By Funk McLovin (
Cover art by awsomfaic ( , , , , , , , , ).
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VRISKA: Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well! If it isn't my favor8 human! Or at least, the human that makes me want to tear my horns out the least.
(Vriska Serket leaned in the doorway, her lips pulled into a grin that Rose Lalonde found more grating than sand in her trunks. She didn't turn in her seat to face Vriska, but her shoulders tensed as soon as she heard that voice.)
ROSE: Hello, Vriska. Please, by all means, come in. Make yourself at home. You needn't bother knocking.
Vriska could practically taste the sarcasm emanating off Rose, even though her back was still turned. Unfortunately for Rose, where a lesser woman may have balked, Vriska took Rose's scathing disingenuity as an open invitation.
VRISKA: Roooooooose! We're pals, right? 8uddies? Chums? Friends? Amigos? Compadres? Associates?
Rose finally turned in her office chair to face the spider-troll, voice only coated with the thinnest veneer of politeness, hostility bubbling under the surface.
ROSE: I'm very impressed you seem to have memorized that particular thesaurus page, Vriska, but I urge you to get to the point, to save us both some time.
Again, Vriska was bafflingly and frustratingly immune to Rose's usual icy volley.
VRISKA: You know what they say, Rose. A friend in need is a friend indeed! That must mean I'm one gr8 friend today! 8ecause I need your help, 8AD. You'd help your old friend Vriska, wouldn't you? ::::)
Rose felt very much like she should not humor Vriska, but she took the 8ait.
ROSE: What is it you need help with, Vriska?
She spoke slowly, deliberately, trying to impress exactly how exhasperated she was, even in giving Vriska this concession. Vriska beamed like a child who'd just been told they were permitted to go to a friend's house to sleep over.
VRISKA: Well, you're good at magic, right, Rose?
The question was ridiculous, but Rose, again, against her better judgment, followed Vriska's grinning visage down whatever rabbit hole Vriska was intent to pull her into.
ROSE: Yes, Vriska. I am "good at magic." The point, please?
VRISKA: The 8EST at magic, I 8et. I need some help with finding something.
Rose hated to admit it to herself, but this blueblooded bitch had a way of drawing out her curiosity. Best not let Vriska see that, though.
ROSE: Do you keep trailing off for a reason, or are you just stringing me along because you're getting paid by the hour to hassle me?
VRISKA: Hahahaha! Jeez, Rose, lighten up! I figured you'd leap at the chance to help a gal out. Fine! Since you're such a 8oring dingus, I'll just tell you. I need help finding my dragon.
Rose crossed her legs. It didn't take a genius to figure out that Vriska was not talking about a mythical beast. Problem was, Rose had no fucking idea what Vriska WAS talking about.
ROSE: Your... dragon.
VRISKA: My dragon. I lost it!
Drat. Rose couldn't extract any more context.
ROSE: And what pray tell, Vriska, is a "dragon"?
As soon as the words left her lips, Rose knew she had fucked up. Catastrophically. Vriska's grin became uncontainable, spreading on her face as though in slow motion before breaking into a laughing bout of words.
VRISKA: You know, Rose. A "dragon".
Rose was helpless to stop it. She'd never been physically assaulted by Vriska, but she felt like this was the closest she'd ever come.
VRISKA: When I'm "dragon" DEEZ NUTS across your face!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
The eruption of laughter sent Rose's head spining. She clutched the arms of the seat for balance, mouth gaping, eyes unfocused and hazy. Her inner ear failed her, her mind twisting helplessly as though in free-fall. Vriska's remaining guffaws and yuks were muffled, like they were a world away.
VRISKA: Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!! Oh, MAN, Rose! You should have seen the look on your face!
Rose snapped back to reality suddenly, her teeth clenched. She HAD to make a comeback. She HAD to muster something to save face. She couldn't LOSE to this heinous 8itch!
ROSE: Yeah? Well, your mother-
Fuck. Fuck! Rose, you dope. You cretin. You schlemiel!! Trolls don't HAVE moms, that's weak-sauce.
ROSE: Your mother was- So fat.
No!!! No,. Rose couldn't stop the words from coming out of her mouth, her face burning red like the surface of the most shameful sun.
ROSE: -that she. Cracked the pavement, occasionally, while on a stroll.
VRISKA: Uh. Yeah, Rose. That's literally true. She weighed five tons.
Rose swallowed, thickly, with some difficulty.
ROSE: Oh. Right.
The tension in the air was more horrific than the result of the original joke. Vriska stood tense in the doorway and Rose felt like five tons herself in the office chair.
VRISKA: So, uh.
The duo were motionless for a few more drawn out moments before Vriska silently shuffled away.