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PATCHWORK SOUL

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It was a beautiful day outside on the slopes of the towering Mount Ebott. The sun was shining down warmly, making Frisk’s skin tingle. It was warm enough, finally, to wear short sleeves, but, hardheaded in his absolute reluctance to change anything, the short skeleton with a fixed grin accompanying her on her climb was still in his blue winter jacket with the fuzzy hood. Wasn’t like temperature effected him much either way, though.

“Kiddo,” he said, “you know, uh, this is pretty unrealistic.”

“Duh,” she said.

 

He looked down at the dirt and stone under his slippered feet and then turned his eyes up to her as she did her best to stay upright, walking up the steep incline. He raised his brows.

“Aw, c’mon, Sans,” she said with a laugh. “I’m a little kid and I did it on my own before! And this isn’t even real.”

He looked up at the peak skeptically. It seemed to stretch forever up into the clouds. “Yeah, but in your dreams you, uh, make it even taller.”

“Sorry,” she said with a bashful smile. “I guess it was pretty scary at the time.”

 

She had to use her hands to grasp the rock and pull herself up, but a sudden flurry of bird sounds caught her attention. She turned and couldn’t help but gawk as Sans floated by her, hands in his pockets, looking almost as if he were asleep as songbirds carried him effortlessly up the slope.

“Oh my god, what?!” she yelped.

“Eh. It’s my dream, too,” he said.

Frisk pouted. “Bro, you’re cheating!”

“What else is new?” he replied.

She quickly found her soul snared in a blue glow and was whisked up to join him.

 

When they reached a small, solid outcrop, the birds vanished and the two of them plopped down to the stone. Frisk pulled out a blanket and flapped it out to straighten it before laying it down.

“Hey, Sans, what do you-?” Her thought cut short as she noticed the skeleton was standing at the end of the rocky precipice, staring out at the sky. “Sans?” She walked over to meet him and poked him in the arm.

“Heh. Sorry, kid,” he said. “Sometimes it just puts me right back.” He ruffled her hair.

“Thanks for coming with me tonight,” she said.

“No problem, buddy,” he said. “Couldda done it in my sleep.”

She snorted. He grinned.

 

They spent some time hanging around, eating conjured ice cream, and enjoying the sunlight that permeated the dream. It was a nice contrast to what awaited them in the real world. After a little while, Frisk began to feel a little strange, though— started to feel a weird itch in the back of her head.

 

“Hey, kiddo,” Sans said. “So. What’s the deal? The regulars gettin’ to be a bit too much?”

Frisk grimaced. She nodded. Couldn’t hide a thing from him, could she? “I still feel tired after this, but at least I’m not scared outta my pants.” She shot him a sideways look. “You too?”

“Don’t worry about me,” he said.

She gently elbowed him in the ribs. He grinned and mussed up her hair again. She couldn’t help a laugh and nestled against his side.

“Too bad it ain’t a thing you can undo, huh?” he said. “Actually, bet even tryin’ would make it worse. Sorry.”

“No way,” she said. “Honestly, I like this better. We can totally be a dream team, it’s great.”

“If by great, you mean crap.” Sans shot her a grin. “…Thanks, kiddo.”

“You’re welcome,” she said brightly. “C’mon, dude, you’ve been at this too long.”

“Welp. Hear that,” he said with a laugh. He cut his eyes at her jokingly. “Guess it’s not too bad havin’ a time-kid.”

“Good!” she said, grabbing his arm snugly. “Beeeecause you’re stuck with me.”

“Good,” he said.

She snickered, but any levity she felt was cut short when she was certain she heard a scratchy whispering behind her.

 

She turned to look and her heart dropped. Behind her, drained of colour, drenched in rain, was the entrance to a cave. That hadn’t been there before. It wasn’t even raining. She stood up to look, fear turning her cold.

“Kid? What’s up?” Sans asked.

“Where… Where did this come from?” she asked quietly.

“Uh, where did what come from?” he asked.

Frisk couldn’t help herself. It was like a magnet. She took a few steps inward. She could hear that whispering, still, but couldn’t make out the words.

“Frisk?” Sans got to his feet. “Get away from it.”

 

She felt like ice. Her stomach knotted and, before she knew it, something seemed to grab her and pull her forward. Her vision went dark for just a few seconds until she was tossed out onto bright grass, sprinkled with blooming, golden flowers shining like lost coins under dappled sunlight.

