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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152. Christopher

"Man, this is totally a step up from your mom's house," Chris says, standing in the foyer as he takes in what he can see of the living room and kitchen. It's strange, seeing him here in your home. Stranger than when Kim was here, even. You'd never thought that Chris would ever try to contact you.

"I'm sure it doesn't seem like much compared to your parents'," you say, glancing back at Deacon as he follows you inside. He shuts and locks the door. "Chris, I forgot to introduce you. This is Deacon, my best friend. He lives next door."

Chris's attention shifts to Deacon, and something silent passes between them. Your friend stays at your side, one hand resting on his hip as his jaw tenses. "I've already escorted Kim out of this house, I don't have a problem adding you to the list," he says with a smile.

"Wait, your mom came here?" Chris asks, oblivious to Deacon's threat. His surprised expression quickly folds as he clears his throat and rubs the hair on his jaw. "Is she... were the rumors right? Is she why you came here to Mt. Ebott in the first place?"

Deacon's phone pings and you glance over at him as he pulls it out of his pocket. His forced smile fades a little, but you return your attention to Chris where he's standing there, watching you. Sighing, you nod. "Yeah. She was the reason," you say.

Chris's whole body tenses, his eyes searching your face as a furrow forms between his thick brows. "Was she still hurting you? Did she... hurt Frisk?" he asks, though he seems to dread your answer.

"I thought you came here so that you could explain yourself, not the other way around," Deacon mutters as he types in a message on his phone.

"Deacon—"

"No, he's right, I shouldn't have—"

"Yes she hurt us!" you blurt out, because you need him to know. You need him to know the situation he left you in when he made his choice. "She never stopped hurting me. Sure, maybe while I was pregnant, but that was nine months out of the last eight years! I'm sure you remember the bruises."

He's silent, staring at you, as the two of you look at one another. You know he remembers them. You can't help but think of the times he'd brush his hands over them, over your sides and chest, your legs. Places you could hide when you went to school the next day. Places only he could see whenever you stole time alone together by skipping school, or lying about where you were going on the weekend. He was intimately familiar with how your mother used to hurt you, and he did what he could to try and make you feel better. To tell you that the marks she left on your skin didn't make you any less beautiful to him.

He'd been such a good boyfriend. You'd been so happy.

"And until the night we left she hadn't hurt Frisk," you say, hand closing around the locket hanging against your chest. "I don't know why I thought she wouldn't hurt them, she hadn't had a problem hitting me as a child. But she finally did and we came here. Because I couldn't think of anyone that could help us."

"Fuck," Chris breathes, squeezing his eyes shut and covering his face with a hand. He makes a pained sound, gritting his teeth and tearing his hand away as he fights back his gut reaction. He's blinking too fast, shaking his head and shoving the heel of his palm against one eye. You're not surprised to see his eyes are a little glassy; he'd always been sensitive. Especially when it came to you. "Goddamn it, I should have been there. I... I would have come to get you guys, I would have figured something out. I just... fuck."

You feel somehow satisfied by his pain and anger on your behalf. It's an odd feeling, and you're not sure how to take it, but it's there. You're quiet as you watch him try to come to terms with what you've told him. A quick glance at Deacon shows that his expression has softened, and he even looks a little uncertain. The two of you share a look before you return your attention to Chris.

"As soon as I heard you guys went missing, I fucking knew it. You'd never do something like that unless she'd been..." He trails off, dropping his hands and taking a step closer to you. He's searching your face, remorseful. "Hope, I'm sorry. That I wasn't there for you, for our baby—"

You wince, crossing your arms over your chest and glancing away.

"—I was selfish and scared—"

"You were scared?" you snap, shaking your head and catching his eye again. "I was scared. I was fourteen, pregnant, stuck in a house with a woman who hit me and you left me there!"

"I'm sorry," he blurts out again, and there's that pitiful look on his face. "I can't apologize enough. I know I can't. All I can do is try to not be a complete fuck-up anymore."

"I loved you!" You storm up to him and stop a foot away, jabbing him in the chest because you need to... you want to shove him but you restrain yourself. "And I want to hate you for what you did but you can't even let me do that!"

He fumbles with something to say, apologetic and confused. "I'm sorry," he says weakly.

"Was it just because you were scared?" you ask him, staring up into his eyes as the anger leeches out of you. He's cowed, standing there and taking whatever you have to give him, even though he's nearly a foot taller than you. It's so much harder to be angry with him when he's just so... weak. "Or did your parents tell you to do it?"

"Both," he admits, and a part of you feels vindicated. You knew they had to be to blame. "I didn't know what else to do. I told them what happened and they said they'd... take care of it. They didn't even give me the choice of trying to help, just said that they'd make an arrangement with your mom and told me to break it off with you. You remember what they did; they put me in fucking private school just to keep me away from you."

"I thought... I thought you wanted to switch schools. That's what Eric told me," you say, brow furrowing. "Why would he lie?"

Chris grimaces, hanging his head and pushing his hair out of his face. "Because that's what I told him. He assumed I'd be more than happy to get away from you and the whole... pregnant thing, and I just went with it."

"Are you saying..." You have to swallow past a lump in your throat, suddenly afraid of the question you need to have answered. Afraid of what it might mean. "That you never wanted to leave me?"

He hesitates, and part of you feels... relieved. "I didn't know what I wanted. I never got the fucking chance to find out," he says, and you think that speaks more of his relationship with his parents than what happened between the two of you.

Deacon's phone pings again and it yanks your attention away from Chris. Which is probably for the best because you're not sure what to think right now. Turning to look back at your friend, he's typing another message, brow furrowed.

You glance over at Chris. "C'mon, we can go sit down," you say, then walk over to Deacon. "Who's texting you?"

