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To Live a Normal Life? How preposterous!

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~~~~~~*~~~~~~

They were all smiling as he opened the door, they were finally done. They were finally free!

Or...

So they thought they were. Turns out, not all of them made it to the other side completely and the universe that they claimed as their prize was very different.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Dave gasped as he sat awoke, his eyes frantic as he looked around the dark room in disbelief "Wha.." he trailed off as he looked around even more. It almost looked like his old room from his old apartment, only less wires and shit. His mind was going a mile per minute and his breathing was getting faster 'What the hell' he thought and forced himself to calm down. 

He took in a deep breath and got of his bed, his sheets were still there and not being worn by the local nakodiles, and looked into the mirror of his room. He twitched, he de-aged. He had been a ripe 19 before in the game, now he looked to be around what, 15? 16?

'16' his mind whispered and the time player lurched forward, groaning and clutching his head as his head mentally bursts with another set of memories. 

'Shit' he thought faintly and didn't hear his door creak open and was too busy nursing his aching head against the smooth and cold mirror. 

"Yo Dave, you alright there?"

He froze and looked back, ignoring the headache for now. It sounded like Dirk... but it wasn't. His breath hitched as the light from the outside of his room poured into his own dark room, the dude that opened his door and letting in the light was someone he thought he would never see again. Not after he fucking died.

"Bro..." he whispered and winced as his brain lurched and groaned into his hand, his 'Bro' looked alarmed and entered the room completely.

"Fuck, dude. You alright? Wha's the matter wit' you?" Bro asked and Dave bit back a pained groan or maybe it was a sob? He didn't know he didn't want it coming out of his mouth. 

"M'fine" Dave mumbled out and quietly groaned when Bro laid a hand on his shoulder, the elder looked at him sternly "The fuck you are" was what he got in reply. He

"The fuck's wrong with him" Now that sounded like Dirk, and this time it was. Both males looked up to see Dirk leaning against the door's frame with a frown, it was then that Dave noticed that they were all shade-less aka no shades were adorning their faces.

'What the fuck? My shades... I still wear my shades here, them too, fuuuck this fucking sucks shit, hurts too' Dave thought distractedly as Dirk entered his room as well, both Bro and Dirk were talking to each other but Dave wasn't listening. 

"I have no fucking idea, he was like this when I opened the door"

"Really? Dave, fuck bro you look like hell, you listening to us?"

Dave breathed through his nose and nodded "Yeah, m'fine though. Just, give me a minute" he told them biting back a groan as his brain let out another wave of pain and information. He was hella in deep shit and fuckery right now. Both brothers sent him a deadpanned look 'Like Hell You Are!' it said. 

He ignored that and shrugged off their concern and went out his room, still dressed in a plain shit and red boxers that he woke up in. He needed a glass of water, to clear his head, and to find out if anyone else was in the same shit he was in

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

There were in fact 4 people who were experiencing the same shit as he was in.

Roxy stared at her 'mother' and her 'mother', her 'mother' as in 'daughter-sister-mother' but her mind was saying 'older-sister' was quietly asking if she was alright while her 'mother' as in 'mother-her-beta' who was drunk but still sober enough to ask if she was alright as well. She wanted and probably needed a drink, like right now

Jake was in his bathroom staring down at his hands as his head ran through another set of memories that he seemed to gain, memories that shouldn't really exist. Jade his 'grandmother-sister-daughter' was his 'older-sister' now in his head clearly from his memories but now he also had a grandfather as in 'grandfather-him-beta' who wasn't dead and they weren't even living on an island! He needed someone to talk to about this, right now

Karkat stared at himself in the mirror, mouthing curses as he clutched his head in pain and confusion and probably some fear. He was human, but he isn't supposed to be human but his memories kept insisting both! Fuck! He growled and landed his forehead against the mirror with a quiet thud, he didn't want to wake up his family. He had a family now, and they were human and they weren't supposed to be human as they were supposed to be his dancestor and ancestor! He needed to talk with Egderp and Stride-ass like right fucking now

John clutched at his pillow, whimpering in pain, sadness, confusion and fuck his mind was hurting but he kept quiet as his previously dead dad was sleeping and he didn't want to wake him up. His heart clenched as he remembered seeing his own father's corpse just laying on the ground and, fuck. His head was swirling and he was in turmoil and he was barely keeping his powers under control, why does he still have his powers?!, as wind circled around the room. He needed to talk to someone, most preferably Dave, right now before he causes a tornado in the middle of fucking summer. Oh and apparently his 'daughter-grandma-sister' was now his cousin. 

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Dave laid on top of the roof, staring at the sky. His mind still racing despite its previous pain this early morning. It was now just morning but still quite early. His 'brothers' still asked what was wrong and he just told them he was fine.

He wasn't. 

A frustrated noise blocked his throat as his fists clenched, the 19-now-16 year old was really fucking frustrated. He had two sets of memories, his God Tier Powers were still a thing, he has his sylladex but according to the new set of memories there was no such thing and his dead bro is alive and Dirk is his actual little brother. Sure there were a lot of statements to that but right now he just wanted to know what in fuck's name was going on. 

"Hey"

He continued looking at the sky, he knew who it was. He sensed him coming in, without looking he replied with a deadpanned "Hey".

His future-self, dressed in their God Tier clothes no less, sat himself down besides him. There was a brief silence before he broke it. 

"So" Dave started "Who's in the same shit as we are? Or are we alone in this fuckery, tried Rose but she thought I was being, you know, me and shit but she obviously doesn't remember or know. Jade too, she thinks I'm messing with her and Joh won't answer his pesterchum" he said if a little bitter of everything. 

"Yeah, things are fucked up and weird. Bro and Dirk have no fucking clue, don't tell them about this shit for now. Also, there are 4 others that are in the same fuckery and shit we're in. Roxy, Jake, Karkat and finally John. John's not answering right now because he's dealing with it all badly and is going to cause a giant fucking tornado storm soon if you don't get your ass over to his ass and shooshpap the ever-loving shit out of him." Future Dave replied casually though there was always the under-tone to it like always, they both knew. 

Dave sat up and breathed deeply "So, we can still fly or what? Sylladex's aren't supposed to exist here yet we have them and guessing by the clothes we still have our God Tier pow-wows?" he asked getting a raised eyebrow deadpanned from his future incarnate making him chuckle "Sweet" he said as he changed his normal clothes into his God Tier ones and floated off the roof. 

He took out his phone and sent a text towards his bro's to let them know he was just out for now.

"Be sure to start a memo by the way, also get ready. Our fight's not over" Future Dave said as he disappeared in a red cog, Dave sighed but shook his head. 

He needed to focus now, his boyfriend needed him right now or else a giant tornado would completely trash Washington DC. 

"Hang on John, I'mma coming" Dave murmured as he flew off.

They would get through this, somehow, they always have and always will.

 ~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Chapter Text

~~~~*~~~~

 Dave flew above the clouds, making sure to stay out of sight from anyone from below. Going at top speed to reach John's house, luckily it was still where John had said where his house was way back then too. Dave observed the neighborhood, looking to see if there was anyone that might see him. Once he made sure he flew down to John's window, he peered through the window and sees John just curled up on his bed clinging to his pillow not to mention he could actually feel and see John's windy thing making a mess of his room. Papers are traveling through the air, a few posters torn from the walls and a few small items but it was steadily growing.

Dave frowns and knocks the window glass, he does it again only louder when it didn't work. It seemed to get his attention, the swirling ray of objects stopped but they stayed in the air as John slowly looks over to him. Dave gave his windy boyfriend a small grin and a salute, instantly John's sad expression is wiped away and replaced with confusion, awe, disbelief, love and relief

The practical wind god was instantly at the window floating off the ground and manhandled the window open and pulling the blonde time player inside instantly within the room of the windy boy, all the floating objects dropped to the floor. Dave smiled as his lover acted like koala, clinging to his person and babbling about subjects he paid half and ear to listen towards. There was the John he knew and loved, he hated it whenever John stopped being... well, himself

 "Dave, my dad's alive" John finally blurted out his expression dimming causing the blonde boy to nod slowly a murmured "Thought so" escaped him as both males landed unto John's bed with John still clinging and now cuddling with him.

At the look of John's confusion he started to speak "Bro's back... along with Dirk, but this time he's actually my 14 year old little brother" that was somewhat weird to say because of lots of circumstances, one being that both Bro and Dirk were supposed to be the same fucking person. 

"John?"

Both teens jolted at the sudden knock and voice coming from John's door, it was John's dad. John gulped and buried his face into Dave's side though he calmed as Dave raked his hands through his hair.

"Y-Yeah?" John asked loudly, voice nearly cracking. 

"Are you alright? I heard noises, something wrong?" 

'A thousand wrongs yes, one most being that you're supposed to be dead' John thought mentally biting back from actually saying it out loud and opted with "Yeah! Just, fall from the bed... again" he stressed out hoping his father would be satisfied with it. 

"... Alright" huh, it worked "Anyway, I'll be heading to work now. Breakfast is on the table when you get out. Oh! And Jane's coming over in a few days with your uncle. They'll be staying for a few weeks until their furniture arrives!"

John winced as information flooded his head, he quietly groaned into Dave's side with the blonde rubbing his back in known sympathy. The headaches were a bitch to deal with. 

"John?"

"Yeah! Jane! Got it! Sorry, just spaced out for a sec!" John replied back, he heard his dad grunt and greet him goodbye in which he returned in kind. Both him and Dave waited until they heard Dad Egbert's car start and for him to leave the driveway and into the streets.

"Turns out Jane's my cousin here, her dad and my.. dad are brothers" John told him with a wince as he rubbed his head but giggled as Dave pressed his lips into his hair. 

John looked up to Dave after the shades-wearing teen leaned back "So, what the fuck is going on here?" he asked bluntly causing Dave to smirk a bit before his face smoothed to his casual and usually blank mask.

"That's what I want to know too, but it's not just you and me in this shit fuckery John"

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Roxy groaned as she curled into a ball on her bed as a currently alive and normal Jaspers curled beside her in his usual fluffy suit. Oh how she needed a drink right now but currently she couldn't even touch a single drop with her new 'mother', who was in reality Beta Her, guarding the liquor protectively. 

She was too sober to handle this, not to mention being drunk meant getting these headaches to ache less! But nope! Mama Beta was firmly against her two underage daughters from touching a drop of liquor until they were at least 19 or something. Which was absolute bullshit

"Fuuuck, I hate thiis" Roxy whined quietly and promptly snatched Jaspers from beside her, the black cat didn't seem to mind and cuddled into her making her mood lighten somewhat. She pouted in silence before an idea popped into her head "Hmm... I wonder..." she whispers as she slowly sat up with Jaspers in her arms.

She called on her Void powers, feeling the familiar tingle in her skin, her very being and Poof! in came a small flask of one of her favorite vodkas. She had a shit eating grin on her face as she nuzzled into Jaspers with a squeal escaping her "I am fucking awesome! Win for Rogue of the Void!" she cheered and took a swig. 

She nearly purred at the familiar feel of liquid burning her throat, well at least her tolerance for liquor came along with her powers and sylladex! 

Roxy paused before slowly opening her sylladex and groaned as she realized her sylladex actually held booze "I am not awesome, I iz idiot" she groaned purposely ruining her sentence, it was something she was most comfortable with that and she was almost always drunk anyway. 

She took another swig from her flask and then captchalogued it and rose from her bed with Jaspers in her arms, she wasn't drunk but she wasn't as sober as she was before as the headache receded soon after the alcohol entered her system. 

Yes, booze was definitely the meaning of life. She paused once again and peeked into her sylladex and groaned, why was the rum always gone? 

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

 bros, went out, will bb 'round dinner or sumthin

-Dave

Bro frowned as he stared at the text his younger brother sent him, something didn't really seem right with it but... he shrugged and replied, saying that he better be or else he was going to go after his ass. The eldest Strider then pocketed his phone and continued watching the TV in the living room, beside him was Cal chilling like always. 

Dirk was in his own room probably pestering his own friends, Dave was out doing who knows what and he himself was just relaxing against their living room couch. His mind started to wander back to this morning, his frown deepened as he remembered Dave acting up. He insists that it was just a bad headache and that it went away just as he came back into his room and thrown them out. 

Hopefully the middle brother was right and it was just a bad headache, should anything happen to him... He breathed lowly and shook his head, nah Dave was fine. It was probably just puberty acting up again, that shit was a horrorterror to experience and he felt sympathy for both his brothers but it would be worth it because Striders made puberty their bitch.

Bro chuckled and smirked and focused back towards the television.

In his room Dirk pocketed his cell as he finished reading Dave's text, Bro probably replied for the both of them anyway. He turned back to his computer, he was currently coding something for Jane's birthday that was coming in the next few months. Might as well get things done earlier so he doesn't have to do jack shit as soon as her birthday came in. The teen genius continued coding as well as fiddling with a technological device on his desk.

Dave was fine. Everything was cool.

~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~

"Jake? Are you sure you're okay? I mean, you haven't come out of your room since breakfast!"

Jake smiled at Jade's concern "Yes! I'm alright gr-ahem-Sis!" he insisted, catching himself before he would accidentally call her grandma. His Jade had let him call her that, often calling him her grandson but this was also his Jade. Fuck, it hurts to think. 

"...Well, okay. Boys are so weird today, first Dave asks me of some game I've never heard off now my tiny bro-bro won't come out of his room! Is this was puberty for boys are like?"

Jake flushed at the mention of puberty, dammit! He remembered he was now a 14 year old lad now. It was already a nightmare going through it once, now he has to do it all over again! Granted it was just him before on the island, maybe it would be better now that he actually had help? Wait a tick, what did Jade say about Dave?!

Could it be? Dare he hope? Yes he dares because he's the goddamn Page of Hope!

"Jake? Jake my boy, you still in there?"

Jake blinked, that should be Beta him yes? That was still an odd concept to get used to, even odder now that his Beta self was now outside his door. 

"Hmm, I don't suppose I've yet to give you the Talk yet yes? I remember huddling into my own room just like you once before"

Jake froze, no. Dear lord, please don't tell me.

"I might as well give it to you now, oh no need to open the door Jake it's alright. Might help a little I guess, why my Father gave me the Talk through the door as well! Maybe this could be a new family tradition, no?"

Oh fuckin' hell, he really was going to do it?! No! He's sat through this once before, granted it was actually during the Sburb game and John of all people gave it to him filling in the paternal part and it was even worse when Dave joined in as well!

The young teen groaned into his pillow as his alternate-self began to talk... and talk... and talk...

Jake was not fine, nor was it cool.

~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~

 "GO THE FUCK AWAY, I ALREADY TOLD YOU I'M FINE!! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!" 

"Karkat! What have I told you about that kind of language in this household! Honestly, do you have no decency for other people who have triggers for such crude language?! You must really consider other people's bluh bluh BLUH..." 

Karkat groaned into his hands as he ignored his ancestor's lectures, wait no his brother's lectures. Son of grubfucker, everything was so wrong. The Cancer ex-troll looked at his pinkish tinted hands, the lack of claws, the different pigment, the lack of horns and his mouth felt weird at the dulled teeth. 

That and his bulge and nook were missing! Just this... thing tucked in his boxers within his pants, fucking hell everything felt so weird and downright wrong!

And yet at the same time it felt almost like the same! Jegus. 

Karkat groaned and curled more unto the pile of clothes he just made within his closet which was closed, he ignored the pings he got from his computer that were probably from his now-human-and-not-troll friends. They don't even fucking remember! Not to mention everyone dead was now alive, including the ancestors who were now in one way or another related to their dancestors. 

He had tried to prod the other's about the game but everyone had no clue in what the hell you were talking about and now they probably think you had a loose screw in your thinkpan! Fuck, this sucked ass.

"Hey Kankri~"

Ngah shit, fuck no.

"Ack! Cronus?! You let yourself in again didn't you?! How many times do I have to tell you to knock and wait for me or Karkat to open the door for you. You can't keep doing this, it's just basic etiquette!" 

"Heh, anyway. What's up with Karkat?"

"Oh, I have no idea. He refuses to get out of his room, he's been in there for the whole morning and bluh bluh... "

Karkat shivered as he curled up even more, wincing at the pain his thinkpan was throwing at him. It wasn't even the sudden burst of information that caused him to shiver, not it was the thought of his ancestor-now-brother hooking up with Cronus Ampora. Seriously why with that douche?! 

He turned over to the other side of his clothes pile and took out one of his sickles from his strife specibus, he rolled up his sleeve and made a deep cut. Enough to get blood flowing, he barely winced and wasn't as panicky as before to bleed now. He was the Knight of Blood for goodness sake! He smirked as he moved his blood along to his will, using what little blood that escaped to form his blood sign. 

He puts back his sickles into his strife specibus and deck and just toyed around with his blood, the cut healing but leaving a lasting scar on his wrist. 

He wonders if the humans at least remembered but opted to wait for one of them to contact him instead, putting down his husktop as well. It was superior to the computer that was on the desk outside the closet. The closet was luckily big enough to fit three people in comfortably, he had shoved all the other shit in his closet besides his clothes underneath his bed. He doubts that he would use the actual bed, not really used to human beds and even on the meteor he slept on piles or on the couch, rarely did he sleep in a human bed. 

He missed his recuperacoon. 

After about like 14 minutes or something he perked as he soaked the floating blood into a random piece of cloth, he'll clean that later, as he was invited to a memo. A private memo by Dave, welp looks like Strider was with you on this. 

~~~~~(^)~~~~~

turntechGodhead [TG] opened PRIVATE memo Okay WTF

turntechGodhead [TG] invites ectoBiologist [EG] to the memo
turntechGodhead [TG] invites carcinoGeneticist [CG] to the memo
turntechGodhead [TG] invites golgathasTerror [GT] to the memo
turntechGodhead [TG] invites tipsyGnostalgic [TG] to the memo

TG: alright, let's get to business... what the fuck is happening and what the fuck do we do

~~~~~(^)~~~~~

Chapter Text

~~~~~(^)~~~~~

turntechGodhead [TG] opened PRIVATE memo Okay WTF

turntechGodhead [TG] invites ectoBiologist [EG] to the memo
turntechGodhead [TG] invites carcinoGeneticist [CG] to the memo
turntechGodhead [TG] invites golgathasTerror [GT] to the memo
turntechGodhead [TG] invites tipsyGnostalgic [TG] to the memo

TG: alright, let's get to business... what the fuck is happening and what the fuck do we do
TG: i mean, everything's definitely different and shit and we're all in this shit fuckery together
CG: HOLY FUCK, IS IT REALLY JUST THE FIVE OF US WHO REMEMBER'S THE GAME? YOU HAVE GOT TO SHITTING ME
EB: oh hey karkat! yeah it pretty much looks like it
EB: um, wait a minute. karkat, are you still a troll and in alternia or what?
CG: NO, NO I AM NO A TROLL. AT LEAST NOT ANYMORE, FUCK I FEEL ALL WEIRD AND GROSS.
CG: HOW DO GUYS STAND THIS SHIT?! I FEEL REALLY REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE AND I'M ACTUALLY PREFERRING TO BE A MUTANT AGAIN IF IT MEANS NOT BEING A FUCKING HUMAN
TG: hey! uz huumans are prefectly, comferable
TG: *comfort table
GT: Oh dear, roxy are you drinking? That's not good, we're only 14 years old now
TG: oh shoosh you! i waz too soper to deal wit this shit! i'z not like i didn't drink befur, i stated when i was 13 for gog's sake!
GT: Oh yeah, now i remember. I kept worrying about you because of that, i read about how drinking was bad for you and that you could die of alcohol poisoning.
TG: awww, i can't stay mad at you jake :)
CG: PLEASE STOP WITH ALL THE PALE FUCKING FEELINGS PLEASE, WE HAVE A FUCKING CRISIS HERE. JOHN, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED. THE LAST THING I REMEMBER BEFORE WAKING UP TO SHIT WAS YOU OPENING THE DOOR. WHAT IN FUCK'S NAME DID YOU DO?!
EB: hey! i didn't do nothing!
EB: I think... er
EB: the last thing i remember was pretty much what you just said, opening the door to the new universe. after that it's pretty much blank till we all woke up to this...
EB: well, WE'RE awake but i guess the others aren't? everything's weeeiird.
GT: I don't think that's the case, i'm pretty sure something else is going on here. Did you all wake up with a second set of memories that YOU'RE SURE you never went through but at the same time did?
TG: :O omg that EXACTLY whut happened after i woke up XO
TG: yeah pretty much, that and the worst fucking headache ever
CG: I'M STILL HAVING THAT, IT'S A PAIN IN THE FUCKING ASS. NONE OF THE OTHERS REMEMBER SGRUB OR SBURB, NOT TO FUCKING MENTION OUR ANCESTORS ARE ALIVE AND ARE RELATED TO ALL OF US. KANKRI'S WITH FUCKING CRONUS OF ALL PEOPLE! WTF SERIOUSLY, IT JUST HAD TO BE AMPORA THE FIRST OF DUKE DOUCHE-LAND. 
CG: IN FACT BOTH THOSE ASSES ARE OUTSIDE MY RESPITEBLOCK, KANKRI'S STILL LECTURING THE SHIT OUT OF ME BUT I THINK IT SHIFTED OVER TO CRON-ASS AFTER CRONUS INTERRUPTED HIM FOR FUCK KNOWS WHAT.
GT: Hmm, truly mysterious! 
TG: mysterious or not i'm actually with karkles on this, it's a fucking pain in the ass
CG: FUCK YOU STRIDER, DON'T CALL ME KARKLES YOU GOGDAMNED BUGLESUCKER
EB: um, karkat? What do you mean your ancestors are alive? does that mean every troll is now a human? 
EB: hey, send a picture so we can see human you!
CG: OH FUCK OFF EGDERP, BUT YEAH. PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE'S A HUMAN VERSION OF THEMSELVES NOW, IT'S PRETTY FUCKING WEIRD. NOT TO MENTION THAT SOME THINGS ABOUT THEM CHANGED, HUMAN TAVROS IS NOT PARALYZED HUMAN VRISKA JUST BROKE HIS LEG LESS THAN A SWEEP OR SO. 
CG: TEREZI'S STILL BLIND, KINDA? SHE SAYS SHE'S GONNA GET SOME FUCK OF A THING CALLED 'SURGERY' IN A PERIGEE OR SOMETHING. SHE STILL SMELLS THINGS AND LICKS THINGS BUT THE UPSIDE TO THIS FUCKERY IS THAT SHE LICKS THINGS WAAY FUCKING LESS THAN SHE USUALLY DOES.
CG: VRISKA LOST AN EYE BUT NOT AN ARM, SHE'S STILL A MAJOR SPIDERGRUBBING BITCH. KANAYA'S NOT A RAINBOW DRINKER AS FAR AS I KNOW, GAMZEE'S STILL A JUGGALO FREAKING IDIOT, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE SEEMS TO BE PRETTY MUCH THE FUCKING SAME.
CG: ASIDE, YOU KNOW, BEING LAME ASS HUMANS AND SHIT. 
EB: huh, cool but seriously, send a pic! we wanna know what you look like as a human
TG: yeah, let us see karkles
CG: FUCK OFF. ALL OF YOU, JUST FUCK OFF
TG: aaaw cmon karkit, were gonna know wut u look lik sooper or later! just send a pic already!
GT: I admit, i am quite curious.
CG: NGAAAAH!!!!!
CG: FUCK ALRIGHT FIIINE
CG: FUICANPJSFHOIASYDGFAK

--carcinoGeneticist [CG] FUCKYOUALLHERE.image--

EB:...
TG:...
TG:...
GT:...
CG: WELL?! HAPPY NOW YOU FUCKS?! 
TG: karkat, you are one pretty motherfucker tbh
TG: not as pretty as my bae here but pretty daaamn close
EB: i'm not even going to argue with dave on this because he's right, YOU being pretty i mean. not me.
TG: heheheh, wow karklez u look sooo cute XD 
CG: WHAT?! I AM NOT FUCKING CUTE NOR AM I PRETTY 
GT: I will admit, before you were just as adorable as a midget troll but you look quite as adorable as a human *tugs at collar nervously*
CG: FUCK YOU GUYS. JUST. FUCK YOU ALL.
CG: CAN WE JUST GET BACK TO THE FUCKING POINT ALREADY?! WHAT IN FUCK'S NAME DO WE DO ABOUT ALL THIS SHIT?! 
EB: Oh yeah... what DO we do? i mean, we're done with sburb right? i opened the door, it's a new universe and all... 
EB: but, no one else remembers but us :(
GT: Yes, it is quite sad isn't it? I quite miss chatting with Dirk about before but it doesn't seem to be the same anymore.
TG: ye, evurything sucks. 
TG: *everything
TG: well, it's not over yet
CG: AND WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT FUCKING MEAN STRIDER?
TG: future me says the fight ain't done yet, so hang on to your butts. looks like we're far from done here
GT: Oh bollocks 
TG: LE GASP
TG: language jake!!!}:p
TG: oh and ta fihting thing... that sucks :[ i thugt we werez done wit that?
TG: *fighting *thought
CG: OH THIS IS A RELIEF. I HONESTLY THOUGHT WE WERE LIKE OVER WITH THIS, NO MORE FIGHTING, ECHELADDERS, IMPS, OH WHAT A FUCKING BULGESUCKING RELIEF!!!!!!
EB: oh dear... so, what's there to fight now? 
EB: don't tell me... it's the condesce again? 
TG: i have no fucking idea, i left before i got to tell me. so, that happens
CG: OH IT BETTER NOT BE LORD ENGLISH AGAIN. FUCK THIS IS SO FUCKING RIDICULOUS AND SO GOGDAMNED TEDIOUS!! IT WASN'T ENOUGH THAT THE SESSIONS COMBINED FROM LIKE 4 DIFFERENT ONES TO ONE WHOLE FUCKING NOOKSUCKING MESS THAT TRANSCENDED FROM FUCK-ASS STATUS TO GOD-SHIT-MOTHERFUCK-ASS-WHY-THE-ACTUAL-FUCK STATUS.
CG: THE UNIVERSE JUST LOVES TO SHIT ON US HUH? FUCK I REALLY NEED A FEELINGSJAM OR AN ACTUAL SHOOSHPAP. THIS IS TOO FUCKING MUCH I...
EB: oh karkat...
GT: Oh dear, are you... will you be fine karkat?
CG: NO. 
CG: YES.
CG: FUCK IF I KNOW. I HAVE NO QUADRANTS ANYMORE, LIKE I HAD ANY TO TRULY BEGIN WITH, MY FRIENDS ARE LIKE FUCKING STRANGERS TO ME NOW SO I CAN'T REALLY GO TO THEM RIGHT NOW AND MY THINKPAN AND BLOODPUSHER HURT LIKE FUCKING HELL. 
CG: I JUST... i'm just so tired... of everything... and i just... fuck
TG: :((((( oh karkitty... 
TG: fuck don't we all know the feeling? we're all tired, fuck it this is going to sound sappy as shit but.
TG: know that the 4 of us will be here for you yeah? we're all in this together, and we're going to stick to together and fuck all if we don't go through this together
EB: hehe, yeah that was pretty sappy dave :) 
EB: but dave's right! we're in this together karkat! 
GT: Yes, that's right! We're now a team! And together we'll get through this adventure victoriously!
TG: yeeaaah!! cheer up karkz, well get thru this :DDDD
CG:...
CG: You... 
CG: YOU ALL SUCK YOU KNOW THAT?!
TG: wow, try to be supportive and you get insulted. false alarm, here's the karkat we all know and all find an asshole
CG: HUMANS SUCK AND THEIR TRANSPARENT LIQUID ESCAPING MY VIEWSPHERES IS A WEIRD CONCEPT. THERE'S NO COLOR WHATSOEVER. YOU GUYS SUCK, HOW DARE YOU ALL AND FUCK YOU FOR MAKING ME FEEL PALE FEELINGS. GOGDAMNIT! 
EB: wait, karkat are you... crying?
CG: SHUT UP
TG: awww, karkz i stand by my stutmant befor! you are sooo cuuute! ^-^
GT: Dear me! We're sorry karkat, we didn't mean to make you cry honest!
TG: holy shit dude. wow
CG: ALL OF YOU SHUT UP. GOG, FUCK. 
EB: hehe, welcome to the human side of reality dude! 
TG: we got cookies, apple juice, smuppets, adventure, booze and emotional baggage that's so fucking complicated you could spend an eternity just thinking of our vast emotions. 
TG: once you go human, there's no turning back dude
CG: ONCE AGAIN. ALL OF YOU, SHUT THE FUCK UP
EB: heheh :B we love you too karkat! 
CG: AJSDGKJF
CG: SHUT UP JOHN
TG: XDD lmaaaoooo!!
TG: karkz is just our littelk rage babe that saz all these meann wors but in reilyt he luvs us ;DD
TG: *little *words *reality
CG: FUCK NO, LALONDE YOU ARE FUCKING DRUNK. YOU HAVE NO JURISDICTION ON THAT FUCKING MATTER
TG: ;]
TG: okay, all that feelings bullshit aside
TG: what's next

Dave was interrupted as the ground shook causing both John and him to jump in surprise and fall to the quaking ground. Around them things shook hard, objects fell to the ground, John quickly floated up with Dave in his arms as the watched in disbelief as the surroundings around them shook and quaked. Heck, John could feel the vibrations in the wind and air!

"What's going on?!" John shouted as they both floated in the middle of the room, Dave snatched his shades that fell when they did from the quaking ground.

"I have no fucking idea but looks like future me was right!" Dave replied loudly as he peered out of the window and out into the neighborhood "Our fight's not over yet!" he continued as he sees and feels something tear through the air slicing space as well as time

A giant tear appeared in the middle of the street, dimensional and temporal energy was leaking out and something was crossing through the tear. Multiple somethings.

John peered beside him his eyes widening "Aren't those?!" he gasped in shock and disbelief. Dave's eyes narrowed behind his shades. 

"Motherfucking denizens"

~~~~~(^)~~~~~

--gardenGnostic [GG] began pestering tentacleTherapist [TT]--

TT: Hello Jade
GG: hiya rose! :B
TT: What can I do for you Jade?
GG: just wanted to say hi is all!!
TT: Hmm, is that all?
GG:um, actually
GG: no
GG: has dave pestered you recently?
GG: he acted kinda strange when he pestered me a while ago this morning
TT: Ah yes, in fact he has. He was asking about some kind of game? 
TT: He made quite the fuss over it.
GG: :O he asked the same thing to me too!!!
GG: what was it called?
GG: sburb right?
TT: Correct
TT: But the thing is, I have tried to search for this mystery game but it does not seem to exist
GG: really??
GG: weird, i wonder why he asked if we knew a game that doesn't exist
TT: I wonder if he asked John as well
GG: John's not online, he hasn't been all morning!! :/
GG: it's kinda strange because usually he's on EVERY morning to pester us!
GG: maybe he's busy or something??
TT: Perhaps
GG: !!
TT: What is it Jade?
GG: John's online :D
TT: It seems so
GG: ...
TT: ?
GG: he's online but he's not answering me >:| 
TT: Hmm

"Rose, Roxy! Come in here, quickly!" Rose paused and looked away from her laptop briefly, her mother was calling her into the living room.

"Coming mother!" she replied

TT: My apologies Jade, my mother is currently calling me away for a moment.
GG: that's okay! i'll just wait here :B
TT: Alright, be back in a moment

Rose stepped away from her laptop and entered the living room, her younger sister doing the same and acted a bit odd. Her steps were slightly stumbled and her face was lightly flushed but before she could comment on that the ground shook lightly making them both stumble a bit. 

"What on earth?!" Rose gasped as she and Roxy managed to safely go into the living room. Her mother stood by the couch with their television on and the news program already on.

"Breaking news! Sudden quakes have occurred and citizens everywhere are wondering why. But this day's top story is within Washington DC as the earthquake there hits it the strongest for reasons unknown" 

"Washington DC...? That's where John lives!" Rose exclaimed as the news went on, now showing a shaking camera shot with a frightened looking reported in Washington DC reporting about the large quakes that he himself was experiencing. It looked like the reporter was near John's neighborhood as well!

Suddenly there were screams in the background and the camera turned to see the commotion. All three blonde Lalondes couldn't believe their eyes but suddenly a there was a giant tear in the middle of the street, it was as if the air there was made of fabric and something made a gigantic tear!

And soon enough something seemed to escape the tear! They were creatures that they had never seen before, they were certainly snake-like beings as their tails slipped through the tear but their heads and looks were quite bizarre but at the same time they looked terrifying as the camera caught on their roars. There were four in total, one even going as far as having wings!

"Holy shit, that's impossible..." Rose heard Roxy murmur, was it her imagining the slight slur in those words? But she couldn't help but agree herself, those creatures were an impossibility! But unknown to her Roxy was thinking otherwise.

"Wait, that's John's neighborhood! John!" Rose gasped causing both Roxy and her mother to snap their necks to look at her but she was already running back to her laptop. She needed to contact John!

GG: ROSE THE NEWS!!!! DD:
TT: I know, I saw! 
TT: We need to talk to John quickly! 
TT: He may be in imminent danger!
GG: OH JOHN!! D:}

 

-- tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] --

TT: John!
TT: John are you there?!
TT: John please!!
TT: Fuck, please be okay
TT: John!!!!
TT: Jonathan Egbert reply right this instant!!
TT: Fuck
TT: Fuck fuck fuck
TT: JOHN FUCKING EGBERT PLEASE TELL ME YOU'RE OKAY!!!!

Rose was near to tears as the tv relayed the screams of terror from the news, her friend was in danger! Mother Lalonde was still frozen and watching the tv with horror, her daughters had left the living room but unknown to both her and Rose Roxy was actually going to do something. 

The Rogue of the Void would make her first appearance along with four other soon-to-be-known heroes.

~~~~~(^)~~~~~

gallowsCalibrator [GC] has opened PRIVATE memo OK4Y SOM3TH1NG 1S UP--

gallowsCalibrator [GC] has invited EVERYONE except carcinoGeneticist [CG] to the memo

GC: OK4Y 1M GOING STR41GHT TO THE PO1NT
GC: HAVE YOU 4LL NOT1CE K4RK4T'S ODD B3H4V1OR?

grimAuxillatrix [GA] has joined the memo

GA: Um, Quite
GA: I Supposed It Would Be About The Fact Of Him Asking If You Know A Game Called 'Sburb'?
GC: EX4CTLY

twinArmaggedons [TA] has joined the memo
adiosToreader [AT] has joined the memo

AT: yEAH,, hE UH ASKED ME THAT TOO
A: me two no iidea why 
TA: ii 2earched for thii2 '2burb' thiing but iit doe2n't exi2t
TA: at all

terminallyCapricious [TC] has joined the memo

TC: WaS uP mY bRoThErs :O)
TC: HoNk
GC: G4MZ33 WH4T'S UP WITH K4RK4T? D1D H3 4SK YOU 4BOUT SOM3 G4M3 TOO??
TA: BeSt FrIeNd? 
TC: yEaH, hE aLl Up AnD aSkEd Me ThAt TyPe Of QuEsTiOn My BlInD sIs
TC: BuT tHiS mOtHeRfUcKeR dOn'T kNoW nOtHiNg In WhY oR wHaT iT wAs
AT: uH,, hEY GAMZEE :O)
TC: TaVbRo! AwW yOu DiD mY tHiNg
TC: mOtHeRfUcKiNg AwEsOme :O)
TC: hOnK hOnK

cuttlefishCuller [CC] has joined the memo

TA: Oh FiSh SiS! hOw'S iT gOiNg?
CC: Glub glub! )(iya Gamzee! 
CC: --Everyfins going great here! And yes! Karkat's asked me and --Eridan about that game too
GC: >:I
GC: 1 WOND3R WH4T'S GO1NG ON W1TH H1M
TA: heya fef, how'2 the a22hole doiing?
CC: )(ey Sol! --Eridan's fin! )(is fever's lighten up and all thanks for asking sol :D
TA: good, he owe2 me money
CC: Soool >:/
TA: what? he owe2 me twenty buck2

caligulasAquarium [CA] has joined the memo

CA: oh fuck off lisp-ass, i havve a headache the size of your ego noww kindly get fucked in the a wwith a chainsaww

caligulasAquarium [CA] has left the memo

TA: a22
AT: wELL,, iTS NICE TO SEE ERIDANS,, uM,, aLRIGHT??
GA: Eridan Seems Well
TC: hEhEhEhE hOnK
CC: >:O --ERIDAN!! SOLLUX!! I T)(OUG)(T YOU GUYS W--ER--E G--ETTING ALONG 
TA: 2hiit 
CC: Do I have to get out the friend-cuffs?! 
TA: Fef no, not tho2e thiing2
CC: I will if I have to >:(((
GC: OK4Y 4S1D3 FROM TH4T 

arachnidsGrip [AG] has the joined the memo

AG: Heeeeeeeey guys 
AG: Redglare it's nice to see you again
GC: M1NDF4NG >:D 
GC: 4CTU4LLY L3T'S NOT DO THE ROL3PL4Y R1GHT NOW VR1SK4, SO H4S K4RKL3S S4Y 4NYTH1NG TO YOU TOO?
AG: Actually yeah, some thing about Sgru8? W8t the heck is that by the way?
TA: iit doe2n't exii2t, and iit2 '2burb'
AG: Really now
TC: sPiDeR sIs, YoU aLrIgHt In ThE eYe?
AG: Oh hey Gaaaaaaaamzee. My eye's not hurting anymore 8ut I should get my sight back in a few months. Thanks again for that Terezi
GC: YOUR W3LCOME, TH1NK OF 1T 4S TH4NKS FOR MY OWN 3Y3S }:] 
GA: Vriska Might You Know Where Nepeta And The Others Are? 
GA: She, Equuis And Aradia Aren't Online And I Believe You Are The Closest To Their Location
AG: Oh hi Kan, Nepeta and Equuis are in the mountains and what not. I don't know where the hell Aradia is. 
AT: hEY VRISKA,, 
AG: Oh heeeeeeeey Tavros ::::) how's your leg doing?
AT: sTILL BROKEN,, tHANKS TO YOU OF COURSE
AG: heeeeeeeey I said I was sorry ::::(
AT: i KNOW,, iT JUST REALLY SUCKS TO BE LIMPING AROUND LIKE THIS
AG: I guess........

Suddenly the ground shook in cue, everyone yelped and where stumbling around from the shock

However two certain people were experiencing the quake at its most. They see the tear through their shaking windows and see otherworldly creatures slipping through the tear.

AG: IOASHDFO
AG: HELP
AG: MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS UNDERATTACK BY ALIENS OR SOME SHIT
TC: wHaT? 
TA: what the fuck? no way, there2 only an earthquake happeniing vriiska
AT: no shes right
TC: Tavbro? 
AT: fuck its hard to type on the floor
AG: there are monsters on our streets here!
AG: we're not kidding!
AT: HERE

-- adiosToreader [AT] sends imagepic.image--
-- arachnidsGrip [AG] sends video.hd--

GC: WH4T TH3 H3LL
AT: It's not photoshopped we swear!
AG: Look we're not even using our typing quirks!! 
GA: Oh dear, get out of there!
AT: I can't! My cane broke and Rufioh's went out with Horuss! 
TC: shit. HANG ON TAVROS
TA: Holy hell, this cannot be happening
CC: I'm afraid it is! Turn on the news!
AG: OAISUDHFN
GA: Vriska??
GC: Vriska are you okay?!?!?
AG: im fine sorta
AG: my wall's been torn down by one of their tails
AG: the sharp end scraped my arm, im fine
AG: im heading downstairs, fuck sis is still out with damara
AT: shitshitshithsitasd
CC: Oh no, Tavros??
TC: SHIT
TC: tavros, shit motherfuck
AT: ow
AT: im fine. i dragged myself out of the living room and just in time
AG: Tav you alright there?
AT: yeah, nearly died as one of them moved through our house
GC: This cannot be happening! Fuck, fuck fuck... wait
GC: Karkat! Isn't he near your neighborhood too?! 
AT: oh fuck
AG: i, shit

gallowsCalibrator [GC] invites carcinoGeneticists [CG] to the memo

GC: KARKAT
TC: MOTHERUCKING BEST FRIEND YOU ALRIGHT
AG: Come on..
AT: He's got to be okay
GA: Please be alright
TA: C'mon KK reply dammit
CC: Karkat please!

caligulasAquarium [CA] joined the memo

CA: i saw the news, read the memo and fell off the bed from the earthquake
CA: shit come on karkat

carcinoGeneticist [CG] is an adle chum!

Both Vriska and Tavros felt fear and dread place themselves in their chests as they clutched at their phones, hiding somewhere where they hoped they were safe from the attacking creatures. Vriska panted and pressed against her bloodied arm, scraped her arm her ass, she had a piece of wall digging into her arm! Tavros in the meanwhile was trying to breath normally as the pain of his already broken leg pulsed with pain and panic thrummed in his veins.

They both winced as they heard inhuman roars occur, it was like they were in pain. Maybe the government or the police finally came? They took the risk and couldn't believe their eyes. 

AG: HOLY SHIT
AT: No fucking way
TC: what the fuck is happening over there?!
GA: What is it now?!
GC: ohshitohshitohshit
AG: You won't believe this but some people are actually fighting those things! And are kinda winning?! I don't know, it's hard to tell!
TA: Did the police finally show up?!
AT: Police?! What police?! There are two people fighting those things! Fucking hell they got superpowers
CA: You're fucking with us

-- arachnidsGrip [AG] sent video.mov--

TC: Mother Fucking Miracles
AG: Another one showed up! A hero I mean, fuck this is terrifying and exciting. Theres two reds and one blue! 
TA: What the fuck is going on?! Is reality a fucking anime now?! 
GC: I don't really care who they are but they're helping and keeping both Tavros and Vriska alive!
GA: I feel quite the same here!

carcinoGeneticist [CG]  has smashed their computer!

TC: 
GC: no
GA: FUCK
TA: kk kk kk kk KK KK
CA: kar?? come on dude please
CC: pleasebeokaybleadbeaoliv
AG: shiT
AT: This means nothing, he's fine, hes fine he will be

Vriska and Tavros ignored the fight as they stared at their respective phones, they wouldn't believe that their friend was dead. The angry midget was determined and he would be fine, he would be alive. They ignored the new arrivals of the latest 'superhero' team, a single female in blue and a male in yellow. 

~~~~~(^)~~~~~

 When the shaking started, Kankri was banging up a storm for his brother to open up. Somewhere before that he and Cronus were quite distracted by their own... devices (coughcough Snog coughcough) and when the earthquake started they were instantly apart and were attempting to get Kankri's anger issued little brother out of the room and all three of them would get to safer ground. 

The creatures that appeared outside were of no help to quell Kankri's and by extension Cronus's fears. 

"Fuck it! Move aside Kanks, I'm breaking down the door!" Cronus snapped, Kankri wasn't even triggered as paranoia laced his veins. 

BANG

"KARKAT!!" Kankri shrieked and felt his heart stopped as he didn't see his brother in his room, the window was open

Kankri wasn't given a chance to speak again as his boyfriend snatches him up and flings them both out of the room just in time for a creature's head to smash through his brother's room effectively destroying everything and had destroyed the open computer on his brother's desk. What caught his eye though was the mysterious person on the creatures head, a hooded male that had a freaking sword stabbed right through the creatures head

The creature trashed and both it and the male got out of the his brother's now destroyed room. He couldn't see the male's face because of the hood and red and black eye mask on his face. He wore a red outfit with a darker red cog smack-dabbed in the middle of his chest. 

Both Kankri and Cronus sat on their asses at the doorway of the destroyed room of Karkat's now demolished room and without thinking at all, the eldest Vantas spoke.

"What the ever loving fuck just happened?"

~~~(^)~~~

 

 "Uh Kar? Sorry but I think I destroyed your room. Sorry about that bro"

"WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY DAVID ELIZ-A-FUCKING-BETH STRIDER?!"

"Karkat sshh! No one's supposed to know who we are!!"

"Come on guuyzz, we need to kill these fuckerz 'member?"

"Oh dear, I was afraid this would happen..."

Chapter Text

~~~~(^)~~~~

 When Karkat first felt the tremors he had fallen off his pile, his husktop falling with him. There was a sense of dread in him as his instincts barked at him to prepare. 

Through out the game he learned to trust his instincts, as his room shook he donned his godtier clothing and captchalogued his husktop. The human version of his husktop dinged as he looked out the window beside it, he ignored it as he swore. 

What were the games denizens doing here?! And they were all of the slitherbeast kind as well, one of the harder bosses. 

He bit his lip as his door's banging suddenly continued, they had stopped a while ago for some reason he didn't want to know, he could hear Kankri's concerned shouting but he decided to ignore that for now. There were more important issues to get acknowledge right now. 

From where he could see, there was a tear way further down the road right at the corner but he manages to see them fine. The monstrous beasts were quickly coming through the sudden tear of reality, he continues to swear colorfully as the tear finally seemed to close up but left no less than four different slitherbeast-denizens. Hell one even had fucking wings!! Fuck!

Karkat is out the window instantly as the denizens started to rampage through the human settlement, god tier clothes equipped with its hood draped over his head. He flew off into the monster's direction, he could see the flying forms of Egbert and Strider fighting their own chosen denizens. John had went for the one with the wings and was trying to get it back to the ground using the wind at his beck and call. 

His sickles are out as he aims for one that had just slithered through the newly destroyed house. Later on he would freak out a bit as he would remember that the house that the denizen destroyed was actually Tavros's house, and then freak out more as he found out the same thing happened with Vriska. 

But right now you were too focused on the denizens that were slithering wildly and causing damage among the environment. 

"Hey Karkat!" John greets him brightly as the windy boy uses the wind to restrict the winged denizen to the ground before doing the same with Karkat's chosen denizen, probably so they can actually talk or something. 

"Egdork" Karkat deadpanned before sending the windy boy a glare "Are you sure you have no actual fucking idea on what the actual fuck happened?" he demanded as both he and John floated in the air. 

John nodded his head, the Hammer of Zillyhoo clenched in one fist and the other directed at the two wind-chained denizens that continued to thrash around wildly "I'm serious! The last thing I remember is opening the door! I don't know how this happened!!" he insisted.

Karkat's glare lessened before he sighed "Fuck, okay. I believe you" he grumbles before shooting off fight his actual chosen opponent. John let up the wind as Karkat flew around the denizen, dodging the lashing tail and managing to make deep cuts along the body. The yellow slitherbeast-like denizen hissed at him, its eyes blazing with rage and filled with destruction. 

Yeah, this was no normal behavior for denizens even back at the game! There was nothing but mindless rage and the urge of destruction! Not a lick of intelligence either! 

"Karkles~" the Knight of Blood groans as a fellow but mostly hated Knight appears by his side, sword drawn and hood up "How's it going babe?" 

Karkat hissed at the smirking blonde "Fuck off Strider! And don't call me babe you nookeating asswipe! Strider, take your glasses off unless you want some ass to recognize the shit out of you!"

"What? Fuck n-.... holy shit you are actually right about something. Fuck, fine, here, god tier powers activate. Motherfucking pomf, black eye-mask for the fucking win."

True to his useless blabbering for once, gone were the sunglasses, replaced with the black eyemask that covered his upper face entirely. God tier clothing were complex but hey who was he to judge it now that its usefulness was going to be exploited now? Karkat did the same, swiftly covering his upper face with a very dark red face mask.

"Shut the hell up Strider! Just be fucking glad for the complete utter shit stain stupidity of the game for actually adding this kind of shit to the God Tiers functionality! Shit! Grr, we'll have to tell the others about this shi-Nook eating motherfuckers!" Karkat screeched as both he and Dave were surrounded by three denizens, two of their original targets and the unclaimed fourth one. 

John was a bit busy trying to reign in the winged one again, sometimes sending out sharp bursts of concentrated wind towards its wings as well as trying to do his 'Windy Thing' and appear behind it to hit it in the back. For being so huge, the denizen was actually kind of graceful in the air and annoyingly dodging John's attacks and attempts. 

 

"Tally ho!" the fourth unclaimed denizen shrieked as its face was suddenly assaulted with bullets as the sound of pistols and gunfire firing off followed it "We flew in as fast as we could! No retched beast will claim the lives of my beloved comrades!" says one Jake English with a giggling Roxy flying behind him. 

Thankfully, it seemed that Jake's... lower clothing, had changed and wasn't that... erm piece of clothing, that it was in the game. It seemed to be the leggings that were used for Prospit dreamers, good! Like everyone else including Roxy his hood was up as well. It seemed everyone was thinking of the same thing, with this new world and all it was best they kept their powers a secret for now what with the government surely having a fit with the current situation.

"Hehehehee, how heroc you are Jakey!" Roxy cheered, slurring a little bit as she followed him. Her trusty gun in her hand as she aimed for the denizen "Sorby we were latte guys!" she told them with a grin as both her and Jake floated beside them. 

All four jolted as the winged denizen suddenly crashed down unto the ground with a sheepish looking John following closely, looks like he got hit on the cheek by the sharp tail "Hehe, whoops?" 

Karkat failed to bite back a sigh. This'll take a moment or so... hopefully. 

~~~~~  (^)~~~~~

Jack 'Jackal' Egbert was already at work when it happened. Doing serious business a dad like him was supposed to do in an adults life, he had been glad his twin brother Joe 'Jonathan' Egbert-now Crocker was coming with little Jane in tow. 

Both Jane and John would have a hoot living together for years to come. That and it's been a while since he and Joe had  a good cup of coffee together while exchanging war stories, prank war stories. Ah yes, his boy was quite the prankster and Jane was following quite closely as well! 

Why just the day before John had ended their little war with a cream pie, a leaf blower, a tube of toilet paper and some plastic wrappings. His son would be great in the future he can just feel it! His son was his whole world just like Jane was Joe's whole world, and god forbid anything that might happen to both Jane and John. 

It was why immediately after the earthquake had started he called his son, John didn't answer and that was already triggering the alarms in his head. His brother called him, Jack insisted he was fine but then told him he couldn't get to John. 

Both of them had alarms in their heads as they tried getting into contact with his son, Jane as well. Using Pesterchum to try and see if John was alright. 

It was when the news mentioned actual god to damned monsters appearing in his neighborhood, a neighborhood he and his son were living in, did he did a rare unthinkable thing: he high tailed it out work and back home.

The screaming the news provided over the radio as he drove in his car did not help settle him, when traffic dared to stop him he ran because damnit his son was in that mess!

Gah! Why did he have to work so far away from their house?! Nonetheless it did not deter him! John was in danger! 


 

Joe and Jane stirred with worry, Joe was going at it with his PDA with Jane going into Pesterchum to see if her dear cousin was alright. Even conversing with Dirk and the others about it!

-- gutsyGumshoe [GG] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT] --

GG: Oh dear oh dear oh dear
TT: Jane? Jane, what's wrong
GG: Dirk! Can Dave get to John? He's not answering his chumhandle!
TT: Both my bro and John aren't online Jane, why
TT:
TT: Oh
GG: We can't contact John! Oh dear oh dear oh dear
TT: Well fuck
TT: Is this actually happening? 
TT: This suddenly feels like one of my animes for reasons obviously unknown
GG: DIRK
TT: Right, sorry about that
TT: Dave's out and we don't know where the hell he is right now
GG: :( Oh nooooo
TT: Calm down, Dave is fine he can handle something like this
TT: Besides, we're not in Washington remember? And as far as we know this event is happening only in Washington DC
GG: :((((
GG: But Dirk, John! He's in Washington DC remember?!
GG: Uncle Jack is trying to get back home to see if he's okay! And we can't contact him to know if he's really okay or not!
TT: Oh 
TT: I can
TT: Wait
TT: What the actual fuck
GG: What is it?! 
GG:
TT:
TT: It's official, real life is an anime 
GG: What in the world is going on?! WHAT?!??! 
TT: Holy fuck, look at them go
GG: What's going on?! Dad and I are only listening to the radio! We can't see what's happening! But it's saying some flying superheroes are there saving people???? What??!!
TT: Basically everything is going to be sugoi and shit as magical-esque teens appear out of nowhere to battle demons from another world
TT: There are four of them but the camera is shaking too much to see them
GG: This cannot be happening! This is madness!
TT: This
GG: Dirk
TT: Is
GG: Dirk no, I swear
TT: ANIME
GG: Oh bollocks
TT: Language Jane
GG: My apologies but please be serious Dirk! 
GG: Regardless on what's happening John is still in danger! 
TT: No worries, and don't worry about John knowing anime and all he'll be fine 
TT: Maybe he's one of those magical teen heroes?
GG: Dirk, I know it seems to be like one of your anime shows things but this is still reality! 
GG: John can't possibly be one of them, but then by association Dave must be one of them too but it would be ridiculous and stupid! 
TT: No it would awesome and a dream come true
TT: But you are right
GG: That I am
TT:
TT: But what if though?
GG: AAAAUUUGGGH
GG: Dirk! Joooohnnn!!!!!
TT: Right, yeah sorry about that

Jane could only sigh and look out the car's window "Oh John, please be okay" she whispered as she and her father drove on the road.

~~~~~(^)~~~~~~

Despite what Jane might think, Dirk and Bro were actually worried about Dave. The teen wasn't answering their texts and calls, but regardless they stayed in their apartment and watched the news and worried for John too. 

"Okay, holy fuck. So far I think the blue one's power is the wind? The other's haven't shown their powers yet but it's safe to say that the blue boy with the... windsock has control over wind... and also wields a hammer like motherfucking Thor Odinson" Dirk said as both he and his eldest brother sat in the living room. At the same time he was also pestering Jane with his newly made iShades that he created like a week ago. 

They were going to get richer later on with Dirk's newest product. Dirk will release it in like a year or something, they were already rich enough and shit.

Bro grunted as he fixed a torn smuppet, there were a few of those lying around the apartment but most of them were stored away in Bro's room. Bro was not ashamed of his hobby of filming puppet porn nor his puppet fetish and all, his brothers were a little discomforted about it but were fine over all and requested that he put most of it in his room rather than having them all strewn about all over the place and he complied like the good brother that he is. 

But sometimes he would be a shit brother and would pile them before their rooms and be amused as they dig their way through promiscuous puppet ass felt. That and lay them around random places of their apartment. 

Though on most times Bro was a big shot DJ at a club he owned a few streets from their apartment, something his little brothers enjoyed very much. They would admit with no shame nor jealousy that their bro's sick beats were the sickest of them all, even theirs. And that made Bro smirk proudly every time. 

Putting down the smuppet for a bit he checked his phone again. 

Nothing. 

"Seriously though, where the fuck is Dave? He isn't answering the texts, my calls, little shit should've done something to let us know he's good and all" Bro deadpanned but Dirk could see the downward twitch his stoic lip was hiding, Dirk frowned instead. 

The 14 year old teen shook his head "I'm sure he's fine, with your training he can take it. Dave's not some prick-ass prima donna queen" he told him, Bro nodded but his lips were still at a fine line. 

All three Striders knew how to fight, all three of them could fight really well. Especially with katanas and swords, both Bro and Dirk were anime fans they admit it and while Dave wasn't an anime fan he still enjoyed it especially the fight scenes. 

Bro made sure that both his little brothers knew how to handle a fight, made sure they exercised and were at tip-top shape. They mostly fought on the roof, it was more than big enough for all three of them to have a battle royal and all. 

"Okay, so two of them fight with... guns. Another fights with, sickles? Then the last two fight with swords and a hammer. Hot damn" Dirk murmurs and jolts a bit when the camera jolts wildly and the screams grow louder as it looks like the monster is closer, both Striders mentally breathes a sigh of relief when the creature is pulled back by.... red chains? They can't see where it's coming from. 

Bro breathes deeply and checks his phone again, starting to get a little frustrated with Dave's lack of response. 

Dave was going to explain what the fuck he was doing that was so busy as to not answer his goddamned texts, and it better be one hell of an excuse. 

~~~~~*~~~~~

Dave was going to have one hell of a time coming up with an excuse later on for his brothers. Ignoring the fact it felt a little weird to say brothers and all, his iShades dinged occasionally as he rode on the rampaging denizen with CaledScratch stabbed deep into its head. 

He can hear Karkat cursing in the distance as he used his Blood Aspect to reign in his own denizen and stopped it from attacking a nearby film crew that shouldn't even be there! What the fuck were they doing there anyway?! Shouldn't they be running like all the other sane human beings?! 

He grunts as the injured denizen thrashed wildly with him on its head, he grits his teeth and yelps when the denizen smashes itself into a house, demolishing whatever room that once there and his sees an older human but different Karkat with some greaser-looking douche-feeling guy with him looking at them both through the demolished dust of the room.

'Fuck is that Kankri?' was his thought as he tightly gripped caledscratch and tugged at it, driving it more into the denizen and moving down a bit. It screeches in agony and gets its head out of the destroyed bedroom. Fuck was that Karkat's bedroom? 

Shit. 

His train of thought was cut off as he was thrown off the rampaging denizen, caledscratch still deep in its head. He grunted as he slammed down unto the pavement, instantly rolling to the side as the denizen's spiky tail and was soon on his knees and into the air once again. Tugging at his hood, making sure it was over his head and covering his head properly. 

They did not want to deal with the government going after their asses when all this was over, it would be too soon. Hell, this whole situation was too soon! Not even one day into this new fucking world or universe whatever and they were all back into the fucking fray of the game! 

Though they were all strong enough to deal with denizens now, it was still a fucking hassle. Besides, there were civilians that they needed to consider as well. 

"Look out!" shouted John as he used the wind to push away the news cast that were nearly hit by a stray tail, the cast screamed and John tried to reign in the flying denizen once again after helping them out and of course making sure his windsock hood was kept over his face. 

Dave cursed and acrobatically dodged his flailing denizen, reaching for caledscratch. He purposely drew it painfully from the denizen's skin, making sure to thrash it as he took it out. It screeched in agony. 

He flew back, bumping firmly against Karkat who had his hands firmly grasped on the thick red chain that came from his wrists, blood-chains. 

His mind wandered back to the house and stiffly chuckled, gaining Karkat's attention as well as the others as they regrouped together, each seemingly having a hold on their denizens. Roxy had made a giant hand out of generic green cubes to hold down the denizen both her and Jake shared to defeat. Both Karkat and John had chained their denizens with their respective aspects while his was actually just swaying side to side, staying put as blood dripped from its wounds, it looked tired and hurt. Good. 

"Uh Kar? Sorry but I think I destroyed your room. Sorry about that bro"

"WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY DAVID ELIZ-A-FUCKING-BETH STRIDER?!"

"Karkat sshh! No one's supposed to know who we are!!"

"Come on guuyzz, we need to kill these fuckerz 'member?"

"Oh dear, I was afraid this would happen..."

Jake sighed as Karkat began to throw a fit but was glad to see that his focus on his denizen was stronger than the urge to throw a fit, granted a rightful fit because his room was now destroyed and his house partially destroyed as well. 

Briefly the adventure loving teen wondered if Karkat was truly going to be alright, he had turned into an entirely different species after all. That must be hard to consider, not to mention his friends forgot about the game where nearly everyone was killed or already dead or something

The bonds he must have created were now gone and he had no where to turn to but them, maybe after the fight he should check on the little guy. See if he was going to be alright and all, Jake English always worried for all of his friend and Karkat was one of them now! 

"Skaia ta Engrish, um, English! C'mon Jakey, time to snap out uf 't!" Roxy urged the teen, jolting him out of his thoughts with a nervous yelp 

"Oh! I'm sorry Rox, just a little out of it there today. You know, memory headache and all" Jake waved it off with a fake cheery grin, Roxy narrowed her eyes at him before shrugging and nodding. 

"Okay, we really need like codenames for this. The government will not like us with the amount of destruction we're doing" Dave deadpanned as he brandished caledscratch. The others winced, yeah they were a bit careless in that as they were too used to wildly flailing their attacks around with no harm nor foul as the surroundings were usually either already decimated, deserted or only had other enemies around! 

Now they had to worry about civilians, homes and buildings and the like! Oh, that was going to be a pain

"Let's worry about that at a later date, we need to get rid of these fuckers first" Karkat declared as he tugged at his denizen, and instantly all four game monsters burst into wild action. Apparently that was the signal or something as Dave's denizen shot forward with its mouth gaping wide for the intent of swallowing the Knight of Time whole. 

All 5 God Tiers shot into action as well, weapons galore and powers fully functional. 

Jake shot from afar, using his Hope Aspect to boost the skills of the others and as well as keeping from safe at a distance. His Hope Aspect was more of a supporting type, boosting their damage, defense or upping their healing but he could not heal as much as Jane could with her Life Aspect and with her being the Maid of Life and all. But Jake was a wicked shot along with Roxy and was filled with hope being the Page of Hope and all. 

Roxy switched from going at it close and shooting from afar, her Void Aspect letting her do both as she disappeared and appeared in different places and confusing the denizens with the added ability of invisibility because she was the Rogue of Void. She appearified cubes and bent them to her will, commanding them to block, to attack or to help. She also focused on making sure the civilians were safe, as well as trying to prevent more damage to their surroundings. 

Karkat was swiftly darting in and out, using his sickles and Blood Aspect to his advantage. Being the Blood of Knight he could control blood to his will, mostly his blood but he was efficient in using it but he would always have to cut himself with anything sharp to will it. Controlling other blood was also a possibility but currently not much of an option, sure he could but it would take more effort and control especially if it was still in the body of a living being. He used the denizen's blood against them in short bursts, being constructs of the game despite bleeding made it a little harder to control the blood but he managed to do it in small amounts, making blood spikes stab the monsters. 

Dave disappeared in a flash of the shape of a red gear the sound of a gong and a clock's tock as he dodged the denizen's mouth, appearing behind it and tackling it down to the ground in a red blur. With time running through his veins because of his Time Aspect he could appear into the future any time unless it was crucial that he doesn't, the time that flows through him informs him whenever it was time to go, to stay, of if this was becoming a doomed timeline and sends him back to correct mistakes. Currently it told him everything was going smoothly and there were no anomalies nor current doomed timelines. 

John released his hold over the winged denizen as he burst into wind and appeared in front of its head, smashing it down with his hammer with the wind helping him crash down unto the monster. The wind was his friend and would help him whenever he needed it, it cradled him and stood by his side even before he had known of his Wind Aspect. He never felt scared of heights before, always knowing he would be safe as the wind blew through his hair. As the Heir of Breath, there was no need in fearing the wind. The wind could be molded into a somewhat physical construct like the chains he had recently learned how to do, though he was the first and longest to be the one in the God Tier echeladder there was much he needed to learn about his Aspect. 

The denizens fought madly, careless about their actions. As mindless as they were, they were very durable and took everything so far but they would fall eventually as the group of 5 continued to attack them. And from afar everyone watched in awe, fear and shock throughout everything. 

~~~~~*~~~~~

"Sir, please! We have no idea on what's going on, the energy readings are getting nothing out of this despite what's happening. We simply don't have the right equipment!"

"Then find some, build it I don't care! This isn't some childhood tv show, this is real life! And it has consequences, find out who these heroes are, find their strengths, their weaknesses, anything!! I'll be damned if the people think the government did nothing while its people are in danger." 

"Yes sir, as you say sir."

"I have no idea on what's going on but I'll be damned if we end up like the government in all those shows, we are going to do something. We aren't going to watch at the sidelines as the population is attacked by whatever the fuck this is... Fuck, if this is anything like those shows our heroes are currently experiencing puberty... Oh how fantastic!!! Hopefully this is something akin to the Justice League or somewhat, because if it is a bunch of teens out there... I'll fail as a father as well as a government official..." 

"..."

~~~~~*~~~~~

Kankri was in a state of panic, not even Cronus could calm him down to his usually rational self by talking to him.

"KARKAT!! KARKAT WHERE ARE YOU?!" he shouted as both he and Cronus ran around, dodging the debris and looking around for his missing little brother "KARKAT PLEASE!!" he continues. 

Cronus grabbed him and forcefully dragged him to the side, hiding behind the corner of a house as a monster and one of those people with powers appeared within sight. Kankri struggled in the arms of his boyfriend "Cronus let go, we need to find Karkat!" he pleaded.

The greaser-like teen grunted and tightened his hold "Look chief, I'm worried for him too but that doesn't mean throwing yourself into danger like this! Karkat's fine, he's a resourceful little guy. But for now, we need to get somewhere safe, we can look for him when we're not in imminent danger alright?" Kankri reluctantly nodded and both males went away from the current battlefield. Ignorant to the stare they got from the crimson wearing-teen that currently had hold over the monster. 

Karkat grunted sparing a glance to the retreating two before forcefully corralling the denizen away from the other houses, and where Kanrki and Cronus were,  and back to the place where John and the others were in. Bumping backs with Dave eventually. 

"Uh Karkat..." 

Fuck everything to hell. 

~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~

Jade bit her lip as she and her Grandpa stared at the tv, gasping whenever the camera shook violently and cheered at the ones who saved the news cast and more. 

Jake was barricaded in his room but the eldest teen new that her little brother was worried too, but apparently puberty was too much and refused to got down to watch with them.

Jade could hardly believe the monsters and everything if it weren't for the fact the news were live and the fact John wasn't answering, it wasn't just him too! Dave wasn't answering as well and Dirk and his eldest brother had no idea where he was so she was worried for him too. 

"Oh John, I hope you're okay" whispered the dog-loving teen, smiling at her grandfather when he hugged her close. 

Grandpa Harley smiled encouragingly at her "I'm sure John will be fine, he's a strapping young lad. Strong just like his father, he will be alright so no need to worry" he told her with a soft smile, hiding the worry he himself had for the young boy. 

Jade nodded before glancing at the stairs before her eyes went back to the tv, her worries slightly sated. 

~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~

"Final blow! Come on, let's do the combo thingy!" John prompted with a very tired grin as the five of them circled around the downed four denizens. Each of them battered but not wounded that badly. 

They knew what John was talking about, why the hell not? Maybe that final attack would finally kill these stubborn and sturdy jerks for good. 

"Ready?" Jake called out as the five of them floated still above the still alive but greatly wounded denizens whom were all tied up by both Johns and Karkat's chains. Both godly teens had a lot of energy put into those chains, being emotionally exhausted did not help at all. 

All five began to glow as their Aspect symbols appeared behind each of them, each waving their hands almost randomly and very mysteriously to the outside view as the symbols glow brighter and the denizens underneath them struggled harder. 

The blast was sudden as all five continued their gestures as a pillar of colorful light of dark and bright blue, bright yellow, both bright and dark red merged seamlessly and shot through the clouds and down below to the monsters that made so much damage on the surrounding neighborhood. 

John and the others halted and the pillar disappeared in a bright flash that had everyone but the five cover their eyes to shield themselves, when it was gone, all that was left of the monsters were bright bits that looked very strange. 

"Wait... grist?" John gasped as they flew down, touching the grist and watched it disappeared in a brief white flash "Guys, grist!!" he stressed to the others as they began to pick up the game constructs once more. 

"Welp... what now??" Roxy asked while tugging at her hood, the five of them glanced at each other before they glanced at the news cast and the few civilians that were brave enough to stop and film them. They all stared in silence before the news cast jolted and began to quickly make their way towards the soon enough-new superheroes. 

"Okay, time to go!" Karkat urged as they all jumped back up the air, ignoring the protests from the news cast. 

"Bye guys!" John said as he did his windy thing and burst into bright blue wind. 

"Later dorks" Dave told them with a shrug as he disappeared into a red cog with the sound of a gong and ticking clocks, probably following John. 

"Buh-Bye guys! Let's meet up another time!" Roxy sang as she faded from view.

"So long chaps!" cheered Jake as he turned into a bright ball of yellow light and zipped right out of there

"Fuck you all, we are talking about this later" Karkat deadpanned as the blood from his wrists covered him completely and his form liquefied before darting away. 

The people watching them were confused, the government was confused, heck the five god tiered teens themselves were confused, everyone was confused. 