 

Grunting, she pushed herself up onto her knees and looked around for Sans, but instead there was trail of the flowers leading up to a small figure standing in a field of them. Her heart sunk. She saw white fur and floppy ears, and a green and yellow striped sweater. She knew him. Frisk forced herself to her feet and stared at him for a long while, her heart thudding hard against her ribs. It sent a shock of nauseating nostalgia through her.

 

Frisk’s world had once been split into humans and monsters— humans out in the air of the surface, monsters more of a myth down below the ground, until she herself had plummeted into the mountain. Stories of a war, of a place filled with magic, and of a barrier that could be broken by the souls of seven humans, had turned out to be starkly true. The tales of monsters being monstrous, though, hadn’t been. Alone in a strange place, the scrawny little kid, shivering from shock, had been taken in by almost everyone she’d met. In return, she loved them and was determined to help set them free.

 

The monster standing before her now was the only one she hadn’t been able to save. Her mind spun; suddenly felt heavy. She winced, rubbed her brow, and then jogged to meet him.

“H-Hey!” she called.

The small, goat-like boy turned to look at her. His eyes were glittering, but his irises seemed black as coal. “Oh. Howdy, Frisk,” he said, shooting her a smile.

“Asriel?” she asked. “You’re still here? Oh my god, are you okay? Can I do anything for you?”

“Wh… What do you mean?” he asked.

“The barrier is broken. Everyone’s free,” she said. “And I know that you… Well, I know all about what happened. Please, if there’s anything I can do—”

“Well gee. There is one thing, I guess. You can erase this world.”

Frisk’s heart sunk. She gulped. He stared back at her very seriously. She could see the seeds on his fur.

“I… I can’t do that,” she said.

“Only you can. You have the power. You can go back as far as you like. You can even make it all stop. Would you do that for me?”

 

Frisk grimaced and shook her head. Asriel laughed, but the sound was low. Tired.

“Of course not,” he said. “I mean, it’s only my life.”

“There has to be some other way,” she insisted.

“Don’t you get it?” he asked. “After what I’ve been, I don’t want to! I just want…” His voice choked for a second and he started to grin.

Frisk felt a shock of fear in her. His body began to shift and melt, and he gurgled as his striped yellow and green shirt twisted with him, forming the vines and petals as his form reduced and became that of a flower. His white face peered out at her still.

 

“You idiot,” he said. “Asriel is dead. I’m all that’s left. Me. Flowey the flower.”

“You’re still Asriel,” Frisk said. “I just… I just need to find a way to—!”

“To what? Fix me? Fix him? You can’t. You’re useless. All you’ve done is prolong the inevitable. I’ll get a human soul.” He began to grow, to Frisk’s horror, rising up on vine-like limbs coated in thorns, his eyes flashing red. “Then, I’ll get another.” He stomped forward. “And another. And another. Until it doesn’t matter how much stupid determination you have. I’ll take yours, too. And I’ll undo this world myself.”

 

Asriel’s massive limbs tore up the ground as he grew closer. Frisk backed away, her heart just about ready to burst from her chest.

“All because you couldn’t save weak little Asriel.”

“I’m so sorry!” She stumbled and fell into the shining golden flowers. “I wanted to! I tried!”

“You didn’t try hard enough!” His voice was distorted, deep, echoing— he didn’t sound anything like himself. “I’m still this thing! I still feel nothing!

“I’m so sorry,” Frisk said. “What can I do? Just tell me and I’ll come back! I’ll do it!”

He bared his teeth. His face twisted and he rose up, bigger and bigger, eyes turning black and his jaws parting into a great, fangy maw. “I should have taken your soul while I had the chance!” He lunged straight at her and she jerked back, screaming.

 

Her cry carried on into reality as she sat straight up in bed, panting heavily, sweat beading at her brow. Her heartbeat thudded in her ears and she felt around her in the dark to be sure she was still on her bed. She took a deep breath, then another, trying hard to steady herself. Her bedroom door slammed open, hard, and she yelped again and fumbled over her blankets.

 

A tall, lanky skeleton in red plaid pyjamas had burst into her room, eyes wide with worry. “FRISK!” he hollered. “Are you alright?! Never fear, little sister, the great Papyrus is here to help!”

“Oh… H-Hey, Paps,” she said shakily. “It’s… It’s okay. It was just a dream.”

