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A Call For Help

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Once again, they died. Frisk clutched their arms tightly as they curled in on themselves.

 

There’s no use in lying down here, partner,” the familiar echoing voice of Chara filled their ears, only to make the curl even further into themselves, searching for some sort of comfort that they wouldn’t be gaining from their so-called partner.

 

How many times has it been? How far did they get this time? Who survived? Who hadn’t? It was hard to remember even the most recent reset anymore. They all started to bleed together long ago. Each and every death of the people they used to care so much about burned into their mind’s eye, numbing them to each new way Chara ended their lives. “I don’t want to do this anymore,” Frisk whispered, their own voice sounding strange to them. It had been many resets ago since they last spoke. Apparently, Chara noticed it too as they floated back over to stare at them. It was a long moment before those assessing red eyes blinked.

 

I’ll be nice and let you rest, but you got five minutes. We were so close last time. I think we’ll succeed this time.”

 

Frisk almost thanked them before bitterly biting their chapped lips. They didn’t want five minutes, they wanted to stop. They didn’t know how much more they can take of seeing everyone around them die. They didn’t even know if they could stand being around them, knowing what they do.

 

Time to get up buddy.” Chara stood over them with an all too wide smile, it hadn’t even been the full five minutes. Impatient as always. “Those monsters ain’t going to kill themselves.” Frisk wasn’t moving fast enough for Chara. Sighing, Chara moved to posse them and Frisk was more than willing to go into the dark numbness that the possession provided.

 

“Hello! Is anyone down there?”

 

Chara jumped away in fear as Frisk shot up, looking to the noise to see a head poking through the opening of the sinkhole. A human!?

 

This hasn’t happened before! Who are they? Why are they showing up now?” Chara’s questions were demanding and rushed as they paced in a panic, their head snapping up at the human with each passing second.

 

Frisk’s reaction was a bit different. Tears burned at their eyes as they stared up at the only other human they’ve seen in so long. A sob bubbled up in their throat, breaking through loud and clear.

 

“Hold on! I’ll come get you!”

 

You idiot! Why are you crying?” Chara forced themselves in front of Frisk looking equally panicked and furious. And, though Frisk wasn’t entirely sure why they looked afraid too.

 

But Frisk didn’t care. For once, after so long, they felt hope. This was different. Frisk could feel Chara trying to fight for control, but Frisk’s determination was too strong. Their hope soared when a rope fell from above.

 

You had the rope secured tightly around the closest tree before tossing the rest down the hole. This was dangerous and you had no cell reception to call for help and maybe you were panicking a little as you made sure your hiking pack wasn’t going to slip off while you took the climb down. Asking the kid to climb was out of the question, you had no idea how injured they were or if they could without falling. This was your only choice. Or so you told yourself, honestly, you weren’t thinking with the clearest mind. All you could focus on was getting down safely enough so you could help the kid.

 

You made your way down the hole with the rope wrapped around your waist to control your descent into the cave. You knew that it was going to be tough climbing back up with the kid before you even reached the bottom. Your arms were starting to feel the strain already. The moment your feet made contact with the ground, a young body barreled into you, nearly sending you to the ground. Their arms wrapped tightly around you as their face was buried against your chest as they sobbed. Your arms instinctively wrapped around the crying child, pulling them closer as you tried to give what comfort you could.

 

“I’m so sorry,” you whispered, brushing back their chestnut hair. You took a quick inventory of them, looking for any injuries. There probably weren’t any, especially when the kid was able to run to you as they did. Their ramming speed was impressive for someone that didn’t even look older than ten. “Are you okay?” you asked.

 

Physically? Frisk nodded. Everything else, no, but it wasn’t like they could tell the adult. Instead, they basked in the warmth of your arms as their crying calmed. It reminded them a bit of Toriel, just a lot less hair.

 

“What’s your name?”

 

Frisk looked up, a bit surprised. “Frisk,” they whispered, not remembering if anyone has asked them this since the fall. They don’t even know if Chara knew and from the look on the ghost’s face, they hadn’t. They were surprised that Chara wasn’t speaking out, just spectating the pair of you.

 

“That’s an unusual name,” you murmured, brushing their hair back to get a clear look at their tired face. “I’m Y/n.” You smiled softly, pleased when they smile back up at you, even though it was hesitant. You smiled wider, feeling that everything would be alright from this point on. There was something special about this kid. “You want to get out of here?”

 

Frisk couldn’t nod fast enough.

 

You laughed, ruffling their hair. “Let me tie my pack to the rope here and we’ll see about climbing out, okay?”

 

Frisk let you go, watching as you strolled to the rope and tied a heavy-looking backpack to it. You were a tall adult, at least tall to them, but most people were. You didn’t look all that old either. From the way you were dressed, Frisk couldn’t tell if you were a regular hiker or not. You were prepared to be here, maybe a camper?

 

I didn’t know your name...” Chara’s face was drawn tight with a scowl. “Why didn’t you tell me?

 

Frisk looked at them for a moment, eyeing you as they whispered, “You never asked.”

 

Chara’s eyes widened, looking hurt by the truth in Frisk’s words. “Right.”

 

“You ready?”

 

Frisk nodded, returning their attention onto you.

 

“Alright, hop on,” you said, kneeling.

 

Frisk climbed on and you stood with no problem. Frisk was about the same weight as your pack, which would make the climb a bit easier, but also worried you considerably. How long had they been down here? You were going to feed them the moment you get up top. You pulled on a sturdy pair of climbing gloves and grabbed the rope. You checked it a few minutes ago to make sure it still held strong, but second checking was a habit at this point.

 

You knew something was wrong when you were able to jerk your hand down and the rope fell with it. “Shit.” Frisk moved off your back as you picked up the end of the rope. There was no way that it came untied. If it was lose enough to do that, you would have fallen like the kid. “Looks like we’re going to have to find a new way out.”

 

You didn’t think your idea was that horrible until Frisk started sobbing again. Damage control instantly took over as you turned to Frisk. “Hey, it’s okay. Here, look. We can do this. I got flashlights, food, this weird thermal blanket thing, bandages,” you said, listing things off as you pulled a few out of the pack beside you. “We got the supplies needed to travel through this cave and find another opening. Caves are like that,” or at least you hope so. The very few, more like one, cave you’ve been in was like that and there is no reason why this one shouldn’t be as well. How the hell were you two going to get out of this cave system? A small bit of panic started to set it, diminishing your hope a somewhat, but you hid it well. Panicking would do no good. Panicking made you fail at securing the rope properly. “It’s going to be okay, Frisk. I’m here for you and I know we’re going to get out of here in no time.” You hoped. That’s all you could do.

 

You started packing things away when you noticed Frisk staring at you with wide eyes, showing their gorgeous caramel coloring. It was unnerving and flattering with the amount of awe they were giving you like you were their savior of some sort. Looking anywhere but their eyes, you spot a bloodied knee. Handing them a flashlight, you bandaged their knee up with Batman band-aids and packed away the rest of the items except a flashlight for yourself. “You ready?” you asked, smiling.

 

Frisk stared at you, mesmerized by how new and hope-inspiring you were. Finally, they felt like this might finally end. They reached out, grasping your hand with a smile of their own.

 

“Well, well, well.

 

That voice. A chill ran through Frisk, even Chara looked worried as Flowey made his presence known. No.

