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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97. Freaks

Frisk holds tight to Asriel's hand as they dart through the crowd, fingers sticky from cinnamon bunnies, spider donuts, and nice cream. Their pockets are loaded with brightly colored candies in crinkly wrappers. The sheer delight at the festival echoes back and forth across their connection until, giddy, they come to a stop beside a game booth and erupt into fits of giggles.

As Frisk tries to catch their breath, Asriel flings his arms around their middle, hugging tight. He's so happy. So happy that it makes Frisk's eyes water which is weird.

"Halloween is the best!" Asriel says, not letting them go. "I had no idea human holidays could be so much fun!"

Frisk starts laughing again as he picks them up off the ground like they're nothing. They're taller but Asriel is stronger. A lot stronger. "Hey! Quit showing off!" Frisk protests, but they're not mad. Not even a little.

He puts them back down and presses his forehead to Frisk's, looking at each other in the eyes even though they're so close it's all blurry. Asriel smells like cinnamon and sugar layered over his familiar smell of warm fur and after a moment like this Frisk thinks they're blushing. Then, with a happy sound, Asriel ducks his head to nuzzle under Frisk's chin and pulls away. He's a little pink beneath his white fur and he fidgets with his ear.

"We're going to be together forever, right Frisk? No matter what?" Asriel asks, giving them an anxious smile.

Frisk reaches out to lace their fingers together again, rubbing the pink pads on his hands with their thumb. "Of course! No matter what," they say, determined for it to be true. They poke him in the chest with their free hand. "We'll always have this."

"Do you promise?" he asks, tilting his chin towards his chest. Their mingled happiness is fading just a little, Asriel's desperation for reassurance winning out. He gets like this sometimes, especially when he's happy. They wish he could just stay happy.

Frisk butts their forehead against his again. "I promise. I pinky promise, cross my heart and hope to die, super duper promise that we'll always be together."

Laughing, Asriel pushes back against them then pulls away. "Okay. I promise too."

He's happy again, Frisk doesn't need their link to tell that much. Squeezing his hand, they tug him down a gap between two booths. "C'mon, there's still lots left to see."

Asriel follows their lead, content to tag along wherever Frisk might take him. Off the main thoroughfare it's a bit darker. There are tables set up where a few families are scattered, sitting and taking a break or eating. Carved pumpkins cast dim light through the area. It's quieter here too.

Frisk frowns, taking it in. "It doesn't look like there's that much—"

A nasaly voice interrupts them from a few tables away. "Wow, what the hell are you supposed to be?"

Looking for the owner of the voice, Frisk spots a trio of humans in dark clothes and masks. They've formed a loose semi-circle around someone, a short monster wearing a red cape. It takes them a second but Frisk recognizes them. It's Kid, one of their friends from Snowdin and now at Mountainside School. They're looking up at the humans, a little uneasy but still smiling, backed up against a table.

"I'm a vampire!" Kid says, baring plastic fangs and wobbling back and forth.

The first human, a teenage boy, leans forward and laughs in Kid's face. "You monster freaks are weird looking enough as it is. Why even bother trying to dress up? Isn't like, every day Halloween for you weirdos?"

The other two teenagers start laughing. "Nice one! What a little freak," one of them says, a girl this time. "Do you think you're supposed to be scary? Because none of us are scared of you or any of you other monsters."

Kid just blinks up at them, their smile faltering. "No, we're not scary. We don't want anybody to be scared."

"Hey," the third one says, stepping closer and tugging on Kid's cape. "Halloween is a human holiday, you shouldn't even be dressed up in the first place. Take this off!"

As the other two start joining in, Frisk has had enough. Letting go of Asriel's hand, they run towards the teenagers and slip between them and Kid, shoving their hands away. "Hey! Leave them alone!" Frisk snaps, balling their hands into fists.

The teens, taken aback, glance over at each other like they're not sure what to do with this new development. Then, the first one starts grinning, resting his hands on his hips. "Move outta the way, pipsqueak. You don't want people thinking you're friends with any of these freaks."

"I am friends with them, and they're not freaks! I live here." Frisk glares up at them as best they can, and they realize, dimly, how strange it is not to have Chara egging them on. They'd leap all over this chance, if they were still there in Frisk's head.

"Don't be stupid, no humans live here," the girl says, laughing.

"Don't you watch the news? You're such an idiot, there's that mom and her kid that live here, the ones that went missing. Remember?" the first says, rolling his eyes. He returns his attention to Frisk. "So is that who you are? The one with a deathwish that should have stayed missing along with all your monster freak friends?"

