answering any of his questions, the wolves nearby yelping and scrambling towards their leader when they heard the name. That was an odd reaction.

“Beau is our Incubus, and he controls our Grim.” Hemlock stated coldly, “I'm not risking anyone else.” Sans looked at Swift for clarification, clearly Hemlock wasn't gonna tell him more then the most basic of shit. Swift looked absolutely terrified, the wolves were cowering and tucking behind him in a pile. The same wolves that ripped the throats out of armed guards that very day.

“An Incubus is a Fae who drains the life force from humans, he's... volatile. And the Grim.” One of the wolves keened at the alpha, their ears pinned against their head. “Grim are Death dogs. Unkillable, usually uncontrollable. Beau has a firm leash on em but, they are a last resort kind of group.” Swift gulped, he wanted no part of the Grim, he would run with them if he had to, if Hemlock commanded it, but he knew his wolves would be too afraid to be of much help.

----

Colors flashed in your vision as the wooden bat slammed against your ribs and you spat a bit of blood as you coughed. God you were so glad you would heal fast, they had started mild, slamming your hands, arms, and legs with the bat, when you didn't crack at that they had moved to beating you around the torso with it. The human paced around you slowly, the warden a short distance away watching with angry blue eyes. You smiled at him and licked your fangs. He was fun to rile. You wished you had your tail to wag his direction.

“Who are you?” He snarled and you batted your lashes at him, making him scowl again.

“Who d'you want me to be?” You purred back, your tone silky and condescending. Tempting fate and you wheezed out a cough at his furious expression.

“Mike. We need something tougher. Move on.” The warden looked at the guard who appeared almost apologetic as he set the bat aside and pulled out what looked like a fire poker. You inspected it carefully, the dark metal looked like it had spent some time at it's actual use before they commandeered it for this. The man walked around you before winding up and bringing the bar of metal across your back and she snarled in pain, your skin sizzling where it touched bare skin. Iron. Why did it have to be IRON? The warden's eyes widened curiously as the burn mark appeared on your skin and he smirked wickedly. “What do we have here?” He purred low and you glared at the human, wishing he'd get just a little closer so you could tear his throat out with your teeth.

“Go to hell.” You spat, the warden's eyes looking at the guard before over at the table not far away. The human groaned quietly and lifted you up by one arm, tossing you at the table so you hit it hard and flopped over it. The fuck was going on?

“Make sure she can't get up. I think we found what will make this little bitch sing.” He purred and you narrowed your eyes, the faint glow invisible in the sharp light of the florescent bulbs overhead. Pulling out leg chains the guard, Mike you assumed his name was since that's what the warden kept calling him, began to secure your ankles to the bars of the table. Weird, his nametag said Chris. You tried to yank your legs away as he secured you to the table before slamming your head against the surface. Stars in your vision made you curse, that was a concussion right there damn. He could see the burn from the iron bar blistering on your back, just a tiny spot where it hit in a glancing blow. If a mere touch did that, he looked at the warden who held his hand out for the bar and he winced as he handed it over to his commanding officer. You let out a dark laugh as the guard walked to the other side of the table.

“Thanks Mike.” You grinned his direction, your tone surprisingly light. “Make the bitch do his own dirty work yeah?” Your laugh cut off when he pressed the dull point of the fire iron against your back, the amused tone turning to a shriek of pain as the skin instantly began to blister and burn, a bit of smoke coiling over you as if the weapon was actually hot. Not that the warden was above using fire to make people talk, but it was ice cold right now. It didn't make sense to either of them but it was effective, pulling the tip of the weapon back there was a raw, bleeding spot, the smell of burnt flesh filling the room quickly. Panting heavily you winced and flexed your hands uselessly. If only you could get them free, then you'd be able to rip this asshole's head off his shoulders.

“What's the matter? Did that hurt?” The warden cooed and the sound made your skin crawl, this guy was disgusting. You flexed your fingers when you felt fabric lean agaisnt them, trying to get your hands on him and he pulled back before you could get a good grip. Then you felt the iron press against the palm of your left hand and you squealed, trying to pull away but having no place to go. You could feel you bones flex and try and shift, a response to pain and fear that was starting to cloud your eyes. Moments later the weapon was pulled back and the middle aged man grinned down at you, he didn't even have to HIT you to get you writhing, it was great to see you flip between cursing at him and screaming in pain. “Don't worry, there is more where that comes from sweet thing.” He purred in that sickly, honey sweet voice again. Your eyes flashed to him, craning your head over your shoulder to glare and he smirked wickedly.

-----

 

It as nearly dark when Beau arrived, sweeping in and moving straight to Hemlock where she paced anxiously. His hair was a soft shade of brown, his jaw squared and masculine to such a degree that it made Swift, who was a pretty well built guy, look scrawny. The fae seemed to ooze sexuality, his dark eyes intense as Hemlock seemed to relax when she saw the tall fae arrive. Despite his very intimidating stature he seemed very calm and exceptionally friendly. Papyrus looked at Swift curiously.

“I THOUGHT YOU SAID HE WAS VOLATILE.” He hummed and Swift shifted from foot to foot again, still watching the large male that had just arrived.

“Just wait till you see him in action. I'm assuming you're gonna want to come with to save Lark?” He said and Papyrus was about to disagree, he wanted no part in going back to that place but Sans interrupted before he could.

“a'course we're goin.” He snapped and Swift blinked at him in surprise. This was the same monster who the whole week she was gone did nothing but snarl and declare how much he hated everyone in the stronghold? “ya think 'm gonna just leave 'er like tha'? what kinda monster ya take me fer?!” He snarled and that ended that, Hemlock glancing over and shaking her head. That skeleton was nothing but a headache for her. She could only hope you would be willing to keep an eye on them for her when they got you out. Beau declared quietly that he needed an hour to get the Grim ready and then you could go, it would be full dark by then and the grim, ghostly creatures that they were, would be in their element. Swift nodded and disappeared into his tent, all his wolves crowding in with him and Sans could hear him cursing at them quietly.

*** WARNING TRIGGERS BEYOND***

You weren't sure if you could scream anymore, your back was a mess of blood and burns and blisters, the skin fizzling loudly as he pressed the cold metal against where your ribs met your spine, a bit of bone peeking through the destroyed flesh and you gasped loudly. When it was pulled away you sucked a few shaking breaths, the guard had long since left, you had no energy to fight anyways and the Warden was chuckling loudly as you tried to growl at him whenever he drew close. Your cheek was pressed against the table heavily, eyes half closed as you watched rivers of crimson drip from your shoulder onto the table. The wounds wouldn't be able to heal right with the iron, and you weren't sure you could take much more. That didn't mean you were going to tell that fucker anything, you were prepared to die at this point. You felt more then saw when the iron bar was placed on the table beside you, not that you could reach it even if you had the energy to. What would you do with it? Burn yourself? Ha. You let out a breathy laugh, you really didn't know what else they could do to you at this point.

But humans are known for their cruelty and their dark intents, you should have known. When the guard left and it was just you and this mortal madman left, you should have known he was pure evil. He wasn't going to be satisfied with just this, just hurting you. No. He didn't get to be Warden by doing anything halfway. You closed your eyes tiredly, your legs shaking as shock from blood loss began to set in. You could feel the blood slide down the side of your legs from your hips which had deep grooved burns against them. Part of your spine exposed as the thin flesh there peeled away from burns that crisscrossed every inch of exposed flesh. Eyes closed, unable to keep them open anymore as hazy pain overroad the droning of the human's voice somewhere behind you. It didn't matter anyways, what more could he do to you? Your body wouldn't last through any more torture, even he could see that. You would have laughed if you could, he got no answers, the monsters were long gone, and you would take your secrets to the grave. Kinda wish you could of become friends with Papyrus, you had grown genuinely affectionate for the skeleton over the days you delivered messages and watched him. Oh well, didn't matter now. He was free, you did your job, good job Meadowlark. You were about to let darkness claim you, maybe rest while you were still alive to do so, when the soft clink of metal and the sound of leather caught your ear. One eye opening ever so slightly. What was that? Fingers twitched against your back, though the motion made them ache as the burned tendons screamed in agony.

“You're not of much good to me anymore, but... you still have one use.” You heard the quiet, male voice hum. Something about how he said that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Your brain screaming ALERT ALERT and your eyes opened wide, looking around for whatever was causing your body to scream in panic and your fight or flight to redline in flight mode. You bucked against the table, not having the strength to lift your body up, even if your muscles weren't too damaged to do so. You yanked a foot up, trying to slip from the shackle around your ankle and heard a low, husky chuckle that made your body go cold. No. Full panic took hold and you thrashed in earnest, feeling his hand slide along the sticky blood that soaked your once khaki shorts and you twisted your body to try and bite him. He laughed low and slapped you as your body twisted close, making you flop back against the steel tabletop heavily and you groaned. You could hear clothing moving, rustling, and you thrashed again. His hands grabbed your hips and you screamed, his fingers digging into the raw wounds there and out of reflex your whole body forced itself up as desperation sank in, smashing your head against his face. You could feel his nose explode against the back of your head and he stumbled back. He was clearly surprised and you dug your feet against the cement, the table being bolted to the floor but trying nonetheless to escape. You shouldn't have this much fight left in you, even he could see that and you yanked at your feet, the shackles digging through your socks and fresh blood blooming to fill your shoes. You snarled ferally and your fangs elongated as fear and adrenaline fueled your movements, hands flexing against the pain and for a moment the warden could see you getting free. Amber eyes twisted to look back at him, pupils tiny spots in a sea of gold, looking very much like a cornered animal ready to attack. You heaved breaths, the human stumbling backwards and you yanked one of your legs harshly against the bindings, his own blood running down his face and he opened the heavy steel door, rushing from the room and locking it behind him. Your body twitched and you flopped heavily against the table, you could tell that fighting like that had made your wounds worse, not that it mattered. Your eyes slid shut, not sleeping, but you couldn't keep them open anymore. It just hurt too much to try and use the energy required to keep them focused. Heaving, labored breathing making your chest burn with each suck of air.

***End warning***

Beau stood up, he had been sitting in a circle of tiny greyish pots of ash for the better part of an hour and the skeleton brothers were confused. Time was wasting, even Swift was wishing the incubus would just get on with it and pull the demon dogs out. When he stood all of them were on their feet instantly and the tall male turned to Hemlock, his once dark eyes glowing with deep blue energy as the ash in the pots began to float from it, forming the shape of eight massive black dogs. Their eyes were the same glowing blue as his, and the brothers didn't miss how Swift cowered slightly, his ears low and his tail tucked between his legs. Sans glanced at the usually self assured wolf, then looked back at the massive ghostly canines.

“Let's go.” Beau's voice was changed, while it was a honey and clove smoothness before it now was a guttural growl. “I can sense her distress from here.” He snapped and as one him and the Grim turned to the circle stepping in and disappearing.

“he is creepy as hell.” Sans muttered and Swift nodded his head. Hemlock looked at them and for the first time a softer look crossed her features.

“We're going to give him 10 minutes to start then we're going to follow Swift.” She looked at Papyrus. “Would you know where they would be keeping her?” She asked, her voice laced with concern and the taller brother sniffed.

“BUT OF COURSE, THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS WAS OFTEN CALLED TO GUARD THE WARDENS.... INTERROGATIONS.” He faltered at the last word and Sans looked at his bro with concern, the younger sibling had flat refused to talk to him about what the interrogations entailed and after glancing at Swift's low head and his brother's obvious distress he had the feeling it would be best if he didn't push more. “I Will Lead You There, Miss Hemlock.” He said quieter and the bird fae nodded her head.

“Thank you Papyrus.” She reached out to touch his arm lightly and the skeleton flinched away from her touch. She lowered her hand and looked at Swift. “I know you're worried Swift, get the wolves ready, they will be our personal guard. We don't know what to expect in there.” She stated, Papyrus closed his sockets, his arms folded across his chest and his face stoic, he knew but he hoped he was wrong. When they moved to through the Circle to the clearing of the Faeline they could hear the screams and gunfire from the short distance to the compound. The manic laughter of Beau's musical voice drifting through the terror that was almost thick enough to taste. “Let's go. Swift and Papyrus, take point?” Hemlock looked tired, she was worried and it was wearing on her. The gates were wide, the bodies of the guards covered with blood and ash, the wounds on them leaking black fluid that had the wolves cringing as Papyrus carefully lead them through the silent hallways towards the human's quarters. The scent of blood and panic was filling the hallways, the corpses of humans littering the halls and further down they could see Beau with a human pinned to a wall. The grim around him growling low as he smiled darkly at the thick, older man. Papyrus' eyes widened. He had caught the warden!? Good, that one was disgusting to the core of his soul. Tarnished Justice that instead of being a bright yellow was a sickly brown. The human seemed to see them and turned his head to call for help, the cry cutting off when he saw the monsters and Beau looked over at the group.

“Ya want this one?” He purred the words. “He doesn't seem suitable for me to eat.” He finished and the human's eyes flashed in fear. Papyrus was glad to see that he was getting what was coming to him but shook his head.

“THAT ONE IS BEYOND REDEMPTION. I WOULD NOT SULLY MY HANDS WITH SUCH FILTH.” Papyrus snarled and Beau grinned at him, he liked this skeleton.

“My thoughts exactly, my friend.” The fae purred and looked at the Grim. “Here boys. Kill.” He tossed the human to the floor, the Grim leaping at him and with a bloody gurgle the human was made into a meal for the demon dogs. “I'm gonna clean up the rest, you find our little Meddie eh?” Beau smirked and walked deeper into the stronghold, the grim leaving the corpse of the warden, mangled flesh making him unrecognizable. Papyrus sniffed in disgust and turned down a hallway, glancing in rooms now and then. This was the warden's favorite wing, mostly soundproof, thick walls, no way to get help even if anyone was inclined to assist. Swift ran ahead sniffing along the bottoms of the doors and stopping at one a few meters ahead of the group, whining at Hemlock. She glanced in the window of the door and covered her mouth with her hands. Sans flinched, whatever she saw in there was enough to make the stoic bird make such a horrified face, it had to be bad. He didn't want to look in first, best to just get this over with.

He wasn't ready for what he saw within, when the lock clicked your eyes shot open. Pupils fluctuated wildly as they tried to focus and you started snarling low, the deep rumble echoing in the otherwise silent room. As the door pulled open the stench of burning flesh and blood assaulted everyone who came to her rescue. Swift rushed in and pressed against your leg only for you to thrash and end up kicking him in the chin. Your eyes were wild and unfocused as she tried to lift her body off the table, hands flexing and curling in the air behind you as Hemlock walked around her so that she could talk at the raging fae from a safe distance. She looked at the fire poker on the table and reached her hand over it, pulling back sharply when her skin began to blister at the proximity.

“Iron.” She whispered and the skeleton brother's blinked in confusion. “Fae are allergic to iron, it's our only real weakness.” She watched as your unfocused eyes glared her direction blood pooling in the deep burns on your back, the exposed bone that crisscrossed the previously unblemished flesh. Papyrus was clenching his jaw. “It explains why her wounds aren't healing at all.” She rubbed her chin as you collapsed against the table again, still glaring blankly and growling loudly. Hemlock walked over and placed her hand against the back of your neck, holding you firmly but with a gentleness. “Meadowlark. You are safe now.” her voice was stern and commanding, and your eyes focused on her face, mind working double time as you tried to make sense of what you were hearing. Safe? You were safe? You didn't feel safe. You hurt, everything hurt.

Sans couldn't look at you, blood and charred flesh covering every inch of your back and sides, he could make out the soft white of your bones in a few spots. He couldn't help but realize this was his fault. If he hadn't demanded you go save his brother you wouldn't look like this right now. You wouldn't be half dead and growling at them like they were the enemy. He watched as your eyes twisted, trying to focus before landing on Papyrus and your face seemed to break. Your hands twitched as your body went slack, Hemlock taking her hand off your neck and breaking the zip tie to let your hands flop heavily to the table, your carpals clearly exposed on each palm. She moved to the shackles on your ankles, noticing the deep lacerations where you tried to pull free, she had to admit you had fought back valiantly as a Puca could. Against iron no less. As soon as your ankles were free you trembled, legs going slack as they lost all ability to hold you up, sliding off the table slowly before flopping onto the floor. Swift darting in and letting your head fall on his side. He was sure you had already been beaten around the head enough as your eyes kept unfocusing, his tongue swiped across your face a few times and your hand twitched, as if wanting to reach out and push his muzzle away.

Everything was so hazy, you couldn't make out the voices or the forms at first, just blurs of color and sound that didn't make any sense. Your mind was slowly calming down, something about the figures around you soothing your agitation, twisting your head slightly you let your gaze wander the formless figures before they fell on the tallest of them. Your nostrils flared, scents filling your senses. First was fresh air and maple... Hemlock. You relaxed slightly. Next you picked up on sandalwood and fennel, that had to be Swift. You allowed your muscles to unlock slightly. Smoke... and spice, Cinnamon maybe? With a tang of something not fae. Sans. It had to be Sans. You slipped from the table slowly, letting your body fall. Finally rain and pine. Papyrus. You could feel your body's fall broken by something soft and furry, something wet touching your face. Stop, don't touch me. You couldn't move, your body wouldn't listen to you. You almost let yourself relax fully when a new scent assailed your nose. Ash, death, lust.... Your body went rigid and you started to twist, trying to force your limbs under yourself, your body trying to shift.

“yer gonna hurt yerself, sweetheart. relax. we got ya.” Sans finally said and you tried to lift your head to look his direction. How did they all get here? That smell was getting closer, ash death... your nostrils flared and you let out a low growl as your mind screamed threat. It was getting too close. The monsters were your responsibility, you slowly tried to push yourself up, snarling low as the new figure shadowed the doorway.

“Now now Meadow. You're gonna make your wounds worse.” Beau's drawling voice filled the room and you went rigid. Why was HE here? He crossed the room quickly, kneeling and grabbing your face in one hand, twisting your face to look up at him. The unnatural cerulean in his eyes mesmerizing and you whimpered. He leaned in close before pressing his lips against yours, his eyes flaring brightly as he forced some of the lifeforce he'd stolen from the guards into your body, healing some of your wounds and you shoved him away hard as your body started responded to your commands.

“Don't touch me!” You screamed, trembling and Swift rushed to your side, pressing his head under one of your arms to support you as you collapsed. Hemlock sighed and glared at Beau.

“What? I was tryin to help.” He smirked and he moved to pick your body up, Papyrus stepping in the way. He had seen clearly that you didn't want this man touching you, as your possible friend he felt it his place to intervene. Moving to Swift, the lanky skeleton scooped your limp body up, pressing your chest against his own. Your head on his shoulder as he gently supported your weight without touching your back. His magic creeping from his hands to try and gently heal the grievous wounds. You took these wounds for him and his brother. He wouldn't forget that.

“we should get outta 'ere. she needs ta rest.” Sans finally stated and pressed his hand against his brother. “we'll take her and get back ta the house. meet ya there.” He smirked as Hemlock moved to object then he shortcutted them to the clearing. He couldn't shortcut to the other end of the faeline, it was too far so he sent Paps and you through first before following quickly after. As he came out the other side his brother looked at him sternly.

“YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE ASKED THIS OF HER.” he snapped and Sans sweated, lowering his head. “WHEN SHE WAKES, YOU WILL APOLOGISE TO HER.” Sans had expected that from his brother and he chuckled.

“yeah bro, i'm the wurst.” he sighed, Papyrus growling at the pun. “was a total bonehead, didn't think it through.” Placing his hand on his brother the two went through another shortcut, landing just outside the circle to the stronghold. He looked up at the tree. “can i get a hand?” he smirked at the snake fae who sighed and shook his head before disappearing into the trees. One of the wolves appearing a few minutes later in her human shape. She panted, pulling a shirt on and rushed over when she noticed the dire condition of you.

“Oh no, Meddie.” even her voice was yelp-like and she ushered the two skeletons into the circle and activated the magic. “I'll send for Rainspite. He's the best healer in town at the moment. We sent our other healers with the monsters until they were all stabilized. Take her home, quick quick.” She shooed the two monsters, your eye opening blearily and you wondered how you got home so fast. Did you sleep that long? You tried to lift your head but Papyrus growled and you flopped heavily against him again. You just barely noticed Sunspot rushing off towards Rainspite's place, you were gonna get it from that cait now. You couldn't bring yourself to care at the moment, instead your arms hugging Papyrus tenderly, everything hurt.

“Thanks friend.” You mumbled quietly, eyes fluttering shut again and completely missing the deep red-orange blush on the tall skeleton's face.

Chapter Text

Rainspite burst into the house moments after Papyrus had lay you down on your bed, making sure your hair was off your wounds and your face wasn't pressed into a pillow. He didn't want you to smother. When the feline rushed in he span, summoning a bone and ready to defend the woman who was resting behind him. The feline stared up at the massively tall skeleton, his yellow-green eyes glowing brightly and his inky fur bristling. He pulled his lips from his teeth in a growl and stared at the monster who was blocking the doorway to the girl he cared about.

“Move.” The feline snapped, a bag filled with healing salves tied around his neck and Papyrus solidified his stance, he didn't know this fae and he didn't know their intentions.

“NO.” He growled back and gripped the bone. He wasn't letting anyone he didn't trust near you until he got some proof that you would be okay with them.

“God damnit ya diot! I gotta treat her injuries! Get the fuck outta my way and let me see her!” Rainspite snarled the words and Papyrus narrowed his eyes.

'LANGUAGE.” His voice was a low grumble and Rain clenched his paws, tail lashing in anxiety and annoyance behind him. “NO ONE WILL GET NEAR TO HER UNLESS I ALLOW IT. I WILL PROTECT HER WHILE SHE IS HEALING.” He stood up to his full height, well over 7 feet tall, and glared down at the cat. Sans was sleeping on the couch, Papyrus knew better then to count on that lazybones so it was up to him to make sure you were kept safe.

“let 'im see 'er, boss.” Came Sans' voice suddenly and both Rainspite and Papyrus twisted to look at him, sockets still shut. “th' cat aint gonna do nothin t' meadow. this is rainspite, th' one th' wolfgirl said she was gonna go get. th' healer.” He continued and Papyrus glowered at his brother before turning his sockets back to the cat fae who seemed surprised the other skeleton spoke up for him. His yellow-green eyes turned back to Papyrus and the skeleton monster glared down at him before stepping aside just enough for him to scurry past. What he saw beyond nearly brought the proud Cait to tears, she looked like death. Her wounds still oozing blood and he leapt onto the bed, his paws reaching out to brush her hair from her face. Papyrus watched the small feline tremble, stroking her cheek and staring at the horrible wounds.

“What happened?” The fae's voice was cold and emotionless, barely suppressed rage bubbling under the calm tone.

“SHE GOT CAPTURED, NOT FOR LONG, BUT SHE WAS VERY INJURED WHEN WE GOT TO HER.” Papyrus' voice was loud, but it was full of concern and the feline didn't miss that, his eyes twisted to glare towards Sans. Expectant. Waiting.

“m sorry, i shoulda gone the first time she said ta. i didn't wanna leave 'er behind.” Sans finally mumbled and his sockets opened slightly, he was angry at himelf. If not for him she never would have been there to begin with.

“Not your fault...” Your voice was weak and tiny, all three turning their eyes to you as your own amber irises opened just a bit. You put your hands under yourself, trying to push yourself off the bed and Rain yowled in protest. “Sorry dad.” You teased the cat and he glowered.

“Lay back down, let me put some healing salve on those wounds.” the fae snapped and you sighed, flopping heavily back to the bed as he pulled out the the tub of cream. It smelled heavily of herbs and something the brothers couldn't quite place. He hopped over to your back and sniffed at the wound before sighing and looking up at Papyrus. “There are flakes of iron in her wounds, that is why they are still bleeding. Can you go get me a bowl of hot water and a cloth, she keeps them beside the sink in that cookie jar. The salve won't help if we don't get the iron out of the wound first.” Sans was watching through the door, your breathing labored and strained as Rain scolded you quietly.

Once Rain was done cleaning your wounds, you whining that it stung and trying to chase him away from you more then once, he handed the jar of salve to Sans.

“Make sure that is applied at least one more time. It will prevent infection and make the scarring less.” The cait looked over her shoulder at the girl still laying face down on the bed “Thank you for bringing her home alive. Come by later and I'll send some food up for her.” The fae stared into the sockets of both brothers for a long moment before nodding and walking out, leaving the two with the you. Sans sighed and glanced your direction, you appeared to be sleeping and he flopped back against your couch.

“REST BROTHER. I WILL WATCH OVER HER.” Papyrus' voice cut through the silence of the house and the shorter brother looked about to object when the taller strode to the bed and sat on the other side of it from her, folding his arms across his chest and watching her with a softness in his sockets that he didn't recognize. He set the jar down and closed his eyes, he didn't think he'd sleep but it was better then sitting there watching his brother. When Papyrus was sure that Sans was no longer looking he turned his eyes to his brother, it was good to be near him again. He stretched one of his hands over your dozing form and tried to let his healing wash over you again, only to watch as his magic slid off you like water from a duck. He didn't understand why he couldn't heal these wounds. Your eyes opened slowly and you glanced towards Papyrus, having felt the healing magic and being roused from your light sleep.

“It's because of the iron.” You mumbled absently, as if reading his mind. “Iron wounds can't be healed with magic... probably a side effect of the allergy.” you wanted to shift, your body was so uncomfortable but you knew if you shifted it would reopen all your wounds. You winced and slowly rolled yourself on your side so you were facing Papyrus. “Thanks... for coming back for me.” You lifted your head up slightly and glanced up at Papyrus who was scowling at you.

“IF YOU DID NOT LISTEN TO MY FOOLISH BROTHER THEN YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN IN THAT SITUATION AT ALL. IT WAS RECKLESS!” He snapped and you smirked a bit.

“Yeaaaah. It was.” You admit quietly. “But I felt so bad... I don't have any siblings but I would like to think if our positions were switched, he would have done the same for me.” You glanced towards Sans beyond the form of Papyrus, his eyes closed and relaxed but you could tell he wasn't sleeping. Papyrus folded his arms across his chest.

“DOUBTFUL.” he grumbled. “MY BROTHER IS TOO LAZY TO HELP ANYONE BUT HIMSELF.” You glanced up at Papyrus and then over at Sans, yeah he'd been a little shit, but you didn't think that was the case. Surely there was more to the skeleton then just anger and sleeping, you knew he was listening, something about the way the edges of his sockets were crinkled sat wrong with you.

“I don't think so. He's rough, but again he was just angry. He was very upset you were still controlled by the humans. He's a dick, but he's a dick I can respect. Besides, he came back for me too, I may have been a bit feral but my nose picked up on his presence.” You offered quietly, your eyes watching the crinkle of bone on Sans' face soften slightly, so he was listening. You turned your eyes back to Papyrus' face. “Don't be so hard on him, kay bud?” A smile turned the corners of your lips and you tried to sit up only to wince and flop back onto your stomach. “Ok... can't get up yet. Ow....” You felt his hands slide under your arms, carefully helping you sit up and you smiled bashfully.

“ASK IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE.” He grumbled and you blushed a bit.

“You're a good friend, Papyrus. I know it was reckless and I could of died. Almost did die.” You shuddered and looked away, you knew better than anyone you were not a warrior and you had no place there. “But I'm glad I did it anyways. After all, if I hadn't you'd still be stuck there.” You smirked and he scoffed. Glancing over to him again you raised a brow. “I meant what I said before, in the note.” Your voice was quiet and he glanced at you.

“NYEH...” he looked conflicted for a moment. Letting your guard down got you dusted, every monster knew that. He had never really had FRIENDS even as a babybones. Still, something about the way you smiled up at him, not expecting anything of him just happy he was there, it was refreshing. “JUST BE MORE CAREFUL IN THE FUTURE!” He scolded and you grinned then yawned. “GO BACK TO SLEEP. I WILL WAKE YOU UP FOR DINNER.” Nodding your head you let your body slip back to the mattress, eyes growing heavy as sleep took you.

Heat on your back from the cold metal, the scent of burning flesh and charred bone, pain and anger and lust and fear flicking back and forth in an endless cyclone. Your body twitched, sleep holding you under as memories of the pain, of the fear and the claustrophobia. Hands clenching uselessly. You were back in that room, the blood pooling around you as your wounds were deepened over and over by the humans. You screamed. You felt a hand touch your shoulder and your body shifted out of instinct, wounds ripping open as your eyes shot open, pupils nearly invisible pinpricks in the sea of deep amber. Fangs turned on the hand and your snarl echoed in the silent house, jaws clamping shut audibly on themselves, missing the arm of the one touching you by a fraction. You stood on four paws, blood dripping down your body as you tucked your tail between your legs, ears pinned in terror, lips curled away from white fangs and you trembled. Papyrus moved his arm just in time, your body shifting too quickly to keep his hand where it had been trying to wake you up from your nightmare. In your place stood the massive wolf, legs bent so your belly was almost touching the now bloody sheets, nostrils flaring as you tried to figure out where you were. Pupils slowly dilating as the sleep haze faded and you let your eyes turn up to Papyrus' face, muzzle parting slightly and you leapt off the bed to shove yourself under it, leaving a trail of blood on the bed rail and a burning path on your injured flesh where you tore open more of the delicate healing flesh. 'I almost bit him.' Horror filled your mind, you knew that monsters were more delicate than you were, even more so than humans could be. In your fear, you could have really hurt or killed him. Placing your paws over your muzzle you let out a low whine, the pathetic sound echoing in the hollow under the bed, filling the area with your mistake.

Papyrus stared at the shreds of clothing on the bed, blood soaked deep into the ruined fabric and the blankets and sheets. Your scream had startled both of the skeleton brothers, clearly you were having a nightmare but neither expected the violent reaction when he reached out to touch you. Your transformation had been nearly instant, Sans noticing that when you were willing it to happen the shifts took several minutes, sometimes stretching to a quarter hour. The scent of fresh blood filling the room and they looked at each other. Sans was pissed you tried to bite his brother, Papyrus could see that, but he was certain you did not mean to attack him. And you had pulled back at the last second, he saw that. Even in your fear you had enough mental acuity to pull back just enough to not harm him. Papyrus knelt on the floor and looked under the bed, seeing your form towards the middle of the bed and he reached under to try and grab you. One of his bony hands wrapping around one of your hind legs and he began to pull you from under the bed, ignoring your crying yelps of surprise. Once he had you from under the bed he couldn't stay even annoyed with you as you rolled onto your injured back and cringed away from him, expecting anger clearly. He looked over at Sans, who while still not reigniting his eyelights, relaxed ever so slightly.

“CALM DOWN.” came Papyrus' booming voice and you cringed away again, blood smearing under your weight as you bared your throat and belly to the skeleton. Sans sighed, unable to stay mad when he saw how utterly you was submitting to them. Pushing aside the primal thrill of it in the wake of the blood that was starting to pool and he groaned, the wounds had been healing so well too. It was amazing how quickly the skin had started to re-grow and cover the deep wounds. Placing his hand on Papyrus' shoulder he let out a grumble.

“i got 'er boss. go finish up dinner?” he offered and Papyrus looked about to object then grumbled something and stood up, you cringing at the towering form that was over her. Once Papyrus walked away you turned your muzzle away from Sans, you attacked his brother. “stop rubbin yer back on th' damn dirty floor willya! yer gonna get a damn infection like Rain warned us about!” He snapped and you cringed, slowly rolling onto your side and hiding your muzzle under your paws. “shift back, need ta re-treat those damn wounds. yer a pain in th' ass ya know tha?” He grumbled and you whined, pity welled in his chest and he shoved the feeling away. No, he wasn't going to feel bad for you! You nearly bit his little bro. He turned his eyelights away as your bones began to groan and protest, body slipping back. He could hear your bones popping and creaking as they shifted, it took longer then usual. It was nearly half an hour before you were able to roll onto your side and curl up on yourself. “c'mon then, time ta get ya somethin ta wear.” He muttered and walked to your closet, finding one of your crop tops and a pair of sweatpants, he tossed them at you without looking and while you were able to get the pants on without issue the shirt was proving to be a problem.

“I... I can't get it on.” you whispered quietly and Sans glanced over at you, one arm and half your head into it, your face peeking from the neck hole in embarrassment. It would have been hilarious if you didn't look so damn pathetic, stuck in your own clothing. “I can't lift my arms to get it on.” He grumbled and walked back towards you and, carefully keeping his eyes averted he helped you get the shirt on, rolling it up a bit so that it didn't touch any of your wounds, the bleeding already stopped and the wounds stitching together quickly now that the lead allergy reaction was wearing off. Maybe a healing would stick this time, he tried to grip you with his blue magic but the lack of a soul to grab meant it didn't work and he grumbled. “go sit on th' couch and i'll put on this damn cream rain left.” he growled and you nodded and skittered that direction quickly, not wanting to do anything to make him angry at you. He sat behind you and began to smear the cream on the raw spots on your back, ignoring where the skin was whole for the most part. Once he was done he lift a hand and the soft glow of his magic coiled around his fingers, he wasn't as good at healing as his brother was but he was rewarded with watching some more of the skin pull together, especially the new rips from shifting in her panic. “Thank you Sans...” Your voice was quiet and he grumbled at you.

“dun mention it, but if ya eva attack my bro again... yer gonna have a real b a d t i m e” a chill ran down your spine, your face was still away from him but you could tell that he was angry and you cringed, ears pinning against your head and you lowered your head. “let's go eat.” he muttered and you nodded slowly, limping Papyrus' direction and the taller skeleton scowled at his brother. He didn't need to threaten you, he felt protective of you and moving over he helped you to the table, pulling out a chair and helping you sit delicately so as to not put pressure on your wounds. Sans didn't miss the glower from his brother but he wouldn't let that deter him. He had just got his brother back, no one was taking him from him ever again.

“I HAVE MADE YOU MY VERY BEST LASAGNE!” Papyrus boasted and you smiled thankfully to him, you had fully expected walking down to Rain's place, you probably will still just to let him know you were doing alright, but you weren't about to turn down something Papyrus made. He noticed your expression and puffed out his chest, his tattered scarf billowing behind him in a breeze that didn't exist, your smile softened and you were reminded again how all the pain was worth it. Papyrus was too good, even if he tried to be intimidating and tough, you could see he was sweet and kind. Moving to your oven he pulled out the lasagna and your mouth watered at the scent of tomato and garlic. Your stomach snarled in hunger and you lowered your head sheepishly. You hadn't eaten since before the raid, now that was easily 18-20 hours ago, and you had shifted and been subjected to iron poisoning. Papyrus heaped your plate with the noodles and sauce and cheese and your eyes went wide and thankful as it was placed in front of you. You took in the pile of food, then looked up at Papyrus, once again feeling bad for nearly biting him.

“You really are the best!” You sniffled and he gulped as your eyes filled with tears. You felt so thankful that he was here to help take care of you while you healed.

“BUT OF COURSE, HU-MEADOW.” He caught himself at the last moment and you just smiled at him. “NOW EAT, MONSTER FOOD IS INFUSED WITH MAGIC THAT SHOULD HELP YOU HEAL MORE!” he commanded and you picked up your fork and scooped up a mouthful. Sans watched you carefully, and you inhaled the scent again before stuffing it in your mouth. The noodles were ever so slightly overdone but it was still so good and you nearly sobbed as the energy began to absorb into your tired muscles and you could almost feel the wounds on your back stitching shut and the muscle and flesh growing. Beaming up at him he blushed as you put your fork down and threw your arms around his waist.

“Thank you Papyrus, it's amazing.” You had to hold back the tears threatening to overtake you, you didn't know you were missing a friend like Papyrus until he was here.

“B-BUT OF COURSE IT IS!” he managed and Sans snickered. It wasn't often Papyrus was flustered.

“she's right bro, it's im-pasta-ble not to like your cooking.” He smirked and both you and Papyrus turned your eyes to Sans, your looking like a mixture of amused and disappointed. But the pure disappointment in Papyrus' expression was too much and Sans smirked, his gold tooth flashing. “aw boss, don't look at me like that! this meal is tortellini great! I cannoli shake my head at how amazing you are!” The puns kept coming and he didn't miss the disappointment that was in your eyes shift to absolute amusement. Papyrus was nearly shaking with frustration at this point.

“SANS! DO NOT RUIN DINNER WITH YOUR HORRIBLE PUNS!” Papyrus snarled and you giggled quietly.

“Aw, Papyrus, he's just making sure you gnocchi how great you are.” You grinned up at him and the look of betrayal on his face was priceless.

“NYHO-HOHO! SANS YOU HAVE RUINED MY FRIEND WITH YOUR PUNS!” He snarled and you giggled.

“I'm sorry Paps.” You offered, Sans snickering and eyeing you when you joined in with his little puns. “I'll stop.” You apologized to the tall skeleton and he huffed and sat down to eat his own plate. Picking up your fork you began to absolutely demolish your food, getting two more servings after much to Papyrus' absolute joy. Once you were full, your back only throbbing slightly and your eyes heavy with weariness again you got up, hugged Papyrus and flashed a thankful smile to Sans before excusing yourself back to the bed. If this was how you would get to eat with Papyrus around, you were never letting that sweet skele go, you were going to be BESTIES.

Chapter Text

It took a few weeks to heal properly, the scars that crisscrossed your back were still tender at times and the tone of them was lighter then your usual deep bronze complexion but aside from a bit of tenderness you couldn't make yourself wish them away. They were a badge of honor as far as you were concerned, you had successfully led a takedown of an entire human complex! If only the other fae would stop looking at you piteously as if you were disfigured or something, especially the other women! It was as if they expected you to be choosing a husband or something! That was absurd, puca don't marry! They pair bond. Totally different thing, based entirely on compatibility and not looks. You blinked over at a pair of wolves as they watched you with their intense brown eyes, and you blinked at them before perking your vulpine ears their direction making them giggle and run off. Wolves are weird.

You were getting ready to go back on duty now that you were officially fully healed, Papyrus had objected but you really had to get back out there and help more monsters. You couldn't do that cooped up in the stronghold. Sans seemed happy to get you out of the house, you had given them the bedrooms and had been camping out on the couch. You weren't going to be home too much once you got back in the field and you didn't feel right taking up the bedrooms when you needed them less. The sun was just starting to come up, you knew Hemlock would be up and ready to go early. Hopefully she would have something good for you to do. Walking into her building you grinned at Pike who beamed a smile of his own back at you and winked.

“Good ta see ya up and ready to go back out, Meddie.” he grinned and you stuck your tongue out at him. “We've missed your intel like you wouldn't believe. We almost missed a convoy the other day because we were expecting it an hour later then it arrived.” You rolled your eyes.

“I leave you guys for just a few weeks and you fall apart.” You teased and Pike snickered. “Who was running my tasks?” Trying to get some insight into how much you'd have to go back and fix things was gonna be necessary.

“Uhhh. Let's see. Fleetfoot took half the work, and Zippo did the other half.” He said looking through the files. You groaned, Fleetfoot and Zippo weren't bad scouts, they just were lazy and didn't always report accurately. No doubt you would have to redo half of the tasks they did to confirm their accuracy.

“Great... Ok. Any of the things they report on not yet passed yet?” You sighed and Pike chuckled at your attitude.

“Yeah. They reported that a large caravan was going to pass our eastern border heading towards California in three days time. Might want to recon that.” He smirked an you nodded. “The trucks are sitting in Colorado Springs right now, they are being transported by Alliance Transport corp.” He read the information and you nodded, Allied wasn't usually too hard to hack into. Guess you were gonna go human this time. That was fine, it wasn't like it would be the first time you wandered around the town as if you belonged there.

“Alright, tell Hemlock I'm gonna pack up my laptop and tablet and head that way. Just gotta let my roommates know I'm gonna be not home a few days.” You ran your fingers through your bangs idly, thinking about the disapproval that Papyrus was going to pile on you.

