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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46. The Party

Most of the guests have already arrived by the time that you, Sans, and Frisk get to Undyne's house. You and Sans overslept, which threw off your timing for the rest of the day and you're just glad you aren't later than you already are. Papyrus and Undyne spent the day getting everything ready, and you two were still asleep when they left in the morning.

You hadn't seen Undyne's house before it caught fire, but whatever you were expecting, it hadn't been a giant fish. A set of massive teeth makes up what you think is the door, and your suspicions are confirmed when Frisk darts forward to knock on them. After a moment, the teeth retract (not unlike a mouth opening) revealing Undyne.

Her bright red hair is loose and wavy down her back, bangs swept over the left side of her face to partially conceal her eyepatch. There's a tight braid along the right side of her head, curving over her fin-like ear. Her lipstick is the same vibrant shade as her red eye makeup, and her black eyeliner is thick and striking. You've never seen her cleaned up quite like this, but she looks amazing. If you had done yourself up like she had you'd be feeling self-conscious at looking so different from normal, but she's just as confident as always, flashing you a big smile. 

By comparison you feel hastily put together. You picked out some of your nicer clothes and took what little time you had to put your hair back in a French braid to keep it tamed for the party. Pushing away the creeping feeling of embarrassment, you smile back at the fish monster and gesture with the plastic container of cookies in your hands.

"FINALLY, I was wondering where you guys were," Undyne says, reaching out to take it from you. As she turns to lead you into the house your eyes fall to the dark green skirt swaying around her calves. The spiraling ruffles remind you of the ocean; of scales, or a swaying bed of seaweed.

Frisk darts past her and through the gaps between clusters of partygoers, most likely looking for Papyrus. Judging by the unmistakable, shouted greeting from the tall skeleton, you're right. You fight the urge to call Frisk back. They'll be fine with Papyrus.

Sans nudges you gently after Undyne with a hand on the small of your back. "yeah, we were running a little behind," he says, and you squirm away before he can pinch your butt. You shoot him a playful glare and he just winks at you.

"I'm onto you, mister," you mutter, snatching up his hand and lacing your fingers together. For safekeeping, you tell yourself.

"onto me, huh? in front of all these people? can't wait 'till we get home?" he says, grinning wider as your cheeks darken. You shove him with your shoulder and he starts to laugh, gripping your hand tight.

"You two are such DORKS," Undyne says, laughing and glancing back at you. She pops the top off the container and sets it on a table full of other assorted food, turning around to face you. With a vague, bored flourish, she gestures to the room that houses her living room, dining room, and kitchen. "So this is it! It's, uh, pretty much back to exactly how it was before."

"It looks great! You and Papyrus did an amazing job," you tell her, scanning over the room.

You and Sans share some small talk with Undyne before she leaves to go rejoin Alphys where she's sitting on the couch, looking a little nervous and uncomfortable. The doctor visibly brightens as Undyne approaches, and you can't help but smile when the fish monster stoops down to pull her to her feet and kisses her on the cheek. Sans brings you a drink as you watch the two monsters, his hand finding yours again. You turn to lean against his arm. Undyne leads Alphys over to a burly pair of monsters and though you can't hear what she's saying you think she's introducing her to them. Alphys's cheeks flush bright red and she covers her face with her hands as Undyne grins down at her and strokes her shoulder.

Sans leads you over to the buffet table to go get some food, then over to where Frisk and Papyrus are talking. They're off in a corner of the room, munching on handfuls of cookies. You notice that some of the other monsters are casting Papyrus odd, dismissive looks as the tall skeleton's voice carries through the room. It reminds you of when you first met him, and he lamented over not having many friends. Now that you think about it, who does he ever spend time with outside you, Frisk, Sans, Undyne, and Alphys?

Papyrus glances over at you and Sans as you make your approach, beaming at the two of you. Frisk has a half-eaten cookie in their mouth and the good sense to look abashed as you raise an eyebrow.

You hold out your empty hand palm-up in front of Frisk. "I know for a fact that there's more than cookies on that buffet table, hand them over and go get yourself something to eat," you say, curling your fingers.

Frisk obediently places their last three cookies in your hand. "Okay..." they mumble, skirting around you to do as you said.

"YOU WERE LATE, SANS," Papyrus chastises, shaking his head and crunching a cookie between his teeth.

"It's my fault, I had to finish up my baking before we could leave," you say, glancing down at the confiscated snacks before taking a bite. Your plate of food from the buffet table is momentarily forgotten. "But," you begin loudly, "I hope you can forgive me, your second-favorite hum—person... and very good friend."

