Patience and Bravery

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story of Undertale is a fascinating one. This short story takes one of the game's ways to play and removes your perspective from the human you normally control in-game. In this story, you are looking through the eyes of the beloved character Sans, a skeleton. He is watching the game's Genocide route take place.

Submitted: November 05, 2016

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Submitted: November 05, 2016

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The room was devoid of any light. There were sounds, like faint shuffling and the occasional rattle. At one point, there was a sudden sound of multiple objects dropping to the floor and a sigh. Eventually, four white circles, somewhat like eyes, appeared. They began to blink, alternating. There was buzzing, a crack, and another sigh.

 Two white dots appeared then, somewhat low to the ground, and moved across the cramped black room. There were sounds of whatever had fallen before being put back where they belonged. The dots disappeared, and in the place of one of them appeared another eye.

 Only this one was flashing slowly between blue and yellow.

 Quietly, someone spoke, in time with the alternating light.

 “patience… bravery…

 
 

 Snowdin was relatively quiet. Most of the monsters were relaxing in their homes, happy and content. The library, sign still misspelled, only had two patrons within it. The hotel had only a few guests, and the shop was empty. Grillby’s had most of its usual crowd.

 Outside, only a few monsters wandered. With Papyrus presumably off training with Undyne and Sans nowhere to be found as usual, nobody really had much to do besides their normal routines.

 Even the king hadn’t come by in a while. Asgore was always wandering around the Underground, greeting all of the monsters. But it had been almost three weeks since his last visit, and he usually came quite often.

 That was really the only thing odd about today. Asgore. It had been so long, the monsters were starting to wonder. They weren’t worried, though. The monsters never let themselves be worried. Asgore had promised them freedom. They would make it out of here eventually.

 There was one other thing that was a little off. Some of the monsters could swear they saw something pop up out of the snow in the corner of their vision, but when they looked there was nothing. A few of the ones who got longer looks said it looked like a yellow flower.

 

 Eventually, Papyrus returned, and Sans reappeared soon after. There were no more sightings of the flower, at least not as far as anyone could tell.

 Sans left the town in the direction of the Ruins shortly after coming back. Papyrus had told him to keep a lookout for humans. Of course, he didn’t expect Sans to actually do anything besides sit there and doze off, so he followed behind.

 Sans was near the entrance to the Ruins, not at his post. Papyrus gave up trying to get him to work. He himself stayed back at his own post.

 Sans wasn’t just slacking off, however. He was listening into the Ruins, pulling his blue hoodie tighter around himself. Who knew skeletons got cold in the middle of a snowy clearing. There was a quiet echo from somebody speaking. It was a familiar voice to him.

 He came here often, listening into the door, and usually spoke to this voice. It was a woman who shared his appreciation for simple jokes. He’d never met her in any other way.

 The voice was becoming clearer.

“You want to leave so badly? Hmph. You are just like the others. There is only one solution to this. Prove yourself… Prove to me you are strong enough to survive.”

 There was the faint crackle of fire.

 There were other sounds that couldn’t be identified.

 “What are you doing? Attack or run away!”

 Another moment of quiet.

 “What are you proving this way?”

 There was a soft intake of breath.

 “Fight me or leave!”

 Another pause.

 “Stop it. Stop looking at me that way.”

 Who was she fighting?

 “Go away!”

 More silence.

 “I know you want to go home, but… Please, go upstairs now. I promise I will take good care of you here. I know we do not have much, but… We can have a good life here. Why are you making this so difficult? Please, go upstairs.”

 She paused again.

 “Ha.. Haha… Pathetic, is it not? I cannot save even a single child. No, I understand. You would just be unhappy trapped down here. The Ruins are very small once you get used to them. It would not be right for you to grow up in a place like this. My expectations… My loneliness… My fear… For you, my child, I will put them aside. If you truly wish to leave the Ruins… I will not stop you. However, when you leave… Please do not come back. I hope you understand.

 There was a quiet shuffling sound and a pause, then more shuffling.

 “Goodbye, my child.”

 There was the sound of a door opening, and someone walking closer down a long corridor. Then there was another voice. This one was cold, one that Sans had never heard before.

 “Clever. Verrrryyy clever. You think you’re really smart, don’t you? In this world, it’s kill or be killed. So you were able to play by your own rules. You spared the life of a single person. Hee hee hee… I bet you feel really great. You didn’t kill anybody this time. But what will you do if you meet a relentless killer? You’ll die and you’ll die and you’ll die. Until you tire of trying. What will you do then? Will you kill out of frustration? Or will you give up entirely on this world… And let ME inherit the power to control it? I am the prince of this world’s future. Don’t worry, my little monarch, my plan isn’t regicide. This is SO much more interesting.”

 There was a horrific laughing, and then only the sound of footsteps again. The door was beginning to open. Sans hid in a bush.

 A human stepped out of the Ruins. A human child.

 Sans followed them as they continued down the path. He accidently stepped on and snapped a twig, but disappeared before the human turned around. He kept following until they reached the small bridge. He stopped them and came up behind them.

 “Human.” He said in a creepy voice. “Don’t you know how to greet a new pal? Turn around and shake my hand.

 The human turned around, and he stuck out his hand. They went to shake it.

 Pfffffffrrrrrrrrrrt.

 “hehehe… the old whoopee cushion in the hand trick. it’s ALWAYS funny. anyways, you’re a human, right?

 They didn’t answer, but they laughed.

 “hilarious. i’m sans. sans the skeleton. i’m actually supposed to be on watch for humans right now. but… y’know… i don’t really care for capturing anybody. now my brother, papyrus… he’s a human-hunting FANATIC. hey, actually, i think that’s him over there. i have an idea. go through this gate thingy. my bro made the bars too wide to stop anyone.

 The human stepped across the bridge and through the gate, into the small clearing where San’s post was. There was a lamp in the middle of the area that was shaped exactly like the human.

