Published: November 5, 2018
Sancho was pulled out of his daydream about the times when he, his brother, and everyone else was happy. He heard Paxton being busy cooking in the kitchen, so he stood up from his bed and walked up to him.
"Hey, bro." - he said - "You're doing ok?"
"Good morning, Sancho!" - Paxton replied - "I'm alright… why do you ask?"
"Bro, you were down when you returned home last night." - Sancho pointed out.
It was true. When Paxton came home after his date with Francesca, he didn't have that usual life joy. This had surprised Sancho, since there wasn't much that could make Paxton this way. When Paxton explained that Francesca wanted to only be friends with him, Sancho got even more surprised. He remembered how determined Fran used to be in her past life; she would do anything in her power to get some happiness for herself or for those she cared about. And the attraction between her and Paxton was pretty obvious in this de-coded life, so she wouldn't simply back-up and friendzone him. So, Sancho guessed that something - or rather someone - made Francesca make that decision.
"I'm okay, Sancho." - Paxton reassured, but didn't sound convincing - "Really… I mean, it's true I'm a bit disappointed that Francesca doesn't share my… feelings, but I cannot force her into it."
"Come one, bro. Wouldn't you fight until the end to get what you so much deserve?"
"That's not the same, Sancho. I might deserve to be loved by someone special, but Francesca deserves her happiness too. It's not just about me this time."
"So, I'll leave her be. I can overcome this, brother." - Paxton tried to sound usually confident, but there was a subtle shake of his tone - "Besides, I still have you. I guess it's enough."
"You're bad at lying, bro." - Sancho thought to himself - "It's not enough, and it'll never be…"
"Okay, here's your breakfast." - Paxton gave his brother a plate with eggs - "I must go now, Ondine doesn't tolerate when someone's late."
"It's not like you've ever been late for work, Pax." - Sancho commented.
Soon, Paxton left the apartement. As Sancho ate his eggs, he made a decision. "Today, I'll tell Noelle everything. And soon, Gaster's work will be undone, and my brother will be happy again."
2 months before the De-Code
Asgore, Toriel, Frisk, Papyrus, Sans, Undyne were sitting around a round table after being called for an urgent meeting by Alphys, who said she discovered something alarming for their lives.
"Gaster's preparing… what?!" - Asgore exclaimed shocked.
"A De-Code. H-he wants to… uh… transport everyone from our w-world t-to another… where we'll… we won't… r-remember who we truly are and live with f-fake identities…" - Alphys explained.
"And I thought he had already reached the bottom." - Toriel commented bitterly but somehow sadly.
Alphys had by accident (she had made a trip to her old lab in the Underground) discovered what Dr Gaster was working on. What she learned shocked her, and knowing that her ex-colleague wouldn't change his mind, she hurried to inform everyone about what was coming.
"can we do something against it?" - Sans asked as his eye sockets turned dark.
"N-no, I'm afraid we c-can't…" - Alphys shook her head - "He locked himself in now, a-and once the process will be launched, it'll be i-impossible to stop."
"i can't believe this guy… now that we can finally live normally, he wants to ruin it for us." - Sans said with a dangerously low tone.
"When… when will that happen?" - Frisk asked.
"I... I cannot tell for sure, but… considering the antiquity of his researches and the current progress of his work, as well as the speed at which he works…" - Alphys spoke nervously.
"Alphys, when?" - Asgore asked firmly as in an order.
"...I'd say in a few weeks." - Alphys answered, and everyone looked shocked and alarmed at the same time - "I'm sorry…"
"So, he locked himself in, huh? Can't we just break in and throw the guy out of his lab?!" - Undyne suggested.
"That won't work… He installed a very performing security system! I tell you, it's by pure luck that I found the info…"
"but there must be something that can be done!!" - Sans exclaimed frustrated - "i always said that gaster wasn't punished enough for his crimes! and now, he's-"
"SANS! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT..! I THINK..." - Papyrus protested - "MAYBE PUNISHING HIM HARDER WOULD HAVE MADE THINGS EVEN WORSE."
