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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194. Getting Together

Rashid has never been good at apologies. Too bull-headed, too full of pride. He hates admitting defeat, and refuses to be wrong. (Avery knew it, too. He’d tried to break Rashid so many times, Fatima was sure one day it would get him killed once he lost his patience with her brother. Thankfully he’d gotten killed first.)

So Fatima knows that when she catches the familiar sounds and smells of bacon frying in the kitchen that he’s trying to apologize. Not that she’s the one he should be apologizing to.

He usually makes dinner, so that in of itself isn’t unusual. After they’d moved in with Morwenna and they’d started acclimating to the ‘real world’, they’d both been taught the basics of cooking. They hadn’t exactly had a choice in the matter. Rashid had taken to it a lot better than she had, once he’d stopped bitching. But he bitched about everything, especially back then. He’d kept up that angry, mad-at-the-world wall for months before he’d let himself relax. At least a little. Just at the house.

When she keeps people at arm’s length at least she isn’t rude about it.

But the fact of the matter is that bacon, pancakes, and eggs is her favorite meal, and Rashid is using it to try to win her back over. It might just work, depending on if he remembered to put powdered sugar on her pancakes.

Both laptops are set up at the dinner table. With Morwenna out for the evening, it’s easier for them to game together in the same room than separated by their bedroom wall. They have an evening of dungeons planned for their perfect group of five.

The only problem is that two of their group is missing.

“Maybe they’re still eating dinner,” Chris says, his voice coming through her headphones. They’re on a group voice chat, the only two currently in while Rashid is away from his computer. “Wouldn’t be the first time Hope’s kept them a bit late.”

“Probably,” she agrees, half-watching the little fishing bobber on her screen as she works on catching fish to make in-game food. “They’re pretty good about telling us if they can’t come.”

“If they don’t show up in a little while I’ll give Frisk a call,” he says.

“No rush, we haven’t eaten dinner yet.”

“What’s Rashid making?”

“My favorite,” Fatima says with a self-satisfied grin, even though Chris can’t see it.

“Oh man, how bad did he screw up? He must be in trouble, right?” he asks, chuckling. “Or is he just being nice for a change?”

She laughs weakly, until she remembers why she’s mad at her brother. Chris might not be Frisk’s dad in practice, or title, or in any legal sense at all, but that didn’t stop him from caring a hell of a lot about that kid. He’s like what she imagines a really awesome uncle would be like, if she’d ever met any of her distant relatives. But she doesn’t want to upset him, or make things weirder than they’re probably going to be whenever Frisk shows up in-game, so Fatima makes the quick decision not to elaborate. “Just him being an asshole. You know, like usual,” she says, which isn’t exactly a lie.

“To you?” he asks, and there’s an odd tone in his voice, like he’s agitated. It catches her off-guard.

“No,” she says quickly, letting out an awkward laugh. “And even if he was, you don’t need to worry about it.”

There’s a weird pause, and for some reason Fatima thinks she said the wrong thing. She’s not sure how, but she gets the feeling that Chris wasn’t quite prepared for that. Whatever that was. Why did this get like this?

“Well, uh, I hope your day wasn’t too bad. I mean, I’m sure it’s going to be better now that you’ve got breakfast-for-dinner on the way,” he says, doing his best she thinks to inject some levity back into the conversation.

“Absolutely,” she agrees. “Who doesn’t love bacon? And pancakes. Breakfast food is the best food. But the rest of the day was fine, I mean we were just at the community center and— Oh my god I totally forgot about your texts! Chris I’m sorry!”

“Oh.” He makes a soft noise, then clears his throat. “I mean, I wasn’t going to bug you about it. I just figured you were busy or something.”

“Sort of,” she admits, wincing. But she can’t help but feel guilty. She doesn’t like knowing that she’d never bothered to answer his messages. “What did you end up doing this afternoon?”

“Nothing really. I wasn’t sure if you were going to get back to me, and it’s not like I had anything planned…” He trails off, and she can practically hear the shrug in his voice.

