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Jane pursed her lips as she eyed the colorful steel bar that the ride operator closed shut over their laps. She still wasn’t quite certain about all of this. This whole human fair was nice so far, getting to sample all the sugary treats and cakes that the humans had to offer. But she still didn’t see the appeal in a ride that took you around in circles in the air.

“Are you sure this is what humans do for fun, Gamzee?” Her voice definitely didn’t waver when she asked.

“Aw, come on, sis. No need to look all motherfucking stressed out there.” Her gaze snapped over to her human friend, finding him with his usual goofy grin. “It’s just a ride, it’s supposed to be fun. I rode these all the time when the carnival came to town when I was a kid.” The idea of ‘carnivals’ didn’t exactly arouse pleasant associations in the cerulean blooded girl. He seemed at ease, though.

Then again the strange human was normally like that, so she wasn’t really certain that counted for much.

The ride lurched and the troll girl jerked a bit. Gamzee just laughed easily.

“Chill, Jane-sis. It’s just the ride starting up. Just relax.” He set the back of his hand on top of his thigh, palm open upwards, still smiling at her in his endearing, dopy sort of way. “You wanna hold on to something while we’re riding? I won’t tell no motherfuckers if you do.”

Jane considered his offer a moment, but not much longer than that, as the ride began turning and they started to leave the ground. The cerulean blood nodded quickly and laced her fingers through his, clutching on to him tightly.

“Yeah, holding on to something sounds good,” she blurted out quickly. Gamzee just chuckled and closed his fingers around her hand. And off they went.

It was… actually sort of nice, once it got started. Just a steady, smooth motion around and around the wheel. Gamzee’s hand was warmer than hers, but it felt good. Going up and up and watching the scenery, then back down and around all over again. Eventually, she sort of got into it. Calmed by the motion and the sights, she leaned over slightly and rested her head on Gamzee’s shoulder. She was somewhat certain that her horn was poking him in the cheek or the side of his head. But if it did, he wasn’t complaining any.

Then, on the third rotation up the car suddenly came to a stop. Jane shot up straight when she realized what had happened, blood pusher beating fast.

“What? What’s going on? Why did we stop?” She was looking left and right, and then made the mistake of looking down, and sat back quickly in the car. “What happened? Why are we stuck at the top, we’re so high up!”

“Easy, easy. Just take a breath, sis.” Gamzee put up his hands placatingly, eyes wide. “Someone’s probably just up and getting on the ride down below is all. We shouldn’t be up here all too long.” Jane stared at him suspiciously, but his honest expression placated her slightly. She crossed her arms, still slightly uneasy with being trapped at the top. Beside her she heard a sigh, and suddenly an arm was around her shoulders. “I’m sorry, Jane-sis. I thought you’d be up and having more fun than this. Didn’t bring you on here just to freak you out. Honest.” His hand rested on her opposite shoulder, loose and open. “Can I make this up to you somehow?

Jane considered his words quietly, looking between his, for once, somber face, and her own lap.

”… Well, I DID sort of want to try out some of that deep fried ice cream we saw.“ His grin returned to him, and she couldn’t help but smile back at the sheer sincerity of it.

“Motherfucking done, sis. Soon as we’re back on the ground we’re gonna get some of that deep fried ice cream in you.” Jane couldn’t help but giggle. He did have an odd way of putting things. But, in a good way.

Slowly, she leaned back into him, and relaxed against his side. He was too thin, she thought. His shirt was such a tent on his skinny frame that she was certain it dipped in a few inches before her side finally met his through the fabric. She was going to make sure he got some of that ice cream, too. And plenty of other sweets if she had any say in it.

“… You know, it’s really not so bad up here,” she murmured. “You can almost see the whole place from this height.” From their vantage point, the people below milled about like insects, and the colors of the carnival stood out brightly against the green grass.

“Yeah. That’s for motherfucking sure. Shit goes on for ever, almost.” Jane let out a gentle ‘hoo hoo’, and he rumbled with soft laughter in return… he really was warm.

The ride creaked again and before she knew it, they were headed back down. It came to a halt at the bottom and the two of them were finally let off the ride. Jane breathed a sigh of relief as she stood up and out of the car, and Gamzee followed suit when she made her way down the railing.

“Well, that was fun. Kinda,” Gamzee chuckled. He shoved a hand into the pocket of his pants and used his thumb to motion over to where all the food vendors were lined up and selling their confections. “So, you wanted to get that deep fried ice cream?”

“Oh yeah, let’s.”  Jane meandered over to him and slipped her hand through the gap between his arm and his body over the pocketed hand. He turned to look at her with surprise, but all she did was rise up onto her toes, and pressed her lips against the edge of his cheek when it came into her range. “But, I don’t think it was really all that bad.”

Jane giggled as red darkened Gamzee’s face, even though her own was dusted with cerulean in kind.

“Come on, then. Let’s get going.” Still blushing, her human grinned his usual grin and let himself be led along by her. Withdrawing his hand from his pocket so he could better hold on to her arm as they made their way to where the food was.

Chapter Text

She’s cold as ice against you. Though to her, you suppose you must feel burning hot.

She’s Fuschia, top of the spectrum and high above all others. You are a mutant, burning hotter than even the lowest Burgundy.

Warm breath slips between your lips as you cling on to her, still shaking from the force of release she had just put you through. Both your thighs are sticky with slurry, fuschia and red mixing together against gray skin until it’s hard to tell which color should be higher or lower.

Your head droops down against her shoulder as you try to steady your breathing, and her voice grates against your ears.

“Oi, Vantas, what’s with the cuttlefishing you’re doing, huh? Feelin awful red to me. You betta not be flippering flush for me, buoy.” You growl low in your throat at her. Your fingers flex so that your claws dig further into her back, already crossed with lines from the previous injuries you had caused.

“Only in your dreams, Meenah.

She laughs sharply and you feel the sharpness of her teeth in your shoulder in response to your claws.

“Good.”

She’s not afraid to mark you up in return. It’s gratifying, honestly.

On Beforus, you were discouraged from taking any sort of quadrant which, though you wouldn’t readily admit, followed you and influenced you later vow of celibacy. It would be unbeneficial to the gene pool if you found a concupiscent partner in either of those quadrants. Your pale quadrant… you don’t like to think of any past pale experience you’ve had, if you could even call it that.

If nothing else, no one would probably have ever expected that you of all trolls could find your way into someone else’s black quadrant. You’re a mutant. In Beforus society, you’re weak and fragile. So easily broken. You’re a being of pure pity to others. Even any annoying habits you might have would just be brushed off as an adorable trait. No one could possibly hate you, anyone would say.

But then, Meenah isn’t just anyone.

She’s all cold gold and colder skin. The only freezing skin you can stand, because when it’s your skin to hers, it’s never the gentleness you despise. Her hand against you is not a pap, but a hard, sharp slap. No care to avoid claws catching at your flesh. She’s everything you hate in a troll, from her privilege to her complete disregard for anything you say. And you mean hate. Sharp, hot, black hate that roils your gut and makes your cheeks flush with fury.

In turn, you are everything she can’t stand. You talk too much, too loud, you ignore her. She can’t stand to be ignored when she wants to be heard, you’ve learned.

It’s no wonder you hate each other so much. You’re so different, you clash so often. It’s like a hate perfectly dictated by serendipity to occur between the heiress and a mutant who may as well be the lowest of the low.

That’s how you’ve come to like it. You’re equals in your hate. Constantly trying to look down on each other, but trying to pull each other down to one another’s level at the same time.

Any claw mark you put in her, she doesn’t hesitate to return. Your voices match in pitch and fervor in arguments until both your throats go hoarse.

You’re certain you wouldn’t trade such a glorious hate for anything in this, or any universe.

A squirming you feel below you breaks you out of your contemplation. You pull back to scowl at her, shifting in her grasp and slightly away from the anemone of twining pink tendrils that she calls a bulge.

“Really? Again?” She smirks at your exasperation, gripping on to your thighs, still clung to by the remaining scraps of your geneslime-soaked leggings that she tore apart earlier, as she shoots you her trademark grin.

“What? Too much for you to handle? And here I was shore you wanted to have a good tide. Can’t tell me that just one measly round is all you need to satisfy yourshellf.” She pulls you in, you allow yourself to be pulled forward by the threat of her claws stinging into your lower back. Soon enough you’re biting at each other’s lips and the nest of her bulges is stroking at you. Your back arches and your chests press together. And you aren’t sure if the shiver up your spine is from the bright pink tendril which has just burrowed up into your nook or the bite she just left at your collarbone.

“I told you… Not too close to the neck.” You hate the sweater Porrim gave you, never wanted it. But if she’s going to force you to wear it, it may as well be useful to you in at least one regard. Namely in hiding all the marks you get from these black trysts. One misplaced bite and even that usefulness to you is long gone.

“Watchu gonna do aboat it, huh, guppy?” She growls next to your ear as two more tendrils slide up into your nook to join the first. You can feel them moving around and rubbing at the ridges inside you, teasing at your shameglobes. The ones still outside you don’t let up either, stroking at your bulge to keep it interested and occupied, dripping red slime onto them to darken their pink.

You make no response to her goading, for once. Instead, you lean in closer, until your mouth is at her neck gills. You lick at the overly sensitive operculum, still flushed with her blood color from your attentions to it earlier. Then your teeth are scraping none too gently over them and you hear her hiss a curse. A sense of satisfaction boils inside of you.

As usual, your pailing amounts to little more than a series of one-upsmanships. Claw for claw, bite for bite. You manage to guide your bulge into her around the mess of her bulge’s many tendrils, so that you feel icy cold both surrounding your bulge and filling her nook as she steadily fills you with more and more of her.

You writhe against one another with a needy sort of desperation. You’re as satisfied to see her lose her royal arrogance as you’re certain she is to make your words come apart before they can reach your tongue. You push each other, working each other up and to the brink until you both spill again, not even certain who made whom cum first. And honestly, not really caring.

You make each other come apart. She likes being able to shut you up. You like… just being able to be intimate with another troll, even if in black.

For once, not feeling a constant threat, that at any moment she will overtake you or deem the world too rough for you. No. She will make the world harder and tougher for you if she can, and you relish the challenge she presents. You’ll take her sharp edges and you will let them cut into your skin if only so you can get close enough to cut her back.

Even now, exhausted again after another challenge, emotional as much as it was physical for the both of you, you know one thing for certain.

You hate Meenah Peixes with all you have, and you never want to stop hating her.

Chapter Text

The grass you’ve imagined underneath you is soft, the shade of the trees from your memories cool and soothing in their relative darkness. But you honestly can’t appreciate any of it right now.

Rufioh broke up with you. After so many sweeps, near millenia in the bubbles, and he’s dumped you just like that. He tried to explain it to you, but you just don’t understand. You can’t understand.

And on top of that now, you’ve broken up with Meulin. You tried with her, you really tried, but no matter what you did, her advice just didn’t help at all. You just can’t keep smiling with all of this going on. Then she got annoyed with you and told you that you were just being difficult, she didn’t get that you’re just so upset. All at once you couldn’t take it anymore and you broke up with her. Just like that. Dancestors and their seemingly perfect relationship be damned.

So now here you are, both heartbroken and diamondbroken. Wallowing in your own misery as you just will yourself into nothing.

“<Hey. Horse man.>” You look up, startled at the sudden sound of a voice, and you see Damara standing there. She’s practically inches away from you, nearly toe to toe. You studiously make sure to look high as you can to avoid glimpsing up her skirt, short as it is.

“Oh. It’s you, Damara.” You can’t bring yourself to put much tone in your voice, upset as you are.

“<Why are you sitting here like this? So fairy boy broke up with you. So what.>” She’s leaning down towards you suddenly, face near yours where you’re still knees to your chest against the tree. “<You look fucking pathetic. Not even the fuckable kind.>”

Times like this you really wished you had managed to complete that translator you’ve been working on. You really don’t need her odd way of speaking atop everything else.

“I’m sorry, Damara. But could we perhaps talk some other time? I’m honestly not feeling very up for company right now…” There’s a hand on your mouth all of a sudden and she’s glaring down at you.

“<Shut your stupid mouth, before I put it to actual use.>” You’re more confused than ever and she just keeps talking in her incomprehensible lowblood tone. You slip your hand under hers and push it away from your mouth, ignoring the way she scowls.

“Look. I’m not in the best of moods for your lowblood nonsense at the moment. There are a lot of things I’m dealing with that I don’t think you could understand, and I’m not in the best of moods for this right now. So if you could-” You’re cut off when her palm hits your cheek in a harsh slap. It’s more sound than sensation, but it’s enough that you’re dumbfounded into silence. The girl grabs you by the collar of your shirt and wrenches you upward onto your knees. Leaning down so her face is right in your own.

“<You think your problems are so terrible because of a breakup? You don’t know true misery by that cause. Your pathetic bitching and moaning is just pissing me off.>” She shoves you back and you hit the tree again.  It’s not that hard a push, but you’re still dazed slightly. Had you not been wearing your deSTRENGTHening gloves, at full power just in case you did something stupid in your post-double-breakup grief, you likely wouldn’t have felt the hit at all, let alone been moved by it. “<Maybe this will quiet you.>”

She suddenly has you by the hair and is shoving something down onto your head. You try to pull back, taken by surprise, but she still has you by your hoofbeasttail and you can’t move far without her yanking on it. When she at last lets you go, you see she has a rope in your hand, and there’s a snug feeling all around your head. As if she’s put something on you.

“Lowblood, I will ask again, what is the meaning of this? If you think-” She yanks on the rope and pulls you forward, making you fall on your face in the grass at her feet. You really wish you weren’t wearing your gloves at the moment.

“You are hoofbeast, are you not?” You’re surprised to hear her speak normal Beforan, if not grammatically incorrect and choppy Beforan, but Beforan nonetheless. “That is what you say? You are hoofbeast in man body?” She yanks the rope again, less hard this time, though. “Then you shut your mouth. Hoofbeast not flap face chute like you.”

Your teeth click together when you shut your mouth to her demand, and she smiles.

“Good. You act good hoofbeast. Now, stay on hands and knees. Like animal you are.” She begins pacing around you, looking you over. Sometimes brushing a hand over your back or your head. Once or twice you’re certain you felt her squeeze your ass.

It’s utterly degrading what she’s doing. She’s a lowblood. She is beneath you in every way, and yet here she is prancing around and giving you orders. And you are obeying her. You are acting the part of a tamed hoofbeast to a low, petty Burgundy.

And yet… it’s really not that bad? She hasn’t actually done anything too terrible since she forced you down to begin with. Her hands… actually feel sort of nice? Firm enough to the touch that you can feel the movement through your leather clothing. Her fingers are softer while they run through your thick black mane. She acts with all the confidence and poise of a proper hoofbeast handler.

You’re actually closing your eyes behind your goggles in the midst of all this. You should, by all rights, be humiliated, but you’re actually kind of enjoying this? You surprise even yourself when a STRONG purr sounds in your chest, rumbling gently in response to her touch.

That comes to an abrupt halt the moment you feel a sharp sting on your backside. You let out a yelp in response to the pain, her voice comes harshly again.

“You are hoofbeast! Hoofbeast not purr, right?” You turn your head, hearing her directly behind you, and you see the source of the pain. You see her holding a riding crop, which she’s patting one end in her palm. It’s not that strange, honestly; you have a faint recollection of her weapon of choice being whipkind before her switch to needles. But it’s more the fact that she has it, and that she’s using ot on you, that startles you. “Are you hoofbeast or no?”

You open your mouth to reply, ready to protest, but then you think of her earlier touches and strokes that were so relaxing. She remains silent while you ponder a response, though you can hear the leather of her crop gently ‘thwap'ing her hand. At last, you tilt your head and let out a soft nicker. She smiles, though you don’t know it, and she runs a hand along your back again.

“Good beast. You being very good.” She comes back around to your front, and strokes her finger through your hair again. Embarrassment is shoves to the very backmost corners of your mind while you lean into her fingers. She’s rubbing at your scalp just right through your hair and you don’t think you’ve felt this relaxed in a long time. No matter how humiliating this should be, you think you’re enjoying it. “Maybe deserve treat. You hoofbeast like nice, red apple?”

There’s a rustling of fabric while she’s petting you, but soon enough you feel her tilting your head up, and to your shock you see her skirt is raised up, no sign of panties in sight. Her bulge, a lowly, loathsome Burgundy red, is fully emerged from its sheath. Shining with a faint layer of pre-material and waving right in front of your face.

“You want bright, shiny apple for good hoofbeast?” The tip flicks out and twitches across your lips. It takes all you have not to shiver, lest she feel it with her hand still on your head. “Go on. Put in mouth. But you bite, I go.” Her warning is mangled as the rest of her speech, but clear enough for what you need. You swallow dryly, looking at the appendage waving eagerly in front of you.

“I-” She grabs your hoofbeast tail harshly, and glares down at you, eyes narrowed.

“You take 'treat’ in mouth, hoofbest. Or I go. Easy.” She shoves your head back down to eye level with the thing, and you feel a shudder run over you. This is so ridiculously lewd. Yet… so oddly compelling. Completely dominated by someone of a lower caste, the lowest if you didn’t count the off-spectrum mutant.

You can feel the sweat dripping down your brow already. Damara clears her throat, but already you’re leaning forward.

You take her bulge into your mouth carefully, so as not to scrape it too hard with your teeth. It’s not too much to take down, but it’s so hot in your mouth. Lowbloods are always so lewdly warm. Her hands are in your hair again and already she’s rocking her hips against your face. One hand runs through your mane and the other grips a horn, trying to move you to a rhythm she pleases. You do what she wants as carefully as you can, trying to make hoofbeast sounds that vibrate around her bulge while your tongue runs against the so-twitchy appendage.

You can tell how excited she’s getting, and how close she is, by the pulse you can feel from her bulge in your mouth. A steady, heated throb that grows steadily faster the more time passes, the more her hips are grinding into your face, the more incomprehensible East Beforan falls from her lips.

When she finally spills her slurry, she doesn’t even bother pulling out. You have no choice but to hold it out and swallow it down. No doubt that lowest of blood shade is now in your body, as odd as it may be to think. She finally pulls out once she’s finished making you swallow her slurry, and picks up the rope attached to the halter she’d put on your head earlier. You’re… oddly not angry at her. It wasn’t so bad, honestly. Perhaps an 'unusual’ treat, but boy do her hands feel nice on you.

“<Good horse man. Maybe next time we’ll see just how good of a 'ride’ you are.>”

Chapter Text

By all logical accounts, you should be dead. You should be nothing but the washed away stain from the end of a culling fork, body rotting in some corner of the wilderness being torn apart by animals or floating and decomposing until fish come along and do the same job. You're a mutant freak that doesn't belong in this or any universe.

And yet here you sit. And not only are you not dead, you're comfortable. In the fucking lap of the Empress. When you had been dragged in along with your like-blooded mutant, you were certain she was going to destroy you both on sight. However, when her claws were tracing along your face and you sat terrified of her and the idea that she was pondering which of your mutant-colored eyeballs to yank out first, she had smiled. Not even deadly or threatening. Just a bright, pleased grin that spread over her whole face.

Oh you and me are gonna have some good times, buoy.”

Surprisingly... you actually do?

Not that you aren't absolutely fucking terrified for a good while after, but, she never actually does anything to you? She puts a collar on your neck, but there's no branding, no marks, no anything. The most she does is keep the collar on you and drag you along by a leash, red like your collar. Sometimes she'll actually carry you. Just sweep you up off the floor with one arm and haul you along like you weigh no more than a bouquet of hideously red flowers.

She dresses you up, all in shades of your red and her fuschia. You're given food that you never imagined you would ever get to see or smell, let alone taste. You stay well and truly terrified of her for a good while. But then... you sort of stop? She never stops being dangerous, and you know how easily she could still kill you if she ever changed her mind about refraining from enacting violence upon your person.

You're pretty sure you know well enough there's no chance of escaping from )(er Imperious Condescension even if you wanted to. She has your life on the line, but there are no real threats to you. She's told the guards explicitly, after one unfortunate incident where a blue blood picked you up by the front of your new silky shirt. The screams from him still sometimes echo through your nightmares from her 'punishment' for almost damaging one of her favorite toys.

Maybe you are just a toy to her, because she plays you like a four string instrument bow instrument and you go right along with it.

She brings you along to meetings, you sit quiet and still in her lap no matter how much you want to snap at some of the staring highbloods sometimes. She gives you clothes, you wear them. She tells a joke, you laugh. She shows you off, you stand tall as you can and be something to show off. She wants a flush kiss to the lips, you make it the flushest you can. She says jump, you ask how fucking high.

This is a life of ease and luxury the likes of which you have never known. No danger of culling, of being found out, no more fear of keeping your blood hidden. Perverse as it may be to think, being her prisoner has made you feel more free than you've ever felt in your whole life.

No matter how much you miss your friends, who likely you'll never be seeing again, she's always there, reminding you that she's all you will ever need and that you'd just better get used to it.

You can make yourself not mind, even if it's a bit difficult at first. She's always around, and she treats you well. She doesn't threaten you and you live in luxury thanks to her. It's good to be flushed for her, just as she says. You're so lucky, luckier than you've ever been in your whole miserable life.

