Two months on, Eridan and Feferi were exhausted with all the hard work they'd had to undergo to prepare for the babies' arrival. Eridan had been out searching for potential baby supplies, from abandoned stuffed whales to lost bottles. He also was given two cots by his father, one deep purple and the other tyrian, since there were two babies arriving. Eridan knew his father had been a sensible, down-to-Alternia troll, but in his opinion, the fellow's decision to include their blood colours proved he had no creativity at all.
He had given them the cots shortly after Eridan and Feferi dropped by the house to give him the good news. To his son's embarrassment, he had insisted on holding an exquisite banquet to celebrate the occasion, which he was pretty sure was just him showing off to Feferi. Eridan presumed his father had not actually taken the time to ask if she was okay with the idea, since it had been a knee-jerk reaction.
He was grateful for the cots, but declined to tell his father that they would be painting them later. Eridan had planned to paint his baby's cot cream and golden orange with a white symbol resembling Angel wings and for his lover's baby he had decided grey and brown with a green logo of a vaguely grass-like symbol.
In the meantime, Feferi had been painting the walls of the babies' room and acquiring some of her old baby's clothes for her child to use. She presumed her matesprit would do the same. There had also been the matter of mentioning to the Condesce that an heir to the throne after Feferi had arrived.
They hadn't actually told her yet, but Eridan had wanted to hold a party celebrating everyone's impending parenthood and they had hardly the supplies for such a party. If she knew she was to have a grandchild, there might be a bit of motivation for the Troll Empress to provide them with the ways and means.
Which was why they were now being led through the imperial palace by two guards who had not stopped eying Eridan since their arrival. She supposed it was because of his flamboyant attire, but she wouldn't have traded that attire for anything. It was her way of knowing all was well with Eridan. She'd be worried if he stopped wearing it.
They entered the large throne room without incident, but she could tell Eridan was agitated about something or other. "Your mother has terrible taste in decor, you know that?"
"Eridan, quiet! We can't do anything to get on her bad side!" She tentatively held his hand as they approached the throne, her Empress and mother noticing this development while standing to greet them.
"Ahem, hello mother," Feferi formally fumbled, kneeling and pulling Eridan down with her.
"Hello Feferi. My, this is an unusual development. You don't usually drop by to visit." She clapped her hands. "Guards, leave us." The guards hesitated for a moment before snapping out of it and leaving in an orderly manner.
"And who is this handsome young troll you've brought along?" The Condesce asked. Eridan flustered heavily.
"Mother, this is Eridan Ampora, my matesprit," Feferi replied, drawing an arm around her cape-wearing lover almost protectively.
"Mm. So, what news have you brought?" the Condesce asked.
Feferi blushed slightly. "Well mother, you know how I sent you a letter this morning asking for some help with a party we intend to put on tomorrow?"
The empress looked down her well-formed nose at them. "Yes, I do. What about it?"
"Yes, well you see, I apologise that I didn't tell you earlier, but there was no real way of telling..."
The princess trailed off as she nervously glanced at Eridan, presumably looking for support, or encouragement. Eridan just nodded, but oh how she wanted to throw her arms around him for that little vote of confidence. She continued, "But we've taken the tests and all signs point to one inevitable conclusion."
She took a deep breath, before excitedly shouting "I'M PR--EGNANT MOTHER!"
No sooner had Her Imperious Condescension, ruler of Alternia and conqueror of the stars, heard this news then she threw her arms around her daughter and spun her around in an uncharacteristic expression of affection. Eridan wasn't sure what to say, but he had a feeling she would pull a facial muscle if she kept smiling that widely.
"I presume you're having a girl, Feferi?" The princess smiled nervously. "Um, w-E don't R--EALLY know, at the moment mother..."
"we havven't progressed far along enough so our babies' genders are in-cod-nito for noww" Eridan backed her up.
The Empress smiled. But there was something off about her smile. It was nice, and yet not nice, at the exact same time. She seemed to have some kind of problem with uncertainty over the heir's gender. Eridan knew it was a woman's world on Alternia, but what would be so wrong about a "His" Imperious Condescension? Sadly, that was not a view the royals held and it wasn't his place to question it. "Oh? Are you both pregnant?" They dropped their heads simultaneously in defeat. "Yes."
In the end, she was so happy about this development that she proceeded not only to agree to fund and supply the party, but to announce her impending grandmotherhood to the troops of her army as a way of boosting morale. But Eridan couldn't help feeling furious at his children being turned into tools of propaganda. In his own words, it was "fuckin unconscionable".