 

“What do we have here?” Flowey asked, his voice sickly sweet as an all too wide smile took over his face.

 

You looked at the talking flower in...amazement? You weren’t sure what you were feeling. Did you fall? Was this some sort of messed up dream that came from smashing your head on the cave floor? “Hi...talking flower...”

 

“Did you find another playmate, Chara?” the flower ignored you. His attention was fully on Frisk.

 

Frisk stepped back, hiding behind you. This set off several warning bells. Chara?

 

“Have you gotten bored with our game?”

 

This was getting weird.

 

Frisk looked from Flowey to you, to Chara and back. They didn’t know what to do. Chara wasn’t going to be much help and no matter how much Flowey talked about Chara, he never did see them next to Frisk.

 

“Golly, that certainly stings, friend.” The flower was angry and you could tell and you were starting to freak out a little. How can a flower be angry?? Why did you feel like running was the best choice right now?

 

“Maybe I should make friends with them too?”

 

No, you did not want this. Not at all. This was not someone you’d hang out with.

 

The flower turned its horrible attention onto you and it sucked about as much as you expected. “Howdy, friend. You’re new around here, ain'tcha?”

 

You gave a weak smile. “You could say I decided to drop in.”

 

The flower’s smile strained. Not much of a jokes guy? “Funny My name is Flowey the Flower!” His peppy attitude was back, though it did nothing to hide his irate. “And since I’m such a nice guy, I will tell you how things work around here.”

 

Before you could even decline as you wanted, Frisk shot out in front of you with their arms wide as if to protect you. It was odd and endearing, but why? Something wasn’t right about all of this, but you were going to follow the kid's instinct. “I’m going to have to decline, Mr. Flower. The kid and I are on a tight schedule.” The thought of asking for the way out was quickly tossed by the way his face twisted in anger for just a moment. If you had blinked, you would have missed it.

 

“I don’t think you understand what is going on.” His face darkened. You grabbed Frisk and pulled them behind them without much thought and suddenly it was dark. Something pulled at your chest and the world became black and white.

 

“What the…?” You looked around, noticing the boxes in front of you. Fight, Act, Item, Mercy...What the crap. Game simulation? The only bit of color was the heart in front of you. Was that your HP?? How could you already have a level? None of this made a bit of sense. Though you attack and defense was impressive.

 

“You see, in this world, monsters like me make interactions like this. It is traditional,” Flowey stated, watching you with a smug look. “Since I started the interaction, you get to move first.”

 

“Right.” This was all too surreal for you to comprehend what was happening. As much as you didn’t like this guy, you weren’t going to attack. You already knew your items for the most part. Mercy was a thought, but Action was far more appealing. When you pressed it, all you had was Check and Talk. You clicked Check and saw a pretty low attack and a high defense, surprisingly. You expected something higher for his attack some reason. There was something written at the bottom of the text box. Once considered himself a Prince. What did that mean?

 

“Are you done yet?” Flowey did nothing to hide his anger now.

 

“I guess so,” you said, ending your turn as you tried to think over what the last line meant.

 

Good.”

 

White pelts appear around him before darting at you with such speed that all you could do was fall to dodge them. The little heart moving with you as it too dodged the bullets.

 

“In this world, it is kill or be killed!” Flowey yelled, shooting more bullets at you.

 

It felt never-ending as you dodged and fell, trying to desperately not get hit.

 

“You’re pretty fast, human, but you won’t last.”

 

“What about my turn?” you panted, turning on your heel. It felt like he was playing with you. So you kept moving, changing your direction and speed, keeping him from predicting your path. That heart though, followed you, moving as you did. It felt important somehow.

 

“You already had your turn!”

 

Shit. If you knew that you would only have one chance, you would have used items and brought out the bear spray. You were being run ragged when the on-slot seemed to lessen. Unfortunately for you, it was because a barge of them was taking aim at Frisk who was dodging like a champ but quickly being cornered. You forgot all about them when this started. With a burst of energy you, you ran to them, no caring about the pellets that hit your skin, only caring about reaching Frisk.

 

They noticed you running towards you and seemed to panic by it, urging you to go away. You refused, especially when pellets hit them. Using yourself as a shield, you wrapped yourself around their small body and refused to yield to the on slot.

 

Frisk pushed for a moment before grabbing tightly onto you. Never before had someone done this. Taking the hit for them, protecting them. And you just met them. Why?

 

It hurt. It hurt so much as every pellet hit your back, slowly breaking through the leather of your jacket and into your skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as this awful feeling in your chest. It felt like you were being broken apart. You held onto Frisk tightly, hoping that Flowey would power out before he could harm them.

 

It took all you had not to scream. Instead, you gritted your teeth and stared hard at the cave wall until you swore you could see a kid that was oddly similar to Frisk. They stared back with just as much shock as you had. You hoped that they were smart enough to stay as far away as possible.

 

Your HP was dropping rapidly as Flowey cackled.

 

Then the world went dark.

 

You went slack on Frisk and they knew what happened. Even before Flowey’s laughter filled the cave or when they could finally see over your shoulder to see as your soul broke apart. Unlike a monster, your body didn’t turn to dust. You were very much still there. Even when you dropped to the ground and Frisk stood above you. Even when Frisk touched their small hands to your cheeks. Even when they shook you. Even when they started to scream, you didn’t move. Who was supposed to help them now? Why did you have to die so soon?

 

Why?

 

Why?

 

WHY?

 

Frisk?” Chara called out, their incorporeal hand resting on Frisk’s shoulder. It did nothing to soothe the feelings that tore through them. “We can reset, we can get them back.” As much as Chara didn’t trust you, you were new and they wanted to see more of what you would bring. Maybe they were the key to make their plan succeed. Plus, without you, Frisk would lose their HoPe and Chara couldn’t risk that.

 

“Go ahead, Chara, reset. Bring them back and I’ll kill them over and over again. And-”

 

He didn’t even get to finish what he was saying as Frisk ran at him, screaming. Their raw anger and hatred was enough to silence the flower, even to make him quiver at the sight. Chara watched silently, never before seeing this side of Frisk.

 

“Chara?” His voice, small and scared as he stared up at Frisk.

 

Frisk wanted to stomp on that flower, stop him from ever doing this again. It’s what he deserved. Over and over he treated them poorly as if this was all a game. He took pleasure in other’s pain. But, how were they any different?

 

Instead of acting out how they knew Chara would, how they wanted, they did what they should and showed mercy, resetting the world again.

 

Frisk awoke, looking around for you, only to remember that you didn’t show up for a little while longer.

 

Do you think they’ll show up?” Chara asked, watching the cave opening with as much interest as Frisk had.

 

Frisk nodded.

 

What if they don’t?”

 

Frisk turned to them, worried.

 

What if they remember?” Chara didn’t know if that was possible, but there wasn’t ever two humans at once before. Besides that, there was the part where they were sure that she saw them before she died. Chara was sure of it. “I don’t think I’d come back if I was her. Not after being killed by a flower.”

 

Frisk was silent. Chara wasn’t happy about being the bearer of bad news, but they weren’t about to get Frisk’s hopes up for some human that had no part in this.

 

“FRISK?!”

 

The pair jumped in shock, looking up to see Y/n over the hole, looking ragged as if you had been running.

 

“Y/n!” Frisk called back, crying a little, though far happier tears.

