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.


41. Death By Glamour

When you make it back to the elevator an electrical barrier blocks your path. There's no way past it that you can see. And whatever that switch on Mettaton's back did, it certainly didn't shut him down. So now you're trapped down here with no way out and you have no idea if Mettaton is any less dangerous than he was before.

You turn and run back the way you came, because you don't have any other choice. Passing through the room full of beds (there's a lump under the covers of one of them, you don't stop to examine it) you head down a hallway you think you haven't been down yet. Monitors blink to life, casting green light along the hall as you pass them, then fade back to black. You catch more of the same words: 'Determination' 'bodies' one of them just says 'no' over and over again... God, what happened down here? Why are there things living down here?

You pass another monitor and spot the name 'Mettaton' on the display. Slowing to a stop, you skim over it to see if maybe it has some information on how to deal with him. Frisk squeezes your hand and gives you a silent, questioning look. You squeeze back.

Now that Mettaton's made it big, he never talks to me anymore... Except to ask when I'm going to finish his body. But I'm afraid if I finish his body, he won't need me anymore... Then we'll never be friends ever again... Not to mention, every time I try to work on it, I just get really sweaty...

It doesn't help you in the least. All it tells you is more of what you've already figured out: that Mettaton is a selfish, arrogant prick. You just feel bad for Alphys...

The not-too-distant buzz of a chainsaw has you running again, past a wall of whirring fans. A cloud of white, like hovering snow, twists around the spinning blades. When you reach the end of the hallway, all you find is a locked door and another dead end. Shit.

In an act of desperation you pull your phone out and try to call Sans again. Your hands are shaking as you fumble with the menus, and you suspect the only thing keeping you going right now is adrenaline. Pressing the phone to your ear, all you hear is silence until the call fails with a dull beeping tone. You try Alphys again too, but you get the exact same result. Swallowing down a sob of fear and frustration, you shove the useless phone back in your pants pocket.

Though your instincts are screaming at you to find someplace to hide, to not go back down the hall you came from, you don't have a choice. There's nothing else that you can do. There's nowhere else to run.

The cloud of white shudders as you reach the fans, then goes absolutely still, despite the swirling air tugging at your hair and clothes. Grinding to a halt, all you can do is backpedal away with Frisk at your heels. The pale fragments collapse together into a central point, forming a huge, undulating mass of white that comes crashing down to the floor with a slick, wet plop. Then, quivering, the viscous substance starts to run upwards, forming legs —too many legs— and a head that swivels to face you. In the center of it is a gaping hole where there should be a face.

Frisk gasps and clutches your hand tighter.

The amalgamate shambles towards you, and something about it —and the space between the legs— reminds you of dogs. Even as you suck in a shuddering breath, trying to think of what to do, the air is filled with the scent of dog. It's watching you, or at least it feels that way, despite not having any eyes. Wiggling anxiously, it stops a few feet from you, a wet, dripping tail perked up and at attention as it waits.

You steal a glance at Frisk. They're watching the creature intently, and while there's fear in their eyes, there's something else in their expression. As if sensing you watching them, Frisk looks up at you and relaxes a little.

"Mom... it's like the dogs," they murmur, returning their attention to the amalgamate.

It perks up slightly, cocking its head to the side. But instead of stopping it just keeps curving until its head is upside down. You try to stop yourself from shuddering. Then its head snaps back into place and its tail sloshes hesitantly from side to side.

The sound of the chainsaw is closer, you realize. You even think you can make out Mettaton's voice over it, making you jump. The amalgamate whines, the pitch starting out low and then getting higher and higher until it sets your teeth on edge. Remembering how the last oozing creature had protected you from Mettaton, you wonder if maybe this one might too.

Holding out your free, shaking hand, you curl your fingers, beckoning. "C-c'mere pup," you manage to say, squeaking out the words.

Tail thrashing from side to side, it surges forward and shoves its head into your hand. Fighting the urge to jerk back, you force yourself to run your fingers over its ear-like protrusions and down its neck. The texture reminds you of putty, warm and fluid, but not wet. As you pet it, it begins leaning into you, swallowing up part of your arm. Pulling back as slow as you can while trying not to panic, the amalgamate's body starts to still, calming. Then, all at once, it leaps away from you and oozes up the walls. It clings to the ceiling by its feet, the gaping orifice in its head trained on you as it sways side to side.

"Ah, there you are darlings!"

