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Best Friends.

Chapter Text

The life he rolled with wasn't anywhere near the easiest.

 

Dave wasn't interested in the drugs at all.

 

He was interested in nothing but the money. And possibly the small thrill of dodging the police and managing to keep the operation he had going under the radar.

 

He slung pretty well for his age. He wasn't even legally allowed to drink alcohol, yet he was perfectly capable of distributing drugs to people of all sorts.

 

Normally, he dealt with your run-of-the-mill crackhead or stoner. None of his men have been attacked so far though and most deals have gone down smoothly. He had it good in his little trade. He had strong connections and he supposed his bro helped in some odd way with his own freaky business.

 

Dave tried to avoid interacting with his bro as much as he could, considering the fact that he started to engage in his current lifestyle to get away from him in the first place. Their past together was rough and shitty, and it wasn't something he wanted to be around any longer. So he left with a crew one day after he graduated and hadn't seen Dirk since.

 

He was milling around in his crew's tiny warehouse pondering this when he heard a scuffle across the room.

 

A distinct male (and kind of high pitched) voice was hissing and yelling in the strange language that he recognized as the language the trolls in their society spoke. It sounded rather nasty and vicious, like pure venom was coming out. There was a hint of desperation though. This was obviously an intruder just by hearing the tone of his voice. Well, that and the fact that he knew what all his crew sounded like and that none of them spoke Alternian.

 

Dave got up from his chair with furrowed eyebrows, rushing towards the sound of the skirmish. The intruder yelped and hissed again as his arm was twisted behind his back. Dave turned the corner just as the troll was being slammed against some crates of their merchandise.

 

Karkat stifled a scream as his body ricocheted off the crates and he was tossed to the floor like a ragdoll. He had made a move to scramble up, but a foot from one of Dave's friends pressed him down.

 

“Get the FUCK off of me! Let me go!” Karkat hollered and flailed. He was small and short. He was clad in nothing more than some black skinny jeans and a dark gray hoodie with converse sneakers. His skin was a smooth and light shade of gray and two nubby little candy corn horns poked out of the top of his curly black locks.

 

Dave found him attractive aside from the fact that Karkat was screeching in protest and attempting to rob him.

 

“What the hell is going on here?” Dave demanded. His two friends looked over at him and so did Karkat. The troll's gray and yellow eyes were wide and he looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a truck.

 

The one dude who wasn't holding Karkat down held up two carefully wrapped bags of weed. “Bro, he tried to jack two pounds from us. No clue how the fuck he got in, but he was real fucken sneaky and quiet,” he replied.  

 

“Yeah, he almost got away with that much merch! I managed to catch him when he dead ass ran into me,” the man who was holding down Karkat chimed in. “Not as sneaky and quiet as he may think he is.”

 

“Two pounds of weed?” Dave frowned deeply and went over to Karkat, motioning to his friend to lift him back up. His friend did as he was told, but kept the troll's arm twisted behind his back so he couldn't get away.

 

“Yes, dumbfuck. Mr. Gestapo over there already said that,” Karkat snarled and tipped his head towards the guy standing aside with the weed.

 

“Who the fuck do you think you are? Did you honestly think you'd get away with stealing from us? How did you even get in here in the first place? Why are you stealing it anyway?” Dave narrowed his eyes at Karkat and stepped closer, getting in his face.

 

Karkat only glared and bared his teeth. “That's none of your damn business. You of all people should know that you have to do what you have to do to get by.”

 

Dave studied the troll's face carefully, analyzing him. He seemed thin and small to him; not very threatening. But he did manage to get through his security without alerting anyone. That is until he fucked up. He was still a thief though.

 

“Doesn't mean you'll get away with it. You tried to seriously fucking rob kush of all things from us? You do know that two pounds of cocaine and heroin is worth way more than two pounds of damn weed, right?” Dave scoffed.

