Undyne raised a hand and the soul floated to her chest. After it was in her grasp she strode forward, nearly making it to the doorway before her legs gave out, literally. Her whole body was numb, her ability to move fading. At least she had done it. She hadn't failed anybody, she had saved the world.
The soul of the human's beat in front of her eyes, as if watching her. Undyne was comforted somehow, glad that someone was here by her side as she left this world.
Using her last ounce of strength she pulled her own soul out to look at it. It was transparent and trembling, beginning to melt just like her body was. The human soul drew near to her own and Undyne smiled sadly as one last memory played before her eyes.
"You're a wimpy loser with a big heart!”
Undyne shuddered as the edges of her vision began to blacken.
“Heh. Th-thanks...kid.” At that she closed her eyes, her body finally melting away. Her soul was the last part left, floating near the human soul. They drew near together, taking comfort in each other until suddenly, the white soul finally shattered.
Undyne gasped suddenly, jerking awake. Her first thought was “What the hell?” Her second: “WHAT THE HELL?!”
That was some horrible dream. She thought she had actually died. Good thing she hadn't...
Her eyes finally registered where she was. She was sleeping in some sort of bed, a bit small for her as her feet reached the end, in a sort of homey child's room. Where was she?
She couldn't hear anything, so she attempted to wiggle her ear fins to listen better, but was met with a weird sensation on the sides of her head. She reached her hands up to see what was wrong but the sight of her hands stopped her cold. They were fleshy and pink, the color making her stomach churn dangerously.
She had human hands.
Waiting until her heart felt like it wasn't going to pound out of her chest she wiggled her non-blue colored hands experimentally, the feeling of moving her fingers nearly making her sick. Eventually she reached up and felt the sides of her head. She was met with human ears, not her beloved fins. Her fingers continued their journey to the rest of her head. No scales, a human nose and mouth, two eyes, TWO EYES, and thankfully still her mop of long, red hair. Having two eyes again was making her dizzy, being used to only having one for years.
“What the hell?!” She thought for the third time that morning. If this was some sort of twisted dream or sick joke, she'd find out who was responsible for this and pound them into the ground so hard they'd reach a new Underground.
Speaking of which, where in the Underground was she? If she even was Underground even, suddenly being human. She had never seen any place like this before. Ah well, couldn't hurt to look around, could it? She felt a little afraid, instinctively knowing if she tried to use any magic it wouldn't work. Without magic, she felt like a fish out of water, pun intended.
Climbing out of the bed, she nearly fell over at the sight of her very non-fish like legs and feet. Stars, this was going to take some getting used to. She used this chance to examine the rest of her body. Human, human, HUMAN. Undyne nearly screamed in frustration. She HATED humans (or at least one of them) and now she was one too! Was the universe looking for some way to punish her for saving it?! It wasn't fair!
Shaking her head, she returned to the matter at hand. At least she wasn't as short as the last human she had encountered. Judging from her human studies she looked a bit younger, maybe 22? 23? Good thing she was still tall, albeit not as tall as her monster form. 5'11''? That seemed about right.
She was clad in a vibrant blue t-shirt (now that was just cruel) and black leggings. She shivered, rubbing her hands up and down her arms to get warmth into them. She wasn't used to being this cold in a place that wasn't Snowdin.
Spying a white and yellow striped sweater nearby she threw it on gratefully, regarding ruefully that the colors would have clashed horribly with her old skin color but didn't seem too bad now. At least it fit. In fact it fit really well, like someone had made it just for her. There were also a pair of brown boots just her size sitting by the door. She slipped them on, sighing at the familiar feeling. They weren't her favored red boots, but they were close enough.
With that over with she looked around, trying to find anything in the room she could use as a weapon. Nothing. She could try pulling off part of the door frame, but she didn't feel she had the strength anymore. Maybe she'd find something in the next room.
Using all the stealth she had as a (former) Royal Guard Captain, she opened the door and stuck her head out. She nearly shouted in shock.
It looked exactly like Asgore's home. There were a few minor changes, such as the absence of golden flowers and the place being a bit cleaner. That's why she didn't recognize the room she was in, she'd never had a reason to go into any of the bedrooms in the King's home before.
Wait, if this place looked like King Asgore's home, then that must mean...
Her realization was cut off by the sight of a large goat monster watching her from the end of the hallway.
So much for her stealth tactics.
"Hello there,” The former Queen spoke softly so not to startle her guest. “You seem to like the sweater I've made for you. I've also prepared a pie if you would like some, you seemed too tired to eat earlier when I found you. It is in the kitchen if you would like to come out.” The lady left the hall without waiting for Undyne to answer.
“What. The. Hell.” She said out loud this time. Not only was she human, but she was also in the Ruins with the Queen who had left the kingdom who knows how many years ago.
She had never met the Queen herself before her departure but the resemblance to Asgore was uncanny. There was no doubt in her mind who this woman was.
She struggled to remember why the Queen had left in the first place. Something to do with the humans Asgore had killed? Yeah that sounded right. Undyne didn't understand it herself, she agreed with the king, something had to be done to save monster kind. However the thought that her once-father figure would try to kill her with her looking like this sent a shiver down her spine.
But more importantly, why was she here? The last thing she remembered was collapsing in the hall outside the throne room on the way to give King Asgore the last human soul, Frisk's soul.
Frisk. Maybe that brat had something to do with this. She didn't understand, but maybe if she could get to the royal lab in Hotland maybe Alphys could help her.
Alphys. The name made her soul clench painfully, remembering the betrayal and hurt her once lizard friend had inflicted on her.
Couldn't worry about that now, the smart thing to do would to find someone that could help, someone that wouldn't try to kill her right off. She thought of all her well-trained guards and sentries between here and Hotland and shivered again. Without her magic and strength she didn't have much of a chance, but there wasn't anything else she could do at the moment.
The first step would be to leave the Ruins. And that would mean making friends with the former Queen. That thought scared her more than she thought it would. If she had any chance of leaving she couldn't let anybody know who she really was. They would think she was crazy and kill her quicker. Or worse, think she was impersonating a monster. What...what if there was an Undyne already in this world? That thought was just too horrible to think about now.
Undyne growled in frustration, not used to this much fear. She was Captain of the Royal Guard for crying out loud! She could do anything she put her mind to! She could get out of here, make it through Snowdin and Waterfall and be back to normal in no time. Not that she knew how to fix anything, but hey, it was better than doing nothing, right?
Okay, so it wasn't a very good plan. She'd have to make do.
It took her a good ten minutes to gather up the courage to make it into the front room. The Queen was sitting the armchair near the fire, reading a book, 72 Uses for Snails, she noticed. She tried not to look disgusted, remembering her old neighbors on the Blook Snail Farm. Some of those were her friends after all.
“Oh, greetings child.” Undyne stiffened at the term. She hadn't been a child since she was well...a guppy. The lady didn't seem to notice. The human struggled to remember her name but was ashamed that she couldn't. “I was not sure if you were coming out today or not. I have to admit I was using the smell of the pie to draw you out so we could finally talk.”
At that she set aside her book and stood up. Even with Undyne's height the Queen still towered over her. “We didn't get much time to talk before, after you collapsed in the far side of the Ruins yesterday.” Undyne didn't remember any of that. “I am Lady Toriel, caretaker of these Ruins. I know this is quite soon to ask but I hope you will stay here with me. I will take the best care of you as I possibly can.” She smiled. “I know you are a little old for a bit of mothering but I hope you do not mind. Now what may I call you?” Undyne didn't think before she spoke.
“My name is Un...” Damn it! “Un-Undynah.” She finished lamely. It was the name of her long-gone aunt, but her slip-up could cause some problems later. Oh well, better to jump in all at once than wade at the edge, that same aunt used to say.
“Undynah, what a beautiful name. Strangely, I knew an Undynah, years ago...” shit shit shit! Thankfully, the Queen...Toriel, didn't seem to care. “Would you join me for dinner?” Dinner? How long was she asleep for? “You just sit right on down at the table and I'll bring out the pie.” Undyne didn't want to stay any longer than she could but, as if in protest her stomach growled loudly. Toriel heard the noise and laughed softly, leaving the room into what Undyne assumed was the kitchen. Oh well, another half an hour here wouldn't change anything, would it?
Plus she needed her strength if she was going to make it all the way to Hotland. She doubted she could run the distance now, her lungs and legs painfully reminding her she was no longer a part of monster-kind with, ugh, inhuman abilities. How humans lived as long as they did, Undyne would never know.
Shrugging, she sat down at the table and waited patiently. What she really wanted to do was suplex the table and smash it into a million pieces in her anger and frustration but knew that would be rude. Plus she had to get on the former Queen's good side if she wanted to get out of here. Toriel talked like she wanted Undyne...Undynah to stay, quite possibly forever, and that wouldn't do at all.
Her stomach growled again as Toriel returned, placing the pie on the table.
“It is Butterscotch Cinnamon, I hope you don't mind.”
“I...I don't. Thank you.” Trying not to be too hasty she reached out and took a piece, setting it on the plate in front of her. Her eyes widened as the flavors exploded in her mouth.
“Holy crap!” She shouted, startling Toriel with both volume and her language. “This is amazing!” Toriel laughed, placing a paw to her mouth.
“Thank you my dear, it has been quite a while since someone complimented me on my cooking.” Abandoning any sense of decency, Undyne cleaned off her plate and attempted to grab another slice before glancing at Toriel to see if that was okay. Thankfully the goat mother nodded, and Undyne wasted no time finishing off that piece. Then another. Then another, the size of the pie not intimidating to her in the slightest.
She was slightly embarrassed about how much she was eating but it felt like she hadn't consumed any food in months. Or maybe monster food didn't fill her human stomach up like before? She'd read something about that but couldn't quite remember the details. Thankfully Toriel didn't seem too offended, rather appreciative at how accepted her pie was.
Once dinner was finished Toriel stood up, clearing the dishes. Even though Undyne's much-too full stomach protested she went to help her. However Toriel waved her off.
“Please.” Undyne asked politely. “I...I like doing dishes.” At Toriel's confused look she explained. “It's the water. I like the feel of it.” She hadn't been lying, washing dishes was one of the only chores she didn't mind doing back when she was a fish monster. After a few seconds Toriel nodded and Undyne followed her to the kitchen.
She still couldn't get over how much this place looked like Asgore's home. She had been there a lot growing up. Regretfully, the king's food wasn't as good as the pie she just devoured, but she had come to cherish the king like a father. A father who let her beat on him from time to time, as much as a child could beat up the King of Monsters.
Toriel volunteered to dry as Undyne washed. As she stuck her hands into the soapy water she sighed in relief. Although no longer having scales, the feel of the water sloshing between her fingers felt as good as it ever did. She wanted nothing more than to splash the water over her face and arms as well but knew that would raise some unanswerable questions, so she settled for keeping her hands underwater as long as she could.
Within fifteen minutes all the dishes were clean and the pair returned to the sitting room.
“I do not know how children your age entertain yourselves nowadays, but I do have some books over on the book shelf if you would like to join me. You're the oldest child to have fallen down here in a long time.” Again, she stiffened at being called a child, she was an adult for crying out loud! But yet, she guessed compared to Toriel she was a child, the Queen being an immortal Boss Monster and all...
The thought of reading put a scowl on her face (it was never one of her favorite past times unless it was one of Alphys “manga” history books), so she opted to sit down on the floor next to Toriel and stare at the fire that was burning softly. She doubted it was warm enough to even dry up her scales a little...oh, right. She needed time to come up with a plan anyway.
Asking Toriel to leave would be easy enough, but would the former Queen let her go? She wasn't sure, so she wasn't going to take any chances. She'd wait until after Toriel was asleep and sneak downstairs, suspecting that that was the only way out of this place.
Undyne intended to stay awake but the combination of her stuffed stomach and the warm atmosphere quickly put her to sleep, lying against the side of the chair. She missed the goat monster looking down at her sleeping form and smiling softly, running a furry paw over her head and through her voluminous red hair that was out of its usual ponytail. Undyne sighed deeply in her sleep and leaned into the touch.
Undyne cried out in shock as the human's knife plunged into her abdomen. She collapsed as the pain became unbearable, the magical essence resembling blood running out over her hands and covering the ground. As she fell onto her back the last thing she saw was the human standing over her, preparing to deliver the final blow...
Once again Undyne woke up suddenly in the bed in the children's room, dripping in nervous sweat. She was shaking slightly from the nightmare. Trying to get the images out of her head, she grew angry at herself for falling asleep again. Curse this human body and the need for sleep!
Undyne herself as a monster usually only slept a few hours a night, using the rest of the time to train and watch anime with Alphys, who also didn't sleep much at night, no matter how much Undyne suspected the doctor needed more than she got.
Glancing over at a clock on the dresser, she knew she'd have to leave soon if she wanted to make it out before Toriel woke up.
Sneaking out into the living room, she realized she still needed a weapon if she was going to last a second outside the Ruins. She wouldn't harm another monster of course but any sort of defense would keep others from trying to harm her. Undyne crept into the kitchen and grabbed a small knife, feeling bad about the theft but not bad enough to put the knife back.
With that done she tiptoed as quietly as she could until she made it down the stairs and into the basement. Thankful for finally being out of earshot, she began to sprint, coming around the corner and releasing a small, relieved laugh at seeing the door on the far end of the corridor.
“It appears that my food and the comfort of my home were not enough to keep you satisfied here.” Undyne skidded to a stop at the shaking voice behind her. Of course, it was Toriel, standing behind her with a sad look on her face.
“Uh...I-I'm sorry,” Undyne tried to explain. “B-but look, I need to leave, for reasons I can't really say right now. You've been really good to me, honestly. Thanks, uh, for the sweater and the pie, but I have to go.” Toriel didn't seem to be listening. Instead she had her head down, staring intently at a spot on the floor.
“No matter how hard I try, I seem to lose every child that comes to me.” Finally she looked up. “I must warn you my child. Every human that falls down here meets the same fate. I have seen it again and again. They come. They leave. They die.” Her voice had a note of finality to it. “You naive child! If you leave the Ruins, they...ASGORE, will kill you. I only want to protect you, do you understand?” Undyne didn't reply to that. She knew the risks. If only Toriel would let her go.
“You want to leave so badly? Hmph. I thought for once, you were different. But no, you're just like the others.” She sighed. “There is only one solution to this. Prove yourself...” Uh oh. Undyne didn't like the sound of that. Suddenly she felt the pull on her soul that signaled a battle was about to start. Toriel shouted, fireballs summoning in both her hands.
“Prove to me you are strong enough to survive!”
What do you think? Will Undyne FIGHT or MERCY? Leave your guess in the comments below!
Chapter 2: Heartaches and Skelebros
Undyne faces off against Toriel and ventures out into Snowdin...
Just to be clear, this is NOT Undyne doing a pacifist run, her exit of the Ruins just mirrors Frisk's time line. Things will change really soon, you'll see. Undyne will run into some friends, and meet a few new people...
Also, this will be the only battle written in canon-fight mode. I just wanted to try it out.
Undyne was SO not ready for this. She didn't even know how long she could stand against a Boss Monster like Toriel. She winced as her soul was dragged into the battle screen, the world fading to black and white around her.
*Toriel stands before you!
Huh. She should have expected this but was still surprised to see that her soul was upside down from a monster soul with the tip pointing down and glowing red. What was that about? As she stared at her disembodied soul she felt herself fill with DETERMINATION. She could do this! She could win and try to fix this whole mess that was happening to her.
And she could do it without killing. So skilled was Undyne in the art of fighting she knew exactly what each monster could take before she dealt each blow. She just had to know her opponent's stats first. So she brought up her menu screen and checked Toriel.
*TORIEL – ATK 80 DEF 80
*Knows best for you.
The former monster tried not to scoff at that. If Toriel really knew what was best for Undyne she'd let her go. But she didn't, so this had to be done. With that Toriel took her turn. Undyne was unprepared for the raw strength of the other monster's attack and jumped out of the way as a wave of fire fell towards her. As she stumbled, one singed her right arm, bringing up the painful memory of the human catching that same arm with their blade, back before she was placed here in this messy situation. Her opponent didn't seem to notice or care.
*Toriel looks through you.
Now it was Undyne's turn.
Defense 80. She gripped her weapon tightly, knowing what she had to do. She knew just how hard to swing her knife. The tough part was trying not to compare herself to that human who had killed so many monsters. Shaking and trying not to look at her human hands, she leapt at Toriel.
“I'm sorry!” She shouted as the knife slashed down. HIT. Undyne stepped back as Toriel stumbled, holding her injured arm. It was not life-threatening, only taking about a quarter of her damage.
*Toriel seems surprised.
Another wave of fire. Thankfully this time Undyne was ready and dodged them all. Another swing of the knife. Toriel's HP declined further.
*Toriel takes a deep breath.
The heat of the flames made Undyne gasp in displeasure, as if the gills she no longer had were still there, crying out as they dried up. This raging fire was scathing compared to the soft burning in the fireplace upstairs...
*Toriel prepares a magical attack.
No kidding. Toriel raised her paws and the flames circled near Undyne in a sweeping motion, causing her to dance around like a migosp. A couple of flames bit at her calf, burning the fabric of her leggings and causing her to grit her teeth in pain. Her health dropped to 5. She needed to end this fight and soon.
*Toriel is acting aloof.
The battle went on for another couple minutes until, as Toriel's health got lower and lower, something seemed to try to interrupt Undyne, making her hand holding the knife falter.
“Mom,” She gasped, not knowing where the word had come from nor why she spoke it. She had never planned to kill the other monster but still, something inside her head was crying out for her to stop.
Slamming her hand on the MERCY button she took a step back. Toriel's health stopped dropping and the goat monster stumbled, holding the wound on her chest.
Undyne raced forward as the fight ended, attempting to use a wave of healing magic but, frustratingly, coming up with nothing. All she could do was hold Toriel as she attempted to heal herself. The monster huffed as she stood up, her legs still a little weak.
“You...you are obviously a fighter. And clearly you do not wish to stay here. I will let you go, but please,” She placed a paw on Undyne's shoulder and looked her somberly. “please be careful out there.” Undyne could tell Toriel was holding back tears.
“I'm sorry,” Undyne replied as Toriel removed her paw, her own voice shaking with emotion. She hadn't really wanted to hurt the woman who showed her kindness earlier, but she didn't see any other choice. Mercy would have just gotten her killed; she learned that the hard way. She didn't know if Toriel would have killed her or not but she didn't want to find out, not when she knew how to stop the fight without either of them dying.
“That is okay my...my child. Just...when you leave, please do not come back.” She turned away. “Goodbye, Undynah.” With that, she departed down the hall. This did not help Undyne's guilt in the slightest.
“Goodbye, Toriel.” She whispered, exiting out the door behind her.
As Undyne left the hall and stepped into a dark room she nearly yelped in surprise as a tiny yellow flower popped up in front of her. It stared at her with narrowed eyes.
“You're not supposed to be here, are you...Captain?” Undyne's eyes widened in shock.
“What? How...how do you know-”
“You made a right ol' mess of the time line, didn't you? You might just be the one destroy us all this time!” He cackled, his face morphing into one with sharp teeth.
“What do you mean-” The flower cut her off for the second time.
“You have incredible power, more than what I've ever seen before. Use it to your advantage, mold this world into what it should be. What you want it to be. Take control of everything! I'll help you.” He seemed positively giddy at the thought.
“What? No, just...no! Why would I do a thing like that?” The flower raised an eyebrow, even though that shouldn't have been possible. He shook his head as if disappointed. He sighed, changing the subject deftly.
“You won't get a very nice reputation swinging that thing around.” The strange weed motioned to the blade she gripped in her hand. “Have fun making friends Miss Undyne, or should I say Undynah!” He spat out her fake name and let out another evil laugh that made Undyne's blood boil.
“Come here and say that to me again, you worthless salad topping!” She suddenly flung her knife towards the flower but it was too fast, disappearing under the soil. The blade struck the ground and quivered in the dirt. She could still hear his unnerving laughing somewhere beneath her, far out of range. Sighing, she walked up to her only weapon and pulled it back out, placing it in her inventory.
Even if that creepy bastard clearly had wrong intentions, it was right. It would do Undyne no good if rumors spread that there was a murderous human in the Underground.
Look how well that turned out last time.
Undyne realized wisely that she had to change her tactics. She'd keep the knife in case of emergencies but it didn't have to be out and in her hand the entire time.
Maybe she'd give MERCY a try, next time. Before fighting, that is.
The red-haired human reached the doorway that lead out of the Ruins and into the rest of the Underground. She took a shuddering breath and stepped out.
Sans sighed as he leaned farther onto the counter of his station. His elbows dug into the wood but he really couldn't seem to care.
That last reset had been a doozy, and he hadn't even been alive for it for very long. That was the first time Frisk (chara? he honestly couldn't give a damn which kid it was, messed up as they were) had killed him right off the bat. He'd gotten too lazy; these resets were filling him with an all-consuming apathy that only grew stronger and stronger with each RESET. Well, at least with the apathy the nightmares seemed to stop, and he was grateful for that.
He was also grateful that Papyrus didn't remember any of the previous time lines. He could only imagine what his brother would do after his death.
The stout skeleton sighed again, contemplating grabbing one of the ketchup bottles under his station but realized he wasn't hungry, another symptom of the apathy. What was the point, whether Frisk/Chara (charisk? fara? ugh THE HUMAN) dusted him or he slowly starved to death if he was just going to wake up again in his bed tomorrow?
Sans shook his head. The only thing really keeping him going now was his brother, who had no idea what the shorter skeleton was going through. He had to keep up appearances, because every smile, every laugh from Papyrus was absolutely worth going through this endless hell that would never, ever end. Even if Sans was having the worst day (un)imaginable, he would still make sure that Papy would be having his best.
The thing that probably hurt the most was he could still taste the fresh air from the Surface five resets ago.
He clenched his fists tightly, trying to forget past time lines. He glanced at his phone merely to distract himself but frowned at the time. Frisk was due to appear at any moment now and it was Sans' job as Judge to figure out what sort of time line this one was going to be. Well, it wasn't exactly his job, but if his boss knew what Sans was aware of, without a doubt it would be added to his list of duties.
Would this be a Pacifist route?
A Neutral one?
Or a Genocide one?
He short-cutted away.
Sans reappeared in the trees near the Ruins, watching the door intently. Any second now...
He nodded in affirmation as the door slowly opened, the snow around it moving and shifting with difficulty. He fully expected that short human with the flop of brown hair and pink and blue sweater to step out, either holding a stick or a knife...
His jaw dropped as neither of those things stepped out, but rather a very tall human with a lot of red hair pulled up in a pony tail and wearing a white and yellow sweater stepped out. This was no child, she appeared to be about twenty, much older than the last few fallen children. what...?
As he stared at the human, something tickled at the back of his mind, the same thing that would happen whenever he thought about his old job back at the CORE, or his family life growing up...
He felt like he should know this human, but couldn't quite remember. He knew Frisk like the back of his skeletal hand, but not this girl. Even just looking at her started to give him a bit of a headache.
Well, thankfully the changes in the time line seemed to perk him up a bit, and he blipped away to get a better look.
Undyne meanwhile had walked straight into the wooded area on the side of the path, looking for something. Finally she found it: a large stick so big that it could be considered a limb. This would do. She sat down in the snow, wincing as the cold seeped into her leggings, and began carving into it with her stolen knife.
After ten minutes she finally had herself a spear. She stood up and gripped her makeshift weapon tightly in her hands. It felt good to be holding a spear again, even if it was made out of wood, not magic. Letting herself smile for one of the first times since this whole ordeal started, she walked back to the path.
