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Feeling Through the Heart and Feet

Chapter Text

As you push open the tasseled door, you can tell that something's off. You can't tell exactly what, but there's something. Nothing is new in the small lobbyish area, and nothing is suggesting danger. You shrug it off and greet the hostess with a nod and familiar smile. She returns both and grabs a menu for you. Even though you both know you don't need it, others trolls don't like obvious favorites.

"Hello, Mr. Captor. How are you?”

"Not bad. I hope you have some exceptionally good entertainment tonight, though.”
She laughs lightly and starts leading you to your reserved table, placed right in front of the raised stage.

"You know we always have good entertainment; that's why you come back, right?”

You smirk and plop down in the padded chair, saying, "That, along with the equally good prices and alcohol. Oh, you know my usual, AA." You casually wave off the menu she offers and smile at her retreating back.

Your moirail liked to stay professional in the workplace, but still treated you with familiarity, which you are happy to receive. You shake your head and look up at the stage over your bi-colored glasses, wondering what they have tonight. You never look at the schedule, always wanting to be surprised. Receiving no answers from the empty platform, you peer around the room.

It's an extremely elegant club, albeit a bit small. The low lighting and small candles on the booths along the walls and tables in the middle of the place really set an interesting mood. Somewhat like a brothel. Not exactly a flattering comparison, but the best. It’s not the most posh, and you think that’s by design. Don’t want all the drama that comes with highbloods in the city, so it’s small and cheap to attract the right class. Namely, you.

You'd been coming here for perigees, since you'd come of drinking age, about two sweeps ago. You'd left almost completely hammered your first visit, so you don't remember much, but liked it enough to come back. It’s pretty quiet, despite being fairly popular. The slightly homey atmosphere and alcohol let you get out of your ever-buzzing head and just relax. You don’t have to think about your coding job (and not matter how much you enjoy it, it’s still a job), and can tune out the doomed voices in your head, caused by your oh-so-wonderful psionics and causing debilitating migraines.

Then you found out about the performing, and it made the place even better. Apparently, they had something like an open-mike night, only the stage was big enough for dancing and other acts, too. Of course, performers had to have a certain standard of talent with what they did, but the owners liked to give the rare newbie a chance. Altogether, it made it even easier to displace yourself and melt into the comforting aroma of scotch, fake leather, and vanilla air fresheners.

Speaking of which, the sea of faces around you seems interested, watching the stage vehemently. You hear whisperings of a new performer going first, a dancer surprisingly. This place got mostly singers and while dancing was an option, it wasn't commonly utilized. You yourself have never been the artsy type, but you can still appreciate what you don't care about.

AA comes back with your drink, an intricate Bee Sting topped with cherries. You like it mainly because of the honey, but the spicy kick of various pepper powders is forever intriguing, too.

Leaning back, you take the first sip while the stage lights go up, and almost choke on it when the performer comes out, because…

Holy. Shit.

Chapter Text

The first thing you notice are his eyes, and you’re not the only one. Everyone around you is hissing to each other, not quite sure what to do or expect. For fucks sake, it’s a highblood.

His piercing violet eyes scan the room, almost daring someone to say something, and eventually ghosts over you. They seem to hesitate leaving your red and blue ones, even though you’re grateful they do because it felt like he was looking through you rather than at you.

The next thing you notice is his outfit. He almost looks like, as Kanaya puts it, a yoga instructor. A loose black tank top with his sign printed on it in purple over an equally black pair leggings and, oddly, no shoes at all. Nothing on his face, arms, hands, or below the knee where the fabric cuts off. The only other real accent is a dyed stripe of violet between his lightning-shaped horns emanating from the forehead.

You put down your glass slowly, taking it all in. It all looks very efficient for dancing, and it helps that he’s got the thighs of a fucking god. Actually, he is completely gorgeous. You can’t even tear your eyes away, barely hearing the owner announce him, but the name is still caught.

Eridan Ampora.

Fuck, even his name is enticing, rolling right off the tongue, even with yours split and obscured by those infuriating fangs of yours. You just want to keep letting it roll into the sunset.

Then you think, ‘What the everloving fuck is wrong with me? He’s just a guy, and highblood at that. True, he may be hot as all hell, and incredibly brave to come here, and looking at me.. oh fuck, he’s looking at me, shit!’

You avert your gaze, trying to shake off the oncoming thoughts coming from your gogdamn bulge and take on your usual nonchalant persona…which lasts all of five seconds after the music starts.

Eridan, for lack of a better word, is elegant. He manages to sync up with the beat of the pop song he chose, but still make it smooth and flowing. The dance is somewhat of a mix of ballet and, oddly enough, bellydancing. It probably comes from seadweller culture.

The way his lithe muscles move under the grey skin, the concentrated but lax look on his face, and the fins emanating from his exposed calves, forearms, and ears are all very attractive and you can’t help but squirm a bit in your seat as you watch. You instead look at his neck; enticing as it is, the gills are what catches you. Just dark spots from afar, but from your vantage point, they and the filaments look like folded and bunched silk, rich with his violet blood. You wonder how they'd feel under your fingers and they itch a bit.

He seemed to be lost in his own world, leaping and twisting with a blissful look. Unfortunately, he doesn’t see the way some of the audience members are looking at him. While most of the crowd is looking with a medley of admiration, confusion, and uncertain fear, some are giving him something you like to call ‘roving eyes’. It’s a hungry look that you’ve seen too much for your liking, what with living in the city, and while you’re sure he can take care of himself, that one group of five sharing the look is setting you on edge a bit.

He finishes way too quickly in your opinion and and takes a bow while the majority of people applaud, yourself naturally included. Eridan takes his leave, but not before flashing you a look of interest that sends shivers down your spine. Once he’s off, the trolls around you start swapping opinions, but at the moment you couldn’t care less, because that group previously mentioned just got up and made their way over to the door that leads to the dressing rooms. An instinctual protectiveness you have no clue the origin of takes over and you follow, preparing your psionics if the need should arise.

Which apparently it does. When you pass the right room, you stop short and quickly take stock of the situation at hand, trying not short out in both shock and anger.

In the surprisingly large dressing room, there is Eridan surrounded by what looks like a jadeblood, a rustblood, a fellow yellowblood, and two who you can’t make out. What makes your horns spark, though, is that he’s being held against the wall by the neck by the viciously grinning jadeblood, hissing as loud as possible. His clenched hands are trying to be forced down by the rustblood and one you don’t know of, but they aren’t doing very well due to his highblood strength almost throwing them across the room. The yellowblood is trying to catch his flailing bare legs, but is also failing. And he’s an obviously strong troll, but it’s hard to fight one on five, no matter what blood caste you belong to.

The other unknown troll was meant to stand guard, which you find out as he growls and launches himself at you. You smirk and quickly set up a psionic barrier, which he promptly rams right into and is blown back into the opposite wall. This, naturally, catches the attention of the others, the captors baring their teeth at you and the captive giving you a hopeful, pleading look laced with pure fear with those amazing eyes of his.

The smirk grows wider and you smugly look at them over your glasses, red and blue sparking from your equally colored eyes, wordlessly warning them and giving them one last chance to back down. The yellowblood and rustblood accept your offer and slowly skirt around you, sprinting down the hall once they’re clear of the door frame with looks of nervousness and regret. The other two, however, stand their ground.

The previously unknown troll, now identified as a blueblood by his eyes, manages to pin both of Eridan’s hands to one side awkwardly. A look of panic comes over him as he writhes more and starts to shout when you step forward, but is cut off by the jadeblood tightening her grip in response. You freeze, for lack of a better thing to do.

Then you realize, what the fuck are you doing, you’re a fucking psion. You decide to oh-so-classily snap the wrist holding his throat and muffle the resounding scream in a bubble. Eridan falls to his feet and immediately wrenches his hands free, not hesitating to punch the blueblood right in the fucking face and sending him flying backwards with a crack. You gawk as Eridan sweeps the leg of the jadeblood and slams her down, knocking her out against the floor. He grabs a small black tote bag of his and slips into his shoes, his expression contorting from shock to rage to fear.

The more amazing thing to you is how he grabbed your arm as he ran out the door, pulling you with him out the back exit. You don’t really have a choice in the matter, his grip iron clad as you stumble to keep up with his long legs. You end up in the back alley, surrounded by brick and darkness, and inquisitively look at the person still connected to you by the wrist.

