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Fragile

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It had been a year since the human child, Frisk, fell into the underground and freed the monster inhabitants from a thousand years of confinement. The child was regarded as a hero, and even made their ambassador to the rest of mankind.

To most monsters, Frisk was an unstoppable force of kindness and determination; someone almost invincible in their eyes. But sometimes…

Even the monsters forgot that Frisk was only human, and that humans were such frail creatures. 


 

It was near the end of autumn in the new “home” of the monsters and the city was brimming with the different shades of red, orange, and brown. It was a modest city that was located near the foot of Mt. Ebbott, and since humans and monsters were slowly learning to accept the other, there weren’t very many humans living in the city. But acceptance didn’t happen overnight, so the monsters weren’t very bothered by the pace. After all, Frisk was proving to be a wonderful ambassador, always sticking up for the monsters whenever humans would belittle them or find reasons to exclude them.

On this day Papyrus, tired of his brother’s abundant laziness and the piles of leaves that littered their lawn, called all of their friends over to have a cleaning party, drinks and food provided by him of course.

Undyne, Alphys, and Frisk were more than happy to oblige with some roars of “I’ll punch the leaves off the lawn faster than the rest of you!!” courtesy of Undyne. Unfortunately, both Toriel and Asgore were too busy to join in, since she had tests to grade and he had to prep his garden for the coming winter. This didn’t deter the tall skeleton at all, and Sans, his interest piqued, decided to join in.

Needless to say… things were going the exact opposite of what he had hoped to accomplish.

“Haha! Take that, you pesky leaves!” Undyne shouted, punching the ground and causing some of the leaves to fly up and scatter at the force before fluttering to the ground once more. Everyone was currently standing outside the brothers’ home, which they had managed to move aboveground along with a good portion of the homes that the rest of the monsters had inhabited underground. Sure, some of the buildings needed adjustments to adapt to the new weather climates and such that the world above ground had, but that hadn‘t been hard to do.

Alphys stood a few feet away, picking up some of the leaves and examining them closely with Frisk right beside her, trying in vain to carry the rake that they were given. She was dressed warmly as opposed to her girlfriend, who was dressed in her leather jacket, T-shirt, jeans, and boots. A nice polka dot scarf and mittens, a white coat, and a pair of black wool pants and snow boots to complete the ensemble, in her book.

“Ooh… this one looks like the symbol that Magic Mew Mew uses in her transformation! Look, Frisk! See?” Frisk, bundled up in a thick blue sweater and coat, hat, pants, scarf, and mittens walked over to see what she was talking about. Staring at it for a moment, the child looked up and nodded, a small smile on their face which quickly turned into a sneeze. Papyrus, from where he was raking the leaves into a pile, glanced over and scowled.

“Undyne! Alphys! Frisk! That is not how you clean up leaves from a front yard! Stop lollygagging around, for I, the great Papyrus, will not stand for his lawn to be dirtied by the monstrosity that is fall leaves!! Nyeh heh heh!” the skeleton shouted, irritated by their behavior. While normally he wouldn’t mind their horseplay, they needed to clean the leaves off the lawn before it was defiled by their leafy-ness. Why weren’t they taking this seriously?!

Sans, from where he was laying on the ground beneath a tree that was near bare, smirked and shook his head. Sure, his brother was a bit of a neat freak and had to have everything a certain way, but it just made him all the more cooler.

“aw, c’mon bro. let them have their fun. after all… autumn is a time where death is golden and beautiful.” the skeleton chuckled, earning a glare from his brother. He turned and opened his mouth to scold his brother on the bad joke, when suddenly there was a shriek and he turned, spotting Frisk as they dove head-first into the pile of leaves he had gathered. Instantly he went into panic mode, since Frisk had completely vanished beneath the large pile of leaves.

“Ah, Frisk!! Where did you go, small human?! Is there some magical portal beneath the leaves that I, the great Papyrus, do not know about?!” he exclaimed, reaching in and searching frantically for the child. But within seconds their head popped up, with some of the red and brown ones tangled in their mop hair and emitting yet another sneeze. This startled Papyrus, who shrieked and fell back with a thump. Alphys and Undyne, who had watched the exchange, came over.

“Frisk, what was that?”

“Yeah, Frisk! Were you trying to tackle the leaves into submission? Is that how you beat them?!” the child shook their head, grinning. Sans, his curiosity piqued, got up and went over to see what was going on.

“then what was it then, kid? a game?” Frisk nodded and got out of the leaf pile, more of the dead foliage sticking to their attire, which Alphys was quick to brush off.

“Uh-huh, it’s a game. You… make a pile of leaves and then jump in. It’s like… falling into dry pillows!” the child explained with a small cough, motioning to the messy pile behind them. Papyrus hummed, stroking his chin. “Hmm… a game, you say?” Frisk nodded and continued with their explanation.

“Yup. Sometimes people even make competitions out of who can make the biggest pile.” they finished and Undyne smirked, excited. Then she quickly grabbed the nearest rake, holding it over her head as if she were about to let out a war cry.

“A game?! Then, let’s make a competition to see who can make the biggest pile of leaves and then tackle it! Whaddya say, Alphys? Think we can take these punks?” the fish woman asked, shooting her girlfriend a smirk and a mischievous wink. Alphys blushed and stuttered, but nodded nevertheless.

“O-of c-course! L-l-let’s d-do it, Undyne!” she smiled, throwing her hands into the air. Papyrus hummed, conflicted. This competition would no doubt scatter more leaves across their lawn, but from what Frisk described, it did sound very fun…

Without further ado he grabbed a rake and followed Undyne’s example, hoisting it over his head.

“Then if it’s a competition Sans, Frisk, and I will see you on the battlefield to determine who is the better leaf-pile builder! Then we shall all jump into the leaves and roll around in joyous merriment! Nyeh heh heh heh!!” Frisk nodded and giggled when Papyrus reached down with his free hand, picking the child up and placing them on his right shoulder. Sans shrugged and nodded, decided to join in on the fun.

“heh, okay, i guess i could join in. but watch out bro, or else you’ll be fall-ing for this game!” he smirked, earning more groans from his brother and Undyne as well as a giggle or two from Frisk. With that the game was on as the group worked furiously to make the biggest piles of leaves that they could, though Frisk would have problems here and there since rakes were too big for them to use properly, along with the soft sneezes and coughs they would emit occasionally.

Of course it also didn’t help that Undyne practically plowed through the leaves in her haste to make the biggest pile and beat Papyrus, which only helped to scatter them and make it even harder to gather them all up into one pile. But, as evening began to approach and the air began to get colder, the group stood proudly in front of two massive piles with the rest of the lawn being completely clean.

“Well, which team wins?” Undyne asked after a few moments of silence, her arms crossed and her boots tapping impatiently against the ground. Alphys shrugged, trying to get a good view from her much smaller height.

“I’m not sure, I can’t see the top of either pile. What do you think, Frisk?” but the child sadly shook their head, unable to give an answer. To them it seemed that both piles were equal in height and size, but didn’t dare say anything or else it would cause yet another competition between Undyne and Papyrus. Said skeleton hummed, stroking his chin.

“It appears that both piles are of the same size. Does that mean… that there is no winner?” He asked, turning to his brother. Sans shook his head, his face plastered in that permanent smile he always seemed to wear.

“nah, it means that we all won. so, i guess that means you guys get to jump in now, right kid?” Frisk nodded happily and coughed before taking his hand, preparing to dive right into the two piles.

“Mm-hm.” but Sans was quick to try and tug his hand out of theirs, but their grip was surprisingly strong for such a small child. He looked down from their joined hands to Frisk’s face, which was set in a childish pout.

“heh heh… hey kid, i don’t exactly do games like this…” but Frisk shook their head, determined.

“Uh-uh, Sans’ gotta jump in, too.” they pouted, not relinquishing their hold on his hand. Then they took Papyrus’, who took Undyne’s while she took Alphys’. The rest of the group nodded, with Papyrus shooting his brother a stern look.

“Yes, Sans! You too must partake in this human game of jumping into leaves, especially after all the work that I, the great Papyrus, have put into them! You must!” Undyne shot him a dirty glare at this, offended.

“Hey we worked on it, too!” Sans watched as the fish woman snatched her hand out of his brother’s and punched him in the shoulder, making him cry out and whimper at the action. After a few moments of deliberation, he sighed and gave in.

“ha ha… okay kid, you win. let’s jump in.” Grinning, Frisk nodded and with that everyone turned their attention back to the piles in front of them and Alphys took a deep breath. “Okay…”

“One!”

“Two!!”

“three.”

