Actions

Work Header

Accept, Adapt, Overcome

Chapter Text

 

“Faque tu comptais revenir vers quelle heure?” the young woman adjusted the cellphone on her ear

“Dans une demi-heure, j'pensais que, peut-être, si c'était possible tu pourrais...”

“Je m'en viens te chercher ma belle.”

“Merci m'man, j'te texte l'adresse. Je t'aime.”

“Je t'aime aussi ma cocotte. A plus.”

“À tantôt. Bye.”

“Bye.”

 

She hung up her phone and texted her mother her location, before leaning back on the Presse Café's brick wall, fidgeting with the many pins on her bag. She had taken to carrying  as many of her art supplies as her back and shoulders would allow: a large sketchbook, mechanical pencil and eraser, and a small ensemble of pens and markers, along with her phone, charger and earphones.

 

It's late, it's snowing, and the air is charged, practically crackling-

 

Literally.

 

The whole atmosphere was snappish, like walking on a layer of ice that is too thin, heavy like the air before a thunderstorm. The smell of ozone has overtaken the crisp scent of winter.

 

Like two planes of existence that should never touch, under any circumstance.

 

There is a crack in the wall.

 

'And if you knock this wall down, the crack would stay put...'

 

But the bricks aren't cracked.

 

'... because the crack isn't in the wall...'

'Where is it then?'

 

'Everywhere.'

 

The bricks aren't cracked.

The wall isn't cracked.

Reality is.

 

She takes a step away...

 

but it's already too late.

 

The ice has shattered.

 

And she fell through.

 


 

 

 

 

* You fall through the VOID

 

It hurts...

 

“Maman?”

 

Voice muffled, sluggish moving

 

* You called for help

 

“Quelqu'un?”

 

* But nobody came

 

F01l0w m3...


Something caught her arm, causing her flesh and bone to both freeze and burn. Muscle and skin and bone unravelling into non-existence, painfully replaced by the surrounding darkness. Her insides felt numb, hollow, and yet, a cast iron weight sat in her chest.

 

 

I 4m s0rry, 8ut 7h3y n33d y0ur h3lp...”

 

Her mouth opened without it existing.

 

Breathing without air.

 

Screaming without sound.


No

                          SPACE

 

NoTIME

 

      Only      E M P T I N E S S


She is gliding

floating

falling

failing

 

SOUL dragged across the void

 

-

--

dark...

-

--

-

darker...

--

-

--

-

yet...

 

Fading

 

fading

 

fadi-

 

[RESET]

 

waking

 

“Oh dear! Are you alright my child?”

 

S13EP...

Chapter Text

The next eternity was spent in and out of consciousness, barely even feeling the warm compress resting on her forehead, or the trickling liquid going down her throat that would sate her stomach in regular intervals.

 

The only feeling registered was of being held close, protected, of sitting in front of a warm fire after having spent the day outside, hot chocolate in hand and blanket wrapped around her shoulders.

 

But as time passed, her senses came back to her. She would recognize the soft firmness of the mattress she was laying upon. She could smell the cinnamon in the air and see the light dancing behind her eyelids. Soft footsteps came to her room every hours or so, and a warm hand rest on her forehead, a soft melody hummed somewhere to her left. Her tongue now tasting the warm broth her helper fed her.


She opened her eyes the next day.

 

And immediately regretted it.


After so long of being kept in the dark, the lamp on the nearby desk might as have been the  midday sun to her tired retinas. She winced and tried to shift with a grunt, but her stiffened limbs wouldn't let her move more than an inch.

 

The noise she made must have been louder than first anticipated, because a quick shuffling reached her door and entered the room. The mattress dipped a bit as an extra weight settled on it, a cheerful voice reached her ears:

 

“My child! You woke up! Oh no no no no! Please do not speak just yet.” the motherly voice shushed her when she tried to speak. “You have been asleep for three weeks now. You need to regain your strength before trying anything. Are you thirsty? Do you think you could manage drinking through a straw?”

 

a straw slips between her lips after a painful nod. She sips at the lukewarm liquid as the lady speaks.

 

“I found you laying at the beginning of the ruins, and wouldn't respond to both physical or Magical impulse. And your SOUL felt so dim... Oh my child, I was afraid you would fall down. I am so glad to see it shine.”

 

* Oookay... sounds crazy but ok.

*It's familiar though.

*Wait...

 

She chokes on her water as realization hit her, coughing out half of it, fingers twitching. One eye opens to purple and white robes. The figure flinches back, and the girl manages to see a flash of white fur. Both women lock eyes for a moment, information processing. Horizontal pupils, surrounded by maroon irises, resting into a rounded furred face topped by short blunt horns and long floppy ears. Her look is soft, comforting. Motherly even. Her muzzle stretches into a soft smile and her eyes crinkle a bit at the corners. “Greetings my child. My name is Toriel, and I am the caretaker of the ruins you fell into.”

