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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85. We Need to Talk

"Won't it look suspicious if he comes home and the cushions are back?" Asriel is clutching the two cushions to his chest, staring at the back door to the house that until yesterday was abandoned. How were they supposed to know that some human was just going to move in this soon?

"Maybe he never noticed they were gone in the first place," Frisk says, testing the door handle. Still unlocked.

"We can just leave them on the back porch."

"Then he'll know they got taken."

"...Okay. You're sure he's not home?" Asriel asks, peeking inside the kitchen as Frisk opens the door.

"His car wasn't here. He's probably still at school with your mom." They grab Asriel's sleeve and tug him along as they slip inside.

Flipping on the lights, the kitchen isn't much different from the last time they were here. There's an empty package of noodles sitting on the counter and a bowl and chopsticks in the sink. A closed laptop is on the table beside some papers and another dirty bowl with what looks like the remains of some cereal. The door to the pantry is open.

"Didn't his mom ever tell him to clean up after himself?" Asriel says, wrinkling his nose.

"Come on, let's hurry up." Frisk reaches out and takes one of the cushions from their friend, then starts to check the chairs to find the right ones.

It turns out that none of the chairs have cushions anymore. Deacon must have taken them off.

"Well now what do we do?" Asriel asks. "Do we just take them back with us?"

Frisk opens their mouth to answer, but right then they hear the sound of the front door opening. The two of them stare at each other, wide-eyed for a moment before Frisk darts out and grabs his hand, pulling him into the walk-in pantry. They push the folding door closed most of the way, afraid to make too much noise.

"Frisk we should have gone out the back door!" Asriel hisses, and Frisk can feel their joined fear prickle down their spine.

"He would have heard us. Shh!" Frisk hisses back, wrapping their hands around his snout.

He huffs through his nose and pulls Frisk's hands away, but doesn't let them go. They squeeze his hands and Asriel squeezes back, looking at each other in the dim light. They huddle there in the pantry as they listen to the sounds of Deacon shuffling in the living room, and dropping something that sounds like a bag on the floor.

"Look, I thought you'd want to know—" Deacon says in the other room. He must be on the phone. "Well it seemed important to me."

More silence. There's the faint sound of him pacing in the other room, followed by a frustrated sigh. "Yes, it's exactly like we— Fine, fine. You know what, I don’t know why I bothered calling. I won’t waste any more of your time, Grant."

Another frustrated noise and the clatter of plastic against wood. Deacon's footsteps shift from carpet to tile as he comes into the kitchen, and Frisk can see him through the cracked door. He picks up the bowl from next to his computer and takes it over to the sink, shoving the lever for the water a little harder than strictly necessary.

"Arrogant son of a bitch," Deacon says to the sink, reaching for a bottle of soap. "After years you'd think... No, of course not." He takes in a slow, deep breath, hunching forward over the sink with his hands gripping the edge of the counter. His muscles tense for a second before he exhales and relaxes. "Forget it. This is why you're here, to get away from that crap."

"We'll sneak out when he leaves the room or something," Frisk whispers, looking at Asriel again. He just nods in response.

After a few minutes of running water and the clatter of dishes, Deacon shuts off the faucet and dries his hands. Asriel takes a step back, further in towards the back of the pantry and pulls Frisk with him. He looks nervous, feels nervous and he's holding on so hard that Frisk's hands hurt a little. They feel bad for dragging Asriel into this. They keep doing this to him, bringing him on these stupid things that might just get them in trouble, knowing that Asriel will go along with it because that's what Asriel does.

The light in the pantry is suddenly brighter and Deacon is looking down at the two of them with a bewildered expression. "Uh, hi. Do you mind if I ask what you two are doing in here?"

Asriel lets out a quiet, strangled bleating noise and Frisk doesn't wait. They'll fix this. Reaching back in their mind, they find the bright point there, the safe spot. A Save point, Chara called it. They reach for it and pull and Frisk and Asriel are standing in the middle of an imperfect ring of granite stones. Back at their clubhouse.

Asriel closes the distance between them because they were standing apart when the Save was made, wringing his hands. They found out the first time that Frisk Loaded a Save after getting to the surface that Asriel can remember them too. Probably a side effect of his time as Flowey, or having the remnants of Chara's Soul. "Sans is going to be mad at you, you know he said— Frisk are you okay?"

Frisk presses a hand to their forehead, taking a step back to rest against one of the rocks. They feel a little dizzy, and their chest is sort of... light. Asriel presses his hands over their heart, then grabs their shoulders. "Asriel, I'm fine," Frisk insists, taking in a deep breath.

"You're not, this doesn't feel right," he says, and the worry in his voice just makes Frisk nervous. Or are they just feeling Asriel's concern? Or is it both? It's hard for Frisk to separate their emotions sometimes, it's confusing.

But Frisk is already starting to feel better. They push away from the rocks and grab Asriel's ears, tugging gently. "Look, I'm fine, I was just a little dizzy that's all."

Asriel leans forward as Frisk pulls on his ears, nudging their foreheads together. "Do you promise?"

"I promise. It was just for a second," Frisk insists, pressing back against him with their head.

He takes a step back, letting Frisk push him back a little even though they know he could hold his ground if he wanted to. Then, catching him off-guard, Frisk presses a loud, obnoxious kiss that's more sound than contact to Asriel's snout and then twists away.

"H-hey that's not fair!" Asriel protests, blushing under his fur as Frisk laughs at him.

