Equius was slightly surprised at the loud, sudden bray of a horn sounding off beneath his foot, but he was not caught nearly as off guard as Gamzee seemed to be from the other side of the room.
Gamzee literally jumped back a foot at the noise, which was the quickest Equius had ever seen the highblood move. “Motherfuck!” Gamzee exclaimed, laughing somewhat nervously. “Shit, brother, I gotta get all these motherfuckin’ horns all up out of my way. Gotta always been steppin’ on ‘em and scarin’ the shit outta myself, motherfucker.”
Equius felt uncomfortable with all the superfluous swearing being uttered so unceremoniously, and began to sweat. He also wondered how Gamzee could possibly still be so surprised at the presence of the horns scattered about his own respiteblock. The highblood must step on them at least every day. Surely, wouldn’t he come to expect it by now? But Equius knew that Gamzee never had his head about him, with the constant ingestion of his poisonous pies and that reprehensible carbonated sugar drink he enjoyed. Equius found it unfortunate that a troll with such an exquisite bloodline seemed so intent on destroying his own mind in such a way.
However, Gamzee appeared rather content in his own self-destruction, as he continued to ramble on about nothing in particular, an easy-going smile on his face. “And it’s motherfuckin’ rude, to be having my hive all messy and shit when I’ve got a motherfucker all up and visiting. Man, I gotta get my fuckin’ shit together, brother.” He turned to smile at Equius and added, “Hope you aren’t all uncomfortable as motherfuck, bro.”
Whenever the highblood would direct that sincere, friendly look that he always wore towards him, Equius was guaranteed to sweat. He took the towel he had brought with him and used it to daub at his forehead lightly. He could already anticipate that it would not be enough. He cleared his throat and blinked slowly before replying to Gamzee. “Well, it is not proper for one of my status to comment on the condition of a highblood’s abode after I have been so graciously permitted into such noble lodgings. However, if it is not too bold for me to say, I find it rather concerning that one of your bloodline insists on living in such a shrill, nerve-wracking environment.”
The smile remained on Gamzee’s face, as it always did, but his eyes widened slightly in confusion. “What?”
“Um, I mean,” Equius backtracked, feeling he had gone too far, although in the back of his mind he realized that Gamzee was only being obtuse. Sometimes he liked to pretend that the highblood had any semblance of a temper. It was the only sort of roleplay he would allow himself to take part of. “If you would like, highblood, may I suggest that you enlist one of an inferior bloodline to tidy up? You may instate me to this duty, if it so pleases you…. P-perhaps you could order it?”
Gamzee blinked again, trying to process all of the big words being thrown his way. “What, are you sayin’ you’d clean my fuckin’ respiteblock?” Gamzee laughed. “You’re motherfuckin’ silly, brother. You always gotta be all up in doin’ this kind of shit when you come over. Fuck no, what the motherfuck kind of motherfucker would I be, makin’ a bro clean up my own fuckin’ place?”
Equius started sweating again. “I apologize highblood, I shall refrain from such suggestions in the future if it offends you.”
“’S’all good, motherfucker.”
Equius started fiddling with a strand of his hair, sweat steadily streaming from his pores. From Equius’s perspective, it was always stiflingly awkward being at Gamzee’s home. He could hardly understand why he kept coming here at all, although he knew he had no choice but to acquiesce to a command from his superior (although, in reality, it was never actually commanded of him).
Gamzee turned and trekked over to the large pile of horns that Equius was standing next to, taking his time to avoid the individual horns scattered about elsewhere. He exhaled dreamily before throwing himself backwards onto the pile with a cacophonous chorus of honks. Equius looked on wordlessly, silently perspiring to himself.
Gamzee looked up at him suddenly with an easy smile and patted the spot next to him, eliciting a weak bleat from one of the horns. “How about motherfuckin’ sittin’ next to a brother? What the motherfuck kind of bro would I be not to let you get your motherfuckin’ chillax on? A real motherfuckin’ shitty bro, that’s fuckin’ what. That’s like the wicked farthest opposite of bro-lific fuckin’ behavior. It’d be a motherfuckin’ disgrace.”
Equius looked longingly at the spot that was oh-so close to the highblood, but coughed and turned his head. “I am fine enough standing, highblood. There is no need to sacrifice your own personal space in order to fulfill my unworthy desires.”