“You're keeping the monsters?” Pike seemed surprised and you blinked. You really wish he hadn't worded it like that and the disapproval on your face made him know it.

“I'm not keeping anyone or anything. I told them they can stay as long as they want to, I'd like to think we're slowly becoming friends.” you sniffed at the pixie and folded your arms, he noticed he had struck a serious nerve with you and seemed desperate to make up for it.

“Of course, I didn't mean it like that Meadow. I just meant that you were gonna keep hanging around... them...? That doesn't sound any better, does it?” You shook your head and he sighed. “Sorry, I don't know much about monsters, I just work at the desk here and most don't come here. The ones that do usually head to the cities quickly enough.” He rubbed his face sheepishly and you shook your head.

“Careful, you're sounding a bit racist.” you smirked at the horrified look on his face. Good, serves him right for not picking his words better. “I'm gonna go pack up, take the bike I think.” You grinned and walked out, waving over your shoulder. You knew Pike wasn't racist, he just spoke thoughtlessly sometimes. He was several centuries older than you were but he acted far younger, that's why he was still a secretary and not given a more active role at the stronghold. You pondered that as you walked the short distance back to your house, the sun was fully up by the time you reached the front door and you walked in, stuffing your hands in the back pockets of your shorts before blinking as you found Papyrus at the stove, per usual. He was clearly making breakfast and you smirked a bit. It was too bad monsters and fae weren't compatible for making kids, you could get used to seeing Paps forever. As you realized what you just thought to yourself you resisted the urge to punch yourself. He is your FRIEND! You were really close to being able to call him your BESTIE! No no no Meadowlark. That will not do! Sneaking up behind him you grinned wickedly and jumped up to spidermonkey yourself on his back. “Papy!” The giggle from you was loud and cheerful and while he scowled at you and grumbled something about burning the eggs because of your foolishness, he patted your head and you made a soft hum of happiness. Hopping back down you twisted so you could hop onto the counter beside him and sit there.

“YOU ARE UP EARLY TODAY MEADOWLARK.” He looked over at you sharply and you grinned a bit, flashing your fangs playfully. “I WONDER WHY THAT IS?”

“Just had to go see about work.” It wasn't a lie, you just weren't sure how he was going to take that you were heading out today on a mission. “Found out the wolves they assigned to my job while I was healing weren't really up to the task and several of our missions were hindered because of it.” You sighed and shook your head. “Never send a wolf to do a puca's job.” You didn't miss how Papyrus faltered slightly, your eyes watching him very intently.

“YOU ARE GOING BACK OUT INTO THE HUMAN WORLD?” he asked carefully and you glanced away and nodded, guilty. “I DO NOT APPROVE OF YOU GOING BACK OUT THERE. WHAT IF YOU ARE CAPTURED AGAIN?”

“I appreciate that you're worried about me, but honestly I don't normally get into situations where I have the opportunity to be captured. The farm was kinda a one time deal.” You tried and he scoffed. “I'm serious. I'm just a scout.”

“WHAT A WASTE OF TALENT.” he grumbled and you blinked. Was he... giving you an underhanded compliment? Veiled praise? What was going on here. “YOU HANDLED THE FARM AS WELL AS COULD BE EXPECTED FROM ANYONE, THAT YOU ARE 'JUST A SCOUT' IS A WASTE OF YOUR LEADING ABILITY.” Oh my god it was a compliment, you blushed and shrugged your shoulders up to try and hide your face, tugging your hood over your head and chewing on the inside of your cheek.

“Thanks, but I don't like fighting. I don't like leading or being in charge. I work best out there on my own, hiding in the shadows and stealing information.” You mumbled and he scoffed loudly.

“NONSENSE!” Glancing back at the tall skeleton you blinked. “YOU DON'T LIKE FIGHTING BECAUSE YOU HAVE HAD NOTHING TO FIGHT FOR. TELL ME, WHY DID YOU COMMAND THE FORCES AT THE FARM?” He waved his spatula in the air as he spoke, you sputtering in confusion as you tried to infer what he was asking about.

“You mean why did I allow them to make me command? Well, because you were there. I had started growing fond of you, and even if I was initially guilted into the job in the first place. Even if I did force Hemlock to let me go at all, once I started to get to know you I couldn't just leave you there.” You kept your head tucked in your hood, the blush burning on your cheeks and you glanced over at him curiously. He sputtered at your words and cuffed you lightly.

“DO NOT GET WEAK ON ME!” He snapped and you giggled softly, the skeleton shaking his head as he finished up with the scrambled eggs. He plated enough for you and him, a few slices of bacon and toast joining the eggs as he set a plate aside for Sans when he finally decided to drag himself out of bed. “WHEN ARE YOU GOING?”

“After breakfast, I'll be gone just a couple days. Gotta find out the schedule for a transport and put trackers on the trucks. Easy job.” You offered, Papyrus didn't look convinced.

“I CAN'T CONVINCE YOU TO NOT GO?” He offered and you smiled.

“Bud, this is my job. I'm good at it. I help people doing it.” You sighed and looked at the ceiling before hopping off the counter and to the table where he placed the plates. “I can't stop now, not when there are so many monsters still out there suffering.” you tried to smile at him and while he scowled at you, you could see that he understood. “Do you want me to get anything for you while I'm out there?” At this you could see him actually perk up, then he plucked at his scarf as if he was nervous. You just waited patiently, taking a bite of your food and keeping your eyes on him.

“WELL... MAYBE... A NEW COOKBOOK?” he looked so innocent that you almost swooned. NO. HE IS MY FRIEND. BAD MEADOWLARK! Once you were done mentally scolding yourself you nodded.

“Cookbook it is! I'll find you one as great as you are.” You promised and he perked up visibly. You finished up your breakfast and began to back your bag, looking thoughtful you pulled open a drawer and grabbed your spare tablet. Booting it up you made a login for Papyrus, programming your information into the messaging program on it, and offered it to him. “You can contact me through this, I already programmed my info in. This way we can keep in touch and you'll know I'm okay.” You grinned. “The power cord is over on the side table there, so you can keep it charged and-” You were cut off as the tall skeleton wrapped you up in a hug. Papyrus was not a very touchy feely kind of person you'd found out, you usually had to instigate any form of physical contact.

“Be Careful.” He muttered quietly, nearly crushing your head to his chest and you closed your eyes, your ears listening to the soft hum that came from his chest. “Come Home Safely.” His voice made you shudder, you were not used to having anything to come home to. Even when you were being tortured you were ready to die with no one to really mourn you over much. Hemlock and Swift would have been upset, and Rainspite, but that was it. You wrapped your arms around his middle loosely and inhaled his rain and pine scent, imbedding it in your memory.

“I'll be careful. I promise.” Your voice was assured. With a friend like Papyrus to come back to, you would be triple careful, just for him. “I'll be back before you know it. After all, I won't have your amazing cooking out there!” You grinned up at him, that humming in his chest almost a purr in your ear and you wondered what it was. “Hey Papy, can I ask you something?” Your voice was soft and he blinked down at you where you peered up from against his chest.

“WHAT IS IT?” he was curious as to what you wanted to know.

“What is that humming sound in your chest?” You asked and he blinked in surprise. No one had ever asked him that before, a blush on his cheeks as he let you go.

“OH. THAT IS MY SOUL.” his voice was bashful and you smiled softly, your ears perking towards him to keep listening to it. It sounded so comforting and welcoming to you.

“Oh, so that's what a soul sounds like.” You twitched your ear. “Sans says I don't have a soul.” You mentioned off hand, Papyrus scoffing at the thought. That he seemed offended by the statement surprised you, you didn't seem to be bothered by it.

“EVERY LIVING THING HAS A SOUL. PAY NO MIND TO MY BROTHER.” Blinking your eyes at him he glanced down at you then back at his abandoned plate. “I Can Hear Yours Singing Sometimes.” He admitted and you widened your eyes. Souls sing? “When We're Alone And Talking, Or Reading Usually.” He admitted. “It's Faint, But I Hear It.” You blinked, wondering more about these strange souls.

“I didn't even know what a soul was before he mentioned it.” You mused aloud before shaking your head. “I should get going so I can get back faster. Take care of the house for me.” You beamed a smile at him and walked out the door. Your bag slung over your shoulder holding the computer and you trotted into Radar's shop. The pixie grinned at you brightly and you smirked. “Can I get a handful of tracking units for trucks?” You hummed and she rolled her eyes.

“Always work with you.” She sighed. “You should come hang out with me when you're NOT working sometime.” She complained loudly and you laughed.

“We'll see, Rayray.” You offered and she handed you a box no larger then a cigarette case, but it you knew it would have at least 5 trackers in it, more then enough. “Thanks for the trackers, gotta make sure the wolves didn't mess up the next transport mission.” She laughed, wolves were so shortsighted, they didn't think too hard or plan too far ahead. It wasn't that they were sloppy, they just thought differently then puca did.

“Be safe girl.” Radar said softly, you didn't miss how her eyes lingered on your sides where the thick band of paler skin was, like some caricature of stripes.

“Will do girl.” You waved over your shoulder, you couldn't stand how they kept looking at you like you were crippled now. You couldn't stand it, it was just some scars, you couldn't even see them when you shifted! Shaking your head you headed to the Circle, to begin the long trip intown.

----

 

Sans woke up sometime after noon, dragging himself out of his room and glancing around curiously at how quiet the house was. Papyrus was reading a book on the couch, a tablet sitting on the table beside him and he kept looking at it anxiously. That was unusual.

“hey boss, where's meadow?” He asked quietly, probably with Hemlock or Rainspite. He missed how Papyrus scowled at his book.

“SHE HAS GONE OUT ON A MISSION. SHE SAID SHE WILL BE GONE A FEW DAYS AND FOR US TO WATCH THE HOUSE FOR HER.” Papyrus stated back and Sans blinked, there was an edge in his brother's voice that he didn't miss that time. Was he mad about something? Sans was sure that the fae woman could take care of herself out there, without anyone else for her to watch over.

“ya alright boss?” he tried quietly, trying to place what his brother was either upset or mad about. He couldn't think of anything that he'd done, he hadn't gotten too drunk lately, he hadn't cussed at anyone or let his mess escape his room.

“I'M FINE SANS.” Papyrus stated shortly and Sans sweated. He shifted his feet uncomfortably and when Papyrus didn't speak again he slowly made his way to the plate of food waiting for him. He could FEEL Papyrus' eyes on him and he thought of just retreating to his room. “SANS. MEADOW MENTIONED SOMETHING STRANGE TO ME.”

“oh yeah boss? well these fae are pretty strange.” He offered, and while generally Papyrus agreed this was something that had nothing to do with fae. “what did she say?”

“SHE MENTIONED THAT YOU DIDN'T THINK SHE HAS A SOUL.” He stated simply and Sans blinked, that was what he was miffed about? What was Sans supposed to think? You had no stats, his blue magic slipped off you like there was nothing to you, he couldn't get a read on you at all, he couldn't see your soul even when he really LOOKED for it.

“i haven't been able to find evidence that she does, it is weird to me too boss.” Sans offered, taking a bite and Papyrus sighed and put his book aside.

“SHE HAS A SOUL, SANS. DO YOU EVER JUST LISTEN TO ANYONE?” Papyrus scowled his direction. “HER SOUL SINGS ALL THE TIME, YOU CANNOT TELL ME THAT IN THE TIMES YOU WERE ALONE WITH HER YOU NEVER ONCE HEARD IT? IT IS QUIET BUT IT IS THERE.” Sans blinked at his brother, no he had never heard your soul make even the faintest sound, but then he never listened for it either. He glanced at his brother, trying to figure out if the younger sibling was just yankin his chain or not.

“i'll uh, i'll try an listen fer it then.” He muttered absently and Papyrus nodded and returned to his book, apparently appeased. He liked the shapeshifting fae, he wanted to make sure his unruly brother didn't do anything to sully their friendship. Especially something so rude as denying her having a soul.

------

You had arrived into town late, setting up in a hotel and keeping your ears hidden in your thick hair as best you could. The humans didn't look at you twice, if they noticed them they thought they were some of those weird robot ears that humans like to wear for odd reasons. Once settled in your room you pulled out your laptop and opened it up, as soon as you connected to the internet a ping from your messages appeared. Opening the message you smiled softly when you read the text.

'MEADOWLARK. I HAVE TALKED TO MY USELESS BROTHER ABOUT THE MATTER OF YOUR SOUL, OR HIS APPARENT LACK OF LISTENING SKILLS, WHICHEVER. HE ASSURES ME THAT HE WAS NOT INTENDING TO INSULT YOU BY SAYING YOU DID NOT HAVE ONE AND HE WOULD LIKE TO TALK MORE ABOUT IT LATER WITH YOU. ALSO, I MADE A BAKED PASTA FOR DINNER TONIGHT, IT IS A SHAME YOU MISSED OUT ON SUCH AN EXTREME CULINARY DELIGHT!” Even over text he was shouting, never change Papyrus.

'Hey Papy, don't worry. I wasn't insulted. Fae aren't religious so the thought that I don't have a soul was not so disturbing to me as it might be to one of the wacko humans. But even so I don't mind talking to Sans about it if he wants to. I'm sorry I missed out on dinner, I have to settle for take out here and it's no where near as good as your food.' You typed the message back and sent it, noticing it was instantly read. Biting into a overcooked egg roll from the chinese food place you found on your way into town you twitched your ear and glanced at the clock, too early yet to sneak to the trucks. 'How are things going at home otherwise?'

'THEY ARE GOING AS WELL AS COULD BE EXPECTED, SANS IS DOWN AT RAINSPITE'S PLACE DRINKING WITH THAT LOATHSOME GRILLBY. YOUR FRIEND SWIFT STOPPED BY AROUND DINNER AND I INFORMED HIM THAT YOU WERE NOT PRESENT.' That had you curious. Why was Swift going by your place?

'Oh, did he need something?' You questioned and waited for the answer.

'HE DID NOT TELL US, BUT HE SEEMED UPSET YOU WERE NOT HOME.' He offered and you frowned, the wolf was not someone you considered a close friend, more like a work buddy, but you didn't want to offend anyone.

'I'll send him a message.' You sent the message and then opened up Swift's name, typing again. 'Papy told me you swung by, did you need something?' You tilted your head as you waited, the message showing read moments later and you took another bite from your eggroll.

'Was just checking on you Meddie.' the message started then you noticed he started typing again before you could respond. Waiting you finished the eggroll and began to shovel fried rice into your mouth. 'Hey, would you like to go on a run sometime?' A run, the two of you went on runs all the time. Work had you running all... OH. Oooooooooh. Oh no.

'Like, for work?' you were grasping at straws. Ever since Beau you didn't allow yourself to get TOO close to work buds, it got messy way too fast. 'B/c we do runs for work all the time, you don't need to be all weird if you need help on a mission.'

'No no. I meant. Just like, for fun.' That was not the response you wanted.

'Like a pack run?' You tried again, running with the pack wasn't too bad, so long as they didn't want you to hunt with em. Raw meat didn't sit well with you.

'I was thinking, maybe just you and me.' Oh Aine why?! Why you? Why this?! You cannot cope! Quickly you switched to Papyrus.

'Oh god Papy! Swift is trying to ask me out on a date.' You were so screwed, and not in a good way. You liked Swift well enough, he was a good alpha, but you just couldn't …. nooooo. 'Give me a good excuse as to why I can't go.'

'I AM CONFUSED, WHY DO YOU NOT WISH TO GO ON A DATE WITH THE WOLF? PLATONIC DATES ARE JUST AS ACCEPTABLE AS ROMANTIC ONES.' Oh Papyrus, you're too pure for this world.

'I don't think he has a platonic date in mind Papy...' You sighed loudly, thank god you were out here and not home. Sans would have a field day teasing you about this.

'THEN JUST DECLINE HIS OFFER AND EXPLAIN THAT WHILE HE IS A VERY GOOD PERSON YOU DO NOT VIEW HIM AS A DATEMATE.' Datemate? The fuck does that mean? 'THEN ADVISE HIM THAT WHILE YOU CANNOT RETURN HIS BURNING, PASSIONATE FEELINGS FOR YOU, THAT YOU WILL HELP HIM PAST THIS.' Paps, why are you so cute?! You glanced at the message from Swift and sighed, best to be straightforward.

'I don't think that's a good idea Swift, last time I dated someone from the stronghold things got weird, and complicated, and not fun.' you sighed.

'Weird? Oh you mean with the incubus. Yeah Beau is like that, but I'm not! Give me one run, Meddie. Pleeeeeeeeeeeease?' you could almost hear the whine in the text and you growled at yourself.

'Fine, we'll go on a run and just ONE run. Alright? I got work to do so I'm gonna get on that now.'

'Thank you Meddie! I promise it will be fun!' His answer had you laughing without amusement. Runs were not fun, runs were work. What had you gotten yourself into? You glanced at Papyrus' message and sighed.

'I'm gonna get to work. If I get done fast I should be home by the day after tomorrow.' You saw the read marker and smiled. 'Have a good night Papy.'

'BE SAFE.' just two words, but you knew that it meant a lot coming from him.

Chapter Text

The whole trip took less time than you expected it to, there was upped security. Apparently the attack on the farm out east had a bit of a ripple effect, but no one still pays attention to animals that run around. Thus you were able to sneak in as a fluffy cat and plant each of your trackers on the trucks and slip out unnoticed, except by one teenaged guy who made kissing noises at you as if you were going to go over there. HA! You hunched your shoulders and bolted when he took a step your direction and disappeared into the night. You snuck back into your room in time to get breakfast and the humans gave you a slightly disapproving look as you disappeared back to your room with a piece of toast sticking from your mouth. All that was left was for you to pack your things to travel home and stop at an internet cafe to pull out the stops and get the next few schedules for transports. You knew you would have to start really upping your game, the humans were going to start catching on and that meant more wolves and more risks. Sighing you turned in your door key and waved as you walked out the door and down the street. You saw a coffee shop up that way that would be a perfect cover. Your feline ears twitched under your hood and you hummed quietly and off key to yourself. You heard a gasp from behind you and glanced over your shoulder curiously, blinking at an older lady who was staring at the scars that crossed your back like a grisly roadmap. You felt no need to hide them, why should you be ashamed? They were badges of honor as far as you were concerned.

“Oh my dearie. Did … did someone do that to you?” Her horrified voice was full of tears and you blinked in surprise. You didn't expect that from a mere human, you offered her a weak smile and nodded.

“Yeah, a guy did it to me. Don't worry though. He can't hurt anyone else now. They got him and he got punished.” You promised, making it sound like the police had him locked up somewhere. “And I had some really good friends to take care of me when I was healing.” You offered and she rushed forward to take your hands, you blinking at her in shock.

“You poor dear. I will pray for you.” She looked so sincere and you smiled weakly again. You didn't believe in religion but let her do what makes her feel better you suppose.

“Thank you, I appreciate that.” You smiled and she patted your cheek like you were her granddaughter.

“I can tell you're a good, young woman. Don't let no man dull your shine.” She hummed and you chuckled softly. “Oh where are my manners. My name is Eleanor, but please call me Ellie.” You chuckled softly and were about to tell her your name but remembered that you didn't take talking to humans into account and slipped into the name that was on the debit card you used when you had to pay for things out here.

“Nice to meet you Ellie. I'm Kari.” You smiled warmly and she patted your cheek one more time before puttering back towards her tiny flower shop and you smiled softly. She was a nice human, guess they weren't all evil and terrible after all. “Bye Miss Ellie. See you around.” You hummed and she waved brightly to you. Once you stepped into the coffee shop the scent of coffee and pastries filled your senses and you walked to the counter, a bunny monster was smiling happily there, her collar light blinking like a beacon and you tried to not stare at it. “Uhm. Just a caramel latte and a blueberry muffin please.” You averted your eyes from her collar to her face, smiling as sweetly as you could.

“Oh sure thing darlin. Name?” She smiled and you gave her the name you gave to the old lady, paying her and moving to one of the tables away from the humans and pulling out your laptop and a pair of earbuds, setting up the system and getting a playlist going to work to. You heard your name called and you stood up to grab your food and drink, sitting back at your laptop and pushing the earbuds into your ears, it was too hard to find headphones that worked when you had animal ears since they were always on top of your head and not where human ears would be, this was just easier. You sipped your drink as you got to work, your fingers moving easily over the keys as you worked to log into their systems and get the information you needed. They had upped their security and you hit a few walls before you got what you were looking for. Grinning you saved the files to your computer for use later and ran a virus scan to make sure there was no tracking information tagged to the files before closing everything down. Human technology was so base, but maybe you felt that way because you'd seen every step of them developing it and had worked with it from the start. You finished the last bite of your muffin that you had been picking at the last few hours and packed up your things. Waving to the bunny monster you stepped out and started the long walk back to your motorcycle. Papyrus would be glad you got home sooner for sure, Sans probably wouldn't care either way but that's fine. As you walked you passed by a secondhand bookstore and stopped, looking at it. Papy did ask for a cookbook.

You walked in and stared at the section for cooking like it was a demon and you had no idea what to do with it. Apparently your discomfort drew attention because a few minutes of staring blankly later a young woman walked up and tapped your shoulder.

“Do you need a hand?” She smiled, but you could smell it was just her being polite and doing her job.

“Oh. Uhm. I just need a cookbook for a friend of mine, it's a gift.” You looked at them and most of them were very specific TYPES of cuisine, you didn't know what he would like. She seemed to pick up on the vibe and pulled one off one of the top shelves, it was hefty and hardcover, handing it towards you she offered a grin.

“This is a general kind of cookbook, a little bit of everything. My mom has this one, she loves it.” You smiled and took the book, holding it to your chest. On your way to the cashier you saw a book of star maps and stargazing dates for the next few years and you snatched it up without even thinking about it. Paying for the books you slid them into your back with your laptop and skittered out the door. Time to get home. It didn't take long to get to your bike in the hotel parking log, stowing your bag in the saddle bag and pulling the helmet onto your head before it roared to life and you sent it down the road to the mountains. You wouldn't get back till late evening but it would make a great surprise, you had expected it to take a whole extra day to do what you needed to do.

----

“SANS, THE WOLF WANTS TO COURT MEADOW.” Papyrus' was quick to assert the news to his brother in the morning, Sans having been gone when you had been messaging him the night prior before he went to bed. “I AM NOT SURE IF I LIKE THIS OR NOT.” Papyrus was fond of you, you had broken him free of the humans, you treated him and his brother with respect. You opened your house to them so they wouldn't have to leave to one of the fae cities, the last one really struck home with him, this was YOUR home and YOU had given both bedrooms to them. You enjoyed having them here, and even if he'd never admit it to anyone but Sans or maybe you, he liked being here with you.

“well, why not boss? surely she should be courted by her own kind right, seems pretty natural to me.” Sans yawned, slouching against the couch as he browsed some books he got from the decently sized library there in the stronghold. Lots of physics and other such books to let him brush up on all the things that he hadn't worked on in the years since they were all enslaved. Flipping a page nonchalantly he glanced up at Papyrus. “what's wrong boss? ya thinkin ya would liketa have 'er as yer own datemate?” Sans smirked and Papyrus scowled at him.

“DON'T BE STUPID. SHE IS MY FRIEND AND I HAVE NO SUCH EMOTIONS SUCH AS WANTING HER TO BE MY DATEMATE!” Papyrus snapped and Sans snickered. “I WORRY ABOUT HER, YOU SAW HOW SHE REACTED TO THAT OTHER FAE KISSING HER THE OTHER DAY, AND THAT WAS SO HE COULD HEAL HER! IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS HER HOUSEMATES AND FRIENDS TO MAKE SURE SHE IS HAPPY.” Papyrus scoffed at his brother's rolled eyes and folded his arms across his chest. “SHE ASKED ME TO GIVE HER AN EXCUSE TO NOT GO OUT ON THIS DATE AFTER ALL.” That had the shorter glancing over at his bro.

“if she doesn't wanna go then she can tell 'im 'erself.” Sans sighed. “she ain't a babybones, boss.”

“I KNOW THAT!” Papyrus' tone was annoyed and Sans held his hands up in silent surrender. “I ONLY WISH TO HELP MY FRIEND IF SHE NEEDS IT.”

“that's why yer the best, boss.” Sans grinned and started towards the door, he wanted to get out before this conversation went on any longer. Papyrus watched him go but didn't stop him, he knew that Sans wouldn't be of any use anyways. Too lazy to care about the wellbeing of the one who was the sole reason they were together again after all these years. He didn't miss how much you were antsy and anxious even in your own home, the only time you seemed at ease was when he distracted you and you almost never left unless you were going to the cat's dining hall or were leaving the stronghold.

----

Stowing your bike in the cave system not far from the Circle you pulled out your bag and smiled up at the star filled sky. You were happy to be home, for once. Even with the thought of Swift and his desire to have a run with you burning at the back of your mind you were happy to be back at the stronghold, happy to be able to go home and sit on your couch with friends. Ivy hissed a greeting to you and you activated the circle with a smile. You walked towards Hemlock's buildings, you knew she wouldn't be there this late, it was nearly 1 am, but you were going to leave a message for the moment. Writing down on the massive whiteboard 'Hey Bby! I'm back! Got some juicy news for you! CALL ME! -Meddie' in scrawling letters you giggled at your antics and left the empty command hall and walked towards home. You were stopped by a pair of she wolves and you blinked at them as they nearly vibrated with excitement at you.

“Starbreeze? River? What's going on?” you blinked between them and the two females all but crawled on you. Wolves are weird.

“We heard you agreed to go on a run with Swift! We're so happy that you did.” You blinked at River as her excited yelps filled the area and you quirked a brow. What the hell was Swift telling these women? “You would make such a good Alpha female!”

“Whoa whoa, getting ahead of ourselves right?” You took a step away from the two women and they followed you, god damn wolves and their lack of care about personal space. “I agreed to ONE run, and I told him that I don't date. Unless I find my pairbond then I don't think anything is going to come of this.” You offered and while River looked disappointed Starbreeze just grinned.

“But Swift is such a good Alpha! He'd protect you, he likes you a lot!” You could feel your fur prickling on your back, these two were really making you not want to go at all! You didn't need someone to protect you, but then with these scars they might be all thinking that you were timid and easily captured? God wolves. You didn't understand them even when you were one. “And you two would make the most handsome pups! Can you imagine with Swifts ruddy red-brown coat and your bright amber eyes! Or his red-orange eyes and your pitch fur. So cute!” So many lines were being crossed and you had no idea how to stop them, the two were still gushing about pups that were NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

“Girls, uhhh. I... I gotta go.... shower and stuff. I'm sure I smell like humans and no one wants that scent clinging to em.” Your excuse was terrible, they didn't seem to notice and shoo'd you away with a giggle. Rubbing your face with one hand you walked to your door and opened it up, Papyrus was sitting on the couch and judging by his scowl he was fully expecting you to be Sans. When he saw it was you his face lit up like that of an excited child and you couldn't stop the blush from coming to your cheeks.

“YOU ARE HOME EARLY!? WHY DID YOU NOT SEND ME A MESSAGE, I WOULD HAVE HAD FOOD READY FOR YOU!” His words were excited and somehow stern, as if you not telling him so he could cook for you was the biggest inconvenience to him. You rubbed the back of your head bashfully and scuffed your sneaker against the doorframe. Unzipping your bag you pulled out the thick cookbook and offered it to him.

“Does this make up for my lack of foresight?” You mumbled and you didn't miss how his eyes widened as he took the book in his hands. It was huge, and he flipped through it idly, not really looking for anything in particular but just looking.

“THIS IS ACCEPTABLE.” he finally admitted and you beamed a smile at him.

“Thanks Bestie.” You nearly purred the words, you had been more cat then otherwise since your last shift and you even slow blinked as you spoke. Your ears twitched and Papyrus inspected them closer.

“THESE EARS ARE NOT YOUR USUAL EARS, MEADOWLARK.” You thumbs up to show him that yes, he was correct. These were not your usual ears, as fox was your prefered form you tended to have vulpine ears.

“That is correct, buddy. My last shift was to a cat to mark some trucks for the next transport.” You grinned and waggled the feline ears at him a bit. He seemed transfixed on them and then you smiled a bit. “Would you like it if I shifted to a cat and sat with you?” You offered and you could have sworn there were literal stars in his eyes.

“I USED TO HAVE A CAT IN THE UNDERGROUND, HIS NAME WAS DOOMFANGER. HE WAS A MAGNIFICENT, BLOODTHIRSTY BEAST. A PROUD AND SUITABLE MINION FOR THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS!” He was still watching your ears and you grinned.

“Alright then. I'll go shift in the room alright?” stepping around the tall skeleton you shuffled into your old room, now it was Sans' room but your clothing was still stored there. You set the book you got for Sans on the bed next to where you could tell he was sleeping each night and smiled to yourself. Pulling your hoodie off you tossed it in the basket, noticing that it was STILL only your clothing in there, Sans had flung his all around the room, there was a damn sock on the ceiling fan and you glared at it before beginning to shift. It took you only a few minutes before your long, glossy fur was filled out and you stretched, flicking your tail from side to side. Papyrus nearly squealed with joy and you trotted his direction, hopping onto the couch before sprawling out beside him. Your fur was long and plush under his phalanges as he ran them along your side and you let a loud purr rumble from your chest. You watched Papyrus flip through his cookbook, your purr one of contentment and you even leaned your head into his palm as he stroked along your side before laying your head on your paws and closing your eyes. You must have fallen asleep because you didn't notice when Papyrus went to bed, that he was up as late as he was was a shock to you in the first place. What you did notice was when a certain shorter skeleton stumbled noisily through the door and flopped on the floor. How Papyrus DIDN'T notice it was a complete shock to you, there wasn't a single sound from the taller brother's room and you were really listening for it. It was dark in the living room so Sans didn't notice you on the couch, instead he half dragged half walked to the bedroom and pulled himself onto the bed. You were about to go back to sleep when you heard him whimper and your head lifted again, pulling your paws under your body and walking through the slightly open door.

You meowed once before hopping onto the bed, Sans startling as he noticed you there. You sat and curled your fluffy tail around your feet, not wanting to approach him if he wanted to be alone, instead you slow blinked at him and offered a soft, soothing purr. 'I am here, it is alright. What is wrong?' You wished you could speak when you shifted, it would make many things so much easier. Rain is a cat, and he can talk... okay he's not REALLY a cat. But he LOOKS like a cat! Off subject. He looked at you suspiciously before you tilted your head and mewled again quietly. Opening his arms after a minute you curled up against his side and rested your head on his shoulder.

“didn't know ya were back yet.” he muttered, trying to sound angry but with his slurring he just sounded annoyed and tired. “yer a curious one, aintcha?” he grumbled and you lifted your head slightly to look over at him, your purr vibrating against his ribs. “do me a favor eh, stop purrin?” he mumbled quietly, looking close to passing out and you blinked but obliged, your purrs slowing down before they stopped completely and his eyes shut, like he was listening intently for something. You couldn't tell what but the look of intense concentration on his face made you stay quiet even as you wiggled yourself against his side, getting comfortable and falling asleep there.

Sans was growing frustrated, Papyrus insisted you had a soul that he had heard it more then once and he couldn't hear anything from you. He could feel your eyes on him, curious and unsure, then he felt you fall asleep and was about to give out when there was a soft sound, almost outside his range of hearing. It sounded like a soft chime, or a bell, it was hesitant and gentle. His eyes opened and he looked over at your tiny, furry body. The sound of your soul was so pure, the ring of ancient magic echoing in the tone and it was so good. So very good. He wished he could see the soul that was making such a sound, his left eye burning with crimson magic as he tried to look under all the other things in his way to hide whatever was making such a sound. He needed to see it. He needed to be sure it was there, that this wasn't some drunk dream that he was imagining. His eyes flickered over your sleeping form, his magic gently pushing through the ancient magic that made up your body before he caught a glimpse of what he was looking for. He knew what he was doing was a hugely inappropriate thing to do, that fae souls were so deep in their bodies that monsters couldn't just see or sense them had to mean something, but what he found was enough to make him shudder. Your soul looked nothing like his, and it looked nothing like a human's either, instead it was almost tear drop shaped and spinning slowly, a glittering silver-white that looked almost like a faceted gemstone, from within he could see flickers of colors, green, orange, blue standing out the most but there was a bit of others too. It was beautiful. He almost pulled it out as he sat transfixed by it, the song now like a siren song, calling to him in a soft tone that was warm and inviting.

You woke with a start, feeling suddenly very vulnerable and you looked around to see Sans staring at you, not at you, he was staring INTO you. You could feel the intensity and your heart raced, something about his look was wrong, it was like he was staring deep into your most intimate of places. It felt WRONG. You were on your feet in an instant, you didn't know what was going on but you felt the need to be away, and ignoring the surprised look on Sans face you raced from the room and shoved your way under the couch, hiding. You could feel your heartbeat in your ears, he was only LOOKING at you, why did you feel so vulnerable? So naked? It didn't make sense to you. You heard him come into the living room and you curled up in a ball, hiding the glow of your eyes with your tail.

“meadow? 'm sorry, i shouldn'ta done that. not without yer permission, it was jus th' first time i could hear it and … i got no excuse. 'm really sorry.” He seemed really upset about something himself, so something beyond just looking had been happening? You could hear him moving around. “n i understand if yer mad at me fer it. i'd be mad if someone was lookin at my soul without permission.” He was looking at your soul? Was that why it was so invasive? You slowly pulled yourself from under the couch and walked over to him. You still felt wrong around him, like he had somehow invaded a privacy you didn't know you had, but he seemed truly apologetic. You mewled softly and he glanced down at you, surprised you had come out of hiding. The skeleton flopped to a seat on the floor, still smelling heavily of mustard and alcohol, the spice and fire under it soothing to you. You climbed into his lap and rubbed your head against his mandible, you really wished you could talk like this. 'It is alright, I forgive you.' you wanted to say, he seemed to get the jest of your actions after a few minutes, your purr rumbling in your chest and he offered an awkward smile. The memory of that gemstone of a soul burned into his mind as he picked you up and walked back to the bed, sleep for now, you both could talk more about it later. Before he fell asleep he noticed the book across from him on the other pillow, placing a hand on it he chuckled and stroked through your fur as you both fell asleep.

Chapter Text

You woke up before the sun came up, feeling unsettled and odd from the night before, there was something deep within you that felt invaded and you didn't care for it. You lifted your head to find yourself still beside Sans and you slipped from his side towards the door, you needed a shower. That should make you feel better. It took you a bit longer than usual to shift back, your body complaining loudly as your bones grind and twist until you could stand up again. Your muscles ached and you groaned softly as you turned on the water to the shower, scrubbing your face with one hand. Why did you feel so wrong this morning? Because Sans was looking at you? Or because he said he was looking at your soul. You didn't understand any of this, from Sans telling you that you don't have one to Paps insisting you did, to Sans revealing that you DO and that he was looking at it. Why would that be so uncomfortable? Shouldn't the fact that you have one make things less confusing, not more? Stepping into the steaming shower you began to scrub your body and your hair, rubbing the peppermint and tea tree hair cleanser into your scalp, did it really bother you that Sans was looking at your soul, or was it that he did it while you were sleeping?

“It doesn't bother me.” You said aloud, mostly to affirm it to yourself and you felt the anxiety that woke you up begin to ebb. Rinsing your hair out you enjoyed the tingle of the cleanser against your scalp and let out a pleased hum. You were so glad that the apothecary knew how to mix these cleansers and body washes. The scent of oranges and clove filling the room and mixing with the tea tree and peppermint as you scrubbed all the other scents off your skin, being gentle over your still sensitive scars. Once you felt better you turned off the water you pulled a fluffy towel tight around your body, drying your hair with another and running a brush through the wet locks slowly. Walking from the bathroom you hummed quietly as you pulled out a clean sarong and began to wrap it around your body like a sundress, tying it behind your head and brushing out any annoying wrinkles. Smiling to no one you moved to the couch and reached under to grab your sandals. Sliding your feet into them and starting from the house to catch Hemlock early, you wanted a bit of relaxation time with the guys if you could help it today. You nearly got out the door before you remembered to grab the laptop bag and you smiled as you looked up at the sky that was showing just the first signs of sunrise.

“Meddie!” A masculine voice boomed from behind you and you sighed. It was too early for wolves. Glancing over your shoulder you saw Swift running up to you, his bright smile on his face and you and he either didn't notice or ignored the half scowl on your face. You were still kinda miffed about the she wolves the night before. “I didn't think you'd be home till later today.”

“Well, I'm more efficient than the other scouts, I get stuff done fast and right the first time.” You stated dully, and he winced at the dig at his wolves. You hoped he would get the point that you weren't interested in talking to him right now but he kept on.

“So I was thinking, there is going to be a party for Beltane and I was wondering if you'd consider that for our run?” You blinked at him, eyes wide. Agreeing to this would be a big move by Swift, Beltane was a huge deal and it would be a clear statement that he was intent on courting you. You chewed on your cheek, fangs digging into the soft flesh there. He noticed your discomfort and merely smirked. “Don't gotta answer yet, Beltane is in a week, think about it and let me know.” He trotted off without another word, leaving you staring at his back. What just happened? You heard the wolves laughing and falling in behind their alpha, apparently pleased with how the encounter went. You ran your hands through your hair and sighed. Wolves.

You moved to Hemlock's command center, catching the woman at the front desk staring at your message with a look of mixed confusion and amusement on her face. She glanced over your direction when you walked in and you flashed a thumbs up her direction.

“Why?” She sighed and you grinned widely, shrugging your shoulders. “You are the worst, Meadowlark. The worst.” She rubbed her hand over her face and shook her head slowly. You just laughed quietly and followed the taller fae into her office, pulling out your laptop and starting it up. Sitting beside you the bird fae watched you with a bored look,though you caught her eyes straying to the exposed scars on your back when she thought you were distracted. You weren't distracted, it was your job as a scout to notice everything. You didn't say anything to her though, instead hooking your computer to hers and beginning to transfer a copy of the files you took, schedules and guard postings mostly, as well as the information so she could see where the trucks were on their routes in real time.

“You know we're gonna have to make a bigger move soon, the humans are going to be more on edge now that we attacked on the east coast. Our monster population is healthy and thriving but there are still far too many in servitude.” You stated idly, glancing over to gauge Hemlock's reaction. She betrayed nothing and you sighed, “If you want I can start planning it?”

“No. You will have nothing to do with such an attack beyond what you do now.” She stated coldly and you blinked at her in surprise, your led attack was a success and you both knew it. “I can't risk your ability to get into places Meadowlark, I shouldn't have put you in charge of the farm attack. I was being reckless and it put you in harms way. I even let you bring that monster with you, I shouldn't have done any of that.” She folded her arms. “You did a good job but I won't allow it again.” She was firm and you opened your mouth to disagree before sighing and closing it again. There was no fighting with her on it right now. You finished up transfering the documents and Hemlock waved you out, getting right to work going through the schedules and figuring out which members of the pack were best for each of the several transports on there in the following weeks. As you passed Pike he smirked at you and it made you pause, why was he smirking? Raising a brow at him he just grinned impishly and feigned innocence. Narrowing your eyes at the pixie you folded your arms and walked out, not feeling great about the choice but knowing that a pixie doesn't tell it's secrets unless it wants to. People kept glancing at you and smirking the whole walk home and, if you were being honest, you were getting a bit angry about it. By the time you got to your front door people were actually starting to avoid you, the glares you were shooting their directions making them think twice about it. Walking into the house you were greeted by the scent of food, your mouth watering instantly and your eyes glanced over to the kitchen where Papyrus was at the stove, reading from his cookbook and working on something.

