I insisted that I needed a picture of our baby’s Soul, and asked for a picture every time we came for a checkup. Sans was seemed bemused by my demands at first, but as soon as I explained how I felt doing so would help me feel like I was being a good parent, his gaze softened and a tender smile pulled his mouth apart, revealing his bulky teeth once again.
After the doctor visit, my cousisters explained they had to catch the plane back home. I hugged them both and told them I would visit soon. Ella firmly reminded me that my parents would want to hear about the latest development. They promised they would spill the beans so long as I contacted my parents within the next week and made a date to head home.
After that, we parted ways and I headed with the Sans and Papyrus back in the direction of their apartment. Before reaching our destination, Pap stopped and bid us good day, claiming he had things to do. Sans wished his brother a good day while I waved him off before continuing on to home.
Upon returning to the Skeleton Brother’s apartment, I realized I hadn’t contacted the landlord of my apartment to inform him of my move. I excused myself to the porch and sat down, phone to my ear as the digital ring began.
I chuckled. The landlord was an old fashion man without caller ID, so he wouldn’t know who was calling.
“Hello, sir, it’s Raven Crowell. I am calling to inform you that I have moved as of today – I know it’s sudden, and I apologize for that – and if you need to send me any papers to sign for, then you can email them to me. Is that okay?”
“Oh, I already put them in the mail. A very loud man called earlier to inform me and gave me the address to your new place.” I flinched. Did Papyrus…? Oh no!
I shook my head as the landlord continued, “You do know the college takes care of the rent if you have a scholarship, which you do, so I only sent a ‘congratulatory card’ that your advisor gave me to send your way. Unfortunately, you had already left. Thankfully, that young man that helped you move in came by and told me he’d give it to y– oh shoot! That was supposed to be a surprise! Well, sorry about that!”
I shrunk in on myself, the fear increasing. The landlord called through the receiver, but I couldn’t speak. As the phone began to plummet to the ground, I felt myself being lifted into a big embrace.
“hey, sorry, raven had ta use the bathroom. can ya repeat what ya just said? i think she missed it.”
“Oh, are you her new roommate?”
“yeah, name’s sans.”
“It’s a pleasure. As I was saying, the boy who helped her move in, Tim or something, dropped by and since I hadn’t given her the card her advisor left her for graduating, I sent it with him. He should arrive there sometime.”
“how’d ya get this address?”
“Another boy called earlier, loud fella, and told me she’d moved to the address.” He read out the address to confirm. Sans tensed as he heard his apartment address being told back to him.
“sir, raven moved in with my bro and me ta get away from that guy. neither of us knew my bro contacted ya, but he should not have given ya the address. tom’s been stalkin’ her ‘cus she broke up with ‘im ta be with me. if ya run inta him again, please call the police.”
Silence. “Oh no…I had no idea.”
“t’s okay. but thanks fer the heads up. it appears he paid that bail. i’ll keep raven safe.”
“She didn’t go to the bathroom, did she?”
“no. she’s here with me.”
“Okay, tell her I’m sorry. Protect her, okay?”
“ya have my word that i will do everythin’ in my power ta ensure her safety.”
“Good, give her my regards. She’s a good girl, and I only want happiness for her. She’s a real gem among stones.”
“i know. g’bye, sir.”
“Have a good day, son.”
Ending the call, Sans shifted, hoisting me up.
“bet he doesn’ know i’m older than ‘im in human years.”
I looked up. “What?”
“different monsters age differently. ten years for you is one year for me. some monsters take longer ta age while others take less than humans. it just depends on what kind of monster ya are. i am twenty-five in monster years, two hundred fifty in human years.”
I blinked. “Huh…I’m twenty-three, and turning twenty-four soon, in human years. So, in monster years, I would be…”
“two an’ a half, give or take. when’s yer birthday?” I shook my head, miming ‘I’m not telling.’
“i’ll find out if ya don’t just tell me.” I replied by blowing raspberries.
We both giggled at that, and I laid comfortably against his sternum. The air was chilly, and a storm was coming, but with Sans’ arms wrapped around me, all I could feel was gentle warmth.
