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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128. A Matter of Opinion

"This is stupid."

"Undyne—"

Undyne smacks her hand on the table in the break room, fixing you with a narrowed, yellow eye. You flinch back at the gesture and Deacon leans forward, closer to you as he turns to the fish monster. She just bares her teeth. "Hope you're being STUPID."

"Hey," Deacon cuts in, voice laced with warning. "She's already made her decision—"

"And it's a STUPID one—"

"And being rude isn't helping anyone," he finishes, resting his arm on the table.

"Is this some kind of human thing? Just hurting each other all the time and letting them stick around anyway?" she says, lip curling as she shakes her head. "You have a new family, new friends, a new LIFE! You don't NEED any of that stuff from before!"

"Undyne, she's my mother. I have to try," you say softly, crossing your arms over your chest and hugging yourself. "Aside from Frisk, we're the only blood family we have left."

"Blood family isn't everything. Look at me and Deacon; we don't have any and we're just fine," she says, jerking a thumb at your friend.

You and Deacon share a look. Sure 'just fine' might be applicable, but he's not without his own troubles thanks to his lack of parents. But then again, the same could be said of you from having your mother in your life. The both of you have damaged Souls, after all.

"It's not that simple," is all you can say.

"Sure it is," Undyne presses, balling her hand into a fist. "Every time you talk to her you end up unhappy. So don't talk to her anymore. Simple."

"Look, I know you're just trying to help," you say, doing your best to keep your voice even. "But if Sans wasn't able to change my mind, what makes you think you can?"

"Sans goes soft on you, I don't," she says, hunching forward over the table and fixing you with a stern look. "This is tough love."

"There's a difference between being 'soft' on someone and respecting their decisions," you say curtly. 

"And 'tough love' is just an excuse for being mean," Deacon says, his jaw tensing.

Undyne raises a brow. "Tch! I'm not being MEAN!"

You look down at the table, swallowing. "You just called me stupid, like, a minute ago," you mutter.

"No, I said you were BEING stupid," she says, but some of the edge has softened from her voice. "At least let me go with you. I'll make sure she doesn't do anything to you OR Frisk."

Shaking your head, you bite your lip. "This isn't a problem you can just... fight. I appreciate what you're trying to do, Undyne, but you can't help with this."

"Then why did you even bother telling me?" Letting out a ragged sigh, she pushes up from the table. "You know what, forget it. You do what you need to do, but don't say I didn't warn you."

"Fine, I won't." You rest your head in your hand as Undyne hesitates, then storms out of the room. The sound of the door being yanked shut (not slammed at least, but still too loud) makes you flinch. There's a hand on your shoulder and you look over at Deacon, meeting his eyes as he searches your face. "You agree with her, don't you?"

"She was being rude, and inconsiderate," Deacon says, brow furrowing.

"You agree with her," you repeat, folding your arms on the table and pressing your forehead against them, shoulders hunched.

"I—" He lets out a small, frustrated noise as his phone starts to buzz. You hear him shift to reach into his pocket, and answer the call. "Hello? Hey Bo," he says, his voice going tender. You steal a peek at him, turning your head just enough to uncover one of your eyes. He looks... god he looks so happy, at least until his smile starts to fade. "No, now really isn't a good time. Do you want me to come see you at work after I get off? Are you sure? I don't mind, it's not— No, I want to, if you want me to." He's smiling again. "Okay. Okay I'll see you later."

Deacon hangs up and he catches you looking, the tips of his ears going pink. Doing his best to wipe the remains of his smile off his face, he clears his throat. "Sorry."

Picking your head up, you rest your chin on your forearms with a sigh. "No, I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to talk to her," you say.

"You need me right now, it's okay," he says, shoving his phone back in his pocket. "And to answer your question: I don't agree with Undyne, but I also know that if I had to make that choice, I'd just cut ties. But what's right for me isn't what's necessarily right for you."

"But you understand, don't you? I mean, you obviously don't have the best relationship with Grant, but you still keep him in your life," you say. You just want someone to tell you you're not making a huge mistake. "There has to be a reason."

Deacon's face scrunches up and he looks away, rubbing the back of his neck. "It's... complicated."

"Exactly," you blurt out, picking yourself off the table and leaning back in your chair. "Why does everyone think it's so easy?"

"Because on one hand it is. Or at least, it should be." Your expression crumbles and he reaches for your hand, the concern on his face taking the sting out of his words. "Hope, I saw you on Thanksgiving. You told me what she did to you. To Frisk. Do you honestly think any of us would want you to put yourself back in a situation to be hurt like that again?"

You look down at your hands as he squeezes yours. "No," you admit with a sigh.

"Look, I don't get lots of chances to be the supportive friend, because usually you're the one taking care of me and my mess," he says, and you can't help but give a weak laugh. Meeting his eyes, he's smiling at you. "So here's me, being the supportive friend. There aren't many people in my life I worry about, but you're definitely one of them. I mean, you don't need my help because you've got Sans, but—"

"Do you not need me because you've got Bo?" you ask, fixing him with a serious look.

He blinks. "No, of course not."

"Then don't say I don't need you because I've got Sans. Best friends," you say, raising a brow.

Deacon chuckles, hanging his head and nodding. "Okay, okay. Best friends, right. Well then, let me make a correction: I know that Sans is your first line of defense, but I'm here if you need my help. With anything. Like, do you need me to go talk to Undyne? Because, uh, she might be really scary, but as long as she doesn't use her magic I'm still better at aikido than her. I can like... flip her onto the ground or something."

