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The Ones We Love

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Frisk rocked forward, the pain in their back and side caused them to whimper , their vision dimming. Frisk slowly laid back down breathing heavily. Light filtered through the hole they fell through; Frisk brought their arm up to shade their eyes. They could see yellow dust all over their hands and tiny, sunny petals fell on their face. Frisk looked around, seeing what they landed on; it was a giant patch of golden flowers. They scrambled to get off the small plants trying to avoid causing any more damage. Frisk's eyes dazzled wondering how the flowers got down here. Maybe they fell just like Frisk did. Frisk crouched down and gently rubbed the petals between their fingers feeling a little bit better. Looking around they saw a corridor and followed it down leaning heavily against the walls. They felt their hope rise up when they saw a door carved into the smooth wall. Maybe there were people down here!...Maybe they could start over, Frisk hoped as they entered the ominous door.

When they entered Frisk was surprised to find a little yellow flower looking at them. Frisk rubbed their eyes, confused. Looking at them? "Howdy! I'm Flowey. Flowey the flower!" came a cheerful voice. Frisk looked around then back at the little plant. Frisk vaguely remember stories of monsters that lived in the mountains. Maybe this was a monster but, they didn't seem to be as mean or menacing as the stories made them out to be. If anything, Frisk found the flower kind of cute. "Hmm...your new to the UNDERGROUND arn'tcha?" Frisk nodded apprehensively. "Golly, you must be so confused." Flowey's face was full of sympathy and Frisk started to let their guard down. They were happy to find someone down here. "Someone ought to teach you how things work around here!" Frisk smiled gratefully, nodding. Frisk relaxed even further and could feel their heart soar a little. Maybe Flowey would be their first friend. "Ready? Here we go!" Frisk could feel their body hum and their heart began to glow. "See that heart? That is your soul, the very culmination of your being!" Frisk eyed their soul curiously. It was small and, deep red just like a little flame. "Your soul starts off weak, but can grow strong if you gain a lot of LV." Flowey said with a grin of anticipation. Seeing the humans confusion he continued "Whats LV stand for? Why LoVe, of course!" Frisk looked up, Love? Frisk could feel their soul ache. If there was anything in this world Frisk wanted... NEEDED, it was just a little love. "You want some LoVe don't you? Don't worry I'll share some with you!" Flowey smiled playfully, winking at Frisk. "Down here, Love is shared through...Little white...'friendliness pellets.'" Six small, oval-shaped, pellets appeared around Flowey. Frisk looked at them excitedly, they hoped it worked on them even though they were human. Frisk felt an uneasiness stir in them. A feeling that wasn't their own but, before they could think about it any longer Flowey interrupted them.

"Ready? Move around and get as many as you can!" The pellets honed onto Frisk soul making a bee-line for it, gaining speed as they went. Frisk grabbed at them excitedly, hoping to catch all six. However, it turned out Frisk didn't need to try that hard. The pellets slammed right into Frisk's soul causing them to fall to the floor clutching their chest. They felt like they had just been kicked in the stomach and they found themselves unable to breathe. Frisk looked up tears forming from the pain, eyes full of confusion. Flowey's face contorted into a menacing smile with sharp jagged teeth, too big for his face. "You IDIOT. In this world, it's KILL or be KILLED!" Frisk shook, tears freely flowing not from the pain but the fear. This place would be just like it was before. Frisk grew frustrated, pain and suffering were all that should be expected. Frisk clutched the dirt in their hands. No, they had to hold out, hold onto hope. Just because someone is mean doesn't mean they're a bad person. Frisk looked at Flowey with his eyes clouded with hate. What had happened to him to make him like this? Maybe, he was like them...Tired of being hurt...Maybe all they needed was someone to love them and give them a hug, tell them that they would be okay. Frisk forced themselves to their feet. They could see new bruises and cuts start to form, blood leaking from the open wounds. Frisk walked toward Flowey arms open, hoping he would understand their intentions. Flowey's face melted into confusion, then understanding, their face set back into a twisted grin, eyes full of glee. "Who could ever hope to pass up an opportunity like this?!? D I E." Flowey let out a high-pitched, crude laugh. Friendliness pellets encircled Frisk, encroaching on their soul. Frisk closed their eyes and lowered their arms. They felt the tears run down their cheeks, and a pitiful smile graced their face. This time, Frisk would find no mountain for escape.

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Frisk felt a flash of warmth drying their face. They looked to see Flowey was gone and in their place was a new monster. They were tall at least twice as tall as Frisk. However, that's not what caused Frisk to stare; it was the fact that the monster appeared to be a goat of some kind. They had white fur with long white ears and little horns on their head. The monster looked annoyed, eyeing where Flowey had disappeared into the earth. "What a terrible creature..." they muttered. When they met Frisk gaze, she gave a warm smile. Frisk quickly looked away, sorry they had stared at her, it was a rude thing to do. "Do not worry child. I am Toriel, I take care of these ruins. I pass through this place every day to see if anyone has fallen down." She said everything so gently as if any sudden movements or loud words would cause Frisk to blow away. "How would you like me to patch you up, hmm?" Toriel knelt down and a warm orange light appeared in her hand causing Frisk to flinch back. *You may be kind but, you aren't completely stupid* Frisk could hear a voice laughingly say. They looked around confused.....Where had that come from? Toriel could see the child had been startled, of course, they would be hesitant to trust a monster after being attacked. "Do not worry child, it will only make you feel better. Though I have to say it is not a cure, what you need is a nice dinner and a warm place to sleep." Toriel slowly reached out to Frisk pressing their paw against the child's chest. Toriel saw the child stiffen and then relax into her hand. The magic made Frisk like she was getting a big hug, Toriels magic was kind and loving, seeking only to help. When Toriel withdrew her hand Frisk shuffled forward seeking her warmth. Frisk snuggled up against the monster clutching at her purple cloak like it was a lifeline. Toriel was taken aback by the trust of this child and she could feel a dull ache in her heart. She placed her arms around the them resting their head on top of the child. She pulled back and stood "Come, child, I shall guide you through the catacombs." Toriel made her way to the exit on the opposite side of the room with Frisk still holding onto their cloak. Before leaving Frisk looked back looking for Flowey; they hoped he was okay. Again a feeling came over them that wasn't their own....It felt like remorse.

