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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203. Part of the Family

It’s more than just Sans worrying about being the bad guy. Sure, he doesn’t want a repeat performance of what happened with Deacon, like he said. But what he’s afraid of is that once Papyrus is here, once he meets Gaster, is that he’s not going to be allowed to be angry at him anymore.

He’s kept it to himself, that anger. He’s kept it close and quiet, buried under the mess of everything else he’s been feeling the past few days (less than a week!) since Gaster tumbled into his life. But it’s been there for him to fall back to. He can hold him accountable for the accident instead of himself, the person responsible for so much pain and confusion and doubt…

It’s unfair, and it’s beneath him, and that’s why he never told you. Because you’d tell him as much and he just wanted to enjoy it while he could.

As you head to the door to usher in the inevitable, Sans catches movement out of the corner of his eye. He glances in the direction of the living room, half-expecting to see Gaster lurking there, anxious to see Papyrus. Instead it’s the kids, Frisk holding onto the edge of the entryway with Asriel hovering over their shoulder.

He hesitates for a second before beckoning them over. “c’mon, come say hi before this all goes… however it goes,” he finishes lamely, shrugging.

That’s all he gets the chance to say before Papyrus makes his grand entrance.

“HOPE! I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU AGAIN! IT’S BEEN WEEKS AND WEEKS AND I HOPE THAT SANS DIDN’T SLACK OFF WHILE I WAS GONE. SANS! THERE YOU ARE, DID YOU STAY BUSY?” He doesn’t waste any time the moment he’s through the door, wrapping you up in a hug and lifting you off your feet, leaving you clinging to his shoulders and laughing despite everything.

When he sets you down Sans gets a good look at his brother’s outfit. He’s wearing bright pink flip-flops and orange, floral shorts that are probably swim trunks. His Hawaiian shirt is in a perfectly clashing shade of dark green, and the hibiscuses don’t match the design on his shorts. Last but not least is the wilted and slightly crumpled lei around his neck, and the giant aviator sunglasses that are held on by an elastic strap behind his skull.

Honestly, he’s worn more eccentric things.

Mettaton follows silently after him, an affectionate and indulgent look on his face as he watches the reunion. He’s been with Papyrus long enough now to know when it’s best to just stand back and let him go, and this is one of those times.

“yeah, you know me. always working hard,” Sans says, giving Papyrus a lazy grin.

“THAT IS EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I KNOW ABOUT YOU,” Papyrus says, stooping down and ignoring Sans’s sound of protest as he hoists him off his feet just like he did to you. “I HOPE YOU WEREN’T TOO LONELY WITHOUT ME HERE. HAWAII WAS VERY NICE, BUT IT’S VERY FAR AWAY FROM HOME!”

As Sans is lowered back down to the ground after a fierce, bony hug, he doesn’t let his brother go. Instead he hugs him just a little bit longer and says, “i missed you, bro. i’m glad you’re back.”

“I… I MISSED YOU TOO, BROTHER,” he says, voice wavering for just a second. “WE’LL GET SOMETHING CLOSER NEXT TIME! TRAVELING SO FAR IS NICE SOMETIMES, BUT— OH, FRISK YOU MUST HAVE GROWN AN ENTIRE FOOT WHILE I WAS GONE!”

Distracted by the kids, Papyrus lets him go and hurries to wrap his arms around Frisk and Asriel, asking them how their summer was and continuing to comment on their heights. Sans takes a quick glance towards the living room, checking to see if Gaster has made an appearance yet (he hasn’t) before looking to you for reassurance. But your attention isn’t on him.

“Hope, darling, you look wonderful as always,” Mettaton purrs softly, beaming at you and wrapping you up in a much gentler hug than the one Papyrus gave you. “I trust everyone is doing well?”

You glance at Sans for just a moment before giving the robot a smile. “Yeah, you know, everyone’s fine… And I see you’re still a good liar.”

Laughing, Mettaton releases you and pats your arm. “Never. Though I’m a little shocked that Papyrus hasn’t instantly hounded you about that surprise, he’s been on and on about it for the last three days. I’m sure he’ll remember soon enough.”

Your expression falters just a little. “Mettaton, listen, about that—”

“SANS, I KNOW YOU MUST BE DYING TO SHOW ME WHAT YOUR SURPRISE IS! I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, HAVE DECIDED THAT YOU SHOULD GO AHEAD AND GET IT OVER WITH, THAT WAY YOU DON’T HAVE TO CONTAIN YOURSELF ANY LONGER,” Papyrus blurts out, one arm around Frisk’s shoulders as he rests the other on his hip. Bright orange sparkles dance around his eyes, and it looks like he’s having trouble keeping still.

