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The first time you saw him

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The first time you saw him you knew there was something different about him. It might have been the way his hood was pointed in two places, or the dark shade of his skin, or even how he looked like he wanted to run at every noise. You were in the park. It wasn't strange for you to go there after school, however today was an exception, it was raining and you loathed the rain.

You push your wet bangs out of your face and walk up to the boy.

"Hi." You say, trying to catch is attention. His back stiffens and he glances about nervously before resting his eyes on you. He looks like he is going to bolt.

"What are you doing here on such a dreary day?" you ask, hoping to clear the awkward silence. He says nothing in response.

"Do you need a place to stay?" you ask. His eyes widen in surprise.

"No normal person stands in a park during a rainstorm." You say to yourself wondering what he was doing standing in a park during a rainstorm. He stays silent and you grab his hand and pull him along saying, "Come on, you can stay with me tonight!"

He allows himself to be brought along as you run the last few blocks to the apartment you rent. You blast through the front door and run up the stairs to your front door. You pull out your keys and notice the boy shifting awkwardly from foot to foot.

"Take off your shoes please." You tell him and he complies still saying nothing.

"Come on in." You say smiling at him. He walks in meekly and you could swear that he is sniffing the air. You peel off your wet coat and the wet shirt underneath and throw them in your laundry basket, motioning for the boy to do the same. He steps back from you and shakes his head.

"Okay, whatever." You say shrugging, "Want to come watch TV with me?" You ask. He nods and you lead him over to your couch and sit him down, sitting next to him. You pretend not to notice when he scoots away from you and curls up on the other side of the couch. You flip to a random Channel and turn your attention to the TV. During the next commercial break you look over to the boy on the couch to find him sound asleep. You can also see that he is Shivering.

Figuring that you had better get his wet clothes off before he froze, you carefully grab the hem of his oversized hoodie and slowly pull it up. Once the hoodie is off you are able to see just how sickly his skin looks. His skin appears to be a light grey and you hope it is just the light of the TV that makes it seem so. Next you carefully remove his T shirt, which was also soaked.

You pull the quilt off the back of the couch and wrap it around him, hoping it will keep him warm. Taking his clothes you walk over to your dryer and throw them in while also grabbing a clean shirt for yourself. Walking back to the couch you can't help but notice how small and meek the boy on your couch looks. You frown to yourself as you sit back down on the couch.

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You open your blurry eyes to a very unfamiliar place. Looking around you remember an energetic boy offering to let you Stay at his house. You look over and said boy is sound asleep on the couch. You move your hands to your head to pull down your hood. Your fingers find no fabric atop your head. You start to panic.

Upon further inspection of yourself you find that both your hoodie and T-shirt are missing as well. Shocked you stand up quickly, bringing the quilt that had been covering you with. You frantically begin searching the boy's apartment for your belongings.

Not finding them worries you greatly. You crawl into the small space beneath the boy's coffee table and settle down there, feeling less exposed. It seems like hours before the boy began to stir. You hope he wakes up soon so he can lead you back to the park you were at last night.

You must have drifted off again because the next thing you remember is the boy shaking you awake.

"Hey silly, what are you doing under there?" he laughed. You found yourself blushing. "Come out from under there." He laughed. Slowly you Crawled out from under the table, still keeping your distance from the boy.

"What's your name? Mine's John. "He asked. You simply shake your head at him. You point at your bare torso to ask where your Clothes are. He simply says "ah", Stands up and walks towards a door in the wall. Your curious eyes follow him as he pulls your hoodie and shirt out of his dryer.

"can you at least tell me something I can call you?" he Said as he handed you your clothes. Again you shake your head. The boy looks disappointed. "I could call you cat." He snickers I "you sure act like one."

Instinctively your hands fly to your head and cover your black, furry ears and the small horns in front of them. John looks at you questioningly. Then it dawns on you. He hadn't seen them when he took off your hoodie. "What a stupid kid." you think to yourself. Still upset about his 'name' for you, you start to search his apartment for something to write with. You can feel his curious eyes follow you the whole time. After a good five minutes of searching, you find what you were looking for. you grab one of the many pens on his computer desk and a blank paper from his printer. On it your write MY NAME IS KARKAT, and hand it to John.

"Oh." he says, "I guess I was pretty close, but why couldn't you have just told me out loud?" You take the paper back from him and write I CAN'T SPEAK. You watch his derpy grin slide off his face.

