-Be Tavros Nitram.
The room was like a dream, some sort of fleeting mirage that you never imagined could be created in such a short amount of time by such seemingly inexperienced hands. Banners hang about the large ballroom's ceiling, all inspired by the Troll Renaissance, which is partially the theme for the entire event surrounding you. You are in a large, Romanesque hall, with giant pillars and domes keeping it all in place. The marble of the ceiling reflected the dimly lit lamps around the space, giving everything an evening feel. It is a Masquerade, a party of masks and mysteriousness. You stand on the sidelines, close to the bar, which was serving a plethora of slime filled drinks and other legal beverages that rot your thinkpan. Although you are old enough to drink, you don't want to. You are always sober, mainly because you are trying to set a good example for your ex-addict matesprit.
Looking around the room, you see many couples weaving in and around each other on the dance floor as they waltz. They are all wearing elaborate gowns and masks, symbols of their social status and power. Not many people under Kanaya's blood caste were there, your own self being one of the exceptions of course. Nobody important knew that, though. To them you were a suave, handsome, unknown bullfighter, with the detailed disguise to prove it. You ware a traditional brown fighting outfit, complete with intricate gold beading and trimming, all courtesy of Kanaya's skilled handiwork. Your mask resembles the face of a bull, with a protruding snout and a golden ring that i pierced through the nostrils. Thankfully, your orangish brown eyes are barely visible beneath the mask, hiding traces of your low blood class.
The event is a party celebrating the initiation of your friend, Terezi Pyrope, into the 'high-class' part of Troll Society. Always being right on the cusp of being a high or low blood, she had had the choice of either continuing her adulthood in the lower part of society, with her friends and the threat of being culled always looming, or advancing to nobility status, where she would always be safe (and alone). She had chosen the latter, much to your disappointment, and now you are amongst her new comrades, feeling disgusted and out of place. You understand the situation, but that didn't make the pain ebb one bit. Terezi is your close friend, and now you won't be able to see her for possible sweeps.
It seemed like your entire friend circle was being torn apart by these societal expectations, with Karkat being the only one standing outside of the entire conflict. He was the only one brave enough to keep his blood color a secret, a trait that you envy of him. You still don't understand all of Karkat's motives, especially since he was the one to convince Tez to accept the high bloods' invitation. Needless to say, it was all very confusing. Everything had been easier when you were small and naïve. Back then, no one cared what the color of your blood was; they all just wanted to play and have fun with you. Now, you hate the entire world for all of this conflict, but you still don't have enough confidence to take a stand or give a say in anything.
And, of course, you are in your own sticky situation as well. Your matesprit, a noble high blood, was soon expected to be initiated into upper Troll Society as well, as where you obviously aren't. Gamzee Makara is the love of your pathetic troll life, and you aren't afraid to admit that to yourself. You don't know what is going to happen when the time comes for him to part from you, and honestly you dread that impending day with your entire being. Gamzee has promised on multiple occasions that he will never leave you, but for some reason, a small part of you doesn't believe him at all. All you want is to spend the rest of your life with him, even if that meant being a slave to the high bloods. You don't care about not having a kismessis or auspistice or moirail. Since the first moment you had discovered your own feelings for Gamzee, no one else had really mattered.
Looking around, you can't find any trace of the juggalo, but of course you spot Vriska eyeing you from the dance floor, an evil smirk tainting her expression. She was with Kanaya, her loyal matesprit. You don't understand why Kan put up with the spider bitch, but honestly you don't really care either. The entire situation seemed very one-sided, which was often the case when dealing with Vriska. She still won't accept the fact that you will never be anything to her, and she harasses you about it every opportunity she gets.
You look away, searching harder for Gamzee. Finally, you find him by the piano, his mask lying face up on the instrument's top. His face is painted in some sort of jester style, trying to keep with the theme. There is a distant look in his eye and a hidden frown in the corner of his mouth, traits that only you can see. He is dressed in a complex jester outfit, with tiny bells sewn around his waist and wrists. His full-body suit is covered in black and white diamonds and polka-dots, with hints of purple to accent his dark lilac eyes. The fabric clings to his frame nicely, showing off his mature figure. He wares short black boots and stark white gloves to completely the look.
Needless to say, you are completely entranced by him. He looks like a god to you, which makes it hard not to stare. You'd caught a glimpse of his wonderfully attractive outfit earlier, and that had been the exact reason why you had retreated away from him towards the bar. He knows you are at the party of course, but he has had yet to see you decked out in your own outfit. Honestly, you hope to postpone the meeting long enough for you to gather yourself and (hopefully) keep from stuttering and blushing in front of him like a complete idiot.
"Dearest Bullfighter," a voice chimes from behind you. "How long I have waited to meet your lovely acquaintance!" You turn to find Terezi with her arms outstretched towards you, her red eyes beaming with happiness. With a smile, you take her willingly in your arms and bask in the loving ambiance surrounding her. You can't help but be happy for her in that very moment, even though you don't agree with her decision or the event she had created to celebrate it.
"You look beautiful, Tez," you murmur in her ear, your voice in complete control. It'd taken sweeps, but you'd finally perfected your more adult tone, free of all of the uneasy 'uhhs' and embarrassing breakage of your premature voice.
