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Title: The Seasons of Conscription Part 3
Fandom: Homestuck
Characters: Sollux/Eridan, Sollux/Feferi, Eridan/Karkat
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Consent issues, discussion of slavery, mpreg

It was five nights since Eridan and Sollux had become kismeses, and Karkat hadn't been able to get the breeder's indirect offer out of his head. He hadn't planned on leading any sort of revolution or rebellion, or even joining one. He didn't know where to look for anything like that, where to even start. Maybe he could get Sollux to help him...except Sollux wouldn't have turned to Eridan if he thought he had any other way to avoid a helmscolumn, not when he'd been expecting Eridan to enslave and rape him.

And...Eridan had to truly pity Karkat to offer him a red consort's place. He was a mutant, cull bait, not something Eridan could be proud of having in his harem the way Feferi was. But...Karkat didn't, couldn't, return that feeling. Could he? Eridan was so fucking powerful, he ranked equal to Feferi now, and Karkat knew he'd never suffered so much as a night's real hardship. But...he'd planned out how to protect Feferi and Karkat and Sollux, looking back, Vriska was right, he'd dropped hints to Sollux about how he could make himself safe without humiliating himself by begging to be the breeder's slave. And...he hadn't pushed, or threatened to force Karkat into anything. He'd said he couldn't think of a way to keep Karkat alive and free, other than joining or starting some sort of rebellion, but he'd left it at that.

And...some of the things Eridan seemed to take for granted were fucked up. He'd talked about basically trading his ability to lay for political favours. That couldn't be how it was supposed to work. Except Eridan seemed to think that it was, at least until he got his own ship. And what was he going to get out of that harem he'd talked about setting up? Feferi was so red for Sollux she hadn't even had to really think about Eridan's offer, not once she knew she could still be with him. Tavros was dropping hints for Gamzee all over the place, even if the sopor-panned idiot hadn't picked up on them. And Eridan had said not one of the trolls on his lists had made the slightest attempt to use the contact details he gave them. Maybe Karkat was reading too much into all of that, he'd been stewing over it, and overthinking things, but...he knew how much Eridan craved attention.

Oh...perhaps he did pity Eridan, a little. But...Karkat thought it might be pale, rather than flushed. He wanted to help Eridan plan things out better, get him to see where the world didn't fit into his neat little highblood pictures, keep his head straight so that he could do all that breeder politicing he was talking about. Fuck, getting into a pale-red mismatch was a recipe for disaster.

Karkat snorted at his own arrogance. Eridan was the sort of highblood beautiful you hardly ever saw even in the movies, built to a breeder's godlike scale. And he was presuming to wonder if he could want him? Karkat should be fucking grateful that Eridan deigned to pity him, no matter how much the knowledge hurt. It wasn't like there was anyone else who really pitied him that way, even Nepeta had got over that stupid crush of hers. And...he wouldn't be dooming anyone else, he didn't have any real quadrants.



carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling caligulasAquarium [CA]


CG : ERIDAN, IF YOU STILL WANT ME YOU CAN HAVE ME, JUST COME AND GET ME.

The response was almost instant. Eridan must have been right there at his husktop.

CA : thanks kar you wwont regret it i promise
CA : pack evverythin you wwant to take wwith you at conscription
CA : stick to the stuff that has memories attached
CA : ill take care of evverythin else
CA : ill come for you tomorroww

caligulasAquarium [CA] stopped trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG]

Take care of everything else? What did that mean? Fuck! Karkat hadn't even really thought about what he'd be taking with him to the Fleet. What was he allowed to take with him, now that he was Eridan's consort? He checked quickly. Whatever Eridan decided to let him bring - not really a surprise. But he got the same mass allowance as a greenblood - nearly three and a half times what he could have as the rustblood he'd have tried to pass as. But he packed everything he could think of, then spent the rest of the night curled up with his lusus, hoping that Eridan was decent enough to let Karkat keep him - at least until conscription.

Eridan arrived so early that Karkat knew he'd left as soon as it was dark enough.

"Kar." Eridan knelt taking hold of his left hand and fastening a chain around his wrist, kissing the back of his hand before releasing it and standing. "Am I invvited in?"

"Yeah, sure. Eridan." Was that right? He was smiling at least. Oh, fuck was that because..."Do you want to pail me now?" At least he'd managed to wait until they were inside before he blurted it out. But Eridan looked almost hurt, and that twisted at Karkat's heart.

"Do you think this is just about that Kar? I don't wwant to use you, or hurt you or evven scare you. I knoww you're goin' to take a wwhile to be comfortable wwith me that wway, and I can wwait. It's not like I'm limited to quadrants or anythin' and I don't mind lettin' you be in control."

"Are you serious Ampora? You don't want to fill a pail with me or anything?

"Like I said I can wwait. Not like you can ignore me, is it? And I'm not actually limited to pailin' inside my household."

