Chapter 1: Night Falls
Once, there was the morning…
The morning made way for the afternoon.
The afternoon made way for the evening.
And the evening paved way for the night. The Sun dropped below the horizon and the stars came out in droves. The lightshow above was mirrored by that on the world's surface, among chocked streets and city blocks, and inside houses and homes. The hustle and bustle of the daylight hours diminished and the world, caught in the moon's blue glow, rocked itself into slumber.
Once upon a time, deep in the Underground
Night and day passed without so much as a sound
Now, with the barrier gone, the monsters run free
Under the Sun and under the stars, as it should be
In a quiet country suburb, the yellow windows of those fine, pristine family homes dwindle with each passing minute. At the Dreemurr house – with its wonderful array of flowers out in front and at back –, two windows faintly glow, but not for much longer.
"Goodnight, Asriel," the former king and queen said in unison. "Goodnight, Frisk."
"Night, Mom," Asriel said. "Night, Dad."
Frisk also said goodnight to their mother and father.
A door clicked shut.
Frisk wished their brother, Asriel, goodnight.
"Yeah... night, Frisk."
With a click, two lighted windows became one.
A second muted switch turned the house dark. The rustle of bedsheets, the crumple of pillows, the chirping of crickets and hoot of a nearby owl saw the family to sleep.
When the former falls and the latter starts to rise
It's time for the people to bid their goodbyes
They slumber and wait for the air to get lighter
Unless their boss tricked them into an all-nighter
Sorry, Burgerpants, but someone's got to be there to serve Legendary Heroes to loyal customers… especially those who walk through the door at three in the morning.
Meanwhile, in a town by the seaside, the people drift off to the gentle sound of surf; waves lapped against bitten sand. In one such house, with a tower and a bridge and plywood nailed over the front window, the girlfriends bid their goodnights:
"S-sweet dreams, Undyne."
A whirl, a pop, and a plasma buzz saw one bedroom go dark for the night.
"See ya tomorrow, Alphys."
A thunderous crash, like that heard when a boulder is dropped, draped the other room in darkness.
If you thought the Underground was strange galore
Wait 'til you see what their dreams have in store
The Land of Nod, a place of great fixation
Limited only by one's imagination
In another such town, the multitude of multi-coloured Christmas lights around one such house went out one after the other.
"And then," Sans recited straight from text, "Fluffy Bunny reached the top of the great big hill, and what did he find? He found all his friends, and they all went 'Peak-a-boo!' It was such a wonderful surprise, for they had prepared a party all along. And so, Fluffy Bunny enjoyed the party with his friends, and everyone had a wonderful time."
Sans closed the book and gently placed it back in its delegated space on the case.
"Nighty night, bro."
Sans turned off the light and closed Papyrus's bedroom door before scuffling along the landing to his own. Wasting no time, he engaged in his delicate ritual: he threw off his jacket, kicked off his slippers, and flopped face-first onto his bare mattress. He was out in no time at all.
Off they drift into the unknown
To lands of joy, and puns of bone
Where people can fly, and sparkles fall like confetti
Where rain can be jewels, or even spaghetti
All across the darkened lands, the humans and monsters all started to hit the sack:
Mettaton, in his box form, plugged himself into a socket and shut down for the night.
His cousin, Napstablook, lay on the empty floor one room over.
"Am I asleep yet?"
The Moldsmals stopped jiggling and the Temmies stopped temmieing. Aaron stopped flexing and Washua stopped washing. The Froggits lay down on their Lilly pads, and the dogs curled up in their spots. Madjick hypnotised himself, and Knight Knight finally earned some much needed rest.
So embark with us now as we set sail
To the dreams of those from Undertale
Visions await of horror, joy and laughter
All to be found starting next chapter
Chapter 2: Asriel as it gets
The Dreemurr siblings' bedroom lay dark; silent except for the sounds of two steady breaths and whatever nightlife resonated from outside. Their beds lay at adjacent corners, one for Frisk and the other for Asriel. Navy curtains blocked any stray light from entering.
With a bedtime schedule as strict as Toriel's, they were guaranteed to be bright and early for the day that lay ahead. Asgore and Toriel – like all parents – envisioned their kids to be big and strong when they grew up. Asriel would be as heavyset as his father, sporting giant horns and a brimming beard to boot, while frisk would be tall and slim and proud in whatever they chose to be.
