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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142. Family Only

"It doesn't feel right. Their Soul is too quiet," Asriel says, crying as he clings to Frisk's leg.

You can't feel their Soul, can't judge for yourself if what he's saying is true, but you can feel their pulse. Cradling your child in your lap, you refuse to let yourself fall apart as you fumble at their throat for their heartbeat. And it's there, perfectly strong, so you know that whatever happened has nothing to do with their body.

No. This is because of their strange magic, that awful power that's caused so much damage to their life, Sans's life. You hate it. With every ounce of yourself you hate it, because if it wasn't for that, Frisk would be fine right now. You'd be enjoying a trip to the zoo. (You don't think —can't think— about where the two of you would be without the Resets, without the cycle repeating over and over until you came along and changed it. It doesn't matter right now because Frisk is... You don't know what Frisk is, other than unconscious.)

"Did something bad happen to us?" you ask, wide-eyed and trembling as you hug Frisk closer to your chest and look up at Sans where he's kneeling in front of you. "Why did they do this?"

"babe, we can't talk about this here," he says softly, glancing up at the loose circle of kids surrounding you. He covers your hand with his, where you're holding Frisk.

"I need to know if it was worth this!" you blurt out, too loud, tears stinging the corners of your eyes.

Sans squeezes your hand tightly, cupping your cheek with his other hand and holding your gaze. His jaw is tense, clenched as the small, sharp lights in his eyes search your face. "maybe," he says, infuriatingly calm. How can he be so calm? "but right now that doesn't matter."

"What happened?" Deacon says, pushing his way to your side, staring down at Frisk. He looks as frightened and confused as you feel, crouching next to Sans. For a second he reaches out towards Frisk's chest and then stops, meeting your gaze.

"passed out, we're not sure why," Sans supplies. "make sure none of the kids wander off, keep them together while we sort this out." As Deacon hesitates, then pushes himself to his feet, Sans touches his knee to get his attention. "hey, keep an eye on bonnet."

A flicker of confusion crosses Deacon's face at the odd request but he nods.

You're dimly aware of Leveretta's voice, ushering the kids away. Deacon is talking to some members of the zoo staff, and you think you hear them mention calling an ambulance. Something inside you rebels at the idea of going to the hospital, knowing that there's nothing they can do to help. This is magic, not medicine. But now you're alert to the humans gathered nearby, watching you, and how can you refuse medical attention for your child without giving the wrong impression? Even now, with Frisk unconscious in your arms, you know that anything you do will be treated with scrutiny. Hadn't you already been judged enough online for your choices? What would they say (again) about your capacity as a mother?

"Was it a seizure?"

There's an unfamiliar voice and you look to your side to find the owner. There's a young man, maybe a little older than Deacon, standing there with his wife and young son. He can't be older than five, hiding behind his mother's leg.

"My son, Trevor, he has seizures. Is that what happened?" he asks again, firmly.

You shake your head. "No, no it wasn't a seizure," you mumble.

"I'm sorry, it's so scary to not know how to help your child," the wife says, resting her hand on her son's head. You can hear her talking to you but you can't focus. Frisk's weight is heavy in your lap. "They're calling an ambulance, is there anything we can do to help until they get here?"

What could they possibly do to help you? What can anyone do? No one, not even the monsters, can understand what's happening to your baby.

"no, i don't think so," Sans says with a surprising amount of kindness. He looks at the young family, giving them a tense smile. "but thanks for offering."

They wait for a moment, and you wonder if they're going to say anything more, but then the wife takes her husband's hand and leads him away. With the kids pulled aside by Leveretta and Deacon and the other humans gathered around keeping a safe distance, the four of you feel trapped in the eye of a storm. Waiting.

"they're gonna be okay," your husband murmurs, but when you look at him that smile is gone.

"How can you know that?" You want to believe him, want to trust his... god, is it optimism or just a lie to comfort you?

"cuz i think their soul feels a little stronger than a few minutes ago," he says and you dare to let yourself feel a small trickle of hope. He looks at Asriel, where he's still kneeling at Frisk's feet. "what do you think, kid? you can sense it better than me."

But you don't think Asriel is listening. He's just staring at Frisk, one hand on their leg and the other fisted into the front of his shirt, tears spilling silently down his white fur. At last taking a little pity on him, now that the initial shock has worn off and all you can do now is wait, you reach out and stroke his head. Flinching at the contact, he gives you a wide-eyed look before his face crumples and he curls in on himself.

