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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159. The Mage

His chest hurts like hell.

Consciousness comes to Deacon swiftly and sharply as he draws in a deep breath and it feels like someone stabbed him right in the solar plexus. Gasping and hissing through his teeth, he rolls onto his side, curling into a ball as he gropes his chest with one hand. He groans as he presses against tender flesh. Pain dulling his senses, it takes him longer than it should to realize he's on a bed.

This isn't right. He was in the forest, he was—

Oh god. No. No no no no...

It all comes back in a rush and his eyes fly open, finding himself in a dimly lit bedroom he doesn't recognize. A small bedside lamp is lit, the floral shade casting an odd, splotchy pattern on the wall behind it. There's a desk set against one wall and in the chair...

Undyne is sitting there across the room, watching him with one, narrowed yellow eye. As their eyes meet her lips pull away from her teeth in an unconscious snarl. "Finally awake?" she asks, uncrossing her arms and resting her hands on her knees, leaning forward just a little.

Grunting, Deacon eases himself into a sitting position, muffling a cry of pain as he aggravates what he's certain is a nasty bruise. Sucking in a sharp breath, he keeps one hand over his chest and does his best to fold his legs. He's light-headed, and his limbs feel leaden in stark contrast. He was too close, too damn close to burning himself out. He tries to draw on his magic, testing how much he has left, but his hand only flickers faintly with green before sputtering out. Healing this bruise will have to wait.

"What the FUCK did you just try to do?" Undyne snaps, fingers digging into her legs as she watches him, tendons standing out in her neck. Is that fear or anger? Her visceral reaction reminds him of Sans, that wild, panicked look on his face the second he'd seen Deacon's magic. Either way, he's exhausted and powerless, no threat to anyone like this.

Grant was right. He'd let his personal attachments blow his cover. "You care too much. And one day it's going to bite you in the ass."

And, well, damn him if that hadn't come true. Not that he'd undo what he did. He wasn't about to let Frisk and Asriel get hurt just for a secret. He'd stood by the sidelines one too many times when he could have done something to help, and he wasn't going to let that happen again. Not to yourchild. He'd never forgive himself.

If Sans hadn't been there, watching, he might have been able to salvage this. Talked to the kids, had a civil conversation. Come at this whole thing from a different perspective. Instead he'd... fuck , he'd panicked too. The first thing he thought of when he saw Sans bristling with magic was those blasters. Magic strong enough to turn a granite boulder to powder. He'd needed time to try and explain, thought that maybe if he contained him long enough to do so...

He hadn't expected Asriel to attack him. Trying to maintain a full bubble and a shield at once was foolhardy and nearly got himself killed.

What was going to happen to him now?

"you're not my friend, and once everyone knows the truth, none of them are going to be your friends either."

Fear and dread twists in his gut, a pain more bone-deep than anything physical. He can't lose this. He'd finally had something. He had you, and friends, and Bo. Bo—

"I asked you a question, MAGE."

It feels like a slap in the face. Deacon looks at Undyne, shock and hurt plain on his face. He doesn't have the energy to fake indifference, to shrug it aside. He's tired, and raw, and he just... he's scared. "I was trying to heal myself," he says, voice tight.

"So you can heal AND create barriers?" she demands.

"It's green magic. I'm a green mage," he says, sighing. "I thought that was obvious. And what do you mean barriers? Are you talking about the shields?"

Undyne clenches her jaw. "You put Sans in a barrier. You sealed him AND his magic in a BARRIER. Just like how we were sealed Underground!"

"Oh, goddamn it," he hisses, squeezing his eyes shut and hanging his head. "No, it's... We never... They're just shields. Like what you did with Hope. They're temporary. We don't even know how the Barrier was made."

"Bullshit," she snaps, but her tone is tempered by doubt. "You... MAGES did it in the first place."