“thanks fer the book, doll.” Sans' voice shook you from your thoughts of delicious food and you looked his way, blinking when his eyes met yours and it looked away with a blush. That was cute.

“Oh sure thing. I noticed you seemed to like the astronomy books I had so I thought... you might like that. Has a chart of the next hundred years of known astral events.” You smiled and looked away towards Papyrus wondering what he was cooking, feeling his eyes on you and when you looked back his direction he sharply looked away again. Was he still blushing? Oh Aine damn, that's fucking adorable. Sauntering his direction you smirked and laced your fingers behind your back, leaning close so you could whisper. “So, did ya like what ya saw?” Your voice was a low purr, eyes glinting with mischief and he teleported away from you in an instant. This look was so much better then the sly smirks of the other fae earlier, he looked pissed and embarrassed. Sitting on the couch you hooked your left leg over your right and batted your lashes at him. “I'll take that as a yes.” He growled your direction and stormed to his room.

“s'what i get fer thankin ya fer a gift.” he muttered and you winked his direction as he disappeared in the room. Papyrus glanced your direction as his brother left, raising a brow bone at you and you shrugged your shoulders innocently.

“ARE YOU HUNGRY?” Papyrus called and you smiled brightly.

“For your cooking? Always bestie!” You called back and he huffed a quiet laugh and motioned towards the table and you skipped that direction happily. Once you were sitting down he placed a plate of food in front of you, the scent of rosemary and balsamic wafting up and hitting you in the face. “Oh sweet Aine, this smells delicious!”

“OF COURSE!” He smirked and placed his hands on his hips, grinning triumphantly as you took a bite of the food. A hum of pleasure escaping you as your eyes half shut as the flavors. “SAY MEADOWLARK.” Papyrus' voice brought you out of your foodgasm and you looked up at him. “SANS SEEMS A LITTLE OFF TODAY, DID SOMETHING HAPPEN?” You snorted a laugh and nodded, clearly this amused you and he felt a bit relieved.

“Oh yeah. He found out I have a soul after all.” You chuckled and Papyrus looked confused. “See, he was all drunk last night so I made sure he was alright. Fell asleep on the bed next to him and apparently he saw my soul.” You waved a hand dismissively, not noticing the look on Papyrus' face.

“HE... HE LOOKED AT YOUR SOUL?” The tremble in your friend's voice made you glance up at him curiously. His face looked absolutely livid and you lifted your hands up slowly.

“It's really fine.” You tried, sure it had felt a little invasive but now you were just amused by it.

“IT IS NOT FINE.” Papyrus nearly snarled the words and you stood up to place your hands lightly on his chest, causing him to look down at you. “MEADOW, THAT IS A HUGE BREACH OF PRIVACY AND HIGHLY INTIMATE.” You blushed at that but shook your head.

“He was drunk, he didn't so anything besides look. It's okay. He even apologized. Now it's just funny to tease him about it.” You insisted and Papyrus gave you a withering look, he wanted to go beat sense into his stupid brother. You don't just DO that. “Please bestie. It's okay. I'm not upset about it.”

“YOU SHOULD BE...” He insisted as quietly as he could and you reached up to pat his cheek lightly. Hell you weren't even ever aware you HAD a soul, why should you be mad someone wanted to see it. He looked away and sucked in a breath. “MEADOWLARK... Could I...” He started and glanced towards your chest. You blinked curiously and tilted your head, not following. “Can I See It?” Oh god now he was blushing?! Why were the skeleton bros so cute?! With a chuckle you nodded your head and he smirked before you felt the hum of magic trying to draw you in, only for it to slip off you and fade away. He looked perplexed and tried again, waving his hand in front of himself and again you felt the wash of magic before it slipped away.

“Should that have done something?” You were curious, you had felt something similar to that when you were injured from Sans. Your head tilted and you could tell even Papyrus was confused.

“YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN PULLED INTO AN ENCOUNTER. THAT IS HOW MONSTERS DRAW OUT A SOUL WITHOUT IT BEING INCREDIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE AND INTIMATE.” Papyrus was looking at his hands before he lifted his head. “SANS!” Moments later the older brother walked into the room.

“yeah boss?” He glanced between the two of you with an apprehensive look.

“MEADOWLARK HAS GIVEN ME PERMISSION TO SEE HER SOUL, SINCE YOU WENT AND WERE A PEEPING SANS I TRIED TO DO IT THE RIGHT WAY. BUT I CANNOT PULL HER INTO AN ENCOUNTER.” Papyrus snapped and Sans sweated softly, of COURSE you had to go and tell his brother about that.

“yeah bro, 'er soul is super deep, way deeper then humans are. s'why i didn't notice it b'for. haven't figure out if we can have regular encounters with em yet.” He blinked and glanced your way, you were completely lost.

“Uhm. Not sure what an encounter is, is there some other way I can show you?” You blinked, both of them turning deep crimson at the words and you tilted your head innocently. “Why are you guys so blushy today? I mean, it's not like I told you to throw me on the couch and have sex wiiii....waaaaaaaaiiiit...” Both of them had flinched when you mentioned sex and your eyes went wide. “Are souls how you guys have sex?! That is so... interesting. I need to know more.” You sat at your plate and looked at both of them expectantly, both of them shifting uneasily but they had kinda brought this on themselves. You motioned for them to sit.

Chapter Text

The two brothers shifted uneasily in their chairs as you smiled at them, your curiosity overflowing. Both of them were vibrant crimson and it was absolutely the cutest thing you had ever seen. Sans kept shuffling his feet and you rested your hand in your palm, watching Papyrus look ANYWHERE but at you. After a minute you smirked and straightened up.

“How about I tell you about fae then?” You offered and they blinked. “Since we're different from humans.” Folding your arms thoughtfully and pondered where to begin. “Alright. So as Sans knows I'm over 2000 years old, most Fae reach their maturity between 1500 and 3200 years old. Wolves are on the shorter side, and fae like Hemlock are on the longer side. I reached my maturity about a century ago. When Fae mature they can choose to seek out a pairbond. The name is a bit misleading as sometimes Fae pairbond with more than one other Fae, polyamory is uncommon but not unheard of especially among female fae.” The two skeletons watched you with evident curiosity, this wasn't all that different from humans yet. “Once Fae pairbond they can go into rut, which heightens the desire to reproduce, but they can choose to ignore it or follow the instinct. Here is where it gets kinda … weird? When a pairbond wants to have a child they have to travel to one of the Eldar trees for Aine's blessing, once they are blessed they have to give of their essence to create the young fae. Whichever Fae parent is the strongest will protect the new essence until they are strong enough to be brought forth. At which point the weaker parent has to coax the essence out.” She nodded her head sagely as she spoke and the two monsters were not quite sure if she was pulling their leg or being truthful. Even Sans, with his expert level bullshit radar wasn't sure.

“so ya don't fuck like humans?” Sans blinked and you snickered quietly.

“Well we CAN and often do for the fun of it, and we theoretically can reproduce with them, but that's not how pure fae kids are born.” You returned your head to your palm, watching them with a smirk as they, particularly Sans worked on this bit of info.

“SO... IF YOU WANT A FAE CHILD THEN YOU HAVE TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS? HOW LONG DOES AN ESSENCE NEED TO GROW?” Papyrus was curious, and Sans looked over at his brother with a shocked look.

“Hnn. Depends on the essence. On the short side probably a month or two, I've heard of some that have taken decades though.” You didn't have to say that the ones that took longer usually didn't make it, they weren't usually strong enough to survive outside of their parent. “Half Fae are pretty rare, we don't mingle with humans if we can help it, sometimes female Fae who don't find or don't want a pairbond will mate with humans to have children. It's kinda frowned upon since Humans are so violent and unpredictable, also short lived.” You thought back, you hadn't heard of a half fae being born in several centuries, most of them lead lives as short as a human so most fae avoided it. “But that's the short of it, there are some weirdo rites and permissions you have to get usually, though we don't usually do that here in the strongholds. We don't limit couples to one or two kids like they do in the old cities. Basically. Find a pairbond, go into rut, talk to the tree, get blessed, do the do and boom BABY.” You snickered and even Sans smirked at the shortened version. You leaned towards them. “Unless you want to hear the gritty details of HOW we share our essence then it's your turn.”

Both brothers glanced at each other, both kinda WANTING to know but neither wanted to admit it. You watched their faces and saw them stalling. They were too cute, but you were gonna hear about this. After all, they both wanted to see your soul but when you offered to show them in a way that wasn't whatever an 'encounter' was they got all flustered. You knew there was a story to this. When they didn't speak you opened your mouth to start talking about the minute details of Fae reproduction.

“So when a female fae goes into rut-” Both brothers stopped you with a yelp of surprise that had you giggling. “You don't want to know?” Both blushed brightly and Papyrus folded his arms.

“it's just, monsters neve' reproduced much in the underground because it was dangerous, and on the surface it has been largely forced so its not a good subject to us.” You blinked and suddenly felt ashamed, you shouldn't have pushed on a sensitive subject like that. “trusting got ya dusted, and ya gotta trust ta make a baby monster.” You felt your throat tighten at the insinuation. That monsters were killing each other in the underground long before they even got to the surface.

“That... sounds terrible.” You mumbled, thinking back on your gentle and fun filled days when you were a child. “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have pushed about it.”

“IT IS ALRIGHT, YOU DID NOT KNOW. BUT THE SHORT OF IT IS, SINCE MONSTERS ARE MORE MAGIC THEN MATTER OUR SOULS ARE ALL WE ARE, IT IS THE CULMINATION OF OUR VERY BEING, SO SEEING A SOUL OUTSIDE OF AN ENCOUNTER MEANS YOU ARE VERY EASY TO KILL AND OUR SOULS MUST BE OUT FOR A MONSTER TO HAVE CHILDREN.” Papyrus supplied and you nodded your head.

“So wait, is that why humans kill you guys so easy? Because you're more magic then physical?” Sans nodded in response to your question and you grit your teeth. “That pisses me off. Humans are so fucking smart and determined and could be great if they weren't so fucking evil.” You scrubbed your face with your hands. This was a lot for you to process. You turned to your plate and began to eat again, even when it was a bit cold it was delicious. You excused yourself to think on what you discovered about monsters, more sure then ever that you had to convince Hemlock to go full offensive and rescue the remaining monsters. It was easy enough to find out where they all were, there was a national database that was easy to hack into.

Before you realized it, Beltane was upon you and you had to give Swift an answer. Finding no reason to refuse him, since you would be at Beltane anyways, you allowed him to be your date for the party. Papyrus decided to come with you and Sans stubbornly was staying home, you sighed and looked at your reflection in the mirror. Your hair was curled and pinned so that it fell neatly along your back, your vulpine ears twitching atop your head as you brushed off the front of your dress and stepped out of the bathroom with your socks over your shoulder. Papyrus' eyes went wide when he saw you in your dress and you sighed.

“I know, I look ridiculous. I'm a scout not some prissy girl.” You lamented and the tall skeleton quickly swept you up into a hug.

“NONSENSE, YOU LOOK FABULOUS! NEVER DOUBT THAT YOU ARE SECOND BEST, CLEARLY YOU MUST BE SINCE YOU ARE FRIENDS WITH THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS! IF ANYONE SAYS OTHERWISE I SHALL GUT THEM LIKE THE SOW THEY ARE AND STRANGLE THEM WITH THEIR INNARDS!” That was a very very colorful way of complimenting you and you blinked at Papyrus before snickering and hugging him around his neck. Setting you back on your feet you hopped onto the counter and began to pull on the white lace stockings, humming quietly to yourself as Papyrus went towards the bathroom to finish his own preparations.

“Hey Sans, are you sure you don't wanna join us?” You called out and the surly skeleton glanced over his book your direction. As soon as his eyes fell on what you were doing his sockets seemed to widen and the blush crossed his features. WHY WERE YOU DOING THAT ON THE COUNTER?! It was scandalous, it was disgusting.... he couldn't stop STARING. Had your legs always been that long? You glanced up when he didn't answer for a bit, blinking as you took in the dumbfounded look on his face. Was he... drooling? “Earth to Sans. You okay bud?” He seemed to come back to himself and blinked a few times before the blush returned in force. “You sure you don't want to come with us?”

“yeah, naw i'm gonna stick around here. not much for big groups.” He waved you off with a dismissive motion as you rolled the other stocking up your leg. “d'ya haveta do shit like tha' 'ere?! s' disgustin.” You blinked at the sudden hostility from him, the glare from the short skeleton not missed and you glared back at him.

“What the hell is your problem!?” You snarled and he huffed, folding his arms and averting his eyes from you. “I was just trying to be nice! Forget it, I don't want you to come with if you're gonna be a giant dick!” You snapped at him, his eyes flaring angrily as you glared back his direction.

“yer a bitch, ya know tha'?” he growled and you sneered his direction. “i wouldn't go with ya even if boss told me to, can't stand yer fuckin attitude.” Your glare was dark as you folded your arms across your chest, hopping off the counter and stalking his way. He seemed to shrink a bit as your angry energy approached but then solidified himself as he remembered that he wasn't helpless and at the mercy of a damn collar anymore.

“At least I'm not a lazy bastard who doesn't contribute!” Your ears were pinned against your head and he narrowed his sockets at you. “SOME people around here want to go out and be social sometimes and we THOUGHT we'd be nice and invite you with us, but since your a raging asshole with an inferiority complex the size of Texas you can stay home by your fucking SELF!” You were shouting towards the end, the skeleton standing up and glaring down at you as you lifted up on your toes to shout in his face. He wasn't backing down and his left eye began to smolder with crimson magic. Your own amber staring straight back at him unflinching. Papyrus came out of the bathroom, adjusting his black button up and crimson tie with a confused and curious expression on his face.

“IF YOU TWO ARE DONE FLIRTING I WOULD LIKE TO GO.” He grumbled and you looked at him with a look of absolute betrayal on your face. As if you would flirt with SANS of all people! Sans blushed deeper and tucked his head against his turtleneck and hoodie, trying to hide from his brother's judgement. He couldn't help that you looked so absolutely adorable when you were pissed off.

“Papy! You know you're the only one for me!” You whined in protest and the taller brother scoffed and rolled his eyes at you. “Why are you so meaaaaan to me?” You whined louder and the taller brother laughed softly and patted your head as you pouted. As Papyrus disappeared in his room Sans scowled at you again.

“yer real annoyin, suckin up ta my brother like tha'.” he grumbled and you folded your arms across your chest. “don't ya dare try nothin with 'im.” His warning made you growl low in your chest and curl your lip to show of one side of your fangs. Sans needed to learn you didn't just roll over for anyone!

“As if, Papyrus is an adult and can do what he wants!” You snapped and he growled back at you this time. “He isn't a child and he doesn't need you watching out for him against everyone here!” Your rumbly snort made him glare. You knew for a fact some of the she wolves thought he was quite handsome, you did too if you were honest. “And if he does want to make mistakes then that is up to HIM, not YOU.” you turned your nose up and reached beside the couch for your dress sandals before returning to the kitchen and hopping back onto the countertop to put them on. Sans watched you walk away, the dress swaying around your thighs as you walked, those lace stockings creating flowery patterns on your dark bronze skin. He could feel his magic boil low as you sauntered off and he wondered idly if you were taunting him. Tying the sandals so the ribbons that held them on were over the outside of your ankles you hopped down and began to flit about making final preparations. After a bit Papyrus joined you, stopping you now and then to rearrange your hair or to ask you something as you both waited for Swift to arrive. When the knock came you were at the door, opening it up so the wolf could enter.

“You look lovely as usual, Meddie.” His soft voice filled the room and Sans had to resist the urge to gag. Sure, you looked nicer then usual, but the wolf was clearly trying too hard. “Nice to see you Papyrus.” Then the wolf turned to Sans and the warm smile returned easily. “Are you coming too Sans?”

“nah, i don't do parties.” Sans grumbled bitterly and you shot him a look. He glared back at you and went back to his book, leaving you and Papyrus to give each other an annoyed glance. “have fun.” the snark was thick in his voice and you sighed before pulling a shawl over your shoulders.

“Let's leave the sourpuss to mope.” You mumbled and Swift eagerly followed you like a lost puppy, it was disgusting in the skeleton's eyes. “You look nice today Swift, Orange is a good color on you.” You smiled a bit, being polite, though you knew the burnt orange of his shirt clashed unpleasantly with the blue and purples of your sundress. It couldn't be helped and you gave Sans one last glance before walking out with Papyrus and Swift. As you walked to the opposite of the stronghold from the usual Circle, stepping within the one that lead to a special field that was prepared for the celebration. As they arrived in the wide field the cheers of the wolves greeted them and you were promptly pulled away by the other unbonded females to participate in the beltane pole. All the females took one of the silk ribbons in their hand, their other hand held out towards the circle of fae, and now monsters, that were around them. Music began to play softly as everyone went into motion, the inner circle moving clockwise while the outer moved the other direction, weaving in and out of each other as the ribbons began to braid against the pole. All the fae women knew how to do this, you had all been participating in the rituals of Beltane since you were small children and smiles spread across your faces as the music made your hearts light. You saw Papyrus standing beside Swift and a few monsters you didn't recognize, reaching your hand their direction in time with the dance and spinning away.

“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS FESTIVAL?” Swift glanced at Papyrus as he spoke, having been transfixed by the spiralling females in their measured dance.

“Ah, well Beltane worships the divinity of females in particular, it is also a time where we give thanks for the good spring and pray for a productive growing season. There is a great feast and then we will do the fire dancing.” Swift grinned widely and the monsters around him watched him with interest. As the music ended you rushed back over, smiling brightly as your happy smile charmed the two waiting for you..

“That is always one of my favorite parts since I never was any good at the fire dance.” You giggled softly and Papyrus paused, you looked so beautiful like this. He felt the blush on his cheeks before he willed it away. You were his FRIEND. He couldn't be thinking such things about you! “Did you enjoy the dance, Papy?” You turned your bright eyes upon him and he widened his sockets in surprise before nodding. “Oh good, I missed a few steps in the middle when one of the shorter fae was supposed to twine with my ribbon but all in all a lovely beltane pole dance.” You grinned and turned as a few of the other female fae called you away for a moment to help with the feast. Watching for a moment too long at your retreating figure.

The feast was just that, if they had it, it was on the table, huge bowls of carrots, potatoes, beans and peas. Baskets of fresh baked rolls sitting every so often and filling the air with the pleasant aroma. You found yourself wishing Sans had joined you all for the feast, you almost went back to retrieve him but every time you almost got to the Circle you could hear the anger in his voice. He hated you. Why should you care? You could feel your heart thrum anxiously at the thought of him hating you. WHY DO YOU CARE? He's an asshole who does nothing all day but complain. You looked over at Papyrus, in such a short time the tall skeleton had filled much of a void in you that you didn't know you had. You had become very close, and you trusted him just as he seemed to trust you. Was that why it bothered you so much that Sans didn't like you at all? 'No.' You shook your head dismissively and pushed that idea aside. That couldn't be it, these feelings were more then just 'my best friend's brother hates me' many of your friends siblings had hated your guts in the past and it never bothered you. This really made something deep in you ache, and you looked at the Circle again, Papyrus watching your gaze before he picked his way over.

“You Should Go Get Him. He Was Just Being Stupid, Per Usual.” Papyrus' words were a stage whisper against your hair, his arms curling around you lightly. You looked up at the taller brother, his smile warm as he hugged you against his chest then shooed you towards the circle, actively keeping anyone from snatching you away again. You smiled in appreciation before vanishing through the circle and back to the house. As you walked in the whole house was absolutely silent, very much like it used to be when you lived alone and you glanced around uneasily. Walking into the bedroom you found Sans reading his book again, or you thought he was, his sockets were closed and he seemed to have dozed off. The book propped up on one of his legs. You were struck by how gentle he looked when he was sleeping and picked your way over quietly, reaching out with one hand. You were about to touch his arm lightly to wake him when one of his hands shot up and grabbed you by the wrist.

“dontcha know it's rude ta sneak up on people, doll?” His voice was a low growl and you blinked in surprise. “what are ya doin back 'ere, arentcha s'posed ta be at that festival?” he opened one eye to look your direction, his hand still holding your wrist firmly.

“I felt bad, that you weren't there to enjoy everything so I came back to try and convince you to come at least to the feast. Paps would like it too...” you tried and he twisted in the bed so he was facing you, making you half step backwards. His hand kept firm on your wrist and you gave it a tug to see if you could just pull free, you know for a guy with no muscles he was stronger then he looked.

“awww, well sorry to disappoint ya sweetheart but i ain't goin ta the party...” He stood up as he talked, standing a few inches taller then your meager 5'6” and smirking down at you. “unless ya ask me reeeeeeeeal nicely.” He purred the words and you blinked in obvious confusion. What? He just wanted you to ask nicely? That is what you did earlier and he yelled at you! You backed away, the skeleton following you until your back hit the wall beside the door. “'m waitin.” The sun was nearly completely down so the darkness in the room made his crimson eyelight an eerie glow as he peered down at you.

“Will you please come to the feast, Sans?” You asked quietly, “Papyrus would like it if you did.” You heard him growl and glanced up at him.

“naw, i wanna know if you want me to go.” He snapped and you blinked in surprise, sure he was usually surly but he was not usually this demanding.

“Of course I want you to go, I like to think we're somewhat friends and I would like you to spend more time with-” You were cut off by the skeleton suddenly kissing you, your eyes widening in surprise and your heart hammering in your ears as you became aware that yes, he does have lips despite the fact that he looked like he was always grinning in a way only skeletons could. You couldn't think on that too much as a deeper feeling seemed to bubble forth even as his sharp teeth nipped at your lip making you gasp, his conjured tongue delving into your mouth to taste you. He was your friend! You both shouldn't be doing this! WHAT WERE YOU DOING! What would PAPYRUS think of this?! After a minute Sans pulled his head back, looking quite pleased with himself and you stared up at him wide eyed.

“alright, since ya asked so nicely. i'll go ta yer silly feast.” What were you going to do with this guy?!

Chapter Text

You stared at that smug asshole of a skeleton as he grinned back at you, your eyes still wide as you processed what the hell just happened. He just KISSED you, what and why was this a THING?! Did you like the kiss? You didn't know! You couldn't process all the bullshit that was happening fast enough. You came back because you felt guilty for leaving him by himself at home, and get backed into a wall and KISSED by the same guy who yelled at you for sitting on the counter while you put on socks?! As your brain caught up with what just happened your eyes flashed with indignant rage and Sans stepped back so you could push away from the wall and stomp away.

“Who do you think you ARE!? You can't just …. KISS ME like that!” You snapped and spun so you could point at him. He could see the anger bubbling in your golden eyes and it only made him grin bigger.

“just did, sweetheart.” He looked like the cat that ate the canary and it infuriated you. “we should get goin.” His smirk grew as he walked your direction, towards the front door, and you reached out to grab the front of his hoodie when he moved to step around you. His eyes turned to you with a smirk only to freeze slightly at the look on your face.

“Never without my permission.” Your words were ice and he could feel the not quite anger, maybe discomfort and annoyance were better words, radiating from you. He looked confused before he remembered how you reacted to that fae who tried to “heal” you by kissing you back at the farm. You had made certain to never overstep any perceived boundaries with him in the whole time he had lived in your house, and he had forgotten that one piece of vital information. When you had come out of your feral rage you had screamed for him to not touch you, even though he did seem like he had been trying to help. “Alright?” Your voice shook ever so slightly as you sought affirmation and he realized that what you were saying really meant a lot to your sense of self. Nodding his head you let go of his hoodie and nodded your head. “Thank you.” Taking a breath you turned and walked out the door, Sans following you still feeling rather smug about the stunned look on your face and the way your scent had filled the area around them. How you didn't slap him or push him away. That was a win as far as he was concerned.

As they got back to the festival Swift was quick to nearly attach himself to your side, as if he knew something and you raised a brow at him but didn't say anything about it yet. He wasn't being annoying just a touch clingy. You found yourself sitting between Swift and Papyrus as the feast began, the fae quickly piling their plates high and encouraging the monsters to do the same. The fae had taken special care to have some monsters versed in making food edible for monsters assist in the cooking so they wouldn't be left out. You stuffed a bite of roast beef into your mouth and hummed in pleasure, the tingle of magic fizzling against your throat as you swallowed. You blinked and jumped in surprise when Hemlock touched your shoulder, glancing her direction as she whispered low in your ear. You shook your head firmly and scowled, Hemlock shooting you a pleading look before you sighed and walked from the table.

“WHERE IS SHE GOING?” Papyrus asked and Swift blinked. Then it snapped that they didn't know anything about the festival and he flashed his easygoing smile.

“Traditionally the eldest Puca is the one who starts the fire dance, because they are considered part of nature itself. The Puca who was going to come do ours couldn't make it so Hemlock probably asked Meadowlark to fill in. Meddie is the only Puca we have so if falls on her, she doesn't like shifting in view so she's likely going to shed her human form into her ACTUAL shape.

“wait, so we have never seen her actual appearance before?” Sans grumbled and Swift seemed amused by this.

“Puca are shy creatures, their true form is something very sensitive to them as they don't usually think they look all that attractive. As such they are not keen on showing really anyone it, a pairbond may never see it once in their entire life. That Meddie agreed is pretty impressive for her. They find themselves ugly, though that is silly.” Swift explained and both Papyrus and Sans seemed confused by that. Monsters were often seen as unattractive, they were both skeletons which humans thought of like they were corpses. Why did she feel the need to hide herself from them? Swift looked up sharply when the wolves that were shifted began to howl. “It's time to get to the bonfires. C'mon, you'll see soon. None of us have ever seen Meddie's real form, so this is kind of a rare treat. Everyone saw her leave with Hemlock.” Even as he spoke Papyrus and Sans watched the other fae nearly rush from their seats, whispering amongst themselves as they wondered what Meadow would look like. It made the monsters wince for her, no wonder she had been hesitant, who would want the attention of everyone speculation about them like the other fae were? They let Swift lead them to a large circle of unlit bonfires, watching curiously as Hemlock emerged from a far too small circular tent in the center. She raised her hands to the night sky over them and every fae went silent, you could hear the still from within the tent, shifting your now hooved feet anxiously. Your fur itched, you hadn't been in this form in what felt like millenia but was likely only a few centuries. You felt wrong, and exposed, clawed fingers curling against the dark fur that was on your upper arms before it gave way to the deep bronze of your flesh. Your ears twitched against your skull, flopping lightly against your horns. You didn't want to do this, but it was your 'sacred duty' as a puca, and since the one who was going to travel in to do it cancelled you had little say in the matter. Hemlock stopped short of ordering you to do this, but you felt the order there.

“Tonight we give tribute to the goddess! That she may bless our fields and our armies!” Hemlock cried out to the night and you braced yourself. “To start our Fire Dance we have a Puca from our own stronghold, who graciously stepped in when our other Dance Leader could not make it!” There was a roar of cheers and your gut tightened almost painfully. Your pupils fluctuated as you grabbed your torch, it was not ignited yet but as soon as you stepped out the flames would burst to life, the magics were well practiced for this. You waited till the fae went silent from their cheers again before you stepped out. You carefully kept the torch away from your body so the burst of flame when it ignited wouldn't singe you and you saw the eyes widen as your form came into view. Your eyes were larger in this form, your cat-like pupils wide for the moment until the light of your torch hit them and they shrunk to slivers in the amber color. Curved horns sprouted from the sides of your forehead, your skin melting into the silver colored bone that twisted in an impressive halo around your head. Between the horns a crest of ink colored feathers started almost between your eyes and crept over the top of your head before melting back into dark brown hair. A thick ruff of vulpine fur sliding down the sides of your neck and shoulders before it shortened into dense, shining fur of a domestic dog. Your tail twitched under your skirt and you were glad you wore something that would allow it to remain hidden. Lifting the torch the flames let every fae see your true form. Leaner and more angular then your human but clearly you, Swift put a hand on Papyrus' arm as he looked about to rush out to you. He could feel the discomfort, how could these other fae keep staring so, clearly she was uncomfortable with it. Sans' eyes went wide, how could you think you were ugly? You weren't human looking, sure, but ugly was not what anyone should call you, your soul was bright and unhidden behind the layers and he could hear it's siren song loudly.

“We give offering to the Goddess!” your voice was like a wolf's howl mixed with the gentler tones of your normal voice. “That she bless us, and keep us in her mercy!” You walked forward in measured movements before you stopped before the first pyre. “To the Goddess!” Your voice boomed and you lowered the torch to the dry wood, it instantly igniting in a roaring flame, the four other pyres igniting instantly and you stepped back, lifting your arms out beside you, welcoming the heat. “And begin the fire dance!” You yelled the words and your body began to twist, the shifted wolves surging forward to you, running tightly around you before scattering into the fae and monsters and herding them close to you. The monsters had to watch the measured steps of the fae carefully as the twisting dance continued, making many missteps but none of the fae scolded them, they only smiled brightly and tried to lead them the correct way. Wolves wound between the bodies, making their way through the feet and legs of those that danced. Papyrus kept looking your direction, trying to get closer to you that he might pull you out of the thick and back to where you wouldn't be judged or stared at. As they danced the bonfires began to change color, each one a different hue to take on one of the five elements and as they roared into the sky the dance ended. The Fae smiling brightly at what they felt was a successful Beltane Festival.

You vanished as soon as you could, shying away from anyone who got too close when the dance ended. You could see Papyrus trying to stop you and you ran, you couldn't let him see you like this, not closely! You disappeared into the small tent where you tried to let your body slip back into your human disguise, clutching your arms tightly and strangling the sob that wanted to escape you when the form didn't come easily. It hurt to shift and you shuddered violently before dropping to your knees and trying to force it. Oh sweet goddess it hurt as your body fought your mind. Agony washed over your form in waves as you grit your teeth, ragged breaths escaping you as you tried to force yourself to shift. To something that wasn't this. ANYTHING. Why weren't you shifting?! You heard the cloth of the door to the tent shift and you let out a low snarl, warning anyone away, your eyes narrowed and pupils tiny slits as you bared your teeth. You felt arms scoop you up and your growls got louder, they didn't seem to notice as they sat down on the seat towards the back of the tent and set you in their lap with your head under their chin. You curled in on yourself, your mind still trying to force a change and your body resisting. You felt fingers slide along the feathers on your head and through your hair, it should have been soothing.

“Don't look at me.” Your voice was a low snarl and you heard the growling chuckle of Sans. Your teeth grit tighter and you growled again, feeling your fur bristle and your claws curled against your palms. “Why are you here?” Your growled voice made him laugh again and his clawed phalanges raked through your hair. You wanted to bite him but you didn't want him to stop doing that. It was a confusing feeling, you wanted him to leave but you didn't want him to stop touching you, it was calming.

“ya looked a bit off, sweetheart. boss was worried.” The amusement in Sans' voice made you want to growl again. “are ya doin ight?” You blinked, was that concern? He was concerned for you? One of your ears twitched and you let your jaw unclench.

“No.” Your voice shook and he started to glance down when you snarled again. “DON'T LOOK AT ME!” Your voice went shrill and he looked up at the top of the tent instantly, trying to ignore the way you shook against his chest. “No one should ever have seen me like this.” Your voice trailed off to a whisper as you spoke. “No one.”

“naw, don't be like that doll. It ain't so bad.” His voice was a low rumble and you snorted. “ya live with a couple o' skeletons and yer worried 'bout how ya look? me and boss look like a couple'a corpses, ya look fine. good even.” You blinked in surprise, he thought.... he thought you looked good? This amalgamation of parts that made up all your shifts was good? He seemed to feel your surprise because he chuckled again, fingers stroking through your hair again and he noticed that there were less feathers this time.

“I look like a demon.” you mumbled, reaching up to touch one of your horns. “Even I know that. It's better when I hide this.” He swatted your hand away from your horns, feeling the claws on the tips of your fingers brush across his phalanges and he blinked at the feeling of your innate magic in the points of the claws. So you did have a manifestation of magic. Interesting. It was so different then how non magical you felt all the other times you had ever touched. “sides, boss and i can feel yer soul better when yer yerself.”

“I don't want to be myself.” You grumbled, “I don't want to be an ugly amalgamation. I want to be... me. The me I make myself.” Your words were harsh and full of self loathing. Sans could relate to that feeling, but he wasn't about to say so.

“yer not ugly. annoyin and self righteous sure, ugly? nah.” The horns were nearly gone by this point, and there were several veils over your soul that he could feel but they didn't seem as heavy as before, it muted you but you were still there. He wasn't sure if that was because you weren't fully back to the you that you were comfortable with or because you felt more open to him. You looked at your own hands, the claws gone, the fur on your arms receding rapidly and you let out a breath. It was going away. You were going to be normal again. “why d'ya feel ya need to hide who ya are?” Monsters couldn't hide themselves, they were who they were and they had pride in that.

“Because it's not who I am. I haven't been that person ever.” You twisted away from Sans when you felt like you were at least MOSTLY back to normal. You didn't have hooves anymore and you couldn't feel your ears twitching against horns anymore so you felt confident that you were back to normal. “You don't understand. What you saw was something that no one is ever supposed to see. Puca don't ever take their 'real' form if we can prevent it. My parents have NEVER seen each other's true form, they are pair bonds and they never have shown the other. It's a source of shame for us and only the Elders ever do it because of that shame.” You glared his direction, that he had seen you like that made you angry. Not at him, but at the fact that it happened. “I never would have agreed under normal conditions.” He could feel the unease in your soul, the usual bell like sound warbling uncomfortably. He quickly decided he didn't like that sound, it was better when you were content. A soft tingling sound, like a wind chime perhaps.

“it's alright, kitten. i get it, i won't push ya more.” He frowned to himself as you pulled on your sandals, not bothering with your stockings. You gave him a grateful smile at that and exited the tent, seeking out Papyrus and avoiding the adoring looks from the wolves and skittering away from Swift when you saw him in the thinning crowds. Sans snickered your direction when he saw your panicked face as you span and went the other direction every time the wolf seemed to come into your path. After a few more minutes you had succeeded and you tackled the tall skeleton, wrapping your arms around his neck and hiding your face from his view. You didn't want to see the reaction to what he had seen.

“Let's go home?” you mumbled and the tall skeleton patted your head and nodded. Letting go of him you lead them away from the remains of the festival. You just wanted this day, this 'date' over.

Chapter Text

Neither brother mentioned anything about what they saw at Beltane that night to your relief, since you were the talk of the stronghold outside of your home and couldn't go anywhere without people glancing at you or whispering behind your back. As if you couldn't hear them. It was really grating your nerves. Hemlock tried to keep everyone in check about it, feeling responsible for your sudden popularity in the gossip circles as people tried to figure out your form. Most of them were wrong. You couldn't even BECOME a Owl. That wasn't why your eyes were larger in your other form! It was as if they had never noticed that all the Fire Leaders had large-ish eyes. It was the one of the very few common traits among her people, that and the amber color! You had taken to staying out on scouting missions as much as you could, and returning only in the wee morning hours or late into the evening. Papyrus tried to be understanding but he really didn't see why you should be ashamed of what you looked like.

You tried to explain but it didn't translate well if you were honest. Even Sans had to step in and nudge Papyrus into dropping it when the taller brother tried to get an answer that explained it to him properly. You had been avoiding going home as much as possible since then, not sure how to talk to the monster that had quickly become the best friend you'd ever had. It hurt that you felt so alienated, but maybe with a bit of time something new would pop up to get everyone's mind off you. That's why you were out, your lanky canine form creeping along an alley as your flopped ears twitched at every sound. You'd heard rumor of a 'security company' that specialized in monster bodyguards. Hemlock agreed that it was worth a look and you agreed. You had an alias that you used to speak with the human rights groups who were fighting to free monsters from humans, they all thought you were a human who owned a bunch of land in the mountains, they would send monsters your way by secret convoys now and then, but you hadn't had that happen in awhile.

You sniffed around the ground, there was a lot of foot traffic through here, you could smell the multiple scents, a bit muddied but you could tell there were several monsters and humans that passed by frequently. You let out a huff and trotted towards where the scents came from, away from the parking lot that you had wandered through as you looked for this place. Lifting your head you perked your ears as a human walked from the building, a shocked look on his face when he saw you. Lowering your head a bit you swished your tail in one of those pathetic canine appeasement movements, hoping the human would just go on his way and leave you be. There were almost literal stars in his eyes as he cooed your direction, apparently you had the misfortune of meeting up with a dog person. Greeeeeeat. He knelt down and made kissy noises at you. Urgh. You were so glad no one was here to see this happening. You made a show of looking hesitant before walking in long circles closer to the human, smelling at him as you moved. He definitely smelled of monsters, powerful ones. Being around Papyrus and Sans you had gotten a nose for monster scents. The more powerful and potent it was the stronger the monster usually was, the human was covered in conflicting powerful scents. Ocean water and sea grass mingled with autumn leaves and snow. Several others you couldn't place due to these but still strong scents. The human reached out and patted your head, you lowering your head a bit away from his touch and he chuckled.

“Hey there girl, you look too clean to be a stray.” He smirked and raked his fingers along one side of your neck. You would have rolled your eyes if you could. “You get lost?” you huffed and hopped away from him, not about to let yourself be caught. Humans were strange, they always seemed to think you needed saving when you were in an animal form. That was not the case and you weren't giving him the chance to loop anything on you. You heard another voice shout and the human looked up before looking at you wistfully one last time. He started back towards the building and you waited till he was far enough away to not hear you following to trot after him, best to know what you were looking at rather than just assume “yep this is it” that wasn't your style. You did it right the first time, you weren't a mistake making wolf. Since Beltane you'd been avoiding Swift pointedly, that didn't mean he had given up on you. Far from it. Instead he took it as a challenge, like the coy she wolves who would play keep away from the males they found attractive. Shaking your head you made yourself focus. He walked into a building that looked pretty nondescript from the back, wandering to the other side you found a typical office style. Ok. That made sense, wandering back towards the back of the building you sniffed along each door, stopping at a set of rolling doors. There were a lot of monster scents here. Strong ones. You were sure this was the right place. Good. Turning away you retreated, none of the monsters here were at risk for being dusted by the humans who worked here, so you felt confident that you didn't need to act alone.

It took nearly two days as a dog before you managed to get back to the stronghold, it was a long walk and you hadn't wanted to keep shifting back and forth. Also going by foot let you stay away longer, the longer you were gone the less people would think about you. That was a good thing. You felt uneasy being around anyone again, it had been a long time since you felt so out out of place at the stronghold. It was your home and here you didn't want to return to it. Every fae there had seen your shameful self, and it made you angry and it made the predatory nature deep within roar to the surface. You wanted CONTROL. Your ears perked as the Circle came into sight and you began your shift. Ivy above looking away politely, even though the new moon made it pitch dark and the snake fae wasn't known for his night vision. Once you had pulled your shorts and hoodie on you strode into the circle and activated the magic, the stronghold materializing before you. As you suspected it was silent. Everyone was at their posts or asleep. Glancing at the clocktower you noticed it was a little after 1 am. Good. No one to see you coming, or going. You slunk to your house, flopped ears tapping on your cheeks with each step and you suppress a growl as one of the male wolves passed by a good bit from where you hid in the shadows. He paused at your scent but realized it was likely from your house, no one had heard from you in a week and you weren't due back until a few days later. When he was gone you nearly sprinted the rest of the way to your house, slipping silently through the door and closing it behind you. Resting against the solid wood you rumbled gleefully. Papyrus was asleep. You could hear Sans snoring fitfully in the other room. Control. This was a situation you could CONTROL.