 

The troll just rolled his eyes. “I'm aware of this. I have a friend who prefers weed and pays well though. Cocaine and heroin is tacky, messy, and not worth it. Better to be seen as a stoner rather than a corporate douchebag who pulls a Pulp Fiction at least once a year.”

 

Dave snorted, which he regretted a little. This was not a funny situation, so he straightened up and grabbed the front of Karkat’s hoodie. “You're going to tell me exactly how you got in here and how you knew where we were.”

 

“Oh, yeah? Fucking make me. I'm not telling you shit, you cuck,” Karkat sneered at him, now trying to break his arm free. This only made the guy twist it harder and force him to his knees with a strangled cry.

 

“Look, dude. I'm not into disposing of people or worrying about snitches if I let them go. Tell me who the fuck you think you are and we can discuss the repercussions afterwards,” Dave knelt down in front of him and gripped his chin.

 

The guy holding the weed - Mr. Gestapo in Karkat’s book - squinted at Karkat. A light bulb suddenly went off in his head as he examined him, his eyes focusing on the nubby horns surrounded by thick locks of hair.

 

“He's the son of that preacher!” Mr. Gestapo exclaimed.

 

Karkat’s head snapped over to him and he frowned. Dave looked over as well.

 

“What? What preacher?” Dave questioned, glancing at Karkat. Karkat shifted uneasily and made a distressed noise, obviously uncomfortable and nervous now.

 

“That preacher troll! It was kinda a long time ago, but he was assassinated. It was a big deal. Surprised you guys don't remember that. This kid has the same horns as him,” Mr. Gestapo explained with wide eyes.

 

Dave thought for a few moments to himself, digging through the recesses of his mind for any memories. It clicked when he stared at Karkat for another minute or two.

 

He had recalled a figure who resembled Karkat pop up here and there in conversations and discussions. He didn't know too much aside from the fact that he was a troll preacher, tried to reform something, and was murdered for it.

 

Dave opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by Karkat. “Shut up!”

 

“Wait, is this why you're stealing? Don't you have anyone else?” Dave turned Karkat’s face towards him. The poor troll looked like he was thrown into a shark tank.

 

Karkat hesitated and then spoke slowly, “I- My brother. I have an older brother. We.. we aren't doing well, okay? That's all you need to know. Just fucking let me go and you'll never hear from me again, I swear.” His mouth was in a tight line now and his eyes were wide. As annoying as his brother could be, he loved the guy to death.

 

Some sympathy welled up inside of Dave, but he knew this wouldn't blow over well if he let him off the hook so easily. There was the risk of Karkat turning him in now.

 

Dave looked up at his two friends, examining their expressions. It was silent in the room now and Karkat’s gaze was cast down on the ground.

 

It was swift, but Karkat pulled a dead weight and fell to the floor. This surprised the guy twisting his arm back enough to loosen his grip. He took this opportunity to punch Dave in the face and to kick his restrainer in the dick. Classy moves. It worked well enough.

 

As Dave fell back clutching his jaw and the other clutching his nads, Karkat rushed Mr. Gestapo and knocked him into a crate. He kicked him in the side and grabbed a pound of the weed, booking it for the window he had used to get in. Dave recovered at this point and went to chase him down, screaming in frustration when Karkat shimmied out of the small opening and disappeared.

 

Dave smacked the window as he watched Karkat bolt down the street, glancing back at the human standing inside.

 

Mr. Gestapo finally appeared at Dave’s side with the other pound of weed. Dave glared out the window and spoke to him, “You said he was the son of some famous preacher, right? What's his name?”

 

“I think it's Vantas? That's not his first name though. It's his last name if I'm right,” he replied.

 

“Search for him. See if he has a legitimate job. One that doesn’t involve robbing drug dealers.”

 

“I'm on it, sir,” Mr. Gestapo nodded and went to walk off. Dave stopped him and took the pound from him before sending him off.

 

He balanced the pound in his hand and kept staring out the window.


