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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147. Help Me

"Did you know about Papyrus and Mettaton?"

Sans pauses in the middle of taking off his shirt, eyeing you with his arms up in the air. You're getting ready for bed, stripping and balling up your clothes before carrying them to your hamper. "you mean about them sharing their souls?" he asks, and you're not surprised that he knows exactly what you're talking about.

It's been in the back of your mind all afternoon. "Yeah. That was the first I'd heard about it. Did you not tell me?"

Yanking off his shirt, he doesn't look at you as he changes into a pair of blue plaid boxers. "can't tell you what i don't know," he says in a clipped tone.

"Oh," you say, biting your lip. You're not sure what else to say to that.

"s'fine. i didn't go outta my way to tell him about when you and i..." He trails off, looking over at you and letting out a sigh. You're watching him, certain that your concern is plain on your face. "he's a big skeleton. doesn't need me taking care of him. hell, for a while he was the one keeping me from going off the deep end."

Crossing the bedroom, he hesitates as you reach for him but after a moment wraps his arms around your waist. His fingers slip under the hem of your underwear, copping a feel as you give him a wry smile. Whatever makes him feel better, you suppose. Sans tilts his head up for a kiss and you do your best to oblige.

"You're his brother, you'll always need each other," you say, running your thumb along the vertebrae in his neck.

"it's just... always been us, y'know? for years, it was just us," he says, something sad ghosting over his features. Then he gives you a weak smile. "then there was you and frisk. four of us together. family. but now, with this thing with mettaton..."

"You're afraid he's going to take Papyrus away," you say, and Sans shakes his head.

"he's already taking pap away. it's how this whole thing works. if he... loves mettaton, then he should be with him."

He pulls away from you and you let him go, sensing his need for space. His need to move. Sans walks over to the big glass doors leading out to the balcony, pushing aside the curtain and staring out into the darkness. You go to flick off the light, and instead of darkness outside now you both can see the shadows of the trees and the spray of stars.

"he's home less and less. i already told him to stop picking me up from work cuz it's just outta his way." He sighs, glances back at you and holds out his hand. You go to him and take it, holding him tight. "i know my bro. i know he's not gonna just disappear. heh, he'd never let me go a day without talking to him, just so he can nag me."

"Because he loves you," you say, giving Sans a warm smile.

His expression softens, and he leans against you. "yeah. i know he does. what i guess i'm trying to say is that this soul sharing stuff... it's just more evidence that this thing with mettaton... it's serious. and sooner or later, it's just gonna get more serious. i don't expect pap to stay here with us forever, but it doesn't mean i have to like the thought of him leaving."

"You should talk to him."

He scoffs. "if i told him i didn't want him to leave, he'd probably stay. and then i'd feel like an ass for being a selfish jerk."

"Then just tell him that you want him to do whatever will make him happiest," you say, turning your head so you can kiss the side of his face. "Tell him that we'll always be here for him, and that you love him."

Sans sighs, nodding his head. The two of you are silent for a moment, staring out at the stars. You've never had a sibling, never been in this situation. But you're here for your husband, to support him as he struggles with this. You love Papyrus, you adore him and you've spent the last year living with him. But just like you expect Sans to put you and Frisk first, you expect Papyrus to put Mettaton first. You think your husband understands that too, but he's conflicted.

"you realize what this means though, right?" Sans says, looking over at you with an amused glint in his eye.

You blink.

"if pap and mettaton stay together. get married, the whole deal," he continues, his smile widening. "he's gonna be your brother-in-law."

"Oh god," you groan, pressing your free hand to your face. "My brother-in-law that tried to murder me. He'll be your brother-in-law too, you know."

"uncle mettaton."

"I'm not sure how I feel about this anymore," you say, mostly joking. Mostly.

Sans chuckles, shrugging his shoulders. "you're the one that forgave him. made a big deal about making him feel welcome."

"Is this how far we've come? That we can joke about Mettaton coming after me and Frisk with a chainsaw?" you say, huffing a weak laugh. "This is ridiculous. We're ridiculous."

"sometimes it's better to find the humor in things, instead of letting them haunt us."

"Yeah. I guess that's true."

You're woken at seven in the morning by the need to pee. Groggy and bleary-eyed, you extricate yourself from Sans's grip with only a little bit of a struggle and stumble off to the bathroom. It's when you get back, eager to crawl back into bed and get a few more hours of sleep, that you notice a light on your phone blinking.

For a second you debate checking it, assuming that whatever it is can wait until later. But you go ahead and turn the screen on, and you're glad you do. There's a text from Deacon.

He sent it an hour ago. What was he doing up so early on a Sunday? 'Please call me when you get this.'

