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.


118. Family Matters

When you, Frisk, and Papyrus get home from Undyne's, you can't find Sans in the house. He doesn't answer when you call out for him, though you suspect you know where he might be. He stayed home because he wanted to go through all the pictures that he took at Thanksgiving, and he keeps the photo printer out in his workshop.

"Pap, I'm gonna go out back to look for Sans," you say, as he and Frisk start heading upstairs.

Papyrus stops, glancing over his shoulder at you. "HE PROBABLY FELL ASLEEP OUT THERE AGAIN," he says, with a long-suffering sigh. "WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO MAKE DINNER WHILE YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM?"

"Sure, I'm actually in the mood for some spaghetti. It's been a while." You give him a lopsided smile.

"WE JUST HAD SPAGHETTI ON THANKSGIVING," he corrects, coming back down the stairs. Taking hold of your shoulders, he starts steering you towards the living room where the big glass doors leading out to the back porch are. "BUT THERE IS NO REQUIRED 'MOOD' FOR SPAGHETTI. IT'S ALWAYS A WELCOME MEAL!"

You could beg to differ, but that would be a pointless endeavor. "Thanks for offering to make dinner."

"OF COURSE! BE SURE TO TELL SANS HOW WELL FRISK DID ON THE PIANO!" He releases you from his grip, and after a second his big grin falters and he gives you a sideways look. "AND PERHAPS YOU COULD... LEAVE OUT HOW POORLY I DID. I AM VERY GREAT! BUT, UH, APPARENTLY NOT AT MUSIC."

He had insisted, after watching Frisk, that he too could learn how to play. But where Frisk had been able to pick out notes and follow along with Undyne's lesson, Papyrus just... smashed keys until Undyne finally ordered him away. True to form, she'd been a little too honest in her criticism, but he'd taken it —mostly— in stride. At least Mettaton had been there to comfort him.

"Hey," you say, catching his attention as he's about to head to the kitchen. You slide your arm around his back, pulling him —well, more like pulling yourself towards him— into a one-armed hug. "If you were good at everything, then you'd just be too great. How could the rest of us ever compare?"

Brightening, Papyrus wraps his arms around you and lifts you up off your feet. You throw your arm over his shoulders to try and hold onto him, laughing as he nuzzles the side of your head. "OF COURSE YOU ARE GREAT! YOU'RE JUST... GREAT AT OTHER THINGS! WE'RE BOTH GREAT AT COOKING, AND MAYBE BOTH OF US CAN BE NOT SO GREAT AT MUSIC. YOU'RE A GREAT MOM, AND I'M A GREAT BROTHER! OH, AND I'M SURE YOU'LL BE A GREAT WIFE! SANS... WILL PROBABLY BE A GREAT HUSBAND," he says, trailing off as he sets you back down. He taps his foot, resting a hand on his hip in a look you recognize as him thinking over something. "IF HE IS NOT, TELL ME SO I CAN SCOLD HIM FOR YOU!"

Doing your best not to laugh, you smooth out your hair as you smile up at him. "Sure. I'll let you know," you say, knowing full well that you'll be doing no such thing. But, it's amusing to think of.

Papyrus marches off towards the kitchen to start dinner and you head out the back door, crossing the backyard to where Sans's workshop is nestled near the treeline. It's about the size of a three car garage, insulated and fitted with a deadbolt more expensive than the one on your own front door. You and Sans are the only ones with a key. And even though you know he trusts you with it, you just don't feel comfortable going in there without him. It's his space, and the broken machine full of journals you haven't read and pictures you haven't seen just... intimidates you. Makes you feel like some kind of interloper. You don't like it. Part of you even resents it, and what it means to Sans, and in part, to Frisk.

You knock on the door as a courtesy and then reach for the handle, unsurprised when it turns. Pushing it open, you peek inside as Sans turns to look at you. He's standing in the middle of the room, talking on his cell phone. His eyes brighten at the sight of you and you give him a small smile as you quietly shut the door behind you. With a cursory glance, you see a small stack of pictures sitting on a table near the machine in the corner, and three frames sitting on another. 

