Standing, staring beyond gentle hues that resembled shimmering gold fluttering across his vision. He knew they were just flecks of not-monster dust creating an ethereal shimmer, but he didn’t have the time to appreciate the little magics that made the church-like judgement hall such a place of reverence and beauty amongst monsters.
He had much more important matters to attend to, anyway
Like the demon before him
Calling them a human wasn’t fair to humans, despite this being the only one he’d ever, actually met. And calling them a monster was beyond insulting to the dozens and dozens they’d slaughtered with that cryptic, never changing smile. Looking at it now, it felt vaguely like a mockery of his brothers grin.
God, what the demon had done to his brother
He should have listened
When even Sans starts looking concerned, you’re supposed to shut up and listen.
Not brush it off
Not ask him to watch the human, to treat them kindly.
Not wait at the other end of a fog for far too long, and walk forward to find your brother’s coat, the human holding a toy knife, and dust contrasting against the soft, plush snow.
Now was no time for reminiscing.
Now was time for rage
Papyrus had never really put much stock in revenge. He thought it a useless thing. Revenge was a weapon of the weak, he once thought. But now, with his brother’s jacket hanging from his shoulders, from the weight of the sins he could feel dragging at the human
Revenge was sounding pretty good right about now…
“Hello Human” He started, his voice reverberating against the stone pillars and stained glass.
“You’ve come a very long way, haven’t you? From my puzzles in Snowdin and… Now you’re here.” He shut his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nonexistent nose.
“God, i’ve been so stupid. I legitimately thought that anybody could be a good person if they just tried. But…” He looked directly at them, their unnerving smile never faltering “ I see no good in you. And I should have captured you when I had the chance.” He could feel his nonexistent vocal cords tighten
“And now my brother is dead, because I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that not everybody is a good person. I won’t make the same mistake again!” He swiped his arm in front of him, almost defiantly - the FIGHT initiated.
“I’m not cutting you any more slack!” He announced, though he felt the cracking of his voice. He prayed for composure “Time, and time again I have given you an opportunity to come back. To redeem yourself. Well its over now! You get no more second chances!!” He shut his eyes, activating a magic he never used, he never desired to use until now.
“I’m sending you straight to hell!!” He announced, hand raised, the fluff of his brother’s coat tickling at his neck as he activated the blue magic, and unleashed his attack
The fact that the human was still vaguely conscious impressed him on some level.
With the human stabbed against the wall in three places, he -for some reason- felt sick to his nonexistent stomach. Something about giving this child their karmic retribution didn’t settle with him. Didn’t they deserve it? Wasn’t this them paying their dues for their sins? Thats what Sans would say. The FIGHT ended, and he stared at the human, whose smile had finally faltered, mouth dribbling out blood as they looked at him. The red of their Irises seemed…. dimmer, somehow, nearly brown. It made him feel uncomfortable
Then, suddenly, the human choked out a laugh. It was abrupt and heavy with coughs, but it was a laugh nonetheless. Papyrus felt almost insulted, but before he could speak, they did.
“Oh, Oh i’d never have suspected this!” They choked out, spitting blood- which, again, made the tall skeleton very uncomfortable “Heh, I was so, so sure you’d just… give up, dust on your own… but… no!” They coughed “you… you beat me faster… than Sans did…. Heh… guess i wasn’t ready…”
“..what?” Was all that came from him
“... Heh…. Frisk is so upset… They keep screaming” They continued.
“... Frisk” He furrowed his boney brow. The name felt so familiar. Like.. Like a memory of a memory. Like watching a home movie of something you barely recall.
The child tilted their head back, staring at the vaulted ceilings “heh… too bad the god of this world got curious... “They muttered. Papyrus, out of curiosity, did a STAT check
“They’re saying things they shouldn’t. Try to recall why”
As if Papyrus could not be more confused than he was right now, but, in a devisive moment, he stepped forward, coming close to the child, bleeding out and pinned to the wall. They didn’t have much time, he imagined
“Who is Frisk?” He asked, surprised at his own lack of emotion. The red in their eyes was dimmer still, a chesnut brown creeping in at the edges. They spit out a little more blood, this time onto his boot.
“Heh…. i’ll let you… see em… i don’t wanna… feel death…” They managed to mutter, their head lowering.
A few, brief seconds of agonizing silence
Papyrus, nervously, but gently, used his gloved hands to raise the child’s head to look at him.
There was no red, only a bright chestnut color, hard to see under the tears and the forehead , bleeding still from an earlier hit
He knew those eyes
God, he knew that he knew those eyes
Like a spotty film reel being played; certain, sparse memories came back to him in bursts of vibrancy. Play dates and sunlight - sunlight! - and fun times. A bright child, the light of his and his brothers lives. Promises, no secrets, just smiles and kindness and goodness.
A child that never hurt a single soul.
Who told him in the quiet of their house that there were times in the underground where their body was not their own, that they were scared
He’d promised them that it was okay
They they’d be fine
“.... Frisk” It took all of his control for him to not whimper the name out. Frisk heard the recognition in his expression, but just couldn’t find it in them to reply in kind. He moved his hands to their torso, as gently as he could, and the bones dematerialized. They barely weighed anything to him, and as gently as his lanky body could manage, he sat on the judgement hall floor. Carefully - so, so carefully, he arranged the tiny human so that they were lying in his lap, supported and half sitting up using one of his arms. The other he left free, though he was not sure what for.
More and more sparse, varied memories faded in and out of his mind. But the big picture was clear. This child. This brave, brave human had freed the underground. They’d befriended everyone, and had done so much good for everyone as well. Though the memories were coming and gong faster than he could properly register, the feeling of pure and uncompromised love just filled his chest cavity, choking up his throat as he recalled
Yes, yes, he loved his little child. This child was -save for his brother of course- the light of his life. He loved them as if they were his own. (though he would never admit this, seeing as Frisk called Sans “Dad” and Asgore “Father”. He was perfectly content with “uncle”) They were the reason for the happiness of all monsters, and he had been more than happy to support them as they supported him.
But that begged the question
He free hand pulled through Frisk’s hair, taking out knots and matts from their … escapade. He recalled a night, several months after the barrier had broken, when Frisk had awoken from one of their frequent nightmares. That’s when he learned of the “God”, as Frisk called them. A being all powerful, who played with their universe, and reset time. He initially found the idea absurd, but then recalled the research his brother had conducted, and realized that it wasn’t really that farfetched.
But then he recalled the promise he’d made
What a foolish promise to make
How could he have possibly promised that they would be okay, when even he , the Great Papyrus, could not stop a god?
“.... I….” He started, gaining the attention of facing eyes “I am… so sorry… Frisk” Their named rolled off of his tongue, like he’d said it a thousand times. “I did not keep my promise”
Their hand twitched, and moved, and with whatever energy they still had reached up to him. He removed his hand from their hair and gripped their tiny fingers gently in his mitted palm.
“You… remembered… me….” Frisk choked, blood still coming from the sides of their mouth unpleasantly
“Yes.. yes! Yes Frisk, I remember you. I’m so sorry I forgot, how could I have forgotten you?!” He kept himself from wailing in the echoing hall, but the distraught tone of his voice was not lost
“... please… don’t… forget...” They began to request, but stopped. Papyrus watched in desperate awe as their little, trembling soul shown outside of their body. He didn’t have much time, any time!
“I won’t! I won’t Frisk, I swear on it! I promise that this time I will not! I will not forget!!” he proclaimed with fat, orange tears streaming down his cheekbones. Frisks soul fractured before his eyes, and he bowed his head, his throat thick with sobs as he just prayed that god would have mercy and reset
R E S E T