The third teen reaches out and tugs on Frisk's hair, laughing as they bat his hand away with a snarl. "This is hilarious. Why don't you just go run along? We're not hurting anybody."

"Don't touch me!" Frisk yells, shoving him hard in the stomach with both hands.

"Watch it you little brat!" he snaps back, grabbing hold of Frisk's arm and throwing them to the ground.

"Frisk!" Kid yelps, trying to take a step towards them but the first teen cuts them off. "Leave them alone!"

Wincing, Frisk sits up, cradling their arm. Their elbow hit the ground hard and now their whole forearm is tingling, sharp pain shooting up and down. When they look up Asriel is rushing forward, baring his teeth at the third human. Hands outstretched, he shoves them backwards, harder than Frisk could and he falls back into his friends.

"Whoa, what the hell!" he yelps as the other two almost topple over but manage to keep him on his feet. "You freaky little shit! How are you strong enough to do that?"

"Hey, wait a second," the girl says, sounding worried all of a sudden. "I think that's the prince or whatever."

"I don't care who the hell he is." He balls his hands into fists and closes the distance between himself and Asriel again. "Don't fuck with me."

Frisk pulls themselves to their feet, reaching out for Asriel. He's shaking with rage, they can feel it pounding in their chest, strengthened by their own. But this isn't right, they can't let Asriel do anything bad! "Asriel—"

"I won't let you hurt Frisk!" Asriel yells, the fur on the back of his neck standing on end. He tenses his hands and there's a red flicker of magic between his fingers. "I won't let anybody hurt them!"

"I'd love to watch you try," he says, sneering.

Fire bursts to life in Asriel's hands as he bares his teeth, letting out a loud, shrill cry of frustration. The flames flare high for a moment before gutting out to a low, steady burn, waiting in his palms. Frisk wraps their arms around Asriel from behind, hugging him close with their hands over his chest. They will him to calm down, try to think of some way to force the feeling through their connection but it doesn't work. All they feel is anger and fear.

"You can't!" Frisk says, squeezing him tight. "Asriel you're better than this!"

"Chara was right," Asriel growls, low in his chest.

"No they weren't!"

"Asriel!"

Frisk could cry from relief as Toriel throws herself between her son and the humans, falling to her knees and taking hold of his hands. The fire doesn't even faze her, she just squeezes his palms and the flames die away. You appear a moment later, eyes wide as you take in Frisk and Asriel, then turn to face the three masked humans.

"What the hell is all this?" you snap at them, wild brown waves of hair catching the light from the pumpkins as you circle around them to stand in front of Kid.

Asriel crumples as Toriel cups his face with one of her hands, pulling him and Frisk close to her chest. He starts crying, sobbing into her dress as Frisk refuses to let him go. 

Sans finds Mettaton by the stage, because of course that's where he is. A pair of monsters with clipboards are taking down notes as he talks, gesturing in that pompous way that right now makes Sans want to snap off his fingers. Papyrus grabs the back of his shirt and he jerks to a halt.

"SANS, YOU SHOULDN'T DO THIS," Papyrus says, putting his hands on his brother's shoulders.

"i've kept quiet, bro. i've tried to give him chances to show that he's good enough but all i've seen these past few weeks is him upsetting you," Sans says, gritting his teeth.

"I DON'T THINK HE'S DOING IT ON PURPOSE."

"that doesn't make it any better! if he's supposed to care about you, even a little, he should make time for you." Sans balls his hands into fists. "if you can't stand up for yourself, then i'll do it for you. like when we were kids."

Sans tries to duck around Papyrus but his brother isn't having it. He twists his fingers into Sans's borrowed shirt and stops him again, pushing him back as he stoops down to eye level. "I'M NOT A CHILD ANYMORE! METTATON IS NOT A BULLY YOU CAN THREATEN INTO BEING NICE TO ME."

Sans's eyes widen, taken aback. He didn't think that Papyrus knew about the times he'd gone behind his back, especially when his brother's nightmares had gotten worse. He'd been bullied so much as a kid, and even though he can't remember why thanks to the accident, he remembers that it happened. It had reached the breaking point where Sans had to choose between watching Papyrus suffer in silence or taking matters into his own hands. And he'd never been good at not getting involved, especially back then.

"you keep letting him push you around," Sans says, frowning at his brother. "you can't just keep making puppy eyes at him and expect him to pay attention. damn it, papyrus, your feelings matter too!"

