A/N: So apparently a LOT of people wanted to read Sans's reaction to Frisk telling him their background. The original reason why I left it out was because I would just be rehashing everything that I've already written (all of the flashbacks and such) just...abridged by Frisk themselves. However if you all really want it and don't mind reading stuff you already know, then I'll go ahead and write it. It doesn't really bother me and it'll allow me to get more of an inside look into Sans's current feelings about everything which will help in the next story. The length may be a bit short but hopefully it'll be satisfying enough.
Enjoy another little ficlet that delves into Sans's thoughts during ANOTHER talk he doesn't really want to deal with.
(P.S. for anyone who gets confused, I imagine Sans's memories would always be a bit screwy right after the timeline gets messed with. So he's gonna be confused occasionally)
Frisk had fucked with the timeline again. Sans had first noticed it when he found himself in the middle of eating spaghetti his brother had prepared. Every bone in his body had been screaming that he had not been doing this a second ago. And yet Sans could clearly remember everything from that moment up until this particular moment of inedible brunch. But it felt wrong.
It always felt that way when the timeline was messed with.
He felt sick to his nonexistent stomach and he had to stop eating as he tried to process. Frisk wouldn't RESET. They had promised. But god, wouldn't that just be Sans's fucking life if his best friend had fucked him over? He swallowed down bile and got up to dump the pasta into his pet rock's cage for it to eat. He certainly wasn't going to have anymore. He then went up to his room and hid in there before Papyrus noticed the spaghetti and got upset.
He should check the basement. He should look to see if the timeline was messed with. He had the nagging feeling that it was but he didn't want to believe it. He looked around to see if there were any differences –if there were any clear signs that he left himself. However his room looked just as he had left it. It was hard to spot the differences between timelines because his timeline was the only one he really remembered. He had grown used to pushing past his square box that he thought with. He needed to look past space and time.
He closed his eyes and focused his energy outward. His magic seeped around the room, entering the trash tornado and covering the bed and treadmill. He could sense the molecules that were in everything there. He could feel every little tear in the fabric of space. He could specifically make out the gaping hole that was the main shortcut he used to get in and out of his room.
Nothing felt different…except…his room was…cleaner?
He opened his eyes more confused. His room was in a constant flux of cleanliness. It wasn't unreasonable to think that it would get messier at some point. That could be anything. Hell that could be any time that he's feeling. He didn't have any solid proof that a RESET had occurred…but there was an overwhelming sense of familiarity to his life right now. Like he was watching a rerun of one of Mettaton's stupid shows that he doesn't recall seeing before but it's all somehow familiar anyway.
Papyrus knocked loudly on his door, startling Sans away from it. "SANS! ARE YOU ASLEEP IN THERE? WE NEED TO MEET ASGORE AND FRISK!"
Sans ran a hand over his face. Right. Today was Frisk's birthday. There was a surprise party planned and everything. Frisk would be so shocked. Undyne had a wrestling match they were all going to see. Sans had been fairly stoked about all of it. But right now he didn't feel particularly stoked.
"yeah, bro. i'm coming." He opened the door and Papyrus stood there. His brother noticed immediately that something was off.
"ARE…YOU ALRIGHT?" He asked. "YOU LOOK BLEACHED!"
Get it together, Sans. You're worrying your brother. Sans worked to put his mask on. He just needed to get back into the groove of being Sans the skeleton. His grin was as genuine as could be. "it's all the milk. tons of calcium."
"YOU SHOULD TRY TANNING!" Papyrus suggested as the two of them descended the stairs and headed for their vehicles that were parked in the garage. "APPARENTLY IT'S A THING THAT HUMANS DO TO MAKE THEM DARKER! METTATON SAYS IT'S SEXY!" Papyrus said, giving a suspicious glance to the side. Sans didn't think bones could tan. That sounded like something that only those with skin could do. "HERE!" Papyrus pulled out a folded thin sheet of metal and shoved it into Sans's hands. "USE THIS!"
Sans was amused. "looks great. but, uh, can't hold it while driving." He pointed at his moped.
"RIGHT! SAFETY FIRST!" Papyrus yanked back the metal and threw it into his car.
"i'll burn rubber first before i burn myself." Sans said.
Papryus groaned. "OH PLEASE!"