Of course, dreams had other ideas.
Asriel snapped awake with a gasp, rising a couple inches off his pillow. Tired eyes remained wide with narrow pupils for a few seconds while he fought to catch his breath. There was his sibling over in the other bed, snoozing peacefully, having better dreams than him. The stuffing in his pillow crumpled as he lay his head back down.
"I don't get why I get dreams about falling," he wondered in a whisper only he could hear. "I was born underground, so why should I suffer?"
He shifted around in his bed, trying to get comfortable so that he would drift back off. After a few minutes, his thoughts ran with the reasons behind his struggle. Asriel did not realise how chapped his lips were until he smacked them together. He ran his dry tongue along the roof, gum lining and gutters of his mouth, finding little moisture.
Asriel groaned. "I need a drink."
But he was already comfortable. Draped in warm sheets, exhausted, barely able to keep his eyes open, he loathed the very idea of having to get up. But his dry mouth demanded it. With another groggy moan, he threw off his warm sheets, rolled out of bed and… into the depths of space.
Far, far below, the tiny Earth grew larger and larger as he plummeted toward it in freefall. The cold, airless air whipped past constantly, trying to rip away his pyjama t-shirt and shorts. Both his bed and Frisk's bed, the bedside tables and the wardrobes all drifted up into the beyond, never to be seen again for thousands of years.
Asriel Dreemurr descended rapidly, falling toward his end. And yet nary a peep escaped past his lips.
"I'd be more scared," he said in a normal tone, "had it not been for all those Flowey dreams." He stretched his appendages wide, embracing his fall. For only being in his head, he couldn't feel the blanket that covered him, or the pillow in which his head rested. The cold sensation between his fingers and toes was quite genuine. "I what they say is true, then I'll wake up before I hit the—" a giant blue light from the side flashed in his pupils "—GROUN—!"
A passing comet crossed his path at the exact moment he slammed into it, striking solid space rock before passing its icy contrail, going into it with a black eye and coming out the other side frozen like an ice cube.
He continued his fall toward the planet, leaving his own trail of ice behind him. Solidified teeth were barely able to chatter.
"C-c-cold… cold… cold…"
As he hit the Earth's atmosphere, he burned up, melting the ice instantly while also lighting his fur on fire.
"Ow! Hot hot hot hot HOT!"
Mercifully, he passed that to the sheet of white clouds down below. It couldn't get any worse than that, right? Maybe his prayer had been answered. Already, he could see the ground.
No, wait. That wasn't the ground…
"Not the Outerworld!" Asriel screeched as he fell toward the seven magical islands he was at some months back. "NOT THE—"
Too late. He bounced off the highest peak from the castle in the centre and out of the Outerworld entirely.
Asriel's fur was a charcoal-coloured, frazzled mess. One of his eyes was black by now. He opened them, hoping this dream would end. Not yet.
"M-Mettaton, watch ou—"
Too late again. The killer robot, enjoying a relaxing jet ride across the sky, had his trajectory ruined. Thankfully for him, his boxy shell was impervious to all damage; the resounding thud of some goat kid's cranium travelling at terminal velocity failed to even make a dent against his metal body.
"Hey," Mettaton shouted in his robot voice, shaking a fist. "I'm flying here!"
So much pain. But Asriel was way past the clouds now. The patchy ground was in sight, closing in fast. Not too far to go now. Unless…
"Wait…" he mumbled, "Does Mount Ebott count? I mean, it's technically part of the ground, so it's peak—" Too late thrice. The top of Mount Ebott shudder as Asriel slammed into it. "Guess not…"
Then it was the roof of his own house. He hit it hard, reducing a few tiles into fragments. He slid closer to the edge to the jangle of broken slate, finally seeing individual blades of grass several metres below.
"About time…" he mumbled. Some of his teeth were missing.
Sweet, wonderful earth; the very thing to snap him awake. Or the thing he will almost hit before he wakes.
From out of nowhere, Doctor Alphys appeared and found him in an instant, despite his odd positioning. Her beaming expression ignored the horrible appearance and apparent agony the boy must have been feeling.
"H-hey, Asriel," she said, "I've just finished my l-latest invention."