"BUT HE'S FINALLY HAPPY AGAIN!" With his grip still tight on Sans's shirt, Papyrus turns them both so they can see where Mettaton is still talking to his assistants, oblivious to the skeleton brothers. "YOU DON'T KNOW HOW HARD THINGS HAVE BEEN FOR HIM ON THE SURFACE."

He does. He remembers how upset Mettaton looked that night after the conference, when he brought Papyrus home. They way that he'd seemed so surprised when Papyrus hugged him, and how he slowly melted. But that doesn't matter. Not to him. "and now that things are finally looking up again, he doesn't need you? is that it? he expects you to just sit there and pick up the pieces when things are bad, but the second they're good again he ignores you."

Papyrus flinches, and Sans feels his fingers tighten on his shoulders for just a second. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't need to.

"he's using you, papyrus. just like he uses everybody. he was like this in the underground, and he's like this now. i mean, for god's sake, he tried to kill hope and frisk, you really think he's above all this?" Sans says, unable to stop. He should stop. He knows he should because now Papyrus just looks even more upset than before, but part of him just wants his brother to see the truth. To see Mettaton how he sees him.

But that won't ever happen. Papyrus is just so much better of a person than he is. "HE APOLOGIZED FOR THAT. YOU CAN'T KEEP HOLDING THAT OVER HIS HEAD!"

"it's gonna take a hell of a lot for me to forgive him for that, and right now he's just making himself look worse." Sans jabs a finger in Mettaton's direction, and he can feel the crackle of magic in his eye as his temper flares. He fights it back down, clenching his jaw. "this is the mettaton that tried to hurt my family before, and he's doing it all over again. now he's hurting you."

"I DIDN'T TELL YOU THIS BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO BE ANGRY," Papyrus says, smiling. How can he smile right now and be so damn genuine? "I NEVER WANT YOU TO BE ANGRY BECAUSE OF ME. IF I PROMISE TO TALK TO HIM ONCE THINGS CALM DOWN, WILL YOU BE HAPPY AGAIN?"

His anger gutters out, snuffed in an instant. He keeps so many things from Papyrus: the Resets, his nightmares, the panic attacks, how broken and battered he's felt some days more than others... He's trusted all of that to you, away from his brother because he just wants to see him happy. He doesn't want him to have to shoulder that burden. Now he sees that Papyrus has done the same to him and he doesn't know how to feel.

What's worse is he's starting to suspect that you're doing it too. Something was bothering you, something with Deacon, but he didn't want to push. He just wanted today to be good.

But it just wasn't meant to be.

His phone starts to ring.

You're aware that a crowd has started to form as you face down the three teenagers as Toriel tends to the children, but you don't care. "Picking on kids? Is that why you came all the way up here, to pick on little kids?" you demand, filled with more anger than sense. 

The teenagers look at each other and start to back away, but like a pair of saviors two soldiers break away from the crowd. You watch as the teens realize just how trapped they are, and the girl bursts into tears, pleading that they weren't doing anything wrong. That Asriel threatened them for no reason. But it's not until you catch the flash of a camera that you're filled with dread. Searching the crowd, you see too many suspicious human faces, watching. There's another camera flash and a few people are holding up cell phones now, not even bothering to disguise what they're doing.

Whatever. You can't worry about this now. Turning, you glance over your shoulder in time to see Kid rush over to their mom at the edges of the crowd. At least they seem okay. You go to Toriel's side and rest your hand on her shoulder. She flinches, looking up at you with wide, scared eyes. She's clutching the children tight to her body, rocking them gently. Asriel is sobbing and Frisk looks up at you, tears in their eyes.

"Tori, they're fine," you say softly, smoothing the fur on her arm. Her witch hat fell off; it's laying on the ground at her side. She doesn't seem to register your words. It's starting to scare you. "Mom, everyone is safe. Mom."

She blinks and focuses on you at last. "Oh," she breathes. The muscles in her arms slowly relax and Frisk slips out of her grip, wrapping themselves around you and burying their face in your stomach.

"You have to call Dad. I need to ask him what to do," they say, groping for the pocket in your costume where you have your phone.

One of the soldiers breaks away, approaching you. Sergeant Wilkes; you recognize him from his times on duty in Mountainside. You thank whatever higher power that might be listening for sending one of the good ones to help you. "I know this might not be the best time, but we need to talk to the children," he says, giving you an apologetic look. "Please. It'll make things go much easier."

As he glances down at Asriel, Toriel tightens her grip on her son, shaking her head. Your stomach twists. "They need to tell them what happened," you say, hating that you have to tell her that. You wish the kids didn't have to go through any of this.

Frisk gets your phone out of your pocket, and you're faintly aware of them calling Sans.

   
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