"you sure that's ok? if you have other plans, we can— i just don't wanna inconvenience you and asgore," Sans says, and you think he must be talking to Toriel. "we still need to talk about guests yeah, but we know it won't be more than just close friends. can't imagine it'll be much more than thanksgiving, y'know? hey, hope just got back so we'll talk and get back to you. but you're sure january first is ok for you? heh, sorry just want to make sure. ok. yeah, later tori."

Sans hangs up and slips his phone into his pocket, looking at you expectantly as you go to him and wrap your arms around his shoulders. He pulls you down for a kiss, sliding his fingers into your hair. His other hand slips around you to give your backside an appreciative squeeze, making you giggle as you smile against his cheekbone. "Talking to Tori about the date we picked out for the rite?" you ask, trailing your fingertips along the back of his skull.

"yeah. everything is fine for new year's day. they didn't have any plans," he says, stroking your temple with his thumb. His hand is nice and warm compared to the chill in his workshop. He didn't bother to turn on the small space heater, but you suppose he doesn't really need it. It's there more for you and Frisk, for when you're out here. "how was your day? did frisk have a good time?"

"Yeah, they're..." You hesitate, feeling that same sense of apprehension when Deacon asked you about Frisk's interest in music before. It's complicated, and you don't like it. Sans's brow furrows just a little as he catches your pause, and the slight change in your expression. His hand shifts from your butt to your lower back at the change in mood. "Frisk had a good time. Undyne was impressed at how quick they picked up on it."

"that's good," he says slowly, searching your face. "so why don't you seem too excited about it?"

Biting your lip, you let out a small sigh. "It's petty. I've told you about Chris before, did I tell you he was in a band, back when we were dating?"

"oh," he says, with sudden understanding. "no, you didn't."

"They get it from him. They have to. And it's just... frustrating," you admit, shaking your head. Wincing, you glance away. "Frisk... just seems to get a lot from Chris. His hair, his nose, his wider jaw... and now this? He isn't even here!"

Sans pulls you back down, pressing your forehead to his. "they have your eyes, and your smile. that stubborn determination," he says, squeezing you. "your kindness, the way you care about others. they sure as hell didn't get that from him."

You pull back, rubbing your forehead and pushing your hair out of your face. Sans lets you go as you step back to lean against one of his worktables. "He wasn't a bad person. I mean, I loved him, as much as you can love someone at fourteen," you say, shaking your head. "But as soon as the pressure was on him he cracked. He just couldn't handle it. Ugh, we've already talked about all this, I'm just... This sucks. Sans, I wish I could just be proud of Frisk."

"i know, babe," he says, sliding his hands into the pockets of his jacket as he watches you. "trust me, i don't particularly like it either. i mean, couldn't they at least pick up the trombone instead?"

Caught off guard, a snort escapes you as you dissolve into giggles. "Oh my god, is that why there's a trombone in the closet? So you can make jokes about it?"

"mostly," he says, grinning in a self-satisfied way that has you torn between shoving him and kissing him. Instead you just squint your eyes at him as he shrugs. "i mean, if they wanna take after their aunt undyne instead of their dad, i guess that's fine."

"Oh, don't let her hear you calling her that, we'll never hear the end of it," you say, laughing. "I'm sorry, I'm being upset about nothing, aren't I?"

His smile fades a little, and you think you sabotaged his attempts at distracting you away from what was bothering you. Sans closes the distance and pulls his left hand out of his pocket, his ring drawing your eye just like it always does. He laces his fingers with yours, rubbing your thumb. "it's not nothing. it's shitty and it's complicated, and you're allowed to be upset. but this one talent doesn't overshadow any of the good things that frisk got from you."

Squeezing his hand, you lean in to kiss his cheek. "Thanks, hun. I think I just really needed to hear that," you breathe, resting your weight on him. He holds you up as you bury your face into the fluffy hood of his jacket, taking in a deep breath of that familiar smell. It's comforting.

"hey, so i meant to tell you," Sans says, running his free hand through your hair. "they're gonna be announcing it on the news later, but tori told me. the line's gonna be open next monday. on the seventh. for humans and monsters."

