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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116. Feeling Thankful

Sans wasn't quite sure what to expect from this human holiday. On the surface it sounded simple enough: food and family. What he gets is just that and something more.

You are positively glowing all day. He's not sure if it's Thanksgiving or because of the good news from Toriel, but once the turkey is in the oven it's like you can't stop smiling. Sans hasn't been without good days, especially once everything with Halloween blew over, but even he thinks this is easily one of his best in the past month. Learning that he'll be able to harmonize with you, and you'll be able to hear it, is a surprise he wasn't expecting. He needed this pick me up. He's happy.

Before noon and when everyone else is supposed to show up, you and Sans are pulled down to sit on the ground with the kids. That's when he gets his education on hand turkeys. Distracted by tracing his hand onto a piece of paper, Frisk ends up stealing his camera.

"hey, kiddo, be careful with that," Sans says, worried about all the pictures he's taken so far should something happen to it.

"I know," they answer, holding the camera up to their face, closer than strictly necessary.

He feels your hand on his side and he turns to look at you. Your smile is warm with affection and he feels that tiny knot of worry in his chest come undone. You lean in to kiss him, ignoring Frisk's groan even as they take a photo. "It'll be nice to have some pictures with you actually in them," you say gently. "You're always the one behind the lens."

That's true. He has to admit that except for some specific family photos he's absent from most of the pictures. He's just too busy taking them to be in them. He really ought to be better about that. The photo albums aren't just for him, after all.

He spends most of the day watching everyone else. When the rest of the group arrives he gets pictures of the others making their hand turkeys under the careful guidance of Frisk and Asriel. Then, once they're all done, he gets a shot of everyone's turkeys together. (Papyrus's has sparkles, Mettaton's is fuchsia and black, Undyne's has an eyepatch and a sword, and Alphys's is wearing a sailor uniform. The others are more 'normal'. He tried to get away with just writing 'sans' on his in red crayon, but Frisk wouldn't stop bugging him until he colored in in properly. His name is still visible under the layer of brown.)

Papyrus and Mettaton are inseparable the moment the robot walks in the door. Sans hasn't had much chance to see the two of them together. Even though you took the time to talk to him, to let him know that you forgave him and wanted him to feel welcome, Mettaton doesn't come to the house much. Though, he suspects that's more because of him than you. With a begrudging, inward sigh Sans thinks that maybe he ought to make an effort to be nicer. If he can be nice to Deacon for your sake, he can be nice to Mettaton for Papyrus's. Even Undyne's been nicer to him, now that Papyrus is happier.

And Papyrus is happier. As Sans lines up a shot with his camera, he watches his brother put his arm around Mettaton's shoulders and hug him close. Mettaton reaches for the hand dangling over his chest and laces their fingers together. He turns to Papyrus and says something that makes his face light up, and despite himself, Sans can't help but smile as his brother leans over to nuzzle the robot's cheek. He takes the picture.

Mettaton must notice the sound because his eyes flick over to where Sans is standing and they look at each other. After a moment of silent regard, Sans crosses the room.

"it's a good picture, wanna see it?" Sans asks as the two of them look up at him.

"OH, IS IT A PICTURE OF ME AND METTATON?" Papyrus asks, craning his neck.

Sans nods and turns the camera around so they can both see it. Papyrus lets out a loud exclamation of joy. "WOWIE, LOOK AT US! METTATON, YOU LOOK SO HAPPY. NYEH HEH HEH! IT MUST BE THANKS TO I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS!"

Mettaton is actually blushing a little bit, fighting a smile and losing. "Papy, sweetheart, please," he says, giving Sans an embarrassed look. As Sans pulls the camera back towards his chest and turns to move away, the robot clears his throat. "Sans, could you send me a copy of that picture? Please."

He looks at the two of them, and the honest, sincere look on Mettaton's face. He's changed a lot recently. For the better. Sans nods again. "yeah, sure mettaton. no problem."

His smile is genuine. "Thank you."

As he leaves his brother and his... There's a tiny moment of rebellion inside his mind but, yes, he tells himself, Mettaton is Papyrus's boyfriend. He'll have to accept that. But, as he leaves his brother and his boyfriend on the couch, he resists the urge to laugh as he listens to Mettaton try to field the barrage of questions Papyrus is now throwing his way about the picture. 

He goes back to watching the rest of the room, leaving the two of them to their business.

