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The Stars Come Out at Night

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Terezi Pyrope didn't know what she expected. Growing up in a small rural town made Athens feel like a giant maze. She drove through the streets with precision and caution, looking out for street names. She'd spent the past couple weeks searching the town for an affordable place to make home. A week before that she finally got accepted into the University of Georgia for her sophomore year. Eventually, she stumbled upon a decent offer, a small room in a house of 7 college students for $200 a month. For a hot minute she'd spoken with the house's owner online, but still had no clue what she was really getting into. Terezi was given an address on Barber Street, and drove along Prince Avenue until she saw it.

Terezi thought she had a pretty sweet ride, a bright red camaro passed down to her from her father. She absolutely adored the color and treated the car like it was her baby. However the passenger seat was currently a mess, as boxes of her stuff lay strewn about on the seat and floorboard. Turning down onto Barber Street, she kept her eyes open for the address. Driving forward into the wooded area gave a completely different vibe than downtown did. Limbs grew over the road as the thick forest sprouted up. Ahead, she saw several cars parked on the side of the road, a small blue truck and a small green convertible with the top open. She looked at the mailbox to see the address matched the one she'd written down. Carefully, she turned onto the cement driveway, which lead around to the back of the house. The house itself was rather nice. It was painted a pleasant shade of blue and was two stories tall.

The owner had told her to park around back, as they had a large garage for all the occupants cars. Terezi came to find that the garage was huge, spanning the length of the lot. Most of the doors were raised up, allowing her to see the cars inside. Among them she could spot a couple jeeps, some SUVs, a truck, and a motorcycle. A bay lay empty, and Terezi pulled into it as instructed. There, she sat for a moment thinking about what to do. Eventually she pulled out her phone and decided to text the owner she was here.

H3Y, 1'M H3R3. WH4T DO YOU W4NT M3 TO DO?

Gr8! Just come on in, we're all just hanging out in here. ::::)

Terezi opened the car door and stepped out, leaving all her belongings in the car for the time being. She gazed around the area, and spotted a door on the back of the house. She stepped up to it, and was about to knock when she just decided she'd open the door. Upon opening the door the strong smell of weed drafted over it. Terezi ignored it and pushed on. The room opened up from a short hallway into seemingly a laundry room, a washer and dryer against the wall. A giant pile of clothes lay piled up in a basket. Beyond that the smaller room lead into a much larger living room. She could hear voices and laughter echoing towards her. Terezi proceeded on, entering the room to see the 7 people chilling about. The living room was pretty large, with several couches and chairs circled around a table. A huge flat screen TV hung on the wall, playing some Nicholas Cage movie as far as she could tell.

"Hey! Terezi right?" The owner called out, waving her over. Most of the eyes in the room turned up to look at her.

"Uh yeah. That's me," Terezi sputtered out.

"I'm Vriska Serket, glad you're here," Vriska announced. Vriska was wearing a grey jacket thrown over a t-shirt, along with blue jeans and red converse. Her hair was almost pure black, save for streaks of blue to match her eye color.

"She really just wants your money," someone else grumbled, leaning back in his chair.

"Oh shut up Karkat," Vriska retorted. "Anyway, there's also John, Rose, Jade, Dave, and Kanaya." Vriska haphazardly pointed to each person as she spoke.

"Hey!" John and Jade said in practically unison.

"Pleased to met you," Kanaya greeted. Rose gave a small wave.

"Come on, I'll show you your room," Vriska offered, standing up. Terezi nodded, and followed her across the room, and then up some stairs. Once on the second floor Vriska lead Terezi down a long hallway, and once at the end of it she point to a door. "There you go, don't have too much fun," Vriska said with a wink, and then left. Terezi opened the door and entered the room. The walls were painted a fair teal color, and on the two opposite walls were two windows. There was a simple bed in the corner, along with a set of drawers beside it. On the other side of the room was a desk with a pathetic excuse for a computer chair sitting in front of it. Terezi examined the desk to see it was all scratched up. But, for $200 a month, it was good enough for her. Terezi left and went back downstairs, walking to go back out to her car, but Vriska stopped her.

"Hey, you got the money as agreed upon?" Vriska asked. Terezi had promised to pay the $200 for the first month right when she moved in.

"Yeah, it's in my car," Terezi responded. Vriska followed her outside and back to her car. Terezi opened it back up, and dug through all her belongings until she stumbled upon her wallet. From it she pulled two crisp $100 bills. "So why do you guys need so many cars?" Terezi asked, handing the money to Vriska. "It seems like you guys could get anywhere in this town by walking."

"Well, it's a little complicated, but it's loads of fun, you'll see." Vriska took the money happily with a smirk, sticking it in her pocket.

"It definitely wasn't fun driving over here."

"It is a Saturday after all. Loooooooots of drunks out there. And jeez it gets even worse than that during football season. But we, we like to ride around on the loop."

"The loop?"

"You know, the bypass that circles around Athens. You've never been here before, haven't you?"

"Not a day in my life."

Vriska laughed. "Well, you'll get used to it all soon enough." The two started to walk back inside, Terezi grabbing a couple boxes. As they opened they door, a commotion could be heard from inside. Vriska muttered something inaudible and dashed ahead, Terezi following carefully behind. As they entered the living room they saw Dave and Karkat locked in a fight. Karkat wore a loose grey t-shirt, ripped black skinny jeans, and rugged combat boots. He swept his brown hair out of his face, his golden eyes piercing with hate. On the flip side, Dave stood, his chest puffed out. He adorned a red and white baseball shirt, along with black jeans, black converse, and black aviator glasses. Karkat struck out a punch at Dave, which was cooly avoided.

