Dave looks around the corner. He's looking for someone; someone to take home. He doesn't really have a home but the home he was occupying in the shittier end of town had a bed and a door and that's good enough for him. He loses his footing as he turns and bumps into someone, a waiter from the bar. The glasses on her tray are about to fall but with his hands steady, Dave grabs them before they have a chance to clatter to the floor. The waitress gives him a grateful smile and a daunting glint in her eyes is calling him to talk to her later. When the clock hits four in the morning, he looks around for the guy he's meant to meet here. He really wasn't supposed to be picking up girls on a Wednesday at Juno's; he had other things to be doing here on this day at this time. If he was honest with himself, it was really Thursday but in his mind's eye, if he hadn't been asleep, the day hadn't changed.
He went to the corner booth and slid into the empty seat he always sat in. He waited, but the hands on his watch began to move forward just a bit too fast and he knew it was time. He was a bit tipsy but even when in a haze, Dave always made sure he stayed sober enough to read the hands on his watch. And apparently tonight was the night. It was twenty past four and he retreated to the back room. His Bro caught him walking across the dance floor and met him in back, sending his best man to take over the turntables.
"What's up little Bro? Shouldn't you be with your friend?"
"I told you. I could feel it, dammit! You said he was fine. I fucking told you. I can feel these things."
Bro stepped back as his brother threw a punch his way. His head was spinning though so after missing at the first swing, he steadied all his power into punching the wall and sliding onto the floor. His shades stayed put on his face but even with them in place, they did nothing to mask the racking sobs that controlled his body.
This was the only thing the back room was good for. The club had a storage room for things. They had a kitchen. They had a stage. They didn't have any use for a back room. But here it sat, ready to take Dave into its warm arms whenever he needed time to himself to hide from the rest of the club's inhabitants. It was here for him when he needed to cry, alone. It was here for him to whisper his unspeakable secrets to; and he spent many a night passed out back here trying to forget why he was here. He only came here for two things; to meet girls to have sex with on a Friday night, and to hold a conversation with Sollux Captor.
Eridan Ampora was looking for something to do. He wandered the courtyard of his family's property. He had expended all of his energy on shopping earlier and now he was trying to think of something to do to relax. He considered his options and settled on reading. He wasn't much of a scholar but if he could find a book captivating enough to pull him in, he would occasionally delve into reading and could continue in that manner for hours on end. He was mostly interested in dramas and romance novels. Only the really interesting or dreamy ones though. He couldn't read a romance novel with a dry relationship.
His head turned at the sound of the front gates opening. He waved at the driver who stopped and rolled down his window, "Yes, sire?"
"Take me to Barnes and Noble."
The driver thought the title was ridiculous but Eridan wouldn't have it. He wanted to be treated like royalty and so he was.
The driver circled around and Eridan stepped into the back seat of the limo, making himself comfortable and pulling a bottle of water from the mini fridge filled with refreshments. He was impatient when it came to being in the car but it was worth it when he stepped into the glorious bookstore.
He went straight to the romance isle and searched through title after title trying to find something that looked appealing. He saw a figure walk past the isle he had taken up looking through. He leaned out of the isle and tapped the stranger on the shoulder, "Do you know of any good romance novels I could read?"
"Romance? Please. I don't read romance. If you need help with SciFi come back and ask me again and I may be able to do you the service of pointing you in the direction of something not completely horrible."
"Well you're a lot of help."
"Look, I don't know what your problem is but if you want real romance novel advice, my friend might be able to help you."
Eridan perked up, "Oh really? Point me to him."
The stranger waved him over and walked him to a table with a short boy with his nose buried in a book.
"Some douche needs your help."
"With romance novels."
"I mostly read romcoms but I do know some good straight-up romance novels that are good."
The shorter boy stood, closing his book and walking to the 'romance' isle. Eridan followed him. His finger ran down the line until he found the book he was searching for, he pulled it out and continued down the line, pulling out multiple books on his way down the row, "Here. If you don't like these authors you have no taste in good romance."
The boy followed his taller friend who was apparently into SciFi back to their table at the little Starbucks in the corner of the book store.
Eridan read the backs of the books he had been handed and raised an eyebrow, getting more interested with each book description he read. These books sounded fantastic. It sounded almost like these authors might know what they were writing.
He went back to the table the two had sat down at and pulled up a chair to sit with them.
"Excuse me, who the fuck said you could join us?"
"Wow someone here needs to learn when he isn't wanted around."
"Like I care what you want?"
"It shames me to know a fellow romance reader is such a douchebag. Go away we're trying to enjoy ourselves and having pompous assholes around is polluting the air. I found you some books now go back to whatever cave you live in and read them."
"I wanted to read right here, if it's not too much to ask."
"Well fine then, I guess you'll just have to breathe in polluted air because I'm not moving."
The taller of the two stood up, grabbed a stack of books, and walked to a table across the room, his shorter friend following him. Eridan huffed and stood up, acting as if he wasn't the reason they were going the other direction, "What's your problem anyway? It's not like I was even hurting anyone. All I did was sit down and you both just decided to go off the deep end and blow everything out of proportion."
