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When the lightning strikes

Chapter Text

There was a certain kind of peace that you could feel in your soul when you watched the snow drift from the sky down into the city. The sun was still low in the sky, casting a golden light across the linoleum floor into the kitchen, barely reaching the cabinet under the T.V. The window was still shut tight, not that it helped keep the cold out anyways.

You blinked slowly from your spot in between Papyrus and the arm of the couch, carefully bundled up under one of the softer blankets, listening to the little space heater hum as it worked at its max to try and heat up the apartment. The controller was cold in your hands but you didn’t care that much right now, you were too focused on the game, trying to beat this level and you…

just…

couldn’t…

get…

“damnit spyro!” you angrily whispered at the dragon you were controlling, glaring at him as he fell off the edge of the map again. Two bony arms startled you as they curled around you, Papyrus curling around you as you fumed at the game.

snow use getting so fired up, sweetheart.” Paps lazily drawled out, nuzzling into your shoulder, “why don’t you take a break, come back to it later?”

You grumbled.

You didn’t really wanna.

“’sa good mornin’ to be bakin’.

You grumbled a bit more, pouting, and followed him into the kitchen when he stood up, throwing on his hoodie that had been left on the other side of the couch from last night.

About half an hour later, magic buzzed with a specific kind of agitation that you always associated with Sans whenever he teleported in a blue kind of mood. Looking over your shoulder from where you sat on the counter, you greeted Sans after he came through the front door, making a mental note to pick up something to keep it from squeaking so loudly.

Chapter Text

Sans curled into your side.

The winter chill seeped in through the walls, chilling your bedroom, and no doubt the boys rooms as well, considering yours had the heater and it was definitely warmer than the living room. A bony arm curled around you, pulling you closer to the body attached to it and away from Papyrus, not that it mattered as Papyrus only shifted closer to you in response. You haven’t felt this warm since summer ended and fall hit your city hard. You felt awful for the boys, since they couldn’t hold body heat in as well as you could, and you couldn’t even hold yours in that well compared to other humans.

You sighed, and enjoyed the moment. There wasn’t anything you could really do about it anyways. You yourself had a hard enough time staying warm.

You glanced at Sans as best you could. Your chest swelled with the love you had for the skeleton, and you couldn’t help but grin at how peaceful he looked right now. Sans didn’t get nearly enough sleep, with how much he works, and his nightmares certainly weren’t doing him any favors.

But, right now, it seemed as if his nightmares where leaving him alone, something you were incredibly thankful for.

His face pinched up as the alarm went off. The shrill, auto-tuned voice of Mettaton filled the room, and like every other day that this happened, Sans woke up looking pissed off. Papyrus curled in further into your back, trying to hide from the noise. Your face dropped into a pout as the boys woke up.

“If you hate Mettaton so much, then why did you set him as your alarm?” you sleepily asked Sans.

“Motivation to get up.” he said with a yawn.

“i’ll get started on breakfast.” came from behind you, muffled as Papyrus buried his face into your back.

Chapter Text

You fussed with the pictures on the bar again, dusting the glass off yet again, glancing at the clock nervously every few seconds. Paps was vacuuming the ceiling at Sans request while he made sure dinner was perfect, putting the last couple of finishing touches on it.

Truth be told… the guests were supposed to be at the apartment about an hour ago, at this point it just seemed like they weren’t going to show up.

Arrogant Assholes, your soul clenched painfully. You took a deep breath, calming the emptiness inside of you.

They have no right, it hissed, anger creeping around your stomach, your guts the back of your mind. You were inclined to agree with the thought, but you liked to think the best of everyone until proved otherwise. Anxiety built up in the back of your throat, clogging up your words that you wanted to say, but what could you say in this moment? You knew that Sans was excited to have guests over for dinner, and yet, no one even showed up. No one even called. What kind of assholes...

You jerked in surprise as Papyrus hopped off of the ceiling, landing right next to you, catching the vacuum carefully with his magic. He looked at you, his brows pinched in concern. You leaned against him, leaching off the comfort he offered as he wrapped an arm around your shoulders.

“Bastards.” Sans suddenly hissed, shoulders shaking like a leaf in a storm.

“They’re All Bastards!” he raised his voice, his bones rattling, “Who The Hell Promises To Show Up, And Not Even Call?! Fucking! Assholes!”

You were inclined to agree with him.

“more food f’r us then.” Papyrus said, squeezing your shoulders.