It was like a switch in your mind, gone was caring if it was right or wrong, instead all that was left was the primal need to make him feel as powerless as he had made you feel. Kicking off your shoes, your black socks made no sound on the wood floors as you crossed to your old room. Pausing by the closed door you had a moment where your mind screamed that this was not something you should be doing. You KNEW what had happened to him with the humans, you had carefully stepped around what you thought to be clear boundary lines in your friendship with him in order to make him feel safe around you. Were you willing to risk that? 'And why shouldn't I? He pinned me to a wall and forced a kiss on me, surely I have as much of a right as he does to assert myself?' That was enough to break your resolve and you smiled ferally as you opened the door. There was no moonlight to illuminate the room, but your vision was still unhindered from the trip back and you had no problems making out the shape of the monster where he slept on the bed. Picking your way through his mess you leaned over him. He looked so cute when he was asleep, your eyes faint glow bright in the darkness of the room, lips pulled away from your teeth in a wicked grin.

You moved slowly, but with a very practiced intent, your hands flexing in the air before wrapping around his wrists carefully, quietly, gently. Slowly pulling them over his head to pin them under your hands as you threw one leg over him so you could almost sit on his pelvis. He grumbled in his sleep, a fitful whimper that you didn't care to try and make out, and you leaned close enough to inhale his rich spice and fire scent. As that burn the smell filled your senses you could feel your resolve to stop this before it got out of hand slowly slipping away. You couldn't make yourself care. This house was the one place you had control, and for once in the time that he was here, he was going to see what happened when you teased the puca. Your nose twitched, ears lifting as much as the floppy appendages could, you were set. Time to wake him up.

“Saaaaans.” you purred the words low, the monster grumbling but staying asleep. Twisting your head you let your hot breath blast across his mandible, your nose almost close enough to touch him. “Saaaaaaaans. Wake up.” Your voice was slightly louder and his sockets winced before opening slowly. Fuzzy eyelights stared at the ceiling before you leaned up so you could hover over him. Instantly he was wide awake, trying to yank his arms free and you growled, holding him under you firmly. You were stronger then you looked, you had to be. “Good. You're awake.” Your voice was a pleased hum and he tried to lean away from you.

“wah th' fuck 'r ya doing!?” He yelled, earning a laugh and the sight of your tongue sliding over your lower lip before you bit down on it. Damn that was sexy. No Sans! Don't think like that. She has you pinned here. This ain't right! “get th' fuck offa me!” His voice was starting to fill with panic and that displeased you. You didn't want to scare him, only show him that you were just as able to play this game he had been playing with you.

“No.” You hummed and you saw the panic in his eyes this time. Leaning close you hummed softly, the sound little more then a soothing coo. “It's alright Sansy. I'm not gonna hurt you. I would never.” You promised softly. “Unless you want me to that is.” Wickedness turned the corners of your mouth upwards and he sucked a breath. God damn it woman. “Sans. Do you remember what I said at the festival?” You purred and he blinked. What?

“uh... never without yer permission?” He offered uneasily and you nodded your head. “i ain't done nothin since! ya haven't even been around!” He didn't know where you were going with this but he wasn't sure he liked it.

“Mmmmhmmmm. Good boy.” You praised and inhaled his scent again, even with the spike of fear he smelled good right now. “Just like that, I would never do something without your permission. So I'm gonna ask you only once. Can I?” Your voice was thick with innuendo, but it was only right to give him an out. He stared dumbly up at your smiling face, trying to figure out if this was real probably. It was adorable. “I need an answer Skelebae.” Your voice edged with roughness and that took him by surprise. Slowly he nodded and you grinned deviously. “Good boy. If you want me to stop. Say Red.” You leaned close to him, tongue flicking from your mouth to slide across the edge of his jaw, earning a low shudder from the monster you held down under you. “Until you say Red, you are mine to control. Green means you're okay and I can keep going.” You finished, blowing a bit of air against the wet line your drew and making him whimper. He had no idea what he had just gotten himself into, and he wasn't sure if he liked it or not. He supposed that depended on what you did, but you did give him a safeword, an easy one to remember at that. So that was a relief. “I'm gonna let go of your wrists now, but you're gonna leave them right there.” The words were an order and he knew it.

“an if i don't listen?” His voice was thick with rebellion and you growled lowly, the sound vibrating in your chest and your eyes narrowed.

“Bad boys are punished.” You stated simply. You had become very good at punishment. Beau made sure of that. He could feel the promise thick in your words, and unless he used the word he was certain that you would do whatever you liked. Scarred palms slowly lifted away from his wrists, his arms staying there obediently for now. “Good boy. Good boys get rewards.” You hummed low and pressed your lips to the top of his nasal ridge. Fingers slid lightly down his arms, earning soft shivers and whimpers from the skeleton before they traced over his t shirt to feel each rib. “Such a good good boy.” You crooned. “Obeying so well.” One hand slipped under the fabric of his shirt and you danced the tips of your fingers across a bare rib. A low groan escaped him and you smirked. He liked that. “Color?” You whispered against his cheek.

“g....green.” he mumbled, eyes half shut as he tried to process what was going on. He was convinced this was a dream. A damn good dream at that. Better then any other he'd had about you. You smiled against his cheek and pressed a line of kisses along his cervical vertebrae as your other hand joined the other, slowly pushing his shirt up as your fingers traced each rib individually, exploring each valley between them as you searched for every little spot that would make him weak. Would make him yours to control. You could feel the scars and nicks on his bones and you wondered how he had come to be so beaten up. Your fingers stopped when you reached his sternum and his hands shot up to grip your arms. His fingers were not tight on you, but he had moved and you lifted your hands away from him, his eyes widening as he realized he had disobeyed. He flinched as you untangled your arms from his grip and you looked down at him with an impassive but disappointed expression.

“You disobeyed. Bad boy.” You hummed and stood up slowly, walking to your closet and pulling out a length of what looked like blue rope. Walking back as you looped it over your hands a few times, pulling it into an intricate knot that effectively turned the soft fabric into handcuffs. You could feel his fear spike, watching you anxiously as you returned to the bed and snagged his wrists. Tying him to the bedpost and patting his cheek. “But it was your first offense so I'll be easy on you.” You hummed, leaning over him so your face was close to his neck. “Color?” Even now you were going to be sure he was okay with everything you do. Consent was something that couldn't be missed in your opinion.

“green.” His voice shook with a mixture of fear and anxiety but you grinned at the solid answer. Twisting your head you nuzzled his cheek.

“For your first offense I will just give you one bite.” You spoke against his cheek and before he could register what you had said you twisted and clamped your teeth down on his clavicle. It wasn't enough to do damage, but it hurt and he let out a pained yelp. Still, his HP didn't even flicker, there was no intent to harm in you, he marveled at how skilled you were, the pain making it clear he was not asleep. Releasing the bone from your teeth your swiped your tongue over the abused spot and he whimpered.

“You did well. But next time I punish you, you have to stay completely silent or I'll be forced to add to the tally.” whispered words of promise as you let your fingers start trailing down his ribs again. You could feel the bulge under your rump but had no intention of going so far tonight. This was about the game. About your control. “Color?”

“green... green!” He yelped the words and you laughed softly. He was such a good boy when he listened. Such a nice little submissive. Your soul was singing in his head, it's song luring him in and keeping him willing. To reward him you wiggled your ass against him slowly, the monster whining low. Fingers moved in tandem with the ones from the other hand, curling along each rib to see exactly how sensitive each was. He didn't have a body you were familiar with, so you would need this time to learn him. You marveled at how his body was made up, the magic glowing faintly at his joints and you dipped your head close to taste him, moving across a rib to where it met his sternum and letting yourself linger on the joint there for a moment, he even tasted like spice and fire, before laving your way up his sternum until you met the bunched up t-shirt near his neck. “Red!” he yelped and you sat up slowly, blinking down at him. He whimpered under your gaze and looked like he expected another punishment. Instead you reached up and untied his hands, letting them free and you smiled softly. This was a fun game.

“I want to kiss you.” You whispered, waiting, and the skeleton moved eagerly, closing the space between you. Your arms sliding over his shoulders so your fingertips could toy with his spine through his shirt. Your tongue tracing the edge of his teeth before they parted and let you explore his mouth just as he had done to you, your eyes softly shut as you took in his smell and the feeling of him. You pulled back after a few minutes and patted his cheek. “This was a fun game.” And without another word you stood up and left the room, leaving him to wonder what the hell just happened. Come morning you gave no indication that anything had happened between the two of you, your gaze innocent and blank under his intense scrutiny. You smiled as Papyrus made you breakfast, eating the meal with enthusiasm before standing up and passing by Sans on your way to the sink. He distinctly heard you whisper “Green.” as you passed.

Chapter Text

Sans wasn't sure how to feel about the indifference you had been regarding him with since that night, you hadn't taken off again and instead seemed to have come to terms with whatever had been chewing at you. You weren't glaring irritably at the other fae when you went out anymore, at least not as much... you still glared when they started talking about you like you weren't there. Who wouldn't? Still, your indifference to him was starting to bother him. He couldn't exactly confront you with his bro hanging around though, he'd found that Paps had gotten far more protective of you then he was before since the Beltane incident. To top it off since you were back he had to once again be subjected to you skipping about the house in socks again. Sure, socks were a weird kink even by human and even fae standards but monsters were different. Damn it he couldn't stand it! He wanted to hide all your damn socks!

“Hey Sans. I'm heading out to Rain's to grab lunch, you wanna join? Papyrus said he has plans with Hemlock.” You were slightly jealous that Hemlock had been stealing Papyrus' time from you, but apparently it was work related so you let it go. Sans glanced up as you spoke, noticing that Papyrus shot him a look of curiosity before he walked out the door. His eyes returned to you, where you were lounging on the couch and reading a book. Not looking at him at all. You were infuriating.

“why would i wanna go anywhere wit' ya?” He grumbled and you chuckled softly, looking up from your book. “ya have been a fuckin bitch since ya got home.” He snorted and rolled his eyes away from you dismissively.

“Fair.” You responded and he blinked in surprise, glancing back your face as you closed the book and set it aside. You looked at him impassively, reminding him of the face you had on that night. “I wasn't fair, sorry. And I know I should explain but it really won't make a lot of sense to someone who didn't live it.” Your expression hadn't changed. “Are you backing out of the game?” You raised one brow. You wouldn't blame him if he was.

“th' fuck are ya talkin about? what game are ya playin!?” He snapped and you blinked, had you misread? You narrowed one eye thoughtfully, perhaps you had not seen his intentions as he meant you to? You thought the lazy skeleton was showing obvious signs of dominance games... pinning you to the wall and the like then acting completely indiffernet to your existance right after. Your eyes watched his posture closely, the arrogance and tough guy attitude over a soft shell. The opposite of you. Soft and sweet looking with a hard center.

“I'm sorry. I guess I misjudged.” You mumbled absently. “I thought- but you-” You looked for the right words, your brows pulling together in obvious confusion. “Why did you kiss me? The first time, that is.” You were clearly confused and he scowled at the fact that he didn't get why. Sure kissing you probably was a bad idea since you seemed to have issues with intimacy in general, but you had initiated intimacy a few nights prior when you woke him up without any problem.

“was a mistake. was jus tryin ta fluster ya.” He lied. Why would he tell you that he loved the way your eyes flared when you were angry, or the sassy scowl you sent his way when he got on your nerves? The fact that you treated him like a fuckin person and not a toy or object didn't hurt your case any. And you had the fucking nicest ass when you were walking around in those damn red and yellow shorts of yours that you slept in. He shook his head to get his mind out of where it was heading as you seemed to digest what he said. He could see a bit of hurt and he mentally flinched.

“Oh, I see. I'm sorry. I thought that you were... interested. I misjudged and I owe you an apology for that. Forgive me.” You sighed the words, guilt gnawing at your mind. You really had thought he was trying to play games with you, you knew he didn't CARE for you, you were just friends, but the back and forth for control had been fun. You thought he enjoyed it, “I'll stay out of your hair. I'll see you later Sans.” You waved one hand without looking his direction. When he was alone in the house he let out a snarl of frustration. WHY DID HE SAY THAT?! You had basically told him that you were INTERESTED in him, maybe not romantically but interested none the less! Why did he sabotage that!? Stars he ruined everything good going for him! You were never gonna give him a chance now! He picked up a book from the side table and threw it across the room. It slammed into the wall, leaving a bit of a dent, Papyrus would surely notice that. Damn it.

You walked towards Rainspite's, mulling over the skeleton's words and you let out a breath. You'd ruined the delicate friendship you had with him for sure. You were really stupid sometimes. Damn your instincts reading into things that weren't there. You felt a hand on your shoulder and jumped slightly, glancing over your shoulder to see Beau there. He looked down at you with a concerned expression, and you scowled at him in return.

“Don't touch me. You lost the right.” Your voice was ice and he sighed, lifting his hand away.

“I told you that I was sorry, Meddie. I didn't MEAN to take advantage of you, I really did think you understood what you were getting into.” His voice was as easy on your ears as ever and you twitched the floppy appendages away from him. You didn't want to listen to his reasons again. Yeah, they made sense because he was a damn incubus. You were just a great healing session to him, sure you were cute enough but incubi didn't bond. They had flings and that was it.

“Yeah yeah. Doesn't mean I'll let ya touch me ever again.” You grumbled and he pouted at you. Truly you had been one of his best go to fuckbuddies to go to when he was injured or hungry. He was a bit annoyed at himself for ruining that with you but he wasn't one to push someone who was no longer interested. Sure he was a incubus but that didn't make him rapey. “What are you even doing in the stronghold? Don't you usually live in the cities where you can 'feed properly'?” You muttered and he flashed one of his attractive smirks your way. You scowled at him again. Neither of you noticed the skeleton a short distance away watching the interaction as best he could. He could see Beau's expressions but your face was hidden from his view which was frustrating.

“Can't a fae come and go at will these days? Your no fun anymore Meddie.” He sighed and grinned widely at your glare. Sans could feel a bit of panic in his mind, why was the fae smiling at you like that? Were you smiling back? Even if you had screamed at the guy before that didn't mean that you wouldn't forgive whatever you held against them in light of current things. “I heard that Swift was courting you and had to come see for myself if that was true.” Amusement clear in his eyes as your cheeks flushed. Damn those fucking gossipy wolves!

“He can do as he pleases. I'm not interested.” You muttered a bit and he let out a loud laugh. “What the wolves do is of no concern of mine. I have other things to worry about.” You stepped away from Beau and he fell into step with you, Sans following behind at a distance to try and figure out what was going on between you and the other fae. You were acting fairly chummy with him from what he could see.

“Ahhh. Is it because of the monsters?” He asked and you turned your eyes on him in fury. Your snarl died in your throat as you looked at his amused expression. “So it is. Which one? The tall one? He seems fun, a bit loud for my tastes but then I always like em small and soft.” You scoffed and folded your hands across your chest. “I'm the last one to judge who you take to your bed, I routinely have human pets.” He shrugged his shoulders and you wrinkled your nose in disgust. Humans were so base. Monsters were far closer to your kind then Humans could ever dream of being, made it weird to think that you could not recall a single child born of monster and fae parents. Surely they must have existed at one time? A thought for another time. For now you had a bigger problem, Beau was still walking with you and you had to fight your instincts to keep from growling at him warningly.

“Humans? You're really slimy.” He snickered as you curled your lip in disgust. “If you had any chance of redeeming yourself to me, it would have died there.” You shuddered and stepped a bit further from the other fae who was absolutely dying of laughter. Sans could feel his magic boiling, what were you saying to make that asshole laugh like that? He watched as the male fae cupped your chin in his hand, making you look up at him and he could catch sight of your face. A bit of a flush and clear anger flashing in your eyes. He growled and decided enough was enough. He couldn't hear from here and this was pissing him off. He shortcutted beside you and looped his arm over your shoulder, a shocked Beau taking a half step back.

“heya kitten. ya left b'fore i could get m'shoes on.” A lie, he was already in his shoes when you had asked if he wanted to join you for lunch. “hey there buddy. fancy seein yer mug 'round here. ain't seen ya since th' farm.” His grin was lazily sociable, but the tone in his voice nearly vibrated with an anger that confused both you and Beau. He glanced at you, where you were blinking in confusion at Sans, then back at the monster.

“Yep, heard Meddie was having wolf problems so I thought I'd offer to give her a hand with that issue.” The taller fae offered, the lewd intent in his voice thick, Sans' red eye light burned slightly brighter and he resisted the urge to growl. “But it seems my affections will again be shunned.” He made a woe is me expression that was so fake it nearly made you gag, though you also felt the laughter bubble and squashed it down. Beau was always a drama queen.

“pal, meadowlark doesn't seem ta want yer help wit it.” His voice had the edge of a growl in it, your eyes turning back to the monster. His arm tightened slightly against your shoulder and he could feel the confused stare even though he was keeping his eyes firmly on the tall fae. You could feel the challenge passing back and forth between the two males, growing increasingly uncomfortable as the two kept their eyes locked. Then Beau flashed a grin and ran his fingers through his hair.

“I know when I'm beat.” He smirked and your eyes shifted to the fae suspiciously. He was not one to back down often, he must have seen something that let him know he was beat. “Take care of my girl.” He shoved his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, his dark brown eyes glancing between the two of you before he sauntered off. You had to admit, he still had a great ass. Your head tilted slightly at the sight before you looked at Sans again, wondering where that came from. You had thought he had made it clear that he wasn't interested. How he acted to Beau was so different from what he said, and you weren't sure what to make of it. When he turned his gaze on you, you shrunk a bit at the burning look.

“th' fuck ya think yer doin letting a guy like that flirt w'cha?” You blinked a bit at the anger in his tone and you ducked under his arm with a scoff.

“What does it matter to you? You said you weren't interested.” You snapped back, suddenly angry with how he was talking to you. What the fuck was with this on and off behaviour!? You didn't appreciate or like it. “So why would you care?”

“damn it kitten!” his snarl made you jump back and you lowered your head before glaring at him. “yer fucking dense, ya know that?” He snapped and you pinned your ears against your head.

“I'm not the one running hot and cold, Sans.” you hissed back and his sockets widened. He closed the distance between the both of you and you tried to puff up and glared up into his face as his sharp teeth grit tightly. You knew he could hurt you if he wanted to, if you got him mad enough.

“ya pin me down then ignore me fer days, prance around th' house in yer god damn socks, and then accuse me of being th' tease?!” His words were a low growl and you were about to snap back at him that, yeah. He was a fucking tease. When you stopped and your brain seemed to think really hard about what he just said. He saw when the anger disolved from your face, a look of deep thought taking over and he wondered what the hell you were suddenly thinking about. It struck you suddenly, how angry he got when you were putting your lace thigh highs on for Beltane. Your eyes went wide and a sparkle in them made him take a half step back.

“You think socks are sexy?” Your words were an excited whisper and he sweated. He had NOT meant to let that slip. Stepping away from you he rolled his eyes and tried to dismiss the idea. You reached out to grab his arm and he yanked away with a growl. “You do!” You giggled loudly and he moved swipe at you, dancing out of his range and smiling deviously. You skittered into Rainspite's, knowing the skeleton won't make a scene in front of all the fae and the few monsters there and smiled brightly at the cait. “Hey Rain.” Shooting teasing looks at Sans as he glowered darkly at you, you turned back to the other fae with a beaming expression.

“Lark, my dear! Good to see you in! Are you hungry?” The feline smiled brightly, happy to see you back in the stronghold.

“Famished.” You grinned and reached to take the plate he offered, the cat holding the plate firmly and sniffing at you when you reached out.

“You smell like Beau.” He accused and you scowled.

“He was just talking at me, same song and dance.” You rolled your eyes and Rain scoffed at your words before looking at Sans.

“You. Make sure that dirty incubus stays away from my girl! Ya hear me!?” He snapped and Sans shrugged his shoulders lazily. “He's no good, even you're a better option then that ass.” Meadow scowled at the comment and Rain offered an apologetic expression.

“tha' sounds like a ton o' work. a skele-ton.” Sans grinned and Rain winced at the terrible pun, even though you snickered softly. Puns were amusing to you, not so much to the cait sidhe.

“I mean it skeleton. He lays a finger on her and you don't stop him I'll end you.” he threatened and you scoffed this time.

“I can handle myself, Rain. Besides, Beau is rarely in town. He only wanted to know if the rumor that I'm allowing Swift to court me are right.” You rolled your eyes and Rain chuckled. “I have no interest in pair bonding.”

“You're young yet. Don't burn all your bridges dear.” He said softly. He was far older then the puca was, and while he had pairbonded at one time his bond had died many centuries ago. “You might find yourself changing your mind someday.” You rolled your eyes.

“There isn't a fae in the world I'm interested in.” You grumbled and took the plate, Sans taking note of what you said. There wasn't a FAE you were interested in. That was an important point. Sitting at the table away from where Rain was standing you began to stuff the food into your mouth. Papyrus' food was still better, but you wouldn't admit that to Rain. You liked the burn of the magic he infused into it. Sans sat across from you and watched as you ate, noticing how your right eyebrow twitched angrily every so often.

“yer really pissed about that wolf aintcha?” He smirked and you looked up from your food and glared at him. The anger in your eyes sending a thrill up his spine that he suppressed by snickering. “jus' tell 'im off. sure, he is nice enough but ya don't look like ya want nice.” You rolled your eyes at him.

“Oh yeah. Like you know what I want?” Rolling your eyes at him he let out a low growling chuckle that made your ears twitch reflexively. Turning your eyes back to the skeleton and narrowing your eyes at him challengingly, he thought he knew anything about what you wanted in a pairbond? HA. “Besides, you all but said you were out of the game.” You smirked back and his growl deepened ever so slightly at your jab.

“i ain't playin games, kitten.” His baritone held a rough edge that would have made you shiver if you weren't too concentrated on making your face as impassive as possible. This was a subtle battle for control and both of you knew it, neither of you were about to back down. Your eyes remained locked on the other as you finished your food, walking leisurely back to the house once you were done. You stepped in after him, closing the door and moving to kick off your sandals when you found yourself pinned hard against the door, sharp teeth against your neck and you sucked in a surprised breath. “color?” His voice was filled with mirth and you squirmed experimentally in his grip, his hands around your wrists like steel.

“Green.” You purred back lowly. Maybe you hadn't read wrong after all.

Chapter Text

Sans growled low against your neck, his body pinning you effectively to the door as he raked his teeth across the side of your neck making your skin twitch under the points. He wished he could figure out a way to make his gravity magic work on you, it would make pinning you down so much easier. Something to work on later, he supposed. Twisting your arms over your head he gathered them in one of his hands, easily able to hold both of your slim wrists in his phalanges. You were so much smaller and more delicate then he was. Sure the humans had been too, but he couldn't do anything to them. If he wanted to, his teeth were on your throat, it would take nothing for him to bite down and let you bleed out. He had POWER over you in this moment until you used that word to stop everything, and until that point he had complete control over your life.

“good.” his rumble vibrated through his teeth as he bit firmly but without drawing blood on the side of your neck. A mewl of discomfort mixed with encouragement escaping you, he hadn't told you to be quiet after all. The now free hand raking along your side before tracing along the scars that wrapped from your back to your sides. The still delicate and sensitive flesh trembling under the sharp points of his claws. You shifted and wiggled, biting down on your lip as his palm flattened against your stomach, holding in the whine. You could feel his breath beating against your neck in hot blasts and your eyes twisted to glance his direction, a bit of a blush burning on your cheeks. “hnn, this is a complete change from the other night.” His words were thoughtful as his thumb traced the skin around your navel before he let the hand slide up till his phalanges found the edge of your ribcage. He was being careful though, he didn't know how far you were okay with him pushing it just yet, and he didn't want to lose himself and ruin the game before it had a chance to get good. His free hand gripped around one of your thighs, using that and your arms to lift you easily. You let out a squeak as your back hit the bed when he got to it, the monster staring down at you with a wicked smirk. You stared back at him unabashedly, you were no blushing virgin and he knew it. “color.” His words were dark and you shivered at the tone.

“Green.” Your words were solid and assured, you had no hesitation and he loved it. You were so fucking cute, looking up at him where from where he had tossed you with anticipation and a hint of eagerness in your golden eyes. His conjured tongue slid along his gold tooth, eyes hungrily taking in the sight of you before he leaned over the bed, crawling over your body until he could slide his tongue across your tender neck. A mewl of pleasure and a bared neck his reward, how submissive and obedient you were like this. He wondered if he could pull a bit of that fire out of you and and he dug his tips of his claws into your sides, the sharp points harsh against your new skin there. Yelping loudly your eyes flashed at him and he grinned, there you were. Now he could see that even when you were submitting to him you were still under there, and that made him feel better about what he was doing. He shouldn't be doing this. Both of you knew that, you were supposed to be just friends. But neither of you had any desire to end this game. He made sure not to draw blood from the delicate skin on your sides, he didn't want to hurt you. Yet.

“Tease.” You whimpered and he laughed darkly, his eye lights burning into your own as he loomed over you. His left eye light burning brighter then the right one and you wondered idly about that. He gave you little time to think on that as one of his hands slid under your hoodie, the tips of his claws teasing just under your breast and making you whimper. “Teeeeeeease.” you hissed the words lowly, wiggling under the monsters weight as he straddled your hips. You felt like panting, your body feeling too warm. Why did he make you feel so … appreciated? His eyes were hungry as they roved your frame, his golden tooth glinting wickedly and sending a thrill down your spine. “Saaaans.” you whined up at him, your brows pulling together as you pouted at him.

“well well, kitten. seems ya not quite so feisty as ya like to think, doesn't seem ta take much to get ya where i want ya.” Purred words against your neck and you growled softly at him. “uh uh uh kitten. i'm in charge today, quiet or yer gonna haveta be punished.” He warned and you scowled at him, but he was right. You had given him a green and that meant he was the dominant for now. The anger fizzled out as his teeth raked along your shoulder where it met your neck before he bit down just enough to make it a painful pleasure. You to suck a breath of air, eyes widening at the sensation as you wiggled under him a bit. He slunk down your form, nuzzling his face against your stomach as his phalanges raked more gently then you thought he could manage along your bare sides. You were caught up in the feeling of his bone on your skin, eyes fluttering shut when you felt something wet hit your stomach just below your ribs, the magic in it fizzling against your flesh. Glancing down you expected it to be saliva, you didn't expect tears. You quickly leaned up on your elbows, your eyes wide and concerned as he kept his gaze away from you.

“Sans, are you alright?” the softness in your voice surprised you, him too it seemed as he blinked a few times. Reaching out slowly you curled your arms around his shoulders, tugging him gently until his head rested between the swell of your breasts. He could hear your heart beat over the quiet, concerned chimes of your soul. Your fingers stroking slowly across his skull as you cooed soothingly, the skeleton clearly trying to pull himself together in embarrassment but unable to get a handle on his emotions. “What's wrong? Did I do something?” Worry filled your tone, he had seemed fine just a few moments prior.

“nah... 'm just not useta someone bein nice ta me...” his voice was small. “useta think it was only a matta of time b'fore ya acted like one o' those damn humans, even after the collar was taken off. Instead yer just... why are you being so nice ta me?! i'm a fuckin piece of shit, no good lazy asshole. ya said it yerself before and ya were right!” You could feel the hurt in his voice and it tugged at you, he was so very broken. You cursed the humans who made him like this, cursed anyone who made him like this. No one deserves to feel like he did right at that moment, like he didn't deserve any kindness. Feelings of warmth and protectiveness swelled within you and your arms tightened slightly around his shoulders.

“Sans. Look at me.” You said softly and after a moment he shifted so he could look up at your face. “You are not no good. You're lazy and sometimes an asshole, but not no good.” Your voice was soft, sincerity pouring through the tone. “I never should have made you think that's how I viewed you. I'm sorry that I pushed you into this, I knew what happened before but I thought... I should have let you keep at your own pace.” You trailed off and his eyes widened slightly.

“no no kitten. ya didn't push me inta nothin!” he was almost panicking and you let out a crooning purr to soothe the monster, your fingers stroking along his skull. “s'not yer fault, i wanted ta play along with this.” You smiled sadly feeling his crimson tears slowly soaking through the material of your hoodie. “'m just a broken fucking asshole.”

“It's okay to be broken.” you offered softly and he scoffed, though the sound was weak. “I won't push you into anything you aren't ready to do, you can stop at any time and I will completely understand, Skelebae. You can walk away from me completely and I will get it. You don't have to worry about me using you, alright? You're my friend, and I'm here for you.” Leaning down you pressed a gentle kiss on the top of his skull, the blush that bloomed across his cheeks nearly matching the color of your sweater. He was so adorable when he wasn't being a raging bastard. You felt yourself letting down some of your walls, letting yourself care a bit about this guy.

“yer too fuckin nice, meadow.” He muttered and you smirked and almost laughed. Aw, he thought you were nice, how cute. You knew you weren't really all that nice, you just knew you didn't treat people the way he had been treated. Your eyes softened as you looked down at him. He wasn't the only broken one around here, you knew full well you were just as broken. That's why you called this all a game, you couldn't allow it to be anything more. It would hurt too much when you remembered that he was just your friend, nothing more. Nothing more.

“Naw, not really.” You chuckled softly and kept your arms around him as you pulled him to lay down with you on the bed. The games were over for now, but there was nothing saying a little bit of cuddling was off the table. “Just relax for now, alright?” You heard him hum something in affirmation and his arms slowly moved to curl around your waist, pulling you closer to him as his sockets closed. It didn't take long for the skeleton to drift off to sleep, your fingers still stroking along the back of his skull as his breathing became even and slow. Left only with your thoughts you let your eyes close, his scent filling your senses as warmth filled your chest. You cared about the monsters that lived in your house, you cared more then you were ready to admit. The dearest kind of friends. You weren't sure when you drifted off yourself, your mind hazy as the smell of exotic spices and bonfire flames filled every sense you had. You could almost hear the crackle of burning wood.

“I AM HOME!” The sound made you jump, your eyes flying open as you startled. Your eyes flew around your room, well Sans' room now, taking in the pale grey-blue walls and navy bedspread before you carefully untangled yourself from the sleeping monster. Walking back toward the kitchen you ran your hand through your messy hair, taking it out of the now ruined ponytail it was in so it fell loosely.

“Hey Papy. Did you have a good time with Hemlock?” You yawned and he glanced over at you, his eyes taking in your frame and he snorted a laugh.

“YES. I DID, WE GOT A LOT OF PLANNING DONE.” He agreed. “SEEMS LIKE YOU HAD FUN WITH MY USELESS BROTHER AS WELL.” He smirked a bit and you flushed and scowled at him playfully.

“That's not nice Papy.” You said softly and looked away, unable to get the image of Sans calling himself no good from your mind. So broken, desperate. Your eyes closed and you grit your teeth. “I think we both need to stop saying such things about him. We're better than that.” You looked back to the taller brother who was a bit surprised. “It really hurts him, even if he doesn't show it.” He chuckled softly and reached a hand out to ruffle your hair, making you grunt.

“IF YOU SAY SO. I WILL TRY TO NOT CALL MY BROTHER OUT ON HIS SHORTCOMINGS SO MUCH.” He wasn't sure when you started sticking up for his brother, but it pleased him. You were very dear to him, and the thought that you didn't get along or wouldn't get along with his brother was a concern of his as he watched your indifference in dealing with the shorter skeleton. He was glad that those worries were baseless. You cared very much for the monsters in your house, he could hear it in the chiming of your soul when you spoke. You were far better then they deserved. “NOW GO SHOWER AND GET HIS SCENT OFF YOU, CAN'T HAVE YOU REEKING AT THE DINNER TABLE.” He shooed you away and you let out a breath, your floppy ears twitching back and down. Your shower was scalding, fingers scrubbing a bit too hard and leaving welts behind as you thought too hard about everything going on in this house.

You cared about the brothers, more then as just roommates. Since the beginning you felt an obligation to make sure they were safe, to make sure they were cared for, but now. If they decided they wanted to leave, what would you do? You could feel the tears stinging in your eyes and blinked them away in surprise. Why were you crying!? You scrubbed your face with your palms roughly before turning into the water and letting it beat against your face, there was no reason to be getting upset! You chastised yourself harshly, letting yourself get so wrapped up in someone else. Hadn't you learned your lesson!? Feelings got you hurt. They were your responsibility. Your friends. Nothing more. NOTHING MORE... never anything more...

Once you were done wallowing in your self hatred and mantras you turned the water off and pulled a fluffy towel around your body. Drying off slowly before pulling the loose t-shirt on over your head, a pair of black yoga pants following and you adjusted them so they weren't putting pressure on the scars on your hips. When you walked out Papyrus was making dinner, looked like lasagna again. He made that a lot but it didn't bother you. Food was food, and his was always delicious. You walked into the kitchen, bare feet tapping on the tile and he glanced your direction. He was popping the dish filled with noodles, cheese, and sauce into the oven to bake.

“WILL YOU GO WAKE SANS UP, SUPPER IS ALMOST READY.” His voice was gentle, as if he knew what had gone on in that shower and you nodded before turning to walk away. When your back was to him he lifted his hand to his sternum, having heard the loneliness and fear of being hurt your soul had cried and he shook his head. It seems he and his brother weren't the only messed up ones around this stronghold. Many of the fae he had been around had no clue how loud their souls were, screaming over each other for acceptance, desire, or loneliness and yet on the outside every one of them was smiles and kindness. Even Hemlock, whose soul was desperately lonely, smiled like nothing was wrong, like everything was fine. Why were Fae souls so sad?

“Sans.” You sat on the bed and ran the back of your fingers along the side of his skull, the sleeping monster slowly rousing. He blinked a few times before an embarrassed blush covered his face and he turned away from you with a growl. “Supper is almost ready. Come eat, alright?” You stood up to leave when his hand reached out and grabbed your wrist, making you pause and look back his direction. He still wasn't looking at you, the blush burning on his face.

“thanks.” He mumbled after a moment and you offered a bit of a smile.

“Sure thing, anytime Sans.” Reaching your free hand up to pat his cheek affectionately before he let you go and you walked from the room. He sat there for a long minute, wondering about where you two stood with each other. What you were. You had said he was your friend. Was that it? Friends? Friends with benefits? He didn't think he could stand just being friends at this point. Something about you, your sadness called to his own and it soothed the hurt so much it was scary. He wanted you. But he wanted you as more then just a friend.

You sat at the table after you set out forks and glasses of milk for each of you, the plates sitting beside the stove and ready to be piled with food. Your expression was thoughtful as you tried to figure out what to do with these warm feelings. Worried that if you told them that you wanted them to move in with you permanently that it would scare them off. This house was not big enough for the three of you forever. It was never meant to house more than two fae. Maybe you could convince Hemlock to allow you to move into one of the larger houses. There were a few open if you remembered right, after some of the fae who pairbonded moved to the city to start their families. You would have to ask. Sans sat down a short time later and you glanced his way only to blink at the thoughtful look on his own face.

“I AM GOING WITH THE PACK ON THE NEXT CONVOY RUN.” Papyrus said as he sat down and your head shot up. What? He was leaving the safety of the stronghold? “WE HAVE CONFIRMED THAT THE MONSTER SECURITY TEAM YOU FOUND IS GOING TO BE 'PROTECTING' THE CONVOY INSTEAD OF HUMAN GUARDS. THUS I AM GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT NO ONE GETS ACCIDENTLY DUSTED.” he took a bite of his food, not looking at either of you.

“boss, yer kiddin right? th' fae know what they are doin. let them handle it.” Sans voice mimicked your own thoughts.

“Indeed, the wolves and kobolds know what they are doing, it is a risk we don't need to take.” You offered quietly.

“I KNOW YOU ARE BOTH CONCERNED, BUT YOU NEED NOT WORRY. THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS IS A VALUABLE ASSET TO ADD TO THE TEAM TO RESCUE OTHER MONSTERS.” his voice was firm and left no room for either of you to argue. He was set on going.

“Fine. Then I'll be joining you.” You said, your tone final and both Sans and Papyrus looked like they were about to object. “I am more then suited to joining the wolves. I will also be in wolf form and I will be your personal guard. Just in case.” You snapped at the looks on their faces. You were not losing any of your friends, you knew how tricky humans could be. You were going and that was final. Finishing your food you rinsed off your plate and walked out of the house to talk to Hemlock. You were furious that she was letting any monster assist in the raids. That was not part of the plan!

Chapter Text

Hemlock had completely shut you down when you tried to get Papyrus out of helping with the convoys, going so far as to pull rank on you and sent you off snarling. Sometimes you couldn't stand the damn bird. Come to find out the whole idea was Swift's, and while you understood that he was coming from a good place and he knew that the monsters wanted to help and this was the only way he knew they could, it still made you want to beat the fur off him. He had tried to talk to you once and you had slapped him and walked away, earning glares from the same she wolves who were shipping you with him before Beltane. You didn't fucking care. You were pissed. And now you were here, laying in wait in the woods with Papyrus, your ink black fur itchy and you kept pulling your lips away from your teeth each time Swift sent you one of his pleading, kicked puppy looks. Papyrus should not be out here! YOU shouldn't be out here! Yet here you were, making sure no harm came to your best friend because if you hadn't come and he got hurt you wouldn't forgive yourself, say nothing of Sans forgiving you. The past few days had been awkward because of your poor mood, you had taken to shifting to a fox and hiding under the couch aside from when you needed to eat or such.

Your ears were in constant motion, listening for the sound of vehicles, the road was quiet but far more busy then the usual logging roads you usually set ambushes on. You didn't like it, you hadn't planned this strike and you didn't know what to expect. Apparently your intel had been used in the planning so that was something, but you didn't know how many monsters were being transported, to where, how, nothing. It rubbed you the wrong way, and no one would TELL you the plan either because you weren't even supposed to be there. Like hell you'd let Hemlock order you to your house. She was lucky you hadn't challenged her authority as it was, she knew not to push her luck. Puca aren't usually foul tempered but you were almost as unpleasant to be around as the ogres were. Even the Trolls were giving you a wide berth, and they were three times your size. It was a shame, summer was fully on you, and the sun was warm on your back. It was a beautiful day. Papyrus was resting, his eyes closed and his arms folded across his chest as he sat with his back against a tree. He was perfectly calm, but then he had been a warrior in the Underground from what you understood. You were sure he would be fine on this mission but that nagging 'what if he isn't?' wouldn't allow you to step aside. No, you had to be here, and while Papyrus had demanded Sans stay home and out of his way because of his low HP issue, he couldn't order you. Not that you would have listened if he had. And you knew Sans was thankful you were here. His look that he sent your way before you walked out the door was one of gratitude hidden under layers of grumbling skeleton.

“Meddie.” You lifted your head at the sound of your name and pinned your ears at Swift when he came into view. He normally would have placed his hand on your head but he knew you would bite him if he did, despite this he was thrilled you were running with his pack. Having you around them more might make you more open to his advances, solidarity was always a good thing for relationships. “I know you're only here for Papyrus, but I would appreciate if you would join the wolves for the attack.” He said and you made a grumbling sound before standing up and shaking out your fur, the wolf beamed at you as if you just said you'd be his bond and you snapped your jaws his direction. 'Don't get any ideas.' Still, if you were going to be here you may as well do something. Papyrus didn't need a babysitter, just someone to make sure he got back to the stronghold and to make sure no one laid a damn finger on that precious cinnamon roll. You walked over to the other wolves, who looked just as put out as you that you were there, and you stood to one side, your tail hanging limply. The sound of trucks made your head lift, ears perked, the other wolves doing the same seconds later and Swift looked over at Papyrus. “Ok bud. We're up.”

