This is just a story to let people know I'm still alive. I got sick of studying. I'm in college now! So things are going to be a little inactive, but I will do my best. I love to write like many others here. I hope you enjoy. I am a little rusty, but I hope you like it.

I wasn't sure what to do. I mean the connection was there, but… Sans just didn't seem to acknowledge it. I couldn't think of why, but I let it be. Pretended that there was nothing there. That we had no bond. That we were strangers in a sense. Just a professional relationship like the first day we met, just like everyone else. Days turned into years far quicker than I liked. Sans would come in. Eat and drink ketchup before leaving once again. Granted he did tell jokes and puns to everyone and tended to bombard me with them whether I was in the mood or not. That and laying all his worries on me just like everyone else, but that was the fate of a bartender and I loved my job despite the work. Learning all the stories of so many different monsters and getting to be a little spark of something positive when they thought all was dark. Whether they acted on my advice or just listened I at least got to give them hope that things were just a little better than what they thought at the moment.

And it was no different for Sans. But there was something different. Despite the obvious I got minor butterflies that I thought I would never get again whenever he noticed that something was bothering me, but I'd just tell him it was nothing. That I got a little wet and he'd drop it. Telling me to be more careful. Mildly scolding me with that joking tone of his when it happened too often. That I needed to be less careless with my being a flame surrounded by snow. Then things would go back to how they were. I was sure that despite his ignorance to the bond we had he was catching on to my moods with it. However as a flame elemental I could easily hide and push down my own emotions. Just a tactic that was pounded in at a young age as getting too upset could allow our flames to spread to the surrounding area. So when ill or weakened it was vital to push down our emotions. It was to keep others safe as much as ourselves and property. But despite the emotion blocking I was content enough with how things were.

Then one day we were freed and I moved up to the surface eventually along with almost everyone else. A select few didn't want to leave their long time homes. It took time as expected for humans to grow used to our presence and many of them still feared us. But a select few began to show up to my new bar out of curiosity. However Sans' visits waned. I made many attempts to ignore that. The world above was seen by few of the newer generations so it was bound to be exciting to even someone like Sans. At least that was what I thought before he started to come in with the ex Queen. He always ordered the usual and I never hesitated. They laughed and told jokes to each other and I had to check myself to keep my emotions under control.

Searching for a distraction I found once one in the wolf brothers Cail and Vex. Long time friends or at least Cail was. Vex had the habit of shamelessly hitting on me each time they had the chance to drop by. I always made the attempt to be civil with Vex due to my friendship with Cail, but I had a bad habit of showing my disdain for him after awhile. He was fine when he wasn't flirting, but that was seldom and even his brother got annoyed with it. They were really the only two I saw anymore since we were freed. Amurru was searching for a new mountain to inhabit as an earth elemental. Serapis was travelling and exploring. Locke… Well who knew where he was. He was a free spirit and did whatever he wanted. Danni had a family to take care of. Then there was Neiadis. She was off trying to get into the army. The cat always had been a fighter and that's all she ever wanted to be.

"Are you going to buy something or not?" My voice was like a soft flickering flame, but I was sure he could find the annoyance in it.

I had been getting a little irritated by the staring. The wolf was getting on my nerves. However at closer inspection it wasn't his usual 'appreciative' gaze. It was concerned and his brother was sporting a similar gaze.

"Are you ok?" Vex was the one to speak first.

Concern. Just what I needed when I was trying to keep myself under control.

"Fine."

"Are you sure? You're not really acting like yourself." Cail persisted.

"Did you get caught in the rain yesterday or something? Are you feeling sick?"

Taking the free pass of the weather I responded. "I just got a little damp. I'm fine."

They took a moment. Each studying me.

"I'll go grab the empty dishes for ya. Just rest while ya can."

Vex set an unwanted hand on top of mine. His gaze was sincere. I sighed. He was adamant and there was no use arguing.

"Don't break anything."

He grinned at me and winked as he stood. "Don't worry your pretty little head about a thing."

"Your brother is exhausting."

"I know. Don't look a gift wolf in the mouth though."