Knock knock. Knock knock. KNOCK KNOCK!
"Hold your hoofbea2t2 iim comiing!" yelled Sollux from inside his hive.
He had only been pregnant for about two months and already his pants were a little too cozy for comfort. Actually that was probably normal he guessed, but he hadn't expected to start getting large this quick. Too lazy to go out and buy new pants he hadn't been bothering to wear any unless he absolutely had to. Someone at the door meant he absolutely had to. Quickly he found a pair of pants without the zippers he had been finding so hard to zip up lately and shoved himself into them as best he could before opening the door. Outside was one pompous, scarf wearing sea dweller who he loved to hate and hadn't seen in a while.
"hey sol. fef and i are havvin this party thin for all our pregnant friends and youre invvited" he said as looked Sollux up and down, "i wwas only goin to invvite you because youre my kismesis an all and because fef wwanted to invvite all our friends but it looks like you dont need those reasons so wwhos the lucky troll?"
"that2 none of your bu2iine22 a22hole" the yellow blooded troll crossed his arms over his chest as though that would hide the fact that he was pregnant despite the fact that the metaphorical cat was out of the bag.
"its not me is it?" Eridan walked inside and took a seat just in case he got a shocking answer to his question.
"of cour2e not 2tupiid. we havent 2een each other iin forever. you were 2o preoccupiied with feferii that there ii2 no way you could have gotten me pregnant."
"wwhy wwont you tell me then?"
"becau2e ii dont want to. 2iimple a2 that. iill go to your 2tupiid pregnancy party but only becau2e feferii iinvited me." Sollux made him stand up and shoved him through the front door of his hive.
"makin me leavve so early?" the seadweller smiled, trying to be clever. He gave his kismesis a quick kiss before walking out the door, "see you around"
As soon as the door shut Sollux practically fell down into the nearest chair. He didn't even bother taking off his too tight pants. There was going to be a party held by Eridan and Feferi and everyone was going to be there. He had just agreed to go to a party where everyone would see him and know he was pregnant. Aradia would be there of course. From what Eridan had said it appeared as though Feferi had decided to invite all of their friends, even the ones that weren't pregnant. But Aradia and Gamzee hadn't kept it a secret that the clown was carrying her child. Sollux on the other hand hadn't told anyone, well anyone except his best friend Karkat whom he trusted to keep a secret and now Eridan who he was sure would tell at the very least Feferi if not everyone else.
Ever since he had known he was pregnant he had been avoiding Aradia. He hadn't told her and he just hadn't been able to face her. At one point he was going to tell her, but then she and Gamzee announced their good news and he just couldn't. She seemed so happy with a perfect matesprit and a child on the way. There was no way he wanted to ruin her happiness with the news of his pregnancy. Now he would see her at the party and she would know. There was no way she wouldn't. He had made it very clear to Eridan, who would probably "spill the beans", that it wasn't his child and even though no one really knew about Sollux's red romance dabblings Aradia knew. There was no doubt in his mind that, at least for him, the party was going to be a disaster.
"I'm soooooooo fat!" cried Vriska pitifully throwing herself down on the couch like a two sweep old.
"That Is What Happens When You Are Pregnant Dear" replied her jade blooded matesprit.
"But I don't like it!" she pouted, "I don't want to be fat and I don't want to go to the party."
"But We Have To Go Dear" Kanaya sniffed. "How Can We Just Turn Down Such A Rare And Generous Offer From Two Of Our Friends Whom We've Known Since Childhood"
"I don't care" the cerulean blood was defiant, "I don't want people to see me fat."
Kanaya was surprised by Vriska's sudden concern for her looks. Normally she was the one who had to force Vriska to comb her hair and wear matching clothing.
"But You Aren't Fat You Are Pregnant There Is A Difference" she sat down beside her and held her, "And Besides I Think You Look As Lovely As Ever"
"I know you're just trying to flatter me, 8ut alright, I'll go along with it. I'll go to the party." She turned and kissed Kanaya. "I guess we should get going to that party or we're going to be l8."
"Yes We Should Probably Leave"
"aRE YOU SURE YOU, uH, dON'T NEED ANYTHING?"