Sans notices something when the two of you tell everyone that you'll be performing the rite of harmony soon, now that everyone is here to hear the news. In the midst of all the excitement, Alphys keeps glancing over at Undyne, like she's trying to catch her eye. Undyne doesn't seem to pick up on it, but he does. What's going on there?

When you disappear into the kitchen with Toriel to finish up some of the last preparations for dinner, he catches Alphys off to the side. She's watching Deacon try to to wriggle his way unsuccessfully out of a conversation with Undyne about more aikido lessons. He knows they've met up a few more times since that first day almost two months ago, but it seems like she's eager for more. He could help the human out... but it's more amusing to watch him try not to upset Undyne. Besides, if she's distracted, he can talk to Alphys alone.

"hey," Sans says, sidling up beside the doctor as she fiddles with the hem of her ruffled blouse.

"Oh!" she squeaks, jumping a little bit as she glances over at him. He wasn't exactly being sneaky, so she must have been pretty focused on Undyne. Or whatever she was thinking about. "H-hey Sans. Congrats again! I'm so excited for you g-guys!" She gives him a bright smile, adjusting her glasses.

"thanks," he says, smiling back at her. His camera is hanging around his neck, leaving his hands free. He twists his ring on his finger, the rubber grip on the inside giving it just enough resistance to make it oddly satisfying. After a second he looks at it to make sure the heart is centered and stops fiddling with it. "so how are you and undyne doing?"

"Good! We're actually... we're really great," Alphys says, a faint blush coloring her cheeks. She looks down at the floor, her tail sweeping to the side with nervous energy before she looks up at where Undyne is still talking to Deacon. "I, um... I actually have a q-question for you. If you don't mind..."

"of course. what's up?" He raises a brow, curious but he thinks he knows what this is about.

Wringing her hands, her tail twitches again. "How did you k-know you wanted to m-marry Hope?"

Yep. Just as he thought. Grinning, Sans leans over and throws his arm over her shoulders. She makes an embarrassed but pleased sound, giving him a sideways look around the rim of her glasses. "alphys, you know that the first time i proposed to her was on accident," he says, chuckling.

"I-I know! But you still knew. You didn't change y-your mind," she presses, giving another nervous glance in Undyne's direction.

"well, i just knew that there was no way i could ever picture my future without her or frisk in it. so i told her that," he says, following her gaze to look at the fish monster. She's flexing, and making some kind of throwing motion. Deacon keeps stealing peeks at his phone and nodding as she talks. "is that how you feel about undyne?"

Alphys nods, then catches herself. She covers her mouth with both hands, blushing. "We knew when w-we moved in together that we wanted things t-to be s-serious. I can't imagine e-ever not being with her again."

"then you should tell her that."

"I know... Th-things have just been so uncertain with everything h-here on the surface," she says, wincing. Shaking her head, she gives Sans a worried look. "We don't know what m-might happen."

Sans knows that fear, better than she can ever know. How fleeting happiness can feel, how scary it is to try and catch it and cling to it, knowing something might snatch it away. He hugs her shoulders, leaning in close and making sure she's looking him in the eye. "then make sure to face it together. don't let worrying about the future stop you from enjoying the present. i did that for too damn long and i don't want you to make that same mistake. hope showed me that. let undyne do the same for you."

Alphys searches his face, and after a moment she gives him a wobbly smile. Nodding, she looks at Undyne again, right as Deacon finally manages to extricate himself with an excuse that he needs to use the bathroom. Before her girlfriend turns to spot them, she quickly blurts out, "Y-yeah! You're right!"

Letting her go, he watches as she goes over to rejoin Undyne, and he wonders if she's going to have the courage to follow through. He hopes so. When did he become such a sap? With a swell of affection, he blames you. He can appreciate and silently root for the two of them because he knows what it's like to be so in love. He wants the people he cares about to know what that's like.

He's torn from his thoughts as Asgore passes in front of him with the kids hanging off his horns, laughing. Wanting to make sure he gets a picture, he follows after them and turns his camera back on.

You come out of the kitchen at some point while he's busy doing that, going over to sit with Deacon while he's got himself holed up with his phone. Sans gets that the guy doesn't seem comfortable with all your friends, but he could at least make more of an effort. But as he watches the two of you together he pushes that twinge of annoyance aside. Deacon's blushing and hiding his phone, you're clearly antagonizing him about something... Watching the two of you is like watching a pair of close siblings. There's a bond there the two of you have formed, and he's glad that he's finally letting himself see it. To be able to appreciate what it's done for you. You're happy, and that means everything to him.

