“What.” Doctor Curtis was anything but pleased those days. The greatest thing that mankind ever created, was far and away from him. In the meantime, the breeding facilities kept getting hit, with monsters being released. But, no sign of human outrage. A few reports here and there of some robbery or another, but most of the time, radio silence.
The monsters somehow had found security. Good security because no one could find them! “Cameras back at the barrier?”
“Just get out.” At some point, something would break. How could they be hiding? They checked everywhere around the area. Nothing could be seen, it was all just barren. They couldn’t even find some ancient froggit hiding in the bushes!
He knocked all the papers and folders off his desk. Same reports. Same useless knowledge.
Where were they?
Outside . . .
Toriel stared at Sunburst-Al as he planted flowers with Asgore. Like they used to do in the past. Her heart wanted to reach out and believe she was seeing what she wanted to. Her magic, her mind, and her soul couldn’t pretend though. She moved more toward Sunburst-Al. “Do you remember when we used to plant together?”
“Yeah,” Sunburst-Al said. “Easier, more delicate.” He reached Asgore’s hands and patted them back. “They are super delicate, and be careful with the watering can.”
Yes. “It’s nice to see you remember,” Toriel said.
“Of course, momma.” His mutter was soft.
“I think it’s a wonderful job so far,” Asgore said toward him with a smile.
Toriel moved away from him and toward Jewel on the playground set. “Are you having fun swinging?”
“Sure, momma.” She muttered it similarly to the way Sunburst-Al did. “You can swing with me if you want?”
“I would be delighted to.” Toriel sat on the swing next to her, but while she smiled, she was getting teary eyed. She looked toward Asgore. That big oaf still didn’t notice it yet. He was trapped within a world of ecstasy. Having their children back, it was almost blinding. She rather would have been blinded. Yet, even he, after so much time with them. He would eventually see it too.
While Asgore had been king, it was Toriel’s family line that had held the crown because their boss monster power was the strongest. Asgore was chosen for her, not the other way around. Her power could pick up on it so much better than he could. Yet, even he was picking up something small. He was ignoring it though. Like a small pang. That small pang though, was a loud drum to her. No matter how much she wanted to tune it out. “I used to like swinging as a child,” Toriel said to Jewel-Yard. “Do you remember when you used to swing?”
Jewel-Yard clasped the chains. “I guess.”
“Of course. Your memory says that,” Toriel said. “Your memory tells you about how you felt about the swing.” He paused a moment. “What did you used to do on swings?”
“Go up high and jump off of them,” she answered.
“What do you want to do on a swing?” Toriel asked her.
Jewel-Yard looked back toward her. “I just want to swing low, back and forth, next to the others.” She was starting to wipe her eyes. “I’m not her.”
“Chara never played with others much. She preferred to dominate the play area. Asriel would take a whole other area.” Toriel cleared her throat. “I think swinging with you, back and forth, is just fine.” She didn’t answer right away. Toriel looked toward Sunburst-Al who had stopped to look at her too. “I need to talk to Asgore now.”
Later that night . . .
I can do this. Frisk and Sans were relaxing by the TV while Asgore and Toriel went to play with the kids, to get to know them. Two mommas. I won’t be jealous. Toriel was very good to me. It’s fine.
“Frisk. Sans.” Toriel came back into the room. “Thank you for letting us spend time with the children.”
“Of course,” Frisk answered. “I’m sure they enjoy having you as a mom again.” Yet, Toriel gave her an odd look. “Is something wrong?”
“Asriel is Sunburst. Chara is Jewel.”
“Yeah,” Sans added too, trying to encourage her to talk. “Something wrong?”
“It isn’t. It is, but it isn’t.” Toriel rubbed her paws tenderly. “Different names, same children, it’s what I thought. The different names, it was to speak to both of them at the same time. This is not quite so.”
“What’s wrong?” Frisk stood up. “They are joined with our children, but they are children.”
“No.” Toriel continued to rub her paws. “I can feel it. Eventually Asgore will too, but I know it. I can’t pretend. After talking to them, and watching them, I realize why my children didn’t want their original names. Being a will . . . it changed them. Then, joining with another soul, that changed them too.” She took a deep breath. “They have the memories of who they were, but they aren’t them.” She held her paws up. “It doesn’t mean Asgore and I in any way reject them, they are wonderful children. But they are . . .”
