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Earth To Sollux

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            Your name is Sollux Captor and your lab partner is pretty.

            Big fucking deal. Did he want a medal for it?

            You wouldn’t put it past Eridan Ampora to want a metal for being beautiful. That asshole probably wanted a metal for being rich, too. You thought of being rich as pretty similar to being beautiful; you probably did nothing to earn it, and you get special treatment for the rest of your life because of it. Congratulations Eridan, you were born with a face that appeals to the primitive, genetic urge within all of us that associates facial symmetry with superior physical genes for our hypothetical wriggler's gene pools. That’s all that beauty is, Eridan; science. A totally arbitrary concept that we still have a social hierarchy around for some reason even though there’s no reason to. So no one would look twice at you if you weren’t pretty.

            Of course, you don’t say any of this. You just kind of glare at his stupid pretty face and thank Jesus or whoever the fuck for making you a bangable six point five. Eridan gives you a confused look, so you go back to doodling.

            You’re currently in physics class. Just like any other class that required calculus, students rushed to sit by you. It was one part flattering, and two parts annoying. You hadn’t been expecting Eridan to sit next to you, though. Sure, you were good at physics, but you didn’t think he would value getting a slightly higher grade over getting to sit next to anyone besides you. You knew he hated you. Platonically.

            “What are you drawling?” asks Terezi as she copies down the math for the lab that you and only you had worked on.

            “Copernicus.” you answer.

            “What’s he doing?”

            You shrug. “He’s exercising his freedom of speech and advocating for the separation of church and state.”           

            “Why is he on fire?” Terezi asks, bringing the drawling up to her nose.

            “Don’t worry about it.”

            Terezi gives a “Sollux, you’re so edgy” cackle. Eridan looks at both of you the way you look at websites that want you to disable AdBlock before you can use them.

            You go back to glaring at Eridan. This time, you don’t look away when he notices.

            “What?” he asks, sharply.

            Be mature, Sollux.

            “Nothing. Just thinking about how much I hate you.” you, say, maturely.

            “Are you seriously trying to start shit with me in physics class?”

            What? No. You hate drama. You had been more than happy to leave drama behind in high school. You just think that if you’re enough of an asshole, he might sit somewhere else tomorrow.

            “Yeah, fight me.” you say, knowing full well you would lose. Terezi bursts out laughing.

            Eridan gives an overdramatic eye roll, and begins packing up his stuff.

            “Finally, you’re leaving.” you say.

            “No, stupid.” he says “Class is over.”

            Shit, he’s right. Class is over. You stuff your physics notebook into your backpack and watch as he leaves.

            He even walks pretty. You could kill him.

            “You’re an asshole.” Terezi says to you.

            “That’s fair.”

 


 

            You hadn’t always hated Eridan Ampora. Actually, that wasn’t true. You had hated him since you were seven sweeps old. There was something about the way he held himself like he was better than everyone else. You didn’t even like the way he talked. Although he had eased up on the weird ‘w’ waver, he still had an insufferable habits of clipping his g’s and having an accent (Greek? Swedish? You really don’t care). You would mock him for it if you didn’t have the lingering hint of lisp that stuck around after middle school. But anyway, you didn’t like some human asswipe who acted like he was above you, and above your entire species. You had never found any evidence that he was truly a specist, but you had a feeling. He was rich, which you couldn’t hate by itself. But he seemed like the kind of guy who would also die rich, which you could hate. You had gotten into a fight about four years ago, when he was sixteen. You two had been in debate class, and he was babbling some shit about how he hated it when poor people wanted hand-outs and how he got this far without any. You had ended up yelling at him, claiming “What do you mean, you never got handouts? You have a car. I haven’t eaten anything but peanut butter in two days. I’m the one who never got any handouts!”

            You had since come to regret your outburst, as it made it look like your emotions were in control of you. You also doubt it did anything to convince him otherwise. To be honest, you figured that what he was saying wasn’t his own words, probably just shit his parents yelled at the TV. But that didn’t make his face any less punchable, so you stop thinking about it. You curse yourself for using precious brain cells to ponder over Eridan and go back to thinking about how after you die, everything you accomplished will be forgotten slowly over time.

            Calm down, edge lord.

            You’re in physics class again. It’s Thursday. You’re currently supposed to be working on a lab regarding perpetual motion, but you had already done a similar experiment last year with information that could be recycled. Terezi is scribbling god knows what, while Eridan looks at what you can only assume to be terrible, tasteless memes on his phone. He probably only looked at rich people memes about how hard it was to find real friends when everyone only loved you for your money.

            “You know Sol,” he starts, making you jump “I haven’t said one rude thing to you in almost three years.”

            “What’s your point?” you ask.

            “Oh, nothing. I just think that being excessively hostile towards me will hurt you more than it hurts me.”

            “Wow. Pretentious and passive-aggressive.”

            He scoffs. “How am I pretentious?”

            You glance at his perfectly coordinated purple and black attire, three hundred dollar shoes, and silver scarf that might just as well said “I regularly ask to speak to the manager because the only thing more silver than this scarf is the spoon that I was born with in my mouth.”

            “Please.” you say “What about you isn’t pretentious?”

            “What you call pretentious, I call having a sense of class.” he quips back, observing one of the ink stains on your tee-shirt.

            “If you were more socially informed, you’d wear a shirt that said ‘Wake up, sheeple!’”

            “At least the ends of my pants reach my ankles.”

            You gaze at the ends of your pants. It was true; they cut off about an inch before your shoes, exposing the grey of your ankles. But you were five eleven and hadn’t bought new pants since five eight. Speaking of height, you think one of the reasons you had recently rekindled your bone to pick with Eridan is he had finally grown taller than you. That, and the whole current physics conundrum.

            “Is it going to be like this for the rest of the quarter?” Terezi asks.

            “Yes.” you and Eridan say at the same time.

            “Good.” says Terezi “This class is boring.”

            You’re a little insulted that Terezi thinks physics is boring, but you let it slide. You usually get booed when you try to give a Sollux Captor “numbers are fun!” speech. You loved numbers. They were satisfying to wrap your brain around.

            “You guys ready for the lab tomorrow?” Eridan asks.

            You are so totally ready for the lab tomorrow. You’re dropping tennis balls out the window to collect data for who gives a shit. But this meant that you got to experience one of your favorite activities; analyzing numerical data.

            “I’m ready. You guys should let me help this time.” says Terezi.

            You think back to ninth grade Chemistry class when Terezi and Dave had done a lab together and ended up creating a small explosion that took out someone’s eyebrows due to Terezi being blind.

            Eridan says ‘no’ the same time you say ‘sure’. You glare at each other.

            “You guys smell like middle school hormones.” says Terezi.

            You wish Aradia could have been here with you. But she had insisted on not taking morning classes.

            “I’ll see you two tomorrow.” says Eridan, getting up.

            “Where are you going?” you ask.

            “Class is over. Do you ever pay attention to time?” Eridan asks, giving a face that you’ve come to know means “Sollux is an idiot”.

            You roll your eyes “Do you ever pay attention to…” Oh shit, you don’t have anything. You just trailed off. And now he’s staring at you, waiting patiently for you to finish your insult.

            “Shut up.” you say.

            “Ohh.” he taunts “I’m going to give you until tomorrow to work on that.”

            You watch as he walks away. Terezi is staring at a direction that she probably thinks you’re in.

            “You’re really an asshole.” she says.

 


 

            It’s Friday. Lab day. You brought your good mechanical pencil (the one with the long eraser that when you run out you can twist the end for more eraser!) and the T-84 graphing calculator Dirk had gotten you for your last wriggling day. You love that calculator. It has the exact same design of your old one that you had stolen from middle school. But alas, you lost that one.

            “Will you stop looking at that calculator like you want to fuck it?” Eridan says, pulling you from your thoughts of what it would be like for Lieutenant Commander Data to sexually pleasure you.

            “Will you stop having terrible taste in everything?” you reply, looking at his horrible pinstriped pants while hearing The Stones faintly playing through his asshole wireless ear buds. It’s not even any of their good music.

            “Oh yeah, I’m the one with poor taste.”

            “What’s that supposed to mean?” you ask.

            “Will you guys stop being stupid and help me throw these tennis balls out the window?” Terezi interrupts, tossing some balls in your general direction.

            You’re supposed to measure the height from them second story window to the ground. Dave is currently attempting to find it with only a single tape measure. You look at him and he dabs, promptly dropping the tape measure out the window. You sigh and wonder why everyone but you is an idiot.

            “Did you figure out the distance from the ground?” you ask Dave.

            “Yeah.” he says, looking out the window, probably attempting to figure out where the tape measure fell in the bushes.

            “What number did you get?”

            “I’m not telling you.” he says “You gotta find it with your own lab partners. It will help you build character.”

            You sigh. “Just tell me how high it is.”

            “Higher than a CEO on a four week coke binge.”

            “Dave.”

            “Fine.” he says “But you need to do something for me.”

            “What?”

            He pulls out his phone. “Let me take a picture of you dabbing.”

            You dab. “I would have done it for a lot less.” you admit “Why are you so addicted to dabbing?”

            “I have literally no excuse or defense for it.”

            “How tall is the building?” you ask, hopefully for the last time.

            “Twenty two feet and four inches.”

            “Sol! Stop being weird and get over here.” Eridan demands, ending your dreams of immortalizing the dab. You return to asshole land.

            “Where’s Terezi?” you ask. Eridan points out the window and you see her on the ground.

            “I’m ready!” she yells, with her hands out. She’s facing the wrong direction.

            “Do you have the timer ready?” Eridan asks you.

            “Yeah.” you answer, pulling up a stop watch on your phone.

            “Ok, I’m going to drop it now.” Eridan yells down to Terezi. He leans out the window to drop the ball, and you’re so pissed off about how nice his butt looks that you don’t use the timer.

            To your surprise, Terezi catches it.

            “Ok. How long did it fall?”

            You shrug. “I don’t know, I didn’t time it.”

            “What do you mean you didn’t time it?”

            “I didn’t know you were gonna drop it.”

            “What are you, five?” he asks as you laugh.

            You put your head out the window.

            “Terezi, throw the ball back up.” you shout. Terezi throws the ball directly at your head and you are forced to duck. Eridan catches it.

            “You drop it.” says Eridan “I don’t trust you with the timer anymore.”

            “Fine.” you position yourself out the window and hand Eridan your phone.

            “Are you ready?” you ask.

            “Why is your phone background a picture of Bill Nye the Science Guy?”

            “Why are you so nosy?” you say, snatching your phone away. You turn it back to the timer app.  “Stay on the timer.”

            You and Eridan successfully complete the experiment with objects of varying mass and conclude that mass has no effect on fall speed. You thank Isaac Newton for making you do this stupid experiment every year in science class.

            Now you’re happily applying the numbers into the proper equations. It’s pretty basic stuff for you, but you needed this class to get into the mathematics program you were shooting for.

            You glance at Eridan. You consider for a brief second being less of an asshole, but give up on the notion. After all, you did feel like he was exploiting you to get an A. And you did not like feeling exploited.

 


 

            It’s Friday night. You’re sitting on your couch in your dorm room. Your homework is done, your bees are ok, and you’ve finished your nightly cybercrime. You figure you should answer your phone, because it’s buzzed at least four times in the last minute. It’s Aradia.

AA: i dab f0r the l0vers

AA: i dab f0r the haters

AA: i dab f0r the n0wies and I dab f0r the laters

AA: i was hacked

TA: 2ure you were. why ii2 everyone 2o ob2e22ed wiith dabbiing?

AA: i swear it was the hacker

TA: the only per2on who could actually hack you ii2 me, whiich ii a22ure you ii currently have no rea2on two do.

AA: d0 you want to hang 0ut 0n sunday

TA: yeah, 2ure.

AA: h0w have you been

TA: ii would be great but do you remember eriidan ampora?

AA: 0h n0

TA: what?

AA: are y0u really g0ing to have an0ther i hate eridan s000 much its half 0f what i think ab0ut phase

TA: iive never been that bad

AA: three years ag0 y0u wr0te an essay ab0ut h0w ann0ying he was

TA: ii know the e22ay you’re talkiing about. that wa2nt about hiim, iit wa2 about the iinefficiiency  of triickle down economiic2.

AA: and i qu0te

AA: “...unfortunately for those hoping for a self-sustaining society, the concept of Reaganomics has since mutated into several government practices that have direct causation with a larger wealth divide. In other words, this allows self-entitled winey-voiced rich human kids named Eridan Ampora (#callout post) to get whatever they want while the rest of us get the short stick.

TA: 2o ii mentiioned hiim once. iit wa2 topiical. why do you have my old essay2?

AA: y0u d0nt even kn0w if hes a c0rrupt s0cial darwinist

TA: no, but ii can make an educated gue22 ba2ed on the fact that the eviidence ii2 overwhelmiingly po22itiive

AA: l00k s0llux just try n0t t0 let it be t00 big 0f a thing

TA: ok, fiine.

TA: want to help me come up wiith way2 two fuck wiith hiim?

AA: its tempting

AA: but n0t the best thing f0r y0ur mental health

TA: what are you talkiing about my mental health ii2 great. except for the cyclothymiia and occa2tiional wale2 of the damned that echo iin my thiink pan.

AA: y0u sh0uld get that checked

TA: no it2 great they warned me the poliitiical 2hiit 2torm that wa2 2016, whiich potentiially 2aved my a22 becau2e of that in22urance plan ii took out.

AA: d0nt f0rget the adhd

TA: BREAKIING NEW2 some troll kiid ha2 ADHD cliick HERE two find out more.

TA: 2eriiou2ly you know how many tiime2 iive had 2ome mom tell my mom wow your 2on2 2uch a BRIIGHT BOY.

TA: two bad he ha2 that attentiion “dii2order” and mood i22ue2.

TA: liike 2hut up liinda.

TA: iit2 not a dii2order, liinda, youre ju2t boriing a2 fuck and ii have no dii2iire two pay attentiion two you and your yuppiie haircut.

TA: iit2 not liike your 2on trevor ii2 a geniiu2 liinda he2 2iitting iin hii2 corner laughiing at iifunny and eating glue.

TA: liinda iif you and your dumba22 son trevor can fiind a programmer wiithout adhd, ii wiill giive you your very own whole food2 giift card.

TA: now go back to po2tiing "2ciience" on facebook about how rubbiing diirt iintwo your face can age your 2kiin backward2.  

AA: y0u have a pr0blem

TA: we all have problem2, aa. 2ociiety fuck2 u2 all.

TA: iit2 not even good fuckiing.

TA: iit2 the kiind of fuckiing where iit take2 them liike a full miinute two fiind my nook and by that tiime iim not horny anymore.

TA: and then they take WAY two long two fiiniish and iim liike wiill you ju2t fuckiing nut and call me an uber already?

TA: and then they 2sk me to call them daddy.

TA:

AA: remember that time we g0t drunk and had sex and y0u cried

TA: OH BOY DO II EVER

TA: ii woke up today thiinkiing golly gee fuckiing go2h ii hope my be2t friend aradiia remiind2 me of the mo2t humiiliiatiing moment of my liife.

AA: i th0ught it was cute

AA: y0u were like

AA: 0h i d0nt want t0 change 0ur friendship its s0 imp0rtant t0 me

TA: iim 2uper 2toked were 2tiill talkiing about thii2 for 2ome rea2on.

AA: im trying t0 take y0ur mind 0ff 0f eridan

TA: damn iit aa iim not a chiild.

AA: y0u have tendency to let things c0nsume y0u

TA: thank2 mom.

AA: i g0tta g0

AA: see y0u 0n sunday

AA: d0nt be t00 hard 0n y0urself

            Aradia has been acting like she’s worried about you lately, and you literally have no idea as to why. It would be nice to see her on Sunday, though. You look around the small room, and spot your cat in the pile of trash that Karkat sleeps in. Speaking of Karkat, he’s not going to be home for another half hour. What should you do? You narrow it down to either masturbating or sinking another three hours into Breath of the Wild. Breath of the Wild wins. You stare at the cartridge. The cartridge stares back. You lick the cartridge. It does not taste good.

 


 

            It’s Monday. You’re in physics class, and just as you’ve expected, Eridan sits next to you for like the fourth day in a row.  There’s currently a lecture going on, so you can’t make any jabs at him. Class is almost over. There’s a test the day after tomorrow, which you’re excited for because you’re a huge fucking nerd.

            Class ends on the hour, and you’re so utterly happy that there’s no bell that rings. Bells ringing was the bane of your existence in high school. They were like an authoritarian reminder that said “hey kid, you’re stuck here, have fun trying to learn when you're forced to do a bunch of shit you don’t want to and deal with another bullshit social hierarchy LOL”.

            You’re pulled from your thoughts when you realize Eridan is snapping in your face.

            “What? What do you need?” you demand, irritated.

            “How do I do this?” he asks, pointing at a vector problem. You cringe a little because you’ve never been very good at explaining vectors to people. Good thing you have no intention of actually helping him.

            “Maybe if you paid attention, you would know.” you say, observing the actually pretty decent self-portrait he had done. Leave it to that fucker to draw himself.

            “Please?” he asks, giving you a look that you’re sure would work on anyone dumber than you. You’re torn between thinking Eridan is an asshole for being capable of mild manipulation and admiring him just a bit for it.

            “Can’t you just pay somebody else to help you?”

            “As much at it pains me to admit it, nobody is as good as you for this.” he says, and you feel a wave of flattery wash over you. You crush it down like a sexual fantasy in church.

            “Flattery will get you nowhere with me.”

            “Oh, trust me.” he says, biting down on the tip of his eraser “Just because I think you’re good at math doesn’t mean I don’t think your brain is lacking heavily in other areas.”

            “Yeah, no shit. So sorry that my think-pan can’t be both proficiently analytical and capable of easily handling social situations.”

            “Will you two stop flirting?” asks Terezi as she packs up her stuff.

            “We’re not flirting.” you say, wondering what twisted idea Terezi has of what flirting is.

            “Yeah, and I wore a bra today.” she replies, sarcastically.

            “You and what boobs?” Eridan asks like a fucking savage. You laugh and attempt to turn it into a cough. He’s wittier than you had previously given him credit for.

            Terezi laughs, brushing your feet with her cane as she gets up.

            “See you tomorrow, asshole.” she says as she passes by. Eridan turns back to you.

            “I’d pay you back.” he says.

            “What?”

            “If you taught me how to understand vectors, I would pay you back.”       

            “How?” You’re legitimately curious.

            “You want fifty bucks?”

            You almost hyperventilate. Fifty dollars of legal money that you didn’t steal from upper-class Russians. But you try to act unimpressed.

            “Really? Your family has at the very least a net of a few hundred million dollars. I want at least a hundred.” you say.

            “Seventy-five.” he bargains.

            “Fifty and you have to pay for me to go to grad school.”

            “That’s not my decision. Just because my parents have money doesn’t mean I get to decide what to do with it.”

            “Kill them so you can inherit their companies and wealth.” you say.

            He laughs. “Just take the seventy-five.”

            “Fine” you reply, giving in.

            “Are you free tomorrow?”

            “Yeah, sure. After six.”

            “What’s your phone number?”

            You can’t believe you’re giving your phone number to Eridan. At least you’ll get his number out of the process, and you’re sure you kind find some way to fuck with him. You give him your messaging information.

            “Can I have my money now?” you ask.

            “Tomorrow.” he says like the cock sucking ass-clown that he is.

            You sigh and walk out to get to your next class. You flip him off on your way. He gives you an unbearably pretentious smirk.

 

Chapter Text

            It’s Tuesday afternoon. After struggling with the thesis statement for an argumentative English essay for over an hour, you finally decide to write your essay on the lack of necessity of thesis statements. You’re sure that Ms. Damara would love it and definitely not send you another “fuck you for being in my class” card in the mail. You had finished the essay, and you were currently having an intelligent discussion with Aradia and Terezi.

AA:

GC:

TA:

AA: rip jeb

GC: SOM3 T1M3S 1 C4N ST1LL H34R H1S VO1C3

TA: late at niight, telliing me two plea2e clap.

            Unfortunately, you just got another text for some fish freak named caligulasAquarium. You are forced to bid your friends goodbye. You text Eridan back.

CA: lets get this over wwith

TA: remember la2t week when you were liike

TA: “hey 2ol ii havent 2aiid anythiing rude two you iin three year2”

TA: and now youre liike let2 get thii2 overwiith 2o ii can 2pend a2 liittle tiime a2 po22iible around that aliien commoner.

CA: i said that mostly for your sake

CA: i knoww how insufferable you find anyone wwho doesnt share the same vvalues as you

TA: oh 2hut up ii can handle people wiith diifferent vaule2.

TA: for example: ii may not be reliigiiou2 but iif the dalii llama a2ked me two kiick iit ii would be 2o motherfuckiing down.

CA: i meant more along the lines of vvaluin howw youre perceivved to other people

TA: 2orry ill try two be more 2hallow iin the future, ju2t for you.

CA: i nevver said it was a bad thing

CA: i was simply observvin our differences and commentin on howw you have no sense of shame

TA: oh come on ii dont dre22 that bad.

TA: anyone who doen2t 2pend four hour2 a day on theiir appearance probably look2 bad two you.

TA: ii dont have that kiind of tiime. becau2e ii have a liife and liike three and a half clo2e friiend2.

CA: youre a fuckin degenerate

TA: calm down dont fliip your 2hiit prince22.

CA: you cant evven say the wword princess

TA: oh wow no body2 EVER made fun of the lii2p before.

TA: congrat2 you found my weakne22 youre 2o cool.

TA: ii bet you got a date for 2enor prom OH WAIIT NO YOU DIIDNT 2hot2 fiired.

CA:

CA: is this you

TA: 2uck my bulge.

CA: id havve to find it first

TA: would you even know where two look?

CA: i dont think you can begin to comprehend howw much dick ivve sucked

TA: thank2 ii a2ked

TA: how many of tho2e people gave you a 2econd date?

CA: blocked

CA: stop pryin and tell me wwhere the fuck you wwant to do this

TA: do what?

TA: oh yeah. where are you?

CA: library

CA: get ovver here

TA: ok, giive me a few miinute2.

CA: wwater you wwaiting for

TA: were not friiend2 but iif we were we wouldnt be after that.     

            You think about changing your clothes, but realize that your DND shirt (featuring the D6 and D20) just goes so darn well with your only slight torn black pants. The tears weren’t even in the crotch which was an added bonus, and you personally thought that they made your butt look great. You stop thinking about what your butt looks like and grab everything you’ll think you need. Like earplugs for when he starts complaining.

            Karkat grunts a hello and goodbye to you as you leave, which is honestly the best you could ask for. The walk to the library isn’t long, but you take your sweet time so that you can finally finish listening to The Stranger and piss him off a bit.

            You spot him right away, as his attire draws attention to him. There’s at least three girls staring at him as gossiping about how cute he was like it’s fucking pre-K. You also realize that there’s a girl starting at you as well. It’s Ms. Damara. She glares and flips you off. You walk over to Eridan a little bit faster.

            “I am so nice for doing this.” you say, dropping your stuff on the ground beside his feet and pulling up a chair.

            “I guess if you’ve really lowered the bar that much for yourself, sure.” he replies, not even looking up at you. At least he encourages you to stay on your game.

            “Ok, what are you having trouble understanding?”

            “All of this.” He narrows his eyes at the paper in front of him. “I’m not really sure I even understand what a vector is.”

            “How have you lived twenty years without ever understanding what a vector is?” you ask, beginning an example drawling on his scratch paper.

            “How have you lived twenty-one years without brushing your hair?”

            You try to scowl, resisting the urge to laugh.

            “You always insult my appearance. No, not even that. You always insult the way I chose to present myself.” you observe.

            “What’s your point?”

            “Stop projecting your insecurities onto me.”

            “No shit I’m insecure about my appearance.” he says, admitting to it immediately “Who isn’t? I’m not going to be impressed just because you managed to figure that out.”

            You can’t help but laugh a bit this time. But you temporarily cease exchanging jabs with Eridan and actually explain vectors to him. He learns fast. Not as fast as you, but you couldn’t really fault people for that. Not that you loved everything about yourself, but processing mathematical algorithms had always come naturally to you. Now, social anxiety? That, you could work on.

            “What would you do without me?” you ask as you finish up.

            “Strategize.” he says, packing up his scratch paper.

            “What do you mean?” you ask, confused.

            “If I don’t know something going into a test, the night before I figure out how much time I should spend on each problem relative to how sure I am I’ll get it right, how many problems there are, and how much time I have to do them.”

            “Couldn’t you just, like, study?” you ask, as someone who had never studied for anything school related in his life.

            “I think it’s fun.” he says. You hate that you can kind of relate to that.

            “You know what I think is fun?” you ask.

            “What?”

            “Getting my seventy-five bucks.”

            He sighs and pulls out his wallet. You spot a picture of himself tucked inside. Not even an ID or anything. Just straight up a picture of himself that he probably jacks off to. He hands you your money.

            “I can’t believe I’m paying you so much.”

            “And I can’t believe you have a picture of yourself in your wallet.”

            He sighs and pulls out the picture for you to see. Oh. It’s a picture of him with Feferi. He looks happy. You feel just a little bit guilty.

            “And you say I’m a snoop.” he says, placing the picture back into his wallet. You grunt in response.

            “I’ll see you tomorrow.” he says, walking away. You watch him leave again. It’s hard to help. You weren’t fucking around when you said he walked pretty.

            Eridan Ampora was pretty, that was for sure. But what you didn’t get is why you still found him pretty. You had had so many experiences in your life of talking to pretty people who were so boring or pretentious or closed-minded that you could watch as they got less attractive before your eyes. And physical beauty had never been that much of a factor in how attracted you were to someone. Usually, the main factor was if they managed not to annoy you.

            On the flip side, you’d also seen how cool it was to watch a person you didn’t find attractive get more attractive to you over time because you started to like them so much. And then they left you for that annoying human girl in geography class and wow that still hurts a little to think about.

            So with all that said, you couldn’t figure out why he was still so pretty to you. You couldn’t get his soft, wavy brown hair or his blue eyes or the way his hips swayed when he walked out of your head no matter how hard you tried.  

            ‘It’s because you find him fascinating.’ your subconscious says.

            You tell your subconscious to shut the fuck up.

 


 

            It’s Wednesday. You’re on your way to the grocery store. You leave school with nothing in your pocket but seven dollars, and a dream.

            A dream of finding good stuff in the marked-down section of the pastry section.

            Twenty minutes later, and your dream came true. Oh, thank you expired food gods. You stuff your shit into your back pack, and get ready to run home.

            You like to run everywhere. It was time efficient, and a good way to exercise without going to the gym. People always yelled ‘Run, Forrest, run!” at you which was super witty and original and you’d never heard it before. You guessed that people just found it weird that you liked running without spandex and those douchey wireless ear buds.

            ‘Road safety laws, prepare to be ignored.’ you think to yourself as you feel the great thrill of life that is jay-walking.

            You take a short-cut over a fence, ignoring the Private Property sign just like Jesus intended. You land in the middle of the street, almost getting hit by a car. Whatever. Happens all the time.

            You’re about to start running again when the car honks as you. You turn and get a your first good look at it.

            Wow. Just wow. You’re about to ask the owner of this terrible, terrible purple sports car if their other car was a yacht named after The Fountainhead when they roll down the window. Of course it’s him.

            “What the fuck are you doing?” Eridan asks, car gleaming with assholery.

            “Living?” you answer.

            “Do you normally run out in the middle of the street?”

            You nod. “The trick is not caring if you die.”

            He opens the door.

            “What are you doing?” you ask.

            “Get in, bitch, we’re going shopping.” he replies. You scoff, dramatically, but get in the passenger seat of his car anyway.

            Holy shit, this car seat is tripping you out. You can’t remember the last time you sat down and your butt didn’t hurt.

            “Where am I taking you?” Eridan asks.

            “Just bring me to the dorm complex.” you answer “Why are you giving me a ride?”

            “Well, I didn’t really plan on it. But, I’m on my way to the school, anyway. And despite popular belief, I ain’t a terrible person all the time.”

            “Huh.”

            “Also.” he continues, his eyes narrowing “I have an ulterior motive.”

            “Oh course you do. What is it?”

            “Do you want to tutor me?” he asks. You’re shocked. Why does he want you to tutor him? Doesn’t he hate you?

            “Yeah, I know. You’re probably thinking ‘don’t you hate me?’.” he says, interrupting you from your thoughts “But I did better on that physics exam than I’ve ever done on one in my life.”

            “What’s in it for me?” you ask, actually considering this for some reason.

            “What do you want?”

            What do you want? A better computer monitor. A reporcoon. You want to see Steven Hawking talk about black holes in person. You want the people of the world to value education and work to make it more accessible. You want to hack into the pentagon and change their browser to Interent Explorer. You want your friends to have not been abused as children. You want the North Korean citizens to be liberated. You could also just go for a bag of weed. Oh, wait, you want Facebook to restrict people to no more than three posts per day.

            “What can you offer me?” you ask.

            “Money. A hair stylist. Some new socks.” he peers down at your feet. You move them out of his line of sight.

            “Do you make a conscious effort to insult my appearance as much as you can?”

            “Well, you make it entertaining.”

            “Oh, sorry.” you jab “So sorry that being rich has made you bored with the overabundance of free time on your hands. I’ll make sure next time when I’m at the DMV to really think about how lucky I am.”

            “You still haven’t answered my question.”

