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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80. A Seat at the Table

With Papyrus's enthusiasm and Sans's uncharacteristic showing off, emptying the trailer doesn't take long. It also helps that Deacon doesn't have much in the way of furniture. Thankfully the house is still fully furnished from the previous residents, so at least he has places to sit and sleep.

Seeing as you still have a couple hours until dinner, Papyrus suggests you all stay to help him unpack. Sans shrugs and you both agree, despite Deacon's weak protests. So you find yourselves in the kitchen, with Deacon opening boxes and directing things as you and Papyrus put everything away. Sans just sits at the kitchen table with his feet up in the chair next to him.

You wish he'd help. Between him and Papyrus's unique way of doing things, you can't help but feel anxious. You just want everyone to get along, largely in part of the fact that you almost forgot what it's like to have another friendly human around and you don't want them to scare him off. As friendly as the soldiers can be, there's always that bit of distance with them. Like they're keeping themselves at arm's length just in case. Because at the end of the day they have a job to do and no matter their personal feelings about you and the monsters, they're soldiers first. But you don't feel any of that from Deacon. He's a human, throwing his lot in with the monsters just like you.

"HUMAN, YOU DON'T HAVE MUCH IN THE WAY OF FOOD. I'M GLAD YOU'LL BE JOINING US FOR DINNER!" Papyrus says, his voice filling the room.

He's not so much loud as forceful, but for the first time in a long time it has you wincing, glancing over at Deacon to see if it's bothering him. Outside it wasn't so bad, but in here it echoes. Deacon doesn't seem too fazed by it, but maybe he's just being polite. Maybe all of this really is weirding him out and he's just good at hiding it for the sake of propriety.

"Pap I'm sure he didn't want to move a bunch of stuff from his old place. We've got plenty of stores up here for him to get food at," you say, biting your lip as you stand up on your tip toes to push a few things into the cabinet over the stove.

The cookbooks are lifted out of your hands as a blue glow surrounds them, sliding effortlessly into their new home. You sink back down onto your heels, casting a frustrated look back at Sans. "I could do that myself. Stop wasting your magic."

Sans raises a brow at you, blinking as the blue fades from his eye and the white lights flicker back to life. "helping my girl isn't a waste of magic."

"Hell, if I had magic like that, or a girl, I'd probably do the same thing," Deacon chimes in, sifting through a box of what looks like dishtowels and pot holders.

You watch Sans give him an appraising look that Deacon thankfully doesn't notice. You wish you knew what was going on inside that skull of his, because whatever it is he doesn't say anything.

"I AGREE WITH HOPE. IF YOU KEEP USING YOUR MAGIC SO MUCH YOU'RE GOING TO FALL ASLEEP IN THE MIDDLE OF DINNER," Papyrus scolds.

Deacon pulls out one of the chairs from around the table to set a box down on it but hesitates, frowning. "Huh," he says.

"What is it?" you ask, coming up beside him.

He pulls out another chair, looking down at the seat. "Two of these seat cushions are missing. That's weird."

"NOT AS WEIRD AS THE FACT THAT YOU DON'T HAVE A COLANDER. HOW DO YOU STRAIN YOUR SPAGHETTI?"

You're trying not to cringe, suddenly embarrassed. Did he have to bring up spaghetti already? All these little idiosyncrasies are normal to you now, but you're starting to realize just how strange they must seem to other humans. "Papyrus, not everyone—"

"Tongs," Deacon says, laughing under his breath. He's back to sorting through boxes again, the cushions forgotten. "You can grab the noodles right out of the pot, shake the water off a little, and put it right on the plate. One less thing to wash."

"OH, THAT'S A BRILLIANT IDEA! BRILLIANTLY LAZY, SANS THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING YOU WOULD DO," Papyrus says, impressed.

Sans is smiling at his brother, shrugging. "yeah, bro. you got me."

