He didn’t waste any time. He wasn’t going to just play around, he knew what her original plan had been because of her little brother’s warning. Sure, he couldn’t change it, but he wanted to know what had been going on. As he caught her expression, he saw all the EXP she had gathered so far. It was powerful. She was already pretty powerful. It wasn’t going to take long to take everyone in Snowdin out again. He sensed some kind of fear too, but there was something else.

While he wasn’t going to be on cue, nor would he ever want to be that predictable word for word for her ‘game’, he wasn’t stepping out of line too much because she had already done something different the Frisk sprite had never done. He had stayed near the Ruins, spying alongside of her. Watching her. Her brother tagged along, but so did he.

And the songs she played. Those were monster songs, genuine ancient monster songs. One of the only things monsters still possessed that made their world livable. She was playing them on a guitar. There was only one reason for that. She knew someone who knew the ancient songs to teach her them. She had known Toriel well enough to learn them. It scored a point in her favor.

Yet, the Ruins were completely empty. Nothing was spared. Even now, she was filled with so much EXP, it was hard to see anything in her. “Sans the Skeleton,” he said. She didn’t answer, just stayed silent with her eyes almost closed. Time had definitely moved, Frisk was right. His sister looked almost as old as him now. From eight to twenties or so. Time, just being more ripped away. “Go through ahead. My brother made the way too wide to stop anyone.”

She went through with him, almost side by side. Then he muttered. “You know Toriel.” It wasn’t a question. She nodded slightly, so slightly he almost didn’t see it. She was trying to remain as stoic and emotionless as possible, it was obvious. “You’d think knowing her would make you take a slightly less genocidal role down here. Ever think of not killing anyone?”

Oh yeah, she lost her composure slightly as they arrived close to the conveniently shaped lamps. “Momma Toriel never raised no pacifist.”

At first, Sans wanted to say something to that. She was being cruel because he wasn’t playing by her gaming rules. However, the front part seemed odd. Why did she say ‘Momma Toriel’? There was so much more to it than he knew, and he hoped it was good. Yet? Why would something good be murdering everything? What excuse? “Quick. Behind the lamp.” Of course, she didn’t bite. “Fine. Don’t.”

“Sans! Did you refind the human from yesterday!” Papyrus shouted as he came over.


Damn. Frisk kept it together, but she remembered another reason she’d been scared of Sans as a child. Thousands of years Underground left the skeletons muddy and disgusting, resembling themselves more as zombies. Papyrus? He was no exception. Sans didn’t smell like a rose, nor were his bones pure white, but someone could still tell that he’d actually been a skeleton monster, not the living undead.

When she was smaller and met Sans, he’d been tall to her the first time. Now, they were about the same size, but Papyrus’ size? He was staggering! He was almost twice as tall as her. In the game when they made Sans much shorter than Papyrus, it was no joke. It wasn’t because Sans was short. No, it was because Papyrus was tall. Keep it together, Frisk. You are still just beginning.

“Not yet. Found this though,” Sans said gesturing to Frisk.

 

“Well? That’s something.” Papyrus walked off.

“Guess that’s settled.”

Frisk walked away, knowing she still had a long way to go.

“Hey,” Sans called out to her. “My brother’d really like so see a human again, so, you know? It’d really help me out if you kept pretending to be one.”

Good. He played his part. He messed up slightly, but Donald wouldn’t catch too much. So far, he hadn’t even used her name. Was Sans being perfect? Of course not, but he wasn’t ruining anything. Her mother was right, Sans wouldn’t trust her, but he wouldn’t go completely against her either. He was playing on the edge, trying to figure out what had been going on. If I could tell you, I would. Your little mess-ups can be blamed on goofs. I can’t mess up. I can’t call out. I can’t warn. I have to do this. I have to play everything this way. I’m sorry. Frisk didn’t say anything out loud, simply left on her way to start her spree.


Snowdrake. He wasn’t far. I’ll make this quick, little bird. Less anxiety. All he wanted to do was be good like his dad at comedy. He told an annoying joke, but Frisk didn’t play around. She took out her temperature knife in her left hand on her turn. He told another corny joke. She took out her yellow knife. She could beat him with a couple swings of yellow by itself, but she didn’t want to make him dread the situation any extra. Not only that, but the magic wasn’t endless. She would need her mother to refill and recalibrate her weapons, and she didn’t want to run out before she had to go home. Mistakes like that would get her in the more than three days bind.