 “quick, behind that conveniently-shaped lamp.

 The human disappeared behind the lamp just as Papyrus appeared.

 “sup, bro?” Sans said nonchalantly.

 “YOU KNOW WHAT “SUP.” BROTHER!” Papyrus scolded. “IT’S BEEN EIGHT DAYS AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T… RECALIBRATED. YOUR. PUZZLES! YOU JUST HANG AROUND OUTSIDE YOUR STATION! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?”

 “staring at this lamp. it’s really cool. do you wanna look?

 “NO!! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!!” Papyrus stomped his foot angrily. “WHAT IF A HUMAN COMES THROUGH HERE!?! I WANT TO BE READY!!! I WILL BE THE ONE! I MUST BE THE ONE! I WILL CAPTURE A HUMAN!” He struck his ‘heroic’ pose, his red cape somehow billowing even though there was no wind. “THEN, I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS… WILL GET ALL THE THINGS I UTTERLY DESERVE! RESPECT… RECOGNITION… I WILL FINALLY BE ABLE TO JOIN THE ROYAL GUARD! PEOPLE WILL ASK TO, BE MY, ‘FRIEND?’. I WILL BATHE IN A SHOWER OF KISSES EVERY MORNING.”

 “hmm… maybe this lamp will help you.

 Papyrus stomped his foot again.  “SANS!! YOU ARE NOT HELPING!! YOU LAZYBONES!! ALL YOU DO IS SIT AND BOONDOGGLE! YOU GET LAZIER AND LAZIER EVERY DAY!!!”

 “hey, take it easy. i’ve gotten a ton of work done today.” Sans winked. “A skele-ton.

 “SANS!!!”

 “come on. you’re smiling.

 “I AM AND I HATE IT!”

 Papyrus sighed.

 “WHY DOES SOMEONE AS GREAT AS ME… HAVE TO DO SO MUCH JUST TO GET SOME RECOGNITION…”

 “wow, sounds like you’re really working yourself… down to the bone.

 “UGH… I WILL ATTEND TO MY PUZZLES. AS FOR YOUR WORK? PUT A LITTLE MORE… BACKBONE INTO IT!! NYEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!”

 He left, but came back before he left eyesight.

 “NYEH.”

 He actually left.

 “ok, you can come out now.

 The human stepped out from behind the lamp. They looked around, and then over at Sans.

 Then everything reset.

 

 Sans was back outside the door to the ruins, listening in. The woman was fighting something. It didn’t sound good. Eventually, she spoke, her voice a faint echo as she was far away.

 “Y… You… really hate me that much? Now I see who I was protecting by keeping you here. Not you… But them!

 There was a pause. Her voice was becoming quieter.

 “Ha… Ha…”

 There was a quiet sound. The soft sound of a monster disintegrating into dust. There were footsteps coming down a corridor. Another voice, unfamiliar and cold, spoke.

 “Hahaha… you’re not really human, are you? No. You’re empty inside. Just like me. In fact… You’re Chara, right? We’re still inseparable after all these years. Listen. I have a plan to become all powerful. Even more powerful than you and your stolen soul. Let’s destroy everything in this wretched world. Everyone, everything in these worthless memories… Let’s turn ‘em all to dust.”

There was a horrific laughing, and then only the sound of footsteps again. The door was beginning to open. Sans hid in a bush.

A human stepped out of the Ruins. A human child.

 Sans followed them as they continued down the path. He accidently stepped on and snapped a twig, but disappeared before the human turned around. He kept following until they reached the small bridge. He stopped them and came up behind them.

 “human.

 The human turned around, and he stuck out his hand. The human went to shake it.

 Pfffffffrrrrrrrrrrt.

 “hehehe… the old whoopee cushion in the hand trick. it’s ALWAYS funny.

 They didn’t respond.

 “that’s, uh, your cue to laugh. or… uh… to emote at all...?”

 They still did nothing. Sans put his hand back in his pocket.

 gee lady,Sans thought of the woman from before, you really know how to pick ‘em, huh…?

 OK, that’s fine. everyone’s got their own sense of humor. i’m sans. sans the skeleton. i’m actually supposed to be on watch for humans right now. but… y’know… i don’t really care for capturing anybody. now my brother, papyrus… he’s a human-hunting FANATIC. hey, actually, i think that’s him over there. i have an idea. go through this gate thingy. my bro made the bars too wide to stop anyone.

 The human stepped across the bridge and through the gate, into the small clearing where San’s post was. There was a lamp in the middle of the area that was shaped exactly like the human.

 “quick, behind that conveniently-shaped lamp.

 The human didn’t move.

 “uh… ok… i guess you don’t have to.

 Papyrus ran towards them.

 “SANS!!! HAVE YOU FOUND A HUMAN YET!??!

 “yeah.

 “REALLY!?!? WOWIE!!! GUESS THAT’S SETTLED!!”

 He walked away.

 “that worked out, huh?

 He expected the human to leave, but instead they just turned and looked at him.

 “...are you just gonna stare at me, or…?”

 After a short pause, they walked away.

 Sans thought he saw something yellow out of the corner of his eye, but he dismissed it. He saw that color all the time.

 Now alone, he walked over to his post and reached underneath it. There were mostly just bones. Underneath all of those bones were a few blue bones. Under the blue bones were what Sans was looking for. A new weapon he’d made. It was only experimental, but it would hopefully come in handy. Especially now. It was an oddly-shaped skull with jaws that unhinged. When he picked it up, two white eyes appeared in their sockets. Sans put it back down. i don’t need those yet.

 He recalled the voices he heard before. The woman was the one that, through that same door, he had shared jokes with.

 Now she was dead.