At least, you're a hell of a lot happier than the other guy.

 

 

All things considered, you wish she had just killed you the moment she laid eyes on you.

You've seen all the signs of this before, and you refuse to fall for them hook, line, and sinker. Not like Karkat obviously has. Enamored by nice things and supposed 'safety'. You know what this is.

You've both been culled. Even if that's not what it's called on Alternia, that's what it is and you know it. Everything from the clothes in her color to the food she gives you. As if the fucking collar and leash weren't enough of a clue as to what's really going on.

She's locked you in this great luxurious room but you've refused to use pretty much all of it. You sleep in the corner on the floor with nothing but a a smear of sopor slime on your forehead, rather than the great slimy monstrocity she calls a recuperacoon. You don't even recall having any on Beforus, you don't know why you'd need it. But no reason to risk anything you suppose. There's not a single book anywhere, or writing utensils. All you have is yourself and your stewing thoughts in the soft carpet.

You eat as little as you can get away with, no telling what they'd do to your food, but you don't want to go through the unpleasant experience of being force-fed again So you have to comply and eat sometimes.

To be honest, you find it somewhat better the fact that she doesn't try to dress this up. Not like Beforus, when it was all sugar coated as benevolence and kindness. What you were on Beforus to your culler is what you are to the Alternian empress now. An object. A trophy. A little freak of nature to show off at dinner parties once she's had you properly dressed up and sedated so as not to cause a fuss. At least you have the dignity to do that, not like Karkat, the traitor, accepting all his precious coddling and his fake safety by obeying her. Neither of you are safe, not from her. He's no better than a living doll to her but he just can't see it. You don't even want to think of how many strange highbloods would have been putting their clammy touchstubs all over you while you're too insensible to take any real notice of your surroundings while you're forcefully wound down on whatever it is they gave you to keep you quiet in her lap all day.

At least those bouts are brief. She drugs you up, dresses and jewels you up, takes you out, then puts you back when she's done. That's as far as your forays to the outside go beyond the prison cell that is your room.

It's when she spends time with you in your room that you've come to despise the most.

She never has Karkat with her. It's always just you and her. When she shows you what she really thinks of you.

You do your best to fight back, but you're no match for a fully grown fuschia blood. She picks you up and pins you to walls as she pleases. She takes the fancy clothes and shreds them bit by bit. The only clothes you've really ever been comfortable in, she ruins as well, by making you wear them when she comes. You curse Karkat's ancestor for forever poisoning your leggings for the empress in memory.

You look more like him, she's murmured before as she locks the shackles into place on your wrists. The little shouty 'buoy' is softer, better to keep as a pet. But you are a spitting image of him . Perhaps that's why she get such a sick pleasure when she sets you by the chains on your shackles against the wall. A mockery of the torture that he had once endured.

She claims that she regrets having to do away with him. Had she her way, she would have had him captured by her secret guard, spirited away to her castle to be kept locked away from the world like the precious little gem he was. Such a rare, lovely red. So nicely complementary to her fuschia. He would have made a lovely crown jewel. But he was stupid, and he'd been culled.

But now, now she had the both of you. Karkat to kiss her all flush and pretty in public, and you to tear to pieces in the pitch of your luxurious prison. Shackled and held a mockery of the treasure she had really wanted so long ago. She didn't get her desire, but now she has two that may be just as good to her together.

She's glad that you're like him , she says. She always imagined how much fun it would be to break his hearty, resilient spirit until he was nothing more than a body. You are just stubborn enough that you hate her, rather than fear her. That when she wrenches up your chin and envelops your mouth in a kiss, you try to bite her back. Now she gets that chance. To try to break you down and tear you apart.

You tell her it will never happen.

She just grins, and slips a finger down under the edge of your leggings.

Give it time.”

 

Chapter Text

It all started out as a chat. Nothing more, nothing less.

Kankri was just in the midst of yet another one of his rule-breaking forays on the internet while his culler was away. He was in the midst of searching for some bit of information or another, if pressed he really wouldn't be able to recall just what it was. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the little chat client application tab that he had minimized begin to blink.

Someone was attempting to message him.

He pulled up the window to see who would be messaging him, but his brow furrowed when he saw their trolltag. It resounded some form of familiarity or other in him, but for the life of him he couldn't remember what or whom. Still, he was curious, and decided to try for the risk anyhow. He set his fingers to the keys to respond to the initial message.

 

AT: Hey, you're Kankri, right?

CG: … This is he. Can I ask who I'm speaking to? I don't think I know your tag.

AT: Oh, right. Sorry. I guess we didn't talk much when we first met. My name's Rufioh. Rufioh Nitram. I'm a friend of Meenah's. I think we've been part of group chats a few times?

 

That did sound somewhat familiar, thinking back. And the name 'Rufioh' wasn't all too unfamiliar, now that he saw it typed out.

 

CG: I see. Well, I apologize for my hesitance. Can I help you with something?

AT: Well, not really help, I guess? It's more of a... more of a question, really. I mean... you're culled, right?

 

His fingers lifted from the keys for a moment, mouth thinned. Well, maybe he should have expected these sort of question sooner or later, with half his friends being highbloods, and the rest assumedly able-bodied enough to make it on their own without a culler. Still, it sent a bit of a sting into him that was unavoidably heavy.

 

CG: … Yes. I am. Why?

AT: Oh, well, sorry if I offended you or anything. I mean, man, I really hope I'm not insulting you by asking this, but... what's it like? Being culled? Is it good? Bad? Do you like it?

 

Kankri couldn't help curling his fingers up to his palms, biting his lower lip between his teeth. He shot a look over his shoulder, as if expecting his culler to be right there, looking over his shoulder. She was not, of course. She would be out for another couple of hours at least. Still, his fingers trembled a bit as he slowly typed out a reply.

 

CG: It's... I don't really like it. My culler is pretty strict. She feeds me and takes care of me well, but she doesn't let me do a lot of things. I don't really go outside a lot without her, and she's really strict on mealtimes and bedtimes. And

 

He paused again, right before continuing the sentence. His mind was right on the subject of that 'and'. 'And' she put him through a quadrant he didn't want from her, that he absolutely hated and wished she would stop even though she didn't and probably never would. His breath caught in his throat, then was hissed out.

 

CG: Never mind, forget the last part.

AT: Wow. That, uh... that doesn't sound too good.

CG: Not really.

AT: So... you don't like being culled, then? That, uh... that's good to know.

CG: Why do you want to know, anyway? If you're worried about it, there's not much reason to. As long as you don't get badly hurt or lose your lusus at some point, the highbloods would have no reason to cull you. I'm culled because there wasn't a lusus who wanted me.

 

Because he was a mutant. Though he didn't want to have to spell that out in particular.

 

AT: Oh. Well, um... curious, mostly, I guess.

CG: Kind of an odd thing to be curious about.

AT: I mean... Hey, could you keep a secret? I know this is kind of sudden, but, if you really want to know...

CG: … If you wanted to tell me, sure. I could promise not to tell anyone.

AT: Oh, um, okay. Well, uh... You see, the reason I asked was... technically, I think I'm supposed to be culled. Should have been? Something.

CG: Should have been? Why weren't you, then? Why would you have needed to be culled? Are you unwell?

AT: No no, nothing like that. See, the thing is... I'm kind of a mutant.

 

Kankri felt his blood pusher thump. A mutant? Like him? More text appeared on the screen before he could even begin to respond.

 

AT: I've got these wings, you see. I think they might have missed me or something when I crawled out of the caverns? My lusus found me and took me away, and I've been hiding them for a long time. I know I probably should've been culled, but I've heard some things about culling that weren't so great. So I wanted to ask you. Since I saw something about you being called in some other chat. I felt kind of guilty sometimes about not being culled like I maybe should be, because of my mutation, sometimes, but I wanted to hear from someone firsthand how it really was. So, thanks for taking a load off my mind. I don't think I would have wanted that, sounds super strict and junk.

AT:... Are you still there? … Kankri?... Kankri?

CG:... Don't ever message me about this again, Rufioh. I mean it.

AT: Oh, man. I made you mad, didn't I? Jeez, I'm super sorry. I didn't mean to make you upset or anything.

CG: Just stop. Please. I have to go now.

AT: Kankri, wait!

CG: Goodbye.

 

He gripped his hands at his side as he clicked himself invisible on the chat client. His teeth were grinding just thinking about the conversation he'd just had.

He wanted to know because he was curious about being culled? What was that, a fascination? A passing notion to want to know what it was like to live under a highblood's thumb? Why? If Rufioh did have a mutation, something so noticeable like wings, and managed to get out of being culled, why would he ever think that it was something he would want to have happen to him?!

And being so nonchalant about it? As if someone would ever willingly walk into the sort of life Kankri absolutely loathed!

He clutched his hand at his chest, feeling his blood-pusher beating hot under the skin. Just thinking about the conversation he'd just left was making him furious . Still, he sat there, breathing in and out, trying to calm himself down. His culler would be home soon, take things one step at a time. First erase all traces in his chat history that he'd talked to anyone while they were away, turn off the husktop and put it back at the charger where it was before. Then go up to his respite block and try to breathe easy. Couldn't appear agitated when his culler returned.

He just couldn't help it, though. Every time he thought of that bronze-colored text, surely the same as the troll with normal blood but still a mutation to his name, it just got his blood pusher racing again with that dark, burning feeling. He was just so angry , but he didn't know why.

After perhaps half an hour of lying there, he heard his name being called, but finally felt he was calm enough to greet his culler. With a sigh, he pushed himself up from the bed, and made his way downstairs.

Knowing that, even if he couldn't quite place the reason for all the anger he was feeling from their talk, if he ever met this Rufioh Nitram in person, first thing he was going to do was punch him in the face.

 

Chapter Text

Things start the way they always do. A petty argument, which leads up to a loud fight, which leads to a blow being thrown, then more. Until eventually the two of them are at each other's throats. Quite literally sometimes. It's always a challenge to see who can make the first bite. Usually one of them catches the others' lips before the bite can be made, intercepting teeth with their own.

However, teeth find flesh sooner or later, and that's when it really begins.

This time, it was Meenah who won over things first. Usually she did, unless her candy-blooded spade found some way to trick her or weasel his way to a victory. But no, this time, she shoved him up against a wall. Fuschia blood strength always had its advantages, this time was no exception. He gasped when his back hit the flat, vertical surface; just enough of a pause from shock for her to lunge in, sinking her teeth into him.

Meenah dug in deep, tasting blood and surely leaving strings of marks which would stay on him for a long while to come. She liked him better this way, honestly. When he was gasping and moaning, he couldn't harp – carp – on and on as he usually did. It was no small feeling of victory, knowing she could shut him up as she did.

Kankri, of course, wasn't one to run out of fight after just one shock; no matter how he shivered feeling her scrape her shark-like teeth over and around his neck. Spreading his own blood in thin, red lines over his skin. His hands slid up under the back of her shirt, claws dragging up her back. Surely leaving welts and, if he was lucky, drawing blood in turn. She wouldn't show weakness as he did with his shivering, but there was no mistaking the fuschia flush in her face.

You ah!… You're being... oddly gentle, Meenah,” he managed to mumble through gritted teeth. “Feels like... maybe you're not into it today.”

You shoallin' me weak, Vantas?” she growled into his collarbone, delivering a sharp nip to his person that made his flush more pronounced. “I think you're talking bullship.” One hand dug into the red of his ever-hated sweater, pulling his face closer to hers, her other hand slid up under the wool garment and played with the waist of his ridiculously high leggings. His own hands were dangerously close to unhooking her bra.

I think...” He breathed, leaning in until their foreheads butted. “... that your flush is showing.”

The seadweller's eyes widened only momentarily, before they narrowed and she slammed him against the wall, harder this time. A knee between his legs pinned him there, letting her claws shred into his clothing without him being able to resist. He forced his head toward her and their lips met again. Blood was in each other's mouths and it drove them both wild.

Meenah took a glance out of the side of her eye, and caught sight of his platform there. She smirked into the kiss before deepening it. Drawing his tongue into her mouth and holding it between her teeth so she could lick and suck at it appealingly. She waited until she was sure he had his eyes closed, when they were so deep into the kiss. Before she smirked and bit down suddenly on his tongue.

In the moment he pulled back in pain, she grabbed him by what remained of his clothes and threw him face-first onto the bed. She was on him again before he could so much as move. Her clothes dropped carelessly to the floor and her hand at his back shoved him firmly down. Already her bulge was emerging from the sight of her kismesis. Held down and at her mercy. Just as she liked him.

You... are a complete... bitch,” he managed to pant, still breathless from the kiss.

Yeah.” She lined her many-tendriled bulge up against his nook while her claws dug into his thigh. “I know.”

She pushed three at once into him without warning, and relished in the high-pitched squeals that got out of him. She bit into the back of his neck to keep him still. He froze up under the pain and the threat. Just long enough for her to slip several more of the fuschia slivers into him. She peppered his neck and shoulders with more and more bites, slipping in two or three more into his nook with each one. Until at last she was all the way inside of him. It amazed her sometimes, the fact that his nook could be spread so wide as to accommodate all of her. But that never stopped her for long.

She could hear, and almost feel, the movements of his bulge when it came out. The slimy, red appendage slapped wetly up against his stomach and in between his thighs. Trying to find a nook as cold and smooth as the bulge which had been inserted into his hot, welcoming nook.

Smirking, she grabbed hold of his wayward bulge, and whispered coarsely into his ear.

Aw, what's the matter, guppy? You thought you were gonna get to put that disgusting thing in me?” Her laugh came hard and harsh, and he could only growl in reply as her palm ran along it with a harsh squeeze. “Buoy, you almost ain't even worthy to take my royal bonebulge.” She smirked, making said bulge writhe in him just to emphasize her point. “You just count,” she pushed in, “your lucky starfish,” and again, “that you got a nook that's hotter than and oven and tighter than a vice. Hot, needy mutant you are.”

She thrust her hips forward as hard as she could, dangerously close to digging in with his bulge with how hard she was gripping it. He was hot and tight inside, but he just kept on taking in the many tendrils of her bulge no problem. They thrashed against his shameglobes, drawing out the shameless shrieks of pleasure she loved hearing from him.

Her free hand had been resting on the bed, but she let it wander over his body now he had himself braced up on his elbows. She scraped her claws over his chest and his abdomen, soft and smooth in comparison to the slimy, writhing thing she held in her other hand. His nook suddenly spasmed as she pressed in just a bit far, Meenah braced herself into him, accidentaly digging into his grubscars.

Suddenly he cried out, sharp and pained, and she took pause from their heated intimacy.

She realized with a grimace what had happened, and quickly extracted her fingers from the sensitive grubscars she'd injured. He wasn't growling and hissing now, it was only the sharp, stinging cries of surrender. A deeply-set emergency cry for when pain had gone too far to be black anymore. The species-ingrained signal for when a kismesis had taken things too far past the threshhold.

She stared at Kankri's trembling back, taking in the pained shivers as he recovered from the sudden injury. Great, there went that mood ruined. But she didn't want to give this up yet.

Maybe... just maybe...

Her mouth set over the back of his neck again, but this time, instead of biting down again, she ran her tongue over the old injuries. He made a sound of confusion, which slowly melted into a low, thrumming moan deep in his chest.

The transition between colors went smoothly, as they usually did. It wasn't unusual things happened this way. She took it too far, she tried to make it up.

She stopped trying to ravage his still hot, dripping nook with the many pieces of her bulge. Rather, she stroked him back into their precious actions. Her much-experienced fuschia tendrils caressed along his inner walls, fondling and stroking at his shameglobes, while still others pressed entreatingly at the still-sensitive flesh of his seedflap. Coaxing him back along to where they had been before the shift. Her strokes along his bulge were smoother, too; playing along the subtle ridges of it, and even trailing all the way down to the base to play with the tender spot between his nook and bulge.

Between the newly sweeter ministrations of her bulge, and the trail of open-mouth kisses she left along the injuries she herself had caused, it wasn't long before he was hazy eyes and vocal in a different way altogether. His once growls became mewls and his hips now trying to grind pleadingly against her, instead of forcefully slamming back towards her. All while his claws tore holes in the sheets that he was kneading beneath himself.

He found his release loudly, gripping the sheets and crying out her name, spilling red material between his thighs and onto the platform. Meenah kept stroking him through it all the time, drawing it out as long as she could before he finally collapsed forward on the bed. His lower half only supported up by the heiress's hands still keeping him in place.

How'd you like that then, Vantas?” she purred, leaning over to run her tongue over his shoulder again. He rumbled gently into the sheets, face flushed with pleasure still and his eyes hazy with release. “Good... Now you get to help me out.”

He barely had time to attempt to turn his head before he let out a sharp squeak as she suddenly slammed into him again. He was still sharply oversensitive, even with the earlier pain soothed away. Meenah took no mind of that, though. She tightened her grip on his bulge again and continued up her earlier thrusting, relishing the increase in lubrication inside of him that let her slide more freely and smoothly than before. Kankri growled weakly in protest, still so oversensitive that pleasure and pain conflicted in his senses.

With no warning, Meenah came herself. It was with one last push that she buried the many parts of her bulge as deep as she could go, and released a wave of fuschia material into his nook. The sheer force of his seedflap opening urged another, smaller spurt of geneslime from Kankri, though it was more reflex than pure pleasure.

It was only when all her material had been released, and Kankri's seedflap had sealed tight again, that Meenah finally pulled out. She pushed her mutant spade forward so he collapsed fully on the bed, still panting and curled around the new lump in his abdomen where their material was mixing inside of him.

M-Meenah, please...” He begged aloud for her to help him while he himself could still barely move. She did get up, in a few minutes, and pulled out a bucket. Keep him waiting a bit. Couldn't be too kind to him.

Or so she thought to herself, as she was soon running her fingers along his nook walls in order to trigger him to let go of their mix He gasped and whined even with the bare pads of her fingers just barely touching him. It was enough, though. Soon enough she found the spot, and she kept on petting his back as their combined slurry emptied out of him and into the bucket.

She could deal with that later, though. For now, she just flopped onto the bed beside him, lying back as she let out a big sigh. She glanced over to Kankri, who just managed a glare.

... You did that on purpose,” he hissed.

Did what? I don't think I whale know what you're talkin aboat, Vantas,” she smirked tiredly. He shifted closer until his face was near hers. Somehow he still found the energy to glare at her.

You know what. You wanted me to spill first, just so you could have at me while I was weak.”

And so what?” She put one arm under her head, the other curling over him and pulling him closer. “Can't say you didn't enjoy it, guppy.”

He growled at her tiredly. She just smirked back and pulled in closer. Their kiss met halfway, pressing hard but not really trying to be forceful.

... I hate you,” he muttered at her as his eyelids drooped closed. The seadweller heiress side-eyed him. Then she just chuckled as she tucked up close to him.

Whatever you say, Vantas.”

 

Chapter Text

Against all advice from the doctor, you're trying to hobble your way through the hive, away from your culler's study block. It's been too soon since your last examination, your feet are still severely raw and sensitive, even after all the numbing and pain medication you had been given afterwards. You feel pain with every step, but you're determined to make it back in time.

Your culler should be returning with her matesprit and kismesis at any time now, with a few others. Some sort of informal gathering between each other's quadrant mates. Knowing you wouldn't be able to use your husktop anytime in the evening, you performed your usual routine of sneaking to your culler's study and using your husktop there, so as to use it for a short time before you had to log off.

You could easily make it back to the couch faster if you crawled instead of walked, but no matter what, you're absolutely determined to retain your dignity. Even if it means putting yourself at risk, after your culler had set you on the couch with a wiggler's book and the instructions 'don't move' before she had left.

In fact, you barely manage to topple back onto the couch with a sigh of relief when you hear the front door lock sounding. You snatch up the book and flip it open to a random page as you pull your feet up to your side, trying to make yourself look as settled in as possible. Only realizing just moments before the door opens that the book is upside down; you're thankfully able to flip it the right way round just in time before the door opens.

“Welcome, everyone. Make yourselves at home.” In moments you have your face buried in the book, appearing as focused as if you had been reading for as long as she'd been gone. “Ah, Kankri. There you are, dear. How lovely that you're down here just as company's calling.” She spoke as if she were surprised. If anything, you know she believes that you're unable to move far without her aid (not without your trying to make her believe that, of course). So even so, such an act of surprise was an obvious farce to you. Especially with how hard it would be for you to traverse the stairs on your own.

She enters the room in a graceful rustle of her wide, thick, polka-dotted skirts. Her small group of guests trailing behind her. Ah, there's the kismesis and the matesprit, and a few others you can faintly recognize, probably the other quadrants of the first two.

Your culler smiles her soft, warm smile at you (the one that makes your stomach churn with its overfamiliarity).

“Kankri, dear. Why don't you come over here and greet our guests? I'm certain it would make them happy.”

You hide a grimace behind your book. Your feet are still throbbing from the rushed trip back to the couch, but you don't want to show weakness in front of her. You take a deep breath to push down the unease in your gut, and you take a stand, making your way over to her and her guests.

You feel needles and pain with every step you take, even with the cushioned inside of your shoes helping against it.

