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These are the gifts I made for people in the Homestuck Secret Santa. They're all varying lengths, ratings, and quality (mostly closer to "sucks" than "good"). I haven't written fan fiction in, like, forever, so I have no idea how to write characters that aren't out of character, whoops. I'll split these into two separate posts once the time limit goes by and leave it at four and four each, unless anyone would rather them all in their own post. And if you think any of my ratings or summaries are bunk after reading, let me know and I'll adjust accordingly. Waiting Summary: Kanaya waits for Rose to show up. Rating: K There was surprisingly little to busy herself with, even in the confines of the common area where various piles of things had accumulated, apparently growing with each day that passed. Kanaya rubbed her bare arms, pursing her lips as she looked around the room, her eyes darting to the doorways every few seconds. Every little sound set her at edge, ready to spring from her seat. It never failed to disappoint. Kanaya decided it was time once again to take count of the various books left lying around. Pile after pile, left haphazardly on almost every available surface that wasn’t occupied by some other pile of objects. Cleanliness never seemed to be much of a priority on the meteor, nor did any sort of coordination when it came to the rugs, but that she could forgive. At the least it made the place feel like a home and less of a laboratory, though some had been worn so thin they did nothing against the hard metal beneath. Rose still hadn't arrived. How much time had passed? She tried not to think of it, but the ticking of the clock behind her tempted her into turning around. An hour. Sixty minutes. Second after second come and gone. Kanaya had spent that time on the sofa, crossing and uncrossing her legs, flipping through the occasional book, arranging and rearranging bottles. After the passage of an hour, she supposed it was high time to admit to herself something was wrong. Not that it made much sense. Rose had been the one to set everything up and she certainly wasn’t the type to be so tardy, especially for an event of her own planning. At first she thought nothing of it as she got dressed, slipping on her daily attire. If Rose hadn't bothered with furnishing any details, she couldn't have been planning anything out of the ordinary. Doubt sank in as she thought of her first interactions with Rose, of the work she put into understanding human sarcasm in order to have some semblance of a conversation. It never stopped being puzzling to her, the things Rose said and did. Dave was equally puzzling, but he was easy to ignore as long as he kept his voice down--which he so often did--and didn't cross paths with Karkat--which seemed to happen less and less. Kanaya adjusted her skirt, vaguely unsatisfied with what she put on. She had picked through the rest of her clothing, trying to decide exactly what Rose meant. Was it a date? Was it part of her romantic machinations? And what if it wasn't? Kanaya put aside thoughts of wearing nicer apparel--it would be easier to explain being underdressed than overdressed. And yet here she was on the sofa in casual attire, trying to convince herself she had made the right choice. She leant back, letting out a slow breath as she stared at the ceiling, willing it to offer her something in the way of answers. From her vantage point she could see part of the clock. Kanaya watched the second hand move along its predestined path, step by step, pausing at every hash mark. She watched until the clock rang, signalling the top of the hour. Worse, it signalled she had been staring at the clock for almost fifteen minutes. She crossed her arms, huffing slightly. Why would Rose take so long to show up? Perhaps this was not where they were supposed to meet? Perhaps it was an elaborate ruse, to see just how much she was willing to put up with? It wasn't as though the meteor was particularly large. It wouldn't take much time to get up and look, for Rose to poke her head in and ask for a bit of time as she got ready. Of course, Kanaya had considered doing the same herself. It wouldn't be fair if she didn't. But what if she got up to look for Rose and they ended up just missing each other, doing so for the duration of the search? Such contrived shenanigans seemed to be the norm, even before she met Rose, before she knew what a human was. Not that it explained what was taking so long. If Rose was looking for her, she surely would have come across her sitting in the common room. Granted, she might have caught her trying out various seating positions and, more embarrassingly, facial expressions. For what felt like hours, Kanaya thought she would practise holding conversations with Rose, running through different scenarios. She mouthed words, scripting her