“Sunburst isn’t really Asriel?” Sans asked.
“A will is born and attached to a specific soul,” Toriel said to them. “I knew that. I knew that they remembered me though, and that was worth everything to be a part of their lives. But their soul. It . . . It was their will and soul that made them our children. They have memories of what they once were, but even they know it’s . . . a new start. That they aren’t the same.” Toriel wiped her eyes. “Remembering being Asriel, or remembering being this ‘Flowey’, they both hurt for a reason. Same with my former daughter. They are quite wonderful, all of them, and I can feel remnants within them but.” She started to stroke her chin. “I don’t know if I can explain it.”
“So. You can’t just toss a will into another soul. They got memories still though, of who they were,” Sans said. “I don’t really know how close they are to your kids. They came and gone way before my time. I just know that . . . well, what do you want to do?”
“We are still needed for this agreement for Frisk’s parents plan,” Toriel smiled, “and, well, it’s not them, but it’s sort of them. It’s part of them, but to pretend it’s completely them, it feels like a betrayal.” She tucked her head in slightly. “That sounds absolutely terrible.”
“I don’t think so. Don’t think that way, Tori,” Sans said. “I’m sorry. I really thought they were your kids. I didn’t know you needed the same soul. I guess I didn’t think about it.”
“So. Even though they are the same will, they aren’t the same because their souls wasn’t their originals,” Frisk said softly. “Then, for them. Just stealing and replacing. It must be like death twice with memories attached.” She covered her mouth. “I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t worry, Frisk,” Toriel assured her. “I know your thinking of your own predicament, but you are right. What was our children, besides their memories, it’s . . . it’s not the same. We can feel it. We still want to be there for them, especially since they do remember us.” Toriel placed her hands on her chest. “It helps to fill this void in our heart. Even Asgore? That selfish jerk . . . he’s smiling. He’s so happy.”
“Kay?” Sans was waiting. “Sorry they aren’t like them. Thought they would be.”
“They are, and they aren’t, and that’s okay. It’s better that way.” Toriel cleared her throat. “It still feels nice to know something of them survived, and is happy now too.” She shook her head. “They feel more like the children of my children. I know that makes no sense. Still. I am rambling all over the place.” Toriel fanned herself. “We can still be their friends. We still really love them. In fact, I wasn’t able to pull Asgore out of the flower bed with Sunburst. Eh.” She sighed. “They used to love planting flowers together. Asgore would take the lead and Asriel would watch him with fascination and pride as he shyly helped out. Yet, Sunburst is the one planting with him, doing just as much work, and talking about how to take care of the plants to him instead.”
That sounded partly like Flowey. Frisk smiled as that wonderful yet painful thought hit her. Wait. Is that what Toriel is feeling? Sunburst wasn’t Flowey, but he apparently was so far from Asriel as well that his parents could feel the same thing she had. A connection, but not quite the same. “Flowey would do that,” Frisk said, “Not with flowers, but other things. He wouldn’t have talked about how to take care of things, he would have been more focused on how much better he was at taking care of them. He wouldn’t want anyone joining him either in whatever he did. He liked surprises.”
“Sunburst is both,” Toriel said to Frisk, matching her sort of gaze. They both seemed to have the same kind of connection going on. “He is a brand new individual, and so is Jewel.”
“Still think you are more than welcome to stay,” Sans said. “Really want you to? Could you . . .?” He sighed. “Don’t want it to be painful.”
“It’s not painful. Maybe if it just had happened, but it has been a very long time.” Toriel smiled. “We will stay, Sans, don’t worry. We know you need help right now, and besides? It’s still a part of them, and I still get along very well with children.” She looked toward Frisk. “No worries. I am sure we will all get along, and I can certainly be a very good nanny.”
“Nanny?” Frisk asked.
“I can’t . . .” She stopped. “They have memories of me being momma, Frisk. They have memories of being a flower. They have memories of killing monsters. None of the memories are them now. Both of them are still trying to figure out who they are, so it will be good for them too for us to be here. But I can’t do it again. It would be like pretending.”
