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Collection of Homestuck Twitfics

Chapter Text

It started with scorn and snark. Which, to be quite honest, is how most of Rose's relationships began. But this time it was mutual, equal, and that was /interesting/. It didn't take long for that spark of appreciation to grow, also mutually, and become understanding. And. More. And now, years later, as Rose watched Kanaya sleep (her own brain refusing to shut off for such activities, as it often did), she was filled with such... Was love even the right word? It didn't seem enough. Devotion, maybe. It was a feeling she never expected to feel for another person, much less so intensely, and was now one she could no longer imagine her life without.

Chapter Text

Eyes were watching her from across the room. Jade did not think of herself as all-too observant when it came to socializing, but she supposed she was able to notice this because the owner of those eyes was making no effort in subtlety. For a second, she was anxious, then she remembered she was Jade-fucking-Harley, Witch of Space, merged with one of the most powerful beings in Paradox Space. She stared back. Jasprosesprite smiled wide, reminding Jade immensely of the Cheshire Cat. Then, to Jade's surprise, she turned and walked out of the room, lingering at the door just long enough to glance coyly over her shoulder before disappearing out of sight.
But this did not confuse, Jade.
Afterall, weren't dogs supposed to chase cats?

Chapter Text

Rose was draped over Kanaya as one would drape themselves over a couch at the end of a long day. Kanaya continued picking at the appetizers as though this was entirely normal. Which it probably was. Every now and then, Rose would lift her hand and lazily stroke Kanaya's hair and received a soft kiss on her cheek or fingertips in return.
Dave and Karkat merely sat next to each other, only their knees touching under the table.
This is what was normal for Dave, and he wouldn't have thought twice about it, except he caught Karkat staring out the corner of his eye. When Dave turned to look at him questioningly, he looked away, stretched, and said "THIS IS NOTHING LIKE THE GRUB WE HAD BACK HOME, BUT I GUESS THAT'S THE BEST WE'RE GOING TO GET SINCE WE LEFT EVERYONE FOR, WHAT, HUNDREDS OF YEARS WITHOUT TELLING THEM HOW TO COOK SOME PROPER FUCKING FOOD??" while picking at the appetizers with Kanaya. To Dave he sounded a bit louder than usual, but if the girls noticed, they didn't show it.
Karkat and Kanaya talked about their home planet's food, with Rose chiming in on occasion as though she was just as well informed on Alternian cuisine (and maybe she was, what the fuck did he know?), but Dave couldn't pay focus on the conversation. Instead, his hands, resting on his lap, twitched, clenched and unclenched, rubbed his pants leg, and, finally, tentatively, reached out and rested on Karkat's knee. Karkat paused, glanced at Dave quickly, a faint blush rising on his cheeks, then relaxed back in his chair just a little bit more and continued talking. Kanaya's poker face remained as impenetrable as usual, but Rose caught his eye and smiled.

Chapter Text

Jake knew the worst of what could lurk in the ocean. As such, he had no idea how he let himself be convinced by his grandmother/daughter to choose one as the location for their next "adventure." Maybe because she started referring to Earth C as "Earth Sea" in text messages. Man he was a sucker for word play.
He had been fine on the beach, then on the pier. He was okay on the boat near the shore. Now there was nothing but water. Jake was not okay.
He kept a brave face and waved off Jade's concern, but every splash in the water was some new, giant creature ready to destroy their fragile boat. What would happen to them in the middle of the ocean? Would they just drown and starve over and over again for eternity? He shuddered.
Then there was a commotion as a group of carpacians gathered on the other side of the boat. Jake couldn't help but look and see what the deal was. It was a shark. A shark had breached and everyone else on board was in awe. Jake couldn't help himself. He stumbled back and fell. Jade was immediately at his side, glancing between him and the crowd in understanding. "They won't hurt you, they're not all bad," she said. "Let me show you."
She grabbed his hand and suddenly the world shifted. And suddenly it was dark and... heavy? Kind of blurry, too, and suffocating. And then Jake realized where he was.
Jade had transported them, and a large bubble of air, into the middle of the ocean. Or, he corrected as he looked around, the bottom.
"It's not as deep as it seems," Jade said. She pointed up, and Jake could see light filtering through. "I come here to think sometimes."
"Just wait."
And so he did.
It didn't take long for something to show up. It looked like a large fish then Jake realized it was a small school of fish then he realized it was a small school of SHARKS! Small sharks, but sharks nonetheless.
"Ahah, yes, I do believe it's time to leave," he said, trying to seem upbeat about the whole thing and failing.
Jade put a reassuring hand on his shoulder and gestured for him to keep watching the sharks.
And then Jake realized they were GLOWING. Softly, beautifully, their patchwork coloration just barely lighting up the surroundings.
"They're called chain dogfish," Jade explained, as the school began circling their bubble.
They seemed far more interested in Jake than Jade, who was probably old hat to them by now.
And as he watched them bounce off against the bubble and swim in curious patterns, trying to get a good sense of him, his fear lessened and he smiled, moving closer to get a better look.
They didn't spend a long time with the sharks. There was a limited supply of oxygen in the bubble.
But as Jake watched the sharks poke at the bubble near Jade in what seemed like a familiar, friendly manner, her face lit with their fluorescence, something dawned on him.
Yes, Jake knew the worst of what could lurk in the ocean. But Jade showed him the best.

