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Sans blinked open his eyes and laid still in his bed for a moment, taking inventory of himself. It had become a daily ritual, checking to make sure he hadn’t woken up in the exact same position as he had the day before. That meant time had looped again, and waves of nauseating déjà vu would roll over him momentarily.

But that wasn’t the case, and it hadn’t been for years now. Even if he was just a few molecules off, that meant time continued to progress. That was his new normal, even if it felt like he’d been trapped in time-loop hell for a lifetime. He breathed a sigh of relief for the millionth time in a row.

Frisk was waiting for him at the front door, just as Sans thought they would be. With all the travel they did as the ambassador, they had to have a pretty rigid schedule on their hangouts or they just never saw each other. Sans smiled at them and followed them to the nearby park for a lazy stroll.

Frisk was an enigma, to say the least. They showed up at the exact same time the resets stopped happening (at least, as far as Sans could tell. It wasn’t like he would have been able to remember meeting them before, but he’d gotten pretty good at judging just how new something was by how much it made him sick to his metaphorical stomach). To say he was suspicious of them at first was an understatement, but they won him over eventually. And when he asked them about the resets on their first night on the surface, they immediately promised they would never use that power, not once. They then proceeded to tell him a long and complicated tale about a talking flower that Sans was positive he’d never heard of before, and yet it almost sent him reeling with vertigo and unexplained hatred.

Sans didn’t put much faith in people, mostly because putting any effort into relationships that weren’t already well-established seemed pointless when he’d forget everything the next day. But, for some reason, he decided to trust Frisk. Looking around at the flowers, smelling the fresh summer air, listening to Frisk talk about their latest diplomatic successes and all the new friends they’d made… it seemed that trust wasn’t unfounded.

“Do you want to stop by Muffet’s for some brunch?” Frisk asked, pulling Sans from his thoughts.

“yeah, i guess. paps demands i do something other than grillby’s at least once a week. we butter get going before the lunch rush hits,” Sans answered. Frisk rewarded his awful pun with an honest laugh and it made his soul hum warmly. They made their way into the restaurant and got in line.

“whaddya getting, kid?” Sans asked. The nickname had never really gone away, even though Frisk was hardly a child and was a good head taller than Sans now. He kept waiting for them to retaliate and use his diminutive stature against him, but they didn’t have a mean bone in their body. Not even if it was for a good laugh.

“Spider Bagel and cream cheese, I think,” they said. “You?”

“...ham sandwich,” Sans answered after a moment.

“Why don’t you go get us a table? It takes you forever to bring all the ketchup packets you want over,” Frisk said.

“heh, you know me too well.” Sans started grabbing fistfuls of goopy red deliciousness and bringing them over to a nearby booth.

Frisk eventually came over with the food, the human spreading cream cheese on their bagel delicately while Sans tore open packet after packet of ketchup until both his hands and his sandwich were covered in the condiment. Frisk couldn’t help but giggle at him when he took a bite and the ketchup squashed out all the sides, making a mess over everything.

“so, how’s the ambassadoring going?” Sans asked, devouring his sandwich in a few quick bites. The benefits of skeleton magic included not needing to chew; the food just instantly dissolved into energy as soon as it passed his teeth. It wasn’t like he had a place to store it, anyway.

“I got three more countries to lift their bans on monster immigration,” Frisk said, smiling. “If you ever get an itch to travel, just let me know.”

Sans chuckled. “just when i think there’s just about nothing left for you to fix, you come back with news like that,” he said. “not to be genuine or anything, but… you’ve done a damn good job, kid. in just the handful of years you’ve been the ambassador, things have improved by leaps and bounds. so thank you.”

Frisk blushed a little. “...There’s still a lot I need to do,” they said.

Sans shrugged. “there’s only so much that you can do. there’s always gonna plenty of people out there that are bigoted. or brainless, like me,” he added, knocking on his empty skull. That earned him a little laugh. “i don’t mean you should stop trying. but it’s alright to look at everything you’ve done and tell yourself you’ve done a good job every once in a while, you know?”