They both got into their vehicles and drove the short distance to Asgore's house. Frisk was supposed to be with the old king right now apparently doing something in the next town over. Some kind of ambassador thing with kids. Whatever that meant. Sans had zoned out through it. They both parked and, for the sake of appeasing Papyrus, he grabbed the tanning metal and the spare sunglasses Papyrus kept in his glovebox (a literal glovebox. It only contained gloves. And the one pair of sunglasses. The gloves apparently kept the glasses safe) and hopped up onto the hood of the car to start tanning.
The kid and Asgore were late, though. Luckily it gave Sans plenty of time to joke around with Papyrus. It was somewhat assholeish to do so considering Sans knew that Papyrus hadn't used his magic in a while and it was no doubt building up, but he couldn't help but harass him. Papyrus was hilarious to rile up. Besides, Sans would cover both of their asses by making him use magic later before he threw a fit.
(He frowned. How did he know that Papyrus was going to lose control tonight? Great. More signs pointing to time fuckery.)
When Frisk and Asgore showed up Sans didn't notice anything right away. He joked around with Papyrus more and Asgore tried to calm the situation. The kid was even laughing at everything. It was great. Well. Until Frisk suddenly wouldn't stop staring at Sans. Now, Sans knew he was hella fine for a skeleton but this staring was ridiculous. Maybe it was because of Frisk's dislike of riding his moped. But when he met Frisk's eyes he noticed a darkness in them –a familiar darkness. Frisk swallowed noticeably. The kid was feeling guilty about something.
Frisk hesitated before looking at the moped questioningly. Sans held out his second helmet. The human confirmed that they were riding with Sans before they got on the back and put on their helmet. They then wrapped their arms tightly around Sans's waist.
"SANS!" Papyrus called out over the ignition of both of the engines. "WE WILL MEET YOU THERE."
"MAKE SURE YOU SAVE OUR SEATS."
"WE WILL BE WITH UNDYNE BACKSTAGE!"
"'k." Sans stopped listening. He needed to get them somewhere alone to talk. This kid had some explaining to do.
He revved his engine and immediately zoomed off. He wasn't focused enough and almost ran into some parked cars but he dodged at the last moment. He felt Frisk bury their face into the back of his jacket. Sans focused on cutting through the shortcuts. He took it easy and didn't go for the faster –but more dangerous- ones for the sake of the human's nerves.
He really didn't want to do this. He really hated being serious. He hated being serious even more when he had to be serious with Frisk. Especially when Frisk was the one to piss him off. But this fucking around with time had to stop.
"so kid." He started. He made sure his voice was loud enough for his companion to hear even over the wind. "something wrong?"
Frisk's voice was quiet with shame and fear as they confessed, "I did something desperate."
"how desperate?" Sans tried not to grit his teeth.
"You might get mad."
He was already mad. But he needed to calm down. He was having a pretty good day. He didn't need to get so pissy. Not right now. Not on this day. "nah, it's your birthday." Sans could practically feel the discomfort from his human friend. The kid clearly wasn't reassured. Sans was practically being smothered by how much guilt they were radiating. Jeez he was angry but not that angry. Apparently his message of 'not appreciating time shenanigans' really got through. Still. If Frisk had RESET or loaded a SAVE that meant they knew all about the party. "so much for a surprise." He muttered.
"I'm sorry." Frisk whispered. It served to annoy Sans. They were sorry but they had still done it.
"You're angry." They whimpered. Sans didn't respond. He used the cold air to cool some of his anger. There was no point in getting worked up now. There really wasn't. There were too many things to do. He would let this kid enjoy their birthday party again. However when they arrived at the stadium where Undyne's match was and they parked, the kid wouldn't let go. Sans even turned off the ignition. Frisk just continued to hug him.
What were they even doing? Was this another apology? He didn't know how to respond to this situation. Papyrus had been clingy when they were younger but not like this. Frisk still wasn't letting go. Suddenly a thought occurred to him. ""…..are you….." He was torn between amused and confused, "trying to….squeeze the answer out of me?" Were they really going for a physical pun? This was a new level of punnery that Sans didn't think the kid had.
He had to admit; he was impressed.
Frisk tightened the hug.
