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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62. New Home

How could Frisk decide to do this? How could they possibly think that this was the right thing to do?

You're running through Snowdin in the middle of the night, past Grillby's dark windows and the silence of a sleeping town. All you can hear is the crunch of snow beneath your sneakers and the pounding of your heart in your ears. Adrenaline sings through your veins, lending you speed fueled by fear as you take the familiar path to the small dock where you hope the Riverperson is waiting.

To your relief the little boat is there, along with the cloaked and hooded figure that turns their head at your approach. You skid to a halt, almost slipping in the snow near the riverbank. That black hood just watches you, curious as you throw your leg over to climb inside.

"Did you take Frisk anywhere?" you ask, trying to catch your breath after your sprint through Snowdin. A little voice in the back of your mind tells you that you ought to be in better shape.

"Hotland," the Riverperson answers, tilting their head to the side. "Is that where you wish to go?"

"Yes, yes!" you say, lowering yourself to sit down. You don't even try to hide the frustration in your voice. "Why didn't you stop them! They shouldn't be going anywhere alone in the middle of the night!" 

"It's not my place to question," they answer placidly. Then as they turn away from you, the boat seems to rise up out of the water. "But if you are in a hurry, I can do my best to accommodate you."

You let out a yelp as the boat darts forward, almost knocking you off your seat as you grab at the wooden board to steady yourself. Cold wind tears through your hair and, once you're sure you're not going to go tumbling, you wrap your arms around yourself and hunch forward to try and stay warm. Looking up at the Riverperson's back, you clear your throat. "How long ago did you take them to Hotland?" you ask, trying not to sound too demanding. You don't do a very good job of it.

"About twenty minutes ago, I'd say."

Shit. "Do you know the quickest way to get to the King from Hotland?" You're starting to tremble, from the cold or adrenaline (or both) you're not sure. You bounce your heel, then realize you still haven't tied your shoes. You lean over to do so.

"There's an elevator by the Royal Scientist's lab, oh wait you know Doctor Alphys don't you? Anyway, you take that elevator up to the MTT Resort—" You resist the urge to tell them you know this part. "—and then if you pass through and head to the Core, there's another elevator that leads right to the castle! It's very convenient, I was just telling Frisk about it. You see the King just loves visitors..."

Twenty minutes behind, how are you going to catch up to them in time? Reaching into your pocket you pull out your phone and flick it on. Opening your address book, you call the first person on your list that might pick up. Alphys's phone rings a few times but then goes to voicemail. Gritting your teeth you hang up and try Undyne, wondering if she might be at the lab with her. You get the same result.

Your hands are shaking and your chest is tight, adrenaline making the muscles in your legs spasm. You need to be moving, to be doing something. You flick through your phone again, desperate. As you scroll up from Undyne's name you come across a number that you haven't looked at in months, though you think Frisk has tried calling her a few times and left her messages.

Toriel.

You dial the number and raise your phone to your ear, cupping your hand over the mic to protect it from the wind. It rings, and rings, until finally, it goes to voicemail. You listen to Toriel's polite message until it clicks over to let you record. You don't know what you're doing. You're scared and panicked and... "Toriel," you say, your voice thick as you squeeze your eyes shut to fight back tears. "Toriel, I... God I could really use a mother right now. Frisk ran away, they're headed for Asgore. They mean to give him their Soul to break the Barrier and... I'm terrified. I'm trying to follow them now but I'm afraid I'm not gonna make it in time."

You swallow past the lump in your throat, hunching forward over your knees as your shoulders start to shake. "He's who you were trying to protect us from, isn't he? We never should have left..." A small sob escapes you, and you take in a shuddering breath as you press the sleeve of your jacket across your eyes. "I should have asked Sans for help. I shouldn't have left by myself. I'm... I'm gonna call him."

Hanging up, you pull your phone away from your ear and lift your head, fumbling a little as you page over for the shortcut you have for Sans on your home screen. It's got a tiny thumbnail picture of him, making this silly winking grin at you. He took the picture himself, ages ago, just for you to use on your phone. He'd made you do something similar for him, too. Just thinking about it makes your heart ache. As you press the icon with your thumb your screen goes dark, trying to bring up the call display. It hangs there for a second, and then you hear a loud beep you recognize as the battery warning. Your phone goes dark.

"No!" you snap at it, pressing the power button. A red image of an empty battery flickers to life for a few seconds before vanishing. It's dead.

You fight the urge to fling the thing into the river, instead shoving it back into your pocket. 

("You're not old enough to care for Frisk properly anyway. It's for the best, if they think I'm their mother. You're just not cut out for this.") She was right. You're just not good enough. If you were good enough then Frisk wouldn't be out there about to sacrifice themselves like this. They'd trust you to make things right, to take care of them. Instead they'd left you behind, just like they had in all those other aborted timelines. Maybe it's fate. Maybe Frisk is always meant to leave you.

No. You're not going to let that happen. You're going to find them and bring them home before they have the chance. This time you're going to keep them safe, no matter what.

You're determined.

Sans's eye flares bright as he jolts awake and something in the room drops to the floor with a muffled bang. He thinks it might have been the lamp (he's broken it in his sleep more times than he can count, through the timelines). But he hasn't had a nightmare bad enough to cause a flareup like that since... since you started sleeping in the same bed with him. With a shaky breath Sans gropes blindly at your side of the bed, reaching for you.

"babe, are you okay?" he mumbles, afraid that he must have scared you. There's a moment where he wonders how you're not already awake, and then his hand finds the empty space beside him.

Jerking upright, his bones hum with fear until his fingers close around something familiar. One of your shirts. Then he remembers. He brought one of your shirts to bed with him just in case of this exact situation; the disorienting feeling of waking up alone. Sans draws in a steadying breath, balling up the shirt in his fist as he hunches forward and rests his head in his free hand. Shit.

