The world is full of miracles. That was something that Gamzee Makara had been sure of since he'd been a little wriggler, under the tender care of his guardian. The very fact that a troll as attentive as Goatad had taken time out of his important work as a guidance adjustor to teach him was all the proof Gamzee had ever needed that miracles existed. But there was always more proof. With every motherfucking night when the sun set and the soothing, pale pink light of the moon came to wash over the world, it was a miracle of beauty. The way that the little tweet-beasts sang songs to the moon was a miracle. The way that everyone and everything could be connected through a husktop was a miracle. Learning about how he would one day get to help people find joy in their lives—no matter how long or short—was a motherfucking miracle to end all miracles.
Life itself was a series of unbelievable miracles, and sometimes Gamzee got it in his thinkpan that he was the only one that knew it. That in itself was a miracle, but not the kind of one that made Gamzee happy. It was a miracle everyone should have, not just him.
Tonight, though, was one of the more amazing miracles in Gamzee's life. Tonight he was finally being allowed to go with Goatad to the guidance annex he was the division bureaucrat in charge of all of the other guidance adjustors. After years of learning (and basking in the miraculous cotton candy light of the moon), he finally felt Gamzee was ready to start more hands on learning. After all, he was born to help others, just like others of his blood color. In fact, those with purple blood tended to be better at serving those trolls with shorter lives to finding what they wanted in their lives than other longer lived bloods. They could feel what made people excited, comfortable, happy, could help encourage those feelings to overcome other reservations. The only ones better than a well trained purple blood at that kind of work was one of the rarer empathically gifted cerulean bloods. And Gamzee, Goatad had said more than once, had the potential to be talented even for a purple blood.
But the real miracle of the night was one that Gamzee couldn't see coming.
* * * * * *
“And this is the organization block,” Goatad said, his large arm gesturing in a small arc around the slightly cramped room he had led Gamzee into. Well, it wouldn't be so cramped without the huge form of Goatad in the room, leaving more than enough space for Gamzee—while he was tall, he was still lanky for a troll eight sweeps old—amid the filing blocks, paired husktop computers and the desk covered in paperwork that was up against a set of sliding glass view ports. “This is where you'll be working at first. You'll be responsible for checking trolls in, sending ones with appointments to the right guidance adjustors, and setting up meetings for those without. Filing is also important, so we'll have the olive who just moved on to his first adjustor assignment show you how that works when he's free. Better stick that in your thinkpan hard. Paperwork is something you'll have with your motherfucking self all throughout your work. Got it?”
“Ain't nothing that slips past this thinkpan. Got it all trapped up in here,” Gamzee assured the older troll, tapping his head. “You can motherfucking count on me.”
“That's what I like to hear, my brother. If there's an emergency, you can reach my work block on the talkbox by hitting 10. As for what a motherfucking emergency entails... Well, I'm gonna trust a brother to know.”
Gamzee nodded and honked (Goatad once told him how when he was a wriggler he tended to 'honk' more than 'screech' like other wrigglers, and he'd always found it motherfucking adorable), and Goatad took the chance to smile and ruffle Gamzee's already disorderly hair before turning to go. The brother wouldn't have time to get his chill on for a while, because Goatad was not just a guidance adjustor, but a motherfucking busy bureautroll at that. There wasn't the kind of time Gamzee might want for their chucklefests or even helping him get a better understand on for what he was supposed to do. Good thing Gamzee'd had all this schoolfed to him for years, ever since Goatad realized that Gamzee loved chillin' with other motherfuckers, loved to help people. Loved just to make a troll feel better. Ain't that just the kind of person you wanted working as a guidance adjustor rather than some kind of schoolfeder, or blockrepairer or any other support role a long lived brother might look into? Goatad thought so, and Gamzee knew that motherfucker knew just how to help a troll find their calling.
For a while Gamzee was left to himself, like as not to adjust to everything around him. Without much to do he sat around for a while making a chain out of some of the multicolored paperfasteners, arranging the writing sticks in their tray so that trolls could sign in, and spinning around in his seat. Soon enough one of the older trolls came by to make sure he knew what to do when they opened, then moved to unlock the block door and make sure the waiting block was arranged to their satisfaction. And, before any trolls came in for their guidance meetings, a young female troll all but bounced into the organization block, a huge, toothy grin on her face.
“Hey! You must be the new troll Goatad mentioned. I'm supposed to help you learn to handle the paperwork like a pawsitive purrfessional,” the female greeted him. Gamzee couldn't help but look at her in a bit of confusion. Was she really making purrbeast puns, or was his thinkpan just attributing that to her because of the blue purrbeast hat she was wearing.
“Yeah, Gamzee Makara. Nice to make your motherfucking acquaintance. Glad to see you came around before trolls started coming in. I need to get my understand on about these paper issues.”
“Nepeta Leijon,” she responded. “So we're getting Goatad's purride and joy here? How purrfectly wonderful! He talks about you all the time. My Gamzee this, my Gamzee that...”
It was enough to make a troll blush, and when he did, Nepeta chuckled at the sight. He could almost forgive the embarrassment when a sister could get her mirth on. Besides, the girl looked like she was made to be mirthful. She had a face made for smiling.
“Well, anyway, the filing system isn't that hard to work out. When someone comes in you match their name on the arrival sheet to a file if they're not new. Then you take their file and make a note of when they showed up and who for on the log in there. Then you refile. There shouldn't be any new trolls in tonight, never is at this time of the perigree. If there is, then you just call me up. I'm on line 205. Remember to be nice and furriendly to everyone that comes in and you'll be set.”
“Thanks, Nepeta. Getting any bit of understand...”
Gamzee found himself cut off by the sound of the door of the waiting block creaking open. Quickly he spun in his chair—resisting the wriggler-like urge to go 'whee' as he did—and found himself facing something he hadn't expected. A young troll, looking about his own age, had come just inside of the welcome block, and was glaring in Gamzee's direction. And it wasn't a glare like any other Gamzee had ever seen before, because the black of the troll's eyes (that alone told Gamzee something of this troll's age) was sprinkled with flecks of the most brilliant red Gamzee had ever seen. Such a shade of red that he almost found himself unable to look away. The eyes weren't the only thing either. There was the tussled hair, cut just long enough to be fetching without obscuring the troll's short, stubby horns. To top it all off, a scathing scowl was stretched across his face, as maddening as it was wonderful to look upon.
“Oh! Karkitty! I didn't know you had a meeting today!” Nepeta cheered as she all but fell over herself getting out of the office block and into the welcome. She threw her arms around the angry looking troll, giving him a big hug, and making the face of the troll in question turn a bit red from restrained anger.
“Dammit, Nepeta, I've told you a hundred times that my name is not fucking Karkitty. Can't you get that through your thick thinkpan? And would you get your fucking fur covered arms off of me? Do you do anything when you're not here other than plan with damn purrbeasts?”
“Aww, Karkitty, don't be so mean. You'll scare our new worker.”
“If he wasn't scared off by your insanity then a little yelling isn't going to do anything. Unless he's the kind of fucking troll that can't even handle some anger. And if he is, what the fuck were you trolls thinking putting him in a position like this one?”
“Not everyone has as sourpuss of a disposition as you, Karkitty,” Nepeta countered, finally releasing 'Karkitty' and dragging him over towards Gamzee. “Gamzee, this is our most frequent visitor, Karkat Vantas. I believe he's in to see Goatad today.”
“As if that fucking mirthful bastard could be any more helpful than any of these other wastes of blood.”
Nepeta actually flinched away from Karkat at the comment, not that Gamzee could blame her. She knew about Gamzee's connection to Goatad, and she probably knew better than this Karkat that while purple bloods tended to be patient, they could get pretty easily riled up when something made them made. What neither of them knew was that Gamzee was a pretty chill motherfucker. He hadn't found a reason to get mad before in his life, and wasn't about to start now.
“Yeah, well he can be a little trying at times,” Gamzee admitted instead, putting on his best chill grin. “Could forget his own horns if they weren't motherfucking attached to his head. One night we went to the beach to see the seagoats, and he lost the hive key in the surf. If I hadn't had mine on me, we would have been motherfucking cooked.”
Karkat's eyes went wide as Gamzee spoke, almost impossibly wide (and giving Gamzee another good look at those compelling black-red eyes) as it all processed. Then he was stumbling over himself, getting his apology on. Gamzee might have laughed if it wasn't absolutely motherfucking adorable to see the brother getting so worked up over a comment he didn't know would offend. And Gamzee wasn't the kind of troll to take offense at complaints. It was a miracle that trolls got on as well as they did, so why should he get upset when they didn't?
“...didn't know,” Karkat was saying, and Gamzee just raised a hand to stop the rambling in its tracks.
“Chill, brother. Just get your chill on. Why don't a brother just sign himself in and I'll see to getting you back to Goatad as soon as a brother is free?”
The troll seemed to consider this for a while, before moving forward to sign in. That done the troll went to flop down on some random seat, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at nothing in particular. Gamzee took the chance to send Nepeta off to inform Goatad of Karkat's arrival. Try as he might to focus on the processing of Karkat's paperwork (and that of other trolls as they arrived), Gamzee found his eyes being drawn repeatedly back to Karkat until, at last, Goatad came to fetch Karkat back to his office. It was only then that Nepeta seemed to reappear from wherever she had disappeared to.
“He's not like the others,” Nepeta all but whispered. How the sister knew that Gamzee wanted to know about a troll was something he couldn't fathom. Just another one of life's little miracles he guessed, like rap, and magnets, and faygo (how did the motherfuckers that made that wicked elixir manage to make EVERY SINGLE FLAVOR taste so motherfucking good all the time?).
Nepeta sighed and collapsed into a stray second chair that Gamzee had noticed early but not really thought much of. Seemed now like it was there just for the gossipy little chica next to him.
“Well, you noticed his eyes, right?”
“Motherfucking beautiful eyes,” Gamzee confirmed.
That got a little sparkle into Nepeta's own peepers, and the way her fingers flexed it looked like the girl was yearning to jot something down. Almost made her seem like a purrbeast after some prey, its tail flicking side to side, all excited like. Well, that moment quickly passed as Nepeta continued on as if she wasn't all getting herself wound up like a piece of string.
“See, that's the issue. They may be pretty, but the color... No one I've met has seen it before. Karkitty's thrown everyone for a loop. There aren't any records of trolls of that color, so no details either. Fur all anyone knows, he could die next perigree, or outlive both the Empress and the Heiress Feferi. The color works on both extremes of the scale. To make it worse, he hasn't shown any of the expected powers of a shorter lived bloodline, or the strength of a longer. Add to that the fact that he always seems to bitter about the fact that none of the guidance adjustors can seem to tell him or lead him to something he would enjoy...”
Nepeta sighed and shook her head. “Karkitty has been a client of all of the trolls working here except for Goatad. Every few visits he insists on a new adjustor. Last time they gave me him between my normal shifts on the desk, hoping since I was closer to his age... But that didn't work. It's being said that if Goatad isn't able to handle him, they're going to transfer Karkitty to a new division. Oh, it's so pawfully sad!”
Gamzee couldn't help but agree, his thoughts completely on the glorious miracle of those black and crimson eyes.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Yeah, I think what I like most about doing this story is that I can work on it when I want, not have a schedule, and not work to pound out 8k every month if I don't feel like it. This is like a Gamkar feel train that only arrives in station when I want it to, and only stays as long as I need. Of course I'm sure some people would love me to update more frequently, and it just so happens that I have an idea for another few thousand words, so they are in luck. I've just got enough to pump out before I go spend the day cleaning.
The rest of the night passed uneventfully (Gamzee only got a glimpse of Karkat leaving as he was so motherfucking busy dealing with a rather exasperated maroon), almost without Gamzee noticing. He was finally getting his understand well and truly on with all these wicked tasks, and some paperwork at Nepeta's schoolfeeding, when there was no one left in the waiting block. For a while he just shuffled around the papers, returned files to their organization boxes, and just otherwise worked to fill a chill dude's time. It wasn't until Nepeta bounced into the room, now covered in an olive green coat that had a tail which matched her hat, that Gamzee realized just what was going on.
“Quitting time?” Gamzee asked, and when Nepeta nodded he took the chance to spin a few times around in the chair. Goatad had a chair like this in their hive's office block, but Gamzee wasn't allowed to use it. Getting the chance to spin now was like a motherfucking miracle. How did they even get these things to spin so smooth?
“Yep. Goatad sent me up here to tell you that he's still got some work to do, so you should head back without him. He said he purromises to be back to the hive before sunrise.”
That earned a forlorn little honk from Gamzee—the sound obviously amused Nepeta but he didn't repeat it. Sometimes the downside of being raised by someone like Goatad meant he didn't get as much time with his guardian as other trolls might have with theirs.
“Don't worry,” Nepeta said, coming up to ruffle his hair playfully. “I'm sure he won't be all that long.”
“Yeah,” Gamzee agreed, though there wasn't much spirit behind it. Nights when Goatad came back on time were miracles in and of themselves. “I best get myself all hiked back then. I ain't the best at cooking, but he's gonna want something when he gets back.”
“I could walk you there,” Nepeta offered, but Gamzee just shook his head.
“Our hive is way too far out of the way to ask a sister to do such a thing.”
“We like the sea, so Goatad got himself a hive out beyond the outskirts to be closer to the water. Whenever we can, we go watch the seagoats. Ain't they just amazing? Like motherfucking little wonders because they are part goat, part fish. I mean, can you think of any other beast as majestic as a seagoat?”
“Well of course. When I was a wriggler I found the cutest little mewbeast, and my guardian Deleon let me keep her. Her little tongues are so cute when she washes herself...”
“Aw, that sounds motherfucking adorable,” Gamzee admitted, smiling. “And well suited to a troll like you.”
“Troll like me? What's that supposed to mean?”
“A sister who wears a purrbeast hat and tail is obviously suited to having one for a pet.”
“Oh,” Nepeta said, looking pleasantly surprised. “My meowrail doesn't think so. He's absolutely caught up in hoofbeasts and musclebeasts and can't admit that anything else can be mewjestic.”
“Sounds like that brother needs to get his understand on that the world's something more than just a place for the hoofbeasts to roam.”
“Purrcisely what I said,” Nepeta sighed. “Oh well. Deleon is probably waiting for me to get back to the hive. She's a schoolfeeder, and gets off earlier than we do.”
“See ya tomorrow, little sister,” Gamzee said, waving as she bounced from the office block. Once she was out of sight he got together his own things, made sure he had his hive key on him (otherwise he'd have to go bug Goatad for his), and made his way out into the paling pink light of the fading night.
* * * * * *
Cooking was something Gamzee had been forced to pick up over the last few sweeps. As he got older and Goatad more willing to spend more hours at work, Gamzee had to learn to fend for himself. The lessons, though, had been a bit of tough love. All Goatad had told Gamzee at first was that he was going to be home late, and that his meal was in the heating box. Sure, he'd left instructions for how to use it on a preparation surface, but Gamzee hadn't seen those at first, and the meal ended up being eaten slightly burnt. It went on like this for a whole perigee before Gamzee learned how to use the simpler food block devices, but Goatad wasn't satisfied with that. Each perigee following focused on another talent of food preparation as his guardian spent longer and longer hours at work. Now, many sweeps later, Gamzee was not only proficient with the heating box (which, unlike the baking box was a motherfucking miracle that Gamzee could not figure out the workings of), baking box, and toasting device, but he knew how to go into the city to purchase new raw materials, chop, dice and mince, and even create a five part meal so that everything came out at the same time, ready to eat. In fact, most weekends Gamzee spent his free time coming up with new recipes for pies, his favorite motherfucking food of them all.
So, by the time there was any sounds from the direction of the entrance block, Gamzee was putting the finishing touches on a rather nice grubloaf with a savory sauce, as well as a side of mashed plant roots. On top of that, he had one of his favorite pies (huckleberry with a hint of grape faygo) ready to go into the baking box. For them it was a simple meal, but Gamzee knew that Goatad was always proud of his creations, saying it was a motherfucking miracle to see a purple troll of Gamzee's age talented in the food block. Apparently Goatad hadn't even picked up the knack of cooking until he was almost eleven sweeps old. That was something Gamzee couldn't wrap his thinkpan around, couldn't get his understand on about. There were lots of books in the block that gave directions, and they weren't hard to follow—even if the recipes were a bit on the simple side. How could a motherfucker not do good enough with those?
“Gamzee, I'm motherfucking back! Hope you got your miraculous hands all caught up in some wicked food preparation!” Goatad's voice called from the relaxation block, and from the sound of it and the footsteps, the big troll was getting closer.
“Grubloaf and mashed plant roots with a savory sauce,” Gamzee shouted back, used to conversing with his guardian over long distances. “Made a pie too. Just gotta put that miracle in the baking block. Would you get the stuff out?”
There was a rustling sound from the block Goatad called the 'dining block' (Gamzee had never heard of one before, nor even seen one in the movies he liked to watch, so he was sure it was something only the most wicked motherfuckers like Goatad had), which could only mean that his guardian was already working on setting the table. His guardian had always insisted on them sitting together to eat, called it 'a brother's time to bond with a wicked little brother.' So they kept all their plates and forks and all that stuff in the dining block, in cabinets that Gamzee was just getting to be tall enough to reach without a stool.
Still, there were things to think about besides memories—as wicked and miraculous as it was that someone could call up a remembering of something that happened in the not-now—things like pie. Carefully he picked up the pieces of dough he'd soaked in gray faygo and powdered with a crushed sugar candy called 'special stardust,' All the pieces were cut in the shape of his and Goatad's horns, and Gamzee laid them out all alternating like, before turning and slipping the whole thing into the bake box. He set a timer on the bake box, then reached for the burning hand protectors and the table guards. The latter he tucked under his arms as he carefully gathered the still hot grubloaf and mashed roots in his large hands, and started towards the dining block.
When he made it there he stood still long enough for Goatad to pull the table guards from under his arm and lay them out so Gamzee could put his burdens down without damaging the table—he'd ruined one once by putting a pan just out of the oven down on the unprotected wood. The fact that Goatad had not flipped had been a miracle Gamzee had been thankful about for perigees. It was only once everything was down, though, that Gamzee noticed there were more plates and forks on the table than there should have been. Three in total. What kind of miracle did Goatad have in the works? The only time Goatad brought someone home for dinner was when they were a potential quadrant. Well, that wasn't true, there had been a moirail, but he'd been a teal and old when Gamzee had known him. He'd gone on to the great miracles beyond a sweep ago, and Goatad had been almost inconsolable for a while. Still, Goatad hadn't had anyone over since then, not even the old potential matesprit he'd been courting. So, having someone here was a good sign in Gamzee's opinion.
“Yo, little brother, get yourself into the relaxation block and bring our guest in here. Motherfucking miracle you made grubloaf, it's perfect for sharing beyond just us. Hope he likes grubloaf...”
Gamzee shrugged and made his way for the relaxation block as Goatad began to portion out the meal. The relaxation block wasn't far, and before he knew it, before he had a chance to think, he was looking at their guest with his jaw motherfucking hanging open.
“Are you a fucking idiot or just waiting for a meal to fly into your fucking mouth?” Karkat demanded, all but shouting.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Yeah, I'm back. Again. This one won't leave me alone for anywhere near long periods of time. Thank you all for your reading, even the smallest bit of support goes a long way for me. Also, I want to take this moment to point out something about how I'm doing this. The trolls are NOT the same as they are after the scratch. My justification: look at Aranea. She is NOT Mindfang. Nor is Gamzee pre-scratch the same as post. I mean, trolls aren't inherently violent pre-scratch, so he wouldn't need the sopor to chill. That being said, I'm trying to find other ways for certain things to stay the same. Hope they work well enough for you to enjoy.
“Karkat,” Gamzee coughed out at last, the other troll's shouting knocking him back into action. “Sorry, brother, a motherfucker just wasn't getting his expect on that you'd be here.”
“Me either,” Karkat grumbled, almost under his breath, but Gamzee caught it anyway. “Your fucking guardian decided that the best way to handle my 'issues' was to figure out what I was like outside of that shit hole you call an office.”
“Now come on, brother, ain't no reason to get all up and angry over a motherfucking work hive. It's just a thing, man. But enough of that, we've got food waiting in the dining block.”
“He thought far enough ahead to order something? Fucking wonderful,” Karkat spat in annoyance.
“Naw, man, it ain't like that at all. I got home a bit ago, and got my food preparation on. Grubloaf and mashed plant roots. And I just put a motherfucking pie into the bake box. So let's just go get our grub on.”
For a moment he stands there, waiting for Karkat's reaction, staring into those black-red eyes and hoping that the troll isn't just about to turn and leave. Gamzee tells himself it's because it would upset Goatad, but he's got his understanding on about the truth. Something about this Karkat is utterly captivating to him. It makes him wish he'd known that Goatad was bringing Karkat back, because he would have cleaned up more. Would have changed out of the shirt that was dusted with flour, would have made sure his face was clean, would have tamed his mane and pulled it back into the hoofbeast-tail that he had used at the office. Anything to appear more respectable, more worthy of...
“Well, are you going to lead me to this fucking meal or not?”
Gamzee nodded silently and turned on his heel to face the direction of the dining block. Luckily for him the path wasn't all complicated like—and getting to some blocks of their hive was like trying to find a specific corner in a motherfucking maze—because at the moment Gamzee was too caught up in not looking the fool to pay much attention to where he was going. There was just something about this troll that just messed with Gamzee's think pan.
“Took you motherfuckers long enough,” Goatad laughed as Gamzee finally arrived in the dining block. “Didn't figure you'd be doing much more than introducing each other, so it wouldn't be long. Oh well, sit your motherfucking asses down and eat some of this delicious grub that Gamzee all went up and made for us.”
Gamzee sat, as was usual, at Goatad's right side, leaving Karkat no choice with how the plates were laid out but to flop down into the chair at Goatad's right. As much as Gamzee wanted to watch him, he quickly turned his attention to his meal, staring at the grubloaf as he cut it with his fork. It was almost as if he was trying to find some motherfucking universal truth in the loaf, and it was the most pressing thing he could motherfucking get his attention on to right now.
“Karkat, I never asked, but just how did your motherfucking guardian take my request to have you here?”
The only sound in the room for a while was eating utensils on plates, and Gamzee was certain that Goatad was about to ask the question again when Karkat finally spoke up.
“He didn't care. He never gives a fuck about what I'm doing.”
Gamzee froze with his fork halfway to his mouth. The very idea of a guardian not caring about the troll they had raised from wrigglerhood was something he couldn't even begin to fathom. There wasn't any doubt in his motherfucking thinkpan that long after he'd moved out into his own hive, Goatad would drop by unannounced to make sure things were going okay. But maybe that was just in his own guardian's nature. Gamzee couldn't know for sure because he'd never really interacted with other guardians and their wards at the same time.
“Don't look so fucking shocked,” Karkat snapped at him. “You wouldn't really care for taking care of some mutant blooded freak either.”
“Karkat,” Goatad said, his voice all getting his pacify on, “I for motherfucking one am sorry that...”
“If you fucking try to apologize for that shit for pan, I'm leaving. I get enough fucking false pity from the assholes in the hives nearest ours, and from all the other fucking guidance adjustors who think it's their place to get into my business.”
“Shut up,” Karkat hissed, his voice low and angry in a way that Gamzee hadn't heard before, not from no motherfucking body. “Just fucking shut up. I'm not talking about it.”
The rest of the meal passed in silence, one broken only by the sounds of eating and the eventual beeping from the bake box to tell Gamzee the pie was ready. It was so quiet that he couldn't even find it in himself to excuse himself from the table. Instead he just pushed his chair back, rose, and went to busy himself in the food preparation block. For all that the dinner was going poorly, when Gamzee opened the bake box and found himself treated to the sweet and wicked scents of the pie, he was at peace. There was no miracle so great as fresh pie, ready to pull out of the bake box. He grabbed another set of hand protectors and pulled the steaming miracle of confection free of the heat.
The pleasures of baking were ones that Gamzee had taken to quickly. For all that getting a good grubloaf down had taken him perigees, and he still had trouble on his homemade sauces for noodles, baking was almost instinctive for him. Except for the recipe he used for the crust (which was all up and printed on the inside of his thinkpan and blood pusher at this point), all of his pies were made up on the fly, and all were miraculously good. The scent from this one said it wouldn't be any different. All he wanted to do was cut into it now, sit down on the floor, and have a motherfucking slice. The world was always so much motherfucking better when there was pie. Could make a brother up and forget all the wicked happenings around him. Forget about how his blood pusher ached when he looked into Karkat's gorgeous black-red eyes. Forget about how his thinkpan hurt at the idea of a guardian might not get their wicked pity on for the wriggler they were responsible for.
Gamzee sighed, breathing deeply to draw in more of the wicked scents of the pie, when he heard someone in the doorway of the block. When he looked up, plastering a fake grin on his face to assure Goatad he was all motherfucking right, he found Karkat standing there, arms crossed in front of his chest and looking annoyed.
“Goatad said you were taking too long. Sent me to find you. Make sure you didn't do something fucking stupid like burn yourself.”
“I ain't a motherfucking wriggler no more. Ain't going to trip some wicked ignorance and forget the burn protectors.”
Karkat shrugged. “Whatever. Just hurry up so he will stop worrying. It's fucking pathetic.”
There were a lot of things that Gamzee could put up with. He could handle being treated like a wriggler. He could accept being thought of as stupid. He could even accept how Karkat was a wicked cruel troll who only yelled and in an empty kind of way. Sure, Gamzee could get his pity on from what Nepeta had told him, from the very fact that Goatad was going to far as to bring Karkat into their home, but this was too far. Gamzee did not stand for some motherfucker getting all insulting on his guardian.
“Shut your motherfucking mouth,” Gamzee growled, turning on Karkat. “Ain't even got the slightest understand on about Goatad, so don't you even open your motherfucking mouth about him. Just because he actually understands what it is to get his pity on for a brother doesn't make him pathetic. Makes him a better troll than you. Makes a lot of trolls better than you.”
Karkat's face was starting to turn a bright shade of red, his anger obviously barely. Yet he didn't speak, he just stood there as Gamzee got his anger on, waiting for something. The second Gamzee paused to breathe, though, Karkat started to open his mouth.
“NO!” Gamzee snapped, “No, you don't get to fucking talk. Not until you get it through your thick pan that just because you don't know what the fuck is going on with your life doesn't mean you get to be a motherfucking ass. So, now we're going to go back into the dining block with this motherfucking pie, and you're going to get your polite on. Goatad is doing his motherfucking best, but it ain't mean nothing if you don't work with him. And from what I've heard, you need this to work out as much as he motherfucking does. So if you can't be polite, motherfucking fake it.”
For a moment Karkat just stared at him, his eyes—black and red and riveting—wide with disbelief. Gamzee couldn't even blame a brother for that. He was getting his wicked disbelief on about how he'd acted, but there was nothing that could be done for it now. Memories might be a miracle, but that didn't mean a brother could go back and change what happened because of them. Couldn't take back the words, so he was just going to hold on to them, accept what they had done and move on.
“Here, carry this,” Gamzee said, forcing the pie—hand protectors and all—into Karkat's hands. Yet as he did, he started to wonder if Karkat needed the hot hands. Even though his fingers only brushed against the other troll's for a moment, they felt almost scalding hot. It was a motherfucking weird sensation.
Soon enough they were back in the dining block with Goatad, pie sliced and served, and getting their grub on. But again it was in silence, only silence. Nothing said, maybe even nothing thought, leaving a kind of echoing quiet that was its own kind of miracle. Quiet wasn't something Goatad and Gamzee liked, so to have it survive so long when they were in the hive was strange. At last, though, the meal was finished, and it was getting pretty early.
“Karkat, it might be a little motherfucking late to send you home this morning,” Goatad said with a sigh. “Would a brother mind crashing here for the night?”
“Sure. Why the fuck not,” Karkat grumbled, pushing his pie plate around with his fork. “Not like my guardian will even notice I'm gone.”
“Gamzee, I'll handle getting these wicked leftovers into the chill box. Show our guest to the spare respite block.”
With a sigh, Gamzee pushed himself back from the table even as Karkat did, and nodded an acknowledgment to his guardian.
“Block's this way,” Gamzee mumbled, gesturing for Karkat to follow him. “Ain't too far.”
