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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131. Kim

You spend the entire day cleaning the house. You're tense and nervous and it's the only thing keeping your mind from straying into dangerous territory about dinner, but your anxiety is still getting the better of you. When Frisk whines about not wanting to clean up their closet (because why would their grandmother look in their closet?) you snap at them a bit harsher than you intend. Sans takes them upstairs, and you end up crying in the downstairs bathroom while scrubbing the toilet.

Kim isn't even here yet and look what she's turning you into. Why did you ever think inviting her here was a good idea?

Papyrus finds you an hour before your mother is supposed to arrive, sweaty and smelling like bleach, sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor, halfway through scrubbing it when you just needed to take a break. He stands there in the doorway, regarding you like he's not sure what to do with you (you're not sure what to do with you at this point). Then, with surprising gentleness, he helps you to your feet and pries the brush from your hand.

"YOU HAVE DONE ENOUGH, I THINK. GO UPSTAIRS AND CLEAN YOURSELF, I'LL FINISH THIS FOR YOU," he says, and for a moment you think he's about to dismiss you from the room. But then his brow furrows and he stoops down to wrap you up in a tight hug. "HOPE... NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WE'RE HERE TO HELP."

You're crying again. Maybe if you get it all out of your system now it won't happen when your mother is actually here.

An hour later you're feeling better, showered and dressed in some nice (not too nice) clothes, looking over your new family. Sans even changed, to placate you a bit. He's wearing a pair of old slacks he dug up from somewhere and a nice sweater he borrowed from Papyrus. It's a little big on him, lengthwise, but he pushed up the sleeves to his elbows and he looks pretty handsome, actually. You tell him so and he gives you a tense smile, squeezing your hand.

Papyrus is dressed in nice jeans and a flannel shirt, fiddling with the end of his scarf and bouncing one leg as he sits on the loveseat. He's feeling the nervous energy filling the room just as much as you are. Sitting on your lap, Frisk is wearing an oversized blue sweater with a short, faux fur collar and black leggings. You bought them that sweater because it reminded you of Sans, and you think that's why they chose that one to wear. You can't blame them; part of you wants to just curl up in Sans's jacket and hide, too.

Though you were hoping things would go smoothly, you're not surprised when things get off to a rocky start.

Your mother shows up fifteen minutes late. "Sweetheart, I'm sorry, they gave me a bit of a hard time down at the checkpoint when I said I needed permission to get into your neighborhood," she says, putting on her best apologetic look.

Kim glances around your foyer as you let her inside, and you can't miss the widening of her eyes as she gets a good look at your big kitchen and comfortable living room. You think, perhaps, you spot a hint of envy in the tightening of her mouth. A small, dark part of you takes some satisfaction in rubbing your success in her face.

"that's hard to believe, considering we called down to the checkpoint ourselves to let them know you were coming," Sans counters, arching a brow as he watches her study your home.

Her face takes on this pinched look, like she wants to say something rude. But she doesn't get the opportunity before the sight of Papyrus coming to join you silences her. You have to admit, you understand the feeling of being intimidated by the over six-foot skeleton.

"HELLO HOPE'S MOTHER!" he says, resting his hands on his hips and giving her a big smile. "I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, AM..." He stumbles for a second, probably over the word 'pleased'. "MEETING YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME."

Kim just looks at him, clutching a small, faded purse to her stomach. She doesn't even say anything to him, just looks at you with a bewildered expression. "Is he always so loud?"

You don't even have to look at Sans to feel his agitation. You feel it too, prickling on the back of your neck. Papyrus isn't even that loud! He just projects his voice, and has a presence. "Were you always so rude?" you mutter, low enough you're not sure she can hear you. Clearing your throat, you force a small smile. "Mother, he was speaking to you."

