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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204. Morwenna and Grant

Morwenna knows how people think of her and Grant. As she looks at him, sitting there in bed with the blankets pooled around his waist, staring off into space and lost in thought, she's reminded, as she always is, that she isn't in love with him. She loves him, but there's a difference. Between being in love and loving someone. How couldn't she after over thirty years of knowing him and trusting him and... She's not sure if some part of him is still in love with her, and she's not sure she wants to know.

She’s been spending too much time here. She’s certain the twins know by this point, even though she’s been lying to them. But they have a knack at picking up on things —at least Fatima does, Rashid sometimes when he’s paying attention— so Morwenna keeps getting the feeling that they’re all just dancing around the issue any time she gives them one of her excuses. Not to mention all the nights she’s been spending away from home.

He can’t come to her house. She can’t let him into her space, then this would feel too… real. That’s rule number one; this thing they’re doing has to stay here, in Grant’s house, nowhere else. It can’t leave this place.

But for now, for a little while, she can indulge herself in what they’ve built together here. Morwenna drapes herself across his shoulders, sliding her hands down his chest and resting her head alongside his. Grant’s head turns a little towards her as he reaches up to run his hands up and down her arms. His beard is bristly against her skin.

“What’s going on in that head of yours, Grant?” she asks him, tilting her head as his lips find her neck.

He makes a disinterested grunt, twisting to reach for her shoulder, trying to pull her around him. But she doesn’t go, keeping her place pressed against his back. “Nothing,” he finally says. “It’s nothing, come here.”

“It doesn’t sound like nothing,” she says, curiosity piqued. Morwenna crosses her arms around his neck, leaning away so she can try to get a look at his face. He’s giving her a frustrated frown. “What is it?”

Grant lets out a haggard sigh. “You want to know?”

“I asked you, didn’t I?”

“I’ve been thinking about what you told me earlier. About this Gaster and the Anathema.”

“Oh,” she says, brow furrowing. “Grant, we agreed, no outside talk—”

“You’re the one that asked,” he retorts, words sharp.

Morwenna tenses, and she’s certain he can feel it. He drops his hands away from her arms, letting her free herself from him and pull back. She settles next to him, wrapping her half of the blanket around herself. “Fine,” she says, studying his face. He looks agitated, and she wonders if whatever he has to say has been gnawing at him ever since they spoke about this in the first place. “Then tell me.”

“I don’t believe his story,” he says, jaw tensing as he glares at a spot on the wall, not looking at her. “It sounds like a load of bullshit. Yeah, we’re living in a world with monsters and magic, but another dimension? That’s taking it a step too far, Mors. All we’ve got is his word.”

She has to stop herself before she mentions Frisk and Asriel, that they’ve got three accounts to go off of that the Font is real. But Grant can’t know about them, she’d promised that she’d keep Frisk’s secret. But it’s times like these that her word feels constricting, backing her into a corner she has to struggle to get out of. If she could just tell him it would make this argument that much easier.

“I know it sounds like bullshit, but we need to consider that he might be telling the truth. If it would make you feel better, he can talk to Ingram—”

“That won’t work if he thinks he’s telling the truth.”

“Don’t interrupt me,” she snaps, eyes narrowing as he looks at her again. “I know how Vanessa’s magic works. So you think he’s crazy then?”

“All of this sounds crazy!” Grant spreads his hands, exasperated and confused. “Don’t you see it? The mages who put up the Barrier, locked away in another dimension and feeding on magic? That sounds just like some kind of bogeyman story monsters would come up with.”

“Well it’s not eating their magic. It’s eating ours. It’s making us weaker—”

“So he says.”

“Do you have a better explanation?” she demands, balling her hands into fists in the comforter around her, wishing that she was dressed, that she didn’t feel quite so vulnerable here in his room. This is why they had agreed not to talk about things here. This was supposed to be a safe place! “As we are now, seventy mages couldn’t piece together the Barrier let alone seven. We’ve been losing our magic by inches and barely even noticed until we had monsters to tell us what we’d lost. So if a monster has an explanation for that then I’m going to be pretty damn inclined to listen. Your stubbornness isn’t doing you any favors.”

“I don’t understand how you can buy into this so easily,” he mutters, scratching his beard with the rasp of fingers against coarse hair.

“I never said it was easy,” she grumbles back, seeing some of the heat die out of him. “But I trust Sans. And he thinks Gaster is telling the truth. I don’t have a reason to disagree.”

“You have too much faith in them.”

“You don’t have enough.”

“I lost my faith a long time ago,” he says, holding her gaze, his expression unreadable. She can see him pull back into that shell, the one she thinks he only lets down sometimes for her. When she gives him a chance. “You know that well enough.”

He might as well have added ‘because you took it from me’ because she can hear it unspoken, lying between them like a corpse. The remains of what they had been too long ago that lingered and festered and refused to leave. There’s a moment where anger flares up in her chest, where she wants to spit his words back at him and deny it and lay the blame at his own feet. But then that old, familiar guilt rises up like bile in her throat and she knows that she’s partially to blame for the way he is now. That this bitter, angry man wasn’t always like this. That she could have done things differently.

But she’d felt gutted at the loss of her brother and it had been so easy to blame Grant. To tell him he could have done more, that he should have saved Willem instead of making sure she was safe. She’d lashed out at anyone who had tried to comfort her and no one had come out more wounded by her rage than Grant.

And somewhere in the wreckage of what had been the two of them, underneath all the guilt and blame and hurt heaped in equal measure by both of them over the years, they still found themselves here in this damn room. Because despite it all he’d stuck by her and helped her keep the Literatum in one piece. He hadn’t given up on her. But all that hardness and grit had left him worn down into a person she could never love the way she used to, even after she’d forgiven him for something that by all rights wasn’t his fault.

“I suppose it doesn’t matter if you believe him or not,” Morwenna says, her voice flat as she rubs one eye with the heel of her hand, resting her elbow on her leg. “Even if he’s right, it’s not like there’s anything we can do about it. Everything will just stay the same.”

“Then there’s no reason to frighten everyone with this. You asked me if I thought we should tell the others, and I’m telling you now that my answer is no.”

She looks at him, hesitating before she lets out a slow breath and closes her eyes. She just doesn’t have the energy to fight with him, because in a way she agrees. “Fine. We won’t tell them.”

   
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