Actions

Work Header

Remind Me Of Up There

Chapter Text

It wasn't fun. They didn't care how good the pie was, or how gentle, nice, or sweet their caretaker was. They didn't care about how much they would like living here. All they did was stare at purple walls and mumble plans on escape.

Chara was basically a prisoner, and had been for about seventy-two hours. They hated this woman, they hated those stupid Whimsuns, and they absolutely despised those Froggits! They tried asking, after their nap and a piece of pie, to leave this area of the Underground and explore the rest. But they weren't allowed. The woman-- Toriel-- Her sweet demeanor turned desperate, went sour in an instant and told them if they dared to leave, they would most certainly perish.

The teen didn't care. They stomped around the ruins, taking every single piece from the bowl of candy, ruining spider webs, and insulting the Froggits. Causing as much havoc as they could. This witch was trying to keep them here forever. The monster was trying to keep them hostage. These monsters deserved to be Underground. They were just as good as the humans, with their spying, their constant watching and waiting and looking. They could all burn in hell.

That's exactly what they could do. They could die, they could shrivel up and fade away. They could be crushed, just like anything else. Maybe if Toriel saw how awful Chara could be, she'd let them go. She'd stop observing them, making sure they didn't step near the basement, stop caring so much about what the child did. 

"Meow," A Froggit hopped close, too close for Chara's liking. Didn't that monster know Chara was too busy thinking to care about it?

"Shoo." Chara waved their hands back and forth frantically, trying to bid the Froggit adieu. But it just kept getting closer, and closer, and those big eyes were watching Chara, watching and waiting, waiting to strike, waiting to kill--

The dust was on their hands, and they smiled. They struck first. They could take care of theirself, right, Mom? Huh, Mom? They struck first, didn't they? That meant they could take care of theirself. That meant that they could go on from the ruins, right, Mom?? 

They walked onwards. Back, the way they came. Crossing a few "traps" that Toriel went over with them at great length. They wanted to see that flower again, the funny-talking one. What did that flower say? It's kill or be killed. Maybe, maybe he was right. Maybe it was kill or be killed. Strangely enough, they didn't really want to kill him. They'd wait, wait and see what the flower would do, what he'd say when they proclaimed that they killed a creature, that they didn't show any mercy.

But there was no flower there. Chara cautiously continued to walk, back to where they fell, calling out the named of that damned plant. Where was he? He would be so happy at the news, wouldn't he? He'd tell them what to do next. They didn't know what to do next.

A silhouetted figure lay there. Chara figured it to be either Flowey, or a monster of some kind. It was dark outside, and they really couldn't tell what the form was. They simply sensed a presence, one that may not be aware of the child.

"Fl--Fll-- Flowey?? Flowey, I-- I--" Stuttering and shaking, the teenager tried to speak, to get out their sentence. They were cut off when a soft, pleasant voice called out.

"Hello? Is this Heaven? Am I dead?" 

Chapter Text

The teenaged voice sounded very calm for someone who thought they were dead. Chara remembered their fall, how much they yelled and cried. They thought it was a mistake, they wished they could take it all back. Those feelings still didn't change down here on the ground.

Chara called back cautiously. "What are you? Who are you?" There was a rustling of leaves and petals as the figure sat up, a bit dazed from the fall. Chara dared to move closer. This wasn't Flowey, and what's one more monster dead? If this being tried to attack Chara, they would die. Simple as that. 

More rustling. The creature didn't speak for a few seconds, before suddenly sharply inhaling. "I hurt my knee."

"I don't care. What. Are. You." Chara inched forwards again, feeling around in the dark for the figure, until they came into contact with something a bit wet.

"Ow!! That was my knee!" Rolling their eyes in the dark, Chara wiped the blood off of their hand and onto the flower petals beneath them as the figure nursed its wound. 

"I'm going to give you five seconds to answer my question. What is your species called, and what is your individual name? Well, if you have one. Five, four, thr--"

"My name is Frisk. I'm a human, and I'm thirteen. Are you... not human?" Again, their voice was very polite for someone who thought that they were conversing with a different species. Chara was one year older than them.

"People say a kid climbed up here a few days ago and disappeared. Have you seen them? Someone called for a search party, so... I'm here. Work, you stupid-- Oh, now you work. Not when I fell into a freaking mountain!" A bright light shone directly in Chara's eyes. "Ow!!"  

"Oh, sorry." Chara could barely make out a caramel-colored hand that that held a flashlight, now at an angle so Chara wouldn't go blind. Looking up, Chara could see the face of this teenager called Frisk. 

Their eyes were rather small and slant, and they weren't smiling. They had a button nose, and despite their age, they wore rather baggy overalls, a jumper underneath. Their hair was about chin-length and framed their rather chubby face awkwardly. Short and chubby, with soft features. Overall, Chara would rate them a 5/10, a perfect 'average.' One of their pants legs was rolled up and blood was dripping from their knee. They must have skinned it when they fell somehow.

"You're the kid, huh? I didn't know you'd be so... old." Chara, despite their rather short height of five three, (How did they still manage to be significantly taller than this shrimp??) looked to be around sixteen. Their eyes were sharp and cold, cold enough to give you shivers. When they frowned, it was scary. When they smiled, it was unsettling. 

