Actions

Work Header

Just Like Heaven

Chapter Text

Sans had always wondered why it looked like sunlight in the castle. With a flip of his cell phone, he noted the time— 5:45pm. The red blinking letters shone as a glaring reminder of what was coming. The devil wouldn’t be here for another 4 minutes. Though his memories of the past timelines were hazy, they were still present, and only allowed for his soul to become darker towards the human with every RESET. The few times where she had feigned innocence and allowed them to leave the underground was the worst. She would start crying as though it really meant something to allow everyone to live, then collapse on the floor before starting over to kill again. Click. The skeleton monster opened his messages to send another message to Papyrus. He knew his brother was gone, but it still gave him a sense of comfort to talk to him.

The phone trembled a bit as he typed out,

[i probably should have said this earlier, but i love you, paps. see you soon.]

With a deep breath, Sans clicked the up arrow repeatedly, scrolling past his one-sided conversation until he reached the last message his brother had sent, always dated the day before the beginning.

[I APPEAR TO HAVE RUN OUT OF BONE COLOGNE AND SPAGHETTI. PLEASE PICK SOME UP AND BRING TO UNDYNE’S HOUSE SO WE MAY CONTINUE MY ROYAL GUARD TRAINING. NYEH HEH HEH HEH]

[UNDYNE HAS REQUESTED I CLARIFY THAT THESE TWO THINGS WILL NOT BE PUT INTO THE SAME DISH.]

Despite the growing rage inside him, he couldn’t help but let out a weak cough of a laugh. It was the same message every time, but somehow it still made something inside his ribcage ache with a dull pain every time he saw it. Undyne had suplexed Papyrus right through the television the first time he tried to surprise her with a “secret ingredient.” Of course, Sans hadn’t been really paying attention to what was on the screen, but the sudden attack had jolted him off the sofa so suddenly, he tripped and fell right on the scaly monster’s stomach, only making her more mad. “hey undyne, you wanna have a bad time?”

5:48pm.

The skeleton closed the phone and pocketed it, knowing that Frisk would be here any moment now. She always did. He turned his head, and as he stood at the large windows, he found his answer. Had he noticed it in past timelines? Though hundreds of feet above the base of the Core, the castle was enclosed by a quarry of bright white minerals that reflected the golden light emanated from the magma.
Maybe in the next timeline, he would bring Papyrus to see this before the devil tore through again.
So lost in thought, Sans neglected to turn around when his nightmare stepped through the doors.


Flowey had reset so many times now you had completely lost count. That, or Chara. Whichever one reset each particular time, you knew you had never gone through the door by your own free will. Though you were rarely given control of your own body since Chara became the dominant soul, you continued to keep count. It was pointless, though. After being forced to keep the memories from every timeline, you knew you would never find the strength to kill Flowey. Even if you wanted to, they would just reset if seemed perilous for the corrupted soul. And Chara?
What about them.

How could you fight an enemy you’ve never seen or heard, save for when your body’s words and actions are not yours? Despite the numerous resets, you know that time is really moving forward. Your body has grown over time, though you no longer know how old you are. Chara, of course, had a grand time tormenting you with your new body. As you feebly pleaded to spare Sans this time, you could hear the cold voice of your nightmare taunting you. “Why would I spare him? That makes the game less fun.” A sickening feeling rose through your stomach as you tried your hardest to ignore the echoing laughter in your head.

You had to remember the good times. If you relaxed long enough, you could still smell the sour smell of burnt Bone Cologne and spaghetti as Papyrus tried to surprise you all with a “secret ingredient.” Undyne nearly choked on her forkful before she suplexed the taller skeleton through the television set for “disrespecting her cooking lessons.” The scene had been new to you, and you raced forward to try to break it up, only to crash into Sans and topple over each other. When the disorientation subsided, you realized your nose was gently resting against Sans’ skull, and the white balls of light in his eye sockets were fixed on you. Before you could panic, he had pushed himself off, cheeks glowing a soft cyan blue, and trying to play it off by focusing on the other two. “hey undyne. you wanna have a bad time?” The memory becomes fuzzy after that, likely because of all the times he repeats that line to you now.

He’s not paying attention. How sloppy.” The distorted voice snickered as it forced your eyes to rest on him. The light painting the judgement hall gave Sans a golden tint as you saw him stand there for the first time in all the RESETs, and for a moment-- just this split moment of peace-- you could remember how the sun bathed the both of you in that same light the first time you left the Underground together. “Should I just stab him in the back now? It seems kind of fitting.” You saw your hand moving of its own accord to swing the knife at him, and like every other timeline, you tried to scream for the monster in your body to stop. And like every other timeline, the knife came down.

But for the first time in a hundred and forty-seven RESETs, your cries shook your vocal chords. “Chara, stop!

As the knife grazed the fabric of San’s jacket, a pop of light that lasted no longer than a blink would have lasted blinded you and gave the skeleton the advantage to appear behind you.

“if i didn’t know any better, i'd say you have a bone to pick with me.” The corner of his fixed grin twitched as he peered over his shoulder nonchalantly to inspect the tear. “that’s new.”

You felt your pulse race as the knife trembled in your hand, but you knew very well that it wasn’t your nerves getting to you… If you could control any part of yourself, the knife would have been on the floor a long time ago.

Then, why?

Sans let out another cough of a laugh as he shoved his fists in his pockets and closed his eyes as if he was going to recite his speech. Instead, his eyelids went up to show black eye sockets. “you’re a real piece of shit, you know that?” You could feel your chest growing cold as a blue aura of magic encased your body once more. The magic had barely covered your torso before Sans flicked his wrist and threw you against the wall. Of course, Chara knew better than to let out any indication that they were in pain. With a guttural grunt, you could easily feel that several of your ribs had already broken.

“why do you keep doing this?” came the dark voice again. Against your will, your right arm raised to throw the knife directly at him instead of using it, but the smell of burnt coal and sugar rendered your body motionless. “you’re slipping.”

