Trolls are a very demostrative species. Some of them are more effusive than others, but no matter the kind of personality they have, every little gesture always carries meaning. If a troll found himself at a loss for words, a gesture, an expression was usually the best solution to convey their emotions.
That's usually what Gamzee did.
He was never much for words, you see? He had lots of them inside his head. Pretty elaborate sentences with really nice miracle words he really really wanted to get out but it was as if they tripped over their own feet (motherfucking words have little feet now?) as soon as they went past his lips and suddenly they were tripping all over each other and doing motherfucking barrel rolls and it all became a convoluted mess where his poor sentences got lost and ended up at the end of his speech when he had meant to say them at the beginning and miracles happened because he still managed to get the point across but not as well as he had originally intended in his head.
He really liked listening to Kanaya for that reason.
Sometimes he would go to her and ask a ridiculous question just so he could hear her long winded explanation. The way her long complicated words fell perfectly into place in ways he didn't always understand but that never failed to amaze him and make him smile -- even when she got angry at him. In fact, especially when she got angry at him. Listening to her trying to scold him while being polite and proper was motherfucking hilarious.
Gamzee often let his mind wander when he listened to Kanaya scolding him. He knew it wasn't nice but he couldn't help it. It was on one of those occasions where Kanaya was nagging him for drawing on the walls with her lipstick again that the thought hit him.
Well, a variety of thoughts hit him before the aforementioned and in this case important thought lodged itself inside his thinkpan.'Motherfucker, who knew a single stick of this shit could make so many doodles? Ooh Kanzers looks pissed haha - is that my motherfucking leftover pie under Equius's desk? Huh, so that's where it went, motherfucking miracles. Whoahaha I'm being shaken like a motherfucking Faygo bottle wheee Kanaya looks real pretty up close like this, well of course she does you're fucking flushing for her- hey what's that shiny thing on the floor?'
Of course the thought went unnoticed until later, when Gamzee was lying on the floor of his lab, a half empty pie dish spilling its contents on his chest. Through the haze of the sopor slime he recalled his past thoughts - and when he recalled something while being high as a motherfucking kite that usually meant it was important.'Of course she does you're fucking flushing for her'
Gamzee liked to keep things simple. He wasn't one to play a whole motherfucking movie in his head, full of what-ifs and maybes. He simply thought of the green blooded troll's angry, but still sweet, face. It brought a smile to his lips and summoned all kinds of funny little bugs in his stomach (and it wasn't too-much-pie induced bugs either, he knew those and they didn't tickle. They usually made him feel sick.)
That was all he needed. 'Thanks for the tip motherfucking voice in my head' he thought. The "you're welcome 'zee" was a little delayed, probably because of all the sopor that made his brain go as fast as a slug, but once it came he nodded to himself and sat up, ignoring the green mess on his shirt.
No reason to keep this a secret now, was there?
Kanaya was the exception that confirmed the rule: try as she might, physical contact really wasn't her forte. She had a broad vocabulary and always seemed to have the right words to cheer her friends up or give them some advice, but she also knew that sometimes people needed more than just words. Words couldn't embrace you, and when more than sage words were required from her, she froze. She envied her more laid-back friends sometimes, and while some of them were just going too far (Terezi, licking people is totally inapropriate) sometimes she wished she could be more like...
... well, like Gamzee.
Relaxed, open and understanding Gamzee. She was always baffled by how much control over his body he seemed to have. Gamzee was tall and lanky but managed to never look awkward (even if she wished he would do something about that slouch). It was almost as if all his movements were meticulously calculated to fall perfectly into place. When he sat down, draping his long limbs over the couch, when he put an arm around Tavros' shoulders for a peptalk, when he high-fived Terezi, even when he did those silly dances of his, everything looked right. Meanwhile, she always tried to keep her hands busy just because she wouldn't know what to do with them otherwise.
Kanaya certainly envied that aspect of his personality. Whenever she saw him embracing someone she felt the tiniest twinge of jealousy. She knew she came off as cold, but could she really help it if she-?
She started, turning her face and seeing none other than Gamzee sitting next to her. He had dragged a computer chair and was sitting on it backwards: legs open, arms resting crossed on the back of the chair and his head resting on said arms, almost as if he was about to nap. The lazy smile didn't help.
