Feferi wasn’t such a good liar after all.
Eridan glowered and adjusted his scarf, chewing darkly at the wool. He pulled his knees up to his chest and leaned limp and betrayed into the corner. It was cold, and it was lonely—but it was his.
She wasn’t such a good liar, not when he confronted her. That nervous smile, the way her eyes darted toward the door when he demanded the truth.
Like she was going to bolt from him. Like he might attack her at any moment. She had made him feel small and vile with that look in her eyes. That look that said “I see it coming, but there’s nothing I can do to help.”
She could have stayed. She could have done something other than try to fix him and fail. She could have said yes when he offered her his heart on a silver fucking platter—was it not good enough?
All the things he did to prove he was worthy of having her, all the favors, all the little gifts and gestures. He had even pretended to be her soulmate, pushed all the little buttons that should by all rights have lit up her passions like a fireworks show.
But she had refused him. Refused him, and rubbed salt in all his wounds by calling him her best friend forever.
Friend? How could he settle for such stale crumbs of affection? How could she expect him to sit around, night in and night out, and share feelings with her knowing what he’d almost had, and lost?
Hadn’t he done enough of tuning out her inane prattle about leadership and egalitarianism for one lifetime? Not to mention her feelings. Her endless, endless feelings. And that way she had of always asking him to share his own. Like he’d want to prolong the torture by opening himself up to her. Couldn’t she just see that they belonged together?
Or at least, he’d thought they had belonged together. Now he was beginning to fear he’d been mistaken.
The scarf tasted of betrayal. And lanolin, faintly. Eridan spat it out.
If he’d wanted to share feelings, he would have been her goddamn moirail. She never could take a hint.
“I will never love again,” he told the darkness of his soul. Then he pulled the frayed edge of the scarf back into his mouth, where it muffled his terrible sobs.
* * *
“She dumped you?” Karkat gasped, his face crumpling. “Eridan, oh no! Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?”
“I dumped her!” Eridan snarled. “After she said she wanted to end it.”
“Eridan, sweetie, I”m so sorry.” Karkat’s tears flowed like waterfalls down his stone-gray cheeks. “You did things for her! Lots of things!”
“I fed her lusus,” Eridan sighed miserably.
“You fed her lusus and she dumped you!”
“I dumped her,” Eridan repeated. “Kar, what am I going to do?”
“All I know is, that fuckass will pay for hurting you!” Karkat hugged Eridan tightly and cried with him.
* * *
“I can not countenance the temerity of that female,” Kanaya shook her elegant head so that her rainbow patterned earrings jingled. “To abscond so heartlessly while you are stricken with emotional incontinence. The ignominy of it, Eridan. It is literally like a powerful blow to my midsection, possibly one inflicted by supernatural means by a vengeful boy on a path of nihilism.”
“Yes, it’s like she stuck her trident thr—” Eridan began.
“Did you not acquire sustenance for her monstrous custodian?” Kanaya demanded, elegantly. “Often?”
“All the time,” Eridan sighed, “But she—”
“And she severed the relationship in such an impromptu and inelegant fashion.” Kanaya wiped away a single green tear.
“I dumped her, actually, but—”
“She did not even offer you the small kindness of what my peers in the romantic literature genre would refer to as the acquaintance zone. I do not envy the next person she ensnares in her vituperous web of lies and manipul8tion. It is almost as if she is some kind of scheming arachnid.” Kanaya looked wistful, and Eridan groaned. He hoped this wasn’t going to end with some kind of proffered tale of sorrow from her own quadrant affairs.
“Yeah, it’s like… she treated me like—”
“There is no recourse for this betrayal, Eridan. We must seek reparations at once for this odious deed.” Kanaya rose elegantly from her chair and embraced him. They cried together.
* * *
“So you batted at the red quadrant and she hissed you down?” Nepeta asked, and batted at the dangling drool-soaked end of his scarf. it squished beneath her paw-like hands.
Eridan sighed. “She was going to, but I dumped her. Because I can’t stand bein’ upright treated like that.”
“Pawful. I’m so sorry, Purridan.” She sniveled a little, then got distracted by the movement of her shadow on her shipping wall. They had just finished smearing blood over every pairing that featured his so-called moirail, and they were all cried out. Her attempts to catch the bug annihilated Sollux and Karkat in every quadrant, but that was all right. She somehow didn’t think that pairing would matter much in the future of the game. Just one of those little feelings.
He offered the olive-blooded rogue another sardine. She silently devoured it, and he took the opportunity to heave a ragged sigh of despair. It was awful, crying yourself hoarse. This observation, for no reason he could discern, reminded him to visit Equius next.
“Cat-butt I thought you did favors for her and stuff,” Nepeta finally said. “Like, you fed her cat a meownch of times.”
“It was an eldritch abomination from beyond the fuckin stars, Nep, but yeah, more or less.”
“Impurrsible. Cats don’t leave if you’re still feeding them. She has no meowght to purreat you this whisker.”
“And yet,” Eridan grumped.
“I don’t like Catfishsmellfy,” Nepeta decided. “I think I’ll ship her with someone really icky. Cat pun.”