"What were you expecting, you ninny? An eight year old?" Frisk nodded.

"Actually, yes. How old are you? Seventeen? What business do you have getting lost like that?" God, this kid was annoying. This short thirteen year old shrimp! ...But Chara didn't want to really, you know, kill them or anything. They weren't top-tier annoying and certainly weren't threatening. Unless they were luring Chara. They could always be luring Chara. 

"I'm fourteen. At least I don't look seven! What business do you have, going on a search party for someone you don't even know? Now you're stuck down here too." It's not like anyone would miss Chara, anyways. They didn't want to go home, they didn't want to face those horrible people anymore. The store owner, the schoolteacher. Their parents. Every single one of them deserved to die. 

"Because I thought you were like, a kid who was lost. I didn't want you to, you know, die out here or anything. Your mom and dad are really worried. Why don't you go back home?" This kid was so, so dumb. No one can leave when that witch was in control. No one can enter, no one can exit, no one can be happy. Not that they'd be happy anywhere else.

"She won't let me." The silence dragged on for what felt like five minutes.

"The monster," Chara continued to explain. "You know the story. Monsters were banished Underground, yadda yadda. This monster called Toriel won't let me leave. You're stuck here too," Chara realized, panic filling their voice. This child was so small, so, so innocent. Chara knew that they couldn't hurt a fly if they wanted. Or, you know, a Froggit. 

"You can't get home. I can't get home. Flowey will tell us what to do! Flowey wi-will, he'll, he's--" Again, they started stuttering, making no sense to the child holding the flashlight.

"He'll what? Who's Flowey? You were calling for Flowey earlier. Is he another monster?" Even though Frisk didn't understand what was going on, they were filled to the brim with determination. They would bring the teenager back to their family, and help Toriel realize that she didn't need to keep kids here! Maybe she was lonely, or didn't have any children of her own. 

"He's a flower monster. He, he told me it's kill or be, be killed and he was right. He was right, I was attacked, and-- and-- I did what I had to. I--" They looked back down to their hands. One was still coated in a thin, fine, dust. Tentatively, Chara brought their hand to their mouth and licked it. Tastes like frog slime, looks like sugar. They spat it out. 

"You killed something..?" Frisk's voice was soft, delicate, as if they didn't want to push or break the babbling child with their voice. "And they... turned to sand? What's that you've got there?" The younger teenager didn't really want to ask why Chara licked that stuff off their hand. 

"Dust. It's monster dust. It tastes funny, I guess that's because it's from a frog." This kid just licked the remains of a frog monster and talked about it as if they'd ate something slightly expired. Gross.

"Oh." They left their mouth in an 'o' shape for a while, before slowly closing it. "Well, we should create a plan to get past Toriel, right? I could talk to her, if you want." 

That definitely wouldn't work. Monsters were not sensible, monsters were not kind. Monsters did not want to talk, they wanted to kill you now and ask questions later. They wanted to take your soul, the very essence of your being. They wanted to do unto Chara, and now Frisk, what the former had done onto that one Froggit. Chara voiced these concerns flippantly, waving a hand as they ranted about monsters. Monsters and humans, they were so alike. Unless you appeased them, they wanted to suck you dry, remove you of everything you had and then some. 

"That's not true!" Frisk suddenly blurted, cutting Chara off midsentence. "Humans, they can be..." The teenager looked downcast for a second, averting their eyes and lessening their grip on the flashlight, causing it to tilt. Now Chara couldn't read their expression, as the light simply shone straight into a patch of yellow flowers. 

"They can be mean, they can be heartless and cruel. But if there's one thing I know, there are so many good people, we just don't know who they are yet. And maybe monsters are the same way. Maybe, beyond this part, there's another part with nicer monsters that want to help us get out." Frisk readjusted the flashlight.

"No! No, no, no no no no no no no nonononono--" Chara's 'nos' began to blur together as they rejected this notion. "They all, all all all all, all of them, all they want to do is suck us dry!" It seems Chara had mixed motives. They hated humanity, but they seemed to hate monsterkind as well. Well, not hate. They seemed to be scared of monsters. Frisk aimed the flashlight on Chara's sharp features again, only to find they'd put their hands over their eyes and were continuing to mumble. They were terrified and Frisk did not know what to do to make the situation better. 

Chara was beginning to shake. "No, no no no, I-- I don't want to be here, I, I, I don't want to go home. I don't want to be anywhere." Frisk moved closer to the taller teenager, gently patting their back to console them. Their tense shoulders started to relax slightly. They must have been so stressed, stuck here for more than two days, maybe even three. Frisk had been searching for about fourteen hours for someone they didn't even know. 

Surprising Frisk, the now crying Chara latched onto the shorter kid. "And the only way I can get out is to-- to kill everyone down here, so, so no one will stand in my way. Flowey made that clear, it's kill or be killed, and being trapped is worse than being killed. So, so, so, the same logic has to apply. It just makes sense, it just does.

