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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64. Memories

Frisk stares, their face blank, as Sans cradles your body in his arms and begs you not to leave him. Tears roll down their cheeks but they feel numb, sleeve-covered hands pressed over their mouth. This wasn't supposed to happen. You weren't supposed to be here.

Frisk. Listen.

They twitch a little at the sudden intrusion in their mind, somehow forgetting Chara's presence. They're close, closer to the surface of their consciousness than they've ever been before. It's almost as if they can feel their breath tickling their ear. Goosebumps raise on the back of their neck.

I can help you, if you let me.

Sans is yelling at Asgore. Frisk takes a step backwards as Chara flinches, reacting to the crackle of magic permeating the air.

No. Whenever you want to help you just want to hurt people.

Frisk can feel a child's hand on their own, small fingers ghosting across their skin. They jerk their hand away but when they look down there's nothing there.

Let me help. I want to help her. I know that you want to bring her back. I can feel you reaching back, but you don't have to do it that way. I know something better. But you have to trust me.

I don't trust you. You're not a nice person, Chara.

There's a beat of silence within their mind as a shudder of fear runs through Frisk and the person in their mind. Sans is calling forth his blasters, and Frisk feels a wave of deja vu. Something from the past timelines? Something they ought to remember?

Then, that hand is at theirs again, fingers wrapping around their palm with a gentle pressure.

You don't have to be a nice person to do the right thing. I'm going to help you, idiot, whether you like it or not.

Chara pushes inside of their mind, and then the floodgates rush open.

"I'll make this right," Chara says with Frisk's voice.

Then everything ends.

Frisk is standing at the beginning of that golden hallway, and Chara feels quiet and distant in the back of their mind. They reach up to feel their cheeks and find them dry. They grope around their neck to feel the thick chain of the golden locket resting against their chest.

They Loaded a Save. They know exactly what Chara did, and they know how they did it. Echoes of memories are bouncing inside Frisk's skull and, wincing, they press a hand to their forehead. For a moment it's too much, too much all at once but it settles into the background. They'll have time to sift through everything later.

You did this. You kept all my memories from me.

Chara stays silent, but the waver of guilt is enough to know that they're right. They're hiding in the back of their mind, and Frisk can almost see a child in green and yellow curled into a ball, if they close their eyes and focus hard enough. 

Why?

Nothing. Just silence and guilt. They stay there for a few minutes, with Frisk regarding Chara, waiting for them to speak. Eventually, they do.

It's fine if you hate me. It's probably for the best if you do, after everything I've done to you.

Dust-coated fingers. The feel of a knife in their hands. Golden light shot through with blue magic. Pain. Death.

Why?

Why did I do it? Or why is it fine if you hate me?

Both.

Chara doesn't answer. They press their face into their knees and cover the back of their head with their hands. Their image starts to wash out inside Frisk's mind, growing fuzzier until it hurts to try and focus on them.

Frisk opens their eyes, taking in a deep breath to calm their nerves. Then, lifting their head, they look down the hall through shafts of warm, dappled light.

Sans is standing there with his hands in his pockets, staring. Sweat is dotting the side of his skull and the pinpricks of light in his eye sockets are so dim they're hardly there at all. His mouth clenches into a tight grimace. His cheekbones are wet and he's trembling.

"what did you do, kid?" Sans asks, squaring his stance as Frisk meets his eyes. His voice is rough, either from tears or anger they're not sure. Maybe both.

"I Loaded a Save. I undid what happened, without Resetting," Frisk says. Their own voice somehow rings a little hollow, like they're reciting lines they've memorized somewhere.

"and how did you just so happen to know how to do that all of a sudden? i thought you didn't remember what you've been doing?" Sans is stiff as he watches them, tensing even more as Frisk takes a few careful steps towards the skeleton.

"I..." Frisk looks down at their hands, tugging them out of their sleeves. They press their knuckles against their lips as they think of what to say, and something about the gesture seems to make Sans relax a little. "I remember now." They look up to the towering pillars and the stained glass. "This hall... you've killed me here before, haven't you?"

Sans flinches, eyes narrowing before he gives a slow blink. Then, he nods. "yeah, kiddo."

"How many times?" Frisk frowns, thumbing through the memories in their head. They can remember, but it feels distant and... separate. Like remembering a movie they watched, or a book. It's someone else's story that they know by heart. "It all sort of... mixes together in my head."

"it's happened a lot more than i'd like to think about," Sans mutters, sighing and looking down at the tiles underfoot. He rubs the surface with the toe of his slipper, and Frisk can't help but wonder what he's seeing there. What part of their past is he remembering?

Probably nothing good.

"...It wasn't me. It was... someone else. They've been here in my mind this whole time, and sometimes..." Frisk winces, shaking their head and shoving the memories back.

Sans is watching them again, something sad etched into the lines of his face. "i sort of had a feeling. but i'm still sorry."

"Don't be. You stopped them from getting what they wanted." Frisk gives them a bright smile, remembering happier times. Eating at Grillby's, timelines' worth of bad jokes. A tower of hotdogs twenty-nine high because thirty was just too much. "Dad... you helped me here too, didn't you? You've always been there, watching out for me. No matter what."