Papyrus stood up and nodded at Swift, no matter how you were feeling to him at the moment Papyrus found a good ally in the wolf alpha. As the trucks came into view you felt the air shift, Papyrus' magic felt like it was boiling over as the road erupted in a wall of spike like bones, the first truck impaled through it's hood and effectively stopping the caravan. There was more defending trucks than usual, and you'd heard that monster guards would be here too, most of the pack was assembled for just that reason. The Magical EMP was too bulky to bring out here, so you had to work around the fact that whether they wanted to or not these monsters would be attacking you. Your paws were in motion instantly, your muzzle parting in a snarl as you launched yourself at the stopped vehicles. A human opened his door and stepped out, pointing his gun at one of the wolves to your right and you lunged, jaws clamping down around his jaw as your weight crashed against his chest, snapping his neck before you turned your glowing eyes on the next. Your eyes fell on a monster and you lowered your head slightly, your lips pulled away from your teeth as the human's blood drooled from your jaws. The monster was huge, taller then Papyrus, covered in rich blue scales that looked almost as tough as the dragons with a mane of blood red hair. She stared down at you with an impassive golden eye, the other covered with a patch. The collar around her neck blinked, a glowing spear appearing in her right hand and you crouched a bit. A pair of Swift's wolves lining up on either side of you in support. From the corner of your eye you saw a smirk lift Swift's lips, most of his wolves were clearly still on board with him courting you if this was any indication.

“UNDYNE!” Papyrus' voice came and you twitched one ear his direction, keeping your eyes on the monster as her head lifted in surprise. Single eye seeking out the tall skeleton and she took a step his direction before you launched yourself between them, a snarl rolling from your throat that had her pausing. She regarded you carefully, looking between Papyrus and your growling form as she realized that you were on the monster's side. She smirked, her sharp teeth peeking from behind her lips as her scarred body took another step his direction and you lunged at her, feinting to her blind side as your teeth clicked near her leg. A warning. Jumping back you put yourself between the monsters again, tail straight in the air and teeth flashing as the other wolves watched on with pride. You were protecting your pack. It was a good trait to have and they respected it. A few of the others moved again to your flank and kept their tails straight behind them in deference to your authority over your own pack, Swift's hope swelled as your ears twitched back their way before you seemed to settle at their presence. “IT IS ALRIGHT MEADOW. SHE IS A FRIEND.” Papyrus insisted and you grumbled over your shoulder something that he wouldn't be able to understand but the other wolves huffed in laughter. No one is a friend until the collar is off.

“Papyrus. I'm surprised to see you here. I heard you were sent East.” She boomed and you took a half step her direction the other wolves waiting for the humans to exit their vehicles, they wisely were not getting out and you would have laughed if you weren't busy staring down a massive scaled monster. “Fufufufu. You got yourself a pet I see.” She pointed her spear at you and your lips pulled away from your teeth in a savage snarl that had her laughing. “Spunky.” She took another step and you lunged again, her spear swinging down and slicing neatly through the flesh of your left shoulder, an arc of blood following it's trail and you snarled at the pain and clamped your teeth around her ankle. It hurt and she yelped in surprise but noticed not a single HP dropped. No intent to harm. Limping back slightly you held your left leg off the ground and growled again. 'Don't come any closer.' “Sorry Papyrus, I have orders.” She shrugged slightly, you could smell she really was sorry but that meant nothing. Her hand stretched out and all the fae felt the magic wash over them before it passed. A look of confusion on her face as she watched every wolf behind you stalk a few paces closer, guarding your flank. She looked at her hand. They should be green and unable to move. What was going on. She'd used it on animals before and Swift laughed loudly, stepping forward.

“Yeah... that won't work on us. Sorry there.” A bright beaming smile set her on edge, he was too friendly. “You should just stand back and let us do our thing, it really is for your own good.” A chorus of snarls punctuated the statement and you snapped at him. You didn't need his help. Undyne was confused but her collar beeped and she sighed. A fight it was, Swift smiling easily as his wolves herded towards Papyrus, he knew that you would be livid if any harm came to the monster, only to be stopped by a wall of spears.

“UNDYNE! STAND DOWN!” Papyrus snapped and summoned one of his bones, ready to fight himself and you snapped your jaws his direction. You needed him to get the humans out of the vehicles. Undyne shook her head and shrugged before sending a volley of spears her friend's direction. Orders were orders, she didn't want to be punished by the collar. You launched yourself in the way of the attack, the wound on your shoulder already starting to heal, and felt the burn of her magic as one of them sliced it's way down your right side, exposing your ribs. Papyrus batted the rest away easily and shook his head. “VERY WELL UNDYNE. WE WILL DO THIS THE HARD WAY.” He sighed and a volley of bones erupted in front of you, the blue color confusing. Swift chuckled and walked past the monsters to the first truck. Knocking on the window and the human pointed a gun at him. The wolf alpha laughed and pulled out a window breaker from his pocket, slamming it into the window and shattering it, his fist continuing through to punch the human in his jaw. There was a sickening crack of bone, a groan of pain sounding loudly.

“Everybody out, unless ya want to end up like this guy.” Swift's cheerful voice came and the humans sputtered. One even fired at him, the bullet grazing his arm. Their faces going white when the wound bled for a moment before closing up on it's own, as if it were never there. Your own side was patching slowly, the skin pulling together before Undyne's eye. She growled lowly as you turned back to her, pinning your ears and snarling loudly. This was impossible, animals don't heal like that. She was almost hesitant to attack again, the collar beeping again and she cursed before launching a flurry at the blue bones to create an opening for her. Magic exploded against magic before she lunged at Papyrus, knowing him, knowing how he fought, only to be met by you again. You slammed your body into her chest. Papyrus was YOUR responsibility, he was needed at the trucks to get the humans out and the monsters free. Until they were dead that collar would make Undyne an enemy and no enemy would get to Papyrus while you drew breath. She slid along the ground with you on her chest, leaping away before she could get her hands on you and she snarled in rage your direction.

“Papyrus, call off your pet! Fight me!” She yelled and Papyrus laughed but merely kept his stance, watching for Swift's motion to kill the humans once they were outside their little magic proof cockpits.

“SHE ISN'T MY PET, UNDYNE. SHE IS MY FRIEND.” Papyrus was amused and you wagged your tail at him before lowering your head and letting the ruff of fur on the back of your neck lift, you were ready to fight. You wouldn't hurt a monster, you had a restraint most of the wolves didn't, they were trained to kill, you weren't. But you still would die yourself or kill her before you let her get a single blow on Papyrus. The barrage of spears that came your way had you leaping back and forth to avoid them. You didn't notice the spear coming at you from behind until it was too late. You ducked your head to try and spare yourself a head wound only to be slammed out of the way by another furry body. You were sent tumbling across the paved road with a surprised bark, screaming yelps of pain making you hurry to your feet. In the road where you had been was Sunspot. One of the few wolves you could tolerate, liked even, and your eyes went wide at the pool of blood that was spilling out around her. Your golden eyes widened and you rushed to her side, your head lowering to sniff the she wolf. Laying beside her you nudged at her instantly with your muzzle, her cries quieting down when she realized she wasn't alone. Her normally creamy blonde fur was stained red, jaw parted in whimpering breaths. The spear disappeared moments later, revealing that it went straight through her chest and spine, she was bleeding out too fast for her healing to make up for it. You nudged the wolf with your nose, trying to encourage her not to give up, but with a low gurgle you saw the life leave her eyes, you shoved your head under her neck and lifted, trying to urge her to her feet, to be okay. The wolves mourned, their cries filling the air as your eyes turned to Undyne. Red filled your vision.

Everyone could feel the shift, even Papyrus moved to stop you as you rushed at the fish monster, dodging between the bones he sent to slow you down. Your teeth bared in a feral snarl as you charged. Instead you were caught in a tackle by Swift, the wolf alpha wrapping his arm around your neck as his other arm looped around your chest and held you off the ground. Thrashing in his grip and snapping your jaws in the air in your rage. Sunspot didn't deserve that, she was barely more then a scout herself! She was only there to lead the monsters to safety. She shouldn't be dead! Only the humans deserved death! Your head twisted and your fangs sunk into Swift's arm, his blood filling your mouth almost making you gag. His head lowered and he growled against the back of your head, the sound filling your head and your eye twisted to glare at him. His head turned to Papyrus.

“Finish the last of the humans, I got her.” He growled and Papyrus lunged at Undyne, skillfully bypassing the distracted monster as she gaped in confusion at Swift and you, before unleashing a barrage of bones at the few humans the wolves had not yet caught when they scattered trying to get away, realizing their bullets didn't do enough damage to slow the wolves down. They healed too fast and there were too many. Spearing them into the air before they collapsed to the ground. The wolves setting upon them, beginning to tear them apart in their own rage. At this rate the dragons wouldn't have to bother with the bodies.

You were still struggling against Swift, the alpha wolf keeping you firmly pinned as you didn't respond to his growled commands. Your eye shot back to the wolf still laying in the road, your gaze tearing away to glare at the wolf who was stopping you from avenging the she wolf. You knew deep down, it wasn't Undyne's fault. But her magic ended the life of a fae. Sunspot was so young, one of the youngest wolves in the pack. Papyrus walked over to Swift and took over keeping you pinned, and you growled loudly as his hand lifted to hold your muzzle firmly shut, sucking air through your nose. You could feel the mixture of bloods, including your own, caking your fur in clumps as you beat you legs in the air in futility.

“I AM NOT LETTING YOU GO, MEADOWLARK.” Papyrus grumbled and you growled at his voice. “AND DON'T GIVE ME THAT ATTITUDE. YOUR BEING IRRATIONAL AND YOU ARE GOING TO LISTEN TO ME.” You snorted and growled again, your body wiggling in his grip and he grabbed you by the scruff of your neck, hefting you easily so you were facing him. His scowl burning into your own, unblinking as you stared each other down. “STOP THIS NOW.” he growled and you pulled your lips from your teeth only to be cuffed lightly by the monster and your eyes widened in obvious shock. He hit you! It didn't hurt but... he hit you! “THERE, NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION, I NEED YOU TO CALM DOWN. NOW.” his voice was a stern command and, while you sent glowering glares in Undyne's direction where she stood with the other monsters, you went slack in his grip, ears lowered in defeat. The tall skeleton set you down and you hunched your shoulders, sitting and keeping your face turned away from the group angrily.

“Look... I'm sorry about your pet...” Undyne tried, Swift locking his eyes on the much taller monster.

“Sunspot was not a pet. She was a member of my pack.” Swift stated simply, walking to the limp body of the blonde wolf and hoisting her up, her soft hazel eyes wide and unblinking. “We are going back to the stronghold. Papyrus, c'mon. Meadowlark, you too. We need to report to Hemlock.” He looked to the side. “Forte, take Sunspot's charges to the faelines.” He nodded at Undyne. “You're coming with us, Hemlock will have questions for you. You're not in trouble, don't worry.” You made a wolfish jabber of annoyance as he spoke, he kicked at you irritably and you scampered a few steps away before rumbling at him. “Meadow, you should shift.” His voice was hard and you scowled but walked back to where you had been camping out for the convoy, your clothing left there. Shifting back took longer then usual, your body protesting due to perceived threat from Undyne, but when it was done you pulled your clothing on, tugging your socks and shoes on before walking back to the group. Your deep bronze skin was smeared with blood still, splashes of it across your face and drooling down your neck thickly, your eyes turned to the group as you walked up, barely restraining your growl when Undyne gaped.

“MEADOW, I AM SORRY ABOUT YOUR FRIEND.” Papyrus offered and your jaw tightened, sorry doesn't bring back the dead. Nothing did. You twitched your lupine ears away from the group and turned towards the way back home, golden eyes glaring ahead of you. The others followed behind, not speaking to you again. You needed time, even Swift understood this. His head leaning against the blood stained head of Sunspot as he walked. Both monsters could hear the anguish of the souls around them, Swift's loudest of all. You didn't stop at the debriefing with the others, the scent of blood overpowering on you and even the others agreed that Hemlock would wait. Swift had left Sunspot with the pixies to ready her for her funeral, they would clean her and prepare her pyre. As you walked into the house Sans looked up, his grin fading when you pressed your back against the door and slumped to the floor against it.

“meadow... is paps...” Sans was almost afraid to ask and you pressed your face against your knees.

“He's fine...” You whispered, he felt bad at feeling so relieved. Moving closer slowly he winced at the sadness you were radiating.

“wha happened?” He sat beside you, not touching you. Something had to have happened for you to look like this. He could smell that not all the blood on you was human, some was your own, some was Swift's, some was another fae scent he couldn't place. “ya wanna talk 'bout it?” He offered slowly and you whimpered.

“No.” you whispered, clawing your hands over your face. Your breath hitched and you dug your nails into your scalp to stop the threat of tears, drawing blood that rolled down your face in rivers. Sans carefully pried your hands away from your head, he was concerned, and you knew you should appreciate it.

“c'mon doll. Let's get ya cleaned up yeah?” He offered and you nodded absently, the skeleton helping you to your feet and ushering you into the bathroom. You sat on the floor again, your head leaning against the tub and Sans sighed. Getting out a washcloth he began to mop your face clean with it. “c'mon, you get in th' shower. i'll getcha some clean clothes.” he mumbled and you nodded again. Shoving yourself over the edge of the tub to flop heavily into it, he drew the curtain closed and after a few minutes you shoved a bundle of bloodstained clothes out, the monster waiting till he heard the water turn on before he walked out. You stood under the scalding water, watching the swirls of pink rinse off your frame with an almost bored expression. Your mind unable to process anymore and just letting you descend into a fuzzy hum. You heard Sans come back in and set something on the sink, clothing probably. Once you had washed the blood from your body you got dressed again, not drying off properly so the t-shirt clung to you awkwardly, your shorts sticking to your thighs as you walked. Your hair hung behind you in a mess of dripping locks. Sighing softly, the monster guided you to the couch and began to towel off your hair, wringing out the worst of the water before combing his phalanges though the still wet strands and braiding it messily. He wasn't good at this kinda stuff, but he could tell you were in no condition to do it yourself. When he was done you curled up on the couch, facing the back of it, and ignored him. Not even lifting your head when Papyrus walked in, you always greeted the taller monster enthusiastically so Sans was convinced something had happened. Somewhere the plan had gone awry.

“heya boss.” Sans muttered, his eyes watching you on the couch. You hadn't moved an inch since you curled up there hours prior, but he knew you weren't sleeping. Papyrus walked over and touched your head, you didn't flinch at the contact but you didn't respond either, and shook his head. “somethin happen out there?” Papyrus nodded and indicated that they should leave you be for now, both monsters walking from the house leaving you in the silence.

'It's all my fault....'

Chapter Text

“I'm removing the monster brothers from your home and your responsibility.” Hemlock's tone was flat as you gaped at her, you were still sullen and out of sorts and had expected a talking to but not this. Hemlock's face was impassive as she watched you process this, so far you were taking it better than she expected you to. As your brain caught up your hands clenched and your lupine ears pinned against your skull, lips pulling from your lips in a challenging snear.

“I WON'T LET YOU TAKE THEM AWAY FROM ME!” You snarled the words in a yell, stalking closer to glare up into her face. “I won't stand aside and let you rip the only good things I have out of my life. If they want to leave that's one thing, but YOU are overstepping your authority.” You pointed at her, you could see your claws lengthening as you spoke, sure that your rage was triggering a shift and you willed it back.

“What makes you think I haven't discussed this with the monsters? Did you ever think that you are holding them back?” She raised one brow at you, your brows rising in surprise. “You are a danger to their safety.” You slapped her. The sound echoed through the command building loudly and everyone turned to look your direction with wide eyes. Your own were narrowed into hate filled slits. Hemlock was stunned, you had never acted out like this before, sure you sometimes disagreed with her choices but never had you gotten so enraged. It was unlike a puca to do anything other then go with the flow.

“How dare you.” You could feel the tears in you eyes, rage warbling your tone as you hissed at her. “You are the one who put me in this position. I'll challenge you if I have to!” You spat and turned to leave. It wasn't true, Papyrus and Sans wouldn't agree to move out without saying anything to you first. They wouldn't. Papyrus was your best friend. He wouldn't... would he? You could see Sans maybe just up and leaving, yeah you were friends and had this... whatever this was going on. But it wasn't like he really liked you. That thought stung. You raced home, weaving between fae in your haste. Throwing open the door you saw the tall skeleton in the kitchen and rushed over, wrapping your arms around his waist from behind and hiding your face against his back. “Don't leave.” Your voice was a pathetic whine, the taller skeleton blinked over his shoulder at you. The shorter was 'sleeping' on the couch. “Please.”

“THIS IS ABOUT HEMLOCK, ISN'T IT?” His words shocked you and you backed away slowly, hurt and confusion on your face. It was true? Why? Didn't you do your best to make them welcome and safe in your home? He reached your direction and you backed away, tears finally escaping to roll down your cheeks. You had tried! Why? WHY?

“You're... letting her send you away? You're leaving me?” Your words were nearly a wail. The piteous look on Papyrus' face making you want to run. Your best friend was just gonna leave you. He hadn't even said anything to you before Hemlock did?!

“MEADOWLARK... IT IS NOT THAT.” He sighed and you swiped your arm across your face, trying to angrily wipe the tears away. “IT JUST MIGHT BE BETTER FOR YOU...” he tried and you kicked the wall, your foot going through the drywall and you let out a snarl of frustration. The skeleton jumping at your outburst, he hadn't expected it at all.

“That's BULLSHIT!” You screamed at him, he was taken aback. You had never yelled at him. Your fingers clawed at the hole, you needed to get the frustration out somehow and the drywall was your unfortunate victim as you tore chunks off and threw them on the floor in a rage. “How dare you agree with her! If you guys wanted to move out on your own terms I'd let it go without a fuss, but you're just going along with that insensitive bird BITCH. DO I MEAN NOTHING TO YOU!? YOU COULDN'T EVEN TELL ME FIRST?!!” And you ran from the house before he could stop you. Sans opened one eye to watch as you rushed past, surprised at the real look of betrayal and hurt on your face before you disappeared back into the stronghold. When you were gone he looked at his brother.

“told ya she wouldn't take it well.” He said, smug. He was against them leaving, he was comfortable here, and he liked you. “'m gonna go find 'er. later boss.” The shorter skeleton stood up and walked from the house, closing the door you left open behind him. Papyrus stared the direction you had fled, he felt guilty. He should have talked to you first.

Fae watched you as you raced down the cobbled streets, confusion in their gazes. Your shoes scrabbled on the smooth stones as you turned a corner, your body slamming into Swift's and sending you both tumbling to the ground. The wolf blinked in surprise as he sat up and took in your form. You had clenched your hands into fists, hiding your face against the ground and your arms, sobbing openly. No one had ever seen you cry. He moved over to you slowly, he had an idea what this was about but no one expected you to get this worked up over it. You were a Puca, and Puca don't fight or yell or cry like this. You were easygoing nature fae... this was unheard of.

“Meddie?” his voice was quiet and you hiccuped. His hands moving to stroke along your back slowly, trying to be soothing. The whine that left you was pathetic and he felt a pang of guilt. “Is this about Sunspot? I'm not mad at you, it wasn't your fault. Sunspot knew what she was doing...” He tried and you sobbed harder, the guilt piling onto your sadness. Okay, so you were upset about the she wolf, but clearly that wasn't all. “Is this about the monsters?” He asked quietly and your head shot up to look at him. DID EVERYONE BUT YOU KNOW?! He could see the betrayal flash in your eyes and he winced. “I only know about it because I was there when Hemlock said she was sending em to the city. I'm sorry Meddie, ya know Hemlock has your best interests at heart.” He tried, you shoved yourself away from him.

“Why does everyone keep saying that! I don't need you all protecting me! You don't know what's best for me! None of you do!” You spat the words through your tears, he could see your fangs elongate. You were itching to fight at this point, and he had no desire to fight you. He was still trying to win you over. “Hemlock doesn't know anything! She can't make decisions for everyone like this. I won't let her!” You screamed at him and shoved yourself to your feet, your head lowered and your teeth bared in a clearly unfriendly way. He did the equivalent of rolling over to you, keeping his posture low and slouched away from you.

“I'm sorry Meddie. I didn't mean that she was right, only that she is only doing what she thinks is.” He tried and you seemed somewhat appeased by that. Your metaphorical hackles lowered and your ears twitched slightly away from your skull into a still angry but less threatening posture. Luckily for Sans, your confrontation with Swift led him right to you and he walked up behind you looping his arms around you and smirking over your shoulder at the wolf.

“'m takin 'er with me for a bit.” He smirked and then you were both gone, the fae gaping at the spot you had been moments before. When your feet were back on solid ground you resisted the urge to vomit. Your head spinning as the aftershocks of the shortcut wore off. “yer alright now kitten.” his voice was soft, softer than you expected and you span in his grip to bury your face against his chest.

“Don't leave...” you whined low, “I'll do anything. Please.” Sans blinked down at you, he hadn't expected this at all. Even when you were both playing those little games of yours you always seemed too proud, too strong to beg. “Please Sans....” His hand lifted to stroke along the back of your head, brushing his phalanges against the shell of your ears.

“'m not goin nowhere, kitten.” He offered and you broke, sagging against him. Guilt nagged at the back of his skull, sure he had disagreed with them leaving but that was only because HE was comfortable there. He hadn't even considered how you would feel about it, he'd assumed you wouldn't care overmuch. Your fingers were curled in the material of his hoodie, your face pushed against his chest desperately and he let out a sigh. He hadn't expected you to get so upset. The skeleton scooped you up and sat on the rooftop he had shortcutted you both to, setting you in his lap and wrapping his arms around your shoulders.

“I'm sorry...” You whimpered, the skeleton glancing down at you. “I messed everything up. I can't do anything right. Can't lead a raid, can't keep you guys around, nothing.” Self loathing oozed from you, if only you weren't a puca, if you were strong like a wolf or like Hemlock, then no one would dare try and take anyone away from you. If you were dangerous like a kelpie, siren, or grim no one would dare try. “I'm sorry I'm no good. Useless.”

“hey now, yer not allowed ta talk like that.” he grumbled and rested his cheek atop your head. “yer plenty good, and certainly not useless. Ya didn't haveta go and save my bro, but ya stood up ta authority and did it anyways. Ya didn't haveta let us live in yer house, but ya did. That seems pretty fuckin good ta me.” He offered and you sighed quietly, fingers still gripping his shirt tightly, as if letting go would mean he would disappear. After a bit he heard your breathing even out, your anger and frustration leaving you tired. He shortcutted to his room and set you on the bed, covering you up carefully before walking back into the living room. Papyrus was still staring at the door, his gaze hard. “boss, 'm gonna go have a little talk with hemlock.” He smirked and Papyrus made to go with him, there were things he needed to say too. Sans shook his head. “naw boss. i got this.” And he shortcutted away, he was sure that Papyrus would follow on foot quick enough, but he had enough time to say what he needed to say. When he appeared Hemlock started, blinking at him.

“Sans. What are you doing here?” Her voice was steady and calm, irritating. He had never seen the woman show emotion other then when you had been captured, and that had just been annoyance at him. “Shouldn't you be gathering your things with Papyrus? We got a place set up for you in Hilltop.”

“'m not goin nowhere pal.” his cheerful response caught the bird woman off guard and she blinked at him in confusion.

“Excuse me? I thought this was decided.” She stated and Sans scoffed.

“yer really stupid. never had any intention of goin no where, and ya tryin ta make th' decision final without meadow to give her opinion is pretty shitty of ya.” He snapped and the bird fae scowled at him. He was clearly challenging her to try and make him leave. She knew her authority didn't cover the monsters, they often went along with her commands because she knew how the workings of the stronghold were, but they didn't have to. He knew that. They weren't Fae and she had no power over them. “'m stayin with meadowlark, my bro is too. we ain't leavin.”

“You are letting her get too attached to you both, it's not healthy for her.” Hemlock tried, “She is a valuable scout for the monster's cause, she can't do her job if she's constantly protecting you and your brother.”

“she dun haveta protect us, but we're not leavin 'er. If ya try to make us, well, yer gonna have a real b a d t i m e.” His sockets went dark as he spoke and the fae took a half step back in surprise. “ight buddy? we clear now?” His jovial tone returned and the bird woman blinked at the emotional whiplash. Papyrus walking in moments later and making her blink his direction.

“MISS HEMLOCK, I HAVE RECONSIDERED. I KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO MOVE UNDYNE IN WITH MEADOW BUT AFTER SERIOUS CONSIDERATION I THINK THAT WOULD BE UNWISE. I THINK WE NEED TO STAY WITH HER, AND I WILL NOT BE MOVING.” His loud voice filled the room and the fae blinked among themselves. Three individuals going against Hemlock's orders in one day? They were less shocked by the monsters, but clearly this was not something that happened in these parts. Hemlock's word was good as law. She sent her gaze over the room and the fae turned back to their jobs, working hurriedly.

“You all are making my job much harder then it needs to be.” Hemlock sighed and shook her head, rubbing her temples. “For now, I will leave the issue alone, but if I feel things are out of hand and you won't leave, I'll send her away.” She warned them darkly. “As valuable as she is to this stronghold, I will do what I have to.” Sans smirked, his expression unfriendly.

“don't worry buddy, we ain't goin no where without 'er. ya can take that ta th' bank.” The old fashioned phrase caught Hemlock off guard and she shook her head.

“Get out of my command.” She deadpanned and the skeleton chuckled darkly before vanishing. Her eyes turned to Papyrus, disappointed.

“I DO APPOLOGIZE, BUT THIS IS WHAT IS BEST FOR US AND FOR HER. I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO TALK ME INTO LEAVING AGAIN.” Papyrus' voice held no room for argument and she waved him away with an annoyed huff. This was the reason monsters usually didn't stay here long, though you had been the last fae she had expected to get attached to the magical beings. You had always been so aloof and standoffish.

Sans reappeared in his room to see a panicked Meadowlark staring around the room, when he appeared you visibly relaxed and slumped against the headboard. Your eyes were bloodshot and tired looking, and he felt himself shift guiltily. He should have argued against the move more, then this wouldn't have had to happen. You wouldn't have to look so hurt.

“yer s'posed ta be sleepin, kitten.” He offered and you looked down guiltily, wringing your hands. He sat and pushed you over so you were laying down again. “rest, everythin else can wait. me and boss aren't goin no where. don't worry.” he patted your head and you hesitantly closed your eyes, falling back asleep after a few minutes. He looked down at you, his glowing eye lights burning slightly in the semi-darkness as he felt a protectiveness well in his soul. You had spent so much time protecting him, protecting his bro, he wanted to protect you too. Standing up slowly, being careful not to wake you back up, he walked out as Papyrus returned from Hemlock's command center.

“WHERE IS SHE?” His voice was softer then usual and Sans pointed over his shoulder with his thumb at his door.

“sleepin, she's worn out.” Sans answered and Papyrus nodded before stepping around the shorter brother and walked into the room, sitting on the edge of the bed and ignoring the messy stated of the room. He reached out hesitantly, feeling like he had betrayed your trust, that he had no right to even come to you at the moment. He was about to pull his hand back when you opened your eyes, his scent rousing you.

“Paps?” You mumbled and he started. “I'm sorry for yelling at you... if you wanna move I understand...” You didn't look his direction, and he frowned. He didn't like when you weren't acting like the feisty woman he knew you were. You looked defeated and that didn't suit, he didn't like it.

“NO. YOU WERE RIGHT. I WAS NOT BEING A GOOD FRIEND. I LET HEMLOCK TALK ME INTO LEAVING WITHOUT CONSULTING YOU AT ALL.” He sighed. “THE GREAT PAPYRUS WAS NOT BEING VERY GREAT.” You looked his direction and reached out to the younger brother.

“Nooooo. You're always great, Papy. I messed up. I'm sorry!” You insisted and he patted your head. Things would be okay, the brothers had decided that they weren't leaving. How could they? They had both come to care for you in their own ways, and it was obvious you cared about them if your tantrum was any indication. It would be fine, and if Hemlock interfered again then the three of you would work it out yourselves.

Chapter Text

Hemlock had pointedly left you alone for three weeks, accepting your scouting reports via digital downloads and declaring she had no other uses for you. You were growing bored, your rounds having come up with little to nothing. It seemed that after the last raid on a convoy the humans were refusing to transport monsters for fear of another attack, and you had all left a very bloody mess behind at the last one. So until you could get more information none of the fae had much to do, many had taken the time to train or take long overdue vacations. You, however, had merely been laying around your house until you got an idea. Your head lifted and you looked Sans' direction where he was dozing on the other side of the couch from you.

“Hey. You ever seen the ocean?” Your voice was quiet, kinda sleepy and you even yawned to punctuate the question. Your eyes were barely open and he blinked your direction, his own sleepy. He seemed to perk up at the notion of the ocean, he had been but hadn't been allowed to SEE it, confined to a room the entire time. Papyrus hadn't seen it at all, being strictly used at breeding farms and prisons as a guard. The taller skeleton brother glanced over from his armchair, instantly intrigued.

“FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND WE ARE RATHER FAR FROM THE OCEAN.” his tone held question and you nodded, yawning again.

“Yeah. Elderwood is in the rocky mountains in colorado, but we have a faeline nearby to every other stronghold and within a jump or two of every fae city. I was thinking we could go to Aine's Landing.” You offered and raked your hand through your bangs lazily. “Going a little stir crazy here. But Aine's Landing is only two faelines away and the walk to the first line is only about 10 minutes. You wanna go? I'll book us a beach house...” You hoped they would agree, you all deserved a vacation, and you were already in the process of finding a beach house with enough room for you all, finding a three bedroom you let out a happy sigh, you could have a bed to yourself! No couch sleeping on this vacation!

“tha sounds like a good idea, doll.” Sans mumbled through a yawn, while he enjoyed having nothing to do, having nothing to do on a beach sounds pretty darn good too. Looking over at Papyrus you both saw he was also interested.

“ARE YOU SURE NO ONE WILL NEED US HERE?” He asked and you nodded.

“Yup. I'm not due to go out again for almost a week, we're giving the humans time to basically forget we've been hitting them hard lately. They never remember this stuff long.” You shrugged your shoulders. “They're also very prone to infighting so they'll get distracted quick enough but we have time.”

“VERY WELL THEN. I SHALL SEND A MESSAGE TO HEMLOCK THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE OUT, AND THAT SHOULD SHE NEED US SHE WILL HAVE TO SEND A MESSAGE VIA THE ELECTRONIC DEVICE OR MOBILE PHONE.” You snickered at Papyrus, he was so formal most of the time. You were pretty sure Hemlock was still mad at you for slapping her but you couldn't find it in yourself to get over your own anger at her, you didn't really care if she was mad at you or not. You rolled from the couch and went to your linen closet to pull out a pile of towels and a giant blanket. You packed them into one of your giant duffles you used for long scouting missions and wandered into your old room to rummage around the closet, you had a beach umbrella you haven't used in at least a decade but you were sure it was fine. With an Ah-ha you found the item and pulled it out, setting it beside the door and grabbing a pail of sun lotions, normally you didn't need any but your scars were still sensitive and you didn't want to get sunburn on them, it would be painful and you would avoid that as much as you could. Walking back out you grinned at the guys and packed the items as well as they watched you busy about.

“ya alright kitten?” Sans mumbled sleepily from the couch, of course he wasn't gonna HELP pack. He was just along for the trip, but that he asked made you smile his direction. Since the incident a few weeks back he had been softer than usual when talking to you, and while you didn't need to be coddled it was nice to pretend like he really cared about you. You missed the soft look on his face when you turned back to packing, his brother didn't and raised a brow at his older sibling. You rushed into the kitchen, looking for anything else you might need, any clothing you forgot to bring you could always get while there. The locals would appreciate the outside business for sure, while you were in the other room Papyrus turned his eyes on his brother knowingly, smirking wickedly. “what're ya looking at me like tha for, boss?”

“YOU LIKE HER.” Papyrus stage whispered, you were too far away to hear him and he felt comfortable teasing his brother. Sans blinked, trying to cover the blush he knew would crop up if he didn't do something to stop his brother's teasing now.

“she's alright.” He shrugged his shoulders indifferently and Papyrus scoffed, making him blink.

“NO SANS, YOU REALLY LIKE HER.” The younger sibling teased again. “DON'T BOTHER LYING, I CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU.” Papyrus mentally facepalmed at the skeleton pun there, and Sans snickered at it, but he really wanted to keep this quiet. He was sure that you didn't really care for him beyond as a friend.

“so she's cute, ain't like i never had an eye fer a nice set 'a legs b'fore.” Sans smirked lewdly and Papyrus rolled his eyes. Of course his brother had to be one to ignore his feelings, it was bad enough that he could see you suppressing your own whenever you were around his lazy sibling. Clearly you cared for them both, but you had a softness whenever you looked at Sans that you didn't when you looked at Papyrus. You hid it pretty well, but Papyrus prided himself in seeing through carefully built walls. You seemed afraid to let yourself believe that those feelings were real. Clearly someone had damaged your ability to show affection and the younger brother was determined to see that remedied.

“YOU SHOULD TELL HER.” Papyrus was amused by his bother's discomfort, the older brother wondering if the couch could just swallow him so he could get out of this conversation.

“yer being ridiculous boss, nothin ta tell.” He muttered and Papyrus smirked to himself, standing up and wandering to his room to pack some things for himself. You wandered back in from the kitchen before pulling something filmy and red out of your coat closet and stuffing it into your bag as Sans' eyes followed you around the room. How could he tell you? You had said it many times before, you were his friend. That was it. Sure, you liked him, but you'd never love him. Right? Your eyes turned to the skeleton and that crooked smirk of yours lifted one side of your lips before you turned away to keep packing. He felt his soul leap, he was in deep.

You forced yourself to keep busy, if you stopped you would end up collapsing back on the couch with Sans and you were not sure you could handle looking at him at the moment. You'd felt his eyes on you as you moved around the small house, and when you had glanced over his direction you'd seen the faint dusting of red on his cheeks. It was so cute that you couldn't stop your lips from twisting up ever so slightly, your heart fluttering and you had forced yourself to keep moving. He was just your friend, he would never care about a worthless puca like you. Just a friend. Just a friend.... just a friend. You burned that into a mantra, repeating it over and over in your mind. Never allowing yourself to let the warm feelings do more then flutter in your chest for a moment before carefully packing them in bubble wrap and shoving them deep inside. Where they'd be safe from ever being shattered. Sans got up and wandered to his room a few minutes later and returned after a few minutes with a small backpack that he'd probably just stuffed with some clothing without caring if they matched or if they were dirty. The skeleton really didn't care overmuch. Papyrus walked from his room moments later and you turned your eyes to him to keep from looking at Sans again.

“We ready to go?” You beamed and the taller skeleton nodded and slung his bag over his shoulder. Sans yawning and half lifting half dragging his bag as you hefted your duffle and walked out of the house, making your way to the circle. Many of the fae waved cheerily to the three of you as you walked, most of them having found a new respect for you when they heard you went so far as to openly defy Hemlock and strike her. In that way fae were not so different then any other creature, they respected power and confidence. Leaving the circle you let out a breath, it was nice to be out of the stronghold.

The trip to Aine's Landing was short and uneventful, though a few fae did ask why you were travelling with monsters at the landing point of the faeline near Aine's Landing. They didn't get many monsters out this way, being a smaller village, but they were situated in california in a cove that was warm and secluded. Obviously it was also hidden from the humans, not all fae could hide in plain sight, not even a quarter of them could. Only shifters and cubis seemed to be able to mix in without being noticed. As you activated the circle to the coastal village the houses appeared and you inhaled deeply. The air was sweet with a salty tang from the ocean and it lifted your spirits immediately. Walking over to the guardhouse you smiled brightly as you noticed it was another puca manning the station. He blinked at you and then glanced at your companions nervously.

“Hi there! I rented a house for a week. Name is Meadowlark.” You chirped and he lowered his feline ears bashfully before typing in his computer and handing you a key.

“I-It's the third house on the ocean front. The pale yellow one. Can't miss it.” He stumbled a bit over his words and you flashed him a smile. Not all puca were as confident as you were, and you didn't think you were very confident at all. Still, the puca smiled at you timidly, must not see many other puca around here. You thought nothing of it, not many puca defected from the Elder's so it wasn't surprising that your kind were in short supply.

“thanks buddy.” Sans growled, and you thought you heard a edge of threat in his voice. Your golden eyes glanced his way and he was smiling as amicably as he usually does, a bit of a grumpy huff escaping him and you chuckled.

“Don't mind Sans. Nice meeting you, see you around.” You called, over you shoulder as you started to walk off. You missed the warning glare that the skeleton shot at the other puca, a whimper of fear escaping him and Sans smiled smugly. As if some shaking leaf would have a chance with you. HA.

“MIGHT I KNOW WHERE I COULD GET SOME FOOD SHOPPING DONE, SMALLISH FAE?” Papyrus boomed at the poor guy and he cowered slightly, he wasn't used to monsters. Much less very loud monsters. He pulled out a map of the village and handed it over to Papyrus, pointing to the market in the village center.

“We have many shops in the square, I-I'm sure you will f-find whatever you need.” He whimpered the words out and Papyrus beamed.

“THANK YOU SMALLISH FAE! THAT IS MOST HELPFUL.” His voice carried easily in the quiet town and some other fae had turned to glance his direction. He didn't bother with a goodbye, instead turning and marching after you with his map. The house was indeed easy to find, and as you opened the door and walked in you let out a sigh of pleasure, setting your bag down.

“Okay guys. I gotta go get a new swimsuit. I'll be back soon.” You ran back out of the house before they could say anything and you made your way to the square, you'd been here before so you knew were the shops were, and when you got there you quickly found what you were looking for. A mischievous smirk on your lips as you returned to the house. Sans was dozing on the back porch under the cover of an umbrella and Papyrus was watching the waves on the ocean with wide sockets. It was so vast. Sneaking upstairs you found the unclaimed room and quickly changed, pulling out the red sarong and tying the veil like garment so that it hung off your hips. You rubbed a bit of sunscreen across your scars on your back, thankful that you were fairly flexible so you could reach them before nodding at your reflection.The dark red bikini you'd gotten hugging your form tightly and hiding little as you descended the stairs. “I'm back guys.” you hummed as you stepped out the back door onto the deck there, Papyrus glanced your way and promptly turned his face away with a red-orange blush burning. Clearly you chose right. Walking over to Sans you leaned towards him and tapped a finger on his nasal ridge. “Saaaaans. I'm back. Do you want to go down to the beach?” You purred the words and his sockets opened slowly. You stood up slowly and rested your hands on your hips with a grin.

“when didja get back, ki-” his words cut off when his eyes focused and noticed how LITTLE you were wearing. The filmy sarong caught the sea breeze and fluttered around your legs his direction as you tossed your bangs out of your face. “w-what th' hell are ya wearin?” he of course knew, he'd seen humans in these skimpy little outfits more times then he cared to remember, but this was different. You were wearing HIS color, and it made his magic boil. You turned away from him and sauntered towards the stairs that led to the beach. Resting your hand on the rail as you looked back his direction, your eyes teasing.

“I'm wearing a swimsuit, of course.” you smiled and he almost growled at you. You had no idea the things you did to him, the things you made him want to do to you. “Come walk with me?” Your voice was soft and for some reason it startled him, your ears were perked his direction, you were so damn cute.

“uh, yeh... a'course.” he mumbled as he stood up and followed you, shedding his shoes and socks and leaving them on the deck as you strode towards the water in the near distance. You paused when your feet hit the water packed sand and waited for him to catch up, looking over your shoulder at him as he came to stand beside you. Smiling to yourself you turned and started walking, reaching out with your right hand to catch his left, twining your fingers with his phalanges hesitantly before leading him slowly along the beach. Just enjoying the quiet and the company. Sans glanced down where your fingers were linked with his own, your eyes half shut and watching the area ahead of you as you walked with a lazy stride. Several fae glanced in your direction, confused as they took in the sight of a fae walking hand in hand with a monster, but they didn't say anything and only waved politely as you both passed. “are ya alright, sweetheart?” The nickname caught you off guard and your head turned his direction. This time he didn't miss it before you carefully packed it away, the softness and affection, but then it was gone and all that was left was a friendly expression.

