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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162. Where Do We Go Now?

"But we..." Your heart is hammering in your ears, you're shaking with anger and fear in equal measure. "We live here. My husband—"

Jacobs's bushy eyebrows raise in an approximation of surprise. "I didn't realize you had married. Last I checked, your record with us had you listed as unwed Miss Garcia."

Your grip on the steering wheel tightens, white-knuckled as you shove the sudden urge to yell back down into your stomach. "Please, just let us back through," you beg, desperate. "We won't leave Ebott again, just let us go home."

He shakes his head. "I'm sorry, no exceptions."

"WHY AREN'T THEY LETTING HOPE AND FRISK THROUGH?" Papyrus's worried voice cuts through the air, and as you look away from Jacobs you spot him and Mettaton with a soldier on the other side of the gate, still being ushered away. Your brother-in-law stops in his tracks, ignoring the human at his elbow.

You hear the sound of a seatbelt unbuckling, and twist in your seat in time to catch Frisk's wrist before they can crawl to the passenger side of the car. "Don't," you say sternly. "Stay in the car and put your seatbelt back on."

"Mom, they can't do this!" they blurt out, looking at you with wide, tearful eyes.

"Sweetie, please," you murmur, because you can't handle this right now. You can't try and deal with Frisk and this disaster at the same time.

"What is the meaning of this!" Mettaton cries out, jerking his arm out of the soldier's grasp. Another human is approaching him and Papyrus, reaching for something at his waist. "You can't keep them out, they've been here since before this damn checkpoint was even built! How dare you!"

"HOPE, I DON'T LIKE THIS!" Papyrus says, and he looks afraid. You plead with Jacobs with your eyes but he seems uninterested. "WHY ARE THEY SEPARATING US?"

"Get moving!" one of the men barks at the monsters, but neither of them budge. His hand settles on a holster on his waist.

Jacobs lets out an aggravated sigh. "If they don't listen, then—"

"Wait!" you blurt out, reaching for your door handle. "Let me talk to them. Don't hurt them."

He gives you an appraising look, mulling this over for a moment before giving you a sharp nod. The second he takes a step back from your car you rush out and hurry over to the metal arm gate blocking your path.

"Sir?" one of the soldiers on the other side asks, looking to Jacobs.

"Give them a moment," Jacobs says.

No longer held back, Papyrus and Mettaton close the distance to you with long strides. You and Papyrus grab each other's arms, and Mettaton reaches for your shoulder. This feels like a goodbye, and you try your hardest to fight back the tears stinging your eyes.

"Don't fight them. Just go home okay?" you say, looking from one set of eyes to the other. "Papyrus, you—"

"THIS ISN'T RIGHT!"

"Darling, they can't do this!"

"Papyrus," you say again, tightening your grip on his arm and giving him a serious look. You can't fall apart right now. You can't. You can't. "Don't let Sans do anything stupid. Tell him to call me when you get home, I can't—" You swallow past the lump in your throat, blinking back tears and fighting them down. Not now. "Sans can't be alone when he finds out."

"BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?" Papyrus blurts out, shaking his head.

"We'll make sure," Mettaton says gently, and you give him an appreciative nod. His lips twitch in a poor attempt at a reassuring smile.

"Okay, that's long enough. If the two of you don't comply, we'll have no choice but to use force," Jacobs says, coming up alongside you.

You give Papyrus and Mettaton one last desperate look, grabbing the robot's hand and squeezing them both. "This isn't— I—" Any reassurances you might make die on your lips. You have no idea what's going to happen. To you, or to them. "Take care of Sans."

You have to shake them both off of you because they won't let you go, and it's enough to tear at your heart, to nearly send you into a fit of crying. But you can't. Not yet. You still have to figure out what to do. You still have Frisk back in the car, relying on you to keep them safe.

You turn away because you can't bear to watch Papyrus and Mettaton be led away from you, flanked by soldiers whose hands are resting on their weapons. Jacobs gives you another smile that doesn't touch his eyes.

"Thank you for your help. It would have been... unfortunate if there had been an incident," he says smoothly. You grit your teeth at the unbidden urge to punch him. "Let me escort you off the mountain, make sure you get to where you need to go safely."

"I don't need an escort," you say, balling your hands into fists at your side. 

"I insist," he says, and there's something in his expression that lets you know he won't hear any argument.

You're also sure, suddenly, that he's not doing this out of the kindness of his heart.

"I need to... I need to call someone first. Make sure I have a place we can go," you say.

"That's fine," he says, leading you back to your car. There's something unsettling about his smile. He gestures to a military jeep parked off to the side of the road. "I'll be right behind you whenever you're ready."

You sit back down behind the steering wheel, shutting your door and rolling the window back up. Checking the rear view mirror, Frisk is watching you, scared and quiet as they press their fingers to their mouth.

"When was the last time you Saved?" you ask them quietly. Maybe, if you can go back even just an hour, you can call Sans. Figure out something you can do.

They look away, their eyes swimming with tears. "I don't remember," they mumble, shaking their head. "I can... I can just Load anyway, Mom we can't—"

"No!" you blurt out, and their eyes dart back up to the mirror. "No, not unless you know it's been less than two hours. I can't... Frisk, I can't. We'll just have to figure something out."

They go quiet as you pull out your phone, wracking your brain for someone outside the Line that you could go to. The first person you think of is Kim, but no. You'd rather live in your damn car than speak to her ever again. That's not an option. There's Irene, your old boss, but... You can't get her mixed up in this. You don't even have her number, you'd have to drive up to the restaurant and hope that she's working. And Jacobs would be following you the whole way.