Undyne shivered as a cold wind bit through her sweater like she wasn't even wearing it. She longed for the cool caves of Waterfall, not this dreadful cold that seeped into her very pores. She picked up speed, hoping the blood pumping through her veins would warm her up a little. The snow drifted down lazily around the trees, the wind causing little flurries around her ankles.
If she remembered correctly, Sans' station was first. She didn't worry much about him strength-wise (he always was a lazy ass who never did his job right) but she knew the short skeleton was smarter than he looked. If she wasn't careful he'd see right away that she was lying, then once he told Papyrus she'd be on her way to be presented to the King, like an animal led to slaughter.
Huh. This was the first time she felt bad for the humans that had fallen down here over the years.
Wait! If Sans and Papyrus were here, would that mean there was a version of Undyne too?
That thought made her both jealous and fearful for her life. Undyne could attest to the fact that she sometimes, okay, always struck without thinking, fought without mercy. If there was a monster version of herself with magic and strength, well...
I don't stand a chance.
She'd have to cross that bridge when she came to it.
Undyne jumped as a noise echoed around her. Glancing back she saw the tree limb lying across the path had snapped in two. She picked up her pace again, swallowing down a wave of self-loathing. She felt naked and defenseless out here in this whitish-colored non-scaly skin. The spear/stick made her feel a little better, but she felt she couldn't have her full confidence back until her body was covered in blue scales and she could summon real magic, not this stupid, pathetic piece of wood.
Finally she came up to some sort of bridge. Who in the name of Asgore had built this? She'd have to have a word with said architect. The bars were so wide even she could fit through them! She suspected it was Papyrus, he had built most everything around here. She'd let him have free reign over this area, not wanting to deal with it since she never came out this far anyway.
She was kinda surprised too, usually the lanky skeleton was quite good at building puzzles, surely he'd be able to make a worthy enough gate? Maybe it was on purpose so the humans could pass through and attempt to solve his puzzles.
A sigh escaped from her human lips. Her tall skeleton friend really wasn't built for the Royal Guard.
Hey maybe something good could come out of this! She'd be able to see her guards and sentries from the other side, to see how well they really performed without her watching over their shoulders.
If she didn't get killed in the process.
The new human was just about to bend down to pass through the gate when she heard a familiar low voice behind her.
“H u m a n.” She stiffened. She knew the voice to be Sans and wanted nothing more than to turn around and tell him off but knew that would be a bad idea. So she'd have to play along. Maybe the fat and lazy skeleton was only slacking off when his boss was around just to piss her off. The thought both angered and intrigued her.
“D o n' t y o u k n o w h o w t o g r e e t a n e w p a l? T u r n a r o u n d a n d s h a k e m y h a n d.” She did as he told.
She flinched violently as a loud fart noise resounded, coming from their joined hands. She jerked her hand back and the short skeleton laughed.
“heheh...the old whoopee cushion in the hand trick. it's ALWAYS funny.” Scowling, Undyne wanted nothing more than to chuck her wooden spear right at his stupid grinning face. The skeleton noticed the look on her face and took a step back.
“geez lady, got a thing against pranks?” Undyne kept her mouth shut. He continued anyway. “anyways, you're a human, right? that's hilarious. i'm sans. sans the skeleton. you got a name too, or would you prefer i keep calling you 'lady'?” Could she use the same name as before? It seemed to work for Toriel, and Undyne doubted Sans knew her aunt before she fell.
“Name's Undynah.” Sans narrowed his eyes at that. Oh no, oh no, she'd made a mistake!
“...undynah?” His eyes flicked down to the spear in her hand but thankfully he didn't pursue anything further. “huh. alright then undynah,” he repeated her name with a hint of sarcasm in his voice; obviously he knew that wasn't her real name. But he didn't know why she chose to lie to him, especially with something so simple as her name.
“well, i'm actually supposed to be on watch for humans right now. but... y'know... i don't really care about capturing anybody. now my brother, papyrus...he's a human-hunting FANATIC. hey, actually, i think that's him over there.” he reached up and scratched the back of his skull.
“i have an idea. go through this gate thingy. yeah, go right through. my bro made the bars too wide to stop anybody.”On purpose? Undyne held back her words as they stepped through the gate. “quick, behind that conveniently–“ uhh...whoops. “i mean, go hide behind my station here,” Raising an eyebrow in doubt, she ducked behind the station, wincing at the smell of condiments. She peeked around the edge just in time to see her tall skeleton friend come bounding into the scene.
“YOU KNOW WHAT 'SUP' BROTHER!” He gesticulated wildly, and Undyne couldn't help but smile. It felt so good to see a familiar face she loved. She wanted nothing more than to jump out and give him a bear hug, maybe even squeeze in a few noogies. But she knew that wasn't a very smart thing to do. With her having no magic he'd easily overpower her and deliver her to whoever was Captain now, whether it was her or someone else. Hmm, who would be Captain if she wasn't?
“IT'S BEEN EIGHT DAYS AND YOU STILL HAVEN'T ...RECALIBRATED. YOUR. PUZZLES! YOU JUST HANG AROUND OUTSIDE YOUR STATION! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?!?” Geez, was he always this judgmental? No wonder Sans never gave a damn anymore. Well, the shorter skeleton obviously needed the correction, but still.
“well, i just reorganized my station, do you wanna look? i even alphabatized the condiments.” Really? REALLY?
“NO!! I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!” Undyne tuned them out as Papyrus continued to criticize and Sans continued to not care. Undyne's attention was snapped back as she heard Papyrus exclaim how much he wanted to be in the Royal Guard.
“I WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO JOIN THE ROYAL GUARD! PEOPLE WILL ASK, TO, BE MY, 'FRIEND'?” Wait, really? That was why he wanted to join so badly? Undyne held back a wave of guilt. It still didn't change the fact that he wasn't cut out to be a guard, but the tall skeleton was obviously so starving for affection, and he thought that joining the Royal Guard would get him more friends? Undyne knew he didn't have many friends to begin with; he only really had Sans and Undyne. The dogs were out of the question (they loved bones too much), and everyone else thought he was just a little too...intense. Undyne loved that about him, but most monsters didn't.
She'd have to do something about that once everything was back to normal. The caring skeleton would have more friends than he knew what to do with, even if Undyne had to literally twist a few arms for it to happen.
“hmm, maybe seeing my station will help you.”Oh, and Sans' arm was going to be the first one she twisted.
“SANS!! YOU ARE NOT HELPING!! YOU LAZYBONES!!” Another few minutes passed by filled with insults and puns, one of them even coming from Papyrus. Finally the lanky skeleton let out one of his signature laughs and strode off.
Undyne came out from behind the station and Sans bid her off, warning that if she didn't hurry, she'd have to 'sit through more of his hilarious jokes'. Ugh.
Meanwhile, Sans was surprised everything had gone exactly like a pacifist run was supposed to with such a wild card crouched behind his station, her height nearly too much to hide.
“actually, hey...hate to bother ya,” he spoke up just as she was about to leave. “can you do me a favor? i was thinking...my brother's been kinda down lately.” It was true. Papyrus had tried to hide it but every day that passed with him neither capturing a human nor being inducted into the guard made his hope lesson further and further, which broke Sans' metaphorical heart.
He still didn't trust this wild card (from a go fish pack? What? Where did that nonsense come from?) around his brother, but hey, if she turned out to be a killer, there was still a large chance she'd reset, just like Frisk...
“if...if you could play along with his puzzles, maybe not try and murder him, well it might just make his day.” Welp, now he was deviating from the script. Well the script could go to hell. What did it matter anymore, why was he still doing this?
He watched with curiosity as the human flinched at the mention of murder. That was a good sign. He could tell she wanted to say something but held it back. Wasn't she supposed to be louder? Wait, why would he think that? He didn't know this girl. Anyway...
“thanks a million. i'll be up ahead.” With that he walked away in the opposite direction Papyrus had gone.
His work was done, at least for the moment.
Undyne had a rough afternoon. The once-fish girl was never good with puzzles and it took her nearly all day to get through Papyrus' traps. She only screamed in frustration three times though, with which Papyrus was quick to come over and help her out of the place she was stuck in. While she was grateful for the help, the way he was acting really didn't impress her.
Was this how he captured humans? What was his play? Would he even at least attempt to take her captive once before she reached Waterfall? She'd have to have a few words with him if she ever got herself out of this mess.
She'd also had some run-ins with the rest of the Snowdin Sentries and Guards. All in all she was pretty pleased but it was a bit too easy to get past them all. Even as she struggled to show them all MERCY. With just a few words of kindness or a pat on the head they all folded like Lesser Dog's card table set up in the Snowdin Guard Headquarters.
There was a strange moment too, after she had first left Sans. There, sitting in the snow was a yellow glowing star. It drew her in like a fish to water (hell, was that Sans' voice in her head? UGH). Her eyes were wide as she reached out a very human hand to touch it.
*(The familiar sight of your old friends fills you with determination.)
Undyne LV 1 28:02
Snowdin – Box Road
What the hell was that about? She'd never felt anything like it before. Even the wounds she'd got from Greater Dog pouncing on her seemed to disappear as if she never had them, her health also rising back up to 20. Her max health hadn't been 20 HP in years. Not since...
Undyne was also really proud about nobody figuring out who she was. She had no doubt now that she'd be able to make it all the way to Hotland without a scratch on her. She'd just find Alphys, explain what was going on, hope she wasn't hauled away as a lunatic and ask her to find some way to fix everything. Not too much, right?
But she made a mistake. A stupid one.
It was on Papyrus' switch puzzle shaped into the outline of his face. It had taken Undyne nearly an hour to get all the switches into neon green O's. When she finally did she jumped in triumph and slammed her spear into the ground, just like she used to do back when she was Captain of the Royal Guard. She let out an ear-piercing victory cry.
Breathing heavily and grinning from ear to human ear, she turned her head to look towards the next area, ready to take on any more puzzles thrown at her.
But instead Sans was standing there, immobile. He was staring at her with a horrified look on his face, a hand clutched to his skull and his eye sockets scrunched in pain.
Chapter 3: Realizations and Surprises
Sans discovers that something has been missing from this time line, and Undyne doesn't keep her secrets secret for very long...
It's come to my attention that some people criticize stories and theories that have Undyne taking Determination injections, as if that wasn't enough to fight the human in the Genocide Route. (Nobody's flamed me or anything I just happened to stumble across it by coincidence).
And I agree, in canon I fully believe she didn't take anything from Alphys, that she was the True Heroine all on her own. The purpose of my story was that she had so much determination in her that she was able to kill the human, not just fight them and hold back death temporarily, making her the “Last” Hero as well as the True One. Undyne also took so much Determination in my story that she disintegrated even though there was no fatal blow, as well as merge with the human's soul and do whatever happened to cause this new storyline. But y'know...spoilers ;)
Actual A/N: This is the shortest chapter, I apologize but once you read this you'll understand why I stopped (you might not like it but you'll understand xD). All the chapters from now on will be longer.
Warnings for minor panic attacks and minor references to past soul torture. Well, not really torture, more like manhandling. Either way, stay safe!
Sans had been watching this new human closely for her entire run through Papyrus' puzzles; though she didn't know that since he was quite skilled the art of not wanting to be found. (Lots of practice, after all).
She didn't do too well with the puzzles but at least she kept her word and didn't lay a finger on Papyrus, nor anyone else for that matter.
She was nearing the end when it finally happened.
As Undyne had exclaimed in joy, Sans' eyes grew wide and everything suddenly clicked. He shouted in shock and gripped his throbbing skull as the memories returned to him like a bolt of lightning. For the first time in years Sans actually yelled.
“UNDYNE?!” Without giving the once-fish monster a chance to react he teleported to her side and grabbed her wrist, causing her to cry out in surprise and pain. “why did you lie to me, to us!?” Undyne squirmed, trying to remove her hand but the skeleton was much stronger than he looked. Were she still a monster she was sure she could have flung him all the way to New Home for daring to lay a finger on her, but like this she couldn't do anything but struggle in vain.
“You wouldn't have believed me!” She replied, her voice shrill with alarm. “No one would have! Everyone would have thought I was crazy and dangerous and I would have been carted off to Asgore's palace before I could blink! Or worse, killed on sight!”
“and pretending you weren't once our friend wouldn't make that process any slower?”
“Uhhh...” Sans' brow lowered dangerously. What kind of idiot was she? Oh right, Undyne.
“still not one for thinking, are ya fish sticks?” Sans' tone was more biting than joking. After all, he was majorly confused and his head still hurt like hell; he partially blamed her for it.
He felt like his world had been suddenly swept out from under his feet. One second he was fine, the next he realized a large portion of the Underground had been missing, that portion being the human, once-monster standing before him. Who was now starting to freak out.
“Don't call me that! Just help me!” Sans looked into the human's eyes and saw a genuine fear. He let go of her wrist suddenly and felt guilty at the red welts growing there on her now-pink skin. Her chest rose and fell quickly in panicked breaths.
“alright, alright.” He said, raising his skeletal hands. “just calm down and tell me what happened.” Undyne cradled her injured wrist and explained everything: how the human, Frisk was killing all her friends, Alphys' betrayal and the injection of Determination (that part making Sans wince) leading to her death, waking up in Toriel's guest bed and her trek to where she was standing now.
“oof.” Sans reacted, scratching the back of his skull. He'd calmed down a lot over the course of her story. A sly grin even grew across his face. “got yourself in a nasty pickle, ol' gill.” She growled lowly at the pun and Sans chuckled at how the sound hadn't changed since she was a monster. Even the sides of her face twitched in anger, like she still had fish gills.
Sans hummed in thought. “sounds like your borrowed Determination must have mixed with frisk's soul and you reset without knowing, causing a divergence in the time line. something seriously wrong must've happened and caused everything to malfunction.” He cocked his head to the side, concentrating on something Undyne couldn't tell. “hmm, even the void is unstable.”
“Speak in words normal monsters can understand, ya nerd.”
“i don't think i could even if i tried, chum.”
“Will you stop with the fish puns you-” She yelped as without warning as Sans pulled her soul out of her chest and into the open. The red heart beat faster in Sans' magical grip.
“hmm. this isn't right.” Sans waved a hand over her soul. Undyne gaped as the red faded away to reveal a yellow soul in its' place. He nodded as the yellow was consumed by red again. If Undyne looked closely she could see the vestiges of yellow underneath the red, swirling and fighting for dominance. Sans was now staring at it intently like it was an artifact to be scrutinized for blemishes.
Okay, that was enough. The ordeal of having her soul removed on top of everything else was more than she could handle right now.
“Put it back.” Undyne growled dangerously, her hands reaching out to grab her soul. When he stepped away from her with her soul still floating over his hands Undyne yelled in rage and desperation.
“PUT IT BACK!” Sans' eye lights snapped to her at that and he noticed the sweat beading down her forehead, the way her chest heaved in panic. She was seriously stressed out.
“woah sorry, i wasn't thinking.” He quickly placed the soul back in her chest and Undyne felt like she could breathe again. Anyone could easily see how terrified the ordeal had made her. “geez, did something happen to you, did someone manhandle your soul without permission?”
He was just kidding around but when he saw the widened eyes on her face he immediately felt guilty. And shocked. Touching a human's soul was one thing as humans saw souls as entirely different things, but another monster's soul...it was an...intimate thing and Sans hadn't thought twice just now, his curiosity about her now-human soul had overridden his sense of boundaries.
Granted, he hadn't actually touched her soul, using his magic instead but he was awfully close to touching it, plus the action of removing the soul from one's body was never a pleasant feeling. Particularly if they weren't expecting it.
“sorry,” he said lamely, knowing it wasn't enough. He never knew that about Undyne, stuff like that was pretty rare (although not nonexistent) in the Underground and the fish monster wasn't really one for share and tell, even in her best moments.
Undyne, trying to hide her discomfort and attempting not to dwell on painful memories, focused on his words instead.
“What's wrong with it?” Sans gladly grabbed onto the distraction.
“your soul of justice is being overcrowded with your stolen Determination. that's what the yellow was. that's the color it's supposed to be.”
“Soul of Justice? But, I'm not supposed to be human, how's that possible? My soul should be gray, like any other monster.” Sans shrugged.
“you're not a monster though, at least, not anymore. i'll have to run some tests. i've got a few theories but none of them will make sense until i have some real data.” Undyne looked away in thought. Another twinge of guilt. She'd once fought a human with a yellow soul...
Trying to forget yet another set of memories she shook her head, struggling to hold back a yawn but failed. Sans noticed. “welp, for now, let's get you back to our house, you look like you've had a rough day.” For once, she decided not to argue.
After sneaking out early, fighting Toriel, traversing these puzzle-filled woods, MERCYing nearly every last dog sentry, snowdrake and icecap she came across, and finally going through the whole mental and physical difficulty of her soul being removed, she felt like she could sleep for a week. Her legs were more tired than ever and her lungs still shook from the two panic attacks she'd experienced in less than ten minutes. It didn't help that it was getting late. Soon everyone would be turning in.
But still, she'd already slept so much since becoming human. Did humans sleep more than monsters did? She never contemplated that before, never having a reason to.
Sans lightly grasped her uninjured wrist and before Undyne could ask what he was doing they were suddenly standing on the outskirts of Snowdin Town.
“Wha? How-” She grabbed her stomach as it heaved with sudden dizziness.
“i can teleport. or shortcut, as i prefer to call it.” Sans replied as he walked forward, not having the energy to give her more than the short version. She took a deep breath to steady her equilibrium before running to catch up with him.
The two of them were silent as they passed the Inn, the intersection, Grillby's and The Librarby. The town was pretty quiet, a few locals glanced their way but no one approached the short skeleton walking next to the tall human. Monster Kid stared up at her in awe for a few seconds before running off at the look Sans gave him, only tripping and falling on his face twice.
The snow was falling a bit harder now, and the monsters around them were heading inside. Everyone recognized the signs that a storm was coming.
Finally Undyne got the nerve to speak up.
“You did that earlier today, didn't you? Teleported, I mean. And when did you learn how to do that anyway? And how do you know all that stuff, about time lines and souls?” She had more questions but held them at bay. Wait, was that another ocean pun? CRAP.
She did not just think the word carp. Sans was rubbing off on her too much and it made her want to get away from him immediately. But he was the only one who now knew what happened to her and it comforted her somehow.
“well, let's just say i used to work in the science field for a while after my college years.” He heard the human scoff behind him. “it's true, just ask paps. oh.” He stopped suddenly and Undyne nearly tripped over him. “speaking of paps, better not tell him who you really are until i figure out a way to get him to remember without overloading his brain like you did mine.”
“I thought you told me not to hide who I was.”
“yeah, that wasn't a smart thing to do in the first place, and you're not gonna keep it a secret for long. i'd just like to spare him the pain, not if i can do it a better way.” The two of them continued, coming up the short stairs to their house. Undyne gave him a sidelong glance.
“You really care about him, don't you?” It was more of a statement than a question. Of course he did. He was his brother after all.
“more than anything.” Sans went to grasp the door handle but his hand stilled inches from the knob when they heard shouting and crashing from inside. He slammed open the door and rushed in, gaping at what was before him.
“SANS!” His brother shouted from his position on the floor, relieved to see him, “I COULD USE A BIT OF HELP HERE!” Undyne came into the house behind him, her mouth dropping in shock.
Papyrus was buried in a sea of blue and red in the living room. At the sound of the door opening three familiar sets of eyes glanced over. Well, two and a half, as one of them was wearing an eye patch.
Three very fish monster-like Undynes were piled on top of Papyrus in the middle of the room.
Chapter 4: More Fish Girls Than the Skelebros Know What to Do With
Undyne meets the other versions of herself...
Undyne acts so OC because she isn't essentially Undyne anymore. It's still her mind but her emotions are amplified due to the human traits.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Welp, there went Sans' chance of trying to hide anything from Papyrus. The poor skeleton's eyes were bugging out of his head as he tried to keep from being crushed by the other Undynes.
Well, at least two of them. The third was kneeling next to them, trying and failing to get the other Undynes to let go of the Royal Guard-Hopeful. She appeared to be the least like the normal Undyne of this universe, clad in a white lab coat and pushing a pair of glasses up the bridge of her small nose ridge. Her muted red hair was in a messy bun and her long bangs completely covered one of her eyes.
The second Undyne was the loudest and largest one, trying to suplex Papyrus at the moment. She looked the most like their Undyne before she became human, except her shirt was ratty and torn; her muscular skin covered in vicious scars and scratches that one couldn't even begin to wonder how she had gotten them.
The third one was the most unnerving to look at. This Undyne was also clad in a different sort of lab coat, but it was covered in too much blood for anyone's liking. There was a crazed look in her eyes that couldn't be hidden behind her square spectacles. She looked mentally insane, trying to pull Papyrus off his feet by pulling roughly on his humerus.
Sans didn't waste any time.
"let's pause a minute, ladies," He raised a hand lazily and all three Undynes' souls turned blue.
"HEY!" The loud one shouted, struggling against the grip. The calm one merely looked at her soul in curiosity while the crazy one simply grinned at him menacingly.
"THANKS BROTHER." Papyrus said as he stood back up, dusting off his femurs. "I THOUGHT THE MANY VERSIONS OF MY FRIEND UNDYNE WERE GOING TO OVERPOWER ME FOR A MINUTE BACK THERE."
"overpower you bro? never. if they did there'd be hell to pay." He glared at two of the Undynes in warning. A growl and a laugh came from them. "what happened, paps? you were only gone half an hour."
"WELL, I HAD FORGOTTEN THE SWITCH FOR THE LAST BRIDGE TRAP SO I CAME BACK HOME TO GRAB IT. SUDDENLY ALL THESE UNDYNES APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE. I HAD A REALLY BAD HEADACHE THEN THE BIG ONE TACKLED ME. THAT'S WHEN YOU CAME IN SANS."
"so you know who undyne is then?"
"OF COURSE I DO. HOW COULD I FORGET MY BEST FRIEND?" The tall skeleton stopped, his bony brow furrowing. "UHM EXCEPT FOR THIS MORNING WHEN I DID. HOW DID I FORGET? I DON'T UNDERSTAND SANS."
"i'll explain everything later, paps." At this Papyrus suddenly noticed the human standing in his doorway.
"OH HELLO AGAIN HUMAN. SORRY FOR THE RUDE WELCOME, I WAS KIND OF BUSY AT THE..." He paused as he looked at her closely. Slowly his eye sockets widened, taking in her height, yellow eyes and red hair in a tight ponytail, as well as the wooden spear she was still holding. He hadn't noticed it earlier but now she was easily recognizable. "WAIT...ARE YOU ANOTHER UNDYNE? A HUMAN ONE?" But Undyne didn't answer; she was too occupied staring at the other hellish, twisted versions of herself.
"she's not just another undyne bro," Sans answered for her. "she's our undyne. turned into a human."
"THAT'S...THAT'S WONDERFUL." He came up and wrapped his Undyne up in a bear hug, finally snapping her out of her trance. She hugged her best friend gratefully and buried her face in his bony shoulder, glad to have someone who knew who she was and didn't want to kill her.
While they were embracing Sans turned to the other Undynes levitating off the floor.
"why did you three...well, two i guess, attack my brother?" the quiet one answered, speaking for the first time.
"W-we thought he was the one who d-dragged us here since we appeared right in front of him. We were just trying to get him to let us back ho-home. I wanted to try talking to this world's Papyrus but th-they had other plans." She glanced at the other two, wincing as if they would attack her next.
