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KARKAT: AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE A VERSION OF NEPETA THAT HAD NEVER EVEN MET ME. LIKE I GUESS ALL OF US MEETING WAS PART OF WHATEVER HILARIOUSLY TWISTED PLAN PARADOX SPACE HAD FOR US ALL ALONG, SO WHENEVER I MEET A GHOST THAT DOESN’T KNOW ME, I KNOW THEY DIED BECAUSE THEY HAD THE ABSURD FORTUNE TO STAY OUT OF MY WAY ALTOGETHER.

KARKAT: AND IT’S LIKE YET ANOTHER REMINDER THAT I’VE FUCKED EVERYONE’S LIVES IN A WAY THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED OVER-THE-TOP IN EVEN THE RACIEST OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS.

KARKAT: FUCKED IF THEY DO MEET ME. FUCKED IF THEY DON’T.

KARKAT: I’VE NEVER RUN INTO A SINGLE UNIVERSE WHERE I MANAGE TO SAVE EVERYONE. JUST ENDLESS ITERATIONS OF ME FINDING NEW WAYS TO STICK MY FACE UP MY WASTECHUTE AND FORCE EVERYONE ELSE TO DEAL WITH THE STINK. OVER AND OVER AND FUCKING OVER AGAIN.

DAVE: dude
DAVE: you need to calm down

KARKAT: DON’T FUCKING SAY THAT TO ME. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE.

DAVE: uh
DAVE: yeah
DAVE: i do
DAVE: we all know dude
DAVE: literally every single one of us has fucked up beyond all recognition
DAVE: isnt that the reason we met in the first place
DAVE: because our session was a fuckin existential joke
DAVE: youre sitting here agonizing over whether or not you fucked up when like all your players died so its obviously a yes

KARKAT: WOW. THANK YOU STRIDER.
KARKAT: THANKS FOR THAT ENCOURAGING RHETORIC. I’LL DEDICATE THE NEXT TIME I THROW MYSELF OFF THIS METEOR TO YOU.

DAVE: im saying
DAVE: its not a question
DAVE: you fucked up we all know it
DAVE: you know it i know it
DAVE: the mayor knows it
DAVE: the tentabeasts that like to wave at us from the distance like the worlds worst cheer squad
DAVE: they know it
DAVE: so you just need to calm down and deal with it
DAVE: like all the rest of us are doing
DAVE: no offense bro but youre not the only one with problems here
DAVE: youre just the only one that cant shut up about it
DAVE: its like you think this meteor runs on incessant whiny alien bullshit
DAVE: give it a rest were all fucking sick of it

KARKAT: ...
KARKAT: STRIDER.
KARKAT: ARE YOU TELLING ME TO SHOOSH?

DAVE: what

KARKAT: ARE YOU TELLING ME TO SHOOSH.

DAVE: what the fuck does that mean

KARKAT: JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION, OKAY. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE THINGS SO DIFFICULT.

DAVE: cause i have no idea what youre talking about vantas
DAVE: what does shoosh mean
DAVE: if i say yes are we space married

KARKAT: IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING, BULGEWIPE. IT JUST MEANS YOU WANT ME TO CALM DOWN AND BE QUIET.

DAVE: oh
DAVE: well then
DAVE: ive been telling you to shoosh since the second i set foot on this goddamn space rock

KARKAT: I HAVE TO GO.

DAVE: what
DAVE: what did i do

-

-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] began pestering grimAuxiliatrix [GA] --

