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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153. Regret

You're waiting in the foyer when Sans comes through the front door. He looks harried, the lights in his eyes are narrow points as he takes quick stock of the state of you, then closes the distance to reach out and take your hand. The way that your Souls hum together in your chest at his touch is a reassurance that you think you both needed, because a little bit of the tension smooths out of his face. His thumb brushes over your wedding rings.

"are you ok?" he asks, his voice low.

You tangle your fingers in the front of his jacket, holding onto him and nodding. "Yeah. It's... weird, but I'm fine. What happened, I thought you weren't going to leave early?"

A frown flits across Sans's face. "alphys kicked me out, said i was being more of a nuisance."

You give a weak laugh and he rolls his eyes, but for a moment the two of you look at each other and you know that everything will be fine. Whatever happens, you have each other. 

But now that he's reassured of your well-being, you can see his focus shift. His brow furrows and he glances towards the living room. "where is he?" he asks in a tone that's almost a growl.

"In the living room," you say, and you think he's going to ask you how things have been, maybe try to understand what's been happening in the last hour, but he lets you go and brushes past you.

All you can do is follow him.

Deacon is still sitting on the couch, a look of amused anticipation on his face. Oh, you're certain he's just glad to see Sans focus his frustration on someone else for a change. He'd gotten a taste of it with Kim, but this time he can just sit back and observe. You're a little torn on how you should feel about that.

Chris is back on the loveseat, hunched forward with his arms on his knees, picking at his fingers. The second that Sans comes into the room he looks up and his eyes widen, startled and you think more than a little intimidated. He swallows hard enough that you can see his Adam's apple bob up and down.

"i've had months to think of what i'd like to say to you if you ever decided to show up," Sans says, shoving his hands into his pockets as he glares down at Chris. You're at your husband's side, silent. Chris's eyes flick over to you. "don't look at her, you look at me. you don't deserve her in your life. she's a better person, a better parent, than you'll ever be and you had your chance."

Chris is silent as he listens, which you're thankful for. The best thing he can do right now is to just let Sans talk. And you'd be lying if you said you weren't enjoying this at least a little bit. Years of bitterness aren't just going to disappear with an apology and one feeble gesture of goodwill.

"when i told her i loved her, she didn't believe me. didn't think i meant it enough because of what you did," he says, his tone darkening. You never realized just how much Sans resented him for that. When Chris flinches and looks down at the ground, Sans doesn't say anything to correct him. "the first time we had an argument she panicked because she thought i was gonna leave her, like you did. she thought i wouldn't want to spend my future with her and frisk because you didn't think they were worth yours. i love her, and i don't regret a single moment of repairing the damage you did, but she shouldn't have been damaged in the first place!" He takes a step forward, and you can feel the crackle of magic raise goosebumps up your arms. Chris must feel it too because his eyes dart back up to Sans, startled. "if you had really loved her, and stayed by her side, you could have spared her so much pain, you piece of shit. spared frisk from—"

From sharing their body with Chara. From gaining the ability to Reset in the first place. From falling into the Underground and inadvertently adding to the cycle of Sans's misery. From bringing you with them, and meeting Sans and helping free the monsters. Just like Kim, Chris had had a part to play in your lives. A key role in bringing the two of you together.

You think Sans knows it too, because he cuts himself off. He grits his teeth and looks at you, seeking out some small kind of reassurance. You give it to him, a brief, tender look before he returns his attention to Chris.

"tell me why i shouldn't kick your ass outta my house and make fucking sure you never come near my wife and child ever again," Sans demands, glaring down at the man that's nearly cowering on your couch.

How did he ever work up the nerve to stand up to his parents?

"I don't know," Chris says weakly, shaking his head and looking down at the ground, pushing his hair out of his face. "Maybe you should. Hope, I never... I never thought I'd hurt you that badly."

"What did you think would happen?" you say, touching Sans's arm as he goes to interject. But he quiets as he looks at you again.

He shakes his head again, burying his face in his hands. Whatever enjoyment you'd been getting out of watching Sans rake him over the coals is rapidly fading. "I don't know."

Sans frowns, looking annoyed as his body relaxes just a fraction. "then what the hell do you know?"

"That I'm sorry," he blurts out, and oh goddamn it his shoulders are shaking and his voice cracks. Now you just feel... sorry for him. "That I just wanted to apologize and see if there was anything I could do to help because I was worried about you guys. When you and Frisk went missing I thought that I'd lost my chance to ever find out how you were doing. Whenever your due date came around I'd... think about going over to your house but I could never work up the nerve." He rubs his face, sniffling, before looking up at you. Taking a second to collect himself, blinking hard, he meets your eyes. "I blamed myself for what happened. I knew that if I had done something you guys wouldn't have disappeared. And when they found your car at the foot of the mountain, I thought... I thought you were dead and it was my fault."

