The Core . . .
Sans felt such a wave of heavy energy, that his body had been forced off the core, falling to the ground. Looking around him, he saw Gaster, Blaster and Papyrus in the same state. Every one of them was trying to reach Frisk. Every one of them failed. No. Not her. He already lost so much! He wasn’t losing her. He moved back to the core and started to climb it, using all the energy he had to not melt against it. I can’t lose her. I can’t!
Frisk looked around herself. Blinking. There was an incredible amount of light.
“Momma?” Her voice, and as soon as her vision could start to make out something, she saw her. Her heart gave way with her voice as she ran as fast as she could to the figure in the distance. She held her hands out toward her as Frisk barely stopped fast enough not to knock her over. Yet, Frisk had doubts that was even possible. “Momma.”
“You know other words, Frisk, besides momma,” her mother joked. “Oh. It feels so good to hold you again.”
Frisk breathed in and out. It felt so nice to be against her again. Yet? “How am I here?” She looked toward her mother. “Mom?”
“It will be okay.” Her mother said the phrase she had said over and over again. “I promise. You have to trust me.”
“But Sans!” No. If she was there with her mother, than that meant somehow. She shattered. But. “I can’t leave Sans. He’s lost so much. We’ve lost so much! I can’t!”
“You haven’t lost anything.” Her mother bent down to kiss her as she pointed out splintered pieces of reality. It hung in the air like a mirror. “In that time, you have four wonderful children. In that other time, you have two. In that time, you destroyed the timeline. In that time, you had two.” She held her tightly. “In every time, you have at least two if the timeline exists. Do you understand why?”
“When you shattered, you were not alone.”
“What do you mean?”
“It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t your fault. It was destiny.”
Not. Alone? Frisk grabbed at her stomach.
“Don’t worry. They couldn’t have done it alone. There’s only so much power a timeline has. And? Only part of your child was enough to end timelines as it saw fit. In their state, your children were just too powerful, so at this point, they were fractured through time. Whether souls or wills though, they stayed near you as much as they could. No matter what.”
“Juleyard.” Her voice was a strained choke. “Al.”
“And Jewel,” Josephine answered, “and Sunburst.”
“All? One?” Frisk asked. “They really are joined.”
“They came back with you. I made sure of it. I used what I could, here and there. Most of what you saw as ‘time balancing’ wasn’t, Frisk. It was me being selfish.”
“King Asgore’s kharma of punishment ended when Asriel and Chara were lost. His children. Part of your children’s will, with new souls. When they died, it was over. But, even as they were, they were still so powerful. When your children split, the powerful part became part of the will, while the weakest part was will attached to the soul.”
“They were always mine?” Frisk asked. “But, how? The Underground?”
“Should still go Underground. The will of Chara joined with you should make timelines get lost. You should find your way into doubling timelines. You should find your way back out, split back into your singled souls. Your singled soul should find it’s way back, your children should shatter, and the process should begin anew. Again.”
“An endless loop.” Frisk breathed deeply. “But we told royalty? Blaster didn’t die. Gaster won’t build a prototype of the core and fall in.”
“I said should, Frisk. Kharma was over with King Asgore. The difference is that none of you had any control over what you did. The only thing that kept this punishing loop around was your children. They were too powerful, Honey, no matter what timeline they were born into. As newborn little half monsters, more powerful than any timeline had ever conjured, they were neither good nor evil. Each piece of them needed to find a balance first, before they could join back together safely. No matter what, they always had to shatter. Since that shattering had always triggered the existence of ‘Chara’ and ‘Flowey’ eventually, it kept looping over and over.”
“Everything stayed the same. Constantly.”
“Not everything. Minor differences here and there, always, in every timeline, but it doesn’t matter. I finally did it.” Her mother gestured to all the fractured reality moments around them. “Finding you in this whole mess around us is not easy, Frisk. Especially since they are all my daughter. I’m not perfect, and it took a long time to figure out how to get you safely into the core with the children, at almost the exact time before it became dangerous. Time rearranging, only the original core could accomplish what I needed with the exact data being downloaded into it, with the exact people I needed in the exact place, several things! It wasn’t easy. Took nearly ten minutes.”
