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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5. Bonetrousled

When you catch up to Papyrus, he's busy disabling the next puzzle. He turns as you approach, looking a little sheepish. "HUMAN! I... UH..." He looks away, tapping his foot. "THIS PUZZLE WAS NOT SO GOOD ANYWAY. THERE ARE OTHER, BETTER, MORE CHALLENGING PUZZLES UP AHEAD. MANY OF THEM. TO CATCH YOU. AND MORE DELICIOUS FOOD TRAPS FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT. AND TO CATCH YOU."

Sans is beside you, even though he wasn't there a second ago. You jump a little. He has this strange habit of just suddenly appearing when you aren't looking. "isn't this the last one?"

You remind yourself that logic has no place here as Papyrus starts to sweat. "YES."

Frisk steps between you and Papyrus, placing small fists on their hips. "Well, if it's the last one, I want to solve it!"

You hear a small chuff of laughter from the skeleton beside you as Papyrus's eyes seem to sparkle. Or are those actual sparkles? Maybe it's just the snow catching the light.

"YOU DO?"

Frisk nods enthusiastically.

"OH, WOWIE, UH..." Papyrus seems flustered for a moment before clearing his throat (you don't even bother to question this) and striking a pose. Despite the lack of wind, his trailing red scarf gives a valiant flutter. "PREPARE TO BE CONFOUNDED, HUMAN, FOR I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, HAVE CAREFULLY CRAFTED THIS MASTERFUL PUZZLE. AFTER HOURS OF TOILING AWAY TRYING TO SOLVE IT, YOU WILL FINALLY GIVE UP AND I WILL CAPTURE YOU! UNDYNE WILL FINALLY LET ME JOIN THE ROYAL GUARD, AND EVERYONE WILL WANT TO BE MY FRIEND!"

You can't help but smile as you watch Frisk bounce on their toes in anticipation. Papyrus, invigorated, goes to work to get his puzzle back in working order as he tells Frisk not to look. They cover their eyes with their long sleeves, grinning and turning away.

Sans is watching you. He's been doing that a lot, you notice. Whenever you turn to look at him he's already got his eyes on you and he doesn't even bother to pretend he isn't staring. "they seem to be having fun. frisk is a good kid."

You nod, trying not to let yourself feel uncomfortable. It feels like he's scrutinizing you, testing you. Judging you. You wonder what he's seeing.

"must be your good influence. sometimes... kids aren't always so good when they're scared and alone." You'd be more worried about the seriousness of his tone if it wasn't for the exaggerated shrug and sigh he ends his words with. "sometimes they are though. good, i mean."

You're not quite sure what he's getting at, and you don't really want to ask. Instead, you watch Frisk as they study the now-functional puzzle. They're playing at confusion, lamenting how lost they are in a loud voice. Papyrus lets out a "NYEHEHEH!" that you think is supposed to sound triumphant.

"thanks for playing along. i haven't seen papyrus this excited in a while. to be honest, he was getting a bit discouraged."

It's hard to imagine the tall skeleton discouraged. But you remember how worried he sounded about you, and it makes you a little sad. Their concern warmed you as you recovered from your episode, so now you're happy you can return the favor.

"do you want to talk about what that was all about, back there?"

You bite your lip. You really don't. You wondered if Sans was going to ask you about it, and now you have your answer. When he sees you hesitate he doesn't press. You're thankful for that.

"that's cool, buddy. as long as you're okay, i'm chill."

Groaning, you roll your eyes at Sans. "You're getting your jokes from snowdrakes now? Bad ice puns?"

"i'm offended. that was an excellent ice pun."

Papyrus is helping Frisk solve the puzzle now, giving them helpful hints. Each time they ask for his help his smile just seems to get brighter. Frisk really is a great kid. You wonder what would have happened to their indomitable spirit if you hadn't taken them away. It scares you a little bit, so you decide not to dwell on it anymore.

"Maybe I can entice you to make some better ones."

Sans's eyes widen before he starts shaking with laughter. He raises his shoulders as he chuckles, hiding part of his face in the fluffy hood of his blue jacket. It's... kind of adorable.

"i... icy what you did there," he says.

You try, and fail, to hold back a giggle. "Did I ever tell you that it was ice to meet you?"