Something is wrong.


You realize you can’t hear Chara’s thoughts anymore.


Suddenly a distorted voice comes screaming from your open mouth, though your lips don’t move.


ASRIEL!"

Chapter Text

No sooner had the air left her lungs did a certain buttercup come out through a crack in the faux-marble tiles.

"Ch-Ch-Chara?"

At the sight of the weed, Sans took a step back, his eye flickering from the sudden lack of concentration. Asriel? No, that's Flowey... Right? He remembered not only the devil's resets, but also those from when Flowey had control of the resets. Never in any of the timelines when the weed tried to befriend them did they mention being called Asriel. Why did that name sound so familiar, though?

His train of thought was interrupted when the human took a stumbling few steps forward, her face strained as though she was in pain.

Frisk >> Act >> Check

HP: 90/99


"...you know i can see you're not actually hurt."

The human shot a silent sneer at Sans before glaring back at Flowey. They didn't speak again, though their glare made the weed tremble as though it knew what she was saying. "I-I'm sorry!! It's been a while s-since she's actually hit the bullets, y-you know she has to b-bwuuuuhh...!" Chara jerked their head to the left twice, their face contorting with annoyance and disgust as they jumped in an uncoordinated lunge to the flower. Flowey's eyes went wider and he tried to avoid the attack by curling their petals in on themselves. But the attack never came.


You let out a distorted cry that was half your own and half Chara's cursing as your arm suddenly shot down to the floor with a sickening squish and crunch of marble and bone being scraped. A stationary blue humerus had pierced straight through the fleshy gap between your radius and ulna bones. You should have been gushing blood, but the burning magic was cauterizing the wound. "blue magic that's only avoidable if you stay still. i'm cerulean that you're in quite a pickle." His eyesockets were void of light again.


Chara struggled again, gritting their teeth and letting out guttural screams when the magic burned them.

"i think i'm starting to see what's going on here." Sans muttered as the devil thrashed against its new shackle. He had come to suspect as much, in these timelines, the devil was very careful not to speak.

That's because the devil wasn't Frisk.

"Help me!" Chara screeched at Flowey, trying to grasp the bone without being burned. The trembling buttercup made no move to attack Sans, instead fixing his eyes on how the human's mouth opened unnaturally and stayed in that position when her lips should have been moving with words. After a few moments, Chara relaxed and let Frisk's hair frame her head like a halo as they stared up at the ceiling. After a moment of silence, San's hesitantly checked her HP again just to be sure.

Frisk >> Act >> Check

HP: 40/99

"I don't resent you for that, partner. I'd have to have some kind of feeling towards you for that. But I don't. Because you're nothing." They said flatly without so much as glancing at the flower. Sans said nothing at this as he watched the exchange. He could afford to spectate, he knew exactly how far away he had to be for the devil's attacks to reach, and she was far from it.

Flowey's face uncovered itself from the petals, and slowly used a vine to pry loose the tile just above Chara's head. With a swift movement, he had appeared just above their head, facing down at the human. "You don't mean that. If you thought that you would have killed me a long time ago." He beamed with a smile that was far too wide, a wink, and a little white glitter of magic shooting from the closed eye.

The human stared up at him blankly, red eyes wavering with an uncomfortable feeling that made their stomach churn. Suddenly, an unwelcome voice broke what Chara thought was a private moment.


"You're human too! Of course you feel something for Flowey!"


Your vision blurred for a moment, and for just a moment, the marble under your fingertips felt like a familiar scratchy, splintered wood. With a hitched gasp that you weren't entirely sure whether it was yours or Frisk's, your head rose slightly, then slammed back onto the floor.
Then again, then again.
The ground under your head was damp. You smelled dust.
You could hear Asriel shriek for you to stop, then begging Sans to put something under your head.
As your consciousness faded, you could hear Sans scream something.
He sounds angry.
Then you realize you can't feel anything.

Frisk >> Act >> Unmerge

You're filled with determination.

Chapter Text

"What the fuck is this?" Sans yelled at the little weed as he tried to fit his jacket under the human's head. Never in any timeline had he seen this, and as ironic as it was, he had a rather great fear of the unknown. "Ch-Chara h-had a problem with their brain as a human, I-I think it was called 'epsilon', but they shouldn't be having it as a ghost, I-I don't know, maybe because they've been in Frisk for so long--" Their stuttering was cut off as a set of bony fingers squeezed around their stem and forcibly ripped them from the ground. "Who's Chara?" Sans' asked, allowing his eye to regain its cyan flame for emphasis that he wasn't in the mood for another game. Flowey, despite being in pain, managed to morph its face into a melting imitation of his own. "Why does that matter to you? Kids like her should be burning in Hell, right?" He taunted. Sans' grin didn't falter for even a second, and Flowey's face reverted back to its standard beady black eyes, now stretched in a grimace. "If you kill me, I won't tell you shit."

"Who... is... Chara?" The skeleton repeated, tightening his grip on the soulless little gremlin. The flower only gave a half-strangled shriek in response, batting at the metacarpal bones with its leaves. The base of his stem was dripping a sickly green liquid from where it was torn. Sans mustered enough self-restraint to give the human a glance. The seizure seemed to be over, but their SOUL was hovering over her still body as if she were in battle.

Flowey couldn't see his attention shift without the telltale white orbs in his eyes, but Sans cocked his head when he regarded Flowey again. His hand opened over a tile, and used a flicker of magic to cover the earthy holes in the ground to bar escape. "You always were an idiot." Flowey started with a smile, despite the growing brown bruise along his stem. "Chara's my bestest friend, and they're gonna wipe this stupid world off the face of the map."