“Or ten hours. Or ten years. Time . . . doesn’t feel like it does anything. Everything is at once. The only thing I can concentrate right now, is you. Because you are in front of me. But if we stop . . .” She held her finger to her mouth and whispered, “and are very quiet . . .”
“Can’t you say something else?”
“If my dad were here, he’d let me do it.”
“Oh, I miss you so much.”
“It’s not fair!”
“Why won’t you listen? How come you never listen?”
“Today’s my birthday, and I was hopin’ that maybe you could make a candle blow out on it or say happy birthday? Or, whatever.”
Frisk felt her eyes starting to water. “I understand.” Every time was really happening at the same time, calling out constantly. She could hear the younger voice of what must be Sans and Papyrus, but also her father, herself and even her mother. Her mother even heard her past self. Frisk swallowed. “Sans and Papyrus connected to you. They thought you were Gaster.”
“Yes, because he was shattered. Most shattered cannot communicate. Their last actions are usually a desperate attempt to return to the world, in which their body falls apart in time. After that? They are gone, actually dead. No more pain,” she said. “I’m not in pain, Frisk, and I’m not dead. I’m just in a different state now.”
“But you connected back with them,” Frisk said. “For me?”
“He and Papyrus kept communicating outward, picking up my signal. After hearing that lonely birthday boy, you have to learn to answer the call. Frisk? I want you to tell your Sans, in your timeline, that I’m sorry I never game him more of a chance. He doesn’t even understand but he is like a son to me. More than a Son-In-Law. He has helped you so much, and dealt with so much of his own pain. Papyrus too. That’s why I dragged Papyrus over too. They need each other.”
She pressed her hand to another reality. “I can do so much at once, but I’m not eternal. I’ve reached a point where I can’t do much more. I need to reserve everything I have for my final actions. I can’t even risk wishing that little boy a happy birthday by blowing out a candle, no matter how much he wants me to yet.”
“You reset time, you brought back three people from the future, you were communicating to the Underground, even though you kept your power above the ground,” Frisk said. “You did a lot.”
“I had a lot of determination,” She smiled. “Back then. Several seconds ago. Minutes ago. Years ago. How long have we been talking? Seconds? Or have you been staring into different realities for years with me?”
” . . . Sans!” Frisk realized what her mom just said. How long had she been there? She looked down at her stomach. She could tell she was pregnant now.
“Time is nowhere and everywhere. Don’t worry, this is the safest place for them to mature inside of you safely. No timeline to interfere with development.”
Frisk grasped at her stomach. Something was very wrong.
“I know. Your children might be split, but they must come from somewhere. That somewhere is you. They can’t be born in that same form. I had to find compatible souls.” Her mother gestured around her. “Within the space that I gave myself. It wasn’t easy. Time repeated it’s treachery so often until I could find them.”
“Find who?” Frisk asked.
“Soul. Will. Personality. Mind. Body. It’s all a unique combination to make someone. Abnormal pairing creates terrible results. Now? This is the last time I am going to talk to you, Frisk. I set up a recurring message in the beginning, something simple just to make sure you could hear and stay with me. But I can’t reach out anymore to anyone but you. You shattered. You’re here.”
Her mom didn’t answer her. Did she forget she asked? “Find who?”
“Did you feel shame or regret when Flowey joined with your son, Al?”
“I . . . missed my friend, I guess,” Frisk admitted. “There was no shame or regret though. I cared very deeply.”
“I gave you two lost souls. Not wills. Souls, Frisk.” Her mother gestured toward her stomach. “Don’t be surprised if they still talk at the same time sometimes. They will always be connected, but to be born, they need a weakness. You won’t have twins, you are having quadruplets.”
Frisk’s eyes widened. “Lost souls?”
“Not wills. Their determination was strong, but their souls were weak. The will shall be stronger for them.” Her mother held up two fingers. “Two strong souls paired with two weak wills. Two strong wills paired with two weak souls. Within the beginning hours of conception.”
