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Little Human

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Chapter One: Take A Hike!

 

Willow sat on her princess bed, tears running down her sun kissed cheeks. Her favorite stuffed animal, a kitten rightfully named Kitty, was clutched tightly in her little freckled arms. Why did Mom and Dad have to fight? For whatever reason they did, Willow really didn’t like it.

 

She sniffled, climbing off of the bed to put her ear to the door. She held Kitty by her head, putting her ear to the door too. After all, she deserves to know what is going on just as much as her owner did.

 

“Why did you take the job in the first place? You’re not getting paid any better, and we’re going to have to move a good four states away! You know how important family is to me, Allan!”

 

“Oh, c’mon, Jane! Don’t use that ‘you know how important family is to me’ tactic. Look, I know it looks bad now, but we could to explore a whole new state, make new friends, buy a n-”

 

“But I don’t want to! Does my opinion matter anymore? You’ve pulled this kind of trick countless times! You know what, if you want to ‘explore a new state’ go do it by yourself!”

 

At this point, Mom was screaming. More tears fell from Willow’s blue-gray eyes. She didn’t want to move! She’d just made a bunch of new friends at school, found a creek in the woods in her backyard, and sometimes, if she was lucky, she got to walk her neighbor’s pomeranian! The little blonde was sure she wasn’t ready to leave all of that.

 

Willow decided to take a hike in the woods. That always made her feel better. Wiping the half dried tears away, she trotted to her closet to grab a gym bag.

 

The bag was a sunshine yellow, and had the words EBOTT COUNTY ELEMENTARY printed in a green collage font. She gently laid Kitty vertically in the bag, and grabbed her old brown hiking boots and socks. She pulled a baby pink hoodie over her her tee shirt. After all, autumn was just around the corner, and the trees were already showing it.  

 

Her hot pink camera was neatly placed in it’s case (which was also hot pink) on her vanity. She grabbed it and put it in the bag, just in case she saw anything worthy of getting its picture taken.

 

When Willow unlocked her bedroom door, the noise of Mom and Dad’s yelling was almost unbearable. She really wished she had some earplugs.

 

She trotted down the polished wood staircase and turned the corner to the kitchen. Luckily, Mom and Dad were in the dining room, so she wouldn’t have to bother with them right now. She was forming the lies she would have to tell them later on that evening. They always tried to make her feel better by first asking a series of questions on how she felt about the situation, and then taking her out for ice cream to make it all feel better.

 

Willow liked ice cream just as much as any other eight year old, (especially strawberry with extra sprinkles) but that didn’t make anything feel better. She knew their promises of ‘never fighting again’ would be broken in a couple days.

 

The blonde sighed as Mom’s voice cut out because she was yelling so loud. She grabbed a couple s’mores granola bars, and put some goldfish into a snack bag. Her purple water bottle was the last thing to be packed. The thick rope straps were secured on her small shoulders, wavy bleach blonde locks tumbling over them.

 

Willow made sure her boots were laced up tight. She didn’t want to trip and scrape anything. Mom and Dad were still screaming at each other, but she tuned them out. All she really cared about at the moment was smelling that early fall breeze.

 

She closed the back door gently. And gazed at the expanse of yard and forest before her. She could just make out the summit of Mount Ebott in the distance. She lived somewhat close to the mountain’s middle, and spent most of her summer exploring it. Mom and dad weren't much of the outdoorsy type, so Willow had the whole mountain to herself. She bit her bottom lip in excitement, and sprinted straight into the forest.

 

The view was breathtaking. No wonder she brought her camera! She immediately dug it out of her knapsack, and snapped a couple pictures of the thick canopy above her. Some leaves were still green, but most were red, orange, and gold. The colors painted the pine needle covered ground like stained glass.

 

Willow’s eyes were fixed on the canopy. The way the sun shone through the leaves, it was amazing. Her stomach began to growl, letting her know it’s been a couple hours since lunch. The blonde groped around in her bag for the goldfish she packed earlier. finding them, she set them on the ground next to her, and she pulled out her water bottle.

 

Willow decided to leave half of the bag for later. She didn’t want to eat the whole thing in case she wanted some more.

 

She noticed the sun was close to setting, and began to head back home. She’d never been this deep in the woods, but she knew the way out. Just look for where the trees thin out! Easy peasy, right?

 

She couldn't tear her eyes from the canopy. Every once in awhile, a bird would flutter by, sing for a little, and carry on with his journey. The whole thing was just so magnificent to Willow.

 

The blonde came across one part of the woods that was particularly steep. One of her brows rose in confusion. She definitely didn’t remember coming up the mountain this way. Oh well, that just means it’ll take longer to get back.