You at last make it to the guests, wobbly on your feet and feeling like you're ready to cry from the pain in every step. You just want to sit back down, but you can't show weakness now. Instead, you balance yourself out unsteadily, and make an awkward half bow in their direction.

“It's lovely to have you all here.” You stand, but a bit too quickly, and you topple forward a bit. Thankfully (though not really) your culler is there, and catches you easily in her arms.

“Clumsy thing, isn't he,” she jokes to her companions. “But I've taught him well, haven't I?”

“Oh yes, he's just adorable~ And so polite~” the blue blooded matesprit is coming over, he takes your face in his hands and pinches at your cheeks. “My neighbor Eerlem has a cullee of his own, and gracious you can just hear the little thing go on and on. Your little Kankri here is so much more polite and well learned. You've taught him very well.”

You flatter me, dear, truly you do.” Your matesprit leans over you, pressing a hand over her matesprit's so that his hand is pressed into your face more firmly, so she can give him a peck on the lips. You squirm uneasily, both from the excessive touch and from the fact that you're still being made to stand. You're honestly beginning to feel a bit sick.

You catch a glimpse of movement from the corner of your eye, and you see it's your culler's kismesis. A cerulean woman, hair cropped so short it hardly grazed past her upper jawline. You can't exactly make a pained or pleading face, but she looks you over nonetheless.

...Those are new shoes, kid?” You're a bit surprised that she's talking to you directly, but you nod. “Look nice. Hey, why don't you take the kid over to the communal block? I want to take a look at them but he looks like he's about to topple over here.”

Ah, excellent idea. Yes I just got him them a couple of nights ago. You wish you could have something so lovely, don't you?” As usual, the kismesis rolls her eyes, letting out a breath.

Yeah, sure. Why not?”

To your relief (though you don't like it) your culler finally picks you up off the floor. You're half cradled in one big, strong arm, and you're carried to the couch like a wiggler. You're unhappy that she takes your book away in the same breath as she sets you down, but at least now you're off your feet. You manage to slip a finger into the back of the tiny shoe and rub at the side of your foot for some comfort. The kismesis comes and sits at the side of the couch next to you, boxing you in at the corner. She holds out her hand, and you realize what she wants.

Unwillingly slowly, you move yourself so that your feet can rest in her lap, and she ghosts her fingers over the shoes.

They're nice, but... very small,” she mutters. “Were his feet just recently treated?” Of course she's not talking to you. Your culler answers over you even if she were.

Why yes. Just yesterday. They finally managed to bind his feet one whole size smaller. Don't they just look adorable? So tiny. I've been saving those shoes just until he got down to that size~” She seems proud, but the kismesis only frowns.

... Bit soon for him to be wearing shoes, then, isn't it?” She raises her eyebrow at your culler, but the expression, and words, are waved off.

Oh, that's just a suggestion, you know that. It's perfectly fine to wear shoes the day after, it's what the doctor says. You're always such a needless worrywart.” The kismesis frowns at the jab, but says nothing. She spends another few minutes examining the details of the shoes, thankfully just the shoes, not touching your leg or anything.

Eventually, though, the matesprit decides he's done enough waiting around, and he hauls you over her to sit between them, where you're no longer tucked into your couch corner. He, on the other hand, prods you all over, pointing out your clothes and your shoes and your hair, even prying open your mouth to take a look at the braces that are supposed to be fixing your 'unbecoming' overbite. You hate it, but you stay still. Knowing what will come if you try to squirm too much. So you have to let it happen, even though you'd much rather be soaking your aching feet in numbing ice water in your dark, quiet room.

You just know this is going to be another long visit.

 

Chapter Text

You don't know what to do. You don't know what to do and you are absolutely not handling this well in the slightest.

You don't even know how this ended up happening. You hardly paid any attention to Aranea in your group chats before the game. But now that you've met her in person, and you've gotten to know her and her way: a chatterbox, always willing to share out any information she knows, bright eyed and just so eager to have anyone listen...

You felt a kindred spirit in her, perhaps. Having so much to share and no one to share it with. You felt a bit sorry for her, possibly. That she seemed to be ever so slightly disheartened between her bouts of enthusiasm and vigor to share her gathered knowledge.

Then, one day, as you're pondering how she makes you feel all these things, it hits you like a speeding eighteen wheel vehicle full of bricks.

You're pitying her.

No, even worse than that.

You're pale for her.

Needless to say, given this revelation, you take only the most logical next course of action.

You go out of your way to avoid her at all costs.

You don't even know how this even happened to you. Latula was the only person you'd ever honestly considered for a quadrant, and that was always in flushed. You only ever saw Aranea as a friend, and that was it. You only kept an eye on her because you kept an eye on all the highbloods from your group for ( safety ) organization.

So what if you two had plenty in common? And she actually responded to a lot of the chats and group memos you wrote up. So what? You shouldn't feel bad about whenever she looks down, or how she looks when you see someone walk away from her. Because you don't .

Besides, even if you ever did want to start up... that sort of a relationship with her... just the mere thought of it makes your skin crawl with unease and discomfort of all varieties.

Being pale means you'd talk to each other, which you could handle, that's easy enough. But being moirails went so much further than that. It meant you'd have to hold her hand, cuddle up close... papping would happen sometimes. Close, intimate touch that just bordered away from the red quadrant for comfort. Using the submission reflex when each other got too upset ( no no please not again ), making piles to lay in for feelings jams ( not again never again ). Knowing all of each other's weaknesses to best ( control ) comfort...

And it's not even the awful idea of all the pale tuching that you would have to endure for that sort of quadrant.

She's a highblood . Not too high, not much higher than Latula. Nowhere near the heiress, below oh so high and mighty Zahhak ( thank god not on the level of Makara ). You know how highbloods are. Always looking down on a mutant like you. Everyone does, even Damara and Rufioh, even Porrim ( the one non-highblood you can't stand ).

It would start off pale, but you know. You know how it would turn out in the end. Even if things started off fine, she'd look down on you eventually. She must know that she's higher than you on the spectrum ( anyone is ). She might decide pale isn't what you need, even if it's what she needs ( they always know better ). Then the next thing you know, you'd be culled, even possibly with the pale still happening.

And then, the thought that she could make you do that, even if you didn't want it. Just by the will of her mind...

It's better that you stay away. It wouldn't work out anyway, probably. It's ( safer ) better this way.

You keep an eye on her, of course. As you do all the highbloods. You notice little things about her and how she acts. But you ( can never ) don't ever act on your feelings.

Which is why, whenever you see her too close, or if she looks your way too long, you vacate yourself and head off the scene as quickly as you can.

Hoping with all your might that she doesn't have her empath abilities focused on you. So that she can never feel your feelings.

Or your fear.

 

Chapter Text

Ironically, Kankri never saw it coming when he died.

He had followed his Dersite companion, Jack Noir, far, far out into the further reaches of his planet. The Carapacian had told him that he knew of a way to make him stronger, to help him in their session. It was the only way he could help him achieve it, since Kankri was neither a Derse Dreamer nor had awakened his Dream Self.

When they came to the site, Kankri had honestly expected a bit more than just a dark maroon slab with a bright red slash of blood (like his own) stamped dead in the middle of it.

“... Are you certain this is it, Jack?” The Crarapacian sighed in his gravelly tones and pointed sharply at the slab (sharply in more than one way, considering his knife).

“Yes, kid. This here's it. This is what'll get you closer to overthrowing the Black Queen.”

“That's all I have to do, then? Just... crawl on that and fall asleep? And I'll just wake up with powers just like that?”

“Easy as you please, kid.” Kankri stared at the stone with some trepidation, but eventually climbed on top of it. He laid himself rather uncomfortably on his back, considering the surface of the thing. To his benefit, he was dead tired. Besides the long trek to get out here, back with the others, people weren't listening to him as he tried to lead, and Meenah and so many others were causing havoc. It just wasn't working how he hoped it would.

He glanced to the side, seeing Jack standing there. Watching him expectantly. Jack seemed to realize he was being stared at, because he looked down at the troll suddenly.

“What? You got stage fright or something? Look kid, if it bothers you that much, I can look away if you don't want me watching you sleep, if you need it, you pansy.”

“No, it's not that,” Kankri replied quickly. “It's just... Are you going to stay here? While I sleep, I mean.” They hadn't seen any monsters for a while, but despite the other's coarseness (and his few attempts at stabbing him) he felt that he and Jack... got along in a way. He felt comfortable around the man.

“... Yeah, sure kid. I'll stay here.” Kankri gave him a tired smile, and closed his eyes as he shifted again.

“Thank you... I appreciate it.” It took a while longer for him to actually fall asleep on the uncomfortable surface, but he ended up dead asleep on his back. Drifted off into whatsoever his dreams held for him. The next time he knew of anything, he would be standing above a land in a haze of luminous red with new life coursing through him.

He would never even felt it when Jack's knife was plunged into his heart.

Kankri stood breathless as he stared down at his hands. Trembling even though he felt so strong. It was... an overwhelming sense of power. Something he felt he knew but couldn't describe.

Jack walked up to him, the knife he'd used to kill the young god now standing before him already sheathed and hidden in his coat.

How ya feelin, kid?”

It feels... incredible,” Kankri breathed, still hardly believing it. “It just feels... I don't feel like I'm not me, but it feels like I'm me but better. I don't...” For once, he could find no words. He, the troll his friends called a walking thesaurus when he got going. Who had a quip or anything to suit any situation. He was smiling, though. He felt so giddy it was dizzying. “I don't know what to say. This feels amazing, Jack. I feel like I could do anything! Like I could... like I could...”

He trailed off, his expression turning to one of confusion rather than excitement. Jack narrowed his eyes, unsure of what to make of his change in expression.

Hey kid, you okay?”

Before he could continue his query, Kankri's face shifted from confusion to complete, utter fear.

No... No no no! This can't- No! No, this can't-! This isn't happening! This isn't happening!” His breathing kicked up to hyperventilating now, all of his being shaking with panic. “Latula! Mituna! Peixes! No! It can't- please no don't let them! No no no!”

Kid! Snap out of it for god's sakes!” Jack took hold of the boy by both shoulders, trying to shake sense back into him. But the way Kankri's eyes were so blown out, he looked as though he couldn't even see him. Let alone feel him. “Kid!” Jack was just considering stabbing him once, to get him back into focus on... whatever was happening to him. When suddenly, it just stopped.

His face fell from fear to shock, and he just stood there, silent. Still breathing heavily as red-tinted tears dripped down his gray skin. Jack stared at him uncertainly, moving one hand over his knife pocket just in case.

Uh, kid. You in there? Mind tellin me what the hell just happened?”

... We're not going to make it,” Kankri whispered softly. “There's not enough time, we're not going to be able to do everything. We're going to lose unless-!... Unless...” Jack took his other hand off of the young troll, watching him still.

... Unless what?” He finally asked impatiently. Kankri's face suddenly hardened, and he clenched his hands at his sides.

... Unless I can buy more time.”

 

A Parcel Mistress wandered her usual route, delivering packages and letters across the lands and kingdoms for the sake of her hallowed duties towards the mail. She was determined to do her job and do it properly for goodness' sakes. The mail is the cornerstone of modern society.

It was on one such run, across one of the many planets which made up the ring of the twelve, that she came across the Seer.

She had just finished picking up a letter from one of the red planet's many inhabitants when she was given a fright. Before her, standing next to an outcropping of jagged, black stone, stood a figure draped in attire which matched the land. She started and jumped back, uncertain of what he wanted. However, all he did was turn his head, and pointed to his right. Down a long, jagged, black stone path. The Parcel Mistress stared down the way he pointed, then looked back to him. But, to her surprise, he was already gone.

She was incredibly spooked by what had just happened, but somehow, felt a strange sense of compelling to follow the silent instructions. So, even with the packages that needed delivering in her sling, she went along that path that he pointed out. Avoiding the cracks and the flowing blood that made great rivers, lakes, and oceans across the planet.

She knew right away when she reached where she was meant to be going.

Before her, a Wounded Voltigeur lay. Too injured and exhausted to even tend to his own injuries. After receiving grievous injury on the Battlefield, he was made to flee to have his wounds tended to. However, due to a horrible mix-up, he was deposited far, far from where he was meant to be. And had been left to his own devices.

Of course, the Parcel Mistress had no way of being able to know that all this had transpired (not until later at any rate). For now, she was simply faced with a wounded soldier from the enemy kingdom; who was helpless, wounded, and alone.

Even as an enemy, however, she couldn't bring herself to leave him. He was wounded and alone. So, with this determination in mind, she hauled him up over herself, and set out to find this stranger help.

It is in this way that this Parcel Mistress would come to meet an Authority Regulator. Who would be so inclined to doff his hat feverishly toward her had he not been immediately occupied with the matter of the Wounded Voltigeur she had found. As a Carapacian in service to the law, he could not stand by and let a citizen be so wounded. And thus he would set to work on him.

It is this meeting that would allow coming to pass that a Wounded Voltigeur would become a Warmhearted Valiant, a Parcel Mistress would become a Preeminent Militant, and an Authority Regulator would become an Armed Reconciler.

And how they would be the first in line to follow the many words of the red-cloaked seer.

The Draconian Dignitary would not know how to react when the player he tried to kill didn't stay dead. It was said that such things could happen, of course, but he wasn't accustomed to it actually happening right before him. He was far more accustomed to the things he killed staying dead. Not rising up from where they lay at his feet moments before.

This was not at all what he expected, after he'd been sent by the Black Queen to take care of the player who was seeming to mess with the movements of the troops. He did things with finesse, class, style. Clean and efficient and smooth.

None of these things happen when someone you kill stands right back up and looks you in the eye.

He was admittedly unnerved, but didn't show it, of course. He just stared right back into the face of the one who should be dead. Until the one he knew as fellow agent, Jack Noir, stepped in.

The situation was explained, and the one he came to know to be the Seer spoke to him.

There were too many words for his liking, but an agreement would come to be found. He and his former and soon once again co-worker would shake hands, and he would shake with the Seer. No apologies would be said for his attempt to assassinate him, but it would be paid no mind.

And in this way he and his friend would be guided by the Seer to bring into their fold a Courtyard Droll and a Hegemonic Brute.

And they would become a Crew.

A Parcel Mistress, not yet a Preeminent Militant, holds in her grasp a letter. A correspondence from her own queen to the queen of the enemy. Though she was far less inclined to call them such since meeting her two close compatriots.

In the envelope, as she was well aware, was a letter whose message was one of peace and parley. Her queen, under the guidance of a Seer, had written it to her Dersite counterpart with assurances it would be received. Though how it would be received was still unclear. Things tipped favorably for them.

The two queens were close once. Inseparable. But duty and country allowed for no friends. Not when the machinations of fate turned them against one another. It has been so long, though. The White Queen would recall no true reason for why their warring began. Simply that it was.

Though, with this new guidance, perhaps it did not have to be?

She wrote her letter in good faith that her old friend would take it and consider its' contents. And indeed, after dismissing the Parcel Mistress from her sight, the Black Queen would think over the letter long and hard. Considering her kingdom and her people and her husband. And her old friend who she had not seen in so long.

--

It was in this way that the Seer of Blood sought to lengthen the time he and his fellows had to complete their game. He went between the two kingdoms of light and darkness. Building bridges where he could, encouraging those who followed him to take in the defectors and those weary of the war, forging friendships which may never have come to pass without the circumstances that occurred.

In his attempts to unite the kingdoms, he found great success. In perigrees and months, the rage on the Battlefield grew quieter by the day. Until it became little more than a dull murmur of violence and stalemate. His followers among the Carapacians grew, and even those most opposed seemed to be taking it all in a different light.

However, in all of his machinations and his plans, the Seer forgot one important thing.

The players he was meant to be working alongside.

He was not present for their fights. Absent from their struggles and woes aside from his attending to memos and such in between his movements to rally the Dersite and Prospitian forces into unification.

And worst of all, in his success, he would let himself be blinded to the real truth.

His attempts could not last forever.

And it would be all to come to naught, when he would realize only too late that the future when meteors rained upon the Battlefield had come to pass.

By the time he could warn his compatriots, even get them to listen to him, their chances at victory over their session would be no more.

 

Chapter Text

“In any case, moving on from that particular subject, and the minefield of problematic elements it presents, perhaps we can move on and begin on the subject of-”

Karkat groaned internally, listening to his ancestor drone on and on about problematic this and trigger that. He was so sick of it. That was all this guy ever seemed to talk about. It completely astounded him how he could ever think he could be genetically similar to this troll; ancestor or dancesor or what the hell ever. The more he droned on and on, the more he felt the anger boil under his skin.

Looking back, he would probably say that the snap was inevitable in that situation.

Oh my human fucking GOD! Do you ever shut up?!” Kankri actually took a pause, but though his face seemed to remain neutral, his tone took on an annoyed edge to it.

Karkat, for shame. I would have hoped that you of all people would be able to understand such basic concepts as courtesy towards someone who is talking at- ahem. To you. That was incredibly inconsiderate of you. Not to mention potentially triggering towards someone who might-”

God, this is exactly what I'm talking about, you pompous, self-righteous piece of shit!” Karkat clenched his fingers close to his palms, teeth bared with all of his frustrations. “You just keep going on and on about your 'problematic' and 'trigger' garbage, but you never actually go anywhere! All it ends up is being one big circular, Mobious Doublefuckaround waste of everyone's time and all of this air that you dead people don't even need! You wanna complain about the 'problems' of your Beforus culling? Where I come from, being on Alternia means you died! Period! If I were back on my planet right now, and people knew my blood, I'd be dead on the ground with a culling fork through my chest before I could so much as beg for my pathetic, miserable life! What sort of slime-fucked, overly soft thing do you get on Beforus if you're culled. Like you said, you get coddled and pampered and taken care of by a highblood your whole life. And you think that's something to complain about?! Were you even culled when you were on Beforus?”

In that moment, Karkat could have sworn that his dancestor's face twitched slightly. It was just a momentary twinge, however, and it was gone in an instant.

... Yes, as a matter of fact. I was.” Kankri had gone strangely quiet. Not that his volume changed. His sentences were short and clipped. Not at all like the rambling he'd just been doing a moment ago.

Then please, like you seem to enjoy pretending to do to everyone else when you're wasting their time with your bullshit. Enlighten me. Just what the hell can you say is so bad about culling where you come from that makes it so much worse than fucking dying like our version?”

There was a long moment of silence, bordering slightly on uncomfortable, between the two. Before his sweater-clad dancestor finally spoke again. It was different this time. Slower. His words more carefully enunciated and chosen.

... That is to say, Karkat. Just because there are no... obviously negative elements such as death involved in culling on Beforus, that doesn't mean that it was free of any issues. You must understand that there are gravely serious issues that still plague the system. Such as the variety of reasons one could be culled, the spectrum of cullers versus the ability of lowbloods to care for themselves. The... The lack of consent when it comes to being culled, as there is often little choice left to those who are culled-”

Karkat listened as he started to drone on and on, thinking it was just going to be another ramble he'd have to put a stop to. But then something caught his ear and he hesitated.

Wait, back the fuck up. What was that?” The expression of discomfort on Kankri's face was more pronounced, showing through his attempted facade of stoic, dispassionate logic. “And don't even try to pretend you don't know what I mean, because I think you do.”

Ah, right. The, ah... the issue of imbalanced power dynamics, particularly those related to quadrants, when looking at the relationship between culler and cullee.”

Quadrants? I thought this culling shit was just supposed to be like a caretaking thing.” If there was anything Karkat knew he could claim himself an expert in, it was quadrants. “Why the hell would quadrants be involved?”

Well, Karkat, there often existed a commonly used dynamic in the plots of many Beforan media pieces, such as art and literature... which portrays a relationship, typically pale or red, between a culled troll and their culler. However... this often tends to take place between two consenting adults... the cullee typically being of sound enough mind and body to accept and reciprocate such a relationship properly, and does not delve into the problematic elements that may come with such a... a drastic power imbalance.” It would be impossible to miss, if one was watching him as Karkat was, the subtle way his dancestor was picking at the edge of his sweater, or how his mouth and eyes seemed to twitch involuntarily the longer he spoke. “Along with the causes for these imbalances such as the cullee being physically incapacitated, mentally unsound and thus unable to give proper return for such a relationship, or... or... on the lower end of a great age gap.” He coughed briefly, and seemed to consider going on. But, for once, his mouth shut with a sharp 'click' of teeth.

Karkat stared up at him for a while. One might have been surprised that there was silence where Kankri was, for once. But there were too many cogs turning in Karkat's head to consider that. He was far more busy pondering something else from what he'd said. For all his blathering, Kankri never did go very in depth on the actual subject of culling. And the idea of quadrants in such an arrangement was befuddling, to say the slightest. He was fully aware that some quadrants could turn nasty, especially if pure power came into play, when between a highblood and a lowblood.

... Did something like that happen to you?” There was no way to miss how his dancestor reacted. His whole body seemed to go rigid for a moment before he cleared his throat and looked away (Karkat could only tell he did because he actually turned his whole head, rather than just moving his white eyes that direction).

