Karkat Vantas is fucking pathetic. He’s the worst, most useless drain on society that has ever existed and he can’t believe he ever thought something in his life might go right for fucking once.
He’s been stood up on dates before. He didn’t go to his prom for that exact reason. But he’s never had someone ditch him halfway through, without even an explanation or a hint that shit wasn’t working out. He didn’t even fucking like the guy that much, which somehow makes it worse.
So now here he is, outside the door of his regular hook-up, about to cement his worthlessness into history. He’s wearing a fucking sweatervest and slacks and he feels like a piece of shit, but he raises his fist and knocks.
“Hey,” he says without preamble as the door swings open. “You busy?”
It's Saturday night and Dave's living it up the way he does best: all by himself in his living room. Again.
His roommate is out for the night with a date, but that's okay, Dave's got beer and Netflix to keep him company tonight, and a steaming hot pizza on its way to him. He's sitting on the couch in his boxers and t-shirt, with a rerun of The Office playing in the background as he scrolls half-heartedly through Grindr.
When someone knocks at the door, he figures it's the pizza, and is surprised when he finds his... friend? Not really friend? Guy he hooks up with sometimes? Whatever, point is Karkat Vantas is standing on his doorstep looking morose and dressed like he's about to give a business presentation.
Which is a far cry from the way Dave usually sees him--half-naked and drunk or high with his o-face on--but even in his dweeby clothes, there's no denying the dude's hot as fuck. Dave wasn't exactly expecting to see him tonight, but he's definitely not complaining.
"Oh yeah, so fucking busy," Dave says. "My secretary tells me I have a jam-packed schedule full of beer and TV tonight, I simply can't fit any other meetings in."
Karkat just stares at him so Dave drops the sarcasm. "Nah, I'm jk, I'm not busy. Why, what's up? What are you even doing here anyway? You look all dressed up for something and I'm pretty sure it ain't me, unless I seriously missed a memo."
As usual, getting a simple answer out of Dave is fucking impossible. Karkat stomped his way here ready to fuck his feelings away, but that drains out of him when he sees Dave looking adorable in an oversized shirt and boxers, clearly just relaxing on his saturday night. He grimaces when Dave asks about his outfit and runs a hand through his hair, gaze falling away.
“Fuck, godammit,” he grumbles to himself. “This is fucking humiliating.”
But what the fuck else is he going to do? Go home and watch romcoms while getting drunk? Somehow that seems even more pathetic than going to his bootycall for emotional support.
“I had a date,” he says, louder. “It didn’t work out, obviously, because I’m a fucking idiot. So either invite me in or shut the door in my face. Stop making me stand here.”
Karkat crosses his arms, scowling. He doesn’t know what Dave is doing with him, honestly. He’s mediocre in bed and a fucking asshole on a good day. Karkat had thought that Dave was a colossal douchebag, at first, which is the only reason why they drunkenly hooked up in the first place; nice people don’t deserve to be exposed to Karkat.
Joke’s on him, though, because Dave is actually kind of a decent person underneath that douchebaggery. If Karkat wasn’t a selfish jackass he would have cut this off the moment he realized.
"Oh, sorry, didn't realize I was being the rude one here. Right this way, your highness." Dave steps aside to let Karkat in. "And uh, sorry about your date I guess?"
He leads Karkat to the kitchen and stands there awkwardly for a moment, not sure what the protocol is here. Is this a hookup? Is Karkat just here to, what, hang out? That's not really something they do, but Dave guesses he's not opposed to it.
He's realizing he's never really been sober around Karkat before, which is probably why he feels awkward. Well, no worries, there's an easy solution for that.
"You want a beer? Or I think we got some shitty wine on top of the fridge too, what are you feelin'? Or just water? Or maybe you don't even want a beverage. You gotta tell me what you want, dude, I can't read your mind, c'mon, spit it out."
Karkat rolls his eyes as he steps inside. Dave already knows that he’s rude as fuck, but no matter how shitty he is he’s yet to be turned away. The moment they get to the kitchen, Dave is blabbering away, and it’s familiar enough to help soothe a bit of Karkat’s frayed nerves.
“Jesus, maybe I’d be able to get a word in edgewise if you took a single goddamn second to breathe,” he says. “I’ll have a beer.”
Then, because he does have some manners, he adds, “Thanks.”
"Good choice," Dave says.
He grabs two cans out of the fridge and tosses one to Karkat, then cracks his own open and takes a sizable swig.
There's a beat of silence, then Dave rushes to fill it. "So, bad date, huh? What happened, did he take a dump on the table or something? Or was he just so annoying that you had to kill him and now you need someone to help you hide the body, and you were like, awesome, I know just the right guy to drag into a murder case with me: Dave Strider."
He's never been a good listener and it's not like he and Karkat really even know each other that well, so he probably shouldn't be prying, but he's still not really sure what Karkat's doing here. He guesses he could just ask like a normal person, but it's a little late at this point to convince Karkat he's anything close to normal. Not that it matters, since they're just hooking up anyway.
Karkat downs half his beer in one go because it’s just one of those nights. He can’t be sober for this. He grimaces at Dave’s questions, second-guessing his decision to come over. He could have texted one of his friends, but none of them wanted him to go on this date to begin with and he doesn’t want to deal with a mountain of ‘i told you so’s.
“Neither, though I’d prefer either option over what happened,” Karkat says, sighing and taking another drink. “It was just a clusterfuck. The guy was late and halfway through he went to go make a call and never came back. I sat around for like half an hour like a fucking fool before paying both our bills and leaving.”
He scowls at the floor. “He was a fucking dickwad but I’m so goddamn repulsive I couldn’t even get him to stick around. It doesn’t exactly inspire hope for my future dating prospects.”
Dave's eyebrow raises as Karkat slams half his beer at once, but he doesn't say anything. For most people it wouldn't be a concern, but he's gotten drunk with Karkat enough times now to be aware that Karkat has a scary low tolerance for alcohol. Dave's honestly kind of envious of him for it, makes it cheaper for him to get fucked up and who wouldn't want that, right?
He chugs down his own beer to try and catch up a little, but frowns as Karkat tells him what happened.
"Dude, you're not repulsive, what the fuck? It sounds like he was a massive prick but that doesn't mean you can't do any better. If anything I'd say he did you a favor by fucking off tonight, that way you're free in case the right person does come along. Still sucks though," he adds as an afterthought.
There's another knock at the door.
"Oh shit, that's the pizza, hold on a sec. You can go, like, sit down if you want." He waves vaguely toward the couch as he walks away.
