A long time ago, in an era that is remembered by few, the land of Alternia was ruled by a tyrant who was known only by the title “The Condesce”. Her imperial Condescention ruled over the lands with an iron fist and cruel, unyielding despotism. Or at least, she did until a powerful rebellion rose up to seize her of her powe-
And blah blah blah, political bullshit, you don’t want to hear about that. I know what you’re here for. You’re here because you want to hear the story about the prince and his knight in bloody armor. That one’s a pretty dumb story but hey, you’re listening to me so by all accounts, you probably are too. Unless you’re not here for that, in which case everything mentioned above probably would not make a lick of fucking sense to you. And to that, I simply ask, why the fuck are you here asshole?
Hmph. Well, whatever, you’re here so you might as well hear it too. Gather round all you little fuckasses and let me tell you about the story of Ra-lisp-zel. Also known as the tale of the lisping, arrogant asshole trapped in a tower who was rescued by another asshole who for some reason or another did so instead of leaving him there to rot instead.
Alright, so, where was I?
Ah, yes. The Condesce, how is she important in this story? Ok, well you see, as was mentioned above, The Condesce was a raging bitch and she didn’t take kindly at all to being usurped by a rebellion, which by the way was led by a pariah and a freak right from the dark, muddy bottom of the hemospectrum. Who are they you may ask?
The Sufferer was a troll born with blood that was nowhere to be seen on the spectrum and that gifted him the ability to recognize said spectrum and the whole caste system based off of it as a crock of complete, unadulterated bullshit. During the early stages of his rebellion, he met his matesprit; The Psiionic. Inarguably the most powerful of his kind, he was a slave owned by the Condese herself. He commanded the small army of psychic yellowbloods that avoided culling by pledging their undying allegiance to the monarchy. Someway, somehow, The Sufferer got to him and after he’d convinced him that he didn’t have to be afraid because he can squish half the highbloods like helpless grubs under the unawakened potential of his Psiionics should he let go of fear and unleash them- the two of them practically became unstoppable.
With the help of a few others, they gathered up the masses and raised an army of their own. And they stood right at the front lines when they bravely usurped the kingdom and destroyed the oppressive state of Alternia forever.
And of course, they took over as the new Emperors, they got married and had a kid, and their land remained in peace- lived happily ever after, all that nonsense.
Or at least they did until the Condesce eeled her way back into the picture.
Like I said, she wasn’t happy about getting booted off the throne and forced into exile. So, she waited and plotted, never getting the chance to exact the perfect revenge until then… On the eve that the mothergrub spat out an heir to the kingdom and it’s happy squeal broke every window in the room in a shower of glass and blue/red energy as soon as the yellow grub was handed to its fathers.
Everytime the grub laughed everything in the room floated. Everytime it cried, everything broke. It almost didn’t need servants because whenever it wanted something, that thing would come floating over to it, wrapped in a bubble of blue and red psiionics. Once, when the little grub prince was caught by a servant, flinging around one of the massive thrones in the throne room and picked him up to stop him…well, the prince threw a fit and the entire west wing of the castle had to go under extensive repairs.
Until that grub was hatched, power that was possibly greater than The Psiionic’s was unheard of.
And if you have half the brain power of a healthy wriggler you would already know where this is going.
On the eve of the prince’s second wriggling day, the night he was supposed to crawl his way out of the cocoon as a young troll, a servant came panicked and screeching to the kings. She was assigned to check up on him every hour and just before dawn, she came to find his cocoon forcibly ripped apart and the prince missing.
The kingdom was in chaos for weeks and the kings were devastated. They refused to believe that their son was dead though and they searched for him, vowing not to stop until they found him. It took them years and years but they didn’t find him.
All because The Condesce hid him far, far off. She locked him up in a tower that was smackdab in the middle of an uncharted island that was said to be haunted, where she was raising him as her own son, and grooming him to be the weapon she needed to take back the throne.
How do I know?
I found him there.
aaaand, i casually switched from 1st person narration to third. But wait! before you close the tab, whispering wtf, let me just say that I did so because I am trying to emulate how Tangled had Eugene's narration in the beginning and then mostly just unfolded without it. You'll hear Karkat's snarky narration again trust me XD
but for now, everything is somehow srs.
word of warning: this story will be as bi-polar as Sollux on mind honey and crack
There it was again.
It crept into his conscious like a song, whispered through tendrils of invisible smoke. It wrapped around him like a blanket, suffocating him in misery. Loneliness, confusion, sadness, someone was feeling it and he didn’t know how but they were passing the feeling over to him.
Then there was pain, sharp and disjointed. It ran through the bones in his hands and up his fingers and he woke up gasping, dull images of sharp cliffs reaching up to a clouded full moon flickering behind his eyelids before they opened. When they did, Karkat found himself staring up at his ceiling, like he always did whenever he woke up from these stupid dreams. He sat up, rubbing at his eyes and he released a heavy sigh.
The negative emotions drained away but before they fully left, there was a sharp tug of something he couldn’t place. It made him turn his head to stare out the window, at the distant island far off into the horizon.
He was woken up (quite rudely) by water flooding his nostrils. Well, to be more accurate, his consciousness was sparked by the water, the searing pain in his throat and sinuses as he coughed and retched were what woke him up.
“Wakey wakeeeeeeeey~” sang a voice from somewhere above him and Karkat forced his eyes open, mouth twisting into an extremely pissed off snarl. One cerulean blue eye bats its lashes at him innocently and blue lips part to reveal the most malicious shark-grin he’d ever seen on any creature ever.
