“I wonder if Fef is up yet.” Eridan thought to himself as he looked out the window of his hive.
Well, it wasn't exactly "his" hive. He shared it with his "brother", Cronus, who insisted that Eridan call him his brother.
Eridan scoffed and rolled his eyes. Cronus annoyed him with his constant talk about wanting to be human. If it wasn't for the fact that somehow Cronus was, at some point, Dualscar (which warranted a tiny bit of respect), he would have culled him a while ago.
He pushed himself away from the window to look around his room. It was the same as it ever was - just like the rest of the hive. Some things are hard to change in dream bubbles, not like he minded. This room suited him just fine. Eridan headed over to the coat rack that held his cape. He donned the cape and headed out the door.
He descended down the steps to find Cronus on the couch. Eridan walked over to see if he was dead yet, but unfortunately he was just napping. Eridan gave his thought pause as he glanced down Cronus' neck. The new recent attempt of Cronus' idiotic plan to become human had barely had time to heal. Cronus' gills were sewn shut and, although he didn't really need them, such mutilation made Eridan upset. Not to mention seeing it made Eridan remember how he died - a topic he was not ready to fully discuss or even think about right now.
Eridan lightly traced his fingers over the sealed orifices and grimaced. He sat down next to Cronus and let both of his hands touch over the terrible stitch job. Cronus stirred a little bit causing Eridan to recoil and snatch his hands away from his dancestor. Eridan felt his cheeks heat up bit. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. Cronus slowly blinked himself awake, and within a few minutes, he sat up.
"Hey there lil' bro," Cronus greeted. "What are you up to? Actually, what time is it?"
Eridan rolled his eyes and then made a sarcastic remark about how time didn't really matter in dream bubbles; to which Cronus responded by ruffling his carefully styled hair. After momentarily pausing to stare into Eridan's eyes, Cronus decided to slide his hand down Eridan's face to caress his cheek. Cronus lowered his eyelids and slightly parted his lips. Cronus still didn't break eye contact with him. Eridan's face glowed with a bright shade of purple, and his eyes were wide with surprise. Cronus pulled Eridan closer and closer, and then he suddenly blew a disgustingly wet raspberry on his cheek. Eridan bristled and Cronus laughed at his obvious discomfort. Eridan then shot Cronus caustic glare - Cronus laughed again. Eridan folded his arms in a very cross manner.
Cronus pushed himself to the edge of the couch and threw his legs over the side of it. He slouched forward, resting his arm on his thigh. He yawned which caused his sewn shut gills to inflated slightly. Eridan had to look away, but he couldn't.
When Cronus had first had claimed to want to be human, Eridan had brushed it off. What was there to worry about? Cronus wouldn't do anything about it.
Oh, how Eridan was wrong.
Cronus was in his bedroom when he finally decided to start his "transformation". Cronus he grabbed a curved needle and set it up with thick medical thread, but he had also left his personal bathroom door open.
Eridan was returning home from a long day of exploring dream bubbles and was, for once, in a genuinely good mood. He went upstairs to ask Cronus what he wanted to eat for later tonight. He had walked into Cronus' room and found that his bathroom door was open.
Cronus was looking at the mirror and patting fresh blood from his neck. It wasn't until Cronus moved the bloody towel that Eridan realized where it was coming from. Eridan sucked in a breath and took a few steps back until his back hit the bathroom door.
The sound alerted Cronus. He turned to look at where it came from only to see a bit of purple fabric flow from the room. His heart dropped and he called out after him, "Eridan!"
Eridan startled. Cronus was waving his hand in front of his face.
"Hey, don't go getting lost on me now!" Cronus said - even though it was said jokingly, Cronus' face held concern, but his eyes had a bit of sadness reflecting back at Eridan.
Eridan felt his stomach drop and an impending need to "get away" approached the forefront of his mind. Eridan must have zoned out looking at the stitched up fins; which probably made Cronus uncomfortable. He sighed.
"I'm going to hang out with Feferi today." Eridan spoke, breaking the silence.
Cronus didn't say anything and only nodded in response. Eridan looked down at his lap and swallowed. He figured that Cronus would be wanting to talk about a certain sensitive topic today, but Eridan couldn't really stomach it right now. He sighed again and stood up ready to leave, but, suddenly Cronus grabbed his hand. Eridan looked down at him with shock written all over his face. Cronus then shook his head and gave Eridan a very sad smile. Cronus then released his hold and looked down at his lap.
Eridan puffed out his chest and rushed over to the front door only hesitating for a second before yanking it open. The sound of the front door slamming shut echoed in the house and shook the frame of the door.
The moment Eridan left, Cronus let out a sob.
