Chapter 1: Prologue
The Barrier is broken, and monsters are moving to the surface. For some, it's a blessing like no other.
For Sans, it's suffering. He loves it. He loves it oh so much.
That's why it's so painful...
Knowing it's all going to reset.
Knowing he's going to lose the best thing to possibly happen to him.
As said in the name, this is a prologue.
This first chapter contains dark themes, specifically heavily implied depression and implications of suicide. Skip this chapter if these themes are difficult for you to manage.
That said, this chapter can be skipped, it's fine to begin with the first proper chapter instead. This chapter is solely meant to show off the state Sans is in right now, to contrast with how he will be later.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Please leave any critisism you have for me. Thank you for reading.
Footnote, I posted this before, but have made certain changes to it (IE: this note and the summery, some spelling errors (... whoops), and making paragraphs a bit better (I think), and one or two details added. Hopefully, this will be better. I also changed a very slight detail, so... sorry.
“Brother! It’s time to wake up!”
Sans slowly opened his eyes as he felt shaking on his side, and with his one good eye he saw his brother, Papyrus. Papyrus asked “How are you feeling Brother?”
Sans did his best to give his brother the smile he wanted. “I’m good Paps.” His eyes were barely half open as he answered.
Papyrus nodded, still concerned. “Well Sans, everyone else is getting up, and I want you to as well! I believe it will do you good to see this!” They’d been on the surface a few days already, and Sans still hadn’t seen it even when papyrus carried him (Sans fell asleep before it happened).
Sans sighed. “Bro, tbh with ya, I really don’t-”
“Pleaaaasssseeeeee?” Papyrus asked, giving the most sincere and kind grin he could.
Sans kept staring at him, trying to find some way out of this.
“... Fine. You got it bro.”
Papyrus was practically leaping with joy (though trying hard to hold himself back). “Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I shall leave you alone so that you may get dressed-”
“No need to.” Sans pushed the blanket off of him and got off the mattress, wearing the same shorts, T-shirt, and even blue hoodie he’d been wearing the last few days straight, ever since they got to the surface. He was ready to start the day all over again.
Papyrus held in a sigh as he watched Sans walk out of the room, afraid to comment on it. The only thing worse on Sans than the smelly clothes was the fake smile. He knew that, despite being on the surface, Sans was only feeling worse than before.
Papyrus followed behind Sans, watching as he and Frisk waved to each other, as he shot Toriel a pun and greeted Asgore who was serving plates of food to everyone. Asgore looked over to Papyrus, and Papyrus gave back a joyful, confident smile no more honest than Sans’, as he gave Papyrus a big smile in return at seeing Sans out of bed so early.
Papyrus grabbed his oatmeal off the counter (thanking Asgore), and saying to Sans “Now then, allow me to show you where we shall be eating!” Papyrus lead Sans along, going up the stairs, and eventually (placing down his food momentarily), pulling a latch down from the roof, revealing a step ladder. He gestured for Sans to go first, and so he did.
As Sans got up, he looked around the attic. It was exactly what he expected; boxes, dust, quite a few electronics (computers, a TV, small machinery), and various random weapons, most of it brought up by Undyne and Alphys, who slept up here. Still, as he got up, Papyrus followed (crouched down), and told him “And now to the roof!” Sans shrugged, going to the corner of the room and opening the door, going out onto the roof.
Alphys and Undyne were sitting up there, each of them with a plate of food and snuggled close together with a blanket. The two of them turned to face the upcomers, both beaming when they saw who it was. Undyne shouted “Sans! Hey Papyrus! Finally got him out of bed huh?!”
Papyrus nodded, glancing at Sans then back to them. “I finally convinced Sans that the view would be worth it!” Sans shrugged, not really thinking it was worth it. All the view was was a dark sky and some hills, a city when you look far enough. Still, he sat down, choosing to sit near the side opposite of Alphys and Undyne. Papyrus sat right next to him, oddly shaking with excitement.
After a minute of eating, Frisk came up, followed by Toriel and Asgore. Frisk sat right next to Papyrus, and Toriel behind them, with Asgore filling in the last bit of space on the porch by sitting behind Undyne and Alphys.
Sans looked around, confused as to why everyone was choosing to sit on the roof.
