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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96. Halloween

When you come downstairs, fully decked out in your costume, Sans is putting the finishing touches on Frisk's face paint. Your little skeleton-clad child is sitting on one of the barstools while your fiancé smears the white makeup along their forehead, close to their hairline. Sans is focused, not even noticing when you stand in the entryway to the kitchen. Seeing the two of them together makes your heart give a pleasant squeeze, like it always does. You're certain that feeling is never going to go away, not even when you're old and Frisk is grown.

You feel a little misty all of a sudden and you catch yourself. Okay no need to go all mushy right now, you just put on your own makeup like five minutes ago and you're not sure it's waterproof.

"ARE WE ALMOST READY TO GO NOW? I DON'T WANT TO BE LATE!" Papyrus says from the living room behind you.

Glancing over your shoulder, Papyrus is pacing back and forth, fiddling with his eyepatch. His costume turned out great, you think. Old leather boots from the rabbits' consignment shop, some red and black striped pants, a big white shirt with a large v-neck to show off his ribs, a tri-corner hat from the costume shop, and last but not least his plastic saber. He even has his red scarf tied around his waist like a sash belt. Well, it's sort of hanging off part of his pelvis, but it's staying on. He flips his eyepatch up and down over his left eye, fidgeting.

"it's gonna last until almost midnight, being a little late isn't gonna matter, bro," Sans says.

You look back at Sans right as he glances over at you, just in time to see him do a double-take. Your lips slowly curl into a mischievous smile as you watch the lights in his eye sockets brighten and the tense look of concentration melt away into a big grin. Resting your cloth-wrapped hand on your hip, you raise your eyebrow at him in silent question. Does he get it? You think he does, and that he's admiring more than just the skin-tight beige bodysuit and many strips of linen.

"a mummy," he says, and you can't help but feel proud of the delight in his voice. "hope, marry me."

"That's the plan."

Frisk gasps, then starts giggling. "A mommy mummy!"

Sans sets down the stick of face paint on the bar and walks over to you, taking hold of your hips and pulling you towards him. Resting your arms on his shoulders, you lace your fingers behind his neck and smile. Ignoring Frisk's protests that the two of you 'stop being gross', you lean down to press a kiss to his cheekbone.

"I thought you might appreciate the joke," you say.

"i do," he murmurs, close to your ear. "does this mean i get to unwrap you later?"

Pulling away, you give him a coy smirk. "Maybe."

"Dad, am I done?" Frisk asks loudly, scowling at the two of you.

Sans, remembering himself, turns back to Frisk and retrieves the white paint. "almost. gotta make sure you're the best looking skeleton at the festival, right?"

Papyrus makes a noise like he's going to protest, but changes his mind. "I SUPPOSE I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, CAN SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST."

There's something missing, and after a second you realize what it is. Sans is standing there in his normal clothes, just without his jacket. "Sans, where's your costume?"

He stops mid-stroke across Frisk's cheek, hesitating.

"Do you not have a costume?"

Sans clears his throat. "i, uh, i didn't think about it. i wanted to make sure everyone else had theirs all put together, and i guess i just forgot about mine."

That's just like him, isn't it? To take care of the three of you at the expense of himself. You should have been here to help out with Frisk more, to make sure that Sans wasn't doing everything on his own. It wasn't fair to him or your child that you were gone so much. And on top of that you had that dream about Deacon... Guilt twists in your chest and Sans must see it on your face because he gives you an affectionate look and shakes his head.

"hey, babe, don't worry about it. really, it's not a big deal," he says, shrugging.

"I'm sorry, this month has been—" You cut yourself off, spotting San's full-sized camera sitting on the bar next to him. Normally he just uses his cell phone to take pictures, same as you. It's just more convenient for those spur of the moment things. But you bought him that proper camera as your house was being built. You gave one of the contractors (one that you trusted enough) some money and a model number and they got it for you down in the foothills. Sans had been so excited. But the sight of the camera with its thick neck strap gives you an idea. "Papyrus can I go get one of your shirts out of your room?"