“even when you haven’t done anything?” Frisk teased.

Sans put his hand on his chest in mock offense. It left a giant red handprint on his jacket. “i’ll have you know that i’ve been getting a skele-ton of work done lately,” he said.

“Do you know how many times I’ve heard that one from you?” Frisk said, though they were still smiling. “...and that stain is never going to come out, you know.”

Sans looked down at his chest and shrugged again. “i gave up trying to keep this thing clean ages ago.”

“You could have more than one set of clothes,” Frisk suggested, finishing the last of their bagel.

“c’mon, this thing’s practically attached to my body. or are you just tryna get my shirt off?” he said, winking flirtatiously. He immediately recognized his mistake as Frisk leaned across the table, head resting in their palm.

“Is that really the game you want to play, Sans? Because we both know who’s going to win,” Frisk said, their happy smile morphing into something more mischievous. Sans leaned away a little, putting his hands up in surrender, and Frisk rolled their eyes. “You’re no fun.”

“we can go have some fun at the park,” Sans said. “you know, sit on one of the benches and watch the grass grow. s’compelling stuff.”

“Sure, after you wash your hands,” Frisk said. “You look like you just murdered somebody.” Sans snorted and headed to the bathroom.


 

Sans sighed contentedly as the sun began to dip down below the horizon. “it’s been nice catching up with you, buddy. wish i got to see you more often.”

Frisk sighed themself. “I know. But the work I’m doing—”

“it’s important, i know,” Sans said. “you don’t have to tell me. i just thought, maybe… i dunno, i could tag along with you on some of your trips every once in a while or something.”

“Sans, I don’t need you to babysit me,” Frisk said, giggling a little bit.

“that’s not what i meant,” Sans said, looking away a little. He felt a little magic start to run up to his cheekbones and hoped the glow wouldn’t be too obvious in the fading light.

“...What did you mean, then?” Frisk asked, their voice suddenly quieter. Sans felt his soul flutter again.

“...c’mon, let’s head home. we can talk some more while we mess around with my telescope,” Sans said. “it’s supposed to be a really clear night tonight.”

“Am I gonna end up with a pink eye this time?” Frisk asked.

“please. that’s a waste of a perfectly good telescope when there’s actual stars to look at,” Sans said, trying to deflect Frisk from his nefarious plot.

“...Shortcut or scenic route?” Frisk asked.

Sans thought for a moment. “...it’s a nice day today. let’s walk home,” he said. Frisk smiled.


 

Thanks mostly to Ebott’s stellar police force, the city was on the lower end as far as crime went. Sure, there were plenty of anti-monster bigots to go around, but Ebott had marked itself as a place that didn’t tolerate injustice. When Sans had first come to the surface he definitely wouldn’t have felt comfortable roaming the streets at night, but now? The relatively short walk to his house didn’t seem that daunting.

The banter with Frisk came naturally; Frisk hitting on him subtly like they did with essentially everyone, Sans recycling puns he’d used for so long that he’d conditioned Frisk to genuinely laugh at them. Sans found that with enough punning, he could condition one of three responses out of people - real laughter, exasperated eye-rolling that usually came with an unbidden smile, or pure unadulterated rage. Luckily the last one seemed to be the most rare.

He was normally more vigilant than this - despite the sleepy, goofball persona he often put on, Sans was sharp as a tack. Which is why, when a gruff voice said, “There you are, you filthy monster lover,” behind him, it didn’t quite register that someone had managed to sneak up on him until he heard the deafening bang of a gun.

Sans whipped around to see a haggard-looking man pointing a pistol at him. His reaction finally kicked in - the gun flew out of the man’s hand to skitter across the sidewalk, followed by the man himself slamming against a brick wall and tumbling unconscious into a dumpster.

Still a little bit dazed, Sans looked to his side to find Frisk was no longer standing next to him. His soul froze when he realized Frisk was on the ground.