At this, Sans eye sockets narrowed, trying to process the threat. They had done that already... Literally, hundreds of times. If Sans could remember the RESETs, why didn't Flowey? Did it have anything to do with the lack of a soul? No, that couldn't be it, otherwise Papyrus would've remembered them. Either way... "you don't remember." He said slowly, with the inflection hinting that he wasn't entirely sure himself. At this, Flowey forced themselves upright despite the obvious pain in his face. "What-- ah, fuck! -- What do you mean? What don't I remember?" Flowey yelled. Sans opened his mouth to reply when the sound of an attack making contact echoed through the hall.

By instinct, both turned towards the body on the floor, though their concern was for only one soul inside. The red heart remained hovering, but the color was just... slightly off, as if a shadow was covering it. The shadow pulled against the heart, revealing two distinct hearts over one another: one a solid and bright Carmine red, and the other appearing liquid in texture, a darker, bloodier red. The shadow slowly receded back into the brighter heart, then jumped against its bindings with another attack sound. Frisk's face twisted in pain, and she let out a strangled cry, clutching her good hand over her chest. Her other arm thrashed against the blue embodiment of magic holding her down. Sans knew very well he was helpless to do anything, if this was actually real, and not some sort of trap set by the little devil. If either he or Flowey came into contact with the souls, there was the risk that they might absorb it.

"Chara, you're gonna kill yourself!" Flowey called out angrily.

Shit.

Sans waved his arm and the femur disappeared, allowing the human to clutch her chest with both hands despite how badly the arm was still bleeding. There was a pause from the two souls, then the shadow yanked again. Frisk screamed and thrashed until the shadow completely tore itself away from the bright heart. The tearing sounded grotesquely similar to wet velcro coming undone, and it made both monsters cringe. No sooner had the dark heart landed on the floor did it materialize. The entity looked vaguely similar to Frisk in build and face, but nearly everything about this human was... sharp. Where Frisk's hair was curled and frizzed, Chara's hair was perfectly straight, though cut unevenly as if done by their own hand. Frisk had stubby fingers, whereas Chara's were long and slender, with nails chewed down to the stub. Chara gasped for breath as they flailed to sit upright, their hair sticking to their gaunt little face as they sat up. A pair of red eyes flickered between Sans, Frisk, and Flowey. After a moment, the red irises rested on the weed.

"...Howdy, partner." They smiled, but it was horribly wrong. Their lips stretched out and up into their cheeks, revealing every slightly yellowed tooth in their skull. Beads of blue sweat rolled down Sans' skull. Everything Sans knew about the human was wrong. He was wrong. He had been running through each timeline blindly trying to stop the other monsters from engaging with the human, but the problem was that there was a monster inside the human. Chara shambled forward towards Flowey, and in his fear, Flowey started cursing them with vulgar words and metaphors Sans couldn't have thought of in a thousand timelines. This didn't faze the devil, naturally. A pudgy, olive arm reached for Sans, and he immediately stepped back. It wasn't Frisk, it wasn't Frisk, he knew that this was the Frisk he remembered, yet he couldn't bring himself to take a step towards her, to take her hand. That pain-riddled face was still the face of his murderer, and yet he couldn't move. Why?

Toriel's voice echoed through his head.
If a human comes out through these doors, please... protect them.

And Papyrus'.
I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT ANY BEING, WHETHER HUMAN OR MONSTER, IS COMPLETELY EVIL.

And his own.
do you think even the worst person could change?

"Sans..." Frisk croaked out through tears, hand still outstretched towards him, and her back to Chara. He shuddered at the sight and caved, dropping to his knees to fish a smashed cinnamon roll from her pocket. The sound of the feeble voice caught Chara's attention, and their head snapped in the duo's direction. At the very welcome distraction, Flowey pried a leaf under a piece of tile and wiggled his way underneath. Just like that, the weed fled. "c'mon, c'mon..." The skeleton muttered, trying to force the entirety of the cold pastry into Frisk's barely-conscious mouth. Chara's red eyes, and the white balls of light in Sans' eyes, both fell to the knife that had fallen between the two. With a sharp intake of breath he didn't need, he waved his arm to freeze Chara in their place. For a moment, they stayed still. Then they smiled and kept moving.

He took a step closer and waved again, summoning a wall of white bones to impale the demon.

The bones phased through them, and Chara tilted their head mockingly.

"frisk."

Sans called out, tilting his head slightly in her direction, but never taking his sight off of Chara. His magic couldn't hurt them, yet there was a reason why they were hesitating to grab the knife.

"I'm here." Frisk managed, their voice hoarse from its little usage. The monster food thankfully mended the cracks in her ribs and the hole in her arm, though there were still deep bruises all over her. Chara had finally relaxed and taken a single step backwards. "what do you think you're doing?" San's warned, holding out a magic-covered hand, though he knew it wouldn't do anything. Their eyes widened to inhuman proportions to match their sickening smile.


"See you next RESET."


Immediately, Frisk screamed out. "Sans', stop them!!"

Sans>>Mercy>>Flee

Chara ran away!

Chapter Text


Sans gave chase to the little monster, leaving Frisk to fend for themselves in the judgement room.

His vision was getting blurry just after thirty seconds of running, and he admonished himself for using up so much energy during the fight, if it could be called so. At the throne room, the garden of pale yellow buttercups were coated in a layer of shimmering dust that was still falling from where the King had just been slain. The devil sure as Hell could run. As he passed the door to the next hallway, he considered opening a shortcut with what little magic he had left. This thing was going to RESET the world again by going through the barrier, so it would be fastest to cut them off there.

His left eye flickered blue before a thought finally struck him.

Chara would need a human soul and monster soul to cross alone. That thing wasn't human. Even if they killed Sans, they wouldn't have a human soul to cross with.

Frisk.

As the name flashed in his mind, he heard footsteps running and receding back to the judgement room, accompanied by distorted giggles.

This little shit just played him.

He ran into the nearest distorted mass of space and threw his weight to the left, sending him stumbling back into the golden room.