The Aftermath was quite the something as reality began to process this day, anime and cartoon fans everywhere in conflict, realists joining the fray, governments trying to figure out what to do, five teens trying to figure out what to do, yes, the aftermath was quite the something

Chapter Text


 

turntechGodhead [TG] reopened PRIVATE MEMO Okay WTF

TG: okay
TG: shit
TG: guys, wtf do we do now??
TG: the whole world knows we fucking exist now
TG: this is like some shitty anime that my brothers obsess over
TG: yes brothers with an s as in more than one
TG: holy shit brothers with an s as in more than one
TG: fuck what do i say to them?!
TG: fuck
TG: they're going to pirouette off the motherfucking handle and kick my ass for ignoring their messages
TG: my ass will be kicked the moment i either respond or go back to the apartment
TG: im dead dude
EB: dave calm down!
EB: we'll think of something later
CG: ACTUALLY FOR ONCE I'M WITH FUCKING STRIDER ON THIS
CG: THE OTHERS ARE PESTERING THE FUCK OUT OF ME
CG: THEY'RE ACTUALLY CONCERN AND WORRIED FOR ME HOLY SHIT
CG: WHAT THE FUCK DO I FUCKING SAY?!?
CG: 'OH HEY SORRY FOR WORRYING THE FUCK OUT OF ALL OF YOU BUT FUCK I WAS FIGHTING MONSTERS FROM A GAME NONE OF YOU SHITHEADS CAN REMEMBER!!!'
CG: THEN THERE'S MOTHERFUCKING KANKRI TO EXPLAIN SHIT ABOUT!! APASDUHF
TG: oh fuck, welp i guess i'm lucky i just went up to my room and went out the window as beta mom me and rosey were busy
GT: I locked myself in my room and told both jade and beta grampa me to leave me alone
GT: They think i'm going through the very awkward stage of puberty or something of the like
GT: For christ's sake beta me even gave me that blasted TALK through the door of my bedroom!!
EB: hahahahahahaha :)
EB: okay back to seriousness here
EB: um, quick we need to help dave and karkat
EB: any ideas??
TG: none fucking here
CG: I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE ON WHAT TO SAY, SHIT I THINK SOLLUX IS THREATENING TO HACK ME IF I DON'T RESPOND OR SOME WHIT
CG: THINK OF SOMETHING FAST!!
TG: i gotz it!
TG: tell em this


 

TA: kk we can see you online you ass!!
TA: respond you goddamn douche you worried the fuck out of us!!
GC: karkles are you okay?!
GA: Please say something, are you alright? Where are you??
AG: Goddamnit Vantas say something already!!
TC: motherfucking best friend Do: 
TC: shit you alright bro?!
AT: your okay right? 
CA: kar say something already!
CC: KARKAT

carcinoGeneticist [CG] is an active chum
carcinoGeneticist [CG] has responded to the memo

CG: I'M FINE
CG: FUCK
CG: CALM THE FUCK DOWN EVERYBODY
CG: I'M TOTALLY FUCKING FINE, JUST A BIT
CG: BRUISED IS ALL
TA:
TA: je2u2 fuckiing chrii2t kk you worriied the fuck out of u2
TA: you goddamn douche!!
GC: K4RK4T YOUR3 OK4Y!!
GA: Phew
GA: We Were Getting Really Worried There Karkat
CC: KARCRAB 8D
CA: there we go, it's fuckin great to knoww you're okay kar
TC: BeSt MoThErFuCkInG fRiEnD!! 8oDDD
TC: iT's A gOdDaMnEd MiRaClE!! 8ODD
AG: Fiiiiiiiinally!! D::::< 
AG: Did you know how worried we were Vantas????????!!!!!!!!
AT: oH,,, wHAT A RELIEF :D
CG: YEAH YEAH
TA: dude, where the fuck were you?! 
GC: Y34H K4NKR1 1S GO1NG NUTS LOOK1NG FOR YOU
CG: OH 
CG: SHIT
AT: uMM,,,, mIND TELLING US WHERE YOU WERE KARKAT??
AT: yOU REALLY MADE US WORRY THERE
AG: Yeah num8 nuts, where in fuck's name were you?!
AG: Pesterchum even said your computer was smashed!!!!!!!!
CA: actually yeah
CA: wwhat happened wwith that?
CG: I DON'T FUCKING KNOW
CG: I THINK MY ROOM IS NOW DESTROYED ALONG WITH SOME OF MY HOUSE
CG: ONE OF THOSE DENIZENS DESTROYED IT
CC: Denizens??? 8?
CG: FUCK
CG: THOSE MONSTERS
CG: SOME OF THE PEOPLE ARE CALLING THEM DENIZENS SO WHY THE FUCK NOT??
CC: o)(
CG: ANYWAY
CG: I SNUCK OUT THE WINDOW WHEN KANKRI WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE OF HIS LECTURES
CG: I TURNED OFF MY PHONE SO I WOULDN'T BE BOMBARDED WITH CALLS AND TEXTS FROM HIM WHEN HE FOUND OUT THAT I WASN'T IN MY FUCKING ROOM
CG: THEN EVERYTHING WENT TO HELL
AT: tHOSE MONSTERS APPEARED, mY HOUSE IS PRETTY MUCH WRECKED AND I THINK RUFIOH AND I WILL HAVE TO STAY AT SOMEONE ELSE'S PLACE
AG: Well d8n't look at me! My house is pretty much wr8cked too!!!!!!!!
AG: W8t Tavros are you okay????????
AG: You said you were on the ground when everything started, your cane br8ke too
AT: iM FINE,,,, i'M WAITING FOR RUFIOH TO COME HOME AND HELP ME
AT: iM STUCK IN THE LIVING ROOM RIGHT NOW AND MY LEG HURTS A BIT BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS FINE
TC: ShIt TaVbRo, NeEd A mOtHeRfUcKeR's HeLp NoW??
TC: i CoUlD cOmE oVeR wItH KuRlOz AnD sHiT
AT: uMMM,,, iT'S OKAY GAMZ, i THINK RUFIOH WILL BE HERE ANY MOMENT BUT THANKS FOR THE OFFER
AT: aCTUALLY IF YOU DON'T MIND,,,, tHINK WE COULD STAY AT YOUR PLACE FOR NOW??
TC: Of CoUrSe BrO
TC: aNyTiMe :o)
TC: HoNk
CG: JEGUS FUCKING CHRIST
TC: HmMmM??? 
TC: wHaT's Up KaRbRo??
CG: NOTHING GAMZEE, ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING
CG: ANYWAY, I THINK I'LL GO LOOK FOR KANKRI
CG: AND TRY TO AVOID BEING FUCKING GROUNDED OR SOME SHIT
CG: BYE YOU NOOKWHIFFERS

carcinoGeneticist [CG] has left the memo

CA: wwhat the fuck is a nookwwhiffer???
TA: ii have no fuckiing clue
GA: Well It's Nice To Know That Karkat is okay
GC: HOLD UP FOR JUST ON3 S3COND
GA: Hmm??
GC: W3 ONLY 4SK3D 1F H3 W4S 'OK4Y'!!
GC: NOT 1F H3 W4S HURT OR 4NYTH1NG!!! >:(
GC:H3 TOLD US H3 ONLY H4D SOM3 BRU1S3S 4ND D1DN'T S4Y 4NYTH1NG 3LS3 SO W3 DON'T KNOW 1F H3'S 4CTU4LLY OK4Y OR NOT!!!>>:[
GC: TH4T 4ND W3 ST1LL DON'T KNOW WH4T H3 D1D WH1L3 H3 W3NT OUT
GA: Oh Dear... She's Right
TA: goddamniit 


 

turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT]

TG: yo
TT: Dude
TT: Where the fuck were you
TT: Bro's pretty much flipping his shit trying to get you to answer his texts
TG:
TG: huh
TT: And what 'huh' exactly mean?
TG: nothing, fuck
TG: i'm fine btw, just a bit sore
TT: What happened
TG: okay, so like i said i went out in my text right?
TG: just went out for a for some fucking apple juice and some good ol' junk food 
TT: Dave we have apple juice in the apartment
TT: And a fuck ton of junk food
TT: There was no need to go out to buy more
TT: We clearly have enough to last for at least a week. 
TG: i knew that
TG: i just wanted to get more dammit, you know me and applejuice dude
TG: we're like that fucking sappy married couple that can't stand to be apart
TG: unable to spend one minute away from each other
TG: less we become dramatical saps that will suck each other's faces off upon touching each other again
TG: 'oh my love how i missed you' 'no how i missed you darling' 'kiss me' 'no kiss me'
TG: *extreme motherfuckingly obnoxious and sloppy make-out noises*
TT: Gross
TT: What the fuck man
TT: Okay I get it
TT: You love AJ
TT: AJ loves you
TT: Please don't continue that
TG: heh
TT: Anyway, you were saying?
TG: my dramatic and sappy love marriage with applejuice?
TT: Fuck no
TT: Where the fuck did you go and what was so important that you ignored both Bro and my texts you douche
TG: if i'm the douche then you're the prick
TT: Whatever but seriously Dave, Bro was really worried about you
TG: 
TG: 
TT: Dave?
TG: yeah shit sorry
TG: spaced out for a minute, thought i heard something
TG: anyway, so continuing on my story of my perilous quest for my love AJ
TG: which i did find btw
TG: i decided to just walk around some more, maybe buy some random piece of junk if i felt like it
TG: then all of a sudden that earthquake came from fucking nowhere
TT: Yeah, that was strange
TT: Coming out of nowhere like that
TG: so that happens and i'm like
TG: 'the fuck???' 
TG: then the whole monster thing happened and i'm like
TG: 'the actual fuck???'
TT: Again, that was strange and supposed to be an impossibility  TT: Monsters were not supposed be real
TT: But apparent reality is a fucking anime now
TT: Feel my hype
TG: heh yeah, you and bro would be so fucking hyped all over this shit huh?
TG: and then those superheroes appeared and i'm like 
TG: 'okay cool but the actual literal fuck???
TT: Hell yes
TG: hell
TT: Fucking
TG: yes
TT: Yes
TT: From what I could observe through the shaky news film the possibility of them being teens is a high 92% 
TT: That and anime law pretty much calls for it
TG: yup
TG: also egbert called me during all this
TT: Oh yeah
TT: Yo is he alright?
TT: Jane and her family freaked the fuck out about the whole thing
TG: he fell down the stairs when the earthquake happened
TG: i warned him bro
TG: about those fucking stairs
TT: Heh
TT: But seriously is he okay? 
TT: I've got Jane on another tab pestering me about John and you
TG: me? 
TT: You know the Crocker-Egberts, always concerned about us Striders
TG: point
TG: okay going back to egdork
TG: he's fine btw
TG: just a bit bruised from the stair shit
TG: and pretty much hid in his kitchen when the monster shit happened
TG: he occupied my time on the phone so i couldn't reply to anyone else
TG: dude when he's scared he goes all gattling gun of emotions
TG: pretty much began babbling about 
TG: stuff
TT: Stuff
TT: And pray tell what stuff?
TG: nothing, just the usual things. he was pretty much trying to get me to make his will or something
TG: then his scared babbling turned into excited babbling when the teen heroes appeared
TG: so i couldn't reply to any of bro's shit because i was being a bro to my best bro
TT: Hm
TT: Bro is still going to kick your ass 
TT: But it'll probably not hurt as much as it should've been
TT: He's reading this too for your information
TG:
TG:
TG:
T: Dave, what was that?
TG: what was what?
TT: The gaps dude, what the fuck
TT: Is something wrong?
TG: nothing
TG: it's nothing, just thought i saw something again
TT: Okay, that's it. Where are you?
TG: park
TG: don't worry i'm heading back to the apartment now
TT: ...
TT: Alright
TT: Just hurry the fuck up
TT: Bro's getting twitchy
TG: fuck
TG: okay okay
TG: i'm going
TG: jegus
TT: Jegus?
TG: i meant jesus
TG: gog

turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering timeausTestified [TT]

TT: ...

Dirk paused as he showed Bro the chat, his mind thinking on how weird Dave was behaving. 

It was probably nothing. 

Meanwhile Dave kissed John goodbye before flying out the window and disappearing with the sound of a gong.


"John!" 

John jolted as he hears the door bang open, in a flash he's out of his god tier outfit and into the clothes he wore before. He's surprised to see his dad pretty much run into the kitchen, where he was currently in and where Dave left through the window. 

"Dad?" he said hesitantly and jolted as the older man flung himself to him. He hissed as the father hugged him, instantly Jack is off his son to see what's wrong and sees the slightly bruises and small cuts on his arms. 

"You're hurt! What happened, are you okay? Where you scared? Don't worry son I'm here, I shouldn't have left you alone like this. Joe and Jane are coming and they were worried sick just like I was when everything happened. Young man why didn't answer my calls?!" 

John was stunned as his father prompted him to the living room and kept talking, scolding and asking him stuff. 

This was bizarre for the Heir of Breath. 

"Dad I'm fine! I was just going down the stairs when the earthquake happened and tripped. There's no need to call an ambulance!" he finally told him as the older Egbert waved around a phone, already a 91 typed in. 

Jack frowns and looks at his son, a little hesitant to believe his son's words but relented. His son was fine, he was a strong boy and he was probably overdoing it with the whole ambulance thing. 

"Alright, but let me patch you up." he urged as he stood to get the med kit he had somewhere in the house, pranks were sometimes very dangerous and it pays to be cautious. 

John sighs in relief as he sits down on the couch, he was relieved that Jake, Karkat and Roxy immediately left after Roxy told both what Karkat and Dave what to do and say. It wasn't much but it would be enough for the mean time. Dave was the last one to leave, Dirk pestering him as he did. 

He had honestly forgotten about his dad being there after.... years of getting used to him... not being there.

His chest ached, worst then it did when he had been stabbed on multiple occasions. 

What was he going to do now? What were they all going to do now?! 

They were teens in a new but very familiar environment, practically war veterans retired like in those movies he had watched so long ago. Actually it seemed to be more than that. They had their powers, their sylladexes, their memories of the damned game

But at the same time they also had memories of this place. Where they hadn't played the game, where everything was different and they were all somewhat normal. But the memories of the game were overwhelming, and were taking over, the memories were there and were unavoidable along with the game it seemed. 

It wasn't fair. 

He clenched his fists, controlling his wind and his tears. 

It really wasn't fair. 

"John!!" 

He was jolted out of his thoughts as out of no where Jane and her dad appeared, looking very tired and very relieved. 

"Jane?" he asked as both his ecto-biological sister/mother/daughter/grandmother now cousin close in on him. She gasped and worried over his bruises, his.. uncle? was doing the same as well as trying to calm them both down. 

It was a sight to see when Jack finally came back with the med kit, seeing his son being coddled and fussed over by his niece and brother. 

"Joe, Jane! You came! And so early..." Joe grinned at him tiredly as Jack went by their side, opening the med kit. 

"Of course we did brother! When family is in danger we will come every time. No matter what, traffic was hell but we took several short cuts and hoofed it here as fast as we possibly could. Janey here even became a big girl and actually ran here when we were stuck on the highway, the road was damaged so our car is somewhere up there. I followed of course, I swear she gets that from you"

Jack laughs wholeheartedly, yes that was true seeing as he did the very same. His car was probably still on the road, oh he'll worry about that later on. 

Jane pouted at her dad before turning to the stunned eyes of her cousin "John? Are you truly alright?" she asks him worriedly. 

"Um, yes. I'm fine! Like I said earlier I was just going down the stairs when the earthquake happened and tripped! That's all!" John insisted, glad that he for his OP god powers now. Those powers made him very durable, it healed his minor cuts but left the bruises that should be broken bones and skin. 

Yeah, dying for these powers seemed to have been worth it. 

"Oh good, by golly you must have been so scared! We heard it over the radio! Was it true that there were actual superheroes?" all three Egberts/Crockers zoned in on John who gulped and nodded. 

He told them what he could, they talked about it contemplating and exchanging theories. 

John smiled a little as he watched them, staying silent for once rather than joining the discussion. 

This was okay. Yeah, he could work with this. 

The pain went away as he let his dad, imissedyoui'msorryyou'reheremissedyousomuch, clean up his bruises and patch up what he could. 

They didn't deserve to be subjected to the game anymore. 

That was the one thing John realized as all three family members moved to the kitchen, dragging him as well claiming it was time for some good old cake. For once, he wouldn't mind. 

They didn't remember the game, they didn't deserved to be hurt by it again. He won't let it. It wasn't fair yeah but he refused to let them get hurt by that damned game again, never again. He'll protect them, keep them safe, they won't have to worry about the game. 

They would live their normal lives, safe and sound. Maybe it's for the best, no it was for the best. The five of them can do it, they'll protect the others and keep them safe.

No matter what, everything was going to be okay. They'll make sure of it.

He'll talk about this to the others later, right now he actually wanted to try his father's baking. Missing it a lot all these years. 


 

"KARKAT THANK GOD YOU'RE OKAY, OH I WAS SO WORRIED NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. THAT WAS THE MOST STUPIDEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE DO YOU HEAR ME KARKAT VANTAS?! WAIT YOU'RE HURT! CRONUS! GET ME A MEDKIT STAT, OH DEAR LOOK AT YOU I BLUH BLUH"

Karkat cringed within the hold of Kankri, his face red as his ancestor/brother/son whatever fussed over him. Ranting and caring for him at the same time, Cronus, bluh, didn't even try to calm down his... matesprit? What was the human word? Boyfriend? Yeah that's it. 

"I'm fucking fine! Kankri, let go! I just cut myself trying to get the fuck out of the whole mess!" 

"Chief Jr. you made us both worry, what would your dad think over all of this?"

Karkat froze as he remembered his custodian... father. Fuck. He forgot. 

The Signless was now his father lusus, he remembers faintly that his lusus was away at the moment across the country to attend some preaching thing. 

"Oh I nearly forgot! I must contact father about this! He must be so worried! Oh dear, it seems I left my phone at home. Wait, our home! It's half-destroyed now!" 

Fuck, he forgot about that too. Gogdammit Strider

"No worries chief, I can ask my pops if you guys can stay at our place. Eridan won't mind, I certainly won't." Cronus said reassuringly. Karkat stiffened slightly at the mention of Eridan, great. He remembers he would have to confront his friends over this again, not to mention deal with the fact everyone was human now. 

And the fact no one but him and the others remembered the game.

Fuck his gogdamned life to hell and back. 


ectoBiologist [EB] has opened a memo Um Hey Guys

ectoBiologist [EB] has invited everyone to the memo

EB: umm
EB: hi guys 

tentacleTherapist [TT] has joined the memo
gardenGnostic [GG] has joined the memo
gutsyGumshoe [GG] has joined the memo
timeaus Testified [TT] has joined the memo
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] has joined the memo
golgothasTerror [GT] has joined the memo

GG: JOHN!!!!! :DDD
GG: WE WERE SO WORRIED ABOUT YOU!!!
TT: JONATHAN EGBERT YOU WORRIED US FOR GOD'S SAKE!
TT: Dave was right, you're okay.
GG: Well he is a bit bruised from falling down the stairs during the earthquake but other than that he's fine :B
TG: heehee i knew he was gonna be totes alright!
EB: woah
EB: jeez guys
EB: um
EB: sorry about worrying you guys
EB: especially you two, jade, rose
TT: Next time, please reply to our messages so we know you're alright John
TT: We were really worried about you
GG: YEAH!! >:(
EB: hehe
GT: By jove, it seems everything turned out to be alright after all
GT: I was quite worried when i heard about the earthquake and monster thing on the telly
GG: jake you were locked in your room the whole day!
GT: Internet jade, do remember we have free access of the internet
GT: I followed the news and the ridiculous amounts of posts on the internet
GT: Not even a full day and the internet is going bonkers over everything!
TT: Well yeah
TT: People everywhere are going batshit insane over this because anime is now reality
TT: Fuck yes
GG: Dirk :/...
TT: I'm just waiting out for the cat-eared anime babes to appear any moment now
EB: hehehehe
GT: Oh dear...
TG: *snockers insanely*
TG: yeaahh
TG: cat eared girls
TT: Hmm?
TT: Roxy, are you alright?
TG: mm?
TG: it's nuthin' Rosey
TG: just weirdly elated ober evurything
TG: *over *everything
TG: also a bit tired
GG: I as well am tired
GG: We went over a lot to get to John's house to make sure he was okay
EB: jane you jumped out of your car and booked it
EB: your dad had to run after you
EB: actually my dad did the same when he was stuck in traffic
GG: Yes! Well...
GG: We were really worried about you
GG: So
TT: Awesome
EB: actually dirk
EB: where's dave?
GG: actually yeah, where is the coolkid?
GG: he's usually here by now
GT: Yes, please enlighten us on the where about of the other strider
TT: It look's like he's offline, he was online shortly a while ago if I recall correctly
TT: Oh yeah
TT: Bro's scolding and kicking the shit out of him right now
TT: I can here Bro from my room, Dave's in trouble for ignoring our texts when the whole thing happened
TT: Said he was talking to you John the whole time
TT: Calming you down or something when you were telling him 
TT: Stuff
TT: Apparently
EB: oh yeah!
EB: erm
EB: stuff
EB: i guess i was kinda panicking over the whole thing and decided to call dave on a panicky whim
EB: then the whole thing happened and i was just on the phone with him the whole time 
GG: Oh, you neglected to tell us that tidbit of information John
EB: sorry, i was kinda overwhelmed over everything
EB: monsters and superheroes and bluh
GG: I guess I cannot argue over that
GG: I myself am still reeling with the whole reality of things
TT: Anime, our lives are anime now
TT: But I think we're not the main characters
TT: Anyone here got any super secret super powers?
TT: Any mysterious mystical animals appear offering wishes of some shit?
GT: None here at all!
TG: NOPE
EB: no...
GG: no :/
TT: Unfortunately no
GG: Goodness no
TT: Bummer
TT: Well in that case
TT: Luck to those teens and shit
TT: Managing normal life with that crazy bucket of shenanigans is going to be tough for them
TT: Teens? 
TT: It's a 97% chance that they are teens
TT: From what I can tell from the shaky footage anyway, that and Anime law calls for it most of the time
EB: oh
TT: Yeah
TG: aren't they just awesome?? :D
TG: the one in dark blue using the gun is the best so far ;)
TT: I like the one in red using the sword, a katana would've been better but hey beggars can't be choosers
EB: the blue windy boy is the one for me ;B
GG: i like all of them!
GG: they saved everyone so i like them all :B
TT: I don't really favor any of them at the moment, seems to soon to pick favorites
GT: Oh boulder dash rose!
GT: They all did smashing!
GT: Especially the handsome page in yellow :D
TT: Well it could've been a girl so 
GG: yeah jake don't be sexist :P
GT: What?!
EB: haahahah
TG: snork
GG: Hoo hoo
TT: The footage is too shaky and they don't really have a clear shot of the heroes in the end. We can only guess their genders and ages right now. But I must say, quite odd choices for clothing. 
TT: They mostly seem to be more like pajamas more than anything
EB: well i think they still look awesome!
GT: Agreed!


"Roxy are you sure this line is secure?" John asked as he floated above his home, enjoying the night sky and it's comfortable chilly air. 

On his head were the Cobsy-Head-top and in front of him were five open tabs of pesterchum's video log. 

Roxy grinned from her pink tab "Of coarse I'm sure Johnny! Trust me! I've still gotz mah skillz from ta future!" she cheered as she appeared to be flying as well. She made sure to patch him and everyone all up and make it look like they were offline at the moment when in reality they were online and talking to each other. Being from the dystopian future had its perks, like the advance coding and shit like that.

"Okay, we gotta make this quick though. Kankri and Cronus are being worry-fuckasses and pretty much acting like a pair of lusii here! I only got to contact you guys like this because they finally crashed down from the whole fucking mess" Karkat told them from his gray tab, a tired scowl on his face. 

"Dave, are you alright? You've been awfully quite there chap" Jake asked in concern as the four of them focused on the Knight of Time who just stoically stayed silent for a bit. 

"Dave?" John asked softly, the blonde sighed breaking his stoic character. 

Dave shrugged "'M fine bro, just... the whole shit's been exhausting... especially with the whole 'Bro and Dirk' things... This Bro's fucking different than before... probably because he ain't got that damned demonic puppet with him anymore" he growled darkly, their faces darkened. 

Ah yes, Lil' Cal.

"I mean, he's still got it but it ain't the same goddamn thing. I know, I checked. But that thing still gives me the fucking creeps." Dave snorted and grumbled, smiling when John sent him a reassuring smile "Anyway, I'll get over it. Maybe. At least we're not alone on this huh? Things would have gone to hell if only one of us remembered" that got them shivering. 

Had only one of them remembered, things would have gone south no matter who it was that had regained their memories. They were glad that they still had each other at least in the end. 

"So my chums, what the dickens do we do now? I mean it's obvious that this adventure is just getting started but there are other things we have to worry about as well!" Jake asked with a bit of worry.

"Well furst off, if we're gonna go all 'anime-super-teen-squad' as Di-Stri woulda put it... We're gons need a secret base!" Roxy said with a grin, they nodded in agreement. That was a good point, their fight revealed that the game was still on seeing as the denizens pretty much exploded into grist. 

"I think I can totes pull out an alhemiwhazits when we find out base. I'mma need Jakey's help for dat" she continued, Jake grinned and proclaimed he would be happy to help. 

"Okay, since it's getting pretty late and I know we're all pretty tired right now. There's just two more things I wanna say, first is the code name thing that Dave mentioned earlier on. We're going to need that but we'll come up to it on a later time since we still gotta adjust to... all of this" John exclaimed, waving his hands a bit at the end before he let his face turn serious making the others straighten their backs. 

"I think we should keep this to ourselves, we won't get anyone else involved into this. The other's don't deserve to be sucked into the game again, not when they don't even remember it and they don't have their powers, their sylladexes, nothing. 

We'll keep them in the dark for this, protect them. We all know how everything went and how fucked up this game is, we all have a new chance to live our lives again but it's not to going to stay like that forever. Those denizens were just the start and I don't know when or what's at the end but unless the others get their memories and powers, they're not going to get involved in this. Agreed?" the others turned to each other, realization on their faces. 

They looked conflicted for a bit before they remembered the game and everything they went through, it was a bitter thought that they won't get to be as normal as the others but they cared for them and they would protect them from harm. 

"You gots it Johnny!"

"I'm fucking fine with it, the others went through hell before. I'm not letting them go through it all again, never again"

"I suppose you are quite right John, it seems for the best for the others don't get involved in this." 

"I'm right with ya Egdork, but one problem... what happens when they find out anyway? We all know on how stubborn they all fucking are, they won't take this lightly John..." 

John stayed silent for a bit before answering.

"We'll cross that river when we get there, for now. I think it's best we take a few days off unless otherwise, that and get adjusted with all of this. Especially you Karkat, you'll need it the most"

Karkat grumbled and scowled "Don't fucking remind me you nookstain, fuck this is going to be the fucking worse. Anyway, bye you giant ignoramuses. I need to get back before Kankri wakes the fuck up and gets all pissy again when he finds out I'm not sleeping... like I can fucking sleep properly without a pile or a fucking recuperacoon" he bit back a yawn and grumbled bitterly before his tab went dark. 

John, Dave, Jake and Roxy stayed up a little longer before logging out. They all needed to sleep and rest, the events of today were getting to them and the memories of the game just made them even more tireder. 

John sighed as he changed out of his God Tier clothing again, captchalouging it and mentally went over things and planned for the future slightly. He was tired, physically, mentally and especially emotionally. He kept fighting back his tears during the time he shared with his dad along with Jane and his 'uncle'. 

Everything was changing but that was okay, he thinks at least. But he'll know he and the others will make it okay and as long as they stuck together they would make it through and finally end the damn game. 

He didn't sleep that well that night but at least he got some rest. 


 

Meanwhile in the Strider Apartment. 

Bro sighed as he ended the call, he had to cancel out his gig tonight at the club. He wanted to make sure his lil' bros were doing alright, the earthquake and monster attack, monster attack dude, made him a bit paranoid. 

Dirk was asleep already, passed out at his laptop looking up at the internet and watching its reaction with the latest news. 

Dave should be asleep now, he better be. His gut churned a bit in guilt as he remember that Dave barely said a thing with his head down as Bro scolded him earlier, he'll make it up to him later but right now he deserved that for worrying him like that. 

But still, that was a bit weird as Dave usually rebuked in his scoldings even a little bit but Dave just stayed quiet and just took it. 

He groaned and sat down on his futon, he needed to sleep off the headache right now. 

He inhaled before exhaling and closed his eyes, his shades were already off earlier so they weren't a problem. 

He was mostly-asleep by the time Dave came back into the apartment, silently floating in the air in his God Tier clothes. The Knight of Time breathed through his nose before releasing an exhaling breath, he looked away and floated back into his room. 

Everything was going to be a-okay Dave thought to himself as he floated into his room, passing Dirk's room as he did. 

Chapter Text


 

Karkat inhaled and exhaled, currently uncomfortably laying down on a human bed. He resists squirming as his 'brother' is right beside him asleep. 

He can't sleep. He can't possibly sleep. He's not in a recuperacoon nor on a pile.

He sighs tiredly and sneaks out of the bed. Kankri shuffled and curled around the pillow that Karkat used as his substitution from the former mutant's embrace. 

He tugged at his sweater, not even wincing at the tingling shivers of pain that came from underneath. That was going to be a problem, human skin scar so easily. He rolled up his sleeve a bit, staring at the fresh few new scars he himself made in the fight. There were only 3 scars on his right wrist, 2 on his left. 

Karkat scowled at them, this was going to cause problems as his human side of memory brought up the subject of 'Self-Harm' at the sight of these scars. It wasn't wrong per say, but by human standards it would be seen as an act of depression and one step towards Suicide. 

He glanced back at Kankri before rolling back down the sweater sleeve, he was going to have to wear long sleeved shirts and cover up the scars and marks. He would also try not to use his wrists mostly, try to use other places to draw blood which was going to be a bit hard since he was more used to using his wrists. Trolls didn't scar and mark easily, even when he was a mutant he didn't scar that easily but that maybe because he was a troll and the Knight of Blood. 

But now he was human and Knight of Blood, seems like he lost his hard-to-scar perk. 

Fuck, fuck his new life. It can just fuck off the metaphorical handle and do a sloppy ass pirouette into a gogdamned bucket for all he could care. Yeah, he fucking went there.

He glanced at Kankri one last time before sneaking out of the room, currently they were in the Ampora household. Kankri had accepted Cronus's offer, Ampora's father lusus had accepted. He shivered a bit and was glad it was over the phone, Cronus and by extension Eridan's father lusus was the Orphaner Dualscar. 

Granted they were now human and shit but that didn't make it less terrifying for him, as much as he had disliked and disregarded the concept of ancestors he knew of many old trolls that were terrifying and now reluctantly acknowledged the fact that they were real. 

He was going to be utterly terrified for the next few days, reason? He was a gogdamned troll kid before, adults terrified him and though things were now different you cannot just forget being afraid for your life against the elder race of trolls. And most lusii human-turned trolls were still kind of terrifying. 

Their ancestors were now their guardian lusii, Feferi's mother lusus was the human version of The Condesce wtf. Yeah, he's so staying away from her for the mean time. The battle with The Condesce and other gogdamned over powered antagonists fresh in his mind. 

Fuck. 

He snuck past Cronus's room as well as Eridan's room, Eridan had finally asked on what the hell he was doing out after escaping Kankri's rants earlier on but thankfully he didn't ask it with Kankri and Cronus around so he avoided answering them. Unfortunately he had to answer Eridan in return. 

He told him he was just wandering around sulking his ass and bought some snacks or whatever. It temporarily got the Ampora off his back but the suspicious look he got told him it wasn't going to be the last of him. 

Karkat sighed as he went down the stairs, it was late night or maybe really early morning. His internal clock was already fucked up on the meteor but might as well add that to the long list of things he has to fucking adjust to. 

It would be hard to do so though, just like it was going to be hard acting like a normal human. Trolls were nocturnal, humans are not. Well, he's not a troll anymore but he has memories and experience as one and they were overwhelming the human side of him already. 

If that made any sense. 

Karkat looked through the fridge, looking for anything to eat or drink. He's not that thirsty or hungry though. 

He settles for cold water instead and just sits on the couch in the darkness, his eyes adjust easily to the darkness despite them being human. 

He curses his luck for being the only one in the troll group to remember, half of the humans managed to remember but he was the only one. He grumbles bitterly, refusing to acknowledge the wetness in his eyes. Human tears are oddly transparent and colorless and he's used to the bright red transparent liquid during the rare times he lets himself cry. 

He wipes them quickly and reinforces himself, he won't cry here. Not in the Ampora household, maybe when he's all alone in the house on a good pile covered with a shit ton of blankets or something. It's the best he could afford with no moirail at least. 

Fuck. 

Okay, enough mushy feelings. Focus on other things Vantas!

He forcefully pushes his thoughts away from romance at the moment and back to the fact he was the only one who could remember. Once again fuck his dumbass luck for that, but it would be for the best. The game fucked everyone up and he actually cared for the nooksniffing assholes too much to have them get hurt again by the shitty game.

Not that he'd ever admit it out loud without forceful prompting. 

He would have to tread carefully though, the healing scars on his wrists were on problem he would have to deal with already in the future. Not to mention his sleeping problem. He groaned as his head throbbed a bit, his headache hadn't completely disappeared it seemed.

"Trouble sleeping kiddo?"

Karkat jolted, swearing loudly and nearly spilling water on himself from the sudden voice that came out of fucking nowhere. It was deep and familiar and it brought with it light for the whole room making him partially blind for a bit, fuck.

It was Human Dualscar, Human Fucking Dualscar. Oh gog, he did not expect to interact with one of the human-turned troll adults yet! Fuck his luck! Fuck it right in the wastechute! Ngaaaaah!!! And gogdamnit, his eyes adjusted to the sudden light as fast as they could while he forced himself to relax.

"Woah there kiddo, didn't mean to scare ya." Dualscar said in amusement, the fucking prick. 

He looks just like Human Cronus with mixes of Human Eridan, they were all a family of blondes with the obsession of violet. Both Eridan and Dualscar a part of their hair while Cronus just went with a few violet highlights. Eridan and Dualscar wore glasses, with Dualscar spending only half of his time in them rather than all the time with Eridan (with the exception of swimming of course) but Cronus and Dualscar got the same tattoo of the family symbol of Aquarius, with Cronus on his forehead of course but Dualscar settled on having it on both sides of his neck like gills, jegus fucking christ.

Actually Dualscar's name in this world was Alpheus, Alpheus. Gah...

"You alright there short stuff?" Dual-Alpheus , asked as the blonde adult sat on the other couch across from Karkat. He was dressed in a business suit, he was a Boss to a zoo but more specifically the marine part of the zoo. Even in another universe Amporas and Piexes cannot stay away from sea life. 

Ondine Piexes, Human Condesce, was a fucking marine biologist for gog's sake. 

"'m fine" Karkat replied as he settled back down, trying to hide his tense posture by slouching and cradling his glass of half-empty water. He was not ready for this dammit!

"Are you sure? Because today was one hell of a day, I got a call from your dad. Said he was coming back early" Alpheus informed him with a tired grin as the youngest Vantas winced, oh yeah. 

The Signless went by Kelvin Vantas here and was of course as he mentioned many times before, his father lusus, erm father. Fuck, need to get used to human terms now! At least in front of them! He could use any Alternian slang if he wanted in front of John and the others but to his own friends?

He is not going to the whole mental asylum thing that the humans seem have going! Fuck that! Not a fucking chance! Hell and the chance they'll report it to whatever is even worse! That and he wants them away from the whole game, fuck yeah. 

Grr, he was going to have to watch what he'll have to say. Gogdammit. 

"Still there kiddo? Maybe you should get to bed, your dad's coming in a few days so no need to worry. In the meantime we need to deal with the destruction of the neighborhood and your house" Alpheus sighs as he loosens his tie, Karkat just nodded mutely and drank the rest of his water forcing out a hoarse 'thanks' to him and booking it out of there. Tense as hell. 

Yeah, like that's not fucking suspicious! Way to go Vantas!

Karkat quickly puts the glass in the sink and gets the hell out of dodge with a quick 'Goodnight Mr. Ampora', that left a bitter and strange taste on his tongue gog, and ran back up the stairs to the confused amusement of Alpheus Ampora. 

Alpheus on the other hand watched the black-haired boy practically sprint up the stairs in confusion and amusement, he wonders why Karkat is acting a bit strange. But he couldn't blame him, he was probably still reeling from the whole monsters and superhero event that happened in their neighborhood. He knows he is. 

The adult sighed and slouched back into the couch, tiredly getting his glasses of his face. He had to deal with a lot today, the earthquake messed with some of the plumbing back at the zoo and nearly drained a whole aquarium filled with cuttlefish. Ondine would pretty much have his dick if her favorite species of cuttlefish, a love that has spread throughout her family, were harmed and died. They managed to save them though, luckily. 

Then the whole superhero thing happened, which boggled his mind

This was not how reality works. 

This was not how it works universe, no, just, no

Already people everywhere were drawing up theories about the heroes and most of the population were already set on the theory that these heroes were teens, teens fighting monsters in real life. Then Kelvin called about his sons, ranting and being Kelvin made his headache worse. Though his swearing vocabulary had grown a bit in that call, he had honestly thought he knew every swear his best friend knew of, apparently not.

Really now... he needed a fucking drink. 

And so he should have, he concluded as he hauled himself off the couch and into the kitchen. A beer was practically calling him right now...


 

"Morning dude" Dirk greeted as Dave entered the room in his boxers and a long sleeved shirt along with his aviators, the blonde only lets out a groan before shuffling into the kitchen. Dirk raised an eyebrow seeing those shades, they didn't normally wear shades in the morning but Dave wore them out of habit and to hide the slight bags under his red eyes.

Dave didn't really sleep that well, only managing to get a few hours of sleep after finishing his talk with John and the others.

Bro grunted as Dave just waved at him in greeting and blinked as Dave went after a cup of his own coffee "Didn't sleep well?" he asked and Dave stills a bit before shrugging "'M fine, just hate mornings sometimes 's all." he told him and grabbed a mug before pouring himself a cup. Practically ignoring Bro who actually wore an apron that said 'kiss the cook' in garish pink letters on a white frilly apron in front of the stove. Fuck it was weird seeing him without his shades.

Actually, he pretty much got hooked on coffee from his time on the meteor. 

He leaves the kitchen with a cup of coffee, a plate of eggs that Bro had made, and just made himself comfortable beside Dirk as they watched tv. Bro emerged from the kitchen with his own cup of coffee 

Dave forced himself to relax, he needed to get used to this. He had too, he's pretty much got no other choice at the moment.

But fuck things were really fucking different compared to his previous life. 

There were much less smuppets lying around the apartment, their apartment was much much bigger than his old one, Bro was more sociable and more human here

Gogdammit. 

He inhaled and exhaled a bit. 

Yeah, he was an emotionally and affectionately starved kid. And he will reluctantly admit that Bro did abuse him, mostly mentally as the physical consisted mostly of strifes that did help him in the game.

Bro then, had been stoic, unmoving, stone-cold and spoke less. 

Bro now, was not as stoic, he actually showed emotion, he spoke more and seemed actually concerned

The elder Strider had stopped patching him up after their strifes on the hot roof after teaching Dave how to tend to his own wounds, Dave was 7 when that happened.

Now on the times they strifed, according to his memories, even after he had taught them how to dress their wounds Bro would mostly tend to them most of the time. 

Dave silently groaned, his head ached along with his chest. Everything felt weird towards the red-eyed Strider. 

"Alright there lil' man?" Dave grunted and just gulped down his coffee, he felt super awkward and it was going to show eventually.

"Just fuck off, I hate mornings" Dave huffed, hiding the awkwardness with the Strider facade. He didn't know what to do. Fuck it, Strider get the hell out of dodge. Retreat that sexy ass for now.

It was a mistake to trying to do this, he needed more time to get his head together and the headache was not helping dammit. He should've stayed in bed and called in sick. 

"I'm going back to bed, it's too fucking early to be awake." Dave declared and subtlety hid his hurry by taking long exaggerated strides. 

"It's 8 in the morning" Dirk deadpanned at him, Dave snorted "Exactly" he stressed and went towards his room with his cup of coffee. 

Bro sighed and shook his head "Little shit probably stayed up too late even though I told him to go to bed!" he called out with a tone aimed at Dave who shrugged before disappearing into the hallway and into his room. Bro's eye twitched and the eldest Strider grumbled underneath his breath, Dirk watched his amusement. 

Both turned back towards the television that was pretty much re-telling what happened yesterday. 

Dave breathed in relief as he shuts his door, flopping on his bed and sprawled himself over it. He stared at his ceiling, wishing John was there beside him for a cuddle. 

Unfortunately his iShades told him that John was currently offline on Pesterchum, probably hanging out with his family or maybe still asleep. Good for him. 

Ping

Oh hey, Rose. 

tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]

TT: Good morning Dave
TG: sup
TT: You missed the memo yesterday
TG: oh
TG: well sorry about that but bro was pretty much kicking my butt for ignoring him 
TT: Yes, Dirk had mentioned that in the memo
TG: what was the memo about anyway
TT: I don't think John took it down yet
TG: john?
TG: oh yeah eggbutt
TG: yeah here it is
TG: haha oh wow
TG: you guys went nuts over the new hero dudes
TG: hehe the internet and news are pretty much freaking the fuck over yesterday
TG: it hasn't even been a day yet 
TT: Hmm
TG: what
TT: You and John were conversing yesterday?
TT: Something about 
TT: Stuff
TG: yup
TG: so i was out and about when eggbutt called me
TG: john was pretty much freaking the fuck over everything like the dork he is but
TG: gog he sounded so scared
TG: i actually was a bit worried about him there for a bit
TG: me dave strider
TG: worrying over john egbert
TG: the most adorkable dork that ever existed 
TG: though he is my bro so i guess i have the right to worry about john like the cool bro i am
TT: Hmmmm
TG: what?
TG: rose what's on in that dark head of yours
TT: Oh don't mind me
TT: Continue on your tale
TG: um
TG: okay
TG: so egdork does a fucking 180 flip when the dudes show up
TG: my ear still aches from his babbling 
TG: not that he's annoying to listen to
TG: but gogdamned he's a fast talker when riled up
TG: it's cute on some points but flat out annoying whenever he gushes about shit
TG: other than me of course 
TT: Hmmmmmmmm
TG: alright that's it
TG: something is clearly in that hairband wearing head of yours lalonde
TG: the fuck is up with you??
TT: It's nothing really
TT: I'm merely making an observation
TG: and that would be miss kitty-therapist?
TT: You do know that I have not had a session with Jaspers for many years Dave
TG: yeah not since you were 10
TT: Oh hush Dave
TT: Continue
TG: yeah no
TG: you have this whole 'annoyingly mysterious and flighty' vibe going on rose
TG: i know when to stop whenever you get that vibe
TT: I am not flighty
TG: oh sorry
TG: 'highly mature' right?
TT: Ugh...
TG: haha
TG: oh hey john's finally on
TG: see ya rose
TG: i got me a dork to talk to
TG: i gotta make sure egdork knows i got my ass kicked by my bro because of his clingy self
TG: later

turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering tentacleTherapist [TT}

TT: Hmmmmmmm....
TT: I see.... Interesting.....

Dave closed Rose's tab and pestered John. 

turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB]

TG: yo eggbutt
EB: dave!! :B

Dave smiled as he made himself a bit more comfortable on his bed, he already felt better seeing those familiar blue texts that belonged to the dork he loved so much. 


John smiled happily as he went down the stairs, PDA in one hand as he descended down. The familiar and very missed scent of his father's cooking tugged at his nose and seduced him out of bed. He hid his tiredness with his familiar bound and a bright smile, luckily he didn't have much bags underneath his eyes so if there were some then his family might just mistake them as tired just waking up bags instead of lack of sleep bags. 

"Good morning John!" Jane greeted brightly from her place on the couch, the television on in front of her. 

John laughed "Morning Jane! Dad and Uncle Joe cooking pancakes?" he asked as he bounced lightly and landed right by her side, she sent him a disapproving look at his entrance but smiled anyway.

"Of course! Your favorite as well, blueberry pancakes with whipped cream!" John licked his lips as his stomach growled, Jane giggled at that before frowning "Are your bruises alright John?" she asks and the windy boy blinks before nodding. 

"Yeah! I'm feeling great actually!" he says with a convincing bright grin, though in truth he was actually kind of tired. He had slept for half the night, waking up at random intervals and tiredly went back to sleep only to repeat until the sun rose. 

Jane furrowed her brows before nodding and had her attention turned back to the tv, she was watching the news which was basically just re-playing some clips of yesterday. John watched a few clips after turning on his PDA and having his chumhandle online just in case anyone wanted to pester him.

Ping

He looked down and felt some of his exhaustion melt away as a very bright grin settled on his face, Jane noticed and quirked a brow in question. 

"Dave!" he laughed and Jane blinked before nodding and turned back to the tv, her cousin loved talking about his friends and would of course light up whenever they talked to him. It was normal, though it might be her imagination but she thought she saw a little blush settled on John's cheeks but that was impossible, John was not a homosexual. At least not to her knowledge. 

turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB]

TG: yo eggbutt
EB: dave!! :B
EB: morning!
TG: morning
EB: how are you?
EB: did you sleep okay?
TG: course i did
TG: i'm the fucking king of sleep
TG: ruling over snoozeland with a fluffy fist and a soft plush pillow
TG: i am the best snoozer in all the land
TG: it is me
EB: you're such a dork :P
TG: gasp
TG: how dare you
TG: i am the coolest bro you know
TG: if anything you're the dork egbert
EB: no i'm p sure that's you 
EB: and no you're not cool >:P
TG: i'm hurt
TG: john how could you say that
TG: you've wounded me
TG: i've been betrayed by my best bro
TG: john why

John snickered as he curled his legs underneath him on the couch, Jane smiling softly as she sat beside him. It was nice to see him act like his normal self, yesterday he felt a little... off for some reason. 

EB: hehehehe >:B
TG: anyway 
TG: aside from your betrayal what's going on over there
EB: nothing much, just sitting with jane on the couch and watching tv
EB: we're waiting for our dads to finish breakfast :B
EB: it's pancakes!! 
EB: pancakes dave!!!
EB: :D
TG: and you call me the dork
EB: daaaaave >:T
TG: haha
EB: shut up dave 
TG: nah
TG: if i did you'd beg me to say something anyway 
EB: >:|
TG: hahaha
EB: bluuuuh
TG: so
TG: how about you
EB: ??
TG: did you sleep okay 
EB: 
TG: john
EB: kind of??
EB: i just
EB: with everything it was kind of hard to sleep straight
EB: kept waking up and i was kind of confused if i was dreaming or something
EB: that and i
EB: kinda missed you :(
TG:
TG: missed you john
EB: :)
EB: <3
TG: pfft
TG: ya gogdamned dork you
TG: doing the troll heart thing
TG: you are such a dork
EB: daaaave >:/
EB: you ruined the moment >:T
TG: hahaha
TG: <3
EB: :D

John smiled softly as his neck flushed a bit, his ears tinting red a bit. Okay he maybe, just maybe, he might a be a dork. 

"Kids! Time for breakfast!" 

John jolted before grinning brightly, hell fucking yes!

EB: i gotta go breakfast is ready :DDD
EB: blueberry pancaaaaaaaakes!!!!
TG: hah
TG: later john
TG: enjoy your breakfast you dork
EB: >:T
EB: bye dave
EB: have a nice morning

ectoBiologist [EB] ceased pestering turntechGodhead [TG]

"John! Hurry before breakfast goes cold!"

John jumped from the couch "Coming!" 

Joe chuckled as both his daughter and nephew scrambled to their seats, both grinning happily. Both he and Jack made plenty for everyone. 

"Morning dad! Morning uncle Joe!" John greeted as he took his seat, his stomach grumbling happily. Jack smiled and gave everyone their portion of breakfast. 

"Dig in!" the father chimed as he and Joe started on their part, pausing occasionally to sip their coffees as their children dug into the pancakes enthusiastically. 

John held back the moisture from his eyes, he knows if he starts outright crying he'll freak out his dad and the others. 

He missed this, he missed all of this

He will never take this for granted ever again, even if he disliked the frequent cakes that would appear in the future. 

"Delicious as always" John chirped as he began to drown his pancakes with syrup and whipped cream "Thanks dad"

Jack nodded and smiled, happily taking in the picture of a happy John. Happy John is best John, unknown to him Dave would argue with him on that subject. Horny John is best John

Breakfast went well, John ignoring his inner turmoil and feelings to focus on the happy moment. He lingered on the table happily as both Joe and Jack started on their third cups of coffee as well as the dishes, Jane went back into the living room to continue watching the news. 

Ping

Oh, it's Rose! 

tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB]

TT: Good morning John
TT: Are you finished with breakfast?
EB: yup!
EB: morning rose :B
EB: also how did you know i was busy with breakfast?
TT: I spoke with Dave briefly before this
TT: I just wanted to check in to see if you're alright
EB: rooose
EB: i'm fiiiiiiiine
EB: trust me :B
TT: Alright
TT: If you insist so
TT: Anyway, how is your morning so far John?
EB: it's going great! 
EB: dave pestered me this morning before breakfast
EB: and breakfast is dad's delicious blueberry pancakes with syrup and whipped cream!!
EB: best morning
EB: 10/10
TT: I have the feeling you've been talking to Dave for too much
EB: shoosh
EB: dave is a cool bro 
EB: he's my cool bro
EB: but he's still a dork :D
EB: a cool dork
EB:
EB: don't tell him i said that
EB: he'll never let it down :P
EB: cuz he's a dork like that :)
TT: Hmmmmmmm
EB: ?
EB: what's wrong rose?
TT: Nothing John
TT: Just merely making an observation
EB: erm
EB: okaaaay? 
TT: Anyway, I just wanted check in on you 
TT: Have a great morning John
EB: you too rose :B

tentacleTherapist [TT] ceased pestering ectoBiologist [EB]

Huh, Rose was a little weird. 

Did... did she remember? 

His body tensed a bit, before he let out a sigh and relaxed. No, if she remembered then she would use her Seer powers and let them know or something. 

That was just Rose being Rose he concluded as he thumbed over his PDA. 

"Everything alright there son?" 

John hummed and smiled at his dad, nodding "Yeah, it was just Rose being Rose" he told truthfully. Jack nodded and both he and Joe went back to coffee and talking dad things. 

The Heir of Breath stood from the table and went out the room bidding goodbye to his dad and uncle before heading into the living room to watch tv with Jane. 

"Everyone's getting so worked up over yesterday huh?" John commented as he jumped on the couch again, grinning sheepishly at Jane when she sent him a look. 

Jane snorted "Well yeah, with yesterday being so bizarre and originally impossible. People are either denying it, accepting it, theorizing and etc." she replied as they both watched the news that showed a picture of a group of people with signs with stupid things on them. 

John grimaced at the slander that was already being thrown at them, pictures of the damaged street was seen and he winced as he sees a few people actually hurt during the first part of the fight. Yeah, they really needed to think more and be more careful when fighting in the future. 

"There is no information so far about these mysterious teens, yes professionals confirmed that they are indeed teenagers. People are already calling them the 'Mysterious Five' and other names but their official names are still unknownn. But the real question is, are these teens really suited  to be heroes and worthy of their powers?

John bristled at the question, of course they were suited to be heroes! Sure their first debut was kind of rough but they were working on it! Then paused, oh yeah they haven't really thought of their code names huh?

Yeah, he needed to talk this over with the others later. 

In the meanwhile, they would prove the world that they were enough to protect everyone! They had each other and that was enough. 

Right?


 

Roxy giggled as she watched the news, her Beta self-Mom she needed to get used to calling her Beta self that- was in the kitchen sobering herself up and making breakfast. 

She herself was only slightly drunk, not enough to let Rosey and mother dearest know that she was drunk. 

She had to control herself here, that and hide the fact she even touched alcohol. Welp, that meant being sober most of the times.

Roxy pouted and cuddled more into Frigglish/Jaspers, whatever. 

"Good morning Roxy" she perked and grinned widely at Rose "Morning Rosey! What' sup?" she greeted, accidentally letting out a slur. 

Rose sent her a strange in which she sent back an innocent smile. 

"Are you alright this morning? You seem more... hmm" Rose makes a vague hand motion, Roxy shrugs and grins at her "I'm fine Rosey! Just feeling a bit giddy and stuff, say good morning to Jaspers too!" she prompted, lifting Jaspers in her arms towards Rose. 

The violet-eyed girl rolled her eyes and smiled "Good morning Jaspers" she says as she pets the cat's head making Roxy grin, satisfied the Void Player returns to cuddling with Jaspers as Rose settled beside her with her laptop. Both sisters waiting for their mother to finish breakfast. 

Rose opens her laptop and notices Dave online on pesterchum, she began to pester him. Roxy pretends to not pay her of any mind while watching tv, but at the corner of her eye she watched as Rose hummed continuously in a tone she used to do back when she was contemplating on something that dealt with her friend's romantic problems. 

Hmmm. 

Rose closes Dave's tab as he stopped pestering her and supposedly began to pester John who was just now online, a contemplative look is on her face as she looked over their chat. She had always suspected... she needed more information, this was mostly wild speculation but with the current situation going as it is...

Dave pesters her again, saying how he was bored and John was enjoying breakfast and such. Speaking of breakfast their own mother was finished with theirs, she tells this to Dave who laments over it like usual before going offline. 

She, Roxy and their mother ate breakfast with their mother eating quickly so she could get to work. She kissed them both goodbye before leaving, she was a big shot scientist and she had to work today.

Roxy leaves Rose along in the kitchen, swaying slightly and claiming she wanted to continue cuddling with Jaspers and watch tv. Rose glances at her leaving form, the seed of thought planted in her mind. 

Was... was Roxy drunk

Impossible, Roxy couldn't be drunk because of reasons.

She puts the thought aside temporarily, she was already thinking of something else currently. Something that caught her attention for many months now, it was something she always suspected and speculated but this was a chance to see if her theory was correct. 

She pesters John and though it is short and a bit vague, it was clear to her. 

It was clear to her both her best male friends were clearly head over heels over each other and were too oblivious and in denial to act and say on it. 

She always had her suspicions, actually she still had her doubts but if it were true... 

She needed to weedle out a bit more from both of them. John and Dave were oblivious guys and were either too prideful to admit it (Dave) or in denial about it (John). 

So Rose plans, she plans to see if her theory is true and if it is she will act on it because those two could not do it on their own. Unknown to her she already had acted on it on a meteor that was barreling through paradox space, shenanigans that led to both Dave and John dating that involved whipped cream, pies, air horns, every troll alive or dead on the hunk of rock, and a gogdamned honest to gog bubble blowing colorful fog machine

Meanwhile with Roxy who was on her phone. She wasn't on pesterchum though, she was currently typing down a to-do list. 

*get sercet base
*get awesome hero nams
*get more brooze
*booze
*steal alchemiwhatzits with jakey after base
*plan more stuff

And so on. 

She sipped some on some booze as she did, just enough to get her light headed again and slightly drunk. Taking mints after that to hide the smell of booze. 

She snuggled against Jaspers as the television went on, currently the channel she was on was the news that was talking about her and the others. 

Roxy stilled at the question before smirking "'Course we can! We're all gonna totes prove our worth brah!" she declared quietly, captchalouging her phone before heading to her room. 

She took out her laptop, her drunk but sharp mind going at it. She cracked at her fingers as she settled on her bed, Jaspers right beside her purring contently. 

Immediately turning on the laptop, she began to type. A plan forming in her head, a drunkard she may be but she was still Roxanne Lalonde from a post-apocalyptic future and the Rogue of Void. 

And she'd be damned if she was going to let the others down and get hurt. 


 

Jake awkwardly laughed as Jade pouted at him, rubbing his head sheepishly. 

"Sorry G-Jade, just wasn't feeling like going out yesterday" he apologized, a smile on his face as he sat down. A giant white dog, Bec his memories provided, barked from its place on the couch beside them. 

Bec wasn't an omniscient 'First Guardian' here, no he was a normal giant white husky owned by them. No teleporting green-sun powered omniscience, just a regular if albeit smarter than average dog that loved them. 

"Good morning Bec" Jake greeted with a smile as he sat down beside the dog, Bec sniffs at him before licking his face. Jake chuckles and pets at the dog as Jade smiles at the sidelines. 

Their grandpa comes in carrying a tray of three bowls of cereal along with coffee and milk. 

"Morning grandpa!" both green-eyed teens chirped in greeting, with Jake stuttering a bit feeling a tad awkward saying hi to his alternate self that was now his grandfather, Jacob smiles and sits down on the couch as well shooing Bec off the couch. 

"Well, it's nice to see you out of your room there ol' boy. Good morning. Now, let's all have some good ol' cereal shall we?" he says as he grabs his bowl, Jade giggled and grabs hers while Jake chuckles a bit before getting his. 

As awkward as he was, it was nice. A strange sense of familiarity happened in him. 

He didn't know how to handle this kind of setting seeing as he grew up alone on his island of lusii, which he had found out about via Dirk and trolls, but at the same time he knew  how to handle something like this seeing as he grew with his sister and granfather all his life. 

Well fuck, there goes that headache again. 

Jake shook his head and concentrated on his cereal, preferring to enjoy this little moment the best he could. He pets at Bec who now lays underneath their table, the telly is on and it's showing the news about yesterday. 

"Man, not even a day and people are doubting these new heroes of ours and calling the government mean things just because of one recent monster attack. I think everyone's watched too many movies and shows about this" Jade said dryly as she hears the question. 

Jake had blinked at the question, his fist clenching painfully around his spoon as he thought it over. Of course they were worthy, they went through hell and back for these powers and experienced things no normal man should ever experience! Granted they knew nothing of it but still! Give them a little slack!

It's been a long time since they've actually tried to be partially normal by normal human standards anyway! Even before all this they weren't normal by human normal standards now that he thought about it. 

Gah, stupid bloody game. 

"Though they do bring a fair point. They are still teens going through life, and people are really scared right now over the monster attack. Their view over reality has been broken and they just want to make sure they feel safe and are safe. Humans are complicated creatures regardless of their upbringing." Jacob commented as they continued watching "Anyway, I think that's enough news for today" he continued as he grabs the remote and changes the channel to, Power Rangers.

"Hah!" Jade laughs as they watched, she poked fun against the style of the show and their fighting and compared them to real life and recent monster events. 

Jake sighed and actually silently cringed at some of the childish attacks that the Power Rangers did, after being in battle in a somewhat similar in fashion he couldn't help but compare as well. Getting a little frustrated at the lack of actual wounds at the end of the battle, you're using swords for gog's sake! Where are the slice wounds?!

Oh poppycock.

He's becoming a real life critic he thinks.

Quick English! Erm, Harley

Oh dear, that's right. He's no longer Jake English anymore. He's Jake Harley

Well, might as well add that to the list of things he needed to get used too. He's fairly sure everyone had that list going on right now as they went through their day. Especially Karkat, lord knows the troll is having trouble accepted the fact he's a human. 

Actually now that he thought about it Karkat was really in a bad situation. 

Though trolls were a similar-like species to humans he does know that trolls are inherently very different from humans. And though Karkat has memories of his human self, Jake has heard on how stubborn and emotional the troll was from both John and Dave. 

He hopes he's alright. 

Maybe he should check up on him later on one on one in pesterchum, just to see if he was doing alright or if he needed something. Jake Engli-Harley would never let one of his friends go through a rough patch in their lives on their own! He would be there every step of the way!

Yeah. 

That and he'll get the opportunity to get to know Karkat, to be honest he had been quite curious about the nubby-horned troll ever since he first saw them in a dream bubble. Shouting and being so angry, it was honestly quite adorable in some unique way as he saw it. 

As angry as Karkat was, he clearly cared for everyone no matter how hard he tried to hide it or denied it. He was just a softie inside that angry persona Karkat made for himself, and Jake was quite curious on why he made it and so on.

Jake hummed as he continued petting Bec, in his thoughts completely he missed the way Jade and Jacob sent each other glances. 

The pistol-wielding boy was oblivious and would continue to be oblivious to various things, especially those in the department of his own feelings until otherwise. Apparently it's a trait that he inherited from John. 

Chapter Text


 

Karkat gritted his teeth and forcefully pushed back the yawn that threatened his throat.

"Good morning Karkat" "Morning Kar" "Morning Junior Chief"

"All of you shut the fuck up until I get some gogdamned coffee and pour it down my food tunnel and actually wake the fuck up" Karkat snapped and ignored the surprised looks he got from the other three, Human Dualscar-Alpheus is nowhere to be seen so far, good. 

"Karkat! That was very rude of you" Kankri started as he followed his younger brother into the kitchen, making Karkat ignore him as he went on auto-pilot managing to find the coffee beans and make a cup of coffee within the Ampora kitchen. 

"Wwoww Kar, you're more grumpier this morning than usual" Eridan commented dryly as he entered the kitchen with Cronus, every damned Ampora had kept that stupid sea-dweller accent despite being humans now and Karkat wishes the coffee would just hurry the fuck up because gogdamned he needed some caffeine in his system so he could start dealing with all this bullshit that life has thrown at him

Karkat continues to ignore the three as he grabs a random mug and impatiently waited beside the coffee machine, almost wishing to be on the meteor so he could get his damned coffee already. Everyone on that meteor, even Gamzee, had gotten a taste for coffee on that meteor as it was one of the only constant things there besides whatever they had alchemized or something. 

"Kar, dude. Did you evven sleep last night? You look like shit" Eridan said with a grimaced as he observed the shorter male, whom ignored him in favor of silently and inwardly celebrating the fact the coffee was done and poured himself a cup. Karkat breathed in the smell of hot scalding liquid and nonchalantly took a sip, not even minding or wincing at the slight burn on his human tongue. 

Kankri frowned at his younger brother "Eridan is right, did you have enough hours of sleep Karkat? Sleep is very important and you should get at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep nightly or else your daily work ethic will plummet and your internal clock and system will become sluggish and you'll fail at the tasks you have set for the day" Kankri scolded lightly, failing to hide the worry in his eyes. 

Karkat hid a small sigh by drinking his mug of delicious human coffee, he'll admit that human brand coffee is very enjoyable, and thought back to his perigees as a troll and nearly snorted. Hah, even when he was a troll his sleeping cycle was fucked up by human standards, the game had even made it worse and back then he had barely gotten any sleep at all. Only starting to sleep once more after his and the other troll's session then during the human years on the damned meteor he had managed to get at least some semblance of a normal sleeping schedule. 

And that was with the poorly alchemized sopor they had somehow managed to make!

Karkat paused as he thought to it, alchemized sopor. 

Oh fuck yes, if Roxy manages to 'steal' an alchemiter there'll be a chance he can get sopor slime! A shitty imitation of the real thing but sopor slime nonetheless as it had worked fairly well on the meteor! Now, to figure out how to hide the sopor and still use it...

"Yo Junior Chief? You alright there?" Karkat jolted a bit as Cronus poked at his side and glared at him. 

"What the fuck do you want?" Karkat finally answered with an irritated scowl, his scowl faded slightly as he saw the genuine worry in all three former troll's eyes. Fuck. 

Karkat sighed and sent them a tired but confident look "Look, I'm fine. I just didn't get enough fucking sleep because I kept thinking of yesterday. No need to worry your asses over me alright? I'm just really fucking tired" he told them and saw their hesitant acceptance, good but something tells him it might get harder and harder to convince them in the future. 

Jegus fucking christ. 

"...I smell the wwonderful 'roma 'f c'ffee..." 

Karkat tensed as he heard Alpheus coming in, looking tired and barely awake and blindly making a beeline towards the coffee machine. Getting a mug for himself, the eldest Ampora sighed in bliss as he drank the morning liquid. 

He noticed his sons and the Vantas brothers in the kitchen and grinned at them, feeling more awake "Morning kiddos. So wwho made the damn coffee, I'll givve them 10 bucks as thanks" he said with a light grin, Cronus smirked while Eridan chuckled and Kankri just huffed before all three pointed towards the youngest Vantas surprising the Ampora.

Alpheus turned to fully face the teen "Didn't knoww you drank coffee kid" he commented as Karkat gave him a curt nod before slipping out of the kitchen with a quiet "You're welcome Mr. Alpheus, good morning" and into the living room. Alpheus frowned as he did though, so did Kankri and Cronus but Eridan was oblivious to it all and followed Karkat into the living room. 

The adult turned to the remaining two "Uh, is Karkat alright? Did I do somethin' wwrong or...?" he trailed off as both elder teens shrugged and shook their heads negatively causing the Ampora to hum and look at the direction where both his youngest son and Kelvin's youngest son's direction. 

Something was off with Karkat, all three just knew it.

Meanwhile with Karkat, the ex-mutant could only internally cringe at his behavior as he sat beside Eridan who immediately began to talk his ass off as both males half-watched with whatever was on the tv. Gog, this was going to a pain in the ass to deal with, Karkat thought to himself as he continued sipping his coffee. 


 

Jake smiled as bright as he could, hiding the hidden stiffness in his smile at the fact he was not alone. 

Currently he was surrounded by complete strangers in an unfamiliar environment and landscape. His gut churned a bit. 

He was not used to this. 

He was an island teen that had survived despite the odds and spent his entire life on the island that didn't seem to exist now, at least so far as he could remember in this life's memories. 

He was used to being alone, at a person perspective as he was never really alone with all the lusii on the island. A very lonely experience, more so before he had met his dearest compadres in all of Paradox Space. He pestered and talked to them whenever he could, learning and getting so close to them all despite he was so far away at a physical sense.

He had hid his mild discomfort at the sign of other people in his life physically by amping up his general excitement, and the fact the other people were his very close internet best friends helped. Even when John and the others had appeared he didn't really seemed bothered as he had gotten used to being around other people quick enough and with John and the others being so similar to himself and his friends helped as well, and one of them being his dearly missed grandmother albeit from an alternate universe and timeline. 

The trolls were actually surprisingly quick to get used to despite his initial train of thought. Though, he had only met them a handful at times and they were too busy with the whole game to properly get to know each other more than what they knew of.

But right now, he was feeling all the discomfort from back then come back ten-fold as he waded through the streets with grocery bags in hand right behind his new sibling. 

It churned and nipped at his stomach as Jade cheerfully talked like nothing was wrong, nothing was wrong to her at least but to Jake? 

He was discovering his distaste to be around crowds of strangers and not familiar people. 

As an adventure this whole thing was it was still unnerving considering his 'childhood' and stuff but he felt like he was either not adjusting fast enough and everything was going faster and blurrier around him or he was just so slow and he couldn't really breath properly. 

Jake inhaled lowly before exhaled very slowly. 

Another one to add towards the every growing list of things to adapt to. 

Bollocks. 

"Are you alright Jake my boy? You don't look so swell there..." Jake mentally winced and sent beta him a reassuring smile, using a bit of his Aspect to his advantage, he shouldn't look to bad now.

Small specks of Hope fluttered in his veins "I'm fine grampa, just a bit off is all. Nothing to worry about" Jake said with a convincing smile and reinforced it with some of his Hope powers. 

Hope wasn't just about hope all the time after all. 

It had its advantages and disadvantages and Jake was still discovering new ways in using it but still a long way from completely mastering his Aspect. They all were honestly. 

Jacob frowned but nodded all the same, Jake was fine. He looked and acted like it. He was just being a worrying old bag again.

The old man smiled and continued on, following his grandchildren with grocery bags in his arms as well. 

Jake took a silent breath of relief as Jacob dropped it and backed off, seemingly convinced for now. 

He could do this. 

He could do this.

He could do this, he was Jake English.

He could do this, he was Jake English, now Jake Harley. 

He could do this, he was Jake English, now Jake Harley and he was the Page of Hope. 

Yeah. 

Yeah...

He needed to talk to someone really...

...

Maybe Karkat...? 

He must be going through a rough time like all of them but just as he had said before, he was probably going through... what was the word?

Culture shock. That's it.

He had just turned into an entire different species no matter how similar they actually were. 

Not to mention he was the only one in the troll group to remember... 

It seems that Karkat is having is worst than all of them really. 

All of a sudden a sense of jittery nervousness entered the young Page. 

Was Karkat going to be alright? Would he be okay with all of this? 

Maybe he should scurry home faster and check in on the now-human mutant troll. 

Yes, that is exactly Jake is going to do.

The island-raised boy hurried along with his new family, quite eager to talk to his future-to-be new friend previously from another alien planet from another timeline and universe. 