Karkat scoffs when Dave says the right person. There is no right person, not for Karkat. His dating history has clearly proven this. He’s destined to die alone, and he’s honestly surprised that Dave is even humoring him at this point. Although he has made it a point to keep his figurative distance up until now. He’s fairly sure that if Dave actually gets to know him he’ll be booted from his life, easy lay or not. Maybe that’s why he’s here: another way to sabotage himself.
The knock on the door and Dave’s declaration of pizza arrival has him wincing as he moves to the couch to sit down. Another reminder that Karkat is interrupting Dave’s chill alone time. He’s a better person than Karkat, that’s for sure. If someone barged into his apartment when he was trying to recharge he would have kicked their ass.
Dave, however, just comes back with the pizza and sets the box on the table, flipping it open and grabbing a piece. Karkat drains his beer and hopes the buzz will kick in soon.
Karkat's sitting on Dave's couch when he gets back, looking miserable and apparently already done with his beer. Dave grabs a slice and takes a greedy bite, then winces as it predictably burns the roof of his mouth.
"Gimme a sec," he mumbles with his mouth full, setting his pizza back in the box for lack of anywhere else to put it. They probably have plates somewhere but then he'd have to wash them and honestly, fuck that.
He goes back to the kitchen and chugs the rest of his beer to cool down his mouth, then returns to join Karkat on the couch, two fresh beers in hand.
"Should I offer you another one yet? I don't want you puking all over my house but you kinda looked like you needed another drink. No offense."
“None taken,” he huffs, reaching out and grabbing the beer from Dave’s hand. “I’ll go slower.”
He has a stupid low tolerance for alcohol, unfortunately. On the plus side he spends less to get drunk, but the negative is that it’s fucking embarrassing. Karkat cracks open the beer and takes a sip, leaning back against the couch as Dave sits back down.
Dave goes back to his pizza and Karkat chews his lip as an awkward silence descends on them.
Dave’s attention is fixated on his pizza for several moments before he notices Karkat's just sitting there awkwardly chewing his plush juicy lip. Dave wants to chew it for him.
Which reminds him, he still doesn't know if Karkat's here to hook up or what? He seems almost too sad for it or something, but why else would he be here?
Dave swallows his mouthful and gestures at the pizza box. "You hungry? You can have some, dude, I'm not gonna eat in front of you like a jackass without sharing."
Karkat glances at the pizza. He technically ate at the restaurant, though it was more like picking anxiously at his food while waiting for his date to return. He didn’t really end up eating much at all, really.
“Well since you’re being so generous,” he snarks, reaching out to snag a piece for himself. He takes a bite and sighs. Pizza always tastes so much better when you aren’t the one paying for it.
“What the fuck are you watching?” he asks, looking at the shenanigans happening on screen. He vaguely recognizes some of the actors but has no idea what show it is.
Dave snorts at Karkat's hostile response. Karkat always acts like every innocent comment is a mortally wounding insult. He has literally zero ounces of chill at his disposal, either in conversation or in bed.
It's kind of really fucking hot, actually, cause it means he doesn't hold back at all. Having sex with Karkat is an intense experience. Even if they're both plastered as hell, Karkat manages to focus his entire attention on absolutely railing Dave's ass into the bed, and--
Karkat interrupts his thoughts by asking about the TV show, and Dave raises an eyebrow at him.
"It's The Office, dude, have you really never seen it before? Steve Carell, 'that's what she said', Jim and Pam's iconic will-they-won't-they dynamic? Actually you'd probably love this show, aren't you super into romantic movies? Hold on, I'm up to season three right now on my rewatch but I can start it over, I don't wanna give you any spoilers."
He grabs the remote and starts clicking around to get to the first episode.
“Uh, yeah, I like romantic movies,” Karkat says, surprised. He doesn’t remember ever telling Dave that, but to be fair most of his memories of Dave are fogged with alcohol, weed, or sex. His heart rate picks up and he stares determinedly at the screen, taking a large bite of his pizza. Dave is hot and he has low enough standards to fuck Karkat regularly; that’s all this is, he reminds himself.
“I don’t really watch TV shows,” he says. “Never got into the habit because we didn’t have cable when I was a kid but we did have a shit ton of bootleg DVDs from my dad’s friend.”
He likes movies better anyway. He likes the 90 minute format, the somewhat predictable plots, the way things are clearly planned and plotted beforehand. Although ‘iconic will-they-won’t-they’ is very intriguing.
"Damn, that's wild, y'all never had cable? And here I was practically raised by my TV set," Dave says. It's a little too truthful to actually be a joke, though he keeps his tone light.
His childhood was... well, "unconventional" would be one way to describe it. There are a lot of other words that would give a more accurate picture of it but Dave's got better things to do than sit around moping about how his Bro didn't hug him enough or whatever the fuck. 'Sides, Dave's a grown ass adult now, that shit shouldn't be affecting him anymore, right? Not that it is affecting him.
He searches for something else to think about because actually, what the fuck was any of that, and circles back around to the fact that he's still not sure why Karkat's here, in Dave's apartment, eating Dave's pizza and staring at his TV. He also remembers suddenly that he's not wearing pants. Karkat hasn't made a move yet, which is kind of weird, but maybe he's just waiting for Dave to finish his pizza?
Dave stuffs the remainder of the slice in his mouth and licks his fingers, watching for Karkat's reaction behind his shades.
Dave mentions his childhood and immediately falls silent and Karkat feels like kicking himself. He has a vague memory of Dave cracking a joke about how shitty his childhood was, once. Karkat can’t remember if he laughed or not. Glancing at Dave’s expression out of the corner of his eye, he hopes not.
He takes another sip of his beer as Dave shoves the rest of his pizza in his mouth like he’s hoping he’ll choke on it. Karkat pretends to watch the show. His buzz is starting to kick in, thank fucking god.
“So this is what you do with your Saturday nights?” Karkat asks, changing the subject. “Eat shitty pizza and watch sitcoms?”
Not that it’s worse than Karkat’s average Saturday, but Dave always kind of seemed like a whirlwind of a person whenever they hooked up. Maybe because he never shut the fuck up. It’s actually a little weird, seeing him like this, relaxed and mostly-dressed.
He realizes suddenly that he and Dave have never just hung out. The two of them are less fuckbuddies and more fuck-aquantices, but Karkat honestly isn’t feeling it right now, not after that humiliating rejection from his date earlier. He wonders if he should leave. This was a stupid fucking idea in the first place. Who goes to their casual hookup for support instead of their friends? Karkat fucking Vantas, apparently.
