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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109. It's In the Past

All of your guests are gone. Deacon left before dinner, and Toriel and her family left shortly after. You haven't been able to speak to Sans about what Asgore told you about, though you can tell he wants to ask you. But it has to wait until after Frisk goes to bed.

The three of you are curled up on the couch with your child sprawled across your laps, watching a movie (it's just been that kind of day). Well, you and Frisk are watching anyway; Sans is preoccupied with his phone. You steal a quick glance and see that he's looking at his most recent texts from Papyrus. The last one was from 5:34 PM, two hours ago. 'DOING DINNER NOW. HAVING A GOOD TIME, PLEASE DON'T WORRY!'

You lean over to press a kiss to his cheekbone to try and distract him but it doesn't work. He starts typing in a message, getting as far as 'will u b home s' before deleting it and turning off the screen. Setting down the phone on the armrest, he leaves it there for about two minutes before picking it back up again.

"Dad, you said you'd watch the movie with me," Frisk protests, reaching for his hands.

Sans lifts the phone out of their reach and sets it back down again. "you're right, i did. sorry kiddo."

As he puts his arm around your shoulder, trying to focus on the television under Frisk's watchful eye, the front door opens. The three of you look towards the foyer in time to see Papyrus walk in. He sees you, grins brightly, and turns to look behind him. His smile fades a little and he disappears from view again.

"YOU SHOULD COME IN AND SAY HELLO." You can hear his voice over the movie without any difficulty.

"Papy, I don't—" It's much harder to hear Mettaton, and you and Sans share a look as Frisk sits up between you. "—need to recharge soon."

"YOU CAN DO THAT HERE. PLEASE?"

It seems that he's just as weak to his pleas as the rest of you, because when Papyrus comes back into the living room he's followed by a hesitant-looking Mettaton. You give him a kind smile, feeling a little bad for him. You're not used to seeing him so uncomfortable.

"Pap, there's an outlet next to the love seat, if you want to help Mettaton get set up over there," you offer, pointing.

"Oh, thank you darling," Mettaton says, smiling at you and seeming to collect himself. "I'd hate to run out of power on the way home."

"yeah, we wouldn't want that," Sans says, and you elbow him gently in the ribs. He makes a small, agitated sound but falls quiet.

Frisk kicks their feet against the front of the couch, watching as Papyrus helps Mettaton with a cord hidden in a panel on his back. He plugs him in and a row of pink lights start to blink on and off on his chassis. You guess that's a sign that he's charging. As soon as Papyrus settles onto the love seat beside the robot, Frisk slides off of you and Sans and climbs up onto the two of them instead.

Papyrus leans down to nuzzle the side of Frisk's head, giving them a big hug that makes them laugh. By comparison, Mettaton seems a little taken aback, looking over at you and Sans. He meets your eyes and you give him a small shrug, smiling.

"Mom and Dad said you two were on a date!" Frisk says, looking up at them expectantly. "Did you have fun?"

"OF COURSE! WE WENT TO THE PARK DOWNTOWN AND LOOKED AT SOME SHOPS AND METTATON GAVE ME SOME SUGGESTIONS ON CLOTHES. WHICH WAS VERY NICE OF HIM, BUT I LIKE THE CLOTHES I HAVE NOW," Papyrus says, grinning. You'd tried to stop him from wearing his special 'Cool Dude' dating outfit, but to no avail. It didn't help that Sans was sabotaging you at every turn, reassuring Papyrus that Mettaton would love the fashion basketballs (MTT brand of course). Mettaton seems to be trying very hard not to cringe. "AND THEN I GAVE HIM THE GIFT I PREPARED ESPECIALLY FOR HIM. FRISK, YOU FOUND MY GIFT SO QUICKLY LAST TIME, SO INSTEAD OF HIDING IT UNDER MY HAT I HID IT IN MY RIBCAGE." He gives Frisk a wink, saying 'wink' in a high-pitched voice as he does it. "I REMEMBERED THAT METTATON DOESN'T EAT SO I COULDN'T GIVE HIM MY SPECIAL SPAGHETTI, SO INSTEAD IT WAS A PICTURE OF SPAGHETTI."

"that would definitely make it impastable to forget," Sans says, smirking at Mettaton.

Papyrus casts a frustrated look at his brother. "SANS I AM TRYING TO RECOUNT OUR FANTASTIC DATE TO FRISK. PLEASE DO NOT INTERRUPT WITH YOUR HORRIBLE PUNS."

"Mettaton, did you have fun?" Frisk asks, wide-eyed as they look up at him.

