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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24. New Normal

Sans wakes up, and for the first time in a long time, doesn't remember what he dreamed about. He thinks that maybe it was something pleasant, or comforting. Light is slanting through his window when he opens his eyes, and he's surprised that it's already morning. He actually slept through the night, undisturbed by nightmares or insomnia.

You're laying beside him, still asleep. He can't help the smile that widens on his face as he takes in the sight of you, your expression peaceful. A hand is tucked up under your chin, fisted against the pillow. Hair is spilling over your shoulder, an unrestrained tangle of brown. Sans reaches out and pushes it away from your face, hesitating as he takes a moment to brush his fingers against the curve of your cheekbone. Your lips twitch a little, curving into a small smile and then relaxing again, a small pleased hum sounding deep in your throat.

He removes his hand, not wanting to wake you. You nuzzle into the pillow a little and continue sleeping.

This is better than any note he might leave himself to tell him that the timeline is still stable. Waking up with you beside him, a soft and wonderful reminder that the two of you are still together... he could get used to this. He feels grounded instead of disoriented. You're a tether that keeps him steady.

He just hopes it never snaps.

Frowning at himself, Sans lets out a small sigh of annoyance. No. He's not going to do that. He's going to do his best to listen to what you told him, to focus on the happiness in the moment. This moment of waking up and seeing you here with him is a good one, and he doesn't want fear to sour it. 

He's thankful that you didn't press him for more of the truth, for why he's so worried. He doesn't like lying to you, but... how can he tell you that he's certain your child has been somehow manipulating time? And that they don't even remember doing it? He's thought about confronting Frisk about it before —actually, he did once, and it didn't go well. All he can do now is hope that as long as the kid is happy, they won't do anything drastic.

Sans is certain that the truth won't do you any good. Either you won't believe him, or you'll want to know answers to questions he's afraid you'll ask. How does he tell a mother that he's killed their child before? How does he explain that he thinks that child was somehow... wrong. Not themselves. He still doesn't understand why Frisk is so different sometimes.

No. If everything ends up the way he hopes it does, with no Resets and everyone happy, then what's the point in telling you? He'd rather you just not have to deal with that truth. It isn't your burden to bear.

And then there's the reason for why he remembers the Resets in the first place... He doesn't want to think about it, let alone tell you.

But knowing that you'll be there for those moments where it all just overwhelms him, for the days that are harder than the others and it's difficult to keep on the mask. It's more of a comfort than he thinks you may realize. You aren't trying to fix the problem, like he thinks Papyrus would. If Papyrus knew that something was wrong, his brother would throw himself wholeheartedly into trying to make him happy again. And it just wouldn't work, not in the way he'd want. Papyrus has enough to deal with when it comes to Sans for him to want to add any more. He'd rather just admire his brother's upbeat and outrageously optimistic attitude. Seeing Papyrus happy —and even affectionately annoyed with him— is a comfort for Sans. It's a constant facet of the Resets he never gets tired of. He's been one of the few things keeping him from just giving up entirely.

Careful not to disturb you, Sans brushes a soft, toothy kiss to your forehead and scoots off the end of the bed. As he pulls on his blue jacket, he takes a moment to consider you as you lay there on his bed, sleeping.

The blanket is rucked up around your waist, leaving your top half exposed. Sans takes hold of it and pulls it up to your shoulder, smoothing it down along your side. His hand rests against the curve of your hip as he pauses, hesitant to leave you. "i'll be back soon. you keep sleeping," he murmurs to you, knowing that you can't hear him.

He closes the bedroom door as quiet as he can when he leaves the room. The lights are still off in the living room which surprises him. But Undyne never was much of an early riser. What time is it? He never even thought to check. But Papyrus is an early riser, so he's surprised that his brother hasn't woken the others up.

As Sans goes down the stairs, hands shoved in his pockets, he realizes that he doesn't even have to remind himself to put that grin on his face. He's already smiling.

Undyne is sprawled out on the couch, blanket half crumpled on the floor, clinging to one blue, scaly leg. Sans got used to the sight of Undyne sleeping in shorts and a tank top a long time ago, but the sudden realization that he wouldn't mind seeing you in comparably little clothing makes him a little uncomfortable. Undyne should not be inspiring any of those kinds of thoughts. It's just strange.

