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Don't say a word.

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Monsters have lived on the surface for a few years now. The government has allowed small numbers of them into separate cities, a few of them also in your city. When they first emerged from their prison underneath Mt. Ebott you thought you were dreaming, or rather: having a nightmare. They all looked scary and they were big too, which didn’t help the matter.

Their King seemed to be the biggest of the two-legged Monsters, standing at a whopping 10 feet, give or take some inches. His big, curved horns reminded you of a goat of some kind, his white fur reinforced the thought. His dark hair and beard were a strong contrast to it. But he wasn’t the most scary one, by far. The population of monsters was diminished over the years of imprisonment under the mountain for rather violent reasons. The king and the captain of the royal guard, an enormous blue-scaled monster with long, red hair that reminded you of a fish, were taken to prison for killing 6 children. The trials were still running, even after all this time.

You didn’t know if it was the situation with the monsters, the fact that your parents lost both their jobs just a few months apart from each other, your boyfriend (which your parents liked more than you) breaking up with you or all the factors playing together that made your life a living hell. You hadn’t uttered a single word in years, seeing as your father or mother would strike you with the object they happened to be holding at the time or grabbing the closest thing laying around, the moment you tried saying something.

So you became some kind of slave. They shoved you around at home, screaming at you for doing things differently than what they had told you or not having them done yet. They reduced the times of physical harm and limited that to your torso and legs so it wouldn’t show on your face or arms. You were sent to buy things with a list and counted money, so when you got home you had to give the rest back, down to the cent.

You lived your life like that for years now. How long exactly you couldn’t tell. But the last outbreak, that happened just one or two hours ago, made you snap. You ran away. After your father deemed the kitchen not clean enough, the dishes not stacked the way he liked and found the fridge not yet re-stocked, he took his prized baseball-bat, signed by some famous players, and tried bashing your ribs in. You ran away.

You wander the streets of the city aimlessly, avoiding the district where you just came from as if it was at fault for what happened. Late into the night, you go into the park you almost passed, to find a bench to sleep on. It might not be the most comfortable but it’s a solution for tonight. Laying down you look at the deep blue night sky. The light pollution of the city is so heavy that even the brightest stars were hard to spot. So you stare into the darkness of the sky until you feel sleep tugging your consciousness under.

Waking up with a jerk, you sit up and look around you. The sky is hardly brighter than when you fell asleep and there is no soul out on the streets yet. You sigh to yourself; sitting on this bench won’t help you. So you get up to start walking into the direction of the district you know offers the homeless shelter. It would be a cold autumn day, the clouds gathering in the sky above your head tell you that (also the breeze made you shiver, you were barely able to grab your thin jacket from the hanger next to the door as you were chased out by your furious father).

The following nights were not a lot easier. You met some other homeless people, one gave you a coat for the cold nights and another told you where you could beg for money and which shops would give you some free scraps. You tried thanking them by bringing part of your earned things for them and they appreciated it.

Roaming the backstreets of the district a few nights later, you didn’t pay attention where you were going. Lost in thought you stumbled past trash containers and draining pipes, dodging the closed-off areas of backyards. You didn’t even notice you were being followed until a fist met your back and you fall forwards onto the concrete, barely able to keep yourself from hitting it face-first. You turn around as fast as you can, just to be greeted by a fist to the face. Thinking it’s your father or someone else you know, you scuttle backwards until your back hits a wall. You’re cornered.

Blinking blood and tears out of your eyes you look up at your attacker and are surprised by seeing three faces you don’t recognize. This time you see the fist coming and put up your arms to soften the blow, pulling up your legs to protect your stomach. One of them keeps hitting your arms, the second one grips your hair to pull your head up, the third guy kicks you in the legs sideways. The second guy looks you in the face “What kind of freak are you?! Not even reacting to being hit…” he mumbles with disgust in his voice.

“YEA! SAY SOMETHING YOU FREAK” screams the first one, still hitting your arms.

“COME ON, WE WANT TO HEAR YOU BEGGING FOR MERCY!” laughs the third one, giving you a kick into the side.

Silent tears roll down your face as you bite the inside of your cheek to keep silent. Your parents made you go through so much worse. You look at the second guy, who still has a hard grip on your scalp, and give him a glare.

“What are you looking at me like that for?!” he sounds offended. “Don’t you DARE look at me like that, FREAK!” he’s screaming now too.