That is a very rude question to ask someone, Karkat. What if there were someone in the vicinity who could have been triggered by-”

Karkat tried to put a hand on his arm to made him stop, but all that earned him was a sharp, hard blow on the hand when Kankri violently slapped it away. Even his dancestor seemed shocked when he did it, and he immediately pulled back, stepping away from him.

... I believe I've made it clear that I don't like to be touched, Karkat. It can be... very triggering to some people...” His jaw was still set and tense and, god damn everything him and his soft blood-pusher, he felt a pang of platonic pity for the guy. This was obviously something he didn't want to talk about, and not just a big puff of hot air like his usual shit.

Alright, look, I get it. If you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to. Just... Just that. If you can't, I don't care. Just, whatever, okay?” He gave his dancestor a side-eyed look, then looked away as he crossed his arms. “But if you wanna... you can, okay? It can be pale, or not. Just... whatever.”

The two stood there in silence a long moment. Both seeming to consider one another in just a silent, thoughtful space of contemplation.

Well, as I was saying earlier-”

Don't fucking ruin it.”

 

Chapter Text

Karkat sat back in his seat and grumbled, rubbing his eyes as a way to relieve his stress. God this job could be exhausting sometimes. But at least it paid. Somewhat.

He was just taking a drink of water when his phone suddenly rang again. A grumble sent up through his throat and he set it down heavily; swallowing down what he had before picking it up and bringing it up to his mouth.

“Thank you for calling the Alternian Pale Crisis Hotline. My name's Karkat, how can I help you tonight?” He was greeted by heavy breathing on the other end, and immediately went on alert. In his experience, that sort of initial sound was a signal he was in for some very stressed out caller.

“H-hi. Uh... My-my name is Linnea. Uh... shit, I've never called a line like this before.”

“Hey, it's fine.” You weren't supposed to be this casual usually, but he didn't give a shit. He was going to do his job the way he knew how. “Just take it slow, and tell me why you're calling.”

“W-well I... I already said my name, didn't I? Well, I'm just- I just had my matesprit break up with me and- and fuck. I'm trying to keep calm but it was so sudden, man. He just broke up with me out of nowhere. And he broke up with me over a chat, man. A chat. And- fuck, I dunno. I just got so freaked out, and my moirail broke up with me, too, not long ago and-” there were some sounds of grunts on the other end, and Karkat was sitting upright in his chair already.

Hey! Hey! Shoosh! Listen to me, fucking listen. You're doing good already, alright? You're doing good. You didn't flip your shit. You saw you were getting upset and you called here. You're already doing great with that, alright?”

A-alright...” Some of the breathing calmed down, a bit less agitated, and Karkat let out a soft sigh.

Look...Linnea, right? What's your blood color?”

My... my blood? Well, I'm a blue blood. I know that's supposed to make me be violent and stuff but... I don't fucking know. Both of them said that me being too violent was the reason they were leaving, and fuck just listen to me talking. They're both right. Why were either of them with me in the first place?!”

Blue blood. Alright. Highbloods could be a bit more difficult than lowbloods, with natural violent predispositions. But he'd done it before. He could do it now.

Okay, Linnea, look here. You may be a violent person, but whether that's because of your blood or not, it doesn't matter. What's done is fucking done. Okay? Do you hear me?”

... Yeah. I do.”

Good.” He nodded, even though he knew Linnea wouldn't be able to hear him. “Then I want you to keep on hearing me. It was a shitty thing your matesprit did. Not leaving you, or leaving you after your moirail did. Because he had the right to do that, and the two events just don't have to correspond, alright? But, the way it was done was shitty, okay? And you didn't deserve that. Alright?”

Yeah... yeah alright.”

That's great. Now, what you're gonna do now is really fucking simple. When we finish talking here, you're going to hang up, and you're going to go distract yourself doing something you like. A hobby, something that just keeps your attention. Just whatever it is, make sure it's fun, and it's something that keeps you happy. But not worked up. If you start getting worked up, you're going to call the hotline again and ask them to direct you to me. I'll take you as soon as I'm free when you do. Sound good?”

Yes... Okay, okay. That sounds good... I feel a bit better now. I... I think I'm gonna hang up now, do what you said.”

Hey, I didn't mean right now. If you still need to talk-”

'No no, really. It's fine. I'm fine... I really do feel a lot better with this... I'm going to just do what you said now. Thank you, Karkat. Goodbye.”

Bye.” Karkat disconnected the call on his end of the line and sat back. Another crisis averted. All thanks to him. He'd probably have a bit until his next call, maybe he could take a break. But just be ready for whenever he got a call again.

An emergency moirail's work is never done.

 

Chapter Text

John groaned as he leaned back in his chair, bending backwards until his horntips nearly scraped the wall. The sound of frantically scratching pencil filled the air as the human in front of him was hunched over his notebook and scribbling furiously on his notepad.

“Come ooon. Are we almost done here?”

“Like hell we are, Egbert!” The loud, short-tempered human snapped. “We've hardly scratched the surface of all of this! A compartmented system of romance with different types of romance sectioned away into each one? It's a fucking fascinating concept!” John groaned again and leaned back his head until it almost looked like his glasses were going to slip off his face. “So, about this uh... this 'black' quadrant here? You said that one is for hating people? How does hating people work as romance?”

“Dude, I don't know? It's like... you find someone you don't like to talk to, like, you can't stand them, and you just kinda wanna punch them? So two people find each together like that and they kind of beat each other up? And kiss while they do it?”

“Uh huh...” Karkat scribbled more and John dug his knuckles into his cheek. “But you said that's one of the 'concupiscent' quadrants, right? So that one help you guys reproduce? How do you do that if you hate each other so much?”

“Maaan, I don't know,” John replied in exasperation. “I think the only reason anyone cared so much back on our planet was because the Empress told us we had to. I don't care about quadrants and junk. Why don't you ask Rose about it? She'd know it a lot better than I do.”

Because, you giant douche-sink,” the red-eyed human groused, “Rose is off doing something else right now, and you're the only one of your troll friends I could get to sit down for more than five minutes with this stuff.” He slapped his pencil and papers into his lap and crossed his arms. “Besides, you can't not care about them completely. You and Jade are those... whatever the hell you called them? The diamonds?”

Moirails,” John answered absently. “And the only reason I'm not out of here is because I'm tired and don't feel like standing up and walking.” Karkat didn't seem to hear him, however, because he was flipping through his notes again.

Moirails... Right. You said that one was a 'conciliatory' quadrant? I still don't get how that one translates into romance. You said you and Jade just sit around and talk about feelings and do stuff for each other, right? That just sounds like you're really close friends.” This time John sat up and leaned on his armrest. Albeit somewhat reluctantly.

No, it's more than that. It's like... your moirail is someone you really trust. Someone who you can talk about your problems with and who you know can pacify you if you get freaked out. I'm a Cerulean, so sometimes she'd help calm me down, and on our planet, I'd keep other highbloods off of her if she needed it. Plus it's like... sometimes moirails kiss and stuff? But Jade and I don't do that, really.”

Really?” Karkat was scribbling more furiously than ever to get all this new information down in his notes. “So a moirail is like... queerplatonic?”

Dude, I don't even know what that means,” John groaned. Human terminology was so confusing, no matter how sometimes it just sounded like ultra prissy sea dweller vernacular like Rose sometimes used to mess with them. “It's like... like you and Kanaya.” One of Karkat's eyebrows shot up nearly to his hairline.

Me and Kanaya?”

Yeah. You guys are pretty much moirails. You guys talk a lot, I think, and Rose said it seems like Kanaya likes taking care of you. Moirails.”

Karkat blinked a couple of times, letting out a soft breath that almost sounded like a quiet 'huh'.

Totally, Rose says she thinks you guys are totally pale for each other. I don't really care, but hey, she's the expert.”

Karkat was quiet a few more seconds, then made another nod.

Yeah, sounds about like it, I guess...”

John sat back in his chair. It seemed he'd managed the impossible. He'd gotten Karkat to be quiet...

Now, about this 'ashen' quadrant.”

Uuuuuuuuuuugh.

 

Chapter Text

“No. Not that bit... No, this won't work either...” Horuss narrowed his eyes down at the machine in his lap, fiddling with it carefully as he could. He was thankful for his de-STRENGTHening gloves existing. Otherwise this whole thing might be quite a bit more difficult.

Or, more difficult than it already was, at least. Who knew it would be so difficult to create a working translation device?

“Now, maybe if I just...” He carefully twisted the screwdriver, so tiny in his fingers, when suddenly the sweat on his fingers was just enough to make them too slick, and the tool went flying out of his hands.

“Oh, fiddlesticks!” he snapped in exasperation. He covered his mouth suddenly when he realized the unforgivable curse he had let slip. “Oh dear. How utterly unbecoming. I'm glad no one was about to hear that... utterly despicable bit of profanity.”

“Dude, you've got a tepid-ass notion of profanity.” The troll started with a small yelp and looked up from his device. There, at the edge of the clearing, the human with the pointed sunglasses was standing at ease. The screwdriver which had just been sent flying held in one hand. “Hell of a grip, though. If I were anyone else, you probably would've taken my eye out with this missile you just fired off.”

“Ah, one of the humans,” Horuss said by way of greeting. “Please forgive me. For both the unforgivable cursing and for the near injury.” He stood up from his spot on the ground and walked toward the human... What was his name? Horuss was certain he knew but couldn't quite place it. “I seem to have lost control of my tools when I was trying to work on this device of mine. I was a bit frustrated and I didn't realize anyone else was around.”

“Hey man, it's cool. No harm done.” The human held the tool out for Horuss to take, while eyeing the piece of tech in hand. “What's that you're holding there, anyway? Some sort of bastard mechanical spawn of BMO and G.L.A.D.O.S. that was left on your doorstep?”

“Hm? Ah, no. You see, human, this happens to be a translation device that I am currently in the process of creating.” He motioned to the device, with its open face and the machinery inside. “The only issue is, I'm having a bit of difficulty with its fabrication. Steam power and wiring do not often mix well without... careful balancing.”

“Wait, you're trying to build this thing to run on steam?” The pointy shades human quirked an eyebrow incredulously above his shades, and the tall troll nodded briefly.


“Why, yes. It has been difficult so far, but I do believe I am growing closer to being able to complete it.” He peered into it to stare at the wiring through his goggles. “If I can just figure out how to connect the language-programmed inner core with the microphone without having the wires needing to cross the steam vent. That could cause issues if too much condensation built up around the wires...”

Well have you tried rerouting them? Maybe something like along here?” The human pointed into the machine and motioned along the path he was visualizing. Horuss looked around, and it was like a lightbulb went off above his head.

You know what, I hadn't considered that. I'd need to reroute some of the other wiring and lengthen these wires to make it work, but I think I could pull it off.”

You could probably make it run smoother if you used a smaller capacitor. You could move some of that junk further away from the steam parts.” The human leaned back and shoved a hand in his pocket while pointing off behind him with his thumb. “I have some pretty high-power ones that are smaller if you wanted to wait for me to go grab one. You could give it a try and see how it works.”

That would be wonderful if you could.”

Great. I'll go grab it and be back in a flash.”

Excellent. Thank you kindly... um...” Horuss eyed the human tentatively. He felt he could call him something else, but didn't quite know how if he didn't know his name. The human held out a hand to him and nodded.

It's Dirk. Dirk Strider.” Horuss offered a smile, as had been suggested to him, and briefly shook the hand. Careful to make sure his gloves were on as he did so.

Horuss Zahhak.” The moment they let go, the human nodded again, and was suddenly gone. As Dirk flash-stepped away from the spot. Horuss watched the spot a minute, then began retrieving the necessary parts from his sylladex.

He seemed like a pleasant human. Perhaps after he'd given him the help he'd promised, Horuss would show him his mechanical horses as a way of showing his thanks.

 

Chapter Text

Going into heat is always a pain in the ass. It's as if sex becomes the only thing on the brain. All that seems to matter if that the bulge is touched and the nook filled. Nothing else is as important as fulfilling the primal urge to reproduce.

Which is why going into heat when it's unexpected is even worse. As Karkat was finding as he lay out on the concupiscent platform in his block. Everything felt too hot and too sensitive. His thick, heavy sweaters made him feel like he was suffocating, and event the light, plant-fluff t-shirt and boxers he'd chosen felt like it was too much. Pants were completely out of the question, what with how his bulge was already writhing desperately for friction in his boxers.

It didn't seem to matter how many times he finger-fucked his own nook, either. Any little spasms he could draw from himself, however few they were, felt like a faucet dripping drop by drop onto a roaring flame. It did nothing in the long run to assuage the burning, primal urging of his body. If he wanted to get through this, he'd either need to wait it out and hope he could masturbate enough to make it bearable, or call someone up who would pail him senseless to quench the heat.

To be honest, the latter option was starting to feel very tempting the longer this went on. He felt no worse, but it wouldn't ease up either. Just a dull, constant throb in his loins like a second heartbeat between his legs. Heavy and insistent, with no signs of letting up. Karkat groaned and dug his teeth into his pillow to muffle the noise of his frustration.

At least Crabdad wasn't in the hive to bother him. And he could moan out this need in peace.

Then there was a knock at his block door.

Karkat? Are you there?”

Fuck. Fuck fuck and fuck again. Fuck him with a gnarled tree monster's phallus straight up the waste chute. That was Rose. In all of the sudden frustration that came with his heat, he'd forgotten that Rose was supposed to be coming over. This was normally the time of the week that she would come over so they could share and review their mutual enjoyment of bad romance novels and either defend or bitch about them in equal measure. And he had forgotten all about it.

I was knocking at your door for five minutes. I know you're here, so I let myself in.” Why in the world did he give her that spare key? He was kicking himself for it mentally. Or, rather he would be, if his mind weren't flickering to... something else possibly...

Fuck, Lalonde, look, can we reschedule? I'm...” He tried to sit up and hissed slightly as the movement rubbed his bulge against fabric, sending shivers up his spine. “I'm kind of... dealing with something, right now?”

... What's wrong? Are you sick?” Wow. She actually managed to sound concerned without being snarky. Impressive. Or it would be, if he were able to focus on it. “Do you want me to help you with anything?”

Oh god, did he ever... He swore he could almost smell her from where he- Wait. When did he get to his door? No wonder he could nearly smell her, his nose was nearly pressed to the crack in the door and he was inhaling like he had just run a mile. The faintest waft of scent was coming through the edge of the door. Sweet, somewhat floral, but... with a sort of musk to it, too. It was that underlying musk that made his breath shudder most of all.

Karkat. If you want my help, you need to open up the door.” No-nonsense about it. Despite the flighty broad horseshittery occasionally, she did know how to get down to business.

Alright! Alright I- fuck. Fuck, give me a minute...” He was running half on hormones and instincts at that point. He'd been dealing with his heat for hours now and already it was driving him crazy. Maybe... if he could just get her to help him...

Karkat fumbled clumsily with the little lock on the door, until his fingers finally decided to obey him and he got it undone, and the door swung open to reveal Rose standing there. Straight posture, slightly curved horns, befinned ears, odd clothes and all.

A great number of things happened the moment he got his respite block door open. One, a wave of scent of another troll washed over him, a single inhale causing his lungs to tremble and his knees to weaken, though he couldn't know just how his pupils blew out in response as well. Then his nook took the scent as a cue to release a sudden fresh, hot gush of genetic material out; so much that it overtook his boxers and sent rivulets of candy red dripping down his thighs. And then there was Rose, who, the moment he saw her face, he swore he felt himself grow that much hotter. Especially when he saw how her own pupils narrowed themselves to slits. Almost predatory, and focused entirely on him.

While, to the two of them, this moment of mutual recognition and effect seemed to last minutes, it was, in reality, mere seconds of time.

It was after this moment had passed that Karkat suddenly found himself simultaneously being leapt upon so that he stumbled back into his room, and having a pair of cold lips shoved against his own. His heart thudded, but he couldn't even comprehend the idea of pushing back. He mimicked the thin, yet strong arms of hers which had clamped onto him so that his body was pressed firmly into hers, and wrapped his own arms around her upper back. Kissing her back the best he could as it seemed like she was trying to devour him right then and there. He accepted her tongue into his mouth eagerly, chirring and whining and placatingly trying to suck on the welcomed intrusion of the appendage.

He was being backed up, further and further towards his concupiscent platform while they messily tasted each other's mouths, until he was suddenly shoved onto his back and onto the platform. Rose planted her hands on either side of his body and stared down at him where he lay messily sprawled out amidst the sheets. Panting and glassy eyed while his bulge visibly squirmed in its fabric prison.

... You're in heat,” she managed to breathe. Her voice was somehow sultry and terrifying at the same time. Too velvety smooth and rich, unnervingly so. Not to mention how she was still staring down at him with her pupils so thin. Animalistic, ready to pounce him at any moment. It sent a shiver of fear and arousal through him at the same time.

Y-yeah... no shit,” he managed. God why was she just leaning over him, looking at him like that? Was she planning on eating him or fucking him? Not that either option sounded bad, at the moment... Unless the 'eating' option was in the literal sense. But he couldn't stop focusing on the metaphorical option that stuck out in his head. “And you're turned on, right? Anything more to state the-” She lunged forward and snapped at the air in front of his exposed throat, and he stiffened up into the bed, pressing back far as he could go while his body submissively seized up on him.

Oh god, what was he thinking? He was a lowblood, mutant blood nonetheless, in heat, actively antagonizing a sea dweller who was obviously not in quite her right mind. Hormones thick in the air and the scent of heat all around. Who knew what could happen.

“... Well. I suppose I can't just leave you like this, can I?” His eyes widened, he barely got the chance to open his mouth to ask if she was serious, when suddenly she was kissing him again. She was clawing at his shirt and boxers, shredding them in her claws with a fervor. But when he tried to reach up for her clothes, she growled warningly in her throat, and he instinctively stilled. What did she want, then? Not to reciprocate?

Whatever the case, he was relieved when his bulge was finally exposed to the air, and when her clothing dropped rather unceremoniously to the ground. He managed a glance down, and inhaled briefly at what he saw

Her bulge was a royal violet, as to be expected, but it was so odd looking. It was big, not in length so much as in circumference. And up and down the length, seemed to be spotted with pointed little nobule looking protrusions, aimed from the tip of her bulge with their ends facing towards the bulge. Even if he couldn't quite say why in his overheated state, seeing them gave him something of a shiver.

“Just relax, Karkat.” He was surprised she'd spoken again, but didn't have much chance to respond when she pressed her cool hands to his wrists and held down his arms with ease with her highblood strength. “I'll be taking charge from here.”

He could barely stop the sharp, needy whine that was forced out of him when, at last, her bulge slid deep and into his hot, eager nook. As he had been able to briefly observe, she wasn't particularly long, not like some pail vids where it seemed like the actors' bulges could easily double back again on themselves when they slid into a waiting nook. Her bulge was thick, though, and he could fee his inner walls being pushed aside slightly to make room for the girth of her when she pressed into him.

He closed his eyes a minute, curling his fingers while she leaned over him and trying to relish the cold of her in his too-hot nook. God it felt so satisfying . After hours of trying to wait it out himself, this happened? He was never fucking holding out like this on himself ever again.

Then she shifted her hips back, and he let out a short shriek.

Oh god, what was that? The moment she pulled back, it felt like something was just raking against the inner walls of his nook. Those things on her bulge? Sweet lord, that was it. He could feel them inside him when she pulled back. Like barbs, pulling at the subtle ridges inside his nook while she moved away. It didn't feel bad, far from it in his state. But it was just so sudden and overwhelming, it was like she'd just sucker-punched the air out of him, and he was left dizzy and breathless with the sudden shock of pleasure.

He could hear a breathless chuckle beside his ear, making the tip flicker from the too-cool breath on it, and he heard Rose whisper softly to him.

“Enjoying yourself, Karkat? Well, I advise that you be prepared for more. I'm afraid that, from here on out, I may be quite less... controlled.”

And some advice it certainly was. She thrust back into his nook with enough force to make his heated nook spasm from it, and kept pushing her momentum. Karkat couldn't help the flurry of moans and other such noises that tumbled from his mouth as she utterly ravaged his nook. He swore Rose was hitting and pulling at places he didn't even know were there previously with her horrorterror's appendage of a bulge.

The heat built up too quickly for him, higher and higher, until he let out a high-pitched sound when his nook spasmed around her, releasing a small amount of genetic material from his nook, and a small spurt from his bulge.

But that didn't stop her. No, she just kept going. Keeping up a steady, relentless pace despite the sudden tightening of his nook. And she didn't stop. No, he felt that feeling come to him one... two... three more times before he finally felt her bulge twitch in a new way in him, and she suddenly was as deep inside him as she could manage, and he felt her near icy cold material flood his nook. As she tightened her grip on his wrists and pushed in as deeply as she could manage, her head suddenly dove forward, and she dug her teeth into his shoulder. That, and the sudden flow of material into him forced a ragged moan from his throat, and his seedflap to open. Accepting every drop of her material and his into him before closing up tight again. Greedily storing the mix of hot and cold inside him to hold and mix.

Karkat could still feel the steady pulse in his nook, but gentler, less insistent. The cold of Rose's material in him was gathered up inside him in a way he could feel. Held tight and protected in his body as if a reward for drawing in another troll with his heat.