“i’m gonna havta have a talk with paps. i can’t believe he…he doesn’ think ‘bout it, so i’m not all that surprised.”
“Where is he?”
“work. should be back in a bit.”
“Where does he work?”
“part time as a gym assistant at tori’s school, part time volunteering at one of five homeless shelters – he rotates every week, part-time as a chef-in-training at a local Italian restaurant, and then he assists king asgore and frisk with human relations whenever they need him. paps has a way of calmin’ others, oddly enough, even though he can be extremely loud. today is the restaurant gig, i think.”
“Wow, his schedule makes sense, given how much enthusiasm he has.”
The skeleton snorted. “yeah, he wanted ta add volunteering with animals, but i told him he would wear himself out if he tried to do too much. i think he’s still doin’ it anyway. he comes back on the weekends covered in dog and cat hair, even though he insists it’s not. i gave up tryin’ ta get him ta spill the obvious.
“the thing is, with me validating my PhD, paps was the only one who could work ta make money. but then i heard from a fellow monster that if monsters signed up for a program and spent some time in the community, helpin’ out, that certain landlords would knock down the price of rent. paps works at the homeless shelter tuesday and thursday for twelve hours, works at the restaurant on monday and friday from nine to five, works at tori’s on wednesday and any other day if available in the afternoon, and the weekend is spent with the animals at the shelter down the street for about four hours. the program requires a minimum of ten hours per week, so because paps works way over that, we only have ta pay fifty bucks a month, and paps makes way more than that since the chef still pays him.
“now that i’ve graduated and have a job open just fer me in a lab four blocks down the road, i can start makin’ money and we can move out and prob’ly get a house. i’ve been researchin’ and given that my paycheck is gonna be a hell of a lot better than paps’, we can more than afford it. and i want ya ta come along, too. now that we know mister red is after ya, i’m worried.”
“oh, shoot, right! i meant ‘cus his Soul’s main trait is red for determination. i was checkin’ his stats, and it went red, orange and yellow surrounding, and hints of dark blue and purple here and there. there was no light blue or green that i could see, but probably because their might be too little of that. so my thoughts are he’s determined ta have ya back, and – with bravery – despite facin’ a stronger opponent, he will still fight ‘cus he feels he’s justified since you were apparently ‘stolen’ from ‘im.
“the dude has little or no patience, which is why he is gonna come back sooner ta get ya than later, and he doesn’t care about anyone else’s feelin’s ‘cept his own and what he wants. ya sure know how ta pick ‘em.”
I groaned, burying my face in his coat.
“I just wanted ta give him a chance. I didn’t think this would happen. I wanted ta break up with him sooner, but he kept tellin’ me ta give him another chance. And I…was afraid that if I said no, he’d break me.”
His embrace tightened. “i won’t let that happen.”
I exhaled, gripping the soft material of his jacket and twisting it between my fingers. Thinking about what he had said had me thinking, and I hummed thoughtfully.
“I should probably look for part-time employment, too.”
“rave, no. yer…that wouldn’t make any sense.”
“I just feel terrible about sharing a living space with you and your brother and doing nothing!”
“but we can take care of it. ya don’t need ta worry about that right now. focus on your health and let pap and i worry about income.”
I pulled away gently, separating just enough to look him in the eye.
“Have you forgotten that I have a Soul of Integrity. It goes against my morals to not have to work while those around me do. Even if I only work part-time and for less than normal hours, I will take it.”
Sans eye lights flitted between my eyes, as if he were measuring my resolve by staring into their depths. Was it true that you can stare into someone’s Soul through their eyes? Regardless, I didn’t flinch. I was serious and I wouldn’t let Mr. Overprotective get in my way.
Following a harrumph, Sans leaned back. “fine, babe, i know a place that will hire ya. and the people know me well and if i ask, they’ll be more than willing ta keep an eye on ya an’ protect ya.”
“Where is this place? What’s it called?”
Teleporting to the restaurant, I felt a fuzzy tingle in my belly. It felt nice, warm even, and I smiled as I gently placed my palm against the small bump. I wouldn’t say I had a flat belly before all of this happened, but with what little extra fat I did have, the bump made what would have just been some extra stomach fat more noticeable and rounded.