“We’re here, now get your ass off of my ship.”
And suddenly there was a heavy rucksack being tossed unto him and Karkat let out a surprised gasp when it hit him squarely on the chest. He glared.
“Thanks Vriska, I’ll miss you too.” He spat out as he pulled himself up from the corner of the upper deck that he’d wedged himself into to sleep last night.
Vriska snorts, her sooty pirate nose high in the air as she crossed her arms over her chest. “Whatever. My debt is repaid, I owe you no more favors, now, as you would say, fuck you and goodbye.”
Karkat rolled his eyes but slung his rucksack over his shoulder and sauntered off to get off the goddamn ship anyway. Thank fuck. He hated Vriska as much as he could ever platonically hate anything and the only reasons he was stuck in her company in the first place was a) she had a ship b) he told her where that other wannabe pirate cuntmunch Ampora was hiding his loot
His information led both to her stealing his gold and wrecking his ship and in return, Karkat demanded that she sail him over to the unnamed strip of land smackdab in the middle of the ocean that he always stared at from his window as a kid. He’d have found some other way to get there but Vriska was the only one crazy enough to do it. According to local urban bullshit, no one who ever sailed to that island ever made it back alive. He didn’t care though. He had a point to prove and anyone who knew him could easily attest that if Karkat Vantas wanted to prove something, one can be damn fucking sure he was going to.
Vriska walked him to the board extended down to the dock they were at and right before he got on it, she asked. “Not that I care, but why are you doing this again?” she asked, leaning on the edge of the ship and staring down at the isle stretched out in front of them. She couldn’t actually take him to the island itself because of currents or some shit. He forgot the full explanation but she was (and did) able to take him to a tiny isle that was barely bigger than his part of the neighbourhood several miles behind, back in the mainland. Vriska said that her Moirail and her lusus lived on the island alone and though she didn’t outright say it, from what she told him of said Moirail, Karkat knew that part of the reason, she agreed to his demands was because she was looking out for her. Heaven knew she was too much of a prickly bitch to blatantly show that she cared, so she was sending him to make sure her Moirail was okay.
“That’s none of your fucking business.”
Karkat says, looking up at the gray-black skies just as a few drops of water began to fall. He pulled up his hood as Vriska scoffed.
“Alright fine, if you don’t want anyone to hear any last words before you go off and disappear in that island forever fine.”
He ignored her and hurried down the plank to solid ground. Maybe he could make it to her Moirail’s place before the rain got worse. She’d be expecting him because Vriska told her and she apparently lived in quote “a really ugly eye-sore of a house. It’s so bright it will give you a fuuuuuuuucking headache, you can’t miss it if you tried.”
The rain was practically a storm by the time he found the place. It was as Vriska said…not the ugly part, he wouldn’t call it that. It was certainly…different but it wasn’t ugly. It was just strange, two towers draped with bright awnings painted in abstract swirls of bright color. The hive was well hidden in a wide alcove of trees, as if it cut itself into the thickest part of a forest. But once you get a glimpse of it, there was no way in hell you could miss it, bright as it was.
The troll who owned it went by the name Kanaya. She eyed him curiously when he showed up at her doorstep soaked to the bone. She was polite enough not to ask right away and instead focused on ushering him inside, setting him next to the hearth and fetching him a ton of towels. She didn’t talk much. She did fuss a little over his clothes (look at the stitching on this, hmm, the thread doesn’t match the fabric) which was weird but other than asking him his name and where he was from, she didn’t say anything. Which was nice, but she kept giving him this look and he could practically see the words hovering above her head. ‘Who the hell is this guy and what is he doing out here?’
Karkat would definitely be thinking it if he were her but he refused to speak up unless she asked. After giving him towels, Kanaya disappeared to go fetch him something to drink and Karkat sat in her recreational block, staring at the walls curiously. They were painted in soft shades of green, overlaid with patterns of vines and wing beasts. Above the hearth, a single word was stencilled in large, curvy lettering, surrounded by swirls of gold and silver. Karkat squinted at it, trying hard to make it out from the soft, dim light provided by the hearth.
“Fate,” he whispered, finally realizing what the word is.
He jumped a little and looked over his shoulder to see Kanaya walking back into the block carrying a small tray with two steaming cups on it. Karkat coughed, inexplicably embarrassed as she walked over to kneel next to him on the fluffy rug he was sitting on.
“Why do you have that written in obnoxiously large font on your wall?” he asked as Kanaya handed him a cup of tea. It smelled like spice and honey and he took a subtle, appreciative whiff before cautiously sipping at it. Kanaya chuckled softly, squirming around to make herself comfortable next to him on the rug.
“I just like it, the idea of fate. Someone told me, quite a while ago that everything is written; the time of your hatching, the time of your death, even what kind of person you were going to be. It’s all set, everything you’re going to do and,” her jade eyes grew a shade softer when she spoke her next words. “Everyone you’re going to meet.”
“That’s dumb.” Karkat mumbled and she turned to him. “No offense.” He added.
She didn’t look offended at all though, merely curious. “Why do you say that?”
“Why do you want to live out a life someone or something else decided for you. It’s like being doomed in a way. It’s degrading, like you’re a puppet or a squeak beast in a cage. If you were destined to have a shit life, it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re going to end up fucked over.”
Kanaya took that in and nodded. “That is certainly a logical way to think about it. If something is written, you cannot change it…I suppose, I just like thinking about it in terms of good. If I were destined to meet someone, let’s say a matesprit or a moirail, it comforts me to know that they will be part of my life no matter what.
