Undyne grumbled bitterly as she pulled her coat tighter against the bitter cold. The air was thick with a mist-like drizzle that soaked her hair, plastering it to her forehead, and made her feel clammy. Her wet jeans chafed her thighs with each step as she made her way down the dark, damp road. Normally, being a fish and all, this wouldn't be too much of a problem. But tonight it only served to worsen the aquatic monster girl's already sour mood.
It wasn't fair. None of it was. Why did she have to leave? Everyone was having a good time at the pub before that guy showed up. They were all just minding their own business before he suddenly started screaming after Undyne had drunkenly given Alphys a big smooch. HE was the one who picked the fight. All Undyne did was give him what he wanted.
So maybe she threw him through a wall or two. The point still stood.
Yet it was them the owner started hollering legal threats at. It was Undyne who had to sit out in the cold rain to sober up while Toriel and Sans had a lengthy talk with him. It was that guy who got to stay while Undyne was sent home so the others wouldn't have to.
Undyne would never understand humans. While most of them had welcomed monsterkind with open arms, their behavior was still a mystery in itself. Even after everything they all had gone through, she often found herself wishing she was back home in the Underground. They had spent hundreds of years fighting and holding on, and this was supposed to be the freedom they had hoped and dreamed about?
She huffed, kicking a stray rock unfortunate enough to be in her path. Undyne imagined all the fun the others must have been having. Mettaton was no doubt hogging the karaoke machine, and Papyrus probably wasn't going to stop arguing with the chef over the lack of spaghetti on the menu. Alphys had insisted on leaving with Undyne, but the latter was adamant that she stay and enjoy herself. Though she'd never admit it, there was a tinge of guilt considering she was the one who kissed Alphys in the first place.
Fortunately, Toriel had offered up her place for Undyne to spend the night, since it was the closest in walking distance. Even so it felt like hours before Undyne finally made it to the front door. Toriel had thankfully left it unlocked in case this sort of thing were to happen. The tired monster girl briefly pondered the decision to leave Frisk all alone without locking the door, but brushed it aside. If Frisk could handle saving the entire monster kingdom, then a night alone was a picnic.
The inside was chilled from the AC, which only made the thought of getting out of her wet clothes even more appealing. Undyne kicked her muddy shoes off, letting them clatter against the wall carelessly, and tossed her coat on to the couch. With a yawn, she started down the hall towards the spare bedroom when she suddenly noticed a light coming from the crack of the kitchen door. Curiously, she pushed it open and was surprised to find Frisk sitting quietly at the table. They were tiredly staring into a mug of what appeared to be tea.
A big grin spread across Undyne's face. At least she'd have a little company tonight. "Hey, Frisk!"
Startled, the child whirled around to face her, nearly spilling their drink in the process. They relaxed a little when they saw who it was, though a somewhat troubled expression remained.
"Oh, h-hi Undyne."
Figuring she'd help herself to a midnight snack, Undyne casually made her way to the cupboard and flung it open. She pulled out a bag of chips and started scooping them out by the handful, shoveling them into her wide mouth.
"Decided to stay up, huh? Good on you, kid! A fighter never sleeps..." A pause while she crunched loudly, flecks of crumbs flying from her lips. "Unless someone hits them over the head with a blunt weapon, but you get the idea."
They stared at Undyne for a moment before craning their neck towards the kitchen door expectantly.
"Is Toriel here too...?" They asked.
"Nah, it's just me." Undyne said, not noticing anything out of the ordinary. "Feeling a bit partied out, so I'm gonna crash on Tori's couch for the night."
"Oh." Frisk said, almost sounding disappointed. They looked back down at their mug gloomily.
Out of the corner of her eye, Undyne noticed the glum expression on her human friend's face. An idea crossed her mind and she grinned widely. "Hey, as long as your up, why don't we have ourselves a little party of our own? We could make a bunch of snacks and watch a movie!"
Frisk didn't smile back. They stared at the older monster with a look of uncertainty before meekly responding with, "Sure, Undyne."
Undyne raised an eyebrow at her human friend's lack of enthusiasm, but shrugged it off as them simply being tired. "I'm gonna go change real quick." She said, tugging at the jeans still sticking to her legs. "You go ahead and pick out a movie, and I'll take care of the grub when I get back!"
She was already out the door when she heard Frisk give a halfhearted "Mm-hm."