"you mean, you think it could be worse than this?!" - Sans exclaimed - "he's basically about to reprogram us!"
"BUT MAYBE WE CAN STILL TALK HIM OUT OF IT!" - Papyrus suggested - "MAYBE HE COULD CHANGE HIS MIND..."
"W-well, considering the current progression of his w-work, I doubt he'll ever consider to abandon his project…" - Alphys shared her thoughts.
"That's not reassuring, Alphys." - Frisk remarked, then sighed - "Noelle's only three, she still has a long life to live…"
Asgore looked at his adoptive daughter with sympathy. Then, he turned to Alphys and asked with a sigh:
"Do you know what Gaster planned for each of us?"
"I... well... I'm very sorry, but… I don't know." - Alphys answered as she lowered her head - "All what I could read were the general effects of the De-Code. But there was nothing about the specific plans for each of our lives."
Frisk and Papyrus exchanged a worried look, while Sans lowered his head as his eye sockets darkened again. The thought that the life of his family would be screwed up from the scientist's hands pissed him off, to say the least. He had to find some solution, there had to be one.
Noelle was at Griffin's, serving her customers. She saw Gaster enter the cafe, so she hurried to him, not wanting to make him wait. He already didn't like her, so Noelle always tried her best to serve him fast to not annoy him even more.
"Hello, Dr Gaster. Black coffee as usual?" - Noelle asked.
"Not this time, Miss Doe." - Gaster shook his head - "It's a bit late for coffee, so I'll take some tea instead."
"Alright. It's coming." - Noelle replied before quickly disappearing in the kitchen.
Gaster sighed and let his tired gaze travel around. He saw that the spot a few seats from him was unusually empty. That was where Sancho usually ate, so it was a bit odd to not see him there.
"And it's not the first time, that is…" - Gaster remarked under his breath - "Did he finally get an actual life?"
"What was that, Dr Gaster?" - Noelle asked as she was already back with a cup of tea.
"I was just wondering where your friend disappeared." - the doctor replied - "Not that I care, but he'd always be around at that time of the day."
"Oh, well that's because he got a job at the powerhouse." - Noelle explained.
"At the…- what?" - Gaster's eyes widened.
"The powerhouse. You know, the place that provides electricity to the town?"
"I know what a powerhouse is, Miss Doe." - Gaster replied dryly - "I've just never thought a guy like Sancho would work there."
"Why not? You shouldn't be prejudicial, Dr Gaster."
Noelle returned to serve other customers, while Gaster sat there, staring at the bottom of his cup of tea, thinking. If Sancho all of sudden decided to get hired at the powerhouse, this could mean only one thing. And the thought of it didn't please Gaster a bit. So, when he finished his drink, he went in the direction of the building where the two brothers lived. When he found the apartement, he knocked the door several times. After a few moments, Sancho finally opened the door. Like usually, he was messily dressed. Sancho's eyes had slightly roundened when he saw Gaster at his door, but quickly concealed it and said with a tired and ironic tone:
"Oh, I don't think we called for a doctor. You came at the wrong address."
"You know exactly why I am here, Sancho." - Gaster said firmly - "I know that you got a job at the powerhouse. Out of all places where you could work, you chose the powerhouse."
"Yup. A problem with that?" - Sancho asked innocently - "Do you have some unsanitarities there to report?"
"The powerhouse! You know what's going on around here, right?!" - Gaster demanded, progressively losing his calm.
"I'm sorry doc, but I'm not pretty sure to follow."
"Oh, you do follow. You're a good actor, but you can't fool me." - Gaster said as his breath became unsteady - "You want to destroy everything I spent months… no, years to build! You always were the one to give me a hard time!"
"You say I gave you a hard time? It was pretty much the other way round." - Sancho thought.
But Sancho concealed his thoughts well, so he replied:
"You must've confused me with someone… Are you sure you're okay, doc? You don't look well, maybe you overworked. A few days off should do you good."
"You really will fake ignorance until the end, won't you?" - Gaster asked.
