pale fire additives

supplementary material for "and her pale fire she snatches from the sun," a Kanaya♦Karkat collab project for the Homestuck Shipping Olympics

Permalink maybe one day you’ll find a place to call your own; call it home. you think back to the humble oasis you had when you were younger, that you’ve been lately wishing you could have showed karkat. 
Permalink a sentimental shot.
Permalink karkat and the bartender. when you were distractedfamiliarizing yourself with that lovely entertainer, you may or may not have left your companion in the hands of a well-built beverage mixer. karkat does not imbibe but he admitted that they had a tolerable conversation. 
the bartender possesses a small but sharp set of tusks, a pair of cloven feet, and a flirtatious smile that he flicks karkat’s way. (karkat awkwardly turns him down.) his race, who call themselves Treodoruun, is from a nearby system.
Permalink a beguiling “showgirl”— an elegant race with pennarum. upon an uncharacteristically intimate inspection on your part, that “boa” is in fact, biologically part of her. they are quite entertaining.
Permalink foreign monetary units. the first time you come across fibrous, pulp-based currency, neither of you know it. you think they are scraps of MANUSCRIPTIONERY because they lacerate so easily; you have a couple strewn around, thoughtlessly scribbled with reminders. in contrast, the universally-accepted GRUBSTUBS(1) are printed on TANNED GRUBHIDE. 
Permalink one of the moons you hide out on (Usuryone, of the planet Thresherene in Sector MXII) is a bustling transport hub of mixed alien relations, one of the few places in this system that does not have an overt Alternian military presence. There is a phrase there that, in Troll, translates to “post-eventide shenanigans conducted at a pre-chosen destination that preferably serves inebriating beverages.” 
you take a picture to immortalize the occasion.
Permalink a closer view of karkat’s googles


in your journey across the galaxy you inevitably come across whiffs of exotic vernacular, that only get stronger the closer you edge out into the nebulous borders of Alternian territory. you get tail-end conversations overheard at docking hubs, snatches of alien syllables that roll awkwardly over your tongue. sometimes you cannot even do an inperfect mimic, lacking a secondary airway chute for a harmonious extratone or a pair of vocal alae for that buzzing inflection.

you like them, these discordant jigsaw pieces of idioms and greetings and sayings. Your language, in its gradual evolution over thousands and thousands of sweeps, has its aggressively extensive share of phrases but you have never really been in to habit of using colloquialisms in the first place. you do not, as certain trolls say, have an iron in that fire.

but this is not for you, not really. you with your literal words, your straight-laced lines; you could use a pinch of color in your language. ultimately, you pick up these xenolinguistic threads for Karkat. 

Karkat takes to them so easily like… like some effortless manner of metaphor. Or rather, he takes them, he strangles and rages and beats them into submission, to flourish his own creative vocabulary. not that it should be particularly encouraged but every time he incorporates something you’ve brought to him and makes it his own, it sends a fond thrill through that secret, tentatively pale corner of your vascular pump.