"Latest invention?" Asriel repeated. His chin dangled over the side now.
"Yeah. I've installed a trapdoor r-right in front of your house. Now, if we ever need to get back to the Underground, we can get there much faster."
Asriel glanced down. "A what?" To his horror, there, etched in the ground, was a square outline with two noticeable brass hinges on one side.
Alphys pulled a generic doomsday button from out of her lab coat pocket. "Check it out."
"No, Alphys, wait!"
Do I even need to write it? What comes after thrice anyway? The moment Asriel dropped, so did the claw on the button. The hatch flipped ajar and prolonged Asriel's descent. He zoomed down a claustrophobic tunnel of black rock and grey stone, making a one-way trip all the way back to his past home.
Above, the short, plump frame of the doctor appeared. "By the way," she echoed down, "there were some stubborn rocks that I couldn't move, so it might be a little b-bumpy."
All Asriel could do in light of that was shrug. Even that hurt. "Oh, what a nice change of pa—"
He bounced off a boulder as the drop snaked to the left, then another as it turned to the right and he slid face first down a steep incline of crystals, each one smashing against him like glass. "Ow ow ow ow ow."
Exiting the tunnel (and covered in bruises and fragments of crystal), Asriel fell toward the grey dystopia of New Home. Never before had he seen it how the ceiling did. He struck the peak of the castle, then one of the many boxy skyscrapers (groundscrapers?), and finally the roof of his previous home itself.
Hurting all over, he moaned, "Please don't let there be an underground under the Underground…" He slid off and dropped the remaining way to rock bottom.
He was a centimetre away when…
It ended. Asriel jolted back into the reality of a cosy, warm bedroom with his sleepyhead of a sibling in the opposite corner. He briefly wondered what wondrous dream they were having before crumpling back onto his pillow.
At least Frisk's dream will be better than his…
Chapter 3: Frisk's Dream
In the opposite corner, Frisk slept peacefully under their sheets. The sound of Asriel's awakening failed to deter them one bit.
After everything this human child had been through, having survived one monster kingdom underground and a second one in the sky, they probably deserved to sleep until they were forty. Frisk might often wish under a shooting star that they would wake up one night and be just that. All they have to do is wait for about thirty years...
What dreams awaited someone such as them? What boiled within the imagination of an odd child who flirted with their own mother, dated a skeleton, befriended a fish warrior, and made a former soulless flower their brother?
Gosh, such a glorious day. Frisk stood in a great wide park of luscious green grass, heavenly blue sky, and double rainbows. The sun was shining and the flowers were blooming.
All their friends and family were there, frolicking across the meadows, enjoying picnics and afternoon siestas on their towels. Smiles and laughs were everywhere, rampant. Not a tear or a frown for miles around. There was Aaron, winking away, showing off his muscles. A few giddy giggles followed wherever he hovered. A single ice cube lay motionless and semi-frozen nearby. Frisk recognised it as Ice cap. Still looking good without his hat. Even Endogeny was there, wagging their tail along with the rest of their doggy brethren.
Wait, what was Frisk doing here again? How did they get there? More importantly, why were they there?
Directly in front of them all, a stage had been set up. A fancy one, cordoned with metal railings. Ten feet above ground. Giant, iron girders supported stage lights. The black backdrop sported the initials: MTT.
Oh, right, now they remember. Today was the first day of Mettaton's world tour, and what better place to start than near Mount Ebott, the place that started the legend.
While Frisk was drawn by the alluring shine of the microphone in the centre, Whimsun fluttered past, as free as a butterfly and just as apprehensive. Nevertheless, there was the semblance of a smile on his face.
Frisk smiled, waved, and said, "Hello, Whimsun. What's—" Before anything else could come out, two little hands slapped their mouth shut.
What was that? What were those sounds that seeped from between their lips? Frisk was still, mouth remained covered as they feared what else could come out of them. Feeling brave, they pulled their hands away by a couple of centimetres.
Their lips parted. "Did I—?" Frisk covered their mouth again, then uncovered it slowly. "Say… words?"
A feeling that the human child could not describe rose inside their chest. "I can… I can talk," Frisk said. Frisk, for the first time in their life, said something in quotations. The feeling they recognised as excitement; it swelled within their heart and soul, making the two bounce at the same time as the child did. "I can talk. I can say words." And those said words got louder and louder. "I can talk! I can speak!"
