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A Wise Man Once Said

Chapter Text

The petals were soft against his face, as he laid chest down on the bed of flowers. Idly, he wondered why the fall didn’t splatter him across the ground on impact. A voice, close to the ground, seemed to verbally prod at him.
“Hey, Kid. You aren’t dead, are you?” He groaned.
“Just leave me here to starve to death, please.”
"Huh? You gotta death wish or something, Kid?" There was a grunt.
"Yup. Thought the fall would paint the ground with my brains. Looks like I can't even try to kill myself right..."
"Dude...You're what? 14?"
"Hit the nail on the head. How did you even get down here? I had to fall like ten stories."
"I live down here. know where you decided to off yourself, right?"
"Meh. Didn't care to check the location."
"This is Mount Ebott. Unless you look up, you're gonna think I'm crazy when I say that...well...Welcome to The Underground. The home of monsters." He scoffed.
"What drugs are you on dude?" There was silence, before something wrapped around his head and lifted it, letting him see...a flower with a face?

"I'm Flowey. Flowey the flower. And you?" Dull green eyes blinked, as he sat up.
"Midoriya Izuku. The forgotten and hated one."
"Damn, Kid. You're a real burst of sunshine, you know that?" The flower got a shrug, making him sigh.
"Well. Since you're here, you most likely will run into the keeper of these ruins. Usually, this would be where I try to kill you for your soul, but I just don't want to."
"Hm? What made you change your mind?"
"For starters, the keeper of the ruins and her adopted daughter kinda took me in, so I would only get them very mad at me if I were to even try to hurt you. Besides. Technically the keeper is my mom." That made Izuku choke on his surprise.
"I wasn't always a flower and Flowey isn't my actual name. The only ones that know about her being my mom are me, you, her adopted daughter, and one of the other monsters."
"Then, why tell me? You literally met me minutes ago." Flowey rubbed at his face with a leaf.
"Honestly? You have the same attitude that I do...or try to have, now that I'm no longer as evil as I used to be."
"So......bitter and apathetic?"
"So...until I starve to death or this keeper comes around, could I ask some questions?"
"Why the hell are you monsters down here? I mean still. Couldn't you have left by now?" Flowey sighed.
"There's a barrier keeping us here. Magic. Literally. The only way we can think to break it is by getting seven human souls. But that idea was shot down when the eighth human fell. She solidified herself a place here."

Izuku blinked.
"Ok? Why were you once evil?" The flower took a deep breath.
"I don't have a soul. Like...I have none. I can't really feel much, which is why all I feel is apathy."
"What? How the f-"
"I was an experiment. One my creator doesn't really remember anymore."
"A question of my own. Well...two. One. Why did you throw yourself?" Izuku sighed a little.
"What is there to tell? I'm useless. A quirkless nobody. Even my own mother used to pity my very existence, while some loathe it. I decided to save everyone the trouble and toss myself."
"You all have probably been down here a while. In the past 80-someaught-years humans and some animals gained a freak mutation in their genes. Roughly 80% of the population has, what could be called, a superpower. Those without them are called quirkless. As if it were some kind of disease."
"Well...That answers my second question of what is happening up there." Izuku shrugged and fell back into the flowers.
"Looks like she's here. Over here!" A goat woman came over and saw Izuku.
"Oh you poor child! You've been here a while."
"Not really a child, but...whatever floats your boat I guess..." She looked startled.
“You…” He got up with a sigh.
“I’m Izuku.” He held his hand out and she took it.
“I’m Toriel.”
“Flowey was explaining where I am. Actually surprised the drop didn’t kill me.” She clapped her hands softly.
“Ah. I believe I can answer that. There’s a lot of magic here, in the Ruins. We aren’t, truly, sure why it made a cushioning effect, though. It’s saved eight humans...nine now, from falling to their deaths.” He nodded and shoved his hands into the pockets of his school uniform, after picking up his backpack from the ground.
“So...How is it that no one knows about Mt. Ebott where I’m from, but I can remember it so well?” Flowey cleared his throat.
“Apparently, this mountain and, by extension, the Underground are so bound to magic that it bounces around the world at random. The last human, Frisk, was from America.”

He followed behind Toriel, as she lead him through the traps that scattered the Ruins. When outside the woman’s home, something caught his attention. It looked like a star that had fallen from the night sky. The goat woman didn’t seem to notice, as she continued inside.
“ that?” Flowey, who was wrapped up his arm answered him.
“That’s a SAVE point. Most monsters can’t see them. Touch it.” He reached out and did so. It was warm in his fingers, sending tingles up them. Then, he heard a voice.
”The sight of such a well put together house and the knew knowledge fills you with WISDOM. He heard a beep and jerked his hands back, hissing under his breath.
“What the FUCK was that?!”
“Looks like your main soul trait is WISDOM.”
“What does that mean?” Flowey motioned with his leaf.
“Focus on bringing your soul up.” He did, feeling something in the middle of his torso. It was a weird object that didn’t seem like it belonged, but did, at the same time. Bringing it out, it was about the size of an apple and a lilac purple color.
“This is your soul. It’s the very culmination of your being. Every human has a specific trait their soul gravitates towards. Frisk’s soul trait is DETERMINATION.”
“Ah. I think I understand. What do these save points do?”
“If you get into a situation you don’t want to be in, you can focus on your last SAVE point and you can go back to it. No one will remember, except you, me, Frisk, and Sans.”
“Oh. He’s a skeleton that lives in Snowdin. A town through the exit of Toriel’s house.”
“I see…”

He stepped inside and Toriel smiled, gently, at him. She looked nervous.
“Ah...I’ll make you something to eat and then take you to the barrier, so you can go home...I’m sure you don’t want to be here…” He shrugged.
“I’d rather be anywhere but up there. Thanks for the meal, though.” She looked confused.
“Didn’t you fall?”
“Not like I’ll be missed, honestly. The only one that would miss me would have been my mother. She had a stroke a month ago, which killed her. I have no one up there.” Toriel looked horrified.
“And your...your father?” Izuku shrugged.
“He was murdered before I was born.” She covered her mouth and stepped forward, wrapping him up in a hug. He chuckled softly.
“Thanks. I know I seem blunt about it. I’m just...desensitized to it all.” She nodded and walked to the kitchen, throwing some information over her shoulder.
“There’s a room you can stay in, should you choose to. There’s some stairs that lead to the exit. Please don’t leave through them until you’ve had some food.” He nodded and took to wandering. He checked the room and found crayon drawings pinned up on the walls, a wardrobe, a bed, and an old box of toys. He smiled a touch and pulled out a toy train, just looking at its chipping paint. It was a familiar weight in his hands.
“Did you have one?”
“A toy train? Yes. Mum got me one for my fifth birthday...but an ex friend destroyed it. Told me I didn’t deserve it.” Flowey looked saddened, but didn’t reply, as he put it back in the box.

Izuku decided to see what was down the stairs. He peeked his head into the kitchen, remembering to speak in English.
“Miss Toriel?”
“I thought I’d let you know that I was going to check out what was down the stairs. I didn’t want to just disappear without telling you.” She seemed to brighten.
“Oh! Thank you for telling me. I’ll come let you know when the food is done.” He nodded in thanks and went back out to the main entrance and then down the steps, leaving Flowey to keep Toriel company. He followed the long hallway, up to a large door at the end. He heard a knock and rose a brow, before a voice accompanied it.
“Knock Knock.” Huh? He knelt in front of the door. He absolutely loved jokes.
“Who’s there?” The other person seemed to start, before continuing the joke.
“Nobel who?”
“Nobel. That’s why I knocked.” Izuku felt a smile force itself onto his face for the first time in months.
“Good one.”
“Say. Who are you? You’re definitely not Tori.”
“Oh. I’m Izuku. I literally just fell down here an hour ago. Miss Toriel offered to make me a meal and allowed me to come down here to explore what was here. Who’re you?”
“I’m Sans. Sans the skeleton.”
“Flowey mentioned you.” There was a pause, making the teen sigh.
“He’s not bad, me.”
“He’s told me what he’s done, but I really don’t give a crap. So...Why shouldn’t you let advanced math intimidate you?”
“Why?” Izuku smirked.
“It’s easy as pi!” That earned him a laugh from the other side of the door.
“Nice! A neutron walks into a bar and asks the bartender what the price of a drink was. The bartender replied, ‘For you, no charge!’” Izuku snickered and they went back and forth for a while, sharing jokes and laughs, until footsteps came down the hall.