"so you came here unwillingly?" They all nodded.
"There was this flash of light," The scary one replied rather reluctantly, arms crossed over her chest. "It kinda pulled me in, next thing I knew I was standing here with these-" She called them a word that made Papyrus blush, still hugging Undyne. Sans' grip on her soul tightened and she winced.
"watch your language," was his only warning. "same thing happened with you two?" He asked the others. They nodded. "hmm...our undyne's Determination and our collapsing time line must have pulled you all here from your universes." He looked at them all thoughtfully. "the closest alternate universes to this one, apparently." he recognized each of their universes during his studies about the Void and other dimensions. He'd even visited a few, back before the resets took a toll on him both physically and mentally.
"What the hell are you blathering on about?" The crazy one snapped, the yellow in her eyes flashing dangerously.
"AGAIN, LANGUAGE!" Papyrus exclaimed as he released the human Undyne. Undyne took this chance to come up to the three mirror images of herself.
"They're...they're all me?" She spoke to Sans without looking at him.
"yup. though how they got here, and more importantly, how to get them back, is beyond me. ordinarily i'd take 'em back myself but the void is too unstable at the moment. one wrong move could wipe out one, or all of our universes."
"Can you just let us go?" The tall one scowled, kicking her feet in the air uselessly.
"can you promise not to attack any of us?"
"Yes," two of them replied.
"No," the other muttered, giggling darkly. Sans narrowed his eyes at the one on the end. He released them anyway. They landed on the floor none too gently, but only the soft-spoken one stumbled. Papyrus was quick to be by her side to catch her. He liked this one. As much unlike his Undyne she was, she was the only one of the three who hadn't attacked him or unnerve him with just a stare.
Well, the best way Papyrus coped with stressful situations was to deal with the domestic side of things.
"SANS, ARE THEY ALL GOING TO STAY HERE? THERE HONESTLY ISN'T ENOUGH ROOM ON THE COUCH BUT WE COULD PULL UP SOME EXTRA BLANKETS FROM THE LINEN CLOSET. THE FLOOR IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AFTER ALL."
"We are NOT staying here and sleeping on the damn floor!" The tall one growled.
"where do you want to stay the night then, out in the woods? i doubt you'd last an hour in this storm." Every eye looked towards the window. Indeed, that nasty storm Undyne had sensed earlier had rolled in while they were talking. Undyne shivered, glad she hadn't been out in that. The nasty version of herself looked like she wanted to argue further but knew it was a waste of time.
"SPEAKING OF WHICH," Papyrus continued, bless him. "WHAT ARE WE GOING TO CALL EACH ONE OF YOU? YOU CAN'T ALL BE UNDYNE."
"I call Undyne!" The tallest spoke first, towering over them all menacingly.
"No way!" The crazy one retorted, her nose twitching involuntarily.
"sorry, the human's got undyne, she's the original after all." the others grumbled but didn't argue further.
"H-hey, why don't we call each other the names of our professions, it'd be easy to tell us apart. I-I can be "Doctor", and you can be "Captain" and-"
"Uhh..." the ragged one muttered, interrupting. "I'm not really..." She glanced away, biting her lip.
"you're not captain of the royal guard in your universe?" Sans' revelation surprised everyone in the room.
"How are you not Captain?" The human Undyne replied, honestly shocked. If she was Captain, how could this hardened version of her not be? The Not-Captain's face flushed in embarrassment.
"Uhm...I was a bit of a rebel. I didn't obey the king's orders, so he gave the position to the Papyrus in my world."
"WOWIE!" This pleased the taller skeleton to no end. "REALLY?"
"Yeah, he's ruthless. No one wants to mess with him. He's dusted more monsters than you know." That made his grin slip a bit.
"H-hey, "Rebel"! That's what we can call you then!" The Undyne now dubbed Rebel looked away in thought before grinning.
"Yeah, I like it! Thanks darlin'." Rebel winked at the Doctor version. She giggled softly and turned away. Was she really flirting with herself? Undyne wanted to gag.
"What about me?" The last Undyne spoke up. Rebel placed a hand over her mouth, muttering under her breath.
"How about batshit crazy? Hot off your rocker?" She snorted. The other Undyne, having heard what she said, growled and approached her, attempting to reach into her inventory.
"I have a chainsaw, you know, if you want to do this!"
"nope," Sans spoke immediately, using blue magic to separate them. "no fighting in the house. got any better ideas, shorty?" He was smart to keep the last one's soul blue after insulting her like that. She kicked and screamed in the air, trying to get free but to no avail. Doctor stood between them, holding her hands out in a sign of peace. This only made the trapped one angrier, noticing she really was the shortest out of all four Undynes. Not by much, but enough to be ego-damaging.
"doc, rebel, undyne, if you would help papyrus get the extra blankets, i'll see if i can calm this one down a bit." Knowing all three of them weren't needed to help the skeleton but aware enough to realize they should go, they followed Papyrus upstairs. The tall skeleton talked to them for a bit, keeping them up in his room for longer than it was necessary just to grab some blankets.
Ten minutes later they returned and it appeared Sans actually had managed to cool off the last Undyne. She stood there, her soul no longer blue, glaring at them all with her arms crossed over her chest.
"her name is dinah." Sans said as they all returned. "her father used to call her that when she was just a shrimp." Doctor smiled and clapped her hands.
"That's such a lovely name! It's nice to meet you Dinah!" She went to shake her hand but at a low growl from the other she quickly removed her hand. It was awkwardly quiet for a few seconds.
"WELL," Papyrus popped up, breaking the silence. "IT APPEARS THAT WE NEED...UHHH FOUR TIMES AS MUCH SPAGHETTI AS WE NORMALLY NEED. I BETTER GET STARTED."
"Ooh, let me help!" Rebel replied, following Papyrus into the kitchen. He looked a bit nervous at the suggestion but didn't object. "I prefer making lasagna but..."
"I'll umm...go too. M-make sure they don't burn the pl-place down." Doc went after the pair.
As soon as they left, Dinah snatched a blanket out of Undyne's hands, not saying a word, instead going to a corner of the living room and laying down on the floor, promptly appearing to fall asleep. This caused a sigh of relief to escape from Sans' mouth. This 'Dinah' made him more nervous than Papyrus exclaiming he found a new way to make pasta sauce.
"heh heh," sans muttered, looking at Undyne, who was still standing in the middle of the room. She plopped the blankets she was holding into a bundle on the floor in front of her. "guess we're kinda pasta point of no return huh?" that got another growl from the blanketed bundle in the corner of the room. Undyne didn't even smile.
"What do I do?" She asked quietly, shakily. The other Undynes had only managed to distract her from the matter at hand for a short while. But everything she had to face still came crashing back down all at once. Even if she was with friends in her home universe it certainly didn't feel like it. The short skeleton shrugged.
"honestly i don't know. i could run some tests, work out some theories but i honestly don't see anything getting you out of this, even if we get your lookalikes back to where they belong." Undyne let out a sigh of despair, ashamed to feel tears welling up in her eyes. It was too much for one day. Everything she had gone through only to be told she might be stuck like this forever? She felt so damn weak and pathetic and couldn't do anything about it. Undyne felt human now more than ever before and she hated it.
"hey, hey," sans said, coming up to her side. Because of his short stature he only came up to about her waist. "don't be like that. we'll figure out something, okay?" He gave her an awkward side-hug; the two of them were never really very close, even before the last RESET. She wanted to pull away from him but a voice inside told her to stay. She even saw a flash of him placing hot dogs on her head. Except it wasn't her...
"Okay," she nodded, wiping the tears off her face and shaking off the strange memory. She thought of something and let out a quiet chuckle. "Tell anyone I cried and you'll be eating your own feet." that made Sans laugh too.
"glad to see you still haven't lost your spark. keep it up." The two of them were silent for another minute until Undyne spoke up again.
"I'd never hurt him, y'know."
"Yeah. When we first met, you asked me not to murder him."
"oh yeah, that. no, i know that now, of course. no worries, alright?"
"Alright." Sans reached up and oddly patted her shoulder before moving to the couch, plopping down on it and promptly falling asleep, curled up against the arm.
Since dinner wouldn't ready yet for little while, Undyne decided to do the same. The exhaustion she'd been trying to hold back for hours hit her full force the moment her body hit the other side of the couch, and she was asleep in nearly seconds.
"Wow umm...wow. That's a lot of spaghetti." The entire kitchen was full of it. Pasta and red sauce sat in bowls and pans in every available counter space in the room; some even on the floor.
"YES, HUMAN UNDYNE. WE SEEM TO HAVE GONE A BIT... OVERBOARD."
"a bit?" Sans muttered, glancing around.
"BUT THAT IS OKAY." Papyrus continued, either not hearing his brother or just ignoring him. "I'M SURE THE SIX OF US CAN CONQUER ALL THIS FOOD IN NO TIME AT ALL."
"HELL yeah we can!" Rebel shouted, high-fiving Papyrus. The two were getting along better now that the frightening, colossal fish monster wasn't trying to strangle the skeleton. Not that he could be strangled per se, but still, it was off-putting.
Undyne was a bit jealous. Papyrus wasn't ignoring her exactly, but he also wasn't completely friendly, at least like he used to be. It was like he didn't know what to think of her, maybe even to the point of doubting who she really was. He did keep referring to her as 'HUMAN UNDYNE', which didn't improve her mood.
It didn't help that she jumped at every little noise like a newly-hatched guppy. What was even with her? What had becoming human done to her?
Sans (as always now) seemed to notice and reached over, handing her a bowl of spaghetti. The food always used to make her feel better back when she had fins. She smiled at him appreciatively, before stabbing the pasta with a fork and shoving it in her mouth. She let out a hum of appreciation as red sauce dribbled down her chin. It tasted so good, so familiar.
All she'd had to eat today was another slice of butterscotch pie she had nabbed before leaving Toriel's and a few nice creams she'd bought this afternoon. All the sweetness from the past two days had upset her stomach so the pungent flavors of tomato and garlic sent a shiver through her taste buds and down her spine.
Rebel and Papyrus also seemed to be enjoying the food while the others were less than excited. Oh well, picky eaters weren't exactly her problem, were they?
"Give me a bowl of ramen any day," Dinah muttered. Undyne heard Sans mutter 'rude' under his breath.
"M-me too! Or Alphys' tacos." Doctor replied, giving her hardened twin a shaky smile. It wasn't returned. Undyne felt a bit sorry for her; obviously Doctor was trying a little too hard to bond with Dinah, seeing how similar they appeared. But obviously their similarities were only mostly shared on the outside, Undyne had never met anyone like Dinah before. That threat about the chainsaw in her inventory wouldn't leave her thoughts every time they locked eyes. She looked like the monster that would shiv you in your sleep and giggle the whole while.
Doctor however was nearly the splitting image personality-wise of Alphys, her Alphys. The correlations between the two both eased her and put her on edge, remembering the last time Undyne had seen Alphys.
"Where I failed as a scientist, I can succeed in this!"
Undyne ignored the clenching in her soul by shoving more food in her mouth.
Papyrus wasn't wrong. Between the three of them (Sans, Doctor and Dinah had opted out after only one bowl), they quickly demolished all the pasta in the room. Undyne felt well enough to try out her old voice and mannerisms again.
"Yeahh punks! Good job!" She playfully punched Papyrus in the arm and he looked at her with wary eyes, before his face broke into a smile at the familiarity.
"THE GREAT PAPYRUS NEVER DOES ANYTHING LESS THAN...GREAT!"
"Hah! Yeah, you got that right, nerd!" She dared to wrestle the tall skeleton into a headlock and surprisingly, he let her, only letting out one note of disapproval.
"NYEH, NO UNDYNE, PLEASE DO NOT NOOGIE THE SKELETON." For the first time, he had only referred to her as Undyne, not Human Undyne.
She counted that as a win.
I love the headcanon of Underfell Undyne actually being good and not wanting to kill anybody, but instead being pressured by Asgore to kill humans (and Mettaton is the same by being forced by Alphys) but that version didn't really work for this story, so I went for the more popular version, i.e. just a nastier and more violent Undyne. Except I added the rebel theory that allowed Papyrus to become Captain of the Guard.
Chapter 5: Trash Talk
Feelings and stress run a little high in the tiny skelebros' home...
I'm really NOT trying to do so much Undyne/Sans but it just kinda keeps happening, Sans is really the only one who knows how to help her at the moment, so just bear with it, it's not gonna turn into anything romantic, I promise!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next morning Undyne was the first to wake up in a mess of limbs and fins. While all of them had pretty much slept apart at the start of the night, somehow all four of them had managed to group together in the middle. It was probably because of the fact that fish monsters liked to sleep in a group, making them feel safer. Undyne hadn't slept like this since before she left home. As a guppy, her brothers and sisters used to all share one bed like a school of real fish. Back before...
All vestiges of sleep were quickly wiped away when a bright flash went off. Rolling over she spotted Sans with an ancient camera pointed at them. She growled, not having energy for words yet. He merely laughed and pocketed the camera as Undyne stood up.
“You're lucky you didn't wake up Rebel.” She croaked. She could only imagine the towering monster's reaction. Possibly swearing and destroying things. Like certain skeleton monsters.
“just preserving this moment. you guys are adorable.” Sans replied, earning another growl from the human.
Undyne tiptoed over the others, wincing as Dinah shifted, her arm moving slightly and nose ridge twitching quickly as she dreamed. About what, Undyne didn't really want to know.
“So what's the plan for today?” She asked, once she'd escaped the pile of blue and red. The two of them moved into the kitchen so they could speak a little louder. From the clock Undyne could see it was still early morning. What the hell was Sans doing up this early? Papyrus used to complain constantly how his lazybones brother wouldn't even rise 'til at least noon.
“well, i figured the first step would be to see alphys, see if she has any better ideas to fix this mess.”
“A-alphys?” Sans glanced at her curiously, hearing her stutter.
“still nursing that crush?”
“No! I-I mean yes I...” She halted, debating what to tell him. He already believed everything else she'd confessed, but this felt oddly personal.
The lizard doctor had used Mettaton to knock her out and tie her up downstairs to make her watch Alphys basically kill herself with Determination, before Undyne took that chance away. But it was essentially the reason why all this was happening in the first place.
However, she didn't feel like dragging it all up again, especially with all her mirror images sleeping right in the next room.
“Let's just say it's complicated.” Again, Sans could tell there was more she wasn't saying, but instead of letting it go, this time he reacted differently.
“y'know undyne, if i'm going to be able to fix this problem of yours, i'm going to need to know everything. alphys might have to as well, including anyone else who wants to help.” Undyne turned her head away in shame. A full minute passed before she spoke again.
“I-it was back before the reset. Y...you and P-Paps were... were... already...” The unspoken word hung between them uncomfortably.
“Uhm, yeah, that . Well, before I left to battle the human I took a detour to Hotland to make sure the evacs were under way. And Alphys, she...she...
“Alphys, this isn't just about the human, but about me. What kind of Captain...what kind of monster would I be without at least trying to save everybody? It's more than just what others think of me, or what I think of myself even, it's about making a stand for good against evil.” Undyne looked down towards the floor, the severity of everything constricting her chest so tightly it was hard to breathe. “I have to choose to make the toughest choice and make a stand...even if it costs me my life. This is something I gotta do, Alphys.”
She looked up into her friend's eyes and was surprised to see a hard gaze reflected back at her. She had never seen that look on her face before, and, if she would've had any, it would've raised the hackles on the back of her neck.
“That's what I thought.” Alphys muttered, looking behind Undyne. Only too late did she realize Mettaton had moved out of her field of vision. Alphys nodded and it felt like an explosion went off inside Undyne's head, and the world went black.
Tied up arms and legs.
Alphys holding a syringe filled with bubbling red liquid.
“You're too important to everyone, Undyne. You're a natural-born leader. I-if anything were to happen to King A-Asgore, then you need to lead them. Me, however, all I've ever done is lie and make mistakes. I've failed as a scientist, and as a friend. However, once I take this...” she held up the vial. “this Determination, I'll be strong enough to hold back the human, at least until everyone is safe.”
“Alphy, please. I can't lose you too. People will miss you, me most of all.”
“The opinion of one friend isn't enough.” She replied bitterly.
“Is that all I am to you? Just a friend? I thought I was more than that. You certainly are to me.” By the pained look on the doctor's face Undyne could tell she meant more to her too.
“W-whatever could have been bet-between us...no. I'm sorry. You'll be safe down here. The human won't venture down this far. Mettaton will lead the evacuations and get you when this is all over. U-Undyne...goodbye.”
Rage, nothing but rage.
A busted chair. A stolen vial.
The needle jammed into her thigh.
She felt powerful.
Sans' eye sockets had gone out somewhere in the middle of her story. He shook his head.
“i...i can't believe alphys would do something like that. never in a time line has she...” he stopped. He didn't even want to repeat it out loud, even after Undyne just had. How could someone just betray a friend like that and then try to kill themselves with Determination with them watching? Sans would never put Papyrus or Grillby or even the door lady through something like that.
“I still can't wrap my head around it, and I'm the one it happened to! I'm not lying about this.”
“i...i know you're not. it's just...a little hard to believe, that's all. but i do believe you.” He shifted, running a pink slipper over the linoleum. “we still need to see her. She's the only other monster i'd trust to share this kinda knowledge with.”
“Just don't turn your back on her.” Undyne spat, not bothering to hide the bitterness laced in her voice. Sans looked at her disapprovingly but didn't reply.
A noise came from the doorway and the two spun to see Doctor there staring at them with wide eyes. The sound had been her accidentally dropping her glasses and gasping at Undyne's last remark.
“oh, oh shoot. doc, we know you wouldn't...” how much had she heard? The look on her face told them it was too much.
“Y-you shouldn't trust me either,” Doctor replied, her face reddening in shame. “I could t-totally see myself in that situation, if it was my Alphys heading off to d-die like that.” She tried to distract herself by retrieving her glasses from the floor and wiping the fingerprints off using her pajama shirt that Papyrus had graciously let her borrow.
“just because you'd think you'd do the same thing doesn't mean you have.” Sans' fixed smile turned cold. “but if you do try something like that to any of us that endangers what we're doing, well, you might just regret it.” Doctor visibly paled, losing the courage to reply. Her mouth gaped open in fear like a...well, like a fish. Sans laughed, immediately trying to lighten the situation.
“don't worry about it kid, i'm just joshin' ya. i'm gonna go get papyrus, i made him stay up cooped up in his room so you guys could get some more sleep.” As if on cue there was a loud 'thump' from upstairs, along with some muffled shouting. Poor guy. Undyne knew how much the skeleton hated to be inside in one room for long. Undyne immediately followed Sans right out of the room.
“Well, better go wake up Rebel and Dinah before Papyrus gives them a rude awakening.” That and Undyne didn't want to be with Doctor in the same room for long after that too-truthful confession. Not that she was afraid to be around her, just that it was too awkward, at least at this moment. And the reminder of Alphys' deception and disloyalty still stung. Undyne wasn't sure if that feeling would ever go away, really.
Thankfully Rebel and Dinah didn't seem to notice anything different and Papyrus bounding down the stairs distracted everybody.
The morning flew by in a bit of a rush. Breakfast spaghetti was followed by the nightmare of five monsters wanting the shower (Sans never wanted the shower so that wasn't a problem). Rebel and Dinah had started a fight that Undyne had tried to break up but had gotten shoved away by the bigger one.
“Stay outta this, inferior human!” Rebel snapped. Papyrus gasped, coming out of the bathroom with red towels wrapped around his body and head (why did he even need one for his head? He didn't have hair).
“REBEL!” He reprimanded. “UNDYNE IS NOT 'INFERIOR'! SHE'S JUST AS IMPORTANT AS YOU ARE.” Rebel didn't reply, only threw a sneer towards them all as she headed into the bathroom. Dinah growled from where she had fallen on the floor but didn't protest further, knowing that Rebel could dust her so hard her ashes would be scattered from here to New Home.
Undyne honestly felt hurt. She had thought that she and the larger Undyne were getting along just fine. She didn't know that Rebel didn't respect her just because she wasn't like them.
“I'M SURE SHE DIDN'T MEAN THAT.” Papyrus tried to comfort her, seeing the crushed look on her face. “SHE WAS JUST UPSET BECAUSE SHE WAS FIGHTING WITH DINAH.”
“Well, she's right isn't she?!” Undyne snapped back. “I AM inferior! I'm not like you guys anymore. Hell, I don't even like who I am! Everyone around me is me EXCEPT ME! I just want everything to be like it was!” Feeling tears well up in her eyes again, she tried to hide them by rushing down the stairs and out the front door, needing fresh air and space. Papyrus tried to stop her but she wouldn't listen.
Since her spoken revelation Undyne could now say it aloud.
She HATED being human.
She hated being so emotional, so weak and magic-less. She hated the gnawing hunger inside her that monster food could never fill, and the weird sensations inside her body that her monster one never felt before. She hated the way that every other monster's (including Sans and Papyrus) eyes would linger on her pale skin and other human qualities for a few seconds longer than comfortable. She hated having to face her problems other than being able to blast through them with her magic spears like every other time. She hated the patronizing speeches and gentle touches, like she would break if someone even spoke too loudly.
She hated, no, despised that other human she had killed to save her friends, because she knew somehow it was their fault that things had gone this way, that she was now just like them.
That brought another thought to her head.
Could she have the capacity to murder everyone, just like they did?
She hated stuck being this way.
Undyne kept walking until she was out of town and on her way to Waterfall. She didn't stop until she reached the dump, one of her favorite places to go with Alphys. She crawled up onto one of the trash piles and found an empty steel drum to sit on. The unshed tears still burned in her eyes and she steadfastly refused to let them fall, even if she was alone now. She wouldn't let her human side win. It was bad enough she'd stomped off out of the house like a child.
She'd go back in a little bit, but for now she just wanted some time alone to process everything that was happening.
The next step was to go see Alphys, and that thought terrified her. Alphys wouldn't remember what had happened in the past time line and Undyne didn't want to tell her. She was both afraid to keep and tell the truth. If she had to lie, it would just be obvious her distrust and disapproval of the lizard monster, knowing that things could never be the same between them. And to tell the truth would be worse, much worse.
The memories of the two of them coming here together and gushing over anime and other fun things they would find didn't help her rotten feelings.
The female human kicked a metal can and watched as it clattered down the pile and sailed down the river and into the abyss on the other side of the cave. That had been her favorite thing to do as a kid; send random trash over the side of the falls and wait to hear the splash at the bottom that would never come.
The motion helped her little, now. Instead of trying again, she leaned back against an old couch with no cushions and sighed deeply.
Undyne shouted in surprise as the air displaced around her and suddenly Sans appeared next to her. “Dammit Sans! Don't do that!” He only laughed at her reaction.
“oh come on, how could i refuse?” Silence. “get it, refuse, like garbage?”
“Yeah, I get it.” Undyne replied softly, turning away from him. “Can we not do this now? I'd like to be left alone.” She really wasn't in the mood for any of his jokes. Or talking to anyone for that matter.
“paps told me what happened.” He said instead, ignoring her. “though, he didn't have to, i heard you guys shouting all the way in the basement.” Basement? Undyne didn't know they had one, but was in too low of a mood to inquire at the moment. “figured you could just use some company.”
“Well, I don't. Now go away.”
“trying to act like your old self isn't going to help you.” That got her to look at him again. The same smile that was fixed on his face was genuine. “you gotta embrace who you are now, instead of trying to be who you were. it'll save you a lot of soulache down the road.”