As soon as his sneakers hit the tiled ground, the smell of iron assaulted his senses. Everything inside him screamed for him to go back into the shortcut, to not look up. He was too late, he knew it, he should have put the poor kid out of their misery when he had a chance so it could stop.

"What?" The angry word was enough cause for Sans to look up.

Suddenly, that permanent grin on his face seemed like too much of an understatement to express himself.


Chapter Text


"Get away from me!" Chara's voice echoed around her in the darkness.

There was a heavy pressure keeping Frisk from moving any part of herself. Was she laying down or standing? Were her eyes open or closed? She couldn't tell in the depths of the suffocating night.

It took her the time-span of a few deep breaths to realize there was something unusual in her tormentor's voice. It wasn't distorted or layered with raspy screams when it spoke; it sounded... human.

A warm, but uncomfortable pressure pushed down onto her face, and Frisk struggled against whatever it was keeping her in place. It was a familiar feeling, it was the same uncomfortable feeling that for some strange reason swelled in her face before losing consciousness."I didn't do it, please, please don't hurt me, I'm sorry! I'm sorry!!" The voice screamed out again through sobs.

Awareness struck Frisk in the gut like a fist. Her eyes flashed open and she was blinded by sunlight just before something hard kicked her in the back. That's when it occurred to her: the pleas for mercy that bubbled from her mouth weren't her own. Was Chara still in control? As she turned her head to get a look at what parts of her she could see, a rough hand snaked its way into their hair and forced her to her feet. Frisk could feel every ounce of pain, but could only stand idly by as the scenario continued.

The woman the hand belonged to towered over Frisk (or was she Chara? Oh God, she just wanted to sleep) with a face distorted from anger and disgust.

"You really think I can't tell the difference between my Caroline and you?" The woman spat, landing flecks of unwelcome spittle on their face.

"You're a demon child. You don't deserve mercy. You killed my Caroline... You killed her and took her place, why?" Her hair was released and her feet stumbled backwards only two steps. "What are you doing? You need to run!" Frisk tried to call out. The other occupant of the body took no notice of her. The cruel voice that was usually ever present to demean Frisk was silent.

"I didn't do anything... Momma, please..." A child's voice spoke from Frisk's lips before being met with a painful smack. "You're not my child, and I'll prove it." The woman's deranged expression grew into a sadistic grin.

"Because demons don't bleed."

A pulse of pure unadulterated fear rang through, just barely registering as their mother shoved them back with both hands. Then they were falling, falling, falling...


 

"I'll kill you... I'll kill you..." Frisk could feel her lips moving, unwillingly repeating those three words over and over as hot tears strolled down Chara's face. Their head turned slowly to one side to look at the elevated platform that prevented their death. Frisk could just barely recognize this place as the area where she had fallen so many timelines ago, yet. It was wrong, it was all wrong, the walls were covered in a fresh layer of creeping ivy, and no grass nor flowers adorned the ground.

Her body shook with Chara's sobs as they continued to mumble the cruel words. After a few minutes, they grew quiet.

"Someone... Please help me..." Chara quietly pleaded, bringing their hands to their face.

no one is going to help you . no one no one no one. who are you? you're not caroline, you can't be, momma was so sure of that, but then why, why did you have their memories? oh god... am i really a demon?

Without a corporeal body to move in, Frisk made frantic gestures that vaguely felt like pounding on a wall. "Stop, that's not true, I know what's wrong with your mom, Chara!"

It was no use.

The only indication of how much time passed was the rapid cooling of the air and the eventual disappearance of the sun. For countless, torturous hours, Frisk listened to the child's despair and their broken sobs. Getting up was useless, as a few hours before, they'd realized that their leg had broken in the fall. This was it? Death by succumbing to the elements? This was certainly worse than being impaled by magic.

"It sounded like it came from here..."

The child's eyes opened to look for the source of the sound. Nothing.

Of course not.

No one was coming to save them.

"Are... you hurt?"

Frisk's head unwillingly jerked back up to look at the dusty pillars, then the child hiding behind it. No, not a child... That was Asriel! Only then did Frisk realize where she was. 'I'm in the past...?' I'm in your memory...'

"T͘͜hȩs̷e̷̛ ͏̨m͏̡e҉͢͜ḿ̨o̢̡r͟i͠͡e҉͟ş ͘m̶̧è͜a͏͘n ǹ̢o͡t͏̢̀h̴i҉n̨͠g͞ ̶tơ͏ ̴͞m̷e͏̢͟.͞"

The harsh words stung inside her head and jolted all her senses to attention as Chara took care to enunciate every cold syllable.

"Y͘͝o̢͡ų͘ ͘͞w̨͝i̶̛͜l̀l̸̴̨ ҉͜f͢o͝r̵̴ǵę̷̛t̷́́ ̀yo͞͞u͝ ̴̀s͞͞a͏̨̡w̸̧ ţh̴i̴̢̕s̛.͞ ̀T͢͟h҉i̕͠s ẁ̷as̶҉ ͝͡no̶̷t͜͜h̀̀i̧̧͡ng ͏m̢͜o͜͝r͘͘͞e͠͡ ͏t̶̨͡ha̸ǹ̸̸ ̛an ą͟͞n̵͡o̧m̕͡al̷͘y͞ ̷̴͝c̸̀͡a͠u͟s̕e̸͞d͡ ̷b̵͟y ̕m͢y ̷͢a͘҉t͠t̶̸̕è̸m͢p̶̧t̨ş́ ͜ţ҉o̢ ͡sè̷p̷a̧͘͟r̷͢a҉t̛ę ̀̀͜f͘͟r̛͜o̵m͘ ̵̵͡t̸̛h̵̕i҉ś̷͏ ̛p̀a̷̡̕th͡ét͡i̴̧c҉͢ s̡a̶̧͟ck̷̴̀ ͞҉y̕͟ǫu̶ ̷ç͘͠a̷̕ll̕͜ ͘a͏͘͝ ͢͞b̢͡od̸y̵͘.̷͝"

"No, you were human, you were human and you were hurt, is that why you're doing this?"