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Your words die in your mouth and the smile drops from drops from your face.

"uh..." you say.

WELL I SHOULD LEAVE NOW he writes on that piece of paper.

"But why?" you say slightly alarmed, "was it something I said, then I'm sor-"

He cuts you off by shoving his piece of paper in your face. It now says I CAN'T JUST MOOCH OFF OF YOU. You're stunned by his kindness and consideration. Looking at him you notice that he is still shirtless.

"Hey, you gonna put your shirt back on or what?" you say. Realizing that he is shirtless he puts on his shirt and hoodie. Just before he slips his hood back up you see a pair of black cat ears peaking out of his hair.

"Wait a sec! Are those real?" you say pointing at the ears. He quickly pulls up his hood to hide them.

"So are you a cat or something? Does that mean you have a cat tail too? Do you-" you gush, being interrupted by Karkat shoving the paper in front of your face now saying SHUT THE HELL UP AND STOP BEING NOSY ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. This shuts you up. In the silence you swear you can hear your stomach rumbling, reminding you that you never had dinner last night.

"Hey Karkat, do you want something to eat? I'm starving." you ask as you stand up and walk towards towards your kitchen area. You see him reluctantly nod his head.

"You like eggs? Or do I have to go buy some cat food?" you say jokingly. You can tell that it made him angry. He furiously scribbles something on his paper and walks over to you. It says YOU'RE AN ASS. And there are scribbled out words next to it that seem to say I LIKE EGGS JUST AS MUCH AS ANYBODY ELSE.

You chuckle and say "Eggs it is."

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As soon as the food is on the table you are shoveling it into your mouth. You don’t even know how long its been since you ate real food. You can feel John watching you but you don’t really care at the moment. After you finish your eggs you’re surprised to find John asking you if you want more with is derpy grin plastered on his face. With no hesitation you nod your head and watch eagerly as he puts more eggs on your plate.

Moments later John picks up his plate and walks into the kitchen leaving you on the couch to eat. You take your time on your seconds, savoring the feeling of food in your stomach. When John comes back out of the kitchen he still has that derpy grin on his face and you can’t help wondering what he's smiling at. When you finish eating John takes your plate into the kitchen, and by the time he comes back out you have written THANK YOU FOR THE FOOD. BUT WHY ARE YOU BEING SO NICE TO ME? I’M PRACTICALLY A STRANGER. You can tell that he’s thinking about what to say.

“Heh, I don’t know. It just seemed strange to find somebody standing alone in a park in the middle of a rain storm. I guess I just like helping people, I mean I would hope that someone would do the same for me.” He says with a thoughtful look on his face.

You think about what he said, surprised by his compassion for others. There was really only one question left to ask and you don’t hesitate to write it. CAN I STAY?

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As soon as you put the food on the table Karkat starts shoveling food into his mouth. He looks like he hasn't eaten in forever. You can't help but watch and suppress your laughter, no doubt making you grin as wide as the Cheshire cat. You start to eat your food, often glancing up at the boy across the table from you. When he finishes you immediately ask him if he wants more. You chuckle when he nods enthusiastically. You go into the kitchen and retrieve the pan from the stove, pushing the last of the eggs onto Karkat's plate.

You grab your own plate and walk back to the kitchen placing it and the pan in the sink before walking back out. Your grin still hasn't left your face and you can't help but think that you look like an idiot. You wait until he is finished and take his plate into the kitchen. When you come back out you see Karkat holding up his paper hat now says THANK YOU FOR THE FOOD. BUT WHY ARE YOU BEING SO NICE TO ME? I'M PRACTICALLY A STRANGER. You pause. You never really thought about why you helped Karkat in the first place. Sure you had been concerned but…

"Heh, I don't know. It just seemed strange to find somebody standing alone in a park in the middle of a rain storm. I guess I just like helping people, I mean I would hope that someone would do the same for me." You say, thoughts still loud in your mind.

A strange look flashes across Karkat's face, I almost seemed like he was confused. A few moments later he picks up his pen and writes something on his paper. CAN I STAY?

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CAN I STAY the paper says. You look up at John hopefully. You can tell that it caught him off guard.

“Yes, of course you can!” He says enthusiastically. You are so overcome with joy that you jump up from your chair and hug him, accidentally pushing him into the back of the couch. Quickly you gett off him, blushing profusely. You give John an apologetic look as he leans forward off the couch and rubs the small of his back.