“I don't know how to act like anyone else.” She replied truthfully. He shrugged.
“just do what feels natural. rebel and the others can just screw off.” Except he didn't say 'screw'. Undyne chuckled softly.
“You use that mouth around Papyrus?”
“hell no, i value my current existence.” He replied, laughing. That got a smile from her, before it fell again, remembering what they had to do today.
“I don't wanna see Alphys,” She confessed honestly. Sans turned away, tossing an old shoe into the abyss. Apparently he also found comfort in the same action.
“stars, i wouldn't want to either, after hearing what she did to you, but there's no way around it, fishsticks. i need her help if we want to get you back to normal and the others home.”
“But Doctor and Dinah can help you, can't they?” She'd ignore the rude nickname, for now. Seems like it was his favorite thing to call her.
“yeah, they can. well, doctor can, i'm more afraid of dinah trying to slit our throats but i'd prefer it if alph was there too. new perspectives and all that crap.” Undyne didn't reply, just sighed.
“Do I have to tell her?”
“only if the need arises.”
“I don't know if I can keep it from her though. How can I act normal around her, after what happened?”
“well, she was only doing what she thought was right to protect you. sure, she went about it the entirely wrong way but she had the right intentions.”
“She had me knocked out, tied up in her basement where she tried to take my duty away from me! She nearly killed herself to save...me.” She lowered her voice. Sans continued, seeming to know where her train of thought was going.
“she would have taken that Determination and gone off to fight the human herself. a shy girl who had never lifted a single weapon would have died trying to destroy the evil plaguing the entire Underground. just like you were doing.” He stood up, being careful not to slip on any garbage. “don't be too hard on her. sure, she betrayed you and you should be careful around her from now on, but don't be too quick to write her off as a friend...or something more.” Undyne immediately blushed and Sans laughed once again.
“How did you find me anyway?” Undyne asked, quickly changing the subject. Thankfully, Sans didn't mention it.
“i stopped at alphys' lab before i came here. she told me you always liked to hang out here when you were upset.”
“hey now, don't worry,” He raised his skeletal hands in mock surrender. “i made sure to use magic to help her remember you. it didn't hurt a bit.”
“And she doesn't...?”
“she doesn't remember the last time line, no. none of us do in fact, except me.”
“Really, you?” She wouldn't have guessed it from the fat, lazy skeleton.
“Don't judge a book by its' cover.” Undyne sensed a pun in there but didn't seem to get it straight off, until she remembered his third (fifth? How many jobs did he have?) job as Judge, appointed directly by King Asgore. She had no idea what being the King's Judge even entailed, but she never thought to ask before. He didn't seem to eager to share anything at the moment, however.
“now come on,” He said, offering a bony hand out to her. “the others have already left for the lab. it's a bit of a trek from here, want another lift?” Undyne hesitated, before she nodded, reaching out to grab his hand.
He spun around and the two of them shifted through space, appearing in Hotland. Undyne turned to Sans, grinning at him.
“Thanks, short stuff.” He huffed at the term, but merely smiled back in reply as the two of them stepped into the large building consisting of Alphys' lab.
Stuff happens next chapter, I promise! These last two were just too big to put together.
Chapter 6: I Don't Speak "Science"
Sans and Alphys experiment on Undyne's soul causing adverse side effects. Also, Undyne and Alphys talk about what's different in the universe now before things come to a head between the human and Dinah...
I don't speak science either! Seriously though, I can't write science-y stuff for anything. So I'm gonna muddle through what I can and keep it Undyne's viewpoint most of the time, because she strikes me as the type of person (monster) who also doesn't really process Science.
Reminder: Undyne hasn't yet died and had to RESET. She made it all the way through Toriel's battle and Snowdin without having to go back. So she doesn't know what will happen when she dies yet.
"now come on,” Sans said, offering a bony hand out to her. “the others have already left for the lab. it's a bit of a trek from here, want another lift?” Undyne hesitated, before she nodded, reaching out to grab his hand.
He spun around and the two of them shifted through space, appearing in Hotland. Undyne turned to Sans, grinning at him.
“Thanks, short stuff.” He huffed at the term, but merely smiled back in reply as the two of them stepped into the large building consisting of Alphys' lab.
Undyne immediately dropped Sans' hand as soon as they stepped inside the lab. That made the short skeleton chuckle, muttering something about her secret crush. Undyne ignored him so she wouldn't blush again.
There were four figures waiting for them near Alphys' main computer screen. It was Papyrus and the three Alternate Undynes. Alphys was nowhere to be seen. As soon as they walked up Rebel stepped forward. She had a sheepish look plastered on her face.
“Hey uh, I uh, didn't really mean what I said earlier. You're not inferior, in fact, you're the most important one here.” She looked away from her and towards the ceiling as she continued to ramble. “I mean, I assume you're the one who got us all into this mess–” A sharp jab to her side from Papyrus made her 'oof' in discomfort, but she quickly recovered. “I mean, you're probably the key to getting us all back so, I shouldn't have been so mean to you. I'm sorry.” She peered at the lanky skeleton next to her, as if for approval and he nodded, looking proud.
“That's alright.” Undyne replied, too surprised to say anything else. She hadn't expected to be looked at twice by the bigger monster, much less get an apology. Rebel continued, even more to Undyne's amazement.
“Me and Paps are gonna take a run through Waterfall, and we–” Another jab. “ I WAS WONDERING...if you would like to join us.” Undyne didn't have to contemplate the offer. Getting out of this stuffy lab and doing one of her favorite things in her nice, cool homeland? Hell yeah!
“Sure, that'd be gre-”
“no, we need you here,” Sans interrupted as he grabbed a lab coat sitting on the office desk and threw it on. Wow, it fit him perfectly. Why did he look like he was meant to wear a lab coat, not a stained old jacket and t-shirt? Hadn't he mentioned something about working in the Core after graduating from college?
“Oh, right. Okay. You guys go have fun.”
“YOU SURE?” Papyrus asked, looking to his brother, mentally asking if his friend really had to stay. Sans nodded, an apology in his eyes. Papyrus knew how much Undyne loved to exercise and wanted to help out the lost human. “WELL, ALRIGHT. CALL US WHEN YOU'RE DONE AND WE'LL COME BACK TO JOIN YOU.”
“okay, bro.” Undyne waved as Rebel and Papyrus jogged out the front doors. She was seriously jealous. Already the heat in here was starting to bother her, even if she no longer had gills that longed for water.
“dinah, doc, wanna go find alphys? I think she might be upstairs, try the room on the left.” the two nodded and took off. Sans came up to Undyne as soon as they were gone.
“hey uh, i really hate to ask this but we need to examine your soul to find out what happened after that last RESET.”
“undyne, listen, it'll be much harder if–”
“NO.” Sans sighed, running a hand over his skull like he had hair.
“alright, no one's pushing you into anything but we really won't be able to know anything about what happened unless we examine it.” Undyne groaned, turning her gaze to the floor. She had sworn after the last time to never again let another monster see her soul, much less touch it. She shivered as unwanted sensations filled her, clenching her soul.
But it was being horribly uncomfortable for a little while or being stuck as a human for quite possibly forever. Sighing deeply and knowing she'd regret it, she gave in. “Only if you and Alphys are there though. No one else.” Sans looked relieved.
“look, i know i didn't mention anything before, but if something happened to you to make you this guarded then you should really-”
“I'm not talking about it.” She replied sternly. The skeleton raised his hands in defense. Thankfully any further conversation was interrupted by Dinah and Doctor coming down with Alphys trailing behind, dragging a blackboard on wheels down the escalator. Some notes were already scrawled in the lizard's familiar tiny scratches.
“H-hi Undyne.” Her friend gave a little wave once she had arrived downstairs.
“Hi Alphys,” She replied, not being able to meet her gaze. If the smaller monster was hurt by it, she didn't let on.
“L-let's get started on this, shall we? The soon-sooner we can get you back to normal, the better, r-right?”
“Yeah,” Dinah and Doctor went over to the desk where Sans had placed numerous textbooks for them to study over. Meanwhile the other three moved to a room nearby for privacy while Alphys and Sans studied her soul. Undyne was nervous about the entire thing but tried not to let on. Alphys attempted talking to her to make her feel better but Undyne didn't feel like it, not yet. Not since the last time she'd seen her face was when Alphys was huddled on the floor, watching her friend ride the elevator up to her death.
“U-up on the table please,” She guided Undyne over to an examining table laid out flat. The human climbed up and waited, resolving not to tremble as the two prepared the machinery nearby. She was only mostly successful.
All too soon, everything was ready. Sans' chin barely came up to her but he stood by her side anyway.
“alright, let's see it. anytime you want us to stop, just say so,” Alphys had already been informed about Undyne's discomfort about doing this.
Not able to watch, she turned her head away as Sans drew out her soul. The mostly red heart with slightly yellow qualities rose slowly out of her chest and into the air above her. Sans used his magic to bring it down to his level and held it in the space above his hands, being careful not to touch it.
“okay undyne,” he guided her through the process. “i'm going to hold it now so alphys can get the needle in to get a proper reading.” Undyne nodded, too choked up to speak. She jerked violently as Sans' cold skeletal hands were felt around her soul, the very culmination of her being.
Immediately she was thrown back to her teen years, back when she had been too innocent, too pure, back before it had all been destroyed.
Undyne jumped in surprise as a large shark monster stepped out in front of her. Before she could react he shoved her harshly and she hit the brick wall behind her.
Undyne gasped as the shark monster pulled her soul out and into his gross hands. “No, no please no!” She was too young to know how to prevent her soul from being removed by another monster and no one had bothered to show her yet. Why, when her parents were dead and every other adult didn't care anyway?
Undyne's eyes rolled into the back of her head as the needle was jammed into her soul. The intrusive object did nothing to stop her flashback.
“Sans, put it back, something's wrong!”
“just one more minute alphys, we're almost there! if we put it back now before it's done it could cause serious damage!” Undyne didn't hear any of this, her head snapping left and right, her words garbled and unintelligible.
“Someone should teach you how the real world works!”
“There, it's done! Put it back!” Sans didn't want a second longer, the soul flying so fast into Undyne's chest that it would've hurt had Undyne been aware. She immediately lost consciousness.
Suddenly magic bullets appeared out of nowhere, knocking the shark monster back. She watched in surprise as the sound of his soul breaking and his dust hitting the ground seemed to reverberate around the street.
Undyne whimpered as her soul was placed back where it was. The young teen immediately felt dizzy and fell to her knees. As her vision cleared she saw a pair of friendly eyes staring at her in compassion and pity. As soon as she could breathe normally a reptilian hand was held out to her.
“Come on girl, let's get you home, alright?” He helped her up and she immediately stumbled, her legs giving out again. The turtle monster held her upright until she could move again.
“Thanks, my name is Undyne,” She muttered, only now remembering her manners relentlessly drilled into her by the orphanage workers.
“Shh, no need for words right now, lass. And you can call me Gerson.”
Undyne woke up sometime later, the lights dimmed and the scratching of pen against paper being the only sounds in the room. She groaned, her chest feeling like it was on fire. Immediately there was a mad scramble and Alphys was standing beside her.
“U-Undyne! Finally, you're awake, I thought something bad had...”
“What happened?” Undyne croaked. Alphys reached over and handed her a glass of water. Undyne accepted it before the familiarity of the last time this had happened struck her like lightning.
“D-did you do this to me, knock me out and tie me up down here?”
The glass fell suddenly from her hands and it shattered as it hit the ground. Really? Two flashbacks in one day? Was the universe really that cruel?
“O-oh sorry,” Alphys said, crazily trying to pick the pieces up without cutting herself. “I thought you were ready, that was my fault, it-”
“Alphys, calm down, it was my fault, not yours.” She said, even though her own hands were shaking.
“S-sorry, it's just, seeing you here, like this, well...”
“It's enough to put anyone on edge.” She muttered, looking away.
“No! It's not that, it's just...I didn't remember you this morning, and suddenly I d-do, and I can't imagine ever not remembering you...you're my best f-friend.” Undyne looked back to her at that. The words felt like they physically hurt her after remembering everything that had happened.
“Uhh,” She didn't really know how to reply to that. Suddenly Alphys remembered the other's question before the glass had broken.
“Oh! About what happened...it seems like Sans taking your soul out triggered some sort of episode.” At first Undyne was grateful for the change in subject, before the words registered and she turned away, her face growing red in embarrassment.
“Oh, sorry about that. I thought I was okay but...”
“C-clearly you weren't. Do you want to talk about it?” Undyne was about to bite back that no, she really didn't but as she thought about it, she wanted to get it off her chest. So many years had passed without her telling anybody else. There was only one other monster Underground who knew her secret.
“I...I was fifteen. My first day of high school. Another monster attacked me behind the school and...he...he tried to...” She couldn't finish the sentence, no matter how hard she tried.
“I understand.” Alphys replied, glancing down.
“I never understood why, even after all this time.” All those years, all the nights lying awake in bed asking 'why'? Why attack someone just to see them in pain? It never made any sense. What was the gain? What was the reward? Those questions had haunted her for so long.
“What happened after?” Alphys asked, her voice calm and collected, just what Undyne needed to hear.
“Ger-...another monster, an older monster saved me.” She refrained from saying his name, for a specific reason. “dusted the shark faster than you could blink.” The sight of his war hammer striking down like lightning, like an avenging hero from one of those animes she used to watch was burned into her memory.
Alphys eyes widened at that. Killing another monster without a trial and judgment was strictly against King Asgore's law. It usually meant years in prison. Thankfully, Alphys didn't ask who she meant, and Undyne didn't plan on telling.
“That day I resolved to be the strongest monster in the Underground. That I would never let that happen to anyone else, not if I could help it.” And she did. At least until now, stuck as a weak, pathetic, emotional human who couldn't even handle her soul being outside her body for more than a minute.
“T-that's very strong, and noble.” Undyne glanced over and saw Alphys smiling at her, tears gathered in her eyes. Without another word Undyne reached out and pulled her friend into a tight hug, her own eyes becoming misty.
Sans was right. Telling someone had helped.
Now, Undyne still wasn't comfortable being around Alphys, especially alone, but the pain was a little easier to bear.
“So...” she started awkwardly as they pulled apart. “Can...can I ask you a few science-y type questions that I probably won't understand the answers to?”
“Sure!” Alphys replied, a little excitedly. Talking about stuff she knew certainly was better than emotions and feelings.
“Well,” Undyne began. “no one's really told me yet but, how is this world different than how it was before? I mean, I've noticed a few differences but nothing really...substantial. It's painfully obvious that I don't exist here, Alphys. Was anything else much different when I...when I wasn't around?” It kinda hurt to say out loud but she was dying to know if anything...anybody was different...was better off without her.
“Oh! Y-yes! Wait here!” The stout dinosaur scurried out of the room and returned a minute later clutching a spiral bound notebook. “Since Sans helped me r-remember you, it's like I've had two sets of memories inside my head. It's hard to explain but I've documented all the differences I've come across.” She handed over the notebook which was pink and covered in girly stickers. Undyne smiled. It was so like Alphys. She opened the journal and gawked at the graphs, charts and lists depicting the two time lines. It made her head spin. Awkwardly she handed the book back to her friend.
“I'm still not feeling too hot Alph, can you just summarize it for me?”
“Oh! O-of course. Well, you see on this page here,” she flipped forward a bit. “The biggest differences, monster-wise that is, are who's Captain of the Royal Guard, King Asgore and Papyrus.” Undyne's eyes widened in curiosity.
“Who is Captain of the Royal Guard?”
“A Dragon Monster named Joxta. Apparently before he was made Captain he was called RG 02 for a while.” Undyne couldn't help but smile. If anybody would be Captain in her spot, it would be ol' Jox. The guy was the strong but silent type. He was well-liked but wasn't afraid to give out orders. He was a bit too attached to RG 01 for her liking but that really couldn't be helped.
“And the King?”
“Well, he seems...more distant. He was sad before too but now...it's like he's sort of...aimless. Like he doesn't have anybody close to talk to. I mean, he talks to me sometimes but that's just because I'm the Royal Scientist.” That was true enough, about not having anybody to confide in. After losing his entire family in one day, Undyne had been the only one the King had taken a shine to. He and Ol' Gerson had helped train her, inspire her to become part of the Guard. Which she had desperately needed after the attack on her behind the school. Undyne couldn't think of anybody else that the King had grown attached to, kinda like she was a replacement kid for him, in a way. He'd even said he'd be proud to have a daughter like her once.
It hurt her heart to think of the King still that way. She hadn't even really spared a thought for him since this all began. Perhaps a trip to see him soon was in order.
“Paps?” Alphys flipped a few pages back.
“The way he is now is very much not how he used to be. He hasn't yet mentioned it but it's a drastic change. I'm surprised he hasn't fallen apart yet, in fact. He still wanted to be in the Guard but nobody would help him. Joxta wouldn't even accept his application so he was forced to stay a sentry.” Undyne's heart clenched horribly. The skeleton's dreams, crushed just like that?
“And the cooking?” It had been one of their favorite things to do together besides sparring.
“No, not really. He was just like the King really, kind of aimless in what he wanted in life. He didn't have very many friends, well besides me and Sans.”
“You?” That surprised her. She didn't think they knew each other that well.
“Oh yes!” Undyne noticed that Alphys hadn't stuttered in at least a few minutes in her excitement to share the contents of her journal. “Sans is an old college classmate of mine so he brought his brother over here occasionally for dinner and anime. I could tell Sans didn't really care for it but he did it mostly for Paps. He knew that Papyrus could use just one friend, even if that one friend w-was someone silly like me.” And just like that, talking about herself had brought the stutter back.
“Papyrus likes anime?” Stars, the surprises just kept coming. Not to even mention the fact that Sans and Alphys had gone to school together and neither had thought to mention that to her.
Y-yeah, his favorite ones are the slice of life ones actually. Doesn't care much for ones with lots of killing and the romance ones only make him more depressed. Not that he'd ever admit it but we could both tell.” Undyne clenched her jaw at the thought that her lanky friend was depressed, even for a glimpse of a moment.
Seeing the image of the three of them, laughing, eating food and watching anime made her a little sad. Obviously her absence had made their friendship much stronger. Alphys seemed to notice what she was thinking.
“S-so you see, we'd much rather have you here. You make us strive to be better people, to accomplish what we couldn't have thought possible. Asgore had a child to help raise, Papyrus had someone to teach him how to train and cook and me...well I...” She glanced away, her face reddening a bit in embarrassment. “Well I'm just glad someone listens to my silly ramblings and stupid theories.”
“They're not stupid! I think they're incredible.” Alphys only smiled.
“See?” The grin faded. “It was hard there for a while before Sans offered for him and his brother to come over more often.” She glanced up at the taller individual. “Do you re-remember how we first met?”
“How could I not?” That crisp day standing at the top of the waterfall in the old dump, how Undyne had gently pulled Alphys away from the edge and her dangerous thoughts.
“So, where do you think it goes?”
“I...I never told you but I was going to jump. Actually, without you there to pull me back, I did.” Undyne's heart nearly stopped at that. She had her suspicions but hadn't actually dared to think it would have happened if she hadn't been there.
“W-what happened?” Alphys let out a single, weak-hearted chuckle.
“Sans. He saved me with that b-blue heart thing he does. He's a good guy, no matter how much he claims the contrary.”
“Yeah. He is.” The two of them were silent. Finally Undyne hopped out of her chair and walked towards the door.
“Well, I'm feeling much better now, let's go get this problem fixed, shall we?” Alphys nodded enthusiastically.
A few minutes later the two of them returned to the main room to see Sans, Dinah and Doctor pouring over textbooks and files on Alphys' computer. The tall scientist was the first to notice them. She looked up from her stack of papers and pushed her spectacles farther up her nose.
“O-oh good, you're awake.” Sans jolted as his head shot up and he glanced over, looking extremely guilty. He almost tripped over his feet as he jumped out of his chair to run to the pair.
“hey, listen,” He said as he skidded to a stop in front of them. “i...i didn't mean to go that far. i said i would stop when you had enough and i didn't. i just got so caught up, we were nearly there and shit i'm making excuses sorry but-”
“It's fine.” Undyne said, walking past him, unable to keep a bitter grimace off her face. “It's over and done with.” Through the glare on the black screen of the monitor she saw him flinch and look down in shame. Undyne couldn't help it though. She thought she had trusted the shorter skeleton to listen to her, since he had been so good at it the last few days. But no, only when it was advantageous to him did he decide to toss her requests aside like garbage.
To distract herself mainly, she came and stood beside Dinah, the only one who hadn't cared to acknowledge her. She ignored the low growling she might have imagined coming from the ragged scientist.
“Find anything good?” No response. No matter, Undyne could wait.
She was feeling a little (a lot) upset about what had happened earlier and she didn't feel like taking Dinah's crap for once. Just because Undyne grew up in a different world than Dinah didn't mean she shouldn't be treated with respect. She was an Undyne after all, no matter how she looked. She'd successfully protected her world for years from humans, animal attacks (actual animals, not monsters) and a cave-in in Waterfall one time. Just because she looked different now didn't mean she was.
Dinah had a notebook open in front of her where she was taking notes and cross referencing texts, steadfastly ignoring the human towering behind her. The entire room was silent except for the scratching of pencil against paper. Finally Dinah spoke in her low and dangerous voice, not looking up, not stopping her writing.
“Rebel wasn't wrong, you know.” Undyne stiffened.
“About. What?” Her voice also lowered threateningly. Finally Dinah looked up from her work, baring her teeth, her nose twitching with the motion.
“About how WEAK you are!” She stood up suddenly, knocking her chair back so hard it clattered to the floor. Thankfully Undyne didn't flinch. Instead she held her ground, tilting her head as the two drew nearer to each other. The human was still taller than the monster, a fact that angered Dinah even further. Because she didn't deserve it in Dinah's eyes.
“You're so weak and pathetic you can't even handle your own soul being outside your body for more than twenty seconds!” She harshly threw her pencil onto the table and it clattered over to the other side and off the surface. “You're a bigger disgrace to the name of Undyne than that one over there.” She motioned to Doctor whose expression grew hurt and eyes welled up at the insinuation. That only made Undyne more mad. Undyne could handle being insulted but the doctor had been nothing but nice to all of them and didn't deserve that kind of treatment.
“Leave her out of this!” She shouted, shoving roughly on Dinah's shoulders. She stumbled but held her ground.
“The only reason I'm helping ANY of you is so I can go back home! It's certainly not for you!”
“Why would you want to go back to that place anyway? If it's anything like you then it deserves to be obliterated!” With a wild yell Dinah charged at Undyne, her eyes flashing like a madwoman.
“S-Sans!” Alphys cried, turning to the skeleton. “Do something!” But he didn't move.
“this has been a long time comin' alph.”
The two of them fought fiercely, both at a disadvantage, one not used to being human and the other not used to physical combat. But it was still intense. She barely dodged Dinah's first attack and the monster stumbled, recovering quickly, throwing back a magical chainsaw that Undyne didn't know Dinah could summon. She threw herself to the ground a split second before it reached her and it crashed into a set of shelves behind them, causing the entire thing to collapse to the ground with a mighty BOOM. Undyne leapt back up and rushed at the other, faster than she thought she was able, being human at least.
Undyne's hand snatched out and caught Dinah's right ear fin before she could summon another chainsaw, pulling down on it viciously. Dinah screeched as her head was brought down, lashing out and running her claws across Undyne's face in an attempt to get her off. Thankfully her sharp claws only grazed her cheek but the sudden pain still caused her to let go. Dinah immediately grabbed the human with both hands and sunk her teeth into the closest available spot.
