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Worth The Wait

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It should have been perfect.

The game was over and the world had been restored - both worlds, combined together in a new multi-cultural environment that was a million times better than either had been separately. John had gotten over his issues about admitting that he was a homosexual, or at least admitting that it didn't matter because he wanted to be with Karkat too much to care about details like gender. They'd even managed to safely navigate the minefield created by their different definitions of 'love' and emerge on the other side with a relationship that was satisfying to both of them. It had taken them years to get it all sorted out, but it had all been worth it.

It should have been perfect, and it very nearly was, except for one tiny, niggling little detail. Karkat was surprisingly shy about sex. Or something.

Actually 'god-damned cocktease' was a better description than 'shy'.

'Shy' certainly didn't describe the way that Karkat practically attacked him the moment they were alone in the room together, lips sealed in a hungry kiss and hands diving straight for John's pants, fumbling with the fastenings in his haste to have his hands on John's cock. He'd already ruined more than one pair of pants that way, tearing the fabric with his claws, so John quickly helped him get them off.

Then he went for Karkat's pants in return, and felt encouraged by the way Karkat readily lifted his hips to help, making a needy noise in the back of his throat. Maybe this time, Karkat wouldn't get cold feet on him and back off at the last second. Maybe.

Maybe John wouldn't kill him for it if he did it again. Maybe.

"Yessss," he groaned, one hand digging into the bony angles of Karkat's hip, the other hand carefully coaxing his boyfriend's bulge out from behind the bony protective shield. It didn't take much coaxing - Karkat was already writhing in his hands, and it seemed like he was every bit as desperate for completion as John was. But he always seemed just as into it as John, and something always held him back at the end.

"C'mon, Karkat, please, please," John whimpered. They still had their shirts on, but it didn't really matter. Karkat's hand was on John's dick, pumping the way he had learned that John liked it best, and if he kept this up John was going to come in about three seconds flat.

Fuck, maybe that was the trick of it - he just needed to overwhelm Karkat with sensation so fast that he'd come before he realized what was happening. Surely, surely once they'd done it the first time, whatever it was that was making him so hesitant would be dealt with and they wouldn't have to go through this again.

He twined his fingers around the length of the bulge, stroking as much of the surface as he could reach. Karkat was panting and making the odd little rasping chirps that John had learned were the equivalent of moans for trolls. With an effort John forced himself to pull away from Karkat's hand on him, drawing a quizzical sound from Karkat. Before the troll could realize what he was up to, John dropped to his knees and had his mouth wrapped around the tip of Karkat's bulge.

They'd never done this before - between the exquisite sensitivity of troll bulges and the unbelievable sharpness of troll teeth, John was pretty sure it was an act that just wouldn't occur to any troll in their right mind. Karkat yelped, a sound that had more to do with fear than arousal, and dug his hands into John's hair like he was going to yank John away from him. But John managed to get his tongue on the bulge in his mouth before Karkat pulled him away, and Karkat shuddered and melted against the wall, fingers loosening in John's hair.

When John tentatively sucked on the soft flesh in his mouth, Karkat made a high-pitched warbling noise that was unlike anything he'd heard from his boyfriend before. The sound was at once both desperate and pleading, and John was sure he'd finally found the right way to push Karkat over the edge without freaking him out somehow first.

But then the shaking hands in his hair went tight again, yanking at him to try to pry him away, and Karkat was babbling at him in Alternian. John wasn't sure of the exact translation, but he'd heard that particular combination of buzzes and clicks often enough over the last few weeks to be pretty sure it meant something like 'wait, fuck, wait, stop!'

For a moment John was tempted to keep going, to ignore the increasingly urgent attempts his boyfriend was making to pry him off. Surely whatever it was that was holding Karkat back, he'd be grateful when John showed him that there was no reason for them to keep torturing themselves this way.

Then Karkat managed to croak out a single word in English, and though it was a little mangled it was most definitely 'stop', and John reluctantly came back to his senses.

He pulled back, panting, fighting the urge to punch something. Karkat, the wall, it didn't much matter, just something. He had absolutely, positively no desire to do this without his boyfriend's full and enthusiastic consent - but Karkat was amazingly good at making him forget that in the heat of the moment.

Without John's hands at his hips to help support him, Karkat's knees gave way. He collapsed down like a rag doll and ended up sprawled half over John's lap, arms thrown over John's shoulders to keep him upright, panting straight into John's ear. "Not yet," he was saying, over and over again, the English blurred by the effort it took him to speak the alien language when he was this overcome. "Not yet, not yet, fuck..." and then a string of Alternian far too complex for John to have any idea what it meant.

"Karkaaaaaat," John moaned, shaking with the effort it took not to thrust his aching cock up against the soft ass pressed into his lap.

"I can't, I can't, shit," Karkat moaned, obviously having serious trouble managing to be coherent in English. He closed the distance between them in a sloppy kiss, murmuring against John's lips, "I love you, fuck, you are... the most pitiful fucking creature on, on any planet, I love you so much..."

"I love you too, but you're going to kill me," John told him. The first time Karkat had kissed him and said those things after pulling away he'd been hopeful, but now he knew it was just his boyfriend's way of trying to console him before he withdrew completely.

As a last ditch effort John croaked out the phrase he'd begged Terezi to teach him, practicing over and over until she stopped laughing quite so hard and admitted that it was at least understandable. He didn't know the literal translation, but she'd told him it was the most heartfelt expression of pity a troll could make, something only ever said to a matesprit.

Karkat shuddered and went absolutely still against him, apparently even forgetting to breathe for a moment. When he did answer it was incomprehensible, but the emotion behind the foreign words was more than strong enough for John to understand - love, pity, whatever word they wanted to use for it, it was a confirmation of an unbreakable bond between them that both of them cherished above all else.

Then Karkat was pulling away, scrambling up on legs still barely willing to support him, fumbling to get his pants done up again. John just sat there and stared up at him, feeling dull and battered with the tidal-wave force of the emotions and sensations they'd just gone through in probably less than ten minutes total.

"I love you, fuck, why does this have to be so gog-damned hard?" Karkat groaned. "And you're not helping, damn it! Tomorrow, shit, tomorrow, I can't take any more of this."

And then he was gone, and John tumbled over onto his side on the carpet with a curse. His hand was around his dick probably even before Karkat was out of the house, but he didn't care. Tomorrow they would just go through it all again, and he had no idea why Karkat seemed to want to torture them both like this but it was going to drive John out of his mind.

He came hard, all over his hand and the floor, hips bucking up into his hand hard enough that he was probably going to end up with carpet burn on one side. Afterwards he lay sprawled out and panting, struggling to recover his equilibrium.

At moments like this, alone in his room and aching with the need to feel Karkat against him, John almost wished they'd never gotten past kissing. He missed the long hours they used to spend in each other's company, watching movies or playing games or just hanging out, enjoying their time together. He missed the long discussions about their feelings and cultures and how they'd grown up, or what they wanted to do in the future now that they had futures again. He especially missed the sweet, prolonged make-out sessions, hands and mouths tentatively exploring and spending half a day or more just soaking up contact with the boy that he loved.

Now they hardly ever saw each other for longer than maybe half an hour, tops, because the moment they were alone they were tearing at each other's clothes. It never took long to reach the point of no return, and then Karkat would flee, because they both knew that if they spent another minute in each other's company they were going to break down completely.

John felt like he'd lost a lover and gained a cockteasing sex buddy. He wanted his lover back.

EB: i'm going insane, i'm serious!
EB: he's a damn tease and it's killing me.

TG: yeah i hear you bro
TG: dating a troll is a one way ticket to blue ballsville on the cockblock express

EB: i nearly... pushed him too far yesterday.
EB: he said 'stop' and i almost didn't.

TG: dude not cool
TG: so far from cool youre roasting in the middle of a heatwave of epic proportions

EB: i know, i know!
EB: i'd rather kill myself than hurt him.
EB: but it's kinda hard to remember that when he's driving me crazy.

TG: just do what i do
TG: take care of it right before he comes over
TG: then you can chill and take it in stride
TG: fuck speaking of terezi will be here soon
TG: shes pretty damn close to breaking so its getting a little intense if you know what i mean
TG: but bros before hos so if you still need me...

EB: no no i'm fine, go ahead!
EB: no reason we should both suffer.
EB: good luck!

TG: yeah thanks
TG: you too

turntechGodhead [ TG ] ceased pestering ectoBiologist [ EB ]

turntechGodhead [ TG ] started pestering ectoBiologist [ EB ]

TG: dont worry it is totally worth it in the end

turntechGodhead [ TG ] ceased pestering ectoBiologist [ EB ]

Leaning back in his computer chair, John heaved a deep sigh. He hoped Dave was right - no, he was sure Dave was right. It would all be worth it in the end. Though he was a little confused how Dave would know that, if Terezi was giving him the same runaround that Karkat was giving John.

