Would That Make You Happy?

Frisk is your child, the result of a teen pregnancy, but they've always been told that you're their older sister. In an effort to get away from your own abusive mother, the two of you end up falling into the Underground, where Sans is startled by this abrupt change in what had become a predictable pattern of events. Maybe your presence is what is needed to stop the endless cycle of Resets.

After many struggles, both internal and external, you and your found family reach the surface, only to face even more difficulties from the society you weren't sure you'd ever see again. You meet new friends and encounter people from your past, though for good or ill, you're not sure. Sometimes it's difficult to tell kindness from cunning.

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26. A Day Out

After some convincing, Sans finally relents in trying to get you to stay home. You compromise with an hour of cuddling on the couch and an agreement to go to Grillby's for lunch so you don't have to worry about making anything. Honestly, the thought of some greasy burgers and fries sounds amazing right now.

The first order of business is taking Frisk to get set up at Snowdin's school. With no foreseeable end to your stay here, you need to take Frisk's education into consideration. You have no idea how a monster school compares to a human one, but it has to be better than nothing. You can also tell that Frisk has been lonely during the day. With the other children of Snowdin attending school, it left them with no one but adults. You'd rather see them spend time with kids (monster or not) their own age.

Sans tags along with you and Frisk, walking hand-in-hand with you on your way to the school. It's a small red building, like something you'd see in a picture book. Inside you discover an office right off the entrance, and two classrooms. With a quick peek through the classroom door windows,  it looks like the older children are grouped in one room and the younger are in the other. It's like the frontier schoolhouses you learned about when you were a kid. You guess Snowdin is small enough that they don't have the number of students to feasibly separate them into grade levels.

It turns out that the principal and administrator for the school already knows who you are. She's a squat, brilliant orange reptile of some kind, and as it turns out the mother of that armless monster kid —whose name just so happens to be Kid— that you saved from almost getting speared by Undyne. Offering you a warm smile, you shake her hand and take a seat across from her at her desk. She has an assortment of papers that she shifts through as you speak with her.

She hands you a few forms which you start filling out, glancing over at Frisk as they take in the monster's eclectic office. They seem particularly interested in a group photo dated last year; mostly kids, but with a few adults you assume are the school's staff. Sans is standing behind your chair, and you think you hear his bony fingers tapping on his phone.

"I've been meaning to thank you, for what you did to help Kid," she says, breaking the silence.

You look up from the papers, pen stilling between your fingers. She's giving you a kind smile, exposing a row of wide, dulled-point teeth. "You're welcome. It was more impulse than anything, but I'm glad that no one got hurt in the end," you say.

"Captain Undyne came by a few days after the incident —I suppose she's staying with all of you?" The principal glances over your shoulder at Sans, who doesn't say anything. You think he must have nodded, because she continues. "Well, she came by to apologize. She also cleared up that odd rumor that the reason she attacked you and your child is because you're human! I never believed it for a second, because what human would risk their life to help a monster? And I was right, the Captain told me herself that she was mistaken." She raises her scaled hands and lets them drop with a sigh. "She really ought to be more careful! Imagine, turning you both to dust over such a terrible misunderstanding!"

Oh. So that's why things didn't seem to change with any of the residents of Snowdin. Undyne went out of her way to make sure that she didn't completely wreck your cover, since no one aside from Sans and Papyrus understood that you and Frisk are human. You try to remember to thank her later.

You also try not to take the principal's comment about humans too personally. If your entire species was trapped under a mountain, you'd probably have some opinions on the people who did it. Besides, you aren't exactly sure that she's wrong about the majority of humanity. You just nod in response and drop your attention back to the forms.

"after we're done here, you wanna hit up the store for some school stuff, kiddo?" Sans asks while you're busy.

"Yeah! I..." Frisk hesitates. "Mom, can we?"

"Sure. We need to do that anyway, no reason not to go today," you answer, hesitating over a question on the form. It says: 'Magic Manifestations (if any)'. Frisk's Soul comes to mind, but... you fill in the answer with 'none'.

Sans rests his hand on your shoulder, making you crane your neck to look up at him. He holds his phone in front of your face, and there you can see a text message he's typed out but hasn't sent. 'lots mstrs dont have magic manif. frisk will b fine.' His typing makes you want to cringe (you always write properly in your texts), but you get the gist of what he's trying to say. That Frisk not having magic won't make them stand out, or make anyone suspicious. It's a relief.

You nod, giving him a quick smile. "Good. Thanks." Glancing at the principal, she doesn't seem to think anything is odd about your exchange, her focus on a small pile of papers. 

Sans nods back at you, squeezing your shoulder and pulling away again.

You finish up the last few questions. Handing over the paperwork, she lets you know that Frisk can start joining class tomorrow if that's fine with both of you. You let her know that it is.

You watch Frisk as they sift through the eclectic collection of Snowdin's shop. The rows and shelves seem organized by function as best as the owner could manage, but they're still a bit chaotic.  It reminds you of the thrift stores your mother would take you to. She almost never bought you anything brand new if she could help it and everything from clothes to toys tended to come second-hand. Actually, your favorite pair of jeans —the ones you're wearing now— came from a thrift store.

Despite your mother's intentions, you can't help the warm, familiar feeling in your chest. She always seemed happy when she bought things. Some of the best memories you have of the two of you together are of shopping, before you got pregnant. 

"Mom, look! They have pencils in all these weird colors! Like, the wood part is a funny color but not the lead part," Frisk says, holding up the package up for you to see. They're smiling from behind their outstretched arms.