"T̢́ha͞҉t͡͏ ̨̧i̧͟͞s̶ n̕o̧͜n҉ę̴͠ ̴̷͟o̢̧f̀́ ̸̷y̢̕ou͜͡r̷̶ ̀͠ć̶ơ̴̛n҉c͢e͢rn̶̛.̴̷͏ ̛N͝ò̵͢w l̛ȩ҉a̕҉͘v̢e̛͡.̴"

There was a lacking coldness in the demon's voice that Frisk could sense right away.

The idea that Chara could be saved fills you with determination.

The hope coming from Frisk's soul is putting you in danger. The thought of smashing that hope to pieces fills you with determination.

 

"Ǵ̶̷̢͘E̴͝T̨̛҉̛ ̴̕Ơ̸̡U̸̴T̸̢́͜͡!̀͠"

 

The world crumbled back into the lonely expanse of the demon's memories.


 

Blood coated the inside of her mouth.

That was the first conscious thought to reach Frisk. The second was how much pain she was in. There was a horrible pain that made her want to rip off her entire left arm at the shoulder, and every finger was so horribly cold and hard to move, despite how much she were sweating and flexing every other muscle in a pathetic attempt to keep the pain away. Without Chara in her body (though she had yet to realize this), Frisk could feel every throb of her bruised muscles whenever she tried to move. Breathing was painful in itself, as she had to muster up the determination to force herself to spit out the blood in her mouth to breathe again.

It wasn't until she tried to open her eyes that she realized that a line of blood had dried over her right eye and effectively glued it shut. With her left eye, she tried to focus on the various gold blurs of the Judgement room.

"H͜o͝w҉dy̨, p͟a͡r͞t̶nȩr."

Chara's voice drawled behind her, their voice sickeningly calm and content. They hadn't sounded like this since their first meeting in the void, when she'd been forced to hand over her SOUL to have a chance to save the world. The shuffle of sneakers snaked right by the top of her head and she turned her head to see a pair of familiar sneakers. Sans. She wanted to be determined enough to stop Chara, to escape before Sans was killed again, but all she wanted to do was rest. Frisk reached out her good arm towards the skeleton, even when he moved away from her. Of course he would retreat, but he didn't know, he didn't know, she had to warn him...

"Sans..." She finally called out, the pain sending a fresh wave of tears down her bloody face. It was all she could muster before she let her arm drop in front of her and she closed her eyes. "shit." She heard the skeleton mutter before a pair of boney hands eased her onto her back.

Barely conscious, she let out a weak cry of pain when he lifted her leg to get the cinnamon bunny from her pocket. The pastry pressed against her mouth and she clamped down her jaw to rip off a stale piece. Almost instantly, she could feel the magic sparking across her human tongue and weaving its way past her throat and into her blood. The sparks traveled down her arm and danced painfully around the gaping hole in her arm, forcing her body to produce scar tissue to form almost instantly through the wound. When the feeling of the magic faded, she grabbed the pastry with her newfound hand and forced another bite. Sparks of magic stabbed her painfully like miniature needles all across her chest and skull, working their healing magic on her.

"frisk."

She opened her eyes to see Sans standing between her and Chara, holding a magic covered hand out to keep her away. Chara glared at Frisk with an intensity she'd never seen before, not even from all the times they'd unleashed pent-up rage on Flowey. Despite how demonic the anomaly tried to appear, they couldn't erase the memory that Frisk had seen. "...I'm here." Her voice was weak, hoarse from its little usage over the years.

When she called out to Sans, their face melted back into its natural form, and Chara's lips curled upwards. "L͠e͠t's̢ ̸p͘l͟a҉y ̢one ͞m̴ore gam̷ȩ." Their mouth didn't move when they said it, but it did with her next words, making Frisk wonder if Chara was still in her head, or if she had imagined that.

"Sȩé ̴yo̶҉ù̴ ̴̵̴n̶͠e̢͞x̨͡͡t ̀͠R̶̡͝E̶SE͘͞Ţ."

 

Chapter Text

Where a pair of maroon eyes should have stared out at the duo, instead showed two sickening crypts on Chara's face. The skin puckered inwards in silvery scar tissue until the skin reached a point where light would not reflect back outwards. A thick tar-like substance dripped from the voids onto the golden floor, and which made Frisk feel nauseous just looking at them. Sans maintained his defensive position, his eye flickering between it's usual cyan color and an unstable goldenrod from the stress.

This was the creature that ripped their ending away, and tortured every SOUL in the Underground.

 

 

The anomaly spun on the heel of their sneaker and made off towards the throne room. Asgore!

 

"Sans, stop them!" She cried out, and Sans gave no hesitation to go after the little monster. The force from suddenly screaming out had left her throat scratched and raw, causing the human to hold both her hands to her neck in a feeble attempt to ease the pain.

Eventually, their footsteps faded, and Frisk was finally left alone to sort her thoughts.

 

. . .

 

It was unnerving to be able to think freely without the fear that the voice would be right there to discourage her, to remind her that in that timeline, they had only been pretending to care. This was the real world, where monsters showed their true nature, and showed that no matter how much Frisk wanted to believe otherwise, the disdain for humans was still at the front of their minds.

 

Even Toriel, her own mother, would curse her with her dying breath in every timeline, and Chara would collapse into hysterical giggles every time they breathed in the ashes that made Frisk feel

 

like screaming for forgiveness until her throat bled.

 

 

Yet Chara was still human at one point. Their soul was still human, despite how much they destroyed.

 

Her mind fell back to the terrible visions.

Chara’s own mother had called them a demon before pushing them to what was supposed to be their death.