"So, I know that Hope works at the school, what do you two do?" Deacon asks, pushing the box of dishtowels towards Papyrus and pointing to a drawer near the fridge.

"I AM THE HEAD OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH. WELL... ACTUALLY I'M THE ONLY MEMBER."

"You have a neighborhood watch?" Deacon asks, surprised.

You wince. "Not exactly. He used to be a sentry back Underground," you say, trying to explain this in a way that makes sense. "He sort of does patrols around Mountainside, just to make sure everyone's okay. I joked with him that it was sorta like a neighborhood watch and it stuck."

"IT IS NO JOKING MATTER. I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, TAKE MY JOB VERY SERIOUSLY," Papyrus says, posing as his scarf gives a dramatic flutter. You hate how embarrassed it makes you feel, just wanting Papyrus to act a little more normal for once. God that isn't fair to him at all, is it?

But Deacon is grinning, looking at Papyrus like he can't believe his eyes. "Hey, you guys can't count on the soldiers to handle everything. Monsters got to look out for themselves."

"EXACTLY!" he says, beaming. He clears his throat after a moment, dropping out of his pose. "NOT TO DISCREDIT THE SOLDIERS, I'M SURE THEY'RE WORKING VERY HARD."

You gently remind yourself that even you adjusted well to being around the monsters. Deacon came to Ebott of his own free will after all, unlike you. You had adjusted out of necessity and he's doing this all willingly. Why are you expecting him to not take it all in stride? Just relax, let him get to know them. Besides, how could anyone not like Papyrus?

"So the big guy here is head of the watch, that's pretty cool," Deacon says picking up another box and using his pocket knife to slit the tape sealing it shut. "What about you, Sans? What do you do, if you don't mind my asking."

"not much," Sans says, shrugging.

"He's a scientist," you say, nudging his shoulder. "He's been helping Alphys out at the Core."

"i was just an intern, babe, c'mon." He gives you an odd look, and you wonder if you said something wrong. "dunno that what i do is official enough to be considered a 'scientist'."

"The Core? That's... what supplies power to Ebott, right?" Curiosity piqued, Deacon looks up from what he's doing. "I think the news said it was geothermal energy, enough to keep you guys off the grid? I mean, you guys were self-sustaining before, might as well stay that way."

"it's better than relying on the humans," Sans says, looking away. "but yeah, what you heard is right."

"It's amazing what you managed to do down there. I mean, you survived, hell, thrived for what, hundreds of years without anyone knowing you were there? That's pretty impressive," Deacon says, not noticing the way that Sans's smile is turning forced.

"yeah, i suppose we did do pretty well for ourselves, considering all we had to go off of was human garbage." He pulls his feet off the chair next to him, sitting up straighter as he regards Deacon. "not sure i'd call it thriving though."

Deacon opens his mouth to say something but catches himself, glancing from Sans to where Papyrus is standing next to the fridge, wringing his hands. Even he can feel the tension building in the room. His Adam's apple bobs a little as he swallows. "I... Oh, I didn't mean to..."

You rest your hand on Sans's shoulder, squeezing. He relaxes a little under your touch, reaching up to take hold of it. "forget it, pal."

Sans and Deacon don't say much to each other after that. There's still plenty of chatter between the four of you, but you take note that very little of it is directly between the two of them. You hope this is just a small bump in the road, and that they'll move past this. You just want everyone to get along.

Sans doesn't like Deacon. The easy way he talks with you and Papyrus, his casual sarcasm, everything about him just rubs him the wrong way. The most frustrating part of it is that he doesn't even know why. The guy hasn't done anything worth disliking him for, aside from one insensitive comment he was more than eager to jump all over just to make him feel like shit. What the hell has gotten into him? He likes to think he's a nice guy, easy to get along with, good at making people comfortable. But not with Deacon. Just being around him sets him on edge.