 The other voice was one he couldn’t place, but he did know one thing for certain; whoever had been talking knew of Chara. And apparently they thought the human was the same person. Who could know about Chara’s deceit and agree with it? It seemed to know quite a bit…

 ‘We’re still inseparable after all these years.’.

 That. What it had said… Only three monsters were that close to Chara… But it couldn’t have been any of them.

 Asgore was too kind… And although he had been secluded lately, he was still as lovable as always when he showed himself.

 It couldn’t have been Toriel. She had left her place of queen and disappeared, sure, but the voice was not a woman’s.

 And everybody in the Underground knew that Asriel was dead.

 He had died trying to help Chara. As he did, he had discovered his human friend’s evil intentions. It was Chara who had died, and Asriel wanted to allow her peace. He had absorbed her Soul and left the Underground, but when they crossed the barrier and brought her body to the human village they were attacked. Chara, having been absorbed by Asriel, had partial control over their body. She had wanted to wreak havoc on the humans with their power. Asriel resisted, but the wounds they suffered killed them both soon after they made it back to the Underground.

 That was the story that Sans had heard. And now, he had reminisced enough. This human… It was connected somehow to Chara, if that voice was to be believed. Which meant they could be dangerous.

 Sans left the post and followed after the human. As he caught up, he saw dust fly into the air from up ahead.

 He had been right.

 The human was a killer.

 He remembered the promise he had once made with the woman from the Ruins. He hated making promises, but this was his one exception. She had asked him to watch over and protect any human who came out of that door. Now a human had come out, but it was one who had killed the woman and probably would kill anyone who got in the way.

 Sans would watch over them, but he wouldn’t protect them.

 

 The human was almost at Snowdin. Sans made a quick decision and took a shortcut to get ahead of them. He waited at the end of a bridge leading towards the town, Papyrus next to him. The human had killed almost every monster in Snowdin forest, as well as ignored all of Papyrus’s puzzles. For once, he wished that everything would just reset again.

 The human appeared at the other end of the bridge. They crossed about halfway before Papyrus stopped them.

 “HUMAN! THIS IS YOUR FINAL AND MOST DANGEROUS CHALLENGE! BEHOLD! THE GAUNTLET OF DEADLY TERROR!”

 A few weapons popped up nearby that were aimed at the bridge.

 “WHEN I SAY THE WORD, IT WILL FULLY ACTIVATE!!! CANNONS WILL FIRE! SPIKES WILL SWING! BLADES WILL SLICE! EACH PART WILL SWING VIOLENTLY UP AND DOWN! ONLY THE TINIEST CHANCE OF VICTORY WILL REMAIN!!! ARE YOU READY!? BECAUSE! I! AM! ABOUT! TO DO IT!”

 He didn’t do it.

 “well? what’s the holdup?

 “HOLDUP!? WHAT HOLDUP!? I’M… I’M ABOUT TO ACTIVATE IT NOW!”

 Nothing happened.

 “that, uh, doesn’t look very activated.

 “WELL!!! THEY’RE PROBABLY GOING TO WALK THROUGH IT. AND IT WON'T BE ANY FUN AT ALL.”

 “hmm… so this human thing was a bust, huh?

 “WELL, I MEAN, I’M EXCITED TO CAPTURE THEM. SO I’LL BECOME A FAMOUS ROYAL GUARDSMAN. BUT ALL THE TIME I PUT INTO THESE PUZZLES… IT’S KINDA LIKE THROWING A BIRTHDAY PARTY…”

 “without traps and fire?

 “EXACTLY!! IT’S POINTLESS!!! MAYBE YOU WERE RIGHT TO BE LAZY ABOUT PUZZLES.”

 “me? right about something? really?”

 Papyrus paused, considering.

 “YEAH!! WHAT AM I SAYING! YOU’RE STILL COMPLETELY WRONG! I JUST HAVE THE WRONG AUDIENCE! THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH FUN UNDYNE WOULD HAVE HERE! FLAMES. VIOLENCE. IT’S RIGHT UP HER ALLEY! SO I WON’T WASTE THIS PUZZLE ON YOU. I JUST HAVE TO APPRECIATE… THE FRIEND I ALREADY HAVE!!!”

 The weapons disappeared.

 “PHEW! A VALUABLE LIFE LESSON!!! NYEH HEH HEH!!!”

 Papyrus ran off, back to Snowdin. The human crossed the bridge and looked at Sans, their stare cold.

 “hmmm… guess we didn’t need your help to have a good time after all.”

 He paused.

 “say, i’ve been thinking. seems like you’re gonna fight my brother pretty soon. here’s some friendly advice.”

 He closed his eyes.

 “if you keep going the way you are now…”

 He paused, reopening his eyes. His pupils had disappeared.

 “you’re gonna have a bad time.”

 He disappeared from sight. The human was left standing there, now alone and looking… Still emotionless.

 Sans went back to Snowdin before the human could get there. When he arrived… Nobody else was there. Every building was completely empty. The library, the shop, the hotel, Grillby’s. He hoped that they had heard of the human and evacuated, but there were a few specks of dust floating through the air that suggested otherwise. He went to check his house.

Papyrus wasn’t there, hopefully on his way back to Undyne. Everything was as they had left it. The sock on the floor, the rock that was covered in sprinkles sitting on the table, and the book on the smaller table in the corner. Sans left the house and went around behind it. He opened the door he’d left there and entered his workshop.

 The room was small, with a counter really being the only thing there. There was the curtain, but Sans hadn’t drawn that back in a long time.

 The counter had blueprints on top of it. Sans pushed them aside and pulled open one of the drawers. There was another one of his new weapons inside. This one was much more finished than the one at his post, as it was hopefully going to become the one he finished building. He pointed it at a special sheet of metal and pushed on the back of it. The eyes disappeared, then flashed one after the other, and the jaw unhinged. It buzzed slightly.

 almost done.

 He put it back on the counter and went to work.