Robberies weren't something that happened to him here. Like fucking hell someone could slip in and out on him like that. 

Chapter Text

Karkat ran as fast as he could, only glancing over his shoulder here and there to make sure he wasn't being chased.

 

After doing something as suicidal as that, he couldn't go directly home. No, he was going to the friend who requested it in the first place.

 

True friendship is leading your drug dealing assailants to your friend's house.

 

He almost beat down Gamzee’s front door, a whole wad of the devil's lettuce stuffed under his hoodie. Even through the packaging, he was nervous the smell would rub off on him. The last thing he needed was Kankri wondering why the fuck he smelt like an illegal hooka bar.

 

Gamzee lazily opened the door, a stupid grin on his face. Karkat shoved past him and shut the door behind him, locking it for now.

 

“I have half your stupid shit,” He instantly spat out. Karkat whipped out the damn shit and waved it in his face, now shoving it into his arms. “I got caught, but I got away. I cannot believe I did that for four hundred dollars.”

 

“Oh, wow, bro.. want another hundred?” Gamzee blinked down at him.

 

Karkat had to think for a moment. Even though he got caught, he only got half of what he was supposed to. Gamzee was his friend and they had made a deal, which he failed to fully complete. He didn't think it'd be fair to ask for more now.

 

“I.. No, man. It's okay. Just send it to me through PayPal,” Karkat rubbed his forehead and then opened the door back up, glancing around outside. “I'm going to get home before Kankri blows up my phone.”

 

Gamzee nodded and pulled Karkat into a hug, nearly crushing the poor guy. He was used to it, for the most part. The taller of the two then clapped him on the back and saw him off, waving as Karkat speed walked down the sidewalk.

 

He felt paranoid as hell and was seriously starting to think that what he did wasn't worth it one bit. Four hundred dollars? That would help with a few bills, at the most. He might as well just get another job, but work was hard to come by here. Wasn't that why he was doing this in the first place?

 

No work. Outcasts. Bills.

 

No one wanted to hire someone from an outcast family. Aside from a fucking coffee shop, which Karkat considered slave labor. Even as an adult, they paid him minimum wage with an average of thirty hours a week. Hardly something to scrape by on. He was tired of it.

 

Kankri tried to make the best of it. Yes, he was smart, but man. He could talk and talk and talk. No one really believed that he had an off switch.

 

Karkat was about to put the key into the door of their tiny apartment when Kankri opened the door for him.

 

“Welcome home, Karkat,” His older brother smiled down at him and stepped aside. Karkat brushed past him and flopped face-down on the couch. Kankri didn't look very surprised at this. “I'm assuming that you had a lengthy day? May I ask what you did? Did that new housecleaning job wear you out?”

 

“Nothing,” Karkat sighed out and shut his eyes. “I'm just feeling tired today.”

 

“I made some macaroni for you. It's on the stove,” Kankri opened a cabinet and got down a plate.

 

“Macaroni?” Karkat’s head popped up over the cushions. “Sign me the fuck up.”

 

He came over as Kankri piled some macaroni onto the plate and handed it to him. “I figured you'd want some.”

 

“You know me well,” Karkat got a fork and shoveled that totally healthy shit into his mouth.

 

Kankri’s nose scrunched up in distaste. “Manners. That's revolting.”

 

Karat grabbed a can of soda with his free hand and headed towards his room. “Mhm. Whatever you say, Kranki .”

 

“You have work tomorrow!” Kankri tried to ignore the annoying pet name in favor of reminding his sibling of the hell to come.

 

“Fuck,” Karkat hissed and kicked his door shut with his foot. He sat at his desk and fired up his shitty laptop to watch Netflix, inhaling his food.

 

He dicked around until three in the morning and set an alarm for work. He wouldn't have to be in until one in the afternoon and he closed the shop at nine. He'd get nine hours of sleep right now if he instantly fell asleep.

 

No, it took him at least an hour to pass out. As usual. But he did fall asleep. That's a win on his part. 8 hours wasn't bad.

