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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39. Hotland and the Lab

It takes a few days for the marks to fade enough for you to risk wearing anything that might show your shoulders, and almost a full week for them to completely disappear. You're a little sad to see them fade, the traces Sans left on your body. You were honest with him when you said that you liked knowing where he's been. But by the end of the second week since that night you've got a nice bite mark that has Sans apologizing the morning after. Honestly it looks worse than it feels, and you don't regret getting it in the least.

Unfortunately it's right in the crook of your neck, so unless you wear turtlenecks for the next week someone's going to see. When you make your way downstairs Papyrus and Frisk seem to buy your lame excuse of tripping over the treadmill in Sans's room, but Undyne just gives you a toothy grin and holds back a laugh. Later, when the two of you are alone, she teases you about it. You retaliate with way too much information on your sex life until she makes a hasty retreat into the bathroom.

Frisk hits the one month mark at Snowdin's school (and two months in the Underground). In honor of the occasion, their teacher throws an impromptu party for the class and invites you to come along. You bake some of Frisk's favorite chocolate chip cookies and spend the day helping out. Afterwards, the teacher surprises you with a handful of photos from the past month. On the top of the stack is one from today, with Frisk laying across your lap as the two of you talk to Kid. It's strange, because in the moment you remember feeling drained from helping wrangle children. But in this picture you look happy, and Frisk's easy affection with you makes you smile. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to make you reflect on these simple joys.

The rest of the photos are of Frisk at school, playing with Kid and the others. There's one where they're focused on drawing something at their desk, tip of their tongue poking out the corner of their mouth in concentration. You decide to add the collection to Frisk's drawings stuck to the fridge. You're sure that Sans will want to see them, too.

You've accompanied Undyne to Alphys's lab a few times now, with and without Frisk. At first Sans isn't too keen on the idea, and one time while he's working in Hotland he pops in to visit. Eventually he seems reassured that you're safe enough with the two monsters. So now, as you and Undyne head out alone to catch a ride with the Riverperson, Sans just reminds you to call him if you need him and tells you to have fun.

It's nice getting away from Snowdin from time to time, and out of the house. You make friendly conversation with the Riverperson as they take you through the waterways of the Underground, answering polite inquiries about Frisk. You're flattered that they remember the two of you.

When you step off the boat and into Hotland proper, you cast a questioning glance over at Undyne. "So, is today gonna be the day you finally say something?" you ask her, just like you do every time you come here with her.

And just like every other time Undyne casts a fierce glare at you. "Let's just get out of this heat, punk," she snaps, leading the way up to the lab.

Chuckling to yourself, you follow obediently. As much as you'd just like to lock these two dorks in a closet until they work out their feelings you promised Undyne to stay out of it.

Alphys has a day of anime planned for the three of you, which is pretty typical. But, it seems she's finally decided it's time for you to partake in her absolute favorite show, Mew Mew Kissy Cutie. She'd started you on some classics once she found out that you'd never watched much anime before. You have to admit, most of it is pretty good. And thankfully you like to read because Alphys refuses to watch any of it dubbed.

While you spend the day watching TV in a corner of the lab, you're also sneaking peeks at the two monsters. Undyne keeps leaning in close to talk to Alphys to try not to disturb you, and every time she does it the doctor just breaks out into a sweat and giggles nervously. At one point when Undyne scoots closer, Alphys lets out an anxious squeak and exclaims, "O-oh this is my favorite part!" interrupting the fish monster's attempt at putting her arm behind her on the couch. Frustrated and looking a bit put out, Undyne meets your gaze. You try to give her a reassuring look, but she just grimaces and leans away from Alphys.

Pulling out your phone, you send a text to Sans out of your need to vent. 'I swear I'm going to just blurt out that they should kiss just to put them out of their misery...'

A few moments later your phone buzzes with his reply. 'u shd. at this rate theyre nvr goin 2 do it.'

'I can't... I promised Undyne I wouldn't.'

'theyll 4give u aftr seein u helped.'

Alphys clears her throat noisily and you know you've been caught. You pocket your phone, returning your attention to the television.

As you're heading back to Snowdin later, Undyne finally cracks under the pressure while floating through Waterfall. She leans forward in her seat on the boat, elbows on her knees and fingers digging into her hair. Staring down at the wood beneath her feet, she lets out a ragged sigh of frustration. "FINE, I give up!" she blurts out, making you jump. "Do something, anything, please! Help me with Alphys!"

You give her an incredulous look, silent long enough for her to look up at you to see why you aren't speaking. Running your hand through your hair, you let out a sigh, giving her a wry smile. "You couldn't have said this before we left Hotland?"

"Tch! Are you going to help me or not, punk?" she snaps, gritting her teeth.

"Of course I am."

The next day you decide to take Frisk with you and drop by the lab to surprise Alphys. Sans is working and Papyrus and Undyne are busy at the fish monster's house so today is as good as any for the two of you to go to Hotland.

The Riverperson is humming a jaunty tune as Frisk reaches over the side to run their fingers through the water. You hold their other hand, mostly to make yourself feel better. The rational part of you is sure that they won't fall out, but you'd rather not risk it. Frisk doesn't seem to mind your fretting, glancing over their shoulder to give you a toothy grin.

"Maybe I can ask Alphys to help me with my science homework?" Frisk asks you, wiping their wet fingers off on their jacket. It's a newer one, a light zip-up hoodie in orange and yellow stripes (the kids you've seen here in the Underground all wear stripes, and Frisk is eager to fit in). It's enough to keep them comfortable until you reach Hotland. Underneath they're wearing a matching striped tank-top.