Frisk didn't respond, instead just patting the teenager's back. Chara hid their face and took a deep breath in an attempt to calm their nerves. Frisk was this warm comforting being that they'd never known before. Frisk didn't berate them or laugh at them for being scared. The older teenager was so used to being ridiculed, being made to feel stupid for crying or feeling hopeless or hating. But Frisk didn't do that.

"You can't get out, I, I can't leave, we're stuck..." Chara made a sort of whimpering noise in the back of their throat and they moved closer to Frisk, seeming to attempt to block out the rest of the world with the smaller teenager's body.

"Shh, hey. Shh. We don't know that for sure until we try, right? Maybe we could form a plan?" Chara remained still for the longest time, before gently nodding against the other and averting their eyes. They didn't really mean to freak out, but they were so scared, so terrified, that when this comforting light (and they weren't talking about the flashlight) shone down on them, they just melted.

"Alright, lemme think of something, alright?" Again, Chara subtly nodded against them. The two sat in silence, broken only by the older kid sniffling every so often as Frisk thought.

"Hey, I've got an idea." Chara looked up at the now smiling kid, rubbing the tear tracks from their face. They just hoped Frisk wouldn't start treating them like a kid.

"How do you get out of this area?" Chara sniffed, before explaining the door Toriel threatened to collapse if Chara even stepped foot in the basement.

"What if..."  Frisk again paused, tapping a hand to their chin, "You could distract Toriel, in any way you could, and I could open the door. It shouldn't take very long. Then, you could run to the basement and we could both escape."

The idea sounded really great to Chara. After a bit more discussion, the two decided to try. Worst case scenario, Toriel was aware that Frisk was in the underground. By the way Chara described the woman, the idea wasn't appealing to them.


The idea was put into motion as soon as the darkness of the surface turned into dawn. Frisk turned off their flashlight hours before that, simply holding and comforting the child, assuring them the plan would work, and that everything would be okay. They could escape to the surface again.

As soon as the two could see by the light on the surface, Frisk hoisted Chara up by the hand and they both walked the way Chara came. The puzzles were painstakingly simple, but explaining them seemed to distract Chara from their on-edge mood. Frisk could literally see their shoulders relax.

Frisk had to hold Chara back from attacking several Froggits, as well as one Whimsun. After explaining a puzzle, they were normally happy, even smiling. But when they came into contact with one of the Undergrounds residents, they screamed and kicked as Frisk held them by their arms. This normally led Chara to flail at Frisk in return, but the younger teen was great at dodging. They'd just hold Chara by the arms until they calmed down. Once, the screaming child even kicked their shoe off, narrowly missing a vegetable-shaped monster.

They truly were terrified of the very monsters Frisk found to be nice. Certainly strange.

Soon, thetwo got to the cozy-looking house, Chara about two screaming sentences from losing their voice. Wordlessly, Chara led Frisk to the basement stairs. Once they were sure that Frisk wouldn't be seen by Toriel, they went to go find the person they ended up calling 'Mom.' It wasn't really in  a good way, more sarcastic than anything.

They found her in the kitchen. She was cutting a weird-smelling pie.  First it was an actual delicacy (butterscotch-cinnamon!!), now its just snails. Its not bad, just slimy and kind of saddening to see all the snail shells in the trash bin.

"Uh, mom? I..." Toriel turned towards the child, setting down the  who fidgeted and struggled to find something to say. They just couldn't look at that kind face without sensing some sort of malice or desperation behind it, malice that may not have existed at all.

"I... I... I'm..." They couldn't look her in the eye as they took a step closer. "I'm really sorry for this, but I can't take it anymore. I can't take you anymore." Chara picked the knife up from the counter, and in one deft movement, plunged it into Toriel's chest.

Chapter Text

Chara couldn't stand the look on her face. That face of betrayal. Toriel's eyes were cast low, and her normally cheerful smile was replaced with a strange imitation, as if she were trying desperately to be happy. 

"Do... Do you really hate me this much?" Chara couldn't bear to hear her speak. They just couldn't bear it anymore. They yanked the knife out of the slowly disintegrating "caretaker" and watched her slowly crumble, until all that was left was her soul. The colorless core seemed to beat once, twice, before disappearing into nothingness, just as its body did. 

The dust was on everything. The counter, the pie, the knife. Chara's skin. They tried to brush the stuff off of their hands, but it clung. It mixed with tears to make some kind of sandy mud that clung to their face. They couldn't let Frisk see them like this! 

Shuffling a few steps to the right, they washed their hands, then their face, washing that ugly dust right down the drain. But they couldn't wash away their sin. They couldn't wash away the fact that they were shaking, trembling in anticipation. Not fear. They wanted to see the rest of the Underground, and they weren't going to stop, stop, stop, until they were free again. 

They would kill whoever they had to, whoever struck first, whoever made them fear for their life. Taking a deep breath, they stopped crying. They made their tears  stop right in their tracks. You show them you're scared, you show them that you're weak, you show Mom or Dad or any of the monsters you find in this hellhole, you show them how scared you are, you die.

Plain and simple, you die. 

