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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192. Father

You don’t tell Sans everything over the phone. You can’t. This is something he needs to hear in person, once he’s safely teleported home. He needs to see Gaster for himself. So instead you ask him if he can come home a little early, that it’s not an emergency, but there’s someone here who needs to speak with him. When he asks who, you tell him it’s better for him to find out when he gets here. You tell him to trust you.

Of course he trusts you. He says he’ll be home in a few minutes.

As you hang up the phone, a twist of apprehension and nerves in the pit of your stomach, you come to a sudden realization about the man standing next to the sink, staring down at his glass of water like he’s not sure what to do with it. If his last name is Gaster, does that mean that Sans’s last name should be Gaster? Should your last name be Gaster?

No. You had agreed that Sans would take your last name, that you’d keep that link you still had to Benjamin Garcia. To your father. But you can’t help that quiet, nagging worry in the back of your mind. Wondering what the sudden appearance of Sans’s father might mean for your husband, for you, for your family. You watch Gaster, suddenly defensive, as he taps the sides of the glass with his index fingers before gingerly raising it to his mouth and tipping it back.

The look of surprise and delight on his face throws you off-balance. He lowers the glass, holding it up towards the light as he starts to talk to himself. “Thirteen years I believe. At least. At the very least thirteen, when you take into account the Resets from both the children. Good god it hasbeen that long, hasn’t it, Plato?” He looks to his left, then his right, and a slow realization spreads across his features. Then, with a flick of bright white pupils, Gaster sees you watching him.

“Who’s Plato?” you ask him carefully, embarrassed to be caught staring. “I’m assuming you’re not talking about the Greek philosopher.”

Gaster gives you an awkward smile. “Ah, no. Though that would be something, now wouldn’t it? No, I’m afraid I found myself in the habit of talking to one of my blasters and took to calling him —it— Plato. The Font was a rather lonely place.”

“Like Wilson,” Deacon chimes in from where he’s leaning against the pantry door. He left the kids in the other room, opting instead to keep an eye on you and Gaster. To make sure that nothing happened to you, you’re sure. After all, you’re the only one in this family who doesn’t have some kind of magic to defend themselves.

Gaster turns to him, a puzzled look on his expressive face. “I’m sorry?”

“Wilson,” he says again, arching a brow. “What, trapped for over a decade with the ability to see into our world and you didn’t bother watching any Tom Hanks movies?”

He blinks, tipping his head to the side and seemingly oblivious to Deacon’s sarcastic tone. You shoot your best friend a subdued glare which he pointedly ignores. Gaster fidgets with the glass. “My vision had restrictions. I could only view my sons and those they’d interacted with. And not for too long at any given time, or else I’d run the risk of becoming too distracted.”

Deacon doesn’t miss a beat. “So you never tuned in on movie night?”

“Oh!” Gaster exclaims, turning towards you so quickly that water sloshes out of his cup. He doesn’t seem to notice. “That movie, the one with the giant ship. I’ve seen you watch it at least three times but I’ve never managed to catch the end. Perhaps, once things are less… complicated, I might be able to watch it?”

Is he… asking what you think he’s asking? You open your mouth to answer, but true to form, Deacon beats you to it.

“You get out of an alternate dimension and your first request is to watch Titanic? This is wrong on so many levels I can’t even count them all,” Deacon says, caught somewhere between amusement and disgust.

“Okay, this is the last thing we need to be worried about right now. Sans is going to be home soon,” you say, bringing an abrupt end to the conversation.

When you leave the kitchen you find Frisk sitting alone on the staircase. You notice the dejected, frustrated look on their face before realizing what must be the cause. Asriel left while you were preoccupied, headed home according to your child. When you ask them why, their eyes flick over to Gaster but they don’t say anything. Whatever it is, they don’t want to say it out loud. You suspect the two of them have differing opinions on your houseguest. Given the current circumstances you know that the inevitable lecture you and Sans owe Frisk and Asriel can wait, but you can’t help the annoyance you feel at him sneaking off. He knows full well he won’t get in trouble at home; trying to explain to Toriel and Asgore what had happened would be impossible without also telling them about Frisk’s abilities, and that’s not something you’re willing to do.

But no matter how dangerous what Frisk and Asriel did was, the two of them are fine. Right now you’re more worried about Sans and what this is going to do to him. Part of you wants to believe that this will be good for him. That having his father back might help him start to piece together the fragments of his forgotten past. But he’s been happy, he’s been doing so well. You can’t imagine that this won’t upset the delicate balance of his life.

For better or worse this isn’t your situation to control. You can only stand beside him and support him, keep him grounded like you have for the last six years. No matter what happens, he’s got you.

Sans is your first priority. You send the others into the living room so that you can talk to him in private first once he arrives. Which is only a few moments after you’re left alone in the foyer. He pops in without bothering to use the door, making you jump even though you were expecting it. Sans immediately notices your reaction, his brow furrowing as he pulls his hands out of his jacket pockets. (It’s a new jacket, the old one is tucked away in the back of the closet, frayed and worn. And instead of a ratty old t-shirt like he used to wear, he’s got on a button-up shirt beneath it. He started dressing nice for work a couple years ago, and you think it really suits him.)

