He goes into her bedroom, striding with a purpose, and his cape swirls around in the waters, thick and murky with god knows what.
Seizing her by the hand, he tells her, finally, that by him is where she needs to be. He’ll steal any and all planets, galaxies, and whatever else there is for her if she wants it.
She stutters and is close to panicking so he takes the chance and pulls her close, like he’s always wanted to, smooths her wild hair.
Yes. That’s exactly how it will go. He has planned this for months and the conditions are perfect.
Eridan strides into her bedroom with a purpose and also an uncalled for anxiety. He tosses that aside along with his hair and stands up tall. “Fef, we should—”
He doesn’t even get his stressed, warbled Ws out completely when Feferi, moving about even more haphazardly than normal, jumps in surprise at his voice and an arm juts itself out to help regain balance cracks him right in the chin as she spins to face him. It caught him off guard and she got him with a lot of force and at an odd angle, and that’s why he stumbles. Yes. That’s why.
Some of his image is salvaged as Feferi gasps so loudly he’s surprised she doesn’t choke and then cradles his face in her hands to check for any bruising. “Eridan? Eridan, I’m so sorry! Oh, Eridan, I’m so glad! Oh, I’m not glad, I’m sorry, I’m—Eridan!”
She’s not Eridan, of course, because that’s him and she’s Feferi, but she is drained. You might even say she looks like she can’t take no moray of this, maybe even like she’s about to krill somebody. Blah blah here’s another fish pun for you, how about we stop being stupid just for the halibut?
The hair he told himself he would smooth down looks even more tangled than usual, and frizzy, if hair can even look frizzy underwater. “Fef, what’s the matter, I’ve never seen you freakin’ out like this.”
And Eridan’s seen Feferi a lot, like, a lot. And she’s not happy, quite the opposite, which is rarely seen. Rarely, but it does happen, because unfortunately his tongue slips up occasionally, and sometimes Feferi really doesn’t appreciate his near habitual clashes with her other friends that happen as a result.
Those times she was always angry (angrier still when Eridan mentioned how she “looked like a puffer fish, Fef”), but now she seems exhausted.
While his cheek is throbbing the tiniest bit the sting isn’t permanent, and he can tell it won’t even leave a mark so he reverses the gesture and removes her hand and puts his on her cheek.
She looks momentarily confused and then annoyed and brushes his hand away.
Eridan gets annoyed but his insides get all confused and knotted and he grasps her face again, with both hands to look her straight in the eyes and repeats “What’s wrong?”
A little sigh creates littler bubbles that float up and out of her room and Feferi softens at his touch. She’s obviously embarrassed because she’s trying to hide the fact that she’s embarrassed by acting like she isn’t. Eridan allows himself a smile. At least she’s not ill.
Feferi begins to relentlessly twirl an already knotted lock of hair around her finger and, turning a shade of violet not unlike her bright accessories, she apologizes once more.
“I’m so sorry, Eridan, I didn’t mean to snapper at you, it’s just that, I get so testy when I’m busy! I haven’t got any time for myself lately; empress-to-be duties and all that!”
Her voice raises in pitch every few words, especially on the breathy Hs, but here it does it out of fatigue and you know she tends to get a little loony when she’s fatigued.
She starts to list all the tasks that are still unfinished, and he couldn’t care less about what wrigglers she needs to kiss or how many ribbons she needs to cut—he just wants her to stop. Everything.
“Fef, forget those gigs and come with me.”
She stops mid-sentence, creating another plausible choking situation. “Water you glubbing about? I can’t do that!” Nervous giggles pepper her words and Eridan’s wondering if he’s starting to look as tired as she does.
Before he changes his mind, or maybe before he knows what he’s doing, he’s taking Feferi by the shoulders and squeezing with just enough pressure to pause her.
“Fef, c’mon, you desurf a break.”
That didn’t have the undertone of a command mixed with something exasperated wrapped in a deep and suave voice like he hoped it would; it was kind of weak and whiny and stupid stupid stupid and he chastises and scolds himself because he’s not prepared for this, this isn’t how it was supposed to go, can he just restart or something—
Now he’s just positive he’s more surprised than she is. Because that worked. Feferi agreed with Eridan and she was going to skip whatever nonsense she had to do and maybe run away with him. His mind is a broken record and regains self-control only when Feferi titters again and gently pries his nails out and off of her arms.
Before Eridan loses his artificial nerve he takes her by the hand and wow doesn’t he just seem infatuated with her hands today or just touching her in general? It’s involuntary and it’s just that touch seems to bridge any gaps between them isn’t that really dumb and logical? Only a little so it doesn’t matter, and Eridan and Feferi are running and skipping down out of her room and away, just away.
Feferi is smiling and she’s happy, he can feel it, even though she doesn’t really know what they’re doing but that’s okay since Eridan has no idea either. He was going to follow her but he’s still got her hand in a death grip and she’s laughing too much to see straight and is fine with being lead. Eridan decides, he’s fine with that too.
So they just run and keep at it and turn when appropriate and avoid the obstacles in their way (whatever their way is) until Feferi’s tee-heeing and glub-glubbing infects Eridan and this is a lot of stimulation for him so he has to stop and just laugh, he just has to laugh with Feferi.
Even he has to admit that this was not what he’d planned, but it’s better. (He wouldn’t be able to see her smile if he was holding her, anyway)
The area they’re in, they don’t know where exactly, is dim and deep and wide and nice. They can’t see anybody and presumably no one can see them either. Neither of them are entirely sure how late it is.
It’s just what Feferi needed, and she says so.
The kiss is delicate and sweet, and nearly perfect; it ends a second earlier than it should have but Feferi’s eyes twinkle like a jewel—they suggest it’s not the end, not hardly.
A tug at his cape and Eridan is happy, she can feel it, and is fine with being lead.