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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117. Bo

"Hope, you need to help me," Deacon says, the second he hears you answer the phone. He's standing in the middle of his bedroom, staring at his open closet, dressed in just a pair of jeans. That's as far as he got before having this sudden crisis.

There's a pause on the line, and in the background he can hear some poorly played piano music. "You know, one of these days you're going to actually need help and I'm not going to realize it," you say, and he can just picture the slight narrowing of your eyes as you try not to smile. A small part of him wonders if he's starting to annoy you with his behavior, then promptly panics, but he squashes it back down. You're not that kind of person. You've already let him in and he can tell you're not the type to let go. Best friends. "And you could at least say hello first."

"Hi Hope, how're you? Also, you need to help me," he says, bringing the mic closer to his mouth for added effect. "What do people wear to go hiking? Bo wants to go hiking and I know that I've seen hikers before, but now I can't for the life of me remember. It's just a day trip, it's not like I need to bring supplies." A pause. "Do I need to bring supplies?"

"There is this thing that might be able to answer your question. It's called the internet," you say, and okay, really, what is going on in the background? There's bad piano and voices he can't quite make out. "Do you need me to come over?"

"I don't— Where are you?" he blurts out, overwhelmed with curiosity.

You let out a small laugh. "You can hear all that? I'm over at Undyne's with Frisk. Someone mentioned piano, and Frisk remembered that Undyne was supposed to be teaching them how to play."

"Ignoring the fact that it's a little shocking that she knows how to play piano. Frisk never seemed like the musical type," he says, momentarily distracted from his dilemma.

There's a pause. "Frisk's biological father was in a band back in high school. I don't know if he ever went anywhere with that, but... I imagine that's where they get it from," you say, quiet enough that he almost doesn't hear you. You clear your throat. "But do you need me to come help you? It's almost ten, aren't you supposed to meet her at ten-thirty?"

"No, no, you're in the middle of something," he says, glancing at the clock to check the time. Shit, you're right. "I don't want to interrupt. Uh, any more."

"HEY, who's that on the phone? Is it Sans?" He can hear Undyne's voice in the background.

"Oh, no it's Deacon," you tell her. "He's trying to get ready for his date with Bo."

"Oh! Darling, tell him to have a good time. That's so adorable that they're going out on a date after all that mess with the news." Mettaton's voice this time.

"TELL HIM NOT TO FORGET TO TAKE A GIFT! THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT!" And Papyrus. How many people are over there?

Deacon feels a sudden lump in his throat and a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Wait, do I need to take a gift? Is that like, a monster thing?" he says, running his fingers through his hair and giving a quick, cursory glance to his bedroom. Does he have anything in this house that might work as a gift?

"Hold on," you say, and he can hear the voices and piano in the background getting quieter. You must be moving to another room. "Okay. I didn't want Pap to hear me. No, you don't have to take a gift, don't worry about that. That's just Papyrus."

"Oh thank god," he breathes, letting some of the tension seep out of his shoulders. "Hope, I don't want to mess this up."

"Deacon," you say in that affectionate way that he's still not quite used to. If you were here you'd squeeze his hand, or his shoulder. He kind of wishes you were here to do that. "You're gonna be fine. Don't overthink it and just have a good time with her. You've been talking for like a week now, you're not going in blind."

"Yeah, okay, that's true," he says, pacing back and forth at the foot of his bed. There's a loud beep in his ear, a notification of a text message. "Hey, I just got a message. It might be Bo and I need to figure out what I'm wearing. Sneakers should be okay, right? I don't have boots."

"I guess so. I'm not exactly a hiker myself," you say, uncertain. "Just wear something comfortable for the weather. Don't worry, you look good in everything. It's awful."

He laughs, feeling a bit better. Okay, maybe you weren't much help on the clothing front, but he's glad he called you. "It's a burden I have to bear."

"Goodbye, Deacon," you say pointedly, laughing. "Have a good time."

"Yeah, yeah. Talk to you later."

He waits for a second until he hears you end the call. Sighing, he pulls his phone away from his ear to check the message he just got. Oh, no this isn't from Bo.

