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A Rusty Cage

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Kaslam!

The red SOUL hit the side of the birdcage so hard, it sent the wagon crashing into the wall. The wire door of the cage slammed shut and locked with a click.

Ooh, better hope Tori didn’t hear ” The SOUL whispered, almost on instinct.

Kris gave it a deadly glare, shutting it up instantly. They reached into their pants pocket and pulled out a mean looking dagger. They crouched down next to the cage.

Yipes! ” the SOUL barely had time to dodge as Kris jabbed the blade between the rusty bars.

The teen grinned with such malice that the soul shivered, “you’re my prisoner now.”

Okayokayokay- I’m sorry about earlier-

“You possessed me!”

And I’m sorry about t-the whole Dark-World fiasco-

“You killed me! Twenty times!”

Th-that’s on Jevil and the Spade King-

“You could’ve just walked away, but no, instead you just kept running us into a death-trap!”

We had to fight the King to escape.

“We didn’t have to fight Jevil!”

Yeah, but-

“AND YOU MADE A COMPLETE FOOL OF ME!”

They slammed their fists into the rusty cage, jolting the SOUL inside. The teen’s shoulders shook, with rage or sorrow, the soul couldn’t tell.

I-I- I said I was sorry! ” the SOUL stammered, “ Wh-what else do you want from me?!

Kris slumped down, bangs falling down their face and hand sliding down the cage’s rusty bars.

“... why?” they finally muttered, “why me?”

The SOUL chuckled, stopping when the teen glared at it. “... If it were my choice, it wouldn’t have been you .”

The teen inhaled sharply and raised their head, crimson eyes normally hidden now wide with shock, “...What?!”

The SOUL sighed, “ lemme start from the beginning…

One night, in my old timeline, I went to sleep. In my dreams, I was floating in a black abyss… I guess that isn’t entirely true, there was some weird stray magic floating around, but whatever... A voice started speaking to me, asking if we were connected. It didn’t wait for my reply before continuing. My SOUL appeared some distance in front of me, and magic began to coalesce around it. The voice asked me to create a ‘vessel’, and, still thinking it was just a dream, I complied. The vessel mostly just looked like an older version of me, but with a hoodie instead of my sweater.-

“Wait, “ Kris interrupted, “If you had a vessel, why didn’t you just use it?

The SOUL harrumphed, “ I was getting to that…

The voice asked me to imbue the vessel with personality and a name, so I did. Just as the voice was complimenting me on my handiwork and getting my hopes up, the vessel vanished, the stray magic vanished into pure darkness, and a different voice called out ‘-It will be discarded. No one can choose who they are in this world. Your… name… is....’ ... and then I woke up in your bedroom.

Kris blinked a couple times, “... not what I was expecting.”

Yep.

“...Is there any way to get your vessel back so you don’t have to possess me?” there was a slight glare at the end.

If the SOUL could’ve they would have rolled their eyes, “ if there was, don’tcha think I would have done it?

“Look-I-eurgh-” Kris groaned and ran a hand down their face, “I wouldn’t have put it past you to do something like that just for laughs, considering everything else you’ve done.

Okay, true. But I much prefer using a blank-slate rather than someone with a past and personality, it’s harder to stay in-character.

“...Is that all I am to you? A role to act out like some kind of f***ed up play?” The anger was gone now, leaving behind a deep feeling of exhaustion.

No… not anymore.

Kris quirked an eyebrow.

You were… before I actually met you. Now you’re a fellow person who got screwed over by Fate just as much as I did.

“And Fate screwed you over by letting you possess me?”

It wasn’t my choice… and sorry about that by the way…

“I…” the teen started chewing on their lip, “I don’t think I quite forgive you-”

That’s fair.

“-but it’s nice to know you were just as forced into this as I was.”

The SOUL drifted down to the bottom of the cage, “ ... mhm.

Kris glanced to the side, “... how about tomorrow we go tell mom what’s been going on, and see if we can fix this.”

