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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164. Making Plans

Sans is calling you.

For a moment you feel a twist of apprehension, of dread. It's not a feeling you want to associate with your husband, but it's there. Frisk leans back as you fish your phone out of your pocket, sitting in your lap and watching you with an unreadable expression. They've pulled back a little into their shell, waiting to see what you're going to do.

You wish you knew.

Your hands are trembling as you answer the call, holding it up to your ear. Frisk shifts a bit closer so they can listen too. "Sans," you breathe, your heart squeezing painfully tight in your chest.

"hey babe," he says. He sounds... drained. His voice is a little raspy. "you and frisk get to chris's ok?"

"Yeah," you say. You brush Frisk's bangs out of their face, tucking hair behind their ear. "Did Deacon tell you?"

"yeah. he, uh..." Sans trails off, and for a moment you can hear some muffled voices in the background. You can't make out what anyone is saying but you're glad he's not alone. "he also said he thinks somebody, the military or whatever, might be listening to our calls."

"Did he tell you that they followed me? They know where we're staying," you say, and you hear Chris let out a soft, alarmed noise. Glancing up at him, he walks over to the single window in his apartment, next to the front door, and he peeks through the blinds. "Chris, he already left."

"he told me," Sans says. "you... you guys need to be careful. i can't..." He hesitates, letting out a harsh sigh. You squeeze your eyes shut as your throat tightens. "i can't be there to protect you and it's fucking killing me, hope."

You can't hold it back any more. Your steadfast resolve, the stubborn determination keeping your tears at bay finally succumbs and you bury your face in your hand and let out a choked sob. "This is my fault," you blurt out, distantly aware of Frisk hugging themselves against your chest as you're shaking. "If we hadn't left this wouldn't have happened!"

"babe—"

"I was so stupid." Tears pour unchecked down your cheeks. You ruined everything. If you hadn't been so selfish, so bitter, you'd be home right now. You took Frisk away from their father, forced them to meet Chris against their will... You're worthless, and you should have known you'd screw this up. "I'm s-sorry, Sans if I had just—"

"don't you dare blame yourself," Sans says, cutting you off harshly. "none of that shit is true and you had no way of knowing they'd do this. asgore's trying to get a hold of somebody but tori says no one is giving him any answers. mettaton's keeping an eye on the news but nobody's even reported that the line is closed yet. we... babe, it seems like they did this just to keep you and frisk out."

"B-but why?"

"dunno." He lets out a slow breath, and something about it helps steady you.

"You're being so calm," you mumble, and you're met with a humorless laugh.

"no, i'm not. you..." He hesitates. "i'm sorry that you couldn't trust me to handle the news properly, but you made the right call."

"I'm sorry. After what happened with Deacon..." Sniffling, you rub your face with the back of your hand. Frisk is still clinging to you tightly. "I couldn't let anything else bad happen. Did he... did you...?"

"we're ok. right now everybody's just trying to figure out a way to help."

"I love you," you blurt out, another sob breaking loose.

"i love you too, babe," he says, and everything inside of you aches for him. You want to be home, you want him to hold you in his arms and tell you that everything is going to be okay. You don't want to be here in this tiny apartment without anyone to lean on. "i'd rather have you two home, angry at me for being a huge jerk, than stuck out there."

Your lips twitch with the tiniest smile, huffing out a weak laugh. "If you want, I can still be angry at you for being a huge jerk."

That gets you a soft chuckle, which eases away a little bit of the pain. If you can still make him laugh, you hope that means he's going to be okay. You're worried about him. "whatever you want, babe," he says gently. "just... don't give up. don't let the bad shit swallow you whole."

There's something about the way he says it that makes you want to ask him why he said that. It sobers you, helps you dry your tears. But before you can say anything, Frisk sits up and gestures for the phone, giving you a questioning look. "Hun, I think Frisk wants to talk to you."

"ok."

You pass the phone to Frisk and they slide off your lap as they hold it close to their head with both hands. "Dad?"

"hey kiddo," you can hear faintly, before you push yourself to your feet. "how you holding up?"

They make a noncommittal noise and stand in the corner with their back to the rest of the room. Rubbing your eyes with the heels of your hands, you scrub at your face as you try to pull yourself back together. Chris is standing off to the side, looking uncomfortable and out of place. You feel guilty for that too.

"Sorry," you say, walking over towards him.

His eyebrows shoot up as he looks at you, then gives a too-vigorous shake of his head. "No way, don't worry about it!" he says quickly, somehow looking even more uncomfortable. He shoves his hands in his front pockets, hunching forward a little and wincing. "I just... wish there was more I could do. I don't like seeing you guys unhappy."

