With a deep sigh, Ink followed behind the other skeletons. They’d gone out to comb through the forest, splitting up and checking every square inch of any signs of her since Frisk found her wrench in the forest that one time. They didn’t have much to go on so they lifted every rock and looked at every possibility that they could have to find her.
At least there was one thing. Himself and Error was getting along, despite how tense it still felt between the two of them, he felt like there was hope that they could be as close as they used to be. All they needed was (Y/N) to complete their trio. To be right where she belonged; hand in hand with them.
Papyrus was first to open the door and stopped just before he stepped in, making Sans walk into his back.
“pap? what’s wr-”
There was a loud crash from inside the house, and all the skeletons came behind Papyrus to look in. Ink trailed up with a frown, trying to peek past but couldn’t see as he heard Error yell “GET AWAY FROM ME!”
He pushed past Papyrus quickly, apologizing under his breath and walked forward. The front room was in despair, couch cushions scattered and the fabric ripped to shreds. Shelves hung off the wall and tall cabinets had been tipped over. Black bones impaled the walls and floors, there was burn marks on the carpet and Ink could glimpse that the rest of the downstairs rooms weren’t in any better of a state.
Error was as far from the door as he could be, hands outstretched with blue strings around his fingers, scattered in a pattern that leaves no gaps to get close to him. His black gaster blasters were behind him, mouths open, charged and ready to fire. Error himself looked panicked, his glitches were far worse than Ink had ever seen them, flashing all around him.
Then he saw her, (Y/N), wings outspread with wrench in hand, a grimace on her face as she tried to get steps forward only to have to jump back to avoid nearly getting skewered by a row of bones.
Ink couldn’t help himself, he ran forward between them, grabbing her hand and facing Error.
“Stop! Stop it right now, Error!” He glared down Error, before his scowl started to dissipate. Something was very wrong here. It did remind him of the past, the last time that he tried to stop them fighting. It didn’t go well, but Error was lacking something that he didn’t have before.
And that was his anger, his intent to actually hurt her.
“Ink, it’s not his fault, I think he’s having a panic attack. He saw me and I tried to step forward to hug him, but he just freaked out. I can’t get him to calm down” (Y/N) squeezed his hand, Ink glanced only to see tears streaming down her face “I don’t want to fight him, Ink. What should I do?”
Biting his lip, that was a sight that he never wanted to see, and words he never wanted to hear. He remembered before, how she had acted that exact same way. How much she didn’t want to fight, and how she just gave up in the end and let herself get… no, Ink couldn’t think about it, she was relying on him right now. He had to have a straight head.
He looked at Error again. Maybe… maybe this time, he could actually do it. Error clearly didn’t want to actually hurt her this time. There was a chance that he could fix this. He gently pushed (Y/N) back to the other skeletons, Papyrus wound his arms around her and comforted her, stroking her tears away although she didn’t look like she noticed. Her eyes were solely on Error as her tears continued to fall. This must be so difficult for her, after everything that she’s been through. He didn’t want her to suffer anymore.
Ink started to walk forward, taking careful but confident strides towards Error. He had his head in his hands, muttering words that Ink couldn’t quite hear until he was closer. Only to find he was saying “no” repeatedly, occasionally stuttering with his glitched voice.
Making sure not to make any sudden moves, Ink carefully called out.
“Error?” He stopped where he was, watching him for any reactions but found none “Can you hear me? You need to calm down”
“I-I don’t want to do it, I didn’t mean to…” He muttered, shaking his head rapidly. Ink approached a little closer and Error caught the movement, snapping his head up with widened sockets. Ink could see the unsteadiness and trembling of his body.
“Error… it’s okay. Take deep breaths” Ink stopped a few feet away, keeping his posture relaxed so that he wouldn’t be seen as a threat. He watched as his strings began to disappear into the air, and he gave Ink a vulnerable look as he took shaky breathes. As carefully as he could, Ink went forward until he was just a few feet away. He held a hand out.
Error looked at his hand then slowly reached out, Ink took the last step forward and wrapped his arms around Error while still giving him enough room to breathe and gather himself together. He just held him, rubbing his back, relishing being this close to him again. He missed Error all those years, and he thought maybe the feeling was returned as Error moved his arms to hold him too.
“Can I get in on this hug?” (Y/N) shyly voiced, close by but realizing she needed to keep a distance too. Ink let go and Error shakily looked at her, seeming tense.
“Y-You’re not mad at me? W-Why? Y-You should be fighting me, yelling a-at me, wishing me to b-be destroyed…” He took a shaky step back, almost as if he was actually afraid of her. Although, the more Ink watched, the more he realized that maybe he wasn’t afraid of her. Maybe he was just blaming himself and didn’t think he deserved to be forgiven.
“... I would never, Error. No matter what or how many mistakes you make, you’ll always be my friend. And I partly blame myself. I should have… I should have seen it, how upset and unhappy you were…” She rubbed at her arm, looking away sadly when Error surprised him by jerking forward towards her.
“NO! No, it’s not your fault! I-I…” He reached out to her, then retracted his hand almost as quickly as he had lifted it “... I… tried to kill you. Nothing could make up for that… and maybe I would have succeeded if… I don’t know how you survived, but I know that I don’t deserve a second chance” He turned around and started to walk away, clearly wanting to get away when arms wrapped around him from behind. He froze, the error signs flashing around frantically, Ink wasn’t sure if he should interfere and remove her but stopped when she began to speak.
“Of course you do, Error. And I’m sorry but I’m not giving you a choice. I am forgiving you no matter what, and I won’t give up on you. You’re… my best friend, Ink too… I just want things to be like they were before… I-I want…” Error could feel his shoulder getting wet, her tears soaking though as she pressed her face into his shoulder. “I want to be with the ones I care about.. I don’t want to be alone ever again… Surely you know how it feels to be alone too? Is that really something you want again?”
He did, Ink too. After she supposedly died, Ink and Error went their separate ways in the anti void. Both of them had no one. They’d been alone in the endless white with no one to talk to, no comfort, nothing but the endless droning and echoes. And their own mind against them.
Error stayed frozen, until suddenly he sprung around and held her in a way that he thought she might snap. She gasped, either out of being winded by the force of the hug or the surprise, and began to cry harder as they gripped onto each other.
Ink smiled, watching the heartwarming scene. They were back together.