Gamzee scratched the back of his head absently, looking up at Equius curiously. “I don’t motherfuckin’ know, brother, you look like you’re gettin’ some wicked fuckin’ sweating on with your motherfuckin’ bad self, just like fuckin’ standin’ there like that and shit.”
“I assure you, highblood, allowing me to take to your side would only worsen my perspiration problems one hundred fold.”
Gamzee continued to scratch his head, and finally gave up trying to process what Equius had just said. “Aw, come on, motherfucker. Just sit your wicked self down, otherwise you’ll get me all up in motherfuckin’ feelin’ bad and shit.”
Equius coughed again, and started fiddling with his hands while he bit his lip lightly. “Is that…” he cautioned, swallowing, “an order?”
Gamzee laughed. “Whatever you need, motherfucker.” He then reached up and grabbed Equius by his wrist, an action that made the blueblood freeze in his tracks. “Come on, dude.” Gamzee tugged lightly at his arm, almost losing his grip because of the slippery bluish sweat that seeped from Equius’s pores, and although Equius could have easily resisted the pull, he found himself acquiescing to the action immediately. He fell weakly in place next to the highblood, horns sounding off beneath him as he sat down and crossed his legs beneath him. Gamzee kept smiling at him, seeming content with these results.
“There. That’s motherfuckin’ perfect.”
Equius promptly stuffed his face in his own towel, both to mop up the obscene amount of sweat that had gather on his brow and also to try to disguise the bright blue blush creeping to his face. When he finally had to pull himself out of the damp, malodorous lump of cloth, Gamzee had somehow procured a bottle of Faygo and was gulping down its contents.
Gamzee separated the bottle from his lips with a satisfied sigh, looking towards Equius. He suddenly threw an arm around Equius’s shoulders, shoving the bottle in front of his face and pulling him in closer. Equius immediately grew rigid for more reasons than one, for a moment unable to hear anything other than the rapid beating of his heart and the low fizzing of the drink’s carbonation settling inside the bottle.
“You want to slam down some motherfuckin’ Faygo, bro?” Gamzee asked.
Equius frantically grasped around in his head for a coherent answer, sweating bullets. “Um. I-I’d really rather… unless you want me to…. Um. Highblood, what are you…?”
Gamzee had pulled away the bottle of Faygo and took another sip before answering. “Hm?”
Equius looked sideways at the hand that was resting on his right shoulder, his gaze trailing to his other shoulder and the rest of Gamzee’s arm, following it back up to the highblood’s face. “I-is this another jocular display of affection used between ‘bros’? And will this light-hearted gesture be lasting for much longer? Because, I… I may need a fresh towel.”
Gamzee looked confused for a moment, as then laughed. “Well fuck yeah, motherfucker, this is a fuckin’ bro thang, y’know? Gettin’ all up in each other’s wicked good vibes and shit, y’know?”
Equius sighed. “Very well then. If this must persist, I feel the need to apologize for any discomfort you may go through due to my… sweating problem.”
“’S’all good motherfucker,” Gamzee replied, unwavering. “Man, it’s a good fuckin’ thing you got me around to be all teachin’ you how to get all up in being a good bro and shit. Like a motherfuckin’ bro guru, motherfucker. Teachin’ you the motherfuckin’ Way of the Bros and all that shit. No rudeness fuckin’ intended, brother, but you motherfuckin’ need it.”
Equius fidgeted. “Yes, well. It is not often that the other trolls will engage in ‘bro’-like activities with me, due to my excessive strongness and tendencies towards accidental destruction of personal property such as kitchenware or internal organs.” Equius faltered for a moment. “It seems the only trolls ever willing to take chance on me would be my dear moirail and you.”
This left them both quiet for a moment, and Gamzee suddenly squeezed Equius’s right shoulder lightly. “That a motherfuckin’ bummer, bro.”
Equius bristled, realizing what he had just said, and tried to backtrack as he sweat underneath Gamzee’s touch. “I-I apologize, highblood. Naturally, you should not wish to hear the personal troubles of an inferior. It is not my place to speak of such informal matters with you. I shall remember to hold my tongue.”
Gamzee laughed again, squeezing Equius’s shoulder again. “It ain’t no thang, motherfucker,” he said, swaying slightly with his words, shaking around his blue-blooded friend as he did so. “You fuckin’ know I’m not all up in this whole crazy motherfuckin’ system. It’s like a fuckin’ system, bro, and I’m not all up in gettin’ shit like that, bro. I don’t fuckin’ get bein’ any better than any old motherfucker, y’know?”