 

When his alarm went off at twelve in the afternoon, he groaned and blindly slapped it with his hand. Kankri had to be at work by now, so he had the apartment to himself to get ready in.

 

He rose from the dead and yawned, rubbing his eyes. He took his time taking a shower and getting dressed in his ridiculous uniform. Karkat knew that if he dressed in tighter clothes, he'd get better tips. It was a sad world, but having hips and an ass in this world apparently helped.

 

He poured himself a bowl of cereal and checked his dwindling phone notifications. Nothing new. Nothing interesting. He did see that the money was transferred to him. He'd pay some of the bills he was responsible for later.

 

Once he finished up, he slid his phone, keys, and wallet into his pockets. He pulled on his gray hoodie and headed outside, strolling to his work on his normal route.

 

It took about twenty minutes or so to get there. When he got there, he clocked in and did his thing. He got the typical rude customer two or three times and he tried to brush off any blatant passes made at him. It was an uncomfortable job and he wasn't too much of a people person. It paid some of the bills though.

 

There were, however, a few shady people that came in and drifted out throughout his shift. They kept glancing over at him after ordering and typing on their phones. It made him paranoid and he decided it'd be best to close up shop as fast as he could and hightail it the fuck out of there.

 

He was tempted to ask to clock out early, but he knew he'd get laughed at for even bothering to. A few creeps weren't enough for his boss to take him seriously.

 

Karkat kept a close watch on them as best as he could, but it got hard when an evening flow came in from the rush hour people. At least he wasn't handling the drive thru.

 

By the end of his shift, everyone was gone and he was responsible for locking up. As he cleaned up, he could feel his heart racing as he kept glancing out the windows. He felt like he was being watched. It was cliché, sure, but he could feel his spine wanting to shrivel in on itself.

 

He tried to talk himself down, telling himself that he was just paranoid and still shook about yesterday. He took a deep breath and pulled on his hoodie, putting the hood up as he cautiously went outside to lock the doors.

 

It felt like his pulse was slowing down once his back was turned. His jammed the key in the lock and turned it quickly, not even bothering to jiggle it to make sure it was secure.

 

He bolted off in the direction of his apartment, footsteps heavy on the pavement. His hood flew back as he ran, those nubby little horns coming into view.

 

He crashed into something. No, it was someone. He stumbled back and let out a cry of shock, eyes widening. Ungracefully, he fell onto his ass and looked up at the person he ran into.

 

A gun was cocked and aimed at him. Karkat instantly froze in horror.

 

“Found ya,” Dave shrugged as he held the gun up. He tossed a bag at Karkat and nodded at it. “You left that behind.”

 

Karkat furrowed his eyebrows and hesitantly took the bag, opening it up. Trying to bury his fear, he channeled another emotion he knew pretty damn well: anger.

 

“Are you fucking kidding me?!” Karkat threw the pound of weed back at Dave.

 

Dave barely caught it with one hand and he laughed . “No, I'm not kidding you. Now get the fuck up and get into that car.” He gestured to a black car with tinted windows parked ten feet away on the side of the road.

 

“Uh.. No?” Karkat tried to scoot backwards, but Dave only stepped towards him.

 

He got close enough to press the barrel of the gun to his head. “Get up and get into the car unless you want us to pay Kankri a visit while a cleanup crew scrapes your brains off the side of that building.”

 

Karkat’s breath hitched and he growled. He didn't want to show how many bricks he was shitting over this. “Come on! It was a pound of fucking weed! A pound. I needed the money!”

 

“You think we don't need that money either? We all have bills to pay and mouths to feed, sweetheart. Some of us more than others. Personally, I could let it slide, but you managed to sneak in and get away with product. Did you think I was the overboss in there?” Dave hauled Karkat to his feet and pressed him against the wall of a building.

 

“You're not flashy enough to be one,” Karkat sneered and rolled his eyes. “But you must get a good pay grade to pop people off for stealing so little.”