Now that I wasn’t lying down in the doctor’s office, I could feel how noticeable it would be in I wore close-fitted shirts. My plain sky blue short sleeved shirt was fitted to my sides, with the front and back more freeing, so the material skipped past my abdomen.
“Sans!” A bunch of dogs of varying shapes and sizes chorused happily! A couple of them were playing cards, resembling the painting of Dogs Playing Poker by Cassius Coolidge.
“Whooo, it’s Sansy!” A drunken bunny called from her slumped position in a booth.
“Where ya been, skelly?!” A bird chirped.
“Sans, come play a game with us!” One dog playing cards barked.
Sans chuckled. “sorry, can’t doggo. i’m on official business. grillbz!”
It was then that I noticed the fire elemental behind the bar. Said flame man nodded at us before reaching around to open the fridge and retrieve…ketchup.
I wrinkled my nose, remembering the times I had seen Sans drink ketchup. I sighed, ‘My goodness, Sans! No, just no!’
Plopping down onto the bar stool the ketchup bottle was placed in front of, Sans patted the stool to his left. I hopped up, briefly watching the skeleton suck on the ketchup opening like a straw before turning to the fire elemental.
“Hello, I’m Raven. It’s nice to meet you, sir.”
The bartender bowed mutely, gesturing towards the ketchup bottle in Sans’ grip.
“Oh, um…do you have non-alcoholic drinks. It’s not safe–I mean, I don’t–I can’t, um…”
The whole bar had gone silent, waiting. I didn’t think I was that interesting, but seeing the reception Sans received when we first appeared, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that the regulars were curious.
“jus’ get milk,” Sans stated helpfully. “that’s both healthy an’ helpful ta the situation.”
‘What situation is that, Sans?’ A breathy, crackling soft-spoken male voice questioned. It took me a moment to realize it had come from the flaming bartender.
Sans chuckled tensely, unable to look his friend in the eye, or glasses, since his eyes weren’t visible behind the lenses attached through magical means to his face.
“uh, ‘member the human corbin who helped monsters through that fundraiser?”
The fireman nodded wordlessly.
“well, he hosted a party fer graduates and friends over the weekend, and raven an’ i both attended. pap accidentally ran inta her when she tried ta leave and brought her ta me. ben came around and told ‘er ta have one dance and one drink and she could leave. told me ta go with her. i knew someone was up, but seein’ as i felt i owed him for helpin’ us, i decided ta go with it. i was right, though. he pulled a really stupid prank, tricked her inta drinkin’ acohol when apparently her biology doesn’t take that well. she fell asleep, ben told me ta take her home but didn’ give ‘er address, so i had to bring her back ta my place.
“since we were both drunk, our minds were clouded and we ended up doin’ the…y’know. and i accidentally bonded with ‘er and now she’s pregnant with a monster-human kid.”
The room was silent. Curling in on myself, I reached out to grab Sans’ sleeve. He responded by pulling me into his lap and holding me close in a protective embrace.
“So monster-human children are a possibility?” One of the dogs marveled.
“It’s been centuries since the last time one was born. With the war, all hybrids were killed with their human parents for treason against their own kind. My father told me all about it. He witnessed his human wife and their child burn before the humans attacked.
“He was one of the few monsters who managed to escape the slaughter. He bonded with Ma because they both had human mates before they were killed, and after we were sealed underground, they had me and my siblings.”
I looked at the dog, the one who had asked Sans to join in the game. He had a sad look on his face, one of guilt, fear, and even anger. I couldn’t blame him, or any of the monsters. They had suffered so much for something another race, a selfish one at that, couldn’t understand. During my final semester, I learned about the monster and the war. I knew how humans dealt with fear, and I knew how horrible they were to other races and each other.
“I’m sorry…” I sobbed, unaware that I had started crying.
The sound of startled movement, shuddering glass, and the shriek of moving chairs against the polished ground was the only response.