“Just dreams shouldn’t make you scream, Frisk,” he said sternly, his brow furrowing.

She supposed he’d know better than most. He jumped onto her bed and spread his arms wide.

“Now, I offer to you a much-needed hug!” he said. “As you know, I am by far the best hugger on the whole surface, so if you would like one, please feel free.”

“Y-Yeah, absolutely,” she said.

He scooped her up instantly, cackling to himself as he cozied her close. He was right, it really was what she needed. He was so warm.

 

She tried to relax, but over his shoulder, in the dark, she saw a shock of blue. It took her a second to realize it was Sans’s left eye as he snuck in close with a worried frown on his face. She stuck her thumb up and gave him a tired smile. He looked relieved and returned the gesture before the glow faded down and he vanished before her eyes.

“Hey, Papyrus,” she said. “Dude. Thank you.”

“Of course!” he said. “It’s the least I can do!”

She smiled. If it meant never having to go back to bed, she would have sat in his hug forever.

 

“Papyrus? Is that you? Is Frisk alright?”

He whirled quickly, turning them towards the door. The large, goat-like monster woman, Toriel, stood at the threshold. She was in her simple purple nightgown, cautiously brushing sleep from her tired eyes, and even in the dark, her white fur seemed to shine quite brightly.

“Yes, it is I!” he said. “I have Frisk.”

“It’s true, he does,” Frisk said.

Toriel smiled with relief and put a comforting hand on Papyrus’s shoulder. “Thank you so much, sweetie. You’re always so good to Frisk. May I speak with her for just a little?”

“Of course, your majesty,” Papyrus said. He gently placed Frisk back down on the bed, and affectionately ruffled her hair. “Goodnight, little sister. Don’t forget, if you have any more troubles at all, just come to me, alright? After all, I am very much experienced in dealing with such things.”

“I know, bro, thanks,” Frisk said with a smile. “I’ll probably take you up on it later.” She beckoned him downwards and then gave him a quick kiss on his cheekbone.

His face flushed faintly orange. “Wowie!” he squeaked. He grinned bright and cupped her cheeks in both hands. “Love you so much!”

“Love you so much, too,” she said.

He gently bumped his forehead against hers and then pranced off.

 

Toriel smiled fondly for just a moment before her face fell to worry. She moved in to sit beside Frisk and rested a huge hand on the small girl’s head, gently brushing some of her hair from her face. “My child, you’re so clammy,” she said. “Are you having a bad night?”

“J-Just a little,” she said with a shrug.

“Really? Just a little has the great Papyrus rushing to your rescue?” she said with a knowing smile.

“Mom, Papyrus’d run in like that even if I only stubbed my toe,” Frisk said. “That’s just how he is.”

Toriel chuckled. “I suppose you’re right. Such a sweet boy.” Her smile fell. “…This is what, the fourth time this week?”

“F… Fifth…” Frisk muttered.

Her mother sighed and stroked her head. “Oh, sweetheart… I know. It’s hard. But you should try getting back to sleep, don’t you think?”

“I dunno, no…?” she said quietly.

“Frisk,” she chided gently.

“I, um... I'm not tired,” Frisk fibbed.

 

Toriel frowned. The dark circles under the girl’s eyes told a different story. Her long ears pinned back. Suddenly, a sly grin spread on her lips.

“Oh my, Frisk, are you resisting a rest?” Toriel asked.

“Oh no, mom—”

“Because I happen to be the chief of the cuddle police,” she said, scooping her up and nuzzling her with her snout, “and I may have to read you your rights!” She kissed Frisk on the face and head as the girl squirmed and laughed.

“Mom!” she squeaked through a giggle.

“Or, maybe a bedtime story, if you would prefer.” She booped the tip of her warm, soft snout against the kid’s head.

“Aw, mom, you’re such a dork,” Frisk laughed. She hugged onto her tightly.

Toriel chuckled, cupping the back of her head and stroking her hair gently. “Little one, honestly, is there anything I can do?”

“I don’t know,” Frisk said.

“What about…? Oh! That old music box,” Toriel suggested. “Would that do?”

Frisk supposed it couldn’t hurt. She shrugged and nodded. Toriel smiled and sat her down, gently booping her snout against her forehead once more before she left the room quietly.

 

Frisk sighed and readjusted her blankets and flipped her pillow over. Though she didn’t mind getting caught sleeping in class, she felt bad that Toriel was having to sacrifice sleep for her sake on a school night. She lay down and forced herself to close her eyes, trying to focus her mind to other things. At least it was Friday. Weekend was up next. She could rest for two whole days if she wanted to.

