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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44. Life Marches On

When Sans gets home, he finds you in the kitchen, washing dishes. Your back is to him, and for a moment he doesn't say anything. He doesn't want to interrupt, and right now he's just happy watching you. Your ponytail has fallen a little loose, the band sitting at the base of your neck instead of tight against the back of your skull. Some loose strands must have broken free near your face because you pause for a moment to swipe the back of your wrist along your forehead. Your hips sway a little as you shift to put something in the drying rack.

Out of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen has the second most notable changes in the two months since you and Frisk moved in. (The first being the bedroom he now shares with you, of course. You're much tidier.) There's pictures from Frisk's school stuck on the fridge, accompanied by childish drawings. He can't make half of them out, but there's one in particular that's fixed in a spot of honor, right in the center of the door. It's a collection of stick figures: you and Frisk in the center, with Sans at your side and Papyrus on Frisk's. And Undyne is there too. ("The teacher said that we should draw our family! And... I hope this is okay.")

Inside the fridge is actual food instead of an unbelievable amount of barely-edible spaghetti, and the kitchen table is being used more regularly than it ever has before. Sans would always go out to eat, and Papyrus hates Grillbys's food, and so they didn't eat together much. Now dinner is the one time that everyone is almost guaranteed to be together, and he can't help but think that it's all thanks to you. Well, you and Frisk. There's a folder with Frisk's name on it sitting on the table, and he remembers that he promised to help with their homework tonight.

He almost lost all of this today. He wouldn't have just lost the two of you, and this life that's started to form around everyone. He would have lost the pictures and drawings on the fridge, the smell of coffee first thing in the morning (because he never bothered with it until you started keeping it in the cabinet), waking up with you beside him. No oatmeal on the stove, or bright-eyed Frisk ready for school and waiting and almost forgetting their lunch again. The kitchen table would go unused, save for collecting dust. No more dinners as... well, as some kind of family.

He knew, two months ago, that you would change everything about this timeline. But he had never truly realized what that meant. 

Before, he knew what was going to happen. He'd done the same things over and over again more times than he can count. He knew his role, played his part. There was a sense of control, through nudging Frisk along their path or stopping them. But once again the universe sees fit to remind him just how powerless he really is. How he's fumbling in the dark, trying desperately to clutch your hand and keep you with him, knowing that it would take just one mistake to lose you.

Sans walks across the kitchen, coming up behind you. You turn your head just enough as you sense him there, and he slides his arms around your waist, rising up on his toes to rest his chin on your shoulder. He pulls you close and you lean back against him, tipping your head to rest against his. A damp hand covers his and he strokes your fingers with his thumb, closing his eyes and just feeling you.

"hey," he says.

"Hey," you answer, nudging him with your forehead. "...Everything okay? Did you do what you needed to do?"

"yeah. everything's fine," he says. He's grateful that you don't ask him what he was doing, even though he knows you want to. But you've never pressured him about his secrets. Not even when they were tearing him apart and you found him breaking here in the kitchen. You press just enough, but not too much.

"You took longer than we thought. I left you a plate in the fridge." You squeeze his hands. "It's pretty good. Pap is getting a lot better."

"of course he is, with you teaching him instead of undyne."

You let out a soft, pleased laugh. It makes him smile. "Yes, well, I always thought his cooking skills seemed a little fishy."

"i'm glad you could reel him back in," he counters, turning and nuzzling into the side of your neck.

Giggling and flinching away, you try to bump him away from you with your butt but he just holds on tighter, laughing and rubbing back against you. It just makes you laugh harder, and he's glad. He just wants you to be happy.

"Stop, stop! Smiling hurts," you complain, trying not to laugh.

"whoops, sorry babe," he says, squeezing you as way of an apology.

You lean forward back over the sink, letting him stay wrapped around you as you finish up the dishes. After a moment he releases your waist, instead taking hold of your sides and rubbing his thumbs into your lower back. You sigh and lean into his touch.

"you should have let papyrus do the dishes, i'm sure he offered."

"He did, but he cooked dinner. Besides," you say, shrugging your shoulders, "I like taking care of the dishes. It's sort of relaxing."