“oh… god… oh god oh god oh no no nonono,” Sans said, dropping to his knees and into a spreading pool of crimson liquid. Frisk’s sweater had turned dark, blood pouring out from a wound in the middle of their chest.

“frisk? can you hear me, buddy? oh god oh god what do i do, what—”

Sans knew next to nothing about human anatomy. He hadn’t bothered to learn, which was so, so stupid because Frisk had just been shot and he had no idea what to do. Monster food would only heal magical damage, he knew, not this. He stared blankly at the spreading circle of red around him.

Blood. That was supposed to be in their body, not out of it. He knew that much. He pressed his hands on the wound, trying to stop the flow. It went right past his damned skinless hands, gushing out through the gaps between his metacarpals. He pulled his hands away, since that clearly wasn’t doing anything.

“frisk? frisk please, talk to me! c’mon, buddy, c’mon, you… you’re gonna be okay. just tell me what… what do i…” Sans’ vision blurred with tears and his bones began to rattle together.

“Didn’t think it’d… end like this,” Frisk choked. “I’m… sorry…”

“no. no no nonono, nothing’s ending. just tell me what to do, i’ll… damn it, where was that hospital, i don’t…”

“...Too late,” Frisk said. They knew the limits of their body far better than anyone ought to. They knew a fatal wound when they felt one.

“...then… when was your last save? we can just go back, you can explain—”

“No saves up here,” Frisk said, coughing up blood. “Only reset. Can’t… promised…”

Sans looked down at the red fluid beginning to dry on his hands, horrified. How were they going to get this stuff off of him and back into Frisk? He was so transfixed, he almost missed what they said. He could almost hear an audible crack from his soul as all the fragile relief he’d accumulated over the years splintered apart.

“you… you gotta go back,” Sans said, his voice breaking as well.

“Promise…”

“fuck the damn promise!” Sans shouted, any control he had over himself utterly gone. “it’s your life, frisk, just go back!”

“Can’t live… forever…” Frisk said, barely able to breathe. “Won’t… take it… away. Go… be happy…”

“no. no, i can’t be happy if you aren’t here, do you hear me? you go back, you… y-you have to go back. please.” Sans started shaking their shoulders violently when they shook their head. “goddamnit frisk, if you ever cared about me at all you either don’t die or you go back! don’t you dare leave. don’t you dare leave!”

There was a flash of pain in Frisk’s eyes. Some deep wound that Sans’ didn’t have the time to comprehend before those eyes went glassy, devoid of life.

“...frisk? frisk. FRI—”


 

“—ISK!” Sans screamed the syllable into his blankets, his entire body shaking as his head spun. He shoved the blankets off, staggering to his feet as he tried to regain his bearings. Whatever it was, whatever earth-shattering, apocalyptic event had just transpired, it wasn’t just another one of his vague night terrors. This was too real.

...But he didn’t even know what it was.

“BROTHER? SANS, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?” Papyrus began marching up the stairs.

“yeah, i’m fine, bro,” Sans said on reflex. “i’m uh… i’m gonna go run a few errands before work. i’ll see you later,” he said, teleporting away as Papyrus forced open the door.

Sans found himself at the entrance to his basement. The nausea hit him at full force, shocking his entire system. A mess of bluish, raw magic ejected itself from his mouth and out onto the snow, his body rejecting whatever energy he’d recently consumed as if it were foreign. So that was what vomiting was like. Sans stumbled down the steps, locking the door behind him and sliding down to the floor as he started to sob. Why did it feel like he’d just lost everything?

After some indeterminate amount of time, Sans got up and opened his lock-box. One of the few surviving devices from his time in the lab, it resisted changes in the timeline. It was tiny - he had to pick and choose what information he stored in it - but it was something.

A card with a tally on it; Sans felt like throwing up again. It was a number so astronomically high that he should have been shocked, appalled, but he felt little more than apathy. He forced himself to change the number, his hand moving mechanically as his soul transitioned from panic to emptiness. He pulled out the next item.