            Your stomach growls loudly.

            He smiles. “I don’t think you eat enough.”

            “Get fucked.”

            “I could give you food better than anything you’ve ever tasted before.”

            You think about it for a second.

            “That would only be nice for a few weeks. By then, my body would be used to it, and normal food would taste bland to me.” you say.

            “Well, then only do it once a week.”

            “Wait, no, why am I considering this?” you ask.

            “Because you’re hungry.” he answers.

            You think for a few moments. You look over at him. You could swear that he widens his eyes, just a little bit. Again. You can't fucking believe him.

            “Would I get to try fancy tuna?” you ask, like a weeb. He laughs. You can’t fucking believe yourself.

            “Sollux, this isn’t anime. It’s real life. But yeah, sure.”

            “What days of the week do you want to do this on?” he asks as he pulls into your dorm complex.

            “Sundays and Tuesdays work for me, if you want to do it biweekly.” you answer.

            “Sure. I’ll message you. Now stop bumming free rides off of me.” he says, kicking you out of his car and driving off. Wow, rude. You miss the days when you never talked to anyone.

            Biweekly tutoring segments with Eridan Ampora? At least he’s kind of entertaining.

 


 

            Your name is Sollux Captor and you’re currently considering throwing your cat out the window.

            See, you have a good time coding. And you do not like being interrupted while you’re having Sollux happy coding time.

            She’s curled up in your lap. But every time you try to type something, she juts her head into your hand. You decide that instead of throwing her out the window, you’re going to throw Karkat out the window for actually convincing you to have a cat. He didn't even go for your brilliant suggestion of consuming her for substance.

            You place her on the floor.

            She jumps back up into your lap. You sigh.

            Speaking of Karkat, he just messaged you.

CG: NOOK CRUSHER.

CG: WAIT NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID.

CG: I JUST SAID NOOK CRUSHER.

CG: FUCK YOU, NOOK CRUSHER! WHAT DID YOU DO?

TA: ii diidnt do anythiing

CG: DID YOU HACK MY MESSENGER AND CHANGE YOUR NAME TO NOOK CRUSHER?

TA: 2orry, ii cant hear you over all the2e nook2 iim cru2hiing.

TA: iim practiically drowniing iin pu22y.

CG: WHY DID YOU DO THIS?

CG: WHY AM I STILL FRIENDS WITH YOU?

TA: becau2e iim not a fuckiing iidiiot and iim kiind of a good per2on and thoo2e are your only 2tandard2.

CG: LISTEN, NOOK CRUSHER. THAT MAY BE ALL AND FUCKING FAIR, BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY EVERYONE INSISTS ON GOING OUT OF THEIR WAY TO ANNOY ME.

TA: fiine. iif you really want two know, dave gave me fiive buck2 two do iit. al2o ii wa2 bored.

CG: OH, WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED. MONSTER DONG WAS BEHIND THIS THE WHOLE TIME.

TA: who?

CG: I DID *NOT* TYPE THAT!

CG: WHY DOES MONSTER DONG STRIDER INSIST ON DOING THIS TO ME?

TA: becau2e he ha2 a cru2h on you.

CG: HE’S BEEN MY MATESPRITE FOR TWO YEARS. IT’S UNACCEPTABLE! AND SO ARE YOU, FOR THAT MATTER.

CG: YOU KNOW WHAT, NOOK CRUSHER? I’M GOING TO MOVE BACK IN WITH MY PARENTS. NOT ONLY DO I HAVE TO LIVE WITH YOU, BUT YOU INSIST ON BEING ANNOYING EVEN WHEN YOU AREN’T THERE. YOU’RE THE HERPES OF FRIENDSHIPS.

CG: I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU SOLD OUT TO MONSTER DONG JUST TO PRANK ME. SOME FRIEND YOU ARE.

CG: THAT’S HOW CORRUPTION WORKS.

CG: YOU SOLD OUT TO CAPITALISM. I WOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOU IF I WASN’T TOO BUSY FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF.

TA: oh, 2o what ii 2old out once.

CG: ONCE IS JUST A START. PRETTY SOON, YOU’RE GOING TO GO FROM NOOK CRUSHER TO MR. NOOK CRUSHER, THE CEO OF MONSANTO.

CG: YOU’LL HAVE A FUCKING BUSINESS CARD THAT JUST SAYS “I AM VERY RICH”.

CG: AND HOW THE SHIT DID YOU GET RICH? BY EXPLOITING PEOPLE LIKE ME!

TA: 2peakiing of gettiing riich by exploiitiing the lower cla22, eriidan ju2t texted me.

CG: HE DIDN’T GET RICH BY EXPLOITING ANYONE, HE GOT RICH BY BEING BORN WITH RICH PARENTS.

TA: youre riight that2 2o much better.

TA: ii never got why you were friiend2 wiith hiim.

CG: WELL, APPARENTLY MY ONLY STANDARD IS THAT THEY HAVE TO NOT BE A TOTAL FUCKING IDIOT. AND HE PASSES THAT.

CG: KIND OF.

CG: HONESTLY? WE’RE GOSSIP BUDDIES.

CG: WHY ARE YOU TEXTING HIM?

TA: ii told hiim ii would tutor hiim.

TA: iill an2wer hiim later, ii want to pii22 hiim off.

CG: WHAT A GREAT TUTOR. HE MUST BE LEARNING SO MUCH ABOUT THE STICK YOU HAVE SHOVED SEVEN FEET UP YOUR EXCREMENT CHUTE.

TA: oh god iif ii talk two hiim he2 ju2t goiing two iin2ult my appearance agaiin.

TA: ‘2ol, you cant wear 2ock2 AND 2andle2’

TA: ‘im eriidan ampora, ii wa2 born wiith a beautiiful face and 2kiin 2moother than a first degree parabola and ii thiink that thii2 mean2 ii can get away wiith 2ayiing whatever the fuck ii want. becau2e why would anyone be criitiical of 2omeone wiith 2uch a well-formed a22 and pretentiiou2 fa2ion 2en2e’

CG: I NEED TO GO TO CHURCH AFTER READING THAT.

TA: what why

CG: I READ BETWEEN THE LINES OF THAT SENTENCE AND YOU KNOW WHAT IT SAID?

CG: “MY NAME IS NOOK CRUSHER CAPTOR AND I REALLY, REALLY, WANT ERIDAN AMPORA’S COCK.”

TA: 2o what, ii thiink he2 pretty. ii thiink paul ryan ii2 kiind of pretty but doe2 that mean ii want hii2 diick?

TA: actually now that ii thiink about iit ii would probably take paul ryan black

CG: I DO NOT HAVE THE MENTAL ENERGY TO AUSPICE FOR YOU AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE!

CG: DON’T CHANGE THE SUBJECT. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU THINK ERIDAN IS DADDY AS FUCK. SERIOUSLY, YOU TWO HAVE MORE WEIRD SEXUAL TENSION THAN THE BROTHER AND SISTER FROM WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE.

TA: OH GOG kk plea2e never 2ay daddy agaiin.

CG: DADDY.

TA: iit2 tiime two 2top.

CG: YOU THINK HE'S MORE DADDY THAN GARRUS VAKARIAN.

TA: gariiu2 ii2 a great remiinder two me that attiitude ii2 WAY 2exiier than appearance.

CG: MAYBE YOU'RE JUST A FURRY.

TA: beliieve whatever you want to beliieve a2 long a2 youre not 2ayiing daddy.

CG: DADDY.

TA: why doe2 everyone want two make that a thiing?

CG: I DIDN’T FUCKING SAY IT, YOU PERVERT. YOU SAID IT! DON’T KILL THE MESSENGER.

TA: where?

CG: BETWEEN THE LINES.

TA: 2ource?

CG:

TA: youre iicky.

TA: cliick thii2 two get 2ome help

CG: I’M ICKY? YOU’RE THE ONE TALKING ABOUT HIS BUTT.

CG: SERIOUSLY I KNOW HE’S ATTRACTIVE BUT HE’S NOT *THAT* HOT.

TA: he2 liike a ten

CG: HE’S AN EIGHT.

TA: 2ucc lwkfk;LWFBEDDFFF

CG: WHAT?

TA: our 2tupiid fuckiing purrbea2t keep2 nuzzliing my hand2.

TA: hey, ii 2hould really me22age eriidan back.

CG: OK, THAT’S FINE. JUST DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ROPE ME INTO THIS.

TA: ii would never.

            You groan loudly, pushing your cat off you once more. You answer Eridan.

CA: sol

CA: sol get off your ass its sunday

TA: wow. youre riight iit ii2 2unday

TA: great ob2ervatiion, fuckko.

TA: youre liike 2ome kiind of deductiive geniiou2.

TA: ‘wwell, i didnt havve school today and its not saturday so accordin to my incredibly acute knowwledge of arbitrary chronological structures i can determine that it is indeed sunday.’

TA: eiin2teiin wii2hes he could have been there for that meeting of the mind2.

TA: actually, ju2t your miind. no plural.

TA: your miind meetiing wiith iit2 2elf.

TA: iill a22ume that your miind doe2 quiite a lot of meetiiing wiith iit2 2elf 2iince you value your own thought2 and opinion2 two be a2 valid a2 iit get2.

TA: common folk liike me would never under2tand.

TA: you know what other part of your anatomy ii bet you meet wiith a lot?

TA: take a gue22.

TA: take a wiild gue22.

CA: fuckin cod sol

CA: talk about makin a boys band out of a pool table

TA: talk about makiing an e2oteriic reference 2eriiou2ly liike two people iin the world wiill get that.

TA: ii can only iimagiine how iin2ufferable you were iin miidle 2chool.

CA: wwe wwent to the same middle school you ludicrous assfuck

TA: obviiou2ly you diidnt leave much of an iimpre22iion on me.

TA: waiit no, ii remember.

TA: you siitiing there wiith your band of a22hole2 talkiing about how much you liike fiightclub

TA: lii2teniing two the 2tone2 and thiinkiing about how no one under2tood real mu2iic anymore. damn miillenniial2.

CA: wwhats wwrong wwith the stones

CA: havve you heard their baselines

TA: the beatle2 were better. objectiivly better, liike how piicard wa2 better than kiirk and how mulan ii2 the be2t dii2ney moviie.

CA: just one fret on ron wwoods guitar had more musicality than the beatles could evver dream of

TA: ii would be offended iif ii knew who the fuck ron wood2 ii2.

TA: 2eriiou2ly who ii2 that?

TA: you know what ii need 2omeone el2e two 2ettle thii2.

(carcinoGeneticist  was roped in by twinArmageddons)

(just entered)CG: NOOK CRUSHER, WHY ARE YOU DOING THE ONE DAMN THING I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO?

CA: nook crusher

CG: FUCK YOU!

CG: WHY AM I HERE?

TA: kk who2 better the 2tone2 or the beatle2

CG: ALICIA KEYS IS BETTER.

TA: that wa2 NOT one of the optiion2.

CG: OK, FINE! IF YOU FUCKHOLES WANT ME TO ANSWER YOUR STUPID QUESTION ABOUT DINOSAUR ROCK RADIO, I’LL DO IT.

CG: I THINK THEY BOTH SOUND LIKE A SHARP NEEDLE, PIERCING THE INSIDE OF MY THINK-PAN.

CG: STARTING AT THE CEREBRAL CORTEX, ALL THE WAY INTO THE HIPPOCAMPUS.

CG: THEY BOTH SUCK EQUALLY.

CG: THAT’S LIKE ASKING ME WHICH I LIKE BETTER, ‘PAUL BLART, MALL COP’ OR ‘PAUL BLART, MALL COP 2`

CG: OR AS I LIKE TO CALL THEM, `IN WHICH KEVIN JAMES CLEARLY SHOULD NOT BE WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, BUT HE STILL BEATS SOME ROBBERS BY STAYING TRUETM TO HIMSELF AND MEETS A HOT HUMAN GIRL WHO JUST REALLY, REALLY WANTS KEVIN JAMES’ DICK.’

CA: wwhy have you seen mall cop

CG: UNIMPORTANT.

CG: JOHN.

TA: name three beatle2 album2.

CG: GLASS ONION, ABBY ROAD, AND THE REVOLVER.

CG: STRAWBERRY FIELDS IS GOOD, TOO, IF I HAD TO PICK ONE THAT MADE ME VOMIT THE LEAST.

TA: name three 2tone2 album2

CG: UM.

CG: PAINT IT BLACK.

TA: that2 a 2ong.

CG: THE ONE WITH THE ROBOT ON IT LIFTING UP THE HOUSE?

TA: that2 a queen album.

CG: GLASS HOUSES?

TA: biilly joel.

CG: THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME.

CA: kar youre killin me here

TA: ii wiill 2ay the 2tone2 are better iif you can name three of theiir 2ong2 be2iide2 paiint iit black.

GC: ‘SHATTERED’ AND ‘YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT’.

CG: FORMATION?

TA: that2 from lemonade you dumba22.

CG: OH YEAH, IT’S TOTALLY ME WHO’S THE DUMBASS HERE. NOT YOU TWO PRETENTIOUS FUCKS WHO CAN’T EVEN BE CIVIL ENOUGH TO NOT GET INTO A STUPID FIGHT ABOUT SHIT LIKE MCCARTNEY OR MCDAGGER. I’VE SEEN THE ERROR OF MY WAYS. NOOK CRUSHER, HIT ME UP TOMORROW ABOUT HOW I CAN EXIST IN A WAY THAT PLEASES YOU MORE!

TA: mcdagger

CA: wwho is nook crusher

(just left)CG: FUCK YOU!

CA: wwhat just happened

TA: you lo2t an argument ii2 what happened.

CA: wwill you stop stallin and get ovver to the library

TA: fiiiine.

            You stop stalling and make your way to the library, hating him the whole way. But hating yourself more. This was going to be even more embarrassing than that time you had hit on Gamzee. Oh, god, why did you do that?

            ‘I don’t like that memory.’ says your subconscious ‘Please repress it.

            ‘Memory, what memory?' you think back as you repress the memory. Eridan is sitting in the same place he was last time, near the encyclopedia secetion. Look at all those books. So much knowlage. Almost as much as much as was in one onebillionth of Wikipeadia. You sit down next to him and he closes some book about crabs or fish or being giant fucking tool.

            "I hate you and you hate me, but let's do this." you say.

            "Contrary to popular belief, and what I've said in the past, I don't hate you." he replies, slipping on a pair of terrible black-rimmed glasses.

            "Wait, what?"

            "I said I don't hate you."

            "Why?" You're confused.

            "I like your 'I don't give a fuck' attitude. Are we going to do this, or what?" he asks and flips open a book. You pretend to not feel a tiny smidgen of flattery.

            It’s three hours later, and you’re not sure how Eridan managed to get you to also help him with his pre-calculus homework, and his English homework. Especially because he is clearly a better writer than you.

            “So, when do I get this food I was promised?” you ask, expecting the answer to be never.

            “Tuesday.” he answers.

            “Why the fuck do I have to wait?”

            “Oh, sorry that I ain’t brought a three course meal to the library with me.” he says, rolling his eyes and looking at you like a piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe.

            “Then how is this supposed to work?”

            He hands you a piece of paper.

            “Be here at six pm on Tuesday.” he orders “Seriously, I hate this library. It smells like procrastination and sadness.”

            “Why do you have your address ready to go in your pocket?” you ask, already knowing the answer.

            “Helps me get laid.” he says “It was a spare.”

            There’s something about the way he said ‘spare’ that pisses you off. You still watch him walk away, though, just to piss yourself off even further. Also, it was hard not to, you don't know how many times you could stress that. Just that sway in his hips and-

            What’s wrong with you, are you going black? No, you know that this isn’t black. But not really red, either. You stop trying to categorize your attraction, because you have no attraction in the first place. You simply think he’s an asshole, and it makes you angry that such an asshole gets a lower body like that.

            ‘Liar.’ your subconscious says.

            ‘Eat my ass like groceries, subconscious’ you think back.

Chapter Text

            It’s Tuesday. Dave is giving you a ride down town to Eridan’s….apartment? Loft? Casino? He’s your only friend who can drive and you really don’t want to bus in the rain.

            “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” says Dave as he drops you off.

            You have to admit you’re a little intimidated by the building you’re currently standing in front of. You’ve walked by this place a dozen times with Aradia, every time you guys got called in to play at some jazz venue. You two had always made fun of it for being the wealthiest-looking building downtown.

            You walk through the door. It doesn’t take you long to figure out that everyone in the lobby is a human, and that they’re all giving you that awkward side glace. You walk briskly to the elevator, remembering that even though trolls and humans got along fine on your college campus, it was not the case everywhere.

            “What are you doing here?” one of them asks you.

            “No hablo ingles.” you answer in an ancient Alternian dialect, wanting the conversation to be over as fast as possible.

            Wait, no, you do see one high blood. She also stares at you. You would have hoped that when your species came into contact with humans, they would have an easier time getting over their infighting and just focusing on hating the humans. But no. It was the same thing for humans, they still discriminated against each other for skin color and gender and sexually (that one you could never understand). Maybe personal relations had softened a bit, but class divides died hard. You can’t help but be bitter.

            You look at the slip of paper he had given you. He has written down his floor number (11) along with the words “an’ don’t forget to fuck yourself on the wway”. Real classy.

            The elevator you’re currently in looks nicer than your entire discount dorm room. You press the button, and question all of your life’s decisions that got you to this moment as the elevator rises.

            There’s only one room on the floor because rich people have no concept of spatial conservation. You knock on the door.

            “You can come in.” Eridan says. So you do.

            It’s not as big as you were expecting. It is, however, as pretentious as you were expecting. The walls are deep purple, and are adorned with way too many tiny seahorses. He has a large collection of dusty books on a self, and you wouldn’t put it above him to have sprinkled the dust on them himself so that they looked cooler. You read some of the labels. There was a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, one for Lafayette, one for Genghis Khan, and a few others. He also had a few chess strategy books, and a copy of Atlas Shrugged that you really, really hope he only owns ironically. There’s a straight up harpoon lying on the floor, and you are one hundred and ten percent sure that he is an American psycho and that you are going to die.

            He’s sitting on a couch that looks significantly less worn than what you’re used to. He’s painting his toenails. Purple, of course. You decide to take your shoes off because his carpet is white, and your shoes have mud caked on them that probably goes back to World War II.

            You examine a fish tank. He has an assortment of colorful fish that you will rename later.

            "I had a fish once." you say "She died."

            "What happened to her?"

            "She was inflicted with self-induced melancholy."

            Eridan looks at you like you're crazy, which is fair.

            You flop down next to him on the couch, and try not to make a pleasant noise as you are overwhelmed with comfort. You consider falling asleep and then remember that you have shit to do and a perfectly fine pile of graph paper to sleep in when you get home.

            ‘This is nice.’ says your subconscious ‘It’s warm. Burrow here to avoid the drones.

            You are once again reminded that your dumbass subconscious still thinks that you’re living as a caveperson on ancient Alternia. You can’t really blame it though, because you suppose that ninety-nine percent of your species’ lifetime was spent grunting unintelligently in a hunter-gatherer society. But it was still annoying as fuck.

            ‘What the fuck is wrong with you? He’s not a primate anymore. Why are you so stuck in the past, you stupid lizard?’ asks your rational mind.

            ‘Because I’ve been around since he was a lizard?’ your subconscious jabs back.

            ‘When was he a lizard?’ your rational mind demands.

            ‘Could you guys bicker about neurological evolution later, please?’ you think at them.

            “Sollux?” Eridan asks.

            “Huh? What?” you ask, momentarily confused.

            “Don’t fall asleep.”

            You teach Eridan about what the fuck that triangle is and why the fuck it’s in the middle of so many physics equations. He has a lot of questions, which makes you think he’s not paying attention in class. But he picks up what you teach him quickly, so you wonder if you’re just a really, really good teacher. Which you know you aren’t. Good teachers don’t threaten to draw “I’m a shit faced cock master” on their student’s foreheads for forgetting the quadratic formula.

            “Why do you use me as a tutor?” you ask “Why don’t you just pay more attention in class?”

            “One on one is easier.” he answers and you know that means ‘I went to a private elementary school and an elite high school for three out of four years and learning resources galore were available to my every need and now I’ve grown accustom to it.’.

            “Why?” you ask.

            “I can ask as many questions as I want, and you’re the only one who looks at me like I’m an idiot. And it doesn’t sting that much when you do it.”

            “Why not?”

            “Because you look at everyone like they’re an idiot.”

            Oh no. That is not your intent. He is making you sound like a pretentious asshole.

            “I do not.” you say, defensively.

            “Don’t you remember 12thgrade science class with John?” he asks. Fuck yeah you remember that shit. You had spent the whole quarter asking John questions that you already knew the answer to and then seeing how badly he got them wrong with complete confidence. Thinking back on it, you probably should have told him instead of letting him live with the misguided idea that volcanoes could shoot into space and that cows had a larval phase, but you had been too busy giggling at him behind his back to- Oh gog you were a huge fucking asshole. Why did you have friends?

            “That was a sweep and a half ago. I’ve changed.” you say, knowing full well you have not changed.

            “Yeah, sure. Do you want me to give you a ride home?” he asks.

            “I was promised food.” you answer.

            “Oh yeah. What do you want?”

            “What do you have?”

            Eridan hands you a fucking menu.

            “Don’t tell me that you have a restaurant in your apartment.” you say.

            “I’m not that rich, we’re gonna order.”

            You examine the menu. You have no idea in hell what any of these words mean. What the fuck is oregano? Why do rich people eat fish eggs? Oh, gross, why can you order a cow brain?

            You need to Google what some of these dishes are. You make a show of levitating your phone to you with red and blue light while you look through the menu.

            “You’re a psychonic?” he asks, surprised.

            “What? Oh yeah.” you say, like it was a totally normal thing that you had forgotten about. Technically, you were only supposed to use it in emergencies. This was a rule that you only broke all the time.

            ‘Showoff.’ says your subconscious. You ignore it.

            “What’s this flaming minion?” you ask, wanting all minions to die in a fire “I want to order that.”

            “You mean filet mignon? It’s ok.”

            “I want it. I would like to obtain it.”

            He makes a phone call. He talks in some foreign language. It’s insufferable.

            “What language was that?” you asks.

            “English?” he answers, confused. Oh. You’re just stupid.

            “I mean, I can speak another language if you want to.” he says.

            “What do you know?”

            “Oh, not much. I’m fluent in Finish and Swedish. I can speak some Italian, and Spanish, French, Arabic, and I know a bit of an ancient Alternian dialect.” he says, and you’re annoyed that he thinks that’s not much.

            “Do you speak any Alternian?” he asks.

            “I only know how to ask for the bathroom.” you answer.

            “You didn’t want to learn it?”

            “Why would I? There’s no practical use to learn it. It would just be me filling up useful think-pan space that could have useful information in it, like how logarithms work or the Konami Code.”

            “That ain’t how a brain works.” he claims, rightfully so. Damn.

            “Ok, fine. It’s more complicated with that. For one thing, I have a hard time finding algorithmic patterns within languages. It seems like people just shoved whatever letters into a word they could think of instead of coming up with a series of coherent, consistent rules. Phonics, my ass. English was complicated enough to learn as a wriggler. I mean, why do we need a ‘k’ and a ‘c’? Why does the ‘ph’ sound exist when we have an ‘f’?” You’re rambling now. You cut yourself off.

            “But I’m guessing you don’t want all Alternian languages to be forgotten.” he says.

            “Honestly, I really don’t care that much. I feel no affiliation to any language.”

            You pause, wondering how he would react if you elaborated on that.

            “I don’t really feel any ties to Alternia in general. I think it was kind of a shit hole.” you elaborate, like a dumbass.

            “What do you think of Earth?” he asks.

            “I think it’s another shithole.” you answer “But I don’t have much of a choice to live somewhere else. What do you think of Earth?”

            “I think it’s a planet. I don’t really think about it that much.”

            “So what do you think about, then?” You know that he’s smart enough to think about something.

            “I think many things, believe it or not.”

            “Like?”

            “Well, for starters I think you’re a raging pessimist.” he observes.

            “Thanks. But I didn’t mean about me.”

            “You’re right in front of me, Sol. We’re talking. You’re kind of consuming my thought process right now.”

            “Fine, then, psychologically analyze me if you must.”

            He scoffs. “It’s easy. You’re angry and bored. You’re probably like an assassin or cybercriminal in your free time or something.”

            “This isn’t Mr. Robot, stupid. I don’t like a double life as a cybercriminal.” you say. Well, you are a cybercriminal, but only for a few hours a week. Not enough to call it a double life. You make a note to rewatch Mr. Robot.

            “Sure you don’t.”

            “Stop acting like I’m easy to analyze.” you demand.

            “You pretty much introduce yourself to the world with a big “The world hurt me, I push myself way too hard, and I’m sullen and bitter because I don’t know how to deal with my feelings.” and it’s not that hard to figure you out after something like that.” he says.

            “That’s ridiculous. What have I ever done that made you think I feel that way?”

            He laughs. “Sol, that’s a direct quote from you. You posted it word for word on Facebook yesterday. Over a picture of Sonic the Hedgehog.”

            Oh yeah, you had done that.

            “Why do you know what I post on Facebook?” you ask.

            “We’re Facebook friends. We’ve been Facebook friends for eight years.” he answers "We did a project together in middle school and you friended me so that you could send me some information.”

            Oh no, he’s been seeing your shitposts for eight years. Wait, you forgot. You don’t care. You do have a faint memory of unfollowing him after he posted some emo ass song lyrics followed by the words "I wwas born in the wwrong generation", causing you to dry heave.

            "I don't actually think I'm too hard on myself." you admit. 

            "Really?"

            You shrug. "Improvement comes from self-hatred."

            You wait for him to get that concerned look in his eyes that people always give you after you say that. But he laughs. 

            "I can relate to that." he says.

            Huh. Not what you were expecting.

            There’s a knock on the door. He walks over and talks to some fancy person in what he claims is English. He returns with food, which he set on the glass table in front of the couch.

            “I didn’t know you could order fancy shit.” you say.

            “You can’t. I can.” he says as you look at this steak and wonder how the fuck you’re supposed to eat it. He hands you like eight different forks and a knife. You stab the knife into the meat to free your hand. He does not look pleased.

            “Is this wine?” you ask, pointing to a bottle.

            “Yeah, do you want some?”

            “No thanks.” you answer, knowing that even one sip of that would have you on the floor drunk off your ass.

            “Are you gonna eat that, or are you just gonna stare at it?” he asks.

            “I’ll eat it if you eat something. I don’t want you to just stare at me while I eat this.”

            He sighs, leaving and returns with an apple. He takes a bite. So you cut off a small piece and put it in your mouth.

            Oh.

            OH.

            RIP you.

            This is literally the best thing you’ve ever tasted in your entire life. The fact that he even had the nerve to call this just ok fills you with anger. Although it’s honestly hard to stay angry right now, and most of your mental energy is being spent attempting not to moan like a porn star. You are mostly successful.

            “Don’t come in your pants.” he says “This couch is hard to clean.”

            “I’m not making any promises.” You raise your eyebrows suggestively and immediately regret it. He rolls his eyes.

            You try as hard as you can not to scarf it down. You fail a little bit.

            “Will you stop whimpering?” he asks as you act like you’ve never seen food before.

            “Don’t tell me how to live my life, you dirty fascist.” you answer.

            Tutoring Eridan was one hundred percent worth it. You could get used to this. Actually, no, you didn’t want to get used to this. You wanted it to be something special. A special thing every Sunday. Like church or smoking pot. Preferably not at the same time, but you were flexible.

            “Do you want a ride home?” he asks once you finish.

            “No, Dave’s giving me a ride.”

            “Ok. I’ll message you on Tuesday.”

            You’re looking forward to next Sunday.

 


 

            It’s Monday. You went to school, insulted Eridan in physics class, did your homework, contemplated death, fucked around on the deep web, and forgot to eat breakfast and lunch. Now you’re playing Breath of the Wild again and wondering who's dumb idea it was to make the Zoras so damn sexy. You phone buzzes. Oh no, it’s another one of those stupid group chats.

TG: hello naughty children its time for some family bonding

(turntechGodhead named group chat ‘family fun night’)

(just entered)CG: WHY AM I HERE?

(just entered)GC: L3TS DO TH1S SH1T

(just entered)TA: why ii2 thii2 happeniing?

(gallowsCalibrator renamed group chat to ‘G4RB4G3 B4ND')

TG: rude

CG: DAVE, WHAT IS THIS?

TG: something beautiful

TG: something that we will remember for years to come

TG: something that i am still formulating a purpose for

GC: SO WH4T YOUR3 S4Y1NG 1S TH4T YOUR3 JUST BOR3D 4ND SH4RT3D 4 GROUP CH4T FOR NO R34SON B3S1D3S TH4T

CG: *STARTED

GC: YOU H34RD M3

TG: no way that would be sad

TA: what ii2 the purpo2e of thii2 group?

TG: see there you go right there

TG: the purpose of this group is to find purpose

TG: its a metaphor for life nietzsche dont got shit on me

CG: ARE WE JUST SUPPOSED TO SIT HERE AND TALK ABOUT OUR LIVES?