"Gamzee," she stuttered. "Can I help you?"
Then something weird happened.
Gamzee opened his mouth, about to say something, paused, and closed it again making a displeased face. His words didn't abandon him like that usually ( )o': mean words ), they came out as a jumbled mess, yes, but never flat out ditched him. He looked up. Kanaya was looking at him. She appeared to be so confused, dark eyes opened slightly wider than usual, lips parted.
"Yeah, I need your help with somethin'" Well, ok, that was a start. He had no idea where he was going with this, but it was a start.
She turned her chair to face him fully, folding her hands on her lap. "I'm listening."
"Huh," Gamzee looked at her vacantly for a good minute. Then his mind began to wander again. His gaze lowered, landing on Kanaya's folded hands. Small, delicate hands with thin fingers. How the fuck did hands like that manage to carry a chainsaw? Did she ever- oh
He grinned triumphantly, looking back up at her. "Frogs."
Kanaya blinked. "Pardon?"
"Motherfucking frogs, Kanzers." He said, leaning a bit closer as if from her answer depended the whole fate of paradox-space. "I just had a thought." He held up his hand, pointing at the space between his fingers. "The have fucking webbed fingers, right? How do they do some shit, like, twirling pencils between their frogfingers or something?"
Oh boy, there she went. Gamzee hunched his shoulders, almost giggling to himself in delight as he saw the little lip twitch that indicated the beginning of the whole chain of emotions that went across Kanaya's face every time he asked a question.
First, right after the small lip twitch, she invariably looked at him as if he were a mental case. Granted, he probably was, but that was beside the point. Kanaya usually realized this after a few instants of disbelief. Then she frowned, cocking her head to the side and opening her mouth, then closing it again, realizing that debating over the validity of the question was futile (she had tried once - when she found herself discussing the philosophical beliefs of the little invisible people that apparently lived in Gamzee's hair, she knew that questioning anything Gamzee said would only lead to, pardon her TrollFrench, more brainfuck). Then, and this was Gamzee's favorite part, she made a face, quircking her eyebrows at him, her right hand raising before falling back in place, and Gamzee loved it because he just knew she always debated between facepalming and bapping him over the head and ended up chosing neither and her face and the look in her eyes were fucking hilarious.
And last but not least, when all that was done, she closed her eyes for exactly three seconds (he had counted) and took a deep breath. When she did that, Gamzee liked to imagine that it was to collect all her pretty words inside her head, selecting the best ones and saving them for last, just the way he'd go to the beach when he was a wriggler and pick up pretty seashells to show his lusus when he came back home because even if he got scolded for going near the ocean he always got an affectionate nuzzle for his hard work. He smiled.
It was a pity their planet didn't exist anymore and their lusii were dead. He would have made a kickass seashell finding team with Kanaya. She had a talent for making things just overall pretty. Goatdad would have had the best seashell collection ever...
"Now why would you ask something like that Gamzee? Frogs do not even use pencils, that is preposterous." Oh man, he loved that word. He wasn't sure what it meant but he loved it.
"Aw man, they don't?" the grin never left his face. "shit, how do they distract themselves then?"
"Frogs do not need to distract themselves, they just are. They are content with that." She was quircking her eyebrow at him again, a smile threatening to break that serious front she always put up. "Why the sudden, and random might I add, interest in amphibians?"
"I dunno sister, I just started thinking and felt bad for the little fuckers."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah, I mean, shit." He opened his palms in front of himself, observing them. "You can do so many miracles when your fingers are not bothered by a fucking web of skin." And as if to demostrate, he looked up, wiggling his fingers ominously at her. "You can... have tickle wars!"
"Don't you dare!" she laughed, recoiling away from him. Gamzee went on anyway.
"You can make gangster hand signs, I mean look at this shit, I could never do this with shit between my fingers!" Kanaya laughed.
"I am afraid frogs have no interest in doing any of that. You are being quite silly Gamzee."
