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Home Grown

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Freelance Research in System Ketchup is what his papers read, the true word blocked underneath blue crayon, and Gaster made a mental note to tell his sons to stay out of his work papers. Next to the paper’s vandalized title were doodles of three stick figures that Gaster knew his youngest had drawn as they vaguely appeared to be him and his boys… why the smallest had a cape on he may never know.

Gaster would emit, though, that it was a nice touch to see on a boring day like today and in such a dull room. The lab was boringly quiet and the eggshell white walls offered no excitement nor did the black and white checkerboard titled floor. Most of the other scientists left early or even didn’t come into the lab on Friday, but Gaster was too neck deep in his research to leave; even though he wanted to.

His sons were staying over at his friend’s place until he got off work so Gaster didn’t have to worry. What he did worry about was what lay before him. His desk was covered in papers that held long and, at this moment in time, rather boring equations and solutions. Most of them were failed problems but he had to keep them filed so that he didn’t repeat a calculation later on. Gaster sometimes wondered why he wasted his time on this silly project of his.

Freelance Research in System Kinetic-Knowledge is what he named this little side task of his and just as it stated he was doing this on his own time when he really should be working on the core. But even the Royal Scientist got bored with working on the same after so long so Gaster decided to start this activity as he called it to keep his mind fresh and clear.

But on days like this he questioned his choice on taking on such thing. It was tiresome, more than the core sometimes, and dull but every day he always found himself looking forward to working on it.

The project, though its title a bit ambiguous, was mostly Gaster trying to understand how the human body works in comparison to a monster one. Knowledge of how humans functioned was known very little by monsters, aside from basic knowledge like breathing, eating, etc. and Gaster wouldn’t lie when he said he was curious about how human soul’s managed to stay in a human.

With monsters it was their magic that held them together and held onto their souls, but with humans they had very little magic in their body and determination, though a very powerful thing couldn’t hold a soul to a fleshy body.

He gave this project the titled it had for this very reason. Research on humans wasn’t a sought after subject topic and many monsters that did were looked down upon. Many monsters saw no purpose in studying the humans who were the reason for them being trapped underground, and plenty of monsters just lived with the fact that humans were evil and lived above.

Gaster knew what was taught in the schools, the war and the vileness of humans, and though he knew it was cruel what was done to monster-kind he never agreed with the way humans were represented. Humans were not evil, they were just fearful and scared of what monsters could do and had acted rashly. It didn’t make up for what they did but Gaster didn’t hate the humans.

He actually found them rather interesting. With the information he had managed to gather he found out that there was more to a human than a bag of flesh and their unfathomable amount of determination. And with this project he hoped to learn more.

But with a quick glance at the clock on the wall Gaster saw it was getting late. He hadn’t told his friend that his children would be sleeping the night, and though he knew his friend wouldn’t mind he didn’t want to be rude and make it a habit. Gathering up his papers and depositing them back into his manila folder Gaster collects his things and makes his way out of his personal lab/office.

Sliding his slender arms through the sleeves of his black trench coat Gaster teleported himself back to Snowdin where he, his sons, and his friend lived. Gaster didn’t like wasting his magic on teleporting himself places, he tried to only use it in dire circumstances, but today he just wanted to hurry home and spend some time with his sons.

Walking through the slight flurry of snow that began to fall, Gaster soon made it to his friend’s home. Giving the door a couple knocks Gaster waited for only a few moments before it opened and he was barreled into by a blur of blue and red. Luckily he caught himself from falling, this time, and smiled down at what had attacked him and would not let go.

Sans, his eldest son, was hugging his leg like his life depended on it and was smiling up at him with a glint in his eye sockets that only a boy at the age of seven could have. Papyrus, his youngest and five years younger than Sans, was sitting in his brother’s jacket hood and was reaching up to him; wanting to be held. Picking up the child, Gaster was met with giggles as Papyrus batted his face with those tiny fists of his.

“You’re late.” Sans said grumpily, though his smile never fell. “Grillby started to make dinner without you!”

“Did he now?” Gaster said as he managed to step inside the house and out of the cold.

“He did.” A new voice spoke up and when Gaster lifted his head he was met with the form of his friend. The fire monster was leaning against the door frame that led into the kitchen and his arms were crossed against his chest in a casual manner. “And he is making you stay to eat because he also knows that you didn’t have anything all day.”

At that Gaster smiled sheepishly and a purple blush formed on his cheekbones. He did have a bad habit of forgetting to eat something when he was at work and Grillby always berated him about it. Honestly without the constant reminders from the flame monster Gaster was more than certain he would collapse during the day from having no energy.

“PASTA!” Papyrus shouted happily as he tugged on his father’s coat.

“Sounds good,” Gaster laughed lightly as he pulled the red sleeve of Papyrus’ onesie down. “Need any help?”

“Nope.” Grillby said as he stood up from the wall. “I already have two helpers, but it seems as though they left their posts.”

Sans was the first to react, dethatching himself from Gaster’s leg and reached up for his brother. Handing Papyrus to Sans, Gaster watched as the two went back into the kitchen. Now that he was alone with Grillby, Gaster watched as the fire monster walked over to him. Though he really didn’t have much of a face to read Gaster knew Grillby was smiling.

“How are things at the lab?”

“Good, the core is coming alone nice. It’s not quite finished yet and is a bit unstable but soon we should be generating enough magic and power to spread it all over the underground.” Gaster said the two talked. “At least I hope so.”

“Don’t worry; you weren’t given the title of Royal Scientist just for your looks.” Grillby said with a chuckle. “If anyone can solve this it’s you.”

Gaster smiled but it was more a forced one than anything. More than half the underground was without light and power and monsters couldn’t always be wasting their magic to fix this problem. Places like Snowdin were lucky enough to have this luxury for the sole reason that Gaster lived here. The core, though not finished, was able to power at least his lab and a bit of the town. The core would have fits though and sometimes the monsters of Snowdin could be without power for a while.

Grillby looks like he is about to say something but when a shout comes from the kitchen both adults’ attention is pulled out of the conversation.

“DAD! GRILLBY! PAPPY IS EATING THE NOODLE BOX AGAIN!” Sans’ voice vibrated from the kitchen and the sounds of growling could be heard which could only be Papyrus trying to keep the box away from his older brother.

“What is it with my child and noodles?” Gaster asked as he shook his head and followed Grillby into the kitchen.

“I don’t know, what is it with you science?” Grillby asked. He never truly understood the sciency stuff Gaster did or talked about.  

Gaster only smiled at the fire monster’s comment as they entered the kitchen. He could ask Grillby what was with him and cooking but he thought better not too. Grillby was just as passionate about his cooking as Gaster was about his science and though the two always quibbled each other good-naturedly on their favorite topics the older skeleton thought he would say their witty bantering for another time.

Right now he had to worry about getting his youngest son away from the pasta box.


.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.


 Gaster hated Mondays. Mondays were the start of the work week and that meant he had to come in early to open the lab. After having dropped his sons off at the daycare Gaster again decided to be lazy and teleport himself to the lab. Normally children Sans’ age would be in school but Gaster saw fit to home school the boy. Sans seemed to enjoy it, he was never said anything against it and it was time he got to spend with his father and Vis versa. Papyrus was still too young to start school so Gaster had a few more years with only having to teach Sans.

Opening the lab Gaster stepped inside with a tired yawn. It was dark like normal and it smelled of cleaning solution and chemicals. Flipping the lights on Gaster walked towards his office to get the day started. Upon entering his office, Gaster was met with the still plain and boring atmosphere that he had left on Friday. Placing his bag on his desk and removing his coat Gaster then pulled out his side project’s folder. He had an hour or so until the other scientist came and he was going to use it to try out some more equations he thought up over the weekend.

Sitting down in his chair, Gaster pulled out the papers and began to jot down his problems. Sadly a couple of them were just repeats but a few were new ones that almost made sense but when it came back to the soul they failed. After so many equations Gaster grew tired of this and decided to rest his phalanges. Setting down his pen Gaster rested his head in his hands.

“This is pointless.” He said to himself. “Maybe there just isn’t a scientific reason behind the human soul... Maybe I am just over thinking it.”

Rubbing his temples, Gaster pushed his chair back to stand up but in doing so he accidently caused a breeze and it sent his papers flying. Letting out and irritated grunt Gaster bent down to pick up the papers but stopped when he noticed something. Two papers were lying next to each other and each held an equation he deemed a dead end, but now that the equations were up against one another and as Gaster read over them they… seemed to fit.

Picking up the papers, Gaster read over them and slowly he was finding that this could hold at least a starting point in how a human soul is able to stay inside their bodies. Forgetting about the other fallen papers, Gaster walked over to a machine. It was one he had created himself to calculate formulas and equations and test chemicals and compounds to see if the equations actually worked.

Plugging in the equation and numbers, Gaster watched as the machine mixed the chemicals and other various materials together. The machine gave a shudder before the little red light on it blinked to signal that the equation had been a failure.

Feeling his shoulders go slack, Gaster gave a depressing sigh. He should have expected this. All his other equations that he thought would work and had plugged into the machine had resulted the same way so why should he be surprised by this one. Reaching out to clean the machine, after every use Gaster had to clear out the used chemicals and dispose of them, he opened the panel where the chemicals were mixed and went to pull out the yuck.

Though as his hand reached into the machine something happened and it turned back on. Some gears turned and before Gaster knew what to do something cut into the bone of both his hands. The pain was excruciating and Gaster found himself screaming as high as his voice would allow and then some.

The machine grinded and cut into his hands and Gaster watched as his bone chunks and dust fell into the compound the machine had deemed a failure. The moment his matter touched the mixture it began to bubble and the once blue goop turned a bright red before turning to black. Startled by this Gaster tried to free his injured hands from the machine but it wouldn’t release him.

Watching as the now contaminated compound bubbled and hissed Gaster felt a great fear wash over him. When the now inky black substance started leak over its petri dish and onto his hands and into the mechanics of the machine Gaster wished he had come in late today.  The slime burned his bones and the machine started to spark as it touched wires and parts and all Gaster could think of was how he had left his sons at the daycare and how their smiles would be the last he ever saw of them.

As the image of his sons and how much he loved them crossed his mind the machine gave one final shake before it exploded in Gaster’s face.

And then….

Darkness.

Chapter Text

The next thing Gaster knows as he regains consciousness is that he has someone poking and prodding his body and that he wants them, whoever it is, to stop. Their hands are cold to the touch and it sends shivers through his bones and that doesn’t make him feel any better. Slowly opening his eye socket, his right one for some reason wouldn’t open, Gaster is assaulted with a bright light from the ceiling above him. Using his arm to shield his vision he must have startled the monster next to him because the cold hands have left him finally.

“Dr. Gaster!” a high pitched female voice shouts and it causes Gaster’s skull ring in pain. “You’re awake!”

“W-where am I?” Gaster spoke, but found his voice strained and raspy.

“You’re in the lab’s medical wing,” The monster says as she slowly takes Gaster’s arm and moves it from his vision. Again his eye socket is attacked by the light but after allowing it to adjust Gaster can see that he is indeed in the medical wing.  Turning his head to the right Gaster finally sees who it is that is speaking with him.

It is a medium height lizard monster with brown scales that goes by the name Gertrude. She is dressed in her white lab coat but Gaster notices that it has these weird black splotches on it. Her expression is worrying as he aqua blue eyes are darting all over and her hands twitch madly. Gaster has known Gertrude for a few years and knowing that she only does that hand motion when she is scared terrifies him.

“Do you remember what happened?” Gertrude asks as she looks down at the doctor.

“I… I was in my office.” Gaster said as rubbed his sore head with his hand but noticed how his palm was wrapped up; both hands actually. “And… there was an accident.”

“It was more than just an accident!” Gertrude shouted but after seeing Gaster’s pained expression she lowered her voice. “We all came in and we found you for lake of a better term shredded.”

“M-my machine exploded.” Gaster said, his memory coming back to him. “And… then I must have blacked out. How bad are my injuries?”

Gertrude looked away when he asked that. Her tail swinging on the floor very fast and her hands started to twitch again. Gaster knew he was not going to like the answer. Looking down at his body Gaster found out that he was correct. He was on a bed and the clothes he had on earlier had been removed and replaced with a pair of black shorts. With most of his body exposed it gave him enough visual to just how damaged he was.

Covered from sternum to shin, Gaster was wrapped in bandages. His ribs looked to have gotten the worst of the blast as he could feel a couple of them cracked and stains of red on the wraps; the bone marrow obviously bleeding through.  He didn’t know how damaged his hands were but the bandages around them didn’t encourage positive thoughts and his face must be a sight if he couldn’t see out of one.

Turning back to Gertrude Gaster saw that she wasn’t looking at him but with the way she waved her hands over him and how they glowed an electric yellow he took a guess she was scanning him with her magic.

“You’re stable now. We were able to heal most of the damage but your ribs will have to heal on their own.” Gertrude said as she finished her scan and finally looked Gaster in the eyes. “There is… one thing that is troubling though.”

“What is it?” Gaster asked as he tried to sit up, but only to have Gertrude push him back down. Even if she hadn’t he would have on his own from how painful his ribs screamed at him.

“We tried to manifest your soul, to see if it had taken any serious damage,” Gertrude said as she pointed to Gaster sternum. “But no matter what we did it wouldn’t show.”

Now this didn't concerned Gaster too much. There were plenty of ways to make a soul manifest itself; a spell, a battle, and countless others. But there were just as many reasons why it wouldn’t. One of the main reasons for a soul not to manifest itself was if the monster was in such a state of shock or distress that the soul would try to conserve magic and hide. Not until the monster was calmed down enough would it show up again.

“I am probably just too damaged and drained in magic for it to manifest, Gertrude.” Gaster said as he closed his eye socket.

“Oh! Why didn’t I think of that?! That would be the logical thing for it to do.” Gertrude said to herself more than to Gaster as she raced over to a table and began to write something down.

Enjoying the silence of the moment, Gaster could feel his mind wanting to drift back into sleep but just as it was in mere seconds away from him he realized something.

“Has anyone called my sons?!” Gaster shouted as he again tried to sit up. “How long have I been out?! I need to go pick them up?!”

Gaster made it as far as the edge of the bed before he collapsed to the floor like a bag of bones. As Gertrude gasped in horror and went to his side Gaster hissed in pain but ignored it. His sons were probably worried sick about him and he didn’t like that. He was his sons’ only family in this world, if anything happened to him…

Trying to stand up Gaster managed to lean against the bed, but he knew if he let it go he would go back to the floor. Gertrude was mumbling incoherent words at him as she tried to get him into the bed but Gaster would have none of it. He was just about to take a step when the door to the room suddenly opened and to Gaster’s shock Grillby walked in carrying both Sans and Papyrus.

“DADDY!” Sans shouted as he reached out for his father. Papyrus also reached out for Gaster and from the damp look on his face it was clear the child had been crying. Grillby managed to keep a strong hold on the children as he came into the room but Gaster could see the worry in his eyes.

“I-I called them.” Gertrude said as she noticed Gaster physically relax and that in turn calmed her down. “You emergency contact was Grillby and it left him in charge of your sons.”

Letting out a sigh, Gaster kept his gaze on his sons and smiled. He could always count on Grillby, no matter what. The fire monster was the closest thing Gaster could consider family and he was grateful to have met him. He was great with his sons and right now it was working for Grillby in his favor as he held the two boys.

“You should get back into bed Wing Ding.” Grillby said and at hearing his first name Gaster knew that the fire monster meant it not as a request. Nodding his head Gaster climbed back into the bed, with help from Gertrude, and when he was finally lying down did Grillby bring the boys over.

Sans was staring at his father in horror and Papyrus looked ready to cry again. Seeing their face look that way hurt Gaster and reaching out with a bandaged hand he allowed his sons to grab onto it. Ignoring the pain that went through it as his boys gripped it with all they had, Gaster gave them a reassuring smile.

“I’m alright, don’t worry. I’m still here.” Gaster said and he didn’t know if he was saying it for their benefit or his own.

Papyrus started to sniffle as he clutched his father’s pink and though Sans liked to say he was a big boy and that big boys don’t cry Gaster could see the beginning form of tears. Looking up at Grillby Gaster could see the distress the normally calm fire monster was in as well; his flames were flicking the air franticly and the air in the room felt hot.

“I’ll... be right back.” Gertrude said as she decided to give the group some alone time.

Once she was gone, Gaster looked up at Grillby with a pleading gaze for his children. It was obvious that the boys weren’t satisfied with just holding their father’s hand and Gaster wanted them to be closer as well. The family of three only had each other in this world and after something like this, the fear of losing someone, they only wanted to be in each other’s company.

“…You boys be gentle with your old man.” Grillby said as he gently lowered the two down onto the bed. “We don’t want him anymore broken than he already is.”

Once on the bed, Sans and Papyrus snuggled up to Gaster as gingerly as possible. Papyrus had somehow found his way up to Gaster’s neck and crammed his tiny body as close to his father as he could, while Sans stayed at Gaster’s side; laying down and rested his head on the older one’s shoulder. Wrapping his arms around Sans and Papyrus, Gaster turned to Grillby.

The fire monster was eerily quiet and Gaster knew that it was never a good sign. For who knows how long the group sat in silence with Grillby standing watch over them, but when the quiet sound of snoring came from the boys the flamed being finally spoke.

“Do you know what you put them through?” Grillby asked coldly, something that one may think was odd for him but Gaster had heard it countless times in the past and knew what it could lead to. “First I get a call from the daycare saying that you never showed up and when I go to pick the boys up I find them in a crying frenzy. I tried to calm them down but they wouldn’t and kept asking for you.

“And when I finally managed to get them home I get another call. A call saying that there was an accident at the lab. Somehow Sans overheard the call and that only made them worry more.” Grillby continued and the flames that made up his body began to kiss the air like a viper striking its prey. “… So I will ask you again. Do you know what you put them through? Put… Put me through?”

“Grillby,” Gaster knew he was walking on thin ice right now so he thought carefully on what he would say next. “I’m… I’m sorry I worried you, all of you. There was a mishap with one of my machines and, well, it blew up.”

“That’s the thing Wing Ding,” Grillby said as he turned away from the skeleton. “It’s always mishaps and things exploding with you. You’re never careful and I've stopped counting how many times you’ve nearly turn to dust. You can’t keep doing this Wing Ding, you cannot keep putting them through this.”

Looking at his children, Gaster suddenly was overcome with guilt. Sans face was now wet with tears as he cried in his sleep and Papyrus refused to loosen his grip on Gaster’s hand. He had done this to them. He had made his children afraid of never seeing him again whenever he left for work. They were terrified of not being able to hold onto him or come to him in the night when they had bad dreams.

Gaster had made them afraid of losing their father.

Closing his good eye, afraid of his own tears spilling, Gaster pulled his sons closer. This was not what he wanted for his sons, he wanted them to grow up happy and carefree, not scared and nervous for his wellbeing. That was his job as a father, to worry about his sons coming to him when they were hurt, to be nervous when they weren’t in his line of vision, and so far it looked as though he was failing it.

“You need to start putting them first, this lab, the core, it comes second.” Grillby said as he finally turned back to Gaster, his flames finally having calmed down. “So what if the underground and Asgore have to wait a few more years for its completion, who cares? Your sons need a father, not a pile of dust.”

“I’m sorry.” Gaster finally spoke when he managed to get his emotions in check. “I just… I just wanted my sons’ life to be better.”

“It will be,” Grillby said as he crossed his arms. “With their father in it for years to come.”


 .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.


After the accident, Gaster was given some time off to heal. During this he made sure it was always with his sons. The first two weeks were with him switching between staying in bed or on the couch but he still found ways to interact with his sons. Grillby stayed with them those weeks as well, to make sure Gaster healed properly with good food and to make sure his sons weren’t too rough with him.

Though Sans and Papyrus never were too rambunctious during those first couple weeks. They talked softly around Gaster, walked slowly, everything about his sons was like they were journeying over eggshells around their father. Gaster reassured them endlessly that he was fine now and they had nothing to worry about, but the looks they gave him told they weren’t ready to believe him.

By the third week Gaster was able to walk around the house with a cane. Once they saw him up and about Sans and Papyrus seemed to calm down enough to start acting like their old selves. They were more active, though still careful with Gaster and it seemed as things were finally going back to normal. But the universe has a weird way of changing things from normal to life changing rather quickly.

One thing that was a visible change was Gaster himself. The explosion had left him scarred badly and from what Gertrude said these would never heal. His skull now sported two long thin cracks, one coming off from each of his eye sockets. His right eye socket was slightly more damaged than the left though, slightly drooping down in a melted fashion.

His hands now had big gaping holes in them. The metacarpals had fused/melted together, caused by the chemical goop he theorized, and the holes had been from when the machine crushed his hands. When the bandages had come off his hands everyone had been a bit shocked by this, but after Papyrus placed his juice cup in it with a happy giggle everyone just accepted them as they were; a part of Gaster.

Now there were a few damages that were not visible. Gaster’s hearing was slightly more sensitive now, he was able to hear things far from across the room, and yelling hurt like someone had taken a sludge hammer to his skull. This problem had taken a while to get used to, especially since Papyrus liked to be loud.

And the final thing that was troubling to Gaster was how drained he felt. It was like his magic was just leaking out of him and it left him extremely exhausted. Grillby had made a comment on how maybe the cracks in his head was acting as a vent and allowing his magic to and all that hot air in there to escape, but Gaster had a feeling that the fire monster was only pulling his leg… partly.

It wasn’t a bothersome trouble, Gaster still could get through his day with his sons but by the end of it he found himself collapsing on his bed and in mere minutes falling asleep. After about a month of this Gaster thought of maybe going to see a medical doctor and see if they could figure out what was the cause of his low magic levels. The idea, though, was shot down quickly one night after dinner at Grillby’s place.

Grillby had invited the skeleton family over for dinner and after the meal Gaster had offered to do the dishes. Grillby was fine with that, ‘as long as you don’t get anything stuck in your holes’ he said in good jest and Gaster found himself laughing at the quip. The holes in his hands were actually rather useful Gaster found in certain situations. He always had a cup holder when the opportunity showed itself.

But it was during washing a cup when a pain unexpectedly ripped through him. It was so sudden that Gaster accidently dropped the cup and his hands flew to his sternum; gripping the fabric of his turtleneck tightly. The cup he had dropped had shattered on the floor but he barely paid it any mind as his body was wracked with pain. It felt like his soul was being cut and stabbed with a serrated knife.

Hearing Grillby enter the room Gaster barely registered what the other monster was saying. This pain was so alien to him and it felt as if he was doing everything in his power to not turn to dust on the spot. Feeling a warm hand on his back Gaster only had a split second to wonder what Grillby was doing before he felt the magic being transferred.

Monsters were able to share magic between other, usually this was only done between two who were very intimate or in a relationship, and when one monster’s magic levels were low another could transfer some of their magic to the other.

As Gaster felt the pain slowly leave him he let out a sigh and used his hands to lean on the counter. Grillby hadn’t said a thing during the whole process and when Gaster’s levels were at a reassuring level the fire monster turned the skeleton’s head to look at him.

“What happened?” Grillby asked in a stern but concerning tone.

“I… I don’t know.” Gaster said as rubbed his sternum; it was still numb from the pain. “I wasn’t even using my magic.”

Grillby looked like he was about to say something but when the sound of small feet walking into the kitchen was heard both adult monsters turned to see Sans and papyrus standing in the archway of the room. Papyrus was once again nestled in Sans' hood, a thing the two had been doing for so long it was natural to see the tyke there, and both children were looking at the adults with confused expressions.

“What’s going on?” Sans asked, noticing the broken glass on the floor.

“Nothing Sans,” Gaster said a bit too quickly, but he didn’t want to worry his children. “I just dropped a glass and it startled me.”

Sans didn’t appear to buy the excuse, but nodded as he slowly walked back into the living room. Once the boy was gone Grillby turned to Gaster and Gaster slumped against the counter while running a hand over his head. What happened was definitely not nothing but what it actually was neither could guess.

“You need to go see a doctor.” Grillby whispered as he bent down and started to clean up the broken glass. “Monsters just don’t random lose their magic like that.”

Gaster nodded, knowing fully well that Grillby’s words were true. Whatever was wrong with Gaster it needed to be check before this happened again. What if Grillby wasn’t around the next time to give him a pick-me-up?

“I’ll make an appointment tomorrow.” Gaster said as he moved to return to the dishes but with a swat from Grillby’s hand he stopped.

“Go to your boys. I’ll finish the dishes.” Grillby said and Gaster nodded.

Leaving the kitchen, Gaster found himself rubbing his sternum again. He definitely needed to get this problem resolved before something worse happened.


 .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.


The journey back home was thankfully a quiet one. Sans and Papyrus had fallen asleep on Grillby’s couch watching tv, the youngest held tightly and safely in Sans arms; both wrapped in his oversized blue jacket. Grillby said they could stay the night and could have his guest room but Gaster said he needed to go home. Even though he was on recovery that didn’t stop the skeleton from working when he had time.

Grillby had laughed and called Gaster a workaholic but allowed him to head home on the promise he would go see the doctor tomorrow. Gaster promised and the trio of skeletons left the flame monsters house after that. Once the they finally made it home and the two children put to bed Gaster was about to go to his own bed but stopped.

Though the pain was gone Gaster still had this heavy feeling in his soul. It had stayed there the whole time after what happened at Grillby’s house and Gaster was curious. What could cause this feeling? Gaster couldn’t think of anything that could answer this question and after a short debate with himself he decided to see if something was wrong with soul.

Stepping into the bathroom and closing the door behind him, Gaster turned to the sink where a mirror hung above it.  Pulling off his turtleneck and placing it on the sink Gaster gave his body a look over. His bones were healing, most were completely healed, but some of his ribs still have fractures. At seeing them Gaster wondered if this was the reason why he was low on magic. His body was still healing and just using his too much of his magic to speed up the process.

Still wanting to make sure, Gaster called forth his soul and watched as it manifested before him. All monster souls, unlike humans, looked the same, an upside down white heart that glowed with a silver sheen, so when the normal shape began to form Gaster saw nothing wrong. But as his soul gained a more solid appearance that was when he let out a startled gasp.

His soul was fine, all white and upside down, but it was what lay inside his soul that terrified him. Settled in the very center of his soul, blanketed in his magic, and floated in a bobbing motion was a small red heart that was connected to his soul by a thin tendril.  The heart gave a slight jerk, almost as if it was startled at being seen, and Gaster let out a gasp; he felt that.

The red heart gave another painful lurch and Gaster knew he must be the cause of this new heart’s panic. But this wasn’t just any heart. It was a soul.

A human soul.

Human souls came in all assorts of colors and shades and were right side up hearts. So the moment Gaster saw the anomaly in his soul he knew right away what it was and as the metaphorical gears in his head began to turn he knew how it had gotten there.

When he had plugged in those equations into his machine something must have happened during the explosion. The compound maybe wasn’t a failure, or something had been changed in the chemicals, but whatever the cause was Gaster now had done something that was only thought to be the work of a god.

He had created a soul. A human soul. He, W. D. Gaster, had created living human soul without even knowing it.

And now said new life was leaching off him and surviving on his magic. At least that explained why he felt so drained lately, this soul was sapping off his magic to survive and his magic was also battling off the determination the human soul produced. Monsters and high amounts of determination don’t mix well.

And from how bright this little soul glowed from inside his own it was filled with a lot of determination. Determination to live.

The human soul gave a panic shudder from inside Gaster soul and the feeling made him shiver. Watching as the new soul bounced around in his soul Gaster could only think of one thing to describe how the soul was acting. It was like a small child having been caught sneaking sweets and was now trying to escape. Or in this case, the soul’s hiding spot had been found and was now scared and trying to hide.

Gaster didn’t know why, maybe it was to stop the soul was jostling his own around, but he slowly reached out for his soul and in turn the human soul inside it.

