A young troll sits at his computer. It just so happens that today is the day that he has had his heart broken. Though he has been in previous relationships, this is the relationship he had the most hope for—and he had the opportunity to watch it crumble right at his feet before it was even allowed to become all it was promised to be. What a glorious day it is for him!
What shall the name of this young troll be?
==> Enter name.
==> Oh, no, it seems as if you’ve enraged the already temper-prone troll! Try again.
==> There we go. I knew I was right to have faith in you.
Your name is KARKAT. As previously mentioned, you have just had your heart broken. I’m not joking here. Your heart was ripped from your chest and stepped on, stomped on, thrown around, lit on fire, spit on, chewed upon, even pissed upon, which you thought was sort of overkill, but who are you to judge the almighty fury of Aphrodite and Eros? No one, that’s who. You’re just a lonely old emotional loser who can’t help the red tears from flowing freely at the thought that you will never have John Egbert. As a kismesis, as a matesprit, fuck, you’re pretty sure you’ve even lost the opportunity to have him as a morail, too. Because you’re not exactly being nice to him in the aftermath. But he is John Egbert, the boy apparently immune to sadness and despair, and you know he will shrug off your remarks with a laugh and a “Oh, he was just upset!”
Damn straight you’re “just upset.” You wonder what he would do if he saw you right now. Would he feel enough pity that he’d change his mind?
God, the thought of it is enough to make tears come thicker and faster as you clutch your fists in fury. You will not be John Egbert’s device for pity. You will not be pity dated. You are in love with him, God damn it! Why doesn’t he see that you two were made to be together, the equivalent to “soul mates” or whatever it is that the stupid humans talk about all the time in the Earth romcoms, doesn’t he see that your hand would fit perfectly in his? Doesn’t he see?
EB: hey karkat
EB: are you ok??
EB: do i need to come over to your room to watch some movies with you or something?
CG: NO, EGBERT. THE LAST THING I NEED RIGHT NOW IS FOR YOU TO COME OVER TO MY ROOM TO WATCH A ROMCOM WITH ME AS WE SNUGGLE ON THE COUCH AND PRACTICALLY WHISPER SWEET NOTHINGS INTO EACH OTHER’S EARS.
CG: I CANNOT IMAGINE A BETTER WAY TO TORTURE MYSELF EXCEPT PERHAPS IF YOU WERE TO TELL ME THAT YOU WILL FOREVER LOVE ME BUT WILL NEVER BE “IN LOVE” WITH ME.
EB: but it’s true karkat!
EB: i do love you! we're palhonchos! friendleaders. we keep everyone in line and make sure that everyone is happy. you're my partner!
EB: i can’t imagine playing the game without you ):
You facepalm combo x5. John Egbert has no tact. He has no clue how to be a person. He is shitting upon your life at a rate that you were sure would kill him swiftly and painfully. Alas, he is not dying, even though he is continuing to be the dumbest piece of shit you have ever encountered. He is stain upon the human race, the reason you are not entirely convinced that the four humans are good gamers, because honestly, how could anyone be “good” if they share at least some genetic material similar to John fucking Egbert’s—
turntechGodhead [TG] has begun pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG]
TG: john is telling me you are going apeshit on him
TG: flipping tables and screaming like a banshee
TG: or something like that
Red. Red is all you see. The fury you feel is so pure that you are sure there is no way you can put it into words to help your readers understand. It is a living and breathing entity, the feelings that you are feeling.
CG: DAVE STRIDER, TO WHAT DO I OWE THIS SUPREMELY UNWANTED AND UNDESIRABLE PLEASURE?
TG: look im not trying to butt my head in where it doesnt belong or anything like that
TG: john just said you were having a little troll conniption
TG: a tizzy
TG: doing a fucking piroutte off the goddamn handle
TG: so i figured, hey, id extend a caring hand out to a troubled soul and offer an eye to read through your troubles
CG: I NEED YOUR HELP LIKE I NEED A FOOT UP MY ASS, STRIDER.
CG: RIGHT NOW WHAT I NEED MORE THAN ANYTHING IS TO BE LEFT ALONE AND FOR JOHN EGBERT TO MAGICALLY FUCKING DISAPPEAR OFF THE FACE OF THIS UNIVERSE.
CG: I WANT TO THROW HIM INTO THE GREEN SUN AND WATCH HIM EXPLODE.
CG: OR SOMETHING EQUALLY AS GRUESOME.
