I do not own Undertale. Toby Fox does.

Thanks to R. Moonstalker for editing.

Chapter published 9/4/16.


Frisk

Frisk was twelve years old when he first climbed Mount Ebott on a dare. It was hard and rough, and he'd spent what money he had on the gear and supplies. But he reached the top and was rewarded with a vast view of the countryside. On the return trip, he'd even found a cavern he'd missed on the way up. He went inside to look around, but other than a circular indentation there was nothing of interest. So without incident he went back home to the orphanage. Everyone was shocked; they were so sure he'd be lost forever. He of course got in trouble but everyone was just relieved he was fine.

It was a single day after that the monsters returned.

Frisk had a hard time imagining he'd been standing above the underground cavern hours ago. The magical seal that had kept the monsters buried also prevented any seismic detection of the cavern system, so nobody had any idea what was there. The monsters' king, a gigantic wall of muscle by the name of Asgore, led the way proudly but in confusion, saying on public television he himself had no idea what had shattered the barrier.

But Asgore was far less cruel than his intimidating stature and the 'gore' in his name implied. He sweet-talked all of the Conjoined Nations into accepting the monsters as they were, to work towards a world where it was not 'humans' and 'monsters', but just the people of Earth. Frisk was caught staying up late, listening to his deep, thrumming voice, more than once.

The Conjoined Nations were hesitant to accept, but despite their soul-stealing powers the monsters all conducted themselves in a surprisingly polite fashion, so the peace treaty was -

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- the Conjoined Nations were hesitant to accept, and their fears proved well founded when a gruesome monster with power beyond imagining rose from the monsters' ranks. It was powerful beyond reckoning, like an angel and a demon rolled into one, with arching horns and iridescent wings. Frisk sat huddled in a shelter, watching on grainy television as the monster casually ate atom bombs, effortlessly vaporized entire cities, and even though the monsters were also trying to fight the angel, it was no use. Then the day came when the cruel monster set Frisk's town in his sights.

But Frisk wasn't going to just go down without trying. Fighting didn't work on this monster, that much was obvious. So the only thing left were his words.

He stood, alone, in the town square, three years after the monsters returned. Ebott Town was a ghost town, and the maps all indicated this 'Asriel' was on his way to his town.

Frisk stood in the center, scanning the skies. Sure enough, there he was, a rainbow light against the stormy clouds.

Asriel was even more twisted and ferocious in person. His fangs were sharper than knives and the floating, magically scarred hands had talons the size of shortswords. The wings didn't even flap, they just stayed rigid and shifted between all the colors of the rainbow, patterned like a circuit board.

"HEY!" Frisk shouted, pointing up at Asriel. But the monster didn't appear to hear him. Frisk's heart hammered in his chest, faster and faster. This couldn't be happening.

Asriel raised his hands, a ball of blinding sunlight forming between them.

His heart leaped into his throat and he shouted again, but the sound was swallowed up by the roar of rainbow light, cascading down and engulfing his entire village. There was a single flash of unimaginable pain. His clothes burned and his flesh turned to ash -

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"HEY!" Frisk shouted, pointing up at Asriel. The monster descended in a smooth motion, and came to hover before Frisk, inverted eyes staring at him hungrily.

"And who are you?" Asriel asked mockingly. "Who are you to so brazenly catch my attention? What's so special about you, Chara?"

Chara? Frisk imagined it was some monster insult, so he ground his teeth and straightened his back, ignoring his impulse to run and hide. He was determined to talk Asriel down. "Why are you doing this? We never did anything to you! The humans who imprisoned your kind died long ago, right?"

"Oh, thousands of years ago." Asriel waved a hand dismissively, and Frisk felt his eyes being drawn to the orb that took the place of Asriel's chest. "I'm just doing this because I feel like it."

"And what are you going to do after?" he challenged. "When everyone is dead what then?" He quieted down. "Aren't you going to be lonely?"

Asriel threw his head back and laughed like a cartoon villain. Was it intentional? "Ura ha ha, of course I'm not! Not with you here, best friend!"

Frisk's hackles rose. His best friend. His best friend?! This mass murderer, this omnicidal maniac, dared claim Frisk to be his friend?