"Hey! Break it up!" Vriska shouted, charging in between them. She pushed Karkat back. Kanaya caught him before he tumbled down, and held him in place. The rest of the group stood in a circle around the action.

"Goddammit! That asshole just won't ever leave things be!" Karkat protested, fighting against Kanaya's oddly strong grip.

"Well both of you assholes better not be fighting in my house," Vriska growled sternly. Terezi slowly slipped across the room, and disappeared up the stairs before things escalated anymore. Terezi returned to her room, and dropped the boxes down onto the floor. She plopped down onto the bed, laying back and staring up at the ceiling. After a moment's rest she stood back up, and started to unpack her belongings. She put a lamp there, some posters here, some fairy lights there. Mostly Phoenix Wright posters, she adored the game. However, there were a few Zootopia posters, featuring her favorite bunny cop. Also in the mix were a couple anime posters. She sat her 3ds and games on the drawers, and then shoved her clothes inside the drawers. There was a knock on her door. Terezi turned to see Vriska standing there, leaned up against the doorway.

"Those guys really are such assholes," Vriska started.

Terezi chuckled. "Yeah, I bet."

"Usually they're a lot better than this though. Hey, you wanna hit the town?"

"It's only 4pm."

"So? We don't have to drink. Just, we could show you around, y'know. Get to know each other."

Terezi thought for a moment. She was in a completely new place with completely new people she'd never seen before. But, she was going to be living with them for whoever knows how long.

"Alight, sure Vriska," Terezi said with a sigh. Vriska grinned.

"Great. I'll be downstairs," Vriska responded, and then left the room. Terezi pondered what she got herself into. She changed out of her flip flops into her own red converse, grabbed her wallet, finger combed out her auburn hair, and then headed downstairs. Vriska was waiting by the front door. Terezi looked around to see everyone else hustling around, moving around instrument cases and amps and a drum set. Karkat stood on the sidelines shouting into the chaos, trying unfruitfully to direct everyone around.

"Are they coming too?" Terezi asked.

"Nah, they got a gig to get ready for. John, Rose, Jade, and Dave play in a band together," Vriska mentioned.

"Oh, can we go see them then?"

"Yeah, I always go. Just another excuse to drink though," Vriska ended with a laugh. "Now come on, daylight's a wasting." Vriska opened the front door, stepping out. Terezi followed, closing the door behind her. The two started walking down the sidewalk, heading towards Prince Avenue

"More of our friends live over there." Vriska pointed towards a big light purple house across the street. "One of them is the mechanic that works on our cars, another does cool upgrades like lights or speed boosters." Terezi nodded along. Eventually they passed a car wash, and then Half-Moon Outfitters as they found themselves on Prince Avenue. They crossed the road and then took a left.

"There's the bottleworks, got some cool stuff in there. Then there's that damn vegan place. Gives me a headache," Vriska continued. The bottleworks stretched out along the length of the road, a huge brick building filled with little shops and restaurants. Cars sped by on the road beside them.

"I'm sure it can't be that bad."

"Oh, I meant the people."

Terezi laughed. "I can get that."

"So where did you come from?" Vriska asked.

"I grew up out in Elberton, and didn't live anywhere else until, well, I graduated high school." The two stepped to the side to let a group of people pass.

"Neat. I've always lived here. Went to Clarke Central y'know. I managed to establish a great reputation."

"Really?"

"Yeah, everyone hated me, and more were scared. It was pretty awesome."

Terezi looked at her like she was crazy.

"Well what else can I say! I enjoyed it. I still do. Racing always revs my blood."

"So that's what you all do? Race?"

"By the car you drive I thought you'd be less surprised."

"Honestly I just love the color."

"Here, come on, let's go back and put your car to the test."

"Right now?"

"Sure! Why not?" Vriska turned around and started back towards the house.

"What, uh, happens if the police start chasing you?"

"Then we don't let them catch us, that simple."

"And you've done that before?"

"Yes, a couple times actually." Vriska picked up the pace while Terezi struggled to keep up with her. "We kind of have two teams amongst ourselves, my team, the red team. And then the blue team, which consists of the people from the house I pointed out earlier."

"So I'd be on the red team too then?"

"Yep. But most of the time we just race amongst ourselves. Either way is fun." They turned down the driveway, heading towards the garage. "Usually we use CB radios to communicate on the road, but I guess a walkie-talkie will have to be enough for you, come on." Vriska stepped into the garage and grabbed a walkie-talkie, tossing it back at Terezi. Terezi barely caught it. Vriska then walked over to the blue motorcycle, shoved on her helmet over all her hair, and then mounted the bike. Terezi thought about backing out, but decided to just roll with it. She climbed into her camaro, starting up the engine. Beside her Vriska powered up her motorcycle, its engine a roar.

"Testing, testing, can you hear me Pyrope?" Vriska's voice came through the walkie-talkie. Terezi held it up closer to her.

"Loud and clear."

"Cool, follow me."

"Are you racing again without us Vriska?" Came a new voice. He spook with a lisp.

"Chillax Sollux! I'm just showing a newbie the ropes."

"Another one? How do you manage to keep recruiting people?!"

"Hey! Not my fault I'm so charismatic. Maybe you should try getting out there and meeting people for a change."

"Hmph."

"Alright Terezi, just follow me." Vriska walked her motorcycle up to the front of the driveway, Terezi slowly following. Vriska turned a right, speeding up. Terezi turned right behind her. The two continued along Barber Street until Vriska took a left. Terezi read the street sign as Chase Street and continued to follow her.

"Alright, this is the closest entrance to the loop," Vriska explained. Up ahead Terezi could see what she was talking about. A highway bridged over the road, and on either side were exit and entrance ramps. "Last one to Winterville is a rotten egg!"

