-- tentacleTherapist [TT] has begun pestering ectoBiologist [EB] --
TT: Not that it is necessarily relevant to the expediency of the current situation, but you are aware that very few people score a perfect zero on the Kinsey scale and that there is no shame in keeping an open mind about such things.
EB: rose, you just typed a whole lot of words and i understood maybe three of them.
TT: Yes, well, that cannot be helped I suppose.
TT: Running up against what Dave has termed that “Egbertian Brick Wall” was only to be expected.
TT: My own fault for indulging in petty romantic gossip.
EB: oh, geeze, this isn't about that marriage thing is it? look i was just trying to make small talk. we don't actually have to get married ok?
TT: No, no, goodness no.
TT: I was talking about our esteemed mutual friend Mr. Vantas.
EB: what about karkat?
TT: As self-proclaimed leader in this excessively messy endgame push, Karkat understandably has a lot to worry about without hand wringing over whatever fumbling, pre-teen interpersonal drama the two of you seem to be brewing over there.
TT: I've come to learn that romantic entanglement is a terminal preoccupation in troll culture, however this one has become particularly distracting.
TT: What I'm trying to say is:
TT: John, it's okay to be gay.
Your name is John Egbert and you are not a homosexual.
You know you are not a homosexual because even though you once had that dream where Cameron Poe carried you through a rain of paper money - spinning slow motion with sparkles and glitter in your eyes – you have had way more dreams about Liv Tyler's luscious lips and perfect, night-dark hair shimmering under the red glare of the meteor about to destroy the planet.
You are especially not a homosexual for your good friend, Karkat Vantas, because that would make things ultra-awkward between the two of you and it would be pretty terrible to have any awkwardness between the two FRIENDLEADERS of team FRUITY ASSHOLE RUMPUS PARTYTOWN while the Incipisphere was in the process of tearing itself apart. They required perfect BUDDYCHIEF SYNERGY which could not be accomplished if sloppy inter-species make-outs were on the brain.
EB: ha ha, rose, this isn't the time for jokes!!
EB: and i mean, no offense, but you aren't very good at pranks anyway.
EB: can you see how much i'm not laughing.
EB: that's what my face looks like.
TT: Criticism accepted, John, however I must assure you that I am not joking. Homosexuality is a perfectly valid lifestyle that is accepted in most first world countries these days.
EB: i know that!!
TT: Well, since we're on the same page now, I thought perhaps you would like to talk about it.
TT: Occam's Razor dictates we deal with this problem directly rather than stomach the endless nattering from our Very Concerned and not at all Secretly Amused team-mates on the subject.
EB: wait, wait
EB: i'm not really following here.
EB: has everyone been thinking i'm gay?
TT: Not... exactly.
TT: Rather there has been some discussion in particular regarding your interaction with the aforementioned Mr. Vantas and how the content of said interactions might not be strictly... platonic.
EB: like, you mean... i'm flirting with karkat?
TT: Yes, exactly like that.
EB: that is not at all what's going on! oh my god!
EB: who said that!
EB: um, doesn't kanaya always think people are flirting? like, isn't that a thing she does?
TT: Also Dave, who apparently heard it from Terezi who purportedly witnessed it first hand.
EB: yeah right. she's probably just trolling me again.
TT: ... and Jade.
TT: Are you still there?
TT: Need the proverbial smelling salts waved under your metaphorical nose.
TT: Caught in the throes of 'Et tu, Sister?”
EB: um, i'll be right back, okay.
EB: i gotta take care of something important.
-- ectoBiologist [EB] is no longer pestering tentacleTherapist [TT]--
-- ectoBiologist [EB] has begun pestering turntechGodhead [TG] --
EB: i'm not gay!!!!!
TG: yeah okay
TG: thats not a weird way to start off a conversation or anything
EB: didn't you tell rose that you thought i was gay?
TG: no i told rose
TG: hey i just spent the last half hour trying to explain homosexuality to an alien girl while also fighting off a giant ass horde of biznasty gyclopses fml
EB: well, tell terezi i'm not gay!
TG: k brb
TG: k she says
TG: i am still not sure what human gay is but you are broadcasting so much redrom for karkat that the entire medium tastes like strawberry syrup
TG: pretend i said that with a bunch of stupid numbers in there while drooling on myself or some shit
EB: what does that mean!?
TG: i have no idea
EB: okay, well tell her that i'm not um... strawberry syruping for karkat!
TG: look were kind of busy here
EB: oh yeah right, doing what?
EB: making out?
TG: dude not cool
TG: oh shit now shes upset
EB: what did i say!?