 

After a little while, she heard her mother return, but she didn’t move, hoping to feign sleep. Toriel sighed quietly and Frisk felt her big paws reach around her to pull the blankets up and tuck her in before she gave her a soft kiss on the forehead. After just a few seconds, the music box started up its gentle, familiar tune and Frisk heard Toriel slip out of the room and close the door slowly.

 

Frisk’s mind was busy but, nonetheless, she drifted off twice. The first dream sent her back underground. She watched through they eyes of kid who looked a lot like her stealing money from the shop back in Snowdin, and for some reason, it made her feel sick. The second round showed her a monstrous flower creature kicking through human buildings. She awoke in a cold sweat, but at least she could be sure that that last one had never happened.

 

It was still dark when she gave up on trying to sleep despite barely being able to keep her eyes open. Slipping out of bed, she moved to the window and peeked outside. There was snow almost up to the sill, glistening under the light of street lamps lit through magic fire that she was fairly certain was Toriel’s.

 

- - -

 

It had been almost a full year since Frisk had helped free the monsters from the underground and they had begun to make their new life on the surface. For the first time in a long while, Frisk was happy, and her friends and new family seemed to be as well.

 

With magic speeding things along, the monsters— all of the barely nine thousand of them— established a new, sovereign town in a valley at the base of Mount Ebott, only a few dozen miles away from the nearest human city. The monster King, Asgore, a huge, fluffy, goat-like man with the bearing of a cream puff, was quickly elected under the title of King Mayor. He named the town Starhome for the breathtaking views of the night sky, but not before Newest Home and Mt. Mountain were shot down.

 

Frisk’s mother, Toriel, set up a school, and the quaint, friendly atmosphere, as well as the growing fame of the local flamboyant, metallic entertainer, Mettaton, soon drew humans to move in. Integration was a little awkward at first, but with Frisk moderating, Asgore’s absolutely huggable demeanour, and the monsters’s natural inclination towards friendliness, sailings were soon all but smooth. For the first time in centuries, humans and monsters were living together again and neither were terrified of the other.

 

Frisk’s new home was just a few blocks away from the school. Essentially two houses combined, she lived with her skeleton brothers, Sans and Papyrus, and her mother, Toriel, the place split down the middle so that each could keep their own aesthetic and, perhaps most importantly, their own kitchens. She had never been happier and it really seemed to her like the same could be said of her new family. She and her new brothers, especially, had become inseparable.

 

Two houses across the street held more of her close friends. The scaly, blue, fish-like warrior monster named Undyne, and a spiky little yellow lizard and scientist, Alphys, lived in one that looked quite a bit like a fish monster (with a metallic TV host often bunking in their spare room), while Asgore and his flowerpots had taken the other, more cottage-like building, though it was just a little ways down the block, as if to give them a polite berth.

 

- - -

 

Frisk could barely see that the lights were on across the street through the falling snow. She did, however, see a tall blur rushing, knees high, down the street and was sure right away that it was Papyrus. She thought about opening the window to ask what he was doing, but it was frozen shut. After a second, a blue glow followed him as another tall somebody— clearly Undyne, after a second— ran after him with a spear of magic over her shoulder. Rubbing her eyes, she moved across the room closed the music box on her bedside table and checked the clock. She couldn’t believe it was barely past 4:00 am. She felt like she had been in that room for weeks. Her head was throbbing with a cold headache.

 

She put on a cushy sweatshirt over her pyjamas and headed out into the skeleton’s section of the house, eyes mostly lidded, looking for something to drink.

 

“Hey, kid, good morning.”

She looked around and blinked groggily. Sans was peeking over the kitchen island’s counter at her as he dumped marshmallow cereal into a bowl. His face fell when he saw her expression.

“Kiddo?” His brow furrowed a little. “You okay?”

She shook her head. He sighed and slipped down from his chair, tapping his toes back into his fuzzy pink slippers. He put a hand on her shoulder.

“Headache?”

She nodded. His fingers crackled with blue magic and he rested them against her temple for a moment. The pain faded within seconds.

“Good?” he asked.

“Mhm,” she mumbled.

“Wanna talk?”

 

She shrugged, but she leaned into him and clung to his t-shirt tightly. He wrapped his arms around her and she let out a quiet huff.