"Oh, come on now, this pizza ain't shitty. More like mediocre, or maybe underwhelming? Dull, middling, uninspiring, sure, I'd take any of those, but you're pulling my goddamn leg if you're trying to insinuate that this pizza is anything more or less than perfectly 'meh,'" Dave says, fully deadpan.
It seems like Karkat's not about to jump his bones, which is cool, Dave can vibe with just hanging out and chit-chatting. It's a little weird for them but it's not like he has anything better to do with his Saturday night, as Karkat just tactfully pointed out.
"And hey, I don't do this every Saturday night. Sometimes my roommate and his girlfriend are fighting over something so he'll drag me out to some shitty bar and try to get us laid. I think you and I first met on one of those nights, huh, maybe I oughta thank him for that. Nah, never mind, he's basically the worst and I should never thank him for anything. What were we talking about again? Oh, yeah, my shitty social life... I guess once in a while I manage to score an actual date. Never turns into anything worthwhile but it beats spending another night getting high and jerking off, right? Haha, actually I don't even know if that's true, getting high and jerking off is great and dating is kind of the fucking worst. Maybe I should just give up now, make it official and get legally married to my left hand."
Dave's not sure why he's even telling Karkat all this, aside from the fact that Karkat hasn't told him to stop talking yet. He knows people usually find his whole nonstop talking bit annoying as fuck, which is probably why the whole dating thing has never worked out.
He's not sure if he's ever done a real ramble around Karkat before. When they meet up there's usually very little small talk between the "hello" part and the part where someone's dick goes into someone's butt, and neither of them tends to hang around for very long after. It's been like that from the start, and it works so Dave doesn't question it. Shit, maybe Karkat's gonna finally realize what a loser Dave is, and he'll just never hear from him again. Which would fucking suck, because Karkat's easily the best sex Dave's ever had. He's total boyfriend material, too, and obviously way out of Dave's league. Dave actually has no fucking clue how Karkat's still single but he's sure as hell not looking to file a complaint about it.
Jesus fuck, Dave could talk. Karkat knew that already, of course, but usually he would cut Dave off by shoving something--his tongue, his fingers, his dick--into Dave’s pretty mouth.
Karkat isn’t sure if Dave is saying this to make him feel better or if he’s being sincere. Maybe both? He’d always kind of assumed Dave went to bars and clubs to hook up with people all the time and, more than that, that he enjoyed it. It’s hard to imagine anyone turning down Dave, not with his stupid fucking smile and endearing personality and heart of gold underneath his quick wit.
“First of all, mediocre and uninspiring are it’s own particular flavor of shitty,” he says. He would know. “And second of all… Dating is the fucking worst. God damn it’s fucking dog shit.”
He takes another slow sip of his beer, trying not to let the melancholy set in now that the hurt and anger have mostly faded. “You and your questionably legal limb marriage might have the right idea. Fuck dating. It’s time to accept my destiny and move to antarctica or somewhere equally unpopulated.”
Dave is surprised when Karkat vehemently agrees with him. He knew Karkat was pretty pissed about his date being an asshole tonight, but this reaction seems a little extreme for just one shitty date.
"Damn, that date of yours must have been even worse than I thought if it's putting a guy like you off dating for life. Maybe it's like if you get real sick on macaroni and cheese one time, and it used to be your favorite food but now you can't stomach it anymore, right? So now think you'll get nauseous at the smell of some dude's macaroni and peen, and you're like, nah, I'm not even gonna try to sniff it, just to be safe."
Fuck, how did this turn into a conversation about dating? That's like, one of Dave's least fucking favorite topics, man, he needs to be way less sober for this. He sucks down more beer, wishing he had something stronger.
"I'm just saying, it's one thing for me to give up on dating, but you? Shit, I think I just felt a disturbance in the gay force, as if millions of eligible singles suddenly cried out in despair, and were silenced. Do you really want to be responsible for causing a Karkat dating drought? Shit's illegal as hell, dude, people gotta keep their Karcrops watered somehow. Have some fucking mercy."
Ugh, what the fuck, he needs to stop talking, this isn't even making sense anymore. He thinks he was trying to give Karkat a funny pep talk or something but it just turned into the usual Dave Strider verbal-diarrhea-fest.
Karkat snorts a laugh at Dave’s ridiculous monologue. Macaroni and peen, jesus. He… doesn’t quite understand what Dave is getting at, and he’s not drunk enough to blame his confusion on that.
“What the actual fuck are you talking about?” he asks. “It’s not like I have people lining up for a chance to date me. And when I do manage to get a date they turn out to be more of an asshole than I am, which doesn’t seem possible but there it fucking is.”
He looks at Dave curiously. “Why the fuck are you giving up on dating?”
Not that he wants Dave to date someone, since that would mean the end of their mutually beneficial hookups, but he does want to know. Anyone would jump at the chance to date Dave.
It sounds like Karkat's had a lot of bad experiences with dating, but that doesn't make any sense, especially when he calls himself an asshole. That's just categorically un-fucking-true. He's got an abrasive way of speaking, and he certainly doesn't go out of his way to be polite or candy coat his words, but even from Dave's admittedly limited experience actually talking to the guy, it's easy to tell that Karkat's an amazing person.
He's always doing shit for his friends, even though he does complain all the time that they're ungrateful little fucks. The one time he had to cancel on Dave he'd texted right away with an extremely self-flagellating apology, and Dave found out later on that he'd canceled so he could drive his friend's grandma to the airport, aka, literally helping a little old lady. Like Dave said, total boyfriend material.
Before he has time to pick Karkat's argument apart, though, Karkat turns the question around on him.
Dave stalls, floundering for an answer that won't make him look like an even bigger loser than Karkat already probably thinks he is. "Ok first off you're not an asshole, asshole. You're legit one of the coolest people I've met since moving here, so if you're getting blown off by people then I don't know what the fuck hope there is for the rest of us."
For fuck's sake, Dave knows he would jump at the chance to date Karkat, but obviously Karkat's standards must be hella high if he thinks of himself as an asshole. Dave doesn't even want to know what Karkat must really think of him. Again, he wonders why the fuck Karkat is even here talking to him right now, since it doesn't seem to be helping him feel any better.
"And shit, dude, I told you I'm giving up cause nothing ever seems to work out and I'm not trying to keep getting my heart stomped all over. Not kink shaming or anything but I just ain't into that stuff. I mean, shit, if I knew what I was doing wrong then I wouldn't be out here giving up, would I?"
Karkat immediately thinks Dave must be mocking him. Karkat is the furthest thing from cool and everyone knows it. He’s a fucking dweeb; he likes romcoms and making fucking excel spreadsheets. But Dave sounds sincere, hands moving rapidly as he talks.
