"Why, John? Would you like the grand tour of Karkat Vantas’ psyche? Maybe get a little…how-you-say…inside information?" You give him a wicked grin as he shakes his head at you and flexes his fingers, then sit quietly for his warm-up song, a smooth piece you recognize from years of listening to him play. You can pick up tiny imperfections in the piano’s tone, but not enough to be a problem; everything will be just fine for the performance.
While he plays you look around, silently approving of the slight alterations to the decor Karkat has made—the strings of tiny coloured lights lining the walls were a very nice touch. You can tell John already likes the place—you’ll have to find out Dave and Jade’s opinion before the show itself.
"Oh yes Rose, you’ve figured me out! I want every grimy, little detail you can tell me," you say jeeringly. "I must be aware of everything about a guy I talked to for ten seconds to.”
Your mind goes to opening night of the show. You’re elate for it! Playing for yourself is nice but there’s something very different when you have a crowd to listen it. Well, you’re hoping there’s a crowd… even a little one. Is there such thing as a little crowd?
"Do you have any idea how many people are coming for the show? I mean, I’m not sure if you’ve heard anyone say they’re coming?"
"Karkat? Yes, I suppose ‘yelly’ is a good word to describe him, or it would be if it were actually a word." You grin at him, teasing. “I think ‘raucous’ is the word I would use. He really does mean well, though you’d never get him to admit it." You stop to consider what you know of the owner of the establishment, trying to fit the pieces together in a way that makes sense. “I think he’s worried that if people know he cares about anything, they’ll use it to hurt him some way. Mock him, or take advantage of him, something like that. It’s a common defense mechanism. I suppose it’s bad form to be psychoanalyzing your part-time employer, though."
That doesn’t actually bother you. You will go to your grave analyzing anyone and everyone around you. It’s second nature, almost unconscious—you just look at people and build a picture of their personalities out of what little scraps of insight you can find. Really, the only thing you have control over is how much of that insight you share.
Speaking of…you glance at John out of the corner of your eye, a knowing smirk curling the edges of your mouth. “Why so interested, John? Has our friendly neighbourhood terrier caught your eye?”
You know the look on Rose’s face means nothing but trouble. You look away from her and back at your keys, turning a bit pink.
"Wow Rose, didn’t know it wasn’t ok to ask your buddy if their employer might be an ax murder or something without being accused of alternative motives!" you say, trying to laugh it off. The question feels odd and out of place in your mind. You don’t think such things are meant to be lingered on.
"You must have found some sort of interest in him if you’re getting this far into his brain already,” you continue, trying to lead the conversation away from awkward territories. Rose is great, but you worry sometimes about how deep she tries to get in people’s heads. She’s usually right and has a lot of good insight, but sometimes she makes something out of nothing and you have to do back flips over it to prove it.
After a moment you busy yourself with what you came here for- testing the piano.
D —> Fiddlesticks
Equius wasn’t exactly late to work - in fact he was showing up hours too early as usual - but he disliked having his routine disrupted by such an unsavory looking character. He briefly contemplated running down the alley he had been moving towards, but decided it would only make things worse to flee from an individual who had already seen him.
Standing at the ready, he watched as the vagrant boy approached.
D —> If you intend to relieve me of my currency by force, I will not hesitate to strike
John raises his one arm up to halt the man, the other carrying the miniature keyboard, his face a bit shocked.
"Woah there, did you really think I was going to mug you? Well that’s a first! I mean, I’d love if you gave me money and all but only if you liked me music," he says smiling coyly and motioning towards the instrument under his arm.
"The only reason I called you over was you looked a bit distressed, though I might see if you needed help. Gotta be the hero an’ all," the boy laughs.
Cautiously, he begins to walk up to the frazzled man, his hand outstretched.
"John Egbert, street musician… or um, well I might be getting a steady job play at the Vantas Cafe or um… yeah, sorry for blathering….haha. You are ok, right?"
You nod in response to John’s enthusiastic wave, giving him a sincere smile. Since you can hear Karkat cursing quietly to himself in the back room you decide to not go out of your way to greet him, leaving him to his work. Dropping your bag carelessly at the edge of the makeshift stage, you approach the piano curiously. It looks newer than the one John has at home, but that one’s been in his family for years, and shows the wear of the much-beloved use it’s seen. This one seems young, fresh—very fitting to serve this new endeavor.
As for the bench’s occupant, he appears as cheerful as ever, favouring you with his trademark goofy grin. You settle on the edge of the seat next to him, facing away from the piano, and nudge him with your shoulder. “You’ve made yourself comfortable, I see. Is everything in order for the show? Is there anything else you’ll need?”
"I’m doing a bit of a tune up but I think everything’s set! I mean, I’m a bit jittery but it’s the good kind. I’m really excited," you tell Rose.