 

*What. The. Fuck?

*This isn't real

*She isn't real

*SHE CAN'T BE REAL!

 

And yet, logic be damned, there at her bedside stood Toriel Dreemurr. The queen of all monsters. Goat-Mom. Whatever name you wanted to call her.

 

But that wasn't important.

No.

 

The important part was that she belonged in a video game. A retro-like video game. Pixelated sprites and all.

 

* Seeing Toriel smiling down at you fills you with DISBELIEF

 

The monster is speaking again, and her expression is slowly shifting into one of worry. Her hand comes back to rest on the human's forehead for a second before she moves towards the end of the bed and start massaging her feet and legs through the sheets, restarting the blood flow and relaxing the tense muscles.

 

“I know you are scared my child, falling in a world you know nothing about, but I will take care of you. Now you seem to be older, but worry not, you can still stay with me, and I will show you the way around the Ruins. Everything will be alright my child.” Maroon eyes meets hers “ Rest now. And worry not, for I will take care of you...”

 


 

 

She woke again some time later, alone in her room. Her body seemed to listen when she willed her toes and fingers to flex, her right arm being the only limb to remain unresponsive. She sat up, ever so slowly, her legs crawling towards the edge of the bed. She half pushed, half slid off the mattress, falling to the floor with a dull Thunk and a small shriek. Landing on her side with a gasp, her eyes opened to a dark, black thing. A dark, black thing covering her right arm, a dark black thing covering her right arm with a fine crack on top of it, leaking a soft turquoise light.

 

She would have screamed if it didn't feel like a full grown cat sat in her throat.

 

Toriel ran in to find her like that, laying on the ground and staring owlishly at her arm. The Boss monster hurried to the young woman's side and carried her back onto the bed. Her clawed hand brushing some hair back behind the human's ear;

 

“My child? My child, are you alright?”

 

“My, my a-arm... What happened to my arm?” Toriel gathered her close.

 

“There is nothing wrong my child,” she whispered “It has simply changed to accept your magic. It has happened before.”

 

“I don't have magic,” she met the monster's eyes,“no magic where I'm from.”

 

Toriel's eyes widened in surprise “My child, surely there must be some magic left on the surface?”

 

“I-I don't kn-know! I don't know anymore! I don't understand! Why am I here? Why me? Why is my arm like that? Why-”

 

She jumped when Toriel raised a hand, wiping a tear from her cheek. She tore her gaze away from her arm, looking into the monster’s eyes once more. Her functional hand was holding Toriel’s sleeve in a vice grip, knuckles hurting from the strain.


*What’s wrong with me? What happened?My arm...Whatis goingon?Idontknowsomethingiswrongishouldntbeherenononononononoitsallanightmareimgoingtowakeupanditwillbejustabaddreameverythingisalrightcomeongetagrip-


“My child?”

 

Her attention snapped to Toriel as she released a breath she didn't realize she was holding. The monster hummed.

 

“We should probably start with little steps. What is your name? Is there any way you wish to be called?”


*My name?

*This world probably already has a ‘Me’ in it

*But many people share the same name…

*It seems wrong

*Something similar?


“Kit. Hum, Tremblay. Call me-call me Kit.”


*Kit.

*Kit sounds okay

*It sounds nice

 

“Kit is a perfect name my child.” Toriel smiled, “I am sure you will grow to love it too.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

*So she knows

 

“And… I’ll try.”

Chapter Text

“Why can’t I just walk around already?” Kit whined, bouncing a pen on her knee.

 

Toriel chuckled. “Because your legs aren’t strong enough yet, although you are making much progress.”

 

“But come on Tori, you said yourself I didn’t react well to healing magic! Bordel-”

 

“Language my child!”

 

“Sorry, sorry. But still, isn’t there anything else I can do to heal faster?”

 

No, there wasn’t. This wasn’t the first time this conversation had happened, and it sounded more like a broken record by now. Massages, exercises, healing sessions, even monster food once Toriel was cleared on Kit’s allergies “Just fish and seafood as far as I know.” the healing process was somewhat slowed down by reasons unknown to both Kit and Toriel.

 

And while Kit prided herself for being patient and being able to occupy herself for long periods of times, there is only so much drawing and music listening one can take before getting antsy.

 

Two weeks.

 

Two fucking weeks of fucking bed rest, dotted with short sessions of physical rehabilitation focused on either her legs’ strength or her right arm’s dexterity.

 

At least she wasn’t as shy with Toriel as she had been two weeks prior. The monster, bless her SOUL, had taken her awkward looks as a ‘I don’t know how to deal with monsters’ instead of ‘you’re supposed to be a video game character.’ Kit had only really started opening up a few days after waking up, when it had become clear enough that she wouldn’t wake up from some fever induced dream in the nearest hospital.