“Chris, I’m really sorry,” she says again.

“Teemz, it’s okay,” he insists, sounding a bit uncomfortable. “Shit happens.”

“Yeah, but you seem to get shit on a lot,” she says, honestly feeling bad, but he just laughs.

“Well, it’s not the first time a girl hasn’t returned my texts,” he says. “I mean, usually I at least get a date first, but I’m not surprised.”

Fatima can’t help it, she laughs, which just makes Chris laugh more. “I’m sorry,” she says, trying to stifle herself. “That’s not that funny.”

“Yeah it is. But seriously, don’t worry about it. I feel better knowing you weren’t ignoring me on purpose. I thought I might have been bugging you or something.”

“No, of course not. I like talking to you, you weren’t bugging me,” she insists.

“Yeah?” he asks, and she finds herself wondering what his expression must look like right now. He sounds like he doesn’t quite believe her.

“Yeah,” she says firmly. “You just caught me right as Frisk was finishing up with training. I just got distracted.”

“Oh, that training with Morwenna?”

“Yeah.” She hesitates, thinking back to earlier. That look that Deacon had given Frisk, her suspicions about whatever he and Morwenna must have talked about. Something strange was going on and she wasn’t being told what. “Hey, has Frisk mentioned anything to you about what’s going on with all that?”

Chris lets out a humorless laugh. “No way. We don’t really, uh, talk? I mean… they’ve got Hope and Sans, and probably Deacon I guess. Unless it’s got to do with games or music, they don’t really come to me with their problems.” There’s a short pause before he starts to speak again all in a rush. “Not that that’s bad! I mean, who am I? Seriously, I don’t know jack shit about fixing problems for pre-teens. Besides, the magic stuff is a little, uh, beyond me. Goes right over my head.”

“I’m sure you could get it if you sat down and really talked about it with someone,” Fatima says, feeling herself frown. She can practically hear Rashid’s snide comments about Chris being stupid, big and dumb and too nice for his own good. He’s not dumb.

“...Are you volunteering?” he asks, hesitating for a second before clearing his throat again.

“Sure.” She reaches up to adjust her headset, fidgeting with it so it sits more comfortably across her head. Shifting in her chair, she’s having a hard time finding a good position for some reason. “I don’t mind.”

“Awesome! We can, uh, maybe get together sometime. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you, you know, for real. I can come up there.”

“Yeah, it’s been a couple months hasn’t it? That’d be nice. We should do lunch or something,” she says, smiling to herself. It’s nice, knowing that someone wants to see her. There’s not many she can honestly say would seem as enthusiastic as Chris about meeting up with her just to hang out. “Oh, hey should you check on Frisk?”

“Oh! Right. Uh, lemme give them a call. I guess I’ll be right back,” he says, and there’s the sound of movement on his end before he mutes his microphone.

She leans forward, resting her chin on her hand as her smile widens and she shakes her head. Chris is a sweet guy, probably one of the nicest she knows. He’d even offered to come up to Ebott to meet her; did he remember when she’d mentioned she wasn’t comfortable driving off the mountain yet? It’s silly, she knows, being so nervous, but Ebott’s roads are a lot less busy and the thought of dealing with traffic and freeways just makes her anxious. Any time that she and Rashid go down into the foothills he has to drive. He still teases her about it, which doesn’t make it any easier.

She’s sure that Chris would never tease her.

“Frisk still not—”

Fatima yelps, jerking upright as Rashid comes up behind her. He lets out an equally startled noise and gives her a wide-eyed look as she whirls around in her chair to look at him.

“What the fuck, don’t sneak up on me!” she blurts out, pressing a hand to her chest.

“I didn’t fucking sneak up on you!” he snaps back, thick brows pulling together into a frown. He’s holding two plates, one in each hand, with squat stacks of pancakes, strips of bacon, and scrambled eggs. One stack is dusted with powdered sugar; he remembered!

“I have my headphones on, I can’t hear you,” she grumbles, but then reaches with both hands for her plate with enthusiastic grabby motions. “Oh man, that smells so good, gimme!”