I turned my attention back to cleaning glasses absentmindedly. Sans still had all his attention on Toriel. Each time he came in now Toriel was with him. Oh how I wish I could hate her, but that wasn't me. I couldn't watch this any longer so I retreated to the back to clean the dishes that were there. With Cail there to tell me if anyone needed anything I wasted time in the back and by the time I had finally came back out the two were thankfully gone. I could feel my hope falling when I heard them laughing. The rest of the night was mildly chaotic as per usual. Besides the looks I was getting from the two brothers things were bearable. I was more than ready to lock up when the night ended. That is until Cail caught my wrist as I went by. Vex was beside him.

"What is it?"

"Your hps low."

"You know it's rude to check another's stats outside of a battle."

There was silence as they waited for an answer.

"You both know I don't regenerate well in damp conditions."

"Jeez, Grill. Sit down a spell before you fall."

"I'll grab you some chow. Just sit with Vex for a minute."

I didn't bother arguing with them. I never did. They were both stubborn and loyal. I suppose I owed Vex a thank you after tonight. He did work without pay.

"Thank you." I sighed and he just grinned.

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By this point I was positive the two were dating and I withdrew slowly from the bond we had. I was giving up. He was happy with her. What right did I have to take that away? I just had to get over him. This wasn't the first time I had, had a crush and I was sure it wouldn't be the last. I just had to let it go. I needed a distraction and the wolves were the best I had. Though Cail didn't come by nearly as often there was always Vex. He was usually there for me to excuse myself to go and talk to him.

"Feeling better?"

"A bit, yes."

"Good, Good. Well… You're a little less hostile toward me now so I was wondering if there was a chance you'd let me take you out a date?"

He looked hopeful as he offered me the red echo flower and I swore everyone was looking at us. Even Sans and Toriel. It wasn't the first time he had asked. I doubted it would be the last. Despite the flirting he was rather kindhearted. Very bold, but kind. Maybe he was the chance I was waiting for to get over the skeleton. I didn't want to lead him on or use him, but maybe I could be willing to at least try and see him differently. Maybe if I saw him as a friend like I did his brother rather than a former comrade I could at least Be his friend. If things went well maybe I could eventually fall for him. That I doubted, but having another friend would be nice since everyone else had drifted away on this rather large planet.

"If I do and it doesn't go well I expect you to back down."

"So that's a yes?"

"Indeed."

"Yes!" He cheered earning some applause from the regulars from the underground as I took the red flower. "Don't worry. This will be the best date you've ever been on. Tomorrow at eight. I'll pick you up."

And at that he was out with a skip in his step. I sighed, setting the flower under the bar I returned to my duties. At least now I had something to think about. Damn I was pathetic. What have I gotten myself into?

"So, Grillbz…"

I cast my attention to my hopefully soon to be ex crush and his partner. He looked a little nervous though it was probably a bad joke and he was searching for a distraction himself.

"Got yourself a date, huh?"

"Unfortunately, but if it gets him to stop flirting with me long enough to make a friend out of him then I suppose it's worth it."

"So you're not… excited?"

"Not particularly."

I shook my head slowly to make sure my point made it across and he seemed to relax a little at that.

"So he flirts with you a lot?" The Queen spoke up.

"He has for many years." I answered evenly.

"... Tell me about the red echo flower."

"The flower? Rather than memories of times gone by they symbolize hardship and strength as they only grow in places with little water and show up in places with some of the harshest conditions such as the side of a rock wall or near a hot area within the earth."

"So it means something that he went and got it for you?"

"It should to anyone who know the meaning of the flowers or where they grow."

"I see."

The Queen appeared to be thinking.

"If you would excuse me I have to get back to work."

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I clutched the bottle in my hand as I watched my crush walk away. Tori had been trying to help me win over the flame for awhile now, but it just seemed that he was drifting away further from my reach the moment we reached the surface. I was so jealous of that wolf even I found it sickening. We had a strong friendship and now I was just another customer. All that time I had put into building that friendship was falling apart.

"Tori… Thanks for trying, but it's over."

"Oh hush, Sans. There's still time. You can't just give up."

"He's going on a Date tomorrow."

"And? That's Tomorrow at Eight. Besides there is the chance that the date won't go well. Now try talking to him."

"But-"

"Try."