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Thoughts on this chapter lead me to sopor and recuperacoons. While the latter is defintely stated to be the troll version of a bed, the purpose of them ultimately seems to be submersing the troll in slime to 'quell darker thoughts that plague the Troll species' (according to MSPA wiki). With a more peaceful race of trolls, this seems to be less necessary. Thus what is the purpose of recuperacoons? Instead I've opted for using something else in the comic that seems to have a parallel to a human bed. Until such time as the comic itself corrects me, this is what a pre-scratch troll bed is in my head.
'Ain't too far' wasn't exactly the most direct truth of the matter, and Gamzee knew it. The truth of it was that the hive's respite blocks were directly over the dining block and food preparation block, so they were kind of close. But that didn't change the fact that the hive was its own miraculous kind of maze, built up as Goatad had needed expansions over the years, and redesigned to better accommodate the troll's size (and trolls of their blood always got motherfucking large). So things weren't always as easy to get to as a motherfucker might like. Gamzee knew that, took it for granted. Karkat, though, quickly got annoyed with the twisting, turning path.
“I thought you said it wasn't going to be fucking far away,” Karkat growled after a few minutes of navigating through the hive.
“A brother's got to understand that Goatad's got himself long legs, so for him, and me, it ain't,” Gamzee tried to pacify a bit. Of course, the comment only helped to draw his attention to the fact that Karkat was only tall enough to come to the bottom of Gamzee's head. He could rest his head on a motherfucker's and be quite comfortable.
“Are you calling me short!?” Karkat demanded.
“Naw, brother, ain't nothing like that. Just getting a truth on. Plus Goatad kinda just builds additional blocks as needed, wherever they fit. No real planning to it. Miracle really that we've got doors to all the rooms. So just chill and go with the flow.”
Another grumbling sound of annoyance, but Karkat didn't actually say anything, so Gamzee let it slide. Nepeta was right in saying this was one bitter little motherfucker, but Gamzee was certain there was more to it than just not knowing how long his miraculous blood would let him live. It was a sad thing to see in action, that bitterness. Seemed like it was angling to eat a brother up from the inside. As much as Gamzee wished he could do something to make it better, it wasn't his place. Goatad was his guidance adjustor, and Gamzee only starting his training. And after what happened in the food preparation block, it was unlikely Karkat could get any feelings on but hate towards him (and not even the useful kind at that).
But, miracle of miracles, they were finally turning into the small connection tube that had the doors to the three respite blocks. The end of their little adventure through the hive was in sight.
“Looks like we motherfucking made it. Okay, it's like this, brother. First door in this tube is Goatad's block. Third's mine. Middle one is for any wicked brother or sister who overdays here. Ain't as big as the others, but we try to keep it wicked comfortable.”
As he spoke the continued walking towards the door, and eventually got it open for Karkat. For all that it was smaller than his own room, Goatad and him had put a lot of motherfucking effort into making the thing comfortable for any troll. Instead of walls painted to suit a single occupant, they were a pleasing shade of gray, and devoid of the polka-dots that Goatad and Gamzee were prone to decorating gray or black clothing (and some walls) with. There were no posters like Gamzee used, or the seagoat paraphernalia of Goatad, but there were a few landscape paintings focusing on the sea in various states (Gamzee liked it calm, Goatad stormy). A desk with a spare husktop stood against one wall of the block, but the main object in the room was the slab.
It was a lot like the other two slabs in the hive, save for little details. Like any other recline slab it was a large, round, padded surface that made sleeping easy and allowed even trolls of great size like Goatad, or with large horns to stretch out without any strain on their bodies. This one was even large enough to handle Goatad and his huge, twirling, curling horns. Karkat would have plenty of room, and Gamzee was sure he'd be quite comfortable.
“Our spare slab,” Gamzee said, gesturing towards it. “If you need anything for warmth, there's a small storage block across the tube with all sorts of shit. The husktop is cool to use. We keep it there for guests. If ya need anything in the day, knock on my door. Goatad's kinda a motherfucking heavy sleeper.”
“Whatever,” Karkat grumbled, instantly moving towards the husktop.
“I'll come wake you for morning meal,” Gamzee promised, though Karkat didn't seem to notice it. Already the troll was caught up in whatever he was doing on the husktop. With a sigh Gamzee backed out of the room and closed the door behind him. For a while he stood there, hand on the door, caught up in thoughts that he forgot the second he pushed away and started back towards the food preparation block.
* * * * * *
“I'm sorry about how he acted,” Goatad said as Gamzee entered the food preparation block.
“Ain't a thing,” Gamzee mumbled, far from willing to tell his guardian about the wicked talking down he'd given Karkat in this very block not long ago. Goatad wouldn't thank him for it, wouldn't approve of a brother getting all cruel on a motherfucker. At this point, Gamzee could hardly approve of what he'd done, but that was in the past, and there wasn't a thing he could do about it.
“That little brother ain't had the easiest of lives,” Goatad sighed, stepping aside from the cleaning basin to allow Gamzee to take over the washing of the eating utensils. While the older troll preferred to handle clean up when Gamzee cooked, he'd also taken out their better things to serve Karkat, and those were too delicate for him to get his clean on these days. They'd been things Goatad had acquired when he was a troll Gamzee's age, back before he'd gotten so large, so strong, so motherfucking cool. They'd lost more than one fork to poorly timed distractions when Goatad was cleaning, so Gamzee all but forbid him it now.
“I don't like the sound of his guardian,” Gamzee admitted as he rolled up the sleeves of the long sleeved Capricorn shirt he'd thrown on when he'd gotten back to the hive. “Can a motherfucker forgive me for saying that?”
“Of course. I feel the same way. From what I've gotten my hear on about, his guardian barely deserves the title. He's one of those scum trolls who takes in unwanted wrigglers for money from the guardianship association. Mostly wants the credits that come with the wrigglers to make his own life more comfortable. Sometimes I wish I could pound their motherfucking thinkpans in. That ain't a life any troll deserves to have.”
Gamzee nodded in agreement. He'd been lucky, and he knew it, to not only get a good guardian assigned to him when he was a wriggler, but one who happened to be in the line of work he'd grown interested in as he got older. Then again, more trolls got good guardians than not. When possible wrigglers were given to trolls of the same blood as they were, so they could learn from a more sympathetic troll just what their life might come out to. It was as much meant to give shorter lived bloods a chance to bond with someone who could answer questions about their lives and possibly powers, as to keep longer lived bloods from having to watch too many of their wards die. Apparently some study said that while a longer lived troll could handle watching friends and colleagues die in their long lives, it was far harder for them to handle the repeated grieving over a troll they'd raised from wrigglerhood. That being said, there were always more wrigglers than willing guardians, so sometimes a longer blood would care for a lot of shorter bloods in their life (and Gamzee pitied those trolls for the miracle of their compassion), or willing trolls would take on multiple wrigglers at once and receive a stipend for it. Apparently Karkat's guardian was one of the poorer examples of the latter.
“What do you know about his guardian?” Gamzee asked, wiping a fork clean and putting it in the drying tray. “If it's okay for a brother to get his understand on.”
“A cerulean blood in charge of distribution management for his sector. Doesn't seem to care about much more than credits though. Karkat's one of three young trolls he's in charge of. One is another cerulean blood who is he's training to replace him, a girl named Vriska. The other is an olive boy who already works in one of the distribution warehouses. Karkat has turned out to be a bit of a problem in his eyes, because he can't set the boy to work if he's a short-lived blood, and is losing valuable training time in his opinion if he's a longer. Doesn't like the fact that we're taking so long figuring things out about Karkat. It's partially his annoyance that has brought attention to Karkat's status to my superiors. He's the one aiming to have Karkat transferred to a guidance adjustor more in tune with his own desires if I can't motherfucking think of something.”
With every word Goatad's voice got a little lower, until it was almost a whisper. As his guardian stopped speaking Gamzee quickly dried off his hands and moved to pap Goatad on the shoulder (which he could only reach by stretching out his full length). A motherfucker always had to be careful when Goatad got quiet. He was a very vocal kind of troll. Going quiet was how he managed his rare angry moods. Going quiet might mean needing to put credits into repairing something in the food preparation block, so Gamzee was quick to get his conciliation on.
“Yo, Goatad, have I told you lately that you're a motherfucking miracle? Without you I just wouldn't be the wicked cool troll I am today. So trust me when I say you're gonna figure this out. You'll wrap your thinkpan around it and solve this wicked puzzle that is Vantas.”
Goatad nodded and sighed. “I motherfucking hope you're right, little brother. Tomorrow I've got a meeting with his guardian at the office, and Karkat has yet another appointment with the bureaucrats down at health services. They're trying to get him all understood and filed away for future use, and I think that's part of what wears on his nerves so bad.”
Gamzee nodded in agreement, though he didn't know much of what went on at health services. Though if his guardian was annoyed with them, it was probably for a good reason.
“Don't worry, bro, I'll handle things. Why don't you take another slice of pie, go up to your block, and get some chill on?”
That got a nod of agreement from his guardian, and Gamzee promptly went to cut Goatad a 'slice' of the pie. Slice being relative of course. A Goatad sized portion was usually half a pie. Without a bit of hestiation, Gamzee cut a normal slice from the pie, put it on a plate, and handed the pie tin and a fork to his guardian.
“Go get your chill on, motherfucker.”
Goatad nodded as he took the pie, and left Gamzee alone in the food preparation block to clean and think.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
And if this part doesn't make you think that Karkat needs to get a moirail, the next one sure as fuck will.
ETA: 8/5/2012 Check the bottom for a link to some wonderful fanart of one of the scenes in this chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was early when Gamzee finally shut down his husktop and stretched to the limits his muscles would allow. While he'd always been more of a morning hootbeast than some other trolls he knew, Gamzee had nothing on some of his Trollian friends. One, who went by CT, was into robotics, and found that he got more work done in the early hours of the morning than he could before he went to his medical robotics job in the nights. Another, GA, pretty much lived in the mornings, and Gamzee always tried to get a bit of time in with her before sleeping. And this morning he'd stayed up later than normal just to talk to her. As a trained thinkrepist, she knew just what to say to make Gamzee feel better about everything that had gone and happened that night without getting her pale on.
With a sigh Gamzee got up, threw back the warmth cloths on his slab, and flopped down with a honk and a yawn. Soon, way too soon, it would be sundown, time to rise, cook and prepare for his motherfucking training. Gamzee closed his eyes, trying to will himself to sleep—never motherfucking worked of course—when he heard a noise he couldn't explain. He lay there for a moment, all stretched out and chill like a motherfucker should be, listening to the sound. It was like a young seagoat when it did the bleatgrowl that called for its mother. Except that it couldn't be that. This wasn't the right time of year for a young seagoat to still be with its mother. The seagoats, miracles that they were, were far too independent to stay in the care of their parents for long.
When the sounds turned into shouts, Gamzee finally got his understand on about what the motherfuck was up. Quickly he threw himself off of his slab, pausing only long enough in his rush for the connection tube to grab a discarded shirt and wrestle it on over his horns. Once in the tube he grabbed for the door of the guest block, threw the door open, and stared in shock at the motherfucking scene that came before his eyes. Karkat was curled up in a ball on the middle of the slab, his arms wrapped around his legs and his hands clawing at them. There were thing ribbons of crimson cutting across the troll's bare legs—the same crimson shade that flexed his black eyes—and sweat was glistening on his body.
Daymares, Gamzee realized, and he instantly got his pity on. And pretty wicked motherfuckers at that. When he was a kid, Gamzee'd had the miraculous luck to never have bad ones. The worst were ones where he got mad, got violent, got to hurting people. When he woke he always went to Goatad, and his guardian would pap him something fierce. Except the thing was that Gamzee knew how bad it could be, how much a motherfucking daymare could hurt, how when you woke you wanted to scream. How much he'd pray before he slept that if he had a daymare, that Goatad would come and wake him, a miracle to end all other miracles.
Gamzee couldn't just motherfucking stand there and get his wait on, hoping Karkat would wake before he scratched himself more, or things got wicked bad and he cracked a horn or something. Carefully he moved forward, reached out, and placed a hand on one of Karkat's. The touch wasn't enough to wake a brother, though. So Gamzee tangled his fingers in Karkat's clawing ones, uncaring whether he got hurt, and started to tug it away from a brother's legs. When that wasn't enough, Gamzee peeled the other hand away from the blooded gray flesh as well, and moved to perch on the edge of the slab. Still Karkat flailed, trying to pull away and Gamzee sighed. None of this made any motherfucking sense. How wasn't it working? It wasn't like he wanted to wake a brother suddenly, that would do as motherfucking good as letting him wake up on his own. So he did the last thing he could think of, he moved closer, slowly pulled Karkat up into a sitting position, and pulled the other troll into his arms. When he did, Gamzee found himself close enough to start shooshing in Karkat's ear, whispering and mumbling what soothing words he could.
“Just chill, brother. Chill. Get your motherfucking relax on. Ain't nothing in your dreams can hurt you. So just open your eyes and see the miracles, man. Life's beautiful, even if a daymare ain't brother. Get your wicked...”
“Gamzee, shut the fuck up,” a harsh whisper, Karkat's, cut through Gamzee's mumbling. “And...”
Rather than let the brother get the chance to yell at him, Gamzee quickly released the other troll and pushed himself away and back towards the edge of the slab.
“Heard a motherfucker yelling through the wall, all caught up in wicked daymares. Tried to wake you all calm like, but a brother wasn't having it. Sorry for being all conciliatory, just thought you needed it.”
“I don't need...”
“You motherfucking clawed up your legs. Don't tell me you don't need a brother to at least help with that.”
Karkat's eyes went wide when he looked down at his legs, and the blood on his bare skin. Quickly he reached for the bottom hem of his under shorts and started to tug at them as if he could use them to cover his legs.
“I'm fucking fine,” Karkat growled.
“Tell me that again when we've got you cleaned up brother,” Gamzee countered, grabbing the nearest of Karkat's hands and pulling him of the bed. “We've got a health kit in the hygiene block. Better we get you cleaned up before Goatad notices.”
That Karkat didn't bother to respond to, he just let Gamzee drag him along out of the room and into the hygiene block. He even sat down on the edge of the ablution trap when instructed, leaving Gamzee to dig out the health kit. While he didn't have the same kind of understand on with this kind of thing as he did with food preparation, he'd pick up some first health skills over the sweeps.
“Why'd you get so up and harsh on yourself, brother?” Gamzee asked as he knelt before Karkat, dipping some woolbeast puffs into a disinfectant so he could clean the scratches.
“I don't want to fucking talk about it,” Karkat hissed as Gamzee swept the first wound with the foul smelling fluid that had the power of keeping you from getting sick.
“Okay, I can get my understand on about that,” Gamzee said, discarding the scarlet stained woolbeast puff for another and moving on to another scratch.
They were quiet for a while as Gamzee cleaned and wrapped the wounds, careful to keep the bandaging close enough to the skin so once the troll put his pants back on, there would be no noticeable bulge. That would get Goatad's suspicion well past on, which Karkat obviously didn't want. Yet there was something else that Gamzee caught sight of that worried him, something he was willing to go after now that he'd finished with the real work. Once he had discarded the last woolbeast puff and secured the last bandage, he grabbed Karkat's left arm and pulled it away from where it had been covering the other troll's side. Sure enough there was a far too large, far too fresh bruise tinting Karkat's otherwise flawless gray flesh an ugly shade of red.
“Hey!” Karkat shouted, jerking his arm from Gamzee's now loose grip.
“Who hit you?”
“Who hit you?” Gamzee repeated, knowing his voice was losing its motherfucking calm.
“WHO MOTHERFUCKING HIT YOU?” he demanded, unable to hang onto his chill anymore. The shouting managed to make Karkat flinch away, make him curl up on himself. And that told Gamzee way more than he wanted to know. Too much time listening to GA when she was getting schoolfed about thinkrapy had schoolfed Gamzee a bit too. She loved to share details, and Gamzee had a wicked good memory.
What he was seeing on Karkat wasn't a one time injury. Wasn't even a two or three time. Someone was hitting Karkat, and regularly. Options were people who lived near him, the two other trolls his age he lived with, or...
“Your guardian,” Gamzee gasped, his wicked rage evaporating faster than motherfucking imaginable.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
This story won't leave me ALONE! *whimper* Seriously, it's in my head like a... something that is in heads. Here is more. Enjoy it. Savor it. Love it. I'll be back soon.
“He doesn't...” Karkat started to whisper, but neither of them really believed what words he was putting out, so he trailed off.
“Correction, bro, that motherfucker ain't going to again. Goatad will...”
“No!” Karkat shouted, grabbing Gamzee's arm before a motherfucker could stand and make off to wake Goatad. “You can't tell him. Dammit Gamzee, you can't fucking tell him.”
“And just why not, brother? Why not? No troll deserves...”
“Fuck. Don't give me that shitty line. 'Not troll deserves this,' is that what you're going to say? Well guess what, fucking chucklehead, I'm hardly any kind of troll. Not in his eyes, or a lot of others. I'm a mutant, a troll with the blood of a fucking animal. Nothing more than some fucking barkbeast that can talk. Either I obey my fucking master, or get punished. The lowest beasts share the same fucking swill in their veins as me, and I'll likely live as long as those 'lower lifeforms' as well. I'm not worth the time, energy, or attention of a high blood troll. And that's what you and your kind are. Fucking high bloods playing happy little hive with low blood tools. Refusing to see how much better you are, how others aren't worth your time. You can't even fucking see when a worthless piece of trash is in front of you. So fucking stupid, so fucking blind.”
In those last parts, of course, Karkat was all kinds of right. He was wicked blind, everyone was blind, to not have seen this motherfucking shit coming. There'd always been some longer lived trolls who hated the current system, who wanted to get more than was fair by breaking the backs of those they thought below them. Those motherfuckers were far more vocal when Goatad's guardian was Gamzee's age, back before the current Empress Gyliea had taken the throne. She was more set in the idea of service than her predecessor, and her primary heiress, Feferi, seemed likely to put even more sweeping changes in place to help shorter lived bloods. That didn't stop proponents of what they called the 'hemospectrum hierarchy' from treating 'lowbloods' poorly. The very fact that Karkat used the terms 'high' and 'low' bloods said he was familiar with at least one hemohierarchist. Gamzee was blind not to see those kind of people would hate Karkat. And he was motherfucking stupid not to realized that they'd have found and acted against Karkat at some point.
But he wasn't as stupid as Karkat. Only the worst kinds of motherfuckers believed in that shit. The worst kinds and those raised by them. Well, Karkat wasn't the worst kind of troll, but he sure as well was the stupidest. How could a brother spend that much time with trolls trying to motherfucking help him, and not see the miracle of how much they cared? Didn't it mean something that Goatad had brought him to the hive? Was he so dense in the pan as to not see how much that sister, Nepeta, cared? While Gamzee wasn't the best at picking out quadrants and all that, the chica clearly looked like she might have some pity, though whether it was flushed or pale he couldn't tell. Was he just so lacking in in caring contact, or the constructive side of darker romance, to think himself so low? How could such a beautiful troll think himself so worthless?
“You're one stupid brother if you believe that motherfucking shit. Those are his words, wicked wrongness, and if I ever hear you drop them again, I don't care what you say, I'll take all this trash to the Empress herself. And dont' even get it in your pan that a motherfucker can't. Goatad was red on her for a while when he was our age, and a brother's still got her Trollian.”
That got Karkat's eyes wide like Gamzee'd ever seen. But there weren't many trolls who could claim a close, personal relationship with any fuchsia bloods, if they weren't seadwellers themselves, and even less could claim it of a sitting empress or her heir. Then again, most trolls weren't personally chosen by an empress to act as guidance adjustor to some of the younger fuchsia bloods that weren't likely to sit the throne. It was times like these that Gamzee was grateful for the miracle that was his guardian.
“Don't be fucking stupid, Gamzee,” Karkat hissed at last. “The Empress won't...”
“Do you really think that most of us 'highbloods' actually think like your guardian? That we're just playing at helping trolls? Are you really that motherfucking stupid? If what you've been schoolfed was true, would I have taken the fucking time to help you? Would one of those hemoshits have done this?”
“To save their cloths from getting candy red blood on them.”
“Would I have cared to bandage a motherfucker?”
Karkat had no answer for that one. All he could do was look away, refuse to meet Gamzee's eyes.
“You know, all my life, I've never met a fucker quite like you. You're like a fucking clown.”
“And I've never met a brother like you.”
“Don't sound so fucking happy about that.”
“I'll sound however the motherfuck I want, all things considered.”
“All things considered?”
“Bro, the long and short of the motherfucking matter is that a brother needs someone out here looking out for him. Needs a real guardian. Needs a brother who's got his back and pities him like he needs.”
“Gamzee... What the fuck...?”
“Maybe it ain't the best move, the kind of miracle you need to get free of this motherfucking mess, but if you won't go to Goatad, it's still something. For now, and however long you need it, until you find the one who's meant to fill that quadrant, I'm here for you, bro. No one better than a palebro to fight for you, Karkat, and ain't no palebro that'd fight for you half so hard as this one.”
“I ain't taking no as a fucking answer, Karkat. Ain't like this motherfucking mess wasn't enough to get me to pity you as it was. Now it's pity with a purpose, bro. And I'm motherfucking fighting for it, and you.”
“Shoosh, bro. Motherfucking shoosh.”
“You can't just...”
“Shoosh,” Gamzee breathed out, even moving to pap a brother on the cheek.
“This isn't how...”
For a motherfucking moment it seemed like the shooshing and papping wasn't going to be enough and Gamzee was going to have to get his hug on, but finally Karkat sighed, shook his head, and met Gamzee's eyes. There was a look there, part fear, part pity, but it was enough. Karkat didn't even have to say anything, Gamzee could tell it all.
“Come on, palebro, let's get you back on the slab. Both of us have a long night tomorrow, and we'll need all the rest we can get.”
“Both of us?”
“You said I can't go to Goatad. But, bro, I swear to you on my horns that I ain't going to let another motherfucker hurt you. Just count of me. I'll make this all right. I'll figure something out.”
“I'll believe it when I fucking see it, chucklehead.”
“Then watch closely, bro. There are motherfucking miracles on the way.”
“There's no such thing as fucking miracles.”
“Bro, all you've got to do is look in your motherfucking veins. One of the wickedest miracles of our world flows there.”
* * * * * *
Sleep, a motherfucker soon found, wasn't as easy to come by as could be hoped. Being pale with a bro meant being responsible for their well being, but it wasn't a motherfucking miracle cure for all ills. Didn't make a palebro sleep better at night. Gamzee'd managed maybe another two hours of rest before the shouting on the other side of his block wall shocked him awake. The rest of the day was spent curled up with Karkat on the guest slab, holding him close, shooshing and papping away the daymares whenever they set a palebro trembling. At last the sun started to set, and since Karkat hadn't seemed to get any daymares in an hour or so, Gamzee untangled himself and stretched. Might as well get a good motherfucking food prep on if he was up already. He also needed a few minutes of ablution on, what with him smelling like blood. Goatad would notice that, ask questions, get all up in a brother's business. Five minutes in the ablution trap and another ten in his block finally got Gamzee ready to prep, and get his think on. There was planning that needed done, and Gamzee planned motherfucking best when prepping.
The first issue, of course, was going to be finding a way to get Karkat out of his guardian's hands. While he had every intention of keeping his word to Karkat and not telling Goatad—it'd ruin what trust he'd managed to win, and maybe come back to hurt Karkat—he couldn't leave a bro in that motherfucker's claws. There'd be no more beatings, Gamzee swore that to himself. Whether Karkat believe it or not, Gamzee was not letting him down. The very thought of that ugly bruise made his bile sack roll. Karkat deserved better than beatings than being treated as worthless, than being denied happiness. He deserved...
“Motherfuck,” Gamzee hissed as his grip on a measure cup slipped, pouring way more moobeast milk into the doughcake mix than was needed. As it was, the food prep was ruined unless he doubled the recipe he was prepping. Just went to show how little focus he was getting on. And what wicked little focus it was. He had his pity on for all that'd happened to Karkat, but there'd been pity before that. Pity when he'd first laid eyes on a motherfucker and drowned in red flecked black. Pity that made him want to fight tooth and nail for Karkat, no matter the foe.
Which only brought him back to the situation at hand. How was he supposed to get Karkat somewhere safe while he fixed everything? And where was that somewhere safe?
“You've got to be fucking kidding me. Not only do you prep dinner, but you get your fucking ass up at sunset to make breakfast?”
Gamzee flinched at the unexpected voice, his hand slipping again and splashing more moobeast milk into the mix. With a sigh he moved the whole preparation bowl into the sink and turned the water on to clean it out.
“I don't normally get up so wicked early. Then again, I don't normally spend my day picking up a temporary moirail, shooshpapping them to sleep every time they got their daymare on.”
Karkat stared at him at that point, his motherfucking mouth handing open and his face stained a beautiful shade of red. Embarrassment was wicked handsome on the red blooded troll. Confusion was as well.
“Moirail? Gamzee, I never...”
“You going to say a brother spent his whole day getting his pale responsibilities on for nothing?”
“Pale responsibilities? Start making sense fucktard.”
“Like I said, spent my day shooshpapping the mares away. Got my wicked tired when I've got my work-training to get on tonight. You going to say a palebro did it for nothing?”
Karkat sighed and looked away, leaving Gamzee to chuckle.
“Like I said, bro, this lasts only as long as you need a moirail looking out for you. And I'll do everything I can to keep you safe and this quiet. What else is a palebro for?”
Silence, then, “I don't know.”
“Stick around and find out.”
No words, just a motherfucking nod, and then Gamzee's smiling wicked wide for his new moirail. Breakfast, planning, thinking, it was all put on motherfucking hold as he stood there a moment, basking in the motherfucking miracle that was Karkat's reluctant smile.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Story! Story! Story let me be. This is way more than I ever expected it to be. I'm getting trolls I never expected involved, bringing up things I never intended, and they won't let me get this all finished easily. Seriously, this was supposed to be, like, three, four parts max. Now I'm not only taking forever and getting things helluva complicated, but I'm actually thinking about side stories looking into the lives of other trolls. When, pray tell, did this get to be over 10k? What is happening to me!? Oh, and before you ask, yes I did what I did with the familiar troll we add in this chapter. It just makes SENSE.
If dinner had been awkward and silent, it was a miracle of pleasantness compared to breakfast. Karkat refused to say more than two motherfucking words at a time. Goatad seemed overly passive about it and was glancing back and forth between Karkat and Gamzee. As for Gamzee himself, he was often caught up in his own motherfucking thinkpan. That was because seeing Goatad reminded him of his guardian's first meeting tonight, one with Karkat's own guardian. It would not only be a chance for Gamzee to see just what the motherfucker was like, but maybe it would give him a chance to act. If not on getting Karkat free now, then on reaching out to others who could help a brother get an understand on about just what was up.
In the motherfucking end the table was cleared, the dishes cleaned, and Karkat sent on his way to his own appointment with directions from Goatad, leaving Gamzee alone with his guardian at last. It felt like it'd been nights since he'd been alone with the wicked brother, like his whole world had changed around him and there wasn't a thing that could be done about it. How could he have ever thought that a single day could change everything?
“Gamzee? A brother's gonna start to worry that you got yourself wicked sick if you don't respond soon.”
“Ah, finally cleared your thinkpan so you could hear me,” Goatad chuckled, shaking his head. “I've been trying to catch your attention for a few minutes. We best start our walking if we wanna make the motherfucking office before my first meeting.”
“With Karkat's guardian,” Gamzee mumbled under his breath.
“Motherfucking right,” Goatad confirmed. Go figure, that brother was always better at hearing than Gamzee gave him credit for. “You still all up and pained over Karkat's situation?”
“Why would you up and think that?”
“Beyond the silence at the table? Come on, little bro, I got a better understand on for you than you give me credit for. Your eyes got shadows under them like you used to get when you were a wriggler that had just found the wicked miracle of Trollian. Did you get any sleep?”
“Not much,” Gamzee found himself admitting. “Guess the idea of a guardian not caring for their ward upsets me something wicked. Can't wrap my pan around it. I mean, Karkat, for all that a brother's angry, is pretty nice.”
