The events for this story take place after the end of Delta Rune so there are spoilers.
Kris has never liked the cafeteria. Not because it's dirty, or because it's always full of kids, but because it's loud. Kris doesn't need verbal language to understand what people mean to say, at least not most of the time, and so they don't understand why people insist upon talking about every single inconsequential thing that's happened to them. No, they much prefer their usual spot outside which they used to sit come rain or shine, and had the perfect view of the cafeteria through the window. They could learn everything they needed to that way with fewer headaches.
"Got you juice."
A carton of blackcurrant juice is slammed onto the table, followed by a resounding thud as Susie sits opposite them. Susie is the main reason Kris tolerates the cafeteria now. If she doesn't go in then she doesn't get to bully people for their lunch which ultimately means she doesn't eat. Kris probably shouldn't condone her behaviour but Susie's become a lot nicer since the whole Dark World stuff went down. She doesn't threaten to bite off people's faces as much.
She also gets Kris juice, so.
Kris takes a refreshing gulp of the sweet juice, trying to savour the satisfying liquid. The two cartons Toriel relents in giving just aren't enough sometimes. When they've nearly finished half the carton, they offer out their fist which Susie bumps.
"Your mom still okay for me to stay over tonight?" Susie asks but as Kris nods, they feel a prickling at the back of their neck, something they've been feeling on and off all day. Kris holds out two fingers to Susie. During class, Kris hadn't been able to get up and go look. Now, they can.
"Be quick or I'll eat your sandwich." It's not an empty threat but Kris isn't concerned. The important thing is Susie won't touch their juice.
Kris navigates through the tables, stopping as someone walks through the double doors. Just as someone narrowly avoids barging into Kris, they see the end of something purple flutter behind the corner.
Huh. Could it be?
Kris turns left just as a door slams. It's the janitor's closet. The janitor never wears purple.
Checking there's no one around, Kris opens the door. It's too dark to see, so they turn on the light. There's a ball of white hidden in the corner, wrapped in purple and green.
"If I can't see them, they can't see me. If I can't see them-"
Kris pokes Raisel in the shoulder and the Darkner yelps.
"I'm sorry I-Kris? Oh, thank goodness!"
Kris finds themselves with an armful of fluff. Rasiel's hat pokes them in the chin, his glasses digging uncomfortably in their chest, but it's a good hug, a very good hug. They hadn't thought they'd get one so soon and especially not here. With some reluctance, Kris ends the hug so they can get some answers.
"Yes, you're probably wondering what I'm doing here." Ralsei fiddles with his glasses nervously. "Well, it's an interesting story. I was wandering around the forest, trying to help some of the poor captives of the King readjust to being free when I came across this door, similar to the ones we saw together. Since this is my kingdom, I thought it my duty to check it was safe and so, I went through it. However, there wasn't an option to choose where I went and suddenly, I saw a bright white light and then…well, I ended up in this room. There was a lot of clutter strewn about. I left and then, then there were all these strange people around and I got a bit scared. But then I saw you Kris! But you were going into a room and I…I didn't want to disturb you so I…I watched. And then-"
"KRIS! KRIS WHERE ARE YOU?"
"Oh!" Ralsei perks up. "Is that Susie? I saw her too but she looked, um, busy with some students."
Susie stomps past them but before she can get too far, Kris opens the door.
"KRI-why are you in there?"
Kris beckons her in and when she spies Ralsei her eyes widen.
"Ralsei? Dude, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I just told Kris, I…" Kris zones out, zoning back in as Ralsei finishes. "And now the door's gone!"
"Huh. Sucks to be you. What're you going to do now?"
"Um. I don't know. I was wondering if maybe you two would help me figure out a way home? And maybe find me a place to stay in the meantime?"
"Sure, we'll help," Susie shrugs. "But you don't wanna live with me. Unless you like fire-breathin' ants in your pants," she briefly grins, baring all her sharp teeth. "Nah. You should stay with Kris. Their mom's nice. Looks like you in fact. Made me pie the first time I came over so she'll probably make you a three-course meal."
Kris rolls their eyes. Despite what she believed, Toriel really did like Susie and felt bad for her home situation. Susie had been told she could come over for dinner whenever she wanted but she still didn't trust Toriel's kindness enough to take her up on that offer.
"Well, if you're sure. Kris, is that okay?" Ralsei looks at them and they nod. If they text Toriel soon, then there may be a pie waiting for them if they get back. In fact, with Susie coming over as well, there may be two. Kris smiles and texts Toriel then and there, emphasising the need for pie. After all, they doubt Rasiel has ever had pie before.