 Roxy snorted as she effortlessly slipped inside wherever she was on the internet, she kind of forgot as she had gotten drunk in the process.

This was too easy she thought to herself as she surfed wherever she was.

Hacking was so easy when you had knowledge of the future and of alien things as well.

The blonde had learned many things and the Alternian language was one of them, the Condesce had promoting the language from her previous planet in an effort to effectively change the humans into trolls years before in that water-apocalypse right beside the time she had tried to change the blood colors of humans.

Nasty but knowledge-filled days.

Her Mom, Rosanna 'Rose' Lalonde aka Alpha Rose, had other people on her side as well. Not just Alpha Dave, but he was her biggest helper and ally of course. 

When she died she instructed one Casey Mancer, a non binary young teen who was smart for their age and had been nicknamed jokingly as 'Viceroy Salamancer' by others from their obsession with the mystical arts and salamanders, to record events after her death and research what they could. 

They and others underneath her mother's alliance and old leadership kept their word and recorded events, telling both her and Dirk what happened and taught them all they needed to know. 

When the whole 'human genetic cloning' happened they still managed to things recorded somehow, telling their 'dancestors' to follow in their footsteps till the very end, and had taught Roxy and Dirk the Alternian language. Mostly the written based language anyway, there wasn't much on speech as it was biologically impossible to speak it. 

Dirk had found the information locked away in a hidden sylladex, safe and sound for the most part. It was how they 'met', her own mother had used the little Seer powers she had and written down her chum handle in one of the books she and the others left, vaguely telling the future in riddles that Roxy finally understood now. 

Anyway, the point was she knew Alternian. 

As far as she knew, no one in this life knew Alternian besides her and possibly the others. Karkat definitely knew seeing as he was an Alternian Troll. 

And she was going to take advantage over that. 

On her laptop she was currently developing a program and 'made' the Alternian Language digital, making a whole new digital language that all five of them would use. She was going to confuse anyone that was going to try and hack them and try to find their secrets in the near future, no doubt that was going to be a thing seeing as they were all internet-bonded kids. 

The internet had bonded them all together from the start, especially Pesterchum. 

Now that she thought about it, they were going to have to go somewhere else to have their super secret superhero chats, Pesterchum was a bit of a risk. She recalls Karkat's friend Sollux Captor, he was a hacker obviously and if he needed to he would hack into Karkat's shit and risk everything. 

She would need to talk with Karkat about that later on. Maybe make a new chatsite just for the five of them, a private one they could all chat in and protect it with Alternian language based protections and future coding. 

Oh the perks of being from the future~

Now, anyone that would look at their important shit they wouldn't be able to read a damn thing because it was in a whole other language!

She surfed more on the internet, at the same time making the Alternian language. She would really need to speak to the others about this, that and possibly make other Pesterchum accounts as well, with the half-chance of someone actually hacking into their chats they would pretty much be able to see their handles and poof secret identity long gone!

Knock knock knock

She jolted, quickly captcha'd both her bottle of vodka and martini glass and closed the tab where she was doing her work and left her laptop on her desk rather than her bed "Yeah?" she called out, and rubbed at her eyes. Fuck she was drunk. 

"Roxy?"

It was Beta Mom. 

Quickly she got a packet of mints using her Rogue powers and chewed quickly "Mhmm?!" she responded back loudly as she swallowed, getting a glass of water as well. 

Man her powers were so awesomely OP. 

"Roxy baby, you okay there? Momma's a bit worried for you honey, Rosey told me you haven't been out of your room since this morning!

Roxy got out of bed after making sure her breath didn't smell of alcohol, Beta Mom didn't sound drunk so she probably wasn't and would probably have smelled the alcohol on her, thus the mints. Plus the mints helped her sober a bit even though she wasn't as drunk as she used to, she can't really afford to be now, but drunk was drunk after all.

The pink-loving girl smiled as she opened her door to look up to her Beta-self, noting on how hot she was going to be when she grew up. No denying that. Hehe, wonk. 

"I'm fine mom, just busy chatting with my peeps!" Roxy chirped a grin on her face "Janey was tellin' me on how worried she was with John and what happened and stuff. Then Dirk's all being coolkid Strider smug on this new creation he did" It wasn't a complete lie. 

Jane had told her on how worried she was over John, and Dirk had told her about his newest invention. Functioning new pairs of iShades he had told her. 

Though they had both told her yesterday rather than today. 

Roxanne hummed before smiling "Alright, tell them both I said hi okay?" she leaned and kissed Roxy's forhead "Love my girls so much~ Also, dinner's in 30 okay?" she chirped and walked away humming happily. 

Roxy stood there a bit stunned, she rubbed the spot her Beta-self kissed her. No, where her mom kissed her. There was no avoiding it, she finally had a mom now. Granted it wasn't the same mother she had grown to idolized and fantasized about. She closed her door, too stunned to see her sister observing her from her hidden spot and slouched against the door. 

She slid down and sat on the floor, leaning away from the door and hugged her legs. 

She's having a slight difficulty in processing everything currently. 

"So this is what's it like to have a mom" she whispered as she finally registered the tears that were coming from her eyes, she sniffed and wiped them away quickly. 

Years after growing up so alone with no one else besides the carapaces and mutant-kittens and just the information of her ancestor, someone she idolized and thought of as her own mother, she finally had someone

And not only someone, no someones with an S! 

She wasn't alone anymore!

She smiled to herself through the tears, resisting to sob. She stood and flopped unto the bed, reaching for Jasper and hugging him tight to her chest as she quietly cried tears of joy. 

It took her 15 minutes to calm down and stop crying entirely, smiling all the way. 

She sniffed before determinedly getting back to work. 

She had people who were relying on her after all, and she wouldn't let them down!

'Don't worry Rosey, Mom. I won't let anything hurt you two' she thought to herself as she worked, not even bothering to take a sip of her martini glass that was sitting in her sylladex. Dinner was soon anyway, no need to ruin it appearing there drunk! 

 


Dave stared at his reflection, his red eyes roamed at his shirtless chest, mentally remembering each and every line that had used to mar his skin. 

He didn't have most of his scars anymore. 

He quietly traced the paths that were supposed to be mapped along his skin. He felt irritated at the nearly unblemished skin, the only scarring he had were the rare ones that he got from the few fights he had with... Bro and Dirk. In this life at least. 

That and the bruising and few scars he got from their fight with the game denizens and then again those were healing quite fast already. He sighed as looked up to stare into the reflection of his own red eyes, he had a weird look on his face that he instantly smoothed once he realized he had it on. 

He clenched his fists before taking a shaky breath and put his shirt back on, his favorite red long-sleeve shirt was a bit strange with the record logo being complete and not broken in two, he had been used to that logo and even maybe been a little bit attached to it as Bro had....

Fuck. 

No more thoughts about that, not today. 

Dave clutched at the record logo and let out a shaky exhale and forcefully made himself calm. He shook his head and put on his shades, the familiar feeling of the aviator glasses on his nose calmed him even more. 

He would think about Bro later on when... Bro and Dirk were void from the apartment, preferably with John with him. 

Just them, alone, in the apartment all on their own... He smirked as his thoughts trailed down to... more perverse things

Yeah, he they were totally going to do that later on when they had the chance. 

Chuckling Dave exited the bathroom with a more positive air around him. He could do this, he was Dave Strider. He may had been a bit awkward in the morning but they most definitely didn't notice. He was the best actor, it was him. 

Plus he felt a lot better more awake now and mostly okay with it. Yeah, he could get down with this.

"Sleeping Beauty finally awake for the world to see?"

Dave smirked at Dirk who lazily waved at him from his place on the table, working on some doodad on the table. 

"Sup" he greeted back as he went to lounge on the nearby couch, nothing really was on the tv so he grabbed the remote and changed the challenge and Dirk wasn't even bothered "Where's Bro?" he asked casually as Dirk focused on whatever the fuck he was making. 

Dirk hummed as he poked around his little project "Out, something happened at the club. He looked pissed as hell, some idiot dropped some equipment like a fucking dumbass and is probably being chewed out by Bro. Sounds like his special planned event's been fucked up, it's been pushed out a couple of weeks. Bummer too huh? Been looking forward to it" he said with obviously hidden disappointment. 

Dave was disappointed too, recalling the hype from memories about Bro's 'special planned' event but at the same time he was glad that Bro was out and currently wasn't there with them. 

"Fuck, that sucks"

"Fuck yeah it sucks, shit would've been awesome as fuck. Bitches were coming from all over the fucking place just to beg to be our dates as douches everywhere wept in jealousy and despair as they fucking know they can't compete with us Striders" Dirk snorted as he sent Dave a smirk "Didn't Amy Darla practically throw herself at you a few weeks ago? That and Maya Roland? I swear the two were about to start a fucking cat fight before Bro came along. Fucking nice bro" 

Dave stayed quiet, going for the memory that would contain what Dirk was talking about. He pursed a lip as he remembered 'Amy' and 'Maya', definitely not his types. Sides, he was already taken.

"Eh" 

 Dirk stopped briefly and sent him a look "Dude, you got the two hottest girls in schoolfighting over you just to be your girlfriend and to get into Bro's club and all you say is 'eh'?" he asks incredulously and quirked a brow when Dave shrugged. 

"Not really my types, sides you know their history" Dave had a point there, both girls had quite the history. 

Dirk puts down his tools "Dude, I thought you liked them. I recall you specifically calling Maya a, quote 'Sweet hot piece of ass with pretty fucking eyes' unquote" Dave thought back, yes Maya did have a nice ass and pretty pair of blue eyes but that was mostly because they both reminded him of John. 

Even in this life he was crushing on John but he wasn't gay, bi sure but not gay. That and John was a special snowflake. He knows John was pan though, that probably applied to this this life as well despite his claims of being 'not a homosexual'. Which he wasn't, he was pansexual. 

"Yeah, and you know it's true but she ain't my type. Doesn't mean I won't appreciate a good ass though" he said with a smirk "Sides! She probably wouldn't be able all this Strider in her life" 

Dirk frowned and seemed to be thinking of something before shrugging "Fine, whatever" 

Soon enough, Dave and Dirk were just casually chatting like always. Like nothing had ever happened and Dave was just a normal Dave of this life. 

But in the background he was always somewhat tense for whatever reason, too used to a certain atmosphere than the current atmosphere he was experiencing. It was too casual to his liking but he would have to get used to it, that and get used to having Bro around more than he used to. 

Fuck. It was going to be hard but he would get there. The only reason he was so relaxed as he was with Dirk was because he consciously remembered that even though Dirk was a mini-Bro, he wasn't the Bro he knew of, he grew up and was raised by. He was vastly different from Bro despite being mostly identical. 

Though he would need to consciously do that as well with this life's Bro, which would be harder but not impossible. 

Yeah, he could do this. Just easy steps for now Dave, easy steps for now. 


 

"John!" 

John grinned and cackled as he dodged from the furious but playful lash of slimy blue icing. A prank well done! 

Oh he missed this. 

He grunted as he was gunned down by a stray cake "Hey!" he whined and heard his uncle chuckle loudly with a small apology before focusing back on the cake battle he was currently having with his Dad. 

Pranks wars were even more fun with more family members! 

"John come back here!" 

"Never!" he crowed as he scrambled away, laughter blooming easily from his chest. For a joyous moment of family fun, he almost forgot about the game, forgot about the pain, forgot about the deaths and he was just John Egbert. Proud prankster from the Egbert line and son to Jack Egbert, best serious prankster dad to ever live. 

But he couldn't really forgot now could he? He never will and never would. It would always be there at the back of his mind, but he could ignore it right now in this moment and pretend to forget. 

And that would be enough for him. 

Hours later, John panted as he laid curled on the kitchen counter. Utterly covered in cake and icing as well as some blue slime he laughed breathlessly heh, his dad leaned against the counter with a singed hat that contrasted his wet suit he was laughing uproariously, Jane was sitting in the sink soaked with her skin tinted blue from the slimy blue icing and was giggling up a storm, her dad was wheezing from his place on the floor slightly wet but was mostly covered in cake and silly string. 

"I win!" John crowed as he lifted his arm up in victory, declaring it to the world as his arm flopped back down on the counter. 

Someone was about to say something but all of them jumped when the only surviving cake that was whole exploded from its place in the cupboards, its angle perfectly distributing its frosty body to all the three other pranksters. 

"Hah!" John declared as he was shielded from the blast from his own dad. 

John wiggled "Victory!!" he exclaimed and giggled. They blinked before a new round of laughs was started by John's giggling. 

Jack grinned "Good work son, I'm proud of you" he said as he wiped the cake out of his eyes and ruffled John's hair. John smiled brightly, laughing and internally thanking the cake bits and frosting that were hiding his eyes as the fact his back was turned. He didn't want to worry his dad with his tears. 

It's just been a long time since he heard those words from his mouth. 

No crying Egbert, you won the prank war! He thought to himself as he shook his head and sat up, wiping the cake and tears from his eyes and glasses. 

"Come on, let's all clean this up and shower" Joe chuckled as he sat up from his place on the floor, batting at the cake that covered him and untangling from the silly string.

"Hoohoohoo, congratulation John! That was quite the ending!" Jane laughed as she climbed out of the sink and back down to the kitchen floor, careful not to slip at the slippery cake, slime and string covered floor. 

John grinned at her "Hehe, thanks Jane! Though I didn't expect the silly string cake to the face so good job to you too!" he cheered as he did the same, coming down from the counter, looking at the silly string that he had peeled off before. 

Jane giggled and thanked him before helping up her dad as John enjoyed another moment of his own dad ruffling his hair again. Not minding the cake and the fact his hair was getting wet. 

"Why don't you and Jane get cleaned up first huh champ?" Jack said as he nudged John "Me and Joe will get started on this whole mess, go on" John and Jane nodded and exited the messy kitchen and went up the stairs. John waved at Jane as she went the other way towards the other bathroom while John went to his own. 

John kept his happy smile as he entered his bathroom he grinned at his reflection, he smudged at the cake at his skin and more. 

"That was great!" he cheered to himself as he puts down his glasses and began to undress, he wiped off the big bits of cake that still tried to cling to him as got rid of the few silly strings that were still sticking to him. 

He didn't bathe long but he came out practically squeaky clean as he finished... only to bathe again as he accidentally dried himself too fast. He would be unnaturally too dry for someone who just finished bathing and ridding himself from the cake that had practically covered him knee to head.

He was too used to drying himself with his Breath Powers. He splashed himself with water again and manually dried himself this time, leaving his hair mostly wet. 

That was it. Okay. 

"Come on John, let's go help our dads with the kitchen" Jane said as they met at the stairs, both freshly clean and cake, slime and string-free. 

John nodded and both teens went down to help their fathers in cleaning what was left of the prank war. 

They cleaned what was left as their dads went to take their own showers. 

As the day went by, John enjoyed it all as he spent time with his dad and uncle and cousin. He even baked for gogs sake! 

But as even as he enjoyed the day, at some moments his mind made plans that he saved for later. He continued to think about what they would do in the future and what to do to protect his family from whatever was going to happen in the future. 

Because knowing the game and themselves, a lot of somethings were going to happen in the future. And they were going to do their damned best to deal with them to the best of their abilities.


golgothasTerror [GT] began pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG] 

GT: Hello there chap!
GT: Um, if it isn't a bad time i would like to have a good old chat with you if it's alright 
GT: We haven't personally talked before now but situations now calls for us all to be closer to each other than ever!
CG: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?
GT: Greetings karkat :D
CG: ENGLISH WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU FUCKING WANT?
CG: THIS IS WEIRD
CG: WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME BECAUSE LIKE YOU FUCKING SAID WE HAVE NEVER TALKED PERSONALLY BEFORE SO WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?
GT: Oh um
GT: I know we haven't talked personally before this 
GT: But since it's just the five of us now who remember that goshdarned game i thought back to you and i wanted to get to know you better given the circumstances of our lives now
CG: HUH
CG: SO? 
GT: What i mean is i want to be friends with you karkat, and please call me jake
GT: And my last name isn't english anymore...
GT: It's harley now, jake harley :)
CG: OH YEAH YOU'RE RELATED TO JADE RIGHT? 
CG: ECTOBIOLOGY AND ALL THAT SHIT
GT: Yeah but to be honest i'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the whole shebang
GT: Ectobiology sure seems to be very complicated
CG: IT IS
CG: AND IT'S A FUCKING PAIN IN THE ASS
GT: Oh, i take it you were the ectobiologist in your session??
CG: YEAH AND LET ME TELL YOU TAKING CARE OF 24 TROLL WRIGGLERS WAS A GOGDAMNED NIGHTMARE
GT: Wrigglers? 
CG: TROLL BABIES
GT: Ah, well that certainly sounds like quite the adventure
CG: AN ADVENTURE THAT I FUCKING PLATONICALLY LOATHED WITH ALL MY BEING
GT: Oh come on! Surely it wasn't that bad, it must've been quite the sight seeing yourself and your friends so young
CG: NOPE
CG: FUCK NO AND FUCK THAT
CG: SEEING ALL MY SHITTY FRIENDS LIKE THAT WAS HONESTLY SO FUCKING ANNOYING ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WERE ALL CRAWLING ALL OVER MY FUCKING BODY
GT: Awww
CG: NO JAKE
CG: NOT 'Awww'
CG: MORE LIKE: 
CG: AAAAAAAH FOR FUCK'S SAKE WHAT THE FUCK GET THE FUCK OFF ME RAAAAAH
GT: Hahaha :D
CG: OH SHUT UP

Jake grinned toothily as he sat against the wall, skulltop neatly on his head as he pestered with Karkat. 

Karkat scowled as he typed, he refused to acknowledge the little quirk of his lips. 

Both teens had no idea what was going to happen in the future between the two of them but there was certainly a friendship beginning blooming between them now. 

Chapter Text


 

A few weeks passed since John, Dave, Roxy, Jake and Karkat remembered everything from the game. Since their first fight on Earth in the new dimension that involved the game's denizens that were hardly anything like the game's original denizens. They had hardly shown any sign of intelligence, only focusing on destruction as they had thrashed and destroyed their surroundings. The five God Tier teens had managed to kill all four denizens, their reward for their deaths were the familiar game lifehood of grist confirming to them that the game was still on.

It had been clear to them that even though their lives seemed to be normal, the game was still continuing and they were still players in its thrall. However it seemed it was only the five of them who were playing the game now, everyone they had knew had seemingly forgotten about the game and showed no sign if they had remembered and were living new normal lives. 

Everyone Karkat had known, including himself, had been turned into an entirely different species but only Karkat knew that they were all originally trolls from Alternia and Beforus. As far as he knew, he was the only troll to remember anything at all, not even his newly found 'brother' and 'father' could remember and they were the Seers of Blood! Although his 'father' in reality was really just a different version of Kankri, Post-Scratch Kankri who was now going by Kelvin Vantas as his human name. 

It had seem like none of the Seers could remember, which was weird and they had originally thought that the fact of them being Seers would help and make them remember but none of them remembered at all. They knew, they had tried to hint at it as subtle as they could to the three Seers of the game. 

Karkat had at least thought Kankri or Signless-his father, still working on that- could remember, Kelvin had come back shortly after the incident and they were staying with the others as their house was being repaired, Vriska and Tavros were doing the same. They had done it before after all, at least the Signless had before. Remembering his self on Beforus and becoming Troll Jesus, or Jegus whichever you prefer, and pretty much kick starting the whole rebellion against Her Imperial Condescension. 

And do not get any of them started on that whole subject

It had been awkwardly terrifying and aggravating enough for Karkat who had to actually TALK with the humanized Condesce. Whose human name was Ondine Piexes, gog every Alternian ancestor now had different names from their Pre-Scratch self, well at least it would differentiate them like that as having them all with the same names would've been very confusing and strange even by troll standards. Thankfully the woman didn't interact with the youngest Vantas very much. 

All five were pretty wary about that subject but they would have to set that aside and deal with it at a later date as they were bust with something else entirely.

After a few days of getting accustomed to their new lives and as well as after the fight with the game created enemies the five knew that the peace that they had wouldn't last forever. And so plans were made.

Roxy had been looking for a place for them to call a base and possibly a second home, with her Void powers she could get the games machinery and they would be able to utilize it and take advantage over it. She would need help from the others of course, 'stealing' things out of nothing always costed her energy depending on what the item was. 

With how big the alchemiter was, plus its upgrades and more would cost a lot of energy. Something Jake had in spades accounting for the fact he had overpowered a grimbark Jade in the game, Jake could easily transfer his energy to Roxy and help her with it. 

She had also told them about the advantage they had if they used the Alternian Language, something they had all agreed to but Jake and John were lagging a bit behind as they didn't know Alternian that much, Jake knowing less than John as he didn't spend three years with anyone who knew of the language on his little island. 

Jake had been happy when Karkat offered to teach him as Dave offered to teach John. Roxy helped by sending over the files needed for them to be able to type in Alternian and learned how to switch between the language as best as they could, however only Karkat could speak the language which should be impossible with his new human voice box but the ex-troll wasn't complaining. 

It was a line that connected him back to his roots as a troll he had thought as he taught Jake its written language as best he could. It was only a few weeks worth of progress but Jake was getting there through sheer determination and Karkat was actually a great teacher if he wanted to be, the two were more comfortable with each other and considered each other friends.

The five of them would often video-chat each other at night to continue making plans, telling each other what they had found out and such. Dave had found out that they, sans John for obvious reasons, could not fly without wearing their God Tiered clothing and if they only wore half of the clothing they won't be able to fly as fast and if only one article of God Tier clothing hover at best. 

John was obviously unaffected by it, being the Heir of Breath and all. He could fly regardless if he wore the pajama-like clothing or not but he does admit that wearing them boosted his abilities. Wearing their God Tiers boosted everyone's abilities. 

They were able to control their powers just fine without the clothing but it wasn't nearly as much as when they were actually wearing the clothing. 

So far, nothing else had appeared over the weeks and the five were getting slightly twitchy about it. So used to fighting and letting loose their aspects so easily, now they had to hide their powers or else trouble would find their way and they weren't ready for that kind of trouble. 

That trouble referring to the others finding out everything that is. They still had no idea what to do if any of the others found out before they could remember, that is if they would ever remember... 

Karkat was already having the time of his life hiding the scars that he had inflicted on himself, it wasn't that hard given it was only a couple and he had already been wearing long sleeved shirts and sweaters but soon enough in the future they would become a problem because given his super duper mutant luck, erm ex-mutant he guess? The point still stands, he particularly scars easily and since he was a Blood Player logic says he will bleed excessive amount of blood regardless of the wound. 

And that wasn't even it though, he has to bleed because if he doesn't the blood just builds up to a ridiculous amount and he'll feel really fucking uncomfortable to the point it will start to feel painful and eventually suffer from unexpected bleeding from any orifice of his body. He had once cried blood from his eyes, though he had been a troll back then but he could not risk having that as a human currently. 

He was already worrying the others with his fucked up sleeping schedule and apparent insomnia, something he was forced to admit to Kankri after a week of little sleep pretty much forcing the elder Vantas to tell their father. Kelvin was not happy, neither was Kankri and that made Karkat also not happy given the fact the two were now trying to 'cure' his insomnia. 

Yeah, Karkat was admittedly having the worst problems out of the five of them. Though lately he and Jake were becoming close as he would rant and complain to the skull-loving teen who was physically a couple of years younger than the others along with Roxy. He refused to admit there was something growing there besides the human phenomenon called 'friendship' until Jake does his turn of ranting and complaining and just being so pitiable to Karkat. He could see it, the potential moirallegience he wasn't blind, but he'll deny it as much as he possibly could at the moment because he himself was hesitant and still hurting and bitter over everything. That and the fact Jake was an oblivious fuck and had no understanding on troll romance like John, actually scratch that he had no complete understanding on any species's romance even his own making him worse than John who was with Dave fucking Strider.

So yeah, Karkat was having the worst problem out of the five. 

Then Roxy broke down one week and a half into the peace, nearly getting herself found out because she had just remembered Calliope and realized everything. She had sobbed and cried, claiming that she was just the utter wurst *wrost *worst on the night she remembered during the call after John had tactlessly and offhandedly mentioned the cherub. 

Dave and John actually went to her in person to calm her down with John actually doing the shooshing and Dave doing a few paps here and there, something Karkat commented as them becoming Roxy's moirails despite them being three instead of two. Not that it mattered in perspective anymore but it was something Roxy took to heart after getting herself drunk and pouring all her troubles on both Dave and John, and the two just went with it especially after seeing Roxy get drunk and cry like that. So the three were now moirails.

Dave commented on how Rose had done the same on the meteor some times but she had Kanaya to help her. Jake had been absent from the call as he had been busy with Jade and Jacob but he supported them despite not understanding it, that was when Karkat had realized the potential moirallegience between them but did not comment or say anything. 

Anyway, Roxy's hangover the next day was what almost got her found out but she somehow pulled it through through sheer will and stubbornness alone. Unfortunately Rose was not nearly as convinced as Roxanne was so Roxy would have to tip-toe around her carefully. She was already on quite thin ice as she focused with her projects and plans, one being the problem of their voices. 

Their voices were recognizable to anyone who knew them and that was just added to the subtly growing list of problems for them, so Roxy had to deal with that but thankfully and surprisingly Dave had offered his help. Together they were creating a program that would scramble their voices, now Roxy was not much of a mechanic like Dirk was but she thankfully knew just enough to create the little devices that should be attached to their masks by the time they were going to be done. 

Unfortunately with her tiptoeing around her mother and sister as well dividing her attention to finding the perfect base for them along with their other plans the voice-scrambling and masking devices wouldn't be finished and completed for a few more weeks at best and a couple of months at worst and that was if they could get it to work without a hitch and smooth out the kinks and glitches. 

It would've been so much easier if Dirk had remembered... Actually... That gave Roxy an idea, she didn't know if it would work but it was worth a shot. 


 

"You want to do what?" 

"I want to ask DiStri to finish our little doodads for us! He takes commissions and shit, he could easily finish it and work out the kinks!" 

"But won't it be suspicious, I mean five new heroes check into this world and then a few weeks later a mysterious request for voice-masking devices come in. Dirk's smarter than that and he's a gogdamn weeabo son of a fuck that won't hesitate to see if he's right or not, he'll try to hack you and get back to the source."

"Try being the key word here Davey, DiStri only knows the hacks from this year and human language. If I use my sweet haxors from the future and the Alternian language no one can uncover my tracks or hack into our shit. Not unless they remembered or somehow know Alternian, 'sides I'll just order some extra more doodads from him because we both know they will break in the future." 

"... Fine, but just fucking make sure and shit. I ain't lookin' forward to them finding out but I want to be at least somewhat ready for it."

"Totally on it... sides I already did it? It was when we were talking, I did it anonymously of course. Hehehe woops." 

Dave's eye nearly twitched underneath his aviators as he sat on the roof, Roxy's sheepish face floating across him as his turn-top/time tables floated around him and he sighs "Alright, I'll let that slide for now Rox but next time tell me or the others first" he says sternly and Roxy nodded happily and Dave frowns at the disheveled look Roxy had. 

"You doing okay there Rox?" He asks and Roxy blinks before shrugging, both kind of awkward over it even though they were 'moirails' as Karkat and Roxy decided it to be. 

"Just, dealing with some withdrawal here"

"You sure?"

"Well that and the... other stuff"

"Ah" 

Both blondes enjoyed the silence, it was slightly awkward but not uncomfortable though having John there would've made things better but the windy boy was busy with the Crocker-Egberts. He was enjoying the family time they had but it was clear that John's father was getting a bit overprotective as John could barely leave the house without his supervision and more. 

Ping

Dave perked at the sound and sighs as he sees the message sent by Dirk "Welp, gotta go. Bros are calling me in, time for lunch-munch." he says as he stands and Roxy grins at him and nods and waves goodbye with an exaggerated wonk and kiss making Dave roll his eyes but he lets a small smile be seen as Roxy ends the call. 

His time tables are back in his sylladex as he leaves the roof, he slides over the stairs by using the hand-rail. He warned everyone about the stairs dude, he was sure as hell going to take his own advice and shit. When he enters the apartment he's a bit taken back at the great smell of real food. Not raw vegetables or fruit, not take out or pizza, not left overs from whatever restaurant they had gone to on the rare days or the rare pancakes or waffles, no it's just fresh and delicious home cooked meals

He shook his head, no complaining Dave. He should be happy, he is happy it's just... different and he's still getting used to it all even after these few weeks. These few weeks of getting used to Bro not being a stoic ironic god statue and shit, and also having Dirk in his daily life, not to mention how peaceful it all seemed. 

It was nice for a change, if only he wasn't a fuck up. 

He could see both brothers getting worried and shit over him as his habits became... concerning, he was hoarding food in his closet again like before, he tried to stay and hang around most of the time and each time would get a little longer than the other but he would still abscond as subtly as he could without letting the two catch on but they were beginning to catch on. 

Like he had said, it was a habit and certain habits were hard to break out of. Especially ones that stayed with you your whole life, he had thought he was over those kinds of habits but having Bro around no matter how different he was pretty much kick-started it all over again. 

He's the twitchiest of them all because he keeps expecting Bro to just bust into his room stoically demanding to strife on the roof or a surprise plush rump pile ambush along with the usual note and Lil' Cal. Speaking of the demonic fucker, it was definitely empty and pretty much just an ordinary creepy piece of horrifying shit. He's checked a lot of times, and he's fucking relieved to know that Bro had only kept it as a piece from his childhood and stored it away after he turned into a teen but he could never really part with it. 

Dave recalled himself getting along with this version of Cal just fine for a few years before finding it creepy and just handing it down to Dirk who pretty much adored it until he turned 12 and gave it back to Bro who then put it back into storage. He's tempted to just destroy the thing but... he guesses he'll let the thing live for now.

The moment it so much as thinks of shit, yeah hello legendary piece of shit welsh sword or caledscratch whatever and bye bye creepy ass piece of shit of a puppet. 

He's got an eye on that thing and like hell he'll let it ruin their lives again. 

"Sup"

Dirk glanced at him from his place on the couch, headphones hanging around his neck as his laptop laid on his lap with several tabs open. 

"Good, you're in time for lunch. Bro would've been pissed at you again for being late without a bona fide excuse." Dirk said closing a tab, Dave guessed its contents to be the request Roxy had sent him during their talk on the roof. She and Dirk sure can work fast. 

"Pshaw, me be late? Fuck that, I am always on time, I am the fucking Hero of Time dude and as the Hero of Time I can never really be late." Dave said with the usual Strider pokerface but underneath he was restraining the urge to smirk. Hah, truth right there. 

Dirk rolled his eyes but in the back of his mind that phrase seemed so familiar, was it from Zelda?? Probably... but he can't help but think that it came from something else... 

"Yo, lunch is done! Get your shits before I eat them or make them leftovers." 

This time both Striders rolled their eyes as Bro's voice loudly stated from the kitchen. Lunch was alright as the three of them chowed down in the living room again, Dave staying as far as he could by sitting on a chair at the other side of the couch besides Dirk. Bro was at the other end of the couch besides Dirk, lounging in the place Dave had been sitting before he went to get his share of the food. 

"So, when do you think they're going to appear again?" Dirk asked out of nowhere "It's been like, a few weeks since they first showed up. You'd think there'd be more action and shit" both Striders knew who Dirk was talking about. 

Bro shrugged "Well, in the animes they usually cut to the action and we don't really know how long its been unless they tell us. Real life may be anime now but it doesn't mean our lives are just going to cut away to the interesting stuff just like that." 

Dirk nodded but was still disgruntled at that, he felt a bit disappointed he supposed. He was an otaku that favored the action-packed animated shows the most, loving the fights as well as the moves he secretly wishes he could do in real life. Sword movement in real life was more restricting and of course realistic than showed in the anime but it learning to fight with a sword was worth it with or without the anime hype. 

Just having and knowing how to fight with a katana was already badass in retrospect! 

And the Striders were nothing else than badass and ironic as fuck. They wore cool shades and were the epitome of cool badass irony. 

As well as being the occasional douche and ass to everyone around them. 

"Calm down dude, I'm sure others asked the same question but just like you and them. They won't get their fucking answer immediately after like in the animes and cartoons where that one guy says something ultimately triggering the action scene and event." Dave says nonchalantly, chewing his food only to swallow in sudden surprise as the room suddenly shakes uncontrollably. 

Dave's face blanks as his brothers jerk and bounce on their seats "Well, will you look at that." he dryly states out loud, luckily he had just finished his meal in time before the earthquake happened. 

"Holy shit!" Dirk sputters as the earthquake grew stronger and Dave does not like on what that implies. 

"Gogdammit!" Dave curses as he tries to keep steady, he's forcing his way towards a window to look outside and his brothers do the same. 

Sure enough in the direction after a few minutes of looking there was a giant fucking tear in the middle of a street

And something big was coming through it

Bro immediately jerked the both of them back as the thing that came through the tear in reality roared, pretty much shattering every nearby glass things like windows and panes. 

The earthquake stops, the tear disappears but the monster remains. 

Dave narrows his eyes at the monster in the middle of the street and he's tense as fuck, its kind of familiar but he can't put a finger on it! "For fuck's sake!" he curses again as he and his bros get to their feet, his eyes widen as the monster starts to rampage just like the denizens. 

He gasps and immediately grabs both his bros and tugs them away "GET BACK!" their window breaks as a giant fucking hand grazes the building but completely destroys the window and the entire wall of their apartment as well as part of their floor and ceiling.

"Ngg-Fuck!" Dave gasps as he pants, a part of the wall had been aimed at Bro and he forcibly switched places with the elder as fast as he humanly could, keeping in mind that he still had to hide his powers from his brothers. The medium rock sized section of the wall had bounced off his back and there was definitely going to be a big dark bruise there. 

"SHIT! Dave you alright there lil' man?!" Bro's cradling him now, so fucking weird and usually un-'Bro'like. Dirk's sputtering beside him, checking with Bro and tenderly pawing at Dave's back. So fucking weird

Dave grunted "I'm fine, motherfuck." he hisses when Bro presses the rapidly forming bruise lightly only to recoil at his hiss of pain. Dirk winces at the sound as well at the sight of Dave's back, its even beginning to bleed slightly. 

Bro frowns and carefully carries Dave despite his protest "We need to get out of here." he tells them and they instantly agree, Dave insists he can walk on his own but Bro is stubborn with overprotective brotherly instincts that Dave is unused to. 

"FUCK!" Dirk screams as the monster's face is right in front of them. Dave cranes his neck to see it better. 

This motherfucker is red and black, and somewhat crablike. Dave bets that Karkat would know whoever or whatever the fuck this monster was. At the rate this was going he was going to have to reveal his powers-wait no nevermind. 

A red cog appeared in their apartment along with a twisting clock and the sound of ticking before it disappeared soon after and there he was, Future Dave in god tier extravaganza with the fucking shitty welsh sword in hand. Did that mean he was going to have to fight the fucker with the shitty as welsh sword? Dammit. 

Future Dave turns back to look at them and roughly motions them to go away before charging and fucking stabbing the monsters eye

Bro wastes no time in following his orders, carrying Dave and dragging Dirk out of the apartment as quick as they could. 

Dirk muttering in some sort of a daze "Holy shit what the fuck holy shit what the hell holy fuck what the shit" and such as he follows Bro downstairs. 

Dave struggles ignoring the pain his back provides him "Bro put me the fuck down! I have two perfectly good sexy Strider brand legs that I can use to fucking walk." he insists as he tries to twist in Bro's hold. 

Bro shakes his head and glares at him "Your back and quite possibly your spine is hurt and it does not look pretty Dave. If you think I'm just going to put you down after the fucking stunt you pulled then no motherfucking way. That was reckless but I could've taken it and now you're hurt and some bullshit monster is attacking our city and it's my job as your older brother to get you guys to safety." he's possibly hysterical underneath his facade because holy shit what in the world  just happened and fuck his brother was hurt and fucking tsunami of overprotective instincts just washed over him. 

Dave is openly gaping at him, this was so fucking weird hearing that come from Bro. It was honestly so very very very fucking weird!! And yet he's loving the warmth and whatever the fuck this was. He gripped at Bro's shoulders and curled up into Bro's hold, noticing Bro tightening his grip on him but was careful about the bruise on his back. 

He sees Dirk who's looking at him with such concern and gog. 

Everything was so weird and he didn't know how to react at the moment. Actually you know what? Fuck it. We're riding out this whole weird feelings train to the end. Choo choo motherfuckers, all aboard the Weird Train Express!

Bro nodded in satisfaction at Dave's surrender but would've been concerned over Dave's silence if his mind wasn't focused on getting the hell out of dodge. 

There are other people exiting their apartments like them as they try to evacuate from the building and move to safer grounds. All the while the three Striders stayed close and were inseparable during the commotion. 

They finally made it towards Bros car and they see Jake and Roxy fighting alongside F!Dave as Bro carefully shoves Dirk and Dave in the backseat and its apparently Dirks turn to cradle him. Bro moves quickly, the streets are crowded with people trying to escape and Jake abandons the fight with the crab-like monster to the people. 

He saves a few from being crushed and moves the cars along as best he could so they can get away from the fight. Roxy and F!Dave are doing their best but its only the three of them so far, where the hell were Karkat and John?!

The monster is big and their car was still dangerously close to it as Bro tries his best to navigate the road and suddenly there was a giant fucking foot heading towards them

"FUCK!!"


 

John sighed as he sat in his room, well, technically not sitting as much as just floating in the air but he felt like he was sitting on air. His position said as much.

He didn't have to worry about someone finding out or walking in or accidentally seeing something, his window was covered and he was floating above his bed so the moment his bedroom door opened he would drop down on his bed and that was that. No floating boy with super windy powers here, no siree.

The windy boy turned in the air, face down and staring at his bed sheets as he thought about the past few weeks.

Everything so far was disturbingly calm, not that he was complaining actually. He was just... he doesn't really know. 

Having family back was nice and all, don't get him wrong he would never wish or think them away. Not again. Never again. But, everything was so... normal. Or, normal-ish? 

As normal as a family of baking pranksters anyway, the pranks were great and all and he didn't even complain on the sweets and baking confections his dad, uncle and cousin made! But... 

It kinda lacked the chaos he was used to...

He was used to the games things and rules that normal life just... didn't really fit him anymore. 

Even on the three year trip on the Prospitian ship was chaos! With all the consorts, the carapacian prospitians and Jade and Davesprite! Who, turned into Davepetasprite and... erm. 

Point was, normal life just didn't really suite him and though he was kinda grateful for it because he got his dad back and all but... it wasn't really the same anymore without the games damned craziness somehow involved. He couldn't use his powers and his sylladex because sylladexes weren't a thing in this universe for some odd reason. 

And he lived so far away from all his other friends, and Dave! He wanted to see Dave, its been a while already and the 3 years apart was enough of being apart anyway. 

Yeah, maybe he'll go visit Dave later-

Knock knock knock

After whatever this was going to be anyway. 

Abruptly John dropped unto his bed and called out to ask who it was. 

"It's me! Jane!"

"Oh, come on in Jane! So, what's up?"

"Just wanted to ask if you wanted to accompany me and dad to the market is all. We're going grocery shopping, and I believe Uncle Jack is finally going to go retrieve his car so we wondered if you wanted to come with us." 

John blinked, so his dad was finally go get his car from wherever the heck he left it from a few weeks ago? Good, that means he was finally relaxing himself. John noticed that his dad kept a closer eye on him since the denizens came from that rip in space or whatever, he seemed to be really stressed and was over-affectionate at some times. Man his dad was really overprotective over him huh? 

He... never really noticed that before when he was 13 but he noticed it now! It was sweet of him honestly, if a bit a little too much in all but he wasn't really complaining. 

John shook his head "Nah, I think I can handle being at home alone. Thanks for the offer anyway Jane." he sees Jane frown and he can see the worry and slight paranoia in her eyes, yeah it wasn't only his dad acting like that too. Jane and Uncle Joe were being the same too, it was nice having family besides his dad and Nanna who was noticeably dead in this universe. 

He missed her honestly, she was a cool guide and was an awesome old lady who combined with a harlequin. Jane might be Nanna but she wasn't Nanna at the same time. 

Gogdamn confusing ectobiological family tree. 

"Are you sure John? The last time you were alone you..."

"I'll be fine! I'll be more careful about the stairs and stuff, I swear. Now you go with Uncle Joe and buy more groceries... but no Betty Crocker products please?"

Jane giggled "I swear, I will never understand your dislike for our great-grandmother's corporation. It's so silly!" John's smile became strained, yeah it might seem silly to her but his hate for Betty Crocker pretty much sky-rocketed the moment he found out about the whole Condescension being Betty Crocker. 

Though it would seem that in this universe that was not the case. 

Betty Crocker in this universe was a normal corporation, though he was still wary about it. No offense to Jane and his uncle and stuff but he will never like Betty Crocker. 

The knowledge that he was naturally biologically related to Betty Crocker in this universe was just as disturbing as knowing that an alien tyrannical evil fish empress was his adopted great-grandmother. 

He didn't really even know what his life was anymore but at this point he doesn't really bother to care about it, preferring to care about more important things in his new life. 

John greeted Jane goodbye as she left his room leaving him alone again, as the door closed he floated from his bed and towards the window and opened the curtains slightly. 

He watched his dad leave the house and waved him goodbye when his dad looked at him from outside, he also waved goodbye to Jane and Uncle Joe as they left too in their car that they retrieved a week prior. 

John sighed before turning to float back to his bed when something outside the window caught his eye, he blinked and peered out of the window to find. Karkat???

Hey, it was Karkat! Human-looking Karkat anyway, he's staring at him, he could recognize that scowl and glare anywhere be it human or troll version! 

But wait, what was Karkat doing here?

Quickly John flew down to the front door as soon as Karkat moves forward and quickly pulls the former troll inside before he could even lift his hand to knock making the grumpy shorter male yelp in surprise. 

Karkat hissed curses at John as he pulled himself away as John used the wind to close the door, no he was not lazy he just wanted to focus on Karkat right now. 

"Karkat? What are you doing here? How are you here??" 

Karkat glared at him and scoffed "Don't you remember? I live in your neighborhood now Egbert, so do Vriska, Tavros and Eridan. But I guess your pans been stuffed with cake and stupid human family bonding to remember huh?" 

John grinned sheepishly "Oh right... Anyway, why are you here?" he asked curiously as they both went up the stairs to Johns bedroom. It was safer that way, the windows in the living room were still open and John preferred his bedroom anyway. 

"I had nothing to do and I sure as hell didn't want to stay at the Ampora hive any fucking longer. I would've gone here sooner but Kankri and my... father have been at my back for the past few weeks! I finally got them to leave me the fuck alone and let me go out on my own!" 

Karkat grumbled as he sat on Johns chair while John floated about in the room. 

"So, how does it feel to have a family Karkat?" 

Karkat paused and shook his head "I don't fucking know Egbert, it's weird... but not the bad kind of weird somehow?? Fuck, I don't know!" he groaned as John settled to float in front of him. 

Karkat had came so he could get away from his as well as the Ampora family, he needed to talk to someone in person, someone who knew about the game and someone he could temporarily vent certain topics to. He could've gone to Jake who was surprisingly the second closest person that lived near him besides John even if it was still a bit away but Jake was busy with family stuff, apparently Beta Jake was taking all three of them to a shooting range for gun training. 

Not that Jake really needed it but it was nice to hang out with the two Harleys, he missed being an English but it was admittedly nice being a Harley. 

It was in a middle of Karkat's rant about Eridan and his stupid now-human family did they feel the earthquake. The force of the tremor was noticeably not as strong as a few weeks ago. 

"Oh what the fuck is it now?!?" Karkat screeched as they both headed towards the window to see if there was a tear in their neighborhood, thankfully and yet at the same time worryingly there was no tear of space and time. 

Both of them perked at the sound of their computers pinging in their sylladexes. 

It was Dave. 

TG: okay
TG: future dave here from like hours from now
TG: texas is under attack from whatever the fuck the game spat out 
TG: karkat i have a feeling you know on what the fuck this thing is so come here right now
TG: everyone get the fuck to my apartment and help me get beat this giant piece of shit to the ground
TG: future dave out

"The fuck Strider." Karkat hissed but changed to his godtier clothing nonetheless, mask and all.

John followed not a second later as he read the last message "Come on! You heard him, we need to hurry! Don't worry Dave, I'm coming!" he called out as he burst into wind and escaped through the window. 

Karkat cursed "Dammit Egbert wait for me!" he called out as he escaped through the window like John but instead of bursting into wind he slitted his wrists as he jumped out and turned into a floating glob of blood. In the back of his mind he was thankful that no one was around to see that, they were lucky at this time around but they really needed to learn on how to exit more discretely. 


 

"FUCK!!

Dave gripped at Dirk at the incoming foot and-

WoooOOOoooOOsh-BANG

Dave breathed a sigh of relief as the car was encompassed with glowing blue wind. John

"What the fuck?!?" Bro hissed as his car was suddenly enveloped with blue and suddenly his stomach flipped as he felt the car being raised from the road. He jerked in surprise at the sudden appearance of the blue windsock wearing boy that appeared on tv for several weeks, he was kneeling on the hood of his now flying car that was in a sphere of dense wind. The mysterious blue hero waved at him and his brothers but said nothing but he could hear his injured little brother breath a sigh of relief which was soon mirrored by Dirk. 

"Awesome.." Dirk breathed after sighing as he looked at their savior, taking in every detail that he could at the very rare chance of being within almost personal vicinity of an actual super hero. He noticed the tight grip Dave had on him relaxed considerably, he absentmindedly rubbed at Dave's arms as he continued staring at the blue hero and grinned when the hero waved at him and his bros. He waved back and so did Dave. 

So very awesome

Suddenly the windsock hero stood and the sphere cleared and disappeared, letting them see their surroundings. They were definitely flying, they were above the road and the buildings helped them figure out how high they were. They were five stories high in the sky. 

Bro's grip on the wheel tightened, he felt uncomfortable and awed at the same time. Awed that his car was flying and that was awesome but uncomfortable because he wasn't the one in control at the moment. 

"Look!" Dirk blurted out as they flew between buildings, the monster was in sight now and there was a new arrival besides the blue windy hero. It was the dark red hero that controlled blood, which was awesome and kinda morbid if you thought about it deeper. 

Dave narrowed his eyes as John controlled the car in the air, he sees Karkat near his future self. They were probably talking as they paused from their fight, though Karkat was flailing and they were too far to hear what was being said. John stood at the hood of Bro's car, normally the action would've made Bro hella mad by now but surprisingly the elder Strider was quiet and was letting John get his shoes all over his pristine and clean car. Oh and it looks like that John wasn't done saving people yet, he was waving his glowing arms about saving people by taking them to the air and doing his very best in getting them away from harm.

Dirk's grin grew even wider as he watched John wave his bright blue glowing arms obviously using his powers to help more people, man they were so lucky to be witnessing this so up close! 

Bro silently watched him save more people, nodding in approval at the use of his powers. At least the teen knew what he was doing, though he would've preferred if the teen had gotten him and his brothers away from the monster before focusing on saving other people but as long as he and his little brothers were safe then fuck it. Save away oh dear windsock savior of his, go ahead. 


 

Karkat gaped as he looked at the monster before him, he couldn't believe it.

"Holy fucking shit, how the fuck?!?!?" Karkat screeched as Dave, supposedly Future!Dave, came and flew to his side. 

F!Dave grunted as he readjusted his grip on the shitty welsh sword "Know this guy?"

Karkat whirled to face him and screeched at him "Know him?!? That's His Honorable Fucking Tyranny!! I don't know about his personally but I've read a lot about him, but this isn't fucking possible. Vriska's ancestor Aranea killed him hundreds of sweeps ago!!" he flailed his arms, unknowing on how to react to this. 

F!Dave raised an eyebrow at him underneath his mask "You sure? So this guys not a game construct?" he asked as they both flew back a bit as His Honorably Tyranny attempted to claw at them, though Roxy managed to get his attention and manipulated his claws into hitting a shield of generic objects instead. They nodded their thanks to Rox who sent them a thumbs up. 

"Fuck no! I guess, I don't think so?? I have no fucking idea, I wasn't around when Aranea killed him with Latula's own fucking cane sword!! Nor did I create the gogdamn monstrosity!!" Karkat hissed at F!Dave. 

F!Dave just grunted before diving in to slash at Honorably Tyranny's body, Karkat wasn't that far behind as they both focused on the battle. 

In the background John seemed to be focusing on getting the people out of the battlefield with his windy powers and Jake was mostly helping him. 

"Jegus christ this guys tough." Roxy panted as she flew back with Karkat, F!Dave keeping Tyranny busy. 

Karkat ignored her in favor of examining the giant crustacean-like monster, it disgusted him to think that this monster reminded him of CrabDad, CrabDad was so much better than this monstrosity. 

"Well if Aranea's Post-Scratch self managed to kill His Tyranny sweeps ago then you can gogdamn count that we can handle him." Karkat told her as he powered up, Roxy grinned and nodded as she did the same. 

Both of them combined their powers and used their Fray Motifs, music appearing in the background as they did. They ignored the fuck out of that because that was probably the game fucking with them like normal, it always happened when they were fighting, background music just seemingly there and especially if they used their fray motifs that seemed to be music-based for some reason. 

Roxy and Karkat gritted their teeth as they did their two-type combination, Void and Blood Aspects clashing slightly but they managed to work together in taking His Tyranny's fucking arm in their efforts. Both were disgusted as black blood dripped from the missing hand. 

"Gross, I'm not fucking with that shit!" Karkat exclaimed as he sees the black blood. Why did he even have black blood? How was that even possible!?

F!Dave exaggerated a gag as he flew by their side "Dude, the fuck is with this guy?" they watched His Tyranny flailed about, Roxy using generic objects to prevent him from doing a lot of damage to the buildings around them. There were still some broken buildings obviously but at least she reduced the original amount of damage. 

Karkat sneered "I don't fucking know! I don't even know how and why His Tyranny has black blood which should be fucking impossible!" he barked back. 

"I managed to get a lot of people on the other side of the city, I don't know if I got all of them but I suggest we wrap this up soon." John says scaring the shit out of the three of them with his sudden appearance. 

"Johnny! Don't scare us like that!" wailed Roxy, but she had a little grin on her face. 

"Oh, haha whoops." 

"Haha whoops my fucking ass John. Let's just get this shit over with, so far the most serious damage we got on this fucker is when we used our fray motifs. Normal attacks don't do shit because of his armor, so I suggest we get Jake on this and finish him off in one big combination." 

"Good idea." 

Roxy and Karkat went ahead but John was held back by F!Dave. 

"Thanks for saving my ass and my bros asses back then John. Really appreciate it bro." 

"No problem Dave! Past you and your brothers are safe and sound in the other side of the city."

"I know dork, I'm from the future remember?"

"Shut up Dave, I knew that."

"Haha, c'mon dude. Let's finish this off so you and I can hang out sooner."

"What?"

"Later Egdork, you'll see."


 

"Holy shit that was so fucking awesome."

Dave grunted as he was checked over by Bro, he tried not to twitch and fidget so much because being in such close proximity with his older brother still weirded him out and shit but he was getting used to it. In fact, having him like actually care about Dave felt good. Really good

"Awesome or not, our apartment is pretty much jacked the fuck up." Bro deadpanned as he thought back to their home, dammit. Well at least they would get insurance over it, wait. Did they have insurance for monster attacks?? Fuck it, they'll get something from this. 

Dirk faltered from his excitement and frowned "Oh yeah... damn, so what do we do about that? Where are we going to stay?" he asked as he winced slightly as Bro wrapped Dave's back after applying some kind of ointment that made Dave hiss. 

"Well I'm sure as fuck not staying in a hotel." Dave said and failed to bite back another pained hiss as Bro continued to bandage up his bruised back. He didn't like the thought of staying at some hotel, he didn't know why he just didn't like it. 

Bro sighed and looked at his work with a critical eye "Alright, that should be good enough till we get you to a doctor." he rolled his eyes and bopped Dave's head when the red eyed teen protested heavily "We're getting you to a doctor Dave whether you like it or not, reckless little shit." he mumbled as he ruffled Dave's hair. 

Dave noticeably went silent at the gesture, internally freaking out a bit before shrugging and just enjoying it while he could. Though at some point he would need to time travel and help out with the fight. 


 

 "Not a game construct huh?" F!Dave commented dryly as they picked up almost all the grist. 

Karkat flushed and glared at the Strider "Shut up Strider, I said I didn't fucking know about it okay?!" he fumed, aiming a sharp needle of blood at the blonde who dodged it effortlessly. 

"Though I guess it would explain on why this fucker's blood is black? I don't know, sburb's already fucked everyones history up and I'd rather not dwell on it" Karkat continued as he picked up more grist with Johns help. 

John nodded "Yeah, I think it's best not to question it? I mean, we're dealing with enough shit as it is." F!Dave grunted but nodded nonetheless. 

"Well I suppose that would be the best action, I mean like jegus christ on a fucking cracker just look on how we all turned out. I'm still bamboozled on why its only the five of us chums who remember the game and kept our powers!" Jake exclaimed as he came up to them. He had a point, none of them knew what the heck happened that led to them and only them in remembering so far. Not to mention the weird world they were all living in now. 

The lack of sylladexes, trolls becoming humans and more!

Roxy gasped and flailed "Incoming paparazzi!" she said with an exaggerated gasp and jumped into the air, true to her word though there were several news casts and reporters coming towards them. 

"Uhh.." 

Instantly Karkat, F!Dave and Jake are off the road and in the sky just to avoid the stampeding amount of people that came towards them. 

Underneath the five floating teens were many reporters, news casters who were asking so many questions at the same time. F!Dave signaled for them to stay before they could leave and turned to John.

F!Dave nudged at John who shot him an incredulous look "What?" he whispered and the blonde whispered into his ear. 

"Oh..." John felt his eyes widen before he turned to the reporters down below who stopped making asking question when F!Dave got all of their attention. 

John wasn't really sure about the thing Dave whispered into his ear, he'd try but he sucked at speaking in public especially in front of strangers and other people. He sighed and coughed, gaining everyones attention. 

John felt the wind gather around his head, his eyes glowing blue underneath his mask and the glow managed to be seen even with the mask. 

"I am Breath, my friend here is Time." Wow his throat felt weird, the wind was distorting the sound of his voice. F!Dave saluted at them as John continued and the others instantly knew what was going on "The others are Blood" Karkat awkwardly raised a hand "Void" Roxy waved her hands like crazy "And Hope" Jake bowed because he was a gentleman. 

"The five of us will protect you from... whatever comes through the tears. So I guess that makes us your new heroes??" John awkwardly rubbed at his neck, Karkat did a double face palm while Roxy was shaking with silent laughter. F!Dave was silent and stoic and as for Jake he just awkwardly rubbed at his arm. 

John coughed and blushed "Sorry, I'm not... used to speaking to strangers... Um, so yeah... You all wanted to know who were are and yeah... UmSoHaveAGoodDay!!" John abruptly exploded into wind and was rushing away in embarrasment, F!Dave shook his head and disappeared with a fading clock, Karkat groaned into his palms and turned into blood that darted away while Roxy just disappeared unable to keep her laughter silent anymore and Jake just waved goodbye before disappearing in a flash of yellow light. 

Leaving a group of once again stunned reporters in silence, people all over the world had watched witnessed the newest real life heroes speak for once and it was so incredibly awkward it was clear that 'Breath' was only just a teen. 


 

John groaned as they all appeared way up in the sky, the five of them were so high in the atmosphere that the ground was hidden by the clouds. 

"Gog that was embarrasing!!" he whined as he hid his blushing face in his windsock, his mask disappeared when he appeared. He ignored the hug he got from Dave as he appeared beside him, patting his back. 

"Nah dude, you did perfect." 

Roxy was keeping her laughter down but she sent John a bright smile and patted his face after flying near "You did good Johnny, you did good." she told him giving him a thumbs up. 

Karkat breathed in to comment but was stopped by Jake who gave him a stern glance "You did excellent John! Why I couldn't have done it better myself!" he complimented and nudged at Karkat who glared at him briefly before huffing. 

"You did... okay Egbert." he said reluctantly and John smiled despite the embarrassment still clinging to him. 

"Thanks guys... Well I guess we're called by our aspects now..." he sighed as he looked over everyone "Okay, so our aspects are now our superhero names. We might've gotten better ideas if we tried harder but I guess its better than nothing?" the other nodded. 

Yeah it was better than nothing really and better than some of the names they were called during the aftermath of their first fight. Some people had called them ridiculous nicknames like 'the blue windsock' and stuff. 

"Welp it was what you told me to tell you when I went back after all of this." F!Dave told him and John nodded, time stuff. 

"Anyway, shouldn't you be getting home John? Your dads gonna flip if he realizes you're not at home right now. You to Karkat." Both boys paled, oh yeah if they weren't home soon their families were going to flip the fuck out. 

"Thanks Dave! Bye guys, bye Dave!" John said in a hurry and kissed Dave's cheek before leaving, Karkat following closely after waving goodbye. 

F!Dave, Roxy and Jake exchanged quick goodbyes before exiting in their own ways. 

Chapter Text


 

"No you gogdamn idiot! That isn't fucking it either, you uugh!!

"Hehehe, whoops?

Karkat groans into both of his palms as he slouches over his desk, on his laptops screen is Jake fucking Harley who was grinning sheepishly at the former troll. 

"It's not that fucking hard! We were doing so well too!" Karkat complained as he leaned back to slack at his chair to glare at Jake, besides the tab of Jake's face was another open tab. It was Roxy's personal program that was helping Karkat teach Jake Alternian.

"My apologies Karkat, here let me try again. I think I can get it, I promise." Karkat huffed but signaled him to try again making Jake beam, Karkat pointedly looks away as he does not, he repeats does fucking not notice the way Jake's brow scrunches up in concentration and how his tongue peeks out adorably in slight frustration from underneath his inherited buckteeth. 

Dear lord Vantas get a grip on yourself

Karkat shakes his head and focuses on Roxy's program and watches as Jake tries again to form the paragraph. 

Currently Karkat was having Jake translate a whole paragraph from English to Alternian at the moment within the program, however it seems like Jake was having some problems seeing that this was his 5th time in failing and retrying again. At least he was getting better, though Karkat was currently a little bit stressed at the moment thus his reactions to Jakes failures were a little a bit over proportions. 

Though Jake didn't seem to mind, just smiling at Karkat like the dumb pitiable idiot he was. He honestly doesn't know on how or why he was forming a fucking pale crush on Jake ex-English now-Harley

"Aaand, there! Karkat! Did I do it?" Karkat blinks and narrows his eyes at the paragraph, he sees some mistakes but admittedly its better than the last attempt. 

"... You did okay, there's still some shit you've messed up like your grammar but at least it's fucking readable. I'd say 7 out of 10." 

Jake beams at him and Karkat ignores the way his cheeks are warming up, he has it so bad for him jegus fucking christ, and sends him two thumbs up. 

"Why thank you Karkat! I say, you're quite the teacher if I do say so myself, I'd like to thank you for offering to teach me Alternian.

Karkat glares at him "No fucking problem, don't mention it. Really please for the love of gog, don't." he deadpans and the skull-appreciating teen just laughs at him. Karkat glares at him harder. 

They spend the rest of the time in between chatting to each other and Karkat continuing on teaching Jake his language. Soon enough it was time for them to stop as they spent all their limited time, it was time for them to go to bed. Their lessons happened mostly at night and they chatted in their freetime in the day, occasionally reviewing some things in the morning. 

"Well, it's time to hit the hay. Thanks again Karkat, you really are a great teacher!

Karkat rolls his eyes "I told you not to mention it idiot, and you're welcome. Now go to bed fuckass." he snaps at him, Jake is unfazed by his apparent rudeness knowing it was just Karkat's personal way of saying he cared and stuff. 

Suddenly Jake frowned and furrowed his brows "Um, Karkat?

"What is it this time Harley?" 

"Have you been sleeping well dear chum? I remember you saying something about needing slime to keep the nightmares away and for you to properly sleep. Are you okay? Are human beds hurting you somehow?." 

Karkat froze before frowning deeply, Jake looks at him in concern. For fucks sake this oblivious teen is going to be the death of you.

"Karkat?

"... I'm fucking fine Jake, you don't need to worry about me like you're my motherfucking lusus. Human beds are... fucking uncomfortable admittedly and I don't think I'll ever get use to them, for the time being I've just been sleeping on piles mostly. It's kinda shitty but it helps a bit, I'm just waiting on you and Roxy to find somewhere to make a base and finally appearify a fucking alchemiter so I try and alchemize some sopor slime." 

Jake frowns but nods "Well alright if you say so, but do tell me if you're having trouble. I'm always here for you and I'll try to help in any way I can!" he says as his frown turns into a bright grin. 

Karkat thunks his head to his deck sighing, hiding his slightly flaming face "Just... go to fucking sleep Jake you gogdam ignoramus of a gigantic fucking dork." he exclaims loudly towards Jake. 

Jake laughs wholeheartedly before nodding "Alright, I hope you sleep well on your pile Karkat! Also, do you think you can explain more on that and troll sleeping habits in the morning? I fear we won't be able to do that tonight seeing grandpa me will no doubt be checking up on me in a few minutes. Well, goodnight Karkat! See you in the morning!

"Yeah yeah yeah, night Jake." 

The tab closes and he saves Jake's current progress on Roxy's program before closing it as well. 

Karkat yawns as he looks at the time, it was nearing a little over midnight. 

He stretches as he gets out of his chair, he cranes his neck and observe his room which was finally fixed and repaired. 

His bed is perfectly bare, untouched for days now but beside it is a pile of blankets, pillows, clothing as well as some other junk he had carefully put on the pile that he had put inside his closet. It's been his resting place for the whole time he's been back in his room. 

If Kankri or his father saw the pile no doubt they would want him to clean it up, humans, he will never really get them despite being one himself now. That was why he hid it in his closet, all his other shit was stored either underneath his bed or sylladex or was somewhere in the pile itself. 

He shuts off his husktop and captchas it, can't leave it out in the open. He gives himself a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness properly as he left the lights off and his husktop was the only source of light in the room. Anyway it's a husktop for gogs sake, alien technology and shit. He glances at the human laptop and decides he'll have to get used to using that as well, shouldn't be too hard. The computers on that meteor were human based anyway, getting used to using a human laptop should be no big deal. 

But he'll continue using his husktop anyway when he's not using the laptop. He couldn't bare to part with the last remnants of his old original species, but he'll have to be careful about it. Definitely no leaving it about in his room that's for sure. 

The Blood Player lets out a sigh before getting his ass to the pile, opening the closet and closing it behind him as he settled into the pile. He uses his cape as a blanket because Dave was right, their capes were the gogdamn shit and most likely the most comfortable piece of fabric to ever exist for them in Paradox space. 

He sighs underneath the soft fabric and closes his eyes, hoping for a good nights sleep tonight. He's really tired. 


 

ERIDAN

Wwe're all goin to die anywway, I'm doin evveryone a fuckin favvor Sol! Lowwbloods havve no right to say otherwwise!!

ERIDA-SOLLUX! NO, FUCK FUCK FUCK. ERIDAN WAIT NO--FEFERI!! SHIT, WAIT ERIDAN YOU GRUBFISTING JERK DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE--!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hold still kar, don't wworry. You'll join the others soon, sides a fuckin mutated freak like you wwas bound to be culled anywway, Alternia or not. Freaks like you aren't suppose to be alivve this long, I'm almost impressed. Noww hold still, this wwon't hurt a bit.

 

 


Karkat lets out a strangled gasp, stumbling off his pile and slamming into the closet doors that swung open to let him out. 

It's dark inside his room meaning that the sun wasn't even up yet. 

He pants on his bedroom floor, down on all fours and shakily gasping for breath as he stares down at the carpeted floor. Fuck. Fuck.

Okay, shit. That fucking night terror again. 

Ever since they stayed at the Amporas he's been dreaming of Eridan killing the others as well as him again, Human Eridan wasn't really helping but he didn't know about what he had done before as a troll so that... ugh. 

Karkat groans, curling up a bit before forcing himself to stand up. He rubs his face and groans again, the room is blurry and dark but Karkat makes his way out towards the hall and manages to steady himself against the wall and get into the bathroom with no problem. Luckily both Kankri and his father were still asleep. 

His adjust to the bright bathroom light as he turns it on, he hisses at the brightness and waits for his eyes to adjust again. He glances at the mirror and frowns, he looks like total shit. His hair was sticking absolutely everywhere, his eyes were bloodshot and there were tears gathering in his eyes again not to mention the already dark rings around his eyes were darkening ever so slightly more with each sleepless night, his mouth felt dry and his throat parch too. 

He sighs before splashing water on his face, it's cool and helps him a bit. He looks up towards the mirror and-

Troll Eridan's behind him snarling hatefully, the dreaded white wand of science pointed right at the back of his head-

He jerks around in panic, sickle in hand that cuts his wrist only to find-- Nothing. 

He's alone in the bathroom, he's alone and human and holding his sickle that he used to cut his wrist which bled down to the floor. He takes in a shaky gulp of air, his sight focused on his blood that stained his bathroom place mat. 

Karkat grits his teeth and wills the blood out of the mat and to start circling his wrist, floating in air and gathering more blood from the still bleeding self-inflicted wound. He pants lightly and shakes his head, putting away his sickle to rub the bridge of his nose and eyes "Gog fucking damn it..." 

He mutters curses and turns back to the mirror, it's only him in the reflection now. No Troll Eridan, just him with a ring of blood floating around his left wrist that finally stopped bleeding. 

"Fuck... I really need some sopor slime... Hurry the fuck up Roxy." Growling, he manipulates his blood into a small ball. The size of a small marble, and looks at it. 

It looks like a red pearl now with it shaped that way, the color unnaturally red even for fresh blood by human standards. But no, he may be human now but he somehow still retained a lot of shit from back when he was a troll. 

He frowns darkly before putting the small ball of blood into his sylladex, it joins a card that had 3 other balls of nearly the same size. He then frowns down to his wrist, the bleeding stopped and he was annoyed to see that he had cut the sleeve of his sweater again, dammit. 

He changes out of the sweater and wears a new one, he would fix that later on when he had the supplies and time. Thank gog he took those lessons with Kanaya back on the meteor, he didn't want anyone else to fix his sweaters since it would bring questions. 

He rubs his face one more time before leaving the room, the sun is starting to peek over the horizon.

Karkat stops to look at the very early sunrise before continuing on to the kitchen, his throat was even worse now with that stunt and his stomach growls in hunger. 

It's mostly dark in the kitchen and the early morning is predictably silent for now, he drinks water and makes breakfast for himself. A single simple self serving of oinkbeast meat strips and cluckbeast eggs, erm, bacon and eggs

Karkat eats in the kitchen, quietly enjoying the meal he made himself. The sun is half-way above the horizon when he finishes, he cleans up and goes back into his room and just as he closes the door his sensitive hearing hears footsteps coming from the hallway. They're heavier than Kankri's and he hears the muffled thump of his father bumping into something and the short burst of a pained curse, it's short and partially restrained.

He must think Karkat and Kankri were still asleep. 

Karkat listens as Kelvin continues on muttering muffled curses. The cancer breathed through his nose and slid against the door and towards the floor, it's bizarre on how Kelvin acted more like Karkat than Kankri. Oh sure Signles-Kelvin lectured and they were admittedly better than Kankri's dreaded lectures but outside his serious sermons and lectures and teachings, Kelvin acted like a more mature very adult Karkat. 

He doesn't know if it was because Kelvin was now human or if he acted like that even before as a troll but it was so weird, everything was so fucking weird and. Sigh. He's not adjusting as well as he likes to think he is. He's trying his best and he is adjusting dammit, but it was going at a freaking slowshellbeast's pace! Uh, snail's pace

He was still getting used to regular human vernacular for gog's sake! 

Karkat huffs tiredly before heading towards his pile again, rubbing his face. Maybe he could get at least an hours more worth of sleep, hopefully with only a few light night terrors that weren't up to scale as towards the Eridan fucking Ampora murder nightmare. Dreaming about his friends going on a blood rage wasn't fun. 

His human mind sends him a thought of a psychologist and a therapist and Karkat instantly throws those ideas away, hah! Him asking other humans for help, especially the therapist part? It was bad enough with Rose back on the meteor, that is before when she didn't drown herself in human soporifics. 