Toriel smiled at the sight of the greenette sitting against the door.
“Lunch is ready, my child.” Izuku stood up and rapped his knuckles to the door.
“Thanks. I haven’t laughed like that in years.”
“No problem.” Toriel cracked a smile.
“Good afternoon, Sans.”
“Hey, Tori.”
“Would you like to come in and have lunch with us?” There was a hum.
“I guess I could use something that sticks to my ribs.” Both Izuku and Toriel snickered, as the door was opened inwards. In stepped said skeleton, who held a hand out to the teenager.
“Sup?” The greenette could see what was in his hand, but humored him. The cushion went off, making the three of them laugh again. Izuku spoke in unison with Sans.
“Whoopee cushion in the hand trick. It’s always funny.” Sans snorted again.
“Jinx!” Izuku was maybe a head and a half taller than the skeleton, as they made their way back inside and away from the nipping cold of the outside. The man was texting on his phone, probably letting someone know where he was.
“If I may ask...How are you doing that?”
“Hm? Doing what?”
“Texting. I don’t have any...meat on those bones.” He laughed a little.
“Magic...Not sarcastically. Monsters are made of magic and will. Sounds like sci-fi, I know.” Izuku shrugged.
“Sounds legit to me...especially from the world I came from…” Toriel glanced over.
“What do you mean, my child?” He scratched his head.
“I assume this last human told you what was going on on the Surface...right?”
“No. She’s been here for a thousand years. Before you ask how, the magic here and her DETERMINATION let her live indefinitely, like most monsters do.”
“I see...Well, as I told Flowey, 80-ish years ago there was a freak mutation in human gene codes. It allowed around 80% of the population of the entire planet to have a sort of power. My mom could attract small objects and my dad could breathe fire, for example. If you were to think of almost any power, I’m pretty sure someone has it or has had it in the past.” Both monsters looked awed.
“And you?” He gave a bitter chuckle.
“I was born in the 20% that doesn’t have one. I was born to be a failure.” His eyes went dull and trained forwards, making it so he couldn’t see the concerned expressions on the faces of the other two.

The lunch was fantastic. That was for damn sure.
“Thanks for the food, Tori. Sorry to eat and run, but Pap’s looking for me.” She laughed gently.
“Not a problem, Sans. Better not to make your brother worry.” He gave a solution and blinked out of sight, as Izuku tipped his head.
“Hmm...I wonder. Teleportation or glitching?”
“No one actually knows, my child. Not even Sans.” Nodding, he stood up and took his plate into his hands.
“Oh. You don’t need to take your dishes into the kitchen.” His vision flickered, replacing Toriel with a woman that had long green hair and deep green eyes. His mother. He blinked back the tears that beaded into his eyes.
“You made lunch. At least let me clean up.”

Chapter Text

The next day found Izuku’s desire for exploration exploding through him. He bid Toriel a good day and left his number with her, in case she needed to call. When he stepped out of the door, he rubbed his arms through his uniform. They were thin, for spring. Flowey was still wrapped around his arm, shivering a little, too. He brought his arm forward and put a hand to the side of the flower’s face, hoping to keep him warm.
“Eh? I’m ok. Keep yourself warm until we get to Snowdin. I’m used to the weather, but I usually travel underground.” Izuku said nothing and kept moving forwards, passing over a bridge that had bars on either side. The trees were dense on the edges of the path, making it a little paranoia-inducing to be out there. They passed a sentry station that looked like it hadn’t been used in a very long time.
“Just a little past here. Watch the ice.” He nodded and kept going, skirting around the back of Doggo’s station, even if it looked worn down. The patch of ice was easy to get around and so was the most of the rest of the area. When they got to the puzzles, he showed off his spatial awareness and got through them. The iced over one was a little tricky, but he got past it. Upon reaching the bridge, it was just a walk across.
“Aren’t you tired?”
“Not really. Mentally, yeah, but physically no.”
“Shouldn’t tired by now?” Izuku shook his head.
“I was training to become a hero in my world. There’s a shitload of crime and villainy happening now, so we need heroes to cull it. I was going to take the exam, but...I had my dreams crushed. It was the last straw.” There was a star outside the shop and he took it into his hands.
”The sounds of the town, letting you know people are happy, fill you with WISDOM.

He shook his hands.
“Weird.” He kept walking, until a warmth radiated from one of the buildings. Standing close to the door, he felt the chill of the snow slip away. The sign said ‘Grillby’s’.
“Why don’t you go inside?”
“It looks like a bar. I’m not old enough.”
“It’s not really a bar. He sells normal drinks and burgers too.”
“I don’t have any money.” That was when the door opened and a head made of fire peeked out, his voice calm and soft.
“Hey, Grillby.”
“Who’s this?”
“Greetings. I’m Izuku.”
“Grillby.” They shook hands.
“You’re freezing. Please come inside.” Following behind him, he finally felt the numbness in his nose and cheeks, as the warmth washed over onto him.

Being sat at the bar, the elemental slipped into the back. After a couple minutes, he came back with a mug and set it on the counter in front of him.
“I...don’t have much money…” He reached into his bag and shuffled around, finding his wallet. All he could find was 543 yen. Before he could hand it to the man, he shook his head.
“It’s on the house.” Green eyes looked between the mug of hot chocolate and the bartender, as if to ask ‘why?’. A small smile crossed the man’s barely noticeable mouth.
“You look like you need it.” The teen’s eyes closed, as he sighed.
“Thanks.” He took a sip and felt nostalgia fill his body. Little tears came to his eyes, as he remembered his mother.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes. Thank you. Just...memories.” That was when the bell jingled, letting them know someone entered.
“Oh. Hey, again, Kid.” Glancing back, he met the eyes of the skeleton he’d joked with yesterday.
“Hey, Sans.” There was a young woman behind him with brunette hair. She looked human.
“Oh! Hello.” The teen waved.
“Hello.” She stepped closer, wearing a grey turtleneck.
“I’m Frisk.”
“Izuku.” They shook hands and Izuku put his back on his mug to warm them up again.
“Are you…”
“Human? Yep. Fell yesterday. Miss Toriel took me in for the day.”

Frisk smiled a touch.
“Mom’s kind like that.” Flowey yawned and woke up from his short nap, seeing her and waving a leaf.
“Hi, Frisk.” His voice was groggy, as he woke a little more. She pat his head.
“Hi, Flowey. Have a nice nap?” He nodded and crawled onto her arm and shoulders. Izuku took another drink of his hot chocolate, letting the steam warm his face, as the others took the seats to his right, Sans right next to him.
“So...How was your night?” Izuku smirked over the lip of his drink.
“Well...for someone as bone tired as I was, it was really good.” Frisk snickered.
“Looks like you got someone to joke around with, huh, Dear?” That comment made Izuku tilt his head.
“Huh?” Frisk giggled and showed her left hand, her ring finger decorated with, henna-like, markings and kanji. Izuku smiled gently. There was the kanji for ‘love’ and one for ‘forever’ lined over her finger. He understood, completely. He nodded, seeing that Sans’ left ring finger was also branded, though not as flowery.
“Flowey told me that you have the soul of DETERMINATION. Is that right, Mrs. Frisk?” She went a little pink.
“O-Oh...Please just call me Frisk. And yes, you’re correct.” She summoned her soul, showing that it was a rich red color. He did the same, having a bit of a tougher time pulling forth his lilac one.
“Hm? What soul trait is that, I wonder?”
“WISDOM, apparently.” As he finished his mug, Grillby offered a napkin, which was taken with a nod.
“Thanks.” He wiped his mouth and hands of his drink.
“That was amazing.” The elemental seemed to go a bit yellow at the core of his face, as he took the mug back into the kitchen.

Sans snickered.
“You got Grillby to go flustered. Hot damn.”
“Does he not get flustered easily?”
“Kinda. He’s usually good at not blushing.” Izuku nodded.
“Hey...Is there any place I could exchange the money I have for the currency of this place?” Frisk nodded.
“There’s a bank next door. They take all kinds of money and change it to G.” He smiled gently.
“Thank you.” Frisk got up again.
“I’ll show you around. Sans, I’ll see you in a bit.” She pecked his temple and lead the boy outside again.

They slipped into the bank and Izuku stepped forwards.
“Could I convert this to G?” The horse monster behind the counter smiled gently, taking the yen into his hooves, which were parted to give him a thumb.
“Here you are. 75G.”
“Thank you.”
“You’re very welcome. Have a nice day.”
“You too.” They left and Frisk smiled at him.
“Snowdin is small, compared to cities on the Surface, but there’s plenty of people to keep this place bright. There’s a ferryman that can take you to the other places in The Underground, should you not want to walk. After Snowdin is Waterfall and then Hotland and then the King’s house. The royal scientist, Alphys, lives in Hotland, so she can be close to her lab.” The greenette rubbed his hands together.
“Sans...said something about a brother, yesterday.”
“Oh. Papyrus lives with his husband, in Hotland.”
“His husband is Mettaton. A robot-AI with a soul. They live close to the lab, so Alphys, his creator, can fix him should he have problems.” The teen nodded, as he bit his lip.
“Is there something wrong?” His voice felt dry in his throat.
“I...was so sure the drop would kill me...I thought…” Frisk hugged him from the back, her voice soft.
“You thought you were free.” He started.
“How…” She looked around, before whispering to him.
“Please don’t tell Sans, but...that’s how I got here, too.” He nearly jumped from his skin.
“When I jumped down here, I was a child. Younger than you. I had become a shadow. Nobody remembered me. I decided that dying was better than being a living ghost.” He nodded.
“I won’t tell him.”
“And I won’t say, as well.”