This is basically your first time having a semi-permanent musical career and you feel like you’re about to burst any moment. You hate mooching off your dad, even though he assures that he could pay for whatever you needed if you were having problems. It still made you feel like a baby for still having depend on him.
Leaning closer to Rose you whisper, “I’ve been meaning to ask- is Karkat always like that? I mean… auh, he’s kind of like a Scottish Terrier?” you laugh. “I’m not sure if that made sense… ya’know, yelly, I guess? He was going a bit crazy at first, but he seemed to calm down a little after he knew who I was. Wasn’t sure if he didn’t want to scare his new employ off or he he was having a bad day.”
Equius walked along the narrow alleyways of the city, averting his eyes from any passersby. It was his routine to come out to work early in the morning, before the sun was even up. Although doing so left him in the presence of the thieves and vagabonds, he preferred it to the noise the city adopted but an hour later. He got enough of that in the shop as is.
Rounding a corner and dodging another panhandler begging for money, Equius saw a sight most unusual to him. A young man dressed in blue jeans with a blue hoodie, sauntering along a usually empty street. He looked to be better off than the typical lurking crowd, but still fairly shifty.
Feeling rather nervous, Equius did his best to duck down an alleyway and find a different route before the young man saw him.
John was scouting the streets for a spot to set up his little keyboard. The sun was just peaking up but that was ok; the early bird gets the worm and all. He was luckily going to get a steady gig soon, at the Vantas Cafe, but the extra pocket money from busking certainly would make things a bit easier until then. People just loved dumb covers of pop songs! Plus the choruses were usually easy enough for him to sing a few bars to as well. It was like a a microscopic gold mind filled with silver plated coins.
Turning a street, John saw a man fidgety seemingly trying to avoid something. Wondering if he was in need of help, John tries to flag him down. Maybe he was lost? Most people didn’t run into allies so early in the morning.
"HEY!! You over there, you ok?" he calls out, wondering if the stranger had already booked it or not.
You arrive at the Vantas Cafe with excitement. The owner, Karkat, has finally gotten a piano for you to play and you came to make sure the delivery went as planned. You’re in love at first sight; it’s shiny new keys calling to you like a siren coming to drag you under the ocean…. except more like you just want to sit down and play it immediately, which is sort of the point anyways?
You exchange a few glances with Karkat but for the most part he leaves you alone to make sure everything sounds alright. He’s a but curious, you think but don’t dwell too much on it.
You’re just about to get to business when you hear the bell on door tinkle despite the fact it’s far past open time. You look up from your perch on the piano bench to see a Miss Rose Lalonde entering the cafe and you wave her over happily.
I HAD SO MUCH FUCKING FAITH PUT INTO THE MICROSOFT CORPORATION, SINCE THE XBOX 360 PROVIDED ME MANY YEARS OF SATISFYING ENTERTAINMENT (EXEMPT FROM THE HORRENDOUS EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD WITH LIVE, THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY SHITTY PREPUBESCENT BOYS TO ENJOY ANYTHING ONLINE).
AND THEN THE XBOX ONE CAME OUT AND SHATTERED MY DREAMS. FUCK MICROSOFT FOR NOT FIXING ANYTHING BEFORE IT BECAME BLATANTLY OBVIOUS TO THEM THAT THEY WERE GOING TO GO FUCKING BANKRUPT IF THEY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING.
I FOLLOW ALL THESE XBOX BLOGS AND NOW I JUST FEEL FUCKING REPULSED EVERY TIME I LOOK AT THEIR POSTS.
i’ve never been big on xbox (ps has more games i’m interested in) but really i don’t care if the kinect thing is going big brother on me or not that a lot of extra money for a thing i’m never going to use!
like props to them to actually listening to their audience but it sounds like they’re just holding back on stuff they plant to implement in the future.
also again the forced kinect makes it wayyy out of my price range.
thanks john :p
and everyone can tell, im practically in wedges most of the time now admit it, your little sister is actually growing up
that was really gay
i try sis! ;)
auh it doesn’t matter! i’m a tiny baby ant in comparison, ok? *huff*
wow jade, how many times have you called me gay today, seriously? i think that’s stereotyping! just because i’m prettier than you does not mean im gay, jeesh!
i never said i was rainbows and kittens!! and plus youre my brother, youre all i have now since grandpa died…
and im an inch, almost two, taller than you!!
and please, im expert at nails, so keep your inner beauty to yourself
auh, come on, i know we love each other jade! you’re the best sister i could ever ask for and also one of my bestest pals.
exactly, no one cares about an inch, wow. i bet people can barely tell if we’re standing next to each other.
i can’t keep it inside jade, it is far too big for one body to hold, hehehe. i must spread it across the land or i might explode form prettiness.