As he goes to reach for them to retaliate they both freeze when Frisk's phone starts to ring. For a second Frisk thinks about just not answering, pretending they forgot to take it off of silent after school but no. That would just make it worse. They knew this was gonna happen, but they couldn't let them get caught in Deacon's kitchen. Not even just for themselves, but for Asriel. He'd be in so much trouble if his parents found out.

"Frisk what are you going to tell him?" Asriel says, looking anxiously at their pocket as they reach for the phone.

"I dunno, I'll think of something," they say, wincing. Looking down at the screen, it's just who they thought it was. With a sigh of resignation, they answer the call. "Hi Dad."

"what happened? are you okay?" Sans asks, his voice is tense and low, like he's trying to make sure no one else can hear him. "did somebody...? no, just tell me what happened."

Frisk doesn't want to lie but they don't want to tell him the truth either. They give Asriel a desperate look, wracking their brain for an excuse as their friend walks up to them and leans towards the phone. "Sans it was my fault, I fell off a rock and hurt my knee. Frisk did it to help me," he blurts out, fidgeting with his ear.

"you loaded over... kiddo we've talked about this! emergencies only, what were you thinking?" he snaps, letting out a frustrated noise.

"I know, I'm sorry," Frisk says, tapping the toe of their sneaker in the dirt as they tug on their sleeve with their free hand.

"the two of you go back to the house and just... wait there until i get home. and don't think i'm not going to call your mom and tell her. you know how we both feel about this," says, making Frisk wince.

"Okay," Frisk mumbles.

"'okay' what?"

"We'll go back to the house."

"go on. i have to redo all the work you just undid. i just got this d— darn conduit fitted properly." Sans sighs into the phone. "forget it, just get going."

"Dad, I'm sorry," Frisk says again, biting the inside of their lip. And they mean it, because even though they didn't think about it earlier, they know how much the Loads bother him.

"...i know kiddo. today's just been a rough day, it's not just you," he says relenting a little. "but don't think that means you're getting away with this. we're still having a talk when i get home."

"I know."

"bye kiddo."

"Bye Dad."

Asriel takes Frisk's hand as they pocket the phone, pulling them back towards home. 

"Yes, that's everything he said Undyne, you interrupted us, remember?" you say, rolling your eyes at your phone on the counter as if she can see you. You're sitting at the bar, browsing the internet as you talk to her, looking at nothing in particular. Just passing the time while the kids are out playing.

"I still can't believe he never explained that stuff to you," she says, and you can hear the sound of wind against the microphone. You think she's out by the lake, jogging. She sounds like she's breathing a little heavier than normal, but it's hard to tell.

"Well I'm not exactly a monster. I don't... I can't understand that stuff the way you guys do. I can't hear or feel or whatever it is you guys do to sense Souls." You sigh, resting your chin in your hand. "Hey, what does my Soul sound like?"

"I think that's something you should ask Sans. He knows it better than I do," she says, sounding a little uncomfortable.

"What about Sans?"

"Ah, look I really don't... okay the best way I can explain it is that it's sort of this low tone or uh, maybe like a vibration? Quieter than most, but when you can feel it it sort of resonates, like his voice." She makes a frustrated sound. "This isn't the best way to explain it but it's not... there's just no good way to describe it. It's like trying to explain what something tastes like to someone with no mouth. It just doesn't translate, I'm sorry."

"No, no, that's more than I knew before," you say. But part of you feels like you've heard this before, which is strange. "I think I sort of understand. At least as best as I'm going to."

"Alphys might be able to describe it a little better, she's wordier than me."

There's a beep on the line and you glance at the screen. "Hey Undyne, I have to go. Sans is calling. So I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Sure, no problem," she says, and you hang up the call and answer Sans.

"Hey hun, is everything okay?" you ask, leaning closer to the phone.

"if you had a weird feeling like you just did something twice, that's because frisk loaded about half an hour's worth of time," Sans says, irritation plain in his voice.

Worry twists in your chest. "Did you call them already? Is everything okay?"

"they're fine, asriel just fell off a rock or something. you know frisk has a weak spot when it comes to him, i'm not surprised." He sighs. "they're headed back to the house, told them to wait for me to get home so we can talk."

"Again? They promised not to do that, they know— Sans are you okay?" This is the last thing he needs, on top of his panic attack in the middle of the night.

"just scared the crap outta me once i realized it happened. thought something bad happened, you know? the little jumps... they aren't so bad. i just have to redo an entire section of conduit that i just finished. but i'm fine, i just wanted to keep you in the loop. i know how much it annoys you not knowing what's going on with frisk."

"As long as one of us does, I guess," you mutter, rubbing your eyes. This stuff really is over your head. Resets, Loads... without Sans here you wouldn't be aware of any of it. 

"i know," he says soothingly. "but i have to get back to work. oh, shit, you're supposed to be talking to deacon later, aren't you? or did you do that already?"

"Not yet, but he hasn't called me so I'm not sure. I can just tell him I'm busy with the kids, this is—"

"no, you were right earlier. about the soul stuff being a bit overwhelming for him, i remember what your reaction was to yours. you should talk to him if he needs you, especially after today."

You hesitate, a little surprised. "Are you sure?"

"yeah. i can take care of frisk and asriel. it's not like we haven't had this talk before... anyway, i love you and i'll see you in a few hours."

"I love you too."

As you hang up the call, that's when you notice that you missed a text message. It's from Deacon, sent about five minutes ago.

'Hey, you still ok to talk later?'

Speak of the devil. Well, Sans said he would talk to the kids, so you suppose you have time.

'Yeah, sure.'

   
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