She couldn’t stop crying. Frisk continued to cry and cling to her brother as her elder sibling did his best to soothe her. Toriel had said something along the way and Sans interacted with the others but she didn’t care. Asriel was back. He snorted as she tightened his hold on him after he had just gotten her to lighten up and rested his head on top of hers. “You humans... So emotional.” She laughed even in the face of her tears. “There we go, deep breaths… Are you just trying to steal my pie?” Her giggles increased and when she looked up there was a tear stained smile upon her face. Her brother moved to wipe her tears but before he could speak the sounds of the front door slamming open caught their attention.
“FUCKING CHEATING LITTLE RUNT!! WHERE ARE YOU TWO?!”
“UNDYNE PLEASE! NO FIGHTING IN THE HOUSE!”
“COME OUT HERE PUNK!!”
They only managed to exchanged two looks before Undyne and Papyrus stormed into the kitchen. Once consisting of ‘What did you do?’ and the other ‘So what had happened was…’ There was hardly a chance to explain when they were face with the two and although they were both known for being loud there was a swift silence that overcame them. Toriel, finally given a chance, stepped in. “Please! No more screaming.”
The queen smiled gently and nodded her head while Undyne turned her head to her more terrified than shocked. “But… How…?” It was perhaps then when the realization hit them that the King, the scientist and the judge were nowhere to be seen. Frisk looked at her brother with acute worry but he looked away unable to meet her gaze leaving Toriel to answer to the best of her ability.
“Where is she? Where is my wife?! Why isn’t she here?!”
“Because they took her to face the music.” Undyne’s heated glare turned towards the prince but when he looked back his expression was just as tense.
“What did you say…?”
"Alphys knew what she was doing when she sought to change me back...” He frowned and pulled Frisk closer and the child looked up. "Now she will be judged for it..."
They appeared in her laboratory and she couldn’t help but to breathe a sigh of relief. For a moment she had expected for them all to be brought to judgement hall. Yet, even though she wasn’t there that didn’t make Sans’ intent any less menacing.“Oh Alphys… I thought after the last time I wouldn’t have to do this again.” The king remained silent and Alphys visibly shrunk. “Honestly, after the past two times I thought you would have gotten it through your thick skull that your job isn’t to manipulate life. You are a scientist, not a god.”
Alphys swallowed a lump in her throat. “I-I k-know… B-But I-I had t-to do s-something…”
“Did you though?” He closed his eyes and sighed. “Explain yourself, Royal Scientist.” Alphys flinched at the coldness of his tone but didn’t back down. She went on to speak of her initial run in with Flowey, how she had tried to apologize but realized that he was the only one who didn’t receive his happy ending because of her actions. She explained that after meeting him she put herself head first into her work and finally found a solution. And this is where she broke.
“Well, its quite clear that your solution worked. But from how you shake before me in fear, I get the feeling that you knew the exact path you would have to take.” Alphys looked down and did her best to push down her tears.
“I-I did… T-The only w-way to help him w-was to g-get him in a e-environment w-where his determination was the m-more dominate source.” This caused Sans to open his eyes and upon doing so his blacked-out sockets appeared to darken further.
“You took him to the underground.” It wasn’t a question.
“After everything I told you about the resets. After explain not only in laymen’s terms but in scientific terms the damage his powers have done even before Frisk fell you brought him to a place where, at the drop of a hat, he could have reset everything. Where he could have taking all of this away from us.” She paused and her heart dropped. She would be lying if she said she even considered that and Sans was right. She was more than lucky that Flowey had actually trusted her because if he didn’t, if he would have reset, all their work would have been for nothing.
“But that wasn’t all you did was it? No, there are more sins upon you.” The tears fell freely at this point, but she didn’t reject the notion.
“…His d-determination wasn’t enough to help h-him force his change… Once he was in the underground… I… I…” Say it. “I injected him with more DT.” Sans’ ire was suffocating. “I-It helped him to force his change a-although he did seem to pass once i-in the process.”