“Happy Thanksgiving.” Sans muttered darkly, glaring at the oven.

Your chest ached with something you haven’t felt in a very long time. You weren’t sure what to think of it. Then, like a birthday candle being blown out, the ache left.

Chapter Text

You woke up to Papyrus squeezing around your stomach too tightly for your comfort, and Sans missing from bed. The only light came from the soft glow of your moon lamp that Papyrus had gotten you for your birthday a few months ago. You adored it, especially since your fear of the dark made it hard to sleep some nights.

You sighed, wondering what time it was, and where Sans had gone. It wasn’t exactly like him to leave the bed on his days off.

Hearing a raised voice coming from the other room answered one of your questions. Sans was still home, he was just… It sounded like he was on the phone with someone. Probably whoever skipped coming over for Thanksgiving. You yawned and fought the urge to fall back asleep.

“NO!” you flinched at the sudden yell, and scooted closer to Papyrus. “I DON’T CARE, YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING!” There was a long pause after that, and you weren’t sure if he just stopped talking, or lowered his voice, but with how angry he sounded, and how stressed you knew he was, it was most likely that he stopped to let the other talk.

“We Waited Hours, For You And Your Brother To Show Up. What Makes You Think I’m Going To Tell You Anything Now?” his voice was quieter now, but still loud enough to make out. There was a longer pause, then- “FUCK!” the sound of something shattering startled you.

You felt Papyrus sit up and lean over you protectively.

The apartment was silent. Almost as if Sans’s argument never happened in the first place.

But you knew better.

The buzzing of magic crawled over you, and just as quickly as it came, Sans was curling into you, obviously stressed out and upset. Thanksgiving had affected him more than he would want to admit.

So the only thing you, and papyrus, could do was hold him as he cried.

“’m sorry,” he gasped into your collar bone, staining your shirt a neon purple, “’m so sorry.”

Chapter Text

You couldn’t help the happy little hums that escaped you as you and Paps walked back home. Your soul swelled with content as you walked down the sidewalk, you were so happy that it hurt.

Well you could also be in pain from how cold the weather was, you didn’t exactly do well in the winter anymore. You used to do better, you frowned to yourself, but… shit happened. You sighed deeply, wishing that you weren’t sick.

Wishes do nothing, your soul shivered, Undyne could probably help. She would do a n y t h i n g for you. You are, after all, her favorite.

Snow dusted the hoodie of one of Papyrus’s jackets you wore, and grocery bags weighed down your arms. Your cheeks ached from the cold, but seeing as you were wearing no less than three long sleeves, Papyrus’s jacket, a beanie and a scarf that Sans had given you, two pairs of legging and a pair of pants, you couldn’t really do anything about it until you got home. Your long unruly hair peaked out from under the beanie, flying everywhere and getting caught in the hinges of your glasses.

Papyrus was at your side, closer to the street than you were, holding twice as many grocery bags than you were. The New Year was closing in and you were surprised that the two of you had even found a place still open at this hour.

You brought your hand up to your mouth, feeling your jaw pop as you yawned. It was nearly around the time you usually fell asleep, so you were pretty tired. Well, more tired than you normally were.

“h’ve you talked t’yer cousin lately?” Papyrus asked, glancing at you.

You shrugged, “I don’t think I have. I probably should though.”

“alright. was just thinking tha’ she might be able to t’help figure out whats goin’ on with ya.”

“Yeah but… she’s in Ebott. I don’t want her to make a long trip for something that can’t be fixed.” You said, feeling more exhausted emotionally wise than you’ve felt in a while.

“y’never know. y’know how much she adores you, ‘m pretty sure she would break th’ laws of th’ universe and magic f’r ya.”

You grinned and snorted at that, “That definitely sounds like something she would do. I just… I don’t want her to worry.”

Chapter Text

You were laying on the couch, half asleep and half pissed off because the fever you were currently battling forced you to cancel your holiday plans with Undyne. You had so been looking forward to hanging out with her and her alternates this coming weekend. It was just your luck that you got a virus this early in the year.

Maybe, you thought, maybe I shouldn’t have used magic yesterday. But you had been doing so much better, you had gotten your hopes up… And you knew that Sans felt guilty for not stopping you since you did ask him to watch just in case if something went wrong.