Simple enough, but it fills you with apprehension. Picking up the phone, you unplug it and carry it with you across the room, over to the squashy lounge chair in the corner. Sitting down with your knees tucked up to your chin, you hit the call button. Early morning sunlight slants through the gap in your curtains, and it looks like it'll be a beautiful day outside. You can even hear the first hints of birdsong.

Deacon picks up after the second ring. "Hey," he says, his voice subdued and scratchy.

"Hey, did I wake you?" you say quietly, glancing over where Sans is still sleeping.

"No. Haven't slept," he says. He sounds exhausted.

Worry gnaws at your stomach. "Deacon, what's wrong?"

There's a beat of silence, and he clears his throat. "Can I come over? I don't... I'd rather talk to you in person, if that's okay."

"Of course you can. I'll get dressed, make some coffee," you say, as reassuring as you can. "Just come in, I'll unlock the door."

"Okay. I'll be there in a minute," he says, breathy with relief.

You hang up the phone, perfectly alert now that adrenaline is thrumming through your veins. What could have happened? What does he need to talk to you about? Oh, no, is it about Bo? All that talk about Soul sharing yesterday... did something go wrong?

Standing, you go over to your dresser to put on a bra and comfortable, around-the-house clothes. Before you head downstairs you grab the pen and notepad you leave on your bedside table, scribbling down a quick note for Sans and leaving it on your pillow. He still has trouble waking up alone, but this way at least he'll know where you are.

Coffee is percolating and you're staring at the inside of the fridge, not really looking for anything in particular, when you hear the front door open and shut. You hurry to meet him in the foyer. Deacon is—

God, he looks terrible. There's dark circles under his eyes and his hair is in disarray. He's wearing a pair of sweatpants and a thin, wrinkly t-shirt, his shoulders slumped, everything about the way he's standing just weighed down with defeat. Whatever is going on, you've never seen him this miserable before.

"Deacon what happened?" you ask instantly, going to him and reaching for his arm.

He flinches, looking away from you as you freeze mid-motion. Then he cringes, giving you an apologetic glance as he moves close again, brushing up against your hand. "I fucked up," he says, gritting his teeth and covering one eye as he grabs at his hair. "Hope, I fucked it all up."

"What... what happened?" you ask again, gentler this time. You hold your other arm out to try and hug him but you feel him go tense and you stop.

Deacon stares down at the ground, glaring and trembling. A small, choked sound escapes his throat and you rub your thumb over his shoulder with the hand he let you touch him with. He shakes his head, drawing in a sharp breath. He's so tense and withdrawn, caged in his head where you can barely reach him but desperate for someone to talk to. He's at war with himself, an internal struggle over his ability to just get the words out.

"Go sit down," you say, giving him a gentle push towards the living room. "I'll get you some coffee."

He nods, looking grateful for the respite, and shambles away from you. You watch him go, aching to just wrap him up in a hug until he feels better. But he needs to talk to you, you know he does.

When you return with two mugs of coffee he's sitting on the couch, sideways facing the other end where he knows you'll be sitting. He's got his arms wrapped around one leg, chin resting on his knee, while his other foot is planted on the ground. His blue eyes flick up to yours as you come into the room and he lets go of his leg, shifting it so that it's folded against the back of the couch.

"Thanks," he murmurs as you hand him his drink and he takes a sip. He flinches at the heat and sets it down on the coffee table. "Hot."

"Yeah, sorry," you say, holding your mug between your hands as you settle across from him. "You said you didn't sleep?"

Deacon shakes his head, leaning to the side to rest his cheek against the sofa. "No."

He's being so uncharacteristically quiet, it's starting to scare you. "Whatever it is, whenever anything has you this upset, Deacon you can call me no matter what time it is. Why didn't you call me?" you ask, putting your drink down so you can reach out to touch his knee.

He doesn't react to that. Instead he squeezes his eyes shut, brow furrowing. "It was late. I didn't want to wake you. And I couldn't... I wasn't ready." Opening his eyes again, the look he gives you is heartbreaking. "I wasn't desperate enough."

"You weren't desperate enough for what?" you ask, gently.

His lip quivers as he stares down at your hand on his leg and he covers it with his own. There's a moment where you're not sure where he's going to speak. But he does. "To ask for your help," he chokes out, his voice cracking as he shudders.

"What happened?" you press, knowing that he needs to get it out. You sandwich his hand between yours, leaning in close and trying to get him to look at you. "Deacon..."

He meets your eyes, and his are glassy. He's blinking too much, trying to fight back tears. So far he's succeeding. "Bo, she... she said she wanted to share her Soul with me. That she... Hope, she said that she loved me and I told her no." He's wracked with pain and anguish, trembling as he searches your face. "But I couldn't do it. I can't, I can't."

