Actions

Work Header

My Best Friends' Wedding

Chapter Text

“So Karkles, who are you taking to TZ's wedding?” Dave asks, collapsing into the booth, smooshing John into you. They link hands and you roll your eyes as you shove John out of your personal space.

“Nice of you to join us,” you tell him bitterly as a chorus of “Hi Dave” goes around the table.

“Lighten up Karkat,” John chirps, elbowing you lightly.

“We're twenty-six fucking years old, he needs to grow up.” You gripe. You're pointedly ignoring the look Aradia is giving you from across the table.

“Not my style,” Dave says smoothly, “You still haven't answered my question.”

“Ugh I don't know yet. Why take any one at all?” You complain, and bury your head in the menu.

You weren't surprised when you got the invitation to Sollux and Terezi's wedding. They're two of your closest friends, you were one of the first to know about the engagement in the first place. You just haven't really found any one to go with just yet. As a result, you try and change the subject before they can latch on to it.

“Since you're here can we order now?”

“Karkat, we've been over this, as best man you have to bring some one.” Aradia reminds you pointedly. As Sollux's other best friend she earned herself a spot as one of Terezi's bridesmaids. Her main job is making sure you do your job. Which is just great because if she's concerned you're never going to be able to wave off the problem now.

“Oh,” Feferi goes suddenly, “What about Nepeta? You took her to my Christmas party right?” You grimace.

“So dinner?”

“Yeah, I heard she had a really good time,” Aradia agrees, ignoring your attempt to change the subject a second time. You sigh and put the menu down.

“She's Terezi's friend, they're in the same LARP Chapter. I didn't really like her like that though and I don't want get her hopes up. I think she's already going with Equius anyways. Can we please just order?”

“Not yet,” John says, “We're still waiting on Rose and Kanaya.”

“So there,” Dave reaches over and ruffles your hair, “I wasn't the last one here after all.”

“Who did you take to their wedding?” Aradia asks you, not to be deterred by talks of anything else.

“He didn't take any one,” John explains for you.

“Yeah, he just kind of third wheeled it with us. It's a real hassle to get laid with Mr. Vantas in the room, let me tell you.”

“Dave!” John goes red and Dave nuzzles his cheek. You pretend to gag loudly, wondering how you keep getting stuck next to these two every time your group goes out.

“Nice to see everything is still the same with you two.” Rose says, officially announcing the arrival of the last two members of the dinner party.

“Oh thank god you're here. Can we eat now or do I have to be interrogated by the waiter next?” You flap the menu around as if to remind everyone why you're all here in the first place.

“Oh shut it Karkat,” Aradia tells you sharply before turning to Rose and Kanaya as they sit down. “Do you have anyone Karkat could bring to the wedding?”

“I don't think so,” Kanaya tells her, looking thoughtful.

“You still don't have a date?” Rose asks you. You bury your face in your hands. This was never going to end, you could feel it.

“Jesus tap dancing Christ, no I don't.” She looks at you shrewdly, trying to pick some meaning out of your procrastination. There really isn't anything for her to pick up on though.

You and Terezi broke up almost immediately after college. You had totally different life plans, and it just wasn't working out. She and Sollux got together about a year later. And yeah he totally didn't tell you at first but come on, you know what shampoo Terezi uses, so who did he think he was fooling after spending a night out and coming home reeking of her. It didn't bother you ultimately, just became a thing that happened.

“I'm sure Jade would go with you if you asked.” Rose says carefully, like she's putting pieces into place. You are in no mood for Lalonde's mind games though.

“I'll get a date guys, will you please calm down. Now I was under the impression that I was going to be eating food at some point tonight so if we could please get to that part it would be a real help to my continued existence.” Aradia looks like she's going to skewer you with her fork.

“Actually-” Feferi takes her arm , and she quiets almost immediately, looking disgruntled.

“Fine Katfish, but next time I see you you'd better have someone or I'll pick for you.” She says, and picks up her own menu.

“Finally,” you groan and go back to yours.

–----------

When the bell rings signalling the end of the school day, you spend a lot of time dawdling in your classroom. It's not that you can't just do your grading at home - you're the computer teacher they upload everything online anyways – but it's that you're still thinking about the wedding.

You just don't really want to see Terezi's sister, or her mom. You had spent most of your holidays in college there, it's just going to be super awkward to shake her hand and be like “yeah I totally dated your daughter in college, yeah she's totally marrying my old college roommate, and yeah I'm totally best man”.

You also don't want Feferi to have to make good on her promise to get you a date. Sure she's nice for trying to help you out but you're positive she intends to set you up with her sister. Last you checked Meenah was a tall, mean, and snarky person who was way too into you for you're own well being and quite frankly she frightened you.

A bit caught up in your own thoughts you nearly jump out of your skin when there's a knock on your door.

You spin around in your chair, intent on interrogating whichever student decided that coming to see you after school without an appointment was a good idea and are instead greeted to the sight of one of your fellow teachers.

“God Ampora, try not to give me heart attack next time you colossal asshole,” you scold him. He shrugs and takes that as an invitation to stroll into the room.

Eridan Ampora is a history teacher whose room is just down the hall. You guys get lunch together, and you've both been a chaperone to more then one terrible high school dance. Sometimes you meet for coffee outside of work and exchange movies and books. You guess you're friends with him at this point.

He's busying himself staring at the projects you've tacked on the wall. Rose, who's an English teacher two halls over, once told you it was good for kids to have the “fruits of their labor” on display. You think it's ridiculous but hey, it keeps the Principal happy.

“I see you got Jimmy this year too. The kid's as dumb as bricks, tried tellin me howw nine/elevven didn't actually happen. Like wwhat wwould you knoww you little maggot, you wwere in diapers wwhen it happened. Gavve him detention for insultin the general intelligence of the class, asswwipe.” He sneers, swiping the student in question's paper from the wall.

“Who the fuck lets you teach kids?” You ask him.

“Same people wwho let you.” He tosses it in the trash and sits himself on your desk. Fuck, he has a point. You bend over and retrieve poor Jimmy's paper.

“What do you want Ampora?” You ask him, safely storing jimmy's paper in one of your drawers. You can put it back up later when Eridan isn't here to be an ass about it.

“Wwell I wwas standin in front of the school and I thought to myself, 'Gosh Kar sure is takin a long time, wwonder wwhats keepin him from our weekly coffee meetin?'” You groan loudly. God dammit, was it really Wednesday already? Eridan presses on with his story.

“So come inside to find you daydreamin at your desk. I mean this wwould be a totally acceptable excuse any other time of the year, wwe'vve got lesson plans an all that shit, except that classes end in about twwo wweeks so you aren't teaching anything neww.” He glares at you, looking put out.

“God, I'm sorry,” you tell him. You're internally freaking out though. Shit it's Wednesday, you see Feferi in under twenty four hours and you still don't have a date. Shit, shit, fuck.