"Really doc, you don't look your best. You're too agitated… I advise you to go see a doctor. Oh, wait. You are the doctor! Hehe."
"Keep your act up, but know one thing: I will fight to keep what's mine. I will not let you, or Miss Doe, take it away from me." - Gaster said with a dangerous tone - "Take it from me."
"Whatever you say. But make sure to have some sleep first!" - Sancho replied with a wide grin.
Gaster then walked away without bothering to answer. He had to take some action to not let Noelle undo his work. "My children are what made her stay here." - he mused - "So, if I want her to leave, it's in fact pretty easy."
1 month before the De-Code
"Are you sure it's going to work?" - Alphys asked Sans.
"it must work. he's our only hope now." - the skeleton replied - "now we wait."
The duo had dispersed some dog food in a track from Snowdin to the Ruins. They wanted to capture the Annoying Dog to ask him what they could do to save themselves from the De-Code. If there was anyone who knew, it was the Dog. But unfortunately, since the breach of the Barrier, finding him wasn't as easy, so they had to resort to desperate and trivial means like disperse food to attract him. "i just hope he won't see the trap coming." - Sans thought to himself - "even though it's too obvious." Sans and Alphys waited for about thirty minutes, but nothing happened.
"Sans, I'm starting to think he won't come…" - she said - "Maybe we should think of another plan?"
"we have no time, alphys." - Sans replied - "we don't even know where to find him!"
Suddenly, a voice from behind them said:
"You know guys, if you wanted to talk, you could've just called me!"
Alphys and Sans turned around and gasped in surprise as they saw the Dog sit there with an amused look in his eyes.
"B-but... h-how did you...?" - Alphys tried to ask as her gaze travelled from the dog to the only entry to the Ruins.
"This world is my creation, I can go from place to place knowing no limitations you do know." - the Dog replied - "I can basically go across the walls if I wish so!"
"anyway, we need you." - Sans said seriously - "our world is in danger and you're the only one who can help us."
"It's Dr Gaster, he…" - Alphys started.
"He's working on the De-Code, I already know." - the white dog interrupted her.
"so, you must know what's about to happen to all of us! why don't you act to prevent this?" - Sans asked.
"The De-Code is a powerful thing. Even I can't stop him from doing it." - the Dog replied with a sorry tone.
Sans and Alphys exchanged a worried gaze. How so he couldn't do anything? Was all hope lost then? Sans looked back at the Dog and exclaimed with a rising anger and frustration:
"but you're the true master of this world, dog!"
"I maybe created this world, but I have no control over others' actions." - the Dog explained calmly.
"So... there's… there's really n-nothing we can do…? There must be… some way, r-right…?" - Alphys asked with despair.
The Dog didn't answer anything as he lowered his head, avoiding the two monsters' gazes. Sans immediately understood there was something else the Dog knew that they didn't.
"there is a way to save us, right?" - he asked.
"Yes..." - the Dog admitted with a nod - "But your brother and sister-in-law won't like it."
"why? what is that thing we must do?"
Sans grew anxious as he expected the Dog's answer. He felt he wouldn't really like it either.
"None of us is powerful enough to undo the doctor's work. But one person is."
"W-who is that person...?" - Alphys asked.
"The child born from a human and a monster." - the Dog answered.
"you mean..?" - Sans left his question unfinished.
"The only way to save us from the De-Code is to send Noelle away." - the Dog revealed seriously - "We must send her to that other world before the De-Code affects us all."
A silence followed. Sans was the one to break it, as he lowered himself so his dark gaze could meet the dog's one.
"you must be messing with us, right?"
The Dog shivered slightly. Even though he basically had nothing to fear from anyone, Sans' dark gaze was still very intimidating. No one liked to experience it on themselves.
"I know how it sounds like, but… your niece really is our only hope. It's due to the particular nature of her SOUL." - the Dog started to explain - "You see, the de-coding isn't perfect, there is a flaw. There will still be a tiny opening from the other world to ours. And only a being with a very powerful SOUL can enter it and undo the De-Code from here."
"B-but why is it n-necessary to send Noelle away then?" - Alphys asked.