Frisk walked into the next room; they saw the entrance to the ruins up ahead. The walls were a pretty purple color and there were bright red leaves all about. But what caught Frisks attention was a small four-pointed star right before the stairs. Frisk walked over and went to put her hand on the little star but it just passed right through. What was this? Frisk wondered *Its a SAVE point.* Frisk looked at it confused. *You'll learn soon enough.* The voice sounded grim. Frisk looked up to see the ruins loom overhead and Toriel looking at them patiently. Frisks felt their resolve strengthen. They were going to make this their home and, more importantly, they would try and find a way to become family with Toriel. *The shadows of the ruins looms above, filling you with determination* Frisk nodded in agreement with the voice and could feel a tug in their gut.

Toriel showed Frisk around the ruins, warning them of the puzzles that would lie ahead. Frisk's giggled at Toriels over-protectiveness when showing them how to do the puzzles but they had to admit the spiky floor puzzle scared them. While following Toriel, a frog-like creature hopped up to Frisk. *Froggit ATTACKS you!* The voice sounded excited. Fear bubbled up as Frisk felt their soul being caught up in another battle. Frisk, remembering Toriels instructions and decided to pay a compliment to the monster. "You look really nice today." Frisk signed smiling. *Froggit couldn't understand....But was flattered anyway?* The voice sounded a little confused but, they were right, Froggit was blushing. Toriel appeared behind the monster scowling disapprovingly causing Froggit to gulp and carefully edged away; Frisk giggled. Toriel came around to check them for injuries, even though she clearly saw they were never hit by anything. After a thorough check, Toriel asked, "My child if you do not mind me asking....were you speaking hands?" Toriel tried to hide her concern squeezing the child's hands in hers. Frisk was a little confused, they had never heard it put like that but, they nodded. Maybe sign language wasn't really used down here either. Frisk felt self-conscious, worried they did something wrong. Toriels instincts quickly picked up on this, and she squeezed the small child's hands once more. "I was just thinking I will have to brush up on it if I want to take care of you properly." *She's hiding something.* The voice whispered. Frisk could see it too but, pretended like they didn't hear. Frisk looked up at Toriel excitedly, happy to have someone want to accommodate them. "Will you be my mom?" Frisk signed hoping Toriel would understand. *Wow, right out of the gate huh?* Toriel face scrunched up in concentration, trying to remember the different signs. "Mother?" Toriel asked tentatively not sure she interpreted correctly. Frisk nodded vigorously, jumping around excitedly. Toriel felt a flood of emotions: joy, excitement, honor, and finally deep down...fear. "Would that make you happy my child?" Frisk nodded hugging Toriels legs, joy overtaking them. Toriel placed her hand on the child's head. She tried to control her anxiety. This time, it would be different....this time, she would get it right, she would protect this child.

Toriel continued leading Frisk through the ruins until she came to a long corridor. "I'm sorry child..." Frisk looked up at Toriel, worried. "I would like you to walk to the end of the room on your own." Toriel dashed ahead but Frisk could easily see her duck behind a pillar at the end of the room. Frisk giggled trotting after her. They could feel exasperation stir in them *Sigh...She's still such a dork.* Frisk popped behind the pillar to surprise Toriel, who gave them a loving smile. "That's right I did not leave you!" Toriel exclaimed, "I was merely checking your independence." Frisk beamed, proud they were able to pass her little test. "My Child, I must attend to some business and you must stay alone for a while. Please remain here it is dangerous to explore on your own" Frisk's smile died down a little but they nodded understanding. Toriel looked down at them....Maybe they would offer anyway. Taking a small object out of her pocket Toriel said "I was going to offer you a CELLPHONE but I was not sure you would want it. Also, I am not sure how you could answer, my child." Frisk took the cellphone "I want!" they signed enthusiastically. They opened the phone to see a number already saved under the name Toriels phone. Frisk called the number and Toriel picked up confused. "He-hello child do you want to show me something?" Frisk cradling the phone between her shoulder and ear as they clapped once. Toriel smiled "I see you are such a smart child! Would it be two claps for no then?" Frisk clapped again giggling. "Okay, then I will leave you now. If you have a need for anything please call. I will try and come right away!" Frisk nodded hugging Toriel before she could slip through the door leaving Frisk alone....Well not entirely. *Come on your not really just going to sit here are you?* The voice sounded annoyed. Frisk nodded, they guessed this was a good time to talk to the voice. Frisk sat down getting comfortable. What is your name? Frisk thought; guessing the voice was able to hear it. Frisk could feel a stirring of surprise, they concluded all these little feelings they couldn't explain belonged to the voice. The voice seemed to be debating whether to answer or not *...It's Chara.......* they finally said.