The blister packaging is a bit worn at the edges and the cardboard is faded, but the pencils inside seem to be in good shape. They remind you of the fancy school supplies you always wanted to get as a kid, and you'd love to give something to Frisk you never had the chance to own yourself. But a nagging voice in the back of your mind hates the idea of spending more money than you need to. Wouldn't a regular pack of pencils serve just as well and probably cost half as much?

"Why don't you get some normal pencils, sweetie. You can get a lot more for the same price," you tell them, trying your best to not feel guilty as Frisk's bright smile starts to dim. Your best really isn't good enough, you realize.

Frisk seems as though they want to protest, and at the same time you're thinking about changing your mind. But before either of you can say anything, Sans takes the pack of pencils from Frisk's hands and places them on top of the small stack of notebooks in your arms. You give him a puzzled look and he just smiles at you like he always does.

"don't worry about the cost. we can afford it," Sans says. He looks over at Frisk, shoving his hands back in his pockets. "pick out whatever you want, kiddo."

You're feeling a little dazed as Frisk looks up at you for permission and you give them a small nod. Their smile brightens again and they turn back to the shelves with renewed vigor. Sans doesn't seem to think anything of what he just said, standing beside you as you both watch over your child. 'We can afford it.' You suppose he could have meant himself and Papyrus, but you don't think so. You're fairly certain that the 'we' meant you and him.

A familiar swell of affection fills your chest, right as Sans sidles closer and presses a hand to the small of your back. You glance over at him but his attention is on Frisk, white pinpricks following them as they flit back and forth across the aisle. He looks content.

The hand on your back slides lower until his fingers are curved over your butt.  This is a new habit for him, one that you don't dislike, but the fact that you're out in public makes your cheeks flush. You nudge him with your shoulder, but he doesn't move. Sans looks up at you with an expression akin to innocence.

"what? i can't help that you're taller than me. this is arm-level," he says, his toothy grin widening. "besides, i gotta keep hold of you to make sure you don't leave me behind." He punctuates his joke with a small squeeze.

Laughing, you nudge him harder, turning away just enough to move his hand. Raising his arm back around your waist, he pulls you back to him and leans up to brush his mouth against your cheek.

"Do I need a ruler?" Frisk calls back to the two of you, unaffected by your behavior with Sans.

"i wouldn't rule it out," Sans answers, earning himself a giggle from Frisk. "i'd hate for your supplies to not measure up to the other kids'."

Sans pulls away from you, walking over to help Frisk pick out the rest of their supplies. You're not surprised in the least to discover that the skeleton has a wide variety of situation-appropriate puns at his disposal. You just watch the two of them, following at a distance with a smile on your face. There have never been any issues between the two of them, but Frisk tends to favor Papyrus and Undyne. And while Sans has supported you with Frisk, he hasn't really gone out of his way to try and spend extra time with them either. Sometimes it seems like there's a little bit of a barrier between them, but you can't imagine why.

But as Sans catches Frisk off-guard with a whoopee cushion hidden between two notebooks, you think that they're getting closer. You actually mist up a little bit as Sans reaches out to ruffle Frisk's hair the way you like to do. You blame your reaction on hormones.

When they finally finish up picking out what Frisk wants, you head over to the clothing section. You want to make sure that Frisk has appropriate clothes to wear to school and help make a good impression. Picking out a few things —all a little oversized the way they prefer— you lead the way to a selection of striped sweaters.

"Do you want to get a new sweater, Frisk? That blue one is getting a little worn out from you wearing it so much, and I'm not sure it's thick enough," you say, eyeing the mentioned sweater that Frisk is currently wearing.

"Hmm, maybe," Frisk says, running their hand over the garment rack and thumbing their way through the different colors.

As you watch, they hesitate over a particular sweater. They pull it out a bit from the others, and you catch a glimpse of green with yellow stripes. You don't remember Frisk ever being partial to green or yellow, but they seem to be considering it anyway. After a moment, they shove it back into place and turn to you, shaking their head.

"No, I'm fine like this," Frisk says.

Sometimes Sans forgets that this Frisk and the Frisk from the worst timelines are the same child. As he watches the two of you talk as your little group heads to Grillby's, he remembers. He doesn't want to, but the images of that child silhouetted in the darkness between shafts of golden light come to him unbidden. The cold glint of a knife blade clutched in small fingers. A wide, delirious smile.

Tears streaming down light brown skin as something within Frisk seems to fracture and they drop the knife and run into Sans's arms. (Sometimes. The times Frisk gave him mercy were some of the hardest. Killing them when they refused his offer weighed less on his heart.) Blood on the floor. A tiny broken body.

He's jolted back to reality as he feels tiny hands pry his fingers away from yours and thread themselves in your place. Looking down, he sees that Frisk is now between the two of you, holding your hands. You look over the kid, meeting his eyes, and he notices how bright your smile is and how there's a little bit of color darkening the roundness of your cheeks. It only makes Sans feel even more guilty of his memories, but he smiles back at you anyway.

His eyes flick back down to Frisk. They're looking up at you, but as he watches they turn to face him, squeezing his fingers. Heavy brown bangs (not quite the same shade as yours, and the strands are straighter) fall away from their eyes, and he's struck with how Frisk's eyes look so much like yours when they smile. He thinks that should make him feel worse, but... this isn't the child he's fought before. It can't be. He doesn't see any of that person in Frisk's face. He mostly just sees you.

Frisk swings their arms back and forth, tugging on both of you. You start to raise your arm and Sans quickly follows suit, stretching up as high as he can to get Frisk's feet off the ground. The cold air fills with the sound of Frisk's laughter as he helps you swing them back and forth. Soon the memories sink back down below the surface and his smile is genuine.

And damn him if he doesn't realize that now he has one more person he's afraid of losing. 

   
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