Gamzee's grin seemed to grow. "Hey, I'm not being silly, this is a fucking legitimate question!" He gasped, as if he had had an epiphany. "Kanzers!" He reached out, putting his hand on hers. She started again. "Does that mean frogs can't hold hands?" He took her stunned silence as an incentive to continue. He also took her hand, holding it up between them, palm against palm. A quick peek behind them let him catch a glimpse of Kanaya's face: she was blushing, cheeks bright green like a motherfucking slime pie, and she looked confused but not angry or displeased by his actions. So far so good.
"Hum," Kanaya averted her eyes. "As far as I know, frogs do not use the same kind of contact we do to signify their feelings for each other... not that anyone should assume a simple contact means anything of course!" she added quickly. "That would be rude of them, not to mention quite foolish and if anyone did I would advise them not to read as many romance novels. Particularly since I am the only one in possession of such volumes and if this hypothetical person had read any that would mean they have been snooping through my things without my permission. Point being, do not read romance novels Gamzee. Why are we talking about this again? I seem to have forgotten our original subject, I-"
Her voice died in her throat with a pitiful and undignified squeak, cutting her rambling short when Gamzee slid his fingers in the free, un-webbed space between hers, squeezing her hand. He looked at her, an amused glint in his eye.
"How the fuck are they supposed to make their pretty frogfriend understand they make their heart and stomach do all sorts of funny flippy shit then?"
He still hadn't let go of her hand. Even now as they were walking to the kitchen because he felt like indulging on a celebratory pie his fingers were still tightly laced with hers. They walked past Karkat on their way there, and Gamzee didn't seem to notice, but Kanaya could have sworn their leader was going to dislocate his jaw if he kept it hanging like that.
"Don't you think this is too soon?" She asked, throwing him an insecure glance.
She made no attempt to dislodge her hand though.
Gamzee chuckled. "Naaaaaw."
"It's just that I-"
"Kanaya," Oh hey, best friend was there? Heh, that's a funny face he's making. Gamzee squeezed the female's hand again, as if to bring her attention to something important. "Just let the hands do the talking this time."Kissing
terminallyCapricious [TC] started trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA]
TC: sOrRy I'm NoT tHe RoSe HuMaN.
TC: jUsT mE.
TC: I kNoW yOuR tRoLlIaN iS oN, i CaN mOtHeRfUcKiNg HeAr It Go TiNg TiNg TiNg EvErYtImE i SeNd A mEsSaGe.
TC: i AlSo KnOw YoU'vE bEeN fEeLiNg A lItLe SicK aLl DaY.
TC: MaYbE sNeAkInG sOmE sLiMe InTo YoUr RaTiOn WaSn'T sUcH a MoThErFuCkInG gOoD iDeA aFtEr AlL.
TC: sOrRy I gUeSs
TC: BuT i AlSo KnOw AlL tHe MoThErFuCkInG lItTlE tInG sOuNdS aNnOy YoU sO yOu'Re GoInG tO sTaNd Up To ChEcK yOuR tRoLlIaN.
TC: wHaT i'Ve BeEn MoThErFuCkInG mEaNiNg To SaY iS.
TC: ThIs MeSsAgE hAs No FuCkInG pUrPoSe OtHeR tHaN tO mAkE yOu WaLk ThRoUgH tHe LaB tO mEsS wItH yOu.
TC: h<3Nk H<3nK.
terminallyCapricious [TC] ceased trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA]
GA: . . .
GA: I Am Going To Bap You Over The Head
GA: You Cannot See That Statement But It Is Laid Out Here As Evidence
GA: Do Not Claim I Did Not Warn You About Your Impending Doom
grimAuxiliatrix [GA] ceased trolling terminallyCapricious [TC]
Kanaya turned around and the whole room turned with her. Saying she had been a little sick was an understatement. Big understatement. Since a few hours ago, the whole base had turned into a ballroom and she was the unwilling guest of honor. The floor often changed its consistency on her, becoming either supple like jelly or suddenly hardening once more and she found herself stumbling every step. Her vision was distorted. The colors seemed brighter than she remembered and while that in itself was not unpleasant, it made her head buzz after a prolonged observation. And prolonged observation was what she needed
to get her sight to focus.
There was just no way out.