Besides, he couldn't tell anyone who didn't know of the game about the game or else he'd be sent to a human asylum or something. Yeah, nope, not fucking doing that

His traitorous troll mind sends him the thought of a moirail and Karkat throws that idea away right out the fucking window, what moirail?! He had no moirail dammit. Gamzee didn't even fucking remember and even then their moiraillegiance was a fucking train wreck with Gamzee being mostly bloodrage sober and avoiding Karkat on the meteor and he was the only one to even remember among the trolls of what Quadrants were!!

His mind is lead to Jake and he just wants to claw at his thinkpan until it just stops thinking of all fucking things. Yeah, not touching that, he's going to sleep and that was that


 

 He wakes to Kankri knocking loudly on his door more than half an hour later, he feels like total shit.

"Karkat, brother, you have to wake up. Unless you wish to miss breakfast, which I do not recommend breakfast is a very important meal of the day and bluh blah bluh

He groans into the pillow he's hugging and rolls off his pile and bumps into the closet doors, he's groggily opening them and closing them behind him to hide the pile and he's painstakingly dragging himself on two legs towards the door. He opens the door slightly to look at Kankri, interrupting the spiel of words that spews from the elder's mouth. 

"Go the fuck away, I'm up and for fuck's sake shut the fuck up. It's to gogdamn early for this shit." Karkat seethes, currently in that state of mode of where you wake up like hours earlier than planned and feeling not as shitty but then you go back to sleep seeing you still got time but the next time you wake up you feel 10x shittier than before. Yeah, that mode. 

Kankri frowns at him and asks and scolds, "Are you alright Karkat? You don't seem too well, have you slept properly? Also, language." 

Karkat rolls his eyes "I'm fucking fine, I slept fucking fine and I'll fucking cuss if I motherfucking want to. You can't tell me shit to do Kankri, it's too fucking early for this bull. You said something about breakfast? Yeah I'll be there in a few minutes now go away fuckass." he snaps and closes the door. He hears Kankri going at it again at his door, sounding annoyed. 

What a normal morning so far. Weeks before when he first did that with Kankri he was a bit worried that maybe he'd been a bit to... Troll Karkat on Human Kankri but his human mind reassures him that mornings were basically like that for the Vantas family ever since Karkat turned 12. 

That's a relief. 

Karkat groans and stretches, rubbing his eyes as he did. As shitty as he was right now he was thankful he got a little more sleep in, he shouldn't feel as tired for today then. He checks his husktop and so far nothing from Jake or the others, his ex-troll-now-human friends on the other hand...

His eye twitched as he reads through their memo, it's subject was: of fucking course, Karkat. Looks like they continued after he left last night, he only stuck around for a time before being weirded out of the memo on how subtly different everyone was, that and he had to tutor Jake shortly after. 

Yeah, everyone was so different as a human. Sure they acted kind of the same as they were trolls, their handles were the same, their typing quirks were flawless and shit but... they just weren't the trolls that he knew of anymore. Which was the point, they weren't.

They were human. 

They were more emotionally stable, they had better wriggl-- childhoods and life experiences despite it resembling slightly like before, with Terezi going accidentally blind like before and Tavros being temporarily a cripple, they had families and relatives and other human friends, their lives weren't always on the line or they had something violent to do everyday or something fucking else

 

Everyone was free of the blood that they spilled in the lives of their past-selves, from Vriska to even Kanaya. None of them remembered the lives that they took and their wrigglinghood that was normally filled with violence and blood on mostly a daily bases. 

He was still getting completely over the fact he was safe from the culling drones with the Condesce right there on this planet they're all occupying but whoops! That's the Human Condescension Ondine Piexes who had no memory of how terrifying and powerful she was before. Silly him, let him just get over that fact and over everything else!

Karkat forcefully took in a breath, ignoring the tingles of his body that was unconsciously begging for a feelingsjam and full on pap session from the non-existent pale quadrantmate he had. 

Ping

Karkat blinked as his huskpalm pinged, he takes it out of his sylladex and Jake's there to greet at him. 

--golgothasTerror [GT] is pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG]--

GT: Good morning karkat!

GT: I don't suppose you're awake right now are you? it's quite early to be honest.

GT: Maybe you're still asleep or something, sorry. 

GT: I should probably leave you to sleep, well, hopefully your sleeping fine.

GT: You get a lot of nightmares right? Oh i hope your sleeping okay karkat.

GT: Don't worry though me and roxy are on the case, she even told me that she found a place but she's just not sure about it yet.

GT: But soon enough we'll have our very own base and we can alchemize that sopor stuff you need to sleep! :D

GT: *Blinding smile and happy arm flailing* 

GT: 

GT: Erm, wow that was. Kinda childish i guess. 

GT: And i'm probably disturbing your sleep or something sorry karkat.

GT: I'll just go and

CG: WOW YOU ARE SUCH A FUCKING DORK

GT: Karkat! :D

GT: Good morning!

CG: MORNING 

GT: How are you, did you sleep alright?

CG: IT WAS

CG: ALRIGHT

CG: TELLING THE TRUTH I DIDN'T SLEEP A LOT LAST NIGHT BUT AT LEAST I GOT SOME SLEEP

CG: IT'S BETTER THAN NOTHING I GUESS.

CG: ANYWAY YOU SAID ROXY PICKED A PLACE?

GT: Yeah but she's not sure yet, but soon enough she'll find somewhere and we can go get the alchemiter and you can get that sopor slime stuff to help you sleep. Isn't that grand?? :D

CG: SOUNDS FUCKING AMAZING. I CAN'T WAIT TO FINALLY GET A DECENT NIGHT'S SLEEP. 

CG: THE TWO OF YOU BETTER HURRY THE FUCK UP THOUGH, I'M FEELING PRETTY FUCKING IMPATIENT.

GT: Don't worry karkat! I promise the first person to alchemize anything will be you :)

Karkat growled, ignoring the his heated cheeks. Damn Jake Harley and his unfair amount of pale charms and attractiveness! 

CG: YEAH WHATEVER

CG: I'VE GOT TO GO NOW, KANKRI'S GOING TO COME BACK AND LECTURE MY FUCKING DOOR AGAIN IF I DON'T COME DOWN FOR BREAKFAST.

GT: I see, well i hope you have a great morning karkat. I'll be here anytime you need to talk to someone today, i have the whole day all to myself seeing as jade and grandpa are busy with their own things. I don't think I'll be doing anything important so if you ever need a chum and an ear i'm right here!

GT: By goshdarn i rhymed!! :D 

He was such a fucking DORK.

CG: THANKS I GUESS

GT: Bye karkat, we'll talk later i suppose :B

--golgathasTerror [GT] stopped pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG] --

Karkat resisted the urge to throw his huskpalm into the wall and just threw it back into his sylladex instead. How was it possible that he had a pity crush on that boy. He pushed the thoughts around before shoving them aside, Kankri was going to come back soon if he didn't move now.

Not to mention even though he ate like an hour ago his stomach rumbled at the faint thought of food, then again only had oin-bacon and eggs for breakfast and his metabolism shot up ever since he remembered and got the ability to control his aspect again. 

Grumbling Karkat combed at his hair, he contemplates if he should change sweaters before remembering he had like an hour ago via self-inflicting slice. Thank gog godtier clothing could repair and clean themselves. 

He takes one look at himself before nodding, good enough. 


 

Breakfast was unknowingly awkward for the Vantas family, Karkat's look of unease and discomfort went unnoticed by the two elders as they spoke to each other with whatever topic it was for this morning. 

It was nothing new and special, just more preaching from the two preachers and lecturers. Karkat snorted as his mind provided the Alternian equivalent of them, the very violent and bloody equivalent of preachers and lecturers that would always spew more Empire propaganda into other peoples faces and shit. 

Man they were annoying whenever they came by in his subgrub and lawnring, trolls who were near the edge of their wrigglinghood wearing and preaching, screaming, yelling out loud praise for Alternia's ways and the Empire. Once before when he was truly naive and thought he had a silver of a fucking chance to being a proud soldierhead and threshcutioner, he had thought that praise to be awe-worthy until it got annoying and he noticed that the preachers were only ever highblooded trolls. 

Teals to Purplebloods, never anything below teal and even then teal was uncommon. 

He was glad he wasn't the one who had to deal with those fuckers and that they didn't even come around to his hive to preach in person, others on the other hand weren't as lucky. He remembers hiding in the safety of his respiteblock back when he was 5 sweeps old, as a blueblooded troll destroyed a hive of a suicidal burgundy blood that dared to shut the door of their hive to said blueblood. 

He didn't see what happened and had to rely on rumors and the local gossip mill for that, but what he did see. That alone would've immediately sent him to therapy had it existed on Alternia or if he had been human before and if Crabdad was more sentient and human-like. 

A rustblood-covered blueblood troll around his age walked meters away from his lawnring, dragging some poor burgundy's body or corpse; the chances and possibility that the rustblood was alive was plausible, smiling widely with their sharp-ass teeth and bloody weaponry. Proclaiming loudly that this was what happened to those who would ever think to reject or betray the empire and continued on with their preaching as if it never happened. 

That would certainly traumatize a normal person, maybe it even traumatized him as a wriggler and he never even knew or something. 

If it did then he got over it, maybe. 

"I still think that these 'heroes' should think about their choices. They are still young teens after all. I've read that both 'Hope' and 'Void' were the two shortest members, yes it may be possible that they are merely short in height but there is an even bigger possibility that both are even younger than the other three."

Karkat snapped out of his mind as he caught wind of their conversation, Kelvin had a frown on his face and Kankri was mirroring it. He doesn't know who said that yet but he finds out it was Kelvin who said it as Kankri replied. 

"Maybe, but perhaps they had no other choice? We know nothing about them father, so far there are endless theories and such about them in the internet alone. Maybe they had another choice but that choice was worse and so they took that particular path. Though I do agree about the fact of them being so young teenagers. We can only hope that their actions and decisions will not be too affected by puberty." 

"Wait, what are you too talking about."

Kankri blinked and his father glanced at him. 

"Oh, we were merely discussing about the five new heroes Karkat. Ever since they announced their names and such inthe media everyone's been talking about them, asking questions that no one but the five themselves can answer. Like, why are they named as such? Breath, Hope, Blood? Where did they come from? How did they get their powers and if they were bestowed those powers why give them to young teenagers?"

The ex-mutant had to restrain himself from doing anything 'I don't know, ask Paradox Space and the motherfucking bucket-licking games from hell SGRUB, SBURB and any other fucking version of the damned things'

"Seeing Breath commandeering the wind and Blood cutting himself to control blood, which I have various problems and triggers concerning with it because he's willingly cutting his wrists what does that mean about his psyche and mental stability as a young teen, and Void disappearing without a sound or word. We have yet to see much proof for Time and Hope, what about Hope? What does it mean? How is Hope power and how do you wield it against something and if you can how powerful is it?" 

Karkat contained a snot 'Very powerful as grubfisting FUCK, Pages are nearly endless batteries of their aspect. Just look at Jake overpowering grimbark Jade who was the fucking WITCH OF SPACE and was part FIRST GUARDIAN who's power source was a GIGANTIC FUCKING BALL OF GREEN STAR PARADOXICAL FIRE

"Going back to Time, does that mean he has control over time itself or can manipulate a part of time? There are so many questions about these five and the mystery of it all has a lot of us twitchy for answers. Especially Aranea, she wishes to know the story about these five and to be honest I too, wish to know." 

'No you don't. You really really don't.' Karkat thought to himself as he hid his clenching fists underneath the table, his face pulling a frown and he strained to keep it at a frown and not a frustrated snarl. 

Thankfully Kelvin sighs and brings the attention of both him and Kankri. 

Karkat squints his eyes a bit before biting down the hesitation and asks Kelvin "What's wrong, dad?" Good, he didn't stumble in calling him that. That's 4 in a row and he didn't manage to mess that up so new record, one more good thing for this morning and the whole week. 

Kelvin smiles reassuringly at Karkat who fidgets slightly in his seat "Not much Karkat, just. I'm concerned about Blood is all. Kankri made a good point, is he alright? Doing that doesn't seem really healthy regardless to what powers they have. Not to mention countless others might have hesitated, even grown adults and soldiers hesitate most of the time from cutting into their own skin! 

Seeing a young teenager effortlessly draw blood from his own body, hell seeing young teenagers fight against monters from another reality of all things. Puts you on your nerves when you're a father of two yourself, I can't imagine the reactions their parents must have if they know about this. Wait, do they about this? Oh dear, what if they don't? They may be possibly be acting without adult supervision! 

Oh but they must be, they have to be. No sane responsible adult would let kids fight against anything like those monsters unprepared. They seem to be well-experienced with their powers, someone had to have taught them. But, if they know how to teach those powers then why aren't they dealing with the monsters? Why are they letting people going through puberty fight those things?!" 

Karkat was stunned at that, Kelvin and Kankri are pulled into their theory/lecture state mode again as they bounced questions, theories and hypothesis against each other. Karkat ignored that and focused on what his, dad had just said to him.

Was this what it was like to have someone who wasn't your age, in fact above your age, care for you? Was this what the Signless had to deal with when he was raised as a grub by the Dolorosa? Having people care for you without them being in your quadrants? By human adults who were swee-years older than you? 

His... father and brother were so concerned about him, well not that they knew of course but it... felt nice... and he was actually beginning to feel guilty about it. And everything.

Like, how were they going to react to the fact that it was Karkat that was willingly cutting his wrists. Karkat risking his life, fighting the monsters with four others. Karkat keeping everything a secret so that everyone would be safe. Karkat bleeding daily from day in and day out for something they didn't, couldn't and wouldn't know of or remember? 

It was inevitable really, them finding out. Nothing could really be kept secret forever whenever it came to things like this, but he'd stall it as much as he could so they could stay safe longer. And he knows he'll feel guilty about it when the time comes, fuck he's feeling kinda guilty now, and that everyone was going to be so fucking pissed but a decision was made and he promised to John and the others about this. 

He'd keep them all in the dark for as long as he could, protecting them from the damned game that gave him his title and literally made him into who he was now. 

He was Karkat Vantas, Hero Knight of Blood, (ex)Alternian Descendant to the Signless Sufferer. Knights were protectors and he was going to protect them to the best of his abilities. Keep them safe until they would hopefully remember and be strong like they were back in the game. 

 

He doesn't know what their reactions would be, that was left for the asshole Future Karkat but he'd be damned if he wasn't going to try his absolute fucking best for everyone. 

...

Future Karkat curses Past Karkat and Past Everyone for what he had to go through, maybe it had been better to come clean from the very start and have to not fucking deal with all this dramatical bullshit that they had to go through. 

Oh well, it was too late to change anything now. The gears of time were moving, Dave could provide proof of that. 

 

Chapter Text


 

"What the fuck, did you just say." 

Kankri blinked, "Oh did you not know? We're all going to the Piexes family household, Miss Ondine wants to speak with father and all the other adults in a meeting of sorts and she decided to let them bring everyone else too. Everyone is going with no exceptions so if you have any thoughts of skipping this then I am sorry not sorry to say that you are unable to do that. Father and I are bringing you with us whether you like it or not. Besides, we're going to see everyone there at once, your friends, my friends so I don't see the problem." and with that the first born Vantas nodded firmly and left Karkat to gape at his back at the couch. 

"Gogdammit." Karkat cursed as he finally processed on what Kankri had just told him. Fuck

 He did not want to deal with his friends in person like this! Not now, not so soon! He was mostly content in dealing with them over Pesterchum, gog he missed Trollian, and not in person so he could deal on his own on the fact everyone was so fucking different. 

He had already dealt with the Amporas first since he had to stay at their hi-house but it was too early and he knows that even Eridan was getting suspicious over his interactions with him. And the consequence for staying with the damned ex-fishfuckers were Troll Eridan themed nightmares galore! 

Fucking. Wonderful.

He wasn't ready to face them in person just yet, not all of them at once at least

Although it had been weeks since everything happened, Karkat's adjustment was going slowly but surely. That enough was already garnering attention to himself as he wasn't as chatty with his human friends as before, finding it a bit awkward at most points to be talking to the others and he feared he would slip up and say or reveal something. Gog he could barely stand to talk with most of them with how different they were! 

Turns out Past Human him and Human Tavros were pretty good friends? Which was weird since he never really talked much to Tavros back as a troll and now suddenly there were conflicting memories of everything and everyone and gog it was all so confusing...

Human Gamzee and Human Tavros were also dating, which was a good thing he guesses since he could make sense of that since he knew of Gamzee's flushed crush on the ex-brownblood. Good to see his... former moirail, getting a good quadrant filled. Even though humans didn't have quadrants and all but... Tavros would certainly be better than him in a quadrant, he had been a shitty moirail towards the purpleblood. It was his fault a lot of shit happened in the game. 

Karkat sighed and shook his head, no use in getting negative now. He would have to deal with it. He could do this. He was a strong, proud and very powerful Knight of Blood! He went against the Black King, Jack Noir, The Condescension and motherfucking Lord English himself! 

Yeah, he could totally do this!. 


 

On second thought; scratch that, give him Lord English or Her Imperious Condescension any day. 

Karkat thinks vehemently as he sits at the back in Kelvin's bright red car, he has headphones plugged into his ears and the volume set at its peak so he could focus more internally within himself and also block out both Kankri's and Kelvin's voices as they talked about politics or whatever. 

He could totally not do this. 

Breath Vantas, just breath and survive. Maybe if he ignored the whole world and everything in it, he could cease to exist or somehow miraculously travel back in time to before this shit happened. 

Pfft, as if! He's a Blood Player not a Time Player! 

And besides, even if they could travel back in time to before all of this they can't. Dave had tried to do just that but only ended up in the past of this world, even going as far as back to his 5th birthday. He's locked into this world's time stream and no one elses, he can't time travel back into the game and find out what the fuck happened. He could only travel back in this world's time. 

If they had a Space Player maybe things would be different, but they don't have a Space player available. None of their Space Players remembered and even if they did, knowing their luck they probably couldn't do anything. 

Fuck, this fucking sucked

"Karkat!" Karkat jolted with a strangled yelp as his earbuds were ripped from his ears and at the sudden shout of Kelvin's voice, "We're here. Come on, you'll get to see all of your friends! Be sure to stay within the area okay? Unless Ondine or any other adult says otherwise, you and your friends are to stay within the Piexes household." Kelvin sharply instructed, using a very familiar tone Karkat knew about. 

It was the same tone he used when he wanted the others to follow his orders, except since Kelvin was older or some shit it was actually more effective that Karkat's. Although he mostly used that during really serious situations and battles, even then nowadays he leaves half of it to Egbert who was actually a good leader, friendleader whatever. 

'For the love of a pretentious nookscratcher, I'm doomed as fuck.' Karkat thought to himself as he slowly exited the car, Kelvin and Kankri were waiting patiently for him outside it. As soon as he exited though, Kelvin locked the car and tucked the keys away and unless Karkat had money for a cab or used his godtier jammies to fly, he was stuck here until everything was over. 

"Karkles! So glad to see you in real life after like, forever!" Karkat yelped as all of a sudden he's being whacked on the head by a cane, a very familiar cane. 

"Terezi you nookmunching idiot, don't hit me with your stupid fucking cane!" Karkat snapped and turned to face Terezi only to stop and stare. 

Human Terezi was a brown-haired and Caucasian girl, she still wore those stupid red shades of hers and was getting used to her newly favorite dragon-headed cane which actually didn't double as a sword surprisingly. She wore simple teal shirt with the Libra symbol printed in front in black, she wore bright red jeans and blue shoes. 

"Don't diss the dragon cane Karkat, dragons are fucking awesome and you know it! Also, nookmunching? What's that?" Terezi asked with her classic wide smile that didn't really seem right with her dull human teeth, he's more used to the tealblood's sharp wicked grin with equally sharp teeth. It was one of the reasons why he had flushed feelings over back then, though those feelings pretty much dwindled over the course of the game and the two admitted that being friends seemed like the better option. 

Wait, was his Past Human Self crushing on Terezi like he had been? Wow, fucking awkward if Human Terezi actually returned those feelings because if he had feelings for her before, they were long gone now! 

"It's nothing, how's being blind so far?" Karkat quickly said as he spots Human Latula and Human Redglare talking to both Kankri and Kelvin, Redglare's Human name was Cosima Pyrope. 

Cosima looked almost exactly like Latula but acted more like a very mature Terezi, though she and Terezi shared the same glasses as Latula wore red square shades instead of the other two Pyropes pointy ones. Latula was dressed almost exactly like her old Troll Self but without the red gloves and boots, she just wore teal sneakers instead of the boots and didn't wear any gloves. 

Cosima on the other hand wore black slacks and a teal belt, its buckler was the their family Libra symbol. She had a red shirt underneath the teal blouse she had on, and her sharp smile reminded him more of Troll Terezi rather than Human Terezi. 

"Meh, it's fine buuut. Did you know you could develope synesthesia? I didn't! The doctor's didn't even know too! It's awesome! I can smell things so differently than before and my hearings been upgraded! They don't know what happened, I was just simply blind and then bam! I could smell the color orange and tell the difference even though I'm blind! Also there's this weird thing going on with my tongue, it's disgusting but also cool." Terezi informed him excitedly, telling him all about the sudden bout of genetic something that happened all of a sudden while she was blind. 

Karkat had a feeling that it wasn't as random as she and the doctors thought it was, he has a suspicion on who's to blame for the sudden transfer of Terezi's abilities but thankfully it seems that it was only Terezi's enhanced senses of smell, hearing and taste and he's actually glad that Terezi was Human for a moment! She didn't lick him! 

"Honk honk motherfuckers. Sup Terezi, best friend~" Karkat stiffened at the voice, why the fuck now?!

Terezi grinned and turned towards the direction she heard the voice was coming from, "Gamzee! Hey!" she greeted and Karkat stiffly turned to see Human Gamzee just getting out of the purple vehicle with Kurloz and the Grand Highblood, aka Kieran Makara. 

Human Gamzee had black hair and lazy purple eyes just like his elder brother and father, those eye genetics were strong in the Makara family it seemed, and both he and Kurloz had white and grey face paint on them and it seemed that the design of the face paint didn't chance from when they were trolls which was, something? Karkat didn't know how to react. 

Gamzee wore a dark purple shirt with the black Capricorn sign on the front, he wore a matching pair of black jeans with violet highlights and purple and black spotted sneakers and around both his wrists were two brown bracelets that were no doubt gifts from Tavros. 

Kurloz didn't wear his stupid ass skeleton get-up, instead he wore something similar that didn't look as stupid. He wore a long sleeved skeleton-hoodie and had baggy jogging pants that had printed bones on them with his shoes being just standard white running shoes. Though instead of stitches on his mouth, instead there were metal piercings that looked as if he stitched into his skin but didn't stitch his mouth together and Karkat could spy another piercing faintly above Kurloz's left brow. 

Kieran looked so fucking different as a human, though his height shrunk he still towered all of the others with the exception of Ondine Piexes and was quite intimidating with his large form and figure. He was a perfect blend between both Kurloz and Gamzee in terms of looks, but he dressed nothing like them- in public at least. Instead he wore big black dress pants with matching black shoes and a black jacket, a violet polo shirt underneath it and like Cosima his belt buckle portrayed his sign proudly for the world to see. 

Karkat had the undeniable urge to just say 'fuck it all' and change into his Knight clothing and fly the fuck outta there the moment he even saw Gamzee much less Kieran. And wasn't that a weird name like Cosima, Alpheaus and fucking Ondine?

"Fuckface." Karkat forced out in a forcibly calm deadpan after a moment, he couldn't afford to break down and freak out now of all times. His heart was beating loudly in his chest but only he could hear it as blood rushed through him, he needed to let some of that out and calm himself down

Gamzee grinned, striding in long steps towards them and gave Terezi a hug which she returned with a pleased cackle. He turned to give Karkat the same thing only for the cancer to reject vehemently, "Hug me and you're a dead clown fuckass!" he snapped as he dodged the larger male's attempt at a hug. 

"Aw c'mon best friend! It's been so motherfucking long, give me a hug Karbro." Gamzee whined and actually pouted when Karkat rejected him again, it was for his own good. He didn't know how'd he'd react if he was suddenly swept into a hug and the thought of physical contact was not pleasing to the ex-troll right now. 

"Aww KK making you thad GZ? C'mon KK, jutht let GZ do hith thing; you don't want to make the clown thad now don't you?" At the teasing lisp Karkat wanted to simultaneously sock his face in or just balk at the familiar lisp seeing as Troll Sollux lost his lisp after Karkat accidentally punched his teeth in. It's been a while since he's heard that lisp. 

"Hush now Sollux, I'm sure Gamzee will survive just fine without Karkat's loving embrace." At the sarcastic wit Karkat wanted to simultaneously hug the fuck out of Kanaya or just stare at her, wondering if she was still a rainbow drinker or at least the human equivalent because he can't really tell without the glowing white skin and fangs. Who knows. 

It seemed that both Kanaya and Sollux arrived at the same time with Sollux's ancestor/father driving for the six of them. He never took any of the captors as fucking redheads of all things, well their hairs were all in the shade of auburn. As for the Maryams, well they kept the black haired color like a lot of them. 

"Sup Kel!" Dexter Captor, aka The Psiioniic greeted with an enthusiastic hug to which Kelvin returned with a big grin. All the Captors were heterochromic, though both Mituna and Sollux hid their eyes with mismatching eye wear/headgear of their shared eye-color but Dexter let his eyes be seen by the whole world. His right eye red and his left blue. He wore a yellow sweatshirt with his Gemini sign black and stylized across his chest, his pants were both yellow and black and completely symmetrical in design on each pant leg and black sneakers. Through years of practice through his own lisp and with him being an adult with his teeth now slightly smaller than when he was smaller, he talked normally though when he was angry or emotional he would slip into his old lisp. 

"Kelvin." Corinna Maryam, aka The Dolorosa greeted softly and gave Kelvin a kiss to the forehead and a fond smile, Kelvin blushed lightly and rolled his eyes mock-reprimanding her slightly saying how he wasn't a child anymore. All three Maryams wore green lipstick today with Corinna's being the darkest shade of jade between the three, she wore a pale green pencil skirt with the Virgo sign expertly sewn into the fabric. She had a lace black and white, long sleeved blouse and a small green jacket over it. 

"Kanny! Tulip!" Mituna shouted excitedly and practically pounced on Latula who laughed and barely struggled underneath the Captor and expertly maneuvered the other to stand beside her. Mituna still over that yellow helmet with the blue and red visor, he didn't wear the jumpsuit his Troll self always wore but instead wore a yellow and black bee-themed hoodie and yellow jeans with black sneakers. On the back of the helmet was his Gemini sign. 

"Kankri, Latula, Karkat, everyone." Porrim smirked as she sauntered over, she wore a sleeveless black jacket and short sleeves green shirt to show her 'new tattoos' that curled around her arms that she got behind her mother's back. Though she was grounded she said it was totally worth it, even the eyebrow piercings that she got. She wore a short skirt, flirtatiously short but long enough to get Mother Maryam off her back about it. On her left shoulder was her family sign, Virgo tattoed in the exact color of their old blood. 

Sollux snickered as he pushed his red and blue glasses up his nose to keep them from falling, wearing the exact shade of his old blood-colored shirt with the black Gemini sign on the front. His pants were the same half-black and half-white with his shoes being mismatched with black and white and no doubt his own socks would be mismatched red and blue as well. 

Kanaya looked disapprovingly at Porrim though inwardly she was awed at her choice, she wore a jade colored and long sleeved shirt with the black Virgo sign sewn in her own personalized sewing style. She wore her usual bright red long skirt that also had a white Virgo sign pin around the waist. 

Karkat felt a little overwhelmed at the amount of familiar looking people around him, but he kept it down. Though that didn't stop him from fingering at his long black sleeves, his blood was begging to get out and if he held it back down long enough he would surely either get a nosebleed or cry blood. Which was not a good option. 

"I think the others are inside already, come." Corinna called out, Karkat breathed a quiet silent sigh of relief. He could excuse himself to the bathroom and deal with his blood problem and shit. He didn't notice both Sollux and Kanaya glancing at each other and back to his long sleeved wrist where he tugging on in instinct. 


 

The Piexes were ridiculously rich and that was a known fact. Their house was a mansion that was filled with aquatic life, there were two pools one indoors and another outdoors. 

Ondine Piexes stood and towered over all of them, an amazon woman really. She, like Feferi, mostly preferred to let her monstrous amount of hair free and it reached right down to her ankles wheres Feferi's reached to the back of her lower thighs and Meenah's when unbraided reached at the same height though when braided it reached to the older teen's thighs. 

She wore dark pink lipstick and wore golden jewelry with pink gemstones, though it was only limited to her golden necklace with a pink fucking diamond, her two golden hoop earrings and the two rings of gold on her left hand. And that was it when the old Condesce would deck herself in golden jewelry daily and just for the hell of it wherein Ondine just wears that amount of jewelry most of the time. 

Ondine was rocking the fuchsia slacks, dark pink high heels and black lace blouse with pink sequence forming the family sign of the Pieces. Instead of goggles like both Meenah and Feferi wear, she wears pink rimmed glasses. 

Meenah wears a fuchsia-colored shirt with her black Pieces sign on front and dark grey jeans with pink Pieces signs on the pockets and dark pink running sneakers. She only had a lip piercing so far, as for jewelry she only had two expensive looking golden bracelets that circled her wrists with pretty pink gems. 

Feferi wore a sleeveless aquamarine shirt with pink lines that was actually her Pieces sign stylized on her shirt, around her hair was a golden-colored hairband that kept her hear out of her face. She wore a dark blue skirt that slanted to the side and wore pink colored sandals that showed her pink painted toenails. 

"Karcrab! It's so good to see you again!" Feferi greeted and tried to jump in for a hug, Karkat expertly dodged her and ignores her as she pouts at him but is quickly distracted at the fact Sollux was there. 

"Tavros~!" Gamzee grinned as he sees his boyfriend sitting on the expensive-looking white couch. All Nitrams had mohawks, no questions asked and if there had they would just ramble on about some shitty thing instead of a full on answer. 

Tavros' hair was dark brown, unlike both his brother and father who both died their hair red for whatever reason. He had a black short sleeved jacket on with the undershirt being a brown colored shirt with the black Taurus on it. He has black pants on but one pant leg was bunched together to prevent it from covering the leg cast on Tavros' leg. His brown crutch laid across his lap and he smiled at them, waving Gamzee over to sit beside him with his seat being free, though his other side was occupied. 

Rufio was sitting on his other side, ever since the attack from weeks ago and Tavros nearly being crushed by the debris of their own house after being alone both he and his father were being quite protective over him. Rufio of course had red streaks in his hair, copying his father who approved of him doing that. His clothing wasn't that much different when he was a troll, though instead of actual bones being tied to the vest it was only sewn to look like it was tied to the vest. 

Jasper Nitram, aka The Summoner, was standing nearby and waved at the newcomers. He looked like Tavros but dressed like almost like Rufio, though his hair was redder and he had a small septum piercing that tied his look together and it the fact his sign was Taurus made the look work and both his vest was and shirt were both black and sleeveless. 

"Oh hey, Karkat. How's everything?" Tavros greeted with a smile as the he came by, Karkat was a little taken back at the blatant confidence that Human Tavros seemed to naturally exuded unlike old Troll Tavros from before he died and became leader of a ghost army. 

"It's fucking wonderful. Excuse me I need to use the load-fucktoilet." Karkat hissed as he lightly scratched at his elbow, his anxiety and stress was at its peak now and he needed to let out some of the blood before he freaks everyone out with his blood burst. 

Eridan appeared from nowhere and motioned towards a direction, "If you're lookin' for the bathroom, it's that'a wway." He told him and Karkat muttered out a brief thanks before scuttling towards the bathroom, body unconsciously shivering as he passed Ondine's back to get to it. Even as a human his instinctual fear and paranoia over the Condescension didn't go away, back when he had to force himself to face the fish bitch face to face, he had the backing up of his friends and they were fighting not, doing something casual and. Fuck, he can feel his nose starting to tingle. 

"Karkitty, you okay?" Karkat jolted and yelped in surprise as he turns to see Human Nepeta looking at him in concern. 

She still wore her blue cat hat that now lacked holes for non-existent horns, she's wearing a green colored shirt and the Leo symbol in black, that seems to be a very reoccurring theme here, her hands are glove-free and instead there are two blue bracelets on one wrist. She's wearing black jeans with dark green sneakers, she has a special belt that only her and Muelin have as they acted like cat-tails courtesy to their moirail-sorrymost bestest friends in the whole wide world! 

Meulin is right behind her, special headphones on her head that were modified to look like cat ears as well, and she's wearing the same outfit as her troll self was with nothing really changing besides the headphones. Out of all of the other ancestors it seemed that she was the closest that looked like their old troll self though Karkat suspects it was because her troll self's clothing was the closest to normal human clothing. 

Leonor Leijon, aka The Disciple is with his ancestor-dammit, father along with Dexter and Corinna. It's mostly looking at a very much more mature Nepeta with longer hair. She's wearing a dark grey blouse with green lace and a black miniskirt with the sign of Leo sewn on it and dark green leggings underneath. She wore heels that looked more like flats in all honesty but it complemented her look.

"I'm fine, and don't call me Karkitty!" Karkat fumed before wincing as he felt his eyes go itchy, another sign, fuck. He quickly turns his back, "I just need to go to the bathroom, badly. Later!" He says and rushes towards the bathroom, holding a hand over his nose and wincing as his heart was practically jumping out of his chest. He passes Damara and quickly barricades into the bathroom, just in time and his nose starts to bleed. 

"Bucket-licking taintmunching bulgesucker." Karkat hissed as he looked at his bleeding nose in the mirror and there goes his eyes. Karkat groans as he blinks through crying literal tears of blood. Fuck. He was not ready for today. Frantically, he grabs a nearby bath towel and splashes it and his face with water to wipe the blood away, he's careful to roll up his sleeves for this and tries to not get anything stained or noticeable. 

The stress of seeing everyone alive from fucking Nepeta to the Condescension herself. It was just too much for an ex-troll who's also gone through too fucking much

"F-Fuck." Karkat curses as he feels his nose stop bleeding but his eyes continue like a fucking waterfall, he grabs at his chest and feels his blood-pusher beating fast and pumping so much blood, "Fuck." Karkat repeats before grabbing a knife from his sylladex and cutting into an artery on his right hand, it's the fastest way to bleed out more at the moment. 

The porcelain white sink is tainted red and pink as water and blood mix together. Karkat's eyes finally stop crying blood but he cuts another artery and slowly calms himself down with the feeling of blood leaving his system. He ignores everything around him and just focus on getting his blood-pusher to stop creating and pumping too much blood, after what was probably 25 minutes or so he lets up and presses against his self-made cuts and feels the flesh healing back together. 

The sink is easily wiped clean with the towel, as for said towel it was pretty much a deep and bright red and pink. Karkat scowled at it, he didn't really feel for cleaning the towel or controlling the blood in it so he just throws it into his sylladex for later cleaning or something. He doesn't really care for the towel at the moment, he's just thankful he managed to get his blood under control and calm his sorry ass down. 

He takes one look at the bathroom door before sighing, he would need to get this over with. 

He's spent enough time in the human ablution block, bathroom, whatever. 

He makes sure there isn't any visible blood on him and nods when he doesn't find any. He sighs again before straightening his spine and going through the bathroom door. 

"Grk!"

"Hey, what it!"

Only to bump into another person, an adult person. 'Fuck.' was Karkat's main thought as he looked up to see- fucking hell - Vriska's ancestor/mother, "Oh, it's littlest Vantas." 

Moira Serket, aka Marquise Spinneret Mindfang. She stood over him being the older human, she was long-haired Aranea that was more menacing and mature, more sly and cunning. She wore a cerulean and black tail-coat with a stylized Scorpio sign, it was similar to the one her troll self wore but more modern and human-like. Underneath that she wore a simple black blouse and black slacks with cerulean trimming, she wore red heels to complete the look. 

"Mind moving over so I can take a turn kid?" Moira asked in a deadpanned and Karkat let out a shaky sigh and scrambled away, the business woman with questionable connections and motives ignored the strange behavior seeing it of no concern for her since it was just her daughter's friend. Though as she entered the bathroom she smelled it, the familiar coppery smell. 

With narrowed eyes the Eldest Serket observed the bathroom, finding the little mistakes that Karkat neglected to take care of. She rose a brow and looked back towards the direction the boy ran off to. She hummed in thought and frowned before shaking her head and just went ahead with her business. 

It was up to her daughter, her friends/Karkat's friends, his brother and father to figure what's wrong with the boy. She had no part in this. 


Karkat sighed as he forcibly calmed his pulse again, it was easy seeing as he had just gotten rid of the extra blood and shitty fuck. 

"Hey Kaaaaaaaarkat!" Karkat suspected as much that Vriska was nearby.

He turned to look at Vriska and saw with her Aranea and the three Megido's, not to mention Damara who he had passed earlier to get to the bathroom. 

Vriska had the same cerulean lipstick on like Aranea and Moira and it was weird without seeing her eyes either blank or have 7 pupils in one eye. She kind of wore the same thing she wore as a troll, grey jacket with two full sleeves but the undershirt wasn't black, it was cerulean with her Scorpio sign in black. Her pants and shoes stayed the same. 

Aranea, well stand him corrected on the fact Meulin was the closest one to dressing up like their old troll selves, wore the exact same thing she wore before she went all ghost crazy something and ruined a timeline. The blue dress and socks and everything, though the necklace was gone and that was a good thing he supposes. 

"Man, is it good to see your short grumpy self in real life again. The others were getting worried over you, like seriously, I told them you were fine though and yup! I was right, which I always am~" Vriska sang as she swaggered over. 

Behind her was Aradia who grinned at the sight of him, "Karkat, it's good to see you again!" the really alive Aradia greeted. Karkat was mostly used to her either being dead, a robot or very morbidly cheerful, seeing her alive and remembering her in his Human mind felt baffling. 

All three Megidos wore burgundy lipstick and Asian looking, even Aradia and it was kind of weird but fitting he guesses. Aradia's shirt was just like most of the others, burgundy short-sleeved and her sign of Aries was sewn as black, her skirt was light grey and plain and she wore simple black shoes as well. The only other change that he saw was the pair of red and blue bracelets on her wrists courtesy to Sollux being her best friend, and not boyfriend strange enough. 

Damara, on the other hand seemed to change the most. The Eastern ex-troll that he remembered was aggressive and sexually forward, this Damara seemed to be calm and nice, if a bit stoic. She even gave Karkat a small smile greeting! She wore a red blouse that teased along her bust but showed her light pink undershirt, she wore a red miniskirt and black stockings with white flats. Instead of a pair of chopsticks that kept her hair into a bun, there was a beautiful hair comb with the Aries symbol carved into the red wood. 

"Little Vantas." greeted Griselda Megido, aka The Motherfucking Handmaid. Karkat silently gulped, he's heard of her and she's just as terrifying as the Condesce and the only reason why he doesn't fear her as much as he feared the Condescension was the fact he platonically pitied her after he heard on how she was raised. Being raised underneath Lord English and Doc Scratch? No wonder she was such a terrifying figure! He wonders on how she was raised here on Human Earth, hopefully better than her old troll self. 

Griselda looked like a more mature Aradia dressing up as Damara, she wore burgundy and Karkat was happy she did because if she wore green then that would've implied something that he didn't like. Her clothing was closely like Damara's although her blouse was black with a dark red undershirt, her skirt was also black with red J-Japanese? Yeah, Japanese lettering designing the fabric. She wore white stockings instead and had bright red high heels instead of flats, adding towards her height. 

"Y-Yeah, hey." Karkat greeted half-heartedly, very glad that he's let out a lot of stressed out blood before coming out. 

He was surrounded with historical, very powerful and terrifying adult ex-troll figures. It was ingrained into his ex-biological system to fear these adults until he could defend himself as an adult himself had he even survived on Alternia, his mind was still set on that and though his body was human, that didn't stop the mental paranoia that had been built sweeps before. It didn't even matter if he had pleasant memories with these adults, his troll upbringing and paranoia overpowered that part of his brain on this matter. 

"Are you okay Karkat? You look a little pale there." Aradia pointed out with a frown as she stopped before her, Karkat quickly focused entirely on her instead of her m-mother. Ignore it all, survive, he could do this. 

Karkat scowled, "Yeah, I'm fine. Let's just get to others already." He says and walks back towards the living room where everyone was. On second thought, that may be a bad idea.

Vriska suddenly grabs his arm, luckily it wasn't the still tender arm he had cut into, and drags him with her towards the living room, "Yeah! C'mon Aradia the others are waiting for us!" She grinned, not noticing on how Karkat went stiff underneath her hold and was barely resisting the urge to flinch and jerk back and just slam the butt of his sickle into her face. 

Aradia nodded, frowning a bit as she glanced at Karkat before smiling and following them both into the living room with both of her family behind her along with one silent Aranea that was thinking about something critically.


Ondine scowled as she looked at her wrist watch, "Tch, where the fuck are the Zahhaks? They're late!" 

"I think it's because of Archer's schedule, didn't he say he was working on a project for the week?" Leonor piped in as they settled in her large living room, the kids were at the other side of it talking among themselves. 

"He told me he was done with that shit yesterday, he's free today! I checked." Ondine snapped, she wasn't the most patient person among them, "The fucking Serkets appeared before them, and that's saying something." She deadpanned before smirking as she just knows that if Moira was there she would've snarked back. 

Jasper looked around, "Where is Moira anyway?" 

"She went to the bathroom, don't worry lover bull your girlfriend is just fine. She's a big girl who can take care of herself, you don't need to baby her ya know."  Jasper sent the finger towards Kieran who snickered with Cosima, they high-fived before sending the Nitram mocking faces. 

Corinna sighed, "You all insist for me to treat you as adults though you all act like children so much most of the time." She mock despaired, gaining glares from the rest of the group though it was fond glares and such. It had been established long ago that Corinna Maryam was the group Mother despite not being the oldest one there is, though that said she was the most mature of them and as they grew she did act much like a mother. 

They all perked as they see Vriska coming in from a hallway, dragging with her a disgruntled Karkat with three Megidos following them as well as one other Serket, though it wasn't the Serket Jasper had been inquiring about. Silently Griselda comes over to them, nodding in greeting towards everyone but Ondine kept her gaze on a certain teen.

"How is Crabcat anyway Kelvin? Didn't he disappear when all the crazy shit happened?" Ondine asked without taking her eyes away from said teen, when she and Karkat made eye contact he froze just for a second before forcefully focusing back on Vriska to get his arm out of the Serket's grip. That made Ondine's eyes narrow in slight suspicion. 

Kelvin frowned, "So far Karkat is fine, I think? He's been distant lately, I'm beginning to get worried really because ever since our house was repaired he spends most of his time within his room. Even before when we lived temporarily with Alpheus, he mostly isolated himself in one room or another and mostly avoiding everyone. Kankri, Cronus or Eridan had to find him and drag him into another room so they can hang out. And lately I've been getting the feeling he's been avoiding me." he says worriedly, glancing at his youngest frequently. When Karkat notices it he sends him a scowl. 

Alpheus nodded looking at Karkat thoughtfully, "Noww that you mention it Kel, wwhenevver I go in a room wwith Kar in it, he mostly avvoids me or leavves the room." 

The adults glanced at each other in thought, wondering what to say or do about it. 

Ondine shook her head, "Dammit, as much as I want to talk about Crabcat and his problems and shit that has to wait. As soon as Moira gets her fat ass here and Archer too with his sweaty ass we'll get to the point, though we'll have to discuss in another room for this." She tells them seriously. They shoot her looks but nodded nonetheless. 

Not even a minute later Moira exits the hall and greets them, giving Jasper a fond smirk when he sits up to kiss her cheek. 

"All that's left is Archer." Cosima pointed out as the cerulean woman shamelessly sits on Jaspers' lap, he doesn't seem to mind at all. They ignore them both, used to it but were amused to hear the Serket and Nitram children groan and groan even more when both Jasper and Moira sends their kids smug smirks. 

They didn't have to wait long as finally the Zahhak family appears. 

"My apologies on being late, there were some unexpected complications last night and I simply slept through my alarm." Archer Zahhak apologized as Horrus and Equius break away from their father's side and join the group of teens at the other side of the room, greeting their friends.

Archer Zahhak, aka E%ecutor Darkleer, was a large man but not as large as Kieran. He wore a simple black shirt with blue circuitry designs, half-hidden underneath his left sleeve on his left shoulder-bicep was his Sagittarius symbol tattoed into his skin along with a map of blue circuitry. Around his neck were his usual thick goggles that he usually wore or brought as habit, his long black hair was hanging freely as usual though when he was working or thinking he would tie it in a high pony tail like his son Horuss. He wore dark blue jeans and black boots that went over his ankles. 

Horuss wore a miniature version of Archer's goggles, though it was less thick. His hair was tied in its usual ponytail, he rarely lets it down and even turns it into a bun when working or stressed sometimes. He wore the same thing he wore as a troll, though only the top half. His pants were simple brown slacks and brown boots, his belt buckle was the same with the blue Sagittarius sign on it. 

Equius wore the usual tank top, though the colors inverted like almost every other ex-troll, dark blue with his Sagittarius sign in black. Karkat really wonders about that, anyway, he's wearing black shorts with many pockets and black fingerless gloves and dark grey shoes. 

"Finally! Took you long enough Zahhak." Ondine snapped as they all stood, "Come on, we're moving towards a more appropriate place to have the meeting. Yo kids!" She shouted out towards them and gaining their attention, "You can go to the mall or something, or stay here I don't care. Just get back here before 3 o'clock!" she grunts before motioning the others to follow her. 


Karkat watched the group of adults leave, frowning and deep in thought. He could follow them and eavesdrop, maybe leave his wristcrabhusk and record the meeting, no doubt the subject of their meeting would be about him and the others.

"Yo KK, you there?" Karkat jolted as fingers snapped in front of him, Sollux's fingers to be exact, "Woah there KK, calm down. It'th jutht me. Like theriouthly dude, what'th been happening. You're barely on Pethterchum anymore." Sollux asks as the others listen in as well. 

Karkat scowled at him, "It's nothing Captor. Besides even if it were something, it would be none of your fucking business." Karkat snapped. 

Sollux narrowed his eyes, 'Captor? KK, the fuck?' "Chill dude, wath jutht athking geethe." He says, lifting his hands up as a sign of 'surrender'. 

Karkat huffed, "Whatever," he was about to continue before he jumped slightly as he felt his human phone vibrate in his pocket. Fuck, he forgot he had that in there. He needs to get used to having shit in his pockets and not in his sylladex. He fished out his phone and frowned, wondering who the hell was calling him before his eyes widened and he felt himself visibly perk. Dear gog, what was wrong with him. 

Jake was calling him. 

Vriska leaned over his shoulder, "Who's that? I don't think I know anyone of that number, who's 'Jake Harley'?" Sollux raised a brow and leaned over to see as well before both were shoved away.

Karkat scowled at them, "None of your fucking business Serket, you too Captor. You guys do realize I have other friends than you guys right?" he snaps before looking back at the phone, "Excuse me, I need to take this." he grumbles and walks away. 

They all watched him as he moved away, answering the phone and a loud voice surprised them as well as Karkat. 

"KARKAT!!" Karkat cursed and fumbled slightly with his phone. 

"Dammit Jake! You don't need to shout dumbass, I'm right here! Your shouting right into my fucking ear fuckass." 

"Whoops, sorry chum. Anyway you're going to absolutely positively flip with joy about the stuff I'm about to tell you, Ro--" Unfortunately, Karkat shot them a glare and moved away further, even going as far as to move into a separate hallway to talk with this 'Jake Harley'.

Terezi frowned before turning to where she thinks Kankri was sitting, "Kankri, do you know who Jake Harley is?" Kankri was about to shake his head before he sheepishly remembered that Terezi was currently blind. 

"No, I do not. Nor do I recall any moment that Karkat even mentioned one Jake Harley." 

Terezi hummed in thought with a deep thoughtful frown. 

They were all curious, with how strange Karkat was acting coming to light they were getting quite concerned over the youngest Vantas. 

"Well, why don't we find out? One, we ask Karkat about Jake when he comes back oooooooor numero two, we eavesdrop. I vote on number two!" Vriska grinned. 

Tavros shook his head, "I don't know Vriska. Karkat'll be really mad at us when he finds out we did that." He pointed out, the other deflated before scoffing. 

"That is if he finds, come on! You're all as curious as me right????????" Vriska prompted with a mischievous grin. 

Kanaya looks at Vriska with a pointed look, "I agree with Tavros on this Vriska, we can wait for their conversation to end and ask Karkat about Jake himself. I'm sure he's willing to share to us his new friend, we are his closest group of friends after all." she scolded. Vriska pouted, muttering on how Maryams were such party poopers. 


"No."

"What?! Why noooooooot?!" Vriska whined as Karkat scowled at them with his hands crossed. 

"Who I become friends with is none of your business, besides Jake's pretty cool. A fucking dork like Egbert yeah, but what would you expect? Anyway, O-Ondine told us we could go to the mall or something yeah? Well I'm going, I need to buy something and... anyone can come with I guess. Just hurry the fuck up!" Karkat growls as he swiftly leaves, intent on going towards the nearest mall area. 

"Egbert? Who the fuck?" 

Okay, something was definitely going on with Karkat. 

And they were going to find out what, eventually, whether he likes it or not.

Chapter Text


 "Dammit Jake! You don't need to shout dumbass, I'm right here! Your shouting right into my fucking ear fuckass." 

"Whoops, sorry chum. Anyway you're going to absolutely positively flip with joy about the stuff I'm about to tell you, Ro--" Karkat glared at the nosy little shits that were trying to listen in, he scowled as he moved away from the group and into a hallway so he and Jake could talk without interruption or anyone listening in. 

"Isn't it just the best Karkat?!

Karkat blinked before clearing his throat, "Sorry Jake, had some nosy fucks who wouldn't mind their own gogdamn business around me so I moved to somewhere more private. Mind repeating what you said?" 

"Oh! No, I don't mind at all Karkat. So, what I was saying was that Roxy finally found a cool base where we can settle and all that jazz! Isn't that just lovely?!

Yes it fucking was

"Fuck yeah it is! Where the fuck is it?" 

"I don't know, Roxy's being a sneaky chum and wants us all to meet with her when we have the chance. She's going to tell Dave and John about it, and well I wanted to tell you about it. If you, Dave and John aren't too terribly busy today we could show you where it is!

Karkat grinned, about to agree before faltering as he remembers the predicament he was in currently, dammit, "Fuck, as much as I'd fucking love to do that. I can't. Sign-fuck-Dad, took Kankri and I to this meeting at the Piexes household. He's currently in the meeting with them and I'm stuck with my non-troll-now-human friends." he growled, lightly kicking against the floor. 

"Oh... Wait, wasn't Piexes the old last name of Her Imperious Condescension? Oh dear! Karkat, are you alright?! I terribly recall you saying that the Condesce turned human, oh my, is she still horrifying? Do you need help? I swear, if she dared to lay a finger on you I w--

"Woah there Harley! Calm your fucking hoofbeast there, I'm fine." Karkat interrupted, face a fair shade of red at the mere thought that Jake was implicating or maybe, maybe, feeling pale for him too, "The Condesce is human but she's... different. I mean yeah she's still kinda terrifying since she's so big and a fucking adult yeah but, underneath my instinctive fear and paranoia over her and every other adult she's kinda... nice? Almost? Maybe? I have no grubfisting idea but she's different. They all are." 

Karkat leans against the wall, feeling more tired than ever, "It's so fucking weird, seeing them like this. They're the same fucking friends and people I know of but at the same time, they're not. They aren't the trolls I know anymore and they're not. They're human, they've lived different wrigglinghoods, they've experienced different trials of their lives that seem similar but in all honesty. They aren't similar at all. 

"They've never witnessed and faced the violence and hardships of Alternia, they've never killed another living sentient being, they've never played the fucking game. They're human and they don't fucking remember. I'm the only one, I remember Alternia and all its fucking horrifying trials that the 'friends' I know now would barely survive or could never overcome because they were human. Maybe they could if they tried their very best, but if they went through the troll shit as humans. They won't come on top unscathed, complete and sane, I know I didn't." 

The fuck was he doing. Was he really talking about this shit to Jakeover the fucking phone

"...

"Shit sorry, I was rambling. Anyway, anything else Jake?"

"Karkat, are you alright? Like, truly, surely alright? Because if you're not, that's okay. I'm here to talk if you wish, not to mention all of our other chums as well! We're here for you, I'm here for you. You might think you're alone in this at times but remember, you're not. I and the others might not be trolls but we're here together and no matter what, we've got your back!

Karkat froze, stunned and unsure on what to reply. 

"..." 

"Karkat? I, um. Are you still there?

Karkat inhaled and exhaled softly, "Yeah... I'm still here. I." He paused again to sigh. 

"Thanks, Jake. I, uh, I needed to hear that. Badly." 

He doesn't even flinch at the loud reply he gets, no, he actually lets out a smile as Jake's voice rang into his ear. 

"No problem! You're my friend and I always got your back no matter what! The others too I'm sure, we'll always be here and always will.

"Anyway, where is that base Roxy found?" 

"Oh! Like I said, I do not know of the location because Roxy's being a sneaky little lady but I bet it's a lovely place. Although if you're busy with, um, that today, I'll tell Roxy that maybe this little revelation can wait a little longer?

"No, everyone can go meet up with Roxy if they can. You too if you want. I want to but like I said, I'm in some shit right now so I can't."

"Blast, oh well if you insist. I suppose I can go and have a look there myself, then I'll be the one to show you around when you do have the chance! Oh, this is so exciting!

"I fucking bet, what I can't wait is to get a good amount of sopor slime so I can actually sleep through a whole gogdamned night!" 

"I agree, and don't worry Karkat. My promise to you shan't be forgotten! You'll have the honor of being the first person to use the alchemiter when we have it! I made a promise and by golly gog will I keep it!

"You, Jake Harley, are one of the most dorkiest dorks I have ever fucking met with the exception of John Egbert who is essentially the King of Dorks." 

"Hahah! No truer words have been spoken as yet!

Karkat and Jake chatted for a few more minutes, Karkat almost forgetting he was in such a shitty situation. 

Almost being the keyword; he was still stuck in the Piexes household until otherwise.

"Dammit, I almost forgot. I need to fucking get back to them before they try and find my ass and see what the fuck's up." Karkat grumbled as he peeked around the corner, narrowed eyes glaring at the chattering group of humans in the room. 

"Oh, alright. Anyway, I can't wait to show you to our new fabulous base Karkat and I know it will be fabulous because Roxy says so and she picked it! Haha! See you soon Kar, goodbye!

Karkat smirked, "Bye Jake." He greets before the line ends, only then did he realize at what Jake had called him. Kar? Only Eridan had ever called him that! It was kind of annoying from the ex-seadweller but hearing it from Jake, he found that he didn't really mind actually. He also found but somehow managed to resist the urge of slamming his face into the wall hundreds of times due to his reddening and warming face and existing train of thought and conclusion. 

By gog was he pale for him, this was almost unnatural in some sense.

He shook his head and sighed but as soon as he moved he felt his phone vibrate once more, he narrowed his eyes at it before opening the incoming text message from... Oh hell no. 

yeah so 
hey karkles future dave here under orders from future you and time shenanigans
anyway need you to head to the mall around your area and buy some shit
underneath is the list of random shit you gotta buy and some instructions
dont bother texting back im heading back into the future after this text and itll just be sent to present dave
anyway fair warning; some shit is gonna begin going down
what exactly idfk well i do but you get it
youll know when to send me back in time to this moment in the future
time shenanigans hah such a fucking pain 
oh and dont mention the junk just yet after your trip to the mall

~future ds 

ps follow your gut and dont be an idiot - you told me that to tell you that, well you told me to tell that in a LOT more context but you get it 

pps also everyone else can come with you to the mall. your gonna have to shake them off at some point but theyre gonna come with you in the end and yeah good luck dude

With wide eyes he reread the message once, twice, thrice, more than four times before he groaned and growled as he clutched at his hair in frustration and confusion, gripping tightly as his phone is punted back into his sylladex. 

Just what the fuck future Dave and Karkat?!?


And so lead to where he was now; standing in a human mall surrounded by humans and his own human-turned friends who kept shooting him looks

Karkat twitched as he ignored them and glanced at his phone, grumbling silently as he regarded the list Future!Dave sent him. Also making sure to save Dave's number, actually he should get everyone's numbers in his phone besides Jake and Dave's. It'll be easier if they had their phones and weren't connected to Pesterchum. 

He regarded the list with confusion and other emotions as he went around to look for the items on the list, doing his best to 'shake off his friends' as he did so. He didn't know why he had to shake them off when he could've just gone alone, things might've been so much easier! Unfortunately due to 'time shenanigans' and the stability of his timeline he was forced to deal with it. 

The people who went with him to the mall were most of his generation with Tavros, Gamzee, Nepeta and Equius staying back while the rest went with him. Among the older generation came their siblings with Rufio, Meulin, Horuss and Kurloz staying back as well. Shortly however both Piexes and Aranea were distracted with whatever and broke off from the group, then came Latula and Mituna who went to check out the latest version of whatever cool skateboard that caught their eyes. 

Eventually Karkat had bought nearly every item on the list and nearly lost everyone in the group to the mall with the exception of the Scourge Sisters and along with Sollux and Aradia. Sollux, Terezi and Vriska kept pestering him about the random loot he bought and asking questions he had no answers to, no answers of yet anyway. Aradia was just there to keep an eye on them all being the most responsible among them of their age. 

"C'mon Karkles, spit it out already! What is with this stuff, it's mostly random shit!" Terezi complained as she tried to snatch the plastic bag from Karkat's hands only to recoil as Karkat let out a quiet near-inhuman growl at her. Her recently enhanced hearing heard it clearly among the other noises it heard and wondered and worried for Karkat, Vriska and Sollux were being fussed by Aradia to notice it and was a little away from both her and Karkat. 

Karkat was at the edge of his wits, today was just too much for him. He was actually quite amazed at himself for holding out for this long, though he recoiled himself as he rubbed at his throat and frowned at the fact he growled at Terezi. It could be mistaken as a beast's growl but sounded mostly human thankfully. He groaned and rubbed at his face, tightly gripping the bag in hand. 

"Look Terezi, what I buy is none of your business. It's just... for a little side-project." He reluctantly and hesitantly admitted, though he unwillingly flushed as he looked at a certain object among his bought products. It took all he had not to chuck the damned thing into his sylladex to be forgotten forever

"Oh? And what project exactly involveth a bucket, thpray paint, crayonth, and all that other pietheth of junk." Sollux deadpanned as he approached with Vriska and Aradia. Karkat nearly broke down at the mention of the bucket but kept strong, mentally cursing his future self and Dave. Because seriously, why a new pristine fucking bucket?!?!

"Uh, you okay there Karkat? Lookin' a little, oh I don't know, uncomfortable?" Vriska asked with a small scowl that didn't really hide her concern for him and wasn't that a shock? Vriska Serket actually showing her concern and not fawning over herself like usual, then again this was a fucking human Vriska Serket. 

Karkat shook his head and snapped back at them that he was fine with a roll of his eyes before looking back towards his phone, making sure to avoid any attempts to swipe at the device for the last item and narrowed his eyes at the last instructions written besides the last item. 

Okay, he could do that. 


 

 

"Okay what did you want to talk about Ondine? What was so important to gather us all together, surely you could've just sent us a message for whatever this is." Moira asked as she and the others settled into their respective places within the room, most of them taking to sitting down with Ondine, Kelvin, Jasper and Archer favoring to stand up. 

The fuchsia woman sent the cerulean woman a pointed and irritated look, "Sure maybe, but I thought whatever the fuck this was was big enough to issue a personal session meeting with you all." She replied with a frown, reaching for a pocket before taking out what seemed to be familiar. 

Dexter leaned in in interest, "Ith that?" His lisp accidentally being shown as he was too focused on the object. 

"Holy shit." Jasper uttered as he and the other's eyes widened at the object that Ondine had in her hands. 

It was one of those mysterious gem-like object that had dropped from the monster attacks, it was blue elongated hexagonal bipyramid shape and seemed to fit more in a video game than in real life. Also it bore a striking resemblance to a certain line of product within Betty Crocker's snack line, Fruit Gushers or Gushers really but at the same time, no. 

Ondine puts the strange object down on the table and gets another on from another pocket, only this one wasn't blue but red.

"Some associates of mine managed to snatch these bad boys before the kiddy heroes managed to make'em disappear. They're not edible if that thought crossed your mind despite them lookin' like the gusher shit from Betty Crocker's shit." She told them as gets another one, in purple this time. 

Archer picks one up, the red one, and observes it with a close eye. "What are they?" 

Ondine shrugs, "We don't fuckin' know, we're still researching the hell outta these guppies. Though it seems that only the kiddy heroes can make'em disappear, anyone else can just pick these up like no problem. Which kinda is a probelm, like I said, only the those kids could vanish these things into thin air. Question is; why? What are these things and are they dangerous?" By then, they were looking at these small objects with wary paranoia. 

"But so far, there's no side effect in picking them up so go ahead. Hold them to your hearts content guys." Ondine told them cheerfully with a smirk, throwing the purple one towards Dexter who swiftly caught it and looked it over. 

"If I recall, these things were in quite the varying sizes. I've seen one such thing being the size of two cars on shaky recording and videos from the internet." Corinna said as she was given the blue one to hold, eventually giving it to Kieran.

Ondine nodded her head, "Yep, Mama Maryam's right. These things come in a lot of sizes, the biggest one we managed to get was the size of a normal ass chair. Strangely enough, these things aren't that heavy even when that size. Sure it was kind of a hassle in carrying it around and shit but it wasn't that heavy for one of that size." She said as everyone passed it around. 

"And I remember other types of these things in various other shapes falling from the slain beast." Moira commented as she had both red and blue in her hands, trying to figure out their worth and what their possible uses were. She didn't really get far seeing as she had no clue in what these things were.

"Me too, but we couldn't find any. I guess the kids took them all, we got what we could managed to get which was mostly those things." Ondine answered as she finally took the three items back. "But then that brings us to another thing we should discuss about next; our new resident kiddy superheroes." And they all frowned at that. 

It was irrefutable that these new heroes of theirs were just teens, mid-teens at most with Breath's awkward introductions and their height and subtle interactions with one another. Then came their powers which were hard to catalog and figure out. 

Breath's power was the most obvious and easiest to recognize, his command over the wind and even becoming the wind itself at multiple recorded times. Which also brought the question of why choose to call himself 'Breath' rather than 'Wind', did it imply more or something?

Blood was the second easiest with his multiple demonstrations of showing his total control over the life liquid running through everyone's veins. Though the implications for that could turn towards a dark turn even with most people already finding it a bit uncomfortable with the thought of blood and what not but a lot of them were enthusiastic over it. 

From there it got a bit harder to figure things out. 

Time was obvious, control over time but to what extent? His own time? The time of others? He didn't demonstrate much of it but it was implied heavily really, then there was the tidbit of his clothing being very similar to Blood's clothing. Was there a reason? It didn't seem to be a coincidence, were Time and Blood related to each other?

Void was the second to last hardest to figure out, what powers were the void? So far she, even though she was developing it was clear she was a female and was developing quite nicely for a young woman of her supposed age though it seemed that she was the only female within the group, was seen summoning objects from nowhere and than banishing them to nowhere. Mostly those objects were weird green cube-like things that Ondine wanted to get her hands on but unfortunately it seemed that Void would make those disappear once they served whatever purpose. 

And lastly, Hope. What powers did Hope have? They have only seen him shoot from afar, acting as backup or a long range fighter or just helping out civilians to get away from the fight. How was powerful and useful was hope? They had yet to see him fight much like the others but they couldn't underestimate him just yet. 

There were so many questions and little to no answers. 

"So far they've been doing a fine job in combating the monsters. Skill as they are however they have little experience in fighting within a populated area, in the first fight it seemed that they had forgotten that they were even surrounded by other humans as they fought those monsters. However they acted accordingly once they realized." Moira commented as she thought back to what she found through the videos she's seen of the first attack, she had carded through every single video of it after finding out her daughter had been injured in it. Not fatally of course but it was her daughter that had a chance of dying there. 

Corinna sighed as she thought back to Breath, "They're only just children. Why must they be burdened with this?" She murmured as she recalled on how cute Breath's introduction was. 

"Children they may be but they're skilled motherfuckers. They have experience in fightin' and how they handle their fucking weapons is mostly un-fucking-heard of for teens their age, just look at the hammer and sickle kids! Also that one fucker that mostly fights with fucking half a sword that sometimes turns into a full fucking sword. Then there's the two other punks that have clear experience with firearms." Kieran replied with a deep grunt, looking impressed, a lot of them were impressed really but that itself was worrying on how these kids were so experienced in fighting. 

Alpheus sighed as he added his two cents, "They wworked together bef're, their teamwwork in fightin' is no thing to ignore really. It's actually really impressivve to be honest. They kind of remind me of back when I was a marine, wworkin' together with my squad and shit." He says with a slightly fond look, lightly tracing at the jagged scars on his face. Those times weren't all happy and sunshine, it was actually quite traumatizing but he'll admit that there were times he wished to relive again. 

Then he frowned and turned to look at the others with pointed but slightly confused looks, "Okay, this might be a wweird question and all but... lookin' at these kids and all, do any of you feel somethin' familiar? More specifically their symbols? 'Cuz I swwear, Hope there is nigglin' wwithin my head wwith that symbol of his. Or is it just me then that's just fine and fuckin dandy." He said dryly as he looks around, and he's surprised and kind of pleased to see that he wasn't alone in that. 

Kelvin, Archer, Griselda and Jasper all nodded in agreement, all looking just as confused as he was. Though Griselda was the first to answer. 

"The Time boy, his red gear speaks to me. I don't remember but yes, it feels very familiar." Griselda admitted, crossing her arms as she glanced at the others. 

"Void's blue spiral is the symbol that disturbs me, however it's not necessarily the bad kind." Archer said, looking a little uncomfortable as he stood tall. 

"The Breath kid calls out to me, though it may be the fact he controls wind and flies. You all know my love for the sky is only rivaled with my love for my doll." Jasper says with a smirk, a flirtatious one that was aimed at Moira who smirks back at him and kisses his cheek. 

Kelvin frowned as he went last, "Lastly mine is Blood's, though I don't know why. But then again, there's a lot of things I don't know, we don't know." He admitted, "I... doubt that this is a coincidence, however without any actual knowledge about this all we don't really know for sure do we?" He says tiredly, raising a wary brow. 

Unfortunately they had to agree with him. They had no clue on what was going on. 

"What I wonder is why you five feel that way and the rest of us don't?" Leonor wondered out loud and that entered their minds as well, why just them?  

So many questions, and little to no answers...


Karkat sighed in relief as he finally, finally, managed to lose Sollux. 

The guy was stubborn in following him around, couldn't an ex-troll just go around doing his own business in peace? Buying random suspicious but ridiculous crap on his own? Following the orders of his future self like the fucking asshole he was because of stable timelines and whatnot? 

He sighed again as he looked around then back to his phone, okay he was suppose to be heading for the roof of the mall now. No biggie and totally not suspicious or anything. 

"Just what the fuck am I suppose to do on the fucking roof?" He grumbles as he makes his way upwards, he passes a few people on the way by using the stairs but they were all heading downwards to lower floors instead of upwards. Soon enough he's on the damned roof, and he's alone so far so he puts his newly purchased items into his sylladex and looks back to his phone. 

He groans and rubs at his face, wondering what the hell was going on as he shuffles around the roof, looking for the place that future him described. He found it easily, it was near the edge of the roof right at the back of the mall and had a perfect place to hide and a possible escape route. He feels rather stupid as he follows instructions and hides, even getting one sickle out as instructed as well as change into his god tier pants, pants only not the rest of his outfit.

He's feeling stupid and he has a bad feeling about this...

Suddenly he hears the roof door open, he takes a peek and sees a human exiting the door and out into the roof looking around in suspicion. Instantly the back of his neck tingles and he's feeling like an alarmed dog but he keeps silent and observes the strange human. 