"This is m-my fault," he sobs, voice cracking. "If F-Frisk still had Chara's—"

"hey." Sans cuts him off, firmly but gently, putting an arm around Asriel's shoulders and hugging him. You think this is the first time you've ever seen him comfort Asriel like this. When he speaks his voice is low and quiet, making sure no one can overhear. "without chara's soul you'd be a flower again, and i dunno about you, but i like this asriel better. yeah?"

He buries his face in Sans's shoulder, his words muffled as he flings his arms around your husband's neck. "Yeah, b-but—"

Sans meets your eyes, pained as he rubs Asriel's back. "this isn't your fault. we don't know if it has anything to do with frisk not having two souls anymore. it's not like this happened last time."

"B-but it did," Asriel says, sniffling. "They got dizzy, but they said they were fine."

"And neither of you told us?" you ask, doing your best to keep the frustration out of your voice.

"and last time was only half an hour. this was five times that." He's starting to analyze, to turn the pieces over in his head to see how they fit together. But right now you don't care about why. You just want Frisk to wake up.

Wherever Sans's mind is taking him, you don't get to find out because you can hear the sound of an ambulance's siren cutting through the air.

Minutes later you're standing off to the side, Sans's hand holding yours tightly as one of the EMTs runs through a series of questions. Two others, a man and a woman, are checking Frisk's vitals, talking to each other in clipped, staccato bursts that keep drawing your attention. They wouldn't let you stay next to your child, and you feel useless. Worthless. A nuisance. Unable to help or even answer these simple questions because you can't possibly tell them the truth. But you're starting to second-guess yourself, wonder if maybe it wasn't the Load that did this. Could something else be wrong with Frisk?

So when the EMTs tell you that they're going to take Frisk to the hospital, because it's been twenty minutes and they're still unresponsive, all you can do is agree. But as they load your child into the back of the ambulance, and you and Sans go to follow, you run into another problem.

"Family only," the EMT says, holding out a hand to bar your husband. He at least has the decency to look apologetic. "It's policy."

"What. No," you protest, looking at Sans, holding his hand tighter. "He is family."

"babe, you need to go," Sans says gently, and you feel his fingers relax in your grip. "go with frisk."

"Not without you," you say, and for the first time since this day began its tailspin dive, your eyes swim with tears. You could do this with Sans there keeping you steady. But now? You look at the EMT, desperate. "Please."

"I'm sorry. I can't," he says, shaking his head.

"I'll call a cab, we'll be right behind you," Deacon says, coming up alongside Sans.

"You need to stay with the kids, they have a field trip." You're not sure why you're arguing. You want Sans with you not in a cab with Deacon.

"Leveretta's already got them back on the bus, all accounted for," he says, glancing over at Sans. "And she's taking care of Asriel. But now you have to take care of Frisk."

The EMT is getting impatient as you hear the front doors of the ambulance slam shut. "We need to go."

You could scream. Sans frees his hand from yours and you want to fight and yell and force them to let him come with you. But you can't. You can't do any of it. "Okay," you say, gutted. Defeated. "I'm coming."

"we'll be there soon. we'll find you," Sans says, trying to give you a reassuring smile that you can see right through. You know him better than that.

As you climb into the back of the ambulance you catch sight of an old woman walking up to Sans and Deacon, offering to give them a ride to the hospital before the doors slam shut.

"I'm sorry, family only."

Sans stares at the nurse manning the desk, ignoring Deacon shifting on his feet next to him. She looks uncomfortable, unwilling to meet his gaze for long before her eyes dart to her computer screen.

"Sans, come on," Deacon says quietly, and he's frustrated by how nervous your friend sounds. Then again, in comparison to the agitation he's feeling towards the nurse on duty, this frustration seems insignificant.

"she's expecting me. she must have told somebody—"

"And I'm sure that she was told the same thing," the nurse interrupts, pursing her lips. "I can't let anyone back there that isn't family. It's not, ah, personal. It's just policy."

"can you at least tell me if they're here?" He goes to shove his hands in the pockets of his jacket out of reflex but he's not wearing it. Just this stupid orange shirt. Balling his hands into fists he drops them to his sides.