 

"Ö̥̼̱͈̳̖̟͉̾̂͟͟n̤̙̙̠̺̞͕̮̏͜͟͜ț̫͖͈͖̺͑̒̒̒̏ͮͧo̼͕͇͓̫͐ͫ́ͤ͛̎ͫ̿ͩ ̖̤͛̆ͬ̊̆̄͟t͉̮̽̋̒ͨͪͪ͂̚h̛̦̤̞̭͕̑̾͒͜e̖̥͚͈̽ͧͦ̐͟͞ ̡͔̥ͭ̓ͨ͝ͅͅṋ̛͋̆̏̈̑͒ͮ͟e̶̗͖̮͕̟̫͎ͤ́̐x͍̜̜̔̓ͯ̽̅͞t̨͓̗͎̩͖̬͆ͮ̆̀͊͗͝ ̝̩̪̯́ͪͪ͗̀̋̍͝͠w̢̮͚͔ͨͥ͆ͫ̌͟ͅo̬̩̮͕͓͐͌̀̐͢r̡̝͚͚̬̺̫̆̂̊ͣͨ̆̎̚l̪̠̼̯͓ͨ̿͝ͅd̳̭̎ͅ.̠̳̜͔͚̰̓ͯ̂ͯ͛ͪ̐̓͡"

 

When Frisk looked back up, Chara was barreling towards her at full speed, knife aimed directly for her.

 

This child was still human, and they could be saved. The faded red heart hovering in place suddenly pulsed with a loud thump.

 

She was filled with determination.

 


 

 

Sans forced his way out the tear in space into the judgement hall. He was instantly assaulted with the sickeningly sweet smell of human blood.

 

Before them, both of Frisk's hands covered her soul, causing Chara's knife to pierce the flesh through her right hand's metacarpus, and up against the cluster of carpus bones in her left hand.  

 

"W͏̶̨̨̀h̡̧̡a̴̧͘͜ţ̧̨͜?͟͢͞" Chara hissed in frustration as they leapt out of Frisk's reach. 

 

 

"Chara... you're human... remember?" Frisk choked out between pained sobs. With a sharp intake of breath, she forced her left hand backwards, out of the knife's grip. Her right hand, despite the embedded knife dripping crimson all over the golden tiles, moved behind her back, just out of the anomaly's reach.

The anomaly flicked their eyes between Sans, who maintained a cautious position, then back at Frisk, who had extended her left hand out. The hand, despite the pale pieces of bone showing amidst the torn crevices of flesh, lay palm-up and trembling fingers splayed open. 

"You have to remember." Frisk pleaded.

 

MercyThis weak little girl was showing them mercy?

 

Suddenly, a memory resurfaced, one Chara believed had been dead and buried for all those RESETs. Her mother extending her hand into the darkness where their malnourished body hid, pleading for her child to come out, to come back to their mother. 

But they knew better than to believe false hopes.

If they so much as dared to step into the light, there would be nothing but anguish.

Humans were... d e s p i c a b l e .

 

They could n e v e r be trusted.

n e v e r

n e v e r

n e v e r

n͝͝ ̧͢͠ȩ͏ ͞͏v ͟͡͞è͘ ́͠ŕ͠

n͝͝ ̧͢͠ȩ͏ ͞͏v ͟͡͞è͘ ́͠ŕ͠

n̸̡̯̫̺̬͔͔̻͔̓̏́̕ ̩̹͔̘͚͔ͤ́̄͡e̶̷̬̓̍̎͢ ͚̘͍͇̪͓̀͒ͨ̇̌ͫ̚v̸̫̠̺̎̀̐ͬ́͟ ̯͍̮͂͒̓̋̎̎̋̚͡ĕͫ̚͏̪̙̘͍̺̼̥̕͘ ̵̴̠̹͙̣͓̙̫̙͂͂̂̓̇r̺͖̘͆̒̊ͬ̄̔̇

n̸̡̯̫̺̬͔͔̻͔̓̏́̕ ̩̹͔̘͚͔ͤ́̄͡e̶̷̬̓̍̎͢ ͚̘͍͇̪͓̀͒ͨ̇̌ͫ̚v̸̫̠̺̎̀̐ͬ́͟ ̯͍̮͂͒̓̋̎̎̋̚͡ĕͫ̚͏̪̙̘͍̺̼̥̕͘ ̵̴̠̹͙̣͓̙̫̙͂͂̂̓̇r̺͖̘͆̒̊ͬ̄̔̇

n̸̡̯̫̺̬͔͔̻͔̓̏́̕ ̩̹͔̘͚͔ͤ́̄͡e̶̷̬̓̍̎͢ ͚̘͍͇̪͓̀͒ͨ̇̌ͫ̚v̸̫̠̺̎̀̐ͬ́͟ ̯͍̮͂͒̓̋̎̎̋̚͡ĕͫ̚͏̪̙̘͍̺̼̥̕͘ ̵̴̠̹͙̣͓̙̫̙͂͂̂̓̇r̺͖̘͆̒̊ͬ̄̔̇

 

n̸̡̯̫̺̬͔͔̻͔̓̏́̕ ̩̹͔̘͚͔ͤ́̄͡e̶̷̬̓̍̎͢ ͚̘͍͇̪͓̀͒ͨ̇̌ͫ̚v̸̫̠̺̎̀̐ͬ́͟ ̯͍̮͂͒̓̋̎̎̋̚͡ĕͫ̚͏̪̙̘͍̺̼̥̕͘ ̵̴̠̹͙̣͓̙̫̙͂͂̂̓̇r̺͖̘͆̒̊ͬ̄̔̇

 

