Two years. It had been two years of travelling from dream bubble to dream bubble with Aradia. Even with the shattering of a few parts in the void there were still many doomed timelines lying about. After floating through the void with his partner, two bubbles appeared before them, one larger than the other. Aradia decided to go into the larger one that appeared to give off many different colours. Sollux opted for the smaller one. He wasn't sure why but the light purple glow that it gave off appeared to be calling to him.
"Alright if I see any one then I'll say hi to them for you," Aradia waved before flying in.
"Yeah same here."
Sollux flew in and watched as the scenery changed dramatically. He soon found himself on a beach and the calming sound of the waves gave a hint of who the bubble could belong to. He continued to walk along the coast until a large run down ship could be seen sitting among some boulders. He wondered why a ship like that would be there. Sollux had thought that if he was in Feferi's or Eridan's bubble then he'd be underwater near their hives or something. With a shrug he just walked towards the ship. It was quite a large boat that could have belonged to a pirate long ago or something of the sort. The curious troll began to walk around to see if he could find an easy access entrance, otherwise he'd just fly up to find one or if worse came to worse he'd blast a way in.
As Sollux was walking he began to recall his memories of visiting previous dream bubbles. He had probably met every troll doomed version of his friends or not doomed at least five times over the past two years. More some than others of course and he even met the doomed versions of those male humans a couple of times. He met all but one troll. Eridan Ampora. Sollux had met a couple doomed versions of the sea troll but never the alpha one. Technically the last time they met was when the troll had gone rogue and almost killed him. He believed that the ghost of the troll who blinded him was trying to avoid him. Sollux was sure that Feferi was distracting the Gemini in one previous bubble so that the memory could change and let the other sea troll escape.
The young troll kicked a rock in front of him and found himself at the front of the ship. He turned the corner and immediately ran back to hide behind some boulders. He carefully looked around the corner and saw two trolls sitting on the sand facing the sea. The first troll was Eridan who had his cape wrapped around him, the second, for some odd reason was Nepeta in her Derse dreamer outfit. It looked like the Nepeta was not the alpha one but it was hard to tell if the Eridan was from a doomed timeline or not. Now why on alternia would Nepeta be doing talking with Eridan alone? Sollux scanned the area and found no Equius in sight or a god tier Karkat so it was quite the odd sight.
"It's been pretty hard Nep. I don't knoww howw long it's been but its givven me a lot of time to think," Eridan suddenly spoke.
"Yeah same here but it has been pawsitively fun seeing everyone again in these bubbles," Nepeta responded. Sollux decided that it would probably be best to just sit and wait for now.
"I guess . . ."
"You still haven't talked to Sollux have you."
"Wwhat? Sure I havve."
"I mean the actual Sollux not the ones from the doomed timelines. Feferi's told me you haven't. I've seen him too and he's alive and well you know."
"Wwell there's just been so many bubbles that wwe'vve passed through and I just havven't run into him."
"Why are you avoiding him?" from listening on the conversation Sollux could tell this was the alpha Eridan.
"Wwho said I wwas-" Eridan was cut off by an uncharacteristic look from Nepeta. The sea troll looked away and sunk into his cape, "I don't knoww. I'm just scared or somethin'."
"But why? Feferi furgave you and so did Kanaya. You didn't even kill Sollux and it's been two years already. I don't think he'd be mad anymore," Nepeta looked up and smiled. She had definitely noticed Sollux eavesdropping on them.
"Wwell howw can you know? It may havve been twwo years but I did some pretty stupid things."
"I think you just need to talk to Sollux and decide if he's still mad at you or not from there," the Derse dreamer stood up from her spot beside Eridan and faced Sollux.
The Gemini found no point in hiding anymore so he stood in plain sight. Eridan looked up and upon seeing Sollux he quickly stood up in a panic and took a step back. The Aquarius turned to Nepeta and whispered to her but because he was in a panic Sollux could easily hear him.