Although, she didn’t want to think about how much time had already been taken up. In the game, it felt like everything progressed by faster. Being out on the actual terrain of snow, she didn’t feel like a creature that could walk through it like it was nothing. Like it was the ruins. It was ice cold, zapping some of her strength. She was already walking slower. She should at least have been to the dog couple by now, and she was barely in her first encounter, with sixteen more to go.

She listened to the next lame joke, and then rubbed her temperature with her yellow knife. The yellow knife iced up, and then it started to burn below the ice, becoming hot red. Frisk struck in a single slash, and he was gone. She continued on her way. Damn it! More slow down. In the game, it was cool when she played as a child. It built character depth and meaning. Now? It was a pain in her side.

Sans and Papyrus were up ahead. Papyrus was asking about a new human Sans must have mentioned.

“So, Sans!” Papyrus said. “When’s this next human showing up? I want to look my Sunday best . . . or at least my Tuesday pretty-good.”

Comedy routine. No time for this. Frisk watched them do their odd comedy routine until Sans pointed her out to Papyrus. And of course, he thought Sans was telling him to look at a rock. Frisk felt like checking her watch. Come on. 

“What’s that in front of the rock?” Sans asked Papyrus.

“Oh my god! I have no idea what that is,” Papyrus admitted. “Hm. It looks slightly like the human from yesterday. Except, it’s very big. Well, no matter! Prepare yourself for high jinks! Low Jinks! Danger! Puzzles Capers and Japers!”

Just get on with it already! She did not have time for this dialogue. As Papyrus finished his rant he ran off.

Finally, Sans said his next line. Yet, it felt a lot more strained. ” . . . and you don’t even bat an eye, huh?” He left.

That stung a little. It was what he was supposed to say, and Frisk needed to get through it. Yet. This is the last time to him with his brother. He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t even know for sure what’s going to happen. No, she couldn’t break character! I could play a little? This isn’t the straight game, I said I modified it some. But if she did, how much longer would that be? And she still had a lot of monsters to deal with besides the comedy duo. No, I can’t. I mean, if I do that, it’s going to hurt even worse. If I break character, Sans will only be more stunned when I do what I have too. He already knows it’s coming. Just get through it all.

She moved away, not bothering to look at the sentry station. She fought ice-cap and could feel her yellow giving out. It was her lowest powered knife. She should have let her mother fix it yesterday. Wasting blue now. At least she didn’t have to use her temperature knife again. Next, she ran into Doggo. After that. Not again.

“Oh ho! The human arrives!” Papyrus shouted toward her. “In order to stop you, my brother and I have created some puzzles! I think you will find this one-”

Frisk made her decision, then and there. Even if it was there last day to spend together, she just couldn’t do it. She needed to get it over with, and not break character. She went right through the puzzle while Papyrus said a few words.

“It would make my brother happy.” His voice was firm. Hard. “If you played along?” The grinding of his teeth, she could hear it.

No. She couldn’t steer from what she needed to do. She turned and left him. She moved off to commit more genocide. No, freeing them! It was so hard to remember. Watching them, just walking right into the ambush. Over and over. Then? Oh no.

The dog couple. The sweet dog couple. Frisk couldn’t kill them both at the same time. One of them would have to feel the pain of losing the other. He’ll be depressed. She’ll be enraged. She took out the female first and as fast as she could, closed her heart and took out the male dog. They are together on the other side. It just. It was so hard not getting to see it. Snowdin felt so much harder than the Ruins.

She rubbed her face, trying to clear it. There was so much more to do. And? The puzzle comedians were up ahead again. She barely even listened to Papyrus as she immediately went through the puzzle. She didn’t answer him about whether she liked puzzles or japes more. She just walked past them, and dealt with the ice puzzle. She couldn’t ignore it. Then, she continued to kill-No, save, save! – more monsters. She moved past Sans again, not saying anything.

Then. The little poofball, Greater Dog. Frisk took him out as well. Cake on the other side. Plenty of applause. Plenty of thanks. It’s all waiting when I get out of here. Just remember. Remember. Remember. What she wouldn’t give to be able to pull out her guitar and simply play. Play to remember better times. But, there was no time yet for that. Not yet.