So it's even more irritating when, as everyone is sitting at dinner together, that it seems like he's the only one with a problem. You and Papyrus already like the guy, and Tori and Asgore can't get enough of their first outside resident. Even the kids seem to like him.

There was one moment that struck Sans as a little odd, though, as the kids arrived at Tori's house. The second they came home Deacon's head jerked up and he gave Frisk and Asriel this weird look for just a little too long. But maybe it was just because Asriel was carrying Frisk on his back, with both of them announcing their arrival with loud shouts for their mothers.

But the moment passed and with a flurry of activity (Deacon hung off to the side, looking a little overwhelmed) all eight of you sat down for dinner.

Toriel outdid herself, as usual. After who knows how long spent alone in the Ruins, Sans imagines that these huge family dinners must be like heaven to her. Sitting between Asriel and Asgore, she's all smiles as she watches heaping dishes of food get passed around the table.

"Deacon, please, do not be afraid to help yourself," she says, looking at the small portions he's doled out to himself.

Deacon shifts a little in his seat as Papyrus hands him another bowl. "There's just so much, I just want to make sure I get a bit of everything," he says, barely loud enough for Sans to hear him. 

As he sets the bowl down Asgore clears his throat, reaching for it. "If you do not mind, can you pass that down here please?"

"Oh, right!" he blurts out, flustered.

Sans has to fight the urge to roll his eyes. Hasn't he ever had a big family dinner before? It's not like this is some weird monster tradition. In an attempt to distract himself, he nudges Frisk with his elbow.

"so what did you do today, kiddo?" he asks, taking another serving dish from you and spooning some steamed vegetables onto his plate. He makes sure to give some to Frisk, too.

"Just more exploring," Frisk says evasively, stuffing their face with a mouthful of food to avoid saying more.

"yeah? soon enough you're gonna know every rock out there in the forest. find anything interesting?" he presses.

Frisk just shrugs.

Kids.

That's fine, at least he tried. Now that everyone has been served and all the dishes are set down on the table, Sans starts working on his own dinner. You're quiet at his side, focused on your own meal but nudging his knee with yours. Just a little reminder that you're there. He nudges you back, smiling.

"I hope everything went well with the move," Toriel says, trying to strike up a conversation.

"OH YES, OF COURSE! WITH MY OWN MOVING EXPERTISE AS AN EXAMPLE, WE HAD NO TROUBLE WHATSOEVER," Papyrus says, twirling some buttered noodles on his fork and taking a bite. It's become something of a tradition for there to always be some kind of pasta at these big family gatherings.

"That is good to hear. I am glad that there were no problems," Asgore says. "I hope the house is to your liking, Deacon."

When Deacon doesn't reply, Sans looks up from his dinner and sees that he's being watched. What, is there something— Oh, no he recognizes that look from the first few days he knew you. He's trying to figure out where the food goes. Meeting Deacon's eyes and unable to keep from smirking, he takes a big forkful of dinner and takes a slow, deliberate bite, then tips his head back as it vanishes. The human just blinks.

"Deacon?"

He snaps back to attention at the sound of Toriel's voice and Sans has to stop himself from laughing. Oh, he feels a little bad for messing with him, but not bad enough to not want to do it again.

"Sorry, I was... Yes ma'am?" Deacon says, cheeks reddening.

"Asgore just wished to know if the house is to your liking." She gives him a polite smile, but shoots Sans a narrow-eyed glance.

As Deacon stumbles through the appropriate pleasantries, Sans starts to feel more guilty. He shouldn't be messing with the guy, Tori has every right to be annoyed with him. He should be trusting her instincts. She's had lots more practice dealing with humans and hundreds of years of experience as queen. From the way old Gerson tells it she was the real brains behind the throne before she left, and if she likes Deacon, who is he to disagree?

