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Summary: Terezi Pyrope, local judicinerator for a district of unemployed subjugglators, finds herself completely twitterpated-- intellectually and otherwise-- by a yellowblood boy who’s subbing for the district attorney.

Characters: Sollux, Terezi, Eridan, Feferi, Gamzee, Vriska
Ships: Sollux♥Terezi, Feferi♦Sollux, Feferi♥Eridan, Sollux♠Eridan


Category One:
Tags Present: body horror
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.1 tags apply.

Category Two:
Tags Present: drugs
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.2 tags apply.

Category Three:
Tags Present: none
Tags Not Used: none
No other Cat.3 tags apply.

Additional Tags: emetophobia warning



His Honorable Tyranny coughs up a hairball around three and a short recess is called to look after his mess. To everyone else this reads as business as usual: they all shove out of their chairs and pull their lighters out of their pockets and clickety-clack off in different directions like this is your run of the mill lunch break.

You didn’t get a lunch break.

Without the comforts of your daily routine or even the piss-poor substitute of a steady stream of coffee you are rattling in your very bones by the time you're let out of your seat. It's cold today but your thighs feel damp against the seat; your hands are shaky and pale and even your scalp is soggy. This is nothing new but it does make you liable to fucking kiss His Tyranny in all of his slimy glory for giving you an excuse gulp down fresh air.

Your sweater is off in a heartbeat, sleeves up past your elbows in two. FF told you to look your best which was a laughable concept given any knowledge of your wardrobe, but the greasy indigoes you’re prosecuting have nothing better than sweatpants and even the judge is wearing shorts. You’re not here to impress anyone.

The sight of trolls like worms thirty stories below is making you sick; well, that or the blinding gray skies like you haven’t seen on any other planet since your days back on Alternia. Your head clangs, stubborn as the church horns on all five local juggalo establishments, honk honk honk at every half hour interval. This whole place reeks of indigo and piss and rotten body paint, and you are going to motherfucking puke if you can’t find yourself some coffee.

Instead you sit down with your back squeezed between two metal bars, and stick your nose between your knees.

“Mr. Captor?” you’re mostly asleep until a crisp voice says your name like it’s a mouthful of something foreign. You make a few angry vowel sounds and blink stupidly up at her. Your head feels like it’s full of water.

It’s the judge: formal shorts, vomit-patterned silk shirt and all. She’s crouching, uncomfortably close to you, with thick hair licking around her face like tentacles. The comparison reminds you that your stomach is in knots. “His Tyranny looks like he’s about done for the day, so we can all go home now. You look pretty wiped out too!” She shifts to sit on crossed legs and pushes some hair out of her eyes with sloppy teal-painted claws. Her breath smells like milk and pepper; she’s a mouth-breather.

“Judge Pyrope,” you mutter to yourself more than her.

“Mhm!” she exclaims, and shifts around again. She takes a cup out from behind her. “Want some coffee?”

You blink. “What?”

Yeah you do, come on now.”

The judge hands you the cup. It’s still hot enough to itch under your fingers. You can’t hold it still so you take a swig then set it on the ground. Latte. Better than nothing you guess.



“What happened to the DA?” she asks instead of ‘do you like it.’

“He’s sick,” you say instead of ‘thank you,’ around gulps of milky sludge. You leave out the part about who made him that way.

She hmms in recognition. “He was pretty sniffly and purple yesterday,” she says helpfully. “He’s sick but you aren’t?”

You aren’t. “I’m not.” You’re feeling better already. Coffee cup is almost empty. Your stomach is swelling with acid, your head still rattling with displeasure, but your hands feel almost solid now.

“So you’re not contagious?” Nope. “Good.” She clasps your jaw with both of her long warm hands, uses one thumb to straighten out the frownier corner of your mouth, and looks you straight in the eyes. “I like you, Sollux Captor. I’d like to help you out. I’d like to feed you noodles and tell you stories from work.”