Finally, the sun began to rise over the horizon, and Sans began to understand why Papyrus wanted him up here.
The seven of them watched, enjoying it as most of them had been doing ever since they all came to the surface.
Sans fake smile melted away, into a more sincere one, his usually tense shoulders lowering back down for once.
Papyrus was more focused on Sans than the sunrise, happy to see his brother finally put on a true smile for the first time in so long.
The seven of them just sat there, enjoying it while it lasted before they all got to the day ahead of them.
Frisk stared at Sans, confused.
Sans, leaning against a tree, kept looking at the kid for an answer. “... Well? When is it?”
Frisk still didn’t know what they were talking about. Sans had said he wanted to go on a walk, and had let Frisk join them but no one else.
Sans sighed, his smile barely existent. “Frisk... I-... I know about the resets, okay? I don’t remember them, but I know them, and I know the only way you could possibly get us up here is with them. So, when’s the next one?”
Frisk was still only confused. Slowly, they shook their head.
His eye sockets raised. “Kid, just stop, alright? Before this gets any worse.”
Frisk stared at him. They reached out for his hand, and looked him in the eyes, clearly concerned.
Sans did his best to keep at least a small smile on his face. “Kid, it’s- it’s nice up here, this?” he gestured to everything around him, the trees, the plants, the animals, the sun. “This is just great. So, just tell me when you’re putting and end to it, that’ll make things easier for me.”
Frisk continued staring at him. They let go of his hand, and wrapped their arms around him, hugging him as hard as they could. Sans wasn’t sure whether he should have expected this or not. Still, he hugged back, barely keeping the grin on his face. “Kid, I-... Please, for the love of god just-”
Sans froze, before staring at the kid best he could as they clung onto him, silent.
Frisk said “I’m not resetting, Sans.”
Sans just stared at them, even as Frisk let go he just stared at them, looking them straight in the eyes of their determined expression.
“... Welp, glad that’s settled.” He had his lazy grin back on in full swing and had settled his hands inside his pockets. “Anyway kid, we should probably be headin’ back, think Paps wanted to-”
“I’m not resetting.” Frisk could see right through him. By now it had become blatant how much it hurt him.
Sans nodded. “Yeahuh, I heard ya kid. Anyway, pret’ sure Paps wanted to-”
“I know you’re lying.” He didn’t believe them in the slightest. He figured they were planning on resetting still.
Sans stared at them, still with his false smile. “... So, how long did it take you to figure that one out? Five? Ten? Twenty resets?”
Frisk felt their souls skip a beat, as their tongue seemingly got caught up in their throat. Eventually, they just looked away, staring at the ground in shame.
Sans stared at them, knowing the feeling all too well. “Kid, there ain’t a lot I could do to stop ya. For all I know, you’ve already seen what I can do and even that couldn’t stop you.” A small bone floated up beneath Frisk’s head, lifting their chin to look straight at him. “Besides, you’d have to push it pretty far for me to go there to try to stop them from happening.”
Frisk stared at him, not sure what they could possibly tell him to convince him.
He stood there, half expecting them to say something about fighting him. Eventually, they said “Getting past Undyne was impossible.”
Sans just stared at them, extremely confused as they continued “Getting past Mettaton was impossible. And fighting Asgore was impossible.”
“Kid, you never fought-” “And leaving Toriel was hard.” They continued despite Sans’ interruption. “And seeing Papyrus be so desperate for friends was painful. But it didn’t stop me.” Frisk took a deep breath, and stared him right in the face. “I was told to stay determined. Every time something happened, I was reminded to stay determined.”
Sans stared at them, getting an idea for what they were saying. “Kid, I get it, You need to stay determined Sans! The world has so much to offer! You could be in the guard, or the Royal Scientist!” Sans gave them a deadpan expression for once. “I’ve heard it all before, so ain’t no use tellin’ me again.”
Frisk took a big gulp, and a deep breath in preparation for what they had to say. “You’re the reason I gave up. Everyone got hurt, and I couldn’t stand it.” They gave him a seething expression. “Don’t be selfish Sans.”
