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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91. A Little Help

The rest of your shopping trip goes much smoother than your visit to Muffet's. You encounter a few more humans while you're out but they're all perfectly civil from what you can tell. You don't see the couple from earlier again. With a trunk full of supplies for decorations and carnival games, you head back to the house to unload everything.

Sans and Deacon are getting along a bit better, you think. You know you can't exactly force them to be friends but you're glad to see them being civil and polite. You can work with civil. As long as you can spend time with both of them you'll be happy. The last thing you want is to be caught in the middle between two people you care about.

It's almost dinner time when you get home and as Deacon makes less-than-subtle glances at the clock you invite him to stay. He hesitates, looks at Sans, and when your fiancé doesn't offer any suggestions he agrees. He reaches into the pocket of his jacket and moves his phone to his jeans, and as he's shrugging off his outer layer a slip of paper falls to the floor.

"hey pal, you dropped something," Sans says as he hangs his coat up next to the front door and follows you into the kitchen.

"Huh? This isn't—" Deacon picks it up and looks at it, his eyes widening before looking at you. "Muffet slipped me her number."

"What? Like... so we can get in touch with her for the festival?" you ask, watching him as he stares down at the paper again. It takes him a few tries to hang his jacket before it catches, and he wanders into the kitchen after you and Sans.

"Uh, no. Unless 'call me dearie, I'd love to have you for dinner sometime' with a little upside-down heart is entirely platonic. I mean, I have my doubts but I'm no expert on monsters. Also, it still sounds sort of like she plans on eating me," Deacon says, taking a seat at the bar and pressing the paper flat on the counter.

"Oh my god, what?" you blurt out, not even bothering to close the fridge, stopping in the middle of getting out ingredients as you hurry over to look at the paper. There, just like Deacon said, is Muffet's message in a thin, curling script accompanied by a little upended heart. Like a tiny doodle of a monster Soul. "When did she slip you her number? You didn't even notice?"

"No, it was just in my pocket," he says, giving you a baffled look.

Sans chuckles at the two of you, peering over the fridge door as he finishes what you started. "well with six hands, i'm sure it's easy for one or two of them to go unaccounted for."

Deacon runs his hand through his hair, staring back down at the paper again. "...Should I call her? Would she be offended if I don't?"

"Do you want to?" you ask, raising a brow. Then you remember your conversation with Leveretta, and your amusement at the situation starts to falter. "Unless you think getting in a relationship with a monster might be too... complicated."

"No it's not that," he says, shrugging and meeting your eyes again. He seems to catch the shift in your expression. "Hope, it's not that she's a monster. It's that she's a giant spider. It's just a little... unnerving. And I'm not a hundred percent certain she doesn't intend to actually eat me."

You can't help but laugh as he rests his chin on his hand, a little spooked. "Just in time for Halloween," you tease, shoving his shoulder and circling the kitchen island to get back to starting dinner. You're a little surprised that Sans is helping out, getting to work on peeling some potatoes. Normally he'd be the one sitting at the bar, keeping you company while you cook. "Six hands though. Think of the possibilities."

His ears turn a little pink, and Deacon pockets the phone number.

"who needs extra hands when you've got magic, though," Sans murmurs, glancing over at you and waggling his brows.

"Sans oh my god," you say, mortified as you look up over the island at Deacon. He's still got his chin in his hand, trying to hide his smile behind his fingers. Certain that you're blushing, you look back down at the stovetop and pour some oil into a pan. "You don't have to call her. She was probably just flattered that you stood up for her."

"I think I will, actually," Deacon says, and when you steal a glance at him he's watching Sans. "Just promise me that when I go out with her, if I don't check in with you, you have to come find me. Assume she has me wrapped up in her basement for a midnight snack."

Laughing, you shake your head but agree anyway. "Sure, I promise. In the unlikely event, I will form a rescue party and come save you."

"Thanks, you're a real friend."

"You could see if she wants to go out tomorrow. I think the bakery is closed on Sunday afternoons and you could use the break. We've been working on this festival stuff all week," you suggest.

