Frisk was walking through Waterfall to get to the golden flower field where Asriel would be.
"darn, I barely made it through this time" Frisk thought. If the god of hyperdeath had shattered his soul he wasn't sure he could have pulled it back together, his Determination had simply waned too much over the countless resets, he was losing hope.
Thinking back Frisk couldn't remember how long it had been since he had lost control of the time-line and had gotten stuck in this perpetual cycle of going through the underground, freeing the monsters only to have it all be undone. Frisk's only hope for breaking this cycle he had been swept up in was the changes that seemed to randomly occur after a reset, but nothing had ever been substantial enough to make a difference. Every change that was pointless or ended in a dead-end had been a hit to the human's spirit and he was starting to despair.
"huh, this corridor is a lot longer than usual", Frisk looked up and saw a person sitting on a bench in the seemingly endless corridor reading a book, he looked human if a bit odd of appearance, he had white hair and u-shaped frame glasses and was clad in Japanese styled clothing. But even if he looked the part, Frisk knew he couldn't possibly be a human, for one he was in the underground, but the most damning clue was the man's aura, the only thing Frisk could even compared it too was the Gaster followers, it had that same feeling of wrongness, but it also radiated power.
The man closed his book and fished up a pocket watch "Ah, you are a bit early" he commented as he checked the time.
Frisk blinked, the strange man had been expecting him apparently. Before Frisk could ask any questions the man lifted a hand as if to silence him "who I am, is of no importance, however what I bring is."
He put his book down and slid his arm inside his kimono like jacket and pulled out a metal orb that looked like it came from some horror film, the metal that composed the majority of its surface was not consistent and clearly made of several types of material, several multicolored wire protruded from gaps in the shell and on one side three vials built carefully into the shell, two of them had strange liquids inside while the last was empty and there was two sets of handles on opposite sides of the orb. Frisk wondered for a moment how he had managed to hide it inside his clothes as it was clearly to large to be concealed such a way, but decided not to ask as he would most likely either wouldn't get an answer or the strange man would just give him the response Sans always did and simply say it was magic.
"A gift from doctor Gaster" he held it out slightly in his right hand "While the good doctor wasn't very forthcoming with the details, he did say that activating this device will put an end to the manipulation of the time-line for good. It will need two individuals of strong determination to use it, though I am sure that will not be a problem" Frisk nodded and reached out to take the device.
As soon as his hands took hold of it the stranger's idle hand shot out and gripped the wrist of his right arm startling him "When you use the device you will have a short time while the world adjusts to change anything you'd like" Frisk looked into his red eyes " don't ask how I know this, I am already pushing the limits of the rules by delivering this to you" the stranger let go of Frisk's wrist.
He got up and started leaving the confused human "ah, what the heck I have already said too much" he whispered to himself and stopped. The stranger looked over his shoulder "Don't think of it as omnipotence though it might feel like it, rather think of it as being granted a wish " then he walked away and seemingly disappeared down the corridor.
Frisk honestly felt split, on one hand he had just been given the chance he had waited on for so long, but on the other, the thought of never being able to go back at all, not even loading was a little scary. He would never have made it through the underground without the second chances it gave him when he failed.
The human gathered his resolve. If he had to sacrifice the safety of saving and loading to finally be rid of the cycle he would do it without hesitation. After putting the orb into his inventory Frisk proceeded towards Asriel he experienced a sensation he had almost forgotten what felt like, he was filled with determination.
Asriel sat down in the golden flower patch. He looked over as Frisk sat beside him without saying anything.
"Frisk" the human looked over to Asriel "have....have we been here before?" the monster asked. Frisk nodded, Asriel had asked him before, but he had never confirmed it before, there had simply never been a point.
"oh" Asriel looked down disappointed.
"Why?" Frisk braved himself to finally explain and let it all off his chest, it might be the only chance he got.