“You should be, you knoww howw many people I turn down seeing to keep this wweekly meetin with you?” He gets up and goes to wait in the door way. You figure that means he wants to go.

“Oh fuck off, you don't turn anyone down you pompous ass,” you snap at him. You start packing your things in your bag, mind racing. It's hard to keep a good banter up with him with your thoughts running all over the place.

“I'm offended you think I wwould lie,” he gasps, clutching his chest. You roll your eyes, what a drama queen.

“You're a filthy liar and we both know it. Are we going or what?” He grabs your arm as you try to slip past him.

“Wwhat's wwrong?” He asks, looking you over critically. You glare up at him. Fucking tall asshole, can't mind his own business.

“Nothing, I just-” and you stop talking. You really look at him, at his furrowed eyebrows as he looks at you all concerned, at how his grey eyes look almost purple with his clothes, and how his mouth look as he frowns sharply. You mostly notice that maybe your friend is kind of hot.You think you might have a solution to your problem.

“Do you want to go to a wedding?”

“Wwhat?”

Chapter Text

It's about a week later and you figure, you've got to let the cat out of the bag eventually. Also you're getting really sick of avoiding Feferi at all the general group get togethers. So when you meet them for lunch on Sunday, you tell them you asked Eridan to go with you to the wedding. Sollux isn't taking the news very well though.

“You invited who?” Sollux jabs at your chest, looking more then a little angry. You push his hand away, and flip him off.

“Eridan,” you repeat. You may have forgotten about the Sollux/Eridan feud, whoops. But hey you're not taking Meenah Peixes and that's what's important here.

“No,” Sollux says, “abtholutly not.” Terezi is dying next to him, laughing so hard she's wheezing. Sollux spares a moment to elbow her sharply but she just waves him off. You're a bit perturbed by it as well. Knowing Terezi there are several reason this could be funny and you have a feeling it's all of them, from Sollux's frustration to the fact that you're taking Eridan as a date anywhere at all.

“Ugh Karkat I can't believe you,” Aradia says. She looks livid, like you've undermined her something. You feel a bit smug. She can get off your case now, you've got a date, this wedding thing is in the bag.

“Come on guys, Eridan isn't so bad anymore. He's done a lot of growing up.” Feferi takes Aradia's arm, trying to sooth her. You snort loudly.

“I wouldn't say that.” Feferi glares at you. And yeah now you're just kind of being an ass. It's really great of her to stand up for him after their disastrous falling out freshman year.

“I'm not budging, you're not bringing that athhole to my wedding,” Sollux tells you. You shrug.

“Sure I am.” Sollux opens his mouth to retort but Terezi puts a hand on his shoulder and he quiets waiting for her to stop laughing long enough to say something. You eye her warily. She can't see you but you're sure she can smell the apprehension on you.

“How the hell did you get him to say yes?” She asks you finally, still giggling. Ugh you knew it.

“Oh fuck you! We're friends okay,” you say defensively. You can get dates just fine thanks.

“I bet heth juth going to pith me off,” Sollux mutters. Aradia nods in agreement, still scowling at you. You make a face at her because you are the pinacle of maturity.

“Sollux,” Feferi scolds, frowning at him.

“I didn't even tell him it was your wedding,” you snap, thoroughly annoyed now.

“Well who did you tell him wath getting married then?” Sollux says, voice scathing. You cross your arms, refusing to meet his eyes.

“I just said Terezi was getting married,” you admit.

“Ugh I regret picking you for beth man,” Sollux groans.

“Yeah well guess what fuckmunch, you're the blithering idiot who's stuck with me,” you remind him.Sollux flips you off.

“It's okay Appleberry,” Terezi tells him, laying her head on his shoulder, hugging his arm, “Let Karkles bring Eridouche and we can watch it blow up in his face at the reception.” She grins.

“Oh up yours Pyrope!” You shriek, throwing your napkin at her.

Fuck this wedding.

–---------

“Now your final is Thursday, so guys study because if you fail I will personally see to it that you're back in that seat next year.” Your eyes flicker towards the doorway and you see Ampora lurking. Jesus shit, doesn't he have a class or something?

“And Jimmy I swear if that piece of paper leaves your hand you'll be in detention everyday this week. I don't care if it's the last week, it'll happen.” You scowl and Jimmy lowers his raised hand because lets face it, you are terrifying when you're angry. You see Eridan crack a grin and resist the urge to flip him off. Like yeah, you can handle your class, douche bag.

The bell rings and there's a general scramble to get out first. Sometimes you have students who don't completely suck stay back to talk but that kind of stops around the end of the year. Everyone is anxious to be done, including you.

“God, can you believe he graduates next year?” Eridan scoffs once everyone has cleared out.

“I mean, almost every graduates Ampora, you have to try to fail to not graduate it's that hard.” You fiddle around with your projector, getting ready for the next class who just happens to be your favorite. It's a just a tiny group of regular kids. You know a lot of teachers, Eridan included, really like their honors classes, but you think your's is kind of a bunch of pricks. This next one however you can feel how hard they try and you really appreciate it. You might miss them a bit next year. Ugh you're honestly a bit too sentimental to be a teacher.

Eridan is circling around the empty computer chairs, idly straightening monitors and keyboards. There isn't a lot of time between classes, and a couple students have already started to filter in. they say hi to you but ultimately go quiet when they catch sight of Eridan slowly walking through the rows. You roll your eyes.

Eridan's reputation precedes him. You hear he's a tough teacher to have, a ruthless grader and lover of long excessive notes. He rarely accepts excuses and notoriously plays favorites. You might have once awkwardly comforted a young freshman after she cried about failing his mid term. He's essentially the asshole teacher and no one wants to have him.

You see him smile at your students, looking predatory and decide it's time to find out what he wants before he frightens them into not being able to hold a class discussion.

“Eri- erm Mr. Ampora,” you call. Blah you don't like calling him that, it sounds way too formal. He strides over to you, looking tall and powerful.

“Mr. Vvantas,” he drawls. Your eyes narrow and you drop your voice down to a whisper.

“So did you want anything in particular or did you just come to scare my class?”

“Actually, I had a question,” he replies. You cross your arms and look at him, expectant. His eyes flicker to your students and then back to you. “Later though, I'vve got a class.” And he sweeps out of the room. You turn to your class and find your students staring at you.

“Don't let him fool you, the guy's a huge baby,” you tell them before turning swiftly to your powerpoint. “Now, lets talk about this final.”

–----------

You go find Eridan after class this time. He was acting weird earlier and frankly you don't have time for that. You aren't a high school student, you don't need the flashy show of dominence occasionally.

You find him in his classroom, shoving things into his messenger bag. You cough loudly and he looks up at you startled.

“Oh hey Kar,” he waves but doesn't relax. You watch him meticulously put papers into slots in an accordion folder. His desk is a wreck, but his grading sheets are kept in pristine condition. He'll never be accused of losing a grade.

