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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112. Meaning Well

Frisk is sitting at the table they share with Asriel, Kid, and Bonnet (a little blue rabbit girl with long floppy ears she likes to tuck under her chin, like her namesake), waiting for class to start. Asriel is doodling something in the margin of his notebook, a flowing design of loops and whorls. As Frisk leans in closer they can see some little hearts tucked in there, too.

"Yo! What're ya drawing?" Kid says, leaning forward over the table to try and get a better look. They slip a little on the edge and end up banging their chin, but don't seem to mind.

Asriel glances up at Kid, his fingers tightening around his pencil. He pulls his paper closer to him, covering up the doodle with his other hand. "Nothing. Just shapes," he says.

"My brother Bell is really good at drawing, too," Bonnet says, leaning forward on her elbows across from Asriel. "He says he has lots of time at work to draw stuff. He says 'bus... business has been slow'."

"That's cuz people don't like cold stuff when it's already cold," Frisk chimes in.

Bonnet's nose twitches and she tugs the ends of her ears in opposite hands, pulling them snug under her chin. "Nice cream is different. It's good anytime," she sniffs.

"Frisk!" Kid says, turning their attention away from Asriel's paper now that they can't see it. "A bunch of us are gonna be playing kickball this Saturday here at school, you should totally come!"

Frisk glances over at Asriel, right as he looks over at them. They meet each other's eyes for a second, and Frisk sees his snout wrinkle just a little bit. "Uh," Frisk says, looking at Kid again. "I'm gonna be at Asriel's this weekend."

Kid bobs up and down in their seat. "You spend every weekend with Asriel," they protest, and even Bonnet is nodding slightly. "I mean, you can always bring him with you."

"We spend every weekend together because we're best friends," Asriel grumbles, and Frisk can feel his annoyance like an itch in the back of their head.

"I was friends with Frisk first," Kid says, cocking their head to the side. "Just cuz your Souls sound all funny together doesn't mean you can hog them all to yourself."

"Hey," Frisk says, loud enough to make both of them look at them. "I'm friends with both of you guys. Please don't fight. We... we can ask Asriel's mom if we can come on Saturday."

"Okay," Kid says, flashing a smile and apparently satisfied.

Asriel does his best to stop frowning, but he just hunches forward over his drawing again, pressing hard enough on the paper that his pencil squeaks. As Frisk leans over to say something, the classroom door opens right as the bell rings. Mr. Stuart walks in and gives the room a grin and a little wave. They always have him first thing in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (You and Ms. Leveretta are in the back of the room, observing but mostly drinking coffee.)

"Morning everybody," he says, scanning over the class before picking up a green marker and starting to write on the whiteboard. He pulls a pair of black-framed glasses out of his pocket with his other hand, slipping them on.

"Good morning, Mr. Stuart," everyone echoes back obediently.

"Okay, so, I'm sure everyone is excited about the four day weekend next week, am I right?" he asks, smiling over his shoulder as the room agrees with enthusiasm. "Awesome, me too. So, last time I was here we talked about the normal stuff we do on Thanksgiving." He's written the words 'Thanksgiving' 'Pilgrims' and 'Native Americans' on the white board so far. He turns around to face the room, capping the marker and fiddling with it in his hands. "Eating turkey, taking time off from work and school, and spending time with family and friends."

Mr. Stuart's eyes flick up towards the back of the room, where Frisk knows you're standing. He smiles. The two of you are good friends, which is weird. Teachers shouldn't come hang out at their house, with their mom.

"So," he says, uncapping the marker again and stepping to the side while underlining 'Pilgrims' and 'Native Americans'. "Today, we're going to learn about what actually happened to the indigenous— uh, that is, the humans that lived here first."

As Mr. Stuart starts going into his lesson, Frisk realizes that what he's telling them is... a lot different than what they learned in school before. There's no nice dinner with the pilgrims. Instead he's talking about things like illnesses, and fighting. People dying, Native Americans having their land taken from them by force.

The other kids seem uncomfortable, and Asriel feels upset. Frisk glances over at him and he's rubbing his ear between his fingers.

"Dea— Mr. Stuart, can I speak to you for a second?" you say, interrupting him. His eyebrows raise and he turns away from the whiteboard as you walk up to the front of the room.

"Sure. Of course," he says, joining you near the door, off to the side of the room.

Frisk can't hear what you're saying. Curious, they tug on Asriel's sleeve. "Are you listening?"

He nods a little. "She's... your mom is mad that he's telling us all these bad things... that the humans did," he whispers, leaning closer. "She says... that he's scaring us."

Your brow furrows as you talk, fiddling with your ID badge. Mr. Stuart rubs the back of his neck, shaking his head.

"Um. He says that we need to know what humans have... done to each other. So that we can keep ourselves safe." Asriel shifts in his seat, fidgeting. "Your mom says that we're just kids, that we'll have our whole lives to... Um. To learn how horrible people can be... His heart is in the right place, but it's not the right time for this... That he should leave that stuff for the older kids."

You look over at the classroom as the students start to murmur to each other, just like Frisk and Asriel are. Mr. Stuart follows your gaze and they watch his expression shift. He turns back to you and nods.

"Okay," Mr. Stuart says, smiling at everyone and hushing the room. He adjusts his glasses. "So I know that seemed a little scary, but, uh, things like that haven't happened here in a long time."

Bonnet raises her hand. He hesitates, then nods at her, gesturing for her to speak. "Mr. Stuart... Why did those humans hurt each other?"