You were expecting more pain, the second guy maybe joining in to kick you in the sides but suddenly everything stopped. The three men are frozen in place as a deep and dark chuckle sounds from the darkness behind them. The voice it came from was so deep and raspy it almost sounded like growling. You’re terrified, to say the least.

“now, now. three guys teamin’ up on one little lady? seems hardly fair.” he chastises.

“WHAT! ANOTHER FREAK! GET AWAY BEFORE WE DECIDE TO TEAM UP ON YOU INSTEAD!” the first guy turned around and sounded like he was grinning. Apparently he thought he had the upper hand or something. You’ve yet to get a look at your savior which you don’t have to wait long for.

The guys standing around you all make strangled noises of surprise before being flung against the wall to your right. About 15 feet in front of you stands a skeleton. You’d find it hard to tell if the magic flaring in his left eye socket wasn’t lighting up his whole face. His sharp, shark-like teeth are formed into a grimace, something between grin and frown. The gold tooth under his glowing eye glints in the cast glow. He's wearing a dark coat with fur trimming on the hood, a dark turtleneck-sweater and black track pants. Not the most menacing look, but it fits him, you think.

His focus is still on the men who attacked you and he forms a bone in his hand the size of a baseball bat, one end sharpened to look like an oversized toothpick. He grabs it like a spear and comes closer with big steps.

“humans like you disgust me.” he says quietly. You doubt he wanted to say it loud enough for anyone to hear but your senses were so focused on him that you couldn’t not pick it up. He gets even closer to the pile he created in the corner of the wall you sit against and the wall he slammed them into. You skid across the floor, away from the guys that attacked you and the monster that just saved you. You know what’s going to happen next. It would’ve happened to you a few days ago, had you stayed home.

The skeleton steps up to the pile of men and rears back the bone-spear in his hand as one of the guys screamed from underneath his two friends. The scream is way higher than you remember his voice being (from when he wanted to hear you beg for mercy). The bone-spear came down, piercing through all of the three men piled in the corner. You hear a sickening crack of bones, flesh being slashed and blood trickling on the floor. The scream gives way to a gurgled sound, then stops.

The skeleton stands there a moment longer, being wary of turning his back to these men. He turns to you and you flinch. He blinks and the flaming light of his left eye disappears. In its stead there are two little red lights, one in each eye socket, now. He takes a step towards you and you skid away from him a little more, wary. He seems to sense your fear and crouches down in place instead.

“you okay, little lady?” he asks, concern lacing his voice, the lights of his eyes growing a little and shining just a tad bit brighter. His brow furrows (how does that work on a skull, you ask, despite yourself) and he stretches out a hand. You look at it with wide eyes, convinced he doesn’t want to hurt you. You look back to his face, the teeth now less of a grimace and formed more like a frown. Your gaze falling to the ground you let loose some tears of relief and shrug.

“can i come closer, i wanna see how badly they hurt’cha” he says quietly, unmoving as to not scare you again. You look back up at him and nod a little. Letting your legs slide down, you let your arms fall to your sides as the giant skeleton scuttles closer. You almost laugh at the display.

He gets close enough to put his hand on your cheek, it glows red for a moment before a warm feeling seeps into your face. You relax against the contact. He lets go after a moment and looks you over.

“are ya hurt anywhere else?” he mumbles. You shrug again, gripping the hem of your shirt and lifting it up over your waist. He sucks in a breath between his teeth, hissing at the sight of your red and purple skin.

“i’mma take that as a yes. i can’t heal that well, but i know someone who can. mind if i take you to her?” he searches your face and you look away for a moment, thinking about this. Deciding that no, you don’t mind being healed you look back at him and shake your head.

“so you okay with comin’ with?” he asks to make sure. You nod and look at him surprised when he gets closer to pick you up. You look around, your hair swishing around your face for a moment before looking up at him with wide eyes and your mouth open in a shocked 'o'-shape. He chuckles at that, a deep sound vibrating through his chest and your side.

“i’m too lazy to walk there, hold on tight” he grins properly for the first time and winks his left eye at you.

You feel like you're falling, reflexively you grip into the front of the skeleton’s turtleneck and (out of desperation) onto the ribs behind it too. He gives a surprised noise and looks down at you as the world around you shifts and you see a cream-colored ceiling above him. You look around panicked, with wide eyes and trembling hands.

“woah, calm down, little lady. it’s okay, i took a shortcut outta there” he tries to soothe you and pry your hands from his ribs. Seeing his efforts being futile he lets you hold onto him and carries you through a living room, there’s a fireplace, the walls are painted in the same cream color as the ceiling and the hardwood floor is dark. In front of the fireplace is a deep-red carpet. A dark-brown leather couch and a glass coffee-table are placed in the middle of the room, the (also dark-brown) armchair on the left side between couch and fireplace.