With a gasp, you pull away so you can look at him, gaping. "Why didn't you tell me earlier! Sans, it's finally... it's finally going to happen?"

"yep," he says, grinning up at you. "we can finally leave ebott. with, uh, restrictions. we have to check in with the soldiers and have to be back by ten pm for curfew, and some crap about breaking curfew having consequences, but it's something. it's more than we had."

You can't even let the specifics bother you, not right now. Not in the face of this news! Even Sans doesn't even seem to care about the limitations. "I can't believe it, Sans we can... Oh I can't wait to tell Deacon! We're going to take everyone to the beach, I don't even care if it's too cold to go swimming. Did Tori say anything about school that day?"

"canceled. she figures half the kids will get pulled out by their parents to go past the line anyway." He chuckles. "i know it's what i'd do."

"Do you think Deacon might want to bring Bo? I mean, if their date goes well today," you say, halfway reaching for your phone and then stopping. There's so many places you want to take Sans, so many things you want him to see. There's a museum not too far away, maybe a two hour drive. If you left early enough you could be back before curfew. Sans would love it, you're certain.

He eases back from you, still holding your hand. He's looking at you with so much affection it pulls you out of the whirlwind of your thoughts. "uh, speaking of deacon... i have something i want you to see."

Pulling you away from the table you're leaning on, he leads you to where those three picture frames are sitting. Oh, these must be new additions for the stairwell, but what does that have to do with—

In between a picture of everyone sitting at the table, and the one with all the hand turkeys, is a shot of you and Deacon sitting on Toriel's couch. For a second you think it's the picture you remember Sans taking, before dinner. But it's not. You're sitting in the same place but this is after dessert, after the two of you spoke outside. He's got his arm resting on top of your shoulder, leaning against you and grinning. You're looking over at him, giving him a lopsided smile. What were you even talking about when this was taken? You can't remember. All you know is that you both look so happy, so at ease with each other.

"Sans, you don't... you don't even like Deacon," you say, because you can't think of anything else.

"he's ok," Sans says. He squeezes your hand. "besides, it's a good picture of you. you look happy."


"that space isn't just for me. it's for everybody. i thought you might want to put this one up with all the other pictures of our friends and family." There's a pause, and you look over at him, a tightness in your throat that wasn't there a second ago. "i mean... he's kinda like your brother. at least, that's how it looks."

That means a lot, coming from him. His brother means the world to him. For a long time, his brother was his whole world. Looking at the picture again, and thinking about these past two months... "Maybe," you say, reaching out with your free hand and picking up the frame. "He means a lot to me. And adding this to the wall would mean a lot to me, too. Thank you, hun. Really. You've been so amazing about everything with Deacon, and... I love you."

"love you too, babe. c'mon, why don't we go put these up?" 

"What you're telling me is that you two made out in the middle of a hiking trail," you say, leaning back in your chair in the break room.

Deacon looks more than a little pleased with himself, even as he tries to give you a disapproving look. "Yes, that's what I'm saying. Now quit interrupting or I won't tell you the rest."

"That is a bold-faced lie," you accuse, cupping your fingers over your mouth to try and hide your smile. "I couldn't get you to shut up about this date even if I wanted to."

"So, like I was saying," he says pointedly, raising a brow. "We went up to that spot she told me about. Where you all got out. It's... beautiful up there. To have that be your first view of the surface, I can't even imagine what that must have been like. Bo told me about it, but it's just not something I don't think I can ever really wrap my brain around, you know?"

You nod. "Me and the others, we were the first ones out. It was actually really early in the morning, so the stars were still shining." Dropping your hand to your chest, you toy with the lanyard around your neck, staring off into space as you remember that day. "I hadn't seen the sun in three months, but when it rose, I watched Sans instead. Seeing him see the sun and the surface for the first time... I'll never forget that. But even so, I'll only understand a tiny fraction of what that must have been like for all of them."

Deacon rests his chin in his hand, and there's a moment where the two of you sit in solemn silence. "You two have been through a lot together, haven't you?" he asks, giving you a weak smile.

A humorless laugh escapes you, and you meet his eyes. "More than you know."