Mettaton looks over at Papyrus and, despite his earlier distaste over the mention of clothing, his expression softens a little into something you recognize as affection. "I did," he says, smiling at Frisk. "A marvelous time, and aren't you just adorable for asking?"

Frisk hides their mouth behind the sleeves of their pajamas, bashful all of a sudden. They turn to face the television again, leaning back against Mettaton and Papyrus to get comfortable. You know that a few months ago you never would have allowed this to happen. Everything in you would have rebelled against the idea of letting Frisk get that close, that comfortable with him. But now, with the way that Mettaton and Papyrus are leaning against each other, you just don't feel the same as you used to. It doesn't bother you.

Mettaton seems to feel more sensitive to what's going on than you do. You appreciate the anxious glance he casts your way, but you realize that maybe you ought to talk to him. Actually talk to him.

You get your chance as, when Frisk's bedtime rolls around, Papyrus insists on reading them a bedtime story. "YOU WERE GONE ALL WEEKEND AND THEN I DIDN'T GET TO SEE YOU THIS AFTERNOON! I, THE GREAT UNCLE PAPYRUS, WANT TO READ YOU MY FAVORITE STORY!"

Frisk leans over to Mettaton and wraps their arms around his neck, giving him a hug goodnight. His eyes widen just a fraction before he hugs them back, smiling as they slide off the couch to run over to you and Sans and continue the process. Papyrus flashes the robot a big smile, and Mettaton actually blushes a little.

As Papyrus and Frisk disappear upstairs, Mettaton fidgets a little, glancing over at his power cord and then at the front door. Two of the lights on his chest are glowing, not blinking anymore like the others. "I hope that the two of you are doing well," he says, an awkward attempt at casual conversation if you ever saw one.

You pull away from Sans, rising to your feet. You feel his hand on the back of your thigh, a silent question that you don't turn to answer. "Mettaton, can I talk to you in the kitchen for a second?"

Mettaton blinks at you, then shifts his attention behind you where Sans is still sitting. "Of course," he says slowly, standing and following his cord to the outlet to unplug himself.

"babe," Sans says, a warning in his voice.

"Sans, one of us needs to talk to him and I know it's not going to be you. Let me handle this," you say, looking back at him and squeezing his hand.

He grits his teeth, looking distinctly unhappy, but lets you go. The exchange just has Mettaton looking more apprehensive as you lead him into the kitchen. 

"If this is about Papyrus, I want to make it clear that he was the one who insisted on spending more time with me," he says quickly, before you even have a chance to turn around. You lean back against one of the barstools, pointing at another one in an offer for Mettaton to sit. He doesn't.

"Do you want to spend time with him?" you ask, raising a brow as you cross your arms over your chest.

"Yes. It... wasn't my intention to seem so distant before," he admits, resting his hands on his hips. "But I'm not using him, no matter what the rest of you might think. Especially Sans," he adds with no small amount of bitterness.

"He cares about Papyrus. We all do."

Mettaton's expression crumples, searching your face as he makes a sweeping gesture with his hand. "So do I!" he says, with more genuine passion than you think you've seen from him before. This isn't a performance. This is Mettaton, you think. "I care about him." His expression softens and he looks away, folding his arms over his chest and hugging himself.

"Good," you say. You're smiling as he gives you a surprised glance, arching a perfect brow.

"I suppose I can't fault you for doubting my intentions," he says grimly.

"This isn't what I want for us anymore," you say, sighing and pushing your hair out of your face. "I want you to be comfortable in our home, in Papyrus's home. I don't want to keep dancing around what happened months ago."

He's watching you, not quite understanding your intentions, you think.

Taking in a deep breath, you stop leaning against a barstool and take a step towards him. "Mettaton, I forgive you."

His head tilts just a fraction to the side, his arms going slack. "What?"

"Things were desperate in the Underground, I understand that a lot better now. And you've done enough to prove yourself to me." You look away, biting your lip. "You can be really selfish sometimes, but you've done a lot of good up here. I mean, you're bringing in a lot more humans, and... Look, I can't speak for Sans, but I want to put it behind us, for good. I forgive you."

You're studying some crayon drawings that Frisk and Asriel did a few weeks ago, feeling a little awkward and exposed. It's harder than you expected to finally say it. Mettaton closes the gap between you and as you look at him he takes your hand in both of his, squeezing gently. His expression is open, relief plain for you to see.

"Thank you, darling. That... that means more to me than I think you realize," he says softly. He lets out a startled sound when you slip your hand away from his and put your arms around his neck to pull him down for a hug.

