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Issues With Letting Go

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This wasn’t working. This was a horrible idea in its entirety! It was like wearing a pair of clay pants! It was so demeaning and stupid… It wasn’t just uncomfortable for him, he could tell that Frisk wasn’t having a fun time either carrying the stupid freaking pot around! It was far too heavy, Flowey had the sneaking suspicion that the texture of the pot was bugging them, and the cheap stickers’ glue was already melting onto their hands. How the hell were either of them supposed to get any work done like this?!

So, there they were, sitting on the lawn once again, starring down the useless claw pot in front of them while Frisk was picking bits of glue and torn stickers off their hands. Flowey was starting to feel a little better now that he had time to lay down his roots for a while, but he was starting to feel a little… claustrophobic. It wasn’t like the Underground where there were only so many places he could visit and he could tunnel his way around without getting lost. The surface work had so many things that he just couldn’t see from where he could dig up from! Stupid cement foundations…

“[Wagon filled with dirt?]” Frisk signed over with their already friction-burnt hands. They were going to need some aloe or something later and they are definitely not buying that brand of stickers ever again; no matter how funny the sadistic bunny’s sayings were.

“Stairs. Stairs would suck…” Flowey mumbled before taking a sip from his juice box nestled in the grass in front of him. This world really wasn’t flora-accessible.

Hell, some monsters were still having a rough time getting around easily! Asgore-sized monsters couldn’t fit in doors, nobody spoke Froggit or Moldsmal, and many aquatic monsters were having a tough time finding their way to the shoreline. So much for the political correctness movement.

But then again, if everything were perfect from the start, he and Frisk wouldn’t have a job. And there’s nothing that gets Frisk more DETERMINED these days than doing the impossible and actually making the world a slightly bearable place.

But right now, the most unbearable thing (aside from his mobility issue) was all the noise going on next door! Power tools, yelling and clattering metal, ever since he woke up from his… dirt-starvation coma. What the hell was Artie doing?!

“Frisk! Yo Frisk!” Speak the monsters name. “Check it out!”

Frisk’s head whipped over to the fence and their face immediately perked up, completely ignoring the current predicament for whatever asinine nonsense the armless idiot next door had going on. Flowey turned his head to shout at the annoying little pet, only to be shocked into silence. The idiot really was flyi-

Wait no. No, they’re-

Yes?

No?

Periodically Artie’s head would peek over the edge of the wooden fence, flapping like an uncoordinated moron, before plummeting back to the ground. Were they jumping on a Moldsmal back there?

Frisk paced between a step towards the fence and back towards the accursed pot, looking to Flowey for guidance. Obviously, they wanted to go see what the commotion was, but they didn’t want to go see without him and they both hated the stupid thing.

With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, Flowey gently uprooted himself and settled back into his uncomfortable “clay pants” for them. Frisk tugged their sleeves down over their hands to protect from the surface of the pot and ran towards the wooden fence, balancing him on top while they cling to the side to look over.

They have a trampoline now. The idiot is learning how to fly by bouncing on a trampoline.

Papyrus stoop proudly over the deathtrap made of springs and nylon, nyeh-ing about how great Artie was doing, how high they’re getting, how bouncing is almost exactly like flying. Like Papyrus knows the first thing about aeronautics. Sure enough, though, Artie’s magic sparked to life around their undersized wings and they hovered in the air for a few milliseconds longer, but it was still hardly flight…

Artie’s weird human tenant/“big sis” was sitting nearby against an old tree in the yard, curled up around a sketch pad and watching the yellow wyvern bounce around, taking quick glances over to Papyrus before going back to her paper. Flowey glowered down at the intruding human. What was her game in all this? What was she planning? No way a human would willingly just move into a monster’s basement this soon after monster reintegrated into society—nobody is that progressive!

She probably felt the daggers he was glaring into her, because during one of her pauses to ogle the skeleton (please, please don’t let her have a crush on the guy. That would just be creepy), she caught sight of the two neighbours and waved over at them.

“Hey little dudes! Good to see you’re still alive, Flowey.” Penelope hoisted herself onto her feet and sauntered over to them, leaning on the fence next to Flowey’s pot. “You had Frisk really worried there. Especially when you lost your face.”

He lost his face?!

“I mean, you looked pretty much like any more flower, but knowing that it was you kinda made the whole thing really weird. Who just loses a face?” Penelope rubbed the back of her neck with a tired groan. This was the first time Flowey really got a good look at her, and she was a sight… tired eyes, hollow cheeks, dull-looking SOUL. She wasn’t exactly a prime example of a human specimen. “And Frisky-bits here wouldn’t leave your side for a second. They really care about you, so you’d better return that loyalty before you lose them.”

The smug little bitch reached down and started ruffling Frisk’s hair like she knew them! How dare she touch his human’s hair! That’s his job! Flowey really strained himself not to shoot her full of pellets in that moment. Lucky for her Toriel showed up behind them before he lost his restraint.

“Oh, good afternoon Penelope, I hope you’re doing well.” Geez, Toriel wasn’t looking too much better than Penelope; she looked like she had barely gotten any sleep last night as well. Bags under her eyes, a wrinkly gown and her fur was matted down. Hard to believe the once-Queen of all monsters would let herself get so disheveled.

