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Batterwitch

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"I can't believe you," John snaps, storming into the opulent office and staring at the chair behind the desk. Predictably, it is turned around for maximum ominousness. "How could you? Do you realize what you are now? What you've become?" The chair remains motionless, but just as John begins to think it might be empty after all, it turns slowly to reveal Karkat in a sensible, charcoal-gray business suit. He smirks in an eminently punchable way, tilting his head to the side with a lazy, quizzical air.

"I don't know what you mean, Egbert." Karkat moves his hand to his legs, pensively stroking a cake in the shape of a cat. "We all had to find our roles in life," he says thoughtfully as he smears the icing along its back, raising his hand to his mouth and licking it with a sidelong, speculative glance.

"But this - you know! You knew all along I hated it!" John snarls with shocking vehemence, a gust of wind kicking up and flinging the cat cake into an unfortunate potted palm beside the wall. The head of the cake sits smugly atop the palm, looking upon the scene with a benevolent smile completely unsuitable for the mood.

"But what did that plant do to deserve your enmity, John?" Karkat asks in a low, deliberate voice, standing up and dusting off his suit with the hand not covered in icing, straightening his Cancer-symbol tie with its ruby pin. "The enmity that rightfully belongs to the CEO of the Betty Crocker company." His smirk broadens into a wicked grin as he pulls out his scythes, as wind blows his hair about and sets in disarray the lustrous pictures of decorative cakes lining the walls. "The enmity, John, that rightfully belongs to me."

"God, Karkat, you're such a jerk sometimes!" John exclaims, straightening his own khaki suit and preparing for battle.

"No," Karkat responds, holding up a scythe. "From now on, perhaps you should call me...Betty."

"Normally that would crack me up," John growls, retrieving his hammer from the sylladex and clenching his hands around the haft, "but not today, batterwitch. Not today."

"In a mood?" Karkat asks coolly. "Maybe this will cheer you up." He reaches beneath his desk to retrieve a shining metal pan, holding it up between the handles of his scythes toward John, leering triumphantly.

"Cupcakes!? You ass!" With a quick hand motion John sends the small cakes flying windborne around the room and leaps forward, clashing his hammer against the sickles. To his surprise, Karkat holds up admirably under the pressure, snarling in savage delight. "Have you been working out?"

"All these fucking pastries, John!" he exclaims, pushing the hammer away with the combined strength of his arms as the wind whips around them. "You work out or you get fat in this business-" he begins hotly, interrupted by an airborne cupcake colliding with the side of his face. "Goddamn it."

"But you suck at dodging!" John laughs and suddenly Karkat is on him, lightning-fast sickles barely parried by the haft of the hammer. The cupcake slides off his cheek with a long smudge of pink icing, dotted with tiny blue sugar stars. John knocks one sickle away during the furious onslaught, Karkat carelessly loosening his grip, but the troll snatches at the air and suddenly a gray hand is cramming a cupcake against John's mouth as a scythe carves a narrow slash into his side.

"Delicious?" Karkat snarls, scooping up his dropped sickle as John falls back.

"Bluh," he answers grimly, wiping vanilla frosting from his lips before diving back into the fray. The breeze strengthens, finally pulling at the wide blades of the scythes to slow the troll's attacks. Despite the handicap, Karkat continues battling gamely, panting with effort. John mercilessly buffets the small troll with wind and cupcakes to make up for Karkat's speed and quicker weapons, smearing icing in his hair and across his face and suit, but seeing the troll thus decorated only serves to inflame his rage. One chocolate cupcake impales itself on a nubby horn and refuses to fly off when Karkat shakes his head uncomfortably.

"Bastard!" he grates out, carving a thin line on John's arm with a quick strike of his left hand.

"Ow!" John protests, eyes wide with surprise at being injured twice, and a gust of wind tears the scythe from Karkat's hand. It neatly pierces a picture of Betty Crocker hanging near the door and John grins with a sudden, victorious satisfaction that sets Karkat's heart ablaze. "There."

