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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132. Silver Lining

"babe, just breathe, ok?"

Your chest hurts. It feels like you can't get enough air but you do your best to listen to Sans's voice. You're having a panic attack. You know it but it doesn't help because your body won't listen. Squeezing your eyes shut, you press your forehead into Sans's shoulder and try to focus on the feeling of his hand rubbing circles between your shoulders. You can't stop shaking.

"i've got you. i've got you and you're ok, she's gone," he says, cradling the back of your head. "can you nod for me, lemme know you hear me?"

You nod against him and he hugs you closer, tucking his head next to yours.

"that's my girl, you're doing great. just keep breathing."

The door opens and you jump, clinging tighter to Sans's sweater as you let out a small sob. You feel him look up, and he drags his fingers through your hair, against your scalp like he knows you like.

"it's just deacon coming back inside," he tells you, nuzzling your temple. "is she gone?"

"Yeah. Watched her go. I called ahead to the checkpoint to let them know what happened, they'll keep an eye out for her," Deacon says, sighing. You peek over Sans's shoulder to try and look at him but your eyes are all blurry from crying. But you think you can see the apologetic look on his face. "Is there anything I can do?"

"babe, what—"

"Stay." You free one hand from between the two of you, reaching over Sans's shoulder for Deacon. He hesitates for only a second before taking your hand and letting you pull him closer. Sniffling, drawing in a deep, shuddering breath and wiping your eyes with your sleeve, you do your best to give him a watery smile. "Please stay, Deacon... I'm just so glad you're here."

"I'm not going anywhere," he says firmly, sandwiching your hand between both of his and squeezing. "Though I can't really take the credit, it was Sans's idea."

You're starting to feel better. Exhausted and wrung out, but better. Sans is still holding you, Deacon has your hand, and with the two of them here you're feeling safe again. Resting your chin on your fiancé's shoulder, you let out a slow exhale and force some of your muscles to relax.

"you were here at just the right moment, thank you," Sans says, and you watch Deacon's expression brighten just a little. "if things had escalated any further..."

If things had escalated he would have had to use his magic, more than he already did. And who knows how Kim would have reacted to something like Sans forcibly removing her from the house with his gravity magic? That would have involved her Soul and just... there are too many variables there. Things that you were able to avoid just by having Deacon step in. You're glad that Sans had this contingency in place, even though you're frustrated for not thinking of it yourself. But you'd been hoping, hoping so much, for things to go well.

"I feel like such an idiot for even talking to her in the first place," you mumble, fresh tears swimming in your eyes.

"you're not. it's not your fault that she tricked you, that she wasn't the person you hoped she'd be," Sans says, doing his best to be soothing but you can hear the edge in his voice.

"Exactly," Deacon agrees, squeezing your hand.

You want to argue, to wallow in your own regret and poor choices, but the oven beeping in the kitchen yanks you back to reality, hard enough to make you tense up again. "Oh, shit, I almost forgot about dinner, I need to—"

"we'll handle it, babe don't worry," Sans says, easing away from you so he can look you in the eye. His pupils are two sharp points. 

"But I—"

"don't worry about it. i can..." He hesitates, looking towards the kitchen. "i can get papyrus. where are him and frisk?"

"Upstairs," you mumble, wiping your face with your free hand. Deacon is still holding the other. "I didn't want Frisk to see all that."

"no, you did the right thing. i'll be right back, you stay with deacon," he says and you nod before he disappears.

"Hope—" Deacon doesn't get the chance to say anything else before you throw your arms around him. You hear him let out a soft sigh as he wraps you up and hugs you back, holding you tight. For someone that used to be so hesitant about physical contact, he gives great hugs. (In all fairness, you think you and Bo might be the only exceptions.) "I'm sorry. That things didn't turn out how you wanted."

"Me too," you mumble, muffled a little by his chest. You turn your head and rest your cheek against him, tucked under his chin. "I just... wanted her to be something she's not anymore. But I... I tried. I tried to..." Trailing off, you shake your head and you try to swallow back more tears as they gather in your eyes.

"You did what you could to try and let her back into your life, and she ruined it. Not you, her. You did more than she deserved, but at least you know you tried. That's what you wanted, right?" He's rubbing your back, a little harder than Sans was but it's a good distraction. You try to focus on that feeling, nodding.

Yeah. That's what you wanted.

The oven stops beeping and you can hear Papyrus in the kitchen. Sans must have teleported him down. Deacon lets you go and you wipe your eyes, giving him a small smile that he returns as you pull away from him. Frisk appears and runs towards you from the kitchen, flinging their arms around your waist before giving Deacon a confused look.

"Did she leave? And why is Mr. Stuart here?" they ask, peering up at you through their bangs. "Mom... were you crying?"

You smooth their hair away from their forehead, kneeling down to plant a kiss there and pull them into a proper hug. Swallowing past the lump in your throat, you nod. "Yeah, sweetie, I was. Your grandmother upset me very much, but she's gone now. Deacon came over to help make sure she left and didn't cause any trouble."