 

 The weapon was complete. It was hard to tell how long it had been, but it was no more than a few hours. Sans pointed it at the metal sheet and pushed the back. They eyes disappeared, then flashed one after the other, and the jaw unhinged as it shot out a white laser at the sheet. The jaw closed and the eyes returned to normal.

 Sans put the weapon back down and left the workshop. He stopped just outside the house. The human was coming in from the entrance of town, although why they’d go back was unclear. They walked straight through town and towards Waterfall, until they were stopped by Papyrus. He had hidden himself in the snowstorm that was sometimes over there.

 “HALT, HUMAN!”

 The human stepped closer.

 “HEY, QUIT MOVING WHILE I’M TALKING TO YOU! I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, HAVE SOME THINGS TO SAY. FIRST, YOU’RE A FREAKING WEIRDO! NOT ONLY DO YOU NOT LIKE PUZZLES. BUT THE WAY YOU SHAMBLE ABOUT FROM PLACE TO PLACE… THE WAY YOUR HANDS ARE ALWAYS COVERED IN DUSTY POWDER… IT FEELS… LIKE YOUR LIFE IS GOING DOWN A DANGEROUS PATH. HOWEVER! I, PAPYRUS, SEE GREAT POTENTIAL WITHIN YOU! EVERYONE CAN BE A GREAT PERSON IF THEY TRY! AND ME, I HARDLY HAVE TO TRY AT ALL!!! NYEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH!!!”

 The human came closer yet. Sans started to worry.

 “HEY, QUIT MOVING! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT! HUMAN! I THINK YOU ARE IN NEED OF GUIDANCE! SOMEONE NEEDS TO KEEP YOU ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW! BUT WORRY NOT! I, PAPYRUS… WILL GLADLY BE YOUR FRIEND AND TUTOR! I WILL TURN YOUR LIFE RIGHT AROUND!!!”

 The human kept walking closer.

 “I SEE YOU ARE APPROACHING. ARE YOU OFFERING A HUG OF ACCEPTANCE? WOWIE!! MY LESSONS ARE ALREADY WORKING!! I PAPYRUS, WELCOME YOU WITH OPEN ARMS!”

 The human stepped up to Papyrus. They looked him in the eye… And sliced off his head with a toy knife.

 He caught it in his hands.

 “W-WELL, THAT’S NOT WHAT I EXPECTED…”

 His body disintegrated into dust, his head falling into the snow.

 “BUT… ST… STILL! I BELIEVE IN YOU! YOU CAN DO A LITTLE BETTER! EVEN IF YOU DON’T THINK SO! I… I PROMISE…”

 His skull fell apart and disintegrated.

 Sans sat in the snow, stunned, as the human walked into Waterfall and disappeared.

 The woman’s voice echoed through his mind.

Please, watch over and protect any human who walks through this door.

 He glanced at the entrance to Waterfall and then his workshop.

 no. this human… i will give them no protection. i will give them no more chances. if they kill more innocent monsters…

 papyrus...

 i will kill them back.

  Sans stood back up. He went back into his workshop and picked up the weapon. He stuck it in his pocket. He would follow this human. He would watch what they did and where their actions took them. Then, when the time was right, he would interfere.

 

 The human was surprisingly far into Waterfall, at the end of a bridge that would soon lead to Hotland. There was a monster in the middle of saying something to them. He was a small yellow child, one that lived in Snowdin. He was always clumsy and looked up to Undyne.

 “Y-you’d b-better st-stop r-right where you are… Cause if you w-wanna hurt anyone else… you’re… You’re gonna have to get through me, first. A-a-and…”

 The human brandished a knife that was covered in shimmering dust. They stepped closer to the monster and slashed.

 But Undyne stood in the way.

 She had come out of nowhere, and took the hit for the child. But the slash had been a forceful one. Undyne was left cut in half, from her right shoulder to her left hip, straight through the armor.

 “Undyne… You’re hurt.” The child said quietly.

 “Hurt? It’s nothing.” Undyne retorted. “Next time, listen when I tell you to leave.”

 The child took a step back, eyes wide. Undyne stood in front of him.

 “I’ll take care of this!” Get out of here!”

 The child ran.

 Undyne closed her eye. She was beginning to shimmer.

 “Heh… ‘It’s nothing’... No. S-somehow… With just one hit… I’m already… Already… D...damn it… Papyrus… Alphys… Asgore… Just like that… I… I’ve failed you.”

 The rest of her began to shimmer and she started falling apart. Her eyepatch seemed to sway.

 But she somehow held herself together.

 “No… My body… It feels like it’s splitting apart. Like any instant… I’ll scatter into a million pieces. But… Deep, deep in my soul… There’s a burning feeling I can’t describe. A burning feeling that WON’T let me die. This isn’t just about monsters

anymore, is it? If you get past me, you’ll… You’ll destroy them all, won’t you? Monsters… Humans… Everyone… Everyone’s hopes… Everyone’s dreams… Vanquished in an instant. But I WON'T let you do that. Right now… Everyone in the world… I can feel their hearts beating as one. And we all have ONE goal. To defeat YOU. Human. No, WHATEVER you are. For the sake of the whole world…”

 She opened her eye. It sparkled with intent.

 “I, Undyne, will strike you down!”

 There was a flash. When the light subsided, Undyne was different. The slash was gone, her armor now better than ever. Her eyepatch was gone and all that was left there was a black eye socket. “You’re gonna have to try a little harder than THAT.”

 They began to fight.

 Undyne threw an onslaught of spears, while the ‘human’ dodged most of them and slashed when they got the chance. Undyne’s hollow eye had a sparkle inside it that flared whenever she was hurt.

 And she was losing. The human dodged most of her attacks and barely seemed to care when they were cut by the spears. Undyne held on through it all, determined to finish the fight. However, after the battle had lasted a while, they hit her and she recoiled in pain.