“DT wouldn’t have been enough to help a soulless monster change permanently. Do not beat around the bush, bud. I don’t have the patience to tolerate it.” Alphys wrapped her arms around herself but this time she didn’t answer right away. There was no way to tell him what she had done without burying herself further down. Upon looking at Asgore, the king shook his head knowing that there was no way he could help her now.
“…DT wasn’t enough… Once he switched, I injected one more thing into him to keep him as he was… Blood.” For the first time in a long time, Sans’ smile visibly dropped. “…H-Human blood…” She looked down but by the time she looked back up, his grin was back in place though it was hardly humorous. “Frisk’s blood.”
Having him react would have been better than having nothing happen after the reveal of what she had done. Fear wracked her frame and after a while she couldn’t bare to even look up at the skeleton. “…Heh, this shit right here is why I don’t expect much from promises.” He looked at Asgore and winked though the king found no joke in the situation. “Now you understand.” Slowly but surely, his eye began to glow and Alphys shook so hard that she was sure that she was going to be stuck down.
“It’s time to begin your judgement… Look inside of yourself, Royal Scientist. Have you really done the right thing? Constantly you make mistakes and constantly you find yourself being forgiven over, and over, and over… No matter the timeline, no matter the run. Your mistakes define you. As well as your inability to learn from them. Have you really done the right thing? Think. You didn’t experiment on the Amalgamates because it was necessary. We knew what would happen—but you? You needed to see what would happen. You didn’t have to continue to check in on them when they were finally back with those they loved. You did so to absolve your own emotions.” Alphys pressed her hands against her face as her truth was thrown in her face.
“The prince? Oh, our prince. Our fallen heir killed by the humans who was resting in peace. His end was violent but his death was not. There he found peace. But there was a question that set everything into motion. What happens when you inject a boss monster with DT? None alive would indulge in you. But the dead don’t have choice, do they Alphys?” Her sobs became vocal and as Sans’ spoke Asgore couldn’t help his own disgust at his description though he knew she had eventually fixed her wrongs. “You brought him a new life. An emotionless life. One where those he loved where in reach but always so far away. Your curiosity brought him pain and return he brought us pain as well. Up until the barrier was broken.” The glow of his eye increased.
“Once free we made a promise, us three, a pact. No more experiments upon our kind without a proper reason. No more, DT injections.” Strike one. “No more live subjects.” Strike two. “No more playing around with the unknown.” Strike three. “Have you really done the right thing, Alphys? Or have you only done what is right to absolve you of your guilt?”
She wouldn’t lie to herself… She did do it to get rid of her guilt. She did it so she wouldn’t have the pain of knowing that Flowey existed because of her. She did it so she wouldn’t have to be reminded everyday that she defiled the corpse of her monarchy’s prince. Of their child…
Sans stared at her unwaveringly before closing his eyes. “I get the feeling you aren’t gonna learn anything from this.” He shrugged. “But that’s not my issue. I’ve already tried to steer you in the right direction so many times. So, what can I say now? What can I say that will change the mind of a selfish being such as yourself? Probably nothing, but I can make sure this never happens again.” Asgore looked at Sans, frightful that the skeleton would attack Alphys but what he did instead shocked him more. “My judgement stands, from this point on your position is revoked.” Alphys looked at Sans with eyes wide and horror within them. “No longer are you a scientist of the royal family. Nor are you to do experiments in their name.” The skeleton disappeared and appeared in front of Alphys instantly.
“And if you bring my kid into your experiments ever again, you will cross a line that not even she was spared from.” Alphys released a small scream and fell back as a short laughter left Sans’. He shoved his hands into his pockets and looked at Asgore. His eye lights returned however; his movements were still stiff. “Because the monarch,” And Frisk. “benefited from your actions, I will not raise arms against you this time.” He winked at the terrified woman on the floor. “But it would be in your best interest to refrain from giving me a bone to pick with you. Capisci?”
