Promstuck

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Fanfiction
Title: Promstuck
Author(s): urbanAnchorite, Cephied_Variable and schellibie
Date(s): June 2011 - January 2012
Length: more than 20k words, 238 pages
Genre: AU High School AU slash femslash
Fandom: Homestuck
External Links: Tumblr, AO3
Your name is KARKAT VANTAS and your LIFE IS OVER. AGAIN. pg. 1

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WELCOME TO PROMSTUCK
Only you can save senior prom.[1]

Promstuck is an illustrated Homestuck fan adventure by urbanAnchorite, Cephied_Variable and schellibie, and is part of the Marchingstuck AU continuity. It was originally serialised on Tumblr, and then cross-posted to Archive of Our Own (though it remains incomplete there). It consists of four acts, two intermissions, and an epilogue.

Summary

This is a story about love. This is a story about betrayal. Of heterosexuality, Heee Haw, and growing up.

This is a story about prom.

Welcome to Promstuck, a completely ridiculous fanadventure taking place in the Marchingstuck continuity! Please be prepared for a fanadventure full of hilarious japes and gentle frivolity, such as punch-spiking, dance-interrupting, fondly admiring ass-lacks, and the Unbearable Karkat Vantasness of Being. It is brought to you by Shelby “No Cool Nickname”, urbanAnchorite and hilarity option Cephied Variable.[1]

Promstuck functions like a 'classic' fan adventure: many of its commands were submitted by the readers, which the team dutifully followed. This can explain the reasons as to why the characters die, offer everyone they meet bacon and jelly sandwiches and seem to be propelled around by Hearts Boxcars (you wouldn't believe the number of times Hearts Boxcars seems to pop up in the commands box).

Plot

Promstuck follows various Homestuck characters in Marchingstuck AU as they attend their senior year prom. It features Karkat Vantas, Kanaya Maryam, Terezi Pyrope, Eridan Ampora, and John Egbert (with a cameo by Doc Scratch). The main plot of the fan adventure is Karkat Vantas and John Egbert coming to terms with their (very homosexual) romantic feelings for each other. They are aided by their friends in a drawn-out shenanigans-filled journey to express their feelings before Prom ends, amid a bunch of fandom references and easter eggs to both Marchingstuck and Homestuck canon.

Act One

From page 1 to page 53

Act One opens with Karkat Vantas sitting in a corner of Prom with Eridan Ampora, contemplating his unrequited love for John Egbert. Despite having come to prom together as dates, John is dancing with his moirail Vriska while Karkat is stuck talking to a self-pitying Eridan. To avoid Eridan making moves on him (and to make John jealous), he asks him to dance. This does not work, and after absconding Eridan's embrace, Karkat enlists Dave Strider's help in DJ-ing the party so that John might ask Karkat to dance. While talking to him, he flashbacks to when he dated Dave's girlfriend Terezi in middleschool - and how she broke up with him.

He then asks Jade Harley for help, who proceeds to advise him to kiss John on the mouth. This sets off multiple flashbacks to various times John and Karkat have kissed, only for John to explain it away (no homo) and friendzone him. Despite further encouragement from Jade, Karkat is totally unprepared to approach John and he runs away to the refreshments table. He starts looking for someone else to dance with, to make John jealous, and ends up with Feferi Peixes. He almost gets taken by the festertongues, but John cuts in at this point. Karkat and John begin to dance; Dave changes the song to Journey's Open Arms, which John proclaims is their 'slowdance jam'. They snuggle while John obliviously flirts with Karkat. Mid-dance, John touches Karkat's butt, and when Karkat demands an explanation, again explains it away as a platonic gesture. Karkat's heart breaks and he leaves.

Intermission

From page 54 to page 62

John's moirail Vriska Serket comes in to school him on how to have 'sexy sexxxxxxxx', with Blingee tutorials. Though it is incomprehensible in a true Serket way, at one point it is clear that Vriska is trying to get John to see his non-heterosexual attraction to Karkat. However, John remains ignorant.