He's around his age if a year older, he's got the same stupid pair of shades that Dave had on his nose but he wasn't a blonde. No, he had dark black hair and wore a black hoodie with a brown symbol on it, a circle with to mirroring brown 'F's' on top of it and he wore grey jeans with black sneakers. 

Brown symbol on black hoodie, almost as if-no

Karkat's eyes widen at the thought and quickly ducks his head as the mystery person looks towards his direction, careful not to make a sound but he's clutching at his sickle. 

"... Seems clear enough." He hears faintly and takes the risk to peek again with narrowed eyes. 

The 'human' flicks a hand and suddenly a very familiar object appears out of thin air (a fucking sylladex?), and for all that's holy it's a motherfuckin' husktop. 'Shit, shit shit shit shit shit what the fuck' Karkat thinks frantically as he puts it down, he looks at the husktop and sees that its a bit different, but it was definitely troll grub-tech. 

The black haired 'human' flicks the husktop on, and suddenly there's a holographic image appearing above it. Holy shit what

And yes, there's, there's a grubfucking troll in that holographic image. It's a fucking yellow blooded troll seeing the yellow eyes of the image, not to mention the two sets of horns on their head! They seem to be the same age as the other guy.

"Tetrarch" The mystery troll said revealing the other's name, or at least title. 'Tetrarch' smirks at them, nodding in greeting.

"Beekeeper." And with that, he fiddles with something underneath his sleeve and suddenly the human disguise disappears revealing dark greyish skin and horns growing out of his skull and Karkat has to take careful control of his breathing and vocal chords as he ducks back down, bloodpumper thumping loudly in his chest and his blood is rushing through his veins. 

How was this possible?! How were there trolls out there? The Condesce herself was fucking human for gog's sake! W-Wait, who was their leader if the Condesce was human? Don't tell him there was an actual troll Condescension out there!!

"How goes reconnaissance of the daily human population? Weird right? I've been scouring through the internet and human stuff is just downright weird but at the same time awesome. Have you heard about the 'Heroes'? Soo weird! I kinda doubt their even humans, humans don't have powers and psionics! What do you think?

Tetrarch shrugged, "I don't know, but whatever they are they sure got Her Benevolence's attention. Can't believe she chose us and the others to do this. Hey, how's Xef doin'?" He asked with a concerned frown, a moirail then? 

'Her Benevolence?' Who the fuck? She. She sounds, familiar

Though Karkat silently sighed in relief at that, no troll Condesce then. Good. Benevolence was a good thing, he thinks, it was a title but... gaaah.

Beekeeper sighed softly, "Still asleep, he just arrived on Earth and his body is still in stasis mode so far but he'll be up and around soon enough!" they stated cheerfully before shifting to a more serious mode. "Her Benevolence has sent new orders, she said to be careful around the new heroes or something. And to look for certain humans too. There's a lot, but they're all related to each other so it'll be easy.

Shit what. Oh gog no, please in the name of Paradox Space don't do this to him...

Karkat gulped, bloodthumper hammering painfully in his chest and he could feel the beginning of a nosebleed. This was too much stress for him for one day!

Damn his future self!

Unfortunately for him, he instinctively reached to cover his nose with the one hand that held his sickle which clanged against the metal object he was hiding behind. He let out a quick curse and ducked as the brownblooded and goldblooded trolls hissed in surprise. 

NGAH SON OF A GRUB FUCKER.

"The fuck?!" He heard Tetrarch say and hears the sound of a gun cocking, strife specibus too or did he just get it from his sylladex? 

"Son of a fuck!" Karkat hissed and feels warm liquid start to trickle down his nose, he futilely wipes his nose and looks towards the edge. He's got an idea and he does not like it one bit.

"Who's there? If you know what's good for you you'll step out into the open." Tetrarch demands as he slowly moves in as Karkat shifts and clutches at his sickle. 

"I'm warning you..." Tetrarch growls and Karkat sees droplets of his own blood starting to float, no, not that. His feet tenses as he hears the footsteps getting closer, and closer, and closer...

Now

The troll curses in surprise as Karkat makes a break for it, booking it towards the edge of the roof. He hears the troll closely following him but stops in surprise and gapes as Karkat jumps off the edge of the roof and rapidly falls but not as fast as he would have been had he not been wearing his god tier pants. 

Still, the roof was tall and the troll had the perfect advantage of shooting him down if he wanted to. And he's not to worried about people seeing him fall, it was the back of the mall and no one seemed to be there. He curses himself as he shoves his sickle back into his strife card, having no real need for it right now and cursing his future self and his past self at the fact he listened to those dumb instructions. 

Bang

Karkat yelped in pain as a bullet went through his leg, he's close to the ground. "YOU GOGDAMN FUCKING TAINTLICKING NOOKMUNCHER!!" He instinctively yells in pain and curses as he recognizes the fact he used troll vernacular.

As he touches down painfully with his legs absorbing the painful landing, he nearly crumbles and falls over but he's quick on his feet and absconds, strangely there were no other gun shots aimed for him after that one shot that took his leg.

He takes refuge and enters back into the mall, limping as he tried to look for somewhere to hide and recover from the injury. 

Back on the roof the brownblooded troll looked down in disbelief. 

"Did... Was that a fellow troll in disguise?" Beekeeper , or Zebede asked behind him, "Dammek that's not supposed to be, we and the others are supposed to be the only trolls assigned to be around this general area! There's no word from the others about them crossing our territory.

Dammek shook his head and snapped out of it, cursing as he disguises himself as a human again shivering at the lack of horns. Never getting used to that. 

"I don't fucking know, but I'm on it. Looks like he went back into the mall, I think I can find him." He says hurriedly before greeting them goodbye and shutting the holo-grub off and throwing it back into his sylladex and rushing it down the stairs. 

Many questions were on this bronzeblood's mind as he rushed down the stairs, one being at the fact he saw the red blood that came out of the mystery 'troll'. Red like the humans, not a shade darker like burgundy which was impossible since the smart trolls have yet to figure out on how to hide their blood colors, only just figuring out on how to disguise themselves as humans. 

Something was going on and Tatrarch Dammek was going to find out what. 

Chapter Text


"KV, you doin' alright?" Dexter asked in concern as he noticed his best friend rubbing at his wrists for the thousandth time in what seemed to be in 3 hours. Kelvin blinked and noticed what he was doing, inadvertedly bringing everyone's attention to him as he frowned deeply and looked at his wrists. 

"I think so... It's just... weird, my wrists have been feeling weird all morning ever since I woke up." He admitted as he flicked both wrists. "I don't think anything's physically wrong with them, I feel fine to be honest but... It feels like... I don't know how to describe it, it just feels weird ever since I woke up from this crazy dream this morning." 

Leonor looked at him curiously, "Dream?"

Kelvin got this weird look in his eyes, "I don't remember much of it but I remember... two moons, a pink one and a green one in the dark sky... a-and I was being surrounded by people for whatever reason. My wrists... they were held together and they... hurt... so badly, burning I think." 

At the description Corinna, Dexter and Leonor stiffened as they for only a moment, saw a blurry flash of what Kelvin might've described and they didn't like it. Not one bit. 

They weren't the only ones though, Archer looked confusedly somber and his hands flexed as if they were trying to hold something that wasn't there in his grip. The others were tense, it sounded vaguely familiar to them as well but not as much as the others. 

Kelvin shook his head and seemingly broke whatever spell or trance everyone was under and smiled reassuringly at his best friend, "I'm sure it was nothing more than a strange dream, I'm fine. Honestly." He says to him with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. 

"Yeah okay, sure..." Dexter nodded hesitantly but it was all clear to them that they were all hesitating on it, the strange mood stayed for the rest of the meeting in the background, seemingly lying in wait for something else to trigger it but they were all too busy to know that or were ignoring it in the first place. 

Griselda's lips thinned to a hard line as she stayed in the background, taking note of the strange mood and thinks back to Kelvin's description to the green and pink moons. The green one seemed to be the most familiar to her for whatever reason, just as the symbol of the Time boy. 

Unlike the others, she always knew that something was strange about all of them. Twelve families, twelve signs, their frist generation of children looking unnaturally like them and now something else was goin on? Something was coming over the horizon for all 36 of them, and she would find out what even if she'd have to consult that damned Doctor eventually in the end if he had any answers or clues. 

Speaking of the Doctor, she wonders about him from time to time. 

She doesn't regret her actions at all, what she does regret was letting him live so well off of everything she and the others have done for him. 

She should have smashed his head in when she had the chance. 


"I'm just saying dude, enjoy the change, embrace it. As far as I can tell your bro's actually pretty cool and caring, an actual brother compared to the one you told me about." John said as he lounged in his chair, across him was Dave laying comfortably on John's bed. 

Dave lifted his head to glance at his boyfriend once before dropping it down to stare at the ceiling again, "I know, I know but... It's just so, different and shit that it's going to be a while for me to get used to it alright? I already am, the memories help with that but shit man, the guy fucking hovered over me the whole time I was 'healing' which by the way was a pain in the ass since I had to slow down my healing time to normal human healing shit." He grunted as he turned to flop unto his belly and send John a disgruntled frown much to the other's amusement. 

"I forgot how slow normal people actually healed!" He complained making John snort. 

"Well we could always fake good genes for a bit to make it faster than normal but not too much or else everyone would get suspicious! I mean, Dave, we're kinda literally gods now among people, you know it's going to be hella different than before." John says with a laugh, using his windy powers to nonchalantly lift from his chair as if to emphasize his point. He flew from his chair and gently unto the bed where he pointedly cuddled up to Dave who turned to lay on his back again to let John lay on his hand and have said hand to curl around John's waist.

"Hell yeah it'd be different, just kinda forgot that, nearly gave the doc checkin' over my back a fit as he looked it over. First I was healin' abnormally fast, then slow then 'normal' if a bit faster than normal. Shoulda seen Bro back then, looked like he was gonna throttle the poor bastard who kept givin' him mixed results."

Dave smiled as he remembered back then, though John noticed it didn't really reach his eyes underneath his shades but the smile seemed genuine so that was good. 

John smiled and slowly reached for Dave's shades, letting Dave know what he was about to do. The blond did nothing to deter him so he confidently but gently takes the aviators of his face, Dave blinked a few times to adjust the change of brightness and was glad they were inside John's room where the light was relatively dim. His red eyes were quite sensative to light.

Blue gazed into red and suddenly slow sloppy makeouts were what they were totally doing, Dave didn't complain as he shamelessly groped at John's ass.

Ping

Went Dave's iShades as well as John's glasses.

Dave could feel John slow down a bit in their kiss and pointedly got his attention back by tugging at his lower lip, it worked.

Ping ping ping

John pulled away with a pout while Dave groaned in disappointment before taking shades back from John and both checked who was pestering them, it turned out to be Roxy who brang good news. Good news that was good enough to make them somewhat forget their interrupted sloppy makeout. 

tipsyGnostalgic [TG] opened private memo in board Heroz Unite lol ;3 

TG: i did it!
TG: took a while but i deeeed it!!!
TG: guyz cmon com in here n congratutates me pls i did so good lik u wouldnt believe :) 

turntechGodhead [TG] joined the memo
ectoBiologist [EB] joined the memo

TG: did what now rox
TG: a mans got to know what ya did to congratutate you ya know

EB: :BB congratulations! erm, congratutations? for what exactly though...

TG: wonkwonkwonkwonk iii....

golgathasTerror [GT] joined the memo 

GT: Good golly, congratulations for what roxy?

TG: sssssshssssshhhh jakey im doin a tense revelation here.....

TG: ...

EB: :| ...

GT: ...

TG: I FINAFUCKINGLY FOUND A PLACE FOR US :DDDDDD
TG: lik it took a while lookin thru a lot of places but i found the most perf place 4 us to set shop ;D

TG: holy shit

EB: :O
EB: roxy that's amazing!!! congratulations!!

GT: Jesus christ on a cracker roxy you did what?! Dear me this is wonderful! I can't wait for Karkat to learn of this piece of amazing information, good going dear lady! :)

TG: why tank u jakey :)
TG: speakin of beep beep meow, were da fuk is he
TG: he should be shoutin praises @ me n shit
TG: jakey where is he

GT: Oh he's off meeting with the families of his friends, all of them if i recall correctly

TG: well fuck is he going to be alright
TG: i imagine that it aint really going to be easy meeting the human versions of your previously alien friends that remember jackshit about the shit you remember
TG: like the last time we talked about that he kinda went silent on us

EB: yeah i'm really worried for karkat :(
EB: it must be hard going through all of this on his own in his group, i mean i got you guys with me but karkat's on his own and a different species to boot too!

TG: aww poor karkitty :(((

GT: Yes it has been hard on karkat, he hasn't been sleeping well at all ever since he got his memories. He can't stand sleeping on a bed, he prefers the pile he made in his closet and even then he doesn't get the healthy amount of sleep!
GT: Um roxy, i was thinking that when we finally got an alchemiter and stuff that karkat would get the honors of alchemizing the first thing in our new base? I promised him that if you um, don't mind

TG: rly now?
TG: ofc he can dude! i think i know wat he's goin 2 make, its that slime stuff he kept rantin aboat b4 rit?

TG: oh yeah i remember now
TG: he like finally figured out the code for his weird ass slime or like his weird slime cocoon right before shit hit the fan

EB: you mean that weird slime that trolls use to sleep? like their weird alien cocoon beds that dave and karkat mentioned?

GT: Well duhh, what else would he make? He was pretty excited to make it when i offered him the honor of alchemizing first before us, well he tried to hide it but i saw right through his angry little facade! :B
GT: Man, he's going to go bonkers when i tell him the great news! Congratulations again roxy, you're the best!
GT: Talk to you later my chums! I am off to inform karkat of all of this :BB

golgathasTerror [GT] left the memo

TG: hmmmmm
TG: is it just me or is jakey and karkitty gettin aawwfully close 2 each other
TG: cuz like jakey keeps motherhenning karkles lik-!!!

EB: what. roxy, what is it?

TG: hm-oh, well shit

TG: O M GOOOG :DDD

EB: wha- dave too?
EB: c'mon you two tell me what's going ooon!!!! >:[

TG: omlordy john u ignorant slut
TG: karkles and jakey r fallin 4 each other dummy
TG: lik either red like u n dave or pale like the 3 of us
TG: im leanin towards pale, infact i bet it IS pale! 10 bucks says jakey and karkitty go full on pale on each otter!

EB: wha-ooooh :OO

TG: well shit beep beep meow and sir shorts a lot falling for each other like swooning maidens
TG: yeah its probably definitely pale going on between them cause its like too brotherly to be red and holy shit i cant believe im going on with karkles stupid troll romance stuff i mean not that you two are stupid far from it obviously but holy shit i got like john as my heart and part diamond with roxy as our shared diamond dear gog

EB: pfft, you love it you dork :BB <3

TG: ye u do like totally ;DD wonk wonk <>

EB: hahahaha i wish you were here to see him, he's like really flustered in real life X] its adorkable <3 <3 <> <3 <3

TG: omg rly?? aaawww davey X33 <> <> <3 <> <>

TG: omf you two you guys suck why do i love you guys
TG: john stfu with roxy you guys are awful
TG:
TG: <3
TG: <>

TG: !!!!!!!! AWWWWWWW!!!!!

EB: :OOOO :BBBBBB

TG: uuugh shut up

turntechGodhead [TG] left the memo

EB: hehehehe he's so flustered!! :BBB

TG: snork hahaha :DDD

"You suck Egderp" mumbled Dave as he flopped back down on the bed with John laughing brightly at his flushing pink face, "You and Roxy, you two suck so bad."

John leaned down and grinned widely at him, "But you love us both anyway." He gave the blonde a kiss on the cheek before kissing him fully on the lips for a solid minute. After that minute both their eyewear pinged again, Dave didn't bother going back on the memo and just relied on John to tell him what Roxy was saying. 

"Roxy's asking if we want to visit the new place she found as our base, it's not that far if we go full speed." John says and Dave takes a moment to think. 

"Yeah sure why not, let's see our new crib, establish some ground rules, claim land and shit." 

John shared a grin with Dave as they got out of his bed, they could always do another private session of sloppy makeouts any time later on. They were excited to see their base of operations and the chance to alchemize again, it was kind of weird not alchemizing anything after so long. 

John told Roxy they were coming and soon enough they were out into the living room where John's dad, Bro, Dirk and Jane were. Jane's father was out on a run for more baking supplies most likely. 

"Hey Dad, Dave and I are heading out for the afternoon. We'll be back before sundown promise!" John says to the elder as they both head down the stairs, chuckling when Dave mumbled a warning about the stairs. 

Jack frowned, sharing it with Bro as he looked at his son and Dave. "And what will you and David be doing out, also only the two of you?" He questioned. Dave twitched at his name but held back a sigh, it seemed Dadbert and Crockerdad would always refer him as 'David' rather than Dave, he didn't mind much because they were Dadbert and Crockerdad and they were so gentlemanly and polite it would actually kind of feel weird if they didn't refer him as 'David'. 

John smiled, "Yep, just the two of us. We're going to go see that new movie that hit the theaters then hang out in the park." John lied, there was a new movie that got released into the movie theater but they could watch it another time and the park thing too. 

Jack smiled, of course, he knew of his son's obsession with movies. Bro however narrowed his eyes behind his shades and turned to Dave, who tensed slightly but instantly relaxed and schooled his features to a cool facade. 

"You sure about this lil' bro? Back okay?" He grunted, crossing his arms and a frown of concern on his face. The doctor had said that by this time Dave should have healed fully without any major problems but he didn't really trust him seeing as he kept freaking out about Dave's 'strange regeneration', maybe he should have throttled him like he wanted to. 

Dave gave him a look, "Back's a-okay Bro, got nothing on this prime Strider back. Going to take more than some dumb stone to take me down completely from behind dude." His back was totally fine, one hundred percent healed albeit too slowly for his tastes but he couldn't do anything about that unless he wanted to end up catching the eye of someone important. 

There's abnormally fast healing to full out insane healing-factor of the X-men, anime and fiction kind. 

A full minute later Bro reluctantly nods, "Fine, you two have fun but make sure you answer my texts or calls alright lil' man?" Stiffly Dave nodded, 'lil' man' made him remember the rare times his Bro would call him that. 

John grinned and tugged Dave out of the room, saying goodbye to his father and Bro. 

On their way out they were called out by Dirk and Jane. 

"Oh John! Where are you going?" Jane asked as she noticed them, Dirk lounging beside her. Both were previously watching an anime show about cooking it seemed, looked awesome with its exaggerated movements and ridiculous reactions of the cooked meals.

"Hey Jane! Dave and I are going out to watch the new movie in the theater, after that the rest of the afternoon in the park!" John said brightly, putting on his jacket.

Dave nodded as he did the same, "Some outdoors bro-time, but if you want to come." The least they could do was offer to not seem suspicious, it would be harder to sneak away but fortunately both Jane and Dirk declined and went back to watching their show, Food Battle or something. The food definitely looked delicious, John wonders if Jane would try to recreate the meal on the screen, baking wasn't the only skill in her repertoire.

"Bye guys, see you later!" Both called as they both headed out. 

On their way to a more private place to change into their god tier clothing they were greeted by, well, themselves

Both John and Dave blinked as they both saw themselves walking down the street, smiling like nothing was out of the ordinary. John caught himself winking at them before tugging his Dave down the street towards the direction of the nearby movie theater. 

"Huh, looks like we're going to still see the movie after all." Dave commented and John grinned at him, "Thank god for time powers." 

And with that, they were off. 


Karkat gritted his teeth, focusing on the gunshot wound on his leg. Cursing underneath his breath he leans against the wall for support as he grips his leg and closes his eyes, the perks of being God Tier as well as a Blood Player was the healing factor  it gave and soon enough the gunshot wound was healing and only stung, both fortunately and unfortunately the bullet went straight through his leg so he didn't have to dig the metal out of his flesh but unfortunately it would leave a shot scar on his leg. 

There goes his chance of wearing shorts in public. 

Also thank gog for God Tier pants, no need in stitching it up since it would mend itself. Clothes with healing-factors, not the strangest thing to occurr in his life. 

He changed out of the pants as soon as it mended for his previous jeans, hissing as the jeans pressed against his still tender but no longer bleeding or gaping gunshot wound, the denim fabric rubbed irritably against his leg but he would deal with it. Schooling his face he breathed before pushing away from the wall and headed inwards towards the public area of the mall; he was lucky he was alone out there and so far. 

He was limping slightly, but he did his best to hide it. 

Karkat breathed as he walked through the crowd, adrenaline and paranoia still in his veins and troll instincts that shouldn't even be there making him slightly more hostile than he should be. He needed to calm down before he did something he would regret or lose into his anger and hurt someone innocent. 

It was hard with his blood rushing underneath his skin and being surrounded by strangers of a different species, crowds were definitely something he absolutely hated even back then when he was on Alternia. He breathed and flexed his hands and fingers, counting in his mind as he journeyed his way to a less croweded part of the mall. 

"Yo KK!" He jumps, spinning around and hissing through his teeth at both surprise and at the pain his leg gave him for the sudden movement. He found Sollux backing up with wide eyes and his hands up in surrender, "Woah dude thettle down, jeeth. Man, you okay? You're jumpy, actually where were you? The otherth and I were looking for you atthhole." He says with an irritated look on his face. 

Karkat took a deep breath and shook his head, "I'm fine, fuck off. Where I was is none of your business Sollux. Can't a t-guy go on his own for a bit for some peace and quiet?" He shot back with a normal scowl. 

Sollux snorted, "Fine, whatever. Jutht thay thomething next time alright? Kankri almotht lotht it when he found out you went off on your own." Okay, that made Karkat a bit guilty because he just knew that Kankri was thinking back to when he 'disappeared' in the first fight with the denizens. 

Karkat grumbled, "Yeah yeah whatever." He caught Sollux looking at him with confusion and raised a brow at him. "What?"

The bi-colored glasses wearing genius sent him a look, "Where'th the thtuff you bought? Like, the bucket and thhit?" Karkat paled a bit and bit back a curse, oh. 

"Oh yeah, shit, hold up a fucking second. Stay right here, I need to get it." He said and bolted away into a random direction, ignoring the shocked call from Sollux and the pain of his leg. Thankfully the pain wasn't as much as before so it wouldn't be long before it was fully healed. 

He stopped at a random place and looked around to make sure no one was looking and took the plastic bag out of his sylladex, scowling with tinted cheeks at the bucket in the plastic before heading back to Sollux. 

"Thanks for the reminder, anyway let's get back to the others. I got what I came for."Karkat said with a dark scowl, future him and Dave were so going to get it, ugh, why did he even listen to the instructions in the first place?!

But then again, if he hadn't he wouldn't have found out about the existence of trolls in this universe. That would be vital information, just what were they doing on Earth? In disguises? Things just got a lot more complicated. 

"Hold up KK! Jethuth fucking chritht man, what'th your deal?" Sollux grumbled as he went up by Karkat's side, who ignored him and seemed to be deep in thought about something. The genius frowned and then noticed something weird, Karkat was walking but he seemed to be limping ever so slightly now that Sollux observed closely. 

Did something happen? What was with the limp? And why was Karkat hiding it? Nothing was adding up with Karkat, his strange behavior the last few weeks...

He was going to keep a closer eye on his best friend. 

Later on when they met up with everyone, Karkat had to suffer through a small lecture, well not really small but it was relatively small compared to Kankri's other lectures and scoldings, by Kankri as well as a tight hug from the elder Vantas. 

Karkat grumbled but said nothing but sorry towards the other and got out the hug, warily looking around for the disguised troll he saw on the roof. When Latula asked if he was alright he shrugged and said he was but inwardly he was anxious to leave the mall, get back home and talk with the others about his discovery.

That and go to the base Roxy had picked out.

He saw him as he left, the human disguise of the bronzeblood 'Tetrarch' looking around not-so subtly in his opinion. Biting his lip he thought back to the roof, there were more of these fuckers around in disguise, looking for something. And he had a feeling he knew what they were looking for. 

When the shaded bastard made eye contact he jerked and broke it, getting out of the mall with the others in tow. A few of his friends noticed his strange behavior and looked around before they left, seeing nothing wrong or anything particularly eye-catching. 

Meanwhile Dammek 'Tetrarch' Sitred narrowed his eyes behind his shades at the humans leaving from the mall, trying to figure out who the disguised troll was from among the crowd with no such luck. There were a few suspicious humans but there was no sure way in discovering who, so far no one seemed to be limping and he was damned sure he got the troll in the leg before he reached the ground with his weird floating trick. A mutation perhaps? 

They most likely already patched themselves up and changed pants and were long gone by now. Beekeeper was right, no other troll from the other factions and groups told him of crossing their territory. They were all allies and underneath orders of Her Benevolence, the factions always told each other if they were crossing territories for one reason or another no matter how mundane because they were few and under orders to do so from Her Majesty herself. 

This was his territory to look after, it had been bad enough with the first monster attack, they didn't have a clue on what to do before the heroes showed up. They had no information on them other than what the human public already knew, and the most recent monster attack a few weeks ago destroyed the base of the faction stationed there in the city. 

Luckily no troll there got seriously injured and their covers weren't blown, that and they managed to snag a few bits of the strange material that exploded from the monster. The same material the heroes harvested whenever they defeated any monster that showed up so far. 

They were still analyzing it, figuring out on what it was and why the heroes collected it and they would share their findings in the next gathering which was in a few days and was the perfect opportunity to ask the other factions. But in the off hand chance that none of the factions were involved with this... 

He didn't know what to think about a rogue troll on Earth that managed to bypass their surveillance, informationa and other shit and possibly go against the Empress.

But he was going to find out one way or another...


Roxy grinned as she shifted in the air, awaiting for the others high above in the sky. Right above her house actually. 

"Roxy!" She squealed as she sighted her moirails flying towards her, instantly she takes the two in her arms, hugging them both. 

"You guys are here!" She laughed as they hugged her back, "Great, now we only need Jakey to come 'n we're all gucci!" 

Dave snorted, "Gucci?" He questioned amusedly. 

She sniffed, "Ye, gucci." She stressed with a wide grin that made John laugh. They made small talk, as they floated about high in the air awaiting for Jake's arrival. 

A few minutes later Jake Harley appeared in a bright brief flash of white light meters away from them, he laughed and waved as he approached them. "Sorry if I kept you all waiting! Had a brief chore to do, well that and deter Jade from following me." He said sheepishly. 

John waved it off, "No problem here Jake, we didn't wait long." 

Roxy clapped with a bright smile, "Goody! Now that we're all here... actually no, Karkitty's still not here." She frowned unhappily. 

"Oh don't worry! Like I said he's off having a big reunion with all his friends, I'll show him the way to the base as soon as he's free to come!" Jake reassured brightly, Roxy blinked before smiling slyly. 

"Oh really now? Okay then, I will leave it in your capable hands Jake En, sorry- Harley to get Karkat to our new base and speaking of new base..." She turned around and pointed dramatically, "It's about fucking time we get there! Follow me guys, this is going to be awesome." She said before shooting off across the sky. 

The three males shared a grin before following their Rogue of Void towards their new base of operations.

A place where a lot of shit is going to happen apparently. 

Chapter Text


Slightly in the future...

Dammek stiffly walked through the base, his now-awake moirail trailing beside him with left-over fatigue from his awakening. 

Trolls were usually put into stasis, sleeping most of the way towards Earth (though mostly it was lowbloods as highbloods were able to choose whether or not to sleep or stay awake the entire or partial journey), especially when entering the Earth's atmosphere. Entering the Earth was no easy task despite their obvious technological advantage but something about or inside the atmosphere surrounding the Earth made it difficult for most ships to enter normally. 

Powerful psionic captains and navigators had trouble focusing on their psionics into landing their ships, lowbloods felt unbelievably uncomfortable entering the place, midbloods felt uncomfortable as well but not as much as rustbloods to bronzebloods like himself, highbloods just felt a strange sensation entering and are mostly able to shake it off the moment they landed. 

"Zebede." Dammek greeted, stopping besides the goldblood who blinked at him before nodding back in greeting. 

"The meeting is starting soon, you should get in there." They told him, "Maenad is asleep, Moolah is off tinkering with more human technology, Skalbi is scoping out another human library again while Goezee is Empress' knows where, Entykk is most likely exploring the vast quality of human coffee." They reported and Dammek's eye twitched. 

Beside him Xefros looked at him worriedly as the bronzeblood took a deep breath and nodded his thanks to the goldblood, "Get Goezee back to the base, have Skalbi come back as soon as she can and get Entykk to come back with a shitton more of that coffee we had this morning." He ordered, having Zebede nod in confirmation while Dammek entered the block. 

He was in the meeting block, where his team usually met for important meetings and what not. Also it was a meeting room for not only him but the other leaders of the other factions sent to Earth besides them. Currently there were only a few groups and factions on Earth, 3 in the general area of city and towns they were in, one lead by himself obviously and two others lead by who Her Benevolence chose as leaders just as she chose him, much to his great pride of course. 

The hexagonal table shines as the meeting starts, a light passes over both trolls as four holograms activate and reveal the leaders and their co-leaders slash confidants of the other group. 

"Xigisi, Kalbur." Dammek greeted politely, the blueblood and tealblood leaders greeted back just as politely, "Sitred." They said together. 

Beside Galekh Xigisi, the blueblooded leader, was his fellow blueblood Amisia Erdehn while with Tegiri Kalbur was his own fellow tealblood Tagora Gorjek, or Gor-Gor as he obnoxiously insists on everyone to call him. 

Supposedly, Dammek could have chosen a fellow bronzeblood with him but having his moirail was more beneficial to both him and the mission, besides, he couldn't let any of these two fucks get their claws on Xefros. 

"How goes in the rebuilding of your base Xigisi?" Teygiri asks before Dammek could ask them about what happened days ago at the human mall but pauses slightly as he was curious to hear it from Galekh himself, from the report Xebede had given him the recent attack in the city had torn down and destroyed the base the blueblood established in the city via the strange monster that had an uncanny like-ness with his Honorable Judgement back on Beforus. Only a lot more bigger, scarier, as well as a hell of a lot more violent. 

The blueblood stiffly pushes his glasses back into place, "Repairs are currently being made in the event, we have managed to repair most of our equipment with little hassle. No troll was found out and research is still going underway for the strange material we have picked up." 

"The material is strange, they all weigh fairly light despite their density and size. We've tested their weight and they all impossibly weigh the same, one the size of a chair weighed exactly the same as the other which was the size of a fist." 

Dammek and Tegiri blinked, that did sound impossible. 

They could talk about the material at a later date or maybe even after he confides to them about the event that happened days ago. 

"Forgive me for interrupting but there is something I would like to talk about first before continuing..." Dammek interrupts before the two higherblooded trolls could say something, face tense and serious. 


Karkat picked at the hem of his sleeve, fingers catching a stray thread and toyed with it pensively as he waited for both Kankri and Kelvin to just get in the damn car and drive them home. Today had been stressing, very stressing, and he was anxious to report it to the others as soon as possible, as well as see Roxy's pick of a new base of course but the matter of trolls existing must come first. 

He's already said his goodbyes, almost uncaring about the worried looks he gathered from his friends but he managed to stay civilized and not flip the fuck out and just fly away due to stress. 

His blood pressure rose and heated slightly underneath his skin for the nth time of the day, this was one of the most stressing days of his life! But he couldn't afford to break now, not now, and hopefully not ever. Anything to keep his friends and family from being involved in this whole shithole of a mess. 

He breathed a silent sigh of relief when finally both elder Vantas' entered the car, Karkat even indulged in giving the others a final wave of goodbye from inside the car as Kelvin started the car and drove out of the Piexes' driveway. Soon Karkat could give the excuse of sleeping early or just haul himself in his room and etc. 

He missed the meaningly shared glances both Kankri and his father had as he stared blankly at the moving surroundings, lost in thought. 

Kelvin coughed loudly which drew Karkat's attention to him, "You okay there Karkat?" He asked, glancing at him using the rear mirror. Kankri sending concerned glances to both of them but kept quiet, which was a feat to Karkat. 

"I'm fine. Why?" 

"It's nothing, just worried about you son. You still having trouble sleeping?" 

Karkat grimaced, "Yeah, the medicine's not working so don't bother buying anymore of that shit." He made a disgusted face as he remembered the medicine Kelvin had specifically bought to help Karkat sleep, it didn't work, it should have but it wasn't like sopor and despite his now human body; he needed sopor to sleep properly. 

The type Karkat would alchemize would be enough, it had been on the meteor, it was lowgrade but it was actually higher than the sopor he usually bought back on Alternia. Sopor slime had regenerative abilities and effects but it all depended on how high of a quality you got, since Gamzee's was as high as you could get his slime had probably helped his own already insane regenerative healing factor not to mention the chucklefuck's consumption of that high quality slime probably helped even more somehow even if it made Gamzee high as fuck. 

Speaking of regenerative healing abilities, maybe he should make a fuck ton of slime for the others as well, the new base might be a perfect place to heal up. 

Kelvin and Kankri glanced at each other worriedly again, this time with Karkat noticing, not too deep in his train of thought this time. 

"Look, I'll be fucking fine. You two don't have to worry about me like I'm a damn wig-kid." Karkat scowled, hastily plowing through his mistake of almost calling himself a wiggler. He huffed and looked away, muttering about a nap and feigning sleep, all too aware on how both Kelvin and Kankri stared at him worriedly. 

It was still weird, having someone, two someones actually, that were biologically related to you care for you in a real sense in real life. Karkat was getting used to it, it was actually nice on some days, annoying on others, and downright still weird as fuck on most others even with the memories of his human life in his mind. 

His troll memories were clearer than the human ones, he could remember things much better when he was Karkat Vantas, mutant troll hiding for his life rather than Karkat Vantas, little brother to Kankri Vantas and son of Kelvin Vantas. 

And despite all his bitching and stressing over today... it was nice to see his friends living good lives as humans, better than their troll lives really. He didn't know before if he was glad that he was the only one to remember out of all of the trolls but, now he was sure; he wanted his friends to live good normal lives as humans and be free. 

Free from the game, free from Alternia, just free from the bad shit that clouded their lives as trolls. 

So he would keep them safe and in the dark, they deserved it the stupid assholes. 


Roxy grinned as she lead the others, excitement filling her to the brim. 

She had found the perfect base! Well, perfect in her eyes, she didn't know if the others would like it; especially the fact of its location... but she was optimistic! If her first pick wasn't okay, then she'll go find another one. 

Though, she hoped the others would like the base she picked out first for them.

"Here it is!" Roxy said with exaggerated flourish, grinning brightly at them, "Tadaaa~!" 

All three males had to blink at the sight of their new 'base'. 

John recognized it instantly, "Hey isn't that...?" he trailed off as Roxy nodded frantically. 

"Yup! It's the old lab buildingmajig us Lalondes used to live near by!" Roxy exclaimed, "Look there's even our old house!" She pointed to the smaller building miles away from the giant lab underneath them. 

True to Roxy's exclamation it was the old SkaiaNet lab that went abandoned for reasons on John's 12th birthday, originally Rose lived with her mother in the house that was near by and Roxy lived in the same house in her universe but in this one it was an old family home that Roxanne Lalonde raised both her girls in since it was closer to work. 

The lab underneath them was big, and entirely abandoned or so SkaiaNet had said, to be honest John thought it looked smaller than the original SkaiaNet lab that Rose used to live by in their old universe but that was probably a difference in this universe. 

Anyway, Roxanne moved away when all of a sudden SkaiaNet declared they would be moving to a bigger and grander place, abandoning their old smaller lab for a new bigger one, Roxanne moved with them since she was a bigshot scientist working for them. 

"If you don't like the lab we can always take over my old house." Roxy murmured hopefully as she sees them staring at both the lab and the old house that the Lalonde family lived in. 

John shook his head, "The lab would be great Roxy just one thing," he looked her in the eye, "Is it safe and secret-y enough for us? Like for the five of us?" He asked with all seriousness. 

Roxy smiled brightly and nodded, "Yuppers! I managed to hack and discretely buy the land and shit, I searched SkaiaNet and they do have an eye on this place but only outwardly, no cameras inwards and shit, we can trick the cameras anyway and take them down carefully as we move in! There's more than enough space in the lab for us and if we go greedy we can form Casa de Lalonde into a safehouse or something!" She rambled excitedly as she grabbed the three males and used her Void powers to get them inside the lab all invisible and intangible. 

It was dusty in there, like really dusty. Years worth of dust covered the place that made both Jake and John cough before John used his Breath powers to blow most of the dust into another room, a temporary solution since there wasn't a window nearby for John to blow the dust out of, they'd have to clean the place up. Also, it was dark, to which Jake helped fix by creating a ball of hopeful light, something Jake wasn't even sure would work but it worked out just great! Giving light to the previously, dark as hell room. 

Dave whistled, which echoed in the empty place as the four of them began to look around the room Roxy brought them into. It seemed like a controlroom of some sorts, powered down monitors and controls. "Damn girl, ya got us a swanky ass place to set up base." he said much to the blonde's delight. 

Roxy laughed cheerfully, "I know right?! It wasn't even that hard getting this place under our thumbs! Not hard for me at least because I am the greatest Haxor cred girl to live!" She boasted, dramatically posing on a table laughing up a storm. 

John laughed with her, "You're right Roxy! This place is great, there's tons of rooms in here we can use! Though I think we'll have to move to another room for the alchemiter, this place is too small but if we can get the power running we can turn this control room into a proper control room slash meeting room!" John said excitedly, plans forming in his head as they looked around. 

"Hey!" Jake called out, gathering their attention, "I think I've found a blueprint of the labs, we could use it as a map until we make one ourselves." He said as he unfurled blueprints unto the control deck, there were many for the many levels of the lab, they gathered around him to look at the blueprint map and quickly found where they were.

"The perfect place for the alchemiter should be... right... there!" Jake exclaimed, pointing to a big room, "This is the biggest room! It says it should be a couple of grounds right underneath us. Roxy, if you would my lady?" Jake asked as he furled the blueprints again. 

Roxy giggled and mock-curtsied, "Of course, gentlemen?" She offered her arms to which all three males held on to before sinking down into the floor. They pass two floors before reaching the giant room that Jake mentioned, it was just as dusty as the previom rooms. 

Jake provided light as John swept the dust into another room, they looked around in awe at the giant room. 

There were big many glass tubes that could easily fit them, there was plenty of room to put down the alchemiter in the room; they just needed to get things like chairs and tables out of the way. They didn't know what the room was previously used as but they'd probably find out later in the future while fixing the place up and turning it into a proper base for the five of them. 

It took a bit as they stashed chairs, some machinery as well as tables into their sylladex to clear room but soon enough they had enough space for a good alchemiter. 

"Ready guys?" John asked, a smile on his face as Jake and Roxy paired together. Dave stood by his side as the two nodded confidently. 

"Totally!"
"Ready as we'll ever be!" 

Both John and Dave stepped back as Roxy and Jake faced each other, closing their eyes and breathing deeply. Jake opened his eyes which were enveloped in white while Roxy continued to close her eyes but her hands moved, as if to grab something from somewhere. Jake grabbed on Roxy's shoulders and turned her around, palms glowing softly and Roxy grinned as she reached out and gestured to the empty space in the middle of the room. 

Jake gave a brilliant smile as his eyes flared at the same time Roxy opened her eyes which glowed dark blue with the hint of bright pink and the Void aspect symbol flashed before their eyes for a brief time before disappearing and--

VOID APPEARIFIED

The ground shook slightly as the big machine landed on the floor, John cheered loudly as Dave clapped. Jake blinked and his eyes returned to normal and Roxy did the same, she squealed after a moment of staring at the newly appeared alchemiter while Jake laughed in triumph. 

They had done it! 

"Good work you two! Hehe, this looks just like one of our modified alchemiters!" John praised and Roxy sent him a bright smile. 

"Probs because it maybe is? When I asked you guys about your alchemiters I thought, 'hey, those are perf for us' because we wouldn't need to get any other game machine thing! I think at least." Roxy admitted as she hugged the Heir who laughed and ruffled her hair. 

"Sweet. Yeah, I don't think we'll need to appearify anything else for now, this big baby will help us in the long run." Dave said, knocking at the big machine, checking out the controls before taking notice to something. "Hey guys check this out." He called out, motioning them to come closer. 

Dave pointed to a monitor that seemed to be installed into the modified alchemiter that Jade and Dave had first messed around with way back in the game. "Did you think to have a screen telling us how much grist we had in stock Roxy?" Dave asked, scrolling through the list of grist and materials they had picked up from their fights with the game constructs on the touch-interface screen.

Roxy blinked before slowly nodding, "Yeah... I wanted to know how much shit we got from the fights and all... Rogue Void powers are op as hella." She said as she stared at her hands in wonder before smiling crookedly as well as tiredly, "But appearifying the alchemiter was really tiring to be honest, if it weren't for Jakey here I think I might've fainted or something... Never really did anything bigger than the matriorb and some bottles of booze before," She admitted sheepishly, "And the generic objects and pumpkins are the most easiest to appearify obviously." 

The three males nodded, that sounded about right. 


GT: We're at the base now and we're exploring the hell out of it! And by golly it is great so far, i can't wait for you to see it karkat! :B

CG: WELL THAT SHIT'S GONNA HAVE TO WAIT TILL TONIGHT THEN, IF I TRY TO GO NOW BOTH FUCKERS THAT ARE NOW MY RELATIVES ARE GOING TO BE NOSY AS FUCK AND PROBABLY PROHIBIT ME FROM GOING ANYWHERE

GT: :( 
GT: Are you quite alright karkat?

CG: NO

GT: D: 
GT: Why not?! 

CG: A LOT OF SHITTY ASS REASONS BUT I THINK I'LL WAIT TO TELL YOU FUCKS ON THAT
CG: THERE'S SOMETHING IMPORTANT I NEED TO TALK WITH YOU GUYS, ALL OF YOU, AT THE BASE
CG: SOMETHING FUCKING ENORMOUS 
CG: AND I'D RATHER TALK IN PERSON THAN IN PESTERCHUM 

GT: Oh, alright :(
GT: But will you be okay? 

CG: I DON'T FUCKING KNOW BUT I HOPE SO

GT: :) 
GT: I hope so too. I'm always here if you need me karkat, like i said, we all are 


"That doesn't sound like anytroll of ours." Xigisi said with a frown, "I can testify that all my trolls were in and accounted for during your encounter. I can even provide you the log if you wish." 

Kalbur grunted, "Same. And none of us have a rustblood with the ability to float, granted they have psionic abilities but as you pointed out there were no traces of any psionic energy at the mall. None at all." His eyes narrowed underneath his glasses, "What I find extremely suspicious is the fact the troll was hiding before you found them, but are we so sure that this guy was a troll? It could have easily been a human, if so then your group has been compromised." 

Dammek shook his head, inwardly bristling at the sword wielding leader for saying such a thing, "No, I'm sure it was a troll. No human knows troll vernacular and they said and I quote, 'You goddamn taintlicking nookmuncher' unquote. Still think it's a human?" He asked dryly at the two.

Xigisi made a face at the words he had quoted while Kalbur narrowed his eyes at thought. 

"Then this poses as a problem them." Teygiri admitted, "We have an unknown troll, possibly a rustblood, with a human disguise that we had no knowledge of. We three are the only troll groups of the area, any other group would have to travel from their assigned territories and for some reason spy on Sitred's group for whatever reason." 

The three leaders frowned, the thought of such a thing seemed bizarre to them. What was this mystery troll's goal? Why would they do that? 

"Question is," Xigisi spoke, "Do we report this to Her Benevolence? We can always check on the other nearby factions for their rustbloods but on the offhand chance that this troll is off the grid, well, we'd need orders on how to proceed." 

They all shared a tense look, their companions shifting uneasily, even 'Gor-Gor'. 

Dammek shook his head, "No, not yet at least. First we check the rustbloods and if they don't match, then and only then we report this matter to Her Benevolence. She's already too busy as it is, not to mention for some reason pensive and I'd rather not worry her with a possible false alarm." He said, though he doubted this was a false alarm but he wouldn't burden the Empress with this matter if they could handle it. 

Both higherbloods looked at each other then nodded, "Agreed." They both said. 

After that, the meeting continues but their minds often stray to the mystery troll. 

One now-human Karkat Vantas suddenly shivered violently as he impatiently waited for night to come and for both Kankri and Kelvin to sleep.


Night fell and Karkat couldn't feel relieved enough as he jumped out the window, god tiered and jittery. He's flying as fast as he can towards the meeting place where Jake had told him. 

Soon enough, he sees Jake in the sky and Jake sees him flying towards him, he grins frantically shakes his hands in the air in greeting. 

"Karkat! I'm so happy to see you, come on!" Jake says excitedly, grabbing the ex-mutant's wrist and leading him towards their new base. Karkat lets him, inwardly cursing at the fact he instantly calmed the moment Jake grabbed at his wrist, he was going to have to deal with this at some point that he knows but right now there were much more important matters to focus on and it wasn't his romantic life. 

Roxy is there above the lab to get them inside without being seen and Karkat is briefly appreciating their new base but quickly turns serious as they enter the newly dubbed 'Alchemy' room where the alchemiter was. 

"The alchemiter's ready for use! Karkat you have the hono--" "Yeah that's great and fucking all but we've got a major fucking matter to discuss here also maybe a big problem too." Karkat interrupted, gaining their attention. 

John frowned as they gathered around him, "What's wrong Karkat?" 


Back at the Vantas household... 

Kelvin thrashed in his sleep, sweating profusely as he gritted his teeth, curling tightly as he clutched at his wrists. 

"I am... I forgive you.... I will be the biggest fucking fool on.... because when I close my eyes.... world and it's so.... beautiful...

Kelvin gasped breathlessly as he jolted awake, heart pounding as fleeting images of a dark sky with two moons and a crowd of mismatched featureless creatures flashed in his mind. 

"Fuck..." He breathed as he stumbled out of bed, throat aching and parched, "Fuck..." he repeated as he walked towards the kitchen. He stops to briefly look at both of his sons locked rooms before continuing his journey to the kitchen, he passes a quick glance to the mirror he passes and his blood freezes and he frantically looks back towards the reflection. 

His pupils are an unnatural bright red while the white of his eyes are gone and replaced with yellow and his skin is a dark, very dark, grey and almost black in the darkness and he sees faint faint outlines of something coming out of his hair. 

He takes a step back and frantically rubs his eyes and checks his hands, only to see tan skin, he lifts his gaze back to the mirror and only sees his reflection, his normal reflection. 

"Okay, Kelvin you're hallucinating. That's just fucking dandy." He said quietly in a rasp, reminding him at the state of his throat. He shakes his throat and determinedly pushed his thoughts away from what happened and went to get a drink. 

In the privates of his room, Kankri stared at the ceiling, his breath stuttering as he sees multicolored lines in the air. Multiple lines of various familiar flying through the air, phasing through the wall and Kankri tries to bury himself deeper into his bed, turning to his stomach and clenching his eyes shut. 

"It's just a dream, probably a brief hallucination from staying up too late and worrying about your brother." He whispers tiredly and focuses on going to sleep. 

And it wasn't just the Vantas household who was affected, something similar happened with the rest of the ex-trolls. 

But outside a certain household, a bandaged and horned figure darts from her hiding place and into the dark of the night. 

Chapter Text


"... And that, as fucking frustrating and stressing today was, was pretty much it." 

Karkat finished, sending everyone an uneasy glance as they all sat around the alchemiter. He eyed the big machine and though he was happy at the chance to make sopor slime again, he was too tense and focused on the whole 'Trolls on Earth and incognito' debacle to be fully happy. 

The silence that took over was tense, as Roxy exchanged nervous and unsure gazes with Dave and Jake. Soon enough though, Roxy also broke the silence with a question on everyone's minds. 

"So... What do we do about this."

John, who was silent throughout Karkat's explanation and had been starting to worry everyone, answered. "We don't do anything."

Karkat whirled towards him with stress and rage clear on his face, "The fuck do you mean 'don't do anything', we should be out there a-!!" "We don't do anything... yet." John interrupted in a rare face of seriousness. 

Gone was the friend-leader, the prankster and dork. Here was the Leader, the Heir and the person who stood up and lead them to victory against enemies like Lord English, Jack Noir, The Condescension and more. 

John stood, a serious but thoughtful look on his face, "We can't really afford to go after these guys, not yet at least. Besides, they don't seem to be doing anything harmful yet. We have more important things to focus on, making our base safe for us and fully functional, keeping our families and friends safe and find out everything else. We don't know why we," he motioned to the five of them, "remember the game and why the game enemies are crossing over here. We don't know what happened." 

Karkat grunted but reluctantly backs down because John did have a point. The Trolls weren't their only problem, if anything the game was on top fo their list because of how unpredictable it would be. Or was it even the game itself? The Honorable Tyranny wasn't part of the game, at least they don't think so. 

At any rate, figuring out things should be their top priority, but that didn't mean they could let the trolls off the hook and on their own doing who knows what. 

John gave Karkat a stern but understanding look, "Look, we'll keep an eye on these trolls. But unless they do something drastic or something that will personally effect our lives or compromise our identities and more, we're not interfering. We can find them while or after we made this place into a proper base where we can work, deal?" 

Karkat grumbled but nodded, "Fine, but the moment they do something suspicious as hell, I'm taking matters into my own hands." John looked exasperated but nodded in agreement nonetheless, the ex-troll ignored the concerned look from Jake and focused back on the alchemiter. 

"So, does this thing work or what." 

Roxy and Jake shared a grin, though when Roxy winked Jake was a little confused. 


timaeusTestified [TT] began pestering gutsyGumshoe [GG]

TT: Yo Jane.

GG: Good evening Dirk :B

TT: Hey Jane, have you heard from Jake or Roxy lately?
TT: Feels like it's been a while since all four of us talked, and I feel like Jake's been avoiding me for some reason. I'm probably being speculative but it has been a while since I talked with him.

GG: Hmm, unfortunately I have not heard from either Jake or RoLal in quite a while.
GG: But perhaps they're just busy?

TT: Perhaps.
TT: Anyway, Jake and Rox aside. You doing okay Jane?

GG: Oh I've been just dandy! But you know that, you're in the next room silly :B

TT: I know, but I am very content with my ass on this bed. There's a low chance of me moving from this spot for a while.
TT: By the way, thanks for letting us stay at your place for a bit. You and the Egberts of course, your families are awesome.

GG: It's no problem Dirk, you and your family are always welcome in either of our households! Or well, when dad decides if we should get the house next door anyway. Uncle Jack certainly feels the same, and living together been's a hoot! Hoohoohoo :D
GG: Oh yeah, Dirk. What's going to happen to you and your brothers? Your apartment is still quite... destroyed. Dad and Uncle Jack are willing to let you stay but I know you and your bros won't like the thought of staying am I correct?

TT: Yes, you are correct. We are going to stay for a while of course, but not forever. We Striders will not leech off of a friend of ours like this.

GG: Dirk you and your brother are not leeching off of us! You are all welcomed all the time >:(

TT: Well, it doesn't feel right. Don't get me wrong, your place is great and you guys are too but eventually we have to stay somewhere else on our own.
TT: Our apartment is completely wrecked, the whole building is. They're repairing as much as they can but Bro is thinking about moving out, he even told me he was thinking of us moving out of the apartment anyway.
TT: So right now we're just staying until Bro looks for a good place for us now that Dave's okay.

GG: :/ Oh alright.
GG: Also, has Dave's back truly healed now? It's been a few weeks so his back should be in tip top shape. He did went out with John to watch a movie earlier.

TT: Seems like it. And yeah, they should be back any time now. But Bro's being paranoid and overprotective, I'm actually surprised that Dave and John managed to leave without Bro tailing their asses.

GG: Hoohoohoo, your brother certainly cares for you two :)

TT: Bro's one of the best. Dave being just under him but he understands.

GG: Hoohoohoo! :B

TT: I
TT: Hold on, what?

GG: ?
GG: What's wrong Dirk?

TT: Someone's pestering me but
TT: It's weird, hold up I'm going to pester back

GG: :| ?????

??????!!!!!! [?!] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT]

?!: AI-----DFPY
?!: NDSAPIFYOBC

TT: The fuck.
TT: Who is this.

?!: APEF2NO8Y SHTI SORYR
?!: ANPIqwx2
?!: shit
?!: sorry i uh
?!: shit shit sorry im sorry i was
?!: its complicated to say
?!: crap i broke the
?!: nevermind

TT: Who the fuck is this. How the hell did you get my handle.

?!: unimportant
?!: who i am is unimportant but who you are is important
?!: you are dirk strider and your in the crocker/egbert house right now right

TT: What the actual fuck.

?!: freak out later so listen to me right now
?!: i want you to remember something and this is very fucking important fuck its weird to type like this but listen to me and remember this
?!: at some point in the future you and your friends are gonna have to do something and that something is going to need these exact words, or numbers whatever the fuck but remember these, its a bunch of different shit but you'll need it
?!: '413 rise up' '612 shenanigans' '1111 batterwitch' and finally ' 461 we won'
?!: thats it, remember these dirk because you'll fucking need them

TT: Dear fucking god, is this a prank. John is that you, you little shit.

?!: i fucking told you who i am is unimportant and no this is not a prank but whatever you say just as long as you remember these words, when the time comes you'll know what these mean

TT: What the fuck.

?!: show this to jane but don't show it to the others, she'll need it too
?!: and jane you are going to be important, very fucking important, when time comes listen to him before he explodes like the idiot he is
?!: and for the record, we're sorry for everything but we did the right thing no matter what you and the others think

TT: Okay joke's over, who the hell are you?!

??????!!!!!! [?!] ceased pestering timaeusTestified [TT]

"What the actual fuck. Oh no you don't asshole, you're not--!!"

TT: What the shit, what the actual fuck

GG: Dirk??? Are you alright? What happened?

TT: I don't. Shit. Look, here.
TT: I have no fuckng idea what just happened.

timaeusTestified [TT] sent file weirdasfuckwhat.pgn

GG: ??????
GG:
GG: ??!?!?!?
GG: Dirk?!?

TT: I don't know.

GG: I don't. I don't understand, what is this?!

TT: Like I said, I don't know.
TT: I tried tailing the asshole but, I couldn't/
TT: I couldn't find his trail, whoever he is, he managed to get away with this bullshit.

GG: Dirk, what do we do??

TT: ... I don't know


Karkat yawned as he entered his bathroom, it was morning and he had just came home a few minutes before sunrise and had spent a solid 10 minutes making sure that no one had seen him flying back into his room. The sun was now over the horizon and for this morning, he didn't let Kankri 'wake' his ass and just dragged himself into the bathroom for a bath. 

Strangely enough, Kankri's door was still locked. Hmm, his a-older brother, was having a rare day of sleeping in. It was rare but nothing to worry about. 

He tiredly rubbed his eyes as he looked at himself in the mirror, taking in once again the human before him, reflecting his outer appearance. He took a deep breath and went to take a good, ice cold and eye-waking shower. He shivered and gritted his teeth at the cold temperature but went through it, he'd take a nap in the afternoon but the morning unfortunately had to be spent in the waking world. 

He had spent the whole night up with the others, planning and figuring things out. The alchemiter worked fine, fantastic actually however there was an unexpected drawback; it took a bit of time to create and combine certain objects. 

Creating sylladex cards were quick, instantaneous as they had later found out after Karkat created a good batch of slime for himself but it had taken about 5 minutes to fully be created with the alchemiter, and that was with a gallon of sopor slime! Which, would seem as an impressive batch but in reality; it wouldn't give him a full night's sleep and full mental rejuvenation. It would help immensely in letting him sleep and could be used for a few good nights since it was only a gallon so far -they needed more oil grist unfortunately so a gallon was what he could make without draining their oil grist supply completely- but it mostly likely would not keep away the nightmares all the time even though the slime would help him sleep and have his slumber be relatively calm. 

Unless he was fully submerged in slime, the slime's true potential would be unusable to him. Since he only had a gallon, he was content to just rub slime on his body for now and sleep on his pile (no matter how disgusting it was, though he would only put slime on his face, his arms and his legs). 

He could ration the slime for now, not sleeping was a thing he was used to and he could afford to stay up a few nights and sleep the other nights. Though he couldn't stay awake as much as he'd like like a few weeks straight but unfotunately his human body could not deal with no sleep for 1 week straight much less the amount of weeks he had foolishly endured during the game. 

Also, it seemed that the alchemiter did run on a power source, which was Jake's Hope powers surprisingly enough as they found out while fiddling with the controls. It would seem that Jake would have to 'recharge' it manually through the screen for a bit every now and again if they wanted a fully functional alchemiter, he didn't mind of course; it was nice to find some use of his powers outside of battle and even then all he was good for was support so far (or a glorified but hard to ignite bomb as they had later found out in the future). 

Another thing to sopor slime; the human body was especially susceptible to the slime it seemed, or at least more so than trolls. Since the slime had healing and regenerative abilities that didn't just concern the mind, he had tested the slime on himself by making a large cut on his arm and slathering it with slime. It healed faster than his already regenerative healing and left not much of a scar, which was good but Karkat suspected that it was because he didn't really cut too deep, just enough to spill a lot of blood but not enough to scar apparently. 

He tested it again and this time dipped his arm into a container of slime, it healed even faster rather than manually putting it on the skin. And this wasn't the best batch of slime Karkat could make! It was an imitation, enough for him and the others on the meteor to sleep somewhat comfortably but it seemed that humans were more reactive to it. 

He could only imagine the reaction of the human body to real sopor slime, something he would eventually have to get his hands on now that the existence of trolls was revealed to them but he was content with the slime he had for now; actually he was very content and happy with it. 

He could finally get a good night of sleep tonight, for the sake of celebration, he would splurge a bit to his new sopor reserves and use enough slime to get a good full night of sleep. His body needed it anyway, with how weak and vulnerable it was. Stupid human body, how he wished for his old troll one; at least he had actual experience with it instead of this shitty one! 

How did humans live like this?

Bluh, that was a thought of contemplation for another time. 

He quickly finished his cold shower, sighing in relief as he slipped into his warm hoodie before frowning as he tugged at his sleeves. Hopefully the slime could reduce the scars that would inevitable come, this body was too easily scarrable, even by human standards. Leave it to Karkat to be the stupid outcast! 

Ugh, he needed something to eat. 

As he made his way towards the kitchen his mind thought back to last night. 

With the sopor slime problem solved for the time being, actually he would have to talk to John about it's healing powers since they didn't have a true healer or medical person on their team -their own healing factors could only do so much for wounds of course- the slime would have to be a good substitute, there were some glass containers in the lab that were big enough for them for a fully submerged dip; should any of them take near fatal damage they could always heal up in the future in a tube of slime (that and have the best sleep of their lives, totally not just thinking of using the tubes as a replacement for a recouperacoon what are you even insinuating). 

Anyway, their new base was something to behold at. It was perfect, and Roxy insisted that they could use the old Lalonde house as a safehouse or something else in the future. The land was theirs for the molding, they just needed to take care of the surveillance over the lab. Because even though it was abandoned, SkaiaNet still kept an eye on the lab, a lazy eye but an eye nonetheless. 

Roxy, being the amazing and intelligent teen she was and Karkat was glad they had her on their team and that she even remembered and was proud for John and Dave for having her as a moirail, promised to deal with that in the near future. 

Last night they were up fixing up the place, or least, do what they could in one night before eventually leaving for home. That and planning for the future of the base, the main room was still undecided but the alchemiter room was fully operational with extra sylladex cards, storage space, and other items they could think of for it and gather in one night. 

Karkat had captchalouged the giant glass tubes and would find a good place for an infirmary, preferably near the alchemiter and somewhere big enough for more than enough elbow room. It shouldn't be hard to find, there was plenty of rooms in the lab and Jake promised to help him look after Karkat told him what he was planning. 

Which was good, ignoring the fluttering pale feelings in his stomach as the bucktoothed adventurous boy declared it with conviction and that stupid grin of his. 

They planned throughout the night, John even proposing the interesting and favorable idea of them having personal rooms within the lab, a place for them to relax in private without the worry of their families barging in to see them doing their own things like messing with their powers and such which led to the decision of having multiple training and sparring rooms where they could refine their strife techniques and powers. 

It spiralled to them going as far as to planning in making an indoor swimming pool for whatever reason Karkat couldn't bother to remember. Their base was going to turn into a mansion at this rate, but then again it would be a second and much more comfortably open home for them. Somewhere they could go back to without the fear of hiding their powers from their families, a place of safety and more. 

Which then lead to the discussion of them hiding their identities and the powers the damned game 'gifted' them. They couldn't afford to let the others know of it, not when they couldn't remember themselves. It would just lead to trouble they just know it. They wouldn't understand, they had reasoned and the non-remembering others would get in the way and get themselves either hurt badly or even worse; killed

And the thought of losing one of their families or friends like that... 

That only resolved their determination in keeping this a secret, for however long it would go as long as it would keep the others safe, keep his friends and family safe... 

Speaking of family however. 

"Holy shit, you two look almost as worse as me." Karkat deadpanned as soon as he entered the kitchen and saw his brother and father in it. Looks like Kankri had woken up at some point while he was taking a cold bath, he came straight to the kitchen and was nursing a cup of coffee with a tired look. 

Kelvin smiled tiredly at him, "Morning Karkat, you're up early. I didn't even need to send Kankri after you." He laughed before continuing, "Yeah, rough night for all of us I guess. Another sleepless night kiddo?" He asked, flipping a pancake. 

"Yeah." He took seat across from his lightly dazed brother, when he did he had snapped Kankri from his daze with a small jolt. "You okay there Kankri?" He asked, not bothering to hide his concern. 

Kankri sniffed but nodded his head, "Yes, I am fine. It just seems that sleep had evaded me frequently last night, but at least I managed to get a few hours of sleep though unfortunately I did not get the full eight hours still something is better than nothing, no need to worry about myself dear brother. Worry more about yourself actually." He responded shortly, taking a sip from his coffee. 

Karkat gave him a strange look but said nothing as Kelvin finished making breakfast and served it to them with a small yawn. 

"Dig in kids." 

They ate, all three of them sluggish and slow but they didn't care. 

Kankri's mind wandered as he ate, just as both his brother and father's mind wandered as well. 

His thoughts lead to last night and he firmly shook his head, it was just a hallucination, something he hallucinated in the middle of the night due to his constant worrying and stress over his little brother and other problems that may have caused him more stress. There were no colored lines in the air, his vision, though tired, was clear and he was fine. 

Meanwhile Kelvin's mind wandered to last night as well, but just like Kankri he had dismissed it as late night stressed hallucinations. He had tan skin, his eyes were normal red on white and he had nothing in his hair. It was silly and probably remnants to that bizarre dream he had previously, he couldn't even remember clearly on what he was dreaming! 

Just something about, two moons? He doesn't know, so he dismisses last night easily, if a bit warily as well. 

Karkat eyed the two before shrugging it off and continued to eat his breakfast. They seemed fine aside from the lack of sleep. 


"Jade, oh for the love of-, wait for me!" Jake cried out as the elder sibling giggled while running ahead. 

Jade laughed as she turned back to Jake, grinning happily, "Hurry up Jake! I found the perfect spot!" She urged, sprinting ahead much to the exaperation of Jake. 

Jacob chuckled as he put a comforting hand on Jake, "Well she's certainly energetic today, but it was to be expected. We're having a picnic and everyone's coming!" He said, mirth in his old eyes before they looked at him concerned, "Are you sure you can carry that my boy?" 

Jake smiled at his grandfather, again very weird but a good kind of weird, "I'm fine grandpa, besides I insist! It's not that heavy. And yes, I suppose Jade's excitement can be justified as it has been a good while since everyone came together for a picnic." He said with a smile on his face as he turned to the waving Jade that was standing around on a certain patch of grass. 

They were in a park today and everybody was coming. 

It's been a few days since Jake and the others had officially found a base and it was coming along nicely but over the days it seemed that the adults had agreed to meet up and have a picnic; a day everyone could enjoy each other's company which was a smashing idea! 

He was not really lying when he said it had been a while, though it only applied to Jane, Dirk and Rose since he, Roxy, Dave, John and Karkat often met up at their base, though unlike on the first night they didn't stay there for the entire period of the night. Only for a few hours to touch up the place and discuss a few things. 

They would have to make a schedule soon, days where they could meet up; not only nights since it would affect their already problematic sleep schedule. 

Anyway, it was up to the Harley's to set up the starting picnic area and Jade truly seemed to have picked the perfect spot Jake admitted as they began to set up the green picnic blanket. There was enough shade and sun and the view over the park was pretty, not to mention that there was a good table and benches nearby, good job Jade. 

"That should do it." Jade chirped as she sat on the blanket, "Oh I can't wait to see the others again! It's always nice to talk to them on Pesterchum and all but seeing everyone like this is even better!" 

Jake hummed, putting the picnic basket he had been carrying from the car on a good spot of the blanket, "Yes, I agree whole-heartedly! Online conversations are swell and all but physical meetings are just as good, if not even better." He reached in the basket and took out a bottle of deliciously cold water. 

Jacob squinted as he looked off into the distance before smiling, "Haha, it seems that the Lalondes have beaten the Egberts and Crockers for the time of arrival. A welcoming surprise, though no doubt the Striders are doing quite the job holding back the families." He laughed as both Jake and Jade perked.

"Jade, Jakey heeey!!!" Roxy squealed, waving frantically as she, Rose and Roxanne came closer. Rose smile in greeting while Roxanne had the same grin Roxy was wearing. 

"Jade, Jake." Rose chuckled as they arrived, carrying the pink picnic blanket underneath her arm whie Roxy attacked both Jade and Jake with hugs. They both hugged back, grinning widely along with Roxy. 

"Heya Rose!"
"Greeting Rose." 

"Roxanne! You look well." Jacob chuckled as Roxanne pulled him into a hug. 

"And you still look like an old coot." Roxanne shot back playfully, fortunately sober. Jacob would have been slightly disappointed if she arrived drunk but knew she was going to drink wine later anyway, at least she was sober driving here. 

Jacob smiled, "I'm afraid I cannot do anything about that me dear, this old coot is content on staying as he is. An old coot." They shared an amused chuckle as their kids began to talk to each other.

Jake helped both Roxy and Rose set up their spot that was right beside theirs as they began to wait for the final three families to arrive. Which did not take long, 10 minutes later came the whirlwind of Crocker, Egbert and Striders. 

Jack huffed as they arrived, "Apologies for being late. Someone," He shot an accusing look to Bro who held his hands up in surrender, "Kept us waiting." He said, Bro chuckling at him. 

"Hey don't look at me like that, we're not that late Jacky." 

Jack huffed, "I would appreciate if you did not call me that." 

Joe chuckled as he came between them, "Now now, let's focus on the picnic for today yes?" He laughed, sharing it with both Jacob and Roxanne as Jack shot him a look while Bro smirked in amusement. 

"Dave, Dirk, Jane, John! Hi!" Jade cheered, waving at them frantically from her place on the pink blanket, cards in her, Jake's, Roxy's, and surprisingly enough, Rose's hands. "Come join us after you guys sut up your spots!" 

Dirk deadpanned as Jane giggled, "Is that Uno?" Indeed it was as Roxy crowed in triumph, putting down a blue +2 card, making a mockingly dejected Jake take two cards from the deck on the blanket. 

Rose gave them a smile, "Indeed." She smiled, gracefully switching the flow back to Jake after the green-eyed boy puts down a normal blue card. 

Jake hummed before switching the flow back with a yellow reverse card. 

Dave chuckled, "Sweet, we join next round." He declared as he and John took out the picnic blankets with Dirk and Jane helping them. 

What followed in the next round was John cackling, Jade and Jane giggling, Roxy snickering, both Dirk and Dave sharing amused looks, Rose not really hiding her simpering and Jake crying out, "Is it pick on Jake Day?!" He cried out as he begrudgingly takes 8 cards into his already large deck. 

"Maaaaybe." Roxy wiggled her brows as she reverse the flow back to Jake, Rose had outed herself early as she quickly finished her deck. Dirk and Jane had followed quickly and were watching the fun. 

Bro came by, tussling both Dirk and Dave's hair much to their protest and ire -no one else noticed Dave's brief tense and defensive nature when Bro did that, no one but John, Roxy, Dirk and Rose who were both confused over it- "Alright brats, time for lunch." He said, giving them a grin, "Clean up the cards and eat." 

