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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175. What It Takes

‘We’re best friends no matter what, right?’

Deacon stares at the message, typed up and ready to send. He still has a couple hours until Sans is going to come over so they can head to Morwenna’s house, and with Bo at work he finds himself sitting alone in his house. He’s in his makeshift office, sitting on the small twin bed, rubbing the seams of the quilt between his fingers. Why is he in this room, out of all the rooms in his house? Why isn’t he in his bedroom, or the living room? He could be watching TV or eating a snack or any number of things.

Instead he’s in the one room of the house that has most of his sentimental belongings from before coming to Ebott. His college diploma, framed on the wall. Shelves full of books. One of the few good things about being adopted by Grant is that he’d been able to have an actual collection of books. He wasn’t being shuffled from home to home, limited in what he could take with him. Very few things traveled with him as a child, but the quilt under his hand had.

When he was six, the nurse who took care of him in the NICU after he was born made a point to find him. His foster parents at the time were kind enough to agree to let her visit. She made him the quilt and brought pictures of when he was a baby. He remembers feeling uncomfortable, looking at that tiny infant inside a plastic box, a tube taped to his face, another fixed to his red, too-small chest. It wasn’t until he was older that he wondered if she was allowed to take pictures of her patients (probably not) but he still has them tucked away somewhere. Someplace safe. She told him how sorry she was that his mother never came back for him, that she would hold him when it was safe to take him out of his incubator because the other preemies had their parents to touch them and babies needed to be touched. He didn’t have anyone.

He wishes he had asked her why she chose green, if maybe she knew somehow. But he knows that was the day he decided green was his favorite color.

‘We’re best friends no matter what, right?’

The message is still sitting there, waiting for him to either erase it or send it. He keeps letting his mind wander, because it’s easier than coming to terms with the fact that soon enough he’ll be leaving Ebott and he can’t be certain he’ll be coming back. And even if he does, he’s not sure it’ll be in the same state that he left.

The question he has posed for you seems simple enough. You won’t understand it how he means it, he knows that. But he feels like he needs to ask it anyway. The real questions he can’t ask. ‘Will you still think I’m your best friend when I’m taking your husband with me into someplace dangerous? If he gets hurt because of me?’ ‘Are we still best friends if I come back with someone’s blood on my hands? If Sans has blood on his?’ ‘Can you accept that I’m doing what’s necessary to help you?’

Deacon sends the message, then sets down his phone and runs his hand through his hair. You might be asleep already, he’s not sure. You might not even see the text until you wake up the next morning, and by then the entire situation may have changed. You might be getting the good news, or… or they might be—

His phone chimes. He picks it back up.

‘Oh god, what did you do this time?’ Deacon can’t help it, he smiles and shakes his head. He can feel the exasperation in your tone, can practically hear your voice as if you were sitting next to him. Another chime. ‘Is it Sans? Are you and Sans playing nice?’

He doesn’t immediately answer. Whatever he might say will ring false, and in this moment he just doesn’t have it in him to lie. His hand goes to the green and burgundy bracelet around his wrist, fingers tracing over the knotted threads. As he stares at his phone, after a minute or two, he gets another text.

‘Of course we’re best friends. Is something wrong?’

Now you’re worrying. He doesn’t want you to worry, that won’t do anyone any good. Whatever he was lacking that was keeping him from lying he now has in spades. ‘Everything’s fine. Just being a mushy loser.’ ‘Look at what you’ve done to me.’

‘I have that effect on people.’

Yeah. You really do.

It if had just been Deacon you wouldn’t have suspected anything. You would have thought that he was just feeling lonely, or a little down, or even anxious. After a week of this you couldn’t blame him. It’s starting to wear you down, too.

But it’s not just Deacon.

“i know i called earlier, before frisk went to bed—”

“Hun, it’s fine,” you murmur, keeping your voice down because yes Frisk is asleep in the bed above you. Chris glances over at you and excuses himself to the bathroom, to give you some privacy, you think. He’s been surprisingly understanding since your conversation last night. “I was just reading on my phone, what’s up?”

“i just… wanted to hear your voice again. tell you that i miss you and i love you,” he says, and you can tell right away that the ease of his tone is forced. It worries you.

“I miss you and love you too,” you tell him, pulling your knees up to your chest and tucking your hair behind your ear.

“i don’t want to talk to him myself, but could you, uh, thank chris for me? for helping you out. he didn’t have to do that, and—”

“I will,” you say gently, and this is worrying you more than Deacon’s texts ever could. You want to ask Sans what’s going on, why he’s talking like he has to take this opportunity now, like it’s… like he’s not sure he’ll have another chance.

Dread is heavy in your chest and you squeeze your eyes shut, fighting to keep your voice even. Whatever you might suspect is going on, you can’t accidentally give them away to whoever might be listening. You can’t let on that you think something is about to happen. His letter said that they were trying to make things right, that they were working with Deacon’s mages. You just wish you knew what that meant.

“thanks, babe,” he says. “maybe, once all this is over, we can all sit down and talk. figure some things out.”

“I’m sure he’d like that.”

There’s a pause where neither of you are quite sure what to say. But you don’t want to get off the phone, and neither it seems does he. “what were you reading?”

“A book,” you say, letting yourself sound playful. Because it’s preferable to sounding worried.

“yeah?” he replies, picking up on your tone. “is it one with sex stuff?”

You snort, hiding your hand behind your face and smiling. Your reaction earns a chuckle from your husband. “ No ,” you say. “Oh my god, I don’t want to have this conversation again.”

“heh. then what’s it about?”

“... Happy stuff,” you mumble, your smile slipping a little as you let out a soft sigh. “Cuz I could really use some happy stuff right now.”

“yeah,” he says. “tell me about the book. i’m curious, and i just… wanna talk to you.”