GC: 1LL GO F1RST

GC: 1V3 B33N GOOD

GC: YOU KNOW L4W STUFF

GC: DO3S 4NYON3 H4V3 4NY 4DV1C3 ON HOW TO 34T NOOK

GC: OR PUSSY L1KE 1TS R34LLY 4LL TH3 S4M3 SH1T

CG: AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME, I AM QUESTIONING HOW MY BEST FRIENDS IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD ARE SOME STUPID HUMAN BOY WHO LOOKS LIKE THE ‘NO FEAR ONE FEAR' MEME, A GEMINI, AND A GIRL WHO SERIOUSLY JUST ASKED FOR MY ADVICE ON HOW TO SHOVE HER FACE IN NOOK.

TA: tz youre good at liickiing thiing2 ju2t go from there.

TG: what do you want advice on like tongue strokes or anatomy or just where to find it

CG: STOP HELPING HER! GOOGLE IS FREE!

GC: MORE JUST SOM3 G3N3R4L T1PS

TA: who were you planniing on doiing thii2 two?

GC: YOUR MOM

TA: what are we, twelve?

TA: oh diid you mean aa?

TA: 2he2 not my mom.

CG: KANAYA IS YOUR MOM.

TG: sollux your turn to share with the class

TA: wow iim alway2 2uper 2toked two hear THO2E word2.

CG: HE’S JUST GOING TO ASK FOR ADVICE ON HOW TO SUCK DICK

GC: WHOS D1CK

TA: were adult2

TG: time is an illusion

GC: WHOS D1CK

TG: hes a guy who works at the starbucks on maple and pine across the street from safeway

TG: but not the starbucks inside the safeway

TG: thats a different starbucks 

TA: iif ii wanted two learn how to 2uck diick ii wouldnt a2k you a22hole2.

TG: remember to flatten your tongue when youre sucking dick

TG: dont bite it

GC: SOM3 P3OPL3 4R3 1NTO TH4T

TG: thats fucked up fam i felt pain in my balls just from reading that

TG: thats almost as fucked up as seventh grade history class

TG: you know when we learn about roman history and shit

TG: and the teacher is telling us about gladiator fighting

TG: and they just dismiss it like its another random fact

TG: like hold on captain crunch are you saying that if i was born in ancient rome i would think of watching gladiator fighting as another baseball game

TG: imagine if joe dimaggio got a strike and they were like ok joey time to die

TG: like seriously look at how fucked up we find that shit what are people a thousand years from now going to think is super fucked up about our society

TG: and then im like yo can we talk about this i have some shit to process what that information means but then its gym class

CG: YOU’RE AN IMBECILE.

TG: thats fair

GC: 1F 1 GU3SS WHOS D1CK 1T I1 W1LL YOU T3LL M3

TA: no

GC: 1S 1T 3R1D4NS

TA: no becau2e there ii2 no diick.

TG: no dicks wait what where did they go

CG: I HAVE A LIFE AND HOMEWORK TO DO. I HAVE NO DESIRE TO SIT AROUND AND WATCH MONSTER DONG CONTEMPLATE DICKS.

GC: WHO

CG: TEREZI, I DO NOT FEEL A STRONG URGE TO EXPLAIN TO YOU WHO MONSTER DONG IS.

CG: WHAT DO YOU WANT, NOOK CRUSHER? WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU TO FIX MY MESSENGER? I WILL BUY YOU WHATEVER YOU WANT, OR SHANK WHOMEVER YOU WANT, INCLUDING MYSELF.

GC: WHO 1S NOOK CRUSH3R

GC: WHO 4R3 TH3S3 P3OPL3

TA: iim nook cru2her.

TG: im monster dong

GC: CAN I BE 4SS LORD

TA: 2ure

CG: YOU KNOW WHAT? I’M NEVER GOING TO TYPE A NAME AGAIN.

CG: FUCK YOU, FUCK ME FOR TALKING TO YOU. YOU ALL CAN SHOVE YOUR HEADS DOWN MY PANTS AND LICK MY NOOK DISCHARGE.

GC: K4RK4T TH4TS D1SGUST1NG

CG: OH, I'M SORRY THAT I CAN'T CONFORM TO THE STANDARDS OF A SOCIETY TO FETISHIZES NOOKS TO BE SUPER SEXY ALL THE TIME. YOU KNOW WHAT, TEREZI? STUFF COMES OUT OF MY NOOK SOMETIMES. STUFF COMES OUT OF YOUR NOOK SOMETIMES. STUFF COMES OUT OF TROLL BEYONCE'S NOOK SOMETIMES. IT'S NORMAL AND WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF IT.

CG: THE THING THAT'S ACTUALLY DISGUSTING IS THIS GROUP CHAT.

TG: ok time for bonding

TG: lets all go around and ask the class one question

TA: what2 the wor2t 2tarwar2 moviie?

TG: two

GC: TH3 ON3 W1TH TH3 SCR34M1NG CH1LD W1TH TH3 BOWL H41RCUT

CG: ALL OF THEM.

GC: 1 H4V3 4 QU3ST1ON 

TG: go for it

GC: WH1CH M4TTH3W BROD3R1CK WOULD YOU FUCK

TA: wargame2

TG: ferris bueller is a fucking fox in a true neutral way

TG: actually never mind inspector gadget is where its at

CG: WHAT'S THE MOVIE CALLED WHERE THEY SING ABOUT HITLER AND SPRINGTIME?

TA: the producer2?

CG: THAT MATTHEW BRODERICK.

CG: CAN I GO NOW?

TG: wait before you go i want to ask one more super bonding question

GC: WH4T QU3ST1ON

TG: lets see

TG: whats your biggest regret

GC: N3V3R K1LL1NG A P3RSON

TG: you still have time

TA: 2kippiing out on 2eniior prom two go bowling wiith aa.

TA: actually never miind ii dont regret that.

TA: not turniing iin a 2eniior quote becau2e ii hated everyone 2o much.

TA: iif ii could go back ii would make iit "iim the one who hacked iintwo the fiile 2hariing program and made iit so everytiime 2omeone triied two type the word lunch iit wa2 replaced wiith the word2 2ucc my a22 you ga2tly luncker".

GC: 3V3RYON3 KNOWS TH4T W4S YOU

TG: ok karkat its your turn

CG: I THINK I’LL PASS

TA: dave?

TG: not making this video

GC: 1 LOV3 1T TH1S 1S WHY W3R3 FR31NDS

(just left)CG: I CHANGE MY MIND. I’LL GO. MY BIGGEST REGRET IS STAYING IN THIS GROUP CHAT FOR SO LONG AND ACTUALLY WATCHING THAT ABSOLUTE ATROCITY! SEE YOU LATER, FUCKWITS.

TA: ii can hear hiim 2creamiing from the 2hower.

TG: did you actually want advice on how to suck dick

TA: ii cant beliieve youve known me for two sweeps and actually thiink that ii would a2k you for adviice about anythiing two do wiith another per2on2 geniitaliia.

TA: you a22hole2 get gro22er the older we get.

GC: W3 C4N G3T WORS3 1F YOU W4NT

(just left)TA: ii thiink iill pa22

            You’re not really sure about the significance of what just happened, if there even was any. You’re considering spamming Aradia with bad memes when your stupid fucking phone buzzes once again.

            “Why me?” you ask your cat. She stares at you with uncaring, sociopathic eyes.

            “Mom, is that you?” you say, and immediately call your mom and apologize. She tells you she loves you. She tells you she loves Aradia even more. Typical.

            You finally answer the asshole who’s been texting you for some reason, even though it’s not Tuesday or Sunday.

CA: wwant to do me a favor

TA: not really but thank2 for a2kiing

CA: sol

TA: fiine what do you need

CA: my apartment is bein cleaned on tuesday

CA: can wwe have our session in your dorm room

TA: why ii2 your apartment beiing clearned? iit2 the cleane2t thiing iive ever 2een.

CA: theres too much dust on the bookshelves

TA: of cour2e.

TA: why dont we ju2t 2tudy iin the liibrary?

CA: wwhat part of it smells like procrastination and sadness is goin ovver your head here

CA: and socks

TA: how do you know my dorm wiill 2mell any better?

CA: it cant smell wworse

TA: iim not really happy about haviing two wear pant2 iin my room tomorrow.

TA: 2eriiou2ly they keep iirriitatiing thii2 ra2h on my leg.

CA: can you help me find somefin

TA: what

CA: wwhere i asked about your leg rash

CA: cant seem to find it

TA: why are you 2uch a tool?

CA: because its mildly charismatic

 


 

            It’s Tuesday. Eridan is coming over in an hour. That is, if he isn’t too mad at you for the rubber band you flicked at him for your elastic energy experiment in physics class. You consider cleaning but decide that he isn’t worth it.

            Groaning loudly, you put on pants.

            You consider masturbating. You take off your pants.

            Wait, no, Karkat is home. You put on your pants again. Why did Karkat always have to ruin your plans before they even happened?

            You get some coding done. You’re making a program that will map out underground nuclear radiation to help measure toxic waste. Karkat calls you a nerd and leaves.

            Do you have enough time to masturbate? You have ten minutes. That’s enough. You take your pants off and Eridan knocks on the door. Why does god hate you?

            You open the door. He walks in, totally unwitting to the fact that he was the second person to bulge block you from yourself today.

            “What are we covering today?” you ask.

            “Why is there a pile of graph paper on the floor?” he asks.

            “That’s my bed.”

            “Why is there a pile of romance novels on the floor next to it?”

            You shake your head. “That’s KKs’s bed. Do we look middle-class enough to be able to afford synthetic soper slime?” 

            He’s still staring at the pile of trash on the floor.

            “Do all trolls do that, or is it just you two?” he asks.

            “We don’t like beds. It’s a cultural thing.” you answer. You hate culture and hate that bringing it up is probably going to remind him that you’re a different species. You don’t want him to think of you like your world is super different from his. He examines your saxophone.

            “Is that a vibrator?” he asks, pointing to the table.

            “No.” you says, tossing your vibrator out of his line of sight as quickly as possible. Maybe he doesn't have object permanence.

            Well, actually your world is pretty different. But most of that has to do with you being poor, not you being a troll.

            “What’s that?” he asks, pointing to a note that reads “FOR THE LOVE OF GOG, SOLLUX, TAKE YOUR VIBRATOR OFF THE COFFEE TABLE OR SO HELP ME!

            “Nothing.” you say, balling up the note and throwing it at the ceiling.

            “What are those?” he asks, pointing to two bottles of pill. One is for headaches and the other is for-

            “Genetic material suppressor pills? What do you use-“ he starts. You knock them out of his hand.

            “Stop it, nosy.” you say, wishing you had cleaned up your supplies at some point since the last time you had engaged in mindless self-indulgence.

            “What’s that buzzing noise?” he asks, sitting down on your couch and moving Karkat’s selection of stuffed animals aside. You lift up a panel and show him your collection of bees that power your computer.

            “Huh.” he remarks, the proper reaction.

            “Don’t you find it hard to sleep with that poster of Spock staring at you?” he asks.

            “Actually, it helps me sleep to look into the loving eyes of Lenard Nemoy.” you says. It was true. You had tons of posters along the wall, for videos games, sci-fi TV shows, and some jazz musicians. But your giant Spock poster was your favorite.

            Your cat comes running into the room, jumping on Eridan’s lap without his consent.

            “Settle down, Asshole.” you yell at her.

            “She’s being fine.” he says, petting her with joy “She’s not being an asshole.”

            “It’s her name.”

            “Why did you name your cat Asshole?”

            “Because she’s an asshole.”

            “I think she’s cute.” he says, hugging her.

            Your cat, cute? Yeah right. Her face was more smashed than Dave was last New Years. Karkat had picked her out by asking the shelter for the purrbeast that had been there without getting adopted for the longest.

            Eridan judges you harshly while he pulls out a binder.

            “Do you want to teach me about Isaac Newton?” he asks.

            “Sure.” you say “He probably died a virgin and now stupid people think he invented gravity.”

            “No, you cockmongle. About his work.”

            You’re not sure he should go down that road.

            “I’m not sure you should go down that road.” you say.

            “Why not?”

            “If you ask my about Isaac Newton’s work, I will talk for a long time. And I can assure you, it will be boring.”

            “Go for it. I might learn something.” he says, making himself comfortable.

            “What do you want to start with, the philosophy, the mathematics, the fact that he may have bought a sex slave?”

            “Do whatever you think is right.”

            You start with the philosophy. Ten minutes later, you’re still raving. Expect now you’re pacing in circles while you dump Froot Loops into your mouth and talk about gravity.

            “So in conclusion, Isaac Newton didn’t really think of gravity like we do today, due to fact that he didn’t have much of a concept of the mass of space objects and just how damn big everything is. I can’t really blame him for that, though, he’s from a different time. He did, however, develop the idea that every atom has a gravitational pull. That being said, I would let him pail me in a heartbeat.” You shudder a bit, imagining what it would be like.

            He’s been watching you intently this whole time. You’re more than a bit surprised; most people couldn’t get through that without yawning at least eight times.

            “Well, did you learn anything?” you ask.

            He pretends to fall asleep. You groan.

            “You come into my house.” you say “You let me rant about Isaac Newton for some fancy tuna, and this is how you repay me? Pathetic."

            “Ok, fine. It was nice to see you get passionate.”

            Did he just complement you? You’re a little struck. You try to shake it off.

            “Believe it or not, I’m passionate about many things. I just try not to let my emotions control me, unlike some people.” you say, throwing some shade.

            “Considering the fact that you’re sullen and irritated all the time, I don't think you really have the higher ground.” he observes.

            “Those are just part of my charm as a semi-enticing asshole.”

            He laughs. “Along with your ability to insult people without them noticing?”

            “When did I do that?” you ask, knowing perfectly well that you do that shit all the time.

            “Yesterday in class you told Nepetta that her report on Uranium would provide some great juxtaposition with the work of Marie Curie.”

            Oh shit, he picked up on that? People didn’t usually notice. It made saying whatever the fuck you wanted way easier to get away with, as long as you did it strategically.

            You needed to cut back on being an asshole. Nepetta was a nice person.

            “Why are you so observant, anyway?” you ask.

            “Helps pass the time.” He lies down and puts his head on a stuffed crab that he brought with him. You walk into the kitchen area and grab a cup of instant grub noodles. They’re basically the same thing as instant ramen, but a little fishier.

            “And you say I’m bored.” You heat up some water.

            “You’re bored, I’m bored, we try to keep ourselves entertained, and then in sixty years we can die.”

            You can’t help it. You laugh. You’re a sucker for laughing in the face of your inevitable mortality. On that note, where is season three of Rick and Morty? You’ve waited so long.

            “Why is this place so messy?” he asks. Ouch. It’s not that messy.

            “Oh, sorry for not ironing my underwear.”

            “You know what they say about a lack of organization?” he asks.

            “What?”

            “It reflects a disorganized mind.”

            “Wow, you’re right, Eridan. Complete and total idiots do say that.”

            “Well, I guess living in a pigsty might be sufficient for you, but I prefer not to marinate in my own filth.”

            You twitch one of your ears and pretend to look surprised.

            “What?” he asks.

            “Do you hear that?”

            “Hear what?”

             “The sound of no one giving a fuck.” You grin and burst into laughter while he looks like his honor has been insulted.

            “Oh, fuck you, Sol.”

            You pull the noodles out of the microwave and sit down in your pile o’ graph paper.

            “What’s that?” he asks.

            “Instant noodles? What do you mean, what is that?”

            He looks concerned. “Why are you eating from a cup?”

            “Have you never had instant ramen before?” you ask.

            “No. What is it, some kind of proletariat food?”

            You’ll let that one slide for now.

            “Do you want some?” you offer.

            He looks uncertain.

            “Sure. I’m feeling brave.” he says.

            You go to the kitchen to heat up more noodles while he questions his bravery. You return with a cup and a plastic fork.

            You hand it to him and hope that he doesn’t throw up.

            He swirls his fork around. He swirls it some more.

            “Are you just gonna stare at me?” he asks. You roll your eyes and grab your own cup of ramen.

            He takes a bite.

            “Is this just sodium?” he asks. You shrug.

            He takes another bite.

            “What do you think?” you ask.

            “It’s saltier than caviar. I hate your peasant food.” he answers. And yet he eats the rest.

            He makes cute facial expressions when he eats. You pretend not to notice.

            He finished his ramen and you both finish your discussion on the differences and similarities of logic and strategy. Now he’s packing up. You have a realization.

            “Eridan?” you ask.     

            “What?”

            “Why do you go to school here?” You’re confused on account of him being wealthy enough to afford one of those schools with ivy growing on the side where everyone does cocaine all day.

            “I like the people here.” he answers, walking out the door “I’ll see you on Sunday.” 

            You wish he would have elaborated on that.

Chapter Text

             It’s been a few weeks of tutoring Eridan Ampora. The quarter ended, but he still wanted your help with the next one. You’re covered material for so many classes that you can’t even imagine how ridiculous his college schedule must be. Sometimes he teaches you things. He doesn’t always know when he’s doing it. But when he pulls you into a debate about abstract art or HP Lovecraft’s psyche, you always come out of it feeling like you’ve found a new way to think about something. You’ve eaten caviar and gold leaf and fancy tuna. You even convinced him to send weekly donations to scholarship programs and organizations set up to save the bees.

            You’ve learned bits and pieces about him. He used to want to be a militant strategist, until he lost faith in the job. It’s his first time ever living on his own without his parents or a maid telling him what to do, and he finds it both liberating and scary. He’s from a wealthy Finnish family, but his mother is Italian. He likes to draw, and you’re actually a bit taken aback by how good he is. The only thing you two can really agree on is the tragedy that was Firefly's lack of a season two. Atlas Shrugged was a gift from his mother that he’s never actually been able to get through. His ass looks great in a pair of purple skinny jeans. One of these is not like the others. One of these doesn't belong...

            You find yourself staring at him when he works. It’s kind of annoying, actually. You’re starting to memorize the look on his face when he’s thinking about something you just explained to him, and the way a single lock of his hair falls in his face when he leans over to look at a paper. Or the way he puts always puts on his glasses to read. You knew deep in your blood-pusher that these weren’t normal, everyday Sollux observations. You eventually admit it to yourself, but blame it on how physically attractive he is. Your subconscious seems to think it runs deeper than that; that you’re attracted to his mannerisms and the way he speaks. But whatever. Your subconscious was an idiot.

            You hated the way you were always excited on Sundays and Tuesdays, because it meant you got to see him. You hated whenever you came across a piece of art or a piano sonata and knew he would like it.

            You weren’t really sure what to call Eridan Ampora. You don’t think you’d really call him your enemy, but there’s something keeping you from calling him a friend. Maybe the fact that he’s a giant, pretentious tool.

            ‘No.’ says your rational mind. ‘It’s deeper than that.

            ‘Then what is it?’ you ask your rational mind.

            ‘I can’t tell you.’ it says. ‘You’ll have to figure that one out for yourself.

            ‘You’re as big of a bulge-sucker as my subconscious.’ you think.

            But on a Sunday afternoon, you finally figure out what it is.

            You’re sitting on his couch, getting ready to wrap up some shit about the factoring third degree polynomials. Eridan Ampora has obviously not taken a math class since middle school.

            “Aren’t you going to finish your homework?” you ask as he takes out a book.

            “I’ll just do it in my English Lit class.” he says “It doesn’t take that much of my brain power to analyze Hemmingway’s daddy issues.”

            “And mommy issues.” you say.

            “Does it feel weird for you to have parents?” he asks.

            “What?” You’re confused.

            He closes the book. “Didn’t you guys used to have an animal guardian taking care of you or something?”

            His question is innocent enough. But it makes you a bit worried about the way this conversation is going to go. And you don’t like the way he said ‘you guys’.

            “Yeah, we had custodians. But they died out when we crashed here in the 60’s. We wouldn’t really have a need for them, anyway. Thanks to the underfunding of NASA, we aren’t going back into space for at least ten years.” you say, making a casual jab at government spending. Maybe Russia or China would do it.

            “But is it weird for you?” he asks.

            “Why would it be weird for me? I was a wriggler. I had no concept of what happened in the past. I could have been born with giant marshmallows as parents, and it would have seemed normal to me as long as it was what everyone else had.” you answer.

            “But ain’t you have, like, cultural differences?” he asks.

            You look into the camera like you’re on the office. He takes one look at your face and you can tell that he knows he said something wrong.

            “Cultural differences, like what?” you ask, trying to contain your hostility. If you’re hostile, you have little to no chance of convincing him to think differently

            “We don’t have to talk about this.” he says, rubbing his temples.

            “No. I want to. What is it? Do you think that I’m more violently-minded than you or something?” you ask, painfully aware of the stereotypes.

            “No. Not you.” he answers.

            “Who’s me?” you ask, refusing to be his token minority “Just me? What about them?”

            “Ok, fine.” he says “I do think of your species as violent. They used to kill children. That seems fucked up to me.”

            “You’re right, Eridan. Humans have never killed their children at any point in history. That’s so ridiculous. When has your species not been fighting some stupid war about oil or land? When have you not let people die because they couldn’t afford to live? Human’s aren’t any less violent; they’re just more passive-aggressive about it. At least we can admit we're violent.” You’re angry. Well, you’re hurt. But when you’re hurt, you get angry. What are you, a toy to him? You should chill. He didn't even say anything that bad.

            “Ok, maybe you’re right. I don’t think you’re a savage or anything. I just think that there are some differences between you and me.” he responds.

            Of course he’s different from you. But you knew what he really meant by that was “I think there’s some big “cultural” difference between rich humans, and poor, lowblood trolls. I’m a rich human, you’re a poor, lowblood troll. And I don’t even know what a lowblood is.”

            “I get it. You’re a high class human. Your ancestors put a flag in some land, pointed a gun, and your family is still rich hundreds of years later. And now I have to go to ridiculous lengths to go to school, get health care, and be treated with respect, and I'm one of the lucky ones. I don't understand why you have to think that there's something different about our minds than yours. We’re all people. Have you ever thought that I feel no more affiliation with them than you?” you ask, making quotations with your fingers around “them” and “our” and “you”. You hate how much you sound like a preachy YouTube comment section.

            “Who’s them?”

            “You know perfectly well who ‘them’ is.” you snap, leaving the couch to go stare out the window.

            Oh, shit. You didn’t mean to say that. You hope he doesn’t figure out that in your effort to destroy his ‘us, them’ mindset, you admitted to thinking of him as some sort of a friend. Wait, no, you could have been talking about any of your human friends. Like Dave. And Dirk. And some other third example.

            You take one look at his face and know that he figured it out. You look back out the window, not wanting him to see that you face is flushed. Half from anger, half from embarrassment.

            “I’m sorry.” he says “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

            He sounds sorry. His face looks guilty as hell.

            “Well, you did.”

            You’re angry at him, but you’re angrier at yourself for caring so much. Seriously, why did you care? People gave you this shit all the time, and way worse. Just last week you talked to some lady who wanted to deport you to the moon.

             ‘It’s because a part of you wanted to get close to him, but you don’t like the way he sees you.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘And that’s what I wanted you to figure out.’ says your rational mind.

            “You don’t like the way I see you.” Eridan says, reading your mind.

            “No shit.”

            He gets up, and stands next to you.

            “I think your mind is-“ he starts, cutting himself off.

            “What?” you ask.

            “I think it’s im, impress, fuck.”

            You watch him trip over his words for a while before he gets it out.

            “As much as it hurts to admit it, I think your mind is impressive.” he says “I don’t think you’re primitive at all. I think you’re the opposite, actually.”

            You’re silent.

            “As for the rest of your species, I don’t think of them as any less than mine.”

            ‘No, you consciously think that. Subconsciously? Probably not.’ you think, but don’t think it’s the right time to bring it up. Nothing good would come from pushing him too hard.

            Your chest hurts and you hate it. What don’t you hate? You’re surprised he’s even being nice to you. You had learned many times over that putting your emotions into an argument only appealed to very specific people. He’s probably only listening to you at all because Fefari had talked to him about this before.

            Oh, fuck. To your absolute horror, an actual authentic tear just welled up in the corner of your eye. It’s the first tear you’ve ever threatened to shed about your experience with speciesism, and you're going to waste it one this. What is this, a Lifetime movie? He notices, and looks even guiltier until you pull out an eyedropper and squeeze it out of your eye so that you can analyze the chemical composition compared to your other bodily fluids for funzies. Now he just looks confused.

            “What do you want me to say?” he asks.

            “I don’t know.” you say, coming down from your emotional high. You kind of want him to hug you. You also kind of want to push him away forever and live in a hole in the ground with your bug friends. Wait, no, there’s no Wi-Fi. Shut up, Sollux, stop being quirky. No one cares.

            “Do you want me to apologize?”

            “Not really. Not until you fully understand what you want to apologize for. And honestly, you didn’t really say anything that bad.” You’re angrier about what you suspect he believes on a subconscious level that what he said. You don’t even think it’s exclusively his fault; you don’t think it’s particularity healthy for people to be too rich.

            “That sounds fair.” he says.

            “Why are you being so nice about this?”

            “I know. It’s weird. But I can tell this ain’t just about me, and that you’ve had to deal with some shit you didn’t deserve for your entire life.”

            You definitely want to hug his racist ass now. More accurately, you want to curl up with him on his couch and hide away from the outside world.

            ‘Why the fuck is that what I want?’ you ask your subconscious and rational mind.

            ‘You want friends.’ says your subconscious, oversimplifying things as usual.

            ‘You’ve shown vulnerability in front of him, and he hasn’t rejected you.’ says your rational mind.

            “Sol?” Eridan says, pulling you from your thoughts.

            “What?”

            “I want to do something for you. To make it up to you.”

            “What are you gonna do?” you ask, always a slut for free stuff.

            “I don’t know. I could cut your hair.” he answers, going back into his pattern of insulting your appearance.

            “What’s wrong with my hair?”

            “Don’t worry, you’ll still look like Wolverine when I’m done.”

            You run your fingers through your hair. You suppose it is getting a little long. And you really don’t want to scrape up cash using probably illegal methods to get a haircut.

            “How do I know you’re not terrible at it?” you ask.

            “I cut my own hair.”

            His hair does look nice. In a “I tweet about how much people overuse the internet” sort of way.

            You give in. “Just don’t make me look like an asshole.”

 


 

            It’s Tuesday and you can’t believe you let Eridan talk you into this. You also can’t believe how nice it feels to have someone run their fingers through your hair. He’s been polite, not once bumping up against your horns. He’s mostly silent, humming Mozart’s Serenade in what you think is G major to himself.

            After a few minutes, he finally speaks.

            “What’s your sign?” he asks. You cringe.

            “A stop sign.” you answer.

            “Oh, come on. I’m just making conversation.”

            “I’m the one with the common personality trait that everyone can relate to. Oh wait, that’s all of them.”

            Eridan pushes you forwards to a sitting position and gives you a towel.

            “I take it you ain't believing in anything remotely spiritual?” he asks.

            You think back to the time you won “least spiritual” at summer camp. Karkat was there too, so it was saying a lot.

            “I think what most people think of as spirituality to be a lack of understanding of what reality is composed of.”

            “Why?” he asks, sitting you down in a chair in front of one of the many mirrors in his house.

            “I feel like being spiritual is just a modern way of being dogmatic without going to church.” you say, managing not to specially call out hippies. Although, they did put on Woodstock. So that was kind of cool.

            “You like music.” he observes.

            “Yeah, no shit. You ever met someone who doesn’t like music?” you say, shuttering to remember that terrible first date you had with a girl who honest to gog said the words “I hate music.”

            “And you like art?”

            “I don’t usually like visual art. But I enjoy art as a whole. It’s a good distraction.” That’s mostly true, but you had been astounded with Yurio’s final routine in Yuri on ice.

            “Do you think of art as being particularly scientific?” he asks. You’re confused as to what he means.

            “What does that mean?”

            He combs through your hair, something that you haven’t done since you graduated high school.

            “Do you believe in art?”  he asks.

            “What? I don’t know. I believe it exists.”

            “I would expect someone as rationally-minded as you to think of art as nothing more than an emotional expression of an interpretation of the world.” he says, like the cheeky fuck that he is.

            “What’s wrong with that?”

            “An emotional expression of a primitive interpretation of the world.”

            You groan. “Look, if I were to sit here and think about how everything I’ve ever felt and experienced can be boiled down to a chemical reaction that I have no real control over like it’s another fucking Saturday night, I would lose a little more of my will to live. Living in denial is not that hard.”

            “If you believe that life is technically meaningless, why do you continue to strive for things that make you feel something?”

            You’re silent for a few moments.

            “I can enjoy art even if I think that scientific advancement is the true driving force of society.” you say.

            “What do you think the world would be like if there was no artistic expression?”

            “I think we would have significantly less of a sense of individuality, and we would live kind of like an ant colony. With a hive mind. More of a collective, where we valued ourselves as a whole more than as singular people.” you say, realizing that you’re basically describing the Borg “I don’t think we would feel anything, really. Our only drive would be that of expansion and research.”

            “But without art and philosophy, we might not even be able to question why we even have those drives. And you could say, that makes them just as meaningless.”


            “I feel like you’re questioning the definition of the word meaningless.”

            “I am. But I don’t know if we would even care in a world like the one you’ve just described. I think it’s important to question the abstract. And I think you agree.”

            Eridan has a way of fucking with your head that’s hard to love, but a hell of a lot harder to hate.

            “Huh.” you say, amused.

            “Maybe,” he says “you like art because you know that if something has no meaning, the fact itself that it’s meaningless is insignificant.”