Just when he thought he might be able to relax, he hissed in a breath when Rose suddenly started nuzzling at the bite she had left in him. Bits of blood started to well up in her bite-marks, and she was touching her lips to them, smearing them slightly with red. He tried to open his mouth, ask what she was doing, but the words became lost in a gasp when she suddenly ran her tongue over the injury.

She growled deep in her chest and throat, possessive but pleased, and he felt her body shift above him slightly. He never even had the chance to process his suspicion of what would happen when he felt her bulge once again drag against his nook walls and stole his voice from him.

He couldn't even say how long this went on for. A seemingly endless cycle of undulating bodies and a mess of material released and released. In his pan-addled state from heat and just being pailed senseless, he even lost track of how many times she'd possessively set her teeth into him. Littering his shoulders with shallow, bleeding marks.

The sounds as she took him over and over became more wet and erotic as she kept filling him with more of a mix of their slurry. Even when it became too much for him to hold and started to messily leak out around her bulge and stained the sheets, she refused to relent. Even to the point where each fresh release of material made him feel closer and closer to the brink of unconsciousness.

Until, finally, after what felt like hours and hours of her going without letting up on him, she let out one last moan and one last gush of material, and then collapsed.

The two of them lay there on the platform, gasping for breath like sea dwellers who had yet to fully flush the brine from their gills. Though between the two of them, only one could know how accurate that analogy was.

Rose felt a sort of languid peace envelop her, as if some great task had been accomplished and a burden had been lifted. She had followed her instincts and properly tended to the troll in heat she had come across, and her body was rewarding her for that fact in the gentle afterglow of bliss.

Karkat, for his part, didn't feel in quite so romantic terms. On his end, he felt more numbness below the waist, with only faint whispers of pleasure still sparking across his skin in reward for finally being rid of the ever-present ache of heat. His stomach still bulged with yet-to-be expelled slurry (that which hadn't already leaked out and now stained the platform), but he didn't care to try to rid himself of it, or ask Rose to do it, at the moment. He honestly felt that, if he tried that right now, he might just flat black out with the sensation of one more thing touching the utterly ravaged walls of his nook.

At last, once her bulge had peacefully lost its girth and retreated into its sheathe, Rose rolled herself off of Karkat, so that she was sprawled out beside him. Half-smiling as she nuzzled close to him. Her lips brushed one of the teeth-marks she'd left in his shoulders, but didn't quite kiss them. He was thankful for that, somewhat. That would probably be too much for him, too. Honestly, just about everything felt like too much for him. So he was glad that Rose seemed satisfied to just lie there. Even when she reached out a hand and laid her palm over his chest as she nuzzled her head to his, careful not to bump their horns. The tines of her earfins tickled a bit when she allowed them a few, satisfied flickers, but he could ignore that.

“... I'm sorry for surprising you like that,” she managed to breathe, though whispery and soft. “You rather... caught me off guard, being like you were. You just smelled so...” She angled her head a big, so her breath washed over his ear. “... tantalizing.”

“Hey, no matter what you did... I am not fucking complaining right now,” he managed. He probably would be, later on, when he had to deal with the soreness that would certainly come, but not now. “Better than lying in bed in heat like that.”

“True,” she smiled lightly. She slid her hand down his chest briefly, lightly lingering her fingers over the distended curve of his belly. Had she really filled him with so much material? Well, all the more for the drones, she supposed. And all of it theirs. “Although, I do have one bit of advice for you.” He grunted curiously, and she placed her hand over his chest again. Leaning in, and properly pressing a kiss to his cheek. “Next time, don't just try to wait it out. Or else I may not get to you before someone else does~”

 

Chapter Text

The moment all the slurry had finally been released from his system, Karkat nearly moaned tin utter relief. At last all the pressure of so much volume inside him was gone, and he could no longer feel it all pressing on and near crushing his insides with how much his gene bladder had been forced to expand to accommodate it all. It had taken two whole buckets to take the mess of it, but at least that was one pail for each of them for whenever the drones came along. One less to worry about.

He tried to relax against the top of the concupiscent platform, head pressed into a dry spot of the sheets where no genetic material had stained it. But a hand on his upper arm roused him from his light doze, pulling him quite unwillingly from his attempt at resting.

“F'ck off, L'lond',” he grumbled crabbily where he lay. Couldn't he get two seconds of rest after all that'd happened? Not ten minutes ago she'd been as exhausted from digging her bulge into him as he'd been from taking it. Now here she was, prompting him to move when he'd barely finished expelling their combined genetic material.

“Come on, Karkat,” her tired voice came to him softly. “You'll just get daymares if you fall asleep here. Let's at least get you washed up before you pass unconscious.”

“Just five fucking minutes,” he complained. “Is that too much to ask?”

“If I give you that, you'll just be complaining more about it later,” she insisted. “And I think your poor throat has already taken enough abuse today.” She curled an arm up behind him, and both he and his body groaned in protest of the action. Still, she managed to get him weakly onto his feet, and half carried him to the ablutions block. After a bit of fiddling with the ablutions trap, she managed to get it mostly filled with lukewarm water, and helped him into it.

It actually felt nice, letting the water envelop him. Neither too cold nor too hot to sting his poor, abused nook as his lower body was submerged. What he did not expect was Rose slipping into the ablutions trap right in front of him. He opened his mouth in protest, only for her finger to come forward and press to his lips, effectively silencing him.

“Don't worry, I'm not planning on trying anything. I'm just trying to get myself clean, same as you.” One of the edges of her lips quirk, though, and he can see one of her earfins flicker in that teasing way of hers. “Unless, of course, you were hoping for something more. If there's one thing you've proven to me today, it's certainly that you're not lacking for stamina.” Karkat grumbled and just grabbed wordlessly at the sponge and the cleaning fluid. Lathering it up a bit with the water before getting to work in gently scrubbing away the signs of what they'd done. In all likelihood, he was just going to need another ablutions after he finished sleeping all of it off, but it was best to wash off the excess fluids so that he didn't just mess up his recuperacoon. Or end up with the bite-marks (which he was avoiding going for for the moment) getting infected because he didn't tend to them. Honestly, he couldn't even tell how many times she'd set her teeth in him. There were just rows and rows of uniform little piercings in his shoulders and throat with small rivulets of bright red blood staining the skin around them.

Would you like any help?” He looked up at Rose, eyeing those very marks, and with another sponge in hand. Karkat grumbled and rolled his eyes, trying to ignore the heat in his face as he tried to work over his body with his own sponge. Ignoring how her rumblespheres hung so freely in front of him, or how drops of water clung to her body and the edges of the operculum on her chest-gills sealed up tight to keep them from taking in the ablutions water.
“Yeah, sure, what the hell ever. Just be careful, alright?”

And, careful she was. It stung a bit when she tried to clean off the blood from him, but no more than that. In fact, it was actually sort of nice. The way she was ever so gently handling him. Didn't stop the stream of complaints steadily dripping from his mouth as he tried to clean between his legs without brushing something too sensitive.

Can't fucking believe this. Just a bit of heat and all of a sudden you're jumping me in my own hive. Just using your fucking horrorterror of a bulge, don't even know how you'd think that thing was good.”

Oh, I don't know,” Rose interrupted his rambling as she started to rinse away the suds, smiling ever so teasingly as she did so. “You seemed to enjoy it rather nicely, with the way you were screaming earlier.” Karkat flushed a deep scarlet, and the teasing air about her only seemed to grow stronger. “Besides,” she went on as she laid a hand on his now cleaned shoulder, “you seemed to take it ever so well...” The hand that rested there trailed down over his chest, sending shivers down his spine with the chill of her touch, until it rested over his abdomen. “Not to mention how eager you were to hold in all that lovely slurry.”
Karkat splashed his first into the water with force, spluttering incoherently in response. Rose just giggled softly and stood up in the bath, making Karkat look down to avoid staring up at her nude, damp form. Which she appeared to have no qualms in him seeing, even with the hormonal urgency of heat no longer present. Once she'd begun draining the water, she helped him rinse one last time and helped him to sit on the closed lid of his load gaper, giving him water in a cup that he usually kept on the counter next to the hydration tap for when he cleaned his teeth, and began rummaging around in his cabinets for other materials. Karkat was glad for the place to sit, and the water: his legs still felt too sore and weak to support him under his own power, and he was incredibly thirsty after all that exertion (plus the rampant soreness he felt in his throat for reasons which he cared not dwell on). He still complained in-between sipping, though, until Rose at last stood up with the medical kit he kept in the counter.

As with most things, her work on him with the materials inside the kit was quick, methodical, and efficient. Dabbing disinfectants on the newly cleaned bite-marks, then briskly wrapping them up in waterproof bandages that would prevent too much sopor from gunking them up when he finally went to sleep.

Despite his neverending complaints, Karkat did stay still for the treatment, even offering her some of the water she'd given him to drink. Alternating sips between the two of them before the cup was empty, and finally set aside. It was only when Rose had dug up some cream in a tube from some recesses of the kit, which she applied liberally to where her grip on his wrists from holding him down had left bruises, that she finally stored the kit away again.

Well, thanks for taking care of what you caused, I guess,” Karkat finally muttered when she was standing up. “Would you mind helping me to my 'coon? I still don't think I can walk there on my own.”

Now how could I refuse such a request from you, Karkat? Especially when you're being so polite about it,” Rose teased. “I think tonight has been the most I've ever heard you be so eager about asking something from someone.”

Don't push it, Lalonde,” he muttered. He was getting so fed up with all her stupid innuendos. He hooked his arm around her shoulders again, though, wincing all the way to the coon, where she proceeded to help him in until he was eased comfortably into the slime. And where he lett out a sigh of relief. That is, until he realized she was climbing in with him. “What the hell do you think you're doing?!” he asked sharply, even as she settled in beside him and he could feel the press of her against him in the cozy little recuperacoon.

Well, it's going to be daylight soon, and I'd like to rest, too, after all that. And I don't suppose you have any of your guest 'coons prepared for overday visitors?” Kakrat grumbled complaints about 'flighty broads' and 'horseshit' under his breath before finally adjusting himself to rest more comfortably.

Fine. You can stay here for today. But don't think this is going to be a regular thing.” He flushed a bit as he felt the comfortable chill of Rose against him while she nuzzled up close to him. The edges of her horns resting dangerously close to his and one of her hands splayed almost possessively over his chest as she curled up with him in the slime.

Well, I was thinking we might have a discussion on that sometime soon... but we'll save that planning for when night comes again.” Karkat opened his mouth to retort sharply, but a cold kiss to his cheek, then his neck, effectively silenced him. “Pleasant dreams, Karkat.” He let his mouth shut with a click of his teeth, but he begrudgintly nuzzled closer to him, trying to make himself relax so he could finally rest.

Yeah... you too.”

 

Chapter Text

Unlike most trolls, for whom heat is a surprise displeasure, you're meticulous enough that you often track such things. Keep them orderly and neat. It's certainly better than letting them jump you by surprise like most trolls.

Which is why you currently have Karkat in your respite block, as your body is fully warmed and the scent of musk already fills the air. You'd informed him that your heat would be coming soon, and if he wanted, he'd be more than welcome to... return the favor you had done him not so long ago. To be honest, you hadn't been certain if he would actually show up. Yet, here he is, standing awkwardly near your door while his eyes run over you like a nervous little prey.

To be fair, most trolls would be nervous of you. You are a sea dweller, after all. For most, that usually spells danger. But you hardly think he's frightened of you because of that. Perhaps he's just nervous of knowing what to do? The last time you did this, he was taking quite the submissive role in the whole affair.

Which is in part why you're honestly so eager to see how he'll fare taking the lead this time 'round.

He's yet to jump you and pail your brains out yet, though, which doesn't sound all that bad a prospect at the moment. Though you suppose there's a slight difference in your situation. You came upon him who knew how many hour into his heat, when his room was thick with pheromones begging for some troll to find the one in heat and take care of it. He's arrived just as your body is getting warmed up, it seems, so you're more at ease. More simmering in your developing heat a it washes more smoothly over you, though somewhat piqued by the scent of another troll already there.

“Well then, are you going to get undressed?” you ask easily. “Seems rather unfair, you still being so clothed. And when I'm so utterly bare and vulnerable to you.” You spread your legs just a bit, showing off both them and the small rivulets of violet that stain them. His face flushes in red, a sight which brings a smile to his face.

“Uh, yeah, sure, I guess...” He's not making much of a production out of it, but it's still fascinating to watch him. So needlessly self-conscious as he strips in front of you. Revealing bit by bit his thickly set, yet well-muscled frame to you. You're glad you get to appreciate it now, however little you had been able to before. When at last he's bare before you, you smell a rush of pheromones, his body releasing scent in response to yours, and you can feel some extra wetness drip out of you in your body's eagerness.

Already his bulge is free from its sheathe, squirming wetly as it lets of more scent that swamps your senses.

“Ahh... eager, aren't we?” Not that you're much better. You can already feel your nook trembling with want just looking at it. His bulge is so eager and ready. Just like yours... mostly so, at least.

Unforunately, even with how 'blessed' you are to have been hatched with such an impressive bulge, it has its... drawbacks. Sometimes the little tines along it provide more drawback than benefit if your bonebulge responds too quickly to stimulus. Not enough lubrication and swelling too fast, and your bulge can end up sticking itself in your sheathe... just as it is right now.

Of course, with a bit of help...

“So, what first, then?” he asks. You smile at him, shifting your body even as the mere movement sends shivers up you.

“Eager indeed,” you manage to tease. “First off, I think... my bulge might need a bit of help. If you might be so kind?” He hesitates, then comes forward to where you're leaning back at the edge of your concupiscent platform. The both of you eye one another, long and quiet, before he suddenly drops to his knees in front of you.

You let out a short hiss when Karkat disappears from your direct line of sight, feeling a pair of hands gripping firmly onto your legs and spreading your thighs apart. You manage to look down, just in time to feel a shiver run through your body as Karkat presses his mouth in between you legs. You clench your fingers into the platform, claws digging into the sheets as his tongue runs slowly up and down along your nook and over your sheath. You can hear the way he just inhales your scent with his nose so close to your nook. And just the eager desperation of that

Finally interested by the chance in temperature from his body, your bulge finally decides to make an appearance. Peeking out delicately from your sheathe to show its tip. Eyes narrowed in concentration, Karkat focuses his tongue now on your bulge. He closes his mouth around where your sheathe is located, replacing his tongue along your nook with a finger that slowly strokes its way deeper with each movement. He's running his tongue along what little is showing of your bulge, even dipping it slightly under the edge of skin so it's teasing at the barest inside edge of your sheathe. You let out a shaky breath, watching as he works his mouth around the area, slowly coaxing your sheathe to relax itself so your bulge can emerge slightly more and more.

Until you let out a ragged gasp and slam your head back into the platform when he suddenly just sucks with a force behind it, drawing the whole of your bulge from your sheathe and into his mouth in one swift movement. If you weren't so shaky from heat, you would certainly have come close to crushing his head into you as your thighs tighten and lock around him. He lets out a loud grunt in protest, but the vibrations only travel up your bulge and make you arch your back off the sheets.

He insists on teasing you like this for a good few minutes. Sucking and licking at your bulge, running his hot tongue along the tines which you had used to pail him into submission in his own heat not so long ago. He plays with you with his fingers as he goes. Easily slipping his index finger into your wet, sensitive nook. Then the next. He's got two fingers knuckle-deep in you, certainly going to try for a third, when you manage to open your eyes again and can turn your body to see him.

He does look appealing like that. So eager to please and trying so hard to do so. You don't have a clear view of what his free hand is doing, he's no longer holding open your legs. But with how his arm seems to be turned inward, and how his shoulder is shaking ever so slightly, you think you have a good idea of just where it is.

“Karkat...” You manage to gasp out, and he stops suddenly. You can feel the tingles along the tines on your bulge as he lets it slide out of his mouth, and his head rises a bit so he can see you. You notice that you can see a few streaks of your genetic material along his cheeks and chin. Violet does look handsome on him, you muse idly for a moment. “I think... this won't be enough to help much. I think perhaps we're both ready for... the real event?”

You don't miss the heavy way his throat moves as he swallows, and you're somewhat gratified for it. He so often masks up his fluster with aggression. It's nice to see his expression so open.

“Uh... yeah... yeah okay.” Even the uncertainty in his voice is endearing, though you don't have much time to enjoy it when you shiver from the sensation of his fingers slowly being pulled from your nook. Already the pulse comes back with a passion. The fingers had been nice, but not what your body wanted. It wanted a bulge in it, throbbing and rich with genetic material. And thankfully, the boy in front of you was more than willing to give you that.

To your surprise, he suddenly takes hold of you and flips you around, so you've landed on your front. You make an attempt to question this, but it quickly dies on your tongue when he presses forward and you can feel the heat of his bulge slick over your throbbing nook. You gasp, heavy and needy, and you don't make any move to resist as you feel him press the tip into you. He wraps his arm up under your front and pulls you back into him, using the other to brace him against the bed just for a few moments, as he fills you with more and more of his bulge. Until at last you can feel the tip pressing against your seedflap, and you're already breathless with the sensation of being filled.

And then he starts to move. Just a slow, steady movement, pulling his bulge out, then pressing all the way back in. You swear you can feel every inch of him pull at your nook. He has no odd protrusions or ridges or anything out of the ordinary. But you certainly didn't expect to feel so much girth to him. You swear you can feel him press all the way against your inner walls, drawing muted sounds of pleasure from you with each stroke of his bulge both forward and backwards.

He absolutely insists on making you squirm as he does this, though. His hips keep moving, but it's not enough . Rather than bracing his hands to the top of the platform so that he can pound your nook into submission like an animal, now that he has you steady, he lets them wander over you. Fondling your small, yet pert, rumblespheres. Letting one tangle itself in the writhing mess of your bulge, even as it reaches under you both in a clumsy quest to find the nook it know must be there. At one point he's even letting himself press you nearly flat into the sheets just so he can run his thumb around the sensitive bases of your horns.

You know his mouth is hardly idle, either. But rather than uselessly flapping, they're only putting you to more torture. He closes his lips around spots of skin along your neck and shoulders and applies just the right sort of pressure on them. You know they're going to leave marks and bruises of all sorts, but it feels good , and you want them. He sometimes leaves little bites. Sometimes he runs his tongue over your skin. Once or twice, when he's feeling particularly torturous, you can feel his lips close around your thin, sensitive earfins. The sensations he puts the delicate tines and the silky-thin membranes through shocks your body right down to your pulsing nether regions, and each time he does it he has you whining so high you swear a dolphin might mistake you for its kin.

Your mind starts going fuzzy with the sensations of it all. The heat still urging on your body. The way he so insistently plucks and winds your body tighter and tighter to his whims with his touches. The seemingly never-ending undulations of his body in-between each time he makes you spill or spills into you.

And oh by the horrorterrors, when he fills you. In your cold body, even in heat, it's like a rush of warmth is flooding every sensitive inner crevice of you. Your seedflap gapes open inside to take each new rush of hot material, yet it never seems enough. Rather, each new flow just makes your body beg for more and more .

And he is more than eager to supply.

Still, no matter how well he is satisfying your body, you still want something more. You know what you want, though you can hardly vocalize it when each snap of his hips behind you only draws more and more deep, sensual moans from you. You bite the sheet between your teeth and let loose yet another, muffled keen as another orgasm racks your frame. Your nook clamps hard around his bulge, which finally gives up more of that precious, hot material for your body to eagerly draw into itself to hold inside.

As he pauses for breath from his most recent flooding of your nook, you muster up your strength and the clearest state of mind you can muster. Just as you feel him starting to shift his hips again, you manage a breath just fast enough to gasp out his name.

K-Karkat!” He stops with a jolt that makes you shiver with the sensation, and you gasp for breath, as if the effort to say that alone was enough to tire your strength.

“Wha... what is it?” he gasps, obviously tired himself. Or severely aroused. Or quite probably both, given the situation. “Did I... did I do something wrong.” You barely shake your head, and inhale a shaky breath to steady yourself as you try to respond, turning your head just enough that you can see him out of the corner of your eye.

N-no... you're... you're doing so good,” you manage to pant out. “But I... I don't want it... just like this.” You let your lashes flutter close a moment, letting out a shaky breath. “... Let me turn over, please... I want to see you while you... while we...” You don't manage to finish your thought, not when small flicker of his bulge sends a pulse through you that makes your whole body shudder. But it seems as though he's gotten your message.

Taking hold of you carefully, he helps adjust you in his lap. Taking hold of one leg and lifting your body to help you turn over, the both of you working together manage to get you so you're at last on your back, chest still heaving with exertion and need.

You actually let slip a smile as you stare up at him like this. Sweat clings glistening to his gray skin, and red flushes bright and hard in his cheeks. Though now a big more color must be added, with how your bulge is so generously slathering his abdomen with our violet fluids. He must feel self-conscious by you looking at him now, because he quickly averts his gaze from you. You can't help but let slip a breathless sort of giggle. Grand thing to be so embarrassed by seeing you like this when he's already got his ruby bulge buried base-deep in your nook.

“Well then?” You ask him softly. “I'm waiting, Karkat.” He looks back at you, and your eyes lock for just a moment of hesitation.