“what’s wrong?” he asks you, reaching for your hands. You let him take them, squeezing them for half a second before you pull them back so you can slip your arms around his shoulders and hug him. That doesn’t reassure him. When he speaks he only sounds more concerned. “babe, what’s going on? who’s here?”

You want him to be happy. You just want him to be happy to have what should be an unexpectant and pleasant surprise. But you don’t think it’s going to be that simple. Not for Sans. You know him better than that.

“This is going to sound crazy,” you murmur, holding him tight. “It is crazy, but... There’s a man here, he looks enough like a skeleton to make me think he might be telling the truth. Sans, he says that his name is Gaster, and that he’s your dad.”

He goes rigid in your arms. “i… what?”

“I know,” you say quickly, pulling back so you can get a look at his face. His expression is blank. “He came here with Frisk and Asriel, there was—”

“where is he?” he asks, staring up at you.

You bite your lip, feeling somehow at a loss. Is he angry? Is he upset? Is he cautiously hopeful? You can’t tell. His eyes, his tone, it’s all unreadable. “He’s in the living room with Frisk and Deacon.”

Sans lets you go, circles around you to walk to the living room. You can only follow helplessly after him.

Deacon and Frisk are sitting on the couch, and as Sans enters the room Frisk tries to get up to go to him but Deacon catches their arm. He says something in a quiet undertone, shaking his head as they look at him. You’re grateful for his help; this shouldn’t be interrupted.

You’re there to witness the moment that they see each other.

Sans grinds to a halt, his arms hanging limply at his sides. Eye sockets wide, pupils tight and focused, he freezes and just stares as Gaster struggles with what to do. Gaster’s expression is easy to read compared to your husband’s. There’s something bittersweet, a pain you’re familiar with but on a much lesser scale. His brow furrows, he takes a step forward and makes an abortive reach with his hands before he catches himself. His arms hang there, reaching for Sans for just a moment before he lowers them, rearranging his face carefully into something less open, more dignified.

But his voice cracks when he says, “Sans.”

Sans flinches, his jaw tensing, and something in his expression wavers. He doesn’t speak. Seeing them both here, only a few paces apart, you can see the resemblance now. The structures of their faces, even with the way Gaster’s is distorted, you can see the similarities.

But then Gaster’s eye sockets swim with tears, his face screwing up as he tries to keep his expression under control. But he’s failing quickly, overwhelmed by what you can only imagine has been a very complicated day. Not even a day, just an hour or so. There’s very little warning before Gaster lurches forward to embrace Sans.

To Sans’s credit he doesn’t teleport away, or hold him back, or really do much of anything. He just stands there, his arms halfway up out of a reflexive motion, rigid as the man who claims to be his father hugs him tightly. Gaster sags —maybe a little too literally— against Sans, and your husband looks at you with wide, desperate eyes. The silent question of ‘what do I do?’ hangs between you, and all you can do is bite your lip and make a small, helpless gesture with your hands.

After a moment of hesitation, Sans gives Gaster a sort of awkward pat on the back. That seems to jolt him back to his senses. “You don’t remember me,” Gaster says thickly, pulling back enough to look at him. To search Sans’s face for any sign of recognition. Tears slip down his face, tracing down the crack below his eye socket. “I knew, but I dared to hope… No, of course you don’t.” His hands ball into fists on Sans’s shoulders, gripping his jacket. A weight seems to settle on Gaster’s back, bearing down on him.

“sorry, pal,” Sans says, looking uncomfortable. “but i… i’m not saying i… dammit, i feel like i should remember! it’s there, there’s somethingfamiliar but it’s not...” He grits his teeth, shaking his head and pulling Gaster’s hands away. “if you’re my dad, then where the hell were you?”

Gaster presses his hands to his chest, then realizes he’s been crying and rubs at his face with his fingers. “I was trapped, in another plane of existence. I was erased from this world.”

“how?” Sans demands.

If Gaster is hurt by Sans’s harsh tone he doesn’t show it. He’s eager to answer his questions, to make him understand. You’re finding it very difficult to doubt Gaster’s word as you watch the two of them. “An accident at the lab. You know which one I’m speaking of, how can you not? It was all my fault. My own hubris—”

“your fault,” Sans says, his tone icy. When he told you about the accident, whenever he spoke of it, it was always with this sense of guilt. Like it had been his fault. As if there were some way he could have prevented whatever it was he couldn’t remember. “this whole time i… i spent years trying to figure out what happened, what i could have done different.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Gaster says, and a fleeting expression of relief passes over Sans’s face. “It was my plan, my experiment. You were one of a handful of assistants with me that day.” He gives him a weak smile. “My best and brightest, but the fault is mine. I wished for so long that I could tell you that, and now I hope you believe me.”

But that look of relief is already gone as Sans shakes his head with a tight grimace. “why now? why show up now, when i finally have all my shit together? i needed you back in new home. i needed you in snowdin. papyrus needed more than just the— the broken shell you’d left behind after whatever the hell happened back there! what was the experiment for? i want you to explain to me what was so damn important that it destroyed my life when it failed.”

Gaster holds out his hands, a silent offering. He’s trembling, just slightly. “My son, I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

   
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