Rashid rolls his eyes, pushing it towards her and setting down his own plate next to his laptop. Folding himself into his chair, he crosses his legs beneath him as he gives his sister an exasperated look. “So like I was trying to say before you almost made me ruin dinner,” he says pointedly, ruffling his already messy dark hair with one hand, “Frisk still isn’t on? We haven’t heard from them or Az.”

“Probably because you pissed them off by being an asshole,” she says, but her words don’t carry much of a bite. She’s been nagging him about it all afternoon and most of her anger has died down. Not to mention being mollified by this beautiful stack of pancakes. Glancing over at her twin, he’s wearing an expression that clearly states ‘do we have to do this again? I made you your apology dinner, this is the deal’ so she gives a small dismissive gesture with her fork and shrugs her shoulders. “Chris went to go give Frisk a call to see what’s up. He’ll figure it out.”

“Good, because it’s hard to do dungeons without our tank,” he says, snapping a crispy strip of bacon between his teeth. His eyes flick over towards the front door as he chews, and a sly smile quirks the corner of his mouth. “So. What was Morwenna’s excuse this time?”

Fatima rolls her eyes, licking syrup off her lips as she works on her pancakes. “Nothing new. She said that they needed to ‘discuss work’. You know, very boring, no need for us to get involved, etcetera.”

“I can’t believe she thinks we don’t know her and Grant are screwing,” Rashid says, leaning back in his chair and looking at her. “Does she think we’re stupid?”

“Maybe she’s embarrassed.” Fatima shrugs.

“She should be,” he says with a grimace. “He’s a fucking prick.”

Fatima can’t deny that. It’s been five years and she still gets the feeling that Grant thinks they’re somehow Vigilum spies, no matter what they do or say to the contrary. Whenever he looks at them it’s with thinly veiled distrust, or at the very best simple tolerance. Deacon had told him off once when he’d tried to drill some stupid ideals about not letting personal connections get in the way of what ‘needed to be done’ or some crap, and ever since then Grant only interacted with them when necessary. Which was perfectly fine with both of them.

“They’ve got history,” she says with a sigh of resignation. “Like thirty years of it. I guess it sort of makes sense. It might even be romantic if it wasn’t Grant. 

Rashid just shakes his head, lip curling as he stabs his eggs. “I don’t get it.”

“We don’t need to get it.” Tossing back the long bits of the front of her hair as best she can, she shrugs her shoulders. “I’m just kind of curious if it’s just sex or if they’re going to get back together.”

“Oh god I hope not,” he grumbles. “He can’t live here. I’ll move out. Fuck that guy. Only don’t fuck that guy, because eugh.”

“I think Morwenna is fucking that guy enough anyway.”

“Good for her I guess.”

“Good for him too. He’s been a lot more bearable the past few months,” she says, huffing a laugh.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened though.” He arches a brow, drumming his fingers on the table. “They’re gonna have another falling out and he’s going to shove that stick right back up his ass.”

“Yeah, but this is the longest it’s lasted,” she reminds him. He’s right, though. Over the past five years (and who knows how often before that) Grant and Morwenna had done this song and dance over and over again. Like they couldn’t manage to just split up for good. “Maybe this time it’ll stick.”

“Maybe what’ll stick?” Chris’s voice makes her jump, forgetting that she was still in voice chat.

“This thing with Grant and Morwenna,” Fatima says, doing her best not to sound like he’d just scared her. “You know, we talked about it the other night.”

“Oh, right, how’s that—”

Rashid cuts him off. “Did you get in touch with our tank?”

Fatima throws an annoyed glare his way but he’s unfazed.

“Yeah, I guess something happened but Frisk’s on their way now. But, looks like Asriel is MIA,” Chris says, sounding concerned.

“Well, we can fill his spot. He’s just damage,” Rashid says.

“That’s strange though,” she says, ignoring the uninterested tone in her brother’s voice. “Those two are always together.”

Rashid scoffs. “Guess not.”

   
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