Over there stood their family. Asgore, Toriel and Asriel were together, smiling and watching with bright, accepting pupils from between the growing crowds.
Frisk rushed over, waving wildly. "Guys, check it out. I can talk. I can talk!" they bellowed before them. Their family, clearly taken aback, gasped with happy surprise. "I know! It's amazing, right? I can finally talk! I can talk I can talk I can talk!"
To which, Asriel punched both fists into the air and cheered in a high voice, "Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh."
Toriel clasped her hands together and added, "Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah."
Asgore proclaimed, "Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh."
The corners of Frisk's lips drooped a shade. "Uh… guys?" Their head cocked to the side in puzzlement, yet their family continued to beam away from their fuzzy cheeks. "What're those sounds you're making?"
Asriel, still smiling, place his hand on his sibling's shoulder and assured them in a confident manner, "Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh."
Asgore turned to his wife, "Oh oh oh oh," he said, "oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh."
And Toriel returned with a shrug. "Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah—" she caressed her husband on the shoulder "—ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah."
From Mom to Dad, Dad to Asriel, Asriel back to Dad, and then Dad back to Mom, Frisk switched between the faces of their family as they bleated away to one another, understanding each other perfectly, leaving them out in the cold. "W-what's wrong with you guys?" The human's apparent worry not only failed to wipe the smirks off their muzzles, but also the strides of their conversations. On and on, they bleated, and Frisk could not understand them. "Say something. Speak to me. Please."
"AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK!"
The rattle of a loud, abrasive cackle nearly made Frisk nearly jump out their skin. They swung around to find Papyrus and Sans approaching, both just as vibrant as ever as they passed between Vegetoid and Pyrope.
"AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK," Papyrus chimed in. One gloved hand went high and the other stayed low as they struck one of the many self-absorbed poses from his repertoire.
"P-Papyrus?" they murmured. "Sans…?"
And Sans, always smiling and always dressed in that same blue jacket under every and all climates, joked, "Eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur." He winked. "Eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur eur."
A rim-shot sounded from nowhere; two drums followed by a cymbal.
"AK AK AK AK AK AK!" The taller skeleton angrily stomped his feet, while retaining his toothy grin. "AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK!"
"Oh, no…" Frisk murmured, feeling sweat drops on their forehead. They found Undyne and Alphys walking up, hand in hand. "Oh, no… You guys too…?"
Alphys went, "Ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei."
And Undyne went, "Huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh."
The crowds had swelled, however, a full two metres in diameter around the human remained empty. All eyes faced the stage. It blared to life in a spectacle of light and confetti, and Mettaton himself strutted on out to the undivided attention of his adoring fans.
With mic in hand, "Beep beep click boop beep click boop boop beep!" he announced to all the beauties.
As the crowd went wild and began to dance, Frisk did the opposite and fell to their knees. Head became both heavy and light at the same time. Breath turned short and shallow. Little fingers gripped at the packed grass.
Their eyes slammed shut. "No. No."
The voices got louder.
"Ah ah ah ah ah – eur eur eur eur eur – click click boop beep – huh huh huh huh huh huh – AK AK AK AK AK AK – uh uh uh uh uh uh uh – ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei ei – oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!"
"AK AK AK – oh oh oh oh – uh uh uh uh uh – eur eur eur eur – beep boop click boop beep – ah ah ah ah – huh huh huh huh – ei ei ei ei ei ei ei – oh oh oh – ei ei – AK AK AK – eur eur eur – ah ah ah – click beep beep – uh uh uh – ei ei ei!"
Alone in a sea of smiles, Frisk reached up toward the sky and cried out at the top of their lungs… because they were the only one who could:
Chapter 4: Monster of a Kid's Dream
Monster Kid's room painted the perfect picture of its occupier; messy and carefree. Posters hung off every square inch of wall. How he was able to put them up himself, the world may never know.
As for the kid himself, teeth marks were still fresh in his bedsheets. Even to bed, he still wore that red neckerchief inspired by his hero.
He snorted before rolling to the other side.
