The silence is stifling. Karkat just stares at me for a long moment and I don't turn away, more scared of what would happen if I did turn away instead of looking at him. It looks like he isn't exactly sure about what he should say. His eyebrows furrowing and his fingers twitching in agitation. Then, he speaks. Voice rough and thick with emotion.
"Give me one fucking reason why I shouldn't go get my dad right now. Or the police." My arm shoots out, gripping his tightly.
"Karkat, please don't... You can't! It's really not that bad. I mean, I get my shots in too. It's not like it happens alla the time."
"Dave fucking Strider! I can't believe the garbage that just fell out of that trash-compactor you call a mouth! Abuse is abuse you idiot! Even if he hits you just once it's abuse! God, you've been seeing this guy for months! Has this been happening from the start? Why didn't I ever notice? God does your Bro even know!" I put my hand over his mouth again and he looks ready to bite me.
"Karkat shut the fuck up. Christ do you want your dad and brother to hear us?" I can tell he's scowling behind my hand. "Look, it's not a huge deal-" he slaps my hand away from his mouth before I get any further.
"Not a huge deal! This is a very huge deal! It's domestic violence!" I give him a blank look and cross my arms.
"You make it sound like we're married or something. Come on, you know me better than that. I ain't the kinda guy to be tied down." Karkat grips my shoulders. Some of his nail polish chips off onto my sweatshirt and I frown. He's really gotta keep up on doing his nails.
"This isn't a fucking joke, Dave. Your boyfriend is hitting you and you don't even care! Fuck, I thought you were better! I thought you cared about yourself now!" My eyes shut of their own volition and I place a hand on his, sighing.
"Look, I'm pretty much done with him now, so who cares?" He doesn't say anything again, grip just tightening.
"Pretty much done, or actually done? Dave... You can't see him again. Shit... How bad does he hurt you? Is that why you have that fucking sweater on? Because there's more bruises? Dave you better let me see right fucking now!" I shake my head, blonde hair falling into my eyes.
"No. Man, there ain't anything under there. You're being paranoid."
"...Dave. Do you really think I'm that stupid? Take your sweater off." I stubbornly keep my arms crossed, panicking on the inside.
"Man, if I'd known you wanted me to strip for you, I would've brought my lingerie." He shakes his head and stands, opening the door.
"I'm getting my dad."
"Wait!" Karkat hesitates and I take that opportunity to pull him back from the door. "Please, don't tell your dad... Look, I ain't gonna see that ass anymore, all right? You're right, I don't deserve to be hit, even once." Yes I do... I deserve everything I get. He sits back down on the bed and I sigh in relief. He takes my hands in his again, rubbing his thumbs over the knuckles.
"Do I need to take you to the hospital or anything?" I shake my head and lean back against the wall.
"Nah. I'm fine. Just a couple'a bruises. You know I wouldn't let anyone beat on me that bad. I train with Bro like, every day." That's a lie, though. We haven't trained in months. Not since I started thinking about just saying fuck it and stepping into his sword. I couldn't do that to him. He's still my brother... "I'm fine." God you're such a fucking liar. Karkat slowly nods his head and I give him a grin. "Wanna watch The Notebook?"
"You fucking know I do."
So we watch The Notebook, twice. And I would kill anyone who says my eyes tear up when Allie and Noah die together at the end. I should probably tell Bro I'm spending the night here, but fuck that. He's probably out DJ-ing or partying or whatever he does when he isn't saddled with some kid. I fall asleep in Karkat's blanket and pillow cocoon, only to wake up hours later feeling like I'm being roasted over a spit. I detangle myself from Karkat and wander into the bathroom, bleary-eyed and feeling sick. I shut the door quietly and yank my sweatshirt off. My eyes clench shut as I finally switch the light on. Nope! Nope! Fuck! I hastily flip down the light switch and lean over the sink, feeling ready to vomit. Oh my god fucking shit. No, best time to get a migraine. Awesome. My mouth begins to water and my eyes widen as I kneel in front of the toilet. It only takes a couple of seconds before I'm violently vomiting up dinner and whatever else is in my stomach. Breathing heavily, I grip the edges of the toilet, heaving again and whining pathetically. Nng... Oh go- And there it is again, only this time it's mostly bile. I hear the door creek open, but only groan when the light turns on again. I shut my eyes and someone's rubbing my back oh god stop "Nnn, please don't," I mumble. They stop rubbing my back and I press my forehead into my arm, the pressure soothing the pain a little.
"Dave, what's wrong?"
"Migraine..." The light is quickly switched off and I almost sob in relief.
"Can I help? Do you need anything?" I just groan again and lean against the bathtub. "Come on, we should get you back into bed. I stand as he supports me, one arm around my lower back and one across my chest. "Do you want to sleep on the couch or should I take you back to Karkat?"
"Karkat, please..." We slowly shuffle back to Karkat's room and I gratefully lie down in it. Well, more like kneel in it with my head buried into the pillow. I open my eyes as the bathroom wastebasket is placed next to the bed. I'm handed a cool washcloth and I take it, only moving my head enough so I can get it under my forehead.
"I'm just down the hall if you need me, Dave. Try to get some rest." I just groan and he leaves, softly shutting the door behind him. It takes me a little while, but I finally fall asleep.
Someone's trying to shake me awake and I weakly bat their hands away, not ready to get up at all.
"-ave!" Five more minutes, Bro... "Ho-... shit!" More shaking and I crack open an eye, glaring at the offender.
"Wha-? Sleepin-..." A scowl, angry burgundy eyes. Oh, it's Karkat.
"Holy shit, Dave. Wake the fuck up! Oh my god, Dave! Shit, shit..." I bolt up in bed, putting my hands on his shoulders.