"I'm not your friend," he challenged hotly, balling his fists. He knew it was futile to try punching; even nukes didn't phase Asriel. But he had to try. He ran forward and jumped. Asriel's eyes blinked in surprise, like he hadn't expected this 'puny human child' to try, and then Frisk's hand connected with a face that felt like a brick wall, and rainbow light exploded over him -

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- and then Frisk's hand connected with a face that felt like a brick wall, and razor sharp claws impaled him through his torso -

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- and then Frisk's hand connected with a face that felt like a brick wall, and lightning came down from the heavens to skewer him from head to toe -

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- and then Frisk's hand connected with nothing but air because Asriel was just gone, and moments later a three dimensional star crashed down and turned him into a crater -

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- and then Frisk was dangling by his arm. Asriel had caught him with one hand and held him in the air. "Golly," the monster mused. "That was a rush."

"Let me go!" he grunted, swinging himself about in a vain attempt to escape a grip that could lift mountains. "Just stop this! There's nothing waiting for you at the end of this road - "

"Oh, I know," Asriel admitted. He brought Frisk face to face with him. "But the thing is? I'm a time traveler. See you soon."

Frisk's jaw dropped. "Wait, time traveler - " The world erupted into light.

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"Oh, thousands of years ago." Asriel waved a hand dismissively, and Frisk felt his eyes being drawn to the orb that took the place of Asriel's chest. "I'm just doing this because I feel like it."

"And what are you going to do after?" he challenged. "When everyone is dead what then?" He quieted down. "Aren't you going to be lonely?"

Asriel glared at him and sighed, looking down. "I don't know. I suppose. I mean, look at how powerful I am!" He threw his hands to the side. "If I had wanted to, I could have crushed this world ages ago! Maybe I'll just find another world."

"What if you can't?" Frisk challenged. "Can you really risk it all on a gamble?"

They spoke back and forth. Frisk's heart hammered and sweat beaded on his face, but he was actually doing it. Slowly, Asriel's expression began to shatter, and eventually the monster said, "You're right. You're right. I'll just make myself scarce." Then, without flash of light, or fading, or a rush of moving air, Asriel was just gone.

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" - I'll just make myself scarce." With a blinding flash of light and the roar of a tornado, Asriel engulfed himself in light. Frisk briefly feared for his life, but when the cacophony died down the monstrous monster was nowhere to be found.

He... he actually did it!

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- Frisk sat huddled in a shelter, watching on grainy television as the monster battled the defenders of the world. Even the other monsters had banded together under King Asgore, aiding the human forces -

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- under King Asgore and Queen Toriel, aiding the human forces in pouring fire and fury onto Asriel. Magic cooled weapons and prevented overheating. Tank shells fired. Atom bombs, at a safe distance, fell. The battle raged and raged, and Frisk watched along with the other orphans as the brave defenders of the world attacked Asriel from all directions. Slowly, the seemingly invincible monster weakened and fell to the ground, wings dark and magical pulses quiet.

Asriel was in a crater, fallen onto his front. Asgore and Toriel approached, grimly, and with a heave of effort Asriel pushed himself up, staring at his parents. "Mom?" he asked weakly. "Dad?" Everyone gasped. Frisk gasped. The monster couple gasped. The others around him gasped. Some conspiracy websites had predicted this, but to see it confirmed firsthand! But how could cruel, spiteful, sadistic Asriel possibly be related to motherly Toriel and gentle Asgore?

But there it was. The monsters were proving it. They rushed forward and wrapped their arms around Asriel, who hugged them back and sobbed, while the cameraman backed away to give the family privacy -

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- and wrapped their arms around Asriel. Suddenly they were thrown back and Asriel floated in the sky, fully restored. "Not for real," he said smugly. And then the camera feed died and the earth beneath Frisk's feet split apart, blinding light shining through the cracks and incinerating the entire planet -

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- to give the family privacy.

Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. Asriel had vanished after the touching scene. Some thought him dead. Others thought him imprisoned, or reformed, in hiding, or even in exile. The important thing was that they were safe, and while anti-monster sentiment was at an all time high, with even, God forbid, lynchings of some of the scarier monsters, Asgore and Toriel were working hard to improve relations. What mattered most to Frisk was that he could live a full life now, not live in fear of being vaporized at any second to a deranged monster creature.