Ms. Pyrope is in an ankle-length ballerina skirt dress, with glittering scales aligning the bodice and cap sleeves. She is the Dragon, a majestic and fearless creature that suits her well. Her short, heeled boots make her stand at least three inches taller, which make her almost exactly your height. Her eyes are the most striking part of her ensemble, with small shining jewels placed around her eyes, which are painted with heavy, dark makeup. She doesn't hide her eerie red pupils like usual, instead using her disability as a fashionable accessory to her macabre-esque outfit.
"Why aren't you with him?" She whispers back, keeping you locked in a tight embrace. You don't mind; you like having someone to hold onto, especially someone as special to you as Tez.
"It's hard to be together out in public like this," You answer just as quietly. "He needs to be on his best behavior around these people…and that means he can't be around me much…"
She pulls back everso slightly, and you see the sudden understanding and pain in her crimson eyes.
"I'm sorry all of this is happening, Tavros," she whispers, her voice laced with regret. "Everyday I wish things were different…"
You lean in, pull up your mask slightly, and kiss her lovingly on the cheek. She looked so broken in your arms, and suddenly you feel the need to protect and reassure her, even if you are still shaky yourself. Her happy go lucky aura has faded to one of pain and disappointment, which makes you suddenly feel like crying.
"I-I should probably go find Karkles," she says louder, trying to pull a smile out from the depression surrounding her expression. "He's probably looking for me!"
And with that, she turns on her heel and tares herself away from your loose embrace. You watch her go, not having enough confidence to chase after her in any kind of way. She disappears into the crowd within seconds and all of a sudden you feel very empty without her there. That was possibly the last time you would ever talk to her and hold her that way, and that fact makes your heart ache. You look around, realizing that no one had even taken a second thought to the depressing exchange you had just experienced; they were all too wrapped up in themselves and their own lives to notice you at all.
You look down, feeling more uncomfortable than before. Glancing at the piano, you find Gamzee missing from his previous position. He's nowhere in sight again, and without the promise of him there anymore, you feel like fleeing from the party all together. You hate being there, trapped in their expectations in a stupid outfit that you didn't want to wear in the first place. You take off the mask and lay it on the nearby bar, feeling like a complete fraud as you stare into the eyes of the bull that had covered your complexion moments ago. You don't care about supporting Tez anymore. She would be fine without you. She doesn't need your low self to be at this pointless event.
You turn to go when something suddenly stops you.
You come face to face with the very Jester that had evaded you earlier, a goofy smile slapped across his gorgeous face. His expression almost immediately drops, however, when he sees you practically in tears. You look down, feeling so low. You don't want to see him this way, not when he was the one that needed you more. He is the one who has to face the aristocracy with a fixed expression, not you. He is the one who was recovering from soper slime addiction and childhood abandonment, not you. You want to run and hide, but you can't. Your feet are glued to the floor, an unfortunate side effect that has always plagued you in your insecurities.
"Dance with me?" A sultry voice murmurs to you suddenly. You look up to find Gamzee with his hand extended out towards you, waiting for you to take it.
"I-I can't–," you begin to argue, your voice failing you for the first time in forever. But you don't even get the chance to try. Gamzee has already grabbed your limp arm and pulled you closer to him. You nearly fall into his familiar arms, but thankfully you catch yourself enough to keep your dignity. He's got a strong hold on you, which makes running away seem that much more appealing.
As you feel yourself being gently pulled toward the dance floor, you know there is no chance for escape. Once Gamzee sets his mind to something, there is no stopping him from doing it.
"G-Gamzee, p-please…" you try to beg him to stop, but it's no use. He can't see that you seriously don't want to be there. Before you know it, you are in the midst of all the people you despised, standing in the middle as they twirl around you with mocking ease. Your cheeks started to flush a light brown, which can probably be seen under the small amount of face paint you ware.
You are so frustrated and embarrassed as you watch the aristocrats dancing throughout the large ballroom. You imagine under their masks that their disdainful expressions are looking down on you with critical and disapproving eyes. Again, you feel completely sick, but you are still stuck. The waltz music rings loudly in your ears and suddenly everything is spinning, but it's not because of your nerves. Gamzee has taken you firmly in his arms and started to circle you around the room in a well known, traditional Troll Viennese waltz. You remember learning the dance with Kanaya a few weeks prior to the Masquerade, but you don't remember the steps being this easy to execute.
"There's no one else here," the Jester whispers in your ear. "It's just you and me, Babe." You bring your gaze up to meet his and suddenly you understand exactly what he is trying to say. When you look into those swirling purple irises, nobody else in the entire world exists, and you find yourself smiling and melting into his loving eyes.
Everything else seems so far away as he spins you around, your head not becoming dizzy in the least. The music wasn't a loud curse anymore, instead serving as a gentle reminder that you were still on Alternia and not flying off into the cosmos with your love. And then, just as easily as it had started, the dance ended. You stopped slowly, and both of you dropped your arms. He was still smiling his goofy half-lidded grin at you, and you can't help but feel happy as the room slowly came back into your focus. Gamzee bowed and you returned the favor, eyes never leaving each other.
You feel like you should say something to let him know how you are feeling, but of course, your mouth and mind fail you. That's when the Jester extends a hand places it lightly under your chin. He says nothing, his eyes locked on you, and that's when you understand that he is facing the same insecurities and worries that you are. You suddenly feel like you will never be alone again, a sensation that you hope will never fade.
Gamzee takes your hand again, this time given of your own free will, and you both exit the dance floor as one existence, unable to be broken or wavered.
Your one wish was that you could stay with him like that forever.
A wish that you knew could never be fulfilled.