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[personal profile] jessara40k_lj
Title: The Seasons of Conscription Part 4
Fandom: Homestuck
Characters: Sollux/Eridan, Sollux/Feferi, Eridan/Karkat
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Consent issues, discussion of slavery, mpreg

"Here, Kar. Try this on." Eridan held the jacket out to Karkat. He'd worn it two sweeps ago, just before his final growth spurt, not for long enough to show the wear, and he thought it would fit Kar comfortably now. It was black, lined with grey and edged with violet, elegant and restrained, something Kanaya had pressed on him. But he thought Karkat would like it because Kanaya had designed it, and because it was fairly subtle about stating Eridan's claim.

"This isn't the jacket you bought." But he accepted it, looking at it thoughtfully.

"I figured you'd like this one better." He'd bought a jacket with violet lapels and lining, thinking about displaying his claim very blatantly, not what Karkat might want to wear. Feferi might be more comfortable wearing that one, and it wouldn't be too large on her - at least he didn't think it would. The rest he'd kept very plain; high collared shirts in black, grey or the white he was wearing now, lowblood shirts, buttoning at the cuffs, rather than needing cuff links and black trousers of various cuts - the ones Karkat had on now were flared at the bottom to fit easily over his polished black boots.

"I do. I...didn't Kanaya make this for you?" He pulled the jacket on, and shrugged to settle it properly. He looked very good, and Eridan smiled his appreciation.

"And I barely wwore it before I greww out of it, yes. That's wwhy I kept it, because it wwas her wwork. The jacket suits you Kar."

"Thanks, but what would you have done if it wasn't?" Karkat sounded almost accusing.

"The same thing I did wwith the rest of the clothes I outgreww then, checked to see if she wwanted the fabric, then sent them ovver to one a the reuse centres." Just because the lowbloods he knew personally were too proud to wear secondhand clothes didn't mean that other lowbloods wouldn't use them. "Howw'd you feel about wwearin' a tunic wwith my colour at the hem and cuffs, and yours at the neckline?"

"You sure displaying my blood's a good idea?"

"Wwe're not hidin' it, and I thought you might like bein' able to display your colour safely." And, maybe he was being too sentimental, but he wanted to be able to give Feferi that little token of her old rank - which wouldn't be an option if Karkat refused it. Since he had no intention of putting the consort he was flushed for second to the one he used to be pale for. And if Karkat was still shy over his colour, despite having the true shade on record now, then one of his gifts would be very unwelcome.

"Tunic, yes. I want to think about the color. But not now. We need to get going."

"Sure." He rested a hand on Karkat's shoulder as they went down into the dance room. As he'd requested there was a chair set on the end dais, with a table beside it and he made directly for that. "Kar, go and enjoy yourself, as much as you can." He sat down and pulled out a book, one he'd read many times before, more as camoflague than anything else. If they thought he was watching them the lowbloods would all be trying to cater to him, or catch his attention, and that would affect how they reacted.

Over the next hour he made mental notes on the candidates, even though none of them particularly stood out. They were all socialising, and trying to catch Karkat's attention and impress him. And far too many of the lowbloods were trying to play to him, even though he was making a show of ignoring them all. There was a small group that seemed to have gathered around Tavros though, and he didn't seem upset, but then the brown tended to hide it when he was.

"Eridan! Look at this!" He put his book aside as Feferi charged at him, waving her hand in his face. He caught her wrist, looking at the slim band of silver, set with an amber heart on her third finger. It was the exact same shade as the spade on Eridan's own finger.

"Wwhat havve you done, Fef?" He spoke loudly enough to draw attention, and hoped that she was as aware of their audience as he was.

"I exchanged rings with Solelux. He's my matesprit now. Isn't it wonderful?"

"All registered and official, or just an informal agreement?" He didn't release her hand, still speaking more to their audience than to her.

"Offishal off course. I'm proud to have Solelux in my quadrants, to be a quadrant corner of yours. Don't you like my ring? We picked them out together, and I helped him pick out your ring too."

