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In Which Karkat is a Hopeless Romantic and Equius Knows It

Chapter Text

Equius smiled, lifting up the shirt smugly. This particular gesture had required some assistance from Kanaya, but he was certain she would not give him up. He quietly left his respiteblock, transportalizing into Karkat’s. He had gotten Sollux to help him break into the system, allowing him access. He examined the shirt in his hands and was unable to see his handiwork. Perfect. He placed it down in an easily accessible place, hopefully ensuring that Karkat would go for convenience and wear this one. The design would become opaque after approximately thirty minutes. All he had to do was give Karkat a reason to change his shirt.

Equius grabbed a glass of milk, balancing it on his palm so as not to put any pressure on it. As he entered the computer lab, Kanaya called Karkat over to her as planned. Karkat started to move across the room, Equius purposefully tripped over his own feet, and his milk went flying, straight onto Karkat. Equius carefully controlled his resulting smirk, showing no trace of triumphance. Karkat froze, and anger was visibly building inside him. Everyone around them was wide-eyed. Feferi and Sollux were on the horn pile, Nepeta and Terezi were at their computers and had presumably been roleplaying, and Kanaya stood off to the side. Their focus was now on Karkat, waiting to see his reaction. Nepeta was clearly trying not to laugh.

“You know what, Equius? Sometimes I worry about your intelligence level! It’s clearly far too shitty for your own good! You’ve got to be kidding me, now you’re walking around delicately balancing glasses of milk on your palms?! Did you not think that one through?! Or maybe that was on purpose, are you just trying to get in my fucking pants?! Well guess what, grubfucker, it didn’t work! Because now I have to go change my stupid fucking shirt because there’s nooklicking milk all goddamn over it!!” Karkat raged.

“...Language, Vantas.” It was all Equius could get out without laughing, and truth be told Karkat’s terrible language had gotten to him slightly. Just like always. Karkat’s face somehow got even redder. Equius was internally disgusted, but kept his face neutral.

“Are you shitting me right now, that’s all you can think about?! You know what, I can’t deal with this right now, I’m fucking sopping wet,” Karkat couldn’t believe his ears. Terezi laughed at the last bit of his sentence, wordlessly pointing out the innuendo that everyone had hoped wouldn’t be pointed out. Equius blushed.

“The milk, Terezi, the milk,” Karkat said, shooting Terezi his best bitchface. Terezi continued to laugh, and started doing the eyebrow thing. Karkat skillfully ignored this, face reaching maximum redness levels.

“Zahhak, clean this shit up before someone gets hurt. I don’t care if you get off on that order as long as you clean this quickly,” Karkat barked out. Equius sweated, and nobody was surprised. Karkat stormed away.

“Holy shit,” Sollux muttered. Nepeta burst out laughing. Equius started cleaning up the mess, ignoring his slight arousal. Stupid orders. He hoped desperately that he would be wearing the right shirt, and that he hadn’t seen what was on it. While it was probably worth the embarrassment just to see him so angry, Equius knew it could be so much better. He finished up with the cleaning and went over to Nepeta, leaning against the desk.

“AC congratulates her meowrail on his display of blackrom wooing!” Nepeta said to him coyly. Equius blushed.

“I must inform you that the fun is not quite over yet, if all goes well,” Equius said quietly. Nepeta’s eyes widened with curiosity.

“What do you mean by that, Equihiss?” Nepeta asked.

“You will soon find out,” he replied. Nepeta pouted, but didn’t question further. She perked up when she noticed Karkat returning, and elbowed Equius. Karkat glared at Equius, and walked over to his computer grumpily. On the back of his shirt, bright blue and clear as day, was Equius’ sign. There were several moments of complete silence as everyone processed the sight before them, then all at once everyone was talking.

“Oh my glub, that’s too adorabubble!” Feferi squealed.
“Holy fucking shit!” Sollux exclaimed, laughing.
“Seems to have worked quite well,” Kanaya noted.
“Do I smell blue on him?” Terezi questioned, knowing full well what she was smelling.
“Purrfect,” Nepeta whispered to Equius.
Equius stood awkwardly, hoping that he was exuding an air of confidence. He was definitely not.

Karkat looked around, puzzled. He clearly had no idea that his kismesis’ sign was emblazoned across his back.

“What the hell’s going on?” He asked, more confused than angry.

“Your shirt,” Sollux got out between bursts of laughter. Karkat’s brow furrowed as he looked down at his shirt, seeing his own sign on the front of it.

“What in the name of every single one of our made-up ancestors are you blathering about?” Karkat was hopelessly lost.

“Just take it off,” Terezi said.

“Forward much? God,” Karkat snarked.

“Really Karkat, you should do what she recommends,” Kanaya said calmly. Karkat looked at her like she was crazy, but pulled off his shirt anyways. He figured Kanaya was trustworthy. When he saw what was on the back of his shirt he went still, his eyes, blazing with anger, meeting Equius’. The ridiculous number of emotions running through Karkat rendered him almost speechless, and the foremost of them was hate. He hated Equius so much in that moment, it almost surprised him. He marched over to Equius, grabbed his shirt and pulled his face close to his own. His thinkpan was so muddled he still couldn’t think of anything to say, so he just hissed, pulling Equius in for a kiss. Oh, what a kiss. It was filled with loathing, their mouths pressing desperately together, teeth nipping and hands roaming.