 

You laughed, breathing heavily as you tried to catch your breath. “Did I just die?”

Chapter Text

You remembered.

 

Every last detail of what happened before you found yourself back in your campsite, lying face-first into your pillow. You died and now you were back. For a moment, you thought it was a dream. A crazy, terrifying dream that you hoped to god wasn’t real. And you laid there. Thinking.

 

A flower. A child. A child that needs help, stuck in a cave. A flower that killed you. Normally you liked flowers, why would your subconscious try to kill you with a flower? An angry, terrifying flower that had a weird obsession with a child that may or may not be lying in a giant hole in the ground and OH GOD. You shot up out of your sleeping bag and started to pack up your campsite. The tent, the sleeping bag, everything. You had to make sure that this wasn’t all a dream. If it was, fine, if not and you didn’t go back to the sinkhole, you’d be leaving Frisk to a horrible fate. And if you remembered, maybe they did. That would explain a lot. God, did that mean they faced that flower multiple times? Are they okay?

 

That thought stopped you dead in your tracks. You almost left everything in the campsite and ran towards where you remembered the sinkhole to be. It would have been stupid, but you had to force yourself not to. You had to at least be in clothing that wouldn’t get you in trouble with the cops for being dressed in such a way with a minor that wasn't in anyway related to you.

 

You made sure to stop for a moment and look around the campsite to make sure you have everything before turning on your heel and bolting towards the sinkhole nearly half a mile away. You almost forgot your pack in the rush, having to turn around when you didn’t feel the weight. Your thoughts were too focused on the child. What if they remembered too? What if they weren’t there? You died on them! For god sakes that had to be traumatizing. You probably wouldn't wait for someone in hopes that they would come back after being killed!

 

When you came up to the sinkhole, you ran even faster, tripping and nearly falling into it. Thankfully, you landed on your belly with a clear view of what was bellow. “FRISK!” you yelled down to the child, seeing them on the bed of flowers like before.

 

The sound of your name echoed through the cave with their relief to see you. They remembered. This was real. Those thoughts brought mixed feelings, but overall you were happy. Just so happy to see that they were okay. “Did I just die?” This made them laugh.

 

This time you made sure the rope was more secure, making it hooked into the tree before you made your decent. All the while, Frisk told you about what happened and why you weren’t still currently in a bloody heap because of a flower. Something about their ability to reset the timeline and whenever they die, they return to their last save point, like a game. So when you died, they just returned to the beginning, quickly calming your panic about the idea of them dying after you. This all answered your question on if they did this before.

 

Once you reached the bottom, you looked around for that kid you saw last time. There was no one. Maybe you were just seeing things? You were dying, but you expected more of your life flashing before your eyes and less of a strange kid in the distance.

 

The kid continued to tell you about the world you were now in while you both sat in the flowers, thankfully red flowers. This world was completely underground with several ecosystems and towns. The names for the places were pretty cute. You liked the simplicity of the names, straight to the point and you knew what to expect. They haven’t even seen everything, not even through all their resets, which you were starting to realize was a lot. Another worrying thing about this kid. This couldn’t be good for them. And monsters? Apparently, they were real and trapped here by humans forever ago? Magical humans trapping the monsters and only humans souls could release them? Cruel.

 

If this was all a head trauma, at least it was interesting.

 

They talked about several monsters they have met and the types, but you paid closer attention to when they named off a few of them. Toriel seemed to hold a special play in their heart. There was almost a bittersweetness to how they described the woman. They went on and talked about a pair of skeleton brothers that seemed interesting. The same bittersweetness was there as they talked. Then there was a fish woman and so many others.

 

The kid really seemed like they needed to tell you all of this. It was an overload of information and you weren’t sure how much was sinking in, but Frisk looked lighter as they talked as if a weight was coming off their shoulders. Not to sound cliche, but it made you likened it to the kid realizing that they don’t have to do all of this on their own, whatever they are doing. And you were more than willing to take up the gauntlet. You barely even know the child and you are more than willing to go with whatever plan they have.

 

“So no one else knows about the resets?” Was it just the two of them that knew about it?

 

Frisk shook their head. “Flowey.”

 

Right, the flower did seem to already know Frisk and this was the beginning, supposedly. “And they need one last human soul to escape their imprisonment?”

 

Frisk nodded again, telling you what they knew about monster history and the souls, which wasn’t much. They were sure Chara knew more, but they just floated there, watching Y/n. They told you more about the war in more detail, from what they read on the way to Hotland.

 

“That...is sad,” you mumbled. “How do they get the soul?”

 

They kill you for it.” You jolted at the sudden voice. What the hell was-.

 

“You die,” Frisk answered, jarring you back from your thoughts.

 

Bad news in that department, you don’t know if you could help with that bit. Maybe if they borrowed it or something instead. “Do you have to die?” you asked weakly.

 

This made them pause. You took note of that.

 

Frisk nodded, somewhat hesitant. They weren’t sure.

 

You hoped that didn’t end up being the case. You didn’t know how much of all of this you believed, but there wasn’t any way for you to actually disprove it. But it explained what you saw in your ‘battle’ with Flowey. It was your soul. You didn’t expect it to look so heart-shaped. “And do you think they should be freed?” You couldn’t help but ask. You’ve only met one monster and he was a dick.

 

Frisk pause, looking at Chara for a moment before answering. “Yes.” They knew for sure that they deserved freedom. At least the ones they’ve met, even the ones that attacked them every reset, even the ones they helped dust. There was a part of them that hoped that they would get to see the sun. It wasn’t right for them to be locked away like they were. They deserve the same freedoms of being above.

 

You nodded, trying to still wrap your mind around this. “How many times have you done this?”

 

Frisk didn’t answer, which was answer enough.

 

“That often?” Damn. “What have you tried?”

 

To them, it felt like everything at this point and currently, nothing good.

 

You glanced toward the tunnel that led into the darker parts of the cave. Shouldn’t Flowey be here by now? You were on guard, fingering the pocket knife in your pocket. “What do you want to try?”

 

Frisk was silent for a moment. They looked between Y/n and Chara. Y/n watched them patiently while Chara had an unreadable look that didn’t sit well with Frisk. “I don’t want to hurt anyone,” they said, more to Chara, finally voicing what they’ve felt for a long time. Chara stayed silent, looking less angry then what Frisk expected.

 

“Okay.” You could do that. Violence was rarely the answer in most situations anyways. Frisk seemed to relax at your automatic agreement to their request. “Then you want to do this? I got a rope right over there, secured to a tree and we can just climb out.” You had no personal attachment to the monsters and their predicament sucked, but getting Frisk somewhere safe was more important. You weren’t going to force them to leave, though you can offer an out. “We can find someone that help instead, maybe?”

 

Frisk shook their head, only spending a moment thinking about what you said. “I want to do this.”

 

They said this was such resolve that you knew there was no arguing. You nodded, having no plans of leaving the kid to whatever fate awaited them. “Then how about we start making our way through the cave? Meet this ‘Toriel’.” Fear flickered over Frisk’s face as a bitter smile formed. It wasn’t what you expected. From the way Frisk talked about Toriel, you thought they would enjoy seeing the monster again. There was something they weren’t telling you, but you weren’t about to push. If it was important, they can tell you when they were ready.

