oF fIDUSPAWN aND Catastrophe

Tavros had always had the absolute worst taste in troll anime. He proved it on a daily bases by being an unironic fan of Fiduspawn: Gotta Spend More Money on Cards and Toys!

Vriska rolled her eyes as the large headed, poorly drawn cartoon troll on the television declared himself "the rad-ist fidu-master, did a brief and very stupid jig-like victory dance, and then existed left from the screen. A troll girl with cork-screw like horns and a sideways pony tail, stared open mouthed at the place where he had just been standing.

"Damn it Garnii, I will destroy you!" she screamed.

"No you won't," the first troll called back from off scream.

"Yes, I will!"

"No you won't!"

"Yes, I will!"

"You'll never collect more cards and toys than me!"

The cartoon troll girl with the sideways ponytail, turned to the cartoon troll boy standing next to her. He had short horns that curled outward and a red and white backwards facing baseball cap.

"What your gonna' let him kill all of my useless and stupid Fiduspawn and then get away with it. Avenge my crap Fiduspawn Anshch, avenge them!"

"Right," said Anshch. "Horseroni I choose you!"

Anshch through a red and white cube and a large horse made of elbow pasta emerged from it. The stupid looking, pasta horse ran toward Garnii.

"Go macaroni salad!" Garnii screamed. He through a purple and white cube at the ground and a massive plate of macaroni salad with big cartoon eyes emerged.

"Why do they all look like noodles?" Vriska asked Tavros, un-amused. After the ordeal with the stitches, Tavros had forgiven her for being herself, and was currently letting her sit next to him on the hospital bed, massaging one of his pointed ears.

"They're noodle type," explained Tavros very serious, his eyes locked on the television screen. "In the Fiduspawn world there are six types of Fiduspawn: noodle type, 8-bit type, refried bean type, plastic extension cord type, generic animal type and two for one special product placement type."

"You can't be serious," Vriska groaned.

"Go Betty-Crocker-Cake-Mix-A-Tron!" Garnii screamed, after Horseroni shot a stream of angel hair pasta at his bowl of noodles, apparently killing it.

A box of Betty Crocker Cake Mix with cartoon eyes appeared on the screen.

"Did I forget to mention that this was stupid?" said Vriska.

The box of cake mix spit itself in half like an ameba and then there were two of them.

"OMG!" the cartoon troll with the sideways ponytail proclaimed. "As if it wasn't a good enough bargain to begin with! I...I'm becoming confused by how good a bargain this is!"

"Careful Minshi," said Anshch. "Don't hurt yourself with confusion."

Nepeta walked into the room and sat down at the foot of the hospital bed, facing the television on the opposite wall.

"This show always makes me hungry," she said.

"Nepeta, get out of here," said Vriska. "My tolerance for stupidity is growing dangerously low."

On the television screen, a psychedelic, seizure-inducing pattern of lights was radiating from horseronni's open mouth. The deep voice of a very peppy male announcer ordered them to "Buy all our play sets and toys!" and then the show cut to commercial break.

Nepeta stood up and turned around, now facing Tavros and Vriska. Her expression was concerned.

"Equius doesn't want to take care of my pupa," she said rubbing her distended belly. "He says I'm the queen of hoars."

"Ok, first of all, how many times do I have to say this," said Vriska. "Bepreggards is not a real thing. There's no pupa growing in your belly. You're just getting fat. I'm telling you this because I'm your friend. Go on a fucking diet."

Tavros looked concerned.

"I'm so sorry to hear that Nepeta," he said.

"He thinks I slept with Karkat because I was spending a lot of time with him after he got beat up by Gamzee, but that was just as friends...and I told him that nothing happened, but he doesn't believe me!" Nepeta wove her grey fingers through her short dark hair, clutching her forehead. "Oh this is a Catastrophe."

"Really, cat puns? At a time like this, when you're boring me with your fake, fictional problems?" said Vriska. "Did you ever think that maybe Equius doesn't want to hang out with you anymore because you've become a nutcase?"