As the two guys follow you into the living room, Deacon pockets his phone. "Nobody."

"Is it Sans?" you press. You and Deacon take a seat on the couch, while Chris opts for the loveseat across the room. Probably for the best.

"No, it's absolutely not your husband, texting me to make sure everything is okay," he says dryly, arching a brow at you.

"I'm not sure if it's annoying or adorable that it takes some kind of crisis for the two of you to start banding together." You wrap you arms around a pillow and hug it in your lap, against your chest. Deacon huffs a weak laugh, then settles back against the couch.

Chris, in contrast, is sitting on the edge of his seat, hands fisted in his lap as he looks at the two of you. "Um," he says, pulling your attention back to him. "Do I count as a 'crisis'?"

"How did you think Hope and Sans would react to the only person that might have any chance of taking their kid away?" Deacon snaps, harsher than you'd expect. "You said you saw the news; that's all these assholes are hoping for! You to step in, and then here you come."

"Deacon—"

"You abandoned your kid!" he blurts out, openly glaring at Chris and shit why hadn't you realized just how close to home this would be for him? "You fucked off so you could keep doing whatever the hell you wanted while Frisk was left without a father!"

"Deacon he knows," you say softly, touching his arm. He flinches, but doesn't jerk away, his expression hardened.

His gaze is cold as he glances at you. "Well maybe he needs to hear it again. You're forgiving him too easily."

"I never said I forgave him," you say, but your own words feel weak to your ears.

He must sense it too. "But you're going to."

"Sorry, but I'm not sure how it's any of your business," Chris says, picking at the fabric of his pants as he watches the two of you.

Deacon's lip curls and you see him get ready to hurl something back at him, but you catch him before he can. "Hey," you say, hand tightening around his arm. He makes a low, frustrated noise but looks at you. "Chris, can you give us a minute?"

Your ex hesitates, then pushes up to his feet. "Yeah... I'll just be by the stairs I guess."

"Thanks," you say, flashing him a weak smile as he goes. When you look back at Deacon he seems sobered, but the line of his jaw is still tensed. "I love you, but you're being an ass right now."

Caught between your annoyance and affection, Deacon looks down at his knees, gritting his teeth. "He doesn't deserve your forgiveness. Or any part of yours or Frisk's lives. He doesn't get to bail for the hard parts and then come reap the benefits after."

"I'm just talking to him. No one is making any decisions yet, and when that happens, Sans will be here." You sigh as he rubs the back of his neck. "I believe him, when he says that he's sorry. He's not a bad guy."

"It doesn't take a bad guy to make shitty choices that hurt the people around them," he says, eyes flicking over to yours. "He's already done it to you once."

"It's impossible to get through life without hurting people. Sans has hurt me, Frisk has hurt me, you've hurt Bo... Should I condemn the three of you?" You lean in close and he drops his gaze, sighing. "I trust him, and his intentions, more than Kim's. So please don't make this harder than it already is. I'm already worried about when Sans gets home."

Deacon scrubs his hand over his face, cradling his forehead in his hand. "Fine. Fine, I'll play nice. I'm sorry, I should have kept out of it."

You give him a quick rub across his back, pressing your cheek against his shoulder. "Thank you. I'll be right back," you say, then stand to go find Chris.

You're not surprised to find him looking at the pictures in the stairwell, studying the faces of your family and friends, of the child that has his hair and his nose and his jaw. In particular he's looking at a picture of Frisk and Asriel, arms around each other and smiling at the camera.

"That's Asriel," you say, coming up beside him. He pushes his hair behind his ear on the side closest to you so he can glance over to meet your eyes. "They've been best friends since we left the Underground."

"Your best friend doesn't seem to like me," Chris says, sighing. "Not that I can really blame him, can I? Can't imagine you had many good things to say about me. For good reason."

"You fucked up, Chris," you say, giving him a weak smile.

He returns it, then looks back at the picture. "I fucked up," he agrees. "But you didn't. You and Frisk have this amazing life now. And you've changed."

"I grew up," you say, reaching up to grab your locket. "And yeah. We're really happy here. Things were... pretty unexpected, but we've found a good place."

His attention shifts to a family portrait, of you, Sans, and Frisk. A tiny ghost of... something crosses Chris's face before you can pin it down. "He, uh, seems nice. Your husband, I mean. You guys look happy."

"Are you sure you want to do this? You could just leave, avoid the meeting with Sans that... I'm not sure will go very well. I don't even have to mention anything to Frisk," you say, because wouldn't that be so much easier? To just pretend that this never happened. You could be content with the knowledge that Chris hadn't completely turned on you overnight by himself, shift most of the blame onto his parents. And you and Sans and Frisk could just go on with your lives.

But would you be happier? Would Chris? Would Frisk?

"Is that what you want me to do? I mean, if you want me to go, I'll go. I just thought, with all the shit going on on TV that maybe there was something I could do. Like, maybe talk to somebody?" He fidgets with his eyebrow piercing, shrugging his shoulders. "And I just... when I saw you guys on TV... I wanted to know that you were doing okay. I wanted to come see you, and apologize. And... I don't know. I'm here now. Eight years too late, but I'm here."

"You butthead," you say, without the least bit of animosity. You used to call him that, and judging by the small smile on his face you think he remembers. "Stop being so damn sweet. I'm supposed to stay mad at you."

Chris laughs, and his smile brightens. "Sorry, I can't help it. Right now I'm just glad that you didn't kick me off the mountain."

"Don't push your luck, you've got two guys that would be more than happy to do that right now," you say, which wipes the smile back off his face. Then, as if on cue—

"Uh, Hope?" Deacon calls from the living room. "Sans just texted me to say that he's headed home."

   
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