They washed off the knife and decided to keep it. Safety first. Too late, they considered getting one for Frisk, but they were already down the stairs. They didn't want to go back up and risk seeing something, anything. They didn't know what they would see, but they'd just killed someone. No, no, something. They killed a monster, not a person, remember? A monster who was keeping them there, keeping them hostage. It was a justified action. 

"..ara.!! Chara, look!! Snow!" Frisk opened the big, purple door that led out of the Ruins. Chara didn't even notice  that they'd been walking, that Frisk was talking to them about... something. They didn't know, really. All they knew was that Frisk was holding their still-damp hands.

"Huh. Oh." They deadpanned without meaning too, expression as flat as their voice. Frisk was trying to catch snowflakes in their mouth. God, Chara was so happy to be seeing a color other than purple!!

...But the white, that clear, pure white. It was the same color as the soul of a monster. White was a monstrous color. It was an evil color. It was the kind of color that kept a person trapped forever. Their breathing hitched, and they tried not to scream, the sound becoming a strangled noise in the back of their throat. 

Frisk noticed. They stopped their silly dancing around, trying to taste the snow, (who knew the Underground had its own ecosystem!?) instead tightening their hold of Chara's hand and tugging them along. "Maybe we should keep moving." They looked back to see the other human. Chara's eyes were closed tight in terror. The space behind their eyes was black. Black wasn't white, it wasn't purple. It was a comfort. 

Frisk led the child, holding their increasingly chilled hand. Chara didn't feel cold. They felt safe behind their eyes, safe from the elements. Safe enough to let the smaller child lead them along. That is, until Frisk suddenly stopped. They bumped into them, not daring to open their eyes. A familiar feeling crawled on Chara's back. The feeling of being observed. Being watched. 

"You two...? Two humans..." The masculine voice echoing behind them sounded vaguely confused for two seconds, but quickly rightened itself. Chara stood on end, waiting, waiting to strike and kill whatever this menacing force was.

"Don't you guys know how to greet a new pal? Turn around and--" The voice was cut short as Chara wrest their hand away from Frisk's tightening grip, screeching. The sound reverberated across the snowy landscape as Chara lashed out at the voice, knife in hand.

Lucky for the being, it quickly dodged, appearing behind Chara. As if by instinct, the body attacked Chara in return, white and blue bones grazing the human's soul. Chara screamed again, this time in pain. Their eyes were still shut tight as they curled in on theirself, shivering and weeping in the snow.

The skeletal being in front of them huffed and puffed, one eye glowing a frightening blue. Frisk ran in front of him, eyebrows furrowed as they gave him a stern look, extending an arm in a 'Stop!' gesture. The skeleton raised both hands (they were rather small) and backed away, eye flickering and them dimming to a prick of white as he gave Frisk a lazy smile. 

"My bad." Frisk ignored him and took Chara's wrist in their hand. Their pulse was rapid-fire, Frisk could feel it without even trying. Chara was definitely frightened. 

"Think twice before you scare a couple of kids, mister!" Despite Frisk's harsh tone, they still remained polite. With a bit of effort, they lifted up the cowering kid, who latched onto their torso. Frisk was pretty strong, you had to be strong to deal with bullies, to be a babysitter, to break up fights. Chara, on the other hand, was bone thin and pretty weak. They were easy to pick up. Despite this, it was awkward when Chara latched around them, as they were much taller than Frisk. Still, they managed to support their friend. 

"Hey, hey. Sorry. But, uh, you know. I don't do very good around knives. I'm Sans. Sans the skeleton. And you two are...?" The skeleton, apparently trying to start fresh, extended a hand to the smaller kid. Using one hand to support Chara, Frisk shook Sans' hand and sighed, before giggling a bit. Whoopee cousin in the hand trick, a classic, they were sure. 

"I'm Frisk.  My friend is--" Chara nestled closer to Frisk, tears still leaking from their face as they whispered, "Don't tell him." Respecting their privacy, Frisk shrugged. "Nothing that should be said, right now." 

Sans nodded. He didn't understand this situation, not at all. In his dreams, there was one human. One that would either kill him or save monsterkind. Not two humans with two different motives. Not a scared, sniveling teen and a gentle, smiling child. He didn't know what to do. Still, he relaxed his "muscles" (its funny because hes a skeleton and doesn't have muscles!) and let his natural smile stretch. He always had a smile, which made it pretty hard to emote. Right now, he was feeling pretty confused. Definitely a ":\."

"I get that, kid. Uh, is your friend gonna be alright?" Frisk would have shrugged, but they didn't want to concern Chara, and that probably would have disrupted their clinging. So, they nodded, putting a finger to their lips to remind Sans to be a bit quieter, please. They didn't think of Chara as needy, or a baby or anything. Most humans would definitely be freaking out if they had to deal with monsters on a mass scale! But to Frisk, this kind of felt... Natural. It felt pretty normal. Sans seemed nice enough, save for reflexively attacking their friend, and the snowy environment was so scenic. 

