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The Words "Best Friends" Becomes Redefined.

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A dark-haired troll began to stir from his sleep, yawning into the cool shoulder of the highblood in bed with him. He clung to his chest tightly, unwilling to let go just yet. He secretly loved waking up before his lover, taking advantage of the quiet time to simply cuddle with him. Eventually, though, he did wrench free and dragged himself from the bed, stretching with a strained groan. He got up and padded toward the bathroom, trying to be quiet enough to allow his juggalo moirail to sleep.

Once inside the block he turned the water on, hand immediately going for his toothbrush. He stared through his own reflection as he brushed, still in a sleep-grogged state. He ran his fingers through his messy hair when finished, pulling apart the worst of the sleep-induced tangles, and scowled once more at the dull tips of his horns. He took a moment to glare at his reflection before giving in and turned to the shower. He set the water before stripping down from the boxers he'd worn to bed, nudging them against the wall with his foot, then climbed in. The hot water washed over him, making him elicit a pleased groan. His head tilted back, allowing the water to run over his horns. Besides the horn rubs his clown gave him, the feeling of warm water running over them was one of the best sensations they could ever receive.

After a few moments he let his head drop down, and he reached out for the shampoo. He froze at the sight of a small scrape on his arm, caked with bits of dried blood. He must have scratched himself in his sleep, but his mind didn't process the logics. Instead he stared at that small scratch, his mind falling away from him to another time when he'd seen his blood outside of his body.

-

A small nubby-horned troll glowered at the ground before him, refusing to look up at the playground he'd been dropped, desperately not wanting to catch the attention of all the asshole wrigglers that were sure to come over and pick on the “preacher's kid” again.

Karkat hated this stupid place. He hated the new church, the new city, and even the new church rental home his dad got for them. But he especially hated the playground. His dad and brother had been bringing him here for the past week, to get him out of their hair, he was sure. It was a “new start” for the Vantas family, and they couldn't have the little brat in their way with his snide remarks while they were trying to work. Or, rather, while their father was trying to work and Kankri followed him around like a baby barkbeast kissing his gluts. Karkat, on the other hand, had about as much enthusiasm for his dad's work and church as he did for what came out of that barkbeast's hind end. Especially while Kankri was in love with it all, always right behind Karkat, chastising him for every little thing he did. He felt his brother would be better suited as one of the primary school teachers with all the scolding he did than he would as a priest, but nobody asked him, and they didn't hear anything he ever said, so he'd kept the opinion to himself.

The little troll looked up at the sound of scuffled steps moving away from him, and he watched a group of human kids running away from the swing-sets, laughing and tagging each other. He glanced around himself, making sure no one else was paying him any mind, and slowly made his way toward the empty swings, intent on sitting at the farthest one. He doubted he would actually swing, but it gave him something to do besides stand there looking like a loser. He breathed a small sigh of relief during his walk, pleased he had been ignored thus far.

That was, until he heard a familiar chorus of yelling and obnoxious laughter. He groaned to himself, suddenly trying desperately hard not to burst into tears. He kept his gaze fixed on the wood chips beneath his feet as he walked, doing his best to ignore them.

A boy several inches taller than Karkat lifted his head, noticing the younger male scurrying closer to the swing set. He smiled and nodded to the tall girl beside of him. His bouncy black curls licked against his ears and long highblood horns as he ran, with his group of 3 other people, towards Karkat. Two of the boys, both seeming to be jade bloods, stood in front of the swings, blocking Karkat's path while the girl giggled.

"Kurloz was hoping to see you, Karkat." Her voice was almost shrill, and more than likely would develop that way as the years progressed. It was typical of a blueblood like her.

Kurloz, the highblood, licked over his bottom lip and shoved Karkat, a soundless laugh tumbling from his lips. He watched the small 10 year old fall to the ground, his eyes glittering as he heard Karkat grunt in pain. He glanced over at the girl who laughed behind her hand. "That's what you get you stupid preacher's kid!"

Karkat caught himself with his arms, his face inches from the ground. He felt a rough pain in the side of his wrist as the wood chips dug into his skin. He gave a quiet hiss of pain, already knowing it was going to bleed. He stared at the ground for a moment, trying to detach himself from the situation. Finally, he pulled himself to his knees, looking down at the crimson drop that rolled down his hand. “Just, leave me alone. Please.”

Kurloz gave a silent chuckle, to which Vriska, the blueblooded female, outwardly cackled. "Kurloz will be done when he says so, you dummy."

The female stepped back, letting Kurloz get a good look at Karkat. His eyes were fixated on the 10 year old's arm. The two Jade bloods stayed behind Karkat so he wouldn't run away when the mime reached out to grab him. The color trickling down Karkat's wrist was magnificent...such a beautiful shade of red... none like he had ever really seen before. Before he could even stop himself, he shoved the little freak away.

"Eww! Karkat's blood is a weird color! HE IS A FREAK!" Vriska's voice was loud and taunting.

Karkat fought the urge to jerk his arm away at the leader's touch, choosing to stand his ground. He nervously looked around at the other trolls, not quite sure what was going on. The look on the purple's face, though... It unnerved him, badly. Just as he couldn't take it anymore and prepared to pull away, Kurloz shoved him, a look of disgust crossing his face that hurt Karkat more than the scrape ever could.

His attention turned to the little blueblood's shriek. Freak? He looked back down at the rivulet sliding down his arm. What...what was wrong with it? He thought his blood was fine. That's what his father had always told him. Something snapped inside him, making him feel sick. Had....had his father lied to him about this? Great, he thought bitterly. …Just another stupid thing for them to bully him over.

Despite all this, he stood up; doing his best to give what he hoped was a defiant glare. “My blood's not weird! I'm not a freak. Just go away.” His defense took on a sad pathetic tone, and he knew they were never going leave him be, especially if his blood was as big a deal as they were all making it out to be.

Before Kurloz could even reach out to touch Karkat again, he felt a hand grab at his shoulder. He looked down, Great. It was his idiotic little brother. He was fairly sure their father had dropped Gamzee at some point when he was a grub...

