Give it up to the Monster Card. Frisk took Sans to a place he never would have guessed for monsters. It was a giant palace full of clothes. Every shape and kind, with rooms dedicated to the most common kinds of monsters. Surprisingly, him.
“Anything and everything you want,” Frisk said. “Just, we’ll need a few nice outfits for special functions. If you want to go to those.”
“Yeah, sure.” Sans spotted what he wanted though. It was almost calling his name from across the store. After being trapped away from home for over four months, he knew exactly what he wanted. Frisk followed behind him as he started to look through the jackets.
Jean jackets. Coat jackets. Leather jackets. Jackets with rhinestones on the sides, along with some that were all rhinestones. Sans picked up a jacket that looked a lot like his older ones. Not real warm. Not real cold. Considering they were inside a barrier it made sense they wouldn’t be getting weather. Would they? “Does T.P. get weather?”
Frisk smiled. Sans had such a hard time, that he almost missed his own accidental joke. Twilight Paradise’s initials was T.P. He held up the jacket. “Well, if the jacket fits.” Heh.
“Weather is always the same. Even the stars above us, it’s just one big illusion casted on the top so everyone feels like we are in the equivalent of a bright big city sky. Everywhere,” Frisk said. “Where whatever makes you feel comfortable, and buy as many or as much as you want. The cards unlimited.” She showed it to him. “I can only buy accessories with it though. If I want to return anything, I can’t get cash. It goes back on the card. It doesn’t help much at all for what we need.” She leaned a little closer. “So have fun, make it count. I’ve got storage. If you go over, I’ll just say I demanded my monster pampered.”
Ah? Understandable. Now Sans was getting what she wanted. How much money can I waste?
Four hours later
“Maybe this one?”
“This one would look nice on his arm.”
“This one just came out today.”
Sans got the hint. Frisk couldn’t let him retaliate, and she had to be firm with what he could and couldn’t do. But? Money talks and celebrities loved to pamper and deck out their monsters like pets. It became a status symbol. People were helping Sans left and right. When he thought he was pushing something he just glanced her way and she just winked a ‘get it’.
More than half of the stuff he got, he’d never bother wearing probably. The jackets, he got all of them. Fifty total. He bought white shirts, black shirts, forty T-shirts, blue shirts, and red shirts. After the staff started noticing what they were picking up, they took them to a new area to start to help them.
Now he was getting his option of diamond apparel and other rare jewelry with choice custom outfits. He even had shoes, tons of shoes that he could put on his feet even though it wasn’t his preference. He also had tons of sandals. That probably would be his preference.
Frisk in the meantime snapped some pictures here and there when they put the priciest things on him. It wasn’t just vengeance though to her grandfather. If he saw how much Frisk adored him, and pampered him? If he knew any way to get to the surface, he would find a way to get Sans there. All she needed was to know the way. After that, she could get the others there. When she found them.
Her social was usually quiet. She didn’t like to show off a whole lot but now it was blowing up and she was getting follows and shares like crazy. She just chuckled as she saw Sans in his latest wear.
He was moving all around. “I keep blinding myself and I don’t even have eyes.” He looked toward Frisk. “Got my collar though.” It looked like a choker, embezzled with tons of diamonds. “Got this one too.” He lifted a simpler choker with the label SANS. Leather and nice, but Frisk could barely see it with whatever wristwatch he had blinding her. “And about twenty more.” He reached into his new suede leather jacket, fishing around for something. He pulled some sparkly things out, letting them fall to the ground. “I like this one best.”
Translucent. Someone had to get up close to tell he had it on. Frisk nodded. Great choice.
All of the stuff was loaded up and Frisk sent more than half of it away. Sans real choices were a few jackets, some white shirts, some sandals, a couple nice outfits for outings he needed to dress nice, and just a couple of sparkly things for his wrists. He learned by watching the people’s eyes as they fawned over him, if he didn’t like the way someone was treating him, simply reaching up to scratch his skull wearing sparkly things blinded them. A nice way to say ‘screw you’ without being able to say it.
“Too bad they didn’t include grub in accessories,” Sans said as they sent most of the stuff to storage.
“No, but I can cover it. Where do you want to eat?” Frisk asked. “Well, that’s rude. Sorry. What kind of food would you like to eat?”
