There was the sound of raucous laughter that echoed through the dusty halls of the compound, the noise coming from the stairs that led up to the Mistress’ study. No one went to that dreaded room unless they were losing a limb, an eye, or even their life, and so hearing such loud, angry laughter coming from it that didn’t belong to the Mistress was distressing. Still, any brave soul who might have snuck up on creaky, dusty stairs would have seen the scene of their lifetime.
Edge ‘The Butcher’ Aster, the boss of one of the most powerful gangs in the city, was standing just to the side of the armchair that the Mistress’ guests sat in. The skeleton in the chair was none other than the brother of Edge himself, Red ‘The Executioner’ Aster.
And it seemed they were having a very intense conversation with a very nervous looking Muffet, all eight eyes focused intently on the two brothers.
“Now, I can tell you dearies that I have indeed sent my men to scope out your heists, but I have not-”
“You can stop there, Miss Muffet.” Edge said, raising his hand to silence her. If he noticed the incensed way she puffed up at being interrupted, he didn’t show it. “We have the insignias of several of your men who were sent, by you, to attack ours.” He paused, leaning in slightly. “This is unacceptable, yes?”
Muffet was taken aback by his bold claim, and puffed up even further. “Well I see no evidence of this! How do I know you’re not lying, weaving words to make me confess to something I didn’t even do!”
Her ‘righteous’ anger was silenced as Red finally leaned forward himself, gently setting something upside down on her desk. From the shape and make of the leather patch, she knew instantly what it was, a chill running down her spine. She reached out to pick it up, waiting for a moment to glance up at the two skeletons who were waiting ever so patiently for her reaction. Sighing, she turned it over to reveal the pale purple spider with four black dots on its back, signifying one of her kill squad.
“That was from one of your men, who you sent to kill my brother.” Edge said, voice colder than the ice in their tea. Muffet did not shiver at his tone, did not do anything but stare down at the evidence of her guilt.
“I suppose you’re here to kill me then?” Muffet asked, leaning back in her chair and looking at the both of them. If they’d come to fight, she’d give them one hell of one. She would not die easily at the hands of the Asters, not like some of the wannabe gangsters they had already taken out. Not her.
“We want ta make a deal.” Red said,shocking Muffet from her thoughts. First, that Red had spoken at all, and then the words as they began to actually make sense to her. They wanted…
“You want to make a deal . With me. After I sent people to kill you.” She asked, wanting to make sure what the hell she’d heard was really what she’d heard.
Red’s grin sharpened. “Yeah. We do. See, we’ve got a bit of a problem, a snitch ‘n our ranks. We think you c’n help wit’ that.”
Muffet’s face was slack in shock for a moment, before it devolved into a wide devious smile. “Oh dearie. I’m sure I can.” Sitting up, she took a small bell from the side of her desk, ringing it once before setting it down. “Would either of you like some tea?”
It was a few hours after the skeleton brothers had left that Muffet looked up to find the one person she’d been expecting today standing before her desk.
“They’re onto you, you know.” She said simply, taking a sip of the now cooled tea. The other said nothing, simply staring, always just staring. They were unhinged, Muffet knew they were, but if she wanted to get rid of the Aster brothers these were the demons she had to please.
“I gave him the poison. It should be in affect by midnight.”
Now that made some form of expression appear on their face, something akin to glee, something not unlike madness, and it was something that made her desire to do anything to get away from this monster so much stronger.
“Thank you Miss Muffet, for your service.” the other finally said, and that broken, static filled voice never failed to send chills through her body. She nodded, watching as the third Aster brother, the middle one, the one no one knew about, disappeared through the shadow filled doorway, hopefully never to be seen again.
They’d made an agreement, at least. One that she prayed to the stars he kept his part to.
Several years later…
There was the sound of the bed creaking, specks of dust scattering up as the monster stood, the jingle of a belt buckle and the gentle tap of a gold coin being placed on his bedside table the only things Red could hear from his position on the bed. There were no words spoken, only the sound of heavy boots as the monster left through the solid metal door. There was the loud thump of it shutting, then silence.
The very core of his bones ached as he stood from the bed, the nasty, slimy texture of the fluids on his pelvis and ribs making the feeling so much worse as he stumbled over to his bathroom. It was tiny, most of the room taken up by the bucket of cleaning supplies he was allotted to clean both himself and the room. The bed sheets and blankets were cleaned by one of the workers that weren’t here to whore themselves out, someone always coming by in between clients to replace and take the old, crusty ones.