“If you want, you can sleep in my room. I can sleep on couch, it’s really no inconvenience.”John says pointing to a door near the washer and dryer. You look around his small apartment. to your left is the kitchen and a small computer, to your right is a full size keyboard and the door to his bedroom as well as the closet with the washer and dryer in them. In front of you is his TV and couch as well as a door that you assume leads to the bathroom. you grab your paper and write ARE YOU SURE? You’d rather not stay in a house where you are unwanted.

“Of course I’m sure, it’ll be like a sleepover.” He says with the derpy grin that you are quickly becoming fond of. Even so, you don’t trust him. You rarely trust anyone anymore.

“Hey, wanna see my room?” He asks. You nod, eager to know more about this boy who selflessly took you in. You follow him as he opens the door and walks into the small room behind it. Inside the first thing you see is his bed, covered in sky blue sheets. looking to his walls you see various trophies and awards held high on white shelves, that against the baby blue walls, look like little clouds. You smile at the many pictures of John and a man you assume to be his father that cover the top of his dresser.

John flops down on his bed and invites you to sit next to him.

“Welcome to your new home Karkat” He says with a smile.

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Its been over a month since you first met Karkat.

The first few days were strange. You learned that Karkat is paranoid and hates storms. That when he eats a lot of sugar he becomes clingy. That his life hasn't been a good one. And you hope that you can change that for the better.

He asked you about your dad a lot. You told him all about what it was like growing up wih your dad, the stuff you used to do together, how he practically kicked you out when you turned 18 saying that you were old enough to be your own man.

Every night you went out to your job at the local bookstore where you worked from four to eight. You thought about Karkat a lot while you were working. The first time you left him at home alone you were distracted through your whole shift worrying about him, only to come home and find him curled up on your bed.

When you practiced piano after you got home from school you could always see him watching out the corner of your eye. Sometimes you even pretended that you were playing for him. It was one of the few times you saw him smile.

Life had treated the two of you considerably well in the last month and you are grateful for it.

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You come home, hang your raincoat on a peg on the wall and run your hands through your wet hair. You frown, the storm outside is getting bad. You hope it hasn’t freaked Karkat out yet. You walk into your bedroom to check on him, and find him curled up in his little pile of blankets next to your closet. You remember the day when he took most of your blankets and pillows and made a pile in the corner saying that it was his bed.You had laughed and told him not to live like a hobo, but you guess he doesn’t care.

“Karkat, You okay?” You say, hoping the storm hasn’t gotten to him. When he gives no response you crouch down next to him. You move a blanket off of his face and see that he is asleep. You breathe a sigh of relief.

You stand up and leave the room, making sure to close the door behind you. You walk quietly over to your piano, careful to turn the volume down so you don’t wake Karkat. You pull your sheet music out of its bag and begin to play.

It hadn't been long before you heard the door to your bedroom squeak open. You kept playing, knowing that Karkat was getting comfortable on the edge of the couch. You get through around two more pieces before you hear him shifting around. Then about two bars into your favorite piece, Showtime, you hear Karkat sneeze.

“Aww, you sneeze like a kitten.” You say impulsively. He looks up at you angrily, and looks for one of the many pads of paper now placed about your apartment. When he finds one he writes I AM NOT A CAT.

"What are you then"

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"What are you then?" You ask. Karkat freezes up. You wait for him to start writing but he continues to gawk at you.

"Well?" You say hoping to prompt an answer from him, realizing how curious you really have been about what he is. He still makes no move to write. You can tell that the question has made him uncomfortable but you really want to know. You watch him slowly move his pen to the paper and write something there. He shows you the paper.


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No matter what you do, you can't get Karkat to tell you anything about himself. You don't want to be nosy but you want to know more about the boy you have taken in. You had hoped that he would warm up to you but now you worry that he never will.


You wake up to the sound of your alarm. You roll over and smack your clock, turning it off. Rubbing the sleep from your eyes you slowly crawl out of bed and hobble to the bathroom. Pushing lightly on the door you step forward into the small room. You make it about two steps before you run into something. You later identify it as Karkat in nothing but his boxers. Before he can turn around you make out a long, jagged scar running from his right shoulder to his left hip. Impulsively you reach out your hand, intending to run it along the scar. Instead Karkat turns around, his face showing a mixture of fear, anger, and embarrassment. You stand there like an idiot, arm outstretched and face colored with curiosity and pity. It is simply too much for your brain to handle right away in the morning.

