"Frisk? Oh Frisky Frisk, where are you?" Chara called out in a sing-song manner. She pranced around the kitchen, maybe hoping to catch me raiding the fridge for pie again. "Frisk, c'mon give me a sign."
"I'm over here, you dingus," I answered from my spot on the couch. Well, I was lying down so really ALL the spots on the couch. "What do you want? I'm watching TV."
Chara walked in and glared at me with her thousand-yard stare. "Frisk, you know we don't have a TV out here."
"Anyway, if you feel like getting off your butt, Sans and Pap called about a problem."
I sat up, wiping the crumbs off of my sweater. "What exactly was the problem?"
"Something about Undyne wrecking their house and burying it in the snow. They need help shoveling it out." Chara pulled out her phone and showed me a picture. From I could make out, there's a very distressed Undyne smashing furniture and a very panicked pair of skeleton brothers. Pap looks especially terrified. "Wait, why can't Sans just do it? Doesn't he have telekinesis or something?" I asked confused.
Her eyes lit up for a second and I recognized the little twitch she had. It's like she's allergic to hearing Sans's name. "Because… he's Sans. Need I say more?"
"Fair enough, I suppose," I stood up, stretching my back. "All right, let's go."
We passed by Toriel's room and knocked, hoping that she wasn't too busy. "Goat mom," I called.
"Yes, my child, what is it?" she answered.
"Sans and Pap are kind of in a pickle, is it okay if me and Chara-"
"Chara and I," Toriel corrected me.
"Chara and I go to Snowdin and help them out?"
Barely even a second after I finished asking my question, Toriel swung her door open. Geez, it scares me every time I realize how towering she is. She scanned over the both of us but shot me a familiar dirty look. "You, young man, are not leaving in that disgusting sweater. Go put a clean one on this instant."
Seriously, what was wrong with the sweater? It wasn't THAT dirty, but I rather preferred that I didn't fall victim to a goat's rage so I just bore with it. "Ugh, all right fine." I walked off to my room in defeat with Chara following me, giggling under her breath. I opened my closet and start digging through the pile of clothes.
"You know, hangers were invented for a reason, Frisky."
I just ignored her remark and kept sifting through the mess. "C'mon, where is it? I know it's here somewhere," I said. It was the lucky sweater I was looking for. Hopefully, it was only one without pie stains on it. Chara started walking around and looking at everything.
"Oh, this is an adorable picture of you!" she yelped, picking up one of the picture frames on my dresser. The picture was of me on my 12th birthday, I think, wearing a robe that Toriel had made for me. I think it was Mettaton that took that picture, just before Sans smashed my face into the cake. Good times, good times. "I wonder if I still have that robe," I said.
"Wow, you don't even remember if you still have probably the best present Goat Mom has ever given you? Are you sure it's not in that mountain you call clothes?"
"Haha, not funny."
"What? It's a serious question."
"Look, if you're in here, you might as well help me look for it."
"'It' is not very specific, Frisky."
I sighed in anguish. "My lucky sweater. Y'know, the one I basically saved all of the underground in? The one I wore when I essentially hugged you into existence? Ring any bells?"
"That still fits?"
"It's magic, of course it still fits."
"I don't think that's how magic works."
"Oh sure, living skeletons, giant human-like goats, and a high tech popstar robot are all okay when it comes to the limits of magic," I retorted mockingly, "But nooooo, a sweater that doesn't shrink is just going WAY too far."
I turned back to my empty closet, realizing that all of the clothes were now on the floor. "Damn. Chara, be a dear and open that first drawer, please?"
And she did just that or at least tried to. "Ugh, it's not budging."
"Keep trying, it gets stuck sometimes."
"I suppose that's because of magic, too," she mocked me.
I pulled out the knife in her back pocket and went to work trying to pry the drawer open.
"Frisky, warn a girl, why don't ya?!"
I pointed the knife in her direction. "Listen, you're not even supposed to have this on you. How do you think Toriel is going to react when she finds out you do?"
She rolled her eyes, sighing in contempt. "Carry on."
Actually, now that I think about it, maybe the drawer was enchanted with magic. There was some "private" stuff in there if I remember correctly. Chara would blackmail me if she ever saw what was really in there. I'm sure Mettaton and Alphys would pretty much die to hear something so scandalous. Anyway, neither of us were prepared for what happened next.
After popping open the drawer, one of the sweaters started floating up. "SCREEEEEEE!" it shrieked.
"WHAT IN THE NAME OF ASGORE IS THAT?" Chara screamed, gripping my hand with the knife in it, "KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT!"
Oh wait, now I remember what the magic lock was really for. The sweater fell back into the drawer, revealing a peculiar not-so blooming face. "I will end all of you!" the creature said.
"Calm down, it's just Flowey," I said, trying to soothe Chara. I can tell that didn't exactly reassure her, but I was just glad she didn't start chopping him up like a salad. "Oh hey, there's the sweater!"