For that matter, Terezi and Dave had worked out their issues a lot faster than Karkat and John had. And Terezi was still holding out on Dave?

Groaning, John wondered if that meant he was never going to get to home base with Karkat. The thought was more than a little depressing, especially since there was still a part of him that would honestly rather have Karkat as a friend he could spend hours with than a lover he only got to see for frantic minutes at a time.

Damn it, he was not going to let his boyfriend run off again without talking about it this time. If he had to tie Karkat to the bed... mmm, actually, that wasn't a bad idea at all... no, wait. Talk, they needed to talk. Shaking his head, John smacked both his cheeks hard with the flat of his palms, trying to knock some sense back into his poor, hormone-addled brain.

One thing was certain; neither of them would be capable of doing any talking if they started off the same way they always did. Taking Dave's advice seemed to be the smartest course of action. Glancing at the clock, John confirmed that he should still have enough time left before Karkat arrived. Unless the troll ran the whole way between his hive and John's house, it usually took him at least twenty minutes to get there, and that was assuming he'd actually left at the moment he'd signed off.

Quickly undoing his pants, John eased his dick out and circled his fingers around it. He was already half hard - just knowing that Karkat was on his way over was enough to do that to him, these days. Tipping his head back, he closed his eyes and pictured Karkat there in front of him. It wasn't hard to imagine the troll perched awkwardly on John's lap, with one arm around John's shoulders and the other hand firmly on John's dick, squeezing him just the way he liked it.

And slowly, too - not the frantic pace they shared lately, but the way they'd done it when they'd first moved beyond kissing, when Karkat had been exploring his 'alien' body with a sense of fascination and wonder, and everything had been intense and new and wonderful. John remembered a day when Karkat had set out to discover every possible sound a human might make during sex, trying different combinations of touching and stroking to see what would affect John the most.

They'd had so much fun learning each other's hot spots and turn-ons. Even as the memory pushed John rapidly towards completion, it left a hollow ache in his chest and a lump in his throat that made his moans sound almost pitiful.

Part of him wanted to draw it out, to drag as much satisfaction as he could from this so he'd be that much better able to handle himself when Karkat was all over him in just a few minutes, but he knew he needed to be fast. Next time he'd start earlier, he promised himself, but for now even a fast, crappy orgasm would be better than nothing.

Squeezing a little harder, he started rocking his hips up into the motion, breath coming short as he neared the edge. He wished it was really Karkat who was doing this, wished he could feel his boyfriend's hand on his dick and hear the troll's voice in his ear.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

The words were so incompatible with the fantasy in his mind that John's eyes flew open, but it still took him a moment of befuddled staring to register that yes, Karkat was actually standing in his doorway, flushed and out of breath, staring back at John with a shocked and horrified expression.

With an embarrassed cry John jerked his hand away from his dick, but he had already hit the point of no return. Even without further stimulation he couldn't stop himself from coming, his whole body throbbing with the frustratingly insufficient sensation. It wasn't anywhere near enough, it only left him craving more contact. Preferably from the troll not three feet away from him.

The troll who was gaping at him with wide eyes, mouth somewhere around his knees and lower lip actually wobbling. He looked as if he was completely heartbroken. Heartshattered, more like.

"Kar...kat?" John gasped when he could speak again, feeling a painful fist squeezing around his own heart in answer to his boyfriend's expression. "Karkat, what..." Unthinking he pushed himself up out of the chair and reached out, driven to do anything to wipe that look off Karkat's face.

Hissing at him, Karkat smacked his hand away before he could make contact, not bothering to be careful of his claws. John yelped and cradled his now-bleeding hand against his chest. "Don't touch me," Karkat snarled at him, the words barely understandable in his fury. The heartbreak was rapidly being replaced by rage and betrayal, and he took three quick steps back to put him firmly out of John's reach. "Don't you fucking touch me, you piece of utter shit. Fuck, you give shit a bad name. Shit is so much better than you, it might as well be on a higher fucking plane of existence. I'd rather fuck a piece of shit than you!"

"What?" Thoroughly confused and more than a little hurt, John frantically tried to make sense of the situation. It was kind of embarrassing for Karkat to catch him jerking off like that, and he'd expected maybe to endure quite a lot of teasing about not being able to wait, but he couldn't understand why Karkat would be so mad at him.

"You can take your pathetic, cheating bulge and stuff it up your prankster's gambit," Karkat shouted at him, practically vibrating with anger. "Sure as shit that gambit is the only thing you're ever going to fill, you grubfucking nookwiff. No, you know what, even grubs would refuse to fuck you. They would slither right out of your slimy little hands and smash their own brains out on the ground before they'd let you touch them."

"Karkat!" Now John was starting to feel angry as well as bewildered, if only in response to the utter rage Karkat was spewing at him. "Will you stop ranting at me and start making sense? What are you even so mad about?"

"Don't give me that, you, you..." Karkat apparently lost his grasp on English at that point, because the next words came out in Alternian, and they didn't sound at all pleasant.

"I can't even understand you, stop it," John shouted over top of him, desperately trying to get control of the situation back. Part of him was humiliatingly aware of how ridiculous he must look, standing there yelling at his alien boyfriend with his dick still hard and hanging out of his pants, covered in his own come.

Taking a deep breath, Karkat visibly struggled for control. His hands were clenched into fists so tight John was a little amazed he wasn't bleeding, and his face was flushed bright enough that Terezi would have had a field day. When he spoke again the words were in English, with a buzzing overtone that meant it was taking every ounce of control he had to keep them that way. "Don't ever come near me again. If I ever even see you, I will rip your alien bulge off and stuff it down your windtube until you choke on it. We are fucking finished."

"You're..." John's voice cracked, and now it was his turn to stare in utter heartbreak. "You're breaking up with me?"

The hiss he got in reply might not have been in a language he spoke, but the sentiment was clear enough that Karkat might as well have gotten a plane to write 'yes' across the sky. Especially when he turned and stormed out, slamming the door to John's bedroom so hard the cheap wood actually cracked down the middle.

John wasn't sure how long he just stood there like an idiot, staring at that crack, trying to convince himself that the whole thing had been a horrible dream.

ectoBiologist [ EB ] began pestering turntechGodhead [ TG ]

EB: dave? dave are you there? oh god, please be there!
EB: i screwed up really big time, i don't even know how, but fuck.
EB: karkat just... oh god i can't even type it, i'm crying too hard.
EB: he dumped me!
EB: i don't know what i did wrong.
EB: oh shit you're probably with terezi, damn it!
EB: please pester me when you get this!!

ectoBiologist [ EB ] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT]

EB: rose?
EB: are you there? i really need to talk to someone!
EB: actually this is right up your alley, totally need some prime psychoanalyzing here, ahahaha.
EB: rose?
EB: crap you're not here either.

ectoBiologist [ EB ] began pestering gardenGnostic [ GG ]

EB: jade please answer!
EB: please please don't be busy.
EB: jaaaaaaaade...
EB: damn it why did everyone leave their pesterchum on if they're busy?!

turntechGodhead [ TG ] started pestering ectoBiologist [ EB ]

TG: shit you let him catch you didnt you
TG: you are so screwed
TG: or not screwed actually
TG: and probably never will be

Karkat struggled to stay as still as possible. Every tiny twitch sent aftershocks through his overloaded nervous system, threatening to short out his think pan entirely. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to exist. And he had only himself to blame.

Well, no, actually he placed a heaping portion of blame squarely on one John Egbert's hivestep. The human was most definitely entirely responsible for the horrible ache in Karkat's chest and the way his eyes kept prickling with tears.

But the heavy, throbbing need in his groin and the way he couldn't so much as blink without wanting to die from sheer lust was pretty much his own doing. He could have ended things days ago, weeks ago, and he wouldn't be in this state.

Maybe if he'd given in and just filled a pail with John a little earlier, the human wouldn't have cheated on him like that.

Hopy shit, maybe this was entirely his own fault.

Slamming his head against the desk didn't help to clear his mind much. He was so lost to lust that even pain felt good at this point. With a warbling chirp rattling the back of his windtube, Karkat went still again, breathing as shallowly as possible.

"Theriouthly, kk, I'm really worried about you," Sollux said, probably in response to noises Karkat was making. His moirail had come running the moment Karkat had told him over Trollian what had happened, which was at least a little gratifying. "Thith ithn't healthy, you were pushing the limit ath it wath."

"Yeah, and what the fuck am I supposed to do about it?" Karkat snarled. He knew the other troll was only trying to help, but they were both fully aware that only one kind of 'help' was going to do him any good. Everything else was only an irritant that he really didn't need right now.

"Fuck it, I'll finish it for you if no one elthe will," Sollux said, shocking Karkat into lifting his head to stare at his moirail. Sollux looked back at him grimly. "Conthidering the pathetic thtate you're in right now, it'th not hard to feel more pity for you than uthual."

