A/N: i meant for this to be fluff but then it just delved into something else entirely.
also i incorporated quiet!Karkat? idk i like that sort of au thing, if it is classified as one
The first time Karkat lays his eyes on Terezi, he thinks she is nothing but another troll to him. Like many other trolls, he would find himself blocking her out and cutting her off entirely. Like many other trolls that he had happened to think about, he thinks she will grow bored of him and his pessimistic nature. Almost everyone does. He thinks that nothing will come of a newly started "friendship" with the teal blood because she will abandon him like oh so many before her.
(Karkat secretly hopes he is not right.)
Karkat used to be able to express himself eloquently through grey text bolded on a glowing computer screen. He thought he was so salient, going around and shouting at people, oh he used to be so arrogant. He drove away many potential friends with his abrasive and loud nature, one after another started to disregard his pesterchum messages. He never admitted to himself that he missed them; he knew in his heart he would miss them dearly but his friends were just like other trolls. Nobody has time to stop and think of a mutant like him. He learned the hard way to start silencing himself, perhaps if he were quiet, his friends would come back to him. They never did.
Terezi is a little different. Sometimes, when grey and teal text are not enough to entertain them, she ambles over to his hive while Alternia is at rest. A few times they have gone stargazing on top of Karkat's roof. If there was anything he had retained from his old self, it's his (not so) poetic nature. Together, they stare up at the pitch black of night and it's obvious that Terezi has let her guard down around him. He, on the other hand, his walls are never to be breached. He learned that to keep himself safe, he needed to bury his emotions away from the world, bury them deep within his mind. Karkat promises to himself that he will not let his guard down, he will not trust her so easily. His trust was his downfall after all.
Soon, stargazing became a regular habit for the red blood and the teal blood. They sit in each other's silence, blanketed by the red orbs in the skies. For the first time, Karkat glances over at the girl beside him. Her figure is a tad hard to make out in the inky darkness at first but soon, it becomes clear to him. He notices the way she's slouching just the tiniest bit, the way her black lips are sewn together into a smile, the way the dimly lit stars light up her eyes, in a way that Karkat can not describe. The only word running through his mind is one simple adjective; beautiful. She is beautiful, Karkat repeats to himself mentally. She has entire galaxies trapped in one eye, and it is in that moment that Karkat believes he has fallen for her.
(Perhaps he has fallen too hard and impaled himself on the spikes of unrequited love.)
Terezi seems to do all the talking for Karkat. He listens to her excitedly chatter on about justice systems, legislacerators, her ancestor, whatever she finds interesting. She sure does find many things interesting and Karkat is infinitely grateful for that. She envelops herself so much in her interests that she never notices when Karkat stares at her endearingly. She is simply too caught up in her own world, and it seems that Karkat is just another moon orbiting around it. Karkat constructs an entirety of badly written poems and metaphors in his head, never to meet a pen or his own mouth. He keeps his feelings to himself because that is how he has taught himself to live, and Terezi is too busy with herself to break down his walls.
(Karkat knows that he is not enough.)
It is Terezi who starts to show physical affection to him. She makes an effort to sit a little too close while they watch the stars, she lets her fingers ghost Karkat's own hand and she starts leaving small black lipstick stains on his cheeks. She knows that she has fallen for the perplexing grey themed troll and she tries her best to make it obvious. Terezi hopes that Karkat will be the one to ask her out. She wishes on a star that never existed that he would notice her advances and ask her to be his matesprit.
Karkat gets the hint. He tries to formulate what he wants to say so many times but each time is a failure. He has so many words that want to flow out of his mouth but as soon as it opens, the waterfall of words evaporates and he is left looking like an inarticulate fish. He thinks that he is not capable enough to say the four words he wants to say most to her, those words being "I'm flushed for you." His throat is parched and feels like a desert on a particularly hot day so he suffers in silence. Terezi tilts her head to the side a little and her nose does the tiniest crinkle. Karkat believes it's adorable and he desperately wants to comment on that but his mouth has failed him once again.
"Karkles?" Terezi's melodious voice breaks the silence that had blanketed his bedroom. He freezes and stops playing with the hem of his oversize sweater, which he didn't even know he was doing. He wants to say something back, anything would be nice but he can't get the words to exit his mouth. He's terrified that if he says more than two words at a time he'll fuck up. (He is not good enough for her.)
Terezi has nebulae in her eyes, her smile was as sweet as a rose, her hair never fell out of place like his did, he would never be deserving of her. Karkat clamps his mouth shut and bites down on his flesh inside of his mouth. Terezi takes off her signature red glasses and stares him down. She knows that he's the quiet type but it couldn't be this hard to talk...right? She stares at him expectantly and he averts his eyes. Terezi decides that she'll be taking matters into her own hands if Karkat can't handle this.
