This story takes place sometime after Terezi was blinded, but before Sgrub. Inspired by this fanart: http (colon slash slash) img703 (dot) imageshack (dot) us (slash) img703 (slash) 8963 (slash) severywhere (dot) jpg
I don't think I wrote Karkat as enough of a jerk in this one! Maybe I'll go back and revise it sometime
- gallowsCalibrator [GC] began trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG] -
GC: H3Y K4RK4T
GC: COM3 TO MY H1V3, 1V3 GOT SOM3TH1NG 1 W4NT TO SHOW YOU ˃;]
- gallowsCalibrator [GC] ceased trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG] -
Karkat blinked at his monitor as Terezi logged off of Trollian, her trolltag turning grey. He never could understand just what she thought, which caused him no end of frustration. He and Terezi had always been friends, as far back as he could remember, and they'd always been tolerant of each other's quirks; Terezi knew Karkat wasn't the "BLUH BLUH HUGE DOUCHE" he wanted everyone to believe he was, and Karkat didn't mind Terezi's obsession with Alternian law (wanting to become a threshecutioner himself) or dragons (because secretly, Karkat thought dragons were pretty rad) or even the way she used smell and taste as a second sight after the accident (okay, he just sort of tolerated that, and he still couldn't be sure why she did it, but he was getting used to it).
But this was a first. Karkat had walked Terezi to her hive on more than one occasion, but she'd never actually asked him to come inside. Now she openly solicited a visit from him. What's her plan? It was difficult to tell.
Things were happening so fast. From an early age, Karkat and Terezi openly described themselves as the other's moirail, and if not for recent events, he would have been happy to keep things that way. The way they balanced each other out, in his mind, was perfect. But not long ago, he began to see her differently, and he suspected she felt the same. She teased him more than usual; they spent most of their free time together; their conversations even seemed flirtier. Was it part of growing up? Or had he always felt this way, and just now became aware of it?
These questions ran through Karkat's mind when he realized he was standing in front of Terezi's tree-hive. He could tell this was her dwelling because several executed scalemates hung from the higher brances. He remembered the first time he saw her hive... at first, the hanging plush dragons weirded him out and their existence completely baffled him, and to be honest, they still kind of did. But now he just wondered where they came from. Did she buy them, or make them, or what? Eh, it didn't matter. Karkat began the long climb up her tree-hive's ladder.
When he arrived at the top of the tree and stood at Terezi's front door, he hesitated, if only slightly. What could be so important to her that she would invite him to her hive? He supposed he'd find out soon enough as he gave three loud knocks to the door.
"K4RK4T? IS TH4T YOU?"
"NO, IT'S THE HIGH LEGISLACERATORS. WE'RE HERE TO ARREST YOU FOR CRIMES AGAINST SANITY. JUST HOW CRACKED DOES YOUR THINK PAN HAVE TO BE TO EVEN LEAVE ALL THESE FUZZY CORPSES HANGING AROUND EVERYWHERE. OF COURSE IT'S ME!"
"H3H3H3! B3 R1GHT TH3R3!"
The door swung open to reveal a dimly-lit living area. "COM3 ON 1N!"
She led him up to her room, he guessed, where she had several of her scalemates set up for court. He still wasn't sure exactly why she'd brought him here, so he asked.
"TEREZI, WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?"
"H3H3! W41T H3R3, 1LL GO G3T TH3 TH1NG 1 W4NT3D TO SHOW YOU."
She went to her closet for about a minute, during which he looked at his surroundings. Of course the room was dimly lit, Terezi would have no use for lighting after the accident that blinded her. She seemed to be taking it in stride, though. Not once did Terezi ever complain about not being able to see, and Karkat guessed it was because she quickly adapted. He didn't know it, but her lusus had taught her how to "see" by smelling and tasting colors soon after the incident, and she went on with life like it never happened.
Terezi emerged from the closet holding something behind her back.
"OK4Y, FOUND 1T. HOLD YOUR H4NDS OUT 4ND CLOS3 YOUR 3Y3S."
"A GIFT? I GUESS THAT'S NICE, BUT WHY HAVE ME COME ALL THE WAY OUT HERE TO GET IT?"