“Nice? Looks like you're seeing something not many others do. But I'm with you, little brother. Raising a miracle like you makes a brother appreciate guardianship so much more. Even all my guidance work ain't so satisfying as raising you. But I can't explain Karkat's guardian. I can just say it's not the most motherfucking friendly environment to raise a special troll like Karkat in.”
Gamzee sighed and ran a hand through his tangled hair. It only helped him get his remember as to what he should be doing. There was work to be done. “Give me five to clean up, then we can head to work. Cool?”
“As cool as motherfucking ice. Just don't get yourself all chill, my brother. From what I've been getting to hear, Spided isn't fond of people who make him wait.”
In the end it only took him a few minutes to change into work appropriate clothes, tame his hair back into a hoofbeast-tail, and meet Goatad out in front of their hive. From there they only had to worry about the walk, and even with how leisurely they tended to take it, they'd make the office with plenty of time. And Gamzee intended to make use of the time they spent walking as well.
“Goatad, you said something about Karkat not being in a friendly environment... I don't suppose there is some motherfucking thing that could be done? I mean, I know it isn't motherfucking usual, but couldn't he be moved into his own hive early? He's almost old enough...”
“You know I can't motherfucking arrange that. No troll gets their own hive until they've finished training in their chosen line. Even Nepeta's got a few perigees before she can request her own, and you've got at least a sweep or two.”
Gamzee started to chew on his lip a bit at that. For Karkat to get his own hive, Goatad would first have to get Karkat to pick a line of work, and get him trained in it, before he'd be free. In the meantime Karkat's guardian, this Spided, would have all the time in the motherfucking world to hurt his palebro. No, there had to be another way. And, come direct sunlight or high water, Gamzee was going to find it.
* * * * * *
Spided, Gamzee found, didn't look like what Gamzee thought he would. All his life he'd been taught by Goatad there was something really wrong with hemohierarchists. So he'd thought that just by looking at one he'd be able to know them. What a motherfucking stupid thing to think. There wasn't some kind of flaw that made him stand out from another troll. The only differences with this troll from the ones Gamzee had seen the night before was the standard appearance issues, and the fact that his eyes were fully, undeniably cerulean.
Problem was that Gamzee knew what he was under that motherfucking smiling face that came to sign the paper and mumble something about Goatad. Took all the motherfucking control he could manage (and the fact that Nepeta was waiting nearby to gossip) to keep Gamzee from leaning out through the window and wrapping his fingers around the older troll's neck. It would be so motherfucking easy. As a purple blooded troll he was almost as large at his age as a cerulean as old at Spided was. His hands were larger too, with fingers long enough to wrap around that slender neck. His strength was more than enough to choke the breath from the motherfucker before someone thought of fetching an indigo or purple of sufficient strength to stop him. And his slight psychic gifts, surely those could be bent to...
“He gives me the shivers,” Nepeta mumbled after Spided turned around and went to a seat in the waiting block.
“Shivers?” Gamzee asked, tearing his eyes away from the evil motherfucker who dared hurt a troll he pitied.
“The way he looks at me sometimes... Well, not at me, more like through me. Like I'm not even there. I don't like it one bit. You don't suppose he's...”
Gamzee couldn't help the motherfucking confused look he gave Nepeta, which made her sigh and shake her head. Obviously she didn't want to talk about it if she thought he didn't get it right off, but it wasn't that Gamzee didn't get it. Truth was it made perfect sense. Hemohierarchists thought about proper order and all that, and in that order Nepeta would be below Spided as an olive blooded troll, whereas Gamzee would be above him as a purple. He wouldn't dare look at a purple the wrong way, even if he thought they were confused about the order of things.
“I don't like the look of him either,” Gamzee admitted. There was just something wrong with the man, even his horns—which looked like a pair of forks on his head—didn't sit right with Gamzee. Not much he could do about it, though, especially since someone was just coming to the waiting block door to take him back to Goatad.
“Oh well, can't judge a troll by their horns,” Nepeta said, shrugging and returning the full of her attention to Gamzee. “Now, like I was saying before he walked in, we've got a legisticator coming into the office today. Don't worry, no one's in any trouble or anything. Every few weeks an in-training troll comes in to do some notary work, some other stuff like that. Part of a course they have to take before their public service and all that. Their schoolfeeder believes in paws on training with this kind of stuff, and it saves the department a lot in general legal stuffs. We've got a full-time grade C legisticator working here of course, but he's always so busy...”
“I get the point,” Gamzee cut in. His patience, normally something he took pride in, wasn't exactly all up and working today. Too much to think about, even if he wanted to talk. There would be time to establish relationships later, when he wasn't trying to get Karkat out of the worst kind of motherfucking trouble.
“Geez, someone got up on the wrong side of the slab today. Anyway, when they come in they'll tell you who they are. You just buzz them through the door. It's a returning one today, so she'll know where to go.”
“Watch out for her. She's got one sharp tongue.”
* * * * * *
To call the legisticator trainee's tongue sharp, Gamzee soon found, was a wicked understatement. The second he laid eyes upon her he knew that this was going to be one sharp chica. After all, everything about her was sharp. The wide, toothy grin as she strode through the door of the waiting block. The red and teal suit designed around the Libra sign, and pressed so that the corners and edges looked like the could cut. Slender, angular horns that came to a needle-point. Even the shape of her eyes and the way she narrowed them as she took off her candy red sunglasses and began to approach the desk.
“So you're the new guy,” she said as she reached the counter and slid her shades into a pocket. “Ms. Leijon said something about getting a replacement now that she was a full trainee. Name's Terezi. Terezi Pyrope, Legisticator Trainee. I'm expected.”
“Yeah, sister, Nepeta mentioned you'd be showing up,” Gamzee said, unable to do much other than stare. It was quite obvious that the short chica was about his age—you could learn so much of a young troll's age by their eyes, and hers were black flecked with teal—but she didn't carry herself like it. This Terezi acted more like a chica of eleven or more sweeps than eight. “Gamzee Makara.”
Terezi seemed to consider Gamzee's outstretched hand for a moment before taking it in her own and giving it a good pumping. Sister had a wicked strong grip, and and her long, sharpened claws even scratched across the back of his hand, leaving thin purple welts across his skin. He caught her glancing down at the scratches and smiling, her rows of sharp teeth even more visible for the grin. Yeah, sharp was the motherfucking word for this chica.
“A pleasure, Mr. Maraka. Since you've been told about me, I assume you know what to do.”
“I'm supposed to buzz you back.”
“Indeed. The sooner the better.”
Gamzee started to reach for the button that would release the lock on the door that connected the waiting block with the main section of the office block, but hesitated just as his fingers came to rest on the button.
“Is there any reason for the delay?”
“You're a legisticator trainee?” Gamzee asked, though he of course already knew the answer. The important thing was that there was potential, real motherfucking potential in the answer.
“Of course. I thought we already went over this.”
“Then, if you get a minute to spare before you leave, would you motherfucking mind stopping by? I've got a question that only a wicked sister like you may be able to answer for me.”
Terezi frowned at him for a minute—even that was sharp enough at the edges to make Gamzee feel like a sister would bleed him if he got too close—before nodding.
“Sure. I always finish with time to spare. I don't see why I can't give it to you. But you'll owe me, of course.”
“A brother wouldn't get any other motherfucking thing in mind.”
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Still going, and at this rate this story is going to be long. Though you may have guessed that already. How in the world did I ever plan on making this a three to four part thing? Oh well, here we go again. As for the recent delay? My summer classes have started, so I DO have to dedicate some time to them in addition to job search and novel editing. It's not easy being an adult...
The office normally emptied out around the lunch hour, as most trolls took the chance to go out and share lunches in the other parts of the city around them. Gamzee, though, wasn't bound out today. The day before he'd gone out with Goatad to lunch, but seeing as his guardian had chosen to take lunch with Spided to continue their conversations, Gamzee had been left behind. Not that he was entirely alone. There was perfectly fine reheated grubloaf, some faygo, and a slice of pie, not to mention the company of two terribly gossipy chicas. At least, though, they had their motherfucking attention on each other and their gossip instead of on him. Last thing he wanted to do was get Terezi's attention all up and on him so that she'd go and ask him what he'd wanted in front of Nepeta.
“So, Gamzee, just what was it that you wanted to ask me about earlier?” Terezi said, turning her grin on him. Go figure a sister'd all up and ask him just as he was hoping she wouldn't.
“Gamzee wanted to ask you something?” Nepeta asked, frowning in her cute little way. “Something he couldn't ask me about? How pawsitively interesting.”
“He said that it was only something I could answer for him,” Terezi answered, following it up with that laugh that Gamzee found it hurt his head pretty bad.
“Wow. When did you get something only a legisticator could answer?”
“It really ain't much of anything at all,” Gamzee mumbled. “Just some question that I got wrapped up in my thinkpan during my studies at home.”
“Oh stop dancing around the question, Mr. Dancing-Horns,” Terezi said, shaking her head. “You seemed so serious about it this evening.”
“I might even be able to help,” Nepeta added, smiling. “I've learned a lot about guidance adjusting, so whatever you have to ask can't be too bad.”
Oh well, there wasn't much to do about it, so Gamzee sighed, took a swig of faygo to buy himself the moments to properly frame the question, and then let loose with the possibly wicked dangerous question.
“I was getting my read on last night, and found a case-study where a guidance adjustor believed a guardian was abusing their ward, but he couldn't scratch up the proof. The ward wasn't about to get his tale telling on, and there weren't no witnesses, so the guidance adjustor couldn't all up and file a complaint or get the guardianship transferred. The book didn't give a good answer, though. Is there anything the adjustor could do?”
Out of the corner of his eyes, Gamzee could see Nepeta starting to frown, trying to figure something out. It was all he could do to focus fully on Terezi, hoping that Nepeta wouldn't have a reason to connect Gamzee's question with Karkat or Spided.
“Well,” Terezi said after a moment of contemplation, “my class hasn't gotten to that part of the schoolfeeding yet...”
“It's okay,” Gamzee said, sighing, only to have Terezi continue on without paying attention to him.
“But I read ahead, because it's the kind of stuff I'm interested in. Other than the methods you mentioned, there is a clawful of ways to deal with the situation. First, I wouldn't give up so easily on finding someone willing to file a complaint. A person who abuses on troll is just as likely to abuse another, so having another person file a complaint should be enough to insist upon a change of guardianship with the board. There's also the potential raised by matesprits and moirails. Cases have been made before that these romance partners have a better, and more productive, claim upon their partners. I read a case where a violet blooded troll with anger control issues was transferred into the care of their brown blooded moirail as the moirail was better able to pacify and guide their palemate than the violet's guardian ever was. The exception for matesprits typically only applies when the pair has one long lived troll and one short, or one matesprit is far older than the other and thus likely to die sooner. Then allowances are made so that the pair can enjoy what time they have left together.
“Either of these two options are available not only to a guidance adjustor, but any legisticator or other service-troll willing to fill out the paperwork and handle the potential hearings and such. There is a final, rarely used method that is available only to guidance adjustors, though, and even that only applies to ones with a lot of experience and seniority.”
Which described Goatad to a motherfucking claw, so Gamzee waved for Terezi to continue.
“Which is guidance through guardianship. When a troll is a problem case and the senior guidance adjustors feel it is necessary, his wardship may be passed on to a senior case official for a temporary period. This allows for sustained contact and a more claws-on approach to determining not only what interests might lead a troll to a better life, but how to reach goals. This, though, is used in maybe only one out of every million cases, and all temporary wardship transfers must be presented to a joint meeting of the guidance adjustors bureaucracy, the guardianship council, and the Empress herself. So it's not done often, and even some attempts at it have been rejected. You know the system doesn't much approve of transferring wardships without ample proof.”
“I can see why my text didn't suggest any of these,” Gamzee said, trying to keep up that lie, even though Terezi was giving him a weird look. “Ain't much of what a normal guidance adjustor could do, after all.”
And even less for what he could do. Well, that wasn't fully true. He could try getting in contact with the other two trolls Spided was the guardian for, see if he couldn't get one of them to file a complaint. But Karkat had seemed adamant about keeping Goatad out of it, so he probably didn't want Gamzee blabbing about their short-term moirallegiance, or going to Goatad about a temporary transfer of guardianship. So really, all his hope rested on trying to convince at least the green-blooded troll to file a complaint, because he didn't expect a cerulean raised by a cerulean to do so.
“So, what's all this really about?”
Gamzee's head snapped up at Terezi's question, far too fast for him to really deny that any motherfucking thing other than what he claimed was up. Well, there went that attempt at keeping secrets. Couldn't even keep one motherfucking story straight for the sake of his palebro.
“What do you mean?” he tried anyway, hoping that Terezi would take his question to mean that he didn't want to get his explain on.
“Oh come on, the line you've been feeding us is so transparent. A blind girl could see through it. I can almost smell it in the air around you. This isn't about any text. Why do you want to know about guardianship laws? You got a bad one?”
“Hardly,” Nepeta cut in. “Goatad's purretty cool. That being said, this was the kind of question he easily could have answered. So if you didn't go to him, it has to be about something you don't want to let him know about. So Gamzee, the real question is this... What can we do to help you with Karkitty?”
“Oh, this is about Karkat?” Terezi asked, even as Gamzee was reeling from the wicked suppositions of Nepeta. “Well then, count me in.”
“What? No, sisters have totally got things wrong here. This ain't about any troll...”
“Gamzee, there's no use denying it. I can see right through you,” Terezi laughed. “Besides, I've lived a few lawn rings away from Karkat for sweeps, and spent a lot of time with his wardmate, Vriska. I guessed a long time ago that things weren't all peachy at their hive.”
“Really?” Gamzee asked, leaning in closer. The movement obviously confirmed Terezi's thoughts, because the sister just grinned all the wider at the motion. That sister just had one wicked grin, and useable in so many motherfucking situations.
“Yep. Tell you what, I'll see if I can't get any information from Vriska about the hive situation there. She's always been observant in her own way, not to mention schemey enough to make Spided look legitimate. Even if she won't tell me something for free, I'll be able to get it from her somehow. Especially if it means she can further her own goals.”
“I'll do anything to help Karkitty too. But what can I... Oh yeah, there's a third ward in that hive, isn't there? Well, you just leave talking to him to me. I purromise I'll bring something useful back. Meanwhile, Gamzee, you work on Goatad.”
“You obviously wouldn't bring up a change of guardianship if you didn't think it was important, right? And Goatad purrobably wouldn't think of it himself. So you've got it in your paws to convince him, right? We'll trust you with that. But you have to tell us one thing first.”
The conversation hadn't gone at all how Gamzee thought it would, and now faced with help with what seemed like a motherfucking insurmountable problem, he was more than willing to share. To have both of these sisters jump at helping Karkat was more than enough for him, though he wasn't going to tell Karkat about it.
“What do you want to get your know on about?”
“Why are you doing this?”
Gamzee looked from Nepeta, who'd asked the question, to Terezi, and then down at his hands.
“Would you believe I was pale for him at first sight?”
“Yes! I knew it!” Nepeta cheered, bouncing around in her seat. “The way you looked at him, it pawsitively shouted meowallegiance! Oh yes, Gamzee, it can totailly happen at first sight. The second I laid eyes on Equius, that's my meowrail, I knew I was pale for him. Poor silly troll was at an intersection and helping little old maroon and brown bloods across the road. He would get to one side with one, and then there'd be another going the other way and he'd help that one, and so on and so forth until I stopped him and papped him until he understood that service didn't mean every waking moment. How can you serve anyone if you're all worn out?”
As hard as Gamzee tried to pay attention as Nepeta kept going on along that motherfucking vein, he could see Terezi out of the corner of his eyes. Her sharp smile was gone, had been since he'd claimed pale feelings. That was the reason, though, right? So why was she giving him the same look she had when he'd tried to lie about why he wanted her to answer a question? Could she really smell lies? And if so, just what was he lying about, and who to?
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
Good News – Next chapter is here. Bad News – Why oh why did my readers have to give me positively evil ideas about how this story was going to play out? Now it's going to be even LONGER. WHY?! This chapter, though, is just to bridge between important times.
“You and Terecita seemed pretty close,” Gamzee cut into Nepeta's rambling about her moirail once the legisticator excused herself, claiming some motherfucking work she want to get done. “How'd that happen?”
“Oh. Well, we bonded over a mutual disappointment. And Terecita is such a cute name for her. I'm sure she's pawsitively love it!”
“Well, if you purromise not to tail anyone...”
“A sister's got my motherfucking word of honor. Ain't nothing going to pass these lips. So spill. What's this mutual disappointment that bonded a pair of chicas?”
“Karkat,” Nepeta said, the troll's name all soft and breathy when she said it this time, not mention she didn't call him Karkitty. “Both of us... We're...”
“Flushed for him,” Gamzee whispered, the words too much for a motherfucker to bear. He couldn't quite understand why, and yet there it was. The idea of not one, but both of the sisters helping him with Karkat being flushed for him was just painful.
“Yeah. He's just so unappurroachable, so sad, so angry. And yet we're flushed. Doesn't make sense. A sweep I've been watching him, hoping he'd pawsibly notice me. Terezi's been interested since she first came here about a perigee ago. But when we figured it out, we purromised each other we wouldn't go after him until he started to notice things himself.”
“But that ain't gonna stop a sister from helping him, is it?”
“What kind of possible matesprits would we be if we didn't help him when he needed us?”
“I don't know,” Gamzee admitted, pushing the remains of his grubloaf around with a fork. “I ain't got much understand about quadrants beyond pale.”
“Really?” Nepeta asked, looking motherfucking confused.
“Sister, if you cut me, do I not bleed purple? Goatad himself has got at least a few hundred sweeps left pumping in his veins, and he's already got a hundred and three. Ain't seen as a pressing issue for a purple. Don't get our schoolfeed on about it unless its through seeing our guardian's quadrants, or falling in pity or hate early and getting it all explained.”
“There's also romcom movies,” Nepeta pointed out, “but I guess I understand. Things don't play out the same for our bloods, do they?”
“No. What even motherfucking is a romcom?”
Nepeta stared at him, her black and olive eyes all wide with disbelief. “You've never heard of romcoms? Wow, no wonder you don't know more about quadrants. My guardian started me watching them when I was just out of wrigglerhood. Maybe they'll help you. Okay, so give me your Trollian handle and I'll send you some of my favorites after work today, okay?”
“Alright sister. I'll try them.”
“Good. Now, lunch break is almost over, so I've got to get back to work. I'll stop by your desk later for the Trollian info.”
“Sure,” Gamzee said, not even knowing why he agreed. Then again, the only thing in his motherfucking thinkpan at the moment was Karkat, and the way these sisters he'd gotten to help him were all up and flushed for a brother. What was he even supposed to do with that information? Should he tell Karkat? How would he even do that? He hadn't even thought to get the brother's Trollian...
* * * * * *
By the close of the office, Gamzee had been forced to give over his Trollian handle to not only Nepeta, but to Terezi as well, the latter still eying him suspiciously even as she cackled over the piece of paper. Something about that sister just didn't sit right with a motherfucker, though he couldn't explain why. Soon Gamzee and Goatad were the only ones left in the office, left to lock up and start the trek home.
“Have a good night, little brother?” Goatad asked he ushered Gamzee out of the office and into the pale pink light of the night.
“Don't much know yet,” Gamzee admitted. “Got things that I've got to get my think on about.”
“What kind of things? Maybe I can get my wicked helpful on.”
He sighed, unsure of how to respond to that. At last, though, he dodged the question altogether. “How'd your meeting with Karkat's guardian get on?”
“Wicked bad,” his guardian admitted. “Spided doesn't seem to care much about what happens to Karkat. Ain't the greatest guardian I ever knew.”
“And there's nothing you can do about that?”
Goatad shook his head, looking for all the motherfucking world upset by the thought. “I don't even know what the motherfuck I'm going to do. Karkat hasn't opened up to anyone, so we don't got a motherfucking idea of what he's interested in. He won't work with us, and his guardian can't tell us anything.”
His guardian sighed, and shrugged. “I'm motherfucking worried. If this keeps up...”
Gamzee didn't have to ask what that meant. While all trolls were required to have at least two meetings with a guidance adjustor, most rarely did more than those two. Lots of trolls figured out what they wanted to do with their lives in the sweeps before that first required meeting. Only took a bit of questioning and filing to get them lined up with a place to get schoolfed, and sometimes it didn't take that if the troll's guardian was in the same line they wanted to work. Others took a perigee or two to cut down their ideas to something specific, leaving the guidance adjustors to figure out specifics. Few lingered even half a sweep, and less a sweep or more. But Karkat... He'd been with the adjustors for sweeps, and if they didn't figure something out soon, he'd be given over to his guardian fully, with no real choices left to him. They needed to help Karkat, and soon.
“Have you considered applying for temporary guardianship?”
That froze Goatad in his footsteps.
“Where did you motherfucking learn about that? No, wait, don't even motherfucking tell me. The legisticator girl. She's been sniffing after Karkat ever since she was assigned to us. Trust the chica to come up with such an idea.”
“But is it a bad one?”
“No, brother. That's the problem. It's motherfucking perfect. All but impossible to pull off, but motherfucking brilliant.”
“Then you'll do it?”
“I'll motherfucking try. No better way to figure out something for him than to see him longer, when he's got his chill on.”
And he'd be free of his guardian, but Gamzee didn't mention that motherfucking part.
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
For this chapter I've chosen to format Gamzee's quirk in line with his pre-sgrub style. This meant that this chapter was rather long to type because I'm not quick with it. Hope you appreciate it.
As for what happens... Yeah, I wasn't expecting it either. Just sort of... happened.
terminallyCapricious [TC] began trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA]
TC: HeY, dOeS a WiCkeD sIsTeR aLl uP aNd GoT tImE tO hElP a MoThErFuCkEr WiTh SoMe PrObLeMs? I'vE gOt A cAsE oF nEeDiNg SoMe ThInKrApY.
GA: Gamzee You Are Well Aware That I Always Endeavor To Make Time For A Troll In Need Of Guidance Whether Or Not They Have The Forethought To Schedule An Appointment For My Time Or Choose To Arrive Unannounced
TC: YeAh, SiStEr, I kNoW aLl ThAt MoThErFuCkInG sHiT. aIn'T mEaN a BrOtHeR aIn'T gOiNg To GeT hIs AsK oN aNd Be AlL pOlItE. ArEn'T yOu ThE oNe ThAt AlWaYs StReSsEs ThE iMpOrTaNcE oF pOlItEnEsS?
GA: That Is Correct But I Do Believe That Allowances Are Always To Be Made As The Situation Warrants As With You It Ever Seems To So Please Inform Me As To How I Might Best Assist You This Morning Gamzee
TC: WhAt DoEs A sIsTeR kNoW aBoUt DeAlInG wItH qUaDrAnTs AnD aLl ThAt?
GA: Quadrants Ah Yes It Seems That Our Impressionable Young Purple Blooded Friend Has Finally Come To Realizes That The World Is Composed Of More Than Just Pies Guardians And Trolls In Need Of Guidance Adjustors Just What Is It That Has Brought About This Sudden Awareness Of Quadrants And Why Is It That You Cannot Turn To Your Own Guardian In Search Of Answers To Your Undoubtedly Numerous Questions
TC: WeLl It AlL uP aNd StArTeD yEsTeRdAy...
GA: Oh Dear It Does In Fact Appear That You Are About To Describe An Incident Regarding Your First Day As A Guidance Adjustor In Training While I Am Sure That It Was Highly Informative And In Fact Formative For The Troll That You Shall Become In The Future I Must State As I Have In The Past That I Do Not Believe That Such A Role Is Not Necessary In Our Modern Society And That It Draws Talented Individuals Away From More Fulfilling Lines Of Work While I Am Quite Glad That You Have Found Happiness There I Do Not Desire Knowledge Of The Goings On Of The Profession Please Spare Me The Details And Provide Only The Summary Of Your Problem
TC: YoU'rE aLwAyS sO mOtHeRfUcKiNg SuPpOrTiVe, SiStEr.
GA: Yes I Do Endeavor To Be As Supportive As Possible For My Acquaintances
TC: WeLl, LiKe A mOtHeRfUcKeR wAs SaYiNg, I mEt SoMeOnE aT tHe OfFiCe. AiN't NeVeR sEeN a BrOtHeR lIkE hIm BeFoRe. So MoThErFuCkInG aNgRy At EvErYtHiNg AnD eVeRyOnE.
GA: Now We Come Upon Something Of Interest Please Tell Me More Of This Angry Individual And How They Have Made You Aware Of The Quadrants Is It Possible That His Temper Has Provoked One So Mellow As You Are You Seeking Auspisticism
TC: NaW sIs, AiN't NoThInG lIkE tHaT. AiN't GoT mY hAtE oN fOr NoBoDy ExCePt...
TC: MaYbE tHiS iS ThE mOThErFuCkInG pOiNt WhErE i MaKe SuRe AlL tHaT jAzZ yOu ThInKrApIsTs TaLk AbOuT, tHaT pRiVaCy ShIT, aPpLiEs To AnYoNe Or JuSt YoUr AcTuAl ClIEnTs.
GA: Normally One In My Line Of Work Is Compensated With Fulfillment Of Our Needs And Desires Based Upon An Hourly Scale With Those Fees Tendered Either By The Client Or The Appropriate Branch Of The System By In This Situation I Shall Claim You As Client Without Payment And Extend Unto You Those Benefits That Any Of My Standard Clients Might Expect Me To Fulfill
TC: FoRgIvE mE sIsTeR, bUt I aIn'T gOt YoUr WiCkEd MeAnInGs AlL uP aNd FiGuReD.
GA: Yes Gamzee You Will Be Protected By Thinkrapist Client Privilege Though I Cannot Promise It Should Cover A Situation Where We Might Be Asked To Testify Before Legisticators
TC: AlL a BrOtHeR aSkS fOr. MoThErFuCkInG mIrAclE sYsTeM wE gOt HeRe.
GA: Indeed Now Please Return To The Situation
TC: LoNg MoThErFuCkInG sToRy KePt ShOrT iT's LiKe ThIs. GoAtAd WaS gIvEn An AnGrY mOtHeRfUcKeR tO dEaL wItH. bRoUgHt HiM hOmE fOr GrUb, AnD sTaY tHe NiGhT. i WaS uP eArLy AfTeR tAlKiNg WiTh YoU aNd EqUiUs LiKe YoU mIgHt ReMeMbEr.
TC: WhEn I lOgGeD oFf ThErE wErE sOuNdS lIkE sOmE tRoLl FrEaKiNg OuT. wEnT tO cHeCk AnD tHe MoThErFuCkEr WaS fLiPpInG oUt On A wIcKeD bAd DaYmArE. gOt HiMsElF aLl ScRaTcHeD uP bY hImSeLf, So I wOkE hIm AnD gOt HiM aLl BaNdAgEd Up.
TC: BuT i FoUnD tHaT wAsN't ThE oNlY wAy He WaS hUrT. sOmE mOtHeRfUcKeR hAd BeAt HiM. sOmE hEmOhIeRaRcHiSt BaStArD gUaRdIaN.
GA: Please Tell Me You Have Reported This Incident To Your Guardian And The Appropriate Agencies If You Have Not I Believe That Someone Should Should See You Schoolfed In Regulations And Possibly Whacked Upside The Horn As Well And I Thought You Were Going To Make This Brief
TC: TrUsT mE kAnAyA, tHiS iS tHe ShOrT vErSiOn. AnYwAy He WoN't TeStIfY, aNd YoU kNoW hOw HaRd It Is To DeAl ThEn. So I tOlD hIm He DiDn'T dEsErVe ThIs ShIt, AnD hE tHoUgHt He DiD. i TrIeD tO coRrEcT hIm AnD pRoMiSeD tO hElP hIm.
TC: ToLd HiM i'D bE hIs MoIrAiL aLl TeMpOrArY lIkE, fIx EvErYtHiNg. He SoRt Of AgReEd. So...
GA: So Now You Are Attempting To Assist Him And While You Likely Can Handle Some Parts Of This You Need Help As You Have Never Been Nor Can Even Begin To Understand Just What It Takes To Be A Proper Moirail Thus You Turn To Me For Advice Yes I Can Understand That But I Believe That Again Your Guardian Might Serve You Better In This Portion Of Your Schoolfeeding Than I Might
TC: NaW sIs It AiN't AlL lIkE tHaT. SeE, i'Ve GoT mE sOmE mOtHeRfUcKiNg AdViCe FrOm SoMeOnE hElPiNg Me In AlL tHiS tHaT hAs A mOiRaIl AnD kNoWs HeR sTuFf. EqUiUs'S pAlEsIsTeR aCtuAlLy.
