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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50. In Sickness

Frisk isn't okay.

Papyrus comes to get you in the middle of the night because Frisk is coughing and he's worried. The sound is rough and wet and has you almost certain that this isn't just a cold. When you and the skeleton brothers go back to Papyrus's room they're sitting up in bed with the comforter wrapped around them, looking at you piteously and breathing through their mouth. They shiver as you reach out to feel their forehead and you're not surprised to find that they're hot to the touch and sweating. Definitely a fever. Frisk makes a pathetic whining sound as you push damp hair from their face. They try to draw in a deep breath through their nose but it just makes a horrible squelching sound until they give up and swallow.

"Okay sweetie, let's get you something to bring this temperature down. Stay right here," you say, doing your best to not sound worried. As you lean down to kiss their clammy forehead you hesitate, realization dawning on you as you pull back. "Do we have any medicine in the house? Or even a thermometer?" You turn to look at the two skeletons waiting at the foot of the bed. Papyrus just gives you an uncertain look and wrings his hands, Sans shakes his head.

"Do you know what I'm talking about? Have you heard of Motrin, or Advil, or Tylenol?" you ask, searching Sans's face.

"no," Sans says. "maybe there's some at the shop? if it's an emergency i'm sure i can—"

"I'll check in the morning when they open," you say, turning back to Frisk. They're looking up at you with wide, worried eyes. "It's not an emergency, it's just a fever," you add, trying to reassure Frisk and Sans both. Maybe yourself, too.

"I don't feel good," Frisk whines, coughing and leaning forward to press their forehead into your chest. Each loud, wracking cough makes your heart twist painfully as you wrap your arms around them, stroking their back until it subsides. "My throat hurts."

"I think Undyne left some of her tea here. Why don't we go make you some? It'll help." As you help Frisk to their feet you snatch up an extra blanket from the foot of the bed and wrap them up in it. You can't remember if bundling up is a good or bad thing for a fever (you've heard both) but you can't stand to watch them shiver.

Sans disappeared when you weren't looking, and you think you can hear the distant sound of the kitchen faucet. Papyrus watches the two of you as you head for the door.

"IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO HELP?" he asks, reaching out and touching your shoulder.

You cover his hand with your own, giving him a comforting squeeze and an attempt at a smile. "We've got it from here, Pap. Why don't you get some more sleep, I know you have puzzles to calibrate and a forest to patrol."

Papyrus shakes his head, frowning. "THAT ISN'T MORE IMPORTANT THAN DOING MY BEST TO MAKE SURE FRISK IS WELL! I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, MUST DO MY UTMOST TO HELP MY FRIEND!"

Frisk starts coughing again and you wince. You grip their shoulder with your free hand, still looking at Papyrus. "The best thing you can do right now is get some sleep. I get the feeling that we're gonna be up the rest of the night, so knowing you'll be well-rested in the morning will help, I promise."

"...IF YOU'RE CERTAIN," he says, pulling away and clasping his hands in front of him. "THEN I WILL BE SURE TO GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS POSSIBLE SO THAT WHEN YOU NEED ME, I'LL BE READY TO HELP!"

You make your way downstairs and get Frisk settled on the couch with a Disney movie (Dumbo, as it turns out) and go into the kitchen to check on Sans. He's gripping the edge of the counter next to the stove, staring vacantly at the kettle with his shoulders hunched and his weight leaned forward onto his arms. You can see the guilt written all over him, weighing on his back and darkening his eye sockets. As you enter the kitchen and push your sleep-mussed hair out of your face, he shoves away from the counter and straightens to look at you. His mouth is thin, the corners pulled down into a grimace.

"this is all my fault," he says, shaking his head. His tone is harsh, his frustration directed inward.

You close the distance and reach out for him but he pulls away, shoving his hands in his pockets. You hesitate for a second, thinking about leaving him be. No, this isn't right. You close the distance again, reaching out with both hands and taking hold of the sides of his skull, turning him to look at you. "You didn't know," you say, giving him a small shake. "Please don't do this right now, I can't worry about you blaming yourself and Frisk at the same time."

Sans scoffs, eyes flicking downwards. "then don't worry about me. i don't want you to."

You shake him again, scowling. "Tough shit, Sans. I'm gonna worry about you, because I love you." Letting go of his head, you wrap your arms around his neck and hug him tight. After a moment you feel him relax, giving you a weak hug in return.

"i love you too," he says, sighing.

"Go sit with Frisk." You can hear them coughing as you pull away. "I know how to make tea the way they like."

A few minutes later you join the two of them in the dark living room, carefully passing Frisk a steaming mug and setting a box of tissues on the couch beside them. You settle yourself between them, stroking Frisk's hair as they lean heavily into your side and sip their tea. With a tired and weak contented noise, they take another sip.

"This tastes good," they mumble, voice thick.

"Good. That means you'll drink it all, right?" It better taste good. You put in enough sugar that it's almost syrup.

"Yeah." As they start coughing you reach to steady the mug, worried that they're going to spill hot tea on themselves. As Frisk's tiny body seizes against yours and goes stiff with each hacking cough, you rub soothing circles into their back. Worry tightens in your chest and you feel Sans touch your shoulder in an attempt to comfort you.

Frisk finishes off their tea by the pyramid scene and Sans takes the empty mug and tucks it on his other side in the couch cushions. Their coughing is a bit better, but not by much. With a weak, pitiful groan, Frisk crawls into your lap and tucks their head under your chin. You wrap your arms around them, holding them close and swaying back and forth. The coughing subsides and slowly they feel heavier against your chest.