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Frisk was twelve years old when he first climbed Mount Ebott on a dare. It was hard and rough, and he'd spent what money he had on the gear and supplies. But he reached the top and was rewarded with a vast view of the countryside. On the return trip, he'd even found a cavern he'd missed on the way up. He went inside to look around, but other than a circular indentation there was nothing of interest. So without incident he went back home to the orphanage. Everyone was shocked; they were so sure he'd be lost forever. He of course got in trouble but everyone was just relieved he was fine.

It was a single day after that the monsters returned.

Frisk had a hard time imagining he'd been standing above the underground cavern hours ago. The magical seal that had kept the monsters buried also prevented any seismic detection of the cavern system, so nobody had any idea what was there. The monsters' king, a gigantic wall of muscle by the name of Asgore, led the way proudly but in confusion, saying on public television he himself had no idea what had shattered the barrier.

But Asgore was far less cruel than his intimidating stature and the 'gore' in his name implied. He sweet-talked all of the Conjoined Nations into accepting the monsters as they were, to work towards a world where it was not 'humans' and 'monsters', but just the people of Earth. Frisk was caught staying up late, listening to his deep, thrumming voice, more than once.

The Conjoined Nations were hesitant to accept, but despite their soul-stealing powers the monsters all conducted themselves in a surprisingly polite fashion, so the peace treaty was signed without incident. There was some racism - specism? - to overcome, but nothing too hard.

One day, Frisk found himself in the park, alone. While climbing a tree, he heard something down below. He took a moment to balance himself on a tree branch and looked down.

It was, on first glance, a goat. Then it was a goat monster. Then he realized it was a boss monster, like King Asgore. But this was a kid. He had no horns, and instead the fur on his head stood up in perpetual bedhead. The kid wore black pants and a green/yellow striped shirt. He stared down at the monster, and the monster stared back at him.

He decided to be friendly and wave. The monster looked terrified. "Hey there! You new in town?" Wow Frisk way to go of course he's new in town his people have been imprisoned underground for hundreds of years and the first thing you ask is if he's new in town!

"Um, I am!" the monster said. "Um, howdy uh, my name's Asriel. Can I join you?"

"Sure! Plenty of space up here. Name's Frisk, by the way."

"Thanks. Hmm, gosh this looks hard. Maybe if I... " It took some time, but Asriel climbed his way up. Frisk would have thought the claws on his fingers would've helped, but apparently they were filed down. Once he was high enough, Frisk stuck out his hand and helped the monster to a sturdy branch.

The hand was nothing like he'd expected, either. He'd heard the monsters were all just made of dust and magic, given animation by their souls. Frisk thought Asriel would've been cold and clammy, but he was warm, the pads on his hands were rough, and the fur tickled. He was like any living creature.

"Thanks," Asriel said. "So, what brings you out here, Chara?"

Chara? "Name's Frisk," he repeated, but the way Asriel kept staring at him suggested the monster didn't hear. "Just figured I could brush up on my climbing. Plus, I only just convinced the matrons to let me play outside. Ever since I, well you know, climbed the mountain."

Asriel's eyes widened. "Golly, you mean the big mountain up there? You climbed it?"

He nodded proudly. "All by myself! So, what brings you to the park?"

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"Ever since I, well you know, climbed the - WHOA!"

Asriel pushed him.

Frisk hit a few branches on the way down, cutting him open, and then he was eating dirt. He groaned, but was already pushing himself up.

He looked up. "What was that for?!" he shouted, pissed off. He hadn't done anything! "What's your problem, huh?"

Asriel grinned, and suddenly his stubby fangs were a whole lot sharper, he was a lot taller, everything about him changed until he was looking at a fully-grown boss monster. "No problem at all, Chara." Then a sword appeared in Asriel's right hand flew at Frisk. He tried to move, but the sword was so fast and he swore it followed him. It pierced cleanly through his heart and impaled the ground, keeping him in place. He tugged on the hilt weakly, trying to pull it out, but slid down anyway, his vision going dark while Asriel just laughed and laughed...

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"All by myself! So, what brings you to the park?"

"Well, I just figured it'd be nice to look around," Asriel said softly, suddenly looking a lot more relaxed than earlier. There was a knowing twinkle in his eyes. "We've been underground for a long time, and it's been a while since I last saw the surface." He winked. "As in, never before in my life."

Frisk shrugged. "I guess if you didn't grow up with it, it'd look pretty great. But uh, we've got our own problems."