However, the most astounding thing he does that night was press you to the wall, gently. It’s cold and hard against your back, but his lips are oddly warm and soft against your cheek. He smiles a soft yet humbling smile against your skin and you desperately wish you could see it.

“..thank you.” Eridan whispers, his seadweller accent coming through. He says it in such a way that makes you think he’s never had anyone who did anything to warrant gratitude, and it pulls at your bloodpusher.

He gives your pale yellow cheek another kiss (and you’re not sure whether you want him to notice it or not), and pulls back, rewarding you with the smile you wanted to see and those exquisite eyes so so close to you. Trolls you know have told you you have a piercing look, but you’d bet your bottom caegar that his blows you away.

Another silent second between you and he’s gone in a flash, his hand leaving a tingling feeling on your wrist when it’s gone. The last view of him you get that night is of a calf fin and the edge of his bag disappearing around the building corner.

All in all, it leaves you feeling exhilarated, wanting more, and with an annoying, almost painfully raging boner.

Chapter Text

It’s a few more minutes until you head back into the club, mainly because your brain is trying to process what the fuck just happened. Did you really just save a troll you don’t know at all from a group of horny drunkards? Did he actually just kiss your cheek in thanks? Do you honestly still have a boner? The answer to all these questions is a yes, roaring in your ears.  Your head knocks back onto the wall and you push yourself off heavily. The door is propped open, music from the current act pouring out, and you’re debating going back in, going home, or running after him.

Another question pops of at your pondering: does Eridan actually like you? Your bloodpusher flutters at the thought, but is quickly shot down by your traitorous pessimistic brain.

‘Of course he doesn’t. Why would he? He doesn’t even know you, and you’re just a worthless lowblood, less than nothing to someone like him. He was probably just showing gratitude, in a really weird way..’ You shake your head, trying to free it from your thoughts of blood colors and his smile and crushing doubt. Then you try and rationalize it, or make yourself lose interest.

‘What am I thinking? He might be..well, amazingly good looking, but most highbloods are. It’s not exactly special. Plus, he looks like the kind who is probably really stuck-up, with his expensive clothes and shit. He can’t even take care of himself, can’t get past a fucking rustblood.’ Unfortunately, your thinking just made you feel a bit more pity at the sight of him, vigorously fighting and failing.

 You have no clue why you’re so hung up on him. Maybe it’s the way he just let himself go on the stage and showed the slight weakness that is joy. Maybe it’s the hopeful way he looked at you when you burst in on his helplessness, like he trusted you fully to get him out of danger. Or maybe it’s the fact that he’s a fucking highblood in a club that is far, far from his class’ preference. That is something you briefly wonder. What the hell was he doing there? There are plenty of higher-class places he could have gone to, and yet he chose to come here. You really want to follow him, ask him, and just maybe get rid of the tent in your black jeans.

Thankfully, your “higher” brain prevents you from doing that and gives you a brilliant idea: go get drunk. You decide to listen to it and hurry back inside, slipping into your seat once more and rubbing your dichromatic eyes, attempting to get the vision of Eridan from behind them.

At the moment, a spirited oliveblood is singing, and doing fairly well in spite of her hands obviously shaking. You know the song, and decide that it’s the perfect one to lose your senses to. Calling AA over, you groan out, “Hey, I plan on getting hammered tonight, so if you see me with an empty glass, I need you to put another drink in my hand. ” You take a sip and, though she looks hesitant, she nods and goes off to get you another drink as you finish off the one still at the table. This is going to end horribly for your head and possibly dignity, but at the moment you just don’t want to think about that strange troll with the shapely legs and bright eyes. And you don’t, but that’s the last thing you remember thinking before AA came back with several drinks in hand on a silver fucking platter.

—————————————————————————————————

You wake up loathing yourself. And the light currently on your face.
Everything feels sluggish and heavy, especially your pounding head. Thankfully, you’re lying on something soft and you turn your head, pressing your face into it. You groan, not particularly caring if anyone hears you, and take stock of your immediate surroundings.

It’s quiet, thank god, and slightly cool on your skin. You’re lying on your stomach, feeling sweaty and gross in the clothes you wore last night. You can still smell the alcohol and various perfumes of the club coming from you. The taste of honey and pepper are burning your tongue and you lick your dry lips. You lift your head, peering around the vicinity. You appear to be alone, and in your own hive complex. Facing away from the light, you sit up slowly, rubbing your fingers into your throbbing temples. The place looks the same as ever, messy yet organized to your eyes, except for the cup of coffee and bottle of pills on the side table to your right.

You can’t help but smile a bit. You’ve gotten drunk plenty of times over the years and each time, AA brought you home. She managed to decipher your slurred ramblings the first time of where your hive is and found the spare key you keep in a divot in the door frame. She always left you on your couch or in a pile, with coffee and pills waiting for you when you woke up. You’d been friends ever since that first night and she became your moirail soon after, since neither of you snagged one in grubhood. You trust her completely and appreciate every molecule that is her.

The coffee is still warm, and you shakily get to your feet to head to the nutrition block, taking the pain pills with you. They’re the strongest you can get without turning to sopor like Gamzee, and that is never happening. You lean heavily on the counter, taking two out and carefully putting them aside. This routine goes as follows: spoon, creamer, stir, bit of sugar, stir, an assload of honey, and stir again, finishing with the pills on your tongue and the almost painfully sweet drink chasing after; just the way you like it.

The coffee is sipped slowly and gone before you fully wake up. You still feel gross and put the mug back on the counter, making your way down the hall to the ablution block and peeling off bits of clothing off as you do. The last to go is your bi-colored glasses, placed carefully on the white sink and you tiredly look up at the mirror, staring at the troll looking back.

He’s skinny, almost frighteningly so. Ribs are countable and looks like he has no muscle, despite having an odd sinewy amount hidden in the arms. Grub scars lined his sides, but that’s hardly new. He’s tall and pointed, topped off with two sets of matching horns that spark when he gets angry. His face could be considered fairly attractive, if it wasn’t put through so many sleepless nights and odd mutations. So hated they were, those jutting fangs that caused his lisp and opposite eyes that caused his loud mind. He didn’t really need the glasses he wore, it was more so to hide his eyes and, even though they’re fairly obvious, self-consciousness won out over reason most of the time. Jet black hair that was usually brushed into something akin to a style is now falling over his eyes, greasy and wiry. You can’t see his split tongue or bifurcated bulges at this angle, but you know they’re there, and that they’re really yours. All in all, not the best product of the Mother Grub, but workable.

You shake your head and turn on the water, setting it to a comfortable heat and you sit on the edge of the trap, letting your mind wander as it fills.

Of course it fucking goes to that dancer, the one you saved for some reason. You’re able to think more clearly now and, though you didn’t forget him, you certainly lost a lot of the desperation that spurred you on. Now you just wonder so much: what was he doing there? Why did he thank you the way he did? What is his life like? What does that cool highblood body feel like? So many questions that’ll probably go unanswered, you think. Then you just picture him in your mind, him dancing and smiling so close to you.

The trap fills while you think and soon enough you’re lowered down into the water, sighing happily. At this moment, nothing really matters besides the warmth and cleansing feeling. Your mind wanders again, a thing it does very well, and you consider trolling AA and asking for a feelings jam. You really want to discuss Eridan, but you know she’s probably still asleep after her late shift and dragging you home. You settle for sending her an idle message and vigorously scrubbing at the stench of yourself. Nothing feels better than when someone massages at your head, easing the stress of constant headaches, and it feels almost as good when you do it yourself, so you spend about five minutes rubbing your head gently. Shampoo somehow works its way in there and it feels even better, making you purr just the smallest bit. Thankfully, such contentment leaves no room for feelings and questions riling up your mind.

All too soon you need to get out and you drag your self up out of the murky water. Psionics unstop the drain and you step out, deciding to forfeit the towel and send a flash of hot energy down yourself, drying you instantly. That trick is so cool, it helps you infinitely in the evening. Granted, you have shocked yourself a few times in your haze, but it’s too easy and convenient to stop.