“I had the one with Asriel, or… Flowey, whatever, a big monster wrecking a city again,” she said. “Sans…?”

“Hm?” he said.

“You had it, too?” she asked.

“What makes you say that?”

She smiled. “You’re awake before me.”

“Nah, I was just hungry,” he said. “Dreamt of marshmallows. Ate my pillow. The whole bit.”

She stared at him and he winked. He ruffled her hair as he moved back to the kitchen, then held up the box of cereal.

“Interested?”

“Umm… yeah. Okay.” Kneading her eye with her knuckle, she wandered over to the counter and clambered onto the chair beside his. “But I want double marshmallows!”

“Only double? Nice,” he said. He pointed at his bowl.

She leaned over to look. She had to squint to pick out even a single star-shaped cereal puff. “Pfff!” She laughed. “That can’t be good for you.”

“Kid, I’m already a skeleton,” Sans said with a wink.

 

Sans pulled, seemingly from nowhere, a bag of extra marshmallows and dumped them liberally into a second bowl before adding the normal cereal and milk. He pushed it towards her.

“Thanks!” Frisk said. She found a spoon on the counter and dug in.

Sans drank milk from the carton.

 

“Hey,” she said, “um… do they bother you?”

“Hm?”

“The dreams. I mean, you saw it too, right?”

“It’s pretty normal for me by now,” he admitted. “I mean… It was nice not havin’ them for a few months, but—”

“But does that mean something’s wrong?” Frisk asked. “I used to only have them in the underground, too.”

Sans shrugged.

She frowned. “You don’t care.”

“Look, everything’s good, right?” he said. “You did a good job. Everyone’s happy, now.”

“Except Asriel,” she said quietly.

Sans’s face fell. He sighed and then put a hand on her shoulder. “Frisk, I get it. But you tried. You tried way harder than anyone could ask you to.”

She nodded, but she pouted. Her brother tilted his head slightly.

“Is he what you saw? On the mountain?” he asked.

She nodded again. He rubbed his face with his palm.

“Sheesh, kiddo, no wonder you can’t sleep.”

 

She shrugged and stuck her spoon in her mouth. Sans sighed and frowned, suddenly seeming lost in thought. His left eye lit up faintly, a cool blue, but in the dark it looked much brighter. Frisk stared at it for a little bit and then went back to eating. She suddenly wished she had asked for more marshmallows. Without even saying a word, Sans passed her the bag and she dumped them into her bowl.

 

- - -

 

There had been a couple months of relief from the strange dreams once the barrier had been broken and everyone had moved to the surface. Sans had once explained them to her as peeks into other timelines— stuff that happened somewhere, or that happened in the past, things undone long before Frisk ever got there— but he had always been speaking about his own experiences. It just came from the time travel, he had said. Whatever power he had that let him jump from place to place effortlessly and keep the memories of when others were time travelling around him was the same one that trapped his mind in loops while he slept. Also didn’t help that there was also the rare occasion where it’d trigger him to sleepwalk and he’d end up back under the mountain. He didn’t like talking about that very often, though.

 

Something in the underground home of the monsters, triggered by the determination branded into Frisk’s soul, had allowed her to manipulate time with varying results, and the dreams began to come to her, too. Sometimes they were benign, but other times they were violent and quite visceral. She often saw through the eyes of beasts that looked a lot like she did. Sometimes they died. Sometimes they killed. If she were lucky, she would wake up in a panic but lose track of the memories quickly. However, the more they happened, the more clear they became, and the more she dreaded ever having dreams at all. She had reached a point where she could recite them as if they were her own memories.

 

Above ground, the dreams had stopped for the first few months, and she was so sure they were gone forever. Sans, too, seemed to finally be sleeping soundly. However, just as fall started creeping in, she was jarred awake by the familiar, awful feeling of seeing through the eyes of someone else. Someone who looked just like her was striking out at Papyrus in the deep snow outside the town of Snowdin, where they used to live. She felt her hand as theirs— attacking as one no matter how hard she tried to stop it. That person succeeded. She felt her big brother turn to dust in her fingers.

 

Frisk was shaken, tearful, heart beating hard, and had gotten up, hoping to find someone awake to talk to. When she heard Sans’s voice through Papyrus’s door, she felt a ping of relief and hurried to check in on them, but the nature of their conversation seemed serious. She hesitated outside the door.