            “I’ve got my top cryptologists working around the clock to figure out what the fuck you just said.” you reply “Congradulations. Your comment was vague and open to interpretation, just like a true deep thought. What does that have to do with you believing in astrology?”

            “Oh, I don’t believe in astrology. But I believe in some sort of spiritual energy.” He takes your glasses off and starts cutting your hair.

            You could have sworn he almost said the word ‘magic’ instead of ‘energy’.

            “I seriously doubt that spiritual energy and Walmart could exist in the same universe.”

            “Sol.”

            “What, are you going to pray to mother nature for balence next, or something?” you ask, stepping all over his beliefs and not giving a shit about his feelings. He sighs, rightfully annoyed with you.

            “Have you ever been in love?” he asks.

            “No.” you answered, telling this asshole who you would have pushed into traffic four weeks ago something incredibly personal. Let’s be honest, you would still push him into traffic. But not all the way.

            “Well, I have. And I think it’s magical.”

            You think about the chemical compound of the emotion that people labeled as love.

            “And I know you’re just thinking about the chemical compound of love. But you can’t analyze away all of your feelings.” he says, bringing you out of your thoughts.

            “Not with that attitude.” you giggle. You had analyzed plenty of your feelings away. You didn’t like to feel numb, but you couldn’t help but overthink things.

            “Who’s your favorite composer?”

            “Antonio Salieri.”

            You lied. It's Danny Elfman.

            “An underdog.” he comments.

             “I slightly prefer troll Salieri, but I’m not picky.” you reply.

             “Sol, you experience joy from Salieir’s music, even though you truly believe that it’s just a collection of complex, deliberately placed sounds that appeal to your brain in a way that can be explained by neurological science.”

            “And?” you ask.

            “And yet, even though you know that they’re no real meaning behind it, you still feel that joy. And I think that’s magical. Besides, what makes scientific advancement so special? What meaning does that have that feeling emotions doesn’t?”

            “I’m to sober to process this hippie shit.” you snap. You suppose that it’s a little hypocritical for you to crush his belief in cosmic energy since you had telekinetic abilities and frequently were contacted by people from the future. But while seemingly incredible, they could all be explained with a few space-time theoretical equations. You get the feeling that Eridan is talking about the kind of energy that convinces yuppies to eat dirt so they could become closer to nature and please the rain gods.

            “So, how long have you been using the sarcasm as a defense mechanism?” he asks.

            “How long have you been prying into the personal lives of people while you’re cutting their hair?” you snap.

            He doesn’t say anything.

            “About seven sweeps.” you admit. “I think it’s good not to take anything too seriously.”

            “I think it’s more complicated than that.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “I think you have a very bleak idea of what society is.”

            You roll your eyes. “That’s because I have a rational interpretation of reality.” Haha, as if. You don’t know shit about reality. You just knew slightly more than the average person.

            “I never said you were wrong to. Just that I think it causes you a lot of pain.” he says, putting his hands up in surrender. You feel a spark of something in some part of your body. Your heart. Wait, no, stupid Sollux. Hearts aren’t real.

            “Why do you care?” you ask, putting a wall around your not-heart.

            “I think it’s time that I admit that I find you mildly amusing at times. You have an interesting psyche to poke at.”

            Well, he ruined that moment.

            “What am I to you, a lab rat?”

            He gives a chaotic neural smile that causes the stirring in your chest to move to between your legs. You haven’t felt that since every time you had heard Kyoya Ootori talk in ninth grade. Shut up, you dumb weeb. It’s truly ironic because you’re pretty sure he’s lawful neutral.

            You crush the heat building in your nook down, hard. You refuse to go down that road of thought right now.

            “You’re a narcissist.” you say.

            “I am, in a sorts, yes.” he admits.

            “I bet you’re so much of a narcissist that you find the quality of narcissism to be attractive.”

            He laughs. “No, I actually find narcissism quite reprehensible. That’s part of why I don’t get along with myself.”

            “That’s the most pretentious thing I think I’ve ever heard.” you say, hating how much you can relate to it.

            “Well, maybe I’m bluffing. We’ll never know.” he replies.

            Eridan is quiet for the next few minutes while he finishes up your hair. You realize this is the first time he’s seen you without your glasses. He doesn’t comment on your mismatched eyes, but you catch him looking a few times.

            He finishes cutting your hair and takes out a blow dryer. You refuse.

            “I’ll just let it dry. I have to get going.” you say, wanting to get at least seven hours tonight.

            “We still on for Sunday?” he asks.

            “Yeah. Thanks for cutting my hair.”

            “You want a ride home?” he asks.

            “Sure, why not?”

            “Hang on, let me grab a different shirt. This one has water on it.”

            You try not to watch as strips down to his bare torso. It’s only for a second, but your mind has decided to work against your wishes today and oh god he is pretty.

            ‘Ride his cock.’ your subconscious says.

            ‘No. Shut up. No one likes you.’ you think at your stupid subconscious.

            ‘He’s intelligent and he looks physically capable. Mate with him and your wrigglers will survive the Alternian winter.’ your subconscious demands.

            ‘I can’t mate with him. He’s a different species. And he’s a man, he can’t get pregnant’ you think back. ‘There are so many things wrong with your argument. I don’t live on Alternia. I don’t want wriggles, and even if I did, modern medicine exists.

            ‘I don’t know that, I’m just your subconscious. My job is to initiate a fight or flight response and take charge of your sex drive to encourage you to find a good person to reproduce with. Go suck his dick.

            ‘Why don’t you go be stupid somewhere else?’ you think, sick to death of your subconscious’ shit. 

            ‘What part of “my main function in life is to get you to have wrigglers so that your species can continue to advance” do you not understand?’ your subconscious asks ‘I am here to make sure you reproduce. And I do my job by trying to get you laid.

            ‘What part of “I am never going to have wrigglers and if I do they will be adopted” do you not understand? Do you know how much of a threat overpopulation is? How many times do I have to tell you this?’ you ask right back.

            ‘Sollux. Your sole purpose as an organic being is to get filled with as much genetic material as possible and see what happens. You don’t even have to have the kids, ok? Just have sex. That’s enough to make me happy.’ your subconscious says. It occurs to you that having sex is just getting off to pretending to produce offspring. The more you know…

            You groan.

            ‘Go wipe your ass with sandpaper.’ you think.

            ‘Why do you always think with your rational mind?’ your subconscious asks.

            ‘Because he’s not a fucking idiot.’ your rational mind says to your subconscious.

            You’re awoken from your metal slap fight with yourself by Eridan snapping in your face.

            “Earth to Sollux.” he says. It’s going to be a long car ride.

 


 

            You managed not to die during your car ride with Eridan. You’re now sitting on your couch. You need to do something about this. Your stupid fucking hormones have been acting on their own lately, especially today.

            You wished you didn’t think of masturbation as such a chore. You had always had a hard time masturbating. You could be horny as fuck all day, but as soon as you started attempting to touch yourself, your mind would wander to politics or shit you needed to do or that one episode of Star Trek where Picard got mentally stuck in time and lived for what felt like fifty years even though it was only a few minutes. And then he instantly knew how to play the flute when he woke up because he had learned how in the imaginary world-

            ‘Focus, Sollux.’ your subconscious orders.

            Ok, you can do this.

            Pants; off.      

            Bees and cat; fed and taken care of.

            Karkat; out of the dorm room.

            Vibrator; charged and ready to go.

            Wales of the damned; silent.

            Genetic material suppressor pill; taken.

            ‘Ok, subconscious.’ you think ‘Do something pleasant for a change and give me something nice to think about.

            ‘You know who you want to think about.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘Something else, please.’ you beg.

            ‘Hey what’s up it’s yo boi Donald and I love lasagna.’ replies your subconscious, shit-posting at you.

            Oh no, not this again. At this rate, you’re not going to come until next January.

            ‘Rational mind? You got anything?’ you think, trying your think-pan once more.

            ‘The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.’ your rational mind says

            Pathetic.

            You stop listening to the bucket of crap your mind is dumping on you and decide to think about nothing. You start teasing your nook through your underwear, but quickly feel paranoid that someone’s watching you. You look up. It’s your cat.

            “Go away, you stupid meow-beast.” you order. She comes over and sits on your chest.

            “No! Mommy’s busy!” you exclaim, happy that no one was around to hear that remark. She starts purring loudly. You groan.

            You sit up, forcing her to scurry off. You return to your back, starting to stroke the outside of your nook again.

            You tend to like your nook to be the focus of attention, and have only been the one giving during that one really weird time you slept with Jade back in eleventh grade and the time you and Karkat had drunk sex (memes were quoted). You rarely touched your bulge when you were masturbating, only to push it out of the way. Sure, it was a lot easier to finish from jacking off your bulge, but it was a lot less satisfying. However, right now you were so desperate for a climax you considered switching. If only you could get your stupid bulge to unsheathe and then-

            Oh.

            That felt good. You move your finger over that spot again and are pleased with the result. You slide your hand down the front of your underwear, hoping to get better friction with the nerve cluster you just came into contact with. Your bulge finally unsheathes, but you ignore it in favor of your current activity. You brush it out of the way.

            You slip a knuckle from your other hand into your nook, wishing for once you didn’t have these stupid claws so that you could finger yourself properly. Your nook is getting slick from all the attention, and you pull off your underwear before you ruin it.

            You turn on your vibrator, which fills the room with the sound of shame.

            ‘What if everyone you went to high school with knew you did this?” says your subconscious, shaming you in a feeble attempt to “save” you from social ostracism.

            ‘Not today, Satan.’ you think back, refusing to listen and answering by pressing the thin end of your vibrator into your nook to tease yourself. You deserve this.

            You replace the knuckle inside your nook with the vibrator, thankful that it’s small enough to fit without too much foreplay. You mentally debate between fucking yourself with it or just rubbing around your sweet spot while it did its job on its own, and finally settle on both. You have two hands for a reason, after all.

            Fuck, that feels good. Why didn’t you do this more often? Your whole body hums as you press down a little harder, and bring the vibrator in and out of you a little faster. You momentarily consider using your psychonics to stroke yourself, but remember the broken light bulb from the last time you had done that.

            The benefit of having Karkat out of your dorm is you can be as loud as the hell you want. You’re not a wailer, but you do enjoy not having to waste valuable energy muffling yourself.

            You block out all fantasies, focusing instead on the physical aspect of what you’re feeling. You focus on how it feels to brush your fingers over a cluster of nerves, how the vibrations make your nook feel, how the endorphins being pumped through your body make you so warm, basically everything that a Cosmo would tell you to do.

            After a few minutes, you feel yourself building up to a climax, speeding up your fingers. You cease fucking yourself with your vibrator, just leaving it up your nook and using both hands to touch yourself where you want to be touched. Your legs are shaking, you’re tense, but you’re so fucking close.

            You welcome the waves of pleasure that wash over you at you start to come. What you don’t welcome is the images of Eridan in various compromising situations your subconscious forces into your mind. Whatever, you can’t stop it at this point. You swear loudly as you finish, riding off the last wave of endorphins until you stop convulsing.

            You come down, panting and suddenly tired. Your whole body feels nice.

            “Shit, did I leave the stove on when I left this morning?” you wonder aloud.

            “Yes.” said Karkat, leaving the bathroom “I had to turn it off after you left.”

            “Hey.” you say, having had no idea he was home and hoping that he hadn’t heard you. And that he wouldn’t notice that you’re not wearing pants. Or underwear.

            “You know, Captor, it’s a little fucking hard for me to concentrate on my romantic, candle lit bath that I have the pleasure of spending with me, myself and I when you’re aggressively jacking yourself off in on the couch that I have to sit my overworked ass on regularly. Now that you’re done mathurbating, Will you put on some fucking pants?” he says, and you’re not sure if he’s mocking your slight lisp or love of numbers.

            You pull a blanket over your genitals so that Karkat doesn’t have to look straight up your nook. You, however, do not put on pants. Pants are a terrible invention that’s only purpose is to shame you for having a body. And, shielding you from the cold, you guess. Karkat makes a Karkat noise.

            Karkat sits down next to you at the couch. You wrap your arms around him, overcome with post-orgasm hormones.

            “What in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Shit are you doing?” Karkat asks.

            “Mmmmf.” you say, comfortable.

            “You smell like my underwear after a marathon in July.” says Karkat, totally unnecessarily.

            “Love me.” you order, saying those two words that you know Karkat secretly wants to hear from all of his friends so that he can break down crying about how he wasn’t actually as tough as he pretended to be and all he really wanted was world peace and affection. Just like last 12th Perigee's Eve.

            "Don't you mean, pale pitty my sorry ass?" he asks.

            "What the fuck is the difference?"

            "One is love, the other is a mild form of hate. We're the trolls, it's what we do."

            You snort. "Then you must not be a very good troll. You have so much love to give it's kind of gross."

            Karkat groans and cards his fingers through your hair, muttering to himself about how everyone was terrible.

            “Do you want to watch a movie?” he asks.

            “Sure.”

            “Will you put some pants on?”

            “No.”

Chapter Text

            It’s Thursday and you weren’t actually supposed to see Eridan today. But it wasn’t like he had invited you over just to hang out or anything, nothing like that. No, you had gotten into a debate in the computer lab about Gary Johnson’s politics and he had to drive you over ASAP so that you could settle it with a Smash battle. Eridan only had Brawl, which in your mind was up there with murder or being a paparazzi. Luckily, you always carried a copy of Melee around at all times, and four stocked his sorry ass. Now you were making your way out of his building and back home.

            Your phone buzzes as the elevator descends. You answer it.

CC: )(ey Sollux, )(ow is it going?

TA: well currently iim pretendiing not two have the per2onaliity of cyaniide for your 2ake.

TA: dont 2ay ii never do nothiin for you.

CC: I don’t think you’re a cynic!

TA: then hone2tly iim ju2t not tryiing hard enough.

CC: I forgot, you’re SO TOUGH.

TA: ii know. iive only criied for two miinute2 when Q offered to 2acriifiice hiim2elf for the enterprii2e.

CC: I was t)(ere, Sollux. You cried for ten.

TA: liie2 and 2lander.

CC: I )(aven’t even told you w)(y I’m messaging you.

TA: what up

CC: You know )(ow my birt)(day is this weekend?

TA: totally how could ii forget.

CC: You forgot, didn’t you?

TA: yeah

CC: 38(

TA: iim 2orry ff, iill get you 2omethiing niice two make up for iit.

CC: It’s not going to be another )(eadcrab )(at, is it?

TA: YOU DIIDN’T LIIKE THE HEADCRAB HAT?

CC: Despite the fact that I’ve never actually PLAY-ED )(alf Life, I did.

CC: But you got one for me t)(ree years in a row.

TA: ok youre riight ii probably 2houldnt go for four.

CC: Did you already buy one?

TA: no

TA: maybe

TA: iill giive iit two tz.

CC: T)(ank you! You don’t )(ave to get me anyfin BIG.

CC: And you don’t have to spend any money.

TA: gee ff thank2 for remiindiing me iim poor a2 diirt ii forget 2ometiime2.

TA: iill fiigure iit out.

TA: are there any 2peciifiic detaiil2 ii need two know?

CC: Not yet, I’ll message you in a few days once I figure somet)(ing out.

CC: Just wanted to send you a reminder.

TA: ok, iill talk two you then.

CC: 38)

            You make your way down the stairs from Eridan’s apartment, wondering what you’re going to possibly scrape together to get Feferi for her birthday.

            You walk out the front door, and are about to turn to the bus stop when you spot something shiny in the dumpster tucked in the alleyway between the apartment complex and the one next it.

            You wander down to it, wondering if it could possibly be what you think it is.

            Yes, it is an old desktop computer. Like, really old. Like, War Games old. You climb the ladder of the dumpster. You don’t even know if you’ll be able to get it started. Maybe it’s not worth it.

            ‘Don’t take it, Sollux.’ your rational mind orders ‘How would you even get it home?

            ‘But if you do get it home, you might be about to get it to run Doom.’ says your subconscious

            That’s all the motivation you need. You start to pry out the mess of wires from trash and wonder what idiot threw this out.

            “Sollux Captor.” a voice says. You freeze. You know that voice. Pulling out your phone as quickly as possible, you send your location with the words “need a22ii2tance” to the last five people you texted as a plan B. You consider calling the police, but you’re a bigger criminal than this guy, so you don’t know how that would go.

            “What’s up?” you say, turning around to face him.

            “Nothing much. Just dealing with the negative ramifications of you fucking me over.” he says.

            That was sort of true. You had fucked him over. A few years ago, you had sent an email to his grandfather claiming you were a Nigerian prince and that all you needed was his company’s credit card information and you could make them even richer than they already were. So what, you had taken half a million dollars. It wasn’t even one percent of his family’s wealth.

            “I’m surprised to see you here.” he says “I would think with all of that money, you’d be off on a private island somewhere.”

            You had used the money to pay off you and Aradia’s student debt. You had sent the rest as an anonymous donation to your school’s scholarship program.

            “Your friend’s not with you this time.” he says. Last time he had dropped in on you like this, about a year ago, he had made the mistake of trying to attack you while Aradia was with you. She had broken his arm. Ah, memories.

            “Wow, you have object permanence. Congrats, you do what wrigglers everywhere cannot.” you say. You don’t bother telling him about how terrible you think his family is and that you don’t consider their money to be their money since they made it off the backs of exploited, underpaid workers while they sat on their asses watching golf and shoved cocaine up their assholes all day. You just heat up your eyes behind your glasses, preparing your psychonics for an optic blast if it actually comes to it.

            You watch, confused, as he takes something out of his backpack. He brings a tube up to his mouth and-

            Oh shit, that’s not good.

            There’s a blow dart in your neck. You immediately take in as much air into your lungs as you possibly can, as your uncertain how whatever drug this is will affect your ability to breathe.

            You fall over, unable to move. You take a moment to analyze what’s happening in your body so that you can identify what you were just injected with.

            The good news; you can open your eyes.

            The bad news; that’s all you can do. This is bad because you promised Dave that the last thing you would do before you died was dab, no matter how outdated it was by the time you met your end. But you can’t move your arms.

            “Don’t worry. It won’t kill you. Just paralyze you for a few hours.” he says. You induce that it might be some kind of Curare anesthetic. That fucking idiot, of course it could kill you. Curare cut off people’s abilities to breathe. The only reason you’re still alive is because you were able to use psychonics to pull in air through your nose. Pulling carbon dioxide out of your body with telekinetic energy was not something you had thought you were going to do today.

            He’s walking towards you, and you’re honestly not that interested on what he’s planning on doing. You no longer have the ability to create an optic blast, but you are able to push him back a little. You tap him a bit in the solar plexus and he gives a small yelp of pain.

            You think back to the advice your mother had given you.

            “Never sleep with a human guy, Sollux.” No, that wasn’t it.

            “Sollux, you were adopted.” No, that wasn’t it either. You can’t remember your mother’s advice.

            ‘God, if you’re listening, I wasn’t serious all those times I begged you for the sweet release of death.’ you pray.

            “You can’t hold me back forever.” he says “Why don’t you just stop trying?”

            ‘Because I have a plan B, fuckboi.’ you think as plan B arrives. You always have a plan B. Of course, it could have fallen through if Eridan had been too busy staring at himself in the mirror to notice you texted him, or was too worried about getting his hands dirty to come help you. If either of those were the case, you would have to wait for one of your other friends who were way farther away to come save you. Which you did not want to do.

            But no, he’s here, you can tell from the footsteps that they belonged to shoes imported from Italy, carrying a weight of one hundred and seventy pounds.

            Everything is a bit muffled for you, but you hear something that sounds like “What are you going to do, choke me to death with your girly scarf?” and then some yelps of pain.

            Eridan walks over to you. He removes the dart from your neck. He places his ear to your chest. The panic welling in your chest from the paralysis fades significantly.

            “Your heart’s beating, that’s good.” he says.

            He places a hand on your mouth, and you assume it’s to check to make sure you’re breathing. You circulate oxygen through your lungs a few times so he knows you’re ok. He jolts up, probably from taking notice of the red and blue light that’s going into your nose. You wonder if he can figure out what you’re doing.

            You feel yourself being lifted. A scarf hits your face. You wish you could brush it away, but you can’t move. However, this minor annoyance is completely overshadowed by the fact that you escaped what might have been your impending doom. Fuck, he smells nice. It calms you down and makes you forget about how embarrassed you feel that you actually needed him to come save you.

            And he actually did it. You can’t help but feel just a tiny smidgen of slightly-maybe-less animosity towards him.

            You feel your body shifted as Eridan opens the back door of his car, laying you down in the back seat. He gets in the driver’s side while you aggressively try and fail to call shotgun. You hope you look cute like this.

            He doesn’t start the car, instead turning around to face you with a bottle of nail polish in the palm of his hand.

            “If you can hear me, knock this over.” he instructs you, rotating your head so that you can see him. You knock it over with your mind, easy. You do it in a way so that it hits him in the side of the head.

            “Oh, I hate you.” he says, scrambling to reclaim the nail polish. He places it once again in his hand.

            “Knock this over if you can still breathe and will be able to continue to do so by yourself for a while. I think it would be awkward for both of us if I had to give you mouth to mouth.”

            A small part of you briefly considers lying and seeing if he’ll really give you mouth to mouth. What the fuck is wrong with you?

            Eridan has his other hand covering the side of his head so that you can’t whack him again with the bottle. You knock it over, and then swiftly bring down the sunshade so that it hits him in the back of the head. You are very amused. Eridan is not. He places the bottle in his hand, one more time.

            “Knock this over if you want me to take you home, don’t do anything you want me to take you to the hospital.”

            The hospital? You giggle internally. What did he think you were, made of money? Or Canadian? You could handle this yourself, as you knew enough about the drug and paralysis to figure the only real threat to you was your ability to breathe. Which you had in the bag.

            You knock over the bottle.

            “Ok, home it is.” He drapes his scarf around his neck, and over the seat. “Tug on this every minute. If you stop, I’m taking you to the hospital.”

            You levitate your phone over to him. He snatches it, seemly confused at first, but then realizes you’re trying to get him to text back the five people freaking out about where you were and if you were ok. Seriously, your phone had been buzzing nonstop with what you assumed was your friends losing their shit. Either that, or you had forgotten to leave another stupid group chat.

            “I told them you’re ok. And where I’m taking you.” he says.

            He’s more level-headed than you had expected him to be. You spend the entire car ride to your dorm arguing with your subconscious about some stupid shit, while continuously tugging on Eridan’s scarf. And messing with his hair a few times to fuck with him.

            The car stops. He gets up, opens the back door, and returns you to his arms. He’s strong, and seems to have no difficultly caring your paralyzed body to the second floor of your apartment complex. You feel your weight shifted once again as he opens the door.

            You can sense people in the room, but you can’t see or hear who it is yet. Eridan sets you down on the couch. You can hear him explaining the situation to your friends.

            ‘Do you really have to put my paralyzed body on display like this?’ you think at him. He doesn’t answer because he can’t hear you.

            A grey hand touches your face. It’s Aradia. She pulls your head into her lap. You wish you could hug her, but you can’t even dab. Damn it, Sollux. Shut up about dabbing. It’s only going to be around for another two months, tops.

            You recognize the other voices in the room to be Karkat, Dave, and Fefari. The door opens. Terezi and Kanaya come in. You’re not sure how you feel about this. You kind of just want somebody to turn your head so that you can see the TV.

            “Can he hear us?” asks Aradia.

            “He could hear me fine, earlier.” says Eridan.

            “How the fuck do you know?” asks Karkat. You touch him on the forehead with your mind.

            “Oh.” he says.

            “Where did it administer in his body?” asks Terezi “Do you still have the dart?”

            “No, I don’t. But it hit him in the neck.” Eridan answers.

            You feel your head being moved as Terezi places her hand on your temple. She licks your neck. You really, really wish you could wipe off her spit. Luckily, Aradia does it for you.

            ‘Thank you.’ you think at her.

            ‘You’re welcome.’ a voice says.

            ‘What?’ you think, confused. That didn’t sound like your subconscious, and it definitely wasn’t Aradia. That would be impossible

            ‘Shit, sorry, thought you were talking to me.’ says the voice. Oh, it’s just one of the damned prophets communicating to you from the future. She tells you about how in 2020, America will spend trillions of dollars attempting to clone Ronald Reagan and that it will be a disaster. She leaves.

            “It’s Curare.” Terezi says.

            “Who’s career?” asks Dave, like an idiot.

            “No, stupid, the drug. It’s what’s paralyzing him.”

            “Is it safe?” Aradia asks.

            “Well, it won’t cause any internal damage or physically harm him.” Terezi answers.

            Everyone gives a sigh of relief.

            “But it will impact his ability to breathe. He should be dead.” she finishes.

            Everyone gives a reverse sigh of relief.

            “Seriously, though.” she says, placing a hand under your nose “I don’t get how he’s still alive.”

            “I think he’s using mental abilities to circulate oxygen.” Eridan says.

            Terezi looks proud. “Really. Well, he always was scrappy. Anyway, that’s probably exhausting for him. Break into the nurse’s office, see if there’s an artificial respirator we can borrow. If not, Eridan, have one deliver by drone or some shit. I don’t know how having money works, but you can do that, right?”

            Your favorite part of Terezi’s plans is how more often than not they’re somewhat illegal.

            “Don’t just stand there, go.” Terezi says to everyone. They stop standing around like idiots.

 


 

            You wake up. Kanaya had gotten you one of those tubes of oxygen to put up your nose, which meant you got to get some glorious sleep. Someone is sitting next to you on the couch, and you have a distant memory of your friends deciding to take shifts watching you to make sure you didn’t die. There’s a party hat on your head that Dave left during his shift. And you can tell that someone (Aradia) has written something on your butt. How long have you been out? Is Dick Cheney dead yet?

            You can move your toes, so that’s exciting. You don’t have enough muscle control to walk yet, which would be really nice because you have to pee. You are able to make a mmf noise.

            “Are you conscious?” Eridan asks. Of course he’s the one to be here when this shit starts to wear off.

            “Mmmf.” you answer.

            “I’ll take that as `a yes.”

            “Mmmf.”

            “I’m going to assume that meant “Thanks for saving my life, Eridan.”.”

            “Mmmf!

            You swear you can hear him smirking to himself, if such a thing was even possible. God damn it, he was such a fucking asshole.

            “Fuck.” you say. It’s a little shakier than usual.

            “Fuck what?’ he asks.

            “You.”

            He laughs. Fuck, his laugh had grown on you. You found it gorgeous. And you hated him even more for it.

            “I think I liked you better when you couldn’t talk.” he says.

            “I hate you.” you say, feeling returning to your face.

            “Sure you do.” he says “We made an agreement that whoever was watching over you when you woke up would inform everyone else. Are you ok with that?”

            “Sure.”

            Eridan takes out his phone. Then he gasps.

            “What?” you ask.

            “Since you can’t move that well yet, I want to show you a video of something.” he answers, opening YouTube.

            “Oh, joy.”

            Eridan put the phone up to your face.

            “Why am I watching Riverdance?” you ask, more than a little confused.

            “Quite winning, Sol, and keep watching.”

            You keep watching. The Riverdancing assholes finally leave the stage. A single Riverdancing asshole comes on the stage. He looks familiar.

            “Wait, is that you?” you ask, squinting.

            “Yeah.”

            “I can’t tell, are you supposed to be good?” you ask like the uncultured swine you are.

            “Sol, I toured for like a year, professionally.”

            You make a note to edit the video over some kazoo music with Dave.

            Ten minutes later, and everyone is back in your dorm room. And hugging you. And tearing up. They need to fucking chill.

            You can move your legs now, not enough to walk but enough to limp. Feferi keeps trying to get you to talk to her about what happened and why, but you refused. You get the feeling that a conversation with her about it is inevitable, though.

            After twenty minutes, you finally get everyone to leave. Dave had to go to work, Karkat had to go scream in the bathtub, Kanaya had to go nag people, Terezi had to go be weird somewhere else, Aradia had to go eat pussy or something, and Fefari- well, you have no idea what she’s doing. Eridan’s getting ready to leave, and you figure you should say something to him. Something like, “Thank you for saving my life.”

            “Maybe I'll see you in the library tomorrow.” he says.   

            “Wait.” you say. He turns to face you.

            “What?” he asks.

            ‘Thank you for saving my life, Eridan.’ you think.

            “You’re a douche.” you say. He smiles.

            ‘Go hug him.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘No, that’s stupid. Stop bugging me.’ you think back.

            ‘Sollux, for once, listen to me. It will make both of you happy.’ Damn, your subconscious has a point.

            You step forward. You manage not to fall over.

            “What are you doing?” he asks.

            You hug him. Well, you try to hug him. You sort of just fall into him. He catches you, and you sort of manage to get your arms around him. He hugs you back. You close your eyes, half of you focusing on how warm he is, the other half telling you to stop finding him attractive and put up a barb wire fence around your blood-pusher.

            “Thank you.” you say.

            “You don’t have to thank me. Anyone would have done it. And I’m sure you would have managed to scrape together a plan if I didn’t.” he replies. You wonder briefly what happened to the guy who had paralyzed you.

            “I still feel like I should thank you.” you say.

            “I’m glad to know that I’ve lowered the bar for you so much that basic human decency is thanked.” he jokes. You laugh and realize that you’re still hugging him.

            “Sorry.” he says “It was just scary seeing you like that. Ain’t something I was excepting to have to deal with today.”

            ‘Ok, now kiss him.’ your subconscious says.

            ‘Get a job.’ you think back.