"What? Did you get into the mind honey and fry your think pan again?" Karkat demanded, aghast on several levels. "Your matesprit is the fucking empress, she'll cull us both if you cheat on her!"

"Well, call it blackrom, then," Sollux offered. "Not like I'd mind pithing ed off, it'll jutht make him hotter."

"In what way could you possibly justify that as not taking pity on me?" Karkat asked, rolling his eyes. "No and no, I am not making you cheat on your quadrants just because my matesprit is a douche."

"Um... okay, it could be me being a really, really helpful moirail?" Sollux tried. "I'm thure ff would underthtand if I ekthplained it to her. She liketh you a lot."

"You've got a matesprit and a fucking kismesis, how do you even have anything left over to cheat with?" Karkat exclaimed. Sollux squirmed slightly, and Karkat narrowed his eyes. "Hang on. When was the last time you filled a pail?"

"Fuck, I don't know, forever ago," Sollux groaned, slumping over with his head in his hands. "I think they're both trying to impreth me by outlathting the other one, or thomething. But neither of them hath another concupithent quadrant! They only have to deal with their own teathing, while I'm getting it from both thideth."

"Hah, I thought you were being a little too concerned for my wellbeing," Karkat snorted. "You're not pitying me, you're feeling sorry for yourself."

"Ehehehe. A little of both?" Sollux said weakly, lifting his head again and shrugging sheepishly. "It'th killing me, and I thtill haven't gone nearly ath long ath you have. I don't even know how you're coherent at all right now."

"Neither do I," Karkat muttered, shivering as a gust of air came through the window and ghosted over his hyper-sensitive skin. "So why don't you just go fuck Ampora until he comes, and then impress Peixes with how much you can?"

"What, you mean, pail ed but not come mythelf?" Sollux considered it for a moment, eyes wide. "That'th... really cruel, kk. He'd totally kill me for it. I like it!"

"Glad one of us doesn't have to suffer," Karkat said, sighing. On the one hand, he had plenty of pity for the situation Sollux was stuck in, since he knew in excruciating detail how it felt to be the victim of far too much built-up genetic material. On the other hand, Sollux had two people he could use to help him work it off, which made Karkat hate him just a little.

"What about tz? She'd probably help," Sollux suggested. "If only becauthe the biggetht dithappointment of her entire life wath finding out that human genetic material ith alwayth white."

"I'm not asking Pyrope to cheat on her matesprit, either," Karkat snarled. "Especially since her human actually puts out."

"I gueth kn ith out either way... gz hath a matethprit too... " Sollux mused, running through every troll Karkat had a close enough relationship with to possibly approach with his problem. "What about np?"

For a wild moment Karkat actually considered the possibility. Nepeta had never quite gotten over her inexplicable flushcrush on him, and she didn't have a matesprit yet. She probably would jump at the chance to fill a pail with him.

Then he hit his head against the desk again, even though it made him feel worse. "She'd think I was serious, I'd break her heart no matter how clear I made it that it was only an act of desperation," he said. "And then Zahhak would fucking throttle me for hurting her. Fuck no." Even without the threat of Equius' retribution for breaking his moirail's heart, Karkat didn't want to hurt Nepeta like that.

"You're too damn picky, ith your problem," Sollux said, but he sounded sympathetic. "Why did you let it drag on tho long, anyway? You wouldn't be in half thith much agony if you hadn't pushed it tho far."

For a moment Karkat debated pretending he hadn't heard the question. Sollux might be his moirail, but he had an odd way of showing it sometimes, and he was far too fond of mocking Karkat. Unfortunately Karkat knew in the end Sollux would nag it out of him, and the teasing would only be ten times worse because refusing to answer made it obvious that Karkat was embarrassed by his reason.

"I wanted it to be perfect," he finally mumbled into the desk. "It took us so long to get everything right, and I just... wanted to make it really good for him."

There was a long pause, and when Karkat dared to peek up at Sollux, he found the other troll regarding him with a mixture of pity and exasperation. "You are thuch an unbelievable thap, kk," he said, his tone unexpectedly gentle. Perhaps correctly interpreting the confusion in Karkat's expression, he added, "Oh, don't worry, I'll taunt you about it plenty later. But I think you're tortured enough for the moment."

"Yeah." Sighing, Karkat laid his forehead on the desk again, savouring the brief sensation of coolness against his skin before the metal heated up to match his feverish temperature. "Thanks."

"I really am worried about you, though," Sollux insisted. "You can't even move without chirping, and you shiver every time you breathe. I could... do the thame thing to you that you thuggethted I do to ed. It doethn't count ath cheating if I don't get off, right?" He sounded hesitant, which told Karkat his friend was actually serious this time.

"You're my fucking moirail, Captor, would you stop propositioning me for sex? It's creepy." Despite his harsh words, Karkat barely managed to suppress a shudder of longing at the thought. Shit, he really was too far gone if he was seriously considering letting his moirail pail him. One-sided, at that.

"I don't even have to touch you, if it'd make you feel better about it," Sollux promised softly, and there was an ionic crackle in the air a split second before Karkat felt ghostly pressure against the base of his horns.

"Nnnngh don't... I can't... you shouldn't," Karkat stammered, horribly torn. He was glad the touch on his horns left him limp, because otherwise he'd be writhing and that much movement would be incredibly painful at the moment. "That's sick, it's fucking depraved, it's... it's... shit, who the fuck am I kidding?" With a quivering warble, he gave in to what had to be inevitable. They both knew it was the only solution. "Yessss, fucking please."

"Eheh, I'm imprethed you held out tho long," Sollux chuckled. "Where'th your bucket?"

"Closet," Karkat choked out, shuddering as the electrifying psionic touch trailed down from his horns to catch the back of his neck in a vice grip. His eyes were rolling back in his head, making it rather hard to see anything, but he heard the squeak of the closet door opening, followed by the rattle of the pail's handle against its side as Sollux brought it out. Just that sound was enough to make Karkat warble again, knowing how close he was to feeling the first relief he'd had in days. Hell, in weeks.

His hands were shaking so hard it took him three tries to undo his pants, but finally he managed to shove them down to his knees. He slid off the chair to kneel over the pail, panting harshly for air and steadying himself with one hand gripping the edge of the desk with a white-knuckled grip. His other hand dropped to cover his bulge, making him cry out at the sudden increase in sensation.

Then the thrilling tingle of the psionic pressure was there, too; twining through his fingers to tease at his bulge, sliding up into his nook and pushing just right at the spot that was impossible for Karkat to reach himself without tearing up his most sensitive parts with his own claws.

Under other circumstances Karkat might have been embarrassed that it took all of two seconds of pressure there to unlock the floodgates, but he was too busy keening as the overwhelming rush of release hit him. His back arched so hard he was faintly amazed his spine didn't crack, and the sound of his genetic material hitting the pail made his breath catch in his windtube.

Then the psionic touch vanished from everywhere all at once, and Karkat nearly screamed as the release of fluid stopped as abruptly as it had started. He lost his grip on the desk and collapsed forward onto his hands and knees, barely managing to avoid knocking over the pail in the process. He dug his claws into the floor and swore helplessly, fighting to remember how to breathe.

"Shit," Sollux said, the sound a low rasp in his throat that was hardly more than a chirp. "Shit, shit... I'm thorry, kk, I can't... fuck."

Finally managing to raise his head, Karkat saw that Sollux was hunched over in his chair, arms wrapped tight around his middle. The other troll had bitten his lip so hard there were trails of yellow blood creeping down over his chin, and he looked about as miserable as Karkat felt.

"What..." Karkat managed, stunned both by the horrible tease of losing the relief and by the sight of his moirail in apparent agony.

"I'm... fuck, I'm too near to breaking, mythelf," Sollux explained helplessly. "I can't conthentrate when you're... when you're making noitheth like that, a-and the pail... I can't, I'm thorry..."

"Shit," Karkat groaned, and dropped his forehead to the floor again. They were both idiots for not realizing what would inevitably happen, though Karkat at least had somewhat more excuse than Sollux did. It would be hard enough for any troll to hear someone else keening like that without getting worked up themselves, especially when you added in the sound of fluid hitting the pail. Sollux was already on edge and desperate, so it must have been like a kick in the bulge to hear his moirail making those noises. Of course he couldn't concentrate enough to maintain a delicate psionic touch like that.

"I'll... I'll go find ed and ff and work it off, and then I'll come back and finish helping you, I thwear," Sollux promised him, voice shaking.

"No... fuck, forget it," Karkat sighed, slowly pushing himself upright. He still felt heavy and aching with the built-up genetic material in his groin, but he'd released enough of it that it was no longer an all-consuming need. He wasn't even sure he could come again just yet, though he was certainly a long way from empty. "I can at least function, that's enough. Doing it again would be cheating, we have no excuse."

"Are you thure?" Sollux asked, but he sounded just a little relieved. "I feel like the wortht kind of bulge-blocker..."

