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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82. Adjustment Period

Sans knows this nightmare. He's intimately familiar with it, but it doesn't lessen the impact of the limp weight of you falling back into his arms. Doesn't make it any less terrible to watch you stare up into his face until the light leaves your eyes as your body sags, lifeless. Blood soaks your chest and coats his hands, slippery and warm.

Your Soul leaves your body, but instead of Asgore's large white hand, a pair of pale human hands cup the air around it and pull it away. Deacon is standing there, smirking down at him. Then, as Sans stares, he crushes your Soul between his hands, grinding it to dust. He rubs his hands together to clean them, ridding himself of any trace of you. As the human's eyes bore into him, Sans jerks awake.

It's dark and for a moment Sans thinks he's back in Snowdin, back in his messy room with its bare walls, shitty mattress, and no you. He's shaking and he sits up to scan the room, sweeping over all the tangible signs that he's still in the same timeline. The new bed, the squashy lounge chair in the corner that the two of you read in sometimes, the glowing clock beside him that shows the date in bright red numbers. But none of it helps. Everything feels wrong. His magic is prickling over his bones and he can't stop trembling.

You're laying beside him, arms wrapped around your pillow, asleep on your stomach. Like this he can't tell if you're breathing, and a surge of panic urges him to wake you. He needs to know you're okay, needs to see you look at him with life in your eyes and feel the smooth, unmarred surface of your chest where no trident ever pierced it because that never happened in this reality because Frisk fixed it. Frisk and Chara fixed it and you're okay and he still can't stop himself from reaching out for you and shaking you.

"hope," he says, desperation tightening his voice as fear overwhelms his senses, honing in on one singular goal. "babe, please!"

You startle awake, gasping and jerking away from him, eyes wide as you take a moment to regain your bearings. "Sans? What's—" He doesn't let you finish as he pushes you over onto your side, pressing your chest hard with his fingers. "Ow! What are you doing?"

You're fine. He knows, knew, that you were fine but he still feels like something is tensing to snap inside of him. Like he's going to break apart into pieces and sift away to dust and he almost wishes it would just happen because maybe then he'd stop hurting.

"Sans? Honey? Oh god..." Your voice sounds like it's coming from far away but he's hyper-aware of the feel of your hands on either side of his skull, soft skin against hard bone.

You must have sat up because you're pulling his forehead to your shoulder, one hand on the back of his head as the other rubs a slow circle against his back. He squeezes his eyes shut and tries to concentrate on the feel of you, circling you with his arms and clinging tightly. You're fine, you're fine, you're fine. He repeats it in his head and he thinks he's repeating it out loud because you're nodding, brushing your nose up and down his face.

"I'm fine," you echo back to him, and your voice sounds clearer now. "Sans we're both still here on the surface and I'm fine. Just breathe with me."

He listens to the sound of air filling your lungs, clear and strong. He feels you exhale and he tilts his head to press closer to your chest so he can hear your heartbeat too. This close he can feel the strong hum of your Soul, pulsing in time with your heart. The three sounds —blood and air and Soul— pull him back down as he times his breaths with yours, forcing himself to slow down to match you.

Four months isn't nearly enough time to get over seeing you die and you know it. How many times have you had to comfort him after being woken up like this? It's not the first, not by a long shot and he thinks it won't be the last. How long are you going to be willing to put up with this? He's not getting any better.

"i'm sorry," he whispers, and then he realizes how tight he's holding you. Sans forces his arms to relax, afraid he's hurt you. "i'm sorry," he says again.

"It's not your fault," you say, stroking the back of his head. "Hey, I think that's the longest you've had between attacks. It was two weeks yesterday."

Is it? He files that away to mull over later, the thought that maybe he is improving, if only a little. "it's not good enough. i can't keep scaring the shit out of you in the middle of the night." He sighs and pulls away, far enough to look at your face. You're regarding him with tenderness and patience he doesn't think he deserves. "maybe i should—"

"If you suggest sleeping in the guest room one more time I'm gonna smack you," you say, but there's no weight behind your threat. Just weariness and frustration. "What happens when you wake up alone? It'll just make it worse."