The knife Chara wielded lay on the ground. It was covered in slush. Frisk picked it up. Sans flinched subtly, hoping Frisk didn't see. The kiddo seemed nice, he didn't want to peg them as a person with ill intentions, or anything. Maybe it was from habit. Those "dreams" freaked him out. It was the other human he needed to keep a socket on. Frisk held the knife out to Sans, handle facing him, so he wouldn't get any wrong ideas. Gingerly, he took it, nodding his thanks. He didn't want Chara to come to and decide to try and chop him in half again. "I'll take care of that, kid."

"Now. I have a brother, right? He'd love to see a human. You're the perfect candidate. He may try to... oh, you know," He took a deep breath and sped by this part, "Captureyouorsomething, but he couldn't hurt a fly. Just give him something to write home about, y'know?" Frisk was sure that wasn't the proper use of that expression, but they understood.

Chara, however, didn't. They burrowed closer to Frisk, the shorter child's arms a bit tired of supporting them. Still, they wrapped both their arms around the kid and pulled them closer. "He won't hurt us," They murmured, looking up at Sans again for confirmation.

"Yeah, my brother's not like that." He nodded for reaffirmation, despite Chara not currently looking at him. 

Their words were not getting through to the teen. The only thing that kept them from collapsing on the floor in terror was Frisk. All they wanted to do was curl up and disappear. Just fade away into the air, leave this place forever. Frisk kept them hanging onto the moment. For some reason, they were a little happy for that. Maybe it was because they were warmer than the air, or softer than Chara's own body, or that they didn't leave Chara behind.

No one else ever acted like that towards them. Slowly, Chara relaxed. They lessened their grip on the shorter human, slowly untangled their limbs from around them. They felt their body lower as Frisk gently lowered them to the ground. They landed on their feet, and squinted open their eyes so they could find Frisk's hand again. 

They took a deep breath, opening their wide eyes fully and glancing at the being they'd attacked. He was.... a skeleton. Pure white, with hollows for eyes, a blue hoodie, shorts, all the rest of it. And God, were those Crocs? This man was an eyesore! Still, he was... threatening. Imposing. Scary. A monster. They tightened their grip on Frisk's hand, and the other kid put an arm around them, for reassurance. "...Promise we won't get hurt."

Sans wasn't the best at making promises. He rarely did, especially on things he himself was unsure about. But his brother, Papyrus, was incapable of harming another living thing, except maybe Sans' feelings, which were more of a concept anyway. His puns were cool, not lame or corny! So he nodded, not saying anything verbally. This seemed to be enough to placate Chara. Despite their "tall" height (Sans and Frisk were roughly the same height), Sans didn't seem them as much of a threat currently. Maybe it was because they were slouched over, or maybe it was how tired they looked. Maybe it was the way they were holding onto Frisk like their life depended on it. 

The short skeleton raised an eyebrow comically. "So, uh, are you two...ya know." He closed a socket in a pseudo wink, which didn't really make sense. Still, he managed to do it. It really did look that way, what with Chara clinging to their friend, who just so casually wrapped an arm around them and pulled them closer. That's almost definitely that way. 

Frisk flicked him on the skull. "Just take us to this brother of yours, wiseguy. I'm freezing." Chara put on a blank expression, as if they didn't understand what he was talking about. They were lucky that their face constantly flushed. Rosacea became their ally, for once in their life.  

"Now isn't the time for jokes." Their voice was a bit shaky, and they sniffled, but other than that, they seemed okay. They took a step away from Frisk, who responded by moving their arm from around the other to their side. Oddly enough, they were still holding hands, creating a sort of bridge. Its not that Sans minded, of course. He didn't really want to meddle in the affairs of two humans, but it was strangely cute.

Speaking of bridges, that's exactly what Sans led them over. He narrated throughout this "tour" of the snowy landscape, explaining that his brother made wooden bars on the bridge to keep out humans, but he made them far too wide. Even he could fit through them! Frisk pointed out that they weren't much wider than him, and pretended to be offended for a few seconds. 

On the other side of the bridge. Sans pointed to a lamp so conveniently shaped that Frisk could fit behind it! However, Chara would have to find another place to hide. That would be a feat for their height, seeing as there were no other relatively small objects in sight, but they managed to find a tree in the rather thin forests that would fit them nicely. 

 As they crouched behind the tree, they heard footsteps approaching from all sides. Well, two sides. Behind them, and to the front and a little bit to the right. The noise that was a bit to the right came a bit closer, until it was just in front of them, while the footsteps behind them seemed to stop, before... doubling? 

These things kept crunching through the snow. The noise seemed to amplify in the mind of the child, as they were focusing more on the footsteps more than the other skeletal guy chit-chatting just ahead. They should have been paying attention, but those noises behind them just unsettled them to no end. 

Trying to make as little noise as possible, they turned around to see what monster awaited them, what being wanted to kill them next. They were surprised when a rather chubby, extremely short, snow-based being with a large spikey hat entered their peripheral vision, soon followed by a much taller snowflake-looking bird... thing. 

They seemed to be collecting rocks together. How quaint. When the two looked up to see the human, they looked at each other, confused, before looking back at Chara. "You're a teen too?? What are you?"

