Chapter 2

Butterflies

"Nu huh"

The teen narrowed her eyes in distaste as she looked at the dimly lit Ranunculus. Her light brown orbs glistened under the moonlight as she held the flowerpot close to her bosom and tiptoed out of the CORE hallway, which had been recently reduced to a common bedroom for all the refugees. The monsters were huddled close in groups, scanty blankets over their bodies and torn mattresses underneath. Some monsters had even elected to stay up on guard for the nights, switching shifts in the duration. Usually the 'sentries' would be monsters from the Royal Guard, or other stronger monsters from the Underground.

And that was a huge problem for the teen.

"Argh, Flowey." The teen groaned in annoyance, paying great attention to keep her voice barely audible. The last thing she wanted was to wake up her parents or any other monsters that would possible tell on her nightly outings.

"Don't 'argh' me, Helvetica. You know if you break into Gaster's lab right now, there's a good hundred percent chance that you would run into the other Smiley Trashbag. And boy, he does not like us in the least. Especially, me." The flower strained, its petals drooping in exasperation. This girl was unbelievable. In the most literal sense, that too.

" 'Only' you." Helvetica corrected, barely managing to not trip over an outstretched monster limb in the process, "I'm pretty darn sure he'll have no grudge against his counterpart's daughter." Or will he? She had not a shade of an idea.

Continuing on her perilous journey through monster appendages and tattered blankets, she looked straight ahead, realizing the growing heat from the magma that flowed beneath. They were

Close

She tiptoed towards the large metal door.

Closer,

Placing her hand on the said door, she gently pushed it forward, letting the bright orange grace the dark corridor.

Yet closer

To Gaster's lab now. Finally, she would be able to fix everything. She would undo the entire Anomaly. However, she was not so certain she would be able to run the time machine with her limited knowledge, but she had to try. Back in her own universe, the lab was second home to her. She had spent her time studying RESETs, magic and other physical phenomenon, especially time travel. Only so she could fix that broken time machine. She had always wanted to make her father proud, to have him acknowledge her not as his daughter, but as a person of worth. She had wanted for him to pat her on the head, recognizing her merit…for him to let her help him to be happy again.

And that thought did nothing but fill her with DETERMINATION.

And of course, she could always ask her Grandfather for some help. He would not refuse her.

Right?

"Well…The lab should be close now." Helvetica smiled big, looking down at her apathetic flower confidant as she agilely slipped through the CORE doorway; thank stars, only the Doggi were on guard. Those blind, nicotine addict fluff balls could not 'lookout' for their lives. But who was Helvetica to complain? Their presence had only made her elope easier.

'This better be good.' Flowey heaved a mental sigh. Helvetica was Fell Sans and Fell Frisk's daughter. And sadly, had picked up all the traits of the former –much to all three's aversion-. She had retained the human form from her mother however, and almost all of her features except the eyes. And that was the worst part.

She had irises as white as snow, and the fact that they were as big as a doe's was no help either. It clashed with her skin tone so violently that Flowey avoided eye contact at all times. Her eyes were like a dollop of cream…

a dollop of vicious ferocity.

He would not have cared as much if she were just a little gentle on him…or anybody else. She was akin to a messenger from hell, vicious, stubborn and bound to bring destruction to whichever land she treaded.

How Flowey hated her.

"Sans should not be a problem…" Helvetica mused as she waddled through the dirty-orange grounds of the Hotlands. However, on closer inspection, one could see a thin layer of ash veiling the path; strewing the ground with a portentous premonition. Flowey swore he even heard a soft giggle, but dismissed the thought as soon as it entered his mind.

"Yeah, right. He'll tell our Smiley Trashbag and Frisk without a second thought. That would not be a problem to a brat like you, of course. Moreover, what do you plan on doing in the lab anyway?" He snorted, almost casually. He knew Helvetica, too well for his own comfort, and the fact while she did have the DETERMINATION to carry out complex tasks, she did not quite possess the vivacity to physically implement the same. And so, worrying about what work she might have in the lab should be the last of his concern.

He was being flowernapped, for petals' sake!

He was beginning to wonder if the whole 'napping' thing ran in her blood.

Helvetica –on the other hand- stiffened almost immediately, too immediately.

He can't know. He'll try stopping me. I can't stop right now.

Quickening her steps to nervous, childish skips, she moved further away from the core, feeling the blue hue of the CORE leave her back and the bright yellow of MTT resort greet her face. And suddenly she regretted every thought that had led her to that decision.

An uncannily cold wind slapped her face as she pushed the metal doors to the resort's lobby. Cold winds in Hotlands were as abnormal as her father not napping at work. Just to reassure her racing pulse, she blamed it on the air conditioning; monsters had seemed to like the cold much better than the cozy anyhow. Tentatively, she trotted over the dusty carpet on the floor, her eyes trained on the leaking fountain that dripped of not water, but of monster remains.