“Hmm.” Karkat grunted, sipping at his tea to give him an excuse not to talk. He thought the prospect was stupidly optimistic and he didn’t want to inform just how much because she was already letting him stay at her place momentarily and had just given him towels and tea. He’d save being his typical rude self for a little later.
“And also, it may be a little childish and naïve but sometimes, when things that cannot be properly explained happen, I like thinking that it is not because something strange or wrong is happening, but merely fate unfolding like it is supposed to.” Kanaya said, lifting her cup to her lips delicately and taking a small sip. Karkat glanced at her for what was most probably longer than necessary before busying himself with his tea.
The books hover in mid-air, there are about 6 in total. Mismatched eyes dart from one to the other, hastily flicking side to side as they skim over the words. When he’d read every single one, the edges of the books glow blue and red and simultaneously, the pages he read flipped over to show him the next set.
Sitting in the middle of the semi-circle of tomes, a boy floated, cross-legged, with a dark red, horned wing-beast in his lap. The light from his psiionics glint off of the magenta-framed glasses his mother made for him as he pushed them up his nose and the wing beast in his lap abruptly unfurled its crimson wings, head turning to stare at the solitary window in his room.
“Sollux! It’s mother! Help me up darling!”
Sollux gently lowered himself to stand on the floor and concentrated on lifting the figure waiting outside, at the bottom of the tower. Within minutes, the cloaked figure was at his window and he carefully pulled her inside, setting her down on her feet as soon as she was. His mother pulled her hood off, the action splattering droplets of rain on the floor. She wrung out excess water from the long strands of hair her hood wasn’t able to protect and she grinned at Sollux, that wide, needle-sharp toothy grin that she had. Her magenta eyes examine the floating books from beneath the magenta frames of her glasses, practically similar to the ones Sollux had on his face.
“Reading again dearest?” she asked as she opened up her cloak and revealed a large basket, which she then set down on the floor by her feet.
Sollux opened his mouth to answer but before he could get a word out, she suddenly yelled “Move fast!” and in the next split second, a dagger was sailing through the air, aimed straight for his face. Years of honing his psiionics saved him from getting stabbed between the eyes and caused him the dagger to snap and crumble to pieces before it even got halfway. His mother laughed gleefully, clapping her hands at the display.
“Still sharp as an urchin I see. Excellent.”
Sollux bowed his head. “Thank you.”
“Oh! Would you look at this place!”
Sollux looked back up to see her eyeing all the books and half-finished sketches of random things covering the floor and held his wing beast closer to him, afraid she’d yell or give him one of her disciplinary hits. Which was sort of stupid since she hadn’t hit him since he was 6 sweeps old.
Not that he’d put it past her though…he shook his head. He shouldn’t think that about her. She was his mother and as she often reminded him, she only did the things she did because she loved him.
“Hmm, I’m beginning to think bringing you more books is an extremely bad idea.” She said as she bent down and removed the covering over the basket at her feet.
Sollux’s eyes widened at the sheer amount of books, sketchpads, pencils and other stuff tucked in with about two weeks’ worth of food, maybe more.
“Wow umm, what is all this stuff for?”
His mother looked up at him with a slight grimace. “Slow down dear, you know I hate it when you lisp.”
Sollux barely heard himself when he answered. “Sor-…my bad, I didn’t mean to.”
“Much better! Now, it’s my turn to give you apologies dearest. I’m afraid I won’t be up to visit you for a while. But don’t worry, I’ll be back before you know it. Until then, I bought you a lot of things to keep yourself busy.” She said as she began unpacking the contents of the basket. Sollux padded over, tugging nervously at the magenta trimmed gray sleeves of his shirt. His fingers accidentally caught against dark red feathers and he flinched as the wing beast in his arms squawked and flew off.
“Sorry Aradia,” he murmured before stopping next to his mother.
“Where would you be going?” he asked, picking up a jar of thick, amber liquid, honey probably. It was immediately snatched from his hands and Sollux looked down at his mother questioningly.
“Not that dear, make sure you don’t touch the honey until I come back okay?”
There’s a gleam in her eye he wasn’t sure he liked even as she smiled at him comfortingly. “Don’t worry about it just listen to mother and trust her. Alright my little angel fish?” she asked, reaching up to stroke his face with a sharp-nailed hand.
“And to answer your other question, well…I’ll simply be away on business. It’s almost time darling. Oh don’t look so frightened.” She said, touching Sollux’s eyebrows, which he realized belatedly, was furrowed in an expression of worry. “I said almost, you forget mother has lived a long, long time. I don’t perceive time like you do. Besides, you’re ready. By the time I need you, we’d be able to take back what is rightfully ours.” she purred, standing up and gradually tilting his face upward so he could look her in the eye.
His mother stayed for a little while longer, doing the things she usually did. She fussed over his clothes and the general state of his respite block, supervised as he made dinner, ate with him, questioned him again why he bothered to keep Aradia and then she was off. She kissed him on the forehead, reminded him not to touch the honey and that she’d be back in due time.
He sighed heavily as soon as she was gone and slumped against the wall. Aradia flew over and perched herself on his lap, tilting her head at him curiously. Sollux offered her a small smile and reached up to run his hand over her curving horns.
“I kind of have a bad feeling about this, but hey what do I know? Mother said everything would be fine, so I guess…”
But what if that was the problem? What if it was the fact that he didn’t know anything outside what mother told him?
Sollux glared at the ground, feeling the voices creeping up on him, the conflicting ones that made his brain the battleground for their shouting matches. He clenched his eyes shut and reached up to cover his eyes. He didn’t have a choice, he had to trust her. She was all he had.