You let out a little chirp as Sans removed the now room temperature and mostly dry rag from your forehead and replaced it with another, wetter, cooler rag. You felt, more than saw, him pause when he heard you, pausing long enough to know that he was considering something. His fingers softly carded through your hair, gently untangling the knots he came across as best he could. You let out a deep, satisfied sigh.

Patting your head, he left the living room, most likely to go back into the kitchen.

The front door squeaked open.

Papyrus was home.

You finally allowed yourself to fully drift off into sleep.

Chapter Text

You were bundled up in some of Sans's long sleeves, hoodies, and several layers of blankets that hid water bottles filled with hot, hot, h o t water on the couch. Sans was checking the temperature of your finger tips, one of the easier ways to figure out if you’ve been getting enough to eat in general, and enough protein to eat more specifically.

The colder your fingers were, usually, the sooner you needed something with protein. Jerky was your favorite go-to snack for what you needed, but Sans didn’t like how much other unknown stuff that put inside you. Protein smoothies, while more gross, were more healthy and generally better for you.

“Still Too Cold,” he said, frowning. You sighed, you knew what this meant. “Don’t Pout Sunshine, It’s Just One Smoothie. You Can Handle It.” You grumbled at that and crossed your arms, unhappy at the situation you were in.

Of course, this situation could be worse, but if you had resisted the temptation to eat those donuts that Sans had made (he made them! How were you supposed to resist?) then your body wouldn’t have reacted so badly to that virus you had. You wouldn’t still be recovering from using magic. (but they were so so S O delicious, they were so so S O worth it!)

“Stoppit!” a thin, well worn, Berry Yummy Cookbook by Anna Bryant landed in your lap, startling you out of your daydream, “No More Donuts Until You’re Better! Don’t Even Think About Them.”

You bit back a hungry whine, jutting out your lower lip even more in an exaggerated pout. Only the static of magic warned you what Sans was about to do, before he teleported right onto your lap, trapping you onto the couch with no way to escape.

“Open Up You Little Baby.” he said, shoving the smoothie into your face.

“Not a baby!” you tried to shove him off of you, with no success.

"Then Stop Acting Like One."

Chapter Text

 

You were clutching at Papyrus’s arm, like it was a lifeline, like it was an anchor. Nasty, horrible words that you wish you never looked at were spray painted onto the side of the apartment building, with equally nasty, horrible, disturbing images filling the space the words didn’t. Nausea twisted in your stomach, bile built up in the back of your throat. Your face pinched up in anger, disgust, and anxiety.

Papyrus let out a deep growl, reminding you of the nickname his alternates gave him, reminding you of the horrible nickname that he didn’t deserve, the one he just went with because he didn’t want to start an argument about changing, or bother coming up with a different one. Sans scowled at the building, their building that someone had taken an ugly artistic liking to just because the inhabitants weren’t human.

You took a deep breath. The three of you were going to be just fine.

The landlord, who had been looking at the damage, came up to them, looking worn out and far more ancient than he should’ve. Not enough tenants were willing to stay, he informed them. Didn’t have enough money to keep it, so he sold the building, he continued.

“They’re planning on demolishing it.” he said, his shoulders sagged and his eyelashes were damp with tears. “They don’t plan on letting anyone stay here. They gave us three weeks to move out. I’m so sorry.”

You leaned into Papyrus, clutching at him like he was a lifeline, an anchor. You patted away your own tears and scowled at the unfairness of it all. Your landlord was a good man, a kind man, a fair man.

The three of you made your way upstairs, to the apartment that would no longer be yours. You crashed onto the couch, pulling your computer out so you could search for moving companies that would take on monsters as costumers, a company that could do something with this short notice that you were giving them. Sans moved about the apartment, pulling out boxes to pack things up, starting with the bedrooms and leaving the kitchen for last as Papyrus began making… something in the kitchen. You weren’t sure what it was he was making but you did hope that he was using a recipe for it.

Chapter Text

The apartment was scrubbed clean, every last little thing was in boxes, bags, and was being loaded up into the trailer attached to a giant, matte black truck that Alphys had acquired from… somewhere. You couldn’t see a logo on the trailer so you assumed it was hers, although you weren’t sure where or how she had gotten it and you weren’t sure you even wanted to know.

Apparently she had showed up while you and Papyrus were out eating breakfast at the semi-fancy breakfast place you had wanted to try, but never really got a chance to go to before now. The two of you had always woke up too late to go considering it was only open during the morning and the best times to go there were early, earlier, and earliest, so neither of you really bothered.

