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love and caring

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The thing you get told from wrigglerhood is that you’re better than this. You’re a motherfucking highblood, you get told time and again, by adults who look so disgusted by you it’s like it takes all their willpower not to gut you. Maybe make a fuckin’ snack out of you.

It brings a goddamn smile to your face every time you think of how pissed off those pieces of shit were when you moved out of New Alternia and into mixed society.

“What the fuck is this shit in your freezer?” calls a voice from the kitchen, and you wince, glowering at the night air. This dude won’t fucking leave, and now he’s judging your choices in groceries, sounds like. But you’re not done smoking, so Dave is going to have to wait.

He doesn’t give you a choice, and he comes out onto the terrace, plunking down next to you with a little groan. His ankle’s almost healed from last week, and he doesn’t like to show weakness, but he’s too tired to front right now. “Where’s mine?” Dave asks, nodding his chin at the cigarette you’re almost finished with.

“Up your ass. I only got this one left in the pack.” You take a drag, scowling.

“Yeah, but sharing is caring, babe.” He grins, like he thinks all these red nicknames are fucking cute. You stub your cigarette out on his naked arm to tell him what you think of that, and he hisses, but you gotta give him credit for taking it without a lot more noise. It’s one of the many reasons you can respect this particular human fleshbag as a legitimate kismesis.

“I’m just fuckin’ teasing you, you big whiny baby,” Dave grouses. You stiffen up when he leans against you. “It’s not like I wanna hold you tenderly, brushing your sparkling yaoi tears from your sparkling yaoi eyes—”

“From my fucking what?” You’ve got a gist of what he’s saying—you’ve got a fucking internet connection, after all—but you’re not sure you like it.

“Man, your sense of humor is fuckin’ dead tonight, you know that?”

And maybe he’s got a point. A couple of weeks ago you would have grinned at Dave’s weird human bullshit, clipped him one and maybe made out on the terrace, in full view of the neighbors. Fuck ‘em.

But then last week he got all red on you. Right in the middle of fucking. You ended up finishing anyway, but afterward you can’t take Dave’s pet names and irony shit the same way anymore. There’s that chance he’s being sincere, and it makes you feel sick. You’re almost 12 sweeps old, and isn’t that too old for all this quadrant-flipping bullshit? Or too young, maybe. You’re pretty sure it’s too old, though.

When you don’t answer, he sighs and gets to his feet. “I guess I’ll head out, then, if you’re not gonna fucking entertain me.” Dave starts to head inside, and you grab him by the ankle just as he takes a step; he very nearly crashes to the carpeting inside, and when he turns to look at you it’s with the dirtiest look he’s given you all evening. You finally grin.

“What.” He spits it.

Your grin fades into a grimace. “Look,” you say, gritting your teeth, “we gotta...” You brace yourself. “We gotta fuckin’ talk.” It feels like you just stabbed yourself in the thinkpan.

“I thought that was too red for you,” he taunts, wiggling his fingers at you when he says the word red. “Or too human, or something.”

“Yeah, well, it was my dumb ass who got into a quadrant with a dumbass human who don’t know no better,” you admit, and he finally moves back onto the terrace. “And you don’t fuckin’ listen to Karkat.”

“That’s because he never shuts the fuck up, so most of it is filler,” Dave snorts as he retakes his seat next to you.

“Yo Pot, have you met Kettle?” you snort in return, and he yanks on one of your horns. You get him back with a nick across the cheek, to match the healed cut you gave him at the fight club last week.

“Alright, so talk, now that I’m apparently not going home.”

This is the kind of shit you hate. It’s not just that you’re pitch as fuck for Dave; it’s that you swear to god you’re not built for redrom. Your moirallegiance with Karkat is unbalanced and it makes you feel bad, but the little dude never says anything about it.

“I’m waiting.” His impatience shows on his face.

“That shit you said last week,” you say at last, and you already want another cigarette. You can sense Dave settling next to you, though, like his whole body is saying Oh.

“Look, I know you trolls got like, all sorts of, I dunno, weird rules about how to date each other—”

“No more than humans got mad weird rules,” you interrupt.

“—But,” Dave continues, ignoring you, “if what I said about, you know, needing you and shit, if that’s freaking you out, you just pretend that shit never happened. We can be cool about this, right? I can play by your weirdo alien rules of ass-humping.”


“What.” It’s not so harsh this time.

“I think you need a fuckin’ matesprit. Somewhere else to channel all your dumbass red emotions, stop letting ‘em bleed into this.” You let your finger swing back and forth in the air between the two of you. “I’m pitch as fuck for your shitty self. Ain’t no room for anything else.”

“Fuck you,” Dave snaps, almost before you can finish talking. “Don’t you tell me what to do with my goddamn life, or where to stick my dick. I’m not gonna go running to some other troll for bullshit cuddles and tender lovemaking, I don’t do that shit. And I’m sure as fuck not gonna subject another human to your fucking quadrant shit when it’s still not that many humans who got even half the grasp I got on the topic.” He gestures violently as he speaks. “You say I’m a clueless fuck about quadrants? Imagine some other poor schmuck who’ll just think I’m being a two-timing piece of shit. And they’d probably be right.” He exhales hard at the end of it all, hugging his knees for a second before he lets go and straightens his legs out. “Why don’t you have any fucking beer in your fridge?”

“Because you fucking drink it all,” you answer, pretty mildly considering everything that just came tumbling out of Strider’s mouth. “Just try it, is all I’m saying.”

“Fuck you. I hate dating around.” He huffs again, upper lip twitching after the fact.

“I didn’t say you had to do all that,” you say, flicking him in the side of the face. “I already got the perfect motherfucker in mind.” This matchmaking shit feels weird, but then again interspecies relationships have no set rules.

“Oh yeah?” Dave couldn’t sound more skeptical if he tried, drumming his fingers on the terrace floor.

“Yeah. My bro Tavros.”

“Oh, fuck no.”