A/n: Well…here goes the first chapter! Just another build up. I hope you like it! As always, reviews are welcome (and adored) and so is constructive criticism! Stay awesome, I love you guys!
Sans stared at the snow on the ground. For long; too long almost. Blue magic lashing about left eye, flickering out of existence ever so often. How could he have not seen that? Not known about the cruel fate his brother was going to be subject to? How could he have been so distracted? So lost?
He clutched the soft red scarf in his hands, feeling the smooth fabric under his phalanges. He could almost feel the smell of freshly cooked spaghetti waft up his boney nose. Could almost hear the poor flour condiment being stuffed into the metal pan, could almost hear the subtle bubbling of water, could almost hear the brutal smashing of tomatoes, could almost hear the violent stirring, could almost hear his brother's voice calling out for supper…
…could almost hear himself screech in agony inside.
Frisk looked away. Tugging at her stripped sweater and pulling it lower. The atmosphere suddenly felt freezing but at the same time felt scorching, making her skin tingle from the extreme sensations; it was as if someone had plunged her into the subzero waters of Snowdin and then threw her in the Hotlands. Her brown locks veiled her face, her fingers trembling in unvocalised pain and despair. Tears had streaked her light mocha skin, leaving trails of regret and anger behind. She felt pain course down her weak body and flash in her pulse, she had lost someone precious. Someone not close to her heart, but, to her SOUL.
Her eyes had unknowingly drifted away from the grey on the ground and to her mate. He needed comforting, but Frisk knew better. What he needed was some time alone. With a soft pat on his shoulder, she backed off. He did not acknowledge the gesture in the slightest, he just stood there. Unmoving. Frisk deviated her gaze to her feet, her toes squirming in weak virulence in her heavy fur boots. She stood behind Sans; being there for support should he fall.
But he did not fall.
He did not cry.
And that is what troubled Frisk.
Fell Sans cocked his head away. He had seen deaths and had delivered some too –a lot, actually- but seeing his 'brother's' ash on the ground made his hardcore shield flinch a little. A deep-seated feeling of grieve had settled its slithering tentacles on his SOUL, weakening him to the point of actually wishing to comfort his alter-self; for once pulling his shield down…for once…
Undyne breathed. Her scaly fists tightening to contain the cyclone of rage that only seemed to grow stronger the more she looked at her fallen comrade, or whatever had remained of him. Her eyes burned from the tears that had started to blur her vision to a worrisome stage, but she did not mind. She wanted the truth to be blurred, to be distorted so that she did not have to face what lay before her. The reality.
Her mind raced through events, through times she spent with the lanky skeleton. His awful cooking, and his equally awful gullibility. She would have laughed, out loud, without restrain, if it were not for Alphys sobbing into her ashen blouse. Her sadness had started caving into resignation, her strength into weakness and her strive for vengeance into a feeble attempt to keep her body from collapsing. And her feelings too, maybe.
Fell Papyrus stared at the ground. His eyes boring into the snow laden earth as if searching for answers to the mysteries of the world, or maybe to the miseries. He had witnessed his own death. Not like he would have lowered himself to the other skeletons' standards but it was him. It was him on the ground, reduced to an unceremonious pile of soot; it was him who had taken the easily evadable hit for a puny, inconsequential, heedless Froggit. Even so, when his HP was so low that even a fall could surrender him to eternal sleep. What a bonehead, Papyrus would have complained if only his counterpart had not whispered his parting words to all but him.
'Take care of Sans…please…'
Papyrus smiled, his jaw quivering in the rebound of the acceptance of his end.
He whispered. Crumbling to dust soon after.
Fell Papyrus stiffened, his phalanges digging in his lowers as the memory replayed in his head in a turbulent tribulation, which had presently started to shimmer into a dull headache.
Sans had seen his brother die so many times by now that even if he wanted to, he could not summon tears or even a desperate scream. His dreams had tortured him enough, enough for him to regard the reality as another nightmare. Enough for him to just…stay. Stay silent, stoic…unaffected when the nightmares transformed into the unavoidable truth.
The only person to make a move out of the seven was the Doctor.
Gaster scooped up the ashen snow with the benignity of a bishop, the tenderness of a mother and the security of a father. He tied up the leather satchel and had gently begun tucking it in the depths of his dimensionless cape.
Sans spoke, his voice a shrill mix of anger and misery.
Gaster held his gaze. His hands froze in place; not in fear, mind you, but in subtle anger.
He had lost his son.
"give my brother back" Sans stretched his metacarpals out taut, demandingly staring at his father. His simulated emphasis had made Gaster frown; they were a family and Sans seemed to forget that ever so often.
"He is my son also." Gaster declared, moving his lifeless orbs to stare straight into his sons' blank ones. He knew that look.
"give papyrus back."
His son was enraged. His eyes crackling with leashed magic.
He had faced his anger.
And it had never gone well.
Gaster looked at his son, knowing full well of his next move.
Sans' left eye flared to life, roars tearing through the tense air as the Gaster Blasters nipped into existence, their mouths ablaze with lisping tongues of blue magic.
"then…get dunked on." He growled, gesturing his primary phalanges to his victim. Someone was going to have a really bad time.