"Where now?"

"Just take a right onto the loop and kept going until it ends!" With that, Vriska kicked it in high gear and sped up, taking a dangerously sharp right onto the entrance ramp. Terezi glanced around, continuing with the flow of traffic. Soon, she got up to the ramp and entered it correctly.

"What's the speed limit on this thing?" Terezi asked.

"Who cares! Just get up here slowpoke."

"I am the one studying law you know." Terezi started getting up to speed.

"What are you gonna do? Throw down the law on me?"

Terezi merged onto the bypass. "Oh I am now." Terezi changed lanes over into the left one and put the pedal to the metal. In the far distance she could see Vriska's motorcycle. Terezi kept two firm hands on the steering wheel as she approached 80 miles per hour. However, there we other cars almost doing the same.

"Do people always drive fast here? This is insane."

"Pretty much."

Terezi weaved her way out of a hoard of cars and then really gunned it when the road was clear. Going 90 mph now, she was starting to catch up with Vriska.

"Ah there you are! I was beginning to think you may have died."

"Hey, Serk! Count me in on this good shit." Another new voice came over the radio.

"Hey, Meenah, meet Terezi here, red camaro."

Terezi looked to her right to see a fuchsia ferrari zoom up beside her.

"What's up gurl?"

"Not much, you know, the usual in these parts I guess," Terezi responded weakly. Meenah laughed, and then sped up, leaving Terezi in the dust. Meenah's ferrari easily caught up with Vriska's racing motorcycle. Vriska glanced behind to see Meenah coming up fast, and then turned back ahead, going even faster.

"Oh no you don't bitch." Meenah pushed her car to the limits to keep pace with the motorcycle. Terezi kept gradually increasing her speed, still getting used to the idea of racing on an actual road and not just in a video game.

"Hey guys, show starts at 5, we're playing at Creature Comforts," Dave came on the radio.

"Got it sunglasses," Vriska responded. "Well, change of plans, first goal, atlanta highway, then back to Chase Street as the finish line."

"Alright." Terezi literally had her pedal to the metal.

"That's so much fuckin' lamer Serk. You love John too much."

"Hey! I do not."

Terezi was slowly but surely catching up to the two hot rods.

"What team is Meenah on?" Terezi asked.

"Oh, neither, she's just a friend of mine. Or a friend of my sister's rather."

"Ain't I your friend too?"

"Duh, of course. You were just friends with Aranea first."

Vriska and Meenah were probably 500 feet in front of Terezi know, she guessed. Terezi kept the pedal down approaching 120 mph. It was unbelievably fast for her. She was flying past cars, barely able to keep control of her vehicle as she swerved from lane to lane.

"Alright, the exit's coming up," Vriska announced.

"The hell you announcin' for?"

"Terezi just moved here."

"And you expect her to race wit us?"

"Why not? She seems capable."

"She's stuck in last place right now."

Vriska and Meenah turned off onto an exit ramp, their speed unwavering. Terezi bumped up right behind them now, following the two closely. The three blasted off the bypass and onto Atlanta Highway. Terezi's heart beat out of her chest the trio dodged the traffic and reentered the bypass going the other way. All three got back up to speed, which was around 130 mph. Terezi was starting to feel more comfortable at such speeds. She raced neck and neck with Meenah, Vriska still in the lead. Meenah looked to her left to see Terezi right next to her. Meenah shot up the bird and pushed her car harder, outpacing Terezi. In the distance the original exit was coming up.

"Dammit Serk, slow the hell down!"

"Nah. I don't think so." Vriska seemed to be going even faster, and then a couple seconds she crossed into the exit ramp. "Game... set... match!"

"Hmph."

"Good job keeping up with us Terezi," Vriska complimented. Meenah drove past the ramp, whereas Terezi got off behind Vriska. "Let's get back to the house." The followed the same route back, going south on Barber. Vriska turned back into the driveway, Terezi second.

"So are we walking there?"

"Nah, hold on." Vriska was silent for a moment. "Hey fussyfangs! Or just Karkat. Whoever hears this, come pick us up."

"Can't you just get off your lazy ass and walk over here Vriska?" Karkat shouted into the radio.

"Oh pleeeeeeeease."

"No."

"Karkat, c'mon."

"No!"

"Karkat just fuckin' go man," Dave came on.

"OK! Fine."

"Thanks cutie," Vriska said, and then pulled her helmet off and set it on her bike. Terezi had gotten out of her car by now and was leaned against it.

"So? What do you think?" Vriska asked.

"About what?"

"Racing of course!"

"It's fun, I guess, exhilarating."

"You guess? Blah, so boring. Come on, let's go wait out front." Vriska started to walk off.

"I'm sorryyy I don't meet your expectations," Terezi said with a laugh. Vriska just rolled her eyes.

They stood out on the sidewalk, waiting for Karkat to arrive.

"Jeez what the hell is taking him so long," Vriska said, tapping her foot. Terezi sat, lost in thought. Vriska shook her head and climbed into the green convertible and grabbed up the CB radio in it. "Vantas! Where are you?!"

"Hold your fucking horses Serket I'm almost there."

They could hear him before they could see his car. 'Teenagers' by My Chemical Romance was blasting so loud it was like the band themselves got back together for a surprise concert in the middle of Athens.

"What the hell have I gotten myself into," Terezi mumbled.