Papyrus waves his hand dismissively, his attention focused on Kim. He looks friendly enough but there's something... familiar about the way he's looking at her. Like he's sizing her up. "I'M CERTAIN THAT SHE MEANT NO OFFENSE. IT WOULD BE UNSEEMLY TO COME INTO SOMEONE ELSE'S HOME JUST TO BE RUDE," he says, and there's this unspoken warning in the air that he just lets hang for a moment. "HOPE WORKED VERY HARD TO MAKE SURE YOU FELT WELCOME. IT WOULD BE DISAPPOINTING IF ALL OF THAT WENT TO WASTE."

There's a beat of tense silence where you're torn between grinning and cringing, unsure how your mother is going to react. Her eyes narrow just a fraction and, before she can reply, Frisk takes her hand and gives her a big smile, leading her to the living room. You don't want to leave the two of them alone for too long, but you and the brothers share a look now that you have a second.

"good job, pap," Sans says, grinning and chuckling silently.

Papyrus frowns, crossing his arms over his chest. "I don't like her," he whispers, looking at you. "I'm sorry if that seems mean."

"It's not mean, I understand." You sigh and shake your head, giving Sans a desperate look. "This was a mistake wasn't it?"

For a second he doesn't say anything, just rests his hand on the small of your back. "...maybe," he finally admits.

After a bit of small talk in the living room you and Papyrus retreat to the kitchen to take care of dinner, leaving Sans and Frisk alone with Kim. So far things... could be worse, in his opinion. Sans can tell she's still trying to put her best foot forward, biting back snide comments or just keeping her mouth shut when he's sure she'd rather speak. She really is used to getting her way and bossing people around, isn't she? It must be frustrating her, how much power you have over her ability to see Frisk.

As amusing as it is to watch her squirm, he wants her gone. He wants her out of his home, out of your life, and away from his child. A fierce, protective love twists in his ribcage as he watches Frisk show her one of the many photo albums he has lined up on a bookshelf. Her expression of interest is fake, which is frustrating enough, but the way Frisk is sitting in her lap, like they do with you, makes him want to snatch them away from her. Everything in him rebels against the inclusion of her in his family.

Frisk turns the page, talking about Undyne and Alphys when Kim looks over at him and catches him watching her. He doesn't flinch, doesn't look away, holding her eye and sitting back on the couch. After a second she looks back at Frisk, hugging them to her for a moment before taking the album out of their hands and closing it.

"Sweetie why don't you go help your... mother in the kitchen," she says, and Sans grits his teeth over the hesitation. "I want to talk to Sans for a minute."

Oh, this should be good. What could this woman possibly have to say to him? Frisk slides off Kim's lap and gives him a curious look, which Sans answers with a reassuring smile. After a second they run off to do as they were asked, leaving him and your mother alone. She meets his eyes again, standing up from the loveseat and smoothing out the front of her pants before crossing the room to sit on the other end of the couch. He turns a little to face her, raising a brow.

"and what do you wanna talk about, exactly?" he asks, undeniably curious.

"My family," she says, which makes Sans's eyes narrow. Oh her family, is it? "I appreciate everything that you've done for my daughter, but she doesn't belong up here with you."

"me personally, or monsters in general?" he answers, keeping his voice even.

"Both, I suppose," she says, pursing her lips. "You're not doing them any kindness by keeping them here."

"you say that like hope doesn't have a choice. well she does and she chose me. they both did," Sans says, gritting his teeth. "after you smacked them around enough to send them running up to mt. ebott just to get away from you."

She glares at him, openly now. Her hands ball into fists in her lap and he can see the muscles in her neck tense. "I am trying to do right by her to make up for that. I've done a lot of thinking this past week, and I just can't understand what you think you're doing, being with her. Do you have any idea how much harder her life is going to be just by having you in it? What people are going to call her, what they're already calling her? And how that's going to affect Frisk. If you really care about Hope, maybe you ought to consider just what damage you're inflicting upon her future, as a human trying to marry a monster."

"you think any of that is news to us?" he snaps, resisting the crackle of magic itching his eye and his fingers. His voice is low, a threatening gravel that he feels in his bones. "news flash, pal, we know what we're getting into. we've been through a hell of a lot worse than some strangers being assholes. whatever happens, we do it together. nothing, not some vague threats or a meddling bitch like you is ever gonna change that."

