Davesprite sat with his long tail curled in spirals around him, a laptop sitting in front of him. The screen was taken up predominatly by Karkat's face, tousled hair and cheek resting casually in a grey palm. Somehow, Davesprite had ended up talking to the alien almost every day like this: comfortably; he in his nest of soft items, Karkat stretched in a pile.
Under the window with Karkat's sallow face blinking in low light was an online game of Snakes and Ladders. There was a jossled memory, a memory that didn't really belong to him, that told Davesprite he had loved this game when he was a two-legged, pointy shades wearing kid.
"Are you going to move or are we going to sit here suspended in nauseating silence for the next eon?" Snapped the troll, his drooping ears flicking as he snarled. His voice was rough and grainy, butchered by the old speakers.
Davesprite clicked in response, pushing 'ROLL' on the screen and watching his piece move. It skipped over a snake and landed safely two spaces in front of Karkat's. "Two weeks and we can do this with real pieces instead of using this shitty programme."
Karkat grunted, his mouse clicking loudly as he pressed forcefully on it. "You're excited because it gives you a chance to cheat."
"You can't cheat in Snakes and Ladders, man." Davesprite chirruped, a short sound of amusement. Karkat's black lips tilted into a pixelated smile.
"I'm sure you'll find a way." The troll tapped his claws in a butchered melody against the sides of his laptop and yawned. "I'm fucking sick of this game." He grumbled, bringing his knees up to his chin as he continued to blink lazily at Davesprite.
The other boy scoffed. "You have the attention span of a two year old chimpanzee. You also probably have the smell." He stretched himself out, leaning back on a pillow, his ripped wing quivering. There was an instinct in him that wanted to take Karkat, that shiny eyed, glinting toothed asshole and tuck him snuggly next to him in the nest, to hoarde him like a long sought after treasure.
He picked up the computer instead, resting it on his bare orange chest. "I can barely stand you." He muttered to the face on the screen.
"The feeling's mutual, dumbass." The yellowed face's eyes closed, a contented hum rumbling oddly from the speakers.
Davesprite took a screenshot.
He'd grown to love Karkat. Somehow, he'd translated past conversations into good memories and come to make efforts to better understand the angry little troll in all his ridiculousness. He watched with lidded eyes while Karkat stayed motionless and relaxed, thinking he was lucky to see this, to have this.
Karkat breathed out and shifted so his hands were cloaked by his sweater, and Davesprite wondered if alpha Dave ever examined Karkat's facial expressions, ever reached out to touch his face. If alpha Dave wanted to press a thumb to the cancer's grey cheek, there would be no screen to remind him of distance.
"Hey, swordmouth, stop fluttering your eyelashes for a second and make like a productive member of society."
Karkat's lips pushed out and his eyebrows creased. He opened one eye, large, round, the pupil wide. "Where the fuck did that come from?" He looked agitated, but that wasn't too unusual.
"You looked like you were going to sleep." Davesprite deadpanned.
"So what if I was?" Karkat snapped, opening his other eye.
"Then why did you bring it up, idiot?" The troll flopped backwards and turned his head so only his profile was visible.
"You're a melodramatic little shit." An orange hand lifted to scatch at the feathers around Davesprite's neck.
"You're an impossibly stupid stain on the already wrecked carpet of my awful existence."
"Is it a sexy stain?"
"It's the ugliest stain of them all. Shut up, Dave."
Davesprite smirked, threading his fingers through the plumage down his chest. "If you say so. I bet you can't go a night without hearing my suave vocals, short stack. Good luck sleeping without a lullaby."
Karkat rumbled, "What do I get when I demonstrate my exceptional ability to appreciate a night sans terrible rhyming and unnecessary commentary?"
"Hypocrite. You'll win my maiden heart."
"I don't want your fucking heart, you pathetic bulgemuncher. You're still talking and it's still making me want to expel the contents of my stomach." Long ears flicked up, but Karkat was adamant about staring at the ceiling.
"Do you talk to all the Daves like this?" Davesprite's voice was breathy, and the question hung for a few seconds. Do you treat him like you treat me? Am I different? Am I special?
"Only the really fucking annoying ones." The troll's voice had dropped in volume, and his gaze finally dropped to rest on Davesprite's face, staring at the shine on his shades through the screen. "You're the most pathetic of all."
There was silence then, as Davesprite thought about that. If his gut fluttered when he thought about Karkat, and if he was Dave watered down, did alpha Dave's stomach soar? And if Davesprite was the wrong Dave in life, what was there to make him believe he was right for Karkat?
"Other Daves probably don't have the well crafted patience to listen to your shitty diatribe."
"Who gives a fuck what other Daves do?" Karkat asked, his eyes glowing like embers.
Davesprite twittered dismissively, and the topic was dropped as Karkat continued to doze. After a few minutes, the sprite whistled softly through his nose and shifted to tuck his chin into the down of his ruffled plummage, absentmindedly plucking at the feathers and rearranging them.
"If you're not going to say anything I'm going to hang up on you." Karkat said, as Davesprite continued to groom himself, eyes only half open behind his tinted glasses.
Davesprite didn't answer, continuing to prune and chirp periodically.
"You fucking imbecile, I was kidding."
Davesprite shrugged, twitching his head back and then burying his nose again.
"Fuck you." Karkat rasped, his canines glinting. "I'm hanging up." He didn't. He just kept watching as Davesprite clicked and maneuvred with his ruffles. His eyes didn't leave the other boy now, large pupils staring intently at the computer screen. "What the fuck are you even doing?" He asked groggily, his fingers beginning to itch. He tapped at his own chest, brushing the grey area around his sign.
Davesprite laughed a little, shakily, and Karkat growled.
tell me you cant live without me, say it, tell me im worth it, risk your happiness on me, be the first one to trust that i can be who i thought i was supposed to be
"Fine, whatever, asshole. You can cheat when we meet up." The troll smiled softly, his eyes glinting playfully, but it quickly went away when Davesprite quirked an eyebrow at him instead of answering. "And sing me to sleep." He added, quieter.
Davesprite took a breath. "If you had to bet all your grumpy bitch swag on some Strider match and you could have me or the other Dave who would be racing for you to mad rude victory?"
"I didn't know telling you to speak would cause you to spit nonsense all over your unfortunate computer screen, which was dumb of me in hindsight. What does this have to do with anything?"
"Nah nevermind you're probably too fragile to understand."
"I'm not fucking fragile you idiot." Karkat's hands stilled, resting flat, just below his collar. "It'd be a hard decision because you're both annoying as shit. I'd try to choose neither."
Davesprite looked impassive, purposefully expressionless.
"But if I had to I'd pick you. Now sing me your fucking song so I can get to sleep, I'm sick of your dumbass questions."