"Hey it ain't so bad!" Vriska hung a arm around Terezi's shoulders. "There's so many worse places you could be. Like a frat house. Ugh, they're disgusting." Terezi chuckled. Karkat pulled up next to them on the sidewalk in a red, open top jeep. Vriska dashed over, jumped up, and plopped down in the passenger seat. Terezi meekly pulled herself up into the backseat, and Karkat started moving the car before she could get fully sat down. "At least play something good if you're gonna play music this loud!" Vriska shouted over the noise. Terezi noticed a bag of Dunkin' Donuts sitting in the backseat next to her.

"Hey! I for one like this kinda stuff! Just be glad I came and got your lazy ass."

Vriska just ignored him and pulled out her phone. She ripped out the aux chord from his phone and stuck it into her own, the music abruptly stopping.

"Fuck you," Karkat grumbled. Vriska just smirked. 'I'm So Sorry' by Imagine Dragons started playing instead. The loud bass practically shook the car. Karkat pulled out into the traffic on Prince Avenue. Vriska then turned the music down.

"What do you want?" Karkat asked.

"Huh?"

"I just assume because you turned the music down you're gonna wanna fucking ask me something."

"Oh, no, not really."

Karkat turned the music back up. Vriska just stared at him and turned it down.

"Anyway, we got a new racer on the red team, Terezi back there," Vriska started.

"Yeah?" Karkat took a glance back at her.

"I mean I lost my first race so," Terezi offered with a shrug. Karkat focused on driving, turning onto Pulaski Street.

"Alright Terezi, here's the most hipster bar you'll ever go to," Vriska started as Karkat turned onto Hancock Avenue. Creature Comforts was a local craft brewery that set up shop in an old tire factory. The location still showed what it used to be, with a glass garage door that could be opened and closed. Karkat pulled into the parking lot and parked the car. Vriska and Terezi hopped out, Terezi stretching out her arms. Karkat grabbed the bag of Dunkin' Donuts and stormed on ahead.

"You got donuts without us?!" Vriska called after him, jogging to catch up, Terezi right beside her.

"Dave asked me to," Karkat replied, holding the bag close.

"Ohh, okayy," Vriska smirked.

"Not like that!" Karkat rolled his eyes. Vriska just laughed. Karkat continued on, speeding up to get away from Vriska.

"So are they, y'know, a thing?" Terezi asked.

"Fuck I wish. It's frustrating even for me to watch the tension between them, goddamn."

The two casually walked into Creature Comforts, an attendant just inside the building asking for identification. Terezi and Vriska both produced their IDs to prove they were over 21, and both got stamps on the back of their hands.

"You a big drinker?" Vriska asked as the two delved into the crowd of people. At the far end of the room Dave, John, Rose, Jade, Kanaya, and Karkat could be seen setting up the stage.

"Not really, I prefer other things."

"Like what? Weed? Coke?"

"Um. Books? Video games?"

"Jeez you're almost as nerdy as John is. I swear that boy has never touched a sip of alcohol in his life."

"Oh I've drank before, for sure."

"Okay good." Vriska made her way over to the counter, and started waiting in the long line, Terezi just beside her.

Over the sound system came Dave's voice. "Testing, testing, 1 2 3. Helllllllllllllllooooooooooooo."

"Are they any good?" Terezi asked.

"Any good? Are you kidding? Just wait, Pyrope."

Terezi peered through the crowd to see their set up. Dave was sitting behind a set of drums, John was behind a keyboard, Rose was behind another keyboard, and Jade was playing electric bass. A stand up bass laid on the floor next to the stage, along with several other cases.

"Alright guys we're The 413 Band and we cover songs and stuff, enjoy or whatever," Dave said. "I rap I guess, and then there's John and Rose and Jade, you get it." Then Dave started pounding on the drums, a quick fast beat. Then, some synth sounds started up. And then Dave started singing while drumming.

There's an infestation in my mind's imagination
I hope they choke on smoke cause I'm smoking them out the basement
This is not rap, this is not hip-hop
Just another attempt to make the voices stop
Rapping to prove nothing, just writing to say something
'Cause I wasn't the only one who wasn't rushing to say nothing
This doesn't mean I lost my dream
It's just right now I got a really crazy mind to clean

Then John and Jade jumped in on the piano and bass respectively.

Gangsters don't cry
Therefore, therefore I'm
Mr. Misty-eye, therefore I'm

The emphasis then went back to the drumming.

Can you save
Can you save my
Can you save my heavy dirty soul?

Terezi's jaw almost dropped. She didn't listen to the real song that much, but this cover sounded almost exactly like what she could remember.

"Good, huh?' Vriska said with a smile. By that point they'd reached the front of the line, and Vriska ordered a couple beers for herself. After, they went a found the table Karkat and Kanaya were sitting at, which was at a prime spot right next to the stage. Right when they sat down Vriska began chugging one of her beers. Kanaya gave her full attention to the band, while Karkat stared at his phone, taking small glances up at the music group. Vriska then started on her second beer, drinking it a lot slower. Then went on for a couple more minutes, and then the song ended. During the pause the group scrambled to change instruments, John pulling out a acoustic guitar from a soft case, Rose wielding a violin, Jade heaving up the stand up bass, and Dave slinging on a banjo. Dave quickly jumped back on the stage and started roughly strumming it. If it wasn't him playing it it would have hurt Terezi's ears, but somehow he made the punk sound work. Then John joined, strumming the same pattern with his guitar, and then the two both abruptly stopped playing and Dave started rapping, tapping out a beat on the head of the banjo.

Well I've been lockin' myself up in my house for sometime now
Readin' and writin' and readin' and thinkin'
and searching for reasons and missing the seasons
The Autumn, the Spring, the Summer, the snow
The record will stop and the record will go
Latches latched the windows down,
the dog coming in and the dog going out
Up with caffeine and down with a shot
Constantly worried about what I've got
Distracting my work but I can't make a stop
and my confidence on and my confidence off
And I sink to the bottom and rise to the top
and I think to myself that I do this a lot
World outside just goes it goes it goes it goes it goes it goes...
and witness it all from the blinds of my window

THREE, FOUR

Then the entire band joined in, Dave starting to jump up and down.

