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AA: 'the queens daughter is c0nspiring t0 c0mmit high treas0n' the blacksmith tells y0u in a shaky v0ice as he returns y0ur change t0 y0u
AG: Thanks, sweet! I put the gold in my 8ag of holding. :::;)
AG: We can divvy this out when we get 8ack to the inn!
GC: 1 ROLL P3RC3PT1ON TO SPOT V4L3NT1US MOV1NG GOLD 1NTO TH3 S3CR3T POCK3T 1N H3R B4G
AG: Unfair! You don't even know that's there!
GC: MY CH4R4CT3R H4S N3V3R TRUST3D YOURS
GC: 1 DONT H4V3 TO H4V3 4 R34SON TO B3 SUSP1C1OUS
AA: ill all0w it
AG: This is HOOF8EASTSHIT.
GallowsCalibrator rolls 1 d20! 3 + 2 (modifier) = 5
fail!
AG: See! I would never take anything from the party.
GC: SOM3D4Y 1 W1LL BR1NG YOU TO JUST1C3 YOU H4LF-D34D L1CH
AG: Excuse you, that's undead Lich.
AG: You're just mad 8ecause I get like, 80 turns for every two you get.
AG: May8e you should try sucking a little less.
CT: D --> I don't see how this is relevant
CT: D --> Can we please resume
AC: :33 < *Liara nods enthusiastically while her lion yawns and rolls on his back*
AC: :33 < *she sits next to him and rubs his belly until he purrs and paws at the air*
TC: I kIcK dOwN a DoOr.
CT: D --> You can't do that
TC: MoThErFuCkEr I dO wHaT i WaNt. :o)
CT: D --> This is preposterous
AC :33 < You mean purrposterous
CT: D --> I most certainly do not
GC: D1D YOU FORG3T W3 4R3 PL4YI1G 4 G4M3
GC: FOCUS
TC: Oh, I aM sO fOcUsEd.
TC: I aM tHe MoSt FoCuSeD.
TC: aIn'T nO mOtHeRfUcKeR mOrE uP aNd FoCuSeD tHaN mE.
GC: 1F YOUR3 SO FOCUS3D TH3N WH4T JUST H4PP3N3D
TC: i KiCkEd DoWn A dOoR.
TC: :o)
CT: D --> That's it
CT: D --> I am no longer entertaining this ine%usable behavior
AC: :33 > Wait!

Equius pushes away from the table, scowling at Gamzee and throwing his helmet down in front of him. "You," he begins, shoulders quivering. "You are a disgrace."

The highblooded troll smiles lazily up at Equius, hands laced behind his head. "Ain't no motherfuckin' disgraces bouncing 'round this place, brother. You should maybe sit down. Have a bite of pie. Feel you some miracles."

Equius glowers at him and then storms out. Nepeta shoots a worried look down the table at you, and you shrug helplessly. She nods and goes after him, and you hear her calling for him as the door bangs shut.

You groan, massaging your temples. This campaign had been exciting when you'd first started it — introducing all of your metamours had seemed like a great idea, and having all of your favorite people in the same room was wonderful — but none of your metamours are exactly what you could describe as 'calm and collected', which means that sometimes things spiral out of control.

There are parts of it that have gone really well. Equius very clearly has a thing for Gamzee, even if the gawky clown doesn't always register that there's intentions being laid out in front of him. Gamzee and Terezi are also getting pretty chill, though you worry about what will happen if they get experiment-happy with their substances. Even Vriska's started to relax.

But not everything is apples and oranges all the time. Gamzee's oblivious and Equius flusters easily. Vriska's an asshole and Terezi has weird interpersonal skills. And sometimes your half-orc barbarian kicks in a door while your dragonborn inquisitor is spying on your elven necromancer and your human paladin gets angry because it doesn't make sense.

There are hands on your shoulders, and you look up. Terezi and Vriska are both standing beside you, looking down at you. You smile, reaching up to clasp both their hands, bringing their knuckles to your lips one at a time. "Nepeta will bring him back soon," Terezi assures you.

"If she doesn't, we'll kick his ass!" Vriska squeezes your hand, snickering.

Gamzee's finally pulled his tall form up from the table. "I'm gonna get some pie," he announces. "Any of my miraculous sisters want a slice?"

This time, Vriska outright laughs. "No, you fucking lunatic."

He smiles slow and wide at the trio of you before ambling out of the room.

Vriska stares after him. "He's so weird."

You bite down on your smile. Either of your scourge sisters telling you that someone else is weird is hilarious to you for reasons you don't want to explain, so you don't bother trying. Instead, you tangle your fingers through the soft sash cinched at the waist of Vriska's necromancer's robe, tracing the symbols she painted onto it idly.

It doesn't take as long as you expected. Gamzee hasn't even returned with his pie when Nepeta peeks her head in. "Aradia?"

You stand, giving Terezi and Vriska each a hug before joining Nepeta at the door.

Just beyond her, Equius is sitting on the front step, huddled against one of the pillars supporting the structure.

You sit beside him in a swirl of skirts. He's tugged off the breastplate he'd been wearing and is worrying it to pieces between his fingers. "I have no right to call anyone a disgrace."

You think that's true, so you don't say anything.

After a moment of silence, he continues. "I shouldn't even be sitting at the same table as this hemospectral nightmare."

You nudge his arm. "If you don't stop being a killjoy I will let you go back to your hivestem and then we'll be down a paladin and everyone will jump into the next volcano they see." He snorts, and you push on, your voice softening. "Come on. We're all figuring things out together. And I really want you to be with us on this. And so does Nepeta."

"I de-fur-nitely want you with us, Equi!" Nepeta chirps from behind you. "Purrlease?"

Equius looks up at you, his eyes nervous behind his cracked lenses. "I do not know if I am strong enough for this, Aradia."

You catch his hand with yours and give it a squeeze. "That's okay. We are all strong for each other. Come back inside. Please?"

He swallows, and stands. "Okay."

Gamzee's the first one to smile when you open the door. "I knew you'd bring our brother back. He can't stay gone for long."

He stands and wraps his arms around Equius, giving him a bone-cracking hug. Equius sputters, and when he sits back down at the table, he does so beside Gamzee, though it's very obvious he's going out of his way not to look at the troll beside him.

Gamzee doesn't care. He sticks his fork in the pie in front of him and offers Equius a bite.

You smile as you settle back into your seat at the head of the table. Terezi and Vriska are rolling dice across the table at each other, Nepeta is happily dancing two figures at the edge of the mat, and Equius is making a face as he chokes down his first bite of sopor pie.

You think everything is going to be 0kay.

AA: s0
AA: 0rg'r0th has just kicked d0wn a d00r
TC: :o)
AA: What d0 y0u d0