Right now, you are Hal. Hal, the very first Android policeman! You are proud of this fact. At least, you think you are proud. You aren't sure what you feel most of the time. It is your first time experiencing emotions. You… Feel good. You feel good a lot. The good feeling ranges and the only way you can describe it accurately is with colors. Being around Roxy makes you feel #F5A9F2 and #F7FE2E. Helping others makes you feel #A9F5F2. Being around Dirk….. It makes you feel a lot of colors. #B40404, #F5A9A9, #610B0B, #F2B8CB, and so many more.
Right now though, you return to your normal perspective.
Hal feels…. #8B844C about all of this. He suspects that color means queasy and nervous. He is at Dirks brothers boyfriend's apartment. He isn't alone, Dirk and Mr. Dave are there too but it sure does feel like he's alone. Dirk seems to hold a lot of resentment towards Mr. Dave and Mr. Dave is….. stoic. Occasionally he seems nervous but not obviously. He acts like Dirk when he's nervous. The twitchy hands, lip biting, tense shoulders, random and shaky movements, shallow breaths… It was obvious that Mr. Dave wanted to talk but wasn't out of respect for Dirk… or fear of Dirk.
Hal didn't understand why people found Dirk so scary. Hal found him kinda.. funny and charming like a small aggressive puppy. Right now though, Dirk was acting much like a very upset teenager. Hal found it… Cute.
Hal shook his head to help himself clear his thoughts and knocked on the door in front of him. Apartment number FF 0800. Huh. A lovely candy red…
Hal pulled himself out of his thoughts when a short man opened the door. He wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt, both were #696969 in color. Nice. The man was only 5'5", had fairly unruly looking hair and very dark skin. Maybe he was from Latinx decent but his training told him not to ask.
"Hello Mr. Vantas, Mr. Strider had informed us that you need some help with a friend of yours." He said, giving the man a smile. In return, he got a glare. Why were the Striders always around hostile people??
"Yeah, no fuckin shit, Sherlock. Get in here before some fuckers see you." Mr. Vantas grumbled and stepped inside, allowing them in. Dirk stuck close to Hal, both of them examining the place. There was a very sturdy dancing pole in a very nice clean area, in front of a mirror. There were a lot of dishes near the sink and a few clothes strewn about. A few of said clothes looked like they belonged to Mr. Strider but Hal decided not to mention it out of fear that Dirk would genuinely get sick. There was a shelf with a very impressive collection of romantic comedy movies but Hal did not understand why they were in disk form. It was such old and outdated technology… but maybe Mr. Vantas liked the vintage look. Hal memorized all the titles he saw in hopes he could convince Dirk to watch a few with him later. Hal wanted to observe what humans aspired in romantic partners. While he looked around, lifting things up, letting his curiosity run wild, Mr. Vantas and Mr. Strider whispered to each other near the door. Mr. Vantas seemed upset and Mr. Strider had a look on his face that resembled Dirks that night at the bar. #e0bcd7. A quiet, peaceful pink. Hal wondered what if Roxy knew what emotions went with which colors.
Synesthesia. The ability to hear colors or associate emotions with colors. Most humans could do it based on memories and such. Hal found it kinda cute. He wrote down all the codes to colors he felt, telling himself he'd email them to Roxy later so she could put words to his feelings.
Hal decided to speak up, snapping Mr. Strider out of his pink trance. "Mr. Vantas, could you tell us about your friend?" He asked, lightly touching the disc cases on the shelf. They were well worn but in the same way a treasured book is well worn. Before he could pull one of the cases out, Mr. Vantas's hand gripped his wrist and forced it away from the shelf. Mr. Vantas was surprisingly strong for his looks and height but he was a pole dancer which required a lot of strength.
"Don't fucking touch those! Both of you, sit down and stop touching my shit! And my name is Karkat!" Mr. Vantas shouted. His voice was clear and direct, much like Mr. Striders but louder. Hal obediently sat down on the couch next to Dirk. The couch was well us-..................
That was definitely a condom. An unused condom thankfully. But it was a condom nonetheless. Hal picked it up and held it out to Mr. Vantas. "I found thi-" before he could finish, Mr. Vantas snatched it away from him and threw it down the hall, his face a #e89797 sort of color. Of course, humans never had very specific colors. They could not be described in hexadecimal colors.
"STOP GOING THROUGH MY SHIT!" Mr. Vantas shouted, obviously embarrassed. Mr. Strider stood behind him, a slightly #ffcfcf color on his cheeks. Was that not what Hal was supposed to do..?
Dirk had a confused look on his face, unable to see what the mystery object was due to the fact Mr. Vantas had thrown it away so fast but he also looked slightly impressed at Mr. Vantas's speed and throwing distance.