responses and actions for when Rose finally arrived. And when she tired of that, she flopped onto the couch, her arm across her eyes, and tried to nap. It wasn't much of a success. She got up almost immediately from her attempted nap, spending the next block of time fixing her hair and taming rebellious strands. Frustrating. Absolutely frustrating. To sit there for--Kanaya turned to look at the clock, rolling her eyes as she settled back into position--to sit there for two and a half hours and not even be afforded the simple respect of being informed of what was going on. Just frustrating. She got up from the couch, hands balled into fists as she stormed across the room. Heat rose in her face, every single step taken carefully and purposefully. Something stopped her from crossing the doorway, from stepping over the threshold. Kanaya thought of the way Rose looked when she set up the whole thing. She remembered the faintest hints in her expressions, the little quirks that betrayed her confidence, telling her that Rose was nervous--perhaps even afraid of rejection. Letting out a calming breath, Kanaya loosened her hands. She stretched her fingers, examining them briefly. Something simply must have gone wrong. That's all there was to it. It just wasn't like Rose to be so late, regardless of the intended purpose of the meeting. Her mind clearer, she stepped through the doorway. Trepidation Summary: Kanaya makes a dress for Rose while Porrim tries to pry information from her. Rating: T Warnings: Hints at ectoincest. Kanaya pinned a bit of green ribbon at the waist of a dusty pink dress, smoothing it against the fabric. "What do you think of this?" She moved to the side, pushing aside a basket of various fabrics, ribbons, and scissors with her foot, allowing Porrim to view the dress in full. She looked up from her book, a scandalous bit of blackrom literature she had plucked out of Karkat's collection. "This for Rose?" She stood from the chaise, slipping in her bookmark to keep her place, and approached Kanaya. "Perhaps," she replied, looking down at the dress. The faintest hint of uncertainty crossed her face, gone as soon as it came. "I have not yet finalised the design. If nothing else, it will be good practise." Porrim placed a hand at her waist, the other tapping her chin as she examined the dress, walking around the mannequin slowly. "A lighter green may be in order." She bent by the basket, pushing around bits of yarn and spools of thread before pulling out a length of green ribbon, a few shades lighter than the one already pinned to the dress. With a slight grunt, Porrim stood, straightening her dress, before wrapping the ribbon around the mannequin. "What do you make of this colour?" "I will consider it." She smiled, unpinning the current ribbon and setting it back in the basket along with the ribbon Porrim picked out. "I think it time for me to take a break." "It seems you're almost done with the dress." "Perhaps." "No need to doubt yourself," she said, placing a hand on Kanaya's shoulder, a smile crossing her lips. "Rose will appreciate any gift you give her. I hear she almost stood you up. How did your date turn out?" Kanaya cleared her throat and turned away, busying herself with organising the various yards of fabric. Porrim chuckled, settling back into the chaise, picking up her book. She cracked it open, scanning the text briefly for her spot. "'I can do this no longer', she shouted. Dark blood spilt from her lip, a delicious shade of chocolate." She paused, watching for Kanaya's reaction. When Kanaya simply continued to move around fabrics, Porrim resumed, "She threw her against the wall, her forearm pressing against her throat. The highblood laughed, pressing her knee between her assailant's legs, drops of blood staining the fabric of her--" A sudden clatter from across the room broke Porrim's pace, taking her attention from the book. Kanaya was staring, a ball of multicoloured yarn in each hand. "Must you read that aloud?" "Is it bothering you?" The corner of her mouth lifted into a smirk as she stretched her legs on the chaise, the book dangling from her hand as she met the other's gaze. "I thought you liked these." "I enjoy them privately." "Oh?" Porrim arched a brow, swinging her legs off the chaise and stood, leaving the book forgotten on the seat. "I'm not allowed to share in this enjoyment with you?" She approached and stood over her, knowing her presence was still one Kanaya found somewhat imposing. She lowered her voice, taking the yarn from Kanaya's hands, tossing them into a nearby basket. "Does Rose know you, ah, enjoy such literature alone?" Kanaya bit her lip, looking away from her dancestor. "We have our boundaries." "What need have you for boundaries about literature?" Porrim took Kanaya's chin in her hand, turning her face towards her. "Do you also regard her with this sort of trepidation or am I