Frisk yawned, stretching their arms above their head. Sleepily, they squinted at their clock, and, with some difficulty, managed to read the time: 10:30. They fished around for their bookmark, and, upon finding it, promptly inserted it into the open book on their lap. Closing the book, they set it aside.
Frisk hadn’t slept all night. They couldn’t stop thinking about Sans and the way he made them feel, no matter how hard they tried, and after an hour of trying fruitlessly to fall asleep, they had picked up a book and decided to read until the clock reached an appropriate hour of the morning to get up.
They trudged out of their room and down the hallway to breakfast. If they were being honest, they were barely awake now. They didn’t often stay up all night, and nowhere near as often as Chara did, who’d skip sleep so often they were basically nocturnal.
Asriel greeted Frisk when they entered the kitchen with a small nod, looking up from his phone. “Morning, Frisk!” They gave a weak wave in response, and he sipped his coffee.
“Where’s Toriel?” Frisk asked, looking around through a fog induced by their tired state.
“Mom’s outside,” said Asriel, a small smirk on his face. “Dad’s trying to teach her to garden.”
Chara practically skipped into the kitchen. “They’re probably just flirting in that gross way parents do.” Xe grabbed a cup from a drawer next to Frisk, muttering a quiet “‘scuse me,” before walking over to the sink. Holding xyr cup under the faucet xe’d just turned on, xe rolled xyr eyes, then changed the subject. “So, guys, how was the party?”
Asriel groaned, setting down his coffee cup to bury his face in one hand. “Kinda awful. I got stuck talking to this old businessman, I guess, and he kept going on and on about money and taxes and finances. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I just had to grimace my way through it because Dad said to mingle!”
“Meanwhile, I had a perfectly pleasant experience.” Chara took a casual drink of water while grinning maliciously at xyr brother, who just shot xem a mock glare. “I made a few new friends, I think! There was this crazy blue-skinned fish woman who did a lot of grinning so widely that it seemed like her face was splitting open and laughing too loud. I think she liked me.” Xe cleared xyr throat. “Anyway, Frisk, what about you?”
Excitedly, Asriel stood up, his leaf-green eyes animated as he recalled the events of last night. “Hey, Chara, guess what? Do you know who Frisk met last night? They met their–”
“Asriel, shut up,” Frisk blurted, and Asriel stopped mid-sentence, looking like a scolded puppy. “Oh, no, wait. I didn’t mean it like that. Sorry, Azzy. I just… want to tell xem myself, ya know?”
“I get it,” he nodded, looking a little less hurt. Confused, Chara’s red eyes darted between them.
“So, uh…” Frisk suddenly felt pressured, and their hands began to shake. “S-so, Chara, I met…” They swallowed thickly. “I met my s-soulmate last night.” They stared at their hands, wishing they’d stop shaking.
“Wow, really?” The response they’d expected, but something about xyr tone was strange, and Frisk looked up to notice xem tense up. They raised an eyebrow at Chara, whose eyes widened as xe realized that Frisk had figured out that something was up. “Uh, Frisk, I need to talk to you for a minute!” Hastening over to Frisk, Chara grabbed their arm, dragging them out into the hallway.
Asriel watched them go, a little bewildered, but after a moment just shrugged, returning to his coffee and his morning scroll through Tumblr.
“What is it?” Frisk questioned their sibling. Hold on… Frisk could put two and two together. “Did… did you meet your soulmate last night too?” Chara’s back stiffened, but then xe sighed, releasing all of that tension as xe relaxed.
“Yeah, I did, but… I mean, he seems so nice, and I really like him, but I don’t think I’m ready for any of this yet,” xe worried.
Frisk blinked. “What, a serious relationship?” Chara had dated all through high school, but xe’d never had deep feelings for any of the people xe’d dated; it had always been more of a casual thing for xem, so, on second thought, perhaps that wasn’t so surprising.
“Yeah, that.” Xe nervously tapped one finger on xyr thigh.
“Well, I’m sure he’d understand if you told him that, and you can start out slow,” Frisk reassured xem, reaching out to put a hand on Chara’s shoulder, relieved that xe stopped tapping, but wishing xe would look Frisk in the eye. “Hey, what’s his name?”
Xe smiled faintly. “His name? It’s Papyrus.”
What. Frisk froze, trying to recall something. “I think… I think that my soulmate is his brother! He’s a skeleton, right?”
“Yes, he is,” Chara answered, clearly taken aback.
Frisk chuckled disbelievingly. “His brother Sans is my soulmate. That’s so weird.”
Chara straightened decisively. “Okay, I’ll talk to him.” Frisk smiled.
Sans idly watched the looping trajectory of a fly’s flight path as it neared the ceiling. He was lying on his back on the couch. The TV was on, playing some cliche romance, but it was just meaningless background noise to Sans, whose mind was clearly somewhere else.
“Sans?” A voice came from next to him, and he jumped a little, startled, as he noticed his brother leaning over him.
“Oh, hey, Paps,” he replied half-heartedly.
“Are you alright? Ever since the party, you’ve seemed more out of it, and your head’s been way up in the clouds. You haven’t even said a single pun!” His bonebrows furrowed. “Did something happen?” Sans just looked at him, gaze bordering on blank, and Papyrus audibly exhaled in a way that seemed rather drained. He raised a gloved palm to his forehead. “You know you can talk to me…”
The pinpoints of light in Sans’ eyes blinked off and then back on again just as quickly, now looking less blurred around the edges than before. “Sorry, Papyrus. To tell you the truth, I met my soulmate at that party. Since then, I can’t stop thinking about them, and it’s pretty distracting.” He looked up at his younger brother’s face, trying to reassure Papyrus that he was fine.
Instead, the taller skeleton’s head was tilted thoughtfully to the side. “I met my soulmate at that party too,” came out as a mutter.
Sans froze. “You did?”
“Yes, I did, but xe’re not taking over my brain. Maybe you should try texting yours.”
“I don’t have their number,” Sans deflected. “Or any way to contact them.” It was just an excuse. He didn’t feel as though any reason he’d have to bother them would be an adequate use of their time, and tried to ignore once more the sinking feeling in his nonexistent stomach that reminded him that Frisk deserved better.
“Well, alright, but you’re going to need to get up and actually do things today.” One of Papyrus’ hands rested on his hip.
“Yeah, you ‘fish,’ bro.” If Sans’ grin could get any wider, it would have, whereas Papyrus’ fists were now clenched and he was glaring at Sans. “Kidding, bro, I ‘shore’ ‘whale.’
Papyrus almost seemed to be leaking steam like a kettle almost at boiling. “Oh my god… I’m leaving.” Sure enough, the door closed loudly behind him, and Sans repositioned himself on the couch, hands folded across his chest, thinking.