He glances over at you, where you're still standing near the door. "Because they wanted this land for themselves."

"Are they going to do that to us too? Are they going to take Ebott away from us?" another kid chimes in, sounding scared.

"No no no," Mr. Stuart says, holding up his hands and shaking his head. "We don't..." He hesitates, swallowing. "We don't do that anymore, not here. Not for a long time."

"Is that why the humans locked us away?"

"We don't know," he says, raising his voice enough to quiet the room again. "We don't have any history telling us anything about monsters. How or why you were trapped in the Underground. I like to think that humanity has come a long way from how we used to be, and that things will only get better for everyone. But it's important to learn about the past, so we don't repeat the same mistakes. That's why history is important."

There's a beat of silence as he scans the room, twisting the marker in his hands. The cap makes a loud squeaking noise. After a moment, he uncaps it again. "So let's talk about something a bit more fun. There's this tradition that on Thanksgiving, the President 'pardons' a turkey..."

"Hey, you're late," Deacon says as you enter the break room, tipping the remnants of his cup of ramen into his mouth.

You ignore him as you get your lunch from the fridge —leftovers from the night before. Cracking the lid and pushing it into the microwave, you watch it spin on the turntable.

"Hope?" he asks, and you glance over at him. He pushes out your usual chair with his foot, but you stay where you are as you wait for your food to heat up.

"I'm late because I had two kids asking me if all humans were 'as mean as the ones from Mr. Stuart's story' and a third in tears. Oh, and Leveretta wanted to know if you were exaggerating, like it was supposed to be a fairy tale meant to scare children. I got to be the bearer of bad news," you say, sighing and shaking your head. "Please tell me you just told the turkey story to your other classes this morning."

He gives you an apologetic look, leaning back in his chair. His fingers card through his hair and he nods. "Yeah, the turkey story. And uh, a little bit about early Thanksgiving practices. Sorry, I guess the lesson plan seemed a lot better on paper," he says, wincing.

"I know you meant well, but can you try to hold back on the systematic slaughter of an indigenous people for like, at least the middle school aged kids? Seven is a little early to learn this stuff," you say, turning to the microwave as it beeps. Pulling out your lunch, you go sit down.

"I'll keep that in mind. I, uh, never really intended to teach elementary school," he says. Deacon rests his cheek in his hand, looking at you sideways. "Middle and up was sort of the plan. You know, the age you actually start having proper history classes."

"What? I'm sure you'd love to spend your days surrounded by a little horde of children," you say dryly. Twirling spaghetti around your fork, you start eating.

"That's me. You discovered my secret." He rolls his eyes. "I don't know how you do it."

"It gives me more time to spend with Frisk. And I can keep an eye on Asriel for Tori," you say with a small shrug. "Besides, I'm just an aide. It's not as demanding as actually teaching."

"So are you going to swap classes when they go up a grade?"

"Nah." You shake your head. "Frisk doesn't need me following them through school. It was just nice while we were all adjusting to how things have been up here on the surface. Besides, I like Levey. I think I'll stick with her next year."

Deacon picks his head up from his hand, staring off into the distance. "You know, she's kinda cute, do you think—"

"No," you blurt out, shaking your head. "Not at all."

He blinks. "What, did she say something about me?"

You purse your lips, raising a brow. "Okay, three things. One: You just broke up with Grillby, like, a week ago—"

"We were just sleeping together. You know what, that isn't even accurate. I never actually slept over there. It was literally just sex. And food." He sighs. "Good food. But if I want food I can go over to your house."

"Two: For god's sake, please do not start sleeping with the faculty. You have to see these people on an almost daily basis," you say, ignoring him. "You can avoid Grillby's, and Muffet's, but you can't avoid work. And three: she's not... interested in getting involved with a human."

"Oh," he says, a little surprised. "Everyone's entitled to their preferences I guess. And talking about how humans are a bunch of horrible murderers probably didn't help any."

"She knows we're not all horrible murderers," you say, squinting at him. He flashes you a quick smile. "I just don't think she's prepared to deal with the... difficulties that might come up with a mixed-species relationship."

"Hmm." Deacon drums his fingers on the table, shrugging. "Well, speaking of, have you decided what you want to do about the news of your own mixed-species relationship?"

You admitted to Deacon a few days ago that Asgore had spoken to you about coming clean to the reporters. You also told him that you had no idea what you wanted to do about it. Shaking your head, you stare down at your lunch, pushing it around with your fork. "No. I'm just really nervous, Deacon. This is big, for more than just me. It doesn't help that, as far as I know, Sans and I are the only mixed couple right now."

"Sorry," he says.

You sigh. "It's not your fault. I just... I dunno, I just want to worry about Thanksgiving right now. I've got a twenty-two pound turkey taking up half my fridge and I'm not sure it's going to be enough for ten people."

"Well we're going to be eating more than just turkey. Which, uh, did Toriel want me to bring anything?" he asks, looking a little nervous.

"I'm sure she'll just be happy to see you. I wouldn't worry about it. Though if there's anything you want to bring, I'm sure that would be fine too."

He just shrugs, and you go back to eating. A few minutes pass in companionable silence before he speaks up again. "Hey, what are you doing this weekend?"

"Nothing that I know of. Why, did you want to do something?" you ask, smiling. He's been getting better about approaching you about spending time together. You're glad.

"Yeah, we should go get lunch. The MTT Resort restaurant, my treat. I've got a hankering for a steak shaped like a rectangle."

   
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