“Yeah. I'm fine. You doing alright?” Your eyes were watching him carefully, looking for sign that he was tired or overheated. He just smirked easily and nodded. Yeh. He was just fine.

Chapter Text

The sound of waves crashing on the beach had lulled you to sleep early, the three of you making plans to go and play in the surf the next day, to clarify you and Papyrus were going to play in the surf. Sans was going to lay on the beach like a lazy bum. It was that same sound that woke you up, you thought. Shooting up in your bed as the roar of the surf outside echoed in your ears. Glancing at the window you could see the stars glittering on the canvas of dark blue black sky. You stood up and walked to the window, pushing it open to lean out and inhale the tangy sea air deeply. The glow of your eyes was bright this evening, your pupils focused on the sky before you heard something below you and your face turned towards the beach below. You could see a figure laying on their back a bit away from the house, laying on a blanket it seemed. You tilted your ears that direction, the baritone of Sans reaching you as he recited the names of stars and constellations. You smiled, laying your head on your arms and watching him as his hand swept back and forth as he picked out names from the heavenly bodies above.

Descending the stairs quietly you pushed open the sliding glass door and stepped onto the deck, pushing your loose hair out of your face. You focused on keeping silent as you made your way towards the skeleton, trying to stay out of his field of vision. Once you were close enough you smiled to yourself and pounced at him. His yelp of surprise was cut off when you giggled loudly and looked up at him from where you had ended up sprawled across his lap. Ears twitched to him and you tilted your head, watching him as he tried to formulate if he should be annoyed, surprised, or glad you were there. After a minute he scoffed and shoved you out of his lap, you laughing softly as you rolled onto the blanket and looked up at him with a happy expression on your features.

“Hey skelebae.” You mumbled sleepily, rolling onto your stomach and laying your head on your arms to just look at him. “Havin a good time?” You hummed the words low, keeping your eyes on his face and he blinked and looked away with a blush.

“yeh.” he grumbled after a minute, you made a happy sound at that and he turned his eyes back to the sky. “i like the stars, always have. it's nice that i can see em here.” You twisted your head so you could look up at the sky, you knew the stars well enough to guide yourself should you get lost, but they were little more then a mundane map for you. You found it refreshing that he was so interested in them.

“I'll take you to see the Borealis in the winter, if you want.” Your offer was soft, you didn't even know if he'd stick around that long. Surely sooner or later he and Papyrus would want their own space. Still... for now... you could pretend. His gaze returned to you, where you were again watching him with that same soft look. He'd never gotten to see the aurora... that would be amazing to see in person.

“i'd like that.” His response surprised you and you lifted your head slightly, eyes wide before you smiled brightly and rested your head on your arms again. The warm feelings you had for the skeleton burning in your chest and you couldn't be bothered to try and stuff it down at the moment, he couldn't see your thoughts, you were fine to let your feelings simmer just under the surface for the moment. Come morning you'd push them down again, for now... this was nice.

“It's a date.” you grinned and he laughed, it was nice to hear him really laugh. It seemed when he usually laughed it was condescending or nervous, or angry. Right now, he seemed calm and at ease. It made you nearly purr with happiness. You rolled onto your side and wiggled until you were laying beside him and looked up at the stars. “Do you have any favorites?” You asked quietly and he looked thoughtful.

“maybe canopus.” he offered and you glanced at him. You didn't know enough about stars to know what that was and you hoped your expression conveyed that. “it's the second brightest star we can see from earth. 'm useta being second best, can relate with that i suppose.” You let your ears droop a bit, even though he looked so happy as he looked at the vastness of space over you both he still thought himself less then best. You leaned up on your elbow and leaned over him slightly making him blink in surprise.

“I don't think you're second best.” You offered quietly. His eyes searching your face for the lie, there was none to be found. You licked your lips nervously before slowly sitting up and brushing the tips of your fingers over his cheek. “I think you're great.” You kept your voice quiet, it wouldn't travel that way but you were close enough that he'd easily catch every word you said. “I think you're amazing, and smart, and worthy of so much more than you think.” You could feel your skin heating up in a blush as you spoke, surely matching the glowing blush that had started on his own face as you looked down at him. You lifted your fingers away from his cheek to rest your palm on the blanket next to his head, your hair curtaining the two of you from the world beyond and you smiled down at him. “You're the best, Sans.” Your words were a soft whisper, his face burning and his sockets wide as you leaned over him. You leaned close and pressed your lips to the space between his eyes, pulling back slightly moments later.

“stars damn, i love you.” he breathed, seemingly unaware he spoke aloud, and your eyes widened in obvious surprise. He cursed himself as you sat up and turned away from him, he just ruined it all. You stared out over the water with wide eyes, how do you respond to that? You didn't know. What if you ruined everything? What if this was all just some fleeting feeling and he left you too? Sans sat up slowly and reached your direction hesitantly, clearly afraid you'd pull away from him. “'m sorry, shouldn'ta said that.” he sighed and you swung back his direction, grabbing a handful of his shirt and pulling him close to you as you crushed your lips against his teeth. Fuck it. You were gonna try. He had not been expecting that, his sockets widening has he let his hands lift to trace the edge of your hips. This was no game, there was no green or red, there was just you and him and the sound of the ocean roaring somewhere behind you.

You heard him groan against your lips, his fingers tightening against your hips and pulling you closer to him. You shifted to oblige, tossing one of your legs over his to straddle him as he tugged you firmly against his chest. You could feel his ribs pressing against your breasts, making you whimper needily. Sans growled deeply as his claws dug into the flesh on your hips making you yelp quietly and wiggle in his grip, earning a rumble of approval from the skeleton. You breathed in his scent deeply as he pulled back from your lips to bite down on the side of your neck, the smell of fire filling your nose and you arched your back as his teeth latched onto your skin. Fingers splayed across his chest as his teeth dug into the soft skin on your neck until you felt blood run down your shoulder. His tongue lapping it up as the wounds closed themselves quickly, leaving almost no trace that they had been there. He could get used to that, he could bite as much as he wanted.

“yer so fucking soft.” He purred against your shoulder, making you blush brighter as your arms moved to curl around his neck loosely. Your fingers dancing along his spine and making him hiss against your skin. “fuckin sexy and perfect.” his rumbling voice filled your senses as you lay a line of kisses along the side of his skull. He was nearly purring as he raked his sharp teeth over the curve of your shoulder, making you shiver and whimper.

“Sans.” your voice was a whine and you raked your nails over his spine making him moan against you. Your eyes dimming as the lusty haze settled in your mind, your muscles tensing as you pulled his shirt over his head and dropped it behind you. Your tongue running along his jaw as his own hands dipped under the loose fitting tank top you wore to tease along your sensitive flesh. The tips of his claws making your skin tingle as his magic danced and fizzled against your flesh. “Aine, you're so fucking amazing...” You hissed the words as his conjured tongue trailed up your neck and you could see the glow from it reflecting off his skull. The warm feelings that had been building for weeks began to burn in your chest like a flame, your fingers trailing over his arms as you panted softly.

“can i?” he purred against your skin and you looked at him questioningly as he dragged the back of his knuckles against your sternum softly. You didn't know what he was asking permission for but at the moment, you'd do anything he asked of you. You nodded your head slowly and you swore you saw his eyes brighten. His fingers dragged along your chest between the swell of your breasts before he pulled it back gently, slowly. You felt your chest tighten almost uncomfortably before, with a pulse of warmth, you felt the pressure release. Sans sucked in a breath as your soul hovered over his hand, the facuts flashing different shades of deep blue, green, and rich orange as it span and pulsed above his palm. The glowing tear shape about the size of your fist. “yer fucking gorgeous, kitten.” He hummed the words, your soul pulsing in response to the compliment and you flushed deeply. You were fascinated by the gem like essence he let hover over his palm sending out soft waves of energy, it was so strange to see it was actually a real thing.

You trembled as his fingers brushed delicately over the surface, the sensation of his claws ghosting over your thighs making you gasp. He wanted to hear it again and drew a single claw tip from the tip to the curve in a single motion and you moaned lewdly, your eyes fluttering shut and he smirked wickedly. He liked that sound. His tongue swiping over his teeth before he drew the glowing gem towards his mouth, as his tongue touched the surface it felt like all the nerves in your body lit up at once, the pleasurable pain making your head roll back and a gasp of pleasure half caught in your throat, coming out strangled beautifully.

“Sans... please.” You whimpered his name, your fingers raking along his ribs as his tongue slid easily along your soul again. You arched and whined loudly.

“whatcha need, sweetheart.” His voice seemed deeper as he spoke, dragging his claws along your soul and making you pant heavily. Reason and thought a distant memory as he toyed with your soul delicately, his touch always feeling gentle and cherishing. At the same time it was overstimulating, leaving you wiggling your hips and desperate for some kind of relief.

“You!” You squealed the words, “Just you, Sans.” You whined his name and he chuckled softly, though he was taken by surprise by your words.

“Just regular ole me?” He questioned and raised a brow. “Boring ole Sans?”

“Yesssss. Just you. You're no-not boring. Ffffaaaa--- Sans.” You moaned out his name as his tongue swiped over your soul again, making your body twitch as your nerves were set aflame. “Saaaaaaaaaaansssss.” Your voice devolved into a whimpering pout. You could feel his magic flaring, hot against your skin as your fingers curled in his ribs and teased along the edges and valleys. He growled lowly and you returned the sound with a rumble of your own that had him flipping to pin you under his weight. You flexed and he growled against your neck, his hands wrapped around your wrists and keeping you held firmly against the blanket on the sand.

“oh kitten, yer askin fer it.” He snarled low against your neck and you mewled wrapping your legs around him to pull him closer. Asking for it? No, you were begging for it. Needing him, you could feel your slickness soaking your shorts and you weren't sure if you could wait anymore. “are ya sure?” He needed to be sure, your soul pulsed over your chest where he let it rest, the tear shape melting back through your skin where it belonged.

“Damn it Sans. Fucking FUCK me already.” You snarled, arching you back and rolling your hips against him, letting him feel the heat and wet. He growled and rutted against your still clothed sex making you gasp and tremble. “You're such a tease.” you whined and he laughed against your throat, biting down on the tender flesh there and you tipped your chin up, otherwise going lax in the grip. He loved it, you were so perfect. You were so good, so soft and willing and gentle. Fuck he was in so deep. He couldn't wait, shoving you firmly against the blanket and so that your legs unlocked from around his waist and you yelped softly in surprise. In a fluid movement the shorts were yanked down, you kicking them off hastily as they got caught on your ankles. He could smell you, driving him crazy, and you mewled needily as he rubbed the back of one knuckle against your clit, making you buck and whine.

“so needy and eager.” He hummed against your neck before nibbling just under your chin. You growled pitifully before teasing your fingers along the inside of his ribs. He moaned low and rutted against you roughly making you whimper. You could feel him through the shorts he wore, a line of studs along the underside making you pant eagerly, you hadn't expected those.“ya want ta get ta the bonezone kitten?” He purred against your neck and you nodded your head, watching as he licked some of your juices of the back of his finger. His eye lights were burning in the darkness, staring into your own glowing amber eyes as he tugged his shorts down just enough to release his dick from their confines. The red of his magic burning in the darkness and you licked your lips. He was girthier then you expected, the line of piercings spaced just enough to make you wiggle. What most surprised you was the clear knot at the base, your eyes going wide as you chewed on your lower lip. “see somthin ya like sweetheart?” He rumbled against your cheek and you kissed along his jaw affectionately.

“You're fucking right I do.” you purred the words low, one of your hands pulling free so your fingers could wrap around his length and squeeze it gently, your thumb flicking over the head and making him groan. “Fuckin Aine, you've been hiding this from me this whole fuckin time?” Your voice was low and husky against his cheek and he smirked.

“well, hadta make sure ya were worth th' effort kitten.” His response had you laughing softly before you gave his dick a squeeze that had him growl against your skin. “n' i gotta say... yer definitely worth th' wait.” He snatched your hand away from him to pin you again under his weight. Your hands flexing in the air as you pouted at him and he grinned wickedly down at you as his right eye light extinguished completely, making you gulp nervously. “an we're gonna have a real good time.” His voice rumbled in your ears and you wiggled in anticipation. He was teasing you though, making you wait and you couldn't stand it. He slicked himself against you and you moaned as his magic sparked against your sensitive flesh. You wanted him, you were craving him, you were pretty sure you needed him by this point. Sans didn't tease you long, gathering your wrists in one of his hands so he could grip your thigh and lift you slightly before pressing into your core with agonizing slowness. Your mouth dropping open in a soundless gasp as your walls stretched around him. The studs running along your muscles and making you squirm and writhe under him.

“Sssssssso.... much....” you hissed the words, arching your back and nearly snarling when he started to slow down so you could adjust. That wouldn't do. “Don't fucking stop.... please don't.” Your breaths were heavy pants and you flexed your fingers against his hand as he held you under him firmly. He glanced down at you questioningly and you rolled your hips up to meet his own, your eyes flashing and baring your teeth in a challenging smirk. Challenge accepted! Adjusting his grip on your thigh he tightened his fingers until the tips of his claws drew blood and slammed deep into you, hilting himself and earning a gratifying moan. He pulled back slowly, your eyes nearly rolling back in your head as the piercings rubbed you just the right way before slamming deep into you again. Your body arching under him, trying to draw him ever deeper. Your muscles clenched and fluttered, his magic felt like contained flame. You loved it. You weren't sure you'd be able to go back to not having it. His magic was wild and barely contained as he felt you surrounding him, demanding he claim you forever. Your own magic shifting and twisting to match him, to be the perfect counterbalance. He couldn't explain it, it was like the magic that let you shift your body at will was also able to figure out exactly what he needed and shape itself to him. He craved more.

Both of you knew you weren't going to last much longer, your toes curling as you wrapped your legs around his waist to pull him deeper. Sans growled primally, his left socket smoldering with barely contained magic as he bit down hard on your shoulder, sinking his teeth deeply in your flesh and groaning as your body reflexively locked around him at the mixture of pleasure and pain. He could feel your fingers curling against his hand where he held them pinned as you came hard around him, the monster quickly following and filling you with his magic. He wasn't in a rut so his knot didn't lock him to you, not that he would have cared if it had. You lay under him, completely spent, and your eyes half lidded sleepily as your fingers drew nonsensical swirls along his bones.

“yer fucking amazin.” He mumbled against your neck, licking the still bleeding wound from where he bit you, it would heal over soon enough but for now he wanted to make sure you were comfortable. Your eyes looked up at him dreamily, cheeks flushed and chest heaving with panted breaths as you let your legs relax and slowly slide until they were resting against the blanket and his own legs.

“Yeah. You really are.” You agreed, turning the compliment back on him. “Fucking Aine you really are.” You hummed against his collarbone as you curled against him. He laughed low and wrapped his arms around you, passing through a shortcut to his bed in the beach house. Pulling the blankets over you both as you drifted to sleep. Blanket and clothing forgotten on the sand.

Chapter Text

Your eyes opened sleepily and you moved to sit up only to feel a heavy weight over your waist, keeping you laying on the bed and you glanced over your shoulder to see Sans sleeping peacefully. So it wasn't a dream. You tilted your head slightly, watching him sleep, and you could feel the corners of your lips twitching upwards slowly. He was so cute when he was asleep, settling back down you wiggled your back closer to his chest and was about to fall back asleep when there was a pounding on Sans' door and you jumped in surprise. Sans just grumbled something sleepily and hugged you tighter to his chest, you weren't complaining, but you weren't sure if you wanted Paps to bust in and see you like this.... so you did the only thing you could think of. You shifted. Your body shrunk against Sans as he mumbled in his sleep, your fox form easily snuggling up to his chest just as Papyrus got tired of being ignored and burst in. It wasn't unusual to see you sleeping next to Sans this way, and as he walked in you lifted your head and perked your ears. Better he see you this way then laying naked with his brother. You had a feeling he would know regardless but you would rather face him clothed when that conversation was had. He raised a brow bone at you and you tilted your head as if you were questioning.

“I TAKE IT YOU BOTH HAD AN EVENTFUL NIGHT?” Papyrus' boomed and your ears twitched guiltily. Surely he didn't know EVERYTHING yet, right? Then he lifted up your clothes and the blanket from where he'd had them tucked behind his back and your eyes widened. Shit. You forgot about that stuff. He snickered to himself, you looked so flustered as your muzzle hung open before you barked at him and slipped from Sans' grip to stalk to your room. Shoving the door shut behind you to shift back and dress. Papyrus was beyond amused, and secretly happy if not a touch jealous, that you and his brother were getting along so well. He followed you into the hall, snickering the whole way to himself, and set your clothing beside your door before returning to his brother's room. “OUT OF BED, LAZYBONES! BREAKFAST IS READY!” The tall skeleton smirked at his brother as the elder sibling opened one socket to look at him before disappearing back downstairs. Glancing around he noticed you were no longer in the bed, but you usually got up before him so that wasn't unusual. His hand swiped over where you had been sleeping to feel the warmth left behind, and he smiled. You hadn't left long before he woke up it seems.

You tied a large bit of fabric around you like a dress, covering your bikini for the moment but not really doing much to hide your body from view. Running a brush through your hair you pulled it up and began to braid it against your head, tying the braid off with an elastic and looking at your reflection in the mirror. You could see the bite mark on your neck still quite vividly, that was puzzling. Your fingers lingered on the teeth marks, tilting your head away from it to get a good look at it. It looked well healed over, but the marks were more vivid then any of your other scars. How weird. Making a soft huh noise to yourself you shrugged, you weren't ashamed of what happened, you just didn't want Papyrus of all people to see you like that. You were pretty sure you'd up and die if he had. Could fae die of embarrassment? That was an interesting thought.

Turning from the mirror you stepped from your room just before Sans did from his, walking past and trailing the tips of your fingers along his chin as you made your way to the stairs. Ignoring the happy growl from the monster as you walked away. His eyes watched the sway of your hips as you walked down the stairs, tilting his head slightly as he admired the view. As you turned towards the kitchen his eyes caught the mark on the side of your neck and his eyes widened slightly, that should have healed by this point, it looked healed... so why was it still so vivid? He couldn't recall using any of his magic on it. He didn't get to really think about it as you turned to look his way before disappearing into the dining area.

“You comin, Skelebae?” You called back to him, the bright amber of your eyes catching his own and he suddenly forgot what he was thinking about. He nodded dumbly and you smirked before disappearing from his view. Blinking a few times he got his bearings again and was again confused. Why did you just looking at him suddenly make his soul flutter? He wandered into the kitchen a few minutes later, you were helping Papyrus try and figure out why the burners on the stove suddenly stopped working. Lifting the top to look at the pilot lights you chuckled. “Seems the last fae didn't replenish the stove before they left.” You shook your head at the oversight and licked your lips as you prepared your energies to do it. Leaning close to the pilot you closed your eyes and blew slowly over the area, a bit of misty energy escaping your lips and being drawn to the pilot light. The brothers watched with confused looks as the magical energy you breathed out suddenly ignited in a flame and you leaned back with a nod. “That should do it. These rental places usually don't have someone comin in to replenish the essence often enough.” You walked away with a yawn, covering your mouth with one hand.

“YOU MEAN TO SAY ALL YOUR TECHNOLOGY RUNS ON MAGIC?” Papyrus blinked and you looked over your shoulder with a confused expression. Magic? Naw, essence was little bits of their life force. Fae used it for pretty much everything.

“Magic?” You blinked a bit. Some Fae could openly use magic, but were insistent that magic and essence were different. “Naw, that was essence. It's tiny bits of our life force.” Now they both looked terrified.

“ya use yer life ta power all this shit?!” Sans looked absolutely mortified and you blinked. The amount of essence you used was so tiny that fae never really thought much about it.

“Well, yeah? I mean, we can live for hundreds of millenia if we are careful.” You offered and blinked. “Aine is currently in her 500 th millenia and she uses a lot of essence to keep the faelines active.” You were legitimately confused. “Are... are you guys afraid that using essence will hurt me or something?” You blinked as the two scoffed and looked away, folding their arms. Oh that was precious. “Guys, who do you think keeps all the stuff in our house running? I've been feeding our lights and stove, fridge, everything for as long as I've been living there. It isn't a strain on me and it isn't a problem. Hell I never even notice it happening.” You snickered softly as you wandered to the table and sat down, piling your plate with scrambled eggs. The brothers weren't sure they liked that thought, yeah, fae seemed to have vast stores of life energy if the brightness of your soul was any example, but that was no excuse to not have other means of powering everything. Though it did explain how their tablets and mobile phones never seemed to need to be recharged. You stuffed a fork full of eggs into your mouth as the two decided it was better to leave the subject alone at least for now. That was when Papyrus decided to ask about the scar on your neck.

“SO MEADOW, YOU SEEM TO HAVE A NEW SCAR.” You blinked and craned your head to try and get a better look at it, you couldn't see it like this obviously but that wouldn't stop you trying. You blushed ever so slightly but you refused to look ashamed of it, far from it if you were honest.

“This? Figured it would have healed better by now.” You shrugged a bit and he looked at his brother whose face was burning with a blush at this point, he snickered. “Regardless, I think it looks good there.” You hummed, taking another bite and missing the stunned looks from both monsters. You didn't mind the mark, why should it bother you? You chose what you chose and you were content with that.

“WHAT ABOUT SWIFT?” Papyrus asked, though he knew that you had never been attracted to the wolf. It was more testing the waters really.

“What about him?” You glanced over boredly. “I told you before that I wasn't interested in him. Why should he make a difference in this?” Your tone was slightly confused and Sans allowed a bit of smugness to fill his mind. You were choosing him over one of your own kind. That might not mean much to others, but no one ever chose him over another choice, ever. The fact that you, someone who had enough choice to be able to draw in several rival males to compete for you, were deciding that you wanted him made his soul shudder happily. The brothers seemed content with your statement and joined you to eat, you gathering the dishes when all was done to rinse them off and tuck them into the dishwasher. That completed you walked past them to the back porch and opened the sliding door wide. The sea air quickly filled the room and you inhaled deeply before closing your eyes and letting the breeze fill your senses. “C'mon Paps. Let's go catch some waves.” You grinned before perking your ears his direction and he smirked. “Race you to the water!” You wiggled slightly and he stood up to join you at the door. You both bolted towards the shore at the same moment, him leaping down the stairs to the boardwalk that lead to the sand and you vaulting over the banister to race through the seagrass. Papyrus won and as you caught up with him he hoisted you up before tossing you into the water while you flailed and screeched loudly in protest! Surfacing moments later you sputtered and coughed before snorting indignantly at the taller brother.

“YOU ARE IN NEED OF MORE TRAINING.” He chastised and you stuck your tongue out at him.

“You only won because humans are slow. If I shifted I could have beat you easy!” You insisted and he laughed. Sans watched from the porch as you flew through the air when Paps threw you into the waves, a calm smile on his face as he watched the two of you banter in the distance. You kicked water at Papyrus then yelped loudly and turned to run deeper into the water, the taller skeleton easily catching you and swinging you up in the air in a big arc before throwing you into the waves again, your fingers clawing at the air as your laughing scream reached the house. Sans chuckled and grabbed the beach umbrella and the blanket before wandering in the direction of you both. Other fae sat a bit away on the beach, watching the two play in the water. Some of them were old enough to remember when that was a common thing to see, others were young and intrigued, watching curiously. You pulled the now soaked wrapped dress off and flung it in Papyrus' face before leaping at him with a playful growl. The tall skeleton tumbled backwards when you crashed into him, your arms wrapping around his neck. The splash from you both hitting the water making a few of the fae chuckle softly. Sans set up the umbrella and blanket before stretching out lazily. Mmm this was nice. He could get used to being able to be lazy like this. The beach was warm and the breeze felt nice. He didn't notice when one of the more irritable types of fae wandered his way.

“Oi, monster, whatcha doin hangin round a puca?” The rumbling sound made him crack a socket and he blinked up. He couldn't place what kind of fae it was, he didn't claim to know much about fae he hadn't talked to before and this... guy... was definitely not a type he'd spoken with before. He was huge, taller then Paps even, and he sat up slowly before yawning pointedly.

“ya talkin bout 'er?” He smirked and pointed where you were splashing at Papyrus in the water a bit away. “we live wit 'er, ya gotta problem with that bud?” He smiled amicably and the fae tilted his head thoughtfully. Things were changing and the monsters had been moving in with many fae, though that was mostly in the large cities, not small places like this.

“So what? Yer her pets?” He smirked, clearly he was trying to mess with the monster a bit so Sans was gonna TRY to not get into a fight with the asshole.

“yeh, 'er pets.” He smirked. “an like any good pet we fuck her nice and hard like she wants us ta. that a problem, pal?” His eye lights twisted to look up at the fae who blinked in confusion before looking up towards you again. By this point you and Papyrus and seen the fae talking to Sans and had started his way.

“Hey Sans. Everything alright?” You blinked a few times as the troll lifted his head to stare at you. You blinked a few times as the other fae seemed to be contemplating something. His dark orange eyes found their way to the mark on your neck and he chuckled softly before shaking his head.

“Kids these days, well, enjoy I suppose.” He rumbled and you blinked. Turning away the troll returned to his group, laughing to himself and you blinked in utter confusion. Sans cracked up, watching the fae walk away and both you and Papyrus blinked at him.

“What was that about?”

“YES, THAT WAS QUITE AN UNUSUAL ENCOUNTER.”

“d'worry 'bout it.” He snickered loudly and you and Papyrus exchanged glances. You sighed when the shorter skeleton didn't offer any sort of explanation and sat beside him, time to take a short break from the water. Flopping onto your stomach you hooked your ankles and rested your head on your arms, looking towards the house and closing your eyes. “ya alright?” Sans' voice caught your attention and your eyes opened to glance his way.

“Yep. You?” You smirked a bit and he shrugged his shoulders before flopping onto his back again. Chuckling quietly to yourself you closed your eyes again, enjoying the warmth of the day.

“I AM GOING TO GET SOME LUNCH TOGETHER.” Papyrus announced and you lifted your head. Was it already lunchtime? As he walked back to the house you let out a sigh of content, you hadn't been this at peace since you left the circle your family lived in. Sans glanced over, your eyes shut lightly, before turning his eyes again to the expanse of blue sky over him.

“What's on your mind?” You mumbled, you could feel him thinking. The skeleton startling at your voice and glancing over at you with a bit of confusion on his face. How the fuck did you do that?!

“was jus thinkin bout that mark on yer neck.” he mumbled, turning his face to the sky again and you made a hmm of acknowledgement. “shouldn't the marks be fadin like yer other scars?” He questioned and you lifted a hand to brush your fingers along the deep crimson marks, touching them with a gentle reverence.

“Maybe I don't want them to fade.” You offered. “My body is pretty good at determining what it wants.” Your voice was steady, glancing his way through barely opened eyes. “Maybe I like it there.” The blush on his face was lovely and you turned up your lips. Opening your eyes to stare into his own. “Did you think I'd just go back on everything?” You purred and he shifted guiltily. Wouldn't be the first time that would have happened. You pushed yourself up slowly, your every movement lazier then he'd ever seen you move, and shifted so you could rest your head on his chest. “Silly skeleton.”

“hey, 'm getting the good side o' this deal, kitten.” He smirked, his finger yanking the elastic from your hair to allow him to rake through the dark strands. “yer the one who is choosin a nobody monster ta be with.” You made a sound of disapproval. “what're ya grumblin about? ya know it's true.” he huffed and you curled your fingers against his shirt, lifting your head to stare into his sockets.

“You're fucking amazing, so shut the hell up.” You scolded and he smirked.

“make me, doll.” His voice was infuriatingly cocky. As if you wouldn't do something to stop the self deprecation.

“You're playing a dangerous game babe.” You warned and he grinned up at you.

“yeh, but yer so fuckin hot when yer mad.” He smirked and your eyes widened. So that's why he kept pushing your buttons before, he saw the frustration and annoyance flash in your eyes and soaked in that burning expression. “so 'm gonna keep being a bonehead and pissin ya off till ya make me stop.” He grinned and you growled softly, “so whatcha gonna do ab-” he was cut of when you fisted your hands in his t-shirt and crushed your mouth against his own. Eyes going wide as you traced the edge of his teeth with your tongue, his gasp giving you the opening you needed to dart into his mouth. Silencing him effectively as one of your hands lifted from his shirt to cup his cheek. You pulled back after a few moments and smirked at him.

“Shut up, you're amazing.” You grumbled at him, enjoying the half lidded content look on his face.

Chapter Text

The vacation couldn't last, no matter how much you wanted it to. So when it came time to return home you were a bit anxious and more then a bit irritable. You paced through the house, making sure all the power was recharged and you hadn't forgotten anything. Once you were sure you had everything you set to pacing just to pace, waiting for Sans and Papyrus to get done what they were doing. The two brothers kept an eye on the fae as you paced around the house, your ears twitching as you mumbled absently to yourself.

“MISS MEADOW, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?” You slid to a surprised halt at Papyrus' voice. You couldn't remember the last time he called you Miss. You turned your eyes the brothers direction, your head tilting to the side quizzically. Your expression was adequately puzzled and it sent Sans into a fit of laughter, you huffed and swung your duffle over your shoulder.

“We should get going. I have missions to start tonight.” You sighed, looking wistfully towards the beach. The two agreed quietly and grabbed their bags before following you out of the house. Locking the door you walked to the information station, tossing the key on the counter as the puca looked up sharply. “House is clean and replenished. See ya next time.” You waved one hand and walked away, not noticing the intense staring of the red line of teeth marks that went up the side of your neck. Papyrus and Sans noticed and the later winked smugly at the fae before following you to the circle. Papyrus rolled his eyes at his brother's antics and stepped up beside you as you lifted your hand and the magics that made the pocket twisted and left them staring at a blank expanse of beach. Turning away you walked towards the fae line that would take you to Skylark Stronghold in the desert. As you landed you found yourself face to face with a pair of falcon sirens and you blinked. “Sup?”

“Meadowlark?” One said, clearly the one in charge and you nodded your head, you rather liked the tone of her voice. Most Sirens had lovely voices but this one hit a good nerve on you and you were inclined to pause and listen to her. “You need to get back to your post immediately, Hemlock has sent word that a development has arisen that requires you to set out as quickly as possible. We were about to head to your vacation location and collect you personally.” You blinked. A development, that sounded serious. Nodding your head you pointed at the fae line you would need.

“Then we should go then. Guys go ahead I'll be right behind you.” You wanted to be sure the brothers were safely on the other side before you went, you didn't want to risk them being kept behind for any reason. You gave Sans a look of pleading when he looked about to object, he knew that look, you were worried for them. He knew better then to argue when you gave him a look like that, you would explain later he was sure. Your ears twitched slightly as Papyrus then Sans vanished through the faeline and you looked at the Sirens, they were watching you carefully and clearly had been given some orders that you had sniffed out easily. They should have expected that of a Puca, they were suspicious fae and highly protective of what they consider family or pack. You nodded at the two and stepped past them.

“Are you sure you're making the right choice regarding the monsters?” The other siren asked, her melodic voice making you turn your head. “We all can see that mark on your neck, and do not agree with your choice.”

“It's not your choice.” You flicked your ear in annoyance and reached towards the faeline again.

“We are simply worried. Fae and Monsters have not mixed well in the past.” The other said and you paused.

“Mind your own business. I don't go meddling in others affairs, stay out of mine.” you grumbled and the two looked at a loss. They were not trying to be cruel, you could feel their concern, but you had no interest in their worries. “These monsters are part of my clan now. They will be regarded with the same respect given any Puca.” You stated and they nodded their heads in agreement but still looked worried. Everyone knew that once someone was included in another's clan or family that was it, there was no turning on that. It was a sacred thing to be included in another's family to them and the sirens were the last to make any disagreements about it since they were of the few who regularly took human mates as part of their culture. They gave you sympathetic smiles as you touched the faeline and appeared on the other side to find a pair of irritated skeletons.

“wah was tha' all about, sweetheart?” Sans was instantly at your side as you reslung your bag over your shoulder and you offered him a smile.

“Fae being fae.” you sighed and shrugged. “People in the strongholds are nosey. Don't fret about it. You're both part of my clan, no one can do anything about it.” You wrapped your free arm around Papyrus' waist and tugged him towards the stronghold, Sans resting his arm around your shoulders. You were claiming them as part of your family, you'd explained a bit about clans while on vacation. You figured they would need to know about it since you were sure Swift was going to be disappointed about things. Ivy hissed in greeting as you came into the clearing of the circle, you smiling up at him and the three of you standing within the circle of stones before you activated the magic. The stronghold was in a flurry of activity, far more then you had seen in months. Your eyes widened curiously and you blinked as Hemlock was commanding rapidly from the street. You handed your bag to Papyrus. “Go home. I'll come fill you in when I know what's going on.” The two frowned but nodded, they knew that scout's orders wouldn't be given if they were there, they'd pushed Hemlock on that once and she'd all but ordered them out. Once they were on the way home you ran up to Hemlock and saluted.

“Ah good, you're here!” Hemlock didn't even have time to look you over as she turned and placed her hand on your back, leading you towards the quiet of her command. “We have gotten word that the Royals are not dead or at least not all dead.” She hummed lowly and you blinked, your eyes wide. Everyone had watched the explosion that had killed many human diplomats as well as the royal family of the monsters. There was no way they survived that blast. It leveled a square block! “Yes that is what I thought when I heard the news as well, but we got these from a human spy who met up with one of our Cubis.” She held up a pile of photos and you thumbed through them hastily, within were several shots of ill kept monsters, a few who looked shockingly like the royal family, it was hard to tell for sure since the photos were clearly taken in a hurry but it was worth a look into for sure.

“Do we know where?” You were quiet and intense, this is your element.

“Yes, these photos came from a army base near the Canadian border. Heavily guarded and fortified but if we can get the royals... if we can expose the human government, we will have a lot of traction gained.” Hemlock spoke in hushed tones and you nodded your head thoughtfully. This was going to be a tough one.

“Are we planning an attack if this is true?” You looked at the woman and she nodded.

“You will not be involved in that, we almost lost you last time. But should you confirm that any of the royals are within, we will be teaming up with Skylark and Red River.” Your eyes widened at the other. Red River was well known for their militant approach and had many powerful fae at their disposal, including several Kelpie and rumor of a Mesmer.

“Fair. I am not a warrior anyways. Though my plan at the farm did work. Had we had a bit more time it would have gone without a hitch.” You were proud of your work there and Hemlock had to give you that. Had you a little more time it was likely you would have never been captured. “Alright. I'll go there and look. Send the coords to my tablet and I'll go pack.” You nodded and Hemlock nodded her head before starting to turn away. She paused halfway and looked your way again, making you pause as well. “Anything else?”

“That mark?”

“Yes. And I'm not letting it fade.” You stated quietly and the bird woman let out a soft breath. “They are clan now.” You stated matter of factly and Hemlock slowly nodded her head, she could not argue it. You had made your intentions clear and for her to object would be a direct challenge. The only one who had that right would be a rival mate, and she wasn't sure Swift was the kind to try and impose in that way, it was very rare that these things were not just accepted. Even if sometimes reluctantly so. “I have to go and prepare now.” You hummed and walked from the room, when you opened the front door Papyrus was instantly in front of you, Sans lounging on the couch but you could tell he was anxious as well.

“WHAT IS GOING ON?” His voice snapped a bit, clearly none of the fae would tell him what was going on. You rubbed the back of your head as you thought about how to explain this.

“There has been rumor of a very important monster or monsters up north.” You tried and Papyrus glowered at you. You buckled and let out a breath. “We have gotten word the royal family might not be dead.” You looked between the stunned faces of both monsters, you hoped they would take this news well.

“then we should go with ya and help ya get em out!” Sans stood up suddenly and you held your hands out in front of you.

“I'm not leading the charge. I'm just going to confirm. We have an army ready to mobilize if the information is correct.” You tried and the two still looked like they were going to insist on going with you. You couldn't risk that. “Please guys, I'm goin on a quick recon to verify the information. “ You frowned as the two kept close to you, hoping you wouldn't have to make a break for it.

“YOU REALLY SHOULD LET US ACCOMPANY YOU.” Papyrus insisted and you waved your hands before you.

“C'mon Papy, I got in to you all on my own. I managed to have several conversations with you before ya even knew who I was!” You tried again and your ears flopped. You were really a good scout... you didn't need to be watched or assisted. “Guys... I'll be back in a day, maybe two. I'm just making confirmation. Please...” You shrunk a bit and Sans touched Papyrus'arm, the taller took a half step back and let out a sigh.

“lemme talk ta 'er real fast boss.” Sans mumbled and Papyrus gave you a look that had you pinning your ears and looking away. You weren't saying they couldn't go with for the battle if they so chose. Just … you couldn't take them NOW. Once Papyrus was out of earshot Sans locked his eyelights on your eyes, you glancing away.

“I'm not trying to say you guys can't go.” You mumbled quietly and he watched your expression carefully. “I just can't take you with me right this second.” You tried and he cupped your chin, tugging your face to his own.

“ya just be careful and come back quick. i'll take care a' boss.” His voice was quiet and you blinked in surprise, you expected more of a fight out of him on this. Your eyes looked into his own with evident shock, trying to figure out why he was just letting this go. “i know ya can take care o' yer self. see if ya can find the dreemurr's and come back safe, yeah?” You blinked a few times. You didn't expect him to take this so well.

“Sans...” your voice was quiet and he scoffed. “Thank you.” You mumbled and cupped his cheeks in your palms, pressing your forehead to his own and closing your eyes. He could feel the pulse of your soul, the anxiety quieting as you realized he wasn't going to fight to go with you on this recon mission.

“hurry up and go so you can get back here.” he muttered grumpily and you nodded, grabbing your small bag of scouting gear and darting out the door before another word could be said either way. You glanced over your shoulder as you ran toward the circle, your amber eyes catching the worried eyelights of the skeleton and you grit your teeth. You didn't want to worry him. Or maybe he wasn't worried for you at all. Maybe he was worried because the Dreemurr family might still be alive and he had done nothing to help them? You couldn't be sure, and it really didn't matter at that moment. You saluted Hemlock as you passed, holding up your tablet to confirm you got the location and she nodded her head your direction as you stepped into the circle and vanished. You raced to where your motorcycle was stored and kicked it to life, shoving your helmet on your head and racing out of the cave system and heading north. It would take you most of the night to get to the location. The stars overhead were your company as you raced up the highway, the roar of your bike filling your ears. You had to stop and gas it up halfway there, you hadn't filled the tank after your last trek out on it. You got a few looks when you pulled into the station, as if the people weren't used to seeing a lone female biker in these parts. Honestly, that was probably the case, it was quite rural and your bike was a bit flashy. You pushed up your visor as you swiped your card at the pump, filling the tank as the cashier within watched as if you were some fucking circus freak climbing all over the pumps like a fucking crazy person. Hopping back on your bike you kicked it to life and pulled your visor back down before heading back down the road to get back on the highway. The rest of your trip was mostly uneventful. It wasn't obscenely far as far as scouting missions go, but you were a bit roadweary by the end. The rest of the trip you'd be going by wing.

You stowed your bike in the parking lot of a hiking trail, it was good cover to act like you were simply going on a hike, and you slung your bag over your shoulder before stretching a bit. There were a few others around and you waited for them to head along the trail before you started into the trees, vanishing within the dense underbrush fairly quickly. You found a nice hollow to hide your stuff in and shoved your bag in before starting to get undressed to shift. As your Raven form finalized you fluttered your wings and looked around. You wanted to hurry, the sooner you figured this out the sooner you could get home. To your family.