"Ooookay then..?" Dirk started, sitting up straight. "Sorry but Hal still hasn't learned a lot of social rules. He's still learning. But could you please tell us why you need our help?" He asked, crossing his arms. Hal quickly mimicked his position, wanting to appear more human and natural.
Mr. Vantas sighed, looking nervous. Hal was thankful he expressed emotions so freely and clearly unlike the Strider family. It was much easier to tell what he was thinking like this.
"Well, um… I have a friend who's been getting sober and well.." Mr. Vantas trailed off, nervous and upset. This was obviously a close friend. Mr. Strider butted in, finishing Mr. Vantas's sentence.
"He's severely injured two people. Enough to put them in the hospital, nearly dead. He's showing zero remorse for his actions and keeps showing up to try something with Karkat. I don't know what he wants and I don't care, I just want him gone and in jail but that's nearly impossible because he's apart of the Makara family. He's also getting friendly with Caliborn," Dirk visibly tensed next to him ", and causing some.. drama within the English family. You remember them, Di-?" Dirk cut off Daves question. Was this just a trend? Cutting people off?
"Yes. I remember. The guy I dated for four years and cheated on me nearly everyday of the fucking year and instead of comforting me, you said 'I told you so'. How could I forget." Dirk said bitterly, still as tense as a rock. Maybe tenser. Hal made a mental note to watch a few relaxation videos and read a few articles to find out how to loosen Dirk up.
"Listen, I can't do shit against the Makara family. My advice? Get him high again. Completely outcast him. Cut off all ties and move to Hollywood with Dave and keep the lowest profile. Maybe move to Kansas. There's literally nothing there. I…." Dirk took a deep breath, sighing. "I can get in contact with Jake and maybe I can get him to sue. It'll take a lot of work but hopefully it'll land this Makara in jail for just enough time for you to really disappear. I hear Italy is nice." He said and lightly played with a curl that had escaped his bun. He looked quite cute with that hairstyle. Hal took another secret picture of him to add to his growing collection.
"You used to date Jake English?" Hal and Mr. Vantas spoke in unison, giving Dirk confused looks. Hal felt #4b6130. Puke green and jealousy. He did not enjoy green. It made him feel horrible. It was a bad feeling. Feeling green felt bad. He did not understand why he was feeling green at this new information. Maybe it was because this Jake English hurt Dirk so much. Dirk was smart and caring, he did not deserve to be hurt and cheated on. He did not deserve someone like Jake English. He deserved riches, happiness, a faithful partner that did not have an ugly green name. No no…. Jake English did not deserve Dirk Martha Strider.
Hal snapped out of his disgusting green haze when Dirk started talking again.
"Yeah. Famous kid plus famous kid equals horrible relationship. He cheated on me hundreds of times, lied, manipulated, everything. Wasn't fun. But, I'm sure I can convince him to sue Makara and get you safely away from this… mess. I also suggest any of your friends that are in association with Makara to leave as well. They fuckin rule this place and they'll take you down if they do please. I have some ties in Texas too, I can get a few people to put you in witness protection and you can still… pole dancer or whatever you do." He said and sighed.
Dirk was willing to talk to a man that cheated on him, lied to him and manipulate him for a guy who was dating his brother who he also did not like.
Dirk was a true saint.
Dirk didnt have to do this and yet he was.
Jake English wasn't even worthy of talking to him.
Jake English didn't deserve to be around him.
Jake English was trash.
Jake English was an ugly, horrible green on the beautiful orange tapestry that was Dirk.
Jake English was less than a cockroach compared to Dirk.
Jake English was horrible.
He was horrible.
He was a liar.
Hal finally noticed he was overheating when Dirk hit him with a wooden cooking spoon. Hal blinked a few times, taking in his surroundings before he noticed the concerned look on Dirks face and the scared look on Mr. Vantas's and the protective look on Mr. Striders.
"Hal? You with us? You gotta stand up man, come with me to the kitchen. I'm gonna cool you off, okay?" He asked. His arm was bright red. The skin was burnt. Did Hal do that…?
Hal obediently got up, his system overheating. His fans were shut off and his internal temperature was….. Hot. His system was too hot to calculate anything. He could barely speak as Dirk lead him to the kitchen, holding his hands with oven mitts on, walking with him like he was a child learning how to walk. Hal didn't mind the attention but it was hard to savor it. Before he knew it, Dirk him laying on the cool counter, a few ice packs on important parts of his body. His chest, his stomach, his head and his neck. He hadn't even noticed that most of his clothes were gone. Once he reached a cooler temperature and was safe to touch, Dirk performed a sort of cranial nerve exam on him. Making sure his eyes worked, his sensors weren't damaged, the works. Hal was having a hard time processing what was going on but he just knew Dirk had his full attention on him and that made Hal feel good.