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      Frisk asked more questions but all they could get out of Chara was their name and, that they thought Frisk was a big nosy baby. Frisk received a call from Toriel about every ten minutes confirming that she would be back soon. Frisk smiled loving the way Toriel worried about them, despite not knowing them very long. *Come on Frisk! Let's go explore the rest of the ruins...This is boring!* Frisk noted Chara was becoming more talkative since introducing themselves. I don't think it's a good idea...Frisk thought. They didn't want to make Toriel upset by not listening. *Oh come on...* Frisk felt like they could feel Chara rolling their eyes at them. *Look she said that because she didn't want you to go by yourself, right?* Frisk nodded not seeing where Chara was going with this. *Well your not alone! I'll be with you the whole time.* Chara said hoping to stop Frisk from only staring at their phone and doodling in the dirt. Frisk still felt uneasy but, Chara could tell they were being swayed and decided to seal the deal. *Plus if you suddenly showed up to meet mo-Toriel she would be so proud!* Frisk finally stood, nodding, they liked making Toriel happy.


      As soon as Frisk stepped out into the next room their phone rang. "Hello? This is Toriel!" Frisk giggled she introduced herself even though Frisk only had one person call them. "You have not left the room, have you?" Frisk froze, they didn't want to get in trouble but, at the same time they didn't want to lie. *Remember it's a surprise so it's not really lying, is it?* Chara injected. Frisk clapped twice feeling a little guilty but, mostly excited. "Okay, because it is dangerous ahead, there are still active puzzles. Be good my dear!" Toriel hung up entering the town market. They couldn't make their little one wait too long. Toriel smiled happily; finally, they had someone to dote on again. Frisk looked around and found the room similar to the ones before. They walked along and jumped when they heard a Froggit ribbit at them, Frisk hadn't seen them. *They're asking for you to show mercy for monsters you battle with.* Chara summed up. Can you understand them? Frisk wondered. *Ehh a little...just out of experience.* Frisk filed away the new fact they learned. Frisk bent down, patting Froggit on the head "I promise" they signed smiling kindly. Frisk continued on stopping to play in a pile of leaves, feeling another tug in their gut as they saved. Chara still refused to fully explain; only saying *Don't worry about it....Just hope you never have to use it.* Frisk met mainly three types of monsters as she explored, Froggits, Whimsuns, and Moldsmals. The battles weren't that bad, they got used to dodging Froggits attacks with Charas help. Moldsmal just wanted someone to lay down with them or flirt.*Seriously you can't just flirt with whoever! Your gonna get weirdos attached to you* Chara scolded after Frisk wiggled their hips at the Moldsmal. Frisk usually had fun but they didn't like battling Whimsuns because they ran away crying before Frisk could even sign a word, it made them feel bad. *Their just wimpy babies, like you.* Chara said unaware they were trying to comfort Frisk.


     Frisk carefully made their way through the ruins puzzles that dropped them into a room below. They didn't like the memories of the fall it brought up. Toriel called once more "Hello, this is Toriel! For no particular reason do you prefer cinnamon or butterscotch?" *Personally I like chocolate best* Chara commented. Frisk put Charas opinion aside and clapped once, they liked both but wanted to give Toriel an answer. "Oh, I see. Thank you very much, dear." Toriel hung up but before Frisk could take another step their phone rung again "Hello this is Toriel...." Chara sighed *I wish she would stop doing that* Frisk just giggled. "You do not dislike butterscotch do you? You would eat it if presented to you, right?" Frisk clapped once, of course, they would eat it. "Thank you for your patience!" Toriel hung up again.*She's really bad at hiding stuff.* Chara sounded like they were smiling. Once again Frisk continued their journey finding another save point at a mouse hole. *Knowing the mouse might one day leave its hole and get the cheese fills you with determination* Frisk smiled directing it at Chara caused them to answer flustered *What, I'm just saying what were both thinking!* Frisk giggled and continued but soon met an unmovable force. *Seriously? The ghost is just saying 'z' repeatedly pretending to be asleep. It's not even convincing his eyes are open!* Frisk tried to get around but found themselves unable to fit through and the ghost didn't seem to understand sign language, or just wasn't looking. *Your gonna have to push him* Chara finally said decisively.  Frisk felt bad but nodded and tried to put her hands on the ghost but, they just went through, touching the ground. It seemed to do the trick though because the ghost started a battle causing Frisk's soul to appear. *Here comes Napstablook.* Frisk didn't ask how Chara knew their name. Napstablook looked so sad that Frisk wanted to make him feel better, so they gave him a patient smile like Toriel gave them. *He seems a little better* Chara observed, so Frisk continued. Eventually, Napstablook spoke "Let me try...." *Oooo he wants to show us something!* Chara seemed happy that this wasn't going to be just another complement party. "I call it 'dapper blook' do you like it?" Napstablooks tear attacks, instead of raining down on Frisk turned up and formed a hat. "AWESOME!" Frisk signed thoroughly impressed. "Oh gee...I usually come to the Ruins because there's nobody around....But today I met somebody nice. I'll get out of your way" Napstablook faded away allowing Frisk to pass. He was really nice Frisk thought *Yeah, his trick was pretty cool* Chara agreed. Frisk stopped to get a donut from a nice little spider *It's made out of spiders...* Chara whispered as Frisk went to take a bite. Frisk made a face and scowled at Chara's comment, they could hear them laughing. Frisk knew Chara was probably just teasing them but, they really didn't want to take the chance so they put the donut away.