"Are those claw marks…? I think…something died in here." Flowey started, his petals drooping in unsaid fear. Helvetica, quivered slightly. That awful statement etched into her brain so painfully, playing itself in an unending loop.

Something died in there, and so could they.

Her eyes almost found themselves on the ground, tracing a thin trail of slime to an upturned metal bucket. A sharp chill ran down her spine. What was all this? Her soul felt heavy, as if it had been loaded with a hundred ton weight and her lungs felt heavier; the air was thick, humid and viscous, it was becoming increasingly hard for her to keep breathing. Even her back ached dully, as if someone had been staring at her the whole time.

Bad things had happened there. And Helvetica was not as delusional to think she would not be subject to the same.

"Oi. Flowey…" she scrambled for the right words as she accelerated her pace, "You still have those…uh…friendliness bullets?"

"Pellets." Flowey corrected, pulling his manifested lips down in a frown, "Yes, I still have those. Why do you ask?"

"We might need them if we ever come across the Anomaly."

"Oh fuck no."

Helvetica pouted, poking his prickly stem –also making a mental note to not do it ever again-, "You literally have to protect both of us, or else…" she started rather loudly, her voice depressing into a quite whisper as she went on.

Her eyes sparkled and almost instantly, Flowey regretted his poor choice of words.

"I'll rip you phloem by xylem…and let the Lepidoptera suck on your nectar…agonizingly slowly..."

"Your…knowledge of the plant anatomy…worries me. And its use in highly suggestive statements."

The flower looked away –not wanting to encourage more death threats-, noticing the torn curtains, cracked windowsills, wilting plastic plants and dusty, moth-eaten couches. He could feel the heaviness in the air, the magic. It was riddled with sorcery of such different kinds; Flowey swore some of it was not even the courtesy of monsters, and that only made him want to disappear from the resort as fast as he florally could.

However, soon his worries waned as they stepped back in to the familiar –and comforting- warmth of the Hotlands. The balmy air seeped deep into his epidermis; he was glad that they were out. So glad. Perking up again, he looked beyond the dirty path, looking at the pale orange building that loomed in the distance.

"I want to access Gaster's time machine." Helvetica spoke after a long moment of silence; her voice was flat, differing from her usually animated tone. A soft after tone and clank followed the words, but was inaudible enough to catch the attention of either.

"What?!" The buttercup exclaimed, his eyes widening in surprise and slight cognizance. He was not very fazed, somewhere inside, he had expected her to pull an antic like that, and somewhere...he had wanted her to do it too.

Nah, not really.

Nevertheless, he could pretend to, right? In his defense, it was the last of his faults for being as callous as he was. He could not feel love, and golly, was he glad. Looking at his bare 'partner', he started, unhurried and careful.

"I know what you want to do, 'Vetica-" Since when had he started calling her that? "…Helvetica." He corrected, continuing gravely, "But not only is it life threatening but also has slim chances of success. So, let's go back to the CORE, while you're at it, get me some fresh mud. My roots feel overly stiff."

"Flowey." She pressed, looking at him with those horrible eyes, "I have to do this. I…Papyrus died…someone else could too. And if I do this…" She stopped.

He noticed the irresolution in her gaze and the slight fidget of her hands.

"Kid…"

Silence.

Her breathing quickened, sparks of light blue magic hissed in her palms.

"Kid." He stressed, his non-existence brows corrugating.

Silence.

"I-I think…something's following us." She squeaked, after what seemed like a century, "Please…please don't tell me it's them…" She whimpered softly, clutching the flowerpot close to her chest.

Taking all the burden of the humongous task on his cellular, fictional shoulders, he slowly, very slowly, peered behind the teens' side.

And boy, what he saw was worse than them.

"Oh fuck no."

"Hoi! Flouer!" The little boy giggled, reaching his little, ashen hands at him. He blinked his dark green eyes repeatedly, tilting his small chubby head to the side. He was sitting on the ground, his short legs stretched before him. Flowey could see the green slime wet the knees of his dark brown rompers and the dusty handprints on his white undershirt.

"Roman?!" The human had turned around, her eyes widened in surprise, "what are you doing here?" without delay, she took off to the little child, holding him up with her free arm. The child just tried grasping at the flower –who tried his best to keep away-, murmuring inane words in his childish treble.

"This kid…followed us all the way...wow."

"uh…but what do we do now?!" The older girl fretted, looking around frantically. Sweat manifested her forehead and slowly dripped down the sides, "We can't return him! They'll find out if we do!" She drawled, her eyes darting around, as if searching for answers.

It was funny how her serenity and seriousness spiked to paranoia in mere seconds. He wanted to laugh, but he resisted. They had to think of what to do with the kid at hand, literally so. The last thing he wanted was to deal with his parents too. The Smiley Trashbag already hated him so much.

They could not go back.

"What do we do? What do we do?! We can't take him back!" Helvetica repeated, Roman giggled and FloweyFlowey thought.

"It's simple…if we can't return him…"

A crooked smile graced his pale 'face'.

"...we'll take him."