It was a photograph. Him, Papyrus, Alphys, Undyne, Asgore, some woman he did and didn’t recognize that looked suspiciously like Asgore, and… a human. All smiling on a brightly lit path surrounded by grass.

The surface. He’d been to the surface.

Sans felt something inside of him die. Some meager shred of hope he’d clung to, disintegrating into dust.


 

Bitter was the only way Sans could really find to describe it. The stories Frisk had given him about the resets, about the talking flower, felt like he’d heard them before. Some excuse to keep him from what was really going on, because he had proof that whatever promise they gave him was hollow. He wanted to believe them. He wanted to believe them so badly that he wanted to go down into his lab and burn everything in his lock-box, every shred of proof that contradicted what Frisk was saying.

But he was, at heart, a scientist. He couldn’t argue with all that cold, ugly evidence.

So he remained bitter for all the years he spent on the surface. He resented himself for so desperately wanting to believe every lie Frisk fed him, he resented Frisk for stretching out the torture for as long as they had, he resented the surface world for its existence as if it was only there to mock his own.

But, of course, he had always been an excellent actor. ‘hey, buddy, it’s nice to see you. never been happier than i have been up here. can’t wait to see you again.’ He had so many masks on, he didn’t know which one was actually his face - the goofy one, the bitter one, or the one that screamed that he was wrong about everything. Somewhere, deep down, with every fiber of his being Sans knew that Frisk’s promise wasn’t empty. But the photograph, that broken promise, remained.

Brunch, bagel and ham sandwich, walk in the park, offer to head home and stargaze. It all felt vaguely familiar like most things did, if not the howling déjà vu he felt while Frisk was traversing the underground. An inexplicable feeling of dread began to come over him.

“Shortcut or scenic route?” Frisk asked him.

“...shortcut,” Sans said. “walking’s too much work.” He reached out to grab Frisk’s hand and they pulled away. He glanced at them, a little annoyed. “what’s the matter, buddy? c’mon, you got over the warping sickness years ago.”

“You still don’t believe me,” Frisk said. Their face was contorted with confusion and pain. It turned out Sans wasn’t the only one that could act well.

The obvious response, the one he had gone with every time before, was ‘of course i believe you, pal. you’re seeing things that aren’t there.’ But there was something different about tonight. He felt his emotions running hot in his ribcage for some reason he couldn’t place.

“yeah, well, it’s kinda hard to trust someone that’s already broken their promises,” Sans said. The bitterness came out, staining his tone. He pulled out the photograph he kept in his pocket to remind himself and held it in front of their face. “we’ve already been here before. tell me i’m wrong,” he said.

Frisk turned away, closing their eyes. “...You’re not.”

“then why don’t you give me one good reason i should believe a single word coming out of your mouth? why’d you reset, huh? why’d you reset when everyone was finally happy, when i was finally happy?” Sans’ voice shook with anger and desperation, his soul begging for Frisk to say something that would assuage all his suspicions.

“...Follow me,” they said, walking towards Sans’ house. Sans could read everything on their face plainly - anger, more than a little pain, a quiet determination. He followed them cautiously, that strange feeling of dread growing more and more pronounced.

It only took Sans a few seconds to notice the man tailing them from a distance. He wasn’t really being subtle. Sans didn’t turn around, didn’t make it known that he knew.

“we’re being followed,” Sans whispered. Frisk didn’t say anything and continued walking as Sans became more and more nervous. The man was getting closer.

Sans recognized the tone in the man’s voice immediately. “There you are, you filthy—”

The man flew overhead, slammed into a wall, and tumbled into a dumpster before he could finish his sentence. The implications became crystal clear.

“what did he do?” Sans asked.

Frisk aimed a finger-gun at their chest and pulled the trigger. “That’s why,” they said simply.