“Cannonball!!” and with a loud cry everyone leaped into the piles, scattering the leaves and covering half the lawn with dead foliage once more. Within seconds everyone popped their heads out of the piles and stared at each other, before reducing to shrieks and giggles at the ridiculousness they had just experienced.

But their joy was cut short when Frisk began to cough, loud wheezing and hacking coughs that would not stop.

“Frisk?! What’s wrong, are you okay?!” Alphys panicked, shifting through the leaves so that she could pat their back as they tried to catch their breath. Within seconds the child was pulled out of the pile and the group surrounded them, trying to determine what was making them cough so badly.

“Hey, what’s wrong squirt? Got a leaf stuck in your windpipe? Need me to perform the Heimlich maneuver?!” Undyne demanded, reaching out and ready to dislodge whatever had gotten stuck in their throat, if there was anything. Even Sans began to become uncomfortable as their coughing continued to get worse, and Papyrus was all but a nervous wreck.

“uh, hey, are you all right kid? if you don’t stop coughing, you’ll lose a lung or two for sure.”

“Frisk! Frisk! What has made you hack so harshly?! Did we jump in too soon? Did I do something to make you cough so badly?!” the large skeleton exclaimed, running back and forth in a frantic pattern since he had no idea what to do. But slowly Frisk’s heavy coughing began to die down and within another minute, they were fine if not a bit worn out from their fit. Once they were done Sans sat down and Frisk crawled into his lap, the skeleton beginning to rub their back soothingly when they released another wheeze.

“Geez, what was that about? Come to think of it…” Undyne started, puzzled. “You’ve been coughing and sneezing all day! What gives?”

“Yes, Frisk. Are you okay? Are you perhaps catching a cold, from what the humans call it?” Alphys added, agreeing with her girlfriend’s statement. Frisk shook their head, a little sheepish.

“Mm… nope. Allergies?” they answered, which stumped the group even more. Papyrus was the most confused, and had begun his signature thinking pose to try and figure out what the child had meant.

“Allergies? In fall? This is preposterous, I’ve never heard of humans getting allergies in the fall!” Sans, smirking at the golden opportunity for a pun, patted Frisk’s head.

“well… autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower, after all.” his pun made his brother groan and Frisk give out a hoarse giggle. But his expression went from humorous to serious in a heartbeat and he stared down at the child in his lap, concerned.

“but seriously kid, are you sure you’re okay? want us to take you home?” at this the child shook their head adamantly, not wanting to leave. With a sigh Sans got to his feet and Papyrus reached out, taking the child out of his brother’s arms and placing Frisk on his shoulder once more.

“Uh-huh. ‘Sides… we gotta finish cleaning.” the child answered, wrapping their arms around Papyrus’ neck, earning an uncomfortable glance or two in return. It didn’t take long for the rest of the group to begin cleaning up the foliage and placing them into trash bags, while Frisk continued to sit on Papyrus’ shoulder, since he wouldn’t dare let his dear friend touch anything in fear of them making their “allergies” worse. By the time it was dark, the leaves were all gathered and tucked away into the garbage bags, leaving the lawn sparkling clean. Papyrus, proud of their handiwork, placed his hands on his hips and one foot atop one of the trash bags, striking a pose with a smiling Frisk clapping on his shoulder.

“Finally, it is done! Now we can all dine and go home!” at his words Undyne and Alphys stiffened, sweat beginning to gather at their brows.

“Uh… actually, me and Alphys’ll just head home.”

“Oh, yes! It is pretty late, after all!” Papyrus frowned at their reactions, but didn’t pursue the matter further. Oh well, maybe next time.

“Hmm… I see. Then, no matter! We shall have our meal next time!” this made the two ladies laugh uncomfortably before they went over to give one last goodbye to Frisk. Reaching up and taking the child from Papyrus’ shoulder, Undyne gave them a little noogie as well as a hug.

“Well, see ya later, Frisk!” Alphys nodded and hugged the child when they were placed back on their feet, patting their back affectionately. “Yeah, maybe we can sit down and watch anime tomorrow when you get out of school! Or start carving pumpkins!” Frisk smiled and nodded. Each giving the child one more hug or pat on the head, the two monsters left, leaving the two brothers and Frisk alone on the lawn.

It didn’t take long for Frisk to be escorted home, especially since Papyrus did not wish to expose the child any longer to the frigid air that now ran through the city. Standing at the front door of the home Frisk and Toriel shared (which ended up being her home in the ruins, plus an extra floor for the bedrooms and extra bathrooms) the two brothers knocked on the door.

“knock, knock.” Sans smirked, earning a chuckle from the other side of the door. Papyrus rolled what could be considered his eyes and crossed his arms while Frisk smiled. Great, another knock-knock joke.

“Who’s there?” a familiar voice asked, trying in vain to hide the anticipation in her voice.

“harry.”

“Harry who?”

“harry up, it’s cold out here!” this made Frisk burst into hoarse giggles and Papyrus groaned, having heard that one before. Within seconds Toriel opened the door to let them in, but the brothers weren’t here to stay and chat. After a minute or two of small conversation as well as jokes between Sans and Toriel, with a disgruntled Papyrus huffing in the background, the two brothers turned to leave but not without one more goodbye to Frisk.

“Farewell, human! But do not fret, for I, the great Papyrus, shall meet you tomorrow at Undyne and Alphy’s to watch anime! Then we’ll get to have that glorious dinner that I promised! So please rest and hopefully those pesky allergies will be gone by tomorrow!” the large skeleton promised, giving the child one more hug while Toriel furrowed her eyebrows, concerned. Then Frisk turned to Sans and opened their arms wide, expecting a hug from him. Sans smirked and gave in, hugging the child and ticking them in the ribs, earning shrieks and giggles in return.

“heh heh, see ya kid.” Frisk nodded and went inside while Papyrus left to head home, but before Toriel could follow after the child, Sans stopped her.

“hey, tori.” The large anthromorphic goat stopped in her tracks and turned to him, her expression confused.

“Yes, Sans?”

“has the kid… been coughing and sneezing a lot, lately?” the smaller skeleton asked, his hands stuffed into his pockets and his smile still plastered to his face, but his eyes betrayed him otherwise. Toriel was silent for a moment, then nodded.

“Yes, though Frisk keeps insisting that it’s only allergies. I’ve got them set up for an appointment with the human doctor in the next town for the day after tomorrow, but…” she stated, her brows furrowed in concern. He nodded and turned to leave, his curiosity sated for now.

“all right, see ya, tori. just try and keep the kid bundled up like a nice snuggle bug, okay?” Toriel smiled and nodded, watching as the smaller brother disappeared into the darkness, probably taking one of his shortcuts.

“Of course, Sans. Goodnight.”


 

It was after school the next day and this found the two brothers at the apartment Undyne and Alphys shared, since the latter didn’t want a home that her girlfriend could destroy with ease. (at least with apartments there were neighbors and Undyne was always considerate towards others in that sense) Before Papyrus could beat him, Sans knocked on the door.

“knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?” Oh, poor Alphys.

“adore.”

“Adore who? Sans, is that you?”

“adore is between us. open up!” Papyrus could literally hear Undyne scream at yet another knock knock joke courtesy of his brother. After a few moments of nothing but crashing sounds, Alphys slowly opened the door, appearing a bit sheepish.

“O-oh, hello! You’re just in time, I was just getting the snacks ready for anime night!” Alphys greeted, opening the door so the two brothers could come in. Sans nodded with that casual smile he always wore and walked right in, while Papyrus handed her more snacks that he had brought along with some shonen dvds.

“Of course, it can’t be anime night unless you’re with friends! And I, the expert of friendship, say that it is so! Nyeh heh eh!” he proclaimed, patting his chest merrily. Alphys smiled and nodded before leading him inside, where Undyne was shooting his brother death glares that could set the apartment on fire if they could.

“By the way, have you heard from Toriel or Frisk today? I thought Frisk would’ve been with you.” the former scientist asks while she placed the items on the table, earning confused looks from the brothers.

“Eh? Frisk has yet to appear?! Then let’s call them, surely they must be in some sort of distress if they have yet to arrive!”

“…or they may just be late. like frisk got into trouble at school or somethin’.” ignoring his brother’s comment Papyrus flipped out his red cellphone and dialed Frisk’s phone number, only to have it go immediately to voice mail. This made the skeleton pause and stare at his phone, his brows furrowed.

“Hmm… odd. Frisk usually answers their phone! Let’s dial lady Toriel instead!” this time putting the phone on loudspeaker the group listened at it rang a few times, before someone answered.

“H-hello…?”

“Ah, lady Toriel! Is Frisk at home? They have yet to arrive and we, their awesome friends, were concerned for their wellbeing!” Papyrus asked, grinning. There was a long pause at the other end, which made Sans narrow his eyes.

