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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34. Help Me Find the Words

Sans is still fuming when he gets to Grillby's. It must be written all over his face because when Dogamy goes to greet him Dogaressa pulls him back and shakes her head. Greater Dog gives a low, resonating whine and his ears droop. Sans pulls himself up onto his normal barstool, waiting for Grillby. He caught sight of the flame monster ducking into the back as he came in, probably to get something for one of the other patrons.

Holding his head in his hands, Sans presses the tips of his phalanges into the back of his skull. What the hell was that all about? You've been acting strange since last night, and he just doesn't get why you're so worked up over nothing. If you'd just take a second to see how ridiculous you're being...

He feels the warmth radiating off of Grillby across the bar. Looking up, Sans drags his hands down his face and folds his arms on top of the counter, sighing. Grillby just stares at him, arching a brow over his glasses and cocking his head to the side. With a refined air, he gestures to the empty barstool beside Sans in silent question.

"yeah it's just me tonight," Sans says. "i could really use a drink."

He hesitates for a moment, but Grillby produces a short tumbler from beneath the counter and fills it halfway with dark amber liquid. He pushes it towards Sans, who gives him a grateful nod before taking a drink. The thick glass makes a solid thunk as the skeleton sets it down none-too-gently.

Grillby is watching him, waiting for him to speak. The bartender has seen enough of Sans's bad days in the past to know what's coming, though with you around it's been a while since the last time it's happened. But he's patient, cleaning a row of glasses with a white cloth. Sans tips more of his drink into his mouth.

"don't look so sternum," Sans says,  forcing a grin and an exaggerated wink.

Grillby never was a good audience. He just watches him.

"not feeling so hot tonight, grillby?"

Silence.

"all right, all right, i admit that one's getting a little old," he says, shrugging amiably. "doesn't quite have the right spark."

The glass in Grillby's hand gives a sharp squeaking sound as he dries it. He sets it down a little harder than normal.

"fine. fine. we got in a fight," Sans finally admits, sighing and resting his forehead in one hand. "i mean, who gets upset because people are helping out too much? and when i try to tell her that, she gets mad at me?"

Raising the glass to take another drink, he lets out a startled sound of protest when Grillby takes it away. He dumps it out into the sink and fills it with water instead, plunking it back down in front of Sans. He waits.

"what the hell, grillby?" Sans says, frowning up at him. He can't even feel the alcohol yet. He guesses that's probably the point. "i came here to cool off, not get roasted by you too."

Grillby frowns back, leaning an elbow against the bar.

"so what, this is just the icing on the cake of my crappy day? you cutting me off before i can even feel a buzz?"

The bartender shakes his head.

"she's making something out of nothing. i was trying to help but any time i made a suggestion she just got more annoyed with me. which was pissing me off! how am i supposed to help her if she doesn't want to listen?" Sans grumbles, glaring at his glass of water before picking it up just to have something to do with his hands.

Grillby shakes his head again.

"y'know, this would be easier if you would just tell me what you're thinking."

No response. Just a pair of glasses staring blankly at him.

"if she doesn't want us helping with the kid, all she has to do is say so. but that's just it, she knows she's being jealous for no reason," Sans grumbles, drumming his fingers.

"...So you're frustrated with her because she's having an emotional response to what you think should be a logical situation?" Grillby murmurs. His voice is thin and a little rough, like fine sandpaper. Dry, even.

Sans raises a brow at him, a little surprised to hear him speak. Grillby's response is a little too on the head, and Sans shifts uncomfortably on the barstool. "i came here for a sympathetic ear, not for help."

Grillby lets out a breathy huff, stacking the dried glasses and taking them down the bar to put them away.

Frustrated with you and now with his friend, Sans nudges his glass of water absently with his fingers. He just needed some time to cool down, maybe get a little sympathy. What he didn't need was Grillby trying to tell him that he'd screwed up. He knew that already. Knew it the second you started getting mad at him. But he was just so damn frustrated that he couldn't stop himself. What were you even mad about? It didn't seem like it had anything to do with Frisk by the time he finally gave up.

Why wouldn't Grillby just let him vent instead of...

Oh. "oh my god i'm such an ass," he says.

Grillby turns back to Sans and has an expression on his face that seems vaguely smug. Which is a feat in of itself with no mouth.

Sans drops his forehead to the counter with a hollow sound, holding his skull in his hands. "i told her she could talk to me, and then i didn't fucking listen. i just... wanted to help." He groans. "and then we both just got mad..."

 "...Well you aren't going to make anything better by sitting here," Grillby says.

His anger and frustration is gone, replaced by worry. He'd stormed off, leaving you all alone. You tried to stop him and he didn't listen. Thinking of how he'd react if you did the same thing to him, it leaves him with a twisting feeling in his chest and a nervous buzzing in his bones. He wishes he could go back and do today over again.

"i know. just gimme a minute to figure out how the hell i'm gonna apologize," he mutters. 

You're in love with Sans.

You have been for a while now, but now you know for certain. It's why this all hurts so much. It's why you're so scared that now it's all over. Because you screwed up and he left, and he has to come back because he lives here but you're not sure he's coming back for you.

It's all your fault. It's always your fault. If only you had been more careful. If only you hadn't said anything. If only...

Your face is wet and your vision is blurry, and you're distantly aware of the sound of the faucet still running. Oh. You're in the middle of doing dishes, that's right. You latch onto that fact like a lifeline, smearing tears across your face with the back of your hand, pushing yourself to your feet. Hands shaking, you sniffle to try and stop your nose from running. You feel a little calmer with a scrub brush in your hand.