First, the gauntlet. Luckily, she didn’t have to mess with that. She just waited for Sans and Papyrus to have their brotherly bond moment, talking about puzzles and traps and how Undyne would like it better. She left it all, without a word. She checked out the shop, making sure no one was there. Everything was according to how it should be.

Except, of course, the little guy. The only character her character really got to know because he traveled with her. A lot more foul than his original presence, and his clothes a lot more torn asunder, he was still a bright and cheery little guy. He made Frisk feel so much better. Monster Kid.

“Yo! Everyone ran away and hid somewhere,” he said. “Man, adults can be so dumb sometimes,” he chuckled. “Don’t they know we’ve got Undyne to protect us?”

Oh. For a moment, Frisk was feeling good. Then she remembered. He’ll be stuck here. He’d watch Undyne die, by her hands. He would be stuck there until the Underground was returned back to where it belonged. He’d be stuck watching the Underground just suffer. Strength, Frisk. It’s just beginning. She knew it was getting late. She was over her time limit. Her mother was going to start getting so worried about her. But? Just a little more. I don’t want to go through this all again. I can’t get any sleep, knowing I didn’t reach where I needed to. I’m taking Papyrus out!

She passed Monster Kid, and made her way to Papyrus.

He told her to halt in the fog. “I, The Great Papyrus, have some things to say!”

Of course he did. Pink or blue? I shouldn’t waste pink. No, he also surrenders. Blue.

“First,” he continued, “you’re a freaking weirdo. Not only do you not like puzzles, but the way you shamble about from place to place.”

Well, damn it, you try doing what I have to do! She wasn’t feeling any mercy with those words. Yes, they were the words he should use, but they still hurt. Would she be walking upright and in a good mood? No. She barely managed to scrape enough energy and memories to keep moving on, knowing she was doing the right thing, while it felt so much like the wrong thing.

“It feels . . . like your life is going down a dangerous path,” he added. “However, I, Papyrus, see great potential within you!”

It’s going down a path. It’s been going down a hard path for many years. Frisk kept her thoughts to herself. She had that speech memorized, but when he actually said it, the sound of his words? Cut. They cut.

“Everyone can be a great person if they try! And me, I hardly have to try at all! Nyeh heh heh heh heh heh!”

That is sort of funny. Frisk didn’t break character but she smiled on the inside. Only he could be smug, and not leave the impression of being a jerk. Especially with his laugh. But, she couldn’t break character. She moved forward more.

Papyrus complained in the fog again. He told her she was in need of guidance, and he’d be her friend and tutor. Such a good guy. Extra long shower, warm water with soap, waiting for him. Even the repulsive look he gave no longer bothered her. It didn’t matter, his true self was shining through his dialogue. She moved closer to him again. This was it.

“Are you offering a hug of acceptance?” Papyrus asked. “Wowie! My lessons are already working! I, Papyrus, welcome you with open arms!” He bend down and held his arms out to her. He was sparing her.

Of course. It’ll be okay. This is good. I’m sending him to the surface. Good food. Water. A new home. Frisk did her best to keep it together as she held out her blue knife and slashed it. It only took one time, his body fell to dust. Yet, his head kept talking to her. Saying he still believed in her. No, all of him had to go. There he goes. 

Frisk moved to the other side. She saw Monster Kid waiting, but she didn’t want to talk. The star. She just wanted to get to the star. Her intended destination. One day over. Two days left. But as she was about to leave, she felt something clasp onto her.


Surface, Gaming Room

Frisk stared at Sans. No, oh he didn’t! He grabbed onto her as she left. “You are supposed to stay there.”

Sans didn’t seem to be listening to her as he opened the door and looked around. He was already marching away.

Frisk grabbed her cell phone, not kept very far. “Momma Toriel?” she said. “Sans caught a ride on me. He’s walking away.”

“What?! I’ll be right out!”

Good. Frisk watched as her mother came yelling out at Sans. Oh, she sounded mad. Mad enough to get him to turn around. She ran out toward him.

“Sans, go over and get back in the game!” Toriel demanded. “We will not be able to save the Underground if you don’t do it! It’ll be another thousand years of endless darkness because you decided to grab onto Frisk!”