CG: KANAYA.
GA: What
CG: I NEED TO TALK TO YOU.
GA: I Gathered As Much From The Fact That You Messaged Me
GA: Stating It Explicitly Is Redundant
GA: I Am A Little Busy Right Now Karkat
CG: DO YOU THINK I CARE ABOUT YOUR DISGUSTING INTERSPECIES CANOODLING, KANAYA.
CG: TAKE YOUR MATESPRIT’S BULGE AND GO FUCK YOURSELF WITH IT.
GA: With Allowances For Some Variance In Anatomy
GA: That Is More Or Less What I’m Attempting To Do
CG: UGH.
GA: Thank You For Your Input
CG: LOOK, YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE I CAN TALK TO ABOUT THIS, OKAY?
CG: I CAN’T TALK TO A HUMAN ABOUT IT AND YOU’RE THE ONLY TROLL I’M ON SPEAKING TERMS WITH.
GA: Your Social Failings Arent My Concern
GA: Im On Good Terms With ALmost Everyone There Arent Even That Many Of Us
CG: THIS ISN’T THE POINT.
CG: I NEED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT STRIDER.
GA: Then I Am Particularly Ill-Qualified To Assist You
GA: Perhaps I Should Put You Through To My Matesprit If You Are Done Making Comments About Her Admittedly Charming Alien Anatomy
CG: NO, HUMANS WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND. THAT’S MY PROBLEM.
CG: HE KEEPS DOING THIS WEIRD THING.
GA: Youll Need To Be More Specific
CG: I’M GETTING THERE. STOP INTERRUPTING ME.
CG: WE’VE BEEN SPENDING SOME TIME TOGETHER, OKAY?
GA: I Noticed
CG: IT’S NOT ANYTHING WEIRD. IT’S JUST THAT NEITHER OF US REALLY WANTS TO TALK TO TEREZI AND EVERYONE ELSE IS KIND OF. PAIRED UP.
CG: AND HE AGREED TO LISTEN TO MY NOVELS IF I AGREED TO LISTEN TO THE WIGGLER BABBLING HE LIKES TO PRETEND IS RAP. IT WAS AN ARRANGEMENT OF MUTUAL INCONVENIENCE.
CG: EVEN THOUGH I THINK WE BOTH KNOW WHO WAS GETTING THE BETTER END OF THAT DEAL. I MEAN I TAUGHT STRIDER THINGS THE LIKES OF WHICH HIS WEAK HUMAN THINKPAN HAD NEVER EVEN ATTEMPTED TO GRASP BEFORE.
GA: Im Sure He Was Suitably Impressed
CG: ANYWAY, I’VE BEEN TALKING TO HIM ABOUT SOME STUFF BECAUSE IT’S MARGINALLY BETTER THAN SPEWING IT INTO THE SCORCHED WASTELAND THAT IS THE NOOKSCRAPING MEMO SYSTEM.
CG: AND THEN HE SAYS STUFF AND IT KIND OF.
CG: MAKES ME FEEL BETTER.
GA: That Does Sound Upsetting
GA: I Can See Why You Came To Me
CG: ROSE IS A TERRIBLE INFLUENCE ON YOU.
GA: Yes No Doubt
CG: BUT YOU SEE WHAT I’M SAYING, RIGHT.
CG: I DON’T KNOW IF HE’S DOING IT ON PURPOSE. BUT IT’S STARTING TO FEEL LIKE SOMETHING’S HAPPENING.
CG: IS IT JUST WISHFUL THINKING? AM I JUST SITTING HERE FONDLING MY BULGE AND DREAMING OF A WORLD IN WHICH I MANAGE TO FILL ONE PATHETIC QUADRANT IN A WAY THAT DOESN’T COLLAPSE SO MISERABLY THAT MY FAILURE WILL BE CARVED INTO STONE AS A WARNING FOR GENERATIONS TO COME?
GA: I Cant Possibly Answer That
CG: I KNOW BUT I’M DRIVING MYSELF CRAZY HERE.
CG: I REALLY LIKE TALKING TO HIM.
CG: FUCK, THAT SOUNDS SO STUPID.
CG: FORGET I SAID THAT, OKAY.
GA: Well
GA: You Know How Humans Are About Quadrants
GA: Rose Is An Exemplary Matesprit But Even She And I Have Had Some Cross-Cultural Misunderstandings That Could Qualify As “Antics”
GA: Humans Think The Red And Pale Quadrants Are Essentially One And The Same
GA: It Is Very Hard To Remain Concupiscently Interested In Someone Who Is Continually Stroking You And Reassuring You That Everything Is Alright
CG: UGH.
GA: Yes Ugh Is An Appropriate Reaction To The Situation
GA: But Weve Managed To Compromise Through The Magic Of Actual Communication
GA: In Case That Was Too Human Sarcastic For You Let Me Clarify That It Is Not Actual Magic
GA: It Is Just Talking
GA: You Should Try It
CG: BUT WHAT IF HE DOESN’T MEAN TO BE DOING IT AND THEN HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE FRIENDS ANYMORE.
CG: UGH I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT. NEVER MIND. I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M TRYING TO FILL QUADRANTS WHEN I SHOULD JUST LOCK MYSELF UP IN A ROOM AND FORBID MYSELF FROM EVER SPEAKING AGAIN.
GA: I Really Dont Know Why Youre Expressing These Things To Me Im Not Your Moirail
CG: NEVER MIND.

-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] ceased pestering grimAuxiliatix [GA] --

-

KARKAT: OKAY.
KARKAT: STRIDER.
KARKAT: LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS.