He doesn't have an argument for that. You're right and he knows it.

How long would he have gone without another recurrence of that nightmare if Deacon hadn't waltzed into your lives with his stupid, charming attitude and pretty face? Is he really so scared of... what, him stealing you away? Scared enough that his subconscious is warping his dreams to accommodate it, apparently. But that's stupid, you're not some thing to steal. You chose him, just like he chose you and you've been through worse together than him.

But right now that's not going to stop him from holding you close, like he can keep you with him through sheer willpower alone. Because if he knows anything after all you've been through together, it's that losing you would destroy him.

You've been distracted, worrying about Sans all morning when you should be paying attention to the classroom. The teacher you assist, Ms. Leveretta (a cousin, you think, of the rabbit family) has to struggle to get your attention, to the point of pulling you aside and asking if everything is okay. She's a little older than you but not by much, short but lean with brown fur and tall ears, more like a hare than a rabbit.

Frisk and Asriel, who are part of Leveretta's class, even wander over to try and help you wash glue out of one student's fur (an incident that only happened because you've been so distracted!). You put on a reassuring smile and send them back over to their own crafts. You need to get yourself together, the last thing you need is a six and seven year old worrying about you.

His panic attacks always leave you feeling so disoriented afterwards. Even after you both finally got some sleep, your breakfast and coffee couldn't break the haze settled over your brain. You can only imagine how he must feel. Worse than you do, you're certain. Between the attack itself and then his guilt afterwards, you wish you both could have just stayed home. But once daylight rolled around and the immediate effects faded, he insisted that he needed to go help Alphys and you knew that you should be here for Deacon's first day.

You haven't seen him yet. He has his own classroom on the second floor with the older kids, the ones who need more specialized classes than the little ones. The way Toriel explained it is he'll alternate days between teaching the older kids in his own room, and coming downstairs to do shorter lessons for the younger ones. You're not sure what he's doing today, you haven't heard anything.

"So," Leveretta says, sidling up next to you as you survey the room. So far no one else has managed to gum themselves up with paste. "Have you met the new teacher? The human?" She arches an eyebrow, clasping her hands behind her back. Her ears swivel towards you, listening intently.

"Yesterday, the three of us helped him move in," you say, mouth quirking into a wry smile as you adjust your ponytail. "He moved into the vacant house next door, you know the family that went back to the Underground?"

She bobs her head up and down. "Right, right. So how is he? I know that Toriel handpicked him herself, but I'm just a little curious."

"He's nice. I think you'll like him. Cute too, if you don't mind them without any fur."

You're a little surprised when her nose scrunches up. "That just sounds messy and complicated," she blurts out, shaking her head. After a second she must notice the look on your face because she lets out a little gasp and covers her mouth. "Oh, Hope I didn't mean it like that, just... Look at me running my mouth before thinking."

Waving away her words with a forced smile, you do your best not to take it personally. "Hey, humans are as complicated as they come."

"You and Sans are an adorable couple, I just don't think I've got the patience is all."

You look pointedly at the room of fifteen children, all talking at the same time in varying levels of volume. You glance back at her and she's turning a little pink under her fur.

"You know what? It's almost lunch time, why don't you go on ahead? I'll try to find a way to remove my foot from my mouth while you're gone," she says, fidgeting with the lanyard for her plastic ID. You bought it for her a month ago, it's decorated with little carrots.

"Okay, Levey. I'll see you after lunch," you say, giving her a reassuring look. She gives you an awkward smile in return and walks off to avert another glue crisis in progress. One of the kids is rolling a glue stick over their palm and eyeing their neighbor a little too suspiciously.

After a quick check in with Frisk and Asriel to let them know you're heading to lunch and you'll see them after, you head to the break room. You used to eat lunch with Frisk. But after realizing that they probably didn't want to spend every second of their day with their mom, you stopped. Besides, eating with the other adults is much quieter than in a cafeteria full of kids, or outside on the playground.