Chapter Text

Your eyes scanned the ground under you, watching humans leading monsters around in shackles from building to building. You didn't like this place, it sat unsettlingly in your gut. There was something very very wrong going on in this place but you didn't know yet what it was. Tucking a wing you dove towards one of the buildings, landing on a window sill and glancing inside. It was full of medical and scientific equipment, but no one seemed to be in this one at the moment. It was early though, the sun was barely up, but you wanted to get the info you were looking for and get the hell home. Something about this place made you want to run far. Instincts were rarely wrong. Flitting to another building you cawed a few times, glancing about and noticing a building more secured then the others. Barred windows and armed guards at every door and corner. Tilting your head you flitted that direction, pulling up when you felt something not right. As you pulled up your right wing slammed against something you couldn't see and you swallowed the squawk of pain so as not to alert the humans. Twisting back to a different building you tilted your head at the highly defensed building thoughtfully. This was a problem. You were convinced that if there were high value monsters here, they were in that building. You landed on the ground behind some supply crates and hopped under a truck where you could observe from ground level without being easily seen.

You were certain there was some sort of anti-magic field around the building after a few hours of watching. No monsters came in or out of the building, the ones that were being led around in chains were removed from less secure looking buildings. You wondered how to get a look into the building, you really needed to. You had a really good feeling that whatever was in there, royals or not, was important. Maybe that was enough? You didn't want to leave empty handed and you didn't want to put your people in danger over a possible, the only option you had was to try and peer in as you flew around. Bouncing from your hiding spot you hopped up onto a supply crate with a caw. Your right wing still throbbed painfully but a job was a job. You had to figure out what was going on up here. Leaping into the air you flapped a few times before gliding around the edge of the building you were targeting. It was hard to get an accurate look in but you would do your best. A flash of dirty white caught your attention near the top floors of the building and you flicked a wing to let you hover for a moment, flapping your wings furiously you tipped your head to get a good look. Horns, dark crimson eyes, large monster... It was as good a look as you were going to get, and a human was looking up at you curiously as you flapped. You were drawing attention. That wouldn't do. Cawing loudly and flipping away from the building you landed atop a building to get your bearings. You couldn't accurately confirm what you were sent here to find out, but you knew something terrible was happening here. That was enough for you to tell Hemlock you supported attacking this place. It was also enough for you to know that you would do everything in your power to keep your clan out of that fight. Landing in your clothing's hiding spot you looked around carefully, it was still fairly early in the afternoon and you didn't want to be walked in on mid shift. When you were certain there was nothing around you, you dropped to the ground and began to shift back, pulling your clothing on hastily. Pulling on your sneakers you tied them tightly before grabbing your bag and marching towards where you parked your bike.

“Ma'am?” A voice made you sigh and glance over your shoulder. “Ma'am did you walk out of the woods? Leaving the trail is dangerous.” It was a park warden. Pulling your helmet on but pushing the visor up so you could look at the warden.

“Sorry sir, I was taking pictures with my tablet for an art project. I won't do it again.” God it was easy to lie to the humans. You looked young enough for the lie to work and as he looked you over a few times you heard him scoff about stupid city kids as he walked away. You kicked your bike to life and slung your bag over your shoulder before sending it pointing home. Your right arm still hurt quite a lot and you were starting to wonder if whatever you hit did some major damage to it. You should have already healed. Must be one really powerful barrier the humans cooked up to make it still ache even this long after. The trip home was long but your tank was full so you had no reason to stop, and as the moon was rising you pulled the bike into the cave and swung off you found your fingers of your right hand refusing to open from the handlebar. Tilting your head in confusion you pried your hand free and looked at your arm quizzically before trying to shake it out. Weird. Tingles ran up your arm and you rubbed it, feeling the soreness underneath and wincing. The hell was in that barrier? There wasn't any time to think about that though, you had a report to give. Trotting from the cave you made your way to the circle, appearing as soon as the magic whisked you through the pocket into the stronghold. Hemlock's building was still lit up, that was good, and you jogged that direction, pushing open the door and walking in.

“Oh, you're back already. I wasn't expecting you so soon.” Hemlock was clearly shocked when you opened the door and stepped in, having been about to leave herself for the night.

“Well, the place is not so hard to see something wrong is going on there.” You mumbled the words and she lifted a hand to indicate that you could give your report. “The fortress is well defended, far more then the farm was, there are seven buildings within the walls. Six of them are fairly ordinary, nothing we haven't seen before. However the one in the middle. Something is off about it and I couldn't get close.”

“Were you suspected by the humans?” Hemlock was shocked, you were not one to give yourself away easily.

“No. I mean, I literally could not get close to it. Physically. There was a magic or a barrier of some sort that I couldn't see. I barely brushed it with my right arm and it still is in pain. I managed to peek into the windows from a distance and saw something of what was in the photos. I cannot make a concise statement that any of the royals are there, but there was something that looked very much like them if nothing else. And they were guarding it very very closely. If that isn't indication that even if the royals are not there that we should attack them, I'm not sure what is.” Your report finished, Hemlock tapped her chin thoughtfully. You had a point, she had to admit, even without confirming the presence of the Dreemurrs that they were guarding something with tech that none of the fae had seen yet was enough to make her want to burn the fortress to the ground. But it was worrisome, she would call in another stronghold to be safe.

“Good job, go rest. I will send you your orders in the morning.” She said and you nodded, saluted clumsily as your right arm flopped uselessly for a moment before getting it's motor skills back, and walked out. Walking towards your house you kept rubbing your arm and flexing your hand experimentally. You didn't hear the footsteps until they were at your side, finger sliding along your back and you screeched in surprise before kicking out at the unknown person. Swift caught your ankle and chuckled good naturedly.

“I called your name a few times, you apparently didn't hear me Meddie.” He grinned and you shrugged your shoulders.

“Thinking, got a lot on my mind about the mission I was just on.” You hummed the words, dropping your hand and shoving it in your pocket. You were not about to show weakness to the wolf. He didn't seem to notice, he never did really, and glanced over at you with his usual charming smile.

“So I was thinking that we...” He started and you looked over at him.

“Gonna stop you there, Swift. Look. You're a nice guy, but I'm not gonna pairbond with you.” You said softly, he blinked a few times. He hadn't expected that. His ruddy gold eyes watched you curiously as you turned to face him, your stance one that was solid, you were set on this. He could see that. Though he wasn't sure why. Had he done something to offend you? He kept his gaze on your own, unblinking as the glow of your amber eyes burned in the night, and then he saw it, on the side of your neck. Bright against the dark caramel of your skin. Teeth marks. If they were just marks that you held no feeling towards, they would have faded away quickly. You were nurturing these, you wanted them there. He nodded slowly, understanding flickering in his eyes.

“I see. Were it any of the other fae, you know I'd challenge them... but... that wouldn't win me any favors with you I can tell. If things change. Let me know.” He turned and started off, lifting a hand to wave over his shoulder before he disappeared. You felt a pang of guilt. Swift really was a good guy, and a stable fae. Most of the others here would be thrilled if he took interest in them. Good, he'd find someone who wanted to be with him that way. The guilt faded quickly and you ran your fingers along the side of your neck, feeling the slightly raised areas of the scars and you felt something like a sense of peace or maybe calm filled you. Turning back towards your house you kept rubbing your damaged arm, the feeling of pins and needles following your firm strokes over the skin. Opening the door you walked in and let out a sigh.

“I'm back.” You called out, both of the brothers appearing in the livingroom seconds later with anxious looks on their faces. You blinked between them as they stared at you expectantly. “I can't confirm the Dreemurrs are there. I saw something that looked like them but I couldn't get close enough to the building to check.”

“WERE THE HUMANS ON TO YOU?” Papyrus questioned and you shook your head, flexing your right hand weakly. Sans noticed the muscle weakness in your arm and his eyes moved from your arm to your face and then back again. He was too damn observant, you knew he would question you about it later.

“No. There was some sort of barrier? Or field around the building. I hit it once because I couldn't see it. But I did see something that resembled the royals inside through a window.” You offered and Papyrus looked thoughtful. “Hemlock will be making a decision on how to go about this fortress tomorrow. Until then we should all get some sleep.” You walked towards the couch, pulling out your blanket from under it and pulling it around you, effectively ending the conversation as you flopped on your side with your face towards the back of the couch. “I'm tired.” Papyrus took that as his queue to return to his room, knowing that once you shut down the conversation nothing was going to make you pick it back up. Trying to force the issue would just have you running off. Sans waited until Papyrus closed the door to his room again before he sat near your feet, you didn't move. Your arm hurt more now, the pins and needles travelling outwards from your elbow. You made a quiet sound of discomfort and that was enough to make the skeleton pull you up and grab your arm.

“what didja do t' it?” He grumbled, he knew full well you healed fast so this shouldn't even be a thing.

“I hit whatever barrier they have around the building. It's been off ever since.” You mumbled as he turned your hand over in his grip. He couldn't see any damage, no swelling or anything, and as his thumb slid along the bones under the flesh he couldn't feel any breaks. However when his fingers reached your elbow you winced and your hand spasmed in his grip. His sockets narrowed curiously, running his hand over the crook of your elbow again causing another jolt of pain and your muscles to clench. “That hurts Sans.” Your grumbling whine was brushed off as he rolled his eyes.

“shut up an let me figure this out.” His grumble came back and you sighed, wincing and gritting your teeth as his phalanges trailed along the muscle groups most affected by the pain and tingling. “looks like a monster barrier magic.” He mumbled and you blinked, looking down as his fingers moved over the unblemished flesh of your arm. “or a human taught by a monster...”

“Is that why it's not healing?” You questioned and he looked up to catch your eyes. “My fingers locked on the handlebars to my bike. I had to pry em off.” You had your eyes back on your arm. “It didn't hurt at first, aside from the pain of hitting something solid. It's been getting worse all day. Was gonna have the nymphs look at it tomorrow.”

“no need. i can fix this fer ya.” He mumbled a red glow starting to curl around his phalanges. He had been thinking of how he could get his magic to work on you, not so that he could hurt you of course, but in case you got hurt or needed his help or any other number of reasons. “can i?” He nodded towards your chest and you blinked curiously, but nodded. You trusted him at this point. The soft tug that came with him gently pulling out your soul was more comfortable this time then the first time and it made his own shudder happily at the knowledge. That you were slowly accepting him and getting closer to him. You could feel his magic tingle against your skin, however it felt different than usual. Where it usually felt like sparks now it seemed to be soaking in warmly, easing the ache and the tingling. A look of relief flickering across your features and he could tell that his hunch was right. He had to have your soul out to heal you.

“That feels so much better. Aine...” You whimpered the words and he chuckled softly, the magic coiling through your arm and spreading across your chest. He smirked as your eyes slid shut, the color of his magic sparking around your arm and shoulder as it filled you, your innate magics pushing and shaping around it but not pushing against it or pushing him away.

“good to hear.” His amused chuckle made you open your eyes, the blush on his face clear in the darkness. As the warmth of his magic faded he let your soul sink back through your flesh. You leaned towards the skeleton, resting your forehead against his own and closing your eyes. The amount you had grown to care for the brothers was almost painful to think about, the idea that they could get hurt made your stomach clench painfully.

“Are you going to want to go with Hemlock on the attack?” You whispered, eyes still shut as you prayed to Aine that they wouldn't go. That place was wrong, something there was very very off and you were afraid of it. You hated the feeling you had while you were in the walls, the feeling of death and anger and pain.

“if boss says we are, probably. yeh.” He admitted and he watched your jaw clench tightly. Was it that bad? What did you see there?

“Would it make a difference if I asked you both not to?” You tried and you heard his sigh. “Sans... that place has something really bad going on. I don't know what but... I could feel it.”

“if the dreemurrs are there, we gotta go sweetheart.” He answered and you tucked your chin, letting out a breath. Your only hope would be to make Hemlock make them stay. They couldn't go there. You knew something bad would happen if any of the monsters got near that place.

“Please?” You tried again. “Whatever is there... it's dangerous.” Your voice was thick with concern, truly you felt afraid of what was there. He knew that, and you had never shown actual fear to him before. He was both grateful for your trust in letting him see you vulnerable and annoyed that you thought whatever was there could do something to him.

“we gotta be there if the dreemurrs are there. sorry kitten, but that's how it has to be.” He watched as your teeth grit, he could hear the enamel grinding against itself and could feel the frustration flowing from her.

“Then fuck you if you die on me.” You snapped irritably and pulled away suddenly, glaring at him. He could see the hurt, you were really trying to protect him from something that truly scared you. You who were thousands of years old, and had seen empires rise and fall. And after seeing the damage to your arm he could understand it, he had seen first hand how quickly you healed. If it was him asking you not to go into someplace he knew was dangerous, he'd be mad too. It didn't mean it didn't annoy him to look at you glowering at him.

“kitten, tha's not fair.” He tried and you bared your teeth, he glowered back.

“Not fair?” You snapped and he growled at you when you cut him off. “Just go then Sans. Just go, and do whatever you're gonna do without any regard for the fact that I know whatever is there is so dangerous that I don't know how even the fae are going to manage it. I couldn't get within 20 feet of that building, what makes you think you'll do any fucking better?” You clenched your fists, maybe everyone had been right. Loving a monster was hard, they weren't your people and didn't react to things like yours did. It didn't mean you still didn't love him so much it caused the scar on your neck to throb painfully and you lifted your hand to it, rubbing it before casting him one last scathing look and leaving the house again. You needed to be away for a bit.

Sans sighed and scrubbed his face. He knew if he went after you now, it would just be a bad idea, you would just get more angry. Better to see how this panned out in the morning. He just hoped he could talk sense into you then. He hoped so, he could feel the fear of loss that your soul was radiating even as you were well away from him. He couldn't say that he wasn't nervous about what they would find out there, anything that could scare a fae had to be dangerous.

You knocked on Swifts door hard, the sleepy wolf opening it and looking surprised as you pushed past him into his living room.

“Meddie? What is going on?” He mumbled, clearly you had woken him up.

“I'm joining the pack when Hemlock announces the attack on the fortress, don't ask me why. I will be in their ranks.” You snapped, the wolf tilting his head as he tried to puzzle it out.

“O.... kay?” he answered after a minute and you nodded, pushing past him again and disappearing into the night to think.

Chapter Text

The house was quiet when you returned home, your eyes glaring around the dark living room to find it empty as you stepped in through the door. You made short work of your shoes, tugging the knee high socks you wore up a bit so they hugged just under your knees. Your head lowered slightly as you stalked around the room, grabbing a glass of water as you plotted and planned. Like hell you were going to stay behind like Hemlock was absolutely going to command you to do, if they were going, you were going. But how to make it clear to Sans that you were not exactly pleased with his statement yet still cared about him? A wicked thought flitted through your head and you grinned to yourself, setting your now empty glass in the sink and turning towards the mostly shut door that lead to what had been your room. Your tongue slid across your lower lip as you started that direction, your feet silent on the wood floor as you stalked your prey. You placed one hand on the door, fingers spread wide as you slowly pushed the door open. The room was still and dark, the light from the moon filtering through the gauzy curtains and giving the whole room a blue cast that made her eyes stand out even more. You pulled your red hoodie over your head, dropping it beside the door leaving you in just a bra and cargo shorts. He wasn't asleep, when the door finished swinging open to show you standing there his sockets had widened, taking in the toned caramel of your stomach before his eyes moved over the swell of your breasts before landing on your own face.

“sweetheart?” His voice was small, the sound of it breaking you out of your trance as you stared at him, soaking in the smell of him that had by now saturated the whole of the room. You were sure the smell would never fade, and you were fine with that. “are ya alright?” You nodded at his question, but didn't speak. You didn't see the need to yet. Instead your nose twitched as you inhaled the deep smokey scent of him as you took a step into the room. “what's on yer mind kitten? ya look a bit outta it.”

You lifted a finger to your lips, looking at the open door before glancing back at him again. Your posture was rigid as you leaned your head to make sure that Papyrus was sleeping. Satisfied you took another step towards the skeleton on the bed who had slowly sat up and was nervously leaning against the headboard. One hand found it's way to the bed, your body leaning over it as you crawled towards him until your forehead was touching his own, glowing eyes staring into his eyelights. You could see the questions in his eyes as you stared into those crimson stars, your own searching for something that even you didn't know. He let out a breath after a moment, his left hand lifting to trace lightly along your side, your head tilting at the contact before you pressed your lips against his teeth. He made a soft sound against your mouth, sounding somewhere between relief and anxiety and you pulled back a few moments later.

“I shouldn't have gotten mad like that.” You whispered the words, you knew he had a point even then. But you were afraid, and that was not a feeling you were used to feeling. But now you had a plan, and things would be fine. They would be fine no matter what. “Let me make it up to you?” You whispered the words against his cheek and smiled as he blushed, your fingers ghosting along his arms. “Relax, skelebae.” Your words were almost a hum against his bones as you dipped your head to press a kiss to the side of his neck, fingers brushing along his shoulders as you shifted your body closer to his.

“ya don't need ta apologize kitten, ya weren't wrong in whatcha said.” He mumbled and you placed a single finger against his teeth, shushing softly.

“I do, now relax and let me.” Whispered against his clavicle this time and he shivered at the feeling of your lips there. “Color?” You glanced up at him, this wasn't a game anymore but consent was always important. His eyelights glanced down at you as your finger lifted away from his teeth.

“fer you, always green.” His answer made you shiver and you raked your fingers down his chest. The groan that escaped him was lewd and you smiled against his shoulder. He could feel your lashes brushing against his bones when you moved your head, fingers tugging at his shirt and with a chuckle he leaned forward slightly to let you pull it over his head. He wasn't expecting for your tongue to instantly be pressed against his sternum and another sinful groan escaped him before he could catch it. A pleased sound answering from you as his fingers drifted up your arms towards your shoulders, you could feel his phalanges tracing the edges of your scars, the silvery lines along your arms and shoulders barely visible against your darker skin tone, but the soft touch made your skin prickle and a shiver to run down your spine. You shifted slightly wiggling yourself down a bit between his legs so that your mouth could explore his lowest ribs and his spine. “what're ya doing, kitten?” He managed with a pant, and your eyes flickered up to his face where he was glancing down at you with a blush and tiny hearts where his eyelights usually were. That was adorable and you wiggled a bit, had your tail it would be wagging. Pleased that he was enjoying this.

“I'm apologizing, dear.” You whispered, catching yourself before the L word had a chance to escape you. You weren't ready to say that one yet... even if he had. It was one of those words you couldn't get to come out unless you really really meant it. And right now, with what had gone on between the two of you earlier with your outburst... you didn't feel right saying it. Not yet. Soon. If you got through this. He would get through it, no matter what happened, you would be sure of that, but that place still made you very afraid. You shook off the thought with a shake of your head and returned to the here and now. You couldn't control what happened in the future,

You were brought back to the moment when your tongue slipped between his vertebrae and the monster under you gasped. Lips turning up in a smirk as you tasted his smokey flavor as his magic sparked across your tongue, that made you wonder and you raked your fingers down his thighs. His shudder under your fingers was intoxicating and you let your golden eyes twist up to look into his eye lights as your tongue flicked from your mouth to drag over the crest of his ilium, the hearts in his eyes brightening. Boldness filling your mind as your lips parted and you let your teeth just lightly bite down on that crest again, Sans sucking a breath of air through his teeth as his fingers freed your hair from it's ponytail and began to tangle themselves in the locks of maple. You could feel his phalanges tighten almost painfully as your tongue resumed it's explorations.

“kitten, ya don' know what yer doin ta me.” He muttered and you made a soft laughing sound, was he sure of that? Your last partner had been an incubus, you knew exactly what you were doing, and you could feel his magic forming against your chest as your tongue traced the other curve of his ilium. You could feel the heat and the tingle of it against you even through his shorts, it made your heart race in your chest and excitement pulsed through your body. The glow in your eyes intensified and his own sockets widened slightly at something you couldn't see nor hear, but was loud and clear to him.

He could hear the sound of your soul chiming loudly, waves of pleasure, comfort, protectiveness, and something he wasn't expecting. Love. You hadn't said it but the soul can't lie. He watched as the amber glow of your eyes brightened whenever you glanced up at him, a feeling of warmth rushing through his bones as something that he never expected nor had ever happened before to him sunk in. You cared about him, you wanted to protect him and cherish him, You wanted nothing from him except for him to stay with you, no one had ever wanted him and asked for nothing in return but his company. His own soul swelled at the feeling and his phalanges raked softly through the deep maple strands of your hair. You smiled up at him and nuzzled into his hands, his soul skipping as your own hummed out a happy chime. You kept your eyes on his face as your teeth snagged the edge of his shorts, the skeleton lifting his hips slightly as you tugged at them with a soft growl. He found it adorable, your chin lifting up before tugging his shorts down enough to release his conjured magic from its confines. He snickered when it bounced against your nose and you made a soft huffing sound as you released the shorts from your teeth. Your eyes stared at the slightly opaque form presented, the glow from the magic reflecting off your skin, and you couldn't help but admire him. The line of silver studs along the underside gleaming and you idly wondered how that worked. If it was magic... where did the studs go when it wasn't there? Were they magic too? You discarded the thought, focusing on what you were doing instead.

Leaning forward slightly your tongue slipped from between your lips and he watched wide eyed as you let the flat of it lick from base to tip in a fluid motion. Your eyes twisted up to his face as your mouth opened just enough to take the head in your mouth, your tongue pressing against it firmly as you put the slightest bit of suction against him. He hissed low and his fingers tightened against your scalp, you could feel the sharp claws on his phalanges drawing lines of blood on your skin that nearly instantly healed over. He could see your pupils fluctuate in the semidarkness as you watched his face, a bit of a blush on your cheeks as you slowly took more of him into your mouth. He could feel your tongue tracing over each stud, pressing firmly against his magic as it sparked and buzzed against your lips and tongue.

You half closed your eyes, concentrating on the fizzle of his magic against your tongue as you felt your body shifting ever so slightly, twisting just enough to accommodate his needs but not enough to be noticed. You barely noticed it, if it weren't for the faint twinge of discomfort that came with shifting you wouldn't have noticed it at all. Hitting the back of your throat after a moment he moaned softly as you swallowed around him, certain that this was far as you could go. He didn't expect anything more from you, you already were doing more than he expected. His eyes widened as you sucked in a deep breath of air before your throat relaxed and you took the last couple inches into your mouth, your tongue pressing firmly against his knot and he groaned loudly, yoru eyes shooting up to him and you growled low. The message clear. Quiet. He grit his teeth as you swallowed again around him, your throat constricting tightly and his phalanges tightened against your head as your tongue teased along the sides of his cock.

“k-kitten...” He whined and your eyes turned his direction again, your finger raking down his legs. He was tense and desire plain on his face as your head pulled back slowly, the sheen of your saliva gleaming as his magic glowed through it and he shuddered at the delicious view he had of you. You lifted till just the tip of his length was still in your mouth before your eyes twisted up to him and he could see the devious gleam before you took him completely into your mouth again in one swift motion. Sans arched his back and sucked a breath, trying to keep quiet as his eye lights grew fuzzy on the edges as pleasure hazed his mind. Phalanges digging into your head till the tips of his claws met the bone of your skull, you could feel the blood dripping down the back of your skull and couldn't find it in you to care. “please...” His voice was quiet and you looked up at him curiously, not sure what he was asking for. The fuzzy edge of those heart shaped eyelights watching you with open fondness and you swelled slightly at the feeling. You lifted your head away slowly, releasing him from your mouth and you pressed your hands against the bed to lean up towards him. His fingers releasing your scalp to slide his palms to your cheeks, guiding you to meet his kiss. Hunger burned under the surface of your mind, the taste of his magic clinging to your tongue as your fingers wrapped around the slickened length to pump it slowly, letting him moan into your mouth.

“Are you enjoying my apology, babe?” You whispered against his lips and he groaned in response as your thumb swiped over the tip of his length. You weren't expecting to be flipped onto your back, finding yourself pinned under the broad monster. You stared up at him, eyes wide in surprise, and he growled low causing you to shiver and heat to coil in your stomach.

“i'll like it better when yer moaning my name.” His voice was deep and dark, it sent a thrill down your spine. Before you could respond you felt his teeth sink into the scar on the side of your neck where he bit you before and you arched, lips parting in a surprised gasp as his fingers found the front of your shorts. You wanted to protest but, with a tearing sound, he effectively ruined the shorts. Yanking them off your body and leaving you in just a pair of panties and your bra. His teeth were still imbedded deep in your neck, his tongue swiping away any blood that threatened to spill onto the bed before it had a chance to. Your hand once again wrapped around his length, squeezing it just enough to feel his jaw squeeze harder. Releasing your neck he leered down at you, a bit of blood oozing from the bite on your neck before the skin closed up again. He leaned in close and you braced yourself for another bite that never came, instead he nuzzled the side of your face. “mine.” His voice was soft, and you turned your eyes to him curiously as his fingers slid along your hips before, with another rip of fabric, the panties were also ruined.

“Sans?” your voice was quiet, curiosity filling your mind as the sudden change from dominant to affectionate gave you whiplash. Your voice made him growl again, his teeth brushing along the side of your neck before he nibbled ever so gently along your shoulder. His fingers traced the edge of your hip, down the sides of your thighs before he lifted you ever so slightly and hilted himself deep within your core making you clench around him and curl your fingers against his shoulder. Your breath shuddered when you managed to draw in air, a low laugh coming from the skeleton.

“mine.” His voice came again and you mewled softly in response, not sure what the correct answer was. Still his voice was demanding something and as you looked up into his sockets you could feel the question burning. Were you, or were you not? You blinked up at him for just a moment, before you slowly nodded your head. The sound that came from the skeleton at that made you melt, somewhere between a dominant growl and a pleased purr as he pulled back only to slam deep into you again. You gasped as your muscles fluttered and stretched around his girth, making him grumble happily at the sensation. Your magic meshing with his own as his pace picked up, every inch of him dragging deliciously within you. The sound that escaped you as he hilted in you again made him groan happily, he'd been worried that after earlier you would be too angry with him and Papyrus to even look at him, yet here you were under him. His. His soul thrummed in his chest, demanding that he claim his chosen mate. He'd already decided when you put up the fight you did when you thought they were leaving, he wanted you and no one else was going to have you. Still, he hesitated, his pace uneven for a moment and your eyes looked up at him to see the conflicted expression.

“Sans?” You reached up to cup his cheek in your hand, the skeleton leaning into your touch and a soft purr like sound rumbling from his chest. Your chest tightened, you needed him. Your body was calling to pairbond with him and you looked up into his eyes curiously, wondering if that was the right move. He couldn't replicate how fae pairbonded, just as you couldn't replicate however monsters did whatever it was they did, and it would be a strange bond indeed, but... you trusted him with your heart. You leaned up and caught his mouth with your own, rolling your hips into his as your eyes blazed with your inner magic. You could feel your essence welling in your chest before you pulled your face away from his. Your essence was fluttering in your chest, the golden glow that usually filled your eyes gone and instead it was focused where your heart was. The glow was warm and slightly uncomfortable for you, you had never gathered your essence like this and so you hoped you were doing this right, it felt right. The glow seemed to bring him back to himself and he blinked at you curiously. “Would you-” You hesitated for just a moment, this was a big thing, were you sure? A quick soul search told you yes, you were sure, and the glow in your chest seemed to brighten. “Would you... be my pairbond?” Your voice was sheepish and quiet, perhaps a touch shy. You could have sworn you heard him suck a breath of air. “I know that we haven't known each other that long but I can feel it. If you disagree that's alright I just-” You were cut off as he kissed you hard, crushing you against the bed as he rutted you hard, making your toes curl and your legs wrap tight around his waist.

“why th' fuck are ya so fuckin amazin?” He growled against your lips and you made a soft humming sound. “yer fuckin mine forever, sweetheart.” He growled the last bit, slamming deep into your core and making you squeak as the air rushed from your lungs. You could feel his phalanges brush between the swell of your breasts, the familiar pull of your soul making you gasp before it appeared over his palm. Unlike usual it gleamed with the golden hue of your essence, your eyes, for the first time in your life, dark and normal looking. He could actually see the splinters of gold and amber that made up your irises and even without their usual ethereal quality he found himself lost in them. “m'gonna show ya somethin i don't show no one. m'sorry its not as nice lookin as yers but-” you pressed your fingers to his teeth to shush him gently.

“You act as though I'd shun you for whatever it is you're about to do, skelebae. I already chose you.” Your voice was soft, and you rolled your hips up to meet him before gripping his arms and using his own weight to flip him under you again. Your soul danced against his palm and you looked down at him as he dragged the tip of his finger along the edge of your soul making you shudder and whine. Chuckling he let the teardrop shape float above him, before his fingers moved towards his own chest and you watched on with a curious expression on your face. As his own soul pulled out you covered your mouth in a mixture of awe and sorrow. You'd heard that monster souls were brilliant white, his was tinged with gray, making it look dirty and old, fractures crisscrossing the whole of the surface, some deep others shallow. He glanced away, shamefaced, but you couldn't hesitate, your hands reached out. His soul leaned towards you eagerly, expectantly, and you brushed your fingers across the sides of it lovingly. He could feel the emotions bubbling within you as your fingers made contact. You wanted to kill whomever made him look like this. Every human. Every monster. Every fae. If they had caused this damage you wanted them to suffer. Somehow that should have been upsetting, he found it nice. Blamed that on growing up in the Underground. That you were willing to fight anyone who had wronged him. But it was a sentiment that had no place here and now. Instead he gripped your wrists and lead your hands upwards towards your own soul. His pulsed between your palms before breaking away from you to brush against your own and you both shuddered.

His mind was pulsing, you chose him, you asked him, you made the move so it was perfectly okay to claim you as his soul was demanding. He knew your own wasn't gonna feel it the same way his did, just as you were sure that the pairbond wouldn't effect him as it did you. That wasn't stopping either of you at this point, you rocked against him gently, slowly, teasingly and he groaned. This was a far pace from the brutal rutting he had been subjecting you too before but while you were on top, you were in control and when he moved to pick up the pace you growled darkly, fingers raking down his chest and tightening your thighs against his pelvis. He whined but didn't fight it, yet, and instead he took the time to watch you bounce over him. He could see your soul twisting teasingly around his own, your own playful dominance effecting it as you rolled your hips into his own. His eyes wandered to the both of your souls as they twisted around each other, the golden glow seemed to be reaching out from it and he wondered on that idly as your own glanced up at your soul for just a moment as if making sure of something before you leaned close and ran your tongue up his sternum, Sans arching under you. You could feel your essence reaching out to him, glances at your soul confirming that your being was accepting this pairbond, you could feel your life force mixing around his own, the cracks on his soul slowly filling in with the golden energy before it turned the normal white of fae essence, effectively making all the damage seal over. As the pairbond completed you tensed over him, muscles clenching around his magic and hissing softly as the glow slowly returned to your eyes, leaving your soul its usual coloration again. He sensed the shift in your demeanor, the dominance flickering away and he grinned. Your soul was already out. He could use his magic on you easily. His hand glowed and you lifted in the air, surprise coloring your expression and he laughed as he dropped you on the bed beside him. Your hands scrambling to push yourself up only to find your face pushed back onto the bed as the phalanges of one of his hands tangled in your hair firmly. His other arm scooped under your stomach, lifting your hips so that you were perched up on your knees. You twisted your eyes to look over your shoulder at him, the predatory grin on his face making you shudder as heat pooled in your belly.

“my turn.” He growled the words and you mewled softly, feeling the head of his cock once again at your soaked core. You whimpered needily and he laughed before his palm slapped your ass and you arched with a yelp. He took that opportunity to plunge into your body again, groaning at the way your body clenched around his magic. He could feel his soul closing in on your own, every time it brushed against yours you both gasped and shuddered, your muscles fluttering around him as he gave your hair a firm tug and rutted you hard into the bed. You were seeing flashes of color in your vision, lips parted and tongue all but lolling from your mouth as he fucked you hard. You loved it. You loved him. You weren't sure you could say it yet, even though you knew you did, but Aine help anyone who tried to come between you at this point. Your fingers gripped the sheets under you, his scent all but embedded in the fibers, and you moaned as his soul brushed against your own again. He could tell you were close, your muscles were twitching and clenching erratically and he wasn't far either. He glanced at your soul and his, almost there. Just a few more moments.

The moment when his soul and yours twined together was intense, you couldn't explain it but the feeling of warmth, of desire and territorial dominance seemed to double and you came undone under him. Your back arching as you came hard on him, his sockets wincing shut as he hilted in you one last time and let his magic fill your body, his soul bonding with your own before they separated again. A sheen of crimson haloing around your soul as your own blue, green, and dusky orange flickered across the surface of his. His magic dissipated and he flopped down beside you, both of your souls returning to where they belonged as he pulled your back against his chest and nuzzled against your neck. You let out a soft hum of pleasure as your hands slid along his forearms, tracing the ulna and radius with your fingertips as he nuzzled the edge of the bite mark on your neck. You felt at peace, he felt loved, the moon was high and this was good. Tomorrow you'd find out how far your insubordination with Hemlock would go, but for now, you basked in the warmth from your pairbond and closed your eyes, sleep claiming you as he tugged the blanket over you both.

Chapter Text

You were surprised Hemlock wanted you to go with the army, but her reasoning made sense. You were the best scout they had, and they would be camping within marching distance for several weeks before the attack. Sans and Papyrus had been given their own tent next to your own tiny one but you hadn't been able to see them much. Every morning before the sun was up you left, learning the schedule of the fort. It was day 6 of your all day scouting and you were exhausted, the Raven was always the hardest shift you had access to. You struggled back into the camp, wobbling on your feet and immediately moved to where Rainspite was serving meals, the cait sidhe shoving the others aside to hand you a heaped plate and you smiled thankfully at him.

“You're workin too hard, lass.” He chastised and you winced at the truth of it. Your chest ached from the lack of contact with your pairbond the last week and you grumbled a non commital response before all but inhaling the plate and setting it in the basin to be washed. You were still hungry but for now you weren't going to ask for more, you would wait until everyone had eatten and were sure that Rain or Papyrus would bring you another plate. They always seemed to know when you were hungry. You dragged yourself back to your tent and crawled into the small entrance, laying across the pallet of blankets and pillows you had laid out for yourself. A groan escaped you as you stretched out, the muscles in your back protesting and your bones aching deeply.

“This sucks.” You muttered quietly, jumping in surprise when a baritone chuckle followed your statement. Turning your head sharply you were greeted with a pair of crimson eyelights and you relaxed a bit as your body realized it was just Sans. “Hey skelebae.” You mumbled tiredly, the monster sliding up near your head and pulling half of you into his lap to stroke his fingers along your scalp. You nearly purred with happiness as his magic clung to you, something you both had found out worked better now that you were bonded with each other. Each ache slowly easing away as your arms curled around his torso and you hugged yourself to him.

“yer workin too hard.” he grumbled and you let out a breath. He and the cait finally agreed on something. Miracles never cease.

“You sound like Rain.” You muttered and he grumbled back at you. He was worried, you could tell. You were working yourself hard to make sure that Hemlock had all the information possible for the attack. To keep him safe, he knew why you were running yourself ragged every day without adequate sleep or food. You still didn't know what was in that center building, and it still made you uneasy, but the rest of the fort seemed to have a very set schedule. It hadn't taken long to make sure that the rotations were pretty set every day the same way. It was why Hemlock had decided they would attack under the cover of darkness, either sometime around midnight or just before dawn, depending on what the other commanders felt the most comfortable with. “I'm alright. I just need like five more meals and I'll be back to normal.” You mumbled tiredly, yeah his magic soothed the aches and pains but the exhaustion was there to stay.

“take it easy, ya hear? boss says hemlock and those other two, uhh...” He had already forgotten the names of the two commanders.

“Cygnis and Fault.” You supplied and he grinned.

“yeh, th' bear chick and th' weird make yer body move on it's own dude...” He agreed. “they are gonna set th' attack fer 2 days from t'night.” He wrapped his arms around you and you hummed happily. “ya need ta rest so that if ya need ta get th' fuck outta here ya can go.” He sighed and you huffed at him. You both knew you were not going to leave unless he and Papyrus were safe, and they weren't gonna leave if you weren't safe. It was a terrible catch 22. As if on queue you heard Papyrus call you and, with great effort, you pushed yourself out of Sans' arms and leaned out of your tent.

“Heya Papy.” You smiled sleepily and he thrust another plate of food at you, blushing as you happily accepted the meal and beamed at him. “Thanks bestie!” You crawled the rest of the way out of the tiny tent and motioned for Sans to follow, their tent was much bigger, would be easier to sit there with them. San sat on his cot first, you sitting between his knees and leaning your back against his chest as his arms coiled around your waist. Papyrus had called the both of you out the very morning after and that had been a conversation that you had NOT been expecting. He had been hesitantly accepting of the bond, afraid you both were jumping into something but when he felt the brush of the bond against his own familial bond with Sans. The strength of it making him shudder and since that point he was nothing but supportive, more so when he felt that all the damage of Sans' soul was slowly being filled and healed by your essence. He had scooped you up and swung you around the house when he noticed the energy radiating from his brother's soul becoming ever healthier.

“YOU NEED TO EAT MORE. YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ENTIRELY TOO HARD, AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT COMING FROM THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE PAPYRUS.” He grumbled and you winced. That made three times you heard that same thing in the last hour.

“I know. You make number three telling me this.” You mumbled quietly and he nodded his head. Perhaps if you were properly shamed for your lack of caring for yourself it would make you do as you needed to do. He was glad his brother was also talking sense to his mate, that he took that initiative was a good sign. “I will make my report to Hemlock and then rest til the battle if that will make you all stop babying me.” You grumbled and Sans nuzzled his face against your neck, obviously liking that idea. Perhaps you would sleep in this tent tonight, with him. Or he could join you in yours. Sans fell asleep not long after you finished your food, your second wind hitting you and you carefully untangled yourself from his arms and walked out to report to Hemlock, Papyrus nodding to you as you left. Hemlock's pavillion was in the center of the camp, along with the other commanders, and you nodded to Swift as you walked past him to announce yourself. “Scout reporting in.” Your voice carried easily and Hemlock glanced up from where she was sitting, pouring over maps and other scouts reports.

“Ah. Meadowlark. I was wondering when you were going to show up. I have news for you as well.” Hemlock's voice was even and you didn't like the look in her eye, glancing at Fault and then at Cygnis. Their eyes were watching you intently and you resisted the urge to curl your lip and flash fangs at them.

“Ma'am.” You gave her Elderwood's salute before starting your report. The rounds hadn't changed, no new soldiers or monsters had been brought in yet again today and all in all it was one of your more boring reports. Hemlock nodded her head as you spoke, listening intently, and you were certain that she was satisfied that nothing was going to change at any point.

“Very good Meadowlark, as usual your reports are through and well thought out.” Hemlock praised and you blinked in surprise but straightened your back slightly and squared your shoulders. “As reward I will let you be the first to know that we are attacking tonight. The moon is at new and we can sneak up on them. You will not be joining us.” She said simply and you blinked. “Sans and Papyrus have offered us their magic, and Undyne is stepping in with our Nymphs to provide cover for our forces. You have nothing more to offer. Go back to the stronghold and wait.” You blinked a bit, she was sending you home? Was she serious? Your eyes flickered around her face.

“Ma'am. I am not going home without my pairbond.” You stated simply and she sighed.

“Do not be difficult, Meadowlark. You are not a warrior, if you stay you will be out there and you cannot convince me otherwise. Go. Home.” She stated simply and you narrowed your eyes. You didn't want to be insubordinate in front of other commanders but, she wasn't giving you many options.

