=> Kanaya: Be utterly and completely confused at the antics of your matesprit.

You are Kanaya Maryam, and you are quite sure you’ve had enough of this – whatever it is Rose is doing.

Admittedly, it isn’t anything new; after all, your relationship was pretty much forged on a foundation of snarky horseshit, sarcasm and constantly trying to one-up the other person/troll. Knowing Rose as you do now, it doesn’t bother you as much. In fact, you rather enjoy it.

However, although you don’t know much about the etiquette for human reproductive rituals -  beyond what you’ve managed to discern from Rose’s ironically sexual wizard stories and what research you’ve managed to do online of course - you’re fairly certain she shouldn’t be delivering sarcastic one-liners to you when you’re knuckle deep inside her.

It’s been this way for a long time. The first time you were about to be intimate together, an hour slotted in between research, Rose took one look at you naked and commented, ‘Well, I did always habour a certain fascination for this particular brand of hentai’. As was probably Rose’s aim, it was a total ‘mood-killer’, to use Dave’s terminology: you, in your ever-present curiosity, just had to ask what hentai was. And of course she had to show you.

‘I shall have to show you many different genres, insofar as pornography has genres. In the interests of being thorough, of course,’ she had called back to you over her shoulder, pulling up the browser on your husktop.

She showed you all the genres. All of them.

Some weren’t too bad, but some you really didn’t like Oh God What Is That Get It Off The Screen Rose Turn It Off TURN IT OFF! She had simply watched your horror with quiet amusement while picking holes into her dark nailpolish, never saying a word.

For a while after that, you weren’t sure you would ever be turned on again. Humans were weird.

It only got worse from there. You entered a tiring game of passive aggressive attacks and parries, of being shooed and waved away; as is most of your life with Rose sometimes, to be perfectly honest, but as Rose has grown older her barbs became warmer, often accompanied with a twinkling and fond eye. You give as good as you get. But you know well that actions speak louder than words, and so never allow your kisses to be tainted with scathing remarks, or to follow up the slow brush of your hand against her stomach and hip with a comment that derails the mood. Not so for Rose.

Although, it’s not always like this. Sometimes she stays quiet and kisses you roughly, desperately; in these situations you often just end up on your back with her insistent hand between your legs. When she needs to, she’ll find her release independently using your thigh, and while admittedly you like the view from that angle, you rarely get to touch her back. That’s when you can actually get her in the mood – for the most part she seems reluctant, stoic and quiet with the odd off-putting quip designed to distract you from the task at hand.

At your wit’s end, you wondered if perhaps this was normal for solely human relationships. Obviously you have no prior knowledge of them outside your one with Rose and stolen romance novels, which are always prone to exaggeration. Maybe Rose’s lack of enthusiasm is normal – no, maybe lack of enthusiasm is the wrong turn of phrase. She’s certainly enthusiastic for your body when she wants to be, if a little frantic and too set on finishing quickly, but less so for her own. It doesn’t make any sense.

You even tried asking Dave about it once. You thought he was likely to be the best source of knowledge on Rose.

Naturally, he completely shut down that conversation as soon as he caught on to what you were rambling about.

-- grimAuxiliatrix [GA] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG] at 16:13 –-

GA: Hello Dave

GA: Im Sorry To Bother You But I Am In Need Of Your Assistance

TG: my assistance

TG: huh feel like ive been here before

TG: if its anything to do with baking soda and leather pants count me out okay

TG: just cant deal with that kind of trauma again

GA: What

GA: What Do Baking Soda And Leather Pants Have To Do With Anything

TG: dont ask okay

TG: if youre gonna ask then ask fucking john

GA: …

GA: Okay That Confusing And Unnecessary Digression Aside This Is Not About White Powder Used To Increase The Volume Of Baked Goods Through Carbon Dioxide Or Trousers Made From Animal Hides

TG: shame

GA: Its About Rose

TG: oh rose

TG: yeah i am the motherfucking expert on rose

TG: know everything about her

TG: could write a biography

TG: make a documentary

TG: direct a feature film using puppets instead of actors

TG: you name it

GA: Is This More Of Your Sarcasm

GA: Because I Must Admit I Am Used To Roses Style Mostly Consisting Of Overdramatic Wordplay But Not So Much Yours Where You State The Opposite Of What You Mean And Then Continue It In An Extended Analogy For Far Too Long

TG: uh

TG: i guess?

