“Hey Kar, wwhy don’t you ever wisit my bubble?”
Oh hell no.
This had been such a perfectly amazing fucking dream. It had been just him, a bowl full of popgrom, and an endless marathon of his favorite romcoms of all time. Each one was a little different than he remembered, but in a good way, like every little change was a huge improvement over the original. Some of them seemed a little eccentric, but they were all changes that he himself would have made if he’d had the chance. Or, at least that’s what he’d believed, up until the illusion was shattered by a very unwelcome visitor.
Said visitor turned to regard the television set with a furrowed brow. “Wwhat’re you wwatchin’, anywways? And wwhy does troll Cameron Diaz hawe blue hair?”
Eridan hadn’t been there beside him on the couch a moment ago. Karkat took a moment to boggle at the sea-troll before, with a cry of frustrated rage, he upended the entire bowl of popgrom on his head.
“OWW! KAR WWHAT THE FUCK-“
Karkat leapt to his feet, his face contorted in rage. The movie playing on the television dissolved into static before it blinked off. He jabbed an accusatory finger at the bewildered troll on his no-longer-existent couch in his no-longer-existent hive. “NO. FUCK NO. FUCK YOU. GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY DREAM BUBBLE BEFORE I FUCKING GUT YOU, YOU RETARDED, HOMICIDAL PIECE OF SCUM-LICKING, SHIT-EATING HIPSTER GARBAGE!” As he spoke, the familiar grip of his crab-claw sickle materialized in his palm. He raised it threateningly.
Eridan held out his hands placatingly, eyebrows raised. “Wwhoa, wwhoa, Kar. Wwhat the hell? Wwhat’s wwith all the animosity? I mean I’m flattered but-“
The sickle imbedded itself in the couch millimeters from Eridan’s head. With a yelp, the purple-blood made a frantic dive off the arm of the sofa, landing in a heap on the ground beside it. The world around them was warping, shifting in and out of focus until it fizzled out into an entirely new setting. Eridan scrambled to his feet as Karkat advanced on him, stopping just short of toppling off the rocky black outcropping they stood upon and into the roiling sea of red below.
“LOPAH?” He protested with a grimace, “Really? This place is pretty fuckin weird, you knoww, but at least it makes more sense since you told us-” If he hadn’t managed to duck that last swipe he’d have lost his incorporeal head.
“GET OUT.” Karkat snarled savagely, fangs bared. He took satisfaction in the slight widening of the sea-troll’s eyes, the flicker of genuine fear reflected there. He would take more in sinking his sickle into the purple fucker’s chest.
“…You didn’t answwer my question,” Eridan replied weakly.
He was too slow for the next swipe. Whatever it felt like to be impaled as a dead incorporeal manifestation of your own memories, Karkat didn’t know. He knew that it seemed to hurt like a bitch when he died in dreams, but what happened when you were all ready dead? He tore his weapon free, regarding the resultant fountain-spray of blood with perverse enjoyment. Eridan’s expression was one of comical shock as he blinked out of existence.
Karkat stood there, trembling and breathing heavily, watching the purple spattered across his arms and weapon fade away. LOPAH began to waver and shimmer before resolving into the familiar black abyss of dreamspace.
“…Wake up, fuckass.” He muttered to himself, shoulders drooping. He’d lost all motivation for trying to recreate the pleasant dream he’d been having. Not with the weight of reality so heavy on his shoulders. He couldn’t forget. He could never forget. And not even dreams offered him an escape anymore.
The space around him changed violently. Thunder rumbled in the dark sky overhead. Waves crashed intermittently in the distance, seawater lapping over the sand beneath his feet. Karkat whirled around in alarm, grip tightening around his sickle. A flash of lightning silhouetted the decrepit form of a beached shipwreck in the distance.
Eridan’s arms were folded across his chest, newly-acquired cape fluttering in the breeze. “That was pretty fuckin rude, Kar.”
Karkat clenched his unoccupied fist, claws digging painfully into his palms.
“You know what’s rude?” He growled, “Conspiring to betray your friends, join an unstoppable enemy and dooming everyone you know to die. Slaughtering people you consider to be friends in cold blood, then destroying the one hope of salvation for the entirety of your species, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! Feferi- Kanaya- YOU M- MU-” Karkat swallowed, dragging his claws through his hair, eyes squeezing shut.
“Fuck. FUCK. You don’t get it. You don’t. Fucking. Get it. YOU’RE DEAD. YOU’RE DEAD AND YOU’RE STILL THE MOST PATHETIC, ANNOYING, MORONIC PIECE OF SHIT I KNOW. Let me make this perfectly clear: I don’t want to fuck you. I NEVER. Wanted to fuck you. That will NEVER. Change. I would sooner DISEMBOWEL myself with my OWN HANDS. I HATE YOU. IF I COULD KILL YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER, IT STILL WOULDN’T BE ENOUGH TO ASSUAGE THE PURE, UNADULTERATED RAGE I FEEL OVER YOUR CONTINUED EXISTENCE. I want you to DISAPPEAR, I WANT YOU GONE FOREVER! I WANT YOU TO-“
Had he been awake, he might very well have been hyperventilating. He opened his eyes. Eridan watched him neutrally from across the sand, expression unchanged. Karkat drew a shuddering breath, exhaled it slowly. His grip relaxed, eyes narrowed. “I hope. I seriously, honestly hope. That you are alone. For the rest of your miserable fucking unlife. Maybe, just maybe, when you’ve had enough time to contemplate the sad state of the entirety of your life; millions of years from now, when every star in the solar system here and in the next universe over burns out, you’ll understand- just a little- why you are the biggest scumbag who ever lived.”
There was a short silence. Eridan uncrossed his arms. “You done noww?”
At first, Karkat only stared. There was only so much indignation he could process. And then he remembered that this was Eridan, and that he shouldn’t have expected any less of him. The laughter bubbled up from his chest unbidden. It was harsh, and very slightly manic. Luckily, the outburst only lasted a few moments. “Yeah,” He managed as he caught his breath, “Yeah. I’m done. You can go now.”
Eridan was silent for a long moment. For once, it occurred to Karkat, for possibly the first and last time, he’d managed to get through to the self-centered idiot. The way Eridan assessed him now, with a frown and mildly wrinkled brow, was more disturbed than angry. Still uncomprehending, but for once the message had gotten through clearly.
“You’re still not ower that, huh?”
A hot spike of fresh anger shot right through his chest. “Get out of my bubble, Eridan.” Karkat replied lowly, entire body shaking, on the verge of genuine hysteria.
“Right. Wwell.” Eridan turned, eyeing him uncertainly from over his shoulder. “If you change your mind… come find me.”
“Yeah. I’ll do that.” Karkat smiled impossibly wide, every fang bared. Eridan lingered a moment longer before simply disappearing, the scene around them blinking off and giving way to dreamspace once more. Karkat dropped to his knees, burying his head in his hands.
“Wake up.” He muttered to himself exhaustedly, “What the fuck are you doing, sleeping, you have more important things to worry about. Wake the fuck up.”