Fear wrenches your gut, yanking your attention away from the amalgamate as an unfamiliar body with a familiar voice starts making his way down the hall. Mettaton's new look is humanoid but distinctly robotic; he's all shiny silver metal, glossy black, and lacquered pink. Black hair covers the right side of his face, and he flashes you what would be a winning smile if it wasn't for the malice in his eye. The hovering camera trails behind him in silence.

His tall, pink heeled boots tap across the cracked tiles as he approaches you, cutting off the chainsaw with a sigh. "Now look here, my beauties. You went through all that trouble just to get me into this body, and the least I can do is let you enjoy it for a moment before I kill you. Let's be honest, I really am to die for!"

His laugh cuts short and turns into a frown at your poor reception. You glare at him, tugging your hand free from Frisk's grip. Filled with more anger, adrenaline, and frustration than sense, you storm up to Mettaton. Ignoring the tug of your Soul leaving your body at the proximity, you shove him in the chest with both hands. You manage to twist the dial on his chest, and the robot is caught off balance as he stumbles backwards.

"You son of a bitch!" you scream, pressing after him.

Startled and furious, he lashes out and backhands you across the face. Pain bursts across your skin and your hand reflexively covers where he hit you, eyes widening in shock. When Mettaton starts to speak, his voice comes out high and shrill. "Hands off the merchandise!" he snaps. Gasping in horror, he reaches for the dial you knocked out of alignment, twisting it and muttering to himself.

The pain in your cheek and jaw is starting to fade, and when you pull your hand away there's a streak of blood on your fingers. Carefully probing with your tongue, you let out a hiss as you find where your lip split.

"Mom! Mom are you okay!" Frisk says, at your side again and tugging on your shirt. They turn to face Mettaton, hands fisting in your clothes. "Don't hurt her! Stop being so mean!"

Mettaton's eye narrows, satisfied with adjusting the dial on his chest. "I'm not being mean. I'm not doing any of this to be mean. It's a means to an end; the only way I can get out from under this miserable rock and become a star!"

"But you're already a star! What about all your fans down here, like... Papyrus! A-and..." Frisk mumbles to themselves for a second. "And what a-about Napstablook!"

You're not sure what the shy ghost has to do with anything, but something about the name makes Mettaton flinch.

Frisk keeps talking, determination filling their voice. "All the people down here that care about you would miss you if you left!"

"Of course they would! Who else can possibly be as fantastic as... I... am..." The robot seems to waver for a moment, his anger slipping away by degrees.

"No one can! The rest of the monsters need you!" Frisk presses, and for a moment it seems like Mettaton might be changing his mind...

But the robot's expression twists into a grimace, hefting the chainsaw in front of him. "I've already made my decision! I'm going to the surface to become the biggest, brightest star the humans have ever seen!"

As he reaches for the starter cord, a dripping white tendril lashes down from the ceiling and coils around Mettaton's wrist. Before the robot can even startle, another tendril wraps itself around the base of his arm. Together, the two thin appendages yank upwards and rip Mettaton's arm out of its socket. All you can do is gape as the amalgamation oozes back down the wall, pulling the sparking metal into its undulating body. It fills the space between you and Mettaton, letting out a growl that climbs and plummets in pitch.

"Get out of my way you mangy pack of mutts!" Mettaton snaps. But before he can do anything else, the creature lunges forward and knocks him flat on his back.

Still growling in a wavering pitch as unstable as its body, it covers Mettaton on the floor.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he shouts, and all you can do is watch as the robot tries to struggle and fight his way free.

With the sound of crushing metal and snapping wires, the amalgamate lifts off of the ground, and with one last look back at you, trots off on its too-many legs. All that's left behind of Mettaton is his torso and head. The places where his limbs were attached are a mess of frayed wires and sparks. He tilts his neck so that he can look at the two of you, glaring for a moment before letting out a sigh of resignation. His head falls back against the ground.

Are you safe now? You look down at Frisk and feel surprised to see them looking a little remorseful. They try to approach Mettaton but you stop them, clinging fast to their hand. It takes you a moment to realize that your Soul has vanished.

"You're right, you know," Mettaton says, weary. "No one else has ever tried to be a star for the Underground like I have. If I leave, then what will everyone do?"