Act Two

From page 63 to page 90

The story shifts to Kanaya Maryam's POV, who enters prom with her date and girlfriend Rose Lalonde in tow. She looks for her moirail Karkat in the main room, but he is nowhere to be found. After some searching, she finds him locked in the girls' bathroom - outside which a queue of disgruntled prom go-ers stand (one of which is Shelby's fantroll). When he refuses to come out, Kanaya decides to meddle and go talk to Vriska. Vriska argues that everything is fine and going according to 'plan' and escapes while Kanaya is reminiscing about their middleschool moiraillegiance, which ended when Vriska cheated on her with John. Kanaya decides to get John drunk and tries to enlist Terezi to spike the punch. While negotiating with her, Terezi breaks the fourth wall and demands a POV in the fan adventure. Accordingly, the story shifts to Terezi Pyrope's POV, in which she briefly indulges in flashbacks and dances, before returning the POV. Kanaya successfully haggles with Terezi with a BJ (a bacon-and-jelly sandwich) and she successfully spikes the punch. John drinks some and gets intoxicated, immediately spilling his heart (i.e. guilt and internalized homophobia) out to Rose. Kanaya then goes to check on Karkat again and finds that he is now locked in the girls' bathroom. She leaves to try and break him out, and is subsequently troll-napped.

Intermission

From page 91 to page 102

The second intermission provides an array of objects as options to delve into memories within the Marchingstuck continuity, which give backstory to the various character arcs in Promstuck. The Carried Flag of Danger shows the memory of Eridan Ampora and the time he accidentally killed Kanaya with a flag, during color guard practice. The Rose Festoon shows Karkat's memory of his first 'friend-date' with John to a school dance, soon after his breakup with Terezi. The Eclipse Eclipse Gum shows the memory of Kanaya and Karkat becoming moirails. At this point the plot devolves as the writers and artist lose track of where the story is going, switching to a Promstuck version of the troll ancestors. This is quickly ended by the artist breaking the fourth wall and beginning Act Three.

Act Three

From page 103 to page 186

The storyline returns with Eridan Ampora being sad, when he suddenly realizes that the vibe of prom has changed. Everyone is drunk and kissing each other. Before Eridan can join in, however, teens macking on each other are unceremoniously separated by the parent chaperones Dad Egbert and Mom Lalonde. Irritated by this obstacle to his romantic endeavours, Eridan tries to enlist first Nepeta's help and then Rose's to distract and/or stop the chaperones. Rose agrees on the condition that he find Kanaya, who has gone missing. He finds a crowd of 'depressed women' outside the girls' bathroom and interviews Shelby's Mary Sue fantroll who is described as 'the most popular, nicest girl in high school'. He then talks to Terezi, who gives him a Blistex lipbalm to give to Rose. Assumedly, this fulfilled Eridan's "quest", and Rose asks Bro Strider for help in distracting the chaperones, which he promptly does.

In their absence, the debauchery and intoxication levels of prom rise. However, the narrative is then hijacked by a new chaperone: Scratch, the rival school's principal. It is implied that he is the same Scratch from Homestuck canon simply playing a new role in this AU. He trades inside jokes with the reader and force-sobers everyone at prom. Scratch is heavily implied to be pedophilic and attracted to adolescent girls. He is interrupted by the creators, who get rid of him and return the POV to Eridan.

Rose sarcastically suggests Eridan seduce Principal Scratch to get rid of the new chaperone, which he takes as a real suggestion. He fails, as Scratch prefers teen girls, but is directed to checking the girls' bathroom, where he finds Karkat, still locked in. Karkat, in total frustration, asks Eridan out on a date which shocks and pleases the seadweller. However, in a moment of growth, Eridan realizes that though Karkat would make him very happy, Karkat would not be happy dating him as he has feelings for John instead. Eridan decides to save prom for Karkat and John, and crossdresses as a girl to seduce Scratch. It works, but Feferi sees this and boots Scratch out of the school. She and Eridan argue and then have an emotional moment as best friends.

At this point, the story switches to Karkat's POV in the bathroom. He has finished crying and is examining his surroundings. He finds a safe behind a clown painting and opens the safe with a key he had in his inventory. A Walkman in the safe plays Miley Cyrus' See You Again, and the anthem revs Karkat up. However, since he is still stuck, he calls Sollux (who did not come to Prom) for help. Instead Sollux pranks him, but he is broken out by Terezi. Terezi berates Karkat for giving up and running away from John and his feelings for him. They kiss after Karkat confesses that he thought he would love her forever. The kiss makes Karkat realize that he can't dwell on his past relationships and mistakes and use them to set up future relationships for failure. Karkat and Terezi make up, and Terezi leaves to enjoy her prom. A flashback shows how Dave and Terezi got together in junior year. The act ends with them dancing.