The emotional part of Sans, the part that kept looking for reasons to believe Frisk and seemed to remember far more than his mind ever could, wanted to take that answer and run away with it and never look back. But the bitter part, the part that felt so used and neglected, wasn’t finished yet.

“yeah, well, i know you’re more important than the lives everyone built up here the last few years. easy choice.”

Sans saw a flash of an emotion he’d never seen in Frisk run through their eyes - rage. They took a step towards him aggressively, and suddenly Sans was acutely aware of the power they held over him. They could kill him, torture him, destroy everything he cared about over and over again if they so chose and he could do absolutely nothing about it.

“You made me,” Frisk said, poking Sans in the chest with their finger, and the rage Sans had mistaken in Frisk’s eyes turned out to be deep, deep pain. “I was willing to let go and you made me reset. So I told you why, Sans, now you tell me. Why? Why did you ask me to undo all the work everyone did to get here?”

The bitter part of him vanished instantly, replaced by a far stronger sense of shame. The answer was so, so obvious now that he was here. It was as if it’d been written on his face in permanent marker and he hadn’t bothered to look in the mirror once all these years.

“...because i—”

Bang.

The reflex was instant, the lid to the dumpster slamming down hard enough to render the man unconscious once again. The pain didn’t even register as he crumpled to the ground, his magic disintegrating around the new holes in his spine and sternum. A mix of marrow and raw red mana - it looked like blood, Sans thought, even though he’d never actually seen human blood before - poured out onto the concrete.

Frisk broke free of their paralyzed horror and gathered Sans up in their arms, sobbing apologies. “I-I’m sorry I shouldn’t have brought us here I should have just t-told you I didn’t mean for—”

“...god, i’m so selfish,” Sans chuckled to himself, red sputtering past his teeth.

“What? No, no—”

“i’m sorry i’ve been hurting you this whole time,” Sans said. “guess karma finally came back to get me, huh?”

“Stop. Just stop it,” Frisk sobbed, holding him closer. Even as his soul began to splinter apart, Sans felt it humming at the embrace.

“just… just go on without me. you’ll be okay, they’ll all be okay. i can’t live forever, you’ll—”

“You don’t get to make me reset for my own life just for you to die,” Frisk said, their voice raw.

“frisk, don’t—”


 

Sans could barely move as he woke up. The weight of the blankets, the weight of the air itself was crushing him. There was something there, some inexplicable and overwhelming shame that clung to his soul. It was a struggle to push the covers off, a struggle to stand up, an impossible task to face whatever broken creature was waiting for him in the mirror. He went to the basement.

The tally was so high now. The surprise that should have been there barely registered and he set it aside to reveal a photograph. It had “II” marked on the back. Twice. He’d been to the surface twice. He slid to the ground, despondent.

Sans wasn’t the one resetting, so logically whoever was screwing with time was the reason Sans was back down in Snowdin. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that this was all entirely his fault.


 

It was hard to even pretend to be happy when every bone in his body screamed that he didn’t deserve it. Frisk was the source of the resets - they’d told him themself - and yet Sans couldn’t bring himself to blame them. He saw pain whenever he looked them in the eyes, and he was all but certain that he’d hurt them irreparably in a past life he had no memory of. Whatever the reason they’d destroyed the past two attempts at surface life for, it was Sans’ fault, he was certain. How could he blame them? They didn’t choose to have that power, after all, and if any of Sans’ observations were correct they weren’t the type of person to abuse it either. He should have been more careful, should have watched what he said or done, should’ve spent every single second of his worthless life making them happy because whatever he’d done, the consequences echoed onto every other living soul on the planet.

Sans did the only thing he could think of to give the world any shot at a permanent happy ending - he avoided Frisk as much as he possibly could, avoided that look of betrayal on their face whenever they looked at him.