Bewildered and impatient, Papyrus nods. "I SUPPOSE SO."

"Thanks, I'll be right back," you say, hurrying up the stairs.

When you come back down, Frisk is standing with Papyrus, face paint finished. Sans is fiddling with his camera, giving you a questioning look as he spots the bright yellow, short sleeve, button up shirt decorated with smiley faces. He raises a brow as you shove it towards him and pluck the camera out of his hands.

"Put that on, over your shirt," you say, pointing at the plain black t-shirt.

Confused but unquestioning, he shrugs it on. It's actually a little loose on him, which is what you were hoping. As he goes to button it up you bat his hands away and put the camera over his head, letting it rest over his sternum. You smile and nod to yourself.

"There, and you can even wear your slippers," you say, patting his shoulder.

"wait, i don't get it," Sans says, looking down at himself and then back up at you. "what am i?"

"A tourist."

You meet up with Toriel, Asgore, and Asriel outside of the entrance to the festival where they're waiting for you. Toriel is dressed in a glittery, purple witch costume and looks beautiful, in your opinion. You've never seen her more dressed up than she is at school, which while tasteful and pretty, is nothing like this flattering dress. For one, you can tell that Asgore keeps stealing glances at her. He's wearing a big poofy mane made of orange yarn, topped with a plastic crown. Is he... the cowardly lion? Judging by the orange clothes meant to match his mane, you think so. 

Asriel looks positively beside himself with excitement, clad in his medieval-style garb complete with his toy sword. He runs up to meet Frisk the second he spots them, grabbing their hands and gushing over their costume. They're itching to rush off into the festival but first Sans insists on pictures first before everyone scatters. The kids know this routine, so with minimal whining photos are done and the two of them give you and Toriel expectant looks.

"Okay you two, you remember what Toriel and I talked to you about, right?" you ask, glancing at the queen as she meets your eyes. You nod at each other in solidarity. 

"Yes, Mom," Frisk says, clutching Asriel's hand tight in their own. Asriel nods but stays silent.

"Stay together. I know that probably goes without saying, but you watch out for each other," you say, looking from one to the other and making sure they're both meeting your eyes.

"And don't leave the festival," Frisk says.

"And if we need help, we can ask any of the other monsters," Asriel continues. "And we both have our cell phones."

"And if we see anyone suspicious, be sure to tell you right away."

"And only take candy from the booths, not anybody else."

You look at Toriel and she steps forward, crouching down so that she's at eye-level with both of them. Placing a large hand on their shoulders, she smiles at them. "Be safe, my children. And have fun."

That's all they need to hear. Before you can even blink the two of them bolt off into the crowd, playfully arguing over where to go first. If this was a human event, you'd never let Frisk run off without you. Not at their age. But you trust the monsters, know that they'll keep an eye on the kids. Everyone knows Asriel and Frisk. On top of the everyday citizens of Ebott there are the old members of the defunct Royal Guard, not to mention the few soldiers you know are wandering the grounds.

"This turned out wonderfully. It is difficult to believe that this is in fact our school grounds," Toriel says as the five of you head into the festival. Her big, bright eyes are catching the strings of lights lining the main thoroughfare as she takes it all in. "Thank you for all of your hard work. It has certainly paid off."

"Oh, I just helped," you say, smiling despite yourself. "I mean, it was Deacon's idea and Mettaton arranged a lot of it. Without the two of them, I'm sure it wouldn't be like this."

You raise your hand to gesture at the lines of booths and tables, the crowd milling about and laughing over games and food. Music is playing from a speaker system hoisted atop wooden poles, and you recognize some of Napstablook's music. You wonder if Mettaton talked his cousin into letting him use it. You have to admit 'Spookwave' is a perfect track to celebrate Halloween.