As they continued to walk, Izuku old her about what had happened with the humans the thousand years she’d been her prompting, of course. So, out came the knowledge of a third World War. The rise of the Technical Age. The rise of quirks. And the rise of heroes...Along with why he came to the opening of The Underground to die.
“So...Humans would have been able to travel the solar system, at their leisure, had quirks not shown up?”
“Yes...apparently. That’s what we’ve been told.” Frisk hummed softly, changing the subject.
“So...Are you going to live with Mom?” He shrugged.
“I don’t want to bother her. I think I might make myself a home in the forest outside the Ruins…”
“Oh! No no! It’s far too cold in Snowdin Forest!” He rose a brow.
“I don’t have the money to stay in the inn, long term, and I’m used to the cold.” She gave a warm smile.
“Why don’t you stay with Sans and me? At least until you can buy or build yourself a home of your own.” Izuku blinked at her.
“I...You just met me...and I wouldn’t want to burden you with that.”
“Nonsense. You wouldn’t be a bother.”
“Don’t you think you should talk with your husband, before making such a decision?” She whipped out her phone and called said skeleton, putting it on speaker.
“Hey, Sans. Izuku doesn’t have a place to stay, so I offered to let him stay with us. Is that alright?”
“Of course. That sounds sansational.” She facepalmed, while trying not to laugh.
“Thanks, Dear.”
“No prob.” They hung up, making the girl smile at Izuku.
“See? He doesn’t mind.” He grimaced and looked away.

His eyes screwed closed.
“Why are you all being so nice to me?” She tipped her head.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with decency. No matter who they are.”
“You...aren’t going to take no for an answer, are you?” She chuckled softly, but didn’t respond, making him sigh and put his hands into his pockets.
“Thanks...I guess.” She lead him through the heart of Waterfall, he found his gaze pulled to the gorgeous aquamarine waters that gave this place a tonic water-like glow. He hadn’t even noticed that he’d paused, until he felt a hand on his shoulder. He blinked and returned to walking by her side, knowing he’d have plenty of time to come back to this place. She didn’t even question his lapse in pace, continuing into Hotland, where they found a little house outside a lab.
“This is where Papyrus and Mettaton live.” She knocked and the door was opened by a tall skeleton.
“FRISK!” She was practically lifted from the ground in a hug, making the teen take a step back. She laughed and pat him on the back, as she was let down.
“Papy, this is Izuku. He fell into the Underground yesterday. Izuku, this is Papyrus. Sans’ younger brother.” That was when the skeleton noticed the other human.
“GREETINGS!” Izuku gave a small bow.
“Good afternoon.” The man turned back into the house.
“METTATON! COME MEET THE NEW HUMAN!” A flamboyant and slightly feminine voice responded to him, a touch of metal in his voice.
“Oh? A new human?” A robot with a pink chassis and boots came to the door, seeming to be fixing his black fringe, only one, magenta, eye showing on his face, along with a pair of black lips. He was a pretty guy. Izuku would give him that.
“Oh? Hello, Dear.”
“Good afternoon.” Frisk wet her lips.
“Mettaton, this is Izuku. Izuku, Mettaton.” They shook hands and the AI turned to the woman.
“If you’re looking for Alphys, she’s not at work today. Poor thing came down with the flu. Undyne’s taking care of her.” Frisk’s eyes went a little softer.
“If you see her, let her know I’m available to get her things she needs.” He smiled a touch.
“You’re sweet. I’ll let her know.”

When they said their goodbyes for the time being, Frisk gestured towards the rest of the area.
“Past here is the CORE and the king’s house. Do you feel up to meeting with him?” She got a shrug and continued to lead him.
“The king is like my dad. He may be big, but he’s a teddy bear, unless he’s mad.” A ghost of a smile crossed his lips.
“Kinda like my mom was…” Frisk didn’t answer, knowing it wasn’t meant to be. They traversed the CORE, the traps and puzzles long since deactivated. When they came to a part of the construct, Izuku stopped and stared out over the pits of, what looked like, lava. His green eyes sheened over, making the woman a little concerned.
“Izuku?” He put his hands on the rail and looked down into the molten abyss before him.
“I...feel someone.”

Chapter Text

“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know. I feel like there’s someone in there...but...not...not like they’re alive, but they aren’t dead.” Frisk looked startled.
“The only thing that comes to mind is the royal scientist before Alphys. Sans told me about him. He was the one that created the CORE...which he fell into. Sans has three theories. Either he was incinerated on impact, was scattered throughout space and time, or was pulled into a rip in space-time.”
“Why would he know what happened to this man?”
“Because, the old royal scientist, W. D. Gaster, was his and Papyrus’ father.” That pulled a stunned expression onto Izuku’s face.
“Woah…That’s gotta be hard.”
“What’s worse is that not many remember Gaster. Only myself, Sans, and Flowey truly remember him. Dad kind of remembers him, but not his name or his face.” Izuku nodded and pried himself away from the rail. They made it out of the CORE and into another area.
“Through here.” They reached another house and Frisk unlocked the front door with her key.

She went through and held the door open for Izuku.
“Oh. Good afternoon, Frisk.” She smiled.
“Dad, this is Izuku. He fell here yesterday.” A large goat man came through the doorway to the living room. He wore a pink shirt and blue jean shorts. His blonde hair and beard made him look like a stuffed animal, especially with his floppy ears. He knelt down, so he could hold a hand out to the greenette.
“Ah. Hello, my child. I’m Asgore Dreemurr.” He got his handshake.
“Izuku Midoriya.”
“Hmm? Japanese?”
“Yes. You’re correct, Sir.” He gave a sheepish smile.
“Please. Call me Asgore.” Izuku nodded and the man stood again, as Frisk addressed her father-figure again.
“I was giving Izuku a tour of the Underground. I’ll introduce him to Undyne and Alphys in a couple days, since Alphys came down with something.” Something caught Izuku’s attention from outside. Another SAVE point. The brunette made an amused sound in the back of her throat.
“Go on. It’s ok.” As he slipped back out, he heard her speak to Asgore.
“He sees the SAVE point outside the house.” When he touched it, he wasn’t sure if Frisk could hear it.
“Knowing that she may know your feelings, fills you with WISDOM...and a little anxiety.”

He returned, finding Frisk looking at him with a little concern made him refuse to meet her eyes. Seeing the flicker of tension, Asgore gave a bright smile.
“Would you like to stay for tea?” They sat around a low table and shared a kettle of green tea, something that brought back memories of his mother, once more.
“My child? Why do you cry?” He rose his fingers to his face, finding small tears streaking his cheek. He dried his face, as he set the cup down onto its saucer.
“Ah...I apologize. Just memories coming to the surface.” The king seemed satisfied with that answer, or didn’t want to pry, seeing as he moved the conversation in another direction.
“How did you fall down here?”
“Oh. I was on a hike and tripped.” He nodded.
“Your parents must be worried sick.” Frisk stilled and Izuku sighed gently.
“My parents...died.”
“Oh! Forgive me!”
“It’s of no fault of yours. Please see that. My father died before I was born and my mother had a stress induced stroke, about a month ago. I lived on my own, until I fell. It’s a welcome change. Especially since Frisk and Sans have been kind enough to let me stay with them, until I can afford my own house.” The man gave a delicate smile, as if to say he was glad that the death of the boy’s mother wasn’t looming over him.

When he and Frisk returned to Snowdin, Izuku thanked her for the tour and they parted ways until later. He looked around the town, finally noticing the Help Wanted sign in the window of the Librarby. He opened the door and walked to the counter.
“Hello. I couldn’t help but notice the sign in the window.” The lizard looked up and through his glasses.
“You’re looking for a job?”
“Yes. I’m Izuku.”
“Ian. Are you good at organization?” He nodded.
“You got the job. Honestly, your hours are whenever you can come and help. Pay is 150G a shelf.” Green eyes went wide.
“That’s a hefty paycheck.”
“We don’t get a lot of people in here that can organize and not get distracted by the books, themselves.” Izuku nodded.
“I can start now, if you need help?” Ian checked the time.
“Nah. I’m about to close up for the day.” The teen gave an understanding look and left his number with the lizard, just in case. As he stepped back into the snow, Izuku checked his watch. It was around four, on the surface. He made his way back towards Frisk and Sans’ house, which was next door. He knocked and Frisk came to greet him.
“Did you get done what you wanted?”
“Yes. I have a very flexible job at the library, now.” She nodded and let him in.