As if conspiring against you, Dumbo's mom starts singing 'Baby Mine' and you feel yourself start to tear up. Even if Frisk wasn't sick, you think this song would go straight to your heart. Your throat tightens and you stop rocking so you can lean against Sans. He pulls you in close with an arm around your shoulder and when you look up at him you bite your lip in an attempt not to cry.

"babe," he says gently, cupping your cheek with his free hand, tracing his thumb over the curve of your brow.

You give a small shake of your head, closing your eyes and leaning into his palm. "I'm fine, it's just the movie," you whisper.

"try to get some sleep." He coaxes you to lay your head against his shoulder and you let him, shifting to find a comfortable spot. Sans takes hold of Frisk's legs and pulls them into his lap.

Closing your eyes, you will yourself to try and do as Sans says.

The rabbits may have tampons and pads stocked in their shop, but you don't have any luck with the medicine. The best you can do is more ingredients for chicken noodle soup.

You text Alphys on your way back from the store. 'Do you have any medicine to help reduce fevers? Frisk's sick.'

There's a small delay, and by the time you get back to the house Alphys has responded. 'What's a fever?'

You stare at the screen blankly for a moment as you set the bag of groceries down on the kitchen counter. Sighing, you type back. 'Do you have any human medical books?'

Shoving your phone in your jacket pocket, you pull out a cutting board to get to work. Sans appears at your side, but you feel so distracted you're not sure if he walked up or teleported. It doesn't really matter.

"any luck?" he asks, sounding hopeful.

You shake your head. "I tried asking Alphys if maybe she has anything, but she doesn't even know what a fever is. I thought you said monsters can get sick?"

"it's different. our illnesses are magical, but from what you told me last night, they sound sorta similar." He reaches out and rests his hand on your back. The pressure is comforting, but you continue chopping off the ends of the celery and carrots so you can rinse them in the sink.

"How's Frisk?" you ask, glancing over at him as you scoop up the unusable bits and carry them over to the trash can.

You check your phone before picking the knife back up. Alphys responded. 'I think so, I'll see what I can do.'

'Thanks.'

"sleeping again. they finished some breakfast and i got 'em tucked back in pap's bed."

You nod, focusing your attention on the smooth motions of the knife through the carrots. "Good. The best thing they can do is sleep right now."

Frisk's been asleep for a few hours and you're starting to worry. It's lunchtime and they need to eat something. When you peek into Papyrus's room they're still tucked into the center of the racecar bed, rolled onto their side and facing the display of robotic action figures. It takes you a moment to realize how quiet the room is.

Struck with a sudden swell of fear, you rush to the bed and kneel on the edge, leaning forward to push hair out of Frisk's face. They're still burning up and as you roll them onto their back they don't wake. The hissing sound of their breathing through barely-parted lips finally reaches you, but it does little to quell your fears.

"Frisk, wake up," you say, stroking their face. They groan a little and scrunch up their face but don't open their eyes. "Baby, wake up!"

Their eyes flutter for a moment but Frisk's head just rocks back and forth before settling again, fists balling into the blankets covering them. Fear squeezes your heart and you feel a chill run down your spine. Panic threatens to break through to the surface as you're frozen there, staring, desperately tying to think of what you should do. If you were on the surface you'd call a doctor, or take them to the hospital but down there they don't even know what a fever is!

"what's going on?"

You look up to see Sans in the doorway, framed by the light in the rest of the house. You shake your head, trembling as tears start to swim in your eyes. "Frisk isn't waking up."

Sans's sockets go dark and he's at your side in an instant, kneeling on the bed and reaching for Frisk's face. The similarities in the pale white of his bones and the washed out color of your child's face make you bite back a sob, fingers twisting in the blanket under you. "c'mon kiddo, this isn't funny. you can't just fall down like this, you gotta get back up," he says, shaking his head. He looks up at you and you can barely make out the two tiny lights of his eyes. "they were just sleeping earlier. kid said they were tired so i brought them up here to sleep."

You pull Sans's hand away and fumble for Frisk's pulse in their neck. The skeleton falls silent, watching you as you fight to keep yourself calm. It takes you a moment to find Frisk's heartbeat; it feels slower than you think it should, but you realize you honestly have no frame of reference. Right now your own pulse is pounding in your ears.

"what are you doing?" Sans asks, his voice thin.

"Just... checking Frisk's heartbeat. I don't..." You draw in a shaky breath, covering your face with your hands. "Sans I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know how to make this better."

He tries to pull you into his arms but you lean away, digging your fingers into your scalp and dragging back. You have to do something. You can't stay here and cry, Frisk needs you. "I have to... I have to try to bring the fever down somehow," you mutter, standing up and walking out of the room.

You remember movies and TV shows, cold compresses and ice baths, something, anything you can try. An ice bath sounds like overkill and being that cold was what did this in the first place, so you opt for the first choice. You head to the linen closet to fetch a set of washcloths, then go to the bathroom to run them under the faucet.

Sans is still there on the racecar bed, sitting now instead of kneeling, staring down at Frisk. He doesn't even glance over at you as you come up beside him, tugging the blanket down off of their chest. You hand the cool, damp washcloths to Sans and strip Frisk to the waist so you can place one of the compresses on their chest and another over their forehead.

"babe," Sans says softly, reaching out and touching your side.

You turn to him, eyes swimming with tears. Part of you wants to let yourself crumple and let him comfort you, but you can't. You swallow down the tightness in your throat and blink back the tears, wiping them away with the heel of your hand. "I need to call Alphys. She's the only one that I think can help." You're back on your feet again, pulling away and fumbling for the phone in your pocket.

Sans lets his hand fall back into his lap and looks back at Frisk. As you flick through the menus on your phone, you hear him murmur, "c'mon kiddo. you're more determined than this."

   
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