The SOUL perked up, “ Okay, yeah, Goat Mom’ll know what to do!

Kris scoffed, “ ‘Goat Mom’?”

The SOUL chuckled, “ It’s my nickname for my Toriel.

Your Toriel?” Kris leaned a little closer to the rusty cage.

Yeah! From... ” the SOUL’s glow dimmed a bit at the flood of homesick memories, “ ...from my world.

...There might as well be another world, where there are alternate versions of people I know, the teen thought to themself.

“...What was your world like?” They were kinda curious.

The SOUL jolted, “ You… you want to know?

The teen nodded, “Sure.”

The SOUL wavered a bit, “ ...alright, but it’s kinda a long story…

They glanced at the clock, then sat down, “we’ve got time.”

The SOUL sighed, “ ... well then, it all started once upon a time, when I fell down a hole and landed on a bed of golden-flowers…

~~

“Geeze… you weren’t kidding when you said that was a long story.”

Mhm… ” the SOUL’s light had dimmed significantly and it now rested at the bottom of the cage.

“...Hey!” Kris said suddenly, “ that’s why you knew everyone in town already! You already knew them… from…” The teen trailed off.

... yea. ” The SOUL drooped a little more.

The clock chimed, the only noise in the room filled with awkward silence.

The teen hesitated, then sighed. Their knife dropped to the floor with a clatter. They stood and took a few steps forward, coming right up to the red wagon and the rusty cage. They started fumbling with the door. The SOUL perked up a little in curiosity.

Kris undid the latch and pulled the cage door open. They reached inside and pulled out the red SOUL, hugging it to their chest.

...

“...”

They sat in silence for a while, this time one of comfort. The red SOUL pulsed in time with Kris’s own heart. It was nice and warm, like sunbeams on their back, but condensed into a solid, small, red form.

“You know…” Kris broke the silence, “for all of this craziness, maybe as revenge I could possess you for a day.”

The SOUL laughed a little, “ sure, karma I suppose.

“...Though,” the teen tapped their fingers in thought, “If I wanted to pretend to be you, I’d have to know stuff about you, like your personality, likes, dislikes, your…”

My what?

“Your… name . What is your name, anyways?” They looked down at the SOUL curiously. Until then, it hadn’t occurred to them that the red SOUL could have a name, it was just the thing possessing them, right? There was no way it could be a person, right?

But it was, and people had names, so the SOUL must have one too.

Its glow dimmed slightly and it squirmed in the teen’s grip, “ I… I don’t know.

Kris frowned, “How can you not know your own name?”

I… just… ” The SOUL squirmed even more, “ I’ve never needed a name, no one ever asked before… I’ve always just been ‘Human’ or ‘Kiddo’ or ‘My Child’ or ‘Chara’... Chara always got used the most… ” it muttered.

“...Chara? What kinda nickname is that? ” a smile started creeping its way up the teen’s face.

The name of a dead kid I got mistaken for a lot.

Aaaaaaaand the smile instantly fell, “...sorry...?”

It’s fine… ” the SOUL sighed, “ so, I guess… you can just call me whatever.

Kris hugged it a little closer, “... nah, you chose what I call you.”

Really?

“Sure, what’s your favorite name?”

“...” the SOUL thought for a bit, “ I liked it when Asriel called me Frisk.

“Okay,” Kris held the SOUL up to face-level, “You can be ‘Frisk’, how about that?”

If Frisk had eyes and a mouth at the moment, they would have been tearing up and beaming, “ great… sounds good!

The SOUL rubbed happily against Kris’s cheek. The teen let it for a bit, then grabbed it and gently tossed it onto their bed before jumping on themself.

“... now what? ” Frisk asked as they nudged the teen.

“Sleep,” they replied as they scooped the SOUL into their arms, “I’m tired, all of this crap can wait until tomorrow.”

Mkay. ” the SOUL wiggled into a more comfortable position, “ good night, Kris.

“ ‘night, Frisk.”