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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7. Her Truth

The cold air is bracing, especially against your bare legs. Thankfully, Sans's jacket is nice and warm for the top half of your body. You have the hood pulled up to try and protect your wet hair, but it doesn't do much. But the chill helps clear your head, washing away what remains of your fear.

Whatever lit the Underground during 'daytime' is dimmer now, giving Snowdin the look of a clear winter's night. It's quiet and peaceful, and if you didn't know any better you'd think you're back on the surface. Grillby's isn't far down the road. You can already see the warm orange glow of neon painted across pristine white snow.

Sans is silent at your side, his arms alternating between hanging at his sides and crossing over his chest. Like he doesn't know what to do with them without his jacket. His radius and ulna are about twice as thick as their human equivalents, you notice. If he were human, you'd describe him as 'short and stocky'. Though, really, even without any meat on his bones he still gives off that vibe.

He doesn't say anything to you as you reach Grillby's. He opens the door and for a moment you wonder if he's going to hold it open for you, but he just sort of holds it until you grab it for yourself and goes inside. You follow. The place is busy but not packed, and you recognize most of the dogs scattered at the tables. A few people greet Sans as you both pass, and he gestures at a pair of barstools. You lower your hood as you pull yourself onto a seat.

The owner —Grillby you guess— is quite literally made of fire. You resist the urge to lean towards him when he approaches, his heat warm and pleasant on your skin. You don't even bother to question how he's wearing glasses on his... face?

"you can have anything you want, buddy. well, so long as it's on the menu," Sans shrugs, his halfhearted attempt at lightening the mood falling flat.

You glance down the bar to see what other people are having, and your mouth waters at the sight —and oh, now that you see them you recognize the smell— of a large plate of french fries. "Fries. I'd love some fries," you say, and something in Sans's face relaxes at your enthusiasm.

"that does sound good. grillby, two fries."

Grillby gives a silent nod and walks off to the kitchen. You watch him go, your mind puzzling over how exactly a fire monster works. After a moment of futility you look back over at Sans, and you're not surprised to see he's watching you.

But even though you're expecting it, you can't hold his gaze. You look down at the bar, tracing the polished woodgrain with your finger. Why doesn't he just ask, already? He wants to, you can feel it in the air, the tension hanging between you.

"i wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, when you had that panic attack in the forest," he says quietly. "i figured, hey, the girl's had a bit of a rough day, who wouldn't be a little on edge, y'know?"

You risk a glance back over at him. The lights in his eyes are a little dimmer, the corners of his mouth canted slightly downwards. "but things are just adding up a little strange. you could say i can... feel it in my bones."

Your lips twitch a little, and you cross your arms on the bar, leaning forward as you look at him. "Boo," you say, your voice falling flat.

He shrugs, his smile looking more like an actual smile and less like a grimace. "hey, they can't all be winners. but what i'm trying to say, buddy, is that i can tell something's going on. so if you want to talk about it, i'll listen. i'm good at that because it doesn't take much effort."

Before you can say anything —though, you're still trying to figure out what to say— Grillby is back with your fries. He sets the plates down in front of you both and pulls out a bottle of ketchup from behind the bar. Sans dumps about half of it on top of his fries before putting the bottle between you two, in case you want some.

You shove a few fries in your mouth, chewing and swallowing as you think of how to answer him. Maybe it's because it's been a long, exhausting day, or because that spaghetti was just so bad, but these fries are the best damn fries you've had in your life. They're hot, fresh, and slightly crispy on the outside while soft on the inside. You have a few more mouthfuls before you can break yourself away from your food to talk.

"Things... weren't good for me back home," you say. You look at Sans again and he's just watching you, patiently. "It's... it happens, not all parents are great. But it doesn't matter anymore. She's up there, and I'm down here."

You go back to picking at your fries, your enthusiasm a little diminished. Sans is quiet.

"so things weren't great for frisk either?" he asks, after a little while. It sounds like he's trying to piece something together, figuring out how the parts fit.

You sigh, debating how much you want to say. "Things were okay, until, well... a couple nights ago. The night before we ended up down here. My mom hit Frisk, it's why I took us away. I grew up with that shit, I was used to it, but..." You realize your hands are balled into fists and your throat is tight. Swallowing, you continue to stare at your food. "I thought she wouldn't hit Frisk as long as she still had me to smack around. I thought, as long as Frisk was okay, it didn't matter what she did to me."

Shaking your head, you let out a slow, steadying sigh. "I almost didn't... I almost wasn't determined enough to leave. But I— I couldn't let Frisk go through what I went through. For some reason I think that... if I hadn't left that night, I would've lost Frisk forever. That they'd, I dunno, run away. I wanted to, when I was younger, but I never had the guts. Frisk would, though, I think." You bite your lip, glancing over at Sans as you say, "Does that make sense?"