“Hey, so what was the big important question that made you go be a douche to my class today?” You ask him. You plop your backpack on the floor and sit on top of one of the desks in front of his. He doesn't meet your eyes.
“The little wworms need some toughening up,” he says.

“Not while I'm in charge of them. Do it in your own time douche bag.” Now he looks up at you, and seems a little deflated. Now you're curious.

“Sorry.”

“Whatever. What was the question?” You lean forward. He stiffens for a second before wrapping his folder up and stuffing it in his bag

“Um.”

“I literally don't have all day man, Gamzee gets anxious if I'm late and I've got one last problem set to grade.” You inform him. You have zero desire to deal with Gamzee's shit while you're trying to wrap up your end of the year crap.

“I just,” he picks his bag up and starts for the door, “lets go.” You follow him quickly. He's like a foot and a half taller then you, and sometimes you have a hard time keeping up. Today doesn't not seem to be one of those days however, he's dragging his feet making it a leisurely stroll for you.

“So,” you try again when the two of you have passed the front doors, “that question? And if you stall out one more time I swear to god I will hit you. You sound like Tavros and I can only have one of those in my life at a time before I get pissy.”

He takes a deep breathe and looks at you, “I wwas wwonderin if you wwould wwant to see a movie on Saturday.”

“Like a date?” You blurt out. He can't be serious.

“Uh yeah.” You hit him, making good on your promise. He yelps loudly.

“Is this because of the wedding thing? Because I just needed-” He looks hurt momentarily so you shut down that whole train of words. Fuck your bleeding heart. “You know what sure, lets go to the fucking movies. I mean be prepared to woo me though, I'm super hard to please. Like I demand you buy me popcorn.”

“Kar, wwhat kind of date wwould I be if I didn't get you popcorn?” He grins, looking less like he's going to vomit from nerves. You're starting to feel like you might.

“A shitty one,” you conclude. “Okay well I have to go do work, super fucking busy I'll just see you tomorrow then?”

“Sure, I'll text you.” He waves and goes to his car. And you try not to practically run to yours.

Shit.

Chapter Text

Gamzee is sprawled on your bed when you get out of the shower. He's trying to convince the cat to join him through a series of coos and kissing noises. It's super annoying and really in your way.

“Hey, do you think you could do that somewhere else?” You ask, shoving him into rolling over so you can collapse next to him. It's your fucking bed and nothing is going to prevent you from pre-date questioning your life because Eridan fucking Ampora is gonna pick you up in like two hours.

“Karkat, you're gonna up and scare her away again,” he complains, voice at a whisper. He shifts again so he's closer to the cat and on top of you. You groan because Gamzee is literally a giant and weighs twice as much as you do just being skin and bones.

“Ugh, get off of me you sack of shit,” you yell, but it's a bit muffled from all of the Gamzee you're dealing with laying on you.

The cat, who likes you for reasons you will never know, decides that since you're up here she can get on the bed and stop hiding under it. Gamzee grabs her, face triumphant. He sits up now, leaving you free from getting squashed over forced pet bonding.

“What's got you all irritated brother?” He asks you, petting the cat gently. You don't move, just groan louder.

“Gamzee please, isn't Tavros home or something?”

“No, a dog needed surgery to reset a paw.” He tenses a bit. You sit up to join him with a loud sigh. He's a bleeding heart and you know he'll start crying about the dog if you don't distract him.

“I'm going on a date,” you tell him.

“That's mother fucking fantastic bro!” He brightens almost immediately.

“Yeah, it's super great,” you agree sarcastically.

“With who?” Gamzee, who did not go to college with you, a bit too busy with a stint in rehab and he barely passed high school as it was, does not know who Eridan is. You don't feel like explaining.

“A guy I work with, it's not really that big of deal.”

“Sure it is Karkat,” Gamzee disagrees and goes to your closet. You're not sure what kind of help he's going to be, his wardrobe is mostly made up of sweats, overly baggy jeans and t-shirts. Not that yours is any better. You aren't made for warmer weather, and often flail at the idea of having to dress for it. See sweaters are your favorite thing, and while you do have a section of clothes for work - teachers having to look nice is ridiculous, your students come to school in pjs half the time – you don't own very nice regular clothes.

Gamzee is sifting through your nicer shirts and you take that opportunity to pull on your pants. You assume jeans is alright. You know Eridan is big on clothes, so you're freaking out a bit over what to wear exactly. You go to shove Gamzee out of your way so you can pick a shirt yourself.

“I'm a big boy, I know to get dressed,” you grumble. He smiles down at you and why is everyone you know so fucking tall.

“Alright, alright, I see you've up and got control over this fucking situation so I'll let you work your magic.” He scoops the cat back up and ambles out of the room. You frown sharply at your clothes, they're in a bit of disarray because Gamzee had gone through them. So what to wear?

–---------------

Gamzee ends up answering the door which is probably better because you're a bundle of nerves and are having a hard time talking.

“Boy, you sure are a put together mother fucker,” Gamzee drawls. He looks back at you, a lazy smile stretching over his face.

“Uh, does Kar livve here?” You hear Eridan ask, and suddenly you are reminded that Gamzee lives permanently in polka dotted sweatpants when he's in the house and his t-shirt is littered with holes.

“Yeah I do, hold the fuck on!” You shout and shove sneakers on your feet. You think you're a little too old to crawl through Gamzee's legs, although you can comfortably, so you settle for trying to hip check him. It doesn't really work because your hips only reach his thighs, so it turns into more of an embarrassing shoving action.

“Whoa there Karbro,” he laughs, a loud honking sound that's offensive to everyone within ear shot. You want to shove him down a flight of stairs. Eridan looks very confused, so you throw him a small wave.

“Hey Ampora, give me a second to talk to douche nozzle here,” you nod at Gamzee, before turning to him, “I'll be back later, try not hurt yourself until Tavros gets home. Call me if something happens, because if I come back and I find you crying with the clogged toilet again I'm going to use your head to unclog it, I swear to fucking god.” You're taking a quick inventory of your pockets as you talk: wallet, keys, phone.

“Alright Karkat,” Gamzee pats your shoulder, and gently pushes you towards the door and almost directly into Eridan, “have fun.” And he closes the door. You turn swiftly to Eridan.

“Get me on the elevator before I change my mind and go back to stay with him.” Eridan looks more then happy to do just that.

“He looks like Kurloz,” he says, jabbing a button.

“Makara?” He frowns, forehead crinkling.

“Yeah, my brother has him ovver sometimes. They wwent to college together.” You sigh.

“Yeah, Gamzee's his younger brother, we went to the same high school.” Suddenly the elevator gets quiet and you feel a little claustrophobic. You stare at Eridan out of the corner of your eyes and you notice he's not wearing tennis shoes. You're suddenly overly subconscious of yours. Fucking well dressed asshole.

There's a ding and the door's open. Eridan makes a large sweeping motion with his arm.

