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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48. More Choices Than Yes or No

Papyrus spends most of his day with Undyne and Alphys in the garbage dump, helping them pick through trash while periodically wandering off to give them some time alone. He's glad that the two of them finally worked out their feelings, and he can't help but feel a bit responsible for this excellent turn of events. Granted, you helped out a lot, but surely it was due to his own urging.

Their day ends with the three of them jogging back to Alphys's lab, Papyrus shouting words of encouragement the whole way. Afterwards, he and Undyne take a much more relaxed pace back to the fish monster's house. The heat of Hotland always takes a toll on her, even without her armor.

After spending some time with Undyne, making sure she gets plenty of water (she rolls her eyes at him, but accepts his hovering with only a little argument), Papyrus decides that he should head home. But, as he leaves the small enclosed space that makes up Undyne's front yard, he spots a familiar, rectangular shape.

Mettaton doesn't seem to notice Papyrus as he rolls on his single wheel away from Napstablook's house. If it's possible for a metal rectangle to look contemplative, Mettaton is managing somehow. His screen is dark save for a single row of yellow through the center.

Pushing through a small bout of nerves, Papyrus jogs after him with long-legged strides. "H-HELLO METTATON! FANCY SEEING YOU HERE!"

The robot does an odd little jerk, a whirring noise tapping away inside his body. It almost sounds like a computer fan getting stuck. Spinning around to face Papyrus, the line of yellow contracts to a single square, then changes into an exclamation point that fills the center of his screen. "Oh! Ah, Papyrus! You startled me, darling," he says, resting a hand over his row of dials. "Your... brother isn't with you, is he?"

"SANS? NO HE SHOULD BE AT HOME RIGHT NOW. BUT NOW THAT YOU MENTION HIM, SANS IS VERY ANGRY WITH YOU STILL!" Papyrus frowns, resting his hands on his hipbones. "HE SAID THAT YOU TRIED TO HURT THE HUMANS."

Mettaton's screen floods with yellow, then three red squares fill across the center, like an ellipsis. "Ah, yes, well... that's true."

"HE NEVER TOLD ME WHAT HAPPENED, BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS SOME SORT OF MISUNDERSTANDING." Papyrus sighs, wringing his gloved hands.

"Not exactly. Though, the entire situation is all rather regrettable, in retrospect," Mettaton says, giving a helpless shrug with his arms.

"MAYBE IF YOU APOLOGIZED, THEN THINGS WOULD BE BETTER! I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, AM SURE THAT IF YOU TRY—"

"Darling that's... adorably naive of you," Mettaton cuts in, his voice sweet and placating, "But I'm certain that your brother would much rather never catch sight of me anywhere near—"

"BUT YOU'LL NEVER KNOW UNLESS YOU TRY! IF YOU FEEL BADLY ABOUT WHAT YOU DID, YOU SHOULD TELL THEM. MAYBE THEY'LL FORGIVE YOU!" Papyrus strikes a gallant pose, the tail of his scarf fluttering in a non-existent breeze. "THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED WITH UNDYNE! AND YOU ARE SORRY, AREN'T YOU?"

Mettaton just stares, his screen changing to a pair of dots for eyes and a flat line for an expressionless mouth. "Yes, well, that may be true. And I would like to apologize... But I really don't think that Sans wants an apology. He just wants me gone."

"NONSENSE! MY BROTHER IS MUCH KINDER THAN THAT!" With enough courage and enthusiasm to break past what shyness he might feel around his robot idol, Papyrus reaches out and takes hold of Mettaton's hand. "TRUE, HE MAY NOT BE AS KIND AS ME! BUT I THINK THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION IS TO LET THEM KNOW YOU'RE SORRY!"

Even without eyes, Mettaton seems to look down at the way Papyrus has latched onto his hand. "You're a sweetheart, Papyrus, but really. I think it's best if—"

"COME WITH ME! I'M SURE WE CAN GET ALL OF THIS SORTED OUT IN NO TIME!" Ignoring the robot's protests, Papyrus turns on his heel and pulls Mettaton after him, determined to make everything right again.

What the hell had Sans walked into?

The only bit of comfort he found was in the equally shocked look on your face the moment your eyes met. But, did that mean that you didn't want him to take on that role?

God, what did he even want?

Dad.

He's sitting back on the couch where he should have stayed, rigid with his elbow propped up on the armrest, holding his forehead in his hand. He supposes this was inevitable. With the way things have been progressing with the two of you, it was only a matter of time before the discussion turned towards Frisk. But he hadn't expected to get blindsided by it, and from the looks of it neither had you. You didn't tell Frisk 'no', but was that because you didn't want to upset the kid, or because you didn't want to make that choice for him? What would your answer have been if he hadn't walked in at that moment?

What does he want your answer to be?

He's hurt (killed) Frisk. He's taken care of Frisk. And now... he's started to love Frisk. It's been weeks since he realized that he was afraid of losing both of you, but can he really step up to that plate? Sure it's been something he's thought of before, especially considering his relationship with you, but to hear the idea spoken out loud, by Frisk no less. He didn't realize that the kid thought of him that way.

