Um, alright guys. Sorry this took so long to update. I hit a bit of writer's block (since overcome!) with "Finishing Touches" and while I got "Blue Archangel" cranked out pretty easily, I've had to pack up. None of my stories will be updated until at least February 6, so batten down your hatches.
I got a few people asking me if I have a Tumblr and the short answer is, yes, I do. Go to my main FF. net page - the link is there. Clickable and everything.
Just a heads-up for this chapter and the rest, Erisol is not the only ship sailing here; it's just the primary one. Other ships will be focused on in various chapters but this is primarily an Erisol fic. So there's that.
Thanks to otakudrawsalot ft. KanaNoHana, Zekkie, Azoroua, Wub A Dub Dub, sophisticateharlot, RemiVantalaimon, XxxLeslieXxx, one guest, and one anonymous for your reviews to chapter one!
Sollux's blissful nothing of a dream was cut into by the synthesized sound of "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge. For three groggy seconds, he wondered why, in the name of all that was holy, he'd set that alarm on a Sunday anyway, but it came back to him as soon as he tumbled out of bed and wound up staring at his collection of Xbox and PS3 games.
Terezi was coming over. They were going to have a twelve-hour gaming marathon.
Sollux fumbled for his glasses and tugged on a pair of sweatpants. As soon as he'd made up his bed, he pulled a clean T-shirt out of his dresser and headed for the kitchen for a bit of breakfast.
He was halfway through his two pieces of toast and two scrambled eggs when he heard a rapidfire knock on the door to his apartment. It was Terezi—it could only be her—but she was early. It was only eight. He crammed the rest of his toast into his mouth and went to answer the door.
"Hey, Sol!" she said brightly, jumping up and flinging her arms around his neck the moment the door was open. Her bright red hair practically smacked him in the face.
He cautiously returned her hug, aware that her feet were dangling about six inches off the ground. She wasn't exactly short, but he was six-foot-two and that was enough to dwarf pretty much anyone. "Hey, TZ. You're early."
She let go of him and dropped to the floor. "Yeah, I know. I was bored. I didn't interrupt anything, did I?" she added mischievously, poking her head around the corner.
"Just breakfast. Hungry?"
"Nah, I already ate." She followed him back into the kitchen anyway and sat down, taking her red-tinted glasses off and rubbing her eyes. Sollux had always thought her eyes were weird, but in a good way. They were a strange shade of green, halfway between green and blue, and incredibly pale. What most people missed through the glasses, though, was that she was legally blind.
He'd asked once, a long time ago, what exactly that meant in her case. "I can still see a little bit," she'd said. "When my glasses are off, colors are all swirled together and I can sort of focus on whatever's right in front of me." With her glasses, her vision was slightly improved, but she definitely would never be able to drive a car.
Still, she could see well enough to trounce him at HALO for seven or eight hours.
Around noon, there was another sharp rapping at the door, and Sollux nearly leaped off the sofa, hitting pause as he did so. His mood had been brightened by seeing Terezi and she'd been keeping up a pleasant torrent of wisecracking and trash-talking, so when he skidded to the door in his socks and nearly plowed into the wall, he was laughing the whole time. Readjusting his glasses, he pulled open the door.
"Hey, Sollux," Aradia said warmly, and Sollux felt his grin widen.
"AA! What are you doing here?"
"I heard there was a party." She peeked into the apartment around him. "Hey, Terezi!"
Terezi waved absently, looking up for only a moment from her phone.
"Kind of. We were playing HALO, but—"
"I was getting bored of kicking his ass nonstop," Terezi called over. "I'm ready to bust out the Rock Band II if you are."
Sollux turned back to Aradia. "Wanna play Rock Band?"