"-Hal? Hal, I need you to pay attention to me right now. I need you to sit up and tell me how you feel." Dirk told him, the same concerned look on his face.
Hal did what he was told, slowly moving his limbs and testing himself. His software was okay, his system wasn't fucked, he could.. kinda see. Everything was a bit too bright and it hurt. Everything else felt perfectly fine though.
"I believe I am okay. Nothing hurts, my system is fine. It is a bit bright in here though." He said and blinked slowly. Someone turned off the lights and Dirk stayed in front of him, continuing to give him that concerned look he was starting to enjoy.
"Can you tell us what happened? Why you started overheating? Did something upset you?" Dirk asked quietly and lightly touched Hal's face, checking his temperature and testing his reactions. Hal enjoyed the touches. Dirks hands were so soft. Hal committed Dirks fingerprints to memory.. Huh. It took a few seconds longer than usual.
Hal wasn't sure he should tell Dirk why he started overheating. He didn't know why he shouldn't, he just felt like he shouldn't.
"I am not sure. It seems my systems overloaded as I tried to figure out different plans and research these two individuals. Maklish and…" Hal wasn't sure why the names were escaping him. They were important people. He was supposed to see one soon.
The thought of seeing this mystery person make his stomach hurt and it made his body start heating up again.
"Alright, I'm taking you home. You're getting a day off." Dirk said, looking over at… someone. Hal couldn't take his eyes off Dirk. He heard a voice he knew. He knew who was in the room but they were a shadow person currently. Hal did not bother to even try identifying them. He did not want to look away from Dirk. Hal blinked a few times when sunglasses were put on his face and he was lead outside, holding an ice pack against his chest. He wasn't sure where he was going or where he was currently. It didn't exactly matter. He did not care.
He was slowly but surely regaining his senses by the time they got to the apartment. He could identify other people he previously knew and see faces instead of just shadow people. He could also absorb his surroundings in. He was at home. With Dirk. His ice pack wasn't there anymore. Shame. He was getting attached to it. He was going to name it Earnest. That was a very human thing to do. Hal blinked a few times, realizing he could not think and look around at the same time. He could not process his surroundings and think at the same time. That was..
Hal opened his eyes. He was sitting in a corner. It was dark. Dirk was curled up against his side. It was 11:45pm. He did not know how he got from Mr. Vantas's apartment to Dirks. He did not know what happened after Dirk had spoken about two criminals. Hal checked his systems, going easy on himself. He had a shut down right when Dirk mentioned someone's name. His mood chart was… A color he could not identify. It was a bad color though. Hal could tell that much. He could not place it's code or what color it was or even what it really looked like but he just knew it was bad.
Hal looked down at Dirk and frowned when he saw a burn on his arm. Dirk must've tried something stupid and completely human. Hal smiled at the thought and lightly tapped Dirks head, trying to wake him up. Dirk snorted when he was startled awake and groaned as he sat up, stretching about.
Hal was thankful he was able to record that. Dirk seemed to notice that Hal was awake and quickly got a familiar expression on his face but Hal could not place when Dirk made that expression.
"Hal? You okay? You collapsed in the living room when we got home. Can you remember anything?" Dirk asked. His voice was… soothing. It had a lovely tone to it but Hal did not like seeing Dirk in such distress.
"I remember going to Mr. Vantas's apartment and then crashing when you mentioned a certain name of a criminal. I can not recall who but they did not make me feel good. I do not remember anything beyond that but my system reports that I crashed and traveled from Mr. Vantas's apartment to yours. There is a color I do not recognize on my mood chart. Oh. Since I have been experiencing emotions lately, I made myself a mood chart so I could track my emotions for my supervisors to examine at a later date. Although, I do not know this color, I can not describe it and I do not know it's hexadecimal code. Looking at it for too long makes my system… upset so to speak. Much like looking at something gross makes you upset." Hal explained and tilted his head. "Would you like me to recount the details leading up to my crash?" He asked. Dirk looked very upset and Hal wanted to help. Dirk shook his head, gently touching Hal's face. Dirks hands were nice.
"No no, I think I know what happened. Um… Hal. Have you been experiencing.. jealousy? It's a bad emotion. Maybe you felt it when I was talking with Equius at the bar?" Dirk asked nervously.
Hal blinked a few times. An unknown part of him was telling him to lie but Hal was not supposed to lie. He was supposed to tell the truth no matter what..
He shouldn't lie.
But he didn't want to tell the truth..
"No. I have not experienced any bad emotions like that as far as I can tell."