 

“My boss’s whole thing is to make examples out of people, but I never said it was the mission to kill you. Now get in the goddamn car before I change my mind,” Dave grabbed Karkat by the nape of his neck, knowing it was a weak spot in trolls.

 

Karkat crumpled in on himself slightly and had no other choice but to be led to the car parked nearby. He was stuffed into the backseat and Dave slid in next to him, keeping the gun aimed at him.

 

“Drive,” He said to the two people in the front.

 

There was the nod of a head and the car moved forwards. Karkat’s panic returned and he gripped the door handle, which seemed to have the child safety lock on.

 

“No. No! My brother! He'll freak out if I don't come home!” Karkat slapped the window and Dave pressed the barrel under his jaw, making him swallow.

 

“That sounds like a personal problem. You brought this on yourself, dude. Cause and effect, blah, blah, blah. I'm pretty sure you get the gist of that already though. Don't steal and you won't get the shit kicked out of you by some force. This force is called ‘karma’,” Dave explained slowly.

 

“More like wannabe Pablo Escobars trying to make someone piss their pants for the shits and giggles,” Karkat muttered under his breath.

 

“I'm sorry, what was that? I'm a little deaf in this one ear,” Dave frowned, pressing the gun harder against Karkat.

 

This didn't deter Karkat. “I said that you're more like wannabe Pablo Escobars trying to make someone piss their pants for the kicks. Sloppy fucks.”

 

The two people in front looked at each other and almost laughed. It was too dark to see them to tell though.

 

Dave squinted and scoffed. “Seriously? I can't tell if you have balls of steel or you're just straight up stupid to talk like that with a gun aimed at you.”

 

“Confusion is my specialty, pretty boy,” Karkat mocked and Dave leaned back against the seat, his posture not as uptight.

 

“You really are an idiot, aren't you?”

 

“I have no idea what on earth you're talking about.”

 

“You're scared.”

 

“Am I?”

 

“You're scared, right?”

 

“Did your gun tell you that?” Karkat frowned and crossed his arms, looking out the window.

 

Dave tapped the shoulder of the person in the passenger seat and gave them a nod. He gripped the seatbelt, but didn't bother fastening it. The car suddenly came to a stop, a short screech coming from Karkat as he sailed into the back of the driver's seat.

 

The car kept going on its path after that and Karkat groaned, pushing himself back into place while Dave watched with amusement.

 

“You have a set of lungs on you,” Dave commented with a smirk, his gun staying in his lap for now.

 

“Fuck off. Anyone would if you pulled that asinine shit over their eyes. You call me an idiot when you're dicking around like the children I see annoying their moms for donuts in the coffee shop I work at,” Karkat rubbed his forehead and curled up in his seat. He would kill if he could to go home right about now.

 

“How much, darlin’?” Dave broke the silence after awhile and hummed, turning the gun over in his hands.

 

“What?” Karkat’s nose scrunched up.

 

“How much were you paid to steal from us?”

 

“Why do you care?”

 

Dave shrugged. “I wanna know how much you got gypped.”

 

“I got paid four hundred.”

 

Dave busted out laughing as well as the people in the front. “Four hundred? Are you shitting me??? Oh my god . Who paid you?”

 

“What's so fucking funny? My best friend did, why?” A salty look crossed Karkat’s face.

 

“You do know that a single pound of straight up kush can go up to two thousand seven hundred, right? Oh man, you got fucked up the ass. And you got caught. Some best friend you got there,” Dave chuckled and shook his head.

 

What?! ” Karkat screeched and sat up. He wanted to hang someone. Specifically himself at the moment.

 

“Yep. You got screwed over by your friend. I doubt he's gonna smoke that all himself, but who knows? Anyone who would do that to their best friend has to be blitzed out all the time.”

 

Karkat sat back in defeat, staring at the roof of the car with a dead look in his eyes. “Fuck me.”

