You do not want to be here. You don’t want to be in this place, or at least not at this moment.
The battlefield is huge and loud and so many people are dying; you can’t take it. You help your lusus/ancestor send in the final regiment of animals and then scramble to safety, taking refuge in some nearby brush. Rufio gives you a smile, a thumbs up, and then is gone.
You watch the Revolution from behind a tree.
And it turns out you’re not the only one.
A hand clamps onto your shoulder and yanks you yelping back; you hit the dirt and flinch. You open your eyes to a painted oh no face and mass of messy curls above.
The wide smile looks like a frown to you, a frown containing far too many teeth. You try to right yourself, but the other troll has much better leverage and all you manage is a pathetic squirm.
“hey motherfucker,” he says, all smiles, “WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?” You jump under his hands, but he still pins you with ease.
“Uh, um, n-nowhere,” you stutter, starting to shake. You can’t keep your eyes off his face - you grope blindly for your lance, but he catches the movement and suddenly your vision is a whirl of color, and then dirt.
The other troll, the juggalo or possible even subjugglator, crawls over and straddles your back, chuckling at the whumph of air leaving you. You feel a hand in your hair, and shiver.
“something the matter, my little motherfucker?” He laughs and answers himself. “NO, OF COURSE THE FUCK NOT.”
You feel ashamed for your cowardice, for taking this way out, but still shakily say, “U-um, h-highblood, please don’t, um-”
He digs claws into your shoulders and you mewl; he releases just as quickly. You try to look back at him, but all you can catch is a very dark expression. You quaver in spite of yourself.
One claw runs in aimless patterns on your back, and you wonder if the crazed troll is painting with your blood.
“did a motherfucker really forget me?”
Your silence lasts too long, and his next scream drowns out the battlefield: ”I SAID DID A MOTHERFUCKER ACTUALLY UP AND MOTHERFUCKING FORGET ME?!”
You jolt with fear, mind racing. Where could you have seen him before? Maybe he’s mistaking you for Rufio - highbloods do live longer, after all, he might have met him as a wriggler and-
”...Gamzee?” Couldn’t be.
He sounds almost insulted at your incredulous tone. “i haven’t changed that motherfucking much, HAVE I, BROTHER?”
You don’t know what happened to your friend, but it’s scaring you. He’s scaring you. “Um, w-well, a l-little, you’re, not acting, um, like yourself-”
He chuckles, this time in your ear. “that’s where you’re wrong, LITTLE MOTHERFUCKING BUDDY. i’m acting exactly like myself.” You shudder as he brushes the outer curve of your ear. “LIKE I ALWAYS MOTHERFUCKING SHOULD HAVE DONE.”
The sounds of battle are fading - probably one side or other pressing the attack, but you can’t devote much brainpower to that right now - and Gamzee is stepping back, letting you get up. You do so, tentatively, and take as much time as you can brushing yourself off, not wanting to face what your friend has become.
His hand rests on your shoulder, and you can’t stall any longer. You turn in a slow circle, finally facing the beaming Subjugglator.
You wrap your hands around his. “G-Gamzee...”
The other troll steps in - it takes all your willpower not to abscond - and caresses the edge of your jaw, eyes locked on yours. He’s so much taller, and very handsome now. You lean into the touch, producing a pleased rumble from him.
“tav, bro....ALL THESE MOTHERFUCKING SWEEPS, i never did a motherfucking thing, NEVER SAID A MOTHERFUCKING WORD. i really motherfucking regret that now, HOW I...” He’s leaning in closer and closer, breath ghosting against your skin. In a voice almost like his own, he murmurs, “Never up and told you....how motherfucking flushed I was for you....”
Your eyes fill with bitter, tender tears - your greatest dream and worst daymare, coming to fruition together. It’s just....it’s not fair.
But Gamzee is right here, fingers curling around yours, eyes half-shut in that familiar dreamy expression, and you lean a fraction forward and -
The screams of battle fade away entirely. You hear him gasp - you hear your blood race - you feel his lips on yours - you feel the world rock beneath your feet.
You have a moment, and you live in it.