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They take him there after. Dave says, "Sure, take him to hellmurder island, it'll help with the bumpy transition to the Land of Not Killing Most Of The Babies and Eating The Rest." Rose says, "I'm fairly sure they ate the ones they did kill, actually." Rose says, "I'm wasn't his friend."

Karkat doesn't say anything.

So Jade's place it is! John has been to her house before, obviously, while they were playing the game, and then again during the great three year interdimensional space trip, when Jade used to take him to floor after floor, shrinking heirlooms all the while. "I sure hated this stuff!" she would say, gleefully downsizing a suit of armor and not realizing until afterwards that Davesprite had been inside. He didn't shrink with the armor, for some reason: he just got ecto-compressed into a tiny, enraged lump of orange jello. Good times.

But he's never seen the island. It's bigger than he expected; greener, too, though not for the soaking value of green that you got in Washington. Jade's island made vegetation an act of violence. Dave had maybe been more on point with hellmurder than he'd even realized.

Jade, though, steps off the transportalizer and into sunlight with a smile, her ears set wide and her hair shining hazily, her edges diffuse for warmth. She holds her hands out in front of her, and sniffs, snub nose crinkling. 

"If you need to mark your territory, I promise I will look away," says John.

"Ewwww," says Jade, the intent focus falling from her face.

They both look at Karkat. Karkat's hand is locked in John's, small and sweaty and overhot, the clawed end of his thumb hooked into the back of John's hand like a nail. Or maybe it's just that everything feels like a nail when you're the god of hammers? John touches his chest and it doesn't hurt; it doesn't feel like anything.

"Time for the grand tour!" says Jade, recovering. She's better at disappointment than John. They both get angry a lot these days, but with Jade it's brief and fervent, effervescent, like the first moments of waking in which you try frantically to remember your dreams. When he gets angry it's just sour. It is cakes gone wrong and cakes gone way too right.

"Isn't that going to take a while?" he asks, shading his eyes. "What with you kind of owning a mini-continent?" 

"Yes," said Jade. "But we have a while. And there are enough machetes for everyone."

She smiles with human teeth, and disappears into the kitchen to collect the sharp metal things in question. John elbows Karkat gently. "What do you think?" he asks, feeling a little guilty for asking it while Jade can't hear. Hoping that Karkat is a little guilty too. 

"Gamzee would have hated it," says Karkat. 

John laughs. It comes out of him without him meaning for it to, or calling it up. "Yeah, well, he was a big gross clown who wanted to kill us all," he says.

Karkat glances at him, sideways, and doesn't move his mouth up or down. But his eyes are clear.

Jade comes back out. "Everyone, take a killing implement!" she says. "We're going to go damage the heck out of the natural habitat."

John picks randomly. It feels nice to hold new weapons, he thinks. It will feel nice to not use them on a person. He cuts a wide, stupid arc through the air, and when he turns back around Jade is touching the side of Karkat's neck, and neither of them looks angry at all.