Would That Make You Happy?

Frisk is your child, the result of a teen pregnancy, but they've always been told that you're their older sister. In an effort to get away from your own abusive mother, the two of you end up falling into the Underground, where Sans is startled by this abrupt change in what had become a predictable pattern of events. Maybe your presence is what is needed to stop the endless cycle of Resets.

After many struggles, both internal and external, you and your found family reach the surface, only to face even more difficulties from the society you weren't sure you'd ever see again. You meet new friends and encounter people from your past, though for good or ill, you're not sure. Sometimes it's difficult to tell kindness from cunning.

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141. [REDACTED]

Frisk is standing, though they can't feel any ground beneath their feet. It's strange, isn't it? That's supposed to be strange. The space around them is filled with a strange, pale iridescent mist, shifting as if there were air in this place. But there's no air. There's no... anything. Just white, shimmering vapor.

Looking down at their chest, Frisk cups their hands beneath the pale —too pale— heart hovering there. It's nearly colorless, with only the scar of gray slashed across the center marring the surface. A reminder, a remnant of Chara. They haven't seen their Soul since Chara was finally put to rest, and now they take a moment to regard it. Maybe they should be worrying about why it's so drained of color, but they feel numb. Listless.

Where are they?

There's movement in front of them and fear flares sharp and sudden, snapping Frisk out of their daze. Cupping their Soul in a protective and possibly futile gesture, their eyes dart up to meet two glowing red points burning through the mist. The eyes —they must be eyes, right?— are fixed on them, growing steadily bigger as whatever they belong to grows larger, approaching.

The shape is familiar. It's... Frisk takes a step backwards as a thin, elongated skull —it's a blaster, like Sans's but not at all— shows itself, lifeless red eyes fixed on them. But something isn't right, it's... it should be more solid. Eye sockets droop slightly under a sagging weight, and its jaw looks like it's dripping. Its mouth opens, baring long fangs as the movement disturbs the iridescent mist, causing it to swirl between its teeth. Then, with a high-pitched whine, the vapor starts to glow, the colors coalescing into brilliant white and—

A white hand appears on the blaster's snout, pushing down gently as its eyes turn to regard the hand's owner, mouth closing. The hand is bone, or as much like bone as the unstable blaster, with a hole in the palm, soft and oozing in a way that reminds Frisk of the amalgamates. And there, standing clad in a black, dripping coat and a high, white turtleneck, is a man that they've never seen before.

His face might have once been a skull, and from within two mismatched eye sockets, circles of red light stare down at them. A thin slash of a mouth curves into a smile, tugging on the end of a black, oozing crack that trails from his left eye to meet and split his upper lip. A chill runs down Frisk's spine.

"Ah, Plato, here they are. As expected." The voice is smooth, deliberate, but it echoes. Frisk can hear it for a moment before he opens his mouth and again after it closes, like it’s… stretched over too much time. "Oh. No, this isn't…" He folds his hands in front of his chest, smile faltering as he sighs. "I keep getting these two mixed up. This isn't the right visit."

Frisk blinks up at him, eyes darting between the man and the blaster —Plato? "Who...? Who are you? Where am I?" they blurt out, hands clenching into fists in front of their pale Soul.

"I'm afraid that telling you would be an exercise in futility, but seeing as for the moment we have nothing but —moments, that is— I suppose I can humor your curiosity." He glances to either side of him, patting the blaster before it turns away to watch behind him. Didn't Sans say that the blasters took a lot of magic to use? And why does this strange man have them too? "Though you won't remember. We'll have this conversation again."

"Why wouldn't I remember?" Frisk asks, frowning up at him.

His hand darts out —too fast, how did he do that?— and before Frisk can even react his hand goes right through their shoulder and back out again. They gape at him as he laces his fingers together and gives them an indulgent look. "Because, child, you aren't actually here. You're close though, too close in fact. What you did was incredibly dangerous. In truth, you oughtn't meddle with your stolen magic, you lack the finesse, the intuitive control necessary to harness it properly." He chuckles, shrugging his shoulders. "Ah, but if you did that then our second meeting won't happen, and we can't have that. Again, not that you'll remember my words of caution anyway."

He pauses, going silent as he stares down at Frisk. Frisk just stares back.

"I'm afraid I lost my train of thought. Where was I?" He pauses again, frowning a little before his eyes widen. "Ah, yes. Well. I am Doctor W.D. Gaster, though I suppose you might call me Gaster. Or..." Gaster falters, unthreading his slender index fingers and tapping the tips together. "Grandfather might be appropriate, considering that my son has married your mother."

Startled, they gape up at him. "You're Sans's dad?"

