Fandom: Homestuck

  • Rose/Kanaya
  • Fluff

Length: 1.2k, Oneshot

Date Posted: 2021-03-23



Or: Rose Lalonde vs. the Sweater Curse. (Written for Pose As A Comm's 2020 Unofficial Comment Fic Fest.)


Originally posted on Dreamwidth for the following prompt:

Rose Lalonde vs. the Sweater Curse

(Apparently this is what happens if you knit a sweater for a SO - you break up before the project is finished, or right after you've handed it over. For this prompt, feel free to apply the curse to romance or to friendship.)

Rose Lalonde is not a stranger to the concept of the sweater curse. She may not have had the public-school socialization needed to hear it rumored in middle schools too far away to attend or see it play out in high school hallways she'll never enroll in now that they haven't existed in eons, but she roamed wild on the internet at thirteen like a child in the nostalgic eras decades before her arrival might wander the neighborhood by bicycle, exploring alleys and woods and returning to the doorstep by dinnertime or dark. She knows the rule: knit a sweater for one's significant other, and the breakup is inevitable -- either before the project finishes, or right after it's handed over.

Rose also knows there are entirely reasonable, if disappointingly real, explanations for why this is. Most of them are simple psychology and statistics, if her memory of poring over a Wikipedia page at age twelve is any reference: the timeframe and effort of the knitting process combined with the natural turbulence and half-life of a romantic relationship, the realization of mismatched levels of commitment of its partners, or the confirmation bias from such a memorable breakup.

It's nearly a month before twelfth perigee's eve. It's only a month before twelfth perigee's eve. Rose has inquired about Kanaya's color preferences and asked her to judge the textures of different alchemized yarns (they both tactfully ignore the way several colors match the plush rumps in the components pile in the corner.) She has quietly referenced her sewing-dummy measurements for sizing (and carefully checked they were Kanaya's, since Rose herself has now modeled a few times for Kanaya's latest projects.) And in spite of online advice to the contrary, she has not said a word about it directly, in the vain hope of keeping some element of surprise, or, should it come down to it, plausible deniability.

It's a shame. Personally, superstition fascinates her -- it's an element of the occult, the fringe of magic, something between reality and not. For someone who has seen her fair share of fantasy, there's still an alluring glow to the fine borderlines of mundanity, so long as it's not a world-ending video game or a horde of Lovecraftian extras invading her dreams.

The world she knows can eat superstitions and urban legends for breakfast. So by all means, this should hardly be a passing thought to her, no more meaningful than wondering at ancient myths in the face of some particularly impressive bit of nature.

It's so much easier to dismiss these things when they aren't troubles of her very own.

Honestly, she should just find another idea. She's been stuck for ideas too long, though; a candle-lit dinner would need a home-cooked meal or something else to distinguish the occasion, none of which she has skill or options for unless she means to take a cooking class and magically improve her capacity for time management; a store-bought gift would be nothing less than unspeakably tacky, least of all when they both have all the money they could possibly need; a love poem is tempting but still too quick to make and insubstantial as a gift alone, too cheap and thus unfulfilling -- the list goes on, and it always seems to circle back to handicrafts.

So here she is like a fool, knitting a goddamn sweater for her girlfriend.

Kanaya enters the bedroom with mussed hair and a white fabric pencil tucked behind one perfect pointed ear, and immediately gets to rifling through her scrap box, pulling out patterned and plain swatches and laying them on the floor to dig deeper through the layers for something. Rose watches without comment, and continues her row of mint-green yarn, leaving the motions to muscle memory and nudging the count to the back of her mind.

After some deliberating over two kerchief-sized squares, Kanaya hums, and looks up at her. "Rose, dearest?"

"Yes, darling?" Rose says, missing neither a beat nor a stitch. Kanaya's poker face is worse in person, amusement already drawing up the corner of her mouth like a loop pulled through. Rose's smile remains deadpan as ever, but warm in the way Kanaya has already learned to read.

"If you were to attend a ball, or some other human formal event," Kanaya begins, "what would you intend to wear?"

Rose has to think for a moment. The squiddle-knit dress from her early alchemy is still a fairly fond memory, and her god-tier robes, as garish as the colors are, have grown on her, but she doesn't think she's worn anything properly fancy since they arrived on this strange new earth.

She tries to picture herself in a flouncing Victorian dress. The form is unfamiliar, maybe a little too steampunk for her tastes; she reshapes it, moves the bustle, minimizes the frankly absurd amounts of lace. Darkens the colors -- elegant, gothic perhaps -- turns the skirt straight and austere like a Victorian governess's, but that seems too plain to be... allowed.

She's a goddess. Why should she care what's allowed?

Kanaya exhales softly while Rose is thinking. The sound rattles with an faint alien thrum Rose will never quite get used to hearing. It gives her a little thrill down her spine every time. (Now is not the time for that.)

"Perhaps that question was a bit too general. I will start simpler: do you think you would prefer a suit, a dress, or a nebulous third option?"

Rose was, theoretically, aware that women could wear suits. She had briefly dabbled with the idea in her early teens, on that rock, as she began to grapple with her own identity. The thought had arrived around the time she'd given herself a hasty shorter haircut just to see what it would look like (the answer was disappointingly similar to her existing haircut, all the more since she'd cut it herself, too cautious of embarrassing herself to make any real changes), but she hadn't been sure what to make of it, so the idea had lain buried in the back of her mind since.

She hadn't even considered it. The straight-legged dress, stern and dark and old-fashioned, splits into pressed dress pants and a waistcoat, a muted plum purple with beetle's-wing sheen of the corset remaining underneath, a smoothly ironed white shirt --

"A suit sounds interesting, theoretically speaking." Her mouth has moved mostly without her input. The way her mind has meandered, this is probably for the best, smooth and competent, unruffled. (Ugh. She has spent too long being the blood relative of a Strider.)

Kanaya nods and stands, gathering a dozen darker shades from the floor and putting the rest back into the box. "Thank you."

Rose continues to watch, aimless and half transfixed as Kanaya gets to pulling out more fabric from another box, white silk and thin lace, and the realization sets in.

She has been worrying about giving a sweater to a fucking seamstress.


(The tenderness in Kanaya's eyes when she first sees the finished design, little cream vines and blossoms marching across the soft pastel green, is only surpassed by the soft touch of her hands as they meet, passing the package they both know contains a pressed suit the color of blackberry wine and a pink silk tie. Kanaya fumbles at the top buttons trying to maneuver the collar around her horns, and Rose spends fifteen minutes refusing to admit she doesn't actually know how to tie a tie before she lets her girlfriend help her. Neither of them look like they're going to the same event, but it's a twelfth perigee's eve party and absolutely nobody cares.)