The lines of sunshine breaking through his curtains hurt his eyes. Time to get up. He pushed the cover off, stretched the tiredness out, and realised…
The door slammed open so hard that it nearly broke off the hinges. Monster Kid literally skidded out on his knees, holding above his head the reason for his cheer.
"I have arms," he announced, a massive smile on his face. He checked them out: a pair of thin arms with elbows and wrists, and three claws and a thumb on each one. He twiddled his newly-formed digits, getting a feel for them. "I can finally do this!" He used them to scratch his head, pick his nose and poke one of his eyes. Painful but liberating.
His smile felt perpetual, like it was drawn on in permanent marker. For that one day, he would never stop smiling. Just like his hero.
MK turned and rushed back into his room, cheering all the way. "I can dress myself much faster now!"
One minute later, he stumbled back out and bumped into a wall, knocking down a frame picture. His arms were trapped under one of his many shirts like it was a straitjacket.
"If only I had clothes with sleeves…" He forced his hands down and pulled his shirt up and over his shoulders until he had a second neckerchief. "Whatever, I can ask Mom to buy some."
With his belly exposed, he dashed down the hall and into the kitchen, where breakfast lavished the red and white chequered table; his favourite cereal and unopened milk, golden brown toast laden thick with butter, crispy bacon and eggs on toasted muffins, and a smooth glass of orange juice.
"I can use a knife and fork now. And spoons," he said as he approached. His fingers wiggled at the sight of the morning feast. "No more chomping off the plate."
He took a bowl and then the box of cereal: Choco-lots. It took him a solid two minutes of digging at the cardboard seal to get it open, then he misjudged the amount of strength needed to open the plastic, sending a shower of chocolaty grains across the room, on the floor, on the table, into the orange juice and some of it went in the bowl, at least. Next came the milk, after fumbling with the top, he poured it into the bowl, missing at first and then overfilling it over the brim.
"Guess I'm no expert in judging strength and trajectory yet."
Monster Kid reached across the table, knocked over the glass of juice over the bacon and eggs – mixing orange with white – and grabbed his instrument of choice: a butter knife. He dipped the blunt blade into the bowl and fished out a few drops of milk and one piece of cereal that slipped straight off. Further attempts proved futile.
"Or in proper table etiquette…"
The flash of sunshine from outside the window pulled him toward the field of green grass and brown bark outside. The kid abandoned the ruined table and headed out the nearest door, forgetting he had hands and slamming against it. The second attempt reward him with fresh air and the smell of freshly cut lawn.
He didn't remember having a garden so expansive, especially one which stretched toward the horizon. Nearest to him was a tree; a large ash tree with ladders of leafy fingers. The lowest branch was just within reach.
"Oh, man. I've always wanted to climb trees."
After stepping onto a conveniently-placed stool, Monster Kid leapt up to the branch, grabbed it and hung with arms outstretched; limp like a fish caught on a line. The crushing weight of the world pulled him down, dragging his inners down with it. He was unable to bend his limbs in the slightest. His feet kicked madly, unable to reach the ground. A sharp sting of what he could guess was a splinter attacked his little finger, adding to the agony in his straining muscles.
"Shame about… the lack of…" He began to slip. "Upper body strength… though."
Letting go only made him crash face-first to the ground. And here he thought having arms would alleviate that problem.
After brushing himself off, Monster Kid reckoned that perhaps a more level game would be more his speed. There was a swing ball set. A five foot pole with a ball hanging off by a string.
Using the paddle, he gave the yellow tennis ball a pat which sent it spiralling lazily around the base. As it completed its first revolution, he swung into its trajectory and missed completely. On the second attempt, he missed also.
"Hand-eye coordination?" MK let out a big laugh. "Who needs it?"
On the third try, he lunged forward and swung with all his might, actually hitting it and sending it spinning around in a wide arc. He stood staring straight ahead, having lost it until it smacked him in the back of the head.
Bruised and battered, Monster Kid entered his home through the door he came out of. Upon returning to the kitchen, the table had been cleaned; one would never know of the disaster that was eating breakfast with hands for the first time. However, now there were piles upon piles of dirty, grubby plates, bowels, cups, glasses and cutlery beside the sink – full of warm, soapy water.
"MK, honey," Monster Mom called from the other room, "could you wash the dishes, please?"