I tried reaching in to grab it, but Flowey thought it would be a better idea to try and bite my damn fingers off. "Hey! You watch those teeth, mister."
"Or else what? You can't do anything to me! I'm a god!"
"Do you want to play "Loves me, Loves me not" again?" I threatened him.
Suddenly it was like all the color from his petals just disappeared. "Please, no… not again… " he quivered in fear.
"Good." I grabbed the sweater, just after making sure the little bastard didn't try anything again. I pulled off my stained sweater and tossed it away with the rest of the dirty ones. At least I think it was the dirty pile. Chara's cheeks start glowing with roses and she spun around with a twirl. "What?" I asked.
"Hey, Frisky, can you uh… "
"I think you're flirting powers are too much for her," Flowey whispered. I think he might've been referring to my physique at the time. Toriel always makes me train with Papyrus and Undyne, probably in the hopes that I don't sit around all day and eat her out of a house. I guess it was hard to tell what I really looked like underneath a giant sweater, granted I'm sure Chara was pretty imaginative of what could be under it. When I'm not busy relaxing, I feel like even a seven nation army couldn't hold me back.
"I heard that!" she cried out, still trying not to look directly at me. "Frisky, please!"
"Oh, right," I quickly pulled over my lucky sweater. Ah, it still fit like a glove; it was as if every memory I've had while wearing it just came flooding back to my mind. "All right, let's go."
"Not so fast!" Flowey tugged on my arm with one of his roots. "If you're going on an adventure, I want to be there to ruin it for you, you little shits!"
The little guy gave off bad vibes, but it's been proven time and time again that his plans always seem to backfire; even better when his plans actually work in our favor. I never saw any real harm in letting him tag along, given his… circumstances.
"Fine, but we're putting you in the pot."
"Do I have to? I think I'd much rather latch onto one of you like a parasite and suck the life out of you."
Grabbing the little sucker by the neck, or stem rather, I put him in the clay pot I found in the corner of my room, which was thankfully already full of soil.
"Now we can go."
We walked back out and headed downstairs to the stone doors. "Toriel, we're leaving now!" Chara announced.
"Okay, you children be safe now!"
Just before I could walk through the door, my stomach called me over to the kitchen once more. I searched through the fridge and found my leftover Glamburger, which surprisingly hadn't spoiled yet. That really makes me think about what actually goes into those burgers…
"Hurry up, Frisky. Their house isn't going to unbury itself."
If only it could. With my food rummaging coming to an end, we finally took our leave; the doors were nearly frozen completely, making our lives just a little bit harder getting them to open. Chara took Flowey so that I would try and pull the doors open, but that didn't do anything for a while beside strain my arms.
"C'mon, Frisk! Use those gains of yours!" Flowey chanted. Not that it helped the situation. I managed to break the ice, but the doors were still sealed. "There must be something I'm missing here because these doors should be open by now."
Chara pulled me back. "Uh, Frisky. I think you're doing it wrong."
"Please, solve this little problem if you really know how to." I mocked her. I had essentially believed that the doors turned into the Fort Knox of home security. It was hard trying to remember the last time the doors were actually sealed shut, given the passage was almost always open.
Without hesitation, she pushed the doors open, letting the brisk air flow into the corridor. "It's a push, not pull."
I scratched my head in disbelief. "Oh. I knew that."
"Let's go, bitches!" Flowey yelled.
And so, our trek began. The downfall of snow was much easier on us and wasn't really coming down in blankets, so we were lucky to not be trudging through 5 feet of snow like we did all those years back. I could tell Chara wasn't exactly a fan of the cold, even if she seemed like the most cold-blooded creature sometimes.
Flowey looked at me from the corners of his beady eyes. "Hey, Frisk, you seem much taller than the last time I saw you."
"People do grow over time, I'm not really sure if you were aware of that fact," I replied.
"Well, you're still not taller than Chara here. You're a little imp midget compared to her!"
Again, I just ignored him, even if it did strike a chord with me. I still find it hard to believe a little seedling like him ever tried to destroy the universe.
"It's because I'm older than him," she interjected, "Of course he's not going to be as big as I am."
"By two years!" he shouted. "Me and you are the same age and I was taller than you at some point!"
Suddenly, an idea lit up in my head! I crept over toward a mound of snow and wrapped some of it in my hands. "Hey, Flowey, think fast!" I yelled, tossing the snowball.
"Eep!" Flowey ducked just in time, although the target that was hit started making him quiver again. Chara's face flushed with that rosy shade as the ice slowly melted off of her face. "Oh, you're on!" she answered, dropping the potted bastard to the ground.
It was all out war from that point on. She and Flowey kinda teamed up on me, even though he was basically in the middle of the battlefield. I don't know how, but she got a decent fort up before I could even find a good hiding spot. Flowey managed to get a hit on my leg by pure luck, considering he was too busy cackling like a hyena.
