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Swellguy's Tome of Odds and Ends

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Within a cloistered section of the trolls' meteor, two individuals sat in awkward silence across from each other. To say that their meeting went awry would be to put it lightly; what was once supposed to be an amiable face-to-face quickly gave way to inelegant stammering and restless fidgeting. The table between the two was like a gulf that was meant to be crossed, but neither of them had the gumption to do so. Whether it was out of fear of embarassment or out of respect for the other, neither of them wanted to make the first move.

Karkat crossed his arms and grumbled to himself, clutching his elbows in his usual self-loathing manner. He felt like a complete idiot, having fumbled over his words and babbled about like a raving lunatic in front of his guest. The troll normally had complete and utter control over himself and what he wanted to say. But for once, he found himself speechless. Nervously tapping his foot against the floor, he lowered his gaze away from the spirited, comely-looking human girl and down towards the table.

Jade, on the other hand, was perplexed about what has gotten into the troll more than anything else. Just a moment ago, he was shaking her hand and about to go in for a hug, only to abruptly pull back and freak out about something. She tilted her head to the side, letting her hair fall across her shoulder as she attempted to make eye contact with Karkat. Each time she came close, he would notice and shuffle to the other side of his seat, quietly grumbling to himself. After a few failed attempts to get his attention, it dawned on her that he wasn't upset.

"you're embarrassed, aren't you???" Jade asked with a goofy smile, slamming the table with the palm of her hand to get the troll's attention. He stirred slightly, but opted to stay right where he was.

"NO, I'M NOT. I MEAN, MAYBE," Karkat replied, bunching into himself like a deer caught in the headlights. "WHAT'S IT TO YOU, ANYWAYS? CAN'T YOU SEE I'M AT LEAST TRYING TO BE CIVIL HERE?"

Jade giggled and covered her mouth with a hand, trying to hide her amusement to avoid ticking the troll off further. "well," she continued, unable to hide that wide grin on her face. "perhaps it would be more civil to actually talk to the person in front of you instead of trying to avoid them? thats an idea!"

The troll hesitated for a moment to collect before facing her with an apologetic nod. "I GUESS REALLY FUCKED THAT ONE UP, DIDN'T I?" Karkat growled as he dug his fingers into the pits of his elbows. "IT'S JUST THAT I THOUGHT I ACCIDENTALLY BROKE ONE OF YOUR CULTURAL MORES AND I FEEL LIKE A COMPLETE FUCKING IDIOT ABOUT IT, OKAY?"

Jade quizzically turned the side of her lips upwards in confusion. "huh?? hugging a friend is normal in our culture! i think," she replied, using the opportunity to scoot her seat closer to the table. "i should be the one asking if that sort of thing is okay with you instead!"

"OF COURSE HUGGING IS NORMAL IN OUR CULTURE, WHAT MADE YOU THINK THAT?" Karkat shot back with a slight twitch of his cheek. "I MEAN, WE'RE NOT COMPLETE FUCK UPS. USUALLY."

The human girl rolled her eyes and rose up from her chair, meandering over to where Karkat was sitting. "oh i dont know," she quipped before coming to a stop in front of the troll. "maybe its because youre so shy that it gave me the wrong impression? i mean you were going to hug me and then you got really dorky about it!"

Karkat grunted and tucked his chin in, averting his gaze away from Jade. "I CAME HERE TO DECOMPRESS AND RELAX, NOT GET A PSYCHOANALYTICAL LECTURE OF MY OWN EMOTIONAL STATE FROM A HUMAN." He narrowed his eyes, trying his best to keep his own temper in check. "I ALREADY HAD ENOUGH OF THOSE FROM ROSE FOR THE PAST SWEEP AND A HALF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH."

"hmmmmmmmm, that may be true," Jade responded with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "but it looks like you haven't gotten enough hugs if you ask me!!" And without skipping a beat, the girl encircled her arms around the troll's shoulders and squeezed him tight. Karkat scowled to himself and sighed, loathing his new lot in life.

"AND JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" Karkat protested as he weakly kicked out his legs against the seat. "I AM NOT YOUR PERSONAL STUFFED COMFORT DOLL, NOW LET ME GO AT ONCE. I COMMAND IT."

Jade closed her eyes and giggled, rubbing her cheek against Karkat's shoulder in glee. "oh i didnt think youd be so warm!" Jade paused and swiveled a leg over the troll's lap, straddling him in place while she kept her grip on him. "gosh youre just like a blanket!!"

Karkat's expression quickly shifted from one of minor annoyance to sheer dismay. He felt his forehead become damp with sweat with his limbs turning into limp noodles, unable to fight back. The troll attempted to stutter out something, anything to help take the edge off, but the words were lodged in his throat. The human girl was much lighter than she looked, even though her weight was still enough to keep him trapped against the chair. He could feel Jade's chest against his, her breath rushing across the skin of his neck, and the warmth of her body mingling with his. Many confused thoughts passed through his mind, each one more feverish than the last.

Jade, however, was not bothered by this in the slightest. She was still completely clueless to Karkat's inner emotional state, only seeking to pacify the flustered troll for the time being. "hehe did the dog get your tongue??" she coyly whispered, pressing her cheek against his without reservation. "theres no need to be a stick in the mud you know! here," Jade continued as she reached down and lifted up Karkat's idle arms, draping them across her waist. "see its not as bad as you think it is!"

The troll bit down on his lip, trying his best not to lose his calm. He was stuck in a weird dichotomic state; physically, he was comfortable. Mentally, he was intimidated and fearful, not of Jade, but of what he could do to mess everything up. Just as he opened his mouth to speak, Jade brought a finger to his lips and shushed him. "shhhhhh relax!" Leaning her face downwards, the girl gave him a small peck on the cheek before closing her eyes with a wink.

Karkat acquiesced with a muted grumble as he rested his head against Jade's shoulder. "(STUPID, LOUSY, SUPPORTIVE FRIEND— )," he muttered, only to be cut off by a swift pap on the cheek from the human. He might as well enjoy the moment while it lasted, especially since it was just the two of them and no one else. The troll was tempted to scratch the fluffy, white ears perched upon the top of her head, but he didn't want to overstep his boundaries.

But a suspicious glint caught his eye in a darkened corner of the room. Karkat gazed over Jade's shoulder, gently rubbing his palm against the curve of her back protectively. Glancing back, it appears that the girl has fallen asleep on top of him, using the nook of his neck and shoulder as a makeshift headrest. It looked like he was going to be stuck here for a while, but truth be told, he didn't mind.

Just as Karkat leaned back to get comfortable, a silhouette emerged in the doorway to the room, startling him. The man's expression was obscured by a pair of thick aviator shades, unreadable outside of a lone, raised eyebrow. Flashing the troll a quick thumbs up, he quietly faded back into the hallway behind him, leaving Karkat to stew in his barely self-contained rage.

The troll, however, could not find it in him to shout at the trespasser or even grumble quietly to himself, especially after having been discovered in such a compromising position. Maybe it was the fact that he didn't want to wake Jade up, or maybe it was her presence that helped to keep him in check. Whichever it might be, Karkat knew one thing for certain: that for once in his life, he was truly happy.