The place doesn't usually feel chilly. Bro's always said that AC costs money (as opposed to, say, chicken wings, which neither one of you would give up for some below-eighty air) and that a Strider is cool enough without it. He's right, of course, and over the last few years you've been desensitized to the unforgiving sun without a problem.
But not so much cold. Cold is different--not bad, just different.
Your magazines, newspapers, and varied homework assignments are strewn around the room as though a tornado was let in for a visit, which is pretty different and bordering on a pain in the ass.
You crouch to swipe up a fallen stack of month-old bills and nope you're not doing this screw that. Nudging them out of your way and under the couch is an easier solution and gives you more time to look for the criminal.
Bro isn't home, thus, that makes him the main suspect. He seems the type to leave messes in his wake and have someone else clean them up. It's not going to be you and it ain't going to be him so you guess this junk is going to be on the floor forever. So be it.
Your bed keeps calling you back with its cries of being lonely and cold without you and before you're able to appease it, a giggle somewhere in the back of the place entices you more.
The glass door leading to the balcony is wide open and while the outside doesn't look very inviting you're sure that's where the laughter came from, and how everything that was once not on the floor is now on the floor.
Lo and behold, the perpetrator is lying on her stomach and letting all her chalk that isn't red or half-chewed fall through the balcony's railing--whether painting a colorful, albeit messy, picture on the sidewalk below or injuring many a passerby, you don't know. Because you know so much right now, of course.
"Terezi." The name has more impact than the cars honking in the background and is much smoother. "What are you doing."
Her head raises in the direction of your voice, pausing momentarily from continuing with the crimson mayhem splattered on your concrete.
"Dave!" she exclaims, somehow adding an extra syllable to your name. You thought it couldn't be done and you have to applaud her for that. But you don't.
She puts a hand on her chest in (mock?) surprise and gasps "I didn't see you there!"
Ha. Ha. Ha.
You can already tell this is going to be a long, long day so you decide to rest up for it and let come what may. You sit back on your heels and roll a chalk silver between your fingers, turning them a dusty pink. The scribbling and squeaks of the pieces you didn't take from her are almost rhythmic, and the trails they leave behind are amusing if nothing else. Maybe it's the angle you're at or that she uses her taste buds to see but the drawings are crude at best and fairly unintelligible.
"So," you finally breathe into the air, because it's not directed to her, not really anyone at all. "What's going on."
The ordinary stillness of the air is, just like that--gone, like it never existed.
"How funny you are, coolkid!"
Terezi is on you, she's knocked you the fuck over, and straddling your chest, hanging her head and neck so low it's a wonder they don't snap right off her shoulders. In the split second they're allowed to, your eyes dart around her. Her body language and movements are identical to that of a poisonous viper-tigress hybrid about to slurp up its prey. Her tongue really helps set the atmosphere further as it's licking at her lips and giving the impression it has the mind of its own and might very well dip downwards to eat yours.
Tongues, as far as you know, don't do that but in her case they very well might and if hers doesn't you'd be surprised. Like now.
"You have such a cocky air around you. Can't you smell how spicy it is? I can even taste it. It's hot and it almost burns me up. But I know better! There's something hiding underneath that, and it's almost bitter. You worry like everybody else, because you are like everybody else, coolkid."
To say you aren't disturbed at all would be a very obese lie.
Her words are interspersed with breathy laughs, and all the while she's listing off the flavors of your insides she's curling her fingers over yours and pulling them to her mouth. On the harsh D of her last word her tongue, her infamous tongue, flickers out from between her smirking lips to gloss over the spot of chalk on your fingertip.
The audible snap of her prehensile muscle--it sounds as gross as it looks--folding back into her mouth is fortunately louder than the puff of air that flows out of your mouth.
You'd like to say that it was because she was crushing your lungs that you couldn't breathe. You'd really like to.
Instead you swing yourself up, wipe your hand off on your jeans, and lean against the railing. You consider throwing yourself over it briefly. Nah.
You subconsciously prepare yourself for what Terezi might be doing when you turn around to see her, but she's back on her knees and drawing away. Don't let your guard down, man, that's what she wants you to do.
You blow a stray lock of hair away from your face. She probably thinks you don't see her smile at the sound. Cute.
"You know, you're not all you seem either."
That was really stupid. But you can't stop now. She's dusting off her hands and her eyebrows are raised above her glasses because she's just oh-so interested in what you have to say.
You crouch again to her level which is a pretty bad idea but you raise her chin anyway so you're facing each other properly and--you've got her where you want her. You have her attention and she's listening intently.
"You act so tough"--you give her jaw a little squeeze--"like you can't get hurt when you're just like the rest of us. The world isn't as good as you think it tastes."
She won't stop smiling fuck why won't she stop.
Now she's wriggling out of your grip and in a case of being bitten once and twice shy you straighten up and take a step backwards so you can watch her next move.
"Of course it is, Dave, you're just trying the wrong places!"
If anyone were looking up at you both they would think the gray chick has an infatuation with your legs because that's what she lunged to attach herself to.
You can feel her pause and recalculate the scenario when she realizes those are your knees digging into her face.
She takes the only natural route that would occur to a perfectly sane person and starts crawling up your goddamn body and you don't really know what to do or expect so you just wait until she drags her damn talons across your face and licks up whatever blood dribbles out.
Your spine shivers.
Terezi looks satisfied, smacking her lips together, and practically purrs.
Your spine puts on its coat and quits.
You retreat inside.
You shut the door and sit down.
You're uncomfortable, but more so knowing she's just out there, waiting. Or drawing again. You don't want to clean that up and you also don't want her to slither underneath the doorway or something out of the really terrible horror flicks so you open it back up. "At least come inside. I don't know how you got out there, or here in the first place, but the last thing I need right now is for you to sail through that railing and turn into pavement pizza."
Upon hearing "pizza" Terezi looks up at you and before she has the chance to ask if she really could become such a delicious treat you yank her up by the arm and all but fling her onto the couch. She laughs. You don't. You don't understand her and you're not sure you ever will.
Terezi beckons you over with one finger only, which is apparently all it takes because you go to her and sit down like you're her pet (like that’s so far off). She tosses her legs over yours and sprawls herself over the sofa.
Yes, she confuses you and is very nearly frightening and yes she's licking your fingers clean again and is now absolutely frightening. But maybe you're a masochist because you don't mind.
You might just be hoping but she seems to genuinely like you. I mean, who would lick somebody they don't like? And you, you like the way she's...Terezi. Maybe it's a good thing you've never met someone like her because you don't handle crushes very well.
Yeah, you kind of have a crush on her. Again, there's always the possibility of masochism.
You like the way how her laugh itself sounds unhinged, and you even the way she clasps onto your shoulder to pull herself onto your lap. You definitely like the way she slips a single digit in between the bridge of your nose and your shades and tosses them off, somewhere, to match the scattered debris of the room.
She smells your eyes, only smells because you don't let her taste them, and looks so creepily ecstatic you wonder if she's about to faint. You steady her and let her wrap her arms around your neck.
"There's no one quite like you, coolkid."
Thank god for that.