A goofy smile was on Gamzee's face, his wavy black hair licking around his horns and gently down his neck. It was obvious that he hadn't brushed his hair that morning. "Bro, you ain't pickin' on him are ya? Nanny say that ain’t very nice."

The mute boy looked at his brother incredulously. Was he seriously going to start spouting shit their nanny was spoon feeding him? Kurloz rolled his eyes, crossing his arms against his chest. Whatever, this little freak wasn't worth their time anyway. He shoved passed Gamzee, the Jade bloods and Vriska following suit.

Gamzee looked at Karkat and waved sheepishly. His hands were dirty, a bit of chalk smeared on his polka-dot pants and his cheeks. "Hi there! I'm Gamzee Makara. But uh, Nanny says I ain't s'posed ta talk to people ain't got my know on so I think it'd be real nice if ya gave a clown yer name!"

The nubby troll watched the display tensely, a wave of relief washing over him when Kurloz and his followers took off. His mind was racing in circles, everything Vriska had said repeating over and over again. Weird blood. Freak. There was something wrong with him, with his blood. His gaze focused on that drop of scarlet, suddenly a brighter red than he'd ever seen. It made him think of one of those flashing red signs he used to see in their old neighborhood. He felt truly disgusted with himself, for the first time ever.

He snapped his head up at the voice of the new boy directed at him. He used his shirt to wipe the blood off and stared at him. He was a messy kid, unkempt hair, chalk and dirt smudges over his face and hands. He had on a pair of chalk-stained polka dotted pants and a shirt with a funny symbol on it.

“Uh, I'm Karkat,” he muttered, dropping his eyes shyly. “Thanks. For that.” He trembled slightly, realizing he was holding back tears. They'd never made him cry before. Not the stupid jadebloods. Not that Vriska girl. Not even Kurloz. Never. He risked another glance at Gamzee. Maybe....maybe he wasn't alone now.

-

A pair of cool arms wrapped around his torso, snapping Karkat out of his thoughts and memories, and he purred, leaning back into the tall body behind him. He felt warm everywhere, thinking about just how lucky he was to have Gamzee as his moirail. He imagined what things would have been like without the clown, and quickly shoved those thoughts away. It didn't matter. All that mattered was the highblood holding him beneath the warm spray. Karkat quickly swiped his hand across the dried blood, banishing it and his memories down the drain. “...Morning, Gamzee,” he muttered quietly, closing his eyes.

Gamzee purred softly, nuzzling his nose into Karkat's shoulders. He felt the warm water rushing over his forearms and his hands, kissing Karkat's shoulders gently. "Good morning, Karbro." He situated, hugging Karkat close.

The smaller male fit in the clown's arms so perfectly, he would never get over that fact. "How did a cute little motherfucker like yourself sleep?"

Gamzee grabbed at one of the soft lufas and lathered it with the cherry body wash. Despite the ironies, Gamzee absolutely adored the smell on Karkat's skin. He worked the puff over Karkat's stomach and chest, humming happily to himself. It was a pleasure to get to be this close with the crab. Sharing showers had been a thing they'd just started, happy to start their days together. Gamzee got a kick out of making sure Karkat was squeaky clean.

Karkat purred quietly, holding still for Gamzee to lather his body with the cherry scented soap. It had taken some getting used to, but he'd begun to grow rather fond of his clown washing him in the shower. He felt so unbelievably pale for this clown and couldn't think of a thing he regretted about his decision to move in with Gamzee when his father gave him the apartment. He briefly thought of his own father, wondering how he was taking his moving out, but Karkat knew Kankri was there for him. So he concentrated on his moirail's hands instead. “Pale for you,” he whispered.

Gamzee kissed Karkat's cheek, trying to not get too close to his mouth. He rinsed off the smaller male's stomach and moved to wash his back. He'd let Karkat take care o his hair, knowing it was bad to touch his horns... Karkat had scolded him thousands of times to not touch his horns when he had things to do that day. He nuzzled the crab, pulling back. "Whacha gotta do today, Karbro?"

Karkat allowed the pale coddling, flushing a bit at the kiss on his cheek. He thought about the question, surprised to realize the agenda was empty. "Nothing, actually." He looked up, giving a shy smile. "Would you like to wash my hair, Gamzee?"

A small blush crossed the clown's now clean of paint's face. He nodded sheepishly. "S-sure, Karbro." The clown always got a little nervous when it came to stuff like this... Gamzee, old enough to realize his own issues, knew how attached he was to the little Cancer. He was always petrified of moving into Karkat's red quadrant, knowing his pale boyfriend wouldn't be okay with it. Grabbing the shampoo, it always smelled like coconuts to the Capricorn, he slowly lathered his lover's hair, careful of his horns but making sure to get every bit of his hair.

The crab smiled at the careful attention Gamzee was giving his hair. He noticed the highblood seemed to steer clear of his horns, but decided not to question it. He didn't want to second guess anything anymore and just let Gamzee do as he pleased. He just wanted the clown happy. Deep down, that was the one thing that truly mattered to him. "Thanks, Gamzee," he breathed. He was always so much more relaxed when it came to showers, especially the ones he shared with Gamzee lately. He smiled, feeling completely at ease. "You wanna pile after this?"

Gamzee almost stuttered at the thought. He nodded and chewed at his bottom lip. "Y-yeah, Karbro. I think a motherfuckin' clown'd think that's real motherfuckin' nice." He cupped water in his hands, gently letting it cascade down his lover's neck, rinsing the thick suds away. The taller troll's hands were shaking gently, obviously nervous. He continued chewing his bottom lip, trying his best to stay focused. Karkat wanted to cuddle and pile with him... this early in the day? Today must have been a lucky day for the purple blood.

Karkat turned and gave Gamzee a hug, not caring that he still had soap all over him. He needed to pile with Gamzee. He had been a little busy, but his one free day was going to be given entirely to the juggalo. It was probably time for a good feelings jam anyway. Gamzee seemed off lately, and the Cancer wanted to fix him up, make sure shit was cool with the tall troll.