Equius gave Tavros the scariest look he had ever seen. "D --> If I was more sure, you runt, I would turn into a statue of complete and utter resolve D --> And don't tell me to 100sen up or I'll get e%tremely angry"
Tavros shivered and shifted back on his robot legs slightly. "o-OKAY, eQUIUS, iF YOU SAY SO,"
This was an occurrence that was rare on the whole. Equius was normally quite even-tempered, if rather dominating, and was good at keeping his emotions in check. But for reasons Tavros could never understand, the goddesses and gods in charge of pregnancy thought that it was great to have pregnancy be as emotionally exhausting for those around the pregnant one as well as the pregnant ones themselves. And they thought rampant emotional mood swings were a great way to achieve that end. To Tavros' unspoken disgust, they had not made an exception for Equius.
With any other pregnant Troll, you'd hardly be that frightened. But with Equius...
Well, it's like this: Equius was a perfect storm of all the types of person a sensitive Troll should not want to get on the wrong side of. He was pregnant, musclebound and had a surprisingly short fuse these days. Part of why Tavros had found him attractive was the muscle, but also the calm and emotional stability. He'd seemed like a guardian, someone who could look out for him.
But that had been before they had made their decision to have a baby. It was clear only Equius would get pregnant in their relationship, because Tavros would never have been able to achieve the part of the more assertive partner in any relationship. It wasn't in his nature. And he was fine with that.
Only, Equius' muscle was dangerous when he got angry.
But almost immediately, Equius' expression shifted to one of remorse. "D --> Did I scare you"
"oHH, iT'S FINE, i UNDERSTAND YOU'RE PREGNANT, sO IT'S ONLY, uH, nATURAL,,,"
"D --> No it isn't D --> It was totally unnecessary" Equius sniffed. "I don't want to hurt you my little Pupa, ever"
Tavros blushed at his comment. "wELL, mAYBE WE SHOULD, uH, yOU KNOW, hUG NOW OR SOMETHING,"
Tavros regretted this comment soon after he made it. He'd forgotten what Equius was like with hugs. In five seconds flat, he was squashed between Equius' enthusiastic arms in a vigorous bear-hug.
"uHH, eQUIUS, yOU'RE KIND OF, cRUSHING ME HERE..."
In an act of embarrassment and confusion, Equius accidentally dropped him. He lay there sprawled on the floor trying desperately to get back up. But alas the robot legs were not made for getting back up. Not without assistance anyway.
Embarrassed beyond words, Equius reached down and helped Tavros back up. "D --> Sorry for all this emotion Tavros" he mumbled.
Tavros shrugged, though in truth he was slightly terrified. "uHH, wELL I GUESS NOTHING LESS, cAN BE EXPECTED, fROM A PREGNANT TROLL,,,"
Equius smiled at him. "D --> So sh001d we still go to that party" Tavros nodded.
"yEP, wE'RE GOING THERE NOW,,"
"D --> Just one thing" Equius smiled nervously. "D --> I think I need a towel"
The time for the party had arrived and no matter how much Eridan insisted that she sit and rest Feferi was hell bent on making a few last final touches to the decorations. 'I want it to be P------ERF--ECT!', she had said. He told her everything she touched was perfect and that had finally been enough to get her to at least sit while waiting at the door for their friends. Gamzee and Aradia had been the first to arrive. Exactly on time. For some reason Eridan couldn't fathom Aradia had an insane sense of time and almost seemed to bend it to her will, arriving everywhere exactly on time, almost to the second depending on your clock. They were followed by the other troll pairs: Karkat and Terezi, Vriska and Kanaya, and Tavros and Equius who had brought Nepeta along as well. The last to arrive was Sollux, who despite not having an actual matesprit had come along anyway. When the others asked if he was pregnant he simply mumbled something inaudible. Though they probably didn't even hear him it didn't matter. They would all find out soon enough. There was no point in lying about it. Everyone took this as a good enough answer and moved on with the party.
Or rather, everyone except the perceptive Aradia, who had a feeling she knew what he had mumbled. It didn't help when Eridan joined the group she was conversing with to inform them of some gossip he had discovered.
"youll nevver guess wwhat i found out yesterday"
"WHAT WOULD THAT BE, FISHFACE?" Karkat joked. He seemed to be in a very good mood, smiling, with Terezi at his side.
"sol is pregnant"
Aradia tried to hide the look on her face and considering how much she worried she thought she did a pretty good job. Those three words could mean a lot of not good for her if they meant what she hoped they didn't mean. After all it was Eridan, Sollux's kismesis, who was informing them of this.