TG: she says
TG: first you move in on karkat immediately after we break up and now you are accusing me of borderline red infidelity
TG: john egbert you are a monster
TG: why would you do this to a blind girl
EB: i'm sorry! it was just a joke! i didn't mean anything by it!
EB: tell her i'm sorry!
TG: jegus egbert
TG: stop being so innocently wide eyed gullible man
TG: shes just messing with you
TG: its all manner of gooey crocodile tears up in here
EB: ughhhhh, you two suck.
EB: bros before trolls, man.
TG: look whos talking
EB: i said i'm not gay!
TG: but seriously i gotta go were supposed to meet jade
TG: yknow as part of that plan
TG: the one were supposed to be doing instead of sittin around the campfire with the guitar out all skinnamarinkydoo feelings time
EB: ok, fine.
EB: just i'm not, okay.
EB: all those times i said you were attractive were just really awesome jokes, okay!
EB: i don't want you to like, start second guessing all our conversations!
TG: this wasnt even a little bit awkward until you said that
-- turntechGodhead [TG] became an idle chum! --
EB: wait, what do you mean!
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling ectoBiologist [EB] --
CG: EGBERT YOU HUMONGOUS MORON.
CG: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU!?
EB: oh uh, hi karkat.
CG: I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE POSSESSED OF ONLY TWO BRAINCELLS. I WILL GIVE YOU A MOMENT TO GRACELESSLY RUB THEM TOGETHER AND CREATE THE MENTAL FRICTION REQUIRED FOR YOU TO EXPLAIN TO ME WHY WHEN YOU SAID
CG: hey karkat i'll meet you at the gate in half an earth hour
CG: YOU ACTUALLY MEANT HEY KARKAT JUST DIDDLE AROUND YANKING YOUR BONEBULGE IN THE MOST DANGEROUS FUCKING PART OF THIS STUPID PLANET FOR GOD KNOWS HOW LONG WHILE I FUCK OFF AND DO WHATEVER THING IT IS EGBERTS DO WHEN THEY FUCK OFF AND NEGLECT TO KEEP DISQUITED KARKATS UPDATED ON THEIR CURRENT STATUS.
EB: oh shiiit.
EB: i didn't realize i was that late!
CG: YES, YOU ARE “THAT LATE”.
CG: YOU ARE LATE IN A VERY SPECIAL WAY IN WHICH ONLY JOHN EGBERTS CAN BE LATE.
CG: IN WHAT I CAN ONLY IMAGINE IS A DIRE COMBINATION OF ABYSMAL STUPIDITY AND SICKENINGLY HAPPY-GO-LUCKY NEGLIGENCE.
EB: wait, wait
EB: did you say “disquieted karkats”?
EB: kaaaarkaaat, were you woooried? ;-)
CG: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU.
CG: STOP FUCKING AROUND AND GET OVER HERE THIS INSTANCE.
CG: I AM THREE SECONDS AWAY FROM DEMOTING YOU FROM 'TENATIVE SECOND IN COMMAND' TO 'PITY LACKEY'
EB: whatever you say, co-friendleader!
EB: ha ha ha, see you soon!
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] is no longer trolling ectoBiologist [EB] --
Your name is John Egbert and you are not a homosexual.
Also, Karkat isn't even a little bit adorable when he is mad.
Well okay, maybe a little. Like a puppy. Adorable like you want to just ruffle his hair and smoosh your face into his and go ubububububu, not adorable like you want to dip him back all like you're a sailor and he's your girlfriend and it's that famous picture from the end of WWII and then kiss him until he stops complaining.
Woah, no way. Not even a little bit.
Like, when you go to meet him he's standing there with his arms crossed kind of huffing and tapping one foot testily like he's a video game character and you took too long going to the bathroom and the level timer's about to run out.
Which isn't actually a good metaphor, now that you think about it, because that is exactly what is going on!
The point is it's super cute.
Eight kittens all cuddling each other cute.
You land and ignore the utterly disdainful look Karkat gives you. You know that it's just because his face is stuck like that (Grandma was right! It does happen!) and also because he's secretly jealous of THE WINDY THING even though he keeps telling you how stupid your awesome windsock hoodie is (Vriska said that it looked AWESOME and she is a reliable arbiter of COOL). That's okay, because you plan to take Karkat flying in about three minutes anyway, right after he finishes yelling.
>INTERRUPT KARKAT'S RANT
“Okay, Karkat, that's adorable but your rant is taking too long. We gotta get going!”
“DID YOU JUST CALL ME ADORABLE OH MY GOD.”
>IT WAS A JOKE HA HA
“It was a joke, ha ha.”