"Hundreds of years ago. And the mages who created it died, so it's not like they could pass down the knowledge," he says, looking up at her again. "Undyne, I'm still me. Come on, we..." Deacon lets out a weak, desperate laugh as he buries his fingers in his hair and clutches it tight. "We both use green magic. And all those times we sparred, I never... I'd never hurt you guys."

She looks away, towards the door, but something in her expression wavers a little.

He swallows, trying to press whatever moment of weakness she might be feeling. "Undyne, you helped host my birthday party last week. We're... we're friends..." His voice cracks as a waver of apprehension and fear takes hold of his throat. Tries to turn his statement into a question against his will.

Undyne clenches her jaw, shoulders stiffening. She doesn't say anything. He can feel her pulling away, shrugging his friendship off of her like an unwanted burden. Not again, no not again...

His gaze falls to his lap and there on his left wrist is the bracelet that you made for him. Anyone else might think it was silly, or childish. But not Deacon. No, you made this for him, with your Soul colors no less, and it...

Sans is going to take you away from him. He’d thought it was going to happen once before but this time… He doesn’t doubt that your husband wants nothing to do with him. Hell, he doesn’t even know if you will want anything to do with him after this.

Deacon squeezes his eyes shut as tears threaten to gather. It seems silly, that out of all the things he has to worry about it’s you that his mind jumps to, but you were the first person who really, truly took him in. Cared about him, unabashedly and wholeheartedly accepted him and trusted him. Defended him when Sans refused to do the same. Do you regret that decision now? Is Sans reveling in some sort of grim satisfaction that he was right this whole time?

He doesn’t want to lose you. But he’s terrified that he already has.

As he sits there in chilly silence with Undyne, he can hear voices past the door. Muffled, but he thinks he recognizes Asgore’s distinct bass and Sans’s slightly higher timbre. There’s a third voice, one that cuts through the other two, loud and stern. He knows that’s you.

“Where am I?” Deacon asks, unsure if she’s even going to answer.

“Asgore’s,” Undyne says, still not looking at him. There’s a pause, and she pushes up onto her feet without warning, making Deacon flinch. Balling her hands into fists, she heads for the door. “They’ll want to know you’re awake. I know Asgore’s got questions.”

“I want to talk to Hope,” he blurts out. His voice sounds pathetic and desperate to his own ears but he doesn’t care. He is pathetic and desperate. He needs to know if he’s ruined everything, if you hate him. He needs the chance to try and explain why. “Undyne, please.”

“It’s not my decision,” she mutters, and steps out into the hall.

She’s only gone for a moment before she returns with Asgore in the lead, looking grave even in his pajamas. Something about him, his face, fills him with dread. This isn’t the same man he’s known since October, the one who was a kind and doting father, who carried Frisk and Asriel on his shoulders at Thanksgiving, who cooked burgers on the grill in the snow for Papyrus’s birthday. No, this was King Asgore. The stern-faced monarch he’d seen once before at the beach.

Sans follows closely behind him, hands shoved into the pockets of that same, worn out blue jacket, shoulders set into a stiff line. Everything about him is tense, radiating annoyance and frustration. However long he’d been unconscious, it wasn’t long enough to improve Sans’s mood much.

And then, there’s you. He catches a glimpse of your hair from around Asgore’s arm, the side of your face above Sans’s shoulder. For a moment he wonders if you’re going to stay behind them, if you’re too disgusted with him to even look him in the eye, but then your hands thrust into the space between the monsters so you can shove your way through.

“Deacon, oh—” you start, but Sans catches your arm.

“babe, don’t,” he says, and to Deacon’s surprise you jerk yourself out of his grasp.

“Hope, stay back!” Undyne snaps.

“Like hell I will!” you say, casting them both an angry look before turning to look at him.

Deacon braces himself for your anger. For your rage and hurt. For you to fling his betrayal at his feet before storming back out again. It’s what he deserves. He deserves it all, doesn’t he? For lying to everyone. For taking your friendship when his intentions were nowhere near as selfless as yours. He wouldn’t blame you, as much as it would break his heart, if you hated him.