 

Willow gazed at the multi colored sky in between the branches. There were hues of peach, coral, and lavender. A smile graced her lips as she stepped further down the pine needle blanketed slope.

 

She pressed forward, her footing getting less and less careful. Her bleach blonde hair was now confined in a somewhat high ponytail, the ends of her hair tickling the nape of her neck.

 

The slope got steeper, and her steps grew quicker in pace. It got to the point where Willow was a little nervous with the speed she was moving. She tried to stop her feet from going so fast, but the hill was too steep. The girl was now running, every step landing with a thud. Her chestnut brows furrowed togeth-

 

The girl was now tumbling down the slope, her face occasionally skidding across the pine needles. A shriek escaped from her, but that seemed to be all that her little lungs could manage. Her pace quickened until…

 

Wind was blowing her hair upward. She opened her eyes to see the dwindling sunlight drift further and further away.

 

She was falling.

 

Another scream escaped Willow’s mouth. This was it. That was the last time she’d see Mom and Dad. She was a gonner.

 

Willow’s little body hit the ground with an echoing thud, and her sight went black.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Two: Ughh… F-Flowers? Talking Ones?

 

Willow woke to a pit of flora choked pillars, and the sweet scent of flowers  filling her nose. “W-Where am I?” A purple-blue bruise decorated the right side of her forehead, and her palms were torn up. She looked upward to see where the source of the light was coming from.

 

To her surprise, it wasn’t the sun. Churning white clouds casted cool toned light down into the hole. She felt her blue-gray irises tighten as she stared at it.

 

A rustling in the dark caught her attention. Had someone been watching her. Some thing ? She pulled Kitty out of her knapsack, and hugged her with all the might she had in her weakened arms.

 

The hole turned out to be more of a room. She turned the corner to a hallway, eyes wide with fear. A rustling came from her left side, and a small squeak ripped from her throat. “H-Hello?” Willow’s voice was shaky. Half of her was hoping someone would answer. Maybe they could help her get out.

 

“Howdy!”

 

She jumped at the response. “Where a-are you?” She peeked around the doorframe, and another one of those cloudy barrier things casted light down. Right before Willow stood a flower… With a face?

“I’m right here, silly! My name’s Flowey, Flowey the flower!”

 

Willow didn’t move.

 

“C’mon, don’t be afraid! Have you never seen a talking flower before?”

 

She shook her head.

 

Flowey’s eyes glinted with annoyance, and  his smile morphed into something resembling a simper.

 

“Well, this must be exciting for ya! Why don’t you come a little closer? You’ll be able to see me better.

 

Willow didn’t move.



“Well fine then, If you won’t come to me, I’ll come to you!  

 

The flower’s face contorted into something horrible. His eyes enlarged, and red, glowing pupils flashed in the center of soulless irises. He grew razor like fangs, and a petrifying smile cracked across this face. Willow screamed, and sprinted for the door she came through.

 

OH NO YOU DON’T!”

 

Thick, thorny vines wove themselves into the stone. The little girl looked back, and to her horror, the flower had two arm-like vines at either side of him, long sharp thorns curling out of the ‘hands’. The tears of the terrified girl seemed to give Flowey an odd power. His thorns grew thicker and sharper. His red pupils now took over his eyes, and his horrendous smile grew to eat up most of his face. Yellow teeth looked blunt, but Willow noticed the serrated edges they had.

 

“CHARA AND I HAVE BEEN PLANNING THIS FOR SO LONG! THE NEXT HUMAN TO FALL DOWN THAT WRETCHED HOLE WOULD BE THEIRS! THEIRS TO FULLY POSSESS I’LL RIP YOUR SOUL FROM YOUR BODY, AND BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO EAT IT IN ONE GULP!”

 

Willow was horrified, but she had to think of a way out. The nasty bruise on her forehead was giving her a heck of a headache, and her knees and palms burned.

 

She dropped kitty momentarily, and shrugged the gym back off her shoulders.

 

Here goes nothing.

 

She swung the yellow bag at Flowey’s head, her water bottle knocking him so hard, some of his grimy yellow petals fluttered off. His thorns receded into the vines, and his smile shrank down to a somewhat normal size. “W-What do you Th-think you’r-”

 

A small ball of fire flew from the side, causing the flower to uproot from the ground and get tossed out of the cloud light’s spotlight.

 

“Oh, my! Human child, are you alright? That bruise on your head look awful!” A Large goat like creature stepped out of the shadows, and knelt down to Willow’s height. She ran her fluffy paw over the wound, and even though her touch was gentle, Willow winced. The goat lady grimaced at Willow’s pain, and pulled her paw back to her side.