I came under too much fire at some point and decided I could use the rest of the forest as cover. I retreated, but Chara was hot on my trail. "You can't run forever, Frisky!"
"Won't know until I try!" I sped past the trees, but I carefully followed the path around just to make sure we didn't get lost out there. I made haste and hid in a group of shrubs.
She sang eerily as she tiptoed through the snow. "Frisky… come out, come out, wherever you are…" I hadn't really taken into account how close she was, so it was challenging for me not to make any sudden movements. I figured she didn't get a good enough scare at the house, so I thought of the brilliant idea of getting the drop on her. Quick thinking had to prevail with the idea that I had in mind.
I tossed a rock, which oddly enough had a smile drawn on it, over in the opposite direction to distract her. She took the bait, but she took it ever so cautiously. "I have you now," Chara said under her breath. I took the opportunity to start shoveling up some snow and began forming it into a humongous snowball. I was more worried about whether or not I could throw the thing, let alone piece it together and make sure it stays.
As the crisp breeze blew through the bush, I shivered after feeling the snow drip off of my chilled hands. Then, I heard the pacing of some rather recognizable footsteps and instantly thought Chara didn't go after the bait and switch.
"Showtime," I hissed. Not wasting time, I rushed out, holding the mini snow boulder over my head. "Gotcha now... you… little…"
Before I could finish my sentence, I slowly rose my head to the icy behemoth that stood over me. I never peed my pants before that moment, but in that one instance I remembered there was always a first time for everything.
Chara was still wandering the snowy forest, readying the firm snowball in her palms, "Frisky Frisk, where are y-"
"Shit shit shit shit shit shit!" I panted as I sprinted for dear life. I wasn't so scared of the monster itself, but rather I was much more terrified of getting squashed by its humongous icy feet. Before she could even get a word in, or rather snowball in this case, I hauled ass like a bullet towards her and swept her up bridal style. I wasn't sure if it was because of my sudden adrenaline high, but I noticed the snowflakes falling in a slow fluid motion. I would've cried 'hidden time distortion ability', but I think we can all agree how much of cop-out that would've been given the situation. Let's just say they never covered "defense against frost giants" in my emissary training.
She held on for dear life to my sweater, damn near tearing the fabric. "Whoa there, Frisky! Where's the fire?"
"Well, considering the irony of that question, I just hope its nearby!"
"What in the hell is this thing?" she inquired, trying to raise her voice above my loud panic. I turned around for a split second to get a better look at the assailant whilst trying not to pee myself in the process. "I may have accidentally pissed this thing off!" I shouted.
"So what's the gameplan?" she asked, readying her knife. I admit, the shine of the blade tempted me into going full shredder mode on at least half of the monsters that have given me a hard time, but I know that once I start down that path, it's going to leave more than just my blood in the snow. "No knives, first off."
Chara pouted, shoving the blade back into her pocket. "I think we can just trip this thing and keep heading into Snowdin. The 'how we trip this thing' part, I'm still working on."
As I kept running, I noticed Flowey found the time to wrap himself around my arm. I wasn't sure why I never heard him before, though it's probably safe to say he was just as scared as I was. Then, a terrible but foolproof idea chimed in my head.
"Chara, I'm going to need you to trust me right now!" I yelled.
"Of course, Frisky! What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to toss you pretty high so you can land on this monster. Can you do that for me?"
"Of cour-wait, what?"
At that moment, I mustered up an immense amount of muscle power and flung her way up near the snow-covered branches, she squealed at the top of her lungs. I mean hey, she didn't say no. Stopping before my soles caught fire, I grabbed Flowey and threw his elastic stem to wrap around the opposite tree nice and tight. "Frisk… I'm… going… to kill you later…" the demonic flower choked on his words. The snowy behemoth couldn't react fast enough, yelping as his leg was snagged by Flowey's cartoonishly stretched body. With that, the forest bellowed as the monster slammed the ground with great power.
Falling onto the creature's back, Chara gracefully landed on her feet. Almost on cue with her instincts, I signed her not to pull out the knife.
"Wowie! We kicked this monster's ass to Ebbot come!" Flowey cheered on as he pulled himself back together.
"What… what's going on? What year is it?" the snow monster yawned.
"Um, okay. You just tried to kill us, so please give me one good reason why my partner and I shouldn't turn you into crushed ice." my cheeky companion displayed a rather devilish smile. God, creepy grins and homicidal tendencies seem to be hereditary in this family, as scientifically illogical as that statement is.
"Yeah, disregard my friend's empty threat. Anyway, why were you chasing us through the forest?"
The monster just scratched his head, completely baffled by my question. "I… chased you?"
"And we may or may not have tripped you in the process."
"That would explain the scuffled chin."
Flowey bounced back onto my arm, hissing green spit in the monster's direction. "You're lucky I didn't kill you WITH MY GOD POWERS!"