The day was relaxing for everyone as they enjoyed each other's company, later on Jake, Dave and Roxy lounged on a bench as Jade, Jane and John played frisbee while Dirk and Rose were off somewhere. 

"Man, today's great." Roxy sighed as she nonchalantly lied on her back with her head on Dave's leg, her own legs over the arms of the bench they sat on. 

Dave chuckled, looking back to John as he shouts in triumph as he caught the flying disc, "Yup, we totally need to do this more often." He smirked as he ruffled Roxy's hair a bit making the usually inebriated girl laugh. It was a work in progress, breaking Roxy from her alcoholism totally, it had worked slightly in the game for a bit but she lapsed back into it for a while and again when they woke up in this universe. 

Jake hummed, "I agree, today was quite fun and relaxing! Though I wish Karkat was here to experience it, heaven knows he needs to relax fully." He huffed, both Dave and Roxy shared a sly grin with each other. 

Roxy turned to her stomach, looking at Jake with interested eyes, "By the way, how is Karkles? Kind of forgot to ask him last time." She said, a plan on her mind that she knew Dave knew as well. 

Jake beamed, "Oh Karkat's been better! That sopor slime has worked wonders on his insomniac problems," he frowned, "though unfortunately they don't help him get a full night of good sleep without any nightmares, apparently he'd need more slime, it's complicated but I'm quite sure we can help him!" He said determinedly much to the amusement to both Dave and Roxy. 

"Oh yeah, also, Karkat's going to ask soon, in the next battle afterwards that we gather as much as oil grist as we can, as well as some shale. It turns out that sopor slime has quite the healing properties on us humans, and he's planning on making sure that our base be stocked with the slime should any of us are near fatally injured." 

Dave wrinkled his nose at the thought of the slime before he thought more of it, "As much as I'd like to diss the slime and how gross it is. Karkitty's right, we probably really need that slime since we don't have a bonafide awake Life player on our side." He looked at Jane who was playfully scolding John, "We're gonna have to either alchemize or buy more medical shit too, stock up and make a good infirmary or clinic or whatever. Yeah, I'll run it by John later when we have the chance." Dave told him, with Roxy humming in agreement with a thoughtful look on her face. 

Jake grinned brightly, "Oh that's wonderful news! Karkat's going to be happy about it, indeed he will!" 

"Who's Karkat and what and why would he be happy about?" 

Jake jolted as he turned to see Dirk and Rose coming back with drinks in their hands. "We're back and we brought drinks." Rose said with a smile but there was in interested look on her face. 

Jake mentally cursed as he crookedly grinned at them, "Why thank you Rose, Dirk, I was beginning to feel a little thirsty!" He laughed, taking the offered drink of soda from Dirk while Dave and Roxy did the same from Rose. 

Roxy sat up as both Dave and Jake made room for both Rose and Dirk to sit down on the bench. Dirk narrowed his eyes and looked at Jake curiously behind his pointed shades, "Soo, who's Karkat?" He asked, as nonchalantly as he could, inwardly very suspicious. 

Jake laughed, "Oh, a new friend I made over Pesterchum! I've recently met him a while back and he asked me something... about... Programming! I uh, I told him that Roxy was more suited for that subject and that I would ask her if she could teach him something about it and she agreed to teach him a thing or two! I'll tell Karkat the moment I'm online on Pesterchum, he'll be glad!" 

Dirk gave him a speculated and suspicious look, "Uh-huh." He deadpanned but didn't breach the subject again.

Jake internally sighed, knowing it was going to be a bit awkward around Dirk for a bit for him. The other didn't remember their relationship, they seemed to be friends now but he didn't really know in the game. It had been rocky and strained after a few months into dating, it had seemed great and almost perfect at the start but then even Jake began to notice the strain and awkwardness between both Dirk and himself.

He and Dirk never really approached the subject back then, things got in the way or it seemed way too tense or awkward that neither could talk to each other about it. Then the battle began and their relationship was put and hidden away in the back of their minds as they focused on the more important things like winning the stupid game. 

Before and during the battle whenever Dirk died, Jake had been devastated each time; turns out his feelings for Dirk were more intense than he realized but then he himself realize what a horrible boyfriend and companion he was for Dirk, not to mention Jane's little evil phase due to the horrid Condescension had given him a slap of his own reality, and after they had crossed the house-shaped sign that signaled their victory Jake had been planning to... break up with Dirk, it was for the best even though the thought made his heart clench. 

He just, wasn't good enough for Dirk. Dirk deserved better, and... here was his chance. 

Dirk didn't remember, they were just, friends here in this universe. And they'd stay friends, Jake didn't mind, Dirk was going to find someone better than him and he was going to support whoever Dirk was going to date! Yeah... He... 

He was really bad to lying to himself. 

"You okay there Jake?" Jake shook his head and shot Dirk an easy and bright smile, shoving down the negativity he felt deeply for later. 

"I'm fine, sorry I was just dozing off like usual hahaha! Anyway, continue on, what did he say again?" 

Dirk frowned but was about to continue on when Jade, John and Jane came back, panting and smiling. 

"That was fun!" Jade cheered as they came closer, holding the frisbee, the four who could remember amusedly imagined Jade with her dog ears and tail, her ears would be perking happily and her tail of course wagging frantically. 

"That was tiring!" John countered with a laugh, taking the drink Dave offered him, "Thanks Dave." 

"No prob dude." Rose rose a brow at Dave as he had grinned a bit and accepted the drink back from John and took his own sip from it. "What?" Dave questioned, frowning at her suspiciously. 

"Mm, nothing." Rose hummed. 

"Yeah right." Dave deadpanned as Roxy rose a brow before looking between John and Dave and an imaginary light clicked in her head and she grinned widely, Rose caught her grin and smiled slyly at her to which Roxy's grin widened even more as she tried so hard to withhold the laugh in her throat. 'Oh, Em, Gooog. This is gonna be hi-la-ri-ous!' Roxy thought to herself as she would be so entertained at the thought of Rose trying to get both Dave and John together romantically even though she didn't know they already were

Oh yes, she cackled in her mind, it was totes going to be hilarious!


"Well, the kids are having fun." Roxanne said with a grin as she watched Roxy chase a laughing John with mock rage that was ruined by the grin on her face. 

Jacob chuckled as John was tackled by Jade, "Indeed. Why, we should have done this earlier." 

"Agreed, gathering like this is quite pleasant. We must do this again soon." Joe says with a smile, sharing it with his brother as the twin adults smiled at the sight of their children laughing happily. 

Bro smirked as he took a swig from his soda, "I ain't complaining. As long as the brats behave and don't do anything stupid of course." He said, though the smirk faltered a bit when he sees Dave flop on the grass on his back but he didn't seem to be in any pain as John, Roxy and the others followed suit. 

Jacob notices it and frowns, "How is young Dave's back? I heard it's healed quite well." 

Bro sighed and nodded, "Yeah, it has. Still though, he shouldn't be shrugging off this shit." He took off his shades and rubbed the bridge of his nose, "Kid took a hit for me, nearly scared the fuck out of the both of us when he did that." He looked at Dave with soft but protective eyes, "If I have anything to say about it, he ain't gonna do it again, not on my watch." He nearly growled out as he clutched at the bottle of soda in his hands. 

The adults exchanged understanding looks, they'd do the same in his shoes.


A few days later after the picnic, another rift opened and released three kinds of different underlings into the world and causing havoc as imps, ogres and basilisks poured out of the rift. Luckily, it seemed only to be those three only.

When the five arrived at the scene they smirked at each other, this was going to be soo easy

And it was, they gathered the remaining grist and even helped the surroundings a bit before disappearing like always. 

Over the next couple of months or so, the rifts opened from time to time and so far spilled easy underlings that had only some of the group to appear, they would quickly take care of the underlings as quick as they could but all good things must come to an end at some point. 


"Shit.

One Rufioh Nitram, Aranea Serket and Meulin Leijon watched in horror as the blue colored hero was stabbed through the chest above their hiding place, both Meulin and Aranea screamed as Breath fell only to be caught by Blood. 

"Way to go E-Breath! You just had to let your fucking guard down!

Blood raged before looking down and tensed as he saw them, he looked at the swarm of powerful underlings before to them and growled, he flew down, kneeling in front of them as he sets Breath on the ground. "I need you three to do me a favor and keep an eye on this idiot, just for a bit." Was all he said before he was back into the fray, muttering something but 'not a heroic death' which made no sense as he left the corpse of his comrade with the three frozen civilians. 

Confused?

Let's go back a bit...

 

Chapter Text


It had been only a few days after the picnic when the first rift opened up. 

Rose watched in frozen shock as seemingly millions of strange creatures bled through the rift, wearing colorful and strange outfits. But then again, some of them were not wearing such clothing and were entirely something else.

They were almagamations of other creatures, she would observe later on after the fight, rewinding to look at each one with a critical eye but she couldn't help but think they seemed familiar somehow...

Roxy on the other hand... 

'Underlilngs? Lings. You would have thought they would've showed up first before the rip-off denizens and that weird Tyranny guy.' Roxy thought to herself as she snuck away, her mother was out at work while Rose was in the living room watching the chaos. She herself had been about to go down stairs when the news hit, she locked herself in her room and phased through the wall, quickly trying to meet with the others. 


Karkat recognized the underlings of course, while most of them were from the kid's session there were multiple of them that were from his own old one. He looked down at one particular imp that had a combination of CrabDad and Dragonsprite, easily dodging the attempt of attack as he frowned at it. 

CrabDad... it had been so long since he had last thought of his crustacean lusus, his death had hurt him truly but it had been so long since he had thought of him he's afraid he'd forgotten completely. 

He snarled at the abomination, he never liked the minions that took partial form of his beloved custodian, even though said custodian was mostly a pain in the ass he raised Karkat to the best of his unnatural life; he was created just for him for no other lusii would ever choose him as their grub. 

Shaking his head, he focused back on the battle; internal monologue should be continued later since the entire city was overrun by these bastards and now was not the time to look back at the past. Right now he had to clear out the damnable minions that threatened to destroy and cause chaos wherever they went and it was clear they were not going to leave the populace alone judging by the amount of minions that went after people. 

Dear gog this was starting to look like those morning superhero shoes he's seen in human television, anime bullshit and more! Only this it was real and real annoying. These underlings ranged from low-life imps to mid-life ogres and basilisks, plus none so far had Becquerel's unholy First Guardian powers so they were good, they weren't the highest ones on the echeladder within the game so to them they were easy to deal with if a bit annoying due to their large numbers and tendency to ambush and flock together. 

To the un-used human populace? They were very dangerous, though some would find themselves able to counter-attack with weapons but that was if they were one-on-one or on equal grounds, those that had underlings ganging up on them soon found themselves on the very short end of the stick. 

Anyway, it was far too easy to deal with them for the five dubbed-as-superheroes, the only problem they had was corralling them all away from the civilians and keeping everyone safe and unharmed. 

"This whole scenario is starting to look like Dirk's anime shit." Dave said bluntly, his voice had been modified via the voice-changers they had Dirk unknowingly build not to mention Roxy herself looked over the devices and slightly upgraded them with the new alchemiter at their base. She added in a communicator to the voice changer and told them to keep it underneath their masks or hoods, which were where they are now.

They should name their base, Dave thought faintly to himself, wiping out an entire squadron of imps on the streets in a single swing with his broken sword. Seriously these imps were so below them on the echeladder they were mere specks from where they stood on the God Tier Ladder. 

Jake grinned, "Right-o my chum! This kind of reminds me of that anime Dirk sent me a few years ago, what was it again? Tokyo Meow? I dunno, it's been a while." He chuckled, "At any rate, we should be finishing it up in a jiffy. John did say it would be easier to collect the grist with all of them in one place yeah? I mean, just look at all these grist-filled underlings! Why, I spot a handful of those Ruby Imps!

Roxy squinted from where she was sniping the poor game constructs, her sharp eyes honing in on a few scampering red cat-like imps, "Aw sweet! Look at that, just what we need for more shit at our base, good eye J-um, Hope!" Roxy hastily corrected herself, mentally reminding herself that she needed to get used to their code names while out and about in their God Tier Jammies. 

John nonchalantly hefted his old Telescopic Sassacrusher, before he would have needed his old Ecto-controlling gloves to hold one of these things but his current Mangrit and God Tiered strength was more than enough to haul around the giant war-hammers of funnily-scopic weaponry. It was nice one-shotting these guys into oblivion with his Warhammer of Zillyhoo or his Pop-o-matic Vrillyhoo Hammer but going old-school was just as cool, that and he would like to see the reactions of the public to a lithe-built teen like himself lifting this monstrous hammer like it was nothing. 

He clearly wasn't muscular looking, if anything he had a swimmer's build but his strength was utterly ridiculous due to his leveled up Mangrit plus God Tier strength. 

The Heir of Breath called out to the others, "Alright, gather up the last of them and get ready for grist-sweeping duty!" They agreed and quickly took care of the rest, "Was anyone hurt? Like the civilians and stuff.

Roxy shook her head, "I think so, and if they are hurt it shouldn't be anything serious. The police probs' took care of the rest, plus who knows, normal humans can be just as surprising as us sometimes.

They quickly collected all the grist, which was easy since they mostly grouped all of the underlings together; soon enough the media were on them just as they were nearly done gathering all the grist. 

"Breath, Breath, what were those creatures? Are you really the leader of the group?" "Time, why the broken sword? What happened to it?" "Hope, what is your significance? Your power? What is Hope?" "Void, are you the only female in the group? Why?" "What are you Blood? Are you even human?" "Are you all really teens? Where are you parents, the adults?"

In another time maybe the kids would have liked the attention the media was giving them enough to answer a few questions but in this time where they were still suffering bad PTSD, still coping with the fact they were no longer the last humans alive and the rapid questions that the reporters that struck a nerve. 

Especially with Roxy who was quick to disappear without a trace, leaving the scene. Jake was right behind her but he left together with Karkat, seeing him frozen above the ground but close enough an adult could jump up and try and grab his cape, which a few did, the green eyed Page felt something flare inside him as Karkat jerked away, breathing heavily, he was quick to Karkat's side and hugged him from behind, snapping at the few that dared and try to bring both him and the Knight down, "Don't touch him." he gritted out before disappearing in a flash of yellow light, taking Karkat away with him. Dave was next, gone in a red cog and the sound of a gong trailing behind him and John was the last, he steeled himself and left with parting words. 

"Those creatures were Underlings but don't worry about them, they're low-leveled so it's all okay. Just leave them to us when they appear okay? Goodbye uh, citizens." John blurted out quickly before bursting into wind and slipping away from the horde of reporters. 

They were so used to little-to-no human contact that it was too much for them, they were barely passing by in their 'normal' lives by both forcing and easing themselves into civilization. It helped that they were around familiar people and rarely went out into the crowded public and if they did they tried hard to stay together and act like themselves, which worked most of the time as they ignored their surroundings and focused on no one or nothing else but themselves and their families or even the task at hand.

The others haven't noticed yet, and if they did, well they weren't acting on it for the time being but who knows how long that would last. 


Jake appeared with Karkat near-flailing in his arms, heart-pounding and still bleeding wounds lightly lashing out. "Karkat!" he gasped out, trying to hold the other still, "Karkat calm down! Karkat, it's okay, it's just-ow! It's just me, Jake!" Karkat slowed as Jake turned off his voice modulator,  Jake loosened his hold but still held on to the ex-troll. "That's it, don't worry, it's only your best pal Jake En, well, Jake Harley. Come on, you remember me yeah?" 

Karkat took a shuddering breath, "Yeah, yeah I," He inhaled deeply, gulping, "I do... Fuck..." Facing the underlings that had his old lusus prototyped into them did not help his already unstable mental capacity and sanity, it just, it brought out old thoughts and memories he had nearly been glad were almost forgotten; back on Alternia with death looming heavily over him even with the naivety of thinking maybe, just maybe, he could live. But no. He was the mutant, an unnatural waste of genetic material that freakishly did shit like have candy red blood and remembering shit an--

"Karkat, are you okay?" The red-eyed Knight of Blood inhaled, bad train of thought derailed by Jake's soothing and concerned voice. 

It was then that he noticed what position they were in, at some point Jake had dragged him down to the ground, still hugging him from behind and he was so close to him that Karkat could feel the light air of his breath against his neck and ear, he had shrunk into himself between Jake's legs and that had the younger but unfairly taller teen hugging him closer. Karkat could feel his skin redden at the very pale under-goings beneath this moment. 

"Y-Yeah I'm fucking fine!" Barked Karkat, jolting him to stand. Jake let him go without complaint but faintly missed the feeling of hugging the other, "Where in fuck's name are we? And where are the others?" Karkat asked instead, pointedly looking around and not look at Jake. 

"On top of a building, one of the highest ones in the city, no one is going to be up here." 'At least I think no one's up here.' "No one but us, dunno where Roxy, John and Dave are though but I reckon Dave and John went to look for Roxy, she left in quite a hurry." Jake told the other, standing up and looking around with squinting eyes.

"I hope they're alright though."

With Roxy, she was somewhere nearby but was huddled in the shadows of an abandoned building, slightly shivering. 

Never before did that happen, she thought she could take it since out of Jake, Dirk and herself; she had grown with kind-of company, with the carapacians. But humans were not white and black-shelled chess people, they did not scurry around in silent hunger or prefer to stay in the silence rather than speak (It was thanks to her mom's help she grew up speaking, her mom, not her Beta-self, she and Dirk's Bro had left advanced technology and programs and stuff to help the two learn how to read, write and talk, and when they both found out about each other, Roxy and Dirk helped each other learn and then Jake and Jane too) nor did they mind their own business and instead went up and hounded her, surrounding her with nOisE and, and--!!!

She gasped as she felt two sets of arms wrap around her, John and Dave saying nothing as she slowly relaxed into their hold. 

Both her moirails, and wasn't that a fun and nice way to say describing her boys? Stayed by her side, Dave rambling off lowly, talking about Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff while John snickered and teased Dave but kept a firm hold on her, hugging her close while Dave let go to add arm movement to his colloquial conversation. Roxy quickly recovered and giggled as Dave began to describe with a straight face about the cleft of Jeff's ass, and from there it somehow devolved to both Roxy and Dave teasing John for his movie tastes with the windy boy becoming mock offended. 

They were all laughing when Jake and Karkat found them, "Everything okay there chums?" Jake asked with a worried frown. 

Roxy shot him a grin, "All's good in the hood Jakey! We were just makin' fun of Johnny's taste in movies, oh wait, you guys have the same taste don't ya? Man, it is genetic to have bad tastes in movies!" she mocked with a smile, Jake's nose curled up.

"Oi! Our tastes in movies are not bad!" Jake mock huffed, John joining him as the two ecto-biologically related began to simultaneously pout. 

Karkat joined Dave and Roxy's sniggers. 

The five stay there a little longer, nonchalantly chatting before going on and agreeing to meet later at the base. 


Corrina frowned as she watched the news, watching how the teen in blue briefly answered before leaving, re-winding to Void's withdrawal the moment the reporters surrounded her, disappearing into thin air, how Hope took Blood away, actually confronting the adults with a firm commanded that wavered underneath and Time's hasty yet neutral disappearance. 

"What's wrong Corrina?" The Mother Maryam glanced to her dear friend and then back to their living room TV. "You look troubled." 

She scoffed, "Of course I'm troubled Moira, these 'heroes', they're children, I am quite certain they are no older than my Kanaya and what's more, it seems that they are very troubled as well!" Maternal instincts rose again as she watched Void's quick act of escape and Blood's frozen form, "That there! The poor dears flinched, jumped, they're not used to people." She had good instincts, she had worked as a Child Protections Agent until she had Kanaya so she could see the signs of a child in need of help, she had quitted her job and settled as a teacher at Kanaya's Highschool but she kept contact with her former job and helped when she could. 

Moira glanced at the television and then back to Corrina, who sighed and let the news play as it was, the five teenage superheroes would once again be the talk of the world for the next few weeks. 

She couldn't help but wonder as well about the mysterious superhuman teenagers that suddenly appeared the day her neighborhood had attacked, it had been awfully quick of them to appear, she recalled Breath showing up first, swinging around that ridiculously colorful hammer of his (he was quite strong wasn't he? Ridiculously so to lug around that brown hammer of his from the latest fight), Time was next hefting around that broken sword that somehow fixed itself but then broke itself again throughout the fight and then Blood, attacking with bright red sickles-who fought with sickles?- and finally after that Void and Hope appeared, late to the party but finished with a bang with the others in that combined attack of theirs. 

They were exceptional fighters, even though half of them fought with weaponry mostly unthought of outside the realm of fantasy; both Hope and Void kept up with the modern times with their guns and rifles, even with Void's strange tendency to summon green cubes as well as for some odd reason pumpkins. She spotted a few pumpkin the last fights, why that of all things?

But they didn't seem to suit well with the media, or with people generally. 

They left as quickly as they could, collecting their bounty which came in the formation of those odd materials that burst out of the enemies like an explosive piñata. What even was that stuff? Ondine was currently working on it and so far, they had nothing on the blue gusher-like material but the red and purple ones seemed to have the same components of the gemstones of ruby and amythest, which was incredible but as well as somehow impossible since the structure and weight just didn't add up according to the fish-loving scientist. 

While Ondine was a mainly a Marine Biologist, that was her main job, but she was also very adept in genetic and structural sciences, marine biology and all its assets were something she did full time because she enjoyed it very much and was comfortable with it being her main job. It paid her good money, surprisingly very good money but she didn't complain but just because she was a marine scientist didn't mean that was all she was, she was a smart woman, many degrees and PhDs was earned through hard work and she was very well one of the smartest people she ever knew. 

At any rate, she and her other scientist acquaintances were still performing mind numbing experiments on the strange material that the heroes collected for reasons once again unknown. 

Hopefully they would make a breakthrough soon, that and possibly capture a living creature that came from the rifts, especially those weird serpents that nearly flattened her daughter months and months ago, oh how she wanted to get her hands on one of those freaks for DARING to harm her little Vriska... 

She, Jasper and Ondine were on the same page, well her and her beloved lover Jasper were. Ondine simply wanted to conduct a research and experiment on the damnable things while Jasper and her wanted sweet revenge that Ondine would gladly let them have if it meant keeping the thing alive and more for research and things. 

Vriska had survived the attack well, Tavros on the other hand was temporarily handicapped, which Jasper was glad for, the Nitrams would have been devastated if it had been permanent; Archer's offer that if ever they needed a prosthetic he could easily provide one did not really go well with the Taurus-inclined family. Jasper hadn't stopped glaring at Archer for even offering for a straight week whenever they met, but she knew that deep inside Jasper had been grateful for the offer but it was going to be a last option for them since Tavros' injury was only temporary and he was healing fine, but that didn't stop her boyfriend and his eldest son from being overprotective. 

Oh what bull-headedness her Taurus lover was, it was amusing. 

It was also amusing that each of the family were Zodiac-themed and inclined, each somehow born in the same month of the sign and were all interconnected; it was quite the phenomenon actually. 

Every family had three members of the very same sign, each adult with their own little clone at the second generation while their eldest children were quite different from their parent but they were quite the same inwardly but their youngest children? They were quite the little clones physically, and sometimes even personality wise! Her own Vriska was quite the charmer and she looked oh-so like herself and she was growing up so fast, she was so proud! 

--This un8r8ka8le white oracle or8--

Having Aranea and Vriska had been the greatest moments of her life, besides meeting the others that was even though she would never admit it out loud haha. 

--What a pretty little thing you are my dear, let me see those teeth--

Moira smiled as she thought about her daughters, only for her smile to slowly fade as her train of thought took an abrupt turn; when did she have Aranea?

--Such pettiness is un8ecoming of you, our rivalry has 8een sullied 8y it--

And then Vriska? She... she couldn't remember their fathers, well she had slept around the age for Aranea but she couldn't remember her birth or Vriska's for that matter, she, the memories blurred the farther back she tried to remember. 

--REDEYES IT H8RTS, R8D GLAR8NG, MY 8Y8--

She tensed as she tried to remember giving birth to her daughters, if not birth then maybe even adoption, but...  

--HAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT A LUCKY 8R8k--

She couldn't. How, how did she get her daughters? When

--I will w8t for you, and I dedicate this page to you my dearest future m8tesprit--

Were they even her own daughters? WHO were they? Who was SHE?

--There you are my flying pupa--

What-- !!

"Moira!" 

Moira jolted, cursing as she drops her cup of tea, letting it fall to the carpeted floor, staining the carpet but saving the porcelain tea cup, "Shit." She cursed, quickly picking up her fallen tea and curling her lip in distaste at the brown puddle that was being soaked into the carpet. "My apologies Corrina but my mind seemed to have wandered, I also apologize for the waste of tea and the no doubt unbecoming stain that will appear on your lovely carpet. I will have it dry-cleaned, do not worry." Her jade-eyed friend glanced at her with clear worry. 

"It is not the carpet I am worried about Moira, though it is a shame but I am more worried about you my friend, I have been calling your name for quite some time now." Corrina told her, "Your mind must have wandered very far for it to not hear my voice, pray tell, what is on your mind?" 

The cerulean-woman blinked, tilting her head before sighing and shaking her head, "I have forgotten to be frank but it must be unimportant for me to forget, again I am sorry for the carpet, let me clean it for you Corrina." 

"No need, as long as you are alright." 

"I insist, it's a shame for a carpet as beautiful as this to be stained by mere tea! Marvelous tea as it is though, tea does not belong soaked into fine cloth." 

And thus began the debate of a Serket mother bargaining to clean the carpet with her fellow mother Maryam, her mind forgetting the internal crisis easily with a lasting haunting phrase that would stalk her in her sleep but would be forgotten in the waking world.

--"Kill me please"--


CG: JOHN WHY IN THE BLISTERING FUCK DID YOU TELL THE WORLD ABOUT THE FUCKING UNDERLINGS

EB: well they deserved to know what was invading their city, but at least i didnt tell them everything

TG: chill karkles everythings cool in the pool
TG: so cool the pool turned into gog fucking ice thats how cool the pool is

CG: OH NO, YOU ARE NOT GOING ON ANOTHER RAMBLE HERE STRIDER
CG: NOT IN MY GOGDAMN MEMO

TG: karkitty chill out n jus look at the bright side of today
TG: we gotz a SHITTON of loot hellz yea :DDD

GT: Roxy's right karkat! We did a bang up job with the imps and snagged ourselves a treasure hold of grist! :D
GT: Do you reckon we've got enough grist to fill up those erm, what did you call them? 'Healing' what'sits? The healing tanks in the infirmary at the base.

CG: THE HEALING GLASS AND TUBULAR-RECOUPERACOONS BUT YEAH I GUESS YOU HAVE A POINT
CG: AND YEAH I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH GRIST TO FILL ONE TUBE WITH SOPOR SLIME SO WHENEVER ONE OF US GETS HURT AS MOTHERING FUCK AND NEAR DEATH OR SOMEHOW SURVIVE A CLEARLY HEROIC YET IDIOTIC FUCKING DEATH BUT NEAR DYING WE CAN JUST JAM THEM INTO THE HEALING COONS

TG: why not just call them healing tanks like what jake said
TG: also like fuck am i going anywhere near that green ass slime shit
TG: i aint touchin that

EB: but daaave what if you get hurt and near heroic dying and shit?? i dont want you to die a slow heroic death :C

TG: yeah what if u get stabbrd in the stomach whale savin someboby? thats gots to be like a totally heroic death ngl
TG: *bed *body

CG: WE ARE CALLING THEM HEALING COONS AND THAT IS THAT. ALSO LISTEN TO YOUR MOIRAILS STRIDER, YOU'LL LIVE LONGER THATS A FUCKING GUARANTEE

GT: Come now dave, the slime is not that bad i tell you! Its healing properties are quite marvelous, they hardly leave any scars! :B

TG: i dont know

EB: daave :[

TG: cmon davey ur makin our lil bb sad, u dont want john sad do u

EB: yeah
EB: wait-roxy i am not a baby!! D:<

TG: hush child mommas talkin

TG: oh alright

EB: yay!! :D

TG: yess

CG: THANK FUCKING JEGUS WE WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A DEAD KNIGHT OF TIME ANYTIME SOON

GT: That's the ticket! :)

TG: but i am not going in that thing only to come out with sloppy slime soaked clothing no siree
TG: how the fuck does it even work

CG: SHUT UP STRIDER OBVIOUSLY I'M STILL GOING TO WORK ON SHIT AND THINK UP SHIT. WHEN IT'S OFFICIALLY DONE I'LL TELL YOU ALL

GT: Do you need any help karkat? I could if you want, i'm always willing to help out a chum :B

CG: YEAH SURE WHATEVER
CG: BUT ANYWAY, WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO ABOUT THE FUCKING IMPS? BECAUSE I HAVE A FUCKING FEELING THAT THIS ISN'T GOING TO BE THE LAST TIME WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE LITTLE SHITS AGAIN. AND IF WE DO, WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO? THEY'RE FAR UNDERNEATH THE ECHELADDER BENEATH US SO EVEN ONE OF US CAN TAKE A GOGFUCKING HORDE OF THEM

EB: mm you may have a point karkat, any one of us can take care of the low-leveled imps
EB: but that doesn't mean we should be doing most of it alone, strength in numbers applies to almost everything and even though they're low-leveled their still dangerous to the populace and remember these imps were the ones that lacked bec's first guardian powers and not a lot of them had swords and wings

CG: SOME OF THEM WERE FROM OUR SESSION TOO BUT LUCKILY I THINK THEY ONLY HAD CRABDAD, DRAGONSPRITE AND I THINK MAYBE LEONSPRITE PROTOTYPING, NONE HAD THE FUCKING ABOMINABLE ABILITIES OF FEFERI'S OLD HORRORTERROR LUSUS OR SOLLUX'S BICLOPS
CG: WATCH OUT FOR THOSE FREAKS THOUGH, THEY'RE FUCKING HARD TO KILL AND MAKE LIKE SOUND-PROOF EARMUFFS, I DON'T KNOW HOW THE SHRIEKS WILL AFFECT HUMANS BUT WE HAD A HELL OF A TIME FACING UNDERLINGS THAT HAD THAT HORRORTERROR NIGHTMARE PROTOTYPED INTO THEM, LUCKILY THE SOUND DEGRADED FROM THE PROTOTYPING BUT IT DIDN'T STOP THEM FROM GIVING US A FUCKING HEADACHE EVERY FUCKING TIME THEIR BEAKS LET OUT THAT DAMNABLE SHRIEK OF HORROR
CG: IF ONLY THE SAME COULD HAVE BEEN APPLIED FOR THE BLACK FUCKING KING, WELL IT KIND OF DID BECAUSE HIS SHRIEKS DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY SEND US TO THE FUCKING DREAM BUBBLES BUT THE MIGRAINES WE HAD AFTERWARDS THE FIGHT WERE A BITCH TO DEAL WITH. FUCK I FEEL THE PHANTOM PAIN ALREADY. AND YOU ALREADY KNOW THE BICLOPS SHIT, PSIONIC ENERGY PLUS UNDERLING STUPIDITY AND RECKLESSNESS, ENOUGH FUCKING SAID.

TG: aight noted
TG: so whats the plan oh glorious friend-leaders

GT: I suggest that not everyone shall answer to heroics whenever the imps show themselves, though it all depends on the level, type and the amount of underlings that appear. Like, say the basilisks and ogres appear but they have only prototyped twice and what-not, i suppose only one or two of us can deal with that but should say an underling with the prototype of the, biclops or erm, the horrorterror? Then we should all come together to deal with it as a team like before.

EB: jake that is a genius idea

TG: good job jakey for comin up with a bitching plan :D
TG: also i suggezt that the least busyest person come first n if he or she needs backup they can jus call us up or smthn
TG: *st *iest

TG: that sounds like a good idea dont want anyone getting suspicious if we all left at once like in the fucking shows
TG: im half glad those things exist bc we can use them as a reference on what not to do and shit

CG: THOSE ARE GOOD IDEAS YEAH
CG: LET ME KNOW ON HOW THINGS GO LATER ON, I NEED TO GO, WE'RE GOING OUT APPARENTLY FOR THE PARK

GT: Will you be alright karkat?

CG: YES, DON'T GET YOUR HUMAN PANTIES IN A FUCKING TWIST JAKE I'LL BE FINE. IT'S JUST GOING TO BE ANOTHER FRIENDLY FAMILY OUTING WITH THE OTHERS, BESIDES, ONLY THE MAKARAS, PYROPES AND CAPTORS ARE COMING FOR SOME FUCKING REASON

TG: say hi to terezi for me will ya

CG: STRIDER SHE DOESN'T FUCKING KNOW YOU YOU DUMB IDIOT

TG: i know that but still kind of miss her is all
TG: her rose kanaya and the mayor actually
TG: hope the poor guys alright miss him so much like you cannot believe it

EB: don't worry dave, i'm sure the mayor is okay :B

TG: ye dont underestibate carapacians dude they got thick skin n all that ;] wonk

GT: I am certain that this mayor fellow is fine and dandy! Who knows? Perhaps he's already in this world but as a human instead?

TG: ...
TG: i never really thought of that but itd be so fucking cool if that were the case like dear gog mayor look at you black shelled no more but rockin the human style like dear old karkles here

CG: SHUT UP DAVE, I MISS THE GUY TOO AND IT WOULD BE AWESOME TO SEE HIM AGAIN HUMAN OR OTHERWISE BUT I'M WITH JOHN AND JAKE ON THIS. HE'S FINE, HE'S THE FUCKING MAYOR

TG: damn right he is

CG: YEAH, ANYWAY, TELL ME MORE ON THE PLANS WHEN I GET BACK. LATER.

GT: Bye karkat! Have a hopefully cheery day and don't worry, i and the others will inform you if anything happens :B

CG: THANKS JAKE

GT: No problemo :D, bye!

carcinoGeneticist [CG] left the memo

TG: sooooo >u>
TG: how long~~~ wonkwonkwonkwonkwonkwonk ;))))))0)

GT: How long what

TG: how long have you had the diamond hots for our residential grumpy ass blood player

GT: I beg your pardon!?!

EB: hehehehehehe


Jake closed his computer with a red-tinted face, he could practically even feel his ears change their color to red as he recalled the most recent and embarrassing but also mind-revealing conversation he's just had with the others.

Were they correct? Was he really...? 

He doesn't know how to think about it all.


Dammek narrowed his eyes at the oliveblooded troll before him, "And where in the stars have you been Goezee?" He snapped, said troll stayed silent as she stared at her supposed leader with her one narrowed eye. 

"Scouting." She said gruffly, gaze unwavering as Dammek deadpanned at her. 

"Scouting." He repeated before raising a brow, "And do you have anything to report Polypa Goezee?" 

Polypa huffed, scratching at the bandages on her arms, "I have located the True Taur, or at least have a strong suspicion but I have also found the True Le, I do not doubt them, they are of Le but humans... they claim to be Leo, but then again with the whole fucking 'Zodiac' human nonsense, a lot of them claim to be Leo but I know I have found the True Leos of the Le, I might even wager as a Leus." 

Dammek jolted, staring at her akin of disbelief, he almost wants to say she was kidding him but no, wagering as their Sign, that was serious business. 

He opened his mouth before closing it, shaking his head and tensing, "And you're sure about this Leus?" 

Polypa grinned sharply underneath her bandages but it was clear to Dammek as Polypa's pupil slitted and her iris darkening to a darker olive, "As sure as you're a Taurcer." She spat, grin growing wider as Dammek's breath hitched. 

"What do they go by Polypa?" 

Polypa eased a bit, leaning back and relaxing to an almost lazy manner, "The Taurus goes by Nitram, and The Leos go by Leijon, fitting really." 

"Taurus?!" Dammek hissed, bristling and snarled at her, "You better not be joking Polypa Goezee, or you will regret it." 

She sniffed haughtily and sneered, "When do I ever joke as by the True Signs? I am not that kind of troll Sitred, you know that." 

And with that, she slinked into the shadows of the base, probably escaping into the fucking vents again. 

Dammek huffed angrily, slowly calming down as he thought more of the matter. 

If what the olive had said was true, then... 

They would have to make sure first, prove authenticity and see for themselves before they could report it to Her Benevolence; not to mention there was still matters on that rogue troll on the loose. Grah! So much to do. The bronze stomped out of the room, off to find Polypa again and try to wrangle more information out of her. 


Weeks later, the imps came by days in between, alarmingly frequent but were taken care of as fast as they could by John and the others. Though this time, only one or two of them appeared, though the last fight had John, Karkat and Roxy appearing together to take care two underlings that escaped a rift. Those two underlings had the biclops prototype with them, but strangely and luckily enough the rift closed before any more of them could come out. Any more then all five of them would have had to appear. 

John had been out with his family when the latest attack happened, shopping for multiple things when the huge plaza suddenly had an ominous green rift, with familiar green electricity running along the edges of its portal. 

'Oh no...' John thought as a single imp got out first, a Uranium Imp, complete with doggy features and First Guardian-esque powers. 

The small thing roared, seemingly signalling the start of chaos as more imps appeared, thankfully normal-ish but John felt dread settled in his stomach as a handful of Acheron Underlings stepped out of the rift. 

Those shits were hard to kill! And these Acheron had the full package of the beta-session prototyping.

"John!" John was almost happy that the crowd separated him from his family, feeling guilty as he faintly hears them call out his name, he calls out their names as well, ever so faintly but immediately hid to change and deal with the attack all the while texting to the others. 

everyone to the mall plaza where im at!! now!! acherons are here and they along with some of the underlings have bec's powers!
~john

He had a bad feeling for today.

Chapter Text


Karkat was in the middle of teaching Jake more Alternian when John's text arrived. 

everyone to the mall plaza where im at!! now!! acherons are here and they along with some of the underlings have bec's powers!
~john

"Shit."

Jake looked up at him from his phone and they both shared a look of determination, "Ready?" Karkat smirked.

"Of fucking course."

He locked his door and jumped out the window, his father and brother were out of the house, Kelvin was at work while Kankri was out... in the mall. 

Shit


Aranea had definitely regretted agreeing to Meenah's suggestion for a full day at the mall with the others. 

It had started out wonderful with her going to the bookstore and finding her favorite books on sale as well as other books that were on her list to buy with her saved allowance, she had bought as much as she could without totally wasting all her money.

As expected, everyone had split up and went their own ways as usual but they had planned to gather around lunch at NkDonalds. 

"Hey Aranea." The cerulean eyed teen blinked and turned to see both Rufioh and Meulin coming her way. 

"Oh, hello Meulin, Rufioh. What are you two doing here?" Usually they were around around their beloved boyfriends. 

Rufioh grinned sheepishly, "Well uh, we accidentally separated and I got lost and I found Meulin here while trying to find Horuss, now we're both trying to find Kurloz and Horuss." 

Aranea nodded in understanding, the city's mall was one of the biggest malls in the state and it was easy to get lost as well as separated from others if you weren't careful, even for people who lived in their city for years and frequented the mall can find themselves lost sometimes, there were many stores and it seemed that every few months the stores would switch places and more. 

No one really knew why but no one seemed to care. 

"I might as well join you in looking for the others, I've already spent my time favorably." She smiled, hugging her packed books to her chest. 

Meulin grinned, "Alright!" She cheered. Despite her hearing disability, Meulin, as well as Kurloz, had the uncanny ability to read lips, though Meulin was much better than Kurloz as she could read lips from even the corner of her eye. 

She and Kurloz were deaf and mute respectively, it was why everyone in their group were relatively good at understanding sign language and could even use it as well but since Meulin and Kurloz preferred to read lips they didn't use it as much as Meulin and Kurloz used to communicate. 

They were just passing the plaza when things went bad; a rift appeared in the middle of the plaza, green energy crackling along the seams as one of those Underlings was spat out but it was different from the ones that appeared on tv. It had dog-like features and was neon green with the same green energy around it as from the portal. 

It roared and all hell broke loose. 

"Run!" Someone shouted as more of those Underlings were pouring out of the rift and there was bedlam as people ran all directions to avoid the creatures, a lot managed to escape out of the mall by exiting but soon enough Underlings overran the main entrance and forced people to look for another way to escape, either that or to hide. 

"Quick, over here!" Rufioh shouted, tugging both of his friends with him to hide in a space underneath the stairs, it was a secluded place and was a good hiding spot, big pots of plants were their cover as they hid underneath the stairs and ducked behind the pots. 

Meulin squeaked as they ducked out of view as a group of Underlings came by, chasing after a random couple. 

"This, this can't be happening." Aranea whimpered as they hid, grimacing at the panicked screams and shouts from the populace that were still trapped within the mall with them.

"What about Kurloz and the others?! Do you think they made it out in time?" Meulin whispered worriedly, clutching at her cat-shaped headphones. 

Rufioh grimaced but was quick to reassure them, "I'm sure they're fine doll. They're smart, if they're still in the mall they can keep themselves safe." He said not only to them but also to himself, thinking how his boyfriend was very smart, he could look after himself. 

He hoped. 


Dave arrived first in a flash of red gears and clocks, appearing in the air and immediately noticing the chaos as imps ran amok in the plaza. 

Roxy appeared not a moment later right beside him, they shared a determined look and went head first into the chaos, chasing after imps and pounding them into grist. They saw John not a moment later, bringing imps into the air and slamming them to the floor or whirling them around. 

"Guys, I can't find the imps that have Bec's powers, we need to find them quick and deal with them before they cause more damage! And look out, there are Acheron Underlings here with Bec's prototyping!

Both Roxy and Dave tensed at John's warning. Acherons were tricky Underlings, they were smarter than average imps and quicker as well, they were the harder game minions. One Acheron was easy to deal alone with but the fact there were multiple made it harder, they worked very well in packs, helping each other and more. And the fact these Acherons had First Guardian Powers? No wonder John called for them all to be here. 

Jake and Karkat arrived minutes later, managing to make a path from the entrance of the mall however...

"That fucking rift is still open?!" Karkat growled as he blocked an attack from an imp that thankfully didn't have all four prototypings. True to his word, the rift that had opened in the plaza was still there and Underlings were still coming out but at random intervals. 

"We need to close that pronto, but what can we do?!" Jake asked into the communicator, shooting away at the Underlings all the while looking out for civilians, "Duck" He shouted as he aimed at a teen boy around his age, he had black hair and tan skin, he wore a black shirt with a red symbol of some kind of 'X' on his chest while wearing grey jeans, the boy jerked but obeyed, crouching low to the ground and whimpering as Jake quickly laid waste to the imps that tried to ambush him. 

"Are you alright there chum?" He knelt by him, helping him up. 

The teen nodded vigorously, "I-I am, thank you!" He said, smiling nervously but gratefully. 

"Xefros!" A black haired and pale skinned girl with green lips shouted, she wore a green vest with a white long-sleeved undershirt and a jade green tie as well, she nearly tripped with her long green skirt but she was determined to reach them. 

'Xefros' seemed relieved to see her before that worry turned to fear, "Lynera watch out!" He screamed as an Acheron appeared behind her, sword at the ready. 'Lynera' whirled around with terror in her eyes, as the Acheron swung its sword down. She closed her eyes on instinct and braced herself...

Clang

Lynera opened her eyes and her eyes widened as she saw the hero Blood, standing over her and stopping the Acheron's sword with a pair of red sickles. "What are you sitting on your ass for? Get the hell away from here!" Karkat barked to her, struggling against the unusually strong Acheron that sparked with First Guardian powers. 

Lynera jolted and scrambled away, Xefros was quick to go to her side and help her up as Karkat pushed the Acheron away, "Hope!" Karkat ordered and wordlessly Jake was by his side glowing with power as Karkat started glowing as well. 

Xefros and Lynera were quick to run away to safer grounds, meeting up with the rest of their teammates later on and with Dammek who demanded to know if they were okay. Their report about their day at the mall was going to be an interesting one. 

"Hope's right we need to get that portal shut but how?" John questioned as they gathered at the plaza minutes later, the rift still going on strong. They had managed to prevent most of the other imps from getting to anywhere else from the rest of the mall, however they were having trouble in completely finishing off every imp since the rift was still spitting out imps like no tomorrow at random times of the fight, not to mention the Acherons that had Bec's powers... Karkat and Jake had dealt with one, managing to corner is alone after it tried to attack a random civilian. 

John had taken care of the Uranium imp from before and there didn't seem to be any more imps with the full prototyping but at the rate the rift was going, they were surprised that there hadn't been another one. 

Roxy grunted as she kicked away an imp, hitting another one away, she had put away her rifles and went at the imps using hand-to-hand combat. Sniping imps was fun and all but she liked up close and personal as well. "I don't know but we should think of something fast, we may be God Tier but we don't have unlimited stamina! I don't at least." She panted, she had already been tired even without the fight that day, she had been up all night finishing up on setting the computer-system at their base, she had started a few days ago, as well as setting up firewalls to the private server she had created yesterday. 

John panted lightly as he nodded in agreement, dodging a sword and smashing an imp into another with his warhammer, she was right. Their staminas had increased because of their time in the game and their training but it wasn't infinite, usually their fights didn't take long but at the rate the rift was going, it was only a matter of time before they got very tired.

John thought quickly, flying above the rift and he quickly formulated a plan, a shoddy one but it was what he had to work with at the moment since neither he or the others had anything else to work with. 

"Time I need you to stop the rift from spewing anymore imps, Hope, Blood, keep the imps from going anywhere else and Void, think you can seal it away with void-y powers?" He asked, 'This might've been easier if they had a Space Player with them, Kanaya maybe because she was a Sylph? Porrim was a Maid wasn't she? Jade could also help since she's a Witch bu-- okay that's enough, we can do this on our own, they're alright and we're okay.' John thought as he batted away more imps, they didn't need the other's help; they were fine on their own, they didn't need to bother the others or take away their normal lives for this, it was only a handful of Acherons and a butt-load of imps and nothing more. They could do this. 

Even then he kind of doubted they could do anything since they were 'normal' in this universe, no powers, no sylladexes, no Go Tier immortality, no memories... 

Roxy's answer jolted him out of his inner thoughts and inwardly he berated himself for doing that since he was in the middle of something important, like fighting, "I think? I dunno, but I can certainly try!" She said determinedly, she didn't want this to continue and wanted really badly to go home and sleep for the next week or so. 

"Good, Time?

Dave grunted, looking at the rift, "I can stop it but not for long and definitely not forever so Void's gonna have to work as fast as she can because freezing the time for that thing is not a good idea as far as I can tell, who knows how it's gonna react to my time shit." He told them as he dunked a bunch of imps into one of the indoor fountains of the plaza, grist floating in it afterwards. 

Karkat grunted, snarling as he lashed out before talking through the comm, "And what of the fucktards that have the First Guardian's power? Breath said there were others didn't he? Hope and I only dealt with one so far." He reminded them, frowning heavily beneath his mask. 

John answered him, "First we deal with the portal and then deal with the Acherons, I don't want that thing spitting out anymore imps or anything with Bec's prototyping. I'll try and locate them though and at least either subdue them or corral them to the plaza." Karkat grunted at that, "In the meanwhile you guys go with the plan, I'll go look for them right now and make sure everyone in the mall is safe!" He said, no, practically ordered as their leader. 

"Right!" They responded. 


 

Jack could feel his heart beating out of his chest as he and his brother were cornered by a pair of nasty looking 'Underlings' as Breath had revealed earlier on, they were glowing an ominous green and crackling with unrefined energy that practically screamed dangerous to the touch while brandishing their swords which they took from out of their chests

As much as he was worrying for his brother and Jane, who was whimpering and clinging close to the both of them, he couldn't help but worry for his own offspring, for John who they had separated from in the chaos of things and had tried to find desperately as the mall was a soon to be battleground that they had no place in. He could only hope that his son was safe somewhere and that he was away from the heart of the battle that was in the plaza where he heard the heroes had finally arrived. 

They had been trying to find John after things seemed to have calmed down somewhat, no Underlings going after them when out of nowhere these two creatures appeared and cornered them. Both he and Joe stood on firm grounds, ready to fight if it means for the possibility they could survive or at least save Jane and the other, but as strong and talented as they were in boxing, they had both taken it in their youth and made sure to stay in shape and refine their skill even in their lives as normal gentlemanly fathers, they doubted they could take head on these- these, powerful abominations

He took in a deep breath and he faintly hears Joe gulp all the while making sure Jane was behind them both, quietly reassuring her that things were going to be okay, that they were going to be okay and that John was okay and they were all going to have cake afterwards. James smiled and decided that they would have cake afterwards, a big blue cake, a big blue cake with different layers of flavor, one chocolate, one vanilla, one strawberry, maybe even velvet, yes, that was a nice thought. 

The brutes grinned nastily, swords at the ready and both he and Joe tensed, fists high in the air as they both took guard while Jane pressed herself against the wall, biting her lip and looking on with a sense of helplessness that she abhorred. She had to do something. She had to, her father and uncle were willing to try and give their lives if it meant either she or even John if he was present at the moment, could live! And speaking of John, she hoped he was okay, her cousin had already somehow survived through one attack even though he wasn't as involved then as to now seeing as he was in the house that wasn't touched but... She could see how terrified John could have been back then at this feeling. A faint static sound fluttered in her head.

Fight.

What could she do?

Fight, we became strong didn't we? You have to wake up. Remember!

She was just a normal girl who loved to bake!

No you aren't, we're much more than that Jane.

She couldn't do anything.

Wake up Jane.

She was only Jane Crocker, daughter to Joe Crocker, no one special. 

Jane, wake up, listen to me we are more than that, you know this. Remember how strong we are! How strong we became!

Jane was near hyperventilating, feeling something to near painful in her chest. 

Wake up Jane, wake us up if you want to live.

She screamed as the crackling green creatures pounced, swords up in the air and ready to hit-- she felt something beginning to burn in her chest --

Yes, that's it--!

Only to stop as a certain figure appeared in a gust of great wind, slamming into one of the creature's sides and inadvertently slamming them both into the other creature's side. The pain in her chest died as she felt immense relief at the sight of the hero Breath, standing over the stunned creatures, great colorful hammer clutched in his hand in a tight grip.

No! J@&^ I was so close- you idiot, let me help! Let us help, wake us up! 

"Don't you dare touch them." Breath growled darkly, glowing deep blue as his windsock whipped around as the air around him began to simultaneously heat up and spin around the angry hero. Why was he angry?  

She didn't have time to wonder as quickly Joe grabbed he and protectively held her in his arms, both of them along with Jack moved back as Breath began to attack the creatures, switching from one hammer to another somehow, she didn't know how but the hammers he kept switching between would disappear and reappear in his hands on a whim as he fought the two creatures that tried to do them harm.

Breath growled in anger and frustration as he managed to get rid of one of the Underlings but the other one seemed to have teleported away, "Dammit!" He huffed in anger, hammer disappearing from his grip as his fists curled and clenched. He seemed to perk and turned to them, asking in concern, "Are you guys okay?

Jack and Joe shared a look as Breath came closer, "Yes thank you." James said earnestly before frowning as he looked down to Breath. The hero wasn't as tall as he was, he was about the same height as his son! He seemed so... small looking down to the hero and he felt his fatherly instincts rise up as he sees how ruffled Breath was, he knew that the heroes were around his son's age if a bit older or maybe even younger and that, that just didn't seem alright!

Breath shuffled uncomfortably as he kept looking and observing the other and that just made him frown more, fatherly instincts rising even higher and he knew Joe was just the same as he and Jane looked over the hero. 

"That's good, anyway um, you three should find somewhere safer to stay until this is all over. Bye!" He said, lifting into the air but just before he could either fly away or flash into wind or whatever Jack stopped him.

"Wait! Before you go, can you find my son John? He's a teenager like you, we got separated in the mayhem but he's still out there and we can't seem to find him. Please, make sure he's safe." The father pleaded, Breath stilled before nodding and Jane was sure he was smiling reassuringly underneath his mask.

"Don't worry, I'm sure he's fine, he's probably hiding somewhere and waiting things out, something you three should really do but again don't worry. I'll find him and keep him safe, I promise." He said with genuine conviction that had the three of them smiling.

They nodded in gratitude, "Thank you." Jane said with a bright and relieved smile that was mirrored by the twin fathers.

Breathe waved it off before greeting farewell and dispersing into wind once again, presumably off to chase after the creature that escaped.

Jane watched him go and rubbed her chest, finding the pain gone but something else was slightly bothering her as she and her family ran to find a place to hide, she couldn't put her finger on it as she ran with them. The static that filled her head were gone though.

J@#n you idiot...

...

And so she slept on while running. 


"Phew! That was close." John sighed in relief, glad he made it in time to save his dad, Jane and Uncle Joe from the Acheron bastards, he managed to get one of them but the other teleported away before he could finish him off. 

He would make the other pay for trying to hurt his family, for aiming their swords at his Dad--

Bleeding on the floor, he was dead Dad was dead he was deaddeaddeadDeaDDEAD

-- John paused in the air, panting as his heart pounded in his chest. He was fine, Dad was fine, he saved them, him before they --jACk-- stuck their sword through them. Everything was fine, he just needed to focus...

One peek at his family wouldn't hurt, to make sure they were really okay and not in danger again. 

John breathed deeply before closing his eyes, form glowing slightly as he listened to the Breeze

He listened, it fed him bits of information, how everyone in the mall was alright and more importantly how his family was alright and in hiding. He sighed in relief, accidentally letting his guard down-

A sword ran through his chest.

Fuck. 

"Shit." Was all he uttered as he died for the first time in this universe. 

Underneath, Rufioh, Meulin and Aranea could only watch in horror as he fell. 

Thankfully Karkat was around and managed to catch him as an Acheron, the same one that escaped from John, cackled in victory above. 

Karkat cursed, "Way to go E-Breath! You just had to let your fucking guard down!" He snarled, hefting the corpse but urging to go back into the fight. Instinctively he knew that John's death was not Heroic and like hell it was going to be Just, he was going to revive, so he shoved down his panic and frantically looked for a place for John to stay safe until he could come back. 

Karkat raged before looking down and tensed as he saw them, Rufioh, Meulin and Aranea -where was Kankri he was suppose to be at the mall today hopefully he's okay-, underneath the stairs and behind the big pots, he looked at the swarm of powerful underlings, weren't Dave and Roxy dealing with the rift?! before to them and growled, he flew down, kneeling in front of them as he sets Breath on the ground. "I need you three to do me a favor and keep an eye on this idiot, just for a bit." Was all he said, ordered, before he was back into the fray, muttering something but 'not a heroic death' which made no sense as he left the corpse of his comrade with the three frozen civilians.

"Where's J-Breath? What happened?" Dave demanded as Karkat rejoined them, snarling as he dragged with him the Acheron that stabbed John. 

"Indisposed for a bit, he's fucking fine or he will be. Right now, why the fuck is that rift still going?!" Karkat hissed back, blood rope strangling the Acheron and slamming it down to a group of imps, lowering the health but not necessarily killing it yet. 

Dave grunted, "Void's been hit, it's not fatal but it knocked her out for a bit but Hope's with her so she'll be fine.

Karkat groaned, "Of course." He gripped his sickle and beheaded the Acheron, smirking smugly as it exploded into grist. 

"Now, tell me what's going on with Breath.

Karkat cringed as he hears the tone in Dave's voice, he sighed and silently urged for John to come back sooner.


"He just, He just left him here!" Aranea shrilled as she looked at the still bleeding corpse of the blue hero. 

Meulin was slightly hyperventilating before she shakily exhaled, "Maybe he's not dead?" She asked hopefully. 

Rufioh bit his lip but looked determined and grabbed Breath's hand, his gut churning as it stayed limp before shaking his head and tugging at the blue sleeve of the hero before laying his fingers over where his pulse was supposed to be, his heart dropped and he felt vomit threaten to rise as he dropped the hand and mournfully shook his head, "He's dead for real doll." He whispered, hands shaking.

Meulin looked heartbroken, "Are, are you sure?"

"Sure as hell, I'm sorry." He said, more to Breath who laid still forever more.

Aranea growled, but it ended in a whimper, "Blood just, he left him here. It was like he doesn't even care his comrade died. I know he's a hero and all and that things are still more important things going on but Breath just died, and he just dumps him on us and goes on like nothing happened!" She ranted, her first experience with death was not going well. 

Tick.

Suddenly the Scorpio stilled, as if she heard something. "Wait, do you hear that?" She asked, turning to look at them.

Tock.

Both Meulin and Rufioh stared at her in concern and confusion, had the situation been different she would have sarcastically thrown back 'No Aranea, I can't hear anything' but right now, she only stared at her with wide teary eyes.

Tick.

She narrowed her eyes, "But I... There! I hear it, can't you?! It sounds like... a clock, it's... ticking..." She trailed off, biting her lip, wondering if she was finally loosing her mind.

Tock.

Rufioh sighed and opened his mouth to respond only to pause and narrow his eyes before they widened, "No, wait, I-I hear it too!" He says all of a sudden while he looked at them both. 

Tick.

Meulin gave him a look before she tilted her head and her eyes widened, "I can, but I'm, I'm deaf why am I hearing that?" She cried out. Tock. 

Suddenly a glow caught their attention, leading their eyes back to the body they had turned their backs on. It was starting to glow a myriad of colors, the ticking and tocking in their ears grew louder and louder as the body began to float. Aranea fell back, gasping in awe with Rufioh and Meulin, huddling close to them as a colorful star-like flame engulfed the body. 

DING. 

The ticking turned to a grandfather clock's ring. 

DONG.

The body floated up right and the blood that was dripping turned into starry rainbow flame, the body slouched forward as it slowly floated back down and was standing on its feet. Right before it ended there was a big explosion, a sound and movement that left the ground shaking as Breath's flaming body was floating back down, the three teens yelped and clung to each other even more as they heard something.

Undetermined. 

A voice whispered as the sound in their ears died as soon as the flames did, revealing Breath, alive and well, the wound in his chest gone and he was no longer bleeding. 

"Wha..." Breath groaned as he stood straighter only to freeze at the sight of the three teens huddling away from him with wide eyes. "What?" He blurted out in confusion as he looked at them, hand scratching at his covered head. He looked over them though he seemed to freeze at the sight of Aranea.

He stayed silent before awkwardly laughing, "Uumm... So uh, thanks for watching over me I guess?" He faintly remembers Karkat catching him but he wasn't around, he probably left him with them but...

"You, you were dead." Aranea gaped.

Breath shrugged, "Now I'm not." He snarked before bowing his head, "A-Anyway, I need to go, thanks again I guess but I need to help Da-Time and the others. Bye." He said before dispersing into wind and disappearing. 

The three of them didn't know how to react, they sat there frozen until the end of the fight and until Meenah and the others managed to find them.


"He what?!" Dave snarled, impaling a bunch of imps on his swords. 

"He got stabbed in the back and now he's dead, it's not a heroic death though that I'm sure. You'll see he'll be back in a while." Karkat responded, grunting as he kicked away an imp and slashed at another, both Knights were now in the plaza taking on the rest of the Acherons that appeared above them and seemed to be orchestrating an attempt against the both of them. 

It failed as the two Knights powered through them and were gradually picking the Acherons one by one, soon enough Roxy was back in the fray with a bruised head but an angry and determined look on her face as Jake followed her guns-blazing. 

"J what?!" Roxy shrieked as she heard Karkat as she came barging in, drop kicking a bunch of imps while seamlessly flipping back on her feet. "Knight of Fucking Blood what did you just say?" Roxy demanded, heart hammering as breathed in quickly in anger as she raised her clenched fists.

"FUCKIN! Goddamn it L-Rogue of Void, okay, you know what? Screw it! Use that anger and wail on the imps and not fucking me! John's fine, he'll be back in a second but we need to close that rift now!" Karkat barked angrily, but Jake and Dave could hear the slight terror as the Lalonde growled at him before launching herself to the imps.

Karkat breathed in deeply and gulped, "Remind me never to get on her fucking bad side." He told them as they paused from their own fights to watch Roxy mow through the imps and practically punching them into grist with her bare hands.  

"Agreed." Jake responded before headshotting a weak two-prototyped imp. 

Dave only smirked and grinned, "That's my girl.

"Time, rif.t

"Wha-oh right sorry."

Dave leaped after Roxy, reminding her of John's original plan. 

Dave slipped past most of the imps around the rift that was still dishing out imps, but thankfully no more imps or Underlings that had Bec's prototyping.

When Dave finally managed to get to the rift and was close enough to freeze it and the area around it, he nearly buckled at the amount of energy he was expending, "V-Void you better hurry cause this thing's a bitch to freeze! Hurry and close the gogdamn door!" Dave practically screamed, feeling his hands beginning to numb as red veins were surging underneath. 

Turns out freezing the time around a dimensional and powerful rift was energy-zapping for a Knight of Time who was not really equipped or ready to freeze the time of something so powerful and full of energy. It was as if he could feel the electricity of the Green Sun numbing his hands and nervous system.   

Roxy sent him a worried look before glowing bright in determination, "On it!" She yelled before throwing herself at the rift, dodging and kicking an imp trying to jump her and using the frozen imps in the air as stepping stones to get nearer, her pupils underneath her mask disappearing as she focused her Void powers to do something on the rift. 

She wasn't a Space player, she was a Void player and a Rouge at that. As she touched the frozen rift she could feel some kind of Void beyond its seams and the power of the Green fucking Sun lining the portal walls that seemed to destabilize at her touch. 

Just as the power of the rift closed, knocking Roxy and Dave away from it, Roxy thankfully being caught by Karkat but Dave was less fortunate and solidly hit the stairs. A voice in their heads whispered. 

Undetermined.

Somehow, somehow they knew it was connected to John and though they were both in pain, Dave moreso than Roxy, they both sighed in relief, though Dave actually wheezed and let out a wet cough. 

"Time!" There he was, John appearing right above Time and settling beside him, cradling him close as quickly and gently as he could, "Oh no, are you okay?!" John asked, his unsteady mind and thoughts wiped away the instant he sees Dave on the stairwell in pain. 

Dave groaned as he was moved but grinned weakly at the sight of John, alive and unharmed, "There, you... fucking are Eg-B-Breath, was fucking... worried 'bout y'er dumb... ass..." He said weakly.

John panicked, "Don't talk! We, we need to head back, now, I, but." He looked conflicted, looking around seeing the mess, the rest of the imps and the amount of grist left that they hadn't picked up yet. 

Karkat cursed, quickly at their side, "We need to get him in the healing coons."

Before John could say anything or even protest both Jake and Roxy were there, Roxy hanging on to Jake but looking relatively better than Dave. "Go windy-boy, we got this, jus' leave it to Hope 'n me, I'm fine I say." She reassured, managing to get off of Jake and stand on her own, she winced but stood strong and was determined for them to leave.

Karkat snorted, "Oh no fuckin' you don't you are not staying here like this Void, you are gogdamn coming with us and we are going to get you in motherfucking a healing coon as well. Leader's orders." He was still co-leader dammit! John usually took the reigns, and wasn't that a surprise? No? Alright, but he still made orders and were adamant of them getting fulfilled. 

"I'll stay here, I can take care of the rest by myself and get the remaining grist. You lot go back to the infirmary and get healed, I can do this by myself so don't wo--" Jake was cut off as all of a sudden a few red cogs appeared from away from them, Future Daves appeared and starting to take care of the remaining imps and gathering grist. "Or, well, yeah." Jake finished lamely.

Dave huffed painfully, "'Bout fuc...king time... man, where the... fuck were... you shits when... I... needed you." he asked the nearest Dave who stopped and shrugged at him, "Fuckin... figures..." His breathing slowed and that made John panic again and even more.

"No no no, stay awake D-Time, you need to stay awake come on." He demanded, his tone wavering as he grabbed at Dave, wincing as he only made Dave groan. 

Karkat grabbed unto Roxy who protested, "Come on, Hope and Future Time/s can deal with the rest. We need to get them to the healing coons." The Knight commanded before wrapping Roxy's arm around his neck and supporting her before disappearing in a dark red light. 

John bit his lip but nodded, taking Dave bridal style before they both dispersed into wind. 

Jake and the other Daves watched them leave before continuing their work, they needed to get this over with rejoin their group as fast as they could. Though they made sure to check on the rest of the people who had hid during the battle, but they left as soon as they could. 

As they did, within an empty part of the mall, two people appeared on in a red cog, Dave kissed John on the forehead before disappearing in a red cog. 

John reunited with his family with no problems, lying to their faces as his heart thudded almost painfully in his chest as he recalled how things went after they had gotten to the base. 

Underneath the stairs, three teens were found by their friends and they were quick to tell the others on what they knew. 

Later on two undercover-aliens reported on what they experienced. 


 

She inhaled and exhaled before looking at her beloved friend. 

"And you're shore, they're on Earth and no other planet?

Her friend smiled, nodding underneath their black hood. 

"I am quite sure my dear friend, they, along with a group of other very important beings are on Earth. I am, as you put it, quite shore about it." She giggled. 

They shared a smile before the monarch bowed and left, leaving the other to muse in silence. 

"I'm sure they're there... Hopefully we find them first before he finds them. But fortunately, we have the upper hand.

"Check, my friends move forward."

Chapter Text


Karkat grunted as he and John appeared in their base, feeling drained and tired but he and John had to focus on healing Roxy and Dave. 

As quickly as he and John could, they took both blondes towards the newly established and slightly equipped Infirmary of their base. 

It was stock with bandages and some medicine but at best they could only do First Aid, they weren't really healers and they could only rely on their basic knowledge to patch themselves up or learn from the internet. Karkat planned to fix that with the help of Sopor Slime. 

It was an incredibly good healing way, but the problem with Sopor Slime was the fact it needed to be filtered from time to time and they only had a limited amount, granted it was slowly being solved, they couldn't just use most of their grist on the slime despite it being valuable. And again, they needed to filter the slime they already had, which was hard to do since they didn't have a recouperacoon. 

Karkat knew how to filter slime, any troll worth their shit could do it since it was their recouperacoon and it was their responsibility to filter it after a few days or so. Though he found it hard to filter the slime he had without the necessary equipment, which drove him to Roxy and the both of them set to making something that could filter sopor. 

It wasn't as good as a troll coon but it would do for measly humans like them, not to mention they were working with cheap, diluted slime rather than the pure and possibly more effective? Classic troll slime. 

At any rate, the old giant glass tubes that were settling in the dust in the labs were reused to contain the slime and both he and Roxy managed to suit approximately two tubes with the equipment to filter slime from time to time, though at some point the filtered slime would have to be replaced after some time since with each filter it would only dilute the slime even further in the process of cleaning it. 

Though this would be the first test they would have to have someone completely submerged in the healing 'coon' as Karkat dubbed them even though they were tubes/tanks. 

"Hold on. Set them down for a minute, we need to get the healing coons open first." Karkat barked as he gently set Roxy on a nearby chair, he made a mental note to either alchemize or steal a hospital bed at some point so they could have a place to lay an injured person in. 

Their Infirmary was approximately four rooms, with two rooms on top of each other merged into one, the tubes were gigantic and could easily fit a human adult and possibly a troll with smaller horn like he used to have, a troll with big horns however would find trouble in fitting in the healing coons comfortably, someone with horns like old Troll Tavros wouldn't even be able to get in the tube.  

It was sparse, with a few tables and chairs around the four primary healing tubes that were moved into the room. Though only two were fully functional, supposedly. Again, they hadn't really tested it fully but they had no other choice if they wanted Dave and Roxy to heal without the risk of dying or the risk of time, even though Dave was a time player, each time jump obviously costed him energy; time tables or not.

Not to mention he usually tries to keep the time and somewhat space continuum from messing up as he told them before.

Karkat and John flew to the top of the tube, iridescent and seemingly glowing with all of the sopor slime and the inner lightbulbs within the tube. The top was a hatch that was easily opened, though if you couldn't fly it was hard to access since there was no other way to get to the top or get it open without breaking the glass. 

As soon as the hatches opened, both heroes were quick but gentle in getting both Dave and Roxy. Both panting heavily and struggling to stay awake. "We need to strip their godhoods if we want them to heal faster, direct skin contact with slime is faster." Karkat informed John, he grimaced and sent John a apologetic look as he began to take Roxy's bloody but mended god tier clothes off of her, stripping her to her underwear refusing to go farther than that. 