“hey tori, i need yer help for a sec” he calls out.

“What did you do this time, Sans” comes the voice of a woman out of a room you assume is the kitchen, as there are noises like pots being placed and picked up.

“i found three guys teamin’ up on this small lady and i need ya to take a look” he explains while putting you down on the sofa. He looks you in the face and you stare right back at him, wide eyes filled with subsiding panic. “ya need to let go, dollface.” he grins down at you. You realize what he meant and pull your hands back like his ribs burned them. He chuckles and turns around to greet the monster he called ‘Tori’ earlier. Leaning back to look around him you see a big, white-furred goat-monster emerge from the kitchen.

Queen Toriel? You look at her, surprised. You didn’t expect your savior to bring you to the queen. The news stated she’d be insane but looking at her now as she regarded the skeleton with a look before spotting you behind him, you wouldn't think of her as ‘insane’.

Her eyes widened “SANS! Oh heavens what happened!” she calls out and rushes to push the skeleton - Sans? - out of the way to look you over.

“jus’ said three guys teamed up on ‘er” he says while stepping to the head-end of the couch, basically behind you.

“My child, can you tell me where they hurt you?” she asks you softly with her paws hovering over you.

You shake your head and instead raise your hand to point to the side of your right leg, pull your shirt over the right side of your waist again and let go in favor of showing her the bruises on your arms.

She gasps at the bruise on your waist “Oh stars, my child, you need to lay down”, a large paw presses to your cleavage to lay you down into the cushions of the couch and the throw pillows laying behind you. You obey and lay down, Sans now coming back into view. His grin looks strained and the lights in his eyes (you decide to call them eyelights) are small and dim, looking down at you. His brow is furrowed and his gaze switches between your face and Toriel’s paws pulling aside your shirt. You smile up at him with a thankful expression in your eyes, you hope he understands.

Toriel’s paw lit up with a green light and your look was pulled to the wound on your side to see it fading. Your eyes widen as it fades more and more until it's almost gone.

“Do you mind me asking you to leave the room, Sans?” she looks up at him. He startles and his gaze meets hers.

“why?” is the only thing he says before being stared at by Toriel with narrowed eyes. Her look flicks down to your leg and back up at his face, then she jerks her head into the direction of an open doorway (you assume that’s the hallway, there’s no other doors to this room). He seems to understand and as soon as he’s gone she turns back to you.

“You’ll need to get out of your trousers so I can take a look at your legs, little one”, Toriel says, settling your shirt back down. You nod and sit up to open your old pants and shrug them off. You don’t lie back down, seeing as your side is fine to bend now.

“Oh dear, what did they do to you?” she looks at your bruised leg with wide eyes, then up to search your face. You jerked your un-injured leg off the couch twice.

“They kicked you?”

Holding up one finger you nod

“So, one of them did?”

You nod again.

“What horrible creatures, torturing such a poor, innocent youth.” She mutters while getting to heal your leg. You just shrug, despite her not looking at you.

After Toriel took care of your leg (it was bruised at the calf and at the thigh), you put back on your pants and she calls in Sans again, as she heals up your arms.

“It was a good thing you were able to step in, Sans. Thank you for bringing her here.” Toriel said while getting to her feet. You look at him and nod with her words to emphasize the thank-you part.

He grins and says “shucks, little lady, no need to thank me. jus’ lookin’ fer justice ‘round these parts” while a little bit of red color rises to his zygomatic arches. Is he blushing?

“Well. She should be fine to go now, Sans.” at these words from Toriel you pale. But she doesn’t look at you.

“yea, thanks again tori” he answers as she turns around and leaves for the kitchen. He crouches down next to you.

“you got a place you wanna go?”

You shake your head

“don’t you have a home?” he asks, sounding surprised.

You hesitate and shake your head again. He’s quiet for a moment and you look up at him to get a clue why. His brow is once again furrowed, mouth pulled into a frown and eyelights cast down to the cushions of the couch in thought. You wait a moment.

“ya… ya could come with me but i don’t know how my bro might react to a human in our home…” he seems hesitant to make the offer.

You don’t have any reason to return to your parent’s home and no desire to stay on the streets any longer than necessary, so why not go with this skeleton who saved your life and is offering to take you in? Some people might say ‘he’s a monster and can’t be trusted’ or that he might want to eat you but who goes the length he went to save you, just to hurt you again. So after a moment of contemplation you point to him and make an ok-sign with your hand before nodding.

