To a mind that loves math, time is a just a number.
An undeniable, cruel one.
It had been 267 days since the last Reset.
267 days since the kid had visited then vanished.
This last time they had hardly exchanged words. The kid just seemed to not care about anything. They followed their usual path until their fight with Undyne. Lost then …. nothing. They had just plain not returned and their world had been reset. Somehow.
If this happened before, Sans couldn’t remember. All he knew for sure -As sure as anyone could possibly be, considering the circumstances - is that it had been 267 days since the kid had reset.
The 268th day was going exactly like the 267th had, 67 minutes in.
Sans sighed as he put on his favorite hoodie on. Downstairs, he could hear Papyrus bustling and whistling in their small kitchen. He had already come into Sans’ bedroom twice checking on his progress on getting ready for the day. The small skeleton figured that it may be a little on the rude side to instigate a third reminder.
He slowly made his way down the stairs. He had never experienced such a long period between resets. These days, events and conversations were all new to him. He could no longer predict what was going to happen next. This was both curious and terrifying for Sans. As much as he liked to carefully entertain the hope that he would never again have to see monsters suffer or die at the hands of a human child; he couldn’t help but feel the need to be on his guard.
This need was one of the only thing that helped him keep a grip on the now and not totally give up and drown on the what-ifs.
“SANS!” Papyrus greeted him with his usual cheerful voice.
Well, that and his brother.
After breakfast, Sans and Papyrus parted ways to go to each other’s sentry posts. Sans had only walked for a few minutes when through the scattered thoughts in his head, he realized that he had lied.
Not to anyone but, himself.
There were SEVERAL other reasons why he felt the need to keep checking on the Ruins for signs of the human. For hoping that this world would continue on: His brother, of course. His friends, well, yes. And … and … also, the color of the sky.
There was no sky in the Underground, just an incredibly high cave ceiling that passed for one. And nobody really knew why -Well ok, maybe Alphys knew exactly why, so maybe it was more of a nobody really cared why type of situation-, this Underground “sky” tended to change colors as the day progressed. Just like Grillby claimed it did on the Surface.
Sans had been aware of this his entire life, but had never noticed it until Grillby had pointed it out to him.
Now he couldn’t help but notice it every day.
And every night he visited Grillby’s bar.
Grillby noticed A LOT of stuff. Stuff that the average monster wouldn’t even think of noticing to begin with. He made comments on how monsters looked when they walked in. How much of their drink they had consumed. The tone in their voices. Whether they looked to the right or to the left when answering a question. The color of the snow against an evergreen, the taste of the wind, and the color of the sky.
Grillby was one of the few monsters that Sans knew that had known the Surface before the Barrier sealed them away. He had been very young back then, but he remembered enough. He liked to write about it during his rare off days. He had promised Sans to show these essays to him sometime.
He had never kept this promise. The Resets kept erasing it.
This time. This time however, maybe Sans would actually get to read them.
Sans looked up at the sky. Yeah, maybe tonight he would have enough ketchup in him to ask Grillby about his essays.
Even Bech Næsheim runs and teaches at Under Vann yoga studio, and Isak Valtersen lost a bet to which the punishment was to go to a yoga class in hot pink yoga pants. Needless to say, this will be an interesting class. Featuring a flustered Isak, and a slightly bitter Even.
If you would have told fifteen year-old Even Bech Næsheim that in seven years he would be working in a pretentious yoga studio that sold tinctures, nutritional supplements, and teas, he would have had a good laugh. Now, if you told him that he would be the head yoga instructor in that studio and would be constantly sipping all organic, loose leaf, non-GMO green tea…
He would have punched you. In the face. With only a slight bit of guilt.
Truth was, during high school, his bipolar disorder had taken control of his life. He had started to get episodes very frequently because of alcohol and drug intake, and lack of sleep. It was his way of coping with his increased loneliness and pessimism because he had few acquaintances and close to no friends.
In his third year, he had discussed his coping methods with his therapist. She had said that he needed to find a “natural high,” an alternative to drugs, which had sounded like a load of bullshit to Even at the time. To his dismay, his therapist had insisted that he needed to find a replacement for the weed and beer so he could keep chemical balance in his brain.