--

It’s been almost half a sweep since you were off the boat, and at sixteen sweeps you might be getting a little old for this on-and-off business. Took you a whole three hours to remember how to use your legs, which means that fucking Eridan Ampora of all people had to help FF carry you into his hive. You were deposited onto a familiar horrendously uncomfortable couch, and the hours wherein you could barely feel your ass ended only too quickly. “Bad news I had to sell my spare recuperacoon,” Eridan had said all in one breath like he thought that would keep you from getting angry. “You’ll be sleeping on this baby tonight.” He pat his baby couch like it was a taxidermied lusus, and shuffled off to the kitchen for drinks.

It’ll be an entire week before you can handle the shit seadwellers put in their booze, and god but you hope you won’t be here that long.

Your night is spent tossing and turning and cramming pillows into the gap between the seat and the back of the couch. It’s one of those awful antique affairs, purple and velvet edged in metal, and there’s a fat hole separating the backrest from the unevenly stuffed seat. Your arms and legs are alight with pins and needles for most of the night—par for the course your first night home (“home”) from any voyage much less one twelve perigees long—and your neck is so stiff you could probably butter bread with it. And just to top it all off, crack of fucking dawn and your sleep is ruined as the door to Eridan’s respiteblock creaks open and light pools across the floor.

You try to ignore it but the asshole is coughing like he owns the world; stomps through the kitchen on bare sticky feet and turns that light on too. Even through your scratchy antique blanket you can see the yellowy glow, and his sniffling sounds like nails on sandpaper.

Before you know it there’s a teakettle screaming in your ear as well; FF has joined him before long and is chattering away at him in a scolding whisper. “What is going on,” you finally bring yourself to ask without bothering to remove your face from the only remaining pillow.

FF patters your way with audibly delicate steps and kneels down to place her elbows on your couch. “Sorry did we wake you we didn’t mean to it’s just that Eridan’s not feeling too good and I needed to convince him he isn’t fit to go into work today—” she spits all this out in just one breath and you extend a hand out to shush her. Your clammy fingers sock her in the nose instead.



“Was basically,” you say before you forget the rest of the sentence. Your mouth feels like a beach at low tide; your eyelids are made of lead. “Already awake,” you say despite the irony.

“If you say so,” she says with one hand fluffing your hair. After a kiss to each of your eyelids, your moirail shuffles off without a word.

Eridan, on the other hand, she will not quit fussing over. Eventually you convince yourself to put on your glasses and sit up, maybe stare into some space for a while, and your new vantage point reveals that he’s purple all around his nose and white-gray everywhere else. Your moirail is patting her matesprit on the back and ruffling his hair and serving him tea and refusing to let him out of her sight with cheerfully scolding announcements flying left and right.

“You’ll have to find a replacement at work today, right?” she says gently and he still wilts like a woofbeast.

“It’s such a pain, Fef, you got no idea.”

“It is not! You just sign a paper and your replacement handles the rest, right?”

“Yeah but I gotta call people first of all and then they gotta come all the way over here, see me all white and purple and mixin up my Ds an my Ns—”

“I know, you hate talking to strangers, but I’ll be right here, silly honkbeast, there’s nothing scary about meeting new people—“

“Literally anyone could do that job, what is this clown even whining about.”

“’This clown is even whining about’ he isn’t feeling well. Don’t be so rude, Sollux! We’re his guests and he wouldn’t be feeling so under the water if we hadn’t—”

“Under the weather.

“Literally anyone, huh?” says Eridan, huffy as ever even through the congestion.

You are a bona fide sparkling diamond of an idiot.

--



You arrive at the courthouse, slightly late, with indigobloods shifting anxiously around in their seats, their cheap white socks blaring into your line of smellovision. A tiny bit of teal sweat prickles against your armpits, which is just fantastic since that means you can’t take off your jacket. Only a tiny bit is pretty good though, you suppose, for six blocks through smog and honking hobos, and three different fights you were sure could only be broken by your own personal Honor.