Before he suddenly hooks your leg over his shoulder and pushes in with a thrust that has you throwing your head back again.

If he wasn't like an animal before, he certainly is now. He's gripping onto you as hard as he can manage, slamming his hips into yours to get in as deep as he can physically manage as he draws more and more material out of you.

Eventually, he drops your leg from his shoulder and just lays over you. Wrapping his arms under your body as if to hold you as close as possible as he ravages your nook. You hold him to yourself as much as you can in turn. Hooking your legs around him, wrapping your arms around so your nails can dig into his upper back. Even your bulge seems to be trying to draw him into you as it finally gives up searching for a nook to bury itself in and satisfies itself with wrapping itself round the base of his bulge.

You can't even really say how much longer it goes on, feeling your nook spasm and your gene bladder overflow again and again with slurry.

At last, however, you both reach your limit, and one last gush of slurry from him fills your oversensitive nook, and he collapses on you, panting as if he's nearly forgotten how to breathe.

You honestly can't say you're disappointed. If he went on for much longer, you can't say you know how much longer you'd last. Your whole body feels warm and oh so relaxed. Especially the new pocket of heat you can feel your abdomen jealously and protectively tense around. A warm, oh so comforting sign of all that the two of you have just done. You can feel your body rewarding you with a sense of bliss from it all, despite the tingles of soreness you can already feel between your legs. Completely worth it in your book.

Its several more minutes before he finally manages to extract his bulge from your nook, once your violet tendril finaly releases his. He doesn't move entirely away, though. He curls an arm over your chest and lays near, his heat a welcome comfort as you lean into him and place a hand over his.

Karkat moves his head, nuzzling his nose in your neck and inhaling, just enough to get your earfin to flicker lazily at the current of air he causes.

“... You smell nice,” he mutters tiredly. You smile, and shift your head against his. Ever careful of horns.

“So do you... Musk does have a nice aroma on you.” He grunts. You smile. It all just feels ever so right. “And I'll say. You certainly can deliver as much as you can take.” He mutters at you to 'shush your dumb sea dweller mouth', you promise to do so when he shuts his.

He'll be helping you with all of it, you know. Just like you helped him after all of it. He'll help you clean off. Make sure you're alright. Help get your greedy gene bladder to release its precious contents with his warm touch... Once you're certain you'll be able to handle it, of course.

You pick up a hand, still sticky with fluid (yours or his you can't tell, and press it against his side. He grunts in confusion as you trace a shape in his side in your leftover slurry, but comes to realize it soon enough. You wait a moment as he ponders a response, wondering what he might do, until you realize you can feel his thumb moving wetly along your outer thigh.

You don't even need to wonder what it is. You just smile and lean into his comforting warmth. Nothing else needs to be said.

You just feel as he ever so carefully uses your combined slurry to trace a warm heart on cold your skin as you did to him.

 

Chapter Text

Her Tyrannous Superiority let her usual confident, powerful smirk rest on her lips. Not that one could blame her. When one possessed such power as she, one had the right to feel confident. A whole empire under her heel. A whole galaxy to conquer once things really got off the ground with their exploits into space travel.

Not to mention, her special little pet that rested in her lap.

The Jade blood rested with his back against the arm of her throne, legs curled up across hers and hands resting docilely in his lap. His lovely Jade eyes focused on nothing, but were oh so beautiful all the same. And, with the decorative opaque veil that so tastefully covered his mouth, covering the carnage that was his now-missing jaw, he looked positively flawless to anyone who approached. Not that he wasn't as lovely without the cloth covering, anyway. There was a certain something to the sight of his exposed mouth, teeth glinting beneath his upper lip with no way to close his mouth and hide them (given that half his mouth was gone).

He served little real purpose accompanying her in the throne room, save perhaps some stress relief when it became hard to handle the inadequacy and the idiocy of her underlings. Though, she did like to show him off.

Jades are such a rare thing to have as a slave, given the few numbers in their caste. Jade males, given the caste itself was predominantly female, even rarer. This one in her lap, a Jade male, and a Rainbow Drinker nonetheless... Well, there was something to be said for the diamonds in the rough.

It was a lovely feeling, being able to show him off to those who entered her throne room. Such a magnificent gesture showing her wealth and possessions.

Look at this treasure. Look at this lovely thing that I possess and you do not. What you will never possess because it is mine forever.

Perhaps there were other Jades being taken as slaves, especially since the witch hunt started for any more potential traitors to the Empire that may have arisen since the one in her lap had stolen away from the Brooding Caverns with a mutant grub. But still, none were like hers. None had his history nor his beauty. Enough that the Empress herself wanted him for her personal flushed slave.

Her Superiority stroked her fingers through his hair, down his neck, and along the curve of his spine. He wasn't wearing all that much. Just a pair of sheer pants, just enough to show off no more than the silhouette of his legs, some sprinkled gold jewelry along his body, and the fine leather collar that lay firm around his neck. Her own royal symbol stamped in a gold circle that hung from the front. A mark of her ownership over him. She owned everything, of course, it was her empire. But this, he , was especially hers. Hers and hers alone.

Her Superiority brought her hand up again, resting it against his cheek and pulling him forward. He moved without resistance, he never moved without her doing it for him. She brought him to rest against her, and pressed a long, gentle kiss to his cheek.

Her Temah, she pitied him so. More than she ever pitied a troll in her long, long life. It was why she kept him with her, her perfect little doll.

And it was why she so jealously kept the real him oh so private. Known only by herself, after all these sweeps. It was only in her own private respite blocks that she finally released back to him his mind, and saw his eyes clear and sharpen again. Most other trolls would would be left so insensible, even after getting their minds back, once she had a hold on them as she did her little flushed slave.

Not him, though. When she had him all to herself, vulnerable to her hands, and gasping for breath under her touch, she saw him. And she cherished and pitied him in equal measure. Even when all was said and done in the privacy of her chambers, and she took his mind from him again, she knew what and who he truly was, and took a sort of pride in knowing that she was the only one who truly knew him.

Her beloved, oh so flushed Jade. Hers and hers alone.

 

Chapter Text

“Equius! For goodness' sakes, I'm fine!” Nepeta squirmed in her overly-large moirail's grasp, but he refused to relent, even a bit.

“Nepeta. For the last time, I am commanding you to be still.”

“You can't command me to do anything! Let me DOWN!”

Nepeta,” Equius growled with frustration. “You have just fallen down a mountain! I demand that cease resisting my attempts to hold you until we can properly assess the damage.”

“I landed just fine, Equius! Sheesh! You're so overbearing!” The troll-girl kept on writhing and struggling to try to get away from him. For all of Equius's strength, she was extremely lithe and slippery. She refused to let him do as he pleased when she was certain of her own status. With all of her insistence and her struggling, the Blue Blood didn't want to risk dropping her, but he also didn't want to grip her too much. With his strength, he could easily hurt her by accident, holding on to her like this. So he was trying extremely hard to be gentle in his firmness.

Nepeta, however, had no desire to be treated like a newly hatched grub in the near future. So she kept up with her wiggling, until at last she managed to pull just right, and her whole body slipped out of her moirail's grasp. Though she ended up sacrificing leaving her coat in his arm in exchange for freedom.

“Nepeta!” Equius growled in frustration. Nepeta giggled and stuck her tongue out at him, and leaped into the air, performing a rather impressive backflip on her way.

Her landing, however, was not quite so smooth. Rather than the graceful landing on both feet that she had envisioned, she let out a sharp yelp when her feet made impact with the ground, and she crumpled down onto one side. Equius made a noise of distress and quickly turned around, seeing the Olive girl wincing and holding onto her right foot. He made his way quickly toward her and knelt down in front of her.

“What is wrong? Let me see.” Nepeta stared up at him with defiance, but that didn't hide her touch of distress.

“No! I'm fine! Nothing's wrong!” Equius stared at her through his cracked up sunglasses, mouth set into a thin line.

“Nepeta I demand that you let me see your leg. What if something is wrong?” The moirails stared each other down, deeply engaged in their battles of will. Until, with another wince, Nepeta sighed and slowly held her leg out to him. Equius was gentle as he could possibly manage as he took her foot into his hand, and slowly pushed up the leg of her pants. As he feared, her ankle was swelled out against her shoe, bruised darkly with green. They both stared at the injured leg in silence, uncertain of what to say.

“... I guess... maybe I didn't feel it at first? Because of the adrenaline?” Nepeta finally murmured. Equius grunted softly, and slid the pant leg back down.

“I do not believe I am qualified to properly treat your injury on my own. If anything, my STRENGTH may only worsen the issue. It may be best if we take you to one of the others' hives and ask them to treat your injury.”

“Yeah, okay. That sounds good. Kanaya might be good to ask, she's good at being gentle with stuff.” Equius grunted with agreement and reached out for her. In moments he had her up on him again, seated on his shoulders rather than thrown over one this time, though. He grunted when he was satisfied that she was properly seated.

“Do you think we can get some tea before we go?” Nepeta asked suddenly. “I'm kind of thirsty.”

“... I suppose that is fine. It is not medical in properties, but it may prove to be suitably soothing until we can get you proper treatment,” Equius nodded. Most fortunately for them, the Land of Little Cubes and Tea was filled with things for them to get together a cup. After a bit of fiddling with one of the giant teapots on her land, and grabbing a few of the white sugar cubes scattered around the land, Nepeta soon had herself a warm, hearty cup of tea. For this time only, Equius decided he would refrain from mentioning how it would be much more proper to drink the tea without adding extra sweetening.

Are you suitably ready to go, then?” he asked. Nepeta made a sound of assent with her lips to the cup, and he started off. Nepeta was silent for a few more minutes, sipping at her drink, before she spoke aloud.

“Um... Equius?”

“Yes, Nepeta?” he asked without breaking stride.

... You know I don't think you're overbearing, right?” He could feel Nepeta's tail flick against his back. “I mean, you can be. You really can be, but... you weren't this time.” She set a hand between his horns, letting out a sigh. “I know you were just trying to look out for me, but...”

... I know that I may be... forceful about what I feel is best for you, but I do want what is best for you,” Equius said at last. “I do not approve of you engaging in many of the things that you do, but I do know that you can care for yourself in a scuffle. That still doesn't meant that I am not allowed to be concerned about you... You are my moirail.” Nepeta smiled just a bit, feeling a warmth in her chest that he was opening up to her, even a bit like this.

She extended her arm beside his head, two fingers held out from her hand and spread apart.

“Pale for you,” she said with a smile in her voice. Equius never stopped walking but, after a few moments, he held up his arm with his hand turned her direction, and touched two of his fingertips to hers.

“... Pale for you as well.”

 

Chapter Text

“I honestly do not see the need to call me up to the office like this. I was in the middle of class and you are disrupting my learning.” Kankri sat in his chair with feet planted firmly on the ground as he watched the school counselor in front of him. Who was currently rubbing his eyes with his thumb and forefinger as he tried to process how he was meant to explain this.

“Mister Vantas. You have been warned about this on numerous occasions before. You cannot come to school without a shirt on. It does not matter that you have a jacket, you cannot come to school in only pants!” Kankri sniffed and straightened in his seat, crossing his arms over his chest now. He was indeed shirtless, wearing only his extremely high-waisted pants. He had multiple pairs of pants like this, and they were comfortable.

“This is positively outrageous. What sort of indecency could I be committing here by wearing what I’m wearing?!” The young Vantas snapped. “The majority of my body is covered, it’s not as if I’m letting my pectorals be flashed freely for all to see! I conceded and brought a jacket along to wear, but I still fail to see the problem here!”

Mister Vantas,” the counselor tried again, very stiffly. “While I don’t want to interrupt your learning, you do have to follow the rules of this school. If you cannot comply, I will have no choice but to suspend you for failing to follow school regulations.”

“Ah, I see how it is.” The teen crossed his arms as he puffed himself up. “The moment Porrim brings in a complaint, the whole administration bends to her whims. But the moment anyone else decides to wear clothing outside of the explicitly stated dress code, suddenly they become subject to it immediately as if it were a crime worth the punishment of a class 2 felony.”

“Miss Maryam has nothing to do with this, and I have not brought her up in conversation before Mr. Vantas-”

“And yet you and all of the rest of the teachers were more than willing to let yourselves be cowed by her because she was wearing what was comfortable to her and was not disruptive to others in the classroom environment. That was the excuse she used?” Kankri retorted. “Why not haul her in here for that, then? If you’re willing to overlook her showing her bra strap, then I see why I can’t be waived the same way when I am showing nothing that would serve as a distraction!”

“You cannot walk around school without any sort of top covering, Mr. Vantas-”

“I brought. A jacket.” Kankri emphasized these two phrases with fierceness, slapping one palm against the desk as he came to the end of each. The counselor narrowed his eyes at Kankri through his glasses, while the teen defiantly glared back at him.

“… I have tried my best, Mr. Vantas. I really have. But I’m afraid you’ve left me no choice.” The counselor picked up a form from the desk and began writing on it with slow precision. “Until such a time as you are willing to follow the school dress code, you are to be suspended until further notice.” Kankri sniffed, and stood up from the desk, picking up his bag as he did so.

“Fine by me. I suppose it might actually do me some good to get away from a place which would dare try to stifle the efforts of the student body to remain as comfortable as possible in order to learn to the fullest potential.” Without another word, Kankri unzipped his jacket and stuffed it into his backpack, leaving him in only the pants which had caused the whole situation. “Good day to you, sir.” Nose in the air, he turned and walked out of the office. Hardly heeding the odd looks of any students who happened to be there as he passed by.

If anyone noted his absence in the friend group in the days following, it was always acknowledged with a sigh of his name, and a shrug.

Chapter Text

A sort of somber quiet had settled on the inhabitants of the Dream Bubbles as they all went about their usual routines. A thoughtfulness, if one were to be generous about it.

If not, the proper description would be a great bundle of mixed emotions.

Aranea Serket, the overly talkative but generally harmless girl who loved to exposit information and praise the stories of their Alternian selves. Turned traitor and dooming an entire timeline for the sake of her own selfishness. No one ever expected it, no one ever saw her coming.

Porrim sighed as she sat knitting up a new project, really just trying to distract herself. In her short time with Aranea, she'd seemed like such a sweet girl, if not at times... overzealous. Never had she thought that something like this would happen. Not from Aranea. Another heavy sigh left her, and she heard an annoyed grunt from Kankri.

Sitting a few feet away on his own bench, Kankri was reading a book, a vaguely irked expression resting on his face. Not enough to be angry, just enough to show his disdain. Of course, he hated it when she made noise while he was reading. Not like he ever cared about anything but his own level of comfort.

“You know, you could at least try to be a little more compassionate. That's supposed to be what you're about, right?” Porrim's voice came out sharp. Honestly she wasn't all that mad. Not too much, at least. She just felt like doing something other than just let this all hang out for them, and fighting with him a bit seemed a viable option. They weren't pale (as he liked to remind her) and he did like to disagree with her, maybe she could get something out of riling him up.

I don't see the point,” he responded flatly. “You do keep going on and on about why you're upset, and frankly I don't see why you bother. She did what she did. She's gone. Everyone is furious at her including you. And now all you're doing is wallowing in it instead of moving forward and being productive.”

Damn it, Kanny!” He finally looked up from his book with an annoyed look on his face (he did hate that nickname), but Porrim didn't let that stop her. “Do you care about this at all?! She was one of our friends! And now look what she's done! She betrayed us, Kanny! Us. Our dancestors. She may as well have betrayed all of Paradox Space with what she's done!”

I think you are being a bit overly dramatic and, frankly, very unnecessarily over-emotional, Porrim. As per usual.” She heard him mutter about trigger warnings under his breath, and all it did was anger her more.

How could he be so nonchalant about this?! They'd all known Aranea for millenia, and now this?! Everyone was feeling the loss of her. From Meenah, the closest to her of all, to Rufioh and Horuss who saw her actions as such a great shock. To Latula and Mituna who, while the latter didn't seem to quite understand the massive implications of this, the former took her loss as a heavy hit, even if she didn't like her very much. Even Meulin showed signs of sorrow about this, murmuring about how she'll have to change all her shipping charts permanently.

God! You are just so-! So-! Augh!”

You really ought to work on your coherency, Porrim. It's very unbecoming to devolve into meaningless exclamation in what you intend to be a serious conversation.” Slamming down her work onto her bench, Porrim stood up and glared at him.

You know what, forget it, Kanny! I was trying to talk about a serious topic with you, but if you're just going to blow me off and call me irrational for it, then I won't even bother!” She snatched up her knitting and stomped off, the sound of clacking heels following behind her. Kankri watched her go, fingers tense around the book he had been reading.

With a soft sigh, he crisply snapped shut the book (whose pages he'd hardly really read a word of) and stood from the bench. Walking off the opposite way without a word.

 

Chapter Text

Meenah stood with her hands pressed into her hips, body cocked at an angle while she stood with two of her friends. Or, 'friends' if she would use the term so lightly as she considered one of them. She knew and kinda liked Porrim, but she didn't really know much (or care much) about Latula.

All this fuss over one culled kid. The guy was a weirdo, that was for sure. He hardly knew anything popular that all trolls their age should. He typed all weird and formal and almost didn't seem capable of holding a normal conversation. And not only that, apparently he had only certain times he could get online, because of his being culled. So now, when no one's heard from him in a few weeks, some of the ones who tolerated him the most in their friend group got worried about him. And so, here she was. Having been asked (and paid) by Porrim to help her figure out how to get to Kankri's culler's hive.

“Wooow, this place is huge,” Latula whistled. Meenah just snorted. A Purple Blood's place was no match for the royal palace, obviously. Her lower blood was showing with such a simple statement like that.

“So, this is the hive he lives in?” Porrim asked, looking to Meenah for assurance. The sea dweller heiress rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, this is it. The Monastic's hive, also hive sweet hive to one Kankri Vantas. Now can we get on with this? I've got shit to do today.” Meenah strode past the other two and raised a hand to knock. However, before she could do so, the door was already swinging inwards, and she was left with her fist stopping awkwardly in the air just before it hit the body of the troll in front of her. Three pairs of eyes traveled upwards, to the face of the troll in front of them.

Tall, soft looking, and skin darkened with what was obviously a long time in adulthood, a pair of purple eyes looked kindly down at the three girls on her stoop.

“Greetings to you three, young ones. You must be my little Kankri's friends. He talks about all of you ever so much.” She looked specifically to Meenah and smiled as she gave a brief, slight curtsy. “And my heiress, a very lovely evening, I hope it serves you well.” She smoothed her skirts after the gesture and brushed aside a lock of hair from her face. “And you two, you must be... ah, Jade and Teal, so you must be Latula and Porrim, correct? It's interesting seeing my cullee's friends in person.”

“Um, yes, it's very nice to meet you, too,” Porrim said quickly. “Um, you said in your messages that Kankri hasn't been well enough to talk to people right now, is he okay? I don't think you ever said just what was wrong with him.”

“...” There was a long moment of silence, where the Monastic's face was cool and neutral, before she stepped back and to the side, opening up the doorway into her home. “... I believe it would be best for you to see for yourself.” The three girls looked at each other, but then slowly made their way into the house. They followed the Purple Blood up the stairs, trailing after her gracefully moving figure. Until, after a good bit of climbing and going through several rooms, the girls finally reached a nondescript door, just like the rest. “Now, I will warn you before you go in, my Kankri is a bit... sensitive, right now, so I'll ask that we keep this message brief. So that we avoid upsetting him. He's so fragile normally, but this has taken its' toll on him even further. So he'll be very emotional about things, please don't hold it against him.”

She opened the door without so much as a knock, and stepped into the block.

“Kanny, we have guests. Why don't you sit up and greet them properly?”

A small, thin troll had laid curled up on his side on his respite platform, on top of the white sheets that seemed to make him look all the smaller. At the sound of her voice, though, he sat up, his baggy black clothes shifting around him as he sat himself up in a slow, sluggish sort of way.

It was when he looked their way that a shock went through all three of them, and Porrim's hands flew up to her mouth to cover up her gasp.

It took only one look at him to see what was wrong with him. With the angry, harsh red burns that showed from beneath his eyelids stood out so clearly from his light gray skin. He blinked unseeingly, head tilted just a bit too high for him to be facing the trio of visitors.

“He has a sleepwalking problem, poor thing,” the Monastic murmured just loud enough for the girls to hear her. “Then one day he started sleepwalking, took him right out onto the balcony and... well, I think you can see what happened after that.” Even Meenah was no exception to the general feeling of discomfort as she watched Kankri sitting there, now moving his head around searchingly. The sense of unease growing as his sightless eyes scanned over all of them as if he were still trying to see.

“Quinne? Are you still there?” He spoke at last, unseeing eyes narrowed searchingly, voice soft and even sounding a bit scared.

“Yes, Kanny, I'm still here.” The Monastic, or Quinne as he called her, strode forward and stood next to the bed, guiding him to the edge to sit there. She motioned for the three to approach, and they did as she beckoned. “Little one, some of your friends from online came to pay you a visit, they were concerned about you. Isn't that so generous of them to give their time to come here?” Her hands went around his shoulders, gently running her fingers over the slight shape of them. “This is the heiress, Meenah. And the two others...” She looked up meaningfully, and the other two got the hint.