"Oh cod is that the real one?"
"Yup. Purrfect timing too."
"No this is not perfect. This is terrible. Wwhat if he wwants to kill me?"
"Eridan you're already dead."
"That didn't stop that insane green guy to kill like a large amount of our dead selves!"
"He's not going to kill you oh my god Eridan stop being such a drama queen. Just go talk to him!" the Leo pushed the sea troll towards Sollux before turning to leave.
"Wwait Nep!" Eridan turned to stop her but she was already gone. The scenery suddenly changed, the boulders, beach, sem and ship had all disappeared and was replaced with the familiar large metallic room with computers sitting all along the walls and a horn pile sitting in the corner.
"H-hey Sol," Eridan nervously greeted. His cape disappeared as well.
"Hey," Sollux casually greeted back. An awkward silence hung in the air as the two trolls had no idea what to say. Sollux thought that he should probably tell the sea troll that he was over the whole crazy incident back on the meteor. The only problem was getting it into the right words.
Surprisingly, Eridan spoke first, "What happened to your eyes?"
"Huh? Oh nothing much, everything is just 2D. I was actually blinded after you blasted me away but thanks to that I don't hear voices anymore. Then I half died so I'm no longer blind and here I am," Sollux casually explained, "Holy shit what are you doing!?"
Eridan suddenly fell to his knees, a hand over his mouth and the other over his stomach. Violet blood began to escape his mouth and a purple line appeared all around his waist. Blood seeped through his clothes. Sollux ran up to him and held the stroll steady because he swore he saw the top half was slowly slipping off from the bottom and he did not want to see that right now. The sea troll garbled something as he shook in the Gemini's arms.
"S-Sorry. I'm so sorry."
"Fuck it's okay I forgive you. I never actually held it against you after that oh my god. Just don't think about this please," Sollux attempted to soothe the broken troll by rubbing his back and repeating his words. The sea troll was still apologizing but soon began to calm down. Blood slowly stopped spilling from his mouth and his body no longer threatened to fall into two. Once Sollux was sure that Eridan was in one piece again he slowly let go and sat back. He looked down at himself with a look of disgust for violet blood was all over his front.
"S-sorry," Eridan apologized again. Within a second the memory of the blood disappeared and Sollux was clean again.
"I guess KN wasn't kidding when she told me she literally cut you in half."
"Wwell yeah I kind of blasted a hole through her after all," Eridan looked down ashamed of himself.
"Okay sorry, subject change," Sollux scratched his head awkwardly. He didn't want to bring the bloody memory back again. Once was horrifying enough.
"What happened to your lisp?" Eridan began again.
"You can thank KK for that," Sollux smirked, "He pulled me out of the lab after you left and dropped me down a flight of stairs knocking my teeth out in the process. So ta-dah no more lisp."
"Kar dropped you down stairs? Wwoww I didn't think he wwas that clumsy."
"Well to be fair he was freaking out. GZ was going crazy and killing people too."
"Oh yeah he did tell me that."
"Best part is, he tried to shove my teeth back in while I was knocked out."
"Kar must have been really spooked about Gam then."
". . . I thought you wwere dead. I wwas glad when Kan told me that I didn't kill you but she did tell me you died from movvin' the meteor to the green sun to meet the humans."
"Technically it was just half of me."
"So you're half dead?"
Another silence over took the two. They had no idea what to say next even though they had not seen each other in two years. What could they even talk about with the past they had? Sollux looked at Eridan and found the prince was looking down again, uncomfortable and perhaps nervous?
"Stop looking like that."
"Huh?" Eridan looked up confused.
"Stop looking like you're scared I'm going to do something."
"Wwhat are you talkin' abou-"
"Eridan," the use of his full name caused the sea troll to stop, "You talked to FF and she forgave you right?" a nod, "Same with KN right?"
"Technically she got even so," Eridan stopped again when Sollux gave him a frown so instead of continuing he just nodded again.