"I'll try to see if I can make Sans come around," you tell him, not letting him go. "He's loved seeing Papyrus so happy these past few days leading up to your date. Just be good to him."

Mettaton hugs you back, a soft pressure that takes him a moment to ease into. You've never let him be this close before. "Of course I will."

When you wake up in the middle of the night, you roll over to reach for Sans and realize he's not there. That isn't too out of the ordinary, and while you're a little concerned you aren't worried. Picking your head up off the pillow, you look towards the other end of the room to see if he's reading over in the lounge chair but it's empty. Sitting up, you start to wonder if he's downstairs but then you see it. The balcony door is cracked open. Wrapping yourself up in a blanket from the foot of the bed, you peek outside.

Sans is sitting on a small footstool, looking through his telescope up at the stars. He's only wearing a pair of plaid boxers, unaffected by the chilly night air despite the small puff of white from his breath. The moonlight washes over pale bone, and to your groggy mind and blurry eyes he seems ethereal. You open the door enough to slip through and he turns to look at you, his eyes visibly brightening at the sight of you.

"hey, babe," he murmurs, reaching out for you.

"Hey," you echo back. You sidle up next to him and lean against his shoulder, tracing your fingers along his shoulderblades. He shivers. "Can't sleep?"

He makes a noncommittal sound, turning on his seat so that you're in front of him. With a certain tenderness that feels somehow romantic in the dark, he eases you down to sit on his leg, wrapping his arms tight around you to fold you more securely in your blanket. He nuzzles into your shoulder as you lean to rest your head against his.

"Looking at anything in particular?" you ask, and even though you don't need to keep your voice down you can't help it. It just feels right, to stay hushed as you listen to the sound of the wind rustling the trees gently.

"just the stars. i just... i needed to be outside." You know that tone, the one that tells you he must have had a nightmare about a Reset.

"I'm sorry, we shouldn't have talked about Mettaton before bed," you say, feeling responsible. "Bringing up all those things from before..."

"no, it's fine. we needed to talk about it," he says, hugging you tight. "i don't wanna just pretend our time in the underground didn't happen. shit, we fell in love down there, i'm never gonna regret that."

You both fall silent, looking up at the clear sky dotted with stars. Your home is isolated enough that the lights from the denser areas of Ebott don't interfere too much with the view, but even you can tell that it's not the same as when you first reached the surface. Not that it isn't still beautiful and humbling, staring up at the brilliant wash of stars across black.

"Remember when you took me to Waterfall, and we used your telescope?" you ask him, freeing a hand from under your blanket to stroke his ribs. They're warm, like always.

"of course. you said you wanted to show me the real stars."

"And I did," you say, smiling. It fades after a moment as you sigh, letting out a puff of mist. "I also said I wanted to show you the city, and the ocean. The park my dad used to take me to as a kid, restaurants, museums, movie theaters... God, there's so much out there past the Line and we're finally almost there."

"that's what asgore says at least," he agrees, and you think he's trying not to get his hopes up. "what did the two of you talk about earlier?"

Sitting up straight so you can look at him, you hook your fingers around his clavicle as you try to find the right words to explain. Finally, as he searches your face in the moonlight, you let out a small, frustrated sigh. "He wants me to tell the reporters the truth, that I'm not with Deacon. That you and I are engaged."

Sans is quiet for a moment, and you wonder if you upset him. You're about to apologize when he speaks. "did he say why?"

"If the media finds out on their own that I let them get the wrong idea they'll probably blame me. Say that we were lying to hide our relationship. In the long run it'll look worse than just coming clean." You rub your thumb along the bone under your hand, searching his face. "I'm just worried about what people will say."

"i know," he says gently. "i'd be lying if i said i didn't want you to tell them the truth. to not have to hide this anymore. when we can finally leave ebott together i want to hold your hand and not worry who might be looking."

"I do too."

"but i also know that not everybody's gonna take well to the news."

"I hate this," you hiss under your breath, shaking your head. "I hate all of it. The lying, having to think through all the possible reactions whenever we have to deal with other humans, being stuck here cut off from the rest of the world. You all deserve so much better than this."

Sans cups your face, bringing you down so he can nip gently at your lips. "they're gonna find out eventually," he says, resting his forehead against yours. "why don't you make it on our terms instead of theirs?"

"I don't know if I'm ready. What if they—"

He silences you with another kiss, running his fingers through your hair. "whatever happens, we're with you hope. me, frisk, papyrus, all our friends. you won't be alone."

Squeezing your eyes shut, you let out a soft sigh. "I'll think about it. I just... can't decide right now."

   
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