"Just forget it, I said," Karkat snapped. He couldn't quite bring himself to look right at Sollux as he fumbled to get his pants done up again. He shoved the partially-filled bucket under his desk where it was at least no longer directly in sight. "Why are you still even here? Go torture your kismesis or something."

"Nnnh... gimme a minute until I can walk again," Sollux said, with a noise that might have been a chirp or just a breathy chuckle. "Jn doethn't know what he threw away, kk. You're hot ath fuck when you're coming."

"Sh-shut up, idiot," Karkat said, blushing so hard he was amazed he didn't rupture the blood vessels in his face. "I don't want to hear that from my fucking moirail, you sick fuck!"

"Eheheh, thorry," Sollux said, but he didn't sound sorry at all.

"Yeah, whatever," Karkat said, and pulled himself back up into his chair, flipping open his husktop to give him something to think about other than what they'd just done. There was one thing he had to do before he could ignore it completely and pretend it never happened, though. "Thanks," he muttered, putting as much of his sincerity into the word as he could stand to show.

"If I thay 'anytime' you're going to gut me, aren't you?"

"Yes, what the fuck is wrong with you, get out of my hive!"

Karkat was so damned lucky to have such a good moirail, especially since it turned out his matesprit was such an asshole.

Now if only he could convince himself that he wouldn't still rather have done it with the asshole.

It felt weird - almost sacrilegious - but Karkat dumped the contents of the partially-filled pail down the drain of his ablution trap. It wasn't as if it would do him any good, since it contained only his own genetic material. Feferi had changed the laws so that providing pails to the drones was voluntary instead of mandatory, largely so that the various troll/human quadrants that had formed wouldn't be penalized, but that didn't overcome sweeps of social conditioning not to ever waste genetic material.

Rinsing it out was an even weirder experience, especially since he was still more than a little overheated after his not very satisfying release earlier. The sound of water hitting the metal pail was rather suggestive, and made it hard to think about anything other than sex. And, as much as he hated admitting it, he still couldn't stop longing for that sex to be with John.

He wrenched the tap to turn it off, and only then heard the sound of footsteps approaching through his hive and someone calling his name. He froze, half convinced he was imagining things out of sheer wistful thinking. There was no way that John would be stupid enough to come over and just barge into his hive, surely.

Apparently he was wrong, because in the next moment John appeared in the doorway. "There you are! I was starting to think you weren't home," the human said.

For lack of anything else to throw, Karkat chucked the pail straight at his face. Sense caught up to him a moment later and he blushed horribly, but that didn't stop him from following up the rather debauched attack with a flying tackle, aiming for John's throat. He'd promised to rip the human apart if he saw him again, and by gog that was exactly what he was going to do.

A little to his surprise, John ducked the bucket and threw a blast of air at him, tossing him back against the wall of the ablution trap. He hadn't expected John to be prepared to fight, but it seemed John had anticipated Karkat's aggressive reaction to the sight of him, and been ready for it.

Unfortunately, caught unwary without a weapon equipped and in tight quarters, Karkat was at a severe disadvantage and they both knew it. John was more powerful than him, and his abilities were better suited to a battle where they didn't actually want to kill each other. Because as much as Karkat wanted to hurt the human boy, to make him feel all the pain he'd inflicted on Karkat, he didn't actually want John dead at his hands.


"If this is your way of grovelling for my forgiveness, you've got a funny way of showing it," Karkat taunted him, eyes flicking around the ablution block to try to find some way of turning things to his advantage. "Or are you just that eager to have your ass handed to you?"

"I'm not going to say I'm sorry," John told him, voice steady and expression stern. "Not because I don't think I have some blame in this mess, because I know I do. But it's just as much your fault, so I don't owe you an apology."

"My fault?" Stunned and horribly offended, Karkat glared at him. Never mind that he'd been thinking earlier that he might very well have only himself to blame for what had happened. Hearing John accuse him of it was enough to enrage him. "What part of this stellar-level rocket-wreck is in any way my fucking fault? What, I held my sickle to your throat and made you cheat on me like that?"

Karkat lunged for him, but John was faster and threw another blast of wind at him, strong enough to knock the air out of his lungs when he hit the wall again. "Damn it, Karkat, stop trying to pick a fight and actually listen to me! I didn't cheat on you, I would never do that!"

"That might be more believable if I hadn't seen you doing it with my own fucking ocular orbs, pissant," Karkat spat, the words a little wheezy but still perfectly understandable. "I don't care if humans can do it without needing someone else's help, it's still fucking cheating!" And he wasn't in the least jealous of the fact that they apparently could get off by themselves. Not at all. Stupid aliens and their ridiculous biology.

"You saw me doing something that's totally normal for humans," John corrected him, standing there in the doorway with his hands on his hips, a pose that made him look like he'd been watching too many of Tavros' Pupa Pan movies. Karkat might have laughed at him if he hadn't already been so angry. "I jerk off all the time, Karkat! After every time we've seen each other since we started going out, pretty much, and plenty of other times besides."

"You what?" Karkat was torn between astonishment at the idea that someone could even come that often, and betrayal at the blatant admission that John had been cheating on him all along. At least, if he was correctly guessing what 'jerk off' meant, but it seemed pretty obvious in context.

"Jegus fuck, here I've been fucking torturing myself, trying to make this as good as possible for you, and you've been going behind my back the whole time?" Karkat growled. "And that's supposed to make me less angry at you? I might as well have shoved a flaming brand up my nook and ripped my own bulge off, it would have hurt less!"

"I get that it's not normal for trolls, or at least I do now that someone has finally showed a little sympathy and fucking explained to me what's been going on for the last month," John said, shaking his head. "And I should have just asked why you were being such a damned tease, instead of assuming it was because you were, I don't know, shy or something. But you should have trusted me enough to have at least asked why I was doing that, instead of assuming I'd done it to hurt you and running off in a huff!"

"I did not run off in a huff," Karkat objected automatically, but he flinched a little under the words. They had learned, early on in their relationship, that they both needed to be careful not to jump to conclusions about what sort of feelings they had for each other, or how things would proceed. When Karkat had first broken down and confessed his flushed feelings for the human, describing in excruciating detail everything about the other boy that he found pathetic and deserving of pity, John had punched him out and refused to speak to him for days. Likewise, when John had later unthinkingly told Karkat that he didn't pity him at all, Karkat had thought it meant the human was breaking up with him and he'd been utterly crushed until they got the misunderstanding sorted out.

But this was different, damn it. Wasn't it?

"Why did you cheat on me, then?" Karkat asked grudgingly, though he still refused to refer to the incident as anything other than the blatant betrayal that it so obviously was. "This had better be the universe's most stunningly brilliant explanation, complete with diagrams and fucking sparkles, because it's gonna take that much to convince me, fuckass."

"I told you, it's normal for humans," John repeated, stressing the word. "We don't need to fill pails, so we don't need to be able to come ridiculous amounts like you guys apparently do. We don't have to build up genetic material - it doesn't matter how long it's been, or how recently it's been, I'm still going to come pretty much the exact same amount!"

"Are you serious?" Karkat was utterly floored by the idea. To not have to endure increasing discomfort over the course of days or even weeks as your body built up enough material to allow you to release it? Getting off every day? "So, you could come, like, ten times a day and it wouldn't make a difference? You'd be able to do that?"

"Well, ten times a day would be a lot, probably even for a teenaged guy," John said, blushing and looking awkward for the first time since the conversation had begun. "But not only do we not need draw it out like that, it's really, really not pleasant to try! It's kind of painful, actually, getting all worked up like that and not getting off, and you've been driving me crazy for like, the last month!"

It hurt them? Karkat had been pushing the limit of his own comfort, trying to make things as good as he could for his matesprit, and he'd been hurting the other boy instead? Horrified, he stared at John, scrambling for some reason why he shouldn't just throw himself out the window and put them both out of their misery. You had to be the lowest, most vile creature to ever walk the planet to hurt your matesprit, the person you pitied most in all the world.

Gog damn it, past him was the stupidest interstellar fuck-up nookwhiff ever. He hated that grubfucker so much. Why was he always the one that had to pay for the asshole's mistakes?

"I," he started, and then didn't quite know what to say after that. "I don't. That's..."

"It's okay, it's not anything really awful," John hastened to assure him, probably correctly interpreting his appalled expression. "I'm not going to be the kind of jerk boyfriend who tells his girl that she has to put out because he's got a little case of blue balls! Like I said, I just took care of it myself after. But you know, even more than the fact that I'd much rather have been taking care of it with you... I've missed you." He bit his lip, and his brows drew together. "Really missed you. I feel like we never talk anymore except online, and I miss being able to just hang out with you and hold hands or cuddle or do anything at all!"

