Surface . . .

Frisk stepped out of the gaming machine. Her mother was there. So were the others. There was an emptiness in her stomach. “Well?”

“Flowey the Flower is out,” Toriel said softly. “You brought out many monsters. You did a great job, Frisk. You did what you could.”

No. Frisk. “My brother?”

“We sensed absolutely no shift in magic,” Papyrus admitted. “I am very sorry.”

“Oh. Alphys.” Undyne looked toward the ground.

“Probably like your dad once said.”

Great. Of course Sans would remember. “If I did, I couldn’t deceive the game. I couldn’t touch in pacifist that easy, I couldn’t do it in time, and I still needed the last defenders to come out.”

“Hey, hey.” Sans held his hands up. “Don’t gotta get defensive. You did the best you could, Girl Frisk.”

But she didn’t fight Flowey the way he had been intended. She mowed him down into nothing without even an encounter. Frisk. A sound of a car coming had to put everything on hold though. I can’t leave it this way. I can’t leave him in there. I can’t leave the Underground in that kind of terrified state. Frisk went back to the gaming machine, turning it off. I rescued some, but not all. And not. Her brother, T. Frisk T.

“Flowey absorbed all the souls Underground.” Sans voice came from behind her. “I think you have to take out everyone in order to save Boy Frisk.”

“I’m not Girl Frisk and he isn’t Boy Frisk,” Frisk finally corrected him. “It was T and E. He was Frisk T. I was Frisk E. I used to have so much more determination back then.”

“You still are pretty Frisky.”

Hm? Frisk looked toward him. A pun or . . . a compliment?

Sans seemed to have picked up the confusion. He played his trombone, but it was a little late. And a little flat. “Wrong entrance screws things up.”

“Wrong exits do too.” Frisk couldn’t help herself. She had so fully believed it would work. There was no more time. “Frisk T. is just gone.”

“You’ll get him, Frisky. You’ve got too much determination inside to ever give up,” Sans joked. “I better bail. The rains about to pour.”

Frisk heard the knock on the gaming door. Asgore is in there. Alphys. Monster Kid. So many monsters, still trapped, along with my brother. She answered the door, seeing Donald Rainier. “Hey, Don.”

“Hey. Oh? You don’t look so good.” Donald stepped into the gaming room. “Are you okay, Frisk?”

“I’m fine,” she lied. “I would really appreciate it if-”

“You could play longer?” He finished the phrase for her. He went over to the corner, and ejected the data. “Did you finish? Get the experience you wanted?”

“Yes. No.” Frisk didn’t know what to say anymore. “Genocide wasn’t what I expected.”

“You want to play the pacifist side?”

“It wouldn’t make much difference either,” she said honestly. There was no turning back for that. The only thing that would set them free was mass murder, taking out every single monster. And that wouldn’t happen in a day. Especially considering they would definitely be hiding away from her.

“Flowey the Flower wasn’t enough to restore the Underground back to Mount Ebbot, was he?”

” . . . what did you say?”

“I hoped it’d worked,” Donald said. “I gave two years for it.”

Frisk blinked, her eyebrows slightly risen. “You knew?”

“I didn’t want to disrupt your process.”

“But you could have said something!”

“I couldn’t rush you. You and your mother would know when you were ready. After that, by the time I knew you were coming around?” Donald winked. “I was hoping perhaps I could manage a date too.”

What a stinker. Frisk rubbed her face. All that anxiety. “Then will you stop playing around now, and help me out?” She gestured to the machine. “I have to take out all of the monsters in order to rescue my brother.”

“I did help you out,” Donald repeated. “If you missed it, I said I’d given two years for it. My . . . gift, let’s say, is limited. The first machines I created had full force behind them. It’s why your brother ended up in there in the first place. However, too much made me very sick. I learned the rules quick. For regular SIM games, especially at the length that needs to be there for a player, it’s all just an illusion of fun. When my machine, however, jacks into the Underground’s transdimensional connection? It takes a lot more energy, Frisk.”