     Frisk Finally reached where Toriel had gone. They knew because Chara said a Froggit had seen them enter through a door. Frisk ran through the door expecting to see Toriel but instead saw a cityscape way down below the ledge they were on. It's so pretty! Frisk thought standing on their tippy-toes trying to see more. *Yeah it's real great* Chara sounded unenthused *But, mo-Toriels not here....Hey what's that?* Frisk Turned around to see a small item on the floor. They got closer picking it up and inspecting it, it was a toy knife. Frisk felt faint and their vision went white while static rang loudly in their ears. ~~ Giggling could be heard as they ran around the table, toy knife in hand. "COME OUT EVIL HUMAN!" Chara exclaimed loudly pulling up the table cloth. "Aw come on Chara, why do I always have to be the human?" A little monster complained, crawling out from underneath. Frisk thought they had to be the same type as Toriel because of how similar they looked. However, this one was much smaller; probably just a little taller than Frisk. and he wore a green and yellow striped Shirt. "That's because you're the LITTLE brother Asriel!" Chara stuck their tongue out and the little monster huffed in acceptance. As Chara turned to lead Asriel to the 'prison' he jumped on them, tickling them. Chara laughed loudly and Asriel was able to get their knife. "Now I get to be the monster!" He exclaimed triumphantly~~

     Frisk sat up holding their head, it hurt so much. They could feel a wave of incredible sadness envelope them and Frisk started to cry tears that didn't belong to them. Chara, are you okay? Who is Asriel? they thought concerned. They felt Chara stir but there was no answer, it appeared they didn't feel like talking, Frisk could respect that. Frisk pocketed the knife...It obviously meant something to Chara. Frisk walked out of the room into the previous corridor, deciding to see where the other door in it led. Frisk wondered how Chara got in their head. They didn't really put much thought into it before but they had to have been someone before becoming the voice in Frisks head. Frisk came upon a huge black tree with the red leaves scattered all about it. Frisk stepped closer but before they could inspect any closer they could hear Toriel muttering. Frisk tried to hide behind the tree to surprise her but then their phone rang. Toriel popped behind the tree surprised. "Child! How did you get here? You have been crying are you alright?!?" Toriel frantically checked over Frisk. "SURPRISE!" Frisk signed hoping to gloss over her observations. Toriel looked down shocked and then smiled ruefully. "Please be more careful. Though I must admit I should not have left you alone for so long. You see I have a surprise of my own! Come along, small one" Frisk hurried after Toriel finding another save point. *Seeing such a cute, tidy house in the Ruins gives you determination* Chara whispered. Frisk so badly wanted to give Chara a hug but, they couldn't. So instead, they wrapped their arms around themselves thinking of happy thoughts. *You're such a dork...* Chara said breaking the silence. *Come on let's not keep Toriel waiting* Frisk smiled and walked into the house, hoping they made Chara feel even a little bit better. "Do you smell that? Surprise it is a butterscotch-cinnamon pie! I thought we might celebrate your arrival.  I want you to have a nice time here so I will hold off on snail pie." Frisk thought she could feel Chara scrunch up their face in distaste. "Here I have another surprise for you!" Toriel went down a hallway with Frisk in tow. "This is it..." Toriel grabbed Frisk's hand "A room of your own! I hope you like it." Toriel looked down to see the child clutching their sweater trying not to cry. She smiled patting the child's head, finding herself wondering what this child had been through. "Is something burning!?" Toriel took off towards what Frisk Assumed was the Kitchen. Frisk opened the door but Toriel walked back into the hallway. "I Forgot to say it. Welcome home my child!" Frisk gave Toriel a wide smile feeling a sense of belonging they thought previously impossible.*Come on let's check our new room out!* Chara said tired of all the sappy feelings. Frisk giggled and nodded opening the door.

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Frisk pushed open the door to see a room bathed in a reddish-orange color. Smiling Frisk ran up to the big bed and flopped on it kicking up a storm of dust. Frisk sneezed and giggled; they spied a chest of some kind at the foot of the bed. They got closer and looked inside. *Look at all these cool toys! They don't interest you at all.* Frisk scowled at Charas sarcastic tone. *What? You don't seem that materialistic to me. Plus your probably the dweeb that makes up stories all the time to keep themselves busy. I'm right huh?* Chara kept prodding but Frisk chose to ignore them in favor of discovering more. They found clothes in different sizes but, there were a few small ones that might fit Frisk. They also found different sized shoes. Frisk looked down at their ratty pair with their toe sticking out the top and decided a change was needed. Rooting around they found a cool pair of boots. *you're a real cowboy ain'tcha?* Chara teased. Frisk just nodded and smiled taking it as a compliment. They thought they could feel Chara shake their head and it made them giggle. Frisk arrived back into the middle of the room spinning around taking note of the flower drawing and the empty picture frame. "Chara...." Frisk thought "I really like it here. It's so warm and it smells so nice." Frisk made their way to the bed leaning heavily on it, their eyelids drooping fatigue catching up to them. They crawled up and snuggled against the pillow and drifted off to sleep. As they drifted off they thought they could hear Chara whisper *...Me too.*