"I GUESS CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER. LOOKS LIKE YOU'LL BE A PARENT OF THREE. GOOD JOB."
"oh no his baby isnt mine" divulged the seadweller. The smile on Karkat's face slipped almost, Aradia observed, as though he knew something he wasn't saying.
"THEN WHOSE IS IT?"
"dont knoww he wwont tell me" Eridan smiled mischievously, "i suspect it wwas some failed red rom interest or somefin"
That was all Aradia needed to know to flip her switch from fairly calm to near freaking out. She turned to Gamzee who was holding her hand and smiled as convincingly as she could.
"I h0pe you d0n't mind if I g0 talk to s0me 0ther pe0ple?"
"Of CoUrSe YoU mOtHeRfUcKiNg CaN. i'Ll JuSt Go TaLk To TaVbRo FoR a WhIlE."
And on that note he wandered off into the fray, looking for his best friend. Aradia immediately sighed in relief and looked for Sollux. She saw him having an apparently heated argument with Eridan. Evidently he had wanted to keep his condition to himself.
"ii had hoped you'd at least have the decency two keep a 2ecret. but no, you just had two announce iit for all two hear, diidn't you?"
"are you fuckin kiddin me, sol i reely don't see the problem here and not the least 'cos you could'a wwanted people to knoww geddit"
"don't giive me that, you brainless finny a22hole. you diid iit because you hate me, you know you diid."
" god you give me a haddock you know that" he snorted. "'scuse me, mr 3-D glasses but 2 things 1. even if i didn't say it salmon else would and 2. i hate you anyway 'cos youre my black lover and you can't blame me for that"
Sollux groaned. "not the fiish puns agaiin! well, whatever sir no-2-letters, ii'll take that passiive-aggressiive double-jab as a form of you humouring me. and when you do that, iit's hard to stay mad at you. ii 2tiill hate you though." He sniffed. "ju2t that the baby's father doe2n't know and ii'd hoped to keep iit that way for a whiile. ii'm not in a commiited relatiion2hiip and the baby's future ii2 uncertaiin."
"doesn't know" Eridan gasped. "do you mean to tell me that you led someone else's matesprit into infidelity" He shook his head. "oh sol howw could you i thought better of you than that"
"iis that all you're concerned about" Sollux raged. "the matter of conceptiion?"
"wwhale, obvviously not, but wwhat do you wwant me to do if it ain't mine" Eridan snapped back. "i'vve got my owwn problems to wworry about you see feferi and me havve 2 babies on the wway and knoww how mothers usually pass on the blood colour"
"what of iit?" Sollux grumbled.
"wwhale fef's baby's the royal one and if it ain't a girl the condesce wwill fuckin flip" Eridan sneered. "she could kill me you know or wworse yet fef could be culled wwhich wwould mean no moirail for you and i'd lose both my kid and the one i lovve"
Sollux looked shocked. It didn't matter how much he hated Eridan, he'd still be really sad to see him dead. And if it was the other way around, it would be even worse. Eridan may have had problems being a nice guy but he was so flushed for Feferi that her loss would kill him while leaving him alive. And their baby would die. Sollux would never wish the death of a child on anyone, least of all his kismesis and moirail. They were part of a complex computer system he had set up over the course of his life. He had Karkat there as his best friend, Feferi as his moirail, Eridan as his kismesis and Aradia as his, well, whatever they were. Failure of even one would upset his machine's delicate inner workings and wreak havoc on the systems.
Eridan adjusted his glasses and sighed. "sorry sol but there ain't a wwhole lot i can do i mean i gotta deal with two babies of my owwn and a potentially murderous mother-in-laww"
Sollux deflated further than Aradia had ever seen him go. "ii know eri. 2orry for all thii2 2hiit but what am ii going two do about thii2?"
Eridan placed a hand on his shoulder. "you'll get through it sol i dunno howw but i knoww you wwhale enough for that" He kissed his kismesis on the forehead and booped his nose. Sollux frowned, his cheeks flushing mustard yellow. "so who's is it"
Sollux sighed. "iit's aa's." At his caliginous partner's horrified face he nodded and went on, "ii know, ii know, 'zee iis goiing two kiill me iif he fiinds out. ii can only hope he doesn't."
Eridan faltered, fearing for his safety. Sollux may be a psionic, but against Gamzee's fearsome physical strength he would not have much of a chance. "take care of yourself" and with that he returned to check up on his matesprit.