“Yes, I understand your thoughts on the matter. And you will have idea how thoroughly that devastates me.”
“Aw, sorry motherfucker. I just wanna try and fuckin’ make everybody fuckin’ happy, y’know?”
“Please do not worry yourself, highblood. It matters not what I think.”
“Sure it motherfuckin’ does,” Gamzee leaned in and pulled him and Equius closer together, that same sincere grin on his face. “C’mon, brother, why don’t you tell me what the motherfuck is on your mind. Give me the motherfuckin’ skinny on what you think about my bad self. Wouldn’t fuckin’ hurt to get the lowdown on my behavin’, y’know? Do some motherfuckin’ self-improvement, be the wizziest motherfucker I can be all up in the real zone.”
Equius stiffened, looking down and fiddling with his hands. “That would be horrendously improper, highblood.” He paused for a moment before adding, “Also, I don’t believe that ‘wizzy’ is an acceptable description for this situation, nor any situation for that matter. Using imaginary vocabulary is… undignified, to say the least, highblood.”
Gamzee didn’t seem to hear the last part, and simply replied, “Naw, it’s cool, motherfucker. Come on, I’m motherfuckin’ askin’ you to help a motherfucker be a better bro.”
Equius paused again. “Is… i-is that an order?”
“I-I will accept only if it is formally issued to me in the form of a command. I command it. Um, I mean—”
“Sure, motherfucker, whatever you fuckin’ need. I like, uh, am presentin’ this to you in the directest of ways, motherfucker. C’mon.”
Equius hesitated, wiping his face off with his towel, really doing more harm than good. He took a deep breath, trying to think of a way to put together his thoughts. “Well, uh, I suppose that when it comes right down to it, you… confuse me.” He looked cautiously towards Gamzee, but the indigo-blood only watched intently, taking another sip of his beverage. “I just… find it difficult to grasp how one of such rich lineage does not revel in such a privilege. I feel—” Equius cut himself off with a frown, suddenly aware of where his train of thought was taking him. “….No. Perhaps it is not so much you, as the caste system itself.”
Gamzee looked on curiously, cocking his head to the side slightly. “Whattaya mean, bro?”
“Well,” Equius was finding it increasingly difficult to gather his thoughts, and trembled slightly at the thought of saying something improper to the highblood. “I don’t understand how you, with such rich, indigo bloodlines, can act in such a way that is abhorrently unfitting of a highblood. You indiscriminately show sincere willingness to care for others, even that meek fudgeblood and Vantas. You act as if you are equal to the lowbloods, despite your… exquisite lineage to prove otherwise. And… and it just confuses me, because even though such a blatant disregard for the caste system is unforgiveable, that part of you… intrigues me.” Equius shuddered inwardly, the dreaded thoughts that had been swimming around in his head coming out, and he tried to handle the discomfort of sharing such personal thoughts with someone who wasn’t Nepeta. “Such compassion towards lower-ranking trolls on the hemospectrum is unspeakable, but the sincerity in which you seem to live your everyday life is oddly… appealing to me. That, among other things… I almost question the very credibility of the caste system. It is… incredibly frustrating and has nearly brought me to several nervous breakdowns.”
Equius left it at that, and watched as Gamzee looked at him very closely. Gamzee blinked several times before finally answering. “Equius, bro, I’m gonna be real motherfuckin’ honest with you, motherfucker. I was all up in the motherfuckin’ space zone for most of that shit.”
Equius blinked right back at him for a moment and then sighed heavily, silently telling himself that he really should have noticed the glazed over look in his eyes. “It is alright, highblood, it was a rather long-winded and pointless rant. I am actually grateful that you did not actually hear it.”
Gamzee looked sincerely apologetic, and even dropped his smile for a moment. “Aw, I’m sorry motherfucker. I think I got the motherfuckin’ jist of it, bro. So, like, you’re all motherfuckin’ confused and shit about the whole blood color shit, and what, are you fuckin’ salty with me about not fuckin’ following it? Fuck, I’m sorry, brother, I just don’t got it fuckin’ in me to be all motherfuckin’ subjugglative towards any motherfucker, y’know?”
“No, highblood, it’s fine, really,” Equius replied, his voice trailing off as he considered what he was about to say. He decided to drop the cerebral language momentarily, mostly for Gamzee’s sake, but also realizing that he often used his vocabulary as a way of avoiding the point. “I… I think I’m beginning to like that part of you.”