the lone benefactor of such behaviour?" Silence passed between them, little heard aside from their breathing, the shuffling of fabric as they shifted position. "This is uncomfortable," Kanaya said finally, trying to move back from Porrim, as though she were attempting to disappear into the fabric. "It's really none of your business." "I'm simply looking out for you, Kanaya. There's no need to be shy. I'm sure Rose is--" She halted, a devious smile crossing her lips. "Perhaps we could do a bit of roleplay." "Roleplay what?" "Oh, come on, you know. I'll pretend to be Rose and we'll practise how your first time will go about." Kanaya began to shake--Porrim wasn't sure at first if it was from anger or something else until a laugh escaped her lips, allowing her to relax slightly. "Don't laugh. It'll be good practise." "Porrim, I'm not having sex with you--" "I can't believe you would even say such a thing--" "--I don't think Rose would even appreciate it--" "--as though I were some sort of village two-wheeled device--" "--it's just not proper--" No longer interesting in trying to speaking over her, Porrim grabbed Kanaya by the shoulders, pulling her back towards the chaise, and sat her down, pushing aside the book. She took a seat beside her, smoothing the fabric of her dress over her knees. Porrim began to tie up her hair, pulling it off her shoulders, with a bit of ribbon. "Now, let's begin." "I said I'm not--" "Calm down, Kanaya. We're not going to have sex. I just want to help you get over your nervousness." She patted her dancestor on the knee, taking care to make it as amicable a gesture as possible. "It's for the best. We wouldn't want you to freeze up and lose control of the situation, would we?" Porrim smiled brightly, waiting for a response. Kanaya let out a breath, scratching her neck at the edge of her hair. "Very well." She took Porrim's hands in hers, intertwining their fingers. She looked at her fingers, admiring how neat her nails were kept, the way Porrim’s fingers pressed against hers. "Rose,” she said, her voice quiet, “I think things are moving entirely too quickly, and we should proceed with caution." Porrim rolled her eyes and leant towards Kanaya, parting her lips slightly. "I don't think we're moving too quickly at all." She took her hand from Kanaya's and cupped her face, running her thumb across her cheek. "I'm ready for this, Kanaya. Very much so." She sat frozen on the chaise, staring into Porrim's eyes, trying not to look at the way her fangs ever so slightly poked out between her lips, the way her piercings glimmered in the light. She tried not to imagine where the swirls of her tattoos went, if they led to delightfully forbidden places. She tried not to imagine perching Rose between them, kept her mind from considering if that would be a far better gift than a simple dress. Porrim tapped her cheek, bringing her out of her thoughts. "Kanaya? Are you okay?" She smiled and nodded, pulling Porrim's hand from her cheek. "I'm very much okay. And I'm very much certain we're not ready for this." She leant forward, pressing Porrim against the chaise's armrest, pressing her lips against hers. Her hand trailed along Porrim's hip as they kissed, pulling up the fabric of her dress slightly. Kanaya pulled away, still smiling. "I think that's break enough," she said, and stood, returning to her work at the mannequin and leaving Porrim to resume her reading. Game Night Summary: Board games always seem more fun in retrospect than in reality. Dave, Karkat, and Rose try to pass the time on the meteor. Rating: T Game night was an awful idea. For one, the game they were playing right now was entirely too complicated, but if they played yet another round of Chutes and Ladders, Dave was going to seriously consider asking Kanaya to teach him how to sew. At least that would have been a productive use of his time, and while he would never craft a smuppet--nor would he want to--he could make at least some SBaHJ capes. It was called Arkham Horror, a game Rose remembered playing some time ago. Through a series of carefully coordinated shenanigans, they managed to procure a bounty of board games. Karkat didn't care much for the cooperative games, instead thriving on competition. Rose, on the other hand, enjoyed finding ways to bend the rules, making dubious moves that aggravated both Dave and Karkat. "Rose, where does it say in the rules you can reroll? Is that some kind of lesbian power your character has?" Dave flipped through the manual, more halfheartedly than anything. Rose was always the ones who read the rules, leaving the other two at her mercy. "I'm pretty sure if you're fighting against Cthulhu himself, he's not going to dodge an attack and just be like, 'oh, you want a redo? Okay, why the fuck not, I'm only a timeless and immortal god. I got nothing but time, bro'." "It's well within my right to reroll," she said