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.


23. Someone Really Cares About You

You change into your borrowed pajamas in silence, glancing over at Sans as he strips off his jacket and drapes it over the treadmill. He kicks off his slippers and yanks off his socks, throwing them into a growing pile in the corner. Giving your clothes a lazy fold, you set them on top of his dresser, unsure of where to put them since there isn't a hamper in sight. You can worry about that tomorrow.

Your stomach is fluttering nervously, unsure of what to expect from this conversation. He assured you that you didn't do anything wrong, and despite everything he'd been attentive and affectionate this evening. So you're pretty sure that whatever's going on shouldn't jeopardize your relationship. But... you're worried. What could have happened to turn the happy Sans you shared the morning with into the skeleton you found crying in the kitchen?

Sans climbs onto his bed, going to sit with his back to the wall. He props his hands on his knees, like he's bracing himself. With a small, hollow thunk against drywall, his skull falls back with a sigh. He takes hold of a crumpled pillow and props it up beside him, looking at you and gesturing at it. You accept his offer in silence, crawling across the mattress to join him with the pillow wedged behind your back.

His expression is unreadable, closed off from you behind a tight grin that seems more like a grimace. The little lights in his eyes are dim, searching your face like it might hold the answers to what he should say. He seems unsure of how to begin. Reaching out, you cover his hand with your own, threading your fingers between his. You give him a gentle squeeze, and he looks down at your joined hands. Something sad ghosts across his face. In lieu of muscles, it shifts the shape of his eye sockets, and a crease of bone forms between his brows.

"this wasn't supposed to happen," he says in a low murmur. "i wasn't expecting us."

Your heart twists in your chest. "What was supposed to happen?" you ask, swallowing past a knot in your throat.

"i thought the two of you would leave. keep moving forward. try to find a way out. i don't..." He looks up to your eyes, sandwiching your hand between his. "i don't know how to do this. i don't know how to be happy like this anymore."

"Sans," you whisper, leaning close to him.

"i can't trust this. it feels too good to be true. like i'm waiting for the punchline to some sick joke," he says, shaking his head and pressing his forehead against your shoulder. "the happier i let myself feel, the more it's gonna hurt when you're gone."

"I'm not going anywhere," you say, but he just shakes his head more, like he doesn't believe you. "I know how you feel, about it seeming too good to be true. I've felt it before. And it was too good to be true, then." It was so easy to be foolish at fourteen. But with Sans... this doesn't feel foolish.

"you can't understand how this feels. waiting for all this to end." Sans pulls back, looking up at you. His eye sockets are watering, and he looks down at your hands again. With slow deliberation, he picks up your hand, pressing it to the side of his face. "i don't want you to understand. i don't want you to know what it feels like to have all your hope stripped away."

Reaching out, you cup his skull with both hands, pressing soft kisses along his forehead. He lets you pull him close, his arms finding your waist. "What happened to you, Sans? What did this to you?" you ask him, your voice thick with tears gathering under your eyelids.

"i don't want to talk about it, please," he says, and you can feel warm, wet tears running over your hands. He's shaking. It makes your heart ache, and you feel your own tears slipping down your cheeks. "just... i've lost people. people close to me. i think things will be okay, and then it's just... gone. it's been a long time since i let myself care about anyone other than my brother."

"I'm sorry," you say, because what else can you say? You don't press for details he doesn't want to give. Releasing his skull, you move on the bed to settle yourself between his legs, kneeling as you pull him forward into a hug.

You feel him go a little limp against you, easing into your support and clinging to the back of your shirt. He said that Papyrus doesn't know about any of this, and if he doesn't have anyone else close to him... how long has it been since anyone has comforted him? The thought brings on a fresh wave of sadness, hugging him even tighter. How long would he have kept this from you, if you hadn't stumbled on him in the kitchen? Why does he feel like it's so necessary to suffer in silence?

Sans takes in a rough, shaky breath, a strangled noise escaping him as he tries to calm his voice. His fingers flex against your back, then relax slightly. He still hasn't let you go. You don't want him to, not until he's ready.

"I'm not going anywhere," you tell him again, rubbing soothing circles along his shoulder blades. "I'm right here."

"this scares the shit outta me, babe," he says, when he finds his voice. "i'm happy and i'm scared of losing you." His voice takes on a hard edge, and you feel his grip tense again. "it was so much easier before i let myself care."

"Maybe," you admit, pulling back and pushing him away so you can look down at him. He blinks, tears still slowly trailing down his face and the lights in his eyes are dim. "But isn't it worth the risk, to be happy? The worst possible outcome isn't the one you're always going to get."

"i wish i could believe that," he says, and he sounds so gutted and hopeless.

"Try," you tell him, leaning forward to press a hard kiss to his mouth. He doesn't respond. You trail your lips across his face, and somewhere in the back of your mind you realize his tears don't taste like anything. They're not salty. "You don't need to put on an act for me, but please... don't give up on me."

"it's not you i'm giving up on. it's the universe. it's everything." One of his hands brushes against your cheek, finding its way into your hair. "it's out of our hands."

"You don't have to stop worrying, but let yourself be happy, too. For your own sake. You can't know for sure what will happen, so don't keep looking for the future. Just be here right now. With me."

"i'm trying. i want to," he says, and the life is coming back into his voice. You press kisses to his jaw and he turns into them, sighing.

"I'm trying too. Let me support you, the way you support me. Please, let me give you back some of the happiness you've given me," you murmur. He's leaning back to rest against the wall again and you follow him, one arm resting against his sternum. "You don't have to stay strong all the time."

"i... i care about you, so much," he says, and you wonder at the reason for his hesitation. Something in your stomach flutters, but you try not to dwell on it. Now isn't the time. "i am happy with you. i don't want you to think i'm not. it just scares me."

"I know," you say. "I know happiness can be scary. But I'm here with you. You're not alone."

You're not alone either. Sometimes it's hard to remember that, but as Sans folds you up in his arms and pulls you snug against his chest, you feel it. He's spent so much time taking care of you, you're glad for whatever comfort you can give him right now. You don't completely understand why he's so scared, but there's no denying what he's feeling. You can't understand unless he tells you everything, but right in this moment it's not important. You just want Sans to be okay.

You feel Sans slowly relax, his breathing growing easier. He's not trembling anymore. He sounds sleepy when he mumbles into your hair. "thank you. for being here. for caring about me enough to not put up with my shit and making me talk."

"You're welcome," you say softly, trailing your fingers across his ribs. He makes a pleased little hum. "Do you feel at least a little better?"

He makes a weak, affirmative noise, nuzzling the top of your head. "it helps."

"You need to take care of yourself. And let us help, because you have people who really care about you."

Sans doesn't answer. You realize he's fallen asleep.

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