Sans stared at them in genuine shock, that being the last thing he expected. Finally, he burst out into laughter, doubling over at the absurdity of it. Finally, he shouted “ME?! The selfish one between us?!” He let out the last of his laughter before continuing. “Look kid, I’m not the one who thinks it’s all okay to play with people's lives like you. I’ve been holding on because i’m not selfish, alright?” He was done with this conversation, and ready to go back to the house.
Frisk ground their teeth together, telling him “Well, continue holding on!” They took a deep breath. “Don’t be the one to hurt them Sans.” They began storming off back the way they came from.
Sans looked after them before following behind with about a yard between them, considering exactly what they meant with what they said.
Chapter 2: Low Parking In Hell
Months have passed since the Barrier was broken, and Sans is doing much better. He's making it through life with the aid of all his friends and has been seeing a therapist in secret the last few months. Still, things could be better, but he's trying.
As stated, this takes place months later. This chapter focuses mostly on contrasting with the first and showing Sans' progress, as well as setting up a few things for later. We get to see how Frisk has grown and where they are living with Toriel, which will be touched on more later.
This chapter isn't nearly as implicative as the first when it comes to dark tones and ideas, and can serve as starting point should you wish to skip the prologue. Anyway, here goes nothing.
If you have any criticism, please tell me. I had someone mention they didn't like the formatting of the prologue, but didn't detail a response, so please tell me what you think. Thank you very much for doing so, and for reading this.
Sans slowly woke up, hearing the alarm next to his bed going off.
He reached over, and smacked his hand down onto it, sinking back into the mattress and sheets as the cursed ringing ceased.
He took a deep breath. Alright Sans, gotta get up... even if it’s heaven.
Slowly, he sat up, wiping the sleep out of his sockets and pushing the sheets aside. He walked over to his dresser, and began digging through for a fresh pair of clothes (not bothering to change out of the boxers he slept in).
He put on a green t shirt and orange running shorts, grabbing a light blue hoodie off the back of his desk chair while walking out of the room.
Papyrus heard the door open, peeking his head out the kitchen and up to the railing. “Good morning Brother! How are you today?!”
Sans walked up to the railing, smiling down at Papyrus. “Eh, doin’ good Bro. Howzit for you?”
“Just excellent, thank you very much!” He went back into the kitchen, and continued cooking as Sans walked around and down the stairs, slipping on his hoodie.
Sans asked “Whatcha cookin’ Papy?”
He turned away from the pan and passionately said “Well, I recently asked Ms.Toriel for suggestions on new breakfasts to try, and she suggested I try to make omelettes!” He turned back to the burning food as he continued. “They’re almost done in fact!” Sans grinned, excited to try something new from his Papyrus, and started pulling out plates and some silverware. Papyrus noticed, excitedly telling him “Why, thank you Sans! Would you bring the plates here please?!”
He put the plates on the counter and the silverware on the table, before grabbing a glass to pour some milk for Papyrus. Putting the milk away, he looked around for a bottle of ketchup, before realizing that there wasn’t any. “Weird... I swear I was good another week...”
As Papyrus placed the plates on opposite sides of the table (noticing how Sans only got silverware for one of them), he said “I got rid of the ketchup Sans. You know you need to stop.”
Sans turned around, sighing. He knew Papyrus was right. After he brought the glass of milk over, putting it in front of Papyrus, and sat down in front of his plate he said “You’re right, you’re right.” Picking up the charred omelette with his bare hands, and bit into it while craving ketchup as Papyrus proceeded to eat his with a knife and fork.
After finishing a few bites, Papyrus said “You got a call from Dr.Bec again, he asked if you’d like to set another appointment sometime.”
Sans sighed, putting down his food. He closed his eyes and began thinking about it. “Bro, I really don’t think it’s necessary. I mean, I’m doin’ pretty good since the last one.”
Papyrus nodded, believing him. “Well, It seemed like something to mention!” He went back to eating his burnt omelette, washing it down with the milk Sans had gotten him.
Sans continued eating his, surprised how good it was for his first attempt at it (not great, but better than most of his first dishes). He couldn’t help but feel anxious about Papyrus picking up the phone. He didn’t want Papyrus knowing he had been going to therapy, and hoped he would assume it was a medical doctor.
After another minute of eating, Sans said “So, how’s the workin’ life been?”