Alphys looked at him with fear and slight awe. He wasn’t going to kill her but her life as the Royal Scientist was over. At some level she wanted to beg him not to take her position away from her. She wanted to beg him to punish her another way. But she knew she was getting off lightly so instead, she lowered her head and nodded unable to get the words out. “Good. Now go wash your face and calm down before we leave. Wouldn’t want you to ruin their parade.” She scrambled immediately to get off of the floor and make her way to the bathroom. The skeleton snorted but looked up as Asgore sighed.
“Hardly. I honestly expected you to judge her harder…”
“I judge accordingly to the crimes committed, Fluffybuns.” His disposition relaxed significantly with the ex-royal scientist out of the room. Asgore gave him a smile that refuted his claims.
“Is that so…?” Sans eyed the king before he released a soft sound of frustration and sat down.
“If you have something to say to me, Asgore, say it.”
“Your possessiveness and protectiveness of Frisk caused me to worry that I would be putting Alphys’ dust into a box. I’m glad that is not the case.” Sans captured the king’s gaze and although his grin didn’t fall, it wasn’t amused. Asgore move to de-escalate the tension that seemed to rise again within Sans but before he could the skeleton spoke.
“A guard dog is not to be confused with an attack dog. A guard dog is used to watch for and protect their owners against unwanted beings, be it monster or humans.” He leaned back in his seat. “Do you know why I don’t mind the kid calling me her ‘dog’, Asgore?” There was no answer. “It’s because, that is the role I have had to place myself in from the moment we arrived upon the surface. I’ve guarded her from the humans, I’ve guarded her from monsters—hell, I’ve guarded her from her own mother. That is what I do. That is how I protect her when no other can. Every threat that comes her way is judged and if I can I will shield her from it whenever possible.” His grin widened. “And if I must act, and we know how long it takes for that reaction to be pulled from me, then that is when dust and blood will fill the air. No moment sooner, nor later. If Alphys was not apart of our little family then I can guarantee you she would have been part of the wind a long time ago.”
It wasn’t the first time that Asgore had heard Frisk or Sans reference himself as such. However, it was the first time in which he truly understood just how seriously he took that role. There was a sense of pride that came over him knowing that Frisk was well protected. Yet on the other side of that coin was an eerie feeling that the skeleton’s allegiance had shifted from the monarchy to just Frisk and whatever it meant to protect her best interest. Whether or not that meant protecting those outside of her and his brother… He had no chance to respond however when Alphys reemerged looking worse for wear.
Sans rose up immediately before placing a hand upon the two and teleporting them back to the monarchy’s house. He stepped out of the way as Undyne locked on to Alphys and focused his attention on the goat monster who currently held his charge.
“Alphys!!” The scientist didn’t hesitate to run into her wife’s arms, forgetting their earlier issues to relish in her comfort. Undyne was quick to realize that although the tears were gone her wife was still very much shaken and the child’s head of security was quick to glare at Sans. “What the fuck did you do?!”
“I swear to fucking god if you hurt her—!"
At this, the skeleton laughed before shaking his head. “Hardly. Her judgement is as follows. No longer is Alphys the Royal Scientist.” The fish woman’s breath hitched and her rage rose.
“You can’t do that!” Alphys grabbed her wife’s arm gently trying her best to get her attention.
“Can and did.”
“On what fucking grounds?!”
Papyrus stepped forward in an attempt to help calm the situation but Toriel, bless her heart, stopped him. She shook head and the younger brother backed down hesitantly. Sans looked at Asgore and shrugged. “Should I tell her or…?”
“S-Stop! J-Just…” Alphys pulled from Undyne and smiled sadly. “…His judgement is fine, Undyne…”
“I did this to myself. I broke a promise the king and Sans. I knew the consequences.” Undyne looked at Alphys worriedly but her wife just gave a sad smile. “L-Let's go home Undyne…” The woman wanted nothing but to argue but her wife’s tired state helped her to give in. Undyne threw one more seething glare towards Sans before ushering her wife out so they could begin their walk home.