You really like the way his cheeks light up with rage, like he's a little pink and gray lightblub, or a dusty easter candy that's been under the couch for three years. It's terrible because it always makes you want to reach out and poke them and maybe make a hilarious “boop”ing noise when you do it. He'd be so “furious”.
But you mean that in a totally straight way. Karkat's kind of a novelty to you but that's mostly because he's an alien and you'd never met an alien before! You pay a bit more attention to the way he moves- all wound up and sulky and jumbled nerves frayed live-wire bright, sparking in every direction. Sometimes he gets this lost look that's kind of half sad and half filled with all the hope in the world and you just want to hug him forever.
Hugs filled with mangrit.
You've got a lot of mangrit, you can spare.
“- REALLY AREN'T VERY FUNNY WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU-”
“Up, up and awaaaaay!”
>DO THE WINDY THING
Navigation's kind of wonky with the added weight of Karkat and the additionally added weight of Karkat's temper. You barrel head over heels towards the gate before catching your bearings, wind whipping in your ears as Karkat clenches his jaw shut and clings, claws making worried indents in your shoulder blades and his voice a steady hiss of “FFFFFFFFFFF” against your neck. You burst through the gate, a tangled up mess of nervous giggling and terrified troll and hit the mushy ground without preamble. Karkat cushions your landing.
“Woah, that was crazy.”
Nope, this is kind of comfy.
You have entered what you think might have once been Terezi's world- a wobbly, pulsating mess of colour and indiscernible shapes- but the sky is alight with strings of bright rain. You and Karkat are now soaked through and you take a minute to watch the way the luminescent water tracks down your co-palhoncho's face.
>ADMIRE KARKAT'S BEAUTY IN THIS LIGHT
That isn't even at all what you're doing here. Aurgh.
“What are you doing?” Karkat's voice is still strained and the look on his face is not unlike the look one gets when passing a kidney stone.
“Are you okay?” you ask softly.
>WIPE SOME OF THE RAIN OFF BROCAPTAIN'S FACE
You do this, very gently. There's something about Karkat that always makes you want to handle him gently. He is a very different kind of bro than say, Dave, who you would give manly backpats to like twenty times a day were you not totally sure he was rolling his eyes under his shades. Karkat is very SPECIAL SOMEHOW and he kind of shudders when you rub the heel of your palm over his cheekbone.
“Get the fuck off me, Egbert.”
“This place is pretty.” you say observantly.
“Is this one of your asinine human pranks? Fuck it, John. T-this isn't funny.”
As you try to figure out what the hell Karkat means by that, you abruptly realize that this is A MOMENT.
In the pit of your stomach that starts churning uncomfortably like an overstuffed washing machine.
You've seen enough movies that you know where this is going even if you didn't actually know where it was going three seconds ago. You are staring wide eyed at Karkat, nose to nose, propped up on your elbows with his hair splayed all over the damp ground and oh my god are his lips trembling? His face is so totally angry but his lips are totally trembling like a delicate maiden all waiting for her first sweet angel lover's kiss.
a really, super, totally, ultra, undeniably, oh my god GAY MOMENT.
And it's not even the first one.
>ABORT ABORT ABORT ABORT
You fly off him all flailing and trying to catch your breath. You try not to look too grossed out, but you're pretty grossed out.
John, it's okay to be gay.
You know, Rose, geeze, you know but you just never thought-
Karkat is still stunned, sprawled out in the white-specked grass. He looks kind of mad.
Well, he always looks kind of mad.
But he also looks kind of.... dreamy!
“I'llberightback!” you get out in one breath and go like, three feet away to talk to the one person who will never judge you.
--ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG]--
EB: jade why am i gay!!!
EB: jade you won't laugh at me or like, quote some university study at me right
EB: but i mean why am i gay!
GG: this is about karkat, isn't it? :B
EB: wait, what do you know about it!?
GG: ugggh, john everyone's talking about it omg
GG: karkat never shuts up about it
GG: soooo annoying
GG: just kiss him already. ://///
GG: oh no!
EB: oh no?
EB: on no what!?
EB: jade i know that we have other things to worry about but i am so out of the loop right now.
EB: and in case you can't tell i'm kind of freaking out!
GG: i might have uhhhh
GG: given karkat some bad advice D: D: D:
GG: lolololol my bad!
GG: i thought you were doing it on purpose even though rose and dave said you were just being “you”.
EB: oh my god, you've all been talking about me behind my back!
GG: it's not like that!!!
GG: it just never seemed like the right time to bring it up
GG: uhhh here let me get the log.......
GG: i just have to edit out all the stuff that's not about you
GG: okay here!