“Where’s Papyrus?” Sans asked. “What’s going on?” He gestured to Frisk. “Ain’t in no game anymore, now I want answers. My brother somehow better be alive here.”

“Of course he’s alive. Everyone is alive.” Toriel pushed his arm down that he’d been using gesturing to Frisk. “Thanks to Frisk, everyone is coming out of the Underground.” She groaned. “Hurry up, inside, Sans. Main house. You too, Frisk.”


Surface: Main Room.

Sans waited inside. Toriel started to recount what happened. Her being taken and riding to get Frisk, but he spied his brother behind her.

“That was so wonderful!” Papyrus exclaimed as he brushed the top of his skull. “I wish it could be longer, but I can see there is quite a line still.” He bent down to Snowdrake. “Thank you for letting me go in front of you.” He turned and saw Sans. “You are here too! How wonderful that Frisk murdered you as well!”

Huh? “How? Papyrus?”

“He is not here to stay,” Toriel said to Papyrus. “Not yet. He had a bigger role to play, and we must keep up the charade until all the strongest monsters have been taken out by Frisk.” She looked toward Sans. “Which of course means the monsters that don’t come out, need to. Which means Frisk had to play genocide. You were on the surface, you should have put something together.”

“Oh. Sorry,” Sans said sarcastically. “Don’t really think ‘hey, getting lifted to the surface’ when you see all the monsters dying around you.” He looked back to Papyrus. “You okay?”

“Fine. A little attachment back to my head, but otherwise very good. And look, I am clean! I feel better than I have in- FRISK!” Papyrus suddenly changed direction as he saw the older Frisk girl who just killed him. He grabbed her, picked her up and wrapped her in a deep hug. “Thank you so much for killing me!”

Frisk choked, with her voice a little high. “Welcome?”

“Papyrus, no!” Toriel tried to yank him away. “My daughter is but human, she is very weak! Be gentle to her!”

Daughter. Hmm. “Momma Toriel never raised no pacifist,” Sans said as he looked toward Tori. “That makes sense now. Being kind never would have got the stronger pieces to come out, huh?” Hm. “What about Flowey?”

“Say goodnight to your brother, Sans,” Toriel said. “You’ll see him soon. Hopefully very soon.”

“I am past my limit, Momma Toriel, I’m very sorry,” Frisk apologized to her. “I had to stay longer.”

“I was worried sick about you, Sweetheart!” Toriel scolded her. “I understand our time limit, but still. You promised to be out at a decent time. It’s midnight. You aren’t going to be nearly in as good a condition to handle tomorrow. There is no way you can take on Undyne.”

“I can’t handle Undyne, Mettaton, Asgore and Flowey all in one day, Momma Toriel,” Frisk reminded her.

“Time limit?” Sans questioned. “So you got the game for just so long.”

“Yes. Two more days. She needs to take out the strongest monsters. At the same time, she is being monitored,” Toriel revealed. “So she can’t just up and tell anyone, anything. So? Now will you return? You know your brother is safe. Everyone she has touched over on the other side is safe.”

“Touching them with a weapon, saves them. One go.” That explained the new weapons. She needed to make sure she killed in one hit, to make sure the illusion of it all didn’t break. “I want to know more.”

“You need to go home,” Toriel warned him.

“Wrong,” Sans said. “I? I never meet her again until Judgment Hall. She never sees me,” he reminded her. “I don’t, you know, feel like hanging out with something I think killed Papyrus. I’ll go back for Judgment Hall.” Nothing else though. Why bother? He had Papyrus back. They had the surface together. The whole Underground was actually coming up, to feel the freedom it’s always longed for. Why would he want to go back to that bitter loneliness?

Toriel sighed. “Fine. Stay. You would probably mess things up anyhow since you couldn’t understand what was going on.” Toriel nodded to Frisk. “But you? Off to bed with you, right away. I have your supper ready, go eat some, and then off to bed.” Frisk nodded at her. “And brush your human teeth as well!”

“Yes, Momma Toriel,” Frisk moaned lightly.

“And then you are getting up a decent time for a breakfast before you go back in!” Toriel said to her again.

“Yes, Momma Toriel,” Frisk moaned again.