Papyrus smiled widely, happily saying “It has been going excellently Sans! Just the other day I met a lovely older women stopping by the grocer to buy some chocolates for her wife! We struck up a nice conversation as I was restocking shelves and she invited me to join her for bingo next week!”
Sans smiled, “Heh, that’s great Bro. You plannin’ on going?”
Papyrus nodded, “It sounded like it’d be a swell time!” He’d never had much an opportunity to play such games with people, but with the surface came a fresh start for him.
Sans was happy to see him making friends, so few people in the Underground seemed to like him for some reason.
He took the last few bites of his food, before standing up. “Welp, that was great Bro, thanks. I’mma go out to the backroom, I’ll run the washer later.”
Papyrus smiled, “Thank you Sans! I shall say goodbye to you before heading off to work!”
Sans nodded, walking out of the room and heading out the door, craving the ketchup from his secret stash in the lab.
Frisk sat there in the plastic chair (backpack beside them), as Henry sat at his desk going through paperwork.
Henry’s office wasn’t too large, a small space occupied with a desk and a computer. A few grey plastic chairs were stacked against the wall (two taken out, only one still occupied by Frisk), and behind the desk was a computer chair. In the corner and on the wall next to the door were filing cabinets and hanging pockets for documents and papers to go into. There was a window showing the playground outside, steadily emptying as parents picked up their children and tried to get past the police roadblock.
A door could be heard opening somewhere outside the room. Frisk heard Sans’ voice talking to the main school office attendant, and a moment later Sans showed up in the door to Henry’s office.
He gave a quick look around, saying “Heyya kid, howzit goin’?”
Frisk gave a shrug and a smile, happy to see him here as Henry took a look at the figure, not recognizing the skeleton. He asked with uncertainty “Hello there, I’m Henry Pascuzzi. Are you a friend of Toriel and Asgore?”
He nodded to him. “Yep, name’s Sans. Undyne phoned and asked I pick the kid up. Tori asked them to do it but something came up at the station.”
Henry nodded, going onto his computer and quickly typing something in. After a moment of seemingly checking something, he turned back to him and said “Well, you’re listed as an secondary guardian. Alright then, I just need to discuss with you what had happened first.”
Sans gave him a confused look, shooting Frisk a glance. “Alllllllriiighty then.” He walked over and sat in the plastic chair next to Frisk, slouching. “Whatcha got for me?”
Henry explained “Well, Frisk had gotten into a fight today with another one of our students.”
Sans stared at him, wide eye-socketed. Eventually, he said “Frisk... got into a fight? Really?" He didn’t believe it one bit.
Henry nodded. “I’d rather not say who it was with, but they weren’t a student with any sort of history of violence. Roughhousing yes, but not violent.” He cleared his throat, trying to find a sheet somewhere on his desk. “As it is, I’ve never seen Frisk be aggressive or violent before, and the other student in question is going through some personal matters which i’m not to talk about due to school policy. However, they did receive some injuries as a result of the fight, though older students claim that Frisk never caused any of them directly.” He finally found the needed sheet, and turned back to Sans after grabbing a pen from a desk drawer. “Still, I am required to bring this matter up to you directly, and I need a legal guardian to sign this sheet.” He offered the sheet to Sans alongside the pen.
Sans nodded, having a decent idea what happened. He took the sheet, and quickly read over it before signing with S (his actual signature).
Henry took the sheet as Sans offered it back, quickly checking where it was signed (giving a confuddled look as he read the signature), before putting it off to the side. “Alright, that takes care of that. You may leave, assuming there isn’t anything you wish to discuss first.”
Sans looked over at Frisk, who seemed anxious about the entire scenario. He turned back to Henry, and said “Nah, I think we’re all good.” He stood up, offering his hand to Henry. “It was a nice meetin’ ya Henry.”
“It was a pleasure to meet you t-” PFFFFFFFFFTFTTTTFFFTFTTPFTFPFT.
Henry moved his hand away from Sans’, realizing the whoopee cushion that didn’t seem to be there a moment before.
Sans had an immense grin on his face as he said “Heh, the ol’ whoopee cushion in the hand trick. It’s always funny.”