“Porrim,” said Jade girl said quickly. “And this is Latula. It's... nice to meet you in person, Kankri.” The blind mutant seemed to finally find the proper direction to look, thanks to her voice, and opened his mouth. However, with a soft, subtle squeeze from his culler to his shoulders, his lips closed again, and he nodded before murmuring softly.

“Nice to meet you too.”

Ever the bold one, no matter the situation, Latula finally managed to gather up her nerve.

“Hey, man, uh... sorry for busting in like this, but you just vanished, you know? No trace at all. We're just glad you're okay... Well, you know, you're not okay okay, with all... all that, but... you know?” She shrugged, which she only realized after how foolish that gesture was after she did it, given he couldn't see her make the motion.

Quinne slowly, steadily tapped her finger on her culler's shoulder, until Kankri finally answered, still looking at Latula with those eerie, flat red eyes.

I... appreciate your concern, but I'm fine. It's just been hard, adjusting and all. I'm perfectly fine, though; my culler is taking care of me.” Quinne's smile seemed to soften a bit, and she removed a hand from his body to ruffle his hair instead.

Oh, Kanny, you know I'd do anything I could for you to be safe. I wish I could have prevented this whole mess, but of course I'll be taking care of you even more now that you're like this.” She tapped his cheek with just the barest tip of her claw in a small gesture of affection. Still, that didn't stop him from flinching noticeably at the touch, and something flickered in her for just a moment. Not really the face or her eyes, just... something odd and slightly unnerving. “...Well now, girls, I think you'd best be on your way.” She stood up gracefully from the bed, not without some protest from the girls.

Wha-? But we just got here!” Latula protested.

And now you're leaving here.” Without waiting for another word, Quinne was already ushering her towards Kankri's door. “You've seen him, he's just fine. So I'm sure you can tell all your friends he's suffered an awfully traumatic injury, and will no longer be able to keep up communications with you all, much as he regrets it.”

But- but-!”

Come along, dear. I'll see you three out. Sorry that you came all this way, but that's how it is.” Quinne stood there, barring them from pushing back into the room past her as she spoke once more in cheery tones. “Say goodbye to your friends, Kankri.” There was something of a finality in her tone, and Kankri felt his chest shudder to hear it. He opened his mouth as quickly as possible, perhaps hoping he could get out one last request. A cry for help. Anything.

Good-” the door snapped closed before he could finish, leaving the 'bye' he had been about to say uselessly murmured to his block. He sat there on his bed, facing the direction the door had closed, recognizing the sound but no longer able to see the image, no matter how hard he tried to see past the nothingness that was now his vision. Listening to the muted protests and responses of three of his friends. Whose voices he had heard for the first time since meeting them through a chat room what seemed like a long time ago.

And who, to his knowledge, he'd likely never hear again.

It wasn't until the voices had faded away, and he was left again in heavy, oppressive silence that he finally let himself flop back into the respite platform. And sucked in quick, sharp breaths as he attempted to keep himself from crying.

 

Chapter Text

You couldn't help yourself as you peered in on him. It was a habit perhaps bordering on obsession by this point, but there was nothing to do about it. With how your life normally is, miserable and controlled by the one who forces you to call her 'Master', with watching him being your one respite, you of course would cling to it with everything you had.

Horuss. 'The Paladin', as he titled himself once he came to that age.

You became aware of him a short time ago in your perspective, perhaps longer to him. You saw him as just a young man at first, hardly old enough to be called so. And the moment you saw him, you just knew that you were finished.

It was similar, but different than your Cronus, your Receiver. With Receiver, it was a softness to it. You wanted to scoop him up to your bosom and protect him from all the horrors of the dystopian world that he resided on. He was far younger, still a child, and the intensity of this desire to protect and comfort him came near the edge of making you feel uneasy even with yourself. But not like it was wrong. On the contrary, it was as if feeling that way for him was the most natural thing in the world.

But with Paladin... Oh, your Paladin.

You saw him, and you felt your heart latch onto his very image. A hot intensity that let you know you wanted him and only him. You knew your quadrants, your poor excuse for a caretaker had taught you that much, and you knew you were fiercely red for him. No doubt about it. Even if, with how your life was laid out before you, you would never have the chance to act on it.

Whenever you were forced to find certain points in history, to rewrite it according to Her whims, you would do so with him on your mind. Wondering how this would affect him. Either of them, really. You felt so strongly for these two men and you had no idea why.

Yet, for all its strangeness, you felt it was right to feel so. Like there was a whisper at the back of your mind, telling you that yes, you're supposed to feel this way for them.

So, you tried to indulge yourself in it all you could.

In those few times when you felt most free of Her influence, you would go to them. Never trying to interact, because that would draw Her attention. Only to observe, and do for them what you could.

It was in these times that you freed them from slavery. To your Receiver, you delivered the knife he used to wrest his freedom from his cruel Teal slavemaster. For your Paladin, you took the more direct approach, and knocked him into the river on which he floated away from those who kept him as nothing but slave muscle. You did what you could, and now that you see them, you see them free. Even with the hardships of their pasts, you see them happy.

If only it could be you that they were happy with.

However, as you watch them both, in the times you can, you feel a sense of sadness as you see them live the happy lives you tried your best to give them. And they live it with someone else in the quadrants you feel for them.

The Jade, the Temah. The troll who raised a child of unlawful heretic blood.

The one who has stolen the heart of your heart, and the diamond of your diamond.

How your heart clenches when you think of it. That this one troll, even if he doesn't know it, has managed to break you in two ways. Taking those two trolls who make you feel happy deep in your heart, and being able to pity them while they pity him in turn in their own ways.

A part of you wants to hate him. Not even in the wonderful, pitch way of hating. You want to be able to be angry at him. To scream and yell and curse him for daring to steal away two of the only sources of happiness you've had in your miserable life...

But you can't. Even with the part of you that wants so strongly to despise him, the rest of you just can't. You see him, and the most of what you feel is an odd, yet distinct, sense of sadness. He's suffered in his life, same as anyone, same as you, but it's note even that. It's a sense of... loss, perhaps. As if you knew him once, but no longer. Perhaps the feeling that the two of you could have been friends, in the same way you feel you could have passionately red kissed your Paladin and so tenderly pale embraced your Receiver. Nothing assured, yet deep in your bloodpusher, you know it to be true

And so, as you have done all your life, you suffer in silence. Forcing yourself to be satisfied in that, at least, you know your two beloveds are happy. Even if not with you.

Even if someone else has taken your place.

 

Chapter Text

“I cannot believe this,” Karkat grumbled as he finally managed to wipe the last of the ectoslime off of himself. The stuff was more stubborn than sopor when you were trying to get it out. And he'd only been able to get at that once he had managed to pick off all of the grubs that'd been clinging to his body. God, had he known that it was going to be this much of a pain doing ectobiology, he'd have made Terezi do it or something. She'd enjoy being slobbered on by those colorful little monsters.

Speaking of which.

Captchaloguing the towel again, he made his way over to the makeshift pens he'd scrabbled together with some scrap that had been lying in the corners of the meteor based lab. Inside of it, the many grubs were squirming and puttering around on the ground. Squealing and screeching as they crawled over each other and up the walls of their enclosures.

So, I've made you little... things. Now I've just got to take care of you until it's time to send you off on meteors I guess? Since you're apparently supposed to be us as grubs because of all this time paradox bullshit?” He narrowed his eyes, staring suspiciously at all of them. He glanced at one of them, a Jade one that looked like Kanaya, which was starting to scale the sides, and he quickly darted forward and picked it up.

Hey! No! No climbing that shit!” He placed the Jade grub back in the pen, next to the Teal one that looked like Terezi, who was currently wrestling with a bright red one that looked like himself (and quite honestly was winning but he wasn't about to admit that. Karkat thought he heard something that sounded like sparking, and looked up with confusion. Only to yelp and jump up. “Woah, hey!”

Up above him, perhaps about six feet off the ground, was the bright yellow grub, sparking with blue and red sparks. Floating right next to a Burgundy colored grub who was glowing with her color. “Get the hell down from here right the fuck now!” He jumped up, barely missing the grubs. Then again.

Finally, on the third jump, he managed to catch hold of both of them. Even though he got a slight zap from the Yellow grub, he managed to get them both down. Karkat carried them both resolutely back to their pen, and shoved them in.
“And stay in!” He stood back and looked around at them. The Blue grub was being prodded at by the Olive. The Bronze and the Purple seemed to be playing some sort of grub game with a pebble from the corner of the lab. And off to one corner the Cerulean and Violet grubs were hissing at each other, while the Fuschia grub was pulling at the Violet's tail-fin.

He watched them like this for a few minutes. Everything seemed to be going just fine. Until all of a sudden, one of the grubs (the Mutant Red like himself) started to cry. He panicked, picking it up and looking at it.

What? What the hell's wrong?!” He asked hurriedly. To his chagrin, within minutes, all of the grubs had picked up the cry, and the meteor lab was filled with the sound of wailing. “Oh my god, what the hell do all of you want from me?!” he snapped.

Alright, think, think. He'd talked about this with Kanaya a bit ago. She'd learned some stuff about them from schoolfeedings that she'd passed on to him when he'd told her about the grubs.

Let's see, when grubs cry, and they're not hurt and the temperature's not off... they were usually hungry! That was it! He searched through his sylladex until he finally managed to find what he was looking for. A bag of dried meat strips that he'd carried around as a snack. It wasn't fresh, but it should do.

Alright you little monsters. Eat up.” He picked out a few handsfuls and dumped them into the pens. He stood back, watching as the crying grubs still chittered and squeaked curiously, before he groaned and got on his knees. “Do I have to do everything? Fine.”

Carefully, he separated the piles of meat strips into smaller piles, and began moving the grubs towards them. Getting them into small groups in front of the meat and nudging them closer to it. Still they refused to touch it.

At last, he'd had enough. He picked up one of the grubs, the little Mutant grub again, and picked up a piece of meat.

Here. Listen up you little shit. This is food. You eat it. Like this.” He put the meat to his mouth, and took a bite out of it. Munching it before swallowing it down, then holding the end out to the grub. “There. Now you.” The grub stared at it, seeing the thing that Karkat had been eating. Before, finally, the grub leaned its head forward and took a nibble. It made a small noise, before it finally taking to the food and munching heartily on it. Satisfied with the eating beginning, Karkat set the Mutant grub down, and looked to the others.

However, to his surprise, the other grubs started chirping curiously, watching the Mutant eating the meat. The Teal took the first bite amongst them, then the Cerulean. Until at last all of them were munching happily away at the piles of food scattered throughout their numbers. Finally, they were all eating together, and the only sound was the sound of multiple little mouths chewing.

It was... almost peaceful. Watching all the little things eating together. No fighting, no crying. Just... well, he didn't even know what all of this was. But... it was nice.

He just hoped they would eat slow enough to take up enough time.

 

Chapter Text

She just didn't know what to do sometimes.

Sure, Karkat could take care of himself. He insisted it over and over and worked to prove it to others every day. He could deal with things on a daily basis. And for all of that, he trusted her to be careful with him.

But Terezi just wasn't certain if she could trust herself with him.

In her hands, he just seemed so small and helpless. Soft. It would be so easy for her to accidentally hurt him. If she moved him too fast or the wrong way, or even if she just gripped him that bit too hard...

She wanted to touch him, while he sat in her lap, but she was just too afraid to go through with it.

... Something on your mind?” His voice startled her out of her thoughts, and she looked down to find Karkat staring up at her. She could smell as his face twisted into a look of concern for her. For her, if such a thing was possible. “You're stiffening up, you always do that when you're stressed out. Don't even try to deny it,” he said firmly. “So what's wrong?”

“Nothing's wrong, Karkat,” she tried to insist, but the expression on his face and the smell from him was one she couldn't resist. Gingerly, she raised a hand, and placed two fingers atop his head. “... It's just... I'm just a little worried... about you, that's all.”

“About me? Why the fuck would you be worrying about me for?” Already you can see he's taken it the wrong way, with how indignant he is now.

“No, not like that,” she shook her head. “I think, more I'm worried about me, I guess... that I might not be able to handle you like I should... you're just so small, and I don't want to hurt you by accident.”

Karkat stared up at Terezi for a long moment, before he started to turn around in her lap. And before she knew it, she had a pair of warm little lips pressed to hers. Not firm, but not weakly either. He had to stand up on her lap to reach her, balanced atop her thighs, but he managed it well enough.

When he finally pulled back, he looked at her with determination in his eyes; mostly red but still with those little bits of wiggler grey flecked here and there.

“Terezi. I wouldn't fucking be here if I didn't trust you with my life. I knew what the fuck I was getting into when I signed up for a matespritship with a troll who could easily bite my fucking head off or break me in two if she wanted. Because I know you would never do any of that, and I'll stand by that belief with my life. And I'll repeat that to you as many times as I need to to get that idea through your skull. You got that?”

“... Yeah... I get it.” Terezi smiled, placing her hands on either side of her tiny matesprit. “So... does that mean you'd trust me enough to kiss me like that again?” Karkat rolled his eyes with exasperation, but in a good sort of way.

“You're fucking insatiable, you know that?” he asked gruffly. Even as he already started leaning back up to go through with what she asked.

 

Chapter Text

“Fucking score!” Vriska cackled as she slammed down the multiple bags of treasure from her sylladex onto the floor. The sounds of coins clinking against each other in the cloth holders was music to her ears, sweet as sugar. “We totally scored over those chumps tonight! They never even knew what hit them!” She smirked, flipping her hair over her shoulder as she turned to look at Eridan, who was just finishing de-saddling and brushing down his lusus. Her own lusus was already contentedly lounging about and gnawing on some foods he'd given her.

“Of course we did. My strategy was flawless,” he huffed. He let out a muffled sound when she threw her leather shoulder-armor at his face. Vriska chuckled and stretched out her arms over her head, now that they were free of her light protection.

Yeah yeah, whatever.” Still grinning, Vriska flopped down into the pile of coins. It was just about as comfortable as it sounded, throwing herself onto a bunch of sacks full of metal bits, but she ignored it in favor of the knowledge that they had won enough loot in order for her to do that. She let out a sigh as she relaxed, watching as Eridan dropped what she'd tossed at him onto a chair. Jokingly, she howlbeast whistled at him while she watched him pull off his leather jacket and drop it next to hers vest. All he did was roll his eyes and untie his cape from his abdomen where he'd made it into a sort of sash for FLARP. Wearing a jacket and a cape would be pretty stupid, after all.

“So,” he said at last, staring down at her from his standing position. “You planning on spending the day on my floor nesting on the loot like a cluckbeast, or you wanna get through sorting it so we can get to relaxing?”

“Ah, let's not do the boring sorting shit tonight. I just want to relax. Let's put on a movie and sort through all this shit tomorrow night.” Eridan rolled his eyes again, but nodded.

“Alright, fine by me.” Vriska held out an arm to him, wiggling her fingers the slightest bit, until he gave in and grabbed her by the hand, hauling her up to her feet. “The usual movie, then?”

“Hell yes. I'll put it in, you grab the popped cobgrain.” She threw an arm around his shoulders in her rough but playful way, as per usual, and quickly kissed him on the cheek before trotting off to the sitting block. She liked to make him fluster sometimes. And, in her own opinion, her lipstick looked good with his reluctant blush. Too bad he'd be wiping it off when he got to his food block.

Vriska pulled out their favorite movie, one with the typical too long title but whose basic plot surrounded two lowblooded sandstings (one Burgundy and one Gold, funnily enough) who ran away from a mighty highblood desert emperor who had control over fresh water with the concupiscent slaves of said emperor in tow before overthrowing said leader after several epic vehicular chases.

To be honest, it was something of a curiosity that such a movie existed that promoted fighting against highblood authority figures. Though perhaps the filmmakers got away with it by making the 'emperor' a Purple Blood, among other things. It was something of a niche film regardless, most of their companions made fun of them for liking it or just had flat out no idea what it was. They both liked it, though. Just one more thing that brought them together.

Vriska popped the movie in and flopped onto the sofa, waiting only on Eridan and the snacks.

Really, his hive was a lot better than most of his caste. Hers was too, of course. They could both chalk that up to FLARP, of course. Play more games. Win more loot from highblood chumps. Make better lives for themselves that they wouldn't have been able to get otherwise, but which they were both fully proclaiming they deserved by mere virtue of being themselves. All of which was now much easier with the two of them working together now. Though at this point it was much more than just a simple business partnership...

“Well look at this, you didn't start without me this time.” Vriska snorted and snatched the bowl from his hands before he could even sit down. Finally hitting 'play' to get the movie started.

“Well you weren't being such a slow-ass with the snacks this time.” She shoved her hand into the food and pushed some into her mouth, crunching it hungrily down. They settled into each other, from butting shoulders to more of a comfortable snuggle that they could relax into. Vriska reached for the snacks again, but found her fingers brushing up against Eridan's. They both paused, glancing at each other, and smiled just a bit. No confident smirk from Vriska, or condescending upturn of the lips from Eridan. Just a simple, comfortable smile.

Then the moment passed, and they turned back to comment snarkily at the idiotic villain mooks who dared think that they could capture and hold the obvious hero rebel down for very long.

 

Chapter Text

In the near dead silence, the delicate click of china against the wooden table sounds as if a boulder had dropped into the room, smashing up the floorboards and making a ruckus loud enough to wake the dead (though ever so thankful was he that it did not, this whole situation frayed his nerves enough as it was).

Kankri kept his teacup and saucer in his hands, though only rarely did he bring it to his lips. The smell of the brew was something fragrant and floral, and with the utter upset in his stomach he felt as if he might throw up if he let too much of it pass his lips. There were enough things sickening him at this very table. The silence of the room like an echo chamber that pounded at his brain and at his eyes until he was certain he could feel his own pulse in his fingertips.

The too many staring eyes occupying the seats at the table (God how in his much earlier youth had he ever once thought them charming???). And, most of all, the woman sitting right across from him at the table, sipping easily away at her beverage.

“Is something wrong, Kanny dear?” Just the suddenness and the Loudness of her compared to the room set his teeth on edge. “You’ve hardly touched your tea.”

“… I’m not feeling very well,” Kankri replied softly. It wasn’t a lie exactly. “Could I please have some water instead?” Asking to be excused would be an… unwise choice. If anything, at least asking for another drink would free him from having to endure the too taxing scent of what she’d made.

“Oh? You don’t like it? And I went so far as to make something of such high quality, only for my cullee to say he dislikes it.” His culler sighed across the table. She, Quinne, allowed her expression to form something akin to unhappiness. Base emotions like anger were beneath her, so she said, no matter how much he knew that was nothing but a giant lie. She could get very angry indeed…

“I…” Kankri tried to find the words, but he stopped himself when another cup was shoved beneath his nose. To his own unmitigated horror, it was the THING occupying the seat to his left that has moved. Shoving a cup of tea up under his nose. God he was going to be sick. He didn’t even have to look up to know that Quinne had left her seat, so now he could hear her voice behind him.

“Come now, my Kanny. Just look at Tieene. Offering you some more tea. Ever so polite, as you should be.” Another arm came from his left now, this one with a plate of small cookies. “And now Pulane is offering you some sweets. You can have one if you’d like today. A special treat for tea time, hm? Just make sure you don’t get too greedy now.”
It was only by supreme force of will that Kankri didn’t let himself turn around to see his culler standing behind him and (quite literally) pulling the strings.

“I, um… I really don’t feel like cookies. They’re… not good for a growing cullee like me.” The whole situation felt like a trap. A noose around his neck growing tighter with each word he spoke. Hopefully at least she might not be so hard on him if he used the very words she herself did.

For a long moment of silence, he sat half terrified, gripping tight to his teacup. But then, at last, he felt a tingle of relief when all she did was laugh in her soft, subdued sort of way.

“Good boy, I’ve taught you ever so well. My Kanny remembers all I’ve told him for the sake of his own good.” Some force took hold in the back of his head, a subtle brush of suggestion, and he turned to the side. Just enough that Quinne could stoop over and press a light kiss to his lips. He didn’t resist. He didn’t close his eyes. He even kissed back as he stared into the flickering purple glow of her eyes. She was there only a moment longer before she stood again, smiling her gentle smile down to him. Eyes still flickering.

“My sweet little Kanny. I can’t wait until you’re at your peak of perfection.” She eyed him critically, regarding him with a slightly tilted head. “Another two sweeps, perhaps. Maybe three. Can’t rush perfection.” She allowed herself a subdued giggle. As if she’d just made a joke. “You’ll make a most wonderful marionette someday, my dear. I look forward to it.”

She patted him on the head, taking the tea from his pliant fingers.

“Here. I’ll bring you some water instead, so we can all enjoy some refreshment. I won’t be a moment.” She turned gracefully on her heel and made for the kitchen, footsteps clicking smartly against the wooden floor. “Don’t you go anywhere now.”

In a matter of moments, she was gone from the room, and Kankri celebrated the subtle release of his mind by shooting his hands up to his mouth to muffle the sound of his own gagging.

He was going to be sick, he couldn’t take it anymore. All these lifeless things, these life sized puppets that people praised his culler for her excellent craftsmanship in making… No one else knew the truth. He did, though. He’d known for a long, long time.