The house was warm and cozy, painted, primarily, in maroons and blues.
“Dinner will be ready soon, so I can show you your room.” He followed her up the stairs.
“We cleaned up Papyrus’ old room for you. The other one is Sans’ and mine.” The walls and carpet were the same as the rest of the house, a bookshelf at one wall, nestled up against the doorframe to the closet. The bed was on the wall that faced the inside of the house and there was a table next to it, while a computer desk sat at the window on the back wall. He took in a deep breath.
“Thank you. You both have been very kind to me.”
“You’re very welcome.” She left to let him get comfortable and to go check on dinner. Izuku sat on his new bed and buried his face in his hands. How did it end up like this? Yesterday, he was throwing himself into a plummet that was supposed to kill him. And...And now he had entered a new life...A place where he wasn’t sure what to think about his situation. Reaching into his backpack, he pulled out the thirteen notebooks he had taken with him. Placing them down, he flipped open the first one to the very first page. It was a crudely drawn picture of a man with blonde hair, wearing a spandex suit. He gripped the page so tight in his hands that it crinkled a little at the edges. He took a deep breath and let go, closing it up again. Picking up another journal, he opened it, finding it filled with equations. Exponential functions to Uniform Circular Motion equations, chemistry, and other problems. Looking them over he set them next to him and drew his pack onto his lap. He removed a small tool kit and unrolled it, pulling out a phillip’s head, as he held something round in his hand, starting to tinker with it.

It was an hour later that Frisk came back up and knocked on the door, politely.
“Dinner’s ready, Izuku.”
“Ah. I’ll be down in a moment.” He heard her walk away and set his project down in his backpack again, placing the whole thing at the foot of his bed. He stood and opened the door, making his way downstairs. When he got there, he found Sans walking in and taking off a white lab coat. A black shirt was under it, as he yawned and kicked his shoes off, replacing them with pink slippers, which were right under the coat rack. Before continuing forwards, he removed an ID badge from around his neck and hung it with his coat. That was when he saw the other human in the house.
“Hey, Kid.” Izuku waved a bit, as he turned to walk into the kitchen.
“Would you like some help?” She looked a little flustered.
“That would be great. Thank you.” He shrugged nonchalantly and helped carry the pot to the table, while she brought the plates and silverware. Both adults noticed how easily he carried the heavy cooking vessel, weighed down with food. Sans was the one to comment on it.
“Wow...You’re strong.”
“Well...From where I come from, I’m actually just a little stronger than the average person.”
“How so?”
“Uh...Well...My max lifting strength is roughly 100 kilograms or 220.5 pounds, but that’s at my absolute maximum. The average person with a strength quirk can lift about 160 kilos, which is around...353-ish pounds. But, the number one hero...I haven’t been able to figure out his exact strength, but I know it’s in the tons. He’s able to lift cars with one hand and throw giant villains clear out of a city. If I were to approximate, I’d say that, in his prime, he was maybe able to lift around 15 tons.” Sans nearly choked on his ketchup...When did he get that?

He cleared his throat of the drink.
“Holy shit…” Izuku shrugged.
“Not much of a big deal.” Frisk was shell-shocked.
“Not a big deal? When I was a child, the average person couldn’t lift more than 30 pounds!” She got another shrug of his shoulders, as he finished helping her. He filled a glass with tap water and took a seat at the table. They joined him and Frisk served dinner, which was bowtie pasta. There was a choice of alfredo and tomato sauce on the side.
“Thank you.” He took a bite and did the stereotypical freeze, before breaking free a split second later. As he stared at his food, he found fractals and sine curves filling his mind. Chemicals and compounds swam through his thought. He squeezed his eyes closed a bit and, when they opened again, the numbers and equations disappeared.
“Something wrong, Kid?” He looked up at Sans.
“Oh. No. Thank you, though. Just...My brain works in scientific and mathematical equations. It gets a little annoying that I have to concentrate to turn it off, sometimes.” The skeleton looked intrigued.
“Not to toot my own horn, but I work alongside Alphys, the royal scientist. I’m sure I’d love to hear how your thought process works.” Izuku chuckled gently, as he took another bite of his food. When he swallowed, he glanced up again.
“So...You’re a scientist?” Frisk gave a little laugh.
“Like father like son, right, Sans?” He looked at her with a lift of his brow bone.
“I told him about your dad…” She caught Izuku’s minute nod. She could tell him what happened earlier.
“When we were on our tour, we needed to pass through the CORE to get to Dad’s. Izuku said that he felt someone...He leaned on the rail and looked into the CORE’s basin and said that there was someone there.” The skeleton looked shocked.
“You could feel something?” The greenette shrugged and took a sip of water.
“It was something like a gut feeling, but it was more in my soul than butterflies in the stomach. I’m not sure what it means…” Sans looked to be thinking.
“Me neither, Kid…” They returned to eating and idle chit chat, until they were done. Izuku helped clean up, even when Frisk said he didn’t have to, and retired to the living room with them.

He remembered something and excused himself for a moment. He returned with his backpack and sat at the table again, pulling his project from his bag. He set the contraption on the tabletop and pulled out his notes, knowing he had eyes on him. The skeleton was watching as this kid put a journal on the table. Those eyes went wide, as Izuku opened the notebook and then unfolded another flap on the page, making it four times the size of a normal page. Coming closer, he found a huge equation on it, three fourths of the way done. The greenette pulled out a pen and jotted down more sections of the problem’s solution process, while muttering under his breath.
“Carry the two...Multiply the frictional force to the circular motion...Divide by nine…” He capped his pen and skimmed over it once more, before folding the paper again and turning the page a couple times. He came to a page that had some diagrams on them.
“ goes there and…” He took a small wrench and cranked down some bolts, before setting it down and screwing in some hexagon screws. He opened a panel in the side and shuffled through his items again, drawing out a 9 volt battery, encased, on five sides, in a plastic holder. He set it on the table and reached into the panel again, pulling two wires out a bit, one with a white rubber sheathing and the other with green. He put one end on either side of the battery and tinkered with something inside the machine, which Sans couldn’t see. There was a small spark inside the device. Barely enough to notice from where he was sitting. The panel was closed and the battery put to the side again. Finally, his curiosity got the better of him.
“What’cha makin’, Kid?” Green irises flicked up.
“Oh. I’m making a multi-directional moving robot...well...not really a robot, but...You could call it a toy.” Izuku pulled out something small, which looked like a remote, and opened the back, sticking the battery inside. It took up about half of the remote’s interior, as the back cover was snapped into place. The top of the remote looked a little like a small video game controller, complete with a joystick and buttons. He pressed a button on the side and the light lit green for both the remote and the orb.

Carefully, he pushed on the stick and the bot sprang to life, rolling down the table a little. He made it do a circle and then a complicated set of loops to show that it truly was all directional. A touch of a smile came to his lips.
“The motors and axises are working properly...Now, just need to add the fibers.”
“Oh. I was thinking of adding filament-like appendages to it, so that it can climb vertical surfaces.” Stars seemed to shoot to the man’s eyes.
“Cool…” A sheepish laugh came from the teenager, before Sans glanced to the journal.
“May I see your notes? I caught a glimpse of the big equation, but not all of it.”
“Oh, sure.” As soon as he handed the skeleton the book, he noticed Frisk motion for him to follow her.
“Ah. Excuse me a moment.” He got a nod and got up, making his way to a room on the other side of the house.
“Mrs. Frisk?-”
“Just Frisk, please.”
“Frisk? Is something wrong?” She looked concerned.
“Did...Did you leave your shoes at the edge of the hole yesterday?” He understood and nodded.
“I did. It’s...the hallmark of a suicide jumper, after all.”
“I...didn’t notice you were practically barefoot all day, today...You were able to walk through snow and on Hotland’s scorching ground…” He shrugged.
“Tough skin.” She pat him on the shoulder.
“I can take you clothes shopping, tomorrow, so you don’t have to stay in those clothes all the I did when I fell…”
“You don’t-”
“I know I don’t have to. I want to.”
“I...Thank you.”