“Grillby,” he said softly. “Not choosy, Frisk.” He put his hoodie up to cover most of his skull.
“Okay. Fast food or home-cooked?” Frisk asked.
“Home-cooked. Pasta trapped in ice was Papyrus’ favorite. It’s an acquired taste,” Sans joked. “No one cooked like him. A burger wherever is fine.”
Meyer’s Fast food
Frisk ate her burger alongside Sans. It was a quiet place, no one there much right now. With the isolation, but the company, Sans was starting to share some about his home. Frisk was still young when she went there. Technically, she was more like fourteen but she seemed like six. She told him that too.
“It’s weird,” he admitted looking at his burger. “Kid, you should be an old grandma or dead. Seventy five. Your parents really kept you as a baby for five years?”
Frisk munched on her burger. Well, the baby is born on the outside of the barrier. They are ejected and sent to a very close barrier called a nursery barrier. The baby is born and then it’s brought back.”
“Nine month old pregnant woman hitting the surface?” Sans asked.
“When I say close, I mean close. There is glass around the area she walks,” Frisk said, “and less than a shoe of distance to the next entrance.”
“Well, shoot.” Sans snapped his fingers. “Thought you could find Mr. Right and get us out there.” He saw his expression. “Joking. Wouldn’t work.”
Frisk shook her head. “I don’t want to touch on that. My grandfather wants me to settle down so bad. ‘Seventy five years is enough time to sew your oats, Frisk’, he likes to say.”
“So your mom and dad grabbed you as a new little infant and kept you over for five years? I’ve heard of wanting babies to stay babies, but five years? Geez. Then what happened.” Sans finished off his burger, waiting for her to continue.
“I went back to the same nursery barrier. I grew there, playing with other kids, and developing social skills while my parents watched over me. Then they took me back around four years old,” Frisk said. “For about ten years. That’s the max you can keep a developing child out. After that, it’s just abuse not letting them grow.”
“You were six, but really fourteen. That explains a lot,” Sans said. “Smart little kid for your age.”
“Technically I still had the mind of a six year old,” Frisk said, “but I also had fourteen years of experience with that mind.”
Sans shook his head. “Then you fell. Guessing that one wasn’t so foolproof when you went?”
“I had to go beyond the nursery barrier,” Frisk said. “There is a small stretch of road. Not real big. It was glass covered, but it had been breaking and no one had noticed it yet. I didn’t understand at first why everyone scattered away from me, or why the glass had actually cracked. I didn’t understand why no one was following the path.”
“Barrier humans are dangerous,” Sans said to her. “Humans warn the kingdom a lot not to mess with them. Guessing they attacked.”
“I don’t know. I was just a little kid, and I fell in. I made it back up, and I got into the entrance pathway,” Frisk said. “It’s a forbidden pathway on the surface no one is supposed to use but people with special training and suits.”
“That is how we came in,” Sans said. “That, is how we got to get back out. If.” He paused. “If everyone’s gone, it’s how I got to get out.”
Frisk nodded. “More food?”
“Always,” Sans chuckled. “After that you got to where you should have gone. Grew up finally. Went back home and what, now you all just bang around? No one dies in there? There’s only so much space.”
“Well. I don’t know,” Frisk said to him. “I know that Maurice doesn’t reveal everything. I know that-”
“He’s a good for nothing sack of crap?”
“That too,” Frisk said. “I know that not all of the original folks are here. I suspect.”
“That the laziest idiots that don’t contribute nothing are tossed out to surface to be killed by radiation or natural humans?” Sans asked.
“And. I think.” Frisk didn’t move so fast with her opinion. “My parents found that way.”
“Oh. That makes sense.” Sans took a drink of his pop.
“What would monsters do?” Frisk asked as she stood up. “When there were great numbers of you, what did you do?”
“Wah, you kidding? What do we excel at?” Sans said. “Kill each other. Got mean streaks you wouldn’t believe, Kid.”
Frisk didn’t remember that.
“Everybody fought you. Even the tiny cute little shit you were, everybody still fought you,” He reminded her. “Only reason you survived was your soul. We stopped killing only cause our numbers were low. It’s also why we got an official encountering system. Less death, but there was a chance to make some gold. Or get your anger out in some back and forth hitting.” Sans started his second sandwich. “Now over the last sixty years we are 20,000 strong.” He took a bite. “Monsters killing each other all the time again.”