Undyne screamed in agony and hatred as Dinah bit into her shoulder, the razor-edged teeth easily cutting through the soft skin there. She decked the fish monster hard in the face with the side of her elbow on the opposite side of her new injury and Dinah let go suddenly.
Undyne ignored the now steady stream of blood flowing down her arm and threw herself at the other's waist, tackling the monster to the ground. She fell down with her, on top of her actually. The back of Dinah's head hit the floor viciously but that didn't stop the fight. The human straddled her, sitting on her stomach and placing her knees on her arms so she was rendered immobile.
"Who's weak now?" She spat, literally, in Dinah's face. The other didn't reply, only hissed wildly as she struggled in her grip.
Undyne's vision had turned red in the heat of battle with anger and hatred. It hadn't happened often but it definitely wasn't the first time. There was no reasoning with her like this.
She was essentially no more than a wild animal now, after nothing but the kill.
The human's hands flew to her throat and Dinah gasped, her eyes wide as her struggling intensified, coughing and wheezing noises coming out her mouth, her body doing anything to get another breath in.
But suddenly Undyne felt herself being hauled roughly off the other. She kicked out madly and snarled, the adrenaline pumping through her veins blocking out any sort of common sense.
"Settle down punk!" Rebel's rough voice broke through the haze and Undyne slowed. Her vision cleared and she saw Papyrus dragging Dinah away from the pair. The monster who had started the fight was coughing and holding her throat weakly. After recovering, Dinah didn't resist the skeleton, probably because she saw Sans watching her carefully, eye lit up bright blue, to make sure she didn't lay a finger on his brother.
Rebel set Undyne down slowly and the human turned to look at her. The tallest fish monster didn't look perturbed, but rather amused by the ordeal.
"Fuhuhuhu," she laughed, her voice confident. "And I thought I was going to be the first one to start a fight. And with biting! Cool! I'm proud a'ya." She slapped Undyne on the back so hard it would have knocked any other creature clear off their feet. But Undyne was used to Gerson's and Asgore's power growing up so it barely fazed her. Except for the burning pain that reminded her of her torn-up shoulder.
"C-come on, l-let's get you cleaned up," Doctor said, coming up to the two of them, steadfastly ignoring looking at Dinah. Alphys lagged behind them, not wanting to be left out. Undyne let Doctor lead her out, glancing a glare at Dinah, who was standing on the other side of the room, held by Papyrus' blue attack. She had a hand to the back of her head where a nasty headache must be residing. Good.
"I'm surprised she hadn't tried anything sooner," Rebel spoke as she trailed behind. "She weirds me out more than my Paps' obsession with sharpening his fingernails." She shivered at the noises of scraping bone she heard in her head.
"She's super smart though!" Alphys pointed out. "She's the one who found out how to get you back to normal."
"Wait WHAT?!" Undyne said, stopping suddenly. She 'oof'ed as Rebel slammed into her back. That was NOT helping her shoulder any. She turned around to glare at the other, Rebel giving her a sheepish grin that said 'sorry' in return.
"Y-yeah!" Doctor piped up, "It's rather simple actually. We'll wait to explain it when everybody's there."
Undyne couldn't believe it. There was actually a way out of this hell? She couldn't get healed and back into the main room fast enough.
But with barely contained patience soon she was there, her shoulder mostly healed with magic, white bandages doing the rest. It would most definitely leave a scar. Rebel had tried to make her feel better by showing her a similar scar on her upper thigh. It wouldn't have been possible were she still in the armor she'd arrived in but currently she was in a pair of Papyrus' jogging sweats that were still just a little too short.
"Doggo picked a fight with the wrong guardswoman. I wasn't Captain back then but to fight a member of the guard is instant death. Thankfully I was both judge and executioner that day," She laughed like she hadn't just said she'd killed somebody.
Undyne didn't question her further. She'd never understand the type of worlds Rebel and Dinah had been forced to grow up in. Undyne had taken a few lives herself (some human, which she didn't care to think about now) but she sincerely doubted her LV was as high as the monster standing a few inches taller than her.
Papyrus and Sans had tied Dinah to Alphys' computer chair for the time being until Dinah didn't appear to be a threat anymore. Sans was all in favor of just shoving her off the nearest cliff but everyone knew they needed her since it was her discovery that would get them all out of this mess.
Not that she looked like sharing any time soon.
"You're not hearing a word from me until I'm not tied up like some animal."
"The animal you are!" Rebel reminded her, placing a hand on an arm of the chair and leaning over the shorter fish monster. Dinah tried not to shrink back and flashed her eyes to gain more confidence. It didn't really work as Rebel was completely unfazed. She'd faced a thousand things way scarier than a frail scientist tied to a chair, after all.
"You want to go home, don't you?" Rebel continued. "Why do you want to return, anyway? If I never see the shithole I grew up in I'd be fine with that." Dinah turned away, her face blushing being an absolute giveaway.
"Oh." Rebel straightened. "I see."
"You see NOTHING!" Dinah's head snapped back, this time her eyes flashing hard with anger. Rebel ignored her, per usual.
"Your Alphys is back there! That's why you want to return! You care about her!" The word was emphasized in a mocking tone. The Alphys in the room squeaked in surprise. Dinah tried and failed to hold her ground and deny but eventually sighed. She rolled her head forward in defeat.
"How could I not?" She muttered quietly. "She's so cool, why she even looks at me twice is beyond me. I'm nothing but a 'crazy mad scientist who tortures monsters for fun'." She uttered the phrase like she'd been told it a hundred times before by a hundred different beings.
Had Dinah initially been misjudged then just gave up on trying to prove anything different?
"Alphys protects everyone from humans and other threats." Dinah continued. Her eyes turned hard again, looking up at Rebel. "How could YOU not want to return to your home? If you're an Undyne surely there's an Alphys waiting for you, right?" This time it was Rebel's turn to look away. She left Dinah's side and circled around behind her, tightening her ponytail in a motion Undyne recognized as being uncomfortable with the situation. She'd done it often herself.
"I...I don't want to talk about it."
"NO ONE calls me a coward and gets away with it!" She slammed her hands on the back of the chair Dinah was in and this time the smaller Undyne did flinch. "I said I DIDN'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT." She spun the revolving chair around to face her so quickly Dinah grew dizzy, her headache flaring again. This time Rebel stuck her face so close to Dinah's that they could have touched. "You're lucky we need you. If you don't help us then you'll never see your Alphys again. Surely that should be enough for you to help us." Silence reigned for a full minute, the two monsters staring down each other. Finally Dinah relented.
"Alright. I'll help. For her though. Not for you."
"GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME." Papyrus said, who had been shifting nervously throughout the entire exchange. He came up and removed her bonds. Sans bent down and whispered in her ear.
"one more incident and it's off that cliff for you," He spoke softly so only Dinah could hear him. Experimentally he turned her soul blue for a second, before letting her go with a grin. She blanched as she felt the magic wrap around her soul warningly and Sans took that as a good sign.
"Alright!" Rebel said, the smile returning to her face as she faced Undyne and the others. "Let's get ourselves out of this mess and save our universes!" She slammed a fist into her palm.
"We'll be the best damn heroes the multiverse has ever seen!"
Chapter 7: Party Planning/Teamwork is Best (Or Worst)
Some more science explained, backstory explored and FINALLY SOMETHING HAPPENS OH MY STARS.
Since no one seems to be enjoying this anymore I've combined the next two chapters into a massive single one so we can get to the good stuff. Or, at least I think it's good. Who knows. I certainly don't anymore. But I put too much work into writing this so you guys get it anyway.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Undyne hated meetings almost as much as she hated science. Put them together and the human felt like she wanted to jump into the lava pits of Hotland. Thankfully Rebel felt the same way so the two of them started a secret game of rock, paper, scissors (or rock, paper, scissors, pain as Rebel knew it in her world) under the table. It wasn't kept secret for very long though; Rebel was extremely competitive.
After the fourth hit to the table that made it jiggle slightly, Dinah shot them a nasty look. She was still explaining to Sans, Alphys and Doctor her findings on Undyne's soul with terms that Undyne could barely spell, much less remember.
Not that she was stupid; her piano skills and battle tactics could easily blow any other monster here out of the water. Her brain just wasn't wired for those sort of things.
"As I was saying," Dinah continued, "we could use the DT Extractor to remove the excess Determination from Undyne's soul, thus allowing the monster qualities to reassert themselves."
"but how's that possible?" Sans asked, "we're in a deviated time line. this undyne was born as a human."
"Was she though?" Dinah turned to Undyne. "What's the first thing you remember in this world?"
"What?" She hadn't been paying attention. She winced in pain as Rebel struck her first two fingers down her forearm (her punishment for being beat with 'scissors'. That was going to leave a mark).
"What." Dinah repeated slowly, her voice dripping with condescension. "Is. The. First. Thing. You. Remember?" Undyne growled in warning at the insulting tone before answering.
"Waking up in, um, Toriel's house...in the Ruins, I mean." She didn't miss the questioning look Sans gave her but he didn't say anything.
"See?" Dinah continued, "If she had been born a human in this world she'd have memories of childhood above ground, of having human parents."
"S-so what are you suggesting happened then?" Doctor inquired. Dinah shuffled the pages of notes in front of her.
"I'm suggesting that the influx of DT from the human child's soul merging with hers must have ignited a transformation just before she reset and caused this whole mess." Undyne's nose wrinkled at the offhanded remark. It wasn't like she knew what she was doing. Who wouldn't want to go back after turning into a puddle of goo on the Judgment Hall floor?
"That d-doesn't make any sense." Alphys interjected, "Monsters have absorbed human souls before, it doesn't involve any t-transformation into a human. At least not on this scale. The amount of DETERMINATION needed to do that sort of thing would be p-phenomenal. More than the amount an average human soul has." Undyne suddenly felt sick to her stomach, and the way Sans was looking at her pointedly wasn't helping. She knew she wasn't going to get out of this one so easily.
"Umm, I think I can answer that." All eyes turned to her. "I had more Determination in me than normal monsters when I went to go fight the human."
"How?" Dinah asked, her curiosity overcoming her obvious distaste for the human.
"I...I took a lethal dose about an hour earlier by injection." Silence immediately fell, even Papyrus wasn't saying a word, which was something. All three Undynes and Alphys were staring at her with incredulous looks on their faces while Sans looked away, his bony brow furrowing. Oh now he was feeling guilty? Thanks.
"H-how did you get a hold of extra DT?" Alphys was the first to speak. "The only ones who have stuff like that are..." The lizard monster noticed how Undyne glanced away, her face reddening in guilt.
"I didn't want to talk about it." She said softly as a sort of excuse. It didn't help that Doctor also had guilt all over her features, already knowing from the conversation she'd overheard this morning. But she didn't interject, knowing it wasn't her place. Alphys didn't seem to notice; she could only stare at Undyne with a horrified look on her face.
"What did I do?" She asked just as quietly.
"alph, listen..." Sans tried to interrupt but Undyne was ready. She knew it was time.
"You were trying to save everyone and I took that from you. You were going to inject yourself with DT and I stopped you. I took it instead. You guys all know what happened next." And that was all Alphys really needed to know, at this point anyway.
"Holy shit!" Rebel shouted in her usual way. "That's so gnarly! What was it like? Were you more powerful, did you have more magic, did-"
"R-Rebel!" Doctor stuttered in mild horror and consternation. But the bigger monster didn't apologize, only shot her a no-regrets grin that made the swap scientist blush and turn away shyly. Rebel was everything Undyne wished she could be; what she used to be.
Undyne briefly wondered if her mood could possibly be affected by the extra Determination making her more...human. She'd have to ask Dinah later when the situation wasn't so tense. Alphys was still staring at her like she'd suddenly grown fins again.
"That's not all that happened, was...was it?"
"alphys, can we do this another time?!" Everyone was shocked at Sans' raised voice, it was a strange thing to hear. Thankfully it was enough to shut the stout lizard up. Sans closed his eyes and took a deep breath, lowering his voice again. "now is not the time to discuss things like that, but instead how to fix this mess. doctor, did you find anything about the time line destabilizing?"
"Not much I'm afraid," Doctor leaned over and grabbed some of the papers from in front of Dinah. "Our three closest home time lines are the shakiest but seem to be holding steady for now. There's a couple other ones that also show the same signs but I can't really explain why."
"probably just proximity." Sans replied. "any signs of other...'visitors' showing up?" He didn't think he could handle any more Undynes, especially if they were like Rebel or worse, Dinah.
"No, no, I don't think so. The initial reset that caused the reaction that pulled us here shouldn't happen again, unless..."
"Unless what?" Suddenly Undyne was paying full attention.
"Well, everyone here knows that a human with vast amounts of Determination has the power to reset upon death. To turn back time as if it never happened."
"So if I die, I'll come back, like before?" She didn't know if that was comforting or not. To beat death was something incredible, but she just hoped it wouldn't stay like that forever. What was the point of life if there wasn't an end goal, after all?
"Yes, to your nearest save point. Though I highly doubt any other...'Undynes' will show up unless a full reset happened. That put you back to the Ruins, that is."
"Save point?" Had that been what those strange yellow stars were?
"getting off topic again," Sans muttered darkly.
"What's it to you?" Rebel piped up. "You in a hurry or something? And who made you moderator anyway?" Rebel cracked her knuckles one by one, making the two skeletons wince.
"NO, NO MY BROTHER IS RIGHT." Papyrus spoke up for the first time. "THE SOONER WE ARE DONE DISCUSSING THIS THE SOONER WE CAN COME UP WITH A BATTLE PLAN."
"A battle plan?" Undyne replied with a laugh, feeling a bit lighter. "We're not going to war, Paps, we're just trying to get me back to normal and return everyone home."
"DO NOT FORGET SAVING THE OTHER UNIVERSES FROM SURE DESTRUCTION. SOMETHING THAT IMPORTANT REQUIRES A BATTLE PLAN." Undyne laughed again.
"Okay, sure." She leaned back in her chair. "What about the results on my soul?" She hadn't gone through all that examination and pain for nothing after all, not if she had anything to say about it. This time Alphys reached over for her notes.
"J-just as Sans noticed earlier, your soul is mostly red for Determination but underneath lies a soul of Justice. As for what it was before, it was hard to tell. But it still doesn't change the fact that the Determination scale is off the charts. D-Dinah was right, using the DT Extractor might just be the solution. If the DT is drained and Justice allows to take over, the monster qualities that previously held Justice could reassert. That is, if you survive the process."
"Survive?" Well that was a nice thing to hear.
"Well, a soul with this much Determination may suddenly...disintegrate without the main properties holding it together. Justice may not be enough."
"what can we do to counter that?" Sans asked.
"Monster magic dosages." Dinah interjected, shoving a notebook in front of the short skeleton. He glanced at it and after a few seconds, nodded in approval.
"that should work. get her soul used to familiar magic before being forced to revert. we could each take turns when the time comes."
"No need." Dinah reached into her pocket and pulled out a bottle filled with empty pills. "If everyone gives me a sample of their magic now I can imbue them into these pills and it would require a lot less magic donated but in a concentrated manner."
"T-that makes sense." Alphys agreed.
"I'LL GO FIRST." Papyrus shouted, standing up. "ANYTHING TO HELP MY BEST FRIEND UNDYNE." Undyne grinned. What did she do to deserve a friend like Papyrus?
Dinah retrieved an empty jar from off the shelf nearby and Papyrus laid his skeletal palm over the open top, allowing the bright orange glow of his magic to seep through. The jar was about a sixth of the way full when Dinah called him off. One by one they all did the same, first Rebel, then Alphys, Sans and Doctor, finally Dinah finished off the top, the dark red of her magic joining the other swirling colors of magic in the jar. It was mesmerizing, a swash of orange, blood-red, yellow, cyan, peach and maroon. Strange how Undyne had been the only one with green magic instead of variations of red like the others.
"Thanks guys." It was all Undyne could really say. It hadn't taken much to donate just a little magic but it was still greatly appreciated.
"I'll get to work on those pills." Dinah said, standing up and leaving the room without another word.
"I...I think I'll j-join her. She could use some help." at Doctor's words Rebel immediately removed her boots from the table and sat up straight. Concern was clearly shown in her bright single eye.
"Are you sure that's a good idea Doc? After all, she just attacked Undyne and doesn't have the best track record even before that."
"Yeah, I'll be f-fine, thanks." She waved them off and headed down in the same direction Dinah had gone. For a moment it looked like Rebel was going to follow her but after a few seconds decided against it.
"welp, that was a thing," Sans exclaimed as he sat back down in his chair with a 'plop'. Rebel chose to sit back down as well, leaning back in her chair and lifting her heavy boots to rest on the table once again. Papyrus frowned and shoved her feet off. With a shit-eating grin she immediately returned her legs back on the metal surface. The tall skeleton groaned and rolled his eyesockets, quickly giving up. As if his brother wasn't bad enough.
"WHAT DO WE DO NOW?" He asked instead. Undyne grinned, settling back into her own chair, opting to cross her legs instead as to not anger her friend further. Alphys followed her move and sat down as well. It looked like she wanted to leave too but the dark rims under her eyes told Undyne she had stayed up much too late last night and needed a breather, no matter how uncomfortable she was.
Only Papyrus remained standing. Sometimes Undyne suspected he was more comfortable that way. Alphys reached out for her cup of tea that had been previously abandoned and began to drink from it.
"I think someone should talk about how Sans and Alphys knew each other back in college." Undyne had been thinking about it a lot since she'd been told. Alphys suddenly squeaked into her beverage and choked, liquid spraying from her mouth. Rebel leaned away in disgust, narrowly missing being splattered with semi-hot tea.
"ah come on al, you gotta spill all my secrets?"
"HOW IS THAT A SECRET, SANS? EVEN I KNEW THAT."
"of course you knew that bro, she was over nearly every weekend whenever we worked on our physics homework."
"UGH. I REMEMBER. PHYSICS IS SO...SO BORING COMPARED TO PUZZLEDRY."
"YES, THE ART OF PUZZLES, OR PUZZLING. I THOUGHT THAT WAS OBVIOUS SANS."
"I think he's just trying to dodge the topic." Rebel said, clearly interested. "I'd like to hear about this too." She shrugged her shoulders, glancing at the clock on the far wall. "S'not like we got anything better to do right now." Sans sighed, rolling his eye sockets.
"do you wanna tell 'em or shall i alph?"
"Uhh, y-you go ahead. You can tell it better than I can."
"if you say so." He leaned forward and placed his elbows on the table, contemplating where to start.
"well, it was my first year of college, new home university mind you, where we had both taken a class on dr. gaster's analytical physics." He conveniently left out the part about a certain professor also being his father. Papyrus barely remembered the guy after...what had happened and Sans didn't feel like explaining it to everybody now. "we also had theoretical science together but we first met in physics. heh, that was a hard day to forget..."
Sans groaned as he hefted his books higher into his arms. He didn't see why he had to take this class; his dad was just too lazy to teach him this stuff at home. Not that he hated the subject matter but...his father could be a little...passionate about what he loved at times, usually embarrassing Sans in the process. At least Gaster had agreed to let their relation remain unspoken unless the need arose. Though...with them and Papyrus being the only skeletons around, it was bound to come up sooner or later. Best to put it off as long as possible though.
He looked around in awe as he stepped into the lecture hall. It was his first day and coincidentally, his first class and the new experience had his nonexistent stomach in knots. He had graduated top of his class in his former tiny high school but this was an entirely different set of circumstances.
He was early (at Gaster's strong suggestion) but already the room was filling up. Hearing that the Royal Scientist himself had begun teaching at the college had caused the sign-ups to skyrocket, particularly for the three classes Gaster was teaching: Analytical Physics, Core Mechanical Engineering and Magical Productivity. Thankfully Sans only had to take the first one, opting to take the other two in later semesters. He didn't have a bad relationship with his father but he certainly didn't want to spend all day listening to him drone on, especially since he'd FINALLY convinced him to let him live on-campus rather than at their home in Snowdin. That'd been a feat in itself and he almost hadn't asked for it, mainly for his little bro Papyrus, who'd been so hurt to hear that his hero was moving out. But thankfully Papy was sated by the promise that he'd visit every weekend and even help him design a new puzzle every time. The skeleton currently in a growth spurt was still a sophomore in high school and had a hard time making friends so Sans didn't really mind hanging out with him in his free time.
Not that he expected to have much free time anyway. He heard the workload for freshmen was particularly hard, the newer students not used to the intense scheduling that accompanied college compared to high school.
Ah, so was life. Papyrus would just have to accept it. Pretty soon he'd be graduating anyway and making his own way through life.
Sans hefted his books onto a seat in the front row and plopped down into it, trying to calm the nerves in his nonexistent stomach.
Within just a few minutes all the chairs were taken by other monster students except the one next to him. He gazed around, trying to see if his father had come in yet without him seeing.
" Nice, dad. Late to your first class I see." Pretty hypocritical, the way he'd gone on and on that 'his eldest son better be the first student in the classroom or I'll resign as Royal Scientist.' Well, his dad better start looking for new work and soon.
The clock struck eight. Eight oh two. Eight oh five.
Six minutes after class was supposed to start, a small yellow lizard monster came rushing in, nearly dropping her books in her panic. She groaned, seeing the only available spot in the room being the last place she wanted to sit: right in front of everybody else instead of the back where she could hide away and work quietly on her notes. (Or maybe secretly write in her newest fanfiction.)
Sighing in resignation she placed her books on the desk, or at least attempted to. The stack swung precariously before toppling. She gave out a shriek before the books stopped in midair, surrounded by blue magic. She looked at it curiously before turning to the skeleton beside her. His left eye was lit up and his hand was out, wreathed in blue fire.
" Th-thanks," She stuttered, reaching out to grab the books from his magical grip.
" No prob." he replied with a smile, releasing his hold once he knew they wouldn't fall again. "My name's Sans." He stuck his skeletal hand out after she'd been situated in her seat. She stared at it like it was going to bite her for a few seconds before letting out a nervous smile.
" A-Alphys. I-I mean! My name is Alphys, that is." Sans couldn't help but give her a bigger smile. She was obviously nervous. Who wouldn't be on their first day? He certainly was but it had died down, seeing someone even more on edge than he was.
By the end of the class he'd gotten her giggling numerous times, earning them quite a few glares from the 'teacher', who had finally showed up fifteen minutes late, his tie askew and dress shirt rolled up to his elbows. It had certainly created a more relaxed air from the students expecting someone much more...professional. Except for the skeleton in the front who knew the real truth of course.
" Wanna come hang out sometime with me and my bro? He hates puns just as much as my dad does." Alphys laughed again. Her awkwardness had dipped considerably after relaxing some. And hearing Sans tease the teacher mercilessly with science-related puns. Her favorite had been the one he'd directed at her. "You matter. Unless you multiply yourself times the speed of light squared. Then you Energy." That got a snort out of her so loud her face had grown bright red immediately.
" Sure. Th-that'd be nice actually."
"and that's how it went, basically. it was only because of alph that i survived that first year." he smiled at her, similar to how he'd first done so when they'd met, so long ago. She laughed lightly, throwing aside the towel she'd grabbed earlier during the story to clean up the mess she'd made with her tea.
"Oh come on Sans. You're just as smart as I am."
"yeah, but without the motivation."
"YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN." Papyrus had been politely listening intently throughout the whole thing even though he'd already been told the story before.