Aradia crossed the room with a feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach that just wouldn't unknot itself. As she reached Sollux, he avoided eye contact. The psionic was avoiding her eye contact because she already knew or had already figured out who's baby it was.
And the implications as well. Sollux had learned long ago that Aradia needed no teaching, whatever the subject being broached. She had this way of figuring out almost instantly what the problem was and proposing solutions. A personality which he had come to admire and enjoy in equal measure.
But she could only fill one quadrant with him and she had filled it already. Sollux had told himself time and time again that he had no right to be jealous of Gamzee. The clown may be in the place he (Sollux) should be in, but he was a simple-minded, non-judgemental troll who had never done a speck of damage to anyone. Not even to Karkat, his moirail, for whom Gamzee had acted as a punchbag for as far back as anyone could remember.
Gamzee, however much Sollux may dislike him, was the be-all and end-all of Aradia's official relationships. He had since captured her heart in a way that perhaps no one else could.
"S0llux, is it really mine?" she asked nervously. "Yeah, aa, iit ii2," he sighed. "What the fuck are we gonna do about iit?"
"I d0n't kn0w, S0llux. I really d0n't. I mean, l00k at Gamzee." Aradia sighed deeper than him. "I l0ve him as well."
"more than me?" Sollux sniffed. "Again, I can't even tell. I've g0ne 0ver it in my head 0ver and 0ver again and I just d0n't kn0w. S0metimes when I try t0 think 0f the pers0n I l0ve the m0st y0ur face is what c0mes t0 mind and 0ther times all I can see is Gamzee. Y0u have n0 idea h0w much I wish I c0uld just kn0w but I d0n't and I'm afraid t0 find 0ut. N0 matter wh0 I ch00se s0me0ne is g0ing to get hurt."
"aradia" he sighed using her full name, something he did rarely, "iit2 ok iif you dont choo2e me. ii can deal with thiing2 on my own. ju2t go be wiith gamzee; he wiill be able to giive you more than ii ever would."
"Thank y0u. This means a l0t t0 me."
With that she hugged him as tightly as she could. He took a moment to relax into her knowing that he wouldn't be able to do this anymore. She was practically Gamzee's now. Still he might as well enjoy this last little show of red affection while he could. Unfortunately that moment was cut short when someone ripped him off her by the collar of his shirt.
"hold on a motherfuckin' minute. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" It was Gamzee, a look of complete fury written all over his face. Sollux put up a defiant face, but he was actually terrified just looking at him.
"what? you got a problem wiith iit iif ii hug my friiend? ii thought you were ok with our friiendship?"
"hey asshole, i saw your smile as you hugged her. NO FRIEND ENJOYS A HUG THAT MUCH! and now i realise. THIS IS ALL MAKING SENSE TO ME NOW!" Gamzee gripped Sollux's hair as he shoved him against the wall. Everyone was horrified but no one wanted to risk getting everyone hurt by Gamzee's inner subjuggulator. "now i see why she spent all her time at your hive. SHE'S THE FATHER OF YOUR MOTHERFUCKIN' BASTARD BABY, ISN'T SHE?"
"no she iisn't. ii'm telliing you purple pants, our frienshiip iis striictly platoniic."
"oh, a moment while i motherfuckin' vomit. DON'T YOU DARE LIE TO ME, PEASANTBLOOD! i know it ain't eridan's. AND YOU'RE NO CATCH YOURSELF."
"Gamzee, wait! Please calm d0wn!" Aradia desperately tried to pacify him, but t0 n0 avail. Gamzee's inner indigo was out and here to stay.
"hey infidel. THIS DOESN'T MOTHERFUCKIN' CONCERN YOU!" He swung his hand hard across her face, sending her writhing to the floor. "aRADIA!" Tavros ran to his moirail and pulled her up close. He didn't let go of her, not even when she curled into him and bawled her eyes out.
Karkat felt his inner duty as a moirail rising within him. Somehow, he thought, it would be best if he took the beating. That way he could make up for all the times Gamzee was his punching bag. "ALRIGHT GAMZEE THAT IS ALTOGETHER ENOUGH. LET GO OF SOL AND APOLOGISE TO ARADIA IMMEDIATELY."
Gamzee looked at Karkat with a vicious smile. He dropped Sollux sharply to the ground and walked slowly towards Karkat, the smile never leaving his face. "so you want an apology, huh palebro? HERE'S YOUR MOTHERFUCKIN' APOLOGY!"