 

“I don’t get it,” Sans was saying. “They stopped. Totally.”

“Maybe you’ve eaten too many strange things today,” Papyrus suggested. “Humans sometimes say that can cause bad dreams. What you need is more home-cooked spaghetti!”

“That’s a nice thought, bro, but there’s no way,” he said. “I’d recognize them anywhere.”

“Oh no, I thought that was settled,” Papyrus said worriedly. “It really is from that time travel stuff, isn’t it?”

 

Frisk peeked in cautiously. Sans was holding his head as if he had a headache, and the blue magic that shone in his left eye was glowing brightly. She watched worriedly and Papyrus donned an expression very similar to her own. Sans nodded.

“Wh… What was it about?” Papyrus asked.

Sans grimaced. Papyrus sighed.

“Can you just tell me this time? I just want to help you,” Papyrus said. “I know, I know, you don’t want me to worry and all that stuff, but you’re my brother and, as you know, I am very great and am therefore very great at comforting you!” Papyrus lowered himself and cupped his brother’s face, magic in his hands glowing gently. He said something quietly that Frisk couldn’t hear, and Sans wilted.

“It… It was this thing. One of those other time kids,” he admitted. “They uh, kept attackin’ you. Over and over. Scared the hell outta me.”

Frisk’s heart sunk and she had to cover her mouth to keep from gasping.

 

“You know we have Frisk now. And she’d never, ever do a thing like that,” Papyrus assured him. “Like you always said. She’s the last one. She loves us. There’s nothing to be scared of.”

“No. Bro, I know.” He took a deep breath. “It was just… I’ll be fine. We’re fine. We’re safe now. No more going back.”

“Sans…” Papyrus huffed out a sigh and hugged his brother tightly. “I know that you know that I don’t always understand, but I still want to help!”

“You’re totally helping,” Sans laughed. The blue light dimmed. “Paps, you always help.”

 

Frisk took a deep breath. She wiped her eyes, though she didn’t think it would help. She knocked carefully on the door. Her brothers went quiet and she carefully pushed her way in.

“Frisk!” Papyrus said. “H-Hello! Gosh, it’s late, isn’t it?”

She nodded, but she turned her attention to Sans as he released him. “Sans? D-Do…? Do you have dreams like that a lot?”

Both skeletons froze, then looked at each other worriedly.

“H… How much did you hear?” Sans asked.

“I, um, had that dream, too,” she said. “The one you mentioned. Just now. But I wasn’t, um… I wasn’t me. And I saw something bad.”

Papyrus gawked. “Time travel?” he asked shrilly.

Sans’s eyes went wide and he looked aghast. She’d never seen him look like that before.

“Kid, h-how long have you—?”

“Since the underground,” Frisk admitted. “I… I thought they stopped once we got out. I’m sorry, I should’ve told you. I just… I didn’t clue in.”

 

Sans stared back at her, quiet for far longer than she was comfortable with. His eyes went dark. Papyrus looked at him curiously.

“Sans?” he asked.

“Heh.” Sans began to grin. “Oh man, kiddo. No. I’m sorry.” They were both taken aback as his eyes started to water. He took her by the shoulders. “I thought it was just me.”

Frisk shook her head and she hugged him tightly. He froze, grimacing for moment before he squished her close and closed his eyes. He bent his head and gently touched his brow into her hair and his magic resonated through her: affectionate, warm, overwhelmingly relieved, but also deeply apologetic.

 

Papyrus squealed and hugged them both. “See, Sans? It’s not so bad!” he said. “You and Frisk have each other, and you both have me, even if I don’t always know what you’re talking about! No need to worry.”

He looked up and his shoulders sagged with relief. “Yeah, bro, I guess you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right!”

Sans began to smile and he took a moment to brush the tears away, and the brightness came back to the black of his eye sockets.

 

“Kiddo,” he said, “maybe it’s kinda messed up but, believe it or not, you just made my night.”

“Oh really?” She smiled sideways. “I was worried this might be going to a dark place.”

Sans’s face lit up and he started to grin. Frisk’s smile grew.

“B-But it’s good to see you so starry eyed,” she said.

Papyrus threw his hands in the air and cawed loudly. Frisk snickered and Sans ruffled her hair affectionately.

“We’re gonna be okay,” he said. “Kiddo, maybe I don’t say it enough, but I’m glad you finally found us, y’know? Thanks for fallin’ down that stupid hole.”