TG: … whatever just hit me with your question already

GA: Okay Well

GA: Has Rose Ever Seemed

GA: Reluctant To Be The Recipient Of Physical Contact

TG: dunno lalonde and i were never ones for all that cuddly crap

TG: probably something to do with making friends on the web and never having fulfilling relationships with people offline and emotional distance or something else i don’t care about

GA: Um I Suppose So

GA: Its Just She Is Seemingly Very Anxious When I Attempt To Touch Her

TG: anxious

TG: like nervous

TG: or anxious like sitting in the corner rocking back and forth and babbling when you go near her

GA: The Former Would Be More Accurate Although It Manifests In Different Forms

GA: Most Often She Will Abscond From Situations Of A More Intimate Nature

GA: Before They Can Actually Get Intimate

TG: woah woah woah wait

TG: fuck im so stupid I didn’t even get what you were talking about until you said that

TG: no

TG: no fucking way

TG: we’re not having this conversation

GA: What Why

TG: i don’t want to know about roses sex life ok

GA: Ah

GA: I Believe I Understand

GA: Human Siblings Are Uncomfortable Talking About Each Other Being In Situations Deemed Sexual Because Of Your Taboo About Incest Are They Not

GA: I Apologise For Not Remembering As Rose Has Told Me Before Quite Vehemently That She Was Very Opposed To Talking About You In Such A Way In Conversation

TG: wait when did she say that

GA: When You Were As She Put It

GA: Banging Terezi Into The Headboard In Our House

GA: Which Was A Little Rude I Must Say Could You Keep It Down Next Time The Two Of You Stay Over

TG: oh yeah

TG: sorry

TG: moving back to the original topic though i am so not giving you advice on how to get my sister into bed

GA: I Can Understand That I Suppose

TG: but

TG: i will say that rose is a freaking headcase in general ok

TG: we all are

TG: but for her when it comes to you in particular she is just five feet of pure messed up and godawful at dealing with her feelings in a sensible way

TG: or did you forget her getting totally hammered and falling down the stairs just because she was nervous about having a date with you

GA: I Do Remember And Would Prefer Not To

GA: Also I Believe Her To Be Slightly Taller Than Five Foot

TG: yeah by like an inch

TG: anyway not the point

TG: basically rose is emotionally constipated

TG: so you gotta find a way to crack through that frosty ass shell she has

TG: i mean damn you got her to be in a steady relationship and live with you im sure you can get her naked somehow

TG: though what do you guys even do is it like normal lesbians or do you sit there snarking until someone orgasms

GA: Disrobing Rose Is Not Exactly The Issue Here And Besides I Thought You Did Not Want To Talk About It

TG: ugh

TG: look just go fucking talk to her or jump her and smack her in the face with your ginormous tentacle bulge-dong or something

TG: she probably likes that

-- turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering grimAuxiliatrix [GA]--

 

The whole conversation made you even more frustrated and confused, as conversations with Dave are often known to – although to be fair to him, he did shed some light by reminding you of how unusual Rose's behaviour can become when she's anxious. Seeking further information, you tried similar tactics with Jade and John to little response: ‘uh i’m not sure this topic is really my expertise kanaya DX you should ask rose about it all really!!!’ and John was, well, a little blindsided by the confirmation that the two of you are having sex to be of any help. Or not, as the case may be. In general, the consensus is ‘Ask Rose’ or Dave’s case, ‘Jump Rose, tentacles optional’.

You try both, at various points. Neither gets you very far. The former doesn’t work because you edge around the topic too much, giving Rose the perfect opportunity to pretend she has no idea what you mean. The second is slightly more successful (you try many times), but only for a few minutes before she somehow manages to slither out of your grip and escape the room with a perfectly formed excuse and only the barest hint of a blush on her cheeks.

You’re totally lost.

You’re totally sexually frustrated.

And you’re totally starting to wonder if it’s all your fault somehow, that she’s punishing you for something, that she’s angry, or – worst of all – she no longer has flushed feelings for you and instead aspires for a paler relationship, but does not know how to tell you. It would certainly make sense.

The very thought makes you feel ill and shaky, but you never ask her outright for fear the answer might be yes.

