Faye was at her grandmother's house, playing with her cat Fuzzy. It was a boring Saturday afternoon, even though Faye could usually find something to entertain herself - even dust bunnies.
Anyway, her mom and dad had to go to some boring adult meeting and her grandmother had to look after her. Faye would've gone to Brayden's house, but he'd gone away on a short holiday with his family. So here she was.
The day was pretty normal and boring. But peaceful, too. It didn't really feel like anything could go wrong - which, naturally, is when things go extremely wrong. Well, actually, things didn't go wrong. No. Things went tragic and awful.
It all happened when some police showed up at Faye's grandmom's. They spoke to the grandmom about stuff Faye didn't really understand. But Granny didn't look too happy. Then the police turned to Faye. They kneeled down to her height and spoke in a friendly tone.
"Hey, sweetie," one policewoman spoke gently. "For a little while, you're going to be staying at your aunt's house in Ebott. Your parents are... they were..." She paused. "They're a bit.... Sick and can't really take care of you for a while."
"Sick...?" Faye asked. She sounded small and confused. She couldn't really remember who her aunt was. She didn't know how her parents got sick. "Where are they?"
"In hospital," the policewoman replied, trying to sound calm. "They need to stay there until they get better."
"Can I stay there, too?" Faye asked. She wanted to cry.
"No, you can't stay in hospital, sweetie," the policewoman replied patiently. "You'll be staying at your aunt's. We'll take you there."
Faye cried like a little baby. She took her ribbon and toy knife, which her parents gave her before they went to hospital. Then Faye begged the police to let her see her parents before they took her to her aunt's. The police allowed a short visit. Her parents were on those big beds, lots of tubes sticking out of them. They were wearing green garments.
"Why do they look like that?" Faye asked. She cried some more. "Mommy... Daddy...? Are you..." She overheard parts of a conversation from some other family members.
"Car crash...." one guy said. "Yeah, serious... here for a while..."
"They need them to get better, sweetie," the policewoman told Faye. She took her hand. "But don't give up on them - they will get better. You just need to wait. Now, c'mon - we should go to your aunt's."
Then Faye left her old home. She didn't speak to Brayden about what happened - she couldn't bring herself to. She just left without saying a word to anyone. She moved to her aunt's house and went to a new school. She became very sad and lonely. She didn't have anyone to follow anymore, despite how cool her aunt was. She thought about her parents a lot. But she knew she had to keep waiting, because one day, they would get better...
If not, there was a mountain she could climb. But what would Brayden say about that? What would her family say about that? She decided to wait a little longer, just for them.
Lying in the sleeping bed, Faye felt even more hopeless. It'd been ages since that car accident. Her parents were still in hospital. She was still waiting, but it felt pointless. They were never going to get better. Maybe she should stay here with Toriel. Everyone else could leave, but she would stay here. Then she wouldn't get in the way, because that's all she felt she was good for. Besides, she liked it here. Toriel was nice. This was a nice house. She liked the RUINS, too. It would be best for everyone if she stayed here...
Suddenly, Faye heard a weird rustling noise. It sort of zapped her back into reality. Brayden had somehow done a 90 degree turn and now his head was on Faye's sleeping bag. Faye thought it was kind of cute. She pet his head. But he wasn't the rustling sound. In fact, it was the eighth human who was rolling around in their sleeping bag.
They looked like they were having a nightmare. They suddenly sat straight up, fear in their eyes - their open eyes. They were panting. They took a few deep breaths to calm themself, and their eyes closed. Then they stood up and left the room.
Faye knew it wasn't very polite, but she snuck after them. They went down the hall and came to the room with the dining table. Toriel was sitting on an armchair, reading a book. Faye hid behind the doorframe and watched the kid. They approached Toriel, their head bent down.
"Greetings, my child," Toriel greeted them. "Are you having trouble sleeping? That is alright. You may sit here until you feel sleepy." She moved over and let the eighth human sit on the armchair. They looked content. Toriel smiled at them. "I did not say this before, young one... but you look very similar to a child who fell down here long ago. When I first saw you, for a brief moment, I almost thought you..." She sighed.
Faye remembered seeing a picture in the bedroom: it was called the 'Fallen Angel'. It looked the eighth human but with wings and an awesome suit. Faye wasn't really sure what it represented, but it looked cool.
Toriel composed herself. "Regardless, it is wondrous to have you all here, my child. You are very different from that other human anyway. I'm sure we will live a happy life here. Now, would you like me to read you another bedtime story to help you sleep?" The eighth human nodded. Toriel smiled. She pulled out a book. "This is a story about a human who loved golden flowers..."
Faye listened to the whole story. She almost fell asleep - the eighth human certainly fell asleep. Toriel chuckled and carried them back to the bedroom. She placed them into their sleeping bag and kissed the crown of their head. Then she noticed Faye, who was pretty much asleep in the hall.
"What are you doing out here, my child?" she asked. Faye yelped and woke up. "Are you having trouble sleeping as well?"
Toriel kneeled down, picked Faye up and carried her back into the bedroom as well. She placed her into the sleeping bag. Toriel had moved Brayden back into his bed so he wasn't sleeping on her anymore.
"Mommy," Faye spoke quietly. "Are we staying here forever, or are we gonna go home...?"
Toriel kissed Faye's forehead. "This is your home now, my child. Everything beyond the RUINS is dangerous. But I promise you you will be happy here."
"Okay, Mommy..." Faye replied, yawning. "Goodnight." She closed her eyes and faded away into the world of dreams.
"How can I help you, my children?" Toriel asked the next morning, sitting on her armchair. Everyone was awake now. Faye hadn't told the eighth human she spied on them. That she would keep to herself. She hadn't told her friends she wanted to stay, either. Well, not yet, anyway.