"It's primordial that she doesn't get affected by the De-Code. From what I know, in the other world you cannot summon your SOULS like you can do it here. Her physical properties must remain unchanged, or undoing the De-Code just won't work."
"so, it's basically either sending Noelle all alone to an unknown world, or living false lives for the eternity." - Sans commented - "None of those options sounds good."
"Some choices aren't easy, I admit. But if you decide to do as I said, you'll be sure to be saved someday." - the Dog replied.
"B-but Noelle is only three...! How can we possibly doom her to this?!" - Alphys protested, then she turned to Sans with a sad expression - "Look, Sans… maybe we should consider to just… a-accept our fate?"
"not you too, alphys!" - Sans' good eye flashed blue - "don't start talking like asgore and toriel! they gave up, but we decided that we wouldn't! are you really ready to spend your entire life with a false identity and forget everything that makes you who you are?! well, i am not!"
"I'm s-sorry, Sans… B-but how could I possibly b-break their hearts like this? I... I just c-can't… Your brother and Frisk love Noelle so much… And they'll probably not accept this."
It was true, and Sans couldn't argue against that point. Noelle was everything to them, so taking her away from them would wound their SOULS.
"i know… i'll talk with papyrus and frisk about this." - Sans replied - "i'll take care to convince them, while you'll be working on the technical aspects with the dog."
Sancho was walking across the streets, wanting to go see Noelle at her apartement. He hoped he'd find her there. Since Gaster showed up earlier that day, he couldn't wait longer to reveal Noelle the truth. Sancho also realized how risky that was to tell her everything like this, when she was probably not ready, but it had to be done before Gaster took action. Sancho almost arrived to the building where Noelle lived and he passed next to the "Tasha's Shop". "Tasha's Shop" was a second-hand shop held by a woman who didn't speak English properly - she was often mixing Dutch words in her speech. (It had as consequence that many people had trouble to understand her.) Sancho stopped, as he noticed through the window… Noelle. "Heh, I'm lucky today." - he thought to himself. He could see Noelle picking up a few things and walk up to Tasha, the owner of the shop. Sancho entered the shop and heard the two women talk. What really surprised (and impressed) him was the fact that Noelle seemed to understand the words in Dutch.
"Hoi! I'm Tasha, welcome to 'Tasha's Shop'!" - Tasha said with a bright tone - "Is dat to kopen or to verkopen?"
"Mostly to buy." - Noelle replied - "I don't have many belongings to sell anything, hehe."
"Oh, dat is goed!" - Tasha commented with a slight excitement - "When I have lots of geld, I can pay college for my zussen."
"Your... zussen..?" - Noelle repeated, then quickly recalled what that meant - "You mean, your sisters?"
"Ja, ja, sisters!" - Tasha replied with a giggle - "My sisters want go to college, maar not enough geld! Dat is why I have deze shop! Maar I... err, 'digress'?"
"Hehe, that's the correct word." - Noelle replied with a smile, then put the items she wanted to buy on the counter - "Here, I'll buy all this."
"Ok, let's zien..." - Tasha said as she proceeded to count the total price - "It's 15,89 $!"
"Here..." - Noelle gave Tasha the money, after what the seller put the things in a bag and handed it to her - "Thank you."
"No, dank u!" - Tasha replied with a smile - "Come back again someday!"
"I will. Tot ziens, Tasha." - Noelle said.
Tasha's eyes shone as she heard a customer say her goodbye in her language. Sancho grinned at the sight. Satisfied, Noelle turned around and was surprised to see Sancho.
"Oh, hi Sancho... you startled me." - Noelle said.
"Heya, pal." - Sancho replied - "I didn't know you know Dutch?"
"Just a little bit. I'm interested in languages, and so I once studied the basics of Dutch with a manual." - Noelle explained - "It's nice when you can apply your knowledge from time to time."
Noelle exchanged another look with now a very happy Tasha. Noelle then asked Sancho what he was doing here, to which he replied that he wanted to talk to her.