“How much more?” Frisk asked.

“A lot more.” He smiled at her. “Just three days in there, and the half? I’m sure I’ve burned about two years off.”

Uh? “Oh.” He was putting his life force into the machine somehow? “The other machines. How much does it take off?”

“Illusions with the enviroments? Hardly anything. I can live with that though, and it’s great, so don’t feel bad about that.” He chuckled. “Really. I live well. I have fun. I enjoy every day I have. Only one things been missing. If you had saved the Underground, I think I could have done without it.” He became strangely silent. “Having the whole kingdom here, that understood the real me too. Being around them. Having another chance-”

“I have a decent amount-”

“-to increase my kind,” Donald finished. “Someone to love that I didn’t have to hide who I’d really been.”

Oh. Frisk flapped down her ear and rubbed against it. “To free all the monsters. I need to get my brother,” she said, “and free the rest. I can’t just leave everyone in there, huddling and afraid, believing that they’ll never have their loved ones back. Believing seeing the surface was just a myth, and that they could still-”

“It’ll kill me.” He said it outright. “Each day probably costs me around six months, Frisk.” He held out his fingers. “You have to find where they went, and be prepared for anything. They would be against you, and you wouldn’t be able to convince them everything is okay that easy. They’ll think your nuts that killing them is saving them.”

Frisk became silent. She didn’t know how to take what he’d been saying. I can’t judge how long it would take. Each day is six months of this life, to charge this machine? 

“Thing is, it would be weird too,” Donald admitted. “I’m more human than monster. So, getting with a full monster, it would have felt odd too. I mean? I just wanted someone who understood me.”

Frisk stared at him. He’s not. He wouldn’t.

“I just wanted someone who understood monsters. Especially being raised by the queen herself?”

He dropped it.

“I’m not saying anything right away,” Donald started to backtrack. “I’ve never even been able to get a date with you that you didn’t give me a friend shoulder on.” Frisk looked toward the machine. “I just think, that it would be fair, if by giving a little life, I get a little in return,” he said. “And if giving a lot . . . maybe we should play it by ear? See how things go?”

Frisk didn’t even know how to respond.

“That sounds bad,” Donald said slowly. “Okay, look?” He held his finger up. “I am throwing years away on my life, for the chance at saving the Monster Kingdom, and your brother. They get freed. You get your family. I’m wasting away, and for what?” He tried to approach her closer. “Frisk.”

“Frisk Eternity Dreemur,” Frisk corrected him sharply.

” . . . how long will it take you? How many years of my life would you shave off for this?” Donald sighed. “I’m not saying ‘if I do this, you have to be with me’. I’m saying that after a day or so, maybe a date? Then, if it takes more of my life, after that maybe a few more? The Underground’s fixed anyhow, it’s not going anywhere.”

Frisk curled her fingers inward and outward. Every day longer down there, with her power of being down there, her brother was starving. Time was moving.

“Then if I start losing five or more years . . . nothing’s set in stone, but I don’t want to die alone. This? It could potentially end me. I’m doing it for the chance the monsters could be back up here, but-”

“But that’s not enough for you.” A corner. “I have to talk to my mother.”

He touched her cheek tenderly. “Part of me wants it all done in just a couple of days and I can just savor a nice date with you, while another wants to take me to the brink of death to finally have you. But, for now? For the whole two years I’ve already lost?”

 


Newer Home Area . . .

“Don’t crowd, don’t crowd,” Undyne said as she tried to keep the new monsters in line. The houses were being assigned quicker. Some monsters wanted to live with each other, while others wanted to stay separate. There had been a lot of re-organizing, but plenty of room. For now, they were sharing a quick shower to get most of the grunge off. After most of it got off, then they went to their new homes to enjoy their own showers.

While she was doing that though, Undyne caught Frisk walking past the place. She looked terrible. Not worried, but downright angry. Pissed. What happened? “Keep it up, stay in line, and then you can go to your own homes.” Undyne left the property to check up on the human. She didn’t like that look.