“After you,” he says, smile all teeth.

“Oh fuck off,” you tell him, no real bite behind it. He laughs, but more silence follows. You don't think you're really good at this whole date thing.

“I didn't knoww you had a roommate,” Eridan comments when you've both climbed into his car. You scowl.

“Yeah, two of them actually. What movie are we going to see?” You change the subject, not ready to talk in depth about Gamzee and Tavros just yet.

“God Kar, I'm not just gonna tell you, what kind of surprise would that be?” He takes a hand off the wheel to lightly punch your shoulder.

“The best kind,” you tell him. He laughs loud and sudden and it makes you feel a bit less awkward. You lean back in your seat and try to force yourself to relax, because jesus christ you're on a date with Eridan not the president.

–--------------

“She should a left him,” Eridan complains as the two of you spill out of the movie theater. You're still working on a slushie, and it's staining pretty much everything in your mouth blue. You're trying really hard not to toss it at him because can't he just appreciate good cinema?

“I mean, the guy wwas a total douche to her for like the first half of the film, she could a done so much better.” He does a brief scan of the parking lot to locate his car.

“Jesus Eridan, he obviously fucking made it up to her. Were you not paying attention to the second half of the whole movie? Like that playlist? That was a well thought out playlist!” You stab at him with your straw. He shrugs, veering closer to you so your sides are brushing as you walk.

“Yes I wwas, and I maintain he wwas just bein nice to get in her pants.”

“Agggg you have no sense of romance,” you accuse him.

“Hey, do not go insultin my romance skills, I'm tryin here.” He smiles, looking cautious.

“Well, you did get me a slushie,” you amend flicking some of the leftover blue slush a him. He squawks. “Doesn't get anymore sickeningly sweet then that obviously.” He makes a face at you.

“Jackass.”

“I aim to fucking please Ampora.” You continue to fiddle with your empty slushie cup, unsure of what to do with you hands.

“Mission accomplished then, I'm thrilled.” He leans against his car, face lighting up, and looks at you. You frown at him, shifting weight from one foot to the other.

“Really?” You ask him, disbelief coloring your sarcastic tone.

“Wwhy wwouldn't I be?” He responds, “I wwent to the movvies wwith a cute guy. I say that's a pretty good way to spend the Saturday after school lets out.” He circles around the driver's side. You feel your face heat up and god dammit you are twenty six not fifteen. You quickly squash the thrill of happiness that goes through you.

“God, shut up,” you tell him after you slam your door shut.

“About wwhat?” He sounds smug.

“Just shut up,” you repeat. Wow, that totally wasn't lame at all. You cross your arms, suddenly feeling irritated, and still blushing fiercely. You distinctly feel like he's making fun of you. Eridan is tall and all slim muscle, and you're short and never lost your freshman fifteen. You couldn't pass for good looking anywhere in his vicinity and he knows it.

“Wwhatever you say Kar,” he concedes. The rest of the car ride is silent, much to your relief, and in no time you're back at your apartment.

“So,” you start, drumming your fingers on your knees. You feel awkward again.

“So,” Eridan repeats, “Did you have a good time?” You look over at him. He looks about as anxious as you feel, twisting his rings and slowly chewing on his lower lip. You kind of really want to try that yourself actually. God, get yourself together man.

“Uh, yeah. It's a lot of fun hanging out with you,” you cough, struggling for words, “even if you're a giant asshole.” Nice save, five points go to you for maintaining composure. Still, he brightens, a wide smile breaking out on his face.

“Thank god, I wwas wworried,” he sighs in relief. You snort.

“You got worked up over nothing, it was just the movies.” You like this smile on him, he looks happy.

“Wwe could do it again sometime, if you wwant,” he offers, looking hopeful. You need to get out of this car before something happens.

“Sure,” you open the door, “I'll see you during in service on Monday?”

“Yeah, I'll be there.” You nod and get out.

“Talk to you Monday then.” You do a half wave thing and he flashes you another smile.You feel your heart stutter a bit.

This is going to be a problem.

Chapter Text

You spend very little time with Feferi or Aradia not in a group. You and Aradia don't get along, you think she's super creepy and a little interfering and way too controlling and well you could go on but you're trying to behave for the whole duration of this wedding nonsense. Anyways, this means you spend even less time with her girlfriend, Feferi.

As a result, when Feferi asks if you could meet her at work on Wednesday because she wants to talk to you about something, you can physically feel your stomach drop. Feferi is a sweet person and she's integrated yourself into your group well. Why the fuck is she singling you out right now?

So on Wednesday you find yourself downtown at the local YMCA. It's a bit busier than during the school year, summer activities starting to pick up speed as the school year ends. You're standing in the small lobby, where a young girl is working the front desk. And hey, she was in one of your classes last year. She spots you before you speak up.

“Hi, welcome to The Y, can I help you with any-” you see recognition hit her, “oh whats up Mr. Vantas? I did know you had kids.”

“Oh god no, they're such a mess,” you look around hastily, because irritating parents is the last thing you need. The girl, you think her name was Rachel, laughs.

“Well how can I help you then?”

“I'm looking for Feferi Piexes?” You do another cursory glance around. Would it have killed her to answer her phone?

“Oh the big boss, sure I'll call her down. Whats your first name Mr. Vantas?”

“Karkat,” you spit out, “tell anyone and I'll make sure you get the worst gym teacher next year, swear to god.” She shoos you away and picks up the phone. You go to stare awkwardly at the hand prints on the wall. Holy children, you wonder how many will end up in your high school halls. God, how many will you end up teaching, how many will suck and how many will blow you away.

“Hey Karcrab!”

“Shit!” You jump and then cover you're mouth. Feferi frowns at you.

“Language,” she chides.

“I know, sorry.”

“Just be careful,” she walks over and loops her arms through yours. She's big on touching, which weirds you out. You'd really prefer is people didn't touch you honestly. As if she senses this, she squeezes your arm.

“Lets go to my office, m'kay?” You nod stiffly, and she leads you away.

Her office is small and cramped and her desk is cluttered with papers. There's a stack of boxes containing what you think are files in the corner. She lets you go and you sit in the seat that isn't behind the desk.

“You should let me clean this hell hole sometime,” you say conversationally. It makes you itchy just sitting here among the clutter.

“Sorry it's a wreck,” she says, sitting down herself, “I'm still trying to sort through the last director's stuff. He wasn't very good at his job.”

“I can see that. What, did the fuckmunch just toss things into arbitrary boxes.” She laughs lightly.

“Something like that. But anyways, that's not what I wanted to talk about.” She smiles nervously, and does the same lip bite that Eridan did the other night. You wonder who picked up the habit from the other.

“I sure as fuck hope not, you could have just called me for this shit.” You eye her warily. What does she want?

“How was the movie? I heard you and Eridan went the other night.” Oh, that's not what you were expecting.

