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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72. Family

Of the roughly twenty-thousand monsters living under Mt. Ebott, about a fifth of them stay in the Underground. Those that chose to live on the surface opted to stay with familiar faces, and so two neighborhoods sprung up outside of downtown. These are affectionately referred to as Lakeside and Mountainside, in monster (or Asgore's) tradition of naming things a little too on-the-nose.

Lakeside is, as one might assume, next to a huge lake within monster territory. A mix of runoff from winter snow and a hotspring from Ebott's volcanic activity, the waters are a pleasant, lukewarm temperature most of the year. The residents of old Waterfall chose to move there, along with the Riverperson. Well, they go by Lakeperson now, giving people rides from one end to the other.

Mountainside is situated higher up Mt. Ebott's slope, overlooking downtown in the small valley below. It's here that most of Snowdin's residents chose to make their home, including you and your family, and Toriel and Asriel. Asriel and Frisk insisted on staying close to one another, having become nearly inseparable. And how could Toriel deny her son? Their house is a quarter mile down the road, your closest neighbor.

Well, technically your second closest neighbor, but the little house in the opposite direction of Toriel's has been empty for about a month. A small family of three had their house built there but they just couldn't adjust to being on the surface. They rarely ever came outside and every time you saw them they were nervous and jittery, casting anxious glances at the sky and the wide open spaces. Not everyone could adjust to being above ground and they were some of the few hundred that chose to go back.

"Frisk, I don't think this is a good idea," Asriel whispers, casting the vacant house's back door an uncertain look. He's got one of his ears in his hand, rubbing the pink pads of his fingers over the short, velvety fur.

Frisk gives their best friend a bright, confident smile. They take hold of his hand, pulling it gently away from his ear and lacing their fingers together, giving him an encouraging tug. "C'mon, no one lives here anymore and there's all that stuff just sitting there. None of it's getting used," they say, not even bothering to keep their voice down and reaching for the doorknob. It's unlocked. It's a habit that you've complained about, just how trusting the monsters are of each other.

"I guess..." Asriel says, and that's when Frisk knows they've got him on their side again. He looks down at their joined hands and lets them pull him through the door.

The house is a little dark despite the afternoon light. All the windows have the curtains drawn and the air inside is stale. It's quiet, which makes the scuff of Frisk's shoes against the kitchen tile all the louder. The tough, catlike pads on Asriel's feet are silent.

"Hmm. So, what should we look for?" Asriel asks, sounding more confident than he did a moment ago. Frisk glances over their shoulder at him in time to see him square his shoulders a little, trying his best to look... tough, maybe? They stifle a giggle, not wanting to upset him.

"Something to sit on. Something that isn't rocks," Frisk says, making a face.

"What's wrong with rocks? They're nice and warm by the time we get out of school." He frees his hand and moves to the other side of the kitchen, where there's a small table.

"Yeah and they're cold in the winter. And hard."

"Winter's coming soon, right? That's why it's getting cooler? That's what Mom said."

Frisk gives Asriel an amused look, but the innocent, genuinely uncertain expression on his face reminds them that he's being serious. Sometimes they forget just how much their friend doesn't know about the surface, things they take for granted. Like rain, and seasons, and the the leaves changing color. He'd been so confused when the familiar greens had started turning to yellows, reds, and oranges and even asked if there was something wrong with the trees. The hurt look in his eyes when Frisk started giggling was enough to remind themselves to take his questions seriously.

"Yeah. It's still fall now, but it'll be winter soon. And it'll look just like Snowdin!" Frisk misses Snowdin, just a little. The perpetual Christmas tree and lights made the little town feel magical, and Mountainside... well. Mountainside is nice, but it's no Snowdin.

"How soon?" Asriel asks, tugging one of the chairs out from the kitchen table. "And what about chairs? We can sit on chairs."

"Well it's October now. So, um... two months? I think?" Frisk shrugs, turning away from the empty pantry they're snooping in to look back at their friend. "I don't wanna carry a bunch of chairs through the forest, do you?"

Wrapping his hands around the edges of the seat, he lifts the wooden chair with ease, raising an eyebrow at them. "They're not that heavy."

"Well not to you! You're, like, boss monster strong," Frisk says, without even the barest hint of jealousy. They just laugh, giving him a look of admiration that has Asriel blushing.

