Tavros wondered if it would have been different if they’d told everyone, told anyone. He didn’t even know why they kept it secret, aside from being none of anyone’s business, which was reason enough. Would she have bothered doing what she did if she’d known, or would she have just done it sooner, with infinitely more cruelty? Would Tavros be the one who knelt over a corpse, deep purple blood smeared across his lips and her smiling gleefully in the background, you have to love me now you have to he’s gone.
The first time they kissed had been unlike anything Tavros expected. Gamzee had been gentle, and he had the most serious look on his face, comical beneath the ridiculous makeup. Tavros laughed at him, and Gamzee had finally smiled.
“You have no idea,” Gamzee had said, “how fucking long I have waited for this.” And he tilted Tavros’ chin up, and he kissed him so, so softly. Karkat’s stupid movies were always going on about sparks and fireworks, but they were a weak analogy for what Tavros felt at that moment. His heart had pounded nonstop. With that kiss he had grown wax wings to soar above the planet, and he didn’t know if Gamzee was the sun or the shade.
“Would you have killed me if she didn’t already do it?” Tavros asked quietly. Gamzee held Tavros’ severed head in his hands, blood dripping on the floor, too much blood. Gamzee tilted the head up and kissed the cold lips so, so softly. Tavros pressed his palm against the wall and watched Gamzee’s dreams fill with rich, blue blood, far too much blood and still not enough.
When Gamzee touched Tavros along the ribs, his whole body shivered. One hand tangled in Gamzee’s hair, the other gripped one of his horns, pulling him closer. Their kiss was hard and desperate. Tavros’ wings had melted in he heat where their bodies touched.
“I don’t want to wake up,” Gamzee muttered against Tavros’ skin. His tears were leaving little purple trails down his face. He wiped them away with the back of his hand, smearing his makeup and the brown blood clinging to his lips.
“No,” Tavros tried to say, but his mouth was full of blood. In the distance he could hear cruel, mocking laughter, short and staccato and familiar. Tavros realized he couldn’t feel his legs.
“Don’t you see?” she said, putting her arms around Tavros’ neck, “He woke up, he’s gone, you have to love me now.” She was smiling serenely at him. She always got what she wanted, didn’t she?
Tavros leaned with his back against the wall. His arms were smeared up to the elbows with rich, blue blood. He was looking up into the sky. Slowly, he raised his hands, straining to touch the clouds, but he had long forgotten how to fly.