“Even before monster left the mountain, I studied law. I will always remember why I chose to enter the law force. It happened when I was a teenager. A sixteen-year-old should never have to witness something so awful…”
My Aunt Holly and Uncle Lou were visiting with my cousins, Chloe and Ella. We were at the park, swinging on the large playground designed for big kids, the toddler jungle gym just past a patch of grass. It was Spring; birds were singing and flowers were blooming.
On that day, I witnessed something that opened my eyes to the cruelty of humanity.
Ella, who was nine, jumped off the swing, landing roughly on her knees. She screamed and began to cry, her mother immediately coming over to help. The rest of the adults were close behind. Even Chloe, who had just turned twelve one month prior, and I jumped off to make sure Ella was okay.
None of us noticed the man wearing a trench coat sauntering over from the overhang near the toddler playground.
My aunt finished patching up the cut and kissed her daughter’s cheek. Chloe and I helped her up and shared a group hug. We began to discuss other things we could do instead when everything went to shit.
“Um, hello, do you need–”
“Shut uuuup, faggot!”
“Holly, move the kids away. Neil, Elain, stay back!”
“Lou Henderson, you ssssson of a bitch! Thanks to you, I have n-nothing.”
I watched behind the shield that was my aunt as the man removed his hat and glasses, revealing his face.
“Nathan Whitman? You…you should be in jail. What you did was illegal and equivalent to ten years’ jail time.”
“You should know the company is shhhiiiit. Their whole p-p-practice is illegal!”
“I have a family to feed, so I follow the rules.”
“Soooo did I. I was sssset up. I already dealt with o-o-one of you. Now, to ffffinish the job.”
He pulled out a gun and pulled the trigger. My aunt screamed, my father flew to his brother-in-law’s aid, my mother went to help cover us.
“Daddy!!” Ella screamed.
“What happened?! What was that?!” Chloe screamed.
“Take them, I need to–” Holly switched out with my mother, but it gave me enough time to wriggle free. As a child, I only knew so much, but maybe it was that desire to help that drove me to try to help. However, what I saw would forever be burned into my memory.
My uncle, barely alive, blood gushing from the wound in his torso, breathing erratically, was leaning against my father as he told him to hang on.
The man who had shot him grinned sickeningly, his face twisted with insanity. This was a man who no longer thought rationally as he raised the gun towards my father. I did the only thing I could think of, shrieking at the top of my lungs.
The result was a wide miss from the startled shooter. He turned to the source and aimed again, but even as a youth, I had a thought process that was unlike anyone else my age. I was far more logical, and my mind told me one thing: don’t stop moving.
I ran past my bleeding uncle, ignoring the protests of my mother and aunt. I heard the man curse, close enough to know he was following me. I looked ahead and jerked away as I saw a woman on the phone in the distance, barely able to make out the word ‘police’. She was calling for help. That gave me hope as I swerved right, towards the toddler playground.
As I ran, I heard gun shots, and felt the bullets whiz by, some far off, others barely missing grazing my skin. I couldn’t face him or I would risk slowing down and being hit. I just needed to keep my movements erratic, zigzag this way, swerve that way, don’t stop.
I moved around the jungle gym and began to head back. I could hear the sirens in the distance and as the sight of the other playground came into view, I spied the flashing lights of police vehicles.
And then my eyes found my aunt, running to meet me. I had no time to scream a warning before the next shot went off. I felt myself shout, but the word was drowned out by the gunfire.
Her face was a frozen mask of shock. Her hand moved to cup her abdomen as she buckled over. The shooter briefly forgotten, I fell beside her, hoping I could do something. I glimpsed at least two officers in the corner of my vision running towards us, which reminded me of the danger right behind me.
I turned around, staring at the man. He stared at me before halting, the sick grin replaced by confusion.
Another gunshot and the man was down, holding his shoulder. With the danger removed, I turned back to my aunt and pushed her over.
“Auntie, please be okay! Auntie!”
She looked at me, breathing hard, and smiled.
“You’re okay, Raven. Thank goodness. I’m so proud of you. You are so smart. I didn’t think. Sorry.”
She blinked tears away, and placed a bloody hand on my cheek.
“Sorry. I’m so sorry. Take care of your cousins. Tell them we love them, and you, and your family. Stay safe and happy. Don’t lose hope, Sweetie. You are so bright. Stay strong, okay. I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
I shook my head, tears streaming. A man had arrived and was holding a cloth to the wound, but I could see the life leaving my aunt.