"Shit," he pants, but before he can reach up to take the cupcake off his head John swings the hammer and he brings up his remaining scythe to counter. It flies from his grip at once, nearly useless for blocking without its counterpart, and leaves him helpless. A gust of wind pushes him back onto the desk, pinning his hands above his head.

"Well done, fuckass," spits Karkat as he bares his teeth, suit and tie all askew, hair and clothes and skin smeared with colorful frosting. "You had to cheat with your stupid wind power, but you got me." He licks icing from his teeth, watching John set down his hammer. "So what will you do with me?"

John strides across the room with surprising force, eyes burning with ire as he wipes the remaining icing from his chin. The spectacle of his anger and resolve is at once comical and so magnificent that Karkat instantly feels his heart pound harder at the determination shining in those blue eyes. "I'm going to make you eat this cupcake," John says resolutely as he comes to stand beside the desk, reaching down and yanking the cake off Karkat's horn.

"What the fuck's the point of that? I have to eat this stuff all the mmmph," he says irritably, interrupted by John shoving a chunk of cake into his mouth.

"But do you actually like it?"

"Not really," Karkat admits, chewing. "But this isn't sexy at mmm mmmph mnnnnmmn, goddamn it, stop, you're a terrible kismesimmph."

"Now every time you eat it you'll think about losing to me," John says, smiling. Karkat swallows with slight difficulty. "It's dry, right? Because your cake kind of sucks, Karkat!" He leans down, mouth suddenly set in a serious line. "Even for a boxed mix."

"Like I care," Karkat retorts, arms straining against the cool air that pins his wrists. The sensation is bizarre, but not entirely unpleasant. "I don't actually give a fuck about cake, I did this just to mmmhmmph-" He stops attempting to talk and glares up at John instead, blowing crumbs out of his mouth in exasperation, dark lips smeared with pale blue frosting.

"Now," John says brightly, "even though it's really sweet, which it sort of is - I mean it's way too sweet, it's kind of gross - it's always going to taste bitter to you, Karkat." Again he smiles, the same silly grin as always. "Bitter like defeat!" He turns and strides easily toward the door as Karkat stares after him.

"Wait, where are you going?" he asks plaintively, kicking and struggling. "You have me at your mercy, you're meant to-"

"But if I gave you what you wanted," John interrupts, grin widening as he opens the door, "what kind of kismesis would I be, batterwitch? You'll be set free in about five minutes. Have fun explaining this huge mess!" he adds as he closes the door behind him.

"Goddamn it," Karkat hisses, kicking the desk hard enough with his heels to splinter the wood, frustrated and delighted by John's disregard. "You smug nubslurping fuckpod!" he shouts at the door, struggling against the air. At that moment, from the corner of his eye, he catches a glimpse of the head of the cat cake. "What the hell are you looking at!" he snaps before suddenly calming down as he gazes upon the cake, a thoughtful look crossing his face as he waits to be freed.


Epilogue

John looks upon the assortment of canned goods, selecting several cans of green beans and tossing them into the shopping cart. Three weeks have elapsed since he left Karkat pinned to his own desk, but no calls or messages have come from the angry troll since then. He has begun to wonder if he committed some troll faux pas in leaving him there, but as he turns around to regard the boxed cake mixes with well-practiced disdain, his eyes suddenly widen.

Each box bears the image of a new mascot - a tiny boy wearing a long blue hood, ludicrous buckteeth protruding down over his chin. On one box he holds a cake triumphantly over his head; on another he eats the cake, vacantly smiling. It is sickeningly cute, all huge eyes and blushing cheeks, a striped lollipop stuck in its hair. John stares at it as an the desire for vengeance comes upon him like a revelation, tempestuous and all-consuming. With one righteous arm, he sweeps the boxes off the shelf.

"What?" exclaims a passing stockperson, dismayed. "What the hell, why? Why!?"

"Batterwitch," John says grimly, abandoning his shopping cart and stalking purposefully from the store.