His stance slackens, his shoulders sink with a soundless sigh, the crease in his brow disappears and his grin looks less strained. The eyelights grow and get brighter, too. He seems relieved. “'course it's okay with me. c’mon then, we don’ wanna make tori angry by overstaying our welcome” he says as he winks at you, stands up and holds out a hand for you to take to help you stand. You take it and as you get to your feet you realize just how big this guy is. He towers over you with what you think have to be 7 feet or something, still smaller than Toriel or several other monsters but bigger (and wider, now that you look at him) than normal humans.

He holds your hand and as he pulls on it you stumble into him, grabbing at his sweater with your free hand to not fall. He chuckles again, saying “hold on tight, but keep your hands outta my ribs this time, ‘kay?” He winks and puts his free hand on your back. You bury your face in the front of his turtleneck as the feeling of falling comes over you once more, but before you know it you got solid ground underneath your feet again. His hand from your back disappears and he lets go of your hand.

“we’re here, dollface” he announces. You blink slowly, turning your head out of his sweater to look around you. “i know it’s messy but my bro doesn’t clean my room. better he doesn’t see you yet. he’s prolly somewhere in the house, so better be quiet-“ he cuts himself off as if realizing something.

“you’ve not said anything yet, you okay?” he asks as he looks down. You let go of his sweater, taking a small step back to not invade his personal space and nod.

“you sure?” he says, more insistent this time.

You nod again and shrug.

“that your thing?” he asks, quirking an ‘eyebrow’.

You look at him, into the little eyelights. His eyebrow goes back down and instead he furrows his brow at you. And you shrug again.

He snorts and laughs. “ah, well then, no need to worry about’cha bein’ loud then” he says as he winks at you and turns to the door.

“ya can sit down on the mattress if ya want. i’mma go get a snack.” he stops and turns to look over his shoulder “you want something too? and don’t’cha dare shruggin’ at me again” he says while grinning at you.

You give him an enthusiastic nod and, as if to emphasize, your stomach growls. You blush as he chuckles and goes to leave the room. “’kay. sit tight, i’ll be right back” he mutters as he closes the door behind him.

You turn to look at the room properly. There are piles of clothes, one or two more red turtlenecks like the one he’s wearing at the moment, lay on the floor, along with multiple track pants (also like the one he’s wearing; black with yellow stripes down the outsides of the legs). There are also socks everywhere. Just big, thick-knit, white socks. Everywhere. You wonder where one might get so many socks, or rather why, as you go to sit down on the mattress that’s sitting on the floor.

You hear screaming from downstairs and the low vibrating sound of Sans’ voice. Maybe that’s the not-so-glad brother he’s been talking about. You try not to think about it as Sans re-appears in the middle of the room. You startle and look up at him with wide eyes. He snorts at the look on your face and hands you the plate he’s holding. You take it with a thankful look and inspect what he’s brought you. It’s a bun and some cold-cuts. Your eyes light up and you put the cuts on the sliced bread. Almost digging in, you halt. Raising an eyebrow you look up at him and point at the food, then at him.

“oh, i got something, don’ worry. eat” he says, sits down next to you and pulls out a bottle of mustard. You stare at him as he goes to drink the condiment but stops to give you a sideways look. “what is it?” he asks, lowering the bottle.

You point to the mustard, then to your bun. He snorts again and chuckles as he gives you the bottle. You put some of it under the cold-cuts, close the bun and hand him the mustard again. This time you bite into the bun and sigh at having something proper to eat in your mouth.

“ya got good taste if ya like mustard” he laughs and returns to drink the condiment. You arch an eyebrow at him gulping the spicy sauce. He just shrugs as he sets the bottle down.

“that’s my thing”, he says, winks at you and you chuckle at this. His ‘eyebrows’ shoot up, eyelights dilate, grin widens and zygomatic arches once again dust red as he listens to that.

“ya know, ya can stay ‘ere wit’ my bro ‘n me if ya want” he offers. You look at him, almost finished with the bun he brought you. Swallowing, you nod and smile at him. His blush spreads to underneath his eye sockets.

“well, if ya do, then we hav’ta introduce ya to my bro. no way ya don’t run inta him while livin’ ‘ere” he says and you shrug again. “better not take that lightly tho’, he’s not quite… fond of humans, ya know?” Looking back up at him you nod, trying to convey something like:

I get that. Me neither.