Act Four

From page 187 to page 227

John Egbert is examining his own feelings and thoughts after sobering up. When he tries a psychology exercise suggested by Rose to imagine his perfect future, he sees himself making a family with Karkat and Vriska. He briefly tries to no homo the fantasy, but comes to the shocking realization that he is in love with Karkat. Coming to terms with his internalized homophobia, he does not run away when he sees Karkat coming to talk to him. Karkat immediately starts to berate him for groping him without invitation and the two of them begin to have a fight in the middle of the dance floor. Karkat ends up confessing his love for John and attempts to leave. John admits to being afraid of being gay, and explains that that is why he kept avoiding the romantic relationship label. He finally confesses that he loves Karkat too, and asks to kiss him. The narrative then commences "the Great Kiss Suspense Fake-Out" in which a bunch of fanart (by other artists) show John and Karkat almost kissing. They finally kiss as I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore starts playing.

The story ends, but shows what happened to Kanaya: she was pulled into a closet and tied up by Vriska. Vriska explains how she had set up a plan to 'save prom' and that Kanaya was ruining it; however, it quickly becomes clear that she is bullshitting and was trying to impress Kanaya. When Kanaya brings up their past moiraillegiance, Vriska accuses Kanaya of having had flushed feelings for her back then. She begins to admit that she returns those feelings, but bails at the last moment. Rose kicks in the closet door and reveals that Vriska did not 'save prom', but Eridan did. Kanaya punches Vriska and flips her feelings from flushed to black.

Epilogue

From page 228 to page 238

The epilogue commences, set to Simple Minds' Don't You (Forget About Me) in true 80s teen movie fasion, describing the (happy or not) endings of various Promstuck characters and ships.

Easter Eggs

  • "That punch is filled with Squirt. Only Harry Potter likes that hog shit.":[2] reference to StarKid's A Very Potter Musical[3]
  • ==> KARKAT: GO DARK:[4] reference to Homestuck when Rose goes grimdark[5]
  • Bitches Love Wails:[6] reference to "GIVVE THAT BITCH A WWHALE. BITCHES LOVVE WWHALES."[7]
  • ==> KANAYA: BE HARDBOILED[8] & ==> BE SUPER HARDBOILED:[9] reference to Cephied_Variable's fanfic Cities in Dust (shit let's be hardboiled)
  • About three things you’re absolutely positive. First, that Kanaya is a Rainbow Drinker. Second, that there’s a part of her – and you don’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsts for your blood. And third, that you’re unconditionally and irrevocably in pale for her.[10]: reference to Twilight
  • in Godhead Pickle Inspector’s good time:[11] reference to a Problem Sleuth character
  • ==> HOW CAN YOU RUN? FUR SHE IS ALREADY HERE.[12]: reference to the Lord English running gag in Homestuck, "He is already here."
  • march plaid powwer dawwn a aquarius MAKE UP:[13] reference to Sailor Moon's magic girl transformation, "Moon Prism Power, Make Up!"
  • You are unfortunate enough to run into your younger alternate self, who in his panic naturally takes you for a Boggart.[14]: reference to the Harry Potter AU fan adventure John Egbert and the Goblet of Sick Fires
  • One of the fake kisses:[15] reference to Hemostuck

Fan Reactions & Reviews

This article or section needs expansion.

Promstuck was highly popular and gained even more fans than Marchingstuck. At one point in the fanventure, in classic MSPA forum style, the creators began inviting reader input for the "commands" given to the characters to direct the plot. The finale of Promstuck was also a collaboration with various fanartists.

Promstuck Dub

In April 2012, Adoxographist, a fannish voice actor, began the Promstuck Dub project with a casting call post[16], which would be posted on YouTube. The Promstuck Tumblr's final posts are reblogs of the fandub. The Promstuck Dub cast[17] features Homestuck BNFs such as Kylee Henke and Mike Tooch.

References

  1. ^ a b Welcome to Promstuck! info page
  2. ^ Jun 30, 2011. Promstuck Act I
  3. ^ Feb 17, 2013
  4. ^ Jul 3, 2011. Promstuck Act I
  5. ^ Rose: go dark. ==>
  6. ^ Jul 8, 2011. Promstuck Act II
  7. ^ a Homestuck Meme
  8. ^ Jul 10, 2011. Promstuck Act II
  9. ^ Jul 10, 2011. Promstuck Act II
  10. ^ Aug 13, 2011. Promstuck Intermission II
  11. ^ Aug 25, 2011. Promstuck Act III
  12. ^ Aug 25, 2011 Promstuck Act III
  13. ^ Sep 13, 2011. Promstuck Act III
  14. ^ Sep 17, 2011. Promstuck Act III
  15. ^ https://promstuck.tumblr.com/post/11420324879/ Oct 14, 2011]. Promstuck Act IV
  16. ^ Apr 7, 2012. Promstuck Dub - Act 1
  17. ^ May 30, 2012. PROMSTUCK CAST LIST!