“And no taking this long tomorrow!” Toriel sighed and looked back at Sans. “Oh well. There is a line for the shower. Not very long. There are plenty of homes. We are starting in the back of the property holdings first. There are reasons for it.”

“Reasons?” Sans asked.

“Yes. The creator of the machine that connects to our world, comes up and sees Frisk up front. That is not an area to be caught in,” Toriel warned him. “Of course, I understand your actions. You were worried. It looks like . . . but it’s not. You can’t see any dust on her hands. There is none. She is going in to save, not kill.”

“Yeah. Getting it now.” Sans looked back the way Frisk left. “So, you adopted the human?”

“Yes. If you would have listened before you ran off,” Toriel scolded lightly. “Her mother and father died. Her brother was trapped in the Underground. I raised her as my own, teaching her how to survive what she would take on one day.” She smiled. “I’m so proud of her so far. She has been through so much, and she’s so close.”

Ouch. “So the dad that turned his kids into the characters, he’s dead, huh? And that powerful little mom of hers.” Hm. “Should have named her something different if you’re her momma now.”

“I’m not her momma,” Toriel corrected him. “I am Momma Toriel. Her ‘momma’ is dead.”

“Yeah. Sorry. I never dealt with that monster loss adoption crap. Stuff,” Sans corrected himself. It was only right Frisk called her original mother momma, and her secondary by her first name with momma. It was a monster thing. Toriel raised her the monster way. Good. Maybe it gave her more sense.

“Sans, you need to get in on this cake!” He heard from Papyrus over in the other corner.

Ooh, cake. He noticed Toriel’s look on him though. “What?”

“Can you . . . if you aren’t supposed to meet her again, is there a way to help her get through genocide?” Toriel asked. “She only has two more days.”

Ooh. “Ouch.”

Toriel seemed to be looking off in the distance, before she looked back toward him. “Go ahead and get some cake. Have some time with your brother. Go out and enjoy the stars.”

“Can we get any extra time?” Sans asked. He’d go and do all of that, but he wanted to know details. As many details as possible. Someone was trying to save the Underground, with the former queen’s help. That wasn’t a shot in the dark, that was a real chance. Except for one thing. “He only came out when things were good.”

“Oh. Asriel,” Toriel whispered. “We had to choose something that would get everyone. Flower form is something. It has to work.”

Hm. “I don’t really think I can do anything to get her through it faster.”

“Her biggest trip up is guilt,” Toriel revealed. “She sees exactly what everyone else does. She hears the same thing. While she knows what’s happening on the other side, being surrounded in that kind of environment? Where everyone thinks she is killing monsters mercilessly? It weighs her down. She should have been in and out by at least nine. She’s dragged on for three extra hours. It’s practically day two.” Toriel was biting on the claws on her paws.

“I will help!” Papyrus came over with a slice of cake, eating it with enthusiasm. “I imagine it is quite tough, and if she is actually saving the Underground, then I, Papyrus, will gladly be of assistance.”

“Yeah.” She got caught on the wrong end of the game as a kid, but she was doing the right thing. “No idea what we can do to help,” Sans admitted. He saw the nerves in Toriel. “We’ll help if we can. Don’t get so nervous about it, Tori. We’ll make it.”

“Oh. Thank you.” Toriel moved her paws from her face. “Please, enjoy yourself though.”

“Yeah, one second.” Sans noticed it though. “You kind of dodged the ‘why didn’t you change her name’ question?”

“Sans. Do you have to bother her about everything?” Papyrus scolded him.

“She keeps Frisk. It reminds her of her family,” Toriel answered Sans. “She said one day when she gets her brother back, she may consider changing names.”

“Yeah ’cause Frisk and Frisk is gonna get annoying,” Sans answered. “The boy gonna live with you too?”

“When her brother comes? Probably,” Toriel said. “They will want to spend time together I am sure.”

Yeah. Family. It was important. Hard to believe the little squirt had already aged so much. “She really grew up,” Sans noted. “She was just a kid, now she’s practically my age. Kind of weird,” he admitted. Sans saw a slice of cake pop up in front of him from Papyrus. “Hey, thanks.” Aw. Real food. Surface life. A start for monster kind again. Finally.