Gamzee smiled happily, hugging Karkat close to his chest. He buried his nose into the cherry blooded troll's freshly cleaned hair, just simply enjoying his scent. The small male was so precious to the highblood, and it kind of stung Gamzee, not really knowing how to properly express that. He kissed Karkat's forehead before pulling back just a bit. "Wanna get a motherfuckin' back rub later? I uh, I can feel that motherfuckin' stress in yer shoulders, palebro."

The crab stared up at Gamzee, studying his face. He loved seeing his clown without makeup. It was one of his favorite things. If Gamzee could go a day without wearing makeup, he would go a week without watching a single romcom. It was a part of him that Karkat had grown accustomed to, and was rather fond of now. But he enjoyed seeing the troll that lied beneath all that greasepaint.

“Sure, if you want to give one. But I want to wash that mess of a squeakbeast's nest you call hair first.” He spun Gamzee around carefully and grabbed the shampoo, reaching up high to slather it through the black mane. Once he got the soap dispersed through his hair, massaging the scalp just the way he knew Gamzee liked, he rinsed it quickly, and then set to work on his conditioner.

He secretly loved running his fingers through Gamzee's hair while it was soaked in conditioner. He let it set for a moment, staring up at the dripping mess as he contemplated. Finally he threw caution to the breeze and ran his fingers along his pale boyfriend's horns, rubbing them softly. He'd noticed Gamzee avoiding his while washing his own hair, and wondered if maybe the clown had been having another moment of self-doubt anxiety that he so carefully hid away from the crab. Karkat saw straight through it most of the time anyway. He ran his fingers along the keratin, massaging in gentle circles at the bases. He wanted Gamzee to know this was okay, so he squeezed the bases lightly, then let his soap-slicked fingers roll up and down the lengths, returning once again to massage the beds.

Gamzee tilted his head back, careful of the sharp points on his horns, and smiled at Karkat again. He had a powdery purple blush clinging to his high cheekbones, a gentle purr building in his chest. He closed his eyes slowly, the warm sensations filling his body. The way the water ran over his shoulders and back made the highblood trill. The way Karkat's small fingers wrapped around the thick base of his horns was absolute heaven. He never asked for this, never wanting to bother Karkat... but when he got to actually experience it, it made his stomach turn in the greatest of ways.

The clown, as gently as possible, nuzzled the tips of his horns against Karkat's jaw, a loud purr building up. He felt almost weak in the knees. "P-pale for you, Karbro."

Karkat couldn't help the small grin that broke out on his face. "Yeah, you too," he murmured past the stretch of his lips. He continued stroking, running the pads of his fingers along the sensitive prongs. He eventually pulled away, however, going back to rinsing the soap from his hair. He took another moment to lather the highblood's body with body soap, then pulled him into another hug, standing under the stream of hot water. "Today's about Gamzee, alright? Anything you want, I'm cool with." He reluctantly turned the water off, reaching up to squeeze a horn once more before reaching for towels for them.

Gamzee flushed brighter, kissing Karkat's wrist as he pulled his hand back. He got out of the shower after Karkat, he rubbed himself down. Once his body was fairly dry, he worked on his hair. His little moirail always liked it when his hair was at least dry. Gamzee shuffled slightly, putting on a pair of clean boxers he'd brought with him. "uh," He didn't really know what to ask for, just really wanting to spend time with his pale lover. "you uh, you wanna watch a movie er somethin' in the pile? We ain't gotta do nothin' big..."

The crab wrapped his own towel around his waist, heading into their bedroom in search of fresh clothes. “Only if you want to, Gamzee,” he answered, rummaging through a drawer. He pulled out a pair of boxers, dropping the towel to the floor to put them on, then began to look for jeans. He glanced back at his moirail, watching him carefully. “....how about we eat something and have a jam, first? We haven't jammed for a while.” Not since before moving in together. He was sure the Capricorn was definitely in need of one. The least he could offer up was some time for cuddles.

If Gamzee had a tail, he was sure it would be wagging. He loved having meal time with Karkat. It was one of the only times they fully got to see each other lately, besides their showers and bed time. He smiled, bouncing slightly as he shrugged on his jeans and tank top. As far as he knew, they weren't leaving the apartment for the day, so he didn't feel the need to get overly dressed. "Whacha wanna eat, Karbro?"

Karkat hid another smile as he watched the juggalo bounce around. "Just some cereal.” He threw on a shirt of his own and led the way to the kitchen, getting out bowls and the milk. He made sure Gamzee was sitting down before pouring them both a bowl of their favorite cereal, placing them at the table before them. He ate slowly, watching Gamzee and making sure the clown ate every bite. Once finished, he put their bowls in the sink and pulled Gamzee to his feet, dragging him toward their pile made of various junk. He spotted one of Gamzee's shirts, a couple old romcom cases, and a ratty notebook peeking from the blankets and was careful to avoid the most awkward of objects as they made themselves comfortable.

Gamzee crawled into the pile and made his self comfortable; gently petting Karkat's side. He sighed and licked his bottom lip, thoroughly content with what was happening at the moment. He didn't want any negative emotions muddling his think pan as long as he could hold Karkat in his arms and just enjoy that happy moment.

A small purr escaped Karkat at the feeling of Gamzee petting his sides. He closed his eyes and leaned against his moirail, cuddling against his chest. “So...” he started quietly, looking up at the clown. “How are you feeling?” He began rubbing his hand across Gamzee's chest, using his nails just lightly to scratch patterns through his shirt.

Gamzee felt a gentle purr bubbling in his chest where he felt Karkat's hand. He leaned into the touch a little bit and smiled, kissing Karkat's cheek again. The clown was so focused on the placement that he almost list his balance a little bit from leaning in so much. The paintless performer shrugged, "I feel alright Karbro, glad ta get my motherfuckin' snuggle on with a pale motherfucker like yerself."

Karkat gave his moirail a gentle smile, pleased to hear Gamzee was happy. He continued his chestrubs, knowing Gamzee would talk about whatever it was on his mind when he felt comfortable and ready. Until then, Karkat would snuggle and cuddle the Capricorn into the relaxation necessary for him to open up.