Oh. “How do you protect yourself.”
There’s the difference between here and there,” he said. “Monsters only hurt and kill others who hurt them. Mild ones that don’t hurt nobody are left alone. Strong or weak here, everybody’s forced to be whatever or do whatever their human wants or pain and death. Unfair pain and death with no chance of fighting back on it.” He placed his burger back down. “Rather fight the strongest monsters in a fair fight than be down here.”
Sorry,” Frisk apologized.
On the bright side, at least I found the kid who care,” Sans added.
I am 75 Sans, are you going to keep calling me that?” Frisk asked.
I knew you as a kid and now you should be an old granny for your kind,” Sans said. “It makes it funny. There isn’t a lot of funny out there anymore, Pal.”
Oh. “Okay.” Now that she understood. He could have his funny addressal. “You can call me Kid.”
”I could call ya Granny Kid?”
Kid is fine,” Frisk agreed to quickly. “Try and stick with Frisk in more public though. If you forget, I’ll try to cover.”
“So who were you with yesterday?” Sans asked. “Good or bad.”
“Jeanine,” Frisk said. “Good. Partly. Sort of? It.” Frisk scratched her head. “It’s hard to explain. She has a monster, but she doesn’t treat it bad. But? That’s not it.” She took a deep breath. “She is in a mutually physical relationship with him, but they hide it. She used to work as a saler in her early teens. They are going on . . . 145 years now. There’s more too, but I’ll get to it later.”
Sans whistled, which was pretty impressive for him. “So where was her Romeo?”
“At home,” Frisk said finishing off her burger. “She doesn’t want him around Pure Imports.”
“Ah. She is respectful. That’s good.” Sans finished off the last of his fries.
“Some are, some aren’t,” Frisk said. “There’s no telling who is who. A lot of girls like me with no fighting experience purely keep them as defenders too. It’s not uncommon to get lost or hurt if you stray from your area.”
“Fighting for the people enslaving you. Well. This world never stops amazing me.” He scrunched up his meal paper. “Wish it would.” He tossed it toward the garbage bin, but accidentally hit someone coming in.
“Hey, what the hell?” That guy went over to him and looked at Frisk. “Your monster needs checked. He just threw trash at me.”
“You were standing in front of the trash can,” Frisk said. She sipped on her soda.
“Bullshit, I was not,” he complained. He pushed Sans. “Stupid monster.”
“Sorry there.” Sans took off his hoodie and rubbed his skull. “Didn’t see you.”
“Holy fuck, man. Look at that bling. I couldn’t afford that on a year’s salary,” one of his friends answered, catching the look of Sans’ wristwatch.
Meanwhile, the guy that complained was blinking, looking away. Sans had shined it just right in his eye. He took a second look at Frisk. He moved closer, taking an even deeper look. “Aw damn, your Fae Iskra Darnier, Maurice Darnier’s grandaughter! Yo, yo, yo it’s Fae Spark!”
“Great,” Frisk muttered. “Yes, I am,” she said lightly. “I was having dinner with my monster friend. Do you mind?”
“Hell, naw. Naw, naw. Come on, guys. Yo. Best day ever.” He pointed to her with pride. “Nice. You come on down to Earth in your spot from the heavens, huh?”
“Trying too hard, man. You just tried to diss her monster,” his friend reminded him. “Ain’t no one getting near that angel.” Still, he winked. “Nice to meet you. Sorry about the confusion.”
Sans looked toward Frisk. “Grampy Maurice isn’t the only one with celebrity status, huh?”
“I’m just his granddaughter,” Frisk said. “If you don’t dress up, people never notice you until they associate money. Those guys think just ’cause I’m his granddaughter, I have his money. If I did, this wouldn’t be as hard to pull off, getting you and everyone out.” Frisk gestured to her face. “I always have a ton of make up on too when I’m at events.”
“Fae Iskra?” Sans asked.
“I prefer Frisk,” Frisk said. “Fae is fairy. Iskra is like sparkle. I live in Twinkle Paradise.”
“Really enhanced that name of yours here, didn’t they?” Sans asked. “Not proud of it?”