N͛̅̓ͪ̈́̓̾̑̇̇̈̔͂ͤ̋̚̕͏̝̙̠͕̥͓͓͓̟̤̜̣ ̴̷̳͔̠̫̪͎̺͉͙̜̹͉͙̹͓̿ͬͦ̓ͨ͑́̓͌͡È͎̜̠͔̮͙̦̥͕͉͔͎͈̞̠̣ͧͫ̊ͣͨ̿͒̏̍ͨ͗̿̿̕ ̷̛͔̟̻͍̅̽̾̑̅͋͛̅͛̇̑̆́͞͠V̢̫̰͚͉̭͎͎͚̲̲͉̜͓̺ͫ͗͆͌̐̈͜ ͐͛ͧ̌͋ͧ̍̍̂ͩ͘͢͞҉̝̝̤̳̩̱Ē̷̸̱̫̱̣̍ͩ̎̔̄ͣ̿̏̽̒̒̅̓̃̃̒ͯ͋́͢͠ͅ ̵̾͆̾͊ͫͥ̈ͯ͋͒̃ͥͨ̚͠͏̰̹̳̤̯̼̳̙̹Ř̵̢̼͉̞̩͖̯̳̞̰̖͈̳̭̏ͯ͊̐̐̄ͥ̂͛̍ ̶̧̇̆ͪͣ̈́͌̂͑̏ͮ͂ͮͧ̚͞҉͓͎͙͉͕̱ A̻̠̳̠͚̠̙̣̭̘̮͙̓͂̈́̔̆͆͂̾ͯ͊ͩ͑̐ͣ̊̑̚̚̚͠ͅ ̢͎͍̹̝̜̳͙̘̻͈̥̥͖̙͔ͨ͗͊̆̈́͑ͯ̓̎̑̑́͠Ģ̈̿̏ͬ̔ͪ͋͜͠҉̛̩̥͓̦̼̬͚̮͓̱̱̩͍̠̗̗ ̸͖̙̪̟͚̬ͮͪͧ̽̋̈́ͭ͑̆ͨͭ̇̊͗̉̋̀̕͟͟Ã̷͓̬̱̗̝̞̞̘̣̖̮͍̘̯̲̙̪̖͐͛̅̒̅ͥͬ͑͒̚͜͟ ̛̤̭͍̫̠̈́ͪ͂̀̂͂́̌̚͘I̵͎͚̭̱̱͚̹̹̖͉͍̝̩̜̾̄̍̂ͧ̉̑ͩͪ̂̇ͯ͆́̚ ̶ͭ̆̋ͮͪ͊̾ͮ̾̀ͬ̔̓̇̎҉̛̭̞͉̤̜͎̘͚͖̞̜̞̣̮͉̜͘͞Nͨ̾̾ͫ͂̔̊ͮ̓̍̈́͆ͫͣ̽̈͊͏̦̩̥̤͕̠͙̹̙͇͜

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chara shook their head softly, the wisps of tawny brown hair absentmindedly following the motion to rest themselves in their face. Their gaze rested on Frisk as she took a calming breath. Without a weapon in their hand, they had no means to attack with soul magic, and Frisk knew it.

 

But going into battle with only one plan of attack would be thoughtless, and Chara always had plenty of plans to spare.

 

 

"N̊́̋̾ó̄ͧ̊̍͊ͫͤ͠͠.̸̢ͭ͑ͦ̓̄" They said simply, the corners of their lips raising just ever slightly to form dimples in her flushed cheeks. Frisk didn't falter, keeping her hand outstretched despite the torturous pain.

This time it was Sans who spoke.

"fuck you mean, 'no?'"

 

"T̨̾̔h̸̓i̍̊͠s̨͊͗̇ ̄ͪg̏͢ȁ̷̈́ͭmͨ̓́̓̆͐̀͝ęͤ̓͆ ̊͆͐i͋šͭͥ̽ͫ̈́͗ ̇̅̽͐̓́aͨ̒͛͗͒ͦl̂̂̚͞l̑ ̏͝rͥͨü͢iͤ̏̇ňë̋̚҉dͣ̑̀ͤ̇ ̨̆ͥn̸̔̎̃͋͒ͨow̓ͦ̐,̷ ̈́̒ͦͦ̿ḯ̾ͪ͋͜s̍ͯ́̑nͬ̄̃'͊͌ͩ̇́͑ͮt͐̈ͫ͛ͦ̂̈́̀ ̅̾̾̃i͞t̸̓͑̇̂?̐̋̉͐̎̈́͝ W͒̅̃ͭ̓͞h͌͆͆y̑ͮ̄ ͛̂ͨ͐ͧ̚d̍̈̾͑̾͡ônͮ̒͒̍ͤ͒͛͘'͡ẗ́ͯ̂̅̍̐ w̍ͭͪͣͭ̂eͭ̔̈́̅̀͗̚ j̍ͦͧuṡ̎̋ͩ̀t̉ͦ͂ͯͮ҉.̍ͣ̔.ͧ͒̈́ͯ̑͐̕.̒͆̇̓ͥ̋̀̚ ̑ͤ̅̋̈́ͩͩs͛̾ͥ̈̾ͥ̂͞ t̴͊ͩ ̏͐̉ͨ̅ͥͦà͑̓͡ ̊̋͊͌̈rͬ͐ͫ͐̂ͫ̀͞ ͣ̅̔ͥ̄tͫ ͩ ͭ̓̽̂ͦ̿̀ ͗ͣͥ͘o ̀v̷ ̓̓̒ͭ́̒ę̋ͬ͒̇͂ ̧̋̀̌̓͒͋̍r̓̾̓͑̏̉͟ ̃ͨ̄ͦ̀ ̡ͣ̿ͨ̄̅ͪ?͊ͮ̄̋̅ͩ̀͞"

 

 

A guttural rumbling suddenly shook the judgement hall, and Sans appeared at Frisk's side in a flash. Neither of them had to say it aloud; they knew far too well the beginning of a RESET. With the knifeless hand, Frisk gripped the arm of his jacket so he would turn to face her.

"You have to catch me... before I hit the ground."

 Sans shook his head, trying to understand what that meant. He glanced over, and saw Chara had disappeared again, and he chastised himself internally for taking his eyesockets off them.