“…love you, Rave. Yer…a hero…”
With a final exhale, I knew she was gone. Her hand dropped, and I buried my face in the crook of her neck. I learned later that neither my aunt nor my uncle survived. Like his wife, my uncle gave his family one final message before passing on.
I was recognized for my bravery, the officers bowing in respect and giving my family condolences.
For Chloe and Ella, the loss of their parents was the most painful thing they had ever experienced. It took both about a year to return to their normal selves, and thankfully, everyone around them was very understanding.
For me, however, it was different. I lost something that day. Because I failed to save my aunt, I no longer had the strength that I had that day. There were times after that when I saw people hurting others, and I would try to intervene. Sometimes they listened, but there were a couple times when they would just ignore me or tell me to back off.
Whenever that happened, it was like my vision turned red. I would scream and cry about how they were selfish and messed up. That ended up making them terrified, and they would stop. I was put through therapy, and two years later, I gained back control. I started college later than others, but it was better that way.
My therapist told me I would make a great lawyer, helping those who couldn’t help themselves. Thinking back on my life, it made sense for me to follow that path. And as I went through schooling, I learned tactics that helped with situations that would have caused that red flash to return.
I could convince people to stop before fights broke out, I could mediate between two parties without fear of losing control of the situation or myself, and I even became an advocate within my community. There were people who came to me when they didn’t know what to do, and even though there were staff on campus who were meant to help, they trusted me instead because I was on the same level as them and I was always so successful at ‘clearing the air’.
These people didn't know my story, and I never told them, but I have been told I carry an aura of someone who has been through so much yet still came out of it alive. Others could feel this 'aura' without knowing exactly what it was or why it seemed to surround me. It seemed to help them as much as my efforts did. And for that, I am thankful.
I met Ben because of this and more. Alex and I had become friends because we both had the same psychology class our first year. I met Ben when Alex thought he was cheating. It turned out that his study partner, assigned by the teacher, was a very pretty girl and Alex was jealous. Later, it turned out that the girl, Maria Fultz was not only dating someone else, but was trying to switch partners to be with her boyfriend.
It all worked out for the best, and Ben was partnered with Sam and since they worked so well together as the captain and vice-captain of the Sports Club, everything worked out. Ben, Sam and I became fast friends after that.
“I was always different from others, whether they were my age or not. While others would have run or shielded themselves, I would try to help. It's just how I am. My mind is wired so that instead of doing what most do, whether it's just stare, look on, or flee, I do the opposite. Even if it's useless, I still try.
"And this time, it was useless. And since it was my family, I think that’s why I don’t have the trait for Bravery. I lost it that day. I felt so…useless after I failed to save my aunt. I hoped that my uncle had survived, but like her, he suffered too much blood loss. The man who shot them ended up committing suicide a little after the police arrived. We had been escorted away by then, but I overheard the police talking with my parents.
“He had grabbed one of the police officer’s gun and shot himself in the head, screaming for ‘Melody’. The officer clarified that he had gone insane and thought he saw his daughter when he was really looking at me. That was the only thing that saved me that day.”
The silence was thick with tension, but even still, I could feel the sorrow in the room. I eyed the milk set out before me before grabbing it. One sip was enough to help alleviate the headache that had begun to throb from how much I had cried during my story. It was a surprise that my voice had barely waivered.
“m so sorry, rave.”
I hummed in question.
“sorry ya had ta live through that. an'...even if you don' have bravery, yer determination, yer integrity and justice...they took its place. i think every time ya saw red, that was yer determination activatin' yer biggest traits. ya don't need every trait ta be a good person. and with a soul as beautiful as yers, ya have nothin' ta worry about. yer amazing, rave.”
I sighed. “Thank you, Sans. By the way, no one had ever called me Rave before then. When my aunt said it, though she only shortened it so she could say everything, it felt like something special. I decided that only the people who are the most special to me have that privilege. I think she and my uncle would both like you a lot. I think my parents will, too.”
His embrace tightened appreciatively. “thanks.”
