Chapter 1: What is Going On?
Alright so I’ve done some weird shit in my life, but I’m pretty sure this takes the cake. After Jake decided to be and asshole, again, I broke up with him, again, this time for good… or at least until he got his head out of his ass because I’m a sap like that.
But all in all that was pretty par for the course, what made this shit weird was the fact that the person who found and talked to me was one of the older trolls. You know the ones who had been dead for several millennia at least? So here’s this six foot eight gray dude in a fucking leather jacket, who looks like he stepped of the cover of Grease or maybe the Outsiders. He didn’t seem bothered when I started shouting about how much of a dick Jake was and seemed sympathetic about it.
Eventually I realized we were on a beach that was, considering this looked like nothing I’ve ever seen, a more troll centered part of this place. I was still raging and my face had to be red by now when his hand came up to my face and sort of lightly smacked me. His other hand had gotten a hold of my shoulder and he pulled me into a sort of half hug, I was too shocked to pull away and honestly he felt sort of nice.
He was frigid to the touch, something I didn’t know how to react to. Must be his natural temperature. Eventually I realized I had relaxed, he was sitting on the sand and I had rested my head on the junction of his shoulder near what looked like gills. My breathing was still sharp and angry, but he was rubbing my back and letting out a weird rusty, bubbly, clicking noise.
All in all it was alien and confusing and surprisingly comforting. I sighed and relaxed and just let him murmur in what sounded like their language, but modified. It sounded like what Rose said whenever she spoke in the ‘Fester Tongues’. Coming from him however it didn’t sound threatening it sounded soothing, like he was trying to comfort me.
I huffed when his hands stilled, one tangled in my hair while the other just rested on my back, “Feeling any better?”
“Loads actually,” I muttered.
I could feel a rumble in his chest and heard a sharp laugh come from him, “Didn’t knowv if that vwould vwork, considering it’s not something humans do.”
“Well congratulations, I am even weirder now. I am officially able to be comforted by an alien fish,” I said dryly.
“Not my fault you looked like you vwere about to pass out,” He said letting out a much more sarcastic laugh than before.
“That would have been acceptable, but not preferred,” I told him.
I groaned when a sharp pain shot through my skull, “And now for a migraine, what a perfect day.”
“Come here,” He muttered turning me until I was settled on his lap with both legs hanging over the side.
His arm stayed behind my back supporting me and I didn’t know what he was up to this time. His other hand came up to my head and he started to massage my temple. It felt nice; his hands were better than any ice pack and moved of their own accord. My eyes were fluttering shut and I let out a sigh.
If this was some sort of weird ass alien courting thing I would have to find out what it entailed because I’m pretty sure I could deal with hanging around this attractive weirdo every day.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when his fingers tapped my shades, a question in and of itself. I wrinkled my nose before reaching up and captchaloging them. His fingers moving to massage the sore parts of my nose and ears where the shades had dug in over the years. I let out a satisfied hum, this felt really nice. I was surprised when his fingers trailed down to massage my jaw; I hadn’t even noticed that I held it that stiff.
I hummed as he continued to massage my temples again, my migraine forgotten. I could definitely use more of this. It felt like I was drifting off, but fuck it if I was moving even an inch. I let out an irritated noise when his hand removed itself completely, only to reappear at my hand. The giggle I heard was surprisingly light hearted. I let out a confused noise when I realized that my hands were being gently unfurled and my gloves were set on my thigh.
I couldn’t tell you how long I had been turned to mush in this guys lap, but when he finally stopped and just sort of cradled me in his lap, I blinked my eyes open. He was staring at me with surprisingly wide eyes, looking quite content himself.
“As much as I hate to say it, I’m gonna have to go find the others,” I muttered sounding kinda drunk.
A frown flickered across his lips, but he nodded anyway.
“Let’s get you up then,” His voice didn’t cut through my stupor like I expected.
I mean the guys voice was a surprisingly deep rumble, but no part of me was bothered. Probably because he was directly responsible for me being in said stupor.
“Yeah, alright,” I muttered.
His hand stayed on my elbow until I stopped swaying, I put my gloves in my sylladex and pulled out my shades I slid them over my eyes and stopped. I didn’t exactly know the etiquette for a situation like this.