“Reminder. Reminder of my legacy and pointless heritage,” Frisk said. “Honestly, if something ever happened to Maurice, I inherit everything he owns including the rights to stop the slavery of monsters,” she said. “I’m the only descendant he has. Everyone’s strict rule, even for him in Twinkle Paradise. One son or one daughter. His daughter grew up and married, and had a daughter. They are gone. But? No one ever dies.” She noticed his look. “Many monsters have tried to take him on in here. Maurice helped seal the monsters long ago. He’s got more power than you can imagine.”
“Asgore could take him on,” Sans said. “Get him out on that surface, good old fashioned brawling.” He looked back at her. “I like Frisk better too. Fits ya, Kid. But it takes two to make a kid. Where’d your grandma go?”
“She was paid to have my mom. Enticed by money at the time,” Frisk said. “She didn’t love him, and he didn’t love her. It was just beneficial, they wanted a kid. She moved on with her life though, signed papers to forgo any inheritance. She grew up a lot since then.” She glanced toward Sans. “She’s Jeanine.”
Both Sans eyelids went down and he shook his head. “Friends with Grandma. Even good ol’ grandma is here. I can understand this long life span, but humans have always been pretty evil. What happens to humans who kill each other?”
Frisk stood up too. “Banishment. Never heard from again. Don’t know how. Pretty sure it has to do with the surface too.” She walked out with him. ” Socially, people have renamed me Fae Spark. If you hear Fae while we walk, try to be as quiet and still as you can. Media is hungry like wolves, if they see you doing something wrong, it’s harder to stop them from spreading it.” Frisk checked her social. “Nothing new.” She closed it back up. “I was hoping Maurice saw it and realized it’ll be cheaper to keep me happy by getting you back out to the surface. If he knew a way.”
“Smart thinking,” Sans said, “but I’m thinking from the way he just handed you an unlimited card, and that whole celebrity status you got, and you being his only grand daughter? Thinking he doesn’t care about money at all, Frisk. Barking up the wrong tree with that guy. He’s only gonna care if he finds out the Underground came up out of his little seal hole,” he muttered. “No matter what happens, even if everyone’s dead, don’t try and change your story. Monster Kingdom is alive and proud out there. A few falling for the whole secret of the Monster Kingdom is nothing. Kay?”
“I know,” Frisk said. “Still. I don’t give up easily.” She’d find a way. “I wish I had said more than a couple of monsters back then. I can cover one more with the lie.” She looked toward Sans.
“Papyrus is bought,” Sans said. “Chances I can get back to him are almost nil. Undyne, I don’t even know her status. You know?” He looked away. “Alphys. Use it for Alphys. That way if you’re short, you can get Maurice to help you out a little.”
It must have hurt to say that last part, but Sans’ pride wasn’t letting Alphys go.
“In fact. Let him pay for her, Frisk. If anyone else is out there, you’re gonna need your money stash,” Sans said. “If Undyne is alive, we can’t leave her. If Papyrus, I mean if there’s a way. Just don’t risk it.”
Frisk nodded, understanding his point. “I don’t know where to put Alphys. My place is a simple place for one person. I don’t want to trigger the upgrade.”
“Upgrade?” Sans asked. “What’s in the upgrade?”
Frisk glanced at him and then away. She groaned. Then sighed. Then groaned again. “The upgrade is what Maurice already has bought for me. It’s got one bedroom with a bed and a second bedroom with twin beds, and a third king sized bed. There’s a lot more room.”
“Then why so groany?” Sans asked. “Why so many beds for one person?”
“It’s my upgrade,” Frisk said again. “When I find someone, or more likely, he finds someone for me. Single bed for me, single bed for him. Eventually king sized bed when we’re married. Then we’d give one of the singles to the little boy or girl.”
“Oooh.” Sans seemed to get it. “Going to the upgrade is going to make him want to find you someone worthy of his damn last name, huh?”
“He’s only pushed slightly,” Frisk said. “As long as I don’t ask for the upgrade, he knows I’m not ready. There’s no other reason I’d ask for it.”
“Explains the sighs and groans,” Sans said. “Alright, forget it. We’ll figure out something later. For now if we get her, I’ll take the couch. Just, get her. Don’t put yourself in any kind of jeopardy for us, okay?”
“If we can find Undyne and Papyrus-”
“Every damn monster in TP is getting fucked by your gramps, there’s no way you are getting it to, Frisk. No,” Sans said. “I don’t care if we have to live in closets, you’re not letting that creep get any closer to controlling your life. You? You already got a damn barcode on your neck, Frisk.”