“It doesn’t matter. They were killed by their own means because of their weak souls. The mistakes they made in their lifetime won’t be repeated, with a strong will attached this time.”
“Fracturing their power.” Frisk held her stomach. It was getting even bigger than when she had Al and Juleyard.
“I consider it balancing their power.”
“But, the other me, she-”
“Trust me. I know what I’m doing. This . . . is all I do.”
Frisk nodded. “But. I? Sans . . .”
“I know what I’m doing. Events will be different the next time, but the results will be the same. Trust me.”
Frisk bit her lip. “Shattered. I’m shattered though.”
“With data coursing through an amplified core by the sacrifice of a sister to a monster you never knew, because of a plan of a misguided man wanting to save the world. It would take centuries to explain it. I could, but you don’t want to wait for centuries to understand what I do. It’s not needed. You want to get back to life.” She hugged her daughter tightly again. “In short, the data of everything the lab had was transferred to the core. The monsters will live on the surface, safe and sound. They won’t become experiments. But above all, there is the information to free you from being shattered.”
She gestured to a reality behind her. “I guarantee your Sans is working on it harder than ever.” She smiled back at Frisk. “Harder than he’s ever worked his entire life. He even feels your whole presence, right inside the core with me.”
“Then you can come with me?” Frisk asked.
“When you’ve been here too long, you can’t think the same way. I speak to you quite well, because you are here with me. As soon as a shattered returns to one reality, if the mind has been gone too long? It’s just insanity. You will be fine. I would not be, and my work is almost over. After this, I will break myself as Gaster once did in time. Eventually splitting myself, I will be free.”
“Don’t worry, Frisk. I’m more than ready to go. Before I go though, I need you to know. Gaster will not shatter. But your children? Did.”
” . . .” Frisk looked at her stomach. Even bigger now.
“They had to, to survive. If you couldn’t guess, their determination alone accomplished it. They were going to several different timelines. Being brought back, to and fro. Like I said, I had to reserve the last of my power to know I could get everything done.” Her mother took a deep breath, and exhaled. Another deep breath, another exhale. “I also needed to time out the data retrieval of you. They needed to mature a good ways into a timeline free place to complete their journey. So don’t be scared.” She stood up straight again. “Okay. I have a little bit more, but after that, I have to end it. So tell me what you want. I can’t give you back your second set of children, I had to-”
“I know.” Frisk stopped her.
“It still hurts. It’s a give and take in the world. What do you want?”
” . . . I want Undyne to be sure to be born,” Frisk said. “Alphys. Oh! And the experiment regret?”
“If I have enough strength for that one. I’m not supermom anymore.”
“Sorry. If you can. Save it last,” Frisk said. “Toriel and Asgore will still be there. I still have to be born. If I don’t go Underground . . .”
“Frisk? I’ve been here a long time, whether I can feel time move or not. I know it’s been a long, long ways because of everything I can understand. Trust me. Momma’s got your back. Now? I really don’t know if I can return you to the future or not. I could, but I can’t move everyone. Your future would look vastly different. You would have these memories, but not of your future.”
“What’s different in it?”
“I can sense potential changes. If you want to know. You have new neighbors. I wanted to help the Liberty’s for what they did. Tiny little shifts, their family will be better. They will be good friends with you.”
“The Liberty’s whose home we invaded?” Frisk asked.
“Hm. Let’s just say, I wanted them to have something too. Regardless of what you choose, I am popping them something. Papyrus will live next door to you. He had a restaurant now. Your whole history will be very different. Your father remarries as well, finding a new love in an accidental manner. You and he see each other at least three times a year.” She let go of Frisk and rubbed her hands together, almost in a charge. “Until you stay long enough, you won’t understand this, but I have to do things quick and simultaneously. I can only gather power in bursts. My bursts are almost over, and I need to do as much as I can for everything I have changed.”
“Can Gaster and Blaster come?” Frisk asked.
“Oh, Frisk, that is way too much for my burst now. Those actions of saving you and Sans and Papyrus were almost the first time I came. To send you three back would be hard enough again. I may have reset time which took most of the juice when I did that, but I just don’t have enough for five. The last burst I took was simply moving Flowey who could already move into different timelines. No wait. That was . . . no, the lost souls joined with you. I’m sorry,” she apologized. “Events. Mix. Even my speech is confusing I assume.”