"Good morning Karkat." Is all you can manage to say. You are sure that your curiosity shows on your face like a giant neon sign saying 'I want to know'. You stand in the small room facing Karkat, saying nothing more. Karkat grabs his shirt, throwing it on before he grabs his hoodie and leaves the room. Knowing that following him would just make him more uncomfortable you begin your morning routine.


You walk out of the bathroom and into the kitchen, towel still perched on your head. You throw together a quick breakfast of toast and jelly for yourself, wrapping it up in a napkin. Grabbing the toast you head for the door, throwing your wet towel at the washer and quickly pulling on a heavy coat and shoes. Just as you are about to open the door your progress is halted by Karkat pulling your sleeve to get your attention. The piece of paper he is holding reads WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

"To the park." You say, "You can come with if you want." He nods. The next ten or so minutes are spent looking for warm clothes for Karkat to wear, his usual hoodie not being warm enough. Finally you grab your keys and lock the door behind you and karkat as you begin the walk down the ten or so blocks between your house and the park. As you walk you can see your breath which eventually turns into you pretending to be a dragon in hopes that it will clear the unpleasant silence. You swear you saw him smile just a little bit.

When you get to the park you immediately lead karkat to the playground, your favorite place to go even though most people would say that you were far too old, being a sophomore in college. You often come here to think or sometimes write music. You sit at the bottom of the biggest slide and relax, letting the sounds of nature fill your ears, only interrupted by Karkat's occasional footsteps.

You lose track of time. Your thoughts are interrupted by a cold sensation on your forehead. You open your eyes to a light snow. Out of the corner of your eye you see Karkat playing with the light flakes. Laughing you stand up calling out to Karkat. You lead him down the path to the lake, knowing how beautiful it looks in winter. The entire lake is frozen over, making it a popular spot for ice skaters. You sneak a sideways glance at Karkat. His eyes are wide and a small grin shows from beneath the scarf you made him wear. You grab his hand and slowly pull him onto the ice, letting go when he finds his balance. You push off, sliding across the ice. A laugh finds its way out of your mouth.

"C'mon Karkat, give it a try!" You yell.


You play on the ice until your cheeks are rosy red. Carefully you step off the ice, holding a hand out to Karkat. He steps off and you begin the walk back home. The wind swirls snowflakes around you as you walk. You find yourself thanking the snow for a wonderful day. It's not until you get home that you realize that you have a giant grin plastered on your face.

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You peel off your heavy coat and take off your soaking shoes, throwing both in a pile in front of your washer and dryer. You go to your room while Karkat does the same, grabbing a hoodie for yourself and throwing it on to ward off the cold. Wondering back out into the living room you see Karkat sitting on the couch still wearing his sopping hoodie. You can’t say that you are surprised.

“Karkat, you’ll freeze to death if you keep that on.” you say pointing to his hoodie. Heating your apartment costs a lot so you tend to keep the heat off unless you really need it.

“C’mon, you’ll get sick.” You say. He slowly pulls the hoodie off and you take it from him, throwing it into the washer along with the coats that were piled in front, leaving the shoes for another load of laundry. By the time you come back to the couch Karkat has cocooned himself in a thick blanket. You sit down next to him and switch on the TV.


By the time you get bored the clock on your DVR reads 8:47. You stand up and stretch. You hate sitting still for long periods of time, it makes you feel jumpy and anxious. You make it about two steps before you feel something wet hit the back of your head. You grab Karkat’s shirt off of your head and turn around just in time to see him curling back up under the blanket. You sigh and throw the wet shirt in the direction of the dryer and head into the kitchen to get what you had originally intended to get. You grab a glass from the cabinet and fill it with water from the tap. You run your hand through your now wet hair.

“Karkat, you want anything.” You say in the direction of the couch. You half expect him to throw a crumpled paper at you or something. You wait for some kind of response.

When no response comes you wander back to the couch only to find Karkat sprawled out on his stomach dead asleep. At first you are alarmed. Thinking back as far as the day you brought him home you realise that never once has he slept in any other way than curled up in a ball. Slowly you calm down. You can tell that there is nothing wrong, which leads you to think that he has finally become comfortable with you. Your eyes leave the back of his head and roam down to his back, left uncovered by the blanket.