The tall one spoke up finally, "Does it strike you as odd that maybe we don't know you and don't want to sit with a complete stranger?"
"No, it strikes me as odd that you think I'm such a bad person to be around."
"You're only a bad person because you can't respect the wishes of someone other than yourself. You're really getting on my nerves, now take a hike."
Eridan huffed and stood up to go pay for his books. He left the building and went to the limo, telling the driver to take him to the park. He did as he was told and Eridan soon found himself lying on a blanket in the grass of one of his favorite places, his favorite spot in the world so far; the park by the lake.
The grass here was thick and soft and easy to get comfortable on. His pale white arms were a contrast to the yellow sunlight that beat down through the tree branches. This place wasn't really much of a park but he had to call it something. It was really just a hidden stretch of grass bordering on side of a small lake. He doubted anyone else knew about it; he had never spotted anyone else here before. It was fairly hidden in the trees, the only way to get to it being through the woods. He would never have found it if he hadn't been adventurous as a kid. Nowadays all he did was sit around inside or go shopping. His outdoors skills were lacking some. He found this place years ago though so he didn't have to do any exploring anymore.
He had made a pathway so he wouldn't have to do the necessary hiking to get through the dense woods. He was lying silently in the evening light and read line after line in the first new book he had picked up. He could lay like this for hours on end. And he did. He could do what he wanted. His driver usually looked after him anyway so his parents didn't really mind how late he stayed out. He had fallen asleep here and stayed overnight on multiple occasions. There were lots of times he had fallen into a drowsy silence as he watched the stars out over the lake.
He might be spoiled, and he might be a brat, but he sometimes had his moments of peacefulness.
Sollux Captor sat in his desk chair and stared at his computer screen. His attention was captured by someone trying to invade his ship. He had a handful of games he played that weren't too popular and Treasure Treaty was one of them. It was a game he started playing years ago. Someone he knew had made it on his own and collected quite a few users, Sollux being one of them. His character was a gray-skinned creature called a troll. There were two species in this game, trolls and humans. He was one of the former and he was a famous pirate. Frankly, he had never been into pirates or anything along the lines of ships, treasure, etc. until he started this game. He was actually pretty surprised when he found he liked it. Most games like this had really cruddy graphics and poor controls. This one, however, had really caught his eye and he took a liking to it.
His attention was taken by a stow-away. He was somewhere downstairs and the only reason Sollux even knew he was still there was because he had dealt with this man before. He had hidden behind the crates of treasure they'd collected below deck and his pockets were usually stuff with the stuff by the time they caught him. He didn't know how he had managed to survive last time they caught him. They threw him overboard. He must have caught a ride on another ship. Lucky bastard.
Sollux turned into the servants' quarters and walked down the hall, turning into a room and looking around, holding his lantern into a corner. He stood face to face with the intruder. The mouthpiece of his headset was pulled down to sit in front of his mouth, "So, you again."
The intruder simply looked at him blankly and the owner of the man didn't respond, "Should I throw you overboard again and hope you don't hitch a ride with an enemy or should I end it right now so you don't have a chance to?"
The headset of the other player crackled to life, "Option A?"
"Wrong." His sword was slashed across the screen and blood sprayed onto the floor, the corpse of the dead player falling limp against the dresser he was hiding behind.
The game had a really awesome voicing system. Sollux hadn't seen anything like it before. When a player talked into their microphone, the only people who could hear them had to be within earshot in the game, and if you were right next to someone and you had the whisper button turned on, only they could hear you... or anyone else within two feet in the game. This voicing system was one of the many things that allowed a class like a spy or thief to be efficient and of actual need. People without a mic plugged in would have a red 'x' painted over their character's mouth to let you know they're mute.
To be completely honest, this was one thing that definitely made quitting this game out of the question. He could never get enough of being able to talk as much as he wanted to without everyone in the area or game hearing him. It was unique; and if you knew Sollux Captor, you knew he had a thing for unique and one-of-a-kind games.
His eyes shot to his bedroom door as it opened, "Geez KK, knock next time."
"I did, shitface, you didn't answer."
Karkat grabbed at plates and dishes on his desk, "I came in here to salvage what's left of our plates and bowls because as you may have noticed, you ran our fucking pantry dry."
"Well fuck, I'm so sorry you don't know how to pick up the phone and order pizza. It's not like we ever actually eat home-cooked food or anything."
"Gee, maybe we fucking could if we had some god damned dishes to eat it on!!
His voice raised an octave near the end of his sentence, letting Sollux know he was kind of pissed off. Well... more pissed off than the constant state of general pissiness he was usually in.
Karkat took the overflowing stacks of dishes to the kitchen, coming back for the cups and glasses, "OH MY GOD IS THAT SHIT ALIVE?!"
Sollux grabbed the cup in Karkat's extended arm and looked inside, pushing it away when the smell of rotten milk made itself at home in his nostrils, "God, I don't know. But if it is, I think we should kill it, don't you?"