Undyne came closer, making her presence known to Frisk. “What’s wrong?”

Frisk wiped her lips. “Men suck.”

“Most humans do in general,” Undyne added.

“Men most of all.” She had rubbed her lips again.

Ooh, that human was far from cheery. “He wouldn’t allow more time?”

“Oh, he’ll let me have time.” Frisk was digging her foot into the ground. “I want to save everyone, but . . .”

“Hmmm.” Undyne came next to her, sticking her spear into the ground. “He’s greedy, asking for something in return that you can’t give him.”

“Wrong.”

“That you can give him?” This conversation didn’t sound well. “You want me to spear him?” Frisk didn’t reply. Which meant she was at least unconsciously thinking about it. Which, since this human hadn’t hurt a soul and wanted another human to die? Not to mention, she had wiped her lips like she tasted something terrible. “He wants a relationship.” Frisk jabbed her heel even deeper into the ground. That was it. The scumbag wasn’t going to let Frisk have more time, without Frisk offering herself in exchange. “Can we offer something else in return?”

“I didn’t even say anything.” Frisk looked at the ground.

“What does he want exactly?” Undyne already figured it out, Frisk didn’t have to say anything.

“His life force, he said it ran the machine,” Frisk said. “It’s not like the others, it was made to handle the true Underground it would connect to. He says he lost two years of his life already over the past four days.”

Oh yeah. “That’s a thing. A rare thing.” So, he was putting his life on the line like others had before him to free the Underground, except he wanted a side prize too. “What’s the deal?”

“Faster I get through it, better off I am,” Frisk revealed. “Start off with dating, then if it’s longer, then more intensity, until . . .” Frisk rubbed her shoulders.

Oh? Oh! “Men are scum!” Exactly as Frisk said.

“But if I want my brother . . . I want the Underground freed, I want Momma Toriel happy again, and I just want all of that?” Frisk looked toward the sky. “So many haven’t seen the sun in so long.” Frisk glanced back toward her. “What would you choose, Undyne?”

“As the proud woman I am?” Undyne looked upward too. “I would search for any other method that held potential. If I found none, I would do my best to get every monster as fast as possible. If I didn’t manage that, I’d do what was necessary to save my kingdom.” She growled. “Then I’d kill him in his sleep, shot right up his most sensitive area with my spear.”

“I can’t actually bear to kill anyone,” Frisk said.

“I could do it for you,” Undyne offered. “If things went that far. When all was said and done. Whichever fashion you want.” Frisk tried not to smile. “Honestly, pretty sure more than one monster would jump in if they found out about it. Extortion is terrible, but using it to save the Kingdom?” Undyne looked away. “He would make a nice spear ornament.”

“Don’t tell Momma Toriel?” Frisk asked her. “Don’t tell anyone? I don’t really know what to do here yet.”

“I need to tell two,” Undyne said, “or you are going to be up the wazoo with two annoying skeletons trying to put together the ‘puzzle’ when they sense something wrong. Trust me on this. They won’t leave you alone until they know what’s going on, whether it’s their business or not. Then by the time you are frustrated enough to tell them, all of Grillbys knows the whole . . .” Frisk got the hint. “Yeah. I’ve had experience.”

“Sans and Papyrus?”

“Who else?”

“Uh?” Awkward.

“Look, they won’t get the details,” Undyne added. “Just, trust me. They’ve got uses, and we need one of their uses right now.”

“Fine. As long as they promise not to tell anyone else, and you keep the details to yourself.”

“Already planned on all that being part of the deal.” Guys didn’t always get relationship things, and those two Skeletons? Meh. Less they knew, the better.

 


Sans and Papyrus’ House . . .

“It’s different, yet I like it. It’s smaller, but I still like it. Beautiful view of the morning. Does need more touch, of course.” Papyrus adjusted one of the house’s paintings. “Too bad we can’t bring things from home here. Or anyone else.”