Chara couldn't really respond, because they were supposed to be hiding, and these two things were so frightening. That hat was almost a foot tall, and that snowflake thing had a razor-sharp beak. The teenager searched around for their knife. Where was it!? Why couldn't they find it? They put a finger to their lips in a last bit attempt to save their hiding spot. 

"I think that's a human, Ice Cap. Now, they don't seem very... Ice, do they?" The hat creature huffed a sigh and glared at the wisecracking snowflake. "You always find new ways to disappoint me, Snowy. But,yeah, aren't we supposed to, you know, like, kill humans?" 

Hah! Proof that everyone in this world was out for Chara's blood! They tried to stifle their fear, they really did, biting their hand to keep from yelling out. There were too many of them, and only one Chara. One bright red soul with a metaphorical crack down the middle. They broke off a branch from the tree they hid under, flinching at the noise and hoping that "brother" didn't hear it. He didn't seem to be very astute. 

The world could do without a few monsters, now couldn't they?


The battle wasn't as silent as Chara hoped. It didn't really matter, because the brother Sans continued to talk to didn't notice. He just thought it was those "darn crazy teenagers!" Sans however, did, and every once in a while, Chara could feel his eyes turn to the woods. Frisk still stood behind that lamp, silent and still. 

That magic that monsters used really stung, especially when it got close to Chara's chest. That's where the soul resided, they guessed. They didn't really care, they just knew that it hurt. And they would hurt back! 

They didn't throw the stick like a spear, but in retrospect, that may have been a good idea. They just slashed at the short Ice Hat thing, which stepped back behind the snowflake one, whinging in pain. The snowflake monster stepped up, prompting the other one to run away. It wasn't easy to kill the snowbird, (they were still struggling with what to call this thing) but somehow, they managed. He kind of fluttered about, back and forth, which made for a difficult target. They chopped, sliced, lunged, backed away when the magic became too much. 

Chara didn't know their own limitations. They didn't know when their soul would break from all this; It may have already. All they knew is that they were determined to get out of here. They wanted to leave. And no one was going to stop them from doing that. They didn't care if these were teenagers. No one else seemed to care that Chara was a teenager! They didn't care if this was a child, a baby. These things were hampering their progress. They would make progress. 

By the time that the taller brother left the scene, the snowflake creature was dead. The Hat one was nowhere in sight. Chara was playing with the ashes. They found that the textures of different monster essences were different. So were the tastes. It was probably considered "wrong" or "weird" to, you know, ingest the remains of your victims. Somehow, Chara found it soothing, feeling the grains through their fingers, smelling the slush and snow, the slight sting of the magic slowly leaving the dust.

Chara got this idea into their head that the leftover magic made them stronger. Maybe they were right. All they knew was that their soul didn't hurt anymore. The part of their brain that still focused on the snow, the sights and smells around them instead of the ones in the past, noted that an arm latched onto their shoulder and pulled them away. 

That dimmed part of them slowly lit up again, staring into the face of the short, lazy-looking skeleton. they regained their hazy focus, eyes seeming to click back together, hands, throat, ears, everything regaining its clarity. 

He didn't say anything, but Chara could feel him judging them with his eyes. 

Chapter Text

Chara refused to meet the eyes of the skeleton that dragged them out from their hiding spot, choosing instead to brush the rest of the dust that lingered to their hands and clothes.

"Can I come out now?" That was Frisk! Surely Chara could convince them that this whole place was madness, entirely stupid! They couldn't just, just let themselves get kidnapped by monsters, right? Frisk wouldn't allow that, right?

"Yeah, kid." Frisk quickly scurried out from behind that conveniently shaped lamp, turning towards Chara. Well, weren't those two gertting along!

Not really. Frisk wasn't stupid, and they could read atmosphere. They would definitely have to talk with both of them individually about it. If they were going to be travelling with a party, Frisk refused to have fights. Even silent ones. Until then, though, it would be best to diffuse this with good-natured cheer!

"Chara, doesn't he sound nice?" Chara looked up attentively. Who? "Papyrus. You know, Sans' brother?" What was that kid doing if they weren't listening to that really loud skeleton? "He's a bit silly, but really kind, from what I can tell. I'm sure you'd like him!"

No, no they wouldn't. What didn't Frisk understand? They were menaces, forces beyond what the two of them could control, or even fully comprehend. Still, Frisk seemed to tolerate them, like them even, instead of running away or fighting like Chara would.

Why was the child so nice? What were their motives? Even when talking to someone like Chara, they showed compassion and kindness. They had absolutely no obligation or reason to be nice to anyone, but they were.

The voice of the short skeleton shook Chara out of their own thoughts once more. Red eyes shifted quickly over to Sans, watching him as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Sorry to be sudden, but its time for me to make like a tree and take my leaf." And with that particularly bad pun lingering in the cold, bitter air, Sans walked away.

Chara just started after him for a while. What was that? That pun barely made any sense, the trees here didn't even have any leaves. Grumbling their complaints, they crossed their sweater-encased arms and trudged forwards, footsteps heavy and loud through the snow.

A second round of footsteps indicated Frisk was following. At first, Chara flinched, uncrossing their arms to bring them up to their face. It was just Frisk, just Frisk. Okay. Chara could walk a few feet by theirself, right? Right, okay. They could do this.