"you should take a break too," Sans says, pointing at you with the potato peeler. "a nice, lazy sunday has a certain apeel."

Deacon groans and you laugh, shaking your head as you hold your hand over the pan to check the heat. Almost but not quite.

"I'll call her later. For now I think I'll just enjoy some pleasant company," Deacon says, making you smile. "Though you didn't warn me about the puns. I thought you said he was funny?"

"well, i guess there's no accounting for taste."

"I've been told I have a pretty dry sense of humor."

"like sandpaper."

Their banter seems friendly enough, but something about it makes you uneasy. As you're about to change the subject your cell phone chimes in your back pocket. Pulling it out and flipping on the screen, you see a message from Toriel. 'Thought you and Sans might like this. ]: )' Attached is a picture of Frisk with their arm around Asriel's shoulders, both of them dusted with flour. In front of them is a lumpy, uneven pie you can only assume they made themselves. They're both grinning, and instead of looking at the camera they're looking at each other. You feel a swell of affection in your chest.

"Oh goodness, Toriel has them baking pies, look at this," you say, grinning and turning your phone so Sans can see. The lights in his eyes brighten and he smiles, chuckling. "I'm sure she'll send Frisk home with one tomorrow."

"looks like they're having a good time," Sans says.

As you go to pocket your phone Deacon lifts his head from his hand, craning his neck a little. "Picture of the kids?" he asks, curious.

Nodding, you bring the picture back up and hand him your phone as you open a package of chicken, laying it out on a cutting board. "They're over at Toriel's for the weekend," you say, seasoning the meat as you talk. "We might as well have joint custody of the kids, they're almost always together."

Deacon smiles at the picture and goes to hand your phone back to you but you give a vague gesture with your hands. Realizing that you're covered in raw chicken, he turns off the screen and sets it aside for you to retrieve later. "So Frisk and Asriel are really close, then?"

"What was your first guess?" you ask, chuckling. "Yeah they've been inseparable since..." Catching yourself, you shrug. "Well, since we got to the surface."

"Frisk is a good kid, I'm sure you're proud."

"we both are," Sans adds, not turning to look at Deacon.

You lay out the chicken in the now-hot pan and as it starts sizzling you head over to the sink to wash your hands. "We are," you echo, a little puzzled by Sans's defensive tone. "Thank you."

"Not everyone has it in them to do what you've done. Either of you. Becoming a mom at such a young age, and choosing to step up to the plate and be a father to someone else's kid," Deacon says. He catches your eye as you head back to the stove, unsure of what to say to that.

Fishing a pair of tongs out of a drawer, you nudge the chicken around the pan to distract yourself. It feels strange to accept his praise, like you're lying. You weren't a mother to Frisk for so long. "It's... more complicated than that," you admit. "But thank you."

"Well, whatever happened, you guys seem really happy now and that's what's important, right?" Deacon says, maybe sensing your discomfort. "And I'm guessing you didn't get much help from Frisk's biological father."

"If by 'much' you mean 'any'," you say, sighing. You shake your head. "No, he was fifteen. He didn't stick around."

"Ah. Sorry, maybe I shouldn't have brought it up," Deacon says, looking apologetic.

"I... had help from my mom. It's not like I was alone," you say, leaving the details vague. You don't need to go into that whole mess with Deacon, not right now. If ever. That's in the past.

"hey, babe, are these good?" Sans asks, turning to you and showing you the potatoes he's finished. He glances from you to Deacon, his expression a little tense. You go over to his side to check and his hand is at your waist the second you're close enough, and in a low voice he murmurs to you. "you ok?"

You nod at him, an answer to both of his questions. "Those are great, thank you." 

Sans knows that Deacon didn't mean anything by it, that he was just being curious. But he can't help being protective of you. The second you started feeling uncomfortable he had to resist jumping in. Until talk turned to Kim. That had been the final straw. You didn't need to explain anything to Deacon you didn't want to, and he was more than happy to interrupt.