 

“I am Toriel. Do you have a name? I’d hate to call you ‘child’ if you have one.” Toriel smiled, revealing two razor sharp canines on both the top and bottom rows of her pearly white teeth. This, however, didn’t scare the girl.

 

“W-Willow. My name’s Willow.”

Toriel picked up Kitty, dusting the dirt off of her, and handed her to Willow. Her gray-blue eyes lit up at the sight of her favorite toy, and hugged Kitty close to her chest.

 

“Well then, Willow, come with me. I can dress your wounds at my house.” She turned her paw to the girl, and Willow hesitantly held it.  She wanted to trust Toriel, but after Flowey…

 

“That flower made it difficult for you to trust our kind, did he not?” Toriel looked down at Willow as the two walked. “A little.” The girl’s eyes shifted to the ground. It was only natural for a child her age to be shy around strangers.

 

“Don’t form an opinion about our kind on him. Some of us are still bitter toward humans, rather than accepting our present and hoping for a better future.” She spoke the latter sentence with slight contempt.

 

Willow glanced up at her new caretaker. She opened her mouth to ask for more information, but decided it was best not to. The girl knew first hand not to ask an upset person about what was making them feel that way. Willow squeezed Toriel’s paw the best she could instead. The size difference made that a bit of a challenge.

 

The blonde smiled up at Toriel, hoping for her to notice. Toriel’s white fur bristled. She was really pleased with herself that Willow wasn’t afraid of her. “I assume you enjoy my presence, yes?” Bleach blonde tresses tumbled over her small shoulders as she nodded.

 

Toriel’s laugh was comforting and warm. “I’m glad you do. I return the feeling. It gets quite bonely down here sometimes. That was a joke a friend of mine told me! I really do hope to meet him someday…”

 

After showing Willow the basics of living in the Underground, the two arrived at Toriel’s house. She had red leaves strewn about the yard, and there was an odd… Yellow star looking thing. Due to her child like curiosity, Willow strode toward the floating object. She poked the ‘star’, and to her surprise, her finger penetrated it. The digit tingled, and a warm feeling washed over her like a wave. “Come along, Small one, let me show you around.” The little girl snapped out of her trance, and trailed behind Toriel into her home.

 

Despite the exterior, the inside was immaculately kept. Not a single dust bunny hopped about the light wooden floor.

 

“How do you like it? I try to keep up with it the best I can.” Willow couldn’t help but grin at the comforting atmosphere. “It’s really pretty, Ms. Toriel.” Her caretaker chuckled. “Please, little one, call me Toriel. There is no need to use formal names here.” The little blonde furrowed her brows. Usually, grown ups told her to call them Mr. or Ms.

 

That would take some getting used to.

 

“Okay!” Toriel flashed a sad smile. “You remind me so much of… Anyway, would you like me to show you around?” Willow nodded. “Alright, then. Just follow me.”

 

“And this is where you will spend your nights.” Toriel’s fluffy paw turned the doorknob, revealing a red themed room. It looked cozy. A bed was tucked in the right corner, along with some stuffed animals. They showed some signs of use. Huh.

 

A wardrobe and a bookshelf sat on the opposite side of the room. A worn out sketch of a buttercup was taped to the wall. Someone was definitely living here before Willow. “Will this suit you?” Toriel seemed anxious. She really wanted Willow to like the place. “It’s really comfy! Thank you.” She plopped herself, Kitty, and her gym bag on the small bed. Her parents always told her to say ‘Thank you’ when someone did something kind for her. They should’ve practiced what they preached.

 

“You are most certainly welcome, My dear.” Toriel began to walk toward the exit, but stopped midway. “Oh! What taste do you favor? Cinnamon or butterscotch?” Willow pondered the question for a beat. “Gee, I can’t decide.” Her caretaker smiled, and rubbed her head, causing some of her long sandy tresses to sit awry. “That’s fine. Actually, that works out quite nicely! I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me.” This time, Toriel left Willow, closing the door softly and striding to the kitchen.

 

The girl was left alone to figure out what the heck just happened. “Okay…” She sat Kitty on her lap. “Do you know what’s going on?

She shook Kitty’s head.

“I don’t either.” Her little frame slumped over, long hair falling around her.

“I’ll have to be tough!” Willow shot upright, mottled eyes shining with determination.

“Mom and dad are probably looking for us… I-I miss them.” Her face heated up and her sight became hazed by tears.

 

Willow pulled back the scarlet sheets, took off her boots, and snuggled into her new bed. It was soft, and warmth ghosted over the spot she sat on.