GA: I Could Not Think Of A Better Example From All Which I Have Heard From Him Regarding Miss Leijon
TC: YeAh. SwEeTeSt LiTtLe ChIcA i'Ve EvEr MeT. bUt OnE pRoBlEm. HeR aNd ThE oThEr ChIcA hElPiNg Us... ThEy ArE aLl Up AnD rEd FoR mY pAlEbRo.
GA: And You Wish To Know Whether It Would Be A Breech Of Confidence To Inform Your Moirail Of Their Affections Which Becomes Doubly A Problem If Those Affections Might Improve His Self Confidence And Image But Only By Causing Him To Accept One And Reject The Other Which Would Likely Strain His Already Stretched Ability To Manage Himself
TC: No, SiStErS aLl Up AnD gOt ThEiR aGrEe On NoT tO tElL hIm UnLeSs He ApPrOaChEs OnE oF tHeM wItH fLuShEd FeElInGs, So ThEy CaN sTaY fRiEnDs.
GA: Then I Do Not Fathom Your Problem What Is It For Which You Want My Assistance And Advice
TC: WhEn I sAiD i WaS pAlE fOr ThIs TrOlL oNe Of ThEm DiDn'T bElIeVe Me.
GA: I Fail To See Why This Is A Problem
TC: I'm BeGiNnInG nOt To BeLiEvE mE.
GA: Oh Oh I See So That Is Your Problem You Have Placed Yourself Into A Quadrant With His Individual But It Is Not One Which Accurately Reflects Your Degree Of Pity For Him And While This Is An Issue Best Dealt With By A Guardian Or A Moirail You Cannot Seek The Guidance Of The Former Without Revealing Your Moiralligence And The Circumstances Surrounding It And Thus Driving Away The One You Are Flushed For And You Cannot Seek The Guidance Of The Latter Without Revealing Your True Shade Of Pity To Him Which Might Drive Him Away Due To Perceived Duplicity On Your Part
GA: This Is As My Own Former Guardian Might Say A Real Poser
TC: So WhAt DoEs A mOtHeRfuCkEr Do?
GA: I Believe Gamzee That You Are In Need Of A True Moirail One Who Might Discuss These Feelings With You And Will Not Only Know The Situation And Thus Not Accuse You Of Cheating But No Judge You And Will Keep Your Secret Pale Romance From All Others
TC: MaYbE bUt WhErE iS a MoThErFuCkeR sUpPoSeD tO gEt ThAt? A pErSoNaL aD?
GA: Gamzee Please Allow Me To Be Blunt At This Interval As My Subtlety Over The Sweeps Has Obviously Been Of Such A Degree That Even When Ample Evidence Has Been Presented You Have Not Pieced It Together To Form The Required Picture
TC: WhAt HaPpEnEd To BlUnT?
GA: Forgive Me I Have Never Been Good With Directness Gamzee I Have Had Pale Feelings For You These Last Few Sweeps Hearing That You Formed Even A Temporary Pale Partnership With Another Troll Inflicted Caliginous Feelings Known To Find You Truly Harbored Flushed Feelings Has Only Renewed My Pity For You And Your Situation Thus I Would Ask That You Consider Taking Me As A True Moirail That I Might Better Assist You In This Trying Time
GA: Gamzee Are You Still Present At Your Husktop
TC: SoRrY sIsTeR. jUsT dIdN't MoThErFuCkInG eXpEcT tHaT rEvElAtIoN.
GA: Yes I Already Indicated My Awareness Of That Fact
GA: I Would Ask Though That You Do Not Continue To How Would You Phrase It Leave Me Hanging
TC: Aw MaN sIsTeR. aIn'T mEaN tO mAkE yOu AlL uP aNd GeT sOmE wIcKeD wOrRy On. PiTy YoU tO, pAlEsIs. JuSt ReMeMbEr, FoR nOw No OnE cAn KnOw.
GA: Yes I Expect That Once We Have Resolved This Situation In Some Manner Hopefully A Satisfactory One We Shall Be Able To Be Open About Our Relationship In The Mean Time I Shall Endeavor To Keep Our Pity Between Ourselves That Said Know That I Will Always Be Here For You Gamzee No Matter What May Come To Pass
TC: In ThE mEaNtImE, cAn A pAlEbRo AsK aNoThEr FaVor?
GA: Of Course Did I Not Just Say That I Would Always Be Here For You
TC: GoT aNy RoMcOmS tO sHaRe WiTh A mOtHeRfUcKeR? aLl ThIs StUfF NePeTa SeNt Me SeEmS tO bE aBoUt BoNdInG oVeR bEaStS.
GA: Ah Yes I Shall Of Course Share Some Of My Own With You Though I Would Ask That You Not Reveal That You Received It From Me I Do Have A Reputation To Uphold
Who wants more? I want more. Do you want more? Good. Here is more. Just FYI, I'm considering a M/W/F update schedule...
"Gamzee, could you hand me that..."
Goatad didn't even have to finish the motherfucking question before Gamzee was passing a sheaf of paperwork over to his guardian. It earned him a grunt of acknowledgment, but nothing more. No, his guardian was too busy pouring over the papers, making a note here, scratching something out there, signing in a third place. The only times his guardian even acknowledged Gamzee's presence was when he needed something, and that was a fact that he all up and had his understand on about. The paperwork was way to motherfucking important to turn his attention to his ward.
More important than a guardian could even up and get his understanding on. More than Karkat's happiness relied upon the paperwork being properly filled out, submitted, and reviewed by the panel that had been started to be put together when Goatad had requested the paperwork for temporary transfer of guardianship. His temporail's health, sanity, freedom all relied on this. All Gamzee could do was sit back and help his guardian in whatever ways possible.
That's what he'd been telling himself all perigee, and sometimes it wasn't enough. Sometimes he was up all morning trying to find some motherfucking way to stop all this, to free him. The only comfort then was Kanaya's patient, comforting presence in the form of walls of jade green text. A motherfucking palesis was always there, whether he needed her or not, whether he had to get his feels out or just wanted to talk about those shitty motherfucking romcoms she sent, or anything else. The only thing that kept him going better than her was the angry, demanding gray words that flowed from his husktop every night after work ever since he'd convinced Karkat that he couldn't be a good temporail (Gamzee'd come up with the word himself, and he knew it reassured Karkat that this wasn't something permanent, just some short term miracle for his sake) if they couldn't talk over Trollian.
Harder to handle was the intermittent splash of olive and teal on his husktop in the evenings. Nepeta would drop in to offer new romcoms or talk to him about how her attempts to get the olive that Spided was responsible for to talk—and he wasn't doing that much—and her cheerfulness and openness about how much she loved helping someone she pitied made her comments hard to handle. That, though, had nothing on Terecita's infrequent messages. She would stop in to talk about how she was dealing with Spided's cerulean ward—which wasn't good, apparently her relationship with Vriska had gotten worse the more Terezi pushed—or ask Gamzee how his moirail was doing. Her attention always made his bile sack act up, made him grit his teeth and glare at the screen and try not to let it motherfucking get across in his typing. As for Equius, well, that motherfucker had his own issues he was getting his deal on with, and it was getting harder and harder for Gamzee to get him for more than a few minutes.
So here, after a perigee of learning and fighting to find a way to deal with Karkat's problems, all he could do was wait for Goatad to finish the paperwork and hope it went over well. Whether it would help or not was a question Gamzee didn't want to get his think on about, but there was an upside. One motherfucking upside that almost made it all worth it: any troll who was the subject of a temporary change of guardianship investigation was given over to the care of troll requesting the review until such time as everything got itself sorted out. For a few nights, a few weeks, a few something, Karkat would be safe.
“The...” Goatad started to say, reaching out again, and Gamzee slapped the next stack that needed initialing into his guardian's hand. This time Goatad looked up and smiled at him. “Thanks for being so motherfucking helpful, little brother. And the idea. If we can pull this motherfucking shit off, it's going to be a miracle you know.”
“If anyone deserves a miracle, it's him.”
Goatad nodded in agreement and turned his attention back to the paperwork, the last stack of it in motherfucking fact, leaving Gamzee all but free to do what he wanted. Not that he could motherfucking think of anything to do. Right now he couldn't wrap his thinkpan around one of those shitty romcoms the girls had given him, didn't care to do any work, and couldn't excuse himself enough time away from his guardian to spend some time on his husktop filling everyone and their motherfucking quadrants in on just what was up.
Knocking cuts into his thinkings and makes him jump in his seat. There was no one expected, no postage droids meant to be coming through to deliver something, or any other motherfucking thing that might make sense right now. With a sigh he pushed himself back from the dining block table—no one was going to get between Goatad and that paperwork—and made for the door of the hive. Whoever or whatever it was needed to be sent away now.
Except when he opened the door it wasn't some random troll. Well, no, that wasn't motherfucking right. It was sort of a random troll, or trolls as the truth was, but they were ones he knew. Karkat and Terezi in particular, his temporail letting the legisticator lean on him all heavy like, her arm wrapped around his neck and his arm around her back. The sight of it in his eyes, the image of it in his thinkpan, made him want to snarl. They were close, far too close, for his comfort. All holding back did was force a honk out instead, which actually managed to make the pair jump a little in surprise.
“Gamzee...” Karkat growled, keeping his angry tone despite his obvious distress. “Help.”
And did the pair ever need it. Now that Gamzee was getting his inspect on, he could see the details that his anger had kept from him. The two weren't close because they necessarily wanted to be, but because they needed to be. There were a variety of cuts across Terecita's face, her teal blood past the flowing stage and well into the slow ooze—looking so much like a pie just out of the bake box. Karkat had a few scrapes too, but they were minor, secondary next to Terezi's.
“What the motherfuck happened here?”
“Vriska,” Karkat grunted. “Now you going to get off your fucking ass and help?”
“Yeah, bro. Ain't a thing,” Gamzee assured him, moving aside so Karkat could help the legisticator into the hive. “Why the motherfuck did that Vriska girl get her violence on with Terecita?”
“She doesn't like people prying into her business. And to her, Spided's business is her business,” Terezi mumbled through grit teeth.
“Motherfuck,” Gamzee mumbled, waiting to close the door before moving to pull Karkat away from Terezi. His temporail looked about ready to protest for a moment, but it stopped as Gamzee scooped the chica up into his arms. Whatever problems he had with the chica lately wasn't enough to keep him from getting his helpful on.
“You already said that,” Terezi chuckled, but the laugh obviously hurt with the way she was grimacing.
“And I'll keep on saying it,” he countered as he began to carry her for the back ascent tube so he could get her to the hygiene block without disturbing his guardian.
“He will,” Karkat agreed, sighing. “Had no other fucking place to take her. Spided wouldn't care, and her guardian's out of the city at the moment. Couldn't take her to the hospital without...”
“Getting your explain on, which I'm guessing was a little too motherfucking complicated to do.”
“Don't even fucking get me started,” Karkat snapped. “You just keep your craptrap shut. I'm going to deal with this stupid fucking shit that you and Vriska have gotten yourself into. So just shut-up.”
“If we wanted you to but your head in, we would have said something,” Terezi snapped back. “Neither of us needed you trying to be all ashen. So back off.”
“You two can't handle a real black relationship,” Karkat growled. “The point is NOT to kill your kismesis, did you fucking forget that? So every time you try to go black, I'll be there to pap you both ashen until you can't fucking handle another shoosh.”
“Would the two of you stop being so motherfucking stupid? I ain't about to just stand here and listen to you get black or ashen or whatever at each other. Terecita, you're all up and close to getting blood in the hive, so you should just shoosh up and let me handle this. I'll all up and get my health kit on and patch you up.”
“I didn't ask for that either.”
“Well, you're in my hive, and it's what you're going to motherfucking get.”
And another chapter comes, another chapter goes. Such is the way of the world.
By the time Gamzee all up and got a sister patched, Karkat had managed to get the sister shooshed and chilled the motherfuck up. Before that she'd been all up and ranting about this Vriska that she was obviously sort of all up and black for. Except Karkat obviously wasn't letting that black go, not right now. Now when it'd wound a sister up like this. But, now that she was all up and chilled and padded with little spots of white—and those peeking through with hints of teal—Karkat had changed from trying to be all conciliatory to something else.
“What the fuck started this particular brush with black up?” Karkat demanded of Terezi, perched as he was next to her on the edge of the ablution trap.
Except Terezi'd all up and buttoned her mouth up to be all quiet like. Apparently she really didn't have any desire for Karkat to all up and get his ashen on with her and Vriska. And Gamzee couldn't blame her. She was flushed with a brother, and didn't want him all up and sliding himself into the wrong quadrant.
“She was up and talking to Vriska about Spided,” Gamzee offered. “Sister said she'd try and get Vriska to see it as in her interest to see Spided out of the way.”
“And why the fuck would a legisticator want to do that?” Karkat demanded, turning his attention to Gamzee, obviously shocked by his answer.
“Because she's all up and helping me deal with the situation.”
“She's what?” Karkat shouted, leaping to his feet. “No. No. Gamzee this is not what I motherfucking agreed to. You're bringing others in on this shit?”
“A brother can't handle this all alone. It's a bigger thing than I could have really gotten my know on about. Tried to find some way to help you, thought a legisticator might help. Didn't even know that ya'll up and knew each motherfucking other. Her and Nepeta...”
“Nepeta's in on this too? Geez, Gamzee, you don't even fucking understand the concept of secrets, do you? Has your pan completely rotted through? Or is it just made of something too fucking dense to even come up with basic understanding?”
“Chill brother, just get your chill on,” Gamzee whispered, reaching out like he was going to pap a brother, but Karkat just jerked away, looking all up and offended. As for Terezi, the sister was just grinning at him, cruel and sharp and full of corners and sharp edges.
“Don't you even dare try and fucking pap me, you fucking chuckhead. If I didn't want you telling your guardian...”
“Shoosh man, just up and shoosh,” Gamzee hissed out.
“Shoosh? You want me to fucking shoosh? You're kidding, right? Could you be any more of an asshole? You knew I didn't want my fucking situation relayed to the whole goddamn planet. Wouldn't that be just fucking wonderful. Spread the story of a mutant blood and his struggle against some asshole hemohierarchist guardian who just wants to turn him into some work hoofbeast. Did you get off telling how he hits me? Some fucking moirail you are...”
As he spoke, Gamzee couldn't do much more than shake his head, especially with how Terezi's eyes went wider and wider behind her red sunglasses. She hadn't known, of course she hadn't, because Gamzee wasn't the kind of brother to all up and talk about that shit. That accusing his temporail was getting on hurt, motherfucking hurt like someone'd knocked his horns into stone or something. Made his blood-pusher ache.
“Karkat... Spided... He...” Terezi asks in a whisper, and it makes Karkat's beautiful red-black eyes go wide as wide can be.
“You didn't...” Karkat mumbles in shock and Gamzee shakes his head and sighs, “You did.”
“Damn motherfucking right.”
“You said it, brother. All I did was look for some help. They came to their own damn conclusions about your guardian. All up and decided to help me because of those conclusions. Nepeta's trying to talk to your olive-bro about how he's treated, and Terezi all up and decided she could make Vriska betray her guardian out of her own desires. I've been working with Goatad.”
“I told you not to bring him into this...”
“He hasn't, not really,” Terezi mumbled. “If he had, I think Goatad would have just grabbed you and beaten your guardian to a pulp.”
Which was what Gamzee wanted to do to that psychotic fuck, but there was no saying that out loud.
“There's this thing that a guidance adjustor of his level and pull can do,” Terezi continued. “I pointed it out to Gamzee, and he's been working on getting his guardian to do it for you.”
“And just what is this fucking plan?” Karkat demanded, obviously trying to ignore his slip up.
“Temporary transfer of guardianship. You'd all up and be Goatad's ward for a while until he could help you figure out what you want to all up and do. It...” Gamzee sighed and shook his head. “Anyway, he's all up and filling out the last of the paperwork now. Filing tomorrow evening. Already getting the trolls together to hear the case.”
“Really? Wow, he moves fast,” Terezi said, obviously appreciative.
“Yeah, ain't one to ignore the chance put down in front of him,” Gamzee agreed, glad Terezi was on this vein instead of the one that might have come from Karkat's revelation.
“Why? What the fuck does he expect? It's not like I want to come here anymore than I wanted to be there,” Karkat snapped. “Doesn't what I want fucking matter?”
“Sure it does, brother. But the truth is that you don't seem to fucking want out, and there's no way I'm up and letting you stay with that bastard,” Gamzee countered.
“Why do you even fucking care? More of your damn high blood nonsense?”
The words were like a motherfucking slap across the face. A backhand that got him right in his blood pumper and made him back up a step.
“Naw man. I care. It's what a palebro's for, ain't it? Caring and helping?” Gamzee asked, and Terezi gave him another hostile, disbelieving look at the implied relationship.
“I never asked for a moirail,” Karkat snapped.
“Sometimes a brother gets what he needs, not what he asks for.”
“Shut up, Gamzee. Just shut the fuck up.”
“Where the motherfuck is all this wicked noise all up and coming from?”
The roar of Goatad's voice made them jump, all three of them, though none so much as Terezi. Karkat, at least, had heard Goatad bellow before. In the office he was all up and quiet to not upset others, so Terezi'd never known his guardian to raise his voice, or just how motherfucking powerful it was. She was shivering now, on the edge of the ablution block, and Karkat had moved back to her side and was wrapping an arm around her shoulders. It was friendly, far too friendly for Gamzee's liking.
Moments later the hygiene block's door was opening, and Goatad was framed in its pale-purple paint. The older troll stood there for a minute, taking in the motherfucking scene before him with his ever seeking eyes. He must have taken the sight wicked fast, but still he stood there, looking at them like his motherfucking thinkpan couldn't get this all up and get this reasoned out.
“Gamzee. Karkat. Miss Pyrope. May I inquire as to what the motherfuck is going on here?”
Only took the briefest glimpse to see that Karkat was still getting his comfort on, and Terezi couldn't find her words, leaving it to Gamzee.
“You didn't really hear it, but there was some wicked knocking at the door, and when I went to check it I found these two. Apparently Terezi all up and got herself in some trouble, and her guardian's out of town. So Karkat all up and brought her here. Ain't really a thing.”
From the look on his guardian's face, it was clear that Goatad no more believed Gamzee's story than Terezi believed his words about pale romance. Unlike her, though, his guardian was willing to take them. He shook his head and shrugged, then backed away from the door.
“Was going to order up some wicked dough-with-sauce-and-grub pies from the delivery place anyway, so they might as well stick around for some motherfucking food. Can even stay the day if they want. We can find some room. How's that all up and sound?”
“Fine,” Terezi mumbled.
“No fucking reason not to,” Karkat sighed.
As for Gamzee... He wasn't even sure what he was all up and going to do now.
Things might slow down for a week or so here because of a combination of injury and papers needing researched and written. I shall still endeavor to keep this in my rotation.
If the first dinner with Karkat at the hive had been awkward, it didn't even begin to account for how things were with both him and Terezi there. Between Karkat's wicked righteous anger towards both of them, his attempts to get all up and ashen between Terecita and this Vriska girl, Terezi's subtle flushed advances towards Karkat and well hidden—but not fucking hidden enough—hostility towards Gamzee, and Gamzee's own anger towards Terezi, no amount of dough-with-sauce-and-grub pie slices could make a good meal. Add to that the fact that Goatad had all up and motherfucking absconded with one of the pies when it arrived and went off to be alone in his office block, and there was no real source of chill at the table. All they had was growls and quiet shooshes and a tension that you could cut with a knife.
Gets to be so bad that a brother doesn't even offer some left over pieces of a wicked apple and crème soda Faygo pie to the others. Instead, the moment he can manage, Gamzee clears the table and shows the pair to what slabs can be spared. Terezi up and got the guest block, of course, where Gamzee put Karkat into his own respite block. It was just as easy for Gamzee to up and get his chill on with a couch as well as a slab, and it wasn't like there wasn't a comfortable one in his block. But that option meant he was alone in a block with a troll he was flushed for, acting as a palebro of, and seemed to be all up and angry at him.
“You should have fucking told me,” Karkat hisses, the second Gamzee's all up and got the block door closed behind him.
“About the pie? Sorry bro, just slipped my mind,” Gamzee apologized, more than eager to avoid the fight that was all up and about to happen.
“This isn't about pie and you know it!”
“Why not? At least a fight about a pie would be fun.”
That earned him an eye roll, but it was a less than hostile one.
“What am I even supposed to do with you?”
“Get the motherfuck free of that half-panned, self-important, know-nothing, hemohierarchist that you were put into the hands of. Whether you believe it or not, I'm trying to help you here, brother. You may not up and agree with my methods, or bringing other people into this, but it's what I've got to do. What I promised to be as your moirail, no matter how long you choose to let me act as a placeholder in your pale quadrant.”
“Why are you even fucking doing this?”
“I pity you, Karkat. Why the fuck else?”
“And none of this is any of your high and fucking mighty need to help people? I have trouble believing that.”
“Believe it, brother. I pity you. And it ain't the kind of pity that will all up and let me stand by while you're being treated like this. I ain't the kind of troll who could even if I didn't pity you. And so, whether you like it or not, I'm gonna keep motherfucking fighting for your sake, no matter who I have to turn to for help.”
With a sigh Karkat flopped down on Gamzee's slab. “You shouldn't turn to Vriska. You saw what she did to Terezi...”
“And I'm not all up and courting black with a sister, so I don't see why I shouldn't try.”
“You don't get it, Gamzee. You take faith in everyone believing in the system and...”
“Aw man, don't even get all up and saying that. It ain't a perfect system, and people, they got flaws. Flaws that make the system not enough. Flaws that make them stupid or mean or cruel. Any motherfucker who up and claims to be flawless is lying. Ain't no miracle that makes a flawless troll. No way, no how.”
“Nice to see that you're at least somewhat capable of seeing reality.”
“Me and reality got an understanding on. I thank it for its miracles, but it makes sure I'm never so blind as to not see what's going on beyond those miracles. World is what it is, brother. Any change that comes has to come from us.”
“And just what do you fucking think you can change?”
A simple, honest answer, and it gets Karkat to sit up and stare at him, scowling the whole while.
“Trust me, you've already done some of that.”
“Good. Now I just got to get to the next step. And the next. And the next.”
“Getting Goatad through the whole filing of the papers tomorrow night.”
“Then what happens?”
It's the closest Karkat's been to genuinely interested in the whole process of getting him free, and it makes Gamzee smile. Soon he's seated by his temporail on the slab, a slender organization folder open in his lap to the page that outlines the process in the upcoming nights. For well over a week he'd been putting his free time into the organization folder, figuring out all the steps, coming up with timing tables, and figuring out just what would happen after that. Given the chance to share it with Karkat is more than a brother could ask for. And maybe, just maybe, it might be the miracle they needed to get Karkat involved in the whole process.
* * * * * *
Gamzee can't even find it in himself to motherfucking move when his alarm-husk goes off late that afternoon. Just the sound of its squeaking tells him how early it was—he never bothers to set the thing unless he's waking up before sunset—and all he wants to do is sleep a little longer. It would mean lying here, warm and content, with Karkat's arms still wrapped possessively around his chest. They'd fallen asleep like this, after all the looking through the organization folder was done, and after they stayed up late to watch a romcom—turned out a red-blooded brother got all up and practically flushed over them sappy flicks—and to move now would mean giving up what had turned out to be a miracle of an evening.
But the alarm-husk beckoned, and the longer it squeaked the more Karkat started to wiggle around in his embrace, obviously annoyed by the assault on delicate sound receptors. The longer Gamzee let it go on, the more likely it would be that Karkat'd wake, push him the fuck away, and try to deny the night. So he unwound one arm from around Karkat's slender waist, and reached up to turn off he alarm-husk. As he moved, though, Karkat whimpered and pressed closer to him, freezing Gamzee in place, one arm reaching for the alarm, the other wrapped tightly around his temporail.
“Shut that fucking thing up,” Karkat grumbled into his chest.
“Tried to all up and do that, but you didn't seem to want me to.”
“Do it without moving.”
“As great of a miracle that would be, brother, it just ain't happening.”
“Pity you too, brother,” Gamzee chuckled, finally pulling away to turn off the husk.
The second it stopped Karkat sighed and yawned, “Why the fuck was that even on?”
“Goatad and I got to all up and turn in the paperwork before we head to work.”
“Wrong question brother.”
“And you've got a better one?”
“How long will it take you to pack up your block at Spided's hive?”
That seemed to shake Karkat to full consciousness, which Gamzee almost hated. Karkat pulled away, sitting up as he did so, and gave him the motherfucking pinnacle of confused looks.
“Pack up? What the fuck are you on about now, chuckle-pan?”
“Once Goatad turns in the papers for processing, you'll be given over into his custody for the duration of the proceedings. It's meant to keep you from all up and being harmed by an angry guardian, and to give a brother a chance to understand what the options available to him are. Starting tonight, the guest block is yours.”
“So you've actually managed to do it,” Karkat mumbled, half shocked, half disbelieving. “You've...”
“Not yet, brother. Not yet at all. This whole thing could be rejected in a few days. Or we could get caught up in all kinds of legal mess for perigees. Ain't no telling.”
And yet there was still a look in Karkat's eyes, one Gamzee hadn't seen before in the short time he'd known Karkat. At last Karkat really understand just what was being offered him, that there was hope.
And Gamzee hoped that he wasn't going to let his temporail down.
Friday, at least, might lack an update, as my main work of fiction updates on the 23rd, and thus I kind of need to write 10k for it. Yeah... That's a thing. But, to make the wait a bit less sad... Here's a new chapter.
Once he's got Goatad, Karkat and Terezi out of the hive, the night passes far too slow for Gamzee. There's nothing he's excited for going on at the office now. No one important to talk to because Nepeta told him the day before that she wasn't coming in because she was getting all up and sick, and Terezi wasn't due in for the rest of the week. There were no appointments for Karkat, no cases to sit in on, nothing but paperwork and waiting for the work hours to end. And the whole time there's nothing in his thinkpan but the smell of Karkat's hair, the burning heat of his body pressed against Gamzee's, and the way that he'd tried to hide his tears at the end of the romcom when the two trolls realized they were meant to be matesprits, not auspitices. For all the pain and tension, all the concern, Gamzee couldn't help but view the night and day before as something miraculous, and tonight would surely be better. Tonight Karkat would be moving into their hive, and he'd have his bro, his temporail, his flush crush separated from him by only a thin hive wall.
The problem is that between when he gets to the office and when he returns to the hive is far too long. There isn't word from Goatad at the office—he's too caught up wherever he is with the paperwork and all that motherfucking stuff—and that's almost unnerving as it is. Waiting was never something he'd been good at. When he was young Goatad had always been there when he needed him, but the first time that Goatad had gone back to work, Gamzee hadn't known what to do. It'd only been for a few hours, but he hadn't quite understood where his guardian had gone, or why he'd been left alone. Tonight felt a bit like that. Like everyone he needed, wanted to be around, was gone. That they'd left him alone to fend for himself.
The second he'd able to clock out, he was through the door and headed for his hive. There was no knowing when Karkat would be escorted to the hive by Goatad and whoever else he roped into it. They could even be there already, so there was no chance that Gamzee was all up and going to dawdle when his temporail brother arrived. So Gamzee stretched his legs as far as they could go as he ran, rushing through the city without to pause for so much as a breath.
As he approaches the hive, his shoes crunching and slipping on the gravel path that led up to his door, he caught sight of the one thing he had wanted to see more than anything else. By the door a troll was sitting next to a box, with a few others scattered around. Karkat and his things. There weren't many boxes, though, far too few for a troll their age. Then again, that wasn't so surprising when Gamzee thought about what he'd heard Spided was like. While he spoiled his cerulean ward, and tolerated his olive, he wasn't the kindest to Karkat. If those boxes were filled with more than just clothes and a few odds and ends, Gamzee was going to be motherfucking shocked. Almost as shocked as he was to see Karkat here without Goatad around.