Chapter Text

Terezi pretended to resist as Nepeta dragged her along to the mall. "They opened up a new store! Apparently one of the "gods" requested it," Nepeta said excitedly. When they reached the aforementioned store, Terezi could tell it was some ungodly (ironically enough) mismatch of East Alternian and... Japanese, she thinks? culture. (She, and everyone else, assumed this was Dirk's idea. It was, in fact, Jade's, but neither party would ever bother to correct this assumption.)
Terezi recognized a lot of the food and posters and knick-knacks available, but she was more interested in what she didn't. Thankfully, Nepeta was as well, as she took her and and brought her over to a display of snacks and pointed excitedly at a box of what seemed to be sticks dipped in paint. Terezi was immediately interested and perused the variety of flavors. Cookies and cream, lame. Chocolate? No. Banana. Eugh. Strawberry? Hm. Close enough. She picked up the pink package and paid for it at the counter then waited as Nepeta paid for her own matcha flavor. Apparently the sticks were called pocky. Weird. Terezi smiled and tore open the box as she and Nepeta left the store and walked around the mall. She inhaled the scent and licked the box. Not exactly what she was jonesing for, but it still seemed promising. She took out a few and shoved them in her mouth, munching with a considering look on her face.
"Not bad." She shrugged. "Could be better."
"Try mine!" Nepeta offered.
Terezi did, but came to the same conclusion.
Despite feeling kind of m"meh" about the taste, there was something addicting to the whole experience. This could be something GREAT!
Time to experiment.
She saved the rest of her pocky and took a few of Nepeta's, uncaptchalogued her jetpack, and zoomed out of the mall toward Kanaya and Rose's place.
She simply walked in when she arrived and grinned when she realized she caught them mid make out sesh.
"Mind if I use your shit?" she asked, gesturing to the various SBurb-ian machines collecting dust.
"Uh," Rose said.
"Sure?" Kanaya said.
She then used a bunch of bullshit machinery with a bunch of bullshit terminology the author didn't bother to look up because fuck all those made up works but basically ALCHEMY HAPPENED.
The first experiment was, of course, pocky + red chalk. She figured she'd hit her goal in one.
But. Something was off about it. Disappointed, but determined, she rummaged through her sylladex for more edible stuff.
Crayons were also no good, and the same went for some random bugs she had found. With a little desperation, she tried this really exquisitely crunchy leaf she had been saving for a special occasion, but even that came up short.
Stumped, she opened one of the many message boards Karkat had made, hoping she picked the one with the most people.
She thought for a second, then added. "R3FUS3 4ND F4C3 MY WR4TH >:)"
Karkat immediately replied with an image of him flipping off the camera.
The others were a little more helpful.
A few hours later, Terezi was surrounded by a pile of items varying from "normal food" to "toxic."
She knew the half drunk bottle of flat orange soda from Dirk would be no good, and wrinkled her nose at Jake's bottle of soporifics. Dave brought over two items, apple juice from himself and a bar of soap from "a mysterious benefactor." None of those worked either.
She dug through a bottle of glitter, a tube of lavender lotion, an entire cake, and a slab of meat before she finally found it:
A magic eight ball and a hammer.
She held the hammer for a moment, brushing it with her thumb, then tossed it aside, and smashed the ball into the floor.
She dipped a piece of matcha pocky into the liquid that pulled out of the eight ball and onto the Lalonde-Maryam's previously nice tile floor and alchemized it.
She took a bite.

Chapter Text

I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady
All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating
So won't the real Slim Shady please stand up


'Cause I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady

The door to Dave's room burst open, but Dave didn't flinch from his position, hanging upside down from his bed, head resting on the ground, controller in hand, and eyes (probably) focused on the TV screen.

"Hey, K-Kat," he said.

real Slim Shady please stand up
Please stand up, please stand up?

Karkat ignored him and walked over to the speakers. He raised his hand and slammed it down toward, well, a number of buttons, but most likely with the power button as his primary goal.

But then there was a shift and a red blur and the stereo was on the other side of the room.

Karkat glared at Dave, who was in the same position as before, but his hair was a bit more askew.


"But Slim, what if you win, wouldn't it be weird?"
Why, so you guys could just lie to get me here?

For a second, Dave didn't acknowledge him, just continued to press buttons on the controller and move slightly back and forth as though his body could affect the character on the screen. Then he paused, and, to Karkat's increasing fury, popped an earbud out of his ear. He turned to look at Karkat, his hair twisting into even more of a mess. "Sorry, K-Kat, did you say something? Couldn't hear you over the game."

And hear 'em argue over who she gave head to first
Little bitch put me on blast on MTV
"Yeah, he's cute, but I think he's married to Kim, hee-hee."


Dave gestured at the screen. "Jet Set Radio, man. Best fucking sound track of all time.

All you do is annoy me, so I have been sent here to destroy you
And there's a million of us just like me
Who cuss like me, who just don't give a fuck like me


"It gives good vibes," Dave said, wiggling his fingers. "You know I need my proper vibes to game." 


So won't the real Slim Shady please stand up
Please stand up, please stand up?


"Nah," Dave said. He unpaused his game, turned back to the TV, and began playing again.

Karkat's vision blacked out for a second.


Then you wonder: "How can
Kids eat up these albums like Valiums?"
It's funny, ‘cause at the rate I'm going, when I'm 30
I'll be the only person in the nursing home flirting

Dave paused again and turned back to Karkat. "I said 'nah.' Don't think I will. Need my vibes, y'know?"

Karkat opened his mouth to shout more, but Dave cut him off.

"Besides, 'Vantas,' what are you going to do," Dave pushed his sunglasses further down his nose (a feat, with gravity working against him) and made direct eye contact with Karkat over their rim as he continued, "make me?"


Chapter Text

Humans were...


That's as simply and graciously as Terezi could put it.

She thought she and John had a good blackrom back and forth going, but lately he seemed... Well, kind of tired of it?

It wasn't like how it was with Karkat, who seemed to flip back and forth between red and black (she thought Dave was a really good match with him for that), it's just that the flirting had gone from being pretty even to more like John was just accepting whatever Terezi said.

Normally this is the part where she, or most trolls, she figured, would get bored and find someone else to be pitch with, but she really like the chemistry they had and maybe she was just missing some sort of nuance of human relationships. I mean, they didn't even have a black quadrant, right?

She decided to go ask Kanaya for her advice.


"Well," Kanaya said after a period of thought, "Rose and my relationship is much more flushed. Though there was some pitch leanings at the beginning." She considered this for a moment. "From what I understand of human psychology from Rose, a constant negative back and forth, as they might see it, especially combined with the hardships we've been through lately, might be a bit too much to bear. And John has seemed a bit more withdrawn than usual, which seems to indicate he is not in the best of mindsets."

"So what do I do? Give him some space?"

Kanaya shook her head. "That will not help his withdrawn state. Perhaps you simply need a lighter touch?"


Terezi wasn't sure how she felt about that.

"Thanks, Kanaya."

Strapped into her jetpack, Terezi began flying back home then, after some reflection, changed course.


John was sitting on his couch watching TV. Or, he appeared to be watching TV. He would claim to be watching TV. But if someone were to burst in right that second and ask him what he was watching, he would have no idea.

Suddenly, Terezi burst into his house.

"Hey lo--er-- babe? Yeah. Hey, babe, whatcha watching?"

This confusing series of syllables gave John an entirely different reason to not know what was on TV.

He just made a confused sound at her.

"Uh. Right," Terezi said. "Anyway, I just thought I'd check up to see how you were doing and..." She swiped through her sylladex then yanked something out and threw it at him. It was a t-shirt. "Since you only seem to have your wind pajamas and that spectral goo shirt."

John caught the shirt and clutched it, but continued to stare at confusion at Terezi.

She looked uncomfortable. "So. There's that." She glanced at the TV. "I'll leave you with what seems to be another absorbing episode of English's ass, I guess? Just call if you want to hang out or something. Babe."

And with that she left.

John continued to stare blankly at the spot Terezi had been occupying for a few moments, then looked at the shirt.

It had an image of Nicholas Cage and Matthew McConaughey making out.

He noticed a little piece of paper had fallen out of the shirt. On it was a poorly scribbled heart.



Rose, of course, was not actually in the house with him, but was at home with her wife when she received a phone call.

"I think Terezi has gone crazy!" John said as soon as Rose picked up the phone. "Or maybe she's dying? I don't know! But something is wrong!"