“Hey, we got each other though.” Sans took a seat on their couch. They would definitely get their own style up there soon. Everyone’s house was pretty identical, but it was their house now. They’d liven it up. Sans grabbed a few darts from the table next to him. “Want to play darts again?”

“I’m orange!” Papyrus grabbed the orange set. He threw his first dart.

Sans threw his. “Bulls eye. Did you see that, The Great Papyrus?”

“You can’t use magic. That makes the game unfun,” Papyrus complained. He threw his next dart. It didn’t stick.

“Loads of fun without it.” Sans was good though. He concentrated on his target before shooting it. When it hit it’s target, he heard a knock on the door.

“Feel free to enter!” Papyrus greeted whoever was at the door.

Undyne came in, and moved toward them, out of the way of the targets. “Hey.”

“Hello, Undyne.” Papyrus took his turn again. “Ooh! Not quite a sticker to the board.” He looked back toward her.

Sans held his last dart. They needed to get more of them, or some better games. He lined up his target and-

“The guy who owns the machine is only gonna let us save the kingdom if Frisk does something unspeakable.”

-and off it went, completely off board, sticking to the other wall. Well. “That didn’t count. I was distracted.”

“What?” Papyrus asked “What do you mean unspeakable?”

“Apparently this monster is tying his life force to the machine,” Undyne said. “He has to keep putting power into it, reducing his life. Instead of being like a noble monster who’d put his life on the line for his kingdom? He’s got goals that make me want to kill him for her.”

“Well? That’s? That’s? That’s?” Papyrus was searching for the word. “Not good at all. Is he threatening her life? Is he asking for her to hurt someone?”

“It’s personal. Like PMS.”

“PM-? Forget I said anything!” Papyrus shuddered. “Less imagery please, Undyne. You don’t always have to be the quintessential of brashness.”

Undyne went over to the board and picked up the darts. “Frisk needs to get through the Underground as fast as possible. Any bright ideas?”

“I know the human fairly well.” Sans took his darts from Undyne. “Let’s see? I fought her sprite. I became friends with her sprite.” He smacked the target for 20 points. “I knew her as a kid for one night.” He smacked the target for 20. “I’ve watched her as an adult for two days Underground. We eat pancakes together.” He smacked the target for 40. “Yep, were real buddies over here.”

“Sans, don’t tease.” Papyrus grabbed his own darts from Undyne and just looked at them. “Know her or not, the situation sounds terrible. There must be something we can do?”

“Wasn’t teasing.” He wasn’t. He might not have been able to speak and get to know her, but her actions spoke a lot louder. The way she walked. The way she tried to do what was right, even though it was wrong. Most of all? She knew how to handle that guitar. He had no idea what it did, but she could handle it real well. When he was in the background, and she was free to play with him? Fantastic rhythm.

It was awkward at first, from some mixed-up kid and a situation he couldn’t trust or really wrap his skull around that well. To just days later and . . . confident woman, making herself into a terrible creature killer to save the Underground. Facing him again, after all that shame, and doing the right thing. She grew up, and it didn’t take him long to figure that out.

Even if he didn’t see it emotionally right away, he sure as hell saw it physically when they went to wake her up.

“He holds all the power because of that machine.” Undyne took Papyrus’ darts and threw them all at the board, landing each one close to the center. “I told her after the fact I’d kill him for her. She didn’t want that. Well, part of her did, but not the part that was going to allow it.” She looked back toward him. “No telling anyone else either. That was the deal to even squeal to you.”

“Tell what?” Papyrus asked. “You haven’t really told us anything but ‘unspeakable’.”

“Look. I know you’ll make her life hell when you suspect something, and you two are pretty brilliant. If you can figure out how to get that machine running, at least longer without his life force, she’ll be better off. Trust me.”

She went to fetch the darts, but Sans was already there, taking his out. “So let me get this straight.” Sans returned right away to where he’d been, taking his turn. “Human goes down, murders to save everyone.” Bulls eye. “Puts it all on the line to finish that grueling task in three days.” Bulls eye. “And clearly a guy who knew she wouldn’t get the happy ever after, is way more concerned about something ‘unspeakable’?” Bulls eye. “Papyrus, let’s go check out this machine.”