"Gosh, I know," Asriel said. "Everyone does. Still a step up though, I think. The sunlight is so warm, the air is so fresh." He sighed contently. "It has been far too long." Asriel patted the tree branch. "So I was thinking, are you doing anything later today?" Asriel asked.

And that was how he and Asriel became fast friends. They hung out at school once they integrated, they played tag and pretend, and had sleepovers in Asriel's house, under the watchful eyes of King Asgore. It was a little weird to be friends with a prince -

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- watchful eyes of King Asgore and Queen Toriel. It was a little weird to be friends with a prince, but he did learn some fascinating things. Apparently the monsters had had a plan to escape the underground. Asriel swore him to secrecy, but his father had been reaping the souls of humans that fell into the underground so as to use their souls to liberate monsters. It was why Toriel had left him. They'd gathered six, but then somehow, mysteriously, the barrier had shattered all on its own and the souls were released to the afterlife.

Time passed. They went to school. Frisk had a few flings with various girlfriends, Asriel remained quiet and subdued -

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- Asriel was loud and boisterous, surrounding himself in a ring of friends of all races, dazzling them with his magic -

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- Asriel remained quiet and subdued, always urging Frisk to abandon some foolhardy task before he got in trouble. Of course, there was his curious habit of always calling him 'Chara' when nobody was around. Frisk never asked about that.

Eventually, years passed and they grew up. Asriel and Frisk both went to pursue their own careers, but they kept in touch for many decades afterward, visiting on the holidays, ribbing each other, just generally being great friends -

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Frisk was twelve years old when he first climbed Mount Ebott on a dare. It was hard and rough, and he'd spent what money he had on the gear and supplies. But he reached the top and was rewarded with a vast view of the countryside. On the return trip, he'd even found a cavern he'd missed on the way up. He went inside to look around, and found something interesting.

A hole in the ground. Smooth and circular, with all sorts of vines and moss around its edge. Frisk crept up to it, using the stick he'd found on his hike to help him traverse the bumpy ground. Once there he stuck his head over and peered inside.

Weird. There was a bed of golden flowers at the bottom. Around it were crumbled pillars, vines, and grass. Near the top of the cavern there was something white, like dense fog. Did anyone even know of this? He imagined that if Ebott Town knew, they would've put guardrails up. He'd better get back and tell someone. Frisk stood up.

The moment he did, his weight caused the ground beneath him to collapse and before he knew it, he was falling. The white fog seemed to grab onto him, like he was passing through a film of bubbles, but then he was through and he resumed falling normally.

So, this was how he was going to die.

THUD!

Blinding pain engulfed Frisk's being, but it wasn't nearly as bad as he'd feared. He certainly didn't feel dead. Frisk blinked. There was the cavern ceiling, far above him. The white fog shimmered about, making it nearly impossible to see where he'd fallen in. Vines spiraled up the walls, flitting in and out of cracks in the cave.

"Ow," he wheezed. The flowers and the white whatever-it-is had helped cushion his fall, but ow.

'Wha?! Huh? A human? WHAT?!' a girl's voice shouted in his head, loud enough to make him jump.

Now that he was up, it was easier to stay up. Frisk looked around wildly. "Hello? Anyone there? Are you hurt?" he asked. But the voice didn't appear again. Eventually he frowned. "Must've been my imagination."

It occurred to Frisk that if he didn't get out of this cave, there was a very good chance he'd starve to death. Well, that wasn't happen. He rolled his shoulders and began looking for a way out. The cave didn't have any stairs up, but there was a tunnel leading elsewhere. Sunlight only shone onto the flowers, but despite that an eerie light filled the air.

Was this... magic? Frisk began connecting the dots in his mind. Cavern underground... strange light that tried to cushion his fall... magical lighting... pillars. He gasped. Could this be where the monsters were sealed away? But... that was just a legend, right?

Of course, it would explain everything... no. There had to be a reasonable explanation.

Frisk set off into the cavern, using his stick to support himself now and then because his back still hurt. Eventually he reached a massive doorway. He gulped. It was large and purple, with a strange triangular symbol above it. He'd never seen anything like it. The 'monster' theory was growing more probable by the second, but it could just as easily be a lost civilization. That... built inside a mountain and had magic straight out of fiction books. Still, if there were ruins then there'd be a way out into the open air. He stepped in.