            “I can’t move.” you say. It’s half true. The other big part of it is that you really don’t want to move. You kind of just want to stay here forever. But he lifts you up, bringing you back over to the couch. He bids you ado.

            You open an incognito tab on your phone and watch the rest of him Riverdancing like eight times.

            Your name is Sollux Captor and you’re in deep shit. Also, you now have ‘this ass kills fascists’ written on your butt, so that’s kind of cool.

 


 

            The sexiness of Eridan Ampora has been a growing topic for your (unconscious) thought process. At first, you just thought it was his body. And cheek bones. And upper thighs. And lower thighs. And torso. But you know that these things alone are not nearly enough to excuse the amount you end up hot and bothered with a knuckle up your nook with his name echoing through your subconscious after a tutoring session.

            It’s more complicated. It’s the way he holds himself, the way he carries his weight. It’s the way he says “Well that’s a right fucking sack of idiocy, I disagree and here’s why” to you. It’s the way he watches you when you eat some pretentious food he ordered, the way he laughs whenever he takes you out to eat and you ask the waitress if bread is free. It’s the way you two together can turn a “Hello, asswipe” into an hour long semi-respectful Bernie verses Hillary debate. It’s the way he looks at you with that smirk that you just can’t get your subconscious to stop blabbering about no matter how hard you try.

            Did you want him red? Did you want him black? Maybe you just needed to get fucked. What even is romance? This was all purely hypothetical, of course. Just because you thought about it so much didn’t mean you wanted it.

            You wanted to be challenged. You wanted to be loved. You also just wanted to have him bend you over the counter and fuck you until you couldn’t think straight.

            ‘Do I think about sex a lot or is everyone else just lying?’ you ask your mind.

            ‘No, you’re a freak. Don’t ever let anyone know or they’ll socially ostracize you. No one in the history of all time has ever had this problem before and you should feel like a pervert. But also keep thinking about sex because it pleases me.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘Everyone else is just lying.” says your rational mind ‘Except for the asexuals.

            Even if you could get over yourself for being a pervert, you still were afraid as to how much you didn’t understand Eridan. He had led such a different life than you. You were scared as to what he believed. Sure, you personally felt like he had done a good job treating you with respect. But what if it didn’t last? What if he took over his father’s company and became the next Peter Brabeck-Letmathe? Maybe you were worried about this because Karkat’s older brother Karkri had messaged you about how “problematic” your new “boyfriend” was. You hadn’t answered back out of worry that the conversation would devolve into another pointless, condescending debate about whether or not Invader Zim was a harmful stereotype of your fellow Alternians. Now, there’s someone you could go black for. If he wasn’t so goddamn annoying. Sometimes you couldn’t believe that that guy was your second closet friend’s littermate. Even if it was a kind of an ashen friendship.

            You needed to talk to somebody about this shit. Somebody besides yourself. You hated those assholes.

            You spend a few minutes trying to figure out who to talk to about said shit. Karkat is who you usually go to, but you know that Eridan and Karkat are friends and you don’t know how good Karkat is at keeping secrets. Kanaya is the obvious answer, but she’s too maternal. You want someone a little more relatable. You drape a blanket over yourself, and set aside your Calc homework for your phone. Unfortunately, before you can message who you really want to talk to, you get sucked into another group chat. You decide to deal with this first.

CC: Ok, is everyone )(ere? I’m going to give out some key party details.

(cuttlefishCuller named group chat ‘Feferi’s party details’)

(just entered)EB: i’m here.

(just entered)GC: 1M H3R3

(just entered)TG: im here im queer and im ready to go home

(just entered)AA: *dabs*

(just entered)TT: Let’s blow this Tupperware party.

CC: Dirk, why are you )(ere?

TT: I was bored.

(just entered)TA: tiit2 or gtfo

(just entered)GA: I Fear That With Members Of This Chat I Will Be Getting Sent Inane Messages Late Into The Night

(just left)GA: Ill Just Look At The Details On The Facebook Page

TG: dude she just said yall are dumb

CC: T)(at should be everyone.

TA: arent there more of u2?

CC: Yes. -Everyone else is in a separate group c)(at so t)(at we don’t have a R-EP-EAT of LAST TIM-E.

EB: what happened last time?

GC: TH3 S3RV3R CR4SH3D ON 4CCOUNT OF YOU GUYS 4LL B31NG 1D1OTS

CC: Dave tried to start a meme. NO M-EM-ES T)(IS TIM-E. You got that, Dave?

TG: sure thing

(privately, to TA)TG: dude i just had a great idea for a meme

CC: Anyway, I’ve decided I’m taking you all out this weekend to my cabin. Yes, all expenses will be paid.

TA: ii cant help but get the 2neakiing 2u2piiciian that thii2 ha2 2omethiing two do wiith me.

CC: W)(at? No. I’ve been planning this for a long time.

(privately, to TA)CC: I should be )(onest with you. Sollux, you could )(ave died. I want to get you out of public for a few days so that Terezi and I can make sure you’re safe.

(privately, to CC)TA: iill be fiine, ii promii2e. iit wa2nt a biig deal. why is tz iinvolved?

GC: F3F3R1 4R3 YOU ST1LL TH3RE

CC: Yea)(, )(ang on a second while I find w)(ere I put my plans.

(privately, to TA)CC: Because s)(e’s a lawyer.

(privately, to CC)TA: ju2t dont make iit a biigger thiing than iit need2 two be.

AA: i want to p0st a meme

TG: no way jose if i cant no one can

CC: NO M-EM-ES!

CC: Ok, does anyone )(ave any question?

EB: are we carpooling?

TG: i volunteer to take everyone i got a sweet mixtape i want to test out

GC: YOUR C4R ONLY FI1TS FOUR P3OPL3

TG: that just sounds like a challenge.

CC: Anyone w)(o doesn’t want to ride wit)( Dave can be at my )(ouse t)(is Friday at eig)(t pm, and i’ll give you a ride.

CC: T)(at’s about it. Does anyone have any question?

AA: yes

AA: can i p0st a meme

TG: yes

CC: NO!

AA: n0 its great its a new thing i invented called w0ke memes

AA: heres an example

AA:

TG: its good its organic i love it

CC: Ok, fine. Just, no more PL-EAS-E

TA:

CC: SOLLUX NO!

CC: T)(at’s not even good! T)(at’s just a picture of snoopdog wit)( poorly p)(otos)(opped text!

TG:

GC: D4V3 TH4T M3M3 T4ST2E L1K3 SHI1T

TG: fine then lets see you do better

GC:

TT: What is this, 2014?

TG: more woke more woke

TG: we have to find out whos the wokest thats what the internet is all about

(turntechGodhead renamed group chat to ‘funky fresh memes’)

CC: NO!

EB:

TT: Oh, are we back to dabbing?

GC: 1 H4T3 TH1S SO MUCH

GC: 1 H4T3 1T W1TH 3V3RY F1B3R OF MY B31NG

TA: ii thiink ii miight actually throw up

AA: 0h g0g

TG: no offense john i love you but thats like the worst thing ive ever seen

TG: holy shit

TG: the worst thing about you is your memes

GC: BURN 1T 1TS C4NC3R

(gallowsCalibrator renamed group chat to ‘FUCK YOU JOHN’)   

EB: what’s wrong with it?

TT: What makes a woke meme enjoyable is an esoteric statement of truth pasted over a completely unrelated picture.

TT: You have to make it at least a little controversial.

TT: Like this.

TT:

TT: Spongbab.

CG: S33 TH1S M3M3 1S GOOD B3C43S3 1 R34D 1T F1V3 T1M3S 4ND 1 ST1LL DONT G3T 1T

TG: its so woke

EB: what does this even say?

TA:

(gallowsCalibrator renamed group chat to ‘FUCK YOU SOLLUX’)          

CC: Ok t)(is group c)(at is canceled. I’ll post the remaining details on facebook.

TA: waiit no ff iim 2orry.

(just left)CC: Too little, too late, Captor.

TG: damn feferis gone now theres nobody left to annoy

TG: terezi want to go to the mall and see who can fit more sunglasses on their face

(just left)GC: FUCK Y34H 1 W4NT TO DO TH4T L3TS GO

(just left)TG: sweet

(just left)EB: i’m going to go make a better meme.

AA: s0llux

TA: ye2 mom?

AA: can y0u message me later i want t0 talk t0 y0u ab0ut s0mething

TA: yeah, 2ure.

(just let)AA: d0nt forget

TT: And it’s just you and me.

TA: no, that2 perfect. ii wa2 goiing two me22age you after thii2 anyway.  

TT: I heard you almost got jumped. I'm glad you're ok.

TA: thank2

TT: I wouldn't want to lose another great mind of the universe. Anyway, what’s up?

TA: can ii have your adviice on 2omethiing?

TT: Anything in the world, swagasor.

TA: plea2e do not call me 2waga2or.

TT: Why does everyone in this world insist on telling me what to do?

TT: Seriously, bromo.

TT: I evolved from some chemicals and dust floating around space. There was a reaction that created a few single celled organisms that eventually made incredibly complex beings.

TT: It’s amazing that we even exist at all.

TT: And as we try to interpret both physical and meta physical reality, we also insist on saying stupid shit like “Nah, son. You can’t wear that eyeliner because it’s for girls.”

TT: “You can’t walk on that private beach.”

TT: “You can’t run around in public dressed as Sasuke, you’re an adult.”

TT: “You can’t call me Swagathor.”

TT: Seriously Sollux I never thought you to be social-authoritarian scum. I’m disappointed.

TA: bad day?

TT: Principal got mad at me for telling my students that they were right about homework being stupid and that nobody should give a shit where the Norway is.

TT: Why should it matter to anyone where Norway is? Unless it’s on the moon or two hundred leagues under the sea it doesn’t make any fucking difference as long as it’s owned by Europe.

TA: are you done?

TT: No.

TT: Yes.

TT: Sorry, what do you want to talk about?

TA: have you ever been attracted two 2omeone who 2ee2 the world much diifferently than you?

TA: a2kiing for a friiend dont get any iidea2.

TT: Yes. Every person in the world sees things differently.

TT: Can you image if we all had the same opinions about everything?

TA: yeah the whole world would be liike tumblr.

TT: Tumblr has a very fascinating habit of trying to convince me that the way to win an argument and successfully get my point across is to be as condescending as possible.

TT: Also to get me to think that Arianna Cappuccino Whatever’s voice isn’t annoying.

TT: I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love what she has to say. But every time she opens her mouth it sounds like a dog whistle on a slab of dry ice.

TT: Anyway, I don’t think someone thinking differently than you is enough to get you to back down.

TA: ii gue22. there are plenty of people who have the 2ame value2 ii have that ii cant 2tand.

TT: And why do you think that is, Swagathor?

TA: butt me, diirk.

TA: maybe…

TA: ju2t becau2e 2omeone ha2 the 2ame beliief2 a2 me, ii dont feel they beliieve what they beliieve for any other rea2on except that it2 the only thiing they know. ii thiink 2omeone can beliieve iin equaliity and 2elfle22ne22 and 2ciientiific advancement, but ju2t becau2e iit wa2 what they were taught and theyve never bothered two criitiically analyzed iit. When ii talk two thii2 per2on, even iif ii dont agree wiith them, ii can tell theyve thought a lot about iit. and they lii2ten two me, 2omewhat.

TA: ii dont want two liive iin a bubble.

TT: Because?

TA: iit giive2 me nothiing two thiink about.

TT: So, more about this person you want to sin with.

TT: Who are they, anyway, a racist Mormon? What do they believe that’s so scary?

TA: ii dont really know what they beliieve.

TA: let2 ju2t 2ay they 2eem liike 2omeone who would get no joy from captaiin underpant2, and ii dont know iif ii can tru2t that.

TT: Well, you should probably figure out what they believe.

TA: but that2 hard

TT: Do you want to get naked with this person?

TA: ye2.

TT: Do you want to feel their tongue stroke your genitals?

TA: ye2.

TA: ii ju2t wanna

TA: nevermiind

TA: ACTUALLY, ii gue22 ii 2hould tell 2omeone.

TA: ii ju2t want two riide hii2 fuckiing cock iinto the 2un2et.

TT: So they’re a human. Not that it really matters.

TT: My advice is to talk to them. What are you so scared this person believes, anyway?

TA: ii feel liike you can keep a secret.

TA: you remember eriidan ampora, riight?

TT: Oh, you little pervert.

TT: Yeah, I remember him. Used to be a total specist asshole until Feferi got her hands dirty to try to undo the brainwashing. Surprisingly intelligent for an idiot.

TT: I can see the whole Lawful Neutral meets Chaotic Good thing you two could have.

TA: ii mean, iim 2ure he2 not a2 bad a2 he u2ed two be by LONG 2hot. but that doe2nt mean he2 all the way there.

TA: ii keep thiinkiing about what he u2ed to be liike a2 a teenager and wonderiing

TA: really, thii2 guy?

TT: What if that was you?

TA: what do you mean?

TT: You, Swagathor. What do you think you would be like if you had been raised the way Eridan was?

TA: ii dont know. and even iif ii diid, that doe2nt devalue that he2 at fault.

TT: There’s your broblem, stop thinking about fault. Fault is an incredibly complicated issue that we constantly throw around like a beach ball a Santana concert.

TA: broblem

TT: You know, you can keep the beach ball if you grab it out of the air and run fast enough.

TT: Is it Eridan’s fault that his parents were shitty and discouraged him heavily against being openly-minded?

TT: No body is born thinking there’s a superior species or gender or member of Monty Python.

TT: Is it his parents fault? They were probably treated the same way when they were children. Maybe they never even had a chance to think for themselves.

TT: Look at my father. Look at how much he affected Dave. He didn’t make him a shit head or anything, but he inflicted a lot of mental damage on us.

TT: It’s complicated. We spend so much time trying to figure out who to place blame on that we forget about the problem we have to fix in the first place.

TA: iit2 terriifyiing to thiink that could have been me.

TA: what iif ii wa2 human and wa2 rai2ed terriibly?

TA: ii dont know iif ii could liive wiith myself iif ii wa2 a human 2upremacii2t.

TA: am ii capable of that?

TT: Honestly? Yes, It's probable. But here’s a less scary question, you depressing sack of shit.

TT: What do you think Eridan could have been like if he was raised by smart, empathetic people in San Francisco?

TA: you a2k a 2hiit ton of hypothetiical que2tiion2.

TT: I better upgrade to a fuck ton.

TT: Here’s another just for the fun of it: Is selflessness really a choice? Do we choose the way we value others?

TA: thank2 for 2lippiiing the hard determiinii2m iin there.

TT: You are very welcome.

TT: Anyway, on the flip side, what if had had never met Fefari? He might be even worse.

TT: What makes the difference between him and someone in his exact situation that’s more empathetic? That’s less empathetic? How much choice do we really have?

TT: That sounds depressing, but it also tells you that he has a chance of you opening his mind even more.

TT: It’s not your responsibility to teach Eridan to be more open-minded. But I get the feeling that you want to.

TT: You’ve never been the kind of person to stop listening to someone just because you disagree with them.

TT: And anyway, Kanaya, Karkat, and Fefari have given Eridan some pretty good exposure to quality trolls.

TT: And Rose to people who aren’t white. Also, me, I guess.

TA: any adviice on that?

TT: Most of the time when we talk about social issues of oppression we tend to attempt to appeal to people ethically.

TA: what2 wrong wiith that? ii thiink he ha2 moral2.

TT: The problem I’ve found with appealing to people on a moral level is it's impossible to communicate with them if they have a completely different code of ethics than you.

TT: Like if you tell Mike Pence he’s hurting people he’ll be like Yeah but it’s for the greater good so Jesus can come back and save the puritans.

TT: But if you gave him rational scientific evidence that no group of people is inherently better than another well actually he probably still wouldn’t listen because he only pays attention to the bible on steroids.

TT: But anyway, it’s important to appeal from multiple angles when making a point. Besides, ethics only root so deep.

TT: I think you’d be better at appealing to him in a logical sense.

TT: You’re logical and overly-rational.

TA: iit2 a defen2e mechanii2m for the 2hame ii feel for beiing an overly-emotiional teenager .

TT: I know. You know my meme?

TA: about european coloniizatiion?

TT: He might learn a lot from a meme like that. You could turn it into a discussion.  

TA: oh BOII 2hiitpo2tiing dii22cu22iion tiime.

TA: ii thiink ii can do that.

TA: ju2t two fully gra2p the difference between appealing two 2omeone morally ver2es appealing two them ratiionally

TA: 2ayiing 2lavery ii2 bad becau2e iit2 a huge viiolatiion of people2 riight2 would be appealiing two 2omeone ethiically.

TA: but sayiing 2lavery ii2 bad becau2e it2 iindustriially iinefficiient would be appealiing two 2omeone ratiionally.

TT: Bromeo do not have sex with him if he owns slaves.

TA: he doe2nt own 2lave2 calm down

TA: iit2 ju2t an example.

TT: Well, both of your statements are correct. But I hear a lot more of the first one.

TT: I think the second one is important, too. Not everyone in this world knows or cares how to be empathetic or sympathetic.

TT: But damn Swagathor, you’re dark as shit sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, though. I appreciate it.

TT: It makes me wish I was fifteen years younger sometimes.

TA: what?

TT: Oh, shit, nothing. That was inappropriate.

TA: how old are you, liike thirty fiive?

TT: Please refrain from reminding me.

TA: ii fucked your brother.

TT: Who hasn’t?

TT: Besides me, at this point.

TT: So, red or black?

TA: the 2ong from le mi2?

TT: I am referring to two opposing archetypes of romance.

TA: ii dont fuckiing know. he would have two be dumber or an even biigger a22hole for me two feel truly black.

TA: but iim not really red, eiither.

TA: 2ome other thiird thiing.

TT: Usually the smartest thing you can be is some other third thing.

TA: why the 2hiit do troll2 have to label everythiing?

TT: Trust me, trolls aren’t the only ones who label everything like a staff member at Whole Foods right before a suburban mom rush.

TT: We constantly tell people what’s romantic and what’s platonic.

TT: We don’t even like it when people kiss their friends.

TT: And we somehow expect that everyone is born knowing what romance is even though we never explain it. Catagories and emotions that differ case-to-case don't mix well.

TT: At the end of the day, he’s just a person. And you’re just a person with some feelings that you don’t need to slap lables that someone else invented on.

TA: why doe2 talkiing two you alway2 leave me wiith more questiion2 than an2wer2?

TT: Because, Swagathor, I’m just the best.

TT: Do you even want a romantic relationship with Eridan?

TA: ii gue22 ii want more than 2ex. liike ii want hiim two keep me que2tiioniing thiing2 for a long tiime.

TT: I have to go. There’s about to be a teacher inspection and I’ve already got busted too many times for texting while the kids are reading.

TT: Seriously, they’re reading. What am I supposed to do? Steal another copy of Holes from the library??

TT: Anyway, talk to him. Be smart.

TT: He’s not thirteen anymore, and for that matter, neither are you.

TT: Use a condom.

TA: thank2 a22wiipe.

TT:

TT: I did not intend to send that to you. Please ignore it.

TA: ii per2onally feel liike tiinky wiinky would be leftwiing liiberatariian becau2e he2 2uper cool wiith beiing a man and haviing a pur2e.

TA: why ii2 poe a communii2t?

TT: Because he’s red and has the face of Mussolini.

TT: Say hi to my brother for me.

            It’s Wednesday. That means you’ll be leaving for Feferi’s cabin in two days. You’ll try to talk to Eridan on the trip about this shit.

            But for now, you can’t help yourself. You decide to do a background report on him. And by background report, you mean stalk him.

            It’s not that hard to do if you know where and how to look, which you do. You stay away from texts and pictures, not wanting to feel like even more of a creep than you already do (not that you’re not tempted to find out what’s in his folder labeled “naked pictures of me for if I ever drop an album” that you found after you hacked into his computer to find information about his family). But no. You just sift through pages of information about the Ampora’s legacy.

            His family is a big ball of suck. Half Finnish royalty, half high-class corporation owners, but all one hundred percent interested in the most addictive and destructive drug of them all; excessive financial increase. His family had more money than they could ever spend. Seriously, if his father spent a million dollars every day of his life, he would still die a multibillionaire.

            Dirk was right. You had no fucking idea what it would be like to live like that.

            His father was a smarmy business man. A chicken hawk. Pretty standard stuff. You look instead at his mother, because you assume with a father like that, he would have put the burden of raising children onto someone else.

            His mother was a beautiful woman with some of the most lifeless eyes you had ever seen. After some digging, you find out she’s not Italian. She’s Egyptian and lied about it.

            “Fucker thinks he’s purebred European.” you say.

            She wasn’t a saint either. You read some of her blog about parenting and you can tell that she taught her children that empathy was a weakness which needed to be stamped out. She was a total human-supremacist, which was truly ironic since she felt the need to lie about her own background. She threw so much garbage down his throat as a child you suspect he had no chance to think anything else before the natural parental rebellion kicked in at adolescence. Even then, he would what evidence did he have that his mother was wrong? Preachy Facebook articles? What did rich people's Facebook dashboards even look like?

            You move onto Eridan himself. You read some of his early Tweets. They aren’t very flattering to your species. But you notice a significant drop in his xenophobia around sixteen. You remember Feferi telling you that she had met Eridan at sixteen, so you figure there's some causation there.

            He had insignificant human contact throughout his life, and little experience with friends until the last couple of years. You suspect Feferi was probably his first real friend, which is both sad and gives you more respect for Feferi, imperfect as she was. You can’t help but feel a little bit bad for him, because you can tell that living like that fucked him up. You can also tell that he hates himself, especially his past self, and has some deep issues with shame and guilt. With that attitude and upbringing, you suspect Eridan was the model of a self-loathing narcissist. Never a good combo. You can also tell he really loves Feferi a lot.

            And then, you stumble upon something that makes physical envy run through your body. He’s married.

            Oh, wait, just an arranged marriage. They were wed for “company relations” which basically meant “we’re still stuck in 1605”. Apparently, they never talk.

            What are you supposed to be learning here? Is this supposed to be some sort of soap opera plot point where you realize that he’s not accountable for any of his bad actions? Probably not. Are his actions excusable? That’s a hard question to answer. What actions would he even be excused from? He hadn’t really done anything to you personally besides make a few comments and not pay off the rest of your student loans. Probably the Tweets he made at fourteen. You shudder to think about the Tweets you made at fourteen.

            Do you think you could have made something better of yourself in his scenario? Does the answer to that question even matter? Because honestly, after sifting through this pile of steaming bark-beast shit you’re pretty damn sure he could be a lot worse.

            There’s so many questions to ask yourself here. Seriously though, you’re just a computer programmer sitting at a desk in MST3K underwear trying to figure out something waaaaay bigger than yourself, or Eridan, or his shitty-ass dad.

            ‘What’s the deal, rational mind?’ you think ‘>What should I be asking myself?

            ‘First, you should acknowledge why you feel shitty.

            ‘I feel shitty?’ you ask.

            ‘Yes, you do. You’re afraid.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘You’re afraid of wasting your time becoming devil’s advocate.’ says your rational mind, being way more helpful than your subconscious as usual.

            ‘That still doesn’t tell me what I should be asking myself.

            ‘All you really need to ask yourself right now is if you think it’s worth it.

            ‘If I think what’s worth it?

            ‘Quality dick.

            You curse your think-pan. One half for being pretentious, and the other for thinking with your bulge. Why do you have to over-analyze everything? And now you’re thinking too much. What should you do?

            Drugs?

            Don’t do drugs, Sollux. Those are bad. Nancy Reagan might get mad. You put away the weed you have, not wanted to break your ‘only get high once a week’ rule. And you counted getting hit with a poison dart getting high, be it not intentional.

            You decide to message Aradia, because she had mentioned wanting to talk to you.

TA: hello.

TA: iit ii2 later and ii am me22agiing you.

TA: ii beliieve that2 what you a2ked.

AA: i wanted t0 talk t0 you ab0ut s0mething

TA: ii alway2 love the wor2t ca2e 2enariio2 that my 2tupiid brain come2 up wiith when ii hear that 2entance.

TA: 2ome hiighliight2 were “iim moviing away forever” and “ii have twenty 2econd2 left two liive”

TA: thank2 thiink-pan.

AA: its n0thing that bad

AA: y0u need t0 chill seri0usly sing y0urself a s0ng

AA: rub 0ne 0ut

AA: try her0in

TA: iim not goiing two do heroiin, aa what the fuck ii2 wrong wiith you? youre 2uppo2ed two be my mom friiend.

AA: i just wanted t0 talk t0 y0u ab0ut what happened

TA: what happened

AA: y0u alm0st died

TA: when wa2 thii2? why wa2 ii not iinformed?

AA: 0_0

TA: that look2 2tupiid.

AA: in case y0u havent figured it 0ut yet i was really w0rried

AA: we were all really w0rried

AA: y0u made karkat cry

TA: kk criie2 every tiime he 2tep2 on a worm. ii cant help that.

AA: true

AA: but s0metimes i wish y0u didnt act like y0u had t0 be a martyr all the time

TA: and 2ometiime2 ii wii2h ii could be hiigh all the tiime, but ii ju2t cant do that.

TA: how am ii a martyr?

AA: y0u knew y0u were risking a l0t when y0u st0le m0ney fr0m that guy

TA: we were thiirty thou2and dollar2 iin debt. iit was before we met ff. our parent2 couldnt pay that, what were we 2uppo2ed to do? rob a bank?

AA: stay in debt like every0ne else and pay it 0ff well int0 0ur fifties

TA: fiify 2weeps or fiify year2?

AA: either 0r

TA: what do you want me two say?

AA: i d0nt really kn0w

TA: iim not goiing two promii2e you that iill never do 2omethiing liike thii2 agaiin iif ii need two

AA: and im n0t asking y0u t0

TA: then what are you a2kiing from me?

AA: well t0 be m0re careful f0r 0ne thing

AA: and t0 remember that there are pe0ple wh0 care ab0ut you

AA: value y0urself a little m0re

TA: what ii2 thii2, one of tho2e motiivatiional meme2 my aunt po2t2 on facebook whiile 2he driink2 away her diivorce?

AA: maybe st0p being s0 afraid 0f h0w 0ther pe0ple will l00k at y0u if y0u sh0w even the slightest hint 0f vulnerability

TA: you know what? iill fuckiing try. youre riight

AA: 0k g00d y0ure 0ff the h00k then

TA: already?

AA: i wanted t0 talk t0 y0u ab0ut s0mething else

TA: what2 up

AA: apparently its supp0sed t0 be warm at this place Feferi is taking us t0

AA: sh0uld i wear a cr0p t0p

TA: what the fuck ii2 a crop top

TA: ii2 that liike a hat wiith a carrot on iit or 2omethiing?

AA: s0llux thats just sad

AA: what are y0u wearing right n0w

TA: uniimportant

AA: is it a shirt with s0me h0les in it

TA: there2 a hole for my head,

TA: two for my arm2,

TA: one for my tor2o,

TA: and twelve from the dodge ball iin2iident.

AA: the d0dge ball incident was f0ur years ag0

AA: h0w l0ng have y0u had that shirt

TA: well iim not THAT good at math but ii can 2ay wiith the upmo2t certaiinty, at lea2t four year2.

AA: i think y0u w0uld l00k nice in a cr0p t0p

TA: what ii2 a crop top?

AA: its a shirt that cuts 0ff ab0ve y0ur st0mach

TA: oh cool cant waiit two 2how the whole world my riib cage.

AA: 0h shush i w0uld l0ve t0 be as skinny as y0u

TA: you have body iimage iissue2.

AA: s0 d0 y0u

TA: not really. ii dont really love my body, but ii dont really hate iit eiither. ii ju2t thiink of iit a2 a diiviice that cariie2 my thiink-pan around.

AA: thats the m0st y0u thing i think ive ever heard y0u say

TA: ii thiink of my body the 2ame way ii thiink of a cutlery 2et on 2ale at macy2.

TA: iit ju2t kiinda there.

TA: but anyway, y0ure technicaly overweight.

TA: so fuckiing what? over what weiight? iit2 not liike youre unhealthy you can liift a 2mall car.

TA: wear whatever you want. ii thiink youre beautiiful.

TA: and even iif you diidnt, ii would liike you anyway and you 2hould 2tiill wear whatever the fuck you want.

TA: actually no dont wear a 2wa2tiika plea2e.

AA: n0w y0u s0und like a m0tivati0nal faceb00k p0st

TA: excu2e me a2 ii go throw up.

TA: oh no ii got puke on my holey 2hiirt.

AA: are y0u saying i sh0uldnt try t0 change myself f0r n0 man

AA: is that what the kids are saying these days

TA: iim only a man by the loo2e2t defiiniitiion of the word.

TA: what ii2 a man anyway?

AA: i think its a p0kem0n

TA: why do you care how you look anyway are you tryiing two impre22 2omeone?

AA: n0

TA: ii2 iit tz?

AA: n0

TA: 2he liike2 murder. go from there and youre home free.

AA: its s0 ir0nic that y0u think im trying t0 impress s0meone

TA: what do you mean?

AA: 0h i d0nt kn0w sollux is there any0ne y0uve been peac0cking f0r

TA: ii dont peacock

AA: why d0nt y0u just admit y0u want his dick

TA: who2 diick?

AA: if y0u d0nt admit im im g0ing t0 only speak in scene kid for the rest 0f 0ur lives.

