Gamzee feels the rubber in his knees weaken as Tavros talks to him about the kittens at the shelter, and he leans against the countertop to keep himself from sliding down to the floor. He hasn’t had such a pleasant high in a long, long time, and he grins as he feels the fuzzy warmth in his brain ebb and flow with every drink of Faygo he takes. Tavros has whole backstories for the kittens he sits for, and they’re all hilarious – or at least, he thinks they are. The way Tavros giggles and snorts as he’s explaining the extensive backstory of Mischa, a tabby they’d been given just two days ago, makes Gamzee grin and sip and ebb.
“That’s motherfuckin’ beautiful,” he says about nothing in particular. Tavros smiles at him.
It's right about then that Karkat calls Gamzee's phone, the ringtone picked specifically for him blaring out of the little speakers. Tavros always laughs when he hears it, because it's a little dancing tune, and Gamzee laughs with him as he answers.
"Strider is coming over for the weekend and I don't know what to do," Karkat says without any prompting, and Gamzee settles down into a kitchen chair and watches as Tavros leaves the room to take a shower. All he can think of is how easily he could join his matesprit, then and there.
"Just relax, Karbro. It's all gonna be motherfuckin' fine. I told you, I talked to him. We got all this sorted, so don't you worry about any motherfuckin' thing he does."
"It's not that easy," Karkat whines. Gamzee knows it's not as easy as he's saying, but he can't muster up the energy to get his tongue moving in any real helpful way. "Because he's coming out here to deal with the whole fucking... Sollux thing and I don't want to fucking be here, but I can't get out of it. And Sollux-"
"It's gonna be fine. Hey, have I been up and wrong about this yet?"
"I don't know, I can barely ever even fucking grasp the intricacies of your awful advice enough to use it!"
"That's because you're not letting yourself take part in all I got to say, bro. Strider and me have an understanding, an' he won't be leadin' you on any more. Don't let yourself get riled up, anyway, since they'll probably be up and living in Solbro's room the whole time, right? No way you're gonna have to deal with him in that case."
Karkat huffs over the phone, but Gamzee knows he's gotten the message this time, even if it'll fade fast from his thinkpan and need to get relearned soon enough. Hopefully it'll last through the weekend, and then Gamzee will be able to come out there and try and put it in his head in a more permanent kind of way.
"I don't like it," Karkat says, and Gamzee imagines him pinching the bridge of his nose, lying curled up like an angry little question mark on his bed. He chuckles at the thought of it. "What the fuck are you laughing about?"
"Nothin', brother, don't you worry. I'm all up on your side."
"You're not the one who deals with Striderly bullshit on a daily fucking basis, assclown, don't tell me you're on my side when you don't even know what my side is."
Gamzee considers telling Karkat all about his conversations with Strider's brother, but he decides against it just as he's opening his mouth. It's probably not gonna help, anyway. "I got you, I got you. Karbro, you gotta just let the thing happen. You know. Move with it an' let all those emotions sweep by you down the river so you can be all clean an' happy an' at peace. You're too motherfuckin' uptight, brother."
"Fuck you, I have to be with idiots always making bad life choices."
Sometimes Gamzee wonders if Karkat realizes he's got two quadrants filled, and that Sollux has none. Well, he's got Aradia up in a pale fashion, but it's nothin' official. Not that it has to be. Maybe Karkat's not realizing the situation because he's too busy bein' swept up in romance.
He says as much. "I'm thinkin' you might be forgetting what it's like to not have your quadrants all up and filled, Karbro. Let Solbro spread his wings, get his flush on like you have. He's not got anybody else."
Karkat's quiet for a long while after that, long enough that Gamzee almost forgets he's holding a conversation with the other. He can hear the shower going, and imagines the steam rising as Tavros gets his ablution on. Yeah, he thinks, that'd be nice.
"He has me," Karkat grumbles finally, but it's definitely an acquisition. Especially since the only relationship they could ever have would be flushed or pale, and Karkat's got those filled up. Gamzee doesn't feel even the slightest bit jealous at the idea of Karkat wanting to change up his moirail, either. It doesn't even register. "But okay. Fine. I'll tolerate that douchebag existing anywhere within a twenty mile radius for the weekend, so Sollux doesn't get so fucking upset he starts flinging shit with his mind."
"Atta'bro," Gamzee drawls, and he hears the shower stop. That's too bad.
"...Yeah." Karkat is quiet again, and now Gamzee finds himself hopelessly distracted, so when he speaks up again, "I guess I'll go... deal with that," Gamzee barely hears it.
"Sure thing, best bro. You go have a good time with that."
"Whatever. Get online later."
Karkat never says goodbye; he just hangs up and leaves Gamzee standing there for a minute or two longer before he realizes the line's disconnected. This time he realizes quicker, however, as a text comes through and beeps in his ear.
(713) I heard my little brother is going to spend the weekend at his boyfriend's house. How is your brofriend handling that particular piece of news?
(970) he's all good. GOT A LITTLE FUCKING RILED. but i got it.
He realized a while ago that he tends to text Strider a whole lot differently than he does everyone else, but for some reason it doesn't phase him. Even though he knows exactly what it means to be typing like a sober motherfucker.
(713) Good. I didn't want to have to ruin our brotastical relationship by busting Karkat's teeth in for making the situation with Dave difficult.
(713) Well. More difficult than is already apparent.
(970) i motherfucking got you, bro.
He hears Tavros approaching, and looks up to find him standing there in a towel and nothing else. He smiles lazily.
"Good motherfucking ablutions, Tavbro?"
"Uh, yeah. You know it." Tavros laughs and then kind of shies away momentarily, all coy and a little bashful but mostly for play. "Though, uh, it wasn't really great, since you, weren't there with me."
Gamzee runs his tongue over his lip. "Well, brother. We can always get a little motherfuckin' dirty together, so's that I can be up in your showering properly." His little grin gets bigger when Tavros shrugs his shoulders, letting a lazy kind-of-high smile creep all over his face, and he turns to go.
"That, uh. Could be arranged."
Gamzee loves watching the way Tavros retreats, all lanky and yet muscley and real pleasing. But he's gonna love catching up to him. He taps out a be-right-back message to his Striderly buddy, and then drops his phone onto the table again, following the smell of Tavros's shampoo.