He sighed heavily, feeling the all too familiar rush of helplessness and loneliness settle in. Aradia hopped over to rest herself against his stomach and Sollux picked her up, holding her to his chest and nuzzling into the brighter feathers at her long neck.
A little ways away, in the guest respite block in a hive hidden safely in an alcove of trees, Karkat lay awake, feeling the awful hole of emotions eating at him like they had for the longest time. They were stronger than ever and he bit his lip, knowing that he was right. That whatever was causing it, it was close by, on that island, like he somehow just knew it was.
Yeee...what have I done with Aradia? orz
Well, I needed a Pascal and she's the only one I saw fitting the bill of lifelong companion/bestfriend (and because I sort of ship SolAra *cough) and I couldnt decide on what to make her so I made her into this weird, ram-phoenix-esque thing. You'll see why, It'll sound stupid if I try to explain
and also, hmm, what is happening to KK? Psiionic empathy? Matesprit magic? XD
wow, I didn't expect the attention this fic is getting. THANK YOU all so much
here have an update
The voices woke him up. Sollux hadn’t known what they were when he was younger and he’d been afraid of telling his mother about them, thinking he’d gone crazy and she would chuck him off the roof of the tower because that made him a defective troll. He’d let it slip by accident, when he couldn’t take it anymore. During one of his manic moods, he’d let loose that there were voices in his head, that gave him headaches, yelling about things that didn’t make any sense.
His mother had simply laughed at him and patted him on the head. She said they were the voices of the dead and everyone like him could hear them…whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Eventually, Sollux just came to accept that they were just another side effect of his fucked up mutant brain and learned to drown them out through the years. Occasionally though, they got to acting up, so much that the voices would march right up to his ignoring and bitch slap it across the face, declaring “HEY A22WIIPE, PAY ATTENTIION, THIIS IIS IIMPORTANT”
Like they were doing now.
As usual, the voices didn’t make a lick of sense. They spewed incomplete sentences at him, an object, a place, a state of being he would eventually be in, a troll. A troll with bright red eyes and pathetic, tiny little rounded horns.
That one sort of made a little more sense than the other things the voices told him. Kind of? He didn’t know if it was some sort of vision or some shit, or a metaphor for something that the dead were trying to clue him in on. Sollux didn’t really care, he gave up trying to figure out what they were trying to tell him a long time ago.
When he opened his eyes, a soft blanket of burgundy feathers greeted his vision. Oh, right. The sun was a little too bright yesterday and Aradia took it upon herself to be his personal sleeping mask. He gently nudged Aradia’s wing away from his face and stood up in his recuperacoon. Aradia was sleeping on the rim, her wing still outstretched. Sollux carefully folded it back against her side, smoothing out the feathers before skritching gently at her head and sighing.
He went through his daily routine with the same, listless, robotic non-enthusiasm he always did. He ate his breakfast on the floor next to the recuperacoon, feeding Aradia bits and pieces with his powers when she eventually woke up and flew down to perch herself on his shoulder. After that he made a very half-assed attempt at cleaning. (Mother would be gone for weeks anyway so he was free to wreak as much havoc on the clean state of the tower as he wanted) When he decided the dishes weren’t dirty enough to need immediate scrubbing and clean enough to use again a little later when he suddenly decided he wanted more food, he set himself on the window sill, doodling randomly on one of his old sketchbooks.
He was in the middle of shading in his mother’s symbol, the same one he had on all his clothes when he paused. Sollux contemplated the symbol for a long moment. He touched the brooch version of it pinned to the high collar of his black shirt and he frowned. Then his pencil moved onto a different spot on the page and he began to draw the symbol again, only to change it midway. Instead of drawing a line straight across the middle of the two, parallel curving lines, he drew two lines curving inward, facing each other on the top and bottom.
He’d drawn this sign before, once. He never dared to again until now. When his mother saw it, she smacked him right across the face and told him never to do it again. Sollux forgot why exactly she reacted like that. It was somewhere along the lines of familial dishonor, defiling their symbol or whatever.
He didn’t even know why he did it though, or where he got the inspiration to alter the symbol like that. It just felt…right. Somehow. Sollux stared at the new symbol for a few seconds, sighed and closed the sketchbook, hugging it to his chest and resting his chin on it.
Okay, let me just cut in here to tell you that this seemingly wistful, lonely bundle of ‘oh poor me I’m so confused and sad’ over here? Yeah, don’t let the huge two-toned freak eyes fool you. He’s a total douchenozzle. We clear? Okay? Okay.
Now, you’re probably wondering, what the fuck was I doing while Sollux was pining for happiness, sighing left and right in his tower like the biggest lunatic, mutant drama-queen ever?
Well, Kanaya pointed out to me where the general direction of the island was. For some reason, unlike everyone else, she didn’t think I was shit-hiving mad for wanting to go there…which would make sense I guess since apparently she grew up in an island, away from any form of civilization. Anyway! She gave me some food, sent me on my merry fucking way and told me to come back soon. I hiked for about three days and got safely to the island by the third.
You thought there was going to be some crazy adventure right on the get go?
I told you this was going to be a dumb story.
There was a thin strip of land connecting Kanaya’s island to Sollux’s and it was completely boring and safe, I crossed it, the end. Chapter 1 over, let’s move on to the next one. Mind you, there was a reason nobody ever sailed to the island but we’ll get to that later. If you’re wondering why nobody ever tried going there on foot, well, if entire ships disappeared trying to get near it, would one measly troll really want to go try their luck?