"That would be the implication, yes," Gaster says, smiling. He tilts his head to the side, then frowns a little. "Perhaps we don't have as many moments as I previously expected... so to answer your other question: this place where we are standing is everything, yet nothing. Outside of reality where no living thing is meant to reside. This is part of why you won't remember any of this, I'm afraid."

Plato shifts a little behind Gaster's back, and Frisk hears that telltale whine of magic gathering between its teeth before cutting off abruptly, teeth snapping shut.

"When I discovered it I considered many names. The Void, or perhaps the Source. This mist, everything around us? It is magic in its purest form." He separates his hands, swirling the pale vapor around his fingers. "You're too young to have learned this yet in school, I believe, but white is the presence of all color. And so it is with magic. Ah, but I'm getting distracted. But this place is where all magic comes from. A wellspring to which we are all connected. The Font."

Gaster looks pleased with himself, but Frisk just feels confused. "Oh."

The doctor's smile fades. "Ah, yes you are still a bit young this time, aren't you? Well, this is why I didn't much see the point in explaining, but I'm afraid I got a little carried away at the excitement of having a captive audience." He smiles again, laughing softly to himself. He turns to look over his shoulder at the blaster. "Plato, I do think that Sans would have liked that one. You see, because at least for the moment, they're trapped here. Captive."

The blaster doesn't react. It's not alive, Sans told them once that they're just tools. So Frisk isn't sure what to do when Gaster keeps talking to it like it's going to respond. Maybe they just shouldn't do anything. Dropping their hands back to their sides, the doctor's attention snaps back to them, in particular their Soul.

"Ah, shouldn't be much longer now," he says, stooping down to squint at the pale heart. He's taller than Sans, but shorter than Papyrus. "The Font is rejuvenating your Soul, you see?"

He points, and as Frisk looks they do see. It's starting to regain some color. "And then I'll wake up? And I won't remember?"

"Precisely. And... oh, yes hopefully that will be soon. Plato, on your guard," Gaster says, straightening and going rigid, his red eyes flaring brighter as the blaster lets out another whine. "The Anathema has decided to investigate this intrusion on its territory."

"What?" Frisk asks, turning to look around them. They don't see anything, just mist. "What's the Ana... Anathuh..."

"The Anathema," Gaster says again, spreading his fingers as his hands glow bright, brilliant red. Bones surround them in a tight circle, like the bars of a cage. "Do you like the name? I chose it for the creature myself, it means—"

"Interloper." The single word surrounds Frisk, spoken, shouted, screamed, whispered all at once by too many voices. "You think you can hide this Soul from us? THIEF!"

"Grandchild, you would do best to wake up," Gaster says, keeping his voice even as Plato is joined by two more blasters, pulled together from the mist. Magic thrums all around Frisk as they pull it into their mouths, screaming before they fire blindly into the fog. "It would pain me to see you harmed."

"I thought you said I wasn't really here!" Frisk says, looking at their Soul (it's getting pinker, redder). They grasp for the tail of his coat, stepping closer to him. It feels strange, like fabric and putty at the same time. "How can it hurt me if I'm not here?"

"That is—"

"Interloper! Answer us!" the voices bellow, and Frisk covers their ears, crying out in pain.

"Stop interrupting me while I am speaking!" Gaster snaps, his voice distorting, straining, whirling on his heel as the three blasters follow his movement, lining up in front of him.

Frisk peers around him, and there, past the towering bones, is... There's a face, tilted to the side, staring at them. Dripping and iridescent like the mist surrounding it, seven eyes (one for each Soul color, for each magic color) blinking out of sync, set in a row where there should only be two, each tilted to stand vertical. It doesn't have a mouth. Long, spindly fingers wrap around the bones in front of it, drawing itself up and exposing a black underbelly of emaciated ribs and oozing flesh. It raises up on two legs, hunched forward, dripping trails hanging from its body as if lashed to the ground.

"You speak too much for a man to whom no one listens," it says, and it reaches through the bones, its body shifting, squeezing through the gaps. It laughs with too many voices.

"Frisk, you need to get out of here," Gaster says, and the trio of blasters fires off their bursts of magic, hitting the Anathema and making it recoil with a chorus of screams.

"I don't know how!" they cry out, cringing and ducking back behind his coattails.

"All of the Souls that come to this place are ours for the taking! Like ripe fruit from the vine, we pluck them as we see fit." A thick whipcord of the Anathema's stretched arm lashes out and flings the blasters aside, shoving itself forward again.

Gaster makes a slashing motion with his arm, his red magic flaring as more bones litter the air, ends narrowed to sharp points that spin to face the creature. "You need to wake up!"

The bones surge forward, the Anathema howls with rage, and Frisk's vision goes dark.

   
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