"More stuff like what happened with Mettaton?" he says quietly, in a measured tone.

You bite your lip and glance down at the table, then give a small nod. "Yeah, I'd... rather not go too much into it, though."

"Of course, yeah, no problem!" Deacon says in a rush, waving the words away and leaning back in his chair. He gives you a reassuring look. "I just meant that... it means Sans's attitude makes more sense. When it comes to you. Especially if... you know. Dangerous stuff."

You nod again, biting your lip. "So, your date with Bo..."

"Right, my date with Bo!" he echoes, enthusiastic about the change of topic. He sits up a little straighter. "So we had a picnic up on the mountain, and stayed there for a couple hours. There was talking, and more kissing. Lots more kissing," he says with a wink. You roll your eyes but are enjoying watching the absolutely smitten look on his face. "Then we hiked back down, which was much less embarrassing. And she invited me back to her apartment for dinner."

"Ooh, dinner, huh?" you ask, grinning and studying his expression. You can already spot that pink color creeping along his ears, which is funny considering he's normally so shameless about this sort of thing. Oh, but you can already tell that Bo isn't just one of many to him. No, this is something different.

"Mhmm," he says, looking a little shy of all things as he rubs the back of his neck. "We had dinner, and watched some TV. She's really cuddly. It's... I feel kind of silly saying this out loud, that's so weird. Um... I never really let myself be cuddly before? It's just not what I'm used to, I'm sure you noticed. But it was... good." Deacon clears his throat, shifting a little in his chair. "Hope, I really like her."

You're smiling at him, a swell of happiness making your chest feel tight. "Deacon, I'm so glad!" you say, downright bouncing a little in your enthusiasm. "What happened after you cuddled on the couch? Did you stay over?"

He glances away, then back at you again. "I, uh, went home."

You blink. "You went home?"

"Yep. Went home."

"Was something wrong?"

"No, we just..." He crosses his arms on top of the table and leans a little towards you. "We fooled around a little, but I didn't really push too far and neither did she, so... Nothing happened. I know this is weird for me. But I guess I don't want to rush things? I mean, if this is going to work out, we have time."

"Oh, Deacon, that's so great," you say, unable to stop the pitch of your voice from going all high as you cover your mouth with your hands.

Deacon starts laughing, fixing you with an annoyed yet affectionate look. "Okay, okay, calm down. You're testing my resolve to try and stay manly and detached. You don't want me to start giggling like a schoolgirl with you, it's very unflattering."

"I'm just happy for you!" you squeak, reaching out and grabbing his hand. "Are you going to bring her with you when we take everybody to the beach next week?"

He nods, a pleased look on his face. "Yeah, I'm going to ask her."

"Good, I can't wait! Oh, this is going to be so much fun. We can—" The class bell starts to ring and you give a startled glance at the clock. "Oh, I had no idea it was already time!"

As the two of you hurry to gather up your things and head out the door, Deacon catches your arm as you turn to head to class. "Hey, Frisk is with Toriel after school today, right? You should come over after work. We can talk more about plans for the beach."

"Yeah! Absolutely."

As you pull up Deacon's driveway, with your friend following behind you, you're surprised to see that there's already a car waiting in front of the house. You pull off a little to the side, not wanting to park next to the strange silver sedan. Waiting until Deacon pulls up alongside you, you get out of the car and give him a curious look. But he's not looking at you.

Deacon's expression is hard, fixed on the front door where there's a man standing there, watching the two of you. He's older, maybe in his fifties, with dark, graying hair and a full beard. Heavy brows are drawn together into a frown, and he crosses his arms over his broad chest.

"I was wondering when you would turn up," the man says, dark eyes flicking over to you and back to Deacon as you trail after him, uncertain.

"I was at work," Deacon says, biting back on his words. "What are you doing here, Grant?"

Grant? That name sounds familiar, but you don't remember Deacon ever mentioning him in conversation. Then you remember that half-overheard phone call a month ago. One of the few times you'd ever heard Deacon sound angry.

The man, Grant, smiles in a way that doesn't reach his eyes. "I came here to check on you, son."

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