Now you’re probably wondering, so what the fuck was I doing, going there alone?
To be frank, other people were just stupid and I wasn’t so there.
Let’s just move on goddammit.
A sign, he saw it beneath his eyelids. Two curving lines sealed in by two more, one on top and one at the bottom, like a pillar. An open window, a book, and the same old feelings of isolation and resigned sadness. It woke Karkat up from his nap and found himself leaning, upright against a tree. What the fuck even?
He remembered leaning against it just to catch his breath. Apparently, he dozed off. He couldn’t have been unconscious for more than five minutes though because he was still standing. Or maybe he was just strange like that. He yawned, reaching down to rub at the extremely sore muscles on his legs with one hand and stretching out the other. Three days of walking sure took a lot out of you.
When his muscles were feeling decidedly just a tiiiny bit sore, he looked around and frowned. Jegus fuck, where the hell was he? How was he even going to begin trying to find…well, whatever the fuck it was he was looking for.
“Don’t find it Karkles, it’ll come to you. Like it’s supposed to”
Karkat scowled, chasing away the voice and trying not to get too disturbed by the fact that he had a mini psycho-psychic wannabe justice freak in his head. Wait a minute…maybe he should be happy. If he didn’t find anything that meant she was wrong, that meant fate or destiny or whatever bullshit she’d been throwing at him his whole life did. not. fucking. exist.
He was going to scour this island and he would find nothing. Then he’d go home and tell Terezi to her stupid smug shark face, that there was no such thing as fate and nothing on this island was going to “change” his. Yup, nothing here…he was just crazy for seeing brief, nonsensical visions and feeling things for no particular reason…
You know what? he should keep moving.
He walked for a few more hours, until the rain started. It was worse than it was the day he got to Kanaya’s island and when the thunder and lightning started, Karkat immediately found a small cave to duck under and waited for it to pass.
Evening brightened to the dark gray light of morning and the storm was still going though. Karkat peered out at it unhappily, noting the outlines of many, many sharp cliffs scattered about the island, reaching up to the sky. He frowned, they looked exactly like the ones he kept seeing through the years in his dreams. He shook his head with a little more vigor than necessary. It was probably just a weird coincidence.
He told himself that a few more times before pulling out the jar of spoor he brought from home and smearing some on his forehead, near his nose and anywhere else he could without sullying his shirt too much. Then he curled up against the cave wall, hugging his rucksack to him and pretending there wasn’t a part of him that was feeling something resembling hope.
“Ugh, fuckdammit.” Sollux grumbled, slamming another cupboard shut. “I guess I really did forget to tell Mother I ran out of the headache-relief stuff.” He muttered, rubbing tiredly at his forehead. The voices were practically screaming at him now and he had no clue why.
Sollux gritted his teeth, feeling his psiionics crackle over his skin. If this kept up he was going to blow up a quarter of the tower.
A hesitant croon caught his attention before he demolished anything and he forced his eyes open to see Aradia at his feet, blinking up at him curiously.
“I’m fine, just another migraine is all. Ugh, I guess I’ll just go sleep it off.” Sollux mumbled, almost tripping and hitting his head against a nearby table when he turned to go to his recuperacoon.
Another croon floated over to his ears and he waved a hand dismissively in Aradia’s general direction. “I’ll be fine.” he said, dragging himself over and then practically diving headfirst in pool of spoor waiting for him.
Aradia just stared at him worriedly, her wings twitching in distress. When Sollux’s head resurfaced under the green slime, she flew over to the window and stared out at the downpour. She knew the plant that the old hag used to make the syrup she fed Sollux for his headaches and she knew where to find it but…
A sharp crack of lightning stabbed through the skies, so close it made her feathers feel like they were charged with electricity. She glanced back at Sollux.
Well, who else was going to get it for him? Besides, she hated seeing him in pain.
And with that she flew off into the storm.
It barely felt like an hour before he was waking up again and Karkat grumbled. It seemed that the amount of consciousness that trickled into his body was measured by a high, screeching sound. The louder it got, the more awake he felt. What the fuck even was that? It sounded like an animal dying. Wait a second…it probably was an animal dying.
As soon as he was fully awake, Karkat’s eyes shot wide and he sat up, looking around in alarm. From the sound of it, it couldn’t be too far. He stood up cautiously, wading through the thick tangle of grass and vines slithering across the ground. Once he’d pinpointed the exact direction the sound was coming from, he quickened his pace. By the time he broke through a thick overhang of moss, he was practically running. He came to an abrupt stop as soon as he was on the other side, eyes immediately focusing on a small, drenched silhouette squirming under the remains of a fallen tree. It must’ve been struck by lightning.
Karkat approached the silhouette cautiously, wincing as he crouched, placing himself close enough to the creature for its cries to hurt his ears. He squinted at it a little, staring at the dark, matted things covering it which he realized a second later, were waterlogged maroon feathers. He observed the shape under it, cringing further as he followed the arcs of wings with his eyes; one was crooked in a way that was surely wrong. He slipped his hands under the tree. It wasn’t terribly big, only enough to cause the damage it did to the wingbeast under it. He tried to pick up the wingbeast as soon as the tree was off of it but it squawked and flailed, thinking he was a threat.
Karkat did a bit of squawking and flailing of his own as he tried to get a grip on the wingbeast and make sure it didn’t hurt itself further from all the moving it was doing.