You snort, giggling at the thought. Shaking your head, you give Deacon's hand one last squeeze before pulling away, feeling better for having talked with him. "No, she's just... worried in her own way. Did I tell you what she did when Sans and I got into our first fight?"

"You mean the time that she started yelling at him and probably would have punched him if he hadn't confessed his love for you in the least tactful way imaginable?" Deacon grins, resting his chin in his hands and batting his eyes at you. "No you haven't, please tell me in exhaustive detail. I'm sure I'll love it and I swear I won't ever use this story against Sans ever in the future. Ever." 

"Don't make me regret telling you things, Deacon," you say, squinting at him.

"Now, why would you ever think that?"

Frisk and Asriel's clubhouse is much nicer, now that they have Sans's old, spare tarp that they got from him before Halloween. It took a lot of work for the two of them to get it all set up, stretched over the top of the irregular ring of boulders, and then held down by more rocks they had to find and bring back themselves. Thankfully Asriel is so strong, he could carry twice as much as Frisk. The center of the tarp is starting to sag under the weight of a pile of fallen leaves, and Frisk is starting to wonder if their roof is going to hold up against the coming snow. Well, they guess they'll worry about that later. Right now, there's other, worse things they have to deal with.

Pressing their sleeve-covered hands over their mouth, Frisk stares at the little fire that Asriel is coaxing outside the entrance of their clubhouse. They made a little fire pit yesterday, inspired by the trip to the beach. After a couple prods with his clawed fingers, Asriel lets out a little grumble and lets the wood go out. It was giving off more smoke than heat, hissing angrily as he tried and tried to get it to catch fire.

"I think it's too wet or something," Asriel says, frowning at the little bundle of sticks now steaming and smoking. When Frisk doesn't answer he looks up, green eyes meeting theirs. He touches his chest absently, a little wrinkle forming between his brows. "Frisk, what's wrong? You've been worried all day, I can feel it."

Frisk wrinkles their nose, hiding their face behind their hands. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Come on, you can tell me anything," he says. He gets up from his spot beside the fire pit and walks over to Frisk, taking their wrists and pulling.

Frisk shakes their head, fighting his grip and leaning backwards. "Asriel, stop!" they protest, voice muffled.

But Asriel doesn't stop, and Frisk doesn't give in, and after a brief struggle they pull out of his grip and fall backwards off the rock they were sitting on. Sudden, sharp pain bursts between their shoulders. With a yelp, Frisk rolls onto their side, reaching behind them for the stick that jabbed them in the back. Hissing between their teeth as tears prick their eyes, they grab it and fling it away with a rush of anger as they push themselves to their feet.

"Are you okay?" Asriel asks, his worry plain enough for Frisk to feel through their connection.

But it's not enough to temper the awful swell of frustration in their chest. "I told you to stop!" they blurt out, scrubbing angrily at their eyes. Their back stings, and they try to reach back to rub it but they can't quite manage. It just makes it worse.

"I'm sorry," he says, reaching for Frisk but they pull away. His face crumples and he drops his hands. "I just want to help."

"Well you can't help! Just leave me alone!" They shoot Asriel a nasty look, doing their best to ignore the feel of his shock in their chest. Stomping into the shadows of the clubhouse, Frisk cuts a path to the very furthest spot, sitting down on the ground and leaning sideways against one of the big granite boulders. They tuck their knees up to their chin, wrapping their arms around their legs and doing their best not to cry.

They know Asriel can feel it. How angry and sad and confused they feel. They're not upset at him, not really (not ever). And now, feeling the prickling of Asriel's hurt on the back of their neck, they feel guilty too. Tears sting at their eyes and they sniff loudly, turning their head away as their best friend blocks the door to the clubhouse, and the light from outside. The padding of his soft feet on the dirt is almost silent as he walks to them and kneels down beside them.

It's silent for a long moment, as Frisk sniffles and tries to hide the evidence of their crying, even though they know Asriel can tell. They wish he would do something, and finally he does. He leans forward and wraps his arms around them, resting his chin on top of their head.

"I'm sorry," Frisk says. "I was being mean."

"It's okay. I should have listened," he says, and Frisk leans against him. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Mom is taking us past the Line to go see my grandmother," they finally admit, reaching to grab Asriel's arm as it's wrapped around them.

"Her mom? The one that you ran away from?"

Frisk nods.

"And you don't want to go?"

"I don't know. I... kinda miss her. I mean, I thought... I thought she was my mom for the longest time. Sometimes she was mean, or would leave us alone at the house without telling us how long she'd be gone. But she was nice too, and I think that she loves us." Frisk shakes their head, burrowing their face into their knees. "But I'm scared, and I know Mom is scared too. And I don't think Dad wants to see her either, last time she was rude to him and everyone fought."

"Can't you tell your mom you don't want to go?" Asriel asks, and they can feel his confusion.

"But I don't know if I don't wanna go. That's the problem," they say with a sigh.

They both fall quiet, sitting there in their little clubhouse. After a moment, Asriel speaks up again. "You won't be alone. You've dealt with scarier stuff than her by yourself, like... like Flowey. And Dad. And Mettaton. And Undyne..."

Frisk picks their head up off their knees, giving Asriel a sideways smile as he pulls away. "When you say it like that, I guess it's silly to be scared of one normal human lady."

"And if things go bad, you can always Load. I'm sure Sans would understand." Asriel gives them a weak grin in return, resting his hands on his knees as Frisk starts to unwrap themselves from the ball they're in.

"But I'd still remember," they say quietly, their smile fading a little. "I'd still remember whatever bad thing she did."

"We remember lots of bad things that were undone," he says, running one long ear through his fingers. "And we're still okay now."

   
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