"Yeah," Karkat agreed, his voice low. He dropped his gaze, unable to continue meeting John's eyes. "I've missed that, too. I shouldn't have pushed things so far, but... I wanted it to be perfect." And instead he'd royally screwed things up, and nearly lost the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Taking a step forward, John reached out a hand, and Karkat didn't pull away when the human touched his cheek gently and turned his face up again. "I love you more than anything, Karkat," he said softly. "I would never do anything to hurt you on purpose, okay? We really, really still need to work on talking things out, I guess."

"You're the most pathetic being in the history of ever," Karkat replied, feeling tears prickle at his eyes again and struggling to keep them at bay. This was already a ridiculously sappy moment, straight out of the worst kind of romcom, and he wasn't going to contribute to it by breaking down, damn it. "I pity you so much. And I love you, too."

"You're pretty pathetic yourself right now," John told him with a smile. "All huddled in on yourself and wibbling. I'd have to be the most cold-hearted bastard on the planet not to pity you like this."

"I am not wibbling," Karkat objected, and then ruined his protest by sniffling. Fuck, it always got to him when John would indulge him by talking about pity instead of his incomprehensible human 'love'. Karkat liked being told that John loved him, too, largely because of the expression that was always on John's face when he said it, but he liked pity more. Even if he knew the stupid human didn't really mean it.

Leaning in, John pressed their mouths together, and Karkat melted into the kiss with a little chirp. As much as he always loved kissing his matesprit, it felt better now, maybe because he'd thought he would never get to do it again. They'd had enough practice at it now that it was a reflex for Karkat not to slice John open with his teeth, so he could just enjoy the contact without having to worry.

"So, does that mean we're okay?" John asked a little plaintively when he pulled back again. Karkat nodded, not quite trusting himself to speak yet, and John gave him the brightest, derpiest smile ever. "Oh, thank god! I just wanted to curl up and die when I thought I'd lost you. But there's one thing I still don't understand. We're not going to be able to give material to the drones anyway, so can't we just do it whenever we want?"

"Fuck you, do you think we'd torture ourselves like this if we didn't have to?" Karkat couldn't quite seem to work up the energy for a properly enraged ire when John was still cuddling him close like he was the most precious thing in the universe. Why was it so damned hard to stay mad at John when the idiot hugged him? "The drones only come once a sweep anyway! We can't come unless there's enough material built up to push past the stop reflex. Just doesn't happen. Anyway, it feels a lot better the longer you wait. Like, exponentially better. So it's worth it to hold out as long as you can, until you're ready to kill something from frustration. I, uh." He blushed and mumbled the rest into John's shoulder. "I wanted to make it really good for you."

"Awww, Karkat, that's really sweet," John exclaimed, nuzzling their cheeks together. "Let's not wait this long again though, okay? At least it's not entirely wasted effort, you'll still feel really good because of it, right? You must be just about ready to burst! Dave said Terezi never goes more than like a week, and it's been nearly a month for us."

"Um." Suddenly the last thing Karkat needed to worry about was blushing - the blood had fled his face so thoroughly he thought he might be as pale as John. Shit, if John hadn't betrayed him... that meant Karkat was the one who'd cheated on John. "Oh fuck, I'm sorry," he said, pulling away and staring at John, horrified all over again. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't... I thought... fuck."

"Karkat?" John looked thoroughly puzzled, brows knitted together and head tilted to one side. "What's wrong? You look like you just saw a ghost."

"I... I couldn't even move, it hurt to breathe, you don't even... no, shit, that's just an excuse. There is no excuse. I'm sorry," Karkat repeated miserably, not sure what else to say. Of all the massive fuck-ups past him had ever engineered, this was bigger than the rest combined. He desperately wished the memo system still existed, so he could go and chew his past self out for cheating on their fucking matesprit.

"You're not making any sense," John told him, stepping towards him again. Karkat flinched back when John tried to touch him, and the human stopped, astonished.

"I let Captor pail me," Karkat blurted out, cringing from the flood of anger that was sure to follow his confession. Probably culminating in John dumping him on his shame globes, and never speaking to him again. He deserved nothing less. "He didn't touch me, just used his powers, but it still... shit. I'm the most miserable, sorry excuse for a matesprit anyone ever had, I don't deserve a matesprit at all, fuck, I don't deserve any quadrant at all, I just..."

To his utter shock, John stopped the flow of words by kissing him, not hitting him. Karkat just stood there and took it, rigid and staring, not kissing back because he was still half certain he was hallucinating.

"Shh," John said when he pulled back again, just enough to let them look at each other. He had one hand on either side of Karkat's face, forcing him to meet his gaze. John looked hurt, yes, and a little angry, but neither emotion was anywhere as strong as Karkat would have expected. "It's okay, I forgive you. I wouldn't be allowed to be angry if you'd gone to a kismesis, right? So I guess I can't really be mad that you got your moirail to help."

"You..." This was not at all the reaction Karkat had anticipated, and it left him floundering a little. "I thought humans got stupidly jealous about that stuff, that's why none of us with human matesprits have bothered looking for a kismesis, we didn't want to piss you off."

"Believe me, I appreciate that, and I'm sure the others do, too," John assured him. "Because I'll be honest, I probably would be horribly jealous, no matter how much I told myself that you weren't cheating on me, I just can't help it. And I am jealous about Sollux, but if you were hurting that much and you thought we'd broken up so you didn't have any other options... I'm not going to blame you, Karkat." He sighed, and looked rueful. "I guess this means we have to start at the beginning again? Damn. Can we at least not push things so far, this time?"

John wasn't going to dump him? He wasn't angry at Karkat? Even another troll would reasonably be furious with him for what he'd done; it was redrom cheating no matter how you looked at it.

"Not... from the beginning," Karkat said slowly, not quite able to accept his incredible good fortune. Who else in the universes had such a pitying, understanding matesprit? "We didn't finish it, just went far enough for me to be able to function again." He was not going to mention that they only hadn't finished it because Sollux had been too turned on to keep concentrating. Some things John was probably better off not knowing.

Especially given the way John's face lit up at Karkat's words. "Really? Thank god, I'm just about dying to find out what kind of weird, sexy noises you make when you come."

He kissed Karkat again before Karkat had a chance to respond, and this time Karkat participated enthusiastically. Their tongues met and twined around each other, Karkat's more flexible but John's more sensitive, and John's moan echoed Karkat's shivering chirp. Belatedly Karkat realized that John had let go of his face, mostly because one of John's hands found the base of his horn, stroking gently the way Karkat had taught him. With a much louder warble, Karkat shuddered against him and fought the instinct to go limp. He didn't want to stop touching, damn it.

He got his hands up inside John's shirt, trying to be careful of his claws but probably leaving a few scratches behind in his eagerness. John didn't wince or make any of the sounds that meant he was protesting, just kissed him harder, so Karkat figured it was probably okay for him to be just a little rough. That was good, because he really wasn't sure he could stop himself if he tried.

The little nubs John had told him were called 'nipples' were already peaked, always a good sign. Karkat pinched and rolled them between his fingers, mindful of his claws, enjoying the moans and gasps that wrung from John. The human certainly wasn't acting like he'd gotten off a few hours ago, he was just as eager for Karkat's touch as always, so maybe it was true that they could go as often as they liked.

Then John retaliated by breaking the kiss and dropping his mouth to Karkat's neck, and biting down. Hard. If a troll had bitten him like that they'd have ended up with a mouthful of bleeding flesh, but John's flat teeth could barely break through Karkat's tougher skin. It was the most exquisite sensation, and it was worth every minute of the begging Karkat had needed to do in order to convince John that he wanted it that hard.

Chirping, Karkat tilted his head back and didn't even care when it hit the wall hard. He was panting for air, but there didn't seem to be any left in the room. There was only John, the sight and sound and feel and smell of him. He wanted the taste, too, but he couldn't motivate himself to move away from the hand on his horn and the mouth on his throat.

The best he could do was to rake his hands down over John's chest, struggling to keep the right level of pressure that John said stung but felt so good. His matesprit had put on a surprising amount of muscle in the years since the game, and Karkat knew every inch of his body.

He wanted to get to know it even better.

With a little growl Karkat hooked his claws in John's shirt and yanked, tearing the fragile fabric easily. John huffed a protest against his throat, but didn't let go of the grip his teeth had, which meant he wasn't really upset. It wouldn't be the first time he'd walked out of Karkat's hive wearing the troll's clothing, anyway.

Sometimes Karkat tore the other boy's clothes even when he wasn't half mad with desire, just because he loved seeing his matesprit wear his mark so blatantly.

John's other hand was fumbling with Karkat's pants, but he couldn't seem to manage the fastenings one-handed. With a sigh he finally dropped his other hand to help, and to Karkat's dismay he also pulled his mouth away. "Take your shirt off, too," John insisted when Karkat chirped at him mournfully.

Well, yes, more skin contact was probably worth momentarily losing those teeth in his flesh. Karkat obediently yanked his shirt up over his head, then grabbed for John's pants in turn. If they were going to take the time to strip, they might as well do it all the way now so they wouldn't have to stop again later.