"Thank you, guys! So, this is your school, isn't it? Where you learn? Oh, do you think I might sit with you? I'd love to learn about the Lightner world!"
Susie regards Ralsei with a critical eye. "You wanna actually go to a lesson." She shrugs. "Sure, you can take my spot! Hey Kris, let Alphys know Ralsei is taking my seat, okay? I'll meet you guys after school."
The bell rings and there are the sounds of kids going to their classes outside the door.
"I'll see you two losers later," Susie says before leaving. Kris looks at Ralsei, shrugs, and leads him to Alphys class. She gets a bit confused, which leads her to becoming flustered, but ultimately Ralsei gets Susie's seat and learns the wonders of Lightner math.
Ever since Kris introduced Toriel to Susie, she's been a lot more willing to let Kris walk home and Kris takes advantage of it. As convenient as it is to have their mom gives them lifts, the extra freedom is good.
"You really missed out Susie! Did you know that all triangles, no matter how big or small, they have angles that equal to 180 degrees? And if you know the lengths of two sides then you can work out the length of the other? It's fascinating!"
"Uh, yeah. Sure."
Is he for real? The look Susie gives them says and Kris responds with a little smile. Honestly, it had been kind of nice, seeing someone so enthusiastic about something considered dull by everyone else. His excitement had almost been infectious and Kris was sure Alphys didn't want Rasiel to leave, especially not after he asked her to explain Super Ninja Cat Sailors 2 to him.
"And then Noelle told me about this way you can work out how big circles are, I think she really likes you by the way, and I don't know what you would use this for but it's so interesting and-"
Ralsei startles and a blush rises to his cheeks. Kris bites the inside of their cheek. They'd been waiting to let Susie know about Noelle's crush and this was a better revelation than they could have hope for.
"Um, well, she seemed very upset that you weren't there. Apparently, you'd been a lot nicer lately and she spoke about how much she liked your muscles and, um."
Kris peeks a glance at Susie and is pleasantly surprised at the dark purple staining her own cheeks. This might go better than they thought after all. They need to make sure they're present when Noelle introduces Susie to Rudy.
"Yeah, well, of course she likes these guns! Ha. Ha ha. You were talking about circles?"
"Oh yes, as I was saying…"
Kris zones out again. They've already sat through this lesson once.
"Hello Kris, did you have a good day at school? And Susie, so good to see you again. Oh, you must be…"
"My name is Ralsei," Ralsei says, poking out from behind Kris and Susie. Toriel's hands fly to her cheeks.
"Why you look just Asriel did when he was younger. If it's not too rude of me, can I ask who your parents are?"
Ralsei looks down. "Um, well…they're gone."
Toriel's eyes soften. "Oh, you poor thing. Come on, I made some pie, it's butterscotch. Watch out though, if you look away for a second Kris will have it!" Toriel leads Ralsei to the kitchen and Kris makes a face behind their backs. Plan foiled.
"Your mom's really nice Kris," Rasiel says quietly that night, tucked up in Asriel's bed. Susie chose to take the floor, insisting it feels more like home to her anyway. "She reminds me of mine."
"What happened to them?" Susie asks, with less bite than usual.
"The King," Ralsei says simply. "But I wasn't too young when he… arrived so at least I have a lot of good memories of them. It's funny, I was thinking about them when I found the door."
"Maybe something sensed you needed your family," Susie says, before registering her words and spluttering, "Not that we're like, your family or anything. I-"
"It's okay Susie," Ralsei interrupts. "You two are my family. It's not the same down there without you and Lancer's been so busy trying to fix up the castle..."
"So, er, he's doing okay then?" Susie asks, trying to act as if she doesn't really care but failing miserably.
"Last time I checked he was. His dad's in the dungeon but he's got Rouxls helping out."
"You mean that creepy puzzle guy?"
"He's not so bad. From what I gather, he was more a dad to Lancer than the King."
"Hmph. I guess that's okay then."
"I think we'll be seeing him soon," Kris says softly. They're not sure when, but they can just feel it. Things aren't quite complete without him.
"You think?" Susie says.
"That would be nice. All of us together again. It'd almost be like having a little vacation together up here," Ralsei says and Kris thinks that after everything they've been through, a vacation is well deserved. They fall asleep with a smile, content that everything is happening as it should.
This story was inspired by the fact I wanted Ralsei to get some Toriel TLC. There ended up being less of that but I'm pretty happy with this anyway. There may be another chapter with Lancer joining them!