"But, Mom," Monster Kid responded, "you know I can't do that. I don't have any han – oh, wait, I guess I do now." He huffed. "Oh, well…"
He dragged his bare feet over to the sink, picked up the first plate and went to work on it with a sponge. Such stubborn stains, he mad to scrub twice as hard, putting his barely existent muscles under incredible stress.
"Oh, and when you're done with that," Mom continued (still existing merely as a voice from behind a wall), "you can take out the trash, vacuum the carpet, dust out the corners, clear out the cobwebs, clean the kitchen tops, pat the rug out, clean the bath, wash the windows, peg the clothes on the line, mow the lawn—" Her words became a passing shadow as the kitchen tops grew a layer of grime, and the floors trailed mud from invisible feet, and the blades of green grew long enough to obscure the window and blot out the sun.
Monster Kid finished with the first plate. As he moved on to the second, he did not realise that he still wore the same smile from when he awoke. It was tattooed on. It persisted when he made a disaster out of breakfast. It left an indentation when he face planted. It never faltered with every missed swing.
So many chores to do, and now he could do all of them. Because he had hands.
He couldn't frown on such an occasion. He was so happy.
Back to the reality of a soft bed with the cover off, a child with his pyjama top budged up to his neck had his legs in the air as he cleaned imaginary dishes with his feet. Right foot pinched another between his toes and left foot waved over thin air for a few seconds.
From between closed eyelids, a single tear was shed.
Chapter 5: Sans The Simpleton?
He snored. Loudly.
What more can I say? Sans's room was, just like the rest of the house, an exact replica from their home in the Underground. From the funky flames beneath his door to the treadmill, the lamp on the drawers, the trash tornado and his piles of dirty socks littering the floor.
So much had changed since leaving the land beneath Mount Ebott, yet this one skeleton refused to alter, adjust, modify, or edit. Heroes were made. Villains were born. Sans remained Sans, sleeping in both his day clothes and his night clothes like he did months ago.
His bedsheets and pillow cases lay in a knotted ball by his sleeping side. Washed every week with fabric softener and detergent, one could still smell the freshness; it said on the front that this scent was called Moonlight Breeze, made by people who have no idea what a breeze under a full moon actually smells like.
Nevertheless, Sans snored. Loudly.
The long, white hallway with no windows, doors, or anything had its silence disturbed by the shuffling of slippers. With hands snugly deep within pockets, Sans the skeleton shimmied down it without a care or fear, having done it more times than he cared to remember. He hummed a casual little ditty along the way; a tune worthy of any cheesy nineties sitcom.
His sockets blinked and there appeared the end, with a black rectangle to visualise the exit.
Sans ambled on through, exiting the passage and stepping into a world of blackness. It encapsulated him. No ceiling. No ground. No horizon. No sights, smells or sounds of any kind. Not even an echo attached to his own voice.
Oblivion. The end of time itself. And yet, onward he strutted as if he were on the catwalk, being watched by millions.
After a few feet. Sans stopped his walking and his humming. In one fluid motion, he whipped his hands into the open, snapped his fingers and span around. As he expected, the opening leading to the white passageway was gone and in its place were two luxurious armchairs divided by a round table.
One of the chairs was occupied by a lanky, white-faced figure.
"Sans," he said, nodding and smiling, speaking that name as if he had said it ten times prior that same day; void of surprise.
With those same hands pointed in the air like a cowboy holding two six-shooters, Sans aimed coolly at the figure. "Mister W.D to the G," he replied as he made his way to the vacant seat. "What's up?"
"Oh, not much," W.D Gaster said. Sans rounded the chair and spotted a red bottle and a hotdog on the table. "Your usual."
As Sans parked himself, he said, "You shouldn't have," and reached for the bottle first. Before taking the first swig, he asked, "Been up to much, lately?"
"Same old, same old," said Gaster in all honesty. He tipped his head to one side, then the other. "Rumour here. Ghostly appearance there. Occasional cameo on the side."
"Cool." Sans gulped the first mouthful of ketchup. He grabbed the hotdog and began to gobble it greedily. In-between bites, he mumbled, "Same order of business with me. Who would'a thought gettin' part-time jobs on the surface would be as easy as in the Underground?"
