In Which Karkat Steals some Cupcakes
Muffins, Karkat realized, were not the same as cupcakes. While muffins were sometimes very sweet, like their frosted compatriots—unless they were made of this stuff called bran—cupcakes remained the superior treat Karkat liked to steal from John's kitchen.
Actually, steal is a strong word. More like...borrowing without even partially contemplating giving it back. Yeah.
Cake was pretty good, too. John tried to get him to eat cake, once, on one of their 'hang out bro dates'; an idiotic invention Egbert created and insisted they follow in which they act matesprits who are squeamish about anything to do with actual mating.
Because John was not a homosexual. Whatever that is.
John's dad liked to bake these cakes and cupcakes and other baking confectionaries. The fact that John didn't weigh three hundred pounds was a miracle in itself.
"No, no, I'm sick of cake. Thanks though, dad," John said one chilly evening in the tenth perigee, "and I don't think Karkat wants any, either." John's human lusus shrugged and left the two alone in the nutriblock. John was laughing again, the idiot. He always seemed to be laughing, "remember when I made you eat the cupcake?"
"The memory of that night haunts me every time I slip into my recuperacoon. I invite sleep, then I recall the moment you decided to shove your stubby little fingers and that horrible little brown thing into my protein chute, and I beckon back the horrorterrors. At least they didn't taste like anything." How long can you keep this ruse? Pretty damn long; you kept your blood colour a secret for six sweeps, you can fucking keeping your taste preferences a mystery, too.
"Yeah you pretty much looked like a cat whose tail had been stepped on," he yawned, "anyways, maybe you should go home—or to your hive or whatever you call it. I'm getting pretty tired!"
The humans slept at night, which was idiotic and depraved as far as Karkat was concerned. He still wasn't too used to waking up early; even though this sun didn't burn them, it was still annoyingly bright in the early morning, and he still found himself rolling out of the recuperacoon around 3pm, when it wasn't so damn bright out.
He was also up a hell of a lot later than the pitiful human's stamina could handle. Except Strider; that fuckass was always up 'til the crack of dawn, trolling him like a champ on his Trollian. It was almost as if the human was hankering for a kismesis; hey, if he kept talking about Terezi like that, he might just succeed.
"Yeah, whatever, your pathetic little sack of meat you call a body needs its rest, I guess," he said, pushing away from the kitchen table and strolling with his hands in his pockets, "see you tomorrow. Or whatever."
"Uh, yeah! Bye Karkat!" John jumped up from the table, his plate of half-eaten cookies thrown astray. He followed Karkat out into the front hall, stumbling over his own feet and the random harlequin doll. Karkat never stopped in his stalk towards the front door, even though John was calling his name to wait.
Then Karkat stopped abruptly a foot from the door, turning so fast John ran right into him. If the door hadn't been right behind him, Karkat would have fallen to the floor with John right on top of him. Still, he fell backwards with a cry and a heavy thud when his head hit the door.
"Egbert. Get off of me," Karkat growled, shoving the boy backwards, "what the fuck is your problem?"
"I'm sorry, Karkat, you just stopped so suddenly!"
"You know what, I'm not even going to tell you the extent of how idiotic that statement is!"
"Heh heh, yeah that might save some time!"
"Good one, Egbert, let me now add you to the incredibly lame jokesters' hall of fame," he grunted, readjusting the collar on his shirt, adding in a mumble, "did your dad make any more of those sickeningly sweet monstrosities?"
"Oh the cupcakes?" John asked, face visibly brightening by the instant, "or do you mean the chocolate muffins? Cause you called those sickeningly sweet monstrosities, too—"
"The goddamn cupcakes," Karkat said. John nodded enthusiastically.
"Yep! He made some last night for Vriska's...what do you guys call it? Wiggling day or something—"
"Whatever, you answered my question, I don't understand why you feel the need to keep moving your seedflap to convey useless information," he groaned, executing a perfect facepalm combo. John was gawking at him uncertainly, his blue eyes raking over Karkat's body in a way that made the troll a little uneasy. His words came out more flat than menacing, "what."
"Why did you ask me about the cupcakes?" a smile started to form like an unsightly crack on his face, "you hate cupcakes...!"
