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Couchsurfing

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“WELL!” Papyrus said.

That was about the least helpful thing he could have said.

“WELL, IT COULD BE WORSE I SUPPOSE!”

Never mind.

“How. Exactly. Could it be worse,” Undyne wanted to know, the uncomfortable sound of her grinding teeth audible under the words.

“WE COULD HAVE BEEN INSIDE WHEN THE ROOF COLLAPSED!” Papyrus pointed out.

“Ugh. I guess…”

They both looked back to Undyne’s house.

What remained of Undyne’s house.

Fire was licking out of its side while a cluster of Woshuas attempted to douse it. The other half had already burned down to a charred husk when the firefighters came after the roof collapsed. Papyrus had jumped out of the window and pulled Undyne with him just before that happened and they were still both covered in soot and dirt from what happened. Kind of impressive, really. It wasn't quite clear yet if the rest if the house would be saved, but even if it was the water damage from the Woshuas magic would probably mean it would all have to be replaced anyway.

“Ugh, crap. Guess I gotta take a hotel room for the time being. This sucks,” Undyne complained. She hated wasting money on that kind of thing.

“UNDYNE!!” Papyrus suddenly blurted out, turning to her and grabbing her hands. His dark eye sockets were sparkling. “UNDYNE, WHY WASTE MONEY ON A HOTEL ROOM? WHEN I, THE GREAT PAPYRUS, AS YOUR NEWLY MINTED FRIEND AND TRAINEE, IS CAPABLE OF OFFERING YOU A SPOT IN HIS PERFECTLY INTACT HOUSE?”

“You're offering to let me crash on the couch?” she asked, raising one of her brows. That was… hmm. Spot on about wasting money, but wouldn't that muddle their relationship as captain and trainee?

“IT IS ONLY RIGHT AFTER THE TERRIBLE FATE THAT HAS BEFALLEN YOUR HOME AS A RESULT OF BEGINNING MY TRAINING WITH YOU!” he insisted.

“Uh… I dunno man, I don't wanna impose - “

“NONSENSE! I INSIST! YOU WILL BE HOUSED AS A VALUED GUEST BUT IN A PERSONAL, INTIMATE WAY INSTEAD OF HAVING TO PUT UP WITH THE IRRITATING QUIRKS OF HOTELS, SUCH AS LITTERING ON THE BEDS WITH LITTLE CHOCOLATE PIECES AND LEAVING BOTTLES OF WATER RANDOMLY ON THE TABLES INSTEAD OF HAVING THEM IN THE KITCHEN WHERE THEY BELONG!”

“...hotels don't have kitchens.”

“EXACTLY! BUT MY HOUSE DOES, OBVIOUSLY! WE CAN EVEN CONTINUE WITH THE TRAINING!”

Ah, there it was then.

“Uh…” Undyne glanced at the burning remnants of her house again. Maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea. But then on the other hand… as strong as he was, he didn't want to hurt people. He wanted to fight to prove himself, because he enjoyed the exercise and thrill of it, using his magic. It was fun for him. Which it was! But harming others wasn't on his agenda, not in the way it was by necessity on hers. And while she could use capable guardsmen, something in her continued to insist that beating this spark of compassion out of him would be a terrible thing to do, something that might go wrong at the worst possible moment. Teaching him how to cook seemed safer, and kinder.

Not that she cared about that wimpy shit!!

“Okay, fine,” she conceded. She hoped it wouldn't be awkward to crash in his house for a while since they didn't know each other that well yet. Didn't he have a brother too? Was the guy okay with this?

But Papyrus looked way too happy to go back on her word now.

As soon as the last fires were doused and she had set the reconstruction in motion, they set off. With their long legs and fast strides, Waterfall was quickly left behind them and the cold of Snowdin embraced them. Papyrus’ house was just off the path leading into the town; a big and friendly looking building made of wood and decorated with Christmas lights.

Stepping in, she found it warm and cosy, a nice relief from the bracing cold outside. The furniture was sparse and old, a rickety table with a stone on top, a green couch, a TV stand with a TV, a… lone sock covered in post it notes?

Don't ask, she told herself.

“WELCOME TO SCENIC MY HOME! AND NOW YOUR HOME FOR THE TIME BEING!”

“Thanks man.”

“THIS IS THE LIVING ROOM… HERE WE HAVE THE KITCHEN! AND UP HERE ARE MY BROTHER'S ROOM AND MY OWN! NO BOYS ALLOWED! NO GIRLS ALLOWED! ONLY PAPYRUS IS ALLOWED! BUT! AS MY SUPERIOR I CAN MAKE AN EXCEPTION FOR YOU TO SHOW YOU MY STRATEGIC BATTLE SCENARIOS…”

Undyne couldn't help but grin as Papyrus enthusiastically showed her around. He was goofy as hell, but sweet.

Maybe staying here wouldn't be so bad after all.