"What do you mean, John?" Rose asked calmly.

"She gave me a shirt? And a heart? And she-- she called me babe?" John said in a panic.

"So Terezi is... being nice to you?" She looked at Kanaya questioningly as she said this, whose face twitched for a second, then she put a finger over her lips. "That seems. Odd, I suppose."

"Odd? It seems ludacris!"

Rose sighed. "John, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this."

"Like she was replaced by an evil twin? Or would it be her good twin?"

"I am sure there are no twins involved."

"That's the most reasonable explanation I can think of!"

"John, calm down. Have you tried talking to her about this?"

"What am I supposed to say, Rose? 'Hi Terezi, just wondering, have you recently gotten a concussion or been diagnosed with a terminal illness?'"

Rose shrugged, then, realizing her error, said, "It's a start."

It was John's turn to sigh. "Fine. I guess I'll try that? Just tell me if you see any flying pigs, okay?"

"I will be sure to."

Rose hung up. Then she turned to her wife. "So, what is going on?"


Terezi had received a text from John asking her to meet him at a nearby cafe. For coffee, presumably. She had been worried her attempt at a 'gentle touch' hadn't worked, but this seemed promising. She arrived a few minutes earlier than the agreed upon time and waiting for John.

She spotted him before he spotted her, but as soon as he did, his entire posture changed. Several times, actually. He went from relaxed to stiff to overly proper to overly relaxed to just kind of resigned.

Maybe this was not promising.

He waved awkwardly as he approached. "Hey."

"Uh, hey?"

He just stood there for a moment, staring off to the side.

"Are... you going to sit down?" Terezi asked.

John looked startled. "Oh! Right!"

He sat down.

"Is everything okay.... babe?" she asked.

"Uh," John said.


"Is everything okay with you?" John asked, his face suddenly seeming intense and... worried?

"Yeah? What the fuck wouldn't be okay."

John resumed staring at the spot in the distance and Terezi resisted the urge to sniff in that direction. She knew there was nothing there.

He shrugged. "You were just acting kind of weird today?"

"Weird?" she repeated.

"You know," John said, gesturing vaguely. "With the heart and the.... 'babe.'" He said the last in a near whisper.

"Do you... not like 'babe?'"

John's face scrunched up in a way that was not quite a frown but was not quite anything else. His eyes were wide.


The pair jerked toward the sound of the shout.


It was, of course, Karkat. He was sitting two tables away and shouting through the carpacians sitting in between them. The carpacians desperately tried to appear as though they were anywhere else and definitely not listening in on drama between their gods.

John flushed. "What are you talking about, Karkat? How could you even hear us?"


Terezi frowned. "My romantic life isn't any of your business!"

Karkat rolled his eyes so hard his head rolled with it. "APPARENTLY IT'S EVERYONE'S  BUSINESS! SINCE YOU'RE DOING THIS IN A PUBLIC PLACE AND ALL."

Terezi started to say something else, but Karkat interrupted with a raised hand.


Terezi snorted.




And with that, Karkat dramatically stood up from the table, violently enough that he pushed the chair back until it hit the chair behind him and fell over, slammed a few boonbucks down on the table, and left.

John laughed sheepishly. "So... you're not dying?"

Terezi rolled her eyes, her trademark grin back on her face, "No, dumbass, I'm not dying."

John visibly relaxed. "At least I'm not the only dumbass here today."

"Watch it, Egbert," Terezi warned.

"Or what?" John challenged.

Terezi just smiled wider.

Chapter Text

Dave had thought the insane amount of romantic comedies he and Karkat had watched through the past decade, both from Earth and Alternia, would have prepared them for this moment, but now that he was in the moment, he realized he was very, very wrong. He wasn't sure about Karkat, though the slight panic in the troll's eyes made Dave assume he was in a similar boat, but Dave's hands were clammy. Hell, his whole body felt clammy. And each second his body reminded him what an awkward position he was in, slightly hovering over Karkat on the couch. His right hand and left upper arm were cramping, and his right shin was digging into the metal frame beneath the cushion. But he was here. He was so close. He just had to fucking do it!

Dave took a deep breath to steady himself, then pushed forward confidently. A little too confidently. Teeth clashed. Noses crunched. And while Karkat's teeth weren't nearly as sharp as some of the other trolls', Dave still felt blood well to the surface where one of his teeth had pinched it.

The pair sat there together for a few moments. Faces still squashed together, not doing anything, certainly not kissing. Dave allowed his head to tilt forward and rest his forehead on Karkat's.

He wasn't sure who started laughing, first a quiet chuckle then full blown glee, but the other soon joined in.

Dave pushed himself off of Karkat and flopped back into the couch. "The only way that could have been better," he said, "is if we both had braces to get caught together and have to get our moms to take us to the orthodontist, overseer of all teenage mistakes."


Dave just smiled and shrugged, which Karkat accepted. Karkat had turned full body toward Dave, his face resting against the back of the couch as he stared up at him.

Dave rubbed his nose, more at the comedy than for any lingering pain. "So," he said, tilting his head slightly toward Karkat. "Want to try again?"

Karkat reached up and grabbed the collar of Dave's shirt and jerked him downard, catching his lips with his own.

There was still a clash of teeth, but less.

Their noses did not quite get in the way.

And they had plenty of time to perfect their technique.

Chapter Text

The decision to adopt Vriska seemed like an easy one, an obvious one, but Rose and Kanaya quickly realized the had a lot to learn. Not only was the concept of trolls being raised by adults rather than a lusus never heard of on Alternia, but neither Rose nor Kanaya had any previous contact with small children of any sort. Rose, having been raised in near isolation by her mother, and Kanaya being one of the few jade bloods not raised in the brooding caverns.

Vriska's crying was the first thing they had to get used to. Grubs had to be wary of predators (or straight up assholes) so their cry was a soft but insistent chittering, similar to the ringing of of your ear, an ever present annoyance. Rose likened it to the cicadas in the summer.

Rose was a light sleeper, so she was the one who usually awoke to Vriska wailing from the crib in the corner of the room, but after nights of near-constant crying, she finally gave in and woke up her wife.

"Nothing is working," Rose croaked.

Kanaya took a turn holding Vriska, but the result was the same, that is, nothing. "Hold on," she said, "let me find her stuffed grub."

Kanaya allowed herself to illuminate to search for the toy without turning on the lights entirely, and suddenly the crying stopped.

They both stared at the baby in Kanaya's arms.

Kanaya turned her illumination off again.

In a few moments, the crying started back up.

Kanaya re-lit herself and, as I'm sure can now be predicted, the crying ceased.

Kanaya rocked Vriska for a few more moments in her arms, watching her quickly drift off to sleep, then placed her back in the crib.

Rose stepped over to her and wrapped her arms around her, and they stood there for a few minutes, maybe longer, just watching their child sleep in the soft glow of Kanaya's skin.