Gamzee nuzzled Karkat's neck softly, wanting to make him feel just as good as he did. The clown rubbed Karkat's sides, near clinically careful as to not touch his grub scars or too low on his hips. Gamzee moved to where he could reach Karkat's stomach, giving him gentle belly rubs and soft scritches. "How is a cute motherfucker like yerself feelin' Karbro?"

Karkat closed his eyes, enjoying the attention he was getting. He opened them after a moment, however, as he realized how...careful Gamzee was being. He seemed to be avoiding touching Karkat in certain places, places he'd never been so wary about before. “Alright,” he muttered, risking a glance at Gamzee's face. “...we've been piling for, like six years now. You know I'm not gonna break, right? You don't have to be so fucking careful of me, Gamzee.”

Gamzee swallowed thickly and nodded, his hands touching Karkat's grub scars through his shirt. His fingers shook and he pulled away, whimpering. "N-no." He pulled completely away, huddling against himself, knees to his chin. The clown trembled, feeling scared. "S-scared..." Gamzee's hair tumbled into his face and he whimpered even louder. "Scared y-you'll be ma-mad..."

Karkat sat up, staring at the Capricorn in surprise. “Gamzee?” He moved slowly, determined not to scare him or upset him. “You have nothing to be scared of, bro. I promise, I'm not going to be mad about anything.” He rested a hand gently on the clown's shoulder. “You know you can tell me anything. Please?”

Gamzee looked up at Karkat with sad, tired eyes. Without his makeup on, you could really see the bags under his eyes and how full of expression his face really was. "I... I'm scared...A stupid clown always wants ta get too motherfuckin' close, always wonderin' an shit 'bout how those wicked soft lookin' lips would feel all pressed against a motherfucker's."

The crab blinked, doing his best to decipher Gamzee's confession. Gamzee wanted to...kiss him. Okay. He could deal with that. He could handle little pale make-outs with his pale boyfriend. He licked his lips and nodded. “Alright. Okay. If a clown wants to know what my lips would feel like, well, I guess it's alright for him to find out.”

Gamzee blushed brightly, his cheeks feeling warm, even for a highblood. He gently touched Karkat's wrist, kind of wary. "A-are you sure? A motherfucker is always up an' talkin' bout bleedin' quadrants..."

Karkat formed his face into the most reassuring expression he could. “I'm sure. Forget the quadrants.” The light purple that dusted Gamzee's cheeks was…kind of endearing to the mutant. “Just do what you want, and don't worry about whether I'm going to get mad or not, okay? If it's something I don't want, I'll tell you, and I won't get mad. I promise.”

Gamzee nodded sheepishly and moved to where he was in front of Karkat. This was happening... this was definitely something was would transpire. He chewed his bottom lip before stopping and bending down just a bit, pressing his nervous lips to Karkat's mouth. Why was his quadrant mate okay with this? He pressed his lips more firmly against Karkat's, hoping he was doing this right.

The pounding in Karkat's ears increasingly grew until the mutant slowly realized it was his bloodpusher, that he was nervous. Gamzee was kissing him before he knew it, though, before he had a chance to really prepare himself for it, so he just closed his eyes and went with it, moving his lips clumsily against the clown's, doing his best to match the movements of his mouth with Gamzee's. He felt things in his chest clench when their lips were pressed firmer together. He knew palemates didn't do this kind of thing together, but... The moirailegence he shared with Gamzee was a special case. Besides, just because things worked a certain way didn't mean they had to do it that way. There was an exception to every rule, after all. So he closed his eyes and opened his mouth to his clown, giving permission to go further.

Gamzee gave a faint gasp as Karkat opened his mouth. This was the first kiss Gamzee had been a part of, but he'd seen plenty of kisses in those romantic comedies that Karkat was obsessed with. Gently, Gamzee opened his mouth, trying not to be a sloppy or too fast. His face flushed and his shoulders were kind of ridged but the kiss was as fluid as he could possibly make it.

Karkat's breathing was coming faster now, and he held his breath to control it, his bloodpusher pounding harder in his chest. He forced himself to relax, slowly melting against his moirail. It was...nice, actually. His first kiss was with his moirail, and it was really fucking nice. He chirped quietly, his face getting hot at the sound, but otherwise ignored it; focusing entirely on the lips pressed against his own. He hesitantly reached a hand up, giving one of Gamzee's horns a light stroke, an eye popped open just enough to gauge his reaction.

A sharp intake of breath made Gamzee pull back and swallow, trying not to choke. It was hard for him to process a better feeling than when Karkat rubbed at his horns but this, this was perfection. Gamzee leaned in, pressing his lips to Karkat's for a second time, deciding near instantly that this was his new favorite thing to do with his best friend. Karkat's hand seemed to spur him, making Gamzee dwell just that much deeper into Karkat's mouth, tasting at his pale lover's tongue. "Mnn,"

Karkat gave a quiet moan in response, kneading the flesh at the base of his horns gently. His eye fluttered closed again, pleased to see that horn rubs were acceptable. His other hand moved up to the remaining horn, not wanting it to feel left out in anyway, and squeezed and rubbed them both gently. He broke the kiss long enough to take a few small breaths, then continued it, lapping at Gamzee's mouth encouragingly.

Gamzee was shuddering, finding it hard to concentrate on anything that wasn't Karkat. He purred deep in his chest when he broke the kiss, kissing Karkat's nose and jaw softly before pulling back completely. The way Karkat was rubbing his horns made his toes to curl in the best of sensations. Before he could really think about it, he left small kisses on Karkat's nubbed horns, loving how it made his moirail grip his. Slowly, Gamzee enveloped the wide but short horn into his mouth, kicking softly.

Karkat tensed, his fingers tightening around the long shafts they were rubbing. He bit down on his lip hard, but not quickly enough to muffle the sound that escaped his throat. If he weren't blushing before, he sure as hell was now. He ignored it, squeezing his eyes shut tightly. Maybe Gamzee would be really fucking awesome and ignore it. He concentrated really hard on rubbing Gamzee's hornbeds, scratching at them lightly with his claws.