Deacon pokes you in the cheek and you grin and push his hand away and as the two of you are smiling he takes the chance to snap a picture. You both look up at him and you smile and wave. Grinning, he gives a little wave back, amused by the bewildered expression on Deacon's face. That's fine, let him be confused. Sans turns away to leave the two of you to your conversation, satisfied with the fact that he doesn't even have to remind himself not to feel annoyed or frustrated.

Maybe it's because he's having a good day with his friends and family, but he hopes it's because he just doesn't mind Deacon so much anymore. That weird feeling is still there, but it's second nature now to just ignore it. How can he hold that inexplicable agitation against him when you trust and care about him so much? In the face of all the evidence, Sans is starting to trust him too.

When you go back inside after your talk with Deacon, almost everyone is still hanging out in the kitchen. Oh, you weren't expecting all these eyes on you. You think you look okay, that it's been long enough since you were crying, but the second you meet Sans's eyes you know he can tell. Deacon comes in after you and shuts the door.

"Found her hiding outside," Deacon says with a forced levity that seems casual enough. But no one seems very convinced.

"Sorry, I had a phone call. I hope I didn't worry anyone," you say, eyes flicking over to the rest of the room before returning to Sans.

He crosses the room to meet you, taking your hand as he searches your face. The kitchen is mostly quiet, save for the sound of the kids playing in the other room. You wish everyone would stop looking at you. "who was it? is everything ok?" Sans asks.

"I'm okay," you say, loud enough for everyone to hear. Biting your lip, part of you would like to talk to Sans in private, but these are your friends. Your family. They all know (well, you don't think Mettaton does) about Kim. You told them back when you first came to the surface and you needed to go see her. You'll never forget how badly Undyne wanted to go with you so she could threaten her, to make sure she knew you had friends who could kick her ass. "It was my mother."

Sans lets go of your hand so he can put his arm around your waist, hugging you against him. But before he can say anything to you Undyne comes up on your other side, throwing her arm around your shoulders and narrowing her eye. She bares her teeth. "What did she do? Do I need to take care of her for you?" she asks, drawing a finger across her neck.

You have the futile hope that she's mostly joking, but you let out a weak laugh anyway. The others are murmuring their concerns, and Toriel shoos Undyne away so she can wrap you up in a hug. Sans's hand his still on your waist and you can feel his thumb rubbing your side.

"Oh my child, are you certain you are all right?" Toriel asks you, and the sweet concern in her voice makes your chest ache all over again. This is what a mother should be like. You nod into her shoulder.

"She was angry that I wasn't home for Thanksgiving. That she was there all alone," you say, trying to ignore the guilt still twisting in your chest. 

"Did she ever call you? Ask you to see her, or if she could come see you?" Toriel asks, stroking your hair.

"No. I never heard from her."

"Then she has no one to blame but herself," Toriel says, with an iciness that surprises you.

When she pulls away you see that the others have gathered closer. Papyrus is at your side in an instant, snatching up your hand between his and squeezing. "ARE YOU STILL SAD? IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER?" You catch sight of Mettaton behind him, looking just as concerned.

You give Papyrus a weak smile. All of these people care about you. It overwhelms the guilt, shoves it aside, at least for now. "I'm better. Deacon made sure I was okay, and I am. Really," you say, looking over at Sans. He gives you a small nod and hugs you closer.

As some of the attention goes to Deacon, much to his surprise, Sans gives you an apologetic look. "i'm sorry i wasn't there for you. but... i'm glad deacon was. you made a good friend."

You're more relieved to hear him say that than you probably should be. Some tiny part was worried that he'd be upset that Deacon was the one to comfort you. You feel a little bad for expecting the worst, but for the most part you're just happy. "I did. And I'm glad he was there with me too. I..." You lean in close to him, lowering your voice. "He opened up to me. I'm so relieved, Sans. If any good came out of my mother calling, it's that."

He gives you a small smile, leaning in to nuzzle your cheek. "at least it's not all bad."

"Today has definitely been more good than bad." You clench your jaw, a swell of defiance rising up in your chest as you look out over everyone. Sans squeezes your side and you cover his hand with your own. "I've got everyone I need right here."

   
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