For a second you think you see a hint of blue in his left eye, but it's gone before you're sure of what you're seeing. Instead, his eye sockets are dark and there's sweat gathered on the side of his skull, his mouth once again strained into a tight grimace. You realize that he's angry. Before you have the chance to apologize —you're not sure for what. For making him angry? For unloading all your baggage on him even though he offered to listen?— he speaks. His voice is a low grumble, frustrated. "more sense than you realize," he says, and you aren't sure you know what he means.

Sans looks away, and when he turns back to you the lights are back in his eyes. He gives you an uneasy smile. "and humans say we're the monsters... but at least i've never known a monster to beat their own kids."

Shame creeps up the sides of your neck and you look down at what's left of your fries.

A bony hand reaches out and rests on your forearm, giving you a small squeeze. "hey, for what it's worth, at least frisk has a great big sister like you."

The urge to correct him is so strong, you don't even want to resist. You told Sans the truth about everything else, so why not this? There aren't any good reasons, and God, you just want someone to know the truth. Why not him? "I'm not Frisk's sister. I'm their mother."

You shove more fries in your mouth to distract yourself, suddenly afraid of Sans's reaction. Will it change how he thinks of you? Does he still think you're doing a good job with Frisk?

"h-how...?"

You glance at him out of the corner of your eye, swallowing. His eyes are wide, more surprised than you expected. Well, at least he's not disgusted with you... yet. "Well, you see, when two humans like each other—"

"i appreciate a good joke as much as the next guy, but that's not what i meant," he interrupts, squeezing your arm again. "i was gonna ask, how old were you?"

You use your free arm to prop your chin on, leaning with an elbow against the bar. "Fourteen," you admit, looking at Sans's hand curled into the fabric of his jacket. It's easier than looking at his face.

His grip on you tightens, and you aren't sure he does it on purpose. "you were just a kid."

You were desperate for someone to care about you, to be wanted and needed. It was the only way you could think of to feel like you mattered to someone, at least for a little while. "Shit happens."

"but frisk..." There's a pause where you can practically hear Sans fitting the pieces together. "oh. they think your mom is their mom too."

"Yeah. I didn't..." You close your eyes. "I was too scared to do what I needed to. She started taking over everything with Frisk and it was... easier to let her. It made her happy, and when she was happy things were better. And I didn't know what the hell I was doing, Sans."

He doesn't say anything. You open your eyes again and look at him. "I understand if you think less of me. I'm... not really sure what you think of me to begin with, to be honest."

"i think you're doing the best you can with a real fucked up situation," he says, and you're a little startled at his language. But, Frisk was nearby before, maybe this is normal for him. "and all things considered, i admire what you've been able to do."

Admiration is the last thing you expect from your confession, and you're not sure what to say. You remove your hand from under your chin and feed yourself the last few fries on your plate. They've gone a bit cold, but they still taste good. 

"You can't tell Frisk."

"i won't, i figure that's something you gotta tell them yourself. but don't you think you should?"

"I... can't. Not yet. I will, though, when the time's right."

"no time like the present."

You make a noncommittal sound, and Sans lets the subject drop.

You look back up when Sans removes his hand from your arm, and you find yourself a little sad at the loss. "i should have said this earlier, but i'm sorry. sorry about all the shit you've gone through. i know that doesn't really help, but..."

"It does," you say, and you mean it. Your chest feels a bit lighter, freed a bit from your burden. Knowing that he understands why you've behaved the way you did, that he knows the truth about Frisk. It helps. "Thanks, Sans."

Before you're too afraid to go through with it, you lean forward to wrap your arms around Sans's shoulders. He goes rigid as you catch him off guard, but after a moment he hesitantly hugs you back. The jacket softens some of his hard edges, and the hug is a lot... nicer than you are expecting. You let your head fall against the cushion of your arm, forehead resting against his jaw as his head turns towards yours.

"Thank you," you say again, because you feel like you haven't done justice to just how thankful you are for him. "Not just for listening. For everything. You're a real friend, even if you do tell terrible jokes."

He rubs a small circle between your shoulders, then gives you a comforting squeeze. "oh, i know you think i'm a bit of a comedian, but i'll admit. i'm a stand-up guy."

You groan and push yourself away, giving him a weak glare in response to his smug grin. "Aaaand the tender moment is over."

He shrugs, winking. "what can i say? i'm just heartless."

"No," you protest, but you're laughing. You hate it, but it cheers you up at the same time.

"what, do you have a bone to pick with me?"

You're shaking now, burying your face in your hands. "I hate you, I take back all the nice things I said," you manage to say between laughs.

"don't bee that way, honey."

Sans gets what he wants. You snort, even as you try to hide it behind your hands. He takes hold of your shoulders and pulls you into another hug, patting your back as you feel him shake with laughter. As your laughter eases away, you uncover your face and hug him back, resting your chin on the stiff curve of his clavicle.

"Thanks," you say again, voice soft. "I really needed that."

"you're welcome."

   
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