Gamzee, knowing Karkat liked horn rubs just as much as he did, kept his mouth busy, his hands on Karkat's sides, holding him close. He curled his tongue over Karkat's rounded tip, suckling softly before pulling off and giving attention to his other, feeding off of the noises falling from his moirail's lips. Suddenly, the clown was really self-conscious, hoping he was doing this right.

The mutant was sure his teeth were making a permanent indention in his lip by now. He mewled and chirped, desperately trying to keep himself under control. But Gamzee's mouth just felt so fucking /good/ on his horns. He'd never felt anything like this before, and he didn't want it to stop. A little part of him told him this was all much too red to be pale, but a larger part of him was more concerned with the “ohfuckyespleasedon'tfuckingstop” sensations that were going on all over his horns. He was panting through his teeth at this point, his eyes squeezed so tight he was giving himself a headache.

Something in his control snapped, and he found himself pushing Gamzee away from him to climb into the clown's lap, straddling either side of his hips. Pathetic mewls left his throat and he kissed Gamzee once more, harder than he intended, then pulled away with a whine. “Gamzee, fuck, I need, I need more.” He gripped the highblood's horns tightly, using them to force eye contact, showing just how serious he was about this.

The clown's eyes widened as he felt the pressure of Karkat's weight on his groin. He purred, grasping at his pale lover's hips, as a rush of heat seemed to course his veins. Gamzee kissed Karkat back, their mouth movements kind of sloppy but it just seemed to add to the sensations. He slowly rolled his hips up, his body far more in the moment than his brain. "S-shit, Karb-bro," He whined into Karkat's shoulder.

The clown jumped nearly three feet in the air when he felt something vibrate against his leg. It was the cellphone. ...Was it his daddy? Gamzee broke the kiss with an incredibly apologetic look to Karkat before grabbing at the phone. "H-hello?" His voice was nervous but practically dripped with excitement, not giving away his pale mate or his own previous activities. "Daddy?"

Chapter Text

Karkat sighed as he hung the phone up. He tossed it onto the couch and rubbed his temples before turning to Gamzee. The phone call had clearly distressed him; if the way his face had fallen and he thrust the phone at Karkat said anything. The crab had kept an eye on him the whole time he was on the phone with his father, but Gamzee did little more than take that shuddering breath he did when he was trying to hide just how upset he was, and rolled over, arms folded over his chest tightly. He'd rushed through the phone call, making up a poor excuse to his dad to get off the phone after a few minutes.

Well, he could safely say the mood was officially dead. He didn't know how he felt about that, to be honest. He supposed he was a bit relieved, as it was clear their activities were getting to be more than just a little pink. At the same time he was...a bit disappointed. He shoved that thought away, however, and settled back into the pile besides Gamzee. “...Wanna tell me what that was all about?” He had a pretty good guess, but it would be better all-around if Gamzee told him on his own, as opposed to leading him on with assumptions.

Gamzee licked his bottom lip, his clean face able to show every emotion running across his face. He sat up, giving a few feet of distance between himself and Karkat but enough to still be in arms reach. The clown didn't like being /too/ far away. He shifted again, his long nails dancing across his forearms. It seemed to be a nervous tick that he'd picked up over the years, helping him string his thoughts together.

The Capricorn’s voice was strained as if he was fighting off his own emotions. He started scratching harder at his forearm, leaving light purple lines to decorate the skin. He looked down at a few horns on the ground. "A daddy ain't got no motherfuckin' love for a stupid idiot clown, Karbro."

Gamzee's shoulders were trembling and his eyes were darting everywhere around the room that wasn't the small troll meant to pacify him. He gripped at his hair, feeling utterly disgusting. "Why would a motherfucker all pristine and goddamn royal need ta get his pan all muddled with the happenin's of the bastard son, Karbro? Why would a motherfucker be carin' 'bout a rusted pan holder like me?" The words spewed from his lips before he could stop himself. Tears brimmed his eyes, his vision blurring. His head hurt and it felt like everything was closing in on him.

“Hey now,” Karkat murmured softly, inching closer to his moirail. When Gamzee was upset he liked his space, but Karkat wasn't going to sit back for this one. He shifted himself awkwardly on their pile until he knelt before the sad clown and slowly brought his hands up to lightly brush against Gamzee's. “You know I don't like it when you hurt yourself like this,” he mumbled, lacing their fingers together as he pulled Gamzee's hands down and away from the still-damp mane of his hair. He glanced down at the little pinpricks of purple that ebbed to the surface of the clown's skin and his stomach rolled a bit but he turned his attention back to Gamzee quickly before he could upset himself as well. That wouldn't be of any help to his moirail, after all.

This was going to be hard. Gamzee loved his father and always defended the asshole against anyone, no matter who they were or what his dad did – or didn't do, Karkat reminded himself sourly. So what he had to say to Gamzee wasn't going to be easy for either of them, but it had to be fucking said.

He took a metaphorical deep breath and dove in. “I don't know what the fuck goes on inside your dad's pan any better than you. And yeah, this is pretty shitty of him and he's been a real asshole lately – no I'm not going to sugarcoat shit for you this time, bro, not gonna happen. We both know I'm right. But what I /do/ know is you're not a rusted pan holder. You got me? You're dad's a festering bulge sore sometimes, but there's nothing wrong with you.” He squeezed Gamzee's hands and leaned forward, kissing him softly on both cheeks. “I know you don't like hearing that about him, and I'm sorry you got dealt such a shitty hand in the load gaper that is life, but I'm always gonna be here for you. That's not gonna change, Gamzee.”

The clown looked up at Karkat sadly, nuzzling his face into Karkat’s hands almost pathetically as he begged for some kind of sympathetic or soft touch. He grasped at Karkat’s hand, unsure of how to feel about anything anymore. He wanted to scream, to just tell Karkat that he was wrong. The clown didn’t deserve this treatment. He didn’t deserve someone like Karkat wasting their life away taking care of him. Translucent purple tears streamed down his face, but he stayed quiet. Who was he to tell Karkat he was wrong? If… If Karkat said it, it had to be right… but… Daddy. The Capricorn started shaking, burying his face in his knees. Everything hurt and it was so confusing. His head felt like something was stabbing him in the back of his brain. “B-but… what…wh-what did I motherfuckin’ do? Wh-what did I do ta m-make Daddy h-hate me? T-to not love me n-no more…?”