 “Damn it… So even THAT power… It wasn’t enough…?”

 She paused, grimacing.

 “Ha… Hahaha… If you think I’m gonna give up hope, you’re wrong. ‘Cause I’ve… Got my friends behind me. Alphys told me that she would watch me fight you… And if anything went wrong, she would… Evacuate everyone. By now she’s called Asgore and told him to absorb the six human souls. And with that power…”

 She began not to disintegrate, but to melt. She kept smiling.

 “This world will live on…!”

 Her melted armor and body fell apart and finally disintegrated.

 The human walked on.

 Sans watched them go from his vantage point. How he had wished that he could interfere then and there. He closed his eyes, Undyne’s death replaying in his mind. She was one of the most powerful monsters in the whole Underground. Sans and Asgore were all the monsters had left, and they didn’t even know that Sans could help. They probably assumed he was either dead already or off doing whatever it was that they normally thought he did when he disappeared. To them, Asgore, with the six human souls as power, was their only hope.

 Right before the inevitable confrontation between the human and the king, however, was when Sans would take his turn. He would use his Karmic Retribution on the one who deserved it. He, who had never killed before, would be the one to kill the final human before the barrier could be broken.

 He decided not to take a shortcut this time. He would follow the human slowly. He knew little of Chara, but he would watch this new human and try to find any similarities. The cold voice had said that this human was Chara. Sans doubted that it would be true, he didn’t want it to be, but he knew what beings with enough power could do.

 Sans followed the human’s trail into Hotland. He thought he saw yellow at the edge of his vision again, but just like before, dismissed it. However this time, he saw something else with it. In his mind appeared the image of a flower. A yellow flower, one who could talk. The image soon faded and in the flower’s place stood a monster.

 Asriel.

 Sans somehow just knew that this was the son of Toriel and Asgore. But why was he seeing him? Why was Asriel important now? It might mean that the human really is Chara, but why show him Asriel then and not Chara herself? And who was showing him this?

 

 The human had made it to hotland. They were inside the laboratory. Alphys, thankfully, had apparently evacuated. Sans stood outside the entrance and listened.

 “OH, THERE YOU ARE.

 Mettaton? He was in there? Why was the robot in the lab?

 “YOU UGLY LITTLE CREATURE. YOU’VE MADE QUITE A NAME FOR YOURSELF. SUCH INFAMY! I’M IMPRESSED. OH YES.YOU’RE LOOKING FOR ALPHYS, BUT SHE’S NOT HERE. WHILE YOU WERE BUSY DOING YOUR, AHEM, THING… SHE WAS RUNNING AROUND EVACUATING PEOPLE TO SAFETY. NOW THEY’RE IN A PLACE WHERE YOU’LL NEVER GET TO THEM. DECIDING NOT TO FIGHT YOU. OH MY. SHE REALLY IS THE SMART ONE, ISN’T SHE?

 There were a few footsteps of the human stepping closer to Mettaton.

 “OH? HOW SASSY. YOU’RE JUST ITCHING TO GET YOUR HANDS ON ME, AREN’T YOU? WELL… T-O-O B-A-D! THIS WORLD NEEDS STARS MORE THAN IT NEEDS CORPSES. TOODLES!

 Sans could hear Mettaton’s wheel skid across the floor as he left.

 What would happen if they fought? Alphys hadn’t made Mettaton fit for combat, had she?

 i guess i’ll find out soon.

 He heard the human leave the lab, so Sans went inside. It… Was pretty much as expected. Alphys had a monitor that followed the human’s movements very closely. There was a cluttered table with some stuff about a game on it. A half-empty bag of dog food sat next to it.

 It was as if she never left.

 Upstairs there were still just normal clutter, except for a stack of letters on one of the tables. All of them were unopened and directed at Alphys by different monsters.

 Sans knew what these were.

 The Determination experiments.

 Alphys had tried to give the monsters Determination to make them, well, Determined. But they hadn’t succeeded. The subjects of the experiment were volunteers, hoping to go back home but that didn’t mind if they died if it meant the experiment’s progression. Alphys was supposed to keep in touch with the volunteers’ families so that they knew what was happening.

 But Alphys couldn’t. The monsters had suffered in the experiment in ways nobody could fully describe. They had… Fused, becoming grotesque mixtures of different monsters. Alphys couldn’t bear to tell the families about it. She couldn’t send them home, because which home would she send them to? Nobody knew where the subjects were now, although Sans had a guess.

 This laboratory wasn’t where the experiments had taken place. It was a lab underneath this one. An elevator led to it from here, but Alphys had it shut down. Sans had been down there. It was supposedly where the royal scientist before Alphys had worked as well. It was at least three times the size of this lab.

 Sans would go back down if he could.

 Now, he had to keep following the human. He went back down the stairs and glanced at the giant monitor just in time to see them kill a monster who hadn’t yet evacuated.

 He followed their tracks out of the lab. The lasers that blocked some of the paths were offline. They kept killing monsters on their way forward, including two knights of the Royal Guard.

 Eventually, they even killed Muffet, the spider who just wanted everybody to like spiders. Her spider friends put flowers on her deathbed as the human left. Sans avoided them to avoid disturbing them.

 The human cut straight through MTT resort and took the elevator to the top of the core. Mettaton awaited them.

 “OH MY. YOU’VE FINALLY ARRIVED. AT OUR FIRST MEETING, I REALIZED… YOU’RE NOT JUST A THREAT TO MONSTERS… BUT HUMANITY, AS WELL. OH MY. THAT'S AN ISSUE. YOU SEE, I CAN’T BE A STAR WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE. AND BESIDES… THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE... MEANT TO PROTECT. HAHA..”

 The human stepped forwards, seeming to want to turn Mettaton off.

