you can only use your own
You cannot use someone else’s fire; you can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe you have it.
- Audre Lorde
Or: Snapshots from a world where Chara and Asriel lived.
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→I. someone else's fire
They close their eyes and nod. They’re only very small, like you, but you think they look poised, holy, in the low light. “I’m counting on you to help me, then.” Chara lifts their chin, raising their eyelids halfway to look at you directly. “We should get started now. Before anyone has a chance to suspect.”
Or: Five times Chara successfully convinced Asriel not to tell anyone, and one time—
→II. somebody out there needs you
Things aren’t okay. You’re not okay. You don’t think you’ve ever been, and your baseline’s changed again, and you’re still trying to figure out where things stand. But you’re still here, somehow, and you have Asriel, and you don’t know why but Asgore and Toriel still tolerate your presence. There are days that—better is too strong a term, maybe, but they’re passable.
Or: Chara has a very bad week and makes a friend.
→III. love does not make me gentle or kind
The idea of you having to take the throne still feels like a bad joke. Your mom and dad have been the monarchs forever, and some part of you assumed they always would be, even though you know better. You hate even the thought of having to be responsible for the whole kingdom, because what happens when you mess things up? Taking care of Chara, having them need you—that’s all you’ve ever wanted, it’s enough for you.
Or: Asriel's misadventures with princehood, responsibility, and generally being an adult.
→IV. the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
Try as you might, you still need him. You’re useless without him. And—you love him, you do; you like to think that you would have chosen Asriel anyway, even without all this. He supports you, treasures you, makes you laugh, makes you feel safe. But the more you think about just how dependent on him you are, the more exhausted you become. If he is a bastion of safety, then you are the ivy wrapped around the walls. You may very well pull him down with you, in the end.
Or: Chara comes to a decision and meets some resistance.
→IV-i. live inside a green moment [Undertail]
You can’t keep your hands to yourself.
Or: Chara and Asriel enjoy a brief respite.
→V. a wish you tell a star and no one else
Worrying about the future has been familiar to you for the past while: It’s a little hard to ignore when your coronation is only months away instead of years. The underground feels stiflingly small at times, but there are a lot of monsters (and, okay, a handful of humans too) who live here, and those are an awful lot of people to feel responsible for.
Or: Asriel procrastinates on an important task, discovers the magic of friendship, and faces his upcoming coronation.
→VI. you in your veil and your pale white dress
It’s been five years, after all—Asgore and Toriel have all but faded into the background when it comes to politics, and Asriel isn’t completely overwhelmed with kingship anymore. His parents are ready to retire for real, and you’re as ready as you’re ever going to be to step up to take their place, and you have the time and the gold to devote to a wedding ceremony. That means that it’s time now for you and Asriel to finally, finally be married.
Or: Chara attempts to process some things while dealing with wedding planning.
→VI-i. seal our lips until we're found [Undertail]
This isn’t about comparing anatomy; it’s about Chara being able to feel safe in their own living
space, in their own skin. It doesn’t come easy for them, and you know why that is and how hard
they’ve had to fight to get to this point.
Or: Asriel and Chara explore their new privacy.
→VII. under my skin, there will be flowers
“Asgore and Toriel have sealed off the old capital,” you say. “The monsters there are safe. We’ll have to alert Undyne and the Royal Guard. Have Rufus stay in Snowdin instead of reporting for work in Hotland or Waterfall—she may respond better to a human than to a monster. Everyone knows well enough what humans look like to not mistake this one for a monster child, but just in case, send out a message for civilians to keep a safe distance and not aggress unless absolutely necessary.”
Or: Chara faces their greatest challenge yet as a monarch of the underground.
→VIII. to rest in crypts and wake in gardens
There’s a very small part of you that’s almost—annoyed at the way they’re pulling you along, expecting you to keep going when you’re already so tired. But you’re also annoyed at the part of you that’s grateful for them whisking you through this strange place, because you have so little to keep you going otherwise. Didn’t you climb the mountain in the first place, fling yourself into that hole, because you were so sure that there was nothing left?
Or: Frisk survives a long fall and figures out what comes next.
→IX. we light ourselves up from the deepest of pits
“Tra la la,” says the Riverperson cheerfully, startling you out of your negative spiral. “Great rewards await after great trials, and the greatest approaches. Hmm… what sort of rewards could be waiting after that…?”
As usual with their weirdly apropos non sequiturs, you’re not sure whether you ought to be heartened or creeped out.
Or: Asriel and the fallen humans prepare to break the Barrier.
how they felt after the flood
The Crystal Gems have left their home behind, choosing instead to live near Beach City with its population of Earthling humans and monsters. Frisk, a Calcite born late from one of Earth's kindergartens, is their newest member; despite this, they find themself at the heart of the team as their companions try to cope with losses suffered before Frisk joined them.
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→I. the sun like a morning moon
The clock is on the wall behind you, right where they’re probably looking, and you hug them tighter and wish for the thousandth millionth time that there was something you could do to fix all this.
When the rest of their family is off on missions, Frisk and Chara are left to look after the temple, and each other.
→II. songbirds singing before the sun has fully risen
You’re paying so much attention to your footing, and the crash of the waves is so blissfully loud, that you don’t realize you’ve got company until a young voice from behind you says “Yo!”
While the other gems deal with their own crises, Frisk finds relief from their own responsibilities in a new friend.
→III. let none be the noose
Chara still has bad days, now and again. They still push you away when things get to be too bad for you to handle by yourself, and that still hurts, but at least you have MK to distract you when that happens.
You haven’t formed Willemite for a long time now, it seems.