John blinked but gave Karkat a reassuring smile as he himself began to strip Dave of his god tier clothing, "Alright, I trust you." John replied as he did so and leaving Dave in his boxers, grimacing as he saw the extent of Dave's wounds. He wasn't a healer but he could recognize the signs for internal bleeding, a concussed head, not to mention broken ribs. John gasped as he took in Dave's chest, seeing the Time Aspect clear on Dave's chest, pulsing quickly like a heartbeat and spreading red veins all over the red-eyed teen's torso. 

Karkat was stunned when he found the same thing on Roxy's chest, the Void Aspect pulsing brightly and dark blueish veins crawling all over the place. "Not good, we need to get them into the coons." He urged, gently taking Roxy into his arms, wincing as he saw the burns on both her and Dave's hands. 

The rift had been connected with the Green Sun as they found out later from the two after their initial recovery, closing a rift like that wasn't easy. A regular rift would have been far easier, and maybe less destructive. 

John hesitated as he hovered above the coon, Dave groaning and barely conscious in his gently but firm grip. "Wait, how are they going to breathe?" John questioned as he looked anxiously at the slightly bubbling slime, via the crude but functional filtration system they managed to create. 

Karkat cursed before searching in his sylladex, grunting as he pulled out two devices and tossing one at John who caught it with his windy powers, "Use that, strap it to his mouth." Karkat ordered as he strapped some kind of breathing mask to Roxy's mouth. 

It was pale green in color and was only restricted to the mouth. 

"I modified the code from Jake's Gas Mask, it should work with sopor slime." Karkat informed him as he gradually began to lower Roxy into the healing coon. "Hurry, Strider over there doesn't look too good." 

John hurried, strapping the breathing mask to Dave's face before slowly dipping Dave completely into the tank. 

"Seal the coon." 

They both closed the hatches, sealing it before floating down and standing before the two healing tanks. 

Both blondes were floating in the middle of the tube, the slime already tainting slightly with blood and coloring the slime and turning into small blobs and bubbles in the tank. The filtration kicked in and gradually the globs of blood were sucked into the lower region and through the floor of the tank, or coon as Karkat insisted. 

John felt fidgety and anxious as he watched his moirails and boyfriend bob slightly in the slime, hair afloat and chests still pulsing with their Aspect practically tattooed into the skin along with the concerning veins. "How do we know when they'll be completely healed?" He asked nervously, laying a hand against the thick base of the tank. 

Karkat sighed, tiredly sitting on a chair nearby, "No fucking idea, Roxy and I haven't exactly got it all fucking down. We managed to get a filtration system up and the slime in and going but we haven't put a fucking observation console yet. That was the next on our list." He admitted, frowning as he watched them both, observing how the bruises and still open wounds knitting together and healing. 

"The external wounds are healing fast so that's good, but who knows how long it'll take to heal them internally, not to mention those burns, the weird as hell Aspect thing on their chests and the fucking veins connected to it." Karkat grimaced, watching the burns healing, which was admittedly slower than the other wounds and injuries.

"Oh..."

John sat beside him, Karkat shifted but then noticeably winced as he remembered his injuries. "Shit." He hissed as he pressed a gentle hand against his side. 

John, the ever-concerned friendleader, was by his side. "You okay there Karkat?"

Karkat huffed, "I'm fine, just get me a fucking first aid kit." He snapped, already taking his shirt off to asses his injuries. John nodded, grateful that they stocked up on some medical supplies. It wasn't much compared to hospitals and other proper infirmaries but it would do until they got more serious things and made their base into a much more proper base. 

They were still trying to figure out which room was which and what to assign to each room!

Jake soon joined them after, coming in as John helped dress Karkat's injuries. Karkat was quick to pounce at him with concern disguised thinly with aggression as he sees the bruise on Jake's face. 

John laughed as he watched Karkat fuss over Jake who insisted that he was 'quite alright' despite the darkening bruise on his face. Though he succumbed to Karkat's concern fast and ended up underneath the Blood player's care. 

The Breath player smiled before it slipped as he turned to look at both Roxy and Dave. 

He hoped they would be okay. 


Aranea didn't know what to do after what happened. 

Their friends found them shortly after the attack, showering them with concern, the adults were that and more. 

Her mother was simultaneously spitting curses and comfort to the her eldest daughter, who was relatively quiet as she was lead back home and practically barricaded herself in her room. 

Both Vriska and her mother stopped by but let her be as she requested. 

She...

Needed some time to think.

Ever since Breath's... 'revival', she had... some kind of headache, possibly a stressed induced migraine. 

The sound of that... that clock. The sound of the ticks and the tocks and the whispers in her head...

Undetermined

It circled in her thoughts.

It sounded familiar, it felt familiar. 

But...

Tick
Tock

No

Tick
Tock

NO I H8D 8T

Tick 
Tock

Why d8dn't 8t work?!

Tick
Tock

Just

Aranea groaned, clutching her head in pain as her head pulsed.

It was all... too fuzzy...

Later on, when Moira entered Aranea's room when she didn't answer her call for dinner, she found her eldest asleep on her bed, looking exhausted. 

Moira sighed as she sat on the edge of Aranea's bed, frowning as she observed her daughter's tired sleep. She must have been stressed and scared witless during the invasion at the mall, she, Meulin and Rufioh were quite silent in the aftermath, worrying family and friend alike as they seemed to be holding themselves to their rooms. 

But both Rufioh and Meulin seemed to have gotten better, Aranea on the other hand...

She seemed closed off...

The woman huffed before properly tucking her in, draping her blanket over her sleeping form before leaving the room. Unknown of the cerulean glow of her eyes that vanished as she went downstairs to eat dinner with her youngest. 

Meanwhile, Aranea panted lightly as she curled underneath the blanket. 

Aranea...

Aranea groaned, a cerulean glow coming from underneath her eyelids and a yellow light escaped her chest, travelling to her back.

Listen ge... K@rk@7... get him... wake...

The teen panted as the Light Aspect formed on her back, pulsing gently in time as her heartbeat. Groaning in pain as the Aspect seemed to sear itself to her back.

8efore... late...

Aranea gasped as she abruptly sat awake, the whispers of her dream fading in her head but the sense of something foreboding lingers within her, causing to tense and shiver.

... Don't r... trusti... in Jake...


Xefros sighed as he wandered around, looking at his surroundings and enjoying his day off. Currently he was in a park, it was a little different from the parks he'd been to back on his home planet but it wasn't that different.

It had been a few days since the attack of the mall, how he and Lynera experienced at first hand the dangers of the mysterious attacks from the 'imps' and personally 'meeting' two of the supposedly 'human' heroes. Blood and Hope.  

He and Lynera ended up hiding in a nearby store with a few other humans, the entrance blocked with various furniture as they awaited for the attack to be dealt with, to be over as soon as possible and hope that no one was fatally injured in the process. 

In the end, there were no serious injuries. A few cuts, some bruises, the worst injury was a twisted ankle that was made from running down the stairs from an imp. A miraculous thing given the fact the mall was overrun by those hellish things but it turned out that humans could make a good fight against anything that threatened them. Of course that wasn't saying that they could handle the entire attack on their own without actual support or weapons like the heroes had but they did stood their ground. 

Not to mention they doubted they could have closed the rift like Time and Void did. 

How did they know the two heroes closed the mysterious and very dangerous rip of time and space? 

Well, someone leaked the mall's security feeds to the internet. Currently it was every where and every one was talking about the video footage that they've watched, or what was revealed anyway. Turns out the security feeds were somewhat corrupted and they couldn't get everything on the feed, something about the strange imps that were flashing bright green creating some kind of interference with the security cameras. 

They could barely watch ending fight where Time and Void were struggling to close the rift, which pretty much short circuited the feed and causing technological problems to every device in a mile radius. Reaching the news cameras that were outside the mall and reporting on the situation, though they didn't know how everyone was inside until the battle was over. 

Surprisingly enough, it was only Hope and Time that were spotted in the end and... Time could apparently make clones of himself. 

There was speculation since there were some times where a few people saw Time in one place but then in another but it was then confirmed as a Time clone appeared from a red cog in the vicinity of the people and in the end every 'clone' disappeared in the same red cog. Both Hope and Time were quick to disappear as always, and Breath was not around to answer a question or anything. 

There was confirmation that all five heroes were seen but everyone was questioning why only Time and Hope were seen at the end, the security feed didn't help since it cut out the moment Void and Time were batted away from the blast of closing the rift. 

Anyway, after the attack, the two disguised trolls were quick to meet up with the rest of their team who were awaiting for them at the outside since it was only Xefros and Lynera who were trapped within the mall and couldn't escape till the end. 

Dammek had been so very protective since it happened, trying to keep the rustblood near him at all costs to the point Xefros nearly snapped and papped his moirail into submission. Which was a rare event, it took threatening to shoosh and pap Dammek useless for the brownblood to leave him alone on his day off today. Much to Dammek's dismay and to the rest's amusement.

"Xefros!"

Xefros blinked, turning to look who had called his name before smiling as he saw who it was. "Diemen!" He called back, waving a hand in greeting as his fellow rustblood in disguise. 

Xefros' own disguise was a simple one, light brown skin, greyish black eyes and he kept his black hair since having otherwise just felt weird and uncomfortable to him. Having no horns was already very weird to him but having different colored hair just kinda toed the line, maybe in the future he'd change to brown or something, actually that was a thought; changing his hair color to the color of his moirail. It would no doubt please his Tetrarch, but that was an idea for another time. 

Diemen didn't look any different as a human besides the hornless and different colored skin. His eyes were obscured by his long bangs that somehow didn't hinder Diemen's movement as he weaved through the passing humans almost gracefully as he came from the direction from one of the local 'hotdog stands'. 

Almost being a keyword as he almost falls over when he gets to Xefros, but thankfully he was near enough for the Ariborn to prevent him from completely falling over. 

Diemen was also part of Galekh Xigisi's squad, joining his moirail Skylla, who he heard was enjoying Earth and it's vast animal specie and more. 

"Thanks man, I didn't want to waste these awesome hotdogs." Diemen told him with a thankful grin as he stood upright, a human product called 'hotdog' in each of his hands. "Aren't they awesome? Kind of easier to say than 'oblong meat product'." Diemen laughed before taking a big bite to one hotdog. He chewed before blinking and offering Xefros the other, uneaten hotdog, letting out an inquisitive noise.

Xefros shook his head, declining the offered food. He already had a good breakfast. 

"How are you Xefros?" Diemen asked after they both sat down at a bench nearby, both rustbloods catching up. 

Xefros sighed, "Dammek's been overprotective ever since the mall attack." 

Diemen nearly choked, "Wait, you were in the mall when it happened? Woah." He breathed in awe. 

"Both Lynera and I were in the mall, Lynera was showing me her favorite spot to read. It was a nice cafe." Xefros told him, recalling on what they were doing before the attack happened. "Soon after, one of those rifts opened in the main part of the mall. Then the imps came spilling in!" He shivered as he remembered how he was separated from Lynera for a bit in the panic. "We were separated a bit and we both almost died from the weird glowing green imps, but the heroes Hope and Blood rescued us." He told him with a bright smile.

Diemen made an awed sound, going as far as to slow his chewing as he listened to his friend. 

"We didn't stay for the rest of the battle though, too dangerous and we were risking our cover so we hid with some other people in a shop." 

"That must've been simultaneously awesome and terrifying." Diemen commented. 

"It was." Xefros gave a nervous laugh. 

It was then that Xefros took notice to a certain human that was sitting alone on the park's fountain. A part of his thinkpan niggled at him as he more or less just stared at the human, trying to figure out where he once saw her...

"Xefros?" He blinked, shaking his head and turning to Diemen, he gave him an apologetic look. 

"Sorry Diemen, I'm just wondering why that human looks so familiar..." He trailed off when it clicked in his mind. 

"Her!" He gasped in realization. 

"Who?"

Xefros took Diemen's hand and hid them behind a tree, before pointing at a certain figure sitting on the end of the park's fountain. 

She had fair pale skin and dark black hair typical to a normal troll's, she wore a burgundy shirt with a certain Aries sign stitched in black! Something that had Diemen stifling his gasp. 

"I remember! She was in Polypa's report, when she claimed she found the True Le and the True Taur!" He whispered to him furiously, "Polypa also thinks she," He motioned to one Aradia Megido, reading a book on the edge of the fountain, "Is a True Ar." This time, Diemen did let out a gasp out loud, peeking back at her, both hiding behind the tree when Aradia looked around after getting a slight feeling that someone was watching her. 

"Do, do you really think she is?" Diemen asked as they peeked back at her, "If she is, then, then she's related to, to her." He said with a tone of excitement. One that Xefros shared as they grinned at each other. 

"I don't know but it's a lead!"

Both hidden rustbloods stared intensely at Aradia to the point that she shivered uncomfortably and sneezed at one point, looking around warily. 

"She'd be related to The Excavator."


Dave groaned as he slowly came to consciousness, feeling odd as he felt like he was floating underwater... Hold a fucking minute, oh shit he was floating underwater! He thought a frantic moment as he noticed himself submerged in- well, it wasn't water he realized as he squinted through the green tinted liquid, which was fairly heavier, probably a little pressured? And a bit harder to swim in than regular water. Noticing that he was wearing some kind of breathing gas mask on his face, he opted out on the decision to fiddle with the only device that was providing him with a source of air while in...

He was in Karkat's healing tank (Coon! His inner Karkat snarled at him as a reminder) he noticed as he looked out into the world outside the tank, which was in the infirmary. 

It certainly felt weird to the Knight of Time as he floated lightly in the middle of the tank, trying to register his thoughts and figure out why the hell he was even in the freaking... Oh, oh.

The breathing mask let out a big bursting group of bubbles as he remembered why he was in the coon. He and Roxy had been hurt in the backlash when they were closing the rift, the power of the Green Sun too powerful for them as they tried and succeeded in the end. His eyes widened as he remembered that Roxy had been hurt as well! Where was she-- oh, there she was. 

She was in a neighboring tank-coon, still unconscious to the world... and in her bra and panty underwear combo. A quick check to his own person revealed that yes, he was also practically naked, thankfully he was still in his boxers so that was good, no Strider dong exposed to the world, that dong was reserved for John after all. 

Speaking of John...

"Dave!" 

The blonde jerked in surprise as he heard the muffled sound of John's voice coming in pair with the fact John suddenly appeared in front of him, face smushed against the glass of the tank making an entertaining face. "Dave, you're awake!" He cheered through the glass. 

'John' He tried to say, but the gas mask muffled his awesome voice and what was barely heard was "J'yon." That had the windy boy laughing. 

Apparently his laughing was loud enough to wake Roxy because soon both males heard the sound of glass tapping, they glanced to the side and were happy to see Roxy awake. The pink-eyed blonde seemed to grin underneath the mask and waved enthusiastically at them from her place in her tank.

"Roxy~!" John cheered as he went from Dave's tank to Roxy's, smushing his face against her tank glass as well. Roxy gave a silent and muffled snort at John's face. 

Dave knocked on the glass, gaining John's attention again. Dave pointed to the top of his tank, swimming up eyed the hatch that was keeping him inside. They should totally add an inner handle so that people inside the tank could actually get out without outside help, or maybe make it automated or something. He took a mental note to tell Roxy this as John got the idea and was quick to opening the hatch. 

The hatch swung open and John was helping Dave out of his tank and out unto the ground before flying to let Roxy out of her tank. Dave grimaced at the slime that clung to his skin, his hair, his boxers, everything. Though he couldn't help but notice he was feeling much much much better than he's ever been since he and the others woke up in this universe, he unlatched the gas mask and took in a deep breath of fresh air, tilting his head so that slime wouldn't slide into his mouth. 

Roxy was quick to do the same, gulping in fresh air with a wide smile, "Oh gog I feel good!" She groaned pleasantly, stretching lightly, craning her head and rolling her shoulders. "Karkles was right! The slime actually really helps in healing, hell, I feel like a million boonbucks!" She cheered, uncaring in the fact she was in her undies before both John and Dave. They were her moirails, she felt comfortable around them; that and she didn't have the normal level of shame as other people. 

John peered at them curiously, "Really? It's that good?" He inquired, watching both blondes stretch. He smiled when both nodded then tugged both of them closer to hug them, uncaring of the slime that was now covering him as well. It felt weird but he needed to hug his moirail and boyfriend. He had been scared and... he was glad they were better now. 

Dave and Roxy were quick to hug him back as tightly and gently as they could. "Hey," Dave murmured, "we're fine. Good as new, no need to worry John." He reassured him, Roxy buried her head against John's neck and whispered encouragement as the windy boy trembled slightly in their grip. 

John sniffed before letting go, nodding as he did, "Yeah, yeah I know. I'm just being a crybaby." He joked as he rubbed his eyes a bit. 

Roxy smiled then looked around, noticing how empty it was, "Where's Jake and Karkat?" She questioned as she looked around, "In fact, what time is it?" She looked at Dave who frowned, closing his eyes before opening them in shock. 

"Dude, it's like--John, why are you here in one in the morning?" Dave questioned with a frown. John looked sheepishly at both of them. 

"Jake and Karkat went home hours earlier after patching themselves up, I didn't want to leave you guys alone so I stayed behind until you woke up!" He answered honestly, wincing at the disapproving looks they gave him. "Sorry, but I just didn't want to leave you guys." He told them, biting his lip in apprehension. It was then that they noticed the slight bags underneath his eyes, how he was barely hovering in the air and the heavy tiredness that was settled in his shoulders that was only lightened a little by the fact they woke up. 

Roxy shook her head, "John, honey, you need to sleep." She told him softly, pulling him down to the ground as he floated upwards a bit. "Like badly." 

"She's right John, you need sleep." As if on cue, the blue-eyed Breath player gave a deep yawn. 

John tiredly rubbed his eyes, nodding in defeat since he knew if he tried to protest they'd just gang up on him, "Alright, alright." He said, yawning again at the end. 

Roxy hummed as she eyed the tanks, "I'd recommend a slime nap since it's actually pretty good, buut," she trailed off wandering towards the tank and looking at the filtration system, watching it work, "I think we need to give it time to filter cleaner or new slime in. So instead of a luxurious slime sleep, let's get you tucked in a good ole bed." She said with a smile. 

Dave agreed, though Karkat was going to have the time of his life saying 'I told you so' to Dave as he would reluctantly admit to the ex-troll that he'd slept better suspended in his stupid sopor slime instead of his bed. He felt better than ever!

John could only agree sleepily, feeling the relief kickstarting his relaxed state and easing him to sleep. 

In the end, Roxy appearified a bed for John to sleep in instead of toting the tired Heir to his home which Dave would admit already have another John in his bed since he would no doubt use his time powers to get John back to hours earlier to rejoin his family as planned. They wiped the slime off John's skin before they tucked him in of course since he did hug them while they were covered in the stuff, his god clothes just cleaned themselves off as always.

Dave and Roxy showered the slime off within the thankfully working bathrooms that were in the base, and changed into decent clothing. They stood up the rest of the early morning, watching over John as they joined him in the bed that was big enough for the three of them. 

Everything went well in the end...

They even got a pleasant surprise a week later during another rift opening.

"Holy shit! Da-Time look!

"What? Oh, oh shit, fuck yes!"

Chapter Text


Drats! I was so close! If only J@#n hadn't interfered!

Goddamn it! How long do we have to be here!? D@^# and the others are being idiots and won't wake us up, R0$#, what do we do?

We wait and do what we can in here.

As much as I'd like to disagree, our only option is as Miss Lavender says.

Is it really all we can do.

It seems so. Either we have to rely on J@#n and the others, C@77!0p# or even... @r@n3@'s plan.

Ah yes, the elder spiderbitch who's message was barely heard.

I'd like to see YOU doing it, it's harder than it looks!!!!!!!

How the hell did you even do that anyway????????

She had help.

Why the hell did you help her AA.

I had to. She'll be important later on.

はい、非常にインポータントです [Yes, very important.]

Also other me, too polite, not me. でも、少なくとも私はまだ人間としてセクシーだよ。[But at least I'm still sexy as a human, goddamn.]

Well it's a given since 'other you' was raised in a different setting than yourself. Though that leads me to wondering how she would react to meeting you.

Is anyone else concerned for the fact Moira seems to have remembered Mindfang ever so briefly?

I totally got it! Well, me and TZ did.

Why are we even preventing their memories? Wouldn't it be better to let the adults remember?

No, while we may have partial control over the adult memories of the trolls, we cannot let them remember. It would be too soon and letting them remember would be disastrous. Simply put, they aren't ready yet.

CRACK

Guys, incoming.

We need to move, they've broken through the barriers.

BOOOM

やっぱり、もう一度![Goddamn it, not again!]

HHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHOHOHOHOOOOOHOHOO

JADE, KANAYA, PORRIM QUICK.

On it!

Oh dear, some of them slipped by again!

Don't worry Tav, J@#n and the others will take care of them. They've been doing a good job so far!

Wait, isn't that?

It is. Quick, let them through.

WHAT???????? Why them? Why not us?!

Vr!%k@ we've already tried that, we can't send ourselves remember? Also I very much approve of this plan R0$#.

No sign of the big fish yet, only sir creepybass puppet man and his buff daddy version.

That's good, keep her away for as long as you can-

Oh no! Some drones got by!

That's fine, they can deal with the drones on their own.

A little help please!

Good luck you two, help them as best as you can.

HAHAHAHAHOOOHOOOHOHOHOHO YOU CANNOT HOPE TO STOP ME, WHEN I'M ALREADY THEEREEEE!! HAHAHAHAHA

Well it's fortunate you aren't awake like us then!

I WILL BE, HAHAHAHAHAHAHOHOHOHOHOHOHOOOHOOOO


Lime green eyes opened, a shuddering gasp escaping her mouth. Instantly, her old friend was by her side, worry and concern in her old fuchsia eyes. "Are you ocray? Was it another vision?" She asked her, helping her up from her slumbering position against the window. She didn't answer, for a moment looking out the window to view the planet she was on.

"Yes. I fear we must find them soon, or else He will get to them first." She finally answered, turning away and tugging at her black hood. Usually kind lime green eyes hardened, "We can't fail, if we do..."

"Don't worry, we won't let him win. We will succeed and you'll be reunited with your other friends!" The old but childish monarch cheered, "Will you tell me about them again?" She asked eagerly, gracefully striding towards her side, "Tell me again about the Life Goddesses. How the Maid became so strong and how the Witch conversed with the horrorterrors, how the Thief lead an army against Him."

The Muse softened and smiled at the Empress, "Alright." It was fortunate that the Empress had just finished her duties to make time to listen to the stories her oldest friend regaled her. Even after so many sweeps, she would never tire about the stories, and she eagerly awaited the day she could meet the Gods and Goddesses that filled her imagination and mind on days where she could relax with her dearest friend.

Hopefully it was soon.


John sighed as he and Dave wandered about their new base. 

Base Skaia, as they decided on the name. Actually they didn't remember when they decided to name their base Skaia but they couldn't really think of anything else that seemed to fit. Not even Dave who had shrugged and half-heartedly suggested 'Fort Kickass', which had sounded okay but not entirely right for their base, so Base Skaia it was. 

It was nearly a week since the mall fiasco and John's family was even more paranoid now. It was endearing in nature and John was really touched on their concern but he could hardly go anywhere without Jane, his uncle and his father trailing behind! Or even Dirk and Bro since it seemed that Bro had teamed up with the Fatherly Twins in keeping an eye on their children and keeping them safe. 

"I know they're only trying to keep us safe but they're being so, paranoid about it!" John said as he and Dave finally, finally managed to get away from their families overprotective sights. They had fibbed and told them they were heading out to the park, thankfully Dave didn't have to use his time powers since most of their family were busy today.

Dave nodded in agreement, "I tried skateboarding on my own in the park, got my ass chewed to me by Bro after Dirk reported me to him." It had been weird being lectured by Bro like that.

Today it was only John and Dave at the base. John was doing a bit of spring cleaning for the base. Using his wind to pick up dust from most nooks and crannies of the old laboratory. They've managed to finally explore the whole lab, see all of its rooms and what it could provide them. 

Roxy even checked for hidden rooms, going through most of the building and found practically nothing aside from the hidden paneling that just revealed hidden control sequences and emergency codes for the building. Nothing dark or alarming at all. 

After the mall, Roxy and Karkat had worked double time on the healing coons, trying to upgrade them as fast and much as they could without consuming all of their grist, they now had five completed healing coons, one for each of them. It was decided that each coon would be assigned to one person, Roxy even going as far as to engrave and paint their Aspects into the glass tube of the coon. 

Their grist supply had gotten fairly low as a result but there was enough left for whatever else they decided to alchemize as long as it didn't consume everything. Karkat's alchemized sopor slime was actually pretty neat paired up with the healing coons that could now automatically filter the slime within the coons, though they still had to manually replace the slime which was fine so far. 

Their infirmary had been supplied a bit as well, Roxy appearifying some comfy hospital beds with the help of Jake, alchemizing some medicine and first aid, it was really on it's way to becoming a fully functional place of healing. And their base was on it's way on becoming fully functional as well, it was slow since they couldn't spend all their time in the base, they had their own new lives after all but they did what they could. 

Being honest though, the place felt a little... 

Empty. 

Even with all the cool stuff they'd manage to equip their nifty new hideout, it felt somewhat empty for the quintet of veteran Sburb players. It was a nice place to hang out together but the quiet stillness of the rest of the place was kind of disturbing. They were used to background activity or activity in general, what with Karkat and Dave's time on the meteor that consisted of them, Terezi, Vriska, Rose, The Mayor and even Gamzee.

John had gotten used to the background noise and movement of the consorts, Davesprite, Nannasprite and Jade on the Prospitian Ship. Roxy had grown with the carapacians flittering about her life, some making noise as they snuck into her home while Jake had grown with quiet growls and noise from the lusii of his island. 

So yeah, it was a bit uncomfortable for them.

But like it was stated, they couldn't spend all of their time at the base. 

Even though it was their base. 

Anyway, with everything happen and the disuse of the other rooms, they'd gotten kinda dusty again so John decided to clean the base again. Dave was accompanying him, keeping him company and both having some quality 'them' time. 

Thing was, while they were dating... They had yet to their family and friends about it. It's not like they don't want to, it just, kept slipping their minds. When they began dating, it didn't really change their routine relationship aside from the added sexy moments and sloppy makeouts, though ever since they were in the new universe they had no sexy moments much to Dave's disappointment but he understood, they had other things to focus on. 

Like keeping each other sane and grounded in this new life, save the populace from attacks that came from mysterious glowing rifts of space time that came from gog knows where, keeping the others safe by keeping the them clueless and try to not let them remember anything from the game while trying to live as normally as they could without giving themselves away.

They had their hands full.

"And that should be the last room." John smiled at Dave who had opened the giant glass window to let John blow the dust out. Boy, cleaning was hard even with godly wind powers, mostly because there were so many rooms in the old laboratory. John preferred to have every room clean, not wanting to leave a single room covered in dust despite the fact they weren't really most of the rooms yet, they hadn't planned for every room but still.

John liked keeping everything clean. 

They'd eventually find use for the extra rooms anyway. 

Dave smirked at him, "So... Sloppy makeouts?" He suggested with an eyebrow wiggle, John snorted and laughed at him but laced his hands around Dave's neck as his Knight of Time came closer, his smile taking a flirtatious turn that had Dave grinning wide.

"Sloppy makeouts.


Dirk sighed in frustration, rubbing his eyes tiredly as he stared at his screen. 

Nothing. 

Months of work and-

Nothing

Ever since that weird chat from months ago happened, things have been... weird. He couldn't exactly describe it but there was just this, off feeling he had whenever he looked back to the chat-something he had saved and meticulously tried to find out. Trying his best to trace back the origins of the mysterious-messed up handle that pestered him. 

Which ended up in a complete dead end, no matter what he did, it ended up as a dead end that he couldn't get out or look over. It was like it didn't even exist! Which was near-impossible since he still had the chat saved, whoever was behind it was skilled, too skilled, freakishly skilled. 

And then there were the bizarre codewords that the guy gave him. 

'413 rise up'

For some reason this just made him feel, strange. Like there was something he should know but didn't, but no matter how much he stared at the words it did nothing but just give him this irritating migraine. He tried looking it up but ended up even more lost and confused since there was really nothing specific about the wording at all, '413' and 'rise up'. 413 could refer to the area code of the western third of Massachusetts, or something else, or even John and Jane's birthday? Which was already very creepy that the hacker, he was sure that the other guy was a suspicious trolling hacker, knew about his name and where he'd been and about Jane. And the 'rise up' thing, he couldn't make sense. 

'612 shenanigans'

This one didn't strike him as much as the first codeword, but the numbers still didn't add up. Another area code? Something else? And 'shenanigans' was just, random to put with it. 

'1111 batterwitch'

This one, it felt just like '413', it struck him as important but at the same time, not. It was frustrating, to look at it, if he looked at it too long he felt like his head was going to explode. And he wasn't just talking about the number or the word, it was both, like he should know about it but he couldn't connect it at all! It was, disturbing to say the least, he tried not to stare at the codeword for too long. 

'461 we won' 

Won what? It had to be a prank. But, for some odd reason, it didn't really feel like a prank. Like there was a significance to it. Importance. 

He should tell his Bro, or Roxy who could help him but, for the very same odd and off reason... he didn't. And he got Jane to keep it a secret as well. 

The youngest Strider groaned, palming his tired eyes as he turned off his computer.

That was enough of that for one day. 

Getting off of his chair, he flopped unto his new bed, staring up at the his new ceiling with frustrated and tired eyes. 

Moving to a new place, and a house at that-not an apartment, was... alright. Though the fact he lived near one of his best friends helped, it was still a little weird though. 

At any rate, he was getting used to his new room, it was a little roomier that his old one. He wanted to change the color of the walls though, the white of the room was... a bit much, he wanted to change it to a more comforting color, like orange, or red, or-

Maroon and pink. 

He sat up and felt puzzled, maroon and pink? Damn, he was more tired than he thought. Weird, usually he was alright even though he skipped sleeping an entire two nights or so. Usually. But then again he was trying to figure out the weird chat message thing. He sighed and shook his head, laying down again to look at his ceiling. 

Really though, a change of... color would... be... nice...

His eyes fluttered close and he began to dream. 

...

It was not a nice dream


Dave frowned, phone buzzing insistently in his pocket and just interrupting the very nice mood that was going on between he and John. 

The Heir breathed through his nose, lips disconnecting, "You better answer that, could be important." He murmured quietly, feeling a bit disappointed as he leaned against Dave. They were on one of the comfy hospital beds in the infirmary, with their clothes still intact and on their persons much to Dave's inner lament. And things were just getting good too!

The bright red-eyed Time player huffed before fetching his phone out of his pocket. John just giggled before hugging Dave closely, tucking into his side with closed eyes.

Though when Dave suddenly sat up with furrowed eyes he blinked questioningly at him, peeking at what got his boyfriend's attention.

1:34 pm. prospit park. bring karkat and roxy.
~future you
ps. get ready for more next week, we got company

"Future you sent you a message?" John asked with puzzled but calculating eyes. He frowned, trying to figure out on what to do, "Are you sure Jake and I can't come?" He asked him, not a moment later Dave's phone buzzed. 

no john its good. you and jake arent scheduled to be at the park till next week.
~your future boo

John snorted, "Dork." He He kissed Dave's cheek as the blonde Time player sighed. "Go on, I'll be here in the meanwhile." John told him with a sweet smile, Dave sighed but nodded. It was nearing 1:00 and he needed to nab both Roxy and Karkat on the way to the park.

The Knight changed into clothing before saluting John goodbye, disappearing in a red cog. John waved him goodbye before flopping back to the bed with a disappointed breath. And here he thought he and Dave could spend some alone time together.

John looked at the far ceiling and closed his eyes, a nap kind of sounded nice for now.

...

John opened his eyes, the dream that happened was very confusing and concerning.


Azdaja Knelax was stumped.

Which was unusual for him. The Prince of All Goldbloods, no he was not 'self-proclaimed' shut up Kuprum he was a goddamn Gemra dammit which was highly superior to the lowly Gemnius, didn't do stumped. Currently he was working on the materials that some trolls brought back from various points of when the human, or suspected human at least, hero group's -yet to be fully named, each individual hero had a name but the group in a whole remained nameless or have yet to confirm a group name- fights.

Specifically the materials that burst out when the heroes defeat the 'imps' and monsters that come out of the rift.

It was insane.

It consisted of both material that existed and yet did not, it showed properties that it shouldn't and was entirely unbreakable! Every single one!

The material he was staring at was one example, it was the size of his entire being and yet even a normal rustblooded grub could lift it effortlessly, the physics around it were impossible! It's structure was hexagonal and according to his scanners it seemed to be made out of... ruby. As in like the gem ruby, and yet at the same time; it didn't. His scanners flipped from identifying it as a ruby ore as well as something unidentifiable. And this was the tenth scanner he used, each time was the same! Ruby or not ruby.

And finally the indestructible part... It really was unbreakable. They couldn't get any sample from the material, they couldn't break a piece off it, not even a speck. They had used all the destructive tools they could get their hands on, it was just impossible to break!

Pinching the bridge of his cartilage nub, he groaned and held his hands up in surrender. "That's it! I'm taking a break!" He declared with flourish, turning away from the impossible material and getting out his lab. He needed a break, if he spent more time on it he was going to lose it

He needed his moirail. 

He would have gone to his matesprit but currently she was out exploring. 

The Gemra stalked through the halls of their base, rolling his eyes as he ignored the jabbering nonsense that Gorjek was spouting in another room. Honestly the tealblood could give Galekh a run for his ceagars when he would go on and on about something. And that was Galekh! 

The goldblood shudders to think of a third chatterbox out there that was on par of Galekh and Tagora, surely not. 

Kankri Vantas sniffed and sneezed, pausing from his lecture and giving Karkat a chance to slip away much to the older brother's dismay.

...

He just got a shiver down his vertical vertebrae column.  

Azdaja shook his head, why was he thinking such trivial things when he could go pester his moirail? 

Storming to his moirail's office, he barged in, "Tegiri!" He called out with a huff, not even flinching as he used his superior psionics to stop the incoming barrage of throwing stars. "Oh, so close." He mused with a grin, throwing the sharp eastern Beforan weapon back at his moirail who dodged it expertly. 

Tegiri Kalbur scoffed at him, eyeing him warily, "Azdaja." He greeted in a deadpan but Azdaja could see the small smirk he hid beneath his expression. He grinned at him in return. 

Oh how proud he was when his moirail was chosen to be the leader of the section by Her Benevolence herself! 

"What are you doing here?" He asked as he snatched the throwing stars from their embedded place on his wall, "I thought you were testing out the mystery material again today." 

The goldblood sighed, self-suffering, "That's what I want to complain about." He told him as he went over to the loungeplank in Tegiri's office, it was a comfy thing, "Months of work, and still nothing!" He gruffed, no he didn't whine shut up dearly beloved Tegiri he will not hesitate to take away his sword. 

His tealblooded moirail rose a brow at him and sighed, "Again? Azda, this is the second time this week. If you're not getting anywhere then just put it aside for later." He told him, using the rare little nickname he had for him. It secretly warmed his the pale part of his bloodpusher whenever Tegiri did that, not that he'd freely admit it. It reminded him of his beloved Konyyl calling him 'Daja'. 

Though outwardly he growled, psionics sparking in frustration, "You knowcan't, Teri." Tegiri wandered over to him, sitting besides him to lounge back and let Azdaja lay his head on the other's lap. "It'll fuckin' bother me if I just push it aside without figuring it all out! Besides, Her Benevolence is awaiting a report on the materials again. I can't just tell her I found nothing, again!" He didn't want to disappoint their empress, their kind and benevolently beautiful empress. 

Tegiri understood completely, they both knew that Her Empress wouldn't mind but no troll didn't want to disappoint their monarch. She was too kind in her words but they just felt guilt whenever they couldn't get something done in her name.

She had ruled over Beforus for thousands of sweeps, keeping a gentle but firm hand over her kingdom. Beforus was essentially a peaceful planet but don't think that they were weak. They were actually very strong and could easily take over planets with force but their empress was mostly too kind for that, she liked to settle things diplomatically.

Sometimes they'd think she would be too kind, too weak to decide on war but they'd be reminded that even though she was called Her Benevolence, she was monarch for a reason and not just because she was a fuchsiablood. 

She had earned her position, fighting her own battles in the distant past that no living troll could really remember. 

For all that she was kind, she could equally be cold and cruel. 

Such as what happened sweeps ago. 

Azdaja had to shiver as he remembered on what he'd read about what happened. It was... almost unbelievable to think that the Empress was someone who could smile gently at someone, guiding them and have them flourish underneath her rule but then turn into a cold merciless Empress when needed.

It just reminded them all on how thankful they were that Her Benevolence was a kind ruler with that kind of power and attitude. 

Though it puzzled the troll as to why she had decided to send troll to Earth in secret, have them gather information about the species dominating the Earth. That was until they found out she was looking for specific humans, humans that wore the True Signs, the very first Signs of Trollkind history. 

At first it seemed... both easy and complicated, turns out that humans had something called 'Zodiac Signs', based on the same astrological signs that started the Signs on Beforus bizarrely enough, but they hadn't evolved it into more, staying at the measly but very respected 12 signs. It had been jarring, to see that humans that were born underneath the zodiac stars' sign were considered the sign instead of being assigned at birth by the lusii and fate. 

But unfortunately Her Benevolence revealed that they were looking for really specific humans. Ones that were actually somehow related to the original line of the True Sign Bearers. Like The Excavator, The Psiioniic, The Summoner and such. It was, crazy to think but they trusted their monarch's words, she had yet to lead them astray after all. 

Not to mention she had the support of... The Muse

The Muse was... a mysterious being that had been in troll society since the beginning. Or so it was implied, no one was old enough to confirm, not even Her Benevolence who had grown and raised in The Muse's presence! She was an ancient figure, but before she had only been regaled as myth since she rarely showed herself before the old rulers, she only truly confirmed her existence by raising their Empress from when she was a grub, a juvenile and finally an Empress and stayed by her side as an adviser.

But again, the Empress had rightfully earned her throne regardless of being raised by the Muse. 

Azdaja and Tegiri have only seen the Muse once, and that was when they were chosen for the mission towards Earth. 

Lurking in the background, observing in silence, dressed in black robes with a white spiral on her chest and stars underneath her cloak, her features hidden underneath the black hood. No one knew what the Muse looked like, no one but the Empress. 

"Sitred's group have reported they've found the bearers of the True Signs Le and Taur, or at least suspected bearers. Nothing is for certain yet." Tegiri told him, expression unreadable. 

Azdaja sat up, looking at him in disbelief, "Really?"

His diamond nodded, "Diemen reports on seeing one of the suspected bearers of the True Sign of Ar as well..." This would either lead to good or bad news to report to their empress. 

Hopefully it was good news. 

The goldblood grinned at him, "Do you think we'll find the bearers of Gem and Lib?" He questioned excitedly. He'd always been a fan of the last True Gem Gemini, the Psiioniic. He was so powerful, and he had been the Empress' old moirail! A goldblood! With the top caste! 

Anyway, if these humans were the human incarnate of the Gemini then he'd be ecstatic to meet them.

He wondered just wondered on how The Psiioniic was in real life...

Dexter sneezed, blinking incredulously only to hold back a scream of rage as his sneeze messed up the block chain he had been in the process of making. Great, now he had to start over.


Karkat sighed in relief as he had managed to slip away from Kankri's lecturing from a sneeze. That was damn lucky of him. He hid behind his house, looking around before changing and flying high up above the clouds.

He didn't know what he did this time to incite Kankri's lectures but now wasn't the time to get lectured. 

He got a text from Dave. Or well, future Dave.

karkles, get ready. 1:34 pm, prospit park. daves gonna pick you and roxy up
~future dave

It was 1:25. He didn't have much time. 

He scowled before making a decision as he thought back to Kankri. He tapped into his phone, sending a message just as Dave appeared from a red cog, "Sup Karkles."

"Don't call me that asshole, what's this about Prospit Park?"

"I don't know, wanna find out?"

"I don't exactly have a choice douchebag."

LOOK I'M GONNA CALL IN A FAVOR. I MESSAGED KANKRI I'M AT YOUR PLACE, SO WHEN HE TEXTS OR CALLS YOU CAN YOU PLEASE SAY THAT I'M THERE WITH YOU? THANKS.
~ KK

Sollux frowned as he read the text from Karkat, what? Why would he say that he was at his place when he wasn't? Just what was up with Karkat lately. Unfortunately he did owe Karkat a favor so reluctantly conceded.

He'd ask Karkat later on.


Dirk didn't know where he was, what he was wearing, or what the hell he was doing. 

His vision was blurring in and out and he couldn't focus properly. 

The youngest Strider was wearing something maroon, he couldn't tell, everything was glitching around him like a video game glitch. His surroundings were pixelating randomly and he could barely spot the circular figures in the distance, they looked... smashed together. 

"Dirk?"

He whirled around, and suddenly his vision was clearer but not much. 

In front of him was a figure in bright glowing blue, his sight too messed up to see who it was in front of him.

He squinted at the mysterious person, "Dirk, what's going on? What happened?" The figure asked, coming closer, were they both flying in a black space? "Dirk, talk to me."

"Who the hell are you." 

"You don't remember?"

"I-No, who are you."

"...

"Answer me!"

"You're not-, why are you here if you don't remember? In fact why am  I here? There hasn't been a dream bubble in, months I thought they didn't exist anymore?" Blue asked themselves, their voice was familiar but the pixels made it hard to focus and hear him. "I mean we didn't experience the dream bubbles ever since we got here...Hold on, you splinter, right? J-He told me about that. Is that what this is? A remaindering splinter that you managed to remember? But again, why would I be here with your splinter?"

Dirk glared, "What the hell are you talking about." He snapped, paranoia, irritation, confusion in his tone. He didn't know where he was but he didn't like it.

Blue looked like he was going to answer only to pause, looking around cautiously.

"... We need to leave."

Suddenly they weren't alone anymore.

Chapter Text


Suddenly they weren't alone anymore.

"Shit." The figure in blue cursed, Dirk had to hold back a pained groan as his vision swarmed but he could see a figure in pixelated black and... pink? He couldn't tell, but he thinks the specific shade was fuchsia - he didn't know, his mind was muddled and he had no fucking idea what was going on. At any rate, the figure was getting closer to them,"Shit shit shit, Dirk! Come on! We need to leave!"

His hand was grabbed but the figure was right in front of them and Dirk was taken back at how tall the other was and even though his vision sucked and everything was covered in shitty pixelated clouds, he could tell the mysterious figure was female. Plus, the malicious feminine cackle that came from her was pretty telling. So this woman was  not nice.

"Dirk!" Blue snapped him out of his observations and tugged him back and they were flying away from the supposedly evil? woman. Just in time too, since she had lashed out at Dirk but Blue managed to save him and now she was chasing after him, shouting in a language Dirk couldn't really understand but for some reason felt really familiar. 

"What the fuck is going on?! Who is she?!" The confused Strider demanded as they fled, suddenly Blue was jerking him around, Dirk would have been annoyed had it not for the giant fucking LASER BEAM FLYING PAST THEM. "She fires lasers?!

Blue was thankfully an excellent flyer and they were dodging the incoming beams with ease, "Yeah she does that! And actually I don't know what's going on! This never happened before, this can't be a dream bubble!

"The fuck's a dream bubble?!" 

"I-Hold on!" Blue tightened his grip on him, "First let's loose the Batterwitch!

Batterwitch?! 

Dirk desperately wished he knew what was going on, and as much as he wanted to think this was a dream, it certainly didn't felt like it. Not with the heat of the laser, the feeling of sweat, his heart thundering in his chest and the feeling of adrenaline in his veins. 

"Hold on tight Dirk!"


Karkat and Dave appeared five minutes early. Just because Dave could, Future Dave never said they couldn't and clearly knew they would anyway.

"We're here." The Knight of Time mused before continuing, "Welp, I'm going to guess that we're about to fucking throw down and beat some imps." He said as they hid in above the clouds, high up in the sky above the park. "What do you think Karkles?" 

The Knight of Blood grumbled, "I don't fucking know, this is future you telling us to be here. And don't call me Karkles." He snapped, crossing his arms and lounging back, "Why the fuck is it just us anyway? Where are the others? Well, Jake's busy, but where's John and Roxy?" He asked Dave who lounged back with him. 

The blonde shrugged, "Roxy'll be here in a bit, she's been busy with stuff. And how the fuck am I suppose to know why it's just the three of us, it hasn't happened yet," He noticed his internal clock ticking and corrected himself, "It's about to happen. In about, like, three minutes and thirty-eight seconds." 

They looked down to the park below them, it looked so peaceful. People going on with their daily lives without a care, friends meeting up, couple walking around, joggers moving along for exercise. 

Months in this universe and it was still jarring for the recovering game veterans. Months in and they were still trying to act and fit in, they were slowly getting there but it was hard to do that while trying to protect the ones they cared about along with the populace from whatever came through the dimensional rifts, they liked to think they were doing a good job but it was only a matter of time before things wavered. 

Hell, Karkat was already wavering, avoiding his 'friends' and trying to keep calm. He was doing his best and hoped to think he was getting better but the last time he'd tried to hang out with them -a regular hang out, no attacks, no imps, no trolls, nothing- he had a near gogdamn panic attack which he personally thought as pathetic but he couldn't exactly help it. 

Not when he was surrounded by people he should know but didn't really, it was hard to explain but he did know them, both versions of them, it was just his troll mind was the forefront of his head. So when he looks at Gamzee, regular human Gamzee that did nothing wrong, he sees the Bard of Rage, he sees carnage and his ex-moirail, he sees the ghost of Gamzee Makara in Gamzee Makara. 

He looks at his 'friends' and he sees the ghosts of his friends. Haunting him in the worse ways, even Kanaya, who had been his close friend -not moirail unfortunately, he liked her but not in that way and she felt the same- and alive for the entire trip until the end. As close of a friend she was, Kanaya was still terrifying with her chainsaw.

The others were faring better than him because they had each other, Dave had John from their session, Jake had Roxy from their session and who did Karkat have from his session? No one. No one from the troll alpha session remembered, not even Kankri, he was the only troll who remembered.

Still, even though that was the case. At least he wasn't truly alone, he had the others backing him up and reassuring him that he was alright. Jake was quickly becoming a close friend and an unfortunate crutch that he couldn't help but lean on frequently when the time was bad for him, and he found himself doing the same for the other as well. 

"More than a minute left dude, inner monologue done?" Dave's voice interrupted his so called 'inner monologue'.

Karkat aimed a scowl at him, "Fuck you Strider." 

"'Ey, I'm a taken man Karkles, though I could take it up with John for a third open spot." Dave wiggled his eyebrows at him with a joking smirk that had Karkat rolling his eyes. As admittedly attractive both John and Dave were, they weren't exactly the people for him, Karkat had already tried with Dave but they both decided to just stay friends and Dave went to John. 

With time running out, Dave briefly wondered where their esteemed Rogue of Void was-

"I'm here!" A feminine voice interrupted, a certain Rogue appearing in a dark blue swirl, "Sorry, got hella side-tracked with my busy busy work-sched." Roxy chimed with a grin as she greeted them both with a hug, though Dave got an additional kiss to the cheek for his status as her moirail. "Translating future codes and languages and stuff to this years primitive code is hard work!" She exaggerated. In her eyes the world's current coding languages were all so 'primitive' compared to the ones she learned in the future, even the Alternian coding she learnt! 

Karkat snorted, "Oh yeah, because doing that is all so grueling to Miss 'Hacker-Girl' Lalonde who is essentially creating coding languages from scratch." He snarked, though it was without fire as both blondes grinned at him with Roxy nodding along at his words. Considering at how most coding languages she knew haven't even been invented yet, you could say she was 'creating coding languages from scratch' as Karkat had said. 

"So, what's going on?" Roxy asked curiously as she glanced down to the park underneath them. 

The Time Player of the group shrugged, "Dunno, got messaged by future me and-" 

Suddenly, all three heroes straightened as the time was up, Dave didn't have to say anything else because they were alerted by the sudden scream that came below them at the park.

Tugging on his mask, "Show time." Dave declared with the voice changers kicking in, Roxy gave him a bright grin while Karkat grunted.

With that, they entered a free fall, destination; the park below them.


AG: We're telling the truth, why is it to hard to 8elieve!!!!!!!!????????

CC: uh i dunno, because it sounds like complete )(ORS--ES)(IT???

AC: (^>x<^) < BUT IT'S NOT!! WE SWEAR IT'S NOT! BREATH REALLY DID DIE IN FRONT OF US!!!!

CA: oh yeah, and im the goddamn queen of england

AT: no ser1ously he f*ck1ng D1ED 1n front of us then some how rev1ved... 1t was terr1fy1ng as sh*t

CT: 8=D < I believe you Rufioh, Meulin.

AT: thanks darl1ng :]

AC: (=^ω^=) < THANKS PURRUS!!

CC: what a bunch of bullcarp

AG: UUGH

carcinoGrievance [CG] has joined the memo

CG: What exactly is g9ing 9n.

CA: hey babe.

CG: Hell9 Cr9nus.

CA: oh nothing much, just three of our friends losing their heads is all

AG: WE AR8 NOT L9SING OUR HE8DS

CG: I see...
CG: I just wanted t9 c9nverse a bit with Mituna since he still has be 6l9cked at the m9ment.

TA: WH00P5

CG: All I want t9 ask y9u Mituna is a single and simple question. That is all.

TA: F1R3 4W4Y K4NK5

CG: Is Karkat 9ver there at y9ur a69de Mituna? I asked S9llux and he said yes 6ut fr s9me reas9n I have my d9u6ts a69ut the veracity 9f his answer.

TA: H0LD 0N L3T M3 CH3CK

CA: vwhat, think karkat snuck avway somevwhere again vwithout your consent.

CG: P9ssi6ly

AT: 1t's l1ke lately he's been do1ng that more often...

AG: Well, lately he has 8een a 8it active in a certain sense. Though Vriska tells me he hasn't 8een hanging out with her and the others as much anymore. Just where did he go?

TA: 4M B4CK 4ND N0P3, K4RK4T 15 1N F4CT N0T 1N 0UR H0U53

CC: well little shouty went **somewhere**

CG: I find this very tr9u6ling...

CA: vwant some help finding him babe?

AG: Hold on. May8e he's out hanging out with this 'Jake' person from 8efore?
AG: Have you found out who he is Kankri?

CC: oh yeaahh... ever find out who the flip the bouy was? ever met him?

CG: N9, n9t really. Admittedly en9ugh it seems it slipped my mind. I haven't asked Karkat a69ut him yet.

AC: (^._.^) < YOU PURROBABLY SHOULD SOON KANKRI

AG: She's right, who knows who this Jake character is and what he and Karkat are doing.

CG: I'll ask as s99n as he c9mes 6ack, it d9es raise s0me concerns f9r me and quite p9ssi6ly 9ur father as well.

Aranea leaned back in her chair, suspicion on her mind as she thought of 'Jake'. For some odd reason, she felt suspicious about him; probably because of the very strange dream she had a while ago. Why in the world would a dream warn her of a person named Jake? Though, she didn't realize that the warning was incomplete and that she was worrying over nothing... kind of.

And boy do things go round when later revelations lead to misunderstandings that everyone would boggle at.

gamingCompetence [GC] has joined the memo

GC: yo you guysss
GC: the p4rks b31n 4tt4ck3d by thos3 1mps, 1 h34r blood, t1m3 4nd vo1d 4r3 th3r3

AG: Say what?


"This is suspiciously easy." Karkat noted as he kicked away the imp. Blood dripping down his wrists to turn into a chain that shot out to restrain a group of flying imps, he grunted as he forcibly pulled them back down to finish them off with his sickles. "This is a hoard sure but these imps, they're too easy." Maybe it was because of the mall attack that he was so suspicious about it everything. The fourth-prototyped Acherons and Uranium Imps had been a bitch to deal with, and with John's death -no matter how much they played it off- the whole fiasco had been something that spiked all five of their paranoia. Not to mention Dave's future self had been adamant for all three of them there when only one of them could have easily dealt with them.

Still, the park had been properly evacuated, Dave and Roxy had made sure of that, ushering the ones in the park out and making sure nothing came in or out of the park. They didn't need anyone coming between them and the imps or for some person to get hurt in the process.

So far, it was just normal imps from the kids session that came through with only a couple of uranium imps. Those shits were annoying but was easily dealt with since they were only a couple and they were imps, not like the damnable Acherons that slipped through at the mall. Those were even more annoying. 

"I know, but instructions are instructions." Dave shrugged, slicing an imp in half. Picking up the grist that burst out in the process. 

Roxy sighed, idly flying to and fro while picking off imps with her mad sniping skills, she was the best sniper. It was her. "Well there's gotta be some reason why we were called here." She responded after cocking her modified and alchemized sniper-rifle. It was an improved variation of her old Crockercorp Appearifier Rifle, with her Void skills though it was kind of rendered moot and useless but she improved it now. It was basically a super rifle that can handle almost all of the bullets she alchemized for it, she had quite the arsenal and even then she was already deadly with her awesome combat skills of fistkind. Especially drunken fist like Jackie Chan. 

The Knight of Time merely shrugged again and continued cleaning the park of its game-manifested infestation. 

Of course, nothing was ever that simple for them. 

Another rift in time opened right above them, way high up, and they didn't notice it until it was too late- they had thought they were done, the imps were gone and the first rift that appeared in the park had closed all on its own. 

"This was a fucking waste of time." Karkat deadpanned, throwing his sickles into his sylladex as the battle was seemingly over. It wasn't even a challenge! "Oi Strider," Thankfully there was no one in the park to hear him use Dave's last name, "Next time your future self thinks of trolling us, do it better." He received a middle finger for his sass which made him smirk, Roxy snickered at the sidelines. Karkat opened his mouth to sass his fellow Knight only to freeze with Dave and Roxy following him as a loud utterly inhuman sound, coming from above them, earned their attention. 

They looked up, eyes widening at the sight of the wide rift that had silently opened right on top of them. And by the sounds of things, they were about to have more company joining them. 

"Shit.


"I think..." John panted as he and Dirk took refuge on Roxy's planet, "We lost her..." John had managed to dupe the Condesce and trick her to his own planet while they escaped to the, unfortunately, only other stable planet in the inciphisphere.

While they caught their breaths, John had a private little snort at the thought of him catching his breath, John's mind was going a mile a minute as he tried to make sense on what was happening. 

Okay, so; he went to sleep, woke up in a dream bubble(?) of the Game Over Timeline -shit- and somehow Dirk was there with him even though originally the Prince of Heart had been overtaken by the weird pixel stuff and didn't remember jack shit about the game even though they were dreaming about it. 

Why the hell was his life so complicated. 

John was snapped out of his train of thought by Dirk who gripped his shirt, presumably glaring at him from underneath his triangular aviators. "Talk. Now." He hissed through gritted teeth. "Who in fuck's name are you, where in fuck's sake are we, and who the ever loving horseshit was she?!" He demanded.

The Heir of Breath frowned, "You really don't remember do you?" He questioned him back, mostly to stall the answers. Though, he decided not to give the blonde any answers. He and the others swore to protect him and their families, letting him remember would just put him in danger and let him remember the pain of the skaia-damned game. 

Dirk scowled but inhaled, exhaling after a moment and let go of Blue to cross his arms, "Remember what?" He said with forced calmness. He wanted so bad to know what the hell was going on, why everything seemed so goddamn familiar and why he couldn't see the jackass in blue's face properly. 

John shook his head, "If you don't remember then it's best not to tell you." He replied quietly, dodging Dirk's attempt to grasp at him again. If Dirk ever remembered, hell if everyone else ever remembered, they'd be pissed at his decision but he, Karkat, Dave, Roxy and Jake made their minds. It was best for everyone to just, not remember and probably safer. 

"Bullshit!" The youngest Strider raged, already thin patience snapping. 

"Look, whatever's happening now isn't suppose to happen. You're not suppose to be here, me too probably, but you especially." John told him seriously, floating around him in circles, "I'm going to try and wake you up now. I don't know if it'll work but it's better than nothing." He shrugged stopping in front of Dirk. 

Dirk warily took a step back, "What." He took another step as Blue, he really needed the other's name but why the hell did he seem so familiar, somehow looked at him intensely even though -in his perspective- the other's face was completely pixelated and fucked up. 

"Sorry for this Dirk." John manifested his Zillyhoo hammer, "But you can't stay here, even if the Condesce is a dream manifest or whatever, it's too dangerous here for you." He wasn't going to risk it, dream Condesce or not, that fish woman was terrifying and god forbid if Lord English was somewhere in here- "Bye Dirk." Gog, he hoped this worked. 

The blonde gasped at the hammer, that hammer- he'd seen it before- "Breath?" He said incredulously before jolting with realization at what the blue-clad hero was about to do to him. "Wait, what the fu-" He was interrupted, Blue-Breath was too fast and-

SLAM

Dirk jerked up, falling out of bed while panting heavily. His entire body felt sore, he felt disoriented and it took a bit of his control to not heave. 

The youngest Strider looked around, sweating. 

"What the ever-loving fuck."


John sighed in relief when Dirk disappeared. "Oh good, I was worried that wouldn't work or something." It would've been really awkward if it hadn't. Like, really really awkward. 

Still, John looked around, nostalgia hitting him slightly as he looked upon LOPAN, the neon lights, the pyramids, for all the short time he spent on her planet, it was still kind of nostalgic for him. 

"'Ey, blue buoy" 

And of course, the nostalgia is gone the moment a rough yet feminine voice spoke from behind him. He frowned, then turned to look at Her Imperious Condescension herself, standing fight in front of him. 

"Your majesty." He greeted tightly, even going as far as to bow a bit. Outwardly, he may seem calm and all but inwardly he was cursing like a sailor and sweating bullets.

The Tyrannical Fish Empress snorted at him, "Least you got some manners buoy, annoyed the flip outta me with yer windy bullcarp boat I flounder ya. Where's the other one." Noticing the fact John was all alone. 

John smiled, a bit smug and felt a bit of self-satisfaction that he managed to send Dirk away, "I sent him somewhere safe." He answered truthfully, twirling his hammer. "Speaking of which, I have somewhere to go as well, it was nice meeting you again Your Majesty Batterwitch Ma'am but I'm not suppose to be here." While hitting Dirk with his hammer managed to wake Dirk up, he didn't really know for himself, and with the Condesce here -dream or no- he wasn't going to risk it. 

"Aw, too bad Blue Buoy. I liked you, well, I liked my version of you." The Condesce admitted, surprising him, "My Johnny was a good kid, listened, inherited my company an' legacy 'n shit after becomin' a comedian, buoy was a good laugh. Much betta than all my otter kids, they were rotten fish but my little guppy John? Now he, he was a goddamn good guppy." Her smile was almost soft, of course it didn't stay that way long as a sardonic grin shaped itself on her fuchsia lips, "Shame you ain't him an' that my other daughter-great granddaughter-whatever, krilled him. One of the good guppies in the rotten school of fish. Then everythin' else fuckin' happens and my plan's up to shit, my minions dead, four planets destroyed and you... you're here all alone." Her chuckle was dark as her eyes flared in color. 

"Sorry boat this buoy, not, but I got some pent up shit I wanna let out, and bubbly blue buoy o' mine... you're my target." The Condesce's dark laugh and sharp smile made John gulp. 

Damn. 

"Swim fishy, swim~"

Double damn. 


"Shit." Was what left Karkat's lips as he stared at the wide rift in the air, it was facing towards them and whatever was coming from behind the rift would fall on them given the chance. "Roxy!" Karkat intoned as he got out his sickles again, tensing up. There were weird blots of shape in the space of the rift, presumably incoming imps, and the ex-mutant had a feeling that they wouldn't be as easy to deal with than the first horde.

Him and his big mouth some times.

"I got it!" Roxy shouted, quickly flying up only to back away as a beam of red and blue escaped the rift, she dodged and cursed as enemies from the troll session came through with Sollux's old lusus prototyped with them, meaning; laser beams for everyone! Not only that, they could fly as well- at none seem to have Gl'bgolyb prototypes! "I can't get near, they're protecting the rift!"

The prototyped monsters were indeed floating around the rift, essentially protecting it and preventing Roxy from coming near and sealing the too large rift in the sky. "Well, you thought this was too easy Karkles, this hard enough for you?" Dave snarked as he readied Broken Caled-Scratch.

Karkat scowled at him, "Shut the fuck up Dave and fight!" He snarled, he knew he had a big mouth gogdammit!

"Boys, boys, you're both beautiful as fuck but can we focus on the flying laserbeaming monsters please?!" Roxy interjected, scowling irritably as her bullets were obliterated by one of said laserbeaming monster's laserbeam- she should do something about that, make a laser-proof bullet or something, or make a laser-rifle, she missed her old yet very futuristic original one anyway.

Karkat clicked his tongue but focused back at the matter at hand, Dave doing the same as he charged a two-headed Acheron, dodging the short blasts of red, blue and purple beams that were aimed at his way. Karkat was doing the same to a two-headed salamander, that, unfortunately had Equius' sprite prototyping with it, meaning gross udders and a ridiculous amount of STRENGTH so he had to be careful not to be in range for it's muscled limbs to hit him.

Roxy abandoned her sniping shots since it was clear most of her bullets would just be annihilated by a hot beaming laser, the game enemies had two heads, one that was constantly on guard for her shots it seemed and would always somehow manage to either destroy her bullets or control the shared body to dodge, which was quickly making the youngest Lalonde frustrated.

She was going to have to rely on Dave and Karkat to cover her back and make sure she could get to the rift to seal it off before more monsters came through. "Guys, cover me! I'm closing that rift!" She declared with determination. They couldn't let any more psionic-inclined monsters through, they were too destructive and had to be dealt with swiftly before they could cause serious damage or harm. 

"Got it!" They chorused, flying up closer to her. 

So far, there were about seven game enemies with psionic powers, two of which were protecting the rift, three were focused on attacking them and the last two kept trying to escape the fight and head towards the city- Dave was dealing with those, or would with the utilization of time travel. 

The three struggled with dodging all the lasers but they managed with a few burn marks and close calls, Karkat used more blood than he usually did to protect both Dave and Roxy, hardening his blood and throwing it in the way of the psionic laserbeams as a temporary shield. Unfortunately hardened blood didn't last long against something like a psionic blast- maybe if Karkat had time to strengthen the hardened blood it could probably survive but Karkat didn't exactly have the time nor the exact effort to do so.

Dave was doing his best to deflect and cut down the enemies. he had rewound the time on his Broken Caled-Scratch to when it wasn't broken and essentially repairing it, he'd need the added length of the full blade instead of the broken end for this fight. He'd managed to kill a couple of monsters, the ones that were trying to escape the fight but with the rift open his effort might be useless. 

"Dave and I will keep them distracted and deal with the guards, Roxy, hide and get ready to close that rift!" Karkat ordered, throwing another disk of hardened blood towards an incoming beam, wincing at the heat and feeling of blood boiling, it was one of these moments that he was glad he had a ridiculous amount of blood, he rarely experienced blood loss. With the amount of blood he spent daily, a normal human would have probably died by now.

Both blonde heroes nodded, following after Karkat's orders. Roxy disappearing without a trace and Dave tightened his grip on Caled-Scratch and focused entirely on the fight. 

Up above them, the rift pulsed and swirled, unknown to the veteran players, two important beings would soon travel through the rift.

This would be a fight to remember.


"Jaaake!" 

Jake jolted before hastily throwing his skull-top into his sylladex, just in time as his sister Jade -which was still somewhat a tricky thing to get used to along with his grandpa beta-self but Jake was dealing it well as Karkat told him- came barreling through his door and into his room, faintly he gave himself a mental note to lock his door more often because while outwardly he was all cool and calm, inwardly he was sure he was suffering from a small heart attack.

"Good gog woman! Warn a brother when you're about to barge into his room would you? " Jake complained lightly as he sat against his chair, a random movie playing on his computer, he had been using it as background noise while he read something else on his skull-top, he actually forgot it was playing while he was reading; shocking wasn't it? He, Jake Harley, a movie extraordinaire and fan, was not paying his 100% to a movie? Blasphemy

Jade rolled her eyes at him, "You're my little brother Jake, it's practically my job to barge in unannounced at the most random times!" She declared with a small giggle before shaking her head, "Anyway, you were just watching a movie so what? I have more exciting news to tell you!" 

"Oh? And what might that be my dearest sister?" Jake questioned as he gave her his attention, though in reality, he just really wanted her out of his room so he could lock the door and continue his reading. He had been... a bit more engrossed with it than he'd admit, but that was because it was somewhat important and actually kind of interesting unbelievably enough for him considering the genre it was.

"Void, Blood and Time are in the park fighting monsters!" Jake straightened in his seat and he looked at her with an almost serious but surprised look.

"Say what?" 

Jade nodded, going over to his computer and closing the open tab of the movie -something that would have made him annoyed but at the moment he didn't care for some movie because Karkat, Roxy and Dave were fighting together and he hadn't known- and typed in a news website that was streaming live from the latest and hottest topic of the world; three of the five newest heroes. And Jade was right, it was blurry and unfocused since whoever was streaming the footage was far from the battle, which was in the air, but was close enough to zoom in and see which hero was there. 

Oh dear, they were dealing with psionic-prototyped game enemies, Jake noted as he watched in rapt attention of the shown footage. Those were particularly dangerous as he listened to Karkat describe them, he's never personally dealt with psionic-prototyped monsters but by the looks of things, they were hard to deal with.

"These ones can shoot lasers Jake, actual lasers!" Jade grinned excitedly, flailing slightly as she watched with him. 

Ever since the heroes had appeared, she'd been an avid fan and followed of their actions like many other people, which somewhat amused him and the others as they, with the exception of Karkat because Jade didn't know him -didn't remember him-, listened to her talk about them in many chats and memos on pesterchum. She, Rose, Jane and Dirk were really interested with them, Jane and Dirk especially since they had personally experienced the attacks and got personally saved by them.

Rose was interested on who they were and what lives they were living, how their heroism affected their personal lives and such- which she would be surprised that it simultaneously changed almost nothing and everything. Jade though, really liked to theorize on each of their powers, trying to figure them out. Without realizing it though, she was kind of helping them think of ideas for their powers that they haven't thought of before. 

Her grin turned into a frown as she watched Time deflect another laser, "I wonder where Hope and Breath are, kind of looks like they're having trouble there. I hope they're okay..." That did make him question, where was John? And why hadn't he been informed of the attack? Jade was right, it did look like they were having some trouble in handling the situation. But Jake couldn't really do anything at the moment, not with Jade in his room and keeping an eye on hi- no, no, calm Jake. They were fine. 

Karkat, Roxy and Dave were strong people. The strongest people he knew, they could handle things themselves and if they were confident that they could handle this on their lonesome than he'd respect their decision and let them handle it. And unless he was given a sign that he should join the fight, he'd have to stay put in his room with Jade by his side.

Besides, it looked like Karkat was taking the reigns as leader, he had ordered something and Roxy was disappearing from sight, "Hey, where'd she go?!" Still, the sight of Karkat weaving through laserbeams, using his own blood to his advantage, and the fact Jake was doing nothing but watch from where he was through a screen? It was making him unsettled, and his stomach lurched as he sees Karkat being batted away from a large ogre with two psionic-gifted heads, he was at the edge of his seat and gripping it tightly. 

He didn't like seeing Karkat hurt, and doing nothing right now, he didn't like it. He didn't know why, for some reason he disliked, almost abhorred, seeing Karkat hurt or even sad, which wasn't really strange since he didn't like seeing any of his friends hurt, but for some reason Karkat being hurt just seemed differen-

Wait a tick.

Jake's eyes widened as he something clicked in his mind, something important. He bit his lip, wanting to reach for his skull-top once more, to continue- no, to reread a certain little something that correlated in his mind. 

"Jake, Jake look! They did it! Or well, they're doing it!" Jade's sudden statement made him snap out of his train of thought, he looked back to the stream on the screen, his eyes widening at the scene. 

Karkat and Dave were by Roxy's side, with Roxy right underneath the rift, it was hard to see but no doubt she was closing it and that her Aspect was acting out again as the the screen flickered, the Void did not really liked being watched after all. 