You tell him. Chris comes back from the bathroom but doesn’t interrupt, just leaving you be as you spend the next hour on the phone with Sans, explaining the book to him. Because neither of you are ready to say goodbye.

Sans didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to Papyrus. He didn’t trust himself not to give it all away, to be too obvious that something was bothering him. Knowing what was coming just made him anxious, which was throwing him off. Instead he spent most of the day with his brother, pestering him and annoying him with stupid jokes. He even managed to get him with the whoopie cushion, which he hadn’t been able to do in months. Papyrus’s frustrated scream was more than worth the effort.

So when his brother said that he’d be going to see Mettaton tonight, he wasn’t in any place to protest. What would he say? And he didn’t want Papyrus doting on him all night, it would make slipping away too difficult. Sans told him to have fun and watched him go.

At least if anything happens to him, he won’t be alone. He’ll have Mettaton. And the others too; he can’t imagine Undyne not trying her hardest to help him, and Toriel would be there in a heartbeat. And… Sans knows you’d do whatever you could, too. From wherever you were.

“What’s got you looking so grim?”

Sans glances to his right where Deacon is sitting, watching him. They’re in the backseat of Grant’s car, the orange light painted across the human’s face coming and going as they pass the street lamps on the freeway. He’s rubbing a thumb over his tattoo, arms crossed over his chest and slouched in his seat.

The radio is playing, just low enough that he can’t make out the words, but the energetic country music seems an odd juxtaposition to what they’re preparing to do. “other than the obvious?” Sans grumbles, arching a brow.

Deacon’s mouth twitches and he tilts his head to the side. “Yeah, okay. Stupid question,” he says.

Sans sighs, tipping his skull back against the headrest. “just thinking about papyrus. and hope, and frisk. and… everybody.”

“Yeah. Makes sense,” he says, glancing past Sans out the window. His eyes flick back to his. “I can relate. I don’t know how Bo couldn’t tell something was up. Maybe she did and she just didn’t say anything.”

“i think hope could tell when i talked to her. she just couldn’t say anything,” Sans says.

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“both, i guess.”

Silence falls back over the car, settling thick in the space between them. There’s a sort of camaraderie there now, again, won through this mutual experience and shared secrets, but everything isn’t perfect. Some wounds are still fresh and Sans isn’t sure that Deacon completely trusts him again. But they’re in a better place than they were before, and that’s enough. It’s got to be.

“We’ll be there soon,” Grant says, reaching for the radio and muting it. As though it was loud enough to warrant it in the first place. “Deacon, there’s something we need to talk about—”

“Grant, we talked about this,” Morwenna cuts in, shifting in the passenger seat to face him. “And the answer was no .”

“Deacon, we need to take this opportunity to eliminate Avery Fletcher. This isn’t just about getting justice, this is about—”

“That’s all it is. You wanting to get revenge,  and don’t you try to rope Deacon into your personal vendetta,” she snaps.

“He’s a murderer, Morwenna. And a key member of the Vigilum. If we remove him from the equation—”

“Just fucking say what you mean. Just say kill .”

 Fine ,” he snaps back. “If we kill Avery, we’ll be putting part of the Vigilum into chaos. It opens up a chance to shift the balance of power in their infrastructure, according to Vanessa. Who is also on board with the plan to kill Avery, considering that he and his men kidnapped her as a child.”

“Kill him if that’s what you want, but that’s not Deacon’s business. Haven’t you pushed your own agenda on him long enough?”

Sans glances over at Deacon, who’s staring down at his arms. His thumb is still rubbing at his tattoo, tracing the forks of lightning as his jaw tenses.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Grant demands.

“What exactly do you want me to do?” Deacon says, loud and firm as Morwenna opens her mouth to retort. She turns in her seat, looking back at him with concern as Grant focuses on the road.

“I want you to be ready to do what’s necessary if it comes down to you, son. I need you to be prepared to help us kill Avery Fletcher.”

The car goes quiet again, and Sans watches Deacon swallow hard. He glances over at him, their eyes meeting, and the human looks… uncertain. Scared. He opens his mouth and then closes it again, looking down at his knees.

“Deacon isn’t a killer,” Morwenna says quietly, her tone serious. “You can’t ask him to do that.”

“He isn’t my first choice to do the deed, but we don’t know how things are going to go in there. We need as many people prepared to handle it as we can,” Grant says. “This needs to be a priority.”

“Our priority is rescuing the governor and his family,” she cuts in.

“What about the other Vigilum? The… the ‘initiates’? What are we doing about them? If you hadn’t rescued Vanessa she’d be one of them,” Deacon says, and Sans thinks he looks a little paler than normal. It’s hard to tell in the orange light from the street lights.

“If we can disable them, fine. Maybe, with Avery out of the picture, they can be reasoned with. But we have to keep in mind that they’ve been raised to do their dirty work. It’s probably too late for them,” Grant says, his voice grave. Not cruel, or pleased, just stern and resigned. Ready to do what must be done. “They’re victims in this, but that can’t excuse that they are our enemies. Now, Deacon, I never heard an answer. Can I count on you to do what must be done?”

Deacon’s grip on himself tightens, his fingers pressing into his skin. Sans can’t picture Deacon killing someone, not even someone who sounds as twisted as Avery Fletcher. He doesn’t even have any offensive magic! His magic is strictly limited to protection, to healing for fuck’s sake. Morwenna has the right of it, Deacon isn’t a killer.

But Sans… Sans is .

“i can take care of it,” Sans says, and Deacon’s head jerks up as he gives him a wide-eyed stare. “if it comes to it, i’ll kill him.”

“No, Sans, you don’t have to—”

“buddy,” he says with a reassuring look. “i’ll do whatever it takes to get my family back.”

   
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