Anyway, you get dressed in yellow boxers and an old shirt you’ve worn way too much and go back to the recreationblock, it having become early evening during your soak. You spend most of the rest of your time coding an assignment from work. It’s such an easy job for you because coding is more of a hobby to you, and you get paid handsomely for doing what you’ve done since you were six sweeps old.

Eventually, AA trolls you back, saying she can’t come over because Feferi needs her. You like FF, she’s really cool for being the heir to the Empire, but you also know she has a moirail, so you ask why she isn’t with them.

AA: y0u didn’t hear? she br0ke it 0ff with him.
TA: what? why?
AA: he apparently had red feelings f0r her and c0nfessed, but she didn’t see him that way.
AA: she didn’t even feel pale f0r him anym0re.
TA: damn, poor FF. waiit, why ii2 2he wiith you?
AA: that’s the exciting part!
AA: y0u kn0w I’ve felt red f0r her f0r a while, right?
TA: yeah
AA: well, she’s red for me t00! we’re matesprits! 0u0
TA: wow, congratulatiion2, AA! tell FF congrat2 to her, two
AA: thanks, S0llux! n0w it’s y0ur turn ;P
TA: yeah, riight, keep prayiing to tho2e gho2t2 of your2
TA: by the way, who ii2 he? ii don’t think ii’ve met hiim, and ii’m curiious
AA: y0u haven’t? huh.
AA: well, his name’s Eridan
AA: Eridan Amp0ra

Chapter Text

What the fuck is wrong with you?

You had an absolute gem of a moirail, and you managed to push her away, being so gogdamn needy all the time. You don’t blame her in the least, even though you had thrown insult after plea after insult at her when she broke it off. You really just wanted someone to blame instead of your usual self.

You eventually sit up from the pile you’re in, moving away from the violet fabrics and wiping away a few stray tinted tears. You look around your room for lack of a better thing to do and smile hollowly at the obvious royalty of it you know you don’t really deserve, despite how you act publicly.

The room is enormous, and almost stiflingly stereotypical of a highblood. Violet covers everything it can, from the walls to the recooperacoon to the curtains covering one whole entire wall, blocking the view of the sea. Dark hardwood flooring spread out beneath you and reflects the light coming from both under the curtains and your husktop sitting on an equally dark wooden desk. Stuffed bookshelves cover another entire wall, filled with just about everything you can get your hands on and your collection is spilling over onto the surrounding floor. More books, along with various papers cover several tables around the room, making it all look very regal and important when you know it’s not really.

You sigh deeply, drag yourself to your feet, and walk over to your closet to put something on. You really, really don’t want to face the world right now, but Seahorsedad has been sick and you promised him you’d get him medicine from the city today instead of just waiting it out. He’d always known about his health best, anyway. Yours too, for that matter.

You quickly don your usual outfit: light, water-repellant striped pants and an equally made black sweater with your Aquarius sign on it, along with a striped scarf you wrap around your neck. You slip on your hipster (as Fef used to call them) glasses and a dozen gleaming rings made of gold, silver, mixes of the two, and most imbedded with amethysts. You smooth back your hair with a bit of sopor slime and have a quick look in the floor-length mirror attached to your wall, looking the figure of you in it up and down.

You’re actually fairly confident about your appearance; that was something your self-loathing never got to. With your flashing eyes, pointed jaw, tall stature, and fit body from swimming (and your secret joy), you catch the eye of many a prospective quadrant. That is, until they talk to you, or see how you act around others.

Despite how you present yourself, no opinion of you is lower than your own. No, you don’t particularly like lowbloods, but you don’t particularly like most people, and you definitely don’t think you’re better than them (especially that one from last night…). You like to hide your insecurities and truly shy nature behind a wall of snobbiness and contempt for pretty much everything. No one comes near you, and it’s both a blessing and a curse. The loneliness was consuming except for Fef, and you even managed to push away your moirail. Granted, you did harbor red feelings for her for the longest time, but somehow it’s been dissipating since her brutal rejection. Wonder what that’s about.

Anyway, you turn away from your reflection and head to the nutritionblock, even though you’re not particularly hungry. An apple is tossed into your mouth from a bowl on the table, keys to your hive are grabbed, and your trademark violet cape is put on with a flourish. You chew on your apple as you gather together your moneybag, list of medicines for your lusus, and your portable husk top since you planned on stopping at a really good coffee place and had some work desperately needing to be done over a hot drink. You place them all in your favorite black tote bag and throw away the apple core, calling goodbye to your poor lusus and you lock the door firmly behind you.

You set off down the gravel road, slipping the bag over your shoulder and enjoying both the sound and smell of the sea. Some other seadwellers think you’re weird for not living in the water, but you just prefer the closeness instead of the surrounding of the sea for some reason. The wind is powerful today, throwing your cape around, and the moonlight glints off the water. You like being naturally nocturnal as opposed to most of your finned brethren (the caustic sunlight doesn’t reach too far down into the water, and just shows the shift in times for them). You find the night more peaceful and beautiful, and you get to enjoy the view your hive provides on the cliffs without going blind.

You used to live in an old, broken down ship that, while very versatile and catering, just didn’t appease you anymore. So you had a new one built with your ridiculous amount of funds, a bit closer to the large city, and you love every bit of it.

Said city is very convenient for your needs and oddly gets plenty of seadweller visits, so you never got the incredulous looks you were expecting. Unfortunately, that also meant you could run into people you know, and you couldn’t let your guard down in case it came back to bite you in the ass. So you remained “happily” stoic in the face of public; tall, proud, and as unsociable as possible.

However, when your mind roams in it’s idleness, it goes to your guilty pleasure and what happened when you finally gave in to it. Dancing was always something you enjoyed, whether in or out of water, but it was looked down upon where you came from. Your home consisted of warriors and hunters, and while you were both of those, it was still shameful to be seen doing it. So you continued in secret wherever you could when the urges came pounding, and you thought you were pretty good at it. Still do, really.

That’s why you went to that stupid club. You’d heard about it and what it offered from friends and ad placements, and decided why not try? It was in a mainly lowblood part of town and you didn’t know many, so no one would know. You really only knew Kar, a good yet blunt friend, and Ara, who you try not to think about since she was who Fef ran to when she broke it off, and you know for a fact something red was happening between them.

Speaking of red feelings, you can’t help but think about that stranger from the club. You know, the one you kissed, albeit on the cheek. A smile slides onto your face at the thought of those psionic eyes and unruly hair and attractive as fuck smirk. Seriously, for a lowblood, that guy was fuckin’ hot.

You reach the city limits and adjust your stance to a more prominent one when the question of why comes to mind. Why did he help you? Why did he care? Why did he give you ‘the look’? You could have taken on those other trolls if a) you weren’t caught by surprise, and b) you had your wand on you (which you do now). If he hadn’t come when he did, you would have been fucked. Literally.

Anyway, the focus is that he did, and that he probably likes you to some extent to do that, even if he hasn’t really met you yet, and that you don’t regret kissing him in the least. It felt..oddly right. It’s also important to note that the way he watched you dance made your bloodpusher flutter, not to mention your nook, and all that power he showed and those astounding eyes that are looking at you…wait, what?

Oh fuck. You’ve walked right into the center square, surrounded by a few other trolls, and one of them is him. He’s staring from across the square, eyes boring into you, and he has a look of recognition. You stop short, giving away that you know him too, and promptly look him over. He’s dressed more casually than the previous day, and still looks every bit as attractive as before. He gives you a once over, but you turn away once he takes a few steps towards you. Your cape flutters as you hurry away and disappear in the pharmacy. Thankfully, it’s empty except for yourself. Your heart races and you lean against the wall for a second to stall your panic.

Fuck.

————————————————————————————————————

All you can think is, ‘No. Fucking. Way.’

You stare wide-eyed at the name on your screen, ignoring the rest of the maroon text filling it, and let the information wash over you.

FF is - um, was moirails with that one particular hot piece of ass? Huh. Small world.

You shake your head and look at the name again, spilling out an excuse to AA about why you need to go and close your husktop slowly. Before you can even blink, a certain grating voice meets your ears and makes you jump.

“Oh, so you finally decided to join the land of the fucking living? About time, douchewad. I was about to call the morgue and see if they do pickups.”