“Shhhhhhhhh! It’s okay! It’s okay, I won’t eat you. Calm down.” He said, getting a grip on one of the beast’s legs and gently patting and soothing it’s uninjured wing with his other hand. The shushing went on for a few more seconds before the wingbeast finally got its shit together and settled down against Karkat’s chest. It crooned out a sound that resembled a whimper and Karkat clicked his tongue as he very carefully held out its broken wing to assess the damage.
He took the wingbeast back to the cave he slept in and ripped up one of his spare shirts to use as makeshift bandages for its wing. It was the best he could do given what he had. It barely helped and he looked at the wing beast apologetically as it sat on a pile of spare clothes that hadn’t gotten too drenched in the rain.
“Sorry. I’d love to give you some pain-nullifying pills but I’m pretty sure that shit doesn’t work on you guys. It might even kill you for all I know.”
The wingbeast crooned at him and bowed its head miserably. Then as if something bit it, its head shot up and it hopped off the pile, chirping and jumping to get Karkat’s attention. Karkat eyed it dubiously.
“What?” he asked.
The wingbeast stretched its neck to the mouth of the cave, pointing with her beak. The rain was mostly drizzle now and from behind the gradually lightening gray clouds, the sun was slowly breaking through. “You want me to go out there? For what? Sorry but fuck no, the sun is almost out.” Karkat said, reaching over to try and coax the wingbeast back further into the cave. It squawked and nipped at his fingers sharply.
“Ow! Hey! I have a friend who got fucking blinded for walking out in broad daylight you know!”
The wingbeast made an irritated noise, hopped over to his open rucksack and snatched something from it with its beak. Karkat’s eyes widened. Oh hell no.
“Hey!” he shouted, hastily grabbing his rucksack and clambering after it as it trotted out of the cave faster than any injured animal had a right to be. He would’ve caught it easily, but, as he’d always known, the universe was always out to fucking get him. As soon as he stepped out of the cave, his foot caught on a patch of wet moss and he slipped, falling horn first and almost cracking his skull open against a nearby boulder.
“OWW! FUCK!” he screamed, writhing around and reaching up frantically to feel if his horn is broken. It still felt whole- Oh my fuck, what the fuck was he doing?! Fuck the horns, they’re ugly and stunted anyway. Cursing out a truly colourful string of words under his breath, Karkat scrambled to his feet, ignoring the gush of blood swelling at the base of his right horn and steadily racing down to his face. He yanked his hood upward and chased after the stupid, stupid wingbeast which now had a decent headstart.
He didn’t know how on in the universe his luck was this bad, he thought as he slipped no less than 8 times within the span of 20 steps. What the fuck was the floor of this place made out of? Butter?! For fuck’s sake. He chased after the wingbeast for what felt like hours, cursing himself for being so stupid. He should have just left it to die. He should never have hung out with Tavros and all his stupid animal friends. He should have left that thing at home, where it would’ve been safe, far away from crazy wingbeasts who could steal it.
“Aradia?! Aradia!! Goddammit, where the fuck did you go?!” Sollux asked, peering out frantically through the window, wondering where she went. She never left when it was raining, she hated getting wet. On the rare occasion that she braved the downpour though, she never went far.
Sollux bit his lip. She hadn’t been there when he woke up and that was hours ago. He took a deep breath, forcing himself to stay calm.
Stay calm, you can’t think if you’re not and if you can’t think, you won’t find he- no, fuck that shit. Fuck, fuck fuck fuck, where is she? What happened to her? She left you here all alone.- FUCK, shut up you wriggler, go out there and find her.
Sollux looked up, startled by his own thoughts. It was the simplest solution but-
Mother said never to leave the-
She’s not here. But at least you know she’ll be back, you can’t say the same for Aradia!
WHICH OF THEM HAD YOU HAD EVERY FUCKING DAY FOR THE LAST 8 SWEEPS HUH?!
Sollux groaned, squeezing his eyes shut. Great, of all the times to have a fucking bi-polar fit, he chose to do it now. “Fuck.” He whispered, turning away from the window and reaching up to clutch his head with both hands. He took a few steps forward, breathing slow, deep, even breaths.
A high pitched screech broke him out of his reverie and he turned just in time to see Aradia shoot through his window, flailing like she’d lost her mind. He would’ve run to her but before he could even feel relief at seeing her again, something else came clambering through the window after her.
Everything flashed by his eyes so fast. The hooded figure, who grabbed Aradia as soon as he could reach her, Aradia’s broken wing and the sickle in the figure’s hand. He lashed out with his powers the second he understood what he was seeing and in the next, the figure was thrown against the nearest wall hard. There was a breathless groan and then he crumpled to the ground. Sollux lifted him into the air, seething with rage and he would’ve chucked him right out the window if Aradia hadn’t started screeching and pulling frantically at his pant leg. He looked down at her through the haze of red and blue sparks clouding his vision. She poked repeatedly at the bandages on her wing with her beak before pointing it at the unconscious troll Sollux held captive. Sollux blinked, sceptical about what he thought she was making him understand.
He narrowed his eyes at his unwanted visitor and unceremoniously dropped him. “Who the hell is this asshole anyway?” he asked, crouching down and practically ripping the hood off of said asshole.
A troll with red eyes would therefore have to had red blood.
A troll…a troll with bright red eyes and pathetic, tiny little rounded horns.
Sollux stared at the blunted nubs on the unconscious troll’s head and the bright swell of red blood pooling near the front of one. It painted a candy red streak down the side of his face and Sollux gulped.
“Who the hell are you?” he asked.
I wonder how many people want to strangle me for ending the chapter right before they meet XD
Patience my lovelies!
that also goes for the ones wondering just what in the hell is going on ;)
ughhh...i am not too pleased with this chapter but not too unhappy with it either, its just kind of...bluh. But anyway, *gestures toward chapter
Reads for yous?