Each step brings him closer, and with each step he slows, a feeling of foreboding starting to gnaw at his horns. Why was Karkat here alone? Why wasn't he looking up at the sound of Gamzee's approach? Why was he all sitting there, knees pulled all up and under his chin, his face turned away? What the motherfuck was going on?
Gamzee comes to a stop in front of the smaller troll, but still Karkat won't look up, won't so much as greet him. It's like he doesn't even realize that a motherfucker is there. Like he doesn't even care. So Gamzee falls to his knees beside Karkat and reaches out. When his hand comes to rest on one of Karkat's sleeve-covered arms, the other troll hisses in pain and flinches away. And on the inside, Gamzee feels himself start to go the slightest bit cold.
“What's a brother all up and doing here alone?”
No response, just Karkat curling up on himself even more. Like a brother doesn't even want to be seen. Like he wants to disappear, never to be seen again. Again Gamzee reaches out, this time reaching past the shelter of arms and legs, and when he grips Karkat's chin, the other troll doesn't resist. Doesn't do a motherfucking thing as Gamzee lifts his head and turns it so that he can get his look on. Turns it so he can get his understand on.
But it's not some understand that all up and fills Gamzee. Not when he sees the red-eyes Karkat's sporting—makes him look like a fucking ringedbeast—not when he notices the wicked trail of blood running down the side of his temporail's face, originating from a scratch across his brow. Karkat's lip is swollen and crimson, and when he looks hard, Gamzee can see the trace of another bruise forming at the edge of the collar of his shirt. And he knows, has his wicked knowledge on that these aren't the only hurts. They'll be others, on his arms, his legs, his torso. Blows dealt by the damn hands that were supposed to protect him.
“Some bluebloods jumped me just before I got back to my hive...” Karkat started to say, but neither of them believed it.
“Where's Goatad?” Gamzee demands, his voice dead serious, a quiet kind of whisper he's never even heard from his own lips.
“Filling a report at...”
It doesn't matter. Gamzee's already on his feet again, his fists clenched at his sides. He knows that his knuckles are going ashen with how tight they are up and clenched, he can feel the purple blood oozing out from around his nails as they cut into the skin of his palms. And he does. NOT. care. All the caring's gone cold, like his stomach, like his thinkpan, like his motherfucking body. Ain't no motherfucking warmth all up and left in him, only a rage so fucking consuming in its fire that it's fucking ice in his veins. He feels like a spring made of cold steel, all stretched out with a tension that he isn't going to motherfucking deal with no more. No MOTHERFUCKING way he was going to stand by and let this pass. Ain't going to fall for no line about some random blues jumping a brother. Ain't going to go to no authority enforcers either, not like his guardian. This isn't a problem he's going to motherfucking up and accept no more.
“Stay here,” he hisses from between clenched teeth, the words whispers so low that he can barely hear them.
“I SAID STAY THE MOTHERFUCK HERE!”
Karkat flinches back from the words, but right now a brother can't even up and get his feel on for that. Only thing he can think of now is that he can't, won't, all up and abide this motherfucking shit no more. No one, but no one, lays a motherfucking hand on your temporail, your motherfucking brother, your Karkat.
He's moving, he's already started walking, turned back towards the city with his fists clenched at his sides, dripping a trail of purple behind him. The distance between Gamzee and the city closes faster than he can make sense of, and then he's in the streets. More than once on the way and in the streets he hears someone call out, feels some troll catch at his sleeve, but he doesn't stop. Can't stop. The cold drives him on, demands that he move, keep moving, advance. So he glares at those trolls who get in his way, and not one stands in his way, they all abscond the first chance they get. They leave him be as he turns down streets he's never been on and yet knows like the back of his hand. Then he's there, motherfucking standing in front of a hive he's never been to, but that he knows. He MOTHERFUCKING KNOWS his is what he is looking at.
The door doesn't stand a chance when he lays into it with a pipe that came into his hand at some point. Sure, the first few blows leave little more than dents, but after that the pieces of wood are flying apart under his strikes. And from behind it he can hear the shouts, the fear, the anguish.
“Open,” he growls, and with a final blow the wood falls, he's through the door, he's casting aside the pipe and launching himself at the cerulean blood beyond that is only just the slightest bit larger than him.
Fists fall, ones dyed purple and cerulean with their blood, left there from the first ambushing blows. Their bodies fall together, one whimpering, pleading, begging, the other aggressing, aggrieving, assaulting. With each blow the rage only grows, unable to be consumed, to be quelled, to be doused, only added.
The blows become harder, not because the cold has faded, but because there's weight on his arms. Beyond the red tint of his vision—the red of Karkat's blood and suffering—he can see why. Two trolls are clinging to his right arm, one to his left, and they are trying to hold him back. Gamzee can hear words too, mumbles only barely sensible through the pounding in his ears, and he knows they're abjuring, advising him to relent. None of them really cut through, not at first. Then there's a hand, gentle and just barely warm, pressed against his cheek. A voice whispered directly in his ear, calm and soothing. A shoosh, a pap, and promise that they'll make everything okay.
Arms grow heavy, far too heavy, and they fall slack at his sides. Still there's the weight expected from the trolls on either arm, they're too afraid to let him go because he might go back to abusing. And still the voice is there, gentle and sweet and promising that everything was going to be okay. That she'd make it okay. That she'd never let him down when he needed her.
“Hush, Gamzee. Shoosh. Do not allow this aggression to rule you. That is not the Gamzee I know, that I pity. He is so peaceful, so gentle, so sweet. How would he react to how you are acting?”
The weight on his left arm becomes pulling, and Gamzee follows it, letting the touch drag him to his feet and into the arms of a slender, gentle troll. The other weights are gone, happily having given him over to the ministrations of the one holding him, shooshing him, promising him something that he doesn't even know to ask for.
“Please Gamzee, do not do this anymore. It is not worth the effort that you would put into it. He is slime, lower than slime. Well below the worth of your attentions. Please Gamzee...”
“Kanaya,” he whimpers, burying his face in her shoulder, not even questioning the presence of his moirail.
“I am here for you, my moirail. I shall always be here for you. Shoosh.”
“Let me kill him, Kanaya. Let me end him.”
“I cannot allow that my moirail to ruin himself like this. I will protect you, Gamzee, but to do so, you have to let me.”
“Shoosh, Gamzee. Shoosh.”
I'm back. This chapter is dedicated to those readers who were a bit hesitant over the idea of Kayana as a moirail for Gamzee. You shall soon see, and understand, why that has to be.
After the initial shooshing, everything was a motherfucking blur that all up and got its soothe on in Gamzee's thinkpan. Truth ends up being that between the being shooshed in her arms and getting his realization on as he's curled up with Kayana on top of a pile of pillows, Gamzee ain't got a single remembering of what happened. All he knew was that now he was here on the pillow pile, his head in Kanaya's lap and her fingers brushing through his hair all gentle and pale-like. The fact that she was here was a miracle, one Gamzee wasn't about to question the source of. That didn't mean he was all up and going to be quiet though.
“Like this pillow,” he mumbled reaching out and brushing his fingers over one that was all velvet of cerulean with little jade stitches all covering it in pretty flowers.
“If it is your desire, I shall see to the creation of one in a more appropriate style for your own enjoyment.”
“Sounds wicked nice, sister, but a palebro has got to up and get his ask on about something.”
“Of course. I would expect nothing less considering what has just come to pass. Ask and I shall endeavor to answer to your satisfaction.”
“Where are we all up and at getting our pile on?”
When he turned his gaze up to look at his moirail, he was met with a pure jade gaze that was all up and full of pity. Thinking about it, they hadn't been that pure of a color last time he'd seen them, though they had been all up and dripping pity. Had it really been a sweep since he'd last seen his friend? Had it really been a sweep since his final meeting with the thinkrapist? Obviously, after what had just all up and happened, he shouldn't have stopped going.
“We are currently occupying the respite block of one Vriska Sekret.”
“And just why are we all up and doing that? Wouldn't think that Spided would be wicked appreciative of of us getting our feels on in his hive.”
“Spided isn't going to say a damn thing about anything. Not so long as Fussyfangs keeps you from flipping out again.”
The new voice made Gamzee sit up, carefully though so he didn't all up and accidentally hurt his moirail, and look around for its source. He eventually found another female troll in the room, leaning back in a spinning wheeled chair by a husktop desk. The troll was looking at him, grinning all evil like, and looking all up and relaxed in baggy pants, a collared shirt, and a cerulean blue t-shirt with a scorpio sign embroidered on it. Her long hair was all up and pulled into a hoof-beast tail, but unlike Gamzee's own, there weren't any stray hairs pulling out. Vriska—Gamzee couldn't help but know it was that troll with those colors, that symbol, and those cerulean flecked black eyes—sighed and shook her head, and when Gamzee looked at her he couldn't help but note she didn't have anywhere near the class his wicked palesis had in her littlest finger.
“I don't...” Gamzee started to say, only to quiet up as Kanaya ran a hand through his hair. Apparently the sister had all up and taken his hair down so she could stroke it and shoosh him.
“Sekret has extended her protection to you regarding this matter. Now that the whole of the situation is understood, she was more than forthcoming with her assistance.”
“Situation? Assistance? Kanaya, why are we in Vriska's room?”
His moirail twisted on the pile of pillows they were on, gathered his hair into her hands, and began to calmly section it into pieces.
“Answer's simple, nookpan,” Vriska laughed. “My matesprit needed help, so I diffused everything. I did all the defusing.”
“Kanaya...” Gamzee said, turning to face her and thus dragging the beginnings of a braid out of her hands. “Sister, why didn't you all up and tell me that you had yourself a flushed girl?”
“You never questioned as to whether or not I did,” Kanaya pointed out, placing a hand on the side of his head and turning his face away so she could get back to her braiding. “And, in the defense of my telling or lack thereof, you failed to inform me that the troll of which you spoke to me so recently was none other than Mr. Vantas.”
“Karkat? What's he motherfucking got to do with...” Except he knew, didn't he? If Vriska was Kanaya's matesprit, then his palesis was likely here often enough to be familiar with a brother like Karkat. Of course, that just meant that telling her about Karkat by name would have been a wicked mistake, right? Or would Vriska have helped them earlier, kept Terezi from being hurt, if he'd just known to ask Kanaya for the help instead?
“I have been employed as Mr. Vantas's thinkrapist for nearly a sweep now. I encountered Vriska thanks to this. We discovered our pity for each other through several perigee's interaction, and officially declared our quadrant last perigee. I must admit that it had not occurred to me that the guidance adjustor office that you would undoubtedly be assigned to would lead to your encountering of Karkat, much less Terezi. Nor did I expect that you should come to forge a bond with our... aggressive friend. Had I known, I would have endeavored to assist you in your attempts to liberate Karkat from the custody of Spided...”
“Just because Spided isn't the...”
“Vriska,” Kayana cut her matesprit off, “Please be aware that it would not do for you to agitate Gamzee at this interval. Let us consider you and your guardian to be quiet fortunate that I was here to intercede with my moirail.”
“And how about you consider yourselves lucky for my helping. Without that Spided would be pressing all of the charges right now. If it wasn't for my...”
“Woah, sister, let's not all up and get angry with each other here. You two are supposed to be matesprits, yeah? Ain't right for you sisters to be ruining that miracle with no arguing. And I'm not about to play ashen if you get wicked cruel, because I'm not losing my moirail to a motherfucking pointless fight.”
Kanaya at least had the presence of mind to look all reprimanded, whereas Vriska was just grinning herself silly as if the idea amused her.
“Either way, you saw what Gamzee was capable of,” Kanaya said with a sigh, “and that with his moirail and someone he is temporarily acting as the moirail for attempting to bring a cease to his behavior.”
Someone he is temporarily...
“Karkat,” Gamzee gasped out, moving to jump to his feet, only to have Kanaya's strong grip on his hair all tug him off balance. He fell back into the pile of pillows, whimpering all the while and rubbing the back of his head where it hurt.
“Is being escorted back to your hive by Ms. Pyrope. He was rather upset by your behavior, even though it was on his behalf, and overwrought that he was unable to quell your anger. When he explained that your guardian was likely on his way back to your hive, and how concerned he was with Spided's threats of pressing charges against you, Vriska acted according to my requests. She informed her guardian that were he to press charges because of this situation, she would offer some evidence she had of misconduct to the appropriate authorities. When Spided gave his word that he would not speak, she called upon Ms. Pyrope to escort Karkat to your hive. We deemed it best that Goatad not arrive and find him gone and you no where to be found. I shall be sending you after him once I am assured that you shall not act out once more.”
“You called that acting out?” Vriska asked, rolling her eyes. “He was pummeling Spided! Like he didn't even realize what he was doing.”
“I knew,” Gamzee mumbled to himself, but he knew Kanaya had to be shaking her head. She'd never blamed him for his behavior. Not when he got like this. She knew, after all, what Gamzee had never shared with anyone but his guardian. Kanaya knew about the rage. Knew that once it got a motherfucking hold of him, Gamzee was mastered by his anger. It all up and made a brother do things he didn't want to do. Made him angry, made him hurt trolls, made him break things, made him rage in his sleep until everything was all up and ruined when he woke up.
Kanaya had been the thinkrapist in training that he'd been taken to when Goatad just couldn't figure out what to do. She, watched over by her own schoolfeeder, had worked with Gamzee for sweeps to teach him to get his rage all up and controlled. She'd made the wicked voices in his head quiet down, made the rage easier to ignore. She'd even give him her Trollian so he could go to her whenever he had an attack outside of their sessions. When he'd finally been released from her care, finally had himself all up and under control, they'd parted ways in person, but never online. It was for the best, really, because she was here, knowing how to handle him and the rage when he needed her the most.
And yet, the only thing he could think of was just how Karkat was taking this. He'd never meant to let his flushcrush temporail know about the rage. Never meant to let it touch his miracle life. And now...
Now he didn't know what was going to happen.
Soon enough Kanaya's shooing him out of the pillow pile, his hair loosed from her braid and put back into his normal hoofbeast-tail that he normally wore. All gentle like the wickest sister bent him down so she could kiss his forehead in that way that the soothing moirail did, and Gamzee returned the gesture with a proper hand kissing. Then, with a wicked bit of motherfucking advice, she sent him on his way, all up and rushing back towards his hive. The help that Vriska had put forth for a brother wasn't about to get him much if he all up and didn't make it back to his own hive in time. There were things that needed motherfucking set straight with his temporail flushcrush, things he had to hide from his guardian, and further plans to set in motion. And all of it would be for nothing if he seemed to take too long to get back from this hive (in Karkat's crimson-black eyes) or from the office (in Goatad's).
So he gets his walk on with all haste, absconding back towards his hive as if he was eager to be home, rather than fearful of what would have to happen when he got there. Sure, the helping Karkat get settled in wouldn't be so bad, and getting his food preparation on would be damn relaxing, but there was the talking that had to happen. No more lying, not to Karkat at least. Things had to be kept from Goatad, but his palesis had made it clear that he needed to come clean with Karkat, and she hadn't been too gentle in saying it. Why he was helping Karkat, what had happened with Spided, what was all up with the rages, and just what Karkat meant to him. The truth was all up and happening tonight, and what would come of it, only time would tell. And that knowing scared him something fierce.
The walk was too short—or was it too long—because all of a sudden, he was there, just outside of the all too familiar hive. Karkat stood there, leaning against the wall just by the door, and all the boxes were gone. The cuts and bruises on his face had all been bandaged, smeared with the creamy white ointment that Goatad always trotted out for your worst bruises. No doubting his—their—guardian was back, and yet instead of being inside getting all settled, Karkat was here, waiting for a motherfucker. The look on his face was confused, concerned, upset, and yet it was something more, something that Gamzee couldn't quite put his finger on.
“We need to fucking talk.”
An understatement if Gamzee had ever heard one.
“Your block or mine?”
There was another look then, this time one that was half motherfucking confused, and it was an understandable one. For his whole life, Karkat's block had been at Spided's. Today everything had changed, and that way more than either of them had expected. What's more, it was likely to change even motherfucking more.
“Yours,” he says at last, as if he ain't up and wrapped his mind around the gray block being his yet. “Now.”
“Well, I've got to talk to Goatad first, yanno? He ain't all up and going to let me just disappear to my block without talking.”
“Fine. Meet me up there once you're done.”
* * * * * *
It's a request that's all up and easier to ask for than for Gamzee to abide by. For almost an hour Goatad claimed his attention, before Gamzee was finally able to beg off of in the name of helping his brother get settled in. This seemed to satisfy the old troll, and Gamzee was given the chance to flee up to his block. There wasn't much of a chance to catch his breath once he got there, though. No sooner was he pushing through the door than he found himself staring into crimson-flecked black eyes. He wasn't sure whether he was glad to see a brother so eager to talk to him, or worried. So instead he forced a smile in place and closed the door behind him. When he did his eyes flashed back so he could all up and make sure that it was closed, but when they turned back to Karkat, Gamzee froze as he noticed a flash of color that he hadn't expected to find. A faint teal tinting to Karkat's lips. A shade of teal that Gamzee was certain would match the color Terezi favored in her lip adornment paint.
The sight of it, the realization of just what motherfucking had to happen for the color to get there, it just pushed all other thoughts out of Gamzee's mind. The only thing that was there was Terezi and her admitted flushcrush on his brother. The only thing he could see was the teal troll pressing her lips to Karkat's, claiming what she didn't have a right to have. And his insides burned, cold and angry and he had to force it down, to force some motherfucking positive chill into his system to push out the rage. This wasn't the time, wasn't the place, wasn't the troll to turn his rage, his hate, on. Hate was the word for it too. Knowing that Terezi'd likely broken her word to Nepeta, that she'd touched his Karkat, that she wasn't going to just let it be, and he hated her for it. Hated her for how it was going to up and hurt the sweet Nepeta. Hated her for not having rescued Karkat before this. Hated her for not seeing, not getting her understand on about just how much his temporail was suffering.
There's a stinging in his cheek, and when Gamzee blinks he see Karkat's hand raised, and he really gets the feel of the smack.
“Man, brother, that all up and hurt like no one's business. What was that for?”
“You were getting that fucking look in your eyes again.”
“The same one you had when you told me to stay here.”
And all of a sudden, it was this conversation. He hadn't even had a chance to sit down.
“What the fuck happened back there?”
Gamzee sighed and moved to flop down onto his slab. He had to tell Karkat, he'd already promised he would be honest. Promised his moirail that he'd come clean. But the question was whether he really could anymore. There was no doubt in his thinkpan that he had to talk about the rage, but everything else... How was a motherfucker supposed to tell a troll he was flushcrushing on him when a brother had another troll's lip adornment paint on his lips?
“Rage. Ever since I was a wriggler I've had issues with controlling it. Didn't all up and get a hold on myself until Goatad took me to a thinkrapist. Spent a few sweeps in sessions, learning to control it, even though no one could ever explain it to me.”
“That was more than just some fucking rage,” Karkat pointed out. “Way fucking more. When you ran off from here I was following you, shouting, and you didn't even hear it. You pummeled Spided as if you couldn't even think of anything else. Vriska, Kanaya and I had to hold you back and that didn't even help. Wasn't until Kanaya started fucking shooshing you that you stopped...”
He knew that Karkat was about to start on it, about to demand to know why she could stop him when he, Gamzee's moirail (temporary) couldn't do anything. There were going to be accusations of motherfucking pale infidelity, ones Gamzee wasn't sure how to answer. Full truth no longer seemed to be the right thing to go with, but how much should he?
But he couldn't just let Karkat control this conversation, take it ways that would only hurt. So he jumped in, shaking his head and throwing his hands up defensively before him.
“Naw man, don't get me motherfucking wrong. Kanaya, she was my thinkrapist back then. She helped me work through all that shit...”
“Don't lie to me, Gamzee. Don't fucking lie to me. Maybe she stopped you, maybe it wasn't pale then, but I saw you in Vriska's room, before Terezi came. That was damn pale, Gamzee. Damn pale.”
With a sigh Gamzee rubbed at the back of his head, and flopped further down, so he was all lying on his bed. Apparently this part of the truth was coming out whether he liked it or not.
“She's my moirail.”
“After I offered to be your...”
“Fuck, couldn't even fucking handle being my moirail for a whole fucking day?” Karkat demanded, his face turning red with his anger.
“It ain't like that, brother. She'd been pale on me for a while. And... And I only offered myself as your temporary moirail. You didn't seem to want anything more. I'm not taking that back either, Karkat. Kanaya knows, she's all up and chill on it. Understands that a brother has to help a motherfucker. That you'll never replace her in my quadrants. Ain't what we agreed to, right? I'm only here to help you through this. To be your shoulder to lean on until you're finally free.”
“And beyond that? Did you fucking not care?”
“I care. Don't even get any wicked doubt on about that. I'm gonna be here for you until you get yourself your own moirail, a better one. One that ain't about to make you confused like I did. One you ain't going to have to deal with the rage of...”
“I don't care about the rage,” Karkat mumbled, shaking his head. “I don't like feeling fucking powerless. I couldn't even do anything while you were like that. Just had to stand by and watch you run off like a fucking troll with a rotted thinkpan. Do you have any fucking clue how hard it was to stand by and be powerless while you beat my guardian? You hurt him, because of me, and he could have pressed charges.”
“Vriska's keeping that from happening.”
“And just how did you pull that off?”
“Kanaya's Vriska's matesprit. She handled it.”
Karkat threw up his hands in frustration. “You're fucking kidding me. This is ridiculous. Everyone around me is falling into quadrants like they don't have any fucking time left to live, and they're keeping it fucking quiet. Next thing you know you're going to tell me Kanaya's already got her ashen quadrant filled.”
“Not that I know of, brother. We ain't really had the time to get our feels on about her issues.”
“Some moiralliegence that sounds like.”
“Don't get all cruel on this. Kanaya's got other cares.”
Keeping Gamzee from getting all up and black in Terezi's face. That would be especially important now that Terezi was obviously making flushed advances. Terezi already had black feelings for Vriska, obviously, and without Karkat to auspitize for them...
When did all of this get so complicated.
“Dealing with my rage, working on her matespritship. Lots of stuff. And dealing with everything that's all up and happened since you.”
Karkat got silent at that, obviously trying to figure out just what that meant.
“What's that make us?”
Gamzee sighed. In a romcom this was the point where the protagonist admitted their flushed aspirations. Where the two trolls came together in the wonderful realization of their serendipity. Right?
“Still temporails, if you'll have me. Ain't about to motherfucking up and let you down. Just because I take things to Kanaya doesn't mean I can't be here for you. Right?”
Silence, and one that cut a motherfucker deep to his core. A wicked kind of pain that Gamzee'd never known before, and could only hope never to feel again. Then, a nod. It was slight, it was almost reluctant, but it was there. It was almost more than a motherfucker could ask for, but it was there. Gamzee forced a smile to his face, sat up, and gestured for his husktop.
“Then, just so you're sure that this is okay, just up and troll Kanaya. She'll tell you that I'm allowed to be your temporail. Full of shooshes and advise and anything else a brother needs.”
“Don't think I won't fucking check with her.”
“Wouldn't expect anything less. But, before that, a brother's got to all up and spill himself. I shared, now you've got to share. Temporalliegence demands it. How did a brother all up and get his lips smeared teal?”
Or maybe—Gamzee thought as Karkat's cheeks went red with embarrassment—maybe it was the point in a romcom where some side character troll that had been after the real protagonist realized that they just weren't meant to be in any of the protagonist's quadrants.
Don't hate me. Please. I promise it will get better.
Paper done. I'm back. Booyah! So, only just realized this story has been going on for more than a month. Who'd a thunk it? Now, this chapter is a bit harder for me, because I'm bringing in trolls I've never written before, so their quirks/personalities might not come across perfectly. I just don't have an inner potential for them I guess. Still, I'm trying, so if you have any advice on how to improve them, please share. They will return in the future.
It wasn't until very early that Gamzee managed to get Karkat out of his block. Any other night he wouldn't have wanted his temporail to stay, to chat, to just be there for a while, basking in the presence of his flushcrush. This time, though, Gamzee couldn't stand it. They spent an hour getting their pile on about Terezi, and while Karkat ended up relieved and more certain about what he was going to do, Gamzee spent the whole time trying not to yell at Karkat. After all, he couldn't take a brother's lack of understanding out on him. Karkat didn't know about Nepeta, and it wasn't Gamzee's place to tell him. And Karkat sure as motherfuck didn't know about Gamzee's own red feelings, and Gamzee wasn't going to share so long as his brother still needed the support of a temporail. Yet the idea of his brother all up and getting cozy with that that backstabbing teal bitch... Gamzee couldn't all up and get his understand on about that. But it wasn't his business, and so Gamzee only replied when it was needed, only gave the words Karkat already knew he wanted to hear, and tried not to let his eyes all up and sting when Karkat resolved to ask Terezi out on a pity date.
Even the romcoms they watched after that did nothing to improve Gamzee's mood. It was like some motherfucking god or something was out to get him, because every flick Karkat picked at random seemed to involve some poor sap of a troll getting pale zoned, or just completely dropped out of any quad running as the red protagonist all up and went after trolls Gamzee was certain was wrong for them. Or maybe he was just getting too much pity on with the obvious side characters. They were too like him, foolish, hopeless, clueless. Never up and got their courage on to tell their flush crushes, or they just 'weren't the right type of troll.' By the end of the second flick Gamzee was shooing his friend out of the block and promising to come over and get his pale-cuddle on after he took some time to deal with his Trollian friends. He argued that Kanaya would want to be sure that they made it back with no incident, and that he hadn't spoken with one of his better bros in a few weeks considering all that had been going on. And so Karkat had left, all hesitant like, and Gamzee was left alone at his husktop fighting back tears as he brought up his Trollian account.
-- grimAuxiliatrix [GA] began trolling terminallyCapricious [TC] --
GA: Gamzee I Suppose It Is Correct To Assume That You Are At This Point Alone
GA: That Being Said I Would Have In Fact Appreciated Your Contacting Me Before This Point
GA: Please I Have Grown Concerned With What Came To Pass After The Encounter At Vriskas Hive Have You Done As You Intended To Do Have You Admitted Your Flushed Feelings To The Object Of Your Desires
TC: WoAh SiStEr, GiVe A bRoThEr A cHaNcE tO AlL uP aNd CoMpOsE hImSeLf BeFoRe YoU gEt YoUr MoThErFuCkInG iNquIsItIoN oN.
GA: Inquisition Dear Me That Does Not Seem To Be A Positive Sign For The Coming Conversation Gamzee What Has Occurred Since You Departed
TC: NoT aS mUcH aS yOu AlL uP aNd AdViSeD mE.
TC: NaW sIs, GiVe A bRoThEr A cHaNcE tO eXpLaIn. WhEn I aLl Up AnD rEtUrNeD gOaTaD sUsPeCtEd NoThInG. bUt KaRkAt WaSn'T aLl Up AnD hApPy WiTh Me. GoT mY eXpLaIn On AbOuT tHe RaGe ThInG, aNd WaNtEd To TeLl HiM aBoUt WhY iT aLl Up AnD mOtHeRfUcKiNg HaPpEnEd BuT...
GA: But That Is Not The Word That I Wish To Hear From You At This Point If You Do Not Begin To Describe For Me Your Fulfillment Of Your Promise To Be Open About Your Regard For Our Angry Acquaintance I Shall Be Quite Cross And Endeavor To Find A Way By Which To Cause You Some Mild Discomfort As It Well Within My Prerogative As Your Moirail
TC: tErEzI kIsS hIm. AlL rEd LiKe. ThE mOtHeRfUcKeR hAd HER MOTHERFUCKING LIP ADORNMENT PAINT ON HIS LIPS. how is a motherfucker supposed to compete with that?
GA: Gamzee Please Take A Moment To Perform The Breathing Exercises Which I Trained You In
GA: I Am Quite Disappointed To Learn Of This Turn Of Events But I Still Believe It Would Be Within Your Best Interest To Be Honest With Karkat
GA: It Would Be Best By Far For You To Seek Him Out At This Juncture And Proceed With Your Confession Of Flushed Aspirations
TC: He'S aSkInG hEr On A pItY dAtE tOmOrRoW.