…you love KK, he is your best friend besides AA and your roommate on top of that. He’s helped you through a lot and you owe him so much. And vise versa, really, since you’ve helped him avoid drones and fights and the consequences of his nonexistent temper. You’re immensely glad to have him in your life. You just can’t fucking stand him when he want to be an ass while you’re nursing a hangover. You rub your temples and spin around in your chair, giving him a glare attempting to rival his.

“Why don’t you make yourth’elf uth’eful, KK, and th’uck my bulge. Actually, I’m sure it’d be an honor for you.”

“Hard to ‘thuck’ what isn’t there, nookwhiffer.” He’s interrupted (thank gog) by a yawn and he throws you a dirty look, like you’re the source of his insomnia. He walks up to you and flicks your forehead before you can bat his hand away.

“Why don’t you make yourself useful for once in your fucking pathetic life and get off your golden ass. I want some actual coffee, and you need it, bulgebiter.” He fixes you with 'the look', the one that will make you do just about anything because its annoyingly caring and stern and scolding all at the same time, and it’s been made even more compelling since his bright fucking red eyes came in.

You squirm a bit and push him away to get up and tower over him, but the look doesn't waver. After trying and failing to match his expression, you sigh dramatically and abscond to your respiteblock, calling back.

“Fine, but I don’t th’ee the point in leaving the hive juth’t for gogdamn coffee, eth’pecially when you’re the one who want’th it th’o badly!” You rifle through your clothes, pulling out and on your usual gray jeans and a long sleeve shirt with your sign in yellow on it. You almost miss his “Because I said to!”, but you still roll your eyes at it, slipping on your two-toned glasses. Despite his stunted size and drama, he is really a born leader.

He tosses your wallet at your face when you get back to the recreationblock from his place on the couch, and you growl at him when it hits. He smirks triumphantly and settles into the cushions, turning on the TV as you pick it up and slip it into your back pocket.

“You know my usual, asslicker, and be quick about it.” You oh-so-happily smack the back of his head and mimic his smirk when he grumbles. Some people think you’re black for each other, just by the sheer amount of fighting between you two, but it’s just entertaining for both of you and how you communicate. Frankly, you think it’s astounding how him and his moirail get along with how utterly different they are. Seriously, GZ is just all around creepy to you.

Anyway, you think about how you just might put some salt in his coffee, just to get him back as you slip into your favorite shoes (one white, one black. Yes, it’s a fashion felony, but you don’t care, so shut up). However, that idea is dead in the water when you think of how picky he is with it. He would mount your head in his respiteblock.

Smiling to yourself, you shrug on your black jacket and pick up your keys in case KK decides to be the prick that he loves to be. You hesitate just enough to remember to grab your phone from it’s charger and slip it in your pocket, saluting KK’s back with a flip off.

The silence of the elevator is nice for a change. Even though quiet is a rarity. You do still approve of your decision to live in a communal hivestem. It’s hard for drones to pinpoint and gets great signal from the top of the tower. KK doesn’t care as long as he has his ‘necessities’; mainly romcoms, crappy food, internet connection, and a place to crash safely.

You reach the base floor and stride out, taking on your apathetic persona in the face of others. It’s easier just to not care.

The air is pretty brisk out and you zip up your jacket, stuffing your hands in your pockets and admiring what little sky you can see. You like to sit on the roof sometimes and watch the stars when you need something simple and beautiful to look at. It’s an interesting feeling, being humbled.

The rest of the trolls out are just a mix of random people. Some of FF’s protests against segregation and discrimination have actually been listened to, especially around where you are, and while it is very odd to some, less lowbloods have been killed in the name of the hemospectrum in the city. Although, trolls from separate classes are naturally staying away from each other, you notice. Meh, they can’t really help it, and you don’t particularly care.

You’re not too far from the city square, and consequently KK’s favorite coffee place. Yours too, for that matter. You reach it in a matter of minutes and start the crossing of concrete when something catches your eye across the plaza. Something violet.

Oh fucking gog. It’s him. He looks almost nothing like you remember, all highblooded up, but you know those bangs and horns and eyes. You stop dead, unable to look away, and mentally curse when he spots you. You know he does because his eyes widen and he halts. He gives you an up-down rove and you return the gesture.

Honestly, you’re not sure which outfit you like better. This one shows off his stature and regality more, especially with the many varying rings on his fingers and a few on his earfins to show how well-off he is, but the other one seemed so raw and showed off more of, well him. The cape is a bit of overkill, but it’s intriguing in its own right. You recognize the black bag over his shoulder, which actually still fits his outfit perfectly. He’s wearing glasses that you can’t hate more. It cruelly hides his eyes and gives him an odd look.

You don’t even notice when you’ve started moving, but you get no more than a few steps before he quickly turns away with a flourish of his cape and goes into a fairly large shop that looks like a pharmacy. You don’t know, you don’t emerge from the hive often, especially not to come here.

Your torn, half of your brain screaming, 'Follow him and get that ass!' The other half is telling you not to be a creep, he obviously doesn’t want to talk. You end up just shifting from foot to foot for a bit, hating being indecisive.

When he finally comes out, a good twenty minutes later, you’ve situated yourself at a table in the coffee shop near the window, sipping on a caramel mocha laced with honey and dicking around on your phone, but still keeping an eye out for him. You turn to watch him when he shows himself.

He looks around for you and smiles, with a twinge of sadness oddly, and pulls out his own phone, heading. Towards. You.

Freezing, you feel just a bit terrified. You want to talk to him, to get to know him…and hell, you wouldn’t mind fucking him, plain and simple. But you’ve never been exactly the sociable sort. What if you say the wrong thing? What if he just doesn’t like you like that? What if-

And he’s already passed you and at the counter. He didn’t even see you, thank fuck. That gives you some time to think of what to say…of which you have no clue.

In the meantime, he sits at a small corner table across from you with his mystery drink and pulls out his husk top from his bag, seeming fairly apathetic to just about everything else. Great, something you can relate to. He opens it and begins to type, but quickly gets distracted by…something. Anyway, he closes it roughly with a small growl and turns so more of his back is to you, staring out the window and sipping.

That’s what pushes you into getting up, just that look of silent, intense contemplation and a sudden urge to be it’s focus (you actually are, but just don’t know it). You slowly walk over to his back, count to two in your head and say, “Eridan.”

He tenses a bit and carefully turns to look at you, a few emotions slipping through his shield. You pinpoint surprise, anxiety, but mainly impish curiosity in those impossibly close violet orbs. Unfortunately, it goes back to a cold stare too soon for you. His gaze is forceful and making you slightly uncomfortable, but you stand your ground and wait for him to answer…which he does in that deep, glorious, wavering voice of his that you only got a glimpse of before.

“What do you want?” Oh fuck, your knees are buckling. No, stay cool, stay cool.

“Just a few answers.” He inspects you, looking for any hint of..something in your eyes, and the edges of his lips twitch upward after a pregnant moment.

“Me too. You’d better sit down.”

Chapter Text

You did it. You actually talked to him. You weren’t sure you’d be able to, especially after panicking over just seeing him again, but you did it, and now he’s sitting opposite you and you have no clue what to say. He doesn’t either, by the looks of it, though. Yay, you can be socially inept together!

You decide to start, since he asked for answers first, and you need to do something besides be mesmerized by those piercing, monotone eyes. You clear your throat and sit up, trying to be confident.

“Well, what do you want to know?” you ask, not letting your voice waver more than it usually does. He relaxes a bit in his seat and sips at the drink in his hand and you can smell the honey from here. Probably tastes delicious on those sharp fangs of his…NO. Bad Ampora. FOCUS.

..but that tongue, licking those lips, though.

He shakes you from his stupor by saying, “First of all, I want to know what the hell happened last night. What was that thing in the alley about?” Oh fuck, he has a lisp. Normally, it’d be weird and off-putting, but for some stupid reason, it’s both adorable and makes you want to climb him like a tree. But you manage to steer yourself back to his question by actually asking it yourself. Why did you trust him so much so fast? Why did you ‘reduce’ yourself to thanking him? Why did you kiss that impossibly warm cheek? You decide to answer honestly, since you don’t really have a good lie, and you don’t really want to lie to him. You have no clue why, but you don’t.

You sigh a bit and lean forward in your padded chair, resting your chin on your hand. “Honestly, I don’t know what you mean. Somethin’ happened, you helped me, and I thanked you. I’m not sure why you’re makin’ a big deal about it.”