Kanaya kissed her wife on the cheek and the two went back to bed.

Chapter Text

Dave was leaning "casually" against the couch when Karkat walked into the living room. "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?"

Dave shrugged in an overly nonchalant way and said, "Just thinking about the state of the world news. Did you know in this week's issue of Carpacian Times, the front page story was about a butterfly landing on the reporter's equipment?" He paused as though waiting for a response.

"UH," Karkat said.

"There wasn't even a picture because the camera is what it landed on," Dave continued. "And do you know what's in the finance section?"

Karkat opened his mouth to answer, but Dave continued over him.

"Two things: Fuck and All." Dave shook his head. "The stock market hasn't moved in a good damn millenia."


"Uh," Dave said.


"The point," Dave said, pointing a finger at Karkat. He then realized what he was doing, thought better of it, and lowered his finger. "The point is we need to shake up the news. Give them something to report on."

"AND HOW DO YOU PROPOSE WE DO THAT?" Karkat asked skeptically.

"Simple: Be gay, do crimes."

Karkat walked out of the room and didn't turn back when Dave called after him.


The next day, Dave was sitting on an arm of the couch, one leg crossed over the other, when Karkat walked in the living room. "UH OKAY WELL I'M GOING TO SIT ON THE COUCH LIKE A NORMAL FUCKING PERSON AND SEE WHAT RIDICULOUS SHIT JAKE AND CO ARE UP TO TODAY."

Dave turned awkwardly to look at Karkat as he sat down. "You really are mesmerized by that ass."


"You know," Dave began. Karkat eyed him warily out the corner of his eye. "We could always see that ass in person."

Several expressions passed over Karkat's face but he ultimately settled on the halfway point between rage and disgust. "NEVERMIND I DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH WHATEVER WEIRD SHIT YOU HAVE GOING ON. I THINK I'LL GO STARE AT A WALL."


The next day, Dave was hanging upside down on the back of the couch and spread his arms in greeting as Karkat walked into the living room. Karkat immediately walked out of the living room.


The next day, Dave was standing on the couch absentmindedly swiping through his phone for several hours when he realized Karkat was not going to walk into the living room. He sought him out instead.

He knocked on Karkat's door.


Dave sighed and leaned his head against the door. "Dude, just let me in and I can explain."


"Listen I just wanted to talk to you, okay?"


Dave slammed his hands into the doorframe and gripped it, forehead pressing into the door, as he shouted, "I've been TRYING to ask you on a FUCKING DATE you COMPLETE and UTTER OBLIVIOUS BATSHIT MOTHERFUCKER!"

For the next few moments, all Dave could hear was the sound of his heavy breathing and he went through about twenty different scenarios in which he could backtrack this.

Then he fell forward slightly, saved by his grip on the doorframe, as the door opened.

Karkat's face was twisted into what can only be described as a pleased frown and honestly seemed more red than grey. "WELL MAYBE TRY TO FUCKING SAY THAT NEXT TIME? INSTEAD OF WHATEVER CONVOLUTED BULLSHIT YOU COOKED UP TO SAY THE MOST THINGS WHILE SAYING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING COMPREHENSIBLE."

Dave pushed himself off the doorframe and shrugged. "Where's the fun in that?"


Chapter Text

Rose no longer followed in her mother's footsteps regarding problematic behavior with illicit substances, Vriska helped see to that. Still, she felt somewhat comforted with a martini glass in her hand, even if it was only filled with apple juice. She swirled the liquid around, staring at it, or, rather, staring past it, consumed in her own thoughts.

Kanaya cleared her throat.

Rose jumped slightly, just enough to spill some of the drink. She stared at the droplets for apple juice on her skirt then up at Kanaya.

"You said you wished to speak with me," Kanaya prompted.

Rose set down her glass, grabbed a napkin, dabbed the drops off her skirt, and said, "Er, yes, I certainly did." She stood up and gestured for Kanaya to follow her. They walked out of the room and Rose began leading them seemingly aimlessly around the meteor.

"I've been thinking," Rose finally began, "quite a lot."

Kanaya waited for a second, but when it didn't seem like Rose would continue, she said, "Quite shocking, indeed. Thank you for informing me."

Rose lightly elbowed her and she raised an eyebrow in response.

"I may be off-base," Kanaya said, "and please correct me if I am, but I get the sense you're apprehensive about whatever it is you wish to tell me." Kanaya paused for a response, but when none came, she continued, "I may not be an expert in relationships, as Karkat has claimed that title," Rose laughed, "but I think in this situation, it would be best to just say what you have to say so we can move on from there."

"You're right, as always." Rose sighed. She suddenly regretted leaving her martini glass and gripped her skirt instead. "I've been thinking," she began.

"So I've heard," Kanaya said.

Rose smirked. "If you would let me continue with no further interruptions?"

Kanaya made a motion of zipping her lips.

"Thank you. I've been thinking a lot about our relationship and how much you mean to me. I never..." Rose considered her next words. "It seems silly, I was only thirteen at the time, but I was under the impression that I would never feel this. That this would never happen to me. I never had any celebrity crushes or fantasies or anything similar that I had observed in my peers, so I just accepted this was my lot in life." A laugh suddenly escaped her. Kanaya looked at her questioningly. She placed a hand on Kanaya's arm and said, "Sorry, I just realized that one of the reasons I so easily accepted my fate was that it fit my aesthetic." She laughed again, but Kanaya merely smirked, seemingly believing her laughter would be considered an interruption.

"What I'm trying to say is that this, us, seems like an impossible thing. You seem like an impossible thing. And, after much reflection, probably more than what is normal or healthy (though who can say what is "healthy" in times like these?)."

Kanaya placed a hand on top of the one Rose was resting on her arm.

"Right, I'm getting sidetracked. The point of all of this is that I..." Rose stopped walking and took a deep breath. "I love you, Kanaya."

Kanaya froze. She turned full body toward Rose, eyes slightly wider, eyebrows slightly raised.

The two stared at each other for a few moments.

Rose shuffled awkwardly. "I believe this is supposed to be the part where you say something?"

Kanaya's mouth fell slightly ajar and let out a sound that was somewhere between a croak and an insect-like chirp. She immediately covered her mouth and blushed. "I'm sorry," she said. Then she uncovered her mouth and grabbed Rose's hands. "I'm sorry! I just! Of course!" She was beaming and Rose's worried frown turned into a smile as well. "I love you, too. Of course." She tugged Rose closer and kissed her and Kanaya's whole being lit up, quite literally.

And they stood there for an imperceptible amount of time. Kissing. Smiling. Hugging. Glowing. In love.

Chapter Text

John and Terezi were bickering again, which wasn't odd in and of itself; what was odd was what they were bickering about. It was the middle of the night, and some hours ago, the two had gotten it in their heads that they needed to make a playlist for Vriska to show their appreciation. The thing was, they couldn't agree about what to put on there.

"'If the World Should End' is such a great song!" John asserted.