Frisk's arms are around your neck, their face burrowed into the crook of your shoulder. "Did she hurt you? Are you okay?"

The fact that Frisk even knows to ask that, that they know what she's capable of is proof enough that you did the right thing by kicking her out. You just should have done it sooner. If it wasn't for your own guilt you never should have given her this chance at all. Blinking back tears, you look up at Deacon and you can see the pain in his face as he watches Frisk. He shakes his head and hooks his thumbs on his jeans, turning away.

"My heart hurts, and I'm sad and upset, but I'll be okay," you tell Frisk, your voice tight. "What about you? I'm sorry to get your hopes up."

"I don't want to see her if she's going to make you cry!" Frisk blurts out, squeezing you. You smile, even though they can't see it. "I'm glad she's gone, if she's still gonna be mean..."

"That's right. Besides, we've already got plenty of family right here." You told yourself that before, on Thanksgiving. Now this time you're actually going to listen.

"you were really on the back porch the whole time?" Sans looks at Deacon across the table, arching a brow and giving him a wry smile as all five of you eat dinner.

"Yes, really. Uh, speaking of which I have to remember to go get my book, I just sort of left it on the steps," Deacon says with a sheepish grin.

This is much better. Dinner with Kim would have been a tense, anxiety-ridden affair but this. This is real family. You're smiling and Sans has his hand on your leg and everyone is just... happy. You're happy.

"what are you reading?" Sans asks, rubbing his thumb along the curve of your knee as he pokes his fork at his salad.

Deacon goes on to describe a historical fantasy novel you haven't heard of before, but Sans looks interested at least. The two of them start talking books and you're content to just watch them. Is this what it took to get the two of them to start getting along? Both of them teaming up to protect you? Well, if that's the case at least today wasn't a total waste.

Well, and despite the dull ache in your chest and a tender feeling of loss, you at least have a bit of closure. You knew where you stood with your mother and though you feel the lesser for losing her for good... now at least you can move forward. You don't need her or her abuse in your or Frisk's life. Though sometimes you have to remind yourself, you deserve better. You don't deserve what you were given.

Covering Sans's hand with your own, you thread your fingers between his. He doesn't even consciously react; he continues his conversation with Deacon. But he spreads his fingers so you can get a better hold on him and then he squeezes. Just a silent little reminder that he knows you're there. It's enough to make your heart give a flutter and for your eyes to mist up just a bit, because you're already feeling delicate and such an awful day has turned into something wonderful.

What did you ever do to deserve these people in your life?

"I'll lend you the first book, I think you'd like it!" Deacon says, grinning at Sans, looking pleased with himself. He glances over at you and that smile falters a little, his brow furrowing in concern. "Hope, you okay?"

With an embarrassed laugh, you blink back the tears in your eyes and rub your face. "I'm just glad to have everyone here. I never could have done that on my own," you say, looking over at Sans. He just smiles at you with this tender look on his face, and if it wasn't for present company you'd probably be kissing him right now. You love him so much.

"OF COURSE WE'RE HERE!" Papyrus says, pointing his fork at you. "WE'RE FAMILY!"

"I told you I'd help you, and I meant it," Deacon says with a smile. "I'm more than happy to kick your mom out of your house as many times as you want."

"Hopefully just the once, thanks," you say.

"I'm just saying. The offer stands." He winks and you laugh, nodding.

"SHE WAS VERY RUDE, WASTING NO TIME TO MAKE HER VISIT UNPLEASANT FOR EVERYONE!" Papyrus says, shaking his head. "SHE COULD HAVE AT LEAST WAITED FOR DINNER!"

You're not sure why —maybe it's that leftover giddy feeling after having adrenaline wear off from earlier— but all of a sudden you can't stop laughing. Everyone is laughing.

"No way, then I wouldn't be able to have her portion," Deacon interjects once he catches his breath, resting his elbow on the table and cradling his head in his hand. 

"yeah, i'd rather have deacon here than kim," Sans says, squeezing your knee and your hand at the same time.

He rolls his eyes. "Well, I'm so glad you hold me in such high regard."

"buddy, c'mon, i didn't mean it like that." Sans arches a brow and the look he's giving Deacon is genuine. You also realize the slight shift in how he addressed him. Back before you started dating, he'd called you 'buddy' after all. Not 'pal'.

"Oh," Deacon says, then gives him a lopsided smile. "Habit, I guess."

"yeah, well, things are changing, right?" he says with a shrug, and you look between the two of them with a new feeling of optimism. You could get used to this.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. You still owe me an apology for the disaster that was watching Monty Python with you," he says, narrowing his eyes and pointing at him with his fork.

"nope. not gonna happen," Sans says, but he's smiling a real smile even as he leans forward and squints. "you have awful taste."

"Monty Python is brilliant and I'm offended you think otherwise!"

"it's not funny."

"It is!"

Well. Maybe some things won't change.

   
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