"At first" he said making Asriel look at him "I reset because of you. It.....it just felt wrong. I had managed to help everyone else and seeing you doomed to revert back to Flowey made me think I had done something wrong, so I reset, then I proceeded to scour the underground for a solution." Frisk smiled sadly "I would have kept resetting of not for you. You told me that I was acting just like Flowey, just drunk on my own kind arrogance, thinking I could fix the world on my own. So I let go and led the monsters to the surface" Frisk looked at Asriel.
"Not that I gave up on you mind" the monsters eyes widened "I had decided that if the solution couldn't be found in the underground, perhaps it could be on the surface. It took some explaining, but I managed to convince Alphys and Sans to help me find a solution and from what they told me they actually made good headway on one" Frisk explained "but then it happened" Frisk's tone darkened.
"what, what happened?" Asriel questioned nervously
"everything reset" Frisk answered glumly "At first, I thought it was my fault, that somehow I had reset without meaning to as I was asleep when it happened, so I went through the underground again and helped the monsters to the surface"
"That time it all reset while I was having breakfast with Toriel. I was not sure what was happening so the third time I forced myself to stay awake" Frisk chuckled lightly at the memory
"Everyone got so concerned for me, but I managed to see what I feared, I saw the reset screen get corrupted by...something and forced a reset." Asriel was stunned by what Frisk was telling him, someone or something was actively forcing monsters back into the underground meaning whatever or whoever it was had a stronger determination than Frisk, which quite frankly was a scary thought in enough itself.
"Again and again it would happen, but every time I scoured every cranny of the underground without fail before going with them to the surface, just in case something had changed" Frisk explained "I tried finding whoever did it, I scouted in every direction on the surface, but came up empty handed."
Frisk shuddered as he remembered what he did next "As that didn't work, I sat down with everyone and explained the situation, needless to say it took a lot of convincing, but everyone did come around. Asgore and Toriel created a new barrier to prevent anyone from leaving the underground, Then Asgore, Toriel, Papyrus and Undyne planned how to subdue the monsters while Alphys and to everyone's surprise Sans dove into the sciences for a solution."
Frisk stopped his story and shuddered again "What happened next was horrible, something came out of the dark and killed everyone and the thing responsible left me with a simple order "don't do it again" before killing me and forcing a reset. Needless to say I never tried keeping the monsters underground again." Asriel was unnerved by just how afraid Frisk looked, even when he only told of whatever it was ambiguously. If something could scare Frisk who had stared down the demonic form of Flowey and his all-powerful god of hyperdeath form, it must truly have been terrifying.
"But that only left me with one choice" Frisk said after he got his breathing back under control "going through it all over and over again, hoping that something would change."
Asriel felt bad for thinking Frisk had reset for some nefarious reason, when in reality he had become just as trapped as him and the monsters of the underground. Then he realized something he had to inquire Frisk about."If everything resets out of your control, then why even bother telling me this?"
"Because this time, something did change" Frisk pulled the device out of his inventory "A strange human-looking guy gave me this, telling me it was made by doctor Gaster and that it will put a stop to this mess when it is activated" the goat monster looked at the orb in awe "then, why haven't you yet?"
Frisk tilted his head and smiled somberly "because it needs a second operator, one with great determination. It's true that I could have gone to Undyne, but I figure that out of everyone, you deserved to see this to the end the most"
Asriel looked at Frisk bewildered for a while then firmly nodded "Err, how does it work?" he lost his bold posture.
The human shrugged "He didn't tell, but I assume it has something to do with the handles, perhaps we just have to hold them."
Frisk and Asriel each took hold of a set of handles, but nothing happened.
Frisk looked at the orb closely. Perhaps there is a reason the shell is loose he thought, then it hit him.
"We have to pull the orb apart" Asriel nodded and the two began to pull as much as they could. At first the orb didn't budge, put then slowly bit by bit it yielded. As they pulled it apart Frisk and Asriel felt more and more exhausted, Frisk glared at the stubborn orb and saw that the last vial that used to be empty was slowly filling up. Both were about to collapse but determinedly held on and as soon as the vial was filled, all three liquids were released into the orb and it flew apart, sending out a shock wave that sent them flying backwards.
