Title: Be Mine, Valentine
Pairing(s): Flushed Katnep [Karkat Vantas<3Nepeta Leijon]
*For the anon who requested School!stuck katnep :)
Summary: It’s Valentine’s Day and Nepeta has one very special valentine left to give.
Your name is Nepeta Leijon and you couldn’t be happier because it is your absolute favorite holiday in the history of holidays! You skip from desk to desk, the murmur of voices creating a low drone in the classroom as you deposit a careful, homemade valentine into the decorated paper bag taped to Sollux’ desk. You wrote “Bee Mine” on his valentine and drew a picture of a big fat smiling bumblebee next to it—you think he’ll like it.
You skip to the next desk and search for your next valentine, admiring the cartoony skull you’d doodled with the words “You’re a cutie skulltootie” next to it. Aradia really liked drawing cartoon skulls on her homework, so you figured she’d like one on her valentine.
You slip it in her bag before reaching for the next valentine. Your hand closes around it and you realize, with a growing blush, that it’s your last one. You slowly slide it out of your bag and examine it surreptitiously. It’s incredibly simple, a small red heart with the words “Be my valentine?” written in your loopy nervous handwriting. This was not your first attempt at a valentine. First you’d painstakingly cut out an elaborate crab with the words “I wouldn’t be crabby if you’d be my valentine!” on it, but you scrapped it almost instantly. You didn’t want him to think you were a little girl, or misinterpret it as a friend valentine, like the others.
Finally, you’d settled on the heart and blushing nervously, you look up across the room, where Karkat is scowling at Sollux as the taller boy, grinning, holds a box of sweethearts over his head while he furiously and fruitlessly swipes at them. You grit your teeth. It’s now or never.
This was one valentine you were delivering in person.
You slowly cross the classroom, past where Terezi and Vriska were fighting over a bag of dum dums and stop in front of Karkat and Sollux. Sollux notices you first and lowers the candy, which Karkat snatches instantly and rips open, calling Sollux a variety of creative derogatory names that you can’t really hear over the thudding of your heart.
Karkat turns around, fingers in his mouth as he freezes in the middle of gulping down a handful of sweethearts. He blinks roundly at you and you suddenly lose all your courage, shoving the heart at him quickly. He stumbles, catching the valentine and dropping the candy all over the floor in the process.
“Happy Valentine’s Day!” You almost shriek at him before you turn and bolt, tail between your legs, and a dark blush on your cheeks.
You can hear Sollux snickering behind you and Karkat’s answering growl and you duck your head further, grabbing your bag of valentines off your desk and retreating instantly towards the corner of the room where no one would hopefully bother you. Equius shoots you a raised eyebrow and you shake your head at him, offering a small pitiful smile. You don’t really want to talk to anyone right now—not even your best friend.
You crouch in the corner with your bag, behind a row of desks, and peek into your bag. It’s full of valentines and you smile slightly, feeling the tiniest bit less embarrassed. You dig into the bag, determinedly not looking at where Karkat and Sollux had been standing. There’s a fish valentine from Feferi—You shine like the morning sea, valentine!—and a large red heart sucker from Vriska, with a simple to-from tag on it and a smiley face with eight eyes after your name.
There’s a valentine in your bag from every person in class—except one. You check your empty bag for the third time before fishing through your pile of valentines looking for his name… but it appears Karkat has forgotten you.
You sit back, feeling defeated, and pull your knees up to your chest, resting your chin on them. You look down at your valentines socks—Equius had gotten them for you yesterday. They’re red, with little hearts and kitties on them, and you absolutely love them, but right now not even your holiday socks are making you smile. You give one of the kitties a poke with your finger.
A shadow passes over you, blocking out the lights, and you look up. Karkat looks awkward for a moment before shock passes over his face. “Aw, geez, Nepeta, are you crying!?” He looks uncomfortable and you hurriedly rub at your eyes, trying to stop the tears you hadn’t even noticed were trailing down your cheeks.
“For cryin’ out loud.” Karkat huffs, crouching in front of you and pulling his sleeve up into his hand, tilting your chin up and scrubbing at the tear tracks on your cheek with his sleeve cuff.
Your heartbeat skyrockets and you blush dark as he sits back on his haunches, a bit of color on his ears as well. He clears his throat.
“You, uh… I mean… I liked the… Well…” he trails off awkwardly and its then you notice he has something little and red clutched in his hand. You blink and he groans.
“Look, you ran away before I could—” He breaks off and shoves the little red thing at you. “Just, here ok?”
He hunches forward and trails a finger around in a circle on the carpet as you stare, half dumbfounded half elated at the clumsy red heart. It looks like it had been cut with a pair of safety scissors, and one heart lump was bigger than the other. In the middle, in Karkat’s clumsy scrawl, he has written “I think you’re purrty.”
You look up at him, suddenly feeling like crying again as Karkat catches your eye, blushing dark.
“I just… I dunno. S-Sorry the heart is all lumpy… Sollux only had left-handed scissors and—”
You interrupt him. “I love it, Karkitty.” You whisper, hugging the valentine to your chest and he blushes even darker. “Thank you.”
He burrows further into his shirt. “Welcome.” He mumbles. He glances at you, then down at the carpet, then quick at you again before lurching forward and pressing a quick peck to your cheek. You squeak and he blazes like a fire truck before scrambling backwards and away from you.
You put a hand to your cheek, your eyes huge as a wide smile quickly spreads across your face.
You were so right—Valentine’s Day is the best holiday in the whole wide world!