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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45. Nightmares

It's cold and dark. You're strapped to a frigid metal exam table and you can't move. There's someone moving in the shadows but you can't turn your head to try and look. All you can do is wait, dressed in a hospital gown and shivering from the cold and from fear.

You're blinded by a large round surgical lamp as it cuts on without warning. Gasping and squeezing your eyes shut, you struggle to move but you're strapped down too tight. The click of heels against concrete echoes through the room, and the hard fingers of a metal hand give you a firm pat on the cheek.

"None of that, darling, open your eyes."

Wincing, you open your lids enough to start to adjust to the light. Those cold, metal fingers grip either side of your face, digging almost painfully into your jaw. You feel the strap across your forehead go slack and the hand jerks your head to the side. Mettaton is frowning down at you once you can finally see, blinking at the brightness of the light still hurting your eyes.

He purses his lips. "We were so rudely interrupted before. Now, where were we?"

You're standing in front of a wall of whirring fans, and you know that Frisk is behind you, clutching onto the jacket tied around your waist. Your skin feels grimy with sweat and your cheek is throbbing. The coppery tang of blood fills your mouth.

Mettaton is in front of you, sighing dramatically and spreading his hands wide. He twirls his chainsaw from one finger like one might do with an umbrella. "Hmm, you know what, this isn't nearly glamorous enough. How about a little change of scenery?"

Lights are blinding you again, spotlights trained on you and Mettaton. The roar of thousands of cheering voices is immediate and deafening. The robot has his chainsaw in one hand and a microphone in the other as he struts to the edge of the stage, blowing kisses to the crowd and waving. You try to run but you can't. It's like you're glued to the ground even though there's nothing restraining you.

He turns back to you and rests the microphone on his hip, his bright smile going sour as he looks at you. You try to open your mouth to speak but you can't. Your throat won't make any sounds.

"Every time you've survived down here, it's because someone's come to your rescue. Sans, Papyrus, Alphys, Undyne, the amalgamates... you're absolutely pathetic on your own, aren't you?" he says, taking slow, swaying steps towards you across the stage. "It was only a matter of time before someone managed to get you alone and defenseless. And no one is here to protect you. No one is here to save you."

You're shaking, panic singing through your nerves but you can't move, you can't scream, you can barely breathe. You can only watch as Mettaton prowls closer, throwing the microphone aside as he reaches for the starting cord on the chainsaw.

"Now, darling, I think it's time to see if I can't find some use for that fractured little Soul of yours."

The grating roar of the motor coming to life drowns out all other sound, filling your head and consuming everything around you in static. The world has narrowed down to Mettaton's manic grin and the blurred teeth of the chainsaw as it swings upwards, poised to fall upon you. Then, as it falls and you feel yourself swallowed up in thick, strangling darkness, you wake up.

Struggling to sit up, you're held down by something wrapped around your middle. For a moment you start to panic, pushing against it with your hands until you recognize the smooth warmth of Sans's arms. Your skin is tingling as you fight to bring yourself back to your senses. You thought you were doing better. But it seems that your subconscious has other ideas. The pounding of your heartbeat is so loud that you almost can't hear Sans's voice as he mumbles in his sleep.

"no..." he says, and through the darkness you can barely make out the deep furrow in his brow. He's sweating, and you feel his grip around you spasm and tighten. "please, no..."

With some effort you're able to roll over onto your side to face him, chest to chest. "Sans," you say, reaching up to press a hand to his cheek. He shakes his head, turning away from your touch and into his pillow. Your own lingering fear is still there, but it feels distant as you're caught up in wanting to help the man you love.

"no," he says again, hands twisting into the back of your shirt. You feel a familiar hum in the air, prickling over your skin. Shivering, goosebumps raise on your arms as you stroke your hand along with curve of his skull.

"Hun, you're having a nightmare," you say, voice tight in your throat. You give him a weak shake, trying not to startle him. "You need to wake up."

Sans shudders and twitches, and the humming feels more like a buzzing. Like something angry and ready to lash out. You think you feel your Soul tugging inside you, reacting to his magic. He's woken you up with his nightmares before. It's rare, but it's happened a few times though never like this. If he hurt you, even on accident, he'd never forgive himself.

"Sans," you say, firmer this time. "Wake up!"

Gasping, his eye sockets fly open and blue light fills the space between you. You flinch away, squinting at the sudden brightness and you're forcibly reminded of your nightmare just minutes ago. A shiver of fear runs down your spine.  The tension in the air presses down on you, and for a moment the pressure in your chest grows until you think your Soul is going to tug free, but then, all at once, the buzz of magic is gone and you're plunged back into darkness.

Unable to see until your eyes readjust, you hear Sans take in a shuddering breath and feel him press his forehead to yours. "shit, i'm... are you okay? did i...?"

"It's okay, I'm fine," you tell him, wrapping your arms around his back and hugging him close. "We're both fine."