Frisk understood that. It wasn’t something she wanted to believe. She wanted to believe that even though the will was extracted, there was still a way to go back. To get back. There wasn’t though. “I think you’ll be a great nanny.”
Frisk slipped out of the bed. She moved quietly through the house. Sleep just wasn’t happening. As much as she hadn’t wanted to share her children, she felt so much worse knowing what she knew now. She went outside to the safety of the backyard and looked at the swingsets. She moved around them, pushing the chains back and forth as if someone was on it.
She moved toward the fence by the pond and looked at the small frog sculptures Jewel-Yard had been making. She touched one gently before bending down and staring at the planted flowers. She kept her thoughts as quiet as she could after she had thought out loud to Toriel, but knowing what she knew now, her mind wouldn’t stop thinking. Her gaze went to look at the sole yellow and red flower beside the blue. Flowey’s dead. His memories live, but what is left will never be him. Asriel was dead when he turned into Flowey. His memories live, but what is left will never be him either. She looked back toward the swing. Chara died and became something else when she joined with me. That something is now gone too. Both of those are just memories. She will never be as she once had been.
Frisk put one of her hands on the soil of the yellow flower, and the other on the soil of the red flower. Memories are all that remain. Their familiar words. Familiar actions. What they take from the memories, but it’s not them. She pushed down on the still fresh soil. “Will and soul, together, will and soul! Change the soul.” She would become someone else. Something else. Even if she was somehow gifted a soul back, without it being her soul, ‘Frisk Carlisle’ would cease to be. Even when she became will.
She would have her memories, just like them. But just like them, she would be someone else. Changed. Good or bad, it would never be her. “Oh shoot!” She had been so lost in her feelings, that she had mushed the soil down too far. She moved over to the potting soil and looked into it. Perlite. Flowey had always liked Vermiculite. She grabbed the potting soil and brought it closer digging her hands in it. “Feels awful. It’s not the same. It’ll never be the same.” She started to grab handfuls of it out of the bag. “It’ll never be the same! It’ll never be the same!”
Then, something grabbed her arms and held her. She felt a warm presence behind her. She turned and saw Sans. “Flowey hated Vermiculite.” Sans somehow got her to let go of the soil.
“Sunburst likes it,” Sans said. “I knew this was tearing you up. Sneaking out to destroy flowers and potting soil isn’t the right way to handle this, Beautiful.” He held her hands, dusting the perlite off it.
“Who is Sunburst?” Frisk asked. “I don’t know him. I know nothing of him. I don’t know the girl either. I don’t know any of them.” And if she was ever taken.
“And if you ever separated, you wouldn’t know your new self either.” Sans held her tighter. “Death is one thing. Everyone dies. I got no idea how you handle when a part of you dies and another part lives on as something else. Someone else. Neither do you, huh?”
“I’m Frisk Carlisle,” Frisk said softly. “I don’t want to change, Sans.” She reached inside the potting soil mix again and let the dirt drift through her fingers. “When I was in genocide . . . me. I could barely hear or understand what I was doing. Automatic, like a machine. A killing machine. I only changed everything because of you. You made me feel.”
“I made you feel?” Sans asked. “That good or bad?”
“Dying a hundred times?” Frisk said softly. “Good and bad.” She looked toward Sans. It was only a fraction of a second, but she already knew she messed up. She put the soil down.
“That’s. Strong.” Sans had seen the look. He read it. “That’s strong both ways.” He moved back a smidge. “Shouldn’t be surprised. I did kill you who knows how many times. Plus, the second time, for Asgore. Not surprised by that.”
Frisk tried to move away, but he clasped onto her arm.
“You looked at me,” Sans said, “and you know what you said to me with it.”
Frisk felt stuck.
“I hate you,” Sans said, “and I love you. Those couldn’t be more opposite. I can understand resentment in the first. Hell, pain hurts, and I put you through a massive amount of it. More than once. So where’s the other part coming in?”
“It’s not . . .” Frisk knew she was stuck there. He wasn’t letting go of her or the need for the answer. “The only reason I ever stopped were from your words. The way you spoke, it reached the real part of me.” She bit her lip, harder. “As lost as I was, I was still Frisk Carlisle. I found my way back. I went through hell afterward. I went through hell again, getting back to this world. But through it all, I was still Frisk Carlisle. Evil. Good. I was Frisk.”