CG: I CAN’T IMAGINE MYSELF BEING PICKY ABOUT HIS DEATH.
CG: MAYBE IF I HAVE MORE TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT I WILL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE A MORE DETAILED PROCEDURE FOR HIS DEATH.
TG: ok thats great man but that doesnt help you right now
TG: you need to calm down
TG: deep breaths
TG: youre not exactly being reasonable or anything right now
TG: i mean youre sort of being a supreme douche
TG: which you are normally, dont get me wrong, but youre exceeding your douche quota for the day right now
CG: ARE YOU TRYING TO INFURIATE ME OR HELP ME?
CG: RIGHT NOW ALL YOU ARE ACCOMPLISHING IS MAKING ME ANGRIER.
Which is true. Right now you are gripping the sides of your desk, one eye twitching and the other wide open, staring incredulously at the screen in front of you. You see John’s IM window flashing pitifully and know that you need to respond to him soon or else he will come over to make sure you’re okay. And you know, with certainty, that if he does that, you are going to kiss him. And that would just make things worse.
EB: i'm only trying to tell the truth, karkat!
EB: i wish there was more that i could do to help you. i mean except leaving you alone.
EB: rose says i should stop talking to you for a while to help you get over this…or something like that. i think she said “come to grips with the boundaries of sexuality.”
EB: i think what she’s trying to say is that you can’t accept that i'm not gay or something?
EB: oh no you’re not responding did i do something else to upset you??
EB: karkat i'm really sorry that i'm not gay and that i don’t like you. i mean, i thought about it a lot when you told me this last time, and i really tried to picture the two of us together, but i just couldn’t!
EB: i hope you can forgive me
EB: because i do really love you, karkat!
EB: you’re my palhoncho, my best friend!
CG: JOHN, JUST STOP. PLEASE. BEFORE YOU GIVE BOTH OF US HEART ATTACKS. I AM ABOUT TO INTERNALLY BLEED AS YOU TEAR ME INTO SHREDS FIGURATIVELY. PLEASE SPARE BOTH OF US THE AGONY.
CG: MAYBE ROSE IS RIGHT, ALTHOUGH I DON’T WANT TO ADMIT IT. MAYBE YOU DO NEED TO LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A WHILE.
CG: RIGHT NOW I CAN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SEEING YOU OR TALKING TO YOU IN PERSON.
While you wait for John to respond to that, you switch over to the window that has Dave’s pesterlogs.
And your jaw drops, just the tiniest bit.
TG: ok fine look i just wanted to extend my hand out to you
TG: because i went through this last year with egbert too
TG: confessed my undying love for him and got the “but i’m not gay, dave!” speech
TG: i wasnt able to talk to him for months after that
TG: actually it was about the time sburb was about to be released that we started talking again because we had something to distract ourselves from the giant elephant in the pesterlog
TG: i thought you might like talking to someone who understands what youre going through but i can see youre about as interested in that as im interested in lil cal sharing a bed with me for the rest of my life
CG: WAIT, DAVE
TG: i was in love with john egbert from the moment we first started talking
TG: and it took me forever to realize that
TG: he just isnt worth it dude
TG: some people are worth it but he isnt
TG: i mean no offense to him but just look at him
TG: big derpy teeth, awkward and bumbly, the entire definition of “dork” and “nerd” packaged together into one nicely wrapped package of “egderp”
TG: hes cute sure and i guess charming
TG: but the charm washes away and then what are you left with
TG: a kid who admitted to me a few weeks ago that he just learned how to masturbate at age 15
TG: leave him to the girls and move on
TG: he doesnt deserve anything more
You blink at your screen.
Did Dave Strider just insinuate that you’re worth something?
No, wait—did Dave Strider just send you what can only be described as a minor soliloquy about his dead love for John Egbert, and how he isn’t worth your affections?
He did. He totally did.
You are unsure of how to proceed from here.
You suppose you have three options.
==> Panic, shut off the computer, and go curl up in a tight ball while sobbing like a little grub who’s afraid of the bogeyman.
==> Tell Dave and John to fuck off, then complete option one.
==> Continue talking to Dave while mostly ignoring John.
You decide that, although both one and two are very appealing, it is option three that is probably the smartest to go with. So this is what you do. You keep your window with Dave open and keep your window with John minimized, no matter how many times the window flashes angrily at you. You ask Dave how he dealt with getting rejected, what the stigma against homosexuality is with humans, and how he’s managed to remain friends with John throughout his entire ordeal.