**

It isn’t until maybe a month later that you think you’ve made a break-through.

It’s a familiar scene: Rose sits by your legs in the living room, her back against the couch as she reads, a blue biro clenched between her teeth. Every so often she’ll take the pen out of her mouth and underline a line here and there. You hate when she puts pens in her mouth, and she knows it, so she does it all the more.

Meanwhile on your lap is a sketchpad on which you’re supposed to be making designs, but are instead doodling loops and meowbeasts with rainbow drinker teeth. Considering the precariousness of your financial situation – barely hanging on using the meagre funds left to you by Rose’s lusus – you should really be trying to be more productive in trying to finish things and get your name out there, but whatever.

Absent-mindedly, your hand is stroking her hair as you scribble, lifting the strands up and letting gravity sift the tendrils back down through your fingers. It’s not something she often lets you do, for one reason or another, but today she seems more lenient. You suspect it’s because she seems oddly sleepy today. Every so often you feel her weight fall heavily against your leg, then Rose will suddenly jerk upright as though realising she’s falling asleep. This process repeats several times as you both sit there, and she doesn’t respond much to you beyond the odd tilt or slight movement of her head to coax your caresses in a certain direction. For the most part carrying on reading her book, or at least, trying to.

It’s a peaceful moment. Given how anxious you become whenever you spend time with Rose these days, you’d forgotten how nice it was to simply sit with her in silence.

As your hand makes a pass down the back of her head, your fingers graze the nape of her neck, and suddenly you feel her shiver. A rather pronounced one that you register even with your attention elsewhere.

Your caressing falters while you gaze at her, bemused. Rose acts as though nothing happened, turning a page of her book. Even so, you notice that the line of her shoulders has become a tad more hunched.

‘Are… you alright, Rose?’ you ask cautiously.

‘Yes, I’m fine. It’s just a little cold in here.’

It’s not cold at all - it’s the middle of the summer. Even Rose is wearing blessedly little clothing today; a green skirt and a deep red button-up shirt that clash together in a way that is most offensive to your eyes. She stole the shirt from you (a common habit) and seems to have no intention of giving back. Admittedly you don’t mind too much. It brings out her eyes nicely, and she also has a particularly lovely habit of walking around wearing only that particular shirt and nothing else on days when she’s too lazy to get dressed.

You peer at her back for a while, but it only looks back stonily and gives you no answers. Mentally shrugging, you resume stroking her hair, watching her carefully. As your nails scratch along the back of her neck, the tiniest tremor goes through her body and she inhales a little too sharply to be natural breathing. This time, you’re certain you didn’t imagine her reaction.

‘Rose?’

She doesn’t answer. Curious, you run the line of your fingernail along the edge of her hairline. This time, Rose’s shoulders squirm slightly. She’s recently cut her hair shorter than her normal cut and her neck is more on display than usual. You suppose that’s why you’ve never noticed quite how sensitive this particular area is. Of course you decide to take full advantage of it there and then, drawing mini circles and shapes along the side of her neck to just below her ear, then back down to underneath the collar of her shirt.

‘Kanaya, stop that,’ Rose says. Her voice is like sandpaper; she clears her throat to rid herself of it.

‘Stop what?’

‘Don’t play the fool. You know exactly what I’m talking about,’ she responds, from between gritted teeth. ‘So please stop it.’

You bite your lip, trying not to laugh.

‘I’m quite sure I don’t, Rose.’

She rolls so her head is fully on your lap, trapping your hand between her head and your legs. You innocently flex your fingers at the base of her skull, causing Rose to frown up at you severely. It’s a stern look, but it’s difficult to take her seriously with the small blush highlighting her pale cheeks.

Kanaya,’ she says in a warning tone.

Rose,’ you reply, gleefully mocking her tone.

You’re almost giddy with your new-found knowledge, of finally finding something to rile up Rose with. Of course, by now you know all the obvious places but until now there’s not been anything like this, where you might just casually run your fingers down her neck when she’s not expecting it. Perhaps when meeting for dinner with your friends: Rose might be sitting next to you. You might just slide your arm around her shoulders, skim your nails over her shoulders and into the soft, downy tendrils of hair at the base of her neck, and feel her shiver and turn a warning glare on you like now…

After a moment, Rose huffs and returns to her reading. She has shifted away from you slightly and pressed her back more closely to the couch, but the blush lingers on her cheeks.