He pulled her close again. He didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything he really could say. Frisk didn’t know why he even stayed with her. She just stayed silent, feeling the gentle breeze blowing across her body.
Body, will, and soul. She didn’t want to lose any of them.
In a Kids Restaurant . . .
“Hey, Pop-Pop! Big Paws!” Sunburst-Al called out at the top of the indoor playground slide.
Sans paid attention from his spot at the table. So did Asgore. Asgore didn’t accept the father role, but he didn’t consider himself not family either. It took a little while for each of them to find their place. For now, Asgore just let them call him Big Paws and Toriel was Nonny. Well, Al came up with it and it just stuck for them. Since Asgore and Toriel finally had addresses, and feeling like the situation was really shifting now, Sans settled for letting the kids call him something too. Al chose Pop-Pop, but it changed between each a little. As long as he could show Frisk’s folks that he was a good dad.
Pretty good feat for Al though, he usually didn’t like to play as much. As time went by, he got a little more playful each day.
“See?” Al said to them as he slid down and came over. He sat in front of them. “Tip-top. Verification necessary because Jewel said I totally couldn’t master it.”
“Definitely made it,” Sans confirmed.
“Yes you did,” Asgore chuckled as he rubbed his head. “Go see Nonny and Frisk. Jewel-Yard should be there.” Al took off at a decent pace as he looked at the menu. “Oh, child-friendly is the word.”
“Nothing but pizza and a salad is the word,” Sans added. Papyrus slurped on a pop. “And that. Cuisine isn’t why we’re here, that’s for sure.”
“Well, it makes them happy,” Papyrus said, “plus a two for one on pop and pizza on Wednesdays! Who could beat that?”
Sans chuckled at his brother as he watched him leave to check on Sunburst-Al. He had an idea it would be easy living with Toriel, but Asgore had some problems. Namely, killing human children and taking their souls. You know, slight problems of the past, but it was more than fine. With Asgore seeing Toriel safe and sound, and some part of their kids being okay, it seemed okay. Like, Asgore was psychologically getting better.
He had a talk with him about it, saying that he felt like his children were partly gone and partly there, but because of Al and Juleyard, that one day they would be whole again, to wherever the dust went afterward. It was a nice way to look at. Sans didn’t dive into any more details, it was just good to see that he could rely on Asgore to be there for him and not against him. Especially with his reputation.
“Let’s tie your lunch bib around you,” Toriel said sweetly to Yard as he started to consume his pizza. She sat down and Frisk got up to take care of Al, who also came over for more pizza. She placed the plastic bib on him so he wouldn’t get pizza all over himself.
Frisk sat back down, and found her salad and a slice of pizza in front of her. The salad she had got for herself, but the slice of pizza? “Tori, I didn’t ask for pizza.”
“You need protein,” Toriel insisted. “You are carrying twins, Frisk. Protein, protein.” Frisk felt her irritatingly tie the bib around her before sitting back down to eat. At least Toriel was trying to keep the acting part up. She was real good at it too.
“Sit up straight, Sunburst-Al,” Toriel said. “You too, Jewel-Yard.” She patted Frisk’s back. “You too, Frisk dear.”
“Do as your mother says,” Asgore’s voice said loudly from his spot.
“Yes sister, as mother says,” Papyrus added.
“Yup,” Sans agreed. “Momma knows best.”
Frisk watched Sunburst-Al grab her pizza and give it to her.
“You should start with this, Frisk, it will be better for them.” Sunburst held it near her mouth. “Salad later. Come on, open up, please.”
Frisk picked up Sunburst and placed him on her lap. “I will, but you need to eat too.” She saw his pizza plate being slid down by Toriel toward them. “Remember you and Al need to share. He can’t just take over eating for you.”
“Okay,” Sunburst agreed. He ate some of the pizza beside her.
“I hope Tori isn’t being too overbearing on Frisk again,” Asgore said as he and the others watched Toriel put her bib on. “She tends to hate that.”
“Sans?” Papyrus asked. “Anything wrong?”
