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A lusus and his troll stand in front of a crater.


Said crater had been created by a meteor that had made impact only a few moments ago. The troll sitting on the lusus’ head and staring down into the crater. He made a small noise and the crab-like lusus jumped down, heading for the center where a strange looking alien sat on top of a large old book.


It had the same basic shape of a troll, but there were several obvious clues that it was something else. Its skin was a pale-tan color, definitely not the gray that trolls had. The hair was black as would be normal, but his sclera was bright white instead of yellow and the little weird wrigglers eyes were already a bright blue color. It had a slight overbite, revealing that at least some of its teeth were flat.


The crab lusus poked the wriggler curiously. It grabbed his claw and started to suck on it, looking up at him with wide and innocent eyes. The crab screeched but the wriggler just tried to climb on his claw. As it did it slipped and fell one of its arms scraped against the jagged edge of the claw.


It fell to the ground, crying strangely-clear tears, but the crab was mostly interested in the blood coming from the wound. Bright candy-red blood came from the cut and the lusus leaned down to inspect it. The little troll on his head called out impatiently, getting bored, but was ignored. Red was something the crab was supposed to protect, and that was what he was doing right now. Yet here was another red.


The sweep-old troll let out another little screech and the crab screeched back before picking up the bawling not-wriggler and the book and heading back to the hive.


Karkat: wake up


You wake up and slowly crawl out of your recuperacoon. The last rays of sunlight are fading from the sky and you quickly look away from the window. You didn’t want to go blind like your friend. Today is the 12th bilunar perigee on the 6th dark season’s equinox, which is to say that today is your wriggling day.


You’re about to go about your room to do something that probably would be stupid in retrospect, but you are distracted by a noise coming from downstairs. The front door open and closes along with the refrigerator.


You are able to slip down the stairs without making a single noise. This is your hive and you learned each and every squeaky spot of every stair a long time ago. It would be helpful if anybody ever dared to break in for whatever reason, maybe trying to cull you in your sleep. When you reach the bottom you peek into the kitchen to see somebody sitting down at the table eating what is probably grubloaf.


The figure was facing just barely away from the stairs and you can see him pretty well. He had black hair riddled with untamed-cowlicks. His skin looked gray, but parts of it looked rubbed away and revealed tan skin underneath. Instead of claws he had weird clear scale-like things. Behind rectangular glasses sat bright blue eyes, though the not-troll couldn’t be older than 5 or 6 sweeps. On top of his head twin horns curled inwards towards his face.


As for his clothes, they consisted of a skin tight shirt and pants accented by the same blue as his eyes and a pair of sturdy boots. This was covered mostly by a cape of similar design. His symbol, two swirls that sort of resembled a wave, was displayed on his shirt and on the clasp for his cape on his shoulder.


Karkat: attack the weird thing in your hive


You spring forward, sickles equipped and ready to slice him down. By now the kid’s seen you and promptly falls backwards, chair and all, horns flying off. He brings his hammer out just in time to block your blows and you back off, unsatisfied.


“I could’ve just cut off your head and then you’d be a goner.” The boy climbs back to his feet, rubbing his head where it hit the ground and picking up the horns which are connected to a headband and putting them back on his head.


“But Karkat, I just got back, can’t I drop my guard for a second?” The kid whines and you give a huff. You had had this conversation one too many times.


“You know what would happen if we get so much as a scratch on us. Say goodbye to your horrible life and meet an even worse death.” You state it like it is. Seeing as you both have the candy-red blood of a mutant it’s amazing that you’ve both made it this far into life without dying, even more so for the alien in front of you.


“I know, I know.” The not-troll grumbled and rolled his eyes. “I’ll be going back out again in a few minutes, I’ve been looking for some new horns. These ones are getting too small to looking convincingly real. I’ve been trying to find ones that still curve inward though, I like those ones best.” He grins at this, like he always does when he talks about updating his look. What a dork.


You have lived in your hive with this alien since you were still a little more than a sweep old. He came with a book, not that is actually gave any information as to what species he was. At any rate, even if it did, you were too young to know how to read and your lusus certainly couldn't read it, nor would he have done so if he could. It did, however, come with his name. After going through a translator, you found it to be ‘John’, which was pretty strange since it was only 4 letters long. To help him blend in, your friends know his as Zephyr. He picked the name himself once he was old enough to talk.


This biggest difference between him and trolls, you had come to realize, is that although he is off the spectrum and should burn up in the sun he can actually stand it pretty well. Admittedly he has come home burned before, but has nearly the resistance of a highblood. The price for that is that his skin isn’t very tough. You swear, he comes home every night with more cuts and bruises than you get in a perigee.


“Tell Crabdad I said hi!” John gives you that ridiculous grin and you roll your eyes. You grumble something about staying for once, but he doesn’t seem to hear, gathering his cloak back up and checking his face paint in the mirror. And as he leaves, even though you know that he can take care of himself well enough and that if he can’t he probably deserves to die (as any incompetent troll would) you can’t help to feel like you should stop him.

Like tonight, is going to be a very long night.