"Still, I'm afraid I have no idea what events have just transpired to bring on such actions, though I do apologize if any of you were hurt in the process."
It took me a few seconds before I realized that he must've been sleepwalking. From that moment, I would never disregard the warning of how dangerous it is for someone to be sleepwalking. Never knew when I scanned over myself and Flowey, only to have my eyes become glued onto Chara as her body glared under the forest's moonlight, warming my chilled heart and soul. It's funny now that I say this, but her rosy cheeks and eyes were actually rather stunning when she wasn't pairing them with a psychopathic grin. Absolutely stunning…
"Uh, Frisky?" she waved her hand trying to get my attention.
I shook myself out of my self-induced trance, "What? Yeah, anyway, who are you exactly? I wasn't aware there were any more frost giants out here."
The giant stroked his crackled ice beard. "That is probably because I am the only one that's awake. I guess that means everyone else is still in slumber. As for my name, I am known as Alban."
I smiled in his direction, feeling that it was nice to meet another oddity I would call a friend. "Alban, huh? It's a pleasure to meet you."
"The pleasure is all mine."
"My name's Frisk and my partner here is Chara." She waved awkwardly as she walked to my side. "We're on our way to Snowdin to help out some friends who apparently got-"
"Snowed in?" he interrupted, trying to hush his chuckles.
I stifled a chuckle of my own, eventually bursting into a fit of laughter. Chara groaned, "Not. Funny."
Even Flowey got a laugh out of it, the psychopath he is. "Anyway, would you like to come with us?" I asked the giant.
"Yeah, we could use an extra pair of hands with the mess those boneheads have," Chara added.
The ice giant pondered my inquiry for a moment. Given the time frame of when we met, I already felt that he would be an immense ally and an even greater friend. He reminded me of Asgore, y'know, only less unintentionally genocidal. Despite my preconceptions, Chara actually seemed to agree that having an ice giant around was a good idea, though maybe not so much for the prospect of camaraderie… at least at the time. "Yes, I will help you. Whatever is required of me, I will help you with," Alban replied.
I gave him a brief nod. "All righty then, welcome aboard. Now, I believe we have to keep moving if we're gonna shovel the bone bros out of their home."
Flowey cackled, "MARCH ONWARD INTO THE SNOWY OBLIVION! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Yeah, what he said."
And marched we did. Well, not into the snowy oblivion, just further out of the forest path. It was interesting to find a snow giant in such plain sight; Toriel mentioned stories about how rare of a species they were, about how secluded and sparse they were across the mountains of Ebbot - er, IN Ebbot I should say. Jeez, mountains within a mountain, I better check to see if Leo DiCaprio's number is on my phone for this. Anyway, about halfway to Snowdin, I did manage to get some clarification from Alban as to the how and why of his sudden appearance.
Chara poked the monster inanely, "So why were you out in the open? That seems pretty stupid to sleep in the middle of the forest if you wanted to be safe while doing it."
He returned with a rather wry smile. "Well, by the time I saw a suitable, habitable cave in yonder direction, my body had already begun to crystallize and I was forced to stay there for quite some time. It's not like I get to choose when I want to sleep, our bodies rely on an automatic bodily trigger. Our elders never did fully understand what causes the sleep cycles."
"So how old are you, exactly? I noticed the beard, but you don't really seem all that old."
He chuckled, "Your concept of age of much different than mine it seems, but yes, your presumption is correct. To you, I must seem like an elder in their last stretch, but to my people, I'm barely considered an adult. As of now, I'm only about 200 years old."
"Wow, seriously? Shit, you're older than Toriel," I said.
"YOU'RE ALL OLD HAGS! YOUR TIME IS LONG OVERDUE!" Flowey blurted out.
Alban shot a questionable look at me. "Oh, him. Former dead son of our surrogate mother and father tried to kill everyone in the Underground, and almost ended the universe with godlike powers, it's a long story. Don't worry, he's cool now."
Flowey let out a raspy hiss, enlarging his vacant eyes.
"Eh, that's debatable," Chara interjected.
I nodded in agreement. "Hey, when we're done bailing out the bone bros, maybe we could look for the rest of your people." I offered that in an effort not only to make friends with him, but there was an underlying motive. One thing that Toriel always pressed on about the frost giants is that have a hell of a military force. They apparently served under the rulers before Asgore and herself as enforcers, but that separated from the kingdom because they were so few of them left after centuries of war. Supposedly, they were the precursors for the majority of the population in Snowdin, though it still bugs me how there wasn't a single insurrection of any kind back then with their presence. Yeah, yeah, I know it seems a little treacherous in hindsight, but I'm still the human ambassador to these guys, you really think I'm going to let Princess Chara and Prince Flowe-Asriel do the talking? Besides, after the prodigal son's little stunt all those years ago, I just had the sinking feeling that we wouldn't be prepared for whatever came our way the next time around.
"That's actually not a bad idea. Though, it should be no surprise for why I must advise caution with a plan like that," Alban replied.