“Nah,” Sans agreed. “Totally fine. Slurping up pizza as fast as it comes out.” Asgore and Toriel were good with him. Neither of them were judging him for anything. But Frisk’s parents? He’d be lucky if he reached a point feeling comfortable enough with them in a room. There wasn’t no boards from down below, it could be a massacre. At any time. Forget to sprinkle often enough.
“Sans, Papyrus is right,” Asgore noted. “You don’t seem like your cheery self. What’s wrong?”
“Frisk’s parents,” Sans finally said. “I’m getting used to this whole thing with . . .” He watched Asgore dust the crumbs off of his shirt, and then Papyrus’. ” . . . you and Toriel. The kids too, they’re all great.”
“But there is definite friction with Frisk’s parents,” Asgore admitted. “I understand.”
“Yeah? They could lay out me and Papyrus in two seconds flat before even saying hello if I don’t sprinkle them fast enough,” Sans said. “I’ve tried talking to them on the phone. Once everyday, for Frisk. I know she wants us all to get along.” He put his pizza down. “I don’t even like confrontation or arguing, and it’s all we seem to do.” He looked toward Frisk eating pizza. “Not gonna go half as well as with you and Toriel. I already know it, and they show up tomorrow.” He looked back down at his pizza. “Feels like it’s all a waste. I’ll never be anything to them.”
“If they don’t see the good in you, then it’s their fault,” Papyrus insisted as he ate his own pizza. “You are wonderful, brother!”
“It’s not that I’m scared,” Sans said as he took a drink of his pop. “I can sprinkle. I can dodge, I should be fine. It’s just . . .” He shouldn’t have to be thinking that. They were technically Sunburst-Al and Jewel-Yard’s grandparents. Eventually his family-in-law. But they were family, that saw him as the enemy.
And he didn’t see how that would change easily.
The Next Day, Chez Not Sans’.
“I already got gussied up this week, momma, ” Al complained. “I understand though, Frisk.” Sunburst.
Frisk finished adjusting his little bow tie. “There. No. There.” She straightened out his sleeve. “Better?” She looked at all the children. Everyone looked great. Okay, so they were coming. Their role was a little less defined, but the best they could come up with was Dodingo’s side of the family. His social, and everything that they could put together, showed he didn’t either know them or get along well with them. They weren’t mentioned anywhere. There were no pictures. So, it’d work.
Frisk went into the main room and waited next to Toriel and Asgore, along with Jewel-Yard. Sunburst-Al was right in front. Papyrus and Sans were hanging toward the back. She wasn’t going to address where they stood. When there was a knock on the door, Frisk answered it.
Her mother and father were there. No bags or suitcases, just there with plenty of hugs. Worried no doubt about her. She could feel how much they loved her so much, until she felt some slight sprinkles over the top of her.
“Sorry, dear, didn’t mean to get you.” Toriel’s voice came from behind her. “Snowdrake’s forgot to sprinkle you beforehand, I see?”
Frisk turned around. Toriel had some of the potion to weaken the determination state of a human. Papyrus was hidden in the next room, only his skeletal fingertips holding over the edge, and Sans was on the other side of the house, ducked behind the chair. No way.
“Well, this is already not going so well,” Toriel warned them. “Remember to curb your anger. Please. You unknowingly tried to strike.”
“I didn’t do anything. I don’t even know how to fight,” Josephine said. “I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize seeing you, Frisk.”
So. Emotional fighting. Josephine didn’t even understand it.
This. Wouldn’t be an easy situation.
I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. Sans barely had time to push Papyrus into the kitchen, let alone dodge away! Josephine was fast. She didn’t mean it, of course, she wouldn’t even know how to fight. Humans couldn’t hurt other human souls. They couldn’t even see them. He knew there was a huge risk that meeting face to face after this, with less of a shock to the situation and a more understanding calm anger, would drive it home.
But he didn’t see that coming. Dang ol’ Snowdrake family forgot to sprinkle them. Things I do for Frisk. Sans came out of his corner with his little potion bottle. He hadn’t been stupid, they had boatloads of it. Now, she’d be fine, for at least two to three days. The more sprinkles, the better. Too much would burn human skin, but too little would throw off his timing, and he would need that. Mess up and any monster could get mowed down because of ‘feelings’. Frisk was staring at him, wondering what he would do.
