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John knows the furious knocking is Karkat's the minute it starts, so when he opens the door to reveal the angry troll it certainly isn't the last thing he expects; still, his appearance is arresting. Karkat shoves his way into the room gracelessly, overlarge toolbelt clanking against the doorframe and then a table as he whirls around, holding a pizza box suspiciously low against his hips despite being fully clothed.

"I am here," he announces with poorly concealed rage, "to deliver this goddamn fucking pizza. And fix the load gaper."

"The what?"

"That's not the right line, dipshit," he hisses, then looks nervously at the open door. "I forgot to close that."

"Uh, okay." John nudges the door closed with his foot, watching Karkat with a wary smile. "So what's my li - wait, I get what's happening here!"

"Well I really fucking don't," Karkat snaps, accidentally slinging an upside-down hammer from its loop on the toolbelt as he shifts his feet. It strikes the metal floor with a hideous crash that they both do their best to ignore. "Retarded human mating rituals. So anyway," he continues, straightening his shoulders a little, "where's the clog."

"Uh, this isn't actually-" John starts with a smile, but suddenly it splits into a grin as the situation hits him and he really beholds the angry troll with the heavy toolbelt slung crookedly on his narrow hips, half the tools upside-down in the loops, his hands still nervously holding the box.

"I don't have shorter pants," Karkat explains in a harsh stage whisper as though that's the only problem, and it's that non sequitur and the ensuing image of his furious matesprit showing up in short shorts that dissolves John into helpless laughter, doubling him over for a moment. Shoulders quaking, he covers his face for a moment to block the daggers Karkat stares at him.

"Oh shit, I'm sorry," he whimpers, wiping an eye. "Okay. Okay."

"What the hell, asshole, I'm being culturally sensitive. I did research. What did I even mess up? Fuck this!" he snaps abruptly, stalking toward the door with his box amid a storm of violent clanks, but John quickly grabs his arm as he passes.

"Oh no you don't, man! Look at me," he says, lowering his eyebrows in the most solemn expression imaginable. Karkat glances over with a scowl that instantly freezes in place as he looks into John's intense blue eyes.

"Uh," he starts nervously, then stops.

"The clog is in...the bedroom," John tells him in a slightly breathy voice. "Also I'm really hungry! So hungry."

"Oh. Uh, I'll have to...have a look," Karkat returns awkwardly, his expression so serious that John fights back another laugh. "With this pizza. Wait. I'm doing too many things."

"You're doing exactly the right amount of things," John reassures him in a stage whisper, glad as he leads Karkat to the bed that the troll can't see his smile.

"Shit, I can't remember my line," Karkat growls shortly thereafter, scowling.

"Just make one up. We don't follow a script. Even though I guess you think we do," John adds with a badly hidden giggle, sitting down on the edge of the bed with an anticipatory grin.

"Well I don't see a clog here," Karkat begins before pausing. "So I guess it was a stupid human ruse intended to trick me into coming here to fill a pail with you, as opposed to the ordinary way where you just ask like a normal person. Or the clog is a metaphor for your nook and I have to fix it with my-"

"But wait!" John interrupts, holding up a hand to put a stop to what is quickly becoming an Alternian movie title. "How then do you explain the pizza?" he continues accusingly, pointing at the box. "You know I totally ordered that."

"I, uh." Karkat glares at him with a scowl. "You did say you were hungry."

"Oh. That's pretty thoughtful!"

"Yeah, that's me. I'm the most thoughtful matesprit who ever-"

"So come here and show me that pizza," John says in his serious voice again, beckoning with one finger as he fights back another smile.

"Finally." Karkat stalks across the room, dropping a wrench on the way with a terrible clatter and angling the box down to present it. John quickly lifts the lid with a grin.

"Oh my god!" he exclaims as a pizza falls out, landing upside-down on the floor.

"What the fuck, you dropped it! Now what the hell are we gonna do!?" Karkat shouts, leaning down to assess the damage.

"Holy shit," John squeaks, covering his face again and collapsing backward on the mattress. "Oh my god there was actually a pizza." Karkat looks at him for a moment and sighs, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"It was weird and kind of boring to watch all that, maybe I fast-forwarded a little. I'm such a fuckup," he mumbles in disgust, tossing the box to the side. The abrupt motion dislodges a lone screwdriver from his belt. It slides off the sheets and hits the floor with a mournful clang, leaving a small dent at the foot of the bed.