…sometimes you think you should just sew your mouth shut. It’d be very helpful. Trying to play it off cool just made you come off uncaring and disinterested, exactly what you’re not.

However, he just scoffs and crosses his arms defensively, a small smirk emerging. “You seadwellers have a very weird way of thanking people. Wish I’d known, I would’ve been nicer to you all.” His smirk widens and you know you’re gonna die from this. “Then again, I only know you and FF, and that’s shaky.” Wait, what?

“What? You know Fef?” You sit up off your hand and look at him intently, thoroughly surprised.

“Yeah, she’s really cool. She and my moirail have been friends for a while and got together recently as matesprits. That’s also how I know some about you, Eridan Ampora.”

You stiffen at the mention of morails and matesprits. Oh, so this guy is pale with Ara. You wonder why you’ve never heard of him, and why you’re feeling a bit sour towards him. Probably just residual hurt from Fef and Ara, and even that’s almost gone. But now is no time for rational thinking.

“So you’re the one who’s pale with Ara? Huh. She talked about havin’ a moirail, but I never caught any real info about ya. Plus, I haven’t cared, at least since she stole Fef from me. But you probably know all about that, don’t you?”

…you really really really need to talk to Kurloz about that sewing the mouth shut thing. Again, he surprises you with a chuckle and fuck is it hot.

“Of cource I know. AA trolled me about comforting FF and how bad she feel’s about ‘stealing’ her, and FF about leaving you, and all that touchy-feely shit. Personally, if that relationship wasn’t going anywhere, I say it was better to get out of it.” Your fins flare in irritation and indignation. How the fuck does he know anything? “Then again, I’m not a relationship expert.” Exactly, so there. “Besides, I’m glad AA didn’t tell you anything about me. Gives me the chance to do it myself.”

He smirks cockily and you don’t know whether you want to kiss him or punch him. Maybe both. Probably both. He holds out his hand to you and says a bit proudly, “Sollux Captor.”

You barely resist a snort of both amusement and fondness. Poor guy can’t even say his own name, but you get the gist of the ’S’ and ‘X’. You look down at the thin hand in surprise, again, and feel a bit touched. Shaking hands is something usually reserved to friends, unless you’re meeting someone higher than you that you need to respect long-term, and need to give a sign of submission. It’s a show of trust, and to do it to someone you just met is almost unheard of, unless they’re stupid. He’s definitely not stupid, he just has that look, and it must mean he knows you won’t just bite it off. You wouldn’t dream of it after what he did, and he knows it, the smug bastard.

You hesitantly reach out and takes it in yours for a brief shake, marveling at the warmth coming from him. Not overwhelming like Kar, but just enough to leave tingles when it pulls away. You busy your hand from just sitting there to picking up your drink, a stupidly complicated vanilla latte, and taking a sip. You put it down firmly and give him an ‘impress me’ look. “Alright, Sollux, tell me about yourself, since you are just rehearsed in my life, an’ intent on makin’ it mutual.”

He just snickers, not really falling for your usual high and mighty act, and you just might be okay with that. “Well, Eridan, I’m a psion, obviously. I only have my pale quadrant filled. I’m obsessed with computers and coding binges, usually spanning to several days. I’m oddly in love with the number two. I have a roommate I regularly want to throw off the hivestem I live in, but don’t because he’s my best friend. My mood swings and migraines are always detrimental and extreme, and I visit the club you were at pretty often but you're the best performer I've ever seen there. And lastly, and most importantly, I think you’re super hot.”

Well. He certainly is blunt, you’ll give him that. You’d love to say the blush that heats your face is from indignation, but that would just be an outright lie.
You compose yourself a bit and reply, “You’re certainly blunt, aren’t you?” He smirks, but looks a bit apprehensive, like you might just laugh or start yelling. Nah, you have a better idea. “..honestly, I’d love to hear more, especially what you know about me, but here isn’t the place. You wanna go back to my hive?”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

Fuck yes. That is all you can think through your shock. There is no more in your thinkpan at the moment, leave a message at the beep.

Now, there are three reasons he could possibly give an offer like that, much to your disappointment. Seriously, why can’t it be two?

Anyway, he could a) really want to hear more, b) torture you and kill you, or c) fuck you into oblivion in a one-night stand. Right away, you dismiss b. Or, at least put your faith in that he wouldn’t do that. Probably not smart, but you’re the most powerful psion of your generation and could easily fight him off if need be. You kinda hope that a and c happen hand-in-hand, minus the being a one-night stand. If it happens, it has to happen again, both to satisfy your libido and duality schtick. You make a decision quickly, since he’s getting a weird look that you don't like, and you forget about KK and why you’re even here.

“Fuck yes.” You stand up a bit earnestly and he chuckles, nice and smooth and makes you want to bang him like a screen door in a hurricane. But not now. Eridan stands up too, ending up an inch or two taller, and finishes off the last of his drink and tosses it in a trash can. You follow suit as he puts his husk top in his bag and slings it over his shoulder. Why is everything so fluid with him? Why do you have to be all odd angles and points?

He doesn’t seem put off as he gives you a small smile, just a twitch upwards at the corners of his mouth, but it makes your bloodpusher flutter. You return it a bit, hating how it shows your already visible fangs even more, and shamelessly watch his ass as he walks to the door. Because honestly, it’s a damn fine one, all toned and-STOP. BAD. Leave it ALONE.

You shake your head, trying not to imagine what it would feel like to grab it, and follow him. He looks back at you over his shoulder and continues across the plaza towards main street out of the city and towards the ocean. Well, that’s a no-brainer. Catching up to him, you shove your hands in your pockets and glance over at him. Fuck, he’s even graceful just walking. What is with this guy?

You clear your throat, needing a distraction. “You know, I don’t really know much about you. Just your name and relation to FF. And that you dance. Care to enlighten me?” Another glance shows he’s looking at you with amusement.

“Not particularly, but I get the feelin’ you won’t just leave it alone.” That was a pure lie, you can tell. He’s not the best at hiding it, he wants to tell you, and it gives you a rush of pity. “To start, I like history, fine arts, an' intricate coffees and teas. I’m stupidly rich, and flaunt it when I can with gifts an’ shit, either to myself or the few friends I care to have. After the whole thin' that happened with Fef, I now don’t have any quadrants filled. I’m an Orphaner, helpin’ Fef out with her mom, and I absolutely hate it, despite my talent for it. I like romcoms and tend to stay isolated for the majority a' my time. Finally, kinda like you too.” He looks away with a small, adorable blush, and just, fuck. “An’ a kiss to the cheek isn’t a normal seadweller way of sayin’ thanks, just to let you know.”

Nope, you are now dead. He has killed you, and you are happily dead. Or not, since you’re still walking, if just barely. It had been easier to tell him instead how?
“Romcoms? Dude, you and KK would be great friends.” Oddly, he groans and looks at you in disbelief.

“Don’t tell me you know Kar, too. He’s where I get my recommendations for new movies.” You can’t help it. You have to laugh. And laugh you do.

“ED, he’s my roommate. I’m surprised you didn’t know about me, since he will talk about ANYTHING.” He chuckles and it makes you impossibly happy.

“It’s amazin’ how true that is, it’s like this small world could be contained in his mouth.” You snicker and imagine KK trying to talk around Alternia. “And really? ED? You already have a nickname for me, an’ its ED?”

“Yeah. Don’t mock, it’s just a thing I do. You have things you do that’re weird, I’m sure.”

“Nope, I’m normal. Perfectly usual troll here, so you’re just off.”

“Oh please, there aren’t many people who prance around on a stage.”

“Shut the fuck up, you had your eyes glued to me.”

“How could I not, everything was bouncing. And as I said before, you are crazily hot.”

“Bitch please, if you’re talkin’ crazy, you beat me by a long shot. Seriously, did you really have to break that jadeblood’s wrist?”

“Meh, I wanted to do something dramatic.”

“You have a thing goin’ on with drama, don’t you?”

“Who wath’ it that pinned the other to a wall and kissed him? Oh yeah, not me.”

“I didn’t hear you complainin’ then, an’ I’m not hearin’ it now.”