GA: Irrelevant Proceed To His Block Immediately And Address This Issue Post Haste
TC: YoU dOn'T eVeN gEt It. YoU gOt YoUr MaTeSpRiT eAsY. yOu CaN't EvEn KnOw JuSt WhAt I'm MoThErFuCkInG fEeLiNg RiGhT nOw. AnD i'Ve HaD eNoUgH oF pAiNfUl FeElInGs JaMs ToNiGhT.
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] ceased trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA] --
-- grimAuxiliatrix [GA] began trolling terminallyCapricious [TC] --
GA: Gamzee We NeeD To Speak About This
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] blocked grimAuxiliatrix [GA] --
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] began trolling centaursTesticle [CT] --
TC: I'vE gOt A wIcKeD hEaDs Up FoR a MoThErFuCkInG bRoThEr.
CT: D --> Ah, Gamzee, I was not e%pecting to hear from you
CT: D --> I am rather busy at this juncture
CT: D --> C001d this conversation be held for another instance
TC: I kNoW yOu ArE aLl Up AnD bUsY wItH tHaT sEaDwElLeR, bUt ThIs Is ImPoRtAnT.
CT: D --> I will gladly make time for you if you manage to quiet this neighging f001
TC: JuSt Up AnD gIvE mE a MoMeNt ThEn.
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] ceased trolling centaursTesticle [CT] --
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] began trolling caligulasAquarium [CA] --
TC: Yo, BrO, i KnOw It AiN't My PlAcE tO gEt BeTwEeN yOu AnD aNoThEr MoThErFuCkEr, BuT i'Ve AlL uP aNd GoT tO gIvE eQuIuS sOmE nEwS.
CA: youre right gam youvve got no place comin betwween me an that misguided blueblood youre no better than he is wwhen it comes a this hemocaste thin
TC: JuSt ShUt ThE mOtHeRfUcK uP fOr A mInUtE. i AiN't GoInG tO gEt NoThInG iNtO hIm So LoNg As YoU'rE dOiNg YoUr HeMoPhObIc MoTheRfUcKiNg IdEaS.
CA: wwhat you call hemophobic i call proper order ivve had it up a my fins wwith all this highblood servvin lowwblood nonsense an hes the wworst example of a mindless followwer
TC: I SAID CAN YOUR VILE SPEW for one motherfucking moment. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO MOTHERFUCKING ASK? because if it is i can demand it.
CA: id like a see you try
TC: FiNe. LeT mE jUsT bRiNg Up A wInDoW fOr FeFeRi...
CA: ah wwell theres no need a brin fef into this is there
TC: GoT a LeT a SiStEr KnOw HeR mOiRaIl iS uP tO nO mOtHeRfUcKiNg GoOd AgAiN. aLl Up AnD pRoMiSeD.
CA: fine fine ill leavve him alone no need a get all ashen on me
CA: but tell him this convversation aint ovver yet not by far
TC: WhAt MoThErFuCkInG eVeR.
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] ceased trolling caligulasAquarium [CA] --
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] began trolling centaursTesticle [CT] --
TC: OkAy, AlL uP aNd MaDe HiM lAy OfF. cAn We GeT oUr TaLk On Now?
CT: D --> Of course
CT: D --> Forgive me for not making time
CT: D --> I just become STRONGLY annoyed when he opens his mouth
CT: D --> All this nonsense about hemohierarchy
CT: D --> It just makes me sweat
CT: D --> E%cuse me, I do believe I require a towel
CT: D -->Alright I have returned What is it that I can assist you with
TC: HaD tO uP aNd GiVe YoU a WaRnInG.
CT: D --> A warning
TC: AbOuT yOuR mOiRaIl.
CT: D --> Oh my
CT: D --> Are you attempting to interfere with my moirail
CT: D --> Even if you claim to do so in the course of your function as a guidance adjustor, I do not believe i can apprhoove
TC: NaW mAn, AiN't NoNe Of ThAt. I jUsT kNoW sOmEtHiNg. YoU kNoW sHe'S aLl Up AnD fLuShEd FoR sOmEoNe?
CT: D --> I am of horse aware of this
CT: D --> What kind of moirail would I be to not be aware of her potential quadrants
TC: JuSt Be ReAdY tO gEt A pIlE oN wItH hEr AbOuT iT iN tHe NeXt FeW dAyS.
CT: D --> I believe it would behoove you to tell me the whole truth
TC: CaN't BrOtHeR. jUsT kNoW sHe MiGhT gEt A bIt Of PaIn FrOm It SoOn. SaW tHe MoThErFuCkEr WiTh AnOtHeR tRoLl.
CT: D --> I would STRONGLY suggest you tell me who
TC: AiN't HaPpEnInG, mAn. JuSt WaNt To MaKe SuRe HeR mOiRaIl Is ReAdY tO dEaL.
CT: D --> I am always prepared to be STRONG for her
TC: GoOd. ShE mIgHt NeEd YoU.
CT: D --> Pardon my asking, purple b100d, but is something the matter
TC: ToO mUcH.
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] ceased trolling centaursTesticle [CT] --
So I've managed to finish outlining the story. I know where things are going, how they end, and some major things along the way. I've even got the general plot of two one-off sequels, and an even rougher idea for a direct sequel. This doesn't mean I know how many chapters are left though. More than one, less (I hope) than ten.
It doesn't get easier. Nothing gets motherfucking easier when a troll has to stand by and watch their flush crush getting all friendly with someone they are black for. It's like all the painful moments in all the romcoms Gamzee'd been watching, just all blended into one. All those moments that made a motherfucker's eyes stink and vision go slightly purple through the tears, and all of them about his own life, not some movie. And Karkat didn't, couldn't, know.
The real problem, though, was Nepeta. The poor sister up and learned about Terezi's betrayal long before anyone would have thought. Turns out the dining establishment that the traitor teal had chosen was minutes away from Nepeta's hivestem. And Nepeta's guardian took them out to eat to up and celebrate her getting her health back on. The olive sister was understandably upset when she saw her flush crush and her supposed friend sharing a meal all pitifully. From what Gamzee'd heard from Equius, the girl had gone over to talk to them, and when Karkat let slip that it was a pity date and that Terezi had recently confessed... Nepeta had all up and lost all of her patience with Terezi. Only the intervention of Karkat and her guardian had kept Nepeta from clawing Terezi's eyes out then and there.
Which was what put Gamzee here, sitting next to Nepeta in the break block of the office hive, and holding her as she all up and got her tears on. This was the second day in a row that she had spent their lunch break tearful, and he hadn't been able to just sit by and quietly eat anymore. The sister was hurting, and in a way that Gamzee had the misfortune of understanding. Except he didn't get to his tears on over it. Karkat would ask, and Gamzee... He wouldn't be able to answer. Gamzee's tears were saved for the earliest hours of the morning, when no one was awake to hear, when Trollian and his accepting mask were discarded. They were the wicked elixir that soothed the pain in a motherfucker's soul.
Nepeta, though, she wasn't the kind to keep this sort of shit on the inside, and knowing that his moirail was Gamzee's coworker, Equius had all but begged him to look after her during the work hours. So here he sat, holding Nepeta as a sister got her wicked cry on, not caring that his dress shirt was damn and tinted olive.
“I... I'm sorry,” Nepeta gasped out between sobs.
“Ain't a thing, sister. Ain't a thing. Just go what you all up and need to do.”
“But... your shirt.”
“Washes. Geez, I'll have Karkat wash it, so the motherfucker up and understands what he did to a sweet little sister.”
The comment earns him a half-hearted chuckle, but it's enough to break the cycle of tears, for now.
“Doesn't sound like something a moirail should do,” Nepeta whispered, and that alone told Gamzee that she was all torn up inside. Wasn't like the sweet thing to pass up a cat pun, especially 'meowrail.' She seemed as proud of that word as Gamzee had been of 'temporail.' Not that he'd used the word one motherfucking time since that night.
“Yeah, well a moirail should let their palebro know when they've hurt people, right? That's in the agreement?”
Nepeta nodded, in the process snuggling closer to Gamzee. “Right.”
“Well, then I'm happy to up and force it into his face. Because that's the only way it's going to get through enough for him to think about what Terezi's done, yeah? Not like she's got some moirail to tell her to get her act together or anything.”
“That's not right. She's got a moirail. She's talked about him before.”
“Oh yeah? Who? Want to up and give them a wicked piece of my mind.”
A shrug, and Gamzee sighs. Another chance lost. Not much he could do about that. The only person other than Nepeta or Karkat that Gamzee was sure knew Terezi was Vriska, and that was more than just a bit of a problem. From what Kanaya said, Terezi and Vriska hadn't even slacked on their near black courting... It didn't take a romcom expert to notice that there were some serious quadrant issues about to hit the fan if someone didn't get ashen in one of Terezi's two blacker relationships, and Gamzee wasn't sure there was anyone at all willing to come between Terezi and Vriska.
“Gamzee... It gets better, right?”
“Yes,” he lied. Well, not really lied. It was just something he had to believe. Desperately had to believe. Because believing anything else was just too painful.
* * * * * *
The worst part of it was that whenever he came back to the hive with Goatad after work, they were there. Well, not right there, they were always in the entertainment block or in Karkat's room—or in Gamzee's food preparation block—but they were there and they were together. Terezi smiling that razor blade smile, Karkat smiling softer for all his corners—a smile that melted Gamzee's anger towards his flush crush every time. Forced a motherfucker to grit his teeth, greet them, and abscond out of the block as fast as trollishly possible. Which, Gamzee was learning, was pretty motherfucking fast in his case. What time Karkat didn't spend with Terezi was spent with Goatad, working on the case, in private guidance adjusting sessions, talking about who knew what, and leaving Gamzee alone in his block to process up some work he'd brought home to distract him, waiting. Because waiting was necessary. Every motherfucking day, without break, Karkat would knock on his block door, and they would spend the morning talking—about Terezi—and watching romcoms—always ones that left Gamzee feeling worse. When he was gone, Gamzee would type up a short report about Nepeta for Equius's sake, spend a few minutes with Kanaya before blocking her for pushing him to confess.
Tonight, though, was different. Sure, he got home with Goatad and found Terezi and Karkat laughing over some motherfucking grubtube show or another, and promptly went to the preparation block to get a meal started, but this time he wasn't alone.
“You hate her,” Goatad observed from the door of the block, his voice a low rumbling that was weird for him, and obviously meant to keep the sound from reaching the entertainment block.
The statement, it wasn't a motherfucking question, stopped Gamzee with his body half in the thermal chilling hull. Took a moment to process, and then he's pulling himself free, closing the hull and leaning back on the counter behind him, staring down at his feet.
“The only thing that keeps our wicked hive guest from noticing is the blinders on his motherfucking eyes from the rush of flush,” Goatad confirmed, and from the sound of footsteps Gamzee was pretty sure he was advancing fully into the room.
“So why haven't you told Karkat?”
Gamzee found himself chewing on his lip, something he hadn't really been prone to since he was sweeps younger and seeing a thinkrapist for rage problems.
“How complicated could it be? He's flushed for Terezi, or thinks he is. You're black for her, and that much is blindingly motherfucking clear.”
“It's complicated,” Gamzee repeated, wishing that the statement would be as effective on Goatad as it was on everyone else.
“So are rubric dodecahedrons. Doesn't mean that you can't get all those colors sorted out and beautiful with some effort.”
“Rubic dodecahedrons run on miracles,” Gamzee mumbled in reply, the same thing he'd been telling his guardian since he was a wriggler. Those things were motherfucking confusing, but when you got all the colors in place on their sides, they were miracles of beauty like nothing else.
“Well, why don't you up and trust that all the sweeps I've got on you are enough to help me puzzle out your problems just as easily as I can rubic dodecahedrons. Tell me what the motherfuck is up to make you so wicked testy. And stop chewing on your lip.”
“Do I have to?”
“Don't you get all wriggler on me. If you do I'm going to have to do it.”
“No. You wouldn't motherfucking dare.”
And then, before Gamzee has a chance to brace himself, he's being swept up into Goatad's arms, and spun around in wild circles. Goatad laughs, a deep, rumbling sound that came from his huge chest in waves and crushes like surf against the shore. When Gamzee could barely keep his head from spinning on it's own, Goatad's crashed down to sit on the floor, and he's all up and perched Gamzee on his shoulders, forcing him to hold onto his guardian's horns to keep from falling.
It started a new roll of laughter from the both of them, and for a moment the world didn't seem like such a bad place to be.
“Now, what's up.”
And like that the moment's gone, long before Gamzee would have wanted to let it go. It's suddenly occurring to him that he's grown so much. Instead of barely fitting on his guardian's shoulders, his legs now dangle more than halfway down Goatad's chest. It's so much easier to hold on too, his hands finally big enough to wrap most of the way around his guardian's horns, rather than needing both hands to cling to the base of one. He's so much bigger. Hell, the tips of his horns are close to reaching his guardian's shoulders, though he's leaner, more wiry than Goatad. Someday he'll be almost as large as the other troll, built so big that he'll have to have a custom built hive to account for his size. No trolls got as big as purple blooded. Few lived longer either. Someday he'd outlive his problems, outlive Karkat, outlive Terezi, outlive everyone he was friends with. Made the problem seem smaller by comparison. But it didn't make it hurt less.
“I hate Terezi,” Gamzee whispered into his guardian's thick mane of hair.
“Knew that. Why can't you tell Karkat.”
“I'm... pale for...”
“Don't give me that,” Goatad cut him off. “You haven't lied to me so blatantly in sweeps, and you're not going to get away with it now. You're no more pale for Karkat than I am. Any blind troll could see you've got some kind of pity on for him, but it ain't pale. And if you can get your forgiveness on for my saying it, the sooner you realize that thinkrapist was legitimately pale for you...”
“Kanaya? You're late to that party, bro. We've been moirails for perigees or something.”
“That's some good news. We should have her over for a meal some night.”
“She'd like that.”
“But that's not everything. Finish.”
“I... Can't I get away with it being complicated?”
“When I learned about Spided being such a... horrible person, I offered to be his temporail...”
“Thanks. Anyway, I acted as it for a while, but truth was...”
“You're red for him.”
“Is this my explanation or motherfucking not.”
Goatad raised his hands defensively, the movement forcing Gamzee to scrabble for better seating upon his guardian's shoulders.
“Anyway, helping him because I'm red for him, but it was never the right time to tell him. Terezi could tell though, think she hated me for it. Instead of keeping her word with Nepeta not to tell Karkat about her flushed feelings, she confessed and now this.”
“Guess that explains why that wicked sister is all up and upset these days.”
Gamzee nodded, even though Goatad couldn't see it, and leaned down into his guardian's soft hair.
“And you won't tell him you're flushed, for fear that it will make him angry at you for saying nothing. But if you go black for his romance partner...”
“He might hate me anyway.”
“Damn complicated, but nothing that time might not cure.”
“It's worse than that.”
“Terezi's already black with another troll. Spided's cerulean ward, Vriska.”
“Then she needs herself an auspitice with someone.”
Again Gamzee nodded. “But I won't let anyone come between me and my hate for her, and Vriska... Goatad, Karkat used to get all ashen with them.”
“Motherfuck is right. Karkat won't ever accept my pity if I force him to get ashen with his pity date and her black partner.”
“I don't know what to tell you, Gamzee. I just don't. Apparently there are problems I can't up and get my thinkpan around.”
“It's okay, Goatad. It's okay.”
Another lie, but this time his guardian didn't call him on it.
Don't be sad, guys and gals. I got plenty of sad comments, and ones calling Terezi bad words. Look at it this way, Terezi is flushed for Karkat. Terezi was fine with the status quo balance with Nepeta, because Nepeta had NEVER gotten the nerve to admit her feelings to Karkat before (even though Terezi never told him in the sweeps she's known him). Gamzee, though, he's an unknown factor, one she knows is flushed for Karkat whether he's admitting it or not. What if he tells Karkat and Karkat just latches onto him? All of her patience would have been for nothing. So, having an inherently more aggressive personality than the other two, she acts, and gets what she wants. It doesn't make her a monster or anything, just a troll after their own heart.
Other than that, here's the next chapter. And before anyone claims I mischaracterize the troll introduced here, I will happily direct you to logs that support my choice for her.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Nothing got better. Then again, Gamzee hasn't expected it to. He was in love with a troll who was acting flushed for a troll he hated, and by hating her, Gamzee was running the risk of getting his flush crush to hate him as well. How was this supposed to even start getting better?
Not with early morning pounding on the hive door, that was for certain. It was a pounding with a kind of force that he'd only ever heard when Goatad had locked himself out of the hive and the sun was rising. Only Goatad was inside, had been for hours. Only Karkat had been out tonight and...
“Karkat!” Gamzee yelled in shock, throwing himself out of his block at speed.
The pounding continued, echoing through the hive—how did Goatad sleep through every motherfucking thing—growing more frantic with every passing moment, as Gamzee threw himself through the hive and towards the entrance block.
“Karkat,” he gasped out as he threw the door open, terrified to see the troll there, skin reddened by the sun, suffering from the heat. Except when he opened the door, that wasn't what he found. Instead he was met by a pair of large rocks surrounded by an eerie white glow.
“What...?” Gamzee started to ask, only to be cut off by Karkat's voice.
“About fucking time,” the troll sighed, and as he did so the rocks lost their glow and fell to the ground before the door.
Their movement cleared the doorway and left Gamzee staring at Karkat in the doorway, his arm wrapped around the neck and shoulders of a smaller female with curly woolbeast horns, a hat perched at a jaunty angle on her head, and a relieved smile. Most of her was covered with dust, and her nice gray skirt was torn in a few places, but she was in far better condition than Karkat. He face was bloody, one of his eyes already swollen shut, and his lip clearly busted. There was red everywhere, staining his clothes, obscuring his face, and the very sight of it was setting that cold feeling into Gamzee's stomach like nothing else ever had. Except there wasn't time for that right now, and so Gamzee started to chew on his lip a bit as he moved forward and scooped a protesting Karkat up into his arms. And as he held the struggling troll close, he was almost amazed by just how light the motherfucker was.
“Come in,” he mumbled to the girl around his lip as he strode away, making towards the couch in the entertainment block. There was the sound of the door closing behind him and hurried steps as the shorter troll tried to keep up with his long, panic induced strides.
Soon enough he's stretched Karkat out on the couch, not giving a damn that it would stain from his blood. Goatad could just get another. It wasn't as important as tending to Karkat right now. That was undoubtedly what he needed to focus on, because otherwise he might make himself sick from the rage that was still bubbling up in his chest.
“We need to stop doing this,” Karkat teased, his voice low and pained, but still audible.
“This isn't motherfucking funny,” Gamzee snapped, digging his claws into his sleep shirt. They easily tore into the material, and made it really motherfucking simple to tear a strip of cloth free. He immediately set to mopping up blood and taking inventory of Karkat's injuries, each on making the cold stronger, more demanding.
“Sure it is. Between Terezi and me you're well on your way to earning emergency health certification.”
Another joke, and now Gamzee knows why the normally angry troll was trying to make him laugh. It was the rage, Karkat was terrified of what it might make him do. So he was downplaying his hurts, making everything seem less pressing to protect Gamzee from himself. It was a realization that actually managed to soothe him a bit, though Gamzee still wished Kanaya was here right now.
“You need to learn to take better care of yourself,” Gamzee responded, pitching his voice low and almost cooing the words at his flush crush. “Maybe not start so many fights.”
“He didn't start it!” a female voice protested, drawing Gamzee's attention back to the mysterious troll who had brought Karkat back to him. She looked a bit nervous, almost chewing at her own lip, and her fingers were worrying at the corner of her shirt.
“He never does,” Gamzee confirmed, sighing as he stood to look at her. “Can you sit here with him for a minute? I've got to get the health kit, but I don't want to leave him alone. Can I trust you Ms...”
“Aradia,” the girl said, striding forward and snatching the bloody piece of shirt from Gamzee's hand so she could gently dab it against a cut on Karkat's head. “Hurry up then.”
Gamzee watched Aradia for a moment, searching her black-maroon eyes for some something to declare her trustworthy, then turned to rush off for the hygiene block. He was glad that he'd insisted on improving the kit since the first time he'd had to patch up the crimson blooded troll. Soon enough he was back with the kit, some cloths, and a large bowl of lukewarm water. When he came back he was so overburdened that he felt like he was going to drop it all. In fact, as he entered the entertainment block he all but forgot the step up into the room and knocked his foot against it. Before he could react he was falling, everything he had brought going every which way, only to take on that white glowy light the rocks had earlier. Everything hovered in front of his eyes for a moment before starting to move of their own accord towards Aradia and Karkat. That sealed it then, this girl was undoubtedly one of the psychically gifted warm bloods.
“What happened?” Gamzee said as he came to kneel by her and the couch, and he earned himself an eye roll and a groan of pain for the effort.
“Nothing,” Karkat grumbled, even as Aradia started to talk over him.
“When I found him he was being attacked by a group of blue and green bloods,” she supplied, sounding quite troubled. “They were apparently unhappy over his blood color. He was doing his best, but I felt it appropriate to step in and teach them what it meant to be helpless before greater force.”
The girl nodded and turned her attention back to Karkat. “I think they will hesitate before treating another troll in such a manner.”
“One can only hope,” Gamzee growled, turning his attention to dealing with Karkat's injuries. “And what have you got to say? I thought you were out with Terezi.”
“I was. They apparently didn't like the idea of crossing even a trainee legisticator. They waited until I'd left her at her hive and got a few blocks away before...”
“Damn hemohierarchists,” Gamzee spat as he started to clean the blood from Karkat's face with a wet cloth. “Thank you for helping him, Aradia.”
“I couldn't just stand by and let them do it,” she said as she took another cloth and started to help him with Karkat. “It wasn't a fair fight, and they knew it. Besides, if I let them do what they want to him, it only gives them better reason to try and treat maroons the same way.”
That made Gamzee nod in agreement. After mutants maroon blooded trolls were the next logical step for marginalizing trolls. If you could find a way to avoid their frequent and powerful psychic gifts, there were short enough lived to avoid some of the issues of an organized resistance at their level. As horrible as it was, it was an accurate observation from Aradia. Warm bloods stood by and let hierarchists act at their own peril.
“Thanks for helping him,” Gamzee mumbled as he moved to smear some disinfectant ointment over one of the now clean cuts. “The motherfucker ain't exactly the best at defending himself.”
“He broke an arm on one of the blue bloods,” Aradia happily offered, sounding oddly proud of Karkat. Gamzee gazed at her out of the corner of his eye, and what he saw up and made him tremble. There was no denying the pity in that look.
Just what he needed, another rival for his brother's affections.
“Well, then I suppose I'll make him a pie to celebrate later. In the mean time, you're probably all up and tired. I can off you my slab until sunset...”
“Mine,” Karkat hissed between grit teeth.
“Use mine. Not like you're going to let me tonight.”
Which was true enough. Gamzee wasn't letting his pseudo-palebro out of sight tonight, so what was the harm?
“Come on. I'll show you there then come back here to finish fixing Karkat up.”
“No,” Aradia said, shaking her head emphatically. “You best let me assist. I have some basic training in health assurance. It was mandatory for my qualification as an archeologist.”
There was no winning this argument, especially when the girl could just turn her mind on him and hold him in place as she worked, so Gamzee nodded silently and turned his attention back to the mound of pitiful taking up the couch.
This is the part of the story that I cry over writing. It hurts, so much, but it's how it has to happen. Don't hate me for it. Don't hate the characters for it. Just sit back, try to keep your heads clear, and know that more is coming.
ETA: I've figured out how to include suits into the relationships list. Now it shows what relationships are at play. Yay!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Terezi shows up within minutes of full sunset, and she doesn't give a motherfucker enough time to clear out of the way before bowling him over in her eagerness to get into the hive. All Gamzee could do was wrestle her solar protection cloth off of his horns and rub at his sore elbow as he shut the door and followed the hateful bitch further inside. One of these days he was going to make her understand her place, whether it took words or force. Stupid bitch was going to get all up and schoolfed about the wicked miracle of her ignorance. And it was going to be someday soon. For now, though, Gamzee had to put up with the motherfucking legisticator at the hive at all hours (but no more at the office, her time there complete and her position now filled by a more agreeable and quiet jade).
Somehow she'd found out about Karkat's morning encounter. Gamzee suspected Aradia was behind the loud troll's presence, especially when he arrived in the entertainment block and show how Aradia smiled at Terezi's arrival. So now she was here and was kneeling by the couch, joining Aradia and Goatad in their 'vigil.' Goatad had been at the side of his new ward since he had seen his charge stretched out on the couch. Aradia had joined him soon after, rising from her own rest in Karkat's block to check up on the troll she'd saved. Now, with Terezi, they completely obscured Gamzee's view of the pitiful troll, acting as if he was dying or something, and it was almost pathetic. Once Karkat woke up...
“Holy fucking nooksniffing shit. What the fuck do you think you're doing?!” Karkat demanded.
Once he woke up everything was going to hit the whirling device. Almost a miracle how quickly Karkat met his expectations these nights. He was finally getting to really know Karkat, and every new thing he learned made him pity the troll all the more.
“Motherfucking chill,” Goatad whispered, and his whisper came out as a low rumble that filled the room. “Ain't nothing but concern from trolls who care?”
“I wish to be certain you are well before I leave,” Aradia added. “I would hate to learn you took a turn for the worst after I left.”
“What they said,” Terezi said in her half-hissing way.
“Stupid fuckers. Terezi, you have your criminal legal proceedings class tonight,” Karkat growled.
“I'm ahead and we get days off for matesprit emergencies. I've had my guardian call me off.”
“Aradia, you have... Well, whatever it is you do,” Karkat blazed on as if he hadn't even heard Terezi or her claim on his quadrants.
“It's no problem,” she cheerfully responded. “We're between digs right now, so I've got a few nights absolutely free.”
“Goatad you've got your fucking guidance work. You've been spending nights working on this case and your trolls need you,” Karkat continued angrily.
“Gamzee,” Goatad called, raising his voice to the normal booming level that carried through the hive.
“Right motherfucking here,” Gamzee mumbled, finally striding fully into the room. He moved around behind the couch and leaned against the back, acting all motherfucking nonchalant even though his nerves were wicked frayed between the looks Terezi was giving him and the ones she was giving Karkat. As attentive as he played, he still glanced down at Karkat, his heart going all pity aching when he saw his friend there on the couch, hurt and tired and so damn angry.
“Call up the fucking office for me. Tell them what all up and happened, and that I'll arrange to have my meetings moved here.”
Karkat flung himself into another stream of particularly wicked curses as Gamzee pushed himself away from the couch. There weren't many phones in the hive, and none of the few there were made their homes in the entertainment block. The closest was the one that Goatad had installed in the food preparation block when he'd realized that his little ward loved to work there. With a sigh—why was he the one that had to leave Karkat's side—Gamzee turned away from his guardian and the troll he pitied, and made his way toward the food preparation block. As much as he was getting annoyed at being the one to call, Terezi had a better claim to stick around than him, and Gamzee was the only other person who knew the number. He was the logical choice, and he hated it.
The call doesn't take long once he's at the phone, because no one makes the office this early. Most trolls didn't even leave their hives until the sun was fully set, only risking it with proper solar protection gear and the most pressing needs. So he left his message, fetched another container of fruit juice from the thermal chilling hall, and headed for the entertainment block once more.
Karkat was still ranting at his assembled watchers when Gamzee returned—ain't nothing to be said for the miracle of Karkat's ability to keep an anger going—and the other three were listening intently as if they were up and getting schoolfed on how to curse. For a moment Gamzee stood back in the door and watched them, and the sight made him sick. All he could see of Karkat was a bit of hair over the back of the couch, but the others were standing now, and were far too easy to get his motherfucking sight on. Far too easy to see what was all up and happening. There was pity clear in their eyes, in their faces, in the whole way they were treating Karkat. It was hard to see it on Goatad, never having to share his guardian's affections, not that way. Ever since he'd been a wriggler, he'd had Goatad's guardial pity to himself, and now he was finally realizing just what having his guardian take over wardship of Karkat meant. Why wouldn't his guardian give more of that pity to Karkat? He was clearly more in need of affection and guidance than Gamzee had since he'd finished his time with Kanaya as his thinkrapist.