"Hey," John says sharply, sitting up. "Breaking character during the human mating ritual is totally an insult. Let's start again from the part where I open the box, okay?"

"But you dropped the pizza," Karkat says morosely. "We had to eat it really fast, right? I was ready, I didn't even eat anything today." John studies his profile for a second, the golden eyes directed at the screwdriver lying on the plated metal. He imagines Karkat uncomfortably watching and memorizing cheesy porn lines and then working to alchemize the things to recreate the experience, putting it all together and awkwardly, furiously, earnestly coming to surprise him with it. Suddenly his arms are wrapped around Karkat, his face buried in the troll's shoulder as he smiles.

"Don't worry," he says reassuringly. "We don't really need it. Let's just fast-forward to the part where we're both naked already, okay?"

"I could have left the belt on," Karkat offers as he drops it deafeningly to the floor, having struggled with the heavy buckle for so long that John already waits naked on the bed.

"Uh, no thanks. It's sort of a menace," he responds, fondly regarding the familiar angles of Karkat's wiry form as he sits down to kick off his jeans. "I mean that monkey wrench could break my leg."

"Probably. Where's your computer."

"Why? We really don't have to watch-" John starts, but Karkat's glare is so fierce that he meekly retrieves the Cosbytop from its card and hands it over. "No, I mean really," he begins again with the advent of incredibly typical porn music, but falls silent with an incredulous grin as he hears a familiar, deadpan voice softly drawl 'bow-chicka bow-wow' in the background.

"Human mating ritual music," Karkat tells him. With superhuman effort, John quells the laugh rising in his throat. Suddenly the entire situation makes perfect sense.

"Dave," he says, shoulders shaking. "He composed this."

"So you don't like it?" Karkat asks with relief. "Well fuck that, then." John captchalogues the laptop into merciful silence and pulls Karkat down, braced against the pillows, to kiss the tip of a nubby horn.

"It's fine without it," he murmurs as he takes the horn in his mouth, reaching down to stroke Karkat's hardening bulge.

"Oh," Karkat says thoughtfully, arching into and briefly returning the touch. "I could have left the pizza and stuck my horns through the box."

"That's the idea!" John says brightly, blowing on the horn. "Well, sort of."

"That's the...goddamn it!" Karkat curses in realization. Despite the anger in his voice, the hands that wrap around John's waist to pull him closer are gentle as they move slowly up his sides, a thumb coming to rest on each nipple. "So humans actually fall for that dumb shit?" he asks, rubbing in circular motions. "Your species is seriously stupider than-"

"No, everyone knows!" John objects with a laugh, releasing the bulge to stroke both horns. "It's just fun. Like the lame dialogue and the stupid one-liners."

"The stupid what?"

"Oh man. Yes." Excitedly, John pushes Karkat over and rolls easily onto him, straddling his legs and leaning over to hold his shoulders. "Okay. So...I'm really hungry, Karkat," he murmurs, staring intensely into his eyes.

"Well you're the one who dropped the pizza, nookwhiff."

"Oh no, I'm not hungry for pizza," John continues undeterred, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. "I'm hungry for you."

"That's fucking terrible!" snaps Karkat, a crimson flush mounting instantly to his cheeks.

"Exactly!" John laughs, leaning down toward the bulge and glancing up to see golden eyes fixed on him. Focusing on them, he presses his tongue flat against the bulge, dragging it slowly over the underside of the head before taking as much as he can into his mouth to rub it inexpertly with his tongue, breaking eye contact to tilt his head.

"Oh god." Karkat stares, fingers curling tight in the sheets. "Oh man."

"Mmmmmm," John answers as he strokes himself with one hand, suspecting that a show with dramatic moaning was Karkat's real objective all along, the obvious reward for performing a human mating ritual.

"Oh god it's actually happening," he breathes, confirming the suspicion. "Oh my god it worked. You like that?"

"Mmmmm-hm," John responds, suppressing a laugh and then moaning louder, tightening his mouth around the bulge to convey the vibration.

"Shit!" Karkat gasps, pushing him away as the bulge releases a slick, pale red fluid, lubricating itself.

"Wow, you're really excited. Just because I'm making more sounds?"

"I wasn't expecting-" he begins hotly, but John takes that moment to blow, directing his own breath in a tight circle around the wet bulge. "O-oh god."

"Come on, you're forgetting your lines!" John tells him seriously, sitting up, overwhelmed with fondness as he sees genuine dismay cross Karkat's face. "You came here for two things," he prompts.