"now that you mention it, dishes something you've told me before." As you start to laugh again, Sans leans forward and presses his forehead between your shoulders. "...how are you doing?"

Your laughter fades and you give another weak shrug. "I'll be okay. Life marches on, right?"

Sans doesn't need to say that it almost didn't.

Undyne never turns up that night and Sans can only assume she's staying over at Alphys's. When you and Sans go to bed, he wraps you up in his arms and never lets you go. It's the only way he can fall asleep, knowing that you're here and safe.

Undyne and Alphys come over the next day, partly to check on you but mostly because Alphys needs to speak with the families of some of the amalgamates you encountered in the lab. It turns out that the two who helped you the most (the snowdrake and Endogeny) are related to residents of Snowdin.

You're happy to hear that Alphys is going to be telling everyone the truth and letting the amalgamates finally go home. Though, you're a little worried about what kind of reception they're going to have. There had to be a reason that the doctor was so worried about being honest in the first place. But, you give Alphys a reassuring hug and remind her that she's doing the right thing. And that no matter what, she has people who care about her. She blushes and stutters for a second before thanking you.

Undyne also announces the news that by next week her house is going to be ready for her to move back home. Apparently she and Papyrus are getting ready to finish up the last bit of work on the interior and replacing some of her furniture. Frisk seems disappointed, but she gives them a big bright grin and an affectionate noogie, reminding them that the two of you are welcome over anytime. In fact, she expects both of you to be over often, and if you don't she'll come find you! Laughing, you reassure her that you'll be sure to visit.

It turns out that your first visit to Undyne's house will be for a housewarming party scheduled a week from today. As you ask her if she wants you to cook anything, she gives you a sheepish grin and requests a few dozen of your chocolate chip cookies. You're more than happy to oblige.

In regards to the amalgamates, it seems that Alphys's fears were mostly misplaced. A few days after her initial visit to Snowdin she returns with Endogeny and the snowdrake and their families seem more frustrated with how long it took than what had happened to them.

You, Sans, and Frisk tag along on these reunions for moral support. Endogeny in particular seems happy to see you, rushing forward through the snow to greet you. Right as you think it might bowl you over it's body changes shape so that all its legs are in a straight line, flattening itself and making the silhouettes of dogs between its legs all the more prevalent. It vibrates excitedly until you finally reach out to pet it, this time expecting the way its body seems to meld around your hand. 

"Thanks for your help back there," you tell it, smiling as its tail starts wagging furiously. "Sorry I couldn't thank you sooner. You're a good dog."

Endogeny's body folds back in on itself, taking a more canine shape. Frisk comes up to your side to pet it too, and after a moment Sans does as well. It doesn't seem sure of what to do, it seem so excited and happy to have so much attention its amorphous body just quivers and ripples as its tail wags with enough force to make its body wobble back and forth. 

"i should thank you too, no bones about it." When Endogeny's head whips around and snakes close to Sans's arm, he pulls away and shoves his hand back in his pocket, looking a little nervous. "hey there buddy, i said no bones, got it?"

Endogeny's family turns out to be the entire dog population of Snowdin. It makes you wonder exactly how many dogs ended up inside of the amalgamation. The reunion is a happy one, with lots of tail wagging, barking, sniffing, talking, and a few happy tears. Dogamy and Dogaressa take the time to thank Alphys for bringing Endogeny home.

The other amalgamate's reunion is more private and emotional. You're able to take a moment to thank her for protecting you down in the lab, but you don't want to interrupt. When Snowy and his father arrive the three of you take your leave.

Like you told Sans, life marches on. The first few days after your encounter with Mettaton are the hardest. You feel jumpy and nervous, and you can tell that Sans is hesitant to leave your side. One day you even go with him to work while Frisk is at school, just because you can't bear the thought of being apart. You end up taking a nap inside his station, and it reminds you of that brief time before you started dating.

But gradually things are more or less back to normal. Though, your normal is about to change again with Undyne moving back home. Though you never would have thought you'd feel this way when she first started staying on the couch, you realize you're going to miss having her around every day. You're happy to consider her one of your friends.

And, before you know it, her housewarming party is just around the corner.

 
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