After a moment of perplexity, Henry began laughing at the joke. He calmed down after a moment, before saying “Well, it was a pleasure to meet you too Sans. I hope you two have a nice day.”
Sans nodded, “You too.” He turned to Frisk, saying “Ready kid?”
Frisk (who had been giving him a sly smile, fully expecting the whoopee cushion in the hand trick), nodded, standing up and grabbing their backpack from beside them and following behind Sans as he led the way out the room.
As they and Sans walked out of school, he asked “So, kid, a fight, huh? Am I supposed to ask how they got hurt or why it started?”
Frisk looked down, not surprised Sans would ask questions. After a moment, making sure to take deep breaths and get a slow start, they said “They told me that I made their parents separate because their Dad left for a monster. I kept dodging and he kept falling down and hurting himself.”
Sans nodded, the first part unexpected but the second half more or less what he anticipated. He looked them over, making sure they were fine. “Sure ya didn’t get hurt kid? Full HP?”
Frisk nodded, knowing well they were at 30/30HP. “J-J-Ju-” They stopped to take a deep breath, talking slower. “Just a bit dirty is all.”
Sans nodded, already having noticed the specks of dust on their skirt and striped T shirt. “Welp, glad to hear it. Know when Asgore’s off work?”
They shook their head, knowing that Asgore usually worked past when he was supposed to.
“Hmm...” Sans gave it some thought, before eventually saying “Welp, Tori ain’t done with the conference ‘till four, and it’s a long drive... Watchya wanna do ‘till then?”
Frisk gave it a moment of thought. A smile spread across their face as they considered what they could do together.
Toriel walked in through the door, surprised to find it unlocked. “Hello, are you there Frisk?”
Sans mildly shouted “We’re in the livin’ room Tori.”
Toriel took off her shoes at the front door and stepped into the living room. The floor was carpeted white with a mat placed on top of it, and a wooden coffee table on top of that. There was a television atop a TV cabinet, and a lamp in the corner of the room next to a large rocking chair and a bookshelf filled with books old and new.
Where the couch was- against the wall near the coffee table- all the couch cushions had been taken off and used to make a pillow fort alongside a blanket and a couple of bone structures. Frisk’s head popped out of the side of the fort, before quickly running out (being careful to not topple the fort) and giving Toriel a great big hug.
Toriel hugged them back one handedly, holding a recyclable bag in the other. “Hello my child, I’m glad to see you too.”
Sans had stepped out of the fort, happily saying “Heyya Tor, how’d the drive go?”
Toriel took a deep breath, saying “Alright, I suppose, though it did give me a headache.” Toriel gave him a smile, before asking Frisk “Are you hungry Frisk? Would you like me to make something to eat?”
Frisk shook their head. “S-S-S-...” They stopped, remembering to take a deep breath and start off slow. “Sans had made some hotdogs earlier.”
Toriel nodded, giving Frisk a smile while Sans received a dirty look from her. “Well, that’s good dear, but I still think I’m going to make something.”
Frisk nodded, before running back off into the pillow fort, well aware that their mom and Sans would want to speak to one another.
As Toriel looked to Sans for an explanation of why he was here, he instead said “Welp, I guess when it comes to cookin’ you’re definitely top dog.”
“Ah, I see. So she asked you to pick them up instead?” Frisk had gone to bed a while ago, and Sans was sticking around to chat with Toriel.
Sans nodded. “Yep. Got a call an hour later, ‘parently it’s lead to some big investigation to find out who the culprit was. Undyne’s been processing witnesses all day.”
Toriel nodded, upset to hear about the crime. “That’s unfortunate. And so close to the school too... Did Frisk see it happen?”
Sans shook his head. “Nah, wasn’t visible from the school, but they did get to see where police were blocking off the road. And anyway, Frisk was inside when it happened, had to pick them up from the office.”
“Uhnngg.” Toriel held her head in her hands. “Did Helen send them to detention again?”
“Uhhhhmmmm...” Sans didn’t know what she was talking about. “Well, actually, a kid had picked a fight with Frisk. The kid fell a few times during it and the two of them wound up in the office.” Sans had never heard of Helen. He’d actually figured it was Frisk’s first time they were forced to sit in the office.