He sets the chair back down, tugging an ear over his snout to hide his face. "Well, I mean, I can carry them for you if you want," he says, his words slightly muffled.

Frisk shakes their head, sighing. "Nah, I think that might be a bit too much. I was thinking something smaller. Something soft." They shove their hands in the pockets of their blue and red striped hoodie, thinking as they bounce the toe of their sneaker on the floor. Staring at the chair, an idea comes to them. "Oh! What about the chair cushions! We could just take those off."

"Do we want all of them?" Asriel asks, looking at the set of six chairs ringing the table.

"Just two should be okay, one for each of us!" As Asriel gets to work on untying one of the squashy, green cushions from the slats on the back of the chair, Frisk starts on another one. "Or... should we get a couple more, in case we bring other friends with us?"

Frisk doesn't notice the little crease that forms between Asriel's eyes. "...I thought you said this was just for us?" he asks in an even tone.

"Oh, yeah that's true. Just two then. These are perfect though, to make those rocks at the clubhouse more comfortable!"

Clubhouse is a bit of an exaggeration. In reality it's more a collection of granite boulders that Frisk is determined to put some kind of roof over at some point in the future. It's a good fifteen minutes away from home, out in the middle of the forest, nice and secluded from any pesky adults. The second Frisk spotted it about a week ago they decided that it was theirs and got to work clearing out the space between the biggest boulders to establish some kind of 'floor'. Asriel still didn't seem to get the appeal. But after Frisk said it was something special just for the two of them, it was easy to get him to help.

Neither of them seem to notice the sunlight starting to fade as they reach the clubhouse with their spoils. Frisk immediately starts scaling the biggest boulder, climbing up a smaller one to reach the top. It has a nice, flat top worn almost level and perfect for sitting. Plopping down the cushion they carried all this way, Frisk sits down and surveys their little spot. It's nice, and quiet, and theirs. Just the two of them. Frisk never had a chance to have anything like this back when the two of you were still living with... um, their grandmother. Frisk still isn't sure what to call her, 'Grandma' is reserved for Toriel, and they haven't seen Kim since that brief visit where you yelled at her. She'd been so angry... they're not sure they ever want to see her again any time soon.

Realizing they're frowning, Frisk glances over at Asriel as he takes a seat beside them. He gives them a bright, happy smile and Frisk smiles back. No reason to dwell on bad things. Not when there's good things here, like Asriel and their clubhouse.

"Isn't this neat?" Frisk asks for probably the hundredth time since they found it. "Maybe next time we can start trying to find branches or something. We can put them across the top, like a thatched roof or something!"

Asriel gives the uneven, crooked circle of stones a dubious look. "I don't think we'll find branches big enough. Um, maybe one of those, uh," he gestures with his hands, spreading his fingers like he's smoothing something. "Those big plastic sheet things?"

"Oh! You mean a tarp?" Frisk looks over the clubhouse again, trying to visualize it in their mind. Tapping their chin for effect, they squint a little. "Hmm..."

Asriel looks away, tilting his head to the side and stroking his ear. "Or, maybe that's not a great idea, I mean, where—"

Flopping over to the side, Frisk stretches themselves out in Asriel's lap, ignoring his startled yelp. They reach up and take hold of his ears, gently, flapping them a little as they smile up at him. "That's a great idea! We just have to find one. Maybe... maybe Dad has one in his workshop."

Asriel takes a handful of Frisk's hair, pulling a hank of it over their eyes. Giggling, they have to let go of his ears to smooth it out again, pushing neatly-trimmed bangs off their forehead. The rest of it is longer than it was in the Underground, settling past their shoulders. Here on the mountain, they don't have to worry about anyone mistaking them for a girl. Or a boy, for that matter.

"I don't think we should go into Sans's workshop without permission," Asriel says, poking Frisk in the ribs with a blunted claw. "Besides... I still don't think he trusts me."

Frisk makes a face, but can't bring themselves to disagree. Sans is nice to Asriel, and hasn't said anything to make them think he doesn't like him but... There's something weird there. The ghost of Flowey still haunting Asriel's footsteps. He seems to feel it too because his smile fades and his big green eyes go a little distant. Frisk pokes him in the nose and he starts giggling. There, that's much better.