“No.” You snapped and turned, walking away. “I will be watching the battle, but I will not enter it unless necessary nor will I leave without my pairbond.” Your voice was cold and you flashed your eyes at the bear shifter as Fault stepped forward, pulling your lips from your teeth in an unfriendly manner that had her hesitating. She had never met a Puca who was so aggressive, it was unnatural. She wondered about your linage but you all had hidden your given names when you formed the resistance so they had no way to find out. She was almost inclined to think you had a large cat shifter or perhaps a Kelpie in your ancestors. Cygnis had no such problems stopping you and with a wave of his hand you found your muscles locked. Your eyes twisted to the mesmer and you growled threateningly.

“You will return to your post.” His voice was cool and bored and you spat his direction.

“No.” You said again, just as coolly and he blinked in surprise, his hand flicking slightly and your limbs twisted painfully. You groaned low but kept your eyes locked on him, challenging. He didn't like it.

“You have no choice in the matter. You will go or you will perish.” He stated simply and you grit your teeth as you fought for control over your body. His hand flicked and you felt your shoulder dislocate with a loud pop, the yelp that came from you was loud enough to fill the camp, all eyes turning to the center where you stood in open defiance. The members of his stronghold eyed you piteously, while those from your own were curious and looking between the two combatants warily. Your lip twitched away and he could see your fangs lengthen, his eyes widening slightly at your open defiance in the face of death.

“Fuck off, Mesmer.” You spat the words and he clenched his hand, your ribs cracking and you screamed before a wall of bones erupted under Cygnis' feet making him lose his concentration as he staggered backwards and you fell to the ground in a heap. Rolling over and slowly pushing yourself up, grabbing your shoulder and yanking it hard so it fell back into it's socket properly. You felt a hand slowly wrap around your waist and help you to your feet, glancing over to see Sans glaring across at the three commanders. His magic wafted from his eyes like smoke and his gold tooth gleamed brightly in the fading light.

“heya buddy, whatcha think yer doin hurtin my mate eh?” His voice was lower then usual and you blinked over at him, his right eyelight almost completely gone. You could feel your ribs slowly stitching back together, your breaths painful as your undamaged arm hugged around your chest tightly to try and ease the burn. “ya know, s'not such a good idea ta be fuckin with a monster's mate yeah? we tend to get really fuckin territorial an' protective.” He grinned wickedly and Cygnis looked between you and Sans.

“Hemlock, your scout is pairbonded with a monster?” His voice was thick with confusion and surprise. You narrowed your eyes at him and spat a bit of blood, you must have bit your tongue at some point.

“That a problem you tricky little fuck?” You muttered and his eyes turned to you, the sage green eyes blinking in obvious confusion. “Yes, my pairbond is a monster.” You snapped and straightened up as the pain in your ribs subsided a bit. Cynis seemed at loss for words, though after a moment he scoffed and walked away.

“Fine, stay, but stay out of the damn way Puca.” He snapped and you growled at his retreating form. Even he knew better than to fight with a pairbonded duo. Two on one, even for a Mesmer, was difficult. And he had no ability to control or manipulate monsters. Fault eyed the two of you warily, you could almost see the bear lumbering from foot to foot anxiously as she looked between the two of you with an expression that was half respect half suspicion. She narrowed her dark brown eyes thoughtfully before giving you a respectful nod and walking into her pavillion.

“You really need to learn when to assert yourself, Meadow.” Hemlock sighed. “You could have just agreed and not gone, like we both knew you were going to do. Instead you pick a fight with the mesmer?” The bird woman rubbed her temples and shook her head. “Go, heal and prepare yourself.” She muttered and you mumbled at her before Sans helped you back to your tent.

“You didn't have to do that.” You mumbled quietly and he glanced at you, your eyes half shut as you looked down at the ground. “But I'm glad you did.” Your words were quiet, your ribs slowly mending and it became easier to breathe. You leaned against him and closed your eyes, in a way Hemlock hadn't been wrong. But you weren't going to skulk around like you didn't belong at the battle. You had as much right to be there as any of the other fae. More even. “The battle will be tonight. They will lead the attack just before midnight.” You mumbled, his eyes glancing over at you. “We should rest until then.” You pushed yourself into your tent, the skeleton shortcutting in instead of bothering to try and lean through the tiny door. It didn't take long for the two of you to fall asleep, snuggled close on your pile of pillows and blankets.

Papyrus' voice woke you, your eyes shooting open and your teeth lengthening in response to a threat that wasn't there. Once your gaze fell on your friend you let a breath and shook Sans' shoulder. The skeleton opened one eye then sighed and nodded, getting up as well.

“I'll be right behind you guys. Go on ahead.” You mumbled and fidgeted, you were going to need more bulk then you had in this form, so some sort of shift was needed... and you feared it was the one shift you didn't want to do. Once they were gone you licked your lips and closed your eyes, feeling the shift begin and you winced as sharp horns broke through your skin to curl around your head in a wide halo. Vulpine ears twitching as your feet twisted into hooves. Your true shape was the only way you were going to have the right balance of senses and power to keep an eye on the battle properly. Once your shift was done you pulled out your duffle and began to change into a rattier version of your cargo shorts but they fit better in this form. You tugged your hoodie over your head to cover the athletic crop top you wore and stepped from the tent. You could see Swift and his wolves slide to a halt and turn their eyes to you as you walked towards the circle with your head high. Their eyes were wide as you strode past them, your hooves thudding loudly on the packed dirt and you let your hair loose long enough to fix the strands into a high ponytail. Sans glanced your way as he felt your soul drawing close and double took as he noticed your form. “Hey skelebae.” Your rumbling voice was wilder sounding then usual, though still soft on his ears.

“MEADOWLARK?” Papyrus' voice was surprised and you twitched your ears as a bit of doubt creeped into your mind. “YOU LOOK LIKE A PROPER WARRIOR.” His voice held a note of pride and you blinked over at him, slitted pupils fluctuating in the darkness and you could see his smirk in the darkness, his shoulders squared and you puffed up a bit, tipping your chin up and grinning at him to flash your sharp teeth in a wild grin.

“ya look perfect, sweetheart.” Sans rumbled almost silently and you blushed a bit, for once in your life feeling secure in your skin. You felt fur brush against your leg and twisted to look down at Swift, his red-brown fur standing out in the night as his ruddy eyes looked up at you. You could see that he was both confused and admiring of your boldness. The three commanders stood at the fore of the army, Cygnis' cold eyes scanning the ranks before he fell on your features and jaw slackened. Clearly he was looking at a Puca in it's true form. He could feel the raw nature forces swirling around you, and your eyes glowed vividly. His jaw clenched and he curled his hands in a fist, you were not listening to anything any of the commanders said. That you were bold enough to show your true form was enough to make him wary of your unpredictable nature. Fault took the fore and the bear shifter lifted a hand to silence the thousands of fae.

“Tonight we strike on a formidable stronghold of the human's anti monster agenda. Be wary, we do not know what they house in their center building but we know it is likely a very powerful weapon. Be careful and remember your orders.” She called out and there was a roar of noise from the fae in response. The army began going through the multiple circles made in the camp to the woods. It didn't take long for the camp to be emptied and you fell in step behind Sans and Papyrus, the flick of your lapine tail brushing against the coarse material of your shorts. Crouching down at the outskirts of the trees that surrounded the stronghold you let your eyes focus on the front gate before they drifted tot he building.

“There it is.” You whispered, the tremble in your voice betraying your anxiety as you eyed the tall building that dominated the middle of the stronghold. “That big one in the middle is the one I haven't been able to get to.” Your brows pulled together as you looked at the building, the ink colored feathers fluttering with the motion. You glanced over at Hemlock as she gathered with the sirens, they would be opening the gate. Moving from the trees you watched as the group of female fae made their way close, the humans on the walls watching them warily as their voices rose into the night. Each voice was harmonized perfectly as Hemlock walked in the back smirking to herself as one by one the night shift guards fell into the Siren's trance, opening the gates for them. Hemlock stepped into the utilities building, one hand reaching out to grab the wires that kept power flowing through the facility. With a yank the whole area was plunged into pitch darkness, the sounds of humans scrambling awake and to their weapons loud in the ears of the shifters who all perked them and leaned towards the sound with bared teeth, Sans and Papyrus blinking in confusion as all the shifting fae seemed to move in sync. Even you were not able to resist the motion as your vulpine ears perked the direction of the sounds.

Fault lumbered from the trees, her dark brown fur blending into the night as she reared up on her hind legs and roared at the building. Instantly the fae were in motion, the wolves shooting forward as the bears followed close behind. You barely resisted the pull of attack command, knowing you had to stay back. You were not a warrior. Sans placed his hand on your head, your eyes turning to him.

“stay close kitten, but let us do the work yeah?” He rumbled and you nodded dumbly. He and his brother stood and walked from the safety of the tree line, the two producing rows of floating bones that followed them towards the compound. You watched on, anxiety starting to fill your chest and you began to pace along the treeline like a chained dog. The humans blanched when the uncollared monsters approached, but they raised their weapons and fired, a wall of bone lifting to stop the lead as the two confident brothers made their advance. The shifters took the most of the attack, bears and wolves tearing through the human's ranks and scattering them. As the two approached the building you stamped your foot anxiously, curling your fingers into a fist and glancing over at one of the few that was also hanging back. Fault. He should be up there too, you both exchanged a look of dislike to the other before you felt magic burn the very air. Your eyes shot back to Sans and Papyrus as the brothers launched an attack at the barrier around the building. Feeling it splintering before it went down. You leaned towards it with an eager look on your face, before you recoiled at the feeling of angry magic that radiated from the building itself and you couldn't stop yourself. You were running, panic filling your mind as the two brothers took a half step back. Their postures were rigid and your hooves slammed against the ground as you raced across the open field.

The silhouette of a human appeared in the darkness, something about their posture screaming threat to you and you redoubled your efforts. Chest heaving as you raced, your hooves like thunder as you heard Sans' voice.

“k-kiddo?” his voice was unsure and the sound of almost child like laughter reached your ears as the human's eyes went alight with crimson. The blade in their hand gleamed in the pseudo darkness and you were afraid you'd be too late as they raced towards the skeleton brothers. Your hand reached out as they swung the knife, Sans only had one HP. Pain blossomed through the middle of your palm, crimson pouring to the ground as the tip of the blade stopped fractions of an inch from Sans' face. His eyes going wide as he took in what just happened. He had barely been able to see the kid move, they were too fast.

“Hey there trashbag...” the human's voice was gravelly and hoarse, likely from disuse. “Surprised to see YOU here.” Glowing crimson irises twisted too look at you as you gripped your hand around the blade and you yanked the hilt out of their grip. Fingers curled around the handle and you ripped it out of your palm, throwing it far behind you. That was close. Your chest was still heaving, eyes dim as you sucked air and willed your hand to heal. It wasn't and you weren't sure why but were certain it was the same reason your arm refused to heal after you hit that barrier. “Who's your friend?” You growled low, baring your teeth at the human and they giggled. “Oh this one is fun. You don't mind do you? I want to test this one out before I dust you and your useless brother.”

Sans stepped forward and you looked over at him, your eyes blazing. You were willing him to let you handle this, he had to get in the building and see if the royals were there.

“don't hurt em, sweetheart. 's frisk.” Your eyes widened and you glanced at the human who grinned manically.

“They tried to kill you, why should I not hurt them?” You mumbled turning your eyes to the human again. Anger bubbled in your mind and you lowered your head slightly to show off your horns. “Go. I'll do what I can.” You snapped a bit, your hand was throbbing, blood rolling from the wound to the ground. You had a feeling the barrier was this human's doing. You needed to be careful.

Chapter Text

You flexed your damaged hand, the tingling and pain from whatever was on that blade creeping up your arm slowly. Eyes narrowed as you curled your lip to show off your fangs to the human who smirked wickedly. 

"Go babe, something in there needs to be rescued and I can't do it." You glanced over at Sans, the indecision on his face plain as his eyes twisted to the wound on your hand that wasn't healing. "I got this. Please." Your amber eyes shifted back to the human who was watching the interaction between the two of you with an interested yet somehow indifferent look. Papyrus nudged Sans before casting an approving glance at you and turning into the building. Sans hesitated for just another moment as you nodded reassuringly to him before he followed his brother and left the human to you. 

"So, the trashbag found someone desperate enough to put up with his stupi-" Frisk was cut off as you punched them in the mouth, sending them stumbling backwards in shock. You narrowed your eyes at them. You weren't about to stand there and let some stupid mortal insult your pairbond. The human recovered quickly and swung back, your good hand lifting to catch their fist as you swung your bloodied fist at them again. They were ready for you and caught the damaged hand, gripping it tightly and giving it a twist that made you grit your teeth. It was your dominant arm at that, at this rate it would be useless before long. You could feel the muscles in your forearm trembling and growing weak. Frisk smirked wickedly and turned their red tinged eyes to meet your own golden irises. "I'll give you points for your spunk." They smirked and pulled you close, their knee slamming into your ribs and you wheezed. "But you're just another worthless monster that will be dust before long." Their voice was amused and you spat a breathy laugh as your lungs tried to recover from the blow. 

"Fuckin humans... thinkin ya know everything." You gasped a breath and slammed the base of your horns against their forehead to drive them away from you. "The fuck makes you think I'm a monster?" Straightening up you flexed your hands and let a heavy breath escape you laced with your essence, the silvery mist coiling around your body before soaking back into your body. The refreshed essence in your skin stopped the bleeding of your hand but didn't pull the wound together, and you flexed your arm experimentally. It would hold out for a little bit. Frisk was watching you warily now, your chin tilting up as you glared over at them with a sneer. They had assumed you were a monster, they had no knowledge of fae so to them, what else could you be? "You'll come to find, I'm a bit harder to kill then a monster." Your lips twisted upwards as they charged at you, crimson coiling around their hands as you flexed your claws to meet them. 

“Doesn't matter. Once you are dead, I'll finish off the brothers like I should have done underground, the traitorous skeletons will be more dust in the wind.” The human grinned manicaly and you flexed, shoving your weight towards them to try and overpower the mortal. The two of you flared your power, their determination sparking against the wisps of your essence that blasted from your mouth with each breath you let out. Their words were burnt into your brain. This stupid human wanted to kill your family. You'd kill them before you'd let that happen, rage tore at your mind and you both lunged at each other.

Sans and Papyrus were trying to move as fast as they could while still being through, those pictures had shown what was too similar to the Dreemurrs to not be them, they were certain of it. the first few floors gave them nothing and Sans was becoming increasingly irritable as the battle between his mate and Frisk kept going. He sweated a bit, was that Chara? Were they in control again? How were they still alive? The embassy where their treaty talks were happening was blown up, the blast destroyed two square blocks. What was going on? They ran out of stairs on the forth floor but the building was clearly bigger. Opening the door to the floor they were greeted by a massive room that was barren except for a pair of shapes against the far wall, their forms not able to be made out in the darkness of the room. Both brothers narrowed their sockets, approaching cautiously. 

"YOUR MAJESTIES?" Papyrus' voice was louder then usual in the room and the figures shifted. The blink of collar lights appearing as they turned. 

"Papyrus? Is that you?" a feminine voice came from the darkness and the two skeletons let out a breath of relief. Sans walked forward, his magic summoning a few bones to break the two goat monsters free. "What are you two doing here?"

"WE FOUND ALLIES TO HELP MONSTERKIND, OR RATHER, THEY FOUND US. THEY ARE QUITE FASCINATING PEOPLE." Papyrus offered and folded his arms as the royals were freed. "SANS, TAKE THE KING AND QUEEN TO THE CAMP." Sans nodded a step only for the two to shake their heads. 

"We will not leave without Frisk." Asgore's rumbling voice was harsh and the two winced. They had left Frisk fighting with you, they really needed to hurry back. As they started to the door a sharp pain filled Sans' chest and he winced, horror making his eyes go wide. You were in trouble. Taking off at a run he completely forgot shortcutting to the bottom of the stairwell was possible. As the front door opened it was a sight that made him go cold. Your breathing was labored, your right arm discolored and hanging limp from the magic that was slowly strangling it, but your teeth were sunk into the shoulder of the human, missing the major artery by fractions, as their blade was sunk into your stomach. Both combatants were not giving an inch, blood rolling down your chin from the deep wound on the human's shoulder as your own coated their hand thickly. Your left hand around their wrist to keep them from twisting the blade or slicing you open further. He took only a single step before a blur of white rushed past him, the great white paw of Toriel lifting to slam into your side. Your jaw parting in shock as your body was thrown away from the human's. The blade in your stomach ripping a long hole and you hit the ground hard, your eyes unfocused, fear and anger clouding your thoughts as your body rolled and your left hand pushed under your body to try and lift you up again. 

"Do not touch my child!" Toriel's voice was savage and angry, your amber eyes twisting to glare at the tall goat woman and you pulled your legs under your body, wavering on your feet as you ears pinned along your horns.  Anger filled your vision, how dare this monster interfere with you dealing with this murderous human? You shoved yourself away from the balls of flame that the goat monster hurled your direction and you lowered your head, your fury building as this stupid monster glared at you. Sans raising a wall of bone to block another attack aimed at you and you made a chuffing sound that was somehow amused and annoyed at the same time.

"tori! stop!" Sans voice made her falter and she glanced at the skeleton monster, the flames around her hands burning bright as he rushed to your side, his hands quickly scooping you up even though you thrashed in his grip. "she's on our side."

"On our side? Ha! Her teeth were buried in Frisk's neck." The goat monster eyed you angrily and you growled back, forcing yourself out of Sans' arms. You were ready to fight, even as your body was about to give out. Wavering on your feet a bit, your eyes unfocused before your body began to shift, panic and pain dictating your form. Toriel raised her hands again, flames burning bright as she prepared her attack.

Rage filled your senses, the urge to protect and destroy those who dared to try and harm your little family eating away conscious thought and reason. Eyes blazed brightly and cast a yellow glow across your face, lips pulling away from teeth in a feral grimace as you lowered your head slightly. You snapped. The shifting was unnaturally fast and your skin tore and healed over several times because of it, horns growing thicker and longer over your eyes as vulpine ears shifted slightly on your head to accommodate the great curving bone that ended in deadly looking points. Your muzzle elongating as your body fell forward onto all fours, the white bone ripping through your flesh before being covered by flesh and fur. You didn't bother with, or couldn't, get your clothing off, and the fabric ripped off your form as your body grew rapidly. You were massive, bigger then most horses, paws curling against the ground as razor sharp claws flexed out to scrape across the bare dirt before retracting. A crest of feathers started along your neck, rolling over your shoulders and half way down your back before they melted back into ink colored fur. Your muzzle parted in a panting snarl, pupils fluctuating before they shrunk to the barest of slivers in a sea of burning amber. A line of drool rolled from your parted jaw, white fangs gleaming as your equine tail lashed behind you like a banner. You shook out your fur, scraps of fabric fluttering to the ground as you kept your eyes locked on the threat. The only thought you had was 'Kill. Protect.' Toriel took a halfstep away in surprise when your mass equaled, possibly even surpassed, her own you were enormous and you were angry.

"MAJESTY, IT IS TRUE. THIS IS ONE OF OUR ALLIES!" Papyrus insisted as you took a limping step towards the goat monster, your fangs gleaming in the darkness as your eyes burned with rage. Toriel looked to object again when Asgore put a hand on her shoulder. She glowered at the male monster before scooping Frisk into her arms and glaring at you with angry red eyes. You took a half step towards the monster, now easily on eye level with her and growled warningly.

"meadowlark." Sans' voice made your ear perk and you slowly turned your head, acknowledging him as your legs wobbled unsteadily. "c'mon babe, it's alright." You slowly took a half step backwards, towards him, and nearly collapsed. The crunch of feet on the gravel of the courtyard making you spin and lunge past Sans to come face to face with Fault. He widened his eyes in surprise, having watched the battle and he was sure you shouldn't have half the energy you were showing. You weren't able to see clearly, blood and wounds making your gaze unfocused but your ears were in motion. Every little sound making you twist your head and snarl low.  The Mesmer's eyes glanced over your strange form, this was something never seen in a puca before. It was interesting and terrifying, he had a new respect for you in that moment.

"Easy Scout." Cygnis' voice came and you turned your head his general direction, ears still moving to pinpoint him as you made a huffing snarl. Fault glanced at you approvingly, that a Puca had been able to distract the human long enough for the skeletons to do their job and wasn't dead or running away was impressive. "I will explain to the monsters." His voice was calm and you shifted anxiously, pain settling deep in your stomach as the wound became increasingly painful. His green gaze turned to the two goat monsters. "Apologies for her behaviour, Meadowlark merely is protecting her pairbond. We mean no offense to either of you by her fighting the human. My name is Cygnis, I am the Commander of one of the Fae Strongholds." Asgore's eyes widened, the fae had come to their aid? When had they changed their mind about assisting them? "We apologize it took so long to get to you. Our kind were divided and it took us longer then anticipated to prepare. If you would follow me, we will happily fill you in and get you to safety." Your ears twitched, he was sure talking a lot about nothing. You didn't care much for the mesmer on a good day but today was not a good day, he had attacked you earlier and now you were hurting and he was wasting time with formalities. Backing up slowly, you pressed your side against Sans' leg and slowly sank to the ground, your blood slicking your ink fur. Sans stroked along your head gently, being careful of your wounds and you rested your head on his shoulder as your eyes slid shut. Your body hurt so bad, your right arm useless and your abdominal organs barely held in by bits of ripped flesh. Slowly he rolled you over so that the delicate flesh of those organs didn't fall out and get damaged. 

"SHE NEEDS HEALING, BROTHER." Papyrus' voice was clear in the night, the sounds of fighting still surrounding the small group and Fault looked around nervously.  He needed to get the royals away from the battlefield so that the shifters could pull back.

"yeah boss, let's get 'er home." Sans glared over at Frisk, their face cheerful as they were carried by Toriel. Sometimes he hated that kid. The brothers turned away from the royals, walking back towards camp. You rose to your feet shakily and followed slowly, head low as blood dripped to the ground from your many wounds. They had done what they said they would do and their loyalty was increasingly to this particular fae more then to their own kind. As they made it into the trees Swift ran up and looked up at the brothers, his nostrils flaring as he took in the scent of your blood. "she'll be alright wolf. looks worse than it is." Swift slowly nodded and made a chuffing noise, a pair of wolves coming from the underbrush and he nodded his head towards the brothers before he ran back towards the battle. The pair of dark grey wolves moved to flank the two monsters, their ears moving constantly as they followed them to the Circle. Hemlock standing there and she covered her mouth with her hands as she took in your form. You were grotesque.

"What happened?" Her voice was calm as she ushered the brothers into one of the circles and activated the magic. "I assume something had to have happened for her to look like that." 

"YOU DO NOT GIVE HER ENOUGH CREDIT AS A WARRIOR, HEMLOCK." Papyrus hummed idly and Hemlock glanced at him. "SHE CROSSED THE DISTANCE FROM THE TREES TO THE CENTRAL BUILDING FAST ENOUGH TO STOP A BLADE FROM KILLING MY BROTHER." Hemlock looked at your silent, bloodied body with surprise in her eyes. "THEN SHE HELD OFF THE ATTACKER UNTIL WE COULD RESCUE THE DREEMURRS."

"So they were in there..." Her voice was quiet, not even acknowledging anything else. "This is good... the nymphs have returned and are tending to all injured, they are over by the stream." Her face was thoughtful and she glanced at you again before reaching out and pressing her palm against your head between your ears. Her eyes glowed violet for a moment before she exhaled a stream of silvery mist that coiled around your body and gave you a bit more energy to keep yourself alive. Your eyes opened slightly as the essence seeped into you, feeling both wrong and good at the same time, the normal glow of your eyes dim and nearly gone. Sans, while appreciating that Hemlock was trying to help, stiffly turned away and you felt your body trying to slip back to your humanoid shape. Sans retreated to his and his brother's tent with you I tow, shoving you to the ground and covering you with a blanket as your body shrunk and twisted to your normal form. Your eyes opening again and your hand reached up to catch his arm, your grip weak.

"The mission was a success?" You mumbled and he grumbled at you.

"ya gotta stop gettin yerself hurt like this, yer not worth losing over a damn mission." he snapped and you winced. 

"That knife woulda killed you." Your voice was soft and weak, he didn't like it. 

"not th' point kitten!" He snapped and you pouted at him, your body twitching as he pulled out your soul. The tear shaped gem dim and weak as his magic flared in his left eye, pouring is own reserves over you to heal you as best he could. Clearing out the magic that was stopping your body from healing itself. 

"I'm not sorry." Eyes twisted to catch his own. "If you had died... what would I do?" Your eyes were hard, almost accusory, and he sighed. He knows full well he would have done the same, he knew that. He had been moments from attacking Toriel if she hadn't backed off her onslaught on you. Papyrus stepped in moments later and while he blushed since your soul was still hovering over Sans' hand he didn't make mention of it.

“YOU DO NEED TO BE CAREFUL, MEADOWLARK. WE BOTH WOULD BE VERY UPSET IF SOMETHING WERE TO HAPPEN TO YOU.” He was calm as he spoke, Sans nodding his head at some unspoken conversation between the two and the taller brother flared his own magic, letting his power wash over you in powerful healing waves. You winced at the sizzle of his magic on you but didn't resist as the wound on your stomach started to pull together better. You were tired and you sagged against the floor, you just wanted to snuggle and sleep. “MEADOW. I CAN TELL YOU ARE TIRED, AND YOU HAD NOT BEEN TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF BEFORE TODAY AS YOU SHOULD HAVE, BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT MY BROTHER AND I CANNOT ABIDE YOU ACTING RECKLESSLY.” He chastised and you groaned, pulling the blanket over your head.

“I'm still not sorry.” You whined and the two exchanged an unimpressed glance, this stubborn streak wasn't doing you any favors.

“go sleep.” Sans grumbled and you peeked from under the blanket with a confused look. “g'on. get ta bed.” He snapped and you tilted your head before wrapping the blanket around yourself tightly and retreating to your own tent. Sans glanced at Papyrus and shook his head. He loved you but god damn you were more reckless then anyone he knew, himself included. He could feel you in your tent, confused and dejected, but he couldn't just reward you for that. You could have gotten killed. Your inability to stop yourself from continuing the attack when you were hurt was something you really needed to overcome.

You sat on your pallet of blankets and pillows, arms folded. You were annoyed. You didn't get even an ounce of appreciation around the stronghold from anyone for anything other than scouting reports. You had done well tonight. Stayed out of the fight for the most part and only intervened to protect your pairbond, why were you being punished?You pulled the blanket up to your chin and flopped onto your side, back to the door and you closed your eyes. Fine, you could be just as difficult as they were being.

Chapter Text

Sans was getting more and more furious with you, it had been three days since the Dreemurrs were rescued and you refused to talk to any of them. Even he was given the cold shoulder and the silent treatment. Papyrus wasn't getting a word from you, and you and him were usually all but joined at the damn hip. He scowled at you as you sat on the couch, a book in your hands as you read through it with a bored expression. Every so often you turned to your tablet and tapped a few buttons, writing notes or something he supposed.

“babe, ya hungry?” He called and one of your ears lifted, clearly you heard him but you didn't answer and he growled low. You were trying his patience. “'m talkin t' ya kitten, least ya could do is answer.” He snapped and your eyes slowly lifted over the edge of the book to look at him, the bored expression still plastered on your face and you tilted your head before shrugging and placing a bookmark on your page and setting the thick tome aside. Standing up you shoved your hands in your pockets and shoved your feet into your untied sneakers, not bothering to tighten the laces. Glancing at him you nodded towards the door questioningly. He glowered at you. Still not saying a damn word. He gets that you were annoyed for them telling you that you couldn't keep being so reckless, but dammit he was trying to protect you like you did for him all the damn time! Why couldn't you just be reasonable for a minute? “are ya eva gonna talk t' me again?” He grumbled and you tilted your chin up, your expression becoming thoughtful, before you smirked and shrugged your shoulders. Who knows? Maybe not? Honestly, probably you would sooner rather than later. You never lasted too long on your silent treatments. Opening the door you walked out and waited for him to join you, a cool rain having moved over the stronghold and you tilted your face towards the wet as you stood there. You moved to walk beside the slightly taller skeleton as the two of you made your way to Rain's hall, you were sure that lunch was in full swing at the moment and that was always a good time. You bumped against him lightly, smiling his direction and he scoffed at you.

'Fine. Be that way.' You thought bitterly, you weren't ignoring him like you were Hemlock or the Dreemurrs, so you don't know why he was so grumpy about the fact you weren't talking. Honestly, you didn't want to talk. Talking got you in trouble so you were just keeping your mouth shut. Rain glanced at you both as you walked in and you raised a hand in greeting.

“Still not talking, I see.” the cait grumbled and you smiled amicably. “This is a record for you. Three days? The last time you stopped speaking to everyone you barely lasted 24 hours. What has you in such a snit?” He grumbled and you tilted your head before shrugging slightly, glancing at your pairbond and offering him a smile that he glowered at. Rolling your eyes you shrugged and snagged a plate, going back to not paying attention to him again. Filling your plate you wandered to one of the tables, sitting down next to a pair of dryads and a faun who blinked at you curiously. The fae's nervous glances moved to Sans when he sat down across from you and the trio hurriedly ate their food and disappeared, making you blink curiously at their sudden departure. No one had ever been afraid of you before. That was new.

Word of your other form had spread through the stronghold like wildfire, speculation that if you hadn't been injured by whatever the human had done to you to slow your healing down that you'd be nigh unstoppable in terms of raw power. People were taking wagers on whether you could beat a troll. You doubted it, but you didn't want to find out either. Trolls were high on the list of dangerous fae, along with kelpies and mesmer. Fault hadn't challenged you again, but you think that was more out of some weird sense of obligation rather then because he felt he couldn't get away with it. That and he was more than a touch afraid of what your pairbond would do. You ate in silence, your eyes half closed as you contemplated the new wariness other fae regarded you with. You don't know that you liked it. You had always gotten along pretty well with the other fae, Beau excluded from that of course. Speak of the devil, the incubus walked in and when he saw you his face lit up like a damn kid on christmas.

“Meddie. Been looking for you.” His deep voice carried through the room and you glanced over at him for a moment before returning your gaze to your meal. Ears twitched as you heard Sans growl low and an evil thought crept into your mind. “Heard you made a bit of a name for yourself in the last battle.” He grinned and you looked his way again.

“Yup.” You said and Sans glared at you. One tiny word made him so mad, you could FEEL his anger in your chest. You glanced his direction with a bored look before returning your gaze to your plate and taking another bite. Beau blinked at your blasé response then glanced at the skeleton who was glaring daggers at you.

“Did I miss something?” He asked awkwardly before slapping his palm with one hand. “Oh right. I heard that you two are pairbonded. Belated congrats. Glad she found a guy who can respect her and give her what she deserves.” Beau flashed a grin and you all but inhaled your bite of burger. Coughing hard you glanced up at the incubus who was offering a hand to Sans. “After the stupid shit I did, it's good to know I didn't ruin her chances at finding a bond.” You elbowed the incubus, very nearly taking him down with a groin shot and glared at him angrily. Sans didn't need to hear about all that, however, now the monster was curious. You never would tell him why you hate the incubus so much, why you couldn't even let him touch you in a friendly manner. He leaned towards you and you recoiled with a curl of your lip, back to being silent again.

“what didja do? ain't like she's tellin me.” Sans muttered and you cut your eyes at him, there was a reason you did not talk about it. Turning your gaze back at Beau he glanced at you in amusement before shrugging his shoulders.

“I took advantage of her youth. Young fae are always so eager to find a pairbond, and she was no exception. Especially after the separation from the Eldars.” He offered and you narrowed your eyes at him. No one needed to know about this, it was bad enough most of the stronghold knew something of the history the two of you had, you didn't need Sans knowing too. “I shouldn't say more, she'll get angry.” He grinned and Sans scoffed, making you wrinkle your nose.

“she'll get over it, ain't like she's in the mood ta talk ta anyone anyways. might as well have s'one keepin conversation with.” He grumbled and you folded your arms, shoving your plate away from yourself with it still half food. You looked between the two males with nothing but contempt and anger flashing in your eyes. Beau smiled his usual, charming smile at you and Sans looked like the cat that ate the canary. Placing your hands on the table you stood up and walked away from the two, sitting down several seats away and folding your arms on the table, tucking your face into your elbow. Assholes.

“Has she shown you the ropes yet?” Beau's eyes returned to Sans and the skeleton blinked.

“in what way d'ya mean?” He asked and Beau all but bristled with amused energy.

“I mean, has she shown you how to tie her up yet? Sure, she gets her rocks off to bites and all that nonsense... but if you REALLY wanna get her motor running... you need the ropes.” Beau's voice was quiet enough to not travel far, he was extending at least THAT courtesy to you, but you threw a fork at him anyways. He glanced over at you as it thwapped against his head and grinned, winking. “If ya want. I'll show ya how to tie someone up right, and then you can try it on her, see what I-” he didn't get to finish it as you picked up the plate and smashed the rest of your food in his face. Your face was scrunched up angrily and you glared at him then at Sans before walking out. Beau was a giant dick, and so was Sans for not realizing that you DID NOT want to talk about what went on between you and that incubus. “I may have pissed her off.” Beau's voice followed you out the door and you turned to flip him off before storming back home. Sans appeared at your side moments later, strolling as if he'd been there all along.

“ain't gotta get all pissy like that, sweetheart.” He smirked and you glanced his way, eyes narrowed. “ya act like i didn't know ya got a closet full of kinky shit.” He finished and you set your jaw. He was really pushing your buttons now. “if ya wanted me ta use em on ya, all ya had t'do is ask.” He grinned wickedly and ran the tips of his phalanges along your hip. You shivered and stepped away. He wasn't going to distract you. You were mad, he wasn't allowed to do that right now. You cut your eyes at him and folded your arms across your chest. “if ya got somethin on yer mind, ya should just say it.” Turning your nose up you tipped your face away from him and scoffed.

“You're a dick.” you snapped and you could feel the smugness all but rolling off him. He got you to talk. “Did you know that?” Turning your face towards him slightly so you could watch his grin grow from the corner of your eye. The broad monster turned to pin you against the brick of the wall, his arms caging you in as you scowled at him.

“are ya mad about that prissy fae in the hall?” His amusement only fueled your anger and you ducked under his arm only for his arms to curl around your waist and pull you against his chest. His teeth brushing over the mark on your neck. You suppressed your shiver and shoved his face away from your neck.

“Leave it be, Sans.” You muttered low and he laughed quietly. “You have no idea what you're digging into.” Your warning fell on deaf ears... well, sorta. He shoved your back against the wall and pressed his body firmly against your own, keeping you pinned there and you muttered out a protest that had him laughing quietly against your hair as the rain slowly soaked the both of you. The thick bone of his thigh pressing between your own and you turned your face away from him, a blush burning on your face.

“ya keep sayin tha, but ya don't do nothin ta stop me.” He murmured against your hair and you huffed in annoyance. “see, yer all bark t'day.” He mused and you snapped your teeth at him making him laugh.

“Let me go Sans.” Your voice was a growl and with a smirk he released you from the wall. You brushed off your shorts and glowered at him before storming off again. Papyrus was home when you got there, busying himself with preparations for dinner. “Hi Paps.” Your voice was level and still hinted at annoyance but at least you were talking and the tall brother spun to look at you with wide sockets. He quickly banished the surprised expression for one more stern.

“ABOUT TIME YOU STOPPED IGNORING ME.” He snapped and you shrugged, you weren't ignoring them... per say. You just weren't TALKING to them in response to anything they said. You DID acknowledge that they spoke to you in some form.

“I wasn't ignoring you. I just wasn't talking to anyone.” you mumbled before there was a knock on the door. Blinking a few times you walked to it, expecting Swift or Hemlock only to be bowled over and thrown to the floor in a pile of snuggling fae. You wheezed as your air was pushed out of your chest, the fae perched on you almost purring.

“Oh Meddie! I have missed you!” The feminine voice made you blink even as Papyrus towered over you ready to hurl the woman out the door. You held up a hand and chuckled.

“Hello Desire. What are you doing in the stronghold?” You couldn't hide the confusion in your voice and could already feel the succubi drawing on your essences, making you shudder.

“I heard you were hurt a few times and that you had some monsters living with you. I came to see how you were doing, make sure they were taking good care of my little vixen!” She purred the words softly and you slowly shifted so you were sitting, the fae still perched on you and nuzzling her face against your cheek. Sans heard the commotion and was peeking from his room curiously, his gaze going hard when he noticed the fae woman snuggling against you and barely clothed.

“hey kitten, who's yer friend?” Sans muttered and you glanced at him then at Desi. The tone of his voice was gravelly and rough, a surge of heat in your chest made you blink in surprise. Was he... jealous? You glanced at Desi and evil popped into your head, your hand lifted to stroke through the succubi's hair and you smirked over at Sans.

“This is Desi, she's a very close friend of mine.” You hummed the words, Desi looking up at you curiously before she saw the devious glint in your eyes and she wrapped her arms around your middle, snuggling herself tighter to you.

“very close huh?” Sans repeated quietly as you stroked your fingers along the cubi's neck in a featherlight movement.

“Mmmhmm. Haven't seen her since before I rescued you and your brother.” You offered, fingers still trailing along the nearly bare fae's form idly. You glanced at Desi and winked so he wouldn't see. “Darling, would you mind getting the kit. If I'm going to feed you I should do it right.”

“FEED HER? IS SHE STAYING FOR SUPPER?” Papyrus questioned and you bit your tongue. You'd forgotten he was there. Oh no, how were you going to say this without corrupting the younger brother's sensibilities?

“Uhhhhhhh.....” You blinked and glanced at Sans, his glare a warning. “Yeaaaaaaaah?” You tried and the tall skeleton looked elated, exclaiming something about preparing another place at the table. When he was out of sight you glanced at Desi who was watching him with a devilish expression.

“We should get him to join us. He is Yummy!” She purred and you blanched. Ohhhhh no. You weren't sleeping with your best friend. Hell no, even if you weren't pairbonded with Sans that would be a hard no.

“Naw, Papy isn't my style.” you mumbled and looked over at Sans with a smirk. He sweated, he didn't know if he liked that look. You looked hungry, the energy of the Succubi making you want him. Desi watched your eyes and blinked as they landed on Sans. She tilted her head then looked over at you again. Her eyes widened ever so slightly as they took in the bite scar on your neck. It didn't take her long to figure out what had gone on.

“Oh hooooo... You devilish vixen.” She purred and grabbed your chin, yanking your head her direction and pressing her lips to your own. You melted at the kiss, the energy of the fae something not even you were able to resist and you barely heard Sans' growl angrily before he pulled you away from the cubi who was giggling as the energy she got from you energized her for the moment. “You went and pairbonded huh Sweets? I'm jealous, you told me you were never going to pairbond after dickface.” She hummed and you mewled softly as she leaned towards you, Sans holding you back from returning to the cubi's arms. The monster shoved you behind him and you whined softly as he turned back to the succubus. “What's wrong? Not up for a bit of girl on girl on guy?” Desi grinned and you giggled softly, leaning up on your knees to slide your fingers under the back of his shirt and along his spine. Sans about leaped out of his metaphorical skin and swatted your hand away.

“hands off.” Sans grumbled, though you weren't sure if it was at you for touching him or at Desi for touching you.

“Skelebaaaaae... You won't even hear her ouuuuut?” You pouted and he glowered at you.

“Naw, it's quite alright vixen. I got other ideas.” She grinned and tapped a finger on her chin. “For now... I need a nap. Don't worry skeleboi. Your vixen is safe... for now.” Desi blew a kiss your way and you wiggled, the aphrodisiac effect of the succubi not having subsided yet though it was slowly fading away. As she walked to your couch she pulled her shirt over her head, dropping it on the ground as Sans gawked, her shorts following leaving her in just a pair of panties that covered next to nothing.

“She's so hot.” You grinned and Sans scowled at you. “What? She is!”