I'm a little nervous 'bout what you'll think
When you see me in my swimming trunks
And last night in New York I got raging drunk
Remember one time I got raging drunk with you

Most of the brewery seemed to flow in a wave to the beat of the music, people tapping their feet or nodding their heads along to the song. Eventually, their set ended and the crew started to pack up.

"You're gonna need a fucking shower Dave," Karkat said, stepping up to him. Dave just waved him off and continued packing up his gear.

"Great show John," Vriska said as he walked by.

"Oh, thanks Vriska." He gave her a brief smile before helping Dave. Rose and Kanaya stood a couple feet away, talking about something Terezi couldn't make out.

"Well, now what?"

"It's 7pm now, that still too early for you?" Vriska laughed.

"Yeah, I think I need to wait until at least 1am." Terezi smirked.

"Bluh, stop shitting yourself." Vriska gave Terezi a slight shove. "Hey guys, we're gonna go hit up some bars, who wants to join us?"

"This is gonna end badly," Jade murmured. Terezi glanced over at her.

"Why?" Terezi asked. Vriska jumped between them.

"No reason, really," Vriska insisted.

"Yeah, I'll go," Dave offered.

"Aw man that means Vant-ass will wanna come too." Vriska rolled her eyes.

"I have ears you giant bitch!" Karkat shouted.

"Let's just get the van loaded up." Dave started walking off with a couple cases. Everyone found something to pick up and carry, including Terezi, and they all hobbled off to the parking lot, only needing to make one trip. John set box his guitar and unlocked the van, opening the back doors. Everyone then loaded it up, carefully stuffing the instruments where they would fit. John did the honors of shoving the doors closed.

"Alright, well you guys be safe out there," John said, holding the keys to the van in his hand.

"No John we're gonna drive off a cliff and die," Vriska replied.

"I've changed my mind! I'm coming with you," Jade said.

"Oh, you're finally gonna get drunk with us?"

"No! It's just somebody has to keep an eye out for you all and I just worry so much."

"I really appreciate it Jade," Karkat chipped in.

"I'm sure Terezi would have loved to be the designated driver." Vriska gave Terezi a pat on the shoulder.

"If I had to." Terezi scratched the back of her neck. Meanwhile Dave climbed into the driver's seat of his red jeep, Karkat claiming the passenger seat. Vriska quickly noticed this.

"Hey I was gonna call shotgun!"

"You should have gotten over here faster then!" Karkat shouted back. Vriska, Terezi, and Jade all clambered into the back seat of the jeep, squeezing close together. Terezi ended up awkwardly in the middle. John, Rose, and Kanaya left in their white van, heading back towards the house.

"Alright, everybody got their seatbelts on?" Dave asked while he adjusted the review mirror.

"Of course Dave," Jade responded.

"I don't," Vriska said.

"Then put it on?" Terezi raised an eyebrow.

"Well we're just going down the road, it can't be that bad."

"Vriska this car literally doesn't any fucking doors," Karkat chimed in.

"He just said the best point." Terezi nodded. Vriska threw her hands up, and then put on her seatbelt. Dave then turned on the car, and started backing out.

Vriska sighed. "I hope you're taking us somewhere good Dave."

"Oh yeah, right, where are we going?" Dave asked.

"I'm pretty hungry after that show," Jade said.

"Most bars have food don't they?" Vriska questioned.

"I don't know, an actual food place sounds pretty good," Dave said while finishing backing out, then beginning to drive up to the stop sign. A hoard of cars seemed to be on the road, pedestrians walking all over the place.

"Let's just take a vote," Karkat suggested.

"Alright great leader, lead us through this vote." Dave held the car still. Karkat glared at him.

"Everyone in favor of a restaurant, raise your hand," Karkat said. Everyone but Vriska raised their hand. "Four to one sorry Vriska."

"You'll pay for this," Vriska grumbled.

"What are you gonna do? Ram my huge ass truck with your tiny little bicycle?"

"Ok dude let's just decide where to fuckin' go."

"Fine."

"How 'bout some Micky D's," Dave joked. Even as the sun fell below the sky he kept his sunglasses on.

"Oh please, Dave." Jade gave the back of his seat a kick.

"I want some steak," Karkat said, licking his lips.

"You want Dave's steak?" Vriska teased. Jade giggled.

"No! I mean like actual meat."

"Ohh, actual meat," Vriska continued.

"You know what I mean!"

"Ok guys I'm just gonna start driving just point out any promising places," Dave started, pulling out onto the road. The cool breeze drifted through their hair as the car sped up.

"Here, get on Washington Street," Jade said. Dave did as instructed and took a right, crawling through the traffic.

"Oh yeah there's that Fuzzy's there isn't there? Tacos sound good," Vriska said.

Terezi laughed. "What kind of restaurant is named Fuzzy's?"

"The kind that doesn't give a shit what people think," Dave said, one hand on the steering wheel.

"That does sound pretty good." Jade nodded.

"Alright, sure, just disregard what I want." Karkat crossed his arms.

"That settles it, tacos it is," Dave smirked, making a right onto Washington Street.

"Yay!" Jade squeaked. "I'm sorry Karkat." The jeep rolled effortless through the street. The streetlamps began to come on as the town lit up.

"Oh hey street parking," Dave said. A singular spot was open about a block away from Fuzzy's. "Anybody got any change?"

"Nope, sorry." Jade scratched her head.

"Shit, so close." Dave drove past the spot.