"Sans already said he'd help you with your homework tonight after he gets home," you tell them, squeezing their small hand. "Besides, you didn't bring it with you."

"But I can still ask her questions. About what I remember," they say, freeing their fingers from yours and shoving their hands in the pockets of their jacket. You're sure that they picked up the habit from watching Sans. It makes you smile.

"Sure you can, sweetie," you say, brushing their hair out of their eyes. Their thick hair is longer now than it was when you first arrived in the Underground, but they still fuss when you talk about trimming it. "I'm sure Alphys would love that."

Alphys has a soft spot for Frisk a mile wide, barely stuttering when they talk. She's also gotten better when talking to you, especially about Sans. Her eyes go starry and distant when you discuss your relationship, in the same way they do when she goes off on a tangent about anime. It's a little strange, but endearing at the same time. You see why Undyne likes her passion. And it's nice to have someone to talk to that doesn't live in the same house.

Not for the first time you debate if you should text Alphys to let her know you're coming. But you really want your visit to be a surprise, especially with Frisk in tow.

As you stand in front of the lab, sweating in Hotland's arid heat, you realize that this may have been a poor decision. Your faded, rose-colored jacket is knotted around your waist, but your jeans and button-up blouse are still too hot. Even Frisk, down to their tank-top looks sweaty and uncomfortable.

There's no answer at the door when you knock, and with another cursory glance you see there's no sign of a doorbell. Just a button to open the mechanical door. Thinking back, you remember that Undyne never bothers to knock, just lets herself in. Personally you think it's a little rude but... you're desperate to get out of the heat. You give one last loud bang on the door, before shrugging at Frisk and pressing the button. The entrance opens with a soft whirring noise and you usher the two of you inside.

"Alphys?" you call out, your voice echoing off the smooth metallic surfaces that make up most of the lab. You use the sleeve of your jacket to wipe the sweat from your brow as you glance around. There's no sign of the short yellow lizard anywhere that you can see. "Alphys, are you home?"

Silence.

"Maybe she went out," Frisk says, glancing up the escalator that leads down from the second floor.

You're about to speak when the door that you thought is supposed to lead to a bathroom slides open.

"Close but no cigar, darling!" Mettaton croons, wagging an oversized finger as he rolls into the room. He stops just past the door. "She actually went down. Down this elevator, in fact! I can take her to you if you'd like."

Mettaton has dropped in on your visits with Alphys on more than one occasion, so seeing him now is surprising but not unusual. He's always been polite and flattering, if maybe a little excessively so, and over the past couple weeks you've chalked up Sans's concerns as thinly veiled jealousy. Besides, what reason could he possibly have to hurt you?

"I didn't realize that there was a downstairs," you say, earning yourself a friendly chuckle from the robot.

"It's where the good doctor keeps all her real work, you see," he says, his red and yellow display blinking to show a crude smiley face.

Nodding, you take hold of Frisk's hand. They look up at you, a little uncertain. You flash a reassuring smile. "C'mon, let's go find Alphys."

"Excellent, just follow me, my beauties!" Mettaton says, gesturing with his noodle-like arms.

The two of you follow the rectangular robot into the elevator. It's a little crowded, but you manage. Frisk gives you another uncertain look and you squeeze their hand.

When the doors open, the room in front of you is dark. It takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust as Mettaton urges you out of the elevator. Blinking and rubbing your face, you realize that it's strangely quiet down here. The only light comes from thin green emergency lighting strips set into the walls near the floor. The air is dusty and tastes stale on your tongue.

"Mom?" Frisk's grip on your hand tightens, right as you hear the elevator slide shut behind you.

You turn to face Mettaton, nervousness prickling across your skin. Something doesn't feel right. The robot has his hands pressed to what might be his hips, drumming his fingers against his metal surface with a soft, hollow sound. His display alternates red and yellow squares like a chess board, then goes dark.

Mettaton heaves a robotic sigh, and something in you makes you take a step backwards, tugging Frisk along. "Now, darlings. I hate to do this to you, but if I'm being honest... You're quite an obstacle." Mettaton spreads his hands and gives something akin to a shrug. "You see, Asgore only needs one more Soul to break the Barrier and, well, we just can't have that now can we? I dread to think what might happen to the humans on the surface if all monsters were freed. And if I were to take your perfect little Souls, then I can protect the humans and get to the surface myself! Then I'll finally become the star I always dreamed I'd be!"

"Sans was right about you, you ass!" you shout at him, shoving Frisk behind you and taking another step backwards. You try to gauge if you can dart around Mettaton to get back to the elevator but there's just not enough space. But, he must not be ready to attack you yet because you don't feel the telltale tug in your chest of your Soul reacting.

He sighs again, his display blinking yellow with a red checkmark. "Yes, he was right to warn you! You should have listened, but it's too late now isn't it? Now, don't take this the wrong way, it's nothing personal, darling."

With a snap of his fingers a spotlight illuminates the space around him, making you cry out and shield your eyes. You take a few more steps back, and when you can see again there's a floating camera hovering at Mettaton's shoulder. He also has what looks like a chainsaw gripped in his hands, tip resting on the ground. But still, you don't feel anything stirring inside your Soul. Is it because he's a robot and not really a monster? 

"But you're in luck! Your final moments will be captured forever in what will likely be my greatest movie yet! I'm certain it will be absolutely thrilling! I'll even give you a head start, I'd hate for it to be over too quickly, that would just spoil the dramatic tension!" Mettaton lets out a stilted laugh, raising his chainsaw into the air. "Oh, and do be careful. You're not alone down here. But I suggest you start running!"

   
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