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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202. Anticipating What's Next

Gaster is doing a very good job of looking like he’s busy, pouring over the small stack of blueprints that Sans brought home for him yesterday, but you can tell his heart’s not in it. His eyes keep flicking over towards the clock, counting down the minutes until Papyrus is due to arrive.

He’s still got another hour, which means you have another hour of feeling just as antsy over this whole reunion. Between Sans and Gaster and even Papyrus, you’re doing your best to prepare yourself for the worst and you’re just not really sure what the worst might entail. You’re not the biggest fan of springing this on Papyrus as soon as he gets home, even under the guise of a ‘surprise’, but you understand Sans’s reasoning. Even Gaster accepted it.

You just want everything to go well. For everyone’s sake.

“Do you think he knows he’s looking at that page upside-down?” Deacon mutters under his breath, stealing a glance at Gaster from his seat next to you on the couch. Your father-in-law is hunched over the coffee table, having insisted that he’d rather do his work with the rest of you rather than somewhere private.

“Is it?” you ask, squinting across the room as you try to get a look for yourself. “Honestly I tried looking at some of them and they might as well be in hieroglyphics…”

“No idea. Just seems like something he’d do,” he says. You roll your eyes at him. “It could be upside-down. How would anyone know?”

 He would. He wrote them.”

Deacon makes a noncommittal noise. “And they’re supposed to be for that busted up machine in the shed? The one that opened the door to the Font in the first place?”

You nod, glancing away from Gaster and over at Deacon. He’s picking at his now-peeling sunburn, but abruptly stops the second your eyes narrow and he sees the look on your face. “The machine and the Core. And I think Sans said something about some kind of… extractor? I’m not sure.”

“Hmm.” Deacon looks down at his phone, frowning as you catch sight of him flicking through some messages.

“You okay?” you ask, resting a hand on his arm.

He glances over at you, hesitating for a second before nodding. “Yeah, just… frustrated. This whole thing with Bo’s work threw off her entire schedule for the week. This new hire just stopped showing up after three days and now she’s having to cover all his shifts.”

“You mentioned that yesterday… He still never showed up?”

Deacon shakes his head. “Nope. And it’s been two days, so she’s not expecting him to come back. It’s not unusual, Bo says they end up losing like a quarter of the servers in their first week. It’s just annoying as hell. He could at least have bothered to say something!” With a frustrated sound in the back of his throat, he makes a dismissive gesture. “Well, whatever. She’s getting the schedule sorted out, but for now she’s stuck there.”

“Is Bo upset?”

“About the extra work? Not really. I think she missed it all, being on vacation,” he says, with an exasperated but affectionate look on his face. “She’s more upset about the guy —I don’t remember his name— not showing. The last time she saw him he was pretty stressed out, and you know her. She’s just wondering if she could have helped him more. But he’s not answering any calls from the restaurant so there’s nothing she can do.”

“He’s not answering the phone?” you ask, arching a brow.

Deacon arches his own right back at you. “If you walked out on a job, would you want to the boss you quit on? He probably feels like an ass. Or heshould. Well, whatever. They’ve never had a problem getting new people.”

You’re about to say something but you’re cut off by the sound of two sets of footsteps on the stairs, descending into the foyer. Glancing in their direction, you catch a glimpse of Frisk and Asriel right as they slip into the kitchen.

“Hey, what are you two doing?” you call out, sitting up a little straighter and craning your neck.

There’s a guilty pause. “Just getting a snack?” Frisk replies hesitantly.

You push up from the couch with a frustrated sound, heading towards them. “I don’t think so. We’ve got less than two hours until dinner.”

The kids are standing half in the pantry when you find them, a bag of chips in Asriel’s hands when they turn to look at you. Asriel won’t quite meet your eyes and Frisk has a stubborn look on their face.

“Mooooom,” Frisk whines as you pluck the bag away and shoo them away from the food. “We’re hungry.”

“Then you’ll eat plenty of dinner later,” you reply, shutting the pantry and giving them both a stern look. They start to shuffle off towards the stairs. “And don’t bother going back up to your room, your father will be home soon and then your uncles won’t be long after that.”

Frisk lets out a harsh sigh that has you gritting your teeth, wondering to yourself why they feel the need to make this harder than it has to be. Asriel follows after them as they head to the living room, hunching his shoulders in an attempt to make himself seem smaller. You bite your lip once they can’t see you, rubbing your forehead. As you resist the urge to copy Frisk’s annoyed sigh, you wonder if you’re being too bossy.