Wow. It sounded like Sans was breaking down. For her. I don’t want to make him feel anymore guilt. “Okay,” she agreed. “Maybe, I can move in with Jeanine. If I explain the situation.”
“No, no Frisk,” Sans said. “No, this whole thing won’t work. That jerk goes everywhere in your life.” Sans looked around. “Okay. How much money does your grammy have? Can she help out with getting some of them?”
“Jeanine? She has a big place,” Frisk said. “She doesn’t have as much as she did, that’s why she works with me.”
“Knew there was a reason her name didn’t come up.” Sans looked up high. “View is a lot more beautiful of an illusion than Undergrounds. Sixty years, I still remember the little twinkles at the top. Your stuff is like a professional film verses a student film. I swear I’m really outside.”
“It’s supposed to be that way,” Frisk said. “No claustrophobia. It feels open. It’s supposed to be.” She shrugged. “A paradise for humans.”
“Yeah. For humans,” Sans repeated. “Alphys gotta go stay with Jeanine. Anyone else we find too. If she’s got room, your grandma can help us out. I’ll stay there.”
“Hm?” Frisk didn’t understand.
“Your grandpa knows about me,” Sans said. “I’m here, I’m around you. No denying I’m your monster. Your grandpa comes in and out of your place whenever he wants. He sees more monsters in there, he’ll figure it out. Even Alphys going in there, he’s going to recommend that upgrade. Probably demand it to keep her. I’m not putting you through that. You went through enough in the past with all of the monsters trying to beat you as a little kid.” He kicked a loose piece of cement on the sidewalk. “No way saving us is gonna hurt you anymore.”
He was adamant. “What do you want to do then?”
“Buy Alphys. Save money or get Jeanine to help you if you need to, to buy her. Track down the others if we can. Hope or something we can get a price, and then find a way to get that money,” Sans said. “It’s not the best plan, or the fastest plan, but it’s the safest. For them. For the kingdom. For you too, Kid. And you are coming with.”
Hm? Frisk looked toward him. “What?”
“This place of road, sidewalk and malls as far as the eye can see. The fame, the celebrity status, the heritage. You don’t want no part of that, it is clear on your face.” He stopped. He came closer to Frisk and held her cheek. “You don’t belong here.”
Frisk blushed slightly. He was bending over along with her, touching his cheek. He figured out what he was doing rather quickly and let go.
“Sorry. Got that thing called emotional,” Sans answered. He started to walk again.
“If I left, I’d die,” Frisk reminded him as she started to walk again. “Humans don’t have a long lifespan out of here. Aging stops in here.”
“Welp? Not exactly, but. Uh, in your position.” Sans shrugged. “You’re right I guess. You’d grow old and leave the world like a regular human out there on the surface.”
Frisk smirked. “The thought was sweet, Sans,” she said. “Honestly. I wouldn’t have my grandma there, or get a chance to really have children with someone I love. If I steer clear of any upgrades Maurice buys me, I’ll be fine. I’ve been fine for all these years. That’s no accident. He’s not looking to entrap me, seriously. If I ever feel ready to move on-”
“He’ll control who it is,” Sans warned her. “He’s not letting you get that choice, Frisk, I’m warning ya. He’s going to choose who gets his last name. Who gets the fame.”
“I’ve kinda already guessed that by now,” Frisk said. “If I get the urge to be with someone or have a child, that’s still my choice. Otherwise? I’m fine working at the mall with Jeanine.”
Sans chuckled. “Give it up for Grammy. Ancient Grammy.”
“Just call her Jeanine, Sans,” Frisk warned him. “Neither Maurice nor Jeanine like it when you refer to them that way.”
“Probably not, or they wouldn’t all look like twenty something’s like you.” Sans gestured around. “It’s either kids or twenty something’s everywhere. Ain’t nobody proud of a wrinkle?”
“I don’t see any wrinkles on you,” Frisk said. “Did you ever meet Maurice?”
“Nice way of nonchalantly asking if I saw the surface before you broke us out,” Sans said. “Nah. I was a new thing still when you came. About eighteen or so.” He looked back at her as he continued walking. “We’re both close to the same age it seems. Heh. Eat your heart out statistical chances.”