Aehuru and I were talking about “can gargoyles have tattoos” over in the Discord chatroom, and that reminded me that I had some alternate headcanons floating around that I could post.
This was written probably a year ago, I don’t quite remember and I’m too lazy to check, and it has tense changes all over the place that I’m too tired to fix, but here you go.
cw: tattoos, body modification
A rough day, a spark of an idea spurred from “Glass Isn’t Supposed to Do That” by DarkMoonMaiden, and here we are.
Ross is always so interested in art, why not tattoos?
“Trott, what’s this place?”
“It’s a tattoo parlor, Ross.”
Ross tilted his head, looking through the windows at designs pinned along the wall. The pictures were hard to define, the reflective glass of the shop front only serving to show him a curious gargoyle and an impatient selkie.
Trott sighed and tugged at Ross’ sleeve. “Ross, come on. We’ve got an appointment to keep.”
“We can’t go inside?” Ross asked, trying to see past his reflection to see farther into the room. There were two people sitting in the far back, one hunched over the other, but he couldn’t tell what was going on.
“Not today, sunshine. Some other time.”
Ross lets himself be led from the shopfront with a sigh, and turns back to Trott and the sidewalk before him.
Ross laying on the floor, flipping through tattoo magazines, staring at the pretty people and the pretty artwork. Sips stared down at him from the couch. “Somethin’ in there you like, Ross?” he asked the gargoyle with a smirk.
Ross was so intently focused, he only hummed in reply. His eyes followed the curve of the model’s bicep, tracing the painted lines reminiscent of oil paintings.
“Ross.” Sips poked him with a toe, and when no response was provoked, the heel of his holey-sock covered foot.
“What?” Ross asked, finding Sips’ insistent nudging distracting. He flipped a page and traces his fingertips over the wings on another model’s back. The glossy feel of the magazine.
“I want one.” Ross said, reaching the end of the magazine and closing it with a soft rustle of pages.
Sips chuckled. “Of what?”
“Not sure yet.”
“Best choose wisely. Plenty of people I knew picked something, and were later unhappy with it.”
Ross huffed and rolled over on his back, arms splayed, staring up at the ceiling. Sips’ foot slid off his stomach and to the ground, and he lamented the loss of his footrest.
“Does everyone regret what they get?” Ross asked quietly, chewing his lip.
“No.” Sips sighed. “Only if they’re drunk when they get it. Most people make it mean something, Ross. They pick a symbol or something that holds meaning for them.”
“Meaning about what?” Ross looks with his eyes over at Sips, who shrugs.
“Family, friends, love, life. Personal struggles. Favorite things. Anything. People get tattoos for personal reasons, and-or because it looks cool.”
Ross nods in agreement and looks away again. He drags a stray sketchbook out from under the coffee table, rolls back over onto his stomach to sketch out ideas. A lot of things were swirling in his brain, and he didn’t know what he wanted.
“I want to get a tattoo,” he told Trott the following evening.
Trott turned from his desk with a large eye brow raise. “You what?”
“I want a tattoo.” Ross handed him a flyer for a tattoo parlor. He’d done his research, checked the place out with Smith, everything. He held his sketchbook under his arm and chewed his lip- it was Trott he’d have to convince.
“Sunshine…” Trott started, lowering the flyer with a sigh.
“Please, Trott, I did my research, I know what I want and I’m not going to regret it-”
“Ross-” Trott held up a hand, silencing him for a moment, and scooted towards him with his feet dragging his rolling office chair across the floor.
“First of all.” Trott said, beckoning him to sit at his feet, “I’m not even sure if magic tattoo machines would work on you, nevermind human ones. I don’t trust anyone to do that, either, especially when what makes you a gargoyle is so ingrained into your marble skin. It’s what makes you you.”
Ross opened his mouth, but Trott continued talking before he could get a word in.
“If you really want something like a tattoo, then I’m going to have to figure out a way to do it that requires the minimal amount of pain possible. Which is the thing- tattoos hurt.”
“I know, Trott, and I get it, but that’s fine. I just want something small anyway, that’s all.”
Trott’s concern softens a little, eyes moving to Ross’ sketchbook and then back to his face. “You have an idea in mind?”
Ross hands him the sketchbook.
Trott looks at the design for a long time, lips pursed together but with a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.
“Would you be able to copy it?” Ross asks.
Trott sighs and looks up to meet Ross’ eyes, staring back at the wistfulness and wonder in them. He ruffles Ross’ hair. “We can try.” he amends quietly. The selkie tells himself he won’t regret it, when Ross gives him an earth-shattering grin.
“Do you want a tattoo, Sips?” Trott asked him.
“We could tattoo ‘bastard’ across your asscheeks.” Smith growled affectionately.
“That’s ‘magnificent bastard’, one word per cheek, and I want it backwards so I can read it in the mirror.”
“Or we could tattoo a crown to your head, because fuck knows that hat of yours reeks.”
“I’ll have you know, Smiffy, my hat is a fine piece of embroidery, and it shall not be tarnished.”
Trott scoffs. “I was under the impression you spilled beer on it the other day.”
“And you said you’d wash it for me.” Sips raised a defiant eyebrow.
“And you’re still wearing it!”
“Because it hasn’t been washed!”
“I did laundry on Monday, I told you I won’t for a week! The washer’s right there, you could even do it yourself!”
“Guys,” Ross whined.
tool similar to embossing or woodburning.
like someone was holding a hot iron towards his skin.
it was uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than painful.
what Ross had drawn was similar in style to illuminated manuscript. gold leaf, red, yellow, green, blue, black for the lines, silver shading
a gargoyle-like ouroboros, semi-tribal in design, inked black (silver edges), and surrounding a circlet of celtic knotwork (gold background, green lines, blue fill like watercolor)