 

Standing up, you brushed yourself off and grabbed your pack. “Come on,” you said, trying to give your best-supporting smile. “Lets free some monsters.” If anything, you two can come back here and climb up the rope. It wasn’t going to be going anywhere. You checked the rope, making sure it was snug in place. You weren’t expecting it to give way and fall to a pile at your feet. “Looks like our plan B failed.” You gathered up the rope, figuring you might be able to use it later. “Sorry,” you said with a weak smile.

 

Frisk gave you a small smile in return and held out their hand to you and you gratefully grabbed it, allowing them to lead you into the cave. It wasn’t like either of you had a choice now.

 

Your flashlights didn’t do much more than light a small path for the pair of you through the pitch-black cave. Frisk seemed to know their way really well, not even needing the light to make their way through the cave. You weren’t as lucky. Even with a light, you kept getting tripped up.

 

“I see you brought your pet back.”

 

You jumped at that voice, a small panic jolted through you as you waved your flashlight around in search of Flowey. Frisk had joined the search, waiting for that godforsaken flower to pop up and attack like last time.

 

“It’s not gonna work.”

 

Fucking creepy cryptic messages from a murderous flower. Great.

 

"When you finally figure that out, I’ll be there, Chara.”

 

You hurried your paces, trying to ignore that creepy flower’s messages. You just wanted to get to somewhere with more light and hopefully a lot safer than this place. The pair of you climbed through the ruins, you helping them over larger pieces of a broken civilization. You asked if this all looked right and Frisk told you that it was, it was just their old home. Whether they meant theirs or the monsters’ was up to debate.

 

“There is this robot-”

 

An oversized showboat.” There was that voice again. You looked around, hoping to spot that kid around, but no one was there.

 

“His name is Mettaton.”

 

You listened as they described the robotic man and how exceedingly weird and outlandish he was. You were a little excited to meet all these colorful people. You liked this Papyrus and Mettaton the most so far, but that could be because that was all that Frisk was talking about right now. They figured you’d be meeting Toriel soon and you can get to know her yourself. The others they would probably get to, you hope. You wanted to know more about Undyne.

 

The cave had gotten brighter with glowing stones above you both. Neither of you needed the flashlights anymore and decided to enjoy the walk with the soft glow, but you made sure to keep an eye out. No matter how sure Frisk was as they lead the way, you weren’t about to let your guard down. This wasn’t like the other times they’ve done this. They don’t even need to tell you that for you to know that your presence had changed a few things. Anything could happen and you weren’t sure that Frisk realized that.

 

That’s why you reached out and pulled Frisk behind you when you saw a bright flame appear suddenly down the tunnel.

 

“Is someone out there?” a soft, distinctly feminine voice called out and Frisk instantly perked up. You couldn’t even stop them as they ran towards the flames.

 

Shit. You ran after them, only to slow down when they launched themselves at the flame holder, much like how they did to you when you arrived on the cave floor for the first time. The flame wielder was tall, very tall, and a goat? Oh, Toriel. As you got closer, you saw how shocked the woman was to have the small child clinging to her.

 

You never really thought yourself as a furry, but damn. She’s cute. She looked like she could toss you up through the hole you came from. Not that you wanted her to, but it was a thought. New plan B.

 

“My child, are you alright?” Toriel held Frisk like they were the most precious person that she had. Her red eyes darted toward you narrowing a bit. “Are you in trouble?”

 

Double shit. You held up your hands and took a step back.

 

Frisk shook their head and pulled from Toriel and went to your side.

 

“We kind of fell?” Sorta. They did, you not so much. “We’re kind of lost, ma’am.”

 

Toriel softened, her threatening demeanor melted away and left an aura of warmth. “Oh my, are you two alright.”

 

You smiled, putting your hand on top of Frisk’s head. “Were alright, a little bruised, but nothing we can’t handle.”

 

Frisk nodded, flexing to show their strength. You never expected to see such a playful attitude from the kid. They seemed to bloom under Toriel’s gaze.

 

Toriel chuckled, hiding her smile behind a large paw. “I can see that.” She cleared her throat and stood straighter. “My name is Toriel, Keeper of the Ruins.”

 

“I’m Y/n. This is Frisk.”

 

“Frisk,” Toriel repeated the name, smiling almost lovingly at Frisk. “Would the pair of you like to join me dinner?”

 

It was a little strange to be offering dinner to strangers, but you liked it. You would probably do the same. Frisk nodded and you decided to give voice to their agreement. “We’d love too. I don’t know about Frisk, but it’s been a while since someone has asked me to dinner.”

 

There was a pause as Toriel stared at you quite surprised. A bubble of delighted laughter escaped her which led to a flood of giggles. Frisk started to giggle as well, whether they understood or not didn’t matter.

 

“Oh dear,” Toriel tried to control her laughter, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Maybe the reason you’re down here is that you fall so easily, my child.”

 

Did she?

 

She did. You could tell by the mischievous look in her eyes. Maybe you could fall for this woman. “What can I say? I pretty much scrapped my knees when I saw you.”

 

More of that delightful laughter flowed out of her. With laughter still in her voice, she led you both through the ruins. Explaining how monsters liked puzzles and how everything had a solution if you just applied yourself correctly. She acted a lot like a few of your past teachers. She paid special attention to Frisk and you couldn’t help but trust the woman. Even when she told you to stay back and allow Frisk to handle a situation on their own. You were worried, understandably, but you appreciated the care Toriel put into what she taught Frisk.

 

“If you two don’t mind, I have a few things I need to clean up before you come over,” she said, rambling off a small list of things she needed to do. “Please stay here until I can come back to get you two. Here is a phone, if you need to call me.”

 

You could swear someone said ‘object acquired: phone’ in the most unimpressed voice of the century. “We’ll wait with bated breath upon your return.”

 

“Oh stop, you’ll die from lack of air,” she laughed. With that, she left the pair of you, turning to smile at you both a total of three times before disappearing from sight.

 

“So,” you started, breaking the silence. “What shall we do?”

 

Frisk shrugged. They told you how they usually just went about the ruins themselves.

 

“Have you ever tried waiting?” They shook their head. “Let's try that. While we wait, we can see if my phone works with your new one.” Thankfully the phones were compatible. You couldn’t call any of your contacts, but you can easily connect to Frisk’s old brick of a phone. It looks like a phone you used to have in high school, one that could survive a stone wall after being thrown at some jerk.

 

You pulled some snacks from your pack and you both feasted. All the while, Toriel would periodically call and Frisk would return the favor, wanting to hear the creature’s voice mother like. It went from hello exchanges, to her talking about some dog that stole something, to Frisk giving their attempt at flirting (Toriel suggested that Frisk leave the flirting to you, but she appreciated the sentiment). It escalated to Toriel having her phone stolen by some dog. As hilarious as it was, all three of you were getting tired of waiting.

 

Frisk led the way through the ruins, showing you the save point and excitedly showing you all the things they have long since discovered. It renewed a love for a place that long since become a task for them. They seemed to be ignoring the frog monster near the doorway they had just entered and you wondered if it was because they have met this monster so many times or that it would end in a bad encounter. You had a fifty-fifty shot either way.

 

“Hey,” you said as you slowly approached the frog. Keep friendly, as Toriel suggested.