Conversation turns to more pleasant topics and Papyrus gets home before long. He's excited to have Deacon over for dinner and sounds positively scandalized when he finds out that your friend hasn't been given a proper tour of the house. Not that there's much to see that he hasn't already, but Sans just gives Deacon a little wave as his brother whisks him away. While you have a moment alone he hugs you and double checks to make sure you're okay. You reassure him that you are, and that just the mere mention of your mother isn't enough to rattle you. He's glad, and kisses you before he lets you go.

When the four of you sit down for dinner, Papyrus can't contain himself around Deacon. "UNDYNE TOLD ME THAT YOU FOUGHT HER TWO WEEKS AGO! SHE SAID THAT YOU WERE VERY IMPRESSIVE FOR A HUMAN."

"Did she now? And it wasn't so much a fight as like, practice," Deacon says, gesturing with his fork.

"SHE SHOWED ME SOME OF THE THINGS YOU TAUGHT HER..." He trails off a little and sweat dots the side of his skull as he frowns. "THEY WERE VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, BUT QUITE EFFECTIVE. I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, WAS THROWN ONTO THE GROUND MANY TIMES AT HER INSISTENCE. THOUGH, I ADMIT IT WAS BETTER THAN BEING SUPLEXED."

"Sounds like you two hang out a lot."

"OF COURSE! SHE IS ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS, NOT TO MENTION THE ONE WHO TRAINED ME IN COOKING, AND COMBAT. I WAS GOING TO BE IN THE ROYAL GUARD, YOU KNOW, BEFORE IT WAS... DISBANDED," Papyrus says with a wistful sigh.

Deacon raises a brow. "Cooking and combat? That sounds intimidating."

"IT TURNS OUT THAT UNDYNE IS ONLY GOOD AT ONE OF THOSE THINGS. AND IT'S NOT COOKING."

"And here I thought you were going to have me guess."

Papyrus's eye sockets widen. "OH! I'M SORRY, I SHOULD HAVE LET YOU."

The blonde is laughing as his sarcasm goes right over Papyrus's head. Does he think he's being funny, teasing his brother like that? Sans grits his teeth and bites back a snide remark, doing his best to ignore that nagging feeling that's been buzzing like static in the back of his skull all day. Dealing with Deacon might be easier if he didn't feel so literally on edge every time the guy was in the room. Part of him wishes you hadn't invited him to stay, but after his part in defending Muffet how could he say anything to the contrary. He should like Deacon. There's no good reason for him not to.

Around the time that Sans is finishing up his dinner there's a knock on the front door at the same time that he hears it swing open. He looks over at you, you look over at him, and Deacon has this confused look on his face as he watches you both. Papyrus leaps to his feet to go greet whoever it was that just waltzed into your house. Was it Toriel? She's the first one that pops to mind.

But no, it's not Toriel.

"Hope, darling, you'll never believe what I heard from Alphys this afternoon and I would very much like an explanation as to why I didn't hear it from you personally." Sans groans at the voice, because if there's anyone that grates on his nerves more than Deacon it's Mettaton.

You roll your eyes, muttering, "Doesn't he know how to use a cell phone?"

"not nearly dramatic enough for him," Sans says, gritting his teeth. He's watching Papyrus's face light up, and he can't help but feel a little bit of his frustration diminish. It might be Mettaton, but he can't deny that happy look on his brother's face. Damn that robot.

Papyrus hurries out of the dining room to go meet him, and Deacon watches him go, bewildered. He looks over at you, brow furrowing. "Who is that? It sounds like—"

Mettaton strides into the room with Papyrus trailing behind him, beaming at you once he spots you at the table. "There you are! Now, what is this about a Halloween Festival and why did you not come to me for help?" He presses a hand to his chest and gives you a scandalized look. Sans resists the urge to roll his eyes. "I know what it must have been. You were worried that I'd spread myself too thin between this and the hotel, weren't you? Well, don't you worry darling, I'm here for you."

"Mettaton, I really don't think—" you start, but he cuts you off.

"No no, I insist. With my help we'll make this entire event the talk of the town. No, the talk of the mountain. Trust me, if there's anything I know it's how to put on a good show," he says, teeth gleaming as he gives a confident laugh. He finally seems to catch sight of Deacon, gasping. "Oh my, now aren't you new? Hope is this your new neighbor Alphys told me so much about?"