“Calling me an asshole really proves your point, dickbag,” Karkat says, because he’s shit at taking compliments. He sinks back into the couch and takes a swig of his beer. He’s getting past tipsy at this point and being drunk always loosens his tongue.
“You shouldn’t give up,” he says. “Dating fucking sucks but. You’ll find someone. You just gotta let down that stupid fucking douchebag facade you insist on wearing.”
The first time they met, Dave swaggered up to him drunk and with a shitty pickup line on his tongue, mouth curled into a smirk, stupid sunglasses on his face in a bar and Karkat thought perfect, because Karkat hooks up with assholes. If Dave had been his sincere self Karkat never would have infected Dave’s life with his presence.
Dave's brow scrunches up in confusion. "Okay, see, this is part of the problem: I didn't even know I had a stupid douchebag facade."
Really he thought he just was a stupid douchebag, but at least he has the self awareness not to say so out loud.
"Man, I dunno, sometimes it feels like everyone else but me knows how to do all this dating shit. Like I musta skipped class on whatever day they covered 'how to flirt like a normal person' and 'making people like you for dummies,' and now it's too late for me to catch up."
His face warms as he realizes he's being a lot more candid than he intended to be. There's just something about Karkat that makes Dave feel like he can let his guard down and spill his guts everywhere, which is fucking dangerous and stupid and he needs to cut it the fuck out.
He shrugs, a carefully blank expression on his face. "Anyway, my whole douchebag thing seemed to work okay on you when we first met. Or don't you remember how you practically dragged me back home that night?"
He finishes off his beer and crushes the can between his palms, then tosses it at the recycling bin across the room with a "booyeah," missing the shot by several feet.
See, if this is how Dave would’ve talked to him in the first place none of this shit would have happened. He rolls his eyes as Dave throws his can across the room.
“I dragged you home because you were hot and I was horny,” Karkat says dryly. “The douchebag schtick might work for hookups but if you’re using it to try to get a date it’s no fucking wonder you’re failing. There’s a difference between being confident and cocky.”
Another sip of his beer. He’s about halfway done and he’s sticking to his two beer limit tonight. He grabs another piece of pizza and takes a bite, thinking while he chews.
“I sincerely fucking hope you don’t try to get actual dates with shitty pickup lines,” he says.
Dave's heart speeds up when Karkat calls him hot. No matter how many times they've hooked up, it's still exhilarating to confirm that Karkat's actually into him, in a physical attraction sense. Obviously Karkat's not romantically interested in Dave and that's completely fine, Dave doesn't even... he...
Ugh, okay, maybe he had a teeny little crush on Karkat when they first met. In his defense, he's pretty sure it would be impossible to meet Karkat without getting a crush on him. But after they slept together that first time Karkat was extremely fucking clear that he'd only wanted to hook up, nothing more. Which was fine, more than fine, even. The arrangement they have is probably the best part of Dave's boring, pedestrian life and he's not about to fuck it up by doing something dumb like falling for Karkat. He's still capable of fucking it up in a myriad of other ways, though.
His cheeks flush deeper as Karkat starts dissecting all the ways in which he's terrible at flirting. "Hey, I like my shitty pickup lines, they're ironic. Well, what should I be doing instead then, if you're such an expert?"
He totally isn't pouting as he takes another piece of pizza.
Dave’s pout is cute, but he confirms Karkat’s suspicion and he pinches the bridge of his nose.
“I don’t know, how about being sincere and upfront about your feelings?” Karkat asks sarcastically. “Say something like ‘hey, I like you and I think we have a lot in common. Will you go on a date with me?’”
He rolls his eyes, even though he’s being a hypocrite. To be fair, that kind of shit doesn’t work on the people Karkat dates. He meets most of his romantic interests through dating apps or, before hooking up with Dave became a regular thing, by banging in club or bar bathrooms.
"Dude, that advice sounds fake as hell. I'm pretty sure that being sincere and upfront is a good way to ensure I never get laid again," Dave says. He waves his pizza accusingly at Karkat. "Man, I didn't know better I'd think you were trying to sabotage my efforts for your own cruel amusement."
He takes a bite and chews thoughtfully for a moment, then grabs his phone from the table and opens up Grindr.
"Okay, here, this dude just matched me." He hands his phone to Karkat. "Go ahead, work your magic, show me how good your flirting techniques are. If you can get me a date, then maybe I'll consider entertaining the idea that you might know what you're talking about."
Karkat scowls, grabbing the phone and flicking through to the guy’s profile. Acceptably attractive, though Dave could do better. Pictures with his dog, obligatory shirtless mirror pic, a friendly if slightly bland blurb about himself. Definitely not Karkat’s type, and not exactly the kind of person he’d think Dave would go for, but whatever.
“Fine, asshole,” he snaps, oddly irritated.
He writes a short message to the dude, a quick ‘hey, saw we matched and that you like anime. that’s sick. wanna get a coffee sometime?’
The reply is almost instantaneous, an eager acceptance followed by a message about some anime that Karkat doesn’t bother to read, instead tossing Dave his phone back and saying, “There. You’re fucking welcome.”
Dave fumbles his phone and picks it up, staring at the screen in disbelief. "How the fuck? No way, that was like, two fucking seconds."
He doesn't know what anime this dude is messaging him about, but the part about wanting to go on a date is clear as hell.
He looks at Karkat suspiciously. "Hey, question, are you a fucking wizard? Also, follow up question, can I become a wizard too?"
It's not exactly like Dave never gets dates, but his strikeout rate is depressingly high. He's starting to warm up to taking Karkat's advice.
"Okay, what the fuck do I do now?" He gestures hopelessly with his phone. "I don't know anything about this fucking anime he's talking about. I should probably pretend I've seen it, right? So he doesn't think I'm like, a fake fan or whatever."
Karkat huffs a laugh. “You matched on fucking Grindr. It’s not like I worked a miracle.”
He grimaces as Dave asks about faking interest in something, turning to look at him with disbelief.
“No, you fucking idiot,” he says. “Say you haven’t seen that one but it sounds interesting and talk about an anime you have seen. Or work out the details of your stupid date and talk about it when you meet him. Christ.”
This is stupid. This is so fucking stupid. Why the fuck is he helping Dave get a date? There’s jealousy churning in his gut but he ignores it. This was always going to come to an end sooner or later, he just didn’t know he’d have a hand in ruining it.
“That was just to prove I’m right,” he says, knowing by the look on Dave’s face that it’s hopeless. “You can do better than that guy.”