"Pff. Too sappy. How about 'How to be Alone'? Now there's a good song!"

"I can't believe you say my song is too sappy then suggest that. But fine, let's go a different direction! 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World'? That seems fitting."

Terezi rolled her eyes. "If we're going to be that obvious, we might as well throw 'Bugglegum Bitch' on there as well."

John shrugged. "I mean I don't see why not."

Terezi sighed. "Okay, look, at this point it's so late and I would much rather be in my recuperacoon than hanging out with you, so let's just throw it all on there and see what she likes tomorrow."

"You mean today," John corrected.

"Terezi glared at him. "Don't be a dumbass, John."

They added the songs they already listed to a playlist and thought of a few more to add.

John immediately went with 'How Do I Live,' which Terezi thought about resisting, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. He then added 'Some Nights.'

Terezi went with 'I'm Afraid'  and 'You're Gonna Go Far Kid.'

They thought about adding more songs, but one, the sun was threatening to rise and two, they realized they happened to hit eight songs and figured they should either stop here or find another eighty more, which was a fucking ridiculous idea.

And so they went to their respective resting places and slept.

When they woke up that afternoon, they realized there was more they had done in their sleep-deprived haze before finally going to bed, or, more specifically, one thing they did several times.

They had sent the playlist to Vriska eight times on every bit of social media she was on--each. And almost all of the posts were public. Their friends were responding to the posts with lyrics from the songs or even hastily made memes. Basically, Vriska's phone had probably been blowing up all day.

The pair's unease grew as they scrolled through their feeds and it increased when they realized Vriska had mentioned them once each on a single social site. The message read: "You forgot one. See you soon," and contained a link to the song, 'I Can't Decide.'

Chapter Text

Karkat was grumpy. Well, grumpier than usual. They were only halfway through their trip on the meteor and it had been weeks since they had passed through any dream bubbles. Dave had been trying to distract him with a variety of shitty romcoms, but he was still snapping at anyone who entered his line of sight. 

Dave wasn't sure what more he could do. Cheering up people who were upset wasn't really something he had practice in (he usually just avoided them until their mood changed), but he really wanted to help Karkat out. 

After watching so many romcoms he thought he had an idea. 

One morning when Karkat was in his "stewing in anger" phase rather than "yelling at everything he saw" phase, just lounging on the couch glaring at the black screen, Dave quietly approached, sat next to him on the couch, and, before Karkat could react, began tickling him. 

Unfortunately it did not have the desired effect. 

No matter how Dave wriggled his fingers or where, Karkat just stared at him. 


"Uh." Dave said. "Tickling you?"


"It's... Supposed to feel funny. And make you laugh, I guess?"


Dave shrugged. "It just does."


"I mean it obviously doesn't work on you dude."


"Uh, one, that sounds like a weird fucking kink."


"Two," Dave continued, "you can't tickle yourself. Moron."



Karkat's hands shot out and reached under Dave's arms and began wiggling and kind of scratching around. It was odd and probably wouldn't have worked on most people, but as Dave and Karkat discovered, Dave was really. Fucking. Ticklish. 

"Dude no stop!" Dave yelled as he laughed and lashed around. 


"Seriously man stop!"


"Karkat!" Dave cried in desperation. 

And then, in his flailing, Dave kicked Karkat so hard he fell backwards off the couch. 

Dave stopped laughing and caught his breath. "Oh shit dude are you okay?"

Karkat didn't move or say anything for a few moments. 

Then, he started laughing. 


Dave smiled. "Hey it was you guys who basically created us."


The two sat their laughing for a good while and Karkat remained in a... Competitively good mood for most of the rest of the trip. 

But Dave had to constantly be on the lookout for the next time Karkat decided he needed cheering up. 

Chapter Text

Karkat was hanging out on the couch, eyes mostly glazed over as Jake's ass played on the TV in front of him. The sound of his name shook him out of his mild stupor. He twisted around to see Dave, who was stopped halfway down the stairs.

"Earth C to Karkles."


"I was asking if you wanted to check out that new sushi place down the street. You know. Pretend like we have palates built for more than pizza."

"SURE, WHATEVER." Karkat twisted back around to the TV.

"Cool." Karkat could hear Dave's steps back up the stairs and to his room.

His eyes were beginning to glaze back over, his brain turning off, when suddenly a light bulb clicked in his head. He leapt off the couch and began hurrying to Dave's room, before catching himself and slowing his roll. He knocked on Dave's door and waited an anxious few seconds until Dave opened it.

"What up?"


Dave shrugged. "I figured like eight tonight. Do you... have other plans or something?"


"Uh. No? I figured it would just be us. Do you want me to invite other people?" Dave asked incredulously.

"NO. IT'S FINE. FORGET IT." Karkat whipped around and headed into his room.

Once inside, he closed the door, walked over to his bed, grabbed a pillow, then shoved it into his face and, well, tried to scream wordlessly, but nothing came out. He dropped the pillow and stared at it for a moment before slamming open the door of his closet.

"WHAT," he pondered, "THE FUCK DO YOU WEAR ON A DATE?"


It was a quarter 'til eight when Dave knocked on Karkat's door. "Yo, Karkles, you ready?"

The door opened to reveal Karkat dressed in a tuxedo shirt with a real bowtie and mostly unwrinkled khaki shorts that came down to his knees. His face shone a deep red underneath his grey skin.

"Uh," Dave said.


Dave, before he realized what he was doing, cocked out one elbow toward Karkat, who blushed more but grabbed hold.

Outwardly, Dave was silent as he and Karkat walked to the restaurant, but inwardly he was having quite a lively conversation with himself.

"Is this a date? Did I mean for this to be a date? Does Karkat mean for this to be a date? Should this be a date? Have we had dates before and I didn't realize it? Should I clarify this is not a date or lean into it? Am I a moron? Yes. The answer is yes."

With that settled, Dave calmly held up two fingers to the host and followed a server to their booth.

Though they were seated across from each other, Karkat studied his menu and didn't even glance up at Dave. However when Dave opened the menu and saw "Alternian Roll" listed as an option, he decided not to take it too personally and instead pondered on what that could possibly entail. Though honestly he didn't know what was in most rolls, so he ended up just ordering something random when their server came back, and from the sounds of it, Karkat did the same.

The pair sipped their waters in silent for a few moments.

"So," Dave began. "Seems nice so far?"

Karkat grunted his agreement.

Dave glanced around at the other patrons in their definitely-not-casual wear and back at his own standard t-shirt and jeans. "I feel a bit underdressed, though." He laughed.

Karkat cracked a smile. "YOU'RE THEIR GOD SO I CAN'T IMAGINE THEY CARE."

Dave shrugged. "True enough. Godhood has its perks, I guess." He paused. "You look nice, though."

Karkat aggressively leaned his face into his chin, but not before Dave saw his widening smile. "WELL SOME OF US HAVE STANDARDS IN THEIR 'GODHOOD' I GUESS."

