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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172. Scared

Any number of things could have happened to you and Frisk to make them Load, and his mind immediately jumps to the worst ones. Did the Vigilum catch wind of what they were doing and decided to take it out on you? Had they attacked you, or harassed you, or… Or was it something mundane, like an accident? Were you hurt somewhere?

Sans reminds himself that if Frisk Loaded, whatever happened was undone. Maybe it was enough to keep the two of you safe. But these weak reassurances aren’t enough to calm him down. The Loads aren’t perfect. What if it hadn’t prevented anything at all, but just doomed you to repeat it?

He can’t just stand here and listen to the Literatum repeat themselves. He can’t stand here and do nothing ! Of all the times to be away from his phone…

“do you have a phone i can use?” Sans asks abruptly, cutting Morwenna off in the middle of talking to Vanessa.

Morwenna’s brow furrows and she gives him a distracted look. Her hand flicks towards the kitchen, a quick dismissal. “In there.”

“thanks,” he mutters, and breaks away from the others.

“Sans?” Deacon calls after him but he ignores him, uninterested in explaining himself. He can’t explain himself.

The landline is fixed to the wall next to a picture window, overlooking an overgrown backyard. His steps are quick as he crosses the room to reach it.

“Sans, what are you doing?” Deacon says from behind him.

Gritting his teeth, Sans turns just enough to look at him. “i need to make sure hope and frisk are ok.”

He frowns, looking confused. “I’m sure they’re fine, what’s this all about?”

“don’t worry about it,” he says, turning away to reach for the phone.

His fingers are stopped by a green shield that pops up in his way. “You can’t call her from here,” Deacon says.

Balling his hand into a fist, Sans drops it to his side and casts a dark look at Deacon as his fear bubbles over into anger. Deacon flinches, swallowing hard, but he doesn’t lower his arm and his magic is still coiling around his fingers.

“get out of my way,” Sans growls.

“If they’re tracing Hope’s calls, it’ll lead them right back here to Morwenna,” he says, taking a few cautious steps forward, as if he were approaching something dangerous.

He supposes that he is. Deacon never used to look at him like that, like he’s afraid. When they’d argue, even at his most nervous he never gave the impression that he was scared of Sans. It gives him pause, and that nagging feeling of guilt eats away at his anger.

“i don’t care.”

Deacon’s eyes narrow and he shakes his head in disbelief, letting out a harsh breath. He drops his hand and his magic dissipates, closing the gap between them as frustration wins out over his fear. “Well you need to start ,” he hisses, dropping his voice and jabbing a finger towards the living room. “Because they’re willing to risk their lives to help, so the least you could do is not make it fucking easier for the Vigilum to find them.”

Sans clenches his jaw, knowing that Deacon is right. He’s being selfish and stupid. If he were to call you and the Vigilum were to listen, not only would they know there was someone out here trying to keep in touch with you, but that he had managed to get out of Ebott. It would risk their entire plan —the entire plan that he and Deacon are currently missing out on.

Worrying about you is fucking with his head. Normally he wouldn’t be so impulsive and foolish. It shouldn’t take Deacon to tell him he’s being an idiot.

“fine,” Sans says. “you’re right.”

Deacon blinks, taken aback for a moment as he straightens his back and drops his arm to his side. “Yeah,” he says slowly. “I am.”

Sans rubs his forehead, bone scraping softly over bone as he hunches his shoulders. “we can’t stay here too long. i need to call hope.”

“What’s got you so worried? You were fine a few minutes ago.”

“just… trust me.”

“Oh, so who’s keeping secrets now ?” he asks, bitter as he arches a brow.

“deacon—”

“Whatever. I’ll let them know that we need to get back before people start wondering where we are,” he mutters, then turns on his heel to head back to the living room.

Sans takes another look at the phone before following him.

“Wait, no, you’ve got your fingers all wrong. Loosen up, you’re all tense.”

Frisk scrunches their face and gives Chris an impatient look, adjusting the unwieldy acoustic guitar in their lap. Tossing his hair back over his shoulder, Chris demonstrates how to hold the neck better with the glossy, red electric guitar he’s holding.

“Their hands are still a little small for that, Chris,” you call from the kitchen where you’re making sandwiches.

“No way, Frisk can do this, can’t you bud?” he asks, giving them a bright grin.

Frisk can’t help but smile back. “Yeah! Giving up is for losers.”

“You got all that stubbornness from your mom. Definitely not from me.” He chuckles, shaking his head.

“Dad says it’s ‘determination’ not stubbornness,” they say, pursing their lips. “It sounds cooler.”

Chris’s smile slips a little, but he recovers quickly, bobbing his head up and down in agreement. “Totally. So let’s put that determination to use and show your mom that you can play.”