As you make your way through the quiet halls, you realize that you never really gave much thought to how the monsters felt about your relationship with Sans. No one had ever acted like it was strange. Papyrus just teased Sans a little, Undyne could be downright nosy, and Alphys was one of your biggest supporters. Asgore and Toriel never said anything about it either. Leveretta, someone you considered if not a friend at least a close acquaintance, is the first person to say anything that might be considered negative. 'Messy and complicated' how? Because of how the humans might react? The differences between your species? Emotionally? ...Sexually?

How many other monsters think that way when they see the two of you together? You tell yourself that 'messy and complicated' doesn't mean 'wrong' but the reassurances feel empty. Maybe you should ask Undyne about it if you catch her later. You can rely on her not to pull any punches.

Pushing open the door to the break room, you find Deacon sitting at a table alone, eating instant noodles out of a styrofoam cup. He's got chopsticks in one hand and stapled packet of papers in the other, reading while he eats. He glances over as you enter, slurping a little in his rush to swallow so he can let out a sigh of relief. Setting down the papers and pulling off his black-framed reading glasses, he rubs his eyes.

"Thank god," he mutters, ruffling his hair even more than it already was as he runs his hand through it.

You head to the fridge, giving a weak laugh as you find your floral-print lunchbag. "Rough day?"

"Yes, but let me elaborate," he says, gesturing to the seat beside him at the table. You take it, pulling out your lunch as he continues. "First I'd like to say that everyone is very nice, and I don't think there is a woman on this planet that is nicer than Toriel Dreemurr. I reiterate that it's like she walked out of a sitcom —one of the nice ones, you know, before TV was in color— and it's bordering on a little creepy if I'm perfectly honest."

You're trying not to laugh too loud as you pull out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a twin to Frisk's own lunch. "I felt the same way, when we first met," you admit. "I mean, Frisk and I had just fallen into the Underground and she was the first monster I ever met. She was so sweet and kind, I felt like she was up to something, you know? But maybe that says more about us than her."

"At least now I don't feel like the only one!" Deacon says, tipping his cup of noodles into his mouth. "So anyway, she's been taking me on the rounds through the school right? Helping get me settled, introducing me to the other teachers on the second floor, letting me sit in on classes. So I'm talking to some of the kids and then all of a sudden one of them just bursts into flames and no one even bats an eye." His eyes widen and he plunks his lunch back down on the table, slumping in his chair. "So I'm thinking to myself, 'Is this some kind of test? Do kids normally catch on fire here? Are they checking to see if I do something?' And all the while this kid is just carrying on a conversation with his buddy next to him and I'm staring like an idiot —which is apparently becoming a bad habit of mine, did you have that problem too?"

You nod as he pauses, taking a bite of your sandwich.

"So I'm there, this kid is on fire, and it's all I can do to not freak out because no one else in the room even seems to notice and while I'm having this fight with myself the fire just goes out. Problem solved. Kid keeps talking to his friend, I'm staring at Toriel wondering if I've started going crazy." He pauses again to take a swig of water, smoothing down his button-up shirt with his other hand. You notice he's got his own school ID already hanging from his neck. "That's weird right? Please tell me I'm not the only person on this mountain that thinks that's weird?"

You pat his arm, doing your best to try and look like you aren't about to start cracking up. "Yes that's... weird. Does it make you feel any better when I say you'll get used to it?"

"Not really. What does that say about us?" He laughs, shaking his head and sighing again. "Well, actually I guess it does make me feel better. At least you're here too, and you've already been through the adjustment period."

"Yeah, now I only stare sometimes."

Deacon leans forward, resting his elbows on the table as he looks at you. He's smiling. "How do you do it? I can only imagine everything you've gone through in the past seven months, how do you wrap your head around it all?"

You have no idea what you're really asking, Deacon. "One day at a time. I know it seems like a lot, with everyone looking so different but they aren't as strange as you might think. They're just people."

"People with magic. Doesn't that bother you?" He seems legitimately curious. There's no accusation in his voice.

"Why should it?"

The door opens and Deacon goes quiet as he looks up. You turn to look, and there's Undyne, followed by Alphys and Sans. Your fiancé smiles at you, glancing over at Deacon.

"oh, don't mind us. please, continue."

   
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