“It was fine,” you mumble, leaning back and crossing your arms. You do not want to discuss your dating life with Feferi, especially not the parts that include Eridan.

“That's good, he talks about you a lot you know. Like he's super jazzed about going to the wedding,” she continues. You stay quiet and watch her carefully. She bites her lip again then presses on.

“I mean, Karkat, be careful with him okay?” You stiffen.

“Meaning?” You ask her slowly.

“Nothing, he just is fragile.”

“Since when in the fuck do you care? Didn't you guys stop being up each others asses in college?” Not that you even know what the fight was about, you weren't really all that close to either of them until long after.

“Just because we aren't as close doesn't mean I stopped caring., she tells you, “Look we're on better terms now. I wasn't lying when I said he grew up a lot, he really did.”

“Uh huh,” you stop looking at her and start fiddling with your phone, “I'm sure it's not going anywhere anyways.” You glance up, her features have softened.

“Karkat you can't really think that.” You stand up abruptly. No, you are really not going to have this conversation with her.

“Feferi, not that this hasn't been a fucking fantastic talk, but I really have to go. I'm going to trade this hell for hell light.” You mean of course the coffee shop on Wilson Ave, “You'll be at dinner next week right? Also if you could tell Aradia to stop fucking calling me that would be super swell, Sollux and I are talking like rational adults we do not need her meddling ass version of a babysitter.” You back out of the office as you babble.

“But Karkat I don't think you understand,” Feferi protests.

“Oh no I understand every fucking thing, trust me know one understands more then me. I'll see you!” And you slam her door shut.

You flee, trying to remember which hallway led towards the exit. This building was too big and you're still a little unsettled. You pass by the pool and see Eridan in front of a group of small kids. Wait.

You go back to the pool and Eridan's still there. He's talking animatedly. His audience is a group of young kids. He's in a swimsuit. You're having a hard time deciding what is most distracting.

You slip into the pool area, and back yourself into the corner. It's really loud in there, there's another group of slightly older kids on the other end of the pool playing something. The smell of chlorine is burning in your nostrils, but you can't force yourself to leave. He looks like a natural, face open and happy. He starts to guide each kid into the water, teaching them how to keep their heads above it. You've never seen him be so gentle, used to his borderline predatory way of dealing with teenagers. He tears those kids a part, here he looks like he would faint at the idea of hurting a fly.

About a half hour later he starts ushering them out of the pool. He looks up and you know he's looking directly out of you. It is only then that you realize that you just spent about a half hour watching him teach young kids to swim, and he has never told you he even had a second job. Shit shit shit, it's too late to out now.

He waves, a smile breaking out over his face, before turning back to the group of kids he has gathered at the edge of the pool. You see him say something before they turn and go to the locker rooms. And shit, now he's headed your way.

“Hey Kar, wwhat are you doin here?” He asks when he get with in earshot. You think you can blame the fact that your face is six different shades of red on how hot they keep indoor pools.

“I, um,” you cough trying not to choke on your own tongue, “I was talked into visiting Feferi's hell of an office.”

“I keep forgettin you know Fef,” he towels his hair, which is usually so carefully coiffed, and it sticks up in weird places and to the side of his face. You wish you were tall enough to smooth it flat. He continues along that line so you start talking again.

“Yeah, she's dating Aradia... Do you wear your glasses when you swim?”

“Huh?” he stops to look at you.

“Your glasses, do you really wear those pieces of crap when you swim.”

“Er, not usually,” he frowns looking thoughtful, “I'vve got prescription goggles for wwhen I really swwim, but there's no point in wwearin them wwhen I'm just teachin a swwim class.”

“Fuck that was stupid.” You blurt out. Then mentally kick yourself because children are around, watch your language.

“Maybe a little,” he shrugs and goes back to drying himself off, “Wwhats got you all in a tizzy?” You.

“Ugh nothing, I just think I might take Feferi up on her offer to organize that office. The boxes alone are gonna keep me up for weeks. Like what did that other guy even keep in them?”

“Wwho evven knowws, probably notes about howw important he wwas to the greater operation.

“Nah, Fef is better for it. She really likes kids so I think she might be able to keep this place goin.”

“She's a pretty great person.” You feel awkward, you know Feferi is important to him, you just don't know how important.

“I guess,” he places the towel around his neck, “so hey you just wwant to wwait here and wwe can go get coffee wwhen I'm dressed?”

“Sure, I mean already in the neighborhood.”

“Alright givve me like fivve minutes,” he estimates.

“Try twenty, I've seen your hair.”

“Jerk,” he bumps your shoulder gently, still smiling. “I'll be back.”

You wait outside of the pool entrance. It only takes him fifteen.

“It looks a little off,” you tell him, pointing to his streak, which is a bit floppy. He looks wounded.

“Don't be mean, I rushed.”

“Well are we going to get coffee then or do I have to wait for you to fix your hair?” He wraps an arm around your shoulder, pulling you flush against his side. You can feel your back go rigid and you don't think you can blame your blush on pool heating this time.

“No, wwe can go, you crab.” And he guides you towards the lobby.

You lock eyes with Rachel before you can make it through the door. And shit. You detangle your self from his arm and push him out the door.

“I'll be outside in a second you ass munch.”

You turn around and go to lean against the counter.

“Seriously, do not fucking tell anyone. Worst gym teacher, I'll make sure you get him for god's sake. Nothing you saw today ever happened.”

“Of course it didn't, Mr Vantas,” she says seriously, but you see the smirk she's giving you.

You wonder where you went wrong in life.

–------------------

“Eridan if you try and pay for my damn coffee I will fucking dump it on you.” You cut him off and give the poor barista your money. Eridan gives you a look.

“You wwouldn't dump it on me, I'vve seen you almost take down Zahhak over the shit they keep in the teacher's lounge.” You may have coffee problem.

“That story was highly exaggerated. I just hadn't had a chance to make any at home and he doesn't even really fucking drink the stuff anyways, it's all just cream, he ruins it. How was I going to let him waste the last of perfectly sub par coffee?”

“Okay, but Kar, I wwas there, you basically full body tackled the wwrestling coach ovver a small cup.” You scowl at him. You may have a severe coffee problem.

“Creamer, Eridan, he fucking drowns it in fucking creamer.” Eridan shakes his head and pays for his coffee so the two of you can go sit down to wait. He slouches down in his seat so your shoulders are brushing against his and smells like a weird mixture of chlorine and shampoo. This should not make you want to sit as close to him as fucking possible and yet you scootch towards him a bit.

“So, I'vve been meanin to ask you somethin.”

“God, that wasn't cryptic at all,” you say. Your voice sounds harsh but you can feel your stomach clench with nerves. Questions aren't a good thing, in fact you can't fucking stand them.

“Oh shovve it Kar,” he bumps you gently, “I just wwondered wwho Terezi wwas getting hitched wwith.”

“Oh.” Well you were going to have to tell him sooner or later. “Uh do you remember my roommate Sollux, Sollux Captor?”