Distracted as he is, it takes him a moment to spot Frisk curled up on the couch with her. She's got one arm tucked around their shoulders, and the kid's back is wedged into her side. Sans is glad to see the two of them getting along at least, though he isn't sure how you might feel about it.

The faint sound of scraping coming from the kitchen catches his attention, and Sans continues through the room. Papyrus is standing at the stove, carefully stirring a pot of— that's not spaghetti. It takes Sans a moment to register what it is because he's so surprised. It looks like oatmeal. You make it so often for Frisk that he's familiar with the tan-colored goop.

Papyrus catches sight of him out of the corner of his eye, looking over at the entryway with a startled look on his face. "BROTHER, YOU'RE UP EARLY," he says, like he can't believe his eyes. Sans supposes that this is rather out of character for him. "IS THE HUMAN STILL SLEEPING?"

"yeah, bro. seems like we're the only ones up," Sans says, jerking he head back towards the couch. "what's up with frisk and undyne?"

Papyrus frowns down into the pot. "I TRIED TO GET FRISK UP WITH ME WHEN I WOKE, BUT THEY BARELY MADE IT TO THE COUCH BEFORE FALLING ASLEEP AGAIN. I WAS HOPING TO BE A BETTER INFLUENCE!"

"you're a great influence. maybe they're just not feeling very frisky this morning."

"UGH," Papyrus groans, throwing a glare at Sans. Sans just grins at him.

Skirting around his brother, Sans opens up a cabinet, rising to his toes to reach the container of instant coffee he's seen you use before. "you making breakfast for the kiddo?" he asks, frowning up at the mugs before pointing a glowing finger at the shelf and lowering one within reach with his magic.

"YES. AND SANS, THAT IS A WASTE OF ENERGY. YOU CAN JUST ASK ME TO GET THINGS FOR YOU, YOU KNOW THAT," Papyrus chides.

"you're busy. i don't wanna leave you short handed." Sans fills up the kettle and sets it on an open burner, giving his brother a companionable elbow in the ribs. He has to reach up awkwardly with his arm to do it, but it's the thought that counts. "i know it's not exactly a tall order, but..."

"I'M NOT ONE TO ENCOURAGE YOUR LAZINESS, BROTHER, BUT I THINK I WOULD PREFER YOU TO STILL BE SLEEPING THAN SUFFER THROUGH THESE HORRIBLE JOKES," Papyrus says in a deadpan voice that makes Sans laugh.

"i didn't know you were learning to make things other than spaghetti," Sans says, shuffling back around Papyrus to the silverware drawer. He fishes out a spoon.

"I HAVE BEEN OBSERVING THE COOKING YOUR HUMAN DOES, WHEN SHE LETS ME. THOUGH THE WAY SHE COOKS IS MUCH DIFFERENT FROM UNDYNE'S WAY OF DOING THINGS, I MUST ADMIT THAT THE RESULTS ARE A LOT LESS... FIERY." Papyrus gives a nervous little cough. "I'M HOPING THAT AN ENTICING BREAKFAST WILL ENCOURAGE FRISK TO WAKE UP."

"you and the kiddo have plans today?" Sans scoops a healthy serving of sugar into the mug, hoping that he has the amount right. He's seen you make this a couple times before, and doesn't want to get it wrong.

"YOU AND I HAVE WORK TO DO, AS YOU WELL KNOW, BROTHER!" he says, brandishing his stirring spoon at him accusingly. A small blob of oatmeal falls to the counter. "YOU CANNOT KEEP SLACKING OFF WITH UNDYNE HERE."

"i dunno what you're talking about, bro. i'm always working hard." Sans grins at his brother, leaning against the counter. "though i guess that's because there's nothing soft about me."

The low whistle of the kettle cuts off any outburst Papyrus might make. Sans fetches it from the stove and pours the boiling water into the mug, stirring. He's not sure what Undyne's plans for the day are, but he has a feeling you won't want to stay home with her. He thinks he'll invite you to spend the day with him at his station, if you're up for it.

"welp, i'll be back down in a few," Sans says, taking the hot mug in his hands and heading to the living room.

"DON'T FALL ASLEEP AGAIN."

You wake to the feeling of warm, smooth fingers stroking up and down your arm, Sans's low voice coaxing you out of sleep. When your eyes open to reveal an empty half of the bed, you roll over to your back and onto the skeleton's leg. He's sitting beside you, dressed and with a steaming mug in one hand. You catch the familiar scent of coffee.