EB: um, should i really be looking at this?
EB: okay, fine fine!
CG: AND I AM SO SICK OF HIS SMUG, NOOK-SUCKING GRIN ALL THE TIME!
GG: woooow, karkat that is sooo on topic
GG: john is totally exactly what we've been talking about this whole time!!
CG: FUCK YOU, HARLEY, YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK WITH THE IDIOT ON A FACE TO FUCKING FACE BASIS. HIS INCOMPETENCE IS BLINDING LIKE THE FIRE OF FIVE THOUSAND SUNS, SURELY IT WOULD SEND EVEN HIS OWN ECTO-FLESH AND BLOOD WHATEVER THE FUCK HUMANS CALL THEIR APPARENTLY FAMILIAL BONDS RUNNING, BLINDED AND ENRAGED.
CG: I AM JUST TIRED OF HIS MIXED SIGNALS.
CG: I HARDLY EXPECT YOU TO COMPREHEND THE COMPLEXITIES AND SUBTLETIES OF TROLL EMOTION, NOR DO I EXPECT EGBERT TO EVEN BEGIN GRASPING THE EDGES OF OUR HIGHLY EVOLVED SYSTEM OF COURTSHIP, HOWEVER I HAVE STUDIED YOUR HUMAN CULTURE AND ACCORDING TO EVERYTHING I HAVE LEARNT FROM HUMAN MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, HE IS MOST DEFINITELY “FLIRTING”.
CG: OH YES, REAL UNDERSTANDING THERE HARLEY.
CG: THANK YOU FOR BEING SO KIND AND UNDERSTANDING.
CG: WHAT WOULD I EVER DO WITHOUT A HUMAN LIKE JADE HARLEY TO LISTEN TO MY WOES.
CG: PROBABLY GO KILL MYSELF.
GG: i'm sorry karkat, it's just so funny! :B
GG: and who said i wanted to listen to your woes in the first place!!!
GG: you just started talking about them without me really prompting you or anything!!
GG: besides, i can't really imagine john flirting with anyone. :O
GG: you might just be using your imagination a little too hard!!! :C
CG: HE SPENT HALF AN HOUR CASTING US IN EARTH MOVIES TOGETHER.
CG: FIRST I WAS HUMAN WILL SMITH AND HE WAS HUMAN TOMMY LEE JONES.
CG: BY THE END I WAS LIV TYLER AND HE WAS BEN AFFLECK.
CG: HE ALSO SPENT TEN MINUTES GIVING ME A “PEN TATTOO” OF WHAT HE CLAIMS TO BE OUR “COMBO MIX SYMBOL” OF “WIND AND CRABS”. THEN HE EXPLAINED ITS SIGNIFICANCE WHILE GIVING HIMSELF A “MATCHING TATTOO” SO WE COULD BE “BEST PALHONOCO CO-FRIENDLEADERS FOREVER” EVEN THOUGH I EXPLAINED TO HIM IT WOULD FUCKING WASH OFF IN THE RAIN.
CG: HE HAS SAID “KARKAT YOU ARE CUTE WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY” IN VARIOUS ITERATIONS EXACTLY THIRTY-EIGHT TIMES.
CG: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD TO THIS CONVERSATION, OR AM I JUST FLAPPING MY FACEGASH INTO THE ETERNAL ABYSS THAT IS YOUR BRAIN?
GG: omg i'm trying to help you out here, no need to be a total fuckass about it!!!
GG: augh, you are the most frustrating!!!!!!!!!!
CG: UGH. FINE. SORRY.
CG: UH, THANKS FOR
CG: I GUESS.
GG: that's more like it!!! :B
GG: anyways yes it does kind of sound like.....
GG: .... john has a crush on you!!!
GG: isn't that a good thing? :O
CG: NO THIS IS HORRIBLE.
CG: THIS IS THE END OF THE UNIVERSE, HARLEY. THIS IS MY DEATH TOLL. THIS IS
EB: gee that ended kind of abruptly. :c
GG: he just went on like that for a while.
GG: for like ever!!!!!
GG: anyways i'm sorry that i told him you had a crush on him. :c
GG: i think i just made everything worse.
EB: this is bad.
EB: oh god, oh god, how do i let him down nicely.
EB: i thought we were past his whole weird alien hatecrush.
GG: john calm down!!!!!!!
GG: also i don't think this is a hate crush
GG: i think this is the other kind of crush!
EB: that's even worse!!! D-:
GG: but what were you saying before
GG: jade why am i gay!! :D :D :D
EB: i so did not say it with smileys.
GG: but do you?
GG: durrrr, do you have a crush on karkat!