 “HEY, DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL. THERE’S SOMETHING YOU HAVEN'T ACCOUNTED FOR. AS A TRUE FAN WOULD KNOW, I WAS FIRST CREATED AS A HUMAN ERADICATION ROBOT.

 Sans apparently wasn’t a true fan.

 “IT WAS ONLY AFTER BECOMING A STAR THAT I WAS GIVEN A MORE… PHOTOGENIC BODY.  HOWEVER. THOSE ORIGINAL FUNCTIONS HAVE NEVER BEEN FULLY REMOVED… COME ANY CLOSER, AND I’LL BE FORCED TO SHOW YOU… MY TRUE FORM!

 The human stepped closer.

 “WELL THEN! RRRREADY? IIIIIIT’S SHOWTIME!!!”

 Bright light flashed from Mettaton. The human didn’t even flinch but Sans had to cover his eyes.

 Mettaton was definitely different. Before, he had just been a square robot with arms and a wheel. Now he was… Humanoid-ish. His face was relatively human, although one side of it was completely black and his eye just a spark of light. He had a metallic hairdo that spiked to his right. Giant spikes stuck out of his shoulders that had wings of energy protruding from them. One of his arms had a blaster instead of a hand. His chest had a heart symbol on it.

 The human slashed. Mettaton’s wings disappeared and he recoiled sharply.

 “GH…”

 He smirked.

 “GUESS YOU DON’T WANNA JOIN MY FAN CLUB…?

 He exploded, again emitting a bright light. When the light receded there was no trace of him

 Just how powerful is this human?.

 The human proceeded onwards into an area that Sans didn’t recognize. Everything was stone-gray, except for the occasional yellow flower. There was a simple house that the human entered. The stairwell that led down was blocked off by a chain. Suddenly, a yellow, smiling flower appeared in front of the human. It was the flower Sans had seen in his mind before.

 “Howdy, Chara!” It said, its voice cheerful but cold.

 This was the voice? This was the one who apparently was plotting to destroy everything?

 “You finally made it home. Remember when we used to play here? Hee hee hee… Boy! Today’s gonna be just as fun.”

 The flower’s face seemed to distort from a happy smile to a cruel grimace. It disappeared into the ground.

 The human entered a small kitchen and grabbed a key from the counter. It walked out and the flower reappeared.

 “I remember when I first woke up here, in the garden. I was so scared. I couldn’t feel my arms or my legs… My entire body had turned into a flower! ‘Mom! Dad! Somebody help me!’ I called out.”

 His face turned sinister again.

 “But nobody came.”

 He left again.

 The human explored the house more. They gathered two items that Sans couldn’t help but take note of; a locket shaped like a heart, and a knife.

 The flower came back.

 “Eventually, the king found me, crying in the garden. I explained what had happened to him. Then he held me, Chara. He held me with tears in his eyes, saying… ‘There, there. Everything is going to be alright.’ He was so… Emotional. But… For some reason… I didn’t feel anything at all.”

 He left again.

 The human… Chara… Found another key. They used the two keys to unlock the padlocks keeping the chain on the stairs in place. The descended. The flower reappeared.

 “I soon realized I didn’t feel ANYTHING about ANYONE. My compassion had disappeared! And believe me, it's not like I wasn't trying. I wasted weeks with that stupid king, vainly hoping I would feel something. But it became too much for me. I ran away from home. Eventually, I reached the Ruins. Inside I found HER, Chara. I thought of all people, SHE could make me feel whole again.”

 He paused, his face dropping with… Disappointment?

 “She failed. Ha ha.”

He left and Chara continued forward slightly before he came back yet again.

 “I realized those two were useless. I became despondent. I just wanted to love someone. I just wanted to care about someone. Chara, you might not believe this… But I decided… It wasn’t worth living anymore. Not in a world without love. Not in a world without you. So… I decided to follow in your footsteps. I would erase myself from existence. And you know what? I succeeded.

 But as I left this mortal coil… I started to feel apprehensive. If you don’t have a Soul, what happens when you…?” His face contorted evilly again, but then quickly returned to normal. “Something primal started to burn inside me. ‘No,’ I thought. ‘I don’t want to die!’. Then I woke up. Like it was all just a bad dream. I was back at the garden. Back at my ‘Save point.’

 Interested, I decided to experiment. Again and again, I brought myself to the edge of death. At any point, I could have let this world continue on without me. But as long as I was determined to live… I could go back. Amazing, isn’t it, Chara? I was amazed, too.

 At first, I used my powers for good. I became ‘friends’ with everyone. I solved all their problems flawlessly. Their companionship was amusing… For a while. As time repeated, people proved themselves predictable. What would this person say if I gave them this? What would they do if I said this to them? Once you know the answer, that’s it. That’s all they are.

 It all started because I was curious. Curious what would happen if I killed them. ‘I don’t like this.’ I told myself. ‘I’m just doing this because I HAVE to know what happens.’”

 His face contorted into an even crueler smile than before.

 “Ha ha ha… What an excuse! You of all people must know how liberating it is to act this way. At least we’re better than those sickos that stand around and WATCH it happen…”

 Sans flinched from where he was. Did the flower know he was there?

 “Those pathetic people that want to see it, but are too weak to do it themselves. I bet someone like that’s watching right now, aren’t they…?”

 Sans tensed, staying still. It couldn’t know, could it?

 “Nowadays, even that’s grown tiring. You understand, Chara. I’ve done everything this world has to offer. I’ve read every book. I’ve burned every book. I’ve won every game. I’ve lost every game. I’ve appeased everyone. I’ve killed everyone. Sets of numbers… Lines of dialogue… I’ve seen them all. But you… YOU’RE different. I never could predict YOU, Chara.

 When I saw you in the Ruins, I didn’t recognize you. I thought I could frighten you, then steal your Soul. I failed. And when I tried to load my save file… It didn’t work. Chara… Your Determination! Somehow, it’s even greater than mine!