Sans already knew it could happen though. Her parents despised the monster taking ‘their little girl’ away. But, this was the only way Frisk and him ever had a chance for peace between them. When he had discussed options with Toriel, she’d already known he’d developed some feelings for Frisk. There was more than one reason for it, and it was more than just for Frisk. “Don’t worry, I ‘dusted’ myself off.”
Family. He didn’t want to keep them from Frisk. He didn’t want to keep them from their grandchildren. He only ever had Papyrus, and a momma for a very short time. That was his family. He didn’t want any of the kids to miss out on more. He didn’t want Frisk to miss out on any more time. And even Josephine and Jonathan, they didn’t deserve to be separated from Frisk. Even in the end, if it was just living next to them instead of with them? It would still make her happy.
But at the same time, he had to know. If he couldn’t get to a workable point with them by the time his kids were born, or the new kingdom was ready? Then, it never would, but it wouldn’t be just his word. Frisk would see the truth too. That she couldn’t do both. Hopefully. Hopefully, it didn’t come down to that.
“I don’t understand,” Jonathan said toward Sans. “What happened?”
Oh. Your wife just almost killed my brother is all. “Emotions run high with humans,” Sans settled with. It almost felt like he was speaking to Frisk as the little being that was supposed to end his timeline. Nonchalantly, trying to keep it together.
Josephine didn’t remark back to him. She looked toward Frisk. “I didn’t mean to do anything.”
“I know,” Frisk stated to her. “Um.” She gave her mom another hug. “Maybe when looking toward others, you should think happy thoughts?”
“Hey, yeah,” Sans interrupted. “Happy thoughts are better than killing thoughts.” He came over more toward Frisk, this time knowing they were both sprinkled, wrapping his arm around her protectively. “Welcome to our fake home.”
Josephine stared at Frisk. “How are you doing, Honey? Your children. I-I was getting used to . . . trying to get used to the thought of you having children,” she said slowly.
“Your children are teamed up with other children though?” Jonathan asked her. “Frisk?”
“Yes. It’s like, um, two wonderful children in one,” Frisk tried to explain. “You’ll see.” She glanced to Sans who was still holding her. He let go so she could get them.
Sunburst-Al presented himself first. “Howdy. My names’s Sunburst.” His accent slightly changed. Al. “Names Al. Yo. Been wondering when I’d meet ya since you were always just like right behind us when we were running.”
“Hello.” Josephine bent down to her knees. “Oh. You’re quite small, but cute.” She touched his nose. “You come from a very special mommy. Um. Which one is my grandson? Sunburst or Al? How can you tell?”
“Just say Sunburst-Al,” Frisk said, “it alleviates a lot between things. You honestly shouldn’t try to isolate them unless you really need to speak to just one.”
“They are connected at the soul,” Sans said, not shying away from conversation. “So they are both your grandson. Will be ’til your old and grey and die.” Josephine didn’t seem to like that. Oh, right. His weird humor wasn’t always appreciated by them.
“Sans is right, they are both your grandsons,” Frisk said, “although it’s best not to say that. Just call them Sunburst-Al.”
“Oh.” Josephine stood up and Jonathan bent down.
Oh, he was smiling from ear to ear. “Hey, there. I’m Jonathan, but you can call me grandpa.”
“You look way younger than Big Paws,” Sunburst-Al said.
“Well? What can I say. Kids grow up fast.” He ruffled his hair. “I like your style. I bet we’ll have fun getting to know each other.”
“Yeah. More the merrier, right?” Sunburst-Al moved away slightly.
“And, Jewel-Yard.” Frisk presented Jewel-Yard.
“Our other grandson/granddaughter?” Josephine bent down next to Jonathan to see him. “Umm?”
“Yeah. Let’s not put emphasis on gender,” Sans said. “Jewel’s great. Yard’s great. Just call ’em Jewel-Yard.”
“Great,” Josephine smiled. “A pretty name. No, a handsome name. No, a uh? A nice name,” she settled with.
“So what are we supposed to call you?” Jewel-Yard asked.