"Yeah, duly noted."
Coming up to the town, I noticed a rather alarming amount of people around the town's Christmas tree. "Um, I don't remember this many people living here," I said.
"To be fair, everyone here is inside or out in the forest most of the time," Chara replied.
"You're not wrong, but something tells me that all of these people aren't here to celebrate the end of their hibernation."
In a quick turn of events, the enormous crowd suddenly turned and gazed upon our colossal friend. Everyone just stood in silence, both in reverence or petrification; a collection of jaws dropped to the floor. Chara pulled out her knife and began to "coax" the crowd. "Listen up, all felines and assorted freaks! If you can kindly lay your eyes off of our gigantic friend here and point us to the source of all of this commotion, I would greatly appreciate that at least some of you are competent. Now, stand aside!"
It was that singular moment that I noticed the shred of darkness that still lingered in Chara; a side I had sincerely hoped she left behind, but alas those preconceptions had just been flung out the proverbial window. From the front of the crowd stood Greater Dog who guided us through.
"Hey, you don't think this has to do with bone bros, does it?" she asked.
I shrugged. "With everything else that's happened thus far, I wouldn't discount that possibility."
As the group neared the front, the crowd itself began to part down the middle from the opposite side. What came next was… an experience, to say the least.
"FRISK! THERE YOU ARE," Papyrus emerged, arms spread wide open. As friendly as he was, I honestly found myself panicking. Fortunately, I escaped his bear hug, though Flowey wasn't so lucky as he got snagged on one of Pap's gloves. "OH, WE'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH."
"Ga! Unhand me right now, you bonehead!" Flowey shrieked. "Don't make me whip out the pellets!"
"hehe. glad to see someone hasn't changed," Sans chuckled. "nice to see you kids again."
"Sans, it's been too long, bro," I said, high-fiving him. I think that was one of the few times I genuinely meant that, without any fear of him. Yeah, Sans always had a habit of terrifying me at my worst moments, even when he didn't mean to. And his puns, don't even get me started on his shitty puns. Still, he was my friend and he was there for me for a lot of things, though that's not saying much since he's asleep when I really need him. Maybe that's where I picked up that habit from…
"WAIT. YOU'RE NOT FRISK!" Papyrus stood confused, examining Flowey ever so closely. "OH, THERE YOU ARE!"
"Crap sauce," I whimpered, bracing myself.
He suddenly lunged at me and gripped me in a bear hug. Yeah, Undyne wasn't kidding when he said Paps was strong. Years worth of working out and upping my endurance seemed pretty futile in the back of my mind whenever he managed to hug me. Yeah, you read that right, managed to. Before I could even withstand his normal hugs, I always ran away as soon as he saw me when I was younger. Now, there's about a decade's worth of oxygen I'm not getting back. Still, seeing him always brightened my day… to some extent.
"YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE WHEN UNDYNE TORE UP THE PLACE. IT WAS LIKE A HURRICANE OF SPAGHETTI UP IN THERE, NOT TO MENTION SHE SUPLEXED A GIANT SNOWBALL THAT WAS ON FIRE ONTO THE HOUSE!"
Yeah, after being in the Underground for so long, your suspension of belief when it comes to absolute bull shittery in your day-to-day just kind of get flung out the hypothetical window. And ran over. Then, set on fire. And then, ran over again for good measure. "C'MON, LET'S START DIGGING OUT THE HOUSE. I DON'T WANT MY COOL GUY CLOTHES TO GET WET!"
Chara sighed in contempt, "We wouldn't want that, oh no siree."
"hey, i actually need to speak with you, frisk. let's take the shortcut to grillby's, shall we?"
I raised my eyebrow at him, "What about the house? I'm sure food can wait, Sans, seriously."
He simply let out his usual sighing laugh, "heh. if only it was for food this time around."
Way to be cryptic as always, Sans.
My thoughts had been running circles in my head, trying to piece together what it is Sans could possibly want to talk to me about. Maybe he's got some more expositional advice for me, or maybe just a really long build up to a ridiculous pun. Down to earth speech with a moment of absolute terror? I still can't get over those eyes…
"so i see you've made a new friend, kid," he said. "haven't seen too many ice giants in my lifetime."
"Just this one or all of them? These timelines haven't exactly been the easiest thing to process, especially after Azzy almost destroyed the universe."
He took a bottle of ketchup and didn't hesitate to start chugging it. I guess he's throwing any form of subtlety out the window now. "hehe. i could tell you, but even i don't have the right answer to that question."
"Anyway, you mentioned a shortcut to Grillby's. Where is it?"
Without saying a word, he stopped and extended his hand toward me. Huh, he's still got that whoopee cushion tied to him. I guess it's easier to see when he's not covered in what can only be described as eternal darkness. I slowly reached out and took his hand. "you should probably close your eyes, kid. might see something unsettling."
