Storywise: Karkat3Terezi though the beginning is TereziEridanfriendship! This is going to be co-written with a friend of mine, Lady Twilight, we'll call her, and the first chapter/prologue is mine! We're doing a switch off/each write 1000 words then switch to each other, so each chapter should total about 4000 words each. Again, this is just a prologue of sorts! Victorian-castlestuck themed, and...I'm including ALL the homestuck characters, so they will start to appear later, and we have taken liberties with their human appearances! The first chapter is a bit short, but they should be gaining length as the plot thickens!
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Juxtaposed: placed side by side often for comparison
With a flamboyant sweep of his arms, Eridan Ampora kissed the hand of one Terezi Pyrope. She opened her fan and let out a small peal of laughter behind her fan, making sure to blush and act a bit flustered.
"Put on a show." It was agreed upon before the party had officially begun.
Terezi and Eridan were both prisoners in the political playground their parents and families had put them in, and after the first few turbulent weeks of their official engagement, the two young adults finally agreed to collaborate. It was mutually agreed that for their sakes and their sanity they would make the best out of it and at least get along. It took another few weeks for them to transition from strangers to pretend lovers.
All the adults and elders surrounding them glanced fondly at the young couple. A few obnoxiously loud 'whispers' were heard, commenting on how adorable, or how perfect they were, for each other. At the moment both the esteemed members of the Ampora and Pyrope families (along with other nobility and royal tier families) had gathered at the royal house of Peixes for a ball thrown in their honor.
The Amporas were only second to the reigning Household of Peixes, but even then many considered them to be the same since the two families were related. And although the Pyropes were a few houses 'lower' than the Amporas, they had distinguished themselves from the rest, rising from practically rags to riches. They specialized in the trade of textiles, supplying foreign ports with the exact materials they were lacking. It was a win-win situation for both families, and so, they plotted.
"Why Mr. Ampora, all night you have been getting very touchy; how taboo." Inside her head, Terezi was rolling her icy blue eyes at how fake and forced she sounded, but everyone else was buying the performance.
Straightening up to his full height, Eridan towered over Terezi quite a bit, but like the gentleman he was raised to be, he offered her his arm as he suggested a walk outside in the gardens, adding to the end, "But how would that be taboo? You are my betrothed after all." He slowed his stride to match Terezi's, which were quite restrained in the dress she had been forced into that evening. As they walked through the throng of people, Aradia Megido, Terezi's good friend and maid followed closely behind.
A cool breeze hit the trio as they walked out of the stuffy ballroom. The place was spacious, but when everyone's eyes were on you the whole entirety of the night, one could get claustrophobic quite easily.
Once they were far enough out of hearing, Terezi and Eridan separated from their hold upon each other and came face to face, staring and sizing each other up.
"Well, fish-prince, you're looking less like a twerp than usual today."
"You don't look like a drowned peasant today. So I suppose that is an improvement." He places his hands on his hips sassily. "But you still look like a dragon with that huge nose."
She lifts both her hands to cover said facial feature. "Real classy!" she retorts with an unladylike snort.
Eridan shakes his head and gives a smirk. "That's my phrase, dragon-lady."
They have a mini-stare off before both bursting into a fit of laughter. Mimicking his position, Terezi rolls her eyes freely this time, and continues. "You're such a prissy jerk, Eridan."
Before Eridan has time to retort, Aradia cuts in from the side. "Maybe instead of insulting each other, you two should be cooling off. They will be expecting you both back soon. Unless, that is, if you want to create the facade that you two are pro-creating in the garden…" she trails off, a small smile making its way up to her features as Terezi's face forms into a horrified grimace.
Shivering once in disgust, Terezi turns her body to face the sea. The royal castle was on its own little island, and so from every balcony or window, the vast sea could clearly be seen. She leans her hands on the railing, careful not to let any part of her dress touch it, God forbid it get dirty. Sighing, she looks down, where the sea crashes against sharp, black rocks. "Though the thought is terrifying…we're going to have to do the deed one day, if this play we're acting out for our families continues." Terezi doesn't turn to look at him, but instead keeps her eye downcast, some ringlets of her dark brown -almost black- curls falling from her styled hair.
In response, Eridan just runs a hand through his own lighter brown gelled back hair, mussing up the shock of purple bangs in the front only slightly. "This stresses me out as much as it does you, Terezi." Reaching up to his face, he grabs the ends of his thick rimmed glasses and takes them off, using his other hands to run his eyes. "God, sometimes I wish we weren't born into nobility" Realizing his mistake, Eridan purses his lips and wrinkles his nose. "I mean you—Well, you understand what I mean."
"I know. Sometimes I wish my family hadn't risen through the ranks so fast. It came as a culture shock to me when I turned ten and I was suddenly expected to become a lady." She grips the balcony tighter as she raises her head to stare at where the sea meets the sky. "I just miss the people from when I was… just another girl." A memory of a boy with a tangled mop of wavy black hair, and a foul mouth (even at that age) came to mind, and Terezi smiled fondly.
A sudden weight on her head caused Terezi to look at her partner, who currently had his open palm gently lying on the top of her head. He was careful not to ruin her hair (he had manners after all) and gives her a bitter smile. "Well, let's just deal with the problem at hand now; what do you say?" Eridan asks, in one of the rare moments when he isn't being a whiny pretty boy.
"We'll take it day by day." Is her only response, as Terezi collects herself, once more putting on the enthusiastic, bride-to-be face. Eridan does the same, except he settles his glasses back on his aristocratic nose and breathes in once deeply. At Aradia's clearing of the throat, Eridan, in all his purple caped glory, once again offers Terezi his arm. Nodding, she weaves her arm through his, and they walk back to where the light of a thousand candles brightens the ballroom.
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