Karkat should have known.
Correction: He had known. His past self just ignored it like the stupid fuck his past self tended to be.
He had known, from the second he saw the name on the housing assignment page, that Sollux Captor was going to fuck up his entire life, then turn it over and do it again, all with a gleeful smirk on his face.
It was Karkat Vantas' second year of college. It was supposed to kick the first year's ass. Unfortunately, after switching majors (why the fuck did he ever think being a biology major was a good idea), he was technically a freshman computer science major. On top of that, he had spent the last year hiding in his hoodie from his psychotic roommate, whom he shared a 14-foot block with. Gamzee was a very fervent admirer of clowns, Faygo, and horns. The kind that honked. Karkat would regularly wake up at 3 A.M. to the guy standing over his bed, just…just smiling at him, holding a horn. Just smiling. Karkat had thought about complaining to the residence life office multiple times, but the people who worked there had some kind of vendetta against him, obviously. He guessed the important thing was that he was getting away from Gamzee, and just in time, really. Their last night together was nightmarish.
But that was then, and now, months later, he had arrived at his dorm. After getting the key from the R.A., he stood in front of his door and took a deep breath. Just then, the door opened. He found himself face to face with a (thankfully) normal looking guy- except for those weird multicolored glasses, what the fuck- wearing a black tee and cuffed jeans. And…mismatched shoes. Oh boy.
"Oh, hey. You must be Karkat." Woa. What was that?
"Um…hi. Yeah…you're, uh…"
"Sollux Captor. Nice to meet you." It was a huge lisp. Oh god.
"Thollukth?" Ok, he was being a jerk, but he couldn't help it. Never let it be said that Karkat couldn't be a master of bitchery. Sollux's eyes narrowed, and his smile became a little forced.
"Yeah. Kind of. I have a lisp, sorry." Karkat rolled his eyes, and stepped forward, pushing past Sollux to check out the room.
"Yeah. Wow, um, you're kind of a…never mind. Anyways, I just picked a bed, sorry if it's…the one you wanted or something." Karkat, rolling his eyes, pulled his hoodie off, throwing it on the bed. Sollux had apparently been here for awhile, and had already set up his computer and a ton of other equipment hooked up to it.
"I'm gonna go. Get my stuff." Sollux was already sitting back down at his computer.
"KK." Oh my god, this guy…was that a stutter, or was he just…f-fabulous?
After Karkat had come back from finding all two of his bags left on the sidewalk- thanks, Dad- he began trying to figure out how to arrange his small amount of belongings in a way that didn't suck. He straightened at the feeling of eyes on his back.
"Can I help you?" He turned to Sollux, who was watching him with a raised eyebrow.
"Uh…nothing. Just…is that all you brought? Seriously?" Karkat suddenly felt self-conscious.
"Uh, yeah, it is. What."
"…nothing." Sollux turned back around in his chair. He seemed to change his mind suddenly though, and spun back around. "No, I mean, you brought like…a DVD, four posters, a computer, and..." Sollux's eyes landed on his ~ATH guidebook. "Oh, you do ~ATH?" Karkat grimaced at the tone of voice Sollux's voice suddenly took.
"I'm a computer science freshman. Second year, though." Sollux nodded.
"Yeah, that's what the thing said. I'm in the same major as you. But a sophomore." Ok, Karkat really didn't like the tone of voice going on here. Die. Die in a fire, Captor.
"That's nice. Really. Wow." He went back to arranging his things, satisfied with the awkward silence. FEEL AWKWARD, 'THOLLUCKTH'. EMBRACE IT. Until he didn't.
"If you need any help with that…well, I'm actually helping the teacher figure out a better way to teach it, since no one else seemed to get it, so I can give you some pointers if you get stuck." Karkat threw the DVD under the bed, and whirled around to face Sollux.
"Sollux. Just listen to me for one second. When did I say I wanted- or needed -your help? When did I ever hint that I wasn't at the top of my game in programming? If I wanted your help- newsflash- I'd fucking ask."
