The opening of OHSHC blared from your phone as your alarm, startling you awake. It was the one thing you could think of that was surprising enough. Especially with the few seconds of silence before the blaring music and 'KISS! KISS! FALL IN LOVE!'. Groaning, but knowing going back to sleep was futile even after you shut your alarm off as your roommate would drag you out of bed himself, you groggily got up, reluctantly putting on your 'work' clothes, which was just a nice looking long-sleeved blouse, black dress pants, and black leather work high heels.
You worked at a standard company; paperwork, cubicles, phone calls, all that jazz. It really wasn’t all that bad, aside from the nosy gossipers you had the displeasure of calling coworkers. It sucked whenever customers were rude or thought they were entitled to get the company’s stuff for free but that was just normal for retail sales. Once you deemed yourself acceptable, you made your way downstairs to get breakfast, not too surprised to see a plate already waiting for you at your usual spot, still warm.
Your roommate, the owner of this house, sat in his usual seat, no plate of food or cup of coffee for him. He was simply reading his book as he always did. He didn’t acknowledge you as you sat and thanked him, but you knew he was aware of your presence by how he shifted his crossed legs so you didn’t accidentally kick him. He was a quiet man, so much to the point you were never sure if he were home or not. He occasionally moved a hand to adjust his glasses, but other than that, he was as still as a statue.
You supposed living with someone who was basically your boss would raise some questions, especially if they were the opposite gender. In typical coworker fashion, they began having theories and starting rumors about the both of you: most of them inappropriate. Sexual, even. Even more so when you let it slip you lived with him; just a simple 'see you when you get home'. Now they all ranged from 'how long have you been seeing each other/are you dating' all the way down to 'how long having you two been fucking/how good is he in bed'.
It was nerve-wracking, not knowing if Claude was mad or not, but it was soon found out he didn't care what others thought about him. You wished you had his indifference for people's opinions. He got a lot of flack about the way he made himself look; unkempt-looking hair that was actually well tended to, the two Huggie-like earrings in his left ear(minus a hinge), black tongue piercing shaped like a spider, smoke-grey eyeshadow, a light coating of black mascara to make his lashes more noticeable, a bit of black eyeliner to draw more attention to his eyes, his jet black nails, and the golden star within a circle on the back of his left hand.
To you, it enhanced his natural beauty. The men at work teased him, called him names like 'pretty boy' and others more unsavory terms. The women, especially the boss of both of you, thought it showed his 'sensitive side'. Which was funny, seeing as he was awkward with any emotions whatsoever. He was wearing his usual clothes; black jacket, grey-long sleeved shirt underneath said jacket, black pants and black leather shoes with spikes. Something that was a little off for workers of any self-respecting companies. But the boss let him wear it, no complaints at all. You, she was more strict with. Maybe because you were female, and thus more 'competition' for Claude's attention.
"So, how'd you sleep?", you asked, almost done with your food. He merely turned a page, still reading. Another thing about him is that he usually didn't respond to anyone. "Claude.", you said, trying to get his attention. He just continued reading. Good grief. "Claude, how'd you sleep?", you tried again. Silence. Sighing, you opened your mouth once more. "Fine.", he finally replied in that disinterested drawl he always had, still focused on his book. You nodded, finishing your meal before getting up and cleaning your plate. After that, you saw back down at the table, staring at the wood. Three, two-"You?", he inquired, eyes flitting through the pages as he turned one again. One. "It was...okay.", you boldly lied. Ever since you were little, you've been having nightmares about your family. As expected, the man slowly lowered his book, simultaneously turning his head in your direction, to the left of him, eyes still on the pages before finally cutting to you. You sweat-dropped, giving a nervous smile and chuckle as you looked away. That always creeped you out.
"...Do I look stupid?"
That was new. Redirecting your attention to him, you froze at the intense look on his face. How did he always manage to make you feel so secure, but also dreading these moments? It took you a minute. "...No...", you hesitated, unsure as to where this was going. "Then why do you lie to me when you know I always hear you scream?" Damn, how could you have forgotten about that? "Sorry...", you apologized sheepishly. "...Your family?", he questioned a bit softer now. You nodded, avoiding his gaze. A hand on your own startled you back into looking at him. "...You're safe now. They won't bother you again. Not while I'm here.", he told you, rather awkwardly at that. But it was still sweet. His golden eyes glanced at the analog clock on the wall, before he pulled his hand away. He placed a bookmark in his book to save his place, gingerly shutting it. You took this chance to look at the title.
'Studies of the SOUL by-' The author's name was scratched out.
Strange. Ignoring the weird feeling you got, you wondered why Claude had such a book. You had no time to dwell as he packed it into his suitcase, placing your smaller one in front of you. With a exhausted sigh, you stood, picking it up by the handle. You'd have to ask after work and see if he'd let you borrow it, or read a small passage from it perhaps. If not, you could always wait until he left it alone whenever he went to work by himself some time. Maybe it could be on the internet if he didn't leave it.