As you pull up your contacts, which isn't exactly a very extensive list, you bite your lip. "Sweetie, I know you don't want to meet Chris, but I need to see if we can stay with him while we figure things out."

"What? Mom, no—"

"Frisk," you say, silencing them. "We don't have a lot of options."

When they don't say anything else, falling into sullen silence, you hit the call button. It rings three times, and for a moment you're worried he's not going to pick up. Is he working? Please, please just answer the phone...

"Hello?" His voice is hesitant, uncertain.

"Chris," you say, thankful that at least this is going right. You cast an anxious glance towards the jeep where Jacobs is sitting, watching you. "Are you home right now?"

"Uh, yeah?"

"I need..." Your voice breaks, and you draw in a shaky breath. Squeezing your eyes shut, you tell yourself, over and over, not to cry.

"What's going on? Are you okay?" he asks, worried and urgent.

"Chris, I need your help," you manage to say, rubbing your face and forcing your eyes back open.

"Sure. I said I'd help. What do you need?"

"I need a place for Frisk and I to stay. I don't know for how long, but they've... They closed the Line and they're not letting us go home." You're trembling, clutching the steering wheel with one hand to try and steady yourself.

"I, uh, shit, I mean..." Chris says, and there's a moment of hesitation on the other line. "Hope, my place isn't exactly... Fuck it, yeah, of course. Let me give you my address, you can put it into your phone? I'm still shit with directions."

You let out a weak laugh, pulling your phone away from your ear and putting him on speaker. "Okay, yeah, give it to me. And thank you."

Chris gives you his address and you set it in your map application, pulling up a way to get there. He's about twenty minutes away, down in the foothills. You don't recognize the neighborhood where his apartment complex is, but you think it's in a poorer part of town. Before you set down your phone in the cupholder next to you, you call Deacon, putting it on speaker.

Frisk is still quiet in the backseat, staring out the window as the phone rings. You're feeling a little steadier, the adrenaline is keeping you alert and numb, at least for now. As you shift the car into reverse so you can turn around, you hear Jacobs's jeep start up.

The line picks up. "Hey," Deacon says, sounding a little subdued.

"Are you still in Ebott?" you ask, glancing back at the jeep following you down the mountain road.

"Yeah. To be honest, I haven't even called Grant yet, I'm really not looking forward to that—"

"You can't leave," you blurt out. "I don't know if they'll even let you, but you can't leave Ebott."

"What? What's going on?"

"The soldiers closed the Line. They let Papyrus and Mettaton back in but they're keeping Frisk and I out. Do you think that the Vi—"

"Stop," Deacon snaps, sharp and urgent, startling you. "Don't... don't say anything that you don't want to be overheard." There's a muffled curse, and you can hear him draw in a slow, hissing breath. "If they're shutting the Line down, then I can only guess... They might be tapping phones. Especially ours. There's got to be a reason that they'd do this now."

"Jacobs, he's the new captain, isn't he?"

"Yeah."

"He's following me. I think... Deacon, I need you to help Papyrus and Mettaton keep Sans from doing something stupid. He can't try to come get me. He can't give them a reason to do anything to him," you say, fear twisting in the pit of your stomach.

"I think they're past needing a reason," he sighs. "But, I... Hope, I'm the last person he's going to want to be around right now. Especially... Sans is going to lose his goddamn mind."

"I know. Which is why I need you there just in case," you say gently.

There's a moment of silence, where you think he understands what you're trying to say. That if anyone can stop Sans from lashing out, at least for a little while, it's Deacon. "It's not like he can be any madder at me right now, I guess," he mutters, resigned. "Yeah, okay. So I'm guessing you haven't told Sans yet?"

"No, I... I told Papyrus to have him call me when he got back to the house. You should call him, see if the soldiers are making them walk back home. They just..." you trail off, clenching your jaw. "They just ordered them out of the car and forced them to leave us on the other side of the Line."

"Hope, I'm so sorry," he says, and the regret in his voice is enough to make your throat tight.

"Not right now," you say, choking on the words. "I'm driving, I need to focus."

"Right, okay," he says, hissing out a breath. "Look, we're going to... We're going to get through this. All of us. What are you doing now? Where are you going?"

"We're going to stay with Chris. I know you don't like him, but..."

"Who gives a shit about that, as long as the two of you are safe, that's fine," Deacon mutters, letting out an aggravated sigh. "I'm just... if you didn't have anywhere else to go, I'd say that I could convince Grant, but this is better. Trust me, staying away from him and... If they're watching you, this is better. Just sit tight with Chris until this gets sorted out."

"Okay. I'm... I should go. You need to call Papyrus," you say, swallowing hard. "Deacon... thank you."

"You don't need to thank me," he says firmly. "You're my best friend, and I'll do whatever I can to help you. Okay? It's the very least I can do after everything you've done for me."

"Okay," you breathe. You feel just a little better, knowing that Deacon is there. A weak smile curves your mouth. "Just... I love you."

"I love you too, but don't you start getting all sentimental on me," he says, and you let out a weak laugh. "This isn't... Don't give up, okay?"

"Okay."

"We'll take care of Sans, and everyone will be back together before you know it."

"...Okay."

There's a pause. "Goddamn it," he whispers, and you think you hear his voice break. Your vision blurs for a second before you blink back the tears, hard. "All right. I'm hanging up now. We'll talk again soon."

"We will," you say, and there's a moment where the call continues, the faint background noise filling the quiet car. Then, after a few seconds, you hear Deacon hang up the call.

The only sound left aside from the low drone of road noise is the soft sniffling of Frisk crying in the back seat.

   
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