 

“Eh. I don't know you well enough yet for that,” Dave figured it was safe to quietly turn on the safety for his gun.

 

“Eat a dick, motherfucker,” The troll halfheartedly flipped him off and his head lulled towards the window.

 

“Been there, done that,” Dave yawned mockingly.

 

The car rolled to a stop. They were parked in the garage of a house in a secluded area and the car door was opened for Dave. He stepped out and went over to Karkat’s side, ushering him out with the brush of his gun.

 

“We have some business to talk about,” Dave sighed and led Karkat inside by putting a hand on his lower back.

 

Karkat’s eye twitched at the unwanted contact and he fought off the instinct to shove the human away. “What business?” He hissed through clenched teeth.

 

“How you're going to repay what you stole. Or what you meant to steal. Which was, if you remember, two pounds of kush,” Dave explained, sounding rather bored.

 

“Fuck- what? I only made off with one pound! It's not like you lost any product from that!”

 

“Emotional distress,” Dave smiled smugly and sat Karkat down at a table, sitting across from him.

 

“Emotional distress, my ass. How much emotional distress have you caused for the families of overdose victims?” Karkat leaned back in his chair with his arms folded. His mouth returned to that tight line.

 

Dave's face fell for a moment. He hadn't exactly thought too much about that. He tried to brush it off, as horrible as it was. “It was their choice.”

 

“Addiction is a disease,” Karkat finalized and turned his head away. “Not that you have a place in your heart for any sympathy. Let alone empathy.”

 

This rubbed Dave the wrong way and he shifted in his seat. This troll knew how to press someone's buttons.

 

“I'm not here to sugarcoat things and to be what the kids call relatable, okay? You're going to repay what you stole with your service, time, and effort. And those street smarts you like to flaunt off.” Dave tapped his foot impatiently under the table.

 

“No way. I don't have time for your weird business limbo in the whole Narcos and Breaking Bad ripoff setting,” Karkat shook his head and ran a hand through his messy locks of hair.

 

“Time is money. And you wasted our time and money tracking you down for what you stole. You don't have a choice unless you and your brother want to follow in your father's footsteps,” Dave kind of regretted that last statement. Even he knew how low it was.

 

Karkat visibly flinched and tensed up, all of his emotional defenses kicking into overdrive. “Fine. You're a piece of shit and I hate you, but fine,” He said in a steeled tone of voice, “Know this though: if you go near my brother, if you or one of your goonies shows up on my doorstep with this shit, or if you harm him in any way, shape, or form, I will fight with everything I have to personally strangle you with my bare hands.”

 

Dave nodded. “I understand. Let's shake on it. Do we have a deal?” He stretched out his hand to Karkat.

 

Karkat stared it down warily and shut his eyes, accepting the handshake. “We have a deal.”  



Chapter Text

Karkat retracted his hand after a few moments of contact with Dave's. That was more than enough time touching him.

 

The troll stared at Dave and chewed the inside of his cheek.

 

“Do you have a name?” He piped up after a minute or two of silence.

 

“Probably,” Dave shrugged and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table.

 

“Are you going to dick around and waste even more time or are you going to tighten up like a professional and give me a name to work with. I'm not interested in thinking of you as my new slave owner.” Karkat would make a show of being a pain in the ass. Maybe Dave would turn him loose just because of how obnoxious he was.

 

“A proud slave owner. If you're into that sort of thing. I'm Dave. No need for last names until the third date.”

 

“God, I'd definitely slip out the bathroom window on the first,” he murmured and rubbed his temples.

 

“That's hurtful. Should I add more to your debt for emotional distress?”

 

“You can choke on your dollar bills.”

 

“Fine. A hundred on your debt it is then.”

 

“WHAT. No, you son of a bitch. You better not seriously add that.”

 

“Oh, I'm seriously adding it. I'm making a note of it now,” he took his phone out of his pocket and did, in fact, add it to his memos for the kicks.

