There's white sugar and black-kittied tea kettles everyfuckingwhere in this blighted place. Eridan lands, scowling already, and sure enough he gets sugar in his shoes in the very next second. It dusts itself down his leg and slithers down under his foot and crunches, it's horrible.
"Well?" he calls out. "I'm here now, come out an' tell me what the heck you wanted me ta come over for!"
It stinks like over-sweetened, boiled grass and cat litter. Eridan pulls his scarf up over his nose and clambers down the pyramid he landed on. The edge of a step crumbles under his foot and he has to jump down. Of course he lands knee-deep in a powder-sugar drift. Gogdamnit.
No answer, only the wind.
"Come on, I know you can hear me, s' your land, now what in blazes do you even want? Tell me so I can get the hell away from the worst fuckin' land I ever set eyes on!"
Frgh. He doesn't even know why he bothered to come, apart from boredom and faint curiosity. There was just the invite from Nepeta's chumhandle, but so terse. Hell, maybe Nepeta isn't even the one who sent it, maybe it's a trap, because let's be honest now, when has he ever given the autistic purrbeast saccharine idiot the time of the day? And if she has need of his services, well, ain't like his skillset is unique, and she doesn't like him enough to request him when she could ask someone else. They have no reason to visit.
Yeah, this is starting to stink of a trap. He decaptchalogues a rifle. (He misses Ahab's Crosshairs something awful nowadays, but ain't no way his ancestor would hand it over to him. Least Rox didn't mind unloading some of her inventory on him. He could kiss her for that, only she ain't --surprise! -- interested.)
Now should he climb up for a better view, or would that make him too easy to snipe? His clothes are dark, so unless he finds himself a tea purrbeast to lean on he's about as obvious as a pustule on Her Condescension's gorgeous face. No, better to stay in the valleys between sugar cube mounds, so he has something at his back.
Sugar crunches silently behind him.
He whirls around, shoots. The stink of caramel wafts back to him, a scorched brown track is left on the ground. Nothing more. He takes off running for the corner of the pyramid, throws himself down into a crouch and executes a perfect corner-turn-and-aim.
Nothing, but he can see footprints here and there. Stupid of 'em not to climb up onto harder, glazed steps. He's got them. He follows at a trot, scanning the area with a sharp eye. His blood is pumping, his senses straining in a way he's been missing; action, danger, the chance to kill some uppity lowblood in the face.
He hears a liquid gurgle and slows down, suspicious; at the next turn is the sinuous green ribbon of a tea river, faintly steaming. The tracks end there on the edge. Hissing softly between his teeth, he sneaks closer, eyes what he can see of the other bank. No tracks to be seen start back there, but maybe the intruder let themselves flow downstream and will resurface on the same bank; it's hard to see far with how much the river curves and winds around.
Upriver would be too hard to navigate, so... Eridan starts to follow downstream.
No crunch of sugar this time. Something impacts his back like a small cannonball. He and his gun fly off the bank, straight into hot tea.
It's not enough to scald but it hurts anyway. He resurfaces with a furious snarl, whirls around, struggling against the current to get back to the bank. He's got tea in his fucking gills and his gun is lost in murky green grass soup, he is going to kill the --
A small girl in a huge overcoat crouches there, perfectly dry, watching him wordlessly.
He spends maybe a half-second being startled that it was Nepeta after all, and then his purple lock slops wetly across his eye and she smirks and he charges.
She's strong and he didn't expect it, and perhaps he should have. She doesn't use her hunting claws, just her own, but he's quickly smeared in purple anyway. They roll on the sandy sugar beach and throw it into each other's eyes and she mule-kicks him in the thigh trying to get at his bulge and and it's not until until she catches his face between all of her claws that he even starts to get what the fuckin' hell is even going on.
And then she kisses him and he doesn't even have time wondering if perhaps he's imagining things again, because the way she's trying to chew his lips off? No he ain't.
Someone hates him, someone sees him and hates him, and he almost doesn't care that it's the chick he's barely looked twice at ever, because by gog he is finally going to get some action.
He wraps longer arms around her back to haul her in, bites back, tastes green blood, just as disgustingly cloying as it should be; he laps it off her chin, growls when she digs claws in his sides. Thank fuck for his clothes because shredded gills is kinda heavy for a first date. He tries to roll now he's got her pinned and she proves he didn't have her that pinned when she managed to get enough distance to plant her heels on his bone bulge and heave.
Ow, fuck. He rolls on the sand, lands at the edge of the tea, sits up. She's standing there with purple and green streaks all over her front, her hands. She looks wild, hair mussed into wild flying curls, fangs bared.
"Erridan Ampurra, you are the most horrible purrson I've ever met. You are selfish and you use people and you never really cared about anyone but you efur and I can't even imagine how you can live like that but it's disgusting!"
He sits up, blinks slowly. He takes the time to slick his bangs back, school his face into haughty indifference. His crotch aches. It's marvelous.
"So... does that mean you wanna hit that, blackrom style? 'cause I kinda gathered, on account a not bein' a brain-deficient feral twit."
She tackles him into the river again. He rolls with it, literally. He drags her under and mashes his mouth to hers and rolls to the bottom, presses his lithe swimmer's body to her surprising amount of compact muscles. Now they're gonna see who can breathe tea longer.
And then maybe pail some, if he's very lucky.