Toriel had been waiting for the child but didn't want to interfere with them getting situated in a new home. But, after the pie cooled Toriel couldn't resist any longer. Plate in hand they knocked gently on the door. "Child, I have brought the pie I made I was thinking later we......" Toriel stopped short seeing the child curled up on the bed. She smiled warmly entering the room. She set the pie down on the floor and turned off the lights but, as they turned to go they could hear little whimpers escape the child. Toriel traveled closer and smoothed the child's hair back giving them a light peck on the forehead putting a little healing magic into it. The little ones breathing returned to normal. Toriel could feel her eyes well up a bit looking at the child. They were so small...too small for their age and so skinny that their face was sunken in slightly, they were dirty and their clothes in tatters. Toriel quickly left before she started to cry, she didn't wish to wake them. Frisk sat up in bed, having the best sleep they had since they could remember. It's been so long since I slept like that...It must be this place. Frisk smiled looking around the room, They got up and trotted towards the light. *WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!* Chara yelled. Frisk froze and grabbed their head hoping to lessen the pain. *You almost stepped in the most amazing thing in the world!* Chara scolded. apologetically. Frisk looked down and saw a plate with a slice of pie on it. Frisk had to agree it certainly smelled like the best thing in the world, they wondered why they didn't smell it sooner. Venturing a bite, Frisk little face lit up in a huge smile, satisfaction evident. Frisk scarfed a few more bites *Whoa their Frisky, slow down or you're gonna hurl.* Chara laughed when Frisks face screwed up in distaste at Charas new nickname for them. I would rather stay cry baby.... Frisk thought, they already disliked their name. Chara just kept laughing but seemed to understand. *I'll only use it for special occasions* Chara thought quietly. Still can hear you.... Frisk thought and made their way out of the room plate in hand.

Their little boots clicked across the wooden floor as they made their way towards the sound of crackling. Seeing Toriel the clicks quickened and they were soon smack dab in her lap. Toriel looked down, glasses sliding a bit. "Up already my dear? You must have been tired from your walk through the ruins!" Toriel stood and led the child to the kitchen. Frisk stood on their tip-toes to hand Toriel the plate as she neared the sink. She quickly washed the dish and put it out to dry. "Thank you! I do not know how to say this but, I am so happy you are here!" Frisk gave an enthusiastic agreeing nod. "There are so many things I wish to share with you! Old books, my favorite bug hunting spots and most of all knowledge! It is important for children to learn so I have devised a curriculum course for your education." Frisk could feel Chara sour at the mention of schooling and giggled holding their hand over their mouth to try and muffle it. Frisk thought they could feel Chara stick their tongue out at them. Toriel continued never taking notice "This might come as a surprise....or maybe not but I have always wanted to be a teacher!" Toriel clapped her hands together and looked down at the child. "Would you like that little one?" Frisk nodded and hugged Toriel's legs smiling into her cloak.

"First things first, though!" Toriel brought Frisk to attention. "You my dear should get cleaned up! You see we boss monsters simply brush our fur and require a bath about once every other week. But Humans require baths frequently! Fascinating no?" Frisk giggled and Chara rolled their eyes. *Whats so fascinating about bathing habits?* Chara questioned annoyed. "The town bath opens quite rarely and is never open at this time of day." Toriel cocked her head in mock confusion loving the way the child laughed. "First, we need something for you to put on....Now where are their clothes for you to wear?" Frisk dashed out of the room and returned with overalls and a long-sleeve high collared purple t-shirt made out of the same material as Toriels cloak. "Good." Toriel ruffled Frisks hair "Now where could such a dirty little kid get all nice and clean. I know!" Toriel laughed and picked the child up and set them down on the counter. "Such a dirty little bird needs a bird bath." Toriel began to fill the sink up with water. It was large made to accommodate big meals for a big family and the perfect size for a small child to bathe in. Toriel smiled looking at the child dangle their feet, swaying them gently over the counter. "Arms up!" Frisk lifted their arms confused and when Toriel grabbed the hem of their shirt to lift it dread filled Frisk.

They quickly snatched their hands down halting Toriel any progress. *..........?* Toriel looked at them shocked, the light atmosphere turning tense. "Is there something wrong, my child?" Frisk just shook their head vigorously pulling their shirt out of Toriel's hands. *Whats wrong? She's not going to d anything weird.* Chara questioned confused about the problem. They new that Frisk already trust Toriel.....So what was the problem? Frisk just shook their head again. "Do you wish to take a bath alone?" Toriel questioned gently. Frisk nodded and refused to look at Toriels piercing gaze, she could tell something was wrong. "Okay..." Toriel decided not to press any further, she could clearly see it was a big issue for them. "Just let me get some stuff for you, my child. Do be careful on the counter it is very high up." Toriel left and Frisk could feel the guilt grow in the pit of their stomach. They had hurt her feelings. *She's fine but what is wrong with you?* Chara asked bluntly. Frisks was quite, twisting the shirt in their hands. Their head shot up as Toriel re-entered the room placing down a washcloth, soap, and a towel. "I will be in the living room little one. So just clap loudly if you need any assistance." Toriel ruffled Frisk's hair hoping to lift the sad expression on their face. "Do not worry, my child. I am sure that soon you will be able to feel completely comfortable but, until then please let me know if there is anything I can do for you." Toriel stepped back out of the room and Frisk began to silently cry. They had hurt Toriels feelings and no matter all the pats and smiles she gave them Frisk couldn't help but hate themselves. Frisk quietly stood on the big counter and undressed. Chara was silent understanding dawning on them about Frisks adamant behavior. The gross stripped sweaters main purpose was to mask rather than for warmth. Chara could even see the new clothes they had picked out would cover them completely as well.....the scars that is. Chara remained silent as Frisk bathed out of respect and.....Empathy.