DAVE: what

KARKAT: DON’T “WHAT” ME. I AM GOING TO TALK TO YOU SO HARD. LIKE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TALKED TO BEFORE.
KARKAT: YOU ARE NOT EVEN GOING TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THE HONESTY AND CLEAR COMMUNICATION THAT WILL SHORTLY BE FLYING IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION.

DAVE: uh

KARKAT: STOP WITH YOUR HUMAN INTERJECTIONS. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

DAVE: is something wrong

KARKAT: OH I BET YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW WOULDN’T YOU!!
KARKAT: I BET YOU’D LIKE ME TO OPEN UP AND TALK ABOUT ALL MY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW SO YOU CAN SAY THAT DUMB SHIT YOU SAY THAT SOUNDS STUPID BUT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE LESS OF A WORTHLESS WASTE OF SPACE.

DAVE: whoa

KARKAT: DON’T “WHOA” ME EITHER. JUST TRY TO REFRAIN FROM MAKING ANY KIND OF RETARDED HUMAN NOISE OF SURPRISE OR UNCERTAINTY.

DAVE: ...

KARKAT: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON BETWEEN US.

DAVE: am i allowed to make human noises now

KARKAT: NO.
KARKAT: NO NOISES. JUST TALK TO ME ABOUT IT.

DAVE: uh

KARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST SAY!

DAVE: ok this is
DAVE: what exactly do you think is going on here

KARKAT: OH NO YOU DON’T. I ASKED YOU.

DAVE: ok uh
DAVE: nothing
DAVE: theres nothing going on
DAVE: except you came in and started yelling at me so now i think youre upset over some weird alien bullshit
DAVE: that youre gonna tell me about

KARKAT: YOU’RE FUCKING RIGHT I’M GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT.
KARKAT: YOU’VE BEEN LETTING ME TALK TO YOU ABOUT, YOU KNOW.
KARKAT: ALL MY STUFF.

DAVE: yeah i cant really stop you dude

KARKAT: DON’T BE MORONIC. YOU WILLINGLY SIT THERE AND LISTEN AND THEN YOU DELIBERATELY GIVE ME ADVICE.

DAVE: i guess if you want to put it so that it sounds really weird and uncomfortable for everyone
DAVE: then yeah

KARKAT: SO YOU ADMIT IT.

DAVE: admit that i dont get up and walk away when something sets you off
DAVE: sure
DAVE: if i fucked off whenever you got pissy vantas wed never hang out at all
DAVE: like if every time you woke up and got the vapors because the air was half a degree colder than youre used to on troll death planet
DAVE: i was like sorry karkat i dont really give a fuck bye
DAVE: wed never talk

KARKAT: HA!!
KARKAT: SO YOU ADMIT THAT A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF OUR INTERACTIONS ARE CONCILIATORY IN NATURE.

DAVE: the only thing ive admitted is that you have the rage issues of a hells angel on steroids who just got kicked in the nuts

KARKAT: STRIDER.
KARKAT: Dave.

DAVE: whoa
DAVE: whyd your voice just go all weird

KARKAT: I am trying to be conciliatory.

DAVE: please stop

KARKAT: No.
KARKAT: I think you know what I’m getting at here. I know we’ve talked about it enough times in our reading sessions.

DAVE: ok
DAVE: jesus
DAVE: yes
DAVE: i know conciliatory is a quadrant thing im not stupid
DAVE: i dont want to quadrant with you ok
DAVE: not any of the quadrants
DAVE: weve been over this a thousand times
DAVE: im not interested in being your hateboyfriend and im way less interested in being your juggalo

KARKAT: RRRGHHGRHHRHGHHG

DAVE: oh thank god

KARKAT: CAN YOU JUST OPEN UP YOUR STUPID HUMAN THINKPAN FOR ONCE AND NOT CRINGE AWAY LIKE A WIGGLER ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOLFEED AT THE MENTION OF THE WORD QUADRANT!!
KARKAT: LOOK, IT’S NOT A SCARY WORD.
KARKAT: QUADRANT.
KARKAT: QUADRANT.
KARKAT: ARE YOU SCARED? ARE YOUR LIMBS TREMBLING WITH APPREHENSION AND FEAR?
KARKAT: QUADRANT.

DAVE: this is so incredibly stupid

KARKAT: I KNOW YOU’RE NOT ATTRACTED TO ME, OKAY, YOU PILE OF BULGEWASTE.
KARKAT: I’M JUST SAYING THAT THINGS BETWEEN US HAVE GOTTEN A LITTLE PALE RECENTLY.
KARKAT: AND. YOU’RE GOOD AT IT.