Quietly you kneel down on the floor next to him and reach out to his scar. You run your hand down the entire length of it, feeling the uneven skin. From the little knowledge about scars that you have, you know that it never healed properly, and at some points you see dark grey flecks that look like little chunks of metal. You really wish you knew more about his past. You wish you knew how to help him.

You cover him back up with the blanket and walk to the front door, closing it quietly behind you. You need some time alone, to hate the person who did that to him. You stop walking, thoughts buzzing in your head. Only one is at the front of your mind. Why do you care so much about this boy?


You close your eyes, safe in the feeling that you no longer have to hide one of your biggest secrets from him.

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You wake up to a cold and quiet apartment. You roll from your stomach to your side and slide off the couch. You leave the blanket behind and look around for John. Last you had checked he went outside. First you check the bedroom, then the kitchen, and then the bathroom. Finding no evidence of the boy’s presence, you open the front door, shivering as the cold air hits your exposed chest.

You look around for him, hoping that he isn’t far. It doesn’t take long for you to find him slumped against the side of the house, fast asleep. As quickly as you can you pull him onto your back and begin trudging back to the open door. Every step makes your muscles groan and your back ache. You were never strong, and this was pushing your limits.

You finally get him back inside the house. You plop him down on the couch and shut the door. You walk towards the bedroom, stopping on the way to throw a blanket over John. You grab up your own pile of blankets and carry it out into the living room, setting it down next to the couch. Tired and cold you curl up under the blankets and drift back to sleep.

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You wake up slowly, your muscles groaning from sleeping in a strange position. You stretch, reaching up with your arms and curving your back. You groan at the feeling of your muscles pulling tight. Yawning, you sit upright, absentmindedly reaching for your glasses resting on the dresser next to your bed. Your hand finds no dresser, only open air. Confused, you grope about, trying to figure out where you are. In your clumsy efforts you feel yourself slide off whatever you were sleeping on. You brace yourself for hitting the floor, but instead you hit something considerably softer. It makes a loud noise somewhere between a squawk and a groan. In your morning blindness you can just barely make out Karkat laying under you.

“Sorry, sorry.” you mumble, trying to get of the other boy before you hurt him. Karkat just sighs and helps push you off.

Before you try standing up you ask, “Hey, do you know where my glasses are?” Thankfully he nods and reaches over to the table beside the couch and grabs your glasses. You don’t notice him wince. He hands you your glasses and lays back down in his pile of blankets. You put them on and stand up, thankful for being able to see.

The clock reads ten thirty, making you glad that it’s Sunday and not Monday. You hobble over to the bathroom and hop in the shower.


When you get out a good fifteen minutes later Karkat is still laying on the floor. You announce that you’re out of the shower and that he can get in. You decide to make coffee for yourself. Even though you hate the way it tastes you still drink it from time to time if you’re in need of something to wake you up. With morning slowness you start the coffee maker you had gotten from your sister a long time ago. Sometimes you feel bad about not using it more. Around five minutes later you sit down on the couch, knees up to your chest, and flip on the TV. You find a news channel and settle back into the couch to drink your coffee. It doesn’t take long for your mind to busy itself thinking about how strange it is with Karkat.

You are brought out of your thoughts by Karkat poking your knee. He is holding a piece of paper that says ARE YOU JUST GOING TO STARE OFF INTO SPACE ALL DAY OR CAN WE GO DO SOMETHING? Without realizing it you had spent an hour and a half staring off into space.

“Hehe, sorry, I guess I lost track of time, what do you want to do? You say, putting your now cold coffee down and stretching out your legs. He writes, CAN WE GO BACK TO THAT PARK? You nod, smile across your face. You swear that you see his eyes light up. You stand up and head towards the door, Karkat following along behind.


You spend the day in pretty much the same way as you had yesterday. As boring as it is for you it’s worth it every time you see Karkat smile. It makes your heart jump to see him enjoying himself. You follow him down to the pond, surprised when he grabs your hand and pulls you onto the ice. You get a warm feeling in your chest. You skate away the afternoon.


“Karkat, lets stay for the sunset.” You say as you huddle next to him on the ground. He nods, smile still on his face. You’d never say it out loud, but he looks adorable when he smiles. You blush at the thought. Karkat grabs your hand again. You stay huddled together, bodies as close as possible, foreheads touching, to ward off the cold. Even so, you don’t feel cold at all.

