There are no days or nights on the meteor, no familiar way to measure time while hurtling through the coils of the outer ring. But her body knows when it needs sleep, and right now Rose is dead tired.
The monotony of the lab isn’t helping, nothing but shades of gray patched together to form the dullest hallways she's ever seen. Yellow and orange are hardly her favorite colors but she’s appreciating the warm vibrancy of her God Tier outfit as she makes her way through the lab towards her personal room - which is less a room and more a cavernous storage space full of esoteric lab equipment (and, curiously, quite a few wooden chests), a corner of which has been made livable through her extensive alchemizing and interior decorating.
There’s a new addition to the room when she steps off the transporter pad. Gamzee is splayed out on her bed, staring up at the high ceiling.
"Um,” she begins to alert him to her presence. “Excuse me?"
"Shit, sister, why wasn't anyone telling me how motherfuckin’ awesome beds are?"
He’s spread out on his back like he's trying to take up as much space as possible, long and lanky against the bright bedding (pink – when Dave needled her over the color choice she simply said “my mother liked pink”, and he dropped the subject). The surprise at finding him there turns into amusement as Rose watches Gamzee stretch and sweep his arms and legs over the blanket, leaving behind a wrinkly bed angel.
"Apologies for the oversight."
"I'm just thinking that this might beat the horn pile on the list of the best things I ever up and lay down on. And humans sleep on these miracles every day? Lucky motherfuckers." He lolls his head to the side to smile as she approaches.
"So are you here just to sample the furniture? Because I’m tired, so you’ll forgive me if I'm not thrilled that you chose to commandeer my bed for your research."
The blissed look on his face falls away at that. Gamzee folds in on himself, draws up his knees, pulls his arms across his stomach and looks back up at the high, dark ceiling.
Rose raises an eyebrow at the body language, intrigued.
"Nah, I've got a question for you,” he says. “Just been thinking on how to up and ask this motherfucker. Don't want to be stomping on any feelings or nothing."
"If it makes you feel better, I'm sure I won't be able to resist asking a few invasive questions of my own before we're done here," Rose offers, truthfully enough. She and Gamzee haven’t spoken beyond their brief introduction. He seems to keep with Karkat, and away from her and Dave when possible.
"Don't mean to be sticking my horns in your business,” he begins after a moment, “but I heard some talk about how you went all shithive out of your mind. Listening too much to the voices what been talking to you and went all kinds of wicked unnatural. Acting all different from normal. Turned into one vengeful motherfucker is what I heard."
He shoots a look at Rose, who's face has gone flat, unreadable.
“I’m asking," he adds quickly, "because I had my own thing that sounds pretty motherfucking similar. I was wondering about how you snapped your head out of that bad space you were in."
"Yes, Kanaya filled us in on that incident.” Noting the air of discomfort around Gamzee, and maybe to avoid answering right away, she adds, “Please don't think she was gossiping, we were eager for information…"
"Nah, she's one of the best of us, can't get mad at her."
"Yes, well. To answer your question..." Rose pauses. The vast darkness of the lab behind her prickles at her back, puts her nerves on edge. She takes another step into the pool of light around the bed. "I wasn't able to escape the horrorterrors on my own. I was killed, quite frankly. Without John and the resurrection mechanism it would have been the end of me.”
"Just you who died, then. Never got it all up in your head to be killing your friends, at least. Not that I like the idea of you dying, sis."
There it is – the quill lodged deep inside her, too painful to examine or extract. The role she played in John ending up with a sword through his chest. What would have happened if he hadn't been God Tier.
"No, I understand what you mean."
Gamzee's rolled on his side to face her. He starts pressing his hand into the bed, watches the give and flex of the mattress under his palm. "Got stuck all up in that business myself. Probably would have stayed motherfuckin’ stuck without my best bro Karkat."
Rose sighs, then, because she’s sure he'll like it, plops down on the bed so the whole mattress shakes. Maybe this meteor ride will be even more interesting than she thought.
"I don't know if I have any answers for you. But I know I'll need a good rest, and possibly a book on troll psychology, before we go any further along this road. Tell me, do trolls have sleepovers?"
She was right about him enjoying the bouncing, of course, as he smiles and bounces along with the squeaky springs. "Fuck yeah, we do. And that's the best motherfucking idea I've heard all day." He settles onto the bed looking like he could sink straight into the mattress, face back to a sweet lazy smile as he indulges in a big stretch. His horns poke through the metal bars of the headboard and his foot bumps Rose's leg. "Beds are really motherfucking nice."