“Just Penn is fine, Miss T. I’m doing okay, sorry for stealing your skeleton away, but we needed an extra set of hands setting up the trampoline.” How the hell could some nobody human speak so casually to a boss monster of all things?! Was she really planning something or was she just a moron?

“INDEED, YOUR HIGHNESS, MY WONDERFULLY LARGE HANDS ASSISTED IN BUILDING THIS WONDERFUL HUMAN FLIGHT TRAINING DEVICE!” Papyrus chimed in, doing his dumb pride-pose again… “AND THE HUMAN PENELOPE HAS AGREED TO PAY ME WITH HER ARTISTIC CRAFT!”

“Oh, you’re an artist, Miss Penn?” Toriel and Frisk both leaned in closer towards the human girl. Flowey watched with a smirk as she stammered and pulled her sketchpad closer to her chest, like she was afraid they would rip it away from her. Flowey was temped to.

“Yo! You kidding me?!” Artie power-launched himself over like a little yellow rocket, only stopping safely thanks to Papyrus and his blue magic, setting them down safely (damn). “She’s like, the freaking best at art and stuff! It’s the coolest!”

“W-well in the loosest sense, I guess I’m an artist. I just make things, dunno…” Penn mumbled, looking down at the page she was working on and tearing it out of the book. “I took a few artistic liberties with your brow ridge and the hair for… obvious reasons. I wish they had skeletons like you back in life drawing class; it would have made it a lot more interesting…”

Papyrus’ jaw nearly fell right off of his skull from gasping so loud. Flowey would have taken it as indicative of the girl’s abilities if it wasn’t freaking impressed-by-everything-Papyrus. He turned the page around to show Frisk, Toriel and Flowey and by god it was a drawing of one of the strangest (and ugliest) looking human faces Flowey had ever conceived!

“I’M GORGEOUS AS A HUMAN!” Papyrus all but screamed “THAT PROUD JAWLINE, THOSE CHISELED CHEEKS, THAT DEFINED NOSE, THAT WONDERFUL HAIR! THANK YOU, HUMAN PENELOPE!”

Papyrus lifted the poor human right up off the ground in a bone crushing hug like he was going to squeeze the SOUL right out of her! And just as suddenly, he dropped her back on the ground and right onto her tailbone, before breaking into one of his gravity-defying jump-flips to the house.

“I AM GOING TO TAPE THIS TO A SHIRT AND SHOW IT TO EVERYONE! THEY ALL MOST KNOW THE MAGNIFICENCE THAT IS THE GREAT PAPYRUS RENDERED AS A HUMAN!”

Flowey heard Penn mumble something along the lines of “oh god no, please let him be joking” and he started to cackle. That’ll teach her not to ask Papyrus for help. Now everyone to going to see what a hack she is!

“My dear, did you mention something about ‘classes’, are you a student?” Toriel chirped, looking down at the girl on the ground. She really needed to focus on something other than school for once before she dusts herself.

“Huh? Oh no, not for a while. I mean I used to, but it was just some liberal arts degree I never finished for… personal reasons.” Penn avoided eye contact, once again rubbing the back of her neck as she stood back up. She said ‘liberal arts’ like it was something to be ashamed of. What did it even mean? “Like, I know you’re trying to get a public school up and running, how’s that going?”

“It’s going quite well thanks to these two!” Toriel leaned down and patted both Flowey and Frisk on the head. “But I still have a lot to work to do on my end. I’m catching up on some of humanity’s more recent history. Right now, I’m studying the Second American Civil War. Honestly, it is quite difficult to wrap my head around all the… intricacies of that conflict.”

“You don’t have to pretend like that war was anything less than really fu-uh freaking stupid, Miss T. My grandparents fought in it and they were the first people to point out how much of a total cluster the whole thing was when they told us their war stories.” Penn ran her hand through her messy reddish hair and glanced away. Flowey may not have been the best at reading body language, but the way she talked about a freaking war she felt more second-hand embarrassment than remorse. Were humans just desensitized to war or something?!

“Oh, you have second-hand knowledge! Do you think I could trouble you to recount the event for me? I think it might be easier to understand if told from the perspective of someone who lived through it, or from their grandchild.”

Penn chuckled and lifted Artie up and over the fence. “Sure thing. Get comfy kiddos, it’s story time!”

“Like it’s possible to be comfy in this stupid pot…” Flowey mumbled under his breath. Before Frisk could move him off of the fence, Penn’s eyes went wide and her eyes started darting between Flowey and her house. He glared back at her, CHECKING her just in case she was planning something and her dingy soul was looked considerably less dingy. She was filled with INSPIRATION and he could practically feel it radiating off of her. Quite a different flavour from DETERMINATION…

“Right, get comfy I-I’ll be right back. I got to get something…” Penn ran off into Artie’s house and vanished.

“Aw man, this is going to be awesome! Penn is the best at story telling, you guys are gonna love it!” Artie cackled as they raced Frisk towards the swings. Toriel started mumbling to herself about needing to get this thing called ‘patio furniture’ before sitting down on the end of the slide next to the children.