You smile at him, looking into his eyes. You had never noticed their color. Bright red, filled with more emotions than there are words for. Out the corner of your eye you see the sun start to set, but at the moment you couldn’t care less. You lean your head forward farther so that your nose is touching his, still looking into his eyes, searching for answers to the many questions you’ve asked. When the sun starts to sink below the horizon you can see it reflected in his eyes.

Without warning he moves his lips to yours and kisses you, the last light from the sun hitting your faces.

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You slowly pull back from his lips, breath making white puffs in the air that hover between your face and his. Your face, already numb from the cold, is a bright red. You lean your face against his again, wishing you could speak.

You sit there with John until there is no trace of orange left in the sky.


By the time you get home, the sky is a dark purple. Snow had started falling and for once everything felt right. You credit that mostly to the boy whose hand you are holding. You let go of his hand as he fumbles with his keys only to grab it back up as soon as the door swings open.

You struggle out of your coat and hoodie, shivering as the cold air in the apartment hits your exposed skin. Without thinking you move towards John who grabs you up in a hug. You rest your head against his chest, smile creeping onto your face.

Grabbing your hand again, John leads you into the bedroom and pulls you into bed with him. You curl up to him, your body shivering, and before he can pull the blanket over you, you are asleep.


Waking up in the morning leaves you disoriented. The heat surrounding you is unreal. Surely you are still sleeping on the cement floor in the basement. Surely this is all just a dream. Slowly you open your eyes, reluctant to see proof that it is all in your head. Instead you get an eyeful of John's face. He chuckles and pulls you closer, smiling in just the way that gets your heart beating fast.

When his alarm goes off you both get out of bed, and you head to the kitchen while John gets in the shower. You pour yourself a bowl of cereal and start eating, waiting for John to get out of the shower. Like clockwork he is out in five minutes and eating his own breakfast. You hold up a message you had written while he was showering. CAN I WALK WITH YOU TODAY? it reads. You wait as he thinks it over, nearly jumping out of your chair when he nods yes.

As giddy as a child on the first day of school, you stand by the door ready to leave as John gathers up all of his books and throws them in a small black backpack.

"Do you have your key?" he asks, referring to the key he gave you to get back into the house once he got to school. You nod yes, eager to see the big building John often talked of fondly. He locks the door and you both set off down the block hand in hand.


It only takes a few blocks before the streets start to get busy with early morning traffic. John needlessly warns you to stay away from the road and you roll your eyes at him. It's only four more blocks before you have to cross a busy street. Though you've done it many times before, it still makes you nervous. John drops your hand and adjusts his backpack. You tell yourself to stop being such a coward. The traffic light across the street turns to walk. Briskly John walks forward. You follow him closely.

Half way across the street there is an island. John stops on it and you take the opportunity to grab his hand again. You hear him chuckle. You look forward and are blinded by a pair of white lights pointed straight at you. The car comes up over the curb heading straight for John.

"No!" You yell as if it will do anything, lung aching at the sudden use. With all the strength you can manage you pull John back. Moments later the world is covered in white light and you can no longer see anything.

"John." You gasp as the air is forced out of your lungs.

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Luckily the car swerved out of the way before it hit you. The paramedics that arrived soon after assured both you and John that neither of you were hurt seriously. It had taken both you and John telling them not to pull down your hood to keep them from exposing your secret. Instead of continuing to school the situation was explained and John led you home.


It has been two hour since you got back home. John refuses to talk to you. You’ve tried to explain the reason why you had to lie about not being able to speak, but he refuses to hear it. The only thing he has said to you since the car incident was “I thought I could trust you, but instead you were just one big lie.” And then he skulked off into the bedroom. You simply curled up on the couch and you haven’t moved since, your stinging throat as a painful reminder of what you’ve done.

Sure you feel bad for lying to him, but you really had no choice. For a good portion of your life it was hammered into your head that opening your mouth only led to bad things. You haven’t talked in many years, you’ve really had no reason too.

You had slipped up, opened your mouth and let words come out, and that only ever leads to bad things.


You aren’t even sure why you are upset at him. Heck, if he hadn’t pulled you out of the way you would probably have much worse than a few bruises. Even now, your anger is fading into guilt. Even so, every time he says something its like a small reminder that the Karkat you know isn’t the real Karkat.