"Jegus. Okay, calm the fuck down, Vantas. I never even said half that stuff. Obviously we've started off on the wrong foot, or something. You know what? I'm being charitable here. If not for that, I wouldn't waste my time on an asshole like you." He turned his chair back to face his computer. "Have fun with your DVD, KK." What the fuck, is that…a nickname? Karkat's flush rose with anger, before suddenly becoming tired of the whole conversation. He settled for a derisive snort.
"Sure." The room was silent again, as Karkat opened his laptop and jumped on the bed, squirming until he got comfortable on his stomach. The A/C started blowing out freezing air for some reason, despite the brisk chill outside. Karkat grumbled and burrowed into his hoodie while waiting for the laptop to turn on. Great, somehow I managed to make my roommate hate me in two minutes. You are a huge idiot, Karkat Vantas. He watched the startup screen with detachment, and all the little icons and windows pop-up. Pesterchum, his instant messenger of choice, happily beamed at him, informing him that a couple of his 'chums' were online: Gamzee (fuck no), Harley, and...oh, John was on. Jade Harley and John Egbert were cousins, and Karkat felt a grudging fondness towards the two, despite the fact that they were annoying as hell. He decided to say hello to John.
ectoBiologist: oh man! are you at your new dorm? how is it?
ectoBiologist: uh oh, did you get a creepy roommate again?
carcinoGeneticist: UGH, NO. WELL…YEAH, NO.
carcinoGeneticist: HE'S JUST ANNOYING AND I KIND OF HATE HIM. THE HATE IS DEFINITELY THERE.
ectoBiologist: wow, you're always so lucky with roommates
ectoBiologist: speaking of roommates…rose and dave are here! they want to see you!
ectoBiologist: video chat?
John and he had met online through a game, and had become friends with two other players, Dave Strider and Rose LaLonde. The three eventually ended up going to colleges in the same area (or in Dave and Rose's case the same one), and decided to pool their money and get a place together. Karkat glanced at Sollux, still absorbed in whatever he was doing.
carcinoGeneticist: NO, MY ROOMMATE WOULD PROBABLY GET MAD. MADDER. WE'RE ENEMIES.
ectoBiologist: uh, i'm sure he doesn't hate you already. you just moved in today, right?
ectoBiologist: oh man, karkat, what did you do to make you hate him that much?
Karkat sighed, giving up. He didn't really care if his roommate couldn't handle him talking with his friends, since there was bound to be talking at some point. He clicked the video button. A little black box popped up, and the blackness brightened to show John's grinning face. Rose was sitting next to him, a wry smile dancing across her lips. He could make out Dave's feet in the background, propped up on a couch.
"Put your roommate on!" John yelled quickly. Karkat dropped his face into his arms, not wanting to look at Sollux. Fuck you, Egbert, seriously, fuck you.
He looked up when he felt the bed dip with someone's weight, and tried to swallow his feelings of wanting to simultaneously scream and punch someone. Sollux was leaning over him, peering at the screen.
"Hi there," he said to the camera, waving.
"Hi!" John waved back excitedly. "What's your name? I'm John, Karkat's friend, and this is Rose-" Rose smiled, and hell if there wasn't a very pointed intention in the curve of her lips, aimed directly at Karkat. "- and Dave." Dave's foot kicked lazily.
"Hey, John, Rose…Dave. I'm So-" Karkat interrupted him before he could say it.
"Sollux. His name is Sollux." Rose was raising an eyebrow, and Dave had sat up to get a better look at the monitor.
"Can Sollux not say his own name?" Rose asked. Karkat cursed her annoying propensity to delve right into what she shouldn't.
"Nah. I have a lisp. It seems to offend KK here." A snort escaped from Dave.
"I like him. Oh my god...'KK'." More snickering. Karkat felt the anger rise to his face. Fucking great. He could tell by the giant grin on John's face that they wouldn't be forgetting that nickname any time soon.
"Ok, fuckface, now go away, the adults are talking."