It's from Grant.

'We need to talk about what happened on the news last week.'

He frowns at the message, a swell of defiance in his chest. He exits out of his texts, choosing not to reply. "No, we don't," he says, to no one in particular.

Bo is already waiting at the small park the monsters built at the start of Mt Ebott's hiking trail. As he throws Sylvie into park and gives her steering wheel a small pat before getting out, he feels a small twist of nerves in his chest. This is all different than he's used to. Before, for years, the end goal had just been sex. A few weeks of fun and maybe some shallow companionship. Then a clean breakup and the cycle would repeat. No attachments. No feelings. No butterflies.

Oh, there's butterflies this time. He'd spent two hours on the phone with her yesterday before she went into work and that's just not something he ever did. Deacon just didn't do hours on the phone with girlfriends, or boyfriends. They were disposable. But he doesn't want to do that again. Not to her.

This is all your fault. You'd made him change. For the better, he thinks. He hopes.

Hiking had been Bo's idea. He admitted, yesterday, that he still doesn't know Ebott that well. While he had been the one to ask her out, he asked her if there was anything she'd like to do. And that thing had been hiking.

He'll do hiking. He'll do whatever she wants to do.

The parking lot for the park is empty, despite the handful of families he can see scattered in the nearby playground and field. Then, he realizes with growing dread, that most of the monsters don't own cars. They could get special permits from the military to drive (like Papyrus, Mettaton, and Asgore) but most of them haven't bothered. Which means... oh god did Bo walk here? He should have picked her up! She just said they could meet at the park and he didn't even think to suggest anything else.

Bo is sitting on a park bench, watching him with a covered basket next to her. As he catches her eye she stands up and gives him a big, bright smile. Oh, god she's even cuter out of that work uniform. She's wearing a pair of faded and worn, heeled hiking boots he's not sure are strictly practical. But, then again, they're not exactly shaped for a human foot. Does she have hooves? Would it be rude to ask? Never mind. His eyes trail up her shapely legs (she has that extra bend, like a really high ankle, but he doesn't know what it's called). She's wearing thick, gray wool leggings with a short black skirt over it. Her pale green, off-the-shoulder sweater looks like its made of wool too.

That's a lot of wool on wool. Is that weird? Oh god, he can't ask her, that might come off racist or something. Is it her own wool? Would that make it weirder or less weird?

He crosses the distance between them and shoves the thoughts aside. At least his own jeans, sneakers, and long-sleeve henley don't seem too out of place for this hike, compared to her own clothes. That's reassuring.

For a moment he's not sure how he should greet her, but the decision is made for him. Bo comes right up to him and slides her arms under his, wrapping him up in a soft, warm hug. In her heels she's about the same height as him, but she's a little bigger. Hips and curves he wants to run his hands over. He hugs her back and feels a little strange with how his nose ends up buried in the fluffy, pink wool around her neck. She still smells like how he remembers, like strawberries and vanilla. It's a warm, summery smell that just suits her.

She pulls away, but keeps her hands on his sides, staying close against him. For a second he wonders what he should do with his own hands. Putting them on her shoulders would be weird, so he settles on her forearms. How is it possible to feel so happy to see her and so uncomfortable and awkward at the same time?

"I'm glad you found the park okay," Bo says, letting him go. She brushes her hands across his as she takes a step back, smiling and turning towards the basket she left on the bench.

"Yeah, it wasn't a problem. Um, did you walk all the way here?" Deacon asks, glancing over his shoulder. He can't see downtown through all the trees, but he knows it's a few miles down the mountain. "I could have picked you up."

"Oh, it's okay, I just got a ride from the Busperson. They stop by my apartment like every half hour," she says, tucking her basket into the crook of her arm and reaching back towards him. Is she just beckoning him closer or reaching for his hand?

He opts for the first choice and realizes he was wrong when she laces their fingers together. "The Busperson?" he asks, feeling confused as she tugs him along after her, heading towards a worn, dirt path.

"They used to be the Riverperson. Actually, it turns out there were a few Riverpeople. One of the others has a ferry across the lake. Another is still in the Underground." She laughs sweetly, giving him a sideways glance through her thick, dark eyelashes. "They're really committed to public transportation."