 

Her body was just now on the tail end of its adrenaline rush, and aches annoyed her nerves. She expected as much, though. Considering all of the dark blue patches on her skin, she was surprised she hadn’t felt anything earlier.

 

The room was silent. This was the moment they’ve been waiting for.

“Greetings, Willow!” Their voice was oddly cheery, but had a prickly venom muddled into it. Willow’s eyes grew wide with fear, and she burrowed deep into the covers. Chara giggled.

 

“Ah, don’t be afraid! Afterall, that is my bed you’re in. The human’s blood iced in her veins and those words were spoken. She didn’t want to move, but she peeled back the covers and stood anyway. The motions almost felt forced.

 

“Good, good! I’m glad you’re being cooperative. I wouldn’t want things to get messy so early on.” Willow hugged Kitty tight, and tears fell from her terrified eyes. “Now, Toriel is not  in the kitchen at the moment. I want you to find the biggest knife she has and keep it.”

“W-Why?”

“Because I said to! Trust me, you’ll need it.”

Willow nodded to the voice in her head, and her shaky little hand turned the doorknob.

 

The girl glanced around for Toriel. “She’s not here! Don’t you listen? Just grab a knife!” Chara’s growl rang in Willow’s head. For some reason she felt the urge to find a blade… And use it.

 

She pulled open a drawer, and sure enough, a large knife, just short of being a cleaver, glinted up at her. “That’s it! Now just take it. Oh, we’re going to have so much fun !” Chara giggled.

 

A nervous smile was etched onto Willow’s features as she lifted the knife. It was a lot heavier than it looked.

 

“Go into the bas-” Chara was cut off by Toriel whisking back into room, checking to see if the pie was cool enough to eat. Instinctively, Willow dropped the knife, the clatter almost deafening.

 

“My child! Why do you have that?” The girl’s caretaker looked her over, then picking up the blade and placing it back in its rightful place. “I-I was… Going to cut the pie.” Willow felt terrible about lying, but she knew Toriel wouldn't believe a spirit was telling her to take it… Right?

 

“A task like that is far too dangerous for someone your age. Next time, please tell me if you want a slice, I don’t want you getting hurt.” She knelt down to the girl’s height, caressing her cheek. “How about we get those scrapes cleaned up, yes?” Willow nodded, following Toriel out of the kitchen. Whatever just happened was really odd, and she had a hollow feeling that this wouldn’t be the last time Chara visits her.   

Chapter Text

Chapter Three: This Weather Is Bone Chilling, Aye?

 

“There you go, all better.” Toriel cooed as she pressed the the bandage over Willow’s skinned knee. The girl nodded a thank you, holding a bag of ice over her bruise. She thought back to the voice in her head. Why were they there? Why did they want her to have the knife? What would they have said if they weren’t cut off by Toriel?

 

“Where were you before you came into the kitchen?” The blonde’s voice was innocent, offsetting the confusion on her caretaker’s face. “I was in the basement, why do you ask?” Willow’s mottled eyes lit up at her response. Memories of the time she found Mom’s old clothes flooded back. She had a wonderful fashion show, and Mom took a bunch of pictures. There was even a section in the family photo album for it.

 

“Could we please go down there? Please?” Once again, Toriel was taken aback by the child. Willow realized that her caretaker needed some persuasion in order for her to say yes. Time to haul out the cuteness.

 

“Please, Toriel? It would be fuuun!” The blonde dropped the bag of ice, and hugged Toriel’s leg, bouncing on the balls of her little feet. A warm chuckle sounded in the elder’s throat. “Yes, I suppose so.” Willow let go of her leg. “Really? Thank you!” She began to run down a random hallway, but stopped abruptly. “Oh, wait here, I’ll get my camera!” She dashed toward her new room, planning where the best place for a runway would be.

 

She flung open the door, not wanting to keep Toriel waiting. The lamp was still on, per usual. She always had an issue with leaving lights on. Turn your light off! Mom’s voice echoed in her mind. A pang of sadness settled in her heart, but was brushed away when she remember what she needed.

 

She skipped over to the bed, and dug through her gym bag. Of course, the camera was in the very bottom of it, buried by a water bottle, many snacks, and Kitty. There wasn’t time for this! Clothes were waiting to be tried on! She decided on saving some precious time and bringing the bag with her. Lastly, she slipped on her boots. Dad always told her to wear shoes in a garage or basement, just in case there are any sharp objects on the floor. She always obeyed him, and now it was a habit. Willow sprinted out of the room, boots thumping across the floor. This was going to be fun.