“S’a fuckin’ shame bout the laws.” You heard her rasp out to Sans as she took a box from him and loaded it in the trailer. Sans only grunted in agreement before teleporting, leaving the unnerving feel of dark red and pale green static behind. An interesting combination of emotions, you thought.

Papyrus raised a free hand in a greeting once Alphys jumped out of the trailer, her large, yellowy, olive colored eyes tracking his movements, “hey alphys.”

“Nerd.” her attention focused to you, her scars stretching and pulling awkwardly and terrifyingly as she bared her teeth in a grin, “Hey kid, never thought tha’ i’d see you ‘gain. I’m s’prised yer still alive.”

You shrugged, grinning at her, “Same. How’ve you and ‘Dyne been? I haven’t heard from her since I got sick and had to cancel plans.”

“Same ol’, some ol’.” she said, wiggling her claws in a so and so fashion, “Dinny’s been up to ‘er gills in work, y’know how she is.”

You nodded and felt Papyrus shift his weight, “Yeah, that sounds like her. Do you know what she’s up to this time, or is she keeping it hush-hush?”

Sans teleported into existence, in the middle of a chalk circle that you just now noticed and handed Alphys another couple of boxes, giving you and Papyrus a silent greeting, and ‘ported back to the apartment.

“Aw y’know how she is,” Alphys cackled, carrying the boxes into the trailer, “Iz all hush-hush until sh’knows fer sure that it’ll work.”

You nodded, and watched the two pack everything up in silence, leaning up against Papyrus. It wasn’t long before the two finished, with Sans dragging Papyrus up to the apartment to double check just to make sure that they didn’t forget anything.

Alphys put a hand on your shoulder, “Y’know you can come t’us for help, right? I know y’don’t like to be a burden, but y’aren’t. Yer family. We’ve got you.” She stared down at you, trying her hardest to convey how much she meant that.

“Y-yeah. Yeah I know, but...” you averted your gaze, “I don’t want her to worry.”

Alphys rolled her eyes. “Too late fer that, minnow.”

Chapter Text

You were bundled up in layers upon layers of blankets in the passenger seat of Alphys’s truck. Night had fallen not that long ago but you were already losing the battle of staying awake, your red lashes fluttered against your cheeks, hiding your golden eyes as you yawned.

Out from the corner of your eye, you could see Alphys look at you every once in a while, concern written all over her face. Her claws twitched and tapped the steering wheel, minor tells to her anxiety. You were sure that if she wasn’t driving, she would be tapping her claws together like some shy anime girl. You wondered how long she would last until she started asking questions.

Your eyes fluttered close for just a second, but when you opened them, Alphys was parked in front of a corner store, the glow of the yellowed lights made the pangolin monsters scars seem deeper than they were.

“Y’don’t use yer magic.” her voice was soft, raspy. Gentle.

“Nope. Can’t. Not without consequences anyways.”

Alphys’s scales rattled against each other, her face twisted into a scowl. She snapped her jaws once, twice, before settling with a deep sigh.

“What happened to ya?”

You shifted uncomfortably, this wasn’t exactly something you wanted to talk about. “Alphys...” You started, unsure of what you were going to say, “You have to understand, the last time I saw you, in person, was over ten years ago. I’m sure you remember the kind of place we were in, and once I- I got out, I did some re-really stupid stuff okay? I got back to the surface but,” You frowned, “I met some people. Mages. A group of rogue mages who still felt like monsters didn’t deserve a place on the surface. But i-i didn’t- I didn’t know. I didn’t know.”

Alphys was very still.

“And one day, I went to a party, passed out, and woke up the next morning naked, binding runes written all over me, alone in the woods, in the middle this circle, and unable to use magic.” You brought the blankets closer to you. “I thought they were my friends. I didn’t know.

“Oh stars.”

Chapter Text

You were carrying the lightest box Alphys could find into the new apartment. You hadn’t actually looked at the pictures that the website Sans looked at provided, you just knew that it was a studio type apartment, so it was a huge surprise to all four of you when you opened the door and immediately saw the off whiteclaw-footed bathtub. You noticed that it needed a serious scrubbing before any of you used it.

Alphys wheezed, “WH’THE FUCK?” then doubled over, gripping her knee as she howled with laughter. “Oh Stars! This Is Gold!” You pushed her out of the doorway so you could actually get into the house, ignoring her as she shook with laughter on the ground, turning into a nearly perfect sphere.

