You watch in wonder as the bow skips across the strings of his instrument, bright sound rising from the f-shaped holes on either side of the thin lines of sound, though you know that his sound isn’t always this carefree.
You’ve heard him play slowly, sweetly, as if whispering to someone dear to him. Then, fiery, angry, perhaps conflicted, motions becoming exaggerated and sweeping. Sorrowful, prideful, macabre, and comedic; his sound is unique, and you are quite positive that whenever he puts his bow to the strings of his treasured sound box, he is playing for you.
You adjust your arms from their lounging state over the back of his chair, where you’ve been roosting as he practices. As of now, he’s playing arpeggios, pleasant thirds of rising and falling that come to light with each stroke. You can see his lips twitch up just a bit when you stretch out so your fingertips brush the fabric he’s wearing across his back, and his simple warm-up changes into something a little more complicated; your favorite melody, improvised like only he knows how. You both played this a few years ago when you first met in orchestra rehearsal that fateful day, each playing a different part, a different instrument. He opens up the end of a phrase, inviting you to join him, and you can’t help but placate him once again.
For when he plays for you, you play for him.
Sliding into the open seat next to him, you take your own pride and joy and tuck it under your chin and effortlessly join him for what isn’t the first or last time. You play off him better than you’ve ever done with any other musician, and you don’t think it has anything to do with how skilled either of you are.
You meet his eyes over your fingerboard, and settle under the peaceful, elusive gaze you usually only see when he’s either playing his prized cello or he’s just awoken from a good night’s rest. The former is much more common t witness, so that’s when you catch him. He’s teased you often enough about your own expression when playing, which apparently takes on a decidedly awed look, so you reserve the right to respond in kind.
Point, counterpoint, resolution.
That’s how your relationship with him has always been, banter and replies, and it’s both comforting and refreshing. Some of the best moments you’ve spent together have been bridged by music.
Your simple little tune develops into something different, and it immediately catches your attention. He’s turned minor, polar opposite to the elegant melody from before, and he’s staring through you, not even minding his fingers, and practically searching your soul. He’s done this a few times before, and it always catches you off guard. This is darker, with a richer tone, and it makes you hunger for more of it, more of him. It’s fleeting darkness, and exciting; as he pulls into major again, you hesitantly follow, clinging to the darkness he’s left behind. Lately you’ve been finding yourself longing for this darker side of him, and frankly, it scares you.
With him, it’s always been black and white, and you’ve been fortunate enough, according to him, to not have faced his ‘darker’ side too often. He’s described it as destructive, chaotic, yet you are always left trying to catch a wisp of it. As he’s matured, as you’ve both matured, he’s almost let you see a little of it; a smirk here, an off-sided comment there. It’s not quite black, you think, more like a dark gray, and you’ve wanted it as long as you’ve wanted him. It is, in your opinion, cool, controlled, and utterly tantalizing, and you can tell he’s been holding back because he’s afraid he’ll hurt you again. He has, you certainly won’t deny it, but you don’t mind, you’ve never minded, and it’s made you both stronger, better.
As you muse, the piece dwindles, and you open the eyes you didn’t know you had closed to see the same mismatched eyes staring back at you, surveying every plane of your face, trying to unearth the worry behind the façade. You match bows until the last note hangs in the air like light smoke.
Yes, you’ll continue to deny his unreasonable rationale. You’ll simply wait until he’s ready to let you into his new world of white and dark grey.
He stands to put away his instrument and you follow suit, silence filling your normally cozy living room as a light blush dusts over your cheeks. When you turn back around, he’s right there, and his eyes are boring into you again. In them, you can see more than a glint of the dark grey you want so badly in them; and as he pulls you away from your comfort zone, towards something that might be even better, you think you might finally get a taste of what you want.
Your name is Karkat Vantas, and you are hopelessly in love with Sollux Captor and the music you make together.
Two years have passed since that day, etched so firmly in your memory, and you did indeed get what you wanted most; after you reasoned, grumbled, and practically begged, he complied with enough eagerness in every movement to suggest that he eventually would’ve performed the act even if you didn’t want it, but the drive behind his every decision in the process made it better, in you eyes. He had warned you, of course, that it might be painful, the first time and every time since, but you had been the furthest thing from mad.
Two years since that day, you are lying in bed with him and reflecting on the past. He stirs, and the arms around your waist tighten slightly as he becomes conscious. When he groggily mumbles his nickname for you, your eyes finally flicker open to land on his face, where a slight smile rests. One of his hands finds yours and its counterpart finds the side of your face to be a comfortable place to rest, deft fingers, calloused from years of holding, playing, and caring for his instrument, tracing along your jaw as if you’re some sort of treasure. He pulls your intertwined hands up so they’re visible, and you can see the flashes of gold that makes you grin among the fingers there.
Two years ago since that day, one since it’s slightly more ceremonious continuation.
Sollux Captor, your spouse officially since one year ago today, pulls you into what he deems is kissing range and silences whatever you were about to say, like he’s been doing since you’ve been like this, together. The near cheesiness present in this situation is overpowered by the overwhelming happiness you’re pretty sure you’re both feeling. There’s been so much that you’ve been through together since you’ve met; so many grueling rehearsals, bombastic concerts, and hours spent trying to deal with it all. You’d be lying if you said it hasn’t been stressful, but it’s been worth it every step of the way. You know a year isn’t a long time for a couple to be married, some would even still call it newlywed territory, but you can’t find the spite to care because at this moment, you are with him, and you’re happy.
He hugs you to his chest, tucking your head under his chin, and whispers things, sweet things that do not at all help your blushing epidemic, and finishes his little complimentary tirade with a murmured anniversary wish. You smack his arm sleepily and tell him not to mumble, which makes him burst into laughter, which you can’t help joining in on.
As your mirth dies away to be replaced once again by calm, you fix him with a gaze that’s been called nigh unstoppable, one that most would find a bit disturbing because of the hue of your eyes, but he doesn’t look away, and he never has. You doubt he ever will.
You won’t either.
He’s sometimes inclined to hide his own unusual eyes behind a garish pair of red-and-blue glasses, but you’ve “informed” him that when it’s just the two of you, there’s no need for him to disguise the anomaly he uses to see. It’s times like these that you cherish, when you can simply see him without all the trappings common society calls for. Sometimes you think you hate society, but you always end up realizing that it’s more the other way around. Sometimes, normality won’t accept you, so you have to wear a mask to get through the day. Once the evening hours are set, however, you know he’ll be waiting to assuage your worries, and you’ll be ready to do the same.