It only took a few moments before they were completely bare to each other, and Karkat could feel the heat of John's body searing his skin as the other boy pinned him against the wall, kissing him once more. They'd only stripped completely like this a few times, relatively early on when Karkat had still been sure enough of his self-control to know he wouldn't break sooner than he wanted to. He loved it, loved the feel of John's strong body against his, muscles shifting beneath skin and his matesprit's alien bulge hard against his hip. Karkat shifted to line up his bone bulge with John's and rocked up, and was rewarded with a low, needy moan.

John bit him again, on the shoulder this time, and Karkat warbled and shuddered. That was more than enough to coax his bulge out from behind the bony sheath, and as he thrust his hips against John's it curled around John's bulge, the friction driving Karkat out of his mind. From the desperate noises John was making, it was doing just as much for the human.

He wished he could bite John back, share the glorious sensations, but they'd learned quickly that John didn't find teeth in his flesh nearly as hot as Karkat did. That wasn't really unexpected, considering the relative fragility of human skin, but it was still a little disappointing. He could and did turn his head to run his mouth over the rounded curve of John's ear, the brush of his teeth just a hint of a threat, making John shiver against him and moan into his shoulder.

Karkat half expected John to go for his horn again, the human seemed positively fascinated by the responses evoked by touches there, but John surprised him when he dropped his hand instead. He brushed briefly over their bulges, then went lower, fingers searching for and finding the edges of Karkat's nook.

The sound Karkat made was caught somewhere between a warble and the start of a keen. He jerked his hips up, lifting one leg to wrap around John's waist, opening himself to the contact as best he could. Karkat had previously prevented John from exploring that area much, since he'd been trying to avoid breaking before he absolutely had to, but there was no reason to stop him now and every reason to encourage him.

"So, I'm supposed to... do something here, right?" John asked tentatively, sliding his finger inside. Karkat tensed reflexively, his body anticipating pain, but John had no claws to tear up the sensitive flesh. "Wow, shit, you're so tight. Yeah, there is no way I'm getting my dick in there without hurting you bad."

"Fuck, no," Karkat agreed fervently. He'd been a little horrified when he'd first seen the size of human bulges, but a terribly embarrassing conversation with Terezi had reassured him that there were ways around the problem. Namely, the soft, slender finger John had in him right that moment. "Just... just press up, and thennnnghrk!"

English became a lost cause as John found the right spot, and Karkat's windtube closed up until the only sound he could make was a slowly rising keen. Unlike when Sollux had done it, Karkat wasn't overloaded enough to break at the first hint of pressure, so instead he was able to enjoy the unbelievably intense sensation of John teasing him there.

"Nnnnh, Karkat, fuck you sound even better than I'd hoped," John murmured, and he was more than a little breathless himself. It took effort for Karkat to focus enough to understand the words. John often talked during sex, and it didn't seem to matter much to him whether Karkat was listening or not, but Karkat loved the sound of his voice when it was tight and strained with need. "Hah, holy shit, you like that don't you? Yeah, your bulge likes it too, fuck that feels good."

Though he was dizzy with passion and need, Karkat managed to tilt his head so he could see down the length of their bodies, and sure enough his bulge was writhing against the hard length of John's, lacking a nook to slide into but stimulated nonetheless. The tip teased at the soft sack hanging below John's bulge, making the human moan and shudder.

Working one hand between them, Karkat wrapped his fingers around his matesprit's bulge and stroked hard, the way John had shown him. It still boggled him that it could feel good to have that much pressure applied to such a sensitive spot, but as with every other time he'd done it, John cried out and arched into the touch, hips bucking a little faster against Karkat's.

"Please, please, Karkat please," he was murmuring over and over, breath panting hot against Karkat's neck. "You're not going to pull away this time, right? Fuck, please, I want you so bad, I need you so bad, please!"

Karkat tried twice to croak out something reassuring, and only managed to warble both times. Finally he gave up and lifted his other hand to wind his fingers carefully through John's hair, pressing the other boy as close as he could in unspoken assurance.

"Haha, oh wow, you can't even talk in Alternian, can you?" John realized, laughing softly. "That is... so sexy, you don't even know, the thought that I reduced you to speechlessness... hnnngh, can't take much more of this, Karkat!"

Despite the fact that he was somehow still coherent enough to talk, John's rhythm was faltering, and his bulge was slippery with leaking fluid. That made it easier for Karkat's hand to slide over the flesh, so he tightened his fingers a little more. John gave a strangled, incoherent cry that was possibly the hottest thing Karkat had ever heard in his life, and then his bulge twitched in Karkat's hand and gobs of thick, sticky white fluid started spurting from the tip.

There wasn't much, but it was obvious that John was enjoying it every bit as much as if there were floods. To Karkat's dismay the human went still against him, including releasing the pressure of his finger against the breaking point inside him. Karkat writhed, trying to get it back, but he couldn't quite hitch his hips up at an angle that would force John to press against him again.

On the other hand, the brief respite gave him back the ability to speak, and there was something rather important that he'd forgotten. "P-pail," he stammered, hoping the word would emerge in English and not Alternian. "Fuck, John, I need..."

"Nnn," was John's not very coherent response, before the human shook himself and roused a bit. He lifted his head and blinked at Karkat from inches away, adorably befuddled. "Wha...? Oh... oh, right. Pail. Uh... crap, I think it landed all the way out on the other side of the bedroom."

Karkat warbled, torn between the powerful conditioned need for a pail, and the equally strong desire not to have to let go of John even for a moment.

"Um... you know, we're standing in your shower," John pointed out, a thread of amusement working its way into his voice. "I don't think it's going to hurt anything if you don't use the pail, we can just clean it all right off after."

That was true, and it would save him the embarrassment of having to dump out and rinse the pail again. Even so Karkat had to struggle with the idea for a moment, fighting against the part of him that almost hysterically insisted that even considering it was depraved, and it didn't matter whether he was in the ablution trap or not.

Then John crooked his finger up again, and Karkat forgot there had ever been a battle. His windtube closed almost completely as his body went rigid, wave after wave of sensation crashing into him. It was so good, and he could feel the heavy weight of fluid gathered in his groin, the pressure rising slowly in response to the amazing things John was doing to him.

His muscles tightened, and he felt like he was standing on the edge of a precipice, staring down into the abyss that led to heaven. He wanted to fall off the edge so badly, yearned for it with every bit of his soul, but it remained stubbornly just out of reach. The sensations John was evoking edged from pleasure towards pain as his over-stimulated nerves started to protest, and finally he convulsed as the switch was flipped entirely.

Karkat cried out and grabbed for John's wrist, barely remembering in time not to dig his claws in. John startled and went obediently still, though he didn't withdraw. Struggling to remember how to perform basic tasks like existing, Karkat stayed slumped against the wall for a long moment, unable to move or even speak.

"Karkat?" John finally ventured hesitantly. "Are you okay? You didn't... I mean, I kinda know, rivers or something."

"Can't," Karkat finally managed to croak miserably. The aching weight of genetic material still throbbed in his groin, but he just couldn't take any more right now, and it hadn't been enough to break the floodgates. "Not... not as close as I thought I was. Fuck. Shit, oh gog." He shuddered as John slowly withdrew his hand, even that bit of sensation too much for him at the moment.

He could already tell he was really going to come to hate this part, when he was worked up enough for it to ache but not enough to force him to let go. It wasn't so bad early on, when the urgency wasn't there yet, but this was agony. He wasn't sure whether to be glad John didn't have to suffer this way, or resent him for it. At the moment, resentment was threatening to win by a landslide.

He'd expected John to pull away now that they were done, but his matesprit hugged him close, uncaring of the fact that he was smearing his weird white genetic material over both their bodies. "Okay, it's okay, just breathe," John crooned at him, and Karkat discovered that he did actually need the reminder. He gasped for air, panting, his chest rising and falling against John's pressed against him.

"Easy," John said, and slid one hand up into Karkat's hair, rubbing the fingertips against his scalp before seeking out the base of his horn. Karkat yelped and tried to throw him off, but the endorphins that flooded his system kept him from struggling. "Easy, easy," John repeated softly. "You trust me, right?"

"Yes?" It came out as more of a question than Karkat had meant it to, and he eyed his matesprit suspiciously. John did have that annoying prankster streak, and it didn't always do to trust him too much when he had that sly gleam in his eyes.

"Dave told me a few of the tricks he uses when Terezi's close but not quite there yet," John said, and chuckled ruefully. "More information than I ever wanted to know about my best friend or his girlfriend, but after I suffered through that much embarrassment, the least you can do is let me try it out. Right?"

Tricks? Karkat couldn't imagine what sort of 'tricks' could possibly help in this situation. He wasn't ready to break yet, but he was too overwrought and over-stimulated to keep going for now, end of story.