Ever hospitable as she was, Toriel had furnished the spare room with anything and everything a guest could need. This included a bed, but for some reason only a human child-sized one. Undyne figured it must have been for when Frisk had any other kids sleeping over, though it occurred to her that she had never actually seen Frisk with any other human children before. As a matter of fact, it surprised her how much she really didn't know about them. Did they even have friends? Did they even have a family?
Many monsters tended to grow up on their own, especially the more animalistic types. Undyne knew, however, that all humans were on par with boss monsters. This meant that their children needed a parent to take care of them. If that was the case, then where exactly did Frisk come from?
Undyne shook the thought from her head. She'd gotten way too caught up in all these ideas, which were really pointless in the long run. Frisk was waiting, and it was impolite to keep your host waiting.
Having dried off and changed into a new set of underclothes, Undyne slipped on a comfortable t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. Thankfully none of the clothes Toriel had bought were child-sized either. Neither were the socks, but for some reason the idea of Toriel buying socks weirded her out.
When she came back into the living room, Frisk was sitting on the recliner with their knees curled up to their chest. The tv was on, currently showing the main menu for a DVD. Next to the list of options was a girl in a green-striped shirt staring at a large pagoda.
"The Cranky Girl Who Did Chores in Spirit Town," Undyne read the title aloud. "Hey, great choice! Alphys loves this one. She always cries at the end..."
"Huh?" Frisk said absentmindedly, looking up from the TV. They gave an incredibly weak smile. "Oh, heh, yeah..."
Undyne continued to stand their as it got awkwardly silent for a moment. She uneasily rubbed the back of her head as Frisk rested their chin on their knees.
"Uh... I'm gonna go make the food, I guess." The monster girl said, gesturing to the kitchen.
The door was halfway open when Frisk suddenly cried "W-Wait!"
Turning back around, Undyne saw that Frisk was reaching a tentative hand out. They pulled it back uneasily as the fish woman looked at them expectantly.
"I'm... really not that hungry." said Frisk. "Do you think you could just stay here with me...?"
"Uh... sure, kid." Undyne responded, still somewhat confused. She sat herself down on the couch and selected the 'start movie' option.
It really wasn't much of a party. For the next forty-five minutes or so, the two sat and watched the movie quietly. It was alright for the most part. However, something kept bugging Undyne. Whenever she moved even the slightest, Frisk would glance at her nervously. If she got up to use the bathroom or grab a glass of water, she would come back in to see Frisk waiting and watching for her at the edge of their seat. Not only that, but always with the same frightened expression. Finally, when Undyne couldn't keep ignoring it any longer, she picked up the remote and hit the pause button.
"Look, dude." She said, trying not to sound too frustrated. "If something's bugging you, you can always just talk to me about it."
Frisk flinched. "Wh-What? Undyne, I'm fine, really..."
"No, you're not." The older monster said, sitting up to face them. "It's totally obvious, Frisk. You look like you just saw a human!"
The child stared at her blankly. Undyne caught herself after a few seconds.
"It's an old monster saying." She explained. "It means you look spooked, and not in a nice ghost way."
Frisk stifled a giggle. Undyne smiled a little as well, and the tension was lightened considerably. The fish woman waited patiently as Frisk sat there considering what they wanted to say. In the dim light, Undyne was surprised she hadn't noticed the heavy bags under the little one's eyes before.
"If I tell you," Frisk said. "Will you promise not to laugh?"
Undyne nodded slowly. Frisk took a deep breath.
"I had a bad dream."
Their was a brief silence.
"That's it?" Undyne asked incredulously, her mouth twitching.
Frisk frowned. "You said you wouldn't laugh."
"I'm not laughing!" Undyne said, raising her hands defensively. Her voice kept breaking with chortles, and the pouty face Frisk was making only made it worse.
"Alright, alright, I'm sorry." Undyne laughed, getting up and sitting herself down besides the angry kid and affectionately ruffling their hair. "Tell me about your dream."
"You'll just laugh again."
"I won't!" Undyne said, laughing again. Calming herself, she continued, "I swear, I won't. I promise. It's just going to be real hard if you keep making that face, though."
Frisk's expression softened. "I know." They said. "I'm just nervous because I know you're not going to understand..."
Undyne grinned widely again. "Wanna bet?"
Still unsure, Frisk clasped their hands together in thought once again. Undyne put a reassuring hand on their head, patting it gently, and this seemed to put them at ease.