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It had been a few days since Frisk arrived and the atmosphere was still stiff around Toriel. After the bath incident, Frisk tried to push Toriel away. They didn't want her to look at them differently, to see what they truly were. So they kept their scars and past a secret but from Toriel. Although Frisk kept pushing, they were only met with love. Toriel had started their schooling. She had taken them bug hunting explored every inch of the ruins with them and slowly taught them the different kinds of languages the monsters  spoke like the Froggits. Despite remaining vigilant  on their walk, Toriel managed to learn one of their secrets.

 

Frisk walked into the button room with Toriel a little ways ahead. They walked over to one of the signs and traced the glyphs. Frisk hadn't told anyone but they weren't able to read, they knew that the monster language was similar in both speech and writing but it was harder to learn how to read then it was to learn to sign. The only reason they were able to do the puzzle before was because Chara read the signs understanding Frisk's plight. Chara could pick up on Frisks insecurities  * You know....When I was around I couldn't read very well either. I hid it because....Well....It embarrassing, it made me feel like a total idiot. But Tor--nosy people thought it important to learn and understood. They helped me. Don't worry about it. Okay? Everything just takes time.* The kindness surprised Frisk. Not only was Chara good at math and reading but they also never lets go a chance to tease them. So far Frisk was lucky enough that Toriel loved reading to them so they got away with their inabilities. So there are things even you can't do? Frisk thought nervously and ran their hand back over the letters. They didn't want to be rude but Frisk yearned for validation, someone with similar problems. Frisk thought they could feel Chara try and collect themselves. *I'm lousy at a lot of things. Being educated doesn't just mean book smart...Being kind, being a family, a friend....it's difficult for some people.* Frisk's face softened as bits of Chara's muddled emotions leaked into their own.


 Toriel came up behind the child placing her hands on either side of them. "I know it is quite similar to the human written language. It makes this puzzle a little silly." Toriel giggled but, the laughter stopped when they looked down at the Child sullen face. "Whats wrong dear? Did you get hurt?" Toriel kneeled down. Frisk felt the damn break and began to cry they felt horrible for trying to push Toriel away and they were pretty sure they were failing anyway. Toriel only managed to make it worse. Every time Frisk refused to look at her or give an answer she would only give them a caring smile full of love and patience with a gentle pat on the head. Toriels hands were running over the child frantically.  She looked up into the child's face and noticed them signing over and over again. "Can't read....I can't read......I...I" Frisks hands was shaky making it hard for her to grasp their signs. The knowledge dawning on her and Toriel wrapped them into a hug and smiled despite herself. "Oh dear, is that all?" Toriel pulled them back still smiling, trying to look reassuring "Do not worry, my child. I will teach you!" It did little to ease Frisk's guilt, they cried harder and apologized profusely. Toriel picked them up, holding them tight and carried them home. Frisk snuggled close to Toriel, nuzzling their face into the curve of her neck. They clung to her tightly, their tears wetting her fur. Toriel remained silent other than the odd cooing to soothe the child and rubbed their back. By the time they arrived home Frisk was fast asleep. Toriel gently laid them on their bed, smoothing their hair back. She leaned forward and gave a small peck on their forehead "Do not worry my child. I shall love you all the same, no matter what." Toriel got up, giving the child's face one last caress and walked out of the room. The door clicked closed behind them. Chara stirred in the sleeping child whispering*.....I hope that's true for me too....*



Frisk became more relaxed and settled into a comfortable relationship with Toriel. They still opted to keep silent about their past but Toriel didn't push, all with due time. *Come onnnnnnnnnnnn Frisk! I want to get out of this house. I know yadda, yadda now you and Toriel are on the same page. But, if I hear another snail fact I'm going to explode.* Chara huffed exasperated. It had been just sickly sweet bonding the last few days and Frisk hadn't left the house once. Frisk giggled at Chara's easily riled nature. They ran to the kitchen where Toriel was preparing her first Snail pie for dinner tonight. *Seriously, you going to ask permission!?!* Frisk avoided the sight of the little white creatures and tugged on her cloak. "Yes, my dear?" Frisk felt queazy looking at her slimy paws but managed to sign "Outside?". Toriel gave them a hard stare before it melted into a tender smile "Be sure to be back for dinner in two hours. No FIGHTS, okay?" Frisk nodded enthusiastically and ran out the door hearing the faint trails of Toriel yelling "Be careful little one!"