“Bold Of You To Assume None Of Us Have Taken A Bath Together.” Sans said, sneering jokingly at Alphys and pointing dramatically at her, “Now Help Or Die.”

“Wait, seriously?” She looked over to you for confirmation.

“Yeah, this isn’t the worst place we’ve lived at.” You shrugged, voice trailing off as you scrolled through your phone, looking for a good station to listen to while you started working on the kitchen. Grinning happily at the station you found, you started opening the box Papyrus handed you.

“’sides, we already shared a bed anyways.” Papyrus added helpfully.

“We all get nightmares,” you explained, seeing the look on her face, “It’s just easier to deal with them that way.”

Her face lit up with understanding, “Aye. A’right, kid, y’know my number if you ever need anything,” she jabbed a claw in your direction, giving you a very stern look, “An’ Dinny wans’ta take a look at you. That Isn’t Optional. She’s worried sick about you.”

You pouted, but deep down in your soul, you felt guilty. Sighing in defeat, you nodded. “Fine. Fine, I’ll let her look.”

Alphys beamed at you.

Static buzzed, Sans and Papyrus had returned with the couch and nearly all of the boxes stacked on top of it. You didn’t even notice them leave. Maybe getting your soul looked at would be for the best.

 

Chapter Text

You were completely buried under the blankets on the couch, laying across Sans’ lap as he read your latest commission you were working on. You dozed off as he read, more asleep than awake, focusing completely on Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen as it played on loop. The only thing that was able to pull your attention away from the music was the unfamiliar static of someone else teleporting to right outside your door. It was also only then you realized that the music wasn’t playing, and probably hadn’t been on for some time now.

You twitched at that revelation.

The laptop clicked close, the knocking at the door sounding more like someone trying to break in. Your sluggish brain could only come to the conclusion that Alphys was here, and that you didn’t know that she could teleport. Sans grumbled a bit, adjusting the blankets before flicking the lock open with his magic.

“It’s Open!” he called out, grimacing when the door slammed open.

“I BROUGHT DINNY AN’ A NEUTRAL OPINIONATED TELEPORTER!” Alphys shouted, walking into the apartment followed by three other people. You pulled the covers over your head in a silent protest. Sans looked at Alphys with a very Done™ expression, wishing that he was more awake for this meeting. “Where’s tha kid?” she asked, practically vibrating with energy

You let out a low groan, curling further against Sans, as the blankets where yanked away from you. Undyne let out a happy chirp at the sight of you, and you couldn’t help but chirp back at her. Isa, Undynes fell counterpart, made an odd noise at the back of her throat, as if she meant to chirp but aborted the action at the last moment.

“hello cousin,” Undyne crooned out, clasping her hands together. The unknown skeleton standing behind the three women made a noise and took a closer look at you, clearly confused.

“Hey ‘Dyne. Hows it hangin’?” you rasped out, still exhausted.

“oh, you know. Same old, same old,” she wiggled her fingers in a so an’ so fashion, her golden eyes scanning you, doing a primary CHECK on you. She pursed her scarred lips, and wasn’t pleased with what she found. “hm. you should have said something sooner, cousin mine. Curses like this one are incredibly tricky. everyone out, we need privacy.”

Chapter Text

“So who was that skeleton?” you asked, leaning against Undyne as she searched the grocery store shelves for whatever it was she needed. She had dressed you and dragged you out by your elbow, not trusting you to be safe if you were left alone. You hadn’t asked why she thought you would be unsafe, you trusted that she had what was best for you in mind.

Well… you also really, really, r e a l l y, hated being alone.

“that... was...” she trailed off, leaning closer to the shelf, and hummed. She grabbed McCormick dried basil and put it in the basket with juniper, lavender oil, and a bouquet of white roses.

“that was cosmo. he and his brother are from space.” Your eyes went wide at that, but she continued on as if she hadn’t blown your mind, “do you know if they have eucalyptus here? maybe we’ll just have to settle for eucalyptus oil...” she tapped her bottom lip with a finger, her sharp, dark red nails were especially noticeable against her sickly pale blue green skin. “hm.”

You almost jerked backwards when Undyne dropped her shopping basket with a loud Bang! and pulled you into a rib creaking hug.

You idiot. You absolute idiot, you should have called me as soon as you were able to!” Undyne wailed as loud as she dared, shaking softly. You slowly hugged her back, shocked and worried for your cousin.