 

Karkat slammed his hands on the table and stood up. He tried to be intimidating, but that wasn't faring well for him. He was only maybe five feet tall and didn't have any noticeable muscle mass. Definitely not a manly guy in a traditional way. Not by a long shot. He had a cute face to make up for it.

 

“I swear to god. You better be fucking around with me,” Karkat stomped his foot and hissed something in Alternian at him.

 

“Wouldn't you like to know, what was it? Kitkat? That's your name, right? Ya know, you don't seem as sweet as actual Kitkats.”

 

“It's Karkat, you absolute fucktrumpet. Get your head out of your ass and finish your high school education enough to be considered semi-literate.”

 

“Hey, I got my GED exactly one month ago, thank you very much,” he joked and snorted.

 

“Could've fooled me,” Karkat huffed as Dave gestured for him to sit back down with his gun. No surprise there.

 

“A friendly reminder is that you're not going home tonight. Not until we decide you will.”

 

“Um, excuse me?” Karkat scowled and tapped his filed down nails on the table. It had been a requirement at his work to keep them short. “My brother will flip his shit. I was supposed to be home, hmm, how long ago? Let me check.” Let me check? Oh my god. His phone wasn't there. He patted himself down for it frantically.  

 

“Looking for this?” Dave held up Karkat’s phone in front of him with that infuriating smirk. “Wasn't difficult to swipe off of ya.”

 

Karkat put his head down and bonked his head off the surface of it. He wanted to cry now. Crying would've felt great, but he wasn't about to cry in front of some ball-busting cunt.

 

“Are you going to get all emotional on me now after realizing the deep shit you're in? We'd just have to whip you into better shape when we train you to be a decent dealer.”

 

“A dealer?” Karkat lifted his head, his eyebrows furrowed.

 

“You're gonna be going out and delivering drugs and bringing back the money from the deals you do,” Dave hummed, examining Karkat’s face.

 

Despite all the unappealing expressions he'd gotten out of the troll so far, he was adorable. Almost unassuming as a dealer. He could pass with more casual places like restaurants and cafés. He didn't look shady or scruffy like half the guys working for him. Maybe somewhat paranoid, alert, and suspicious of everything, but it wasn't worth giving a second glance to. Public areas would be safer for him too. It would keep that realm of complaints minimal, he suspected.

 

“Are you going to send me into alleyways and abandoned crack houses? I might as well hurl myself off a cliff right now so someone else doesn't do it themselves,” Karkat groaned and rubbed one of his eyes.

 

“No. I was thinking about that, but you're attractive and innocent looking. Well, maybe not innocent. You don't look like you make deals, is what I'm saying.”

 

Attractive? Karkat quirked an eyebrow and a tiny smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Am I too attractive to send into abandoned crack houses and alleyways?”

 

Dave rolled his eyes behind his shades, not that Karkat could see it anyway. “Look, I think you're cut out enough physically to get away with public spaces. Some of my clients can be, uh, creepy, I guess. Better safe than sorry. I don't need or want to hear you bitching about almost dying or getting kidnapped or robbed here and there.”

 

“Ironically, I'm being kidnapped right now, so.”

 

“This is different.”

 

“Is it really? Slave labor, David.”

 

“It's Dave.

 

“Doesn't feel too good when it's your name, does it?” Karkat pursed his lips and Dave's nose scrunched up.

 

“Shut up. Don't call me David again.”

 

“Okay, Dave . You still have a common white boy name either way. It's fitting since you're actually a common white boy. Annoying, takes three days to text back but only because you're thirsty, drugs. The definition.”

 

“I don't do drugs, nor am I a common white boy.”

 

“You're right. My bad. You're a common hipster douchebag who probably has a SoundCloud with indie rap on it and the Starbucks app on your iPhone.”

 

The accuracy hurt Dave on that one. Karkat gained a point, which Dave considered a moderate amount of respect.