“It’s alright. I won’t hurt you.” Gaster found himself saying as he wrapped his hands around his soul and it kept the human soul still. Gaster kept repeating this until the new soul calmed down enough and sat within his own soul. Once it was relaxed, Gaster stared down at it and for some odd reason it gave the impression it was staring at him.

Gaster was lost at this point. What was he supposed to do now? He had a human soul nestled inside his own and was living off his magic. How much longer would it last there? Human souls needed a body to inhabit and Gaster needed his magic. He thought of just pulling it out, but the thought must have startled the new soul as it receded deeper into his soul.

“Wait a minute,” Gaster said as he looked down at the souls in his hand. “Can… can you hear me?”

The human soul was still for a moment before it gave a gentle rub against Gaster soul. It could understand him, and even more astounding it could hear his thoughts. Shocked by this Gaster sat down on the rim of the bathtub and just stared at the new soul.

It didn’t move now, just sat there still like, and seemed to be watching him; waiting for him to make the next move. Gaster couldn’t speak, couldn’t even think, this was so… strange is a good word for this.  Never before has a monster ever been able to create a human soul but here he was, looking down at his accidental creation, and it looking at him.

“This… this is amazing.” Gaster finally spoke and it seemed to intrigue the new soul as it moved closer to him. “…You’re amazing.”

This was a scientific leap! Being able to create human souls was something mind bending… this could be their ticket out of the underground. Most of his equations and notes were destroyed in the explosion but he could analyze this soul and maybe find a way to make more. Run some tests and experiments…

“No.” Gaster said aloud. “No, you are not an experiment. You are a living being, well, soul at least.”

The soul seems comforted by this and shockingly phases through Gaster’s souls and up to his face. The tendril that is keeping it connected to his soul stretches thin but it never breaks. Watching as the human soul brushes against his cheekbone, Gaster can’t help but notice a warm feeling resonate from deep within him. Smiling at this small essence of life, Gaster slowly raises one of his hands to gently stroke it.

The human soul was cold to the touch, probably because of it leaving the safety of his soul, but it had this softness to it. As his digits grazed the red heart Gaster smiled as it nudged into his touch before quickly retreating back into the warmth and safety of his soul. It was a weird sensation, the human soul coming in and out of his, but he couldn’t stop smiling.

“Don’t worry, I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Chapter Text

The early morning air was bitter cold as Gaster walked and it scratched at his face with the frozen water droplets that fell. Maybe the weather somehow knew where he was going and this was its way of scolding him. Gaster didn’t believe in such things honestly, but he also never believed it possible to creating a human soul so it was up for debate.

One thing Gaster did believe in, though, was that if Grillby ever found out that he was not actually going to go see a doctor but to the lab he would be better off as dust. Gaster didn’t like lying to the flame monster, but the skeleton knew that no monster in any medical field would be able to help him in his… condition. No, this problem he had to solve on his own and with a scientific approach.

So after dropping his sons off at Grillby’s, Gaster made his way to the labs. Grillby had asked why he was leaving so early but when Gaster had responded with that it was the doctor’s only opening it calmed the worry and suspicion the flame monster had. Mentally sighing in relief that Grillby had not questioned his response further Gaster finally made it to the lab.

It was still early, really early, so none of the other scientists would be arriving yet. Though technically this was his lab, Gaster was still on leave for his injuries and was still forbidden from coming to the lab by Grillby. So stealthy and secrecy was a must on this mission of his.

After entering the lab and making it to his office Gaster was welcomed with a tiring sight as the lights came on. His office was in complete shambles, debris from the explosion lay all over, the walls were scorched and stained with a black substance, notes were askew and burnt, and the machine lay broken on its counter and didn’t even remotely look like it once had.

“Of course no one would take a moment of their time to clean this mess up.” Gaster said as he turned away from the mess and towards another door. The mess could be dealt with later; Gaster had more important things to worry about.   

Walking through a door that led to his smaller private lab, Gaster flipped on the light switched and watched as the room was bathed in a dimly glow from the ceiling. The room wasn’t too big but was filled compactly with objects. On one side of the room stood three tall cylinder tanks filled to the brim with a brightly glowing purple liquid. The other half of the room was covered in tables, counter tops, cabinets, and other various scientific items and tools. There was also a fridge on the far wall that Gaster kept to house his snacks and the food that Grillby made for him.

Taking a step towards the tubes, Gaster glances down at one of the monitors that read the stats and information of the purple liquid. This liquid had been one of Gaster’s biggest achievements as well as failures. It was an achievement because of the fact that this glowing and bubbling liquid was Determination in a solid form, but it was also a failure as Gaster had no real use for the stuff. He truly only made this on a whim and wanted to see if Determination could take a solid form, but beyond that it served no real purpose.

Until now.

After seeing that the Determination, or DT for short, was stable, Gaster called forth his soul. Once manifested before him Gaster gazed down at the human soul that seemed to be resting inside his own. It appeared to be comfortably sleeping and undisturbed by the fact that Gaster had summoned it or that it was now cupping in his hands.

A smile formed on Gaster’s face but it quickly faltered. A human soul, though highly resilient, needed more than his magic to sustain itself. It needed determination, something that monsters lacked greatly in, and it needed a body. The latter of the two was still a work in progress but the first Gaster thought he had a solution for.

“Maybe this stuff will finally have a purpose other than just sitting here.” Gaster said as pressed a button on the monitor and it made a slot pop out on the side of the DT tank. The slot was used to transfer items into the DT or extract the liquid to use in tests… It was also conveniently big enough for the small human soul to slip into. If Gaster’s plan worked, and by god he hoped it did, the soul should survive better in the DT than in his soul and magic.

Turning back to the souls in his hand, Gaster gentle stroked his own in hopes of rousing the human soul inside it. It didn’t seem to be working so figuring he had nothing else to try Gaster tried talking to it. He knew the soul could hear his thoughts but Gaster hadn’t thought of trying to communicate with it that way. Anything was worth a shot at this point.

‘Wake up little one,’ Gaster thought as he smiled down at the tiny red heart. ‘It’s time to get up.’

The soul gave a sort of shudder movement, which made Gaster shiver, before moving around and appearing to look up at him. Gaster gave the soul a warm smile as he motioned with his free hand to the tube in front of him.

“This is where you will need to stay,” Gaster said as the soul turned to look at the vat of purple liquid. “My soul won’t be able to house you much longer with how much magic you are draining me of. Besides, magic is not a great substitute for determination.”

Gaster could sense the soul’s confusion, but he also felt fear ripple through it. The soul had understood when Gaster had said it needed to stay in the tub and that terrified it. The soul felt safe inside Gaster’s and thinking of leaving it made it shake. Feeling both the movement and fear the soul made, Gaster ran his thumb over the surface of his soul.

“Do not worry, I promised nothing would happen to you and I intend to keep it.” Gaster said to reassure the soul, though he also feared that he may not be able to keep that promise. “This will be far safer for you and me than staying in my soul.”

The soul seemed hesitant, still shaking as it stared up at the imposing tube of purple liquid, but with what looked like a glance at Gaster it slowly fazed through his soul. The tendril that connected them suddenly faded away and Gaster found himself letting out a sigh. No longer being connected, Gaster suddenly felt more energized now that he wasn’t sharing his magic. Allowing his soul to fade away he gently grasped the human soul. Moving it to the opened slot Gaster was about to put it in when the soul suddenly jumped out of his hands and floated over to his cheek.

It shook violently and Gaster, though no longer connected to the soul, still could sense the fear in it. Fear was literally radiating off the human soul; fear of fading away. But he could also feel that endless supply of Determination, determination to live, right behind that fear and Gaster gave a reassuring smile. Reaching up to the soul Gaster moved it away from his cheek and held it out so that it was looking at him.

“Trust me.” Was all Gaster could think to say, but even then in his mind it still wasn’t enough. How could this little soul trust him when even he was unsure?

But it seemed to be just the thing the soul needed to hear as it didn’t fight Gaster this time as he placed it in the slot. Giving it one more smile, Gaster pressed a button on the monitor and the slot shut with a shunk. Once closed, the slot deposited the soul into the DT and it floated in the purple liquid slowly.

‘So far so good.’ Gaster thought as the soul stopped in the middle of the glass tube. It turned left and right, as if to get a look at its new home, but suddenly gave a startling shake. Smile now completely gone, Gaster watched as the soul began to pulsate and the DT around it began to glow even brighter. Terror now filled his soul as Gaster could do nothing but watch as the soul went into a panic state and shook violently.

Looking down at the monitor, Gaster saw that the DT’s chemical compound was changing and the tanks temperature was rising. Looking back the soul Gaster let out a shocked gasp as the soul was now producing a white light and so was the DT. Taking a step back Gaster only had a split second to cover his face as the light became much too bright and cascaded the whole room in its brilliance.

Gaster fearfully thought the soul had exploded or disintegrated in the DT as the light blinded him. He had failed this soul and couldn’t keep his promise, even worse was that it was his fault he basically killed it! As the light began to fade Gaster was afraid to look at the tank, knowing he would see nothing inside it, but once the light was dim enough to where he could see and Gaster dared himself to look he saw that his prediction was not what he had feared.

The soul was still there in the tube, thankfully, and seemed unharmed by the strange light show but the DT had changed. The DT in the tube was now a brilliant Camelot blue that sparkled and glowed. The soul seemed just as shocked as Gaster was as it moved around the tube, as if to see if it was really alive, and when the scientist placed his hand on the tube the soul moved towards it instinctively.

“That… was too close for comfort.” Gaster said as he let out a heavy sigh. That was way too close.

The soul appeared to be fine in the DT and the monitor didn’t detect any new anomalies so that put Gaster’s mind to ease. Moving his hand away, the scientist watched as the human soul floated around to explore its new surroundings. It didn’t seem to be in pain which was a good thing, though what just happen was a mystery to Gaster.

‘Maybe it has something to do with the DT being in contact with a soul?’ Gaster thought as he walked over to a counter and picked up a clipboard and began to jot down notes as he returned to the vat. ‘Or possibly the reaction had something with the soul itself, seeing as it isn’t a naturally made soul?’

Turning back to the soul, Gaster let a smile cross his face. The soul appeared to have gone into a recharge state as it floating calmly in the middle of the cylinder tube; the red light it gave off pulsated in a way that Gaster couldn’t help but think was its way of snoring. Setting his pen down, Gaster placed his hand back on the glass. Rubbing his thumb over the smooth and cool surface, the scientist felt something he hadn’t felt since he first started working on the core.

He felt determined. Determined to do everything in his power to keep this human soul alive and out of danger. The thought of keeping it safe filled Gaster with so much determination his body shook. This human soul was special, and Gaster would do everything in his power to make sure no harm came to it and that it didn’t fall into the hands of those who would use it wrongly.

He was determined to keep this promise. 


.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.


 A month has passed and Gaster has found himself in a rather new and enjoyable routine.

He was allowed back in the labs a week after finding the human soul, much to the annoyance of Grillby, and he no longer has to sneak in. Gaster also now leaves an hour earlier for work, to give him some time to spend with and observe the human soul, and because of this Sans and Papyrus now get dropped off at Grillby’s in the morning. They don’t mind, both of Gaster’s sons adore Grillby, and the fire monster says it is no trouble watching over the boys until it is time for them to go to daycare.

After this, Gaster stays in his personal lab and interacts with the human soul until the other scientists arrive. Gaster mostly checks on the soul’s vitals and replenishes the tank’s DT, and as he does this he usually strikes up a conversation. True, it is mostly a one sided conversation, but Gaster knows the soul is listening and sometimes he does get a response. It is usually in the form of a pulse of light or even on rare occasions… feelings.

Though it cannot speak, Gaster can sometimes feel what the soul is feeling. He isn’t sure how these feelings are being shared, and he wonders if the soul knows or not, but the best way Gaster can describe them is that possible the human soul and him have some form of bond. Maybe it had to do something with how the soul was created or just simply the fact that it had attached itself to him in the beginning, Gaster wasn’t sure. But every time he brings up certain things he always gets different responses.

Whenever he brings up the topic of the core and its construction, the soul sends him the feeling of being bored. If Gaster talks about the other scientists and their endeavors, the soul reacts with curiosity. The topic of Grillby and his sons is when Gaster feels the most emotions from the soul as he can sense both interest and wonder, hints of enjoyment and content, but the emotion Gaster can make out the best from the soul is love.

Gaster had never seen anything with so much love in it; the soul was almost literally overflowing with the emotion alongside its determination. Whenever he talks about how Sans and Papyrus play together or how he and Grillby just sit down and talk, the human soul radiates with love. Gaster finds himself liking the way he and soul can somehow share their emotions and so he talks more and more each passing day.

Today though… Gaster finds that there is this emptiness in this bond he shares with the soul.

Looking up from his notes and pausing in his story of how Papyrus had drawn all over Sans’ skull in crayons, Gaster turned to the soul with concern. It had not once sent him any form of emotion during the conversation and that worried him. Talking of his sons always made the human soul active, but now it appeared to not even be slightly listening. Walking over to it glass tank, Gaster saw how the soul seemed to limply floating in the DT tank. Its glow wasn’t as bright and Gaster could barely make out the pulse it gave off.

Pressing a hand to the glass, Gaster could feel his level of concern rising. The soul always leaned into his touch, even if the glass separated them, and seeing it not even moving an inch towards him was startling. Looking down at the monitor, Gaster saw that the DT levels were stable but it was the information on the soul was troubling. Not long after having transferred the soul into the DT tank, Gaster had modified the monitors to keep track of the soul’s health and stats. And right now what he was looking at was not good.

The soul’s HP level had dropped and though it wasn’t at a worrying number it did bring up some concerns.

What could be the reason for the soul’s sudden drop in HP? No physical harm had come to it, Gaster was more than positive on that, and all of its other states were fine. So what could have made it…?

“You’re dying…” Gaster said as he turned back to the soul but still it did not react. It wasn’t unheard of when older or sick monsters were about to die or Fall Down as it was called, for their HP levels to suddenly drop for no reason. So when this information came to mind, Gaster wondered what reason would bring the human soul to be close to Falling Down.

And then it hit him. It hit him like a slap to the face. How could he forget about something like that?! How could he be such a fool?! How could he let that slip his mind?! In all this time since he had brought the soul to his lab how could he forget the one thing every soul, monster or human, needed?!

“You need a body.” Gaster said as he dropped his notes, no longer interested in what he had been working on. “You cannot survive without one.”

Honestly, Gaster was shocked now that he thought about it; shocked that the soul had lasted this long. The soul had survived almost a month and a half without a body and something told him that human souls weren’t supposed to do that. Human souls last much longer outside the body than monsters’, but Gaster knew it shouldn’t be this long. Something had allowed this soul some extra time before expiring, but what it was he didn’t know.

Pressing his other hand to the glass, Gaster stared down at the small soul and found his own clench up. After everything he had done to keep this human soul alive, something as simple as not having a body was going to be its end… okay, maybe it wasn’t as simple as Gaster thought. Forming his hand into a fist, Gaster slammed it on the glass in irritation and startling the soul enough to wake it from it dying slumber.

Feeling how he had frightened it, Gaster regained his composure and pressed his forehead to the glass.

“Forgive me, I didn’t mean to upset you.” Gaster said as the soul slowly moved closer to him. It sent him the feeling of concern and comfort, obviously trying to calm Gaster down, but all it did was make Gaster feel even more upset. This little soul wanted nothing more than for Gaster to be happy, even though it was Gaster’s fault for its current state. The soul should be angry with him, but it wasn’t.

The soul, though obviously in pain, didn’t want Gaster to be worried about it and was trying to comfort him. It was Gaster’s forgetfulness that was going to be the soul’s downfall, and yet it used what little energy it had to worry about him. Even with its death looming over it, the soul was concerned for Gaster and not its own wellbeing.

What did Gaster ever do to deserve this precious little life’s concern?

Letting a sigh escape him, Gaster closed his eye sockets. He could remember a time when he asked himself the very same question once before, but that had been a long time ago and in a different situation. Surprisingly the outcome to that had been strikingly similar to the one Gaster found himself in now. In that one though, Gaster couldn’t do anything about it… but maybe in this one he could.

Opening his sockets, Gaster found the soul was pressing itself into the glass and trying as best it could to be close to him. Raising his hand up to the spot where the soul was Gaster made another promise. And he hoped to whatever god or deity there was out there that he would be able to keep this one without any complications.

“I will make you a body. I don’t know how but I will… I promise.”


 .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.


 Another month passed and during that time the soul was worse for wears. Its HP levels kept dropping and Gaster, though try as he might, could not stop it. The red glow it gave off, once a vibrant and brilliant light was now a flickering candlelight; ready to be blown out at any moment. Small cracks had started to form on the heart and Gaster had lost count how many times he had used his magic to seal them.

Gaster had found that his magic gave the soul a boost of energy but it was only a short lived one. The magical pick-me-ups only lasted half the day and the soul would just revert back to being pretty much lifeless by the time Gaster had to leave the labs. Because of this, Gaster started giving the soul some of his magic at night instead before leaving for home; in fear of the soul fading with him away.

It was a waste of his magic, it did little good in the long run, but Gaster could care less. If it allowed the soul a few pain free hours and maybe a little more time, than he would use his magic. But as the days rolled on, Gaster found that the soul was getting weaker despite how much of his magic he gave. It also left him feeling a bit drained himself from how often he was using his magic.

Though Gaster gave himself a pat on the back for how well he acted like nothing was wrong around his sons and Grillby. Sans had only asked about his wellbeing three times and Grillby only seven. That, in Gaster’s mind, was a win in his books. Usually Sans and Grillby knew when Gaster was troubled by something, hence why they asked if he was alright, but he had managed to put up a pretty convincing act and it seemed to put the two at ease… somewhat.

Sans, since he was a child, was a bit easier to fool but not Grillby. Though the fire monster had stopped asking, Gaster could see that he was still concerned. His body language was a dead giveaway.

Grillby normally had this calm and relaxed posture but when something was troubling him or he was agitated his body went more rigor and stiff. His flames also changed in color to fit his moods. His normal colors were bright oranges and yellows, but when he was angry it durned a darker color of red-orange and hints of blue when he was sad or concerned.

Gaster would swear that he knew Grillby better than the fire monster knew himself sometimes. And the scientist knew that Grillby knew him just as well. Apparently, from what Grillby had told him, Gaster would wring his hands into and out of fists when he was worried.

And it was because of this that Gaster found himself sitting on Grillby’s couch with his sons playing on the floor while the fire monster prepared dinner. After coming back from the labs, and having to give the human soul a larger amount of his magic, Gaster had gone to Grillby’s house to pick his sons up, but the moment the fire monster say how exhausted he was leaving without dinner was not an option.

Gaster at first had protest, saying how he had to get his sons home, Sans was getting behind in his studies, but when Grillby pointed out his little hand quirk he knew that he lost the battle. And knowing Grillby he would want to talk about what was troubling him after dinner.

Truthfully, Gaster did want to talk to someone about his problems. The human soul, though not intentionally meaning to, was draining him and as the days progressed it seemed as though he would not be able to solve the problem of giving it a body to inhabit. Talking to someone would take a lot of his chest and possibly have someone who could help him in his endeavors but…

The fear of someone bringing harm to the soul just because it was a human one was much too great and it squashed any thought of Gaster bringing someone into his little secret. Some monsters’ hate for humans was so immense that Gaster wouldn’t be surprised that if he told the wrong person that he would wake up one day to find an empty DT tank or hear news of the king having obtained human soul.

So Gaster would keep this to himself. No matter how tiring and draining it would be Gaster would keep the human soul a secret for as long as he could. It would be his burden to bear and his alone.

“Daddy?”

At hearing the sound of his son’s voice it pulled Gaster out of his musing. Looking down at the floor Gaster saw that Sans was staring up at him with a concerned expression while Papyrus continued to play with the little toy car. Sans, unknown to Gaster, had been watching his father for the better half of an hour and could sense something was bothering him.

“Are you okay?”

‘Well, make that four times he’s asked me now.’ Gaster thought to himself as he pulled on the most reassuring smile he had.

“I am.” Gaster said as he reached over and ran his hand over his son’s head. “Don’t worry, it’s nothing concerning. Just thinking about work is all.”

“You’ve been thinking a lot about work.” Sans spoke softly as he stared up at his father. “Tibia honest, that’s all you’ve been thinking about lately.”

“NO!” Papyrus shouted as he slapped his hand on Sans’ head. “BAD!”

Gaster couldn’t help but chuckle lightly. Papyrus, though so young, was never one for his older brother’s puns and jokes, and Sans was solely to blame since he did tend to over use them. For a moment the topic that Sans had brought up was forgotten and the older of the three skeletons could help but smile at the youngest as he repeatedly beat his brother with tiny fists.

“Well isn’t this a sight.” Grillby’s smooth voice spoke as he entered the living room. “If I am interrupting something I can always put the lasagna away and we can eat it later.”

At hearing this Papyrus immediately stopped his swings at Sans and quickly held his arms up to his sibling in a sign to be held. Sans, more than happy to have his brother’s attention on dinner than on hitting him, lifted his brother up and carried him into the kitchen and left the adults in the living room.

As he watched his sons leave Gaster stood up to follow them, but was stopped when Grillby placed his hand on his chest and prevented him from continuing on. Looking at the flame monster Gaster could tell by the light blue coming off his that something was bothering Grillby and with how he still had his hand on Gaster it didn’t take much to figure out it had to deal with him.

“You know you can come talk to me, about anything, right?” Grillby asked after a bout of silence.

“… Of course I know this.” Gaster said, a bit confused by the question. “But why ask that?”

“Because I know you are hiding something.” Grillby responded, his flames now changing to a dark shade of orange. “And whatever it is, it’s affecting you. Now I know you have your reasons, you’ll probably give me some mumbo jumbo science related one, but you need to know that you don’t have to. Whatever it is, we’re here, I’m here, to listen.”

  Gaster found himself at a loss for words and any comebacks he had been thinking of were shot down the moment Grillby spoke. Turning his gaze away from the flame monster Gaster couldn’t stop the regret from filling his soul. He didn’t like lying to his sons or Grillby, but it was safer this way in his mind; safer for the soul and for his odd little family.

His mind created scenarios in which if he did tell Grillby the truth how someone would find out and not only harm the soul but also harm Gaster and his family. He could almost hear the yelling of monsters calling him a human loving traitor and how the screams of his sons echoed as they were torn away from him by an angry mob. He could just make out what would happen to Grillby, his home wrecked and vandalized just because he was friends with Gaster, and that didn’t sit well with him.

Gaster’s would have continued to think of horrible scenario after scenario, if it were for Grillby taking his hand and giving it a squeeze. Turning his attention back to Grillby, Gaster could see the worry in the other monster’s eyes.

“You were doing that hand thing of yours again.” Grillby said as when Gaster looked down at his free hand he saw that he was. His hand was stuck in a fist and after having relaxed it Gaster could feel his face blush. “What is bothering you Gaster?”

Looking back into Grillby’s eyes Gaster soon found that he couldn’t keep it in any longer. At this rate it was going to kill him long before he managed to create a body for the soul. Letting a sigh escape him Gaster it was now or never.

“… It’s-”

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!

A firm knocking on the door interrupted Gaster and something deep inside of him was thankful for the disruption. Faster than he should have moved, considering the situation, Gaster went over to the door and opened it. Standing outside in the snow was a royal guard, a bird monster, and from how it was panting it had just finished running.

“Can I help you?”

“Oh thank god you’re here!” the bird monster gasped loudly as stared up at Gaster. “You weren’t at the lab or at your house so I have been going home to home asking for you!”

“Who is Daddy?” Sans asked as he came up behind his father with Grillby, having heard the knocking from the kitchen. Papyrus was in the fire monster’s hold and was trying his best to look over his father at their new guest.

“A royal guard. He said he’s been looking for me.” Gaster said as he turned back to the bird monster. “Why have you been looking for me?”

“The king has called for you. There is an emergency at the palace.” The monster said as feathers on his head stood up.

“Emergency?” Grillby asked as he stepped to stand besides Gaster. “What kind of emergency?”

“The king’s son has found a human and they appear to be hurt.”

 

Chapter Text

The castle of the king and queen honestly wasn’t what one would expect when you think of a castle. It was more of a home, both in appearance and structure, but it was far bigger than what most monsters lived in. Young children had taken to calling it the castle long ago and the name just stuck and now everyone just called it the castle. Gaster, though, truly felt that if there was more room in Home that the king and queen would have made a bigger living space for themselves. Seeing as both Boss monsters were much larger than most monsters and during his visits to the castle he’d seen both royals duck their heads when going through doorways.

Most monsters lived in Home, the city that monsters made when they were first trapped in the underground, but with plans of the core and the looming fear of humans coming back slowly faded they started to travel deeper into the underground. So far two promising areas were found in New Home, the king was not very good with names, and a snow covered land and a cavern a rushing waterfall.

Some settlement had been built in Snowdin, the king needs to pick better names, and that was where Gaster had taken up residents. Some monsters had moved into Waterfall, again with the names, and even still new lands were being found. Hotland was still being explored even though Gaster had set up his lab there. The lava filled cavity was not as a livable place for most monsters but it was far better place for his lab to be built in than Snowdin. Cold and a lot of Gaster’s chemicals and machinery didn’t work well together.

New Home was a nice change of scenery, though Gaster felt a bit of nostalgia as he walked the dark streets of Home; memories from his childhood and younger self flooding back. Most monsters were in their homes by now, it was rather late, and the streets were bare excluding the royal guard and scientist that raced down the strips and towards the castle.

The royal guard had not explained much about the situation at hand, only having told Gaster what he had said in the beginning and that time was of the essence as they ran. Gaster wished he had more to work with but he figured he would know soon enough. The castle was coming into view in the horizon and its appearance made Gaster pick up his pace; almost leaving the poor guard behind him.

Time was indeed of the essence, in more ways than ones.

Gaster knew it was only a matter of time, weeks, days even, before the human soul would fade away from existence without a body. He tried every which way to make it one but they all failed. He had even tried to make a robot body, but Gaster trashed that idea seeing it as not a worthy body for the soul; the soul needed a real one and not one made from metal.

Gaster was so close to giving up, just about ready to cave in and make the soul’s last few days as painless as possible, but then this glimmer of hope fell at his feet and Gaster felt his soul fill with hope. He could study this fallen human and if he was careful maybe he could take some samples back to his lab to recreate a human body for the soul... It sounded a lot better and a lot less creepy in Gaster’s head honestly. 

Cloning was not a perfected science to monsters, they truthfully only knew of it in recent years due to human books having fallen into the underground, but from what Gaster had gathered monsters were far more advanced in it than the humans. One of his fellow scientists, a rabbit monster named Kit, had once successfully cloned a rat. The rat had ended up being the lab’s little mascot if you will and had been named Lucky. The scientists had all loved the rodent and Kit took Lucky everywhere with him.

Lucky lived for only two years.

It was a devastating blow to Kit and the young monster never cloned another animal again in fear of it having a short existence like Lucky had. Gaster really didn’t want to reflect on that though. He was on a mission and he was determined to complete it without complication.

When they finally reached the castle, the front door was already starting to open. Standing in the now open doorway stood a small child, Prince Asriel, and his expression held worried and relief as he stared up at Gaster. The small boy then reached out for Gaster and gripped his hand tightly before pulling him into the house.

“This way Mister Science.” Asriel said as he led Gaster into the building. The boy knew Gaster’s real name, Gaster visited the royal family often to give reports on the core, but when Asriel was younger he had a hard time pronouncing the skeleton’s name so the opt to calling him Mister Science. Gaster didn’t mind, he honestly liked the nickname the prince had for him and felt honored.

As he allowed the child to lead him, Gaster chose to remain quiet and save asking questions when they made it to their destination and hopefully the fallen human. It didn’t take long, they only passed two doors before Asriel pulled him into the third one, and they entered into a bedroom. The room was dimly lit by many candles, offering not much visibility, but it did give Gaster enough light to see that the two Boss monsters were over by the bed.

“Mom, Dad, Mister Science is here.” Asriel said as he let go of Gaster’s hand and raced over to the bed and then proceeded to crawl onto it.