This place doesn’t even have the decency to give you a gavel—His Tyranny has one, but he seems extra grumpy and is electing to smack the floor over and over again rather than ensure your courthouse gets its fair share of order. So, without any introduction more formal than, “May we have Mr. Makara on line sixteen,” your first slimy indigoblood of the day slithers up to the podium, accompanied by a legislacerator whose flat hair makes him look wilted even despite his curly horns.

Unfortunately you are all too familiar with Mr. Makara. He’s younger than you, ten sweeps maybe, and his lemon-blackberry eyes have always smelled wild to you; burning with misplaced confidence. Mr. Makara eats sopor slime in public and offers it proudly to anyone who tells him to stop.

“Mr. Makara,” you hammer out, dead eyes sharp as possible to compensate for his lazy half-lidded almonds. “Last time we spoke you said you would be in compliance. I have it right here, you said you would be—attending a troll Chinese cooking class.”

He shakes his head like all of you are the fools here. His face paint is smeared around his thin smily lips. “Nah, sister, there is not a single bone in my body what up and remembered to march its little self down to that learning annex. Place may be full of miracles but it sure doesn’t smell like miracles.”

“Mhm,” you say and ruffle through some papers to try to look busy. “How’s the pie?”

“Delicious as any god ever up and told it to be, chica!” he grins and licks his lips. “If you want I could come back a little later and show you all the wicked—“

“No, Mr. Makara, I don’t want to see the wicked anything! Why are you not in compliance?”

This, essentially, paints a perfect picture of your every day in this shoddy excuse for a courthouse. The one upside on this particular morning is that there’s no demon assturkey to keep things from running smoothly. Who knows, maybe you’ll be out early today!

In place of the normal district attorney—you call him the demon assturkey just for shits and giggles, since an unflattering nickname is the least he can do for all of you in light of his crotchety demeanor and penchant for mucking up your otherwise clean-cut court procedures—there’s a guy about your age sitting there twisting his fingers into nervous shapes. He has eyebrows like jet-black corn stalks and teeth like pearly stalactites. While assturkey will stop you at every turn to stutter through a poorly-worded, poorly-advised objection on the grounds of “But he’s a bad guy,” or “I’m not sure that sounds like a good plan,” this skinny, sharp-looking substitute seems to prefer the age-old tactic of smiling and nodding through every case, crooked and forced though his smile may be.

The first time you hand out a lollipop (to a lumbering, barely-literate laughsassin who is apparently taking a gap-sweep from subjie school in which to punch jadebloods in the gut and smoke weed in public), Mr. Captor the substitute DA hides his mouth behind steepled fingers and his eyelids go all creasy with mirth. It’s been some time since you’ve seen anybody new come in here, client or legislacerator or otherwise, and it’s refreshing to remember that what you do here is objectively silly; objectively an awful picture of life in Alternian society.

You worry he’ll get kicked out for his insubordination and frankly he seems worried about that too—trying his very best to glue over his mirth with a picture of stony-faced love for the job. It’s a wonder he even gets to be here as substitute DA: the normal guy, assturkey, wears purple stitched into his uncollared polo shirts but this guy’s linty blue sweater has a yellow symbol knitted across it. He’s got four horns instead of two and weird-colored eyes that smell like they’re hiding special powers.

Captor is sweaty and twitchy like you get when you haven’t had your coffee. He keeps swiping his hands in the space beneath his nose and drumming his fingers almost silently on his desk. If you can catch him after court then maybe you’ll buy him a coffee.

--

Sollux shuffles back and forth and makes a lot of noise with his butt against your makeshift couch. He says he’s never sat on car seats anywhere but the back seat of a car. You tell him you don’t have a car. Vriska sold the car but kept the seats.

Your roommate is determined to make herself useful and is therefore standing in the kitchen with her back to you and your new friend, hands on her hips, whistling a tuneless tune in time with your malfunctioning coffee maker. She keeps interrupting your already slow and halting conversation with, “Almost done!” and, “Smells pretty good so far!”

