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All the Difference

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Sollux Captor was a lot of things. He was tall. He was a programmer. He was a lover of bees and hazy summer days where the world was quiet and still. His favorite color was simultaneously red and blue, he wore mismatched shoes (one black, one white), could use both of his hands dominantly (being ambidextrous was awesome) and sported a bright blue eye (the left) and an amber brown one as well (the right). He adored things in twos (obviously) but he drew the line at himself.

Manic bipolars are a curious thing. They switch between two main states of being. One is high, energetic, insomniatic, and forceful. The other is a low, rock bottom. The gap between these states varies within different people. When it came to Sollux Captor, there was no gap larger. It came to the point of bordering on having a dissociative personality altogether, and in many cases it was. He didn't hate twos because of it. Just himself.

On the upswing of his emotions, Sollux was frantic. There was desperation in his blood, in his fingers, behind his eyes. His mind never stopped, tick tick tick ticking like a clock, always at work except it was like an entire warehouse full of clocks rather than just one. It made him sick and terrified and the thoughts never felt like his own, like he was one giant server that a million people were putting direct commands into. Like the buzzing of a bee hive, his mind was always always always busy, always flustered, out of control and uncomfortable.

And so he drowned himself. Not literally, of course, but in his computers. He hid behind miles upon miles of text, behind motherboards and circuits and programs and designs. His insecurities and fears and those annoying not-his-couldn't-possibly-be-his thoughts were locked up tight behind a firewall of every one and zero in the universe. He had purpose then. A way to occupy that instant flight response of his body that clung to him for hours, days, weeks, months. Once in these fits it was nigh impossible to remove him from his computer chair, only dire necessities calling his attention. Even then, these 'necessities' were nothing more than a glass of water every few days, a quick trip to the restroom (rushed and sloppy), or perhaps a drive down to best buy for a new part or more memory where he would throw money (never counted) at the cashier before absconding the fuck away. He'd been arrested on more than one occasion and eventually enough external stimuli pulled him from the manic state so that he could hang his head, patch things up, and run home with his tail between his legs.

On the downswing Sollux was almost (read as 'barely') normal. He worked (thank god it was from home and that his manic-ness hardly ever made him miss a deadline), cleaned his shitty apartment, and actually ate every once in a while. It wasn't a pleasant life. His thoughts were calmer, sure, but he lived with the dread and fear than any second he'd be triggered and off again like a hummingbird on speed. Suicide was a thought never far from his mind.

And then came Karkat. Karkat, no more than a kid still in college, moved in as a roommate during a time when Sollux was more insane than sane and was no longer making the money he used to (what was that about not missing deadlines?). He was short, angry, loud and obnoxious on many levels. Sollux fought with him over the most minute things on a daily basis and yet by the time evening fell, they'd still be okay to sit down to a two dollar dinner together. For the most part, when Sollux knew he was going down hill and down hill fast he holed himself up in his room for as long as it took his body to expel those bizarre levels of energy and brain function. It didn't take long for Karkat to figure out what was going on. He may have still been in school, but in his own words he wasn't "stupid you goddamn fuckass". This sparked the beginning of something new and unique. Because now when he slipped into another episode, Karkat refused to let him anywhere near any sort of technology and simply held the violently shaking man close until those tremors had faded. On more than one occasion he'd been punched. On others bitten. And cuddling was by no means an acceptable treatment for a bipolar disorder. It helped anyways.

Eventually, Sollux could wait there in the shorter man's arms until the manic thoughts had passed and then promptly fall asleep listening to Karkat's heartbeat. It came as no surprise to either of them when one day he woke up and simply tilted his head upwards to catch the college student's lips with his own.

Sollux Captor was many, many things. Cured was not one of them. Cared for and loved, however, were. And that made all the difference.