The other patrons whispered their condolences, some of the dogs insisting I pet them since they ‘heard petting dogs was therapeutic’. I had a feeling they were more eager for attention than to help my anxiety, but it didn’t matter as it helped, drawing a genuine happy smile in place of my sad one. I bowed my head and kissed each snout in appreciation.
“grillbz, we also came ‘cus i need a favor.”
‘What did you do this time, Sans?’
“it’s not about what i did. look, raven needs protection against an ex o’ hers. he came ta our graduation and when she found out about what happened, he went berserk. i actu’lly had to teleport ‘im ta the police. but now he’s out and lookin’ fer her. an’ pap accidentally gave our address ta her old landlord and he gave it ta the crazy asshole– sorry! sorry, i’ll try not ta curse. but anyway, i insisted that she not find a job, but…”
“I don’t believe in a situation where I don’t have to work while my roommates do,” I cut him off, rolling my eyes. “I insisted that I needed to earn my keep, even if I only work until I’m too far along that it would be considered unsafe. Sans told me he knew a place that I could work that I would be protected, and here we are.”
‘I see. He’s right. Most of my regulars were Royal Guard members in the underground. All of the canines here can sniff out trouble and if you don’t mind giving them a few pets, it should be fine.’
I smiled at the dogs again, nearly all of them giving me puppy eyes as one of them, about as tall as me, returns to my side for more attention. I scratched by his ears and was surprised when his head began to extend out of his clothing. I hummed, changing tactics and scratching under his jaw instead. The hound mewled, leaning back in encouragement as his head shrunk back down. This elicited a lot of surprise from the surrounding patrons.
“How did you know to do that?” One of the dogs, who seemed to always be standing by another female of his kind, barked in astonishment.
“What do you mean?” I questioned.
“You knew to scratch underneath his Lesser Dog’s muzzle to get his head to shrink back!” His female partner replied in a similar manner. “None of us knew that and it would have saved us a lot of grief had we known.”
“Oh,” I acknowledge thoughtfully. “Well, I since I was petting, um, Lesser Dog’s head, I assumed scratching under his chin could possibly reverse it. I guess you could say I use psychology and other logical means to figure out what to do.”
‘Very perceptive, Miss Raven. You are certainly an interesting individual.’
I blushed, facing the dog still leaning into my touch and grinning. “Thank you, sir.”
There was a moment of silence, where I heard the shift of a chair and the ring of the bell, signaling the departure of one of the customers.
Grillby surprised us by grumbling, ‘That boy came in while you were telling the story. He didn’t even bother to get a drink. How odd?’
I felt Sans’ arms tense around me. “didja see what he was doin’?”
Grillby hummed. ‘He was staring at you, actually? Had a hardened look on his face. I waited to see if he would try to flag me down since he was new, but after about a minute, he pulled out his phone and began texting.’
Sans growled. “what did he look like?”
‘Sharp angles, auburn hair, steely eyes.’
“not tom, then. good.”
“Hang on,” I countered, pulling out my phone. Unlocking it, I opened my social media app and found Tom’s name and clicked, hitting friends soon after. Finding a boy like the description given, I scrolled down to information. His current residence was in this city.
I mentally cursed before turning the phone to Grillby. “Is this him?”
He leaned forward and flinched briefly, nodding.
“Damnit, Tom is onto us. He’s having his friends spy.”
‘Shouldn’t you contact the police, or get a restraining order?’
“The thing is, Tom’s family is extremely rich. He can get out on bail in less than twenty-four hours, he can hire spies without a second thought, and even with a restraining order, he could kidnap me and make sure I’m never found. His family is that powerful, and that dangerous.
“Also, I know monsters don’t have as many rights as humans. Tom can make the argument that I was brainwashed by Sans because he has magic, even though magic doesn’t work like that. If I am to be free of him, I need to gather solid evidence against him first to prove that he is obsessed with me. And to do that, I need time.”
‘Understood. First, though, I want your opinion on monsters.’
I snorted. “I’ll have you know that I was the one of the people fighting for your equality. Because so many of my peers had so much respect for me as an advocate for them, when I stood up for monsters during the fundraiser, many others followed. I joined Ben and the other elitist in the community here because I gained the advocate reputation for my department.