"I wanted to know if you got Vriska a gift on congratulations," he snapped, "I wonder if I should get her anything. She's such a bitch...I think anything I get her she might try to maim and kill if it comes within a mile radius of her stupid plans—"
"Awh, Vriska isn't that bad!" John started, but Karkat was already out the door, down the front steps, and off into the night, "uh, bye!"
"Yeah, bye, whatever," the troll called back, only because he knew it bothered John if he didn't say goodbye. It sorta bothered him, too.
Little did John know, Karkat thought darkly, that he'd be back that night for some delicious desserts.
Once, for one of their bi-weekly 'movie nights', an event where John would insist on torturing him through inevitably shitty movies, and Karkat would try, unsuccessfully, to schoolfeed him on the intricacies of troll cinema, John showed Karkat a kung-fu movie.
"Kung-fu is like the most badass way to fight," John told him as they watched men, who were no doubt hay-filled dummies, fly across the screen, "I never used it in the game, because I'm not a kung-fu master or anything. But if I was I'd totally be kicking Noir's ass all over the place, with my own bare hands," he made a strange noise like a dying meowbeast and flailed his arms around sorta like they were doing on screen, "I mean the Zillyhoo was pretty fucking cool but can you imagine me splitting Jack's head in half with my hand?"
"No, and I'm fucking happy you didn't have the chance."
The movie had been incredibly horrible, Karkat could only recall one thing that stuck out to him, amongst the flying bodies and 'karate chops' or whatever the human called them. They were these stealthy-as-fuck guys dressed in black who could sneak up on some unfortunate dumbass and kill him before he could beg for mercy. What were they called? Oh yeah, ninjas.
Sneaking into John's house that night, Karkat was a fucking ninja.
He didn't have a key, but he knew for a fact John slept with his window open most nights when it wasn't this thing they called 'winter'. It was a little chilly that night, but Karkat was certain the idiot probably kept his window open anyways, since he liked to feel the breeze on his face.
Karkat hurried around the side of John's house, telling himself over and over what he was about to do wasn't creepy at all; it wasn't even trespassing, he just really, really needed to have another one of those cupcakes, and he was pretty sure he would die without tasting that sugary burst across his tongue again. John would probably see it as 'helping a bropal out', if he ever caught him. Which he wouldn't. John didn't need to know anything.
Fucking cupcakes. Even their name was too cute for him to utter out loud. They were ruining him, he thought as he scrambled into a bush in the boy's backyard. He didn't even know why he dove into the bush in the first place; the house seemed dead, with all the lights off and the humans inside fast asleep. Also he got a twig up the nose which was just unpleasant. With a sigh he hauled himself up again, quietly tip-toeing to the backdoor which was, thankfully and almost stupidly, unlocked. The Egberts seemed to be an almost too trusting sort of people, and he had more or less relied on their back door being unlocked. He slipped inside with all the grace of a ninja, or at least tried to, half suspecting Mr. Egbert to pop out of a cupboard, stirring stick still in hand, ready to hit Karkat over the head with.
But that never happened. The nutriblock was strangely empty as Karkat edged his way towards the fridge where his prize awaited. He unceremoniously ripped open their food receptacle in a way that was far too keen to be cool; but, fuck, what did he care about cool, he wasn't fucking Strider.
There they were; chocolate cupcakes with blue and orange frosting and even little coloured sugar sprinkles on top. They glistened moistly where they sat atop a carton of eggs and next to some hoofbeast milk, crammed into the overstuffed fridge as if they weren't the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. His mouth salivated. Ever since the first time, a perigee ago, that he had first had that sumptuous moment with the first cupcake, he had been looking forward to this moment with every baited breath. He had wanted to do this about the moment the sugary taste faded from his mouth, but a missing batch of cupcakes too soon after Karkat's disgusted reaction might have been a little suspicious. But now he would never be suspected, and even if he was, he was sure he could yell at Egbert enough for the human to assume it was some sort of kitchen fairy...unless the troll was caught red handed.