“I understand.” Frisk could be moved back to where she belonged now, but the past had changed, and her future would be different. Not only that, but Sans and Papyrus. Gaster and Blaster. “I won’t know that future. I’m sure it would be great, but I wouldn’t know. And? I can’t take Gaster away from them. I can’t take either of them away from their family. It’s all they ever wanted.”
“I know, but it only felt right to ask anyway.” Her mother breathed on her hands so tenderly. “You will not be able to keep up or see what I do. If you could, it would mean you were here too long and were stuck here with me forever. So don’t even worry about it, okay?” Frisk nodded. “I can’t communicate much further from the core up here, or into the Underground, which doesn’t exist right now to you, but it exists in others. I have a finite distance unless there is something to help me extend my reach, usually a magic source. That makes some work tough.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “But I can feel the power of time itself pushing through . . .”
Frisk watched her mother for what felt like minutes. Or a few seconds. She wasn’t moving at all. Not a single motion. Then? She watched her mother start to whisper so low she couldn’t hear her, and her hands flashed before several of the realities pushing a small amount of energy into them. She couldn’t see it all at once. it looked like her mother had a hundred hands working all at once, whispering, and concentrating.
Then? She caught her last action. “Happy Birthday, Sans.” She opened up her eyes. “Happy Birthday to them too. For once, they can be born without being destruction.”
“Thanks to their grandma,” Frisk said lovingly. “I love you, mom.”
“I love you, Frisk. Goodb-”
The Core . . .
Sans’ voice. Frisk felt so whoozy. Was she on the ground?
“Goodness!” Gaster exclaimed near Frisk’s ears. “A shattered actually brought back. And information from inside the core? How did that get there?”
Frisk felt Sans’ arms wrapped around her so tight. She could hear his bones rattling. “I didn’t leave you for very long, did I?” Sans didn’t answer at first as he continued to hug her.
“Six months,” Papyrus breathed from beside her. “You were gone six months. Sans worked everyday trying to dig out the information to save you. It . . . was the hardest he ever worked. And it was worth it. You have been saved! We all gave up honestly, we were already getting ready for a funeral.” Papyrus grabbed his skull, like someone just screeched at him. “Everyone but Sans of course. Self implied. Although? You aren’t the same, are you?”
Frisk just took her own deep breath, and slumped against Sans. She felt his hand feel her belly. He didn’t say anything. She didn’t expect him to. Gaster and Blaster were supposed to be infamous geniuses. It’s probably why they wanted Frisk to communicate to her mom in the first place. After she disappeared into nothingness, they probably told Sans whatever they had figured out.
She didn’t much care. She just felt so heavy. Her body used to feel weightless and now it was all just so heavy. Sans hadn’t taken his hand off her belly. “Al and Juleyard are okay.” She finally spoke. She was tired she didn’t want to say anything, but she could just feel the relief pouring from him. “Sunburst and Jewel are okay. We’ll all be okay.” She took another deep breath. “Barrier information?”
“Yes. We already have a completely solid barrier around the entire Monster Kingdom,” Gaster answered her. “We’re all fine.”
“It’s not transparent yet. There’s a part for it like the little one over the house had, but we haven’t quite got it yet. We will though. We just had a lot of other stuff to do,” Blaster said. “Fix the core for one. Really did a number on it, but I guess it’s okay. The lab humans roasted themselves. Literally. I think some monsters went over there and tried it. Papyrus would say the word ‘barbecuish’.”
“Could we not go over this right now?” Papyrus asked his Uncle Blaster.
“It’s kind of funny though. If you go over to the edge of the kingdom, you can hear like the echoing of little swords sometimes. Not as much now. Think most of them gave up. Every once in awhile though you can hear something,” Blaster said. “King Asgore commanded every monster to leave them alone. Even though we got way more power than whatever little barrier they put up, he thinks we’ll all be okay one day if we just don’t aggravate them.” He bend down to Frisk. “Did your mom ever talk about a peace of some sort? Or is it endless war?”