Karkat frowned. “I don't think he hates you, Gamzee,” he murmured, running his fingers through his moirail's silken hair. He hated himself right then, his inability to reassure his best friend about something like whether his own fucking father loved him or not. “Whatever the fuck is going on with him, it's not fucking you, okay? You didn't do a damn think wrong, you get me?”

As he sat and held his crying diamond, the crab began to realize what he had to do. He patted at Gamzee's hair, running reassuring strokes over his horn beds. He wasn't quite sure how long they sat there, his arms around his tall clown as he shook with sobs, the Cancer glaring off at the purple trim boards of the wall. After his back began to ache, he nudged Gamzee to lay down with him, ignoring the press of what felt like an old pen in his ribcage, and pulled him into his chest, continuing to pet his horns and hair and whisper reassuring things about how he was there for him and he would be okay, even after Gamzee had ceased sobbing and simply just clung to him, as if afraid to let the mutant blood go. He began to lose track of time, though he was sure it had only been half an hour, possibly an hour, his hands and fingers mechanically moving on their own as his pan pieced together what he was about to do. He was so focused on his internal script that he didn't notice when the sad clown began to stir.

Gamzee lifted his head from Karkat’s chest, his body ridged but slowly working through the emotional lapses. He sniffled, running his fingers over his face. He was really happy that he hadn’t bothered with his face paint after his shower with Karkat; he looked over his moirail’s body and gave a faint smile. Karkat really was so good to him. He didn’t deserve to have to put with a clown’s shit constantly. Gently, Gamzee nudged his nose into Karkat’s collar, purring slowly.
“You uh, you wanna motherfuckin’ watch a romcom or get somethin’ ta eat, Karbro? I didn’t mean ta waste yer day all out like this with my stupid stuff. Anythin’ ya want.” He gently ran his fingers over Karkat’s sides, drawing small patterns over the skin to get his attention.

The Cancer smiled at his diamond, doing his best to cover his anger. He saw straight through Gamzee's act but said nothing, knowing it was the Makara's way of coping: just trying to move on with life and pretend nothing was wrong. “Sure. You feel like, I don't know, baking a cake or some shit like that?” Baking was one of Gamzee's favorite things, after all, and it tended to take his mind off things, calm him down.

Gamzee nodded softly. "I think we have some motherfuckin' wicked strawberry stuff left. I know you like that crazy ass chocolate swirl."

The clown stood up, helping Karkat to his feet. "I can make it an' get it ready. We can motherfuckin' veg out in the pile an' have a right motherfuckin' movie marathon er whatever ya want."

Gamzee loved making things for Karkat, or getting to make the food for their pale dates. Cooking calmed him down and kind of helped remind him that he was good at something that made others happy. He had learned to cook from his nanny a few years prior and been experimenting with it ever since.

Karkat nodded, still smiling softly. “Sounds fine to me.” He couldn't deny he loved his pale boyfriend's cooking and baked goodies, /especially/ the chocolate that he mentioned. He liked trying to help Gamzee as well. He was easily annoyed by a lot of it, and was really fucking shitty in his opinion, despite how much Gamzee assured him he wasn't. But sometimes it calmed his anger, and he did like to see the smile that came on Gamzee's face when he watched Karkat trying to figure out how the fuck to stir the delicious chocolate batter without spilling it all over the counter and himself.

He followed Gamzee to the kitchen, going directly to the fridge while his moirail got out the shit he still didn't quite understand. He looked around inside, his eyes landing on the near empty carton of milk and the eggs next to it. He pulled the egg carton out and popped it open, finding one lone orb inside. He chewed on his lip for a moment. He didn't want to just ditch Gamzee, not after a breakdown like that, but they would need the items, and it was a good excuse to leave, to do what he had planned the entire hour he sat stroking his crying clown's hair. He straightened up, forcing the guilt off his face.

“Looks like I gotta take a run to the store,” he admitted sheepishly, holding up the items. “We're pretty much out.” He set them back inside the thermal hull and closed the door, sighing. He chewed his lip again, not noticing the nervous action. “...Will you be okay if I go out really fast? I won't be that long, I promise.”
Gamzee looked over at Karkat, putting down the flower and sugar bags. Karkat was...leaving? Gamzee swallowed thickly, unsure of how to process that fully just yet. His eyes darted between the milk and eggs, realizing they were incredibly low. The clown had made a grand breakfast for the two of them a few days prior and had forgotten to buy more... He really was stupid sometimes...

"Oh... uh, okay Karbro." He gave Karkat a smile, not wanting the little crab to worry so much about him. "Go and I'll motherfuckin' have this bitchtits ready and hot when ya get back."

Karkat watched the emotions spill across the indigo's face, feeling guiltier by the second. But this was something he felt he had to do. And he knew if Gamzee was really not okay to be alone, he would say so. But that look told Karkat he needed to hurry his ass up. He gave his moirail a hug and leaned up on his tiptoes, stretching to kiss his cheek. “I'll hurry. I promise.”

With that he grabbed his wallet and crammed his feet into his worn shoes before heading out the door, shutting it softly behind him.

When Gamzee heard the door shut, a near deafening sadness fell over the apartment they shared. Gamzee looked around, licking the color of his bottom lip. He flushed softly, unsure of how to really battle the silence that ate away at his mental state. He scratched at his arm slightly, feeling where his skin was lightly scabbing. Gamzee mentally took not that he really did have to stop doing that. He walked into the living room and turned on the television to curb some of the silence. It was somehow on PBS, with a show about a comfy couch. Gamzee smiled softly when he saw the female clown bouncing around and talking to her doll friend. His brother and father always told him that he should have grown out of these shows years ago... but what was so bad about laughing over harmless jokes and remembering to be a good person? Gamzee ran his fingers through his hair and remembered how Karkat would do it when they were in the pile. It made him want to purr. After a few moments, he stood up, making his way back to the kitchen so that he could start on the cake he promised his pale lover.