“Ah… I-I’m sorry but… Frisk isn’t feeling well today. I‘m afraid that they can‘t come over.” this made everyone pause and their eyes widen, surprised.

“WHAT?!”

Chapter Text

Needless to say when Toriel said that Frisk was ill everyone had dropped what they were doing and rushed over to Frisk and Toriel’s house, where Asgore of all people answered the door for them.

“Ah, hello friends.” the former king greeted, his eyes and expression downcast. He moved aside to let everyone through, but held a finger to his lips when he did so.

“Please come in but keep your voices lowered. Frisk needs all the rest they can get.” ushering them into the living room, the group sat down with Asgore and the skeleton brothers taking the couch while Alphys and Undyne sat on chairs. The fish woman had an arm wrapped comfortingly around Alphys’ shoulders while the reptilian hiccupped and sobbed softly, worried to death for their friend.

Everyone was quiet for a few moments, unsure of how to begin without getting loud since Frisk needed peace and quiet, but after a minute it was Undyne who finally broke the uncomfortable silence.

“Your Majesty, how’d Frisk get sick? Is it because we…?” she trailed off, which made Alphys sniffle and wipe at her eyes. This question made Sans visibly flinch, feeling something throb deep inside his chest. Which was weird, since he didn’t have any organs.

Asgore shook his head solemnly, handing the fish woman a box of tissues for Alphys to use.

“No, from what the human doctor said, Frisk had been showing signs for awhile. What we first thought was an allergic reaction or “hay fever” of some kind was actually… well, yes.” Asgore explained, his face growing darker the more he talked. Papyrus frowned from where he sat next to the massive goat, twiddling his fingers anxiously.

“King Asgore… may we see Frisk? I cannot help but feel worried for my dear friend, and maybe my aura of coolness with help the human get better faster!” he asked, patting his chest. Asgore smiled uncertainly but nodded, not wanting to deny the group a visit.

“Asgore is just fine, and of course. But remember, keep your voices lowered and try not to bounce around too much.” with that everyone got to their feet and followed the former king up the stairs, anxious to see their human friend. About halfway up the stairway Undyne tapped his shoulder, something still bothering her.

“Uh, no offense Your Majesty, but… why are you here? Doesn’t Toriel still, y’know, hate your guts?” Asgore chuckled sheepishly at her question and scratched the back of his head, somewhat embarrassed.

“Ha ha, well, yes but… well, when I heard little Frisk had became ill this morning… I couldn’t stop myself from coming over.” he answered, a small blush on his cheeks. The rest of the group aside from Papyrus nodded in agreement, though not without some suspicions here and there. Sans remained quiet as they stepped into the hallway and walked to Frisk’s room, where they could see that the door had been left ajar. Placing a finger to his lips Asgore slowly pushed the door open and stuck his head inside, letting the occupants inside know of his presence.

“Tori, Frisk’s friends came over to see them. Is it all right if they came in?” he asked, his broad shoulders and stocky build preventing the others from peeking into the room. They heard a soft reply from inside, probably a “yes” and Asgore stepped aside to let them through.

Inside the room Toriel sat next to a small bed piled high with blue and purple blankets- Frisk’s favorite colors- while she placed a cold compress on the child’s forehead. She looked up when everyone came into the room and gave them a small, sad smile.

“Oh… good evening, everyone.” she greeted softly, before turning back to the child tucked in bed and stroking their hair softly. The rest of the group quickly crowded around the bed and stared down, surprised at what they saw. Frisk’s cheeks were flushed with fever and they shivered uncontrollably, their face set in a pained grimace. A set of antibiotics, tissues, and a thermometer were placed at their bedside, signaling just how sick the child really was. Sans stared at the sleeping child for a moment, his expression stoic, then turned to Toriel.

“what happened?” Toriel took a deep breath and sighed, and that’s when Sans noticed how red her eyes were.

“Well… I took your advice and made sure that Frisk was bundled up for the night and even had them take some medicine. But when I got up early this morning and went to wake Frisk for breakfast…” her body shuddered for a moment, her control slipping, but she took a deep breath and continued.

“Frisk… was as you see them now. Terrified, I called for Asgore and we rushed Frisk to the nearest human hospital.” this surprised Sans, since the closest human hospital was almost two hours away. Frisk moaned in their sleep and began to cough, making Toriel pause and tend to the child while the rest watched on, once again feeling helpless. Once the child’s coughing had calmed down and they were comfortable, Toriel turned her attention back to them.

“Anyways… we rushed them to the hospital and the doctors there told us that Frisk had caught pneumonia. Thankfully, Frisk didn’t need to be hospitalized and we were allowed to take them home, but we need to keep a careful eye on them until they get better.” she finished, sighing softly in relief. The rest of the group sighed softly at this as well, glad that at least Frisk didn’t need to stay at the hospital. But Papyrus was quick to speak up, eager to learn as much about this “pneumonia” as possible.

“But lady Toriel, how long will it take for Frisk to get better? And… could they possibly… die from this?!” he asked, instantly setting everyone on edge at his words. Monsters weren’t known to get sick like humans did, aside from maybe a simple cold. So serious illnesses and diseases were alien to them.

“Well,” Toriel started, pondering. “The doctor said that it could take up to two weeks for Frisk to get better, that is if they take their medicine like they’re supposed to and stay inside. As for dying… then…” she began to tremble at this, and Asgore was quick to intervene.

“Sadly… if Frisk does not overcome this, then yes, they could die.” everyone was silent for a few moments before Undyne growled, clenching her fists.

“Well Frisk isn’t weak and they will get better! Even if I have to beat the pneumonia right outta them!” she exclaimed, shaking her fist. But Alphys was quick to latch on to said fist and shake her head frantically, scared out of her wits.

“W-wait! I-I don’t think that’ll help!” but Papyrus joined in and pumped his fist as well, placing his other hand over his chest.

“Yes, I too shall help Frisk beat this pneumonia into submission! Even if I have to use all the strength in my body to do so!” Sans smiled at his brother’s proclamation and walked over to Frisk’s bedside, reaching out and running his bony fingers through the child’s soft hair.

“don’t worry, little buddy. we’re all here for ya.” Toriel smiled at their words, happy that Frisk had such wonderful friends while Asgore shushed them, causing Undyne and Papyrus to squeak and cover their mouths in abash.

“Very well. We’ll help Frisk get through this together.” 


 

It had been almost a week since Frisk came down with pneumonia and each day the group of monsters would come over and help Toriel care for Frisk. It became an unspoken rule that they were to remain quiet and not cause a ruckus in the house, even if Frisk was awake. After all, too much stimulus wouldn’t help them get better.

Of course at times Papyrus wanted to throw his brother clear out the window, since the smaller skeleton would constantly crack illness-related jokes and puns all in an effort to get Frisk to smile. Of course the jokes worked and Frisk would quietly laugh at all the jokes, much to his joy.

Papyrus however brought over every comic book, puzzle, and DVD he owned, making sure to give Frisk as much entertainment as he could, since the child was on strict bed-rest unless they needed to go to the bathroom or to go downstairs and sit on the couch.

Undyne and Alphys too brought over DVDs, but sadly they were strictly anime ones. Alphys also brought with her every illness-related book from the nearby libraries and would do research while Undyne told the child stories of all the things she accomplished while she was head of the royal guard. (which Papyrus also eagerly listened to, Sans noted.)

The former King Asgore and queen Toriel would each take turns preparing meals and refreshments not just for Frisk but their guests too, and the smaller skeleton noted how the air between them began to soften, much to his amusement. Because seriously, the air between them used to be so cold that it could turn Mettaton into an iceblock.

Speaking of Mettaton… said robot had dropped in two days after Frisk had come down with pneumonia, showering the child with get-well gifts and flowers sent to him by his fans, who had heard of Frisk’s condition via his talk show. This was surprising, since he was supposed to be on tour, but the child appreciated the gifts and thanked the robot accordingly. (not to mention that Papyrus practically fangirled the second he saw the robot)

It was now day seven of Frisk’s sentence to strict bed-rest, and it was clear that the child was becoming restless despite being sick.

“Now Frisk, I need you to stay in bed. The human doctors said that while you’re getting better, you need to rest because your condition could get worse.” Toriel scolded when she caught the child trying to sneak out of bed while the others watched anime, too engrossed in the television that they didn’t notice the child’s sneaky getaway. But Frisk pouted and pointed outside, where snow had begun to fall and cover the city in a blanket of white.

“Snow…” Sans, who had scooped the child up and placed them in his lap- provided with a blanket wrapped securely around them of course- patted their head and smiled.

“aw, don’t worry little buddy. once you’re better we can all go outside and play in the snow. after all, we don’t want you turnin’ into a frisk-icle, do we?” at this Papyrus screamed, grabbing the sides of his head.