Frisk moaned. Her eyes barely able to stay awake. “She never said.”
“And she shouldn’t, that’s not for us to know,” Papyrus said. “This is our time now. We do with it what we have.”
“You just sayin’ that because of the merry little Ol’ Skeleton women that came back into town,” Blaster said, shoving him playfully with his arm. “You go over that book on dating I gave you?”
” . . . I liked my old book better,” Papyrus confessed.
Barely any words. She didn’t have to say much after he knew that she and they were fine. She had already fallen asleep in the middle of Blaster and Papyrus talking about a dating book. He rocked her in his arms. No matter how long it took, he couldn’t give up. There was a reason for it all, he knew it. He couldn’t understand it, but he knew it.
“Sans? Son?” Gaster came over closer to him. “While she is out, perhaps we should go over what one does on a first date again?”
“I know, Dad,” Sans replied. He had tried to grow closer to Gaster too like Papyrus. There was a still a little stiffness, but they were all getting along more like a family.
“Things happen fast. One time is enough to get yourself into trouble.”
Sans groaned. “I didn’t mean to do anything, but it wasn’t like we hadn’t had kids before. I could handle it if something happened.”
“Days upon days upon days of sexual activities within the house for a safe birth was not a good idea,” Gaster warned him.
“I’d think it was a great idea,” his Uncle Blaster said.
“You said yourself she wanted to move slower though,” Gaster said.
“Yeah, after we toppled in the bed she said that. I didn’t mean to do anything though.” Oh. He wasn’t getting suckered into that kind of talk right now.
“Give him a break, Grampy Gaster.”
“Just sayin’. Besides, if they have more, that’s what they’d do.”
“They have more, they might blow a whole in the timeline.”
“Not if Frisk doesn’t pick up more soul hitchhikers.”
“Oh. I suppose.”
“Then next time they’ll just have to stay on it 24/7. Talk about a great year he’d have.”
“Just pointed it out, Brother.”
Sans started to laugh, his rib cage moving up and down. It felt good to laugh again. “Would be a pretty good year.”
“Sans!” Now Papyrus was scolding him. “Frisk is clearly very, very pregnant. We should move her inside and out of this core.”
“Yeah.” He heard a slight groan from her as he stood up. “You ready to share a room yet with me?” Ah, that slightly annoyed look melting into adoration. Only something like that could come from his Frisk. “Let’s go inside, Beautiful. Feel free to bring the kiddos too.”
Five Years Later . . .
“Kids! Dinner time!” Frisk called outside. Where were they? She looked back toward Papyrus. He had fixed some of his pasta tonight. He hadn’t fixed pasta in months so it was important to him. Blaster also had a side of fish. With pasta.
Frisk would only be eating Papyrus’ pasta. “Where are they?” She stepped out further into the yard and saw Sans who teleported by the core. “Hand-Some, where are the kids?”
“Probably playing with Dad or Blaster.” Sans gestured to the core. “Which they aren’t supposed to do near the core.” His voice raised slightly. “Little boys and little girls better not be in that core!”
“I’m not!” Sunburst came racing around Frisk, chasing Jewel, almost toppling her. “Give it back, Jewel!”
Frisk caught herself, barely as they rushed inside. “Jewel, whatever you have, give it back.”
“No way, he’s just going to take the shovel and plant stupid flowers again!”
“They are not stupid, you are stupid! Stupid! They will make the world beautiful!”
Frisk shook her head. Not world domination, but with a weaker soul compared to a will, Sunburst was a lot more like ‘Flowey’. Which she didn’t mind one bit. Although, Jewel was quite a handful too. It was a good thing she had four powerful skeletons on her side.
Or maybe not. Frisk moved over to the core where Sans was waiting.
The roof raised and Al poked out his head. ” . . . sup?”
“Don’t even start. Out!” Sans pointed beside him. Al appeared beside him.
Then, Yard’s head popped out. He waved. “Hello world! I feel heavy.”
Sans teleported up to pick him up and brought him back down before going back up again. “Dad! Why are my kids hanging out with you in the core?” He yelled out.