simply, rolling her dice. "We would not have ended up in this situation had you not been so foolhardy the entire game and continuously found yourself lost in time and space." "Some god you turned out to be." Karkat chuckled, picking up the card containing the Elder One's information. "If you had listened to me from the start, we wouldn't have a metric fuckton of gates open, waking up this asshole." He tapped his chin with the card, looking up at the ceiling with narrowed eyes. "It's all beginning to sound very familiar, actually." A die thrown at his head brought his attention back to Dave. "Because your suggestions were bogus, Karkat. My guy wouldn't spend his time cowering in fear from some eldritch abominations. He'd get right in there and use his whip to make them feel emasculated. Whips and guns trump tentacles." "You say this with such certainty, such familiarity with tentacled creatures. And yet here we are, having our collective asses handed to us by the Elder One. Regardless, it seems we have lost the battle for all of mankind yet again. I think you'll find that when it comes to losing these games, we are simply the best there is." Karkat rolled his eyes, shoving the cards and pieces laid out before him onto the game board, knocking over their characters. "Can we play something that isn't a complete waste of our time? Is there nothing in there actually worth playing, something that isn't so complicated it takes hours to learn and even longer to appreciate?" "Let me look," Dave said, pushing around boxes. "Monopoly again? No way." He tossed the box aside, the lid lifting as it landed, revealing the mess of paper money and cards within. "What about this one?" "Dixit? Hand me the instructions." She took the booklet, smoothing her robes as she settled back into position. As she read, Karkat and Dave flipped through the cards. "Is there something in particular about your alien society that finds these kinds of things amusing?" He held up a card, portraying two armoured ants atop a stack of gold coins, attacking each other with swords in their mandibles. "I mean, look at these things, they're absolutely fucking incomprehensible. I might actually prefer to continue to have my ass handed to me in that horrorterror game than do whatever this wretched excuse of a game expects me to do." Rose set the booklet down and collected the cards, shuffling them and handing a small stack each to Dave and Karkat, taking one for herself as well. She set the remaining cards aside. "It appears all you have to do is construct a sentence about one of your cards." "A storytelling game?" Dave got up and started poking through the pile of board games, pushing them aside as he dug deeper. "Never mind, put the game back. I think I can find something cooler than this..." "No, no!" Karkat slapped his hand on the ground, glaring at Dave. "Sit your ass down because we are playing this game. We played everything else in that awful pile." "Jegus, dude, okay." He complied, exchanging looks with his sister. "Didn't think you were into these rabbits so much." He picked up the small wooden rabbit, holding it between two fingers. "You got these things on Alternia? In human culture, these little guys lay eggs filled with baby rabbits and hide them in bushes and trees from predators. When they're born they're made of chocolate, so kids go hunting for them so they can eat them." Karkat scowled, picking a different coloured rabbit. "That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of, and I've heard more than enough ridiculous things in the miserable, worthless sweeps I have existed." "It's absolutely factual, Karkat," Rose said, smiling. "It was originally something of a religious practice as people once thought consuming these chocolate bunnies would bring them closer to Jegus, but eventually the practice had become so widespread, they had to ban people from hunting these Easter eggs." "Whatever, let's just play this idiotic game and get it over with." "Very well. As I said, you construct a sentence about one of your images. Then you select two cards from your hand, collecting two cards from the others. The other two players will also choose two cards they think are represented best by your sentence. Then the cards are displayed and players, excluding the storyteller, vote with these tokens here..." She paused to hand them small disks, coloured to match their rabbit pieces. "... on which one you think is the card initially chosen. Points will be distributed accordingly. The first to reach the end of this path wins the game, and, presumably, all of the chocolate bunnies." "Wait, are we playing as rabbits or are we wearing rabbit costumes? Because I don't know if I'm down with rabbit cannibalism, even if their babies are completely delicious." "They're wooden pieces! They're not even real! Just start the game, Rose, before I completely lose my shit." Karkat