Chris takes a long, shuddering breath and you're not sure what to say. What can you say? His guilt isn't your fault. The only one he has to blame is himself and maybe his parents, and you suspect he's been doing that already for a long time.

"And my fucking parents," he continues, pushing his hair out of his face as he looks to the side, his expression twisted with disgust. "The only thing they could say when they heard what happened is that they were relieved that they could stop worrying about the chance of you coming after them for child support. That's all they ever cared about was their goddamn money. They said you got pregnant on purpose to try and get money from them!"

"What the hell?" says Deacon from behind you, listening in silence this whole time. It sums up your own thoughts quite nicely.

"What, because I was poor and brown that's all I'm good for? Getting pregnant for handouts?" you snap, because that would be just like them, those racist assholes. "Is that all they thought of me?"

Chris meets your eyes again, everything about him just screams regret, and it makes you that much angrier. How many awful things had they said about you behind your back? "I never believed them," he says, but part of you wonders if that's completely true. "When I thought you were gone and all they could talk about was how convenient it was for them... I left. I told them off like I always wanted to, packed what shit I could, and slept on Eric's couch for like a month. I haven't talked to them since."

You know how hard that is. Standing up to your mother had taken more courage than you thought you had in you, but you'd done it. "I didn't realize you could be that brave," you say, and Chris lets out a humorless laugh.

"It's fucking stupid. I could be brave enough after it didn't matter, but when it could have counted, I caved under the pressure," he says, pushing his hair over his shoulder and tilting his head to the side. "So now I work at a music store, pissing away my degree that I only got because they thought that I'd want to go into fucking 'business management'... I hope Dad gets a damn ulcer if he ever finds out. Serve the bastard right."

Silence fills the room as the three of you regard each other, uncertain of what to say. Sans's anger diminished the moment Chris started to cry, and he doesn't seem to know what to do with him. You're honestly not so sure yourself.

It stretches on to the point of awkwardness, and finally Chris pushes up to his feet. Sans lets out a soft sound of annoyance as the human towers over him. "I think maybe this was a bad idea," he says, glancing towards the front door. "All I've done is upset you guys, and I don't... who the fuck am I, right? I should just go."

As Chris goes to walk past you, and you wonder if you should call him back, Sans shocks you by doing it first. "wait," he says, in a commanding tone that makes Chris freeze mid-step and give Sans a startled look. "shit, i feel like i just kicked a damn puppy, stop looking at me like that."

"Sorry," Chris blurts out shoving his hands into the front pockets of his pants.

Sans just rolls his eyes, then looks at you. "babe, what do you think?"

You blink. "About what?"

He jerks his shoulder at Chris, not looking at him. "you know him better than me. and i trust your opinion. i'm not convinced he's got any sort of ulterior motives for being here—"

"I don't! I didn't even think you guys might think I'd try to take Frisk," Chris says, eyes wide. "I don't know the first thing about kids."

"that i believe," Sans says, and you hear Deacon muffle a laugh behind you. Sans glances over his shoulder. "deacon, you're still here?"

"Uh, yeah. It would have been kind of awkward to just get up and leave in the middle of all that. I didn't want to interrupt," he says blithely. 

"All I know is that Chris wants to help, but he doesn't know how, and he wants to meet Frisk, if we'll let him," you say, drawing your husband's attention back to you. You give Chris a questioning look. "Unless I'm forgetting something?"

He shakes his head. "Um, no, that's it," he says, then looks at Sans. "I'm not here to like, try and take your place. I know I can't! I just... if Frisk wants to talk I'm around. I can come back whenever I have time off. Whenever is good for you guys. Or never. It's cool."

"do you want him to meet frisk?" Sans says, glancing over at you.

"I think that, as long as we're both okay with it, it should be up to Frisk," you say carefully, and Chris is giving you a hesitant smile. "He's still... part of where Frisk came from."

Sans's jaw tenses at that but he doesn't say anything. He just nods.

"So are you okay with asking Frisk?" you ask. He nods again. 

"we can talk more about how you can help after we see if they even wanna meet you," Sans says, pulling his hand out of his pocket so he can lace his fingers with yours. You're not sure if he's doing it for you, for himself, or for Chris. Maybe all three. "for now, pal, maybe you oughta head home."

Chris nods, and he gives you his cell phone number so you can let him know whatever you decide. He doesn't ask for yours, and you don't offer. If you end up inviting him back, he can get your number that way.

"I'll walk him out, I need to get going too," Deacon says, pushing up from the couch. As he gestures for Chris to follow him, he gives him an amused and distinctly unimpressed smile. "Let me tell you one thing, Chris. You haven't even met a fraction of the people that care about this family, and if you do anything to hurt Hope or Frisk, you'll have a lot more than just me and Sans to worry about. But as long as we're being honest... the two of us are the ones you need to worry about."

   
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