Their laughter is cut short, however, when Frisk's cell phone starts to ring. And half a second later, so does Asriel's. They share a look as dread settles over both of them.

"Oh no," they say, in unison.

"We're sorry—"

"We lost track of time—"

"We didn't mean to be out so late—"

"I know you said to set an alarm the last time but—"

"Frisk and I just got distracted, and—"

You hold up your hands for quiet, trying not to smile at their desperate and heartfelt attempts to get themselves out of trouble. Glancing at Toriel, you see her trying to do the same and you know that neither of you really have it in you to scold them. They were just being kids, after all.

"We were just worried about you," you tell them, propping your hands on your hips.

"Yes, please try to remember that you have family at home who love you and want to know that you are safe," Toriel says, a little sterner than you.

Asriel hunches his shoulders a little, hanging his head. "Yes, Mom."

"Yes, Grandma," Frisk echoes. You reach out and give them a nudge on the shoulder, pointing to the sink. The unspoken message is clear; they both dart off to go wash their hands.

You and Toriel exchange a look. It's been like this for the past four months, worrying about wherever those two might have run off to. Things got a little easier on both of you once you got them their own cell phones. They might be a bit young, but your peace of mind is more important. Not to mention, in their cases, 'young' feels a bit relative.

Hearing the front door open, Toriel waves you off with a hand.

"WE'RE HOME!" comes Papyrus's voice. You follow it out of the kitchen and into the living room.

Sans is kicking off his work shoes by the door, replacing them with his familiar slippers. It's the only thing he wears different when he goes to help Alphys. Aside from that small change, he's still got on his jacket, a pair of track shorts, and a t-shirt. Baby steps, you think. A lot has changed, for both of you, and his clothes are the least of your worries. At least you know he's got good traction.

Papyrus, in comparison, has embraced the idea of living on the surface and adapting to human culture with his trademark enthusiasm. It took a little convincing to get him to stop wearing his 'battle body' but once you and Sans told him he might be a little intimidating to the other humans, he took to new clothes easily. He's wearing a pair of skinny jeans (specially made for him, of course, since god knows no human on earth exists with his measurements) and a red flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He's a beard and a pair of thick glasses away from looking like a hipster, but at least he's a well-dressed hipster. The only bit remaining from his old wardrobe is that red scarf he's still got wrapped around his neck.

"Hey you two, have a good drive?" you ask, giving Papyrus a quick smile as you cross the room.

"OF COURSE! THOUGH I HAD TO WAIT FOR THIS LAZYBONES FOR ALMOST TEN MINUTES. I THINK HE FORGOT ABOUT ME," Papyrus says, giving his brother a frustrated look.

"i told you i didn't forget about you, bro. i had to put away my stuff, got a late start," Sans says, shrugging before smiling up at you and giving you a hug and a quick brush of his mouth against your cheek. "hey babe. dinner's smelling great."

"Pap, Tori and the kids are in the kitchen if you wanna see if she needs any help finishing up dinner," you tell him.

"OH, THE QUEEN IS HERE ALREADY? I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, AM MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP!" He makes a beeline for the kitchen, leaving you and Sans with a moment of privacy.

"nice one," he says, wrapping his arms more snugly around your waist and pulling you close, grinning.

With a contented hum, you lace your hands behind his neck, leaning down to press a few, slow kisses to the side of his face. "I wanted to get a moment alone with you before dinner, since it'll be a few hours until we get another chance."

One of his hands drops to your butt, making you blush and give an embarrassed laugh. "any reason in particular? did i do something good? cuz if i did, lemme know so i can do it again." He nips at your earlobe and you let out a little gasp.

"Do I need a reason to want to show you a little affection?" you murmur.

"Mom! Dad! Quit being gross!"

Sighing, the two of you separate just enough to frown at Frisk as they enter the room, trailed by Asriel. He's staring very pointedly at the floor.

"Aaaand the moment is over," you mutter under your breath.

A loud knock on the door signals that the moment really is well and truly over, followed by a friendly, "Howdy!" to herald Asgore's arrival. You and Sans have to sidestep to get out of the way as it starts to open. With one last look at each other, the two of you separate completely in order to get this family dinner underway.

 
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