"you're really pressuring me over here." Sans joked. The hug lightened some. Good, they were starting to relax. He breathed a sigh of relief and exasperation. Apparently he wasn't escaping this human's clutches until he said something to reassure them. "look. we'll discuss this later. this ain't the time or place." He grabbed Frisk's fingers and pried them off so he could stand up. He turned to face the kid and was confronted with the saddest eyes he had ever seen. And that was including Papyrus's. And Sans was a sucker for his brother. Shit. "….come on. stop looking at me like that…" He said weakly, looking away so as to not be overwhelmed by this strange human magic. "…" He was so fucked over when it came to this human. They were damn lucky he loved them so much. "…stop looking like i'm going to lose my skull, buddy. we're not back in the underworld, right? can't be that bad what you did. couldn't've broken your promise." If it had been a RESET, everyone would all be back in the Underworld, right? Monsters wouldn't be on the surface anymore. Or, at least, it would be summer again right after the barrier broke. Or something.
Sans hoped that he never found out the correct answer to that.
Luckily Frisk looked reassured finally. They took Sans's hand and gave him those sad eyes again. He had to snatch the kid's hat to break the spell and he ruffled their (long) hair (wait, when was it short?). "i'll get mad at you later. let you explain first. for now, let's find out seats before pap and asgore get here." He tugged Frisk up and out of the seat before he led the way towards the building. For tonight, he would let things play out normally. He could confront Frisk tomorrow.
That night he found himself unable to sleep, though. The timeline had fucked with his memories. Déjà vu was the closest word humans had for the feeling he had. He felt like he was watching a movie play out at the same time overlapping each other. Only, there were differences. He somehow remembered that Papyrus would snap and convinced his brother to use his magic on the donkey thing. And the Twister matches ended differently. And Frisk had actually managed to throw him completely off guard. It had been a long time since he had blushed. Undyne had cackled at the sight. Then the kid had the gall to twist it into a joke.
Damn, that kid was good.
Sans also found the source of Frisk's reload: their parents. According to Frisk themselves, their human parents didn't want them. That was nine levels of messed up. The human also asked if they could stay with the monsters as family to which nobody could say no. While it would be great for both Asgore and Toriel to have a kid to replace their two lost ones (even if one of said children was some kind of unholy demon spawn that deserved what they got) Sans was more caught up on the human parents. Something didn't sit right with him. It wasn't just that Frisk said that the parents hadn't wanted them…but some deep anger burned in his chest at the very thought of them.
Apparently his future self really did not like them if it was echoing in his memories back to him.
So. Left with nothing but his thoughts and curiosities considering his brain wouldn't shut down enough to let him sleep despite the lack of nap earlier today, Sans decided to take off back to his house to grab his timebox. Maybe there was something in it that would clear a few questions up. If he hated the parents so much, he must have written something down and hid it in the box.
Yet when he got there the very first thing he saw was a happy picture of Frisk grinning with a pair of humans. Frisk looked far too much like the female human to not be related to them.
Betrayal stung sharp and bitter in his ribcage. His hand curled into a tight fist. Had Frisk lied to him? Had they lied to all of the monsters? But why? What would be the point? Clearly Frisk was happy with the parents yet those tears earlier were real. Unless….unless they were faking. God fucking knew Sans had been fooled by that child countless times before. He had the fucking scarf still covered with his brother's dust in the box as proof. But Sans didn't want to believe it. Doubt reigned in his mind.
He promised the kid a chance to explain. It was time for them to explain.
He arrived back at the house to find Frisk not asleep. He could hear water running in the bathroom. Somehow the kid had managed to get a nightmare even when they had kept his coat. A nasty part of him thought they deserved it for being a liar but he hated himself a moment later for the thought. Judge later. First, let's hear what they have to say.
He climbed the stairs silently and sat down on the floor outside of the bathroom door to stare at the timebox. In his one hand he fingered the picture. He turned his head as the door opened and he saw Frisk start in shock at the sight of him. Oops. He had scared them again.
"Sans." They whispered, covering their chest with their hand.
"sorry, pal." He responded quietly. "figured you'd be up." It was strange that he knew Frisk would be up. It wasn't like they could have a nightmare with the jacket on (that he had seen) and yet they had awoken anyway. Maybe he had unconsciously memorized the kid's restroom schedule….annnnd that's just really weird. God, he's tired.
"Déjà vu?" Frisk asked as they joined him on the floor and a part of Sans started. The overlapped déjà vu was really getting to him. Their conversation wasn't supposed to be like this. He tried to get a grip on this reality.