Carefully as if he were handling newly hatched wigglers (actually even more carefully than that; he was pretty sure he basically threw grub Equius onto the **** device. It wasn't as if the little guy would break or anything) he pulled them out of the fridge and set them down on the Egbert's kitchen table. They seemed to glint in the moonlight like something out of one of Tavros' stupid fairytales. Gnawing on his black bottom lip in anticipation, he dug in.
He had already devoured one whole, rice-paper wrapper and everything, and was about to finish off a second when the lights turned on and made him jump and shriek. Suddenly Karkat was being thrown through the air by a huge gust of wind, his precious cupcakes being scooped up by the breeze and flung around the room. He nearly cried when one whizzed past his head, splattering like a crushed grub on the cupboard door. He was slammed hard against the fridge, hitting his head hard enough for him to see stars. Then a dark figure loomed over him, obscured by the bright kitchen light in Karkat's sensitive eyes.
"Karkat? What the fuck?"
Oh fuck it was John.
"Nnrgh," Karkat managed; his head was throbbing from his collision with the food receptacle and his mouth wasn't quite working yet. He took a breath and started again, "yes it's me, fuckass, do I have to hope in a plane and paint a portrait for you in the sky?"
"That wouldn't really work, it's kinda dark out," John laughed sleepily. Karkat looked back up at him, his looming figure coming into better view. He looked sleepy, rubbing his eyes with his bare wrist. He was also wearing pyjamas that held a striking resemblance to his God Tier outfit, "what are you doing in my kitchen?"
He hadn't seen the damning evidence! Oh joyous day! Or night. Or something.
"I forgot...my...sweater here earlier." Karkat said slowly, hoping John's mind was too foggy with sleep to notice the blatant lie.
"Your...sweater?" John's face clouded with confusion, "were you even wearing a swea—"
"Yes I was numbskull don't even," he huffed to his feet, "anyways I got it back now so I'm just going to leave..." He inched towards the door, sadly mourning a fallen cupcake by his side. John stared at him blankly, his sleepy blue eyes growing wide as he followed Karkat's gaze to the squished cupcake on the floor.
"Oh my god!" He cried, face nearly cracking in half with a smile, "Karkat were you eating my cupcakes?"
"No! Of course not! I wouldn't put one of those putrid things down my seedflap even if Noir was breathing down my neck and my only form of escape was to satiate a previously unknown cupcake fetish of his!" Karkat growled, shuffling slowly towards the ajar backdoor, considering trying to make a dash for it, take a train to another state, and never speaking to John again.
"Then why is there blue icing all over your face?" John looked like he had just been told the world's greatest joke, but also that if he laughed the world would explode. His face was turning red trying to hold it in, "...Karkat, do you like cupcakes?" He stifled a laugh as Karkat's face also turned red, for other reasons.
He was going to deny this to his grave, gog damn it.
"No. No, John, I do not like cupcakes. You know how much I do not like cupcakes? I would rather yank out my own innards through my bonebuldge while honking one of Gamzee's goddamn horns, dancing—augh what are you doing?"
John was picking up the cupcakes and throwing them in the trash bin; even the good ones. Karkat nearly tore his eyes out, screeching something incomprehensible, until he was interrupted by John's bubbling laughter.
"You do like cupcakes!" John cried, "I knew it! I knew it! Don't even deny it Karkat," he added when the troll started spewing fiery words of denial, "it's okay! I don't mind, I like cupcakes too! Now maybe we can make them together sometime. It'll be like some cool bonding experience between bros. Or something like that. I'd really like to," he laughed quietly, rubbing his eyes, "just not right now, 'cause I'm pretty fucking tired and it's like five in the morning."
"It's only two, dumbass," Karkat growled, though it didn't have quite the bite he intended. Maybe if this led to spending even more time with John, it wasn't so bad if he got caught, "and I will do whatever you'd like whenever you like if you just stop fucking throwing them out why are you still doing that?"
"Oh, heh, sorry," John paused, orange cupcake still in hand. He smiled and threw it at Karkat, who caught it with his already pre-established ninja-like skills, "just take them, I guess, we'll make more for Vriska tomorrow," he yawned, "goodnight, Karkat."
"...Yeah, goodnight, John."
Perhaps this human delicacy wasn't so bad, after all.