 

“Hello human,” they said, though it sounded a lot like croaking. It began to tell you some advice about handling monsters, basically what you gathered from Frisk, but clearer. But then it begged you to show mercy for monsters. That sent a sharp sting through your chest. You weren’t surprised that they didn’t have much hope that a human would be kind.

 

“I have no plans to hurt any monster,” you promised. “What happens will happen, but I will do my best to make sure no one dies.” Again.

 

It stayed silent for a moment, staring at you with two sets of eyes. “Thank you.”

 

“Y/n! There’s candy in here!” Frisk called out for you.

 

“Coming!” You smiled at the frog before heading in Frisk’s direction. You maybe should be moving a bit faster, but you couldn’t help but try to absorb the area around you while you can. Frisk was going to move fast through this place and you weren’t going to be able to explore as they have.

 

In a small room to the left, you found Frisk pointing happily at a rather large bowl of candy. It was apparently monster candy that could return some HP.

 

Please take one, was written nicely on a small piece of paper. It would be a shame if someone refused to listen to the simple request. 

 

You grabbed one and so did Frisk.

 

Frisk smiled a little more mischievously.

 

They grabbed another. Not to be outdone, you grab one as well.

 

You heard, “You heathens,” before the candy bowl was thrown to the floor. For a moment, you thought you had thought that, but you were pretty sure you were trying to rationalize the sudden voice in your head. Is this what happens when you die? Do you get a sarcastic voice commenting on what you do?

 

You both made quick work of the mess, leaving most of it for someone else, but kept enough that neither of you would have to worry about not having healing items anytime soon. You just wish you had more of a sweet tooth.

 

As Frisk led the way, they told you about Acting. They explained how to get the best outcome with monsters and man did you meet a lot of different monsters. You both switched off in facing the monsters after a few times of Frisk teaching you the ropes. You took more damage then they did, actually they had no damage, but you popped in a few candies as you walked into a room with a sleeping...ghost? Ghost. It was a ghost. You nearly choked on your candy.

 

“Zzzzz...”

 

Oh, it’s-they were asleep. Do ghost sleep? Well, this one was.

 

“ZZZzzzz...”

 

Fake sleeping. Maybe they can’t sleep?

 

“Excuse me,” you called out. The z’s got louder. “Can we go by or…?” Frisk, ever the mover, went and tried to move the ghost. This ‘woke’ them. It was a little rude, but you didn’t really blame Frisk. Still sucking on the candy that was slowly raising your HP (Frisk said just to bite the candy to get the full effect faster, but you wanted to savor), you watched as an interaction started. Frisk, like always, Checked the ghost for you, Napstablook. He didn’t seem to have a sense of humor, poor thing.

 

Napstablook, attack 10 and defense 10. This monster doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor,” a voice, that same child-like disembodied voice that has been slowly making you worry if you had head trauma.

 

“Oh, I’m real funny,” Napstablook said, answering the disembodied voice. He probably sounded upset, but honestly, you were too distracted by the part where HE ANSWERED THE VOICE.

 

I doubt that.

 

That seemed to hurt Napstablook.

 

“I bet you are funny, Napstablook,” you couldn’t help but say. Worrisome voice or not, you didn’t care too much for people being rude to someone’s face like that.

 

“Oh...” Napstablook whispered.

 

You could say his spirits looked raised, but you won’t because you weren’t sure if ghost jokes were appropriate to say to an actual ghost. You bit through the candy and for a split moment, you were sure that you saw someone, not just anyone, floating next to Frisk. It was that kid from when you were dying. Taking another candy, you broke it between your teeth and you could see them for even longer this time. What in the world…? They looked your way right before vanishing from view.

 

In your distraction with this new discovery, you almost missed ‘dapper blook’. “That is a brilliant hat you’ve got there. Make it yourself?” You kept your voice soft and gave the ghost an encouraging smile.

 

The smile on his face was far better than the tear from earlier that Frisk had to dodge. “Thank you...”

 

Aww, how cute.

 

“I usually come to the ruins to be alone...but I met some nice people today,” he said so softly that you almost didn’t hear him. He seemed embarrassed by his own words and quickly excused himself. You and Frisk tried to say goodbye, but you weren’t sure that he heard you.

 

“He was interesting.” Not exactly what you expect with a ghost. A ghost that could hear the voice. A voice that you were sure that belonged to the ghost you saw when you ate that monster candy. You were tempted to ask Frisk about it, but something kept you from doing so. It didn’t feel right to ask them just yet.

Chapter Text

 

The ruins were a literal adventure. The pair of you faced off with several monsters, solved puzzles, and even bought some treats from actual spiders. With gold. Actual gold. These guys will be filthy rich when they get to the surface. Maybe you should save some of this gold for when you get up above. It would make a good investment.

 

You had Frisk on your shoulders when you finally arrived at Toriel’s home. The woman had just started her trackback toward you two. She wasn’t pleased to see that you two had decided to make the journey without her.

 

“You two should have been more careful,” she chastised, focusing her irate on you, the actual adult. Frisk was too busy sleeping on top of you to notice how angry Toriel was. It was a bit scary, but you didn’t mind. Once Frisk fell asleep the voice had fallen silent as well. You weren’t sure they were still there, the candy’s effect long gone. There was a connection between them and Frisk, but you didn’t know what it quite meant. Was the kid haunted?

 

“I won’t disagree, but we were careful, taking your lessons to heart as we went through the ruins. We didn’t want to trouble you anymore than we have,” you said, stretching the truth a bit.

 

She was still frustrated but had calmed down. “I can assume nothing went wrong?”

 

You nodded. There were a few fights, but no one was hurt. The kid was an excellent instructor on how to move and what to do. Plus, anything was easier than Flowey. It also helped that monster food had healing properties. You had much envy. So many injuries that could have been healed through eating. And you were so good at eating. “Everything was fine, kind of fun.” You slowly moved your head up to look at your sleeping friend who was still perched on your shoulders. With the added weight, you were more than ready to take a long, long break. “But I think I need to find them a place to sleep. I hate to ask, but do you have a place for them for a few hours?” You weren’t about to have them stay with you in a tent, not when there was a chance that Toriel would take them in.

 

“Oh! Of course.” Toriel went to and grabbed Frisk off of you, gently holding them in the crook of her arm. “I hope I’m not too forward, but I prepared a room for you two.”

 

That startled you. “You don’t have to do that, I have a tent and-”

 

“Don’t be silly, you can stay here.” And that was that, any protest was met with a well-made counter that had you making yourself home before you knew it. That night you both made yourself comfortable and enjoyed a special pie that Toriel made for you both. It was delicious. Cinnamon butterscotch pie. More than a slice would certainly make you sick regardless of healing properties, but damn were you tempted to test its limits. Toriel had made up a kid’s room for you two, or what used to be a kid’s room. The bed was too short for you, but you didn’t mind.

 

Frisk looked in no hurry to leave when the morning arrived, not that you wanted to either. You didn’t see a problem with staying for a bit, you had a few days before people got worried about your whereabouts. Toriel didn’t seem to mind you two being here, but you just didn’t want to overstay your welcome.

 

You did notice one thing. After two heavenly monster meals, your little ghostly friend reappeared. They faded a little by little through the ruins yesterday, but now they were plain to see, if not a little see-through. They look a bit like Frisk, probably around the same age, physically. They haven’t done much talking since you arrived at Toriel’s, but they stuck close to Frisk. You did notice how they refused to look at Toriel.