"YOULL S33, JUST W41T! YOU W1LL LOV3 1T!"
Karkat did as he was asked, and Terezi deposited something light and fuzzy into his arms. He opened his eyes and found himself clutching... a scalemate? "1 KNOW YOU 4R3NT R34LLY 1NTO SC4L3M4T3S, BUT 1 H4D TH1S ON3 CUSTOM-M4D3 JUST FOR YOU," she told him.
He looked over the plush dragon. It was light grey with yellow button eyes. It held a tiny plush sickle in its hand, and its belly had the same symbol on Karkat's shirts stitched into it with black thread. "H1S N4M3 1S H1GH THR3SH3CUT1ON3R GR3YGRUMP," she remarked, grinning ear to ear.
Karkat looked at Terezi's smile, then back at the little stuffed dragon in his hands. Clearly this little guy was supposed to be him in scalemate form. If anyone else had presented him with this, right now he'd be furious. He'd swear they were mocking him and he'd unload on them for being so stupid. In all honesty he couldn't be 100% sure Terezi wasn't doing exactly this. But... somehow, he didn't think so. Did she EVER just give her scalemates away? No, this meant something... a special gesture from her. Upon realizing this, Karkat laughed.
"WH4TS SO FUNNY? YOU DON'T L1K3 1T, DO YOU? 1 SHOULD H4V3 KNOWN, YOU GRUMPB34ST!"
"WHAT? NO, I JUST-"
"1V3 B33N K33P1NG TH4T ON3 4ROUND, YOU KNOW! W41T1NG FOR THE R1GHT-"
"-TO G1V3 1T TO YOU, 4ND 1 3V3N 1NV1T3 YOU-"
"-4ND YOU JUST L4UGH 4T 1T!"
"I DIDN'T MEAN IT LIKE THAT. I DO LIKE IT. THANK YOU."
Terezi's frown immediately turned back to a smile.
"SO YOULL ST4Y 4ROUND FOR 4WH1L3 AND PL4Y?"
"A-HA, THAT'S WHAT THIS WAS ABOUT! ABSOLUTELY NOT."
"NO WAY, TEREZI. LAST TIME YOU TRICKED ME INTO THIS I WAS HORKING UP SCALEMATE FLUFF FOR DAYS."
"...OKAY. BUT JUST THIS ONCE."
"H3H3H3H3H3! OKAY, 1'LL B3 R1GHT B4CK!"
He figured sticking around for a while here meant he didn't have to deal with his lusus back home for a little while longer, so he had no real intention of turning down Terezi's invitation. He just liked to tease her back when he could. Terezi was kind of cute on the rare occasion he could actually get her flustered.
Of course, he was thoroughly and decisively one-upped in that department, forever, when she came back holding a goddamned bucket.
Karkat stared at her, mouth agape. He thought maybe she liked him more than as just a friend recently, but this was a bit crazy, even for her! Almost in response to it, she laughed at him. "H3H3H3! K4RKL3S, 1 C4N SM3LL YOU BLUSH1NG 3V3N 4LL TH3 W4Y OV3R H3R3! YOU KNOW 1'M NOT TH4T K1ND OF G1RL, LOOK," she said as she popped the lid off of the sordid receptacle. "1T'S JUST P41NT. C4N'T H4V3 A MURD3R SC3N3 W1THOUT A L1TTL3 BLOOD, R1GHT?" Karkat breathed a nearly-inaudible sigh of relief. He'd never hear the end of it now! She HAD to have done this on purpose.
Terezi dabbed a cloth into the red paint ("WHY RED?" "B3C4US3 R3D 1S TH3 T4ST13ST COLOR OF 4LL! ˃;D"), smudged it around the floor, and placed the "victim" atop the splatter. Now the game was afoot.
Almost immediately, Head Legislacerator Pyrope had a suspect in mind, but evidence needed to be collected. Fortunately for the court, Senator Citrusfoot did a terrible job of covering his tracks, and the murder weapon (a short dagger that Karkat was almost certain was actually a papermail unsheather) was found quickly.
Terezi set the orange scalemate atop the stack of boxes meant to serve as a witness stand. "SO... WHY'D YOU DO 1T?"