Looking up, Asgore, the king of all monsters, gave Gaster a tired smile. “Howdie. Thank you for coming at such short notice, but I didn’t know who else to turn to.”

Gaster nodded simply as he tried to see where he presumed the human lay. Asgore was casting a shadow over them and the queen, Toriel, was fussing at the side of the bed. Taking a tentative step forward Gaster again tried to see the human. Asgore, sensing what the scientist was doing, moved aside and allowed some of the light of the candles to cascade over the bed.

With the looming shadow gone Gaster finally got a view at what lay on the bed. A human child, possibly the same age as Sans, lay on the bed; still and breathing gently. It was impossible to tell their gender in the dim light but Gaster could make out long brown locks on their head and pale skin. The child appeared to be resting but as Asriel moved next to them they instinctively snuggled into him and gripped his sweater.

“We managed to get her to rest,” Toriel said as she moved so Gaster could stand over the children. “She was so terrified that she would not let me see to her injures; even in her sleep she only let’s Asriel near.”

As if to prove this when Gaster reached out to touch the child they shied away with a tired whine. Pulling his hand back Gaster sighed and set the bag he brought with him on the bed. At least he knew the child’s gender that was a start. Digging through his bag Gaster pulled out a thermometer and a few other objects.

Gaster was thankful that he had managed to stop by his house to gather his medical tools. Though he and his sons were skeletons and didn’t get sicknesses like most monsters, he always liked having things on hand if a situation needed them and right now he was glade he did.

Handing the thermometer to Asriel Gaster instructed the child to place it in the human’s mouth and under their tongue. The prince nodded and did as he was told and the human did not fight him. Pulling out some ointment and bandages, Gaster had seen a few cuts on the human’s arms, he set them aside as he focused his magic into his hand and scanned it over the child.

Nothing seemed to be life-threatening, from what his magic told him, but they were weak in their soul. It was damaged, dim glowing, and had this unsettling feeling inside it that made Gaster shy his hand away. There was something off about this child and whatever it was it went as deep as to the core of their soul.

“Is there something wrong?” Toriel asked from behind Gaster and it pulled him out of his thinking. Shaking his head, Gaster turned to the two royals and placed his hands behind his back.

“Their body isn’t too damaged,” Gaster said as he turned to look back at the two children on the bed. “But their soul is what worries me. I suggest that they eat something the moment they wake.”

Both the king and queen sighed in relief at Gaster’s word and their bodies seemed to be more relaxed now. Placing a hand on the skeleton’s shoulder Asgore gave Gaster a big smile.

“Thank you, my friend.” The king said and it made Gaster blush a bit. Gaster didn’t have many people who he considered friends, there were his colleagues and the monsters in Snowdin who knew his name, but aside from Grillby he dare say that Asgore was indeed his only friend; even if the king was friendly with everyone.

Nodding his head, Gaster turned back to the bed and asked Asriel for the thermometer. The child didn’t say a word as he took the object and handed it back to the skeleton. Reading over the meter, even if the lighting was bad, he saw they had no fever. Putting the thermometer away, Gaster sat down on the bed and picked up the bandages and ointment.

“I need to clean her cuts.” Gaster said to Asriel. “I need you to hold her steady. Can you do that for me?”

Asriel nodded and gently sat the human child up against his chest. Rolling up the sleeves of their shirt, Gaster watched as the prince treated the human as if she were made of glass and would break if he touched her. Once their arms were bare, Gaster brought the ointment and began to slowly apply it to the wounds.

The child stirred in their sleep, the ointment though infused with magic to heal wounds quicker stung like a swarm of bees, but did not shy way as Gaster worked. Once enough ointment was applied Gaster wrapped the cuts in the bandages and smoothly pulled the child’s sleeves back down. Once his work was done, Gaster began to pack up his items but stopped.

Slipping his hand back into the bag, Gaster pulled out a large needle and turned back to the human child. This was his chance to get some real human matter and probably his only chance at saving his human soul. He would have liked to have asked the child if he could take some of their blood but seeing as they were asleep he wouldn’t get an answer. Though Gaster wasn’t sure he take no for an answer if they were.

“W-What is that?” Asriel asked Gaster as he watched the scientist bring the needle close to the human.

“I… I am taking some of their blood. I’ll take it to my lab to be tested, just to make sure they are not sick.” Gaster said and hoped that the three royals wouldn’t question him. Thankfully they didn’t and the prince allowed Gaster to pull up one of the human’s sleeves enough for him to draw a sample; a large sample.

Once that was done Gaster placed the needle inside his coat’s chest pocket and stood up after gathering up his bag. That had been easier than Gaster thought it would have been, but now that he had the human sample the hard part was to come. Turning to leave Gaster wanted to hurry to his lab and start right away on synthesizing more of the sample and hopefully start the beginning process of making a body for the soul, but when a firm hand grasped his own it stopped him dead in his tracks.

Looking over his shoulder Gaster saw that it was Toriel who had a grip on him and from her expression she was still concerned about something.

“Can I speak with you… in private?” she asked as she looked back at her family and the human. Asgore had taken back his spot by the bed while his son continued to hold the human.

“Of course your highness.” Gaster said as he walked out of the room with the queen following close behind him. Once outside the room Gaster turned to let Toriel speak to him and found her gaze to the door of the room they had just left. Her dark red eyes held an emotion Gaster knew all too well. It was a look that only a parent could ever have and only another parent would understand or see it.

Worry. Worry for a child; their child.

Gaster had in the past had that same expression, the first time was when Sans was just born. His eldest son had been born prematurely and sickly, and many thought he wouldn’t survive his first year. Gaster could remember how he would stay up late into the night just staring down at Sans in his crib in fear of his little boy turning to dust without him watching. Gaster never knew how many nights he did this, countless times, until he was sure Sans was safe and out of danger. Still to this day, even with Sans having lived longer than expected and in far better health, Gaster would sometimes go check up on his son in the dead of night.

That kind of worrying was something Gaster understood and seeing his queen with such worry in her made Gaster feel sympathetic. The queen was a mother-like figure to all her subjects and she played the part very well. She saw all monsters, young and old, as her children in a way. And it seemed as though this human child would be no different.

“When Asriel brought her home I thought the child was dead, to be honest.” The queen said softly, gripping the collar of her dress tightly. “They were so quiet and looked… It was only when I tried to take her away from my child that they stirred. I know very little on human healing, but then Gory said that you had this fascination with humans we hoped you would know something. Looks like we were correct in thinking so.”

Feeling his face blush again Gaster turned his attention to the floor. He wouldn’t say he had a ‘fascination’ with humans, he just saw them differently than most monsters and not through the narrow tunnel that depicted them as being evil incarnate. But the more Gaster thought of it, the more he saw that maybe he did have a slight fascination.  He knew far more than most monsters, though he only shared his knowledge of humans with the king.

Asgore was one of the few who actually knew things about humans, having lived up on the surface once with them, and Gaster felt comfortable in asking the king questions about humans or telling him about the new information on humans he found. Asgore was very supportive with Gaster’s interest and encouraged him to keep learning about humans, saying that maybe one day Gaster would educate the monsters of the underground.

Gaster doubted that though.

“I am happy I could be of help.” Gaster replied as he continued to stare at the floor. “If I may ask, what do you plan on doing with the human child?”

Toriel must have guessed what Gaster was getting at from the shocked look on her face and the skeleton wished he had rephrased the question better. He honestly wanted to know if they planned on using the child’s soul, all it took for one monster to go through the barrier was to have a human soul; it took seven to break it. All anyone had to do, Asgore most likely, was to absorb the child’s soul and walk through the barrier, collect the other six souls, and return to break the barrier.

But Gaster was also asking this to see if his fear of revealing his human soul was justified. He was afraid of it being used in breaking the barrier, even more so now since his human soul didn’t have a body while the one in the room obviously did. It would less cruel and more humane in a way to use an artificially made soul than take one from a human. But Gaster didn’t want that. It didn’t matter to him if his human soul was not a naturally made soul, it was still a living being (in the sense) and something he had created.

He would protect his creation with every fiber in his being. And if still keeping it hidden was the only way to do that than so be it.

“I… I honestly don’t know.” Toriel said and that worried Gaster enough for him to make eye contact. “The poor thing must have a family to go back to on the surface, but there is only one known entrance in the barrier and there is no way to go back through it. I do know, though, that no child soul is going to be used in our escape to freedom if that is what you are implying. I won’t allow it.”

Gaster let out an audible sigh at hearing the queen’s words and he didn’t care if she was confused by his action or not. If what she said was true and the queen kept her word that meant that when he did finally managed to create his human soul a body that it would be safe… hopefully. Things had a tendency to change dramatically around Gaster.

“I see, that is good to hear.” Gaster said as he looked at the door behind the queen. “The child should be fine for now. In the morning, make sure they eat something. Their soul needs it. If anything else should happen don’t hesitate to call for me.”

Thinking that is this was all the queen wanted to speak to him about, Gaster turned to leave but only made it three steps before Toriel spoke to him again what she said made him pause in his stride.

“Why did you really take the child’s blood?” Toriel asked and Gaster could feel her questioning stare even though he did not look back. “You said they were fine and, yet, you still took it.”

“I just want to make sure there is no unseen illness.” Gaster lied, thankfully his voice was calm and sounded cool because he sure wasn’t. “Not all sicknesses can be seen on the surface and my magic can only detect so much.”

Toriel didn’t respond for the longest time and Gaster started to wonder if he should chance teleporting out into the street and just leaving the conversation here. He was just about to do that but when the queen spoke up it sent chills down his spine.

“I don’t know what you are doing, and I know you won’t tell me the truth, but know this… if you plan on harming this child, you will regret it.”

The next thing Gaster knows is that there is the clicking sound of a door opening and closing and he knows he is now alone. Letting out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding in Gaster glances back and he sees that he is indeed alone and with that he quickly makes his way out of the building.

The queen, though the mother-like lady she was, could be very terrifying. And even though Gaster would never even dream of hurt a child, monster or human, the words Toriel said to him made him shiver.

If things went well and didn’t turn sour maybe Gaster would be able to show the queen his real reasoning behind taking the sample.

But until then…

He had a body to create.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


 This weekend was proving to be a test of Gaster’s resolve in keeping up the façade that he wasn’t worried about something; that something being the human soul. For the past week Gaster had study the sample he had taken from the human child and it brought up more obstacles than he wanted it to. Every time Gaster thought he was close to cracking the code that would allow him to create a human body something wouldn’t work and he would have to start all over.

The soul wasn’t faring well either. Its HP level dropped again thankfully nothing more than a point, but at this moment every point counted. It still needed Gaster’s magic to get it through the night and sometimes through the day as the cracks on the little red heart grew deeper. But despite all this the soul still found enough energy to send reassuring feelings to Gaster.

Time was running out for the soul, Gaster knew this very well, and even as he sat at home with his boys he was thinking of different ways to clone the sample and make a body. Two problem that struck Gaster were how would he make a body for the soul by cloning but also making the body its own and how to stop the body (when he did finally make one) from creating its own soul.

Gaster wanted the soul to be its own person and not just a carbon copy of the fallen child. The soul deserved that much. The problem of the body creating its own soul was also a problem Gaster was still trying to solve. It would do his human soul no good if the body he made was already inhabited.

Letting out a sigh Gaster looked up from his desk to the living room behind him. Sans and Papyrus were coloring on the floor, the latter scribbling madly without resolve while the eldest drew in a more calm and focused manner. Gaster couldn’t see what exactly what Sans was drawing but whatever it was the boy wanted it to be perfect.

“What are you drawing there Sans?” Gaster asked as he stood up and walked over to his sons; wanting to take his mind off his troubles just for a moment.

“Nothing.” Sans said quickly as he quickly shoved his picture underneath him and out of view.

“… That didn’t look like nothing.” Gaster said as he joined his sons on the floor.

“Well it was.” Sans said quickly while pulling his jacket’s hood over his head.

Now this was strange, Gaster thought as he stared at his son. Sans wasn’t one to keep secrets, especially from him, so seeing him getting so defensive about a simple picture was a bit more than alarming. But Gaster knew Sans better than anyone and knew just what buttons to press to get his son to spill.

“You’re up to something.” Gaster said and from underneath that hood he could see the smile forming on Sans face.

“No. That’s the stairs.” Sans’ muffled voice said with a snort and Gaster let a smile cross his face.

“Sorry, I must have over stepped my boundaries.” Gaster said and from Sans he could hear soft muffled laughs. Glancing over at Papyrus Gaster saw how the toddler was glaring down at his paper and was gripping his crayon tightly; obviously trying to ignore the other two.

“Naw, your fine, but I mustache you a question?”  Sans said as he peaked out from his hood. “How did I end up with a daddy who is such a beard-o?”

A soft whine came from Papyrus, and Gaster could have sworn he saw the crayon snap in two, but Gaster had his focus on Sans.

“I don’t know, I guess you are just that lucky.” Gaster said as lifted up a corner of Sans hoodie. “I am hairy awesome.”

And that was what broke the dam. Sans couldn’t hold it back anymore, he knew what his father was doing but he didn’t care. Letting out a loudest and joyous laugh he had Sans pushed his hood away from his face and stared up at his father.

“You may need to trim that ego there.” Sans snorted but it was short lived when a red sippy cup came hurtling at him and hit the side of his head.

“NO!” Papyrus screamed as he glared at both his brother and father. “NONONONONO! BAD!”

Looking down at the cup, Gaster felt his face twist into a wicked grin. He knew Papyrus didn’t like their jokes but OH this one was too easy to pass up.

“Looks like you’ve been attacked by his milk there, Sans.” Gaster said and from the wide grin on Sans’ face and the glare from Papyrus it was obvious both of them knew what he was going to say next.

“How-“

“NO!” Papyrus screamed but it was too late.

Dairy he.” Gaster said and that was all it took to have Sans screaming with laughter, holding his sides, while Papyrus tossed his crayons at his father scream ‘BAD DADDY BAD!’

Blocking the onslaught of crayons, Gaster turned to Sans to find him laughing so hard he was snorting and holding his sides. Smiling at the sight Gaster saw a corner of the picture Sans had hidden away poke out from under the child.

“So, what did you draw?” Gaster asked again, knowing that when Sans was more relaxed he was more open to talking and sharing.

Sans had managed to calm down his laughter enough to pull out the paper and slowly hand it to his father; No longer afraid, for whatever reason, to show him. Taking the picture, Gaster looked down at it to see a startling familiar sight.

On the paper, drawn in bright red crayon, was a small heart. It was right-side up while surrounded by sticklike figures that were made to represent Gaster and his sons.

Normally a picture like this wouldn’t startle Gaster, but it was the heart in the center of the page that set him off. Hearts in the underground were always depicted upside down, be it drawn by children or by adults, so seeing one right-side up and the same color as the human soul was… shocking.

“I’ve been having these weird dreams lately.” Sans voice broke the bit of silence the room had found itself in and as the boy rubbed the back of his head he looked away. “And that heart is always in it.”

“… What happens in your dreams?” Gaster asked, genuinely curious.

“Nothing much, it’s just always the same. The three of us and the heart are in a white room, you’re hold my hand and I’m carrying Pappy and you’re bringing us closer to the heart.” Sans said, still not meeting his father’s gaze. “By the time we make it to the heart you let my hand go and place the heart in it… after that everything fades and I wake up.”

 Gaster didn’t believe in a lot of things that science didn’t explain, but there was no reasoning to explain Sans dreams and he found himself at a loss for words. Staring between his son and the drawing, Gaster tried to comprehend Sans’ dream but nothing logical came up.

“But it’s just a dream,” Sans said while giving his father the goofiest grin he had. “Maybe I’m just sleeping too much.”

As if to agree with his brother’s statement Papyrus crawled over to Sans and bopped him on the head while saying ‘LAZY’.

Allowing himself to smile, Gaster nodded before setting the picture down besides him.

Sans was right, it’s only a dream.

 

 

Chapter Text

“This won’t work.” Gaster said to himself as he read through a few new formulas. He had hoped one of these would be the code that would allow him to be able to create a human body, but sadly none of them worked. They all seemed sound enough to work, but when it came right down to it something was missing.

“What won’t work?” a voice spoke out and it startled Gaster enough for him to accidently send his papers flying into the air with a startled cry. Turning to look behind him Gaster saw that the one who had given him the metaphorical heart attack was none other than Kit who looked a bit apologetic for startling him. The young rabbit monster was also accompanied by three other scientists; Tucker, Marilyn, and Nil.

Relaxed at the sight of his fellow scientists, Gaster bent down to pick up his papers. These four were always together and worked the closest with Gaster on the Core. He saw them far more than most of the other scientists here and they had a tendency to follow him around when he wasn’t in his private office. The quartet had earned themselves the nickname ‘The Gaster Followers’ by the other scientists actually, with how much they followed him around.

Gaster didn’t mind, they worked on the Core together so they would end up being near each other more so than not, but he did wish they knew something called personal space. Like right now, even as he was picking up his papers they were swarming around him to help and it was making him feel a bit claustrophobic.

Tucker, a small reptilian monster with no arms, was a grade ‘A’ engineer and, even if a bit of a hotheaded, was good at what he did. Marilyn was a physicist, one of the best Gaster had ever met, and a very big monster; Marilyn stood well over three feet above Gaster with just her head alone and he was known for being tall. Nil was geologist and, to Gaster, was an enigma. Nil mostly just stood there and observed with his big blank eyes and rarely spoke.

 Nil wasn’t a bad monster, but he always made Gaster feel on edge.

Kit, aside from being a part time geneticist, was a genius when it came to being a volcanologist. Ask the kid anything pertaining to lava or anything geologically related, Kit would talk for hours if you let him. Out of the four, Gaster found Kit to be the more approachable one and more trustworthy. Honestly, if he ever did happen to tell anyone about his human soul it would be Kit.

Speaking of the human soul, Gaster really wished he had more time on his hands. The soul had lost three more HP points and had finally gone below its halfway mark. At this rate there would be nothing left but an empty DT tank and all his hard work would be for not. His frustration was inconceivably potent and most of it he channeled at himself.

He wasn’t working fast enough to solve this dilemma and with each passing day he berated himself for not solving it at a quicker pace. He was angry with himself, with how things were going the soul would die and it would be Gaster’s fault. If he didn’t have to work on the Core, Gaster more than likely would devote all his resources to the soul and keeping it alive. But the underground needed power so with great reluctance Gaster had to divide his time between the two. He despised that he didn’t have more time in his work day for the soul; sometimes he wished he hand more hands to get things done faster.

So caught up in his inner self-hating, Gaster didn’t notice or realize that Nil had happened to pick up one of his notes on cloning research.

“… Hey Kit, are you attempting to clone another rat?”

Nil’s voice was a bit monotone sounding but was deep enough that whenever he did speak it got everyone’s attention. So it came as no surprise to Gaster that when Kit turned to the other monster with shock that he had heard the question. The young rabbit was shaking slightly, he never liked bring up his lab rats or Lucky, and with a firm shake of his head he snatched the paper from Nil.

“No, I am not.” Kit said as he read over the paper. Kit was a very expressive monster so Gaster could guess he was feeling a bit stunned and alarmed when looked up from Gaster’s notes. “Doctor Gaster, are you attempting to clone something?”

“N-No.” Gaster said as he quickly snatched up the note. “I was just reviewing some of your notes and I was… trying to see what could have caused Lucky to pass away so soon. Maybe find a solution to it; fix it.”

Praising himself for thinking of a lie so quickly and a believable one, Gaster watched as Kit’s expression softened and the rabbit monster looked to the floor. Gaster hated bringing up the rat, it always upset Kit, but it was the only lie he could think of to cover his true intents with cloning.

“Oh.” Kit said as he handed Gaster the other notes he gathered. “Well… if that’s the case than you need to find a donor.”

“Donor? Donor for what?” Gaster as he took some papers from Tucker, trying not to cringe at the saliva on the corners.

“With what your notes say, that equation is trying to clone a subject but give the subject unique traits among its self. To do this you need another donor to add different genes.” Kit said as he helped Gaster to his feet. “With normal cloning you are pretty much, in layman’s terms, copying your subject. But with what you have written down there needs to be a donor to add their genes to the given subject. It is a complicated process, removing and adding genes. That’s why I didn’t do it with Lucky.”

Ah… so that is what Kit meant.

Standing there with a dumbfound expression, Gaster wanted to slap himself on the face. That was why none of his problems and equations worked. He was working at this like normal cloning, when in reality it wasn’t. And now that Gaster thought of it, he remembered Kit telling him of this theory, cause that was what this truly was (just a theory), and said how he had wanted to try it out when creating Lucky but said it wasn’t worth it; far too complex for monsters who just started to learn how to clone.

“Oh, I forgot.” Gaster said a bit awkwardly. “I guess… I can eliminate this from my notes.”

“That you can.” Kit said as he turned to leave. “And if you have any other questions about cloning… come ask me.”

And with that Kit left the group rather quickly, looking rather agitated. Gaster knew he was to blame for that, and he reminded himself to later apologize to the kid.

Gathering up the remainder of his papers from the others, Gaster left without another word; having felt he said far too much as it was. He could feel the other scientists’ stares on his back and it made shivers run down his spine. Deciding that he had worked on the Core enough for today Gaster walked into his office and then into his private lab. Shutting the door behind him Gaster pressed his back to it while running a hand over his skull.

That, back there with the others, had been too close for his liking. Gaster found himself lucky that the others hadn’t read over his other notes because if they had Gaster wasn’t sure he would be able to explain it to them. How does one go about explaining you had a human soul hidden away that you created by accident and were trying to create a body for?

Letting out a ragged sigh, Gaster walked over to the counters and set his notes down. He’d have to be more careful now, especially in the days to come. Now that he knew just exactly how to create the soul a body, a body all its own, Gaster knew things would only become more difficult from here on out.

But the outcome would be worth it.

Allowing himself to genuinely smile Gaster turned to the DT tank and to the soul. It was having one of its better days and looked to be in high spirits as it floated near the glass. It managed to send Gaster the feeling of curiousness and concern and it only made him smile more.

“It is nothing.” Gaster said as he walked over to the tank. “But I have some good news. I found a way to finally create you a body.”

At that the soul let out a bright pulse of light and bounced around happily, but the actions must have put a strain on the little heart as it abruptly stopped moving and its light dimmed. Pressing his hand to the glass Gaster frowned. He wasn’t sure how long it would take him to create the body, and there was still the problem of the body creating its own soul, but Gaster would work as fast as he could to solve those problems.

“Stay strong little one,” Gaster said as he rubbed his thumb over the spot the soul was leaning into. “Stay determined. It won’t be much longer now…” 


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


Gaster would swear he would forget his own name if Grillby didn’t say it every day. It seemed as though the fire monster was the scientist’s memory bank these days, and remembered things that Gaster should know right off the back of his hand… like his sons’ birthday for example.

It was an inexcusable thing to forget, though, Gaster had reasoned that he had been busy with both the Core and the soul and they took a lot of his time as of late. But that didn’t stop Grillby from chewing him out a week before his sons’ birthday when he asked if he was having the party at his place or Gaster’s?

Even though the boys were five years apart, by dumb luck they had been born in the same month with days of each other. Convenient right? So just to save time Gaster always just had the boys share a birthday. The two never seemed to mind, though Papyrus was still too young to really notice or understand, and each year they switched up on whose real birthday they actually celebrated on. This year was Sans’ turn and the older boy said he just wanted to spend it at the fire monster’s house.

So, after having listened to Grillby’s anger burnt words, everyone prepared for the party. The fire monster would cook the food, Gaster would wrap last minute presents, and the boys would busy themselves playing with toys until the actual party started. Gaster didn’t have to worry too much about his sons while wrapping, peaking wise that is. Sans was far too lazy to put any effort into trying to peak and Papyrus was too engrossed in playing with his brother to even think of snooping.

While Gaster absentmindedly wrapped the gifts Grillby and him had bought (and found), he let his mind trail off onto the soul. When Gaster had told it that he was now able to create it a body, the soul had literally perked up and seemed to be doing slightly better. It wasn’t the greatest improvements truthfully, but Gaster was just relieved to see the soul acting like it once had; so lively and determined.

Finishing up wrapping a gift for Sans, a new pair of boots that Grillby had gotten for him, he was about to place the name tag on it when a thought struck him. Staring at the name tag Gaster’s mind realized something concerning to the human soul. Now that Gaster was in the beginning stages of creating a body for it, the soul would no longer be just a soul but a living, breathing, person…

And they would need a name.

‘But what could I name them?’ Gaster thought as he finished with the gift and moved onto a one for Papyrus. ‘I don’t think a skeleton name would be right for a human… Font names are not that great to being with.’

Finishing with the gift, a raggedy old teddy bear that he had bought from the shop in town, Gaster tried to think of a few names. With each one he thought of, though, Gaster just scrunched his face up in disgust. None of them seemed to fit the spirited soul or even seemed to be remotely appropriate. Sighing in defeat, Gaster reasoned that he had a few more months to worry about that topic.

He’d find the right name for the human soul eventually.

“Daddy! Grillby says dinner is ready!” Sans’ voice shouted from the living room. “And he says to finish up with the gifts or he’s gonna burn your-”

“DON’T FINISH THAT SENTENCE SANS…! You weren’t supposed to hear that part.” Grillby screamed over Sans and Gaster couldn’t fight the snickers that escaped him. Both Gaster and Grillby had a mutual understanding of not cursing in front of the children, but it would seem as though the fire monster was still angry with the older skeleton enough to forget that rule and mutter a few under his breath.

Walking out of the room, leaving the gifts in the bedroom for later, Gaster found Sans waiting for him with Papyrus tucked away in his hood. The youngster looked quite content in his sibling’s hood but from the way Sans stood it was obvious that the older was having some difficulties. It wouldn’t be much longer before Papyrus became too big for Sans to carry, Gaster realized, and taking pity on his eldest he picked Papyrus up.

“Who’s ready for a birthday meal?” Gaster asked as he tickled Papyrus ribcage, earning him a loud giggle from said child.

“I hopes it’s gouda because I am starving.” Sans as they walked into the kitchen. “But Grillby always make great food. I know no one feta.”

“NO!” Papyrus screeched as he glared down at Sans.

“Alright, alright Pappy, no more puns but only because it’s your birthday too.” Sans said as he smiled up at his sibling.

“Are we sure we have the right Sans?” Grillby asked as he made everyone’s plate. “Is this our little Sans and not an… im-pasta?”

“AAAAGGGHHH!” Papyrus screamed as he buried his face into Gaster sweater. “BAD! BAD GRILLBY!”

“Sorry Papyrus couldn’t resist.” Grillby said as he pat the little skeletons head. “Can you forgive me? I made your favorite.”

Peeking out at the fire monster, Papyrus stared at Grillby with a questioning gaze. Holding his arms out for him, Grillby found a smiling forming on his face. “Don’t believe me? Let me show you.”

Allowing the adult to take him, Papyrus was whisked away to his highchair where a plate of warm spaghetti with tiny meatballs lay on a plate waiting for him. At the sight of it Papyrus let out a happy squeak and gave Grillby a quick hug before being placed in his seat. “GOOD GRILLBY!”

“Good to see that I on your good side again.” Grillby said as he sat down next to the child.

Smiling at the sight of Papyrus digging into his plate, Gaster turned to Sans to find the boy also already digging into his special birthday meal; hotdogs with extra extra ketchup. Sitting down next to Sans, Gaster allowed time to fly by as he spent dinner with his family.

Once dinner was done, and after cleaning both boys up (there had been a bit of a food war when Sans unknowing punned his brother), the group moved to the living room to give out the gifts. The moment a gift was placed in either of the boys’ laps the wrapping paper was torn asunder and joyous giggles and many thanks were given.

When Sans had gotten to the new pair of boots that Grillby had gotten him, the boy asked his father if he could try them on. Gaster said of course he could and helped the boy into his new footwear. While Gaster did this, there was the sound of a click and when both Sans and his father looked to Grillby they saw him holding an old camera in his hands.