Deacon pushes himself back from the table and stands up, holding out his hand to Mettaton and giving him a winning smile. "That would be me. I'm Deacon."

Mettaton looks him over from head to toe with an expression Sans can only describe as 'thrilled'. It sort of reminds him of the way he looked at you the first time you met, even if he'd been a giant rectangle back then. "Mettaton," he says, giving Deacon his hand as their eyes meet again. "The Underground's best and brightest star."

"you mean the underground's only star," Sans says. He gives the robot an amused grin at the glare he shoots his way.

"Hope you never told me you're friends with Mettaton," Deacon says to you, looking impressed. "You own the big hotel downtown, right? The one with the fancy restaurant?"

"The one and only. How wonderful that you already know." Mettaton has gone from thrilled to ecstatic. "Now, you must be the one who came up with the idea for this festival in the first place. You must tell me more."

Sans hears your sigh of resignation and knows there's nothing he can do to stop this situation from snowballing out of your control. This is just the type of thing that Mettaton lives for, though he can't help but wonder if maybe this is for the best. You and Deacon are trying to do a hell of a lot on your own. Would the robot's help make things easier or harder on you?

Deacon has already started in on what sounds like a sales pitch while you watch the two of them with a defeated look on your face. Sans reaches under the table to give your thigh a reassuring squeeze and raises a brow when you look at him. You give him a weak smile and shrug your shoulders. With a quiet hum he leans in to nuzzle your cheek and murmur into your ear.

"let him help you. he's gonna do it anyway and maybe you won't be so busy," he says, pulling away again to look at you.

Your lips twitch and you lean in closer to whisper back. There's this little amused twinkle in your eye as you fight back a smirk. He loves it. "You say that now, but I would bet actual money he ends up making more work for us in the end."

"Hope darling, be a dear and show me everything you've bought for this festival so far, and please tell me you still have the receipts," Mettaton cuts in, leading Deacon out of the dining room.

"tell me to kick him out and i'll do it. whatever you want, babe," he says, suddenly rethinking his earlier suggestion.

You laugh and kiss his cheek as you stand up from the table. "You're sweet to offer, but no. I think Deacon's too far gone now. With any luck I can just sit there while the two of them make moon eyes at each other."

Sans watches you go, then realizes that Papyrus is standing in the doorway. He's been suspiciously quiet this entire time, watching Mettaton. Sans goes to his brother's side, trying to slip his hands into his pockets on reflex only to remember he left his jacket by the door. He tugs on the hem of his shirt and lets his arms fall back to his sides before nudging Papyrus's elbow.

He jumps a little and glances down at Sans, then looks back up at where you, Deacon, and Mettaton are standing, going through shopping bags. Crossing his arms over his chest, he looks... disappointed. Maybe even a little sad. Had Mettaton even said anything to Papyrus since he got here? Sans bristles at the thought. As much as he wishes the overgrown calculator would stay away from his brother, he wishes even more for him to be happy. And right now, he doesn't look happy.

"bro, what's wrong?" Sans asks, doing his best to sound concerned instead of angry.

"IT'S NOTHING," he says, shaking his head.

"you know that you can talk to me, c'mon." Since when did Papyrus start keeping things from him?

He shifts a little on his feet, glancing down at the floor and back up again. "HE HASN'T TALKED TO ME SINCE THE HUMANS STARTED VISITING. I'M SURE HE'S JUST BEEN BUSY. HE WAS VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE LINE LETTING HUMANS THROUGH!" Papyrus is smiling again, but it's a little forced. Sans can tell that much. "IF HE NEEDS ME, I'M SURE HE'LL LET ME KNOW. I SHOULDN'T WORRY."

"pap—"

But Papyrus doesn't stop to listen. He gives Sans an even brighter smile and walks off, leaving him to stand there alone. He wishes he could tell his brother that he shouldn't have to wait for Mettaton to need him. That he's allowed to need people, just as much as they need him.

 
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