"Karkat," I mumble, "What the hell? What's wrong with you?"
"What's wrong with me? What the fuck's wrong with you, you stupid prick!" I quickly regain my senses and frown at him, pretty fucking offended over that.
"Jeez, what'd I even do? That's no way to treat someone who's sick."
"...Dave. Look at your goddamned arm." Fuck. Oh fuck what?
"I... Karkat, it's not what you think." Biting my lip, I bring my arm up to my chest, cradling it protectively.
"Not what I think? I know damn well what it is! I thought you didn't do that to yourself anymore... Fuck, Dave. You never even stopped, did you? Did you!" My eyes begin to water and I shake my head no. "Jesus cocksucking christ! I don't even have to ask if you told anyone! I know you didn't! Fuck..." I don't know what to say, so I say nothing. "Why wouldn't you talk to me? I could've... I could've helped you. I could've done something. Anything." He places his hands over his eyes and I want to kill myself for hurting him this much. "How c-could I be so fucking stupid!" Karkat sniffles, his black fingernails digging into his forehead. I try to pull his hands away but he actually fucking snarls at me.
"I should go."
"..." I yank on my sweatshirt, grab my shades and get the fuck out of there. Kankri and Mr. Vantas both try to talk to me, but I just run. And run. And I run until my legs are on fire and it feels like I'll pass out from lack of oxygen. I'm out of the little suburb and fucking... somewhere. Shit. There's school today, but there's no way I'm even going. Besides, it's Friday. Three day weekend. I'm definitely not freaking out. So Karkat knows. Hahah, big deal. Ain't like he'll tell... Nope. No way. He wouldn't. And the bone rattling worry sets in. He wouldn't! He can't... I shake myself and feel for my wallet in my back pocket. Still there, so there's that. My phone is heavy in my front pocket and I don't bother taking it out. What if he hates me now? The thought startles me so badly I almost trip over my fucking feet. Be aware that I am also standing still. I don't even entertain the idea and just walk, not really knowing where to go.
I'm sure Kankri and Mr. Vantas are worried about me right now, but I really can't bring myself to care about that too much, which makes me feel like shit. I just stop thinking all together. Do you read me? Houston, do you read me? Nope. Communications are down and the space trip is fucked. The Russians are gonna win the space war. But I don't give a fuck. Some jackoff knocks into me and I scowl, but otherwise ignore it. Like I need to get in anymore fights... Nope. Besides, they won't let me into matches anymore. Said they can't be responsible for some kid getting killed, which is bullshit. I ain't a kid. Maybe I could go to Six Flags, but that's really no fun by yourself. Sighing, I kick a random piece of trash and it skitters into the street. I imagine some poor soul hitting it and losing control, the crash causing a horrific twelve car pileup. God, what is wrong with me. I shake my head, stupid blonde hair falling into my glasses. I fucking hate my hair. It's too blonde and too shiny and too coarse and too everything. It curls around my ears and I hate the stupid waves in it. That's why I straighten this shit out every morning. Except this morning. Now it's a mass on top of my head and I don't think I could hate this day anymore than I already do.
The walk seems endless and I pull out my phone. Turning it on, I ignore everything else and immediately go to Tumblr, answering some shit and mocking the questions relentlessly. I reblog things I hardly look at and like things mindlessly. Getting extremely bored after about fifteen minutes, I put my phone away again and catch a bus to downtown Houston. I think about going to the Aquarium, but again, there's no fun if it's just you. I guess it could be relaxing, but... No. The Aquarium was one of the last places Bro and I went together. I guess that's a no on the Hard Rock café too. Goddamnit. Shit, maybe Gamzee's around. I could go for some partying right about now. Then again it's... I think for a moment, pulling out my phone once more. I don't even know what time it is. A frown rests on my face as I read the time. 12:45. That can't be right. It was morning when I woke up... Was woken up. Right? Whatever. Maybe there is a party going on. And if not, I'm sure Gamzee would let me hang around until there is one. Knowing him, that shouldn't take too long. I hope I can remember where he lives...
After about an hour of wandering around I decide, no, I don't remember where the motherfucker live and also I am really goddamned lost.
"Seriously... Worst day. No other day has been shittier than this." I walk into a little hole-in-the-wall coffee joint and order myself a big fucking cup of espresso. And like, three cheddar bagels. Once I have all of my shit, I sit at the table furthest back from all other sentient beings and take out my phone once more. Time to take the plunge I guess.. More goddamned texts from Mike and Rose and Bro and fucking everyone. Even Karkat... Know what? It can wait.Of course being seventeen, I don't do the adult thing and talk to anyone, I open facebook instead and search for Gamzee Makara. There he is. I send him a message saying 'Sup, I'm that freaky eyed friend of Karkat's and I was wondering if I could chill for a while. Oh, and also if there were any parties going on tonight let me know.'. Kicking back, I wait for his answer, if I even get one. Gamzee really shouldn't be able to function with how high he is all of the time, but he does. It's not like I really like Gamzee all that much... I mean, I guess he's fine for a Juggalo or whatever. Actually, I'm not really sure what he is. He always insists that he ain't a Juggalo. That it has to do with some kind of religion? What a weird fucking religion. Then again, I guess I really shouldn't judge. It's not like I have a religion anyways. Bro was never really one for anything spiritual, and I guess I'm not either.
I only spend an hour in the coffee shop before I leave, converse once again meeting the concrete sidewalk. Hey there old friend, how've ya been? Oh watch out for that gum? Thanks, man. I wander around for about twenty minutes before there's a facebook ping sounding off in my pocket. Seems like Gamzee messaged me back.
cOmE oN oVeR mOtHeRfUcKeR :o)
Well then. That settles that. Guess it's time to throw myself into the lion's den for a while.