“I found this at the Dumb today.” Grillby said as the camera spat out the photo. “It still had a few uses in it so I figured we could use a couple today.”

Taking the photo from Grillby, Gaster stared down at the image and smiled. It was a nice picture of him helping Sans into one of the boots and both father and son had big smiles on their faces. Pictures were rare down in the underground, seeing as cameras fell down fewer than many, and having this picture of Sans was special to Gaster the very moment it was taken.

“I also got one of you cleaning Papyrus earlier.” Grillby said with a snicker, or for him it was more of a crackle of fire. “I don’t know who had more soap on them; you or Papyrus.”

Laughing lightly, Gaster turned his attention back to his sons. All the presents had been open by now, wrapping paper all over the floor, but when Sans suddenly pulled another one out from his jacket it seemed as though not all. It was a medium sized present, wrapped in bright red and orange paper, poorly Gaster added, with a white bow on the top.

“What’s that Sans?” Gaster asked as Sans held the gift in his hands.

“… I got something for Pappy.” Sans said as he handed it to his little brother. “I saved up all of my allowance for this.”

Shocked, Gaster watched as Papyrus paused only for a moment to stare up at his brother before snatching the gift and ripping the paper away. Once all the paper was gone everyone watched as the gift fell into Papyrus’ lap. At first the child was confused by the object but his eyes quickly lite up with stars as Papyrus realized what it was.

It was a large bright red scarf, far bigger and longer than Papyrus, and was more like a blanket to the boy. It was torn at the ends but otherwise in good condition and on one end the letters ‘P.A.P’ were hastily sewn on.  

“You like it Pappy?” Sans asked, hints of worry in his tone. “It’s okay if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

“SANS!” Papyrus screamed as he threw himself onto his brother and wrapped his tiny arms around his neck. “LOVE SANS!”

“That is a very nice gift you got your brother.” Grillby said as he picked up a corner of the scarf. “And it’s in reasonably good condition.”

“That was very thoughtful of you, Sans.” Gaster said as he ran his hand over his son’s skull. “And I think Papyrus loves it.”

“I think you’re right.” Sans said as returned the hug his little brother was giving him.

“Why not try it on, Papyrus?” Grillby said as he wrapped it around the little boy, it almost covering him up completely to the point only his face and hands could be seen.

Shaking some of the scarf off his head, Papyrus let out a happy giggle as he snuggled into both the scarf and his brother before letting a yawn escape him. The yawn must have been contagious as soon Sans did one as well. Smiling, Gaster looked to the clock on the wall and saw it was getting late and far past the two’s bedtime.

Picking both his sons up, Gaster stood up and turned to Grillby. Gaster knew he was always welcomed here, Grillby always made sure it was known, but he always liked asking first. But it seemed as though the fire monster knew what was going to be said by the older skeleton and answered him before anything could be said.

“It’s not a problem, Gaster. I have a few of their pajamas here from last time still in the guest room.” Grillby said as he started cleaning up the living room. “You put them to bed.”

Nodding his head, Gaster walked towards the guest room before having to use his magic to open it; seeing as his hands were full. Stepping into the dark room, Gaster sat his sons down on the bed before grabbing them some clothes to sleep in. Once dressed, Gaster tucked his boys under the covers and sat down at the foot of the bed.

“Did you both have a nice birthday?” Gaster asked softly. Papyrus looked to be near falling asleep but Sans was still far more awake.

“Yeah, I think we did.” Sans replied but his expression quickly turned to one of worry as he didn’t look to meet his dad’s gaze.

“What’s wrong?” Gaster asked, sensing something was bothering his eldest son.

“It’s nothing, just… there’s one more gift I bought.” Sans said as he pointed to the bedroom’s closet. “I stashed it in there.”

Looking over at the closet, Gaster wondered what could have Sans so concerned like this. Walking over to the sliding door, Gaster opened it slowly. There were a few clothes hanging on hangers, mostly his that he left here when they stayed, but tucked away in the darkness of the corner sat a small bundle. Not sure what it was in the lighting Gaster picked it up. He instantly felt the telltale signs of fabric and the first thing he thought of was a shirt when he something like a sleeve slipped over his arm.

Stepping out of the dark closet Gaster found that he had been right; it was a shirt and a large one at that. It was a bright blue shirt with two magenta strips across the middle and looked almost brand new. Turning back to his sons, Gaster held the clothing in his hands tightly. It was far too big for Papyrus, and far too small for Sans or Gaster, so why had the child bought this?

“…When I bought Pappy’s gift I saw that. It reminded me of… of the one in my dream.” Sans said as he still didn’t look at his father.

“Is there more to this dream than what you told me?” Gaster asked, remembering the dream Sans had told him not too long ago and the picture he had drawn of it.

“A little bit, they change slightly sometimes.” Sans said as Gaster sat back down on the bed. “Recently the heart’s gone and there’s this blurry image of… something.”

“And this something is wearing this shirt?” Gaster asked as he held up the shirt.

“Yeah…” Sans said with a heavy yawn, his eye sockets slowly closing. “Could you hang onto it for me? I… don’t want to lose it…”

And with that Sans was out like a light; lightly snoring alongside Papyrus. Staring at his sons then the shirt, Gaster became a bit worried. These dreams of Sans troubled him. It seemed as though Sans hadn’t told Gaster everything about his dreams and now they were changing. Something wasn’t right about all of this.

Staring down at the shirt, rubbing a digit over the thick but soft fabric, Gaster let out a sigh as he shook his head. He was more likely just overreacting is all. Sans probably just had a normal dream and thought this shirt had been in it. Yeah, that was it.

There was no reason to be worried. These were just dreams, dreams from a child, and no harm could come from dreams.

At least, Gaster hoped not.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


The cloning process was turning out to be easier than Gaster thought. The equations were sound enough and the sample he had taken from the human child was set aside for when he actually began creating the body and Gaster had solved two more problems that arose.

Since he did not have an adult human to act as a surrogate for the soul’s body, Gaster planned on forming a magical barrier around the growing body to act as a makeshift ‘womb’, if you will, and just place it into the DT tank. The DT would supply all the necessary supplements the body would need to grow and with Gaster supplying it with magic anything that the DT could not give his magic would.

On the problem of making the soul’s body different from the human child he took his sample from, Gaster found a donor to add different genes to the sample and give the soul’s body individuality… his own. Seeing as skeletons were the closest in relation to humans, Gaster theorized that by adding his genes into the sample it wouldn’t harm or mutate the body too drastically. Though extracting a sample of his genes was harder, and more painful, to get than most.

Reaching bone marrow wasn’t an easy thing to do, especially when one takes it from themselves.

But Gaster had managed to get a reasonable amount out of him and with some work he managed to splice and exchange some of the human sample with his own. What was once a sample from one human child was now a completely new sample and if Gaster hadn’t been the one to take the sample he would have thought it came from someone else entirely.

With those problems out of the way though, Gaster still had one more to worry about.

How to stop the body from forming its own soul and allow his human soul to claim the body as its own.

Gaster wasn’t even sure where to begin solving this problem but with how weak the soul was he knew he didn’t have time to theorize; he needed solutions. Solutions that, sadly, Gaster did not have.

“What am I to do?” Gaster asked himself as he stared at the DT tank and its contents. “You won’t last much longer without a body, but if I don’t find a way to stop the body from forming its own soul…”

The soul, though very weak and barely glowing, pressed itself up against the glass and sent acceptance and reassuring feelings to Gaster. For the past week, the soul had been sending those feelings to Gaster whenever he brought up how it would die if he didn’t work fast enough. Gaster knew it was meant in good nature, but it made him feel like he had failed the soul whenever it did this; having made it accept that it was going to die.

“Please don’t think like that.” Gaster finally said, after having calmed the anger in his soul. “You won’t die, I won’t allow it.”

The soul didn’t respond to this, having used too much energy sending Gaster those feelings and it seemed to drift off into a recharge. Seeing that he was, in a sense, alone now, Gaster walked over to the counters and picked through his notes; trying to find any clues as to how to fix his dilemma. But they offered him no solace and in his fit of anger he crumpled up one of the pages.

“I am a fool!” Gaster shouted as he moved to toss the crumbled up paper but stopped.

Staring up at his hand Gaster found his attention to the paper ball he held. The way he held it in his hand, the way his hand encased the paper, made his mind slowly think of something. Bringing his hand closer to him Gaster continued to stare down at it. His hand was kind of like a barrier around the paper inside his palm; protecting the ball until he decided when to let go.

And then it hit him.

“That’s it!” Gaster screamed as he dropped the paper and rushed over to the fridge. “That’s the solution!”

Opening the fridge Gaster reached inside and grabbed the altered human sample and quickly rushed back over to the tanks. Tapping the glass with his free hand, Gaster roused the human soul awake and smiled at it brightly.

“I know how to solve our problem.” Gaster said as he summoned some of his magic to his hand. “You can now finally have your body.”

Gaster, while he had stared at the crumpled paper in his hand, had come to the conclusion that in order for the soul and the body to become one (and not have another soul take the body) the human soul had to be there at the very beginning; the absolute moment of conception. And in order to do that, the soul had to be in the magical barrier before the sample was placed into it.

The soul seemed puzzled at Gaster’s words and the skeleton could feel hints of doubt and worry but as he continued to smile they slowly faded away.

“Trust me little one, this has to work. It will work.” Gaster said as he formed with his magic a barrier inside the DT tank around the human soul. His magic was a light purple color, but with the soul’s, albeit dim, red glow it gave off a burgundy color. The human soul gave off a motion that appeared to be it looking around in the barrier as Gaster set the human sample into the tank’s slot.

Once the slot was shut and the human sample floated in the tank, Gaster used his magic to guide it to the barrier and soul. For a moment, Gaster just stood there, watching the soul and sample. He was betting a lot on this sudden idea and half of him was telling him not to do it, but he didn’t have time to second guess this. This just had to work.

“Here goes nothing.” Gaster said as he allowed the human sample to drift into the barrier with the human soul. The moment the sample even entered the barrier the reaction should have been instantaneous, Gaster wasn’t sure what was to happen but he expected more than… this.

The moment the sample was in the barrier it disappeared in a small flash of light, but after that nothing. The soul seemed a bit confused by this just as much as Gaster as it swirled around in the barrier; as if trying to see if anything different had changed.

Letting out a sigh, Gaster slumped against the tank’s glass. It hadn’t worked. He had failed.

“I’m sorry... I was sure that this would have-”

And then…

Pain and darkness.

 

Chapter Text

Though Gaster had no skin, he still could feel some remanence of temperature; to an extent. The weather had to either be extremely hot or cold for a skeleton to actually feel it, but sometimes a warm or cool feeling would come from deep in the soul. It was an anomaly among skeletons, feeling soul temperatures and wasn’t yet understood how it happened, and right now Gaster’s soul felt far colder than Snowdin would ever be.

Though his soul was cool Gaster’s body was burning. The clashing of hot and icy temperatures was very annoying and slowly it brought Gaster back into the realm of reality. Blinking his sockets, Gaster found that the ceiling lights in the room were off and broken shards of their glass lay around him. The only light source he could make out was the soft purple glow from the DT tanks… the tanks…

THE SOUL!

Pushing himself up into a sitting position, not even caring if the glass cut at his hands, Gaster looked up at the tank where the human soul had once stayed.

The DT was still the same, still purple and bubbly, and the magic barrier Gaster had created was still holding up but… the soul was gone. The barrier was empty and nothing lay inside it.

“N-No…” Gaster’s voice came out more like a whisper as he stood up and leaned into the glass. “No. No no no no no no!”

He had failed. The soul hadn’t survived. He killed it…

“I’m—I’m sorry. I didn’t want this to happen to you…” Gaster said as he pressed his forehead into the tank. “I was only trying to save you.”

Gaster could feel something warm and wet running down his cheekbones. Bring a hand to investigate he found that he was crying. Skeleton could cry, despite not having tear glands, but it was more of a magical form of tears that were infused with their magic. So water down purple colored tears stained Gaster’s hand and his face, and he did nothing to stop the tears from falling.

His soul was clenching in pain. Emotions he had not felt in a long time were surfacing. Memories Gaster wished he would never have to relive came back and he thanked whatever deity on high that he had soundproofed his private lab because of the deadly piercing scream that came from him.

Honestly though, Gaster saw no reason to thank god or whatever was out there. What holy being would allow something as pure and innocent as his human soul to just… fade away? It had never done any wrong in its life, even if it was short, and Gaster cursed to the unknown for having taken away his human soul and the lucidity it brought. 

Gaster could remember a time where he acted just the same as he was now, once upon a time. It had been the day Papyrus had been born.

His partner and Gaster had done everything right during the whole process, they had done nothing wrong, and it seemed as though this baby skeleton would be born safely. The scare from when Sans had been born was still thick in both their minds and they took no chances with this child. They took every precaution and made sure nothing to strenuous was put on Gaster’s partner. Even Sans, though he had only been a mere toddler at the time, helped and made sure to keep his parents from over exerting themselves.

But despite all their best efforts, something had gone wrong during the birth. There was a complication with his partner’s magic and the connection to the child, and it meant one of two things…

Either Gaster’s partner was saved or the child… Only one would come out of this…

Needless to say the choice was made. Gaster’s partner said they would never forgive themselves if they lived while it meant killing their child. So they put all their magic towards bring Papyrus into this world, and the moment Papyrus took his first breath Gaster’s partner only had a split second to see that their child was safe and healthy before turning to dust.

The whole event had scarred both Sans and Gaster; the first losing a parent and the other a life partner. Gaster hated to emit it, but for the first two weeks he locked himself away either in his room or at the lab; isolating himself and keeping his distance from his sons. Gaster had gone to a dark place, a place where it was only W. D. Gaster (the Royal Scientist) and whatever essence of Gaster (the kind father and friend) was lost.

 It seemed as though he would never be able to come out of the darkness that was himself… until Grillby had slapped him out of it; literally.

Grillby had chewed him out and it was the most Gaster had ever heard the fire monster curse in one sitting. The living flame had shouted at the skeleton about how he had abandoned his sons, how he left Sans to care of Papyrus alone, and not respecting his fallen partner’s death. They had given their life to allow Papyrus to live and be happy, and what Gaster was doing to his boys was like crumpling it up and throwing it in the trash.

The onslaught from Grillby had surprisingly been the thing Gaster had needed to hear. Soon he was running home, tears running down his face, and pleading that he could make things right. When he had gotten home he found Sans, now eldest but still his small boy, feeding his brother on the couch. The sight brought Gaster to his knees. Sans was a still a child, he didn’t need to have this kind of responsibility thrown on him… yet Gaster had done it anyway.

The moment seeing his father fall to the floor crying, Sans had jumped off the couch and ran to Gaster. He asked Gaster what was wrong and when his father didn’t respond he too started to cry with worry. All the crying from his father and brother soon began to upset Papyrus and he also joined in from his spot in Sans’ arms.

At hearing his cry, Gaster pulled both boys into a hug. He couldn’t stop the pleas for forgiveness or the sorry’s that escaped him as he held onto Sans and stared down at the small bundle that was Papyrus. For who knows how long the trio stayed there, just holding onto each other, but from that moment on Gaster never allowed himself to go to that dark place again. He’s sons, his family, needed him and he would always be there for them; to protect them and love them.

But now… Gaster felt as though he had not protected his family enough. The soul was gone and he had not done enough to keep it safe. He had failed it…

Gaster could feel his mind slipping into that familiar darkness. W. D. Gaster was slowly consuming him. The scientist who had no morals and no humanity was slowly eating away at the other half that was the loving and compassionate side of Gaster. The darkness was inviting, a place where he didn’t have to worry about his heart being torn, but it was a place that was hard to escape. And there was no Grillby to pull him out it this time…

It seemed as though Gaster would all but lost to his darkness… until he felt a familiar sensation in his soul.

Strange. Scared. Worried. You… where?

Jerking his head up, Gaster looked back into the DT tank. The magical barrier was still up he noticed, shocking as it should have dissipated the moment the soul didn’t take to it. But it was still there.

Looking closely, Gaster didn’t see anything wrong with the barrier. It looked slightly cloudy in the center of it but… Pressing his face right up on the glass Gaster had to focus his vision very carefully to see what he saw next.

Smack dab in the center of the barrier, so small that it looked to be nothing more than dust, was a small pink dot and surround it was a red-pinkish glow.

A body, the beginning forms of it anyway, and the soul was inside it.

Gaster felt his body slump against the tank as relief filled him; it was thick in his bones. If he hadn’t wasted his tears earlier he would be crying again. The soul had survived and the body had accepted it as its own. It was now not just the human soul Gaster had created by accident… it was now the human he had created out of love for his creation.

A soft laugh escaped him as he stared down at the magical barrier and its contents. Gaster’s soul pulsed with love and calmness to the little being, sensing its terrified emotions.

“You’re safe now… you are safe. I’m here, and I am not leaving you.”


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


 So much has happened to Gaster in the past few months, but none of it would he trade for all the gold in the world. His life hasn’t been this… eventful but yet peaceful in so long that he is relishing in it. The core’s design has finally been perfected, and after test runs on smaller versions it has been deemed safe to finally start building it. Papyrus has learned to walk and now there is no stopping the small skeleton from racing around the house. Sans has finally caught up on his studies and Gaster has never been prouder of his eldest.

Things look to be turning for the better for his little family.

“So how long will it take to finish the core?” Grillby asks as he and Gaster walk the streets of Home with Sans and Papyrus walking ahead of them. The scientist had decided that they all deserved a nice night out and had settle on taking everyone to the park. Sans and Papyrus had been thrilled to hear this and the brothers had been talking nonstop about playing on the swings or sliding down the slides.

Papyrus, at the beginning of the trek to the park, had been in Sans’ hoody but had to be taken out when it became obvious was putting a strain on his brother. Sans had said he was fine and that Pap was fine staying there, but Gaster knew better. Sans wanted nothing but his brother’s happiness, but sometimes the boy forgot that he needed to watch how much stress he put his body through.

Sans didn’t show it, but he was a very sick boy. The damage from his birth followed him in life, and though he always had a smile on his face, Sans was always a constant worry for Gaster. Sans would always have to be careful in life, he could never over exert himself or… Gaster didn’t want to think of that right now. This was supposed to be a fun night out and he was going to make sure it would be.

“I can’t say how long.” Gaster said as they turned a corner. “It took almost as long as how old Sans is now to perfect the designs. Who knows how many years it will take to actually build it?”

“Don’t worry, if it take 100 years let it. You can’t spend all your time working on that thing, not when you have other more important things to worry about.” Grillby said as he gestured to Sans and Papyrus. The two were holding hands, Sans helping Papyrus along, and babbling nonsense; ignoring the adults behind them.

“I know, believe me, I know that now more than ever.” Gaster said as he smiled while placing a hand over his sternum.

His sons and the human soul, or human for now as Gaster still did not have a name for it yet, had shown him time and time again that there are things in this life worth more than wasting his time on the core. At home his sons showed him the love that made up their very beings and that reminded Gaster of what he would miss if he spent days and days away from them.

The human showed him that even with the immense title of being the Royal Scientist Gaster deserved a break every now and again. At the lab he would slip away randomly during the day to go and visit the human. It was during their time together that Gaster allowed his body to relax. He would then slip into a light conversation about anything that was on his mind and the human would listen; at least he thought they were.

Now that the soul had a growing body, communication with it was sparse. It was still able to send him a few messages now and again, telling Gaster how it was feeling or just simple signals that it was still there, but with each passing day as its body grew the connection became cloudier.

Gaster theorized that this was due to the fact that humans don’t have as much magic in their bodies or souls in comparison to monsters. It surprised him actually that his human was still able to communicate at all, but he figured that was due to the fact that it contained part of his genes. His human would be a feat of science, the first and only perfect mix between human and monster. They would be very special and Gaster felt pride bloom in his soul knowing he played a part in their creation.

Gaster found himself chuckling when a thought occurred to him. He had always referred to the soul as his human soul and now that it had a body he started to refer to it as his human. He didn’t mean it in the possessive means, far from it, but more in the way he saw Papyrus and Sans as his sons. As his family. The more he thought on it, the more Gaster realized that he had formed a fatherly bond to the human soul/human he had created. And he truthfully saw nothing wrong with that.

He had given the soul life, even if accidental, and had done everything in his power to keep it safe and out of harm’s way. He did the same thing for Sans and Papyrus. If he didn’t see them as a part of his family, as his… child actually, he may have been worried.

“What’s so funny Daddy?” Sans asked at hearing his father’s chuckle.

“Nothing Sans,” Gaster said with an honest smile. “Just realizing something is all.”

Sans nodded and went back to talking to Papyrus as they neared the park. Grillby gave him a questioning glance but did not ask Gaster what he had meant. As the group finally made it to the park, they were met with a shocking sight. The park was completely empty; no children or parents at all. This was the biggest and most well-kept park in Home and it was always full of children playing. So the sight of it being so desolate was a bit odd.

“Where is every—“

“Look! There’s someone.” Sans shouted as he interrupted Grillby and pointed over at the playhouse made out of rocks.

Looking to where the boy was pointing both Gaster and Grillby’s eyes widened in shock. It was Prince Asriel and Following close behind him was the fallen human. The human, once they had been well enough, was revealed to the kingdom and the royal family said no harm was to fall on her. Her name had turned out to be Chara and though the monsters of the underground followed the rule from their king and queen, they did not take to Chara nicely.

Monsters still sneered at and when out of earshot spoke ill of the child. Saying how a human shouldn’t be living with them since it was their fault for monsters being underground.

Gaster thought it was a bit harsh, to put all the blame on one child, but he knew he could do nothing about it. This just needed time; time for the monsters to come to accept the human. And with talk of the King and Queen thinking of adopting the human, since she made it very clear she didn’t want to return to the surface, monsters would have to accept it soon.

“Howdy!” the booming voice of the king said as he walked over from the bench he had been sitting at not too far away. “Isn’t this a friendly surprise? I see you thought of the same thing I did and brought your children out to play today?”

“Indeed your Highness.” Gaster said with a slight bow of his head. “Though I must ask, where is everyone else?”

“Oh… they all left.” The king said and that was all that was needed for both Gaster and Grillby. They had left when they saw Chara.

“Well, why don’t you two go play with the prince and human.” Grillby said as patted Sans’ skull. “The adults are going to talk about boring adult stuff.”

“Okay!” Sans said as he began to speed walk over to the two other children. “Come on Pap!”

“Comin’ Sans!” Papyrus squeaked as he raced on ahead of Sans on wobbly legs.

Watching as the two ran off to play, and how Sans had to catch his brother from falling a couple of times, Gaster smiled. Most children he’d seen were afraid of Chara, mostly because of what their parents said, but not Sans or Papyrus. Gaster had told them of the human and at first they were warry but when Gaster explained how she was also a child and was just as scared their impression of her changed.

Sans had been asking nonstop to go see the human and Papyrus agreed along with his brother. Gaster had said when he had time to take them to see the King and his family he would but work had gotten in the way. But now looked as though he was now able to keep his promise as Sans and Papyrus stood in front of the prince and human and both exchanged smiles and waves.

“So I heard the core is ready to be built.” Asgore asked, breaking the silence.

“Yes, it is.” Gaster responded. “We can start work on it whenever you are ready.”

“Good, good.” Asgore said with a smile. “I have been thinking, the population is growing and I know we cannot stay in Home forever… so I was wondering if it would be possible to build a city around the core?”

At this Gaster let a shocked expression form on his face. A city around the core?! What?!

“E-Excuse me, but did I hear your correctly? You want to build a city around the core?” Gaster asked, his jaw hanging in surprise.

“I do.” Asgore said calmly, his royal voice not leaving him. “I know a few monsters have moved into some small caverns outside Home, but many like living close to one another. Reports have come in saying that a bigger cavern has been found, big enough to build the core and still have plenty of room to build a larger city. I know this is a lot to ask, but my people are becoming crowed in Home’s small space.

“And I know if anyone can do it, it is you my friend.” Asgore said as he placed a hand on Gaster’s shoulder.

Gaster wanted to deny the King’s request. Tell him how dangerous it could be by doing this and how it would prolong the core but the look the king had, a hopeful look, Gaster didn’t have the heart to be rational with him.

“I will do my best.” Gaster said, and from the rise in temperature next to him Grillby had been shocked to hear this.

“I know you will.” Asgore said as he turned to the children.

They were all at the swings, Sans pushing Papyrus and Asriel pushing Chara, happily giggling and having a good time. Seeing them so at peace made Gaster smile. What the king had asked of him was a lot but he knew his reasoning behind it was valid. The monster population had been slowly rising in the past few years and Home had indeed become very crowded and seeing his sons playing made Gaster think of all the other children who lived in here.

They deserved more room to run and play, and a bigger city would do just that.

Who knows, maybe one day he would move into this new city with his family? Maybe Grillby would come too, seeing as wherever the skeleton went the fire monster seemed to follow. And maybe, just maybe…

His human child would be there with them too.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


"You know you didn’t have to agree with him. Asgore is very understanding and would have accepted it if you said no.” Grillby said as he and Gaster walked the path to Snowdin. They had stayed at the park longer than excepted; the children had been having so much fun playing that Gaster didn’t have the heart to stop them.

“I know… but it got me thinking, about what he said.” Gaster said as he adjusted Sans in his arms so his head was resting better on his shoulder. Grillby had taken Papyrus from Sans when both adults saw the older child yawning tiredly and not a second after his sibling was gone did Sans reach out for his father to hold him. Age wise Sans was getting too old for Gaster to do this, but Sans was smaller than most skeletal children and weighted far less as well so he saw no harm in it.

“There are more monsters now days then there was when we were first trapped down here.” Gaster didn’t have to go into detail as to why there was so few of them in the beginning. The war had dropped their numbers to near extinction when the humans trapped the monsters underground. It wouldn’t surprise Gaster if the humans thought they had just died off underground due to their low numbers.

“Yes, that is true.” Grillby said as he fixed Papyrus’ scarf so it wasn’t sliding off.

“And a bigger city would provide the needed room for these new monsters.” Gaster continued. “I am only trying to look at this logically Grillby. We need more space, all monsters do.”

“Yes, I know.” Grillby said softly, but from the way his flames flickered Gaster knew he was irritated. “But that just adds more to your work load. I mean, I know you won’t be the one constructing the city but if it’s going to be surrounding the core you are going to have to supervise and things like that.”

Gaster nodded. Grillby’s words rang true, he wouldn’t be the one to build the city (not even design it), but it would have to be approved by him and he would have to make sure things were positioned properly so the core could still do its job and power the underground.

“Just as long as you don’t lose sight of what’s really important, I will support you.” Grillby said and it was then Gaster realized that they had made it back to his house. He could be so deep in thought he didn’t pay attention to where his legs took him sometimes.

“Trust me, I won’t.” Gaster said as he fished out his keys and opened the door. The house was dark and a tad bit cold, but that was fixed once Grillby stepped in. Gaster made a note to turn up the heat once his sons were put to bed.

“Thanks for carrying Papyrus.” Gaster said as the two walked up the steps and to the boy’s bedroom. “Sans is getting to be a bit of a handful.”

“I swear I don’t know who is worse; you or Sans.” Grillby said with a shake of his head. “And don’t worry, I had fun tonight. The walk to Home was nice.”

Nodding his head, Gaster walked over to Sans bed and placed him down. Slipping off the boy’s jacket and boots, Gaster pulled the blanket over his son and tucked him in. Running a hand over Sans’ head, Gaster gave him a quick nuzzle before going over to Papyrus’ crib. Grillby had already had the boy out of his play clothes and tucked in as well and as Gaster looked down at his son he continued to smile.

Papyrus had the scarf Sans got for him wrapped in his hands and snuggling up against it. Ever since he got the gift, Papyrus went everywhere with the scarf and barely let it go, unless it needed to be cleaned.