 I just have one question for you, Chara. How did you get back to the Ruins from here…? Wait… I know. She must have taken you when she left. And decided to give you a proper burial, rather than… Hanging out in the basement forever. But… Why then…? What made you wake up? Did you hear me calling you…?

 It doesn’t matter now. I’m so tired of this, Chara. I’m tired of all these people. I’m tired of all these places. I’m tired of being a flower. Chara. There’s just one thing left I want to do. Let’s finish what we started. Let’s free everyone. Then… Let’s let them see what humanity is REALLY like! That despite it all… This world is still ‘kill or be killed!!’ Then…? Well. I had… Been entertaining a few ways to use that power. Hee hee hee… But seeing you here changed my mind. Chara… I think if you’re around… Just living in the surface world doesn’t seem so bad.

 We don’t even need to leave to get them this time. The king has six of them locked away. I’ve tried hundreds of ways to get him to show me them… But he just won’t. Chara… I know he’ll do it for YOU.

 Why am I telling you all of this? Chara, I said it before. Even after all this time… You’re still the only one that understands me. You won’t give me any worthless pity! Creatures like us… Wouldn’t hesitate to KILL each other if we got in each other’s way. So that’s… So… That’s… Why… Ha… Ha…”

 The flower started to shake. He started to look worried.

 “What’s this… Feeling? Why am I… Shaking? Hey… Chara… No hard feelings about back then, right? H-hey… What are you doing!? B… Back off!!

 I… I’ve changed my mind about all this. This isn’t a good idea anymore. Y-you should go back, Chara. This place is fine the way it is! S-s-stop making that creepy face! This isn’t funny! You’ve got a SICK sense of humor!”

 The flower left, and didn’t return this time. Chara kept going forward. Sans took a shortcut into a long hallway that Chara would soon reach. It was the first hint of color in a while, with yellow and orange all over and beautiful pillars lining the sides. Between every two pillars was a large stained window with the Delta rune emblazoned onto it.

 Soon, the human entered. They approached him slowly.

 “heya. you’ve been busy, huh? so, i’ve got a question for ya. do you think even the worst person can change…? that everybody can be a good person, if they just try? heh heh heh heh… alright. well, here's a better question. do you wanna have a bad time? ‘cause if you take another step forward… you are REALLY not going to like what happens next.

 Chara took a single step.

 “welp. sorry, old lady. this is why i never make promises.

 He closed his eyes and heard Chara pull out the knife.

 “it’s a beautiful day outside. birds are singing. flowers are blooming… on days like these, kids like you…

 He opened his eyes, his pupils gone.

 “should be burning in hell.

 His left eye began to flash blue and yellow and he lifted his left hand. Without touching them, he threw the human against the floor and activated four of his special weapons. The human failed to dodge the lasers and a hole was burned straight through her.

 Then they were back to when Chara had just approached Sans. She looked mad for some reason.

 “heya. you look frustrated about something. guess i’m pretty good at my job, huh?

 He closed his eyes and heard Chara pull out the knife.

 “it’s a beautiful day outside. birds are singing. flowers are blooming… on days like these, kids like you…

 He opened his eyes, his pupils gone.

 “should be burning in hell.

 His left eye began to flash blue and yellow and he lifted his left hand. Without touching them, he threw the human against the floor and activated four of his special weapons. Chara dodged the lasers and stood there, panting slightly. Sans’s eyes returned to normal.

 “huh.” He shrugged. “always wondered why people never use their strongest attack first.

 He started to attack more simply, with simple bones and such like Papyrus always had. The human died. Again.

 They were back to when Chara had just approached Sans. She looked mad.

 “that expression. that’s the expression of someone who’s died twice in a row. suffice to say, you look really… unsatisfied. all right. how about we make it a third?”

 He closed his eyes and heard Chara pull out the knife.

 “Ready?”

 His left eye began to flash blue and yellow and he lifted his left hand. Without touching them, he threw the human against the floor and activated four of his special weapons. Chara dodged the lasers and stood there, panting slightly. Sans closed his right eye, his left back to normal.

 “anyway, as i was saying, it’s a nice day out.” He shrugged. “why not relax and take a load off?

 He continued the fighting with simpler bone-and-platform attacks. Chara died a few more times. She occasionally tried to attack, but Sans just dodged.

 “what? you think i’m just gonna stand here and take it?

 The fights continued, Chara getting progressively farther each time.

 “our reports showed a massive anomaly in the timespace continuum. timelines jumping left and right, stopping and starting… until suddenly, everything ends.”

 He kept fighting.

 “heh heh heh… that’s your fault, isn’t it? you can’t understand how this feels. knowing that one day, without any warning… it’s all going to be reset. look. i gave up trying to go back a long time ago. and getting to the surface doesn’t really appeal anymore, either. cause even if we do… we’ll just end up right back here, without any memory of it, right? or is that just a poor excuse for being lazy…? hell if i know. all i know is… seeing what comes next… i can’t afford not to care anymore.”

 Sans was getting tired.

 “ugh… that being said… you, uh, really like swinging that thing around, huh? listen. i know you didn’t answer me before, but… somewhere in there. i can feel it. there’s a glimmer of a good person inside of you. the memory of someone who once wanted to do the right thing. someone who, in another time, might have even been… a friend? c’mon, buddy. do you remember me? please, if you’re listening… let’s forget all this, ok? just lay down your weapon, and… well, my job will be a lot easier.”

 The human seemed to hesitate very slightly, but still slashed the knife at him. He dodged.

 “welp. it was worth a shot. guess you like doing things the hard way, huh?

 He caused everything to black out for a second and the human seemed confused when Sans launched his next attack. It killed them.

 This will keep going until I am dead.

 They repeated the fight over and over. Eventually they got past his attack where he blacked everything out.