Rebel interrupted them all with a bored sigh. Now that the story was over she wanted to move on to something else immediately. She kept glancing out the same door Doctor had left out of.
"If you're so worried about her why don't you join her?" Undyne spoke, noticing her anxiety.
"Yeah. You know what, I think I will." She departed after that, loud guard boots echoing down the hallway. Hopefully no Undyne would end up killing another.
After she had gone, Sans spoke up.
"i don't know about anyone else but i'm getting hungry." At that Papyrus rushed forward, picking up his brother like he was a sack of groceries. The older brother didn't interject though, obviously he was used to this quite often. He just grinned at everyone else lazily, resting his chin in his hands, his elbows against Papyrus' arm.
"I'LL HAVE NO BROTHER OF MINE DUSTING OUT OF STARVATION, NOT WHILE I CAN HELP IT." With that he left the room. Undyne could just barely hear Sans reminding Papyrus that he could teleport home but wasn't being listened to.
Undyne decided to wait at the lab until everyone else was done in case she was needed for something. In the meantime she chatted with Alphys about the differences between the time lines more but there was still that discomfort, especially after Undyne had confessed what had really happened to cause all this. But neither of them spoke a word about it, dancing around the subject expertly.
By the time Undyne, Rebel, Doctor and Dinah returned home, dinner had already been prepared (spaghetti, another surprise).
Undyne couldn't stop thinking about everything that had happened though, specifically with Alphys and what had occurred in the other time line.
Had there been any way to change what had happened? Was Undyne to blame just as much as Alphys?
Was there any way to fix all the damage that had been caused?
Chapter 8 – Teamwork is Best (Or Worst)
(Quite possibly my favorite chapter, FYI. Btw, if you never listen to any other song, please make sure to put on the song recommended near the end of this chapter, it fits the scene /perfectly/)
Undyne was having a hard time sleeping that night. She flipped back and forth trying to get as comfortable as she could on the floor until Rebel growled at her in annoyance, whether or not it was in her sleep Undyne wasn't quite sure.
It wasn't just the hard floor keeping her awake, but more the thoughts ramming through her brain, bouncing off the walls and keeping her eyes open no matter how hard she tried.
Finally after a while, she settled down and fell into a fitful slumber.
She woke up strapped to a steel chair, her wrists and ankles trapped in metal cuffs. No matter how much she struggled she couldn't get out.
Taking a second to look around, she realized with a start that she was back in the basement lab in Hotland.
Where this whole mess had started.
Looking up ahead she saw Alphys working on something near the corner of the room.
"Alphys?" She croaked, her voice dry and cracked. "What are you doing?" The similarities of the situations was making her soul clench in fear. Why was she back here again? What was the point?
This time she didn't get an answer from the other monster. Instead a silent minute passed until Alphys finally turned to her, holding up a familiar needle filled with a bright red liquid.
"This is my job." She finally said, her voice distorted and hard to hear. She apparently wasn't going to answer Undyne's direct question. "I'm supposed to protect everyone." Undyne flinched as her own words were thrown back at her. Realizing with a start what was going to happen exactly she resumed her struggling, shrieking and thrashing madly. The cuffs bit into her blue skin and were this not a dream it probably would have hurt like a bitch. Even so she could feel the magical blood that kept her alive dripping down her hands and feet.
"Alphys! No, don't!" She couldn't...she couldn't watch this. She couldn't let this happen! But the scientist wasn't listening to her cries.
"Once I take this, I'll finally be strong enough. I can save everyone."
"NO!" But she could only watch in horror as Alphys gently inserted the needle into her arm and emptied every last drop into her.
"ALPHYS!" Her friend immediately began to shake, before losing feeling in her legs and collapsing into a convulsing mess, her eyes rolling into the back of her head with the pain. Tears were flowing freely from Undyne's single eye now as she couldn't even turn her gaze away. She was completely helpless and she couldn't do a damn thing to change it. She remembered that pain intensely and feared there was no way her friend would be able to survive it all.
After a few minutes Alphys finally went still; Undyne's voice was gone from screaming and she could only let out shaky, silent sobs that wracked her shoulders. How could she have let this happen? Why couldn't she have been strong enough? Hanging her head down as far as it would go she released all the pain and grief that was in her heart. Tears dripped down from her only working eye and splashed onto her lap. Undyne didn't care though. She couldn't find herself to care about anything anymore. How could she? Her best friend was dead.
And it was all her fault.
A sudden noise in front of her startled her into looking back up.
Alphys was standing in front of her again, but it wasn't the Alphys she knew. This taller Alphys looked strong. Powerful. Intimidating.
She was clothed in armor similar to what Undyne had been wearing after she'd taken the extra determination except instead of bright red hearts on her chest and wrists they were yellow that seemed to pulse, the same color as her magic. Her teeth were sharpened and an enormous battle ax was hefted onto her shoulder. Undyne could only stare up in shock. For the first time Alphys seemed to acknowledge her presence, meeting her eyes finally.
"I'm sorry." She spoke, before turning and heading towards the elevator.
"Alphys! Alphys no! Don't do this!" She was heading off towards her death. But in her soul Undyne knew it was already too late; the extra Determination would take her slowly and painfully until she was a pile of nothing and it was all her fault.
Undyne woke up with a start, shaking and sweating uncontrollably. Stumbling to her feet, she only barely remembered to step over the other sleeping monsters on her way to the kitchen.
Running on autopilot, she moved to the sink and splashed cold water on her face until coherent thoughts returned.
"You really should t-talk to her about it, you know." Undyne yelped in surprise and spun back around, flinging water everywhere.
Doctor was standing there in the doorway clothed in one of Papyrus' shirts as nightwear, the much too big material making her look even smaller than usual. The bright red "SKELEDUDE" marked in paint on the white shirt added even more to the comical look. Undyne didn't seem to notice though as her chest heaved, still shaken by the nightmare.
"How would you react," she said after a minute of trying to get herself to calm down "knowing you'd betrayed everyone, including your best friend?" She asked, keeping her voice lowered like Doc. She could hear Rebel's loud snoring in the next room from here so at least they were safe from her wrath.
"I...I don't know." Doctor replied. "I just know that I'm capable of doing that and it sickens me. She probably feels the same way right now."
"But she doesn't remember doing it. Does it really count if I'm the only one who knows?"
"Of course," the frail scientist replied without hesitation. "She kn-knows she's capable too. This is partially her fault after all. If she'd j-just let you do your j-job then we wouldn't all be here. Although you p-probably would have died and the human gone on to destroy everything in your world so it's k-kind of a moot point." Undyne sighed, running a hand over her still-wet face. Strange how human skin didn't soak it up like her scales did.
"So what do I do?" She asked, fearing the answer. Doctor shrugged.
"You feel guilty over what you did. She feels guilty for what she did. But y-you were both doing it for the good of the other, for the g-good of every-everyone. That needs to be said. Uh, out loud that is." Undyne slowly nodded, coming to the realization.
They both could have handled things differently, calmly and smartly instead of being rash and stupid. Maybe they both had to apologize and be forgiven. Maybe then healing could finally take place.
"Thanks," She said, smiling at her swapped counterpart. Doc grinned shakily back.
"N-no problem." She looked back out towards where Rebel and Dinah were still sleeping in the middle of the living room floor. Well, Rebel was. Dinah had stolen the couch sometime during the night. Honestly Undyne thought the horrid couch was worse than sleeping on the floor. But hey, it was probably more comfortable than Dinah's own bed at home, knowing where she came from.
"I f-feel bad for her. For b-both of them." Doctor remarked thoughtfully. Her eyes grew watery, unable to imagine growing up in a place where you always had to watch your back, in a place where you couldn't have friends because they might be dead tomorrow. Both Rebel and Dinah had been through unspeakable horrors that Undyne and Doctor couldn't even fathom.
What had even happened to Rebel's Alphys anyway?
Sniffing loudly and running a hand over her eyes she sighed.
"Tomorrow's a b-big day." We should probably get as much sleep as we c-can." Undyne nodded, agreeing. Readjusting her own shirt she'd borrowed from Papyrus (a plain blue one thankfully that nearly matched her old skin color), she followed Doctor back out to their makeshift bedroom and curled up on the mess of blankets and pillows near the other two, letting Rebel's obnoxious snores lull her back to sleep, this time dreamless.
When Undyne awoke it was to silence. Or rather, the absence of noise since normally at this time Rebel or Papyrus was shouting at the top of their lungs (not in anger, it was just their normal voice volume). She wearily blinked repeatedly to wake her up faster.
Everyone was gone. She was lying on the middle of the floor on the sorry excuse for the thrown together bed with no one else in the house. Why had they all left without waking her up?
What if something had happened to them?
Stumbling upright she noticed a piece of paper taped to the front door. It wasn't in Papyrus' or Sans' font so it'd been written by one of her counterparts.
"Hey punk! You were sleeping pretty peacefully like a damn baby so we decided to leave you until you woke up from your beauty sleep. I'm helping Papyrus in Snowdin with his rounds but Dinah told me to tell you to meet her and the lovely Doc at the lab; something about starting experiments with the DT extractor thingie idk. Don't know where the hell Sans is, he was gone when we woke up. Don't care actually. Ttyl princess."
Of course the note hadn't been signed but there was no doubt in her mind who had written it.
Taking a few minutes to wash up and get ready she was out the door, still miffed that no one had bothered to wake her up. It wasn't like she was a child and needed more sleep than usual; though she supposed she was looking more tired than normal. But that was just all the stress of becoming a human and having no magic. Physical ways were really her only ways of recovery now, i.e. sleep and food. Human functions still grossed her out but she felt she was getting used to them by now.
Experiments with the DT Extractor. Wow, Dinah must have made a lot of progress yesterday. Undyne felt bad that she hadn't really been able to help in any way but at least Alphys, Doc and sorta Sans had picked up the slack left by her un-sciencey mind.
The word 'experiments' made her more than a little nervous. Probably meant more soul bearing and painful memories recalled.
But if it worked...everything could go back to normal. Everyone could go home and Undyne could act like this weakness and fear inside her never existed. Stupid humans and their stupid over-emotional reactions.
As she reached the cut off between Snowdin and the trail to the River she glanced to the left, towards the store. There was a tugging on her soul.
"Undyne," a voice inside her head whispered. Approaching, she saw that strange star again, the one that Dinah had called a 'save point'. Well, if save points were anything like they were in Alphys' video games then it was important to save often right? Not to mention Sans had reminded her numerous times to do the same thing.
*The combined might of your friends helping you fills you with determination.
The trip to Hotland was uneventful except for the fact that, strangely enough, Undyne didn't see a single other monster except for the River Person. Not that it was suspiciously strange as monsters did have lives of their own, but it was still odd. Enough to put her on edge.
Thankfully the river ride and soothing sounds of the water helped calm her and she'd forgotten it entirely as she entered through the doors to the lab. The edgier doctor was working inside at Alphys' work table. An examination bed had been setup nearby; the sight of it making her stomach clench nervously. It's okay...she could do this. They wouldn't go as far as they had before; she'd been promised that. Though Dinah hadn't been present last time...
"Are Alphys and Doc here?" At least one of them here would make her feel much better. Even Sans but she wasn't going to mention that. Specifically to the probably-insane scientist.
Also strangely, Dinah didn't regard her coldly like usual, it was more or less a decent reply.
"Alphys is at New Home discussing matters with the King. Doctor will join us shortly." Undyne nodded. That would have to do.
"What do you want me to do?"
"You're just in time actually. We're ready to begin the extractions but you need to take this serum first." She held up a needle filled with a dark purple liquid. Undyne frowned.
"What's that for?" She didn't exactly trust the doctor. Not that she suspected the other would actually do anything to her and risk Rebel's wrath or start another fight again but she'd still be more comfortable if someone, anyone else explained it. And administered it in fact.
"It's to prevent any pain from the extraction since Alphys says it's excruciating, apparently." She didn't seem to notice the other's hesitance. Well, at least Undyne took comfort in the fact that Dinah didn't seem to want to put her through that pain. (She wouldn't have put it past her, particularly to someone as 'weak' as herself.)
"Shouldn't we do it downstairs though? Isn't that where the DT Extractor is?" They'd already gone over all of this after dinner last night. Dinah nodded.
"It'll take a few hours to take full effect. I'd use a stronger dose that would work faster but I'm not sure how your human physiology would react to that. Now, sit down here," She motioned to the examination table. "It may cause some dizziness."
"Wow, you're really considering my well-being now, aren't you?" Dinah didn't reply, didn't even give any indication she'd heard her. No matter, not like she would become the friendliest monster in one day. Their worlds and childhoods were vastly different after all.
Undyne winced slightly as the needle went into her skin.
She thought she wouldn't feel more than residual pain from the needle and the dizziness Dinah mentioned but instead her whole body began to feel a numbness that she instinctively knew was not normal.
"D-Dinah..." at least she had the ability to speak properly. "Something's...w-wrong." But rather than acknowledging her, Dinah suddenly lashed out, knocking her down and shoving her over until she was flat on her back on the table. Before Undyne could even react, metal cuffs slid over her wrists and ankles, effectively immobilizing her, probably for when the serum wore off. She nearly went into a panic attack, this scene too similar to the one in her dream last night. She took deep breaths through her nostrils and instead tried to figure out what was happening.
"Why? Why are you doing this?" It didn't make any sense. She had nothing to gain, was in no position of power. "You're on your own, the others will stop you." Last time she'd only lashed out out of anger and frustration. This was cold. Calculated.
"You've been waiting to do this for a while, haven't you?" It didn't answer any questions but to do something like this out of nowhere made less sense. She let out a shout in frustration as none of her questions or comments were answered. Dinah wouldn't even look at her as she worked on something Undyne didn't want to know, as if she was nothing more than a sick experiment.
Stars, she was getting tired of others kidnapping her and tying her up.
If Undyne could move she'd be struggling and trying to get free. But the only thing she could move was her head so she hit the back of it against the table in annoyance. Her whole body was numb, rendering her useless of any sort of movement except her head and mouth. (To hear her scream? What was she even planning to do to her? Again, she didn't want to know.)
Another few silent minutes went by, each passing second making her more and more upset. Where were Doc and Alphys? Or Rebel or Papyrus or Sans? Why had she suddenly been left all alone with this freak? Hell, why wouldn't Asgore even come bust down the door and get her out of this? She hated depending on others for help but with her as a human and 90% of her body all numb she'd probably die on this table unless something changed.
Hopefully the others hadn't been hurt or worse, dusted. "This is all my fault." She thought, certainly not for the first time.
If she'd just been rational and talked to Alphys calmly before lethally injecting herself none of this would have happened. Undyne could have taken down the human normally or died trying. At least her world wouldn't have been bastardized and put in danger of being destroyed along with all the other universes.
In one last attempt at solving this peacefully she implored Dinah again.
"What did I do to you for you to do this? Do you really think you have something to gain from all this? If you're after something just let us help you! Working together is better than attempting to do it by yourself."
"You're right on that part." If it were possible Undyne would have jolted in shock at the new voice. Instead her head whipped around to the direction where loud boots were thunking on the linoleum, heading her way.
This newcomer was tall, even taller than Rebel and a mass of bloodied bandages covered one eye. Her other eye was yellow and crazed with a pinprick of a red pupil, gazing at her hungrily and wildly. Her teeth were long and vicious and matched the crown made of teeth affixed to her head. This was without a doubt yet another Undyne, one that looked like she had walked straight out of a child's worst nightmare.
She grinned wickedly. "Working together is better than attempting to do it yourself. And man what a team do we have. Guys?"
Undyne's soul clenched in terror as yet another Undyne appeared into existence with a crackling noise like static. It was more like a black silhouette with parts of her flickering in and out of existence, the words ERROR marked like a brand across her face and chest over and over. Her head tilted to the side repeatedly and her voice came out garbled like it was filtering through a dying tape recorder.
"TH-THiS AnoMaLY WILL-WILL-WILL B-BE DeS-DeSTRoyEd."
She raised one of her shadowed hands and thick strings colored red and blue lowered from the ceiling, revealing a figure bound and gagged with the same strings, struggling and staring with horrified eyes. Undyne's heart sank as she realized it was Alphys.
And finally vines burst up through the floor of the lab, revealing a giant version of the golden flower Undyne had first met upon leaving the Ruins, the one that had threatened her before disappearing. She'd completely forgotten about it.
The flower dropped two unconscious forms in front of them from its vines: Rebel and Papyrus.
(Where were Doctor and Sans? She prayed they weren't piles of dust but had gotten away safely.)
"You should have listened to me!" Flowey cackled in a singsong voice as he lowered himself beside the others.
"As for my name," The bloody Undyne with the crown spoke again, silencing the others with a raise of her hand. The clear leader of this 'team' came up to Undyne and leaned over her, so close that the human could smell death emanating from her very being.
"You may call me Queen."
("NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME")
Chapter 8: Chapter 9) Doctor Takes Action
Queen plans to take over the universes, and one of the Undynes must find the willpower in her to save them all.
The human Undyne isn't the only one with Determination...
Remember to reread the warnings in the tags if you need to. Stay safe!
Btw I'm planning a one-shot series set in this universe, and one of the chapters will be the written out scene of how Queen and ErrorDyne met Dinah rather than a summary. Let me know if that's something you'll read!
The moment Dinah had first entered this boring alternate universe, she'd been disgusted at how peaceful everyone was. Even the alternate who grew up in the most similar circumstances was a pushover. Rebel, what a ridiculous name. Not that her name wasn't any less so but she forced herself to play along until an opportunity for change was found.
That opportunity came that very night, when she'd discovered that the four of them weren't the only ones to have been dumped here in this conglomerated universe. As the barriers between worlds crumbled, more and more damage was being done, which would eventually cause so much chaos that a new ruler could easily take over in the midst of the insanity.
That new ruler came in the form of the tallest, most frightening Undyne Dinah had ever seen, which didn't scare her in the least but rather attracted her to her cause. The 'ErrorDyne' did unsettle her some (who wouldn't be? It felt like she wasn't supposed to exist) but her skill set had come in handy, as well as the flower's. Their combined might was formidable but hard to hide until the right moment. After all, they couldn't have the human reset on them, even if that so-called 'Undyne' didn't know her full capabilities. The fact that she was the "original" only sickened and goaded her more into following Queen and her lackeys.
Queen promised a better world. A world ruled by the strongest instead of the wisest. A world that wouldn't put restrictions on her experiments but rather fund them. A world where Dinah wouldn't have to scrape for food and money along with all the other pathetic lifeforms in her world.
A world where her Alphys wouldn't be distracted with trying to accomplish the impossible task of keeping the peace and focus on her instead.
The right moment to strike had come after the others began to trust her with leading the DT Extraction plan she'd come up with. Fools! It'd been easy to sneak everyone into the lab and incapacitate this universe's royal scientist as well as Rebel and the loud skeleton not even watching their backs in Waterfall. When did the idiocy end? She'd been disappointed upon hearing that Rebel hadn't put up much of a fight before being knocked out by the flower's vines and brought back to the lab.
The weaker scientist version of herself as well as the smaller skeleton hadn't been seen yet but Queen had been confident after Dinah's description of them that they wouldn't be much of a fight if they did happen to show up.
The human herself had been the easiest to take down, she'd actually willingly taken the drug she'd created, if that didn't make her the stupidest one here.
She couldn't stop whining about the whole thing too. As if she was worthy of the name 'Undyne'.
The takeover couldn't have come soon enough too. Dinah was ready to take one or more of them down herself.
Patience had never been her strongest virtue.
Doctor had gone to fetch some supplies Alphys needed when she'd heard the commotion in the main room. Naturally fearful she'd ducked into one of the old offices in disrepair and waited until it was quiet again. She hated how much of a coward she was but she took a small comfort in the fact that she wouldn't have been much help anyway if trouble was going on.
After a few minutes she had enough courage to see what was happening. Stifling a cry of alarm she ducked back inside, a hand shoved up against her mouth to prevent any noises escaping. There were so many of them. That tall one...and that one that looked like she'd stepped straight out of the void...
A few tears of fear escaped from her eyes and she quivered, hating herself more and more with each passing second. Oh, why couldn't she have been born strong like Rebel? Granted, she'd never have wanted to grow up in that 'everyone out for themselves' world but just an ounce of that confidence wouldve been nice in a situation like this.
And Dinah! Dinah had betrayed them! After everyone had been so nice to her too. How could she do a thing like this? From what she could hear they were planning to let the universes delve into chaos before standing on top of the ruins and take control.
She couldn't let that happen! Everything would be destroyed. Nothing could ever go back to the way it was if this 'Queen''s plan worked out.
Clenching her fist, Doctor felt a rush of determination. The sensation startled her for a second before she let it guide her. Taking a minute to watch those in the main room, she thought long and hard. With her knowledge the easiest target was the errored Undyne. She looked like she still had a few tethers to her world (or void or whatever) and could be easily disrupted with a few sonic pulses. All she'd have to do was get to the computer and input the command without being seen.
Which would be a feat in itself but they did seem to be pretty occupied already...
"This was much too easy." Queen declared as she finally stepped away from Undyne, who was doing everything in her power not to retch from the smell of death and the sight of dried, crusted blood from the loss of her eye which looked like it happened fairly recently. Her LV was probably higher than all the other Undynes combined except for probably Rebel. Undyne couldn't even imagine what kind of world this one had come from.
Speaking of Rebel, she was groaning and beginning to stir.
"Ohh my head..." With a single nod to Flowey, vines wrapped around her limbs, holding her down forcefully and jerking her into the waking world.
"Hey! What...what the hell?!" Like a wild animal she struggled wildly, growling and snapping with her sharp teeth at any stem that drew too close. It was no use though. Queen effectively silenced her by placing a boot directly on her throat, pressing down until Rebel was merely wheezing, having difficulty drawing in breath. Her eyes widened as she took in the other's appearance for the first time.
"There. That's better." She grinned wickedly as she removed her boot from the prone one's throat. Glancing at the weed she flicked a finger upwards. Flowey understood the command and Rebel was hoisted upright into the air, hovering a foot off the ground. Another vine wrapped around her waist to hold her up better, making her gasp as her airflow was mostly cut off. She resumed her struggling but her eyes glittered in challenge. Was that a smile on her face? Was...was she getting high off of conflict? Or was she eager at the prospect of something to try and conquer? Undyne wouldn't put either past her.
"Aren't you somethin'? We were smart to bind you up properly." Queen declared, laughing as Rebel's hands clenched into fists, attempting to pull upwards but getting nowhere. The right side of her face turned up in a snarl but there was a sick grin on her face. She struggled for a breath due to the tight vine around her stomach but managed to gasp out darkly
"If you let me go I'll be even more, sweetheart. I'll even show you the best way to use bondage."
"Maybe another time." The taller one replied as she turned away with a second nod to Flowey. Yet another vine wrapped around Rebel's mouth, effectively stopping any more speech. She screamed and swore in displeasure and squirmed but all that came out were muffled yells. Queen ignored her, instead turning her attention to the silhouette version of them.
"ErrorDyne, how are the walls still holding up?" The strange, flickering one cocked her head to the side, as if seeing something that wasn't there.
"WaLLS ARE-ARE ST-STILL StaBLE. apPROxImaTIONnN TO TotAL TERM-TERMINATion TWENTY-ONETWOTHREE HOuRS." Queen rolled her eyes, obviously she'd been dealing with this for a while now.
"How long?" She repeated.