You know he has a reason for lying, probably rooted deep in the past he refuses to tell you about, and normally you would be out in the living room with him, getting every detail you can. You stay in bed, face down, eyes closed, hoping that this is all some kind of dream and that when you wake up you’ll be laying in bed with Karkat. The Karkat you know.

Every time he says “I’m sorry” in his rough voice it makes you feel worse until all of your anger is gone. You should probably go out and apologize.


He is not going to come out. The thought hits you like a ton of bricks. He doesn't want you here anymore. You deceived him and he’s not going to forgive you. Thoughts race through your head.

Slowly you stand up from the couch, muscles complaining about the sudden movement. You walk across the small apartment, returning the thick coat to the closet by the door when you come to it. You slip on your shoes and take one last look at the apartment that had been your home for quite some time. You pull the door open and step out into the snow.

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You wander the dimly lit streets, careful to avoid the countless snowdrifts littered about the side of the road. Your breath makes puffs in front of your eyes, reminding you that spending too much time wandering around could kill you. You rub your arms to fight off the cold that had already started to numb your body. You walk briskly into the darkening night.


You barely hear the door close. You ignore it and continue to stare at the ceiling, assuming that Karkat is just stepping out for fresh air. After a few minutes you find yourself listening for the door. Nearly fifteen minutes pass before you decide to go outside and get him. You slowly roll out of bed and head over to the door, pulling on a coat before you head outside.

You don't see Karkat on the porch or anywhere in the yard. You reach back inside and grab your keys from the hook on the wall. Pulling the door shut you try to think about where he would be. The first place you check is the park.

You wander from the playground to to the lake. Seeing Karkat nowhere you begin to worry. Your calm walk and steady stride change to a slight jog as you search the park. Finding him nowhere you jog back to the main street.

You search until long after the sun sets.


The sky begins to lighten as the sun rises. Your arms and legs had long gone numb. Your face is stained red from the violent winter wind. In an attempt to warm yourself you curl into a ball, fighting sleep. Your heavy eyelids fall closed.


By the time the sun starts to rise you are frantically searching the streets and alleys in your neighborhood. After hours of searching you see a spot of grey in a pile of snow. You rush over to the mound and brush of the snow, uncovering a shivering form. Unsure of what to do, you pull Karkat close, hoping that he isn't hurt. You huddle close to him, hoping your body heat will warm him up.

Chapter Text

Time passes slowly as snow piles on top of you. All of your energy is long gone and you lay helplessly as you watch the sky become obscured by white. Your heavy eyelids close and white turns to black.

You can barely feel anything but the cold of the snow. How you can still feel anything is a mystery to you. You float through the cold darkness. Then quickly the cold is replaced with warmth. You can only assume that someone has found you and pulled you from the snow that piled around you.

You feel the brush of the wind as you are lifted into the air and quickly carried away. Once again you feel warmth surrounding you but this time here is a humming noise like the engine of a car. Something slams near your head and you feel your body flinch. As if to comfort you, a hand slowly smooths out your hood and rests between your ears. You lay exhausted and listen to what you can hear of the whispered conversation around you.

The hum stops and you are again carried through the cold air. Flinching at the sudden cold you curl into the person carrying you. You hear what almost sounds like a laugh come from above your head.

The cold fades slowly when you enter what you assume to be someones house. You can hear running water and hurried footsteps moving around the house. You are carried into what you assume to be the bathroom. Long-fingered hands grab your own and carefully break the grip you have on the person holding you as they lower you into a bathtub. The water is warm but it still makes you shiver.

A hand grabs the hem of your hoodie and begins to pull it off. You jerk away, surprised that you still have the energy to do so, splashing water everywhere. Your eyes show a blurred room filled with soft yellow light. To the left of you is a blonde boy with a smug look on his face and black sunglasses leaning on the sink. Kneeling on the floor directly in front of you and drenched with water is John.

“Calm down Karkat.” he says. You are incredibly confused and disoriented. You have no idea when you met up with John or the blonde or who the blonde even is.

“C’mon, you’re gonna freeze to death.” He says with a mixture of concern and annoyance. Reluctantly you scoot out of the corner of the bathtub and let John take off your hoodie and shirt, sinking self-consciously under the water as he throws them behind him. His hands move to your waist and quickly undo the button and zipper on your jeans. Quickly and carefully he pulls them off your legs. You watch out of the corner of your eye as John gathers up your wet clothes and hurries out of the room followed by the blonde. You close your eyes and let your tired body rest.