Chapter 15. Ready
The wind was howling.
Several layers buried in the snow, the skeleton's bony feet began to tremble. His bones rattled from bottom to top until the quaking was nearly audible.
"h-how..." The monster tried to breath, his voice shaking as much as his spine. "...how did this happen?" He finally asked in disbelief. Knee caps weak, he fell to the ground.
"You don't know?" The plant questioned. "Sans, you weren't there!" It exclaimed. Its face grew most sinister. "Hahaha, you took too long. You didn't show up to the corridor! They finally got past you and easily did away with the king. There's absolutely no stopping them now!"
"s-so..." Sans uttered, grasping the top of his skull in dismay. "...so that's it then?" Slouching, his cold bones sagged in denial.
"Golly, Sans!" The flower chanted. "It's not over! The human still has their soul!"
"what?" Sans begged. "what do you mean they…?"
The golden flower shook its head. "The human isn't finished! They still have business with me… and you!" The flower's stem curled downward on itself, and it too quivered in fear. "They're not done with you… they're not done with me! They won't quit until we're all dead! Hahahahahahaha!" It laughed manically, losing its mind.
"flowey, quit it!" Sans hushed. "you're gonna psyche the kid out!"
Flowey stretched upward in alarm. "Kid? What are you talking abou-" Its speech was interrupted by the sight of a familiar, small child exiting the inn, slowly approaching the arguing pair. "Sans, you… IDIOT."
"f-frisk!" Sans spat, watching the child disobey his orders. "i told you to stay inside!"
The golden flower pulled its petals over its face so as to not be seen, as it smiled a most devilish smile and snickered to itself for a brief moment. It opened up its yellow petals once more, brandishing a cute, friendly face instead. "Howdy!" It announced to the child. "I'm Flowey! Flowey the flower!" The plant introduced itself with much enthusiasm.
Frisk covered their mouth and giggled. "Hi, Flowey!" They replied reflexively.
White specs rolled in the monster's eye sockets. "cut it out, weed." Sans interjected. "you're not fooling anyone."
Flowey sunk into the ground nervously. "H-hey! I was j-just trying to have some fun!" It quivered, more afraid of the skeleton's disapproval. "I just w-want somebody to play with! A-and look! You brought me a playmate!" The tiny creature presented, gesturing its leaves towards the child. "You know… the one you were supposed to have killed?"
Sans flinched from the flower's accusations. "it's a really long story, flowey. things didn't exactly go as planned..."
"HAHAHAHAHA!" Flowey screamed frighteningly. "You idiot! Now that's one extra soul to mess with our timelines! Just kill them now and get it over with!"
At this, Frisk curled into themselves and they began to cry.
Sans promptly wrapped his bony arms around the human child. "shut your trap, weed." He insisted. "it's a lot more complicated than that now."
"You're right, Sansy!" The flower smiled darkly. "It's really complicated now! And it's all your fault!" Flowey's teeth grew large and menacing, and a devilish tongue flew out. "You can't kill this kid! They'll just reset! They're filled with too much determination!"
Frisk broke free from Sans' hold, and drew themselves closer to the tiny creature. "You don't know anything about me." They clarified.
"We know a bit more than you think, human!" Flowey proposed, squinting at the child. "We know that..." The flower trailed off, having taken a closer look at Frisk. "Ha… hahahaha…!" It laughed unsteadily. "Why, Sans! Would you look at what the monster cat dragged in!"
Both Sans and Frisk looked down upon the flower, puzzled.
"This human…" Flowey rubbed its face with a leaf. "What were you planning on doing with them, exactly…?"
Sans pulled the child away defensively. "i wasn't planning on doing anything with them!" He hollered. "the kid here agreed to help us out!"
"Is that so?" Flowey asked, skeptical. "Well, Sans, you just might be onto something!"
Sans dropped his guard. "...really?"
"Why yes! Just think of it!" The yellow creature yowled with glee, its eyes receding grotesquely inside its face. "A weak monster and a weak human fighting against a really strong human! Sounds like quite the recipe!"
When Flowey put it like that, the pair did not know what to say. The two looked at one another, uncertain of the creatures motives.
"Don't fail us, Sans." Flowey concluded, its face normal but frowning. "I don't want to die."
The skeleton sighed heavily. "yes, flowey. we'll do our best."
"Thanks, old pal!" The golden flower beamed once more. "I knew I could count on you!" Although its voice was high with joy, its face held a different complexion. Terror. "Hahahaha, well… I'm off to tell the human you're coming back!"
"wait, what?" Sans called.
"Oh, yeah, about that." Flowey glossed, looking to the side nervously. "I kind of told them I would be a messenger for them, in exchange for… my continued existence." It chuckled, sweat falling off of its petals. "Hahaha, well, see you around, Sansy!" Flowey urged, winking. "The unstoppable skeleton and the ill-informed human! Together to bring peace to absolutely no one! Because everyone's dead!" Sans took a threatening step forward, but the flower recoiled. "You two will become a great, murdering duo! Yes. I think that's a wonderful idea!" And with that, Flowey sunk into the earth and evaded further interrogations.
Sans defensive stance relaxed as the yellow creature made its escape. "well, that's it, i guess." He finally said.
Frisk turned to him sadly and tugged on his shirt. "Sans, it'll all work out."
The white monster gazed on the child with much lament. "will it?" He asked.
The small human nodded reassuringly. "I know it will. It has to!" They attempted to cheer him up. "Nothing in my life has gone right, so… that's how I know! Things always get better… in the end..."
"i-i dunno, kid." Sans began, a solemn dread in his voice. "i'm beginning to have second thoughts about this."
Frisk reached up and pulled the monster's cheekbones so as the two could look at one another straight on. "Don't listen to Flowery. Listen to me." Sans let out a soft chuckle. "Sans, you need to stay determined. We can do this together!"
Sans soaked in the words, now seeing what he had left in this world to protect. "kid..." He started up. "you give quite the pep-talk." The two smiled at each other, and the snowy town grew a little brighter. "i guess… we had better get going too, huh?"
"Yes!" Frisk shouted with much elation.
"whoa, slow down there, pal." The skeleton warned. "remember, this isn't a fun little adventure. we're going up against someone with the drive to hurt. someone with the intent to kill, do you understand?"
The child stayed strong, but his words began to sink in. Frisk gazed down upon the ground, and a wave of anxiety filled their fragile head. "I understand." They replied, shaking a bit. "We have to move forward."
"heh heh, alright, frisk. this is it, then." Sans raised up his carpals. "gimme your hand."
Frisk recognized the gesture, placed their hand inside his, and gripped rather tightly. "I'm ready."
The scenery around the pair dissolved, the snow beneath their feet vanished in a flash, and a painful pressure blew through them. The chilled air washed away in a burst of wind, and was replaced with a calming, warm air, clouded in dust. All light faded to black, and in the distance, just behind Sans' skull, shown a dim, yellow light. The skeletons eye sockets bore no light, and his teeth were as wide as ever. "i know a shortcut."