I do not own Undertale. Toby Fox does.
If anyone would volunteer to beta, I would be eternally grateful.
Chapter published 8/29/16.
"ALL OF YOUR SOULS ARE MINE!"
The world went white. Frisk almost lost his footing because it was like the ground beneath his feet lurched upwards, forming a steep ramp with the cackling golden flower at the end. The vine holding his friends in the air was pulsing, his friends were flashing red and black, and the crowd of monsters - everyone from crude Snowdrake to terrifying Muffet to cool Kid - had their looks of support replaced with looks of horror and pain as their souls were ripped out of their bodies and he was still sliding towards the flower!
He took a step back, then another. The wind howled around him as Flowey took in roomfuls of air with each laugh, and the monsters weren't even turning to dust, they were just vanishing as the light grew brighter and brighter. Somewhere in the back of his mind he could hear Chara shouting, shouting at him to run from Flowey, or to throw something at him, to do something but it was all he could do to steel himself and resist the vacuum as the wind grew louder and the light grew brighter, brighter, brighter and his foot slipped -
Then everything went dark.
Frisk looked around. No sky. No ground, nothing. He felt stone beneath his shoes, but it was black. He could still see himself, with a locket over his striped sweater and an unused gardening knife tucked safely away, but beyond that the world was empty. He recognized it after a moment. He was in the same pocket universe Flowey had dragged him into last time. Frisk couldn't suppress a tremor of fear because he was not looking forward to facing the monstrous form the flower had taken again.
'... Rei?' Chara asked hesitantly from within him.
Frisk blinked and look around again. Not too surprising, he wasn't alone in this realm. But surprisingly, it wasn't Flowey that was with him, Omega form or otherwise. It was a kid, he could tell because they were wearing a striped shirt, green and yellow like a flower.
The kid's back was to him. Frisk could see black sweatpants going down to feet. The feet looked like they had pads and were shrouded by white fur, and in the sweatpants he could see - just like with Toriel - the bulge of a small tail underneath. The head was also covered in the same fur, as were the hands. Two long and floppy goat ears hung from the head, and the fur on top was in a cowlick. The kid looked slightly to the left, slightly to the right.
'Rei?' he thought to Chara. 'You mean that's Asriel?'
'Of course it is!' she insisted. 'I'd recognize that crybaby anywhere. But how? And why? I saw him...' she trailed off, not finishing her sentence.
The kid moved his fingers, capped with filed down claws, clenched them into fists, then relaxed them. He took a few silent, shaking breaths, or maybe they were laughs.
'I don't get it. If Asriel's here, then where's the flower?' Frisk asked. A horrible thought dawned upon him. His mind reeled, processing how all his friends were gone, how he'd come so close only to fail, how golden flower seeds clung to people, how Asriel must've been covered in their seeds when he returned to the underground, how he introduced them to the underground and how his dust had gotten into them, how Alphys had injected enough determination to resurrect the dead into a flower... but it couldn't be.
"Finally," the kid said at last, and there was no doubt in Frisk's mind. That was Asriel. That was the same voice he'd heard Chara remember after falling into the garbage hump and oh God he was swimming in uneasy nostalgia. "I was so tired of being a flower," Asriel muttered, but he didn't appear to be talking to anyone, not even himself.
'No!' Chara shouted. 'No way! Out of the question, he can't be the flower! Asriel wouldn't! He couldn't! He'd never do all that! He'd, he'd...'
While Chara continued to shout her denial, Asriel turned around.
Frisk didn't have any idea what to expect. For a brief moment he thought Asriel's face was horribly mangled, but then he realized he was just looking down. Asriel lifted his head, exposing a short snout with stubby little fangs that were trying so hard to be intimidating. He opened wide, brown eyes that weren't anything like a goat's. Asriel saw Frisk and smiled, showing how every last one of his teeth were canines. "Howdy!" he greeted cheerfully.
Not knowing what to do, Frisk numbly waved in greeting.
"Chara," Asriel asked, and Frisk froze while Chara's ranting died in its tracks. "Are you there? It's me!" he chirped. "Your best friend!"
A flash of light blinded him. The light vanished and Frisk didn't even see an after image, but the sensation of horribly powerful magic made his nerves buzz.
