These days, watching TV just kind of left an...empty feeling.
Not to say that Napstablook got much feeling from watching TV before, either. They didn't, of course, since TV never really had anything to offer back then. But really, how would you feel? How would you feel watching the success of the person who mattered most to you, the person who told you they would never abandon you, watching the success of that person after they left without a word? It was hard to watch, hard to take in.
...But no. Napstablook wasn't bitter, either. They were happy for their cousin, glad they were successful. And Napstablook had kind of always realized that their cousin wanted more from this world than just working on a dreary snail farm. They'd denied it, but Napstablook could tell. Their cousin had wanted to be a star, and now they were living their dream. They were great at it, too. Their new shows were entertaining; Napstablook wouldn't deny that. It did bring them joy. But the joy felt hollow. Off. Watching their cousin on TV wouldn't fix the loneliness Napstablook felt.
Feeling like this felt like they were being bitter. It felt like they were being selfish and unfair. Their cousin should get to live out their dreams, and it was good that they were pursuing them. But Napstablook couldn't shake off the feeling.
Most of the time, the TV stayed off.
Since their cousin left, Napstablook had found it harder and harder to focus on creating and mixing music. There wasn't any inspiration, motivation, passion...nothing like that. So rather than try to focus on their hobbies, or watching TV and making themself feel more and more empty, they'd simply wander off to be alone.
This meant not showing up for their job, but Napstablook didn't mind. Being their own boss had its perks, and it wasn't like there were any customers these days anyway.
The quietest and best place to go to, Napstablook had discovered, was the Ruins. Few monsters were there, and no one else could go in with the entrance sealed. (Except spiders. But whether the spiders were leaving or going in, Snowdin was far too cold for a trip either way.) Froggits and Vegetoids had long ceased bothering Napstablook by now. They could be left alone. So they'd lay down in some leaves, think, and take a nap. It was peaceful, calm, and soothing. It was nice. Napstablook found themself heading their more and more often. And in fact, that's where they were heading today.
It wasn't like Waterfall was noisy or crowded or anything. But Temmies and Woshua and Aaron just couldn't learn how to leave them alone.
Their trip, however, was interrupted by the sound of a piano. The notes echoed through the hall, bouncing off the walls and filling the area with its sound. It wasn't too uncommon to hear piano music in Waterfall; Undyne could play, and liked to quite often. This was very distinctive from Undyne's style, however. It was gentler and less chaotic. No one in Waterfall played the piano like that, not that Napstablook had heard.
So they took a detour in their trip to the Ruins. They followed the sound, from the lonely statue that held a small music box to the area that Shyren liked to practice singing, and everywhere between. The further they progressed, the louder it got. Until, in the room that held Undyne's piano puzzle, they found the source.
It was another ghost, glowing a light blue. They floated in front of the piano, hunched over, concentrating on the keys. The piano itself glowed a soft light blue as well: this was from the ghost's magic, which was being used to do the actual playing of the piano. The piano was small, and didn't have many keys. The ghost, however, seemed to make it work. The song they played was quiet and emotional, and the ghost was frowning at the keys.
Napstablook slowly floated in, trying not to startle or interrupt them. They stayed quiet and moved very little until the song was over.
"...hey, um..." The ghost jumped with a squeak, turning to face Napstablook. "i'm sorry.... i didn't mean to scare you..... i just wanted to tell you, i really liked your song......"
The ghost blinked, frowning for a moment. Then they lit up, both physically and emotionally, and shot Napstablook a grin as bright as the rest of them. Napstablook smiled.
"so, uh...is it alright if i, um...." Napstablook opened their inventory and took out their saxophone. The saxophone, glowing with their own magic, hovered in the air above them. "if i joined you....?"
The ghost nodded, beaming. They turned back to the piano and it came to life, playing a much more joyful tune than before. After a few measures, the saxophone joined in.