"yeah, i have." Sans seems to come back to himself a little, the lights in his eyes brightening and he takes a few steps to close the distance beween the two of them. He rests a hand on Frisk's shoulder, the barest hint of a smile curving the corners of his mouth. "hey. how about we find your mom and we go home?"

Frisk's smile wavers, suddenly anxious. They glance at the doorway behind them. "I don't want to tell Mom about the bad times. She won't understand why you... why you had to do what you did."

He squeezes their shoulder, but it feels more like an involuntary spasm of his hand. "i think that's probably for the best."

You're in Asgore's house, running down the steps to the basement when there's a sudden lurch in your chest and it feels like you can't breathe. Stumbling but catching yourself on the small landing between the two flights of steps, you lean against the wall and suck in a deep breath. Your fingers press against your sternum, the echo of a sharp pain slowly beginning to fade. What was that? A strange sensation of deja vu overwhelms you for a moment and it feels like something's wrong.

But the more you focus on the feeling the further and further away it gets until you're not sure why you've stopped running. The ache in your chest is gone, your lungs are clear as you catch your breath. That was strange but... you have to keep going. You don't have time to stop.

You feel that odd, familiar feeling again as you make your way to the basement but you think it's just because the house is identical to Toriel's. Distantly, you wonder at the connection there but it's the last thing you have time to worry about.

There's a curving path on the exterior of the castle before you find yourself at another doorway, but you don't stop to wonder where it might lead. Forward is the only direction you can see. Forward to Frisk. You dart inside and you're greeted by two rows of huge pillars like the ones you saw back in the Ruins. The golden light pouring down over the ornate tiles reminds you of the bed of flowers you landed in. But the most important thing about the hall, the thing that makes your heart leap into your throat even as cry of joy breaks loose past your lips is the pair standing in the very middle.

Sans is standing in Frisk's way, his hand on their shoulder as they talk. Your outburst makes Frisk turn and as the two of them look at you both of their faces break out into huge smiles that bring tears to your eyes. You don't stop running, not until you wrap Frisk up in a huge hug clutching them tight to your chest.

"Mom!" Frisk exclaims, and though you expect them to be upset with you they sound so happy.

Another set of arms wrap around the both of you and you release your grip on Frisk with one hand so that you can hug Sans too, crying as you're enveloped in the two people who mean the most of you. In this moment the lies don't matter. None of it matters because you're just so glad that Frisk is okay and Sans is here. "You found them," you say, tucking your head down into his shoulder as one of his hands cradles your head. "I can't believe it. Thank you. Sans, thank you."

He's shaking, and you're pulled out of your all-encompassing relief at the sound of Sans letting out a choked sob into your shoulder. His grip on you is so tight it's almost painful, and something about this makes that feeling of being unable to breathe come back again. "hope, why didn't you ask me for help?"

"I tried to call you but my phone died," you say. But that can't be the reason he's upset. There's something more. Something you don't understand. "Sans, what's going on? How did you know we were gone? Did... Did something strange happen? I feel... odd."

You feel Sans draw in a deep breath, shaking his head into the crook of your neck.

"Dad," Frisk murmurs, and from within the tight knot of your bodies they manage to reach his arm and take hold of his jacket. "Dad you're crushing us."

The tight hold he has on you goes slack, and he takes hold of your face in both his hands. He stares up at you, disbelief and happiness warring for control as the lights scan over your features before returning to your eyes. With one arm still tight around Frisk —you're afraid to let them go— your free hand cups his jaw. He leans into your touch, letting out a shaky sigh.

"you... i..." Sans shakes his head, wiping his face on his sleeve without letting you go. "shit, just... gimme a second. i'm just so happy you're ok."

You feel a lurch in the pit of your stomach. "Am I not supposed to be?" You try to look at Frisk but you can't, not with the way Sans has you between his hands. "Hun did something happen?"

"yeah. yeah, something happened. babe..." He meets your eyes again, looking at you with an expression so solemn you're almost wishing you didn't ask. "hope. you... asgore killed you."

Your chest hurts. "No, I haven't even seen him yet," you protest, hand fisting in the shoulder of Frisk's sweater.

"frisk did something. went back a little bit instead of all the way," Sans says, and the desperate sound in his voice scares you. "you protected them. made sure that asgore took your soul instead of theirs."

You start to tremble, and you know that he's not lying. Why would he lie about this? Frisk's grip tightens on you, burying their face into your stomach. It's familiar. Too familiar but because you feel like you should be remembering something.

"But you're okay now," Frisk mumbles. "I wanna go home."

Staring at Sans, he slowly lets you go, his hands brushing against your skin like you're something fragile. You don't know how to feel about this. Everything about this day has been so much. Too much. He takes hold of your hand and you grip it tight like a lifeline.

"are you okay, babe? i know it must be a lot to take in," he says.

"You just told me I died, Sans. I don't know how I'm supposed to be," you mutter, shaking your head.

"Is someone there?"

The new voice is deep and rich, filling the hall and making you jump. Sans whirls around, still clutching your hand as Asgore ducks through the doorway and freezes mid-step at the sight of you. There's a beat of silence as you all regard each other. You wonder for a moment why Sans doesn't teleport you away but you realize that even if you did it would be too late. Asgore knows Sans. He'd know where to find you.

"shit," Sans breathes, and you can't help but silently agree.

"Oh," Asgore says, shifting on his feet as the initial shock wears away. "This is... unexpected."

   
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