EB: i mean!
EB: i'm not gay!
GG: having a crush on karkat doesn't make you gay, dummy.
EB: ummmm yeah, jade, it totally does.
EB: that's how it works, duh.
GG: oh :////
GG: but there's nothing wrong with that!!
EB: well, no, but.
EB: i guess there isn't.
GG: ugh, what now?
EB: no, no, just karkat finally got up.
EB: auauaugh i don't want him to know that you showed me that log.
EB: you probably shouldn't have. :c
GG: whatever, he can QQ :B
EB: okay, i'll talk to you later!
GG: good luck!
-- gardenGnostic [GG] has become an idle chum! --
Your name is John Egbert and you might be a homosexual.
You're also KIND OF FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW.
Like, you are almost hyperventilating. This is kind of ironic because you are the Heir of Breath but right now you are the Heir of TOTAL PANIC ATTACK INCOMING. You can tell that Karkat is giving you the stink-eye and even that feels kind of gay. You can feel his eyes in the back of your head. Suddenly that seems a whole lot less like BUDDYCHIEF SYNERGY and a whole lot more like GAYGAYGAYGAYGAY.
“KARKAT, DON'T PANIC BECAUSE I AM PANICKING AND WE BOTH CAN'T PANIC.” you say as you whirl around and grab his shoulders. You shake him a few times too because no, no, no, you are not ready to be gay and maybe you can shake all the beautiful out of him.
Karkat's toothy mouth flattens into an unimpressed line.
“Egbert, do I look like I'm panicking?”
“YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE.”
“PANICKING, THAT IS.”
“YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE PANICKING.”
You kiss him, fingers vise-like around those narrow shoulders and way too many teeth all in the way. Oh wooow, you both have way to many teeth. He inhales sharply and doesn't exhale, just makes his hands into fists at his side as his eyes get wider and wider and wider while he mushes his lips dumbly against yours.
You pull away and he's jittering.
“OH GOD.” he says, putting his hands on either side of his face, eyes like what the full moon must look like to drunk people.
“I KNOW.” you assure him loudly.
“I KNOW, KARKAT, I KNOW.”
“KISS ME AGAIN.”
You do and it's a little better this time because he's an active participant. He twines his spindly troll arms all around your shoulders and yanks off your hood, kneading a hand into your hair as you relax a little and ease yours down to his waist. He bounces up on his tip-toes to kiss you harder, his pointy teeth scraping your bottom lip and your tongues nervously meeting in the middle and it tastes disgusting because neither of you have probably brushed your teeth in forever but you don't care and you try to lean him over like that sailor in the WWII photo, but you just end up getting all off balance and falling over, rolling down this stupid hill and landing in a gross, goopey, magenta puddle.
“I'm gaaaay,” you whine into Karkat's shoulder, “I'm gay and my pen tattoo is washing off.”
“I fucking told you.”
“It's like a metaphor.”
“That doesn't even make any sense, John.”
“Don't make fun of me!”
“I-” Karkat blinks and his eyelashes are fluttering. They're kind of pretty too- like, not exceptionally, but because they're on Karkat they're really nice. The troll's expression softens, “I'm not making fun of you.”
“That's fine,” you giggle nervously, “I like it when you do, usually.”
And you kiss him some more. You're just going to kiss Karkat forever because when you stop, you're going to have to think about what you're doing some more and kissing is way more fun and way less harrowing.
- except that someone is pestering you.
“Um,” you sit up, flashing Karkat an apologetic grin. He just rolls his eyes and makes a super bitchy hand gesture you guess is saying just answer it you idiot.
Because he is the cutest.
-- tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] --
TT: I was not aware that “be right back” was Egbert code for “work through all five stages of denial while Rose is on the other line.”
EB: oh shit!
EB: rose, i'm sorry.
EB: i um, sort of got caught up in, um.
EB: and stuff.
TT: Yes, I can see that.
EB: oh crap.
EB: oh craaaaap. you mean, like, literally “see” too, don't you? D-:
TT: While I'm appalled that you would accuse me of voyeurism, I must unfortunately admit that I have gotten the “jist” of the situation.
TT: However, I believe it is prudent for us to finish our dangling conversation.
EB: look, rose. I appreciate that you're trying to help but
EB: this is just a little too much for me to think about right now!
EB: i'll... i'll figure out if i'm gay after we win the game, okay.
TT: Yes, it would probably be better for all of us to optimistically relegate our miscellaneous soul searching until the post-game time-frame.
TT: However I just wanted to say that the reason I messaged you in the first place was to assure you of one important thing.
TT: John: bisexuality is a “thing”.