These THINGS. These poor souls who had lost their lives because their insane culler wanted to ‘preserve their beauty’ forever. Defacing their corpses and looping strings through flesh made into porcelain, eyes made to glass that stared blankly at a place that they had in life called home…

Just as would happen to him.

She was not subtle about it. She wanted this fate for him more than anything. Her prized mutant, the culmination of her ideals. The still growing crown jewel to her collection. Like a beefgrub tender watching over and caring for their stock until the peak time for slaughter.

No way to escape. No way to ask for help. Not without Quinne being there, watching his every move like a raptorbeast. Being there. Reminding him of his inevitable fate.

“I’m back, Kanny.” Quinne announced her return with her honeyed tones an an extended glass of water. Kankri forced a smile, choking down his sense of nausea. Avoiding looking at the empty faces around him.

If this went on any longer, this tension that ate away at his every thought and his very soul, he wasn’t sure how much longer that simply rolling over and dying wouldn’t be the better solution.

Chapter Text

Meenah found her consciousness returning to her slowly, though a lingering haze of red seemed to linger in her vision. She hated the initial wake-up from when she was released from control. Fuck her  older Alternian self for this ‘Crockertier’ bullshark that she forced on her in the first place. And to think she’d used to think Empress herself was cool. She groaned as she held a hand to her forehead, blinking through the haze. Fuck, no glasses, either. Her vision was the normal blur of glasses-less fuzz.

That is, until she felt something slide down over her face, and her vision cleared. Ah, speak of her Alternian self, glasses. Perfect.

“Good to see you’re finally awake.” Meenah turned her head, and let out a breath. Never would she have thought before this that she’d be happy to see that face.

“Vantas. Sea you’re still in one piece,” she muttered, groaning as she strained to sit up. God she felt like shit. She scratched her fingers through her hair as she tried to get herself totally back together. If there was one thing she’d learned, she was going to have to savor having her own mind to herself as much as possible.

“In a sense,” Kankri sighed.

Meenah glanced up, trying to get a better look at him once her head had cleared up a bit, and grimaced. She didn’t expect much in the way he looked, but there was always something slightly offputting about it each time she saw him, it seemed.

He was in those stupid hiked up pants, as usual (older her liked him in them for some reason). Arms adorned in new cuts and scratches, a few bite marks around his neck. Were the two of them inclined to do anything that would involve getting their clothes off (as they had done before), she had no doubt she’d be seeing more of that under those stupid pants.

“You look like ship,” she huffed. He eyed her, and almost self-consciously put his hands over his own forearms, over some of the more prominent marks there.

“That’s hardly fair, I think, considering how you look, Meenah.” Well, she couldn’t argue with him there, she supposed. If she looked half as bad as she probably felt right now, she had no doubt she’d be looking pretty goddamn terrible. She glanced down at her arm, seeing the sleeve of the clothes she was wearing. If anyone had told her that she was going to end up wearing this guys color, all because of an adult her from another reality who was seeking to dominate the whole galaxy, she’d probably have called them a fucking idiot and socked them in the mouth for wasting her time with so much shit. And her hair. Why would older her want her hair down like this?! There was a reason she wore the braids! She hated when her hair was all over the fucking place and, right now, it was all over the fucking place!!!

“I don’t play fair, buoy.” And neither did he, she supposed.

“… I can try to tie them back for you, at least for a while.”

“Fuck yes,” Meenah, groaned. She scanned the room for her hairbrush, until at last she managed to find it and grabbed it, chucking it at him. Kankri caught it with relative ease, and started on brushing her hair.

Morbid as it may have been, given the circumstances, it was a soothing thing, little moments like this. Given their other options for company, it seemed the most obvious better choice, even with their past differences. He’d never let her touch his hair, but for Meenah, having someone else just do something for her that didn’t involve 'grooming her for the future’, it was worth it.

She glanced up at the mirror, scowling at the image reflected back at her. Those unnaturally straight circuit-like, red lines that extended out under her eyes like the veins of some sort of evil infection. Though that would be an apt description of the thing, honestly.

She tried not to focus on it, though. Instead just feeling the careful, slow hands making their way through her mass of luxurious black hair. It always took a while to get through, but anything was better than the voluminous rat’s nest it got itself into while she was like that.

Ugh. She didn’t even want to think about that. Just made her sick to think about, it was why she never did when she could help it. Except, now she was. Fuck.

“Hey, Vantas. Quit that for a bit, won’t ya?” Kankri pulled back the hairbrush with a slight flinch, wondering internally if he’d caught a know that pulled or something. But then Meenah suddenly turned and fell forward onto him, he barely had time to let out a muffled exclamation of shock before he was made to fall back on the too many pillows on the floor.

They laid there like that for a minute, Kankri pressed against the floor and Meenah lying atop and over him, clinging around his neck with her hair cascading over their bodies like oily water. If nothing else, he was solid and real and warm, very warm. And she needed this moment of stability right here. And, so it seemed, so did he, as his arms came to wrap around her back, lightly holding her to himself.

It didn’t matter that it wasn’t much. It was solid, and there, and that was all either could have asked for under the circumstances. Meenah buries her face into his shoulder and breathed in deep, just relishing the feel of another living person, and soothed by the heat of his blood.

“Everything will be alright, sooner or later.” She could hear him talking, but it was so quiet she could hardly tell if it was to her or himself. In lieu of knowing which it was, she just sighed and nodded, clutching him that much tighter as her anchor.

“…Yeah.”

Chapter Text

“If I told ya once I told ya a thousand times, Vantas. Shut yer yap and lay your ass down on that platform before I tie you to it! And we ain't doing those kinda kinks tonight.” Kankri grumbled as he walked next to Meenah, looking at the respite platform she was pointing at. Clad in nothing but his boxers, he felt rather exposed about this whole thing.

“Remind me again why I agreed to this, if you would?” he asked hesitantly, and not without annoyance.

“Because you lost a fuckin bet and I am gonna get some use out of this massage class that I shelled out the dough for.” Kankri resisted the urge to roll his eyes when Meenah chuckled to herself for her ability to force a 'shell' pun into her sentence. “Besides, you're way too fuckin' tense.” She slapped him on the back hard enough to make him yelp, then frowned as she squeezed his back. “Feel that? That's one giant-ass knot, and not the only one, too. So you lay your knotty ass down and let me get to work before I lay you out on it myself.”

“Threatening me to get me to do something 'good' for myself?” Kankri asked drily. Meenah shrugged stubbornly.

“If I gotta, Vantas. Now go on.”

Kankri grumbled a bit, but did as she told him to. In moments he was settled facedown on the platform, hearing as Meenah moved around. Meenah got the oil ready, getting it nice and heated before she got some on her hands and rubbed them together.

“Alright. Now you get to see how a reel heiress can work.” Kankri made an attempt for a few muffled words, which Meenah ignored and got to work. With the oil on her hands, her fingers slid smoothly over his back. The warmth of the oil helping to loosen up his tense muscles under his skin the more she worked at them. Even though her Tyrian cold hands were in great contrast to the heated oil, her Tyrian strength meant she was making short work of Kankri's tense muscles. “Cod, Vantas, you're like a fuckin rock. Gotta loosen up.”

She was drawing a few odd grunts out of Kankri as she worked at his stiff muscles, and his fingers twitched at his sides even as he tried to keep still and quiet.

However, when she came to press into a particularly rigid patch of muscle right below his left shoulder, she was taken very much off guard by the long, loud moan that escaped his mouth when she dug her fingers into it in just the right way. Immediately after it left him, Kankri clamped his mouth shut, absolutely mortified that he would make such a noise just for this.

Meenah, on the other hand, was grinning something fierce.

“Oh now you're embarrassed to be mako-ing noise, are you? Come on, buoy, don't go stopping now. Let's hear some more of those sweet sounds you just made.” He wanted to protest, but it got lost in him gritting his teeth against the noises he made from Meenah digging into that spot. He tensed up, digging his teeth into his lip. After a while, though, her concentrated hands and the warm oil slowly eased all the tension out of him, until there was nothing left of the hard knot that had been in his shoulder.

“Meenah, I swear you are such a-aaaaaah!” He was finally starting to relax, but then her slick, searching hands trailed down further, and found a spot just as stiff in his lower back. He moaned aloud again, arching his back and feeling heavy embarrassment when quite a... different sensation made itself known between his legs.

Perhaps it was a combination of the different temperatures disorienting him, and the utter relief of his muscles being relaxed under her ministrations. But it sent a whole series of tingling straight down to his groin, where it helped his bulge slowly come to life in its sheath. No matter how much he tried to hide it, there was no hiding the subtle shift of his hips as he ground slightly against the massage table, or the way he rubbed his thighs together for friction. He gasped again when she poured more hot oil directly onto the knotted muscle, sending shivers over his body.

“Come on, Vantas. Let's hear those squalls a yours. No shame if it feels good, right?” She kept on rubbing down his back, enjoying as he slowly came apart under her expert hands. Embarrassed but not enough to get her to stop. He clenched his fingers together and shuddered, gasping aloud each time she rubbed at a new knot or poured heated oil onto his skin.

He didn't even resist when she worked further down past his back, spreading oil onto his slowly red staining boxers as she rubbed under the fabric to get there, and even further to go down to the backs of his thighs. She dug her fingers in here and there, not at all subtly massaging his thigh with one hand and his nook with the other.

However, she stopped suddenly, and pulled her hands away, while Kankri whined in protest.

“Wh- why... why'd you stop?” he panted, only vaguely realizing how into this he'd been getting.

“Not stopping at your back Vantas. Come on and turn yourself over so I can get at the rest.” She patted his butt again, and Kankri, groaning pitifully though he was, slowly turned himself over. His bulge, having long since unsheathed itself during the course of the massage, was tangling and squirming against the front of his boxers. Meenah ignored this, though, in favor of slathering his chest generously with oil.

“M-Meenah, please,” he muttered, shifting his twitching legs to try to present his big 'issue' more openly. The heiress just smirked, and climbed up so she was straddling his waist. When had she removed her clothes? After she turned him over? He couldn't say. However it was, she was sitting on him in nothing but her ever so sparkly hot pink lingerie, and she started her routine along his chest.

“Ey, I'm doin this by the trout-tine, Vantas. Just lie back, we're getting to the good part tsun-ami.”

She rubbed at the muscles under his nearly flat rumblespheres, along over his shoulders. By the time she got to his grubscars she was grinding into him so hard that Kankri had grabbed onto her thighs and was nearly bucking up into her. Both their faces flushed with their respective colors.

“Been doing good, Vantas... Now we get to the reel fun part. At last, she grabbed hold of his waistband and pulled his boxers down, revealing the length and girth of his bright red bulge, while he shuddered from the cool air in contact to it. Even more when she pulled aside her panties and rubbed her icy cool nook against it.

Ah! God, Meenah~” He couldn't help his moaning, trying to grind against her but her holding him in place, despite the slipperiness of the oil nearly coating him.

“And now we get to the fun~” Slowly, agonizingly, she lowered herself down onto his bulge, sighing with pleasure with each squirm of heat she felt inside of her. Kankri, for his part, moaning and desperately bucking up into her. Until at last their hips met, and he was fully sheathed inside of her.

“Cod, Vantas. Even without the oil, you're like a fuckin' furnace...” She gasped aloud, shifting her hips as she felt him inside. He didn't have the numbers like her bulge, or the wild ridges and spikes and whatever else of other Highbloods. But for what he lacked in adornments, he definitely made up for in sheer size. “Now come on... we'll call this a 'mutual massage' huh, guppy?”

She started to move planting one unsteady hand on his chest as her hips shifted back and forth, helped along immensely by the oil along his hips and thighs. Kankri held onto her as best he could, his heat drawn up into her cold, rather than repelled by it. Meenah pulled one hand up from his chest and used it to push up her bra, small yet pert rumblespheres already showing hardened nipples from excitement. They both started to moan louder the more this went on. Thrusts and grinding growing more erratic as they both tried to feed off of the sensations as much as possible.

At one point, they both grew so enthusiastic that Meenah's hand slipped, and she landed chest to chest with him, but all they did was adjust their positions so her arms were around his neck and Kankri had his hands firmly grasping her ass.

The tension grew higher and higher as they slid against each other, the uncertainty and unsteadiness somehow only adding to the sensations. Until, at last, Kankri let out a loud cry of her name and released a hot, long-awaited burst of his genetic material into her. Meenah clutched him tightly with both her arms and legs, thighs twitching as her nook gushed material out and around his bulge, twitching with each little leftover lash from his bulge inside her.

“Heh... ya see, Vantas? Like I always said...” Meenah panted. “All you gotta do... is loosen up a little.”

 

Chapter Text

Only a few minutes in, and Kurloz could already tell that this was going to be yet another easy lay. The mutant was already on his knees in front of him, glaring up at him with those blank white eyes (were they still alive, would they have yet fully filled in with that heretical red, he sometimes wondered?). Kurloz smirked as best as his stitched mouth would allow, and made the brisk signs to convey his words.

Come on now, my little heretic-blood brother. That the best you got? Here I thought you were going to give a most mirthful motherfucker some sort of challenge. You're not even giving this motherfucker a reason to strain his own self.

“You caught me off guard. That's all,” said 'heretic-blood' insisted sharply. “We agreed not until I'm ready, and you did this as soon as I walked up, before I was ready.” Kurloz rolled his eyes as best as he could with their flat milkyness. The little mutant could always be so fucking stubborn. In some cases, endearing. In too large of doses too often? Annoying. This was starting to border towards that.

Though perhaps that wasn't too bad a thing when spades were involved.

That motherfucking so? Well... are you ready now?

“I... yes?”

Perfect .

Kankri opened his mouth, intending to say something, but then his face slackened, and his eyes began to flash in shades of purple. Kurloz smirked. The little mutant was always such a proud little Troll, wasn't he? He hated voodoos, but he insisted that he could resist them. He was just so self-important, thinking he could resist the power of the Purple Bloods. And yet, it always ended like this. Once he was under his spell, there was no more resisting. Not out of this sinfully beautiful little heretic.

NOW, MY LITTLE MOTHERFUCKING MUTANT . His voice echoed in Kankri's mind now, loud and clear, while the smaller Troll looked dazed with purple flashing in his eyes. WHY DON'T YOU UP AND SHOW THIS RIGHTEOUS SELF OF MINE HOW MIRACULOUS YOU CAN LOOK? STARTING WITH THOSE MESSIAHS-DAMNED COVERINGS OF YOURS.

There was nothing more that needed to be said to the mutant. Soon enough he was standing and taking off his clothes. Kurloz didn't have to do too much about it, he didn't care about getting a show here, the real show would be beginning soon enough. So while Kankri was slowly baring himself, Kurloz amused himself by nudging around his mind with voodoos.

The mutant was always such a fascinating paradox, in some cases moreso when Kurloz was invested in. He found all sorts of bundles of fear on the mutant, knotted and twisted around every little bit of his mind. Lots of the usual stuff, fear of loneliness, pain. But then there were some things... unique to him.

A big honking fear of powerlessness, loss of control (why then, he would want to flirt with something like chucklevoodoos had something of mystery to it, then). There was a distinct uneasiness around the thought of Highbloods, especially Purples. And voodoos. Heaps and heaps of fear around the very chucklevoodoos he insisted he could take. Did he honestly expect to find some sort of catharsis in fighting them off in a blackrom? Seemed pretty fucking stupid to Kurloz's own self.

And then there was a big, thick, gnarly bramble-fruit patch of fear around one thing. Or rather, one person. Fear of specific people tended to be distinct from having a general fear of a thing. It was always there, never changing in its entangling darkness. Sometimes he wondered if he couldn't just brush them aside. Get at the real, deepest, darkest fears that up and laid themselves in his heart and soul...

But, as always, he was brought back to reality by the mutant making a noise, and looked to see Kankri sitting there. Down on his knees like a good mutant, without a scrap of cloth on him. Kurloz smirked wide enough to stretch his stitches, and leaned over to get a better look at the mutant.

MOTHERFUCKING EXCELLENCE MY HERETIC BROTHER. WHY DON'T YOU GIVE YOURSELF A REWARD FOR SUCH RIGHTEOUS LISTENING YOU GOT GOING ON?

With a dreamy look, Kankri spread apart his legs as his mind was silently prompted, and started to rub a finger up against his nook. Stimulating the sensitive flesh as it lubricated itself with his red pre-material. Until finally, he slipped a finger inside of himself, and let out a quiet moan. Kurloz didn't let him stop there, though. He silently prompted the little mutant. Making him work his fingers further. Deeper. Until he was up to three fingers in his own nook, bulge unsheathed as the moans spilled from his sinful and hypocritical lips while Kurloz watched with his own bulge in his hand and dripping that Messiahs-blessed Purple. In his own opinion, Kankri did so much better when he was spilling sounds of need than self righteous philosophies. Just like a mutant like him should be. Put in his place.

Stretching his stitches further with the curl of his lips, Kurloz stepped forward and grabbed hold of the mutant's hair. Pulled him forward so that Kankri's lips were right up against Kurloz's bulge and his cheeks were being smeared with Purple gene slime. The voodoos gave a familiar prompting, and Kankri eagerly caught the tip of Kurloz's bulge between his lips, before taking all of him slowly into his hot mouth.

Kurloz let out a moan that vibrated the taut threads holding together his lips, and pressed the mutant onto him as deep as he could. It was some kind of miracle how it felt. So hot it might be melting him, and he'd be fine with that. Feeling the vibrations of the little fucker's moans as he eagerly kept pumping his fingers into his own nook, spilling drips sinful red between his thighs and onto the ground. The longer they went, the more desperate and pleasurable Kankri's keens and whines got from his fingers curling desperately into himself. All while Kurloz kept pressing in and out of his mouth so hard he might as well just say he was flat out fucking it. Only stopping when, finally, he spilled his own holy Purple into Kankri's mouth and down into his throat. All while the little heretic kept sending more pleasurable vibrations up his length.

Kurloz hardly even noticed that his grip had slackened, both with his hand and on Kankri's mind, until the mutant blood suddenly pulled back and away, and promptly vomited onto the ground a bit away from Kurloz's boots. Even high on euphoria as he was, Kurloz felt disgusted as he saw his own Purple being wasted like that. By the time it was over, Kankri was already coughing and wheezing for breath. For all the good that did him given they were dead.

Y-you...” He coughed violently as he tried to clear his airways that he didn't need of dense liquid. “You... are such *cough!* an asshole,” he gasped. Kurloz let himself show amusement. He liked how he could get the little fucker to swear so angrily at him like that. Some sort of righteousness in how his anger boiled so close to the surface, no matter how much he tried to hide it. “Did you really have to-”

SHUT THE MOTHERFUCK UP, YOU SINFUL BLOODED MUTANT .

Kankri immediately obeyed, Purple flashing in his eyes again.

YOU UP AND WASTED THE VALUABLE PURPLE THAT I HOLD, THAT IS SO SUPERIOR TO ALL THE MOTHERFUCKING LAND DWELLERS BENEATH US LOYAL WORSHIPPERS OF THE MESSIAHS. WELL NOW, YOU'RE GONNA UP AND FACE SOME CONSEQUENCES FOR THAT, WON'T YA? He grabbed the other by the hair again, eye to eye like two mirrors flashing Purple. ON THE FLOOR, MOTHERFUCKER.

Kankri immediately did as he was told, even if it meant he put his face down in the Purple slurry he'd just vomited up. How easy it was to humiliate him with something he despised. Almost wasn't funny.

Almost.

Kurloz walked around him and knelt behind him, raising the other's ass into the air until his dripping, red nook was clear to see. Already his bulge was squirming and eager to bury itself into that tight, brilliant heat yet again. Which he did.

The familiar press of that tight, hot nook almost made him cum again so soon, but Messiahs be blessed he was a strong Troll. Even with this sinful temptation he was buried to the hilt in. What he delivered to the smaller Troll he called a righteous cleansing of his sin. Trying to quench that fire with the cold of himself that might burn out both his will and body all at once. He didn't care if the mutant enjoyed it or not, which was why he let himself do as he pleased. Digging his claws into Kankri's sides until the flesh bled, ramming his bulge into that nook so hard it was like a battering ram that set a barrage of blows against his sensitive nook. Filling him with wave after wave of righteous and miraculous Purple so superior to the mutant's blood.

All while said mutant clutched at the ground and begged for more and more until his words became a mantra of needy pleading.

Only when he was satisfied did Kurloz finally lay off, and he pushed the mutant unceremoniously to the dirt. Standing up and cleaning himself off even as he left Kankri naked, bleeding, and shivering in a puddle of slurry that had dripped onto the ground.

NOT A BAD TRY TONIGHT, MY LITTLE MUTANT BROTHER , he praised as he readjusted his shorts over his pants. MAYBE NEXT TIME YOU'LL BE ABLE TO RESIST MY VOODOOS FOR MORE THAN TWO SECONDS. DON'T STOP TRYING NOW, OR IT'LL MAKE THIS REALLY FUCKING BORING.

He left the mutant with a sense of cleansed satisfaction. Ignoring the whimpers and sounds of muffled sobbing he left behind him.

He couldn't wait for the next time.