I stared at him for a moment chewing my lip, eventually he made up both our minds.
“See you later I guess,” He shrugged, waving as he turned around.
“Yeah,” I nodded and started looking for a way off the beach, but not before I made sure to take in what his house looked like.
House smouse that was a fucking mansion. I noticed that his shoulders had slumped and he wasn’t headed home, probably going to talk to some of the other trolls that wandered around the town.
I turned and jogged down the beach until it turned into a human suburb, Jane and John then.
“Yo,” I called as I approached the group waiting for me in their shared house.
“Hey, Dirk!” Roxy called excitedly, waving from her spot next to Jane.
“You were gone for quite awhile,” Rose said, smiling sagely.
Either she knew what had happened or was just being her smug self. Either way I’d talk to her later.
I settled on the couch taking the spot next to Jake, this earned me a strange look from Jake and a raised brow from Dave. When we broke up I usually avoided him like the plague, but after spending some time with that troll I was feeling better. Plus this would probably piss Jake off all the more.
I was right, within an hour Jake was sulking and Jane was sending us alternating looks of confusion and annoyance. She couldn’t say anything however because I was being perfectly polite, if not a little dismissive of Jake, but Jake was being a downer.
“I think that today went great,” Jade chirped having ignored Jake’s tantrum the entire time, “I need to get going for a little bit though.”
“I do as well I’m afraid, I promised Kanaya I’d see her today,” Rose chimed in, “I was actually wondering if you’d walk with me Dirk? I had a question for you.”
“Sure thing Rose,” I told her.
Eventually we all left, with the exception of Dave who appeared to be sticking to John like he was the only thing left in the world.
After we were out of earshot the interrogation began, “So you and Jake broke it off again?”
Never one to beat around the bush, “Yup, that obvious?”
“You didn’t touch him even once and he seemed… miffed about something,” She let a grin slip on her face, “However you didn’t react like usual. You seemed completely at ease. Not to mention several remarks you made towards Jake were slightly… cutting, if you’ll pardon my pun.”
“Pardoned,” I said, making my accent thicker than necessary to get a giggle from her, “And guilty. I was talking with someone earlier; he’s a pretty good listener.”
“If it were someone from our group I would have noticed them being upset with Jake, but alas there was no such information coming my way. So I shall assume it was one of our trollish companions?” She asked ‘needling’ for an answer.
“So invasive,” I said putting a hand over my heart, “Yeah, it was a troll.”
“That leaves less to sort through,” She said, I rolled my eyes.
She would probably assume it was one of ‘her’ trolls, so that would buy me some time.
“Hey, do you know any troll that won’t flip their lid if I ask about relationships? And no offense, but I kinda don’t want to ask Kanaya. I’d prefer an older one,” I told her deciding to drop a heavy hint while getting some info.
“I don’t know them well enough, but Kankri could probably direct you to someone if you’d like to risk it,” She told me with a sly grin.
I made a noise of ascent as we came up on Kanaya, “I guess so, see ya later Rose.”
“Good day Dirk,” She said as Kanaya waved at me.
Chapter 2: Advice and Inquiries
So Dirk needs advice and gets it from a few... unusual sources.
I wandered away from the couple with the intention of asking anyone except Kankri. I didn’t think I could handle the lecture I’d get on triggers and privilege.
So just my luck the very first troll I run across it the said troll who immediately notices me.
“Ah, hell9 Mr. Strider, its unusual t9 see y9u in this part 9f the t9wn. Which I h9pe is n9t with the intenti9n t9 6e rude, 6ut a mere slip 9f th9ught f9r 9thers,” He was already going god damn.
“Nah, I got no problems with any of you. Just tend to stick to my closer friends houses, still getting used to everything,” I told him, turning to face him so he wouldn’t go off on something about how I was being rude.
“I’m glad t9 hear it, 6ut, if y9u d9n’t mind me asking, why are y9u here then?” He got to the point quicker than normal.
“Actually I was walking with Rose because she wanted to ask me something,” I shrugged, “So we talked while she headed to Kanaya.”