But worse than that was looking at Aradia. Someone had apparently gotten the kit back out, and whoever had done it, it was now in Aradia's hands. As Gamzee watched she helped Karkat sit up and she sat next to him, the kit hovering under the control of her power. There was no doubt she was dealing with re-bandaging him, and Gamzee knew, just knew, as he strode forward that she wasn't just doing it because it needed done. She did it out of pity. As Gamzee rounded the couch and left the container of juice on the end table, he could see the tenderness with which she worked. When Terezi moved to help, Aradia just glared at the girl, the kind of glare that a moirail gave when another troll was getting between them and their pale mate.
It's over, Gamzee realizes, seeing that look in Aradia's eyes. Any claim he had on Karkat was evaporating here and now. He'd always known that it would happen someday. That Karkat would find a real moirail to take care of him. A motherfucker had even hoped that it would happen because Karkat deserved someone who could dedicate the whole of themselves to him. But he hadn't wanted it to happen here and now. Hadn't wanted to lose Karkat so quickly, so that he'd have no claim at all on his friend, not even temporarily. He was nothing but a troll Karkat lived with now, and he could feel the ache in his chest growing, almost overwhelming. All he wanted to do was hide away, curl up with his husktop, and never stop talking to Kanaya. To tell Nepeta that he knew how she felt, because be was flushed for Karkat. To just pretend nothing had happened that he was the same troll he'd been a sweep ago before he was in red pity with a troll who would never know.
Out of the corner of his eye he can see Terezi looking at him, a half smirk on her face, viscous and more than happy to see his heart breaking. Because she knows, she knows just what's happening, just what is hurting him now, and it brings her a special kind of joy that was reserved for seeing your black partner brought low. The joy that lasted just long enough for you to be satisfied as your kismesis proves themselves too low to be worthy of you, before you went looking for a better target. And with that, she turned her attention back to Karkat, absolutely ignoring Gamzee's presence.
“Whoever did this to you, I promise to chase them to the fullest extent of the law,” she swore. Karkat only rolled his eyes at that.
“You don't have to do that,” Aradia offered. “After I taught them manners, I turned them over to the nearest enforcement department, filed a complaint, and brought Karkat here.”
“They deserve worse than the enforcer sargents will give them. Because of them...” Terezi started, and as she spoke the cold fury rushed back into Gamzee, filling him to brimming with bile.
“Because of them?” Gamzee demanded, his voice booming in a way that he'd only ever heard from Goatad before. “Because of them? Motherfuck, Terezi, is that what you've motherfucking told yourself to make everything all up and okay? Just denying the wicked truth that we up and know? Have you not gotten your understand on? This is your motherfucking fault, and don't even motherfucking try and deny it.”
“Gamzee, what the fuck...” Karkat started to say, but the trailed off.
“Please...” Aradia added, only to be cut off by Goatad raising a hand to halt them both.
“Don't get involved. This is their motherfucking issue they've got to work out,” he cautioned, and Gamzee was thankful that his Guardian was stepping in. He didn't want any motherfucking troll getting ashen now.
“And how is this supposed to be my fault?” Terezi demanded, her eyes narrowing to razor sharp slits.
“You knew motherfucking better than to let him return alone,” Gamzee growled. “You have your motherfucking understand on about just what is going the fuck on. Do you really think this was just some random hierarchist attack? Is your motherfucking thinkpan rotted through? How would they know to go after our motherfucking bro here if they didn't know what he all up and looked like? Someone motherfucking told them, someone sent those fuck blooded motherfuckers after Karkat. And just who do you motherfucking think did that? Do you motherfucking think he would have if there had been a motherfucking legisticator witness?”
“So you're going to blame me for that fucker?” Terezi asked.
“Yes,” Gamzee snarled, advancing on the other troll with his fists clenched. “You knew. You didn't fucking protect him from what we all motherfucking knew. Some motherfucking matesprit you are. Can't even step the fuck in when he needs it. You let him go off alone, you brought this down upon him.”
“So I'm responsible for Spided being an ass?” Terezi demanded, her eyes darting behind her crimson shades toward his fists and back to his face. She was backing up now, likely having heard just what Gamzee was capable of doing with his fists.
“Wait, are you saying Spided did this?” Goatad cut in, but Gamzee just ignored him, moving forward again, closing the distance Terezi was trying to put between them.
“You're responsible for the motherfucking crime of not looking the fuck out for your matesprit. You're responsible for being a greedy, self-centered, stupid motherfucking water blood bitch. Get motherfucking schoolfed on all the harm you've done here,” he growled, and finally had Terezi backed up against a wall, she'd been so busy retreating that she hadn't even motherfucking noticed. And now there's panic in her eyes, panic that makes her eyes go wide as she feels the wall behind her, only serving to make the teal in her eyes stand out.
To see such panic, to see such fear, it made the cold leap up in his heart, into his throat, into his head. All he can see is teal and purple. And gray. Gray of the walls, gray of her face, gray of her face and the gray of his fist colliding with the gray wall to the side of her gray face. His fist is screaming in pain, purple is now smeared across the wall, and there are cracks shot through the wall, and Terezi is shaking, half in fear, half in something entirely else. Her eyes are wide, fearful, excited almost. There's respect in that terror, and yet the terror is still there, and it and her are sickening. She isn't worthy of being his kismesis, and she sure as hell wasn't worthy of Karkat. She wasn't worthy of the breaths she was drawing.
His hand came up, like a motherfucking miracle, at the thought, fingers spread wide. Teal-black eyes go even wider as his hand moves, as his fingers wrap around her slender neck. As his fingers closed there he could feel her pulse in his meat of his hand, faster and faster with each breath, and each breath slower and slower. And then there's a strong grip around his waist, and he's being hauled bodily from the fearful teal blood. He hand scrabbles against her throat for a moment, leaving behind scratches that quickly welled up with teal, an image both satisfying and frustrating. The coldness demanded her blood be spilled. The cold rage that filled him wanted her dead.
At last Goatad let him go, standing purposefully between Gamzee and Terezi with a look in his eyes that almost dared him to try going for the bitch troll again.
“That is way past e-motherfucking-nough,” he rumbled. “Gamzee, get your motherfucking thinkpan screwed on straight.”
Gamzee wanted to argue, wanted to say that his pan was on straight, but there was no way that it was true. The cold was still there, overwhelming, but unwilling to act against Goatad. The other troll was older, wiser, stronger, and there was no point in trying to fight his guardian. So he did his best, fists clenched so hard that his nails were cutting into his skin, and his teeth chewing at his lip in a rush that made his mouth taste so much like blood. Yet his motherfucking guardian was giving him a look, a look of disappointment that hurt, and Gamzee had to look away. But where his gaze instantly went wasn't much better.
The way that Karkat was looking at him, his face filled with all kinds of fear, his expression screaming betrayal, and it cut into him worse than anything else that had happened. Even though he'd known, motherfucking understood, that pursuing Terezi with black intentions would lose him Karkat, he still couldn't handle this pain. Before anyone could do or say anything, Gamzee was spinning on his heels and running for the hive door. He could hear this guardian calling his name as he ran, but he was already throwing the door open and fleeing out into the early evening darkness.
Chapter dedicated to celynBrum on Ao3 for her fondness for moirails and her question half the story ago about who would be Karkat's moirail.
Yeah. That was a thing that happened. Sorry. And here's another thing that happens.
While he'd never loved them half so much as Goatad did, Gamzee took comfort in the presence of seagoats. They were one of the more beautiful sea beasts in the world, and it used to be that when there was time, his guardian would take him to the beach to watch the creatures. And so now, here he was, sitting on the beach with his back to a large rock, watching as the large white creatures as they frolicked in the water. They were like few other of the mysteriously white creatures that lived in their world. Unlike other white creatures, seagoats were very family and community oriented. They lived together in large groups and were never left one of their own behind. How much simpler would his life have been if he'd been a seagoat rather than a troll?
With a sigh Gamzee pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the sting in his injured hands that came from pressing sand into the wounds, and he shuffled slowly towards the edge of the water. As he shuffled he winced at the feel of the sand between his toes, or rubbing against his legs as his sand encrusted sleep pant legs—and they were his favorite sleep pants, the black ones with the gray spots—moved against his flesh. Soon enough the chilly water was washing over his feet and legs, and Gamzee knelt down to wash his hands in the water, the salt stinging bad but doing a world of good at washing the sand from the small cuts. Later he'd regret the decision, but for now, he welcomed it. Better pain later than pain now.
Once his hands were cleaned Gamzee shuffled back to his resting spot, picking up a stick along the way. He'd already been here for well over an hour, and he had no more intention than of going back to the hive now than he had when he'd fled. It had been hard enough to just stop crying after he got to the beach, and going back there and seeing his guardian and Karkat would be far too much. So he sat with stick in hand and doodled in the sand.
By the time he looked up from his scratching out images of him and Karkat—he wasn't very good at drawing so he doubted that Karkat would know his own face even if he did show up—the seagoats were gone, off to feed in the deeper water rather than play in the shallow. The pale pink light of the moon was the only thing left to keep him company other than his stick and his drawings.
And, apparently, Kanaya.
“I don't motherfucking want to talk,” Gamzee mumbled, though he was certain that she didn't hear him. And he didn't say another thing as she strode closer and then moved to sit beside him.
“I do not appreciate having to invest so much time into searching for you when you are upset,” she said, moving so that part of her own back was pressed against the rock that Gamzee had chosen.
“I didn't want to be motherfucking found.”
“And you were going to remain here until the sun rose, and make an end of the pitiable flow of your life? I do not believe that for a single moment, Gamzee. If you had not desired to be found then you would have chosen a location other than the beach for your hiding spot. You are quite aware that not only is Goatad in possession of the knowledge that you are fond of the beach, but you have told me of it during our thinkrapy sessions. While I admit that your choice of specific location prompted me to search harder than I desired, it was still a relatively simple matter to seek you out.”
“Then don't complain about searching,” Gamzee snapped. “What are you even motherfucking doing here?”
Kanaya sighed, and when she looked at him her eyes were full of pity. Before Gamzee could say or do anything she had wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pulled him as close as she could when his horns were taken into consideration. And then, in the safe haven she motherfucking presented him, Gamzee let himself cry once more. The whole time she held him, her voice whispering soft and sweet shooshes, her hand on his shoulder rubbing soft circles and just letting him let his grief go.
Eventually Gamzee found the tears slacking off. With that Kanaya finally helped him sit up straight again, and she produced a handkerchief from somewhere and started to clean off his face. It was a simple, gentle, pitying action that did more to reinforce his pale feelings for Kanaya than anything else. At last she seemed satisfied, and put the cloth away, clearing her throat as she did so.
“Now that we have dealt with the pent up emotions which have been plaguing you, would you be so kind as to inform me as to what has come to pass as to prompt such a reaction as this?”
“What do you already up and know?”
“I received a call from your guardian, explaining that you had left the hive, quite upset, and he was not able to pursue you at that point. He also felt that you were in need of a moirail more than a guardian at this juncture.”
“Sure as motherfucking all that's true,” Gamzee admitted, sighing. “Karkat got jumped by some motherfuckers on his way back from a pity date with Terezi. A telekinetic maroon blooded sister found him and saved him. I spent the day tending to him, let her stay at the hive. Apparently Karkat had her contact Terezi to explain what happened, so Terezi came over first thing this evening. And... Long story motherfucking short as fuck, Aradia's pale for Karkat, I kind of blamed Terezi for every motherfucking thing, got in a fight and I almost...”
Kanaya reached up and gently ran her fingers through Gamzee's loose and tangled hair. It was soothing like a motherfucking miracle.
“You were overcome by your rage?”
Gamzee nodded. “I got all black up in her face, and then I had her backed against a wall, and my hand was all around her throat...”
“Goatad stopped you?”
“Yeah. And when I looked at Karkat, he had this look on his face that...”
“There is no need to inform me as to the expression which he was wearing. I believe I likely saw it or one quite similar to it during the Spided incident. I had hoped that you would never find yourself faced with such a reaction in the one you are flushed for, but it seems I was unable to protect you from that revelation. But please allow me to assure you as someone who has encountered your rages before, it is something that is quite common upon one who has not witnessed you in such a state, or how you have previously overcome it. Your rage is a part of you that one must learn to embrace, and soothe. One day Karkat shall learn this, and pity it as much as he will pity the rest of you.”
“No,” Gamzee growled. “Don't you get it? I've lost any motherfucking chance I would have to up and get that brother to go red for me. Ain't never going to pity me.”
“He can't even stand to motherfucking look at me. To motherfucking see me. I attacked his matesprit, I made him afraid. I'm nothing too him now, Kanaya. Nothing but a motherfucking monster.”
“Gamzee, please do not say such things of yourself...”
“Kanaya, this is all up and going to sound weird, but could you motherfucking do something for a palebro?”
“Of course. I have told you already, my moirail, that I shall endeavor to do whatever is needed of me for your happiness.”
“Let me move in with you.”
“There's paperwork I can motherfucking file to let me live with my moirail. Please, I can't stay in the motherfucking hive anymore. Not when my guardian has a new ward, or Terezi's always there, and with how Karkat...”
Kanaya sighed, and in her eyes was a pitying look so strong that it almost seemed impossible.
“I gave to you my word, Gamzee, and while I do believe that you are taking advantage of our quadrant to save yourself some minor pain, I shall begin the requested process. But until it is achieved, I must insist that you remain in your own hive.”
“Not today,” Gamzee pleaded. “Please. Not today.”
“No,” Kanaya agreed, standing and brushing her skirt off. Once she was done she held her hand out to him, a soft smile gracing her face. “Not today. Tomorrow will be soon enough.”
Updates may be a little less frequent for a while, and on Monday and Friday rather than MWF. My two summer classes have bred a third that lasts only a month and thus has more than doubled my work load. Everything ends by the 8th of August or so, but after that there is a wedding in the family on the 11th, and what minor attempt I might have at vacation for another few days after that. Then I get a week or so before MORE CLASSES. But I do mainly think that I should be able to maintain a rather respectable update schedule and get the story finished before the worst part of the month (the 23rd through the 27th of July).
A whole night with his moirail was just what a broken heart called for. After he was done getting his relax on, Kanaya led Gamzee away from the beach, the whole time lamenting the state of his clothing. Gamzee didn't feel like pointing out that these were his favorite pajama pants, and that the shirt was ripped because he'd used strips of it to tend to Karkat. Instead he let his moirail talk about the clothing she was going to put him in, his mind focused on the warmth of Kanaya's hand in his as she led him into the pale pink night of the city. It was hard, but he focused on the walk, imprinting the path to a motherfucker's hive stem in case it was needed in the future. Luckily the trip wasn't long, her hive stem closer to the border of the city than Spided's had been. When they made it to the stem it was almost amusing to see the way his moirail ducked her head in embarrassment whenever they saw a troll who lived there. Still, Gamzee did his best to put on a presentable face and act like he was dressed to perfection.
Kanaya waste any time when they reached the hive. After a few brief measurements, she shoved Gamzee towards the hygiene block, insisting that he shed himself of all the sand and tear stains. Once he all up and had himself clean, Gamzee came out of the block wrapped in one towel and running another through his hair. There wasn't time to breathe before Kanaya had descended upon him, swaths of fabric in hand. Soon she was thrusting some items into his hands and bustling off to make 'notes.' There was nothing to be done but pulling on the soft black slacks, the billowy, blood purple shirt, and the black vest with gold colored buttons that Kanaya had given him. She returned a few minutes later with a pair of dress shoes, mumbled something about borrowing them from a neighbor, then helped Gamzee brush out his hair and pull it into a loose que at the base of his neck. At last she stood back and looked Gamzee over, clear approval in her eyes.
“Yes, I believe this shall suffice for the moment. I believe it would be better with an ear babble and maybe a gilded chain for around your waist, but you shall do.”
“Aw man, sister, you ain't all up and got to take my motherfucking style under your wing.”
“I shall not have my moirail seeming as ill-kept as you were, I would never feel comfortable. I do have a reputation which I wish to uphold. In addition to that, I have a fondness for the creation of garments that suit the personality and appearance of the trolls who wear them. I created this design for you a sweep ago, and after our recent encounter, I was able to put it together in such a way that it would work without proper measurements. There is another which I shall give to you before you depart tomorrow, and I shall continue in the construction of further outfits now that I have acquired accurate measurements.”
“But this must have motherfucking cost you...”
Kanaya waved her hand dismissively, an amused look on her face.
“Please, Gamzee, this is not only a hobby from which I derive pleasure, but earns me no small amount of extra income. As such, I find there to be no issues with working on items to gift to either my moirail or my matesprit.”
“Vriska don't up and like to take stuff from you without payment either?”
The amused look faded into a soft, pitying smile. “No. Vriska is far more complex than most people give her credit for. But the look upon her face when I present her with a particularly wonderful dress...”
Gamzee smiled and put his arms around his moirail, holding her tight and whispering in her ear, “Thank you, sister. This is more than a motherfucker deserves.”
“Consider it a gift to celebrate our quadrant,” she whispered, and Gamzee could see her cheeks turning faintly jade.
“Only if you let your palebro up and get you a gift as well.”
“Of course, anything...”
“You promise me that I'm allowed to up and motherfucking pay you for more than half of what you make me in the future. Got it?”
“That doesn't seem...”
“Naw, palesis, it's fair,” Gamzee said, releasing her and pulling back so she could see the serious look that was all up and on his face. “Think about it this way. I'm all up and going to double my size, at the very least, in the next five or so sweeps. How much of your free credits are you going to have to spend to keep up with a brother when he gets his growth spurts on? If you're going to keep your moirail looking sharp, you best not broker yourself over it. What kind of motherfucking palebro would I be if I let you do that?”
Kanaya seemed to consider this for a moment, looking Gamzee up and down before at last nodding. “Alright, this appears to be a fair deal in my estimations.”
“Good,” Gamzee said with a smile. “Now, since you've all up and borrowed me some shoes, I expect you have intentions on our evening?”
“Other than assisting you in acquiring some proper shoes and accessories? Of course. Today we shall work to take our redroms off of our minds.”
“Our redroms? Something wrong with Vriska?”
Kanaya just smiled and waved the question off as she grabbed Gamzee's hand and pulled him to her hive door.
* * * * * *
The night was a wonderful thing. Kanaya forced a few pairs of high quality shoes on him, assisted Gamzee in piercing his ears and selecting some ear babbles that she felt would work with some of her designs. There was lunch at a wonderful cafe run by a purple blood that knew the wonder of making fruit and faygo pies, and when Kanaya confessed to an affection for the flavor combinations Gamzee all but dragged her to a food acquisition venue to get ingredients. The rest of the day was spent teaching the jade blooded wonder how to prepare fruit and faygo pies of Gamzee's own creation while watching silly musical movies and pale romcoms, and just laughing and enjoying themselves. At one point Vriska showed up at the hive, and while Gamzee tended to the decoration of the latest pie, Kanaya had a bit of private time with her matesprit before the two joined Gamzee and worked on a shared dinner. After the meal Vriska left for her own hive, and Kanaya guided Gamzee to the respite block, and they spent the early morning hours in pale cuddling and watching animated wriggler movies.
The day passed too fast, and soon it was late in the afternoon, and Kanaya was rousing them both from the slab. She was as early a riser as Gamzee might have expected, and she moved around the hive with purpose, preparing for a day back at her work as Gamzee had insisted he was ready to return to his own work. At Kanaya's prompting he divided the remains of their dinner, gathered up the things they'd bought, his pajamas, and the clothes from the previous night into a bag, and he changed into the other outfit Kanaya had hinted at. Soon enough Gamzee was dressed up (more black slacks, a white shirt, and a blood purple vest shot through with think black stripes), packed up, and ready to get his travel on. Just as he finished his moirail joined him, looking properly professional and cool, and she held out a small key.
“What is this?” Gamzee found himself mumbling, though he well knew it.
“A key to the hive. While I shall continue to insist that you wait until I have had all of the paperwork processed for your change of residence, I would not seek to prevent you from my side if it were truly necessary. Retain this, for emergencies.”
“Forgive me, but I really must be off to my work. Have a good day, Gamzee, and do not hesitate to contact me if it becomes necessary.”
From there the night was perfect. One of the junior guidance adjustors allowed Gamzee to sit in upon a session, Nepeta seemed calmer than she had been, and most trolls he encountered were all up and appreciative over the change in style that Kanaya had wrought. Everything was motherfucking perfect.
Until he got back to the hive.
Not that it was hostile there. When Goatad saw him, the older troll nodded in approval and went back to whatever it was he was doing. Both Aradia and Terezi were already gone, and Karkat was no where in sight. Nor did he see Karkat for the rest of the night. While Goatad did say that Karkat was up and about, the other troll didn't bother to come see him. Even though he stayed up late, hoping his bro would show up, would talk to him, would just acknowledge him, it was long past dawn when Gamzee finally went to sleep, alone and feeling almost worst than he had before his night with Kanaya.
Classes are devouring a great deal of my time. The chances of an update next week are pretty close to null. But I've striven to bring you a chapter this week to make things easier, yanno? Finally, regarding logs, I've chosen to go with Aradia pre-death, which is a lot like Aradiabot's quirk.
It's three night before Karkat speaks to Gamzee again, and that is in the form of a motherfucking shot to get Gamzee out of his block and down to the hive door to greet Kanaya. Even when Gamzee invited his moirail inside and introduced her formerly in her quadrant to his guardian and hivemate there was little said. Karkat was chilly at best, the total opposite of Goatad. The guardian was warm, welcoming, and more than happy to glowingly praise a motherfucker's influence on his ward's lack of style. When Kanaya eventually left, Gamzee was graced with a half-grudging comment from Karkat that he too thought the change suited Gamzee, and it was luck alone that kept a motherfucker from blushing at his flush-crush's compliment.
For a few nights after that it was almost like normal again, Karkat talking to him, chatting over food, and even dropping by Gamzee's block for a movie (this time a romcom with no real moirail factor in it). Then, as suddenly as the motherfucking words seemed to have started, they stopped.
"You fucking nooksniffing, blugemunching, rotpanned, purpleblooded asshole!" Karkat roared as he entered the hive that night. Since Karkat didn't up and have any grief with their—Gamzee was already mentally labeling Goatad as Karkat's guardian—guardian, he could only assume that the rage was directed at him and where he was perched on the couch.
“What the motherfuck did a brother up and do?”
“No. Don't even start that shit. This is your fault and you know it. Why the fuck do you have to mess things up?” Karkat demanded angrily, and before Gamzee could even open his mouth to respond, the smaller troll was whirling on his heels and striding out of the block. Before Gamzee could even haul himself off of the couch, the door of Karkat's door was slamming, hard enough to be heard on this level.
Goatad looked over at this point, still not the one to up and referee, and just shrugged. Apparently he had no more clue what had set the angry little brother of either, so Gamzee sighed and continued rising. The only way to deal with the conflict, Kanaya said, was to up and take it by the horns. So he had every intention of doing that. Except, upon inspection, Karkat's door was all up and locked. When had a lock even been put there? Gamzee couldn't remember any of the doors inside the hive being locked, ever. Goatad didn't believe in them, didn't like the implication of separation in them, and Gamzee had never seen a reason for them. So when had this little—painful—miracle of separation come between them?
With a sigh Gamzee shuffled into his own block, shut the door, and signed into his Trollian account.
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] began trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG] --
TC: HeY mOtHeRfUcKeR, wHaT wAs ThAt AlL uP aNd AbOuT?
TC: bEcAuSe YoU kInD oF jUsT bLeW yOuR mOtHeRfUcKiNg ToP wItH nO wArNiNg ThErE. a BrOtHeR nEeDs SoMe WiCkEd CoNtExT tO kNoW wHaT hE dId WrOnG.
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] blocked terminallyCapricious [TC] --
Gamzee sat there for a moment, staring at his screen in shock. Even when he hadn't been talking to Gamzee, Karkat had never gone so far as to up and block him. Just what the motherfuck had he done wrong? Quickly he pushed himself away from the husktop and started to knock on the wall of his block, knowing Karkat would hear it.
"Yo, brother, what was that all up and for? Did your finger slip? Ain't nice to block a motherfucker," he half said, half shouted through the wall, still knocking. "Karkat, are you even up and listening? Don't pretend you can't hear me. You know this walls ain't that thick."
Still no response, but a loud chirp alert from his husktop stopped Gamzee's knocking. At least Karkat was going to talk to him like this. Except, when he sat down at the husktop, it wasn't the familiar gray text that met him, but a rich maroon that could only belong to Aradia.
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling terminallyCapricious [TC] --
AA: im s0rry gamzee but he d0esnt want t0 talk t0 y0u
TC: ArAdIa? WhAt Is MoThErFuCkInG gOiNg On?
AA: hes quite upset and he wants y0u t0 st0p kn0cking 0n the wall
TC: TeLl Me SoMeThInG i DoN't AlReAdY kNoW.
AA: i d0nt kn0w what w0uld be 0kay t0 say
TC: WhAt Do YoU mEaN?
AA : hes 0nly given me permissi0n t0 inf0rm y0u that this is all y0ur fault
AA: and that he d0esnt want t0 see y0u 0r talk t0 y0u 0r hear y0ur v0ice
AA: im s0rry gamzee i really am
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling terminallyCapricous [TC] --
Quickly Gamzee read back through the conversation, but there was no more news there than there had been at the motherfucking beginning. What the motherfuck was going on?
-- terminallyCapricious [TC] began trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA] --
TC: KaNaYa, SoMeThInG iS wRoNg. KaRkAt JuSt GoT bAcK tO tHe HiVe AnD sTaRtEd YeLlInG. aNd He SaId SoMeThInG wAs My FaUlT, aNd He WoN't TaLk To Me AnD iS hAvInG hIs MoThErFuCkInG mOiRaIl TeLl Me To LeAvE hIm AlOnE.
GA: Oh Dear I Was Afraid That This Was Going To Happen When I Heard What Took Place
TC: WhAt ToOk PlAcE? aFrAiD? kAnAyA, iF sOmE tRoLl DoEsN't StArT gIvInG mE aNsWeRs SoOn I'm GoInG tO bE pReTtY mOtHeRfUcKiNg AnGrY.
GA: I Am Sorry I Had Not Considered That My Words Might Further Your Distress
GA: Allow Me To Explain
GA: It Seems That My Matesprit Took It Upon Herself To Remedy The Issue Of Imbalanced Quadrants That Has Arisen
TC: WhAt Is ThAt SuPpOsEd To MeAn?
GA: You Were Aware Of Terezis Previous Black Advances Upon My Matesprit
TC: YeAh. ToOk CaRe Of PaTcHiNg TeReCiTa Up AfTeR a FiGhT.
GA: Apparently Karkat Spent Much Of The Last Few Sweeps As An Unofficial Auspitice For Them
GA: Terezi In Her Flushed Advances Was Of Course Dissatisfied With Such Behavior And Attempted To Force Karkat Out Of The Quadrant He Seemed Naturally Inclined Towards
TC: I kNoW aLl Of ThIs AnD mY pAtIeNcE iS fAdInG mOtHeRfUcKiNg FaSt, PaLeSiS.
GA: Patience Is Indeed A Virtue Which You Must Cultivate Gamzee
GA: What You Likely Are Not Aware Of Is That Vriska Was Quite Satisfied With Having Karkat Ashen For Them
GA: Yet With Terezis Moving Karkat Into The Flushed Quadrant She Attempted To Reduce Her And Terezis Interactions Around Karkat
GA: So She Also Ignored Karkats Ashen Advances And Stepped Up Her Black Courtship Of Terezi Until That Night You Spent At My Hive
GA: Seeing How What Was Going On Upset You And Thus Me She Decided It Was Time To Move Back Towards The Ashen Relationship She Really Wanted
GA: Today She Encountered The Pair Out Upon A Pity Date And Set Her Misguided But Well Intended Plan Into Motion By Getting Into An Argument With Terezi That Seemed To Be Going The Way Of Violence
TC: AnD kArKaT sTePpEd In?
GA: Correct This Clearly Upset Both Him And Terezi To Find That He Was Incapable Of Holding To A Flushed Quadrant When Faced With Terezi And Vriska Fighting
GA: And In A Rage Terezi Shouted At Both Karkat And Vriska And Stormed Off
TC: HoW dO yOu Up AnD kNoW aLl Of ThIs?
GA: Duh, 8ecause I told her. And she doesn't appreci8 that I did this for the 8oth of you. Doesn't appreci8 it when one of my irons in the fire come out red hoooooooot!