"Well..." Frisk began, trying to recollect as much as they could. "In my dream, I've... gone back in time, I guess. Back to when I left the Underground with all of you. Everything's happening exactly the same, but... someone's following us."
They dug their chin between their knees. "I can't see who it is, but I know they're there. I try to say something to Toriel, but my mouth feels like it's... stuck. The person keeps getting closer, and I start to get scared, but nobody notices. Soon they're so close I can feel them at the back of my neck... and they start whispering something."
"What do they say?"
Frisk's face scrunched up as they struggled to remember. "It was... something bad. Or something to make me feel bad. It's kind of fuzzy."
Undyne continued to look a bit skeptical as Frisk went quiet again. She didn't want to invalidate the kid's feelings, but even so she found it difficult to believe something so simple would upset them that much.
"I guess that's not so bad." She said, unaware of how callous she sounded. "I wouldn't let it bug you, Frisk. I mean, Sans does that kind of thing all the time and-"
"That's not the whole dream."
Undyne immediately forgot what else she may have wanted to say when she heard how Frisk's voice had cracked at the end of that sentence. They were now shaking terribly, gripping the legs of their pajama bottoms tightly while they struggled to fight back tears.
Undyne felt a twinge of guilt hit her in the gut. "H-Hey, hey..." She said, patting Frisk on the back in a vain effort to comfort them. "It's gonna be okay, Frisk. It was just a dream, you know? Dreams can't hurt you. They aren't real."
Frisk's response surprised her. With her one good eye, Undyne looked at the child thoughtfully for a long moment.
"Frisk," She said seriously. "Tell me the rest of your dream."
Frisk swallowed, biting their lip for a second. "We're in the city now." They said, voice shaking. "Me, Toriel, and the... person. We're walking through a park, and Toriel looks... unhappy. Then I see the bench coming and I begin to panic. The person behind me keeps laughing as I start begging Toriel not to... d-do it. But she does."
"Does what?" Undyne asked softly.
"She sets me down on the bench." said Frisk. "She tells me 'wait here'. Then she leaves. I'm crying and trying to get up, but the person is holding me down. I'm begging her to come back, promising to be good over and over again... but she doesn't even turn around." They squeezed their eyes shut in a futile effort to keep the tears from flowing. "She leaves me... She leaves me all alone and never comes back... and the person keeps mocking me and saying 'just like before, just like before'...!"
"Just like before...?" Undyne repeated. Just then, her thoughts from earlier in the guest room returned. Her eyes widened as everything clicked together, and she put a hand to her mouth in horror. "Oh man... oh, jeez Frisk..."
Frisk kept wiping their eyes as they cried quietly. Undyne could only stare at Frisk in total shock at the deeply personal things they had just revealed to her resonated in her mind. All sorts of emotions were flaring up at the same time.
"I'm sorry, Undyne..." Frisk said with a loud sniff. "I know you probably dont need to hear all this... it really is dumb..."
"Are you kidding me?"
Undyne practically leaped off the chair and began pacing around the room in a fury. "Are you KIDDING ME? What kind of person does that? Who would just... just abandon their own kid? What kind of heartless-?! " Undyne flailed about helplessly, looking for anything she could take her anger out on. "If I were there, I'd... I'd...!"
With a frustrated huff, Undyne dropped herself on the floor by the chair's side, thumping her head against the armrest. Frisk smiled, wiping their reddened eyes once more before laying sideways on the chair so their head was by the fish woman's side. Her brow was stuck in a furrowed manner as she stared at the floor. After a moment, she sighed.
"It's not right."
"I know..." Frisk said, folding their arms under their chin. "But you don't have to worry about me, Undyne. It really doesn't bother me anymore..."
"But it does." Undyne said, turning her head to look at them. "If it really wasn't bothering you, Frisk, then you wouldn't be having nightmares about it."
The smile faded from Frisk's face. "I just think sometimes..." They said. "I've been living up here with you guys for almost a year now. I have a whole family that loves me and would do anything for me... but I always end up thinking about before."
Frisk flipped themselves over so they were lying on their back, folding their hands together.
"When I realized she wasn't coming back..." They said softly. "That was the day I came to Mt. Ebott. People always said that it was cursed, and if you climbed it, you were never heard from again." Frisk let out a small, wistful laugh and wiped a stray tear making it's way down their face. "Nobody wanted me. So I decided that nobody would care if I disappeared forever."