” . . . okay.” Josephine took a deep breath. “I can see why we just stick to the double name now. I’m afraid since I don’t know you, I don’t know which one I am addressing. So, either one of you can call me Josephine.”
Ah. Someone hadn’t warmed up to the name grandma at all.
“Don’t make a big fuss about it. I used to be a little human girl, then I was an evil will without a gender, so just say he if you have to call us something. So, you’re our grandma?” Jewel-Yard asked.
“Oh. Technically,” Josephine said. “I’m not so used to that. You can just call me Josephine.”
“You can call me Grandpa,” Jonathan said to Jewel-Yard. “I’m not used to it either, but the more I hear it, the better I’ll get with it. Life changes fast, and you just gotta try to catch up.”
“Man, don’t I know it,” Jewel-Yard answered. “Brother-Grandpa.”
“Yes, I’ve heard about that.” Jonathan stood up and looked back toward Toriel. “So, now, we are all considered your children?”
“For as long as we can keep monsters knowledge out of it,” Toriel reminded him. “A few months hopefully. Once the kingdom is re-established, that won’t last long. It would be quite obvious I don’t think of everyone here as my child.”
“Aww, come on, Ma, don’t say that,” Sans teased her. He looked toward the kitchen, seeing Papyrus start itching his way out. He spoke to him telepathically. They’ve been sprinkled. Come on out. The more you hide, the more they can’t get to know you, and the more their thoughts run away with them.
Papyrus moved quickly next to Sans. That was insane, if you hadn’t moved fast enough, I would not be here! I knew this would be stressful but that was nuts! And now we continue to speak as if nothing happened. It’s not always easy being us, is it?
Hey, at least I know the kids are safe. They got human souls. Real good thing. If it’s too much, Bro, you can back out. I get it.
No, no. I can deal with this. As long as they stay sprinkled, I can deal with this. So a couple of days?
Yeah. Gotta see if we can’t get or make some more powerful potion. It exists, I’ve seen it. Alphys in the doubled timeline had powerful potion, but she had years to create and infuse it to be just right. It was the prisons that held it, probably for emergencies, so it didn’t last as long. Worrying about sprinkling them once a year or once a month, or just once, was a lot better than this daily grind.
Well. For now, that sprinkling should be fine. Giving Frisk time with the fam. I am going to work. You wanna bail anytime, you can though. Anytime. Kay?
In An Undisclosed Alley . . .
One of the interesting aspects of Sans’ secret identities job was that it wasn’t some building with papers and contract and things like that. It was simpler. There were hierarchies of half-monsters that associated with other half-monsters, that associated with the lowest group of half-monsters, which was his area. There was no set place to return to, just a set person. Jefred.
And normally he didn’t come in on Saturdays, but considering that was gonna be a day Frisk could spend some time to get to know her family, and get them to relax a bit (hopefully), he was going to put in a little work. Sometimes, he just had to get the humans out. Sometimes, he had to get corrupted monsters out.
Honestly, Dodingo seemed like he would be a decent guy. Not much different than Sans actually. Frisk probably wouldn’t ever agree with it, not after what she went through, but Liberty was good too. At least, to Sans. True, sometimes they didn’t get the best people to take out, and Sans would just strand them out on an island or something (chance of survival). But sometimes?
“Dod,” Jefred said to him, handing out his next mission. “You’ve handled a lot so far. You sure you can handle this one?”
Sans looked at the paper. He was supposed to terminate a scientist that . . . “Damn.”
“Ooh. I know that look.” Jefred reached for the paper back, but Sans tightened his hold on it. “You sure? It looked like it affected you. I know we don’t discuss openly what we are in the organization, but um. I’m sorry, if that’s the case.”
Sans folded the paper and put it in his jacket. He wiped his nose. “I’ll take care of it.”
“Yes. It’s always so much more terrible when children are involved. These days, that’s mostly what they are. Hm.”
Sans looked back toward his boss. “Ever wonder why?”
“Why they don’t even need to keep up their monsters pace anymore? I mean, they are eliminating these poor creatures before even reaching a breeding stage. More and more.” Jefred shrugged. “We are looking into it, but all we can see is whatever these ‘green’ mutants are must be some kind of new future. Terrible future. It’s hard to get much data and what we have isn’t good.”