“She did n9t trigger y9u I h9pe? I kn9w that she is y9ur relative, 6ut that d9es n9t excuse h9rrid 6ehavi9r sh9uld it 9ccur. I w9uld 6e m9re than happy t9 speak with her a69ut it if y9u w9uld like,” He said rather quickly.
It was tempting to send him after her for poking around at my thoughts, but that was too cruel.
“She just noticed I was acting a little off and wanted to make sure I was okay,” I told him, continuing before he could talk, “Actually that reminds me, I know you don’t like talking about relationships so I was wondering if you could tell me a troll who won’t mind. I noticed something odd while talking with another troll and want to make sure I’m not misunderstanding their intentions or anything.”
“If it is quadrants y9ur curi9us a69ut, P9rrim w9uld 6e 6est,” He wrinkled his nose, it was almost cute, “She’s quite, ah, well versed in the su6ject. She is Kanaya’s dancest9r and can usually 6e f9und with Aranea 9r Latula. S9metimes with myself, 6ut as y9u can see, that is n9t the case t9day.”
“Alright, so I’m looking for Porrim, thanks Kankri,” I said, feeling like he kind of wanted to say she was too open with her quadrants.
“Ah, yes g99d6ye,” He said waving politely.
“Bye,” I said wandering away again.
Kanaya’s dancestor, so I was mainly looking for horns now. Kanaya’s were distinctive and they all seemed to share near identical horns. I wandered until I saw I little female troll with cat horns.
I waved at her and she immediately bounded up to me.
“HI,” She yelled with a wave, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
I was taken aback by her loud voice, but decided to ignore it.
“I’m looking for Porrim, know where she is?” I asked noticing she was watching me talk.
“YEAH, PURRIM JUST HEADED THAT WAY,” She pointed, “BYE BYE!”
She left quickly leaving me dumbfounded, I was asking about her when I found this troll.
I wandered around until I saw two more female trolls on a bench talking. One of them had the same horns as Kanaya while the other, unfortunately, I recognized as Aranea.
“Yo,” I called out gaining the girls attention, “Your Porrim right?”
I was sure, but it never hurt to ask.
“Indeed,” She said with a fanged smile, “I believe yo+u’re the o+lder Strider, co+rrect?”
“Yeah, just had a couple of questions if you’ve got a minute,” I said stopping a few feet away.
She glanced at Aranea, who to her credit merely shrugged and pulled out a book.
“I suppo+se a question o+r two+ never hurt anyo+ne,” She said looking at me again.
“Actually they probably have, but that’s not why I’m here,” I smirked, “One, there was a cat girl that yelled a lot and I’m kinda confused as to who she is.”
Porrim laughed delicately, piercings glinting, “That’s Meulin, yo+u’ll have to+ fo+rgive her dear. She’s been deaf fo+r a lo+ng time, but is quite adept at reading lips by this po+int.”
I nodded, made sense, “Second, I think I got hit on by a troll, but knowing nothing about you guys at all really means that I may be misinterpreting this pretty badly.”
Her eyebrows shot up, “I can’t say I was expecting that, hmm did it seem mo+re flushed o+r pitch?”
“Cultural disconnect,” I told her, “I have no idea what those words mean.”
She sighed and seemed to think for a moment before Aranea chimed in, “I think flushed is quite close to your human romance, while pitch is a form of romance 8ased in rivalry and one-upmanship.”
“All right then, neither,” I paused, “I swear to god he smacked me though.”
Porrim frowned, “That so+unds like pitch to+ me dear. Unless… o+h that wo+uld make sense seeing as humans do+n’t have mo+irails. I think they papped yo+u dear.”
Her face had lit up as she came to her realization; mine had screwed up in confusion.
“Mo+irails is pale ro+mance and is based o+n two+ peo+ple keeping each o+ther in line, caring fo+r, and calming o+ne ano+ther,” She began to explain, “Papping is essentially lightly patting ano+ther’s face until they calm. Tro+lls have parts o+f their faces where ho+rmo+nes are released if they’re tapped with eno+ugh pressure. It’s quite a so+o+thing sensation, they likely meant no+ harm by what they did, but yes they were so+rt of hitting o+n yo+u. Altho+ugh in mo+re o+f a ‘co+me cuddle with me’ way than an ‘I want to+ pail with yo+u’ way.”