Everyone else had gone silent. Some of them were awkwardly averting their eyes, and some of them were awkwardly watching. Nepeta cleared her throat, reminding them that there were other people in the room. They pulled back, breathing heavily. Karkat roughly grabbed Equius’ arm and pushed him onto the transportalizer, both of them zapping away. An uncomfortable silence stretched over the computer lab. It was Sollux who broke it.

“I’m not going to lie here, that was really hot.”

Chapter Text

Karkat was getting his revenge. He couldn’t believe that Equius had essentially branded him, but he was going to be fucking sorry. Karkat looked over his shoulder nervously as he worked, hoping desperately that Equius wasn’t about to walk back into his respiteblock. As he finished up, he sighed in relief, packing away his paintbrush and paint. Just as he left, appearing on the transportalizer pad that led to Equius’ respiteblock, Equius appeared at the central pad. There was a long silence as they looked at one another, shocked.

“What,” was all that Equius could get out.

Karkat didn’t respond and just circled around to his own pad, disappearing. Equius was very confused. He warily approached the pad Karkat had appeared on, and entered his own respiteblock with a wince. Who knew what Karkat had left behind, it could be anything from a room in disarray to an elaborate prank. Goodness knows Equius had one coming. But he saw nothing. Everything was as he’d left it, and that just worried Equius more. Moreso, the mere thought of Karkat invading his personal space simply to mess with him brought a surge of anger to the surface, but Equius pushed it down quickly. He could not allow himself to be so easily angered, lest this entire affair become too easy. He wasn’t about to be easy.

He jumped as one of his robots began beeping, expecting the worst, until he realized that it was simply an alarm. It was time to engage in personal hygiene. This alarm went off every three hours, and ensured that Equius didn’t acquire too much of a build-up of sweat. So he went and cleansed himself, forgetting about seeing Karkat leaving his respiteblock, and enjoying being completely clean for the few minutes it lasted. As he finished up, he neatly braided his hair back, figuring Nepeta would brush it out later. He went over to his clothes pile and pulled out a clean version of his usual outfit. As he saw the shirt, he froze.

His symbol was no longer blue, but red. Karkat. How dare he! Equius was seeing red, both literally and figuratively. He dove into his pile of clothing, searching for a normal shirt. There were none, each one had been switched. This would simply not do. He swiftly dressed himself, debating for a second whether it would be more humiliating to wander around in this shirt or completely without one. He decided to go with the shirt, but only for dramatic effect. This was obviously not titillating at all, don't be silly. He left to find Karkat quickly.

He checked in Karkat’s respiteblock first, but he wasn’t there. Of course not, if he was trying to really piss Equius off he would make him parade himself in front of everyone wearing the debasing color. Equius fired off a quick message to Karkat, but it was ignored. Read three minutes ago, ugh.

Collecting himself, Equius went to the computer lab. Sure enough, there Karkat was, talking with Sollux. Nepeta and Kanaya were off talking, and Eridan was sulking in the corner. Tavros was at his computer, presumably messaging one of the humans.

As everyone glanced up instinctively to see who had arrived, a fast silence fell over the group. Equius just stood there, boiling with anger and humiliation.
“That’s a nice color on you,” Karkat commented casually. That was it, Equius couldn’t take it anymore.

“Come here,” he said in a low voice.

“What, you gonna kiss me like the desperate fool you are?” Karkat needled, starting to approach Equius.

“I am not going to be humiliated further in front of my peers, so we are going to have a very civil conversation elsewhere,” Equius replied. Nepeta snickered at that, and Equius shot her a look. As Karkat reached Equius, they transportalized one at a time to Equius’ respiteblock.

Alone, Equius no longer had to comport himself so carefully.

“I cannot believe you have done this!” He exclaimed.

“Seriously? You totally had it coming after what you did to my shirt!” Karkat said.

“This is much worse, you know that,” Equius replied.

“Why, is red that fucking terrible to you? Do you find it so completely loathsome that you can’t even stand seeing it?” Karkat said.

“Yes! It is disgusting, and it suits you perfectly,” Equius spat.

“You’re one to talk about disgusting, with your incessant sweating and complete bigotry, you vomit-inducing moronic shithole!” Karkat shouted.

“At least I do not use lowblooded, putrid language!” Equius yelled stepping closer to Karkat.

“Well at least I don’t have a stick rammed so far up my ass that i can taste tree bark!” Karkat responded, getting even closer.

“I do not have any sticks in any of my orifices,” Equius hissed. Karkat laughed sarcastically.

“You definitely do, and as a result, you’re ashamed of me!” he scoffed. At this point the two were ridiculously close to each other, and as a result their voices had lowered considerably.

“Simply because I do not flaunt you as though you are a trophy does not mean that I am ashamed of you, Vantas,” Equius growled. “Hate does not equal shame, it would do you well to remember this.”

With that, Karkat grabbed Equius and kissed him intensely. Equius reciprocated the kiss quickly, pulling Karkat close with one hand and scratching at his scalp with the other, trying not to be too gentle yet not too forceful. It was a difficult line to toe. Karkat had no such qualms, seeing as his strength was more average, and scratched Equius hard on the back, eliciting a hiss from him.

Things were beginning to get a bit steamy, and as Karkat began to notice his own arousal he knew it was time to pull back. Just one more second, he thought desperately. He wasn’t about to cut this short until he had to. Then Equius paused.

“W-wait, Karkat, we cannot-” Equius gasped out. Karkat pulled back, understanding.

“I know, not- not ready, it’s okay,” Karkat said. “We can just, just watch a movie. Can’t go back in there, with everyone.”

“Movie, alright, yes,” Equius muttered, very flustered. Karkat sighed.