“You’re lucky to have such sweet boys.” Grillby’s voice spoke softly as Gaster reached out to rub Papyrus’ head. “I have never seen a bond like theirs before.”

“They are close, aren’t they?” Gaster said as he slowly stepped out of the room with Grillby. “Let’s hope it stays that for the rest of their lives.”

“I doubt there is anything that would break it.” Grillby said as Gaster walked him to the door.

Opening the door for the fire monster, Gaster noticed that Grillby was a bit reluctant in leaving. He stood in the open doorway and just stared out into the snow. It worried him, a lot actually. Grillby had this distant and thoughtful look on him and it wasn’t a normal thing to see on him. It was normal for Gaster but not for the fire monster.

Gripping the other’s elbow, Gaster gave it a gentle squeeze.

“Are you alright?”

Snapping out of his daze, Grillby pulled his arm back. His face, specifically where his cheeks would be, burned a bright cherry red and his flames grew shorter.

“Yes, I am fine. Just… it’s nothing.”

“You sure?” Gaster asked, not liking this silent side of Grillby. Grillby was always so open and honest with Gaster, more so than the skeleton had been lately, and seeing him act so aloof was troubling.

 “Yes, I was just thinking of something.” Grillby said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

“What about? If you want to we can-”

Gaster never got to finish his sentence though as Grillby quickly leaned in and gave him what was his equivalent of a kiss on the cheek. Since Grillby didn’t really have any lips, his flames that made up his mouth brushed against smooth bone and left a warm tingling feeling as he pulled away. Stuck in a daze, Gaster watched as Grillby slowly walked out the door.

“Goodnight Gaster. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Even when Grillby was gone from sight, Gaster was still looking out the door. Finally feeling the cold get to him he shut the door and walked over to the couch before collapsing on it.

What… had just happened??

Grillby had just… kissed him?

Why?

Okay, Gaster had an idea as to why. No one just ups and kisses someone for no good reason. But he never thought Grillby…

Leaning his head into his hands, Gaster let out a tiring sigh. It was too late in the night to be thinking about this and he had to be up early tomorrow to get to the lab and check on the human. Rubbing his temples Gaster stood up and made his way to his room.

He needed to sleep on this new information.

A nice Long sleep.

 

Chapter Text

To say things were awkward would be putting it lightly, with how Gaster and Grillby acted around each other. The two barely spoke full sentences between them, or shared full eye contact, and when they were in the same room the temper would suddenly rise a few degrees. Gaster found himself stuttering when in the same space as the walking torch and the flames that made up Grillby’s head flickered wildly.

It was obvious that something was bothering them, even to Sans and Papyrus who knew nothing of what happened between the two adults. At first Sans let his mind think it was just some weird adult stuff, his dad and other parent did a lot of that when they were still alive, but as the weeks rolled on it started to worry him.

They had stopped going over to Grillby’s for dinner for about a week and the fire monster stopped coming over to visit like he regularly did. Whenever Sans brought up Grillby, Gaster would blush a heavy purple in color and say he had to go do something; leaving Sans without another word.

The two skeleton children were starting to miss seeing Grillby, so when Gaster told them that it would be the fire monster picking them up from daycare and not him they were thrilled. Not to say that they hated their father picking them up, far from it, it was just nice to see Grillby walk into the daycare building and smiling at them warmly.

“… Are you and Daddy mad at each other?” Sans ask Grillby as the two sat in the kitchen. Papyrus had been put down for a nap and Grillby took this moment of silence to start dinner. The sudden question from the older boy did surprise him enough that stiffened up though.

“What would give you the idea I am mad at your father?” Grillby asked as he turned around to look at Sans. The boy was sitting at the table, his head resting on his arms that were folded on the tabletop. His gaze wasn’t on him but the far wall and it was clear with how his brow was knit tightly that something was troubling him.

“You two have been acting weird around each other for weeks,” Sans said, still not looking at Grillby. “Daddy won’t bring us over to see you anymore, you stopped coming over for visits, and when you two are in the same room it’s like you two are magnets repelling each other away.”

Grillby had to emit it, Sans was definitely Gaster’s son and not just for the reason in how he described the whole situation. Sans was very observant and did it very meticulously. He would watch silently and study things carefully before he made his move, and it seemed as though the boy had done a lot of it before he finally spoke just now.

“Your father and I aren’t mad at each other, Sans.” Grillby said as he walked over to the table and stood next to Sans.

“Then what is the problem?” Sans voice was beginning to rise, his anger and frustration finally having reached its peak. “Dad won’t tell me anything! And neither have you! I miss you Grillby, Papyrus misses you, what has gotten you and Dad so rattled?!”

Grillby wasn’t shocked at Sans shouting, he had seen the boy get angry before, but what did surprise him was what Sans called Gaster. It had always been Daddy with Gaster, never dad or father, just Daddy. So hearing Sans call the older skeleton by something else told Grillby that Sans was really upset; upset to the point of name changing.

Getting down on his knees to be at eye level with the boy, Gaster placed his hands on Sans’ shoulders. The boy was shaking enough that Grillby could feel it even through the thick jacket he wore.

“Sans… Look at me.” Grillby said calmly. When Sans didn’t move though the fire monster moved one of his hands to the boy’s cheekbone and made him face him. “You’re father and I… are going through something very complicated.”

“What can be so complicated that it is pushing you away, Grillby?” Sans asked, tears starting to form in his sockets.

“Adult stuff Sans.” Grillby said and he knew it wasn’t a good answer, but how does one go about telling an eight year old about… this? “We’re going through something you will hopefully not have to worry about for many years.”

“If this is what it will be like I don’t think I want to ever go through it.” Sans said as he finally let his tears fall. “Everything is changing and I don’t like it Grillby. Dad’s been so distant, you’ve been gone, the only one that hasn’t change is Papyrus… is it my fault you and Dad are having adult problems?”

“What?” Grillby was actually startled by this question from Sans; enough for his flames to fume up. “No, no Sans it is not your fault; far from it. It’s… mostly mine, actually.”

Sans seemed confused by this from the way his sockets stared at Grillby. The boy looked about ready to ask what the fire monster meant but was stopped when Grillby pulled him into a hug. The fireman’s warm radiated through Sans body and it relaxed him enough to rest his head on the offered shoulder. Grillby could care less about the tears that Sans cried as burned him, his main concern was to make the small boy feel better and right now he needed reassurance.

“I will work things out with your father.” Grillby said as he rubbed Sans’ back. “I promise.”


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


Gaster’s mind seemed to be everywhere else but work today, and it was causing some problems. First it started with him dropped and breaking two test tubes, then him bumping into another scientist (sending the stack of papers they had flying), and from there things only went more downhill.

It got to the point that a few of the other scientists, mainly Kit and his merry band of followers, told Gaster that maybe it would be wise for him to head home; and leave before something else broke or exploded. Gaster quickly, a bit too quickly, reassured them he was fine, but to put them at easy he would go and take a break in his office.

Truthfully he wasn’t taking a real break, the moment he was alone he went straight to his private lab and started to study the human’s growing body, but it was a break from working on the core so that was something.

The human body was forming nicely, Gaster could already see the beginning forms of arms and legs, and its stats were stable. The soul’s glow was starting to be less visible now, with a more solidified body encasing it, but that didn’t worry Gaster. Honestly nothing about the human’s body worried Gaster, what had his mind in such disarray was what had happened a few weeks ago with him and Grillby.

That night the fire monster had kissed him was still very clear in his mind and he almost could still feel the warmth on his cheekbone.

Gaster didn’t know how to go about this actually. He had known Grillby for years and the monster had given Gaster no indication that he had those kinds of feelings for him. They had always been friends; just friends. It appeared though the fireman had been harboring deeper feelings for the skeleton, if the kiss was anything to go by.

Gaster’s mind was slowly processing this new information; even weeks after it happened.

Grillby liked him.

Grillby liked him.

REALLY liked him.

Yeah. Still processing.

“I just don’t know what to do.” Gaster said aloud while rubbing his eye sockets. “I… just don’t.”

Feelings. Strange. Love. Same?

The human soul was sending Gaster messages like this ever since he started talking about his problem with Grillby to it. It didn’t quite understand what Gaster was telling but it did get bits and pieces. It understood the feeling the skeleton said this other monster had for him clear as day, because it felt the same emotion for Gaster as well.

The human soul loved Gaster, and it knew Gaster cared for it. So it processed that if another loved Gaster like he did the soul, then he should feel the same as he did for it.

Gaster couldn’t stop the smile from forming on him. The human’s soul was so pure and innocent, like a small child, so it didn’t understand fully the different forms of love there were. The love Gaster felt for the soul was a fatherly bond, an affection formed between a creator and creation, but… the emotions Grillby had for him were different than that.

“It’s… complicated.” Gaster responded to the soul’s inquiries.

The soul sent him the feeling of being confused and Gaster felt it best to drop the subject now while he still had the chance. Picking up his clipboard and notes, Gaster walked over to the DT tank’s monitor and read over the information it gave for the human’s body and soul.

“HP is steadily rising to adequate levels.” Gaster said as he wrote down the new information. “Body is forming properly from gathered information.”

Gaster frankly didn’t know for certain how a human gestation cycle worked. He knew bits and pieces from the books he had gathered, but a lot of pages were ruined and illegible. What he did gather was that humans took at least 40 weeks or roughly nine months to become fully developed enough to survive in the outside world. Compared to most monsters, especially skeletons (which only lasted 3 months), this was a long developing progression.

He also found that he had to be careful in what he observed. Humans were known to be born with deformities and some could be life threatening. Gaster didn’t want anything like that to happen to his human so he always checked very closely, and if by any chance he saw something he was ready to use his magic to fix it. This human was going to be born with no complications, not with Gaster around.

“Still too early to determine gender,” Gaster said as he looked up from his notes. “But in a few more weeks genitalia should form enough to define that.”

This was something Gaster was looking forward to finding out. With skeletons you couldn’t tell the child’s gender till they were born, but with humans (especially in this case since the barrier that encased the growing body was see-though) you were able to tell in just a matter of weeks. Gaster was actually interested in which gender his human would decide upon taking and would accept either.

But now that Gaster thought of the human’s gender, it brought up another question. He still did not have a name for the human. He had dug around and found a few human names that sounded alright, but none of them seemed to fit the human or its soul. Everything just seemed… imperfect.

But he still had time. He still had enough time till the gender was known and the actual birth happened to think of a fitting name.

“Soul energy is stable.” Gaster said as he stared down at the faint red glow around the forming body. “In about another week or two the soul light should no longer be visible.”

 The soul sent Gaster the feeling of being tired and soon the skeleton could sense it lulling into sleep as he wrote down in his notes. He found that the human, even early in development, could rest. Gaster had once startled it out of sleep once enough to make the tiny body jolt a little. The sight was adorable in Gaster’s mind.

“I think that is enough for now.” Gaster said as he set his notes down. “It’s getting late and… I need to go pick up the boys from…”

That’s right. He had needed Grillby to pick up Sans and Papyrus from daycare today. He had needed to stay longer at the lab today because it was Friday and he had to stay to lock up. Gaster could remember the awkward call he had given the fire monster and how he quickly hung up once he got his answer. He was not looking forward to seeing Grillby tonight.

…Feelings. Love. Return. Love.

Staring down at the still form of the human body, Gaster felt his soul go heavy with uncertainty.

Did he feel the same way for Grillby? Gaster didn’t know what or how he felt. He still loved his first partner, but they had been gone for some time now. Grillby was still here though. Grillby had been there for him when their sudden death nearly broke Gaster. Grillby had been there to help Gaster pretty much raise his sons. Grillby had been there to make sure Gaster kept himself healthy and not overwork himself. In almost everything Gaster did…

Grillby was there for him; supporting him in every way.

Letting a sigh escape him, Gaster walked over to the door. Why was everything in his life so complicating? Couldn’t he just have a normal life, or at least a normal day for once? Then again, if he did ever have a normal life he probably would never had created the human soul.

So maybe a normal life wasn’t as thrilling as it sounded.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


Gaster had decided on taking the River Person today on his way home. The idea of taking a relaxing and quiet ride down the river sounded appealing to Gaster and it would give him a few more minutes to think things over before picking up his sons.

The River Person’s quiet ‘tra la la’ almost lulled Gaster to sleep as the ride went along and when they finally reached Snowdin the hooded figure had to rustle Gaster out of his tired musing. Apologizing to the River Person Gaster exited the boat and was about to walk down the path but was stopped when a voice from behind him spoke out.

“Tra la la, don’t deny the chance at love.” The River Person said calmly. “You will never get a moment at it again.”

Turning back to the boat, Gaster was about to ask what the River Person meant but it was too late; they were gone. The mysterious River Person had been known to give monsters advice on things that were troubling them and it seemed as though they had sensed Gaster’s.

Letting what the hooded figure said sink in, Gaster felt his face heat up in a blush. Should he allow himself to have these feelings for Grillby? Where would they lead him? How would it end? Gaster was so engrossed in these thoughts that he didn’t realized it that he had walked all the way to Grillby’s until he was in front of the door.

Never before had the door seemed so big and imposing. Reaching out to it had never been a problem, Gaster knew it was always open for him, but what lay behind it made it difficult to even touch the doorknob. Slowly, as if the knob would bite back, Gaster wrapped his hand around it and gave it a turn. Pushing the door open Gaster cautiously walked into the house.

It was quiet and the living room was dark. Grillby must have put Sans and Papyrus to bed, it was rather late, and from the way he didn’t get rammed into by his sons proved his theory. Closing the door Gaster saw that the kitchen light was still on or at least some form of light was coming from it. Making his way to the room Gaster found that the light source was Grillby.

 The fire monster was sitting at the table, his hands folded together in front of him and his flames burning shortly.

“… We need to talk Wing Ding.” Grillby said, not even looking up at the skeleton.

Gaster couldn’t find words to speak, if he did they probably come out all muttered, so he just took to sitting next to Grillby. For a while the two didn’t speak, just sitting at the table silently. Gaster was starting to wonder if they would stay like this for the rest of the night if one of them didn’t speak soon, and thankfully Grillby did.

“I’m sorry… about what happened that night.” Grillby said as he placed his face in his hands. “I… didn’t mean anything by it.”

“What…” Gaster said in shock. “You’re sorry; for what? You did nothing wrong Grillby.”

“But I did.” Grillby said as he finally looked up at Gaster; his flames turning a light pink in color. “I messed up. I had been thinking about it a lot, and it was a spur of the moment thing. Look what it has done. We barely talk or see each other like normal and it’s not only just affecting us.”

“… what do you mean?”

“Sans asked me about it today.” Grillby answered Gaster. “He thought it had something to do with him.”

Gaster looked horrified. He didn’t want Sans to think this, whatever this was, was his fault.

“I told him it had nothing to do with him,” Grillby said calmly. “But I did say we would talk about this.”

Gaster nodded, they did need to talk about this and hiding from each other wasn’t helping them none.

“Okay. Let’s talk.” Gaster responded. “Grillby, I—“

“I’m sorry, Gaster.” Grillby cut in. “Can we just go back to the way things were? Act like this never happened?”

That had not been what Gaster had expected. He honestly didn’t know what to expect, but not Grillby asking to forget like the whole never happened. Gaster knew that he would never completely forget this as well, so it was best to just to deal with the issue instead of brushing it under the rug so to speak.

“But it did Grillby.” Gaster said as he stared at the fireman. “And… no amount of acting will make it go away… I want you to be honest with me about this Grillby.”

Grillby seemed a bit surprised by Gaster’s words and from the slight discoloration on his cheeks it was clear that he was. Slowly reaching out to take his hand, Gaster gave Grillby’s a firm squeeze.

“I… am still not sure how to feel about this.” Gaster said truthfully. “But… I do know that out of everyone in my life, you have always been there for me and seeing you happy has always made me happy.”

Gaster really didn’t know where he was going with this, he was just letting his words slip out of him as they did, but from the way Grillby was squeezing his hand told that he was at least saying something right.

“And I… I don’t want things between us to be askew but maybe the both of us can give this a chance.” Gaster said as he felt his blush returning to his face. “I think the both of us have been… suppressing these feelings for a while and you’d just decided to act on it more than I did.”

Silence again enveloped the room again. Gaster found his gaze going to the tabletop but his hand remained entangled with Grillby’s. The fir monster was burning brightly now, from what Gaster could see out of his peripheral vision, and he was starting to worry that maybe he had been wrong in what Grillby felt for him. He was about to take everything he said back when he felt something warm rub against skull.

Skeletons weren’t able to kiss like most people could, seeing as they didn’t have real lips, so a form of ‘kissing’ for them was to nuzzle into their partner’s skull. Grillby of course knew this, having known Gaster for so long and having found out, and was rubbing his forehead against Gaster’s.

“I would like that.”

If Gaster’s mind was a computer, it would have crashed and bluescreened. He had only ever nuzzled his first partner and his sons before and the sensation he felt with those had been like a slight tingling. With the way Grillby nuzzled into him it felt like a warm embrace was encasing his bones and it made them vibrate.

Acting on instinct now, Gaster found himself pushing back into the touch and leaning into the warmth that was Grillby. A smile graced his features and from what he saw Grillby was too.

This… this felt nice.

“EEEEWWW!”

At the sudden scream both Gaster and Grillby pushed away from each other and turned to the archway that lead to the living room to find that they were being spied upon.

Sans was peaking over the frame with Papyrus sleepily held in his arms and he had a disgusted look on him. Both boys looked extremely tired, Papyrus looked ready to fall asleep in his brother’s hold, so they had been probably listening in on them for a while.

“You two were kissing?! GROSS!” Sans whined as he made a gagging sound, but quickly composed himself and gave the two adults a concerned glance. “Did… you two fix your problem?”

Sharing a look with Grillby, Gaster found himself smiling again as he stood up and walked over to his sons.

“I think we just did.”

The smile that spread across Sans was so wide that Gaster wondered if it would get stuck there. Picking up the two, Gaster turned to find Grillby standing next to him and he too was smiling.

“Yes, Sans, we fixed it.” Grillby said as he pressed a kiss on Gaster cheekbone.

“EW! Quit it!” Sans said but he was still smiling. “You two are gross!”

“Gross…” Papyrus said with a yawn as he snuggled into his father’s chest.

“I think you two should go back to bed.” Gaster said as he turned to walk into the guest room where the boys had been resting. “It’s late.”

“Awe, but I’m not *yawn* tired.” Sans said as he rubbed his sockets while lazily resting his head on Gaster’s shoulder.

“Sure you’re not.” Grillby said as he gave the boy an affectionate pat on the head. “How about this, if you go to bed your father and I promise to take you out to play in the park tomorrow?”

“You promise?” Sans asked sleepily, already falling back into slumber.

Gaster looked up at Grillby, the two shared a loving smile, and the older skeleton nodded.

“We promise.”


♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


 If you had asked Gaster where he’d find himself in his life a few months ago, he probably answer with how he would be working on the core and doing his best to raise his sons. Now is response would be slightly different.

A few more weeks have passed since that night at Grillby’s and Gaster found himself in a state of bliss he hadn’t felt for a long time. He smiled more often and finished work a lot faster to get home early. He and his sons found themselves at Grillby’s even more than they usually did. Gaster could honestly say that things in his life were finally going his way.

“Sans and Papyrus were such a mess,” Gaster laughed as he told the human about last night’s endeavors. Grillby and Sans had found a box of paints at the dump and his sons couldn’t wait to use them; literally. The moment the children were free to use the paints, they didn’t wait to get some paper and just started to finger paint on each other. “Took me the better half of an hour just to get them into the tub, and the other half to clean them up. Didn’t help much that Grillby was laughing the whole time about how colorful the bubbles were.”

The human’s soul gave the feeling of acknowledgement and the feeling of love at hearing the story about Sans and Papyrus. The body was steadily growing, a bit faster than is probably should Gaster noted, but nothing to worry much over. It’s arms and legs had finally become fully developed and Gaster found himself counting the tiny little fingers and toes that it had.

Gaster had done the same with Sans and Papyrus when they were first born. He wasn’t sure why, but just counting the tiny appendages made him smile. It was a sign that they were forming properly and that was a good thing.

“I swear if Grillby could be touched by water I would have splashed him.” Gaster laughed lightly as he skimmed over his notes.

Everything so far was looking well when concerning the growing human body. It looked like the pictures from Gaster’s books and it appeared to be healthy. It still would be a few weeks until Gaster was about to figure out its gender but Gaster was patient. The soul’s glow had finally disappeared by this point and left the body surrounding in the faint purple glow that was Gaster magical barrier and the blue of the surrounding DT.  

Everything appeared to be normal, everything looked to be developing properly, but there was one thing that was different from Gaster’s books. Unlike normal humans, this one would not have a bellybutton. Seeing at there was no direct connection to the human body and the barrier surrounding it there was no umbilical cord and in turn there would be no bellybutton.

Gaster could say he didn’t realize this at first but it was no big worry. As long as the DT and his barrier continued to provide sustenance and the nutrients needed to keep the body growing, a human without a bellybutton wouldn’t be a problem.

“I swear Grillby can be so childish sometimes.” Gaster said as he set his notes down. “After I had finally got the boys cleaned up, he goes and gets the paints and starts painting on Me!”

Gaster laughed at the memory of Grillby painting on his skull. The fire monster had given him a star over his left socket and a fish under his right, and that was enough for Sans to slip in the pun of him saying something seemed ‘fishy’ and that he gave Grillby a ‘star’ of approval for his artistic skills.

Obviously the puns had set Papyrus off and the tyke had ended painting Sans all over again in his frustration.

“But… it was nice.” Gaster said as he folded his arms over his chest. “It’s nice to have someone there; knowing he’ll be there. I knew Grillby was there for whenever I needed him but… this is a different need.”

The soul responded with being confused but Gaster’s mind was elsewhere.

Maybe he could make this work; him and Grillby. And maybe, just maybe, once the human was born…

They could work it into their lives as well.

 

art by QueensDaughters

Chapter Text


A girl.

It was a girl.

Gaster had a little girl growing in the tank.

If Gaster was to be completely honest at this point… he was floored! He had so many emotions going through him that he didn’t know which one to act on first! There was joy and wonder, as well as shock and terror that poked out more than the rest though.

Gaster was overjoyed the moment he found out the human was a girl. He wasn’t even checking for gender when Gaster found out. He had been taking notes and walking past the tank when he caught out of the corner of his vision the child stretching it now slightly longer limbs. And well… Let’s just say Gaster read enough from his human books to know the child was a girl.

 He felt wonder at the thought of one day bringing this, his, little girl home and introducing her to Sans and Papyrus. How would his boys react to Gaster bringing home a small babe, a human one too at that, and saying that she was now their little sister? Gaster has for a long time seen the human child as his own, but would his boys see her as family?

Gaster felt fearful for multiple reasons. He was afraid of what some monsters would do when they found out about the child. Afraid of what Grillby and his boys would say and that if they may not accept the child. In almost everything Gaster thought up it brought fear to his soul. Would monsters attack his family in anger? Would the child be taken from him? So many scenarios and not all of them were good.

But Gaster had to remind himself that the Royal Family was also raising a human child and the monsters that lived in Home were now finally starting to accept her. Chara turned out to be slowly bringing hope to the monsters and many thought she was the angel that was prophesized to free them all. It had started out slow, but the monsters of the underground were beginning to think of humans differently; all thanks to a child.

So… maybe his child would bring hope too? Possibly even more so seeing as she was an even closer bridge between monsters and humans. She did, after all, carry part of Gaster’s genetic makeup.

She.

Just acknowledging his human child’s gender made him smile and give a soft chuckle. It would be different and difficult raising a girl after having two rowdy boys, but Gaster was looking forward to it. She would be spoiled rotten, Gaster knew that much was certain, with him as a caregiver and with Sans and Papyrus as older brothers (if they accepted her that is). His little girl would never know true sadness with them around to protect her and make her happy.

And Gaster could just imagine the things Grillby would do for the little girl.

Gaster was still worried how the fire monster would take the news, when he told him, but something told the skeleton that Grillby would understand. Besides, Gaster knew how Grillby spoiled his own little sister so it gave him ideas what the living flame would do with his child. Grillby could never say no to his sister so Gaster knew his little girl would probably have him wrapped around her little finger.

She’d have everyone under her control with her looks alone, Gaster thought as he stared down at the DT tank fondly.  The child’s features were starting to become more noticeable, she already had thick brown locks of hair growing from her head, and everything screamed heartbreaker. Gaster was more than positive that she would be able to bring the mightiest of men down with just a sideways glance when older.

Though small and young, Gaster could make out the details that would grow into gentle and smooth features that in both human and monster terms were considered beautiful. Imagining how she would have boys chasing after her to only have both Sans and Papyrus and himself and Grillby to scare them off made Gaster laugh.

“Yes, it won’t be much longer now.” Gaster said as he placed his hand on the glass. “You’ll be able to finally meet everyone in person and get to know them as they do you.”

Love. Meet. Soon?

“Soon my child,” Gaster said with a chuckle at his little girl’s eagerness to see everyone. “very soon.”

They would be nearing the eight month in just another week and so far everything looked fine. There were no complications or deformities to be seen and that was a relief to the skeleton. Even if the child had been born with something that would make her life difficult, something that Gaster couldn’t fix, he would still love her no differently.

Looking at the clock Gaster saw that it was about time for him to leave. He had promised Grillby he would take him and the boys out tonight, and if he wanted to keep that promise he would have to leave quickly.

“Sorry to cut our time short, but Grillby will have my head if I’m late.” Gaster said as he gathered up his belongings.

Gaster still wasn’t quite sure what he would call this thing between him and Grillby. He guessed it would be considered dating but it didn’t feel like they were; it felt beyond that actually. The pair went about their lives like normal, but they tended to see more of each other now. One would stay at the others for a few days, family outings were becoming regular now, and they had even gone to using pet-names for each other.

Grillby had taken to calling Gaster ‘Dingy’ (much to the skeleton’s animosity but he said nothing to the flame monster) and Gaster just shortened up Grillby’s name to Grillbz or Grill.

Things at home could never be better for Gaster, and as he gave one final goodbye to his human child, his little girl, he looked forward to spending some time with his sons and Grillby.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


 “I don’t know about you Dingy, but I thought it was rather funny.” Grillby said as he tried, and failed miserably, to hold back the snickering he was making. “I mean, how many monsters can say they’ve gotten their son’s hand stuck in their own?”

Tonight… had been a disaster, in Gaster’s mind.

He had first taken Grillby and his sons out somewhere nice to eat. The underground didn’t have much to offer but there were a few places that could hold their own. That hadn’t been so bad, except for when a Sans had secretly snuck a whoopee cushion under him right as he sat down.

Gaster had never been so flushed in the face before and Grillby said he wished he had a camera to capture how purple Gaster’s blush was.

After that, things only went worse for the older skeleton. Once dinner was over with, Grillby suggested taking the boys to the local park to burn off some energy. Gaster had thought the idea was grand and the park was filled with plenty of young monster children for his sons to play with. Everything seemed to being going well for the time being, until Papyrus had been carried off by one of the older children and was used to play hot potato; him being the potato.

 The small boy thought it was the best fun he had ever had, to the other members of his group though it was a horror. It took all of them a good ten minutes trying to snag Papyrus away from the other children before Sans ended up using his magic to levitate his brother away from the others. Finally able to calm down for a moment and not have a metaphorical heart attack, Gaster scolded the other children but it seemed as though they did little listening as they quick ran off to play again.

From there the four left the park, just enjoying a silent walk together. But the silence was short lived when they happened upon the Royal family also out for a walk. It wasn’t bumping into them that was the problem, well in a way it was. Asgore and Gaster hadn’t been looking where they were going and bumped into each other. That in turn caused Sans’ hand, which Gaster had been holding, to somehow get lodged into the hold in the elder’s hand.

It took help from Grillby and Toriel, with Papyrus, Asriel, and Chara cheering the adults on, to get Sans and Gaster apart.

The whole incident was just one big embarrassment.

“It was horrible!” Gaster shouted as he covered his face in his hands. “How can I show my face to the King and Queen again without this night looming over me?!”

