Under Lost / Lostale
Summary: Somehow, your soul has wandered into the Undertale universe; it probably happened when you lost your grip on life. Now you're stuck in a land of monsters, trapped by a magic barrier and unending time loops.
Completely lacking in Determination, what can you even do? You know a lot about this world, but not everything – or even most things, especially now that you're outside the game's constraints. Unable to save, load, or reset – these abilities still remain with Flowey – but still taking the place of the seventh human soul… is there something you can do?
Warning: Major Character Death
Trigger Warnings: Depression, Suicide, Assisted Suicide, Breakdowns, Panic Attacks, Angst, Hurt and Comfort, Hurt without Comfort, But Only in Some Timelines
Tags: (Debatable) Happy Ending, Good Ending, Bad Ending, Time Shenanigans, Happy Goat Kid, Reader Insert, Reader is Not Frisk, Reader is Depressed, Depression, Not a Reliable Depiction of Depression, Suicidal Thoughts, (I think?), Reader Thinks a Lot, Sometimes This is a Good Thing, Sometimes This is a Bad Thing, Reader does not know how to Person Well, Pacifist Run, Major Spoilers for All Runs, Big Plans Slow Updates, Inconsistent Tone, Humor, Bad Puns, Are There Any Good Puns?
Chapter 1 – The First Descent
You were lying down, fading in and out of consciousness, when you suddenly realized that the world had changed. The numbing fog faded slightly as you tried to figure out what it was – what had just pulled you out of your fugue. You could remember lying in your bed, darkness – dark, darker, and even darker blackness – and someone's laughter… You didn't really care, though. You just wanted to go back to oblivion, let yourself fade away…
You sat up; you stood up. You couldn't keep lying down – something was calling out to you. Your ears were ringing from the silence as you shambled forwards, not really looking around. This wasn't your room, nor did it even look like a room at all. You stopped just before you stepped on some grass.
In confusion, you looked down and stared blankly at the greenery. What was grass doing in front of you? You hadn't been outside to see grass since… since…
"Howdy!" You want to snap your head up to see who's talking, but you can't bring yourself to muster the energy. Instead, you keep staring at the grass… and the weird yellow flower that popped up out of it. Huh. That's enough to stir your interest despite yourself, and you focus on the oddity.
"My name's Flowey. Flowey the Flower!" Flowey's head bobbed on his stem as he talked, and a giant grin spread across his yellow face. You stare blankly for a moment, before you realize why you aren't surprised. You used to play a video game with a Flowey in it. You remember liking the game; you remember loving it and going over everything about it you could find. You could remember reading stories, imagining stories, imagining yourself suddenly in this world…
But right now, you couldn't muster up the energy to care. "Hi, Flowey," you mutter tonelessly. It was an automatic response, and it was easier to say it than to ignore it.
The flower gazed at you for several long seconds, probably analyzing you and trying to predict how you'd act. You didn't really know how you'd continue reacting – if you'd continue reacting before retreating back into yourself – so you wished him luck. "Golly, aren't you polite! You sure seem pretty tired…" You shrug; it's true. About all you can feel now is how exhausted you are, mentally and emotionally. "Well, I can help you go to sleep!"
Your lips twitch upwards slightly as you guess at what he actually means. He's probably going to send you off into eternal sleep. You think about running away, distracting him by talking, dodging when he attacks… doing nothing and letting him kill you. That…sounds kind of nice, actually. Maybe you should let him help you?
Flowey sways happily on his stem, apparently not too put out about not getting a response. "That sure looks like a yes to me! Here, let me show you a neat trick first!" Your heart beats faster in anticipation as Flowey pulls it from your chest. You can't help but to look, but to see what you are. You've always wanted to know what your SOUL color would be.
Helpless laughter spilled from you, unbidden and without thought, as you finally get your answer. Grey – your SOUL was grey, pale and washed out. Any color that might have stained it had been drained almost entirely away. If you look closer, you can see a faint hint of a hue – maybe blue, or possibly green, or even purple. It's too pale to see; it might as well be yellow for all you can tell.
Flowey echoes your laughter with his own hollow giggles. "Wow, your SOUL is so weak! You see that heart?" He nods at your heart, and you give a helpless nod of your own, still chuckling mirthlessly. "That's your SOUL, the very culmination of your being!"
"I guess it's the soul factor of who I am?" you ask, and a wry grin slipped on your face. Huh. You felt more alive now than you had in what felt like a very long time. You even felt alive enough to try and make bad puns.
The flowers wide grin twitched and faded slightly. It looks like he doesn't appreciate puns very much. "You're pretty weak right now, but…" he trailed off in a teasing singsong. You just waited for him to continue, shifting your weight to the other foot. "It can grow stronger if you gain a lot of LV!"