"snow you didn't."

"OH MY GOD, SANS! THIS IS THE WORST. HUMAN, STOP ENCOURAGING HIM!"

A loud, embarrassing snort escapes you which only makes Sans laugh harder. Even though your cheeks are burning you can't stop laughing.

"come on, bro. don't give me the cold shoulder."

"SANS!!!"

 

Sans warned you that Papyrus was going to want to fight. You hoped that maybe he was joking, but he wasn't. He didn't really want to, you could tell that much, but he was somehow convinced it was the only way to get what he wanted most: recognition and friends.

The bridge to the little village of Snowdin is behind Papyrus. To move forward, you need to get past him. Before you even realize what they're doing, Frisk is standing in front of Papyrus, their Soul glowing red in front of their chest.

"Frisk, what are you...?"

They look back at you with a determined grin. "Don't worry, Sissa. I'll make him understand that we don't need to fight."

"I just needed to make Toriel understand."

Is this what happened with Toriel too? A confrontation waged by the power of Frisk's Soul? You can only watch as Papyrus tilts his head back to force out a laugh, nervous sweat trickling down his skull. Maybe Frisk can do this.

But they shouldn't have to! You're the adult —their mother— how can you stand here and watch your six year old fight a skeleton twice their size? You take a step forward, but Sans catches you by the wrist.

"i wouldn't do that buddy. i... may not be able to see it, but i can tell that your soul isn't as strong as frisk's. and down here, that's what counts."

"Why aren't you stopping your brother? Frisk is just a child," you snap, low enough that only the short skeleton can hear you.

"buddy, frisk isn't just a kid. they..." He seems about to say something, but he hesitates. Sans shakes his head, like he's trying to shake off a bad memory. He winks at you, smile going crooked. "trust me, pap might give them a workout, but he won't hurt them. papyrus doesn't hurt people."

The way he says that, that Papyrus isn't the one that hurts people, seems to contain a silent accusation. Was he trying to say that Frisk might hurt his brother? Your mind rebels against the very idea, it's just so absurd. Frisk is the kid that comes crying to you when they step on worms by accident after it rains. 

Papyrus is still looking nervous, even though he's the one raising bones from beneath the snow. His attacks are slow, which Frisk is dodging with ease.

"I really liked your spaghetti, Papyrus. You should make me some more," Frisk says, smiling at him.

The skeleton looks flustered, blushing somehow. "A-ARE YOU... FLIRTING WITH ME? ARE THESE YOUR TRUE FEELINGS?! W-WELL, I'M A SKELETON WITH VERY HIGH STANDARDS!"

"I can make spaghetti with you, some time, if you want. Sissa showed me how to boil the noodles."

"OH NO, YOU'RE MEETING ALL MY STANDARDS!" Papyrus is sweating more now, wringing his gloved hands. "I GUESS THIS MEANS I HAVE TO GO ON A DATE WITH YOU...? LET'S DATE L-LATER! AFTER I CAPTURE YOU!"

For crying out loud, Frisk is six. "Is he serious?"

Sans chuckles, and you realize that he hasn't let go of your wrist. He must still worry that you might try to intervene. "he doesn't want to hurt the kid's feelings. don't worry about it."

 "We could just go now? I don't want to fight you," Frisk insists, sidestepping a slow moving bone that sinks back down into the snow.

"SO YOU WON'T FIGHT... THEN, LET'S SEE IF YOU CAN HANDLE MY FABLED 'BLUE ATTACK'."

Papyrus strikes a pose, his scarf fluttering. Then, with a look of concentration, a ring of orange glows within the darkness of his right eye socket. Wisps of magic trail out of his eye like vapor. Frisk freezes in place, just as a flurry of ghostly blue bones surrounds them and passes through them.

Sans's grip tightens on you as you jerk forward without thinking, your instincts screaming at you to go help Frisk. He's stronger than you, and it feels as though something else other than sheer force is holding you back. Like his Soul is overpowering yours. 

"Sans," you plead, worry weighing heavy in the pit of your stomach.

"what did i say, buddy? everything is going tibia okay." He's watching Frisk and Papyrus, not even glancing at you when you speak to him.