When Karkat regained consciousness, the first thing he registered was that something tiny was perched on his lap. The second was that he was sitting on a chair. Third: he can’t move. And fourth and most important of all: his head felt like he was slapped with a fucking cinderblock.
“Fuuuck…” he groaned, slowly forcing his eyes open.
Something jumped from the bottom corner of his vision, something feathery and dark red. Karkat wondered why it was familiar for all of two seconds before everything came rushing back; the rain, the tree, the violent ingrate of a wingbeast that he had to chase all the way up a stupid fucking towe-
“Oh, you motherfucker!” he screeched, moving to grab the wingbeast and wring its neck until it snapped. The action not only reminded him that he was bound, it made him yelp in pain as his binds tightened considerably, squeezing around his legs, arms and wrists.
“I wouldn’t even dare if I were you.” came a voice from his right.
Karkat turned his head to look. It was dark out already and in the dim lighting provided by a couple of torches mounted on the walls, he could just make out a silhouette in the corner. It’s eyes were two bright spots of crackling red and blue light and a little ways down, around where the chest would be on a troll, there was a circle of red and blue light too, dancing around the shadowy outline of fingers. Karkat narrowed his eyes.
“Who are you? Where is this? And why the fuck am I here?”
“I should be asking you that,”
The figure slowly advanced as it spoke and as the shadows fell back to reveal its face, Karkat was granted the sight of a tall, willowy troll about his age. He had a gangly arm extended forward in his direction, blue and red sparks dancing around his hand in hues that matched the luminescent glow of his mismatched eyes.
Who the fuck was this asshole?
“Don’t you know it’s against the law to use Psiionics to harm the innocent? I should deck you and throw you into the nearest prison.”
The other troll frowned at him, his expression a mixture of confusion and hostile distrust. “You’re really mouthy for a midget who got knocked out with one blow.”
Karkat snarled, tugging at the invisible hands keeping him in place. “You wanna go fuckhole?! How about you let me go and I’ll show you what I can do. I can break your neck with one punch you scrawny psychic douchebag.”
Sollux raised an eyebrow, internally marvelling at how riled up the other troll got from one measly little insult. He continued to snark and struggle, spewing endless threats of violence and bodily harm sprinkled with the most vulgar words Sollux had ever heard. When his thrashing around dislodged Aradia and knocked her to the floor, Sollux decided that he’s had enough of the other troll’s bullshit.
“Okay shut up! Why are you here? What do you want?”
Karkat glared, contemplating not saying anything just to be a petty little shit and piss this retard off. Then he remembered why he was there and his attention flashed over to the wingbeast at his feet. She now had a splint keeping her wing frozen in a position where the bone would heal properly and the object she stole from him was nowhere to be seen.
“Who sent you? Did you come here to kill me?” Sollux asked even though he doubted the answer to the second was yes. His mother had warned him about assassins that the new monarchs deployed to hunt her (and by extension him) down because they knew she was still alive. It was one of the many reasons she’s forbidden him from ever leaving the tower.
Somehow though…he knew this troll wasn’t a spy for the new emperors. After he knocked him out, the voices got so loud, telling Sollux not to cull him, to keep him here by all means. Though they refused to clue him in on why.
Sollux knew he shouldn’t trust the voices in his head when it came to a life or death situation like this. With the way he was acting, he was sure the other troll wouldn’t hesitate to hurt him…and it baffled and irritated him not to know why he couldn’t do the same.
“If you don’t let me go in the next five seconds, I would.”
Karkat flailed and squawked when he was suddenly lifted into the air and turned upside down.
“Argh, look you asshole, I have no fucking clue who you are or why you’re doing this. I didn’t dent my sickle clawing my way up your shitty tower to kill you. Although, you’re not giving much reason not to- OWW. Fuck!” Karkat yelped when he was plunged downward and his head collided with the armrest of the chair he was previously in.
“ Ugh, Listen here cuntmunch! Your braindead wingbeast there stole something from me, if this is your way of apologizing on its behalf, I got news for you, you’re doing a really abso-fucking-terrible job.”
Sollux opened his mouth to say something but a croon beat him to it. He looked down to see Aradia with something in her beak and tilted his head curiously. She was now hopping toward the rude blunt-horned troll with the battered pair of black-framed glasses she had in her beak when he chased her into the tower. The troll’s eyes widened at the sight of it and Sollux reached out with his powers, snatching the glasses from Aradia and making them float over to his hand.
“Give that back!”
Sollux wondered what was so important about a pair of glasses that one would look at them with a look like the other troll was giving him. He frowned and levitated the glasses above his head, bending them a little, just enough to make it visible that with a little more force, they’d snap in half.
“You hurt Aradia, broke into my private space, threatened to beat me up and or kill me, dude why the fuck should I listen to you?”
The intensity of his shout startled Sollux, enough that he eased up a bit on the pressure he was putting on the glasses.
“Fuck, stop okay. Seriously, I don’t and never did intend to harm you or your stupid wingbeast—who I actually saved from being crushed by the way— I honestly didn’t even know you were up here. Just put those down. Give them back…please.”
The abrupt change in demeanour made Sollux pause, not expecting this troll, who looked like he could and would bite, scratch, claw, do whatever the fuck it took to aggress—to just cave like that. All because of an old little thing that must be important to him somehow. He looked to Aradia who seemed to nod at him, stretching her neck forward and crooning softly, encouragingly.