Nepeta, ignored this particular comment. She hadn't expected any sympathy from Vriska. It was Tavros she had wanted to talk to.

"...And...and...Karkat said...he said that he'd take care of the pupa," Nepeta stuttered, forcing back tears. She averted her eyes from Vriska's scowling, irritated face, and chose to look at Tavros instead. Tavros looked back at her gently, his expression, patient, nonjudgmental, sympathetic. Nepeta gulped.

"But I don't love Karkat," Nepeta announced. "I love Equius. I love Equius, Tavros, what should I do?"

Tavros looked slightly taken aback at being asked to give advice.

"Uhhh...jeez, I don't know."

Nepeta looked imploringly at him; goading him for an answer.

"I give terrible advice. My advice is not to uhh...is not to take advice from me."

Nepeta didn't look away, but continued to stare at him, her eyes shining with unshed, moss-colored tears. It were as though, for some reason, she were confident that he knew the answer.

"I guess...," said Tavros after awhile. "I guess...since you're going to be a mother soon you should uhhh...you should think more about being responsible and less about love. Who do you think would be the better father?

"They both suck if you ask me," said Vriska, putting her arm around Tavros.

"Vriska," Tavros began, but Nepeta interrupted him.

"No, she's right," Nepeta choked, running a hand through her dark hair nervously, and then she sprinted from the room, slamming the door quickly shut behind her.

Vriska turned to Tavros.

"What gave you the idea to say that," she said to him angrily. "Is that what this is to you? More about being responsible and less about love? So what are you going to do when you find out that I'm not really bepreggards because bepreggards is a big fucking lie and doesn't actually exist? Are you just going to break up with me?"

"Pregnant," corrected Tavros.

"What?"

"Its called Pregnant."

"What ever."

"I love you Vriska, you know that," said Tavros.

"Do you?"

"I do," said Tavros. "Do you love me?"

"Now let's not get carried away," said Vriska.

"Well do you?" Tavros countered.

"I chose not to answer that fucking ridiculous question," said Vriska, crossing her arms.

"How exactly do you feel about me, Vriska," said Tavros. "I'd like to know."

"Duhhh...I think you should think more about being responsible and less about love!" Vriska mocked. "Fuck this shit, I'm gonna' go eat some more chocolate cake."

Vriska stood up and walked out of the room. The commercial break ended and the disembodied voice of the perky male announced invited the audience to "guess that Fiduspaun!"

Tavros closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep, but with no painkillers to detract from the brutal ache in his battered body, this seemed impossible. He focused on the pain, because thinking about the things that had happened to him was far more horrible.

"Owwww..."

A hideous memory forced its way into Tavros' mind. Tavros quickly tried to force himself to think about something else... Rose Lalonde blathering about all of the philological problems that he apparently had now, though the web cam.

That maniacal cackle. Tavros, according to Freud...blah blah blah blardy blar blar... The feeling of that cold metal restraint around his neck...Men are sexually attracted to women who remind them of their mothers...though since trolls don't have mothers I guess it would be hard for this rule to apply. Maybe the lack of parental figures is why trolls crave coldness and absence in their sexual partners. Maybe it is because the parental figures are absent and therefore cold. Ooh, I should definitely use that for my doctoral thesis. Aren't I smart blardy blar blar...The feeling of Gamzee violently seizing a clump of his hair and forcing it against the metal restraint. The air flow being cut off. The sick panic. His eyes bulging out of his head. Say my name, motherfucker...No. Fuck you. No. Leave me alone. Tavros forced the bad thought out of his mind with an image of Rose Lalonde, staring cynically at him through the web cam; smoothing her short blonde hair as she readjusted her black headband; riffling through a pile of papers on her clipboard. Humans and trolls cope with traumatic experiences in several ways, Tavros, and these ways are blah blar blar blar blar...

Tavros buried his face in his pillow and grabbed the base of both of his horns, trying to comfort himself. He didn't want to feel this alone anymore; this unwanted.

Denial...I chose you!