The blue bones have faded, and for a moment it seems like Sans is right. The attack did nothing to Frisk. But then the bright red glow of Frisk's Soul turns blue, making them gasp and fall down to one knee. They grimace, straining to push back to their feet as though weighed down by something heavy.

What did Papyrus just do? What did it mean that Frisk's Soul changed color?

"Frisk!"

"I'm okay, I'm not hurt," they shout back at you. "It's just... heavy."

"YOU'RE BLUE NOW. THAT'S MY ATTACK!" Papyrus is laughing, though he still looks a bit uncertain. 

There's nothing you can do but watch as more bones sweep through the snow towards Frisk. They're much slower now, but they can still dodge, talking to Papyrus through it all. Telling him about how cool they think he is, and how much they want to just hang out with him instead of fighting. The tall skeleton hadn't really wanted to do this in the first place, and you can tell that he's losing more and more of his nerve.

"JUST LET ME CAPTURE YOU!" Papyrus says, wincing as a bone clips Frisk's shoulder. You grit your teeth but don't try to fight San's grip on you, knowing it's pointless.

"But I'd rather go on that date," Frisk answers, still smiling.

"ARGH! FINE, I'LL JUST HAVE TO USE MY ULTIMATE ATTACK!"

You aren't sure what you're expecting, but as Papyrus raises his hand a large bone pops out of the snow... with a fluffy white dog gnawing on it. The skeleton's jaw drops.

He starts stomping his foot. "HEY! THAT'S MY ULTIMATE ATTACK, LET THAT GO!"

The dog's ears perk up and it looks at Papyrus, then starts dragging the bone away. You all just watch it go.

Frustrated, Papyrus clenches his fists and drags them up into the air, the orange glow filling his eye socket. "FINE. I'LL JUST USE THIS NORMAL ATTACK!"

He looks shocked for a second as rows and rows of bones raise up from underneath the snow. His shock changes to panic as they rush forward at Frisk. You can see in the look on his face that he didn't mean for this to happen, that he knows he overdid it.

You look at Sans as you feel him release your shoulder and he's smiling at you, a ring of blue in his left eye. One of his hands is outstretched in Frisk's direction, the other holding a finger to his mouth. He winks at you with his right eye, grinning up at you.

Frisk steels themselves before jumping over the first row of bones, and then... just keeps going. They look down as it all passes under them, laughing as they kick their feet in midair. Papyrus looks dumbfounded but relieved, and the orange glow in his eye is gone. When Frisk finally touches down back to earth with a gentle crunch of snow, you let out a breath you don't realize you were even holding.

You glance over at Sans and his eyes are just white pinpricks of light again. He shrugs. "told you."

You could hug him. You almost do, but he releases your arm and walks towards his brother. Papyrus is breathing hard (despite not having lungs) wiping his face as Frisk and Sans approach him.

"WELL, HUMAN... IT'S CLEAR YOU CAN'T DEFEAT ME! YEAH! I CAN SEE YOU SHAKING IN YOUR BOOTS!" Really, Papyrus is the one that seems to be shaking, though from relief or effort (or both) you aren't certain. "THEREFORE I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, ELECT TO GRANT YOU PITY! I WILL SPARE YOU, HUMAN!"

Frisk's now-red Soul vanishes back into their chest, and even after all that they're smiling up at Papyrus.

The smile the tall skeleton gives Frisk is short-lived, and soon his shoulders slump. "I CAN'T EVEN CAPTURE A HUMAN AS WEAK AS YOU. UNDYNE WILL BE SO DISAPPOINTED, AND SHE'LL NEVER LET ME JOIN THE ROYAL GUARD. HOW WILL I MAKE MORE FRIENDS?"

"I want to be your friend, Papyrus!" Frisk slips their small hand into his big one, shaking it back and forth to get his attention.

Papyrus looks down at their hands. For once it doesn't seem like he knows what to say.

You go to stand behind Frisk, resting one hand on their shoulder and holding the other out to him. "I'll be your friend too, Papyrus."

His jaw drops open and tears somehow pool in his eye sockets. "OH, MY, TWO FRIENDS?! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!"

"how about, 'let's go back to our place because this cold just goes straight through me.'"

"SANS!"

 
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