You do your best not to let that bother you.
MK learns about fusion, and Frisk and Chara have a sorely needed talk.
more than 10,000 words
receding into indefinite rain
Choose a quiet
place, a ruins, a house no more
under whose stone archway I stood
one day to duck the rain.
- Li-Young Lee, "With Ruins"
Five years after the monsters go free, Toriel and Frisk receive an unexpected visit.
5000 - 10,000 words
with my heart uncrossed
If you’re just looking for a place to stay… just ask!!! You don’t need to fight me!!!
- Your host, Papyrus
a cracked bell, or a torn heart
What is there to say to this, to an eleven-year-old child whose life was once golden and blessed, who feels compelled to shoulder every possible misery he can find out of some twisted sense of penance?
All is not yet well on the surface, and for Asriel's sake, it's up to Frisk and Chara to fix things, or at least make their best effort.
like ships had come home in me
It’s bright in the room with the curtains half-open, so your reflection is squinting, but you can still see that your left eye is red. You rest your hand on the rim of Flowey’s pot, and in the mirror you see him raise a dubious brow at the portrait you three make.
“It’s us,” Chara observes through your mouth. Flowey shrugs his little leaf arms, like can’t argue with that I guess. You smile.
a cotton candy taste that suits the lavender of your voice [Undertail]
Chara does not deal well with being left home alone for an entire month while Frisk and Asriel are away on ambassador business; thankfully, when their partners get home, they're more than happy to make it up to them.
dirt to your memories
It's been a long time since the Barrier broke and monsters went free, and everything seems to be peaceful and safe. But Sans... well. He needs to be sure, that's all.
a rose, blooming, dying, in your lungs [Undertail]
Sometimes, Asriel needs help in ways that only Frisk can provide.
1000 - 5000 words
the place I stop and you begin
"It has already been used several times."
- Info text for the Bandage
From the outside, the rain shelter looks so small—nowhere near as big and lonely as it felt the first day you sat there. You take a deep breath and try to avoid the sinking feeling of weight settling over your whole body. It’s only been a few days. You have food and everything. It’s going to be fine.
(But nobody came.)
Here all that was, was frail to bear a heart.
This morning, Toriel and your friends were talking about surface business, exodus business, the stages in which you’ll move everyone outside and how to establish Frisk as ambassador.
So today, too, you hide in the garden, doing repetitions with your knife.
The day of departure draws closer. Chara gets anxious.
world comes pouring through
Alphys reunites with some old friends on the way home from taking care of business.
for darkling green
Asriel has a question for Undyne.
worth a thousand
Asriel, Chara, and their beat-up old camcorder.
bright on a gray background
When a bad brain weather day threatens to sabotage your babysitting plans, it's up to your girlfriend to come to the rescue.
a door ajar on the top floor
Frisk wakes up in a familiar place.
Chara's piano lessons continue. Undyne has an idea.
lord of red, lord of gold
You're nine, and they're thirteen.
You're eleven, and they're seven.
You're ten, and so are they.
Frisk and Chara, from different angles.
evoke the stars above
Bloody fingers stretch toward the last book, a photo album. Then shiver, shiver, and withdraw.
It's the end.
joy of our desiring
It's winter holiday season, which to two thirds of the Dreemurr household usually signifies suffering. Thankfully, this year Frisk has a brilliant plan.
the gratitude of bladed things
* (It's a family photograph.)
* (Everyone is smiling.)
sunlight on a bed of dark roses
An attempt was made. Chara has regrets.
Alphys is having a rough night, and as everyone knows, misery loves company.
don't you let the thunder in
It's not having to share the same body that's the hard part.
drawn to a light nobody else saw
Chara and Asriel: on nomenclature, on wishing selfishly, on first crushes.
with frostbit hands and snowblind souls
Frisk and Chara encounter some technical difficulties in Snowdin.
cloaked in sheepskin [Undertail]
This is it; very soon the prince of all monsters and his human champion will meet with the rebel organization, luring them into the royalists' trap and putting an end to everything. There are only one or two more hours of lying in wait to go.
Clearly this is the perfect time for a quickie.
(A companion to Eristastic's delightful tournament AU.)
there are a lot of secrets under my bed
“Don’t ask me to pick the little weirdo’s brain to tell you how their logic works, because I don’t know a god damn thing,” he told you. Then he sighed and tucked his cigarette back into his mouth, inhaling long and slow. Smoke-smell mingled with the odors of fast food and lava when he breathed out. “The problem now is, now that they’re not murdering everything in sight anymore, we’re stuck with them because they had to go and imprint on me like some weird baby animal. What the fuck are we supposed to do with them now?”
The one where Burgerpants and the Nice Cream Guy adopt Chara.
the first shoots of green after a wildfire
Long after the underground has gone empty, Flowey the Flower gets a visit from the last person he would expect.
It gets worse.
remember weather by the voice of the wheel
The end of the year is not quite living up to its promise, and Asriel is feeling a little... spiteful.
(This is, astoundingly, less ominous than it sounds.)
that moment is a waterfall [Undertail]
In which Alphys and Undyne enjoy the Mew Mew visual novel, among other things.
brontide & petrichor
Frisk and Chara encounter Undyne and debate methods.
less than 1000 words
green beneath the rime
Even so, you will remember this moment: No matter how many years pass, no matter what form you take.
(in absence of) a comfortable rhythm
In which a boss fight is probably not the best time to worry yourself sick over your backseat driver's uncharacteristic radio silence.
In which Chara discovers Asriel's paw pads.
in the dream that matters
Asgore tries on his new sweater.