Papyrus, bless his sweet, beautiful soul, tried every single method at his disposal to get Sans to open up and find happiness. Toriel tried, too; even Alphys, whom he hadn’t spoken to in years, tried to help him. And Frisk, despite everything, despite whatever nameless, grievous sin he’d committed against them, spent every spare moment tending to a happiness Sans wouldn’t allow himself to have.

He didn’t understand it; Frisk’s desire to make him happy was almost a need, something desperate as if their existence depended on it. Maybe they were just that good of a person, that despite what he’d done they still did everything in their power to make him happy. It almost made it worse, in a way; Sans felt as though he had the blood and tears of a saint on his hands.

It was something Sans came to realize about Frisk - their whole life was sacrifice. They sacrificed their life countless times to free the monsters, sacrificed their time and their own wants and needs to bring peace. Every moment of their life, it seemed, was spent in service to others, even wretches like Sans. He could feel their compassion, their kindness constantly.

So why, his soul asked of him constantly, hadn’t he made them happy?

Sans didn’t want to go to brunch or the park or even take Frisk back for stargazing, but Frisk was more insistent today than they ever had been before. They started walking towards Sans’ house, the skeleton far too downtrodden to even suggest they take a shortcut over the scenic route after Frisk took the first step in that direction.

Sans noticed the man following them. It wasn’t that hard when he was trying to pay attention to anything else besides Frisk. Sans didn’t say anything but gave Frisk a look - they seemed to already be aware of the problem. He followed them blindly.

“There you are, you filthy mon—” Sans grabbed onto the man with his blue magic and threw him into a wall and then a dumpster, only mildly shaken. Frisk pulled a set of bungee cords out of the mysterious duffel bag they’d brought with them, securing the man inside before calling the police and leading Sans all the way back home without waiting for them to show up. With one look, Sans knew that this event had been where he’d made his grievous mistake.

Frisk watched him while he mulled it over, and Sans winced as he came to a conclusion. He looked up at them, ashamed. “i’m the one that made you reset,” he said, and Frisk nodded. “he killed you and i told you to reset.”

Sans nodded to himself and sat down on the couch, cradling his head in his hands. “god, i’m so selfish,” he said. Frisk sat down next to him and he felt his soul begging for their forgiveness. The shame, the guilt was eating him alive.

“My life is no more valuable than anyone else’s,” Frisk said quietly. “I don’t want to reset just for me, or just for one person. We all die. I can’t live forever.”

Sans nodded. “...and even after all you’ve done for me, after you died for me - for us - a million times, i have the gall to tell you to live for me. as if you owed me a single goddamn thing.”

“...I still would, if you asked me to,” they said quietly. Sans looked up at them, mildly confused. “Live for you,” they clarified. Sans couldn’t help but laugh a little, laugh at this angel that deigned time and time again to grace his miserable existence with their presence. A laugh was the only answer he could give them.

“Why did you ask that of me, though?” Frisk asked. “...I’d do it. I did it. But you never said why.”

It was such a simple answer. Three little words. Sans let them tumble out of his mouth, too tired to resist. “i love you.” He shook his head, ashamed of his own stupidity. The answer had been there all along, he’d just been too blind to see it. “i love you, frisk. that’s why. that version of me couldn’t live without you, so he asked you to live for him. hell… it wasn’t just him.” It was still there, even on the third time around. Even if his mind forgot why, his soul still remembered. Sans looked over at Frisk to find tears streaming from their eyes.

How could he have missed the fact that he loved them? How could he ever not have loved them? Their kindness, their compassion, their fierce determination. The way they spent every waking moment trying to bash through his inward-pointing defenses and find a way to make him happy even though he deserved none of it.

Sans nearly fainted when Frisk suddenly pulled him into a kiss. One part of him wanted to pull away, wanted to tell Frisk they deserved better and they should leave him behind. But the other part, the bigger one by a large margin, melted against them. His soul, a soul whose love for Frisk had endured through timelines, nearly shattered with relief and a gratitude more profound than anything he’d ever known.