His fingers slowly uncurl from the fabric of your t-shirt, flattening his hands and pressing them along the curve of your spine. "you're trembling," he says, and you realize he's right.

"I just woke up from my own nightmare," you admit, and he rubs a small circle between your shoulders. "Seems like this was a shitty night for both of us."

The two white pinpricks of light glow faintly in his eye sockets, so close that his face is a pale blur. You stop trying to focus on him, closing your eyes and sighing as you try to calm your still-racing heart. Sans shifts lower so he can rest his head against your chest. He told you once that listening to your heartbeat was soothing. Something about the way your heartbeat matches a pulse in your Soul that he can feel when he's close. You don't really understand it, but you don't need to. 

"what was your nightmare about?" he asks, after a moment.

"Mettaton, what else," you mutter, curling forward to press your cheek against the top of his skull. "Probably the same as you."

Sans doesn't answer.

"Do you want to talk about it?" you ask, certain you know what he's going to say.

"no," he says, like you expect. He never wants to talk about his nightmares. But you still offer, because you never want him to doubt that you're willing to listen. "...do you want to talk about yours? i may not have any ears but..."

You smile at his attempt to lighten the mood. Your lip feels a little tight from where it's still healing, but it doesn't hurt much anymore. You shake your head, kissing the smooth curve of bone under your cheek. "I'm okay."

"you should try to get some more sleep. undyne's party is tomorrow —well, today i guess. and i know you have baking to do." He pulls away enough to scoot back up so that you're at eye level. You shift your hips and slide your leg between his, opening your eyes so you can look at him. An arm drapes over your waist.

"I'm too awake to fall asleep yet," you say, resting a hand on his side. Your thumb traces the curve of one of his ribs through his shirt. "I'd rather just talk for a bit, if that's okay."

"sure, babe," he says, his fingers slipping under the hem of your shirt. He traces lazy shapes against the small of your back with his phalanges. "what do you wanna talk about?"

"I dunno," you mumble, shrugging. "Whatever."

Sans huffs a laugh. "throw me a bone here."

"Ugh," you say, unimpressed.

"are you saying you don't find my bone puns humerus any more?" Even in the dark you can see his pale grin widen, the lights in his eyes growing brighter.

"Hun, please," you say, groaning and shaking as you hold back a laugh.

"because i have a skele-ton of them."

Maybe it's because you expect it that you let out a snort, burying your face in your pillow to muffle your laughter.

"no, don't do that," he says, reaching to cup your cheek with the hand that isn't on your back, wedging his fingers between your head and the pillow. "you know i love to hear you laugh."

Weak giggles still escaping you, you press kisses along the bones of his palm. "Listen to those honeyed words! Do you have a sordid past that I should know about?"

"not so much. what can i say, you bring out my sweet side," he says, winking. As you shake your head weakly, he leans in close to brush a toothy kiss to your cheek. "tell me something about the surface. or about your childhood. anything you want."

You hesitate, trying to search his face but there's only so much of him you can see in the dark. "What about your childhood? You're always asking about me, but don't you want to talk about yourself, too?"

Sans shrugs, blinking. "there's not much to talk about. just normal kid stuff, y'know?"

"What about..." you pause, thinking. "What about your parents? I don't think you've ever mentioned them to me before."

"well, we uh... we lost our mom when pap was still a baby..." he says, sounding a little uncomfortable.

Well, you can't blame him for not wanting to talk about it. "Oh, I didn't... My dad died when I was little," you say, shifting a bit in his arms and stroking your cheek against his hand. 

"you've never mentioned your dad before. do you remember him at all?" he asks gently.

"He... um..." you chew the inside of your lip, thinking as your toes traces along the bones of his feet. He twitches a little. "I was five. He had brown hair and brown skin —darker than mine. He wasn't home that much, I think he worked a lot. But on the weekends, he'd take me to the park and push me on the swings."

"he sounds nice."

"Things didn't get bad until after he died. I think..." you sigh, closing your eyes for a moment and reopening them. Sans just lays there with you, watching your face. "Losing him changed her. I wonder sometimes, what things would have been like if he was still alive."

"loss does things to people," he says, running his thumb down the length of your nose. It tickles a little and you scrunch up your face.

"Did losing your mom change your dad?"

He hesitates. "i don't remember what he was like before. so, i dunno."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk about sad things," you say, feeling guilty. You sigh, trying to think of something else to talk about. "Um... oh, I can tell you about another sci-fi movie I've seen. I think I told you about, uh..."

"you told me about planet of the apes last time," he says, grinning. "i remember you were pretty passionate about... what was the line? 'get your paws off me—'"

"No, no, it's 'get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!' You have to remember 'stinking' it's very important." You smile back at him, ruining your serious tone.

"of course, i apologize. my mist-ape." He laughs as you dig your fingers into his ribs in retaliation, pulling you close against him as he squirms. "and that's the older one, right?"

"Right! Yeah, that one's a classic. We don't talk about the remake... Um... oh, how about Stargate..."

 
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