No matter what happens, the dishes need to be done. That's your responsibility. You can't screw this up too, on top of everything else.

"...no way! I'm telling you, that last show we watched was—!"

You jump as Undyne walks into the kitchen, talking on her cellphone. She's changed into her pajamas —shorts with little fish on them and an orange tank top— and has her hair wrapped up in a towel.  As you meet her eye she stops dead in her tracks. "Alphys I have to go. I'll call you later," she says, hanging up the call.

Turning your head away to hide your face, you try to focus on the dishes but you know it's too late. You catch Undyne setting her phone down out of the corner of your eye as you try to dry off your cheeks with your shoulder.

"What happened? Where's Sans?" she asks, coming up to stand beside you.

You shake your head, your throat feeling tight as more tears make your vision swim. Don't cry. Don't make even more of a scene than you already have. You rinse soap off of a plate and put it in the drying rack.

"Are you okay?" she presses, firmer this time.

Your lip wobbles and you shake your head again. You start to cry, face screwing up as your grip on the brush tightens.

"Okay punk, come on, leave this for later," she says. You're shaking and you can't see through your tears, but you feel Undyne's hands gently pry the scrubber from your fingers and rinse the soap from your skin. You hear the water shut off and she hands you the dishtowel. "Where's Sans? Did HE make you cry?"

You can't even answer. Clutching the towel in your hands, you're starting to have trouble breathing. You gasp in air between sobs. Undyne takes hold of your shoulders and guides you over to a kitchen chair, sitting you down. Through your blurred eyes you can make out the shape of her crouched down in front of you, putting her at eye-level. She's still holding your shoulders with her firm grip, and the presence is comforting. Her thumbs rub small circles against your clavicle until you start to get a hold of yourself.

Rubbing at your eyes to try and clear them and rubbing at your nose with your sleeve —you're such a mess— you meet Undyne's steady gaze. "I-I'm sorry," you mumble, hiccuping.

She ignores your apology, brow furrowing. "Tell me what happened."

You tell her everything as best you can. How you were worried about things with Frisk, and how you just wanted some reassurance and sympathy from Sans. But instead he treated you like you were overreacting and dismissed your concerns. She listens as you tell her about how you snapped at each other until he finally stormed out of the house, and how scared you are. Her frown deepens, but she doesn't interrupt.

"Undyne you've known him longer than me, did I mess everything up?" you ask, more tears welling up in your eyes. You sniff to try and fight them back. Your head is starting to ache.

Undyne sighs, grimacing. "Look, punk. I'm not good at this kind of stuff. But I have a few things to say so I want you to LISTEN, okay?"

It takes you a second to realize she's waiting for an answer. You give a shaky nod.

"You had one fight. That shit happens. If he's gonna let ONE argument ruin your relationship, it wasn't worth having." She makes an annoyed sound, then sighs as some of the tension leaves her face. "He's not going to let that happen. The whole time I've known Sans he hasn't let anyone else in other than Papyrus. He keeps everyone at a distance, until you. And that means something."

Giving her a tremulous smile, you open your mouth to say something, to thank her, but she narrows her eye at you.

"I'm not done," she snaps, letting go of your shoulders and rising back up to her full height. "If you were worried about us helping out with Frisk you should have said something! No one wants to make you or the squirt unhappy."

"I-I didn't want to make a fuss over it, or upset anyone," you say, clearing your throat.

"You didn't have a problem speaking your mind to me before, what's different now?" She fixes you with a scrutinizing look.

You look away, biting your lip. "We're friends now. I didn't want that to change."

Undyne lets out a short bark of laughter. "You WEENIE, it's BECAUSE we're friends that you should be able to tell me when I'm ticking you off!"

"Oh," you mumble, because you can't think of anything else to say.

"Do you feel any better?" she asks, and as you blink up at her you realize she looks a little worried.

"Yeah. Thank you, Undyne," you say, giving her a watery smile. Oh no, you don't want to cry again.

You both flinch at the sound of the front door opening. Red faced and puffy-eyed from crying, you stand as your heart starts pounding in your chest. Undyne turns towards the living room just as Sans shuts the door behind him. You catch a glimpse of his downcast expression just before Undyne's back fills your line of sight. 

"What the HELL did you think you were doing, running off to Grillby's and leaving her here crying in the kitchen by herself?!" Undyne shouts at him.

"Undyne, wait. Don't!" you protest, following her out into the living room.

She's glaring at Sans, cornering him by the door. He shoves his hands in his pockets and glances over at you, and you see the lights in his eyes dim a little. His mouth tightens.

"well i'm back now, so if you can just—"

You hear the sound of a door opening upstairs. With a quick glance you catch sight of Papyrus and Frisk looking down into the living room. Oh no.

"I ought to kick your ass!" she snaps, her arms tensing as she balls her hands into fists. The muscles seem to pop under her scales.

"undyne, i'm not in the mood to play along with your little game," Sans says, hunching his shoulders and narrowing his eye sockets.

"Don't!" you say again, trying to get her to listen. You reach out to take hold of Undyne's arm and she glances down at you. Something about the sight of you seems to encourage her instead of calm her down, however. She flashes her pointed teeth at Sans.

"YOU should have been the one here to fix what you did!" Undyne jerks her head in your direction.

"you need to stop shouting at me," Sans bites out, his own voice getting louder.

"Then don't give me a reason to shout at you! Don't you realize what you did?!" she takes another step forward, looming over Sans. 

"i didn't try to hurt her on purpose!" he yells back, yanking his hand out of his pocket to jab a finger in Undyne's direction. "i love her!"

The room falls into stunned silence, and you feel like someone just knocked the wind out of you.

 
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