“Alright then, let’s say some sort of facial and hand massages were thrown into this mix, are we still on track?” I asked,
I suddenly jumped when I could hear a loud squeal from behind me.
“MOG, MOG, MOG! THAT’S SO CUTE!” It was the cat girl, giving me a heart attack.
Heh, ‘heart’ attack.
“Hello+ Meulin dear,” Porrim said smiling at the girl, “And yes, that wo+uld mo+st definitely fall under pale.”
“Alright cool,” I said, this I could get on board with.
I watched as three sets of expectant eyes watched me, “What, I have something on my face?”
“I think we were all wo+ndering if we were go+ing to+ get anymo+re details o+n what happened?” Porrim asked for all three.
“Never said you were getting any unnecessary details, just what I needed to give to find out what the hell happened,” I grinned at her.
Meulin whined and Aranea frowned, Porrim laughed.
“I’ll find o+ut eventually dear, if no+t fro+m yo+u then fro+m Meulin here,” She told me, “Our dear Mage o+f Heart is an avid shipper and will let no+ ship go+ unno+ticed.”
I chuckled thinking about my joke before turning to her, “C’mon kitten, one Heart player to another, Prince to Mage. If you find out don’t go telling everyone alright?”
“HMM,” She said flicking her tail and thinking, “I’LL KEEP IT QUIET IF YOU TELL ME.”
“Damn, no choice huh?” I shook my head, “Follow me then I’ll tell you once were out of earshot. Plus I got a troll to hit on.”
She squeaked and bounded after me as the other two girls pouted at being left out.
After awhile I smiled at her and she began to bound ahead until we reached her house (hive?). She swung the door open and ushered me inside before sitting down and motioning me to sit with her.
I sat next to her and shook my head, she was so excited. She grabbed my hand and was bouncing in her seat staring at me with huge eyes.
“Alright then,” I said watching her still and stare at me in a way that was definitely predatory, “I actually don’t know their name, I know like five of your names so you’ll have to help me out here.”
She nodded excitedly, “They’re tall, like way taller than me, but they got fins… why are you giggling.”
She was indeed giggling; eyes brighter than ever and looking both amused and delighted.
“CRONUS AMPURRA!” She practically squealed.
Due to the use of a few cat puns I was going to have to translate that as best I could, “Ampura?”
She blinked and seemed to realize her mistake, “AMPORA.”
“Alright then, the laughter is still confusing,” I told her.
“CRONUS NEFURR JUST HELPS PAWPLE HE’S PAWLWAYS GOING FUR SOMETHING, SO KNOWING HE HELPED MEW JUST BECLAWS IS REALLY CUTE!” She shrieked.
“Alright so he’s a flirt,” I said slowly, “And you know what, fuck it. I’m gonna risk going pale on this guy and I’m going to need your help cause I know nothing about troll romance.”
She got really excited at that and I wondered if I had just made a grievous mistake. Probably, oh well.
We spent several hours at her place, eventually being accosted by her mini me and former boyfriend. The former having given her promise as the Rogue of Heart not to tell and I kind of gave the guy a pass as he was mute and super protective of Meulin, who I was growing quite fond of now that I was used to her constant volume.
I left slightly confused, but with a decent idea of how to pale flirt with a prince. A literal prince, not the half assed title given to me by the game, but actual fucking royalty. Apparently the top three castes were all considered royalty, so creepy mute guy was land dwelling royalty while Cronus and Meenah were sea dwelling royalty with Meenah formerly being an heiress to the throne.
I had also been explained that high bloods were called cold bloods because they ran a lot lower in the temperature range than the others, only Meenah ran colder than Cronus, but back to the point.
All three of the trolls in Meulin’s hive were in healthy moirailships so I could guess that their advice was at least pretty sound.
I ended up back on the beach, heading towards the huge house. God damn this is intimidating.
Chapter 3: News
I actually managed to find the next chapters of this story that I thought were lost.
It will be a few days before I can get it up, but I'll also be giving the first two chapters a rewrite.
I'm sorry that I disappeared and hope that you enjoy the new chapter(s) when I can put them up.