 

“I’ve been meaning to ask you something for a while now,” you said, drawing Frisk’s attention from one of Toriel’s many snail books. This woman had an obsession. “Why does Flowey call you Chara?” You felt like that name may mean something to the apparition, especially when they turned their attention onto you when you said those names.

 

Frisk pulled their knees up to their chest, brows furrowed in thought. “I...think he is mistaking me for someone else.” They didn’t know how he knew Chara. They didn’t know if they could even ask, but it reminded them of the first time they did the...genocide route. The things Flowey said. He had to know Chara, but Chara hadn’t said anything about knowing Flowey from before. They didn’t even know much about Chara’s past. There was so much they didn’t know about their partner.

 

Your question seemed to bother Frisk more than you expected. “Do you want to talk about it?”

 

They nodded at first, before shaking their head.

 

“Alrighty. Got another question for ya,” you said as you closed your book. They probably needed a subject change. “What is the next step? I’m in no hurry, but I’d like to be prepared. We have Snowden after this and I expect it to be cold.”

 

The look they gave you couldn’t be described as anything but apprehensive.

 

“Oh, I don’t like that look.”

 

Then you’re not going to like what they say.”

 

Their voice as clear as day and you were suspecting Frisk could hear them from how their face soured. “What’s wrong?”

 

“Every time I left before...it never ended well.”

 

“How so?”

 

Frisk fidgeted, looking from you to the ghost, or at least that’s who you think they were looking at. “Toriel didn’t like me leaving. She would always try to stop me.”

 

That made you tense.

 

“We would have an interaction, but she never tried to kill me,” Frisk was quick to say when you started to look furious at the thought that anyone would try to harm a child like Frisk. “In her own way, I think she was trying to protect me. She was trying to show me what I would face out there. She wanted me to stay where it was safe.”

 

That calmed you, but only a bit. “That is no reason to attack a child. I can look past some of these monsters doing it, cause I’m not sure they know a human child from an adult, but Toriel knows.” It wasn’t like you knew the whole story, but it didn’t feel right to you. Neither did the idea of fighting.

 

“Please don’t be angry,” Frisk was almost at a panic when they said that. Their hands grasped desperately at your arm as if they were trying to stop you.

 

Your anger instantly melted away. Now wasn’t the time for it, not when it causes Frisk to act like this. “Hey,” you said softly. “I’m not that angry, I’m not going to do anything. I’m just a little upset that you’ve been hurt.”

 

You tried to remain calm as you looked at this from Toriel’s point of view. A small human child going off alone into a world that would hurt them, as it has hurt other children. There was a bedroom that was made specifically for young children and it doesn’t look like those kids got to grow up. And there was no telling how long Toriel has lived alone. You also didn’t know much about monster culture. Too many things you didn’t know, but you could understand Toriel and maybe she wasn’t thinking when she attacked Frisk? Frisk was pretty independent for a child and she could have panicked and had done what felt natural. But this was all assumptions.

 

You gently removed Frisk’s grip from your arm and put your arm around their shoulders, admittedly a little awkwardly. You weren’t used to giving physical comfort. “How about you tell me what usually happens, okay? I don’t want to make an opinion without some facts.” It took a moment, but Frisk relaxed under your arm and moved closer. You tried to ignore how the ghost was watching you with such intensity.

 

Then they told you. They told you how sometimes they stayed longer, but for the most part, they would get to the point they wanted to leave. How Toriel would try to close off the exit, telling them it was too dangerous. How she would tell them that they were likely to die out there, which they had multiple times. How it felt like during the battle that Toriel was only injuring them enough to scare them and her attacks were never meant to kill, that at one point they would avoid Frisk all together. They went on to say how it hurt so bad to leave and know that no matter what, they could never reach Toriel again unless they restarted. And that bit, you could understand Toriel doing. It would hurt so much worse cultivating more love for a child that you couldn’t protect, for the calls to suddenly stop and for you to know exactly why and blamed yourself more than anyone else.

 

Go ahead, tell her how else your interactions with her have gone.”

 

Ah, you were wondering how long the ghost would stay silent. You were surprised that they listened so intently to what happened between Frisk and Toriel. It was like they weren’t there to experience it.

 

Frisk didn’t go on with their explanation, just sat there, waiting for you to speak.

 

“Okay.”

 

Their head shot up. “Okay?”

 

You nodded.

 

They obviously wanted to hear more than just okay. You didn’t say anything until they started to get frustrated.

 

“There isn’t much I can say. I have your side, your feelings about all this, but I won’t ever have Toriel’s and I really can’t hold any anger towards her for things she hasn’t done nor has the memory of doing.” You ran a hand through your hair, grimacing at how dirty it felt. You were in desperate need of a bath. The kid too. “I’m not happy about what did happen to you all those times that you restarted, but that has changed. You still remember what happened to you and I’m sorry about that, for the bad things at least, cause I know you have had some good times too that I doubt you want to forget.

 

“You have a second chance or whatever number you are on now and things always change, you can never do everything the exact same way, even if the outcome is the same, the way there is not.” You were starting rambling at this point. “I’m probably not making much sense, but ultimately I’m just trying to say that I’m glad to know what has happened, what you have tried so that we can work toward a new outcome. I won’t hold what happened in the past against anyone we are bound to face. It is not my past and it’s not really theirs either. I’m here to support you and get the best outcome,” you finished with a shrug.

 

Frisk stared at you with watery eyes. Even their little haunter was watching you closely again. “I...I want to try something new.” They rubbed at their face, trying to give you a confident smile. “I don’t want to do the same things again.”

 

“Good,” you acknowledged lamely. “It shouldn’t be too hard to have something new. I’m here after all.” It was a weak attempt at humor, but you added finger guns and it made Frisk laugh. Not the ghost though, there was so much judgment in their eyes. Maybe you didn’t change much of the timeline, but you had to be good for something. Kids don’t have the luxuries that adults have and you can at least give them that advantage. “That’s why I’m going to go find Toriel.”

 

“Why?” Frisk quickly asked, standing up with you.

 

“I’m going to talk to her about leaving, see if we have to worry about her destroying our exit or fighting us. We’ll just go back to the save point if I fail. I’m sure there is a way that suits everyone.” At least you hoped so. As much as you didn’t like what you recently learned about Toriel, you still liked the woman. She was lonely, but she was kind. You’ve met many an abuser and you doubted the woman was one, maybe a bit misguided, but still kind.

 

Frisk still had a worried look on their face, you didn’t know for who they were worried about.

 

“We will be fine,” you comforted. “We have a plan B and we will take as much time with this until you are satisfied with the outcome.” You were sure there was going to be a missing person report on you when you finally get above ground.

 

This seemed to calm them down. “Okay.”

 

“Are you fine here on your own?” Not that they were truly ever alone.

 

Again they nodded.

 

You hoped they were right and went in search of the large, the beautiful, the wonderful Toriel. Your search was a short one, she was in the kitchen and had just started making something for lunch. You were surprised that you didn’t have any rage bubble up within you at the sight of her, but you were warier than you were before. “Want any help?” You were no pro, but you knew your way around a kitchen more than the average Joe.

 

Toriel jolted at your voice, probably not used to guests just yet. “You don’t have to help, my dear.”