"Why can't you? What are you so afraid of?" Your own eyes are stinging with tears, watching him struggle so hard. Watching him hurt. You want to fix this.

"That she won’t want me anymore. Like everyone else." His grip on your hand is almost painful. "Why would she want to keep me around if I'm not happy like she thinks I am? I'm not strong, Hope. Look at me, I'm fucking f-falling to pieces. Why would she ever want to be the one to pick them up?"

"Because she loves you," you say, reaching out with your free hand to cup the back of his neck. "People who love each other take all the bad with the good. She doesn't expect you to be strong, to be smiling all the time. And one day you can be the one to pick up her pieces."

His tears are clinging to his eyelashes, still refusing to fall. He blinks hard to try and clear his eyes. "I just showed her that I can't," he snaps, clenching his jaw. "I just... I rejected her, before she could do it to me." Realization dawns on his face and he pulls back, eyes widening for a moment before his expression crumples. "She's the only person who's ever loved me and I pushed her away."

"Deacon," you say firmly, tightening your grip on him, pulling him back towards you as you dig in your heels, determined to make him understand. You'd let so many hints slide, so many instances to try and shove past these walls he's hidden himself behind. You owe it to him to get through his thick skull. "That's not true. You have people who love you."

He scoffs, rolling his eyes. "Like who?" The bitterness in his voice is tempered by the sound of unshed tears that he's still blinking back, caught in his throat.

God, how can he not know? Your expression softens, and your vision blurs as you give him a watery smile. "Like me, you dork. I love you."

He stares, searching your face, and you can see the moment that it hits him. His tears finally spill down his cheeks and he leans forward, shoulders rounded and trembling as a loud, gut-wrenching sob breaks loose from his throat. Pulling him forward, he goes to you and wraps his arms around you, holding on so tight as he buries his face into your shoulder and cries. Silently you cry with him, rubbing his back and doing your best to soothe him as you wonder just how long he's been holding onto this pain. You think, with a heavy heart, that the answer isn't so simple.

"H-how?" he blurts out, muffled in the space between you. "How can you? I'm not... I don't d-deserve any of it."

"Of course you do!" You hold him tighter, hugging him closer. "Deacon, don't you ever think that!"

Another sob escapes him, sending a shudder through his back. "How am I ever g-going to fix this?" 

"What did she say? When you told her no, what did she say?" you ask, hoping, praying that she gave him some kind of sign—

"To not come back unless I was willing to talk to her," he mumbles, groaning.

"Then you need to talk to her," you say, sniffling but somehow stern.

"I can't," he says, pulling back to look at you, wiping his face. His eyes are red. You hold onto his shoulders, not letting him go too far. 

"If you don't talk to her, you will lose her," you say, shaking him gently. "You have to try."

"And then, after I've let her in, what if she doesn't want me?" he demands, desperate. He takes hold of your wrists, but doesn't take your hands from his shoulders. Shaking his head, he tries to clear his eyes but tears are still cutting paths down his cheeks. "I don't know if I can deal with that. This… fuck I don't know if I can deal with this either."

"Your choices are knowing that you'll lose her, or taking a chance at getting her back and finally letting her in." You give him a pleading look, brow furrowing. "Deacon, if I know monsters at all, it's that they're some of the most compassionate people you'll ever have the chance to know. She'll embrace you, all of you, and when the dust settles the two of you will be the stronger for it."

He doesn't say anything. You hope he's mulling over your words.

"You clearly wanted to talk to someone. Why didn't you go to her?" you ask softly.

"Because you know what it's like to be messed up. You and Sans... you support each other. You hold each other up," he says, gritting his teeth. "You've always been patient with me. I'm not... I wasn't afraid of losing you. At least not over this. Not like I am with her."

"I'm your best friend. You're like a brother. You'd have to do a hell of a lot to lose me," you say, giving him a weak smile.

He tries to return it, but something behind it gutters out and he doesn't speak.

"If you're not comfortable with sharing your Soul yet just tell her. You're not a monster. This kind of thing has never been expected of you before. Tell her that you're scared, how much you care about her," you continue, and you feel his grip on your wrists tighten. "Do you love her?"

His gaze falls to the space between you. After a second he finds his voice. "How am I supposed to know what love feels like?" he whispers, and he's trembling again, leaning his cheek against your hand. It's wet.

"do you feel like losing her might kill you?" Sans says, and you feel Deacon jump beneath your hands, cursing and scrubbing at his face with his knuckles. "because, buddy, that's love."

   
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