GA: You heard me, and you should 8e thanking me for helping!!!!!!!!
GA: Forgive Me It Seems I Allowed My Matesprit To Hijack Control Of My Typing Device
GA: I Assure You That It Shall Not Recur
GA: It Seems That Karkat And Terezi Have At This Juncture Ceased Their Black Aspirations Forcing Karkat Into An Ashen Position
GA: I Fear That It Is Likely That He Shall Blame You For This Turn Of Events Rather Than Admitting That There Was A Potential That He Was Never Fated To Remain Silent In The Face Of Their Conflicts
TC: HoW iS tHiS mY mOtHeRfUcKiNg FaUlT?
GA: Were It Not For Your Clear Position Within Terezis Caliginous Quadrant He Would Not Feel Compelled To Act In An Ashen Matter Or So He May Believe
TC: Is ThIs SoMeThInG yOu FiGuRe FrOm YoUr ThInKrApY?
GA: I Would Never Dare To Abuse The Knowledge I Gain In My Official Capacity Even For The Assistance Of My Moirail
TC: So WhAt Do I dO?
GA: I Am Sorry Gamzee But I Do Not Believe There Is Any Action You Can Take At This Juncture To Smooth Your Relationship Without Admission Of Your Own Flushed Feelings
GA: And I Fear That Doing So At This Point In Time Would Do You More Ill Than Good
GA: Time Is All That I Can Recommend To Heal The Slight That Karkat Would Believe He Received
GA: Time And Possibly Space
TC: ThE pApErWoRk?
GA: Proceeds With Haste I Must Admit That Prior To This Evening I Have Been Attempting To Slow The Process But Given The Turn Of Events I Believe I Shall Renew My Efforts
TC: GoOd. ThE sOoNeR tHe BeTtEr.
GA: I Can Assure You That It Will Be Completed As My Schedule Permits I Believe I Might Have It Submitted Within The End Of The Perigee
TC: ThAnKs. WoUlDn'T wAnT tO lEaVe BeFoRe ThEn AnYhOw. ThE fIrSt HeArInG oN hIs WaRdShIp CoMeS uP aT tHe EnD oF tHe PeRiGeE. wOuLd LoOk BaD oN GoAtAd To LeAvE bEfOrE tHeN.
TC: AnD gOaTaD wAnTs My HeLp On A fEw MoRe ThInGs FoR tHe CaSe.
GA: Of Course Now Forgive Me For Seemingly Abandoning You But I Have Other Sources Of Information I Seek To Probe For More About What Is Occurring With Karkat
GA: I Shall Contact You As Soon As I Possess More Knowledge
GA: Sleep Well My Moirail And Leave Your Sound High To Wake You When I Contact You
TC: I'm NoT sLeEpY.
GA: But The Rest Would Do You Good
GA: Rest My Moirail And Leave Everything In My Hands
TC: ThAnK yOu, KaNaYa.
GA: For What It Is Worth Vriska Only Did What She Thought Was Best
TC: ThAt AnD a WiCkEd MiRaClE cOuLd BuY mE a FaYgO.
First and foremost, I'm not one of those people that uses 'indigo' to refer to purple. I'm just NOT. Indigo is a shade that is more blue than purple in my book, and best describes Equius's blood color, not Gamzee's. So keep that in mind. Beyond that, I ended up writing the whole of the ending before the summer's class week from hell. So everything will be done soon.
No news comes in the next hour, the next night, the next week, and Karkat remains silent. At least he does in person and online. No words pass between them in the hive, at meals, while going over the case with Goatad as the hearing approaches. Nor is there any motherfucking thing through Trollian, except for Aradia's frequent repetition of Karkat's desire to be left alone, and updates from Vriska or Kanaya about Karkat's continued ashen relationship with Terezi and Vriska. Vriska, for all that it was motherfucking worth, seemed quite proud of what she had achieved, managing to stabilize their quadrants and get Karkat out of his flushed relationship for Gamzee, wasn't nearly so helpful as she up and thought. Each fight with Terezi that Karkat had to mediate seemed to make him even angrier at Gamzee as his chance for a flushed relationship with Terezi faded. And it didn't help, Gamzee found, that Terezi seemed to find him too often after work to get all up and black at a motherfucker for ruining her redrom.
Nothing had advanced save Karkat's fury, and while Goatad more than once made his pity for his ward clear, even he did nothing to step in between the pointless conflict that had arisen. All Gamzee could do was throw himself at his guidance adjustor training and the attempt to get Karkat as Goatad's true ward. Except he couldn't even do that in peace.
There was another side to Kanaya's improvement of Gamzee's fashion that hadn't been expected: the kinds of attention it won Gamzee. As often as Terezi ambushed him while he walked home from the office hive in the late evenings, Gamzee was up and accosted by some random motherfuckers who proposed single nights of flushed affection, who got aggressive towards him for no reason, or who up and offered pale affections point blank. The forwardness was almost as disgusting as the presumption, and more than once Gamzee either had to punch a flushed solicitor in the nose or stride off and completely ignore a pitch advance. But, more times than he was up and okay with, it was tempting, wicked tempting, to just accept. To pretend that he was flushed for this troll he didn't even know the face of, to pretend he'd never known Karkat and never cared and never ached to damn hard in his unrequited pity. Not that he ever does. As much as he wants to reach out, be held, be kissed, be pitied, he wants it from Karkat, and only Karkat, and it breaks him.
Then, before he knows it, the night is here. The whole day before he hadn't been able to sleep, and instead lay there on his slab waiting. Tonight was the first official hearing regarding Karkat's status. The case could either be thrown out or created today. Either way, though, today was the day Kanaya would be submitting the paperwork for Gamzee's transfer of residence. After today Gamzee wouldn't have a place in the hearings, after all. For now he was only being allowed at the first as the reason that the process was started, and to testify to the efforts Goatad was going to for Karkat's sake.
And... Well, if a motherfucker was in for an ounce of Karkat's ire, he was all up and going to earn it all today. Gamzee had every intention of schoolfeeding the panel that would hear him the wicked truth about why he'd acted. If Karkat was going to hate him, at least let it be for something that was motherfucking worthwhile.
* * * * * *
When they were allowed into the chamber set aside for the hearing, Gamzee was motherfucking thankful for his moirail's insistence on upgrading his motherfucking wardrobe. While he hadn't lacked for office appropriate clothing for work thanks to Goatad, he had only to look at the trolls assembled to know it wouldn't have been enough to keep him confident. As Gamzee entered, three paces behind Karkat and Goatad, he couldn't help but notice the most illustrious member present, the Empress Gyliea herself, and seated beside her the heiress Feferi. The two, true to their roles here tonight, were up and decked out in full formal garb of imperial black, fuchsia and gold, and each prominently bore the regal Pisces symbols as part of their clothing design. As Gamzee executed the traditional bow of respect before the pair, he couldn't help but catch the amused twinkle in the eyes of the Heiress. They hadn't up and seen each other in sweeps, and Trollian didn't prepare a motherfucker for how someone they knew could change. Gamzee knew that they had both changed. Feferi had been a carefree, giggling young girl, and now there she sat, all up and exuding regal as if she was full of it and couldn't keep every bit of it inside her so she had to let it flow out so that everyone could see. And Gamzee? Well, that motherfucker had grown serious too, now that he'd seen everything he had these last perigees. The world was still a miracle, but now it was one that broke the blood pusher with all its pain.
The bow freed him from the locking of their eyes, and when Gamzee straightened to his full height once more, he had a chance to glance around the chamber and see the others present. There was the indigo blooded Legirule Madesi, the head of the Legisticators, to represent the interest of the aw in the inquiry. Next to him was an olive blooded thinkrapist that Kanaya had spoken highly of this past week—one Mentilar Verina—to care for the best interests of Karkat's intellectual growth. She alone had been allowed to interview Karkat prior to the hearing, and that to verify what Karkat's own thinkrapist (Kanaya of course) would testify to in the coming nights. On the other side of the Empress sat a violet blooded woman called Primator Indigo (apparently her guardian had possessed quite the fondness for humor)one of the chief guidance adjustors on the planet—and long ago Goatad's own mentor. She was, besides the empress, the oldest troll present, and was expected to retire her role to Goatad once his first ward had come of age. The final member of the assembled group, beyond the few clerks and secretaries, was a brown blooded man who almost seemed as royal as the Empress herself, a man called Gestat who was the current head of the the Empress's personal council. It was said he was not only wise and fair, but viciously opposed to the hemohierarchist agenda and abuse of 'lowbloods.' It was this young troll, serious and accomplished at a scant ten sweeps, was the youngest member of the assembled judges save the Heiress herself, and it was to this troll that Gamzee was going to up and direct his motherfucking truths, praying by some miracle they would stick.
Other than the members, clerks, and Gamzee's group, there were only three other trolls present in the room: Spided (looking full of himself and glaring at a motherfucking troll), Vriska (who wasn't even looking up from an inspection of her fingernails), and the nervous olive blood Gamzee had been told was named Remium. Spided was here to argue his own side, while his other wards were meant to attest to the conditions they up and lived in. Whether they would help or hinder Goatad's cause was something Gamzee couldn't up and know, but he could hope for a miracle, several really, so things could motherfucking go right. Then, after a long moment, the Empress gave a curt nod and the six trolls coming before the assembled judges seated themselves at their respective tables.
“Good evening gentlemen, lady. Please be at ease,” the Empress began. “This is but the first of what might be many meetings, so I would rather do away with the unneeded formalities now. That being said, I will not stand for unbecoming behavior in my presence or in that of my esteemed guests. There will be civility in this hearing and all others, am I understood? I will not have this degenerate like the last one I presided over almost a hundred sweeps ago. Neither party left satisfied, I assure you.”
The comment was enough to make a brother up and nervous, knowing what he was all going to provoke. Just what could the Empress do if she was upset?
“Now that you've been warned, I would ask your understanding in the mode our inquiry will be conducted in. This is, clearly, a very uncommon proceeding, though no less serious for its infrequency. In my own lifetime I have presided over only four such inquiries. Because of this there is much tradition set down for the management of what must come next. One piece of that tradition dictates that the Empress or her chosen spokestroll manage the meetings. AS to that end I now appoint my Heiress Feferi to manage these sessions. It do this for I wish her to gain experience in this type of inquiry and it is unlikely another shall arise before her own accession. If any are opposed to this, speak now.”
“My Empress,” Spided said, rising to his motherfucking feet with a wicked slimy smile all up and pasted on his face, “if you will forgive my imposition. Our beloved Heiress has indeed earned a reputation for wisdom despite her age, but I fear she had never known what it is to be a guardian. She cannot fathom just what importance this has for myself and my wards. I would ask that you, my Empress, manage in her stead and draw upon your experience with such proceedings and as a guardian, to lead our hearings with wisdom tempered by experience and caution.”
For a second Gamzee was terrified of what the reaction of the Empress would be, and only got comfort in the wicked, burning anger in Feferi's fuchsia-black eyes. Even if Spided got his way, he'd made himself a platonic enemy of the Heiress. Then, at last, came the answer. The Empress raised a slender eyebrow and smiled a wide, toothy grin.
“I hear your request, Spided Ryicos, and it shall be logged. But I shall not grant it. I have already made clear my reasons for choosing, and stand beside them. Now, with that all out of the way, and assuming no one needs introduction, we shall move on. Fef, dear, if you will.”
“Yes, my Empress,” Feferi agreed, bowing her head slightly for a moment before raising a cool, level look upon the room. “As all here assembled know, we arrive here tonight to begin an inquiry into the status of wardship of one Karkat Vantas, crimson blood of eight sweeps. Officially he has been ward unto Spided Ryicos, but for the duration of this inquiry or such point as it is deemed proper by her Imperial Highness and the council here assembled, he remains the custody of the petitioner, guidance adjustor Iniatori Goatad Seborn. Both parties are present and accounted for?”
“Aye,” Spided mumbled.
“Yeah,” Goatad agreed. Meanwhile Gamzee just stared at the miracle of his sea princess friend not getting a single fish pun into the speech. Hadn't even known she could up and do that.
“The petition was set before us by the invocation of a decree which empowers only the most senior of guidance adjustors, those with the title of Primator or Iniatori. This decree was enacted by the late Empress Jovela in an attempt to handle those problematic cases presented to the guidance adjustors, those which required more personal attention of senior adjustors. Iniatori Seborn has felt that such supervision is needed for the proper guidance of Karkat Vantas. It is this case we will now hear our first testimony to the situation of. Iniatori Seborn, please attend to us and explain what has led you to invocation of Jovela's Decree.”
Slowly Goatad pushed himself back from the table, and Gamzee had to pity his guardian. The table was built to suit Karkat's and Gamzee's sizes, and lacked the space for the larger troll to sit comfortably on the floor as he did at the hive. What was worse, the table wasn't built to handle the strength of a purple blood, not with how it now had indentations from Gamzee's own fingers in the polished metal surface.
“If I may, Heiress, the truth is that I wasn't the one that up and had the idea, though when it was presented, I leapt on it like a miracle.”
“Don't get me wrong, I believe the action is necessary. My submitted paperwork and files on the matter show that Karkat Vantas has posed a serious problem among the adjustors for sweeps, and if a place is not found for him before this sweep is out, he shall be turned over to the guidance of his guardian.”
“And would this be such a terrible thing? Such is the ruling of our laws,” Legirule Medasi pointed out.
“With two other wards to act in the best interests of, and a successful production block to run, I feel little attention will be paid to the difficulties Karkat may encounter.”
“You mean the question of his blood color,” Gestat cut in.
“Who here can up and deny that his blood is a factor?” Goatad asked, even as Karkat started to squirm in his seat. When Gamzee tried to reach for his hand, to comfort the beautiful troll like he used to, Karkat pulled away and glared at him. It hurt, but it made a motherfucker turn his eyes back to the business at hand as Feferi spoke up once more.
“We do not intend to delve into these matters at this point. Iniatori Seborn, who gave you the idea to invoke the right due your rank?”
There was a small, almost imperceptible twitching of Goatad's fingers, and Gamzee rose to his feet. His fingers, of their own accord, started to twitch at the sleeves of his creamy, sand colored shirt, and his thinkpan lingered on the question of whether his purple and gold vest was straight.
“My current ward and guidance adjustor trainee, Gamzee Makara.”
Then, all eyes were on Gamzee, and his hands were shaking.
“Gamzee Makara, please explain to us what led to your recommendation to your Guardian.”
For a moment he turned his attention to Karkat, and there must have been regret or apology or fear painted on his face like a mask, because Karkat grabbed at his hand and started to shake his head, his lips all up and quietly pleading 'no.' Still, Gamzee took a deep breath and threw himself into the speech he'd been preparing for a week now.
“On his first night as Karkat's case manager, my guardian invited Karkat to join us for a meal at our hive. As the meal went long, Karkat was invited to remain with us for the day. During the day I heard him aught up in a wicked day mare, and went to wake him. He'd clawed himself up pretty bad and...”
“Gamzee, stop this,” Karkat hissed, half threatening, half pleading.
“And when I took him to the hygiene block to deal with the cuts...”
“There were bruises,” Gamzee said, lifting his voice above Karkat's now fully audible protests.
Then, the tugging at his arm was all up and gone, and when he looked, Gamzee could see his guardian gently restraining Karkat, a look of confusion and slowly dawning disgust in his eyes. Worst, though was the betrayal on Karkat's face now being mirrored with wicked intensity in his guardian's.
“Bad bruises,” he continued at last, his voice catching the back of his throat and yet he forced them out as strong as he could. “My Empress, Heiress Feferi, Lords and Ladies of the council, I sought the advice of a legisticator who was interning at my office hive when I discovered Karkat Vantas was being abused at the hands of his guardian Spided Ryicos.”
“This is ridiculous slander!” Spided shouted, leaping to his feet. “I demand that this violent psychopath be removed from these proceedings!”
“Violent psychopath?” Feferi asked, confused, shocked, and horrified as she turned her attention to Spided.
“The boy came to my own hive and beat me with no provocation!”
“What?” Goatad demanded, turning his eyes on Gamzee. “Is this true?”
“No,” Gamzee mumbled.”
“I beat him, but there was provocation. If the council will allow me to up and motherfucking explain?”
“Why should they listen to a...” Spided roared, complete ignoring the way the Empress rose a delicate hand to silence the room. In light of this Legirule Madesi rose to his feet and bellowed “Silence!” and so the room grew miraculously quiet.
“Good,” Madesi said after a minute. “Soon enough I expect to learn why an assault was not reported and what prompted it. But for now...”
Feferi nodded in acknowledgment of a gesture Madesi made and cleared her throat. “Continue, Makara.”
“When I asked Karkat about his injuries, he got mad at me for saying he didn't deserve it and went off on a rant that contained markedly hemohierarchist notes to it. He thought himself worthless, and called me a 'highblood,' and implied he was worth less than a beast... The next day I started looking for ways to get him away from his guardian.”
“And the incident with Spided?” Feferi asked.
“The night the paperwork came though to give my guardian temporary wardship of Vantas, I arrived at the hive after work to discover Karkat had been beaten by a few blue blood ruffians. Goatad had gone to report the incident, but wasn't aware of the underlying source. I... got angry and went to confront Spided. Luckily my moirail is matesprit to his ward Vriska and was present to shooshpap my ass down before I did real damage. Since then Karkat has again been attacked by blue blooded brutes, only saved from serious ill by the actions of a maroon blooded telekinetic named Aradia Megido.”
“If all of this is true...” Feferi started in, only to be cut off by a loud laugh from Vriska. “Do you find all of this to be amusing, Miss Sekret?”
“Absolutely. 'If all of this is true?' It is, and before my guardian can...”
“Vriska...” Spided snarled, his voice low.
“Before he can try to claim something else, I was present for the attack. Gamzee was totally out of it. Didn't even notice attempts to restrain him until his moirail started papping.”
“Vriska,” a nervous voice said beside her, and Gamzee watched in unrestrained shock as she placed a hand on Remium's shoulder.
“Don't you get it, Remium? Haven't you even got it? All those messages from that Nepeta girl? This is as much your concern as it is Karkat's. Geez, can't you even see now? Look at this, the Empress is right there and she's listening. If there was ever a time for irons in this fire, this is it.”
“All of them.”
The the eyes of the motherfucking olive blood darted over towards Karkat, who was still being restrained by Goatad's huge arms, and the motherfucker nodded.
“He hits Karkat. And he hits me when I don't listen fast enough. Calls me a scum-blood and lowblood...” Remium said, his voice a whisper that would have been drowned out by Spided's protests had the Empress not gestured and caused Gestat to move from behind the table to Remium's side.
“Why has no one brought this up before now?” Primator Indigo finally asked, and as one motherfucking miraculous unit, Gamzee and Vriska spoke.
“I gave my word to protect him.”
Gamzee continued, though, with “and he made me swear never to speak.”
“Not to the authorities or your guardian?”
For that Gamzee could give no answer, at least no wicked honest one. So for the first time before the council, he lied.
“I was bound by moirail privilege. After I became pale with another troll, the important steps were already up and being taken. And now I expect the proper actions will be taken here too. Do with it what you may. And if I'm to be motherfucking punished for my actions, I would take it on the motherfucking stipulation that I not be put in the same place as this motherfucking scum.”
With that Gamzee sat down, and for a moment the room grew silent around him. And then, the shouting began anew.
* * * * * *
The arguing went on for hours, until at last Feferi's yawning brought the time to everyone's attention. Unfortunately it was well past sunrise, so there was no hope of returning to the hive now. The Empress seemed to have anticipated this possibility, for those present were shown to respite blocks, with comfortable slabs, hygiene blocks, and even clothes for the next day (though not so nice as Kanaya's efforts). Everything they needed would be provided, save communication with the outside. With Spided already under investigation for possible connections to a more violent subset of the hemohierarchists, they wanted a chance to seek proof one way or another without interference. The only issue was that everyone (save Remium and Indigo, who had taken the young troll into her emergency wardship) was left alone in rooms that could be locked. Goatad, in his fury that Gamzee had hidden so much from him, had shut his ward out, and Karkat had immediately locked himself into his room. The only visitor Gamzee had was Vriska, and when she only wanted to talk about how all the irons in all the fires had come out crimson red. After about ten minutes he'd seen fit to show her, bodily, to the block door.
So now Gamzee had nothing to do but stretch out on the slab all spread wide like, and stare at the ceiling. He'd done what he'd motherfucking set out to do, and it hurt, bad, and his eyes stung and his hands shook and his vision was purpling and he wanted his moirail. Wanted to motherfucking lie in Kanaya's arms and cry until it didn't hurt. Problem was Gamzee was so motherfucking sure that the wicked pain would last forever, the pity never fade. He'd let down his guardian, betrayed the troll he was flushed for, and all of it for what? Could he be sure it wouldn't have turned out right without the big, dramatic motherfucking reveal?
Then, as the tears started to fall, there was a knocking at the door.
“Go the motherfuck away, Vriska. Didn't you already up and get schoolfed on the wicked truth that I don't want you here?”
“Which would fucking matter if I was that egotistical, eight-eyed bitch,” a voice, Karkat's, snapped.
Gamzee threw himself himself from the bed like his feet never touched the motherfucking ground. It was a miracle how fast he made the door, unlocked it, and swung that motherfucker open.
“Shit, have you been crying?” were Karkat's first words as he all up and strode into the block.
“Ain't none of your concern.”
“After that moronic show today, it's clear things need to start being my business,” Karkat snarled, leaving Gamzee behind to close the door. “Why did you fucking do that?”
“Yeah, I get you're stupid, but didn't know your mind was completely rotted.”
“If needed done.”
“Like fuck it did.”
“I swore I'd see you motherfucking safe from that so called troll. And I have now. Consider me done.”
“Done?” Karkat demanded. “Done with what?”
“This. All of this. Your motherfucking anger, your cruelty, your not up and caring that people care about you enough to fight for you.”
“Was that what that fucking spectacle was supposed to be? Because it was a fucking three ring barkbeast and hoofbeast show, Gamzee.”
“Well, you'll be happy to know you ain't going to have to up and deal with it soon.”
“What?” Karkat looked genuinely motherfucking surprised.
“If they don't put me away for a rotted pan, or violence, you still won't have to up and deal with this motherfucker. Kanaya's filed for my change of hive. I'm moving in with my moirail and you won't up and have to put up with me no more.”
“What?” Karkat repeated, and again he looked angry “Where do you fucking get off making decisions like that without talking to your guardian and me? Is this because of the ashen shit? I know it wasn't your fault but Terezi...”
“It's not like the teal bitch was the only fucking interested party!” Gamzee growled, turning away from Karkat's beautiful, bewildered face. “What about Nepeta?”
“Nepeta wasn't really my...”
“Fuck that and motherfuck you,” Gamzee snarled, whirling once more on Karkat. “Do you know her and Terezi both up and agreed not to say anything? Terezi stabbed her in the back.”
“Why would she...?”
“Because she never believed me when I said I was pale for you.”
“You're pale for Kanaya, so she was right not to believe.”
“Is this all you've come here for? To get into pointless motherfucking arguments?”
“I don't know why I fucking came here anymore. All looking at you does is make me angry.”
“Then don't motherfucking look at me. It's pretty fucking simple. Just leave and don't fucking look back.”
“Fine, stay here and do your pathetic crying.”
“Maybe if you just left me alone I wouldn't motherfucking need to,” Gamzee mumbled under his breath. It would be so much easier if he could just be allowed to forget.
“Just go away and stay out of my motherfucking sight. Maybe then I'll forget how pitiable you are. Maybe it won't hurt so motherfucking much and I can up and move on.”
The tears were back now, and the stinging worse than ever, so Gamzee walked away, hiding his face from the other troll. Yet even as he did, there was a light as fuck touch upon his arm, a touch hot like only Karkat's could be.
“Gamzee, what hurts?”
“Stop pulling the fake pale. I hate it when you do that.”
“Gamzee, just tell me. Kanaya isn't here, so you might as well tell me.”
“Seeing you hurts. Watching you with Terezi, watching you be hurt. Watching and waiting and never...”
“Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. You're... You're flushed.”
“Ever since I saw your eyes.”
“Idiot,” Karkat growls, and then his motherfucking fist is balled up in Gamzee's shirt, and his eyes are closed and there is heat against his lips, heat radiating into his face, and he can't breathe.
Then Gamzee's arms come up and wrap around the bundle of warmth, and his lips are moving and the pain is gone. Until it's back, more demanding in his chest, and Karkat's up and pushing a motherfucker away, and while the pain from not breathing in his chest at the rejection. What cruel troll gave such a flushed kiss, then pushed away?
“Why didn't you say something?” Karkat was asking now, his head pressed against Gamzee's chest and his fist still tangled in Gamzee's robe. “Everything would have been fucking easier if you just said something.”
“Man, I ain't even up and understanding what the motherfuck is going on now. What just happened?”
“It's called a kiss, Gamzee. Do you not even pay attention to the romcoms you watch?”
“Well, it was nice and it shouldn't have stopped.”
“I'm not some fucking seatroll who has fucking gills or something to breathe.”
“You know that only works in the water, right?”
“Shut up, I'm trying to fucking think.”
“Is thinking really that motherfucking important right now?”
Before Karkat could answer, Gamzee's gotten the smaller troll pressed up against him again, long fingers under his chin and tilting Karkat's face up so he can kiss the burning lips. The kiss is shorter, sweeter, and every moment perfect until the end, then Karkat's pulling away and his cheeks are burning a beautiful crimson tinted gray. And his eyes... Gamzee was always going to up and be a sucker for those eyes.
“Pity you,” Gamzee breathed, looking down at the other troll. “Pity you something red.”
“I've wanted to hear you say that. So fucking bad you stupid fuck.”
“Then you should have asked.”
“How, Gamzee? Ask the troll acting as my moirail why he doesn't pity me enough? Ask a troll who is so fucking open with his emotions if he'll consider a pity date? Tell someone whose shown no interest in flushed romance that you're so red for them that it's fucking hard to think about other stuff? And then, when they try to kill your guardian, ignore your pale attempts, and someone else confesses flushed feelings, what do you do? What do you do, Gamzee, when your flush crush attacks someone you're pity dating?”
“I don't know,” Gamzee admitted, tears in his eyes and mirthful chuckles up and filling his voice. “It just knows it hurts and you want it to end.”
“Then let it end,” Karkat whispered before pulling Gamzee down for another kiss.
Except he gave up after a second from all the wicked laughter pouring out of Gamzee. “Just what's so fucking funny?”
“What you motherfucking said. Sounds like the final line in some cheesy romcom.”
Then Karkat was laughing too, and together they stumbled over to the slab and collapsed in laughter. At last, though the mirth faded and the two were left there, Karkat pressed against Gamzee's side and using his chest as a pan support, and Gamzee with his arm all up and fucking wrapped around Karkat's wist, and it felt right, so right.
“When you think about it, it's all like a redrom,” Karkat observed, shifting so one of his arms was draped loosely across Gamzee's chest. “Two trolls meet, one finds the other is abused, and they slip into a moirallegiance of convenience, wanting to be together because they are flushed for each other but can't admit it. Yet the connection breaks when they find their own moirails, and one goes red for another troll that the other is black for. And in the end it's what first makes their foolish moirallegiance that finally fills their flushed quadrants.”
“Title needs some work.”
“That isn't a fucking title,” Karkat growled, but there was no edge to the sound anymore.
“You still need one. How else will you tell it apart from all the other romcoms?”
“It'll be our story, chuckle head.”
“Make it for me someday, and give it a happy ending.”
“I will,” Karkat promised, “If you will.”
This is not the end. It is only a beginning. I plan on another 11 stories of variable length within this AU (need to come up with an overarching series title for this, had I known there was going to be more than one story I wouldn't have called this one An Unscratched Surface). They shall progress through the other pre-scratch trolls, their trials in the world, their relationships, and the challenges they face in this 'peaceful' world. Next up is one that I've been really excited over, one centered on Vriska. I hope you stick around to enjoy the world, and come back at least in the future when I get to Karkat's story, which will feature a return of all the little trolls you've seen so far, and a few others to boot.
ETA 7/27/2012: We've got fanart, fresh off the presses, brought to you by deviantArt user evillovebunny500. It depicts my favorite scene in this chapter and is absolutely adorable. Check it out here. I'm sure you'll love it.