It was in an instant, but I had heard millions of different sounds. Monsters, humans, and… something completely different. A psychedelic trip, you might be saying, but remember: this is the Underground.
In the blink of an eye, we were at our usual spot at Grillby's, right at the front bar. I gotta say, it never gets any easier when we do that. Lesser Dog is still going at the chess board? He must be really determined to beat himself, as little sense as that makes.
"So, are ya hungry kid? not many food joints left after mettaton relocated," he said. Sans opened his jacket and started downing his usual bottle of ketchup.
"Yeah, we haven't heard much from him for a while. Burgerpants was telling me about some kind of record deal he struck up on the surface."
"he got into the music business? he always did know how to strike the right note with people."
The room let out a collective groan, even with a drum cue from… somewhere. Incidental music seems to follow Sans wherever he goes.
He let out a little chuckle for himself, though it sounded forced. I think he was trying to lighten the mood. Finally, Grillby approached us with his notepad at the ready, still as expressionless as ever. "Hello, you two… shall I put this… to your tab, Sans…?"
"you know it. i'll take the usual fries."
"Okay… and for you… Frisk…?"
I was really thinking it over after I let my burger get cold the first time I was here. I cried for about an hour for that thing. "I'll just have a chocolate milkshake."
"wow, you two sure do have identical tastes."
"You mean Chara and I?"
"Oh haha. Say what you want, but getting possessed by the soul of a dead ten-year-old all those years ago may not have been the most pleasant experience, but she really does have great taste in food. Even if half of my diet is pure chocolate now."
Sans put his hand on my shoulder with a rather stern grip. I know he's had a few out of character moments, but this was by far the most "out there" moment, especially since there was no proceeding whoopie cushion flatulence. He turned his head and took a deep breath. "kid, between you and me, i'm still worried about her and her… killer instinct."
I was a little surprised to hear his words, but I couldn't really put into anything other than a raised brow. "Is… is that why you wanted to talk to me?"
"no, this is a separate issue. i trust you, kid. but i find that i'm still working on trusting our mutual acquaintance. ever since we brought her back, i've noticed that she hasn't exactly been tamed. i've seen those tics in her eyes and i'm sure you have too."
That red spark in her eye. It happened every time she took out her knife, especially with malicious intent. Still, we did all we could to prevent her from becoming corrupted again. A second chance at a normal-ish childhood, a family to care for her, friends that will always be by her side, everything she had hoped for ever since that she tumbled down that rabbit hole. I was so confused, angry, and worried, all at the same time by Sans's words. What was his angle?
"You've seen that same tic in Azzy and Toriel," I said. "It's like a Dreemur family trait from what I've seen. I think it might have something to do with the type of magic they use."
"you really think so?"
"I've got no better theories at the moment," I took a deep sigh. "Look, I know you're just looking out for me, but I need you to trust me when I say that Chara is no threat to anyone; a threat to herself maybe, but that's about it."
"kid, all i'm saying is this: be careful, not just around chara."
"I never got to where I am by being paranoid about people, Sans."
His face beaconed with his signature smile again. If that grin of his brought anything to anyone, it definitely gave me relief. I figured I got through to him at least. "whatever you say. better your instinct to trust than mine."
Grillby walked out from the kitchen. "Here… you.. go…" He set down my milkshake and Sans's fries, which were quite literally popping with salt.
I took a sip of the strange drink. It was sweet like chocolate, but it had so many bubbles in it, and it was topped what I assumed were Temmy flakes. I guess Grillby has an import/export service? What else does this guy do?
"ah, just magical as always," Sans said, munching on his fries.
I examined my drink even more and noticed the chocolate bubbles floating away from the glass. From the corner of the room, Lesser Dog stretched his furry neck to try and lick the bubbles as they flew off.
"I really hope magical dogs don't get sick from chocolate like normal dogs do, otherwise I'm probably going to feel pretty guilty about this later."
Sans chuckled as the dog bobbed back and forth for the tasty bubbles. "i guess grillby gave it a little too much shake. it seems like an udderly imperfect drink."
Ugggggggghhhhhhhhhh… "Okay, you forced that one."
He still laughed at his own joke. "anyway, what I wanted talk to you about. pap and undyne have been doing some exploring beyond the mainland down here."
"What did they find, canned spaghetti? I know those two think it's some kind of crime against humanity. Wait, no that's not right. Monsterinity?"
"as amusing as that would be, no. it was an undiscovered part of the underground, or at least the entrance to it."
"How do you know it's undiscovered and not just another town like Snowdin?"
Sans scarfed down his last fry. He looked rather somber at his empty plate and pulled out his secret ketchup bottle. "there was no mention of this place in any of the castle's records and nothing to suggest that it's been under our noses in tori's maps."
I shifted in my seat, head in my hand. It made no sense, how can a whole town or even a whole city, just appear out of nowhere? The Underground just kept finding ways to further suspend my disbelief. "So, it just… appeared somehow, is what you're telling me."