TA: you would never

AA: *would and d0es* XD

TA: plea2e no.

AA: *nuzzles you* rawr

TA: fiine. ii want eriidan two fuck me iinto tomorrow by ye2terday. are you happy now?

AA: wait y0u were talking ab0ut eridan

TA: who diid you thiink we were talkiing about?

AA: j0hn

TA: WHAT, WHY?

AA: i th0ught y0u had a black crush 0n him

TA: not enough two actually want two 2leep wiith hiim.

AA: actually n0w that i think ab0ut it i can really see y0u and eridan w0rking 0ut

TA: why?

AA: y0u tw0 have a kind 0f right brain left brain thing g0ing on

TA: that2 not how thiink-pan2 actually work

AA: calm d0wn bill nye and take it in the abstract

TA: youre a bad friiend.

TA: name one niice thiing youve done for me.

AA: there was the time in eleventh grade when y0ur vibrat0r fell 0ut 0f y0ur backpack and i pretended it was mine

TA: what have you done for me recently?

AA: i have t0 g0

AA: have fun 0n y0ur dick quest

AA: dick quest the quest f0r dick

            Fucking typical.

Chapter Text

            It’s Saturday. Yesterday, you experienced the tightest car ride of your life as Dave had attempted to take you, Terezi, John, Karkat, Aradia, and himself in a four seater car. You had found it to be pretty damn hard to write a program on a shitty tablet with at least two people in your lap. You had ended up curled in the fetal position in the trunk so you could be productive and not have to listen to every Journey song ever written.

            Feferi’s cabin was astounding. The view of the ocean was astounding. The weather was astoundingly perfect. The woods next to the water that you and Aradia had run into Hillary Clinton in were astounding. The terrible, terrible town down the road with a population of fifty people and fifty-thousand antiques was astounding. You had spent Friday night with Aradia, exploring town and trying to figure out if buying an antique sword was a good investment.

            It did not cross your mind once that Eridan wasn’t there. You hadn’t noticed at all. What, it wasn’t like you cared or anything.

            Ok, you had noticed. You had considered texting him where the fuck he was. You didn’t think he would miss his best friend’s birthday.

            You’re on Feferi’s honest-to-gog yacht. Feferi is cooking honest-to-gog lobster for you and Terezi. It's ten am. Everyone else was still asleep. You felt kind of bad about not waking Aradia up so she could spend some quality time with Terezi, but the last time you tried to wake her up she had kicked you in the ribs by mistake.

            You honest-to-gog eat lobster for breakfast. You refrain from telling Feferi that lobster used to be considered poor people food and was even used as fishing bait.

            The boat’s been stationary for a few minutes. You eat your lobster, look over the ocean, and contemplate your cosmic insignificance and eventual death eight times over. This is what happens if you don’t keep yourself busy.

            “You know, I get that this is America and your choice of layering a Portal hoodie over a Portal 2 shirt is fair and all, but it’s honestly making me want die of second-hand embarrassment.” says a familiar voice behind you. You jump a solid foot in the air out of surprise.  

            “Shut up, you shady bitch. I bet you vague-post.” you snap back, turning to look at him “How did you get here?”

            “I swam, dipshit. Doesn’t take a lot to figure that one out.” he says as he attempts to dry out his ears with a fluffy towel. You try to ignore the fact that he is a bit more than half naked and soaking wet. You also try to ignore the way your blood-pusher acts up from the sight of him. Pathetic.

            He grabs some lobster. He probably eats this shit for breakfast every day.

            “Will you put on a shirt?” you ask before you can stop yourself.

            “What’s the matter, Sol, something wrong?” he says, and you can swear he raises his eyebrows in what you can’t decipher as a mocking or authentic attempt to be suggestive. You attempt to cover the fact that you’re blushing by groaning and turning your head back at the water.

            “Where were you yesterday?” you ask.

            “Had to do something for my dad.” he answers, and you assume that means “I had to go be a trophy so that my rich dad could brag to all his rich friends about how much of a little shit I am.”

            Feferi sees him and makes a Feferi noise. She hugs him. Terezi sniffs the air and comes over to you, smiling.

            “What?” you say, cautiously.

            “You’re thirsty.” she says. “Don’t think I can’t smell it.”

            “Shut up, TZ. No one likes you. If you were a comic you’d be Garfield.” you shoot back.

            “Everyone loves me and you know it” she says. It’s true.

            Feferi calls everyone over. She’s messing with some boaty stuff that your working-class brain can’t comprehend.

            “Oh, ship.” Feferi says, making a pun worthy of you rethinking your entire friendship with her.

            “What?” asks Terezi.

           “Anchor problems.” she answers. You have no idea what that means.

            “How long will it take to fix?” Eridan asks.

            “About an hour.” Feferi answers. “You’d get back faster if you swim. We’re not that far out, and the tide’s out far enough that most of it will be walking.”

            You hear the splash of Terezi hitting the water immediately after Feferi is done talking.

            “See you later, assholes!” she yells, thankfully swimming in the right direction.

            “Will she be ok?” Eridan asks you.

            “She’ll be fine. She does this.” you answer.

            You and Eridan walk back over to Feferi.

            “Do you want me to help, Fef?” Eridan asks. Feferi whispers something to him. He smiles and dives back into the water.

            “What do you need me to do?” you say, slipping out of your hoodie as the sun comes out.

            “You don’t have to stay.” she says.

            “I’m not going to leave you alone on your birthday, FF.”

            Feferi gives you a shit-eating grin and walks towards you.

            “What are you doing?” you ask. She answers by taking off your glasses and pushing your sorry ass into the Pacific.

            ‘Cold, cold, cold.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘Wow, what an acute observation. You’re breaking some real grounds there, Agatha Christy.’ you think back. You swim up to the surface.

            “I could use some time with me and my baby” she says, pointing to her yacht “I’ll see you at dinner.” She reaches down so you can hand her the pants you stripped off. Because you are not swimming a half mile in jeans.

            You’re very glad you’re not wearing shoes. You kick your feet, trying to ignore how much your bulge is retreating even father inside your body, if that was even possible when it’s already fucking inside of you. Your genitals are not happy. Neither are your toes. Eridan notices you, and swims over. Which is good because he’s a surefire way to make sure you don’t drown.

            “You look stupid.” he says.

            “Ass your own fucking cock, shitbag my bulge, you piece of fuck-toasting twat mango.” you…..exclaim, spitting water out of your lungs.

            "You look like a kitty." he says, laughing to himself. You touch your ears. You usually try to pull them down about halfway to look as intimidating as possibly with feline ears, but the water is making them perk up. Typical. 

            "Well, your ears look stupid." you shoot back. It was true; human ears always confused you. Why did they have so many creases? Why were they pulled so close to their sculls? Could humans even hear anything?

            “Do you need help?” he asks.

            “I’m fine.”

            “Because you can get on my back, if you’re too tired to do any work.” he offers.

            “I don’t need to ride you.” you say, wincing at how sexual that sounded. But seriously, he is not saving you again.

            It doesn’t take long to get to land. You keep up with him easily, although you can tell he’s not giving it his all. He distracts you from the cold by pulling you into a ‘which is worse, communism or capitalism’ debate.

            “I’m just saying that I would rather have student debt than famine.” he says.

            “How would you know, you’ve had neither.” you say.

            “Fair.” he admits.

            “Anyway, I still don’t get if I’m supposed to be advocating for Stalinism or Marxism.”

            “What’s the difference?”

            “Stalinism is the corrupt communism that actually happened. We’ve never really tried Marxism. It’s like what ants have.” you answer, trying not to pant.

            “That doesn’t sound like it would work either.”

            “Neither does this shit we have now that keeps my inherently poor ass from affording grad school.”

            Instead of brainstorming a few third options, your debate devolves into an argument over who would win in a fight, Chairman Mao or four thousand tunas with an assault rifle.

            You’ve stopped swimming and started awkwardly wading through the water until you finally reach semi-dry land. You collapse, panting. You still have a while to go, and a lot of mud to tramp through. At least the view is nice. You like the way it feels to be walking through the ocean, even if it’s only accessible to you on account of the tide. You can see the cabin in the distance, nestled between masses of foliage.  

            “Do you need an adult?” asks Eridan. You look up. Now comes the half mile of walking. This should be the easy part, as long as your underwear doesn’t chafe you. You take a step. Mud is interesting to walk on.

            Oh yeah, you’re wearing nothing but your underwear and previously mentioned Portal shirt. You feel even more naked now that you can’t hide behind your glasses.

            “Come on, let’s go.” you order, taking the lead.

            “Nice tramp stamp.” he says and you can feel his eyes right above your butt.

            “How see-through is this shirt?” you ask.

            “Very see-through, right now.” he answers. Oh, joy. “Can I look?”

            “Sure, I guess.” you answer.

            He lifts up the back of your shirt, exposing your skin. You flinch.

            “Is that the Borg symbol?” he asks.

            “How do you recognize it?”

            “I had a lot of free time growing up and a lot of VCR tapes.”

            You ignore your strong urge to ramble on and on about how much you love the Borg. You’re a little hesitant to show Eridan just how far you can get into geek lore.

            “What do you think of Borg society?” Eridan asks, egging you on.

            “They’re kind of like the communist ants we were talking about earlier. Except more immoral.” you answer, still restraining yourself heavily.

            “Why are they immoral?”

            “Because they colonialize other species without asking?” You’re confused.

            “How is that immoral?” he asks.

            “Oh, sorry that you’re too much of a Social Darwinist to understand how assimilation is wrong.” you mock.

            “No, I’m saying you’re using the word immoral incorrectly.”

            “Ok, sure. Let's argue semantics. How?”

            “Something being immoral doesn’t mean that it breaks your morals, it means it breaks its own personal morals. The Borg happen to think that taking over the entire universe is what’s best for her inhabitance.” he says, shaking his head like Borg ethics 101 is common knowledge.

            “Then I find them amoral.”

            “That means they have no morals. They’re plenty moral, they have a goal for self-sufficient society, you just don’t agree with the way they’re trying to do it.”

            ‘No morals? Dick Cheney, it’s for you.’ you think.

            “Oh, sorry I used that word wrong. Lock me up.” you quip.

            “Lock Me Up (Inside).” Eridan says and you groan for at least the third time. He laughs like a manic. You find it quite charming, actually, and your blood-pusher does some pinwheels.

            Wait, no it’s not. What the fuck is wrong with your mind?

            ‘Mind, what’s going on?’ you ask your think-pan.

            ‘Well, according to the report I’ve done, I can expertly say that your current neurological chemistry dictates you infatuated.’ says your rational mind.

            ‘What!?

            ‘Yeah, I’m not happy about this either, Sollux. Try repressing it.

            “Do you believe in soul mates?” Eridan asks, bringing you back into reality. You lmao irl.

            “Why do you ask me questions that you already know the answer to?” you answer.

            “I’ll take that as a no, then.”

            “I could give you a few hours of reasoning behind why I think the entire concept is impossible and nonsensical, but I think both of us would rather I skip it.” You scrap the twelve page essay before you start writing it in your mind.

            “What do you think of the concept?”

            “The concept of what? Fuck

            “What?” he asks as you wince in pain.

            “Sorry. Stepped on a shell. Continue.” You wrench the shell chip out of your foot and realize that there’s another twenty feet of shells in front of you. You look to the right and left side of you. It seems to be a theme. Must be where the ocean dumps the shells when the tide goes out.

            “Well, this is going to suck.” you anticipate.

            “Not for me.” he says.

            “Why?”

            “I do this a lot.” He puts his feet directly on the sharp ground like a crazy person. “Do you want help?”

            You think about it for a while. You don’t really want to be pulling this shit out of your feet for the rest of the day. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time this happened.

            “Fine.” you give in, letting him put his hands under your knees and upper back. He scoops you up easily, and you put your arms around his neck.

            “Anyway, concept of what?” you ask.

            “I ain’t talking about if you believe it could actually be scientifically accurate or a likelihood or anything. I know you could easily out-reason me. But I want to know what you think of the concept.”

            “I think the concept itself gives us unhealthy expectations of what a relationship should be.” you answer “I think that we should never get into a close relationship expecting them to be our only emotional crutch in life and that it’s going to last forever if we just, like, believe in the love or some other dumb shit drunk assholes post on the internet while sifting through stale memes.”

            “You’re off your shit, Sol. That’s not what I think the concept is.”

            “And what’s the concept to shit!” you yell as he lets go of your body. He catches you right before you hit the ground. Jackass.

            “Jackass.” you remark. He snickers.

            “I don’t really know how to explain what I think the concept is.” he says.

            “Try.” you ask. You look at his face. He looks just a little bit embarrassed about this.

            “Close your eyes.” he orders.

            “This is stupid.” you claim, but you close your eyes and stop walking anyway.

            “I want you to imagine something.”

            “Ok.”

            “Keep an open mind.”

            “Ok, I’m ready.” you say, removing a stringy piece of seaweed from one of your horns.

            “Imagine you have someone who you can communicate with without speaking.” he says.

            ‘Like Morse Code?’ you think.

            “And no, not like Morse Code.” he says “Like, you can just feel in your heart what they’re thinking. And you feel this bond with them that makes you feel like you could be with them forever.”

            ‘That sounds like a dangerous assumption and a lack of forward thinking.’ you think.

            “You ain’t even have to know it for sure, because that would insinuate a lack of forward thinking. But even if you don’t stay with them physically for the rest of your life, they’ve left a piece of them with you. Just because it ends at some point, doesn’t mean it has to be meaningless.”

            ‘What is this hippie shit?’ you think.

            “I know what you’re thinking, it does kind of sound like hippie shit.” he says, reading your mind “But you don’t have to let them become your whole world or become you. Just letting someone make you stronger.”

            ‘Good. I would miss Aradia.’ you think.

            “And I don’t think a soul mate is someone who you have to always agree with. I think it’s just as important for them to challenge you.” he finishes.

            Wait, is he talking about you? He couldn’t be. You’ve only been actually talking to each other for a few months. Well, you suppose it is enough for those assholes in romantic comedies who talk twice and then are like ‘You’re the sun that comes out of my asshole”. Calm down, Sollux, he’s probably not talking about you.

            “You can open your eyes.” he says. You open your eyes.

            “What are your thoughts?” he asks.

            “I don’t understand why the relationship you’re describing has to be categorized under ‘soul mates’. I understand the want for something healthy and emotionally satisfying, but it might as well be named ‘dragon pals’ or 'magic buddies' or some other thing that’s not real.” you answer. You try not to be too harsh, because you can tell it’s kind of a vulnerable subject for him.

            “Well, it’s all purely subjected.” 

            “You mean subjective?” you ask.

            “Yeah, sorry, something in my mouth.” he says as he removes a piece of seaweed from his mouth.

            “Talk much?” you tease.

            “You’re a sack of shit.”

            “Good thing you’re pretty.”

            He smirks. “You think I’m pretty.” It’s not a question.

            “Of course I think you’re pretty. I have eyes.” you say “Isn’t it cool how I can think you’re gorgeous and yet find you so obnoxious that you’re as sexually appealing to me as a gym sock filled with jizz?”

            “Believe it or not, Sol, you finding me sexually appealing ain’t on my bucket list. Besides, I think sex with me would be a little too intense for you.”

            You snort. “Yeah, right, it would just be ninety seconds I would never get back.”

            “Oh, you’re a festering bag of dicks.” he says, but laughs anyway. You watch as he picks up a piece of trash from the waterline.

            “Who the fuck littered?” he yells to the sky.

            “Corporations when they stopped using recyclable glass for an increase in net worth.” you answer. He gives you a look like you're the most annoying person in the world and you cackle.

            You’ve arrived back to the beach outside the cabin. You and Eridan go your separate ways. You fuck around downtown with Dave and Terezi and Karkat for lunch, trying to figure out what the fuck you’re going to get Feferi. You finally settle on a horrible fish-themed wind chime and a Jesus Fish bumper sticker that just says “Fish”.

 


 

            You’re sitting in the living room with Eridan. You’re surrounded by various knick-kacks Feferi’s family had left on display around the cabin (although the word cabin didn’t really describe how big this place was, seriously you and Aradia got your own room). Feferi gave you your glasses back, and you changed into some more opaque clothing. Eridan is sitting in the chair across from you, arranging chess pieces on a glass table.

            Chess was his idea. You don’t talk much during the first game. After the first three moves, you know you’re going to get creamed. You’re not bad at chess, but he’s a little more than impressive. You watch his facial expressions as he forms a strategy. He’s obviously done this hundreds of times.

            He beats you. You set up the board to play again.

            You watch as Eridan makes his first move and wonder if you should finally address the elephant in the room you had talked to Dirk about. Eridan is being uncharacteristically quiet, and you assume that he’s mapping out this entire game in his head.

            ‘You should tell him that you hacked him.’ says your rational mind.

            ‘You should not tell him that you hacked him.’’ says your subconscious ‘You can’t deal with the guilt and shame from the social rejection if he hates you for it.’’

            ‘Both convincing arguments.’ you think.

            ‘If Sollux doesn’t tell him, he’s always going to feel like he’s violated him, and he’ll worry himself to death wondering if Eridan would still like him even if he knew what he did.’ says your rational mind to your subconscious.

            ‘Darn, you’re actually kinda right, fam.’ says your subconscious.

            You figure this is time for a confession.

            “I hacked you.” you say.

            “What?” he asks.

            “Well, I didn’t exactly hack you. But I did a background check on your family.”

            “Why?”

            “I wanted to know more about you.” you admit, attempting to ease him into this by showing you kind of care.

            “What did you find?” he asks with one eyebrow raised.

            “I didn’t look at anything I thought you would find embarrassing.” you answer “Mostly just family politics. And I promise I won’t so it again without your permission.”

            “Ok, good.” he says, capturing your bishop.

            “Actually, you might find some of the old Tweets I dug up to be a little bit embarrassing.”

            Eridan freezes. Then he puts his head on the table in what you assume is a display of shame.

            “Why would you do this to me?” he asks, seemingly defeated.

            “I’m sorry.” you answer, not really sorry. Well, kind of sorry. The ends justify the means right now.

            He rubs his brow. “You don’t really have to be. I guess I should be sorry. Look, I know I said a lot I shouldn’t have and borderline advocated for human supremacy. But that’s not who I am anymore.”

            “Why?” you ask “What changed?”

            “Well, Fefari finally managed to show me how I was hurting people andhow it was unfair.”

            “How did she do that?”

            “Did you just put a Monopoly piece on the board?” he asks.

            “It’s filling in for the pope you captured.”

            “You mean the bishop?”

            You scoff. “She’s been newly appointed to the position. Stop worrying about it. We’re supposed to be talking about how you’re a racist.”

            “I thought I was a speciest.”

            “Same difference.”

            “What do you mean by that?”

            You pause for a second, and take a deep breath. Because you absolutely love using your brain and then being asked to explain your reasoning. It was like actually finding good porn on 4chan that didn’t make you want to throw up. Oh, 4chan. There was no place like the internet to experience the duality of man (and women? and trolls? are male trolls men? are you a man? what are men?).

            “I think speciesism and racism come from the same place.” you say.

            “Florida?” he says.

            You snort. “A fear of the unknown, and an internalized idea that members of different social groups are just born different from members of other social groups.”

            “Are you gonna write an essay about this and hand it in to me on Monday?” he asks.

            “Do you want me to?” you reply, already mapping the outline in your head and estimating data for a series of charts and graphs.

            “No. But you’ve managed to grab my attention. Keep talking.”

            You rub your hands together. “OK. Obviously there are differences between you and me, right?”

            “Yeah, like how you would wear socks and sandals if Kanaya didn’t stop you.”

            “Gee, thanks. Anyway, we have plenty of different aspects to our personalities. But do you think these have anything to do with me being a troll and you being a human?”

            “How should I know?” he asks, capturing your Monopoly piece.

            “Don’t you ever think about this stuff?”

            “Sometimes. Not for very long.”

            “Did you know that across our two species, there is very little inherent mental variation?” you say, trying not to nerd out “Well, obviously there’s a lot on an individual scale. But it’s not like humans as a group are inherently better or worse at any mental activities.”

            ‘Yass, big words.’ says your rational mind, creaming its’ pants at your conversation.

            You place a button on the board. “I think of people as basically the same thing as computer code.”

            “Programmable?” he asks, capturing your button.

            “Programmable by society.”

            “Ain’t that sound pretentious.” he says like a total fucking hypocrite.

           "Shut up, ED, you're so much of a tool you're currently being bought by a bearded father of two at Home Depot."

            He shrugs. "Fair enough."

            You let it slide because he’s doing a very good job letting you talk at him.

            “I think we’re all told how to act and to appeal to some sort of stereotype from a very young age, at least a little bit. Enough to change how we see the world. Doesn’t that sound like programming?” you ask

            “I don’t really know much about programming,” he admits “but I have found the argument that humans are basically just organic machines to be fascinating, even if it’s pointless to think about. Sorry, humans and trolls.”

            You’re a little put off by his ‘pointless to think about’ comment. Seriously, this is the guy who’s always nagging you about art. But you let it slide because that would be another conversation that you’ll save for a different day. Now that you think of it, there are a lot of conversations you want to have with Eridan. And a fuckton more insults you want to formulate.

            “Anyway, back to your moral quarry with me. Well, I guess i’ve already devalued the use of the word ‘moral’.” he says, interrupting you from your thoughts.

            “I think your opinions-“

            “Past opinions.”

            “Past opinions are logically flawed.”

            He gives you a look. “Gee, thanks.”

            “Well, not exactly logically flawed. I do think that the conclusion you came to is the most logical you could manage with the evidence you were presented when you were younger. I want to give you more evidence.”

            “What does that mean?”

            “School failed you.”

            “Are you just an asshole?” he asks. He has your king in check.

            “Don’t worry, it failed me too.” You take out your red ear piercing and place it on the board.

            “What was wrong with school?”

            ‘What wasn’t wrong with school?’ you think to yourself. Seriously, though, you could write at least two essays about gym class alone. You remember the dodge ball incident and shudder a little.

            “OK, let’s forget what I said about humans and trolls having very little inherent neurological differentiation, because human beings don’t even believe that about their own subcultures. Actually, let’s forget trolls exist for a second and just look at European colonialism.” you say.

            “Doesn’t that seem like a little much for a homoerotic fanfiction?” he asks, breaking the forth wall.

            “Yeah, pretty much. Whoever’s writing this is probably a giant tool.” you answer, breaking it right back.

            “What?” he asks.

            “What?” you reply, forgetting that your existence is fictional.

            “You were talking about taking a look a European colonialism.”

            “Alright. Thanks, ED.”

            “Please don’t call me ED.”

            “Ok fuckko. Anyway, school provided you with historical evidence of Europe repeatedly taking over the world and at least seeming to be the most technologically advanced society with no explanation as to why. So I think it’s perfectly logical for you, and just about everyone in your family before my ancestors crashed here to make the assumption-“

            “Past assumption.” he interrupts.

            “Past assumption that different races-“

            “Ethnicities.” he interrupts again and you contemplate throwing the entire chess board at him and maybe nicking his annoyingly flawless skin.

            “Ethnicities of humans had some inherent differences that made some smarter and some dumber. I think we all do that, at least on a subconscious level even if we don’t consciously believe it. I even catch myself doing it with high bloods. But I think that there are multiple factors you haven’t considered.” You knew enough about the brain that it usually came to the most logical conclusion based on the evidence it sees provided, and that most poor conclusions just came from a lack of evidence and fear to find more. Just like when you were a wriggler and you legitimately thought 2001, a Space Odyssey was historically accurate.

            “What’s your point?” he asks, capturing your red earring. And your blue earring.

            “Do you think Europeans are the intellectually superior human ethnicity?”

            “Maybe when I was younger.”

            “So how do you think they managed to take over so much of the world?” you push, knowing full well Dirk was right and it had to do with boring shit like livestock and metal alloy geology that most people start to fall asleep if you try to talk about. The only time people fell asleep faster was when you tried to talk about multiverse theory. Oh, multiverse theory. That stupid theory had caused you so much anxiety.

            “I don’t know. Luck?”

            “Do you believe we’re all equal?” you ask.

            “No, obviously some people are smarter than others.”

            “That was a bad question. I didn’t mean on an individual level.”

            “I don’t think there’s a superior group.” he says, defensively.

            “Why?” You love making people question themselves. It’s satisfying to watch.

            “What?” he says, glaring with uncertainty at you “I don’t know. I ain’t spending every second of every day thinking about this shit while I bump into people on the street because I’m in ADHD La La Land. But I don’t think the Europeans are intellectually superior, just like I don’t think pink was the intellectually superior blood color even though it was at the top of the monarchy. How do you think they took over?”

            “Europeans or pink-bloods?”

            “Both.”

            You rack your brain. “Back when my people lived in a classist, racist hell on Alternia, trolls with pink blood managed to get to the top of the food chain because they were physically stronger. I think it’s that simple. Using that, they controlled my ancestors, forced them into slavery, and even stole their lifespans. But besides being stronger, they weren’t superior in any other way. I’ve tried bench pressing all of my problems. It doesn’t work.” Ah, bench pressing. On a good day, you could bench a whopping who-gives-a-fuck lol you lied you’ve never been in a gym. On a side note, despite her low blood type, Aradia could easily bench you.

            “How do you feel about that shit happening to your ancestors?” he asks, and you’re not sure if he’s being considerate or just curious.

            “I mean, I’m angry. I’m angry about a lot of shit that’s happened in my life. But I think my ancestors would have taken over the exact same way and committed the same atrocities if given the chance.”

            He’s quiet for a few moments, the way he always is when you get him thinking. You like his thinking face; it’s a good chance to stare at him without getting caught. You think back to what Dirk told you about trying to figure out what he believed. You can now make the educated assumption that he didn’t really know what he believed anymore. You didn’t think that was particularity uncommon. You realize how easy you find it to talk to him.

            “What about Europeans?” he asks.

            “I think it had to do with the geography and metal-“

            Eridan mocks falling asleep and you sigh.

            “Look, ED. The point remains that trolls now have to go through the same nook-scarfing bullshit. People think we’re stupid because we’ve accomplished less than humans with our time on earth, but in reality we’ve had a much harder time due to a system being  rigged against us. And even if people get that, they still treat us like we’re different or some shit.” you say, placing a finger on his forehead “And I think that we’re all just kind of the same.”

            “Why are you telling me this?” he asks, finally capturing your king. You place a thimble as the king’s gay lover out for vengeance on the board.

            ‘Because you think teaching him to be more open-minded while you slowly fall for each other would be beautiful.'

            “Because I think that you used to be pretty closed-minded, and that Fefari did a good job showing you why that was bad. But she only have you ethical reasons to care, and even though ethical reasoning is important, it’s not enough to break your think-pan’s association of high class and power with pink-bloods or white people. I think you’re smart-“

            “Really now.”

            You sigh. “I think you’re smart and I think that logical understanding and a proper presentation of factual evidence is the best way to grow as a society so that we can finally get around to making YouTube music videos play even when my phone is locked.”

            “It lets you do that. You just have to pay ten dollars a month.”

            “What the fuck is that crapitalist bullshit?” you yell to the heavens, outraged.

            “I still don’t really understand how what you’re telling me is an attempt to appeal to me rationally verses the ethical appeal that Feferi talked to me about when I was younger.”

            You think for a minute. “Because I’m not really trying to tell you about respecting other people’s cultures or teaching you about acceptance. I think those things are important too, but I’m just trying to plant the idea in your head that maybe people aren’t as inherently different as we make them out to be. You don’t have to take my word for it, see what professionals are saying about psychology.”

            “I have an observation to make.” he says, staring through you in a way that makes you feel just a bit exposed.

            “What’s that?” you ask.

            “I take it that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like labels.”

            ‘That’s because whenever there’s a label, there’s a role.’ your rational mind induces.

            ‘Like how Dirk can’t run around dressed as Sasuke because he’s an adult. That makes me sad! :(‘ your subconscious emotes like a wriggler.

            “I mean, sometimes labels are useful. Like I want the doctor to know what species I am so she doesn’t fondle my non-existent balls. But you’re mostly right.

            “But you love labeling me as an asshole.” he says, smiling like the facetious fuck that he is.

            “Stop trying to find logical fallacies and tell me what your point is.”

            “I think the way you see the world is cute.”

            You raise your eyebrows. “Are you sure about that? Doesn’t it seem like I’m taking away meaning to things that most people find a sense of individuality in?”

            “I think you see beauty in people’s similarities.”

            “Oh, no. I don’t see beauty in shit. I think of the whole damn world as a bunch of different groups of assholes who hate everyone else for being a different kind of asshole.”

            “What’s up, ladies?” Dave asks, rolling in. He’s holding a plate of brownies and seventeen copies of the Communist Manifesto.

            “Trying to find beauty in a lack of objective truth.” Eridan answers.

            “No way, you and Sollux “Render Everything Arbitrary” Captor are doing that?” he asks, sarcastically “Want a brownie?”

            You narrow your eyes. “What kind of brownies are those, Dave?”

            “The kind that knocked Terezi off her ass at senior picture day.”

            “Sure.” You grab a pot brownie. It’s not like you have any work today. And it’s Sunday, after all.

            “Don’t just take drugs!” says Eridan, looking genuinely concerned as you shove the entire thing into your mouth.

            “I’m roughly twenty-one earth rotations old. It’s legal. I’ve seen you drink, what’s the big deal?” you say.