He took great care to clean his bones, a few beatings after someone had complained about his cleanliness and Red was terrified of missing even a single speck of cum. He scoured his bones until they stung, until not a single speck of any substance remained. Only then did he check over his ratty lingerie, making sure it was clean enough for the next client before he turned, eyeing the heavy door to his room.
Once upon a time he’d left claw marks on that door, trying to escape. They were still there, under the faint layer of cheap paint, but mostly Red knew where they were out of the memory of putting them there. He’d been desperate to escape, to get out of this place and get revenge on the skeleton he’d once called brother. He still grieved Edge, every day. To think that his baby brother was no longer… it hurt. That Gaster could have betrayed them so thoroughly.
In hindsight they’d been foolish. Haughty and full of themselves, prideful and, in the end, they flew too close to the sun. Gaster was at the top of the food chain now, while Red was in a whorehouse getting fucked every ten minutes, and Edge… Edge was dead.
Red wished he was dead. Wished nothing more, every day, every minute, every second. Wished that instead of being raped over and over, being fucked until he blacked out in sheer defense, getting beaten within an inch of his life, that Gaster had ordered him to be killed alongside his brother.
He didn’t get that wish. Never had, probably never would until some monster or human with a big ego didn’t read the signs correctly and grabbed him just a little too hard.
Maybe it was a bad thing he wished for that day to arrive soon.
He stiffened as a knock sounded at the door, the one that meant another client was on their way and he was to look presentable. Climbing back on his bed, Red settled onto the worn mattress, and wished for nothing more than the sweet release of sleep.
Sans sighed heavily as he went through the paperwork one last time, the car trembling a little as Papyrus stepped on the accelerator, the light outside an emerald green. His head was settled against the cool window, the rain outside a soothing noise as he read through less than soothing documents.
Every single one of them referred to the Aster case, of the gang the brothers had once led, of Edge’s fall and subsequent demise, of the middle brother Gaster taking up the mantle and becoming an even more merciless version of what Edge and Red had ever been. He’d been a bit of a problem for the city ever since Edge’s death, and while Sans and Papyrus had been working to take their gang down for a long ass time, Gaster was building much more of a ruthless empire than Edge had ever aspired to.
Heists and thefts were at an all time high by those tattooed with the draconic skull with red eyes, and the death toll was at an uncomfortably high level.
Looking down at the papers in his hands, he wondered, not for the first time, if Red was really the way to go with this case. The once second in command of the elusive gang, someone who had been a thorn in Sans’ side more than once, had been thrown in a brothel against his will, as far as they’d been able to find out. They had snooped around the place enough to know it was an illegal establishment, what with all the people working there as nothing but slaves, even wearing high end magic suppressing collars.
“You still think we should let him rot.” Papyrus said, his voice flat with the emotion Sans knew was a little disappointment.
Sans shifted in his seat, uncomfortable. “It’s not like he was a good guy, Paps. He’s done a lot of awful shit.”
Papyrus took a moment to check both ways before crossing an intersection , the iron in his voice palpable. “Does that mean he deserves to be treated like a piece of meat to be discarded when he no longer has any use?”
Sans winced, holding back the automatic pun that came to mind, something about the fact that they were skeletons, and therefore couldn’t be a piece of meat anyways. Yeah, something like that.
He was an asshole.
“No…” he answered, voice quiet. He still had reservations about Red’s character and what he might do once he was out, but that didn’t mean the guy deserved what was essentially repeated rape.
Papyrus didn’t say anything else as they drove, but his approval was, again, very present.
They needed to talk with Blue and Rus about the plan, if they were going through with it. It’d require several months of work, even with the help of their informant, but Sans thought it was doable.
As they pulled up to the house, Sans cursed to see the porch light on. Glancing at Papyrus, who looked just as clueless, Sans stepped out of the car as soon as the engine cut. Walking briskly up the walk, plastic binder held over his skull to block the sprinkling rain, he knocked twice on the door, only to nearly step back as it opened instantly.
Blue stared down at him, unimpressed. “What the fuck took you so long, we’ve got shit to do!”