When he returned to the table, he found the skeleton flipping back to another page, earlier in the journal. One he concentrated on, his pupils missing from his sockets. As if he were reliving a bad memory. His voice was soft and a touch strained.
“Kid...Why do you have so many formulas for explosives in here?”
“Oh. I was trying to recreate the quirk of an ex-friend, but on a smaller level. I wanted to go into either the Hero Class or the Support Class at the local hero school, before I...uh...fell.”
“What was his quirk?”
“He sweats nitroglycerin and has the ability to detonate explosions from his hands and feet at will.” Sans gained a bit of sweat at his temple.
“What a powerful ability…”
“Would you mind if I took some pictures of your notes? I’m sure Alphys would love to see them, once she’s feeling better.” Izuku, honestly, was surprised that he wanted to.
“Sure. Go ahead.” He pulled his phone out and snapped a picture of each page, the teen holding the large one out for him to get a good shot of. When he was done, he packed his things up and bid them a good night, before going up the stairs. He left the couple to stew in their new thoughts and to not even realize that Sans hadn’t made a pun since dinner.

As he lay in bed, he threw an arm over his eyes. Of all the people in the world and of all the people he could have met...How did he find the kindest people imaginable?

He didn’t deserve them.

Chapter Text

It had been a month. A whole thirty days. Time had gone by pretty fast with his job, helping Frisk around the house, visiting Grillby, Toriel, and Asgore every few days on a three day schedule. Today looked like it was Toriel’s day. Wrapping his jacket close to him, he made the journey to the Ruins door, where he found Sans. Looks like it’s his day off. They waved at each other and gave twin knocks.
“Oh? Who’s there?” Izuku nodded at the skeleton, letting him go first.
“Dismay, who?”
“Dismay be a bad joke, but I think it’s funny.” Toriel giggled from behind the door, as the human knocked, this time.
“Who’s there?”
“Dwayne who?”
“Dwayne the bath! I’m pruning!” Both the woman and the skeleton bust out laughing. The three of them continued for another hour, before Tori dragged them inside, since there was a storm brewing. Another couple hours went by before it cleared and the queen let them go again. Well...Sans went on his way back home, leaving Izuku to talk with the goat woman.
“Hey...Tori?” She turned a little, as she sipped at her third cup of tea.
“Yes, my child?” He looked a bit nervous, but he took a deep breath.
“Frisk told me why you and Asgore...split. I understand how betrayal feels...I understand how you feel.” She grimaced.
“Then you must know-”
“I know. You’re disgusted. You feel that he should have looked for another way...He did...long before he started killing. The previous royal scientist was working on a way to create human souls, always failed. Asgore was losing hope that he would be able to get everyone out of here. I know this isn’t what you want to taking his side, somewhat,...but you need to know that he has the weight of the deaths of six children crushing down on his mind. He tries not to show it, leaving him made his depression grow. When he thinks Frisk and I aren’t looking, he pours whiskey into his tea. We...We’re worried...for you both.”

Burgundy eyes looked up, stunned.
“He’s...falling back into his alcoholism again?” Sad green eyes closed, as he nodded his head.
“The last time this happened was when…” He knew what she was about to say and put his hands on her shoulders.
“I know this is a hard subject for you. I’m not asking you to instantly forgive him, but...maybe you could try to talk to him again, beyond the rare get together. All you would need to do is have tea with him. That’s all.”
“I...I’m not sure if I can…”
“You don’t need to do it right now. Only when you feel you can give him a shot or two.” He rounded to her front and smiled at her from where she could see him. Seeing his face, she ran her hand through his hair.
“I...I think I can try...Like you said...maybe not now, but some time in the future.” He gave her a content smile. That was all he asked. Then, she held his hands in hers.
“What did you mean when you said that you understand?”
“I...had a friend on the surface...well...I thought he was my friend. I was so delusioned, for ten years, that he was my friend. We met when we were three and, as soon as we turned four, he unlocked his quirk...and I didn’t. He treated me like dirt. Bullied me. Called me names. Injured me. I was the opposite of you. I gave way too many chances. He...was actually the reason I was on that hike that day.”
“What?” He looked hesitant, but calmed himself down.
“The day I fell down here, I was getting out of my middle school, second year, classes, when he cornered me with his posse. He singed some of my hair and one of my notebooks, before screaming at me. Telling me to give up my dreams of being a hero...That dekus can’t save anyone. The last thing he said made me need to clear my head.” She tightened her grip a smidge.
“Izuku…” Tears bubbled over his bottom lids.
“H-He told me that if I really wanted a quirk and to be a hero...that I should just take a swan dive off the roof and pray for a quirk in my next life…” Her eyes blew wide, in horror and shock. She pulled him against her bosom and wrapped her arms around him, her sleeves nearly engulfing his torso. He did, indeed, cry, but he made no sound, as he did so. And it worried Toriel. The only sound he made was a single sniff, as he reached up to try and dry his eyes.
“What a horrible child, that boy was to you…You don’t need some fancy powers to be worth something to us. You just need to be Izuku. That’s all we need.” His voice was soft, as he responded to her.
“Thank you…”

When he stepped back, he found her with a conflicted look on her face.
“Izuku...I think I pieced together what happened the day you came to us. You tell us you were on a hike, but...I noticed your lack of shoes and your blunt attitude about death. It wasn’t until now that everything came together. Izuku...Did...Did you jump?” Green eyes hazed over, before closing.
“Who knows?”
“You, Frisk, and Flowey. Pretty sure Flowey found out, since he was the one to find me that day. Frisk found the note I had with me, in case someone scaled down to retrieve my body.” He couldn’t tell her the real way the human woman found out. It would destroy her. Not to mention he had promised to not tell anyone.
“What my ex-friend had said wasn’t even the final straw. I had no one. My parents were dead and I had no friends. I was pushed around for my lack of a quirk and none of the teachers even cared that I was being bullied.”
“Then...What was the final straw?” He sighed.
“I...was in a villain attack. I was almost a skinsuit for a man made of slime, but the Number One Hero saved me. I got caught up in his attempt to leave and, finally, asked him the big question. Can someone be a hero, even if they don’t have a quirk? He said no and, at that moment, I knew that my struggles to make myself stronger were for naught. I had zero chance of doing anything with my life. Quirkless people tend to either become homeless or off themselves early in life. People without quirks have a hard time finding jobs. We’re treated as lesser and not worth people’s time. For a short period of time, in the past, quirkless people were charged more for goods and paid less at jobs that paid quirked people more. It...was like the time of segregation, all over again. I...I thought that...maybe...just maybe...I would be reborn as someone better...and if reincarnation wasn’t a thing, then...maybe I could be with my parents again.” The tears spilled over his cheeks, streams of liquid crystal down his face. They were hat against his skin, as he felt his knees buckle and send him to the floor.

Toriel was right next to him, holding his head to her collar again, as he damn near clawed at the back of her robes.
“How did I find such a welcoming and kind community, right under my feet? How...Why? I...I don’t deserve this kindness…I don’t deserve to feel like I’m home…” Small tears formed in Toriel’s eyes, as she just let him let loose. His emotions had been bottled up for far too long. Within a couple minutes, he’d exhausted himself, mentally, and was out like a light. With a pained look in her eyes, she lifted the boy and placed him on her couch. For the first time, she noticed how light he was. She moved to another room and dialed a number.
“Hi, Sans. I wanted to let you know that Izuku’s staying with me for the rest of the day...or until he wakes up.”
“Huh? Thought he was right on my tailbone, when I left…”
“He needed to talk to me about something. He tired himself out and fell asleep...Looked like he hadn’t been sleeping well.” That last part was the truth. The greenette looked like he hadn’t slept in days.
“Oh. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll tell Frisk, if he doesn’t come home by dinner.” They bid each other a good day and hung up.

Izuku woke three hours later and was thankful for the glass of water he was offered. She gave him a bear hug and a slice of pie, before he went on his way back home. He took his jacket off and hung it up, rubbing his hands together. Frisk was watching TV and turned to give him a smile.
“Sans is at Grillby’s, so he should be home soon, and dinner will be a little later than usual. The pot’s still going.” He nodded and sat next to her.
“Sans called me and told me what happened earlier with you staying at Tori’s for a bit…” He knew what she was insinuating. His voice came out a touch rasped.
“She...She knows.”
“She pieced things together, after I told her I knew what she was feeling towards Asgore and...I broke down. I told her what happened that day and why I…” Her bronzen eyes widened a touch, remembering what he’d told her, after a nightmare, one night. She wrapped her arm around his shoulder, leaning him against her shoulder.
“Yes?” His voice went even drier and nearly silent.
“C...Can you Mom?” She froze, making him look up and into her stunned eyes, before turning away again.
“You can call me Mom, if you want.” He gave a tiny smile and wrapped his arms around her midsection.
“Thank you...Mom.” She returned the gesture, brushing her hand over his curls, as they watched Mettaton do a dance on the screen.