"Oh, yeah." Should he ask? Karkat wasn't going to pretend to be someone else. "You were talking about playing politics with your seasons. How does that work?"

"Some highbloods get attached to the idea a knowwin' that they already havve descendents, evven ones wwho might not be that similar to them. I don't get it, loyalty goes to your dam if you'vve got one, your sire doesn't matter. But...why do you think highbloods offer themselvves to us?"

"I don't care why they do it. Are you saying it's about getting a chance at descendents they're never going to see?"

"For some of them, yes. There's some wwho just don't wwant to deal wwith all a the politics highbloods havve to play - to get powwer, or to reassure those abovve them that they don't wwant it. Not to mention a feww wwho might wwind up bein' culled for medical reasons.

"The lowwbloods are more often at risk a bein' medically culled, but theres also some at risk for concupiscent cullin', or wwho just wwant a life wwhere they'll be relativvely safe. And the medical cullin' for lowwbloods is usually about them being crippled, wwith highbloods it's mostly drug addiction a one sort or another."

"Right." Karkat didn't get it either. "Do you want to check what I've packed now?"

"Only if you wwant me to. Wwe'vve got nearly half a swweep until conscription. Did you wwant to bring your lusus wwith you?"

"Yes. Crabdad's stupid, and I have to leave him after conscription, but..."

"He's as devoted as mine is. I get it. Wwe need to sort out the formalities." Eridan sat down, on the floor, and pulled his husktop out, working on it then holding it out to Karkat. "Here, you need to complete your details. I could do it myself, but...I wwant it on record that you chose this." All the information the form asked for was easy to find, except for Karkat's system ID, and that was listed as optional. Eridan could have done this as soon as he'd received Karkat's agreement. He could even have done it before Karkat agreed and just let the drones bring Karkat to him.

"Is that all?" Karkat handed the husktop back, feeling confused. Was it really that simple? For Eridan to take Karkat and everything he owned - had owned.

"To make you my consort. There's some other things I need to do. Might as wwell do them here. You're on record as bein' a rustblood. Do you wwant to admit to havvin' scarlet blood noww that no-one can take you from me?"

"I don't...if we take too long it'll look suspicious, won't it?" How much danger was Eridan putting himself in?

"Yeah. You're listed red, so wwaitin' a feww nights wwouldn't be that odd, but more than ten wwould make me look wweak." So if he didn't decide soon they'd have to hide his blood for the rest of his life.

"How does taking a mutant consort make you look?"

"Loyal." He laughed at Karkat's look. "Yeah, I knoww howw it sounds, but I'm takin' the Sufferer's descendent, and tyin' him properly into his place in the scheme a things. Maybe a bit more exalted than the Condesce'd prefer, but it's a wway a controllin' you and keepin' you from bein' a threat. Noww...I'vve got my message refusin' the highbloods sorted out, but you got any idea about howw to soften the rejection for the healthy lowwbloods?"

"What are you saying to the highbloods?"

"That I've got a consort of lowwer blood rank than them, so as discussed I cannot accept them into my harem." Eridan shrugged and smiled. "They admitted to their weakness by offerin' themselvves to me. And then to cowwardice wwhen they didn't use the contact details I gavve them. But the lowwbloods are different. They'vve got better reason to fear, and I don't wwant to be too cruel in refusin' them."

"What did you have ready to send to them?"

"I'vve determined that I wwon't be able to offer them a place. And I wwanted to let them knoww soon enough that they could make other arrangements."

"Yeah, that's pretty reasonable. You want me to read over the message to make sure it's clear?"

"That I didn't slip into too much highblood indirection in tryin' not to be rude? Yeah. And there's one other set of messages. I'vve still got ovver forty candidates on my list. I wwas thinkin' I could hold a meetin' in a gatherin' centre, where you and maybe Tavv could take twwo or three nights to pick out say...fifteen of them and then I could bring them to my hivve and make the final decision there."

"Are you still holding a place for him, or is he your concubine now?"

"Holdin' a place. I don't wwant them to knoww that he's got any influence, just let them think he's another candidate. They're goin' to be tryin' to appeal to you, Tavv should get a more honest vvieww a them."

"Yeah, that makes sense." It was a very highblood way of thinking of things though. "Yeah, let them know that I'm a mutant. I didn't pack any clothes, do I need to get them?"

"No, unless you wwant to bring some shoes or boots wwith you. I ordered the basics last night, wwe can pick them up on the wway to my hivve. You...havve to givve up your sign, for noww at least. I can givve it back to you later, but you'll be wwearin' it in my colour."

"Right, yeah." He'd sort of expected that. "Do I need to wear your sign anywhere else?"

"No. I figured Kan'd be wwillin' to design some sort a uniform for my harem." Eridan put his husktop away and stood, offering a hand to help Karkat to his feet. "You wwant any input?"

"Not too revealing please?" He was smaller than Sollux, his body was nothing to be proud of.

"Sure. Kan should be able to wwork that into wwhat I wwant."
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