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"We're home!"

Asriel looks over his shoulder while he scrapes away the last piece of stubborn food stuck on the plate he's washing with a claw.

"Welcome home, you two!" he greets the humans with a wide smile, and whips the towel he's been using to dry the dish with over his other shoulder. He quickly realizes that his mistake, as the wet towel hits his back with a wet splash. His back instinctively flexes, and an uncomfortable groan flops out of his muzzle.

Cam puts both of his hands over his mouth, trying, yet failing miserably, to hold in his laughter. Frisk just shakes her head and brushes off the last clumps of snow stuck on her boots. She then uses the broom to hook onto Cam and drag him back to the doormat, "Don’t create more work for Asriel now, Cam.”

With a couple of determined wipes with the bristles, Frisk allows Cam deeper inside the hallway to hang off his clothes.

“I’ll go get the decorations!” he cheers while sprinting for the stairs.

“Only take as much as you can carry!” Frisk shouts after him, “We can’t just go out and get new ones if you drop any!”

“Yes yes!” Cam shouts back.

Frisk knows he didn’t hear anything, but she shrugs it off. She remembers being just as excited, so she allows Cam this.

“Everything went well?” Asriel asks after peeling off the towel from his back, “It’s been snowing a whole bunch.”

Frisk blows her lips and gives Asriel a sideways glance, “Don’t play the weather expert, Asriel. I have more winters behind me than you have years up here on the Surface.”

Asriel can’t really argue that fact, so he decides not to.

With a final wipe of the plate he puts it to dry with its cousins. A couple of paper towels have to suffice to dry his shoulder since he’s used up all the towels for now. He pats himself as dry as possible, and then cracks his fingers to let off some tension.

“By the way,” Frisk shouts while leaning her head down the stairs from the second floor, “could you just bang the tree on the floor a couple of times and bring it in from the vestibule? I’ll be down with the foot in a minute or so. We can decide together where it can be when Cam and me get back down.”

Asriel looks at the door. Tree? What?

“Yeah, sure!” he still answers with an extended thumb. “I’ll bring it in.”

Frisk’s head disappears with a smile, and Asriel head to the door.

His brow furrows as he sees the evergreen tree leaning against the wall. He turns his head towards the stairs. “How did?” he whispers to himself, perplexed why, and more importantly, how, Frisk knows about it. He shakes away his confusion as he hears footsteps from above moving towards the stairwell, and picks up the tree.

With a few and quick bangs against the stone floor, a light fall of green needles flutter down and cover his arm and pants. He switches arm and blows the needles away from it.

“Over here,” Frisk waves Asriel over to the corner of the living room, a bit away from the cracking fireplace, “It should be far enough away from the fire here.”

“And then we can sit next to it all winter long,” Cam adds with a glee. Frisk puts her free hand underneath the box Cam’s swinging above his head. Just in case.

The case doesn’t happen though, and Asriel brings the tree over.

Some minor tinkering with the tree foot later, Frisk emerges from underneath the tree. She runs her hands quickly through her hair to knock of the pesky needles. She smiles at the tree standing proudly, waiting to be decorated.

It’s crooked.

Frisk’s smile fades, and she curses under her breath as she’s forced to crawl under the tree again.

Second time’s the charm though, and the tree stands high and mighty, albeit naked.

But not for long.

“Asriel!” Cam holds up a large shoe box to the Boss Monster, “You can reach around the tree, so you do the glitter.”

Asriel opens the box to reveal a long and twirling mess inside. Like a wrestling match between two silver fur covered snakes. He picks it up by a tail, and inspects it to find a good point of attack to untangle it.

There doesn’t appear to be one.

“If you wanna see a real mess,” Frisk sighs tiredly as she unveils a tumbleweed of cables and electric candles, “we need to figure this out as well.”

Asriel’s heart sinks. He’s done this before. With Chara…

“Asriel?”

Seeing the drastic shift in Asriel’s mood, Cam tugs on his shirt.

“No, it’s,” Asriel dries his eyes before any serious tears can form, “it’s just a needle close to my eye.”

Frisk isn’t buying it, but to her luck, Cam is.

“Oh! Yeah, I hate when that happens. Right, Frisk?”

Frisk meets Asriel’s eyes. She’s familiar with that look, but that’s for later. Hopefully never.

“Yeah, I hate that as well.”

Asriel nods quietly as thanks before getting to work on untangling the snakes. Frisk also begins on the lights.

Their collective sigh almost snuffs out the fireplace.

“Let’s start here!” Cam points to the top of the tree after Asriel’s hard fought success to unravel the glitter. With a gentle throw the glitter lands softly on the top of the tree. Asriel then wraps it around, all the way to the bottom.

“Wow,” Cam’s smile almost bursts his cheeks apart, “You’re really good at this.”

“I’ve done this before.”

“You celebrate a human tradition?” Frisk asks with her eyebrow raised and her arm bent in an awkward angle as to widen a loop of cable.

“We have something similar, us monsters,” Asriel squats down, and opens another shoe box filled with ornaments of various colors, “Do you also put presents underneath the tree?”

Frisk’s eyes widen, and she lets out an annoyed grumble.

“Something wrong?” Asriel asks, almost dropping a glossy red ball as he freezes in fear.

“It was supposed to be a surprise,” she sighs. She leans heavily back in the chair for a couple of seconds, “Eh, it’s still gonna be a surprise what’s inside the present.”

“You’re gonna give me one?” even more petrified.

“More than one!” Cam cheers.

Asriel’s breathing stops. He’s getting more than one?

Cam looks to Frisk for help, but Frisk just chuckles to herself.

“Don’t worry, Cam. He’s just panicking how to figure something out to give to us.”

“But,” Cam looks back to Asriel, “you said he didn’t need to.”

“Shh… not so loud.”