It was nearing five, when Sans came home to this scene. His, near permanent, smile seemed to get a bit wider, as he laid eyes on the two. The greenette seemed to blend, seamlessly, into their lives and it was like he had always been there. Once he saw him, Izuku, slowly, got up and rounded the back of the couch.
“Hey, Kid. Tori called and told me that you passed out at her place.”
“Yeah. I know. Frisk told me you told her.”
“Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. Alphys was able to look over those notes of yours, finally. And, well, let’s just say that I hope you don’t get a paper cut, when you open this.” He handed the teen an envelope, which was stamped with the seal of the royal scientist. Opening the flap, he reached in and pulled out a letter. The further down he read, the wider his eyes got. When he was finished, his voice was breathy on his lips.
“Holy shit…” Frisk turned around, upon hearing him.
“What is it?”
“A...Alphys wants to offer me a j-job as a lab assistant.”
“Woah! Would you look at that! Two scientists in the same household!” A stunned smile crossed Izuku’s face, as he read over the letter again, a whisper coming through his teeth again.
“Would you look at that…”

Chapter Text

His head was spinning. How had another five months gone by so fast?! Oh...right. Time flies when you’re experimenting alongside your friend and one of your hosts.

Walking along the railing, above the CORE, Izuku waved his hand and his hair tied itself back into a low ponytail. You see...He found out, about three months back, that he had magic. He was still bewildered by the fact that he came from a line of magic-users. A very long line. He was stunned to find out that his mother was, also, quirkless. She had magic, though, and passed it off as an attraction quirk. It made sense that he was quirkless, himself, now. It seemed that the mutation in one’s DNA would, usually, be blocked by their magical core, should they have one. Izuku had, still, had a 50% chance of gaining a quirk, due to his father having one, and a 5% chance of having both a quirk and magic. As he mused, while walking, he didn’t notice how close he was to the edge of the catwalk, until he tripped. He heard a voice, as he fell.
“IZUKU!” That was Alphys. Then, he heard running footsteps, which he knew were Sans’. The molten CORE burned and seared at his flesh. It was extremely painful, seeing as he couldn’t get his vision straight, above the water, and he didn’t dare to breathe. After what felt like forever, he felt his soul go blue and he was pulled out, back onto the catwalk. Sans was there, as both scientists knelt near him. Some of the others from inside the building were peering through the doorways on either side, hands over their mouths in horror. Blood pooled around Izuku’s body, blisters and bubbles of flesh formed across his skin. He groaned and choked in agony, as he tried not to writhe. His clothes were burned away in places and singed in others. Both Sans and Alphys were on it with the healing magic, as the human’s body, subconsciously, did the same, coating him in a green glow. Sans cried out to the others.
“Call a doctor!” That was all he could hear, before fading out, the last thing he saw being the skeleton’s panicked face.

He woke up in the hospital. As soon as his vision cleared a little, he could see Sans sitting in a chair next to his bed. When his senses came back to fell, he felt his injuries flare up from under the bandages that covered him. He realized that one of his eyes was wrapped and that was the reason for his sight being cut in half. His whole face was covered, actually, except for his right eye and his mouth. Apparently, Sans wasn’t completely asleep. He woke to the sound of the greenette’s groaning.
“Izuku...Thank god...We were so worried.” Carefully sitting up, he felt a bony hand on his chest, helping to ease him up. The other arm went behind his back, as soon as he started trembling. Sans held the teen to his chest, bandaged fingers gripping the front of his shirt.
“Shh...I know. I know. It hurts…” A cracked voice came from the boy.
“I was scared…” The man put a hand to the back of Izuku’s hair.
“Me too, Kid…” He hiccuped.
“I...I thought I was g-gonna die, Dad…” As soon as the skeleton stilled, the human sobered.
“O-Oh sh...Sorry!” Bone fingers ran through the back of his hair, as he was pulled closer to Sans’ chest.
“Nah. You’re fine, Kid. You can call me that. I already know you call Frisk ‘Mom’, when you think I’m not looking.” He heard a sniff and was able to look down, finding Izuku’s one visible eye squeezed closed.
“I...I’m not sure what to think anymore…”
“Before I met you two, I wanted nothing more than to die...but…” Sans went rigid.
“But, now...Now the thought of dying fills me with a primal fear…”
“…” Bandaged fingers gripped at his shirt.
“When I fell down here, I...I wasn’t on a hike, like I told everyone. I...I jumped. I-I wanted to paint the ground with my brain matter...I had nothing to live for, up there…” A pair of hands fell on Sans’ shoulders, making him look up and into the eyes of Toriel and Frisk. His wife took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry. We both knew.”
“But..Wh…H…” The brunette took a deep breath.
“I pieced it together the day we took him in. He was barefoot and I knew the traditions in Japan. The tradition of leaving your shoes at the ledge, if you’re going to jump to your death.” His eyes seemed to widen, as Toriel sighed gently.
“I figured it out when Izuku stayed that day and fell asleep at my house. He wanted to talk to me about Asgore and what my distance was doing to him. When he told me he understood what I was feeling, I asked what he meant. He told me about the ex-friend he had, on the surface, that bullied him, physically and mentally. But...he told me about his run-in with the top hero in Japan. The man crushed his dreams of being a hero...and it was the last straw. He exhausted himself, emotionally, that day, and it was the reason he fell asleep.”

Frisk turned the conversation in a different direction.
“Izuku? Can you tell us what happened? Alphys told us what she saw.” He forced himself to let go of Sans.
“I...was thinking about what had happened in the past three months, while using my magic to put my hair up. I was so lost in thought that I didn’t see the opening in the railing and I tripped. I was falling and heard Alphys scream and then I heard Dad running, before I hit the basin. Most of the rest of it is a blur of blinding pain. I vaguely remember feeling Dad pull me out by my soul and him calling for a doctor, while he and Alphys were healing me. That’s...That’s all I remember.” A furry paw-hand nestled into his hair.
“That’s all we needed to know, my child.” The skeleton was silent until that moment.
“It wasn’t just me and Alph. Your body was adding onto ours. It’s the reason you’re already pretty healed up. In three days, no less.” Izuku choked on his breath.
“Izuku...You were in a coma.” He slumped back against his headboard again, raising a hand to his forehead.
“I’m so sorry...My recklessness caused you all worry…” He felt a smaller hand on his own and startled, having not seen Alphys come in.

The lizard woman pat his hand.
“Accidents happen...I just hoped it wasn’t...wh-what ended up h-happening. S-Seeing you in so much p-pain…” She just started shivering, making him lean over and bring her into a hug.
“I’m ok...Things will be fine…” He rubbed her back, knowing that it calmed her, due to the warmth of the friction. After a minute, she leaned back and smiled.
“I-I’ll go get a d-doctor.” She was back in minutes, the doctor checking Izuku over. Surprisingly, he could go home, as soon as he could get up by himself and walk to the end of the hall, without help. Izuku moved the sheets and turned onto the edge of the bed. Stabilizing himself, he got up and held onto the side of the bed, as he got used to standing. Even the doctor was surprised at his determination. With careful steps, he made his way to the door and then to the hall. The doctor watched him make his way down the hall and then come back. Even without using the wall.
“Well...That answers that question. All we need to do, now, is see how the burns are healing.” Izuku nodded.
“My legs weren’t used to walking, so, as soon as I got used to it again, it became easier. How bad were the burns?”
“Some of them were already healed by the time you got here, but...approximately 40% of your body was covered.” The teenager whistled.
“Damn…” He followed the doctor into another room to be looked over again, leaving the others to themselves.

Frisk put her hands on Sans’ shoulders and leaned her forehead against his.
“I’m sorry I kept that from you. I promised him I wouldn’t tell.” His brows furrowed.
“I understand. But…” He took a hold of her hands.
“I...I’ve had my suspicions for a couple hundred years. Frisk?”
“Hm?” He ran his fingers along her wrists, under her sleeves.
“You try to hide them with your magic, but...I’ve seen the scars. Was the reason you could tell what he’d done...because you’d done it, yourself?” He could feel her heart jump, through the artery in her arm. Her expression darkened, as she pulled her sleeves up and let her illusions drop. White lines striped up her forearms, leaving the palm side as a near layer of scar tissue.
“Yes. I did almost exactly what Izuku did, when I fell down here. I...never wanted anyone to worry. As soon as I got settled into this society, I became like Izuku. Conflicted. The desire to die fully drained away, once I realized that I’d grown feelings for you, Sans. And believe me. I was pretty dang young, when I started having that crush.” She felt his thumb brush over some of those scars.
“Young for a human or young for a monster?”
“I was 14 when I started having a crush on you.” His eyes softened.
“You...still wanted to die for nine years. You were only five...and you wanted to die.
“You know how my home life was, Sans. Everyone does.” Toriel spoke next.
“You and Izuku are so much alike...and so different at the same time.”
“We’re kindred spirits.” Everyone turned back to the door, where the voice had come from. Izuku was back in his usual, casual, clothes. His arms were still wrapped and so was his face.
“They just took the bandages off from below my ribs to just above my knees. I know what you must feel. Hurt and confused. Please understand that we kept these secrets to keep from hurting you all. We knew that if you knew, you would blame yourselves...which you’re doing right now.”