Following the two of them after a moment to gather yourself, you can’t help but notice the way that Asriel skirts around Gaster, going to flop in one of the bean bag chairs the kids use to play video games in. Frisk, on the other hand, seems curious about the blueprints. They hesitate beside the coffee table, stealing a not-so-subtle glance down at the papers. As you go to retake your seat next to Deacon, Gaster looks up to catch Frisk looking.

“Would you like me to explain anything?” Gaster asks, giving them a patient smile.

There’s a pause where Frisk’s eyes dart over to where Asriel’s waiting, looking a bit sour, you think. They shake their head. “Maybe later,” they say, then go over to flop into the tiny space left in Asriel’s chair.

Asriel, startled, lets out a strangled bleat of protest, throwing out a leg to catch himself as Frisk elbows him to the side to make more room. “There’s another chair!” he says, but his complaint sounds weak. After a moment he willingly scoots over and lets Frisk settle in next to him.

Gaster is watching the two of them, just like you are. He sits up straight, pushing away from the coffee table and the paperwork, folding his hands in his lap. “Asriel, I hope that you are doing well?”

The kids, who were just about to look at something on Asriel’s phone, look up in unison with twin expressions of surprise and confusion. They glance at each other (the perfect timing of this motion would be eerie if you hadn’t been around them for the last six years) and then back at Gaster.

“He’s fine,” Frisk says.

“Yeah,” Asriel agrees, dropping his gaze back to his phone.

You just do your best to ignore the annoyed feeling in the back of your mind, resisting the urge to tell them they ought to be more polite.

“What happened in the Font left you with no ill effects?” he presses, either unaware or uninterested in the cold-shoulder he’s being given.

Asriel’s hand goes to his chest, a furrow forming between his brows as he leans a little closer to Frisk. “I’m fine,” he insists, hunching his shoulders.

Frisk says something to him, too quiet for you to hear, pressing in close to his side. But Gaster doesn’t seem to be getting the hint, looking like he’s ready to say something else. You open your mouth to say something, but—

“So, Az,” Deacon says, maybe a little louder than necessary. The kids look at him, bringing back that startled and confused look again. Like they’re surprised that anyone is actually talking to them. There’s a moment where Deacon seems at a loss, more interested in interrupting than having anything to say. Leaning forward he rests his arms on his knees. “You, uh, looking forward to school starting up soon?”

“...I guess?” Asriel answers. “Are you?”

Deacon shrugs. “Sure. I mean, I didn’t become a teacher because I hate it. And I’m pretty sure that I get to have two of my favorite students again this year.”

Asriel’s mouth twitches just a little, and he seems to relax just a bit. “Wait, you mean we get to be in your class?”

“Oh, you thought I was talking about you two? I meant Bonnet and Kid, but I guess you guys are okay.”

“Hey!” Frisk protests, which just makes Deacon laugh.

“Yes, I get to teach you two again this year,” he says, smiling. “You’re seventh-graders now, officially in my age range. No more little kid history. Now you get to learn all the horrible stuff your mom used to yell at me for telling you.”

You roll your eyes, giving him a firm shove. “I’m just glad they got you away from the elementary school kids.”

“You and me both!” he agrees. You snort.

The tension is gone from the room, and for that you’re grateful. He keeps the kids entertained with a quick runthrough of some of the things he has planned for them this year but soon enough he’s taking looks at the clock as it creeps closer and closer to when Sans should be getting home. Their conversation trails off and Frisk and Asriel go back into their own little world, huddled together in their bean bag chair. You watch them for a moment, smiling as Frisk rests their head on Asriel’s shoulder while they watch something on his phone.

“Well, I should get going,” Deacon finally says, sighing and pushing up to his feet. “I told Bo I’d do some stuff around the house at some point today, and you guys have got an, uh… interesting night ahead of you.”

You give him a weak smile, following after him as he heads for the door. “That’s one way to put it.”

“Tell me how it goes?” He drapes his arm over your shoulders leaning against you as you step into the foyer.

“You know I will,” you say with a one-armed hug, tipping your head against his shoulder for just a second before he releases you.