DAVE: what

KARKAT: YOU KNOW.
KARKAT: HELPING ME WITH STUFF.
KARKAT: CALMING ME DOWN.

DAVE: christ

KARKAT: DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING TELL ME YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANYTHING OUT OF IT.

DAVE: man
DAVE: karkat
DAVE: theres already a word for that its bros
DAVE: were just bros
DAVE: why do you gotta make things more complicated than that

KARKAT: WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE THINGS COMPLICATED BY INSISTING ON YOUR WEIRD AMORPHOUS HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE NO SENSE WHEN A PERFECTLY COMPREHENSIBLE MOIRALLEGIANCE IS ALL BUT STARING YOU IN THE FACE!!!

DAVE: ok dude calm down

KARKAT: YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW
KARKAT: RHRHGHRHEHGEHRFHERHGERGHWEFWEFHWGR

DAVE: no im not
DAVE: im telling you calm down as a bro
DAVE: bros dont like to see their bros pass out from rage
DAVE: its not cool

KARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK EVEN IS A BRO! WHAT IS THAT.
KARKAT: PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THAT RELATIONSHIP IS SUPPOSED TO MEAN.

DAVE: you cant describe it dude you just have to feel it
DAVE: you just know what it is

KARKAT: I FUCKING HATE HUMANS SO FUCKING MUCH.

DAVE: and now were back to the hating

KARKAT: NO WE’RE NOT!
KARKAT: I’M STILL FUCKING PALE FOR YOU, YOU SICKENING BUCKETLICKER. I’M JUST PISSED OFF BECAUSE YOU WON’T ADMIT TO YOUR OBVIOUS RECIPROCAL FEELINGS.

DAVE: ok ok
DAVE: listen karkat
DAVE: dont blow up
DAVE: as lame as it is that you need me to tell you this
DAVE: i like hanging out with you ok
DAVE: and if you want to keep talking to me about all your weird issues and shit
DAVE: all like dave dave i broke a nail and i hate the universe
DAVE: i dont mind
DAVE: does that work for you

KARKAT: YOU HAVE TO LET ME RECIPROCATE.

DAVE: what

KARKAT: YOU NEED TO OPEN UP TO ME TOO.
KARKAT: THATS WHAT MOIRAILS DO.

DAVE: no

KARKAT: FUCK YOU.
KARKAT: YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING OPEN UP TO ME. TELL ME ABOUT TEREZI.

DAVE: wow fuck no

KARKAT: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR HUMAN LUSUS THEN.

DAVE: somehow even more no

KARKAT: WHY NOT.

DAVE: because i dont want to

KARKAT: WHY NOT.

DAVE: because its none of your business

KARKAT: IT IS IF I’M YOUR MOIRAIL, YOU FUCKING SHITLUMP.

DAVE: ok ok
DAVE: will it make you feel better if i do

KARKAT: YES!!

DAVE: ok here goes
DAVE: one time john was on pesterchum
DAVE: i could see it i could see his handle lit up
DAVE: he was obviously there but
DAVE: he didnt say hi
DAVE: i can still see that pesterchum handle burned onto the inside of my eyelids
DAVE: haunting my sleep
DAVE: i cried for like a month just salty tears flowing from my eyes like a gushing fountain
DAVE: could have made saltwater taffy if you wanted
DAVE: but even that wasnt enough to express all the torment i really felt
DAVE: inside

KARKAT: WOW FUCK YOU.
KARKAT: I DON’T KNOW WHY I EVEN TRIED.
KARKAT: I’M LEAVING.

DAVE: wait
DAVE: karkat

KARKAT: THIS WAS STUPID. I WAS JUST BEING STUPID. AS USUAL.
KARKAT: JUST FORGET IT. I’LL LEAVE YOU ALONE.

DAVE: no wait
DAVE: shit
DAVE: ok
DAVE: i dont have any other friends here ok
DAVE: besides rose and shes too busy lately
DAVE: so if you want to call me your moily rail so we can hang out then whatever

KARKAT: YOU HAVE TO CALL ME IT TOO.

DAVE: no

KARKAT: YES.

DAVE: no

KARKAT: YES.

DAVE: look well see ok

KARKAT: HA!! I KNEW IT.

DAVE: fuck you
DAVE: just get over here so i can show you my new rhymes

KARKAT: SURE I WILL, DAVE. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MOIRAILS DO FOR EACH OTHER.

DAVE: jesus