Dave chuckled.

They maintained light conversation throughout dinner (which was okay, but probably not going to become a staple in their diet) and walked back to their home in comfortable silence.

They were about to part ways to their separate rooms when Dave said, "Uh, Karkat?"

Karkat turned back around. Dave was fidgeting with the ends of his shirt. "WHAT?"

Dave leaned in and kissed Karkat on the cheek. "Thanks for the nice date." He then went into his room and closed the door behind him, leaving a very flustered Karkat in the hallway, cupping his cheek and smiling.

Chapter Text

Your name is Karkat Vantas and you are resisting the urge to reread one of your many "guides" to human romance. You have everything you need for the night: FLowers, candles, take out from Dave's favorite restaurant, and, of course, a wide array of the cheesiest romcoms you could get your hands on. Apparently rose petals were another popular choice for nights like this, but you imagined cleaning would be difficult. That would suck for two reasons: One, like fuck did you want to clean up dying plant leavings from the carpet, and Two, the two of you weren't ready for your relationship to be public. You were still figuring out what this relationship meant and how to handle it after years of mutually dumbass pining, and adding other people's meddling wouldn't help that any.

You shudder just imagining the combined force of Rose and Kanaya's knowing smirks and unsaid "I knew it"s. And, ugh, you can't even imagine explaining it to John "Not-A-Homosexual" Egbert.

You shake your head. Focus. Your brain should be revolving around you and Dave tonight, not anyone else.

You've finished setting up the candles in the living room, then go to the kitchen to check on the food keeping warm in the oven.

Then you hear the door open. Shit! Dave wasn't supposed to be home yet. You're not ready!

You hastily grab the bouquet of flowers you prepared and rush into the living room.

"Hey, b--" you begin before cutting off abruptly. It's not Dave standing in the entrance, closing the door behind him, but John.

You shove the flowers behind your back.

"Bastard," you finish. "What are you doing here?"

"Nice to see you, too," John says, chuckling. But there's a hint of sadness to his voice.

Damn it. Something's wrong. You still want to rush him out of your house but now you'll feel bad about it.

You frown. "What's up, Egbert? And, more importantly, can it fucking wait? I kind of have plans."

John flops onto your couch. "Yeah, Dave told me you guys were hanging out tonight and, well, Rose and Jade keep nagging me to get out of the house more, so what better excuse than to hang with my two best buds?" He flashes a smile and you and your blood pusher stutters.

"Nope!" you yell at yourself. "Not fucking this again. No fucking way!"

You clear your throat. "they sure do like to dole out advice like it's Christmas and they're a fat, hairy human in a red tracksuit handing out toys and shit made from the sweat and blood of slave labor."

John stares at you for a moment then laughs. And laughs. And wipes away tears forming at the corner of his eyes and says, "Man, you and Dave really have been hanging out a lot, huh? I mean, I know you live together but jeez! Is Dave shouty now?"

You feel yourself blush. "Like I would fucking know," you say. Which honestly doesn't make much sense? But John doesn't seem to notice.

"Anyway," John says, "what do you guys have planned for the night?" He looks around, then spots the pile of DVDs on the coffee table. "Oh, sweet, movie night!"

You take this opportunity to shove the bouquet you still have hidden behind your back into the sleeve of a jacket on the coat rack next to you. This is taking too long, but you're having trouble coming up with excuses to kick him out.

You hear him laugh. "Man, you really do like romcoms, huh? Dave wasn't kidding! And to think you guys rag on me and Jake for our movie choices! Wait a minute!" He's suddenly excited and you whip around. He waves a DVD at you. "Failure to Launch? Karkat, you shouldn't have!"

Ah, fuck, you didn't think about John's definitely-straight-crush on McConaughey. Not that you were exactly expecting him to be here in the first place, but now you'll definitely never get him to leave.

Then the door opens and you both whip your heads toward it.

It's Dave, of course.

"Honey, I'm home!" he calls as he walks in. Then he sees your definitely freaked out face and desperate motions to get him to stop what he's saying. He looks confused for a brief moment, then hears John laugh.

"Man, you guys are hilarious!" John says as he bounds over to greet Dave, DVD still in hand.

Dave stares at you in what seems to be a pleading or questioning manner, but it's honestly hard to tell with his shades in the way. You shrug helplessly.

John taps the DVD against Dave's shoulder and Dave refocuses his attention on him. "You know, for a bit I was afraid I was interrupting some one-on-one bro time, but I guess I shouldn't have worried! You were just trying to play it cool earlier when you said you guys were hanging out rather than straight up inviting me. Classic Dave." John giggles and taps Dave on his nose, then went back to the couch. The blush creeping up under Dave's freckles reminds you that you're not the only one with lingering feelings for the most oblivious guy in Paradox Space.

You groan. Tonight's going to be a long night. Resigned, the two of you join John on the couch, forced to either side of him as he plants himself firmly in the middle. He's already popped the movie in, and grins when McConaughey's face appears on the screen.

Dave stretches his arms and rests them on top of the back of the couch, then looks at you over John's head and wriggles his eyebrows. You repress a chuckle and stretch your arms out as well, and smile when Dave grasps your hand in his own.

The three of you jump when a loud beeping erupts from the kitchen.

"The Indian food," you groan. You reluctantly relinquish Dave's hand and go to turn off the alarm, both thankful you set it and didn't forget about the food, but cursing that it interrupted the little bit of affection you were able to share with your boyfriend.


Even thinking the words makes you blush, both because of how much you love Dave and how freeing it is to have your relationship defined outside the quadrant system.

Nope! Not the time to be thinking about this. You've gotta keep your cool around John. You take the chicken saag and rice out of the oven and set them on the pot holders you had prepared on the dining room table.

Too late you realize that your best set of dishes and utensils are also already set out along with a small vase of roses and some candles.

"Uh," John says. "Wasn't it... Just going to be you and Dave hanging out? What's with all this fancy stuff?"

"Just because you only eat out of that plastic shit doesn't mean we have to, dumbass," you grumble as you go grab a third set of dining ware for John. You hope he doesn't bring up the fact that you, also, have solely eaten out of "plastic shit" any other time he's come over.

He doesn't. But he also doesn't seem completely satisfied with your explanation either, eyeing the candles and flowers as he spoons the food into his bowl.

"Let's just eat on the couch so we can keep watching the movie!" Dave blurts out.

John brightens up. "Hell yeah!" He begins rushing over to the couch, the realizes he's still carrying a bowl ladened with food, and focuses so much on not spilling it that he runs into the coat rack.

"Whoops, sorry! I--" John begins as Dave quickly grabs the sloshing bowl out of John's hands and sets it back on the table.

And then you realize why John stopped mid-sentence.

The bouquet of flowers spilled out of the coat and onto the floor.