 

“You can look around all you like, just don’t open any doors without my permission, understand?” Willow nodded excitedly. She finished her descent down the stairs, hopping off the last step. The impact her boots made with the cement floor sounded through the empty room. Her toothy smile faltered when she saw only a few boxes stacked in a corner. She could make it work! It would just be a really short fashion show.

 

Willow trotted over to the boxes, seeing bold writing on their sides. She craned her neck to read the top box. GLASSWARE. A blonde brow lifted at that, and assumed that had to do something with glasses and bowls. Next one down, a rather large one, read LIGHTING . That one was self explanatory.

 

The last box, however, was different. ASRIEL’S THINGS was scribbled on the side. The name brought back horribly perfect memories for the spirit behind her.

 

There aren’t any clothes, are there? Willow jumped at the sudden voice. “L-Leave me alone… Please.” The girl spoke to herself. Toriel perked up from dusting at her small voice. “Is everything alright, Willow?” The girl plastered on a fake smile. “Y-Yes, I’m okay.” Her caretaker nodded, and went back to cleaning. You think I’d give up an opportunity like you? Good luck with that. You’re disappointed, I can tell. Let that feeling consume you. Turn it into anger. Knock over the boxes as a start. It’ll warm you up for the other thing I have planned.  Willow’s eyes widened as she felt her hands slowly being pushed forward. She tried her best to restrain them.

 

“What other things?” her voice was softer, but filled with more fear than the last time she spoke. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, do what is say, and push the boxes over. The force on her hands strengthened. Tears clouded her vision. She could almost feel a pair of  hands pushing hers forward.

 

“No.”

 

Did you just tell me No?

 

“I-I don’t want to!” The force strengthened. I don’t remember giving you a choice.

“No! I said I don’t want to!”

 

Toriel looked up, confusion covering her countenance. She saw the girl struggling against herself, tears falling from her eyes. Her hands were close to the boxes, but she refused to topple the stack. “May I ask what you are doing, Willow?”

 

The force ceased, and her arms fell to her sides. The girl looked at her palms, terrified of what just happened. “N-Nothing. I’m okay.” Toriel looked the girl over for a moment more, and decided to break the tense silence. “I’m going to put this away, I’ll be back soon. Remember what I said, do not open any doors.” Willow nodded, her sight not leaving her hands.

 

When her caretaker left, Willow’s eyes flooded over once more. Not only did this spirit have access to her mind, but now movement ? She couldn’t take this. She dashed down a hallway, as if trying to get as far away from those boxes as possible.

 

She plopped herself in a corner, and wiped the half dried tears from her cheeks. A frigid draft seeped through her leggings. She looked up to see a wooden door. She touched it, and recoiled back at the freezing temperature. I dare you to open it. We’d have much more fun out there than we would in this dump. The invisible hand grabbed her wrist once more, and jerked it up to the knob. “NO!” Willow pulled her arm down, not caring if Toriel heard her. “Please stop, you’re scaring me.” she choked out the sentence.

 

That’s the best part.

 

Willow wanted to scream. She wanted to go home. She wanted this to end, but all she could do was cry. She felt the spirit slowly dissipate from her mind which was a relief and a half. That didn’t make her any less scared, however. What was the spirit's idea of ‘fun’? Seeing how they were making Willow act must mean it isn’t a good thing.

 

The girl curled into a tighter ball, and tried not to cry too loud. She thought she was doing well, when she heard a knock on the other side of the door.

 

Willow squeaked, and clamored backward. “Hey, Tori? Is that you? Ya sound like you took a huge breath of helium.” The voice was obviously male, and had quite the bit of rasp to it. The voice’s dialect resembled that of a new yorker’s. Willow frantically thought of a way out of this. “T-Toriel!”

 

Within seconds, the elder was in the basement, and trotting to the child’s aid. “Is everything okay in there?”  The male voice sounded panicked, and the doorknob began to move back and forth. This only scared the girl more. Toriel recognised the voice, and unlocked the door, simultaneously scooping up Willow.

 

The girl held on to Toriel’s dress for dear life, even though she was held quite securely in a white, fluffy arm. Her shiny blonde locks hung like a golden waterfall from her head. The door flung open, and cold air flowed gently into the warmth of the basement. The blonde refused to look at anything other than the fabric of Toriel’s dress. She held tighter.

 

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes, we’re fine.”

We ? Is that a-”

“Yes, yes she is, and I expect you to take care of her for me. She would have a better time with the two of you than me.”

“Oh, uh, okay. Pap’ll be excited about this I guess.”

