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Here We Are At the Start

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"This violin is older than you. It's older than me. It's older than Grandma, even." Carmine Vantas murmurs as tiny hands glide over the instrument's body. "Even Grandma?" Karkat is breathless, awed, completely floored. He cranes his neck to look up at the owner of the lap he is sitting in. Daddy has to be lying. He didn't think anything could possibly be older than Grandma! She was ancient! His father laughs, a truly beautiful smile stealing his lips.

"It's been in our family for many years- since it was made, actually. It's always been ours. It's mine now, but one day- it will be yours, ok? Never sell it." There's sincerity in his father's eyes, along with a strange type of need, "Promise Daddy." It's almost begging. Karkat, with his bright crimson eyes, peaks through his thick charcoal bangs at his father and his desperation. The answer is stupidly simple, Karkat thinks, why would Daddy even worry?

"I pwomise." The toddler chirps, kicking his legs and cradling the family heirloom like a newborn. His father smiles down at him, pacified and pleased.

"How's about we learn a new song?"



===> Be an onlooker.

Subway Station 6 is his station. Every single day he's there, bearing his heart for all to see. It almost breaks yours. Faceless people pass by, crowds shuffle along, and nobody pays him the attention he deserves. He's truly gifted, a musician worthy of Carnegie Hall. And yet, he's lucky if a handful of people toss spare change into the open violin case at his feet.

There's something about him that strikes something deep inside you. You want to reach out, pull him close and do nothing but hold him. You never really believed in love at first sight; it was just a load of Disney bullshit.

But you didn't see him first. You heard him. And it was beautiful. And then you saw him. And, fuck, he was beautiful too.

He's short and skinny and when he's not playing his soul, he's wearing a scowl that could dissuade even the Devil from approaching. There's dark circles beneath his red, red eyes, nearly dark enough to rival the raven-coloured mess he probably calls his hair. Today he's wearing a faded black shirt, a size or two too big, really old jeans and fairly battered combat boots. There's concentration on his face, passion in his fingers, and $4.37 in his violin case.

You lean against the wall, let the music wash over you, and think.



==> Be the fucking subway virtuoso.

No. You can't be the fucking subway virtuoso because the fucking subway virtuoso doesn't fucking exist. There is no virtuoso here.



==> Ok, fine. Be the homeless bum with the stolen violin.

Hey! Hey! You are certainly not homeless! And this violin has been in your family since it was fucking made!

Thank you very much!



==> Fuck this shit, go back to being the creepy onlooker.

Alright. But your name isn't 'creepy onlooker', nor are you being creepy in your onlooking. You're just appreciating the beauty of this amazing violinist.

Your name is SOLLUX CAPTOR, you are TWENTY-FOUR years old, and most certainly the youngest player in the SKAIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. You are also one of THE BEST. You should hope so. TWENTY FUCKING YEARS of violin should pay off somehow.

DUALITY is a constant in your personality. BIPOLAR, BISEXUAL, HETEROCHROMIC, and your socks never seem to match. Neither do your shoes, but that's on purpose.

You're currently single after that horrible accident with your last girlfriend. It's actually how you found this undiscovered goldmine of talent. You were horribly depressed- who wouldn't be? Your girlfriend of nearly two years broke up with you in the middle of a hospital ER. A busy hospital ER. You were on your way, half-convinced to blow your brains against the ceiling, when you heard it.

Raw and exposed, music that mirrored your every muddled emotion. Dark, violent, angry, his music was absolutely nothing like you've ever heard before.

It still is like nothing you've ever heard.

That first day you made note of everything, and then just sat back, watching. The next day, same time, same place, you appeared at Station Six, in hopes to hear him again. It was a horrible hit-and-miss method, but to your complete relief, he was there. You tried different times. He was there. Always there, laying out his heart in his hands for passerbys to shirk and ignore, to scoff and scorn, to rush and waste.

It took more than a few wasted afternoons listening to realize that you were consumed by infatuation for a vagrant violinist whom you knew nothing about.



==> Follow him home

No! That is a catastrophic idea! The sheer idiocy and audacity! Who would dare suggest such a thing?! Sollux Captor is no stalker!



==> Time for a change in pace; be the violinist

Which one? You will have to be more specific with these decisions.



==> Seriously?! Ugh- be the angry subway fiddler

Oh HELL NO. You are no fiddler! Country music is the bane of musical society- like the awkward uncle at family reunions, the one that always interjects with irrelevant anecdotes and eats all the mini hot-dogs and gets away with it because he just an uncle, a wifeless deadbeat with a dead-end job and a drunken temper.

But that's just your humble opinion