Gaming Machine

“It’s advanced, but we’ve dealt with more advanced.” Papyrus looked around the top. “Screwdriver?”

Sans already had one to give him, plus his own. He took the lid off of the side panel. There was a deep red magic flowing through it. “Burning marrow red. It was running by his life force, he didn’t lie.” Although a monster didn’t know if someone was going to come dust them at anytime, it was usually safe to say the span of their life was judged by a special magic force of life, separate from their own magic. Similar to blood in humans and other species, except they could donate it to add to their side. Came in useful when fighting for one’s life especially.

It wasn’t something that a monster could just get back though. When it was gone, it was gone. The leftover was simply swirling around through the system, waiting to be used for it’s last trip. “An hour. Two hours, max.”

“Can we mix it?” Papyrus asked. “Can we add our regular magic to it, and see how much longer that gives us?”

Not enough time to save the Underground, but Papyrus was starting to think. “Starting and stopping’s going to take the most power. We need to know the absorption level.” Plus, Frisk was going to need to get some food to her brother. With time moving, the fragile kid would be in trouble.

“That mean human. Demanding something unspeakable from Frisk to save the Kingdom,” Papyrus complained. “But she needs to save her brother, and we need to save the rest of everyone. It’s just not fair. We need to make it fair.”

“I think we did.” Sans gestured to the panel. “I’m going to get Frisk to go in with me one more time, to go check on Iced Tea.”

“Iced Tea?”

“Sounds better than Frisk T. And Frisk with a y sounds better than Frisk E.” They would get them back together too. “When we get back, let’s take a look. I bet the majority of the juice will be gone. After that, we’ll add some of ours, go back, and check it out again.”

“Eureeka!” Papyrus shouted. “Brilliant idea. We can keep using Rainier’s own life force, and just keep invigorating the machine. No monster perishes at all, including him, so he can’t use it against Frisk.”

“Yeppers yeppy yep.” Sans looked at it. “Hopefully. I mean, I don’t think it’ll go forever. Let’s see what happens. Ima gonna sneak off and get her.”


Underground . . .

“So, you can talk to me now?” Frisk T. asked his sister as he ate a Grillby’s burger. “Well. It’s something.”

“I will eventually get you out,” Frisk said to him. “Sans bought stacks of Grillby burgers for you.”

“Yeah, and I piled on some more stuff too from boxes I had filled,” Sans added. “You’ll be fine, Iced Tea. Just don’t leave much further than here. World just gets gnarlier from here.”

T. blinked. “Iced Tea?”

“Sounds better than Frisk T.,” Sans said. “Call it personal preference. Not real fond of just T and E. Should have your own name.”

“But Frisk is my name!” T. complained to him. “Her names Frisco.”

“Don’t.” Not that. “Sans calls me Frisk with a Y at the end.”

“Still sounds the same,” T. complained to her. Still, he looked over to his stack of Grillby’s. “Are you gonna be okay, Sis? What is it Mister Rainier is wanting from you?”

She wouldn’t answer that. “Things will be okay. You’ll get back to the surface, no matter what. Concentrate on that.”

“But? You’re saying that you have to go out and basically murder anyone that’s left?” T. asked. “Brain-wise, that’s too hard on them. It’s already been terrible, E. And you? You have to stay down here and do this with no reprieve. You can’t go back either too often? And? Only Sans is going to be here for you?”

“Hey? Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Sans said. “Makes me feel so important.”

“Sorry,” T. apologized. “It’s just that . . .”

“I’ll be okay. I’m way more concerned about you,” Frisk E. said. “Everything will be okay.”

“I know. I’m Frisk. I’m still me. I can get through this.” He said the same kind of mantra their father used to say to them all the time. “Thanks for the food. Stay safe.”