 

The skeleton held out his arms, and Toriel hugged Willow tightly. “I leave you in good hands, my child. Please come back if you wish.” Willow gave the elder a tender embrace around her neck. With that, Toriel lowered Willow into another pair of hands, these a lot more… Bony. “I wish you well, Sans.” “Ditto.”  

 

The sound of the door closing echoed through the outside. The blonde gripped the fur of the male’s fluffy coat. “Guess you’re stuck with me now, bucko. I don’t mind. The more the merrier, right?” The blonde nodded subconsciously. The man’s voice was soothing, and the crunching of the snow beneath his feet was relaxing. “You’re pretty heavy to carry all the way back to Snowdin, but I’ll try.” The man hefted her up, and walked in silence.

 

After five minutes or so, Willow could tell that the man was having difficulty bearing her weight. She went limp, and the man chuckled. “You tryin’ to give me a hernia, kid?  C’mon, lighten up a little!” He laughed slightly at his own joke, and gently set the blonde down.  She stretched, and blinked open her blue-gray eyes. What she saw made her gasp.

 

“The names Sans, n’ you?” He was a skeleton, about  five feet tall. He was clothed in a white tee shirt, blue winter coat, black basketball shorts with a white stripe down the sides, and pink slippers. In his black eye sockets, white pupils glowed. Sans stuck out his right hand, and the girl hesitantly accepted. “Willow.” “Willow huh? That’s a nice name.” The blonde smiled a bit, and shuddered from the cold. Even the assistance of her pink hoodie wasn’t good enough in this weather.

 

“You cold, kid? The weather is bone chillin’ isn’t it? Have this. I don’t need it.” Sans shrugged off his jacket, and handed it to Willow. She slid it on, and slipped both her pink hood and Sans’ on her head. “Could you please zip me up?” “Sure.” The skeleton knelt down, and attached the zipper to its other side. “Thank you!” Willow couldn’t help but smile. Sure her legs were a bit chilly, but other than that, she got to play in the snow!

 

Willow bounded ahead of Sans, jumping in the snow and making tiny snowmen as she went along. The skeleton couldn’t help but smile bigger at the human. She reminded him so much of Papyrus when he was this age. “Hey, wait up! Some of us don’t wanna run a marathon!” Willow turned around, stuck her tongue out at Sans, and ran faster. “Yep, just like Pap.”

 

Willow was running as fast as she could. Her socks were getting soaked by melting snow, but she giggled to herself nonetheless. She knew Sans couldn’t catch up to her, and she was proud of it.

 

“Didja miss me?” Willow almost ran Sans over. She looked behind her, and back at the skeleton in front of her.

“How did you…”

“I know a couple shortcuts.” San’s smile turned to more of a grin as he saw Willow smile again. “You’re the cutest lil human I’ve seen in awhile. I mean look at ya, you’re a little eskimo baby.” “Thank you!” The blonde giggled, and threw her arms around his ribcage. His smile faltered, and he hugged her back. “Anytime, kiddie.”

 

“You gettin’ hungry?” Willow nodded, noticing how empty her stomach felt. She never got to eat Toriel’s pie. That’s a shame. “I know a good place to go, I think you’ll like it.”

 

The two entered Snowdin, and the town was nothing short of charming. An inn’s windows shone with firelight, and an endearing little shop put up a WELCOME TO SNOWDIN banner.


“It’s right there, ya see it?” Sans pointed to an approaching diner. “Grillby’s?” Willow said the name slowly, obviously never reading it anywhere else in her past. “Mhm. You’re gonna love it, I promise. I’ll even throw in a pinkie swear if I have to!” Willow giggled, and intertwined her pinkie with his. “You have to keep it now.” The girl smiled. “I definitely will, and I don’t say that often.” Their pinkies stayed connected until they reached the diner.

Chapter Text

Chapter Four: I Think That Man Needs A Fire Extinguisher

 

“After you, Eskimo.” The stout skeleton held open the wooden door of the diner. Willow stomped her boots on the narrow porch, not wanting to leave a track of water for someone to slip on. She trotted inside, and the sudden warmth made her freezing hands tingle.

 

The girl marveled at the monsters around her. Some had feathers, some had scales. One table was occupied by a group of armored dogs. One of the monsters looked in her direction. They gasped, grabbing the whole diner’s attention.

 

The monsters’ gazes seemed to burn right through her soul. A nervousness built up in Willow. Why weren’t they treating her like Toriel and Sans were?

 

She gave a weak wave, and a black and white dog beared his teeth.

“She’s with me.” Sans spat. The skeleton slung an arm around her. It wasn’t a casual sign of affection, though. It was more protective. The monsters returned to their conversations, but the atmosphere of the room shifted to something much more tense. Least to say, Willow stuck out like a sore thumb, and the inhabitants of the Underground were going to let her know that.