 

“There's nothing wrong with SoundCloud or having the Starbucks app on your phone,” he responded.

 

“No one wants to hear your mixtape. And Dunkin Donuts is way better than that overpriced garbage. Just sayin’.”

 

Dave was tempted to keep rambling on about nothing with Karkat, but he tapped his gun on the table. “Aight, KitKat. We're getting off topic here. We're going to educate you more on the prices of the stuff we're going to send you out with.”

 

“What are you planning on sending me out with? I don't want to get caught with some crazy shit like meth. I'm not doing those sorts of runs. No way.”

 

“I had a feeling you were gonna complain about that. You're not in the best position to be picky.”

 

“It'll make me more willing to do deals if you keep up these miniscule demands. I'll deliver weed and stuff like that, but keep that heavy shit away from me. That's all I'm asking here. And I'm asking politely. Sort of. Just.. Give me some slack, Dave,” Karkat finished and let out a long sigh. He was tired from working and this whole ordeal.

 

Dave thought to himself, scanning Karkat’s facial expression. “Fine. Alright. I'll make sure that you only stick to deliveries like weed and LSD. Basically the depressants and psychedelics. I don't have a fondness for the harder things either, to be completely honest.”

 

Karkat nodded and put his head back down, shutting his eyes. “I'm also beat as fuck right now. Can I crash already? My brain is too tired to continue processing the brand new slave contract that I was recently forced into.”

 

“You brought it on yourself. Don't steal. At least don't steal and then get caught. Sloppy work, KitKat.”

 

“Stop it already. Just give me somewhere to sleep and I'll listen to your pompous voice raping my ears tomorrow instead. Oh, and by the way, just because you're sending me out to do your dirty work does not make me a dealer. It makes me your delivery boy.”

 

“Eh. Same difference. Let's go, dude. You can sleep in my closet.”

 

Karkat’s eyebrows raised. “Your closet? I spent enough time in the closet already. I don't want to be locked in another one.”

 

Dave choked for a split second, but composed himself. “Tough shit. Don’t worry. It's a walk-in closet. And I don't store anything in it. It's just for situations like this.” He wasn't serious about not using it. Only an idiot wouldn't use it. And it wasn't like he took people hostage and forced them to pass out drugs very often.

 

Karkat took a moment to rub his eyes and sigh deeply, standing up when he was gestured to. He felt done with talking. “Whatever.”

 

The response disappointed Dave. He was admittedly amused by Karkat’s wit and it was funnier to bother him if he responded.

 

He frowned and led the troll to his bedroom. Karkat had been expecting something more glamorous or over the top. The room was more humble, if anything. It looked messy too. There were some turntables against a wall and the bed was pushed up into the corner. A desk with a pretty wicked PC was next to the bed and it had some pencils, notepads, and pickled.. things.. on it. Gross.

 

It looked like a teenager's bedroom. He had assumed Dave was still a teenager or at the very least in his early twenties.

 

Being the stubborn asshole he was, Karkat instinctively glanced around for an escape route. He held himself back and shut his eyes while he was ushered to a closet door. If he did some dumb shit, his brother would end up being collateral damage.

 

Dave opened the door and nudged Karkat inside. It was a small room lined with shelves and doors with a pile of extra blankets stacked in the corner.

 

“Welp, make yourself comfortable and sleep tight. Don't shred my clothes or you're sleeping with the fishes.” That shitty old saying was necessary for Dave to say. It only made Karkat’s nose crinkle up in disgust.

 

“Shut the fuck up,” the troll hissed and trudged into the closet, making a beeline for the blankets. Without bothering to ask, he made a nest out of them and curled up in them.

 

Dave watched him do this with a quirked eyebrow, but he supposed it was logical considering he wouldn't want to straight up sleep on the floor either.

 

Karkat peeked up at Dave, glaring with a worn out expression. “Get out.”


So he did. Dave sealed the troll up for the night while hoping he didn't go ape shit and ruin all of his clothing.