"I prefer the parking deck anyway. I always come back to waaaaaaaay too many fools sitting on my bike taking pictures or shit," Vriska mentioned.

"Oh yeah totally," Dave agreed, whipping the car left into the parking deck entrance. "If somebody did that with my babe I'd probs punch em." The bar lifted up and they continued under it. It took until they got to the 4th floor to find an open space. Dave eased into the spot, taking great care. Everyone piled out.

"Anyone see the elevator?" Vriska asked.

"Yeah, I think there's one over there," Terezi responded, pointing to the opposite side of the garage.

"Thanks." The group set out, walking briskly. They pressed the button to call the elevator and waited. Eventually the doors slid open and they entered. Karkat pressed the button for ground floor.

"I wonder how many people have fucked in here." Dave rubbed his chin. Vriska and Terezi laughed.

"That's disgusting!" Jade remarked.

"Dave there are cameras right there." Karkat pointed up into the top corner of the elevator. Everyone swivelled their heads to view the little black circle.

"So?" Dave shrugged. "Makes it hotter."

"Ewwww." Jade crinkled her nose. The elevator reached the bottom with a ping. The group filed out of the doors and then into and out of the lobby, exiting onto the streets. Fuzzy's was just a block away from the parking deck, making the walk easy. Above stars slowly started to appear in the crystal clear sky. Terezi hung at the back of the group, her hands in her pockets and her head down. Dave and Karkat strode ahead, as if they were challenging each other as to who could walk faster. Vriska hung back to fall in line with Terezi.

"You okay?" Vriska asked, looking Terezi up and down.

"Yeah," Terezi responded, not breaking her gaze downward. "Just a little homesick I guess." She shrugged. Vriska put her hand on Terezi's shoulder.

"Hey, but we're pretty cool right? You'll get over it," Vriska smiled. Terezi shrugged again, in a so-so sort of way.

"Aright dudes, a table or a booth?" Dave asked as they approached the front doors of Fuzzy's.

"I prefer a table," Jade said.

"You what now? What kind of heathen are you?" Karkat questioned.

"Yeah, seriously, I gotta agree with shouty on this one." Vriska nodded.

"I don't even know why I asked you guys always make every choice hella complicated we're just getting a booth," Dave decided. He pulled open the door, and then held it up for every one else.

"Thanks Dave," Terezi said to him as she passed, the last person to enter. Dave just nodded, and followed her inside. The restaurant was loud with the sounds of chatting people and clanking utensils. They seated themselves at a open booth. Karkat, Dave, and Jade slid into one side in that order, with Vriska and Terezi on the other. A waiter immediately came over, and placed menus down in front of them along with a basket of chips and a cup of salsa.

"Hey, welcome to Fuzzy's, can I start you off with some drinks?" The waiter asked.

"Oh yeah, I'll take a coke please," Dave said first.

"I'll take one too, no ice," Karkat nodded.

"No ice?" Dave questioned.

"May I have a sprite?" Jade asked. The waiter nodded, writing it done.

"I don't trust the fuckin' ice from anywhere Dave," Karkat explained. "I've worked in fast food before you remember?"

"Can I get a corona with one of those lime slices? You have those right?" Vriska asked.

"Sure, of course." The waiter still wrote thing done.

"You know what you want Terezi? Loosen up a little, get a real drink." Vriska elbowed her.

"I don't know, I don't really have that much experience with it all..." Terezi trailed off. She shook her head. "May I just have a-"

Vriska cut her off. "Here, try a frozen margarita, they're pretty weak. A frozen margarita," Vriska said to the waiter.

"Right, got it, thanks guys." The waiter then strode off while the group opened their menus to browse the food.

"Do we all just want tacos? To make it easier," Vriska asked. Everyone nodded in agreement. They piled their menus back up at the edge of the table.

"I'm thinking about learning the mandolin," Dave started, looking at Jade, taking a chip and munching on it.

"That'd be pretty cool!" Jade grinned, thinking of the possibilities. "Like that Live From Here guy."

"Chris Thile?"

"Don't you already play every instrument Dave?" Karkat rolled his eyes.

"I still can't get the violin. I dunno how Rose does that shit and make it look so easy."

The waiter then returned, setting their drinks out on the table. Vriska squeezed the lime in her drink, and then set the slice aside. Terezi curiously peered into the margarita, still unsure about it. "Are you guys ready to order or do you need more time?" the waiter asked.

"I think we're good," Jade responded.

"Yeah, can we all just get 25 beef tacos," Dave said.

"What if I wanted chicken?" Karkat glared at him. Vriska took big gulps of her drink while Terezi still poked at hers with her straw.

"Well in that case-"

"No it's okay I'm just fucking with you Dave."

"Alright! 25 beef tacos. Will that be all for y'all?"

"Yep," Dave confirmed. The waiter nodded and was about to leave.

"Wait! Can we get a thing of cheese dip?" Jade asked.

"Sure!" The waiter left.

"So? Do you like it?" Vriska asked, looking at Terezi.

"Like what?" Terezi raised an eyebrow.

"Your drink of course!"

"Oh, I haven't tried it yet."

Vriska was already 3/4ths of the way done with hers. "Jeez."

"Here, Terezi right? Want me to get you something else?" Jade offered.

"No thanks, it's alright, I think I can manage." Terezi slid the drink closer to her and took a sip. It was real sour, but she couldn't really taste the alcohol.

"Yeah?" Vriska looked at her expectantly.

"It's good." Terezi nodded.

"Karkat stop picking your nose and pay attention to me," Dave said, staring at him.

"What the hell is your problem Dave?"