But before Sans could marvel at his direct hit, a huge flare of energy countered his advancing ones, pushing back the beam of hot plasma into non-existence.
"stop both of ya" A gruff voice interrupted.
Sans' empty glare instantaneously –and albeit dangerously- set on his counterpart's hefty form. His alter-self was no one to meddle in the matters that involved him or his family; or any matters at all. He was an outsider, and had certainly not the same ideas Sans propagated. He was Sans, but sans morality.
"if ya guys start fightin' among yerself, we'll lose more than what we've gained" Fell Sans looked at Gaster, "'nd gaster…keep yer wingy-dingy hollows off pap" He completed, furnishing the Doctor with a hash, hateful glare.
Honesty, Sans just wanted to punch the older mutation into extinction, flinging him away from himself and his brother. But he brushed the thought away, judging a punch to be a shallow wound compared to what he had inflicted on him, on Papyrus...on them.
Gaster held his ground, dismissing the sizzling ball of magic that had hissed in his hand; for his own protection had he summoned it, not to hurt his son. He would never do that; not to his own offspring…not now, at least.
It was true. Gaster had used his sons as rodents in his experiments, exposed their vulnerable monster forms to precarious amounts of Determination, had watched the metal desk rattle voraciously from the struggle of his bound sons, and had heard them call out each others' names in a painfully saccharine tone. He had done them much wrong, and now he wanted forgiveness, he yearned for acceptance and…
Toriel clenched her padded fists, subsequently running them over her silky fur, her eyes trained on the metallic floor of the core. She did not want to answer.
But she did.
"Sans…don't…" her eyes pricked with tears, and her paw shakily placed on the metal door. She could feel Sans' magic swirl, flicker and sink, and then rise again; like the turbulent waves during a sea storm. And if Toriel had not known better of her friend, she would have lowered his mental state to just that-an approaching tempest.
"that's not how you play along." Sans' voice cracked from the other side, his magic flaring intensely.
Toriel stood up slowly, pushing her padded paws against the door for much needed support. She gently touched her furred forehead against the door, relishing in the soft warmth it emanated before proceeding to open the door.
She saw the same grin she was used to seeing. The same mask plastered on his face, the mask of happiness; unaffectedness. She only could wonder how much he had held in, how much he had suffered and most importantly…
for how long.
Toriel wasted no time bend to the short skeleton and pull him in a warm, familial embrace. Tears wet her cheek fur as she felt Sans gently wrap his arms around her back, clutching tenderly at the fabric of her dress.
"i failed papyrus."
"No you did not, Sans. You never did. He loves you and you love him. Papyrus is happy wherever he is now…and he would not like to see you like this. He gave up his life for another, like a true guard. Like a true warrior. Do not disrespect him like this." She stroked his head with her paws, similar to how she would stroke her son or…Chara to sleep, gentle soft brushes along the length of their heads. They always worked.
His breathing softened, as he stayed in the embrace for long, not for too long, however. He pulled away; his smile had washed away, a forlorn expression dominating his ivory contours. He had felt so much better then; his soul had gathered a steady yet lethargic pace and the magic churning inside him had sobered to soft ripples.
"Should not you be with Frisk now…?" Toriel proceeded with modulated caution as her gaze drifted to the side, only to see a very emotionally torn Frisk peeking from behind the wall, her sleeping son strapped to her back protectively. The child was fairly human, his dark brown hair and light blue eyes and childish treble fascinated Toriel, but she had guessed he could wield magic similar to his father's. She had even helped Frisk and Sans pick a name for the child; Roman, they had decided after much deliberation and puns, of course.
She had remembered the soft smile on Frisk's face that day, but now she could only see somber depression painting her visage.
Toriel could tell she was as hurt as Sans. And she had all the right. Papyrus had been with her through all the tough times. He had helped her with the nightmares that claimed her when Sans was busy coping with his own. He had her back when she chose to stay in the Underground and bring Asriel back. He had cried with her in bad times and had laughed with her all the same in the good ones.
Sans hesitated for a moment, "uh...i'll get back to her. i just needed some time alone with my sansational pun buddy, tibia honest." He continued, his voice lingered of unassertiveness, which was quickly replaced with a relaxed laugh.
Toriel smiled softly, "I'm glad you are feeling better."
Pushing his carpals deeper into his hoodie, he turned away and towards Frisk's peeping spot. Making the latter quickly retreat. He had felt her soul resonate with such ferment, so many complex humanly emotions he had yet to decipher were swirling in her soul. He had to talk to her, very soon.
"me too. thanks, tori" he lazily raised his left hand and walked away. His mind seeming to work so much better now. He still felt that gaping hole that his brother's demise had caused in his heart, but instead of giving up this time, he felt like trying again. Only if he could turn back time and prevent all of this…all of the Anomaly...
Suddenly, an idea struck him –it had been a long while since one struck him this intensely-. It was a risk, a humongous one at that, but he was willing to take it. He had to fix the time machine. Go back in time and fix all of it. Prevent all loss.
He just had to go back in time to fix all the mess he could have prevented. It was perfect!
The perfect idea!
Only if he knew... the most perfect of ideas have the most ghastly of repercussions.
Quite so, literally.