            “What even is that?” he asks.

            “Pot?” answers Dave, confused.

            “What’s that?”

            “Buddy, we’ve been using pot for a long time. Don’t worry, that shits a hell of a lot safer than alcohol. It’s arguably safer than painkillers, as long as you don’t get too attached.” says Dave. Eridan Googles it, just to be sure.

            “What did you think it was?” you ask.

            “Cocaine.” he answers. Dave laughs.

            “How rich are you?” Dave asks, rolling out of the room backwards on his adult-sized heelys.

            “You thought I would do cocaine? If I ever do cocaine, I’m going to be on my deathbed, not FF’s birthday.” you say.

            Oh shit, Feferi’s birthday dinner.

            “Oh shit, Feferi’s birthday dinner!” you exclaim.

            “How long until that kicks in?” Eridan asks.

            “Probably an hour.”

            He laughs. “Well, dinner is in an hour, so good luck.”

            You groan, and realize you missed lunch. You grab some instant grub noodles from the cupboard for some pre-dinner.

            ‘Sollux.’ says your subconscious, breaking free of the play pen you had tried to trap it in.

            ‘How about no?’ you think back.

            ‘Sollux.

            ‘What? What do you need?

            ‘I absolutely one hundred percent need you to get that guy to fuck you.’ your subconscious begs.

            You groan. ‘Oh no, not this shit again. Why are you so adamant about me getting laid?

            ‘Will you stop picking on him?’ says your rational mind to your subconscious ‘Seriously, you’re a primitive, whiny embarrassment to this brain.

            You mentally high-five your rational mind.

            ‘Shut up, you overly-rational piece of shit. This boy needs some dick. He’s so tense. Look at him, he has anxiety.’ says your subconscious to your rational mind.

            ‘Why is Eridan’s dick your solution to everything?’ you ask your subconscious.

            ‘I want cock! I want cock!’ chants your subconscious.

            ‘Calm down, he’s fine. He got drunk last month and fucked Terezi. That’s all he needs for the next few years.’ says your rational mind.

            ‘A few years!?’ Your subconscious is outraged.

            ‘Who needs sex when you have numerical data to analyze?’ asks your rational mind.

            ‘You know what? Fine. If you won’t listen to me, I’ll fight dirty.’ your subconscious says as it sends you a series of very vivid images of Eridan touching himself.

            You can feel a blush dusting itself over the tip of your nose.

            ‘Will you stop?’ you beg ‘I don’t want to see that.

            ‘Really? You don’t care at all about the face he makes when he comes?

            ‘No.’ you think back, going so far into denial that you’re about to enter doublethink. Damn you, George Orville.

            ‘You don’t care at all about what he looks like with his head between your legs?

            You groan. ‘If you don’t shut up I will consider turning to alcohol today and for forever.

            ‘Think about what it would feel like for him to spank you.’ you subconscious says as a last ditch attempt

            ‘You’re a freak! I’m kinkshaming you! I’m not into that!’ you lie.

            ‘Actually,’ says your rational mind ‘you are into that. You find power struggle to be enticing.

            ‘And why is that?’ you ask.

            ‘I have a few half formed ideas. Want to analyze some information and do some theorizing?

            ‘Sure.’ you think.

            ‘No!’ your subconscious says, having a temper tantrum.

            ‘Well, in our society, spanking symbolizes a form of punishment. And now that you’re an adult, you find the idea of being spanked to be a blow to your pride and dignity. So, maybe what you’re really into isn’t exactly the act of being hit on the ass, but the symbol of losing that before mentioned pride and dignity.’ says your rational mind.

            ‘Huh. That makes sense. But why would I be into feeling powerless or humiliated? I fear those things.’ you think, fascinated with over-analyzing this subject.

            ‘Maybe the reason you fear those things is what makes them sexy to you.

            ‘And why would that be?’ you ask.

            ‘Who gives a shit?’ your subconscious asks right back.

            ‘I don’t know for sure, but kinks could be us getting off to doing something we consciously fear, and the vulnerably we feel from feeling the illusion of helplessness in front of another person.

            ‘That’s interesting.’ you think ‘But that wouldn’t explain something like a foot fetish. I don’t think people with that are afraid of being barefoot or some shit.

            ‘Are you two nerds done with your nerd party? I’m bored.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘No. We haven’t even gotten into the science of sexual associations yet.’ you think.

            ‘You should Google this when you have a chance.’ says your rational mind ‘Might be interesting.

            ‘I fucking hate both of you.’ your subconscious complains.

            “What?” says Eridan, cutting you short from your thought process.

            “I didn’t say anything.” you say.

            “You keep mumbling to yourself. You just told me to shut up.”

            “Oh. Sorry, wasn’t talking to you.”

            Eridan looks rightfully confused.

            “Sol, I think you should try putting some water in that ramen before you cook it.” he says. You realize that you are about to put dry instant grub noodles in the microwave. And no, the brownie hadn’t even kicked in yet. You were just like that.

Chapter Text

           Your name is Sollux captor and thanks to this brownie you now understand Salvador Dali.

           You’re wedged between Eridan and Dave at Feferi’s birthday dinner. They sat on either side of you in an attempt to box you in so no one else would know you were tripping shame-globes about melting clocks or how Mario Cart is Communist or how you've never emotionally recoved from animorphs. You’re on your third plate of shrimp cocktail, and Feferi is receiving her presents.

           “This one’s from me, Feferi.” says Dave, handing Feferi a present from across the table. She opens it. She looks confused.

           “This is just a picture of Sollux dabbing.” she observes.

           “Dude, I’m so poor.” Dave whispers to you.

           “Huh?” you ask

           You hand Eridan your present. Eridan gives it to Feferi.

           “This is from Sollux.” Eridan says to Feferi. Feferi looks pleased with her gift.

           “Sol, it’s her birthday, not mine.” he says to you.

           “Huh?” you ask.

           “Are you ok?” Eridan asks.

           “The real villain in Beauty and the Beast was mob mentality.” you answer.

           You look at a piece of cardboard on the table from one of Feferi’s gift boxes. You realize that there is literally nothing stopping you from eating this cardboard. You could do it. You look around. No one is eating the cardboard. No one else is probably even thinking about how they could easily just pick up the cardboard and put it in their mouth. It was so out of the question. How perfectly crafted were societal norms that eating cardboard was just that goddamn far out of the question? What if you did eat the cardboard? Would people still be friends with you? Would they still love you?

           “Bro.” Dave says to you “I have been watching you try to eat that shrimp for a solid two minutes.”

           “Feferi, do you have water?” you ask, suddenly thirsty.

           “Sollux, you have a glass of water right in front of you.” she answers.

           “Oh.”

           “Are we all going to ignore the fact that Sollux is high off his ass right now?” asks Aradia.

           “We all already know.” says Karkat. Terezi nods. You throw your head to the table in shame.

           “I’m sorry. I’m a bad influence. Don’t do drugs. Just let me die here, I’ve learned my lesson.” you say.

           “Sollux, half of us are tipsy right now.” says Feferi “No one cares.”

           “Huh?” you ask.

           “Dude.” Dave says, laughing and shaking his head at your stupidity.

           You make it through dinner without dying. Aradia tells the story of the time you got suspended for hacking into your school computer system and changing the operating system to Window’s Vista as a big fuck you and has everyone crying with laughter at your biggest accomplishment. Dinner is over. You retreat to your room, waiting for Aradia to get back so you can see if she wants to watch a movie. Wait, no, she’s texted you saying she’s in town with Terezi and asks if you mind if she sleeps in her room tonight. You say you don’t mind. You tell her you love her about eight times.

           You lie with your back to the floor, listening to Rocket Man and realizing how incredibly cool it was that you lived with aliens. Sure, the two species didn’t always get along. But it made you feel so much less lonely knowing that there was someone else in the universe. And it was beautiful to know that you could just as easily love someone who didn’t share your DNA as someone who did. Well, you actually shared ninety-eight percent of your DNA with humans. But still.

           What should you do? You’re high as shit. Probably go on a walk and listen to music. And then start tearing up about the government or Majora’s Mask or how well composed Book of Mormon was like usual.

           You don’t even notice when your hand slips down the front of your pants. Masturbating while inebriated is easier because you don’t have to listen to your stupid brain try to shove stuff down your throat. It’s a good set-up, and you can come easily and without any shame.

           You realize that you didn’t bring any genetic material suppressor pills, so you masturbate the old fashion way: In the sink.

           You’re literally orgasming when there’s a knock at the front door of your room. You close the bathroom door.

           “Don’t come in! I’m peeing with the door open!” you yell from the bathroom. There is still material dripping out of you and you’re not sure how you feel about sharing this factoid. So you went to something slightly less embarrassing.

           “Well, I was going to ask if I could sleep here, but I can come back when you’re done when you’re done being weird.” Eridan says through the door.

           “Why do you want to sleep here?” you ask while you towel yourself off.

           “Well, Terezi was supposed to be my roommate, but she’s sleeping with yours. So I figured you had an extra bed.”

           “Let me think about it.” you say. What is this, poorly written smut?

           You clean yourself off and throw a towel around your waist, stepping out of the bathroom. Glad you could hide that one. Oh, wait, he probably knows on account of you not wearing pants. Whatever. You weigh the pros and cons.

           ‘Ok, rational mind.’ you think ‘Let’s do this.

           ‘Steven Universe is anti-utilitarian propaganda.’ says your rational mind.

           ‘That’s not what I asked.

           ‘That rational piece of shit is going to be preoccupied until your condition wears off.’ says your subconscious, laughing evilly ‘Looks like it’s just you and me for now.'

           ‘Please no.’ you beg.

           ‘Too bad. And I say Eridan can and should room with you. See if you can get him to sleep in the same bed as you.

           “Earth to Sollux.” says Eridan, snapping in your face.

           “Huh, what?”

           “Can I sleep here?”

           You get an idea. “On one condition.”

           “What’s that?”

           “Read to me.” you order, pulling out a book.

           “Hitchhiker’s Guide? Sure, I guess. Just put on some clothes first.” he sits on the rightmost bed and dims the lights. He flinches a bit when you rest your head in his lap, but doesn’t complain.

           Your name is Sollux Captor and you are in #HeavenIsForReal

           It’s been about twenty minutes. Eridan is carding his hand through your hair while he reads you basically the best book ever written and lets you interrupt him every couple of minutes.

           “ED?” you ask.

           “What?”

           “Remember that episode of Star Trek where Picard and Riker had to go to court to save Data from disassembly by proving he was sentient and it brought up a bunch of questions about what makes something alive?”

           “Uh, I think so.”

           You close your eyes. “That was a good episode.”

           He laughs. “Ok, Sol.”

           He goes back to reading. And petting you. You chirp loudly.

           “ED?” you ask a few minutes later.

           “What?”

           “We’re never taught how to process and cope with contemplating our own death.”

           He laughs again. “I suppose you’re right.”

           He goes back to reading, and you take a few peaks at him. You love everything about what he’s doing right now. You love how warm he is, and you love the way his voice vibrates through both of your bodies, and you think it’s adorable that he puts on glasses to read. They make his face softer.

           You giggle harder at Hitchhiker’s Guide than you think you ever have before. At one point, you start laughing loudly while he’s reading a part that’s not even remotely funny.

           “What’s up?” he asks.

           “What’s red and not there?” you choke between laughs.

           “What?”

           You have to wait at least twenty seconds to say it, because you’re laughing so hard. You finally get the words out.

           “None tomatoes!” you yell.

           Eridan mutters some stuff while you devolve into a ball of giggles. You think you head some obscenities and the words ‘so cute’.

           “What?” you ask?

           “I said you’re trash.” he answers.

           He goes back to reading. You’re quiet for a few minutes.

           “ED?” you ask.

           “What?”

           “Isn’t it super cute when people love plants?”

           “As a concept, or just people who show affection for houseplants?” he asks, scratching behind your ear. You twitch it affectionately.

           “I think it’s cute that people have the ability to love and care for something that can give them little to nothing in return.” you say. You suppose plants do give oxygen and food, which are important, but you think the love people feel for plants is deeper and that they actually care about the well-being of a flower.

           “I thought that love was just a chemical reaction.” Eridan says.

           “I had a thought.”

           “That’s new.”

           You adjust yourself. “Remember when you cut my hair and you were talking about finding meaning in something that’s completely meaningless? And you said something about knowing something was meaningless and yet you loved it anyway and that was beautiful?”

           “Yes.” he answers. “You’re tearing up.”

           “I think I understand that now. It’s like how we programmed the Mars Rover to sing Happy Birthday to itself once a year. The Mars Rover is all about exploration and advancement, and we programmed it to sing Happy Birthday because we thought it was cute.” you say, looking into this way deeper than you should be.

           “I suppose that does have to do with what I was trying to say. That you can except that joy is just a chemical reaction, but seek it out anyway.” he replies, wiping away one of your tears you didn’t even realize was there with his thumb.

           “I’m hungry.”

           “Do you want to go grab a second dinner?” he offers.

           “Yes.”

 


 

            You had a nice evening with Eridan. You’ve finally come down, and you’re looking forwards to sleep. You realize this is probably the most time you’ve ever spent with Eridan in one day, and he did a pretty sufficient job keeping you entertained. You end up eating real ramen with Capri Sun and you show him your party trick of finishing the whole thing in one succ. You two are walking back from town when the sky decides to take a dump on both of you.

            You both break into a sprint. It’s not one of those Midwest rains that you’re used to. No, this is an all-out water fuckfest that chills you down to the bone in the midnight air. Eridan has grabbed you by the arm, leading you through the streets on account of your glasses becoming useless. You finally see the outline of the cabin, and get pulled into the front door. Your glasses fog up.

            “Holy shit.” he says “I think there’s water in my brain.”

            “That would explain your love of off-white pants.” you tease.

            “They’re eggshell.”

            “Well, right now they’re splattered with mud.”

            Your hair is dripping. You pretend that you look super cool like this. Not that he’s never seen you soaked to the bone before.

            “I’m going to wrap myself in blankets.” he says as you shiver violently “I don’t know what you plan on doing, but I wish you luck.”

            You consider using the shower that had sprayed you directly in the face this morning. You wander over to the shower room. There’s a sock tied on the door and Terezi’s cane is on the ground. Gross. You are never going to use a single shower in this place again.

            You return to your room. You really, really hope Eridan didn’t go into the bathroom because you did not remember to put your material-soaked towels from earlier in the laundry. He’s completely covered in blankets, so you move the towels, planning on burning them later.

            You sit on the bed with all your shit on it. It’s about three feet away from Eridan’s. You take a closer look at him, and realize that he is absolutely covered in Feferi’s stuffed cuttlefish.

            “What are you doing?” you ask.

            “Feeling my feelings.” he answers, muffled by the cuttlefish.

            “What feelings?”

            “Well, currently I’m going over every stupid thing I said in 8th grade and regretting them heavily.”

            “That doesn’t sound healthy.” you say “But keep your head under the blankets, I need to change.”

            “I’m fine, Sol, some of us just have deeply-repressed shame issues.”

            You change into some shorts and a tee-shirt and poke him in the forehead when you’re finished.

            “What?” he asks, removing his head from the blankets. His face is paler than usual.

            “Can I-“ you start to ask, but cut yourself out.

            “What?” he asks, a cuttlefish falling from atop his head.

            “I’m cold.” you answer like an idiot.

            “Are you asking to-“

            “For practicalities’ sake.” you explain. You’re not lying; you are freezing your ass off.

            He lifts up the corner of the blanket. At least a hundred cuttlefish tumble off the side of the bed. You crawl into bed.

            What you’re not expecting is for Eridan to drape his arm over you. Well, it is making you warmer. For multiple reasons. So you don’t comment. You ignore the various hormones, emotions, and terrible ideas being sent through your body and mind.

            “Let’s tell each other secrets.” he says.

            “Ok.”

            “I’ll go first.”

            “Ok.” you say, still waiting.

            “I fucking hate you.” he says.

           You both giggle.

           “This is fun, it’s like a sleep over.” says Eridan and you are once again reminded that his lack of social interactions as a child has probably left him excessively lonely.

            “Should we sleep?” you ask.

            “In a little bit.”

            “Want to hear about string theory?”

            “Sure.” He sounds reluctant.

            You try your best to explain string theory. You start with eleventh-dimensional, and are thinking of expanding the scope to other versions when he buts in.

            “What do you mean, twenty six dimensions?” he asks.

            “I said in in Bosonic string theory, space-time is 26-dimensional.”

            He hits you in the face with a cuttlefish.

            “What the fuck does that mean?” he asks, his voice cracking.

            “It means there’s twenty six.” You don’t really understand what the issue is.

            “You know what, Sol, I can’t take this anymore.” He juts out of bed, seemingly outraged. “I will never, ever, be able to comprehend what the fuck you’re talking about!”

            He starts pacing. “My primitive, three dimensional mind cannot even begin to fathom what anything would be like on a four dimensional plane, there’s no fucking way I can come close to twenty fucking six dimensions, Sol. That’s fucking bullshit. That ain’t real. None of this is real.”

            You’re laughing your ass off while he acts more animated than you’ve ever seen him before. It's a good distraction from the fact that he is very, very only in his underwear.

            “Actually, we do live in a world of four dimensions.” you explain.

            “I thought we were three dimensional beings!” he exclaims.

            “Kind of.”

            “Kind of?” He has a wild look in his eyes. “No! I refuse to accept that! We either are, or we aren’t. None of this makes any sense, I don’t believe in space! I don’t understand how anyone can possibly come up with this stuff. How do they do it? Did Einstein look through a telescope one day and say, ‘Here’s some poppy-cock equation about length times width times height times bullshit!’ and everyone just believed him because he had scientist hair?”

            "ED." you say, to no avail.

            "Where do these ideas even come from? How does someone look at an equation and figure 'Well these numbers that I pulled out of my ass clearly show that there are twenty-six dimensions. Where do the numbers come from, Sol? Where does the equation come from? How does anyone understand this shit?"

            He keeps ranting, but in a different language. It’s possibly the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

            “I don’t think Einstein was able to comprehend this, either.” you offer.

            “Odota, todella?” says Eridan, leaving English in the past along with his dignity.

            “We can do the mathematics and theorizing without knowing what any off this would look or feel like, or even knowing if we have the ability to perceive it.”

            Eridan sighs, returning to bed. This time, he rests his head on your chest and closes his eyes. You give a feeble attempt to crush the feeling of joy it gives you.

            “What are you doing?” you ask.

            “Olet kaunis.” he answers, and immediately falls asleep. You can tell because his breathing slows down significantly and he does that weird tremor thing that people do when they enter the early stages of REM. You suspect that he doesn’t usually stay up this late.

            His hair is soft under your chin, and you watch at the bits of purple in his stupid fringe rise and fall a bit as you breathe. It’s the last thing you see before you fall asleep.

 


 

            Usually when you wake up with another person, they’ve migrated away from you during the night. You quickly learn that is not the case with Eridan, as he is currently one hundred percent sprawled on top of you. You sputter, trying to get his hair out of your mouth. He’s not even lying vertically on the bed, and both of you are still covered in stuffed cuttlefish.

            He’s heavier than you, so you’re a little annoyed that he ended up on top. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world, especially since he insisted on going to sleep with his wallet in his front pocket.

            ‘That’s not his wallet, Sollux.’ says your rational mind ‘He’s in his underwear, he doesn’t have pockets.’

            ‘I’m just going to pretend it’s his wallet.’ you think.

            ‘Well, his “wallet” is pretty close to your nook right now.’ says your subconscious.

            It’s true. You shimmy down a bit. Now his “wallet” is digging into your stomach. You try as hard as you can to not think about Eridan’s wallet while you make your way out of bed.

            You stand up. He makes a pitiful noise. You check to see if he’s still asleep. He is. So you dump some cuttlefish on his head. He hugs them and ceases making said pitiful noise.

            You make your way out into the common room. Aradia isn’t up yet, so you settle for asking Dave an incredibly awkward question. He’s with Karkat, which makes it way worse.

            You sit down. Karkat hands you a bowl of fruit loops.

            “You look like complete shit.”  Karkat says.

            “Well, your entire personality is a defense mechanism.” you shoot back. Dave chokes back a laugh and Karkat elbows him in the ribs.

            You crack your back, preparing yourself for the onslaught of shit that you’re about to get for this. You suppose you could just Google this, but you’re even more worried about this ending up in your search history.

            “I have a human anatomy question.” you say.

            “Is it about how to suck dick?” asks Karkat.

            “It’s for Dave, not you.”

            “What’s up?” asks Dave.

            “Is it normal for, human genitals, to be, you know, active, during the mornings?” you stutter hopelessly.

            “Yes.” Dave says, not mocking you at all.

            Karkat opens his mouth, about to blow your cover. You shove your hand over his mouth.

            Dave looks confused. “I feel like I’m missing something here.”

            “Don’t worry about it.” you and Karkat say at the same time. At least he can keep a secret when he’s asked.

Chapter Text

            Dave gave you a ride home after breakfast. You said goodbye to Eridan. He doesn’t mention any of the events from yesterday, and you’re a little bit worried he regrets sleeping in the same bed with you. It might also be because he was asleep when you told him. You’re also a little bit worried that your relationship is just going to go back to the way it was before. You hadn’t actually officially hung out before outside of some “professional” reason, despite managing to rack up an impressive amount of time in each other’s presence.

            You’re sitting on your couch, making up the excessive amount of homework you had put off. It’s good to be back; you don’t want to let yourself get too used to living like a rich person.

            You finish your homework, and text Eridan to make sure you’re still on for tomorrow. Oh no, you’re feeling some emotions. Who should you talk to? There’s really only one choice. You take out your phone.

TA: ii have a que2tion.

TA: and we all know how much ii LOVE beiing nagged by you 2o let2 try two make iit quiick.

GA: Well I Cant Make Any Promises But Im Sure Its Very Likely Ill Find An Answer

GA: And Ill Refrain From Asking Any Questions About The Curane Incident

TA: thank2

TA: why do we liike people?

TA: what factor2 go iinto fiindiing 2omeone attractiive?

TA: a2kiing for a friend.

GA: What Kind Of Attraction Are You Referring To

TA: let2 run through them all.

TA: 2tart wiith 2exual

GA: Well Sexual Attraction Seems Like It Would Be The Simplest

GA: But It Surpasses More Than Just What A Person Looks Like

GA: Someone Can Be Physically Attractive To You But You Might Now Be Attracted To Their Mannerisms

GA: Like The Way They Talk

TA: you mean liike what they have two 2ay?

GA: That Does Help But Im Currently Referring To The Way They Speak

GA: The Way A Person Holds Themselves Or Walks Or Annunciates Is A Big Part Of Sexual Attraction

GA: Although Sexual Attraction Gets Complicated Because Types Of Attraction Often Jumble Together

GA: Especially Since A Desire For Sex Is Sometimes In Part A Desire For Closeness

TA: what make2 us want two get clo2e two 2omeone?

GA: Lets See If You Can Figure It Out

GA: What Do You Think Is The Most Important Factor In If We Develop An Attachment To A Person Or Not

TA: iif we 2hare thiier value2 and iinter2t2, or at lea2t re2pect them?

GA: Thats The Third Most Important Factor

TA: how much we know about them?

GA: One Step Closer

GA: But Not Quite There

TA: what ii2 iit?

GA: How Much They Know About Us

TA: why? that doe2nt make any 2en2e.

GA: When A Person Learns Something About Us And Doesn’t Reject Us For It We Are Reinforced With A Positive Association Of That Person And Vulnerability

GA: We Live Our Entire Lives In Fear Of Being Rejected

GA: We Like People More Every Time We Are Honest With Them And They Are Honest With Us In Return

GA: And Then Theres Bigger Things Like Crying In Front Of Someone Or Showing Genuine Emotion

GA: Its Hard To Hate Someone When You Understand Them

TA: what ii2 thii2 hiipiie 2hiit?

GA: You Say That A Lot

GA: And I Think Its Truly Ironic That You Said It Just Now As I Was Attempting To Inform You Of Our Fears Towards Vulnerably

TA: why ii2 that iironiic

GA: Because Youre Afraid Of The Vulnerability You Will Experience From Admitting I Am Right And That You Have Felt This Way Before

TA: fuck you vampiire mom.

GA: Youre Still Doing It

TA: ii never 2aiid ii wa2nt.

TA: have ii mentiioned how creepy ii fiind you?

GA: Only Every Time We Talk

TA: ii get the whole kanaya ‘iim helpful and kiind thiing’ but ii cant help but feel liike you ju2t really want analyze the niity griity of my thiink pan for your own amu2ment

GA: A Proper Ladys Actions May Be Dictated By Multiple Factors

TA: ii thiink that2 the 2exiie2t thiing iive ever heard you 2ay.

GA: As Someone Whos About As Close To Pure Sapphic As A Member Of An Exclusively Bisexual Species Can Get It Pleases Me That Youve Found Something I Said To Be Titillating

TA: 2orry that iim two man for you.

TA: now watch a2 ii put on a dii2play of my ma2culiinty. ii wiill grunt and u2e my 2trenth two weld a rock 2tiick weapon.

TA: one part rock. two part2 2tiick.

TA: everyone ii2 2tunned yet iintriigued wiith my 2how of agre22iion.

GA: And On That Day Fascism Was Born

GA: What Are You Really Doing

TA: currently iim 2iitiiing up2iidown, lookiing at E on 4chan iin my underwear, and 2quiirtiing whiipcream directly iintwo my mouth whiile my debuggiing 2oftware run2.

TA: ii ju2t 2aiid the word2 “now who2 a hungry boii” two my computer a2 ii iin2erted a fla2hdriive.

GA: Take Me Now

TA: iim not goiing two be moviing for a few hour2 but feel welcome to come 2top by and riide my bulge whiile ii siink anoher three hour2 iinto biindiiing of ii2aac.

GA: So Im Assuming Youre Not Going To Tell Me Who It Is Thats Distressing You So Much You Felt The Need To Come To Me

TA: and iim a22umiing youre goiing two pry a biit but not a lot.

TA: not enough that iill be able two call you out on.

TA: just goiing two tap the paiint can wiith the 2crew driiver and get defens2iive iif ii call you out on iit.

GA: Actually I Wasnt Going To Pry At All

TA: then iim a22umiing you already know.

GA: Dare I Say Youve Found Your Mr Darcy

TA: you do know.

GA: As They Say Hes Wealthy On The Outside And Inside

TA: what gave iit away?

GA: Ive Observed That The Two Traits You Look For The Most In Others Are Intelligence And Kindness

TA: kiindne22?

GA: Specifically Potential Kindness

TA: explaiin

GA: I Think You Like People Who You Believe Have The Capacity To Be Selfless And The Idea Of Helping Them Develop That Trait Is Enticing

TA: you make me out two be a much better per2on than ii am.

TA: and you make iit 2ound liike iim tryiing two fix hiim.

TA: ii dont want two force hiim to be 2omeone who he doe2nt want two be, that 2eem2 unhealthy even by my 2tandard2.

GA: Of Course Its Unhealthy

GA: We Partake In Unhealthy Actions All The Time

GA: But There Exists Normal Unhealthy And Dangerous Unhealthy And This Is Just Normal Unhealthy

TA: what would be dangerou2ly unhealthy?

GA: Different Kinds Of Abuse Or Extreme Expectations

GA: A Loss Of Ability To Distinguish Rationality From Absurdity

GA: Pushing Him In The Right Direction However Is Mostly Harmless

GA: And I Happen To Believe That He Wants It

TA: youre a fuckiing weiirdo.

GA: Thats A Fair Assessment

GA: Unfortunately I Have Somewhere Else To Be

GA: Talk To Me Any Time

TA: ok go have fun beiing 2iimoltaniiou2ly aloof and matronly 2omewhere el2e.

GA: I Always Do

            You’re looking forward to tomorrow.

 


 

            It’s Tuesday. You take a shower. You put on nice underwear, some that lack both holes and pictures of spaceships. You put on the pants you have that scream “I play DND” the least. You take a genetic material suppressor pill. Why are you doing these things? Because fuck you, that’s why.

            Sollux, stop getting your hopes up. Your hopes aren’t up, you’re just prepared. For debauchery. You just have a weird feeling about today. Like a six sense. Except not fucking stupid.

            Eridan insisted on picking you up. You wanted to take the bus as to not be seen in his horrible car, but he got his way in the end. Now you’re sitting in the passenger seat, stuck behind the world’s longest freight train.

            “So, how’s this weather we’re having?” Eridan asks, knowing that it will piss you off.

            “I think our marriage is dead.” you answer. “We don’t have anything left to talk about.”

            “Wait, what?”

            “Why do you never look me in the eyes when we make love?” you yell in mock outrage.

            “Maybe if you didn’t leave all the work to me.”

            “Is that a challenge?” You are not a pillow princess.

            “Did you know I’m married?” asks Eridan, thankfully saving you both from more of this inanity.

            “Yeah, I saw it that time I stalked you. What’s up with that?”

            “Wasn’t up to me. If I’m forced to be married to a rich girl again, I want to be Feferi. Or at least someone I can stand. I try to pretend she doesn’t exist.”

            The train finally passes by, and he continues on his way.

            “Why?” you ask, genuinely curious about this.

            “She’s possibly the most pretentious person I’ve ever met.”

            You laugh and attempt to turn it into an awkward cough.

            “What?” he asks, pulling into his apartment complex.

            “I think you two sound pretty well matched.” you answer. Seriously, he’s more pretentious than the Starbucks Twitter bio.