A few hours after Eridan left, Cronus was able to pick his mood back up. He had fueled his emotions through his music and he had even managed to compose a new piece. He had ventured out into the dream bubbles too. Flirted with Mituna for a bit - that is until Kurloz showed up; which was fine because he didn't even really give a shit about the special needs loser.
Cronus had eventually headed home. At the door, he shucked off his shoes and walked further into the house. He slowly crawled up the stairs straight to his room, at least which was his intent until he heard soft crying. Cronus tilted his head in confusion. He walked over to Eridan's room and pressed his ear to the closed door. Cronus could hear Eridan letting out soft sobs. Cronus wondered if that, somehow, he was the cause of this. He raised a hand and gently touched his sealed gills.
Cronus sucked in a deep breath and knocked lightly on the door.
"Eridan?" Cronus questioned, "Hey, little man. Are you alright in there?"
The sobbing halted, or Eridan just quieted himself. After a few minutes with no reply Cronus knocked on the door again.
"C'mon, Eridan. Please don't ignore me. You know you can talk to me, right?" Cronus coaxed. He let out a sigh and gave him a few more minutes. ¬¬¬
More silence followed.
"Eridan, I swear, if you don't talk to me I'll start singing to you through the door!" Cronus yelled.
He was starting to lose his cool. He let out a sigh when there was, again, no reply. Cronus mumbled under his breath something about how he gave Eridan a chance. Cronus put his ears against and started singing ‘What is Love’.
"What is love? Ohwoahwoah-" Cronus' singing was interrupted by Eridan angrily yelling.
Cronus didn't hear what Eridan said and he asked Eridan to repeat himself. Cronus' request was followed by loud angry footsteps.
Suddenly, the door swung open and Cronus almost fell flat on his face. He caught himself before he fell, but he found himself face-to-face with Eridan. Eridan's eyes were puffy and purple streaks ran down his face. He was visibly shaking.
Eridan took a few seconds of glaring at Cronus before shouting in his face, "Love is realizing that no matter how much you change yourself, you'll never be loved. That's what "love" is you disgusting excuse for a troll!"
With that, Eridan slammed his bedroom door right in Cronus' face. Cronus quickly paled and his shoulders shook. He felt like he couldn't breathe. Cronus ran his hands up and down the sides of his neck feeling the sewn gills.
He ran into his bathroom. He felt so unsteady - the need to breathe kept growing and so did the need to vomit. He grabbed the sides of the bathroom sink and leaned his head against the mirror. He gasped for breath, but nothing relieved the pressure. He turned the faucet on and slashed water against his face.
Cronus looked at himself in the mirror. He couldn't be anymore disgusted with what was looking back at him. Cronus glared at his gills. He couldn't change. Eridan said he could never change. Why should he even bother anymore? Cronus caressed the reflection of his disfigured gills. He snarled and bawled his hand into a fist.
The mirror somehow became cracked and his knuckles started bleeding. Purple trailed down the cracks of the mirror. He glanced down to his gills again. He took his bloodied hand and ran his fingers against the seams. His fingers rubbed blood on his neck. Cronus snarled at his reflection again. He pinched a seam between his fingers and jerked his hand forward. He let out a grunt of pain, but he continued. His neck felt like it was burning as he pulled and yanked against the strings. He tried to keep himself quiet not wanting to alert Eridan to how weak he was.
Cronus finished his manic task. His back hit the wall and he slowly slid onto the bathroom floor. The neck of his white shirt was drenched with royal purple blood. Cronus' neck was puffy and slightly swollen. His gills were bleeding profusely. Cronus let out a sob and pulled his knees to his chest. He rested his face into his bloodily hands.
After slamming the door on Cronus, Eridan retreated back into his room. The curtains were closed; which made the room almost completely dark - except for the light trying to squeeze its way through the crack of the curtains. Today, had not been a good day for any of the Amporas. Eridan went back to his bed and snuggled himself underneath the covers. He reflected on how quickly his day went to shit. First, this morning with Cronus (that was fucking awkward). Second, this afternoon with Feferi was absolute shit. Third, being the fact he just took a metaphorical shit on Cronus' feelings.
Eridan scrunched up his face in disgust. Why should he, the Great Eridan Ampora, care about that asshole's feelings? He gave himself pause. Why does he feel so greatly for this asshole? If it wasn't for Cronus his evening with Feferi would have gone nicer. Although, maybe it was going to be forever unchangeable.
He shrugged that thought off. He was tired of nothing going his way. It left such a bitter taste in his mouth.
He couldn't help but to think about what Feferi had said, "I can't ever love you, Eridan. It's not because you aren't worth loving, but because you can't ever be the person I need."
He sucked in a deep sob, and then felt his bottom lip quiver.
It wasn't fair. I can change, but I'll still be Eridan fucking Ampora.
I'll still always be unfortunately me.