With ginger steps, he came closer.
“We’ve gotten better. You need to see that it’s all of you that have made us want to keep living. Hell, you made Mom want to live forever! You made us want to put those feelings behind us and look for new meaning in life. You all have cured us!” Little blue tears sprung to Sans’ eyes, as he pulled both his wife and his adopted son into a big hug, not saying a word. When he pried himself away, they all got up, clearing the room of cards and paper mache echo flowers. Izuku smiled gently, seeing as they were from Toriel’s preschool students. There was a card from all of the scientists and assistants in the lab, one from each of the households in all the regions, and one from Asgore. The king’s was a cute little drawing and handmade get well card, along with a potted golden flower. Then, he noticed something. Holding onto the wall, he glanced under the bed.
“Flowey?” The forgotten prince looked up, seeming a little underwatered.
“I’m...I’m glad you’re alright.” A lone green eye looked worried.
“Were...Were you under there the whole time I was here?” He gave a soundless nod.
“Flowey! You need water! And light! Come on.” He held a hand out and the flower gently wound around his arm.
“I...I was there when you fell in...If only I’d been faster…” Bandages crinkled, as he felt a knuckle knocking against his forehead.
“You know you have problems drying out near the CORE. Even if you’d been able to catch me, you would have risked burning up, yourself. Now, let’s go. You look parched.” Sans tried to give a noticeable smile.
“Let’s get going. Pap’s been blowing my phone up.”
“S-Same for me w-with Undyne.” Izuku took a deep breath.

“Everyone’s waiting…”

Chapter Text

The next week found him away from the labs and from his other job, at the library. He stuck around the house or Grillby’s. Right now, he was letting himself bathe in the fire elemental’s warmth, arms across the counter with his head leaned on them.
“Hm?” He looked up, still being unable to see from his left eye, but being able to feel the wood countertop from under his unbandaged fingertips.
“Why don’t you wear gloves? You always look cold.” He gave a sheepish smile.
“If I wear gloves, the rest of my hands start sweating.” The man nodded and turned to take someone else’s order.
“Would you like some help?”
“I just...feel jittery, not doing anything for a week.” The bartender tilted his head.
“Hmm...Do you think you could help me wash dishes?” The greenette brightened up.
“Oh and could you cand me those glasses on the bottom shelf?” Izuku nodded and crouched down, pulling the glassware from said shelf, just as the door opened.

“Hey, Grillbs.” It was Sans. Izuku poked his head over the counter.
“Yo.” The skeleton blinked.
“So...What’re ya doing down there?” Izuku could hear the insinuation in the man’s voice and deadpanned.
“Really, Dad?” He stood to full height again and put the seven glasses on the counter.
“Dad?” Grillby looked startled.
“Right. I ended up calling him that when I woke up from my coma.” Sans laughed.
“Yeah. Really startled me outta my bones. I already knew you’d call Frisk ‘Mom’ when you thought I wouldn’t notice.” The teen went a little nervous.
“Yeah...I didn’t want you to feel left out, seeing how you and Frisk are with kids.” The skeleton pat his head.
“No problem, Kiddo. It was our decision to not have kids. So, what were you doing back there?”
“Grillby asked me to grab some glasses from the bottom shelf, when I asked him if he needed help.”
“Ya getting antsy?”
“Yeah.” He moved to the sink, which was off to the side and started washing dishes.
“I was getting anxious not doing anything for a week.” He was done with the dishes in mere minutes, making the elemental smile a little.
“You’re fast. That usually takes me twice as long.” Izuku scratched the back of his head and blushed at the praise.
“I, uh, had to learn to do it fast...due to my situation on the surface.”
“Thank you for the help. Here.” He disappeared into the back and came back with a familiar mug, which made the human smile. The hot chocolate mug he’d been given the first time he came here.
“Thanks, Grillby.” As he took a sip, he missed the color change at the middle of the fire man’s face.

After a little bit, the two went home again. As soon as they hung their jackets up, Izuku felt Sans elbow him.
“You have a crush on Grillby~” He stared at his father-figure.
“C’mon. It’s obvious you like him.” Izuku rolled his eyes and shook his head with a smile.
“You aren’t denying it!”
“Because it isn’t worth it. You’ll find a reason for it to be true, even when it’s not.” Frisk came out of the kitchen.
“What’s happening?”
“Dad is delusional.”
“?” Sans rolled his eyes with a laugh.
“Izuku doesn’t want to admit that he has a crush on Grillbs.” Green eyes deadpanned at him.
“You’re imagining things, Dad.” When the teen turned to help Frisk set the table, Sans used his magic to make a heart with a G and an I appear in the air. The human woman giggled, making Izuku sigh and throw his hand back, a pair of scissors, made of lavender magic, cut through the heart, making them both disappear in whisps.
“Aw c’mon, Kiddo. It’s pretty obvious.” Frisk poked Izuku’s cheeks.
“You’re going pink…” He rolled his eyes, shook his head, and gently pushed her hands away, continuing to help set up the table. The couple looked at each other, a little concerned about the sadness in their adopted son’s eyes.

The next day found Izuku in Waterfall. He spent his time staring at the glowing blue water, zoning out of the world and into his mind. His hand brushed the bandaging over his eye, before he gripped at his hair and let himself fall to sit on his calves for a moment. A soft crackle let him know he wasn’t alone and the warmth let him know who it was.
“Huh? Grillby?” The elemental knelt on one knee, his umbrella closed and hooked on his arm, for when he got to the rainy part of Waterfall.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah...just...I come here to think.” The bartender tipped his head.
“May I ask what you’re thinking about?” Izuku sighed.
“My past...The Surface...I’m just trying to think through things.” A warm hand touched his shoulder, making a single green eye look up. Even if he couldn’t see past the man’s glasses, Izuku could see the understanding and patient look on his face. It made something break behind his irises, even if one was covered. He squeezed his eye shut, as streaks of crystal flooded down his face. The elemental shifted onto both knees and brought the boy in for a hug. The human’s voice was quiet and shivering, as if he hadn’t meant for the man to hear him.
“I’ve been told that I don’t deserve to be happy...I...I don’t understand…” Grillby held him closer, voice barely a candle flame on his tongue.
“You deserve everything.” The greenette’s forehead was against the man’s chest, as his hand came up to the boy’s curls. The older lifted the teen into his arms and walked back the way he came. He knocked on the door of the home at the end of Snowdin Town. Izuku’s home. Frisk opened the door, finding Izuku in Grillby’s arms.
“He fell asleep in Waterfall.” Sans came around the corner.
“You seem sad, Grillbs.”
“He...mumbled, while he was crying...He said that...that he’s been told that he doesn’t deserve to be happy…” Both of the boy’s guardians startled, as Frisk took the teen into her arms. What kind of person would say such a thing to such a kind person? Grillby nodded and backed into the snow again, so that he could get home, leaving the couple with their child. He was their child. And he deserved everything.

Chapter Text

As he stood in the lab, finally out of his bandages, he brushed his fingers over the slightly melted flesh over his eye. A sigh left his mouth, as he went to grab a beaker, so he could mix it with another chemical. Then, he felt a flash of magic in his eye sockets. Looking down to his hands, he heard a voice in his head.
”Who ARE you? And how did you find me?” He couldn’t speak.
”Ah...It seems as you aren’t truly here with me...though your soul is.” Izuku wheezed to get his voice out of his lungs.
“What...Who are you?”
”Hm? I believe it’s customary to give your own name, first.”
”My name is W. D. Gaster, young one.” The greenette’s eyes widened.
“You’re...Dad and Papyrus’ dad…” The voice turned surprised and curious.
”You are my son’s child?”
“H...He and his wife adopted me, wh..when I fell…”
”Hmm...The connection isn’t good for your body, like this. As long as your spectral form stays here, I believe I’ll be able to contact you.”
“Wait. Where is ‘here’?” He could practically hear the man’s smirk.
”In the CORE of course...Only dropped into an alternate dimension, where everything is the same, but there are no monsters. I’ll be talking with you another time, Izuku…” And he was gone.