Kim rushes to her feet, her face red and blotchy with anger. "How dare you!"

Sans stands too, though much slower. Oh, he's angry too but it's like a slow, steady boil. This is what he was waiting for. Maybe, maybe, he can use this to his advantage. "what? see right through your little game? you just want to get them away from me so you can hook your claws back into her. to get her back under your thumb. well guess what, i won't fucking let you."

"And just how do you plan on doing that?"

You're tearing apart lettuce leaves while Papyrus stands beside you, chopping tomatoes. A chicken is roasting in the oven, nearly done, and you're counting down the minutes until it's time to eat. That'll be one step closer to Kim leaving, though you suppose you still need to consider your plans for Christmas...

Toriel already invited all of you over to her house, and you hated having to tell her you weren't sure. Do you really owe your mother your first Christmas on the surface with the monsters? It's not like you haven't spent every other Christmas of your life with her.

Frisk scampers into the kitchen and you're pulled out of your thoughts as they latch themselves around your waist and open their mouth. Laughing, you reach over and grab a slice of tomato, stuffing it between their teeth. As they chew, realization dawns on you and you glance over at Papyrus. "Wait, if you're in here sweetie... Did you leave your dad and grandmother alone?"

Frisk nods, bangs bobbing on their forehead as they lick tomato juice off their lips. "She asked to talk to dad in private," they say.

Papyrus's head jerks up from his work and he looks at you, meeting your eyes. "Maybe we should—" you start, but he's already shaking his head.

"MAYBE THEY SHOULD TALK. IF SHE IS... GOING TO BE PART OF OUR FAMILY, THEY NEED TO GET ALONG," he says, but seems unhappy with the idea.

Frankly, you're not thrilled with it either. Things were happier, simpler, when you just weren't speaking to her. You didn't have this wound up tension squeezing your heart, a fraction away from feeling like you aren't getting enough air.

"They're never going to get along," you say, sighing. "And I don't blame Sans for that. He doesn't need to forgive her."

"THEN WHY DO YOU?"

You halt your movements, halfway through tearing a leaf of lettuce. Biting your lip, you glance up at Papyrus and then back down at what you were doing. "I'm not sure I know anymore."

Before Papyrus can say anything, you catch the sound of raised voices from the living room. Wrapping one arm around Frisk's shoulders, you look up at the skeleton at your side, anxiousness sending a shiver up your spine. "Take Frisk upstairs."

"HOPE—" "Mom—!"

"Please," you beg, prying Frisk's arms off of you and pushing them towards their uncle. "Papyrus just take them upstairs and stay there until this is all sorted out. They don't need to see this, whatever it is."

Papyrus scans your face for just a second then nods, taking hold of Frisk's hand. The three of you leave the kitchen, the two of them going upstairs while you go past to the living room.

Sans and Kim are standing in front of the couch, glaring at each other. Your mother has lost a good chunk of her composure, red-faced in a way that makes you want to turn tail and go upstairs. To just get out of her way before she sees you. Sans's expression is hard and sharp, his grin nearly predatory as he watches her.

"And just how do you plan on doing that?" Kim demands, and once the angry words leave her mouth she catches sight of you over Sans's shoulder.

Her eyes widen and she tries to collect herself, rearranging her expression into something more pleasant. Sans glances back at you, taking a few steps back to meet you as you approach him. Some of the anger leaves his face but there's still that guarded tension in his jaw. He reaches for your hand, holds it tight.

"What's going on in here?" you ask, swallowing past the tightness in your throat.

"your mother was just telling me about how the two of us should break up so i don't ruin your life. if she wasn't being so manipulative i'd almost believe she was actually worried about you," he says, with a certain confidence bordering on smugness. Kim must hear it too, because you see her lip curl.

"Sweetheart, I am worried about you," she says, taking a step forward. You flinch back. "I thought maybe he'd understand where I'm coming from. Be reasonable."