 

Now, both women often stayed in Kit’s room, the human drawing in her thankfully Undertale-free sketchbook, which was a shame really, because drawing short skeletons was a real stress relief. The pages were instead slowly filling up with Daleks, TARDISes and Steven Universe characters. Although, Kit did allow herself to draw a nice picture of Toriel’s profile, with an actual photograph as reference. She was currently cross hatching* the shaded zone under Toriel’s horns with a thin black pen.

 

“But perhaps,” Toriel started “we can broaden your exercises. Maybe see if we can put some weight on those legs.”

 

Kit’s eyes shone brighter “Really? You really think I’m ready to start walking again?”

 

Toriel smile “Are you willing to?”

 

“Yes! Oh bordel yes!”

 

“Language my child.”

 

“Sorry Tori.”

 

*cross hatching is a shading technique in drawing where you make an area appear darker by using parallel lines (hatching) and crossing them to give an illusion of tone or shade

 


 

 

Kit’s steps were hesitant, closer to a shuffle. Her legs were trembling even though most of her weight was supported by Toriel’s strong arms. She wasn’t there quite yet, but what should have been months of rehabilitation had been shortened to a mere fortnight thanks to healing magic and monster food.

 

Walking had never felt so freeing. And not to mention finally seeing a room other than the one she had spent over three hundred consecutive hours in.

 

* That's a whole Skyrim playthrough.

 

Still, feeling the carpeted and wooden floors under her feet once more was one of the greatest feelings Kit had had since waking up.

 

*One step at a time Kit.

 

“You are doing wonderful my child. You have made so much progress since you woke up,” Toriel said from behind her, “I don’t even see what had me so worried.”

 

“Because healing magic doesn’t work on me?”

 

The monster hummed

 

“A question for another time I suppose.”

 

“Yeah, I guess. But isn’t it, you know, worrying?”

 

“If it becomes too much for us to handle, I will see that you get to meet a specialist in matters of magic and souls.”

 

* Sans? Alphys?

* G45T3R?

* Wait what?

 

Kit’s face scrunched up for a moment, pensive. Thoughts going a mile a minute. Leaving the Ruins would help her in the long run, and meeting the rest of the UNDERTALE cast was really tempting, but it also meant leaving Toriel and the safety of her home behind.

 

And her pie.

That pie was almost worth the pain.

 

Almost.

 

But even if she wanted to, Kit would have to be able to walk on her own before even thinking of crossing the doors leading to Snowdin’s winter wonderland.

 

“... Fine.”

 

* Let go.

* One thing at a time.

 

* One thing at a time.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Kit turned off the hot water and leaned out of the shower to grab her towel.She started to dry her hair, wincing when she accidentally clawed at her scalp. While the use of her arm had come back, clawed fingertips was a novelty she had yet to get used to. She was lucky it no longer caught in her hair, thanks to Toriel cutting it a week prior.

Her body had adapted to the changes. Her mind had yet to catch up.

She still jumped when looking at herself in the mirror, expecting chestnut hair and peachy skin, and instead seeing colors that rivaled Toriel’s in paleness. Only her eyes had remained unchanged, keeping their umber pigment.

Beside her change in color palette, Kit’s dimensional jump ate at her energy reserves, leaving her severely underweight, a thing her caretaker seemed to be pretty Determined to correct. Through delicious food and regular exercise.

One such exercise consisted of tailing Toriel like a lost puppy while she explained the functioning of the ruins, or helping with carrying groceries. Even sewing and embroidery lessons, at Kit’s insintence. 

The difficulty came with the magic practice. Every attempt a a bullet was snuffed out. Kit couldn’t even summon the smallest of attacks, leaving her sighing in frustration and Toriel muttering something about magical atrophy. Passive use of magic was better, especially when it came to handcrafting, hence the sewing.

Kit shook her head, bringing herself back to reality. She hung the towel back on its hook and put on her clothes, a blue tunic and a grey pair of pants, courtesy of Toriel, preferring to walk through the ruins barefoot. She put on her glasses and grabbed a hairbrush before leaving the bathroom, walking to the other end of Toriel's home. Her caretaker was sitting in her chair, reading a book. Kit sat in front of the fire, untangling her hair before it turned into its usual curly mess. It wasn’t long before a furry hand took the brush and started to card through her hair. The warmth of Toriel’s fire magic running over her scalp letting white locks of hair spring up in wild curls, almost taking a life of their own as they dried, dragging a chuckle out of the goat monster.

 

“It has been a long time since the last time I have been in this situation.” she said “I do not think any other fallen child has stayed this long.”

“Why?” Kit asked.

“They left. They died. They wanted to go back. Every human child under my care has ended up leaving. And one day you will too.” Toriel’s voice was somewhat muffled, she had buried her face in her ward’s hair mid sentence, nuzzling her softly.