He surged to his feet, snatched her other wrist, pinning it above her head with the first one, ignoring her futile efforts to struggle.

"I am not lettin' you get my kismesis culled for association wwith a tyrian fuck-up." He frisked her, quickly and efficiently, tossing her sylladex onto the table with his book and tucking her strife specibus into a pocket. He pulled a consort's chain from his sylladex, standard issue black - it would have been suspicious to request a second red - and discarded the spade, replacing it with a heart from a concubine's chain. "It seems I have a second consort now." He tossed her over his shoulder, and strode off, back to his hired blocks.

"Eridan? Can you put me down now." Feferi's voice was quiet, it sounded like the reality what they'd just done was finally sinking in.

"Yes." He put her down in a chair sized for him. "Stay." It didn't take long to start registering her as his second consort, but she dropped from the chair and came up behind him when he was searching for her information.

"Water you doing?"

"Claiming you properly." He caught her again and dragged her through to the lockable room that apparently came as standard with a breeder's rental hive. "If you can't stay at command, I'll havve to lock you in." But not lock the terminal in the room - he couldn't, Feferi had to have the option of formally contesting his claim or it wouldn't be legal. He finished the process of registering his claim on her before returning to the dance room.

Karkat was still mingling with the candidates when Eridan returned. He flopped down onto his chair this time, and looked at the ring Sollux had given him, comparing it to Feferi's ring. He was fairly sure Sollux had managed to pay for her ring himself - he hoped that the nerd had anyway, because he couldn't imagine anything more humiliating in a relationship than having to buy your own quadrant jewellery. His own ring was chunky high quality gold, almost pure gold, set with rubies, sapphires, dark amethysts and pieces of amber around the ring, fifteen stones in addition to the spade, three repetitions of a yellow, red, purple, blue, yellow sequence. Sollux had come up with a very effective way of returning the insult of his cuff, and taken great pleasure in telling Eridan that Feferi had paid for it. Enough musing. He was sure Feferi would have got in touch with Sollux by now, and he had to make sure Karkat knew that he was the consort who really mattered to Eridan, not Feferi.

"Kar, come up here for a bit." Once he would have loved the way everyone in the room focused their attention entirely on him the moment he spoke, but now...he wasn't so sure that he even liked it.

"What do you want Eridan?" Karkat was grumbling, but he came to stand beside Eridan obediently enough, a scowl on his face now that Eridan was the only one who could see it.

"You do knoww that you're still my first consort, the one wwho really matters?"

"What? I aren't going to name Feferi your first?" He looked almost shocked as he stepped a little closer.

"The only reason she's my consort is that she wwould have gotten Sol killed if I'd left her to run loose." Eridan didn't shout, but he wasn't speaking just to Karkat the way Karkat was speaking just to him, he made sure to project his voice so that the nearest candidates could hear him, and he could see the news spreading through them. "Come sit on my lap."

Karkat didn't look too happy about it, but he obeyed, climbing up onto Eridan's legs, and leaning against his chest. Eridan kissed the top of his head and stroked his back, trying to comfort him a little.

"I couldn't force Fef into a concubine's role, just a consort's. But you're the one I'd havve as my matesprit if it wwas an option, if I could stay faithful to you wwithout gettin' you killed." He didn't need to play to their audience any more - he could see that the nearest lowbloods were almost swooning over his behaviour - and he lowered his voice. "I had these made for you." He lifted Karkat's hand, and put two charms into it, a bright ruby heart and a gold oval with amethysts carved into the shape of the irons set into it. "You can wwear one a them, or both, wwhatevver you'd prefer."

"Thanks. For giving me the choice." Karkat smiled at him. He fastened the oval to his bracelet, and put the heart into his sylladex. "I'm not ready to flaunt my blood colour yet. Give me time?"

"Of course." He ignored his disappointment, and kissed Karkat again, and wrapped an arm around his waist. "Any conclusions on our guests so far?"
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