“Sans, that’s enough! No more jokes, I beg of you!!” he exclaimed, only to have the others shush and glare at him. But Frisk, kind Frisk, simply smiled and nodded reluctantly before curling up on Sans’ lap. Toriel smiled approvingly at this and stepped out to help Asgore make more tea while the rest of the group settled back down to watch the rest of the anime.

Another thing that Sans had noticed in the past week was how clingy Frisk had gotten with him. The child always wanted the smaller skeleton with them, even though all the skeleton could do was crack jokes. He couldn’t tell stories like Papyrus or Undyne, and certainly couldn’t entertain them with anime and cartoons like Alphys. Hell he couldn’t even give them the parental love and affection that Asgore and Toriel could! But despite all that it was Sans’ lap that Frisk always sat on, it was Sans who Frisk always wanted there even when his brother couldn’t be. To be honest… it made Sans happy.

But for some reason though, tonight Frisk didn’t want Sans to leave.

“aw, i’m sorry kid, but i gotta go. me and bro have to make dinner and stuff, but we’ll be back tomorrow i promise.” but Frisk shook their head, refusing to let go of his jacket. It was definitely late into the evening now, and since Alphys, Asgore, and Undyne were staying the night, there was no place for the brothers to sleep. So with some reluctance on Papyrus’ part, the two brothers decided to head home and get some things done before coming back in the morning. But apparently, Frisk wasn’t having any of it.

“No, stay Sans. Please?” the child asked hoarsely, which prompted Toriel to hand the child a glass of water. But they refused and instead tightened their hold on the skeleton’s favorite blue jacket. But Sans was quick to unlatch the child off his clothes and instead ruffled their hair.

“how about this? me and papyrus will come over and spend the night tomorrow night, deal?” Frisk’s frown grew deeper, but before they could protest, Toriel stepped in.

“Frisk, Sans and Papyrus both have things they need to attend to at home. Don’t worry dear, they’ll be back tomorrow.” Toriel soothed, tucking the child back into bed. Shooting the former queen a grateful look, Sans walked out of the room and headed downstairs to wait for his brother, who would no doubt want to give a longer goodbye. Undyne and Alphys, having watched the exchange, went over to Frisk’s bedside instantly.

“Yeah, squirt! You’ve got me and Alphys, and we’ll make sure you have the most awesome sleepover ever! Right, Alphys?” the reptilian nodded, holding out her entire collection of mangas, anime DVDs, and magazines that she had brought over from their apartment.

“Yeah! We can watch Sailor Moon, Magical Mew Mew, Clannad…” she gushed, listing off all the animes they had planned to watch. Frisk nodded uncertainly and Papyrus knelt down to give the child one more hug before he left with his brother.

“Goodnight, human, and I hope you have a wonderful time watching anime with Undyne and Alphys. For now, farewell!” with that he got up and left, with Frisk staring forlornly at the door until Undyne and Alphys averted their attention to the TV where the first episode of Sailor Moon was playing. 


 

The two brothers were surprisingly quiet as they made the trek back to their small home. The snow was starting to fall a little bit harder now, and from what the weatherman had stated earlier that day, there was to be a blizzard in the next day or so. Hopefully, Frisk would get better by then.

“Sans… I’m worried.” Papyrus stated suddenly, stopping to stare at the snow while it fell upon them. Sans blinked at the statement, surprised. What had brought all this on?

“huh? why’s that?”

“Well… humans can die from this pneumonia, yes? And Frisk is so small… I‘m not sure. I just have a bad feeling…” Sans was quiet, his permanent smile still stretched out on his face, but his eyes betrayed otherwise. After a few moments he shrugged his shoulders and sighed, placing a comforting hand on his brother’s knee.

“hey, don’t sweat it. frisk is a strong and determined little tyke. they’ll be okay.” Papyrus smiled at his words and continued walking, with his brother trailing close behind. But despite his reassuring words, Sans felt a dark feeling at his core that nagged at him.

Would Frisk really be all right?


 

It had been some time, perhaps two or three hours, since the brothers had left to go home.

Frisk was laying in bed, having woken up from a light nap, and stared at the ceiling of their bedroom listlessly. Alphys and Undyne were gone- probably went downstairs after Frisk had drifted off to sleep when they got to the part where the group met Sailor Jupiter- and were no doubt talking with Toriel and Asgore.

And if they had to be honest with themselves… they felt terrible. Their chest hurt, their throat hurt, they felt feverish but still cold, and a plethora of other uncomfortable things thanks to their pneumonia. And what was worse… was that they were scared. No, downright terrified. They hated being sick, they really did.

And what was worse than that… was that they were having those dreams again. The dreams where they, under the control of someone sinister, killed each monster that came across their path. Frisk knew that they had done no such thing, but these dreams felt so real, as if they really had turned into a genocidal maniac and ripped apart everything that was in their way.

Toriel, Papyrus, Undyne, Mettaton… they all had fallen by their hands. Even Sans wasn’t spared, and with a bright blue gleam in his left eye, had confronted the person who was no longer Frisk but someone else.

Toriel had tried so many times in the beginning to comfort Frisk and tell them that those were dreams and nothing more, that it wasn’t real. But they felt so real, and especially after a bad episode, they had to plead for Toriel to call over whoever’s death had occurred in the dream so that Frisk could see for themselves that their friend was alive and well.

This time of course- which really had been all week since the day that they first got sick- was Sans. Frisk could see the knife in their hand if they closed their eyes- could see Sans doubled over, what appeared to be blood spilling out from his wounds. Out of all the deaths, his and his brother’s had been the most brutal and it crushed Frisk. It was one of the reasons Frisk had been so clingy with the smaller skeleton, and the child feared that if they were to look away for even one second, then Sans would be…

With a start they sat up, sweat dripping down their temples and their body shivering uncontrollably from more than just the chills. Getting out of bed, not without a stagger or two, they stumbled over to their dresser and began pulling out some clothes. Their thickest sweater, pants, and socks were pulled out and switched with the pajamas they currently wore.

Once that was done they crept downstairs, trying to keep the dizziness and light-headedness they felt under control and staggered to the coat rack. Grabbing their scarf, mittens, and hat they then turned and slipped on their snow boots since it was too cold for sneakers. With that out of the way they stood up and opened the door, instantly feeling the sharp cold of the now winter air outside. Giving the inside of the house one more glance to make sure no one had noticed anything, Frisk stepped outside.


 

It was definitely past ten o’ clock now at the house of Papyrus and Sans, but for some reason, neither brother could will themselves to go to bed.

Instead Sans sat on the couch and watched one of Mettaton’s night specials while Papyrus worked to the bone- literally- to get the kitchen sparkling clean. They had remained quiet since they had gotten home, with only a few conversations exchanged between the two here and there. What was worse was that the weather outside had turned harsh as the wind rattled the windows and howled- nothing they had ever experienced before back in Snowdin. After a few more minutes of furious scrubbing Papyrus gave a cry and marched out of the kitchen, surprising his brother at the sudden noise.

“Sans, I apologize but I can’t take it anymore! I’m going to go back to Lady Toriel’s and keep a careful eye on Frisk!” he exclaimed, much to Sans’ confusion. What had brought all this on?

“huh? why’s that, bro?” he questioned, using the remote to lower the volume on the television before turning back to his much taller brother. Papyrus hummed, placing a finger to his chin while a worried look graced his skeletal features.

“Because… because I can’t shake that awful feeling away! And I, the great Papyrus, will not stand this any longer! I will go and see for myself that Frisk is fine and then as their dearest friend help and care for them until they get better! Nyeh heh heh!” the skeleton proclaimed, pumping his left fist into the air while patting his chest with his other hand. Sans smiled at his brother’s determination and nodded.

“okay, bro. go and pack what you need for a sleepover for however long you’re gonna stay. but don’t get cold feet, okay?” this made him groan and nod before going upstairs to pack whatever he needed to. Sans then turned his attention back on the tv and continued to watch it, even as his brother was preparing to leave. After some time the taller skeleton plodded down the stairs and to the front door, taking a chance to turn and let his brother know that he was leaving.

“All right Sans, I’m off! Try to keep the snow from piling up and PLEASE pick up your dirty socks off the floor in your room! They’re starting to reek!” Sans smirked and gave his brother a thumbs up, earning a groan in return, and with that Papyrus stepped out into the freezing cold and turbulent wind and snow, locking the door behind him. Feeling some of the flakes of snow float over and land on the top of his skull, Sans rubbed the quickly melting ice off with his sleeve and continued watching his show, unaware of the horrible events that were about to take place.