“Each section of the college has what the staff and alumni call Advocates, with a capital A. Ben and Sam were advocates for Athletics, Alex and another girl named Chelsea were Advocates for Art, Mark Lake and Tanya Farris were Advocates for Science, and Jack Harris and I were the Advocates for Law.
“What this means is that we are the voices of our particular community. All of us must be elected by staff and peers, and approved by the head of our departments and the dean. In addition, most of us were elected in our senior year. The only three who weren’t this time were Ben, Alex, and me. Alex and I were elected one year prior, and we helped the Senior Advocates. Ben was elected when he was a sophomore, and he was the youngest in twenty years.
“Anyways, when monsters first emerged, I kept an eye out for news. You were so interesting and when I learned that magic existed, I just had to know more. I eventually learned that they were considering funding a final class for law graduates, pertaining to monster rights. However, it was gonna be rejected by a third-party that had no business with our school.
“I immediately gathered as much data as I could, and then contacted the dean to call a meeting about it. As an Advocate, he was immediately interested and I brought up at least twenty arguments. The dean is a former politician, and each time he brought up a con, I fought back. Our conversation lasted approximately two hours and in the end, he was smiling. He told me I ‘should be proud of how far I have come and that I would be helping so many with how determined I am’. I knew he was referring to the Soul traits as I had done research on that as well.
“That class was amazing, and I learned so much. It was taught by a human and a monster, and during the last week, King Asgore visited and gave a speech on what he hoped would come. Learning from the King was a gift. And even though it was a long, hard road to get to where you are, you cannot give up. I think humans and monsters have a lot to work on and a lot to discover. You just havta keep searching is all!”
The silence was deafening. Everything was still, and for a moment, I contemplated if I may have misspoken somewhere.
Finally, however, Grillby lowered the glass he was cleaning and clapped his hands, sparks flying with gentle hissing every time his hands connected. Soon after, a mix of cheers, howls, and more clapping rang through the room. Sans kissed my hair, nuzzling his cheekbone, whispering praise after praise. I was sure I had started to resemble a tomato.
When it quieted down, Grillby spoke again. ‘That was quite a treat. You put your heart into that speech. As creatures made of love and compassion, we can feel your Intent. Not many humans have feelings remotely close to what you have shown, and I have met none who could hold a candle to the amount of compassion you possess.’
“Thank you, sir. I appreciate that.”
I could barely make out his enthusiastic grin. But it was there, and despite the way his mouth resembled that of a jagged-toothed Jack-O-Lantern, it was still nicer than a lot of smiles I had seen from humans.
‘Do you know how to cook, bartend, or wait tables?’
“Heh, I had a small waitress job during the summer when I was sixteen. I can cook most traditional meals like burgers, fries, chicken, fish, and more. I have never worked with alcohol since I have low tolerance for it, hence how Sans and I are in this situation.”
‘Hmm, I see. Do you have problems with balance?’
“Nope, I would not fit the stereotypical clumsy waitress cliché.”
He laughed. ‘Well, that’s good news.’
“The only way I could mess up is if someone tripped me, if there’s something I cannot see for whatever reason, or if I am wearing extremely high heels. I can deal with small heels, but two inch heels will have me tripping. I’m pretty sure that’s why the clumsy waitress stereotype became a thing.”
Everyone burst out laughing. ‘Oh, my goodness! Sans, you are so lucky! This girl is fantastic!’ I covered my face.
‘I’ll make sure not to force you into heels. If you have nice flats, that should be fine. Also, since you appear to hate stereotypes so much, I’ll find an outfit that should cover as much skin as your current attire.’
“Wow, yes, I do hate stereotypes! What gave it away?” I winked. My pride was boosted by the responding snickers around the room.
‘Ha, you are very cheeky! I like you even more.’ I beamed.
‘Come back in tomorrow night and we’ll discuss pay and everything else. Also, you will get to meet an old colleague. Although, I wonder.’
His eyes narrowed, and as soon as the question left his lips, I paled considerably.
‘Do you have arachnophobia?’