They burst though, stumbling and falling to the floor. Her chest is heavy and aching, her vision blurry. Beside her, Karkat gasps.
They have done it.
She can't quite believe it. For months they had known they would never escape the Veil; for hours, they had known that they may well we wiped from existence. And yet in a single moment, they have freed themselves.
Karkat coughs loudly beside her and, startled, Kanaya turns to him.
“Are you okay,” she breathed. It was better for her – she was able to protect herself, at least, but Karkat...
Karkat is staring at her, eyes wide and red-rimmed. She shivers. Before, when they'd met, there was no time...
“You're okay...” he murmurs, blinking rapidly.
It sort of hits her, then, like nothing else that has happened to them yet. Freedom, now, is too impossible to understand. But this...
She reaches forward, hugging him close to her. Beyond shame, he hugs back, shaking against her. She cradles the top of his head, stroking his hair.
“You're,” he eventually sniffs, clutching tighter at her shirt. “Such a fucking dumbass.”
“I know,” she murmurs softly, and he hugs her harder.
GA: You Looked Like You Were Having Fun Today
CG: YES, IF BY 'FUN' YOU MEAN 'SUCH A SHIT-TASTIC TIME I WAS SECONDS AWAY FROM SHOOTING MYSELF AND ENDING IT ALL'.
CG: IN THAT CASE I WAS HAVING THE TIME OF MY GOGDAMN LIFE.
CG: IT WAS MY LIFE'S AMBITION TO ONE DAY BE SURROUNDED BY AUTISTIC RETARDS WHO THINK POKING ME IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF HUMOR.
CG: CONGRATULATIONS, KARKAT! HAVE A ROUND OF APPLAUSE!
GA: The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
CG: WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
GA: I Am Not Entirely Sure
GA: I Heard Dave Saying It Once And It Seemed Relevant
CG: WELL YES I AM PROTESTING, BUT NOT TOO MUCH BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PROTEST THAT LEVEL OF IDIOCY ENOUGH.
GA: Yes You Were Playing Around With Two Of Your Friends That Sounds Horrible
GA: That Was Sarcasm By The Way
CG: AND YOU'VE BEEN HANGING AROUND LALONDE TOO MUCH.
GA: Are You Suggesting That The Two Of Us Should Do Things Together More Often
CG: I GUESS.
CG: ANYTHING TO GET AWAY FROM THE FUCKASS TWINS.
GA: You Have Only Yourself To Blame For That
CG: SHUT THE FUCK UP.
CG: GOG, I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.
GA: But If You Did Want To Meet Up More Often With Just The Two Of Us Together
GA: And Talk About Things
GA: We Could Do That
CG: THAT SOUNDS GOOD.
GA: Anytime You Want To
CG: I KNOW.
CG: FUCK, HARLEY IS MESSAGING ME AGAIN.
CG: I'M GOING TO NEED FULL ATTENTION TO DEAL WITH THIS DUBASSERY.
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] ceased trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA]
Kanaya stares at the screen, fingers trembling over the keys. Did she really say that? She's wanted to for a while, but has never been able to find the right opportunity. She is still convinced that she's moving too fast. And yet he...
A smile works its way across Kanaya's face and she allows herself a moment of excitement. He agreed with her! She shivers with happiness, leaning back and taking a rare moment to daydream. They are so close already! Before she was so worried that he didn't feel the same way, but now... well, now she might just have a chance after all.
There is a knock at the door, which opens outwards immediately. “Hello, Kanaya.”
Rose! Kanaya scrambles for the mouse, closing the conversation window. “Ah, hello.”
When she turns around again, Rose is raising an eyebrow. “Was I interrupting something?”
Kanaya wills herself not to blush. It isn't that she is really worried about telling Rose. It's just that...well. It is a pretty strange position to be in, isn't it? If she and Rose were officially matesprits or even kismeses or auspistices it would be different. They way they are... She knows Humans don't see relationships the same way that Trolls do and that Rose probably doesn't see their interactions as pale at all. But every now and then, Kanaya feels just a touch...guilty.
And it doesn't really help that Karkat and Rose don't exactly get along very well. (At the beginning, Karkat was apparently smart enough to realize that picking a fight with a person who has all the powers of the horrorterrors beyond the furthest ring at her disposal was a bad idea. This surprising display of sense on Karkat's part, unfortunately, lasted approximately half of one conversation.)
“I was conversing with someone. It is unimportant.”