Dave starts to follow Karkat's advice, but Karkat's next comments make him pause, his eyebrow raising in confusion. "What do you mean, what's the matter with this guy?"
Karkat flounders for a moment, then says, “I dunno, he seems kind of fucking boring, doesn’t he? And he’s not really attractive. You’re way out of his league.”
Dave is staring at him and he shrugs, taking a big drink of his beer. “Then again, what the fuck do I know? Maybe he’s your fucking soulmate.”
This was a stupid fucking idea. He should leave. He’s just fucking things up worse for himself every second he stays here.
Dave's heart pounds in his throat at the unexpected--and unbelievable--compliments. He realizes with guilt that Karkat looks even more unhappy than he did when he arrived, which, fuck, of course he does. Why would he want to spend his time trying to help Dave become less of a loser? That's probably a job for like, a life coach or a therapist or something, right?
Not that Dave would really know. He went to one or two therapy sessions back in college after the RA caught him having a panic attack on the fire escape and pointedly told him about the free counseling center, but it didn't seem to help and then they said he'd have to start paying after the third session, so he just stopped going. And anyway, they never had any advice about dating. Maybe he's just doomed to be a romantic failure forever, that'd be pretty much par for the course of his life.
Regardless, Karkat's not his counselor or life coach and Dave is definitely a huge asshole for treating him like one. He'll deserve it if Karkat pukes on his couch tonight.
His phone buzzes with another message from the guy, but he ignores it and opens his mouth, not sure what he's going to say. "Do you actually believe in all that stuff? Like soulmates and true love and shit?" Huh. That's not exactly what he expected to hear coming out of his mouth, but it certainly could have been worse.
To Karkat’s surprise, Dave ignores his phone. For now, at least, but it’s more than what he expected.
“Yeah, I do,” he says bluntly. “Probably not the way you’re thinking of, with fate and shit. But I think that sometimes people are meant to be together.”
It doesn’t mean they can’t ruin it with shitty choices or that it isn’t work, but yeah, Karkat believes in it. He’s seen it with his parents, with his friends, with older couples walking together in the streets.
“I don’t think it’s always romantic, either,” he adds. “Sometimes people just click.”
He’d give anything for that, honestly. But he has long resigned himself to the fact that there’s no perfect other half out there for him. He’s too grouchy, too loud, too mean, has too many rough edges. The best he can hope for is a series of loveless, tension-fraught relationships and hookups with strangers when he gets too lonely to handle it.
Karkat's response is so genuine and unguarded that it catches Dave by surprise.
"That sounds... really nice, actually," he admits.
Karkat's looking at him with that intense glare of his, and for some reason, even though he's not really horny right now, Dave has the urge to lean in and kiss him. But he's like ninety percent certain that would be crossing some sort of line, so he turns away to stare at the TV instead, his leg bouncing nervously up and down.
"Sorry for making you help me with my dumb shit, too. Hah. It's definitely not your problem that I suck at talking to people, I'll quit botherin' you with this crap."
Jesus, he sounds so fucking lame right now. What the hell is wrong with him? He feels so on edge all of a sudden, like he can't bear to sit still for even a moment longer. He wants to pace around the room but that would be really fucking weird, so instead he stands and mumbles, "Need another drink," and heads to the kitchen, leaving his phone back on the couch.
Karkat is expecting to be mocked, not for Dave to fall silent for a moment before admitting it sounds nice. For a second, Karkat thinks Dave might kiss him, and for all he isn’t down to fuck… kissing would be okay, he thinks. He’s never kissed Dave without the expectation of it leading to something more, and he suddenly wants to know what it would be like.
He doesn’t get the chance to find out, because Dave looks away from him, anxiety rolling off him in waves, and is out of the room before Karkat even has a chance to say you don’t suck at talking to me.
Dave’s phone vibrates where he left it on the couch and Karkat glares at it. It’s really fucking tempting to grab it, send a message to Grindr dude, and ruin this stupid date. That would be an impressively shitty, controlling, manipulative thing to do, though. And Karkat’s had his share of being on the opposite end of manipulative bullshit.
So he ignores it, slamming back the rest of his beer and tossing the can across the room. He misses the recycling bin but it bounces off the edge, making him leagues more successful than Dave. He stands, swaying on the spot, and follows Dave’s path to the kitchen.
“I’m gonna head out,” he says, leaning against the doorframe for support. “Sorry if I ruined your night with my bullshit.”
Dave stands in his kitchen and takes a couple deep breaths. Sometimes he gets like... this, where everything just feels like too much all of a sudden. It's just Karkat, he tells himself, he has no reason to be flipping the fuck out. He doesn't even know why he's being like this.
He grits his teeth and grabs another beer from the fridge. As he's about to take a sip, Karkat stumbles in after him and announces that he's going to leave. His eyes are glazed over and his cheeks are flushed and god damn it he's fucking adorable like this. He's also in absolutely no shape to be going anywhere.
Dave shakes his head. "Dude, no way I'm letting you leave when you can barely stand up by yourself. Also shut up, you didn't ruin my night. Kind of the opposite, actually, I was just gonna sit around feeling shitty about myself but then you came by and gave me some top tier dating advice. Let's just go sit down again and chill for a while, you don't need to go anywhere."
He puts a hand on Karkat's shoulder and starts to guide him back toward the couch.
“‘M perfectly fuckin’ fine,” Karkat grumbles, but he allows himself to be led away, out of the kitchen. It feels good, hearing Dave say he didn’t ruin his night, but the reminder that he landed Dave a date sits heavily in his gut. He’s being stupid. Even if he did have a shot at being more than a hookup for Dave, it would never work out. Dave is too--he’s so--good, and Karkat isn’t.
“If I’m staying I want another beer,” he demands as Dave pushes him lightly onto the couch. He crosses his arms, scowling petulantly. He has a two beer limit for a reason, but whatever. Tonight is a night for bad decisions all around.
The way Karkat pouts and crosses his arms is way cuter than it has any right to be. He also very clearly does not need another beer, but Dave really doesn't want him to leave like this, and maybe if he drinks more he'll just pass out so Dave won't have to worry about him trying to wander home by himself? It seems like a good enough plan in Dave's tipsy mind.
"Fine, you can have one more beer... as long as you promise to crash on my couch tonight. Deal?" He dangles his beer just out of Karkat's reach, waiting for an answer.
Karkat glares at Dave’s handsome face and has just enough of his wits about him not to demand his way into his bed. That would be crossing some sort of invisible line. He’s been in bed with Dave to fuck but never just to… not. His thoughts are dull and slow in his head.