“But you know where to get data?” Oooh. “I’m a damn bit good at data hunting, even better than assassination. If I can help?”
“Assassination, from your previous experiences, is probably your better area.”
Damn. Sans wanted in on that. The kids were considered ‘natural resources’. Being able to start a car, or be a battery. He didn’t understand the full use yet of what humans were wanting them for. It had to be more than just for cars, and especially with what Jefred had just said. Even trying to burn Frisk out, like the Underground, the last of monsters, was nothing. “I am a lot better at gathering data than my ‘previous experiences’ will show.” Come on. “Please. Really.”
“Well? Okay.” Jefred texted him. “There, in two hours. I’ll bring what we have. Don’t forget your job though.”
“Aw, don’t worry. I’ll take care of them. Personally.”
Sans stood there, waiting. It was easy to get to the address Jefred texted him. He took a small break to go back home. He couldn’t simply ignore them all, that wouldn’t get them anywhere. But this, he wanted to know about this. It might even explain why the humans wanted Frisk’s determination so badly now. They had to have something in mind for it, and he seriously doubted it was to wipe out the kingdom earlier. They did that with a simple torch.
Sans looked back toward Jefred. He had a mess of papers.
“It’s all over the place, really. We can’t pin exactly what they are trying to do. We know that the green mutants are in for a world of hurt, but they’ll survive. The others though, things are getting iffy. See what you can piece together, and if you can do that, I’ll put you on a different detail.” Jefred had the papers. “Good luck. It’s a mess.”
“Thanks. I’ll handle it.”
He went back home, gave a brief greeting to Frisk, talked to the kids while they had a sandwich, and went back to his room with all the papers. There was a lot. Monsters used to live to be a decent age, almost always. The historical graphs were showing most died of old age. 63-83 was about the average age of death not more than twenty years ago.
There was a significant decrease to less than twenty one, with some kinds being completely wiped out, and some being endangered. Extremely endangered. Skeletons still exist, but only barely. When had monsters become so throw away? He could see the surface details, surface reports, surface graphs, but everyone had seen that. There was something else missing. I wonder.
Close to previous Underground . . .
It was risky. No doubt the humans would be watching the area, long since having found out the monsters escaped. Sans didn’t get real close, just close enough to see the cliff they left. He had to get within a good distance. If it was possible.
He could feel him. A little. Not much though. Gaster? Hey? Do you know anything about why the monsters are dying off? Sans kept a simple pencil on a piece of paper. Left, no. Right, yes. Please? I’m keeping it as simple as I can, but I want to know what they want Frisk for. I want to know what they want with the green monsters. Nothing. He had been communicating lately in such a hard way. So, Gaster either didn’t know, or he was too weak to communicate, even from that close. No cheating. It was up to him.
Later than night at Sans’ Cover House. . .
Sans spent all day concentrating on the papers. Even Papyrus started to help.
“Monsters went from necessary, to just a casual thing.” Papyrus placed the paper down. “These so-called ‘natural preservation green monsters slash mutants’, they are the only ones that seem to be important. However? Data seems to . . .”
“Disappear.” All the greens disappeared. No more data could be found. There was no guessing on how long they lived, they were each marked with a release anywhere from six onward usually. “Al said they were supposed to become assassins.” If the assassins didn’t know about the greens in the first place, then how could Al know that?
Assassins, they were a tricky thing to define up in Frisk’s world. Yeah, they were monsters, and yeah, they killed whoever they were assigned to kill. But, their information was also known by the scientists that were the exact thing they were fighting against. As far as Sans could tell, there was a double standard going on. While they were fighting for the side of monsters, they were also put on other duties, and only the other duties were put on the papers. Signed, delivered, notified. The underbelly stuff had nothing but an agreement.
Shoot. No one even confirmed that ‘Dod’ could or could not do his job. That side, it was all about trust between monsters. What if there was actually an assassin in the prison Frisk lived, who had plans on bringing the kids into the fold before they ‘disappeared’? “I think I better go question a little somebody.”
“Al never says much,” Papyrus said, “and Sunburstal, he can’t read Al’s mind to help. Yard only knows what Al tells him.”
“Yeah, but I think we reached a point where he’s gonna haveta talk to Pop-Pop.”