"Just wait until the Line is open. Maybe one of them will become the Planeperson. Or the Trainperson," he says, grinning. His nervousness is starting to fade. She's just easy to talk to. "A whole world of transporting options."

Bo laughs again, brushing up against him with her shoulder. He's not sure if it was on purpose or on accident, but either way he doesn't mind. "I'm sure they'd love that."

"I can give you a ride next time," he says, rubbing his thumb along her hand. "You don't need to take the bus."

Her smile turns coy. "You're assuming there's going to be a next time," she says, bright blue eyes twinkling as she looks at him.

"It sounded that way, didn't it?" Deacon smirks and she looks away with a quiet giggle. Oh, he could get used to that.

He overestimated his ability to do this whole hiking thing. Walking at a steady incline has done a number on him, and about fifteen minutes in he starts lagging behind. This is fine, he tells himself, trailing after her. He has a great view of Bo's fantastic butt and the cute, pink wooly tail that matches her hair. It gives a little shake every few minutes as she walks.

How can she do this in heels? Well, they're still boots, and the heel is thick and has a good tread, but this is just making him feel pathetic. He's in shape! He has a whole routine every morning! He just doesn't have the right type of stamina for this...

Bo glances back at him, her long ear swiveling a little in his direction. "Honey are you okay back there?" she asks, slowing down a little. "We can take a break if you want to."

"No, no, no I'm fine," he assures her, pushing up his sleeves and waving her away with a grin. He hopes he doesn't sound out of breath. "Just admiring the view from back here."

Her mouth twitches and she lets out a small laugh. "Okay. But don't be afraid to tell me if you need a second. I come here a lot on my time off." As she keeps walking, Deacon swears she's swaying her hips just a little extra for his benefit. Oh, he could get used to that, too.

"Why hiking? If you don't mind my asking," he says, brushing his hair off his forehead. Oh he definitely sounds out of breath now, dammit.

She stops and waits for him to catch up, touching his elbow and slowing him to a more manageable pace. He watches her as she tilts her head back to look at the trees, the lacquered leaf-shaped clips in her hair catching the sunlight. "It's beautiful up here. There's this one spot, up the mountain, with the tunnel we came out of. There's a ledge right there with this perfect view of the ocean in the distance, and the city down in the foothills. It was the first thing we saw when we reached the surface. I'll never forget it."

She's still looking up, at the thread of blue between the spray of lingering fall leaves where the sky is peeking through. None of the other monsters told him what it was like for them to reach the surface. For you, he can't imagine it had quite the same impact. But Bo. Bo looks enraptured. He wants to kiss her but he doesn't want to pull her out of her memory. He wants to hear more.

Her mouth tugs into a smile. "It was the middle of the day, when me and some of the others from Hotland made it out. The sun was so bright it hurt my eyes, I couldn't even see properly for a minute or two," she says, laughing softly. "And then there was just... everything. The sky, the forest, this whole new world laid out before us. We were finally free, just like King Asgore wanted."

Bo looks at him again, with a bright, beautiful smile that makes her eyes shine. Deacon's mouth curves into a poor imitation, feeling guilty. "It's too bad that you didn't quite get the reception you deserved. That you can't even go to the ocean you can see from that ledge."

She gives him an indulgent look, unfazed by his pessimism. "It won't be like that forever. Things will get better."

He doesn't even think about it. Deacon reaches across her body to take her hand, turning her towards him and pulling her close. She's smiling, meeting his eyes for the second before he cups her cheek and kisses her. Her lips are warm and soft, just like he remembers, and she lets out a little pleased sound as she presses in close against him. But it's when her tongue starts to tease his bottom lip, leaving him wanting more, like their kiss back at the restaurant, that his phone starts to ring.

Bo pulls away, giving him a questioning look as he lets out a frustrated sound. Pulling it out of his pocket, he glares down at the caller ID that reads: Grant Bailey. He declines the call and turns his phone to silent before pocketing it again.

"Sorry," Deacon says, pulling her close again. "No more interruptions."

   
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