Not to mention he doesn't want to screw this up for you. You seem so happy to have another human nearby, and he owes it to you to play nice, doesn't he? He doesn't want to not like the guy... But at the same time he's a little... oh, fuck is he jealous? Jealous of the easy way the two of you get along, and how you just seem to understand each other in a different way just on the merit of being humans. No matter how long he spends on the surface, he's never going to really understand what it means to be human.

That's a stupid thing to be jealous of. He shouldn't let this bother him. What did he think was gonna happen after you got to the surface, you'd just never talk to other humans again? You deserve to have someone who understands you, in ways that he can't. He can't be your entire world. He shouldn't expect to be.

But out of all the people did it have to be this guy?

Asgore's phone starts to ring, pulling Sans out of his own head. As the king excuses himself from the table, he glances over at you. You're watching him, dark eyes searching his face.

"Are you okay?" you ask him in a soft voice.

"yeah, i'm fine," he says, reaching under the table to squeeze your knee. Your lips twitch into a smile.

"So," Deacon says, looking at Asriel and Frisk. "I guess you two will be some of my new students?"

The kids exchange a look before Frisk nods. "Yeah I guess so."

"It will be so nice having someone with more knowledge of what has happened up here on the surface. It is important that the children learn these things now that we are up here too," Toriel says, stroking Asriel's head.

"Well there's a lot of history to cover, I still need to sit down with you and some of the other teachers to try and get a lesson plan ironed out. I know you want me starting tomorrow, but I'll just have to wing it for the first few days," Deacon says. He rubs the back of his neck, looking anxious. "Normally the type of history kids learn is determined by their grade, but you want me to teach a little bit of everything, I think?"

"Yes, from my understanding human schools are split by grades, but our three schools are all ages. It is my hope to get more human teachers in the future, but in the meantime I hope that you can teach a wide variety of students. As long as you think you can, I would hate for you to feel overwhelmed, especially so soon," she says, apologetic.

"Oh, no don't worry about that! I'm sure I'll think of something." He gives her a reassuring smile.

"Hey, if you're going to be teaching at our school, you'll get to meet Undyne!" Frisk says, perking up. "She's our gym teacher!"

"Undyne, huh? Is she cute?" Deacon asks with a wink.

Asriel laughs. "I guess? Her girlfriend thinks so at least."

"Ah, figures," he says, frowning. "All the cute ones are taken." Then, he glances over at you and gives you a wink.

You start laughing at that, and Sans gives a small, frustrated huff. Yeah, that's right you're taken. And this guy better not forget that.

But before he has time to get any more annoyed with the situation, Asgore comes back into the room. He's grinning, happier than Sans has seen him in a while. Raising a brow, he glances over at you and nudges you to get your attention.

"So," Asgore begins, clapping his hands together. "That was Captain Prasad. She wanted to inform me that the government has decided to let humans through the Line. They'll still be required to go through the checkpoint and submit to a search, but we will officially be open to the public. She said it's thanks to the positive response to the conference."

Toriel lets out an excited gasp. "Oh, Asgore that's wonderful news!"

"METTATON WILL BE HAPPY TO HEAR THIS! NOW HE CAN FINALLY GET CUSTOMERS AT HIS NEW HOTEL," Papyrus says, grinning.

"It will go into effect a week from tomorrow. They will be doing an official statement in the human news in the next few days." Asgore takes his seat again, beaming proudly.

Sans frowns. "but what about letting us out?"

Asgore and Toriel's expressions falter as they look at him. The king clears his throat. "I know this is not what everyone is hoping for, but it is still progress. This is something that will take time."

"it's been months already," Sans says, trying to keep his tone even. He looks at Deacon, wondering what he's thinking about all this. He doesn't trust himself to ask without making an ass out of himself.

Deacon keeps his eyes on his dinner, and doesn't say anything. He looks uncomfortable and out of place.

"Come now, we can speak of this later. We are here to welcome our new neighbor," Toriel says curtly, and Sans knows better than to try and argue.

Besides, this doesn't have anything to do with Deacon.

   
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