Chapter Text

Papyrus ran merrily through the raging snowstorm as it continued to bury everything with white all around him, completely unaffected by the cold wind and ice while he hummed a merry little tune. Heck the wind seemed to even help him along, for he found himself at Toriel’s house quicker than normal, which pleased him greatly. Without even bothering to knock he barged in, startling Alphys who was just coming back from using the bathroom.

“Ah, Alphys! How is-”

“Aaah, a snow burglar!!” the yellow reptilian screamed, jumping back in fright. Papyrus blinked at her words, instantly on the offensive while his head turned this way and that, searching for this supposed “snow burglar”.

“Eh?! A snow burglar?! Where?!” at this Undyne, Toriel, and Asgore wandered into the entry hall, wondering what all the noise was about. What they saw was a towering creature covered head to toe with snow and a frightened Alphys standing just a few feet away. Needless to say, Undyne did not take this lightly.

“All right, you punk! Tryin’ to steal from Toriel’s house, are ya?! Well now you’re dealing with me!!” and with a loud battle cry, the fish woman launched herself at the “burglar,” sending them both to the ground. Papyrus cried out at the force, and waved his hands frantically, now realizing that they thought that HE was the burglar.

“U-Undyne, wait! It’s me, Papyrus! The great Papyrus!!” Toriel and Asgore blinked at the scene, then rushed over to pry Undyne off of what was of course, just Papyrus covered with a ridiculous amount of snow. While Asogre held back Undyne and tried to calm her down, Toriel went into the next room and came back with a few towels for Papyrus to dry himself off with.

“Papyrus, dear, what on earth happened? Why are you here this late at night?” Toriel asked while she helped the poor skeleton wipe himself dry with the towels. Undyne nodded and crossed her arms, an embarrassed blush clearly present on her face.

“Yeah, ya idiot! Haven’t you heard of knocking?!” the skeleton pouted at the insinuation, placing his hands on his hips.

“Of course I, the great Papyrus, do! But overcome with my need to care for the human, I opted not to knock since my knocks are so loud that they can rouse even the sleepiest of monsters from their slumber!” he exclaimed, patting his chest. At this Asgore blinked, confused.

“So… you’re here because you wanted to stay with Frisk?” the skeleton nodded again and, without missing a beat, began up the stairs with surprising speed.

“Yes, I have! Now I must go and check and see if the human is all right, and perhaps tuck them in and make sure that they have the best sleep ever despite their illness! For I am the best friend ever!” the others instantly freaked at this and ran after him, trying in vain to stop him from waking Frisk up. After all Papyrus wasn’t the… quietest of monsters.

“Hey, ya doofus! Stop!”

“P-P-Papyrus, wait! Frisk is sleeping!”

“Papyrus, dear, please come back downstairs!”

“Papyrus, please don’t go so fast!” the others cried, tripping over the stairs and each other as they tried in vain to stop the boisterous monster. But the skeleton, opting not to listen to their pleas, ran up and threw open the door to Frisk’s bedroom, a wide smile clear on his face.

“Frisk, are you well? For I, your best friend Papyrus, am here to-” whatever he was going to say next died on his throat as he stared into the room, flabbergasted. The others quickly came up from behind him and tried to pull him away from the room, fearing that he would wake Frisk, when they too happened to glance inside the room. What they saw made them pale instantly.

“…Frisk?” Alphys asked after a moment, stepping into the room. The bed was empty and a pair of pajamas, Frisk’s favorite pair, lay on the floor by the dresser. Undyne quickly rushed over and began ripping the sheets off the bed in hopes that the child was just simply hiding from them while the others dashed into the room.

“Hey, punk, where are ya?! T-this isn’t funny, ya hear me!” the fish woman roared, checking under the bed for a good measure. Toriel, now in a complete state of panic, rushed over to the child’s wardrobe and threw the doors open, praying that they were simply playing a game of hide-and-seek. But sadly they were nowhere to be found, making her panic even more.

“Frisk?! Dear, where are you?! Please, answer me!” she cried, quickly rushing out of the room to check the rest of the house. The others were quick to follow her, especially Papyrus, and they began checking every room for any sign of the small child. But sadly, after about twenty minutes of frantic searching, everyone was gathered in the main hallway of the house where the front door was located with still no clue to where Frisk could be. Alphys and Toriel were in tears, and Undyne and Asgore tried in vain to comfort them.

“Where… where could F-Frisk have gone? They’re still so sick…” Toriel sobbed, burying her face into her hands. Asgore patted his ex on the shoulder at her cries, for once thankful that she wasn’t shrugging him off or shooting him dirty looks.

“I… I’m not sure, Tori. But they must be here somewhere, I’m sure.” he answered, his voice soft. From the corner of her eye Alphys noticed that the coat rack by the door appeared more barren than before, especially since only Toriel’s favorite purple trench coat adorned it. This caused her to gasp and her eyes dart to the door, feeling her heart drop in her chest.

“No…” the others watched her dart over to the coat rack, noticing a small pair of slippers that were tossed haphazardly underneath it. Papyrus blinked at her reaction and cocked his head to the side, confused.

“Alphys?”

“No… c-could F-frisk have… gone outside?” time seemed to stop as everyone stared at the coat rack and then the door, paling considerably at the possibility that Frisk had gone outside. For what reason, they hadn’t a clue.

“N-no way, y-you’re kidding right? But the kid’s still so sick! They shouldn’t even be anywhere near outside!” Undyne exclaimed, her fists clenched tightly. But Toriel, without a moment’s hesitation, turned to Papyrus.

“Papyrus, please call Sans! Tell him that Frisk is missing and that we need his help! Hurry!” Papyrus, snapping out of his shock-induced daze, nodded frantically and without further delay whipped out his cellphone. While all this was going on everyone slipped into their coats and boots, ready to brave the storm and hopefully find the child before it was too late.

“I’m on it, Lady Toriel!”


 

 

“It’s… so cold…” Frisk thought as they trudged through the snow, finding it harder and harder to move with each second that passed. It had been at least twenty, maybe thirty minutes since they left the house, ten times longer then the trip should’ve been. But the snowstorm made it incredibly hard for the child to walk and even see where they were going, causing them to stop a few times and wheeze pitifully for much-needed air. At some point they had thought that they faintly heard a familiar jovial hum- Papyrus’ usual hum- and turned to see if he was there. But the snow and wind made impossible to tell and the child simply assumed that it was their mind playing tricks on them, and continued on.

This was stupid, they knew. This possibly couldn’t end well. But still, the thought of Sans being gone… they couldn’t bear it. They had to find him and see for sure that the dream didn’t come true, and had never happened in the first place. Either way, they were too gone into their illness-induced haze to care.

After a few more steps, they felt their knees give out and they fell, slumping against a nearby tree. The snowstorm continued to rage and roar, covering the child with more cold and snow, and naively they curled up, trying to preserve what little warmth they could. But it was no use and slowly, everything began to blur around them.

“H-help…” Frisk pleaded softly, their voice almost completely drowned out by the howling wind.

“H-help… me… someone…”


 

The sudden ringing of his cellphone startled Sans, who had been taking a light nap since there was nothing of note on the television. Pulling his phone out of his shorts pocket he glanced at the caller ID, not surprised to see that it was his brother who was calling him. He probably forgot something no doubt, and wanted Sans to bring whatever it was over to him.

Flipping the phone open, he brought it up so that he could hear what his brother had to say.

“yo, papyrus, what’s up? forgot something?” Sans asked, a small smirk on his face. But he was surprised to hear frantic shouting in the background instead of his brother answering him, and if he had hair and eyebrows, they would be stretched up to his hairline.

“Hey Papyrus, did you get your stupid brother yet?!”

“Oh god… oh god no…!”

“It’s okay Tori, Alphys, we’ll find them!”

“Sans, Sans are you there?!” his brother exclaimed, causing the smaller skeleton to hold a few inches away due to how loud he was.

“whoa, what’s up? what happened, bro?” Sans asked, now starting to get nervous. Did… did something happen to Frisk?

“Oh Sans, it’s just awful! Just awful! Frisk has disappeared, and we think they went outside! Their coat and scarf is missing from the coat rack, and we can’t find them anywhere in the house!” his brother exclaimed, clearly in tears from the sound of his voice. Sans instantly stiffened at this and leapt to his feet, his eyes wide. Frisk was gone?

“wha-?!” without warning he heard the phone being snatched away from his brother, and this time Undyne’s voice answered him.

“Hey, you lazy skeleton! Frisk is missing and we need YOU to help us find them! So get your lazy butt over here, now, before it’s too late!” with that the phone was disconnected, leaving Sans to stand there with his cellphone still in hand. He stared at the small device for one, maybe two minutes until he snapped out of his daze and scrambled to turn off the tv. Once that was done he grabbed his favorite jacket and a pair of snow boots, slipping them on before heading to the door, his mind frantic.

