In all her months of streaming, Vriska had been very careful to keep Karkat off camera. Given the choice, she would have shown him off non-stop, but he made it very clear from the start that he wanted to stay out of this, and so she had just bragged on her own. He didn’t mind being caught if she was just recording – despite her hatred of editing, she was good at it, and he trusted her to erase any trace of him – but streaming was different. There was no taking back a stream, and so they were careful.
Her chat knew that her mysterious boyfriend didn’t like being on camera, which led to near constant jokes about her making him up. Vriska would get easily wound up by it, but at the end of the day, she had no way to retaliate. She just had to deal with it.
As time went on, Karkat got more comfortable with some aspects of Vriska’s online presence. He made a Twitter account, posting just enough to prove to people that he was real. It was mostly just secret photos of Vriska, uploaded to see how long it would take her to notice. He also let her post the occasional picture with his arm around her, but for the most part he remained completely hidden. Until, of course, they slipped up.
Every stream, Vriska put a sign up on her door to warn him, as well as telling him long before she started. This time should have been no different, except for the small issue that Karkat was asleep when Vriska started streaming. She brushed it off, and left a text instead. He would probably check his phone, and even if he didn’t, she still had the sign turned over. Nothing seemed worth worrying over. Stream was started as normal.
Vriska had a policy of never playing the same game two days in a row. That’s why she had ended up with Nepeta in her ear desperately bugging her to join their Gartic Phone lobby while she just mindlessly mined away cobblestone on the group SMP. The combination of Nepeta’s constant nattering and the repetitiveness of the game let her turn her brain off, so she wasn’t exactly paying attention when the door behind her opened and a certain someone walked very much into the shot.
Nepeta’s silence caught her attention before Karkat did.
“You done bugging me yet or…?”
“Vriskers… Turn around.” Nepeta’s voice was high and nervous, already preparing for Vriska’s reaction.
“Turn around?” Confused, she turned her Minecraft avatar.
Karkat sighed behind her. “You’re not recording, are you?”
Oh shit. Oh shit.
“Oh shit.” She slapped her end stream button without a second thought. “I can delete the vod.”
“It’s probably too late, isn’t it?” He set down her water bottle beside her. She felt a flash of guilt that this had happened when he was just trying to do something nice for her.
“Maybe not! I didn’t have a huge viewer count tonight.”
“Uhhh,” Nepeta chimed in. “I’m looked at Twitter right now. There’s fancams.”
“They have like three seconds of footage, how are there fancams?!”
“Filters do wonders? They’re pretty high quality actually – oh my god, there’s thirst tweets.”
“There’s thirst tweets?” Vriska pulled up Twitter.
Karkat settled down beside her, arms over the back of her chair. “What the fuck are thirst tweets?”
“People think you’re hot.” She plugged her own name into the search bar and started furiously scrolling through tweets. “They’re not allowed to think you’re hot.”
“But he is hot,” Nepeta said, at the exact same time Karkat said, “But I am hot.”
“Yeah, no duh, but they’re not allowed to say it, that’s my job.” Vriska clicked onto someone’s profile to make sure she was not about to harass a child. She was. She went to find a new target.
“Aww, that’s cute. You think I’m hot. Do you have a crush on me or something?” Karkat gently jostled her shoulder. “Stop angry replying to people on Twitter.”
“No, also you’re ugly, also I hate you.”
“I can’t hear Karkat properly,” Nepeta whined.
Vriska pushed the mic over to Karkat. “Say hi to Nepeta.”
“Hi to Nepeta.”
She let them chat while scrolled through thirst tweets, nose wrinkling at some of the more graphic ones. Some of those suggestions were definitely against Twitch TOS. After a few scrolls, she found the first of the fancams Nepeta mentioned. They had a point; this was well-made considering the accidental boyfriend reveal was all of five minutes ago. There were far too many for her to reply to, and plenty of them she wouldn’t even dream of putting on her followers timelines. Instead she just put out her own Tweet, eloquently reading; “STOP HITTING ON MY 8OYFRIEND, I KNOW HE’S HOT, HE’S ALSO MINE & YOU CAN’T HAVE HIM.”
Finally, she pushed back from her desk a little. “Okay. Damage control. I can take down the vod, we can put out a proper statement, I can do a serious stream, I’ll make a fucking Twitlonger if I have to –”
“Babe.” Karkat put his hand on her shoulder. “It’s fine. This was going to happen eventually.”
“It’s not fine, I promised you I would be careful –”
“You were careful.” He pointed to the open door. “You had the sign up. My fault for being dumb and half-asleep.”
“I didn’t tell you I was going live.”
“I would have literally killed you for waking me up from that nap.”
“I left a text,” she told him rather huffily.
“You know I can’t read when I wake up.”
“Hi guys, I’m still in the call.” They got the distinct feeling that Nepeta was waving at their screen.
“You should post some selfies, Karkitty,” Nepeta said. “These editors are working with crumbs right now. They could use some better content.”
“No one said I’m going to turn into some shitty little internet man, okay? I’m just not kicking up a fuss about it. They can deal with their crumbs as far as I’m fucking concerned.”
Vriska pulled him down to clasp her arms around his chest. “They can cope with crumbs, I’m keeping you all to myself. My hot boyfriend.”
“You’re gonna get cancelled for swearing at children on Twitter over this, aren’t you?”
“Without a doubt.”