-

The mutant pounded on the door of the massive townhome he stood before. He was dangerously close to attempting to kick the door in, even knowing he would probably just break his ankle. After counting to a very fast ten, he brought his fist up once again, taking his anger out on the fancy oak with his fist.
“God damn it, I know you're in there, Makara! Open up!”

As if on cue, the door opened. A broad male with skinny hips and curly long brown hair stood there. His lip piercings glittered in the sunlight. The obvious Makara was wearing a solid black wife beater and a pair of black skinny jeans with a ripped knee. The jeans looked worn and that the outlines of bones going down the legs. Looking down, Kurloz saw the rather short mutant boy. He signed towards him, rolling his eyes. 'What could the likes of you possibly want here?"

Karkat's eyes flashed dangerously, the red he would one day grow into showing through yellow orbs momentarily. He stepped into the home, shoving Kurloz out of the way, easily knocking the larger boy out of his way if only thanks to the benefit of surprise.

“I didn't come here to deal with your fucking shit,” he snarled at the pierced troll as he moved through the house, traveling the now-familiar route to the office of his diamond's father. “I'm assuming your good-for-nothing father is home?” he snapped rhetorically.

Kurloz didn't even bother to answer the angry 16 year old. He didn't have the energy to care what the little piss ant was doing. Kurloz walked up the stairs to his room. The mime decided that if there was anything the little mutant needed his father for; it wasn't any of his business. Let the Grand Highblood squash him.
Karkat didn't even paused long enough to knock, opting instead to throw the door open, slamming it with enough force it had surely damaged the wall it bounced off. The fact barely registered in the angry Cancer's mind as he made his way straight to Garret's desk, slamming his hands down atop the clearly important paperwork in front of the large highblood.

“You busy?” he demanded sarcastically, not giving a damn what his answer would be. “Here,” he continued, shoving his desk clear, “that should clear your schedule up for a minute. Now you have plenty of time. All you have to do is sit your worthless ass back and listen to me. Is that gonna be hard for a high and mighty asshole like yourself?”

Garret saw the small teenaged troll storm into his office. He would be lying if he said that it didn’t unnerve him just a bit. No one just simply barged into his office, not even his son. Garret's lips pursed and he tightened his grip on the cellphone in his hand. "I'm sorry; I do believe I'll have to call you back." He ended the call before dropping his phone into his jacket's pocket.

The highblood did everything in his power to not growl at his son's moirail. His nails flexed under the table, his blood pressure rising. It did not do well to show such little respect in his office. His tone was acidic and sweet, much like a cyanide kiss against your auditory nubs. "And what do I owe the pleasure of this visit, Mr. Vantas?"

Karkat didn't resist his own urge to growl, the low sound coming deep in his chest. “I guess I'll get straight to the point, Mr. Makara. That's how you businessmen do shit, right?” he sneered sarcastically, barely refraining from scratching his claws along the desk. That would probably be going just a bit too far, and instead balled his hands into fists, letting the sharp nails did into his palms. “Let's start with this: Do you hate your son?”

Garret's ears perked and he looked Karkat dead in the eyes. What was this little mutant playing at? His brow furrowed and he cocked an eyebrow. "What are you getting at, Vantas? Of course I love my son. I pay his rent, I supply him with food. I do the same for you." His tone was bitter, a growl at the peak of his words.
Karkat laughed suddenly, a short humorless bark. “I'm not surprised that the definition of 'love' is the same as money to you.” He became serious again, setting his jaw. “Then again, what piss poor excuse do you have for the way you treat that other asshole you call a son? You know the one who bullied the living shit out of Gamzee and is clearly your favorite? The spoiled little brat that still lives at home with his daddy while you kick Gamzee out so you don't gotta deal with his shit?”
Garret fell silent and rose to his feet. His jaw twitched and he flexed his claws again, this time quite visibly. His stature towered over Karkat, his shoulders square. The older male ran his fingers through his hair and a small laugh passed his lips before something in him just snapped. He slammed his hands down on his desk, the small lamp on the corner of the desk teetering close to the edge. "You don't motherfucking understand. Gamzee is a special case. He isn't mentally right. I had to do what I did. If I didn't, he would never have gotten out from under me. He is Autistic, he isn't right."

The crab had kept himself together pretty nicely so far, he'd thought. But when those words met his ears he lost it. He didn't give a damn about how much larger the indigo was than he, nor the fact that he could easily snap Karkat in half. He didn't even give a damn that this was the troll who was pretty much paving the road for not only Gamzee but for him as well. All he cared about right then was the things he'd just said to him.

“He isn't right?!” Karkat snarled, baring his sharp teeth as they snapped together. “What the fuck is wrong with you? This is your god damned SON we're talking about here! You think I'm fucking stupid? I've known him for six fucking years, and I know him better and have spent more fucking time with him than you have in almost three times that. Of COURSE I knew something was different, you stupid grubsucking shitsponge.” The mutant stopped for half a second to intake a fresh mouthful of air before going on. “That's not the issue here, you failure of a parent. So what if Gamzee's fucking different? Who gives a fuck? What, you don't know how to love your own kid just because he's not perfect like the other little shit that crawled out of your genetics?” He suddenly pounded his own fists down on the desk, nearly throwing himself in the highblood's face.

A snarl ripped from Garret's throat. His own nails dug into the cherrywood of his desk and he did everything he could to not leap over it and punch Karkat in the face. His arms were shaking and his eyes shut tight. "You don't goddamn understand what it's like to be a single parent. I have a business to run. Kurloz had private schools and Gamzee could have followed him, but he chose to be with you. I tried my best to treat them the same. Gamzee had the best nannies and teachers possible."