"TWENTY-ONETWOTHREE HOuRS." The other monster growled and bared her teeth but didn't pursue the subject. She sighed in exasperation as a vine warily tapped her on the shoulder.
"WHAT is it?" An angry eye turned to the former prince-turned flower. Flowey raised himself slightly so he was the same eye level as the other. He looked slightly worried and glanced around with a creased brow, as if looking for something or someone.
"Still no sign of the smiley trashbag."
"You mean this world's tiny, fat skeleton? Dinah said he'd be no problem."
"He can barely drag himself out of bed, much less match your might, oh powerful Queen." Dinah replied, speaking for the first time since Undyne had seen her. Now, if he was anything like the angry little purple Sans from her world they might've had a slightly bigger problem. But he wasn't so there wasn't.
Rebel scoffed in scorn at the pathetic, kissass tone but winced hard as the vines on her wrists and ankles jerked outward roughly, stretching her limbs out painfully. She coughed into her makeshift gag, the vines around her waist clenching sharply as well.
Queen nodded, appreciating the praise. Flowey wasn't abated though.
"I've fought him, many times. He's stronger than you are, his magic levels are off the charts and-" Queen cut him off sharply, having lost interest once he'd implied that someone else was stronger than her.
"No offense but I think I'd rather trust the word of myself rather than a talking plant." She nodded at Dinah and she nodded back, lowering her head in respect.
After Queen strutted back over to where Undyne was strapped to the table and gazed at her curiously.
"So you're the human version of us. Gotta say I'm a bit disappointed." She raised an eyebrow, looking her up and down. Undyne would have squirmed under her scrutinization but instead she glowered to hide how uncomfortable she was.
"Join the club." She spat. "At least I have both eyes again."
"Ho ho! She's an Undyne, no doubt about it. Shame you're a disgusting human now." She spat the word human like it was poison. "You almost ready Dinah?"
"Yes your majesty. Soon her Determination will be ours."
"Wait what?" That did not sound good. Dinah turned to her for the first time and grinned wickedly.
"That's right wimp. We're going to take your overabundance of DT and give it to the new monarch."
"That'll kill her." Undyne replied simply. "Believe me, I know."
"We've already planned for that." Dinah countered. "That's what the Error is here for. She's going to change her makeup to physically handle it." She nodded in satisfaction as Undyne's eyes widened in horror.
That...that would be unthinkable. That kind of power in someone like that...
Undyne still clearly remembered how she'd felt after taking the lethal injection of Determination. She felt like she could hold up the world. Could fight every human and win. She probably could have too if she'd been able to keep herself from dusting and merging with the human's soul.
If someone like this 'Queen' had that much power and intent...she probably could destroy everything.
Which wouldn't matter anyway since the universes would be in chaos by that time. But she'd rule over the crumbled remains and no one would be able to stop her.
"And believe me, we'll make it as painful as possible~" Dinah seemed to purr in pleasure as she ran a finger down the side of her pink cheek. Undyne jerked her head away but it wasn't far enough.
She was about to say something cliché like 'you can't do that!' when there was a noise from the computer behind them.
"Th-there won't be a ch-chance of that after I'm through!" All eyes turned to see Doctor standing in front of the device, a command already entered in.
"STOP HER!" Queen shrieked, waving at Flowey and The Error. Vines and strings darted out towards her but the shaking scientist slammed her fist on the enter key. A bright light filled the room and the errored Undyne screamed before disappearing in a flash, back into the hell she'd come from.
Alphys collapsed to the ground after being released, shaking and crying from the whole ordeal.
The strings heading straight for Doctor's soul disappeared but the vines were still coming. Unable to dodge in time they ripped through her, tearing through her chest and in turn, her soul. She howled in agony as her body jerked and flew upwards, her head snapping so hard to the ceiling that she might have damaged her neck. Not that it mattered though. Her scream cut off sharply as her soul was gored by thorny vines and shattered, her body vanishing into dust. Undyne was shocked into silence but the horrified scream that was ripped from Rebel's throat, still suspended in the air by the same vines that had killed her counterpart and friend seemed to shake the very walls of the lab. Even through the gag over her mouth the anguish was still understandable.
Meanwhile Queen was livid. She grabbed everything closest to her and flung them in every direction, yelling in anger. She even threw things at Flowey and Dinah, who just barely ducked out the way in time.
Undyne felt like her own soul had been destroyed (and she knew intimately what that felt like), but she took comfort in the fact that the dear doctor had succeeded. They couldn't torture her now and take her Determination so Queen could rule without any chance of being overthrown. It'd come at a serious cost though.
"you shouldn't have done that." Queen stopped her rampage and spun to where the new voice had come from.
Sans stood with his hands in his pockets, watching them all from the other side of the room. The tallest Undyne in the room scowled, essentially scoffing at him.
"And why not? She ruined everything! She deserved to die!"
"you don't get to decide who lives and who dies. well, i shouldn't either but..." Queen shook her head, stomping over to tower over the short skeleton. She stood nearly five feet taller than him. He didn't look intimidated in the slightest.
"Is that a threat? Are you saying you think you're going to kill me, short stuff? I'll put a hole in your head just like I did with my Sans!" Sans stared up at her, his eye flashing blue and yellow for a second. He didn't relish getting a hole in his head but that wasn't his focus right now.
"not you." Glancing to the side, he met Undyne's eyes with a sad look on his face. "sorry fishsticks."
Confused, Undyne looked up just in time to see the sharpened bone hovering over her chest.
Before she even had a chance to cry out, it plunged into her soul.
Chapter 9: 10) Best Laid Plans...
Sans and Undyne formulate a plan to save their friends and possibly take down the evil Queen while they're at it.
Sorry this chapter took so long, I've had the flu for the past week (even got dehydrated urgh) and was out of town this weekend. I'll try not to let updates go for too long any more.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Undyne jerked back, finding herself standing in front of the Inn in Snowdin.
What...what just happened? And why did she suddenly feel like hurling her guts up?
"damn it!" She heard a movement of displaced air and a shout beside her. Looking down she saw Sans glaring around with an unhappy look on his face.
"What..." She couldn't come up with any coherent thoughts so she just stared at him until he decided to explain it to her.
"i thought you would have saved further back than this. it's already too late." Still didn't help.
"What the crap are you talking about? Why am I back here in Snowdin?" Sans sighed, running a skeletal hand over his skull. The motion would have made more sense if he'd had hair.
"that save star, right there. i assume you saved this morning, just before you left?"
"You told me to save often!"
"i didn't think you'd listen to me! you never usually do anyway!" He began pacing back and forth in front of her. The silence of the usually busy snow town put her just as much on edge as it had the first time.
"Don't blame me for that!"
"i'm not! it's just...i wish we had more time."
"they've already been taken. rebel and paps got nabbed by that damn flower just after they left the house. i assume dinah got alphys." Undyne took a step back, biting her lip and thinking.
"So, if we've gone back to this morning that means we can save them all. We can save Doctor!" Sans paused at that, looking at her gravely.
"i...i'm sorry, undyne. she's gotta take error undyne out. it's too dangerous to try and save her." The fish monster turned human shook her head roughly.
"No, no I won't believe that. This is my fault. I can't just let her die for my mistakes."
"this isn't all your fault. this is on all those who hurt them, who killed doc. who are gonna kill doc anyway." Now it was Undyne's turn to sigh. It felt like she was giving up and letting her counterpart be killed. It felt like she'd speared her herself.
"Sans, you mentioned something about a RESET? I'll go back to the Ruins and we can stop Dinah immediately and-"
"no!" He interjected. "we can't risk a RESET. it's too dangerous. it might cause permanent damage to the walls between universes." His slippers squelched in the snow as he continued to pace back and forth. "we need an actual plan. a battle plan, as paps would call it heh."
"Any bright ideas?" He huffed at her.
"not yet. what about you, gills?" She released a frustrated breath out her nostrils.
"Is now really the time for stupid nicknames?"
"helps me calm down, no offense." Undyne crossed her arms, not believing him.
"You must always be on edge then."
"bingo." Wait, what? She decided to ignore that for now.
"Well, I say we just rush in and beat the living daylights outta them. Take them by surprise!" She was being serious but frowned when the tubby skeleton started laughing. "What?" She growled.
"sorry, it's just, you were so worried about not being, well...'undyne' anymore. that was the most undyne thing i've heard you say yet."
"W-well I guess I..." and as soon as she had grasped it, it was gone. Sans didn't mention it though.
"that's not a bad idea, actually. just needs a little...finesse."
"Like how?" He grinned up at her, his one working eyelight lighting up briefly in amusement.
"She should have been here by now." Dinah kept glancing nervously at the door to the lab, anticipating when their trap could be set off. It didn't help that Queen was leaning in the dark corner behind her, watching her every move. Judging her.
"She better show up soon or it's your head. Literally." It was no secret that this Undyne liked the collect the heads of her human enemies. It was too bad she couldn't preserve monsters' heads before they turned to dust. She'd never had one that looked like her own head before...
Dinah quaked in fear and fidgeted, wringing her hands together.
"Th-there's n-no way we were discovered. Everything was p-perfect." Her nervousness was making her stutter worse than Doctor. She'd earned all of their trusts by helping them and believing her lies that she wanted to get home as much as they did. There was no way their deception had been leaked.
She jerked in surprise as the errored version appeared much too close to her. The Error turned towards Queen, speaking in that broken dialect that was difficult to understand.
"THE-THE LiZARD HAS BEENNN inCAPACitaTED." Queen smiled in satisfaction. At least this Undyne was pulling her weight.
"Thank you! Flowey should be along any minute as well. Any sign of the weaker scientist version of us?"
"I'll take as a no. That's okay, if she's smart she'll stay away." Now if only the human would show up...
As if on cue the front doors slid open. Immediately Queen slipped into the shadows and ErrorDyne disappeared.
"Hey," Undyne called out, calm and collected. Sans had warned her to act like not a single thing was out of the ordinary and to say the exact same things she'd said before the reload just to be on the safe side.
"Are Alphys and Doc here?" It hurt to say Doctor's name out loud, seeing she was about to condemn her to death soon. Undyne still felt she could do something to save her but she wasn't sure how.
"Alphys is at New Home discussing matters with the King. Doctor will join us shortly." The lie came off her counterpart's tongue just as easily as it had the first time, although she had no idea this time wasn't the first.
Undyne lowered her eyebrows as soon as Dinah turned away.'Doctor will be joining us shortly' indeed. They hadn't been able to capture her, more accurately. Good for her.
"What should I do?"
"You're just in time actually. We're ready to begin the extraction but you need to take this serum first." She held up the needle that would effectively incapacitate her.
"What's that for?" She asked anyway, knowing if she didn't ask it would raise too much suspicion.
"It's to prevent any pain from extraction since Alphys says it's excruciating."
"Shouldn't we do it downstairs where the DT Extractor is?"
"It'll take a few hours to take full effect. I'd use a stronger dose that would work faster but I'm not sure how your human physiology would react to that." And those were the words she'd related to Sans that had sparked the idea for their plan.
Undyne sat down as directed and held her arm out like the good little lab rat she was. Or lab fish, as Sans had put it (and nearly lost his teeth for it).
She didn't bother with any other words like last time; she'd said enough to throw off any suspicion that things were different this go-around.
"I...feel strange. What's...what's going on?" Sans had made her practice her acting skills until he was happy with the product. All in all she wasn't the best actor.
And just like before she was shoved onto the table and strapped down. Then yadda yadda yadda Queen's special appearance, followed by ErrorDyne and Flowey and oh no all their friends were trapped and...
Okay now Undyne could start paying attention again. Or, she kind of had to since that traitorouscreep was stroking her finger down her face again.
"And believe me, we'll make it as painful as possi-YIPE!" She yelped suddenly as a bone attack flew into her hand, leaving a nasty red welt and taking one damage off her hp that slowly decreased her health, like a poison.
Heads didn't know which way to turn as many things happened at once. Noticing the more important danger, Queen once again ordered Flowey and ErrorDyne to stop Doctor but was too late as once again the Error was sent off.
A few more bones flew in Undyne's direction and broke off the cuffs binding her wrists and ankles, the precision of the skeleton's magic not even scratching her. She leapt off the table and deftly caught the sword Sans tossed to her.
(Sans had boosted her soul with extra monster magic earlier that morning so the low dosage of numbing substance Dinah would later give would be resisted.)
Sans teleported to Doctor's side and grabbed her, dodging them both away as vines struck the far wall where she'd been standing. They teleported a few feet away and collapsed to the ground from the rush. He hadn't told Undyne he'd been planning to save Doctor the whole time in case he got her hopes up and hadn't been fast enough to prevent her death.
"go, go!" He shouted at the thin scientist, shoving her until she stood up. "get alphys!" She nodded and ran around the perimeter of the battles that had started.
Flowey had been so surprised he'd dropped Rebel and in the struggle she'd managed to get free, summoning a red spear and cutting off any vines that tried to bind her up again. With precision and speed she removed all the vines from Papyrus and hefted the still-unconscious skeleton on her back, running and off and depositing him in a nearby room, all the while fending off magical chainsaws from Dinah screaming in anger.
Sans had managed to distract Flowey away from Rebel and Papyrus by goading him on, using their mysterious past history against him.
"come on weed! i've beaten you every time before, it's like you enjoy me beating you constantly!"
All the while Undyne had been running towards Queen who was slowly advancing on Doctor who was tending to Alphys, not noticing the threat behind her.
"Hey, ugly!" Queen spun around at the insult. "Yeah, you! Why do you collect heads anyway? Is it because you hate your own so much?" The taller Undyne growled but didn't explode like Undyne had been expecting.
"Nice try, human. But I didn't get to be Queen in my world by falling for ridiculous insults." Suddenly her hand struck out behind her and caught Doctor by her throat, causing her to gasp in surprise. The noise of Sans and Flowey fighting as well as Rebel and Dinah facing off had drowned out Queen's approach. Alphys, who had recovered quite quickly, in a fit of bravery, jumped onto Queen's back and attempted to bite her shoulder. But Queen threw her off easily and she huffed as she hit the ground, knocking the breath out of her.
"No!" Undyne rushed forward but stopped as Queen's grip on Doctor tightened, lifting her off the ground a few inches. Doctor struggled, gasping for breath and clawing desperately at the hand that held her. Her face was starting to pale from lack of oxygen.
"I should kill you properly myself. You've ruined the most important part of my plan after all." She glanced back at Undyne who was staring at them both with a terrified look on her face. "It was my original goal to kill all humans in existence but you know what? You'll do just fine for now."
"NO!" Faster than lightning, a black, vicious looking barbed spear appeared in her hand and she plunged it into Doctor's abdomen. Her eyes grew wide before crying out in pain.
"No..." Undyne fell to her knees, feeling utterly hopeless as Doctor's soul once again shattered in a million pieces. She had failed twice in a row. How could she have let this happen? How could she have let any of this happen?
Queen laughed as she shook the dust off her hands, clapping them like she would chalkboard erasers.
"Your head is mine, human." She spat, coming for her next.
"No. No!" Feeling a rush of determination she climbed back to her feet and brandished the sword Sans had give her. "Come and get it bitch!"
The monster intent on killing all humans had obviously expected this battle to end much quicker than it did, for as soon as she struck with the same spear still covered in Doctor's dust it clashed against Undyne's own sword. Undyne was surprised as she felt a strength that surpassed her own human ability and she began to feel more and more like her monster self.
Queen still had more physical power though and she used her weight to throw the human off. Undyne grunted as she hit the ground and slid back a few feet.
Queen pounced but Undyne used the momentum in her legs to lift the other up and send her flying back, crashing into a table and knocking it over, along with her.
Undyne rolled on the floor quickly as a black spear struck the ground where she'd landed seconds before.
She was too fast, the human couldn't dodge for much longer. One nearly took her ear off by centimeters. She couldn't keep this up. Without magic of her own she had no way to end this.
On instinct she reached out and, to her surprise, was able to turn the other monster's soul green, effectively trapping her.
"What...what the hell? How is that possible? You're a human, you're not supposed to have magic! Humans don't have magic anymore!" It wasn't possible. There was no way.
"Because she had help." Undyne looked up and saw Rebel looking at her with a grin on her face, her hand stretched out, her blood red magic aimed at the human Undyne's soul. She was also covered in dust that must have been Dinah's and a large bloody gash had cut through her t-shirt where a chain saw caught her. Rebel helped Undyne to her feet while still keeping Queen immobilized.
A loud crash signaled that Sans had also finished his fight with the demonic flower who could no longer reset due to the human's determination surpassing his own. He lay in a heap of vines and thorns, breathing hard and having no strength to get up once again. Sans trapped him in a cage of blue bones just in case. He looked up at a sudden noise.
"papyrus!" The taller skeleton was holding his head and stumbling into the room but he seemed to take notice of what was going on pretty quickly. The skeleton brothers came up behind Undyne also to lend their help.
Undyne jumped as she felt someone take her hand. Looking down, she saw it was Alphys, coughing but smiling up at her.
"Together this time, alright?" Undyne nodded, tears filling her eyes.
"Together." She repeated, before turning back to her captor turned captive. She was furious now, having lost every single one of her team members and was now facing off against a human and four monsters, all of whom she'd underestimated.
"I'll kill you! I'LL KILL YOU ALL! I WILL RULE THIS WORLD!"
"We'll see about that." Undyne could feel the blend of magic filling her soul, giving her the ability she feared she'd lost forever.
Forced to defend herself, Queen brought up the shield she'd been giving and, through Undyne's hand, deflected red spears, cyan and orange bones and tiny electric bolts. She tried valiantly but the combined might of five others was too much and she was forced to one knee under the weight of it all.
"Damn...mmff humans! I hate them all!"
"I don't know what caused you to be like this but I'm sorry. I hate them too but I think I understand them more now that I've been one for a while." After all, the one she'd met had killed everyone she loved including herself but that couldn't mean they were all like that right? They weren't inherently evil, and Undyne was proof of that.
"There...there was no reason." Queen gasped out, losing too much energy trying to get back to her feet. "They didn't kill everybody. Just some. What did those monsters do to have them taken away from their families? Humans have no compassion! They care not for us, nor our plight. They all deserve to die!"
"It's not your choice to make. It's-"
"I am Queen in my world! I make the rules!" Obviously power had gone to her head too much to be reasoned with.
Would Undyne have done the same thing were she in the same position? If she had survived after killing the human, would she have declared war on all of them?
Maybe worse, since most of her friends, nearly every monster Underground had been killed. The human in her world didn't pick and choose, like Queen's human. They sought out every single monster and slaughtered them.
Including sweet, innocent monsters like Papyrus.
Their roles could have easily been reversed. It could easily have been her being held there with green magic defending off attacks, cursing and hating everything in sight.
The thought caused her magic to falter and gasped as the green slipped off of Queen's soul. The terrifying beast charged forward with a shout but flew back again as her soul 'ping'ed blue this time. She hit the far wall so hard it put a large dent in it.
Undyne looked down at Sans but he was standing there with a surprised look on his face, his hands in his pockets, his eye not glowing from magic. Confused, she looked around before she noticed Papyrus with his hand stretched out, the one with both his eyes glowing blue but the rest of his expression calm and collected.
Everyone who had known him and had interacted with him in the last few days was stunned into silence as Papyrus approached her, walking ahead of everyone else to stare at Queen in her one eye. Out of everyone there she was the most surprised.
"Everyone can be a good person," He said, his voice much softer than usual. "If they just try." Her eye widened, her struggling stilling.
"Pap...Papyrus..." She spoke the name with a sort of reverence like she hadn't said it in a very long time. Not with kindness at least. "You don't understand. In my world...everyone's gone crazy. With hunger. With anger. With grief. You...you too. And your brother. Everyone. I can't...I can't be the leader that brings peace." Her gaze hardened suddenly with bitterness and hatred. "And it's all the human's fault! If they want chaos I'll bring them chaos! I'll..." Her voice fell as Papyrus just continued to stare at her. Her resolve seemed to be slowly breaking. "I...I can't..." suddenly she broke down into tears. "I just want it all to end!"
Wisely, Papyrus let go of her soul and she collapsed in his arms, placing her head into his shoulder and sobbing uncontrollably, gasping out
"No m-matter what I do I-I can't fix it! I c-can't fix it! I can't make it like it was before! M-my people are dy-dying and it's all my f-fault!"
Papyrus had been the only one smart enough to see her as just another Undyne changed by circumstances, who had once been her Papyrus' best friend back before she'd gone crazy with grief and power.
"SHH...SHH..." the others could only watch in shock and consternation as the tall skeleton comforted the broken fish monster who had taken on a much bigger burden than she'd ultimately been able to handle.
Don't worry, they haven't forgotten she's taken lives, they're not easily trusting her ever again. I just love having a redemption arc for everyone though. Let me know what you think! Only two more chapters left ^^
Chapter 10: 11) Passengers
Undyne finally finds out why she's been acting so weird this entire time and things start to come to a close.
Shortly after her breakdown, the former monarch had been taken away to be put into custody by Rebel and Sans. (The latter with a magical death grip on the other's soul). Not that she was putting up much of a fight. She'd ultimately been broken after Papyrus had helped her remember who she was and what she'd done. They'd still taken every precaution anyway since she was more powerful than even Rebel and had killed Doctor viciously (twice).
Flowey had disappeared sometime after, having slipped through Sans' bone cage during the distraction. With no more power he was sure not to cause any more problems though.
After things had calmed down, there was still the whole matter of getting the universes to stabilize. Rebel had been quiet and sitting motionless in the chair at the desk while Alphys worked by herself, the former obviously broken up over Doctor's death. Not to mention she'd had to put down an Undyne who had betrayed them all. Dinah had tricked them but she was one of them. There used to be four of them in the beginning but now there was just Undyne and Rebel left.
No one wanted to look in the places where they knew two piles of dust were sitting. Sans looked like he wanted to say something but he kept his mouth closed.
"A-alright, I think I fixed all the d-damage Dinah caused." Alphys finally broke the silence. Dinah hadn't destroyed all the notes entirely, but she'd done a decent job of trying. Alphys had also made backups of a lot of the information and had to get it all together.
"We should start immediately in c-case this doesn't work. Once we g-get rid of all the extra DT in your system it sh-should heal the anomaly and set everything right again, as well as re...reset this universe."
"Reset?" It didn't make much sense to her but she'd decided to just go along with it all a long time ago. "Does that mean everyone's going to forget?" Alphys nodded sadly. Rebel sighed at the revelation.
"That sucks. Besides certain things happening I could say I had a good time. Especially not having to watch my back constantly. I'd stay here if I could."
"I know," It was impossible but still nice to hear. "I'm sorry you have to go back." She was more than grateful that her world wasn't like Rebel's but that didn't mean she'd wanted to see her hardier counterpart return to that.
"Ah, don't worry about it." She slapped Undyne's back hard. "My Papyrus is overdue for some Indian burns anyway." Papyrus blanched at that, as much as a skeleton could. He'd never complain about getting noogies again.
"HOW DO INDIAN BURNS EVEN WORK ON SKELETONS?" He asked, something he'd regret later. "WE DON'T HAVE SKIN."
"Wanna find out?" A mischievous grin grew across her face.
"...NO." He yelped as suddenly Rebel took off, chasing the lanky skeleton down the hallway and out of sight. Undyne laughed as she heard faint shouting from them both.
"L-let's get started." Alphys said, tugging on the edge of the human's shirt.
"Lead the way," Undyne replied, the joy dropping from her face.
The two were completely silent on the elevator ride downstairs. As they stepped out into the basement lab, Undyne felt the sudden need to speak up. After all, there was no guarantee that she'd survive this.