The tunnel twisted and turned a bit, but soon it spilled Frisk into another, larger room. It was almost pitch black, but a ray of sunlight shone down from a puny hole to illuminate a patch of grass, and on that patch of grass was something that removed all doubt in the 'monster' theory.

Because it was a monster. It was humanoid and about Frisk's height, covered head to toe in a fine white fur. Goat ears hung from its head on both sides, and it had a snout that ended in two puny fangs and a smile. The monster wore clothing too. Brown pants and a striped green/yellow shirt, but no shoes. Frisk froze on the spot.

'ASRIEL?!' the girl in his head shouted so loud he feared for his eardrums. 'How are you, where's, why is, what's going on?!'

"Um, hi?" Frisk said uneasily. Was this monster going to hurt him?

"Howdy!" the monster chirped. If the voice was any indication, it was a boy. "Golly, I haven't seen a human around these parts in a while!" He walked forward, his padded feet tapping on the ground. "I'm Asriel!" he said, extending a hand.

Tension melting, Frisk smiled and shook it. "Name's Frisk," he greeted, but Asriel just stared through him. "So um... I'm guessing you're a monster!"

"Golly, you catch on quick! But don't worry! I know what the word 'monster' means for humans, but we're all nice!" Asriel rolled his eyes. "Well, most of us. But come on! My mom's a little further back, we'll show you all about the underground!"

And that was how Frisk's adventure in the underground began. He met Asriel's mom, Toriel, a nice lady that he wished he could've grown up with despite her inhuman features. More curious, however, was the girl's voice in his head. She went by the name 'Chara', and in between her scathing remarks about him and his species she was almost as confused as Frisk. Apparently she'd known Asriel and Toriel before dying. And that just raised further questions.

Eventually, Frisk had to leave. He convinced Toriel to let him go, because as much as he wanted to stay with her he had to go home. Everyone would be worried sick about him. Then he met the skeleton brothers Sans and Papyrus and hit it off with them. The warrior Undyne, her friend Alphys, her friend Mettaton, and so many more. But it wasn't without difficulty.

The monsters outside the ruins where Toriel lived were at war with humanity, supposedly. They'd reaped the souls of six humans who'd fallen in the centuries before Frisk's arrival, and with his soul their king would become omnipotent and free them from the underground. Monsters attacked him, exposing his very soul and assaulting him with their magic no matter how much he insisted on not fighting.

The first time he died, he'd been horrified. But then... he just woke up back in time, perfectly fine. He remembered everything, and so did Chara. He didn't understand. Then it happened again. And again and again as he died over and over on his way home. It was chilling to think that with each of those deaths, King Asgore would've gotten his soul and wiped out humanity. But some force... wouldn't let him die. It didn't feel like anything from within himself. He must've had a guardian angel.

He made many friends and spared everyone who tried - and at times even succeeded - in killing him. It was a fantastical journey, and in the end even Chara'd come around to tolerating him.

But it came to pass that in the end, Frisk couldn't not fight. Asgore would not let him. With Chara's own worn dagger in hand he struck the giant boss monster's armor, dodged his flames and trident. He died more times than he could count, but he always came back and in the end, he brought the king of all monsters to within an inch of his life.

Frisk panted, staring at the monster. He was covered in burns and a few cuts where the blood red trident had nicked him, but he was alive and well. Asgore sunk to his knees, and awaited his decision. Frisk's mouth was dry. What could he do? What could he say?

"I... I won't do it," he whispered, dropping his knife. "I don't want to hurt you," he said through tears. "I don't want to hurt anyone! I... I'd rather stay here and wait for the next human."

Asgore looked up at him in awe. "You... would truly rather stay here?" He looked down, face torn into an expression of guilt and relief. "Child, I promise you - "

'Frisk look out!' Chara shouted.

Something lit up the cavern, even brighter than the barrier behind them. Frisk backed away as a colossal rainbow star crashed onto Asgore's injured form. He looked away as a blinding flash tore through the cavern, and when he could look again there was nothing left of King Asgore but a crater. A crater... and a floating white upside-down heart.

His soul. The only thing that could let Frisk leave the underground.

Suddenly his stomach lurched. He had just watched someone die!

Then a lance of rainbow lightning crashed from the skies and speared through Asgore's soul, shattering it. And there, out of thin air appeared... Asriel.