All through this and the rest of the way to his hive, you both just keep walking with cocky smirks and a few eyebrow wiggles. The bickering and flirting feel nice, natural, and is just plainly entertaining. He’s witty and charming, and it just makes you lo-like. Like him even more. You eventually get to his hive, this big-ass thing right on the edge of a cliff that drops to the frothing sea. It gives you a chill, but it could just be the idea of your psionics this close to salt water, something that could short them out temporarily. You have no clue why, it’s just a thing.

He gets the key to his hive and opens the door, leading into a hallway that screams highblood. It gives you a natural urge to flee, telling you you don’t belong here, even though you haven’t even really entered yet. However, that notion is shot down when he looks back at you and smirks teasingly. “What, is the concept of a doorway beyond you?”

It shakes you loose and you boldly step into the hall, wiping your feet as to not test his good nature so far, and following his cape, which he hangs up on a hook on the wall. He toes off his shoes, obviously comfortable, and disappears around a corner. You hesitantly trail behind, still not entirely sure about this, and emerge into a room that screams highblood even louder.

The recreation block is on the left, and everything is sickeningly purple and gold, a tidbit you find oddly coincidental. It’s huge, and has two small couches and one large couch, all a deep violet. The larger one’s back is to you and they form three-quarters of a square, a dark wood coffee table set in the center. Past the table, completing the square, is a giant flatscreen which you are immensely envious of. Several small tables litter the sides and corners, holding lamps and fashionable ornate trinkets, most of which are made of shells. A few pieces of art are on the, surprisingly, dark blue walls, but no pictures of any sort.

Straight ahead, there’s a large set of stairs that looks exactly like it came from a high-class movie, complete with curled railings and dark, wooden steps. There’s a door to the side of it that’s partially open and seems to be a gleaming white ablutionblock.

To the right is the kitchen, and it looks much more enticing, albeit smaller. An amazing obsidian counter tops an expansive island bar, dark wood stools against one side of it. A door is to one side, which you can only suppose goes to some kind of dining room. Eridan’s bag is flopped on its side at one edge of the counter and he’s leaning against the opposing counter along the wall, sipping a water bottle and looking delicious in the low light provided by the lamps hanging from the way-too-high ceiling. He smirks at your stunned look and gestures you over, which you do just because you’re a little overwhelmed at the moment.

“Well? How does it feel to revel in class?” he says smugly, lifting his free hand in a vague gesture. You just sneer and plant yourself in one of the stools, looking unimpressed. He really is a cocky little shit, isn’t he? Then again, you really have no place to talk since you are, too. Meh, you can still complain, he doesn’t know you that well. Yet.

He nods towards the large gleaming thermal hub next to him and states, “I got water and Faygo, which do you want?” Really? This guy drinks Faygo? Yeah, it’s an awesome gogsend to busy insomniacs, but him? “Faygo. I’ll need the energy,” you say flirtily.

“Oh, really? What ever for?” he replies with a very fake air of innocence and an even more innocent look. You just wiggle you eyebrow suggestively and he laughs, an absolutely musical thing. You get the feeling it’s pretty unused, and it makes a wave of warm spread through you. He turns his back and opens the hub, bending down a bit to give you a lovely view of his ass, and tosses the soda bottle over his shoulder to you. Probably not smart, but it looks cool. You catch it, careful of your claws, and set it down to let it fizzle out, for once actually caring if you make a mess. You’re not crazy enough to fuck up the hive of a seadweller, even of you trust him enough to come here in the first place.

He relaxes against the counter again, just observing you, and it makes you feel….something. You’re not sure whether it’s flattering or disconcerting or just plain uncomfortable. Probably a mix. His eyes are just as piercing as before, but not nearly as suspicious or accusing. You can’t look away from his face, and you start to notice little things you never saw before, most likely due to nerves, rapidity, or just plain overlooking.

Like, the dark bags under his eyes; not nearly as prominent as yours, but reminiscent of insomnia. You see the line of freckles trailing over the bridge of his nose and the rises of his cheeks, a light lavender and just barely visible. His lips seem soft and somewhat plump, hinting at constant worrying with those shark teeth of his. The earfins that are about the size of your palms and pierced with several gold earrings twitch and start to blush just the slightest bit, all the way to the individual tines. Horns and hair flow together in waves, and while most of the violet and black are slicked back, a small curl is just hanging right in front of his ear, looking soft and bouncy. Altogether, he just looks even more attractive, and you want to get to know him, open him up and relish in that soft, shy center you were introduced to, but keep in mind the snarky, smart bits you met on the way here.

Yep, you’re completely smitten with this assfuck, and this is the second time you’ve met him. Practically straight out of one of KK’s movies.

Eridan takes another sip of his water, blushing just a little bit harder, and tries to exhibit nonchalance and control again (but fails, epically.). “So, I have to ask, why did you help me? You could have just turned away, saved yourself the trouble. What made you do that?” …you wish you had an answer that wouldn’t make you sound like a swooning six-sweep-old.
It takes a moment, but you finally answer, “I really don’t know. I guess I thought you didn’t really deserve that. Plus, I was bored, and it was a good cure.” He snickers and it makes you smile a bit, and then smirk mockingly. “You did something for me, I returned the favor. I’m not sure why you’re making a big deal about it.”

He gives you a hilarious bitchface and it takes everything you have to not burst out laughing. You deserved the eye roll you got and he pouts just a bit, flipping from hysterical to adorable. “What did I do for you?” he asks, sounding a little petulant.

You smirk again and shrug. “You gave me a very entertaining show.” And fantasy material. “You’re really good, by the way.” Eridan blushes purple and you count that as a successful jab/compliment. You just might have found a new favorite color.

“Thanks, Sol…that actually means a lot.” The shy smile he gives you seems genuine and you bathe in the brief glow of that soft inside of his. You return the smile, less shy and more confirmatory, and pick up the soda bottle, deeming it safe to open and needing something to break the silence. That satisfying fizzing does the trick pretty nicely. You’re not quite sure what to do, you’re not a socialite in any way, and you wait for him to make a move. Which he does in the form of taking a step forward and leaning over to rest his elbow on the counter, his chin in his hand. It’s paired with a slightly flirtatious smile and it makes you swallow heavily.

“So, tell me about yourself. You didn’t really elaborate back at the café.” …for some reason, you really want to tell him. Everything. So you do.

You tell him all about your job and your interests in detail; you talk about the people in your life, despite him knowing the three main ones. You tell him how you loathe your mood swings, how debilitating your migraines can be, and how stressful it can be having the imminently deceased in your head. You talk about more domestic things, like how you can’t really cook, you have insomnia to rival KK’s, and you could play video games until the end of time.

All through it, he has an unwavering look of interest, like he’s feeding off of your words. He nods and questions every once in a while, but mostly he listens, and it’s a refreshing break from your roommate’s constant yammering. His earfins perk up at some parts and drop sympathetically at others, and it’s adorable how expressive they are. They really perk up at the mention of video games and he asks if you play Troll Assassins Creed. Of fucking course you do, you’re not that much of a shut-in.

The next hour or so is spent on his plump couch and with two pairs of eyes glued to his flatscreen, a mixed bowl of snacks being occasionally reached into and various curses and insults being thrown back and forth. You collaborate a few times, but it’s more fun to fight each other. At one point, you secretly think you’ve flipped black for him at least a little, but then he makes a great joke about one of the characters and you laugh yourself back out of hate territory.

He’s not that bad, but you’re better than even KK, who practically melds with the controller sometimes, so ED doesn’t stand a chance. He smacks you in the face with a deep purple pillow when you win yet again to stifle your snickering. He tries to both scowl and pout at the same time, but the edges of his lips twitch upwards and the whole thing ends up looking absolutely adorable.

You’d like to tell him so, simply because you have almost no shame, but you have no idea whether or not he felt what you did back at the club. Or at the coffee shop. He’s pretty easy to read, despite how he tries to hide it, but it’s infuriating how you just can’t tell if he likes you or not. He definitely trusts you, at least to an extent, but that could just be him showing gratitude. In a very odd way, yes, but you aren’t exactly versed in seadweller customs. ED looks at you in a way that you just can’t decipher. You kind of wish he was like a computer; easy to understand if you know how. For all you know, he is, but then where would the mystery be in that?