“oh c’mon kiddo. what were you thinking?!” the skeleton thought when he opened the door and darted outside, slamming it shut behind him. He quickly trudged through the snow, finding it hard since it had piled up so much, and ran in the direction of Toriel’s house.

“hey, frisk! you there, kiddo? yell if you can hear me!” Sans called over the roar of the wind, hoping that the child was somewhere nearby. But only the howling of the wind answered him and he kept going, continuing to call out for his young friend.

“frisk, c’mon, this isn’t funny anymore! i’m all up for a good joke, but this is going too far!” he continued to call, his hand raised to his mouth so that his calls could echo out. At some point he had just happened to pass by a group of trees, ones that led to the park, when he happened to sense a familiar presence. His left eye beginning to gleam a cobalt blue the skeleton turned, spotting a small mass of snow that didn’t look quite like the other piles that were gathered under the trees. Feeling something- his heart maybe?- drop in his chest he instantly ran over and began to dig through the snow.

“oh man please, please don’t let it be frisk. please!” he fervently prayed as he frantically dug, only to spot a familiar tuff of brown hair and a poofball hat seconds later. Crying out, he dug more and after another minute pulled the child out of the snow, their skin an ashen color and barely breathing.

“frisk! frisk! hey, wake up!” Sans cried, shaking the child’s shoulders in hopes for a response, any response! But he only got silence in return, and with a quick muttering of a curse, he slipped off his jacket and wrapped it around the shivering child, lifting them into his arms. Cradling them in one arm, which was a feat in and of itself, the skeleton fished his cellphone from his shorts pocket and speed-dialed his brother, praying that he would pick up. Thankfully, he did.

“Sans? Sans, where are you? I-”

“look bro, i found frisk but the kid’s in pretty bad shape. get tori and the others to her house and i’ll meet you guys there.” he could barely hear his brother splutter over the sound of the wind, but at the moment he didn’t care.

“Y-you found Frisk! O-of course, I, the great Papyrus, will get everyone and meet you at the house ASAP!” he sighed in relief and tucked the phone into his pocket, then adjusted his hold on the child so that he was cradling them in his arms. Staggering slightly from the weight Sans began for the house, using his quickest short cut so that he could get there in half the time and not have the child exposed to the harsh elements any further.

Some point during his frantic run, he felt Frisk stir in his arms, the child opening their eyes blearily. They knew that they were being carried and could smell the familiar scent of grease and ketchup, and it only took them a second to realize who was carrying them.

“S… sans…?”

“h-hey kiddo. don’t worry, you’ll be home soon. just curl up and hang tight, okay? don’t want you to turn into a human popsicle, do we?” Sans stammered, shooting Frisk his permanent fake-smile. The child nodded deliriously and smiled, nuzzling into his clavicle. Even though they were very cold and having a hard time staying awake, they knew they were safe now.

“Mm… okay…” feeling the child drift off again Sans gave a shaky sigh, pushing himself onwards.

When he got close enough, he could see his brother and the others standing at the front door, waiting anxiously for him no doubt. When they did finally catch sight of him Toriel and his brother cried out, rushing over to him.

“Frisk!!”

“Sans, oh thank goodness!!” Papyrus cried, wrapping his arms around his brother and Frisk and squeezing tight. But Sans quickly pushed him away and held the child out to Toriel, his expression devoid of his near-permanent smile and any and all humor.

“tori, get frisk inside, now. and call a doctor while you’re at it, the poor kid’s in really bad shape.” he stated, a tinge of blue flaring in his left eye. Toriel, her eyes filled with unshed tears, nodded and took the child from his arms, quickly rushing them inside. Everyone was quick to follow suit, all except for Sans and his brother, who remained outside while the storm continued on. Turning to his brother, Papyrus gave him a thumbs up.

“Well done, Sans! Thanks to you now Frisk will be all right! What a wonderful brother, you are!” he cheered, though his words did nothing to comfort his brother. Instead his brother lowered his head and slumped his shoulders, his body beginning to tremble.

“bro… i… don’t think frisk’s gonna be okay.” 


 

Sans watched solemnly from a nearby chair as the human doctor examined Frisk, who looked no better than before. He could hear the man make dissatisfied clicking noises and other sounds under his breath, and narrowed his eyes when the man shook his head. He was a thin, balding man with thick glasses and a long, skinny nose. He had a very stifling air around him, and the first thing Sans thought when he saw him was that he looked too serious to laugh at a good joke.

Aside from the monster hospital, there was a small clinic specially for humans, and the man, Dr. Ainsworth, was the only human doctor in town. This made the situation more dire because small clinics like his didn’t have everything that very sick children needed, and the blizzard was still raging, meaning that trying to take Frisk to the next town over would be a death sentence. Hell they were even lucky that he had braved the blizzard (in a car no less) to come and help the poor child.

Thankfully, what the doctor did have was a small breathing machine and more antibiotics, and they watched as he slipped the breathing mask over Frisk’s nose and mouth and adjusted the machine accordingly so that the child could get all the air they needed. Once that was done he turned to where Toriel and Asgore were standing nearby, since everyone else had to be forced to stand in the hallway or else the room would be too crowded, though Sans refused to remove himself from the room and instead sat at Frisk‘s desk. But this didn’t stop the rest of them from keeping the door open, so they too could hear the verdict.

After a few moments, the doctor heaved a heavy sigh.

“Well, after careful examination all I can tell you is that you’re lucky to have found the child when you did. If they were left out there for another twenty, maybe thirty minutes… well, they wouldn’t be here right now.” this made Alphys sob and cling to Undyne, who patted her back comfortingly with a dark scowl on her face. Sans clenched his hands tightly while Papyrus sniffled, trying his best to not break down but ultimately failing as the tears fell down his cheekbones in rivulets.

Surprisingly, Toriel and Asgore had remained silent at this news, but after a moment met the doctor’s scrutinizing gaze with the eyes of that of a pleading parent.

“Doctor… will Frisk be okay, then?” Asgore asked, placing his hand on Toriel’s shoulder. The doctor narrowed his eyes and huffed.

“Of course not. Just because they didn’t die out there doesn’t mean that they’ll be okay. The child’s pneumonia has now gotten more severe thanks to that, and now unless they make it through the night their chances at surviving this are ten percent at best.” the doctor scolded, shooting the two the dirtiest look Sans had ever seen. This made Toriel gasp and hold her hands to her lips, her eyes filling with tears, and Asgore widen his own eyes considerably. Sans didn’t even want to turn around when he heard more sobs coming from the doorway, mostly from his brother and Alphys.

“What were you thinking, keeping the child from seeking medical help for so long? What saddens me is that all of this could’ve been prevented if you two had done the sensible thing and gotten the child help when they were showing signs of being ill!” the doctor continued, and this hurt Toriel, who began to quietly sob into her hands with Asgore patting her back sympathetically all the while. Sans couldn’t even began to comprehend what pain the two were going through, since they had lost two children before. To lose little Frisk…

“Hey, don’t blame his Majesty and Toriel! We didn’t know that Frisk was sick, we thought they just had allergies!” Undyne exclaimed angrily, ready to walk over and punch the doctor’s lights out. But the man simply glared at her, undaunted.

“Well obviously, this child should’ve been placed in an orphanage instead of into the care of monsters who have no idea how to care for a human child! I-” whatever he was going to say next was cut off when Sans jumped off his chair and approached the man, his left eye beginning to gleam brightly.

“hey, buddy. i think it’s about time you went home, unless…” his eye began to glow brighter, and the man could’ve sworn he saw massive skeletal heads, that clearly weren’t human, hovering behind the small skeleton while said skeleton had a sadistic smirk on his face. “you’re itching to have a bad time.”

The man paled considerably at the threat and nodded, turning to Asgore and Toriel but not meeting their eyes.

“I’ll… be back tomorrow. The next twenty-four hours are critical, so the child must have around-the-clock care if they’re to make it.” without another word he walked out of the room, brushing past the group in the hallway before making his way down the stairs and disappearing. They waited until they could hear the door slam shut before Toriel broke down, sobbing into her hands tenfold.

“Oh god… Frisk…!” she sobbed, falling to her knees. Asgore knelt right beside her and wrapped his arms around her tightly, fighting back his own at the realization that unless something was done, they were going to lose Frisk.

From the doorway Alphys clung to Undyne and cried out while her girlfriend held her in return, unable to fight back her own tears as they cascaded down her cheeks. Papyrus was quick to join in and held the two while he sobbed and blubbered loudly, trembling so badly that his bones were rattling.

Even Sans had a hard time keeping it together as his shoulders trembled and he clenched his hands tightly, trying to hold back his own tears.