“I see.” Rose walks over to their bed and neatly sits down. Kanaya, like Karkat if his occasional rants on the subject are any indication, is still ambiguous about the comfort of sleeping on such an object, but she must admit that they are much more useful as makeshift chairs than recuperacoons. “What quadrant?”
Kanaya stares at her. If none of the other Trolls take this girl on as a moirail, she thinks sometimes, they are truly insane. Perhaps she is insane, herself, for not doing likewise.
“Pale,” she says eventually, feeling uncharacteristically shy.
“Ah. Will you tell me whom is the object of your affections, or shall I guess?”
Kanaya doesn't think she could take it if Rose guessed accurately. “...Karkat.”
Rose looks thoughtful. If she is disappointed or irritated, she doesn't show it. “Yes, I can understand that, somewhat. How has this happened?”
“It is difficult to explain.” Kanaya bites her lip. “We interacted occasionally before Sgrub, but I was already in a pale relationship with...someone else when we met. After that ended, we talked some more and I realized we possessed a rapport. Since arriving at this place, I have been testing the waters of such a moirallegiance between the two of us.”
“What does that entail?”
Kanaya frowns, puzzled. “Well, we try to help each other out, and confide in one another, to an extent. And we make it obvious that we are opening ourselves to one another if they want us to help them. In some cases, we – try to attract the other's attention.”
“The purpose of a moirail is to calm the other's more uncontrollable passions. It is a delicate balance. If a troll is too calm, others will perceive them as taking the opposite role in the moirallegiance to what they desire. If they are too destructive, their potential moirail will believe themselves incapable of the task.”
“Is that why Karkat has been so loud lately?”
“Possibly. Although his behavior is not totally out of the ordinary.”
Rose tilts her head to one side. “You don't believe he feels the same way?”
Kanaya toys with her sleeve. “I have suspicions. However, I am unsure where to proceed from here.”
Rose remains silent until Kanaya meets her eyes. “Do it. You won't get anywhere unless someone makes the first move, and it may as well be you.”
Her eyes flash, reminding Kanaya of a certain other blue-blood troll she once knew. It is at these times Kanaya remembers why she will never take Rose as a moirail. A matesprit? Yes. A kismesis or auspistice? Possibly. But never, ever as a moirail.
“I will...keep that in mind.”
“However, it is much more complicated than most are aware. A lot of people have heard of Cthulhu, but there are so very many more which are vastly more interesting.”
“I see,” Kanaya responds, sincerely interested, but even more sincerely grateful that she and Feferi never crossed paths. At least, as far as she is aware. “Do you-”
They have rounded the corner. Karkat is standing in the middle of the hallway, utterly livid, surrounded on either side by a pair of loudly giggling black-haired twins.
He thrusts a finger towards Kanaya, glaring furiously. “You. Make. Them. Stop. This. Bullshit.”
“Aww, don't be such a party pooper!” Jade cries amidst giggles.
“Yeah, fuckass!” John chimes in gleefully.
Something catches Kanaya's eye. Now that she is distracted from the expression of pure, quantified rage on Karkat's face it becomes apparent that Karkat is covered with small, brightly-coloured sparkling circles.
She resists the urge to giggle.
“It's not fucking funny,” Karkat cries. Apparently she didn't try hard enough.
“I apologize, Karkat,” Kanaya replies as calmly as she is able. “But I do believe that, given the present circumstances, it is an objective fact that any reasonable person would conclude that this is, indeed, funny.”
Rose coughs beside her. John and Jade laugh harder.
Karkat's body tenses, if possible, even further. “What the fuck?! You're meant to be on my side, here! You know, the side of the single sane person left on this fucking planet?!”
“I am always on your side, Karkat,” Kanaya replies without thinking. After realizing what she's just said, she hastens to soften the impact with a joke. “Except when not to be would be objectively funny. In such situations my hands are tied.”
Kanaya sighs and turns to the twins. “You two aren't being too hard on him, are you?”
“Come on, Kanaya, we're just having fun!” Jade reassures her with a grin.
Finally, Rose speaks. “Play along now, children.”
Jade sticks her tongue out and John rolls his eyes. “Yes, mom!”
They two girls watch them leave. Without turning to her, Rose says firmly, “Kanaya, you would have made a wonderful human mother.”
Kanaya blinks, straightening up. “Thank you.”
“So. What did you think.”
Kanaya licks her lips, holding the brush carefully between her fingers. “It was okay.”
“Okay?! It was amazing! It fucking revolutionized the way auspistices are written in film, and you think it's just okay?!”