And now that he knew where Papyrus had been safely? He could check out the stars with him too.



Outside . . .

“Look at it, Sans!” Papyrus pointed at different stars. “Those look like a face. Ooh, that’s a tea kettle. That looks like my old battle costume.” He gestured to his new clothes. “It’s nice to have fresh clothes though. And to be bony white again. I had no idea how grungey I had been.” He looked back up. “That one looks like a car.”

“Heh. That one looks like a new start,” Sans said, gesturing to the whole sky. “Never thought I’d see it again.”

“Again?” Papyrus asked. “You’ve seen it before?” Sans nodded. “Oh. I just got the barest of explanations. That I wasn’t dead, I was on the surface, a human girl named Frisk saved me, and I got shoved into a shower.” He shrugged. “Most everyone looks like they get shoved in right away, but the bigger, the faster I suppose. I was . . . a little ripe. No idea how bad, until . . .”

“Been there.” Sans patted his back. “No problem. Got into the same situation some time ago. That little human back there? He’s her brother. They used to be the same age. Turns out, we’ve had some nasty dimensional magic on us. We don’t even really age unless a human comes down. Doesn’t count for him though.”

“Don’t age?” Papyrus asked. “Oh. That’s why humans are so advanced now?”

“Yeah. By a long time.” Sans stared at the sky as he explained the basics of how entrance worked into their world, as well as the game mechanics the girl Frisk had to follow. ” . . . and so Boy Frisk sounds like he’s stuck, but Girl Frisk will eventually get them out.”

“At a large cost,” Papyrus said toward Sans. “I heard the former queen. She is doing this all for someone else. Her mother. The Underground. Her brother. She’s trained for years at it, putting her whole soul into it!” He pounded his chest. “What an amazing human. And now, she keeps going into the deep, dark abyss. Hoping she can keep it mentally together, and break everyone out in time before it’s too late.”

He looked at his skeletal hand, admiring the bone structure disconnected from all the muck and grime.

“Ah, she kills them too quick to hear begs of mercy,” Sans said. He noticed Papyrus’ look toward him.

“She is doing so much and no one can help her,” Papyrus insisted. “I must find a way. I cannot just enjoy the surface life knowing someone else is suffering for us.” He rubbed his bony chin. “I want to know more about the games. If it takes such little magic, why hasn’t the former Queen Toriel done anything? It would be nice if we could get the Brilliant Doctor Alphys up here.”

Nah. She wasn’t as big a thing as they all thought. “She’ll be last.” Sans looked down toward the ground. “New soil feels pretty good.”

“I will help her. I must help her. Especially after calling her a weirdo and an idiot,” Papyrus said. “My goodness, I really need to thank her properly! I need to whip up a batch of my most special spaghetti. Oh, but. She needs breakfast tomorrow. No matter. I’ll find something, some way to help. I, Papyrus, make that promise beneath these stars!”

“Uh huh.”

“No matter what it takes, I will make sure Frisk makes it through happy and healthy!”

“Uh huh.”

“Even if I somehow must sacrifice myself for her, I guarantee she will be  safe!”

“Uh huh. Huh?” Sans chuckled. Ah, his brother sometimes. Good thing that didn’t need to happen. But, he did agree. He was too rough on the human as a kid. It was hard to comprehend that it was a game, and that tension between them probably didn’t make her situation any better. She saved Papyrus. She’s saving the Underground. I kind of hitchhiked on her, scaring the crap out of her and almost ruining everything. Yeah, okay. Guess I kind of owe her a little. “Let’s go talk to Tori.”


 

Frisk turned in her sleep almost all night. By morning, it didn’t feel like she got as much as she should have. She would need coffee and breakfast to get through the Underground. She slowly opened her eyes, and saw four pairs of skeleton eye sockets staring at her. “Ah?!” Her voice was shrill and involuntary as she moved backward in her bed. She looked toward her door. Still locked. Sans and Papyrus snuck in. “What are you doing here in my room?”

“Your Momma Toriel is making pancakes,” Sans said casually. All the venom, surprise and questions was out of his voice.

“They smell very good,” Papyrus insisted. “We were sent in to get you.”

The door. They were supposed to use the door. “Thanks.”