“…mommy…?” at this everyone stopped, looking over to see Frisk staring at them blearily, seemingly in a daze. Toriel quickly rushed over and took the child’s hand into her large paws, brushing their sweaty bangs back.

“Frisk, what is it, my child?” she questioned, trying to keep herself calm and composed so that the child wouldn’t worry. But Frisk frowned, staring into their mother’s face, before taking one of their hands out of hers and placing it on her cheek, wiping away some of her tears.

“Mommy… don’t… cry. I’ll… be okay… see? I’ll… be okay.” they wheezed softly, weakly smiling in an effort to placate their adoptive mother, father, and friends. Then they held up that fist in a small pump, similar to the ones Papyrus and Undyne did whenever they had achieved victory in whatever activity they participated in.

Toriel smiled at this and nodded, feeling some hope blossom inside her chest. Despite being eight, Frisk had been through more than any child their age should ever have to go through, and had become stronger because of it. Placing a small kiss on their forehead, the monster got to her feet and faced the other occupants in the room, feeling a spark of determination flare inside her chest. If Frisk was determined to get through this, then so would she.

“Everyone, like the doctor said, if we don’t work together than we can’t help Frisk get through this. So, prepare for a long night, because they won’t face this battle alone.” Papyrus, though he still had tears on his bony cheeks, nodded and patted his chest with a fist.

“Of course, Lady Toriel! I, the great Papyrus, will prepare for battle and will help Frisk get through their illness, even if it renders me to dust!” Undyne, smirking at this, wiped her cheeks and grinned.

“Count me in! Like hell am I gonna let this get my little squirt!” Alphys, watching the two get fired up, nodded sheepishly and squared her shoulders.

“M-me too!” Asgore smiled and turned to the child, who was staring at the group with a small smile on their face. But when they turned their attention to Sans, who had remained silent despite the determined outbursts that were being exclaimed from everyone around him, their eyes turned sad. Patting the child’s head, he turned to the skeleton.

“Well, Sans? How about you?” the smaller skeleton flinched at his name and met the former king’s eyes, then turned to Frisk. The child was staring at him, probably too delirious at the moment to really comprehend what was going on, but he couldn’t deny the sad puppy eyes.

And besides, he couldn’t abandon his little buddy, could he?

“heh, of course. i ain’t gonna leave my little bud out to freeze, am i?” and for once, Papyrus didn’t berate him for the pun.

Chapter Text

Like Toriel had said, they were going to have a long night in front of them if Frisk was going to make it. It was decided that each person would take turns caring for the child so the other’s could get some rest and not overexert themselves. Of course the limit was two hours per watch until the doctor came back in the morning, and of course at midnight Toriel took the first watch. Then at two, Asgore took the second. It was about four-thirty in the morning now, and Sans, who decided to step in for his brother who was fast asleep, took over the four o’ clock to six o’ clock watch.

To be honest, he hadn’t even gone to sleep like the others had. Sure, in the beginning they all had a hard time sleeping because they were so worried for Frisk, but Asgore, bless him, had managed to calm them down with his herbal teas and before long they were all asleep in the living room downstairs except for Sans, who wasn’t a big fan of tea. So he simply loitered outside the child’s bedroom door, leaving only to check and make sure that his brother was okay, then returned to his post.

Sitting on a chair that was pulled up to Frisk’s bedside, Sans watched their chest move erratically, especially since they were trying so hard to just simply breathe. At one point he had even reached out, running his fingers through the brown mop that was their hair in hopes of comforting them, despite the child being unconscious.

After the tenth- or was it twentieth, he hadn’t a clue- time of running his bony fingers through their hair Frisk stirred, blinking at the ceiling blearily. Turning their head, they smiled when they caught sight of him.

“S…ans…?”

“shh… i’m here, kiddo. go back to sleep, or else you’ll put the sandman out of a job. we wouldn‘t want that now, would we?” he soothed, patting their head affectionately. But Frisk shook their head and scooted over, despite the obvious amount of discomfort it caused them. Then they patted the bed, their expression imploring.

“Mm… up. Lap.” Sans blinked at their words, confused, then shook his head.

“kid, i’m serious. you need to sleep, so…” but they continued to stare at them, that pained little look in their eyes and he sighed, getting to his feet. Without missing a beat he crawled into their bed and picked them up, cradling them against his chest. He quickly wrapped the child up in their blankets, making sure that they were as warm as possible.

“okay, better? ya little extortionist.” he asked, smiling at their pout. But that pout quickly turned into a small, pained smile and they buried their head into the fur lining of his jacket. It was quiet after that, with Sans simply holding Frisk as the child drifted from consciousness to unconsciousness. But whenever Sans made a move to dislodge himself and place Frisk back into bed, they would flinch away and hold onto him instantly, keeping him more or less pinned there.

“seriously kiddo, you can’t sleep on me all night. you won’t get better if you’re sleeping on me, because the cold goes right through me!” Frisk giggled at the joke, but the giggle turned into a heavy cough, and Sans was quick to grab the tissues in case any more mucus came out. After a minute or two they calmed down, but slowly shook their head.

“Nu-uh… too scared to sleep.” Sans blinked at this, confused.

“an’ why’s that?”

“Because I won’t wake up if I do.”

Sans stared down at the child with wide eyes, but they continued talking, unaware of how still he had become.

“Sans… I’m… sorry. I… don’t remember, but… I hurt you a lot… didn’t I?” Frisk shuddered, letting out another harsh cough, but that didn’t deter the small child.

“I… could reset. And SAVE. I… don’t remember much, but… I did it, didn’t I…? But… I remember… hurting them. Toriel, Papyrus, Undyne… you…” at this they fisted his favorite jacket in their hands, their body trembling from what he knew was more than just chills.

“Flowey… told me. I did it… many times. I… never got to say sorry. I’m… sorry. I’m sorry…!” they sobbed, their cries turning into heavy coughs and wheezes. Sans tightened his hold on them and buried his head into their hair, feeling something hot burning in his eye sockets. Was he… really going to cry?

“frisk… d-don’t cry, buddy. y-you don‘t have to apologize for anything. i knew that it wasn‘t you.” he was referring to Chara, of course. He knew that it wasn’t Frisk’s fault for all the resets and timelines he had gone through, watching as his friends died by Chara’s hands over and over again. It would’ve been cruel to blame the kid for something that was beyond their control.

But Frisk smiled, a few more tears falling down their cheeks.

“…thank you.” they paused, a soft, shaky breath coming out from between their lips, and their grip slackened.

“I… was happy.” Sans blinked and pulled away, staring at the child with wide eyes. He could see their heart, which used to glow a bright scarlet, lose its bright glow as the seconds passed.

“frisk…?”

“I… didn’t… have a family. They… left me at that bench… and… I remember… waiting and waiting for them… to come back.” they started, their vision starting to fade now. They could barely see Sans now, but they could feel him, which encouraged them to keep talking.

“I… got bored and lonely… that’s when I… fell. Meeting Toriel… meeting you and Papyrus… Undyne… Alphys… and Asgore… I wasn’t alone anymore. I was… happy.” his hands began to tremble uncontrollably when he saw the glow dimming even more and while Sans wanted nothing more than to call out for help, he couldn’t get the words out.

“Yeah. I… wasn’t alone… anymore. I was happy. So… so happy. The… days we all spent together… they’re were always fun. Even the sad days.” Frisk smiled weakly at this, their breathing growing more and more weaker as they talked. Sans felt something inside him break at this, but all he could do was smile. Oh god… this wasn’t happening. This shouldn’t be happening. There was no way in hell…!

“heh… y-ya don’t say?”

“Mm-hm. Sans…?” Sans flinched at this, but met their eyes nevertheless.

“yeah?”

“I… love Toriel.” Sans couldn’t help but let out a watery chuckle at this, feeling some of the tears fall down his cheeks at the sentence.

“do ya, now?” Frisk nodded, feeling themselves starting to drift.

“Mm-hm. Papyrus, Undyne, Alphys, Asgore… Mettaton, Monster kid, Napstablook… even the little and big monsters… I love them, too.” they whispered, barely having the strength to keep their eyes in that normal squint they always have. At this Sans felt himself begin to panic, shaking the child in hopes of keeping them awake.

“h-hey, kid! i take it back, d-don’t close your eyes!” he begged, ready to turn and call out for help. But what stopped him was the expression on little Frisk’s face as they stared at him. Their face was so peaceful… so serene. And what was worse was that they were smiling, even knowing that they didn’t have much time left.

“…Sans…?” Sans stopped shaking them long enough to stare down at them, his eyes wide. Slowly and shakily they reached up, brushing a few of his tears away with that small smile still on their face.