“Shut up!” He straightens, and you sigh irritably.

“So I take that as a yes?”

“He's letting you take me to his wwedding?” He turns to face you, confusion written all over his face.

“Okay first of all, Sollux doesn't let me do anything. I'm not his tragically mistreated girlfriend. The bitch couldn't even get to class on time with out me most days. And second of all, it's not just his wedding, Terezi is a pretty big and important part of it too.” And with expert timing, as barista's always seem to have, your names are called. “I'll get them.”

When you get back, you hand Eridan his drink huffily. You stay standing, hands curled around your cup, debating whether or not to risk burning you tongue to drink it faster. You're irritated now, and you're not even sure why exactly.

“Thanks. You knoww wwhat you should do?” Eridan looks up at you, it's an odd angle to see him at.

“What?” You snap. You promptly decide to fuck it gulp down the coffee, successfully burning your tongue.

“You should put that bit about him not bein able to get class on time in your best man speech.” He smiles, and it's not his sweet he's amused by you smile, it's his predatory grin. You kick at him, but your irritation is fading fast.

“Don't be a jack ass.”

“Wwouldn't dream of it.” You roll your eyes and let yourself get back into the seat next to him, this time with some space between the two of you.

“So havve you heard they put Gilmore Girls on netflix?” He changes the subject smoothly. You watch him out of the corner of your eyes.

“I'm listening Ampora.”

“You should come ovver next wweek and wwe can binge watch some of it.” He scootches closer to you this time.

“Will there be popcorn?”

“Course.”

“Good because I actually have an episode list of which ones must be seen and which ones we can skip.” You pull out your phone, trying to remember which e mail you have it saved under.

“It's a date then.” Eridan takes your free hand, and squeezes it gently. You head snaps up and you lock eye with him. He looks unsure and like if you make any sudden movements he'll bolt. You can feel your blush on your face and your neck, your throat suddenly clogged.

“Yeah, it's a date,” you croak. Eridan visibly relaxes and smiles, his grip on your hand tightens. Your heart is hammering in your chest and you feel at least six years younger then you actually are.

What is wrong with you?

Chapter Text

You and Sollux are systematically going through wedding invitations. You're not sure who let Terezi's mom plan a wedding, but they did and everything was done big and traditional and just right. Just right meaning every relative and their mother was invited on both sides. You were drowning in invitations right now.

“How does your mom have the patience for this shit?” You complain to Terezi, dropping another card in the yes pile and trying to find their names on the infernal list. Sollux could probably code something to find the names for you in about three seconds, but mama Pyrope likes things on paper.

“She loves official proceedings. She also loves torturing my favorite boys. It's a win-win.” Terezi smiles. She's got her tablet sitting in her lap, a head phone in one ear, and a recorder in hand. This is a typical “I'm working” set up for her. You can't even begin to understand how she's still activly working on top of wedding things. You hope it's for something stupid, like a traffic violation, at least. Knowing her, it's probably not.

“Thith ith nothing, do you remember when her thither got married?” Sollux drops one into the no, and leans over your shoulder to see the list.

“Oh god, didn't she marry your cousin?” And you flip the page over. You're not even half way done with the pile, this is ridiculous.

“Mituna. That rethepthion wath a great party.” He checks his name off and moves onto the next invitation. You eye him, feeling jealous, and flip the paper again.

“It was also like the only party you've ever gone to. It's not even a real fucking party.” He punches you and you make a good effort to shove him off the couch. Terezi coolly ignores your scuffle until some invitations fall onto the floor.

“If any of those papers get wrinkled I'll make you mail out new ones,” she threatens idly. You both stop abruptly and she rattles off some facts into her recorder. You settle for sticking your tongue out at Sollux instead because you are an adult and he flips you off, so you shove him.Terezi sighs, and tugs her earphone out.

“So, hows Eridouche?” She asks, setting her stuff down.

“Um, Eridan is fine I guess?” You reply a bit too quickly. You grab another invitation, and use it as an excuse to bury your face into the invite list. You can feel your cheeks burning and fuck you for blushing so easily. You are an adult not a teenager with some stupid crush.

“Word on the street is that you guys had coffee the other day,” she continues. Sollux takes the list off of you, and makes a face. You elbow him, scowling.

“God Sollux, don't give me that fucking look, we have coffee every Wednesday.” You pick up another invitation, and snatch back the list. “What's your point?”

“I heard there was some serious hand holding going on,” she waggles her eyebrows, grin wicked.

“Ew, KK groth,” Sollux says.

“Maybe there was, maybe there wasn't.” You're going die before you admit anything outright.

“Oh can it Vantas, I can smell the guilt all over you. You and Ampora were totally holding hands in the coffee shop downtown.”

“I plead the fucking fifth.”

“Over ruled, this isn't a court room.” She gets up, and maneuvers her way to sit on the other side of you.

“God, way to thtab me in the back,” Sollux accuses you, doing the thing where he jabs at your shoulder.

“Oh shut up, I don't even fucking remember what your petty ass fued was about in the first place. Let it go Elsa, let it the fuck go.” Terezi pats your shoulder before you can get a really good rant going. You quiet, and fold your arms leaning back into the chair. You feel grumpy, your best friends are nebby little shits. In the mean time Terezi has reached over you and taken Sollux's hand.

“Our little Karkat is dating some one,” she cooes. Sollux rolls his eyes and sighs irritably, like he's debating on whether or not he wants to play along, he keeps a hold of her hand though.

“Oh god, guys please don't.” You start to protest.

“He'th got thit tathte though.” Sollux breaks in, now smiling smugly.

“Oh fuck you, I do not.” You punch his shoulder, but he doesn't look at you.

“Still, I'm so proud, he's growing up so fast.” Terezi strokes your cheek gently, sounding mischievous. You bat her hand away, irritated.

“Terezi, you are literally a whole fucking year younger than me.”

“Tho fatht.” Sollux pats your head with his free hand.

“I hate both of you, I really really fucking hate both of you. Hell can't even began to comprehend how hot my hatred for both of you runs, that's how much I hate you.” You're face is on fire, and you want to become one with the couch.

Terezi leans against you, her head bumping against yours. She's always been just a bit too tall to really curl up into your side.

“Just be careful Karkles, you have a nasty habit of pushing away people who love you.” She sounds serious. On your other side Sollux gives you another look. You sigh loudly in defeat. There really is no point in arguing with them, they know that fact about you better than any one else.

“I'm trying.”

“Good,” Sollux nods, “becauthe if there are any problemth at my wedding I'm going to crath you computer tho badly that you won't be able to get anything out of it for weekth.”

–------------------

Eridan lives closer to the school then you do. He also doesn't live an apartment building, it's a fucking duplex. There is more than one car on his driveway side. He has a driveway. These facts hit you at rapid fire as you drag your feet walking to the front door.