Once more, Gamzee grinned from ear to ear, pulling Equius in a little tighter and making the blue-blood perspire again. “It’s a motherfuckin’ miracle to hear that, bro.”
Gamzee laughed and released his hold on Equius a little, but still kept his arm over his shoulders. Gamzee then leaned back to relax against the horn pile, settling in with a dreamy sigh. Equius could have remained sitting upright, but he found himself moving with Gamzee’s arm and laying down next to him, his face flushing with blue again.
They just laid there for a while, Equius staring straight up at the ceiling and not daring to look over to the highblood to see what he was doing. His face was hot blue and he was uncomfortable in this somewhat compromising position, but he had to admit, it felt nice being close enough to Gamzee’s side to be able to feel his body heat, with his head resting gingerly on the indigo-blooded troll’s arm.
Gamzee suddenly spoke again, the words permeating almost intrusively in the quiet space. “You know, motherfucker, I like you a lot too.”
Equius froze, growing rigid and feeling his breath catch in his throat. Gamzee was uncharacteristically quiet after saying that, and after a while of awkward silence Equius felt as if he was supposed to answer that statement. He struggled to find something to say, realizing that he could think of nothing. However, Equius was desperate to interrupt the silence, and simply sputtered out the first thing he could think of.
“D-do you perchance have any spare towels?”
Gamzee laughed, squeezing Equius’s shoulder again. “All those other motherfuckers got some motherfuckin’ deal with you, yeah? Well, I guess I’m just all up and not fuckin’ getting’ it and shit. I mean, I ain’t hatin’ on any motherfucker, but especially not you, bro. I think you’re pretty motherfuckin’ chill, y’know?”
At this point, Equius’s heart was set to beat right out of his chest, and he fought the urge to tremble right along with it. “…I… am in intense need for a towel right now.”
“I’m just real fuckin’ happy and shit that you’re chill with me too, motherfucker. I mean, sometimes I fuckin’ feel like I fuckin’ rub you wrong with the way I be fuckin’ behavin’, and motherfuck, you know how much I fuckin’ hate disappointing a motherfucker. Especially… well motherfuck, especially you. I fuckin’ try, but I don’t do a real good fuckin’ job most of the time. But I motherfuckin’ try.”
Equius laid there stiffly, still refusing to look up at Gamzee, while the highblood paused again, almost seeming to considering what to say next. This carefulness was a bit odd for Gamzee, and only made the situation more nerve-wracking for Equius. He twiddled his thumbs silently, almost jumping when Gamzee started speaking again.
“I was fuckin’ talking to my wicked girl Kanaya about it the other fuckin’ day, and she fuckin’ said somethin’ about it…. You fuckin’ know, that chick’s real motherfuckin’ smart in knowin’ all that eloquent shit, talks real motherfuckin’ fancy. And like sometimes I space out, you know, I’m really motherfuckin’ bad at that, it’s my fuckin’ bad. Just sometimes motherfuckers be talking all pretty and I can’t even listen to what they’re saying, just start concentratin’ on how they’re fucking saying it, sounds like a fuckin’ miracle, you know? But any fuckin’ way, what the motherfuck did she say?” Gamzee paused again, clicking his tongue before going on. “She said it sounded like I was waxing some wicked fuckin’ red shades. Said they were ‘Near Opaque’ or some motherfuckin’ shit like that. I didn’t really get that part….”
It took a moment for Equius’s overloaded mind to fully process what was being said to him, and when it sunk in he suddenly looked up at Gamzee in shock. Gamzee had been looking right back at him, and when Equius turned their eyes met. Equius found himself frozen again, and could only stare back as Gamzee slowly blinked at him, a small smile still evident on his face. He still couldn’t move when Gamzee started moving closer to him, or when their noses brushed together as Gamzee slid forward gently, or when the highblood finally pressed his lips against Equius’s.
As soon as his lips were flush against Equius’s, Gamzee closed his eyes and let them linger there. Equius, on the other hand, was still frozen stiff and kept his eyes wide open. Gamzee pulled apart slightly, enough to be able to see Equius when his eyes fluttered open, and then returned to the kiss again. This time he kept his lips parted slightly, and wrapped them around Equius’s bottom lip and began sucking on it lightly. Equius finally managed to blink, and at that moment what was happening was beginning to sink in for him. His face felt as if it was burning up, his body and clothes were becoming absolutely drenched in sweat, and his chest was constricting so tightly he felt as if he would stop breathing altogether. But for once, he didn’t care about any of this. All he could concentrate on was the warmness on his lips, the feeling of his bottom lip being sucked gently into Gamzee’s mouth, and for a moment, that was all that mattered.