He's so used to you being here with him, helping him settle back down from the bad nightmares. Even after the ones that didn't wake you, he took solace in you just sleeping beside him. Jittery and anxious, he pushes himself out of bed, suddenly desperate to at least look at you just to know you're still here.

Only, when he looks down into the living room, you're not.

The couch is empty.

Did you leave? Had you finally had enough? He thought that things would be okay. You'd held his hand and, even though they were weak, you'd returned a few of his smiles. You still hadn't talked to him but he didn't want to force you into a conversation you weren't ready for. But this? He hadn't expected this.

You're gone. He's lost you.

He should have fought harder. Gritting his teeth, Sans goes back into his room to grab his phone and his jacket. Maybe you were just down at the inn. You couldn't have gone far in the middle of the night. He tries to call you but it goes right to voicemail. The phone gets shoved in his pocket as he hurries down the stairs.

As he crosses the living room, he hears the crinkle of paper under his foot. The sound makes him stop and, slowly, he bends over to scoop up the note.

That's when Sans realizes what Frisk meant when they said they'd make sure things never Reset. And now he knows where you must have gone. He doesn't bother with the front door, and starts on the first of many teleports to get him across the Underground.

Frisk.

Asgore's house is almost an exact replica of Toriel's. Frisk finds the first key to the basement in the kitchen, beside a note written in tidy block letters. The second is down the hall, on a table between two of the bedroom doors. They ignore it for now, going into the first bedroom.

Frisk please, listen to me.

There's two twin beds, children's drawings on the walls, and a bin of old, dusty toys. Frisk feels Chara flinch in the back of their mind, but they're still anxiously flitting around just beneath the surface, watching. They cross the room, looking down at the faded bedspread, the stale smell of disuse filling their nose. There's a scuffed, golden heart-shaped locket sitting in front of the pillow. Frisk reaches out to pick it up, running the thick chain through their fingers.

Leave that alone and listen to me!

They slip the necklace over their head and then tuck it under their sweater. The metal is cold against their skin. With a sudden feeling of deja vu, Frisk reaches carefully under the pillow and isn't surprised to feel the handle of a knife under their fingers. Pulling it out, they glance over the dull and scratched blade, but decide to leave it behind.

You don't have to do this. What about the people who care about you? Are you really okay with disappointing them like this?

Frisk hesitates as they pick up the second key from the hall, weighing the heavy metal in their hand.

I thought you said that no one really cared about me? That I can't trust anybody?

That's not... Getting yourself killed isn't the answer, you idiot!

It's the only way to break the Barrier. Asgore needs one more Soul and he can have mine. That way I can't ever Reset again either.

The basement, too, is almost identical to Toriel's. It doesn't take them long to make their way through. Soon, they find themselves in a beautiful golden hallway, lit by ornate stained glass windows. Huge pillars flank either side, rising up far overhead to an arched ceiling. Hesitating at the entrance, Frisk takes a moment to let another swell of deja vu pass before continuing to the other end. At the halfway point their skin prickles with goosebumps, but they make it through unimpeded.

If you keep doing this no one is going to come help you! Nobody will come!

Frisk is close now. They're certain of it. They're deep within the castle now, and through a massive door they spot a grassy room filled with dappled light and golden flowers. Standing in the center with his back to them, is Asgore. Curving horns sweep back over his head, adding at least an extra foot to his already towering presence. For a moment, Frisk feels a little waver of doubt.

Frisk please! He doesn't want to hurt you, but he will if you let him! Just go back home!

No. They're determined to see this through. Frisk steps into the throne room, feet shifting from stone to grass with a soft rustling sound. Asgore perks up, raising his head and straightening to even greater heights.

"Oh? Is someone there? Just a moment, I have almost finished watering these flowers. Even though it is late, I find it relaxing," he says in a low, soothing voice. He brings his arm through an arcing path and Frisk can hear the sound of water hitting petals and leaves. Then, he bends down to set down the watering can. "Here we are!"

The huge monster turns, a bright smile on his white-furred face. "Howdy! How can I..." His voice fades, large eyes going wide with shock. He takes a step backwards, knocking over the watering can with one paw-like foot. "Oh."

Frisk bites the inside of their lip, unsure of what to say. They expected Asgore to be... they're not sure. Not happy but... Not so stricken. Chara writhes in the back of their head, letting out a pained cry.

Asgore looks away for a moment, then back again, his expression settling into something sad. "I so badly want to say, 'Would you like a cup of tea?' But..."

"I'm not here to fight," Frisk says, taking a step forward and planting their hand on their chest. "I want you to take my Soul, so that you can break the Barrier!"

The king can only stare, hooking his fingers in the clasp of his cloak. "Child, are you... you cannot be..." Asgore shakes his head, sighing. "I suppose that makes things simple, then. If you... are certain."

Frisk, don't do this!

"I am," Frisk says. They take a few more steps into the throne room, careful not to crush any of the golden flowers. "I just want everyone to be happy, on the surface. I want to help."

He gives Frisk a sad, kind smile. "You are very brave, for one so small." Asgore frees his left hand from beneath his cloak, holding it out. A huge, red trident materializes in his hand, reminding Frisk, briefly, of Undyne. "I wish... Well, I am afraid that my own wishes are irrelevant. I just want to say that... I am sorry."

The king takes a careful step forward, raising his trident in one hand as he looks down at Frisk with what can only be described as grief. Then, as he's poised to strike—

"Stop!"

You shove your way past Frisk, thrusting yourself bodily between your child and Asgore's trident. The king stares down at you, frozen, as Frisk feels rooted to the floor. How—?

She came.

 
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