 

“Please?” you whined. “I haven’t been able to use a real kitchen in a while.” Which was true. You were on vacation and the woods held no kitchen other than your fire pit. Not to mention, you’ve been staying with a friend before your camping trip and their kitchen was lacking.

 

She chuckled at you and motioned you to start prepping some vegetables. She made a pleased sound at your capabilities and gave you several more tasks. “So, Toriel,” you started, gaining her attention enough to show she was listening. “Is there anything beyond the ruins or are you here by yourself?” No one said you couldn’t be subtle and keep secret that you knew things. So many dark things.

 

You could hear a pin drop in the silence.

 

“Why do you ask?” she whispered after a long moment.

 

“To be honest? I know the kid won’t want to stay for too long. They will start to get antsy and will want to get out of here and eventually someone is going to be worrying about me too.” You brought the chopped vegetables to her by the stove. She was staring hard into the pot. “Being stuck here wouldn’t be too bad, but I don’t think the kid will settle without trying to get home. They are very strong-willed.”

 

Toriel made a humming noise. If she was listening was up to debate, but you were sure she was an avid listener.

 

“I know it would break your heart, but I would be leaving with them,” you sighed dramatically. “But we would know exactly where you live so visiting would be fairly easy.”

 

“It is dangerous out there.” Her words were cold and hard. You forced yourself not to flinch when her eyes slid toward you and narrowed. “Do you think you are capable of protecting the child, much less yourself?”

 

The kid was more likely to save you. You nodded. “I’m not taking this lightly, but Frisk and I will be fine. If it is anything like the Ruins.”

 

“But it’s not!” A loud clatter filled the room when she threw the ladle down. “It is too dangerous out there! They will kill Frisk and you. Your souls will be used to break the barrier and-” she cut herself off. She looked torn between letting out her rage or crying. You did the next best thing and reached over and turned off the stove, pushing the pot to the back burner.

 

“Toriel,” you whispered, grasping her paw and slowly guiding her outside past Frisk and Ghost, who both watched you with mixed levels of concern. You led her to the tree you passed when you arrived at her home and sat down. You patted the ground next to you and she sighed and took a seat. “I can see that you have a few things to say.”

 

She nodded. “Asgore...the king of monsters decreed long ago that any human that falls into the underground will be killed. Once we have all seven souls, he will rage war on the humans. You must understand, our people have lost so much hope that this decree can make them act in horrible ways, to kill children,” she choked at those last few words. Her eyes water, but she continued. “Children that have no reason to die. We do not deserve to be free with the deaths of so many children.”

 

You reached out and cradled one of her hands in your much smaller ones. You ran your hands through the fur to give some kind of comfort.

 

“I do not want another to die. Asgore already has six souls. You both are the keys to our freedom. You are exactly what Asgore wants.”

 

Well, isn’t that a little terrifying. “That sucks.”

 

Toriel gave a startled snort, sniffling as she wiped her tears away with a watery smile. “That is one way to put it, my child.”

 

“I couldn’t think of another way to put it.”

 

“Bullish? Horrid? Heinous?”

 

“Ah, someone has a daily vocabulary calendar.”

 

Toriel let out an undignified laugh.

 

“But it is horrible. I don’t like the idea of children dying, especially Frisk. And I don’t want to die either. But I also don’t like knowing that a whole group of people are stuck down here, trapped when we can do something about it.”

 

“They-”

 

“Yes, yes. Kill us and all that, very bad,” you said, cutting her off. She didn’t look too happy about that, but there was some amusement there in her eyes. “As you said, they are desperate and that will help put a perspective on their actions that I wouldn’t have had if you didn’t tell me. Though it doesn’t excuse them, I will understand and be able to react in a way that I would be proud of.”

 

She looked down, a bitter smile on her face. “You have a way with words, child.”

 

“Does that mean I have wooed you?”

 

“Heavens no,” she laughed.

 

That stung, even if you were joking.

 

“I don’t know if I fully support this venture, but I won’t allow you both to leave unprepared,” she said, standing. Her towering over you gave her a regal feel. You never felt so small. “I won’t be able to travel with you, but I expect you to protect that sweet child.” Her eyes narrowed, but not on you. “I can see that there are things that weigh heavily on them. The way they frown so sadly when they don’t think anyone is watching. Are you able to handle that?”

 

“I hope so,” you sighed. You had some training, but not many hands-on. “If things become too much, I hope we have you to fall onto.” You looked up at her, almost pleadingly.

 

She looked back startled, happily so. “Of course. My home is always opened to the pair of you.”

 

You couldn’t stop the giddy smile that took over your face.

 

“But not my bed, you silly girl,” she teased.

 

You flushed bright red. “I-I wasn’t going to say that!” You tried to sound insulted. It helped that you were upset that you didn’t make that joke sooner, but you didn’t expect her to catch you so thoroughly off guard. As you calmed the burning on your face, you smiled up at her again. “I’m happy you said that,” you said almost too soft for her to hear. “I know Frisk will be too. They were worried about never seeing you again.”

 

“Oh that poor sweet child,” Toriel said from behind her paw, looking distressed at making Frisk upset, even if it was unintentional on her part.

 

“I want to thank you for that and for what you’ve already done for us.” And she has done so much. She has already fed and clothed them and you wouldn’t put it past her to protect you both if push came to shove. “We would like to stay a little while longer before we head out if you’ll still have us.”

 

“Of course!” Toriel’s whole demeanor relaxed. She had probably expected you both to leave as soon as possible. “Stay as long as you wish, just warn me when you both are ready to leave.”

 

“Don’t worry, we won’t leave without you knowing.” And for a moment, you both smiled at one another. You felt good about this. It was a hard talk, but she took to it better than you expected. Part of you, a more paranoid part, whispered that she could keep you both from leaving. You ignored it, following your gut feeling instead of baseless fears.

 

“Now, as much as I’ve enjoyed this little talk, I have to go finish lunch,” Toriel announced, brushing her clothes off.

 

“Don’t let me hold you back, I’m very much excited to see what else you will be making.” Her cooking was amazing and you had full intention to learn it once this was all over. “Do you mind if I do some cleaning up out here?” you asked, looking at all the leaves that covered the area.

 

“You don’t have to,” she began.

 

“But I insist. I need something easy to complete.”

 

“Well, alright. The shed is in the back with the lawn tools,” she said as if she was allowing a self-indulgent child to get their way.

 

You watched with a smile as the woman left before getting up to grab a rake. You were at the shed when a familiar voice came from behind.

 

“Golly, you really do have a way with words.”

 

You slowly turned around to see a little yellow flower. “What can I say? I had a choice of brains or beauty.”

 

“And you chose neither.”

 

“Ouch,” you laughed. As much as you didn’t like him, he got ya good.

 

He laughed too, but it felt much more mocking.

 

“So, whatcha need, little flower dude?” you asked, acting so nonchalant that it felt almost real. You glanced into the shed seeing a pair of sheers. If push came to shove...

 

“I just wanted to see how my favorite humans were fairing so far. I gotta say, wasn’t expecting you to take Toriel down so easily.” His tone was taunting, but that was only to distract you from something. His wording was a bit too dark for your liking.

 

“Really? Well, we’re good. Frisk is with-”

 

“Frisk?”

 

The way he cut you off gave you pause. Shouldn’t he know their name? No, probably not.“Yeah, the one you call Chara.