 

Frisk decided to listen to whatever Chara wanted to do since they were the reason they stayed inside for so long. *I just wanted to get out of that house. I know to make it up why don't we scare a few whisums!* Frisk face scrunched up disapprovingly *Just kidding geez... Why don't we just try and go find that fourth frog? I don't think the Froggit was lying and I'm definitely the best at hide-and-seek!* The truth was Chara really didn't care about the frog but, this time, it was different. They would be a different kind of friend this time. They weren't going to push them into doing something they didn't want to. Frisk ran on stopping to say hi to all the monsters on their way. They played with the Froggits and danced with the Moldsmals they even found out that if they ran away from the Whisums they had a smaller chance of crying but, they still felt bad. Frisk after a long while finally found the ridiculously small ant-sized Froggit with Charas help and gave it a cheerful wave. Chara suggested since they came all the way they mind as well go grab a bug for Toriel at her favorite spot, right where they fell.  After a hard look, they both settled on a grandpa snail with a large shell. *She's gonna eat it you know?* Chara laughed as Frisk quickly choose to think of other things, trying to drown them out.

 

Frisk arrived back at the long corridor where Toriel tested their independence and popped behind the pillar. *She isn't going to be here. Seriously you guys might as well be family because you're both giant dweebs!* Chara said somewhat warmly. Frisk giggled and popped their head around the side to look down the hall. They stopped laughing spying a dark figure in the distance. *Frisk?....* They stepped out into the hall. The figure was coming towards them but didn't seem to notice them. They were muttering and they looked odd. Their face was white with large black eyes but as they got closer Frisk could see it was actually a skeletal face.  Suddenly his face snapped up and Frisk took a step back. They could see he seemed to be melting and he had giant cracks in his face. One crack started on top of the left eye traveling presumably behind their head and one under the right eye that connected with their mouth. What made Frisk step back wasn't his features but  the anguish on his face and his piercing, odd white pupils.  He began to talk slowly in a weird language that sounded chopped and warbled. *Is that....* Frisks vision started to blur and they swayed on their feet for but a second. Suddenly they were lying face to the floor. Another...memory... Frisk thought as they passed  out, Chara's memory overtaking them.


~~"Dad!....DAD!!!" Chara shouted over the boss monsters humming. "Just  a minute Chara I am not done with these requests." Chara sighed heavily to convey their irritation. The monster just chuckled and held up a hand. Like the last time, it was another monster like Toriel except bigger....much bigger, Frisk noted. Frisk also realized that this memory was more solid than the other. Instead of watching from Chara's eyes it was like they were standing in the room with them. He stood and Frisk looked up to see his Horns were long and wrapped around to the back of his head. He appeared big and menacing but his face gave away his big cuddle nature. He had on a large purple cloak and a golden crown. "You know being king isn't easy. Remember you must always put your people first!" Chara just rolled their eyes at their dad giving him a small smile. "Yeah, yeah I know." The monster looked down at them a grin splaying across his face "What can I do for you, my dear?" Chara looked up thinking for a moment before answering "I want to be able to talk to the royal scientist." The dads smile tensed a bit "You mean Gaster?....." Chara nodded looking up at the monster. He toyed with his beard contemplating. "I suppose.....it could be most useful.....Can I ask why?" Chara paused "Uh..Because he knows a lot about stuff..." Man, even to Frisk that sounded lame but, he seemed to buy it.  The monsters face lit up and he leaned over "Okay then! We can start whenever you would like." He buried Chara in a hug. "How about now...." they squeaked through his thick fur.~~


Frisk was now on their back, having been rolled over. Memories of Chara's lessons flooded their mind and they could feel a stabbing pain in their temples with each passing one. *Frisk!...Frisk, I'm so sorry...I couldn't stop it.* They just cracked their eyes opened and nodded their understanding. Looking up the skeleton...No Gaster was now right in their face, however,  this time, he was different. He looked more solid and the cracks on his face were far less severe than before, there was no chipping. "Human are you all right?" his voice was still a bit jumbled but Frisk found they could understand him. It was like listening to someone with a heavy accent. Looking up his eyes held an intelligence that made Frisk feel like he could see through them. Frisk nodded and the skeleton backed away. They offered a hand and Frisk reached up grabbing a hold of it. Gaster stiffened looking down at them curiously. *Frisk....I don't like this...Gaster...Gaster he isn't like Toriel he- *

 

Masking his surprise the skeleton said "I am Wing Din Gaster....It is a pleasure to meet you."  Frisk looked up at them silent he was much taller than he appeared down the hall. "Hmm...perhaps you can not understand me." He began to fidget with his white turtleneck, readjusting it under his black cloak. Seemingly trying to find a solution his hands moved restlessly. Frisk could see his uneasy nature and hastened their response. "I....I'm Frisk.....Good meet." They signed nervously shuffling back a bit. They looked up to see Gasters white pupils shine brightly. He let out a weird noise his hands moving slowly. "Human...You speak hands?" he signed unsure he could believe what he saw. Frisk nodded and a small smile played on their face. They were happy  to see another speak sign language. Gasters face seemed to settle into a gentle astonishment. "Interesting...very interesting indeed." He seemed to be considering something as he loomed over them "Perhaps..you are the reason I have been drawn here...." he muttered. Frisk felt uncomfortable under his hard stare but could feel a tug in the pit of their stomach as their determination rose up. They wanted to know this man that Chara knew.....Looked up to even. They wanted to meet the man who could speak just like them.