“You worry too much Dingy.” Grillby said as he took the skeleton’s hand in his own. The warmth he offered seeping into Gaster and relaxing him. “I doubt Asgore will even remember this. He did hit his head pretty hard when he fell.”

“I thought it funny!” Sans said with a big smile. Papyrus was resting in his arms as the older brother turned to look at the adults. “You could say… I had a handle on the situation.”

Groaning from the very bad pun, Gaster found himself smiling. Of course Sans would find something good in this whole mess. Both his sons were always positive balls of energy, it didn’t matter if their day had been absolutely horrible, they would always find something great about something. And in a way, Gaster was grateful for this. It always brightened his day seeing his sons’ smiles and their beaming energy.

“I guess tonight wasn’t too bad.” Gaster said as he allowed the moment, the only good one tonight, to sink into his mind. His sons were off ahead of him by a few feet and Grillby was next to him while still holding his hand. This was…nice.

“See,” Grillby said as he nuzzled into Gaster’s skull. “You just need to lighten up a bit.”

The snort from Sans was enough to tell the adults that he had overheard the pun and from the slight, albeit tired, groan Papyrus had also heard it.

“With you in my life, I think I have.” Gaster said, not even realizing what he said. When he did he felt his face blush. Gaster wasn’t as affectionate as Grillby, and saying things like this were strange to him. He did care for Grillby; it was just difficult for the skeleton to show his deeper emotions.

“I must be a good influence then.” Grillby said as he gave Gaster a kiss on his cheekbone.

“What you two are is being gross!” Sans said as the white lights in his sockets rolled. “YUCK!”

“Yeah,” Gaster said as he found his gaze falling back onto Grillby with a tender smile. “Yuck.”

“Indeed,” Grillby said as the flames of his face burned a soft pink. “Yuck.”

The rest of the walk back to Snowdin went quietly, except from the disgust gagging sounds Sans would make whenever he found his dad and Grillby nuzzling or kissing each other. The small skeleton loved both Gaster and Grillby but he swore they were doing this mushy stuff on purpose just to irritate him.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


The night had led to Grillby staying at the skeleton household that evening. The flame monster had insisted on him sleeping on the couch, usually Sans gave Grillby his bed and just slept with Gaster, but Gaster… had offered his bed instead.

The two older monsters had been together for a few months now and though they were far from any intimate actions, sharing a bed didn’t feel wrong. So as the pair resting in the bed, Grillby pressed into Gaster’s back, everything seemed perfect. The warmth the living flame gave off lulled Gaster off faster to sleep than he had ever done and Grillby was content with just holding the skeleton close as he fell asleep.

It seemed as though nothing would wake the pair from their peaceful rest… until Gaster shot up with a gasp. There was an immense pain assaulting his soul and it caused Gaster to grip at his ribcage with ragged breathing.

“W-what is…?” Gaster choked out as the pain ebbed, if only slightly, and he looked around the room. Nothing seemed out of place, Grillby was still resting peacefully, and Gaster didn’t hear anything from Sans and Papyrus room, so what could have caused him to…

Pain! Hurt! Help!

The human! Something was wrong with the human child and it was calling to Gaster and sending him the pain it felt. Jumping out of bed, Gaster accumulated his magic together and teleported himself to the labs. Once inside the building Gaster wasted no time in running to his office.  The pain in his soul, the pain his human was feeling, came back though and it made his fall to his knees just as he made it to the door.

I’m coming! Just hold on!

Gaster hoped his message got through to the human’s soul, but when he didn’t get a response his worry only worsened. Pushing himself back up, Gaster rushed into his office and ran into the separate room where the DT tanks and the human were. Once in the private lab, Gaster felt his body tense up.

The magical barrier around the child was a compressing around the child and she was flaying her tiny arms and legs out in an attempt to stop the squeezing.

Gaster tried to stop the process, but for some unknown reason his magic wasn’t responding to it; the barrier was no longer in his control. Rushing up to the tank, Gaster placed his hands on the glass. The pain was back and it took everything in Gaster’s power to not fall over from it. It felt as though someone was holding his soul in their hand and slowly squeezing it.

The human child side of their bond was weakening and Gaster could no longer hear her.

She was dying.

“I-I need to get you out of there.” Gaster managed to say as he looked around for something to break the glass. If the situation was dire he would have drained the DT and raised the glass to remove the child, but he did not have the time for that. Spying a chair off to the side, Gaster ran over to it and picked it up.

Raising it in the air, Gaster took a running start at the tank before he swung the chair at the glass.

At the moment of impact, the chair sent the glass scattering to the floor and the DT flooding out. Shards clattered, liquid sloshed, and pooled around Gaster but he did not care. Dropping the chair, Gaster took a couple attentive steps to slowly peer into the now broken tank. The pain the human had shared with him was gone, but when he found what lay at the bottom of the vat new pain replaced it.

Lying in a small pool of the liquid DT was the child. With the DT no longer able to suspend it and stabilize the barrier the child lay there stilly. Her tiny red soul fluttered dimly in front of her chest, having been brought out when Gaster attacked the tank, and it flickered in a sickly manner. She did not move, she did not cry, all the child did was lay there unmoving.

Her brown locks were clinging to her body, sticky with DT, and her light tan skin was speckled with droplets of the liquid that housed her for the past many months. Gaster knew her chest should be rising and falling with each breath but… it didn’t.

She wasn’t breathing…

She wasn’t responding to Gaster’s tearful pleading over their special bond.

Her red soul was giving flickering wildly now, about ready to give up; to be snuffed out like a candle.

Gaster’s little girl was not going to survive.

“No… No please don’t do this.” Gaster cried as he reached into the broken chamber and pulled the tiny baby out of it. Holding the child to his sternum, Gaster didn’t care if the liquid determination singed his bones; not if it prevented him from hold his daughter. “Come on little one, you need to breathe.”

But Gaster got no such response from the child. She just lay limply in his arms; her soul’s light slowly going dimmer.

“Please, don’t do this.” Gaster pleaded as he pressed his forehead to the child’s. “Not after everything we’ve been through… don’t leave me.”

Gaster didn’t know when the tears started but he didn’t care either. His mind was elsewhere. The memories of when he found the new soul inside his own, the day he put it in the tank, the moment he was able to create a body for the soul, all those memories and more blocked out everything else.

Gaster had known a few monsters in the past that had lost children, he had seen how painful it had been and he prayed that he would never have to feel that pain. It looked as though that he did not pray hard enough.

“Please, whatever divine being is out there… don’t take her. Don’t take her from me before I even got to truly know her.” Gaster prayed, though he didn’t believe anyone would listen.

For what seemed like ages Gaster just knelt on the floor crying. He had lost feeling in his bones due to the DT but he didn’t care. He didn’t care that determination was not safe for monsters. He frankly didn’t care about anything right now.

His world, which had been nothing more than lighthearted and wonderful mere hours ago, was now cold and depressing. All the work he had done to keep this human, his human, his daughter safe was all for not. He had allowed himself to get attached to his creation when many other scientist probably wouldn’t have and now he was paying the price.

Gaster didn’t want open his eyes, because he knew all he would see was a soulless body and a dead child. He didn’t want to see the lifeless body he had grown to love, had grown to calling his child, and just be reminded that she was gone. But when what sounded like a small sneeze caught his attention he dared his sockets open.

The soul was gone, as he expected it to be, and the body of the child still lay unmoving. Her long brown hair covered her face and Gaster found himself brushing it aside. Her eyes were closed and it made Gaster wish he had seen what they’re color was. Would they have been green, blue, or brown? Would she have been blind or be able to see the world?

Rubbing his thumb on the cold cheek of the child, Gaster felt his soul starting to shatter. Maybe he had not heard anything, was it just possibly his mind playing tricks on him?

For a few minutes Gaster stared down at the still body with a blank expression.

Still no movement.

Letting a sigh escape him, Gaster was about to emit defeat when he heard the noise again. He was for sure it was a sneeze now. Staring back down at the child, Gaster felt his soul flare up with hope. Could she be alive?

Gently rubbing his hand across her chest, Gaster recalled from one of his books how this had to deal with something concerning breathing. He was certain at this point but he had to try! Rubbing gentle circles over the soft, damp skin, Gaster nearly clattered into a pile of bones at what happened next.

The child… she coughed. Again she coughed. Cough. Cough. Cough!

Soon the coughing fit brought up a bit of the DT from her lungs, the liquid must have blocked her airways, and once free of the blue fluid she emitted the highest pitched wail she could. Gaster wanted block out the sound, his hearing still sensitive, but he cared less about his hearing at this point.

She was alive.

The human was alive.

His daughter was breathing and alive!

Finding himself laughing like a mad man, Gaster watched as the small child continued to cry while she thrashed her tiny chubby arms around.

“Y-Yes! That’s right, breathe!” Gaster cried out as he took one of the child’s arms in his hand and nuzzled it. “Cry as much as you like, fill your lungs.”

The moment the child heard Gaster’s voice, she opened her eyes. Her crying had died down to soft whimpers and tears slowly started to fall from her eyes. They were a misty blue in color. They were beautiful.

“You’re beautiful.” Gaster said as he felt the child wrap her tiny fingers around one of his own. “So beautiful.”

“She is indeed a heartbreaker,” Gaster thought as he pressed his forehead to the child’s. “She already has me wrapped around her little finger with just looking up at me.”

The child hiccupped, her whole body jolting from it, but she did not look away from Gaster; her eyes glued to him.

Gaster found his gaze unable to look away from her either.

She was alive.

His daughter, his precious little girl, was alive and finally here.

Chapter Text

Gaster was tired, tired like never before, but he didn’t dare close his sockets.

His human child, his daughter, lay resting against his chest, draped in one of his white lab coats he kept in his office. Her tiny fists balled against her chest while her legs would jerk every now and again in her sleep. Her chest slowly rising and falling with each breath she took. Every movement, every little twitch, she made Gaster found caught his attention and it kept him awake.

Everything she did showed Gaster that she was alive and not…

So long as he saw her moving, Gaster knew she would be alright.

So if it meant he would go a few hours without sleep just to make sure she was still breathing, Gaster would do it. Sleep seemed like a less important thing right now. The scare from earlier, almost losing her, had shook him down to his core and Gaster wanted to do nothing but make sure his little human girl was safe and out of harm.

After cleaning both the child and himself of the DT, Gaster gave the child a medical examination. Gaster remembered reading how children born prematurely could have problems, but as he checked over the child he found none. She seemed healthy in every way, she was just a bit smaller than most babies, but Gaster want to make sure.

He of course found nothing wrong and it relieved Gaster of some of the worrying he had.

Now, as she lay resting in his arms, Gaster found himself at a moment where everything was both peaceful and worrisome. The child brought a tranquility that Gaster hadn’t felt in the past few months; he no longer had to keep secrets from his family and could bring his little girl home. Bringing her home though is what worried Gaster.

How would his family react to this human child? How would they take to him keeping this, from soul to child, kind of secret from them?

How would the King and Queen handle it when he showed them his human child?

How would the whole Underground react?

So much had changed in these past few months and Gaster wasn’t sure what would happen next. What he did know was three things.

One: he needed to bring his daughter home.

Two: Introduce her to his family.

Three: … give her a name.

Gaster still had yet to come up with a fitting name for his daughter, and now that she was here it made him feel slightly embarrassed. Gaster did think he would have another month to think about it though, to give him some credit. But since the child was here it seemed as though he had to pick one.

“What should I call you?” Gaster asked as he stared down at the sleeping form in his arms. She gave a tired sneeze and Gaster smiled at the way her face scrunched up when she did so. “No, I don’t think that is good enough.”

Looking at his desk, Gaster saw all the papers and notes he had accumulated during this whole event. Maybe something in here would spark an idea for a name? Using his free hand, Gaster flipped through the papers. Chemicals didn’t sound like they would make good names. Neither did equations or symbols. Letting a sigh escape him, Gaster set the papers down.

“This is pointless,” he said as he looked back to the child. “You are just too… perfect for any normal name.”

When the child did nothing but sleep on, Gaster turned back to his notes. It seemed as though he had flipped through almost all of them and had ended up at the very bottom of the stack. Picking up the paper Gaster read over it. It was one of the few papers that had survived the explosion that had created the child’s soul; the very first of many concerning her soul and later her body.

The title still had Sans and Papyrus’ doodles on them and at the sight of the, now smudge, drawing Gaster smiled. Reading over the title, Gaster reminisced over how he had been going to scold his sons for messing with his paper work but remembered how it had brightened the boring day.

“Freelance Research in System Kinetic-Knowledge or Ketchup according to Sans.” Gaster chuckled as he read the title aloud. “That was what made you, even if it was by accident…”

Freelance Research in System Kinetic-Knowledge (ketchup)

F-R-I-S-K

“Frisk…” Gaster said as he let the name slip from him. It definitely wasn’t a regular name, technically it wasn’t even a name, but the more Gaster said it to himself the more it sounded… fitting for the child in some way. “How about that? Frisk?”

Glancing down at the child Gaster was shocked to find that she was now awake and staring up at him. Her misty blue were locked on to the skeleton, and for the first time since her birth she sent the feeling of happiness and content of their bond. The presence of her feelings eased Gaster, he had worried that this bond they shared would sever once she was born but apparently not.

“Frisk it is then.”

Putting the files back in their folder, Gaster stood from his desk and made his way over to the corner of the room. A while back Gaster had found a broken old filing cabinet at the dump, and after some modifications he had converted it into a makeshift crib. He had seen plenty of cribs at the dump (many need of repairs), but it would be too suspicious if someone saw him taking one with him. So he took the next best thing.

The ‘crib’ was deep enough that the child, Frisk now, wouldn’t be able to roll out and unless someone walked right up to it and saw that it didn’t have a top they would just think it was a regular filing cabinet Gaster was using to store files. The inside was lines with the softest fabric Gaster could find and padded down with fluff from some old pillows. It wasn’t the best, but it would serve its purpose until Frisk grew too big for it.

Placing the child down in the cabinet, Gaster felt a smile creep its way onto his face. Frisk looked so peaceful, wrapped up in his lab coat the way she was. Her messy mop of brown hair was flopped in her face and she was suckling on a corner of the fabric she was wrapped in. Her eyes were slowly starting to close, about to fall back to sleep, but her gaze stayed on Gaster. Those blue eyes held nothing but trust and love in them.

Rubbing the child’s cheek with his hand Gaster pulled away to reached for the second level of the filing cabinet. The first level of it had been changed into Frisk’s bed, while the second drawer had been used to fill the things a baby needs. Tiny clothes Gaster had found and hanged on to from when Sans was a babybones, formula, and everything else.

Gaster knew that the lab could get pretty cold so he knew Frisk would need at least a long shirt to sleep in. Digging through the clothing he had, Gaster stopped. Folded at the bottom of the pile was a larger shirt; the one Sans had bought months back when Gaster first created Frisk’s body. It was far too big for Frisk to wear now but…

Picking up the fabric, Gaster ran his digits over the clue and magenta. Something about it made Gaster smile. He couldn’t say what was the reason, but just imagining an older Frisk wearing the shirt Sans unknowing got for her seemed so sweet. Putting the shirt back Gaster grabbed a more fitting size shirt for Frisk to wear.

Placing the clothing on the small child Gaster found that Frisk wouldn’t release his lab coat to be replaced with a warmer blanket. She sent the older skeleton the feeling of annoyance and Gaster gave in with a chuckle. So young and yet so determined.

“Fine, have it your way.” Gaster said with a calming tone. Truthfully, seeing Frisk sleep with his coat warmed his soul and the way she snuggled her little body into the fabric was too adorable to not let her have her way.

Glancing up at the clock, Gaster nearly fell over from his shock.

6:00 am.

He had been here for at least under five hours! That alone was worrying, but what really made Gaster concerned was the fact that Grillby had to leave for work at 6:30 and Sans and Papyrus had to be at daycare by seven. Knowing the fire monster and his sons enough, they were probably worried sick about him when they woke up to finding him not there.

Feeling beads of sweat fall from his head, Gaster looked back down at Frisk. She was still asleep, and from what he learned, probably for a couple more hours. Gaster didn’t want to leave Frisk, but he wanted to ease his family into the information that was Frisk.

Contemplating his choices, Gaster decided that though it wasn’t the smartest of choices he would leave to go back to his family. Frisk could always get ahold of him through their bond when she woke up and Gaster would just teleport himself back to the lab before anyone knew the wiser. Brushing a few strands of her hair away from her face, Gaster leaned into the cabinet/crib and nuzzled Frisk’s forehead gentle.

“I’ll be right back.” Gaster promised. “I won’t be gone long.”

Making sure the door to his office was locked with a snap of his fingers, Gaster quickly teleported himself as far as his magic would allow. He had wasted a lot of it recently so it would only transport him so far. He made it as far as intersection between Waterfall and Snowdin.

His house wasn’t far from where he ended up, and soon the building came into view. The house’s lights were on and it filled Gaster with dread. Pushing the door open the skeleton was crashed into by a quick force and it caused him to go falling into the snow; unprepared for the assault.

Having the wind knocked out of him Gaster laid there for a few minutes in a daze. When the worried sound of babbling finally reached him though he shook his head and turned to find Sans and Papyrus clinging to his chest. Both boys were staring up at him with worried expression and looked on the verge of tears.

“Where’d you go!?” Sans asked with a shout. “You weren’t here and didn’t leave a note!”

Gaster was about to answer his son but when a bright glow loomed above him he stopped. Slowly raising his head Gaster found Grillby standing above the trio and his flames were growing hot enough that the snow around them started to melt.

“Inside.” Grillby said, his voice sounding like a blazing inferno. “Now.

Gaster didn’t need to be told twice as he and his sons quickly got up and shamefully walking into the house. Gaster found that he couldn’t meet Grillby’s gaze as the living flame slammed the door behind them. Grillby was more than angry. It was as if Gaster was gasoline and the closer he got to Grillby the closer he was to exploding.

“Sans, take Papyrus into the bedroom and finish getting ready. I’ll take you to daycare in a little bit.” Grillby said, his voice straining to sound calm as he spoke to the child.

Sans only nodded as he took Papyrus’ hand in his own and dragged his sibling back into the bedroom. He knew a fight was going to start and Sans knew that it was best to not be in the way of the arguing adults. Papyrus obviously didn’t know this and as his older brother tugged at his hand he kept looking back at his father with worried glances; not wanting to leave him.

Giving the boy what he hoped was a reassuring smile, Gaster waited till his sons were out of the room before he dare look at Grillby. The fire monster’s body was stiff and ridged, the flames of his head had shortened down to a couple of inches, and from what his glasses told he was looking at the floor. Gaster knew Grillby was like a ticking time bomb, anything he said could and would set him off but he needed to explain.

“Grillby I-”

“No.” Grillby interrupted sharply. His flames growing by the second and the room suddenly became hotter. “I don’t want to hear your excuses. I already knew where you went.”

“… You do?” Gaster asked, a bit puzzled by what Grillby said.

“Of course I do, I can read you like a book Wing Ding.” Grillby said and it made Gaster flinch. No cute nicknames here. This was serious. “You went to your lab and did whatever it is you do with that Core of yours.”

Well, Grillby had half of that correct. Gaster had gone to the lab but it was not for the reason he thought. Rubbing the back of his neck, Gaster let out a sigh.

“Something happened, Grillby, and I-”

“I said I don’t want to hear your excuses!” Grillby shouted as his flames turned a bright red. “… We talked about this Gaster. I know it’s difficult for your because it’s who you are, but there needs to be two way communication between us; not just me.”

Gaster felt a heavy sense of guilt wash over him at hearing Grillby’s words and how emotionally strained they sounded. Both Gaster and Grillby knew the older skeleton had a nasty habit of keeping things to himself. It wasn’t completely Gaster’s fault, it was just who he was and how he worked, but the two had talked a while back and had decided that they would work on this. Gaster promised to be more open and less secretive now that he and Grillby were together, but it wasn’t something that would be fixed in a day.

“You could have left a note,” Grillby said, his voice softening and his flames slowly dying down. “Or told us before you up and left. Do you know how worried I was when I found you gone? How worried Sans and Papyrus were? Whatever it was that happened could have waited five seconds for you to at least wake me up and tell me you were leaving.”

‘No it couldn’t.’ Gaster thought as he rubbed his sternum. A dull pain was still deep in his bones from the DT that had gotten on him and it reminded Gaster of how close he had been to loosing Frisk… Frisk.

Gaster still needed to tell Grillby and his sons about the child.

“Grill, I need to-”

“Not now Gaster.” Grillby said as he walked past the skeleton and to the bedroom where the boys were in. “I don’t want to yell anymore, and if I keep talking to you I know that’s all I’m going to do. I’ll take the boys to daycare, seeing as you will be leaving shortly.”

“Leaving? Where exactly am I going?” Gaster asked with a hint of worry in his tone.

“If you were here you would have known that a royal guard stopped by looking for you.” Grillby said as he stopped in front of the bedroom door. “Apparently the King and Queen wanted to see you and that it was urgent. Poor guard is probably still out looking for you.”

Oh.

“So I suggest you hurry up and get your bone butt going.” Grillby said as he opened the door and beckoned for Sans and Papyrus. As the boys came out, fully ready to go, they stared up at their dad with worrying sockets.

“Is… everything alright?” Sans asked as he kicked at nothing.

“Yes, Sans, nothing to worry about.” Grillby said seeing as Gaster was at a loss for words at the moment. “We just… had a little argument over something.”

“No little.” Papyrus said as he rushed over to Gaster and clung to his leg. “No fight. Please?”

Staring down at his son, Gaster felt his soul clench in pain. Bending down to where he was at more eyelevel with his youngest Gaster placed his phalanges under Papyrus chin and moved his head to where he was looking at him.

“I promise, no more fighting.” Gaster said as he gently nuzzled his son’s forehead. “Now, go have fun today for me will you?”

Giving his father a happy ‘Nyeh hehe!’ Papyrus nodded. This child could never stay sad for long Gaster thought as he watched the younger boy race over to the door to where Sans and Grillby stood waiting. Sans looked at Gaster with worrying glances but said nothing, and Grillby looked as if he was still trying to keep his cool with being in the same room as the older skeleton.

Watching as the three left, Gaster felt like he was swimming in a sea of guilt and regret; and he was drowning in it. Gaster could see why Grillby had been upset with him, the skeleton had done goofed on his part, but if he had been given enough time to explain himself he knew somehow knew Grillby would have more than understood.

Letting out a breathe he didn’t realize he was holding Gaster stood.

Guess he better grab his things.

He didn’t want to keep the King and Queen any longer than he had done already.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


As Grillby walked the two children to daycare his mind swam with all sorts of emotions.

He was mad at Gaster

He was irritated with him.

Grillby felt disgusted with the skeleton.

Indignation.

Disappointed.

Confused.

Fearful…

Rubbing his free hand over his face, Grillby let out a sigh. He didn’t like the way he had acted towards Gaster, it was not in his nature to be so unreasonable or spiteful, but he had been so distraught when he found out that Gaster wasn’t in the house and it only worsened when the children found out.

He knew he shouldn’t be too upset with Gaster but it was hard to also not be. For as long as Grillby had known the skeleton, Gaster had always kept everyone on a short rope and never let anyone get too close. The only exception to this had been Grillby and Gaster’s first partner.

At the thought of the Gaster’s fallen partner, Grillby felt his soul burn. The flame monster had always harbored feelings for Gaster and when he had found out that Gaster was involved with another it at first hurt, but he grew to accept it. Gaster’s partner was a gentle soul and there was nothing to love about them. It had hit everyone when their passing happened.

The bond Gaster had with his partner had been a strong one, obvious by the two children Grillby was walking with, and the living flame knew that he may never truly have that with the skeleton. Try as he may, as they both tried, there still would parts of Gaster that would be kept secret; even from Grillby. In a way, that was why Grillby cared for Gaster; a little bit of mystery was interest.

But only so much secrecy could be kept in a relationship and still keep it a healthy one.

“Are you and Daddy going to stop seeing each other?”

Snapped out of his thoughts, Gaster turned his attention down to Sans who had just asked the question. The boy was holding his one hand while Papyrus held the other, and from the terrified expression he sported Grillby could tell he truly meant what he asked.

“What? No, Sans, we only had a… disagreement. One argument won’t stop me from seeing your father.” Grillby said as he gave Sans’ hand a reassuring squeeze. “Besides, if I stopped seeing your father, I would miss seeing you and Papyrus.”

A small smile crept onto Sans’ face but it looked a bit forced. His sockets and their large white pupils turned down to the ground, watching as his boots crunched in the snow, and showed the deep thinking he was doing.

“Sans,” Grillby said as he stopped walking to stare down at the boy. “I’m not going anywhere. I promise you.”

From the way the boy refused to look up at him Grillby knew he had guessed correct in what Sans was worrying about. Sans was worried about Grillby leaving, and if the older monster had to guess why he would say it had to do with what happened to his other parent. Sans had lost one of the most important people in his life too early and now he was afraid of losing Grillby.

It touched Grillby that Sans worried about him leaving, but it wasn’t healthy for someone so young to be worrying like that.

“…Okay.” Sans said as he finally looked up at Grillby with his normal warm smile. “I believe you.”

“We be late! Boondoggle!” Papyrus screamed as he tugged at his brother’s hand.

“Papyrus is right. You’ll be late for daycare if we don’t hurry up.” Grillby said as they started walking again.

Grillby would be lying if he said he didn’t want this; the feeling of being something special for Sans and his brother.

He would also be a liar if he said he didn’t want to make this relationship with Gaster work.

This odd little family had grown on him far too much for him to lose them.

So what if this relationship had a few rough patches?

Grillby could work with that, maybe even one day smooth things out with said rough skeleton.

He sure hoped he could.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


The walk to Home gave Gaster enough time to think about things.

He could understand why Grillby had been upset with him, he would have been too if it was the other way around, but Gaster didn’t think of leaving a note or anything at the time. Frisk had been in so much pain that…

“No,” Gaster told himself. “Don’t think about it. She’s fine now, that’s all that matters.”

From what Gaster could feel through their bond, Frisk was still asleep at the lab, but he didn’t want to leave her alone for much longer. Quickening his pace, Gaster soon saw the shape of the home of the King and Queen. He had wanted his family to be the first to hear of Frisk, but since he never got the chance to he figured he could start with the royal family.

He wasn’t sure how they would react to hearing this news, especially Toriel seeing as she had been warry of him since when Chara first fell, but he figured they would a bit sympathetic since they were raising a human themselves. They probably would also be able to give Gaster some pointers on things a human would need.

Finally reaching the door to the castle, Gaster gave it a couple of knocks. He didn’t have to wait long before it swung open and Toriel stood there looking at him with a worried expression. Her eyes were red and puffy and her once pristine white fur was ruffled and twisted in uneven clumps. Gaster could see the hand that held the door was shaking and with how she was leaning on it he estimated that she was about to pass out and fall down if not for it.

“There you are!” Toriel shouted as she grabbed Gaster by the chest of his sweater and pulled him into the building. “Please hurry!”

“W-what is the matter my Queen?” Gaster asked as Toriel all but dragged him down a familiar hallway.

“Just hurry.” Toriel said as she brought them to a door and pushed it open.

Inside stood the king, he looked just as unraveled as his wife, and he loomed over a bed. The lights were off and only a few candles lit the room, but it was enough for Gaster to make out what was on the bed. Lying on the bed were the two royal children, Asriel cuddled up against Chara and his face was wet with tears. The human child…

She looked near dead.

Her skin looked clammy and milky, her half opened eyes were bloodshot, and her chest was rising and falling in an uneven pattern. The green and yellow sweater that mimicked the one Asriel wore had splotches of blood on it and from what Gaster could make out it had come from the child’s mouth from the small trail coming the corner of lips.

“Friend,” Asgore’s booming voice sounded tense and tired. “Please, you must help my child.”

