Toriel’s House, Newer Home, The Surface, 201X
I wake up to the smell of something rich and buttery cooking. I wince inwardly; snail pie again. Still…Mom is probably the only person in the world who can make snails even a little appetizing.
I sit up in my bed, stretching and yawning, and consider the book I left under it; “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. It’s a deluxe copy, with a shiny golden inlay over the blue cover in the shape of the white rabbit. It was my birthday present about two weeks ago, same as every Timeline before this one. I can’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve read it. Still…I really like it, so I don’t mind. It reminds me of my time in The Underground. My Fights…my friendships…everything…
It puts me in a better state of mind…for when I put them all through that again.
I clench and un-clench my fists; it’s been so many times now. That horrible demon even gave up on using me to…
I look away, shamefully; I deserved that, after what I’d done. What I’d failed to do… And so, our back and forth had gone on for a long, long time. Until…
No matter. I have this time to enjoy; a few months following The Barrier’s destruction…then it’s back to before. I will have to Spare my way to the end, and Asriel will destroy The Barrier…and I will have the better part of a year to make everyone happy before he takes everything away. It was our understanding when he intervened on my behalf; that I’d never be able to move forward, trapped in this eternal cycle until such a time that the stalemate ends and I can finally be rid of my unwanted “partner”, or that…they can be rid of me.
I resolve to win this, once and for all. For the sake of my friends and my family. For the sake of this world. Even if…without their Determination…
I clutch at my chest, sighing. There’s no need to think about it. I went up Mt. Ebott in the first place because…
There’s no need to think about it.
I stand up and go to my closet, determined to enjoy my remaining time before all of this goes away again. It’s the best I can do. I reach in and pull out a shirt, then, on impulse, the golden heart locket.
I smile sadly, missing my best friend…missing…a great many things…
Another pleasant day smack in the middle of April. It’d warmed up a week or two ago. Pretty fast, actually, and to celebrate they’d all went out lakeside to enjoy the beach. Undyne led a volleyball match with most of the others, while he let the dog that shared a house with him and his brother bury him in the sand, patting a large mound into a passable approximation of the dog shrine hidden under the kitchen sink.
“SANS!? WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING?!” Paps asked him, confused, and he shrugged, or tried to at least, “being a sans castle, apparently.”
Alphys, reclined on a folding chair not far from him, face-palmed, groaning.
“oh, come on, paps. throw me a bone!”
Tori started giggling and wasn’t able to reach the ball in time, losing a point for her side. M-K, having popped the last ball with their spikes, was sitting this one out, and hadn’t been able to intercept for her.
“SAAANS! …OH WELL. AT LEAST THE ANNOYING DOG MADE SOMETHING TIDY OUT OF YOU...”
Frisk tittered, clearly amused, then motioned for Tori to serve the ball back.
“Very well. Prepare yourself, my child. I will set this in motion!”
She sent it high, giving them plenty of time to get into position, but it was going to land far back from the net. Frisk backpedaled, and so did Undyne and Asgore, ready to punish such a sneaky move, but all of them landed in a heap as they fell over each other.
“Hey, hey! No squirming!” Undyne snapped, somehow managing to swat the ball back with her one free hand, but it landed in the net and dropped. To be honest, none of them were terribly good at the game.
“STRIKE ONE!” Papyrus said delightedly, and Toriel looked over at them once she was sure nobody was hurt, “I believe that is baseball, dearie.”
“WHAT?! I THOUGHT WE WERE PLAYING BASEBALL!!!”
“No. This is volleyball.”
“VOLLEYBALL? THEN WHICH ONE INVOLVES SWATTING TINY BALLS AT EACH OTHER WITH HAND IMPLEMENTS?”
“Tennis? Or perhaps you are referring to ping-pong?”
“HUMAN!! YOUR PEOPLES’ NUMEROUS SPORTS CONFUSE ME!!!”
Rising to their feet unsteadily, Frisk shrugged, then motioned for a time-out. And he could tell why; he heard the telltale jingle of the ice cream truck in the distance a few moments later. Clearly, they were thinking tactically…though he wasn’t sure how they’d heard it before he had. Hmm…
About four minutes later they were all enjoying something, sitting either on some folding chairs or a weathered old bench, watching the waves.
Sans smirked, motioning to his paper cone and the rainbow-colored slush inside, “hey bro…bet you i can fry this snow cone and sell it.”
“NOT THIS AGAIN, SANS. I CAN’T TAKE IT…YOU ASSURED ME THE FRIED SNOW BUSINESS WAS A PROFITABLE ENTERPRISE IN THE MAKING, BUT IT NEVER RETURNED MORE THAN MY BASE INVESTMENT OF 5G!”
“what can i say? it wasn’t quite the sans-sation i was hoping for.”
“NYOO HOO HOO…WE’D GONE SO LONG WITHOUT ANOTHER TERRIBLE PUN!!”
“Oh, come now Papyrus.” Tori chided, “Surely there’s snow need to be so…icy cold…”
Both Paps and Asgore groaned, unable to contend with two master comedians at once. Alphys just bit into the ear of her cartoon cat-shaped popsicle and kept her silence. Frisk helped feed M-K a banana fudge sickle, all the while trying to enjoy their choco taco before it broke apart. Sure enough, a chunk of shell and chocolate-chipped creamy goodness went into the sand, and they frowned mournfully at it.
“heh, lighten up, kiddo. it had ta-co away! no sense in ice-screaming over it.”
They rolled their eyes, then looked out into the distance. He did the same; it really was something else, that wide horizon. Blue up, and blue down. He hadn’t gotten used to it…probably never would, considering. Every time they did this old song and dance, almost the same each time…
But then something new happened; Frisk went tense, rigid. The fudge sickle went down too, as Alphys’ wristwatch went off, startling her.
“Yo! Frisk, what gives? Are y-”
They clutched at their chest, painfully. Everyone’s eyes snapped from Alphys to the kids.
They pitched over, and Tori caught them, gasping, “My child?!”