He doesn't deserve to be thought of that way. How can he ever look Frisk in the eye and not see what he's done? Just the thought of something like that happening again, of them coming back and Sans having to put them down like an animal again after all this... it tears him up inside. He doesn't deserve to be called 'Dad' by a kid he's killed more times than he wants to remember.

But Frisk wants him. They want him to be the person he isn't sure he can be. After everything, maybe he owes it to the kid to try. Maybe he owes it to you to be Frisk's other parent.

But how can he be a parent to the child that could take all his happiness away in an instant? How can he even try to control a kid with that much power? Power they don't seem to realize they even have...

How can he let himself make it that much more unbearable if there was a Reset? Not only would he not even know if you'd come out of those Ruins with Frisk, but having to go back to absolutely nothing with both of you all over again...

But part of him —so much of him, the parts that let you in to begin with— wanted to say yes.

He wanted to wrap you both up and tell you yes and swear that the three of you —no, four because Papyrus would be an amazing uncle— would be a family, just like Frisk's wish. The family that you've never had but he knows you want. A family that would give Frisk the love that they deserve.

Is this what Frisk needed? You and a family and love? Is that what this all was working towards? Would this stop the Resets and finally give them all peace and a future?

But he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know how to make this decision. This isn't some small thing. This is something permanent. And it's not just his choice, if anything it's yours. And he has no clue what you think about it.

If you told him that you want him to be that person for Frisk, to be Dad, could he say yes?

But he's not sure that he wants to hear you say no, either.

"Alright, I'm gonna leave this pot on the stove because it has to simmer for a while, but leave it alone, okay sweetie?" You shift the heavy stock pot full of soup on the burner, making sure the lid is in place before turning to Frisk.

Frisk is sitting at the kitchen table, worksheets spread out in front of them as they scratch away dutifully with one of those gaudy colored pencils that Sans let them pick out. The more expensive ones you tried to talk them out of, but Sans insisted he'd pay for.

You think that some people might be bitter over how much Sans and Papyrus have taken care of you and Frisk. Knowing that in your situation, you'd have nothing without them. No money, nowhere to live, and honestly, you're not sure that you and Frisk would be okay in the Underground without them. But you've never had an independent streak. You're not bitter or frustrated that right now you don't have the means to take care of yourself or Frisk on your own. Instead you're just so grateful. They took you in and cared for both of you and loved you. Treated you like family.

Family.

You lean down and press a kiss to Frisk's forehead through the curtain of their bangs, earning yourself a half-hearted protest. "You stay here and finish your homework. Just holler if you need me," you say.

"Okay, Mom."

Sans is in the living room, sitting on the couch and looking like he's bracing himself. He's holding his head with one hand, elbow propped on the armrest and his other arm is buried deep in his jacket pocket. Nervous sweat is dotting the side of his skull and the lights in his eye sockets are dim as they flick over to you. You can only wonder at what he must be thinking right now.

He loves you, but is it enough to commit to you and Frisk, completely? The last time someone you cared about was offered the title of 'dad', they left. You can't help but feel the anxious twist of fear in your stomach at the thought.

You and Sans look at each other, and the uncertainty you see mirrored back at you makes you realize something. "Hey," you say, approaching the couch. Sans straightens his back, lifting his head from his hand.

"hey," he echos back, shifting a little to turn towards you as you take a seat beside him.

"So... I just want to say that... we don't have to talk about this yet," you say, fumbling over the words as you search his face. A little bit of the tension eases away from his eyes, but he's still a bit shaken.

"i get that. but... i don't want you to make any decisions that you're not ready to make, i mean..." Sans reaches out and takes your hand, pressing your palms together before tangling his fingers with yours. He looks down at your joined hands, staring at them and studying them in a moment of heavy silence.

"I don't want you to feel pressured either," you murmur, leaning forward and tipping your head up to try and get him to look at your face. "The last thing I want is to scare you off, like..."

Sans's head jerks up to meet your eyes, the white lights glowing brighter. "i'm not going anywhere," he says, reaching out with his free hand to cup your cheek. "it takes a lot more than this to get me rattled."

You don't realize the true extent of your fear until relief floods you, sweetened by the comforting familiarity of Sans's pun. Smiling, you let out a breath you didn't know you were holding. "Good," you say, leaning forward to press your forehead to his, twisting the fingers of your free hand in the thick fluff of his jacket and holding tight. "Because I don't know what I'd do without you."

You expect a joke. Maybe a quip about you being bonely without him, or something similar. But instead he buries his hand deep into the thickness of your hair and cradles your head, tilting so he can meet your lips with his mouth. A kiss for your sake. "i love you. i love you, and i love frisk. i want you both to stay here. with me. and when we're both ready to make this more, ah," Sans fumbles for a second, and you think you see a hint of blue on his cheekbones, "permanent, i'm willing to make that commitment to both of you." Your cheeks feel warm, and Sans pulls away enough that he can glance away, then back to you. For a moment he seems almost shy. "so, uh, this isn't really a yes or a no. but maybe more of a someday."

You didn't think it was possible, but somehow your heart swells with even more love than before. Tears well up in your eyes at the sheer strength of it, and your smile is wide across your face. "I think 'someday' sounds perfect."

   
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