Asriel's little boyish form, no older than Frisk himself, was gone. In its place was a towering boss monster, with the same Delta Rune robes Toriel wore. He was taller than Asgore, and more confident than Toriel. He hovered in the air, feet suspended mere inches above the invisible floor. The top of the robes wrapped around in a short deflated collar, and while Asriel still had the cowlick he also now had horns, longer than his mother's but shorter than his father's. His eyes had inverted so now their whites were brown, and both iris and pupil were snow-white slits. The fangs were not at all cute anymore, and on both cheeks the fur was darker to form two black lines on his face. The short, harmless claws were sickles that could rend and tear flesh, and perhaps most sickeningly, there was the pattern of a chain and heart-locket near the top of the robes, in a crude mockery of what Frisk himself wore at Chara's insistence.
Frisk nearly fell to the ground when he felt something pull at him. His soul appeared, a flat and scarlet heart above his actual heart. Exposed and vulnerable.
'Asriel?' Chara muttered weakly. 'Oh God, he's got every soul in the underground. And every monster soul together is - '
Frisk didn't have time to listen to Chara's speculation, because then Asriel's magic was upon him. Asriel didn't even deign to make a hand gesture. Smokeless fireballs just formed in the air and pelted down at him from all angles, popping and vanishing when they hit the ground. One nearly caught his soul, and he gasped at the close call. But then the rain of fire ended because Asriel was closing his eyes.
Then Asriel opened his eyes, and the world erupted into color. From behind the boss monster an endless kaleidoscope of rainbow colors formed and spilled out around him. The ground was identically colored no matter what angle Frisk looked at, so the illusion that he was floating was unbroken. Asriel began to rapidly drift in circles around him, chromatic echoes trailing behind him.
"Asriel, let's talk about this," he began weakly.
But the monster didn't listen. Instead he grinned and spread his arms to the side. Five pointed stars of all colors, like the kind a kid might draw, flashed around his fingers and then Asriel was just gone.
'Frisk, heads up!' Chara shouted.
Frisk craned his head backwards and gulped. It was hard to see among the river of colors but cartoony stars, now fully three dimensional, were crashing down from above. None of them looked like they were aimed at him, but that just meant they had some other sadistic function. But that didn't matter. They were coming so much slower than Omega Flowey's mind-bending attacks. Hope swelled in his chest like a forest fire, he could do this.
The first rainbow star hit the ground with world shattering force. It didn't vanish, instead splintering into a sphere of white stars the size of Frisk's fist, and that sphere was growing alarmingly fast. But before he could even dodge between them, another star smashed behind him, and then another somewhere else, and another, and another...
His nerves were on fire by the time they stopped coming, and it looked like some of his hair had been singed off, but he did it.
A glance up proved him wrong; there was one more rainbow star, thrice the size of the others crashing to the ground. He backpedaled away from its trajectory just in time for it to explode into a series of three spheres.
I can do this, he thought, dodging between the first sphere. I can do this, I can do this... One of the star fragments came close enough to his arm to leave a burn, but then it was over and the stars were fading away into the distance.
Asriel reappeared, staring down at him like a starved wolf. Frisk fell backwards onto the ground and scrambled away. "Come on now, we can use our words can't we?" But could they? Flowey certainly hadn't been up for a discussion, and if Asriel was the same person...
'Heh, I-I gotta say,' Chara admitted weakly. 'The Absolute God of Hyperdeath looked a lot more dorky on paper.'
The monster chuckled and floated a short distance backwards, his echoes fading after a moment. "You know what, Chara?" he asked, and it was the same voice that had called him in Alphys's true laboratory. "I've changed my mind. I don't want to destroy this world anymore."
"Well it's a start!" Frisk shouted as Asriel spread his hands again. This time, instead of stars, it was rainbow sparks crackling between his fingers.
'Shocker Breaker, he's using Shocker Breaker!' Chara shouted desperately.
'Shocker what?!' he asked incredulously as Asriel vanished into thin air, leaving the smell of ozone behind.
'Lightning from the skies, move it!'
Frisk looked up. He couldn't see anything, but then the invisible ground beneath his feet started to vibrate and he tossed himself to the side. Just a moment later the ground he'd stood on before - and hundreds of other patches within his sight - were struck by multicolored bolts of lightning with such a clamor he feared his eardrums would burst.