"Are you aware that I like you?" The sentence echoes through Karkat's ears as she cast a small smile at him. He still can't bring himself to say anything. He would very much so like to say something romantic but knowing himself and his bad luck, Terezi would likely walk out the door. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes.
"I know" is all Karkat mutters in a decibal so quiet he was amazed he himself could hear it. The teal blood somehow heard him and her smile didn't falter. She instead crawled over to him and squeezed his hand lightly.
"Would you like to be matesprits Karkles? It'll be sweet." Terezi half-whispers in his ear and squeezes his hand again. Karkat nods with a red tinge clearly visible on his cheeks although he is unsure of himself.
(Sweet things eventually rot.)
Terezi, Karkat determines, is the moonlight of his life. She is the warm fuzzy feeling of being in front of a fireplace, she is the first bite of ice cream on a sweltering summer day and a million other metaphors that Karkat can't put into other words. She is perfection in his eyes, from her fluffed hair to her bright red shoes. He can only string so many words together in his head. Besides, she is so much more amazing than the paltry metaphors he can provide. He wants to tell her how much he loves her but the words never meet the crisp air.
In fact, Terezi is the first to say she loves him. "I'm flushed for you," she whispers to him as they watch another of Karkat's favorite rom coms. He was afraid that she wouldn't like his movie taste but she didn't judge him. Karkat hears the sincerity in her voice and wills himself to say the same back. He did not.
"I know" is all Karkat can manage to get out. He wonders if this bothers her, his inability to say he loves her as well. Does she recognize his feelings behind his two most repeated words? Neither of them say a thing to each other as the images shift on screen. Soon, the movie ends and Terezi stands up.
"I think I'm going to go back to my hive now," she announces and pauses. Karkat thinks that she's waiting for him to say the words she had said to him earlier, but his brain goes numb. He is at a loss for words as he returns her stare at him. He sits on the couch utterly paralyzed and his old friend, Fear, returns.
Terezi breaks the silence as she always does with a small sigh. "I'll see you tomorrow okay Karkat?" She then spins on her heel and saunters out of the room, leaving Karkat alone with his thoughts, which was never a good thing. He ponders over whether she is going to dump his sorry ass soon. He wonders if she is aware of the solid fact that she could do better than him. He's not (never) good enough to say he loves her back, so why would she bother to stay?
(He has so many metaphors for love but so little for heartbreak.)
Their matespritship consists of kisses and cuddling and honestly, that was all right with Karkat. She has not made any sort of allusion to Karkat concerning the matter of buckets and he thanks his lucky stars. He is far too nervous to even be in the presence of a bucket much less use it to pail with her.
Their matespritship has lasted for two months and Terezi's "Flushed for you"'s has ever so slowly decreased. She used to say it all the time to him, whether it be in the middle of a makeout session or cuddling on the couch and he would never say it back. He wonders if he is slowly losing her once he catches onto the lack of Terezi's proclamations of love. He blames himself, who is he to think that someone quite as wonderful and ethereal as Terezi would remain in a matespritship with him? Of course, he keeps his lips sealed, his thoughts about their relationship forever locked away within the confines of his mind.
She is a fire that burns passionately and he is just one of the many embers that has bounced off of her and onto the cold, unforgiving ground. He mulls over the many metaphors and similes he has used for her and he wonders if she ever does the same. Is he ever in her thoughts like she is in his? Does she ever contemplate anything or is she a headstrong type? He redirects his thoughts to the fire metaphor he had come up with earlier to distract himself.
(All fires burn out.)
It is four months into their matespritship when Terezi stops visiting him at his hive so often. Their movie dates, their stargazing, their everything, all comes to a slow halt. She visits maybe once a week now, and Karkat is too afraid to ask to come over to her hive. He notes that she has completely stopped her proclamations of love for him and the silence that used to be comfortable is now filled with unspoken tension. Karkat has a million words he would like to say to her but as soon as his mouth opens, all those words dissipate into the air around them.
He manages to get one quiet question out; "Why did we fall apart?"
She looks at him with hints of shock in her expression. She opens her mouth to reply but just like him, she is left speechless.
(Her fire has burnt out.)
It is now one month after their ex matespritship. Terezi has not visited his hive since Karkat asked that one important question. They have fallen apart, that is clearly evident, but Karkat's question has gone unanswered. Perhaps she couldn't sense his love through his actions rather than his words. Perhaps he was just not enough for her, just like how he was not enough for many other trolls. He has come to realize that the nebulae in her eyes, the refreshing difference she had brought into his life, just wasn't his to keep.
(It never was.)