But just as he was reaching his fist back and Karkat braced himself for the worst, there was a large metallic clanging sound and Gamzee dropped on top of Karkat with an unconscious "HoNk". The host of the house was shaking horribly and holding a bucket in his hands.
Karkat was about to scream at Eridan but looked around and decided now was not the time. He picked up his pregnant moirail and slung him over one shoulder. As Aradia gathered herself up, she sniffed a few times but wiped her tears away. Hugging Tavros once, she left with Karkat. No one asked where they were going. It was obvious.
No one spoke to Sollux afterwards. Not for the night anyway. He didn't try to talk to them either. Everyone was so shaken by Gamzee's outburst that they didn't even talk, period. At the end of the party everyone discreetly said goodbye and went home.
Eridan was having trouble sleeping that night. Feferi sighed and looked at her mate across from her in the recuperacoon. "--ERI," she yawned, "w)(at's wrong, sweet)(eart?" He sighed. "i feel bad for ari i mean did you see gamzee" He shook his head. "just, what the hake..."
"I know, --Eri, I wasn't expecting that either. And I feel bad for Aradia. But it's out of our )(ands, and you did what you )(ad to."
"i know but gamzee is pregnant i hope i didn't cause him a miscarriage or anything"
"It'll be fine --Eridan, you'll see." And with that she hugged him. It was a gesture that carried far more weight than a mere hug but that was the best way to describe it. Soon, they were holding each other while asleep, touching foreheads, their somewhat swollen bellies rubbing against one another gently.
"I THINK HE'S ALRIGHT. WE CAN ONLY HOPE THAT HE HAS LEARNED SOMETHING FROM ALL THIS, AND THAT ERIDAN HIT HIM PRETTY HARD."
"Thanks f0r bringing him h0me, Kar. I don't know what would've happened if Eridan hadn't st0pped him."
Karkat looked at her with a concerned face. "IT LOOKED LIKE HE HIT YOU PRETTY BADLY. ARE YOU OKAY?"
Aradia rubbed her cheek where his hand had left a red welt. "I think s0. It will heal." "BUT WILL YOU?" She shrugged. Karkat took this gesture as a sign to leave, and after an awkward farewell, he went out to a bar.
Aradia looked at Gamzee lying there in their shared recuperacoon and sniffled. He looked so much like his normal, stoned self, but when he had just gone and flipped out like that, it was hard to feel safe around him. She would just have to sleep on the couch for tonight.
She lay there with the blanket around her shoulders, having not even changed out of her clothes. She realised now that if Gamzee hadn't been guessing, he might very well have uncovered her secret. If she was to survive his sobriety, she would have to be very careful.
But she felt a responsibility for Sollux's baby. It was hers, and she couldn't just turn her back on it like that because it would be hard. She was not going to turn her back on Gamzee and her official child either, but some time later, when things were stable at their hive, she would go to Sollux and tell him she was willing to help him out in any way she could. It was the least she could do. With that she turned over and drifted to sleep as a single maroon tear ran down her cheek.
Sollux was down in the child-carrying dumps with guilt. It didn't matter if Gamzee had flipped out. Or if he had threatened physical violence. Or if he had hit... well actually that did matter.
What he meant though, was that Gamzee's part in this wasn't the main problem. Sollux would never know how he managed to see red emotion through that haze. And that was when it occurred to him that, in an almost moirail-like way, Aradia had been holding him back from his Sopor stoning. That meant that Gamzee was not merely sober now, but acting on the basis of his Indigo blood. And that meant that unless Gamzee was hit hard enough to give him amnesia, he would only repeat his actions.
Sollux wanted to be mad at Gamzee, but he couldn't bring himself to. He had no idea if Aradia would forgive a slap like that. He knew he wouldn't. But Gamzee had seen his face and done the math, so in a way it was kind of his fault as well.
All he knew was that Aradia would now be even more Gamzee's now that he had caught on, and unless he was careful Gamzee would find his hive and rip him to pieces. It was bad enough that he was pregnant and alone, now he had to deal with a potentially murderous pregnant subjuggulator who wanted him dead. All he could do as he shifted into his blue sopor recuperacoon, yellow tears sliding down his face, was think of one thing he wanted to say to her: "aradiia, ii'm sorry."
Among the many things Karkat never did was drink. He never drank and he certainly never went to bars to drink. It was a bad habit that inhibited your ability to think and he didn't like that. Usually he was the designated driver. And yet somehow he found himself in a bar at night trying to forget that pregnancy made his matesprit a crazy bitch.