When the connection was severed, he felt the pressure leave his head.
“Holy shit…” He turned to the adjacent room and rushed through three more doors, skidding behind Sans, who was just taking off his goggles.
“DAD!” The skeleton jumped.
“Shit, Izuku! Ya startled m...e? What’s wrong?” The teenager looked shaken.
“You’re gonna think I’m batshit crazy-”
“What’s wrong?”
“I...I heard your dad.”
“He spoke to me. In my head. He said that he was in the CORE. In a dimension where he’s alone. He said that he could interact with my ‘spectral form’ that was there with him. He said that my mind couldn’t handle supporting him communicating with me. Please! Please believe me!” Sans sat him down in a chair.
“I...don’t know how to respond to something like that. The only way I can tell you didn’t hallucinate that was...your eyes.”
“My eyes?” He was handed a piece of metal, letting him see that the eye that was surrounded by burnt skin was black with a white ring in it. Above his right eye were purple cracks and below his left were the same, only ending at his top lip.
“What the…”
“Your eye and those cracks are exactly like his were, only both of his eyes were like your right and the cracks were in his skull. The purple is the color of his magic.” Izuku looked at his hands, freezing, when there were purple circles on his palms. Sans looked down and saw the same thing, putting his hand to the back of the greenette’s. The markings were just on the surface, but were on both sides.
“This is weird…” Sans stopped and stared at him.
“How are you…”
“You’re speaking in our language. The language Dad, Pap, and me use.”
”I...I am?”
“You are.” Focusing, he switched back to English, rubbing at his throat. The eye and cracks went away, letting him blink and squeeze his eyes shut with a groan.
“That was weird.”

Months of work went by. His sixteenth birthday. Christmas. New Year.

While working in the lab, he closed his eyes and pulled on the feeling of goo and ice.
”Izuku? What are you doing?” He didn’t get a response, as he felt...warm...and…stable? After a few minutes, Izuku fell to his knees, panting. In front of him was a mass that was stabilizing. When it finished, a man was formed. He was a skeleton with a droopy right eye and cracks on his face. He wore a black turtleneck and had holes in his hands, as he stared at Izuku with black eyes that had white rings in them. Izuku felt his head spin.
“You’re back…” The man started signing.
“And stable, too.” The human nearly faceplanted, had it not been for the blue magic that caught his soul and lifted him over and into Gaster’s arms.
“Thank you, Izuku.”
“No problem...I think I exhausted my magic, though.” Gaster chuckled.
“I can take you back to Sans.” He was directed to the secondary lab, just as Alphys turned around. She dropped the, luckily, empty flask in her hand. The shattering glass made the shorter skeleton glance at her, finding her mouth open and her eyes wide with shock, glinting, as if a memory had come back to her.
“Alph?” Then, he heard a familiar chuckle, a distinct language coming from the person’s mouth. He saw signing hands in his mind’s eye to accompany it.
”You’ve grown into a fine young lady, Dr. Alphys.”

Sans stopped what he was doing and turned around, shock in his features. As soon as he saw the face of the man, he hadn’t seen in over one and a half thousand years, he felt his throat go dry.
“D...Dad?” He saw Izuku in Gaster’s arms, as his magic hands signed for him.
“Hello, Sans. It’s been a very long time.” As soon as he set Izuku down, Sans ran at his father, who crouched down to meet his son in a big hug, both in tears and with smiles on their faces. Alphys sat down and held her head, a whisper on her lips.
“S...Sensei…” She felt a hand on her other one.
“It’s ok, Alphys. When he fell into the CORE, he ceased to exist, thus wiping everyone’s memory of him. Well...except Sans and Flowey, seeing as one had a direct magical tie to him and the other is more of an anomaly. Even Papyrus didn’t remember, because he was so young when it all happened.” She noticed his state.
“A-Are you alright?”
“Yeah. Just magic exhaustion. I’ll be fine, as soon as I get some rest. But, I need to make sure Gaster’s actually stable, before I can do that.” He waved over to the skeletons.
“Sorry to interrupt, but I need to make sure your soul’s stable, Gaster!” The taller nodded and came closer, while still holding onto Sans, and produced his soul, passing it over to the teen. The boy looked it over and used CHECK on it to see the man’s stats. He nearly fell off his chair, seeing how much HP the man had, but that had to have been from the war, two thousand years ago.
“Your soul looks like it still needs time to stabilize, but should do so in..a week? Just try not to use too many strenuous magical tasks. Blue magic should be fine, since you don’t need to use much concentration for it. Just don’t overdo it. I’m not sure how your soul would react to teleporting, so I would stay away from that for now.” Gaster nodded and let his soul integrate back in with his magic, chuckling at his son.
“So...When do I get to meet my daughter-in-law?” Sans let out a startled laugh, as Alphys followed.
“I th-think it’s ok if we take the rest of the day off…” Gaster smiled at her, making her go a little pink.
“I-I want to introduce you to m-my wife, too.” He looked a little surprised, before nodding.

Izuku was ok to walk, when they left, leaving a handful of others in charge for now. They made their way backwards, going to Papyrus and Mettaton’s house first. Izuku knocked and Mettaton answered.
“Hello, Darling!”
“Hi, Mettaton.” Sans laughed a little.
“Mettaton. Meet my and Pap’s dad. Dad, this is Mettaton. Pap’s husband.”
“Husband?” The robot went a little embarrassed, before calling into the house.
“Papy, Darling!” They heard a ‘Nyeh?’ from the next room.
“IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG?” Mettaton moved out of the way, letting the taller brother blink at the sight of Gaster, before the pieces fell into place and he ran full pelt at the man.
“DAD!” Not one to be caught off guard too often, the oldest skeleton caught his youngest son.
“You got big, my son.” There were more tears, as Sans tipped his head.
“I’m surprised you remember him, Pap. You were...young.”
“We’re taking him around to everyone, showing them he’s back.” Papyrus smiled wide.
“Undyne? About yea high? Blue skin with fins and gills? Red hair?” Izuku nodded.
“Yes, only she’s as tall or taller than Pap, now.”
“AND CAPTAIN OF THE ROYAL GUARD!” He looked pleasantly surprised.
“I look forward to seeing her again.”

They came to a fish shaped house, where Sans was the one to knock, this time. The red head opened the door, looking like she just woke up from a nap.
“Uh? Alphy? Shouldn’t ya be at work?” The lizard gave a bright smile.
“L-Look behind me.” As soon as the woman noticed Gaster, she was instantly awake, rubbing at her eyes.
“D...Dr. Gaster?”
“Hello, my dear.” Her face fins drooped on her face, as she lost the hard, bad bitch, look on her face. Her face looked more like a child’s, as she stepped out and hugged the man.
“Where did you go? And why are my memories just coming back?”
“I fell into the CORE and ceased to exist on this plane.”
“How did you come back?” The man gave a little smile.
“Izuku saved me.” The woman turned to the teenager.
“How did you…”
“I’m not sure. I think it had something to do with my...accident, about eight months ago.” Her eye widened.
“Maybe…” Gaster blinked.
“I’ll explain after we’re finished letting everyone know you’re alive.” He nodded and put a hand to her face, thumb brushing her eye patch.
“One of the fallen humans took out my eye, before I...killed them.” The skeleton nodded in understanding, before he was ferried away into his old home town. Snowdin. He smiled at the nostalgia and sounds rushing back to him.
“This is where me and Izuku live with my wife.” He opened the door.
“Frisk?” The brunette came around the corner.
“You’re home early, Sans.”
“Well...I’ve got someone you should meet.” He waved the others in and brown eyes went wide. She dropped the towel in her hands at the same time that Gaster’s eyes went wide.
“Sans?” He glanced back to his father and then to his wife.
“Dad...This is my wife, Frisk. Frisk, my dad...W.D. Gaster.” She came closer, giving a small bow.
“Izuku told me he was the first human to fall in a thousand years...How are you…” She looked sheepish.
“I fell a thousand years ago...Being here so long gave me a core and immortality to time.”
“I see…”
“Please come in. I’ll ask Mom and Dad to come over...Oh. I mean the King and Queen.” Gaster stepped inside, along with Alphys and Undyne, Sans and Izuku bringing up the tail end. The eldest skeleton sighed and smiled at the house. His memories were probably coming back strong. Frisk was already on the phone and Sans had teleported away. He came back with a, slightly disoriented, fire elemental, just as his wife got off the phone. Grillby looked dazed.
“Sans…” He saw the skeleton point behind him and turned, face going slack. Gaster smiled gently and waved.
“Hello, my friend.” The shorter practically launched himself at the scientist, who hugged him tight. Izuku rose a brow at Sans.
“Grillbs grew up with me an’ Pap. Dad was like his dad, too.” Green eyes widened in understanding, before nodding. There was a knock at the door and Frisk answered it, showing Toriel and Asgore. She brought them in and they both stalled, upon seeing the ex-scientist. Asgore felt his throat go dry.

“Dr. Gaster?”