"OH, WELL, IN THAT CASE..." Papyrus says, flushing with pleasure. "OF COURSE I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, FORGIVE YOU! "

"babe, i'm gonna need you to take the blame for everything from now on. clearly he likes you best," Sans says, plucking one of the cookies out of your hand and eating it.

"YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO TRICK ME, SANS! I AM JUST TOO CUNNING! TOO BRILLIANT!" he hesitates, resting his hands on his hips. "BESIDES, YOU KNOW THAT I LIKE YOU BEST."

"you got me, bro," Sans says, giving his brother an affectionate smile.

You spot Frisk finish putting together a plate, but instead of returning to the three of you, you spot them going over to the two large monsters Undyne and Alphys were talking to a few minutes ago. Again, you fight the urge to call them back. Frisk is all smiles and seems to be having a good time. You don't want to let your own fears hold them back, at least not right now. Parties have never really been your thing, but you're trying your best to have a good time too. You pick at the food on your plate as you watch them.

You don't hear the rest of Sans and Papyrus's conversation, because you're too focused on Frisk. But as you turn back to the two of them Papyrus excuses himself to go speak to Undyne.

"you done with that?" Sans asks you, gesturing at your empty paper plate.

"I thought I'd hold onto it. For sentimental reasons," you say, raising an eyebrow.

"well, i wasn't sure if you wanted to get more food or not," he says, raising a brow back at you. Sarcasm was never really your humor of choice, but it seems especially lost on Sans. Well, not lost, but... unappreciated.

You flush a little, feeling uncomfortable. "Yeah, sorry, I just..." He takes your plate from you as you search for something to say, then hands you his drink. "Sorry, I'm  just feeling a little... defensive? I dunno, there's a lot of people and—"

"babe, it's fine. really. i mean, i'm not a huge fan of sarchasm but i don't want it to cause a rift between us." His smile widens as you laugh and start to relax. "i'll be right back. gonna go throw these plates away."

You nod and he leaves you there holding his drink. You finished yours a little while ago so, sure he won't mind, you take a sip. Immediately you start coughing, wholly unprepared for the sharp bite of alcohol mixed in with his punch. Shaking your head, you clear your throat and take in a deep breath.

"A-are you okay?" Alphys asks you, coming to stand with you and giving you a concerned look.

You pat your chest and clear your throat again, nodding. "Yeah, I just wasn't expecting the booze in Sans's drink. Took a sip without knowing," you explain.

"Oh, do you not drink?" she asks, glancing down into her own cup clutched in her hands. 

"Technically, on the surface, I'm not old enough, but... I have before. But I try not to make a habit of it anymore." You shrug and there's a beat of awkward silence. You gesture at Alphys's polka dotted dress, giving her a friendly smile. "You look really cute! It's nice to see you out of that lab coat."

Alphys's cheeks flush with pleasure, glancing down at herself. "Oh, thank you! A-ah, Mettaton actually helped me pick this out a w-while ago..." She looks a little uncomfortable at the mention of Mettaton's name as she looks back up at you. You realize that your expression has gone a bit sour.

"Oh." There's another moment of uncomfortable silence. This is going really well... "Well at least he has good fashion sense," you offer.

"I wanted to t-tell you that he's been a lot better since what h-happened," Alphys blurts out, taking a step closer to you as she searches your face. "He's been a lot n-nicer to me than he was after he started getting famous, and he's even been h-helping out around the lab. It doesn't make up for what he did! B-but I think he feels bad about what happened. He doesn't come out and say it, but I think that's just his p-pride..."

"He should feel bad," you mutter, looking down into Sans's drink. "But I'm glad that he's at least being good to you."

Alphys shifts from foot to foot, the tip of her tail swaying a little. She just nods.

"you sure he's not just trying to trick you?" Sans says coming up beside you and taking his drink back. His free hand is shoved in his jacket pocket, and his grin looks forced. "or that he's just gonna go back to his old ways once he gets tired of playing nice?"

The doctor shrugs her shoulders, meeting Sans's gaze. "I don't know. B-but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. It's the least I can do after everything that I've done. Am I r-really that much better?"

"you are," Sans says with an intensity in his voice that surprises you. "you were trying to help everyone, not just yourself."

"By t-toying with people's lives." She winces at her own words, and you can't help but reach out and rest a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Alphys jumps at the contact, eyes widening when she looks up at you.

"Okay, I think that's enough about serious stuff. This is a party, right? Let's try to have some fun!" you say, looking between Sans and Alphys.

Sans nods, taking a long pull from his drink. "good point. no point in skullking over here."

After about an hour of mingling you're feeling a bit overwhelmed and in need of some air. Sans is on his third drink, a blue tinge to his cheekbones. He's not drunk, but he's definitely starting to feel the alcohol. You tap him on the shoulder and he gives you a big grin as he turns to look up at you.