“I don't give a flying squeakbeast's ass about any of that!” The Cancer was livid now, shaking with anger. “You think that's the shit that really matters?! Tell me, what do you think is important when I'm holding him in my arms trying to get him to stop crying because the phone rang today with my father on the line and he'd gone and gotten his hopes up that it might actually be you on the other end for a change? Do you have any idea how often I do that for him? I don't even know how many times I've let him cry on my shoulder because you were too busy to just fucking look at the picture he drew for you. I don't even know why the fuck he needs your acknowledgment anyway. He doesn't need a damn thing from you. Not you, not your fucking money. I can take care of him. I'll get a fucking job, drop out of school if I have to. I'll be there for him, because I actually fucking love him.”

The highblood was shocked into silence. He let his hands slip off of the desk and fall to his sides as the young male spoke. Every word was like tiny needles injecting the most icy and frozen water into his veins. Gamzee...cried over him today? When... when had he spoken to his son last? A hollow pit formed in the business man's gut. Sheer pride is what kept him from dropping his head and sitting down. He looked at Karkat, taking a deep breath. "I-I'm sorry... I didn't know. I let my own motherfucking life get in the way of taking care of my own son."

Karkat snorted, turning his back on the troll. He was done here. Just looking at the public figurehead everyone knew as the “Grand Highblood” made him sick. “I'm not the one who needs to hear such a pathetic fucking excuse for an apology.” He realized he was shaking, nearly trembling with his rage. “You know, it's pretty fucking sad that any of this even needs to be said. In fact, it's a bit pathetic that I even have to tell you that your son still fucking loves you. His eyes sparkle like goddamned diamonds at the mention of you, and he'd probably rip anyone to shreds who badmouthed you. Fucked if I know why.” Against his better judgment the crab glanced over his shoulder at the Capricorn. “You can fix it, you know. Maybe you can grow some shameglobes and be a goddamned parent to him for once. But I won't hold my breath.” With that the cherryblood walked out, not even bothering to close the door behind him.

Garret took a deep, shuddered breath. He had no idea how to even fully process what he had just been schoolfed. Karkat was right though... absolutely right. He sat back down in his chair, the plush padding feeling cold and uncomfortable. He didn't deserve to be comfortable after that. Shakily, the purple blood reached into his pocket and pulled his phone out. He sat it on the desk before opening one of the bottom desk drawers, pulling out an overflowing manila folder. Gamzee's name was written across the top and even the letters were painful to see. He hit redial on his phone, waiting for the only person he'd ever let hear him like this to pick up. Once that familiar voice rang through his auditory clots, he smiled sheepishly. "Y-your son has the biggest pair of balls I've ever witnessed, baby." He choked slightly, holding back his tears. He couldn't cry. "I'm proud t-to say he is what G-Gamzee deserves."

On the other end of the phone Samuel smirked sadly. He crossed his legs, getting himself more comfortable to listen to his secret matesprit confess what he already knew. Before Garret had hung up he'd heard the all-too familiar yelling of his youngest son storm into the highblood's office, and he'd spent his time sitting patiently, waiting for this phone call exactly. “He's right, you know,” the Signless murmured into the mouthpiece softly. “I don't think I can remember times you've treated that poor boy nearly as well as you treat your eldest.” Samuel was sad to say that to his lover, but he wasn't going to lie to him.

The tall highblood's breath hitched and he nodded, knowing his lover was right. A small smile spread across his lips as Garret opened the folder, several drawings sliding free across his desk. "I...I do love my boy, Sam...You know I do." His voice was harsh, sore from catching in his throat. The small mutant had really put things in perspective for him. "Gamzee..." Just saying his son's name seemed wrong now... Garret was unworthy. "He always has been an exceptional artist..." Small droplets of purple cascaded down the highblood's cheek but he didn't notice until they would land on the picture of what he assumed to be him as he was tracing with his fingers.

Samuel Vantas had never seen or heard the highblood cry before, but he knew his lover was doing so now. He had never been prouder of his youngest, despite how much he knew his boy had pained his matesprit. “Has he now?” the Signless murmured quietly, gently, listening carefully. He'd never heard Garret say much about his youngest boy, and was intent to hang onto every word, cherish the moment. “Tell me more about your child, Garret.”

The business man tried to group himself together, thumbing through the pictures. "He...he is so loving and forgiving, Sammy," He thumbed through the pictures, feeling his chest restrict. It was getting hard to breathe as he looked over the pictures."I'd...I'd love to show these to ya, sometime... I have some from when the boy was really little..." he laughed softly, seeing the little comics his littlest son would draw. "I do love him, baby... more... more than anything. I just... I'm a real shit father."

“Hey now,” the Reverend scolded. “You're talking like it's the end of the world. I'm not going to pet you better and tell you you're wrong, I'm you're matesprit, after all, not your moirail, but it's not to late to change and start anew. The boy is sixteen, and you're nowhere near your deathbed. Just...give him a call. Talk to him, say hello and ask him how he'd doing. Tell him you love him for God's sake.”

The oldest Makara sighed and nodded, though he knew his lover wouldn't be able to see him. "You're right, Sammy. I... I have to fix this..." He swallowed thickly, his pride shattered into bitesize pieces. "I'll... I'll call you later, okay?"

Garret hung up the phone, resting his head in his hands; the tears freefalling down his cheeks now. The CEO didn't deserve a loving son like Gamzee, nor did the boy deserve such an awful father. It wasn't Gamzee's fault that he was a little different. He shook softly, Karkat's words ringing in his ears. He'd learned to take care of Gamzee and /love/ him without even knowing that his son had anything /wrong/ with him. No. Gamzee didn't have anything wrong with him... He was perfect. The highblood gripped at his hair for a moment and whimpered before drying his eyes. If this was going to get better, he had to make the first move. He grabbed his phone, dialing the number with shaking fingers.

The dial tone and ringing was almost deafening. He focused so hard on the noise that he'd nearly missed Gamzee answering. "Uh, hello? Karbro?"

"Nah, my lovely motherfuckin' son. S'your Daddy. How are you, Gamzee?" The older male almost choked on his tears when he heard such a shocked but happy gasp leave the younger's mouth.

"Daddy! I'm glad you up an' motherfuckin' called! I'm bakin' a strawberry cake fer Karbro. I love you!"