You remember the look on Terezi's face when you rolled onto The Strip that night. Dead red eyes wide open as neon lights flickered and flashed and reflected in lenses that slid down her nose as she breathed in deep. Her lips parted and you could have counted each and every razorblade tooth, except you were too busy wondering if she could OD on color alone. She looked kind of dazed--her smell-o-vision must have been on overdrive, the way her hands were shaking, and you did not spend twenty-three hours locked in a car with the kookiest chick this side of two universes just so she could pass out on Las Vegas Boulevard.
You remember it wasn't much better inside the casino--carpets with the gaudiest fucking print you ever did see, little strips like glow-sticks shoved inside the baseboard and moulding, and more light 'em up jackpot machines than you could count. Whole place was full of clicks and bells, and the sound of mechanical money jingling and jangling, tumbling just out of reach.
You remember the very best part about the place wasn't even the promise of instant cash or the endless supply of booze, it was how nobody even noticed the bony, gray-skinned alien girl at your hip. Her lips peeled back to show off a nightmare smile, the tips of her horns tented her silky-smooth headscarf, her claws dug into your arms just a little when she squeezed, but half the people there looked more bizzarro than she did and the rest were too smashed to notice.
You remember spending half the night--half your money--playing blackjack. The felt tabletop was rough, scritching against the heel of your hand as you tapped your fingers on the table, trying to keep one eye on the game, and one eye on your partner-in-crime. You remember the click-click-clickety-click of the roulette wheel the next table over, tz putting it on red every. single. time.
You remember thinking hells yes Vegas. What a brilliant fucking plan.
Things got a little a hazy after that.
You don't remember downing a metric fuckton of alcohol, but you must have, your latent Lalonde DNA must have been in full effect last night, because when you force your eyes open the next morning your mouth tastes like something crawled up inside and died, and you can't remember much except the slap of cards hitting the table again, and again, and again.
You're only semi conscious, since according to your eerily fucking accurate internal clock it's eight oh three in the am, and also you're still drunk as all hell. But there's a movement, right behind you--Terezi's too-sharp chin jutting into your shoulder blade, familiar in a way it probably shouldn't be. Her breath is hot and muggy against the back of your neck, but her skin's cold as it always is, and you are sore all over. And alright, so maybe this is like half a dozen other mornings that you won't talk about, ever, maybe you've woken up like this once or twice before, varying levels of hungover and wondering what you got up to last night.
It's not like you're even trying for it, is the thing, it just keeps happening. It's unavoidable, sometimes, the two of you are locked in orbit and neither one's working very hard to get out of it. She dropped into your life back in that hellhole of a game, and when it spit you all back out into Earth reborn she followed you to Houston and she never left, you never wanted her to leave. Sometimes you just want to stop thinking for a while, and that's when she's there, claws picking off your buttons one by one. It’s like she can split you, right down to the middle, it’s like she worms around inside you. She’s mapped every inch of your skin and you know exactly how she tastes.
You're half expecting her tongue to trace a stripe along your jaw, because she's done that, it's happened, just another shining example of Terezi charm. But instead you get her voice, all raspy like it always is but strained, somehow, and girl can hold her liquor but damn if she didn't get wasted, too. The room is still and silent, in that long moment before she speaks. All you hear is your own heartbeat, keeping time in your head, all you hear is steady breathing, yours and hers, all you hear is the far-off rumble of traffic, cars clogging the streets a couple of floors below your rented bed.
"Good morning, Mr. Pyrope," she says, the words hissing out between razorblade teeth, claws tracking their way down your spine, and all of a sudden you are wide awake.