"So you tried to convince my fiancé to do what exactly?" you ask, anger rising up in your chest, making your heart pound and your arms shake. "Leave me? Kick me and Frisk out of the house? Behind my back?"

"Don't you remember what it was like for you, growing up being different from me? What those people said about us?" Kim says, fighting to keep her voice steady but she has that tone. If Sans wasn't beside you, you'd already be backing down. "Because that is what you're going to do to Frisk if you let a monster be their father."

"So that's what this is about? Sans. You... you heard about Sans and I being engaged and then tried to guilt me into talking to you on Thanksgiving, and then apologized so I'd let you in... just so you could try to sabotage my marriage to Sans?" You stare at her, feeling like you were just slapped across the face.

"I'm trying to protect both of you from making a mistake!" she yells, and there's that moment you've been waiting for since you got up this morning. That horrible feeling of dread as she raises her voice and for a second you feel your eyes swim with tears as you flinch away, but Sans is there. He has your hand and he's supporting you, just like he always does. Out of the corner of your eye you see him moving, reaching for his pocket.

"No, you're trying to control me, just like you always do," you say, your voice breaking as tears spill down your cheeks. "If you think me being with Sans is a mistake, then what does that say about you and Dad? Was he a mistake too, just because he didn't look like you?"

Sans brings his phone up to his ear. What is he doing? "yeah, exactly," he says, but neither you or your mother pay him much attention.

"Don't you try to turn this around on me, young lady—!"

"Get out of my house," you say, low and angry.

"You can't just throw me out!" she shouts, seething. She takes another step forward. "I am your mother!"

"You may have given birth to me but you don't own me! You can't tell me what to do anymore!" You shout back. It's been so long since you've felt this angry. "Now get out of my house!"

She moves quickly, and too late you realize she's raising her hand to hit you. But Sans is faster than her. One moment you're right in front of Kim and the next you're five feet away, magic humming over your skin. She stares at you, dumbfounded, as you let what she tried to do sink in.

"You tried to slap me?" you demand, hating how pathetic your own words sound to your ears. You're shaking worse than before, and you're having trouble breathing. Raising your free hand to your cheek, as if she actually did hit you, you do your best to try and clear your eyes but you're still crying. You're not sure you can stop.

Before Kim can answer you hear the front door open.

"that was quicker than i thought," Sans says, and Deacon is there, putting himself bodily between you and your mother. Part of you wonders how he's here but you don't care. You're just so relieved to see him, to have him here helping you and Sans. You just feel so grateful for him.

"I may have been sitting on your back porch, reading this whole time," Deacon admits, looking over at you with sympathy. "You don't have to worry, we've got this handled, Hope."

"And who the hell are you?" Kim asks, finding her temper again.

With the pressure, the responsibility off your shoulders, you feel yourself start to crumble. Sans has both arms around you now, pulling you to him. He's rubbing your back and telling you to breathe.

"Oh, me? No one important. I'll just be the guy making sure you get the hell away from my best friend." Deacon's voice has an edge to it you've only heard him use with Grant. God you should have listened to everyone when they told you that you were making a mistake.

"H-how?" you manage to stutter through your tears.

Thankfully Sans seems to understand. "i talked with deacon, made sure he was around if we needed some help. i called him."

"Now, unless you want me calling the soldiers to escort you off the mountain personally, I'd suggest you fuck off Kim," Deacon snaps.

You hold yourself together long enough to watch her pass you in the foyer, cast an angry look at Sans. "I hope you're happy, tearing apart our family like this."

"you're the one that did this," Sans growls. "you have no one to blame but yourself."

"Don't... don't you ever try to contact me again," you say, your voice thick with tears even as it cracks. Because even though this has to be done —because if you don't do it now, when will you?— god it hurts. "I'm done."

Kim storms out of the house with Deacon on her tail, making sure she leaves you guess. You don't care so long as she's gone. You're too busy sobbing into Sans's shoulder to care.

   
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