 

You never have seen a flower pale.

 

“You okay?”

 

“I’m fine!” Flowey yelled at you.

 

“You sure are,” you said with the same taunting tone he had earlier.

 

His eyes narrowed on you. “I should kill you.”

 

“And I’ll just come back.”

 

He didn’t look too happy about that.

 

You figured that he wasn’t much of a problem now, so you rummaged through the shed and pulled out a rake and a hose. “I got a question, Flowey.”

 

“You always have questions,” he grumbled.

 

That you did. It was better to ask than assume. “Can I ask it?”

 

“What is it!” he demanded.

 

“When I checked you when we first battled, what did it mean about you once considering yourself a prince?” You didn’t have to look to know that he froze up.

 

“What do you mean?” he hissed.

 

“You don’t have to answer.” You gave him a pitying look, which only made him angrier. Which may or may not have been your intention.

 

“Of course I don’t have to answer, idiot!” His voice became shrill when he yelled.

 

“Rude,” you sang, moving over to the house.

 

“I don’t care!”

 

A vine-like appendage wrapped around your leg, jerking you back a little. It didn’t hurt, but it almost sent you fave first into the ground.

 

“What do you mean by a prince?” He was angry and almost hysteric. It didn’t help that you turned with the hose in hand and sprayed his flowery face. “What the HELL!?”

 

“You really shouldn’t touch people without permission.” Yes, you did get a sick satisfaction when you sprayed him with the hose. You shook your leg until the vines retreated to block the spray of water. “And the prince thing is as I said. Saw it in your Check. So are you a prince or something? Or did you have a prince phase recently?” We’ve all been there.

 

“Gah!” He jerked himself underground and reappeared nearby. “I can’t wait for Chara to kill you!”

 

Kill you? What did he mean by that?

 

Flowey noticed your confusion, and like the pariah that he was, he attacked what he thought was a weakness. And it was. Your lack of knowledge was a major weakness at the moment. “Oh? You don’t know? The past several dozen, maybe hundreds of resets, Chara has killed every. Last. Monster. Maybe with your life, they can finally kill that smiley trash bag.”

 

You didn’t know if the flower was lying. Did Frisk kill everyone? You weren’t sure that they didn’t. You’d like to think they never did. If they had, they didn’t get the same luxuries as Toriel. They remembered what they did.

 

“They slaughtered everyone over and over, sometimes waiting until they gave them mercy, then killed them when they were weak.” Giggling laughter spilled out of him. He looked far too pleased. “And they are going to kill you too. As soon as they are bored of you, you’re going to-WOULD YOU STOP THAT?!”

 

You were spraying him again. “I don’t care, Flowey! Whatever you’re playing at, I won’t listen.”

 

“You idiot! You’re gonna-”

 

“La, la, LA!” You aimed more directly at his face.

 

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you!” he yelled before vanishing back into the dirt.

 

What that damned flower said haunted on your mind a bit. The idea of Frisk killing wasn’t too far fetched, but it didn’t fit your image of them. This was probably something you needed to hear from the source. You could wait a while, see if they say anything, but eventually, you were going to have to ask.

 

It was going to go great too. ‘Hey, heard from a psycho talking flower that you kill all the monsters like a genocidal maniac. How do you plead?’ ‘Guilty? Great, want ice cream?’ You were going to have to mentally prepare yourself for when this talk happens.

 

 

 

 

It was nearly a week before Frisk decided it was time to leave. Toriel was great during that time and when Frisk told her, she was understandably sad, but she kept to her word. She helped you both prepare for the rest of the underground. She gave you a lot of information about the layout in such detail that you were sure it went in one ear and out the other. She even allowed you to take the old wooden bat from the kid’s room. It was a good weapon, she said. You saw it more like a good defense.

 

You were leaving most of your things with Toriel, telling her it was collateral for them to return, not that you needed anything to bring you back to her. You were going to miss her, but you suspected Frisk would miss her even more. The way the kid held onto Toriel so tight, you wondered if they had second thoughts about leaving.

 

“Remember to call me,” Toriel whispered. Her eyes were wet with unshed tears.

 

Frisk nodded, holding the monster tighter.

 

“We will, we don’t want you to worry, so expect a call every night.” You picked up your much lighter pack and hooked it around you. The bat hung from a quick release hook, ready to be used at a moments notice.

 

Your ghost friend was floating near you, surprisingly, watching Frisk and Toriel with a longing that made you pity them. You didn’t know much about this ghost, but maybe they longed for touch? Or maybe a mother like figure?

 

“Please keep safe, avoid all the fights you can. If it gets too much, you know you two can always come back,” Toriel continued, becoming more worried by the second. “I made sure you both had some gold and filled you packs up with monster food.”

 

“Thank you, Toriel.”

 

She hugged you as well, allowing you to relax into her warm embrace. It was no wonder that Frisk didn’t want to leave a hug like this. It was a tearful goodbye, she left. Frisk sniffled beside you as you left the ruins together.

 

“We’ll see her soon enough,” you said, trying to comfort them as you pulled on a pair of gloves. You, unfortunately, had none that would fit their small hands.

 

Frisk nodded, grabbing your free hand as you pushed open the door. On the other side was, for a lack of better words, a winter wonderland. It was beautiful. Your mouth gaped at the sight. You loved the snow. You never get tired of it and haven’t nearly seen enough of it. Above all that, it was cold. Too cold for a kid in only a sweater.

 

Dropping your pack, you ignored Frisk’s confusion and pulled off your jacket. You gave them the leather protection and warmth, leaving you in your hoodie and face warmer. You were wary of wearing the face warmer but threw caution to the wind as you pulled it up over your nose. You had more than enough protection from the weather, at least for now.

 

“Thank you,” Frisk mumbled gleefully as they burrowed into the warmth.

 

“Anytime, kid.” You held your hand back out for theirs. They looked up and started to giggle. Ah, they noticed the skeletal print on your face warmer. It was appropriate and inappropriate at the same time. “You like?”

 

They nodded.

 

“I got an extra if you want?”

 

This made them almost giddy as you pulled out the other face warmer and gave it to them. It was of the same print and a little big for them, but they looked damn adorable. Ready to face the world.

 

“Ready?”

 

They nodded, grasping your hand again. You pulled your hoodie sleeve down to guard their hand against cold as you began your trek down the long rows of trees. The path was deeply padded with snow, making it harder to walk down then a trek through the woods. Thankfully you had a fantastic pair of boots. Fantastic boots that may have sped up a little faster when you heard a stick snapping.

 

You were coming up upon a bridge when you heard, “Human...humans? don’t you know how to great a new pal?”

 

Shit. Fuck. You weren’t ready to fight.

 

“Turn around and shake my hand.”

 

Especially someone that sounds so creepy!

 

Frisk was turning around!

 

You move to stop them and- Fart noise. All the panic. All the worry. Gone. Looks like someone forgot to tell you that a weird creepo would be meeting you. You glared down at Frisk who was smiling behind their mask. They knowingly didn’t tell you about this meeting. Even the ghost looked amused by this. There will be revenge.

 

Steeling yourself, you turned fully to face a short skeleton in pink slippers. Wasn’t that adorable?

 

“Heh, old whoopee cushion in the hand trick,” he said, but it lacked humor. His little eye dots felt like they were on you. “it’s always funny.”