 

- - -

 

Frisk lazily made her way through the marshmallow mush that was very slowly overtaking any cereal puffs in her bowl. “Sans?” she asked. “Hey, Sans?”

“Yeah?”

“Feeling a bit blue, bro?”

“Oh.” He laughed tiredly and the glow of his magic dimmed down to nothing. “Sorry about my iris. I azure you, I’m completely fine.”

Frisk giggled and he grinned wide.

“You wanna pass me that?” He pointed across the counter to a bottle of ketchup he had left out.

Frisk did. He turned it upside down onto his bowl of marshmallows.

“Eww, gross!” she said.

He shrugged and squeezed it until it made a flatulent sound, accidentally splattering the counter with ketchup as Frisk tried to hide her food with her body.

“Sans!” she yelped.

He simply continued smiling and ate it, even as Frisk made a face. “Hope you’re not seein’ red.”

“Oh my god,” she said.

“Hm. Green with envy, maybe?”

“Green because you’re gonna make me sick!”

He grinned wide and ruffled her hair. She giggled

 

She tried hard to think of another pun but she was interrupted as the front door opened loudly, accompanied with a gust of frigid air. Toriel stepped inside, knocking snow off her feet, and closed the door quickly. She let out a loud sigh of relief.

“Hey, Tori,” Sans said as she hurried inside. “Come to chill with us?”

Toriel laughed. “Well, I certainly won’t give you the cold shoulder. Oof, my goodness, it’s freezing out there!” She slipped out of her huge boots and started to take off her scarf and coat. “Frisk, sweetie, it’s a little early, isn’t it?”

“I got hungry,” she said.

Toriel smiled. “Well, I think you’ll be happy to know classes are cancelled today.”

“Awesome!” Frisk cheered. “Snow day!”

“Yes, well,” Toriel said with a smile, “I suppose it’s not so bad to have a long weekend now and again.”

Sans held out his hand and Frisk gave him a high five.

 

“Welp. Back to bed,” Sans said.

“Sans, your brother is out trying to shovel driveways,” Toriel pointed out. “Aren’t you going to help him out?”

“Nope. You?”

Toriel’s cheeks flushed. “Ah… No. My magic just tends to cause flooding with all this snow, so…” She paused when she noticed Sans grinning at her. “Don’t give me that look, young man!”

 

Sans laughed. He gave Frisk an affectionate tingle of magic when he ruffled her hair, slipped from his seat, and jerked his thumb towards his room. “There if you need me, Frisk. I’ll probably be asleep, but whatever.”

“Hug first?” she asked hopefully.

He chuckled and grabbed her soul gently, floating her over and letting her plop into his arms. She flopped and clung to him. Just what she needed.

“Get it together, sis,” he joked.

She snickered. “I’ll try. You sleep well too, okay?”

“You know it,” he said. He plunked her up onto her seat again, and she passed him down his bowl of cereal. He stuck his thumb up as he headed off and she did the same as a reply.

 

Toriel smiled fondly. Frisk put the last spoonful of cereal in her mouth and then slipped down from the chair with the bowl and headed for the sink. Toriel came closer and took it from her to wash it.

“We should really get you a step-stool,” she said.

“I can almost reach! It’s not as bad as our old place,” Frisk said. “I had to sit on Papyrus’s shoulders.”

“Really? Why?” she wondered.

“He wanted to fit more bones under the sink.”

“Oh, for goodness’s…” Toriel couldn’t help but laugh. “Those boys, I swear. I forgot all about that. And I suppose that is why Sans never does the dishes.”

Frisk nodded.

 

Toriel snickered quietly and patted Frisk’s head gently. “My child, you look like you didn’t get much sleep.”

Frisk shrugged. Toriel gave her a sympathetic smile and squatted down to look at her, stroking her head.

“You know you can always come to me,” she said. “I know I may not understand as well as the boys do, but I will always try my best to help.”

“I know. Thanks, mom,” she said.

Toriel smiled and then looked thoughtful for a moment. “Frisk,” she said, “how would you like to do a little experiment with me?”

“An experiment…?” Frisk’s mind wandered to science class and she wasn’t so sure. “What kind of experiment?”

“Well, I was just thinking, since you’re awake,” Toriel said, “you might be interested in learning to bake a butterscotch and cinnamon pie.”

Frisk’s eyes were instantly alight. “Yes please!”