 “sounds strange, but before all this i was secretly hoping we could be friends. i always thought the anomaly was doing this ‘cause they were unhappy. and when they got what they wanted, they would stop all this. and maybe all they needed was… i dunno… some good food, some bad laughs, some nice friends…

 He used the blackout strategy again. It worked. Again. But the human kept coming back. He started to use his ability to throw Chara around more often as well.

 “but that’s ridiculous, right? yeah. you’re the type of person who won’t EVER be happy. you’ll keep consuming timelines over and over, until… well… hey. take it from me, kid. someday… you gotta learn when to QUIT. and that day’s TODAY. cause… y’see… all this fighting is really tiring me out. and if you keep pushing me… then i’ll be forced to use my special attack. yeah. my special attack. sound familiar? well, get ready. cause after the next move, i’m going to use it. so, if you don’t wanna see it, now would be a good time to die. well, here goes nothing… are you ready? survive THIS, and i’ll show you my special attack!”

 Chara took it all, and the fighting continued, but Sans was getting tired. After a while, he resorted to just tossing Chara around the room, but she endured it.

 “huff… puff… alright. that’s it. it’s time for my special attack. are you ready? here goes nothing.”

 He did nothing.

 “yep. that’s right. it’s literally nothing. and it’s not gonna be anything, either. heh heh heh… ya get it? i know i can’t beat you. one of your turns… you’re just gonna kill me. so… uh… i’ve decided… it’s not gonna BE your turn. ever. i’m just gonna keep having MY turn until you give up. even if it means we have to stand here until the end of time. capiche?”

 They both waited there, unmoving.

 “you’ll get bored here. if you haven’t gotten bored already, i mean. and then, you’ll finally quit. i know your type. you’re, uh, very determined, aren’t you? you’ll never give up, even if there’s, uh… absolutely NO benefit to persevering whatsoever. if i can make that clear. no matter what, you’ll keep going. not out of any desire for good or evil… but just because you think you can. and because you ‘can’... you ‘have to’. but now, you’ve reached the end. there is nothing left for you now. so, uh, in my personal opinion… the most ‘determined’ thing you can do here? is to, uh, completely give up. and-

 He yawned.

 “-do literally anything else.

 They stayed unmoving.

 Until Sans fell asleep.

 The human tried to slash at him.

 Sans dodged, waking up with a snap.

 “heh, didja really think you would be able-

 The human slashed again, slicing him through from his right shoulder to his left hip. He sat, stunned and panting, hand on the bleeding gash.

 “so… guess that’s it, huh? just… don’t say i didn’t warn you.”

 He stood back up.

 “welp. i’m going to grillby’s.”

 He limped away.

 “papyrus, do you want anything?”

 

 The human continued onwards to find Asgore. She soon found him standing, back to her, in a small field of flowers. His throne stood in front of him.

 “Curious. I’ve never seen a plant… Cry before.”

 He turned around, noticing the human.

 “Huh. You must be the one that flower just warned me about. Howdy! Erm… What kind of monster are you…? Sorry, I cannot tell. Well, we-”

 Chara pulled out the knife.

 “Now, now. There’s no need to fight. Why not settle this… Over a nice cup of tea?”

 Chara slashed with no hesitation.

 Asgore knelt in pain, holding his hand to his chest.

 “Why… You…”

 A circle of pellets surrounded him and drove straight into him. He disintegrated. A soul stayed behind momentarily, but more pellets destroyed that, too. The flower popped up out of the ground in front of Chara.

 “See? I never betrayed you! It was all a trick, see? I was waiting to kill him for you! After all it’s me your best friend! I’m helpful, I can be useful to you. I promise I won’t get in your way. I can help… I can… I can…” He started to stutter and cry. “Please don’t kill me.”

 Chara slashed at him, eight times, cutting him apart over and over until there was nothing.

 A figure appeared in front of her. A human, with a green striped shirt and rosy cheeks.

 “Greetings. I am Chara. Thank you. Your power awakened me from death. My ‘human soul’. My ‘determination’. They were not mine, but YOURS. At first, I was so confused. Our plan had failed, hadn’t it? Why was I brought back to life?”

 She paused.

 “You. With your guidance. I realized the purpose of my reincarnation. Power. Together, we eradicated the enemy and became strong. HP. ATK. DEF. GOLD. EXP. LV. Every time a number increases, that feeling… That’s me. ‘Chara’. Now. Now, we have reached the absolute. There is nothing left for us here. Let us erase this pointless world, and move on to the next.”

 The human seemed to decide without even speaking.

 “Right. You are a great partner.”

 Chara’s eyes widened.

 “We’ll be together forever, won’t we?”

 Chara slashed the human.

 The world stopped entirely.

 But somehow, the human was still there.

 “Interesting. You want to go back. You want to go back to the world you destroyed. It was you who pushed everything to its edge. It was you who led the world to its destruction. But you cannot accept it. You think you are above consequences.”

 The human, in the void, somehow said ‘no’.

 “Then what are you looking for? Perhaps. We can reach a compromise. You still have something I want. Give it to me. And I will bring this world back.”

 The human somehow agreed.

 “Then it is agreed. You will give me your Soul. Then, it is done.”

 The world returned to as it was from the start.

 

 Snowdin was relatively quiet. Most of the monsters were relaxing in their homes, happy and content. The library, sign still misspelled, only had two patrons within it. The hotel had only a few guests, and the shop was empty. Grillby’s had most of its usual crowd.

 Papyrus was off with Undyne and Sans was nowhere to be found as usual. In Hotland, Alphys was watching Mettaton perform his show along with the seven other viewers. Asgore was tending to his garden in the castle. In the Ruins, Toriel remained in hiding, caring thoughtfully for her small home.

 And even farther into the Ruins, a yellow flower was teaching a fallen human the ways of the Underground.

 


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