Sans’ soul shuddered and hummed as Frisk pulled him into their lap. He wrapped his arms around them, clinging to fistfuls of sweater, as they held him against their body gently. When the kiss ended, he curled up against them and buried his face in their neck.

“...You died the second time,” Frisk said after a little while. “So we’re both selfish.” Sans nuzzled into them a little more. It gave him some measure of comfort - that they loved him, too. They’d reset to save him because they didn’t want to live without him, either. Surely they had some reason they loved him. Maybe it wasn’t all his fault. Maybe things were just a little beyond his control.

“guess we’re both pretty screwed up, huh?” Sans said. A chuckle found its way out of his mouth, and he wiped at the tears that had begun to leak from his eyesockets. “god, everything’s so screwed up.”

“It’s better now, though. Right?” Frisk asked. “We… know how we feel now. We know why it happened.”

“...maybe,” Sans sighed. Now that the initial shock was gone, the dark cloud that seemed to follow him everywhere began to creep back in, the part of him that told him he didn’t deserve to be loved even if Frisk loved him anyway. “...i don’t think i’m good for you, frisk,” he said, barely a whisper. “both times you reset because of me. you’ve got so much power, frisk, you can’t… i’m not good for you. maybe… maybe this isn’t a good idea.” He closed his eyes, bracing himself for Frisk to refuse or agree. He wasn’t sure he could handle either.

Frisk started rubbing his back slowly and Sans’ body decided to prove him a hypocrite, leaning back into it. “Do you want to go look at the stars?” they asked, ignoring the question.

With a quick blink they plopped down into a cushy lawn chair, still laying against each other; the telescope sat at their side and Sans reached over to adjust it.

Frisk peered into it, calm and contemplative. “...I think, now that we both know everything… we just need to revisit that promise,” Frisk said. “I can’t reset again. Not if I die, not if you die, and you can’t ask me to either. Even if it’s tomorrow.” Sans said nothing, still laying against their stomach. “Short of something apocalyptic… never again. Not for anything.”

Sans sighed, rolling the fabric of Frisk’s sweater between his fingers. “i don’t know if i can do that,” he admitted. “i already did once. i don’t make promises i can’t keep, kid.”

Frisk tilted the telescope a little, changing their view. “When you live forever… time doesn’t mean anything,” Frisk said. “Moments don’t mean anything. Relationships don’t mean anything. Life doesn’t mean anything.” Sans looked up at them, but they continued gazing through the telescope. “I want my life to mean something, Sans. The fact that I’ll be gone someday, that you’ll be gone someday - that’s what makes this moment precious. That’s what makes you, that’s what makes this, ” they said, squeezing Sans’ hand, “so precious.”

They finally turned their gaze from the stars back to Sans, and Sans couldn’t help but smile. “I love you. That’s the reason I’ll never reset. Not just because I don’t want you to forget me again - but because you mean something to me, and it’s going to stay that way.”

Sans nodded, more to himself than to Frisk. “okay,” he said. He rested his hands on their shoulders and kissed them softly, touching their foreheads together. When he pulled away, there was a smudged ring of pink dye around his eyesocket. He chuckled as Frisk blinked and gave him a playful, squinty glare.

He laid back down against their chest. “i promise i won’t ask you,” he said. He felt some twinge in his soul, some part of him that secretly liked having that safety net, liked that there weren’t really consequences sometimes. But a promise was a promise. “...and… if you really want this, then…” he sighed, soaking in Frisk’s warmth. The smell of flowers always seemed to cling to their skin, even though he was pretty sure they didn’t wear perfume or cologne or anything like that. He closed his eyesockets and squeezed Frisk’s hand back. “well. i don’t really have the willpower to say no,” he chuckled.

Frisk wrapped their free arm around Sans’ torso and they both stared up at the night sky. Sans felt something - he was almost positive he hadn’t really felt it since he was a baby bones, but it still felt familiar somehow. It made him feel pleasantly sleepy, safe, as any doubts he might have had finally melted away.

He finally felt at peace.