When I thought about it, I wondered if Alban is tied to any of that. An ice giant hadn't been seen in ages, and we just happened to stumble into the only one in the middle of the forest. No, it couldn't just be a simple coincidence. Something else was going on, something even beyond Sans's measure of intuition and he knows when shit is going to happen. Wouldn't kill him if he actually did something about it though.
"So what do you want me to do?"
"i don't think i'm the guy you should be asking, kid. i just figured it'd be better if you hear it from it your old pal, sans. undyne and pap would be able to show you where to go."
"What, you just wanted to take me to lunch and have a heart to heart?"
"eh, why not?"
Well, at least he meant well. I could always count on Sans for a free meal and a totally non-expositional conversation. "Well, thank you then."
"no problem, buddy."
Grillby came over and picked up my glass. I didn't want to keep three stooges busy so I got up and headed to the door.
I turned around to him.
"don't be afraid. it's all going tibia okay."
"I'm leaving,"I groaned.
Kept you waiting, huh?
It was quite sometime before the house was finally unburied, but Alban was supposedly a big help in speeding up the process. Undyne had finally come back from her roaring rampage of destruction, though I could tell from the look on her face that she was still pretty rattled. Over what, I didn’t know.
“Frisk,” she called me out, “where the hell were you?!”
“At Grillby’s with Sans. He wanted to talk to me—”
“About The Hex? Please, tell me that bonehead didn’t leave that part out.”
Well, I remembered that he had only referred to it as “that place.” Undyne and I went back and forth, though it was mostly me trying to keep up with her frantic sputtering about portals, souls, and dropping spaghetti everywhere. Yeah, I didn’t know about that last part, but I pondered whether if this new place was worth exploring. She described the place as nothing more than just a tower sitting on a grassy hill that appeared out of nowhere, something the rest of the Royal Guard caught notice of and decided to investigate.
What unfolded was unprecedented, to say the least. There were supposedly these rainbow wormholes and doors opening and closing in every corridor. Undyne said she was lucky that she and Papyrus managed to find a way out because the other guardsmen just vanished without a trace after walking into the portals. Ever since that battle I had against the “Hyper God of Destruction, Asriel Dreemur,” I wondered if any our time resetting or soul manipulating had somehow created something monstrous. The last thing I wanted to think about was that for all my efforts in saving the universe, there was still collateral damage that was somehow still bleeding through.
“Wait, wait, wait,” I said, “why the Hex? Did this place come with the name or something?”
“I guess, some geezer in a cloak at the front gate told us to: ‘Beware of the Hex, or you might be in the next’. If only I’d taken his words just a little seriously.” Undyne replied.
“In the next? Next… portals… oh boy. If what I think is happening is happening, it better not be.”
Theories and conspiracies started to plague my mind as I placed a call to Alphys. If anyone could “unmystify” the mysterious, it was her. However, I wasn’t met with her usual happily stuttering greeting, but instead a default voicemail message.
Undyne glanced at me. “Uh-oh? That can’t be good, what’s uh-oh? Is she all right? Is Alphys there?!”
“No, it went to voicemail.”
“Okay, that is definitely not a good sign.”
“Is it too soon to make a joke about her watching anime?” I smiled.
However, I looked to see Undyne gone, leaving behind a trail of scattered footprints in the snow. I peered at the direction the steps were headed and could only presume she ran off to Alphys’s lab in Hotland.
“I have never seen a fish move so fast on land.” I chuckled to myself. With the one-eyed warden gone off to see to her lizard, the mystery solving fell to me as I made my way back inside the brothers’ house.
Chara was scrounging through the kitchen, opening the fridge to see nothing but racks full of ketchup bottles. “I knew I should’ve brought my chocolate.”
“Hey, Chara.” I waved her over.
She walked to me, “What’s shaking, short stack?”
I had to shove the urge to bite back, partly because we had a bigger issue at hand, but mostly because I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of a reaction. “Look, Undyne laid out some heavy shit. Something about portals and doorways leading to somewhere. ”
I sighed. “I think it might have to with what happened when I fought Azzy all those years ago.”
“You mean when he tore the universe asunder?”
“Yeah, that. I gotta admit, this family is still a little genocidal for my tastes.”
She shrugged. “Eh, it’s not like you haven’t gotten used to it.”
“Let’s go with that.”
I reached into my sweater pocket, hoping what I was looking for was still in there. Sure enough, it was.
“The Heart Locket,” I held it in my hand, opening the little latch on the side. ‘ Best Friends Forever’ it still read. “I remembered this helped me when the universe was going to shit around me. In a weird way, I guess I have you to thank for helping me.”
“Well, aren’t you sweet?” she grinned.
I held out the locket to her, much to her surprise. “It’s yours. I know you already have a soul, but—”
Chara reached her hand into mine, pushing it back to me. “I-I’d rather you uh, kept that under wraps. Just seeing that thing again… it haunts me.”