- - - - - - - -
The city of Ebott was busy as always, cars passing by while people chattered and hurried to their destinations. Kids ran around screaming and playing, never straying too far from their watchful parents. The path you and Claude always took passed by the park, which wasn't as loud at this time of day, since the main road was further out and not many people were here yet. While walking, you decided to ask Claude about the book. "Claude, what was that book you were reading about?", you inquired. "SOULs.", he responded with a barely noticeable 'are you stupid' tone. "Yeah, I got that much, but what about SOULs? Are you trying to figure out your SOUL trait?" "I already know my SOUL trait." He did? Now you were even more curious. "Well, what is it?" Patience, perhaps? Or maybe even Perseverance?
He didn't answer.
Just as you went to speak again, someone shouting 'HUMANS, WAIT' interrupted you, said person bounding up to the two of you enthusiastically as you both stopped, turning to face them. It was the skeleton monster Papyrus, beaming radiantly as always. You had met on this very path, the skeleton chasing after a small white dog that had one of his arms. Claude had picked the dog up by the scruff as it tried rushing by and made it let go just by looking it in the eyes. He had thanked your friend for catching Toby, his pet you presumed, and getting him to release his arm.
Since then if he saw the two of you while training in the park or jogging on the path he'd approach and say hi. Today it seemed he wasn't alone. A bit further into the park were two other skeletons, one looking like an edgy version of Papyrus and a shorter one with a wide smile. The dark Papyrus had an impatient look on his face, red eye lights glaring at nothing while the shorter one rambled on and on about something that the other didn't seem to be paying attention to. As if feeling your gaze, he turned his head to you, revealing three cracks over his left socket. He gave you a fierce glare, sneering as he did so. Jumping, you looked back to Papyrus.
"Hello, Papyrus.", you greeted kindly, seeing Claude had now engaged in a glaring contest with the angry skeleton. After catching his breath, which still surprised you as you were very sure he didn't have lungs, he looked at you and grinned. "GOOD MORNING, (Y/N)! HAS YOUR DAY BEEN KIND SO FAR?", he questioned. You nodded, smiling softly. "Who are those two?", Claude suddenly spoke, startling you and Papyrus. The happy skeleton looked at your friend and then to the other skeletons. The small one was now waving at your group while the angry one still looked pissed off at everything.
"OH, THOSE ARE MY COUSINS; EDGE AND BLUEBERRY, BLUE FOR SHORT! EDGE IS THE MOODY ONE AND BLUE IS THE LITTLER ONE!"
You decided you weren't going to like Edge. Blue seemed like a smaller Papyrus, so he'd be fine. "Why does Edge look like he wants to murder somebody?", you asked. "HE'S ALWAYS LIKE THAT I'M AFRAID!", he replied. Claude held Edge's glare for a few more seconds before turning his attention to Papyrus. You could've sworn you saw Edge puff out his chest in pride, which still befuddled you since he was a skeleton. Blue seemed to be confused at what just happened as well. "Is there something you needed, Papyrus?", the man inquired. The white eye lights lit up as he seemed to remember. "AH, YES, I COMPLETELY FORGOT! HUMAN FRIENDS, I WOULD LIKE IT IF YOU TWO COULD HELP ME BETTER MY COOKING!", he announced.
"Why us?", Claude questioned, slightly tilting his head to the left. "BECAUSE...", he looked around with comically shifty eye lights before leaning closer, "You Two Seem To Be The Only People I Know Who Can Actually Cook." You stifled a laugh; you liked this skeleton's brutally honest humor. "What about your older brother?", you tried. Neither of you had actually met the other skeleton, only heard things about him; most of them good. "SANS? I LOVE HIM, AS LAZY AS HE IS, BUT TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST THE ONLY THING HE'S EVER COOKED WAS A QUICHE AND THE WORSE THING ABOUT IT IS IT WAS STORE-BOUGHT!", he told the two of you in exasperation. The man beside you seemed to be thinking it over before locking eyes with you. Papyrus watched in anticipation at the silent conversation, feeling as if he'd faint when you both turned to him, a smile on your face and lightly glittering eyes from Claude; a barely noticeable form of curiosity.
"What time?", Claude asked, acting as indifferent as he always ways. "WHEN WILL YOU BOTH BE AVAILABLE?" You cut in. "Tomorrow's Saturday, so...", you trailed off. "I'll have to go to work tomorrow, but I should be off at twelve in the afternoon.", Claude informed. "HOW ABOUT...TOMORROW AT ONE?" You and Claude looked at each other, nodded, and looked back at the skeleton monster. "Sounds good.", you both answered in perfect unison. "WOWIE! MY TWO FRIENDS WILL FINALLY MEET THE REST OF THE FAMILY! NYEH HEH HEH HEH HEH!", with that weird laugh of his, he raced back to his cousins, most likely to tell them what was going down.
As you and your friend hurried to work, most likely going to be ten minutes late, you heard someone scream; sounding like Papyrus but if he had swallowed a cheese grater.