“Oh, and here.” Sans gave him a stack of magazines. “Not the best. Usually just cars. Can’t help what falls where down here. Next time, I’ll try and set you up with some anime. I . . . can’t just go out and fetch some for you at your age. Not my specialty.”

“Yeah, I get it.” T. gathered the magazines. “Thanks, Sans. You can’t stay longer though?” He looked back toward his sister.

“The longer I stay, the more time moves, and  . . . and I’d rather you enjoy the most time outside,” E. told him. “We’ll be here tomorrow, but I can’t come back and visit you constantly. I’m on a sort of time limit.”

“Because Rainier is asking for too much, if you take too long?” T. said pretty much all she said. “Okay. Sorry the guy’s being a doofus. I hope it all gets worked out soon. I miss home. I miss mom. I miss dad. I miss you.”

She moved in closer to him. ” . . . there’s just me, T.”

“What do you mean just you?” T. asked. “Where’s mom and dad?”

“T.” Frisk E. pulled him into a hug.

“Your sister lost them, same time she lost you. Your dad had someone against his group that was responsible for both of them,” Sans said. “Sorry, Pal.”

“Toriel raised me,” Frisk E. admitted. T. was quiet as she hugged him. “When you come back, she will raise you too.”

“You should go now,” T. said. Frisk E. understood. He needed time to cope with the news. He could come back to the world, but it would never be the same way they left it.


Surface, Night Time . . .

“Undyne?” Toriel knocked on her door. “Have you seen Frisk?”

Dangit. Those Bone Heads still had her? They had better have come up with something. She answered her door. “I think she was with the guys again. I think they’re out around here looking at stars.” That didn’t please Toriel any better. “Do I need to go find them?” A simple nod. “I’ll drop her off when I find her.” Toriel turned away. Geez, if she believed Frisk was hanging out with the Skeleton weirdos, why was she getting all antsy?

Undyne left her home. Civilization is making me lazy. A nice thought. She didn’t have to patrol as hard. She was still watching for everyone, but it wasn’t really needed. She tried to keep order, but she didn’t have to wear her heavy armor anymore. In fact, she had more of her own clothes now. Even some shoes.

She knew exactly where they’d be. The gaming machine. Undyne knocked. “Your overly mothering mother is getting upset.” Frisk opened the door for her. “You’d think saving the Underground would get you a little more independence.”

“She’s just worried,” Frisk answered, letting her in and closing the door.

Considering what Rainier was trying, Toriel did have some reason to worry. Undyne moved toward the boys. “Figure anything out?”

“Life force wise, we’ll need more,” Sans admitted, “but we can make it last. If we can get it recharging at least every three hours, it’ll stay functioning.”

That was good news. Why’d Frisk look upset? “Hey? What?” Undyne asked her.

“Life force drives most of the power for here to there. We can supplement between,” Papyrus said. “It’s just that . . .”

“When me and Frisk go over, we’re pretty much staying over as much as possible.” Sans started to unscrew the next panel lid. “Which means Frisk’s Momma Toriel is gonna haveta know.” He glanced to Frisk. “We need to stay down until this gets done. Only come up as a last resort.”

Yeah, Frisk couldn’t hide that. “Well, maybe you can act like your manipulating him for extra time?” Undyne suggested. “Be like ‘Momma Toriel, the Underground’s more important than little ol’ me coming back and forth. Please understand this is for the best!’ or something.”

“Hey?” Sans stuck his head out of the panel. “Don’t recommend going into a career with voice impersonations.”

“I wasn’t striving for it!” Undyne complained. “You think you’re better, you try.”

“Aw, I can’t.” She could hear Sans tweaking some parts. “Frisky’s voice is too energetic. That’s why she’s Frisky with a Y. ‘Cause I’m too lazy to remember the difference without something like that.” Undyne rolled her eyes. Yeah, she could see that. But it was a better name than the name her father gave them as characters. “It’s also way too smooth. Kind of girly, but not really. Commanding, but gentle. Sultry hot griddle on ice. Got it! That was a tricky screw.”