It hits him, not for the first time, that Gaster really must be their father. He’s seen that look of eager anticipation on his face, those silly glittering sparkles that neither of them seem to consciously control. Not to mention the blasters… But all this time he’s been looking for traces of himself in Gaster, when really it’s been Papyrus all along.

Somehow that makes this next part a little easier.

“yeah, ok,” Sans says, gesturing towards the living room. “c’mon, lemme introduce you.”

“INTRODUCE ME TO WHO?”

He doesn’t say. Instead he leads the way into the other room, hands shoved into his pockets, his shoulders set with stubborn resignation. He feels your hand on his arm, and having you beside him is a small comfort. But there’s not much that you can do to help. The situation is out of his control now. He’s set the gears in motion and how he has to hope that everything turns out as best as it possibly can.

Gaster is waiting in the center of the room, fidgeting with the sleeves of his dark red turtleneck, his eyes narrowed to tight, anxious points of light. He looks up as everyone enters the room, his focus immediately seeking Papyrus out. A wobbly smile curves his mouth, taking in every bit of him in a hungry way that Sans isn’t sure how to feel about.

Everyone is quiet. Papyrus looks at Gaster, confused, before glancing at Sans and them back to their father again. He clears his throat loudly and unnecessarily before adopting a bright smile. “HELLO! I’M NOT SURE WHO YOU ARE OR WHY YOU’RE MY SURPRISE, BUT IT’S NICE TO MEET YOU!” he says, crossing the room with long strides and holding out his hand.

Sans is sure that Gaster is going to crack and hug Papyrus just like he did to him when they first met. He’s braced for it, waiting for it to happen. But it doesn’t. Instead Gaster looks down at Papyrus’s hand, takes it in his own, and clasps it tightly. “It is so good to see you,” Gaster says, his voice thick with emotion kept tenuously in check.

Surprising himself, Sans walks over to them, leaving you behind with Mettaton and the kids. Papyrus looks at him, clearly confused but doing his best not to let it show. “bro, this is… uh…” He hesitates, fishing a hand out of his jacket to gesture at Gaster and run his fingers across the back of his skull. “this is our dad.”

Papyrus stares at him, that confused look not going anywhere. Then he turns to Gaster, tipping his head down to look at his hand still held in his grip. “...ARE YOU SURE? I THOUGHT WE DIDN’T HAVE A DAD.” His voice is too flat, too emotionless.

“we just can’t remember, it’s… it’s complicated,” Sans says, grimacing, glancing between the two of them and suddenly unsure of how to make this better. But he knows that he wants it to be better. “i can try to explain later.”

Papyrus’s eye sockets narrow just a fraction, brow furrowing in concentration as he studies Gaster a little closer.

“I’m sorry, Papyrus, I know this is difficult,” Gaster says, patting the back of his hand. “It’s quite a lot to believe—”

“I BELIEVE SANS,” he says, with an intensity that startles them both. Sans drops his hand back to his side, feeling a little in awe of his brother’s devotion. “IF HE SAYS THAT YOU’RE OUR DAD, THEN IT MUST BE TRUE. HE MAY LIKE TO PLAY A LOT OF JOKES, BUT HE WOULDN’T JOKE ABOUT THIS! SANS, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?”

Sans can only stare blankly up at the sudden swing in Papyrus’s mood and the huge grin that brightens his expression. “uh, no? what’s it mean?”

“IT MEANS WE GET TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THAT LOST TIME! WE CAN DO ALL THOSE DAD THINGS LIKE… UH… CATCH AND…” He hesitates. “SANS, YOU’RE A DAD! WHAT DAD THINGS CAN WE DO?”

A strange blend of relief and reservation wash over him, catching him by surprise and leaving him with his go-to grin and an awkward laugh. “i’m sure we’ll figure something out,” he says, shrugging and glancing at Gaster.

He’s got tears shining in his eyes and he looks so happy. Sans might not have been able to do this for him, to make him feel welcome or wanted, but Papyrus has. Guilt and self-centered bitterness is added to the already confusing jumble of emotions he’s refusing to acknowledge, a pile to sort through later. There’s too much to feel and no time to spend on it. Not right now.

“I’m not sure how well I’d do with catch,” Gaster admits, apologetic through his smile as he tries not to cry. “But I’m here for you now. For both of you.”

“THIS IS SO EXCITING!” Papyrus blurts out, freeing his hand and wrapping Gaster up in a tight hug. “PLEASE DON’T CRY!”