"Uhh??" John stares at the flowers, then at Dave, who is pointedly looking away, then at you, who can't help but stare back. "What?" he asks. And then he seems to finally take in the surroundings. You watch as he looks at all the other candles placed strategically around the room, then re-examines the stack of DVDs on the foccee table, and then back at the pair of you, watching you both fidget nervously. "Wwwhhat?"

"I was trying to set you up with Dave!" you yell just as Dave yells, "I was trying to set you up with Karkat!"

You spin to face each other. "What?" you both yell.

"That's fucking stupid!" you scream.

"Like you're one to talk!" Dave retorts.

Then you both turn in unison as you hear John crash backwards into the door, crumple to the ground, and let out a sob.

You're stunned into silence.

Dave takes a half step forward and reaches one hand out, but doesn't actually get close enough to connect. "John?"

John buries his face in his knees, and you can barely make out the "Sorry," he says through his tears. He removes his glasses and wipes his eyes with his free hand and laughs, tears still streaming down his face. "I'm the biggest damn idiot in Paradox Space," he says, his lips forming a smile.

Dave jerks forward and collapses to his knees in front of John. You follow, opting to slouch against the door beside him instead.

Dave places a hand gingerly on John's knee. "Hey," he murmurs. He removes his shades and looks into John's eyes like he's trying to pry out answers.

Your chest tightens and you're surprised to realize it's not with jealousy.

You hesitate, the pap John's cheek a few times. A jolt goes through you as you realize he's leaning into it. You take this as encouragement to run your hand up and through his hair, stroking him gently.

The three of you stay like that for a few moments as John slowly stops crying, though his face stays red and eyes puffy.

"I knew," he finally says. "I didn't want to know; I didn't acknowledge it." He sighs. "But deep down I knew you two were together."

Dave looks up and locks eyes with you, clearly confused, but you can only mirror his expression.

You stroke John's head some more. "Hey, sorry we didn't tell you. That was shitty. We just... Didn't want to freak you out I guess? We would have told you eventually."

Dave nods.

John just smashes his face back into his knees. "That's not..."

"Not what?" Dave asks.

John sighs. "It doesn't matter. I'm just being stupid."

"Do you... want us to leave?" Now that was stupid. This was your house. But if the two of you being together made him uncomfortable, for whatever reason, the least you could do was give him space, even if that meant temporarily kicking yourselves out of your own home.

But John's hands shoot out from where they were trapped between his body and his legs and they grip to the hands you and Dave still had resting on him.

You see the tips of his ears turn red as he realizes what he had done and he begins to withdraw his hands.

"Oh," you thought.

You catch Dave's eye, and no words are needed.

Dave scooches himself over to the other side of John and wraps his arms around him, then you wrap yours on top.

John stiffens in shock, then melts into you. You kiss the top of his head and Dave leans in to kiss his cheek, but doesn't move back and instead rests his forehead on John's brow.

The three of you stay there so long, your muscles begin to cramp, and you're sure the other two are dealing with the same discomfort. But none of you move, content to finally be the three most oblivious dumbasses of Paradox Space. Together. At last.


Chapter Text

"You don't have to be here with me in the brooding caverns if you're just going to scowl the whole time. In fact, I quite wish you wouldn't."

Kanaya's voice dragged Rose out of her quiet contemplation. "I'm not scowling," she said, smoothing her expression. "I don't scowl." Kanaya snorted. Rose frowned at her wife. Now scowled. Frowned. "I'm here to support you."

Kanaya quietly regarded Rose for some moments, then asked, "Is there something about this process you disapprove of?"

Rose looked exasperated. "Where in the world did you get that idea?"

"Maybe because every time you are here, you look like someone is holding a particularly rank and sour rotten slab of grub meat under your nose!"

Rose gaped. She had not seen her wife this openly angry or frustrated in quite some time. She regained her composure. "If my viage and its resting expression is so upsetting to you that you extrapolate such ridiculous claims, then I will leave you to your business and see you once you return to our home," she said coolly.

Kanaya's mouth thinned. "Yes, I think that would be for the beset. It will be easier to concentrate without being in the company of someone who regards my work with such disgust."

Rose most certainly did not scowl as she left the caverns, and continued to not scowl as she channelled her frustrations into her knitting.


When Kanaya returned home, she found her wife asleep on the couch, half finished scarf draped in her lap, needles still in hand. She carefully dislodged the craft from Rose's grasp and nuzzled into her, feeling bittersweet as Rose groaned and stretched beneath her, eyes fluttering open.

"Hi," Kanaya said, kissing Rose on the nose.

"Hello," Rose responded sheepishly.

Purple eyes stared up at her for a few moments as Rose bit her lip, struggling for the proper words.

Kanaya kissed the corner of her mouth and wrapped her arms around her. "We don't have to talk about it now," she murmured into her ear. "When you're ready."

Rose buried her face into Kanaya's neck. "I'm trying." It sounded strained.

Kanaya kissed the top of her head and stroked her hair. "I know. I know."

They lay there entangled in each others' arms for some time, kissing cheeks and ears and lips and collarbones. Rose giggling when Kanaya's breath tickled her neck, and Kanaya chirping lightly as Rose massaged the sensitive base of her horns.

And they stayed there, content, pushing the underlying tension out of their minds to be dealt with another day.

Chapter Text

John and Vriska were on the couch watching Con Air for the upteenth time when Terezi tiredly stumbled out of her room and collapsed on top of them, legs on John, head in Vriska's lap. Vriska flicked one of her horns. "Babe, did you just get up so you could fall back asleep on us?"

Terezi pushed her face into Vriska's stomach. "I'm trying," she mumbled.

John brought his nails softly up the soles of Terezi's feet. She kicked at him, but he just laughed. "C'mon, cute butt, sit up and watch with us! It's almost at my favorite part."

Terezi turned and sniffed toward the screen, then wrinkled her nose. "You say that about every part of this ridiculous movie."

Vriska pinched her cheek. "Now, darling, be nice. We can put on something else if you really want."

Terezi considered this. She sat up and leaned against the back of the couch, legs still slung over John, and rubbed her eyes.

John brushed a hand through her hair. "You're so adorable when you're still waking up."

Terezi punched him relatively lightly on the shoulder. "Shut up, Egdork."

Vriska wrapped an arm around her and pulled her back into her chest, then kissed the top of her head. "He's right, doll. Though, really, you're hot 24/7."

"Oh my glob!" Terezi struggled to free herself, but failed. "What has gotten into you two?"

John grinned and traced a hand up and down her legs. "What, we can't tell our girlfriend how attractive she is?"


Vriska laid her head on Terezi's and wrapped her other arm around her. "Too bad, sugar. You're fucking cute when you blush."

"I'm not blushing!"

John put his hand on her cheek and she could feel the temperature difference proving her wrong. "Look at you and your little button nose." He flicked it lightly as he said it.

"And your lovely horns, glob," Vriska added, fingering the tips. "You could gore someone with these and they'd thank you."