He leans forward and stretches, his arms extending in front of him and his knuckles cracking. You chuckle at that, but cut off when you hear a weak whinny. Snapping your head towards the sound, the image of a great, white skyhorse lusus greets you. It’s hovering at the base of the stairs and is flushed a dark violet around the cheeks. At the sight of you, it flares its ivory fins on the sides of its head, getting even taller and hurrying over to the couch, snorting. ED is standing up at this point and walks past you to get to his lusus, starting to speak soothingly and raising his hands in a steadying gesture.

“Whoa, easy Dad, easy! He’s a new friend, okay? There’s no danger, calm down, everythin’s fine, I promise..” The skyhorse nickers at him, seeming unsure and apprehensive at your presence. “No, you've never met him, that’s why he’s a new friend. Sorry I didn’t warn you, it was a spur of the moment thing. Now please, I got what you wanted, come on.” He turns to you and says, “Sorry, I gotta take care a’ him. Won’t take long.” You nod and relax back onto the cushions, stupidly staring at the lusus. He suddenly turns from ED and heads towards you, making your bloodpusher falter. Despite all appearances, skyhorses are extremely brutal, protective, and actually somewhat intelligent. At least, compared to other lusii.

When he reaches the couch, you instinctively flatten your pointed ears back and duck your head a bit, a sign of respect that it’s probably used to. It leans over you before ED can do anything and your eyes snap shut.

You wait for the teeth to sink into your neck, but they never come. Instead, there’s a sniff at your hair and the aura of natural power right next to you. He doesn’t do anything more than take a few sniffs, then he neighs quietly and you feel him turn away. Bloodpusher racing, you open your eyes to see him gliding over to ED, nosing at his shoulder and urging him towards the nutritionblock. He goes, placing a hand on the animal’s neck, and glances back at you with a shrug. You take a deep breath and try to calm down because fuck, that was actually terrifying.

You just breathe for a few minutes, wondering at what the hell just happened and listening idly to the soft words and whinnies coming from the next room. When ED comes back, he’s flushed purple and looking extremely embarrassed. His lusus follows after and gives him a small lick on the cheek before heading back up the stairs, giving off the feeling of satisfaction.

ED sits down next to you and stares at the floor, but then clears his throat and glances up at you, mumbling, “Sorry about that. He does that to get to know new people and decide whether he likes them or not, but it can be kinda intimidatin’.“

You raise an eyebrow and cross your arms defensively. “And? Am I in the clear, or should I cross your hive off my list of places to come back to?"

He jerks his head up and shakes his head vigorously, almost like he’s afraid of you not coming back. “No no no, he approves a’ you. A bit much, actually…” He tapers off, blushing a bit more.

You’re about ask what he means by that when you feel it. That little twinge right behind your eyes, sending a small warning about a coming migraine. You freeze and pale a bit. All you can think is, ‘Oh. Fucking. Hell.’

Chapter Text

‘Why now, of all the possible times it could act up, does it choose to?’ You stand up suddenly, the urge to be at your hivestem overwhelming. The problem is, even using your psionics, you’d never make it back before you’re a trembling ball of agony. As you look around frantically, avoiding ED’s confused and somewhat concerned look, you come up with three options: a) you try and fly back to the hive stem and risk falling to your death, or being shot down to your death, b) walking out into unfamiliar terrain to attempt to find a safe shelter from animals and trolls alike, or c) you place what little trust you have in the hope that ED won’t kill you if you collapse right here.

The decision is taken from your hands when a wave of pain washes over your thinkpan, threatening to split it open and sending you back down to the couch, head in your hands. You barely hear him ask what’s wrong, how can he help, but this is gonna be one of your really bad migraines, and you can’t do much more than shudder and bite back a whimper. You do, however, feel the hand on your back, rubbing hesitantly. The touch sends you into panic mode, the trust your rational mind has at the moment evaporating. ‘No no no, I’m in a highblood’s hive, a stranger’s hive, I’m vulnerable, I shouldn’t be here, I need to get away now.’

You manage to stand up and start to the door, but suddenly you can’t see, everything is white and black and spotty and blinding and you lose yourself for who knows how long. 
 
When the pain subsides, you find yourself...in a lap. Specifically, a striped lap, in a purple pile. Eridan has apparently dragged or carried you from where you collapsed, if your sore side is any witness, to a corner of the room and is stroking your hair gently where you’re curled up on his legs, trembling. It actually feels really nice, his hands are cool on your pulsing temples and he takes great care not to put too much pressure on your splitting pan.

Your eyes close at another wave of immense pain and you make the most pathetic noise, something you didn’t even know you could make, and he does something fabulous. ED covers your eyes from the moonlight with his hands, cooling there too, and starts carefully massaging your temples. Of course you’ve done that yourself, but it feels so much better when someone else does it, especially if that someone has amazingly soft and soothing hands.

You relax a bit, ignoring all your baser instincts (or possibly giving in to them), and let him console you. You honestly feel ridiculously safe, like he wouldn’t hurt you. He’s been fairly nice, despite all that AA’s said about him, and you have no clue how long you were out for, but he didn’t hurt you at all during that time when he easily could have. From what you’ve heard about highbloods, he shouldn’t’ve hesitated, and even enjoyed it.

Nothing makes sense about this, but you don’t care because your head is still pounding and his thumbs are still rubbing and his legs are really comfortable under you, so you make the not-so-conscious decision to lean back into his strong abdomen. His breath hitches and his fingers momentarily falter, but then it resumes and the pulsing in your head is getting softer and being replaced with a feeling you can’t put a name to. Well, whatever it is, it is heavenly, seeping in and flushing out the sharpness of the screaming voices of the damned and the pain that always comes with it.

You make another decision to close your eyes really fucking tight, and roll over so your face is pressed to that oddly warm, but not really, body. Seriously, how does he do that? It’s body heat, but he’s radiating coolth, but it’s still sort of warm, and just what the fuck.

Anyway, he pulls his hands back when you move and when you settle, they just kind of, hover, like he’s not sure what to do. Granted, a person he’s really just met is laying in his lap in pain and is showing him something leading towards red affection, but could still be called pale, so ED’s probably entitled to some confusion.

That’s no excuse for him to stop, though.

You keep your hands to your chest, but curl up a bit more in his lap, burying your face farther into him and letting out a noise of discomfort. ED, thankfully, gets the idea and replaces his hands and rubs with a renewed vigor. It feels just as amazing as before and you can’t help a small purr arising, both at the feeling of his hands and the stifling swelling in your chest. He falters again, probably freaked out, and you start to back your face out of his abs out of reflexive awkwardness. However, moving too soon just causes another wave of pain and you tense up to try and stop it, a small whimper leaking out.

He surprises you, though. Greatly. Like seriously, what the fuck is he doing. What is going on. What are happen.

He notices your pain and leans over you, covering your head with his torso and pressing his chest to your back. You feel a weak rumbling emanating from him, but you can’t place exactly what-

….holy shit, is he purring? Is that what his purring sounds like? It’s extremely weak, like the action has almost never been done, or hurts, or something like that. He’s comfort-purring for you, something only done for matesprits and moirails, of several sweeps at least. This is far more than you thought he would ever do, especially after meeting you only twice. You can’t deny that that sad purr works on your migraine, but it only shifts the hurt to your bloodpusher. You’re an antisocial hermit, and you know your purr is much stronger than his, so what kind of life has he lead to this point to make it so?

You take a deep breath to gather your thoughts and purr back to show that you’re relatively okay, but softly as to not make him feel intimidated at all. ED buries his hand in your hair again, very gently petting, and you try to open your eyes just to have them droop shut again in a haze of comfort and fatigue.

Are you seriously going to fall asleep on his lap? It’s one of the more suicidal things you could do, especially if he’s not what he seems..

He could kill you. He could disable your psionics and have you as a pet or toy. He could harvest your body parts or sell you to the still-present slave trade or do absolutely anything.

And it doesn’t even matter because you’re already asleep, passed out and still purring away, his violets and sea-salt scent escorting you away from consciousness.

—————————————————————————————————

Holy fuck. Holy glubbing fuck, what did you just do?! No, no, what did HE just do?! All you really know at the moment is that you have a purring psion in your lap, fast asleep, and that you pretty much confessed that you pity him; either pale or red, you’re not even sure at the moment.

You couldn’t help it, he just looked so damn horrible and in so much pain. The fact that what gives him his remarkable power also reduces him to, well, something akin to a freshly hatched grub, just twisted your bloodpusher in just the right/wrong way. Instinct took over and did as you would have for Fef. Still would, really, if she asked.