“The man was unattractive.” She paints the brush down, spreading purple across the nail. It is a quite pleasant color.
“You think all men are unattractive,” Karkat grumbles.
“Well.” She moves onto the next finger, holding it carefully with her left hand. “I simply think that I do not see the appeal.”
“There isn't one, and that's why you're so fucking weird – you think there's an appeal at all! They're practically the same fucking thing anyway, I don't get how you can think one has an appeal and one doesn't!”
“According to Rose it is quite common for Humans to be attracted to only one gender.” She finishes this nail and admires it. It goes quite well with his skin tone.
“But Humans are fucking stupid, aren't they,” he spat out.
“Please stop moving.” Oh dear, she's gotten nail polish over his cuticle. Sighing, she reaches for a tissue.
“You do realize this is meant for girls, right?”
“Jade implied that men also wear it.”
“She was fucking lying, I bet you. Just one of her and Egbert's derpface 'pranks' so they can giggle like morons over it tomorrow morning like 'Hahaha! We got Karkat to wear nailpolish!' like there was actually a point to it other than rampant idiocy which there wasn't.”
“It looks nice on you.”
“I don't give a shit.” She finishes blotting his middle finger and begins painting it; Karkat's hand is steady.
Kanaya frowns. “You are not a bad-looking person, Karkat. If only you tried harder, you could look so handsome.”
“I thought you said men weren't attractive.”
“I was speaking objectively.”
Karkat visibly relaxes; Kanaya pauses for a moment, but then continues on with his ring finger.
“Can I get up to put the next movie on at least?”
“Here.” She caps the brush back onto the bottle and stands. Karkat had set up a whole pile of movies earlier and she takes the one from the top without glancing at it. When she turns back Karkat is avoiding her eyes.
“What is this one about, then,” she asks as the movie starts, taking his hand and turning it so she can work on his little finger.
“I don't fucking know,” he mumbles. “Just thought it looked interesting. That's all. Never got to watch it.”
The movie plays and Kanaya continues to finish this coat of polish, and then again with a second layer. The movie, as it turns out, is about a young cyan-blooded troll girl whose heart is crushed when her matesprit turns black for her, and finds solace in the arms of an olive-colored girl who had felt pale for her all along. Karkat is silent the entire time.
Eventually, after one last soulful look between the two moirails, the movie ends. Kanaya, who is working on her fourth coat by now with nothing else to do, pauses.
“That was very beautiful, Karkat.”
“Thanks.” He is blushing slightly, still looking away.
Kanaya's hands are shaking. She reaches back to dip the brush into the bottle again and-
“Shit.” The bottle falls, spilling purple liquid all over the bedspread.
“Fuck! What do we do?” Karkat says loudly, jumping up.
Kanaya stares down at the bed mournfully. “I don't know,” she says honestly.
“Could you,” Karkat says, with truly commendable evenness. Kanaya sighs; she knew this would happen eventually, and still doesn't really know what to say. “Turn your fucking skin off.”
“No. I apologize, but I have not yet learned the precise mechanics of that, as of yet.”
A growl emanates from the other side of the bed. “Don't you normally sleep with Lalonde? How the fuck does she get through a night without throwing a wardrobe on you?”
“Well, she seems to suck in light, now, so I suppose it evens out.”
“I'm surrounded by fucking assholes,” Karkat grumbles, pulling his blanket over his head roughly. Sighing, Kanaya does the same.
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
CG: I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU.
AA: sure, karkat! whatever you want!
CG: I'M FUCKING SERIOUS HERE, OKAY.
CG: YOU CAN'T TELL ANYONE ABOUT THIS.
CG: AT ALL.
AA: but... you do know that sollux is my moirail, right?
CG: THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT AT ALL.
AA: oh, good!
AA: that could have been awkward...
CG: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, I'M NOT THAT GOGDAMN BLIND.
AA: i know! i just wanted to make sure...
CG: ACTUALLY, THAT'S KIND OF WHAT I WANTED TO ASK ABOUT.
CG: YOU AND HIM.
CG: SO LIKE.
CG: HOW DID YOU BECOME MOIRAILS.
AA: oh, i get it!!
AA: this is about kanaya, right?! :D
CG: JUST FUCKING ANSWER THE QUESTION.
AA: i just asked!
CG: I HAVEN'T GOT ALL FUCKING DAY HERE, MEGIDO.
AA: well, i don't know! it just sort of happened?
CG: THAT IS EXTREMELY HELPFUL.