Gaster stood there for a moment, unsure what to do, but when he felt a warm hand take his own he shook his head. Turning to find that it was Toriel who had taken his hand, Gaster found her staring up at him with pleading eyes.

“Please.” She said as tears slowly started to fall down her cheeks. “Save my child.”

Nodding his head Gaster walked over to the bed and sat down at the foot of it. The children did not stir but the prince did open his eyes to stare up at the skeleton. Those muddy brown eyes looked unhappy but Gaster thought he could make out the look of knowing.

“How long has she been like this?” Gaster asked as he checked Chara’s pulse; it was very weak.

“We found them this way when we came to wake them.” Toriel said as she moved to stand next to her husband.

“Neither of them has spoken a word to us.” Asgore added as he reached out to pet the heads of both children.

Gaster knew nothing was wrong with the prince, he was just fine, but the human…

Hovering his hand over the child, Gaster did a magical scan and nearly gasped at what his magic told him. The child had… had poison running through them; a lot of it. There was so much of the toxin running through the child that…

“There is nothing I can do.” Gaster said quietly as he found himself taking the human’s hand in his own. “It is too late.”

“No!” Toriel screamed as she buried her face in Asgore’s chest.

“Please Friend, there must be something?” Asgore pleaded with the scientist, but from the look in his eyes… he already knew the answer.

“The… it is only a matter of time now.” Gaster said, sparing the grieving parents the vile details his magic had found. With how much poison was in the child, it could only have been introduced manually.

Meaning the child had done this to herself…

Or with some help.

“I can… make the passing less painful.” Gaster said as he looked up at the King and Queen. “But I need some time alone with them.”

“Of course Friend,” Asgore said as he led Toriel to the door. “We’ll be outside.”

Once they left, Gaster turned back to the children. Asriel watched him with a blank expression and Chara, Gaster wasn’t too sure she was completely with them, looked to be studying him. Gaster’s hand was still holding the human’s and from the way she gripped it he figured she knew that he knew.

“Why?” Gaster asked. “Why do this to yourself.”

“I… I tried to stop her.” Asriel finally spoke up as he buried his face into Chara’s neck.

“C-Crybaby,” Chara said but it only resulted in a coughing fit and more blood. “This is t-the only way t-to save everyone.”

“What?” Gaster asked, his confusion only growing with his concern.

“S-Someone c-can take my soul.” Chara coughed loudly. “And go t-to the s-surface to gather t-the other souls.”

So… this is what they meant. This small human, a child, was sacrificing herself for the monster who had taken her in… Gaster found his hand squeezing the one he was holding.

“There are other ways you could have done this.” Gaster said, not too entirely sure how he should feel about this. “Safer ways.”

“B-But none… that would matter as much as this.” Chara said softly. “I… I wanted to do this. Asriel, everyone… deserves to be on the surface; to see the sun.”

Asriel was crying loudly now and he hugged Chara tightly, though Gaster couldn’t blame him. His friend, his sister, was giving herself up for him and all monsters. It was something that Gaster found himself wishing that happened at a different date… how would this affect how he told everyone about Frisk?

“C-Can I talk to Asriel… alone?” Chara asked quietly; almost gone.

“… of course.” Gaster said as he stood up from the bed. Stepping out of the room, Gaster found the two grieving adults sitting down in a chair. Toriel was incoherent as she cried and Asgore looked like he was trying to be strong for his wife but he had his own tears falling.

“I am sorry.” Gaster said as he stood before the others. “I wish I could do more.”

“It… it is alright.” Asgore said as he rubbed Toriel’s back. “Thank you for your services.”

Knowing that was the king’s way of asking him to leave, Gaster nodded his head and made his way to the front door. When he made it outside the building he felt a familiar tugging on his soul; Frisk was waking up and calling him. Letting a sigh escape him, Gaster teleported himself to the lab feeling emotionally drained.

Too much had happened today. First he had nearly lost Frisk, then had been chewed out by Grillby, and now… Gaster did not want to ever know the feeling of losing a child; none of his.

As he made it to his office, Gaster was welcomed to the sound of soft crying come from Frisk’s crib. Walking over to the cabinet, Gaster peered down into it to find his little girl whimpering with tearful eyes.

“What is wrong little one?” Gaster asked as he picked Frisk up and held her close. She didn’t smell in need of a diaper change, another thing Gaster had learned from his books, and she wasn’t hungry from what the bond told them. So what was making her so upset?

Frisk clung to Gaster, her tiny little fist bunching up his sweater as she gripped him tightly. Gaster could make out the feeling of fear from what the child was sending him and as he rubbed her back he could only feel it worsening.

“It’s alright.” Gaster said as he nuzzled her forehead. “Nothing is-”

Gaster found himself pausing. There was a sudden disturbance in the air, in the magic around him, and it made his spin tingle. It felt as if something was shifting, changing, and it… didn’t feel right. The magic that filled the underground suddenly felt suffocating and twisted. It made Gaster was to run and hide, take his children and Grillby with him, and keep away from whatever this new force was.

Frisk obviously felt it too as her tears began to fall faster and as she buried her face into Gaster’s sternum. Something had just happened and it couldn’t just be them who were feeling it.

Suddenly the change in the magic around them felt closer and it made Gaster clutch Frisk closer to him.

From outside the lab an unearthly scream was heard, and the magic that followed it was unbelievably powerful.

Frisk cried at the sound of the scream and it only made Gaster hold her tighter. Whatever this force was… he didn’t want it anywhere near his daughter. Hiding himself in his private lab, Gaster nestled the two of them in a corner of the room and waited for this, whatever this was, to pass and leave.

It didn’t take long, as soon as it came, it left.

Once the unfamiliar magic was long gone, Gaster felt himself relax as well as Frisk. Whatever was behind that powerful magic didn’t feel safe and Gaster was glad it didn’t stay long. Running his hand through Frisk’s brown locks of hair, he gently cooed to the child in an attempt to calm her down. She was trembling like a leaf in the wind and nothing Gaster said calmed her.

Whatever had passed the lab had terrified her greatly and Gaster found that he was just as scared.

He never wants to find out what that magical force was.

Chapter Text

Grillby had been at work when the foreboding presence passed through Snowdin. The atmosphere in the bar had been calm and relaxed, as it always was, but it quickly became tense and suffocating with fear when the feeling of a very powerful magic passed the establishment. Grillby had never felt such a magic before. It felt… dark; evil almost.

No one moved as the, Grillby didn’t even know what to call this, thing passed, and once the immense pressure of magic was gone the fire monster raced to the daycare. The presence had to pass the daycare as it made its way from the bar and that terrified Grillby. Sans and Papyrus could be in danger, and Gaster was probably still at Home seeing the King and Queen, so Grillby took it upon himself to make sure the boys were safe.

Banging his fist on the door, and having to argue with the monster behind the door after a few more knocks, Grillby sped into the home and what he walked into could best be described as a mess. Children of all ages and species were all a crying mess. Toddlers were screaming their lungs out while the older children huddled in corners trying to hide. But through the sea of children, Grillby spotted the two he was looking for.

Sans was holding Papyrus to his chest tightly while the pair hide inside the small playhouse in the back of the room. The older boy’s sockets were an empty blackness, Sans pupils always disappeared when he was under great emotional stress, and Grillby could see thick tears rolling down his cheekbones. Papyrus was clinging to his brother’s shirt while he too cried with soft whimpers and hiccups.

“Are you two alright?” Grillby asked when he managed to get passed all the other children to the toy house.

Neither boy spoke, but the moment they spotted the fire monster they ran right into his opened arms. Both were shaking, enough to make their tiny bones audibly rattle and clack, and as they dug their tiny hands onto Grillby’s clothes it was obvious they wouldn’t be letting go. Lifting the boys into his arms, Grillby gathered up their things and took them home.

He had hoped Gaster would be there by now, but when the house was found empty it was clear he was not.

“W-where’s Daddy?” Sans asked as Grillby sat them all down on the couch. “Is he a-alright?”

“I’m sure he’s fine, Sans.” Grillby cooed as he gently rubbed the boys’ spine. “He’ll be home soon… I hope.”

“W-W-Want D-Daddy…” Papyrus whimpered as he buried his face into the adult’s chest.

“I know, I know you do.” Grillby spoke softly as they all just sat in the silence of the room. Whatever that thing was that from earlier was long gone, but its magical presence still lingered. It was a dark and powerful magic that made you feel small and inferior to it. The pressure this magic had was an uncomfortable one and it made you feel claustrophobic.

Grillby didn’t like this magic. It felt like the exact opposite of what monster magic was. Monster magic and monsters themselves were made up of positive energies and thoughts. This magic that still lingered in the air… was a negative force with horrendous feelings behind it. It made Grillby’s magic flare up in a protective way; a shield around him and the two boys he held. Grillby would have gone even farther and enveloped the house with his magic, but he needed to monitor his use of it; just in case he needed to use it if that thing came back.

“I’m scared…” Sans spoke as he pressed into the warm body that held him. “I d-don’t like this magic. What is it?”

“I don’t know.” Grillby said as he leaned in and nuzzled the boy’s skull. “Don’t worry; I’ll protect you and your brother.”

Sans knew those words held more truth than he would ever be able to know. Grillby was a powerful monster and would keep him and Papyrus safe if anything happened, but much as Sans cared for Grillby his father brought him the most comfort and protection. Gaster always made Sans feel safe and the boy knew that even though his dad was a busy man he would always be there for him.

Gaster wasn’t here right now though, and even though that thought alone scared him Sans knew he was safe with Grillby.

Relaxing, as much as he could, Sans closed his sockets and allowed the warmth Grillby offered to lull him to sleep; Papyrus soon following while sleepily nibbling on his scarf. Grillby felt exhausted as well, this dark magic had an almost draining effect, sucking all the good magic in the air, but he knew he couldn’t sleep now.

That thing could come back at any time and Grillby needed to be ready.

So he would stay awake and be on his guard…

At least until Gaster came home.

Whenever that would be.


 ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


Gaster wasn’t sure how long he stayed hidden in his lab. For some time he guessed, as Frisk had fallen asleep but later woken up wanting to be fed. After feeding the child, Gaster scanned the area with his magic. The presence from earlier was gone, but a trail of magic still lingered in the air; a remaining touch of the unknown entity.

This magic made Gaster’s face scrunch up as if he smelt something foul. It was nothing but negativity and malicious thoughts; the opposite of what a monster’s magic was supposed to be.

Whatever it was that had passed the lab… was nothing good. And Gaster hoped it wouldn’t be coming back.

Scared. Worried. Scared.

Frisk was resting against Gaster’s chest, her head just above his sternum, and though she was calm in appearance their bond said otherwise. Frisk was terrified, more than that even, and she made very sure that Gaster knew it. Not once since the magical presence passed had she let go of Gaster. Her little hands were always gripping some part of him, from his shirt to his fingers, and Frisk would pitch a fit if Gaster tried to set her down.

“I know you’re scared, little one.” Gaster said as he ran his hand through the messy mop of brown hair that Frisk had. “… I don’t blame you.”

Gaster was afraid himself, but he knew he had to be brave; for Frisk’s sake. If that presence did come back Gaster couldn’t let his fear stop him from protecting his child… his child… oh no.

“Sans and Papyrus!” Gaster shouted as he finally realized that this presence had to have passed through Snowdin; meaning that his boys were probably as much a mess as Frisk was. “Oh god, I need to go to them.”

Gaster needed to get home; fast.

Moving to get his coat, Gaster paused. Looking down at the small bundle he held, Gaster felt his magic pulsate in fear. He didn’t want Frisk out there with that kind of magic lingering around, but he couldn’t just keep leaving Frisk in the lab all alone either. Thinking for a moment, Gaster came up with a plan.

His house had a basement that he had made into a lab/workshop. He mostly used it to just finish up on things he couldn’t here at the lab, but it was sound proof and a good place to hide Frisk until he got around to explaining her to his family.

Nodding his head, Gaster decided that this would be the safer thing to do. Pulling on his jacket, Gaster buttoned it over Frisk to keep her hidden and warm once they got into Snowdin. Gaster wasn’t sure how a human would take to his teleporting so it left him with only the option of walking all the way back to Snowdin.

Frisk fussed at being suddenly confined to the inside of his coat, but settled once Gaster got her comfortable and to where she wouldn’t fall. Once satisfied that Frisk was safe, and out of sight, Gaster made his way to the exit. Reaching the door Gaster found himself stopping in his grasp for the handle. The lingering magic was thicker by the door, and probably even more so outside. It washed over both Frisk and Gaster and the two shuddered as the magic seemed to crawl over them.

Parental instincts told Gaster to stay hidden in the lab, until this magic dissipated, but those same instincts also told him to go out and hurry back home to his boys.

The latter having won out, Gaster grabbed the handle and pulled the door open.

What Gaster saw waiting for him outside was not what he was expecting though…

“Thank goodness you’re here! You will be able, no, you must help my son!”

It was the king, Asgore, and the boss monster looked like he had just run a marathon from how he was panting and leaning against the lab’s wall. His expression was a mix of both fear and worry as he stared up at Gaster and from the way his body shook those emotions were strong.

“Y-Your Highness!” Gaster gasped as he clutched as his chest, moving his jacket in a way that shielded Frisk from view. “What is it?”

“Asriel, he… he changed.” Asgore voice shook as tears started to form in his eyes. “He took Chara’s… Please, you must come and help him.”

Not giving Gaster a moment to decide, Asgore pulled the skeleton by the arm and deeper into Hotland. It was a workout in and of itself as Gaster tried to keep pace with the larger monster as well as make sure Frisk wasn’t jostled around too much. Gaster found himself jumping and skipping steps as the king pulled him down the path, and while doing this he noticed a few things.

The path the king was taking them down was the one that led to the construction of the core. Gaster knew this by the large pieces of metal and other equipment that were scattered around as they ran. The skeleton also realized that the farther the king took them, the more the dark magic felt thicker in the air and dense enough that it was smothering. And Gaster wasn’t the only one who took notice of this.

Monsters who had been working on the core cowered in fear in any nook and cranny they could fit themselves into. Their bodies shook madly, eyes were wide and blinded with fear, and many of the monsters were mumbling incoherently. What Gaster could make out was ‘beast’ ‘dark’ and ‘evil’.

Gaster felt pity for those monsters and what they obviously had seen, but he didn’t have time to deal with them. Asgore was still pulling his arm and the rest of Gaster down the path, even as it led into a dark cave. Gaster didn’t remember this cave in the schematics details and as Asgore pulled him deeper into it he began to wonder how it had not been noted.

He soon found out how this cave had been formed as soon as the king finally slowed down…

Lying on the ground, coating a thick layer of dust and blood, was a monster Gaster had never seen before. They were as tall as Asgore and Gaster combined, and that wasn’t including the horns the monster had. The last bit of magic that leaked out of the monster struck Gaster in such a way that he physically recoiled and wrapped his arms over Frisk’s hiding spot.

This monster was the source of the dark magic that had passed the labs earlier.

“Please, you must help him.” Asgore said as he finally released Gaster and went to the fallen monster’s side.

No, this couldn’t be the prince, Gaster thought, nothing about this monster was even close to what the prince was. Asriel was a kind and gentle soul, his magic just the same, and last Gaster check the prince was just a mere child and not a towering beast of a monster!

“Why do you stand there?” Asgore shouted with tears falling from his eyes. “Do your duty and save your prince!”

There was no mistaking it now, this monster, this dying monster, was Prince Asriel.

Snapped out of his musing, Gaster slowly brought himself closer to the two royals. Bending down to where he knelt down at Asriel’s shoulder, Gaster tensely brought his hand closer. The moment his hand touched the prince, Gaster pulled back. The magic that coursed through Asriel was so dark that it was disgusting. It coated Gaster’s hand, along with the dust and blood, and seemed to eat away at his own magic reserves.

“I-I… I can’t.” Gaster said as he clutched at his chest. His body shook in an uneasy motion, feeling sick from the tainted magic now surround him.

“What do you mean you can’t?” Asgore cried as he stared at Gaster. “You must do something!”

“F-Father…”

Both adults stared down at the still form of Asriel as his eyes slowly opened, revealing watery eyes that stared up at nothing.

“It’s a-alright… I understand…”

The room fell eerily silent after that. Gaster wanted to help the prince, but he just… couldn’t. From what he observed, Asriel had obtained far too much damage for Gaster to be of any help, and this magic was another problem. How could Gaster help a monster whose magic made him violently ill? The answer…

He couldn’t.

“What happened?” Gaster finally spoke after finding his voice.

“H-He absorbed Chara’s soul.” Asgore said as he stared down at the dying form of his child. “She wanted to see the flowers again so… s-so he took her body back to the surface. He found an opening in the barrier and when he got there…”

Gaster had never seen the king look so fearsome before in his life. Asgore was known for being a big old softy and always gently, but the look in his eyes now was terrifying.

“The humans did this to him.” Asgore spoke as he closed his eyes tightly.

Gaster found his arms going back to his chest. Frisk was terrified, she shook enough for Gaster to know it, but thankfully she was quiet. Something told Gaster that if Frisk made her presence known right now… it wouldn’t end well for either of them. The king was a gentle being, but even the kindest of monsters were known to snap when under the right circumstances.

Turning his attention back to the prince, Gaster found that the poor child looked absolutely pitiful. His form, as powerful as it was now, was slowly turning to dust and bathing the ground below him in his ash. It was only a matter of time now before…

“You won’t be able to hide them forever.” Asriel’s voice is soft and quiet; so much so that only Gaster hears him. “If w-we can sense them…how long will it take for others?”

Before Gaster has a moment to question what the prince meant by what he said, Asriel gave one final sigh as his body gave way to dust. The powdery gray remains of the prince fell in a heavy heap to the ground before the two adult monsters, and the moment the ash touched the earth something that could only be described as otherworldly happened.

Jumping up in both shock and fear, Gaster watched as the ground around him and Asgore suddenly erupted in bright yellow flowers. The plants continued to grow with each step Gaster took to get away from them, and only when he bumped into the wall did they finally stop. Now settled, the patch of flowers covered up a majority of the floor, but in the center of the room, where Asriel had once lain, was bare.

Asgore remained where he was, still kneeling before the bare patch of earth where his eldest child once was. His body was still, his head hung low enough to where his horns almost touch the ground, and he was silent. It was a bit unnerving to Gaster, seeing the king like this. Daring himself to walk across the flowers, the scientist made his way over to Asgore.

“Your Majesty?” Gaster spoke as he finally reached the king, making sure to avoid the barren blotch of earth. When the king did not reply Gaster slowly reached out to him. “… Asgore?”

“Let it be known that from this moment on that any human who falls down into the underground shall be reaped of their soul and brought to me.” Asgore spoke out firm and unwavering as he stood. His expression was blank, emotionless, even as tears fell down his cheeks. “And when we have gained the seven souls to free us all… I will pursue my vengeance for my child… The humans will pay dearly for what they took from me.”

Gaster found his breathing hitch. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His body shook as he wrapped his arms around himself and Frisk…

This couldn’t be happening.

“And every monster is to bring any human they find their soul to me.” Asgore continued as he turned away from Gaster. “So I decree.”

Gaster wanted to scream. He wanted to cry. He wanted to hit, kick, and crush down on such a ruling. This couldn’t be. It just couldn’t! He was so close to ending all the secrets, to stop with all the lying. But now…

Gaster ran as fast as his legs could take him. Frisk shook in fear at feeling Gaster’s emotions and it only made the skeleton run faster in fear she may cry and be heard. He ignored all the monsters he passed that screamed at him to stop and explain what had happened. He had to get back to the labs. That was the only safe place now; the only safe place for Frisk.

Where else in the underground would a human child be safe with a law that clearly stated that humans were to be…

To be killed?

The answer…

Nowhere.

So Gaster ran. He ran and ran and ran. By the time he reached the labs he felt about ready to collapse but he knew he could; not just yet. Pushing his way into the building, Gaster pushed past the few monsters that had finally come into the lab and made his way to his office. Once he was there he locked the door and leaned against the door.

Now alone, Gaster allowed the tears he had been holding back fall as he slid down to the ground. Unbuttoning his jacket, Gaster pulled Frisk out and nuzzled her forehead. The child was quietly crying along with the skeleton; both sharing the feeling of fear.

Gaster didn’t know what to do now. Frisk was no longer safe outside the lab with the new law the king had made, and everyone was loyal to Asgore to a fault so Gaster knew no one would keep his child a secret.

“This can’t be happening.” Gaster said through sobs as he held onto Frisk. “Why? Why now?”

Of course Frisk didn’t give Gaster an answer; only more crying. The child didn’t know why her caretaker was feeling this amount of fear, but she didn’t like it and it upset her. Clinging to his sweater, Frisk tiny fists dug into Gaster with a grip as strong as steal. Whatever was making the skeleton upset gave the child the feeling of ‘going away’ or ‘taken’ and she didn’t want that.

Rubbing her back soothingly Gaster tried to calm her down as well as himself.

But as the second kept ticking, it only reminded Gaster more of what had just happened.

Frisk was no longer safe outside the lab.

Anything and everything, or anyone, outside these doors were a potential danger to his child.

A danger that he couldn’t risk by bringing her home…

The only safe place for Frisk now was the lab.

And there she would stay.

 

Chapter Text

Gaster felt oddly cold as he stared down at Frisk. The child had fallen asleep not too long ago and thankfully rested peacefully, allowing Gaster some time to think.

She had refused to let Gaster go when she was awake and Gaster honestly didn’t want to put his little girl down either. Today in short had been a living hell for the scientist and it didn’t seem as though things would be improving from here on out.

The king’s law still replayed in Gaster’s mind; an endless cycle of horror that reminded him of the dangers for his child. All humans that fell into the underground were to be brought to Asgore so that their souls… Gaster felt his bones shake in disgust.

It was a horrible law, and an unjust one in Gaster’s mind, but he also could see why the King had made it. He had not only lost both his children in one day, but he had lost one of them because the fear that lived deep inside humans. From what Gaster could make out of the story he was told earlier, Asriel, after taking the human’s soul, had taken Chara to the surface and the humans had seen him, and humans being the fearful beings they were attacked.

It seemed as though humans did a lot of things out of fear.

They prisoned monsters underground, in fear of what they could do. They killed the prince in fear of his… godlike form. They were probably more terrified of how they saw Asriel holding a lifeless body of a child… Fear made humans do many things.

But that fear, those panic-filled hearts of theirs, was now the reason behind the life Gaster saw for his little girl from here on out.

Frisk would never be able to step foot outside the lab. She probably would never be able to go out of his office during the work hours, let alone the world outer the lab. All expectations, all the plans he had for Frisk, were swept down the drain the moment Asgore spoke the law.

Gaster felt sick, he felt angry, he wanted to go up to a wall and punch it. So many emotions were swirling around inside his head and he didn’t know which one to act on first.

Letting out a sigh, Gaster leaned his arms on the cabinet/crib and rested his head in his hands. Everything was turning into a disaster, and nothing Gaster thought of would be able to fix it. He could try, oh there were plenty of ideas that sounded feasible, but the outcomes would all be the same. Being a man of science and of careful strategy, Gaster could calculate an educated guess as to how each of his notions would play out…

None of them ended the way he wanted them too.

“What am I going to do?” Gaster spoke softly. “This is no way to raise a child.”

Peering down at Frisk, Gaster couldn’t help but smile. She looked so peaceful; so unaware of the things around her. This little child, this precious little girl, deserved so much more than this. Frisk deserved to be able to run around with children, to learn about her surroundings, and to be happy. No child would get that from being cooped up in this decrepit lab. What else was there thought; in a world were humans were to be killed on sight?

“I’m so sorry, my child.” Gaster said as he brushed some of Frisk hair to the side. “I wish I could do more.”

Gaster slowly pushed himself away from the cabinet/crib. He didn’t need to look at the clock to know he was late, very late. Truthfully he should have been home hours ago, to be there comforting his sons, but Frisk had needed him and it gave him the time to think in silence. But he had wasted more than enough time and Gaster knew he had to get home.

Looking back at Frisk one more time, Gaster walked out of his office and out of the lab. Normally he would have teleported home, but he knew he was going to have to start saving up his magic from here on out. His teleporting used a lot of magic and with Frisk being so young, Gaster knew he was going to be blipping back and forth from the lab and home a lot. Situations like this made Gaster every so thankful for the strange and sometimes bizarre gift he had.

Teleporting wasn’t a common gift amongst monsters, even Bosses were rarely born with such an ability. Some monsters never even heard of teleporting, and some thought of it as a lost talent. So whatever marker in the laws of genetics that allowed Gaster this ability he thanked for. Especially in the days to come.

Taking the river person home, the ride was silent Gaster noted. Not even the mysterious monster’s tra la la broke it and in no time at all Gaster made it back to Snowdin. A small flurry of snow began to fall and it highlighted every breath Gaster took; creating a cloud of heated air. Why skeletons and other various monsters needed to breathe still made Gaster wonder… sometimes. There are just certain things you don’t question and will never get an answer for.

Passing by the daycare house, Gaster inwardly winced when he found the lights off. A bit fearful, Gaster quickened his pace home. If the boys weren’t are the daycare and he wasn’t the one to pick them up, there was only one other solution…

Grillby had gone and gotten his boys and brought them home.

Grillby…

Gaster shrank at the thought of the fire monster. Grillby was a kind and gentle monster, but his anger could ignite so fast it was like striking a match.  Gaster wasn’t sure how many times Grillby had chewed him out in his life, too many to count probably, and this one was just going to be added to the list. One he didn’t want.

Gathering up the courage, Gaster pushed the door to his house open. The house was silent and Gaster found that the light source he had seen from outside had been Grillby himself. The fire monster was sitting on the couch, Sans and Papyrus wrapped safely in his arms, and his magic was creating a barrier around them. It wasn’t a visible one, more intense heat than anything, but the magic that surrounded the couch dwellers was strong enough to let any monster know that Grillby was not to be messed with.

The moment the fire monster saw Gaster though the barrier fell away and the fire monster stood up.

“Oh thank god you’re alright.” Grillby said as he set the sleeping children down on the couch. “Where have you been?”

Before Gaster even had a moment to answer, Grillby enveloped him in his warm arms. For the moment nothing was said, and Gaster was unsure if he should return the hug, but after much deliberation Gaster slowly returned the embrace. It felt good to be held by Grillby, and after what had happened today Gaster was in need of something good.

“What happened Wing Ding?” Grillby spoke, though he did not pull out from the hug. “This… strange magic came through Snowdin and no one knew what to do. Sans and Papyrus were so terrified.”

“I know, and I am sorry I wasn’t here.” Gaster apologized as he gripped onto Grillby’s shirt. “Something…. Something bad happened.”

“What, what was it?” Grillby asked. “You can tell me.”

And Gaster did. He told Grillby all that had happened, from what happened in Home to the Prince’s demise and the new law. Grillby was surprisingly quiet through it all and Gaster was grateful for it; he wasn’t sure he would be able to continue if he was stopped. Gaster made sure to leave out any and all bits with Frisk, and when he was done he loud a loud sigh.

“That is… that is a lot to take in Gaster.” Grillby said as he finally pulled away from the skeleton and sat down on the couch. “The prince, did he really..?”

“He did,” Gaster said as he sat on the opposite side of the couch, seeing as the middle was occupied by two small children. “His magic was the presence we all felt.”

Grillby’s flames dimmed in brightness for a moment and his hands gripped his pant legs tightly. “I can’t even imagine what the king is going through; him and Toriel both.”

Or what I am going through, Gaster thought to himself.

Turning to his sons, Gaster frowned. The two of them were pressed right up against each other, chest to chest, with Sans’ arms wrapped around the younger. They both looked tired, but not peaceful. Sans expression was contorted into one of fear and Papyrus looked just as upset and worried. Seeing his sons like this upset Gaster. He should have been here for them, to comfort them, but he wasn’t.

Frisk had needed him and he hated to say it, but she was going to need him a lot from now on. Gaster was the only one who could know about her and though he had been a single parent for a while, it was going to be difficult with three children needing him and having them split like they were.