But enough self-pitying. She had a mission. And her mission was to punish the cause of her misery. Gamzee was somewhere in the lab. She could hear him snickering. Just wait until she- ooh, the lab is dancing again, wheee...
... No. Scratch that. Not wheee. There is no wheee. Only frowning. Curses, Gamzee must have seen her (she could only imagine how foolish she must have looked) he was laughing again. Why wad everything moving in slow motion? Doesn't matter. Just follow the amused honking (amused honking? Since when did honking convey an emotion? That was ridiculous, oh goodness her brain was being Gamzeefied! Was that even a word? Why was she thinking about this? Stopping this train of thought right now before it causes the ultimate brainwreck.).
His original intentions had been noble, he swore! Maybe with just a little bit of slime he could have gotten her to loosen up. Just chill out a bit, you know? Show her some miracles to make her smile. He felt a little guilty when she voiced out her discomfort. Then he saw her walking as if she was stepping on motherfucking floating cotton candy or something and he stopped feeling guilty, deciding on grinning instead. The online pestering had only been his latest cunning plan. It was enough to make him want to twirl his invisible mustache.
Oh brother, here she came.
"Gamzee Makara stop moving this instant." He wasn't moving. In fact, he was leaning against his desk, but fine, whatever floated her S.S. Faygo. "I must- whoa!" She had lifted her hand, no doubt to smack him over the head, but the momentum was too much for her precarious footing; all it took was for Gamzee to move his head back and suddenly she was performing a goddamn gracious twirl and fell back in his welcoming arms (that was ust a poetic way of saying he had barely caught her before she fell flat on her butt.). She glared, rather unsuccessfully.
"Whoa Kanzers, if you wanted to dance you should have motherfucking said so!"
"I do not wish to dance, Gamzee, I wish to- Stop moving! All three of you!"
Gamzee laughed and helped her stand back up on her feet. He held her hand and pulled her up, catching her with his other arm, dipping her just like in the movies. He grinned. She tried disengaging herself.
"This is incredibly silly." But he was not over. Not by a long shot.
Gamzee would grab her hand and make her spin, which certainly didn't help her sense of orientation any. He would mock her by imitating her insecure steps or waving his fingers pretending to be the magician who controlled her every move. Finally, their silly little dance ended when he caught her by the waist, waggling his eyebrows comically as he laid her down on the floor. He sat next to her and laughed.
"That was fun!"
"When the mysterious purple leprechauns stop holding me down, I am going to skin you, cut you into tiny bloody pieces with my chainsaw and then eat you."
Gamzee laughed loudly. "Easy with the blackflirting Kanzers! Are we going to go raveparty on our quadrant?"
"It's not blackflirting," Kanaya assured somewhat distractedly, her eyes following some invisible flying baby hoofbeast that was fluttering around in the room. "You know, in my books eating the corpse of your fallen matesprit is considered very romantic. The ultimate act of red devotion. Like Rommeo and Juliet."
"I'm not motherfucking dead yet."
"You will be as soon as these leprechauns unhand me." Kanaya wiggled around uselessly, trying to make a point, her eyes droopy and glazed over. Something in Gamzee's own eyes flickered for just a second without her being aware of it. He moved over on top of her, supporting himself on his hands and knees. Kanaya only seemed to notice when he leaned down to kiss her. Nepeta entered the room and meowed in confusion before Equius covered her eyes and dragged her right back out.
It was a clumsy kiss - more like lips being pressed together awkwardly since neither of them really knew what they were doing nor had their full mental capacities at the moment. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Gamzee thought that he probably would never have gotten the guts to do this without the slime to quiet the nagging voices in his head telling him what he was doing was fucking stupid. Somewhere in the back of her
mind Kanaya noticed Gamzee's lips were sticky and tasted like flat Faygo.
When Gamzee finally pulled away, they both looked equally confused, embarassed and respectively purple and green.
"...Thank you?" Well, that had sounded stupid. And she was supposed to be the one good with words. Gamzee booped her nose.