"Oh...oh fuck yes," he growls with sudden eagerness. "I have to take care of this clog."

"So," Karkat tells him shortly thereafter as his slick fingers move inside, all business as he carefully stretches less flexible human muscles, "I can't find this clog." His face remains perfectly serious, still trying so hard to stay in character that John instantly breaks into a smile.

"Well I don't know if you can reach it with just your fingers," he says, lying beneath the troll and rubbing his horns again, squirming as Karkat crooks his fingertips. "It's probably up in there pretty deep!"

"That sounds fucking awful," Karkat informs him soberly.

"Yeah, maybe we can drop this metaphor now," he agrees. "Kind of awkward!"

"God, finally." Karkat withdraws his fingers, moving his hand up to stroke John's cock absently. "Okay, so do you..."

"What?" John asks after a moment. "I'm ready-"

"Shut up, I'm doing the preamble."

"The preamble?" Karkat takes a deep breath, frustrated.

"The stuff they say during this part," he grates out as John moves a merciful hand down to his bulge. "Good."

"You mean you're about to talk dirty to me?" John asks with an eager grin.

"Yeah, human style. What is it this time?" he growls as John tilts his head back, shaking with muffled laughter. "We've done this shit before!"

"Oh man, I know!" he squeaks before suddenly scowling, taking his hands off Karkat to hold them up like bear claws. "Oh you like that," he growls hoarsely in a passable imitation, "you're fucking loving that, aren't you, take it, take it all! Grrrr!" Wiping an eye, he reverts back to his usual smile. "And now you're worried!"

"I'm in character, you fucking shitheel!" snaps Karkat as he slides forward to pin John's wrists down, spreading his willing legs, irritably rutting against him. "And that sounded nothing like me."

"That's totally a direct quote." John grins up at him, completely unfazed as the head of the bulge presses against him. "Except maybe the 'grrrr,' but-"

"Anyway!" Karkat interrupts, obviously trying to change the subject as his face reddens again. "You want this huge wet bulge all up in your tight human nook or what?"

"All up in...?" he echoes disbelievingly. "I mean yeah. Y-yeah baby," he giggles, "my human nook is so hungry for that bulge! You would just not believe."

"I do fucking believe," Karkat growls softly, reaching down to adjust as he positions himself, and this time as he pushes forward he works himself carefully in.

It takes John a minute to realize that Karkat is looking down at him in expectation and another minute, relaxing and tensing his body around the slick bulge moving inside him as he strokes himself, to realize that the troll is waiting for a show.

"Oh. Mmmm," he sighs agreeably as he arches his back into what turns out to be an extremely uncomfortable position. "Owmmmm!" he continues, changing his whine of pain into another moan. Karkat makes a tentative noise that is almost but not quite an answering moan, staring like he still can't believe everything is really working out like he wants. John melts with affection at the sound. "Louder!" he encourages, rocking against the troll with an overdramatic gasp, and this time Karkat lets out a low, growling purr as he bares his teeth, moving fluidly. "Oh, wow."

"Fucking lame-" he begins, already looking embarrassed, but John silences him with a giddy laugh.

"No way, more!" he urges. With an incredulous look Karkat purrs louder as he thrusts, tilting his head back with a delicious shiver as a hand caresses one of his horns, his motions momentarily uncoordinated and jerky.

"More," he echoes, his voice low and already ragged. John obligingly lets out a crescendo of whiny moans and the troll shivers into a quicker rhythm, his breath loud and harsh as the hand continues to stroke his horn. "I'm already so-" he pants, arms shaking.

"So close," John finishes breathlessly for him, working himself faster. "I know, I know, it's okay!"

"No, stupid." Grimacing, he reluctantly pulls out and seizes John's arms, pulling him up to a sitting position. "They never do it just one way," he says quickly, urging him up.

"Oh yeah, you're right!" John agrees, climbing into his lap and splaying his own legs around Karkat's, bent at the knees. "Like a montage. Even though this is sort of inconvenient for me, but okay. Ready?"

"There's no dialogue in this part," Karkat says sharply, sitting back against the pillows and reaching down behind John, pressing thin fingers into his flesh to spread him wider. "Hurry up."

"Jeez. Whatever." John wraps his arms around Karkat's neck, lowering his body slowly down on the bulge as the troll's hands hold him open. "Okay," he breathes, biting his lip, reaching down to help work it in. "Okay, good?" Karkat growls emphatically, tilting his head back into the pillows. "Oh wow." He rocks against the troll, raising and lowering himself by degrees, grinding awkwardly. "Oh wow, whoa."