“Fine, fucker,” he says, leaning forward and taking the beer from Dave’s hand. “I’ll sleep on your ratty couch.”
Dave looks smug and Karkat flips him off as he takes a sip of his beer. His lips twitch into a smile that he quickly smothers as he says, “Guess I know how my idiot friends feel now.”
"Hey, you're not the only one experiencing some role reversal right now. I don't know if I've ever been the responsible one before in my life."
Dave smirks and reaches down to ruffle Karkat's hair just to be a dick. It feels soft and fluffy against his skin, and he lingers for a few moments before quickly withdrawing his hand.
"Uh, I'm gonna go get another beer, since it looks like somebody fucking stole the one I was about to drink," he says.
He makes a detour for the bathroom first, then comes back with his beer to join Karkat on the couch.
Karkat laughs, but it’s cut off by the feeling of Dave’s hand in his hair. He doesn’t have enough time to process whether he wants to lean in or push Dave away, the touch is gone and Dave is disappearing down the hallway.
He huffs, taking a spiteful drink of his drink and leaning his head back against the couch as the world tilts pleasantly around him. He listens to the sound of the TV, whatever drama is happening on it, and in no time at all, Dave is plopping onto the couch again, beer in hand.
“This show has been severely underwhelming so far,” Karkat says, just to complain about something. “I was promised an iconic romance.”
Dave rolls his eyes. "That's cause you haven't been paying a single ounce of attention, dumbass. Try watching it when you're sober sometime and you'll be eating your words when you realize the romance is iconic as shit. Guess I should probably put something else on, though, since you clearly aren't watching and I've seen this episode a billion times."
He picks up the remote and opens the Netflix menu, scrolling idly through the options. "Any special requests for my esteemed house guest?"
Karkat squints at him consideringly then says, lips curling into a smile, “I wanna watch a romcom.”
He’s already fucking things up beyond repair tonight. Why not force his casual hookup to watch something he clearly doesn’t give a fuck about, if his Netflix recommended is anything to go by.
Dave groans. "Of fucking course you do. Fine, but you have to tell me which one you want because I literally don't know the name of a single romcom. Unless The Room counts."
Karkat looks at Dave blankly.
“What’s The Room?” he asks.
"Oh my god," Dave says, his face lighting up. "You are so gonna regret asking me that."
He vaults off the couch, a little unsteady on his feet, and starts pawing through the messy pile of movies and games on the shelf. It's gotta be here somewhere. . . oh, fuck yeah, here we go. Tommy Wiseau's gormless face stares back at Dave from the cover of his well-worn DVD case.
Dave starts up the movie and hops back onto the couch, unable to hold back a smile. Karkat's going to fucking hate this.
Karkat’s stomach swoops as Dave beams at him. He’s so caught off guard he doesn’t even hear what Dave says. He blames it on the alcohol until Dave plops back onto the couch, still grinning, and it happens again. God dammit. It’s not his fault Dave is so fucking pretty.
He leans back, looking curiously at what could have possible made Dave smile like that. It doesn’t take long to find out, and five minutes in Karkat is grimacing and wincing through the strained dialogue.
He turns to Dave, only to find Dave already looking at him, and says, “I’m going to fucking kill you.”
Watching Karkat's reactions is even more entertaining than watching the movie, which is saying something, considering this is Dave's favorite film of all fucking time. He watches as Karkat's expression shifts from curious to confused, then disbelieving, and finally settles on some cross between disgusted and irritated. It's hilarious to watch but it's also fascinating the way Karkat's just so open with his emotions. Everything he's thinking and feeling is apparent on his face, and somehow it makes him all the more attractive, even when he's glaring at Dave and threatening to kill him.
Dave gasps in mock outrage. "Wow, okay, I see how it is. So this is how you repay me for letting you eat my pizza and drink my beer? All because I wanted to share the experience of watching my most beloved movie together? Gee, you really know how to hurt a guy, Karkat."
Karkat winces, sinking down in his seat. Dave’s probably joking (probably) but he has a point. Karkat barged into his apartment uninvited and essentially took over his night. Dave even told him to stay so he didn’t kill himself driving drunk and he’s letting him crash on the couch. He hasn’t even tried to fuck him, clearly reading Karkat’s shitty mood, and he can’t even sit through a single awful movie? Fucking pathetic.
“Sorry,” he grunts. Onscreen, the main actor delivers a painfully awkward line. Karkat takes a swig of his drink, nowhere near drunk enough for this shitshow.
Dave expects Karkat to snark back at him, but instead he deflates and apologizes, looking so pathetic it makes Dave's heart clench.
"Fuck, I was just messing with you, dude," he says softly. "I literally put this movie on because I knew you'd hate it, and getting to hear people complain about The Room is like, the whole point of watching it."
He sips his beer and tries not to feel like an enormous asshole for being the reason Karkat looks so miserable right now.
Karkat glances at Dave cautiously, brows furrowing.
“You’re a prick,” he says without heat. “I know you were joking, it's just--you’ve been… nice, about all this. You could’ve told me to fuck off at any point and I’ve been a fucking ornery bastard all night. If you wanna hear me complain I’ll bitch your ear off but the least I can do is sit through your garbage movie.”
He takes a breath and asks hopefully, “This isn’t really your favorite movie, right?”
Dave's heart squeezes again at Karkat's words. Maybe Karkat's just saying this stuff cause he's drunk, but it still hurts to hear that Karkat expected Dave to be a dick to him. He knew Karkat didn't think very highly of him, but he'd at least hoped he didn't come across as someone who'd kick out a drunk friend in the middle of the night just cause they were being sort of grumpy.
Karkat asks in a hopeful tone, if this isn't really Dave's favorite movie, and Dave shakes his head.
"Oh, no, actually I was dead serious about that part. This movie is the fucking best. I mean, it's also the worst, but that's what makes it my favorite, you know? It's just so gloriously and sincerely bad." He makes a useless gesture with his hands, hoping it will somehow convey his thoughts more effectively than his words are able to.
Karkat sighs, extremely put-upon, but his shoulders release their tension. He could be watching 50 First Dates or Legally Blonde right now.
“Alright you giant shitstain,” he says. “Let’s watch your godawful movie. But I’m not gonna be happy about it.”
It’s partially a lie. The movie itself is physically painful to watch, but when Karkat starts ripping it to shreds, Dave joins in, and that makes it better. Karkat actually lets out a few surprised laughs at some of Dave’s jokes, and Dave grins at him like it’s a victory. Karkat finishes his beer and eats another piece of pizza, and by the time the movie is over Karkat is starting to feel ill.
