Sharp heels on tile floor echoed against the walls, followed by dull footsteps at a faster tempo. Mettaton walked through the near empty hallways in his Underground resort wearing his humanoid form with one of his assistants close on his bright pink heels. Several weeks of preparations to move larger items to the surface with a new elevator were all ready to go. The extra doors in the lobby stood where Glamburgers and Face Steaks used to be sold but the relocation of the cafe was more than worth it.
“Over here, darlings,” he said as he approached the group by the shiny new doors. “We’re almost done here. Soon the carpenters and electricians will go upstairs and start to disassemble some of the rooms for remodeling. We need more human friendly rooms if we want this to ever become the true gateway between the surface and Underground, which of course, with all of your efforts, I don’t doubt it will be.”
Four bunny monsters clapped enthusiastically, making Mettaton preen under their attention. He didn’t think that would ever get old.
“I’ll go meet them to make sure we go over the blueprints one more time. Ping us if you need anything, Mettaton!”
The monster who spoke, the one with yellow fur and a bright green nose, gestured to her teammates and all seven bunnies disappeared down the hallway he and his assistant came from. A handful of people remained looking for direction. Mettaton smiled like he practiced in the mirror every morning and brought the monster behind him to the front. His cat-like ears looked much bigger without the MTT-Brand Burger Emporium’s hat sitting between them.
“Alright so, uh, Mettaton here put me in charge of this group headed to the surface on this elevator for the first time. So we’re all gonna just make the most of this ride, right?”
With a genial pat on the shoulder, Mettaton left his assistant in charge of the remaining monsters and headed for his personal transporter that would take him through Hotland to Alphys’s lab. He needed to recharge the batteries on this body. On the walk to meet the Lavaperson clinging to the ledge near the entrance, he wondered if the royal scientist had had a chance to work on improvements for this body while building the other in her workshop.
The ride from the top of the volcanic crag to the bottom was short and convenient. Mettaton was one of few monsters that ever interacted with the Lavaperson, cousin to the Riverpeople as far as anyone knew, so he was subject to more than one comment during the trip down. While his body, comprised of magic and metal, could withstand extreme temperatures by design, holding onto lava rocks on the way down a volcanic waterfall between the Resort and Lab was not a feat he’d attempted. Yet.
A metallic crash made Mettaton wince as he walked into the Lab. When he rounded a corner he saw the good doctor picking up tools from the floor where her tray had fallen. A bright blue, silver and black metallic body lay out on a table next to her which made his Soul swell for a moment - Blooky’s body! - before he rushed over. He held the tray for her as she inspected each delicate instrument for any accidental damage. Flamboyant as he was, he still tried not to frighten Alphys, but it was unfortunately so simple to do. Once done, he stood and placed it where Alphys pointed, then looked over to the other side of the room when something moved out of the corner of his optic tracking modules.
Dark hair and dark eyes rounded the corner behind one of the exam benches in the room. Brightly lit, this lab was much more clinical than the True Lab beneath their feet, so it made Frisk’s dirty complexion stand out.
“Darling, are you alright?”
Before the child answered, Mettaton felt Alphys’s hand on his arm. “They came here after tripping in H-hotland. I was c-closest and they were hurt and I j-just, uh, I don’t have any-”
Mettaton put one of his hands over Alphys’s and smiled softly, genuinely, which made her stammering stop before it became a rushed stuttered monologue. “Quite alright. I can help if Frisk would like me to?”
Frisk, still partially hiding behind the table that held Napstablook’s robot shell, stepped out a bit and stood at their full height when addressed. They cocked their head to the side for a moment, considering the robot quietly with the same expression Mettaton remembered from their first few encounters. The only way he could think to describe it was determined. The child nodded and walked up towards them, stopping before they got close enough for Mettaton to reach out and touch, but the reduced distance felt like an improvement. He hadn’t interacted with the child one on one since he’d, well, tried to kill them, for which he was ashamed now. A small sigh came from Alphys behind Mettaton, relaxing some of the tension he hadn’t realized he’d been holding since spotting the human that had broken the Barrier months ago.