It surprises you that the calm, forever nonchalant coolkid Dave Strider is actually what humans call “gay.” You never would have guessed it. Then again, you aren’t exactly in tune with all of these little human nuances, are you? No, you’re not. Why the fuck would you be? You’re a troll, not a human.
A stupid troll that managed to get himself all tangled up in love and flushed quadrants for a human.
Dave tells you embarrassing and funny stories about John. Stories that make you feel just the tiniest bit better. Because he’s right. Egbert should really change his last name to Egderp. You doubt a more clumsy boy exists anywhere in this universe, and you doubt he could exist in any of the surrounding universes, either. Egbert has filled the derpiness quota for multiple universes.
You’d have thought learning all of these things about John would make your heart flutter and do strange things. But they don’t. They soothe you. They give you firm ground to stand on. They let you know that even though you are in love with John, he truly is an idiot. And he’s not just an idiot for turning you down—he really is a certified moron. And you’re better off without him, anyway.
It takes time.
Boy, does it take time.
But you start to slowly get over him.
You continue talking to Dave (who has not yet arrived on Alternia with his annoying psychoanalyst sister) while going through the motions of life and the game in the meantime. You go to meals, you hang out in Gamzee’s room, you watch your romcoms. After a while, you are even able to watch your favorite movie, the one you showed John the first night he showed up on Alternia: A Troll Girl Who Is Six Sweeps Old Is Magically Made Fifteen Sweeps Old By Wishing Very Hard And She Learns That All Of Her Old Best Friends Become Mean People As They Age But Her One True Friend Growing Up Is Supposed To Be Her Matesprit Despite The Fact That She Forgot All Of That In The Process Of Growing Up. It stars Troll Julia Roberts and Troll Mark Ruffalo, and you love it very much. You cry, just like you always do, but it’s not because you’re placing yourself in Troll Mark Ruffalo’s place and imaging John as Troll Julia Roberts. It’s because it’s a tearjerker, nothing more and nothing less, and you almost want to holler with joy when you realize that you harbor no more lingering feelings for the boy with glasses and buckteeth any longer. Of course, Dave is instrumental in helping you, and you find out that Dave has a passion for stupid movies, too, but he is able to tolerate most movies that have intense drama in them. The two of you share movie titles and links and decide to show each other the cinema you each like the best, just to get a taste for each others, well, tastes.
After much thought and consideration, you decide to send Dave A Seadweller Falls In Love With A Lowblood And Despite Their Very Obvious Differences In Social Class And Upbringing They Make Their Love Work But Not Without Some Hilarious Side Effects From Their Lusus’ Who Make Everything Much More Difficult Than It Needs To Be. It stars Troll Nia Vardalos and Troll John Corbett. He sends you a movie which he says is a drama. It is called Brokeback Mountain.
The two of you decide to sign off of your respective IM services in order to better appreciate each others movies. To keep with your promise, you do just this, as you wait for the movie to buffer. Then, you watch it.
It is a riveting story of two cowboys who fall in love, who are both male. They have sex, and you are surprised that there are no buckets involved. The enigmatic behavior of humans when confronted with the idea of homosexuality is explored in the movie as the movie progresses, until, after years of their clandestine romance, one of them gets hit by a car. By the end of the movie you find yourself crying, although you decide that you will never let Dave know the movie has affected you so strongly. You wipe away your tears as the credits roll and clutch a soft lump of fluff to your chest (something that Dave called a pillow—he told you to alchemize it before you watched the movie, saying you’d need it). You sign back on, knowing Dave should be done the movie you recommended by now, and you both share your opinions.
carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling turntechGodhead [TG]
CG: DAVE, THAT WAS THE WORST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
CG: AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING, CONSIDERING I SAT THROUGH ALL OF THOSE TERRIBLE NIC CAGE MOVIES WITH JOHN.
CG: I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR SPECIES’ FASCINATION AND CONTEMPT FOR HOMOSEXUALITY, THOUGH.
CG: IT SEEMS STUPID.
TG: aw man dont lie to me i know you liked that movie
TG: no one dislikes that movie
TG: not even crazy evangelicalists
CG: I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE WHAT AN EVANGELICALIST IS, DAVE. BUT PLEASE DO NOT ENLIGHTEN ME BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ANY MORE ROOM FOR USELESS INFORMATION IN MY THNKPAN. NOT AFTER THAT MOVIE.