"Golly, Chara!" he chirped, multicolored energy crackling between his fingers. His brown eyes, so warm in the ruins, were now cold and hunting. "You've come such a long way, haven't you? This is normally the place where I'd take the six human souls and turn your world inside out, but... " Asriel looked to the side and sent more bursts of energy out, shattering the six human souls the monsters had gathered. Frisk, still in shock, barely even jerked. "... I've already got enough power."

"Asriel, why did you... ?"

'How could he do that?! That's Dad he just killed!' Chara raged. 'Asriel would never do that, he'd never! I-It's some imposter!' she insisted.

"Well," Asriel continued. "It's been fun resetting in a way you can still remember, but it's time to go back, Chara."

"Wait, my name isn't - "

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Frisk was twelve years old when he first climbed Mount Ebott on a dare. It was hard and rough, and he'd spent what money he had on the gear and supplies. But he reached the top, and was rewarded with a vast view of the countryside. And on the return trip, he'd even found a cavern he'd missed on the way up. He went inside and looked around, but other than a circular indentation there was nothing of interest. So, without incident, he went back home to the orphanage. Everyone was shocked, they were so sure he'd be lost forever. While he got in trouble, everyone was just relieved he was fine.

It was a single day after that that Jim Kringol went missing.

And it was a single day after that that Mount Ebott exploded, releasing the monsters. They were diverse, coming in all shapes and sizes. From moth-like creatures to burning ropes with wide grins, to black slimes to dragons to anthropomorphic lions and so much more. But worst of all was their king, King Asgore Dreemurr.

He stood nearly three feet taller than a grown man, covered in white fur and a golden beard. A tiny crown rested between his gargantuan horns, and his fanged mouth was fixed in a grimace. His armor and cape were immaculate, coming together with a clasp that shone with seven colored bands: teal, orange, two purple, blue, green, and yellow. And Asgore was destroying cities.

Frisk and the other orphans evacuated, but they still got to watch on a screen as King Asgore, with a single swipe of his magical trident/scythe, reduced Ebott Town to ash.

Asgore moved from town to town, city to city, at an incredible rate. He left naught but quick, painless destruction in his wake. Behind him the other monsters started setting up their own towns, spreading out and occupying the lands that had once belonged to humans.

The world's militaries responded harshly, but nothing worked. Asgore was apparently invincible. No bullet, shell, bomb, or chemical weapon could phase him. They could not stop him and they could not contain him. They tried to lure him away by striking the settling monsters, but he was everywhere, teleporting to strike forces and putting them down with ruthless efficiency. There was nowhere for Frisk to run and nowhere for him to hide. No force on the planet could make Asgore flinch. So, it fell to him to try an alternative tactic.

Everyone fled the latest city the refugees had come to, Hierarcion. Everyone but Frisk. He stood in the city square, surrounded by concrete and steel. It was a beautiful day. Birds sung and flowers bloomed. And out of thin air, King Asgore appeared, with his blood red trident held tightly. He was even larger and more imposing in person. Frisk's eyes widened as Asgore lifted his trident in preparation to strike the ground...

"Wait!" he screamed.

Asgore's hands trembled and his breathing went funny for a moment, but he did not wait. The trident came down and a nuclear blast of flame engulfed Frisk's world.

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Frisk was -

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- loved his new school.

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- literally danced between Mettaton's lightning magic -

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- gasped in horror as Toriel turned to dust. No, no, he took it back! He'd never kill again, just take it -

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- new kid on the street, Asriel -

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- kept calling him 'Chara' for some reason -

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- but you're one of the good humans, Frisk,' Chara told him after -

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- old and gray, he looked back on his life with Suzie -

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- with Rachel -

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- torn limb from limb -

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- the only way out was forward -

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- Asriel wanted to show him something by the river -

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Frisk had been friends with Asriel for a while. But it was time to have a talk with him.

Frisk approached the monster on the swing-set as he kicked his padded feet back and forth, barely moving at all. "Hey Azzy, we need to talk," he said, crossing his arms.

"Sure!" the boss monster said, leaping from his swing and landing in the woodchips. "What do you need, Chara?"

"That's exactly it," he said, pointing at Asriel. A few other kids laughed around them, running about the playground. "You keep calling me that. Is it some sort of nickname? A monster thing? I don't get it! I have a name, I've told it to you like a million times!" he said, gesturing wildly in exasperation.

Asriel frowned. "What do you mean? You're Chara," he said, looking Frisk straight in the eye.

