Morning breaks and you feel no better than you did yesterday. You are pulled out of sleep by the sounds of John getting ready for breakfast. The sun is shining and everything is offensively bright and cheerful, including your roommate.
The idea of putting on clothes and joining him feels like an overwhelming amount of effort. It’s not just that you don’t want to move, it’s that there is a fuzzy disconnect there between thinking about it and actually doing it. You could lie in bed all day, willing yourself to move and never quite succeeding until remaining conscious seems like a miserable waste of time. Sleeping is better. If you can’t kill yourself, the least you can do is give up for the time being and shut yourself off for awhile.
You roll over, pull the covers over your head, and curl up tight, but John yanks them off, grinning knowingly in that way that makes it irritatingly clear that he knows a million and one ways to get you out of bed and he is prepared to implement every single one of them.
Plus there is a prickle of worry in his eyes that you’d rather ignore.
“Good morning, starshine! The earth says hello!”
He drops a pair of gray jeans and the red and blue checkered shirt on your chest. You wrinkle your nose. Your dads brought you that shirt the last time they visited. You don’t wear it because it inevitably reminds you and everybody else of Garth Brooks.
“I don’t want to look like a country thinger today, Egbert.”
“You would be the best country singer.”
You press the heels of your hands into your eyes and sigh. If you don’t cut this short the little sadist is going to start singing.
“Go to breakfast. I’ll join you later.”
He gives you an unimpressed brow arch and you grind your teeth and sit up, fumbling for your glasses. “No, thee? I’m up. Thith ith me, being a fully consciouth perthon and everything.”
“Okay, I believe you. It’s really nice out today, you should go outside, catch some scenery, see trees and stuff.”
“I thought we called a moratorium on quoting that fucking movie.”
He gives you his shit-eatingest grin and pats your shoulder on his way out the door. "You did.”
Now you are left with the option of either going back to sleep and eventually suffer John dragging you out of bed to help him sort the recycling (bluh) or weed the garden, (fuck sunlight and carpenter wasps, seriously.) or you could stop behaving like a bed tumor and get your miserable ass outside already.
You let the clothes John picked out for you slide onto the floor as you roll over and get out of bed. By the time you reach the door, you have a brilliant plan.
Your brilliant plan is as follows: You will simply not bother to dress properly. If Equius catches you wandering the halls unwashed, unshaven, wearing only a pair of sweatpants, he’ll likely pull a big sweaty shitfit and send you back to your room. Then John won’t be able to touch you.
You shuffle, zombie-like, into the rec room and make yourself prone on the couch. You stare at the dead TV and your reflection looks pathetic. You feel pathetic. When did you turn into such a washed-out looking husk? Something about your own hopeless fucking face makes you feel a sharp, nameless tightness in your chest. The urge to curl away from the world is much stronger when you’re alone, but even worse is the terrible hope that someone will come bother you and maybe ask you what’s wrong in a way that will make you able to explain it right, because no one noticing you like this is sort of unbearable.
No one stumbles across you. They’re probably all at breakfast still. Then it clicks in your head that you have missed the one day of the week where Tavros brings in those fresh honey bun things from in town. It’s likely they’re all gone now, and it’s such a stupid, tiny thing to get upset about but it makes something in you break and before you know it you’re close to tears. You are crushed, your day is completely ruined, everyone can go home.
Then someone down the hall starts singing.
Oh fuck. Not Gamzee.
“Well it’s got to be a chocolate Jesus, make me feel good inside, got to be a chocolate Jesus, keep me satisfied…”
Oh god. You’re not up for his hippie sermons this morning.
“Well I don’t want no Anna Zabba,”
Please just let him walk past.
“Don’t want no Almond Joy,”
Maybe he won’t notice. Maybe he’ll just get his disgusting rainbowy sugar cereal crap and forget you exist, but wait, oh shit you’re supposed to teach him about Google+ accounts today, shit—
“There ain’t nothing better, suitable for this bo— oh, hey Solbro.”
Fuck. Your. Hot. Life.
Your shoulders hunch. “Go away, Gamthee.”
He leans over the back of the couch and grins at you, and you feel a mingled stab of hope and disappointment. “Hahahaha, oh man, you better be putting a shirt on. I did what you’re all doing once when I first got here and Equius chewed my ass out something fierce.”
“Give me your shirt then.”
The words are out before you can remember thinking them. You don’t think he’ll do it, but there he goes, yanking it over his head with barely a moment’s thought.
You snort. Maybe Equius will send him back to his room.
You blurt a squawk and flail as he fucking puts it on you instead of handing it to you like a normal person. You grimace as you get a good look at yourself. Wonderful. This tops off your morning—you are wearing a bright purple t-shirt with some sort of ghoulish sparkly silver and green clown face on it. He grins like it’s the cutest thing in the world, and you want to die.
“Fuuuck, look at you all swimming in that thing.”
You stare at his chest blankly, marveling at how less than a week ago you would have wanted to climb him like a tree. You always forget how strange it feels to go from feeling everything to feeling absolutely jack shit. Suddenly the idea that you ever wanted to jump him at all rings false in your head and you’re humiliated you even did that stuff at all—you were out of your mind back then, it’s not like it meant anything.
You’ve never bothered talking about it before and neither has he. You try to imagine what his reaction might be if you ever brought it up and you can’t. Just look at him, Gamzee gives zero fucks about anything. He’s probably fucked tons of people while tripping on all kinds of shit—you are just one more bad decision in a sea of bad decisions. Maybe one day years from now he’ll even bring you up in conversation and you can almost hear him breathe that raspy stoner laugh and start talking about the skinnyass computer nerd that was all to be having this bitchtits extra row of teeth up in his head.
You cover your face in your hands and turn away from him. The couch squeaks as he climbs over the back of it and settles near. He puts a hand on your shoulder and you shrug it away.
“Aww, hey. What’s got you all down for?”
You don’t want to answer. You wouldn’t even if you had the words to. Gamzee’s voice is still scratchy from sleep and something about that makes the naked concern in his tone downright painful. You shake your head in a way that you hope conveys just how very much you are not up to discussing this, but all he does is pull you into a hug.
You let yourself sink bonelessly against him and continue staring unseeingly into space. He’s warm. He hasn’t shaved yet. His voice buzzes through his chest and throat when he speaks, and any other day you might have found that kind of nice.
“Listen, brother, we know each other good. You can tell me if shit is all to be making your heart heavy, you know?”
A tendril of purely irrational, helpless rage coils up from your stomach and all your muscles go tense.
“No we fucking can’t.” you snap. You feel detached, as if you were listening to yourself on an audiobook. You don’t sound like you. “What the fuck is wrong with you, of courthe we can’t. Let me go, get the hell away from me—”
You shove at him hard and you’re surprised to feel him flinch. He makes a small, inarticulate sound and gives in meekly as you squirm away and drag yourself off the couch.
“Okay. Okay, please, I’m sorry—”
You turn on one heel and stalk toward your room.