"You're doing more than enough, just letting us stay here." You glance around the apartment again, at the ratty couch and the single bed up in the tiny loft space. You try to feel grateful, but instead you're just disheartened. How are you going to make this work?

"I was, uh, thinking you and Frisk could take my bed, and I'll sleep on the couch," he says, shrugging his broad shoulders. When you open your mouth to protest he shakes his head. "Really, it's the best way to stop anyone from ending up on the floor. It's not like there's a whole bunch of options."

"Okay," you agree, weakly.

"Have you eaten yet?"

You shake your head. You were going to have dinner with your family, and now, despite the hollow feeling in your stomach, you don't have much of an appetite.

"I don't really have much in here," he admits, turning towards his tiny kitchenette. There's a sink, a microwave, and an ancient oven with coil burners. A dingy refrigerator is stuffed into the corner. Chris opens a cabinet. "I can't really cook and... I can make you guys some ramen?"

Your heart gives a painful lurch, though you know it's silly. Lots of people eat ramen, but it's so strongly linked to your memories of Deacon you can't help but hurt. Not only are you cut off from Sans, but you're cut off from your best friend too. All of your friends are trapped in Ebott with no way in or out, and the realization settles like an iron ball in your gut. Blinking back a fresh wave of tears, you sniffle and hug yourself.

"What do you normally eat?" you ask, your voice threatening to betray you.

Chris glances over his shoulder, then closes the cabinet and goes back to you. The look on his face is equal parts apology and concern. "I'm sorry," he says, pushing his hair out of his face. "It's bad enough that you're stuck here, but I can't even offer you anything better than fucking ramen." Cringing, catching himself too late, he glances over your shoulder to where Frisk is standing. "Shit— shoot, I mean... I'm sorry!"

You give him a weak, wry smile. "It's fine," you say. You think they've been hearing a lot of that kind of language the last few days. "I mean, try to cut back, but..." You sigh. "It's fine."

"Okay, okay sure," he mumbles, clearing his throat. "Uh, to answer your question; I normally just pick up something. I tried doing the groceries thing for a while but with just me half the sh— stuff just ended up going bad."

"I need to go to the store anyway. If we're going to be here for a few days at least" —you're not sure if that's optimistic or pessimistic at this point— "Frisk and I need clothes, toiletries... I can run by the grocery store tomorrow, too."

"Do you need money?" he asks, and there's a bit of hesitation there. Judging from his apartment, you can't imagine he has much to spare. But he's still offering it to you.

"I've got some cash," you say, shaking your head. Not much, but enough for this. You carried cash with you at all times, since you and Sans were hesitant to trust a bank with your money. Not a human bank, anyway. But now that means you're stuck with literally what you've got on your person, and in your car.

"Mom?"

You turn at the sound of Frisk's voice and they hold up your phone for you, holding theirs in their other hand. "They wanna talk to you more. I'm gonna call Asriel," they say, and their mood seems to have improved. Their cheeks are red and their eyes are puffy —you imagine you look much the same— but they give you a tentative smile.

"Okay sweetie," you say, taking your phone and holding it up to your ear. "Hello?"

Deacon glances over at Toriel as she talks to you on Sans's phone, giving you heartfelt reassurances and comfort. He runs his hand through his hair, shaking his head and walking back into the foyer, away from everyone as they stick together in the living room.

He's lost without you here. This space, this house, he only ever came here because you were here. But now you aren't, and he's not sure what to do with himself. He just knows that he needs to do something to get you back. And in order to do that, he needs help. As much as he hates to admit it, he can't do this alone.

"so," Sans says, coming up alongside him. He keeps a healthy distance between the two of them, giving him a wary look. "you said something about helping you. back when..."

Back when he'd shut down. When he'd scared Deacon more than if he'd just responded in outrage, because he'd been prepared for outrage. For an instant call to action. Not... resignation. Not for giving up. He'd said he'd never give up, even while trapped inside of Deacon's magic, but this had broken something inside of Sans. He watched as it happened. He never thought he'd see Sans so weak, but for a moment he had. When he told him that he'd been 'fucked up' when he first met you, he hadn't believed it.

Deacon thinks he caught a glimpse of what Sans was like before you came into his life.

"Yeah. I need your help," Deacon says, sighing. "I have to talk to the Literatum, but I can't exactly do that over the phone."

"oh, so now you wanna let me in on the big secrets?" he asks, but even the venom in his voice feels weak.

"Yeah. All the big secrets," he drawls, rolling his eyes. "The moon landing was faked, margarine doesn't taste as good as real butter, soylent green is people."

Sans just squints at him, gritting his teeth.

He sighs again. "It's stupid, probably dangerous, but with your help I think we can meet up with the Literatum."

"and how are we gonna do that?"

"You and I are going to teleport past the Line."

   
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