But he did trust John - yes, even despite the damned pranking tendencies - and if there was a way for him to get off now instead of later, he was willing to try it. Slowly Karkat nodded, his eyes locked on John's. The assent earned him a brilliant smile that did little to reassure him that he'd made the right choice.

"A change is as good as a rest, they say," John told him in an overly cheerful voice, and dropped to his knees.

Before Karkat could ask what the hell he was up to, John opened his mouth and took Karkat's bulge inside, sliding his tongue against the length of it. Karkat nearly shrieked, his whole body going rigid - with visceral fear, not desire. The thought of having teeth anywhere near the most sensitive part of his body was terrifying.

But John had done this before, and it hadn't hurt then. Far from it, actually. It didn't hurt now, either. The human was careful to keep his teeth out of the way; even his blunt and normally useless fangs would be enough to seriously damage the fragile flesh in his mouth.

Slowly, inch by inch, Karkat relaxed into the touch, and he even started chirping as the pleasure won out over the fear. It was different enough from what John had been doing before that his overloaded nerves weren't sure if they wanted to complain or not, and he hovered right on the edge between 'fuck yes' and 'hell no'.

John's tongue was thick and warm against his delicate bulge, and the human put the muscle to good use, teasing over the surface and rubbing against him in the best possible way. Karkat was shivering now, hands pressed flat to the wall behind him and knees shaking with the effort of staying still, but he didn't dare buck into the touch the way part of him wanted to. The chirps were drawing out into warbles, and his breath was coming faster and faster.

He couldn't decide whether the ache in his nook was from a desire to have John touch him there again, or a reaction to the additional stimulation that meant it would be the worst possible idea. John kept his hands clenched on Karkat's thighs, helping to hold him down, and he showed no sign of going for the sensitive spot. Karkat wasn't sure whether to growl at him to stay there, or beg him to give him more.

There was no way he could break without pressure there - that was just the way troll bodies were put together, so that they wouldn't succumb to the temptation to ease the sexual tension themselves and then be caught short when they needed to provide for the pails. But if he gave in too early and asked John to touch him before he was ready for it, he was pretty sure he wasn't going to get a third chance. For that matter, he'd better be ready to break on just a few seconds of pressure, because he didn't think he could take much more than that.

Before he could make up his mind whether to chance it or not, John moved his hands of his own volition. He slid them up and around Karkat's hips, resting his fingertips just above his shame globes, then dragging down with his nails digging in hard enough to sting. Karkat chirped and arched into the amazing feeling, eyes rolling back in his head with pleasure.

When John continued down with one hand, fingers sliding between the globes, Karkat didn't object, assuming he was going for Karkat's nook from the other side. Instead John paused with one fingertip pressed lightly against the tight pucker of his excrement sphincter, and Karkat went tense again. "Wh-what are you doing, nooksniffer?" Karkat exclaimed, voice breaking despite his best efforts to keep it steady.

Of course, John had withdraw his mouth in order to talk, leaving Karkat writhing and shivering with the sudden sensation of cool air against his bulge after the moist heat of John's mouth. "It's a human thing," John told him, smiling up at him, still with that mischievous glimmer in his eyes. "I don't think it would ever occur to you guys to do this, any more than you'd think to put your mouths on each other. Your bulges aren't stiff enough to get past the muscle at the entrance."

Bulges? What the fuck did their bulges have to do with... Karkat blanched in comprehension and stared at John wildly. "You are not sticking your monstrous alien bulge up my excrement sphincter. That's disgusting, and it wouldn't work anyway! It's tighter than my nook, grubtard!"

"Yeah but unlike your nook, it stretches," John replied, smile turning into an impish grin, and before Karkat could continue to object he proved the point by pressing his finger inside, slowly.

It felt... weird, that was the only word Karkat could find to describe it. A sort of uncomfortable fullness, like he really needed to visit the load gaper, a sensation that made him squeeze down reflexively to try to hold it in. That only pulled John's finger deeper, and Karkat hissed in discomfort and unease.

John put his mouth back on Karkat's bulge, and successfully distracted him from protesting again. Karkat forced himself to breath between warbles, and reminded himself that clearly humans had some good ideas when it came to sex, because John's mouth on him felt like the most amazing thing short of actually pailing. Maybe this other thing wouldn't be so bad, even if it did make him a little sick to think too hard about it.

Slowly John pulled his finger out again, then worked it back in. It went a little faster this time, Karkat's body not resisting the movement as much. It still felt weird, but there was a trembling sort of pleasure there as well, now that he was letting himself feel it. Karkat concentrated as best he could on loosening his muscles to allow the intrusion, and was rewarded with the easier glide of that finger inside him.

Then John crooked his finger or something, and Karkat discovered that the wall between his excrement tube and his nook was a lot thinner than he'd have thought. John was pressing against his breaking point again, but with a layer of cushioning flesh between his finger and the sensitive spot that kept it from falling off the edge into 'too much'. Karkat's warbling turned into a keen so abruptly it hurt his throat, but he wasn't complaining. Not by a long shot.

Unfortunately it proved to be too much for his shaking legs to handle, and they gave way beneath him, dumping him on his shame globes. Thankfully John must have anticipated the reaction, because he drew his mouth away just in time to keep from injuring Karkat as he fell. Karkat ended up sprawled over John's thighs where the human boy was kneeling, back still to the wall but hands now clutching at John's shoulders to stop him from falling the rest of the way.

The new position meant John's hand was trapped between Karkat's body and his legs, and the change in angle apparently prevented him from putting pressure on the breaking point. Or maybe he was doing it on purpose to torture him, considering the way he was laughing at Karkat's reaction. Karkat punched him on one shoulder, but the blow lacked any force behind it. His whole body felt like one of the weird noodle food things John had introduced him to, limp and wobbly.

"Still think it's gross?" John asked him. He was clearly trying for an innocent expression, but it was somewhat ruined by the gleam in his bright blue eyes.

"Fuck you," Karkat managed to rasp out. In Alternian, but he was pretty sure he got the point across anyway. John just laughed again, the fucker. With an effort he remembered how to form English words, and continued. "There's still no way you're getting that freaktastic bulge up there."

"Oh, we're not done yet," John promised him, his voice dropping into something that could be accurately described as a 'purr'. The sound sent shivers up Karkat's spine, and he chirped again despite himself.

Gently John lowered him to lie on the floor, and Karkat welcomed the cool of the tiles against his overheated skin. He withdrew his hand, and Karkat whimpered in protest before he could stop himself. He blushed, ashamed at his own wantonness, but John didn't seem to mind. Just the opposite, he looked immensely pleased with himself.

John pushed himself up on his hands and knees, kneeling over Karkat, and examined the bottles lining the floor of his ablution trap. He reached for the liquid filth abolisher, of all things. "I hope this is good enough," he said, tipping a generous quantity of it into his hand. "Dave said to use oil, but I don't have any. I think it'll work."

That was when Karkat caught on, and he narrowed his eyes. On the one hand, at least it would make the whole thing a tiny bit more sanitary. On the other hand, it would probably feel even better with something easing the friction and making it slippery. So... wait, where was the downside among those two things?

There didn't seem to be one, as he confirmed when John slid two now-slippery fingers inside his body. It felt even weirder, the greater width stretching his body a little uncomfortably, but it also meant John was pressing even more firmly against his breaking point through the wall. Karkat's keening was loud enough to echo off the tiled space this time, the sound bouncing around and breaking up until he was almost in harmony with himself.

"Mmm, yeah, I definitely like that noise best of all," John murmured, leaning over him and smiling. He didn't seem to be intending to put his mouth back on Karkat, which was a shame, but his other hand was slicking more of the filth abolisher over his bulge. His hard bulge. Karkat stared, certain that he'd felt it going soft in his hand earlier, after John had come. The alien freak was ready to go again?

Fuck, he really hadn't been kidding about not needing to wait.

Karkat was starting to feel a little dizzy from lack of oxygen, the tightness of his windtube making it difficult to breathe, but it only contributed to the heady feelings John was coaxing from the rest of his body.

"Karkat? Do you want me to do this?" John asked him, pausing in thrusting with his fingers for a moment. Karkat chirped and thrashed, trying to get the sensation back, but to his dismay that only made John pull back entirely. "No, seriously, I need to know that you really want this. Please? If you don't, if you want me to stop..."

Somehow Karkat managed to find both the breath to speak and the wits to be coherent. "If you stop now, you will rue the day you ever turned on a computer and first opened yourself to my trolling," he promised the other boy with a heated glare. "I will make you regret it so hard that you'll beg Strider to take you back in time so you can bash your grub self over the head and steal every computer you ever owned, just to put yourself out of your misery. You will want to destroy the entire network that your pathetic species used to communicate, to prevent the chance of me ever locating you in any way. In fact, you will go back far enough to murder whoever it was that first invented the computer in your world, just to make sure. I will..."

John cut him off with a kiss. "Close enough to a 'yes' for me," he murmured against Karkat's lips, and positioned his hips between Karkat's legs, spreading him open in an uncomfortably vulnerable position.