“Try something active, something that releases adrenaline and endorphins. It will be just as good as marijuana,” his therapist, Kayla, had told him while reviewing her papers.
Even had rolled his eyes so hard it hurt. This is so incredibly stupid, he had thought to himself.
Kayla had handed him a pamphlet with a group of smiling teenagers giving the camera the thumbs up. On the top it had said: Find YOUR Natural High!
Even had started to feel a bit queasy.
“This pamphlet has tons of activities to do to reach a natural high. Try a couple that catch your attention. In next week’s session, we’ll discuss what worked and what didn’t,” Kayla had said with a smile.
He had tried running, which was instantly turned down, painting, playing the piano, origami, and even knitting. (The last hobby would never be admitted to anyone or he would never hear the end of it.) As a last advance on tackling this “natural high,” he tried yoga.
What the hell do I have to lose?
He had looked up a tutorial on youtube, given it a try and… felt completely calm. It had been the most at peace he’d felt with himself in years, and it had turned out to be a great little hobby. He had practiced it first thing in the morning and when he couldn’t sleep. It was one of his favorite things to do. While he definitely didn’t think it was a high, it was calming and made him gain a bit of muscle while he was at it, so that was a plus.
He had no idea that his hobby would end up being his career.
Even was currently standing at the front desk of the studio talking to his secretary Eskild, whose bright disposition
and overbearing personality was pissing Even off a little bit, to be honest.
“Even, I swear, all you ever do is teach your classes at the studio and sleep. No wonder you’re always so agitated all the time! You never have any fun!” Eskild stated whilst looking at Even critically.
Even scoffed and said, “Yoga is fun.”
“Not as fun as this party will be! Seriously, babe, how great can sun salutation be?” Eskild said with an unamused look.
Even looked around the turquoise room, making sure they weren’t bickering in front of customers. “Maybe if you took interest in what I like to do for a change, you would know that it’s pretty fucking spectacular. Eskild, you’re not my mother, just let me live my life the way I want. No parties.”
Eskild rolled his eyes and picked up the phone that had begun to ring. Even turned away from him and took a deep breath. He knew he should be getting ready for his next class. He quickly checked his phone to see what class it was.
12:15 - Beginner’s Yoga
Fantastic. Even thought bitterly to himself. Just what I need. A group of people with no clue of how to do yoga and I will have to spend 10 minutes per pose so everyone can at least get something similar to the correct formation.
Even grabbed the bucket of yoga mats and placed them next to the door of the yoga room for students to grab as they walked in. He took his place at the front and began to warm up before the class started.
“You lost the bet, Isak! I already signed you up, you are going to that fucking yoga class! In these lovely yoga pants, might I add.”
Isak stared at Jonas, trying to portray a look of complete confusion, and exclaimed, “What bet? Who are you? Who am I? I’m afraid I’ve lost my memory, I think I should lie down.”
Jonas shoved something into Isak’s chest as he left the room, calling out, “Amnesia won’t work this time. The class starts in 15 minutes at Under Vann Yoga. I’d hurry.”
Isak hadn’t thought it could get worse, but apparently, he had forgotten that his best friend was the actual devil. He looked down to see the aforementioned yoga pants, which shone in a delightful hot pink.
Isak groaned and went to his room to change. He slid on the offending yoga pants with minimal difficulty and looked at himself in the mirror.
Not half bad, he thought to himself, and if he happened to check out his butt before he left, nobody needed to know.
He walked into the kitchen where his flat mates Mahdi, Magnus, and Jonas were waiting.
“Happy?” Isak asked with a hand on his hip.
The boys doubled over laughing and Mahdi replied, “Very.”
While wheezing, Magnus said, “Jonas, I bet you 50 kroner that by the time Isak gets back, he’s been asked out.”
Isak sighed and looked at his watch.
Well, if Isak was being forced to go to a yoga class, he might as well make the most of it.
When Isak got to the studio, he started to dread ever making that stupid bet about who could down an entire bottle of mustard first. He admittedly should have had a bit more common sense than to agree to participate, but in his defense, it had been between his honor and his burning throat.