Sultry hot griddle on ice? Undyne looked toward Frisk. She didn’t seem to put anything big into it. Probably not, it was hard to tell when he was being serious and when he was goofing. Sans wasn’t goofing though. He didn’t goof when he was actually working on something important to himself.

“Papyrus, you doing all right? ‘Cause I’ve got all the left screws out and I think it’s right. Or is it left?”

Nevermind. He probably was kidding. “Stop joking around, this is important,” Undyne warned him. “You’re trying to put magic into a machine that won’t accept your magic. Straighten up.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

She looked toward Frisk and whispered, “can’t stay serious for two seconds.” Frisk shimmied a little with that statement. Maybe she had actually seen a more serious side to him. Considering how they met, she probably did. Sans as serious? That was a blow to the mind. Undyne scratched her back. “Your mother is going to want you. She’s been looking around for you.”

“Better not lead her on more of a goose chase,” Sans said from under the panel again. “You might quack her up. All right, it’s right, got all the -” The sound of falling metal was heard a moment. “There we go. Just gotta shove it in there.”

Papyrus came over from finishing his work too. “All the innards are exposed. Wasn’t genuinely needed, but to prevent overheating, it was a good idea. Especially if you’ll be down there for days.”

“I know. For days.” Frisk’s voice sounded strange. “I better go see my mother. Thanks for letting me know, Undyne.”

“She’s out of it,” Undyne said as she watched Frisk leave.

“She needs to stay down in a world where everyone thinks she’s committing mass genocide, and she hasn’t had any practice.” Sans told Undyne. “She doesn’t know what they’ll say or do. She can’t rely on her gaming experience for it. My presence isn’t gonna help either, monsters will just think I flipped my lid ’cause I lost Papyrus or something.” He cleaned off his bony hands with a rag. Now that it was an option to stay clean, most used every chance they could to keep the grime off. “Even then, we can’t stay down forever. The human will get ill.”

Papyrus started to clean his own hands. “It shouldn’t be that bad. At least, not for me. I get to stay up here.” He looked toward Sans. “You can have a shower and great food whenever you can come back.”

Yeah. “I’m sorry, Sans,” Undyne said, completely forgetting about that. It couldn’t be easy ricocheting back and forth, but now he would be staying days down there. As long as possible until Frisk was done or absolutely had to come back up.


 

Frisk’s Home . . .

“Momma Toriel?”

” . . . and down there for days, not hours?” Her mother was having a terrible time accepting it. “All because Rainier wants you as something more? I knew it, oh I knew it! I knew if we gained his favor enough to let you try the machine, he’d eventually want more. It wasn’t in my mind. More and more and more!”

“Momma Toriel.” Frisk hugged her, trying to settle her down. “At least it’s an opportunity. Sans and Papyrus have really been helping how they could.” She was surprised they helped so much. It was their Underground residents they were trying to save though. It was less about her, and more about making sure she continued. At least, that’s what she figured. Her situation had been a puzzle, and they liked puzzles. “Without the Skeletons, this wouldn’t have gone so good.”

“Yes. Thank goodness for that.” Toriel let go and rubbed her eyes. “You think I would be better at this. I’ve known you would be going through so much from such a young age. I . . . I tend to baby you too much. You just. You lost everything. I know what that was like.”

Frisk knew that. “In a world as cold as this, I’d never dream of complaining that my mother cared too much.” Frisk buried herself into her mother’s soft fur. She was acting a lot stronger than she felt.

“At least Sans will be there with you. You may not understand him yet, but he’s a very good monster. More than just jokes. He’ll help keep you safe. Oh, Frisk!” She strengthened the hug one more time. “You shouldn’t have to go through this.”

“I should have had endless power!”

Frisk heard Flowey’s voice outside.

“I don’t wanna live with Froggits! It’s not fair! I never saw this coming, how did I never see this coming?!”

Frisk smiled. Life would be full of new experiences for him from now on.

It would be full of new experiences for everyone.

Good. And Bad.