The dragon sat silently atop its box. "W3 FOUND TH3 KN1F3 BUR13D UND3R YOUR H1V3'S FLOORBO4RDS. W3 KNOW YOU D1D 1T. COOPER4T3, 4ND P3RH4PS YOUR PUN1SHM3NT N33D NOT B3 SO H4RSH!"
The orange plush continued to sit and do nothing. A moment passed. "SO TH4T'S 1T, TH3N. L1M3P4W KN3W 4BOUT YOUR SH1FTY B4CKROOM D34L W1TH TH3 MOB, 4ND YOU H4D TO S1L3NC3 H1M. V3RY W3LL. 1N L1GHT OF YOUR COOP3R4T1ON, TH3 L3G1SL4C3R4TORS W1LL NOT H4ND DOWN A S3NT3NC3 TO YOU."
Karkat swore he thought he saw the doll breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe it was because seeing Terezi performing her insane courtroom drama plays in person was actually really good, as opposed to seeing them in Trollian chatlog form. She could be an actress if not for her passion for law, he thought to himself, though he would never admit it.
"BUT... 1 CANNOT GU4R4NT33 THE THR3SH3CUT1ON3RS W1LL B3 SO L3N13NT!" Terezi grabbed High Threshecutioner Greygrump. "4LL R1S3 FOR TH3 HONOR4BL3 H1GH THR3SH3CUT1ON3R." Terezi stood up. When Karkat remained seated on the floor, she glared at him until he stood up too. He could play along, just this once.
Terezi sat the grey scalemate next to the drawn picture of His Tyranny. "H1GH THR3SH3CUT1ON3R, WH4T 1S YOUR R3COMM3ND4T1ON?"
Another moment of silence. "OH, V3RY GOOD. 1T W1LL G1V3 TH3 N3W R3CRU1T A CH4NC3 TO T3ST H1S 4C4D3MY TR41N1NG!" Karkat wondered where she was going with this.
"R3CRU1T THR3SH3CUT1ON3R V4NT4S!" Karkat looked at her, startled. "TH3 H1GH THR3SH3CUT1ON3R H4S SPOK3N! TH3 CONV1CT 1S TO B3 CULL3D, 4ND YOU 4R3 TH3 M4N S3L3CT3D FOR TH3 JOB."
Karkat whispered to her, for reasons he couldn't be sure of. "...ME?"
"OF COURS3 YOU, S1LLY! WHO 3LS3?" she whispered back.
"WELL... OKAY. I'LL PLAY YOUR DUMB LITTLE GAME FOR GIRLS, THIS TIME."
Something about Terezi calmed Karkat down. He simply could not rage at her the way he would have at anyone else who suggested he take part of this bizarre farce.
Karkat took his sickle from his strife specibus. He'd play along, alright, but he might as well do it right. No point in half-assing it. He needed to think of a one-liner, something good, something cool. After a few seconds it finally came to him.
He swung in a wide arc, neatly decapitating Citrusfoot. As the doll's head came to a stop on the ground, Karkat spoke, arm still extended from the strike.
"NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY TO RUN, THE LEGAL SYSTEM IS ALWAYS... ONE STEP A-HEAD."
Almost immediately, Terezi burst into a fit of laughter.
"H3H3H3H3H3H3H3H3H3H3! 'ON3 ST3P A-H3AD'? SO L444M3!"
"WHAT'S SO FUNNY? FUCK YOU, I GAVE IT MY BEST SHOT."
"4H, BUT TH4T'S WHY 1 L1KE YOU, K4RK4T! YOUR L4M3N3SS IS 4DOR4BL3!"
As the night continued, they acted out a few more court cases. The night marched on but the green Alternian moonlight lit the room well enough. Karkat, strangely enough, was actually beginning to enjoy himself, and made his pre-kill one-liners as lame as possible on purpose. "LOOKS LIKE YOU'VE BEEN... CUT FROM THE TEAM," to a scalemate convicted of poisoning a superior. "REST IN PIECES," he quipped to the one found guilty of killing to drum up interest in his death memorial business. They never failed to make Terezi laugh, and he found he enjoyed her laughter very much.