"It's very important, Noelle." - Sancho said seriously - "It cannot wait too long, so it'll be better if we go now."
"Go where?" - Noelle asked with a slight frown.
"It's a place I found in the powerhouse. It was hidden for years, but now I opened it again. Will you follow me there?"
"Uh... It's a bit weird... Why would I need to see the powerhouse?"
"Please, Noelle. Do you trust me?" - Sancho asked.
After a moment, Noelle just nodded. She wasn't sure what was that Sancho needed to show her, but she decided to let him. Noelle was still a bit insecure at going to unknown places due to having been kidnapped by Florian recently. But on the other hand, Sancho had always been good towards her so far.
It took about thirty mintues for them to reach their destination. When Sancho and Noelle made it to the hidden floor of the powerhouse, Noelle was confused as she really didn't understand why Sancho would need to show her this.
"It's a... computer room?" - Noelle said.
"No, those computers are in fact high-tech. It can open a portal to another world." - Sancho answered, then showed up the keys Sam and Piper found weeks ago at the graveyard - "But you're the only person who can activate it. The twins found those keys under the grave of Gaster's mother. They asked me to keep it safe until I estimate the time came. I think that today's the day to give it to you now."
"Sancho... why did you bring me here?" - Noelle asked with an annoyed expression - "Does it, by any chance, have something to do with Sam and Piper's comic book?"
"Yes, it does." - Sancho answered, but as Noelle put her head in between her hands, he pursued - "I know how it all sounds. I know you think it's some delirium, but it's not. Everything the book says is true, it all actually happened. The book is our history, it's our past. It's your past, Noelle."
"Okay, so... the twins and you want to make me see the story as my past. The question why my parents abandoned me tormented me for years. But wanting to get that answer doesn't mean I'll accept anything and everything as being the truth. Because what you want me to believe in just can't be the truth."
"What makes you say that?" - Sancho asked calmly.
"Because... isn't it obvious? Because it goes against any logic, laws of nature and current scientific knowledge… There are no such things as monsters or magic. It just cannot be, and so the story from the twins' book isn't about me." - Noelle answered.
"I know it sounds like craziness, but the story is true. I can swear it is, I remember it because it's my story too." - Sancho said in an almost begging tone.
"There's the flaw to your story. Sam and Piper told me that nobody remembers who they are. I get that Florian's a madman, but you Sancho…? So how can you remember your past life if the De-Code affected you too?" - Noelle asked.
"I didn't always remember, Noelle. My memories progressively returned after you decided to stay in Under Town. As for the reason, I think… it might be the karma of a sort. You showing up was a reminder that I broke a promise."
"A promise? To whom...?" - Noelle asked with a frown.
"A promise to myself." - Sancho answered with a sad sigh - "Did the twins tell you what Gaster did? Well, when my brother and I were freed from the lab, I promised myself that I would not allow that my brother gets ever hurt like he'd been hurt by Gaster."
"But what does it have to do with me?"
"Noelle, what if I told you I have all the answers you needed? What if I told you… that your parents never really abandoned you?"
1 hour and 30 minutes before the De-Code
Sans was staring at the ceiling of his room, thinking. It has been one month since the Dog told him what had to be done to undo Dr Gaster's work, and yet… he never could bring himself to tell Papyrus or Frisk about it. He had tried several times to approach the topic in one way or another, but just couldn't tell things how they were. "i can't do this any longer. i must tell them properly. i shall do this tomorrow." - Sans decided. The skeleton was trying to imagine how the conversation would go and even if the thought wasn't pleasant, Sans felt himself drift off to sleep. But then, he heard his phone vibrate on his night table. He took it in his hand and as soon as he read the message on the screen, his eyes widened. It was from Alphys.
"The De-Code started!! D: Hurry, bring Noelle to Dog's room!!!!"
Sweat formed on Sans' skull as he processed. "oh no... i haven't told paps and frisk yet! what shall i do? what shall i do??" - he panicked. After a few moments, Sans' mind was made up. He knew there was only one way. He jumped out of his bed and teleported himself in Noelle's room. (Which in fact used to be his room before.) He shook his niece awake, who looked up at him with a tired expression.