Once they were gone, there was a tension that filled the air and no one talked. However, their eyes turned to Frisk as the little girl wiggled out of Asriel’s hold and was set down on her own two feet. “Sooo… Lunch anyone?”
Frisk spent the day basking in the love of her family. She never took a step away from her brother and if he was out of her sight for a second, she always made sure to find him. The skelebros remained in the house as well using this time to catch up with everyone and rest from the hectic week they had at the manor. Although he spent most of his time indulging his brother and making puns to frustrate him, he always kept an eye on the prince. Occasionally, they would make eye contact and the skeleton would wink at him just to get a reaction. It stopped being funny the moment the prince would hug Frisk in a ploy to agitate him back.
The little girl didn’t notice of course. She was head over heels for her old brother and no one else had her attention like he did. That also meant, however, that he had yet to have a moment where he could speak to the prince one on one. Normally he would let bygones be bygones, but the past plant’s track record didn’t warrant it. As well… He looked over at the two siblings and watched as Frisk looked at her brother awestruck. He knew what it was like to be a role model to someone who believed in you so dearly. He knew what it was like to look up to someone who you adored dearly… And he also knew what it was like to have someone you idolize destroy that image.
In truth, he couldn’t protect Frisk from emotional pain even when he wanted to. But he could do his best to shield her from the fallout.
Night fell quickly and as the others fell asleep as they watched a movie, the skeleton and the prince remained awake. Frisk sat upon Asriel’s lap with her hands clinging to his turtleneck while her brother held her close, he rested his chin upon her head. Papyrus had fallen asleep as well and although he didn’t sit upon his brother, his head did rest in his lap. Sans kept a hand on his brother’s skull and once he was comfortable that the group was completely unaware, he looked up.
“Was it really necessary to demote Alphys…?” Asriel looked off to the side. “I know what she did wasn’t right in any regard but… She means well.”
“I’ll tell you the same thing I told Frisk, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Alphys cannot handle dealing with her emotions separately from her work. She shouldn’t have messed with your corpse. We all know that regardless of who she is, she will always be wrong for that.” Asriel frowned but relented none the less.
“But that hardly matters now, huh? You’re alive, properly, now.” The prince locked eyes with him.
“Alive and well with Frisk’s blood in you. So now what?”
“Now what? What’s your plan?”
“I don’t have one.”
Sans closed his eyes. “Wrong answer.”
“And just what is the right answer, Sans? Stop being vague and open your mouth.”
Sans looked down at Papyrus. “That kid has wanted nothing more than for you to return to live with us in this ‘happily ever after’. Even though she had never properly lived with you or that demon, she constantly refers to you two as her siblings.” Lazily, he gestured to the sleeping child. “And now you’re here. Her big brother is back home. She can separate the two beings of Flowey and Asriel; she's a being of mercy.” He narrowed his eyes. “But I cannot.” Sans shrugged. “I am biased beyond repair. And that’s fine. I’m not trying to be your bff. That doesn’t mean I am not watching you.”
Asriel held his gaze but the seriousness melted off his face as he smiled. “I can count the amount of times I killed Frisk with one hand. She can count the amount of times she has killed me with two.” He continued to gaze at Sans with half lidded eyes. “But you have murdered my sister so many times that you would need a human army to count all the times.” Sans’ gritted his teeth. “You are allowed to judge my soul; it matters not to me. But do not step to me about hurting my sister.” He looked down at his sibling and pulled her closer. “You know, the funny thing is despite my heartlessness then there were times where I genuinely helped Frisk. Multiple timelines where I tried to better myself because I wanted my sibling to succeed.”