“I think your movie poisoned me,” he tells Dave, slumping against the arm of the couch and groaning.
Karkat makes good on his promise to 'bitch Dave's ear off,' and Dave finds himself relaxing and enjoying himself, delighted when he's able to make Karkat laugh a few times.
When the movie ends, Karkat's starting to look a little green around the gills, and he blames it on the movie.
"Yeah, no, I'm pretty sure it was the three beers you had tonight, lightweight," Dave teases him. "I better get you some water so future Karkat doesn't try to murder us both."
He brings a glass of water back from the kitchen and puts it in Karkat's hand. He wraps Karkat's fingers around the class to make him hold onto it, and can't help noticing how nice Karkat's hands feel. They're big and warm, and he pulls away from the contact with some reluctance.
“Future Karkat’s a dickbag,” Karkat mumbles to himself as Dave leaves to get him water. “Past Karkat’s a fucking fool.”
When Dave comes back he takes Karkat’s hand to wrap around the glass, which is completely fucking unnecessary but surprisingly sweet. He frowns when Dave pulls away and takes a large drink of water.
“Thanks,” he says, blinking up at Dave with glassy eyes. “For the water and--y’know, everything.”
It wasn’t as much of a disaster as he expected it to be. It was actually… kind of fun, really, once Karkat got over himself and relaxed a bit. He didn’t know hanging out with Dave in a non-sexual way could be fun. And, even more surprisingly, he thinks maybe Dave didn’t even mind it.
Dave shrugs, vaguely embarrassed. "Yeah, man, it's no big deal. It was fun to hang out, you know? We could maybe do it again sometime, if you wanted, I mean-- I'm not tryna cockblock myself, obviously I have zero complaints about our usual choice of activity, but this was chill too. Whatever, we literally don't have to talk about this. I'm gonna go pass out in a sec but, uh, the bathroom's down that way, what else. . . I think I got an extra blanket somewhere, hold on."
He disappears into his room and comes back a few minutes later with an old fleece blanket, which he tosses to Karkat.
"You all set?"
He's not sure why, but it feels weirdly wrong to leave Karkat out here on the couch, instead of having him sleep in Dave's bed. But that would be even weirder, right?
It’s even harder to process Dave’s rambling when the room is spinning, but Karkat feels warm when he realizes what Dave said, that they could hang out like this again. He thinks he might actually like that. Maybe their casual hookup thing could turn into a friends with benefits thing.
He blinks down at the blanket thrown into his lap and looks up at Dave, giving him a drunken smile.
“‘M good,” he says, laying down and fighting with the blanket for a moment. The spinning somehow gets worse when he closes his eyes but he breathes through it, ignoring the churning of his stomach. “Night.”
"Night," Dave says.
He flicks off the lights, but leaves the bathroom light on in case Karkat has to piss in the middle of the night or something.
When he climbs into bed, he suddenly remembers he never texted that guy back earlier to finalize their date. He rereads the messages, remembering what Karkat said about how the guy was boring and not good enough for Dave. Just cause Karkat was right about flirting techniques, though, doesn't mean he's right about everything. And the guy's cute enough, isn't he?
Dave messages the guy back with a brief apology for disappearing mid conversation, then asks if he's free to get coffee tomorrow afternoon. He rolls over in bed and closes his eyes. His phone buzzes, and it's the guy saying yes, so Dave sends him a thumbs up emoji and shuts his phone off.
He wonders whether he should be more excited about the prospect of this date. It's thrilling to have someone say yes, but he's realizing this means he has to get through a date with this guy tomorrow without looking like an asshole--and with no Karkat to help him this time. Ugh. It'll be fine, he tells himself. He shuts his eyes and tries not to think about Karkat alone in his living room as he drifts into a restless sleep.
The only reason Karkat knows he sleeps is because he wakes up. And he wakes up in a panic, hand slapping over his mouth as he tumbles off the couch, landing in a swaying crouch before stumbling desperately for the bathroom, stomach heaving.
He doesn’t quite make it. Vomit splatters onto his hand, down his shirt before he collapses to his knees in front of the toilet, retching violently. Regurgitated pizza and beer splash into the water and tears sting his eyes. He’s still drunk, the room is still spinning. His knees are throbbing and his throat burns as it comes up and he hates himself with a shocking intensity. There’s a reason he has a two drink limit.
His hands shake as he grips the porcelain, painfully aware that he’s sicking up in the home of someone who can’t even be counted as a friend. He wonders if it would be worth it to call someone up to take him home.
Waking up in the middle of the night is nothing out of the ordinary for Dave. Honestly, he can't even remember the last time he slept through the night without an interruption; usually it's an upstairs neighbor stomping too loudly or slamming their door, or a dog barking across the street, an ambulance driving by, whatever. Point is, it's never what his freaked-out half asleep body fears it is, and once he assures his fight or flight response that nobody's flashstepping around his apartment with a katana, he can usually fall back asleep again without much trouble.
Tonight, however, when he wakes up to a strange noise, he's confused and disoriented but not afraid.
He hears heavy footsteps followed by the sound of retching, and remembers, oh shit, Karkat. He jolts of bed and out into the hallway before he's even fully awake. He finds the bathroom door left open, with Karkat hunched over the toilet puking his guts up.
"Oh, shit," Dave says stupidly. He has no idea what to do. Karkat surely doesn't want him here but Dave can't just leave him here like this.
It takes a moment for Karkat to notice Dave standing in the doorway and hot shame drips down his spine. He tries to say something, only to have it cut off by another wave of nausea and retching. He can’t fucking believe he woke Dave up. It will be a miracle if he wants anything to do with him after this.
When he’s fairly sure he’s not about to throw up in the next five seconds, he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, grimacing and leaning back, reaching up to flush the toilet.
“Sorry,” he slurs pathetically. “Didn’t have time to close the door. Go back to sleep.”
From the way he's slurring his words, it's clear Karkat's still pretty drunk. There's no way Dave can go back to sleep now, but Karkat probably doesn't want to hear that, he looks like he feels guilty enough already.
Dave also notices Karkat has vomit all down his shirt and on his hand. Gross.
"It's fine, dude. Hold on, I'll get you some water."
Dave grabs a glass of water and some paper towels, and brings them back into the bathroom. He sets the glass down near Karkat and sits on the floor next to him.
"I'm just gonna hang out and make sure you don't choke to death, ok, just pretend like I'm not here," he mumbles.
It's uncomfortably bright in here, and his eyes widen as he realizes he's not wearing his shades. Oh well, Karkat's probably too fucked up right now to pay any attention to Dave's freaky eyes.