“y-yeah, kid?”

“…love you.” Sans choked at this and nodded, holding Frisk to his chest tightly while his shoulders trembled and heavy sobs ripped themselves out of his chest.

“…yeah, me too frisk. me too!” he choked, his voice gruff and hoarse. They smiled at this and finally allowed their eyes closed, feeling everything slowly slipping away and welcoming the coming darkness with open arms.

Feeling Frisk grow limp in his arms Sans pulled back, his eyes wide. Their heart was no longer glowing, nor was it beating. Their chest had gone still, and even their hands had fallen into their lap, no longer clenching his jacket. Fear flooded his chest instantly, and he screamed.

“kid…? kid?! frisk! h-hey, wake up! d-don’t go to sleep yet!!” he cried, shaking them frantically. But their eyes remained closed, and he instantly whipped his head towards the door, his left eye flaring blue in the process.

“TORI!! PAPYRUS!!” he could hear a loud crash sound out from downstairs, as well as a flurry of curses and shouts, and within seconds he heard the thundering sounds of multiple footsteps rush up the stairs.

“Sans?! Sans?! What’s wrong, why are you screaming?!” Papyrus cried as he burst through the door, Toriel and Undyne on his heels. But Sans ignored his brother and continued to cradle Frisk’s limp form against his chest, praying with everything he had that this wasn’t happening.

“no… no! c’mon kid, just wake up! i… i don’t care if ya gotta reset, just wake up! go back to a previous save! anything! hell i’ll… do anything! just open your eyes!!” he thought, sobbing into their hair and shaking erratically with tightly clenched eyes. Vaguely he could hear the others cry out and run over, trying to see what was the matter, but he couldn’t will himself to let go of them.

“Frisk?! Frisk!!”

“Oh god, Frisk…!”

“Sans, Sans! What’s happened, why is Frisk-?!”

“No… no…!” he could hear their cries and wails echo around him, even feel hands on his arms trying to pry the child from them, but he wouldn’t let go. This wasn’t happening… right?

Feeling a familiar, somewhat dark presence he flinched and looked down, to see a small smile on Frisk’s face. A wicked smile.

What the--?

“Heh, don’t think that I’ll do this again.”


 

 

Sans felt himself lurch forward on the couch, a small cry leaving his lips while beads of sweat fell down the back of his skull and face. Eyes darting around, he realized that he was back in their living room, the TV still blaring and Papyrus cleaning in the kitchen. Turning to the clock, he saw that it was nine fifteen, almost forty-five minutes before Papyrus had gone to Toriel’s house to…

At this thought he jumped off the couch and started for the door, breathing heavily and panic clear on his features. Hearing the noise Papyrus stuck his head into the living room, only to see his brother frantically pulling on his snowboots and not even bothering to tie the laces.

“Sans? What’s wrong, why’re you-?” but before his brother could finish Sans was already out the door, slamming it shut behind him. He frantically ran through the snow, noticing how the wind was slowly getting worse, and used one of his quickest shortcuts again.

In minutes he was at Toriel’s house and rushed in, not even bothering to knock and humor her with one of his knock-knock jokes. He could hear someone shout from the living room- Undyne maybe?- but he ignored the voice and continued up the stairs, using the most energy he had ever used in his- this life, or another?- life.

“frisk!!” he exclaimed when he slammed the door to the bedroom open, startling the child who had been sound asleep. They quickly sat up and rubbed their eyes, turning to the door to see what had awoken them so abruptly. When they saw that it was Sans, and the state that he was in, they blinked in confusion, pushing the nightmare they‘d just experienced to the side at the sight of their friend‘s pain.

“Sans…?” at their voice the skeleton sighed, slumping against the doorframe. He made it.

Frisk cocked their head to the side when Sans didn’t answer them, unsure of what exactly was going on. Did something happen?

“Sans…? You okay?” they could see his shoulders shake while he reached up with one hand to cover his eyes, letting out a watery chuckle when he did so. But they weren’t prepared when he ran- teleported? They hadn’t seen him move an inch- to their bedside and wrap his arms around them, pulling them to his chest. They blinked and slowly wrapped their arms around his back, unsure of what had caused this sudden outburst of emotion.

“Sans? What’s wrong?” Sans gave out a hoarse chuckle and shook his head, tightening his hold on them.

“nothing, kid. just a bad dream.” they stared at him for a moment then closed their eyes, burying their face into his jacket despite the melting snow making it soggy.

From downstairs Toriel and the others rushed to the front entry hall when they heard the door violently slam open and closed, only to see bits of melting snow on the floor that made a path up the stairs.

“What the- the hell’s going on here?!” Undyne exclaimed, looking back and forth between the door and the stairs. Alphys gulped, trembling from where she had hidden herself behind her girlfriend.

“A-a burglar, maybe?” Toriel shook her head at this, unsure.

“No, I don’t believe a burglar would be foolish enough to brave a snowstorm. Was it maybe…?” before she could finish the sentence the door slammed open again, this time revealing a snow-covered Papyrus, which caused Alphys to shriek.

“Aah, another one!” But Asgore was quick to step in, placing a calming hand on her shoulder.

“It’s okay, Alphys. It’s only Papyrus!” Papyrus, shaking the snow off his body, looked this way and that before turning to the stairs.

“Sans! Sans! What’s wrong, why did you scream? Is something wrong with Frisk?!” the taller skeleton exclaimed, making his way up the stairs. At his words the others immediately went into panic mode, following after him in seconds. They followed the trail of melting snow to Frisk’s bedroom, where they could see that the door had been left wide open. In seconds, everyone huddled at the door.

“Sans! Are you-” Papyrus started, but stopped at what he saw. He saw his brother- his normally calm, good-humored brother- holding Frisk tightly to his chest while he buried his face into their hair, quietly sobbing in relief. The others looked around his broad shoulders and stared on at the strange scene, none of them quite sure what to make of it.

But Toriel simply smiled and ushered them out of the room, knowing that the two needed some space. Closing the door softly behind her, she turned to them.

“Come now, everyone. Let’s go downstairs for some tea, everything’s all right now.”


 

Needless to say, after about another week and a half of being stuck inside, Frisk was jovial at the feeling of being outside after so long that they jumped headfirst into the first pile of snow. Papyrus, thinking that it was another human game, followed right after them and popped up moments later, with them seated squarely on his shoulders.

“Nyeh heh heh, now I’m master of the art of snow piles, human!” he exclaimed, making Frisk burst into merry giggles as he ran around in circles, laughing along with them. Sans smiled and shook his head from where he stood a few feet away, positioned under a tree that was now completely barren of leaves.

“Watch out Papyrus, or the cold will go right through you!” he called, causing his brother to stop in his tracks and groan loudly.

“My god, Sans! Really!” but Frisk giggled and nudged their friend, pointing to the ground. Papyrus grudgingly placed the child on their feet and they ran over, taking Sans’ hand in their mitten-covered one.

“’mon, Sans! Let’s build a snowman!” Sans smiled and nodded, following after the child as he called together Papyrus, Undyne, Alphys, Toriel, and Asgore to have a snowman-building competition. Sans followed along with a smile, but inside he was thankful to have this chance to play with Frisk.

He, being the only one who was aware that resets occurred, knew that either Frisk or Chara had made a SAVE right before Frisk had made the decision to wander into the snow, and somehow, Chara had been able to go back and LOAD so that the dreadful events that were to occur would never happen. Of course he had no idea why Chara had done that, given his hatred, but if he could he would thank the brat in a heartbeat.

Because if he hadn’t, Frisk would’ve…

“Sans?” the skeleton flinched at his name and looked down to see Frisk staring up at him, worry clear on their features. But Sans simply smiled and patted their head, earning a pout in return. He laughed at this and they turned away, not releasing his hand.

“aw, c’mon kiddo. don’t give me the cold shoulder!” at this Undyne, who had been working hard on her and Alphy’s snowman, turned and glared at him.

“Hey! Enough with the puns, they’re driving me insane!” she exclaimed, shaking her fist at him. Sans chuckled at her outburst and turned to Frisk, who’s pout melted away into a smile.

“normally i’d cop-out and watch from the sidelines, but… how about we show these guys how to build a real snowman. whaddya say, kiddo?” Frisk smiled and nodded at this, throwing their arms into the air. He smirked and ruffled their head.

“all right, let’s have a rattling good time!” at this his brother and Undyne groaned, while Toriel and Frisk laughed at the pun. Not letting go of his hand Frisk led him to where Papyrus was already starting on their snowman, and Sans tightened his grip in return.

After all, he wasn’t going to waste this second chance, not for the world. Because despite all that they had been through Frisk was, and always would be, human, and these times that they spent together would be all the more precious.