CG: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR RIDICULOUSLY VAGUE REPLY, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!
AA: but it did! we were just hanging out and then sollux said 'so you want to be moirails' and i said 'yeah' and then we were!
CG: THAT IS THE SINGLE LEAST ROMANTIC THING I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE GOGDAMN LIFE.
CG: AND I SPEND GOOD PORTIONS OF MY TIME IN THE COMPANY OF CREATURES WHO HAVE NO CONCEPT OF THREE QUARTERS OF THE QUADRANTS SO THAT'S FUCKING SAYING SOMETHING.
AA: i dunno... we were never really the picnics and roses type of moirails, karkat!
CG: ROSES ARE FLUSHED, DUMBASS.
AA: well, i don't know how to help you. that is just how it happened for us!
AA: i don't know why you're asking me, anyway! don't you still have movies with you?
AA: also, how did you do that.
CG: YEAH, BUT.
CG: I JUST WANTED TO KNOW, OKAY, SO SHOOT ME FOR BEING FUCKING CURIOUS.
CG: JUST NEVER MIND THE ENTIRE THING!
ceased trolling apocalypseArisen
“You're being too hard on them.” He is. They're cute. They are, really!
“They're creepy little bags of shit.”
“They're cute.” Kanaya, Aradia, Jade, John, and Rose are all in agreement. As soon as they'd seen the little creature they hadn't been able to resist picking it up and cooing at it. Sure, Terezi had laughed at them and Sollux had kept pestering Aradia and even Dave had looked just slightly...unnerved by their movements, but they were still cute.
“They're fucking spiders.”
Just because it's unfortunate doesn't mean they're not cute.
Kanaya sighs. “We can't change it. This is simply the way the creatures on this planet have evolved. I admit to being somewhat bemused by the means by which the game decides what to spawn, per se, but-”
“I blame the humans. They're always screwing things up, it only makes sense their world would be retarded as well.”
Kanaya blinks. Karkat can become incoherent with rage at issues ranging in importance from world-wide crises to the amount of salt in a shaker, but this last statement seems particularly nonsensical.
“But. I cannot help but think that I do not see any reason to connect that with the inhabitants of their world.”
“It doesn't matter! Humans are all complete morons – they have no idea how trolls really work.”
“Karkat. Are you yelling? Well, you are always yelling. But are you yelling noticeably louder than usual?”
“They don't even understand the quadrants, for fuck's sake. It's not even difficult! Humans are just inherently inferior to Trolls in every possible way!”
He keeps glancing behind her. Fearing the worst, she turns.
Rose's eyebrows are raised. “I see...” she says dryly. She hovers for a moment, before sitting on Kanaya's other side at the table. “Do go on. I am most intrigued. Are these your only reasons for believing that humans are 'inherently superior' to Trolls, or are you choosing to summarize your points briefly in this introduction to be discussed in more detail later on? Perhaps I should have brought some notepaper.”
“Oh, right, sure, let's ask miss know-it-all here, I'll bet you've already figured out exactly what I'm going to say here, aren't you, because you're so fucking smart? God, I don't know how you stand her.” Karkat is glaring at her now, but before Kanaya can say anything Rose is continuing.
“Why, of course. I listen to other people and think about what I say, that is clearly a sign of inferior intellect. It is incredible that the Troll peoples – which, if you are any indication, apparently derives all knowledge from sheer stubbornness against believing something they do not wish to – have not yet staged an uprising and confined all humans so that we do not hurt ourselves.”
Is this really happening? Kanaya's head is spinning. What should she do? She never prepared for...this!
“It's a fucking wonder, that's goddamn right! I am constantly amazed that you bunch of asshats are not constantly bumping into walls or splattering your own brains out by accident”
“Then we are in agreement, for I could say the same for you.”
“Exactly,” Karkat hisses, turning to Kanaya again.
Kanaya stands up, shaking. “I apologize, but I must...go.”
Terezi is laughing at them, nearly to tears. Aradia flashes her a grin and a thumbs up as she leaves. Jade glances between them, clearly confused.
Oh dear. Perhaps she has left this too long, after all?
“Oh my god,” Sollux mutters sullenly. “Would they just hurry up and talk about feelings already, this is just getting ridiculous.”
“Awww, you weren't so flippant when it was the two of us last night,” Aradia coos, fluttering her eyelashes.
Sollux blushes; Terezi cackles.
began trolling tentacleTherapist
CG: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING.
TT: Why hello, Karkat. I am very well, thank you. And how are you?