You’re not sure whether it’d be prudent to ask her whether she means the coffee or your date.

Finally she hands you the fruits of her labor in melty plastic Dixie cups and swaggers off to her bedroom with her fangs showing like blueberry meringue. “Have fuuuuuuuun,” she says, etc. etc., is there any part of this you didn’t see coming a mile away?

There's an awful silence as you both swirl your lattes and wonder if they’re worth the risk: are those rocks down at the bottom? Mr. Twitches decides his raging angry caffeine kick takes precedence and takes a sip. Cue the waterworks: your table suddenly covered in a spray of grayish-brown liquid and coffee grounds; and you, safely free of the splash zone.

“So... what’s a yellowblood like you doing in an indigoblood place like that courthouse?”

A sound comes from the other room that makes you nearly move to call animal control. You have them on speed dial. It’s a good couple of minutes, however, before you recognize that the sound was merely the sweet melody of Serket laughter. Sollux smells a shade short of ill. He grunts to let you know he’s on the fast track toward answering your question, and looks at his coffee cup with a crooked smile.

“I’m only filling in for Ee Dee-- for Mr. Ampora, that is-- because my moirail and I happened to be in town and he’s her matesprit.” There is a tang in his voice that tells you he is or has been quadranted to the DA as well. You can only imagine how well that’s gone for him.

“‘Happened to be in town?’” you repeat. “Where you from?”

Sollux pronounces an ‘um’ like he is telling you to beware of the thirteenth floor. “She and I travel a lot,” he begins, voice on six-foot stilts. “Visiting our... friends.” He sighs and wrings his hands. “Sorry I can’t be more specific.”

You’re prying, and without even saying a word. It’s all in the way you hold yourself, you’ve been told. Terezi Pyrope is a born legislacerator, even if you are still stuck in judiciary school at sixteen sweeps, and even if this most decisively should not be more intellectually stimulating than your day at work.

“How about we play twenty questions!” you say. The flash of your teeth is accidental, truly. “If I guess it you have to tell me but if I don’t then you don’t.”

This, says the expression on his tired bruisy face, poses no challenge for him. He is confident! The prize only grows more appealing. “That means ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions?”

“Yes!” you chortle. “...Or no.” Sollux cracks a smile the way heels crack during the winter. “Is your moirail a highblood?”



“Yes.”

“A seadweller?”

“Yes.”

“So then you’re the one who flies her around the galaxy.”

“Yes.”

“Is that what’s up with you today? Still getting your land legs back on?”

“More like still getting my flesh legs back on but yeah basically.”

What’s the difference, you think but don’t say. You haven’t actually had much contact with yellowbloods since you learned what they were for. “Are her ‘friends’ seadwellers too?”

“No.”

“So she’s got a yellowblood moirail and a whole bunch of lower-blooded friends. Very atypical, Sollux Captor, I’m sure you know! What are you, some kinda charity case?”

“Probably.” He looks wounded. Thus far he’s looked embarrassed and restrained and amused and still restrained but this is new. You sense a spark of righteous anger before it’s buried by dull acceptance.

“You aren’t just a charity case to me,” you inform him. “Besides, you’ve already got a moirail.”

“So malnourished hungover yellowbloods who can’t pronounce their etheth. That’s your type?”

“Yes!” you tell him. You slap him on the back and he spits grits back into his cup. It should be disgusting! Instead it makes his lips all shiny and lets you see more of his teeth, and by some horrible twist of fate you end up finding it cute.

“She’s a philanthropisser,” he says while pushing grounds off his tongue with a few less chaotic fangs. “Like a fucking fairy, makes me take her all the way out to Alternia to wish the kids a happy wriggling day and some food for their starving lusii.”

This is an utter farce, says your background with the Alternian justice system. She could be killed for that. It is the most romantic thing you have ever heard.

You kiss him, and both of you choke on coffee grounds.
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July 2012

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