Terezi scowled, but she could smell her blood rising to the surface now.

John rested a finger on her scowl. "Aw, look at those pouty lips!" He gave them a quick peck. Terezi stuck her tongue out at him.

Vriska gave her a squeeze. "You're so fucking fun to hug."

"S-stop!" Terezi sputtered.

Vriska and John burst out laughing, and the three of them became one giant, giggling puddle of compliments and cuddling, Terezi blushing bright teal at the center.


Chapter Text

They were supposed to be studying. Not that Rose necessarily needed to, but she was showing support for her friends by studying with them. She, her girlfriend Kanaya, her cousin Roxy, and Karkat had claimed a corner of one of the campus's student lounges and were focusing as much on studying as any group of restless young adults could. That is to say, when Karkat stretched, Rose's brain thought it best to follow the movement rather than continue reading. Usually she would be annoyed at her brain's flighty behavior, but today? Today it allowed her to catch a glimpse of a deliciously purple mark peeking up from Karkat's hoodie and disappearing again once he settled back in place. While most might not have noticed any change in her expression, Roxy caught her eye and raised a questioning eyebrow. "Restroom," Rose said, nudging her girlfriend.

A look passed between them in that silent, vaguely psychic way girls did when they wanted to express something important and not-for-boys, and Kanaya said, "Yes, me as well."

Roxy jumped up. "Me, too!"

"Be a dear and save our spots while we're gone, will you?" Rose asked Karkat, who just mumbled something about girls always needing to travel in packs, but agreed.

Once in the relative privacy of the restroom, Rose burst into a fit of giggles.

"Okay, fess up," Roxy said.

"Karkat has a love bite."

"No fucking way!" Roxy said, sounding absolutely delighted.

"Are you sure?" Kanaya asked.

"Yes, love, it was clear as day for a brief moment. No wonder he insisted on wearing his hoodie despite the weather not requiring it."

Roxy shrugged. "I just thought that was typical Karkat."

"Fair enough."

Kanaya tapped a finger to her lips. "I wonder how long these amorous activities have been going on. I need to properly ascertain how impressed I should be that he's kept this from me until now."

"One of many points to consider," Rose agreed. "My focus, however, is on who bestowed the purple kiss, and if it's someone we know."

"I mean, it's gotta be, right? I can't imagine Kat going outside our friend group for this!" Roxy said.

"True enough," Kanaya said.

"Well, I say it's time we find answers from the source," Rose said.

"That won't be easy." Kanaya frowned.

"Would it be as much fun if it was?" Roxy grinned.

The three burst into giggles for a fair moment, then returned to the common area where Karkat was still studying. The three feigned to do the same again, but after a few minutes, Rose broke the silence. "Do anything fun this weekend, Karkat?"

Karkat grunted out a "no."

"Nothing at all?" Kanaya prodded.

Karkat looked up from his book, his eyes darting between the pair. "No," he said suspiciously.

They let it lie for another few minutes until Roxy popped out of her seat. "I'm going to get a drink from the vending machine. You guys want anything?"

Rose and Kanaya voiced their polite declines, but Karkat asked for a soda, then Roxy bounded off to get the drinks.

Rose and Kanaya watched her come back a few minutes later,  both of them having to school their expressions as Roxy shook up Karkat's can before handing it to him. The situation played out as expected. The drink exploded over him, and he quickly tossed his books to an empty seat to avoid getting them covered, placed his mouth over the top and chugged as much as he could, then, when the mess no longer threatened to get any bigger, he whipped off his hoodie before the drink could soak into his shirt. "God! Fucking! Damn! Shit! Motherfucking!" were the only noises Karkat made for a few minutes, even as he swiped the napkins Kanaya had dug out for him and padded down his clothing. But the damage was done; the hoodie remained too damp to comfortably put back on. And Karkat's hickey was out in the open, larger and more obviously what it was than they could have hoped.

Karkat sensed the change in atmosphere and looked up, tensing as though he was now surrounded by a pack of hyenas. "What?" he asked cautiously.

Kanaya simply took out her compact and faced the mirror at him, angling it so he could clearly see the mark on his neck. Karkat's hand immediately shot up to cover it and his face paled before turning a deep red.

"So, Karkat, do anything fun this weekend?" Rose asked again.

"None of your fucking business, Lalonde!"

"Darling, we simply want to make sure you're in good hands, that you're being treated right," Kanaya said in a voice so soothing it raised Karkat's hackles even more.

"Yeah, Karkles, who's the lucky--guy? girl? person?" Roxy asked.

"Can't I have some fucking privacy?"

The girls looked at each other. "No," they said in unison.

Karkat's body wilted, but his face stayed resolute. "Maybe I just don't want to go flaunting my private life like you three shameless harpies! Maybe the good thing about college was supposed to be not having to answer to anyone about what I do in my free time, not gain three new moms to nag me!"

Roxy grinned so widely it seemed her face might split in half.

"Do you see us as mother figures, Karkat?" Rose asked.

"Yeah, Kat, are you going to start calling me 'mommy' now? I swear I don't mind." Roxy winked at him.

Karkat sputtered.

"Uh, what the fuck's going on?"

The four looked up to see Dave standing at the edge of their cluster of seats, eyebrows raised behind his shades.

"Oh, thank god, Dave, get me away from here!" Karkat exclaimed, gathering his things quickly in his arms.

"We were simply trying to figure out who gave such a gift on our dear, sweet Karkat," Rose said.

"Uh?" Dave asked, ignoring Karkat tugging on his sleeve.

"We want to know who gave Karkat that massive hickey," Roxy translated.

Dave looked to where Roxy pointed, then back at the girls. "Oh, yeah, that was me."

"Dave!" Karkat groaned, his face reheating.

"What, were they not supposed to know? You ashamed of me, Karkitty?"

The girls broke into laughter, loud, unrestrained, bent over from the exertion, and ignoring the annoyed looks from the others in the lounge.

Karkat was frozen, trembling, then he exploded. "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!" he yelled, pointing at each of the girls in turn. Then he rounded on Dave and jammed a finger into his chest. "And especially fuck you!"

Dave just raised his hands defensively, face remaining neutral, and said, "Hey, man, not until the third date at least. I'm not that easy."

Karkat made a sound that could probably be best described as a wordless yowl, then stalked off, leaving Dave staring after him.

"I should probably go... fix that," Dave said as the girls calmed down.

"You probably should," Rose agreed. "And Dave?" Dave paused and looked at her questioningly. "Thank you. So much. I think we needed this."

"Any time, sis," he said, giving her a thumbs up before running after Karkat.


Chapter Text

Dave smiled and his heart pounded.
Karkat laughed and his heart stopped.
The Heir of Breath winded and at a loss for words.
He was afraid to reach out. Afraid no one would reach back.
Years in isolation. Years of hiding. Years of burying.
Then he reached out with both hands.
Two hands reached back.
Sandwiched between his first and second love.
John was finally happy.