 

“Don’t mind them, squirt. They aren’t used to seeing humans down here.” The girl glanced around, and pulled herself onto the barstool. “So, whaddaya want? They got burgers, fries… Anything your little soul desires.” Sans laid out the menu, trying to keep a toothy smile on his face. He wanted Willow to be happy, after all, that’s why Toriel gave her to him.

 

“Fries sound good.” The blonde mumbled. She bundled herself tighter in the winter coat and twirled a piece of her shiny hair. “Don’t let ‘em get ya down kiddo. They’re just a bunch of bone heads.” Willow chuckled. She felt a darkness settle into her, goosebumps rising on her arms. Not even Sans’ coat could diminish the icy feeling. Her stomach felt heavy, and her head began to spin.

 

Pictures. Pictures flashed through her mind. White dust covered her hands. A sick smile plastered to her face. A knife was in her hand. Her lips twitched when her prey’s fear filled eyes met her soulless ones. The feeling of the knife dragging through monsters’ skin was beautiful, and she absolutely despised it.

 

^^^

 

Sans tapped his phalanges on the glossy wood of the bar, anticipating a certain man’s appearance from the kitchen doors. He rolled his glowing pupils as the gossip grew of a human in the Underground.

Unlike the others that have fallen, the skeleton had a good feeling about this girl. She was so innocent, what could a girl like her do? The one thing holding him back from completely trusting Willow was the past. He’s seen it all before. He put his trust in them, and they end up losing their soul to the godforsaken Reset.

 

A gasp from his left side caught his attention. Her little hands gripped the edge of the bar with all the strength she had. Her knuckles turned white. She looked like she’d seen a ghost, but that wouldn’t surprise the skeleton. “What’s the matter, buddo? You okay?”

 

Her eyes got wider, and her lip trembled. “No, no, nononono…” Now that was enough to creep out the monster. “Kid, listen to me. What’s wrong?” He grabbed Willow’s shoulders, trying his best to pacify the child. “Everything was g-gone. There was dust, and a knife and-”

 

“It’s okay, you’re okay. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you.” Sans did what first came to mind, and gave Willow a tight, lingering hug. He’s seen this so many times. He never wanted to lose a human to this horrible tactic the corrupted soul used. Time and time again, reset after reset, he’s seen a good kid go to hell.

 

He gritted his teeth as he hugged Willow tighter, sensing the burning cold building up in his left eye socket. No, he couldn’t let Willow see him like that. That would only scare her more, and she sure as hell didn’t need that now. He shoved down his anger the best he could. One day that mistake of a soul will get what's coming to them.

 

“If something like this happens, you gotta tell me mkay?” The two parted for a moment, Sans’ metacarpals on the blonde’s elbows. She nodded, wrapping her arms around his ribcage once more.

 

^^^

 

The cold, dark feeling faded from her body. A sigh of relief expelled from her now light chest. The girl squeezed her mottled eyes shut, indulging in the odd warmth and comfort the skeleton radiated.

 

He reminded her of Dad… Only better? That felt like a sacrilegious thing to think, but she did feel that way, and she couldn’t deny her feelings. Dad would never have tried to pull her from her horrible thoughts like that. Then again, that wouldn’t have happened back home.

 

A popping sound came from the other side of the bar. It reminded the human of the camping trips she enjoyed so much, like a campfire. That didn't’ make sense. They were inside a building, why in the world…

 

Willow cracked her eye open, the cooltone iris pulling dramatically at the sudden burst of light. “Oh my gosh! You’re-You’re on fire!” She squeaked as she glanced around frantically for a fire extinguisher.

 

A few of the monsters found this comical, and snickered at the girl’s lack of knowledge on her host. This only made her furrow her brows and cross her small, jacketed arms.

 

“I’m guessing she’s not from around here?” The male voice presumably belonged to the literal fire man.  His voice was friendly and smooth, matching the suave of his tux.  “Yeah, but I got a feelin’ she’ll do just fine. She’s pretty tough, ya know.” Sans chuckled, and noogied her through her doubled hoods. The hard feeling of bone was the slightest bit odd, but she could look past that.

 

Willow grunted, giggling as she swatted the ivory hued arm. The blazing man leaned back a bit, crossing his arms. “You must be one tough cookie to get a compliment from him. Those definitely don’t come often.” “He’s right. Be proud of yourself, kiddie.” Willow smiled. She began to realize that not all the monsters were like the ones sitting in the surrounding tables.