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I passed the bar and went to the back to cook. Time to myself... To think… Maybe I could have fun. Maybe I could voice my own concerns for once. I suppose I needed an outlet every once in awhile. I didn't doubt he'd listen to me happily no matter what I was talking about. I sighed and returned to the to the two to give them their twin order of burgers. When that was done I reluctantly returned behind the counter to look over my bar.

"Hey, Grillbz. Do ya know tomatoes are red?"

I nearly sighed. I didn't want to endure anymore of his jokes right now.

"Because when they ripen the lycopene pigment becomes dominant." I responded sarcastically and with a fake smug grin causing the Queen to chuckle.

"Nope, but nice try. They saw the salad dressing."

And there the Queen was laughing on cue.

"Really?"

"Knock knock."

"Come in."

"Oh come on. Let me tell my jokes." He was grinning rather happily and I had to fight the urge to smile as well.

"Fine, fine. Who's there?"

"To."

"To who?"

"No to Whom."

"All I can say to that one is 'wow.'"

I crossed my arms. He seemed rather proud of that one for some reason.

"Why do bananas use sunscreen?"

"Why?"

"They peel."

"Che. Clever."

"How do you get rid of lazy tomato employees?"

"How?"

"Can'em."

"Of course. I should have guessed."

"I have a better one. How do you mend a broken pumpkin?"

"How?"

"A pumpkin patch."

"Oh that one was painful. Where do you get these." I shook my head.

"Some joke books. Some are on the spot. Others I make up."

"You make these up? That's how you're spending your time up here? I don't know how to respond to that." I gave him an invisible amused grin, but he seemed to notice.

"Oh come on. You know you like them."

"They are amusing at times. However if you don't take a break you're going to make your friend keel over."

I leaned on the counter as I gestured to the Queen. They really were meant for eachother. The time passed with jokes and thrown in puns. Then I had to close up. I shooed out the last stragglers with ease. The monsters were used to it and humans… well they just didn't want to mess with living fire. Then I was surprised by the question. He'd never asked before and it was rather sudden.

"Do you need any help cleaning up?'

"No. I can take care of things myself. Why?"

"I just noticed that wolf has been staying behind to help you the last few nights."

"Ah… I was a bit under the weather then so I allowed him to assist me."

"So you were sick?"

"It was just a little cold from all the rain. I'm fine now though."

"Ok… Just ask if you need help, pal."

"Be careful what you offer. I may take you up on that offer sometime."

"I don't mind. I offered. Welp. Night, Grillbz."

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The night was drawing in. No one really came in on Mondays anyway. So I was just watching a nearly empty bar. I was almost wishing it would be eight soon. Then the door opened.

"Hey, Grillbz. The usual, please." Sans called as he brought in his friends and I briefly went to the back.

"What's the occasion?" I spoke calmly as I took note of the individuals in the crowd.

"Oh I'm just feeling the need to celebrate. I've made so much progress on my soon to be newest album." Mettaton spoke with exaggerated happiness.

For some reason I doubted it, but I didn't question them. Even as they spoke in hushed voices at a far table and Papyrus and Undyne were dressed in unusual black attire. This was going to be a long night.

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"Oh enough. If that wolf is so confident this could end badly for you. That date could go very well. Now go say something before he snatches him out from under you." Mettaton hissed at me and I was now regretting letting Toriel and Papyrus know of my crush on the flame.

"Come on nerd. Grow a spine and confess."

"He doesn't like me that way. We're barely friends anymore. I can barely read him anymore."

"He got distant when we got up here, right? Well it's a rainy season so that might be all. Are you really going to drop this over a misunderstanding when you Could have more?"
"I-"

"Hey, Grill!"

I flinched upon hearing the wolf.

"Uh oh. Trouble." Mettaton was watching the progress the wolf made.

"What is he doing here? It's only seven."

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"Vex." I greeted evenly.

"I'm here to help you do dishes so they don't pile up. That way you can't stall and back out."

He had a devious grin to which I rolled my eyes to though I doubt he could tell. I rolled my eyes with a simple 'knock yourself out' as I allowed him into the back before I went back to watching over the patrons. It wasn't like I wanted to do them anyway. That was when Sans walked up the the bar.

"Hey, Grillbz. You doing ok?" He asked as he took his seat.

"I am. Are you?"

"Oh yeah, yeah. I was just thinking."

"Well you know you can always talk to me."

Crush or no he was still my friend.