Gaster shrugged. "I cannot speak from experience myself, but I shall take your word for it."
The short skeleton mouthed his snack and washed it down with the final drags from the bottle. Once finished, he dropped the empties on the table, with no intention of cleaning it up himself.
Sans wiped his toothy mouth with his sleeve.
"Much appreciated, G."
"Much obliged, Sans."
Gaster leaned back and clasped his hands together, intertwining his fingers. He continued, "Now, shall we continue our discussion from last time?"
Sans chuckled. "You bet."
In the vast emptiness, there sat two people in comfy chairs and with an empty ketchup bottle between them, joined together through time and space. The pair eased back, basking in the indulgence offered through such generous padding and in the added surety that their words would be heard by themselves only. Ne fears of eavesdropping existed in this realm – with the exception of you and me.
"Do you remember where we left off?" asked Gaster. However, he knew the answer before phrasing the question.
Whatever happened here between San and Gaster, stayed between Sans and Gaster.
"I remember alright."
Two brilliant minds, watching one another. The previous royal scientist and his former assistant. Only two intelligences such as theirs could share such deep, thoughtful conversations. Words that many would kill to hear. Secrets that could reshape the world as we know it. Theories that no mortal could—
Sans shot forward and yelled, "You never told me to label that switch!"
"Yes, I did!" Gaster retorted just as loud, also leaning headlong in his seat.
"No, you didn't!"
"Yes, I did!"
"No, you didn't!" Sans slammed his fists against the armrests
"Yes, I did!" Gaster copied the outburst of the other.
"Why you gettin' on my case for, anyway?" Sans demanded to know. "You yourself couldn't remember last month."
"I had a lapse in memory, okay?"
Sans glanced away and scoffed. "Yeah, not for the first time."
Gaster's brow furrowed, eyes narrowed, deeply insulted by that remark. "Well, I'm not the one who left empty chip packets in the fridge."
"And I ain't the one—" Sans resumed eye socket contact "—who insisted on havin' no 'Bring you pet rock to work day' day."
"And I'm not the one who heated up dark matter in the microwave."
"And I ain't the one who suggested a trapdoor over the Core."
Gaster's arms went wide. "I told you, I had that installed for a very specific purpose."
"Yeah, and what purpose was that?"
Gaster paused and stared off into space. A quiet mumble seeped out his lipless mouth.
Sans, astounded, continued, "Amazing. Years after the incident and you still can't remember why we installed that trapdoor."
"No, no, no," Gaster muttered, waving his hands, "there was a reason; it's on the tip of my tongue."
"Ah, shut up, you don't even have a tongue," Sans remarked. Gaster ignored that statement as he scoured the recesses of his mind for the reason. "Well, it don't matter no more," Sans went on, "since you were dumb enough to be standin' there when I flipped the wrong switch."
"Well, you should have labelled them like I asked."
"You never told me to label that switch!"
"Yes, I did!"
"No, you didn't!"
"Yes, I did!"
"Uh-uh, uh-uh." Sans plugged his earless ears and closed his eye sockets. "La la la la la la la la la—"
Gaster's frown deepened. "Stop that."
"—la la la la la la la la la—"
"—la la la la la—"
Two floating hands materialised from Gaster's own will and grabbed Sans by the wrists. A rigorous tug from each forced them apart.
"Stop being so childish," he said, dismissing his magic.
"I'm not being childish," Sans said, shaking his head out of stark denial. "You're being… child… ish… er."
The other cracked a grin, although it might have come off as more of a sneer. "Still the master of puns, but not of wit, I see."
Sans folded his arms. "At least I'm fully intact instead of being scattered across time and space."
"Perhaps I wouldn't be had you not flipped the wrong switch!"
"And p'haps if you'd've told me—."
"I did tell you!" Gaster interrupted, belligerent.
"No, you didn't!"
"Yes, I did!"
Sans rose on his chair. "No, you didn't!" His eye flared.
Gaster got up to meet the other's level. "Yes, I did!" His white face turned red.
Let's, err, back away from this little reunion nice and slowly before it turns messy.
With a sprinkle of fairy dust, the curtain is drawn. Back to Sans's room, where the pun-loving skeleton himself snored. Loudly.
Be thankful. Had we stuck around for the entire argument, we'd be there all night. Literally.