Depeche Mode - The Love Thieves
Sollux had actually dozed off when the slight flash of the chat client and the little ping pulled him out of his light sleep. He dazedly went to check who it was and snorted a little at what Eridan had written.
TA: oh my god ii’m fiine you iidiiot.
TA: 2kiippiing work
TA: let’2 meet up or 2ome 2hiit
He let his head fwump back against his flat pillow and closed his eyes, relishing the lack of light. He felt like a nice warm shower would be a good thing, but he didn’t feel like moving yet.
Eridan read the messages he had received in return and rolled his eyes at them. Of course Sollux would skip work. Even if he didn’t have an awful job he would have probably skipped work.
CA: lazy bastard i should a expected somethin like that from you
CA: sure sol i knoww wwhy you stayed home you wwere itchin for a hatedate
CA: i dont blame you im pretty damn irresistible i knoww it
CA: i wwish i could say the same about you but hey just one more thing i cant stand about you
CA: ill be at the beach because givvin you an address or coordinates wwould be doin you a favvor
He wasn’t planning on staying there, but he didn’t feel like having Sollux in his home, nor did he want to go to Sollux’s place. He’d think of something to do when they met up.
Sollux had skipped work. This was the second day. He did call and all, but he knew it wouldn’t really make a difference if he kept this up. He felt a little dizzy and weak, so that was good enough for him to consider it a sick day. He was lying awake with his computer open next to him, kind of hot and sticky in his gross small bed. He rolled over to either do something to it, either shut it down or work on something, but he ended up opening the chat client.
He needed to shower.
Eridan had just returned from work, one of the grueling shifts his boss made him work, although this one had been more tame than some of the others. He changed and took a quick shower, noticing a blinking box on his computer. Oh great. What could Sollux possibly want.
CA: for once youvve contacted me i assume youre either desperate for company or dyin
CA: i just got home from wwork an im extremely tired so you had better be sick or somethin
CA: unlike you i wwork irregular shifts that sometimes require me bein at the lab for days on end an its incredibly exhaustin
CA: wwait shouldnt you be wworkin too
CA: are you sick i mean not that i care about wwhether or not youre sufferin but if youre dyin or somethin i gotta knoww about that
CA: im the only one wwho can threaten your life
He frowned. The past two times they had talked, it had been Eridan who contacted him through the chat client. He wondered if there was actually something wrong with Sollux and if he should have been concerned.
Eridan was not as excited about the new quadrant. In fact, he was downright angry and nervous about the entire ordeal, and wished he hadn’t said anything at all. He knew he would just end up wounded from this, because Captors were the most fickle creatures of all. He wondered if his new kismesis would just neglect him outright after a few encounters. He didn’t know if he hoped so or not. On the one hand, if the quadrant fizzled out before Eridan got attached to him, there would be no hurt, but on the other hand, he didn’t know if he’d be able to experience a romance so pitch it would put others to shame. He sighed in frustration and swirled his drink around in his glass. He didn’t feel like he could sleep, but didn’t want to bother Karkat. He stared at the screen of his computer blankly and decided now would be a good time to get ready for work, and maybe go for a walk.
wwell noww i knoww what pertains to your interests an just about wwhere your intellectual levvel stands
Sollux chuckled at the last line of purple on the chat client and put his drink down to reply.
TA: are you 2hore iit wa2n’t becau2e iit 2ounded liike one two me
TA: al2o ii never 2tole anyfiin from you but 2ome ca2h on the web two buy tho2e wiipey wand2 for your collectiion of wiizard 2tiick2.
TA: and ii can talk two whoever ii damn well plea2e 2o ju2t try and 2top me
TA: gettiing the mad gab2 on wiith KK a2 we 2peak, oh the horror.
TA: watch out CA ii’m
TA: DOUBLE TROUBUBBLE
He opened up another chat window and shot Karkat a message, despite his work related reluctance to before hand. It wasn’t even real work, he was just finishing some programs and slipping back into his coding shtick, although now he was completely distracted.
Eridan trailed his index and middle fingers down the bridge of his nose and growled in frustration.
CA: you knoww somethin
CA: i thought you wwere the lowwest bit a airsuckin scum to exist before
CA: i havve dowwngraded my opinion a you
CA: if you keep makin those horrible puns i swwear to god i wwill find you an crush your face wwith the heel a my boot
CA: i wwill not rest until your head is mounted abovve my mantle as a trophy
CA: you wwanted me to hate you wwell guess wwhat sol you got it
He sunk down into his chair and glowered at the wall across from him. Fuck that guy.
Sollux’s chat client pinged and he opened it absent mindedly. Speak of the devil.