heard Dave mutter something under his breath, shooting a glare in his direction but said nothing. Dave flipped through his cards briefly before setting them down. "Hey man, I just want to be sure what the story is here. I think we all learned an important lesson about storytelling when we played Arabian Nights." "Yeah, the lesson we learnt was you're an absolute failure at reading aloud. Even when you did manage to keep your voice loud enough to hear, you rewrote the whole thing on the spot and turned it into one of your ridiculous raps." "I happened to think they added to the story. Scheherazade could have learned a thing or two about staying alive if she just knew how to drop a beat. It wouldn’t have taken her a thousand nights to convince her murderous husband not to kill her." Rose chuckled, arranging her cards in her hand as she spoke. "I believe her husband would have responded by dropping a sword in her chest, dear brother." "See, Rose agrees with me!" "Oh, don't get me wrong, Karkat. While I believe that Shahryar would not have been cultured enough to appreciate the sicknasty beats his thousandth wife would have surely dropped, it did add a certain flair to the game itself. I especially appreciated when he would tell us in rhyme exactly what happened between Sinbad and the various jinn he encountered. What was it again? I believe there was something about large blue phalluses..." Karkat threw the cards in the air, getting up. "I am not listening to this again!" He crossed the playing area, passing between Rose and Dave, throwing himself into the pile of board games. "I'm taking a nap." Dave lifted a brow, the corner of his mouth quirking. "Right there?" "Of course right here, numbskull." He curled into himself, using Apples to Apples to rest his head upon as he closed his eyes. "What do you think I'm doing? These games are exhausting. You two are exhausting. Therefore, I am exhausted and would appreciate it if you all just left me alone." Rose and Dave exchanged glances, conspiratorial smiles crossing their faces. Without warning, they leapt into the pile with Karkat, sandwiching him between them. Rose adjusted her robes, leaning back on the boxes, resting her feet on Karkat's legs. "Yes," she said, shutting her eyes, "I can definitely go for a nap as well. Brilliant idea, Karkat." Karkat growled as he bunched up Dave's cape, using it as a cushion between his head and the box. He shut his eyes again, nuzzling his head against Dave’s armpit. "Don't think this means we can have any feelings jams here. I’m just trying to sleep." Dave gasped, slapping Karkat on the arm. "I'm offended. I think I would be a better pale bro than your juggalo bro. My sick fires definitely overwhelm his miracles, not to mention--" "Strider,” he warned, cracking an eye open. “If you don't stop talking, I'm going to shove a card game right up your--" "Fair enough, dude. Catch your forty winks." They curled up together, making the occasional snarky remark as they got comfortable, or as much as they could on a pile of rectangular cardboard boxes, some sturdier than others. Once they settled in, breathing began to slow, thoughts began to fade away, and they fell asleep. Game night was a resounding success. A Moment Summary: Dave and Jade are out hunting for frogs and take a break. Rating: M Warnings: Non-explicit sexual encounter. It was little more than a moment. A break from all that frog breeding. A chance to breathe. Or at least it was supposed to be. The environment was less than picturesque since the Forge had just been stoked, melting the snow nearby, forming muddy puddles. Defrosted frogs went about their business, perhaps to resume business left unfinished since being frozen. It wouldn't be long before the whole planet warmed up, meaning more frogs would be hopping around the place, flopping around in the melted snow, leaping into the farthest branches of the trees. Jade was wearing her 3 AM dress, a somewhat odd choice of fashion given the occasion--perhaps she wore in anticipation for the warmth from the Forge. Either way, Dave hoped she wouldn't notice his looking, the way he stole frequent glances, admiring the way her shoulders and clavicles stood in such stark contrast to the black of her dress. It didn't help either that the fabric was eye-catching, that it hung quite nicely around her hips. A frog in each hand, he approached, tapping her on the shoulder. She was crouched near a tree, trying to coax a frog from its hiding spot amongst the roots. Jade waved a hand, intent on retrieving the frog. "He'll come out eventually," he said, kneeling beside her. "I hope so." She moved away from the tangled mess of roots and looked at the frogs Dave had brought her. "What are you still doing with those?" He shrugged, letting the frogs go. They hopped towards the roots, apparently serving as reason enough for the frog already in there to come