Then the ground buzzed again. Now that he wasn't looking up he could see the circular crackles of rainbow magic - this newest one was underneath him again - so he moved. Then again, and again. Then the patches grew to three times their size and he was throwing himself away with all the grace of a cannonball, but each time the soles of his shoes were scorched. After what felt like a dozen salvos of blinding light, it ended and Asriel reappeared in front of him, like a ghost.
"All I have to do," Asriel explained with so few hand gestures Frisk could believe he was Flowey. ", is defeat you. Then I'll have complete control of time once again. Then? I just want to reset EVERYTHING!" he said, ending with a shout.
Reset everything. Frisk thought about everyone he'd met on his wild, crazy journey. Toriel, Undyne, the Skele-bros, Alphys, Asgore... Chara. He had to do this, for them.
'Chaos Sabres!' Chara supplied just as Asriel's arms vanished into thin air. 'Giant swords, they leave sparks behind them!' And sure enough, new arms took the place of Asriel's old. They were holding swords too, each a replica of the other. The swords were twice as long as Frisk was tall, notched and decorated with symbols. Near their tips there was a part cut out from their center, filled with floating bits of metal. And then Asriel floated towards Frisk so fast he barely had any time to get out of the way.
Swoosh! The first slice nearly got his soul. Instead, it tore his shirt and left a searing cut on his stomach.
Swoosh! The next sword stabbed, and found nothing but air.
Swoosh! Asriel floated above him and drove the sword straight down. Its edge came so close to Frisk's face he went cross-eyed staring at it, and bits of his hair floated down.
Swoosh! Asriel descended and forced Frisk to jump above a lazy sweep at his legs.
Swoosh! Frisk jumped backwards at another stab aimed right at his soul. Where were the sparks Chara mentioned?
Asriel's face was stuck in a grin like he was a statue. He raised both swords above his head, power crackling along them. Even more disturbingly, the monster's head did a full vertical rotation, going upside down and coming right back up, and then the swords slammed into the ground on either side of Frisk. Asriel and the swords vanished into nothingness, but crackling white lights surrounded Frisk in all directions and closed in on him. He tried to move out of their way, but he misjudged their trajectories and one spark crashed right into his soul.
Frisk fell to the ground, screaming and nearly throwing up, just in time for Asriel to reappear. He had to concentrate. Concentrate on... on the smell of pie, freshly baked just for him. On a home that smelled of fur and memories. The warmth flowing from his stomach vanished and he stood, eyes narrowed on Asriel.
"Everyone's memories," he muttered. "Everything you've accomplished." Suddenly he grinned and spoke airily. "I'll bring it all back to zero." Then Asriel was vanishing...
The lightning one, right. Frisk knew what to look for. The ground was still awash in color, which made looking for the patches of energy difficult, but literally the entire world was on the line so he found them and moved away, ignoring how every one of his hairs stood on end, or how he kept seeing afterimages of the lightning bolts. In seconds the attack ended and Asriel was back, lazily drifting back and forth.
He hadn't gotten hit once that time. Frisk could do this. Everyone had something that they'd listen to. Even Asriel. He just had to find it and talk him down.
"And then?" Asriel asked rhetorically. "Then we can do all of this again, but with me like THIS!" His hands went out, bristling with stars.
'Is that the star one?' he asked Chara as the monster disappeared into the swirls of color.
'Y-Yeah, Star Blazing!' she said, her voice quivering.
He moved between the stars, keeping his eyes and ears on the swivel to find where the next explosion would come from. And just like before, Star Blazing ended with a colossal star that sent out three separate pulses of stars, each slightly out of sync with the other. Once it was over and Frisk was unharmed, Asriel reappeared.
"And the best part? I know you'll oblige. You'll actually do it all again!" Asriel jeered, floating to a great distance. This time, only his left arm vanished.
'Chaos Buster, it's a gun!' Chara warned.
'Do as I say.' Asriel's left arm didn't reappear. In its place, a colossal... thing appeared. Calling it a gun was generous. It looked like a graduated cylinder from his science classes, but with a stylized nozzle on the end, spikes and wings along the entire outside. And it was aimed right at him. 'Sideways!'
Frisk knew better than to argue, somehow Chara seemed to know these attacks already. And she was proven right when from the end of the gun, even though it was empty, a series of magical bullets spewed out, three at a time. The center row was aimed right at where he'd been, but he was safe.