Please. Please don’t hate me. I don’t think I can take it.

And then your brown eyes meet his, and all he can see is… Worry. Concern. That same look you had on your face when he came to you more desperate for help than he’d ever been before in his life. The day that you’d told him you loved him. Because you were always there for him, ever since he met you. You’d never turned him away. Why did he think you’d do that now?

Deacon’s eyes swim with tears and he feels something inside him break. “I’m sorry,” he blurts out, because he needs you to know. That most of all he’s just sorry. “I wanted to tell you. I didn’t want you to find out like this.”

“Deacon…” you say softly, and he buries his face in his hands.

“Oh god, I thought you were going to hate me,” he breathes, weak, manic laughter spilling out of his throat.

“I don’t hate you,” you say, and he feels your hands on his shoulders. “You’re my best friend.”

He bites back a sob of relief, uncaring of the awful pain in his chest as he leans forward into your touch. At least he still has you. You and Bo. Maybe that’ll be enough.

“you’re getting ahead of yourself. we still don’t know a damn thing about what the hell he’s doing here,” Sans mutters, grim and bitter at your back.

Part of him wants to argue, to defend himself, but that won’t get him anywhere. It’ll just bring back that animosity, and that’s not what he needs.

He needs everyone to just listen.

“Deacon.” Asgore’s voice is firm yet gentle, kinder than he’s expecting. He wonders if he has you to thank for that. “I think that you ought to tell us why you came to Ebott.”

He drags his hands down his face, wiping his eyes as he tips his head up to look over at the king. As he leans back, he hisses a breath between his teeth, raising a hand to his chest and wincing. Your brow furrows, grip tightening on his shoulder.

“Are you okay?” you ask, leaning in closer.

“I’d be better if I hadn’t taken a bone to the chest,” he mutters.

You cast a dark look over your shoulder, but Sans’s expression doesn’t change. “I still can’t believe you attacked him,” you say.

“he’s a mage,” Sans says, as if that explained everything.

Deacon is relieved to see that you remain unconvinced. Whatever ingrained fear of mages Sans and Undyne seem to have, you’re clearly lacking.

“You’re treating him the same way that humans have been treating monsters; with blind prejudice!” you exclaim, turning on your heel to face your husband. You’re standing between him and Sans, defending him again. He’s torn between gratitude and guilt. That again you’re fighting with the man you love all because of him. “The only difference is that you know that Deacon is a good person, and you’re still flinging accusations at him!”

“he lied to us this whole time!” Sans grits his teeth, shaking his head.

“And we’ve been lying to everyone this whole time! How does that make it any different? We all know what happened in the Underground, let’s not pretend that monsters are innocent of any cruelty,” you mutter, and the room goes still for a moment for a reason that Deacon isn’t sure he understands.

“Hope,” Undyne says, a warning in her voice.

You whirl on her, raising a hand in a sharp, jabbing motion. “Don’t even start with me! You were just the first one to try and kill me and Frisk!”

Undyne balks, and Deacon can only stare over your shoulder as she looks away, grimacing. What the hell, her too? He knew about Mettaton, but you never gave any hint about this.

“Do I need to go into detail how many times I was afraid for my life, living in the Underground?” you ask, looking at Undyne, then Asgore, and finally settling back on Sans. “How many times you had to protect me? How many secrets we have to keep to make sure that everyone in Ebott stays safe, because if anyone knew what I’d really been through, they’d use it against you? We’re lying to protect ourselves. And if Deacon lied about being a mage, it wasn’t without good reason! Obviously his fears of telling us the truth weren’t unfounded since you attacked him for it!”