"Uncle Sans...?" - she asked sleepily - "I want to sleep..."
"i know, i know, but you must get up now. there's one place you and i must go." - Sans said in a hushed but urgent tone - "here, i'll help you to get dressed."
In only a few moves, Sans changed his niece from her PJ's to her Delta Rune dress (sewed by Toriel) and wrapped a red scarf, similar to Papyrus', around her neck. Quietly, the two exited the house. Noelle looked around and saw that it was still night.
"Sans... Why is still night?" - she asked.
"i know, it's still night, but it's important." - Sans said - "we really have to go."
"But... mom and dad say walk at night is bad." - Noelle said, not wanting to move from her spot.
"yes, when going out alone or with strangers. but i'm your uncle, so it's okay." - Sans replied - "you... you know you can trust me, don't you?"
Noelle nodded, but a bit reluctantly. Sans then gripped Noelle's hand tightly and they proceeded to walk in the direction of the Dog's room. Several times Noelle complained that she was tired and asked her uncle to not walk too fast.
"i'm sorry, noelle. but we're almost there." - Sans replied.
And soon, they arrived to their destination. Sans and Noelle entered the room, where they could see Alphys and the Dog.
"Aunt Alphys..? Oh, cute dog!!" - Noelle exclaimed as she saw the white dog.
She rushed to him and started to storke him, something the Dog took pleasure in. Alphys used the opportunity to ask Sans:
"Y-you came a-alone? Why didn't her parents come too? H-how did they take the news, by the way?"
"alphys, there's no time for this." - Sans avoided the question - "how far did the de-code progress?"
"It... it took approximatively sixty-five percent of our world." - Alphys replied.
"ok, we must move now. dog, everything's ready?"
"Yes, the device's activated. Now, I'll bark a specific regularity, after what Noelle will be transported to the other world, unharmed and her SOUL properties unaltered." - the Dog answered.
"good." - Sans simply said, then approached his niece and said - "kiddo... look, i know what'll happen next might look scary. now, you'll go to a far away place, but it's a travel you must do alone. someday, you'll have to find and save us."
"Not understand…" - Noelle said with a small voice.
"i know you don't, but you will. just… know that we all love you a lot. and your mom and dad love you the most, please try to not forget that. i... i'm… i'm so sorry, noelle. i really am."
Noelle was looking at her uncle confused, while Sans fought back a tear. He then nodded to the white dog and made Noelle stand next to the dog's computer. Sans retrieved by a few steps, standing next to Alphys, after what the Dog barked something that resembled the morse code. When he finished, Noelle progressively faded away from the sight. When she completely disappeared, Alphys let a few tears drop and Sans couldn't contain sniff. After a moment, the two exited the Dog's room and they could see that the darkness was slowly progressing. In less tha thirty minutes, they would get consumed too. Leaving Alphys, Sans teleported himself back to Snowdin Town. A bit further from their house, he could see Papyrus and Frisk - they were calling for their daughter. They both looked alarmed, they called Noelle's name over and over. Sans felt cold inside and his SOUL felt very heavy. Papyrus noticed him, and exclaimed:
"BROTHER! DID YOU GO OUT WITH NOELLE? SHE WASN'T IN HER ROOM, IT SCARED US TO DEATH! WHERE IS SHE?"
"papyrus..." - Sans started, not sure how to tell him.
"Sans, what happened?" - Frisk asked as she realized something was very wrong - "Where's Noelle?"
"i... noelle is... well, a month ago i found out there was a way to eventually save us from the de-code. i just… didn't know how to bring this up to you, and…" - Sans wasn't sure how to continue this - "i... i'm very sorry, but…"
"SANS... WHAT DID YOU DO?" - Papyrus asked as he grew scared on his turn.
"Where is Noelle, Sans?" - Frisk repeated her earlier question.
"i sent noelle to the other world, before the de-code would affect her, so she can eventually save us." - Sans answered.
A deadly silence followed. For a few moments, only the wind could be heard. Then, Frisk asked with a shocked tone:
"You did what?!"