TT: I do so love these nice chats we have.
CG: JUST DON'T.
CG: WITH YOUR FUCKING SARCASM AND WORDINESS, LIKE IT MAKES YOU SO GODDAMN SMART.
TT: Yes, you believe that I believe that I am intelligent. I also believe that we have covered this.
TT: If you are keeping score.
CG: WOULD YOU JUST ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION ALREADY?
TT: Why, certainly. I am sitting at my computer, engaged in a vague and tiresome conversation with an individual with which I am not particularly fond. I am wondering why I persist in doing so, despite the abovementioned tiresome nature of the conversation.
TT: Unless, of course, that was no the answer you were seeking, in which case I would appreciate further clarity regarding what the fuck I am apparently doing that so confuses you.
CG: JESUS CHRIST COULD YOU NOT TAKE HALF AN HOUR TO ANSWER A FUCKING QUESTION?!
CG: YOU KNOW WHO I'M TALKING ABOUT.
TT: Then this is about Kanaya.
CG: THANK GOG.
TT: Then, to be completely sure: you wish to know what the fuck I am doing with regards to her?
CG: YES, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR FUCKING THING IS WITH HER.
CG: GLAD WE'VE GOT THAT ESTABLISHED, SINCE I CLEARLY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN SIT AROUND AND FUCK AROUND ANSWERING OBVIOUS QUESTIONS.
TT: In that case, I am dearly sorry to inform you that more obvious question answering will be necessary, as I am not aware of any 'thing' there exists between Kanaya and I, nor why you would be interested in such a 'thing'.
CG: YOU'RE FRIENDS, THEN, WHATEVER THE FUCK THAT IS SUPPOSED TO MEAN.
TT: Oh dear, I do so hope that it is Kanaya that you are concerned with here, as this conversation would become vastly more awkward if I were to find out that this entire rain of abuse were explained away as some bizarre alien courting ritual.
CG: THE FUCK.
TT: I'm sorry, have I confused you?
TT: Of course, if your affections really were to lie in her direction, then I would not be entirely pleased with that, either.
CG: WHAT THE FUCK HAS ANY OF THIS GOT TO DO WITH YOU?
CG: YOU JUST SAID THERE WAS NOTHING BETWEEN YOU.
TT: I do not like you.
TT: For some inexplicable reason that I still do not understand, nearly all of my present friends do.
TT: That is unfortunate.
TT: I do not know what it is that you do which makes Kanaya like you.
TT: If it were up to me, I would insist you stop. It would make things much easier for me. At the very least, I would be able to eat lunch in peace without rage-filled aliens hurling accusations at me like a monkey flinging dung.
TT: But it is not.
TT: And if at any point you cease doing that thing that makes Kanaya happy, you will regret it.
TT: I hope I have made myself clear, Mr. Vantas.
ceased trolling carcinoGeneticist
“And see, this part – this part of the code, it's really fucking tricky, and if you don't get it exactly right, it'll all go to shit, like, instantly.”
Kanaya fidgets. This is silly. She knows perfectly well that Karkat cannot code his way out of a paper bag, and that would be a humorous metaphor if not for the fact that she secretly suspects that Sollux literally could probably manage that if he tried. She knows he can't. Sollux knows he can't. Everyone knows he can't. Even Karkat knows he can't. Or so she used to think, anyway; she is rapidly beginning to question this assumption.
Well, at least John isn't around this time. The last time Karkat and John went within six feet of the same computer at the same time five minutes later Sollux was in tears. They don't speak of it anymore, a ban strictly enforced by Aradia under penalty of culling.
“And it HAS to be in blue. And this exact shade, too, or it won't work. Probably, anyway. I mean, it – no, it definitely has to be, there's no way that douchebag would just be doing that for no reason.”
She wouldn't be here at all, except... well. She's thought it over, and then some more, and then even more than that, and there doesn't really seem to be any other option. She just has to... force it out of herself. Somehow.
“Right. So it's in blue, and you've written it out, and it's all done fucking perfectly so there's no way it go wrong, and that's how it works.” He presses the enter bar triumphantly. “So, all you have to do is – wait.”
“Fuck. Fuck! It's not meant – what the fuck is it doing, that has nothing at all to do with what I told it to!”
“Shitting fuck! Stop! Just – fucking – stop! I swear to almighty shit-”
Kanaya straightens. She must do it. She must. She remembers the blazing violet eyes and bites her lip. For once, Kanaya, just say what you mean! “I have a proposal to make.”