“Why would I leave? I… There isn’t really… I don’t think there is anyone waiting for me out there.” The words hurt as she spoke.

“The ruins are small. You must have noticed.” Kit hummed as Toriel continued. “One day, you will want to see other places, other people. Perhaps not today, or tomorrow, but eventually you will leave.”

"Couldn't I just, you know, come back?" The small hope in Kit's soul blew out at Toriel's sigh "Right…"

"I am sorry my child."

“It's fine, it's fine. We'll just... see when we get there right?”

 


  

The music filled her ears as pencil glided against the paper, leaving behind a soft trail of graphite. The sketchbook was getting fuller by the day, and soon Kit would have to ask Toriel for another one.

 

* Where would she find it though?

 

She adjusted the volume of her phone.

The kind Boss-monster was currently just one call away, at the door separating the Ruins from Snowdin. They had taken to this little routine not too long ago, when Kit noticed her caretaker's eyes would stray towards the staircase. It didn't take much to put two and two together, and it wasn't long before Kit told Toriel to “not do anything I wouldn't do” and started to take 'drawing breaks' on the front porch, the door slightly open so both women could still hear each other if needed.

Which had lead to her current situation, sitting on the stairs leading to her caretaker's home, sketchbook in her lap and music in her ears...

 

That is until her earbuds were violently ripped out of her ears

 

“-aid HOWDY!”

 

Kit jumped to the side, eyes frantically searching for the owner of the high pitched voice, until her gaze fell on a golden flower.

 

A golden flower with a face .

 

* Nope. Nope.

* nopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenopenope

 

The flower's smile turned slightly manic as its newfound prey scooted backward, eyes frantically searching for an escape

 

“I'm Flowey! Flowey the flower.”

 

*Why me?

 

“You know, I am usually the one who shows humans how things work around here, But the old lady was too fast for me this time.” His expression turned innocent, Goat-like. “And I bet she even forgot to teach you how to defend yourself. Or how to get some LOVE…” the petals stretched as Flowey’s head tilted to the side. “You want some LOVE now don’t you?”

Kit slowly crept backward, keeping her eyes on the smiling flower. “No,” The flower’s smile fell slightly. “I-I don’t want to hurt anybody.”

Flowey’s expression turned to a scowl “You idiot ! You think you know what’s happening? What game we’re playing? This is my world! MINE ! And in my world…”

 

Vines sprouted from the ground, circling Kit’s ankles.

 

“It’s-”

 

They crept up quickly, ensnaring her torso and arms.

 

“- Kill -”

 

Thorns pushed on her skin, drawing blood.

 

“-OR-”

 

Kit’s clawed arm dug into the paved porch as she was dragged upwards.

 

“- BE -”

 

She dangled a few feets off the ground, upside down, held up by Flowey’s vines.

 

“- KILLED.

 

“TORI!”

 

HA!HA!HA!HA!HA! ” 

 

The world turned to black, Flowey and Kit’s shapes outlined in sharp white light.


* Flowey ensnared you

 

*ACT

*scream

 

(You called for help.)

 

...

 

But Nobody came... ” The flower’s voice had turned hellish.

 

He fired a few sharp-looking pellets. Kit barely had time to raise her arms-

 

*void

 

“...What?” 

 

She lowered her arms to look at the incredulous flower, eyes wide. The bullets were nowhere to be seen. Flowey stared at Kit as if she had personally insulted him. She barely had time to take a breath before a fireball hit the flower in the face, forcing it to slink back underground, letting its prize fall down heavily. Kit landed on her arms with a hiss, her knuckles leaving a small gash on her cheek. The pain didn’t register as she stared where Flowey had disappeared. 

 

"-y child? My child? Kit!" Furry hands caught her face and delicately turned her gaze away, towards Toriel's worried eyes. “Are you alright? Are you hurt?”

“I – I... ” Kit could barely breathe. Words could barely line themselves up in her head, let alone come out of her mouth. Her vision blurred with tears, “No. I- I can't.”

 

She felt an arm wrap around her, and heard the shuffle of paper as Toriel picked Kit's discarded sketchbook and pencils. The goat monster then walked back inside, cradling her young charge close to her soul, humming softly. She dropped the drawing supplies on the nearby table before taking Kit to her room.

 

“There is something I need to do. Do you feel safe staying here by yourself for a few minutes?” The monster's voice was soft in an attempt to further comfort.

Kit's eye widened as her glass arm clamped down on Toriel's sleeve, claws going through the fabric “Please don't”

The monster sighed “Would you like to come with me then? We are simply going downstairs.” a sheepish look passed over her face “I may have left a friend without warning.”

A small smile graced the young woman's lips “Oops?”

 

* Sorry Sans

 

Both chuckled as Toriel picked Kit back up, heading for the stairs.