“You do that, Nep,” Eridan said, and stumbled over various large animal carcasses that littered the entrance of her cave. She chased after the trailing edge of his scarf and nearly choked him to death, noticing just in time that his cries had become stifled quacks and his attempts to flee her extreme role-playing grew steadily more feeble.
Such a clean death would, he reflected bitterly, have been too easy.
* * *
Equius wouldn’t let him in his hive, but tossed down a bottle of shudderingly warm milk with a sweat-soaked note taped to it.
The note read “D —> The thought of punishing this willfull filly for her betrayal makes me too STRONGLY angry to be 100% certain I could remane stable. Take this milk and know that I never wore blinders with regards to the behoovior of the so-called empress in waiting. Were I certain it would not pulverize your skeleton in various load-bearing places, I would embrace you in manly tears.”
* * *
Gamzee wasn’t in his hive. Eridan refused to look in the backyard tent, which was suspiciously illuminated. Grunts and the occasional stammered moo emanated from within. Eridan shivered.
He decided that, bitterly wronged by the black witch Feferi or not, he didn’t need sympathy that much.
* * *
Aradia’s hive was in ruins and bits of her charred skeleton lay scattered across the front lawn. He skipped her. (Although, as he left her lawnring, he could have sworn he heard tortured sobs and a breathy cry of “that wh00000re” on the gentle night breeze.)
* * *
“Wow ED I hath no idea thee wath thuth a floothie,” Sollux lisped, swatting at an over-intrusive mind bee that had landed on the sleeve of his sexy black-and-yellow striped body stocking. “Thath thuckth, brother.”
“Huh?” Eridan wept. “Can you just maybe write your half of this conversation down or something?”
“Maybe we thould hook up later thomethime,” Thollux mused. “You know, during the game.”
“Game?” Eridan repeated, dumbly. “Oh yeah, the world’s ending today, isn’t it.”
Sollux rolled his eyes (Eridan was almost positive) and pointed at the flaming nightscape outside his filthy hivestem window. “Uh, yeah? Half of Althernia’th on thire. Can thith journey of thelf-thithcovery maybe wait until after we all get into the Methium?”
Eridan put his arms around his scrawny rival and sniffled. “You’re the only one who understands me,” he assumed gratefully, and from the noises Sollux made, he was sure he had a shot with him later, possibly during the game. Sollux used his psionics to bring over a tissue and push Eridan off his shoulders and fifty percent of them cried out their frustration in the flickering light of the apocalypse.
* * *
Vriska cried the hardest of them all, which was strange because one of her eyes was robotic and all that came out was blue-gray machine oil.
“Jeeeeeeeeze, Eridaaaaaaaan! Jeeeeeeeeze!!!!!!!!”
He let himself out.
* * *
Terezi would have nothing but vengeance, so she armed herself with the Coolest Bar, alchemized a pair of nunchaku out of scalemates, and led Eridan to battle. Feferi stood defenseless and alone beneath a smoldering troll douglas fir behind Terezi’s treehive.
“OH! There you are!” she cried, spotting Eridan. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. I know tonight didn’t end well for either of us, and I’m really sorry for that, but I got scared you might have taken it more badly than expected when you logged off Trollian. Are you all right?”
“NOW!” Terezi cried, and from seemingly every bush in the forest came an eruption and a chorus of troll howls.
“My friends,” Eridan whispered, “All of them really do care!”
They converged on the confused princess, various weapons poised to stab, but Terezi waved them all to a halt with her trademark cackle.
“HEHEHEHEHEHEHE! WHO WANTS TO READ THE CHARGES AGAINST THIS INTERLOPER OF JUSTICE?”
“I shall do it,” Kanaya offered, just before she was tackled by no fewer than three of her companions.
“NOPE!” Terezi announced, “We’d be here all night looking up synonyms. I’ll keep this short and sweet, like Karkle-sparkles over there.”
“Terezi!!!” Karkat giggled in delight. “This is a lynching! Time and place much?”
“HEHEHEHEHE,” Terezi waggled her eyebrows blindly at the smoldering carnage of her detonated lusus.
“What’s all this about?” Feferi asked, confused.
“Well you thee,” Sollux began in his nasally pedantic voice, “You were horrible to ED here, tho—”
Just then, blood burst from his nose and ears. “Owth,” Sollux said, and collapsed. Karkat, Nepeta and Kanaya followed suit, swiftly bleeding out in the firelight.
“What the!?” Eridan stammered, aghast.
“ERIDAN!!!” Feferi snapped, “DID YOU FORGET TO FEED MOM?”
“Jeeeeeeeezeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!” Vriska scorned, and died eightfold.
“Beeth,” groaned the Prospit and Derse Solluxes, apocalyptically, and then both died twice. It was vaguely heroic to witness, although no one would live long enough to wonder why.
“YOU HAD ONE JOB, ERIDAN!” cried the narrative prompt box below the fanfiction text body, just before the website crashed.
“OH FUCK!!!!” Eridan cried, horrified. First the meteors, now the Vast Glub! How had he failed to notice so much happening all around him? Goddamn puberty!
The last thing he heard before his eardrums popped with a warm humming sensation and the entire species died in agony was his own exasperated sigh, magnified by his own physical and romantic anguish.
Women. Can’t live with them, can’t kill them with an otherworldly psychic shriek for dumping you.
I mean for you dumping them.
[also posted here]