The Whirlwind World of On-Line E-Love

Asgore had a new telephone now. At least, he had been told it was sort of a phone, by the tiny human at the shop Papyrus and Undyne had taken him to. It was a thin, rectangular box of metal and plastic and, he had to assume, magic. And it was much bigger than the guardsmens’ phones, which was apparently because it was a “tablet.” Undyne had picked it out for him—“No way you could do anything on a regular-sized one with those big meaty hands!”

The tablet had sat untouched on his new desk in his new home for nearly a month now. There were still so many things to be done. Who would have thought migrating an entire kingdom would take up so much time? Occasionally he would pick it up at night, trying to figure out how to make it play those cute videos of cats Dr. Alphys had once shown him, but he was always too tired to make much progress. Maybe he was just too old. It seemed likely.

Eventually the tablet was put into a drawer and forgotten about. It might have stayed there forever if not for the fact that it began ringing and buzzing in a slightly terrifying way a few months later, on a chilly Sunday in May, at exactly six in the morning. One nearly-dropped mug of coffee and a few minutes’ frantic scrambling to figure out what the noise was later, he fished the tablet out of the drawer and pressed the big green “ANSWER” button on the screen.

For a few seconds he stared at it, suddenly unsure of how it was meant to work. He was spared having to experiment when the phone screeched out, “GOOD MORNING, YOUR HIGHNESS!”

Oh. “Ah … h, hello, there—”

“IT IS I, YOUR GREATEST ROYAL GUARDSMAN, PA—”

“Papyrus.”

Asgore counted three seconds of silence before the speaker crackled again. “Yes! Yes, it is! Good morning! How is your coffee today, my liege?”

Asgore’s gaze slid to the mug he’d left sitting on his bedside table and he stared at it longingly for a moment. “It’s out of reach, I’m afraid. Oh … oh, but I can probably pick up the phone-thing and move it, can’t I?”

“You are the king, your kingliness! The phone has no power over you!” Beat. “It is the phone you are speaking to me on, yes?”

“I have told you that you can call me Asgore,” Asgore said, trundling over to his coffee. “And yes, it—”

“EXCELLENT! I broke into your house last night to make sure it had a charge! My brilliant foresight astounds even me! I needed to call you, to tell you that I am coming over, because I have thought of something amazing! I am hanging up now!”

Before Asgore could get a word in edgewise, the line went dead, and there was a earsplitting crash from the kitchen.


“I think I liked it better when you came down the chimney instead, Papyrus,” said Asgore, shaking the dustpan into an empty cardboard box and closing it up. “It’s rather tiresome to clean up broken glass.”

Papyrus had been waiting in the bright, airy kitchen for him, as promised, brushing glass shards off himself before immediately going and tending to the sinkful of dirty dishes Asgore had been neglecting. Asgore was still getting used to not having an entire staff of people waiting on him, even if it had been his decision to try and become more self-reliant. And it was nice of Papyrus to try and help, even if his idea of “doing the dishes” was usually dubious at best. At least this time he wasn’t trying to fit them down the garbage disposal.

The glass was picked up, and the dishes vanished from the sink, to … somewhere. Now Papyrus beamed at him from where he was sitting bolt upright on one of the bar stools. Today he was wearing a dress that was at least two sizes too small, and he kept fidgeting with the brim of an impossibly large top hat perched on his head. “Agreed! That’s why I don’t have any glass in my windows. Undyne and Dr. Alphys have followed my example!”

“I see.”

“Say, speaking of them! What do you think of my outfit? Alphys loaned it to me!”

“It’s very ‘you,’” Asgore chuckled, putting the broom and dustpan back into the cupboard as Papyrus hooted in triumph. “Now. What was this amazing idea of yours?”

He turned in time to see Papyrus punch his fist, and tried not to flinch at the unpleasant sound of bone knocking against bone. “My idea! My amazing idea. It is very amazing. Has your kinglitudeness ever heard of—”

Papyrus paused, then beckoned Asgore close. When he drew near, bony phalanxes were cupped at his ear, and Papyrus said in a dramatic stage whisper: “Have you ever heard of dating?”

“… I used to be married, my friend.” Papyrus looked at him blankly. “Yes. Yes, I have.”

“Oh, good,” Papyrus said with obvious relief. “Because they were all out of copies of the Official Dating Rulebook at the library, and I think you are too old for Frisk to explain.”

“What?”

“ANYWAY!” Papyrus clapped his hands together, kicking his feet out gleefully. “You have heard of dating! That was the most important part of the plan! It is, in fact, six of the seven letters of the plan!”

…Ah. “And … what is the seventh letter?”

“‘E’!”

“‘Dating…ee’?”

“What? No! I do not know what ‘dating-ee’ is. The ‘E’ stands for ‘E’! As in … E-DATING! It is the hip thing that all of the very cool and attractive people are doing!” He gave Asgore an exaggerated wink, which was one of those impressive things he’d never quite understood how either of the skeletons accomplished. “I, Papyrus, will introduce you to the whirlwind world of on-line e-love!”

Asgore blinked down at his guardsman’s grin, blisteringly bright, and then at the clock. It was six-fifteen AM.

He was going to need a stronger mug of coffee for this.