Frisk bites their lip. They seem about to say something but you can't keep silent any longer. "You arrogant, selfish bastard!" you snap, rage fueled by your sudden lack of fear boiling over. "I couldn't care less about you or your stupid fame. And even if you did make it to the surface, you'd probably get disassembled in a lab somewhere by greedy scientists the second they figured out what you are! And you know what? You'd fucking deserve it."

"Mom!" Frisk gasps, and a cold stab of guilt serves to cool the edges off your anger.

"Come on," you mutter, tugging Frisk in a wide path around what's left of Mettaton. Your cheek is throbbing and when you reach up to touch it you think it's started to swell.

"Wait," Mettaton  says, and you're too frustrated to care. You keep walking. "Wait!"

Frisk yanks on your hand, pulling you to a stop. You bite the inside of your mouth to keep yourself from snapping at them. "Mom," they say, in a tone that suggests they're scolding you.

"Before I... run out of power," Mettaton says, and now that you're listening to his voice you realize that his words are starting to slur. Like an electronic toy with dying batteries. "This form just... drains so quick it's... such a hassle..." He sighs.  "Please... don't judge Alphys too harshly... She was... just trying... to... help..."

"When?" you cut out.

He's silent for a moment, and you think he might have shut down before he speaks again. "Always... With everything..."

"I'm not mad at Alphys. I don't understand any of this, but at least she's never tried to kill me."

You wait for Mettaton to answer with some annoyed remark, but you see his eye is closed now and his torn limbs aren't sparking anymore. He must have run out of power.

"Undyne tried to kill you," Frisk says quietly.

"Undyne was honest about it from the start. Don't compare the two," you say, your tone too harsh for you liking. "Let's just... get away from here, sweetie."

Mettaton might be out of commission but his electric barrier is still in place between you and the elevator. For now, you tell Frisk that you'll just have to wait for Alphys to find a way to come get the two of you. For about ten minutes you wait beside the barrier, but soon you seem to be getting antsy and Frisk timidly suggests that you explore a little bit. Much to their surprise, you agree.

Frisk hasn't seen you that upset since Undyne, and has never heard you cuss like that in front of them before. Your movements as the two of you walk through the lab are stiff and jerky, and small noises make you jump. Frisk squeezes your hand to try and comfort you, but you barely give them a small smile before looking away. A frown tugs down on the corners of your mouth.

After a little bit of searching, you find a room with a television and video tapes. You have to explain to Frisk what they are because they've never seen them before. There's a numbered set and, curious and eager for the distraction, you try to find the first one, but end up settling on the second.

The voice in Frisk's head has been alert but silent most of the day, watching and waiting. They had been the one to insist on saying something to Mettaton about Napstablook, and when they told them Frisk felt an odd sense of deja vu.

The tape starts off with a loud burst of static that makes you and Frisk jump, and then the screen goes black. But then, there's the sound of a young boy talking.

"Okay, Chara, are you ready? Do your creepy face!" There's a short pause. "Ahhhh! Hee hee hee!"

No. I don't want to hear this.

"Oh! Wait! I had the lens cap on... What?! You're not gonna do it again...? Come on, quit tricking me! Haha!"

Frisk. I don't want to watch these.

You eject the second tape and insert the third, looking confused. Frisk starts twisting the sleeves of their knotted jacket in their hands.

"Howdy, Chara! Smile for the camera!" Childish laughter fills the room. "Ha, this time I got you! I left the cap on... on purpose! Now you're smiling for nooooo reason! Hee hee hee!"

Please, make them stop! I don't want to listen to him...

Are... are you Chara?

"What? Oh, yeah, I remember. When we tried to make butterscotch pie for Dad, right? The recipe asked for cups of butter... But we accidentally put in buttercups instead."

No no no no no...

"Yeah! Those flowers got him really sick... I felt so bad. We made Mom really upset. I should have laughed it off, like you did... Um, anyway, where are you going with this?"

I said to make it stop! Are you some kind of idiot?!

I don't understand. But...

"Mom, should we be watching these?" Frisk asks, voice soft.

"Huh? Turn off the camera...? Ok," the boy in the video says, and then it stops.

You hesitate, ejecting the third one and looking at the fourth. "I... No, we probably shouldn't." You sigh, putting the tape back in the stack where you found it. "I don't even understand what they are..."

The voice (that Frisk thinks is named Chara) feels like they're starting to cry. But when Frisk tries to reach deep inside to comfort them, they lash out until all they can do is pull away and wait for them to fall silent.

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