"We need to find you better books Kanzers. Honk!"Hugging
Sometimes you have to make choices in life. Gamzee's most common choice was usually between leaving the sopor slime inside his recuperacoon, or scooping it out to bake some pies. He usually chose the latter though, and of course, this had some effects on the resting properties of the contraption. Oh sure, they weren't allowed to sleep anymore, but they could still tweak the settings of the 'coons so the slime would allow their body to rest without making them lose consciousness. Not completely, at least.
At first it hadn't been too bad, he had barely noticed the negative effects to be honest. It's hard to notice any of your body's demands when it has gone limp and numb because of the narcotic effects of your favourite pastry, but now things were starting to get ugly. The slime was becoming scarce, and Gamzee found it was more difficult to make his daily choice with each passing, well, day.
He barely sank in the slime anymore. His nervous system was not as thoroughly affected by the resting properties of the green goop.
The nightmares were becoming pretty bad.
He kept seeing this huge, hulking figure, a blur at first that became progressively neater. Every time he saw him he was aware of a new detail. The monstrous claw-like fingers. The sharp fangs that gleamed when the figure smirked down at him. The juggling pin he twirled between his grasp and the huge, thick horns, both so scarily similar to his own. He saw the sadistic pleasure in the figure's light gray eyes, and he chose not to remember that his own eyes were that particular shade of gray as well. He saw a symbol engraved in the figure's clothes -something that he apparently wore in the crotch area, a fact that would have made Gamzee laugh if he hadn't been scared shitless- and he chose to ignore the fact that this symbol looked a little too familiar.
Every time, the figure crept closer. Slowly, confidently. Gamzee tried to escape but was always frozen on the spot, held in place by something sticky that made a disgusting wet noise when he struggled. And every single time he woke up, ears ringing, head pounding, right after this monster, this creature, had raised its juggling pin to strike him down.
This time though, it changed.
The pin was raised. Gamzee almost gagged, catching the overpowering smell of clotted blood, but he kept chanting like a mantra "it's alright 'zee, you're waking up any second now, any second, any second, it's motherfucking over".
The pin came down.
He closed his eyes.
He distinctly felt the hot white pain of the blow cracking his skull from behind and fell face first into the cold, gooey substance on the floor, groaning and moaning in pain.
That didn't make any fucking sense. The monster had been in front of him, not behind him, why wasn't he waking up? Oh Gog, please someone wake him up."honk""HONK"
The pain felt so real. He clutched, clawed at the floor, trying to pull himself up. His world was spinning, fuck he was going to throw up."hey motherfucker""WE'RE COMING"
"You look like shit. More than usual shit."
Gamzee didn't even answer, nor did he notice that behind Karkat's usual jab was genuine worry. He just dragged himself across the lab, slouching even more than usual, scrapping the floor with his feet - not even bothering to raise them all the way to walk properly. He knew his shoelaces were undone but didn't care. Just as he didn't care when he stepped on them and stumbled, and just like he wouldn't have cared if he had fallen face first on the floor.
Before his face paid a friendly visit to Mrs. Concrete Floor though, a miracle happened. Or at least that's how he defined it. He stumbled unto someone. His arms wrapped around the person's shoulders in a desperate attempt to steady the body they were attached to, and then tightened their grip once they recognized who they were latching unto, turning the contact into an embrace. Gamzee breathed a sigh of relief as he lowered his head, resting his forehead on an elegantly rounded shoulder.
Somewhere buried in the very back of his mind he wished he had said something else, or at least that he'd said it differently. He wished he hadn't sighed out her name with the same voice a wriggler uses to call their lusus when they have scrapped their knee and the tears are threatening to pour out. He had meant to make this pass as one of his jokes. Turn his head, press his lips against the crook of her neck and blow a raspberry there just to see her turn green like a motherfucking delicious pie and hear her tell him he was being inapropriate or some shit. She would squirm trying to get free but fuck if he was going to let her go and he would have done the same again for good measure.
And then they would have laughed. Or Gamzee would have laughed. Kanaya rarely laughed out loud with him, but that was alright. Kanaya laughed with her eyes. Seeing the mirth in them when she looked at him after he did something silly made him feel like he had done something fucking good for someone. Like he was some kind of miracle.
"Gamzee," Her voice was soft, as if she didn't want to attract anyone else's attention. She probably didn't. "what is the matter sweetheart?"