The studio had a soft turquoise interior with vibrant couches that had far too many throw pillows on them. They sold books with inspiring titles such as Manifestation and You! and Discover your Aura: Psychic Development. Isak immediately noticed the smell of incense and… cinnamon?
He reached the desk where a peppy secretary signed him in. “Have you ever done yoga before?” Eskild, according to the name tag, inquired.
“Uh, nope. This is the first time,” Isak said with a distant tone to his voice, still quite anxious for the class. He was not in the mood for small talk.
“So, you’re basically losing your yoga virginity here,” Eskild remarked with a wink. Isak chuckled nervously and said, “I mean, I guess.” He started to make his way to where he presumed he was supposed to go. He grabbed a yoga mat, walked in the room and plopped down on the floor like everyone else was. He scanned the room and –
I’m screwed. I’m so massively screwed. He’s hot. Why is the yoga instructor hot?
The yoga instructor was standing at the front of the room, looking around with a small smile on his lips. He was greeting some people as they walked past to take a seat, and seemed to be fairly calm. His ash blond hair and stunning cerulean eyes made Isak’s heart beat faster. It didn’t help that he proudly displayed his sweatpants and a super loose (almost sheer) shirt.
I am so fucked.
“Hey everyone!” The instructor started, “I’m Even, and I’ll be teaching you today. First off, I…” Even continued to give his speech, and Isak was in a complete trance. His voice is so soothing. Isak shook his head a little and slapped his forehead, without realizing that he just hit himself in front of everyone. He heard a snort and a couple of giggles. Great start, Isak.
Even seemed to be holding back a laugh. “Is everything ok?” He asked. Isak felt his ears burn and gave him a weak smile. “Yep. Just peachy.”
The class refocused their attention on Even and he continued his speech. “Well, without further ado, let’s get started!” Even began to lead the class through a series of poses that he executed perfectly, whilst Isak looked something akin to a failing giraffe.
Halfway through, when Isak was close to falling on his face from exhaustion, Even decided it would be a perfect time to fix everyone’s forms in downward dog. He walked around, pushing someone’s back down or adjusting their feet every once in a while. When he reached Isak he said, “Hey, um… What’s your name?” Isak lifted his head up a bit to look at Even. “Isak,” he grunted.
“Well, Isak, your problem is your hips and feet. First of all, touch your heels to the ground.” Isak obliged and his breath hitched when he felt hands on his hips.
“Your hips are out of placement,” Even explained, and guided his hips back. It was fair to say that at this point, Isak was regretting his life choices by letting his friends force him to wear the yoga pants that he knew Even had to have noticed by now.
“That better?” Even asked. Isak felt himself blushing and muttered, “Uh, yep.”
The class continued without incident (and with Isak happily checking Even out) until “tree pose” came along and Isak nearly toppled into the elderly lady next to him. He saw Even laughing at the front of the room (while in a perfect tree pose, Isak might add) and that made Isak feel a little better.
Even was actually enjoying teaching this class, and not just because he had gotten chocolate before class started and he’d been stealing chunks of it throughout class. The moment Even had seen the boy with those blond curls, he had known he was going to be checking him out for the rest of class. The yoga pants he was wearing were just a plus. Not to mention he looked like a literal angel with his rosy cheeks and dramatic lips.
Towards the end of class came the “class meditation”. Everyone had to lay down while Even awkwardly rubbed their temples with ylang ylang oil. This was the primary reason why he hated beginners classes so much.
Once Even had warned the class of what he was going to do, he told everyone to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. He started making his rounds and once he got to Isak, his heartbeat picked up. Even started to rub his temples and while he was at it, he got a better look at his face.
Isak had extremely long eyelashes with freckles scattered around his cheeks. He had fantastic cheekbones and a jawline that could cut. Even decided right there that he was going to ask him out after class.
At the end of class, everyone picked up their stuff and headed for the door, but as Isak was leaving, he felt a hand on his waist.
He turned back and saw Even, with a completely serious look on his face.