“Are you alright Gaster?” Grillby spoke up, resting his hand on the other’s shoulder. “You seem out of it.”

“I am… alright.” Gaster lied. “Just a bit rattled. Today has been…”

Gaster couldn’t even find the words to describe it. Today had been plenty of things, a few choice words ran through Gaster’s mind, and he wished it had gone differently.

“Daddy?”

Looking down Gaster found that Sans was slowly waking up. The little boy was rubbing his sockets and was lazily looking up at the adult.

“Yes, Sans, it’s me.” Gaster said as he cupped his son’s cheek and rubbed his thumb over it.

The boy was still holding his brother but that didn’t stop him from snuggling into his father’s chest. Sans was quiet for the longest time, and Gaster was a bit worried by it, but when the older monster felt a smaller hand take his he relaxed.

“Don’t leave, please.” Sans spoke softly as he squeezed his father’s hand.

“… I’m not going anywhere Sans, I promise.” Gaster said he rubbed soothing circles on the boy’s back.

The rest of the night went on with the small family huddled together on the couch; each seeking comfort from the other. Grillby ended up staying the night again, for both Gaster and the boys’ sake. The four of them stayed on the couch and ended up falling asleep on it.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Hours flew by with the group sleeping on the couch. Gaster had ended up with his back pressed against Grillby’s chest while the fire monsters rested on the arm of the couch. Sans was still resting at his father’s side, but Papyrus had moved to sleep in the crook of Grillby’s neck. It seemed as though nothing would wake them up, but when the familiar tug at his soul came it woke Gaster up with a silent gasp.

Frisk had woken up and was calling him over their bond.

Sighing as quietly as he could, Gaster sat up and gently maneuvered himself out of the sleeping pile on the couch. The trio never woke from Gaster’s motions, even as Gaster moved to place the blanket they had been using over them. Staring down at his family, Gaster found the smile that spread over his face not a happy one.

Frisk could have been a part of this, she could have been a sister to Sans and Papyrus, maybe even a daughter to Grillby, but that option was no longer available.

Not wanting to think about what could have been, and also not wanting to upset Frisk any further, Gaster teleported to the lab. After leaving a note this time for Grillby to find that is.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

A week has come and gone since the death of both royal children and the event still looms in the air of the underground.

When the news went out of what happened, every and all monsters mourned for the loss the King and Queen were going through. And when the new law was told everyone, well almost everyone, saw it as a fitting rule. Toriel was appalled by what Asgore had done and for the first couple days she had tried everything in her power to make him revoke the law, but Asgore was, if not anything, stubborn and would not budge.

A funeral had been planned for the two fallen children and everyone was planning on going… again, almost everyone.

Gaster refused to accept the offer of joining Grillby in attending the service, twice, but the skeleton had given the flame some leeway in letting Grillby take Sans and Papyrus. Grillby figured that the reason as to why Gaster didn’t want to join was because he saw it as his fault that he hadn’t done more to save the two children. So after his second attempt, Grillby allowed Gaster to keep his decision to not go.

Gaster did blame himself in a way. For not being able to help Asriel or Chara, but he also blamed himself that since he couldn’t do anything it was his fault that Frisk would have to live a sheltered life. If he had just done something, anything, tried more, maybe he would have been able to bring Frisk home and not…

He just wished everything had gone differently.

This week, and everything that had preceded it, did give Gaster plenty of excuses to hide away in his lab with Frisk though. Grillby hadn’t been too pleased when he found Gaster starting to leave without notice, but he was more accepting of this absence since the skeleton started to leave notes. Though Grillby was a bit more accommodating with Gaster’s random disappearing, Sans and Papyrus were not.

The two had taken to latching onto Gaster the moment he returned to the house and literally wouldn’t let him go. Under normal circumstances the sight of Gaster walking around with his sons hugging his legs would have made him and Grillby smile, but this wasn’t a normal circumstance.

“Are you sure you won’t be coming?” Sans asked as Gaster walked around the kitchen making lunch. “Grillby said everyone else is going.”

“You know I can’t attend Sans.” Gaster said as he stirred the pot full of soup. “The king has asked everyone at the lab and the workers to finish up at least enough of the core and city for the monsters in Home to move in.”

Asgore, after telling everyone the rule, had said the remaining monsters in Home were to move out and go into New Home. Gaster had been a bit shocked by the news, and a bit by the name given to the city, but he had no say in it. Not even Toriel had a say, and she was the queen.

So the past few days everyone at the lab worked double time to get the city up and ready along with the beginning forms of the core’s skeletal structure up. The core itself was far from complete but with the base of it set up it would help everyone clear out a bit of the clutter that had started to fill the lab.

The city surrounding the core itself was even farther from being done, but with help from monsters from Home at least a quarter of the city was complete. It would be a bit cramped for all the monsters coming from Home to live there until more housing could be made, but they would blindly follow the king wherever he went.

So if the king wanted to move into an unfinished city, they would.

“B-But…” Sans spoke as he tightened his grip around Gaster’s leg. “You’ve been gone so much lately.”

“Gone Gone!” Papyrus cried from the other leg. “No Moe!”

Gaster hated to be like this with his sons, so distant and unresponsive, but this was how things were going to have to be for a while. At least until things settled down Gaster had to be careful with that he said and did. If he said the wrong thing or wasn’t careful with what he took to and from the lab, someone could get suspicious and possibly…

Find Frisk.

“I know, and I am sorry.” Gaster said as he stared down at his sons. “But I promise once all this is over with, we can spend as much time together as you want.”

Sans didn’t seem too pleased with this, but said nothing more on the matter. Hearing a knock at the door, Gaster watched as his eldest son went to go answer it.

“Hi Grillby,” Sans voice traveled through to the kitchen and it made it pretty clear to Gaster who was here. “Dad’s making lunch in the kitchen.”

“Thank you Sans.” Grillby’s voice also made it to the kitchen and Gaster tried not to notice the hurt in his tone.

Grillby was still worrying about him and Gaster hated that he was making that feeling arouse. Finishing up the last couple sandwiches, Gaster turned around to find Grillby and Sans coming into the kitchen and neither looked too happy.

“I made sandwiches for you all.” Gaster said quickly as he set them on the table and handed one to Papyrus. “This should be enough.”

“Gaster.” Grillby spoke but the skeleton walked right past him to the living room and grabbed his coat from the couch.

“I should be home a bit early tonight,” Gaster continued as he slipped on the jacket. “We can do something fun.  Watch a movie or play a game.”

“Gaster.” Grillby spoke louder this time and spun Gaster around to look at him. “The lab can wait. I want to talk with you.”

Gaster wasn’t sure he should be alarmed or not by this, but allowed himself to be held by the other monster before Grillby pressed his forehead to Gaster’s.

“You need to calm down.” The fire monster said as he just kept their foreheads pressed together. “I know you have your plate full at the moment, but don’t forget about what’s important.”

Staring right into the other’s gaze, Gaster sighed before closing his sockets. Grillby was right, like usual, he needed to take a step back and calm down. He needed to stay calm about everything and with a calm mind came answers and solutions.

“… Promise me you’ll come home early tonight?” Grillby asked softly, his flames taking on a hint of pink. “The boys need to spend time with their dad, and not some bar tender.”

“But we like this bar tender.” Gaster chuckled lightly. “He’s a good cook, kind, and knows just what to say.”

That made Grillby smile before pulling away from Gaster and giving his shoulder a playful shove.

“I’m serious Wing Ding, say you’ll come home tonight.”

Gaster smiled, but on the inside he was frowning. He wanted to keep that promise, he really did… but what if he couldn’t? Promises were so hard to keep, and Gaster had broken far enough in his lifetime…

But what is life without a few chances?

“Yes, I’ll come  home early tonight.” Gaster said and in hopes he would keep it.

“Good. Now get going.” Grillby smiled as he turned Gaster back around towards the door. “That Core isn’t going to build itself.”

No, it definitely wasn’t. Neither was finding a solution on how to manage both his family and Frisk at the same time. Gaster hoped, dare he say he was willing to pray, that a solution would come his way soon. Anything at this point would be helpful.

Chapter Text

Three human souls.

 Gaster had counted them again and again and again, but no matter how many times he counted or how often he blinked they were still there.  Floating aimlessly in the jars before him Gaster could feel his bones beginning to shake as he felt his sins crawling down his spine. True, he had no part in collecting these souls, but that didn’t make it any less painful to look at them.

Years have passed by and in those years much has happened. New Home was finally finished alongside the core and its completion, and with those tasks completed monsters had moved into the city with no complaints. The whole underground was now finally with power, and with this new found energy Gaster had made an artificial light source to replace the sun and its cycle.

It may not be the surface, but monster were making due with what they had and it was good.

In the years that had passed more than just the Core and New Home changed. Gaster found himself in multiple situations he was not mentally prepared for and for many of those events it did not come out with flying colors. In fact, Gaster was willing to bet that more than half of what happened to him had come with a negative outcome.

The biggest blow to Gaster was that he and Grillby had separated. Gaster couldn’t find it in his soul to blame the fire sprite, he was barely home a majority of the time, and when he was it was just to eat and sleep. Grillby had tried to make it work, Stars above he did, but they both knew a lost cause when they saw one. So it came as no shock to the skeleton when Grillby had said they should go their separate ways. It hurt, more than anything did it hurt, but Gaster respected the fire monster enough to know when to no longer kick a dead horse to get it to move.

They were still good friends, and periodically Grillby would stop by to drop some food off, but that was the end of it. Just friends…

The break up hadn’t just affected Gaster though. Sans and Papyrus, now much older, had not taken to Grillby’s leaving very well. Sans had gone as far as to lock himself in his room for a whole day, while Papyrus had rushed into the bathroom to cry. Gaster had tried his hardest to get the boys to come out of their respected hiding places, but after Sans snapped at him with ‘this was his entire fault’ he let them be.

Truthfully, Gaster wondered if Sans was upset about the break up or if the young skeleton was angry at something else. With Gaster not being around as much, Sans had become a bit bitter towards his father. The boy would speak with him, but it was usually with quick one word answers or heavy sarcasm mixed with a heated glare. Gaster had gotten onto Sans about this behavior in the beginning, but as the years continued the older skeleton gave up.

He couldn’t blame Sans for being upset with him. With Gaster taking his time up back at the labs, it had fallen onto Sans to help raise Papyrus. Sure, before Grillby and Gaster separated the fire element was there to help, but after that Sans was on his own. Papyrus still loved his father dearly, and in a way Sans did too, but the boys knew each other better than they did their own dad.

It pained Gaster to know this, but…

Staring back at the souls, Gaster sighed. This life of his was made by his own choices and actions, set in motion long before he knew what he was doing. Did he regret the things he did; no, not entirely. Did he wish things had played out differently; yes. 

This was his life now, and by the angel above he was going to live it and make it work as best he can.

“U-Um, Doctor Gaster?”

Turning around to meet the owner of the voice, Gaster found one of the newest members to the lab standing before him. She was a small yellow lizard monster, barely making past his hips, and her claws clicked together nervously as she stared up at the skeleton before her. She was a meek monster, Gaster had found that out rather quick, but that didn’t stop her from being a brilliant mind in the ways of robotics and other scientific topics.

“Yes, Alphys, what is it?” Gaster responded as he turned to look at the shy little girl.

“A-Asgore called, he wants t-to know if you have finished s-studying the souls?” Alphys seemed a bit shaken up when addressed by the skeleton, but she knew that it was Gaster’s fault for being so… stand offish sometimes.

Gaster glanced over at the clock and mentally kicked himself. He had taken the souls to do some studying on them five hours ago, and about three of those hours ago he should have returned them. It seemed as though time never was and never would be Gaster’s friend.

“Forgive me Alphys; I did not realize the time.” Gaster stepped away from the containment jars and walked briskly to the door. “You may return them to Asgore. I… have somewhere to be.”

“B-B-But!” Alphys squeaked as she tried to catch up to the long legged skeleton, but once the door shut behind him it was useless. Gaster didn’t want to be rude to Alphys, but he did need to be somewhere and having to take those souls back would take up more of his time.

Walking down the hall Gaster took note on how empty the lab was. With New Home and the Core basically being done, most of the scientists had taken to leaving the labs and the life of being a scientist.  Sure, some had stayed, but most left to start a new life out in the new city. Gaster envied them. If he wasn’t in the position he was in, he would have taken his family away, away from these bad memories, and start over himself.

But then again, he couldn’t.

Finally reaching his desired destination, Gaster pressed his hand to the lock pad. After waiting for it to scan his hand Gaster heard the door unlock with a click. The lock had been put there in recent years after an incident with someone sneaking out when they shouldn’t. Thankfully Gaster had managed to erase all the surveillance camera videos before anyone could see them. The punishment for that had been the locked door.

Pushing the door open, Gaster walked into his private office to find it like he always did. The walls were littered with drawings and pictures, and a few toys were scattered off in one of the corners. To anyone else, the sight of the large office space would have been a bit peculiar to look at, but to Gaster it was a relaxing sight.

“I’m back.” Gaster called out as he shut the door behind him. The room was silent for a few seconds, but soon Gaster could hear something stirring behind his desk. Smiling softly Gaster slowly made his way towards the noise and the closer he got the clearer the sound of giggling could be heard.

Pulling his chair out, Gaster sat down before giving the secret panel behind his desk a soft knock.

“Hello My Child.” Gaster said sweetly as he pushed the panel to the side to reveal it occupant.

Frisk giggled as she stared up at Gaster as her hiding spot was found. The small child’s messy brown hair blocked most of their vision, but that didn’t stop the girl from smile up at her care giver. Returning the smile Gaster reached down to brush the human’s bangs away from their eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes, Gaster could still remember the day Frisk had been born and how he had fallen in love with her in an instant just with her eyes alone.

“How was your day?” Gaster asked as he allowed the child to climb up onto his lap. “Did you draw me anything special?”

Frisk nodded as she held out a piece of paper for Gaster to take. Taking the picture Gaster smiled at the crudely drawing of him and the little girl holding hands with bright stars dancing around them. It was like many of the other drawings on the walls, and that was sadly because Frisk had never seen anyone else besides Gaster. How was she supposed to know what to draw if she never saw it?

“It is very lovely.” Gaster praised as he pressed his forehead against the child’s. “You are getting better every day.”

Frisk smiled happily as she hugged the skeleton. She had never been a very vocal child, at one point Gaster had feared the worst when she reached the age to be capable of speaking and didn’t, but now he knew it was just that Frisk chose to save her words. She had spoken here and there, but it was only when she absolutely had to. After figuring out his child’s chosen muteness Gaster embraced it and didn’t push her.

“I apologize for being late. I got caught up in my studies.” Gaster always apologized this way it seemed as of late. It didn’t matter who he was apologizing to, Sans, Frisk, or Papyrus, his work and studies given to him by the king took up much of his time.

Frisk nodded and gave Gaster a tight squeeze before jumping off the monster’s lap and racing over to the door that led to Gaster’s small offside lab. The child waved for him to follow, which Gaster did, and soon she disappeared behind the door. Going in after Frisk, Gaster stepped into the small room to find the child trying to reach for a box of cereal on a counter.

Since Frisk lived within the lab’s walls 24/7, Gaster had renovated his little workshop room into a kitchen; or as best he could anyway. He had found a portable stove which he used to cook Frisk’s bigger meals, but he stocked the fridge with easy accessible healthy snacks for when he couldn’t make those bigger meals.

“I am sure there are some left overs in the fridge My Child.” Gaster chuckled as he scooped the little girl up and headed over to the fridge. “You can have cereal for breakfast, but I am afraid it’s not a suitable dinner for a growing human.”  

Frisk visibly huffed in annoyance at not getting her desired dinner, but didn’t argue with Gaster. Sometimes the aging skeleton found it difficult to read Frisk and since she didn’t speak it made communicating all the more difficult. Over the years, Gaster had noticed that the bond he and Frisk shared was slowly fading and their little way of communicating had lessened and just about stopped. Gaster would admit he missed that special little gift he had with Frisk, but he had hypothesized that since she was growing old enough to take care of herself in basic ways there was no need for it.

Setting the little girl at the small table Gaster had placed in the room the old skeleton went over to the fridge to find something worth eating.  There wasn’t much to pick from at the moment, Gaster would have to make a grocery run soon, but that was a matter for another day. Grabbing a plate that had some vegetables on it Gaster figured these would be a good dinner for tonight.

After a quick reheat on the stove, the veggies were warm enough to eat and Frisk was quick to eat them. As Frisk was mid bite, she suddenly held her fork out to Gaster with a large piece of broccoli on its end. She made humming noises at the skeleton in a way that showed she wanted him to take a bite, but Gaster shook his head. He never ate with Frisk, seeing as he had to eat at home with Sans and Papyrus.

“I’m sorry Frisk, but not tonight.” Taking the fork from Frisk’s hand, Gaster turned the broccoli back towards her with a smile only a parent could give to their child. “Perhaps next time.”

Frisk seemed displeased with this, but did not argue as she opened her mouth and ate the green vegetable. She rarely argued with Gaster, why should she was her reasoning. He took care of her, gave her food and shelter, and as he countlessly reminded her Gaster kept her safe. The first time the two had argued was when Frisk had first tried to sneak out of the office. She had made a big scene in front of the skeleton, tears, screams, the works, but it did nothing to change Gaster’s mind on letting her out.

 Frisk was smart for her age, ungodly smart, and it was those smarts that Gaster had underestimated when Frisk had managed to sneak out the first, and last, time.  After the fight, Gaster had left the room the go talk with someone and after that… the memory was still engraved in his mind.

He wasn’t sure what he had been talking about or with whom, but when a high pitch scream rang throughout the lab it made his soul skip a beat. He dropped everything at that moment, he could recall the monster he had been talking to calling out to him, but he didn’t care. He knew that scream anywhere and knowing that he was hearing it outside his office filled him with such a dread that it felt like his feet were moving faster than his mind was processing.

What he had found was Frisk, petrified with fear, as she stared down one of his older projects. The machine was indeed a bit terrifying to look at, it had the appearance of a misshapen skull, and its purpose was just as disturbing. That didn’t matter though, Frisk had screamed loud enough for this whole part of the lab to hear. He had to get her out of there and fast.

It had taken longer than Gaster had wanted it to, getting to Frisk and bringing her to his arms, but his magic was quick to react as he managed to teleport them back to his office before anyone saw them. From what Frisk managed to tell him, she had snuck out and had wandered around in the dark corridors until the light sensors went off and revealed the machine that had startled her.

… after that Frisk was afraid to go out of Gaster’s office and Gaster had installed the lock so no one could get in or out without his say so.

Once finished with her meal, Frisk took her dishes over to the dishwasher and placed them inside. Something inside Gaster felt bad that Frisk was the way she was. No child her age should be this self-sustaining, but with how Gaster balanced his time here at the lab and being back home… it was out of his control. Besides, Frisk understood, somehow, that Gaster was a busy man and that had caused her to grow up a bit more then she should be.

“I have to be going soon.” Gaster sighed as he stood up and walked over to Frisk. “I am sorry I only was here for a short time… tomorrow I will put some of my work on hold and we can do whatever you want, I promise.”

Frisk beamed up at him with a big grin and nodded. Her care giver barely made promises he couldn’t keep, so hearing this she knew she could trust him to keep his word. Holding her arms up, Frisk allowed Gaster to pick her up to start their before bed routine. Setting Frisk down on the counter, Gaster grabbed a wash cloth from the sink and started on washing Frisk. Gaster knew that he would have to install a tub or shower in here someday, but with Frisk still being small enough to wash with a hand cloth it would suffice for now.

Once all cleaned up and ready for bed Frisk raced out of the workroom and back into the main office space.  Gaster was right behind her and as he closed the door behind him, he saw Frisk already snuggling under her blankets in the space behind his desk. Frisk had outgrown the makeshift crib from so long ago and after a bit of work he had managed to turn the open space under his desk into a hide away/bed for Frisk.

As the child got comfy Gaster smiled as he sat down in his chair before holding his hand out. Frisk instantly grabbed onto it, and gave it a tight squeeze. Frisk had a hard time sleeping without Gaster there, so as a compromise the two had set up this little ritual. Gaster would stay as long as Frisk held onto his hand and after that he’d wait until she was breathing deep enough to be in a deep sleep.

It didn’t take long for Frisk to fall asleep, her grip slacking off before she slowly pulled it back, and then the sound of her soft snoring signaled to Gaster that she was out like a light. Getting up out his seat, Gaster bent down and gently pressed his forehead to his child’s before pulling the blanket over her shoulders.

“Sleep well Frisk.” Gaster said as he quietly left the room after shutting the lights off.

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

The boat trip home was peacefully quiet.  The River Person offered him no advice when he boarded, which was a bit odd, but it wasn’t too out of the ordinary. As the air slowly began to get colder Gaster pulled on the scarf he had gotten as a gift from Grillby some holidays ago. It had been one of the few gifts from the fire sprite he treasured after their breakup, and since their breakup Gaster only held onto a few select items from those days.

As the boat suddenly came to a stop Gaster realized that they had made it to Snowden. Saying his thanks the skeleton got off the boat, but before he could leave the River Person’s voice spoke out; sending chills through Gaster’s body.

“Tra la la… enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.”

Gaster had spun around to question the mysterious monster’s words, but the River Person’s boat was already leaving and disappearing from view. The River Person had never sounded so… serious like that before, the tone of voice it had used was so unsettling that Gaster didn’t want to stick around any longer then needed.

Making it home, Gaster found that the living room was empty and so was the kitchen. Strange, it wasn’t that late for Sans and Papyrus to be in bed already so where were they? Ascending the stairs as quietly as he could Gaster soon began to hear something come from his sons’ room.

“YOU CAN DO IT SANS! I BELIEVE IN YOU! DAD WOULD BE BLIND TO NOT ACCEPT YOUR OFFER.”

“I don’t know Papyrus, He’s been so busy lately he may just forget about it and say we never brought it up. I’m not surprised he forgets about us some days.”

“THAT’S SILLY SANS! DAD MAY BE BUSY MOST OF THE TIME BUT… but he hasn’t forgotten about us.”

Gaster’s soul dropped at hearing the little conversation between his sons. He hated that he made them think he forgot about them, he never did, but… he still did make them think that.

“BESIDES BROTHER! THIS WAY YOU’D BE CLOSER TO DAD AND THEN HE DEFINETLY WOULDN’T FORGET ABOUT US!”

… what were they talking about? With his interest peaked, Gaster knocked on the door and was a bit shocked at how quiet it had become.

“May I come in?” Gaster asked, but instead of a response he was greeted with a sour look from his eldest son. Sans had been gifted with such an expressive face that it was a bit startling at how easy it was to see how ticked off the boy was.

“You’re late; again.” Sans pointed out as he blocked the way to get into the room. “What was it this time? No, wait, don’t patella me, work got busy or one of your experiments needed your attention, right?”

“… no, I was merely late today.” Gaster saw no reason to lie today, especially when his son was already upset with his lateness. “but that doesn’t answer my previously asked question.”

Sans stared up at Gaster a few moments longer, a mix of shock and curiosity written in those wide sockets, before the boy shrugged and stepped away from the door.

“Sure, whatever; it’s not like I can stop you.”

Even if Sans did have a point, Gaster liked to give his sons the choice and privacy on letting him in their room or not. Pushing the door the rest of the way in Gaster was greeted to a bit of a… mess to say the least. Papyrus side of the room was spick-and-span, bed made and toys all neatly stacked on his bedside table, but Sans side was basically the definition of havoc.

The boy’s bed was unmade, in fact the sheet was gone all together, socks were all over the floor, and the dirty laundry basic was overflowing with dirty clothes. Gaster knew his sons carried different aspects of himself in them, he had just wished Sans hadn’t picked up on his disorganized habit. No use arguing about it now though, it was late, and bringing up the mess would only make Sans even more upset.

“I couldn’t help but over hear what you were saying as I was coming up the stairs.” Gaster went straight to the point as he saw no reason to hold it off any longer. “You wanted to bring something to my attention?”

Both Sans and Papyrus shared a quick glance, the older looking a bit nervous now and the youngest trying to give the former a positive smile. Sans sighed as he dug in his coat pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. Papyrus was bouncing happily in his seat on his bed as he waited for Sans to speak. Whatever it was they wanted to talk to him about must be something big.

“… At school they had a pamphlet tacked onto the bulletin board. I took a look at it and saw that it was offering a job and…” Sans sighed as he held out the piece of paper to Gaster while looking away.

Gaster took the offered paper and as he unfolded it he slowly recognized what it was. As he should, he had been the one to ask Alphys to make these and post them in public places or wherever she regularly frequented. And apparently the young lizard monster took his words to heart.

The paper was one that was trying to interest people into coming back to the labs and science fields, but also offering internships and job opportunities. So far no one had contacting Gaster on the offers listed on the pamphlet, and truthfully he had forgotten about them until now.

“So… Can I?” Sans voice broke Gaster from his internal struggling as he had to look back at the boy to make sure he had actually heard him.

“Ex…Excuse me?” Gaster must have been hearing things, this couldn’t be what Sans wanted to talk about. This had to be one of his son’s jokes! Any minute now, Sans would jokingly say a pun and lighten the mood only to have Papyrus get annoyed and scream at his older brother for plaguing him with such punnery…

“I want to work at the lab with you dad.” Sans spoke firm this time as he stood up from his bed and shoved his hands into his pockets. “I know you have openings, Alphys told me today in class.”

… So this was what Sans wanted to talk about. Gaster felt his bones starting to get clammy as he held onto the piece of paper and unintentionally crinkling it up. Gaster wasn’t upset that Sans wanted to go into the science field, he knew his son was a bright kid, but Gaster had just figured that the boy wanted nothing to do with anything that reminded him of his father.

“I…” Gaster wasn’t sure how he should respond. If Sans joined him at the labs it would give them more time to bond, to actually be able to talk to each other and be like a father and son, but it also meant that Sans would be close to the reason why he was never home; Frisk. He trusted his son would never hurt a living soul, but he was afraid how Sans would react on how Frisk was the one taking Gaster’s time away. He also worried about Sans safety. The more people who knew of Frisk’s existence, the more likely she was to be discovered. Monsters had already collected three souls; nothing would stop them from taking Frisk’s.

“PLEASE DAD?” looking over at Papyrus, Gaster saw the boy looking up at him with a pleading gaze. “SANS AND I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR A LONG TIME, IT WILL BE FUN! YOU TWO CAN TALK ABOUT YOUR SCIENCE MUMBO JUMBO AND I CAN LISTEN.”

Dear sweet Papyrus, the boy was too good for this world. Gaster’s youngest son was always looking for ways to make everyone happy, and then putting himself second. Even now, when he knew that he wouldn’t be able to go work at the labs, he still wanted his brother and father to be happy.

“WHO KNOWS? MAYBE WHEN I AM OLDER I CAN WORK THERE TOO!” Papyrus beamed proudly as he stood up on his bed and struck an impressive looking pose. “I CAN BE THE BEST ASSITANT THERE EVER WAS, OR MAYBE BE A MESSANGER LAD.”

“You would be great at either of those Paps,” Sans chuckled. “Let no one patella you twice or I’ll letter them know they’re wrong.”

“SANS! YOU RUINED THE MOMENT WITH YOUR SILLY PUNS!” Papyrus face scrunched up in disgust as he turned to face his sibling. “HOW IS DAD TO MAKE A DECISION LIKE THIS IF YOU FILL HIS HEAD WITH PUNS?”

… How was Gaster to decide? There were so many factors to consider here, and while there weren’t as many negatives to them there were still a few. It wouldn’t be as dangerous as when he made the decision to keep Frisk a secret, but Gaster still worried. The lab was not the safest place; he had the scars and still healing bones to prove it.

So… What was he to do?

Allow his son to come work for him, take a chance to rekindle their relationship, to start anew, but also chance Frisk’s freedom and safety… or allow his already crumbling family fall to pieces by saying no?

The choices were stacked against him… and Gaster was never good with hard choices like these.