The night continued like this until, while pacing back and forth interrogating Captain Coconutface about his allegations of treason, Terezi slipped on the red paint used to set up the latest crime scene, and fell next to where Karkat sat on the floor. Immediately he reached to help her.
"HEY... ARE YOU OKAY?"
"Y34H... Y34H, 1 TH1NK SO. 1 GOT P41NT 3V3RYWH3R3 THOUGH ˃:[ 4LL OV3R TH3 W4LLS, TH3 FLOOR, 4LL OV3R US-"
"DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. JUST GLAD YOU DIDN'T HURT YOURSELF."
Karkat realized she was sitting in his lap, her back to him... and more importantly, she wasn't getting up.
"ARE YOU SURE YOU AREN'T HURT?"
"Y3S, 1M F1N3. S33, 1 C4N ST4ND UP 4ND-"
He wasn't sure what he was saying, or what he was going to say, or even what this was he felt. All he knew what that he liked it.
"I'D... I'D LIKE TO STAY LIKE THIS FOR A WHILE, IF YOU DON'T MIND."
What was he saying? What a creepy request!
"H3H3. OK4Y ˃:]"
And she was going along with it! This wasn't helping him, if anything, Karkat was more confused than ever as he sat in the dark, arms around Terezi.
Almost at once it all clicked. A sudden realization, and with it a question that needed asking. Karkat grew nervous but not knowing would kill him. He took a deep breath before speaking.
"TEREZI?" She turned around to face him. "Y3S, K4RK4T?" By God, she was stunning in the Alternian moonlight.
"I THINK... I WOULD LIKE..."
"I WOULD LIKE US TO BE MORE THAN FRIENDS."
"˃:O ˃:O ˃:O ˃:O"
Terezi stared at him with that shocked expression on her face. His next action felt more like a reflex than a conscious decision, and upon reflection Karkat was never sure WHY he did it, just that he couldn't NOT do it.
His lips met with hers, in the dark room lit only by the moonlight filtered through the blue and purple treetops. Karkat was a creature fueled by rage, or so he would have everyone believe; hell, he often went out of his way just to be a dick to total strangers. But tonight, any fury he harbored against the world vanished, and he wanted nothing more than Terezi's love.
Terezi smiled at him, partly because of what just happened and partly because the way the spilled paint blended seamlessly with Karkat's flushed face let her in on his biggest secret. She would have to tease him about it later, but now was not the time.
"H3H3. 1 4LR34DY KN3W."
"K4RK4T, 1 COULD 4LMOST T4ST3 TH3 BLOOD RUSH1NG TO YOUR CH33KS A MOM3NT 4GO. YOU W3R3 BLUSH1NG SO H4RD 3V3N 1 COULD S33 1T!"
"HEH. THAT OBVIOUS, HUH?"
"Y34H, 4ND TH4T L1TTL3 STUNT YOU JUST PULL3D R33K3D OF D3SP3R4T1ON. 1F 1 D1DN'T 4LR34DY L1KE YOU 1D BE 4PP4LL3D!"
This time, she kissed him, and it was Karkat's turn to be surprised. His mind started spinning, how does a guy respond to this? Part of him wanted to run, part of him wanted to stay, part of him raged at himself for being such an emotional baby. Eventually, he settled on "fuck it, go along with it. Let's make this shit work. We're making this happen."
When Terezi pulled away from the kiss, she dipped her fingers into the still-wet paint on the floor and drew a heart on Karkat's shirt. "M4T3SPR1T,", she breathed into his ear. He couldn't help but roll his eyes at how corny it was, but it was a feeling he wouldn't trade for the world. The two clung to each other silently in the dark for what felt like sweeps. The irony of this scene being lifted almost directly from any one of his bad romcoms was not lost on him. He wouldn't want it any other way.
When Terezi drifted off to sleep, he gently picked her up and laid her inside her recuperacoon, then left for home. He needed to plan out how to sneak back into his own hive; his lusus would be furious if it found he was out this late, and the musclebeasts would hunt soon.
Karkat looked down at his clothes. Terezi's crime scene absolutely covered him.
It would take HOURS to wash all of it out.
And not one fuck was given about it that day.