But it’s too late because Gaster already is. Sans takes a hasty swipe at his own face and glances back at you in time to see the dark look on Mettaton’s face as he pulls you out of the room.

Mettaton catches your eye the moment Papyrus breaks away from him to go greet Gaster. You’re not sure what he’s thinking, though you have a good idea from your own first impressions of this whole situation. But what you think at first is just confusion and a desire not to interrupt turns into clear displeasure as his face twists into a frown and he crosses his arms over his chest. He keeps looking from his husband and his family over towards you, and a creeping sense of guilt twists in your stomach.

Finally, once it’s clear he’s had enough, he jerks his chin towards the kitchen, waiting for your little nod of understanding before reaching for your wrist and leading you away.

“I’m just supposed to believe that their father just appeared out of thin air?” Mettaton demands the moment he has you alone, whirling around to face you as you duck into the dining room. He rests his hands on his hips, arching a perfect brow. “Have you suspected that perhaps he’s lying to try and manipulate his way into this family?”

“He’s not lying,” you say, wincing up at him and folding your arms over your stomach. “Do you honestly think Sans would let him get anywhere near Papyrus if we didn’t believe him?”

“Oh, I’m not ready to even talk about Sans yet,” he snaps, expression pulling into a deep frown.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” you ask defensively.

“How can you be so sure that this person is who he says he is?” he retorts, ignoring your question.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with him. And talked with him, and just…” You fish around for some kind of concrete evidence, giving a helpless gesture as you turn away from him. “He’s got those blaster skulls. The ones Sans and Papyrus can make. And I know he looks sort of off but he’s definitely skeletal.”

Mettaton taps at his waist, his expression relaxing just a bit. Tossing his hair out of his face, he lets out a heavy sigh. “How much time? How long has he been here? Obviously the past three days.”

“...Almost a week,” you admit, feeling that stab of guilt again as Mettaton’s eyes widen.

“And Sans thought calling this… this ambush a surprise was the right idea?” He leans forward, jabbing a finger towards the living room. “For someone who is supposed to be so damn smart, your husband sure is an idiot sometimes.”

“Hey,” you snap, holding up a hand and doing your best not to shoot him a nasty look. “He just thought he was doing what was best.”

“Oh, yes of course! That’s what Sans always does. What he thinks is best without consulting anyone else!”

“Mettaton…” As frustrated as you are, you know that Mettaton has every right to be just as upset. It’s why you’ve felt so guilty, realizing too late that you should have at least said something to him if not Papyrus himself.

“Don’t,” he says, balling his hand into a fist. “I know that Sans doesn’t respect my place in this family—”

“He does!”

“—but he should have said something to us. It’s not up to him to decide on things that affect everyone. Did you have any input on this?”

You open your mouth to reply but find yourself caught. He stares at you, waiting, until you force yourself to speak. “No…” you admit begrudgingly. “I left it up to Sans.”

“Because that’s how it always is,” he hisses. “And I’m not satisfied with letting him do what he thinks is best for Papyrus and I. I understand that they’re close, and that Sans is doing this because he honest to god cares about him. But he isn’t responsible for Papyrus’s well-being anymore. He hasn’t been for four years. 

“I know… Mettaton I should have told you. I didn’t even think about it,” you say, spreading your hands helplessly.

The anger melts off of Mettaton’s face, sighing and shaking his head as he folds up one of your hands between his. “I’m sorry, Hope. I’m not angry with you. This is… this is the final moment in a string of many that just… Sans needs to trust me to know how to help Papyrus. We need to worktogether instead of him making all these choices on his own. Choices that aren’t even ours to make, they should be going to Papyrus! I understand why he wouldn’t want to tell him while we were in the middle of the ocean, but... I would have liked to know about this ahead of time instead of getting caught entirely unaware.”

“I know…”

Mettaton gives you a tight smile, releasing your hand and crossing his arms over his chest. “Though I suppose worrying about Sans trying to beparental to Papyrus should be the least of my worries now that we have a father-in-law to worry about. How is he? How are you?”

“He’s fine, he’s…” You give him a weak smile in return, shrugging. “Gaster is very nice. It’s… Mettaton, it’s so complicated right now, but he’s just trying so hard to fit in. I’m sure you’ll get along just fine.”

“Yes, well, I do know how difficult it can be to find a place in this family,” he muses, arching a brow. You let out a clipped, awkward laugh.

“Well, then maybe you shouldn’t have tried to kill me.”

“Touché.”

   
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