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  1. you mumble about how nice he looks around a mouthful of roe dip, scuffing your manky new rocks on the filthy carpet, /I'd have cleaned up this fucking dump if i'd known you'd be chumming me back/
  2. eridan wrinkles his nose and says she's made the fucking effort and nobody gets it and karkat says /what are you like, a transvestite or something/
  3. eridan scoffs around his cigarette, /like it'd be that fuckin simple, I wish it was/
  4. you just kinda stare off into space, into the garbage littering your derelict apartment, but it doesn't work, it doesn't deflect his gaze. He's staring right at you, powdered cheeks and pencilled eyebrows delicate and feminine, but his jaw is tight and he's looking pretty furious
  5. /Then help me./
  6. One eyebrow falters, but his pretty purple lipstick mouth is still set, frowning.
  7. /i'm a fucking braindead grunge musician, I thought you were the same I guess./
  8. His hands are shaking in their fingerless lace gloves. His cigarette is nothing but ash, and you want to scoot an ashtray underneath before it burns that skirt.
  9. /tell me what the fuck is going on that i'm apparently too dense to ken proper/
  10. he flicks his smoke, to your dismay, and you watch it crumble apart and fall to your carpet. His lipstick on the butt looks nightmarishly bright amongst the wotsit dust and hash crumble that made up most of your floor.
  11. /y-/ he stutters, for the first time in eight hours, and it's painful to watch as it catches against the roof of his mouth, /you don't understand at all, i'm not a man in a dress, not right now/
  12. you blink. You're not really sure how to respond to that. /Right?/
  13. /I-I-I, I guess this is gonna be hard to explain/
  14. You swallow. /You don't have to drop the voice if you don't want to. You seemed, uh, more chipper with it./
  15. /i just thought you'd understand, I mean wuh-we're both performers, right? You know before you talk into the mic there's that, I dunno, that inhale and that moment of panic when you basically scream 'THIS IS IT', wuh-when, I dunno, you know you hav-ve to stop being the same idiot who wuh-woke up, cut himself shavin, and then burnt his coffee? Wuh-when you hav-ve to be the guy who's on all the posters with the eyeliner? The person all of the screaming nutters came to see?/
  16. he's trembling so hard now he's bouncing his knees arrhythmically and its driving you crazy, but you've got him to talk and his light irish brogue and stammer are comfortingly familiar. Mentally kicking yourself, you put a frank and manly hand on his bare shoulder.
  17. /you know how as soon as the lights are off youre done being that guy? Wuh-what if you couldn't just turn it off like that?/
  18. He looks like he might cry some more. You hope he doesn't.
  19. /wuh-what if you're alwuh-ways that guy inside your head, as long as you were wearin your floggin' jut hoodie?/
  20. you blink.
  21. /and what if he was a woman? What if the only way you could get up and sing anymore wuh-was if you wuh-were, fuh-fuh-fuckin,/ her hands shake so violently she can barely gesture up and down, but you get it. Your grip on Eridan's shoulder loosens up a little, and you rub at the bare skin. He's still trying to choke out the last remnant of his sentence but you're fairly sure you're up to speed.
  23. Eridan cries, but her eye makeup doesn't run. She hunches into herself and folds up and shudders while you awkwardly make 'ssshh' noises and pat back muscles.
  25. She gives up eventually and just kind of leans into you with a pitiful whimper, so you wrap an arm around her. She still smells a little of bottled scents and hairspray, and the hand that touches yours shyly is bony and heavy with rings.
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