"Aw, Karkat, come on. Sollux, I think we should share some tips on dealing with dear KK." Karkat collapsed back into his arms. Sollux snickered above his head.
"That'd be helpful."
"Fuck you. Fuck this. You guys have your party, I'm going for a fucking walk." He pushed Sollux out of the way, and much to his annoyance, Sollux settled in front of his laptop, ignoring him. After staring for a second, he stormed out.
As the sun set, a bitter chill started to blow over the darkened campus. Karkat shoed his hands in his pockets and trotted across the large stretch of grass separating his dormitory from the other buildings on campus. In warmer seasons, students would be scattered around on the grass, studying or playing between classes, but right now, the place was empty. He figured he should go to his mailbox and check it out, and headed towards the mailroom. Cutting through the alley formed by the library and the horticulture center was the quickest way to get there. Unfortunately, it was cold as a bitch in between, the wind funneling through the narrow channel. Karkat cursed to himself and shrugged further into his hoodie. Winter was going to suck.
Karkat had opened his mailbox to find -surprise!- nothing, and was reluctantly making his way back to the dorm when he heard a sound that made his blood run cold.
He noticed he was shivering quite a bit more than he had been. Stop being a fucking pansy. Yes, he goes to the same school as you. Doesn't fucking matter.
"How's the new room, best friend?" Karkat jumped, and whirled around. Indeed, the person he wanted to see the least stood there, smiling smugly. Gamzee Makara- fucking unstable piece of-, the entire reason why the first year of his college experience nearly gave him post-traumatic stress disorder, stood there, smiling that fucking smile.
"Makara. What the fuck do you want, shitsponge?" Karkat was never very good at reconnecting with old buddies.
"Aw, there's all what I miss. I miss you, bro. New roommate isn't nearly as motherfuckin' funny as you." Honk. Karkat thought he would shatter his teeth with how hard he was gritting them. He was also very aware of the precarious balance between exploding with rage and having a nervous breakdown his mind was maintaining.
"Gee, that's too bad. Maybe you should've used your brain and thought about that before you decided to tie me to a fucking chair and-" Okay, let's not go there, Karkat. "You know what, never mind. I have shit to do, so bye, Gamzee." He turned around, tensing when Gamzee honked his horn again.
"Come on, man. When are you going to let that go? A motherfucker apologized, didn't he?" Gamzee seemed too stoned to be truly menacing, and even sounded a little remorseful, but Karkat couldn't help imagining that dangerous edge in Gamzee's voice.
"Maybe when a 'motherfucker' lets me go so I can do whatever a 'motherfucker' does." Gamzee chuckled at Karkat's angry tone.
"Okay, okay, you got it, brother. I'll see you around," Gamzee said nonchalantly. Karkat held in a huge breath of relief, opting to wait until he wasn't around Gamzee.
"Okay…bye then." Karkat turned to leave, but was stopped by Gamzee grabbing his arm.
"What the fuck?" He tore his arm out of the grip.
"Woa, woa, calm down, bro. Just wanted to let you know…there's a big party going on at Zahhak's next Friday- lots of fun shit going down- and I'm inviting yourself." Karkat grimaced.
"Equius would flip his shit if I showed up, Gamzee, we all know this." Gamzee shrugged.
"Said I could invite whoever I wanted. Couldn't leave my best motherfucker out." Karkat opened his mouth to inform Gamzee that his 'best motherfucker', would, in fact, not be attending, when-
"Sure we'll go," a familiar voice interjected. Karkat's head snapped to glare at whoever had spoken.
"The fuck-" Ah. Terezi. Gamzee visibly faltered, staring at someone behind Karkat. There was only one person that could throw Gamzee off his game in the past, and apparently, she hadn't lost her touch. Terezi Pyrope slung her arm around Karkat's shoulders, leaning forward to grin at Gamzee.
"How about it, Mak?" All of her teeth were showing as she spoke. Gamzee laughed a little, but his displeasure was evident in its weakness.