Terezi didn't feel like going back to her apartment and getting her drum controller (which was the only actual instrument she would play on Rock Band), so Sollux handed her the microphone. He picked up one of the guitars and Aradia grabbed the other, and the two of them switched off between bass and regular guitar, although Aradia tended to favor the bass. After a few more hours of gaming, Sollux finally dropped back onto the sofa and slid the strap of the guitar controller over his head. His fingers ached and he cracked his knuckles while Terezi perched on the coffee table and Aradia sank into an armchair.
"So how's your weekend been, Sol?" Terezi asked, turning off the microphone.
He yawned. "Hasn't been so bad." He resisted the urge to wince slightly. His lisp got worse when he was tired and he remembered, hours too late, that his eyes were visibly mismatched, but Aradia was his best friend now that Karkat had latched himself to Gamzee and Terezi couldn't see his eyes anyway. Even if she could, though, he felt like he wouldn't mind it. After all, she had her own freaky eye thing going on. "KK called me over to his apartment last night to fix his laptop. He was working on this project," he added, knowing full well neither of the girls probably cared all that much.
"Who's KK again?" Terezi asked, tilting her head to the side.
"Karkat Vantas. We've been friends since middle school or something, but…" He shrugged. "We're not as close anymore. But he still calls me at shitty hours to fix his computer." Gamzee Makara had been there, and Tavros Nitram.
His stomach jolted. That Eridan guy had been there, too. Eridan Ampora. He briefly contemplated mentioning him but decided against it at the last minute. He would talk to Aradia about him later—maybe. Not that he had any reason to do so or anything. He'd just seen the guy for about ten seconds before he practically ran out the door. It wasn't like they'd had a moment.
But it was the first time he'd thought about him since the night before and now that he was, he couldn't stop. They hadn't exchanged words, they'd barely looked at each other, but Eridan had his heart racing a mile a minute with just a glance. It wasn't something he'd feel comfortable discussing with Terezi, even though they were good friends. Aradia on the other hand…
But that was neither here nor there because there was nothing to talk about. Eridan was just some guy Karkat was working with. The odds of them seeing each other again, even at school, were incredibly low. Sollux took mostly technical classes and everything about Eridan screamed art major. Their classes weren't even on the same side of campus.
"But?" Terezi prompted, taking her glasses off again to narrow her eyes at him. She only did it for dramatic effect; she hadn't been born nearly blind and knew how striking her eyes looked.
Aradia snorted and began pulling her dark, curly hair back into a ponytail. "He and Karkat aren't as close anymore."
"Nah. After high school, we took maybe one class in common, got different friends." He shrugged again. "But we still see each other." He fidgeted slightly, anxious to get off this topic before it careened into something dangerous. Not that anything they'd talk about would be dangerous because, as far as he knew, neither Terezi nor Aradia knew Eridan, and even if they did, there was nothing important about him. But he still felt like ditching the subject as soon as possible. "Anyone hungry? I can order some pizza."
Aradia left right after dinner, saying she'd only planned on staying for an hour or two (even though it had turned into nearly four). She waved goodbye to Terezi, gave a huge hug to Sollux—who was only two inches taller than her—and headed right back to her apartment, where her friend Kanaya was probably waiting.
Aradia felt guilty for making Kanaya wait that long. She hadn't anticipated having so much fun just hanging out with Sollux and Terezi, although she probably should have. He was the closest thing she had to a best friend, after all. But Kanaya needed her for moral support. She and her on-again, off-again girlfriend Vriska were apparently off right now and Kanaya wasn't taking it so well.
When Aradia finally got back to her apartment, Kanaya was already there, huddled on the floor with her back against the door and her knees drawn up to her chest.
"Aw, Kanaya, I'm so sorry," she started, crouching down to meet her eyes.
"I don't want to talk about it," her friend murmured, bowing her head.
Aradia brushed a few stray strands of hair behind Kanaya's ear. "Alright, sweetie. We don't have to talk about it. But you should at least come inside."
Kanaya nodded slowly and Aradia helped her to her feet.
