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Challenge #01103-C006: That Which is Lost

They were at least the person's equal now, and with a three-nil record in killing them. If only they'd stop coming back, more insane each time, so they wouldn't have to do it again. They had admired them, once. -- RecklessPrudence

[AN: Oooooh, nice. First totally gender-neutral prompt EVER. Well done]

Before the fall...

Chara was the friend only Frisk could see. The year that Frisk stopped talking, Chara could hear their thoughts. Chara couldn't eat or drink, or make messes. They said that was because they were dead.

Chara was the only other 'they' that Frisk had met. Everyone wanted Frisk to be a 'he' or a 'she', but they felt that was wrong. Picking one or the other meant that they had to do certain things. Being a 'he' meant getting beaten up for making daisy chains or playing with the dandelions. Being a 'she' meant getting into trouble for climbing trees or splashing in puddles.

And being a 'they'... meant time alone from all the others because they didn't understand. It meant being in the meadow of golden flowers, all alone, and watching the clouds go by. It meant hearing a voice when Frisk plucked a flower.

My oldest friend is a flower like that, it said. It said it without sound, but Frisk heard it anyway.

Someone had stolen Frisk's communication cards, so they had to use signs. Frisk went slowly. You... friend?

There was something wrong with their smile. Frisk remembered that. But, not having seen very many smiles in their life, Frisk couldn't pin down exactly what was wrong.

I'll be your friend, said the phantom. A child who looked almost exactly like Frisk. With rosy cheeks and a pale complexion. My name's Chara.

And friendless Frisk found someone who would not leave them. Who could not hurt them. Who encouraged Frisk to remain determined.

Underground...

Frisk stared at the eyeball. The eyeball stared back.

That's just a Loox. Don't pick on them and you're fine. Did you know they're all from the same family? Guess what? It's Eyewalker. Like in that movie with the space men.

Chara loved that movie for the explosions. Chara loved encouraging Frisk to fight, always the first thing they did.

Frisk didn't want to kill anyone. So they opened their arms and lowered the stick.

No! Make a mess! Kill it! It's kill or be killed, remember?

But it worked, and Loox didn't want to fight.

Frisk was starting to like the underground. Chara was hating it. Hating it to the point of wanting to make it an empty hell of broken wishes. But Chara was wrong. The underground was full of the love and kindness that Frisk had craved all their life.

After the Barrier is Broken...

It had taken Frisk a week to notice that Chara was gone. They knew better than to mention it to their new mother, Toriel. After Frisk had found out about Chara and Asriel... mentioning anything like that would break her heart.

So Frisk told everyone they were going for a walk. Crept through the eerily silent and empty Underground until they heard voices. Two voices. Flowey and Chara.

Of course it's not fair. They left you. They hurt you. They forced you to stay like this when you could have died...

"I want to kill the next human who falls down here," growled flowey. "Their soul will be delicious."

We used to be friends, thought Frisk. I used to love you.

And Chara could always hear what Frisk was thinking.

Both spirit and flower turned. "Well, well," they said in unison. "Look who came back."

Frisk signed, I came looking for Chara. I want to make sure they're all right.

All right? I'll be all right when the world is dead! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!

Frisk signed, You both know that you can't kill me, they opened their arms, showing that they carried no weapon. You are meant to move along.

And where would I go? What would I do? It's no fun in the void, with the shadow man. There's no death, there.

Frisk sighed. This time, one among many, they would choose the right words. They had had to kill Chara over and over and over again. Somewhere, there had to be the right thing to say. Frisk could not allow them to merge with Flowey, ever again. That one piece of fractured time had been the worst. Two monsters did not make an angel.

Go beyond the void, Frisk signed. Take Flowey with you. You have the power.

Is there death there? said Chara. Is there suffering?

The truth, but a hurtful one. Yes. Lots of it.

For a moment, the hateful flower was just a flower, but its eyes blinked back in and the mouth formed anew.

"Thanks a bunch," snarled Flowey. "You just convinced my only friend to go to Hell."

I'll visit, signed Frisk. I'll be your friend.

"You know I'm a monster..."

Frisk nodded. They had befriended many other monsters before. This one would just take longer.

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