"I know. So like if… Say someone has a crush on someone else. Like really likes them what would you tell them?"

Oh great…. Dating advice for him and the Queen. Joy.

"Well I suppose I'd tell them to confess. Not knowing could be worse than just letting it slip away. Even if it falls through that doesn't mean the friendship has to as well."

Great advice… Why was I such a coward?

"Huh. Still solid on advice. You're great, Grillbz, the light of my life. You really are. But say this someone else is going to go on a date with another? What should they do then? Let them go?"

"They should really tell them before said date occurs. Even if the date goes well it gives them something to think about. Such as whether or not they really want this other person."

"Ok… Knock knock."

Well that was short lived. Thank the heavens.

"Who's there?"

"Anee."

"Anee who?"

"Anee one you like?"

I paused. Sans looked nervous.

"Anee one you like?" He repeated.

I swore I felt my soul pulse, but ignored it. I chose to answer carefully.

"Um… I suppose I like a lot of people."

"Knock knock."

Now he really looked awkward and I could vaguely hear his friends groaning, but all my attention was on the one in front of me.

"Who's there?"

"Olive."

"Olive who?"

He swallowed and took a breath. "Olive you and I don't care who knows."

I pushed down the pulse in my soul. He couldn't be… He was looking like he wished he hadn't said that. I on the other hand was feeling rather giddy under my doubt. I had to snap myself out of this. What of Toriel? She was right there in the back with the little group.

"I'm not sure I understand these jokes."

He sighed and fidgited. "L- look. I- I have- I do… uh. I like you, Grillbz."

"Yes. I like you as well."

"No I mean I like… Really like you."

And there it was. A shock, but I felt like exploding with emotion. But now I had a choice to make. So I pulled a stool around so I could sit in front of him.

"I see. That explains the odd dating questions."

"Y- yeah. I've liked you for awhile and I- uh. I panicked when they asked you out."

He wouldn't meet my gaze and I sighed to compose myself.

"Sans. I want you to take a moment to breathe before we go about the subject, ok?"

"C- can't I just have the answer?"

"My answer is complicated and does involve the 'date' I am to go on."

"J- just give it to me. Please."

"Alright. I am very old. I've been through a war. Seen many things that I thought for sure no one would believe involving humans, determination, and resets." He looked up at me on the word reset, but I didn't skip a beat. "However despite my own practice at blocking them out after said war. I saw the same look in your eyes down in the underground I saw in my own and in many of my friends. That tortured, alone look of someone who has seen the resets and I felt a kinship of sorts with you long before you even considered us to be friends. I considered many times to go and fight this human myself and unblock my own mind from forgetting, but as you can tell I never did. The more times you shatter or endure a reset your soul weakens and takes time to heal. Mine would have shattered completely, never to be seen again no matter how many resets there were if they were to reset near me too many times. So I let you suffer. And there is no excuse for that and you have every right to be upset. Now I want you to take this information and think on it. Decide whether or not after this if you still love me. After all relationships shouldn't be started on lies and secrets."

I stood and left him with his thoughts. Eight rolled around far quicker than it should have and everyone filtered out. Vex was at my side in a matter of seconds, hooking his arm in mine.

"Now let's get you home so you can make yourself pretty before we head out." He was grinning and I swore I could feel eyes on my back as we walked the paved path.

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I sighed as I looked up at the sky. I suppose a picnic on a quiet hill was rather nice. The full moon shone over the water below. The grass swayed with the wild flowers in the warm breeze as the stars blinked in a sky of midnight. Occasionally snacking on the contents of the basket. The night was… pleasant. He hadn't even flirted with me once yet.

"It really has been a while since we've seen the stars, huh?"

"Yes. I had nearly forgotten what the sky looked like. The way the moon shifts is shape. The way it changes as the year moves on only to return to how it was."

"We'd all look up at it every night back then. The breeze was always cool even on the hottest night."

"It was always there. It was the only thing that stayed. The only constant that we could count on."

"Yeah… I do miss how the world looked back then. It's such a shame that all the trees are gone."

"And all the small animals. Very few have survived in these conditions."

"It's a little sad, but so many advancements have been made. Especially food wise."

"Is food all you can think about?"