TA: ii’m actually 2ort of bu2y riight now but iit’2 good two know you’re eager two get your na2ty nautical gape drool on my face.
TA: actually that’2 kiind of gro22.
TA: nevermiind about that good comment.
TA: your 2aliiva a2iide, ii2 that all you wanted two 2ay becau2e ii got 2hiit two do and up untiil 5 AM to do iit.
TA: 2ome of u2 liike two keep a tiight 2chedule, 2ee iit’2 what happen2 when your plate ii2 con2ii2tently piiled 2ky hiigh wiith riidiiculou2 bugna2ty amount2 of the mo2t unnapetiiziing 2iide work and job related bull2hiit non2en2e two deal wiith on a day two day ba2ii2.
TA: iif KK ii2 your moiiraiil then ii gue22 you miight have 2ome iidea of how 2tupiid and exhau2tiing iit ii2 two deal wiith ehehehe
TA: waiit ii take that back
TA: you’re probably equally demandiing and over emotiional iif not more 2o
TA: liike 2HIIT, ii 2hould be talkiing two HIIM about thii2 2tuff.
He took another sip of his energy drink and minimized the window to get back to work. He wondered absent mindedly how Karkat was doing, but he didn’t really feel like trying to hold two convos at the same time and still code. The fact that his toilet stick gag had irritated the fuck out of Eridan made him feel smugly satisfied though, so he was happy to hear that.
Eridan growled softly at the lines of yellow text on the screen as he scanned over them, then tapped loudly on the keys with his claws as he replied.
CA: youd be foolin yourself if you thought that i gavve a FUCK about your schedule
CA: i givve no fucks
CA: none a them
CA: you deservve the torture a menial tasks you deal wwith day after fuckin day an thats me bein particularly nice an civvil
CA: if i had my wway right noww youd havve wworse much wworse
CA: an dont you fuckin DARE mention kar dont evven TRY speakin to him the LAST THING HE NEEDS is your strings a disgustin yelloww text taintin his field a vvision
CA: i hope your blood pusher givves out from caffeine ovverdose so i dont evven havve to think about breathin the same air as you
CA: your lot has stolen evverythin from me an if you evven so much as say a WWORD to kar i wwill havve your head on a goddamn pike
CA: AN NO THAT WAS NOT A FUCKIN FISH PUN
Perhaps Eridan was being a bit overbearing and possessive, but after losing Feferi to a Sollux ages ago, the one who had ended up being his own ex-matesprit, he didn’t want to take any chances.
Sollux was a little bit disappointed when he found out his “borrowed” information was no longer valid, but he didn’t particularly feel inclined to go digging around for more of Eridan’s personal information. He still hadn’t received a confirmation call about their potential relationship, so he figured the seadweller really wasn’t that interested. At the moment, though, Sollux was in a fair mood, and he decided not to be particularly offended by it. He had filled his “Face to Face interaction” quota for the time being with that beach fight and coffee shop visit, and he decided being impassive about a rejection was better than getting angry over it, otherwise he’d just end up looking desperate.
He waved the thoughts out of his mind and sipped down a bit more of the “fruit” flavored sugar/caffeine concentrate, the canned adrenaline with questionable chemicals inside. He glanced at the brightly colored can and wondered if he was addicted to this shit. It honestly tasted awful, but how else was he going to stay awake? He had programs to work on. He busied his hands on his keyboard and forgot about things for the time being.
Eridan was still fuming from Sollux’s “gift” to him, and he was going to make it known to him.
CA: you fuckin asshole
CA: there are other wways a expressin interest in someone than hijackin VVALUABLE PERSONAL INFORMATION an sendin a hundred wwands for disabled people wwho in my opinion should be culled an put out a their misery if they cant evven wipe their owwn asses
CA: did you consider maybe buyin one for yourself an keepin it to wwipe your fuckin pan wwith
CA: i havve to admit i did enjoy snappin them all ovver my knee like i wwould a done to your twwiggy little spine had you presented the opportunity
CA: i also havve to admit that your pitiful attempts at obsidian passes havve paled in comparison to that last feat you pulled an you may or may not be able to consider yourself a caliginous suitor a mine
CA: meanin you may or may not be able to consider yourself the only caliginous suitor a mine congratulations
CA: i wwill spit in your face the next time wwe meet mark my wwords
Talking to Sollux was like rubbing a fresh wound with salt and lemon juice, then covering it with a sandpaper bandage. Eridan definitely felt like he hated him, at least a little, or at the very least, was annoyed by his existence.