“Ack! No, don't – fuck fuck fuck, why isn't it working!”
“I believe that our relationship could be stand to be improved. That is not to say that I am unsatisfied with out relationship in its current state, merely that-”
“Okay, fine, I just need to – to, press something, I remember that asshole telling me, I think it was – these two?”
“-it is not at its optimally pleasing state, which is true for most relationships. The fact that it is not presently at its maximum level of usefulness to all parties does not by any means indicate-”
“Okay, so – FUCK. Graaaaghk, that's not what that was supposed to do!! No, press, press – FUCKING PRESS YOU GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT!”
“-that I have been happy with our interactions thus far. Indeed, it is because of our good relations that I have been lead to believe that we could satisfactorily sustain a state of greater responsibility together-”
“Technology hates me. That is the only possible explanation. It has the biggest fucking blackrom boner for me that anything ever has or ever will. I do every single fucking thing right, and what does it do? 'Oh haha, Karkat, haha for thinking that would fucking work! I HOPE YOU ENJOY LOSING EVERYTHING ON THIS THING, BECAUSE NOTHING BRINGS ME GREATER PLEASURE THAN SEEING YOU WEEP LIKE A GRUB.”
“-and that is why I believe that we should become moirails.”
Karkat freezes. Kanaya freezes.
“What.” Karkat says. “The fuck. No. What.”
Kanaya's heart lurches, then plummets, taking a rather impressive goddamn pirouette out of her chest cavity and into her stomach. “Oh,” she says. “Because, I thought – well.”
“What the fuck is this. No. You're – no!”
“I'm sorry,” she continues, voice strangely high. “I didn't mean-”
“You're – this is so fucking wrong, are you a grub-fucking moron, you're – you're doing it wrong!”
“I,” Kanaya says. “What?”
“You're-” Karkat flushes, his voice beginning to rival hers in pitch. “Just – just saying it like that, out of the blue, like it's nothing?! Do you not know anything?! All those movies – did none of them, not one, make the slightest ounce of impression on you?!”
Kanaya begins to realize that she may have miscalculated. Several times. In succession. “...oh.”
“'Oh'! 'Oh', she says! Yes, fucking 'oh'! You don't just – fuck, you don't just say that, all of a sudden, like that!” He glares at her hatefully. “This is a fucking travesty.”
Kanaya blinks. She isn't sure whether to laugh or cry. At the moment, it seems like neither would help her case. “Er. I apologize.”
“Good. You should.” Karkat turns back to his computer, poking at a key grumpily. “I mean, fuck. It's not like I actually cared or anything, but – well. Everyone knows that this sort of thing – it's supposed to be done right, especially the first time.”
“Does it help if I retract my statement?”
“Yes. In fact, I think we should forget that this ever happened. I refuse to ever discuss it again.”
Kanaya can't help it, and her lips quirk. “Perhaps it would be for the best if you laid out your exact specifications in advance?”
“What the flying fuck, that is the least romantic thing ever. I seriously hate you right now.”
Kanaya chuckles, quietly, and Karkat's shoulders seem to relax, just a little.
“I sincerely do apologize.”
“I know you fucking do.”
Her smile turns fond, and she smooths out her skirt as she stands. “In that case, I have matters to attend to.”
She glances back as she leaves; it is impossible not to notice a subtle tinge of red at the tip of his ear.
Kanaya pats at her hair distractedly, then smooths it down again. Everything is perfect. There is no need to worry.
The table is set. Her make-up is perfect. The lighting is low. Terezi came in periodically to laugh at her and tell her increasingly disturbing things about what to expect from Karkat, but she thinks she's managed to get rid of her by now. For all that she and Karkat have an odd relationship, Kanaya is pretty certain that it isn't pale. Probably.
This, though. It looks good, she thinks. This is what she's supposed to do, right? She tried to ask Rose earlier but it just felt so wrong to be doing something like that so soon to her – proposal? Confession? She isn't sure what this is. But they're doing this – they're making this happen – and it's too late to turn back now.
The door opens, and a Karkat appears, all messy-haired and dressed all in black and oh dear but he really could do with some colour, he could look so handsome, really, if he tried.
He stops, and stares.
He takes in Kanaya's dress – pale pink and beautiful without being sexy in the slightest, like a proper moirail. (Is she being too obvious?) He takes in the table, set for two. (Is she being too forward?) He takes in the vase, two long-stemmed roses placed within. (Roses are pale, right?)
He looks at her.
“Roses are flushed,” he says. “Fuckass.”