After all, they could be much stronger than a monster all on their own. It would be nice to have that knife back, though. Perhaps they'd find a replacement somewhere. A sharp stick, or something. Maybe an icicle. It'd keep for a long time in this climate.

Chara spotted monsters ahead of them, and they froze instantly, not sure if they wanted to run up to the two figures in front of them or hide and wait for it to be over.  Frisk seemed to sense how they stiffened-- this kid was so good with emotions and body language-- and put a small arm in front of them.

"It's just Sans and Papyrus, okay? Stay still and don't say anything."

The two seemed to be engaged in some sort of conversation about... Mett-ta-ton, whoever that was. It wasn't really a conversation; Sans wasn't doing any talking. It was just Papyrus, going on and on abour Mett-ta-ton's cooking show and how he made spaghetti on it! This part was heavily emphasized as he waved his gloved hands up and down in excitement.

"The noodles were hot pink, San--" The rather tall skeleton cut himself off, looking directly at Frisk and Chara. The latter began breathing shallowly. Stop looking at me, they wanted to scream, but they couldn't. Frisk asked them not to. They fought off tears that froze to their lashes and balled up their sweater in their fists.

"OH MY GOODNESS!" He exclaimed far, far, far louder than necessary. "SANS!! ARE THOSE HUMANS??" He pointed eagerly, waving his arm between the two children. Chara had taken to leaning heavily on Frisk, reaching up to one of the barren, dead trees and holding onto a branch for security.

"Eh. Looks like two rocks to me." Indeed, in front of the two humans sat (can rocks sit?) two small rocks. Chara remembered that three out of four rocks recommend that you push them. That thought just reminded them more of the ruins, fueling their anxiety further. Frisk wrapped an arm around their middle to better support them.

"Oh." Papyrus' tone dropped quite a bit, to a slightly disappointed tone.

"Hey, bro. What about those behind the rocks?"

("Sans." "Yes, bro?" "Are. Are those. Humans? Those two behind the rocks?" "Yeah, Paps.")

Frisk tried not to chuckle at that bit of dialogue. It was absolutely adorable and charming. The brothers seemed to get along so well, too.

"HUMANS!" There goes that earsplitting volume again. "I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, WILL CAPTURE YOU! THROUGH MEANS OF EXCESS PUZZLES AND WIT INSTEAD OF BRUTE FORCE!!"

Puzzles? Wit? What was he going on about? Would he poison their food? Strike when they were least expecting it? Chara winced as the branch they were holding onto snapped in their vice grip, splinters littering their palm. They held the branch out like a weapon, normally steely gaze faltering and wavering. Chara wasn't used to wit being turned against them, being used as a means of murder. Still, they could overcome this force before it overcame them.

"No, you won't!" Their voice even shook, and a cold sweat overtook their forehead. "I'll kill you first!"

Chapter Text

Chara couldn't control how much their arms shook, and they couldn't take back the actions they've done, no matter how much they wanted to. The tall skeleton in front of them looked confused, and the child beside them looked distressed. They held out a hand and grabbed the taller's sleeve, trying to pull their arm down.  "Chara--"

One sharp glare from the red-eyed child stunned the other into silence, and Chara shook their arm from Frisk's grip, clutching the branch, the splinters digging further into their skin. The pain cleared their vision, and a low growl rose in their throat as the tall skeleton stood, just ahead, a confused expression passing over his features.

And in that moment of confusion, Chara charged. They ran forwards, feet solid against the snow and ice, every step crunching ice beneath their lanky form as they leaned forwards just the slighest bit, moving to slash with their arm--

And they screamed. A snapping sound resonated, and the shorter skeleton released Chara’s arm from the literal bone-snapping grip he’d held it in. Sans didn’t like to break bones. Being made primarily of bones himself, it seemed just wrong, but whenever Papyrus was involved, he didn’t much care for right and wrong.

Frisk had trouble comprehending what had happened. Chara had fled from their side, swiftly, with the intent to kill the sweet, innocent, awkwardly tall monster. Two words in, and Frisk already knew that he couldn’t hurt anyone if he tried. Not only that, but they didn’t quite see how Sans could have caught Chara’s arm so easily. Sans was, much like the child, short, and Chara’s arm had to be raised slightly in order to effectively--

They shivered. No, no. Before they thought of all this, they had to help Chara. They raced over to where the two monsters and Chara stood, the latter gripping their arm, blinded by their own tears. They’d dropped their makeshift weapon, and stumbled, falling to their knees and biting on their lower lip to keep from crying out. Their teeth tore through, and they tasted blood, squeezing their eyes shut until a hand rested on their shoulders.

Instnatly, they flinched away, almost falling over onto their busted arm. The pain was becoming too much, and their vision blurred. They looked up just in time to see Frisk looming over them, and they collapsed, knowing that they’d at least wake up.

It was warm. The perfect kind of warm, like coming inside after playing in the snow, when the furnace is running and setting down with a cup of hot cocoa. It was that kind of warm, minus the dull, throbbing pain of Chara’s left wrist.