“Sorry ‘Dyne.”

“dont. don’t you dare apologize, what happened wasn’t your fault. do you hear me?” she pulled back, but gripped your shoulders tightly, shaking you, a glare on her face, “Not. Your. Fault.”

“Yeah.” You mumbled, not looking her in the eye, “But sometimes it feels like it is.”

Chapter Text

The water was hot, scalding hot, way hotter than what the heater could get it to. It wasn’t the first time that Undyne had used her magic to heat up a bath for you, although last time had been under a very different circumstance. You had appreciated it then, and you appreciate it now. The knots in your muscles that had been pulled taut loosened and unwound. The smell of lavender and magic hung heavy in the air.

Steam rolled off the surface of the water, off of Undynes skin, clouding the room. Her golden eyes almost seemed to glow in the dying light. You were sure that if Undyne didn’t have such dark red hair, that you wouldn’t have been able to see her from where she barely peaked above the water. You could see her lips moving under the water, saying words you couldn’t hear.

Pain prickled at your scalp, your lungs, your neck, your hands, your spine. You grimaced and shifted around, looking around the apartment, trying to focus on anything other than Undyne gripping your hands just a little too tight, trying to focus on anything other than the barest sparks of magic pricking into your skin. You could feel your cheeks swell up, feeling as if they were about to pop. Sticky, pitch blank ink spilled out of your mouth, the pressure in your cheeks being relieved.

Undyne frowned, putting an end to her spell, and straightened her spine, sitting up properly.

“hm.” she CHECKED your soul once more. “the chains are cracking, but no where near enough. I noticed that your skin color kept shifting. did you feel anything change? other than your ink I mean.”

You nodded, “Yeah, it hurt. Like I had something under my skin that was trying to get out.”

“i don’t think traditional magic is going to cut it.” she said, gesturing to your soul, to the chains wrapped around them, “i will ask the others if they’ll help us. maybe science can do something about it.

You sighed deeply. You didn’t really want to involve anyone else in this… but it seemed as if Undyne had already made up her mind.

“Okay.”

Chapter Text

Papyrus sat on the roof of the apartment building, cigarette in one hand and his phone in the other. It had been a stressful last few weeks, with Undyne coming in and out of the house trying to break the chains on your soul, and the landlord hounding after them for rent they had already paid. He could see the bags under your eyes getting worse, and he could hear the way Sans was getting frustrated every time he talked.

His phone screen lit up with an unexpected message. Papyrus sighed, putting his cigarette out. He must have accidentally hit send when he wasn’t paying attention

Another message came shortly after the first, begging that he answer.

Another message popped up, and seconds later, his phone rang.

Stretch had always been impatient.

“whatever we talk about tonight,” Mutt growled out as a greeting, “it needs to stay between us.”

Chapter Text

You had dark circles under your eyes, and your cheeks were swollen. Sans sighed, and sat on the couch next to where you were sleeping. It had been a stressful few days and he knew that ‘porting from Ebbot to wherever the three of you currently lived was starting to wear down on Cosmo.

He couldn’t keep doing this, running around, running away. Not while you were cursed, not with the riots, not with him constantly having to look for job after job, and certainly not with your shrinking HP. He was scared that he couldn’t keep you and Papyrus safe anymore.

As much as it pained him to admit it, but Sans was considering moving back in with the others, despite how they treated him and his brother. He pulled his phone out of his pocket, giving it a long look.

Grimacing, he pulled his contacts up, and pressed {Call}.

If it meant that you could finally rest and start recovering from whatever had been done to you, he would take whatever abuse Classic threw at him.

Chapter Text

Papyrus stared down a container of vanilla flavored protein powder. Somehow, in all his years of buying protein powder for his favorite fishy friend, he had never once seen a container of vanilla flavored protein powder. He slowly stuck his arm through the jars as far as it would go, and swiped as many of the containers as he could into the grocery cart.

A few fellow customers looked at him oddly but he didn’t mind them.

He had a smoothie to make. And it was going to be the best damn smoothie you’ve ever tasted. You were going to love it so much you weren’t even going to notice that you were chugging a protein smoothie.

He pulled up Pinterest and began looking at smoothie recipes as he headed towards the produce section, with far too many containers of vanilla flavored protein powder. He was totally going to put some of those up. Maybe. If he remembers.