TG: youre a liar and you know it
TG: howd you feel if i said i didnt like your movie
CG: I WOULD KNOW THAT YOU WERE LYING, BECAUSE IT IS A TRUE PIECE OF CINEMATIC GENIUS, AFTER ALL.
TG: see exactly
CG: FINE, STRIDER. YOU WIN THIS TIME. ALL BOW DOWN TO THE ALMIGHTY STRIDER, WHO CLEARLY KNOWS ALL AND IS OMNIPOTENT.
TG: thank you
TG: finally someone understands my brilliance
CG: I DO, DAVE. I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY. I AM FULLY AWARE OF HOW INTELLIGENT YOU ARE AND HOW MUCH BETTER THAN THE REST OF US YOU ARE.
TG: damn straight
TG: im the best there is
TG: im dave fucking strider
And slowly, you begin to feel yourself falling in love with him.
It’s subtle at first. When he signs on, you smile. When he messages you first, you feel a slight jump in your pulse. And when he responds to you? It’s like you can’t help but smile stupidly at the computer screen. You have figured out his schedule and take special care to be online when he should be online as well, just so you can have a conversation with him. Even if you don’t have anything particularly interesting to say to him. Just being able to discuss anything with him is enough to make an entire day brighter.
You’re now able to talk to John again. The first time you message John, he’s shocked—like he wasn’t expecting you to ever talk to him again. You joke around with him, still angry, but not nearly as angry as you have been in the past. He comments on your happiness and asks what the cause is. You want to tell him, but you’re afraid of what the consequences might be. So you tell him that it is none of his business and that you were obviously wrong in attempting to rekindle your friendship with him. He backpedals and apologizes, and the two of you jump right back into the thicket of your banter, as if nothing ever happened.
But something did happen. Because you are no longer madly in love with him. You are madly in love with someone else.
The other trolls begin noticing. Terezi saunters up to you one day and tells you that you taste particularly good that day, and she waggles her eyebrows at you as if she knows. As if she knows that you are in love, and not the miserable, you need to have them or you’ll die type of love. The good kind. The kind that makes your heart sing and your entire being quiver with excitement. You don’t respond to Terezi, but she’s already moved on. The other trolls look at you momentarily before returning to their various tasks. And you are left glowing from the love you feel.
It is almost as if your personality has changed completely. Well, not completely. You’re still angry. And anxious. And you yell at your friends for not doing enough in the game. But you know, now, that no matter how bad your day may be going, you can come home to talk to Dave. Knowing that is enough to even out the creases between your brow, even if it’s barely noticeable.
The game picks up speed and one thing after another happens so fast, you’re positive everyone is going to die. Surprisingly, though, none of your friends die—or at least, there aren’t any new deaths. You are all gathered around the body of Sollux, the green sun glaring down upon you, when a flash of light occurs and two humans in godtier garb descend from the sky.
One of them is Dave Strider. You notice him by his trademark red and his trademark sunglasses. As he comes closer, descending, descending, until he is on the ground, you are gripped with an insane idea. An idea so crazy, you are sure you’d never do it. You are sure you’d never have the guts.
Yet one foot moves forward.
Then the other.
Until you’ve broken into a run, the grimace of hate and confusion that had been on your face completely wiped out by an expression of adoration. Dave’s face is turned towards you and you see the slightest hint of a smile quirking his lips. Until, finally, you’re upon him, and you’ve mashed your lips against his. For one terrifying moment, you are sure he is going to reject you, and you have uncomfortable flashbacks of John’s rejection. But then his arms snake around you, and he is holding you—one hand pressed against the small of your back, another pressed against your shoulder blades. He is returning the kiss.
It is the best few seconds of your life to date, as you clutch him like one of the lovesick girls in your romcoms.
You hear someone coughing in the background. Reluctantly, you open your eyes, and together, you pull away from each other.
“Yes?” Dave asks, and you can hear the exasperation in his voice.
“Can’t you guys save your romance for another time? We have some rather grievous things to deal with at this point in time,” Rose says, the slightest smirk lifting her features.
You roll your eyes at her as Dave releases you. He keeps his hand on your back, though, and you feel delighted as he gently curls his arm around your side. “Fine, then, you tell us what to do, oh great leader and seer, and we’ll follow through,” you say. Comparatively, without much venom. She sighs and turns towards the rest of the group, discussing tactics and the like. You try to pay attention—this is important, after all—but you just can’t seem to care about anything else, other than the fact that, finally, you feel safe in someone’s arms.