Asriel floated ninety degrees to the right, and took aim again. 'Don't move!' The gun fired again and Frisk sweated in anticipation. Chara's word was, again, good. The bullets came out four at a time, passing narrowly by Frisk. If he'd moved even an inch, he would have been skewered.
The boss monster kept moving and shooting, faster and faster. 'Move! Stop!' Chara shouted. 'Move, stop, move, stop, move!' Then the gun spun around, filling up with a multicolored fluid. 'RUN!' Frisk ran, just as the gun's nozzle opened up wider than it had ever before. The rainbow fluid burst outwards at where he'd just been at the speed of light, crashing into the ground and splashing outwards. The Chaos Buster vanished, and Asriel's arm reappeared.
That was three salvos he'd completely avoided. Right. This wasn't nearly as horrible as Flowey. Frisk could do this. Even if 'not as horrible as Flowey' meant Asriel was toying with him, he'd take whatever he could get.
His opponent closed his eyes smugly. "And once you do it all? You'll lose to me again!" His arms vanished. Frisk's mind drew a blank. What attack was that again?
'Chaos Sabres, swords and sparks, oh shi - '
Asriel was upon him in a split second.
Swoosh! "And again," Asriel chanted.
Swoosh! "And again."
Swoosh! "And again!"
The swords came down a last time. Frisk hopped to the right and was rewarded with his arm nearly being cut off at the shoulder. As it was, the cut went down to the bone, the sparks blasted his body, and this time he did throw up. His vomit vanished into the rainbow colors and he laid on the ground, closing his eyes and focusing.
He focused on bad spaghetti and worse jokes, puns that made him groan but made Chara howl with laughter. Frisk took a deep breath. He was not going to bleed. He was not going to die. He was going to endure and win, and he would see his friends again.
"You'll do it," Asriel assured, already summoning stars while talking. "It's because you 'love your friends'."
'Star Blazing! Wait no, they're spinning!' The first stars were already crashing into the ground by the time Chara finished her warning. Like she'd said, they were spinning now, and that meant the spheres they gave off were also spinning. He knew he could do it though, he would see both of them through this darkness to the other side, and with that in mind the cuts and burns hardly even bothered him. 'Spinning means that was Galacta Blazing.'
'How do you know all his attacks?!' he demanded, since the attack was done but Asriel had yet to reappear.
'Because my brother's a dork!' Chara shouted back, just in time for said brother to rematerialize.
"It's because you want a 'happy ending'," he said with air quotes. Lightning fell from the skies, this time seeking out his location and chasing him across the infinite battlefield. "It's because you're the one who 'never gives up'," Asriel continued. His left arm vanished, replaced by his gun.
'Move!' Chara shouted as Asriel began shooting. Frisk moved. 'Don't move! Move - WAIT NO STOP!' Too late. Asriel had varied up his pattern, and the string of magic bullets tore into Frisk's leg. He howled in pain and fell to the ground - avoiding another salvo - and clutched his leg. There was no doubt, that was a hole straight through his body. 'Frisk move!'
Right. Pain was temporary. His right leg didn't want to respond, so he just had his left leg do double the work in hauling him up and out of the way of the blaster's attacks. Then it spun around and filled itself. He threw himself out of the way of the rainbow blast, but then his eyes widened when he saw the end of the gun release seven massive, rotating spheres of stars. Two of them found his left arm. One of them found his soul, and he went back down.
No. He wasn't going to die. He dreamed of the world's most violent cooking recipe, of trying so hard to make people respect him and like him that he couldn't stay mad. His soul stabilized and his body, drinking in the ambient magic, healed itself. That dream would come true. He'd make it.
"Isn't that delicious?" Asriel asked, shaking his head from side to side. His ears didn't flop. "Your determination? The same thing that let you get this far, that separates humans from monsters, separates you from other humans... it's going to bring you down."
'Frisk, I'm so sorry,' Chara babbled in his head. 'I didn't know he'd do that, I thought he'd stick with - LIGHTNING!'
The wounds might have been gone, but the pain still lingered. Frisk's heartbeat pounded in his head and blood rushed so fast he could feel his veins expanding to accommodate it. But miraculously, he avoided each hungry blast of lightning.
Asriel didn't even bother to reappear, but his sickening sweet voice boomed from all directions. "Well, enough of this. The purging of this timeline begins... NOW!"