Toriel just gives you a patient smile. "Do not discredit yourself, my child. I know how hard you have been working these past three weeks. I am proud of the work you have done."

Blushing, you let out an embarrassing squeak as Sans wraps his arm around your waist and tugs you against him. He looks around you to meet Toriel's eyes as you walk. "i'm just happy to have her back to myself after this. i don't like to share."

"You may not like it, but you did an excellent job of it, thanks."

Turning at the sound of a familiar voice, Deacon takes advantage of your pause to slip between you and Toriel and circle around to face your little group. You burst into laughter at the sight of him. His self-described 'sexy' costume is a flowing gray wizard's robe, long fake beard, and a pointed hat. With a flourish, he produces a spray of fake flowers from within his flowing sleeve and hands it to you.

"Ta da!" Deacon says, grinning and winking at you.

Sans takes the flowers from your hand and shoves them back at Deacon, rolling his eyes. "who the hell are you supposed to be? gandalf?"

Laughing, he shoves the flowers back into his sleeve, then waggles his fingers in Sans's direction. "I'm impressed! You know the Lord of the Rings?"

"yep."

"Your costume is ridiculous," you tell him, unable to keep from smiling.

"Why thank you," he says with a tip of his hat. "You all look fantastic by the way. And I saw Frisk and Asriel a second ago, those costumes turned out great."

Realizing that the six of you are blocking the main path by standing around talking, Deacon wanders off again with a wave and a smile. You're a little relieved that he didn't linger. You feel better about this whole situation with the dream, but it doesn't stop you from being a little uncomfortable due to no fault of his own. Right now it's just... easier to not worry about him.

Asgore and Toriel break off to wander the festival on their own, and Papyrus spots Undyne and Alphys and rushes over to meet them. The couple is wearing matching outfits, undoubtedly inspired by Mew Mew Kissy Cutie. Alphys looks pretty cute, you think, in the ruffly skirt and oversized bow, though she might fit in better at an anime convention than Halloween. Undyne, despite wearing the same outfit, looks badass. Honestly, she could probably wear a potato sack and look badass. But Papyrus heads off with the two of them, leaving you and Sans to yourselves.

"so, what should we do?" Sans asks, looking up at you and threading your fingers together.

Smiling, you squeeze his hand. "You know, I've always wanted a cute guy to win a prize for me from a carnival booth. Like in the movies."

"well, i guess i can go find deacon," he says, looking away and making a show of trying to pull away from you.

Wincing, you wrap your other arm around his and tug him back. You know he's teasing, but right now it hits you right in that spot where guilt is still burrowed under your skin. "Hun, I meant you," you say, unable to tease him back.

He meets your eyes and his smile falters a little bit. "i know you did. sorry, are you ok?"

"I don't like Deacon as more than a friend, you know that right?" you ask, unsure why you're asking him this right here, right now. You shouldn't be bringing this up in the middle of a damn festival. This is so stupid and—

"i think you've made that pretty clear before, yeah," Sans says, raising a brow. He's searching your face and you wonder if he can tell what you're thinking. "i was just joking."

"Sorry, no, I know you were. I just..." Sighing, you shake your head and force a smile. "We're supposed to be having fun. All this work is finally over, I'm here with you and we're going to have fun."

He squeezes your hand, giving you an uneasy smile back. "yeah. c'mon, i think i have a cheap stuffed animal to win for you."

You're feeling much better by the time you walk away from the ring toss with a teddy bear wedged under your arm. You think Sans cheated a little on his third attempt, but if the monster running the booth noticed they never said anything. This is nice. It's like a date, you think, as you spot a food stall run by a familiar face. Bo is busy decorating a row of tiny chocolate cakes with orange icing when the two of you approach.