Standing much closer, the extent of the damage to the child’s clothes was painfully obvious. No blood, thankfully, Alphys likely attended to that messy part. “Darling, come with me, we need to get you into something more comfortable.”
Mettaton turned towards the room at the end of the lab where he kept some of his belongings even after moving into the Resort full-time. The light tapping of small feet behind him made him smile.
“I can fix your clothes in a snap, darling, though I’m sure you’d find something you like here!” Arms throwing a pair of double doors wide, Mettaton invited Frisk into the suite he used to occupy before the fall of the Barrier. Modest considering the monster who lived there it still boasted a closet that spanned the length of one entire wall, the bathroom repurposed to expand it even further.
Frisk stopped to stare at the entrance to the enormous closet, eyes reflecting the multitude of lights, their mouth formed in a little “oh” of amazement. It takes all of a few seconds before they’re broken out of their reverie and are sprinting from one rack to the next, reaching up to touch a shirt here or a pair of shoes there. Strictly, Mettaton did not need the shoes, but he couldn’t bear to not purchase an entire matching set. He had to have the best!
A twitch of a finger started playing music from the stereo in the corner, soft and poppy and just enough to provide some atmosphere. This human child was deaf, or so he’d been told, but Frisk never had a problem hearing the music in the Underground as evidenced by the little tapping of their feet as they paused in front of a barrage of sparkling skirts. Madonna could get anyone moving.
“Point to what you’d like to try and we’ll get you changed. Blooky will be by soon to take a look at what Alphys is building for him, I hope, and we should get you dressed for the occasion.
Party ? Frisk signed, arms moving broadly.
Mettaton chuckled, smiling indulgently down at this tiny creature that easily slipped into the hearts of every monster they met. He forms his hands in a mimicry of Frisk and repeats the sign, but much smaller. His hard drive was chock-full of every language known to man and monster so understanding and speaking to Frisk was no task. He used sign as he answered, “Napstablook doesn’t enjoy the limelight like you or I, darling.”
Frisk nodded to show they understood, and points empirically up at the display of frilly clothes. I still want to give Blooky a little party.
With the precision of a mechanical monster robot who made all of his own performance outfits, Mettaton took what Frisk chose from his closet and created a dapper little outfit in the perfect size. Frisk watched each movement with eyes as wide as saucers and giggle fits every time the monster had to pull this, that, or the other over a ticklish part of their body. The mechanics of the human body elude and fascinate him.
Dressed, cleaned up, and dimples on display, Frisk preened in front of the full set of mirrors to admire Mettaton’s handiwork. Their hair had protested at most attempts to comb it into a semblance of a style but he was hardly deterred, the results worth every moment of careful primping. He was almost prouder of the results than Frisk. Turning this way and that they made sure to catch every angle of the outfit that they could. A pinstripe vest with dark red button up on top, a pair of trim black slacks stopping artfully on their shiny shoes, all offset with a cluster of tulle in the middle. The entire look makes Mettaton think more CEOs should wear custom made tu-tus, but it could just be Frisk making it look this good.
Without warning, the human rushed off the pedestal to hug as far around as they could of his legs. Mettaton felt a pink magical blush cover his cheek chitin before leaning over to scoop the child up into his arms.
“You’re very welcome, darling, I’m glad you like it,” he said, tone soft and sincere. “Now, let’s go meet Alphys in the lab and see if Blooky is here yet!”
Frisk agreed and points with their finger again towards the direction of the lab. The way they act melts his metaphorical heart, since they’re no longer flinching at the sight of him even after what he attempted to do, even demanding to be carried back across the lab so Frisk could use both hands to tell him a story. To receive the full attention of Frisk is to be drawn into their charm, which Mettaton happily does.
Whether Napstablook is ready to make the move into a new body today or not, Mettaton counts it as a win as the little ambassador clings to his shoulder chassis in a way he didn’t know he needed. Maybe he really is forgiven.