Anyway, he really surprised you with his shows of both trust and affection right from the start of it, but you seemed to be helping, so who were you to stop? But when the pain came back, you did what you hadn’t done in literally sweeps: comfort-purr. You’d only ever done it once, and you never got any practice with the usual feeling-safe-purr or exceptionally-happy-purr.…..kind of pathetic, really.

But he purred back, and that’s all that mattered. You never expected him to fall asleep, thought. Never never never. You’d known each other for a day, and he’s asleep with his forehead against your side and his knees pressed to your lower back, snoring super softly in a way that you find way too fucking cute. Like seriously, that’s cheating, you lispy fuckface.

You inadvertently stop petting his oddly soft hair somewhere in along your train of thought of ‘WHAT THE FUCK’, and Sol (you can’t remember when you mentally started calling him Sol, but it fits, so who cares) twitches, then presses his face right into your stomach, completely hiding it. He takes a deep breath, causing you to blush furiously, then lets it out and completely decompresses, practically wilting. You just freeze, completely at a loss. Abort abort, this isn’t your area of expertise! Fuck, why can’t you ever be in the need of your historical knowledge? Fuck your life.

You slowly lean back, making sure not to jostle him, and just look at his face. It’s completely relaxed, like he has no qualms with the world, like he couldn’t feel more at ease, and it makes something flutter in you.

For the longest time you just sit there, occasionally petting him, just going over your thoughts with increasing desperation. Sadly, nothing particularly helpful comes to mind, until you decide that he’s probably not going to wake up for a while. You carefully lift his upper half and shuffle to the side, then place him back down in the soft mountain of violet, which he immediately curls up more in, trying to stay in the warm indent you both made.

You abscond before you lose the remnants of masculinity you have left to that little shit, going to the bathroom (you have no idea why lowbloods call it an ablutionblock, seriously) and grabbing the pain pills you have. After something like that, his head is bound to be sore when he wakes up.

Looking up, you narrow your eyes at yourself in the mirror. What the fuck are you doing? You’re caring for a lowly yellowblood you just met, with no respect for your authority over him, and insults almost as creative as what you and Kar come up with. He’s infuriatingly lackadaisical, a know-it-all, and mutated on top of it all! How the fuck could you possibly like him?!

……you didn’t just think that. Nope. Not at all.

..and as you keep thinking about it, your traitorous thinkpan insists on either flipping traits so they’re either good or pointless. You honestly don’t care about blood as much as you put out, even though you inwardly sniff at rustbloods sometimes. Same with authority, you know he’s more powerful than you could ever dream to be (he liked to flaunt the fact that he’s one of the most potent psions ever to have graced this planet, to an annoying degree), and you like that he has more intelligence to back up his witty insults (he also liked to boast his genius). You’re lazy as fuck too sometimes, he actually does know most of what he talks about, and who the fuck are you kidding? The mutations make him interesting, and it’s not like you’re one to talk, you’re even more different from the rest of the troll population than Fef is, with your extra fins and scales and webbed extremities (not to mention that one other thing you will NOT mention unless it becomes determinedly relevant).

You sigh and drop your head onto the counter with a thunk, wondering what the fuck this Sollux has done to you, in the span of two damn days. All this twisting and contradicting is making your pan hurt, so you open the bottle and shake out a pill, walking back to the coffee table and tossing it back with a swig of your previously abandoned soda.

Sol is still curled up in the pile when you look over, looking at peace, and you smile unconsciously. Dumb thing looks like he hasn’t slept in days, and from what he’s implied about his habits that’s probably accurate. You roll your eyes and quietly start cleaning up, your pickiness about your hive nipping at the back of your pan.

There’s a certain air of domesticity and homeyness you haven’t experienced in forever, and it makes you let out a small sigh as you toss away the trash. It’s extremely pleasant, and you get the feeling you’re gonna miss it when he leaves.

Something foreign twists inside and you look over at him, furrowing your brow. You carefully walk over to the pile and lower yourself against the other side gently, not rustling the plush too much. Sol still shifts a bit, but settles back down easily, weirdly comfortable here.

Without much say on your part, your hand reaches out to him and runs through his soft hair slowly. It’s almost as long as yours, but you doubt that’s by design; he’s such a lazy-assed motherfucker. It makes you smile fondly and gently play with it.

Big mistake. Something you’re fuckin’ prone to.

Sol purrs at first, but then tosses his head a bit and makes your finger rub right against one of his super-sensitive horns. He shivers and rolls away onto his stomach, mumbling something like, “Five more minutes…” It takes exactly two more seconds for him to realize that no, he isn’t in his hive, and no, this isn’t KK.

You see him stiffen, then Sol springs back from the pile with claws out and fangs bared. Eyes sparking threateningly, he just hisses at the momentarily-unfamiliar surroundings (including yourself), trying to fit everything together, blinking back the residual pain from the migraine.

“Wwhoa, Sol, calm the fuck dowwn!” you damn near shout, putting up your hands placatingly. “Dude, relax, you’re perfectly fine, I promise!” He just keeps his eyes on you as he catches his breath, still not completely awake or aware. Eventually, he narrows his eyes at you, but you’re not sure what the fuck for, you didn’t do anything really wrong.

“….I fell asleep, didn’t I,” he states. You nod, not sure where this is going. Sol flicks his eyes down to himself, examining. “…and yet I’m alive, unchained, and not maimed in the slightest.”

…well, now he’s just being stupid. Yes, seadwellers are known to be sadistic, and you’re no exception (if someone brought you a legitimate kismesis, you could demonstrate easily), but you thought he knew you wouldn’t do something like that. At the very least, you owe him respect for helping you, why would he get the idea you would? Maybe it’s just kind of a knee-jerk reaction…

“Uh, yeah, dumbass,” you say a bit coldly. “Not evvery seadwweller is bloodthirsty and lookin’ for a neww plaything. You crashed, it’s not like I wwas gonna toss ya into the sea.”
Sol blinks adorably, at a complete loss, and you take the chance to get up and go over to the coffee table, snatching up the pill bottle. You carefully toss it to him and lean against the arm of the couch.

“It’s aspirin, but it’s pretty potent, so ya just need one. If you need it at all..” He looks at the bottle like he has no idea what to do with it, then slowly gets to his feet, wobbling only the slightest bit. His face morphs into a small, cute as fuck smile, just for a split second, and it’s all you can do not to jump him…..you did NOT just think that. Keep it together, dude.

Sol looks up at you, still with the smile, and pops open the top. He quickly tosses two pills in his mouth, despite your advice, and chases it with his own drink, then sets both on the coffee table and leans against the arm of the couch across from you.

“…..thanks a lot, ED, and you should know I rarely say that and actually mean it.”

You can’t help but smile back, a bit more broadly than him, and reply, “No problem, Sol. You needed help, and you’re my friend, so that’s that.”

He smiles a bit more, actually looking up into your eyes, and making the atmosphere just a bit more loaded, like this is an opportunity and one is waiting for the other. Then of course he has to ruin it.

Sol loses the smile and narrows his eyes. “You better not be getting fucking pale on me, ED. I am a moirailed troll, and AA wwould make a damn good attempt for your head if this is you making moves.”

You can’t help but laugh, slipping to the side to properly sit on the couch. “I knoww that, Sol; I just didn’t wwant your head blowwin’ up in my livvin’ room. It’d make a horrible mess, and I’d lose the only person who can just barely keep up with me.” Now it’s his turn to laugh, but mockingly and with a sneer.

“Oh, ha ha, ED. I’m wondering, how the fuck can you fit through doors with that inflated ego of your? Sure is a feat to be admired..”

The next few minutes just dissolve into comfortable bantering, the snark and wit rising to a level unimaginable to the rest of trollkind, and then back to sniping at each other over a video game. It’s utterly fantastic. Your bloodpusher still aches with pity for this arrogant, lazy, absolute mess of a dumbass, but now you know for a fact that it isn’t pale (at least not completely), because it didn’t twist at his words. You’re not sure if you’re relieved at the newfound certainty, or frustrated that you had to choose the harder quadrant to deal with; but deal with it you will, because you know deep down, in your heart of hearts, that he is at the very least worth the best damn attempt you can make.