Karkat Remaining Calm In A Crisis when the person he's with gets injured? Competent Karkat helping the injured guy stay calm.
“Thith ith thtupid,” you say for the seventeenth time in a row. KK is ahead of you on the trail, even the set of his shoulders under his stupid goddamn backpack radiating disgruntlement.
“Shut up,” he tells you. For the seventeenth time in a row. And adds “you agreed to come on this fucking trip, Tholluckth, so either find some way of going back in time and punching past you in his stupid fucking face or shut the fuck up and deal. with. it.”
“I didn’t know there would be mothquitoeth,” you whine. “And poithon ivy. And that inthect repellant thtuff thmellth fucking awful. And I don’t like trail micth. And my pack ith heavy.”
He stops in the middle of the trail, the dumb little blue gas stove thingy clanking against the other shit hanging off his pack. “Captor. I fucking swear to all that is good and fucking holy in this utter decomposing shitheap of a world that if you go on grizzling like a goddamn three-year-old I will push you off the fucking mountain and leave your shattered corpse for the bears to eat. No. I’ll fucking smear you with peanut butter and hang you up like a fucking bear pinata. That is full of delicious fucking organ meats designed to appeal to fucking bears. Jesus fucking Christ just shut your fucking face.”
You think he’s slipping. KK is capable of chewing you out with an astonishing loquacity and grasp of rhetoric, but he’s kind of phoning it in right now. Maybe the mosquitoes are getting to him too. You hope the mosquitoes are getting to him too.
Past you is a complete and utter asshole. You’d agreed to go with him on this backpacking trip mostly because you’d been distracted by Skyrim at the time, plus he’d asked nicely, which is so vanishingly rare that it tends to get results when he uses it. You regret this deeply.
You have been walking for hours. Your feet hurt and your shoulders hurt where the pack straps rest and you got no fucking sleep last night because it was cold and uncomfortable and you kept thinking bears were outside the tent and finally around four in the morning KK had hit you with a sleeping-bag sack and told you he was going to kick you out of the tent entirely if you didn’t shut the livid fuck up and go to fucking sleep, which didn’t actually do much for the non-sleeping thing in the first place.
Fuck past you in the ear, seriously.
“Goddamnit,” KK is saying. “If I give you a Jolly Rancher will you be fucking quiet for ten fucking minutes in a row?”
“No, you have to give me two Jolly Rancherth. Blue rathpberry and thtrawberry.” You hold out an expectant hand.
“I fucking loathe you more than anyone in this entire pustulent planet has ever fucking loathed anybody ever,” he sighs, and fishes in the side pocket of his pack. “The extent of my hatred is goddamn infinite. It is a pure and lambent fucking pearl of unadulterated fuck you.”
He slaps the requested candies into your hand and turns around, stalking off without another word. You tuck one Jolly Rancher in each cheek and follow him with a chipmunk smirk on your face. The path here goes along a ridge sloping down sharply on each side; to your left is a steep wooded hillside, to your right is a tumbled rockfall.
The plan, as far as you can make out, is to reach the overlook by midafternoon, set up camp, spend the night there, and then early tomorrow morning make your way down the other side of the ridge to where you left the second car. If you can survive that long you are going to fucking cling to that car with all four limbs and maybe make out with it a little because it will mean you can get yourself from point A to point B without making your goddamn legs do all the work. You think your legs might fall off.
You wonder if anybody’s legs ever fell off from hiking too much before, and if so, whether their asshole best friends felt guilty about it afterward.
The next thing you know your right foot (KK had insisted you wear hiking boots instead of your sneakers, but you didn’t have any, so you had to borrow some and they don’t really fit right despite the weird two-sock thing) is skidding away from you as the rock you’d stepped on parts company from the rocks around it, and then you’re flailing your arms for balance and then ow you’re ow actually owrolling down the fucking rockfall OW and you fetch up suddenly against a boulder the size of a house and JESUS FUCK OW your ankle explodes in a soundless white burst of pain that makes you feel sick.
You can’t really hear much behind the ow but you’re aware that KK is yelling something, and then there’s a clatter and clank and you blink pain-tears away to see that he’s taken off his pack and is ungracefully clambering down the rocks to where you’re wedged against the rock.
Ow. You don’t know if you actually felt anything snap, but it hurts worse than anything you can remember except maybe your wisdom tooth surgery (why the fuck did you have an extra set of wisdom teeth, seriously it was so not fair) and you are damn sure you are not walking anywhere on it anytime soon.