"that's what humans call it, yeah. who knew they'd have a term for kids screwing around with time?" The human winced. Sans felt cruelly pleased because of it. "…i went home after everyone fell asleep. tried to see if by some crazy time-shenanigans chance that i had any notes about your parents. you know, since apparently your life was terrible enough that you loaded a SAVE." There was a hint of bitterness in his tone. "instead, i found this." He held up the picture. Frisk stared at it completely unsurprised to see it. How did they know that Sans had the picture? Had they given it to him to put in the box? That meant that the reload had been planned. That didn't help the kid's argument. "not very promising on your part. these don't look like folks that don't want you. so." He could no longer hold back his barely-restrained fury and it leaked into his voice, "Who are you lying to, kid?"
Sans felt his magic affecting the area. He was able to hold it back from burning in his eyesocket but only barely. He was angry but he didn't want to terrify Frisk. He wanted answers and a scared Frisk wouldn't give good answers.
"Myself." Frisk said and it was honestly the last answer Sans had been expecting. He was so startled by it that his magic instantly cut off and he legitimately frowned, baffled. Frisk gently took the picture and stared at it with wistful eyes. That…wasn't what Sans had anticipated. It was probably a good thing he let Frisk explain. "I thought…things would be different if I went back. I thought…that Toriel and Asgore would tell me to leave…because they knew my parents were still…alive." They tilted their head back. Sans only watched them, not commenting. He didn't know what to say. "…It's possible…." Frisk continued after a long pause as they considered something, "that Asriel isn't the only reason I've RESET this ending before….." The words were as quiet as a confession. The child closed their eyes and Sans saw the tightening of the skin around their eyes. They were in physical pain over the thought. Frisk opened their eyes to look at their friend before they reached out and touched his cheekbone. "If…If I hadn't promised…..I may have RESET instead….so Toriel and Asgore….so all of you wouldn't learn of my past." Their hand dropped.
Oh. Sans could only think.
Nobody said anything else for a few long moments. Sans wasn't sure what to say. Who was he to know if Toriel or Asgore would've sent the kid off-
(They wouldn't have. They were so torn up when Frisk had left-)
-or if the kid's parents would've treated them right-
-but suddenly all this messed up déjà vu made more sense. This situation must have occurred in another time but Frisk had RESET instead of loaded a SAVE. So all of their memories had been erased and they had been sent back to the Underworld.
Sans grabbed Frisk's hand and squeezed it once to show that he understood. He couldn't be angry anymore with this information –at least he knew that the kid wasn't lying and wow he felt like an ass for considering it. So much for trust- but he wanted the whole reason behind the reload. It was time for Frisk to share their past. It was only fair.
The only real reason Sans had never pressured the kid to tell him was because he knew Frisk would do it in their own time. Every child that fell into the Underworld had a reason why they fell whether it be menial or not. Frisk, though, never said a word about anything that happened before the Fall. It was a huge gap in Sans's knowledge about them. Now, Sans didn't tell Frisk everything either but he had thought they had been close enough to at least warrant a little insight into this quiet kid's life before monsters. He always gave them the chance to tell him but they never did.
This time was different. Frisk had taken a deep breath and began as far back as they could remember –telling Sans about human school and their mother. The mother had been a teenage mother (Sans could do his math) and from the way the kid described it the mother grew up with some pretty rude parents. They didn't like noise (that explained the flinching when Papyrus shouted) and would punish their child and grandchild for being noisy. The mother apparently was an absent parent who paid so little attention in raising Frisk that they got their gender wrong constantly and even switched back and forth between gendered pronouns.
That all was enough to annoy Sans but when Frisk hesitantly explained the blatant abandonment at the tender age of seven, Sans wanted to kill someone. Humans all knew that children on Mt. Ebott disappeared. The mother had wanted their child to just "disappear". Left them at a fucking bus stop in hopes they would get lost and die. Mother of hell. It was a wonder Frisk wasn't more messed up. The mother was damn lucky that they had such a forgiving kid.
"why did you go back?" Sans asked, his indignation and fury tightening his voice.
Frisk shrugged. "Where else could I go?" They whispered.
"i meant the second time."
Frisk looked at him quietly before staring contemplatively at the picture in their lap. "….I love my parents….and….they deserved a second chance…." They looked at him. "We're, um, getting ahead of the story."
"yeah, sorry. keep going."