They take a quick glance at the clock and realize that it’s been a little over an hour since their last Save. They’ve been trying to keep on top of them ever since they forgot the day the Line closed, so they take a second to focus inward, to set this moment as a touchstone in the back of their mind. When they feel it lock into place, they realize that Chris is talking to them.

“You ready to do this?” he asks, rocking the guitar in his lap and giving them a look of anticipation.

Nodding, they press their fingers to the strings in a mimicry of how Chris’s are positioned.

But then you’re taking a seat on the floor next to them, setting down two plates in front of them. “How about you rock legends eat some lunch first?” you say with a fond smile, reaching out to ruffle Frisk’s hair.

They try to duck away but with the guitar in the way all they can do is fall backwards to try and escape.

“Whoa, whoa, hey be careful!” Chris yelps, reaching out and snatching the instrument out of their hands.

“It’s fine,” you tell him, leaning over to grab Frisk’s hand and hoist them back into a sitting position. “C’mon sweetie, eat your lunch. Then you two can go back to playing.”

“Thanks for making lunch,” Chris says as he sets the two guitars aside, then picks up his sandwich. Blindly he takes a bite, and as he chews he makes a delighted sound. He tries to talk but his mouth is full, so he hurries to swallow. “Holy sh- shoot ,” he fumbles, looking over at Frisk. Frisk just blinks. Don’t they know that they’ve said a lot worse things than ‘shit’ in front of them before? “When did you buy honey? You remembered I love peanut butter and honey. You’re amazing.”

“I think that’s taking it a little far,” you say, and Frisk isn’t sure how they feel about that happy look on your face. “And how could I forget your impassioned protests against peanut butter and jelly?”

“Overrated,” he says, and the two of you start to laugh.

Frisk tears into their sandwich —peanut butter and strawberry jelly, like they prefer— in mildly annoyed silence.

“So what are you going to teach Frisk to play?” you ask.

Chris’s smile turns mischievous, nudging Frisk with his elbow. Frisk makes a noise of protest and nudges him back, mouth too full of bread to say anything. “You’ll see,” Chris says.

“Something simple, I hope.”

“You Hope, me Chris,” he says in a funny voice, and Frisk can’t help but splutter into laughter, spraying crumbs.

“Oh my god, you butthead,” you groan, rolling your eyes. “I haven’t heard that one in ages.”

Chris reaches over to pat Frisk on the back while they struggle to swallow. After a second they manage, and look over at him to see concerned grey eyes watching them as they wipe their mouth with the back of their hand. “You okay, bud?”

Frisk just nods, looking away quickly. It’s just… too weird. He’s so nice to them, and you, and they don’t understand how he can just… be so nice . If he was nice, then why didn’t he stay? But then things would be different. They don’t want things to be different.

“You’re not supposed to breathe in your food,” you tell them, giggling.

“I wasn’t trying to,” they answer petulantly, stuffing their mouth with more of their lunch.

As they watch, you and Chris look at each other, smiling over your sandwiches while sitting there on the floor. Something passes between the two of you, something familiar. You look away first, reaching into your pocket for your phone, and when you aren’t looking his smile falters and he looks a little… sad.

After they’re done eating Chris hands them back the guitar and they get to work on learning chords. You’re right, their hands are kinda small, and it’s tricky to reach all the strings, but they manage okay. After about fifteen minutes they’ve got the very start of the song down pretty well, but they don’t recognize the tune.

But you do.

You look up from your phone where you’re sitting on the couch (you moved after you finished eating), mouth open for a second as your brow furrows in concentration. Then you give Chris an odd look, something happy and sad at the same time. “Is that…?”

Chris gives you a hopeful look in exchange, the corner of his mouth quirking to the side in a hesitant smile. He keeps playing, past the point that Frisk knows, and his smile grows as your expression softens. They’re not sure what’s going on, they don’t like how you’re looking at each other. It’s too similar to how you and Sans look at each other sometimes, just… sadder.

“You’re teaching Frisk that song you wrote for me,” you say softly. But something in your tone is off.

His smile grows just a little. “Just the tune.”

“Chris… can I…” You sigh, crossing your arms over your chest. “Can I talk to you outside?”

“Yeah. Sure. Whatever you want,” he agrees, setting his guitar up against the wall.

As the two of you get up to leave the apartment, Frisk can’t help the twist of anxiety in the pit of their stomach. What are you going to talk about? Why do you keep looking at each other funny? Why does Chris keep looking at you like that and why does it feel… wrong?

They don’t like it. Something about it scares them and they don’t want the two of you to spend any time alone together. They’re afraid of what might happen.

Loading comes so much easier to them when they’re scared.

   
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