            “Listen, Sol. There’s multiple ways to be pretentious. There’s the completely insufferable kind with the unlit cigarettes and grunge blog memes, and then there’s the semi-intelligent kind I’m rocking. Sure, pretentiousness might be an undesired trait, but it’s what I am, and only in the most charming variety.”

            “You’re a lot of undesired traits in the most charming variety.” you say, wondering why you both are still just sitting in this car.

            His face contorts with surprise.

            “What?” you ask.

            “I think that might be the meanest thing anyone has ever said to me.” he answers.

            “Well, it was an attempt to be flirtatious, so I’m not sure what that says about me.” you blurt out before you can stop yourself. Oh no. You take a side glance at his face.

            You could swear he looks, maybe, intrigued?

            “Really, Sol? And here I thought I was as sexy as a gym sock filled with jizz to you.” he says.

            How the fuck are you supposed to answer that?

            “So how bout’ that weather?” you murmur, hating yourself a little bit more with each passing second.

            “Are you usually trying to be flirtatious when you’re being a dick?” he asks, ignoring your blundering stupidity.

            “Maybe.” Damn it, Sollux.

            “Sol, are you really going to make me say it?” he asks, promptly shutting down all of your thinking capacity. You look everywhere but him, and try not to think about the fact that he is staring intently at you.

            ‘What do, mind?’ you ask your subconscious and rational mind, in that order.

            ‘Panic!

            ‘Play dumb.

            “Make you say what?” you ask.

            He groans and rubs his temples.

            “Are you seriously that dumb?” he asks.

            “Not really. Kind of just a coward.” you answer, truthfully.

            “You’re not making this easy for me.”

            “Then why don’t you stop trying to talk, and just kiss me already?” you blurt. Again, with the blurting.

            You’re a bit confused as to why he’s tilting your chin up to look at him as he-oh.

            Your name is Sollux Captor and you’re about ninety-five percent sure that Eridan Ampora is kissing you right now.

            The evidence? Well, you can feel his mouth moving softly against yours. And you can feel his hands cupping your face. You should probably close your eyes.

            If you would have known for sure that you were ever going to get a first kiss with Eridan, you would have expected it to go a bit differently. You had always imagined a show of aggression. The softness is unexpected, but nice.

            He pulls away.

            “So, are we like, friends now?” you ask, sealing in the ‘Sollux is an idiot’ theme of the day.

            He groans and places his head against the steering wheel.

            “This was your idea, Sol.” he says in typical biting fashion, but slightly muffled.

            “Um.” you respond.

            He throws his head up. “Do you think that this has been easy for me?”

            “What’s been easy for you?” You’re not sure where this is going.

            “Not you.” he answers, with the same passion he showed a few days ago when he was complaining about string theory.

            “You are absolutely insufferable.” he continues “I can’t understand why every god damn thing you do is so enthralling, and I ain’t even close to understanding why I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s been driving me insane for a least a month. I don’t know how you can possibly be so oblivious, and I don’t know how else I can spell it out for you. Do you want me to hire a skywriter to write “I am hopelessly attracted to you”? Because I’ll do it, Sol. I will fucking-”

            You grab him by the scarf and reconnect your mouths before he can keep angrily ranting.

            Eridan’s mouth is so full and kissable that it’s actually kind of pissing you off. Maybe that’s why you’re a little more aggressive.

            He threads one hand through your hair, and places the other on your waist. You hum in surprise when he pulls you closer.

            Your blood-pusher is having a rave in your chest to the point where you wonder if he can hear it pounding. Maybe not; all you can hear is the rough sounds of your mouth working against his. There's the agression you were expecting. You're both panting into each other's mouths, and it's kind of pathetic.

            The scent of whatever eight thousand dollar cologne he’s wearing mixes with his own natural pheromones and you’re practically drowning in it. You let your tongue flicker into his mouth, picking up the unmistakable flavor of strawberry lemonade. 

            He matches your intensity, tightening his grip on your waist and rolling over your bottom lip with is tongue. He seems to know what the fuck he’s doing. It makes you want to try harder. You let your hands drift from his scarf, running them along his shoulders and hips and anything that he’ll let you. Your mind is being flooded with pleasantness, and you realize that your whole body is shaking.

            It’s a little bit uncomfortable lying on top of him in the front seat of his car, but you honestly don’t give that much of a shit right now. You’re a little preoccupied.

            You get a few more seconds of your private make-out heaven before you hear a loud noise that makes both of you jump.

            You pull away and realize that your legs are very intertwined and his hand is very close to your butt.

            “What was that?” you ask.

            “How the fuck should I know?” he answers. Good point. You look at the windshield.

            “Oh, it was a branch that snapped off and hit your car.” you observe.

            “I really, really don’t care right now Sol.”

            “Should we, uh.” you stutter.

            “What?”

            “We’re in broad daylight. In a parking lot. Someone could walk by.”

            He looks off to the side for a second, probably in thought.

            “Do you want to-“ he starts.

            “For practicalities’ sake.” you finish.

            He raises an eyebrow. “Just like last time?”

            “Will you shut up and get out of the car?”

            Now it’s is turn to look embarrassed.

            “I’m going to need a minute.” he says.

            “For what?”

            “Sol, I need to cool down before I’m willing to walk through a lobby of other people. And you lying on top of me ain’t gonna make it happen any faster, so if you would please.”

            Oh. You get it. He’s worried about people seeing his “wallet”. What are you, twelve? You can’t help but giggle at that and him a little. But you do get off.

            “So, how about that weather?” you ask.

            “I fucking hate you.”

            “You sure about that?”

            “Will you please stop saying things that make me want to jump you?” he pleads.

            “Am I sexy, or is your bar just low?” you ask, pretty sure that you have never said anything sexy in your life.

            “You’ve successfully lowered my bar*.”

            “Should I just go in first so that it’s less awkward?” you ask, not wanting to underestimate your ability to make everything weirder than it needed to be.

            “I don’t want you walking past that alley by yourself.” he answers.

            “Fine.” you say, both annoyed and flattered that he cared.

            He gets out of the car, and so do you. He leads you into his building and presses the button for the elevator.

            “Should we talk about politics?” you ask as the elevator opens.

            “Is this usually what you to talk to other people about while waiting for elevators?” he asks as he follows you inside.

            “Usually I just try to avoid eye contact and hope they don’t smile at me so that I have to-“ You’re cut off by him slamming you into the wall of the elevator as soon as the door closes. This time, when he presses his mouth to yours, he doesn’t wait to get his tongue in your mouth and his hands are definitely on your ass.

            You like the way he kisses. He doesn’t try to shove his tongue down your throat like some people, but he’s kissing you with passion that you don’t think you’ve ever experienced before.

            The elevator dings and you both jump away. He attempts to straighten out his scarf. Luckily, no one enters and he realized that it’s on his floor. You refrain from making side conversation while he struggles with the door knob and practically pulls you into his room.

            Your breath hitches as you’re once again pressed up against a wall. This time, the inside of his door. He’s planting open mouth kisses over your neck and collarbone when he decides to finally assess the situation.

            “Is this ok?” he asks, between breaths.

            “Yes.” you say, breathing noticeably more ragged. But so is his.

            He lifts you up by the torso, letting you wrap your legs above his hips. You keep forgetting how strong he is. He obviously has the capacity to hold you in place. He returns to kissing your mouth, and you realize he’s taken charge of this situation. So you nip at his top lip, and the sound he makes in your mouth is gorgeous.

            To say you’re overwhelmed would be an understatement. There’s so much you want to say; so much that’s on the tip of your tongue. Your thoughts are ranging from desires for affections and desires for sexual actions you didn’t even know you wanted.

             Your bulge unsheathes when he presses his cock against your pelvis. You wish it would squirm less; it’s not making you look very cool and collected. He slips a hand under your shirt.

            “Can I?” he asks. You nod and he discards your shirt to the floor. You toss your glasses in its general direction.

            His hands go straight for your grub scars. You weren’t expecting that, you were expecting him to be intimidated by the fact you were an alien to him.

            His hair is unbelievably soft.

            You attempt to unravel his scarf. He does it for you, thankfully. You pull his shirt off while he puts both of his hands on your upper thighs.

            “Your legs are fucking unbelievable.” he says as he kisses up the crook of neck. You’re glad he’s holding you up, because you’re not sure how well you could support yourself right now. His naked torso feels amazing pressed up against yours, and you have the sudden realization that you are both wearing too much in the way of clothes.

            “Can I touch your-“ he starts.

            “Yes.” you answer, shoving his hand between your legs.

            “I meant your butt, but I like this better.”

            “You were already touching my butt.” you say, confused.

            “I meant like, really touch your butt.” he replies.

            “Why have you put so much thought into fuck.” you start, cutting yourself off when he starts to rub the outline of your nook through your jeans. He kisses you again, and you can feel him smirk. You feel him smirk again when you gasp into his mouth.

            “Jackass.” you say.

            Eridan continues to rub you through your jeans. You don’t know how to inform him that you are about sixty seconds from ruining your underwear without him laughing at you. The look on his face is so intensely pretty that you find it hard to look at for too long. The flush over his cheeks and the way his hair is falling into his eyes is unbearable.

            “Your pants are wet.” he observes. Make that pants.

            “Acute observation.” you jab.

            “If you’re going to make noise, could it at least be sexy?” he asks, unbuttoning your pants.

            “Get fucked.”

            “That’s on you.” he says. You burry your face in his neck in an attempt to muffle the moan that his comment inspired.

            “What are my limits here?” he asks, pulling down your pants enough to rub you through your underwear. You’re very glad you went with black, because you’re not excited to see how stained they are.

            ‘Just fuck me up.’ says your subconscious.

            ‘What’s with this ‘me’ business?’ you think at your subconscious.

            You slide his hand down your underwear, holding your bulge back with your other hand so that it doesn’t wrap around his fingers.

            “Where do you want me to touch you?” he asks. You move his hand down to the spot on your nook just below your bulge. You bite down lightly on his neck and this time it’s him who looks like he’s about to fall over.

            So he scoops you up the same way he’s done at least twice before, and sets you down on his bed. You complain the whole way there. His bed is ridiculously comfortable and purple.

            “You’re so pretty.” he says, eyes hazy.

            You, pretty? You weight about one thirty and you’re currently sitting on the edge of his bed with your pants halfway off.

            Now, he’s pretty. You had underestimated what the image of him, shirtless and with the very obvious outline of a hard-on pressing against the front of his ridiculously tight pants would do to you. You despise how cute his wavy hair looks set astray, and you’re really enjoying the way his pupils are dilated.

            You work your way out of your jeans, and your underwear. You’re a little annoyed that he’s still wearing half his clothes, but you need to get this stuff off before it becomes un-wearable for the journey home later.

            And he’s kissing you again. You pull yourself on top, and he runs his hands down your back. You continue biting and sucking at his neck, taking in the noises of pleasure he makes.

            He runs a hand along your upper thigh, and over your butt, brushing past your nook. He does it again, lingering longer where you want him to touch but ultimately still teasing you. You bite down on his lip, harder this time because he’s being an ass.

            “Fuck, your teeth are sharp.” he says.

            “Will you stop teasing me?” you ask, attempting to sound demanding but probably sounding closer to begging.

            He positions you on your back and you gasp when he slips a finger up your nook.

            “Fuck.” he moans “You feel so nice.”

            “You know that’s shit your finger and not your fuck cock, right?” you ask between unintentional obscenities.

            “Let’s just say that I’ve been thinking about your nook for a while, Sol.”

            “How long’s a while?”

            “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it every damn time you bend over since I found that vibrator on your table.” he admits “Does that make me a pervert? Probably.”

            He slides another finger up your nook and you really, really want him to continue telling you how much of a pervert he is.

            "Care to elaborate?" you ask, innocently enough.

            He locks eyes with you. "Sol, I don't understand how anyone can expect me to ever get anything done when I have the knowlage that you regularly touch yourself." 

            You let out a whimper when he ceases fucking you with his fingers.

            “What?” you ask. It’s not every day that you get stimulated by someone without claws, so you’re disappointed.

            He gets up, bringing you to the edge of the bed and settling himself between your legs. He runs his tongue up the length of your bulge, gazing up at you with only the most innocent of facial expressions.

            “I would prefer for you to suck my nook, but you can do that if you really want to.” you say.

            He gives you a grin that sends even more heat between your legs, if that was even possible.

            “Trust me. This isn’t just for you.” he says as puts his mouth around your bulge. You lean back, letting your hands intertwine with his hair. He doesn’t comment on slight fork at the end of your bulge.

            “Fine. Just don’t make me come, or my body will get confused as to if I’m giving or receiving.” you say. He chirps in response.

            You’re not sure how much experience he’s had with Alternian genitalia, but he seems to know what he’s doing when it comes to your bulge. The way that he works his tongue and lips against you is making you enjoy this way more than you should. He’s good with suction, and he puts on a great show of enjoying himself. Every time he makes a noise it sends pleasant vibrations through your body, and when you notice him palming himself through his pants, you just about lose it.

            You shimmy away, pulling on his hair.

            “You’re gonna make me come if you keep that up.” you say. He removes his mouth from your bulge. You gasp loudly when he presses his tongue against your nook. He plants a kiss over your folds before running his tongue from the base of your nook to the tip. You try not to think about how gross it is and focus on the way he digs his fingers into your hips while he laps at your nook.

            You swear loudly and convulse when he slides a finger in with his tongue. You feel him smirk for the third time and consider kicking him in the face. Actually, no. You don’t want to stop him from doing what he’s doing now with his face.

            When he adds the second finger, you tighten your thighs around his head, repressing the urge to grind against his face. However, you can’t help but grab onto the back of his head and push him so that he’s stroking your favorite nerve cluster with his tongue. He assaults it over and over with his mouth, sending heat and vibrations through your entire body.

            Eridan Ampora is so good with his mouth you suspect he has an oral fixation that would put Sigmund Freud to shame. If he keeps going like this, you’re going to lose it and come in his face.

            “You’re so fucking wet.” he comments, totally unnecessarily. You need to do something to retain your dignity.

            You know you shouldn’t, but you do anyway.

            You reach out strands of red and blue light to tease him through his underwear. He removes his face from your nook, wiping it on the back of his hand while he shudders.

            “That isn’t fair.” he wines. You run your mental energy up where you think the head of his cock is, and smirk in victory when he falls to his knees. You're having a very difficult time right now deciding if you want to look at the expression on his face, or the quivering of his thighs. 

            “Maybe if you take your pants off, I’ll stop.”

            So he stands up (with noticeable difficulty), popping off his belt buckle and sliding out of his pants. He kicks his shoes off. You sit up, and pull him by the hips towards where you’re sitting.

            “What are you doing?” he asks, giving you a look of suspicion. You kiss the waistband of his honest-to-gog purple underwear.

            “Look, Sol, I’m going to need some serious operant conditioning before I’m ready to let those teeth anywhere near that area of me.” he says. You roll your eyes, but lie back down on the bed. He takes off his underwear.

            Oh.

            He stretches his arms above his head lazily, giving you full view of himself. You burn a whole through every inch of him, wanting to memorize what he looks like for later. And then you get to his midsection.

            Oh.

            You’re staring. Maybe he won’t notice.

            “Sol, my eyes are up here.”

            Crap, he noticed.

            “I didn’t expect it to be so nice.” you admit.

            “Well, what do you want me to do with it?” he asks. Fuck, that’s hot.

            You pull a condom out from the back pocket of your discarded jeans. He examines it.

            “I don’t think this is for humans.” he says, handing it back to you and pulling out one of his own from his bedside drawer. He puts it on himself, saving you the humiliation of trying to figure out how the fuck anything works, before pressing you into his mattress with another kiss.

            “Can I tell you what I want to do with my cock?” he asks. God, yes.

            “Yes.” you answer, untangling your bulge from his dick because your genitals refuse to obey you.

            “I want to get you out of your head.”

            “What?”

            “I know you live up there. I want you to stop thinking, and start focusing on how this feels.” he says, settling himself into your nook. You let your legs fall open to the sides of his torso.

            “Have you done this with a human before?” he asks. You nod and move impatiently. You gasp when he gives an experimental thrust. He seems to take it as a green light, and there’s a flurry of movement when he speeds up and grabs your waist so hard you’ll probably have marks tomorrow.

            You fucking love it. Your subconscious fucking loves it. You’re currently having a difficult time distinguishing your conscious thought process from your unconscious one as he fucks you mercilessly. You can’t help but be vocal every time he plows into you, rubbing up against your inner walls and flooding your body with endorphins. Sollux, you’ve having sex. Stop thinking about body chemistry. You hook your ankles behind his back.

            Speaking of being vocal, he is not shy. He alternates between muttering bits of your name and obscenities with moans and sharp inhales that send more fire straight to your nook, and have you soaking his bed to the point we’re you’re worried you’re going to leave a stain. You can’t help it, he feels so fucking good up your nook.

            “God, you’re like fucking velvet.” he groans.

            “Any observations you make are very welcome.” you say, not great at sexy talk.

            He gazes down at you, his eyes more piercing than you’ve ever seen them. He needs to stop looking at you like that.

            He nips your ear. “What do you want me to-fuck.” he whispers, getting cut off by you tightening yourself around him. Just to be a dick.

            “Just tell me about how good this feels.” you order.

            “It feels so fucking good, Sol, you don’t even know how much I wanted it.” he wines. You close your eyes.

            He wants you that bad. It’s a little bit incredible if you stop to think about it, but you’re too busy focusing on how satisfying it is to be the one making him hot and bothered and moaning into your open mouth. He looks so sexy like this, and he keeps looking at you like he’s the luckiest person in the world. It would be kind of annoying if it wasn’t doing such a great job of getting you off.

            "And how much is that?" you ask, wanting to continue your conversation.

            "I can't help but feel like I'm answering more questions than I'm asking." he replies, smirking.

            "I'm totally fuck ok with that." 

            "Even so, Sol, I'd be interested to hear some answers about how good this feels for you."

            "Do I have to?" you wine, a little nervious about feeling even more exposed.

            Eridan gives you a sadistic look as he slows to a stop. No, no no no. Your nook is not happy with this change.

            "Are you shitting me?" you say.

            "Start talking. I need to cool down if I want to last longer, anyway."

            You close your eyes.

            "Ok. I am very much enjoying this." you start.

            "Uhuh."

            "It's been the subject of my thoughts for a long time." 

            "Uhuh."

            You squirm. "Could you at least fuck me while I talk?"

            "Maybe if you ask me nicely." he answers, nipping your ear.

            He's really going to make you do this.

            "Will you please fuck me?" you mumble. You moan when he gives you a single, torturous thrust.

            "What was that you said?" he asks.

            "Will you please fuck me, Eridan?" you ask, overly conscious of how breathy your voice sounds. But it's worth it, because he picks up the pace again.

            "Ok, time to start talking." he orders and you consider punching him. You guess you did agree to this.

            "It's so unbelievably satisfying." you admit.

            "You said it had been the subject of your thoughts for a while. What do you do when you think about it?" he asks.

            "What do you think?"

            He moans and buries his face into the crook of your neck.

            "God, that's so fucking hot." he says.

            You open your mouth to make some sort of biting remark.

            "I fucking love this." you gasp, in a way that is not biting at all. He has you reduced to this state, whether you like it or not."

            You wrap your arms around his neck so that you can stick your tongue in his mouth.

            You let out a yelp of pleasure when he grabs your knees, pushing apart your legs even further so he can get deeper.

            Oh, god.

            You suddenly feel twice as sensitive, and every little movement he makes causes pleasure to pool in your abdominal muscles. You’re close, and you feel like you should warn him.

            Something offsets his rhythm a tad, and you’re wondering what until he rubs the spot on your nook with his fingers that you showed him earlier. Your legs are trembling, and you know you’re not going to last long like that.

            Eridan locking eyes with you is what pushes you over the edge. You try to press your face into his shoulder to muffle yourself, but he doesn’t let you. So you’re stuck stuttering hopelessly as ecstasy overtakes you and your rational mind. You convulse a few times, riding out more surges of pleasure than you knew you could have.

            You let out a tiny sigh when they finally stop, and unhinge your grip on his back. He’s still staring you down. Oh shit, you finished and he didn’t. How rude of you.

            “Get on your back.” you order.

            He slides out of you, flipping over onto his back. You settle yourself unto him. It’s a slow process.

            “Why are you still so tight?” he asks.

            “I have a lot of anxiety, ok?” you answer. It was true; you never really untense your abdominal muscles due to stress.

            You wipe your hair out of your face as you ride him, wanting to prove to him that you also know what you’re doing. At least, kind of. Your bulge is still trashing against his pelvis, so you learn over him as to not put in on display.

            You pick up the pace a bit, pleased and he lets out a series of gasps and wines that-

            “Fuck!” he yells, pushing his head into your shoulder as his hips press forward a few times in a shaky rhythm. He mutters a few more obscenities, and leans back far enough so that you can get a good look at the most gorgeous face you’ve ever seen him make.

            He closes his eyes, and you stop moving.

            “Are you serious?” you ask.

            “I’m sorry. I was already so close.” he pleads.

            “You know, I wanted to show you that I’m good at pailing too, but you had to go and come early.” you say, smiling like an idiot.

            “You’re one to talk.”

            You collapse on top of him.

            “So that happened.” you observe.

            He brings his arms around you, and you let your face fall to the crook of his neck.

            “That did happen.” he says.

            “Should we talk about it?” you ask.

            “I had a nice time.” he answers “Anything in particular you want to talk about?”

            “Why don’t we wait until our genitals are not intertwined?” You dismount so that you can be independent once again. Your bulge sheaths and you realize that everything hurts.

            “Oh, everything hurts.” you comment.

            “That’s on you.”

            “No it’s not.”

            “I hate to say it, Sol, but you gave me a green light.”

            You roll your eyes at him, but let him turn you onto your back anyway.

            “What are you doing?” you ask.

            He kisses the tip of your nose and wraps his arms around you.

            “I have to pee.” you say.

            “You know where the bathroom is.”

            “I don’t want to move.”

            He snorts. “Well, you can’t pee here.”

            Damn, he’s right. You push him off, stepping down on the floor. You fall over, unable to stand.

            “What did you do to me?” you ask.

            “What you asked for.”

            “I wasn’t talking to you, ED, I was talking to our lord and savior who just can’t stop humiliating me.” you admit. You wince as you feel a drop of whatever weird sex liquid your nook produces runs down your leg.

            “Sex is disgusting.” you say “There is liquid coming out of me. I’m never having sex again.”

            You finally manage to drag yourself to and from the bathroom. He’s covered himself in more stuffed cuttlefish by the time you get back.

            “Should we put some clothes on?” you ask, not knowing the proper procedure in his mind.

            “That sounds terrible, but we can if we really want to?”

            “What do you want to do?”

            He juts up, grabbing your hand, and pulls you to the edge of the bed.

            “I would like a moment to look at you.” he says, smiling like the asshole that he is. Eridan is a lot of things. Like arrogant, and kind of a tool, and very naked.

            You complain loudly as he rotates you and thank Jegus that he doesn’t try to look up any of your various orifices like some people.

            When he’s done being a total romantic dumbass, you happily crawl back into bed with him. He kisses you, softer this time. Your mouth is soar and you’re glad about the change of pace.

            “Ok, now we can talk about it.” you say.

            “We could do that.” he replies. He’s giving you a look.

            “Or we could just have sex again.” you offer.

            He laughs. “I thought you said you were never having sex again.”

 


 

            It’s twenty-five minutes later.

            “I can’t believe you convinced me to have sex with you again.” you say as fall backwards onto his bed, panting.

            “Sol, this was your idea.” he responds. Shit, he’s right.

            “Ok, now we should talk about this.”

            He sighs, collapsing down next to you and turning your face to look at him.

            “I adore you.” he says.

            You’re surprised. So is he.

            “What?” you ask.

            “I didn’t mean to say that.” he answers “Don’t get me wrong, I still think you’re a piss-poor excuse for a living being.”

            “Of course.” you say, bringing his mouth under yours. He runs a hand over your waist.

            “Have I mentioned how nice this is?” he says, breaking away from your lips.

            “How nice what is?”

            “You have such a nice curve here.” He runs his hand over your waist a second time and demasculinizes you in the process.

            “Eridan?”

            “What?”

            “I don’t think I can be your tutor anymore.”

            He laughs. “That’s probably for the best. And honestly, I don't actually need that much help.” He gets under the blankets, and you follow suit.

            “What do you mean?” you ask, confused.

            “I may have been a bit untruthful about the amount of classes I said I needed help for.”

            “Wait, really?”

            He looks at you like you’re the dumbest person in the world.

            “What I don’t understand is how you didn’t realize that half of the classes I said I needed help with were not even taught here.” he says.

            “ED, you realize that means you wasted precious time on this planet having me teach you shit you already knew, right?”

            “I still learned a lot. I ain't mind wasting time.”

            “I do when you’re also wasting my time.” you claim, in mock outrage.

            “Shut up. You had fun.”

            He kisses you. He kisses you again. You could get used to this.

            "I kinda want to hear more about the fact that you pretended to take classes so that I would pay attention to you." you say, breaking away.

            "What do you want to know?"

            "How long did you have an ulterior motive?" you ask, and by that you meant "how long have you been trying to get into my pants".

            "There was always an underlying ulterior motive, even if it was just burrowed in my subconscious." he admits "But it may have gotten a smidgen out of hand."

            "Why me?" you ask.

            "What, do you want me to say that you were strikingly beautiful and it drew my attention?"

            You wince. "I sure hope that wasn't the reason why. That would be lame."

            "I think you're pretty. But not as pretty as I usually go for. I just found you fascinating. I didn't think it was gonna go this far."

            "I like that." you say, leaning in to kiss him. You close your eyes and lazily trace your hands through his hair like some kind of shitty vampire novel.

            “Oh, shit!” you exclaim, pulling away.

            “What?”

            “I need to write a program for my computer science class.” You’re disappointed. You kind of just wanted to lay here until you died.

            “Do you want a ride home?”

            “That would be nice.”

            Neither of you move.

            “Can I touch your horns?” he asks.

            “Sure, I guess.” you answer.

            Eridan runs his finger over the length of your right-most horn.

            “I think they’re cute.” he comments.

            “Sometimes I hit them on low ceilings.”

            “But not as cute as your freckles.”

            You kiss him. It’s kind of nice getting to kiss him whenever you want to.

            “Let’s tell each other secrets.” you say.

            “Ok.”

            “I’ll go first.”

            “Ok,” he says, still waiting.”

            “I fucking hate you.” you say, and you both giggle, again.

            You and Eridan reluctantly put clothes on so he can drive you home. You finish getting ready minutes before him.

            “Do you really need to comb your hair just to drive me home?” you tease.

            “You have a hicky.” he answers, totally unrelated.

            You bolt over to the bathroom. Oh no, he’s right. There’s a single yellow hicky on the crook of your neck. How are you going to hide this from Karkat?

            “Do you want a scarf?” he asks once you get back.

            “I would rather rip off my eyebrows with melted crayons and duct tape than wear one of your scarves.” you answer.

            “Suit your unfashionable self.”

            He stops you before you walk through the door, kissing you again. You try not to purr.

            “Come on, Sol,” he says, pulling away “I got places to be.”

            What a dick.


 

            You spent your car ride back with Eridan discussing the life and death of Napoleon Bonaparte. There’s even more childish giggling than usual. He gave you one more kiss goodbye, and you reluctantly went on your way.

            Now you’re trying to get work done, which is hard because your mind is weirdly fixated on something else. At least it’s not fighting with itself like usual.

            ‘Here’s a list of everything that could go wrong.’ says your rational mind, sending you a list of exactly that. Never mind.

            ‘And to think you were the villain the whole time.’ you think back, ignoring it with a smile.

            Karkat comes waltzing in like he owns the place. You shift your shirt up to cover the hicky.

            “Nice hicky.” he says, immediately. Not even a ‘hello’.

            “Thanks.” you respond, wanting this conversation to be over with as quickly as possible.

            He grins. “Don’t think I don’t know why.”

            You slam your head against the keyboard. This is going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

            It’s the next day. Yesterday, Karkat made you give him a scene by scene of your first kiss with Eridan like you were some kind of gossip monkey. Well, it made him happy. So you didn’t mind that much. Currently, you’re sitting in the library, minding your own business when some fucking asshole with terrible pants decides to come up and sit next to you.

            “I’m going to be honest here, Sol, I didn’t prepare any witty statements for when I sat down and I have no plan.” he admits.

            “Well, at least I don’t have to play another mental chess game with you.” you say.

            “Is that what we usually do?”

            “Don’t pretend you haven’t noticed. Every time I laugh, I lose a pawn. And every time I tell you something personal or you guess something correctly, I lose a knight, bishop, or a rook.”

            “What did you lose last night?” he asks.

            “Well, I was already queenless after you saw me crying about plants, so I guess you’re at checkmate.” you answer.

            “So are you.” he says.

            “What should we do now?” you ask, nervous that he was going to hit it and quit it.

            He smirks. “Kinda want to kiss you.”

            “And we’re kinda in the library.”

            “Then do you want to get coffee?”

            Now it’s your turn to smirk.

            “As long as you’re paying.” you say.

            “What am I to you, your sugardaddy?” he asks.

            “Let’s not get too liberal with labels.” you say.

            “Fair enough.” he answers and you smile.

            For once, you have a good feeling about this.