The mother clearly wasn't shitty but she had nothing on Toriel. To Sans it sounded like all she wanted to do was party and hook up with people. Frisk practically raised themselves. No wonder they took care of themselves so well in the Underground. The child didn't even know what it was like to have a guiding hand in, well, anything. At least they had some schooling. It was one thing the mother did right. And the grandparents were alright for helping Frisk when the mother clearly wasn't emotionally stable enough to do it.
Wow, humans fucking sucked.
The hardest part to listen to was Frisk retelling their confirmation of their worst fear. Sans had to close his eyes against the pain that tightened the human's throat. They had to take a moment to clear it before continuing going on about their feelings of wanting to just…end it. It was hard hearing that his best friend had wanted to leave their world behind –especially when your best friend was so damn young- but it wasn't like Sans himself hadn't wanted to kill himself as a mercy. At least Frisk had wanted to do so to save their parents the trouble. And wasn't that just fucking like Frisk?
It didn't come as a surprise to Sans when the kid admittedly to throwing themselves down the hole. Apparently disappearing to them seemed a lot less painful a word than dying. Labels were everything, sometimes.
Finally they told the story of what happened after they had returned to their parents. It sounded all well and good except for the fact that the parents were still assholes. It was once again very odd hearing Frisk talk about Sans and their friends doing things that Sans didn't remember. Yet it all certainly sounded like something they would do. It really fucking sucked that he had been crashing and burning without Frisk's support. Goes to show how far gone he was. He cringed mentally at the thought. Frisk also informed him of how Sans had shown up to not only save Frisk's life but also to apparently scare the shit out of the parents enough to make them want to run. Well. That explained why the thought of them burned him so much. It was obvious that he really fucking hated the parents enough to, well, probably use his powers on them. Looks like it was his fault that Frisk had to resort to desperate measures. Welp.
Frisk fell silent and Sans had to absorb everything that he just heard. He was glad that he kept hanging onto Frisk's hand if only so they knew he was there for them. Sans finally understood a lot more about his friend. Why they were able to succumb to Chara's influence so many times. Why they were otherwise so merciful. The amount of love this child carried inside of them was of enviable capacity. Sans was proud to be the one they trusted most with their secrets. It felt like an honor and at the same time a curse. This….fuck, Sans didn't know how their friends would react if they knew about Frisk's past. Would Frisk ever tell Toriel or Asgore? Undyne? Alphys? Papyrus? The knowledge of it felt too heavy. This kid had been holding it inside of them and had still gone back to the family that had caused all of this pain because of the love they held. It was so twisted. It made Sans wonder why Frisk had wanted to leave the Underground at all. Would Frisk have just gone back to their parents during those routes that they hadn't managed to break the barrier? Where would they be if they hadn't RESET?
Frisk always had to carry the weight of their decisions on their shoulders alone. for now, Sans decided, let's both share the weight. He finally understood why Frisk had pushed for them to be confidants. He had known Frisk had needed him as much as Sans had (reluctantly) needed them, but he hadn't realized the extent. This thirteen year old had gone through too much. Who was Sans to give them a hard time over a decision that they were emotionally torn up about?
He only had one question that he had to know: "…do you regret it?"
Frisk was quiet for a long moment. "…No. …Not really." They stood up then and signaled the end of this heart-to-heart. Sans felt fatigued emotionally. They pulled Sans to his feet as well and then glanced at the bed before looking back at Sans. It was a question.
"guess i should get started on fixing the machine." He responded and put Frisk's picture back into his pocket. He would hang onto it for Frisk. Maybe make a copy for them both to have –one to survive anymore time fuckery and one to frame. He didn't feel tired enough to sleep but he was done being around people. "you're damn lucky i save my notes, kid. would've been real mad. i work my fingers to the bone on that damn thing." And get fuck-all nowhere. He should consider recruiting Alphys.
Frisk squeezed his hand in apology before they let go. It felt strange for him to have his hand back to himself after holding the child's sweaty hand for so long. He curled his fingers into a fist and tucked it into his shorts, watching as Frisk waved a good night and descended the stairs. He leaned on the railing and watched Frisk snuggle up between their monster parents. He could faintly hear the three of them saying something but he couldn't make it out. He instead decided to go find a shortcut that would take him to Ebott.
….but first he would need to find his shirt.
A/N: Final note real quick, I want to say I was pretty tired while writing this (fuck Daylight Savings Time man. Just...wtf). So any mistakes you find just let me know and I'll fix it tomorrow! I'm not sure if I'll be posting the sick fic tomorrow or Friday but I will try to post it before the weekend.