Oh, fuck. Fuck everything in the universe to death.
KK is already cursing in a steady rhythm when he reaches you and he doesn’t stop as he kneels down and reaches for your shoulder. “Goddamn shitting mother of fuck, Sollux, what the hell, are you okay, what even happened?”
“My ankle,” you say. Jesus you feel sick. “Think maybe itth broken.”
“Fuck,” he says, sitting back on his heels. He runs his hands through his hair, making it stick up more than ever, and then he is touching your leg and you shut your eyes but even though you know he’s being careful oh fuck that hurts and you groan. “Don’t, KK, I think I’m gonna puke, it fucking hurtth...”
He does something that makes the pain exponentially worse for a moment and then fade a bit--oh, he’s moved one of the rocks you caught your foot between, that’s nice, and you lean over and lose your trail mix and your Jolly Ranchers all over an unlucky bush. It kind of helps inasmuch as it’s a distraction from whatever it is KK is doing to your foot; when you’re done you look down at him and he’s taken off your boot and...your stomach lurches again because wow your ankle doesn’t look like it’s the right shape.
“Sollux,” he’s saying. “Hey. Listen to me, okay? I don’t think you broke it but this is one poisonous fuck of a sprain. I’m going to strap it up so we can get you out of this goddamn rock field.”
“How are we gonna get to the car?” you ask and your voice is tiny. And it wobbles. Goddamnit.
“Don’t worry about that, asshole, worry about getting yourself disengaged from that stupid backpack. This is going to hurt, by the way. Sorry.”
How does he know all this stuff, you wonder, and you do manage to undo the hip belt and wriggle out of the straps: it feels better not being wedged at that angle. KK has gone to fetch his own pack and now he’s got the first-aid kit out and is shaking one of those chemical cold-pack things to activate it. How does he know how to deal with fuckups who fall over and damage themselves on his vacations?
OW but okay, yeah, cold is good, you can handle cold. He’s taken your socks off and ew, jesus fuck it’s all swollen up already and gone a funny color on one side, and he straps the cold-pack on with ace bandages. “That’ll do while we get your skinny ass back to level ground. Here.”
With his help (and the boulder’s) you manage to haul yourself mostly upright, your bad ankle screaming as it’s asked to move. KK hauls your arm over his shoulders and whoa, he’s actually taking kind of a lot of your weight, it helps that he’s exactly the right height for you to lean on, and with his help you hop and clamber awkwardly back up to the trail. It hurts badly enough that you are actually crying when you get there and he finally lets you down to sit on the ground leaning against a tree.
And then KK is kneeling beside you and he’s hugging you. He’s hugging you and you can’t help clinging to him because you feel like shit and you are going to be eaten by bears and you’ve ruined his camping trip like a total dickwad and he’s still hugging you and he’s rubbing your back.
“Hey,” he’s saying. “Sollux, it’s okay, you’re gonna be fine. I promise. Fucking swear it. Quit leaking all over my goddamn shirt and calm your tits, I’ve got this one.”
You manage to quit with the leaking but your tits are not exactly at their most nonchalant just right now. Nevertheless when he lets you go you feel a little better--he does that, he makes you feel better just by being his grumpy foulmouthed shortarsed self, it’s bizarre--and you don’t protest when he trots back to fetch your two backpacks.
It’s not very long at all before he’s got you settled with your stupid ankle properly strapped up and elevated, and he’s unpacked the stove and is putting a pan of water on to heat. You watch him vaguely, not sure what he plans to do with it, feeling kind of sleepy now that the worst of the pain seems to be fading a little.
He’s making you tea. With a shitton of sugar in it, and that powdered milk stuff, and he lets the teabag sit in the cup until it’s the color of madeira, and he carries it over to you with the first-aid kit and shakes out a couple of Advil. “Here. It’d be better with a shot of brandy in it but some asshole forgot to pack the medicinal booze, I wonder who that could possibly have been.”
You vaguely remember reading somewhere that hot sweet tea is a thing you give people who’ve had a shock, like putting blankets round their shoulders or something. You have to admit it’s awfully heartening, even without the brandy, and you swallow the Advil and wrap your hands around the cup and let yourself feel taken care of.
You don’t know how the fuck you’re going to get back to the car with three useful legs between the two of you, but when KK comes to sit beside you you just lean against his shoulder and drink your tea and trust that he’ll come up with something. Because he always does.