You felt yourself becoming more alive as Flowey's dialogue kept pulling memories of the game more and more into the forefront of your mind, shielding you from what you were avoiding. "What's El Vee? Lotsa' 'vigoration? Love values? Level? Lovely Violets?" You ask almost playfully, curious to see if the flower would get the same irritated twitch as earlier. It was interesting to see the soulless flower reacting so emotionally.
The twitch you saw earlier did, in fact, return as Flowey struggled to keep playing nice. "Why, no, silly! LV stands for LOVE, of course!" You nod faux-sagely, humor draining away. You wonder if you have any LOVE in your heart. "Hey, don't worry! I'll share some with you, and then you'll have a nice deep sleep!"
Flowey winked, and the air around him sparkled. You…weren't too sure about letting him kill you anymore. You kind of wanted to see what the Underground was like. Huh – you were wanting things again, more than –
You shook your head vigorously, your most energetic motion so far. No, that was why you couldn't stay awake, stay aware. You took a step back and watched your Soul follow along simultaneously. You were stepping away from the thoughts like you always did, avoiding reality and the truth.
The being watching you saw your denial and retreat. "Aw, come on, friend! LOVE is nice, and helps you not feel so broken inside!" You wonder how high his LV is. "Look – down here, LOVE is shared through… Little white… Friendliness pellets!" White bullets spun around Flowey, and you were surprised by how small they were. Then again, when you compared them to the size of actual bullets… they were pretty large in comparison, weren't they? "Don't they look nice and friendly?" You wanted to laugh at how hard Flowey was trying to appear 'nice and friendly' – yet still managing to fail.
Instead, you took a step closer to the flower, watching your heart move closer to the magical projectiles. You weren't sure what you wanted to do, yet. Dodge or wait? Live or die? …did it even matter? You pulled back, frowning, as you realized that you were caught in an area that was trapped within an eternal time loop. Did Flowey or Frisk hold the power to Save and Reset? If you died… would you wake up with your memories intact whenever they wound time back?
Flowey didn't care about your hesitation. "Are you ready?" His chirpy voice called out as the bullets spun. "Move around! Get as many as you can!" The 'friendliness pellets' all homed in on you and flew forward, slowly enough that you didn't instinctively flinch back. You waited as they grew closer, and closer… before stepping to the side and watching them fly past. They disappeared before they got too far away from Flowey, but you were busy watching Flowey's reaction.
His grin slipped slightly, but stayed on by sheer determination. It looked strained and obviously forced, and probably wouldn't have convinced anybody even if they didn't know what was actually going on. "Hey buddy, you missed them." You shrug at him in an almost apology, and he was quick to begin smiling easily once more. "Let's try again, okay?" This time the bullets formed and shot at you much more quickly, but it was still easy to dodge them.
Flowey wasn't bothering to try to smile anymore. His little face made no effort to hide the anger and irritation he felt at your repeated thwarting of his attempts to kill you. You doubted he was really trying all that hard, but it probably was annoying to just have someone ignore you like you were ignoring him. You wondered how often Flowey was overlooked, how much time he actually spent in anyone's presence. People would go mad in isolation, wouldn't they? Papyrus was his friend, as much as an energetic skeleton could be to a soulless flower, but you didn't think Flowey talked to people all that much.
…No wonder his acting and conversational skills sucked. "Is this a joke?" he demanded. "Are you braindead?" You shrugged again in response and he looked furious. "RUN. INTO. THE. BULLETS!" You couldn't help but smile as he instantly tried to correct himself, pasting on a friendly face and almost speaking over himself, "Friendliness pellets."
You gave him a 'B' for effort, an 'F' for sincerity, and an overall failing grade in accuracy as you dodged the rapidly spinning bullets. You were glad you didn't let him hit you right away; this was too good to miss. A sudden chill filled the air, and you watched the flower child's face transform. The friendly smile and cheerful eyes were replaced by a fanged gash and hollow emptiness. His voice echoed as he spoke, low pitched and menacing. Your amusement and lingering numbness turned into instinctual fear as your body began shrieking warning signs at you. Oh.
"YoU knOW WhaT'S gOIng oN HErE, DOn't yOU?" You shuddered as his voice split as he spoke. You took several steps blindly backward, heart pulsing furiously outside your chest. "YOu jUst WAntEd tO SeE ME sUFfer." Flowey cut off your escape was with a ring of bullets that blazed into existence around you, a circle surrounding you at waist height.
As spine-chilling laughter echoed in the cave, you frantically ducked and tried to dart under the bullets. You skidded to a halt as they copied you, dropping so that you couldn't have avoided them. You didn't know why you were trying so hard, why you were avoiding the bullets, but… you didn't want to die.