The next thing the brown-haired child knew, they'd been scooped right out of the chair into a pair of muscular, scaly arms and tossed in the air like pizza dough. They spun around a few times before Undyne caught Frisk by the waist and held them up face level.
"Who couldn't want you?" Undyne loudly yelled to the rather disjointed child. "You always want to help people, even when it could hurt you! You risked your life to save all of us! You're the sweetest, most compassionate big-hearted little kid I've ever met, and if anything happened to you, then... then...!"
Frisk was surprised as Undyne pulled them into a hug so tight their eyeballs threatened to pop out.
"Ngahh! I love you, you little doofus!"
"Undyne..." Frisk wheezed. "I love you too, but I can't breath..."
Snapping back into reality, Undyne noticed the child's face turning purple and quickly loosened her arms. Frisk let out a huge gasp of air, clutching their dizzy head.
"Oops." Undyne chuckled sheepishly. "Guess I got a little carried away there... as usual."
"It's okay." Frisk said with a smile as Undyne set them down on the couch. "It actually helped a lot."
Undyne grinned proudly. "Fuhuhu! Of course it did! After all, it always works on Alphys!"
"I figured." Frisk said, rubbing the back of their head. "I guess that's why I wanted to help her so much. I knew what it felt like to... not like myself, I guess. She really helped me too, now that I think of it."
Undyne took a seat next to them on the couch. "Seriously, Frisk." She said, placing a hand on the kid's back. "Losing you would be like losing the sun. Everyone friggin' adores you."
"I understand that now." said Frisk. "But it's still hard not to get scared sometimes..."
Undyne fiddled with her eyepatch as she mused on this for a second. Suddenly she stood and stormed down the hallway towards Frisk's room. Before they could even ask what she was doing, the energetic fish came back dragging a pillow and comforter behind them.
"Alright then!" She said, dropping the items on the couch. "Here's what we're gonna do! You're gonna sleep with me tonight and any other time you feel afraid! That way if any more malicious nightmares try to worm their way into your head, I can beat the crap outta them with HUGS AND CUDDLES! GOT IT?? GREAT!!"
The bewildered child didn't even have time to answer before Undyne picked them up by their brown head and held them upside-down like a bowl of pasta. With her other hand, the skinny yet ridiculously strong monster girl picked up the pillow and comforter and tossed it across the couch, where they both landed perfectly where they were supposed to. Still holding Frisk, Undyne climbed under the covers and slid the child between her like a baby kangaroo.
"There!" She said with a proud nod. "Nice and comfy!"
Though still quite caught off-guard, Frisk had to admit it was pretty cozy. With a contented sigh, they pulled the covers to their chin, where Undyne had slid her arm to hug Frisk close.
"You know, for a cold-blooded creature with scales, you're really good at snuggling." Frisk quipped, smirking.
"Damn right I am!" Undyne beamed, once again scratching Frisk's head affectionately. "Now, how about we finish this movie already, huh?"
"You know everybody's gonna make fun of you if they find out about this." Frisk said with a cheeky grin.
"That's why we're doing this at Toriel's place," Undyne responded, flashing a crazed smile and giving Frisk a noogie. "And you're not gonna tell anybody, got it?"
Frisk giggled, fighting to get out of their opponent's grip. "Okay, okay! I promise!"
The two of them were finally able to return to their little party without any worries to hold them back. Frisk finally felt safe at ease as all their fears seemed to drift away, as if Undyne's presence really was chasing them away. By the time the movie had reached its last twenty minutes, the little one had drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
Soon the movie came to it's end. The cranky girl was no longer so cranky, and she was finally ready to go home to her family.
"I still don't understand," the broody dragon boy on the screen said. "What is it about the human world that made you want to go back so bad? Humans are so different from spirits. They fight and start wars over such silly things... why do you wish to stay in a place with so much suffering?"
Undyne raised her head from the pillow slightly as familiarity flashed in her eyes.
The not-so cranky girl thought about everything she had learned, and replied with, "Sure, there is suffering... sometimes it's like a raging river that threatens to consume you... but there are still others who are worth staying for. The ones who love you. The ones who protect, and who are worth protecting. Those are the people who matter. When you find those people, and hold on as tight as you can... the current isn't as rough anymore."