Blaster stuck his head out. “What? Nothing. Taste testing. Nothing to worry about.” he scratched the side of the skull. “Not like a switch accidentally activated it sending them across timelines all shattered or nothing and we made them get back lickety split.”
Gaster stuck his head out next. ” . . . taste testing. It was safe. No crime was committed.”
“Man, I can’t stand up straight real well.” Al sat down on the ground. “I feel real heavy.”
“A monster is innocent until he is proven guilty,” Gaster said coming out of the core. “Anyhow, food is still not quite right. We’ll get there though. Until then, I heard it’s time to eat.” He walked out of the core nonchalantly.
“My food just needs warmed up.” Blaster came out too, ignoring Sans. “Yummy fish pasta! Who wants mine instead of Papyrus’?
“There’s two volunteers tonight that want to try.” Sans pointed straight down at Al and Yard.
“And if they are found messing around in the core again,” Frisk added, her teeth slightly grinding together. “They will eat fish pasta for every day Blaster cooks it.”
“Nooo!” Yard hung onto Al. “Never again! Never, never, never! No, I’m scared! Jeweeeellll!” He ran inside to the protection of his sister.
“I love you, momma?” Al tried. Dangit.
“Now, now. Growing boys need their food. Come on.” Sans urged him forward. When the kids went safely inside, they both moved after Gaster and Blaster.
“I swear, upon everything Sans! I would never put the kids in trouble.” Gaster held up his hand. “I swear.”
“Upon all that is holey,” Blaster said pointing to Gaster’s hand.
“The power was off. Completely. Only the food tasting was running. Humans are the most sensitive to food, and they . . .”
“Sans.” Frisk grabbed his arm. “I think . . . that was momma. If something is a high coincidence or accident.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Sans said. “Normal people get mother-in-laws who stick their nose into their business. Mine sticks, sticked, and will stick her nose into my timelines.” Still. She was a good mom in the end. Sans held Frisk’s hand back. “When the shattered love you, they can move mountains.”
“And when monsters get too powerful, they can destroy timelines. Sweet sentiments all around Nephew,” Blaster teased him.
“Look?” Sans said to them. “Don’t let them near it again. None of them. Quadrups are tough enough, I don’t need them splintering around in time, screwing things up. And you only get one freebie that said my mom-in-law did it. Got it?”
“Yes, of course. Absolutely.”
“We’ll remember next time not to let them shatter.”
“I mean go in the core. No place for kids. Got it.”
“Is anyone coming to eat?” Papyrus said, coming over toward them. The food has been ready. “Why is Yard also under the table with Jewel growling at me?”
Frisk watched as Sunburst came running out toward her. Now what?
“I didn’t get in trouble, I didn’t do it!” Sunburst yelled. “Really!”
“I know,” Frisk said. “This time, you’re clean.”
“Couldn’t find no fingerprints in the crime,” Sans said to him. “Jule and Yard are in trouble for getting into the core.”
“Oh? Oh good, I thought it was . . .” Sunburst shrugged and smiled. “Nothing. I thought it was nothing. So I get to have Papyrus’ pasta tonight, right?”
“Why does everybody act like my fish is some kind of punishment to try?” Blaster complained as he went toward the house. “It’s good meat, meats good with pasta,” he muttered. “People and their funny tastes. If it wasn’t for that, the core would be done by now.”
“I hope that’s a joke?” Sans questioned. “Seriously?”
” . . . you know, food coming from out of nowhere isn’t going to be an easy thing to tackle,” Gaster stood up for his brother. “Really. Son. Patience.”
“You got a whole boat load of a lab jammed into it’s system full of barriers, shattered information, and all kinds of other crap no one even thinks about,” Sans said. “But you haven’t tackled the food.” He chuckled. “I love this family.” He brought Frisk over under his arm. “Come on, Beautiful. Pasta’s waiting.”
Now I have children of my own, they ask their mother, what will I be? Will I be handsome, will I be rich? I tell them tenderly.
Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.
Que Sera, Sera. What will be, will be.
Que Sera, Sera.