The petname made him smile against her shoulder. "It's motherfucking chill Kanzers" He tried to focus on something else, something that wasn't the stentch of blood lingering in his nose, something that wasn't his pounding head, something that wasn't- no, that wasn't his symbol. Dreams are fucked up. He tightened his embrace. "Just need some shut-eye, is all."
Kanaya was the opposite of everything his dream had been and that was all he needed right now. Kanaya and her soft voice, her pretty colorful clothes, and that incredibly weird and un-troll way of caring from the bottom of her bivalve system. That was the weirdest of her little quirks, but at times like these, Gamzee thought as he felt her hand resting supportively on his own, it was alright. More than alright.
"Is it because of your slime? Gamzee, if you are in need, I will have to insist you take some of mine."It's more than alright.
"And even if you refuse," she smiled an insecure smile, as if she didn't know herself wether her attempt at humor really was one or not. "I will be forced to sneak you some against your will."It's a fucking miracle.
Gamzee looked up, a huge smile on his face. "Motherfucker, Kanzers! Was that a joke?"Sleeping
Kanaya found that reasoning with herself and repeating in her head all the perfectly rational reasons why this was the most logical outcome didn't make it any less awkward.
Yes, Gamzee's recuperacoon did not have enough slime to let him rest anymore; yes, they needed to get as much rest as they could in this stressful situation. Yes, she still had more than enough slime herself. Yes, her recuperacoon was big enough. Yes, sleeping with clothes on wasn't that terrible even if she did hate dirtying clothes. Yes, Gamzee was... special.
No, that did not mean she was 0kay with the concept of sleeping with him. Sure, it was to help, but it didn't make it any less scandalous.
"It will only be a couple times, I fucking promise girl." Gamzee's voice called, sitting inside the 'coon already (she had insisted he'd go first).
Kanaya looked at her reflection in the mirror as she cleaned off the green from her lips. She was nervous. Shaky even, and she had no idea why. She was probably just being ridiculous, come on now, this was Gamzee she was talking about. Big, dopey, goofy Gamzee. He was probably already in a sopored up doze right now and wouldn't even notice her dipping into the slime. He needed the rest after all, he hadn't been looking good at all these past few days.
This was for his sake. Kanaya, stop being silly.
She turned the lights off. The faint green glow emitted by the slime allowed her to reach the recuperacoon in the near complete darkness. She peeked inside quickly and smiled. Sure enough, Gamzee was under the effects of the narcotic already, his back turned towards her and his body lax.
She carefully slipped into the slime herself, trying not to bother the bigger troll next to her and to ignore her pounding heart when her arm brushed against his back. She froze when he shifted, but finally, everything became peaceful again.
For a time.
She didn't know exactly when, but at some point in the night - maybe minutes, maybe hours after she had entered her recuperacoon, it was hard to tell in her stupor - she felt Gamzee move, creating waves in the slime as his weight shifted. She kept her eyes closed, slowly becoming aware of her surroundings through her haze. She felt Gamzee sit up.
And her heart skipped a beat.
Her eyes were closed but she could almost picture his movements according to the way everything moved around her (and thanks to an over-active imagination as well). She practically saw him leaning over her, very slightly, probably afraid to wake her up.
A few drops of slime rained on her arm and she knew his hand was hovering over it. Hovering, but never coming down, as if he had hesitated and withdrawn his hand at the last moment. She heard a tiny wet sound that told her he had probably shaken said hand to get rid of the slime clinging to his skin.
There was a pause, and then she heard it, as clear as if she had been fully awake.
Gamzee let out a long, almost mournful sigh.
A second, a minute, an hour later, who knew, she felt the smallest of caresses on her cheek.
She thanked all the deities she knew of for the green glow the slime gave out. It would luckily camouflage the shade of her blush.
When Kanaya stepped out of the recuperacoon Gamzee was already gone. A quick little "Thanks Kanzers" scribbled on a piece of paper taped to the outer wall of her recuperacoon. She sighed and blamed the events of the night on the sopor.
That was until she walked in front of her mirror. She did a double take. On her cheeks, drawn out with slime, were two little emoticons.);o*