Slowly, you descend from the couch so you’re sitting next to Rose. She determinedly ignores you, but you notice that she doesn’t try to move away anymore either.

You just watch her, for a while, letting your eyes linger on every inch of her body as obviously as you can, hoping to increase the flush in her cheeks. She licks her finger and turns the page. A page does not need to be turned so dramatically, you think.

When you make a sudden movement towards her, she flinches, making you grin. Her eyes close briefly, and the crease in her brow increases, evidently annoyed with herself for reacting to you. But then her eyes re-open and she returns to her reading with extra vigour which you know to be feigned.

Hooking your finger in the collar of the shirt, you tug it to the side and examine her skin. You love her long, graceful neck, littered with scars from the pointed tips of your own teeth. You try to aim for the same spot when you feed, although obviously you miss sometimes.

Glancing up reveals that Rose is still studiously ignoring you.

Slowly, you lean in and trace your lips down her skin. You feel more than hear her breath catch, as one hand is pressed to her thigh for balance and it jerks beneath your fingers when your lips touch the line where her jaw meets her neck, practically the only place you can reach in the tight confines of the collar. As you retreat she breathes out shakily, but then blinks a few times, straightens up. She goes back to her book, knuckles white on its edges.

You like this game. As ever, she is determined not to lose. You’re determined to make her lose.

You gaze at her, wondering what to do now to tip the game in your direction; then your eyes fall on her ever present headband. It’s orange today, just to spite you.

Perfect.

Before she can protest, as she certainly would given the chance, you slide her headband out and toss it aside, returning your hands to her hair so you can run your fingers through it and fluff out the strands through the gaps.

Rose seems to be losing the battle of wills, despite her desperate attempts to ignore you. In fact, although you’re trying to turn her head towards you with one hand on the cheek not facing you, her eyes are still fixed, steadfast, on the page. Still, you know she feels naked without that headband. She might be wearing nothing from the neck down and be straddling your waist with her hands wrapped around your bulge, but if the headband isn’t there, only then might she become bashful. You think it may be because her hair becomes extra puffy and sticks out in slightly odd angles without it. To you it’s just adorable though, and something you love being the only one to witness when she wakes up sleepy and grumpy and rumpled in the morning.

You pause, scratching your nails at the curve of her scalp for a moment, then sweep around to the back of her neck, feeling the muscles there tense. She presses back against you so your hand is trapped, but you push until she’s forced to relent against your superior strength, bending her head forward in reluctant submission. “Submission”: not a word you’d ever use to describe Rose, until now.

You squeeze your face in between her neck and the couch; not the most dignified of positions, you feel, even as she leans forward a little more to accommodate. She stays like that, rigid and unmoving, her shoulders a straight line jutting from her body. That is, until you slide your tongue over the jutting bone that forms the top of her spine, and she moans, just quietly, under her breath, a low, needy sound.

The sound melts your insides, the warmth in your belly turning molten. You do it again, this time scraping the flats of your teeth over her skin, careful not to use your fangs and risk injuring her.

At this she turns suddenly, nearly hitting you in the mouth with her shoulder and seizing your jaw between her fingers.

‘That’s it,’ she snarls, throwing her book down to the floor.

And then she’s throwing you down too, and oh, there’s a blissful few minutes where there is no sarcasm. There are no snarky remarks. There is no confusing insincerity of any kind, just her lips hard on yours and her tongue in your mouth and her thighs pressing into either side of your hips and your wrists pinned to your sides.

Rose’s weight settles comfortably on your crotch, until she grinds down  with purpose and it escalates wildly and rapidly out of “comfortable” into “forcibly tearing the breath from your chest and making you squeak embarassingly loud”. Rose, still clutching your wrists hard enough that her nails dig into your skin, presses warm lips to your neck, kissing up to your ear.

There, she coolly congratulates you being able to find an erogenous zone particular to her.

But ‘Such moves are cheap, my dear Kanaya,’ she growls as the blunt tips of her teeth scrape over the point in your neck where the blood pulses the hardest, the place that she knows will make you moan the loudest.

She lingers there for a moment or two, tongue making swirls on your hot skin.

Then, she stands up and exits the room, leaving you lying on the floor, half-unsheathed, and wondering what the fuck just happened.