He narrowed his eyes. “You sat by when Papyrus was rendered to dust though you could have easily murdered Chara right before she even got close to him.” His eyes lights were gone now but Asriel continued. “I will fuck up. There will be times where I let her down. We’ll argue, we’ll hate each other for a week. We’ll get mad when others treat us badly and try to defend each other at all cost. That’s how that works—that’s how this works. We are siblings. Blood or not. She isn’t the first sister I’ve had but she is the last. I learned from my mistakes and I will make sure those and my future ones do not hurt Frisk.”
The two held each other’s gaze for the longest time until Sans finally relented and scoffed. “Well then… Welcome back flower prince.”
“Thanks, ya smiling trash bag. Now what the hell have I missed and why is my sister walking around looking like an undertaker?” Unable to help it, the skeleton gave a curt laugh. You know what they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend’s enemy. And if it was anything to take from how Asriel wished to look over his sister, Majerus had a new enemy.
“Well, your sister tried to kill herself.”
“…Underground spare everyone kill herself or jump off a cliff kill herself?”
This was going to be a long conversation.
“YOU JUMPED OFF OF EBOTT!”
“I know that! That was a long time ago—”
“YOU JUMPED OFF EBOTT!!”
Sans laughed behind his hand and Frisk threw him a dark glare. Stupid freaking skeleton. Didn’t they hate each other? Oh god she hoped Azzy and Sans weren’t getting along she didn’t need that…
“Azzy~ That was so long ago!”
“Indeed Asriel,” Toriel smiled gently at her son catching his attention. “it is all water under the bridge now.” Her son stared at her before taking a deep breath and folding his hands together in front of his face.
“Mom…? May I ask you a question of extreme importance...?”
“YOU YELLED AT YOUR DAUGHTER WHO WAS SUICIDAL, HOW IS THAT OKAY?!!”
She remained silent the entire walk home. Undyne continued to look on at her with concern and the moment they entered their home, Alphys plopped down on the couch and looked down at the floor. "...You know... I wanna cry because I lost my job..." Undyne's heart broke as her wife looked up with a teary smile. "But he wasn't wrong... When I found Flowey, the prince... All that came through my mind was how can I correct my wrong? I was more worried about how I could ease my guilt that I didn't even think to speak to everyone about it. In hindsight I can't help but to think what would have happened if he really didn't wake up that moment his heart stopped..." She reached up and wiped her eyes.
"I don't have a right to cry. Not when I hurt so many. To be honest, Asriel is lucky. The other Amalgamates will never return to how they once were before I made them into the monstrosities they are now." Alphys turned her eyes back to the floor and sniffed. "...I injected him with more DT... I took him to the underground and injected him because I knew that's how he was going to retain his form. Or at least reform the form we know... But that wasn't enough. I wanted to make sure that he would never change back into that emotionless flower again..." She turned her palms upwards and gave a broken laughter. "And that's when I decided the best way was to use Frisk's blood."
The ex-royal scientist could practically hear her wife freeze as she told her what she had done and her laughter grew. "And I knew it was wrong! I knew, Undyne but I did it anyway. I told myself that I was doing it because of Flowey. I told myself that I was doing it because Asriel deserved a proper life... But that's not why I did any of that at all, Undyne... I did it because I was tired of feeling my sins. I did it because I wanted to be able to sleep at night without remember that while I slept in my bed out prince was out there in forced to take the form of a plant because I had to see. Because I had to just see what would happen if I messed with his body."
Her laughter died down and her face fell into her hands. "I don't deserve to be the Royal Scientist... Not because I don't have the skills. Not because I don't have the confidence..." Undyne moved next to her and sat down on the couch. "I don't deserve it because I don't work to help others..." Her wife pulled her into her arms and held her to her chest and at that moment, Alphys broke down into heavy sobs as she finally was allowed to let everything out.
She didn't deserve the position because she knew in her heart she would never change. In her heart she knew that, that was why she couldn't speak back when Sans judged her soul. She always had to push the limits, she always had to just... See. Curiosity killed the cat and if Alphys had her way she would just bring it back.