It’s at that moment that Sans appears in the entryway, hands in his pockets and a startled look on his face as his arrival is announced with the quiet rush of displaced air and a faint blue glow. You and Deacon both jump, grabbing at each other for just a second before you both realize what just happened.

“Shit,” you breathe, anxious laughter bubbling out of you as the sudden jolt of adrenaline starts to fizzle away. “Sorry hun, you scared me.”

“didn’t think anybody’d be standing right here,” he says, glancing between the two of you. His eyes settle on Deacon. “what’re you doing here?”

“Well fuck you too, buddy,” Deacon mutters, resting his hands on his hips and fixing Sans with a flat look.

Sans, grinning, ignores him and slides up to you, wrapping his arms around your waist and pulling you to him. “hey, babe,” he says, tipping his head up to nuzzle your cheek. You kiss him in return, hugging him back. “how’s everything?”

“Fine. A little tense? Gaster’s getting nervous, I think,” you say quietly.

“hm,” is his only response. He looks at Deacon. “bud, you staying?”

“As much as I enjoy a good show, I think I’ll leave this one to direct relatives,” Deacon says, shifting around the two of you to head for the door. “Say hi to Pap and Mettaton for me.”

“We will,” you tell him, and with that Deacon heads home.

Sans’s smile is a little more rigid than it was a second ago as you stand alone in the foyer. You’re close enough to the door that you’re out of sight of the living room, so taking advantage of the relative privacy, you rest your forehead against his and cradle his skull in your hands. He closes his eyes, drawing in a long, slow breath. You can feel the anxiousness in him, in his body and the way that he’s gripped your sides and isn’t letting you go.

“I love you,” you tell him, stroking his cheekbones with your thumbs.

“love you too,” he murmurs, squeezing you.

“I know you’re nervous.” He huffs, but doesn’t disagree. “But I’m sure everything will be fine.”

“this is gonna be just like deacon all over again.”

Whatever you were expecting him to say, that wasn’t it. You pull away far enough so you can see him, brow furrowing in confusion. “What?”

Sans grimaces, glancing away. “i’m gonna be the asshole here. papyrus is gonna waltz in, be totally fine with our dad just appearing out of thin air, and i’m gonna be the only one who isn’t okay with this. i’m the bad guy. again.”

“Sans, you’re not the bad guy,” you say, dropping your hands to his shoulders and gripping them. “You’re allowed to work through this in your own time…”

“i’m not treating him like family.” He shakes his head, reaching up and covering your hand with his. “ you’ve been nicer to him than i have.”

“I’m not sure that comparison is fair to you,” you say, a playful smile tugging at your lips. “I’m nicer to everyone than you are.”

A soft laugh escapes him against his will, giving you a mildly annoyed look. “yeah, ok. but i’m just…” He sighs, leaning forward to rest his forehead against your sternum. You cup the back of his head, pressing your cheek against him. “i’m overthinking it. i’m circling back around over and over about things i can’t remember and have no way of knowing if they’re true and it’s just… i wish i knew. and he wants to take the blame for that and god knows i’m too willing to give it to him.”

“But you’ve been trying,” you say, hoping you sound soothing. “Sans, that’s worth a lot and I think Gaster sees that. I know I do. And I don’t think anyone thinks you’re being the bad guy.”

Sans grumbles into your chest, sounding more like Frisk in the middle of a good pout than a grown adult. But you know that sometimes he needs to just let himself sulk. You do the same thing. “will you yell at me if i do end up making an ass out of myself?”

“You know I will,” you say. You kiss the top of his head. “Just don’t beat yourself up over this. You don’t need to be like Papyrus. You don’t need to be happy and enthusiastic and accepting like we’re sure he’s gonna be. You just need to be Sans.”

“thanks, babe.”

“You’re welcome. Now come on, if anyone has been less happy with Gaster than you it’s Asriel, and I’ve left him and Frisk alone with your dad long enough to make me worry,” you mutter, giving him a wry smile as he pulls back to look at you.

“wait, asriel is—?”

He’s cut off mid-thought by the sound of a car door slamming shut, followed by the muffled but still distinct sound of Papyrus’s voice outside.

“IT’S SO NICE TO BE BACK IN EBOTT! I WONDER WHAT SANS’S SURPRISE IS!”

You and Sans stare at each other, and the look of resignation on his face is enough to make you kiss him between his eyes in an attempt to comfort him. You take in a deep breath. “Well, here we go.”

   
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