Equius finally closed his eyes, but still felt rigid as he awkwardly returned the kiss, moving his lips around Gamzee’s mouth until something felt right, until their movements began to click with each other. Equius felt Gamzee smile into the kiss, and there was some shuffling and light honking as the highblood rolled onto his side. He lifted his left hand to place it tenderly on Equius’s hot, wet cheek, and pulled back the arm the blueblood’s head had been resting on just enough so he could hold his face in both of his hands. He used this new leverage to deepen the kiss slightly, enveloping Equius’s bottom lip in his. He licked at it slowly, sensually, and Equius stifled a whimper as he felt Gamzee’s tongue wetly lapping at lip. His focus occasionally moved towards Equius’s parted mouth, tentatively feeling out a tooth before returning to his lips. Equius, though he still felt stiff, reciprocated the action briefly, opening his mouth a little wider and carefully rasping his tongue across Gamzee’s top lip. He felt Gamzee shudder slightly before pulling away again, eliciting a short, undignified whine from Equius.
When Equius opened his eyes, he was face to face with half-lidded eyes and a small smile. Gamzee’s face paint had gotten smudged, some of it wiped from his face completely (Equius would discover later that this had been rubbed off on his own face), and although he looked even more messy and disheveled than usual, Equius found the sight absolutely breathtaking.
They looked at each other for a while, Equius still lying stiffly on his back looking sideways at the indigo-blood while Gamzee quietly held his face in his hands, stroking his cheek with his thumb. Equius made sure not to move a muscle, terrified that he would disturb this moment, that he would accidentally hurt the highblood and ruin everything. He was beginning to feel self-conscious the longer Gamzee stared at him, unsure of what to do next or where to go from here. He almost started when Gamzee suddenly moved his hands to his glasses, lifting his own hands up as if to stop him, though he knew he couldn’t touch him. Gamzee silently lifted Equius’s sunglasses up until his eyes were completely revealed and the shades were at the top of his head.
Gamzee just looked into Equius’s eyes for a second before muttering in awe, “Your eyes are like motherfuckin’ miracles, man.”
At that moment, Equius felt as if he had melted. He truly relaxed against Gamzee’s touch, turning over on his side to get closer to the highblood, immediately being met with another kiss. His hands, which he held against his own chest in order to keep him from accidentally hurting Gamzee, twitched for attention, and he opened his mouth in a low moan. Gamzee took the opportunity to slip his tongue into Equius’s mouth, making their teeth clack together awkwardly with the sudden force. Equius moaned from the sudden intrusion and from the collision of their teeth, excited by how messy this was, feeling dirty and sweaty and hot and not even caring, even enjoying it.
Gamzee’s tongue explored the inside of Equius’s mouth eagerly, licking the back of Equius’s teeth and the roof of his mouth, eventually finding his tongue and stroking it for hopes of reciprocation. Equius complied easily, moving his tongue with Gamzee’s. They both moved erratically, but with an eager inexperience that came from a first kiss. Equius could hardly think straight during the whole thing, could only savor the feelings of mouths and teeth and tongues crashing together clumsily. Somewhere in the middle of it all, Gamzee reached down to place his hand in one of Equius’s, intertwining their fingers together and squeezing his hand tightly. His grip was so tight, as if he was afraid he’d lose Equius in the kiss, and Equius had to fight not to squeeze back, keeping his hand limp. But it felt so nice, being held onto like that.
When they pulled away, they were panting hotly, their faces wet and messy and flushed with hues of blue and indigo. They were content to just lay there quietly for a while, with Equius tucked into Gamzee’s chest as the highblood wrapped his arms around him and held him tightly. Equius still had to keep his hands pressed against his own chest, still worried about moving wrong and hurting Gamzee. But Gamzee kept him hushed with his kind, if irrelevant rambling, comforting him that everything was “just motherfuckin’ wizzy.”
Equius was so content that he almost didn’t remind Gamzee that “wizzy” was not a word and that using made-up vocabulary was unbefitting to someone of such rich lineage.