Dave could just leave Karkat to his misery and go back to sleep, but he’s much better than Karkat deserves, so he comes back with water and paper towels. Karkat takes them gratefully, swishing the water around his mouth and spitting it into the toilet, then wetting the paper towels and sloppily cleaning himself up.
When he’s done he leans back against the tub and takes a drink of water, swallowing it down and taking a deep breath.
“Thanks,” he murmurs, turning to look at Dave with damp eyes. He fucking hates being sick like this. It makes him feel vulnerable and worthless, and he hates that Dave is witnessing it.
He blinks at Dave a few times, and it takes a moment to realize why he looks strange. He’s not wearing his stupid fucking shades. He insists on keeping them on even when they fuck, unless it’s pitch black. And now Karkat knows why.
“Pretty eyes,” he says to himself. Next time Dave blows him he’s insisting the shades come off. If there is a next time, anyway.
Karkat looks pale and shaky, but he seems like he's not about to die of alcohol poisoning anytime soon so that's good. But then he calls Dave's eyes pretty.
"Ha, you must be even drunker than I thought." Dave looks down and fights back a blush. Karkat doesn't mean it, he tells himself. He's just drunk and talking nonsense.
"You feeling any better?" he asks, staring at the floor. "I can lend you one of my shirts so you don't gotta keep wearing that pukey one."
Karkat looks down at his gross, damp shirt. His face flushes even as he nods. He doesn’t--it’s stupid, but he’s never done the ‘wear your boyfriend’s clothes’ thing. Not that Dave is his boyfriend but--it feels similar, and it makes him want to squirm.
“Yeah, that would be good,” he says. “I’m--I think it’s over. Thanks.”
He said it already but holy fuck, he owes Dave so goddamn much for this.
"Dude, it's no problem," Dave insists. "You don't have anything to thank me for, this is pretty much all my fault. I knew I shouldn't've given you that last beer but I did anyway, and now you're paying the price, so that's totally my bad."
He heads back to his room to fetch a t-shirt for Karkat, and grabs his shades from the bedside table, shoving them on his face before returning to the bathroom. Karkat's still leaning against the tub, and Dave offers him a hand up.
Dave is out the door before Karkat can protest and remind him that he’s the one who asked for the beer. When he comes back he has a shirt in hand and shades on his face and Karkat frowns. He accepts the hand up, using Dave as support when he sways.
“S’not your fault,” he insists. He peels his sweater off with a sigh and struggles into Dave’s shirt. It’s too long on him and a bit baggy, but it’s comfortable and soft. He turns to give Dave a smile and another thank you, and notices the shades again.
“Why do you wear sunglasses when you have eyes like that,” he asks, baffled. He’s reaching out and pushing Dave’s glasses up into his hair before he realizes what he’s doing. Wide red eyes stare back at him and Karkat’s lip twitches up.
Dave gets a tantalizing glimpse of Karkat's torso before it disappears inside of his shirt, which is definitely too big for Karkat. He's trying not to think about how much he likes seeing Karkat in his clothes, when all of a sudden Karkat reaches for his shades and exposes Dave's fucked-up eyes. Dave stares back in surprise, unable to stop the blush from rising to his cheeks.
He swallows, feeling oddly vulnerable under Karkat's inebriated gaze. "I wear them because I have eyes like this, jackass. They're not exactly normal, in case you didn't notice. Sensitive to light, too. Mostly I just got tired of people staring and talking shit, I guess."
He should put his shades back on now. Karkat's still staring at him and Dave doesn't move.
Karkat frowns, leaning forward to get a better look at Dave’s eyes. They’re a bright, unnatural red, with darker flecks in them, a deep maroon ring around the irises.
“They’re awesome,” he says. “Dunno why people would talk shit about them. Prob’ly jealous.”
It sucks that they’re sensitive to light, though. And Karkat just exposed them to the harsh bathroom lighting like an asshole.
He sways again, using Dave’s shoulder to steady himself.
“‘M still drunk,” he admits, leaning against Dave heavily. He feels weak and shaky and, as he asks his next question, absolutely pathetic. “C’n I sleep with you? I’ll blow you if y’ want.”
Dave momentarily stops breathing as Karkat leans in even closer and compliments his eyes again. His chest tightens with an emotion he can't quite name, and he's entirely unprepared when Karkat suddenly asks to sleep with him.
I'll blow you if y'want, jesus, that is way hotter than it has any right to be. He considers saying yes for half a second before remembering that Karkat literally just threw up and definitely shouldn't be attempting to blow anyone right now. Dude needs sleep, not sex.
"Yeah, course you can," Dave says. "I'll take a rain check on the BJ though, let's just get you some z's and try to minimize tomorrow's hangover, okay?"
He leads Karkat back to his room and helps him into bed, making sure he lies down on his side. He grabs a trash can and some water and painkillers and leaves them next to Karkat, then climbs in next to him.
Fuck. Of course Dave doesn’t want him to suck his dick; he just saw Karkat blow chunks everywhere. But he’s nice enough to let Karkat into his bed anyway, buzzing around and doing the shit that Karkat usually does for his friends before climbing into bed.
He sighs and figures he’s already fucked things up so thoroughly it’s not like he can make it worse. So he rolls over to his other side, tossing an arm around Dave’s waist, and curls up against his back. He’s warm and soft and Karkat buries his face between his shoulder blades, breathing him in.
Dave always smells so fucking good. Karkat doesn’t know if it’s some kind of cologne or detergent or just him in general, but it’s amazing and addicting, and Karkat gets to bury himself in it all night.
Dave feels Karkat sling an arm over him and snuggle up against his back, and his eyes widen in the dark. He moves his hand on top of Karkat's and links their fingers together with a gentle squeeze. Karkat squeezes back and Dave's heart thumps pathetically in his chest.
He reminds himself that Karkat doesn't actually like him, this is just some drunk cuddling and it doesn't mean anything. Tomorrow everything will go back to normal, and if he's lucky he'll get to keep seeing Karkat on a hookup basis. He's not going to get hopelessly attached to a perfect guy that he absolutely doesn't deserve. Everything's going to be fine, because surely he can manage not to catch feelings over one stupid night of cuddling, right?
Dave holds his hand and Karkat has a drunken epiphany that he is so, so fucked. He sighs into Dave’s soft shirt and lets himself feel the fondness bubbling up inside him. He really fucking likes Dave. It’s too bad Dave doesn’t like him back; not how Karkat wants him to.
It hurts, but he closes his eyes and enjoys this while he can. The room feels like it’s swaying gently and Dave is warm against him, their fingers linked together, and Karkat manages to slip off into sleep.