"I'm sorry it took me so long to get here," Aradia added, unlocking the door. She nudged it open and motioned for Kanaya to go inside first. She didn't quite believe that she wasn't about to bolt. "I kinda got caught up with Sollux.
Kanaya just nodded again like she wasn't really paying attention.
"Are you hungry? I ate not too long ago but if you want dinner, I can make some grilled cheese or something."
"I'm not hungry," Kanaya said. Even though her voice was laden with sadness, she spoke precisely and carefully. She always enunciated her words clearly. When she was happy—or at least not melancholy like she was now—her tone lent itself to an air of wisdom that seemed to follow her. It was one of the things Aradia liked best about her, and the reason she initially trusted her so much.
Now, though, she just seemed like a shell of her former self.
Kanaya and Vriska had been dating intermittently for about two and a half years. Aradia didn't like Vriska very much—she bounced back and forth between Kanaya, a boy named Tavros Nitram, and another boy named John Egbert pretty regularly, although more recently, it had just been Kanaya and John (Aradia seemed to recall someone mentioning that Tavros was dating someone else and had decided to stay away from Vriska Serket for good, of which Aradia wholeheartedly approved). Vriska had a tendency to use the people around her for their own ends and most often hurt them in the process. Kanaya was a prime example of that.
Aradia couldn't count the number of times in the past eighteen months they'd been friends that Kanaya had wound up at her apartment, crying about finding Vriska making out with someone else at school or at her house or something. Vriska didn't even have the decency of being apologetic, not until she wanted Kanaya back. She was blatant about the fact that she slept with other people, and while Aradia wouldn't condemn her for that, she couldn't help being angry that it was hurting Kanaya in the process. Kanaya would promise both herself and Aradia that she wouldn't go back to Vriska next time.
But every time Vriska apologized, her voice sultry and sweet and her eyes wide and swimming with tears, Kanaya melted and took her back, and two months later (sometimes even less), she was crying in Aradia's arms again and apologizing for dragging all her drama into Aradia's previously-quiet life.
But just like tonight, Aradia shushed her and let her curl up on the sofa, her head cradled on a pillow in Aradia's lap. She gently stroked her fingers through Kanaya's hair and the smaller girl's tears subsided into the kind of aching sadness that didn't cause sobbing, only forlorn sighs.
"She doesn't have the right to treat you this way," Aradia said for what was probably the thousandth time.
"I know. But you don't know her like I do. She can be really nice sometimes."
"She…" Kanaya shrugged. "I can't explain. But she's not evil. She's nice."
"You're too good for her. You deserve someone who's going to make you a priority, not an afterthought."
Kanaya sighed and pulled a blanket over herself. "I hope you finished all your homework, because I'll be here for awhile."
Aradia smiled in spite of herself. "I always finish my homework right away. Don't worry about me." As soon as she was sure Kanaya was settled in, she turned on Netflix and they started watching Doctor Who.
Normally, she would pick up wherever they left their re-watching off (this time, it was about halfway through season five), but Nine was Kanaya's favorite Doctor, so Aradia started over from season one. It was sure to get her mind off this crap with Vriska, at least for a little while.
Terezi hugged Sollux goodbye and bounced out into the hallway. He closed the door and yawned loudly before turning off the TV and starting to put away his consoles and games. As soon as he'd quadruple-checked that all his games were in alphabetical order and his controllers were in their appropriate places, he began wrapping up each individual slice of pizza in tinfoil and putting them in the fridge on the second-from-the-bottom shelf (the one he'd designated for leftovers). He surveyed the rest of his apartment to make sure nothing was out of place; he didn't want to worry about it the next morning before school. Once he'd verified that everything was in order, he went to his bathroom, popped his two sleeping pills, and got ready for bed.
Right before he drifted off, he couldn't help wondering what Eridan Ampora was doing at that moment.
See you guys in February, and like I said, my Tumblr link is on my profile page. (If you want the link to my primarily Homestuck Tumblr, shoot me a message on Tumblr. I have anon enabled!)