"I forgive you, you know." Alphys jerked so hard she dropped the manila folders she'd been holding.
"Wh-what!?" She exclaimed, thinking she must have misheard. Undyne immediately bent down to help her pick up the fallen papers.
"I said I forgive you. For what happened. Even if you don't remember doing it, I know you must be torn up about it." Alphys was quiet for a few seconds, waiting to speak until all the papers were back in her hands.
"I have been." She said quietly. "I haven't b-been able to st-stop thinking about it."
"You did it for the good of everyone. And if you had succeeded and taken the DT, you would have been really badass." Alphys let out a little laugh, seeing Undyne's attempt at lightening the situation.
"I know it. Believe me." Silence again. "Can you forgive me too?" The little lizard's eyes widened at that.
"For what? From what I...what I hear, I was the one in the wrong. I took away what should have been your j-job. I got Mettaton to knock you out and tie you up. I be-betrayed you."
"Because I acted irrationally. We could have solved it together. I took a substance knowing it would kill me and let you go through all that traumatic crap of watching me do it." Alphys looked up at her for a full ten seconds before nodding.
"Yeah. I for-forgive you t-too." Undyne smiled and they shared a moment before Undyne stood up, staring in the direction of where the Extractor was. The two of them began walking again until Undyne was standing in front of it, staring up and contemplating. It didn't seem to loom over her like she thought it would. Maybe she'd been through too much.
Maybe she'd found herself again.
Or maybe she was just ready for all this to be over.
Alphys came up and stood next to her. Undyne noticed her claws were shaking. Huh, seems her doctor was more nervous than she was about all this.
"I-I'm sorry b-but this is really gonna h-hurt." So, Dinah hadn't been lying after all. At least about that.
"That's okay." Undyne replied, not removing her eyes from the Extractor.
Yes. It was time.
It hadn't just hurt. It had been excruciating. It had been all she could do to keep herself from screaming as all the red signaling determination in her soul was drained out slowly until her justice soul could take over safely.
Alphys watched over everything carefully, measuring her vitals and making sure it was going smoothly. There had been a scare for a moment at the beginning when the machine had started taking determination too fast. But Alphys in all her skills and knowledge had righted it quickly enough.
Even though it was more dangerous, Undyne had asked that no one else be there, knowing the trauma of having her soul outside her chest would be considerably less. Thankfully Sans readily agreed and Rebel hadn't wanted to be there anyway. Papyrus had to have a little convincing since he couldn't see the downside of his support but he'd relented, seeing how much she'd needed it.
Within an hour it was all done. Undyne felt ready to faint but she still stared up in fascination at her soul floating above her chest. It was now a vibrant yellow.
Alphys wasn't joining her though. Instead she was looking at the jar where her determination had gone. Undyne jerked as she heard her gasp.
"What, what is it?"
"Oh! Sorry, sorry here." She put her soul back in her chest and helped Undyne off the examination table. Undyne's eyes immediately went to the container where her DT had been put into.
It was...it was taking shape. It was turning into its own soul.
"Fascinating," Alphys muttered as she scrambled for a pen and paper to write all this down.
Undyne meanwhile couldn't take her eyes off the human-shaped heart taking form in front of her eyes. She'd had enough determination to make a whole other soul? Or was this actually the human's soul? The one she'd absorbed just before death, back in the Judgment Hall, so long ago? She had so many questions and none of them could be answered now.
Twenty minutes later the new soul had been brought upstairs, much to the shock of everyone. Sans was busy checking to see if the walls between universes were stabilizing now but he'd taken a few minutes to watch with the rest of them. Except for Alphys who was coming up with her own theory, using data she'd collected while extracting the DT and Undyne's own account of what had occurred before all this happened.
"So that was all in you? Your soul is all yellow now?" Rebel asked, cocking her head as she gazed at the red heart. Undyne nodded, her chin resting on the table, her eyes still on the magical container.
It felt like it was calling out to her, telling her to do something. What exactly that was she wasn't sure yet. So she decided to wait. She also opted not to tell anyone else of the vibes she was getting off the soul. She couldn't quite explain it, plus she didn't want the others to think she was crazy.
Finally, after what felt like forever Alphys finally had her theories on what had happened.
"This soul isn't part of you, Undyne. It never was." Her stutter was gone entirely now that she was in 'scientist mode'. "It's fully human but it's different enough from your DNA that I can determine that it's from the human you fought in the other timeline. It must have merged completely with yours. Your combined determination sparked a reaction that threw the timeline into chaos, trying to reset. It also changed your DNA to help you survive the ordeal.
But the universe tried to fight back by erasing your signature from existence. The reset coupled with that caused this sort of mishmashed timeline and made a sort of 'magnet' that attracted all nearby Undynes in order to destroy them." Undyne's head had started to spin halfway through the explanation but she forced herself to attempt to understand. She scratched both sides of her face absentmindedly. Why did it itch so much all of a sudden?
"Something's trying to destroy us?" Rebel had been listening more intently and she cracked her knuckles in anticipation. Of a fight? What the hell was she expecting to fight against? Undyne noticed Papyrus' winces at the noise each of her fingers made.
"Not like something was actively trying to kill you, more like a reaction to the universes collapsing. Like antibodies trying to expel a virus. It deemed 'Undyne' the source of the problem and it's not going to stop until she's gone. You're all gone that is."
"I'm not a virus." She growled, making Alphys' eyes widen with slight fear.
"Don't take it personally, that's not what she meant." Undyne said, finally sitting up. Suddenly she understood it now.
"I get it now. It was my fault. I caused all this and the reaction has only been the universe trying to fix it all. But it's time I fixed this."
"Wha? How?" The others could only watch as Undyne stood up, grabbing the container with the red soul and heading towards the door.
Before exiting she turned back, knowing in her heart exactly what she had to do now.
"I'm sorry I caused everyone so much pain. You've all been so supportive and so nice to me, but no one can help me now. It all started with me and it's my duty to end it all, before any further damage is done." She looked at each of her friends staring at her either in confusion or sad knowing, in Sans' case. "Alphys. Rebel. Papyrus. Sans. Thank you." The left side of her mouth turned up in a grin.
It was a long walk through Hotland, the Core and finally to New Home, where the King's castle loomed in the distance. She knew the way so well she could do it in her sleep. No monster dared to bother her as she moved through the King's home, quickly unlocking the gate and letting herself through. She could go all the way through to the throne room where she knew her old friend would be at this time but that wasn't why she was here.
After what felt like forever but was in reality only a few minutes she reached the Judgment Hall, where all of this had started as well as ended.
Her mind didn't know why she was doing this but her body felt like it was moving out of its own accord. Moving to the middle of the room she set the container housing the soul down on the floor, stepping back and waiting for something to happen.
A full silent minute went by, just long enough for her to start thinking she was crazy until the image of a familiar human child flickered into existence just to the left of the container, wearing a pink and blue sweater. They were transparent, like a ghost, only partially there. A few more seconds went by and another child appeared beside the first, to the right of the soul. This one was clad in a green and brown shirt.
"Hey Undyne," The first child signed, their brown eyes filled with sadness. The second child didn't say anything as they approached Undyne, reaching a finger up to place on her forehead.
And suddenly Undyne remembered everything. The reset before all her friends had been killed ruthlessly. Five resets ago, to be exact. Befriending Frisk, that's what their name was. Making spaghetti together, chatting with them on the phone with Papyrus, having Frisk deliver her letter, standing with everyone together on the Surface...
"Why?" She gasped out, her hands curling into fists. She felt like her eyes should be filling with tears, seeing the image of that beautiful sky over the human city above. But she could feel the human emotions start to ebb away. The grief over the loss of her earlier happiness was quickly replaced by anger. "We...we had everything. Why did you take it away from us? I thought we were friends." She strode forward, planning to knock some sense into the child when she noticed they were crying. Their hands were shaking, equivalent to stuttering in their sorrow.
"I-I-I'm s-sorry." it was hard to hear anything else but their broken sobbing. "I th-thought it was all a g-game. Since nobody remembered I thought I c-could have a little f-fun."
"A...a game?!" Undyne was flabbergasted. "You think our lives were a game? How dare you?!"
"Undyne, stop!" The other child interrupted her by speaking out loud, holding out a hand.
"And just who are you?" Undyne snapped. She had more questions than she had answers and it was pissing her off.
"My name is Chara. I am the first human that fell. Long story short, after my death, Frisk found my soul back in the Ruins. I was confused though and didn't understand what was going on. I let Frisk reteach me how the world worked. When I learned it was a 'kill or be killed' kind of world I let Frisk take my power, making them strong enough to kill everybody Underground. The hatred changed me though, making me into an evil and twisted thing." Their unnerving red eyes were too familiar and Undyne lowered her eyebrows.
Was she imagining things or was her left eye starting to go blurry?
"But then you stopped us," Chara continued. "You reminded us what monsters stand for, how important life is. I didn't remember how much everyone down here loved me, how accepted I was, much more than my own kind had. We're sorry. We truly are. We want to help make things right again."
"Now that the two of us have separated from you, we can use our combined might properly to do a complete RESET. The strength of the three of us should be enough to fix any damage we caused."
"But Sans said any resets were too dangerous with the walls in as much decay as they are."
"There is still a danger," Chara agreed. "But me an' Frisk are confident that this'll work. Right?" They turned to the other child, who could only nod through their tears. Undyne realized something.
"It...it was you two. In my head. Making me emotional and causing me to do things I normally wouldn't do." Like running away to the dump just because of a few hurtful words or not seeing Dinah's deception straight away. Chara nodded.
"Sorry about that too. Our personalities tended to...bleed over a bit. We couldn't find a way to make you aware of us, something like this has never happened before. That we know of at least." The three of them were silent, watching each other. The gravity of everything they'd done, what they'd gone through and what was coming next was running through all their heads. Undyne's eyes steeled in determination and she clenched her fists even harder. She didn't even notice the skin on her knuckles changing to a blueish tone, like someone was dumping paint on them. The blue ran slowly up her arms like a meandering river, enveloping all her skin gradually.
"I'm ready." Chara nodded, nudging the other child. Frisk wiped the tears off their face and the two children held their hands out towards her. Undyne took their hands in her own as a bright light appeared behind them in the hall. The tall human took a deep breath, saying goodbye to all that she'd learned these past few weeks.
The trio gripped hands as they walked together into the light, the power of their combined RESET overwhelming even the darkness of the entire Underground.
Thank you everyone who supported this fic, there's just the epilogue left to go!
Chapter 11: An Ending(s)
Was the RESET enough to turn everything back to normal?
The trio gripped hands as they walked together into the light, the power of their combined RESET overwhelming even the darkness of the entire Underground.
Undyne awoke in her own bed. Taking a minute to stretch her aching limbs she thought about the strange dream she'd had last night. Wow, that had been a complicated doozy. Good thing it hadn't actually happened or else she'd have a lot of things to worry about. Not that she worried about much, being Undyne and all but still. She was unnerved.
Taking a glance at the picture of Alphys sitting by her bed she sighed, hit with a pang of grief. She shook it off.
She'd gotten over it a long time ago.
The fish monster got ready in a hurry, brushing her tangled hair, throwing her armor on and heading out the door.
Papyrus was waiting for her outside. The two saluted and Undyne relaxed, the sight of her old friend calming her for some reason.
"READY FOR OUR MORNING RUN, UNDYNE?" His grating voice only comforted her further. Why had it felt like she hadn't seen him in so long? She resisted the urge to pull him into a hug.
"I am. But you know what, I think I'd like to be called something else from now on. Something other than 'Undyne' that is." Whether it was something from her dream or just a whim, she was sure about her decision.
"OH? AND WHAT'S THAT?" The immensely tall skeleton looked at her in slight concern, raising a bony eyebrow.
Undyne grinned at her Captain; her sharpened, yellow teeth vicious and deadly.
Undyne rolled over in bed and groaned, her head feeling like it was swimming. Her eyes snapped open as she remembered her nightmare. Sitting up, she ran her hands over her arms, making sure they were solid and not turning to dust. Then she lifted up her pink anime catgirl nightshirt and placed a trembling hand on her abdomen, taking comfort in not feeling magical blood dripping down from a stab wound that wasn't there. Her breaths came out in short gasps and she was shaking all over. She collapsed back down on the bed and looked up at the same ceiling she'd stared at for so long she'd memorized every tile, every line in the lab she slept in back when she'd been so guilt-ridden over what she'd done to those monsters downstairs that sleep wouldn't come for hours.
The young scientist had never gotten used to the usual nightmares but this one had unnerved her in a vastly different way.
Eventually she started to come down from her panic attack with every deep breath she forced herself to take.
She hadn't been speared by a monster who looked like her but much more frightening. She was still alive, she'd never left this bed at all in fact. Dr. Undyne just had to keep telling herself that.
After a few minutes, she was feeling better enough to get out of bed. She immediately regretted it as she was faced with everything she knew she had to deal with today, same as every day. The lies, the secrets, the feelings of utter worthlessness and inadequacy. It was almost enough to make her crawl right back into bed, pull the covers up and essentially reject the day.
But she'd done it yesterday, the day before and the day before that for years. She'd do it today and she'd do it again tomorrow. No one could ever find out how low she'd gotten, especially not Captain Alphys. She wouldn't let it happen.
Grabbing her pristine white lab coat, she threw it on and headed downstairs, the same fake smile plastered in place, the same one she'd had on every day for so long she couldn't remember when it hadn't been necessary. It gave her just enough strength to get by.
At least for today.
"UNDYNE!" Undyne jerked awake as the front doors to the lab slid open and a loud shout reverberated around the room.
The monster scrambled out of bed, hurriedly running a hand through her unkempt hair that was out of her usual bun and throwing on a bloodied, dirtied lab coat that had used to be white to cover up her ratty old, over-sized gray pajamas. It was hard to find good clothes in a world like this.
She felt a strange wave of jealousy, though for what she had no idea. For another way of life? She'd never known any other way besides this one.
"UNDYNE!" The skinny scientist moved faster as the familiar voice shouted again, louder this time.
"I-I'm coming!" She called out nervously as she ran down the broken escalator stairs, taking them two at a time.
"It's about time!" Captain Alphys hefted her enormous battle ax onto her shoulder, her one eye that wasn't covered in a nasty scar looking over the other monster carefully. "You sleep way too much, it's not good for you. Cut back on it."
"Y-yes m-ma'am." Undyne stuttered, glancing away. She was used to obeying orders from the hardened soldier.
"And stop stuttering, it's damn annoying." Undyne just nodded this time, not trusting her own voice. Alphys' hard gaze softened as she really looked at her friend. At the darkness behind her eyes that was...different than usual, and the way she looked like her mind was a million miles away. "You alright?"
"It's nothing," Undyne replied, much quieter than usual so she wouldn't stumble over the words.
"Undyne," Alphys set her weapon down and came over to her, setting her hands equipped with battle claws made just for her on her shoulders. "You can tell me anything. You know I only tell you to do these things for your own good, right?" Undyne nodded quickly in understanding.
Staring into her friend's one good eye, the weary scientist wanted to spill everything. The nightmares, the fear of death, the feeling that she was making all the wrong choices in life. The guilt over all the pain she'd purposefully caused to so many others.
But who here didn't struggle with those kind of things? She had too for so long.
Except today it felt different, like it had been amplified by 100 times. Why? What was so different about today that made her feel like wanting to break down, more so than yesterday? Or any other day in all the years she'd grown up and lived in this hellhole of a world?
Unable to find the right words her shoulders began to shake with overflowing emotion. Alphys frowned, clearly in discomfort but not pulling away. Instead she guided the fish monster to put her forehead against her. Due to the height difference she had to bend over a bit but she sighed into the lizard monster's shoulder, not letting herself sob but unable to stop a few tears from falling down.
"I-I..." She stopped, starting over and talking much slower so she wouldn't trip over the words. "I...wish things...were different." It was all she could say really. All that could be said that would sum up everything she was feeling.
Alphys bit her lip, awkwardly massaging the other's back. She knew all too well about those kind of feelings.
"I know, I know. But things will change soon, I know it. You just gotta believe, okay?" Undyne let out a shaky breath she didn't know she'd been holding.
Queen Undyne had already been up for hours. One didn't get to be ruler by sleeping in all morning after all.
But usually when she'd be ordering everyone else around, even throwing a few black spears at a few heads, this morning she was quiet. Contemplative. She hadn't felt like this in a long while. She kept recalling her past life, back before the human had fallen and left them to rot and go mad with grief and hunger.
Back when everyone hadn't been happy but instead full of hope, before that hope had been cruelly snatched away by an eight year old.
While her world was still the same as it had been the day previously for years, for the first time the leader felt the need to try and make it as it had been before. That hope she thought she'd lost was trying to cling to her cracked, shivering soul.
The Queen decided then and there to bring that same hope back to her people. It wouldn't be easy, not at all. In fact it would be one of the hardest things she'd ever have to do. But the daunting challenge didn't make her want to back down in the slightest. If anything, she was filled with Determination.
Her first step was calling in all her servants and having them gather up any and all seeds left in the Underground. As scarce as they were there were still a few that were brought in. A few was all she needed. Some rabbit monsters with growth magic could easily provide them all with enough food to feed everybody in a few weeks. The cannibalism could end and monsters could start helping each other again. And if they didn't, they'd meet the pointy end of one of her spears.
Their leader had just been too drunk with power and malicious intent to see everything she'd been doing wrong.
All this time she could have been helping her fellow monster, rather than declare war on the children who fell down here few and far between.
It would take a while and a lot of hard work to fix everything but she was confident she could do it. After all, she was Undyne.
There wasn't anything she couldn't do.
"The anomaly has been neutralized."
Undyne awoke in her bed so hard her back arched up involuntarily and she let out a loud gasp, her head spinning.
Throwing the covers off she stumbled out of bed, the sensation of having only half her vision again nearly making her collapse.
There were other sensations too. With a single glance she noticed she was taller again, her skin was colored a bright blue and the ear fins on the side of her head twitched as emotions ran through her head.
Her soul felt different too. She didn't have to look to know that it was white once again and the tip pointing upward rather than the other (human) way around. It beat in a steady pulse that greatly reminded her of what it had felt like to be...to be human.
But she wasn't human anymore. She was once again a monster. She felt like she could jump for joy and yell at the top of her lungs.
But...when was she? How far back had she gone? The massive power of the RESET could have dumped her anywhere. And what had happened to Frisk and Chara?
Blinking her single eye wearily she dressed quickly in a simple jean and tank top combo before collapsing down into the same old rickety chair in front of her computer. Knowing the year helped (same as before) but the exact date didn't. She hadn't bothered to look at a calendar the whole time she'd been human and didn't have a inkling to what day it had been before she (died) became human.
The now fish monster scrolled through Undernet for a few minutes trying to look for more clues but soon deemed it worthless. Alphys and Papyrus posted the same stuff every day and everyone else hardly posted anything at all.
She gave a start as her phone vibrated on the desk near her. Glancing at the screen she saw it was a text.
guess things are back to normal, ey fish sticks?
She didn't need to be the royal scientist to know who that was from. The fact that Sans remembered everything didn't surprise her in the slightest. What did was the fact that she did too. There had been many previous resets before the last one apparently and she hadn't remembered before, so why now?
Maybe the extra Determination that had been in her system had bled over, changing her physiology, even after it had been removed. Dear Asgore, what if she remembered every reset now? She'd go mad in no time, just like Queen, even if their circumstances were vastly different.
No. She wouldn't allow that. She'd take Frisk and shake them endlessly until sense was knocked into them, no matter how young they were. They had no right to play with all of them like pieces of a chess game without paying any consequences.
Undyne shook her head, clearing all those thoughts away. That was to be worried over at another time.
So instead Undyne grabbed her phone again and sent off a quick reply to the text she'd gotten earlier. Normally she would have ignored it but the stout skeleton had been an immense help getting everything back to normal. Plus, he was probably curious to know if she remembered everything too. Not that it was any of his damn business but she didn't care if he knew. Not anymore.
Guess so bonehead.
Yeah, it wasn't her best comeback but she'd think of a better one later. But the action did remind her that, no matter what day it was, she had duties to perform.
Except, another glance at the calendar told her it was her day off. Damn. If she didn't do something normal right now she'd go mad, being left alone with her thoughts over everything that had happened was not an option.
But...the last time she had worked on her day off Asgore had found out and nearly flipped his wig. He was very particularly about his royal guards taking it easy when they had to, both for their overall health and concern as a friend. (Asgore was friends with everybody, big surprise there).
Hmm...what to do then? What was it she usually did on her days off?
Cleaned, trained, both alone and with Papyrus (was he coming over today? He usually came over every day so probably so), played the piano, hung out with Alphys, practiced her cooking skills...
Well, this place had gotten pretty messy lately and she had missed playing the piano after so long...
The hours went by pretty fast, and Undyne was feeling more and more like herself with each passing minute. She'd never be the same as she had been before though, she'd learned too much, been through too much.
She'd even taken the time to send Alphys a cute picture and ask how she was doing.
(She got a Mew Mew Kissie Cutie meme in return. Good to see things were back to normal.)
The Captain of the Guard had just sat down and had been playing the piano for about thirty seconds when there was a knock at her door. Suppressing a groan but not a roll of the eye she moved to the door quickly. It was most likely Papyrus, it was around the right time for his training after all.
At seeing her old friend she reached out and trapped him in a fierce bear hug. She was so glad he was okay. The lanky skeleton seemed surprised but was never one to turn down a hug, which he returned eagerly. She set him down and he let out an 'oof' from the sudden drop. Undyne gave him a toothy grin.
"Hi Papyrus! Ready for your extra-private, one-on-one training?"
"YOU BET I AM! AND I BROUGHT A FRIEND!" Wait a minute...
Undyne suddenly remembered what day it was.
She stiffened immediately as she saw Frisk hiding behind Papyrus. As soon as the skeleton moved to the side they stared at her with intense, earnest, apologetic eyes. As if they were holding out the proverbial hand of mutual agreement.
Her first instinct was to throw a spear right at their soul but the way they were looking at her reminded her so much of standing in the Judgment Hall where they promised things would be different, where Undyne had taken their hand and stepped into the light.
They had one chance. One chance to make everything right, to free them all and never reset again.
"Why don't. You two. Come in?"
A year later there was a knock on the door of her house on the Surface. Opening it up, Undyne saw it was Sans with a goofy grin on his face, his hands in his pockets and rocking back and forth on his heels.
"What do you want Skelepun?" (Her replies had gotten better over time). He laughed at the name approvingly.
"i finished it." He said in that frustratingly vague way he tended to speak in.
"Finished what?" She growled, but with no real heat behind it.
"i call it the 'dimension hopper'." His grin grew even bigger, if that were possible.
"The wha-" but before she had a chance to really ask he continued.
"wanna go see them again? make sure they're doing alright?" Instantly she knew who he was referring to. There wasn't a second's hesitation before she answered.
She wasn't sure if they would remember her or not but maybe if they didn't that would be a good thing. Maybe this was a chance to start over.
Maybe this was a chance to help some of those Undynes she'd met who were hurting and help them fix things for them for good.
A great big thank you to everyone who supported me and this fic!
Expect to see more Undertale stuff from me, particularly another Undyne fic (although much more domestic hah) and maybe an Underfell fic eventually, but we'll see ^^ in fact if anybody wants I could do some one shots set in this AU, such as maybe all the Undynes living together or go back and explain how Queen and ErrorDyne landed in their universe in the first place, let me know!