Dave put an arm around Karkat. "Ah there's my angry lil' boy. Thought I lost em for a sec." Karkat sneered at him and tried to slip out from Dave's arm, but Dave held tight. The waiter swept by, dropping off a cup of cheese dip. Jade took a chip, dipped it in the cheese, and ate it, followed by Dave, except he didn't eat it. "Here Karkat, want some?"

"Sure, why not."

Dave held the chip up to Karkat's mouth, but pulled it away before he could bite it.

"Oh come the fuck on Dave," Karkat grumbled. He reached up and tried to snatch it out of Dave's hands, but Dave whipped it away again. Karkat then smacked Dave's hand, sending the chip down onto Dave's pants. Jade snickered.

Terezi looked over at Vriska, curious if this was a common occurrence.

"You see what I mean?" Vriska asked. "About them, I mean."

Terezi chuckled. "Yup."

"What about us?!" Karkat asked, leaning across the table.

"Ohhhhhhhh nothing." Vriska waved him off. Karkat crossed his arms and grumbled something inaudible. Soon the waiter piled their tables with tacos, Vriska ordering another drink. After hastily devouring the tacos and paying their bill, the group was back on the streets again, casually walking through downtown. Vriska strode confidently with her hands behind her head.

"What bars next?" Vriska asked, starting to slur her words.

"Ok we're definitely fucking going to Caledonia," Karkat insisted.

"Nah dude what about the 40 Watt Club?" Dave grinned.

"Why don't we let Terezi here decide?" Vriska suggested. Everyone turned to look at Terezi, who suddenly felt like shrinking away out of existence.

"Umm, why don't we go with what Karkat said? You guys shrugged away his ideas before, it seems only fair."

"It actually isn't that bad of a spot, there's some good music to be heard there," Jade added.

"Is there parking there? I can't remember," Dave asked.

"No, there isn't," Karkat confirmed.

"Well? What are we waiting for? Let's go." Vriska paced ahead, practically leaving the others behind as they struggled to keep up with her. A few minutes later the group stood on Clayton Street in front of Caledonia. It was tucked away amongst the buildings, only a small sign to point it out.

"Awww guyss Gigi's cupcakes is just right over there," Jade said, disappointment in her voice.

"Right over there you said? Let's go get some fucking bomb cupcakes. They open this late?" Dave swept some hair out of his face.

"You're fucking with me, Dave." Karkat scowled at him.

"I'd like to," Dave winked.

"C'mon Terezi, they'll bicker out here allllllll night," Vriska said, dragging Terezi inside. Terezi went with it, stumbling behind Vriska. As they entered the bar the loudness of the music rushed over them. some heavy metal band was playing, the electric guitars loud and rough. Vriska approached the bar and sat down, Terezi sitting beside her. The bar itself was nicely decorated. Lights were strung up about the place, giving off dim light.

"Hey guys, welcome to the Caledonia Lounge, what can I get for you?" The bartender asked, sliding up to them.

"Yeah uh, can we get five shots of whiskey?" Vriska asked. The bartender glanced between the two of them.

"IDs?"

The two pulled them out and showed them to him. He nodded, satisfied. "Comin' right up," he said. He slide five little shot glasses out onto the counter, grabbed a bottle of whiskey off the shelf, and filled up each cup.

"Five of them?" Terezi questioned. Vriska quickly threw one back, breathing out after.

"Well you're gonna try one too, right?"

"Oh, sure." Terezi picked one up and smelled it. It smelled no different than any other alcohol. She held it too her mouth, about to take a sip, but then paused.

"Oh come on, you don't sip it like some stupid wine. Just do what I did."

Terezi grimaced, but then tossed it back. The burn struck her mouth hard as she gulped it down. Beside her Vriska downed another one. Then her phone started to ring. She whipped it out of her phone and struggled to click the accept button, accidently cancelling the call. "Oh well, if it were that important he'll call back." Terezi sat, trying to get a grip on herself after the burn of the shot. "Here take another one." Vriska pushed another towards Terezi. Terezi hesitated, but picked it up as she saw Vriska pick up hers. They clinked their glasses together and threw them back in synch. This time, it didn't burn as bad it seemed. Terezi shook it out as Vriska's phone rang again. "Here, you just do it." Vriska slid the phone towards Terezi.

Terezi picked it up and slid it open to accept the call. She held it up to her ear. "Hello?"

"Yeah, what the hell kinda cupcakes do you guys want?" Karkat yelled through the phone. Terezi jerked it away from her, reeling at how loud he was. Vriska snatched the phone from Terezi, holding it up to her own ear.

"Yeah hey Karkat, just get us a couple of them, um, what are they again... Oh yeah! Those chocolate chip cakecakes that are all chocolate."

"Right." The call clicked off.

Meanwhile, Dave, Karkat, and Jade stood inside the well lit Gigi's cupcakes, admiring the cupcakes. Karkat stood, peering into the display case, rubbing his chin.

"What'd she say?" Dave asked.

"She said some shit like 'those chocolate chip cakecakes that are all chocolate.' Based on that I can only figure she meant... um..."

"Cake cakes?" Jade giggled. "I think she meant the midnight magic chocolate chip." She pointed at it. The line moved up at the people in front of them finished.

"Hi welcome to Gigi's Cupcakes!" the cashier greeted. "What can I get for you?"

Karkat stepped up. "Yeah, we need two double stuffed, one cookie dough, and two midnight chocolate chips."

"Please," Jade added.

"Of course." The cashier grabbed a box and started loading it up.

"Who's paying?" Dave asked.

"I got it," Jade said, pulling out her wallet. The cashier sat the box down on the counter, and then took Jade's card and swiped it.

"Would you like your receipt?"