He got no reply, but he did receive 22 Self-Wipe Bathroom Toileting Aids in the mail, not all at once, but through the span of some weeks. Never inside the mailbox either, always perched on top of it with the name brightly displayed in white on a minty dental floss colored background, accompanied by a smiling woman and a picture of the product. Eridan would discover that they had all been charged to his credit card account, every last one of the fecal wands. When the first one had arrived, Karkat had left it in front of Eridan’s door and didn’t mention anything to preserve his moirail’s dignity, but by the fourth one he had some questions.
Eridan was getting increasingly angry with the arrival of these mortifying plastic things, and snapped each one over his knee, pretending they were the fragile spinal column of the emaciated yellowblood who had sent them in the first place. Later on, each box was met with a scream and he stomped on them before even opening them, or tossed them in the garbage right away. He’d make that fucker pay in blood, or at least try to one-up him in a way that was equally underhanded. First things first, though. He had to cancel and destroy the credit card these atrocious things were being charged to.
Sollux slammed the phone down and dropped his head on the table, a few sparks jumping from his horns. Why. What a terrible coincidence. He hated this job and he hated himself for having it. Eridan was such a dick. And he didn’t even buy the goddamn carrot massacre machine. Sollux could feel another splitting headache coming on. This was so not funny.
Eridan begged to differ. He had been laughing about it for most of the day, as if it was the funniest joke in the entire world. He hoped Sollux would rag on him about it when he got home. It would give him something else to laugh at. His pitiful attempts at black romance were the best kinds of jokes to Eridan, and they were even better when he was actually angry.
Sollux’s phone started ringing and he picked up with a sigh, clearing his throat. Someone else had fallen for the ridiculous veggie chopper gig. “Tho you want the Chippity-Chop Kitchen Aid? Where will we be thending it to.” He spun a loose coin on his desk, holding the phone between his head and shoulder. His job was boring. The elderly people buying their feckless garbage were sad and boring. He wondered what geriatric nun had decided that moving a knife a few times was too great a task.
Eridan snickered when he heard that nasally, lisping voice. That same drone he had been listening to late last night. “No fuckin’ way.” He couldn’t even order the stupid thing. It was probably a piece of junk anyway, now that he thought more about it, and hearing Sollux on the other end of the line was satisfying enough. He had to wipe his eyes and gain control of his laughter before he could speak again. “You? I expected you to have some awful career but this? That’s where you’re wastin’ your time? Me, I got plenty of that to waste, an’ it’s my day off. Maybe I should call more often, Sol. Forget it, I don’t want it, this was good enough.” He hung up before bursting into another round of loud, raucous laughter, doubling over. He ignored the pain in his side. That was too funny.
Sollux couldn’t have slept even if he had wanted to, so he just numbed himself with coding. When his alarm went off, he let himself have a few extra minutes to finish up what he was doing, and then he got up to shower, soon heading out to bike to his shitty job. He needed to pay the bills, anyway.
Eridan eventually got out of bed when his head started to ache and his side started to itch him. He sighed sharply. Last night’s encounter had left the awful taste in his mouth that he was afraid of, and even though he brushed his teeth three times, everything still tasted like anger and bile. He refused to give Sollux a second thought. The only bigger piece of shit, the only more lowly bit of scum on the aquarium that everyone was trapped in than Eridan, was that sorry waste of life.
He lamented the fact that he couldn’t go into work. Karkat had gone out grocery shopping, and although Eridan had asked to come, he had been sternly turned down. Now he was sitting angrily on his couch, holding a bag of ice to his inflamed gills and staring blankly at an infomercial. They were demonstrating some sort of cooking appliance that Eridan could use in his kitchen, even though usually these commercials were full of shit anyway, sometimes he found something useful. He dialed the number and waited for someone to pick up, tapping a claw on the table testily.
That shut him up. “…Actually, nevermind. I think I’ll go cull mythelf inthtead, that joke was shitty ath hell.” He just shook his head at Eridan and got up. “Call me later if you’re interethted.” He looked bored as he pulled out his wallet, and left some cash for his multiple coffees, before leaving.
Eridan snorted. “That was the point. I hope you don’t expect to hear anythin’ from me, either. You’ll be seriously disappointed, but whatever, you’re used to it.” He gave him a crooked smirk and paid for the rest of it, heading home. He was actually in a rancorous mood, and couldn’t sleep because of it, no matter how hard he tried. His eyes kept flitting to his closed phone on the desk or his door. Eventually he flipped onto his back and tucked his arms behind his head. What did Sollux even know? His inadequacy wasn’t his fault. He wouldn’t be roped into a quadrant that easily, not again. He’d only end up wounded and he sported enough of those to bleed his black, wizened soul out onto the ground as it was.