out. Jade snatched it, smiling triumphantly. Then, with a pat on its head, she let the frog go, waving goodbye to the little amphibian. Dave stood, offering a hand to Jade. She got to her feet, smoothing her dress. "How much more of this do we have to do? Not that I don’t love harassing random frogs, but they’re terrible wordsmiths." She lifted her shoulders. "We'll know when we finish. Kanaya seemed certain of that." She let out a breath, seeming to deflate. "You okay?" He placed his hands on her shoulders, trying not to squeeze too tightly or make it obvious the effect her bare skin was having on him. "I'm sure we'll finish. They don’t have to rap with me, it’s cool." "No, it's not that," she said, the corner of her mouth lifting into a half smile. "I guess I'm feeling tired. And a little cold." Jade lowered her gaze, the smile falling from her lips. "Oh." Dave fidgeted, giving her shoulders a slight squeeze. "Do you need a jacket?" She shook her head, but offered little else in the way of response. Her hair fell over her face, catching on her glasses. "I don't--" She looked up and in a single movement threw her arms about his neck, kissing him. Dave stumbled backwards, tripping over his feet as he brought Jade down with him, landing on the snow with a thud. His hands rested awkwardly at his sides, fists full of snow, as Jade let out a shaky breath, now splayed atop him. Instead of getting up or pushing away from him, she propped her head up on her hand, smiling. "What, you've never been kissed before?" He cleared his throat, releasing the snow from his grip. "You didn't seem too sure yourself." "I'm not the reason we're on the ground now." Jade tapped his nose, chuckling. "What are you so nervous about anyway?" Dave took a breath and pushed Jade onto her back. He leant over her, suddenly at a loss as he stared down at her, propped up on his arms. She looked up at him with a bright expectant look, an almost amused expression, her dark hair flecked with snow. He adjusted his sunglasses and cupped her face in one hand as he kissed her. The arm supporting him began to shake as he felt heat rise in his cheeks, his stomach pulling into knots; he broke the kiss, letting his hand drop back to the ground. "That's a start." Jade laughed, clasping her hands together behind his neck. "What are you thinking about?" "Spent all this time before acting all coy, knowing when things were going to happen before they did, and now you can't even guess what I’m thinking?" "This is different." "Here," he said, taking one of her hands from his neck and pressing it to his chest. "Can you feel that? Tell me what you think I got on my mind." Jade's hand lingered even after he let go to maintain his balance, the weakness in his arms becoming more and more noticeable. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, bringing his breathing out of rhythm right along with it. She lifted her knees, the fabric of her dress pulling back as she planted her feet on the ground, her leg brushing up against Dave's. He swore he felt his heart skip a few beats before resuming its frenzied pace. Jade pulled him down, pressing their foreheads together as he lay atop her, her breath warm on his skin as she spoke. "That was cheesy, Dave." He let a few moments pass before he replied, hoping his throat wouldn't betray him and stick. "I think you're just too embarrassed to admit it worked on you." Jade offered him a broad grin, reaching for his hand. She pushed him up a bit and brought his hand to her chest, nestling it between her breasts. "Do you think you can tell me what I'm thinking of?" she asked, letting go. For several seconds, Dave was at a loss as his hand rested on her, his fingertips brushing against exposed flesh, the gauzy fabric beneath his palm almost too much to bear. Jade took his hand again, moving it atop her breast, pressing her fingers against his. "What am I thinking about now?" Her voice was soft, almost inaudible. Unwilling to let her take control of the situation, Dave moved his hand away, reaching back for her legs, trailing a cold hand down her thigh, considerably warmer than his fingers were. "What am I thinking about?" he repeated back to her, trying to keep a straight face. He could feel his mouth quivering, his throat catching his every breath. She giggled, squeezing his hand between her legs. Jade let out a breath and closed her eyes, the smile falling from her face as Dave ventured further. He nestled against her neck, burying his nose in her hair, unable to handle looking at Jade’s expressions any longer, the way her lips parted, the way her eyelids fluttered at the behest of his touch. A nearby ribbit, loud and cacophonous, broke the quiet. Dave's fingers, warm and twitchy, froze against Jade's skin, the slick fabric he had pushed aside now sliding back into place. The frog leapt away, seemingly content with having ruined the moment.