"That doesn't sound hot at all," Karkat pants between fitful purrs.

"Right, sorry," John agrees in a slightly strained voice, amused at Karkat's continued preoccupation with directing everything. "Ooh, Karkat, ooh!"

"Fucking horrible." With a last squeeze he lets go, reaching up to thumb the nipples again. "Better," he adds at the squeak that follows, moving one hand down to stroke the cock, teasing the underside of the head with his thumb.

"Oh man!" John arches back a little, pressing his hands to Karkat's shoulders to push him into the pillows, forcing him down.

"What-" he begins, but the weight of John coming gracelessly down on his hips leaves him momentarily stunned. "Guh."

"Okay, okay," John says eagerly, suddenly grinning as he raises himself slightly. "So, giddyup-" he pauses for a moment, half-stifling his laughter- "s-s-s-stallion."

"Oh fuck," Karkat gasps, bucking immediately. "Oh my god that wasn't even the theme."

"I know!" John agrees breathlessly, moving faster now, his expression serious with effort as his thighs become strained. He looks down to watch Karkat shiver as he bucks into the welcome heat and tightness, face flushed brilliantly against the pillows, his eyes tightly closed. Each breath he emits carries gasping, stuttering growls and purrs, nothing more than faint whirring when he becomes breathless. It occurs to John as he pushes up into the troll's hand and down onto the bulge beneath him that Karkat is reciprocating for him, putting on the best show he can. Karkat opens his eyes slightly in that moment, clearly focusing on John before letting out a moan; it's that breathy, nervous sound and the sight of Karkat so openly enjoying himself that bring John unexpectedly over the edge in an abrupt and blinding rush, trembling at the intensity.

"Oh jeez," he pants, shuddering at the electricity arcing through him as Karkat holds a hand over the head, holding the other still, limiting the mess mostly to his own abdomen. John leans down, shivering at the spasms that clench his body tight around the bulge until he finishes, still quivering with exertion. Karkat wipes his hands on the sheets, grimacing. "Whoops," he laughs unsteadily, "sorry-"

"Shut up," Karkat pants in obvious distress, "get the bucket, do you want-!"

"It's okay," John reassures him breathlessly, slipping the bulge gingerly out of himself and settling back on Karkat's thighs to work it with his hands. "It's okay, it's okay, let it out." Karkat shivers and cries out suddenly as his genetic material releases in as shocking an amount as always, a hot red flood that continues unabated against John's palm even as Karkat shudders and continues to buck into the hand curled tight around his bulge. His purr gives way abruptly to keening as he tilts his head back and writhes, eyes tightly closed, clawing at the sheets. "Wow," John murmurs as he watches it splash from his hand to the troll's abdomen and thighs, soaking into the sheets beneath them. Karkat writhes for several moments more before settling back, eyes opening slowly.

"Shit," he declares shakily as John climbs off, lying down beside him. For a moment, companionable silence reigns.

"So how was the human mating ritual?" John finally asks, tired but smiling, wiping his own hands and Karkat's stomach with a clean part of the sheet.

"Next time," Karkat breathes as he stares at the ceiling, "there won't be a pizza."

"Next time? So let's try something new."


"I don't know. Maybe we're both so cold we have to stay close to keep warm, or maybe there's a monster or a storm and you're scared and I'm here to comfort you, or-"

"So I'd be the one scared?" Karkat mumbles, moving out of the wet spot and pressing against John. Welcoming arms wrap around his waist. "Not goddamn likely."

"Don't worry," John murmurs, all warmth and exhaustion. "We'll think of something."

"Yeah." Karkat shifts, pushing him away. "Like how I'm too hot for this. And still hungry, let's clean up and alchemize something."

"Well," John says, smile widening, "I could really go for some-"

"I swear to god if you say pizza I'll-"

"Pizzaaaaa," John sighs contentedly, wrapping his arms tight around the struggling troll and pinning his arms to his sides, holding him until the nonverbal sounds of rage stop coming from his mouth. "And thank you," he adds in a serious tone as he lets go, "for cultural sensitivity. Also for fixing the plumbing."

"Yeah," Karkat mutters, climbing out of bed with alacrity as John watches him, still smiling as the troll gathers his clothes and kicks a wrench out of the way with a deafening clatter. "Yeah, you better fucking thank me," he continues with a scowl, but as he glances toward the bed John is certain that his eyes are pleased. "You're welcome."