"Did you kill anyone else?" a shake, "Okay so I forgive you too and I don't hate you in the caliginous or the platonic sense so stop worrying about the past."
"I wwasn't!" the prince retorted.
"Then what's got you to make such a face?" the mage questioned.
"Nothin'," Eridan looked away again but this time tinges of violet appeared on his cheeks.
Sollux blinked and couldn't believe it so he zoomed in to get a better look. His face got really close to Eridan's making the sea troll blush more and pushing Sollux' face away.
"Ww-wwhat are you doin'?"
"Are you . . . red for me?" Sollux asked with great curiosity.
Eridan's face went completely violet at the question making Sollux' eyes widen.
Suddenly the sea troll stood up and backed away. He tried to grab for his cape but since it wasn't there he grabbed his scarf and pulled it up in attempts to hide his blush, "I-It wwas really nice to see you Sol and wwe had a good chat. You probably havve a lot of other better things to do so I guess I'll see you around. Thanks for comin' bye."
Eridan headed for the teleporter in the middle of the lab but Sollux grabbed his arm before he could get away, "Hey man what are you running away for?"
"Isn't it obvvious?" Eridan pulled away but tripped over one of the many items scattered on the floor. He fell backwards and unconsciously grabbed Sollux to stop falling but ended up pulling the skinny troll with him. Eridan soon found himself in a very provocative position and tried to push Sollux off of him, "G-get off of m-me you fool!"
"No way not until you tell me what this is all about. Usually when you confess you should say it straight out and not run away until you've heard a response," Sollux refused to move and stayed lying on top of the sea troll.
"There wwas no fuckin' confession oh my cod," Eridan struggled to push Sollux off but for a skinny troll it was difficult task for some reason. Once he realized it was futile he just draped his arm over his face, "I didn't say anythin' you just assumed."
"And my assumption proved correct with the way you reacted."
"I'm runnin' awway cause I knoww you're not interested and it wwas embarrassin' that you evven found out okay."
"Who says I'm not interested."
Eridan took his arm off of his face and blankly stared at Sollux who pushed himself up a bit to look at Eridan face to face, "Everything was fine when I first travelled the dream bubbles with AA but then I found out that you've been avoiding me and that you're the only one that I hadn't seen for the past two fucking years. Sure I saw alternate versions of you but they weren't from my timeline and it pissed me off because all I could think about the past two years was punching your face in once I saw you."
Sollux punched the ground beside Eridan's head making the sea troll flinch, "But then when I saw you looking all pathetic like that . . ."
"Sol?" Eridan looked at Sollux and saw that the Gemini was looking away with a confused look.
"Well do you get it now idiot?" Sollux gave him a wry smile making the violet blush return, "Take responsibility."
Sollux quickly leaned in for a kiss before the sea troll could even respond. The kiss lasted for quite a while before Sollux pulled back and gave Eridan a smile. The prince just stared back at the mage with a blank look.
"Eridan?" Sollux waved his hand in front of the violet blood's face and got no response. Snapping didn't do anything either, "Yo ED talk to me man."
The late reaction finally came minutes later and Eridan's face flushed entirely purple. He quickly sat up without thinking and hit his head onto Sollux'. The Gemini sat up and clutched his head as Eridan scooted away and sat up as well.
"The hell was that for?"
"Sorry I just I mean I didn't expect and then you and then I."
"Calm down before you choke on your words Ampora."
"I'M SORRY I REALLY NEED TO BE ALONE RIGHT NOWW," Eridan jumped onto the teleporter and quickly absconded leaving Sollux alone in the lab. Just before he left, Sollux took notice of his fins giving off the same colour as his face.
The Mage wasn't mad. In fact he was happy. Right about now Eridan was probably squealing or freaking out like a girl in the halls about what just happened. He'll be back and Sollux would be right there waiting for him.
The dream bubbles from here on out would be a lot more interesting.