“No, no, it is us that should be thanking you.” Papyrus extended his hand and shook hers repeatedly, making her body move up and down on the bed. He had quite a grip.

“Ooh. Maybe we should’ve . . .  knocked.” Sans looked back toward the door.

Sans seemed to have realized his faux pas, but Papyrus still hadn’t.

“The shower, the hospitality, everything up on the surface has been quite amazing.” Papyrus shook her hand. “You have a very lovely home, human. Frisk? Princess? What exactly are you called?”

Not princess. “Frisk is fine.” Sans was tugging on Papyrus.

“Uh, bro. Let’s um. Go. Let’s go.” He was starting to yank him away. “We told her. Let’s get out of here.”

Frisk watched her door almost slam open, with her mother standing there, staring down the Skeletons. “I need to get dressed. I’ll be right out.”

“Good.” Tori pointed out the door to the Skeletons. “I will see your guests out.”


“Okay, easy,” Sans complained. “We were just saying thanks.”

“Yes. What was the big deal?” Papyrus asked. “You asked us to get her after all.”

“Through the door, the door.” Toriel looked to Sans. “She isn’t a child anymore, she is not like her brother, she’s-”

“A woman,” Sans said before she finished.

“I was going to say a human,” Toriel said, not apparently liking his choice in words. “Like some monsters are a little bashful of themselves, humans are too. Do not go around here without opening doors, and no teleporting into rooms. That kind of thing is a no-no. Do I make myself clear?”

“I didn’t mean to make the human feel bad.” Now Papyrus looked like he felt bad. “I am sorry.”

“Kinda out of the loop on humans,” Sans said. Although, damn. “No reason she should be ashamed. I’m no body compared to her body. It’s banging to the beat of a different drum.”

Papyrus shouldered him. “Joke time is not now, Sans.”

They all turned and saw Frisk emerge from her door. There was no blue outfit this time. She was wearing a casual red dress. She looked really well in red. Better in red than blue. A simple, summer dress. Spaghetti strappy things. She moved past them to her mother and gave her a hug for the morning. “Good morning, Momma Toriel. Breakfast, huh? Which house?”

“A separate breakfast,” Toriel told her. “This house. I have given ingredients to three other households to eat breakfast. We are getting bigger.” She took Frisk’s hand and moved her toward the table where there were four plates laid out. “Here you go, Honey. You can sit on the other side of me.”

Frisk never sat on the left, but her mother sat herself right down. Papyrus and Sans sat on the other side.

“When you meet Monster Kid today, it will be nearly impossible to skip anything,” her mother said. “However, Sans and Papyrus want to help you get around certain things when they can.”

“That’s impossible,” Frisk reminded her. “The data is being recorded.”

“But he knows you made modifications,” Toriel said. “So what if you did meet Sans again, and he accidentally teleported you a little further than intended?” She dished up Frisk’s pancake onto her plate. “It would make sense, Donald Rainier knows you want to solve it in three days.”

True. “It could save some time.” Frisk couldn’t go too far with it though. And. Just, Sans wasn’t exactly her bosom buddy. At all. She started to eat her pancake.

“I can come back once,” Papyrus said, “for encouragement. There is a glitch in the game where I can find myself when I should already be dead on the other side of Undyne. If I get into that area, and stay out of trouble from then on, I could be fine. But? I couldn’t do much.”

“But I’m still alive and well over there,” Sans reminded Frisk. “The game might expect a glimpse or too, Girl Frisk. Plus, Tori told us you did add the fact you made modifications. We could work with that. Don’t quite know where yet. Too lazy to figure it out.”

“Since you never actually meet Alphys according to the former queen, it only makes sense we should be able to involve her,” Papyrus added. “That should be able to give us a little more leeway somehow too.” Then, he said something Frisk wasn’t prepared for. “Dress warmly. Not too warm, but something thicker than your jammies. They were way too thin.”

Frisk spit out her pancake.

“Less talking all the way around for us,” Sans added.

Frisk started to eat her pancake again. She reached for the syrup and dribbled it on. It still didn’t sit well that the SkeleBros wanted to help out. She did things on her own, she didn’t need backup. But it was obvious her mother was concerned. And, she still had so much to accomplish.

“This surface food is doing weird stuff again,” Papyrus said to her mother. “Where’s the bathroom again?”