"No I'm not. I'm Frisk," he said slowly, as though he was speaking to a baby.

Asriel furrowed his brow. "Chara, this isn't funny - "

"Frisk!" he interrupted. "Frisk! That's my name, Frisk! It always has been! It's never been Chara so stop calling me that!" He didn't like getting angry, but dang it why was Asriel being so difficult? "I don't know who this Chara is, why you think I'm them, but I'm not! I'm Frisk, not Chara, and I never have been!" He got a few looks from the other kids, but he didn't care. He was determined to pound this lesson into Asriel's head. "Asriel, who am I?!"

The furry little monster looked ready to burst into tears. He looked down. "Frisk," he whispered. A sound escaped Asriel's mouth, some cross between bitter laughter and sobbing. A tear traced down his cheek. "Right, that's right. How could I... how could you have let me think that for so long?" Asriel asked, looking up at him with a glare.

Frisk blinked. "Let you think? You're the one who kept calling me that despite ALL the times I corrected you!"

"SHUT UP!" Asriel boomed in a voice much deeper and older than the one he was used to. "I thought you were her! I thought... for so many years and lifetimes and worlds and you're telling me NOW that you're not Chara, Frisk?" Asriel said with an uncharacteristic sneer. Then to Frisk's surprise he started floating, hovering in the air as storm clouds gathered at an alarming rate. The wind picked up and kids started to run for the school. "I wasted decades on you and you're not her! It's just as fine!" he bellowed, raising his hands and wreathing them in rainbows. "I'm sick of YOU anyway!"

Frisk's blood went cold. This wasn't Asriel. Asriel was too quiet and subdued to -

The rainbow came down, cracking the world with rays of blinding light and Frisk was no more.


Asriel

Of course.

How could he have been such an idiot?

Frisk and Chara were nothing alike. Sure they were both humans, and had a similar fashion sense, but that was it. Frisk was too calm and gentle to hurt a fly, where Chara had talked him into - rightly, in retrospect - trying to eradicate humanity so that monsters could inherit the surface. Nothing alike. And he'd let him delude himself into thinking it was Chara there, somehow come back to him after her death. But no. It wasn't Chara. It never had been. All his years of calling out for her as a flower hadn't been rewarded. She'd never come back to him. Chara was still gone, always had been gone, and she was... she was... never coming back.

Asriel floated in the void. Molten rock scattered the abyss from where he'd shattered the planet, sailing away from him. He brought his hands over to his face and raked them down. Frisk fooled him. It didn't matter if it wasn't intentional and it didn't matter he'd been trying to set things right. It never did matter what someone 'intended'. Frisk tricked him and all the 'I didn't mean too' details were useless.

Something in him twisted. Was this... sorrow? No, no. This was anger. That he was familiar with.

He wanted to hurt Frisk. Bring him back and kill him over and over. Bring him back and tear down his life and make him suffer. But Asriel had already done that! Chara would always be able to surprise him, but Frisk wasn't Chara so he was growing dull. But he couldn't just let this go! Frisk needed to pay for what he'd done to Asriel, for his heresy. But how? What could Asriel do to him that he hadn't already? Heck, he'd exhausted a lot of Frisk-murder just as a flower with six souls.

A piece of cooling planetary core tumbled in and out of Asriel's vision.

Wait. Wait, idea! There was one thing he hadn't pushed Frisk into doing, at least that he could think of. He'd done it all the time, near the end of his time as Flowey. Frisk was a loving person by nature. But through all the resets, there was nobody he'd ever love more than his friends in the underground. Asriel was going to make Frisk suffer. He was going to make him cry and die and wish he could stay dead as everything he loved crashed down around him. He'd make sure his resets were 'gentle' enough that Frisk could remember them.

Then, he would reset the world again and move on. Find another toy to focus on and extract all the possibilities from them. In the underground, Asriel's number of routes had been limited. He could only do so much before there was nothing left to do. But free of the underground, with all the billions of humans and thousands of years to watch the world evolve, with his stolen souls granting him boundless memory, he'd never get bored.

Asriel laughed at the possibilities, but then silenced himself and growled.

First, though. Frisk needed to be taught a lesson about mimicking others. A long, dusty, bloody lesson. Especially dusty. Asriel reached back into the past and focused.

Asriel was filled with determination.

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