Chapter Text

Frisk had raced home after their first meeting with Gaster. They were running late and Toriel would definitely scold them if dinner was at the table before they arrived home. They had just patched their relationship and Frisk decided to rock the boat now was still too soon. Frisk found themselves consumed with thoughts of Gaster. When they left they promised to return to see him again. He stared at their retreating form and when Frisk turned around to wave goodbye his face was unreadable. *"You shouldn't see him anymore Frisk"* Frisk was confused by Charas words. In Chara's memories, they saw Gaster as cool and admirable but now Chara's feelings felt....twisted up. Frisk didn't want to listen to Chara this time around....they felt mean but they would forgive them.

So they continued to meet Gaster against Chara's better judgment. Frisk went with the intentions of becoming friends and there were times when they were. Frisk learned Gaster had two states he hovered between. When he would get slightly melted his cracks seemed to rule his face and his eyes were somewhat blank. At first, Frisk felt fear but they quickly learned that when he was  like that he would become...nicer, easier going, more open and it seemed to be his usual state. They also learned that he would talk in hands rather tan speak. However sometimes, like their first encounter, Gaster would be more composed, the cracks mere hairline fractures, and his eyes light up with twin piercing pupils ignited with boundless intelligence. When they met he would increasingly question them about their SOUL, how their FIGHTS went and what their LV which made Frisk uncomfortable. But, sometimes Frisk would say or do things which earned them a small smile, filling them with intense satisfaction. Gaster never revealed anything about themselves and they could never tell if they actually meant anything to him...but Frisk felt like they could feel themselves getting closer.

"Yes...Yes. Perhaps this is the answer." Gaster was muttering and looking over Frisk like they were a problem he couldn't quite figure out. He had  seen the raw determination the kids possessed and at times their soul flash a blinding red. They seemed unaware of what they were doing, having immense energy without effort. Gaster was getting ideas... This was his chance out of this everlasting hell he got himself into. His thoughts were in a tornado of ideas. He could do this. With this, he would be whole. He looked down snapped out of his thoughts by a tug on his black coat.

Frisk was eyeing the skeleton as he looked them over with sharp scrutinizing eyes. They wriggled uncomfortably under the intense attention. He seemed lost in thought. Chara  began to speak up *Frisk you should get out of her now....I don't like this Gaster* Frisk cocked their head questioningly. Chara usually said this when Gaster was in this form. They could feel Chara's emotions...they were jumbled and mixed together but what they felt the most...was it fear? It was true Gaster was a little strange like this but, they didn't feel scared, just nervous. If they waited long enough the friendly Gaster would come back.

Shaking their head Chara became increasingly worried, Frisk was getting stubborn. They weren't going to back down from this. Frisk looked up to see him absentmindedly wringing his hands like they hurt. They waved to get his attention but he looked through them like they were invisible. Frisk felt a twinge in their heart but tugged on his coat to get his attention. "Hmm?" he questioned briskly at the small child. They were gesturing to his hands and making the sign of pain. He looked at his hands seeing the familiar circles. The child was worried about him. Can I do this....Can I use this child for my own personal gain? It won't be like the others...this wouldn't help the people.

Suddenly he was struck with intense pain, his body hitching forward. He grabbed his chest the few fragments left of his SOUL softly glowing. Frisk became frantic grabbing hold of his cloak once more. They could see it; his SOUL, it was almost nonexistent. Like the tiniest touch would send it to nothing. This was the only part Frisk didn't like when meeting the other Gaster he would disappear when this happened, but not this time.

Gaster was grabbing his chest, twisting his shirt in anguish. He was tired of this...THIS PAIN! Irritation rose as he felt tiny hands tugged the bottom of his coat. Frisk was trying to drag them someplace but, he refused to budge. Suddenly a hand reached out and shoved them to the ground. They looked up to see Gaster pain and annoyance evident on his face. He cursed looking down to see his form slipping again. He was going to lose it when the solution was so close. Melting into that other form. His face twisted in disgust, like that his thoughts were in a fog and he could barely remember his actions. If there was anything he couldn't stand it was losing control, being unable to KNOW what was going on. He clenched his fist, just a single strike...Chara stirred anxiously.

Frisk couldn't see it but, Chara could, the look in his eye. They had seen it before developing in Asriel...slowly...so painfully slow.  Slipping away into something....something, not Asriel: crueler, darker, desperate.  *Frisk, get away...Gaster...he...he's lost everything....Someone like that can't be trusted* Chara had felt it too, before Frisk, the intense pain, the fear. They had scared themselves with the actions they took....in hope of becoming better. Their warning was falling on deaf ears. To Frisk, it seemed like even more of a reason to stick around. They knew what it was like to have nothing, and what they longed for at the time was for someone to hold their hand and tell them that they would be alright...that they would deal with whatever came at them together. Gaster was reaching a hand out towards them, Frisk reached for it, but their body became stiff right before their hands touched as Chara burst *YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HIM! FRISK GO PLEASE!... Can't you see it?!?!* Chara was starting to get irritated. They didn't want to look at him anymore. They weren't going to do this...and he wasn't going to touch 'em...not Frisk.

 Frisk jolted at the waves of emotion pouring from Chara. They wanted to listen to them. They really didn't want to hurt anybody but, they couldn't just walk away. Frisk may not know Gaster personally but, you don't need to know someone to want to help.

 Their hopeful disposition melted into fear as their soul was pulled into a battle. Chara grimly stated *"Gaster attacks....and he want's your SOUL..."*