He could have stayed home. Terezi was currently having an extremely childish sleep over with Vriska, the second half of the oh so amazing Scourge Sisters, that was taking place at Vriska and Kanaya's hive. The only problem was that any alcohol Terezi liked to drink had been thrown out. Something within the teal blood had demanded she eat, drink, breathe, and live red which meant no amount of rest for Karkat, who for her was the living embodiment of red, and food coloring was running out as fast as red food. She was so driven to make everything red that she didn't really care what she was food coloring as long as it was edible or drinkable. Alcohol was definitely drinkable but also really not good for pregnant trolls and the children they carried. Karkat had had to confiscate all the alcohol in the hive before Terezi got ahold of it with her little bottle of red food coloring.
Which was why Karkat was at a bar, drinking and wishing that babies were things that just happened AND NOT THE RESULT OF THREE QUARTERS OF A SWEEP OF MISERY FOR THE PREGNANT TROLL'S MATESPRIT.
Nepeta had no qualms about going to bars. It wasn't something she did often as Equius insisted it wasn't propurr behavior and she believed his opinion about most matters of life. Not to mention she normally didn't really have much of a reason to go to one. She was the kind of person who only really drank when depressed and that purrtty much described her right now. She had gotten a chance to see Karkat and Terezi together at the party and they seemed so happy. They were the model of a perfect matesprit couple expecting a baby. Right now all she wanted to do was drink her troubles away.
Ok so maybe Terezi's pregnancy wasn't that bad. It wasn't as though Karkat didn't want to have a baby with her and when they were away from the hive things seemed pretty normal. It was just that pregnancy seemed to want to have fun with him. 'Let's see how much weird stuff you can handle before you go insane', pregnancy seemed to say to him. It liked to make his matesprit insane so that maybe he would go insane too. Maybe there was a god of pregnancies out there somewhere who thought it was the coolest shit in the universe to mess with him and he had a feeling said god wasn't done with him yet.
He downed another drink and tried to remember what Terezi had looked like before she had gotten pregnant. Maybe if he could just focus on that image he could trick himself into believing everything was normal. Apparently his imagination got better when he was drunk because he swore he could see her slip into the seat next to him looking like she always did and not pregnant.
":33< Karkat?" she said grinning at him.
Nepeta had seen Karkat from across the bar and being just a little intoxicated she decided to walk over to him and sit down in the seat next to him. She knew he didn't usually like to drink so she was a bit worried.
":33 < Karkat?" she repeated, watching his eyes grow large.
"TEREZI? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
":33 < I'm not Terezi, it's Nepeta"
"NO YOU'RE DEFINITELY TEREZI." He brought a hand up to touch her cheek and as his face got closer to hers she could smell the alcohol on his breath.
":33 < I think you're-" she was cut off as Karkat kissed her. She knew she should have pulled away as soon as he had gotten close, but her dreams aided by just enough alcohol wouldn't let her. For once in her life she was getting what she wanted and she didn't even care that it wasn't in the way she wanted. All she knew was that Karkitty was kissing her and she felt just purrfect inside.
"WE SHOULD GO HOME." His lips practically touched hers as he spoke, "I DON'T THINK EVERYONE WOULD APPRECIATE US CONTINUING HERE."
That was where she really should have stopped, but she couldn't make herself.
":33 < Ok, let's go!"
Karkat was so intoxicated and had such a low tolerance for alcohol that Nepeta was able to convince him that her hive was his. Before she knew it, it was happening. It was really happening and she couldn't stop it. To say that they had sloppy makeouts was to undersell the nature of what happened between them that night.
By the time it was all over, they were both lying there on the floor of her cave, not a single scrap of clothing on their bodies, Karkat's dazed and confused head resting on Nepeta's small, undeveloped chest and her hand tracing shapes on his back. She felt amazing. The only thing that bothered her was that way he said Terezi's name instead of her's.
And it was then that it struck her, just what had happened and what would happen if she didn't get Karkitty home before dawn broke. As she hurriedly dressed herself and her drunken, unknowing consort, she was horrified of the thought of Terezi looking everywhere for Karkitty, her face grey with worry, and what she would say if she came to the cave the next morning looking for help only to see him in her arms. Quickly she came up with a plan. She would take Karkat home and if Terezi was there waiting for him she would claim that she had simply found him at the bar and helped him home. If she was lucky he would stay quiet too.