“Hey Isak, I just wanted to ask you before you left… Did you get those yoga pants on sale? Because at my house, they’re 100% off.”
Isak’s jaw dropped.
Even looked at him with a radiant grin and said, “If you’re not up for my house, how about dinner?”
Isak felt the corners of his mouth turn up. “With pick up lines like that, how could I possibly resist?”
Even smiled even more and they exchanged numbers.
When Isak arrived at the flat, he called out, “Jonas! You owe Magnus 50 kroner!”
Title: What Does Not Kill Me Rating: PG Summary: Set in the Hawkeye and Anklebiter universe. In some ways, Bucky has not adapted to this century as well as Steve has. Notes: This started out as what I thought would be a story about Steve freaking out over Izzy having the flu and then it went in a very different direction. I’m on a lot of cold medication, okay. Warnings: None. (JESUS CHRIST EVERYONE SHUT UP ABOUT THE ASPIRIN ALREADY.)
They came off the mission laughing, which was nice; it’d been an easy take-down, unambiguously on the side of good, and the Maggia wouldn’t be hassling Brooklynites again for a good long while. Steve was pleased because they’d worked well with the local police (the Nine Nine were good people) and Bucky was pleased because he’d been out on what was practically a solo mission – just him and Steve with Natasha as backup.
“Hey, what happened, anyway?” Steve asked Coulson, who met them at the Tower helipad as the quinjet dropped them off. “I thought Clint was going to be our sniper. Not that it wasn’t fun,” he added to Natasha, “just didn’t know we were changing things up.”
“I had fun,” Natasha said, with a sunny, I-know-a-lot-of-secrets smile.
“Clint had to beg off early this morning,” Coulson said. “Izzy’s down with the flu, she wanted Poppa.”
“Ah,” Steve nodded. Izzy got clingy when she was sick; she’d had a pretty bad cold last year and Clint had barely been able to leave her bedroom for a week.
Neither of them noticed the thump of Bucky’s tac-gear bag hitting the ground or his sudden disappearance until Steve turned to ask him if he wanted coffee before the debrief.
You know, I think I have written exactly this, in my short tumblr fills on both Tumblr and AO3 (the one where Barry thinks he’s the villain and Len thinks he’s the hero). One on hand, I like the conventions of this trope – the mistaken assumptions you make about yourself, the way certain parts of your personality shine through where they might not have otherwise – but on the other hand, once you remove a person’s memories, are they really the same person?
I can’t abide magical memory loss or amnesia-but-permanent fics, and some of that creeps in when I read a normal temporary-amnesia fic. Like – if you fall in love with someone without memories, you’re not really falling for that person. You’re falling for the pretty wrapper, and someone you can project certain things you want on (you should be a nice person, you should be a hero, you should be polite and neat and none of the traumas you endured or the victories you have won should have any impact on you insofar as it makes you a person I don’t want), and that’s a bit creepy to me. Plus, someone who knows the truth making any move on someone who’s mentally impaired and the first person knows it? At best, it can be written as dub-con. At best.
Plus, since I only read temporary!amnesia fics, my sense of fremdschamen is super strong whenever someone does the whole “you were actually always on my side!” thing because you know it’s going to blow up in their face. That’s why I wrote my Coldflash amnesia fic with both of them having amnesia – that way they’re both going to be embarrassed in the morning!
Dunno. As I said, I still read them and enjoy them, but I only like them in some flavors.
Coldflash Amnesia Ficlet:
“You would do this,” Barry says grumpily. “You always had the worst timing.”
“I’m…sorry?” Len says blankly.
This was not the reaction he expected when he went to the Flash’s doorstep, intent on taking his revenge for the death of his sister.
Turns out Lisa’s fine, though. Also, very pregnant and kinda weepy. Barry had taken one look at Len and set up a Skype session so that Lisa could assure Len that she was okay.
If by “assure she was okay”, you meant “wail loudly that nobody loved her because they wouldn’t invent her a machine that creates olive-and-mustard flavored ice cream, and yes, I mean NOW, Cisco!”, which…actually, no, Len defines that as okay for Lisa.