The locket pulsated and grew warm. For a second, it’s dull pink glare turned bright red in our hands. Chara jumped back, dropping the locket to the floor. She pulled out her dagger, beaming it right down to the locket.
“Yeah?” I asked, picking up the locket.
She gulped. “For the remainder of this trip—for the rest of eternity, actually—don’t fucking pull that out.”
“Wait, but what if—”
“Don’t!” she shouted, aiming her dagger in my direction. “Please…”
I put up my hands and tiptoed my way out of the kitchen. There weren’t a whole lot of things that terrified Chara, all of which I could probably fit on a sticky note. Let’s see that included: Sans, social interaction, Toriel, and now… her own locket. It was the one thing that connected her to that old, murderous life she once lived. Yet, I felt nothing but safety and security once it was in my hands. If I knew anything about artifacts, some shit is going to go down when it starts glowing. Whether that was good or bad, I didn’t know for certain at the time. To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was going to do.
I stepped out into the living room, taking a seat on the couch. It was still covered in old spaghetti stains, which brought back a gross but familiar sensation. As I took in the nostalgia, I pulled out my monster phone and began to dial Toriel. I can’t tell you how much she had to twist my arm to stay in constant contact with her, imminent collapse of the multiverse be damned.
No answer. Well, I hope she at least—
“Frisk! Get out here!” Chara slid into the hallway, waving me to her.
We ran out of the house together and there it all began.
The skeleton brothers stood staring on at the ensuing chaos, portals popping open everywhere. The citizens of Snowdin were frenzied, screams filled the town square as monsters tried to run. One by one, the portals closed in and started sucking them in. Tendrils emerged, latching on to as many people as possible.
“What the hell is happening?!” Chara held her hands to her head. She tried to keep up with each person being taken, shifting her stare with every new scream that pierced the air.
“Haha! It’s the end of the world! AGAIN!” Flowey laughed as crawled onto my arm.
“OH NO,” Papyrus yelped, “WHERE DID SANS GO?”
Before anyone could answer, a portal opened above him. He tried to fight the eldrich tendrils with his blue ability. A few of them phased through him with ease, but they took the next opening to slam him down.
“Pap!” I yelled. I ran over to him and pulled him back as hard as I could. Chara saw me and ran in to slice up some of the tendrils for us. One of the tendrils slipped through and whipped me right me across the face. Alban managed to catch me in his palm but I guess he forgot that ice is a lot harder than snow.
I kept my head up as best I could, watching Papyrus get yanked into the portal. Between the stinging graze on my face and headache from hitting my head, there wasn’t much I could but watch all of the town get abducted.
“They just keep coming,” Chara walked back over to Alban and I. “Frisky, what do we do here?”
“We can’t,” I winced holding my head. “We can’t fight off whatever this is. These portals, it’s almost like they’re alive.”
She helped me stand up, holding my arm over her neck. Another portal started to advance toward us, grabbing for us as it grew closer.
With what strength I had left, I stepped forward to attack.
“Hey, are you nuts?!” Chara tried to pull me back.
“Trust me, hold Flowey!”
Clasping my hands together, my thoughts turned to Toriel. I remembered back to my first fight with her, feeling her burning desire to protect what she loved. Her technique and motions moved me as I shouted an incantation. “ Ignis! ”
I opened my hands and unleashed a volley of explosive fireballs at the approaching portal. It was unable to withstand the onslaught and vanished, letting out a disorienting wail as it went.
The cry turned my body to jelly as I fell into the snow. My hearing began to fade out with Chara calling my name. She ran over with Alban, but just when things couldn’t get any more cliche, a portal opened above us.
It was unlike the other ones, massive in scale and swirling with an incredible amount of energy. It would be unfair to say it was just a portal, more of a wormhole created by the universe itself.
“No way out for us it seems!” Alban looked above. “Hold on to him tight, see? I think we’re in for the ride of our lives.”
He bent down and shielded us with his body as best he could. Flowey wrapped himself tightly around my arm. “All right, mother nature! Bring it on, you bitch!”
Chara buried her face into my sweater, gripping all her might. I held onto her and closed my eyes.
I’d say it was for dramatic effect but let’s be honest, wormholes are damn terrifying. After what Asriel put me through during our battle, I kind of wish the whole ordeal just left me blind. If I had to watch all of my friends become corrupted or die again, even if they were just alternate versions of them… it’s not an experience I wanted to relive, let’s leave it at that.
So yeah, there we were waiting to get sucked up by this behemoth of the heavens themselves. I felt us being lifted off the ground like we were dust in the wind. The surge from the singularity hit us with a hurricane of force, energy lashing, pulling and pushing us apart right down to our atoms.
Still, we held on. Above all the screaming, the crackling of the wormhole boomed against my eardrums. Finally, a ringing rhythm as it all seemed to fade into oblivion.
“Chara…” I was sure I whispered.