“you don’t understand—”

“What, blaming an entire group of people because of the actions of a few? Monsters tried to kill me, and you don’t see me going out there and joining the picket lines. For god’s sake, Sans, two of the people who tried to kill me are in this damn room. And I forgave them both.” Your voice trails off, weak and exasperated. You turn to Asgore, hands clenched at your sides. “You said yourself that not all mages were against you in the war. You said that there were mages that had children with monsters. Why are you keeping Deacon here like a prisoner when he’s done nothing to deserve it? Asgore, he protected our children.”

“I know,” Asgore says, holding out his hand to you. You hesitate, staring up at him and searching his face, then place your hand in his. He wraps his fingers around you, engulfing you up to the wrist, and gently pulls you back to stand between Sans and himself. “Which is why I would like him to explain what he said to Sans. I believe he said something about being sent here? And other mages.”

Sans shakes his head, grimacing. “he’s already lied to us. how can we trust what he has to say?”

Deacon had thought that maybe he and Sans had finally put their differences aside. Buried the hatchet. Now he sees that the skeleton was just waiting for his chance to dig it back up again, to hold it over his head and take the moment to swing. He’d flung his greatest fear right in Deacon’s face, tried to turn you against him, was still fighting against even giving him a chance… Why, why was Sans so adamant in his loathing of him? Why was it so easy to undo months of work?

It’s enough to make him find his voice, to chime in for his own meager defense. “Because I’ve got everything to lose,” he says, pleading with Asgore with his eyes. “I’ll tell you everything, answer all your questions, if it means that you won’t make me leave the first place I’ve ever felt at home.”

Sans looks away, gritting his teeth. Undyne shifts uncomfortably on her feet and Asgore’s expression softens just a little. He opens his mouth to speak, maybe to tell Deacon to go ahead, but he’s interrupted by the sudden loud crash of the front door banging open. Everyone jumps, but while the monsters look at each other, bewildered and startled, you bite your lip and meet Deacon’s eyes for just a second.

“Deacon?! King Asgore?!”

Deacon’s heart gives a lurch in his chest at the sound of a familiar voice, everything inside of him telling him to go to her. But he’s stuck here on this bed, blocked in.

“We’re back here!” you call out, and Sans turns to you with a look of surprise.

“what is she doing here?” Sans demands, an accusation in his stare.

You press your mouth into a hard line. “I texted her to tell her where we were.”

“i told you not to tell her anything.”

“She has every right to be here,” you snap. “If I were in Deacon’s place, you would want to be here.”

He doesn’t have time to argue any further. Bo is there in the doorway, pale and livid as she takes in the sight of him and the others in the room. You catch her eye, usher her forward, and step aside to let her through to him.

As she hurries forward to go to him, as they reach out for each other, Sans’s sharp tone makes her stop short. “he’s not who you think he is,” he says, eyes narrowing. “deacon’s a mage.”

Deacon watches carefully as her face twists into a snarl, turning on her heel towards Sans. He looks taken aback, more taken aback than he was when you’d faced him with similar vehemence. “I know he’s a mage! He told me.”

“...what?” Sans says, and Deacon feels vaguely satisfied as he watches some of the fire burn out of the skeleton’s anger.

What he doesn’t like is the small shift in your expression. The questioning look you give him and the hurt there in your eyes.

“And he shared his Soul with me,” she says, taking a step back towards the bed and reaching behind her. Deacon takes her hand, squeezes, and he’s not sure he’s ever loved her more than at this moment. “I’m not going to let you do anything to him. He’s not our enemy.”

Silence fills the room as Bo glares at the other monsters, daring them to challenge her. After a moment, Asgore clears his throat. 

“I see,” he says slowly, threading his hands together and resting them over his stomach. “Well, then I suppose that does change matters. You can vouch for his honesty?”

“Yes,” she says, her grip on him tightening. “I know his Soul.”

“Sans, even you cannot deny this,” Asgore says, arching a brow.

Sans clenches his jaw, but doesn’t answer.

“Then, I think we ought to put our arguments to the side for now,” he says, looking over at you and the others, “and let Deacon tell us what is going on.”

   
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