"i really wanted to tell you before, frisk. but i couldn't-"
Frisk rushed to him dangerously and then grabbed Sans by his hoodie. Sans could tell she was very angry. And it was obviously true, Frisk's face was red and her grip on the collar was tight.
"How could you?!! How could you do that to her, to your own niece?!! How could you do that to us?!! You had no right to do this, Sans!!! No right!!!" - Frisk shouted at him loudly - "You… you…!!"
She really wanted to punch Sans hard at that moment. The only thing that prevented her from doing so was the knoledge he had only 1 HP. Frisk's body started to shake and after a few moments she released Sans and collapsed on her knees and let out a broken cry. She then burried her face in her hands as she was repeating her daughter's name in between sobs.
"Noelle... no... no, please... Noelle...!"
Papyrus wasn't dealing with the news well either. He was like frozen on his spot and stared at Sans while his eye sockets got filled with tears. He was shocked. Then, he finally managed to say:
"WHY, SANS..? I CAN'T BELIEVE IT..."
"papyrus, please try to understand..." - Sans said as he made one step towards him - "it was the only way to save us, it's our only chance."
"YOU MUST HAVE TOLD US, SANS!" - Papyrus replied with a broken tone - "WE COULD HAVE TRIED TO FIND ANOTHER WAY!"
"but that's the point, papyrus, there was no other way!" - Sans exclaimed - "we would've spend weeks trying to find a solution that that doesn't exist! i did what was necessary! it was one sacrifice to make for a greater good! you and frisk would've kept noelle, but your needs can't possibly overweight the needs of everyone else!"
"SANS... THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HE WOULD SAY…" - Papyrus replied, his voice quiet and sad.
Sans froze and his eye sockets grew wide and dark, as the realization hit him.
"s-sorry..." - was all he could say.
Papyrus just shook his head as his tears fell down from his eye sockets. He then turned to Frisk, who was still crying in the snow, and walked up to her. Papyrus wrapped his arms around her, and Frisk immediately burried her face into his red scarf.
"Papyrus... Noelle, she... she'll grow up thinking we abandoned her..."
Papyrus couldn't find anything to say, so he just laid his head above Frisk's one, letting his tears stream down his cheeks. Sans stood a few steps away from them and looked down in shame and remorse.
"That day Noelle, when I saw the look in my brother's eyes, I realized that I hurt him… in a worse way that Gaster ever did." - Sancho finished to tell the story.
Noelle wasn't sure what to think of all this. Sancho seemed sincere, and yet the story was too surreal to believe in. Noelle shook her head - she was a rational person, she couldn't possibly believe… this.
"I could've believed the story if I was a kid. But I grew up a long time ago, Sancho."
"Noelle... I guess you need a more solid proof then." - Sancho sighed - "Alright, will you believe me if I tell you what you were wearing the day you were found?"
"Could you really guess? Go ahead, impress me." - Noelle challenged him.
"You were wearing a salmon-red dress with a purple symbol sewed in the front. The symbol represents a circle with wings on its sides, along with three triangles, one of them being upside down."
Noelle's eyes widened. "Impossible... There's no way he could've found out..!" - Noelle thought - "Even the newspapers never mentioned how I was dressed!"
"No... no, no, it's impossible...!" - Noelle shook her head with a shocked expression - "All of this just... can't be!"
"It can be, so please just open your mind and heart." - Sancho almost begged her.
Noelle didn't reply as she brought her hand to her forehead. She was getting a headache. She wanted her seek for her own past to be finally over, but... she just wasn't ready. Sancho guessed her thoughts, so he said:
"I understand. You're not yet ready to accept. But it's alright. Just... take this."
He gave her the keys. Noelle looked at the keys, then at him. Sancho took her hand and put the keys in her palm.
"When you are ready, you know where to use those."
Noelle looked down at the keys again, her head full of questions. None of this made sense, and she wondered what she should do next. She knew what Sam, Piper and Sancho expected from her, but did she want to do it? It was yet to be defined.