Flowey was barely out of his pot and dug into the ground before Penn leapt over the fence and sprinted over, arms filled with junk. She didn’t even stop in her run as she swiped the pot away from him and rushed over to Asgore’s gardening corner. “Sorry guys, had an idea and it helps me think if I have my hands working on something. Be with you in a second!” Penn shoveled topsoil into an old leather purse with her hand, before holding it up and shaking it. What the hell was she doing?

True enough, she finally sauntered over in front of the swing set and dropped her junk to the ground, getting to work on… something.

“Alright, now let me recount a tale for you from my grandparents and what I can recall from high school history class; this is story of how Canada accidentally conquered one of the most powerful countries in the world and became a world super power.” Penn wasn’t even looking up from her work to see the absolutely flabbergasted expression on Flowey’s face.

“How the hell do you just accidentally conquer a country?!”

“That’s why it’s a story!” Penn snickered back “Anyway…

“The States had already been going downhill for a few years prior to the second civil war, right? Recession, strained international relations, radical domestic violence, the whole nine yards. But things kinda came to a head when somehow the country elected a freaking fascist to power with an overwhelming majority government. White supremists started coming out of the woodwork-”

“White Supremists?” Toriel tilted her head quizzically.

“Oh, right, monsters don’t… Well, humans are more messed up than you think. We get judged on the colour of our skin and white or Caucasian refers to people of like… European descent. Y’know, not like me or Frisk, right? Almost anywhere in history you have people being racist pieces of-… well, nine times outta ten, whites have a hand in it…

“Anyway, basically when this was still the US, things were getting pretty divisive, and having a racist reality TV star was not helping to cool race relations down. The guy wanted certain ethnicities registered ‘as a terror deterrence’, which was pretty messed up as seeing how most of the domestic violence was perpetrated by whites and... well the guy made a lot of questionable decisions.

“Final straw though was when, outta nowhere, the guy declared war on Mexico! Like, half the population outright refused to go to war, protests broke out, martial law was all but official declared. Things got bad really fast.” Penn’s face of disgust was mirrored by Frisk, even while she was doing… something with the flower pot. She had peeled off the stickers and sanded the outside down, now she was coating the outside with some weird shiny, clear goop. “What made things worse was the sh-er, stuff going down with Russia at the time. People always suspected the President was making deals with Russia under the table, but nobody knew for sure. But things got really scary when those supposedly non-existent dealings fell through and Russia sided with Mexico for like a week; just long enough to launch a strike on the US’s eastern seaboard and send the whole country into poop… They were lucky that nuclear weapons were internationally outlawed just a couple years before, or else things could have been way worse.

“Thankfully, that’s where Canada stepped in! At first, we were only there for humanitarian and war relief; getting refugees outta dangerous places, right? But the thing was, the white supremists or ‘Right’, would not let up in their domination schemes! Even when the country was being either embargoed by every other trading nation, or attacked by Mexico and Russia! Eventually, the ‘Left’, aka the non-supremists, officially asked Canada to help and we obliged. And since Canada was and still is one of the more likable countries around, we got a lot of support from the international community in pushing the Rightists back.

“And after all that, the Leftists joined Canada, and gained 37 states, including us here in Colorado, and became a world superpower. Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico all declared their independence afterwards and are actually doing pretty good now. Mexico actually reclaimed Arizona and New Mexico as states. And the remaining US got the wall it wanted, but it was mostly for the benefit of the rest of the world to keep them inside. Now they’re stuck in the bottom-right side of what used to be their country and that place is more unstable now than Korea used to be!

“Uh, the end for now. I’m skipping over a lot of details but they’re really not for kids to hear…”

Toriel gave a warm chuckle “Well you certainly gave a more… personable recollection for the events than my text books ever could. Thank you, Penn. I’m sure-”

“Done!” Penn held the old satchel up, the shoulder strap of it now considerably shorter, wider and it now had a fluffy tube sewn around its entire length. “Now you can carry Flowey around without putting too much stress on your arms. Just fill it with dirt and away you go! And…”

Penn reached over and rolled the now glossy-coated flower pot over on a pair of wheels she took off of a skateboard. “This’ll let Flowey move around on his own at least.”

Frisk leapt off their swing and gasped in awe at the makeshift inventions. They marveled at the smooth feel of the leather and the softness of the fluffy shoulder guard before they slung it over their shoulder. They didn’t sag unhappily like they did just carrying the flower pot around, but they did twirl around and giggle before kneeling down to Flowey.

“In! In!” Frisk opened the flap of the purse up, tilting it down for him to crawl in. Flowey glared the bag down for a moment before he finally succumbed to Frisk’s eager smile and slinking inside.

It… wasn’t horrible. The give of the leather was a lot more comfortable than the rigid clay, like a proper pair of pants instead of… Okay, why does he keep making pant-analogies?! Anyway… Flowey could still wrap up Frisk’s arm like he could before and bask in the warmth and DETERMINATION radiating off of them… It was cozy.

“See! See! I told you guys my Big Sis was the best!” Artie trilled proudly, prancing around them and Penn.

She was… something alright. What was her game?