Living Under the Pink Moon
Prompt 68 is Lightening.
He isn’t like Gamzee.
What a silly point to make. It was fucking obvious to any troll with eyes, and those without them for that matter, that Kurloz was nothing like Gamzee. Still, Karkat couldn’t help but point it out to himself, as if it made moments like this more acceptable, more bearable, less of a lie to himself. Because it’s easier to accept the differences than it is to think about how the similarities worried him. Easier, better, safer to think about how Kurloz is and always had been sober. How the older troll has never hurt him. How when they ‘talk’ it isn’t with words, and there is no honking. Because if he doesn’t think about that he’d have to wonder about those times when he came upon Kurloz unexpectedly, and the older troll is still, silent, and almost radiating a kind of menace that was all too familiar.
It had happened in a moment of confusion. One of their first journeys into the bubbles where he hadn’t had the chance to prepare himself for the fact that they really were meeting trolls who were and yet weren’t their ancestors. What he’d seen was the horns, the mess of hair, just beyond a bush. He hadn’t seen Gamzee nearly a perigee, had been terrified about what his moirail had gotten up to in that time. He’d rushed forward, unthinking, and wrapped his arms around the troll from behind.
Kurloz had gone stiff, frighteningly still. That was when Karkat had realized his mistake. The troll he was clinging so desperately to was too tall, its clothing not loose enough, it’s posture flawless. He’d swallowed back a sob and thrown himself away from the stranger, shouting his apologies as he’d fled. In the end he’d all but shouted himself awake, and stayed curled up on top of the horn pile he slept in, clinging to the hope that someday he’d find his moirail.
The next time they meet it’s awkward. Kurloz waves, apparently recognizing him, and all Karkat can do is shuffle over and mumble an apology. Kurloz smiles, as much as someone who was stupid enough to sew their mouth shut can. Before Karkat knows it they’re sitting there together, on a remembered lilypad, and he’s telling this smiling fool who looks far too much like his moirail about his issues. Kurloz, he learns the name after some pretty complicated shenanigans, listens to him obligingly, never going so far as to pap him or stroke his hair, or do anything that Karkat would have wanted Gamzee to do. It’s familiar, and comforting, and kind, and wrong. In the end Karkat apologizes again, this time for using the ghost as a sounding board, and slips away as Not-Sollux-Captor comes over to talk to the Makara.
The third time and the fourth time and the ninth time and the twentieth time are a lot like the second. Karkat talks, Kurloz listens, and over time the points become more and more inane. Talk about Gamzee turns to talk about Terezi, turns to talk about Dave and his refusal to admit that they are going pale. Dave turns into Can town, turns into Kanaya’s situation with Rose, turns into fear about the session they are coming up on. Turns into terror that he won’t be able to help the humans. Turns to concern that he and his friends will die. Turns to Kurloz to ask if he thinks it’s going to be alright.
Turns into a kiss that isn’t a kiss because the lips pressed against his own are sewn shut, but there is something behind the almost chaste touch. He only grows more certain when Kurloz raises a hand to cup his cheek, his thumb brushing lightly over Karkat’s skin. It’s a familiar touch, and while his pan screams that it’s not right, it’s sudden, it’s unseemly, his head betrays him by leaning into the touch. Kurloz places another kiss, equally chaste, on Karkat’s cheek before rising, smiling softly, and waving goodbye to him. For a moment he wonders why the older troll is running, but when Karkat looks down at his own hands he sees the reason easily enough. His hands are going a bit see-through, like they always do when he starts to wake. Go figure the unexpectedness of the flushed advance had started to shock him away.
Dave says it’s a bad idea when he hears about it. In fact, he goes into a fifteen minute rap-rant about the dangers presented by juggalos, which Kurloz ‘clearly is.’ Dave goes so far as to point out that one of the Makaras had already attempted to stab him in the back, and did he really think the other one was beyond such an action? Karkat had responded with his own rage spewing, and in the end he’d fled—this time into dream instead of away from it.
He found Kurloz on the lilypads, together with his ex-matesprit. Jealousy, an emotion he used to only feel when Terezi and Dave spent time together, suddenly welled up in his pusher, an ugly but certain realization that he really did have flushed feelings. Yet Kurloz noticed him, and with a dismissive gesture Meulin all but bounded away. There was something about her eyes that set off warning signs in his head, but Karkat refused to let that stop him. When he reaches Kurloz the older troll opened his arms wide, a questioning look on his face. Karkat ran forward into his arms, and in answer to the unspoken question he placed a gentle kiss on Kurloz’s sealed lips.
He tries to explain, tries to make Kurloz understand. All he gets is one arm wrapped around him, and a finger pressed to his lips.
Yes, it was time for that between them, right?
It is all I ask of you. Well, not all, but it is a start.
The voice in his pan is soft, sweet, and somehow Karkat knows it’s what Kurloz would have sounded like if they ever really spoke. He doesn’t even question why it’s there, what it means, or what it wants from him.
That is right. Release the burdens from your mind. Their weight do not belong upon your shoulders. Your time to lead has passed. Put yourself into another’s hands for now. I will take care of you. Lighten your load. Give yourself over to me.
Yes, that sounded right. Let someone else handle the burden. Relax and just…
Be down with the clown.
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