"Yes please. Thank youuu." Jade took her card back and put it and the receipt in her wallet before putting it away. She picked up the cupcakes and she, Dave, and Karkat walked out of the shop.

"Alright Jade lemme at them fucking cupcakes," Dave said. Jade happily opened the box, revealing the beautifully crafted treats inside. Dave brought out his cookie dough cupcake, and then handed Karkat his double stuffed. Jade pulled out her own double stuffed, and the three ate in silence as they walked. Karkat scarfed his down in just a couple bites, while Jade savoured hers. Dave ripped the bottom of the cake part off and put it on the top of the frosting, making a sort of sandwich. Karkat looked at it weirdly.

"What man? I saw it on Reddit. Nothing is less cool than getting frosting all over your face and looking like a doofus. But of course you could always lick it off Karkat."

Karkat couldn't tell under Dave's shade, but he was pretty sure he winked at him. He then took a bite of his cupcake sandwich.

"Dave!!! Keep it in your pants!" Jade said. Dave smirked while he gulped down his cupcake.

They found themselves back on Clayton Street, and crossed the road to the side Caledonia was on. Ahead, they saw two familiar figures sitting on the sidewalk, laughing up a storm.

"The fuck are they doing?" Karkat asked. The group sped up, approaching Vriska and Terezi. "The hell are you doing out here?"

"Oh yeah we kinda got kicked outttttttt," Vriska explained. Terezi sat beside her, uncontrollably giggling.

"That guys face was like, all over the place," Terezi said, pointing a finger at Vriska.

"Yeah this guy was being a total asshole to Terezi, so y'know I just punched him."

"That's it we're officially going home," Dave declared. "Get up."

"But it's fun heree," Terezi protested.

"How much did you guys have to fucking drink?" Karkat asked.

"Just a lil," Vriska said, making the pinching motion with her fingers. Dave and Karkat looked at each other, and then both dragged Vriska and Terezi to their feet respectively.

"Come on," Dave beckoned, beginning to walk forward.

"Fine," Vriska pouted. "I can, I can walk on my own." The two let go of them. Terezi almost fell over, and grabbed onto Vriska for support, however she wasn't much help. They stumbled back to the parking deck, and rode the elevator up, the two girls still giggling.

"Oh my god will you two shut up." Karkat rubbed his face, groaning.

"Yeah it is a little much." Jade pressed her lips together. Terezi's laughter faded out, while Vriska kept on. Terezi elbowed Vriska trying to shut her up.

"Alright, alrightttttttt."

The elevator opened and the group got off. They returned to the car and drove the rest of the way home in silence. Terezi passed out dead asleep during the short ride back.

 

When she awoke, she found herself in her own bed, under the covers. Then she noticed her mouth was dry as a desert and her head pounded. She leaned up, rubbing her head, not remembering much that happened. As she sat up a wave of nausea rolled through her. Outside, it was still dark out. The digital clock by her bed read 3:26am. Terezi sat, wondering if it were worth getting up to get some water or tylenol or not. Then she heard it. A rhythmic pounding sound came from another room, she couldn't pinpoint which, accompanied by what she assumed to be moans. After she noticed it, she really didn't want to get up. So she sat, waiting for it to stop or to fall back asleep. But with her headache she couldn't fall back asleep. Instead she just turned on a lamp. Her eyes cringed at the brightness, however they rapidly adjusted.

Terezi pulled out her phone and began to scroll through her messages. She saw she'd been added to a group chat titled 'blue team sucks lol.' She clicked it open and it appeared to be the other people on the red team talking amongst themselves, Karkat ranting about something ridiculous. A knock rattled her door, which then opened.

"You awake?" Vriska asked, leaning in. "Well yeah you are I see you."

"Yup. I'm here."

Vriska invited herself in and sat on the bed next to Terezi, her legs crossed. "You couldn't sleep either? I swear they do this every night."

"Huh? I thought you said Dave and Karkat weren't a thing?"

"Oh, that's Rose and Kanaya I mean."

"Vriska, I'm fairly positive those are masculine moans."

"Wait. What?" Vriska got up and walked over to the far wall, pressing her ear against. "Jeez I think you're right. That means..."

"Breakfast tomorrow is gonna be so awkward."

Vriska laughed. "Yeah!" She came and sat back down, same as before. "Anyway, you feeling alright?"

"Not the slightest."

Vriska rubbed Terezi's back. "I'll go get you some water, that always helps."

Suddenly a crash came from the other room. Terezi flinched back, while Vriska just laughed. "I guess they're having fun." She then stood up. "I'll be back." Vriska left the room, trotting quickly. After a minute she returned with a chilled water bottle, and tossed it to Terezi. Terezi caught it, cracked it open, and gulped half of it down while Vriska sat back down beside her.

"Better?" Vriska asked.

Terezi nodded. "Better, but I'm still a lil nauseous."

"Yeah, I know how it feels." Vriska scooted a little closer and returned to rubbing Terezi's back in smooth rhythmic circles. Terezi melted under her touch, feeling even better. When she opened her eyes she found Vriska staring at her, admiring her face. Her gaze flicked up and down and she licked her lips. A burst of adrenaline rushed through Terezi. Vriska reached her other hand up and held Terezi's cheek. Terezi's fluttered her eyes closed and leaned against her hand, enjoying the surprising amount of comfort it brought her. When she opened her eyes again she'd found Vriska had moved in closer. Then, she just simply leaned in and lighted pecked Terezi's lips. Terezi then pulled Vriska back, kissing her deeper. Vriska firmly held her hand against Terezi's back, pushing her closer as they embraced. After a few moments, Terezi broke away.

Staring into her blue eyes, Terezi finally felt that everything was going to be okay.