"And by we, you fucking mean me. I swear to god I'm a fucking housewife."
He grabbed the cup violently and stomped off to the kitchen. Sollux couldn't help but let a satisfied smile appear on his lips.
He went back to his game, playing a while longer until he noticed the clock said 3:30am. He stood quickly, throwing on some shoes and jogging to his car, starting it up and driving to Juno's. This was the club he and Dave Strider had met at. They vowed to meet here every Wednesday at 4am. He and Dave had met here every Wednesday at said time for the entire last three years. They had seen each other every now and then outside of the club but more often than not, they only ever saw each other in the corner booth on Wednesday s.
He pulled into the parking lot and picked out the space he usually parked in. it was taken. He sighed and went to a different one in the back lot behind the building next to Dave's red car. He went inside and found Dave in the corner booth right where he should be.
He sat down comfortably and waved over a waitress. Dave nodded to him, "Hey."
Sollux kicked his feet up on the bench opposite him in the circular booth. Dave leaned forward, "So how's everything with Karkat going?"
"The same. I think I really pissed him off today. He decided to finally come get all the dishes and shit out of my room."
"Oh. You could have just said he came to get the dishes and I think I would have figured the rest out."
"Yeah. He gets pretty pissy when he has to come into my room any more than his standard of never. I honestly don't blame him. That room is formed to my own twisted satisfaction and it isn't suited to take on any living inhabitants that aren't me."
"My house is the same for bro. I don't think even I belong in that rump infested house of hell. I swear if i run into one more god damned puppet I'm going to fly off the deep end."
"I don't think I could handle puppets either. I mean a normal puppet, maybe, but the ones you describe are just creepy as all get-out."
Sollux looked around to see that the waitress he'd flagged down must not have seen him. He waved a different one over and ordered his usual. She must have already known Dave enough to know what he liked. Most of the waitresses here were the same. He was here every night and any girl working here was well aware of what drinks he liked. Along with lots of other things he liked. Sollux laughed internally at the thought.
The waitress came over with the drinks and handed them to their owners. Sollux handed her some cash and sipped at his drink. The night was the same as every other Wednesday night. He and Dave talked about the happenings of the last week and pretended nothing was wrong. They both knew.
Karkat watched the front door close as Sollux left the house and stood immediately after to go into his room. Sollux didn't know this but Karkat was in his room all the time. He never made him aware of the fact; kept it to himself. He went in his room and looked around at everything. He was secretly fond of the place. It was an absolute war zone but it and everything in it reminded him of Sollux. He sat down on his bed and picked up the new book on his night stand and thumbed through it, reading bits and pieces on the pages that flashed by. He finally closed it and set it down on the night stand.
He stood and inhaled deeply, memorizing the scent that would be embedded in his mind no matter what happened. He would never find a friend like Sollux. He went to his room and shut the door, lying down on his bed, stomach down and head turned to look at the picture on his desk. It was a picture of Sollux. He had begged him to throw it out but he dug it out of the recycle when he turned his head. It was one of his favorite pictures of him. It was during a trip to the lake they had taken years ago. Sollux was lying on an inner-tube with a glass bottle of orange soda in his hands, flipping off the camera. Karkat felt really mushy and sentimental sometimes but to be honest, most of his pissy mood was a cover-up and he was scared for anyone to see who he really was. Even Sollux had only seen the real him a few times.
Granted, his shitty attitude towards just about everything was a real part of him, but that was the only part he liked letting people on to. The only times he really showed this side was in times of sadness or solemnity.
Sollux came in through the front door with a huge grin on his face. Karkat jumped from the couch, "WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED??!"
Sollux laughed like he was on something. His pants were torn and there was blood running down his leg and seeping into the jean material. Karkat gave him an incredulous look, "What did you do??"
Sollux held up a hand, "Relax, KK. I'm fine."
Karkat put a hand on his hip, "Really? You don't look too fine."
"What? Follow me."
Karkat creased his forehead in concern but followed his friend outside. He was taken to the hill behind his house. The snow was knee deep and there was a sled sitting at the top of the hill, "Get on that sled and go down that hill."
"If my leg is gonna end up looking like yours, I don't think I want to."
Sollux looked down, "Oh... I didn't even notice that. That's probably from the bricks over there."
He pointed to a spot at the bottom right of the hill, "It wasn't bleeding earlier. Anyway, as long as you avoid those bricks, it's no big deal, you have to fucking try this."
Karkat punched him in the arm before hugging him, "Jesus Christ you scared the shit out of me."
Sollux chuckled and hugged back, "I'm glad you care. But seriously. Go down the fucking hill."
Karkat laughed at the memory. He wished they did more stuff like that nowadays but Sollux didn't leave his room much anymore. Maybe it had to do with what the doctor said. It seemed to Karkat like that should spark something in him to get out more but he only left the house if asked to or on a Wednesday night. Six months. That's what the doctor said. Only six months.