Before Frisk's back even hit the floor a second shock wave from the core of the orb made the camber fade away as if it had just ceased to exist, only to be replaced with endless white in all directions. Frisk wasn't sure if he was laying down, standing or floating.
The white abyss should have scared him, he was all alone here and he couldn't tell up from down, if such concepts even existed in this strange place. But if he was honest with himself he wasn't afraid at all, he couldn't even feel the fatigue he should had felt.
"Is this the place that guy told about?" Frisk wondered. As if answering his question as ripples began running through the whiteness. Frisk could feel his mind being expanded, unimaginable concepts ran though his head alongside everyone he had ever met and everything he had ever seen. In that moment Frisk knew everything was possible.
He remembered the stranger's words though "don't think of it as omnipotent power, think of it as being granted a wish". The human realized that this place could grant him unimaginable power or untold riches and that was just scratching the surface. Frisk would be lying if he told anyone that the allure hadn't been tempting, if only briefly, but to Frisk those things paled in comparison to the one thing he truly wanted.
The place grew completely still as if waiting for his decision. Frisk stretched his arm out into the white space and yelled "ASRIEL!"
It suddenly reacted after a moments pause, as if it had taken it a short time to respond, the white that made up the space faded away and gave way to darkness. Very quickly the space had turned completely dark and Frisk suddenly felt as if he was falling, the sensation then stopped as abruptly as it had started.
As he was lying there in the endless darkness Frisk began wondering were he was, his body wasn't responding very well and he felt very tired.
*drip* *drip* "rain?" he felt droplets hit his head and eyelids. As the droplets continued raining down on his face he realized something "my eyes are closed", honestly Frisk felt a bit embarrassed it had taken him a while to realize that fact.
He strained to open his eyes, it took far more effort than it should have and even then his vision was blurred, a white, green and yellow indistinguishable blob slowly got more detailed and revealed it had been Asriel, who was crying his eyes out.
Frisk groaned as he tried to sit up "oh god Frisk you are alive!"Asriel helped him up, then frantically looked him over "are you ok? I got so worried when you wouldn't wake up" He pulled Frisk into a hug.
The two stood there holding each other amidst the pieces metal, wire and glass that had once made up Gaster's orb.
A realization suddenly hit Frisk as he was in the monsters embrace, he gripped Asriel's shoulders and pulled him away and looked him into his eyes "how are you feeling?"
"wha-" the sudden question took Asriel by surprise. Honestly the monster thought the question was really odd, especially since Frisk had been the one who had been unconscious just a few moments ago.
Frisk noticed the monster's hesitation "Asriel it is really important" Asriel was taken aback by how serious he looked. He decided Frisk probably had good reason for inquiring, he had not checked himself after getting blown back by the shock wave.
Nothing felt wrong to the young monster, then he realized that meant something had changed. The feeling of the spreading all-encompassing void in his chest he had felt ever since releasing all the monsters was gone.
He held his trembling paws in front of his chest making a white monster soul emerge.
Frisk saw Asriel look upon the idly spinning soul in disbelief and it broke his heart because he knew why the monster was so shocked. Asriel had completely given up and resigned to his fate, the very idea that he could be saved had become an impossibility in his mind.
Asriel was shaking "wha- what is this?"
Frisk put his hand on the troubled monsters shoulder as a calming gesture "Its a soul, your soul."
"How?" Asriel whispered
"Lets just say I made a wish and leave it at that for now" Frisk said.
Seeing as Asriel was too overwhelmed to know what to do with himself, he held out his hand for Asriel to take "come on Asriel lets go home" the human calmly said.
The monster tore his stare away from his soul and looked at the human, a vague shape of a large dressed goat monster appeared behind Frisk "mom?" he whispered and shakily took Frisk's hand.
"Don't worry, I will stay by your side brother for as long as you need it" at first it didn't seem he heard, but a slowly a small smile appeared on Asriel's face.
As he led Asriel through the ruins Frisk was felt overjoyed beyond words, he had done it, he had saved him.
He knew it wasn't over just yet, but as he walked with Asriel at his side, he was filled with the determination to make it through anything.