"don't they all start after you've hit the ground?" Frisk shook her head vehemently. "No, it starts from the second I cross the barrier and start falling." The judgement hall darkened as the magma and crystals outside the windows became enveloped in the void.

 

"i won't have enough time." he said, staring at the window as they plunged into darkness.

 

His last memory of that timeline would have three distinct points:

1. The suffocating void.

2. The sound of Chara's distorted laughter echoing around him.

3. The human pleading, "Please! Promise me you'll catch me!"

 

 

And the world R E S E T .

Chapter Text

“Sans?”

 

Papyrus stood in front of him, his usual battle body replaced with his favorite workout clothes: a pair of Sans’ old jeans that had been cut into shorts, and a startlingly orange shirt that read “On a Scale of 1 to 10” on the front, and “I’m an 11 ; ) ” on the back.

 

A fleeting thought passed through his mind-- Didn’t I burn that stupid shirt? -- before tilting his head up at his brother.

 

He wasn’t sure how he knew, as he never did, but he knew the world had just RESET and that he couldn’t remember for the life of him which ending had occurred just now. However, his brother was alive, and that was surely important, and Sans knew better than to ask if Papyrus remembered anything. Coming up with the easiest answer to an unknown question, he closed his eyes and shrugged.

 

“ok.”

 

“What? I asked what you wanted from Waterfall.” Papyrus, unaware of Sans’ confusion (as he always was after a reset), put his gloved hands on his hips.

 

“You know, if you perhaps joined me on my pre-morning jog, your mind wouldn’t be so void.”

 

Void.

 

“This game is all ruined.”

 

Who said that?


Bits and pieces started coming back to him, and he opened his sockets.

 

“Just a sea tea for me. I’ve been meaning to sea what it’s all about.”

 

Papyrus threw his arms in the air.

 

“OH MY GOD. You’ve had sea tea before-- I’m not gonna bother. Not worth it.”

 

“Gee, you’re being a little salty about this aren’t you?”

 

“GOODBYE, BROTHER.” The walls shook slightly as Papyrus slammed the door shut, thundering steps slowly fading. Now Sans could start piecing together what the hell happened. Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of… flashback, of sorts?

Of course, there was no way for him to know this now, but depending on the result of the prior timeline, Sans could start the RESET with full knowledge of exactly what he was doing before the darkness came, or it could come over the course of a few hours through a violent migraine that prevented Papyrus from going on his morning run if it came that soon. Here, though, the memories evaded him like Dogamy evaded Dogaressa’s demands for him to take a bath.

 

With a shuddering breath, he forced himself to his feet and shuffled to the kitchen, opening one of the cupboards for anything to keep his magic reserves peaked, Stars know he’d need it.

 

Mustard.

 

It wasn’t his favorite, but he could mustard up the nerve for it.



He mentally laughed at his own joke, though the sentiment couldn’t reach his expression.


The top of the condiment bottle clicked backwards and he tilted his head back to empty it all at once, but something foreign refused to dissolve in his mouth. With a flick of a haphazardly conjured tongue, the offending item, along with a few splatters of mustard, were pasted onto the window.

 

What kind of idiot forgets to take the plastic seal off the bottle before drinking it?

Him, apparently.

 

With a grunt, Sans grabbed one of Papyrus’ many oven mitts, and wiped the mustard, though it left somewhat of a goldish stain on the glass. When he looked at it closely, he was sure it would come in handy for some prank he could conjure up later. Maybe flick a light at it so it would look like a gold stain on the wall.


Or like a golden room.

 

“let’s just get to the point.”




Wait, he had said that before, hadn’t he?

 

The room was falling into a blue light, and he couldn’t be sure where it was coming from.

 

His head hurt.

Why is it so bright in here?



It was giving him a headache.




“Pro… ‘ll catch….”



Frisk said that.

 

Where was the monster candy?



Wait, he didn’t know anyone named Frisk.


His head was k i l l i n g h i m .




Someone’s screaming, who is that?

 

It’s me, I’m screaming.


Papyrus is dead.

 

No, that couldn't be right, he had just seen him.

 

He had fought a human before.


There was a flower monster killing everything.

 

But that was over, right?

I need to stop screaming, the neighbors are gonna hear.



How long ago was this?

 

Suddenly, there was clarity.

 

The face that looked at him with such a fearful expression, that he only saw before in the first run, when the small figure gave him her trembling hand in an act of complete trust.

 

Frisk.


Frisk is waiting for you.

 

As soon as those words reverberated in his skull, his attention was jolted to the banging at the front door.

 

“Sans! Let us in!” Doggo’s voice came muffled through the snow and wood, a small chorus of worried whispers underlying the sound. The monsters at the library must have run to Grillby’s to tell them about the screaming.

 

As he stumbled to the door, he wondered how he was going to get to the corner of the Ruins. After all, his teleportation relied on going places he knew by memory, and in no timeline had he ever been there. Could he even get there fast enough? His nerves recoiled at the touch of the cold doorknob as he threw it open. On the porch stood Doggo, with Dogamy and Dogaressa behind him, axes at the ready. In the yard, Greater Dog had extended his neck to peer into the second floor. Doggo took a step back, taking the smoking dog treat out from his teeth. “The door moved, is the skeleton there?” He asked, squinting as though it would aid his vision somehow. In unison, Dogamy moved closer to Doggo to explain that Sans was standing there and what he was wearing, and Dogaressa lowered her axe to step forward. “Honey, you scared half the town, we were about to call the captain.”

 

Sans ran his phalanges over his bony face and sighed. “I guess I just needed a good dose of i-scream .” The pun registered various tones of sighs from the three more intelligent dogs, while Greater Dog’s neck snapped back to a ‘normal’ length to bark at the skeleton. Taking his cue, he moved past them and towards Waterfall. “I’ll explain later.” He called, teleporting the second he was out of their line of sight.


Before him stood the door to the Ruins, which he had never dared to open until now. It was time to put the human’s plan into action.