You had parked no where near the driveway, the sheer sight of actual houses unsettled you. He had walked into your apartment building. You had buzzed him in. You had street parking.

These are, in all honesty, stupid things to be worrying about. Eridan has said nothing to you about any of these things being a problem but still you can feel inadequacy crawling up your throat.

You knock on the door and take deep breathes. It isn't Eridan who opens it.

“Wvho are you?” The stranger looks down at you, smile as predatory as the one Eridan uses on his students. He looks like Eridan, and is just as tall, but where Eridan is slim muscle, this guy is bulk.

“Who the fuck are you?” You snap back, feeling unsettled. Maybe this is what Eridan felt like when Gamzee opened the door instead of you.

“Vwell I believe I asked you first, shortstack.” There's an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth, and he chews on the end, still smiling.

“Oh fuck you!” You flip him off, drawing yourself up to your full height. Everyone is taller than you, fucking everyone.

“Nowv, novw, nowv,” the man starts to tut, leaning down, but is interrupted by Eridan yelling from inside.

“Cro, is that Kar?”

“I think?” He shouts back, but you've already spotted Eridan making his way towards the door.

“Thought I heard your vvoice yellin out here.” Eridan smiles at you, sounding fond.

“So you're Karkat,” the other guy says to you before going back to Eridan. “He's cute.”

“Shut it, Cro.” Eridan punches his shoulder, and the man, Cro, laughs. Eridan turns to you. “Ignore him.”

“Who is he?” You ask, eying him. The man in question offers up hand which you take. His grip tight enough to hurt. Eridan rolls his eyes and sighs loudly.

“My name's Cronus Ampora, the chief's older brother.” This doesn't surprise you. “And you're Karkat Vwantas, I'wve heard a lot about about you.” That does.

You take another good look at him. Side by side Cronus looks even more like Eridan. They have the color eyes, and the same noses. Their predatory smiles are identical, and they hold themselves with the same level of importance. Cro looks older though, and more disheveled. It seems like a purposeful disheveled though, and it reminds you a lot of how Strider handles his carefree appearance with the up most care.

“Who the hell told you that was still cool?” You point at his head. He slicks his hair back in a way you thought people stopped doing in the fifties.

“Hey!” He sounds wounded and Eridan laughs. You let yourself smile. You like the way his laugh sounds.

“Are you goin to come in? I wwant to see this list you wwere talkin about the other day.” He tries to elbow Cronus out of the way, and Cronus elbows him back.

“Don't be a moron, of course I am, I showed up didn't I?” You move forward.

“You can't let him in here, he made fun of my hair.” Cronus protests, but gives easy when Eridan pushes him out of the doorway.

“Everyone makes fun of your hair, Cro.” Cronus flips him off, but Eridan is smiling when he takes your hand. You let him twine his fingers in yours, stomach flip flopping unnecessarily.

“So did you hear the rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch might play Doctor Strange?” He asks as he leads you down the hall. You're still not used to the hand holding thing and you're concentrating more on the way your fingers fit together then where you're going.

“Eridan, let me tell you how many shits I don't give. A black hole could literally open up it's horrific mouth and suck fucking Benedict whats-his-face into oblivion and I wouldn't even give a shit about the scientific implications of the phenomenon.” He bumps your shoulder lightly, all smiles.

“I feel like I hit sore spot or somethin.”

“More like you hit a blinking red button put into place by the internet. I just want to be able to read celebrity gossip without that alien showing his mug every five seconds.” You roll your eyes. You'll rue the day Sherlock came out.

“Okay, okay, lettin it go noww.” Eridan is suddenly showing you a couch. You're not even sure when you reached the living room, but here you are.

“Popcorn?” You blurt out, the first word that had popped into you're head.

“Hold your horses, Kar, I'm gettin there.” He waves you off, and disappears into a kitchen. You settle in on the couch.

–-----------

Hours later, you find yourself cuddled up into Eridan's side, curled under a blanket.

“I just nevver understood wwhy she left Dean in the first place.” Eridan complains.

“Eridan, Eridan, listen, Logan is obviously the better choice. She's her best when she's with him and doesn't have to pretend to be any less fabulous than she is.”

“Please Kar, Dean has lovved her for so long, he knows her best.”

“When's the last time you even watched this show? Dean has been irrelevent since that Jesse bitch entered the scene.” Eridan groans loudly and buries his face in your hair. You desperately try to swallow your squeak of surprise.

“Kar, wwe do not speak a him in this house.”

“Uh why?” He takes your hand again and your heart gets all fluttery. This is so much contact, you don't even know what to do with yourself.

“Cause, he reminds me a Cro.” He mumbles.

“You're brother's pretty hot,” You dead pan. He groans, but doesn't move.

“Fuck you.”

“Shhh.” You shush him, listening to Lorelei and Rory banter on screen. It's getting pretty late and you're starting to get antsy. You're heart is pounding and your stomach is in knots.

Overall this is nice though. Eridan is a solid weight next to you. He's warm, smells nice and you can hear is heartbeat steadily in his chest. The effect is calming, and you're a bit reluctant to move.

Eridan sighs happily. It's like a que for you to ruin things.

“I should really go home.” You tell him.

“I'm not sure you do,” he replies. You wiggle, kicking a leg out of the blanket, and elbowing him sharply in the side. He yelps, and sits up sharply.

“That was uncalled for.”

“I apologize for nothing, you're being a fuck.”

“Am not.”

“Are too.”

“You're the one being a jerk.” You roll your eyes and stand up. Eridan stays sitting, pouting at you.

“Are you going to walk me out or am I going to have to kick myself out the fucking door.”

“I'm getting up, calm your shit Kar.” But he stays down until you lean over and try to yank him up. The effort fails spectacularly, you're just too short to pull him into a proper standing position. He laughs and straightens up easily. Now it's your turn to pout.

“Next time you sit down I'm going to wreck your hair to hell and back.” You threaten as he leads you to the door.

“Don't be bitter just cause genetics blessed me wwith height.” Eridan has a smug smile on his face and an arm wrapped around you, keeping you close. The latter was lucky for him or you'd have kicked him in the shins by now.

When you hit the door, you turn around and face him.

“Thanks for having me over, jackass.” You can feel the blush redden your cheeks and for the six millionth time since this whole thing started, you hate yourself for blushing so easily. It's all Eridan's fault anyways.

“Anytime.” He looks down at you, questioning. You think that if he tries to kiss you, you might just spontaneously combust on the spot. You stick your hand out firmly to prevent that from happening. He takes it smoothly, face easing into a gentle smile.

“So I'll talk to you later?” You ask him.

“Yeah, night Kar,” he leans over and plops a kiss on top of your head before going back inside. You stand there sputtering for a moment. Eridan Ampora is going to be the death of you, you can feel it.

Chapter Text

You haven't been standing in the lobby long before you end up sandwiched in by John and Dave. That’s the first sign it's going to be a bad night.