"How'd we exit the RUINS?" Clover asked, folding her arms.
"Erm... do you want to hear about the book I am reading?" Toriel asked, chuckling anxiously. "It is called, '72 Uses for Snails'. How about it?"
"How do we exit the RUINS?" Clover repeated, slower but more sternly.
"I'd like to hear about... um... seventy-two uses for snails!" Faye piped up quietly.
"I have an interest in all books, though I'm not really sure how one could come up with seventy-two uses for snails." Percy commented, making a face.
"Ah, well, here is an exciting snail fact!" Toriel replied cheerfully, ignoring Clover's death glare. "Did you know that snails-"
"Blah blah, who cares?!" Brayden interrupted. He scowled. "Look Ms. Toriel, we wanna leave this place! So show us where the exit is!"
"... I have to do something," Toriel replied. She stood up, removed her glasses and put the book away. "Stay here." She quickly walked away, headed for the stairs.
The eighth human followed her. So did everyone else. Well, Cody was a little hesitant.
"Should we really do this?" he asked, biting his lip. "I mean, Toriel-"
"D'ya wanna leave or not, bro?" Clover asked, tilting her head.
"Well, if it's where you're going, I'll come as well!" Cody replied, grinning.
He followed everyone else. Faye was very hesitant. But she eventually crawled down the stairs, which led into a scary, purple basement. Toriel had a serious expression on her face.
"You all wish to return 'home', do you not?" she asked, sounding upset. "Ahead of us lies the end of the RUINS. A one-way exit to the rest of the underground. I am going to destroy it. No one will ever able to leave. Now be good children and go upstairs." She continued walking.
"Oh I don't think so." Clover retorted, chasing after Toriel.
Brayden and the eighth human did as well. The rest of the group followed, Faye very behind. She didn't want to leave. She wanted to stay with Toriel and be happy. But she never got her way.
"You naive children," Toriel spoke as the group approached. She sounded serious and solemn. "If you leave the RUINS... they... ASGORE... will kill you. He declared he would destroy any human that fell down here. I am only protecting you all, do you understand? ... go to your room."
She continued walking. Despite the risk, everyone followed. Even Faye, who really didn't like this.
"Do not try to stop me," Toriel warned as they all approached a dark hallway. "This is your final warning." She kept walking.
Faye couldn't really take this anymore. She didn't want to leave. Her parents were never going to get better. She couldn't go back there and keep waiting. She wanted to stay here with Toriel forever and ever and live a nice happy life.
"Guys..." she said it quietly. No one heard her. "Guys!"
They all looked at her. She backed against the wall, breathing heavily.
"I... I'm sorry. I... um... I have something to tell you. I..." She sniffled. "I... I don't want to go with you... I want to stay here with Toriel..." She tried not to cry. "If I come... I'll just get in the way... I always do... you guys can go on ahead. Don't worry about me... I'll..." She cried a little. "I'll be okay here."
"What?" Brayden shoved past everyone else. He glared at Faye. "You're not staying here, FAYE! This is a group and we stick together no matter what!"
"Says the boy who runs off and abandons everyone else." Melody commented dryly. Brayden ignored her.
"I... I think I should..." Faye said sadly, looking away. "I-"
"NO!" Brayden yelled, interrupting her. "Staying here isn't gonna help anyone, Faye! You won't get in the way if you come with us - you'll get in the way if you stay HERE! YOU'LL BE STUCK HERE FOREVER!" He faced everyone else. "GUYS! If we wanna have any chance of leaving this dump we need to stay together! We need to fight for our freedom as a team!" He turned back to Faye. "You can't stay here like a coward, FAYE! If you do, you're just giving into the enemy!"
"I..." Faye frowned. "I... I can't... fight anything... and I like it here..."
"LIAR! I've seen you fight stuff before!" Brayden retorted, storming towards her. "Yeah, okay, this place is nice but it's not HOME! Don't you wanna go home and see your aunt and whoever?!"
"I KNOW you're not a coward - you're being BRAVE for your family, who's, like, sick and all that! All their hopes and dreams will be GONE if you stay here!" Brayden told her.
"He's got a point, pardner," Clover said.
"We shouldn't be shouting like this..." Cody sighed.
"Um..." Faye didn't know what to say. She wanted to ask why Brayden never gave up on her.
"LOOK, you're not staying here," Brayden continued. He sighed. "Y'know, I missed you when you left that old place ages ago. You didn't even say WHY. You just left. Then I met you again at the new school and I was happy - but you were, like, super quiet and sad and kept beating yourself up about stuff. And now you wanna stay here 'cause of all that crap!?"
Faye said nothing.
Brayden crossed his arms. "WELL, I'M YOUR BEST FRIEND AND I SAY NO MORE OF THAT! I'M TIRED OF YOU BEATING YOURSELF UP! LOOK, IF YOU DON'T WANNA COME, I'LL MAKE YOU! I WILL FREAKING DRAG YOU ALL THE HOME! WHY?! BECAUSE YOU'RE PART OF THIS TEAM AND I - WE - THINK YOU DESERVE TO COME WITH US, EVEN IF YOU DON'T THINK SO! YOU'RE NOT STAYING HERE!"
Faye was sitting on the floor now. Melody held Brayden back as she always did.
The eighth human gave Faye a warm smile. She couldn't help but return it. They had so much love to give.
"Look, Faye," Melody sighed. "Don't worry about Brayden. He just really cares about you and wants you to come with us. But if you really want to stay here, then he can't stop you. It's your choice."
"That's right," Clover adjusted her hat. "We're here for ya, pardner."
Faye smiled. "I... I think I'll come."