Giving him a drowsy smile, you arch your back as you stretch, reaching out to rest your hand against his femur. "Morning," you mumble, making a pleased hum.

Sans pushes your hair out of your face, giving you an affectionate smile. The lights in his eyes are bright and wide as he looks at you. You feel a giddy warmth bubble in your chest, your cheeks starting to flush with pleasure. You've never had anything like this before. Never had the luxury of waking up with someone you... You catch yourself hesitating. Care seems like too weak of a word, but...

"morning sleepyhead," Sans says, holding up the mug for you to see. "brought you some coffee. i hope i made it right."

"You didn't have to do that," you say, pleasantly surprised at the gesture. You're really not used to this.

"well, if i had to, it would sort of take the intent out of it, now wouldn't it?" he says, teasing.

You sit up, letting the blanket pool around your waist. Taking the mug, you blow on the steaming coffee and sip gingerly. Sans watches you, trying to gage your reaction.

"it ok?" he asks, and you think you see a small furrow of worry between his eye sockets.

"It's exactly how I make it," you assure him, smiling. Which is to say, it still tastes pretty terrible, but it's as good as this instant coffee is going to get. "Thank you."

Pleased, his smile perks up again. "pap and i have to work today, and i'm not sure what undyne is gonna do, but if you want you and frisk can come with me. i offer all the hotdogs you can eat in exchange."

Laughing, you shake your head. "I think I can handle Undyne. She's... okay. Now that I've gotten a little more used to her. I never would have guessed she'd be so terrible at rummy."

There's something to be said about watching someone who tried to kill you get absolutely decimated at cards. It helped humanize —or monsterize you suppose— her a bit, in your eyes.

Sans looks a little surprised. "are you sure? i mean, i know that she'll behave herself, but you don't—"

You take hold of his hand, cutting him off. "It'll be fine. Besides, I have to do some more shopping anyway. I have an extra mouth to feed." You feel a little flutter in your chest, and you look down at your coffee, feeling a little shy. "Thank you for thinking about me, though. It's... I really appreciate it."

"it's the least i could do, babe. and isn't that how this whole thing works? taking care of each other?" You look back up at him, and his cheekbones have a faint blue shade to them. "at least, it seems to be the trend so far."

"Yeah. I suppose it is."

The brothers head their separate ways, Papyrus into Snowdin's forests and Sans towards Waterfall, leaving you and Frisk with Undyne. Sans reminds you that he and his brother are both just a phone call away if you need them, and you reassure him that you'll be fine. He flushes bright blue when you kiss him goodbye in front of Papyrus and Undyne.

You think you catch Undyne trying to hide a toothy grin when you turn around to face her. She doesn't ask you anything about Sans after he's gone, but whenever you mention him she has this glint in her eye.

Undyne insists on going shopping with you. She pays for everything and carries all the bags by herself, waving you away and acting insulted when you try to help. It seems like she's going out of her way to try and be nice to you, but she's so aggressive about it it just sort of makes you nervous.

After about two days of Undyne's forceful kindness, you finally work up the nerve to tell her to knock it off. At first she's taken aback by your bluntness, but then gives you a big grin and flexes her arm at you. She seems... impressed by your attitude. You think you might never understand the fish monster.

With that out of the way, things between you and Undyne are more comfortable. She still makes you a little nervous, especially when she gets worked up over something (she and Papyrus seem to get into shouting contests regularly, and angry shouting makes you anxious). But to your surprise, you start to soften towards Undyne. She's a bit rude sometimes, and energetic, but watching her with Frisk is endearing. You can't help it.

Papyrus is glad to see everyone getting along. He and Undyne spend regular time going to her house to work on getting it fixed back up. Papyrus tries to get Sans to help, but of course he doesn't. You're told that it'll still be a while until Undyne can move back into her own house, but you're starting to get used to her presence now. It's just another part of your new normal.

Things with Sans seem even better than they were before your talk. He has a lot of good days, and you start to get better at noticing the bad ones. There are a few times you wake up in the middle of the night and he's not there. You find him more than once down in the kitchen, reading through some books. He apologizes when you wander down to look for him, bleary from sleep and worried. He tells you he didn't want to disturb you while you were sleeping. He lets you drag him back to bed to sleep (sometimes not to sleep, too).

Before you realize it, a little over two weeks have passed, and you've been in the Underground for a month. Part of you wonders if your mother worries about you, but mostly you don't care.

   
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