'Hyper Goner,' Chara warned as the rainbow colors disappeared, casting the world into darkness once again. 'Don't let it pull you in, and watch your back!'
Before Frisk could think to ask what 'it' was, it appeared. It was the DT Extraction Machine. It was Omega Flowey's head. It was a boss monster skull, with curled horns and blank eyes and it was laughing, laughing and laughing. Then its mouth opened so much wider than it should've been able to and Frisk started to fall in.
He dug in his feet and pushed. The goat skull shimmered like it was in a heat wave, pulling in everything around him. Frisk turned his back to it and ran as hard as he could to escape the black hole behind him. All the way in front of him, he could see the pocket universe crumbling. Bits and pieces of it fell, forming white chunks of energy and leaving no holes. The chunks fell in, past him and around him, into the black hole. There were so many, far too many to avoid, and while they didn't leave any physical wounds their magic crashed around his body, blasted into his soul, and he could barely keep ahead of the Hyper Goner's pull. His hope was fading, his dreams were never coming true... and then it ended.
The colors returned and Frisk fell to the ground, panting weakly. But he couldn't lay down, Chara's protests in his head only reinforced that notion. The twelve year old pulled himself up and stared at where Asriel had reappeared again.
The boss monster whistled. "Wow, you're still standing even after that? I always knew you were special among humans, Chara." He held up a hand. "But let's not get ahead of ourselves," he said slyly. "You saw what I could do with just six souls. You know I've been holding out on you. I think you'll appreciate... THIS!" he shouted.
The ground vanished.
Frisk only fell a short distance, and then something grabbed him and hoisted him back up to Asriel's level. The boss monster was distorting, growing and reshaping himself. The pocket universe shuddered and the colors froze. Then they melted inward, flowing like water to Asriel and leaving darkness behind. The monster's body kept twisting and contorting, growing bigger and bigger until it towered over Frisk the same way Flowey's monstrous form had.
His body was gone, and in its place was a white sphere emblazoned with a single heart. Dark energy formed curling shoulders and Asriel's head just floated above it. The black marks had reached and surrounded his eyes, and now his horns were longer than even Asgore's, curling sideways a great distance. There weren't legs, just a vaguely triangular, twisting shape hovering beneath the soul orb. Asriel's hands were misshapen things with claws not just at the end of the fingers, but instead of them, and empty soul-pockets punctured the wrists. The arms weren't even attached to the body, there were just threads of raw magic connecting them to the rest of the body. The flowing colors were trapped now, locked in a mockery of angel wings that sprouted from Asriel's core.
"Oh," Frisk said weakly.
Asriel threw his head back and laughed. "Ura ha ha! See?! THIS is my true power!" He held both arms out, and one after another his hands flashed. A series of languidly moving rainbow streaks shot from each flash, arcing lazily in Frisk's general direction. He tried to move out of the way, but whatever kept him suspended in the air also held him firmly in place. He couldn't move his body an inch and the missiles, each the size of his head, were approaching fast.
The first volley missed him.
The second came so close the front of his shirt burned off.
The third and fourth volleys passed a safe distance around him, briefly blocking his view of Asriel.
Then both hands flashed at once, sending a torrent of missiles at him. Chara screamed and Frisk tried to move as hard as he could, but one - just one - of the missiles crashed squarely into his side... and out the other end. It was bloody.
He gasped and made a sound like a deflating balloon. His vision darkened rapidly, but as his life slipped away Frisk could still see the floating heart that represented his soul. It shook and sundered into two equal parts. It was such a familiar sight, and he'd come to learn it meant he was about to reset...
... but he wasn't, was he? Asriel was in control. Asriel was more determined. If Frisk died now, it'd be over. Everything would be for nothing. With so much determination in the monster, not even Frisk would be able to remember the resets. Asriel, Flowey, would run rampant forever. He couldn't allow that. He had to win. He would win. He was not going to die. He refused to die!
'FRISK!' Chara shouted in horror.
Frisk refused to die...
Each half of his soul shook and splintered into dozens of fragments that blew away into dust.
... but he died anyway.
The last thing he felt was the familiar tug on the world as time began to run backwards, but it wasn't him resetting. It was Asriel, and Frisk had a sinking feeling in his gut that -
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