Toriel let out a sigh of mixed emotion. “Well, that’s... not good to hear, but so long as neither of them got hurt it’s better than her.” She spoke with a strong distaste- a much more mild version of what Sans heard when she brought up Asgore on the off time she had anything to drink.
Sans asked “Who’s Helen? Bully at Frisk’s school?”
Toriel shook her head annoyedly. “No, and yes. She’s one of Frisk’s teachers. She’s- well... Like my father said, do not speak of someone if you have nothing good to say about them.” There was an angry fire in her eye, as though she’d like to personally bake her in fire magic.
For how much Sans liked Frisk, he still had his skepticisms about them. “Well, maybe there’s a reason. What sorta stuff does Frisk in trouble for?”
Toriel scoffed. “The most ignorant of things! The way Frisk dresses, the use of they pronouns, them using nonverbal communication so often! She tries to segregate the class between humans and monsters and gets Frisk in trouble when they try to interact with monsters for hell’s sake!”
Sans gritted his teeth together, feeling anger build towards the woman. “Heh, kinda reminds me some of the jerks Paps had to deal with in New Home. I thought Frisk’s teacher was an old guy named Mr.Low Park ‘r somethin’?” Frisk had told him about them, how they would show the class replicas and models of things from history, or how they’d take them on field trips to see special monuments and make it sound all exciting. Apparently he even gave Frisk less homework, or helped them with stuff they were behind on so they could focus on their ambassador work.
Toriel let out a chuckle. “Mr.Parloe, and yes. Half the classes are taught by one teacher, the other half are taught by another, Mr.Parloe and Ms.Helen in Frisk’s case.”
Sans nodded. It seemed like a weird system, but he figured they had their reasons. “Got it. So Low Parking is good, In Hell is bad?”
Toriel let out a another laugh, nodding. “Exactly Sans. Frisk doesn’t get in trouble as often anymore with her, but she still tries. Thankfully, Henry and most of the teachers are supportive, but there’s still some teachers.” She let out another sigh, shaking her head.
Sans felt angry. He felt people oughta be accepted for who they are. “Well, are the parents any better?”
She shook her head, holding it in one hand. “No... Well, some are. But some are so much worse. If I have to hear one more complaint from Linda concerning ‘the danger of monsters to human children’ I swear I’ll- I’ll-”
“Write a strongly worded letter requesting her to stop bringing up the point?”
Toriel looked up at them, as her anger turned into laughter. Sans gave her a grin. “Would ya like me to deliver it, alongside a piece of pie? Maybe Frisk could include a drawing depicting their feelings towards her?” Toriel continued laughing, as Sans further added “Oh, maybe we can redo her bathroom while we’re at it, show we’re really displeased about-”
“O-Okay Sans, st-stop it!” Toriel couldn’t stop laughing as Sans sat there, smug as always.
Finally, after a minute, Toriel calmed down, though she was still smiling. “I swear to God Sans, you’re unbelievable...”
Sans nodded. “Yep, true. All my life, I’ve tried to find someone who believes I exist, but so far nothin’.”
She let out more laughter, happy to be making jokes with Sans again. Finally, she said “Well, it’d certainly be nice if you could come to the PTA meetings to tell jokes, help me deal with Linda.”
Sans gave a shrug. “Who says I can’t?”
Toriel stared at him briefly, before looking down and giving it some thought. Finally, she looked back at him, asking “You’d do that Sans?”
He gave her another shrug. “Sure, why not? Not like i got much goin’ on with my life.”
Toriel smiled, “Really? Thank you Sans! I’ll go talk to Henry and ask him about you attending, thank you!”
Sans gave yet another shrug to Toriel. “‘Ey, it’s no big deal. I can come and be emotional support for ya, alright? Maybe crack a few puns, mess with the jerks a bit. When’s the next PTA meeting? Also, quick question, what’s a PTA?”
Toriel sighed, but couldn’t help but chuckle as well. “The Parent Teacher Association. The next PTA meeting for our school is Friday, four thirty. We’re going to be discussing the district conference during the next meeting.” The school was part of a district primarily located in a nearby city. They had a conference discussing their monster policy, which Toriel had been allowed to attend as a teacher and school representative from the district.
Sans nodded. “Well alrighty then, I’ll be there.”