 

“We’ll take a double order of fries.” The man of flames nodded, pulling out a notepad and and scribbled the order down as he headed to the kitchen. “His name was Grillby by the way.” Willow nodded. She unzipped the coat that was many sizes too big for her, and placed it in Sans’ lap. “Can you hold this?” “Sure.” He thought for a moment, trying to find a good conversation starter. “So, you excited to spend your first night with us?” Willow lifted a blonde brow “Us?” Sans realized he hadn’t told her about his brother. That was strange. When did he not talk about him?

 

“I have a brother, I think you two’ll get along fine. His name is Papyrus. Pap for short.” Willow nodded, excited to meet the ‘Pap’ Sans spoke of. “Is he older or younger than you?” The girl shifted her position on the stool to face the skeleton rather than the bar. “He’s younger, even though he doesn’t look like it.” The skeleton let out a warm chuckle. Papyrus alway did that to him. Even when he wasn’t in the room, just thinking about him, made Sans’ day. He didn’t know where he’d be without him.

 

Willow was truly excited to meet Papyrus. She was the only child. She had all her toys, room, and family to herself. As glorious as that sounds, she got bored quite a bit. She would see siblings in other neighborhoods play with each other nonstop, and there she was. All alone. Maybe Papyrus could be like her big brother! Oh, that would be super exciting!

 

The blonde giggled as the thought crossed her mind, causing Sans to lift a brow bone and his smile to grow. “Whatcha thinkin’ about?” “Meeting Pap.” “Ah, I would be excited too. He’s the coolest monster in the Underground.” Willow looked Sans straight in the eye sockets. “Does that make me the coolest human in the Underground?” “It sure does!”

 

Grillby popped out of the kitchen doors not long after, a basket of fries in each of his fiery palms. “Would you like ketchup with that?” He placed the baskets on the bar, pushing them forward. “I think you know the answer to that. I’ve been comin’ here long enough, haven’t I?” Grillby chuckled. “I sure do.” He pushed through the kitchen doors, coming right back out with a red squeeze bottle. “Thanks, Grillby.” “Anytime.”

 

“The man of flames wished the blonde well, and disappeared into the kitchen where he’d spend the rest of his night. Sans took the ketchup bottle, and squeezed quite a bit into his mouth.  “ Bone appetit, kiddie. Eat up, because we only got noodles at home.” Willow didn’t understand what Sans meant at the time, but she picked up his pun. “Could you teach me some of your jokes someday?” The skeleton chuckled warmly. He squirted more ketchup into his mouth, followed by a couple fries. “Two pun tellers under the same roof? Pap’ll get a kick out of this.

 

^^^

 

“All zipped up and ready to go, bucko.” Sans gently laid the hoods of his fluffy coat and her hoodie on the human child’s head. They stepped back into the cold atmosphere of Snowdin, resuming their trek to Willow’s new home.

 

As they walked, the blonde noticed that everything seemed still. Yes, monsters still moved about the snow covered pathway, but there was a certain stillness to it. The sounds of boots, and slippers, crunching through the hardened powder seemed to fill the air. Usually, on the surface, birds would be chirping, hopping on the snow and sticking their beaks into it. Nothing of that sort happened down here.

 

Also, the air seemed stagnant. It was cold, the kind of cold that made the hair on your neck bristle, but it was still. It made Willow realize that she was still in a cave. Not back home.

 

A sinking feeling settled in her chest as she looked up. Fog type clouds blanketed the cavern’s ceiling, but she could just make out the points of  stalactite. They sparkled with the iridescence of stars, and when all of the formations shone together, it was Snowdin’s main source of natural light. Their ‘sun’.

 

“Sans, how do those things on the ceiling glow?” When she asked the question, her body was racked with a dizziness, and her eyes felt glassed over.

 

Sans didn’t look the same. He looked tired, and angry. Very angry. His right pupil seemed to have vanished, and his left was a blue-yellow. A slash mark tore through his thick white sweater. The center of the sweater was sopping up the blood steadily spouting from the gash in his sternum. Neon blue bones circled around him, and animal-like skulls flanked him. “I… I really thought I could save ya, kid. I know you’re still in there, and it kills me to do this, but… They’ve got a good grip on ya, and I don’t think they’ll let go.” He crumpled to the ground, the blue bones rushing toward her. It all seemed fuzzy, like a dream of sorts.

 

This is fun, isn’t it?   Chara’s voice rang through her mind. Her voice gave her goosebumps, similar to someone whispering into her ears. You could have all this if you jet let me… take the reins on your form. Willow’s vision hazed back into reality for a moment, seeing Sans talking to her. She couldn’t hear him, but if his facial expressions said anything, he was scared to death.