It was dark in the room. The lights were off, it seemed, though the adolescent could make out some shapes in the room. They were in a rather large bed, positioned left of the center. They appeared to have been tucked in, at one point, but the tossings and turnings of their restless sleep ruined the illusion of simply being at home. The room seemed to close in around them, and they tensed, frightened for seemingly no reason.

Chara jumped as they noticed a figure in bed beside them, positioned to the very far right, before settling. It was Frisk, brown hair splayed out around their face as they snored quietly. Instantly, the taller teen relaxed, and they looked down, examining the damage.

Someone had removed the splinters from their hands. Their arm wasn’t broken anymore, but dangerously sore, and their mind wandered back to Toriel, who had healing powers she used frequently on any hurt froggits. She never found out who hurt the froggits in the first place.

The events of that day were one Chara would pay money to forget. Escaping the Ruins was a step in the right direction, but at what cost? The cost of finding just more Underground, more monsters, more confusion and desolation and rage freeing from their soul and surging forth onto any poor monster that happened to cross their path.

Next to them, Frisk shifted, the slight movement shaking the other from stewing in their thoughts. They turned to look as the still-sleeping human turned, burying their face in a pillow. It was cute how they’d set up room with Chara, as if they’d known the other may not have been… okay after the events that happened. Still, they’d set up on the other side of the bed, to give Chara their personal space. A small, shaky smile played at their lips, surprising them. When had been the last time they’d smiled, and meant it as a gesture of happiness, instead of contempt?

All of a sudden, the room felt smaller, but not in the same way as it had before. The room was reduced to just Chara, as their hand, seemingly acting on it’s own, moved to touch Frisk’s hair. It was coarse, not soft like their own, but the color was richer, even if that wasn’t visible in the nonexistant lighting. Even when they were asleep, Frisk kept Chara under control. Well, until they woke up, ironically enough.

As soon as Frisk turned, their small eyes blinking open, Chara shrank away, averting their eyes and rubbing their sore arm with their good one. The smaller child blinked the sleep away, rubbing at their eyes before sitting up. There was some rusting as they pushed their hair from their face.

“Chara…?” They spoke tentatively, not to wake the older kid if they were still asleep, and suppressed a yawn.

“Here.” Their reply was blunt. They were guarded again, brain coming back to focus, back to the important things. The important questions, such as…

“Hey, Frisk, where are we?” Chara sat up a bit straighter as well, locating the silhouette of Frisk in the dark and turning to face it. They saw as their friend took a breath, sitting criss-cross on the bed, hands on their knees as they thought of how to reply.

“An inn,” came the response, and Chara couldn’t help the frown that creased their features. “An inn?” A premature hope swelled in their chest. Had they made it to the surface? Were they at an inn full of people, regular, idiotic, expendable people, for once? Out of the two evils, Chara preferred that one for sure.

They heard the breath that Frisk drew at the lilting hope in their voice. “In Snowdin.” And the hope folded in upon itself and tucked itself away, far away, back into the recesses of their soul that they never shared with anyone, and never would for as long as they lived among monster or human.

“Oh.” That was the only reply they could muster. They pulled their knees up to their chest and wrapped their arms around theirself, hugging their body close. Frisk shifted to be closer to them, nonverbally showing their understanding that this was a difficult period for them, subtly reminding Chara that they didn’t have to be alone through this anymore.

“It’s a nice town, those skeletons,  Sans and Papyrus, they live here. But they won’t hurt you-- anymore, that is. I had a talk with Sans.” Their tone turned stern, almost like a parent’s, and their brows furrowed. “Even if he shouldn’t have used such force on you, you shouldn’t have--” They cut theirself off.

“I know this is hard for you.” Their tone came back softer, sadder, and Chara felt a small pang, listening. “It’s hard. You don’t know what these things can do, and you’re scared. But they’re scared too. Humans did-- They did a lot of bad things to monsters. Do you remember the stories?”

Chara nodded, finding it harder to breathe when the smaller teen’s voice cracked. “We all learned the stories, growing up. But I never believed them.”

“I know it’s hard to change. It’s hard to change, especially when you’re scared. But Papyrus, and Sans, and the Innkeeper, and everyone… They’re scared too. Well, maybe not Sans, I’m not sure.” Their face screwed up in confusion for a split second, an adorable expression that made them look even younger than usual.

“But the point is, you’ve got me. You’ve got me, like those skeletons got each other. That’s why the taller one wasn’t scared when you came at him. He’s got Sans. And I don’t want you to be scared, either.”

Something hardened inside the older teen. It wasn’t that easy, it would never be that easy. It was so hard to overcome hings that made you scared, especially after what the creature in the hat told them. Weren’t monsters supposed to kill humans?

They hadn’t noticed when they began to shake, until Frisk’s arms were around them, shushing them as they trembled, thinking back to the white snow, the purple walls of the Ruins, and how they wished they could just stay here forever, with Frisk, in the dark as they had the first time they’d met.

They remained like that for quite some time. Chara eventually calming down, Frisk’s thumbs gently gliding over their sore arm, as if checking to make sure they were alright.

And then, the light turned on.