"Of course not. You dominate my thoughts a lot of the time. Then of course there's my brother. Our traveling or busy friends."

"I wonder how Amurru is doing with the search."

"I Wonder what the fools looking for. I honestly doubt it's for a mountain in general. Maybe for Luca or her remains. We never did find her."

"Maybe. I hope he can get some closure if that's what he's looking for. Then there's Neiadis."

"Yeah I really hope she doesn't get herself killed."

"I doubt she'll ever drop it. She's a warrior to the core. But maybe one day she'll want something more."

"I kind of wanted her to get with Locke. I thought they hit it off pretty well. They'd both do eachother good."

"Locke could mellow her out, but they'd still be running about doing who knows what."

"At least Neiadis keeps in touch. We'd know where Locke was at least. He could be literally going with the wind for all we know."

"He has his own issues to work out. He needs to find himself and figure out what exactly he wants from his life now. He'll come back like he always does when he feels the need to check in or he finds what he's looking for."

The night was wasted much like that and then he walked me home.

"Did you have a nice time?"

"Tonight was actually very pleasant. Color me impressed."

"So would you consider another date sometime?"

"... Maybe. It depends."

"Well that's better than a no."

"And what would you say if I prefer you as a friend?"

"Eh. That's better than you treating me like a pest. Then I'm just closer to winning you over."

"Oh really. You're very confident. I don't think it's going to happen."

"I'll have you for myself one day." He gave a mock evil laugh and I chuckled.

"I think you need some practice."

"I'll work on. Night, Grillz."

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I stood watching over my bar like usual. Then came in Sans. He took his usual spot. I hadn't seen him in several days.

"The usual?" I asked and he shook his head.

"I just… want to talk."

At that I pulled a stool up and sat in front of him like I did several days ago.

"I… thought about what you told me."

My stomach was tying itself into knots.

"And maybe I would have been angry before… I took the time to let it sink in and… I can't really blame you. I mean if I knew I would have wanted you to stay out of it anyway. I would have wanted to protect you. I want to protect you. I appreciate you telling me and I honestly am just happy I'm not the only one. I thought… for the longest time I thought…"

"You thought you were going crazy. Yes. We've all been there, but the difference between you and me is that I wasn't alone long. I had others to cling to as they did me. I left you alone to suffer."

"Yeah that was a little upsetting, but if the kid knew that you knew of the resets they would have targeted you and… I don't know what I would have done if I lost you. You kept me sane down there. Just listening me…"

I sighed along with him.

"So we're still friends?"

"I... " He paused. "I still love you, Grillbz. Nothing could ever change that."

"Oh really? What about my 'fanged jack-o-lantern' grin?"

"Che. You couldn't scare off me with that. You've let that slip before."

"Locke told me I could scare kids with it."

"You couldn't hurt a rabbit." He chuckled. "You're not scary. You're just gonna have to live with it."

"You should be scared. As a flame elemental so my magic is hard to control and if I let my emotions get too out of hand of if I get too weak I could lose control of my flames. Say I get too upset, my flames would no longer be contained and would spread. So I'd have to really focus and keep my emotions down to prevent that."

"That makes sense, but I don't think pushing your emotions down is healthy."

"It keeps everyone safe from me."

At that he gave me a sad look.

"Maybe we can find another solution."

"It would take a lot of effort to contain me." I gave a halfhearted laugh.

"I don't want to trap you, Grillbz. But if you let me I could help you control it when you're too weak to."

He reached out and took my hand. At that we both jumped at the muffled squeal and looked, like everyone else, to a horribly hiding group.

"Aw, geez." Sans huffed. "Appears the moments been blown."

"Just a little." I spoke as Undyne gave the order to 'scatter' making them all run.

"They can't do any harm thankfully." He reassured me by squeezing my hand. And there came the butterflies again. "Well… Will you let me help you?"

"It won't be easy."

"It could be. Will you go out with me, Grillbz?"

My soul gave a little jump and he smiled brightly at the little pop of emotion that flickered through my flames.

"You… you still…"

"I told you. I love you and nothing's ever going to change that. So how about it?"

"I gave Vex a chance. How could I not give you one?" My hand closed around his. "I'd be more than happy to be with you."

"Just so you know if that wolf even flirts with you again we're going to have a problem."

I couldn't help but laugh.