She glances up as you enter her periphery, letting out a delighted gasp. "Oh look at you two! It's been ages, Sansy, you need to come by the hotel some time," she says, pressing herself across the booth's counter to wrap her hands around each of yours. Her pink woolen hair is longer than it was the last time you saw her, and she grew out a fluffy collar around her neck. Considering she lived on the edge of Hotland before, the change in seasons on the surface must have prompted the winter coat, so to speak.

"hey there, bo," Sans says, "how's it shakin'?"

Rolling her eyes, she lets you both go, resting forward on her elbows. "Same as always. Working. At least this is a nice change of scenery. Though you wouldn't know it with the way that Burgerpants keeps going on when Mettaton is out of earshot." She glances pointedly to your left where the 'New and Improved' Glamburger stand is.

Burgerpants is standing behind his own counter, wringing his hat between his hands as... Oh wow. Deacon is standing there, leaning forward and cupping his chin in one hand, tugging down the false beard with the other. They're just far enough away that you can't hear what they're saying, but you recognize that amused look on Deacon's face and the confused but... flattered look on Burgerpants's.

"Oh wow. I guess I shouldn't be surprised," you say, eyebrows shooting up as you look back at Bo.

She smiles at you, laughing. "Do you know that human? He's kinda cute, but I've been watching him go from one booth to the next for the past hour. You know I actually waited on him a week or two ago. He was on a date with Muffet," she says, her muzzle scrunching a little. "Is he always like this?"

"Um, I don't think so..." you say, a little unsure. "He's a bit of a flirt, I guess."

Bo raises a hand, gesturing across the thoroughfare. You follow her gaze to where the Nice Cream guy has his pushcart set up. The blue rabbit is watching Deacon's exchange with Burgerpants pretty closely, you think. "He's been hitting up Burgerpants for months with no luck. I'll be shocked if your friend's flirting gets through his thick skull, let me tell you."

To everyone's surprise, you watch as Deacon hands his cell phone to Burgerpants and the catlike monster enters something into it. Presumably his phone number. Well, that sure is something. You'll have to ask him about it later because curiosity is whirling around in your head. After your friend wanders away, never noticing you at the stall next to him, you buy a pair of tiny pumpkin cakes from Bo and head off to eat them.

You run into Toriel and Papyrus a little later, the latter looking particularly downtrodden. He brightens a little at the sight of you and his brother, and when Sans instantly questions him he tries to deny there's anything wrong.

"pap you were having a great time when we saw you last time, what happened in the last two hours?" he asks, and you can tell he's struggling to keep the frustration out of his voice. "i can't help if you don't talk to me."

Toriel has her hands clasped over her stomach, watching the exchange with a look of concern. The two of you meet each other's gaze but don't say anything, knowing better than to intervene.

"I'M FINE, REALLY. I'M SURE WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER, AND HE'S NOT SO BUSY ANYMORE—"

"wait, 'he'?" Sans asks, bristling. "what did mettaton do this time?"

Papyrus wrings his hands together, hesitating before he speaks. "HE JUST TOLD ME HE WAS BUSY AND COULDN'T TALK. THAT'S ALL. I'M SURE WHEN HE'S NOT BUSY..."

"nope. not ok. we're going to go talk to that overgrown calculator, i've had enough of watching him make you upset." He's gritting his teeth when he looks up at you. "sorry babe."

"No, no. You go ahead," you say, letting go of his hand and giving him a gentle push. "Don't worry about me."

"WAIT, BROTHER I DON'T THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA," Papyrus begins but it's too late. Sans is already walking away. With a distressed noise, he trails off after his brother.

You and Toriel share another look. "Do you think we ought to follow them?"

You're about to open your mouth and say, 'no, I'm pretty sure Sans can handle Mettaton just fine on his own,' when you hear a shrill, angry yell and you see the sudden flare of fire from the other side of the nearest row of booths. Toriel's eyes go wide and she whirls around on her feet as the people nearby fall silent.

"Asriel," she breathes, and takes off at a run.

It's all you can do to keep up with her.

   
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