It hurt when John pressed forward, but it hurt like it did when John would sink his teeth into Karkat's flesh. So. Good. Karkat warbled and clutched at John's back, not even caring when he felt the slick heat of blood trickling out from under his claws. John didn't object or pull back, so clearly he didn't care, either. In fact he leaned down and bit Karkat again, on the opposite shoulder this time, digging his teeth in further than he ever had before.

Between that and the way the head of his bulge rubbed maddeningly against Karkat's breaking point with every inch he moved forward, Karkat was pretty sure he might die of sheer sensory overload.

Karkat's keen was almost a scream, high-pitched and ear-splitting. His back arched as he instinctively drove his hips against the source of the pleasure, forcing John deeper still. He felt John's pelvis meet his, pubic bone grinding teasingly against the edges of his nook, and then the human withdrew again.

Only to thrust back in harder, and then do it again, and again, until Karkat wasn't even sure where he stopped and John started. They rocked together, keening and moaning respectively, clutching at each other so tightly a crowbar couldn't have pried them loose.

Every thrust drove Karkat a little closer to madness, the heavy ache in his groin building and building until he was certain he was going to explode. The way the head of John's bulge rubbed against his breaking point through the layer of flesh drove him ever higher, but it wasn't quite enough to tip the scales.

When he felt John start to shake against him, Karkat grew frantic. He needed to come this time. John was almost finished, and then he would stop again, and Karkat thought he might honestly die.

"C'mon, Kar...kat, please, come for... me," John said, the words broken and desperate, much like Karkat felt. "I... I can't... hold on much longer... please, I want this to be for both of us... oh god..."

Karkat tried almost hysterically to beg for more, but he could not force the words past the tight constriction in his windtube. In desperation he grabbed John's wrist and tugged his hand off the floor by Karkat's head, where he'd been bracing himself. The sudden imbalance nearly tipped John over, and they both shuddered as it forced John to stop thrusting for a moment.

Thankfully John seemed to get the idea when Karkat urgently pushed his hand down towards the place where their bodies met. With a groan he leaned back until he was sitting on his heels again, Karkat sprawled helplessly over his lap and the floor, totally exposed. From this angle John could only make shallow little thrusts, but it let him get his hand into the tight space between their groins so he could slip a finger into Karkat's nook.

One direct brush against the breaking point was all Karkat needed, and he shrieked as he came hard. It was a million times better than it had been when Sollux pailed him earlier - whether it was all the build-up and extra stimulation, or just the fact that it was his matesprit, Karkat didn't know and didn't care. He was swamped with pleasure and relief, writhing as his body finally let go of all the overload of genetic material it was holding.

At this angle the fluid ended up running down between them, easing John's passage into his body. He could feel his excrement sphincter convulsing against John's bulge as his whole body spasmed with the force of his release. That seemed to be enough to push John over the edge as well, and the human shouted and thrust deep inside him before stilling, body trembling. Karkat almost thought he could feel something spurting inside him, hot and thick... fuck, John was using him as a pail, wasn't he?

Karkat couldn't even bring himself to be scandalized by the idea. It felt too gog-damned amazing.

After an endless moment of pleasure, Karkat's muscles finally relaxed and let him slump against the tiles, panting for much-needed air. John collapsed down over him, nearly crushing Karkat beneath his greater weight, but Karkat dizzily decided that he wasn't going to complain. A few weak attempts later, John seemed to gather the strength to roll them both onto their sides, so they were lying pressed together on the floor of the ablution trap, cuddled close and holding each other as if they never intended to let go.

The action caused John's softening bulge to slip out of Karkat's body, and Karkat grimaced at the sensation. He had a sneaking suspicion he was going to be very sore after what they'd just done - and a certainty that he was going to let John do it again. Very soon. As soon as fucking possible. Gog. It was just a shame that it probably would only feel that good when he was already close to breaking, and not when he was empty.

Well, they'd just have to build him up again as fast as possible. That was hardly a dismaying proposition.

"You are so amazing, I love you so much," John whispered into his ear, his voice husky. With the aftermath of sex, but also with emotion, or so Karkat thought.

"I love you too, you're so fucking pathetic," Karkat murmured back, and pretended that his own voice wasn't just as choked. "Shit. I can't believe I just let you do that to me. You sick fuck, you are so lucky to have me, nobody else would pity you they'd just be revolted."

"I am definitely lucky to have you," John agreed, smiling, and Karkat knew the human had understood what he really meant. "But next time, can we do it on the bed? Or at least a softer surface than tiles, ow, my knees hurt."

"Only if you remember to grab a pail first, because I'm sure as fuck not cleaning up the mess," Karkat muttered, and John laughed.

"Yeah, I totally see why you guys need the pail, now. Wow. That's really impressive."

"Should've seen what it would have been like if I hadn't caught you... jerking off? Is that the word?" John nodded, and Karkat sighed deeply. "John... I promise I won't get mad at you again, but... will you be upset if I ask you not to come in front of me except when I can? It's really fucking frustrating to watch, I might just slaughter you if I have to see it every day for a week before I can get off."

John's sigh was the equal to Karkat's, but he nodded again. "I thought you might ask something like that. I couldn't figure out why Dave was still complaining about suffering blue balls from dating Terezi, if they both know perfectly well what the other one's deal is, but I guess that makes sense. I'd probably want to kill you too, if I'd been watching you get off all the time that you were teasing me. Hell, I kind of did want to kill you, for teasing me at all."

Something tight inside Karkat relaxed. "And I promise I won't draw it out anywhere near that long again," he offered in return. "I want to be able to enjoy more time with you, too. Fuck, that was amazing enough that I think it might kill me if it got any better, anyway."

In answer John hugged him a little tighter. "Haha, it was pretty awesome. Remind me to thank Dave for the advice. As soon as I can face him again without dying of embarrassment."

Karkat snorted, and punched him lightly. "Idiot. I don't know why you don't just break down and admit he's your moirail. Come on, let's get cleaned up and move somewhere more comfortable, this floor is way too fucking hard."

"Sounds good," John agreed, but he ducked in for a lingering kiss before he complied.

For the first time in ages, Karkat was able to just enjoy the affectionate contact for its own sake, without the simple pleasure of it being overwhelmed in driving need. There were definitely good reasons not to drag things out so long.

And all the reasons in the universe to get down on his knees and thank gog for giving him John Egbert as a matesprit. Karkat didn't think he could physically be any happier than he was in that moment.

"You took him back?"


"Are you inthane?"

"Fucking drop it, Captor, I told you. This is not up for discussion." Karkat continued typing in the dialogue box he had open with John, doing his best to ignore the way his moirail was glaring at him. It was hard not to blush, but he thought he'd managed it.

"That might work with a friend, kk, but I'm your moirail. It'th my job to tell you when you're being thtupid, and thith ith monumentally thtupid."

"I said drop it, already! I know what I'm doing."

"If he cheated on you onthe, he'll do it again."

"He didn't cheat on me." Sighing, Karkat typed a quick 'BRB' to John, and turned to face his moirail. Clearly the other troll wasn't going to drop it, and he couldn't really blame him. If their positions had been reversed, Karkat certainly would have been telling Sollux loudly and at length all the ways in which his decision was idiotic.

"You thaw him do it, kk."

"Apparently I saw him doing something totally normal for humans," Karkat retorted. He lost the struggle with his blush, but tried not to pay attention to it. "They do it every fucking day, or so he tells me. And before you ask; yes, he proved quite thoroughly that it wasn't any obstacle to him pailing me."

There was only astonished silence from Sollux for a long moment. "Every day?" the other troll finally ventured, clearly disbelieving.

"Multiple times a day, sometimes."

"Are you theriouth?"


"I'm gonna take a wild gueth that you didn't tell him about... what we did."

"I did, actually. He forgave me." Karkat couldn't stop his expression from softening a little at the memory. He still couldn't quite believe that John had absolved him so easily.

"He... oh. Wow, he mutht really pity you."

"Yeah. Now do you see why I took him back?" Karkat wasn't going to bother to get into the differences between pity and love. Sollux didn't need to know it; he didn't have a human in any of his quadrants. Karkat understood, that was the important thing.

"I thuppothe." Sollux looked thoughtful. "Multiple timeth a day, huh?" Karkat grunted. "Ithn't that going to be fruthtrating for you?"

"Yes. Yes it will. We're dealing with it."

"Are you thure it'th worth it, kk?"

A little to his own astonishment, and probably greatly to Sollux's, Karkat leaned back in his chair and started laughing. It was a warm, sensual sound, less to do with mirth and more to do with the sort of heat only shared between matesprits. "Oh, fuck yes it's worth it."

Sollux blushed, and stared at him. "Okaaaay, that'th creepy. Who are you and what have you done with Karkat Vantath?"

Karkat just kept chuckling, too happy to even try to pretend that he was anything but.