"Hun, I'm gonna step outside, okay? Just out the front door, I promise I'm not wandering off," you tell him. "It's a little hot in here."

"well, it is a housewarming party," he says, winking at you.

You groan and roll your eyes, about to turn away.

"hey, wait," he says. Sans reaches up and cups his hand around the back of your neck, pulling you down for a kiss. You make a startled noise, caught off guard. He's always been affectionate, but not usually when surrounded by so many people. "babe. are you a magnet, because i'm attracted to you."

Blushing, you cover your face awkwardly as he embraces you. "Sans, I think you've had enough to drink."

"negative, i have had just enough to drink. i'm positive." 

"You're certainly more positive than normal," you agree, patting his shoulder. "I'm glad you're having a good time."

"positively," he says, laughing. "well, you go outside, but don't be too long or i'll be bonely. love you."

"I love you too," you assure him, embarrassed and giggling as he hugs you close. You wait a moment, but he's still holding you. You give his side a soft pat. "Sans you have to let me go."

"huh? oh!" he blurts out, chuckling as he gives you a parting nuzzle before releasing you. "sorry, i guess you're just too magnetic."

You shake your head, groaning. "Okay, I think that's been done to death now. Think of some new ones for when I get back."

"ok."

Picking your way through the room, you make it to the front door without incident. With a quick glance back, you make note of Frisk over by the piano with Undyne and Alphys before stepping outside. At least everyone else seems to be having a good time.

The air outside is cool and moist against your skin, a pleasant change from the stuffy warmth in the house. You take in a deep breath, steadying yourself and looking up towards the faraway ceiling. Even here, away from the wishing room, you can see the faint twinkle of crystals. 

"Oh...... Hello."

You lower your eyes at the faint, wispy voice, looking for the source of it. It takes you a second, but you spot a vaguely familiar white shape floating in the shadow of Undyne's house, looking at you with two large, circular eyes. They float over to you, hunched forward a little and glancing down at the ground.

"I don't know if you remember me...... but we met once before......" they say, hovering a few feet away from you. "You...... probably don't......"

You bite your lip, hesitating before it comes to you. "Oh! Napstablook, right? We met in the Ruins!"

A tremulous smile lights up the ghost's face and they nod a little. "Yeah...... it's nice to see you again...... Though, oh no...... I don't remember your name...... oh no......"

"Hey, it's okay! Don't worry about it. What are you doing out here?" you ask, glancing around Undyne's front yard. The two of you are alone out here. "Were you getting some air, too?"

"Oh, I haven't even gone in yet...... Undyne invited me, but...... I don't really do well with crowds......" They glance at the house, eyes watering, then back at you.

You give them a reassuring smile. "I'm not really a big fan of parties either, to be honest. If you want, I can keep you company for a little bit."

"Oh...... That's so nice...... But you don't have to if you don't want to......" You're about to protest but then Napstablook's eyes widen a little. "Oh but...... I'm sorry if this seems random...... But I think Mettaton mentioned you the other day when he came by to visit......"

What? You freeze, giving the yard another quick glance with wide eyes. "You know Mettaton?" you answer carefully, nails digging into your palms.

"He's my cousin...... Though, I didn't know it until he came by...... He used to be a ghost too...... He, um, left one day without saying anything...... But he came by to apologize, which was really nice of him...... I missed him a lot...... And he said he'd come by more often to see me......" They bob up and down a little in the air, and they seem happy. You relax your hands at your sides. "I guess I should thank you and...... Oh no...... Is Frisk not here......? I wanted to thank both of you...... Oh no......"

It's surprising to think of Mettaton and Napstablook as related at all, they're just so different. "You don't have to thank us," you say, feeling a little uncomfortable. You're glad that the shy ghost seems so happy, and even Alphys had nice things to say about Mettaton after what happened. But you just can't find it in yourself to see him any different. At least, not anytime soon, if ever. "But, Frisk is inside if you want to talk to them. You could stay with the two of us, if that would make you more comfortable inside."

Napstablook gives the house an anxious look, then their eyes start watering again. "Oh no...... That's okay...... I think I'll just head home...... But tell Frisk that I said thank you...... Or don't...... I don't want to be an inconvenience......"

You open your mouth to reassure the ghost that you don't mind at all, but they fade away before you can. Alone and a little confused about how to feel, you decide to head back inside to find your friends.

Later that night after you get home, you mention to Sans what Napstablook told you but he seems unmoved. It makes you feel a bit better, and less strangely guilty. You don't have any nightmares.

   
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