Sollux sighed and held his palm up, where the glasses slowly lowered safe and undamaged.
Then, using every bit of concentration he had, he used his psiionics to grasp at the blunt-horned troll’s torso, twisting abruptly just so-
There was a gasp as the troll’s eyes widened before falling shut, his limbs going slack. Sollux carefully set him down on the floor where Aradia immediately trotted over and started hopping and fussing, looking back and forth between the troll and Sollux.
Sollux rubbed at his forehead. ‘What am I doing?’ he thought as he waved at Aradia dismissively. “I didn’t hurt him don’t worry. And I’m not going to.”
He had no idea what he was going to do really. The troll seemed honest enough, yeah he may be angry and snarky and rude but he didn’t seem to be the lying type. Still, Sollux wasn’t about to just let him go. He knew his location now, mother would kill him if the assassins didn’t get to him first… so perhaps it was best to keep the troll here until mother got back. She’d know what to do with him.
And that—he told himself as he took a few tentative steps closer to the unconscious, nub-horned, red-blooded troll— was all there was to it.
It wasn’t very often that The Sufferer awoke to find himself alone in his recuperacoon, especially not since his son was stolen. It was a very unpleasant feeling, being cradled in a recuperacoon too big, one that was meant for two, all alone. Though he knew it was unlikely since no one in the world could ever match up to the other occupant of the recuperacoon when it came to a fight, it still made The Sufferer feel as if he’d lost another precious part of himself. He whimpered, feeling around uselessly in the sopor before reaching up to the rim and hauling himself out.
He blinked groggily around the spacious expanse of the royal chambers until he found a figure huddled against one corner of the couch. It was surrounded by tiny things that were too far for The Sufferer to recognize. They were all floating in the air, covered by crackling sparks of blue and red light.
He absently noted that it was barely evening and sighed heavily, deducing that his matesprit had probably been up during the ungodly hours of the afternoon. again.
He disappeared briefly into the ablution chamber to wipe the sopor off and wrap himself up in a clean robe before hurrying back, right to his matesprit’s side and throwing an arm over his shoulders.
“It’s almost sunset.” He comments softly.
The Psiionic sighs, reaching up to his shoulder so he can grasp The Sufferer’s fingers with his own.
“How long have you been up?”
The Sufferer makes a disapproving noise and opens his mouth to reprimand him but The Psiionic beats him to it. “I was dreaming about him, and it just hurt and I-…I can’t” he seemed to wilt as he said it and The Sufferer felt something in him ache. He brought his legs up, tucking them against him as he moved closer so he could fold The Psiionic into his arms. His matesprit leaned into him gratefully and the things that he was keeping afloat with his powers inched closer. Another wave of pain hit The Sufferer when he realized that they were the toys that their son had played with when he was a grub.
“What did you dream about?” he asked reaching up to scratch gently between one set of double horns.
“I dreamt that he was safe, he’s about 8 sweeps old now.” The Psiionic laughed. “He looked just like me.” The Sufferer smiled, turning his face so he could lightly press his lips against the set of horns closest to him. “Well that’s a little unfair, he’s my grub too. But tis not all bad I guess. He gets to be the second finest troll to ever walk the planet. Good for him.”
The Psiionic laughed again but when he spoke again, his voice was decidedly a little tight. “It kind of hurt, the idea that he’s out there somewhere, completely well and happy and we just don’t and can’t know where.”
The Sufferer ducked down to kiss at his matesprit’s cheek. “I know.”
“There was something else,”
“What?” The Sufferer asked, afraid of what the answer might be. Sopor was good for keeping horrid dreams out but sometimes, especially when a troll was going through a tough time, even it couldn’t keep the dreams at bay.
“I didn’t see it happen, but I felt it…something bad was about to happen to him, I just somehow knew it.”
There was suddenly something sharp and thick in The Suffer’s throat as he tried to ignore the fact that sometimes, the scope of his matesprit’s abilities included precognition. It was probably just the grief talking. They loved their son the second they laid eyes on him and he was stolen before they could even come up with a suitable name for him. For sweeps he’d been nothing but a nameless ghost that the two of them longed for. The Sufferer knew pain, he knew it better than most believe him and he could honestly say that the pain of longing and worry for his and his mate’s lost son was greater than any he’d ever felt. It must be the same for the Psiionic.
“Please don’t talk like that,” The Sufferer began. The Psiionic eased him with a kiss to the lips.
“I’m sorry. I’ll stop now. I know it doesn’t help anything.”
“You didn’t…hear any voices did you? The “feeling” you got, was it really just a feeling or did the dead tell you about it?”
The Psiionic shook his head. “It’s not a premonition I swear, it was just a daymare that’s all.”
The Sufferer wasn’t entirely convinced but he forced himself not to dwell on doubt. It would only do more harm and he simply couldn’t handle more of that.
“We’ll find him. We will.”
He just barely resisted the urge to add right? but as if The Psiionic heard the unspoken question anyway, he tightened his hold on his matesprit and pressed him close, tucking his head under his chin.
“Yes, we definitely will. Fate was our friend when we won against the witch, it’ll be our friend again.”
The Sufferer said nothing, choosing instead to let The Psiionic hold him and burrow into the warm skin of his neck. He hoped he was right.
Oh look its daddy sufferer and psiionic. Hah, putting them there was almost entirely self-indulgent XD since it DOES say in pairings that this is a Suff/Psii fic too.
To anyone wondering just what in the fuck is going on, answers will be coming soon. just be patient, and I hope I'm not doing a crap job with this story in your eyes because i feel my confidence wavering a bit. :s