“Sup Kit-Kat,” Dave asks, throwing an arm over your shoulder. John crowds you on the other side, both of you knocking elbows.

“Hey Karkat, it's been ages!”

“I've been a bit busy.” You say, pushing Dave off. John pokes at you, frowning. You give him a look, daring him to touch you again.

“That's a lame excuse.” Dave twirls you to face him.

“So, have you at least gotten laid yet?” He peers over his sunglasses and waggles his eyebrows at you suggestively, red eyes glinting.

“Fuck off Strider!” You squawk, “And John I swear if you-” You turn and are spritzed in the face.

“Got you!” John says, sounding delighted.

“Fuck you, you're both pieces of shit. I hate you guys, why can't both of you just go jump off a cliff you shit faces.” You wipe at you face with you sleeve, feeling angry and put out. You have the worst friends.

“Now, now, Karkitty,” Dave says, voice soothing, “We've gotta teach you not to jump on things.” You hit him in the arm, as hard as you can. But let’s be real, this is Dave you're talking about here, he's been given worse. He ruffles your hair, grinning. He doesn't even wince for comedic effect. John is still all giggles, but takes Dave's arm off of you.

“Careful, he bites.”

“ARG!”

“Guys, are we really working Karkat up already?” Feferi puts a hand on your head. You turn to glare at her, but she's all smiles.

“Idiots,” you hear Aradia say and turn again just in time to see her whack Dave on the back of the head. For once, you agree with her actions.

“It's only water,” John says.

“Yeah, we don't actually want to ruin TZ's good time,” Dave defends. Aradia stares him down, while he smiles sheepishly.

“Knock it off,” she threatens, and turns towards you and Feferi, “Honestly, I am going to have an ulcer by the end of tomorrow.”

“It's fine dear, they're big boys and they can deal with their own problems.” She pats you before going to take Aradia's arm.

“Obviously, they cannot.” Aradia rolls her eyes.

“Hey!” You and John shout in unison.

“Sure, we can.” Dave shrugs. Feferi waves all of you off.

“So Karkrab,” she starts. And god why do all of your friends have this never-ending list of nicknames, your name is Karkat.

“What?”

“Well did you invite Eridan tonight?” She's giving you a look, like she's trying to pick you apart.

“No? Shit, was that a thing?”

“Um yeah, yeah that was a thing,” Aradia sounds like she's talking to an idiot.

“Karkat,” and Feferi is being firm and gentle, “Aradia brought me. I'm not in the wedding.”

“Yeah but like they actually fucking like you.”

“I brought John.” Dave shrugs. It takes you a minute to remember that while Dave is one of Sollux’s groomsmen, John isn't really close with either Sollux or Terezi. Suddenly, you feel a bit like a terrible person.

“Fuck, I'm a fucking idiot.” And there's a collective sigh.

“I cannot argue with you there,” Aradia says, “but we are not going to discuss it at length right now. We have got a dinner to pull off, and a wedding tomorrow.” She looks at her phone frowning. “And if our guests of honor are late because they cannot keep their hands off one another I will strangle the both of them.”

“Jeez Aradia, have more faith in me, I can always control myself!” Terezi announces, strolling through the door. She bumps into you in such an exaggerated fashion you know she did it on purpose.

“Uh huh, and Sollux?” Terezi smiles, and fist bumps Dave.

“In the car, wardrobe malfunction I assume.”

–-----------------

You spend a really long dinner with the usual group of people. You mostly wish that Kanaya or Rose had a part in the wedding so they could be here too. As it was, you had traded several snapchats across the table as the two were quite snug at home.

“I don't even understand this part,” Dave gripes, “it’s called a rehearsal dinner but what are we even rehearsing?”

“We’re rehearsing how to sit down and shut up,” John says good naturedly. He’s at least trying to pay attention to the story Mituna is stumbling over himself to tell up front.

“It’s also an excuse for the families to kiss ass,” you chime in. You’re eyeing Terezi’s mom from your seat. Latula had been no problem, as the most easy-going of the Pyropes, she took everything in stride when you introduced yourself as the best man. Neoph – Terezi’s mother – however had almost refused to acknowledge you. You know it’s ridiculous to care but it still kind of hurt.

“So how much longer are we going to be here?” Dave asks. John shoots him a look as if to tell him he’s being rude, but you agree.

“Not that much longer, it’s already like ten o’clock.” You poke at the desert that’s on your plate. You wish you had brought Eridan with you, maybe you would feel a little less pathetic. It’s almost like Dave reads your mind.

“So, how is dating your coworker going?” He asks, smirking slightly. You flip him off, more out of habit than anything else. You notice John cock his head in your direction, even though he doesn’t take his eyes off Mituna.

“Mind your own fucking business Dave,” you scowl. Why is this all anyone wants to talk to you about lately.

“Come on KK, inquiring minds want to know.” Dave pokes you with his fork and you swat his hand away.

“Well there’s nothing to talk about.” You fold your arms. Mituna has finished his speech and the three of you applaud politely. You think this is the end of the night and you’re dying to get home. Hopefully Gamzee and Tavros are asleep so you won’t have to talk to either of them. However, Dave isn’t done pestering you just yet. He keeps waggling his eyebrows at you while Sollux and Terezi thank everyone for coming. John stifles a giggle, and you roll your eyes.

“Soooo,” he drawls, hooking his arm through yours. John does the same on the other side.

“Tell us about your date the other night. You went his house, right?” John’s smile is encouraging. You would honestly rather die than have this conversation with either of these two, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to let you get out of it.

“It was fine.” You mumble. They steer you out of the room and into the lobby. Feferi spots the three of you and makes her way over. You spy Aradia having a quiet argument with Vriska, Terezi’s maid of honor, and wonder whats going on with that cluster fuck.

“Hey guppies,” she greets the three of you. You all chime hello back.

“Karkat is going to tell us about his date,” John says, smiling wide and sounding gleeful. You groan loudly and Feferi eyes you.

“Is he now?”

“Not really,” you protest.

“Sure, he is,” Dave cuts in. You shoot him a glare but you had already resigned yourself to this fate anyways.

“It was fine. We watched Netflix and I went home afterwards. Happy with your juicy gossip?”

“Was Cronus at home?” Feferi asks. You nod, feeling wary. She smiles softly.

“Who’s Cronus?” John asks.

“His brother,” you reply, still watching Feferi.

“He must really like you, almost no one meets Cro,” she tells you. You turn red and feel flustered.

“It was only like three seconds, I didn’t see him for the rest of the night.” Dave waves you off.

“So, have you kissed him yet?” He asks, sounding eager.

“Fuck! No!” You shout, sounding strangled. Your face is burning. You feel like your back in high school, and you hate it.

“Well what are you waiting for?” John asks

“Nothing I just don’t know what’s going on okay? Butt out dick face.” You give him a shove.

“Be careful with him Karkat.” Feferi warns you. You avoid meeting her eyes. You're more than ready to go home for the night.