She lead him home, telling him they were going for walk only to find, to her eternal relief that Terezi was not in the hive. Sighing she got her would-be lover to his room and helped him into his recupracoon. Thanks to the drinks he had consumed he fell asleep almost immediately after being placed in the sopor slime. This allowed her to slip away silently back to her own hive where she began to cry green tears as she thought of what had just happened there.
How could she have let herself do something so foolish? She had just done two things you never do; sleep with a troll in a red romance way when they have a matesprit and take advantage of a drunk troll.
If all that wasn't bad enough, she could easily wind up baring the very literal consequences of copulation. There was nothing to stop her getting pregnant and she knew what that would entail. Karkat's matespritship with Terezi would be ruined, but that didn't mean Karkitty would exactly be in a hurry to have one with her. More than that, he wouldn't want anything to do with a child which ruined his life. She would be alone, with a child who didn't know their father. And what would she do then?
And all this was before she even told someone what she had done. They were under no obligation to take her side. She might not even have anyone willing to talk to her after all this. She couldn't take that kind of isolation!
But despite this, she promised herself she would tell Tavros and Equius about it in the morning. Equius was her moirail and would understand her reasons, and Tavros was still her good friend, so he wouldn't judge. If no one else, they would take care of her. And friends were the only thing she could count on right now.
Never before in his life could Karkat remember his head pounding in quite the same way as it was now. He sat up in his recupracoon and groggily clutched his head. What had happened last night? The last thing he remembered was drinking at the bar...
No wait he was starting to remember something else. Terezi had been there. She was at the bar sitting right next to him. He remembered kissing her, going home, spending what he would call more than a wonderful night, and that was about it. Why she had left Vriska's hive and how she had managed to find him at the bar was a mystery, but he was pretty sure his memories weren't lying. Or maybe they were. Gog! He didn't know. Maybe Terezi could clear things up for him.
She wasn't in the recupracoon with him and she wasn't in their room either. Everywhere he looked she wasn't there. Just as it had seemed, there was something very strange wrong with his memory. But what exactly was wrong? He pondered this for a while until the front door of the hive opened and Terezi walked inside.
"H3Y K4RKL3S! YOU SM3LL L1K3 4 BR3W3RY" She said getting a good whiff of him and laughing a little, "PL34S3 DON'T T3LL M3 YOU 4CTU4LLY TR13D YOUR LUCK 4T 4 B4R. YOU KNOW YOU 4R3 TH3 4BSOLUT3 WORST 4T HOLD1NG YOUR L1QUOR."
"JUST SHUT UP, MY HEAD HURTS."
"POOR K4RKL3S!" She held him close to her hoping to get a smell of his delicious blood underneath his skin. What she smelled surprised her though. The smell of candy red was there alright, but there was something else as well. Something green. "WH3R3 D1D YOU GO L4ST N1GHT?"
"JUST THE BAR. I DRANK MYSELF STUPID, SOMEHOW MANAGED TO DRAG MY SORRY ASS BACK HERE, AND HAD WEIRD DREAMS ALL NIGHT LONG. WHY DO YOU CARE?"
"OH NO R34SON," She replied. She wasn't sure she believed his story, but he didn't seem to be lying. Instead of bringing it up she decided to catalogue it in the back of her mind and save it for later.
A few weeks went by and Karkat had nearly forgotten about his night time adventures at the bar. He had decided they were nothing more than dreams born of an intoxicated mind. Why wouldn't they be? Nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Or at least nothing out of the ordinary had happened until about the middle of that week. He had been woken up one morning with a horrible feeling in his stomach and the need to empty it. For that day he thought it was nothing more than a upset stomach, but then it kept happening. Unfortunately this was a symptom he knew all too well. He had seen Terezi make a mad dash for the bathroom too many times in the last months. There was no way that was the cause of his stomach problems, but still there were some left over pregnancy tests left in the bathroom cupboard that probably wouldn't be used anytime soon if he didn't use them.
And now he was sitting, because he found he couldn't make himself stand, staring at the pregnancy test in his hand. He couldn't believe his eyes and had to use another just to convince himself he wasn't seeing things. It read positive. They both read positive. Except they couldn't read positive because that wasn't the way things worked. The more assertive partner in a relationship was the one who got pregnant and she already was. Plus he didn't even have a kismesis so no, just no. This couldn't be real. He threw the tests away and made a decision not to tell Terezi. How would she believe him if he didn't even believe himself?