You frantically backed into the middle of the circle as the bullets moved closer, slow in Flowey's security of his victory. You wanted to scream out for help, to cry out in denial, the hide your rapidly-beating heart before you had a heart attack… so you did. "Help," came out as a whisper, rasping up your dry throat. "HELP!" You screamed out in terror, wanting someone to save you, wanting someone to come and make everything better, wanting someone –
Someone came. Heat blazed through the air as a fireball slammed into Flowey's face. He let out a shriek as he the force flung him away, his magic bullets disappearing as he his concentration was shattered. You stared in stunned silence, your throat stinging as you watched the singed plant pull itself underground. A large white monster strode forward, the fire cradled in her palm slowly fading into smoke. It was Toriel.
She watched Flowey disappear before she let the fire fully dissipate, turning away with a sigh. "What a miserable creature, torturing such a poor, innocent youth." Why was she calling you an innocent youth? She should be able to see that you aren't. The fuzzy maternal monster turned away from Flowey's disappearance and towards you, a kind smile on her face. "Ah, do not be afraid! I am Toriel, caretaker of the Ruins."
She didn't have to worry; you weren't afraid anymore. She didn't have to introduce herself either; you already knew who she was. You show that lack of fear and the decent grip on manners that you still manage to maintain by stepping forward, offering her a hand for a handshake. Your pathetic looking excuse for a heart came forward with you, and you saw Toriel's eyes focus on it. You stepped back, outstretched hand coming back to cover your exposed heart as you watched an expression of sadness cross her face. You didn't want to introduce yourself anymore.
You didn't want to say your name. You weren't going to say your name unless someone asked… and they wouldn't.
Toriel began talking again, and both of you pretended not to notice the enormous social gaff you'd just made. "I pass through this place every day to see if anyone has fallen down. You are the first human to come here in a long time. Come!" she called, and gestured you forwards. "I will guide you through the catacombs."
Your soul throbbed once more before sliding back into your chest, Toriel turning and walking away in the same heartbeat. You wondered what would happen if you didn't follow her. Would she wait for you? Would she head home without you? She had saved you earlier, but would she continue to save you when all you did was –
"Thank you," you croak out as you stumble forward. She had saved you, after all. Even if you weren't sure whether or not you wanted to thank her for that, you appreciated the effort she had showed. You pulled back in alarm as she abruptly turned towards you, concern on her face.
"Is your throat injured?" she asked as she stepped forward. You didn't say anything, just looking up into her face as she approached. What would she do? You closed your eyes when she lifted a hand – the same one that had burned her former child – towards you. You braced yourself for anything, but still flinched slightly when her soft paw cupped over your throat. The scratchiness inside faded slightly as your skin warmed, a soft glow managing to shine through despite your closed eyes.
This must be healing magic. It felt…kind, like someone asking how your day went, like someone making you a homemade meal, like someone drawing you into a hug, like someone telling you everything would be okay, like someone listening to your fears, like someone wiping away your tears…
You didn't realize you were crying until the same warmth touched your face, wiping under your eyes and leaving wet cheeks behind. You refused to open your eyes, instead turning your face down. You felt wetness drip from your chin before Toriel placed a hand there, gently applying pressure until you lifted your face, eyes grudgingly sliding open. You saw a smile, gentle and worn, and warm eyes, crinkled and lined with stress and happiness.
You didn't want to see this; you didn't want to feel this. The feelings Toriel was inspiring within you were a lie. You didn't want to raise a hand to clutch at the one holding you steady. You didn't want to lean into the comfort she was offering. You didn't want to sag into her as she enveloped you in a hug. You didn't want to collapse into her arms, sobbing. You didn't want to remember your past.
…But you did.
So, um, hi. If you've made it this far, thank you. I have several Undertale stories I'm trying to write - I've got over 50 pages all told if you cobble them all together - but this is the first one I'm willing to post, because this is the first one I can promise a second chapter for. I've technically already got it written, so that should go up in a few more days. I come back to write this story whenever my heart feels heavy and lost, so... I'll probably be visiting this story a lot! ^_^ Ahaha... ha... um... at least my mental state is better than what's depicted above?
I decided before, that I'd only be willing to do to my characters what I'm willing to do to myself. Thus, the backstory for this character isn't very happy… but I'm not sure if that'll ever be shown in anything other than oblique hints and references. It's not exactly set on how what happened, happened; only that it did.
Also, in my reviews to other Reader-Insert Stories, I'm not sure how to address the main character, so... You readers can refer to them as you as well, whether that 'you' means me or you. Does that make sense to you? Ahaha...sorry. I imagine myself in place of the 'you', and I encourage you to do so too - as long as that won't upset your mental state, sorry.
...I should probably shut up now, huh?