The rest of the movie played out as normal until the end credits, but all Undyne could focus on was that one speech that replayed in her mind over and over again. She had seen this movie at least three times, but only now was it really starting to hit her emotionally.
Undyne clicked off the TV, shrouding the room in darkness. She laid there for a while, listening to Frisk breathing softly on her shirt. She closed her eyes and thought about how Papyrus would probably make a great spaghetti breakfast for her tomorrow. She thought about taking Frisk to the park with Sans and talking about nothing. She thought about visitng Asgore and having a cup of coffee with him.
She thought about giving Alphys the biggest kiss ever and not giving a damn who saw it.
Frisk fidgeted, murmuring something and interrupting her thoughts momentarily. Undyne opened her eyes and looked down at the little human tenderly. Frisk was gripping her shirt in their sleep, and their hand automatically squeezed it tighter when Undyne moved them so she could pull the blanket over both of them. Her arms wrapped themselves around Frisk as she rested her cheek on their head.
"I won't leave." She whispered. "I promise."
With a yawn, her eyelids drooped shut, and Undyne soon fell asleep.
"F-FOLLOW THE NIGHT... IT'S SH-SHINING BRIGHT AND MY HEART'S TAKING FLI~IGHT...!"
"Papyrus, PLEASE!" Toriel hissed vehemently. "It is almost two o'clock in the morning! You will awaken the whole neighborhood!"
"B-But issusha good song..." Papyrus moaned as he fumbled down the road. Sans quietly held his hand, watching so he didn't trip.
"It's good! It's SO good...!" Alphys started giggling stupidly. Her face was totally flushed, and she had to be held along by a very amused Mettaton. "They gotta... they gotta make it, like, our theme song, guys!"
"Easy now, darling." Mettaton chuckled as the lizard girl somehow almost knocked off her glasses and grabbed at them wildly like a juggling circus clown.
"Everyone..." Asgore kept repeating. Toriel was the one holding him up, and her face looked the way you'd expect. Her ex-husband belched loudly, and the twitching in her eye increased tenfold.
Finally, Asgore said, "Everyone p... please be nice to Toriel... she's letting us stay at her house tonight an' we all need to be greatf- *EUUURP*"
"Do not throw up on me." Toriel stated flatly.
Sans approached her side, letting Mettaton take Papyrus' hand for him. "Thanks for doin' this for us, Tori. I know it's a pain in the butt, but we really do appreciate it."
Toriel sighed. "I suppose it isn't so bad. At least now Undyne will not be so lonely."
As the group came to the front doorstep, Asgore suddenly doubled over, clutching his stomach. "T-Toriel..." He gagged.
"Easy now..." She said, helping him face away from the path. She turned to regard the others. "You may all go inside, I will be with you shortly."
Everyone wasted no time getting inside, and Asgore's stomach wasted no time getting everything outside. Toriel patted his back comfortingly, making sure to keep his beard out of range. It was over shortly, and he was in the middle of catching his breath when Toriel suddenly heard Alphys shrieking loudly from the house. When Toriel hurried inside, she found all of them standing in the living room staring at the couch.
"That... is... so... CUTE!" Alphys squealed.
Toriel turned to what they were looking at, and a big smile formed on her face. Undyne was sleeping on the couch with one leg hanging off and a bit of drool coming out the side of her mouth. Frisk was sleeping on top of her with their arms wrapped around her neck.
Sans' grin spread across his face. "Oho man. You guys are recording this, right?"
"Sansy boy, must you even ask~?" Mettaton said, smirking. A camera was jutting out of his chest. "This sort of blackmail is too good to pass up~!"
Meanwhile Alphys was taking multiple snapshots with her phone, giggling madly. "Heehee... that's my squishy fishy..."
"Now now, that's enough." Toriel said, finally deciding to intervene as Asgore soon came stumbling in. "We mustn't wake them up. It's very late, and we all need get some rest ourselves."
Begrudgingly, everyone agreed and headed off towards the guest room. Asgore rested himself on the armchair while Toriel approached the sleeping pair's side. Even while mildly intoxicated, he was able to recognize the sight and beamed proudly when Toriel glanced at him warmly. Turning back, she pulled up the covers that had slipped off, and planted a quick kiss on both Frisk and Undyne's cheeks.
Then Papyrus, who had been standing there the whole time in a daze, gasped.
"SANS!" He cried. "UNDYNE AND THE HUMAN KILLED EACH OTHER!"