"That would be a breach of privacy— Sir, I know you're upset," she says, interrupting him as he goes to object. "If they're admitted for any reason, then you can go back as visitors. But for now, I'm afraid you'll just have to wait."

She gestures at the rows of seats where a scattering of people, waiting to be seen or just waiting, are sitting. A handful of them are watching him; they don't even bother to look away as he turns. A TV is playing the news with the closed captioning on, too quiet for anyone to really hear.

"fine," Sans says through gritted teeth, wanting very much to keep arguing but knowing that it won't make anything better. In fact, it would just make things worse, considering that right now, he's probably the only monster in the whole damn hospital. "fine."

Sans stalks over to a corner of the room where no one else is sitting, knowing that Deacon is on his heels but not caring, taking a seat and slouching as he fishes his phone out of his pocket. That's when he sees the text from you.

'Won't let anyone back. Let you know what's going on once I know.' You sent it five minutes ago, right as they were dropped off at the hospital.

'here. in waiting room.' Sans stares at the message, not sending it yet. He's been making a conscious effort to spell out his texts properly after fielding a lot of complaints from you over the past few months. Typing a short addition, he hits send after finishing. 'love you both.'

Deacon flops into the seat next to him, pulling out his phone. "Oh, Hope said—"

"i know," he snaps, grip tightening on his phone. "she texted me too."

"Did she text you to tell me to tell you not to do anything stupid?" He arches a brow, crossing an arm over his chest as he brandishes his phone. "Well she didn't tell me that, but I'm telling you that. Don't do anything stupid, Sans."

"i'm not gonna do anything stupid," he says, giving Deacon a disgusted look. Oh, he wants to do something stupid, like teleport past that damn locked door and go find you. "who do you take me for?"

"I take you for a man who just got told he's not allowed to go to his wife and child." He sighs, giving Sans a sympathetic look as he rests his phone in his lap. "You have every reason to do something stupid."

There's an ache in his chest and Sans looks away, doing his best to ignore that creeping feeling of fear. Why hadn't Frisk asked him first before Loading? Why hadn't they just waited to see if they could find Bonnet? But, if his growing theory is correct, that the length of the Load had been what caused them to pass out, who knows what would have happened if they'd tried it after any longer.

And now this. He knew, you both knew, that no one would recognize your marriage past the Line. Toriel had told you as much. But having it thrown in his face, just how illegitimate the world considers his family... It's infuriating. He's powerless out here, unable to even so much as stand beside you when you need him the most.

"fuck," he hisses under his breath, covering his eyes with his hand, squeezing the sockets shut.

"I know," Deacon says with a sigh.

Something inside Sans snaps. "no you don't," he says, dropping his arm so he can glare at the blonde beside him. "how can you have any idea?"

"Hey, I can't go back there either," he protests, brows shooting up to hide beneath his hairline. "I'm just as much an outsider as you are, as far as they're concerned."

"but i shouldn't be! i should be back there with her where she needs me!" Sans growls, voice lowering as he grits his teeth.

"Yes. I know," he repeats, running his hand through his hair. "Sans, if there's anything I want it's for somebody to be back there helping her. I mean, I'm sure she's handling it just fine by herself, she's tough like that, but she shouldn't have to. I'm on your side. I'm on Hope's side."

Sans searches his face, sees the sympathy still there, beneath the frown, and deflates. Resting his head back against the wall with a soft 'thunk' of drywall, he closes his eyes again. "i hate this."

"I know. Being stuck out here with me sucks," Deacon says and Sans can't help the soft huff of laughter that escapes him.

"i shouldn'ta taken it out on you."

"It's fine, I'm used to it by now. You have my permission to blame me."

"s'not your fault. not anybody's fault." Sans sighs.

"Do you know what could have caused it? Why Frisk would just pass out like that?" he asks, and Sans turns his head and cracks open his eyes to look at him. He's settled into a similar position, with his hands resting on his stomach and slouched in the chair. They look at each other. "Did they do anything?"

Sure they did. They Loaded the world back to a point two and a half hours in the past, all by themselves. He can't imagine that not taking a toll on a kid's Soul. "dunno," he lies.

"Is Asriel going to be okay? He seemed pretty shaken up."

"shit," Sans blurts out, squeezing the phone still in his hand and sitting bolt upright. "shit, i don't think anybody's called tori, i gotta—"

He's interrupted by the familiar chime of a text. It's from you. 'Frisk is awake.'

   
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