"Augh! Stupid camera must be faulty or something, it keeps blacking out!" His once-ecto-daughter-grandmother complained, annoyed by the flickering stream, and she wasn't the only one, the others on the stream were making their annoyance known at a rapid pace. "Wait, look!" She pointed out to Rox-Void, who suddenly backed away from the rift, dragging Karka-Blood and Time with her. 

A black figure fell from the rift, Time and Blood visibly freaking out before going after it-him? Void stayed put but suddenly a white figure, with wings, flew through the rift, flying before her. 

"What the heck?" 

Jake had to agree as he watched with some confusion as Time flew back up to Void with Blood, the black figure -A carapacian? A dersite?- in his arms. The Page of Hope wished he was there to hear what the hell was going on, the white almost angelic figure -another carapacian, prospitian?- did nothing. 

"Why aren't they attacking each other? Is that thing an ally of theirs? Did they come out of the rifts too and now they're making sure no one else is coming through, like their old enemies and stuff?" The somewhat-amnesiac-Witch of Space wondered aloud, her 'brother' forced out a shrug but looked at the screen attentively. 

It seemed that Roxy turned her attention back to the rift, finally closing it with her Aspect, apparently it took more out of her since she fell backwards and nearly out of the sky if it weren't for Karkat. 

And just like that, the battle seemed like it was over, Dave disappearing with the dersite in his arms, and Karkat doing the same while supporting Roxy. The winged prospitian seemed to stay for a bit, looking around before disappearing in a flash of green. 

Wait, winged prospitian... flash of green... Jake rewound the stream a bit and squinted his eyes, he could faintly see two shaped white things on its head- Oh dear lord. 

It couldn't be... 

He needed to get to the base as soon as he could, or at least contact the others!


Dave felt elated, laughing up a storm as he, Karkat, Roxy and two guests appeared in the base. 

"John! Babe, you won't believe who just showed up!" He shouted throughout the base, putting down a certain dersite companion on the ground. 

Oh yeah baby, The Mayor was here! Along with PM, who sniffed around the base with her canine snout.

Karkat snorted as he let go of Roxy who had recovered from the use of her aspect, somewhat, she could still feel it in her veins but she was fine. She giggled at how excited Dave was, she'd heard plenty of 'The Mayor', and getting to personally and properly meet the infamous dersite was going to be fun, not to mention PM herself. Especially since it's been so long since she'd conversed with a carapacian.

"Dave? Roxy? Karkat?" 

Dave was instantly concerned when he heard the hoarse voice of his boyfriend, he whirled to look at him and was shocked to see how pale and sweaty John was. 

"John, what happened?"

John cringed and shook his head, seemingly clearing his thoughts and giving them a tired smile. 

"That's... a complicated story..." He noticed both carapacians and his smile grew brighter even though both were looking at him in concern was as well. "Oh hey! PM and the Mayor! How'd they get here?"


Chapter Text


Aranea bit the end of her nails as she watched, re-watched the newest video over for the nth time. 

Nothing changed of course, the video stayed the same no matter how much she started from the very start. She tried to figure out a lot of things, mostly about the heroes. 

She, Meulin and Rufioh were sure that Breath had very much died in front of them. But somehow he revived? How had that been possible? Could all the heroes do it? Were they essentially immortal? Could their deaths be permanent? What about those clock-like sounds they had heard? 

Nothing was making sense, not one thing. 

And now there were two more, people? 

She had no idea, the camera had been too far away and Aranea couldn't find a clearer shot of the two new mysterious figures that Blood, Void and Time. They had no idea on what to make of these two, just like the heroes, they were a mystery, a mystery Aranea was itching to find out. 

Then came another dilemma for her; Karkat. 

There was something going on with him, she could feel it, not to mention this enigmatic 'Jake' person Karkat was mostly likely speaking to- she wondered how they met. 

As much as she wanted to ask outright, knowing Karkat, he'd deny it vehemently and refuse to give away anything, so she had to rely on finding out herself. She didn't know why she was so suspicious of Karkat and 'Jake', Jake especially, but she trusted her instincts and her instincts were telling her to investigate

Something she was going to do. 

Aranea Serket was a stubborn girl, and she was determined to find out the truth. 

But at the cost that had to be paid, whether she and the others liked it or not. 


John could feel the blood pumping in his veins, at that thought he faintly thought that having Karkat with him right now would've been nice but it was just him. Just him, and the Condesce. 

He deflected a short psionic laserbeam as he focused back on the fight. The fuchsia empress was not playing, but thankfully John knew almost all of her moves; he'd fought against her before, granted he had help before but he knew her move set and he used that to his advantage. 

Unfortunately, as he had said before, it was just him and the Condesce. 

There was no support in his battle and all he had to rely on was his wit, skill, powers and his own tactics. Which were nice and all but a little help would be a great help! Then again, he didn't want anyone else in his place or to get hurt because of hi-DODGE. 

The Heir of Breath whirled around, dodging the golden trident,  twice as it whizzed past him and was pulled back- John wheezed in relief. This was a strenuous fight for obvious reasons and while John would have liked waking up from whatever the fuck this was, he wasn't too sure that he could wake up per say. 

Dirk had 'woken' up just fine, but maybe that was because he couldn't really remember? So what would that do to John who did remember? 

It was kind of stupid but he was paranoid, after everything that happened, why now of all times to dream this? Or whatever this was? 

It wasn't like his timeline-hopping power, that power was locked away, he'd checked. All he could do now was just regular wind-hopping and his windy things, no timeline hopping powers for him. He guessed it was just available in the actual game, though it would've been really handy in times like these. 

"Not bad, buoy. Good strifin' skrills there." 

The compliment was unexpected but John rolled with it, "Why thank you your majesty," He replied panting, this was another reason why he kind of doubted things, he felt tired, could a dream like this make you feel tired? This realistically worn out? "You're not bad yourself." Don't forget the banter Egbert, good for stalling time. 

The Condescension smiled sharply at him, the sight of those shark-like teeth were enough send a shiver down his spine. Talk about  sharp

"You're good blue buoy," She disappeared from his view, shit- "But not good enough." 

John suddenly felt hot, searing heat and pain from his back-

He was on the floor, a scream leaving his lips and a sharp pain coming from his back. John jolted back up, temporarily forgetting where he was as he had a random hammer in his grip, whirling around in slight panic as he panted. Sweat rolling down his forehead and down his face to his chin, it took a solid minute before John was back to a state of coherency. 

He wasn't on LOPAN or LOMAX fighting the Condesce; he was back in the base, fell out of bed and was in the air, wielding a hammer against no one. 

John took a shaky breath, floating back down on the bed, putting away his hammer, the Warhammer of Zillyhoo. 

He doesn't really calm down for the next few minutes but he hears Dave's voice, he stands up and follows the sound of his voice until he sees them, and two others. 

"Dave? Roxy? Karkat?" He asks hoarsely. 

And that was it.


Silence reigned the base as John finished, they were all in the base's infirmary. Or well, he, Dave, Roxy and Karkat were. 

PM and Mayor had decided to wander around, and at the behest of them, they insisted the two choose out some rooms for themselves, they had too many so they could spare a few rooms for the two carapacians. No doubt, one or two of those rooms would hold the Mayor's future Can Town structure, which they would whole-heartedly help in providing cans and assist the adorable dersite's delegation to the Town's creation. 

Again. 

But for now, the three had been listening to John and his bizarre unbelievably realistic dream. 

John leaned back against Dave and Roxy, all three crowded on the bed while Karkat sat on a nearby chair. 

"Fuck."

Surprisingly the expletive was not uttered first by Karkat nor Dave, but Roxy. The Rogue of Void's mind going a mile a minute, though she clearly wasn't the only one's mind accelerating in thought in trying to process and make sense of John's abstract state of unconsciousness. Trying to figure out its significance or if it was even real in the first place, not even John knew and he dreamt of it!

Questions littered their minds, did that mean dream bubbles were still a thing? Did the ghosts of doomed timelines still occupy the bubbles? Were they still connected to the encompassing void of paradox space that the Horrorterrors were living in? What were their role in this? 

If only Rose had been there with them, maybe she could have made some sort sense and make a sound theory. But even then, even if they could try to make her remember, she was safer not remembering, they were all safer that way. Maybe. 

"What about Dirk?" Dave suddenly asked aloud, shifting uncomfortably, "You got him out, thanks by the way babe, but does he remember the dream like you? Does he remember anything now?" If he did, that was... he didn't really know how to think. 

Roxy shook her head, "Probs not, if he did, he'd be pestering the hell out of the rest of us; he'd recognize the fact we're the heroes instantly." She pointed out, calming their thoughts slightly. She was right.

Had the others remembered, had Dirk remembered then he would've contacted them the instant he did, hop on train 'Fuck What' and ride with them to the next stop of 'What The Hell'. 

Karkat frowned, "If what you dreamt John was real then what the fuck does that mean for Ondine Peixes? She's the fucking Human Condesce! She acts a little bit like her, I don't know, but she's human and doesn't have a fucking clue on what's going on- believe me, I fucking checked." He shivered, it had been terrifying, figuring out if Ondine could remember being the Condesce or not. He laid down some triggering words, something that might give him a clue that she might know something and all of those came back negative. 

Then again, she could've been acting like she didn't know anything and that was an even more terrifying thought. But he trusted himself and his instincts and his instincts had nothing on her other than, 'Human Condesce Oh Fuck!'. 

John shrugged, a bit frustrated, "I don't know! I just dreamed of Fish Alien Ondine Condesce! How am I suppose to know? Besides, maybe it was just a variation of the Condesce? It was a bubble, memory, thing about the Game Over Timeline." He had no idea how dream bubbles worked, Feferi, Aradia, Rose and Jade were probably the ones who had most knowledge about them but at the moment they didn't even know what the hell a 'dream bubble' was! 

"Does anyone want a drink? I feel like we need a drink." Roxy groaned, tightening her grip on John as she and Dave huddled closer to him. Karkat hid his jealousy and internally beat down that jealousy as he looked away from the pale trio on the bed- the shameless lot, humans, honestly. The fact he himself was human, or human enough? Didn't sit that well for him, he just ignored it and trudged on.

"No thanks Roxy," Dave declined, though he was tempted. Another time maybe. John and Karkat declined as well, Roxy looked thoughtful before deciding to follow them and not drink even though she wanted to, very tempted to, but she promised to herself, to John and Dave and to Rose and her Mother that she'd get better and be sober more often.

A bright white and yellowish light caught their attention, for a second they tensed before they relaxed as they knew just who had appeared-Jake Harley blasted through the doorway, his Aspect enhancing his natural speed and fading as the green-eyed boy panted lightly. "Sorry I'm late chaps! Jade, Jade wouldn't leave my room." He sighed, then beaming at the sight of them, and Karkat. "Now, what'd I miss?" He asked semi-cheerfully, though they knew it was false, he was clearly worried and confused from the frazzled look he wore. 

Karkat couldn't help but stand up and drag him to a chair so he could sit down, grumbling slightly about how idiotic Jake looked with messed up hair- Jake flushed in embarrassment and his mind went back to a certain topic- no, that would be for later, there were a few more important things to address first than his own silly machinations that were probably not real anyway. 

It didn't take long for them to fill Jake in on things, the Page of Hope paling and reacting to John's 'dream' in the same way. And just like them, he had no idea on how to deal with it- they would have to think of something later as it seemed that the Mayor and PM were back from exploring and had chosen their rooms. 

The Mayor looked so happily excited to be there, already spouting plans for the new Can Town with fervor- which actually sparked an idea in Jake. 

He proposed the idea of making a can replica of the city, something like a map they could use if they needed to. A physical map they could use to plan out big events that might involve imps and whatever; his plan was widely approved and Jake grinned brightly at being able to contribute more to their base and their cause. Which was to protect the city and their families and friends of course.

Speaking of their base, it would have two new permanent residents within. With both the Mayor and PM carapacians, they didn't have anywhere else to go, of course the others didn't mind, it was nice that their base would be used even when all five of them weren't within it. PM and Mayor could even be base control, the people that worked in the backgrounds and provide backup when they could; PM was already a powerhouse with her Ring of Orbs Fourfold. 

Something that was dangerous in the wrong hands, even if it shouldn't work on humans and trolls, but then again that was in the game and it had no affect on the game's players. They had no idea on what it would do to a normal human or troll. 

After discussing it, they all agreed that PM would be their secret weapon, a last resort or a last defense. She took the ring off, reverting her form from a dog-like god-like figure and back into a regular Prospitian. Roxy appearified a golden chain necklace for the ring, PM would guard the ring and only use it for emergencies. 

It would take some time for PM to get used to being a regular Carapacian again, but she would manage. 


"You alright there Dirk?" 

Dirk jumped, whirling around before sighing tiredly, "Yeah, I'm- I'm good Bro." He said, turning back around to do the dishes, Bro frowning behind him as he observed his younger brother. "I'm just tired, weird ass dream is all." Dirk admitted after a moment, sending him a reassuring look. 

It didn't help one bit and Bro's frown deepened, "What was it about?" It must have certainly been 'weird' if it had his little brother look like shit, Dirk didn't even bother to try and hide how shitty he felt, look and was, triangular shades were left on his bedside table and there were bags under his eyes. His skin was paler than usual, his hair untamed and messy- it was an odd thing to see on his brother who usually liked to be pristine and cleaned up nicely just like him. 

It would've been a bit better on Dave but that was because Dave lacked the finesse of Bro and Dirk, an entire category of his own but that didn't mean he didn't work his looks just fine -wait why was he thinking about that? Nevermind, back to Dirk; 

The youngest Strider just shrugged, "Just, stuff. I don't even know, dreams are fucking weird." Understatement, dreams were one of the most bizarre things to ever exist, not one of the major ones, not usually but one of the minor ones that just made people go 'what the fuck' when they wake up from a particularly weird one. 

"So... a nightmare." Bro drawled, smirking when Dirk instantly seemed affronted from his blatant accusation, 'He wasn't a child!' He could practically hear from Dirk's mind. 

Dirk huffed, glaring at him with full annoyance, "No, it wasn't a nightmare asshole, it was just a weird and partially hallucination or whatever that happened when I went to sleep." He insisted. It was a weak excuse and explanation but they both pretended it wasn't, for Dirk's sake, and because Bro was feeling lenient and secretly glad Dirk wasn't just staring off into the distance anymore in that weird daze he'd found him in while doing the dishes. 

It wasn't like the trances that Dirk usually had when he had an idea when it came to robotics, it was... He didn't know how to describe it, but Bro didn't like it. Not one bit. 

For some reason it kind of struck some sort of nerve in him to see his little brother like that (The little brother that looked so much like him the small, unheard corner of his mind whispered) so he had to do something

Speaking of little brothers, he wondered where Dave was. 

Probably out hanging out with John as usual. 

Thick as thieves those two, well, as long as they were alright and Dave came home safe and sound that alright. He, Jack and Joe had done enough protective hounding for their kids, the paranoia had finally settled and it was safe for the little shits to roam around without an adult and he imagined the utter relief they felt for that. 

Still, somewhere deep inside, he wondered about something. 

Why did he feel the urge to open a certain box? 

f r e e m e d i r k 

Bro shrugged, it was nothing of significance. He went out of the kitchen and into his new bedroom, he needed to work on a few new jams- his playlist for his clubs were getting a bit too repetitive and predictable for his taste. 

. . .

In the kitchen, Dirk sneezed, scowling as he grumpily continued his chore. 

It wasn't even his turn he realized afterwards, dammit Dave!

It was his turn to do the dishes!


Karkat quietly sneaked back inside the house, he grumbled quietly to himself as he tried to process and review everything that had happened today.  

It certainly was an exciting day, better than being stuck for who knows how long lectured by Kankri-

Speaking of him...

"Ahem..." 

Karkat didn't bother holding back his expletive, regardless of the scolding sounds of his name across him. 

Great. 

Before him, standing and looking rather cross were both Kankri and Kelvin. 

His brother and father. 

His Ancestor and Dancestor. 

Basically two versions of a same person. 

Not that they knew about that of course. 

Kelvin looked more disappointed than Kankri, while Kankri looked more stern than Kelvin, "And where were you all day young man?" Kelvin finally asks after a moment of heavy silence. 

Karkat should've known his excuse with Sollux wouldn't hold, they would've found out one way or another, sooner or later and it looked like it wasn't the latter but rather the former for this situation. He couldn't help but just feel tired and exasperated, inwardly of course, outwardly he just gave them both his typical glare and barked out, "Out."

Probably not the best thing to say but he was tired and all he wanted to do, was either probably talk to Jake or just sleep the whole night with the help of sopor slime. 

Cue the lecture, typical how he tried to escape one lecture today and just end up stuck in one lecture by two Kankri's. 

Ah, the perks and cons of being a human and having a human family. 


 

In the safety (and loneliness) of his room, Jake Harley, formerly English, paced slightly on his green carpet. 

Many things were on his mind at the moment, one of which was a very recent development and discovery that had sent him into something of a tizzy;

He glanced at his Skulltop, the subject of his discovery was still open in one of the tabs of his sophisticated and hands-free computing device and he resisted the urge to re-read it, just to be sure. Again. But how many times had he reread the damned thing over the past hour ever since he came back from Skaia Base? 

He didn't know but he was fairly sure it was a lot. 

He had no idea what to think on the matter, hell, he didn't know how to deal with it! 

It seemed silly though, somewhat, it seemed so simplistic but he had mixed feelings about it all. He needed some advice or maybe a second opinion about it...

And he had just the person in mind.


golgothasTerror [GT] began pestering tipsyGnostalgic [TG]

GT: Roxy
GT: Roxy, i uh, am in need some advice from you please.

TG: wassup jakey

GT: You, dave and john are moirails right

TG: yyeee??/? :???

GT: What's it like? Being in a moirallegiance?

TG: uh
TG: y u askin harley

GT: Um, no reason?

TG: well to anser ur question, bein diamonds w/ davey n johnny is AMAZEBALLS.
TG: we hang out when we got time or when we like need emotonal support from each ither
TG: dave an john are gr8 moirails and they tell me than im a good 1 2 even tho i dont really think so

GT: No you're a great moirail roxy! I assure you, john and dave know their stuff when they say you're a good moirail to them.

TG: aww thx jake :]]]

GT: No problem roxy :B

TG: y u asking abot it anyway?

GT: It's nothing much, i just finished reading karkat's explanation on troll relationships. It's an interesting read, plus he wrote it in alternian so its good practice for me.

TG: hows that going 4 u btw

GT: Oh it's going splendid! Absolutely wonderful, karkat is an excellent teacher.
GT: Granted i'm better at reading rather than writing it seems.

TG: hmmmmm....

GT: 'Hmmmmm....'?

TG: yes, 'hmmmmmmmmmmnmmmm........'
TG: now go on

GT: Er, well, anyway. My alternian lessons are going well, karkat gave me the full explanation of troll relationships-er, quadrants i suppose- in alternian and i was just curious about moirallegiance after finishing it.

TG: ah makes sense
TG: anything else harley? >u>

GT: No

TG: that was awfully fast of a replu jakey, wus goin on bby >U>
TG: cmon jake, u can tell me. i am miss zipperpips, i can keep a secret

GT: Well....


Rose had to pause in her very important work as she heard a high-pitched squeal come from her beloved younger sister's room. 

Hesitantly, the lavender-eyed elder sister climbed out of her bed and padded over to her door, coming out of her room and headed towards Roxy's door. She raised a hand to knock on the door only to drop it and press her ear against it instead. 

Inside, she heard the muffled squeals and cheering from Roxy, catching a few words of, "Fuck yes!" and "I knew it!

Rose unpressed her ear and pursed her lips thoughtfully before sighing and shaking her head, it was probably Roxy being Roxy again, the last time something like this happened it was over nothing important, just Roxy finding out her favorite ship was 'canon' in a certain series. Which, was an understandable reaction given thought, even Rose celebrated when a certain pair was canonized so she couldn't really blame her. 

Though, with the volume of her sounds and shrieks, it must have been some pairing. She'll ask later, when Roxy was done hollering and screaming like some lunatic and after she was done with her very important work

Said work needed a few more paragraphs and words so she could fill in her quota for such a thing; ah, life as a writer was a strange and harrowing one.

'And with that in mind, Time found himself unprepared at the fact of the matter; the depth of his affection was unexpected. But he couldn't find it in himself to care, for he only had eyes on one person and one person alone...

Rose smiled as she typed. 

Strangely, it didn't really feel like typing fiction as she usually did, but as if recalling or retelling a story instead. 

That's because it is, honestly when D@v# found out himself, he just didn't care and focused on J0^#.

How strange indeed. 


"Oh my god there's fanfiction of us out there." 

"You cannot be serious." 

"I totally am, check this out-"

"Why the fuck is the most popular ship so far is me and Dave.

"You stay away from my man Vantas!"

"Keep him! It's fucking appalling!" 

"Ouch, right in the heart there Karkles." 

"Pfft, me and Jakey are more popular than you and Dave!" 

"That's soo unfaair! Dave's my boyfriend!" 

"Oh my, there's a lot of 'Bloody Hope' out there..."


Chapter Text


Karkat held back his sigh as he flushed the weeks-old blood down the toilet. 

It was a waste of blood but old blood wasn't as versatile as fresh blood, sure he could still use it but it kinda seemed unhygienic- plus it wasn't like he was short of fresh blood. Being a Blood Player and surrounded by living beings that had the life-liquid flowing through their veins, yeah, he doubt he would ever run out of blood he could use. 

The teen rubbed his wrists, clicking his tongue as he felt the scars on his skin. He was still brooding over the fact human skin could scar so easily, or at least, his skin could scar so undeniably easy. 

Sopor slime helped a little, it wasn't that much but he appreciated the little help. It was better than nothing he supposed, and even then, he tried not to use it too much, he had a finite supply of sopor, it was big, but most of it would be directed towards the healing coons at the Base- he should make two more tubes, for Mayor and PM- and at any rate, he grimaced as he stared at himself at the mirror. 

Scars littered his body, most of them self-made but others made in battle which led to him making more openings to access his own blood. 

It was a bloody, scarring cycle. 

Literally. 

He tried not to use his wrists or arms too much, it was too obvious but it was instinct to just cut the easily accessible veins on his hands he had to get fresh blood. Storing blood had been a good idea, but after weeks at a time, the blood would start to smell- his sylladex wasn't exactly equipped to keep things fresh for long. 

It would start to smell as it slowly rotted away, becoming a biohazard that Karkat did not want to really deal with. So, he had to flush away the old blood on a weekly basis, he'd think of a better way to dispose it in the future but for now, the toilet would do. 

He scowled as he started to feel that itch, his eyes watered on instinct and he hated it. He sighed before taking a small blade and cutting a fine line against his side, blood pouring out but not hitting the floor, instead, it just floated around his naked torso. 

The pros and cons of being a Blood Player. 

The Blood Spurts (as he was calling them, or BS -Blood Spurts ; Bull Shit-) varied, it was a somewhat stable thing now. But on days when Karkat felt too stressed or paranoid it got worse. The longest he could go without a BS was about a week, but then again after that week he had bled out a large amount after being pent up for so long. 

It hadn't gone out of hand, yet, but Karkat was starting to feel so tired about it. Plus, the threat and possibility of anyone other than the ones who knew, finding out he was cutting himself? Yeah, not good

He wouldn't be able to properly explain to them, and he knew just how they'd take it. 

They'd think he was depressed and suicidal. 

Not that he wasn't already depressed, he knew what his problems were so fuck off, but he wasn't.... exactly suicidal- he just didn't really care for his entire personal well being and life? Oh shut the fuck up, he wasn't the only one. 

The others had their own problems and they knew it, despite acting positive, they knew just what was wrong. What with PTSD, the old memory slash nightmares, the general depression of all five of them being on their own against whatever the game was still somehow throwing at them.

The added fact that death applied a different facet over them and they weren't all too keen on their own... uh... yeah, let's just say that they didn't really care for themselves but for the others, who made it clear they cared and they all relied on that. 

Karkat was no different than the others, aside from the initial isolation of being the only troll, ex-troll, to remember. As he said, many times before. But still, he was alright, he managed, they all did. There wasn't much of any other options besides managing and totally ignoring it just asked for trouble. 

They were doing just fine so far, so at least they had the trust of each other... though, Karkat would never really freely admit the fact he was slightly envious of John, Dave and Roxy, the moirallegiance they had going. They were human and even they had a better moirallegiance than he did! They actually had it period. And whatever troll that was left in him was stewing in jealousy, something he kept down, he was human now, moirallegiances were for trolls, something that... he wasn't anymore. 

He was fine. 

He and Jake could be moirail-less humans together. Or maybe actual be moira-- STOP. No. Just. 

No.

He didn't need a- he didn't need any other reassurance besides his own. Yeah. He was getting used to it.

Soon the BS was over and Karkat flung the blood into his sylladex, he contemplated getting some slime out before deciding against it, no need to waste slime over every cut he had, it was already healing anyway.

Sighing, Karkat turned to the shower and stepped in, ready to start the day without a lot of risks. 


Jake was probably wearing down his carpet with the amount of pacing he's taken to do on it, he was actually certain that there were actual indentions of his pacing pathway starting to appear on it. Well, at least he was getting a physical work out for all his mental dilemmas so that was a plus. 

After a long, long, partially embarrassing, partially shocking, conversation with Roxy about... certain... subjects... The Page of Hope was trying to deal with a few things. 

So apparently he had a crush on Karkat. 

But not the kind of crush he was familiar with, he had a pale crush on Karkat or so says Roxy and the book he'd read from Karkat about such things.

He-

He had no idea how to process that fact. 

Sure he was starting to get to know the chap just fine and was concerned whenever he had a problem or something didn't exactly mean that he had an alien-like crush on him, right? 

He just wanted to make sure he was fine, that he was taking care of himself and was concerned for his overall well being was all! Like any other normal friend! That... was not true and he knew it. 

It might seem to be that way but Jake felt like there was something more to it, he didn't want Karkat as a boyfriend and could clearly recognized it if he did, however this was different compared to those kind of feelings that he had felt before for... Dirk. 

No, this was something different and he knew that. It was why he opted to contact Roxy first of all, he would have asked Karkat since he was clearly the expert on such things but... yeah...

He couldn't exactly go to Karkat about... Karkat... 

Jake sighed, stopping his pacing and ended up sitting on his carpet instead, burying his head into his knees while trying to think properly on the situation. He was absolutely rubbish with feelings, the one relationship he had was complicated, his previous friendships were pretty rocky and he was sure most of it was his fault despite Roxy's saying that it wasn't but Jake was fairly confident it was. He was only glad that things were okay now between them, he still felt awkward between Jane and Dirk, especially Dirk. 

The green-eyed page sighed again, deeper this time into his knees. 

Why were feelings always so gosh-darned complicated?!

Ping

Jake quickly looked up from his knees as his computer loudly 'pinged', he got to his feet and off of his carpet to answer the message Pesterchum notified him, wondering who was pestering him right now. 

His heart lodged in his throat as he found out it was Dirk who messaged him. 

Oh dear. 


timeausTestified [TT] began pestering golgathasTerror [GT] 

TT: Hey Jake.
TT: You there man? 

GT: Why if it isn't dirk strider himself! 
GT: What can i be of use of you today my chum?

TT: Ha, hey man. 
TT: It's been a while hasn't it?
TT: We haven't exactly been talking to each other much, I guess we were both busy with something. 

GT: I suppose so, well i certainly didn't intend to avoid talking to you dirk it is as you said, we were both quite busy with something
GT: Actually i'm still slightly busy with something myself right now but i should be making some time to talk to you for it has been far too long since we last conversed with each other

TT: Really? What are you busy with? 
TT: If you don't mind me asking that is. 

GT: Er, i certainly do mind a little in all honesty
GT: It's something kind of personal and i am determined to do it myself
GT: That is if i can actually do it myself...
GT: But i am staying optimistic!

TT: Well, if you need help I'm here for you dude. 
TT: Me along with Jane and Roxy of course. 

GT: I know! I'm just... Really adamant on dealing with this busy personal thing by myself! 
GT: Anyway enough about me, what's been on your mind lately dirk?

TT: Not much. 
TT: Had a weird ass dream a few days ago, it's still sticking with me even now.

GT: Oh? Can you remember what it was about?

TT: Not really, it just feels so weird that it stuck. I tried remembering it but all I can remember from it was wearing something maroon and being chased by something pink.
TT: Something fuchsia, weirdly enough I needed to properly describe the shade of pink that was chasing me.
TT: And even then I was with something bright blue? I don't know why those specific colors, like I said, it was weird as fuck.

GT: Well it certainly sounds interesting! Maybe it's for the best you don't really remember the dream? It could have been a nightmare

TT: Maybe.
TT: I'm trying to put it behind me but it's kind of hard to when the colors just won't leave my mind.
TT: Especially the maroon thing, I mean, maroon is not my color. Sure I could totally work with maroon but orange is so much better. 

GT: I don't know dirk, maroon is quite the dashing color. Who knows it might just be an aspect of yourself you never knew of! :B

TT: A weird way to put it and say it but alright?

GT: At any rate, the dream was only just that; a dream. There could possibly be no significance whatsoever to those specific colors in general. Perhaps you have just been working too much on your personal robotics projects and what not? 

TT: Perhaps. Still, even if you say it's just a dream I have the tiniest doubt it is. 

GT: You mean, infinitesimally so? ;B

TT: Get one word wrong and they will never live it down. 
TT: Just the other day Roxy was reminding me that it in fact does not mean really big, I get it, even I make mistakes. 

GT: Hahaha! We're just japing you dirk you know that.

TT: Of course I do, I know all the japes. All of them.
TT: Though then again I'm not the prankster of the group, that solely goes to the Crockerberts. 
TT: Jane says hello by the way. 

GT: Oh you are pestering her right now?

TT: Sort of, she started pestering me after I started pestering her. 
TT: And now Roxy's pestering her and Jane is telling me that Roxy says hi. 
TT: The circle is almost complete if you started pestering Roxy. 

GT: As tempting as it were to complete that circle, I have already pestered roxy earlier and pestering her again after a short time would just be weird since we finished talking and have nothing much else to talk about.

TT: And here I thought I was the fun killer. 

GT: :P

TT: Anyway, we should really hang out again. The four of us on our own instead of having family fun time get togethers, as fun as they are, I miss hanging out with just us four. Plus, with me being so close, it'll be easier to hang out now. 

GT: I quite agree! We should definitely arrange a date to hang out together it'll be just swell!

TT: Then it's a date. 

GT: Right!
GT: Erm, but not a date date, a friendly hang out date-not-date with our best of friends. 

TT: Yes. Exactly. 
TT: You okay Jake?
TT: You've been acting a bit weird. 

GT: I am simply splendid! 
GT: And fine. 
GT: Splendid and fine. That is what I am. 
GT: Bluh, sorry dirk maybe i am being weird but right now i'm trying to solve that busy problem of mine.
GT: Actually i should go and do that, and before you can offer your help i have already told you i would like to resolve it on my own without any outside assistance please!

TT: Alright, good luck with solving your busy problem. 
TT: Later Jake. 

GT: Later dirk! :B

golgathasTerror [GT] ceased pestering timeausTestified [TT]


Dirk leaned back on his chair, sighing as the conversation he had with Jake ended. 

That was slightly weird, come to think of it Jake had been acting weird since the picnic. Actually, didn't he make a new friend that he hadn't heard about? Kar-something? He had honestly forgotten about that.

Ping

Oh yeah, Jane. 


GG: Dave has been hanging around John an awful lot lately. 

TT: Of course he has, they're best bros and apparently now that we live closer they can go off and do more shenanigans together and hang out more. 
TT: Which is something we should definitely follow.
TT: I asked Jake and he said that he'd love to hang out with us whenever.
TT: Did you ask Rox? 

GG: Why yes! :B
GG: And of course she agreed as well, provided that we arrange something in advance and that she's not busy with her projects. 
GG: She's taken quite a few projects underneath her belt, reminds me of a certain someone who tends to do that as well. :)

TT: I can practically feel your eyes looking at me.
TT: Good on for Roxy I suppose but I wonder on what she's working on. 

GG: In her words it's a;
GG: 'sercet ;))))0)'
GG: '*secret'
GG: 'wonk ;)'
GG: Complete with misspellings and such.

TT: Yep, definitely sounds like her.

GG: Hoo hoo hoo :B
GG: Any luck in finding that person who pestered you?

TT: Not one bit. 
TT: It's irritating, frustrating but admittedly very intriguing as well.
TT: Like I said before, I can't track anything of them from that weird ass account they used.
TT: It's as if the account never existed in the first place, whoever they were, they're really skilled in covering up their tracks.

GG: :/ 
GG: Perhaps we should ask Roxy to help then? 
GG: She should be able to help, what with her 'haxxor gurl cred' as she says.

TT: I know but I have a feeling that she won't be of any help either.
TT: Call it a hunch. 

GG: Mm, then what now??

TT: That's exactly the thing.
TT: I have no idea what to do now.


Today had been a regular day so far, they had decided to spend it together at Base Skaia where both dersite and prospitian carapacians Mayor and PM had made it into their permanent home. Mayor was already starting the reconstruction of Can Town much to Karkat, Dave and Roxy's delight. 

They were all in one of the rooms the Mayor had claimed as his own, it was large and a lot of the previous equipment inside the room had been cleared out to make room for Can Town. John, Jake and PM were watching on the sidelines as the four others began to build the can-made town, Roxy providing the cans with ease as well as chalk and other materials that the Mayor needed for the full reconstruction of Can Town. 

"I still have no idea on how you have this PM, didn't we burn this?" John asked as he fingered the Four-Orb's ring, it took them a while to realize the fact that PM had the ring back much to their embarrassment. All they had been focusing was the fact the Mayor and her had come through the portal and assisting them in making Base Skaia their home, letting them live comfortably on their base and providing what they could for the carapacian duo. 

The white-chitin carapacian shrugged, that's what she thought as well, her last memory was when she and the Mayor were over the volcano, throwing the rings into the burning lava and the great Bilious Slick rising from the burning hot liquid and flying towards Skaia. Next thing she knew, she was flying out of the rip of reality with the Mayor falling in front of her, thankfully the Knight of Time had caught him just in time. 

Jake sighed, propping his head on his palm as he stared at the golden ring as well, "I really haven't got the slightest clue on what's going on John, nothing is making much sense at all. First we 'wake up' with our memories, powers, sylladex and all our doodads but our friends don't remember a single thing of the game, second those, tears or whatever they are start popping up and spew out game enemies at us and eventually the Mayor and Miss PM- really now, I wonder on what's going to happen next." The Page complained, leaning back against the wall.  

"I fucking agree, what the shit is next on the complicated reality show that is our lives?" Karkat questioned as he came by, sitting down with them.

Jake beamed at him, "Karkat! How is the construction of Can Town?" He asked, glancing back to where Roxy and Dave were, they were stacking up cans and making towers for the Mayor while said carapacian was drawing roads using the chalk Roxy provided him. 

Karkat actually looked pleased with himself as he leaned back on his hands, "It's going well, we finished the main district and Serenity hall." The ex-troll motioned to the big building in the middle of the un-finished town, a large dictionary was being used as a roof among the stack of cans that made 'Serenity hall' and had a flashlight between the pages and helped keep the open dictionary on structure of cans. "Mayor's making more streets and after that we'll make more official buildings in Can town." 

The emerald-eyed boy couldn't help but silently sigh as he listened to Karkat talk animatedly about Can Town, honestly it was adorable. Which made him pause at the thought and inwardly cursed himself for thinking that. Dammit, this pale crush thing was really bothersome for the young teen! 

"Well I'm glad that Can Town is doing so well." 

"Oh my god there's fanfiction of us out there." 

Both Heroes paused when John suddenly blurted that out, the Heir of Breath had been randomly browsing the internet after giving the ring back to PM, and out of boredom he looked up on him and his friends- more specifically their hero personas. 

Of course, this caught this caught the attention of Roxy and Dave as both Jake and Karkat gaped at the buck-toothed hero. "You cannot be serious." Karkat says once he snaps out of his shock. 

John shook his head, looking just as surprised and shocked as they were, "I totally am, check this out-" He switches to his Cosby-Headtop, showing the holographic image of his searches. 

He was at some fanfiction website, AO4 or something, what caught their attention however was the amount of works that involved 'Aspects'. 

No one knew who suggested calling John and the others 'Aspects' on the internet but apparently it stuck and now they were known as the Heroes of Aspects- who the hell suggested that?! Was it a coincidence? Did someone know who they were? About their powers? Their classpect? No, they couldn't, could they? 

At any rate though, in the website there were already hundreds of fanfiction works about them. 

"Holy shit." Dave muttered as John scrolled through the first page. "That's a lot of stuff about us." 

They each got on their own computers, going to the website that John had found out about. 

Out of curiosity, Karkat clicked on the 'Relationships' tag and gaped at the most frequent used relationship pairing, "Why the fuck is the most popular ship so far is me and Dave." He shrilled, making the others check as well. 

Dave laughed, though it was in a tone of disbelief and behind his shades was an incredulous look. "Dude, me and John are at the very bottom when it comes to the Time pairing." Which was very ironic since he and John were in fact dating. 

"You stay away from my man Vantas!" John said, half-joking though he privately sulked at the fact he and Dave were the least popular pairing. 

"Keep him! It's fucking appalling!" Karkat snapped back, looking a bit horrified at the thought of him and Dave getting together. They had tried before and it did not work. There was a reason why they decided to stay friends after all. 

"Ouch, right in the heart there Karkles." 

Roxy snickered as she looked at the pairings, "Pfft, me and Jakey are more popular than you and Dave!" She said, it was true. For Time's pairing, Blood was at the top, Void was the second, Hope was the third and Breath was the very last. "And hey, in Breath's pairing I'm the most popular, ain't that great Johnny?" The pink-eyed girl asked with a mock-flirty tone. 

"That's soo unfaair! Dave's my boyfriend!" John complained with a pout, he pouted more at Roxy and Dave's laughter. 

Jake gulped adjusting his collar as he stared at his own pairings, "Oh my, there's a lot of 'Bloody Hope' out there..." He mumbled, 'Bloody Hope' was him and Karkat obviously, though it was the second most popular pairing to Hope, the first actually being Time. 

In the sidelines, Mayor and PM shared a confused look as the five got worked over something called 'fanfiction'. Both shrugged and just continued on with their business.

"Damn Dave, you're the most popular hero!" 

"Damn right I am, I'm the fucking Knight of Time. Not that they really know anyway, they just know I'm Time and everybody likes Time-hey!" It was Dave's turn to pout as John cuffed him upside the head, "Aw c'mon babe, you're just as awesome as me." John just huffed and turned away from the blonde. 

Roxy and Karkat had started to read a piece of fanfiction, "Hey this isn't that bad." Roxy hummed as she read the story that paired her with John. Though the author had renamed them as 'Brian' and 'Susan' as their civilian names since they didn't know their real names, a lot of the fanfictions renamed them actually but that was a given really. "I'll keep an eye on this one, it's not so bad." The blonde said as she got to the last update, it wasn't that long yet, only about 3 chapters but the author was doing alright. Even if the whole premise of how they got their powers was wrong, there was no 'magic cyrstals' involved in them getting their powers but still, eight out of ten for the effort.

"Are we really that fucking popular to get this many fanfiction works about us?" Karkat asked as he scrolled through the amount of stories about them, most just started but some having a fair amount of chapters in them already, he even spotted a story that had more than ten chapters! Though it looked a bit sketchy, Karkat would read it later though as curiosity got the better of him. 

"It certainly looks like it." Jake answered, reading one about himself and Karkat, thankfully it was a friendship fic and nothing else, it even made him smile as he read through it. When he finished it he wondered about it, he couldn't help it, he definitely cared for Karkat...

A sense of determination entered him as he reread the fanfic of him and Karkat. 

Today he would...


"Karkat? I'd like to speak with you about something." 

"Huh?"


"Why are we doing this again?" Feferi asked as she sat on the weird pile that Karkat had in his closet for some odd reason. "I feel like we're intruding on Karcrab's privacy..." 

Eridan huffed, crossing his arms as he was on Karkat's strangely bare bed, "That's because wwe are, Sol's evven on his computer!" He pointed out, pointing to Sollux who was indeed on Karkat's computer. "Wwe are totally invadin' his privvacy!" 

"Both of you thhut up, KK'th been acting tho weird for the latht lately and I'm going to find out why!" 

Aradia sighed as she kept watch from the door, "Will you hurry up then? We have no idea when he'll come back! Though Kankri did say he'd tell us." It felt wrong to do this but their friend had been acting very strange lately. She had no idea how Sollux convinced her to do this. 

"What the fuck ith thith." 

The three perked, peering at the heterochromic who was staring at the computer screen incredulously. "What did you find Shoallux?" 

Sollux glanced back at them then back at the screen with squinted suspicious eyes, "A weird file, it doesn't look like a virus but it's in a language I've never seen before. AA, do you know it?" He asked, waving her over to the computer. Aradia frowned but went closer, squinting at the screen. 

"Um. Not really? But... doesn't it seem kind of familiar?" She asked, tilting her head as she tried to remember where she'd seen it before. 

You have! It's our original language.

Sollux did the same, wracking his brain on why it seemed so familiar even though he was sure he had never seen it before. 

Idiotth, we're all idiotth here.

Feferi hummed, getting the feeling of deja vu as well but it seemed to be escaping her every time she tried to remember why it felt familiar. 

Now now Shoallux, please don't call us idiots.

Eridan glanced at the screen once- I can't believve I'm agreein' with Sol on this but yea, wwe're all idiots, gogdammit WWAKE UP MEbefore glancing down to his phone and panicked, "Kar's comin' up! Kankri pestered me, Kar's come back!" 

All four of them panicked briefly, "Sol, hurry up!" Eridan hissed at him, the computer geek gritting his teeth as he typed away at the computer. 

"Thhut up I'm going ath fatht ath I can!" 

A few minutes later, the door opened.


 

Chapter Text


A few minutes later, the door opened. 

A few minutes earlier, a slightly dazed Karkat came through the front door. The ex-troll was somewhat out of his mind for the moment as he went inside his house. Not even the concerned question of human Kankri could snap him out of his dazedness, he was completely uncaring of the outside world and all he wanted to do for the moment is get to his pile and curl up in a tight ball. 

Jake had confessed to him. 

Jake had confessed to him. 

Jake had confessed to him. 

There were many more stressed words he could put down to this one statement but the truth still stood; 

Jake had confessed to him.

He was pale! They were pale! He had a moirail again!

The whole premise had him quite shocked and unable to properly process the whole situation. In fact, he almost couldn't really remember what happened afterwards, though fortunately -or unfortunately on how you looked at it- he did. 


"Karkat? I'd like to speak with you about something." 

"Huh?"

Karkat said, confused as to what Jake could possibly want to talk to him in person about. 

They were all about to leave the base, John and Dave had gone home first, going together as always since they pretty much lived together -even though they lived different houses but Dave's new house was right across John's so it counted to them- Roxy was going later on, wanting to check on their machinery. She and Jake were pretty much the main mechanics within their small group since they didn't have anyone else with actual technological and mechanical experiences, Karkat and the others would assist when they could but it was up to the two of them to keep maintenance on their machines. 

The alchemiter that they appearified did actually need maintenance, thankfully small things that Roxy and Jake could easily handle and the healing coons within their frequently updated, refurnished and modified infirmary was handled by Roxy and Karkat since they knew the machines well enough, plus they still had to deal with the filters and all that. 

Roxy was definitely head mechanic, just an added skill to her almost unmatched repertoire even though her she was better at programming than robotics. She had her thumbs in so many pies, John and Dave were a bit worried that she would burn out but she always reassured them that she was going to be fine, plus she knew that they would be there to help her whenever she needed it. 

The ex-troll looked at the Hope Player with a squinted and confused look, "Well? What the fuck do you want to talk about?" He asked bluntly as he and Jake were left alone in the Can Town room, PM had taken the Mayor with her to somewhere else at the request of Jake from earlier on. 

Being alone with Jake made Karkat a bit anxious but he shoved aside that unreasonable feeling of nervousness, until Jake smiled that is.

Jake smiled, bucktoothed, silly and nervous himself, suddenly Karkat was wary as to what Jake wanted to ask or discuss. "You see, Karkat, what I wanted to talk to you about is... er..." The Page of Hope grinned a bit sheepishly, awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck in habit while some color crept up his neck a bit, "So uh, remember that file you sent me old chap? The one with all the romance stuff and uh, all that jazz?" He questioned rhetorically. 

Karkat tensed at the mention of romance, he had swore himself off to romance -pale, red, grey or black- shortly after he realized that there was no chance in hell he could have it in the state they were all in. "... Yeah..." Unintentionally, he's a bit hostile on the matter. 

The green-eyed teen frowned at it, a bit put out but nonetheless he continues on. "I couldn't um, help but pay attention to a particular type of uh, troll romance in the very helpful file describing it- thank you by the way, my curiosity about troll romance has been sated." He says, briefly thanking him before continuing on, nervously twiddling his fingers. "To be more specific, the type of romance I am, mentioning right now is... the... pale-pinkish one? The diamond one." Karkat's stomach becomes unsettled, and he tenses up a bit more on it.

"... And...?" Where was Jake going with this? And why exactly? ... Oh. 

Oh no. 

This was-

Was this going into a territory that Karkat had imagined but never dared to think seriously into?! The Knight of Blood straightened, untensing and tensing as he paid full attention to Jake Harley. 

"Aand." Jake elongated, taking a deep breath. "It has come to my- ah- well, attention." Shit. "That, there has been something from you pertaining to me." SHIT. "And uh, I would like to say, that there is, something pertaining from you to me?" SH- Hold on what. 

"The fuck are you on about Jake." Karkat snapped, bloodpusher hammering slightly in his human thorax and he could feel the cherry-grub-damned-colored sludge in his veins boiling slightly -it was easy to say that he went back into his troll vernacular and slang when his emotions were particularly strong, that as well as his blood powers would go slightly crazy because of his emotional state but that was the same for everyone since powers reacted strongly to emotion- "Get the fuck on with it." 

Jake coughed, nodding and holding in his breath for a moment, the anxious feeling was slowly growing but he was determined to continue on even as he felt his Hope powers tingling slightly underneath his control. He wanted to make sure that this was going to go on without any misconceptions or misunderstanding like the... last two times he had been, involved with romance; particularly Jane and Dirk, who he hoped would not remember anything about how he had entirely fucked up in the terms of romance between them- with him misunderstanding Jane's dilemma and his... misconceptions with Dirk in their own relationship that Jake hoped to avoid in this new reality by not adding kindling to that metaphorical blaze that they had in the past, not that this version of Dirk and Jane knew but... yeah. 

At any rate, he wanted to make things between he and Karkat smooth and completely understandable by both sides. Roxy had been a great help, very great help, putting down hints that he had taken to once more even though she had done so before with him and Jane in an attempt to get them together, which backfired not by her faults but by his own and Jane's. This time though, Jake could say that Roxy would be successful in this attempt to pair two of her friends together. 

In a different but similar way. 

"What I'm trying to say is, Karkat!" He started, blurting out what was on his mind now that he was at the peak of the conversation. An unfortunate habit he had developed and had backfired on him plenty of times but he couldn't really help it, hopefully it wouldn't backfire this time, a lot of hope was going on here for the Page of Hope. "Would you terribly mind if I asked you more pertaining on the subject of moirallegiance!? Er, more specifically, a moirallegiance between the two of us! If you don't, mind, that is..." He said, losing steam in the end and flushing red but glad to have it all out now. 

He looked at Karkat intensely, faltering slightly as they shared a tense moment of solid silence. 

"Karkat?" 

BLARGH

"Karkat! Oh gosh are you okay?!" The Page of Hope fretted and fussed as the Knight of Blood coughed up the life liquid in his body in the most comical way that Karkat would later lament and hate but right now, he was too busy unable to process the whole situation. 

From behind the corner Roxy grinned, giggling quietly to herself in victory before fading out of existence, heading home with the intent of reading and or writing some fanfictions about her crew. Why not join the insanity of the internet? It was certainly entertaining enough.


"Get the fuck out of my room." Karkat said the instant he saw his friends -human friends, human friends not trolls, their bodies were pink skin not chitinous grey- he would wonder why the fuck they were in his room after getting unto his pile-- which Feferi was sitting on. He held back the urge to snarl, that was his pile, his and soon enough Jake's pile, he wanted to lash out but she didn't know troll customs, didn't know the taboo of sitting on a reserved pile, she was only human

-Theyallwere.-

Eridan smiled awkwardly at him from the bed as Sollux lounged on Karkat's chair, away from the computer and in the middle of the room, Aradia was just awkwardly standing beside him. "Heey, Kar." The violet-eyed teen greeted, waving from the bed. 

Karkat repeated his words, "Get the fuck out of my room." He had no time for their bullshit. 

Sollux frowned, "Uh, you alright there KK?" He asked, sitting up from his attempted casual and totally not-suspicious at all lounging to look at his best friend. Though Karkat was cursing, he seemed tired, even more so than usual. He and the others had noticed and known about Karkat's erratic sleeping schedule and were concerned but the teen kept telling them he was fine and he didn't need any help, rebuffing even his brother's and father's concerns and refusing to go to a hospital. 

Though lately it seemed that he was sleeping a bit better for whatever reason but at least he was sleeping better so that was good. 

"I am perfectly fine, I just don't want to deal with whatever bullshit this is so get the fuck out of my room." Karkat said with less rage in his voice he had intended to. He was tired. "Just, get out all four of you." He said, sighing as he pinched his eyes together. 

Aradia and Feferi shared a concerned look before looking back to Karkat, "Are you shore Karcrab? You know you could alwaves talk to us if some-fin's bothering you." Fefer said, thankfully getting up and off of Karkat's beloved pile- though he knew he would be rearranging the whole thing, which is a good thing actually since he was planning to rebuild his pile with the help of Jake, at some point. 

The Aries-signed human nodded in agreement, "Yeah, if there's anything bothering you we can help maybe?" She suggested, smiling in reassurance. 

Karkat scrunched his face and shook his head, "It's nothing, I'm just really fucking tired right now. So all I ask, demand really, is for you shits to leave me alone and leave my room." He told them bluntly. 

"But Kar!" Eridan protested, backing down at Feferi's look, maybe they should leave him alone for a bit. He clearly just wanted to take a nap or something. Aradia gave Sollux the same look but the programmer ignored it, scowling as he stood up. 

"KK, come on. I'm-we're your betht friendth, if there'th thomething bothering you, thpit it out inthtead of keeping it in." Sollux said, stubbornly crossing his arms and narrowing his heterochromic eyes at him from his red and blue-tinted glasses. It had been a while since he and Karkat had properly talked, since the tired teen before him had talked to anybody like he used to, all aggravated but familiar- and even then, in the past month he felt... different. 

Like there was something going on behind him, something that Sollux wanted-needed to find out. 

There was something wrong about Karkat, and they couldn't figure out what. 

Karkat scowled back at him, but said with an even tone that had all four humans chilled. "Get the fuck out of my room Captor." 

BANG

That as how they found themselves out of Karkat's room, the Cancer-signed teen slamming the door shut, and even that was different from the usual angry, emotional or passionate slams of before. There was no laughter as a fuming Karkat was behind the door with Sollux and a few others laughing. Only a tired Karkat who fell unto his pile with a tired sigh of relief and a fuming, hurt Sollux that was being lead down the hall and stairs into the living room by the others. 

Captor. 

Again with his last name, he doesn't usually use Sollux's last name if ever, and even then not like that

Aradia frowned as she made Sollux sit down on the couch, "Are you okay Sollux?" 

The Gemini-signed human stayed silent before shaking his head and letting out a small, "No." 

Eridan and Feferi shared a look but stayed silent as the four teenagers wondered what was wrong with their dear friend upstairs. 

There was something going on with Karkat. 

And they were going to find out what. 

Oh pleathe fucking do tho I can give KK a piethe of my mind for doing thith thhit.

Patience, K4RK@& and the others are just trying to protect us.

But they really should let us kelp. They can't do this all alone by themshellves! 

Wwell, looks like they're going to try anywway. Bunch of morons.


` "We can't keep going on like this." John said, arms cross as he paced along the air as if still walking on the ground while his fellow heroes listened with rightfully anxious ears. "These imps are appearing more and more! We'll need some help eventually, and I'm starting to think that that eventually is coming really soon." 

Renee gasped as she and the others instantly got what John was implying, "But John! You're not saying..." She trailed off, sharing a look of unease and hesitation with Elliot, Julian and Alex. Take in another person in their group? Risk letting one of the stone of Aspects choose? It had been fate for them when they had found the stones in the cavern that was now their base- which had taken months to build and make it hospitable for the five of them alone. Plus, they had built something together, more than just their base, they had built trust. 

If they added a new person to their group, what would happen to that trust? And would the stones really accept anyone else? There were other unused stones but they seemed inactive. Unknown to the popular, there were five more stones, each inactive and safely hidden in their cavern base.

Elliot continued for her, frowning as he looked at their leader thoughtfully, "Alright, alright, say we do need some help, who the fuck is going to be that help huh? How is this going to work oh fearless leader?" He asked, a bit aggravated. It was no secret that there was some underlying tension between he and John, Elliot had always felt like he could be the leader but John had taken that mantle early on and was proving to be a great one, something that Elliot was struggling with a bit. They were still friends but Elliot's pride was something he was still working on, especially since he was the Captain of the Football team and John was some nerd from the Physics club, not even the club leader! 

John frowned back at him, "It's simple, we each get a stone and see if it'll react to anyone in our school. See the potential, scope it out." He said confidently, he had been thinking about this for some time now. 

Alex shook his head, "Too risky, what if we lose the stones? They might fall into the wrong hands, we can't have that." He pointed out, always the paranoid person in their group despite owning the stone of Hope. The emo still couldn't really figure out why the stone chose him of all people, he figured Julian would be more suited for Hope but apparently the glowing power rock didn't think so. 

"Well I think it's a wonderful idea, I'm with John on this!" Julian said cheerily, the ray of sunshine that he was, it was a wonder why the stone of Blood chose him. Well, somewhat, they were beginning to think there was more than meets the eye with their happy-go-lucky hero, but that would be explored more later on. "Oh! Oh! What if we just use one stone per day or a few days? Take turns on seeing who has potential and who doesn't, see if they're good or not!" He suggested excitedly. 

They thought about it and nodded, it was a good plan. They needed help, the imps were appearing even more frequently than usual and they all couldn't be there, and as powerful as they were, it was always a gamble as to what happens during the fight. The Mall incident weighed heavily in their minds with how both Renee and Elliot were hurt, it was lucky that being around all ten stones enhanced their already wicked healing factors. 

"Okay, fine. But which stone are we going to use?" Renee asked, looking over to the five grey spheres that were on a chest that Renee had conjured from the Void somehow. Secretly, the heroine wished for another girl to join their group, it was tough being the only strong woman on the team, too much testosterone in her honest opinion. 

Her question was answered by the stones themselves, one of them started to glow faintly much to their surprise and instinctively, they knew which stone that was. 

It was the stone with a flower-like shape within its sphere, it began to tint green as it glowed softly within the chest. 

Nature. 

"Well, looks like we're getting a gardener on our team." Elliot deadpanned as they stared at the stone. 

Elsewhere, a red-eyed teen sneezed, cursing slightly because of it as they dropped their cigarette. 

The Aspect heroes were in for a surprise when it came to their new teammate. `

"I've gotta admit, some of these things are well written." John said, leaning against Roxy as they hung out in her room. John had decided to spend some quality time with her in her room within the Skaia Base. Dave was goofing off with the Mayor in the meanwhile. The Heir of Breath snorted as he read the author's note at the end. "Can't believe they got my name right, most of the fandom has! And why is that? 'Because I dress like a John' someone said." He said somewhat sarcastically, pouting as he and Roxy lounged on the giant appearified bed Roxy had gotten for her personal room. 

"Dress like a John, how the hell does that make sense?!" John huffed, finishing the fanfiction he had been reading. That's been a frequent thing lately, reading what others have written about him and his friends. The one he had just finished was particularly entertaining, the author was one of the ones who had a 'headcanon' about their names. It was kind of funny that most of the internet's headcanon for his name was 'John', they were unknowingly hitting the name bullseye for him. 

Anyway, the story was how they, John Anderson -John cracked up at the name-, Elliot Moore, Renee Rosewood, Julian Vice, and Alex Walters became heroes, or rather the author's thoughts on how they became heroes. Of course things diverge once the author gets to 'adding other heroes' into the plot, plus Nature wasn't an Aspect, not to them. 

Still, it was really entertaining with how the author put had thought that Karkat, aka 'Blood' was an energetic latino, Dave being a Jock, him being a nerd -though Dave would have agreed on it, only he wasn't a physics nerd at all-, Renee being a preppy cheer leader -Roxy liked her, Renee was a good alternative name for her, and Alexander being an emo, which was ironic since Jake was not an emo whatsoever. 

The author like contradictions it seems. That, and they shipped Bloody Hope, which was a main goal pairing for them- along with Ticking Abyss, involving Roxy and Dave- or rather Elliot and Renee. 

Leaving poor lil' old John to his lonesome. 

Roxy snickered, nudging John as she read her own chosen fanfiction, the one involved with 'Brian, Susan, Julian, Rick (Jake) and Emmet (Dave)' And in a similar but different fashion of the story that John was reading. Only involving magic crystals and more fantasy elements rather than heroic ones. 

They were really getting popular. 

"Hey, you totally dress like a John, cuz' you are a John." Roxy replied with a grin, hugging the pouting Breath player. "Awe c'mon Johnny." She said, poking his cheek with a pout of her own. "Let the internet dudes have their fun, most of their stories are nice to read!" 

John snorted, opening another tab to another story, "Yeah, most of them." And like all fandoms, there were some cringey stories to read. Ones that John would not name or read, not now at any rate. 

Roxy snickered once more as she remembered a hilariously cringey fic she had read back home, it had been badly written and Roxy didn't know if it was on purpose or not but she couldn't help bookmarking the hilarious read for later on if she ever needed a quick laugh. 

"I still think it's unfair that Dave and I are like the most liked ship here, we're the actual boyfriends here!" John whined, leaning away from Roxy to lay on the plush bed, "So unfaaaaaaaair." He continued to whine, it was probably petty to whine about such matters but for some reason him and Dave being the least liked ship made him slightly angry, it didn't matter that it wasn't real- that it was a shipping thing but it was just no fair for the Heir! 

"Oh totally babe, I think it's so fucking unfair that you and I aren't the top couple. I mean come on, Dave Strider and John Egbert, two hottest heroes in the universe." Dave said, walking into the room with a casual grin, he jumped on the bed, causing both Roxy and John to bob a bit from the action. "Sup babes." 

John smiled, rolling his eyes at Dave's antics, "Hey Dave." He greeted, kissing his boyfriend as the blond scooted closer to him. Happily crawling over to lay on Dave's lap afterwards. 

"Heey Dave." Roxy greeted as well, leaning over to kiss the blond's cheek in the pale way that they were. "And I resent that, I am clearly the hottest hero in the universe. In all of paradox space even." Roxy bantered as she grinned at Dave in challenge. A challenge that Dave gladly accepted and the two blonds spent the next hour bantering against each other and flaunting their 'hotness' in the most exaggerated ways they could. 

John ended up being the judge, a lousy judge since all he did end up doing was laugh his ass off as their ridiculous actions escalated as they kept going. 

It was a nice thing to enjoy between the pale trio. 

One of many more to come.


Dammek scowled as he tried to make sense over everything that's happened so far. 

They still hadn't found any information to the strange troll that Dammek had shot months prior at the human mall. Absolutely nothing, fucking nothing at all. And that was grating, luckily he wasn't the only one annoyed by it, all three troll leaders were quite aggravated by that. They had put a lot of effort in looking for the supposed rustblood, even going as far as to contact the other trolls that were situated around them but they confirmed that no rustblood of their group was nearby whatsoever to Dammek's location. 

It was frustrating. 

He dearly wish he was with Xefros at the moment so he could feel better but work came first for the moment, he had some paperwork to deal with, afterwards however he was going to spend some quality time with his moirail. It had been a while and he really needed a break. 

The brownblooded leader typed into his husktop, reading through the files that had been sent to him and cross referencing them with the paperwork that Zebede had printed out for him. Just a few more and he could finally leave the block and relax, he fucking deserved it. 

Ping

Dammek blinked incredulously as his husktop pinged, bringing his attention to the source of the sound. 

Ah, it was Trollian. 

Curiously he opened the chat client, only to nearly fall of his chair in surprise, it was a private memo with Her Benevolence! 

It wasn't really a secret that Her Benevolence quite enjoyed chatting with her subjects through Trollian, almost every troll knew her trollhandle and she had confirmed it a long time ago that it was truly her so Dammek knew that this was a the real deal and was instantly opening the memo. 

herBenevolence [HB] has opened PRIVATE memo Important 

herBenevolence [HB] has invited stagPioneer [SP] to the memo
herBenevolence [HB] has invited citationNeeded [CN] to the memo
herBenevolence [HB] has invited tacticalSenpai [TS] to the memo

SP: =O Greetings Your Benevolence O=

CN: It is a pleasure to hear from you Your Benevolence.

TS: Sa/utations Your Benevo/ence

HB: )(ello my subjects, my apologies for interrupting w)(aterever activity you may )(ave been doing pier to anchoring t)(is

TS: It is nothing you majesty we are at your service.

CN: There is no need to apologize I am quite sure that we were doing nothing of much significance Your Benevolence. 

SP: =O Indeed, really there is nothing to apologize for O=

HB: I sea, t)(at is a reelief t)(en
HB: Now I'm s)(ore you're all wondering w)(y I am contacting you now wit)(in t)(is private memo correct? 

SP: =O It does come to mind your majesty O= 

TS: Does this happen to invo/ve the status of our research and reconnaissance? 

HB: Somew)(at 
HB: I congratulate you t)(ree for finding t)(e )(umans w)(o bear t)(e signs, or at least most of t)(em 
HB: Please continue your )(ard work

CN: It is an honor to do as you ask, we shall continue to be vigilant.

HB: 38) 
HB: Anywave, I )(ave a new order for you t)(ree if you don't mind
HB: T)(e )(uman )(eroes, the 'Aspects' 
HB: I would like you to come in contact wit)( t)(em
HB: I've become quite curious about t)(em and if our suspicion is correct then t)(ey are linked to t)(e mysterious troll t)(at Tetrarc)( Dammek )( spotted

SP: =O Pardon? O= 


Ondine sighed, tiredly making her way to her bedroom after checked both on Meenah and Feferi. Both her girls seemed to be sleeping, which was good since they should be sleeping at this very late hour. It was past midnight, or at least it was when she had checked the clock, she couldn't really remember when she had done that though... 

Damn she was tired. With another yawn, she entered her bedroom, stripping out of her work clothes and into something more comfortable so she could finally get some shut eye. 

Examining the weird artifacts that the heroes regularly collected with each fight was strange. Nothing could confirm what they were aside from supposedly priceless gems and items, only they weren't- it was all too confusing and complicated to think about for the moment and she really needed to sleep. 

She was exhausted. 

Ondine Peixes yawned for one last time before switching off her lamp and settling into her bed, long hair strewn behind her as she drifted off into sleep.

... 

Only to find herself on a strange planet with two moons, one green and one pink. 


"Karkat, who is this and what the fuck happened."

Karkat and Jake jolted at the stern and slightly dark voice of Kelvin as both the adult and Kankri stood at the doorway of the kitchen, taking in the scene before them. 

Karkat's nose was bleeding slightly, there were tears running down his eyes and there was a small bruise on Karkat's cheek. Jake had his handkerchief in hand that had some blood on it as the teen had been in the middle of wiping Karkat's nose while the other was cupping Karkat's uninjured cheek. He had been leaning in to bump their heads gently together but in Kelvin and Kankri's view they had seen him 'kissing' Karkat and saying that everything was going to be alright. Both teens were intimately close in the eyes of both elder Vantas's.

Jake chuckled nervously as Karkat stared at his father and brother with wide teary eyes, the urge to vomit his nervousness was strong as he croaked out. 

"I can explain." 

He better because this was not looking good for the Page of Hope and Knight of Blood.


 

Chapter Text


Ondine had no idea where the fuck she was.

She had been going to sleep, only to find herself on a weird beach, looking up to a sky that held two different colored moons. One bubblegum pink and the other a bright green.

What the fuck.”

She looked around, the beach was empty, behind her was a forest that lead to who knows where. Soon though, she was shivering as the realistic feeling of the sea breeze chilled her. She was in her night gown after all. “ Shit...” She had no idea where she was and yet…

It felt so familiar.

Where the fuck am I.”

Hah, you really don’t remember?”

Ondine whirled around, a look of caution on her face as she practically shoved and flipped her hair over her shoulder. “ Who’s there?” Her cautious face fell as she abruptly found herself facing…

Herself?

There was another version of herself standing before her, wearing a skin-tight suit of black and fuchsia, the familiar family symbol plastered stylishly on her chest. She wore more golden jewelry than she had ever thought possible, she even had a golden crown on her forehead! And a golden double-sided trident!

She looked like Ondine, but she was a bit taller, and her hair was longer if that was possible. She looked, like a goddamn Queen.

As much as Ondine had considered herself as such, she never really thought of seeing herself like this. It was… She didn’t know how to describe it. It looked so familiar to her and yet so strange.

What the fuck, is this going to be one of those, alternate versions of myself kind of dreams?” Ondine deadpanned though it was mostly to hide the fact she was secretly very confused as to why she was dreaming this, heck, how the hell did she know it was dream in the first place?

Other Ondine smirked at her and shrugged, “’Dunno, is it?” She responded with a casual flick of her hands, looking down to her perfectly manicured pink nails.

Ondine sighed, looking around the beach. “ What is this place, my subconscious? I mean, I know I’m a fucking marine biologist and I love the sea and shit but I didn’t think my subconscious would have two moons… though it is pretty.” She admitted, looking up to the moons of what she thought was her subconscious.

If you reelly can’t remember then you’re just a bad version of myshellf.” Other Ondine drawled, her smirk turning into a condescending sneer as she began to walk around Ondine, no, it was more of a predatory circling . “Can’t bereef, that those brats managed ta’ turn me into you .” She said, sneering as she trailed around Ondine like a lioness circling her downed prey.

Ondine jolted at the sudden change, she resisted the urge to gulp but she refused to be intimidated by this… imposter . She stood her ground as the other Ondine circled around her, her black hair, miraculously well kept even though it was dragging through the sand.

Actually, this made the other Ondine raise a brow. Her sneer turning back into a smirk, “Not bad guppy. Ye’r far from bein’ a shark, but not bad.” She stopped her predatory walk, standing still once more but still in front of Ondine.

I like fish puns as much as the next girl, but aren’t you taking it too far? And that accent...” Ondine said with a frown, she hadn’t heard that accent in years , not from herself. Meenah had it naturally but she hasn’t slipped into that accent for a long time.

And back was the sneer, man, she didn’t seem to have any other face other a smirk or a sneer did she?

Bah, I change mah mind, ye’r just another piece a’ bait like all the other chum- buck s on that new Earth ‘n Universe.”

Ondine looked at her with a puzzled and confused look, “What? What in god’s name are you even talking about.” She snapped, new Earth? New Universe?

Queen Ondine barked a laugh, harsh and dark, she grinned toothily at her smaller counterpart. Ondine’s eyes widened as her teeth morphed from normal to a set of shark-like teeth, complete with each tooth sharp, pointy and terrifying, and just like that, it seemed that Queen Ondine was changing right in front of her.

Her skin turned black, her hair grew even more , the white of her eyes turned yellow-orange, her ears seemed to turn into fins as Queen Ondine grew taller than her, practically towering over her, and if everything else wasn’t enough with the skin, the ears, the eyes, the fucking teeth-- orange horns began to grow from the other’s skull.

Ondine took a step back in fear, looking at the utterly alien version of herself and at the same time, as transfixed by her. The sight of Horned Empress Ondine –empress? Where the hell did she get that?– made something within her pang , as if something was missing in her head.

Her Condescension smirked, looming over her human self. It was a disgusting sight, to see herself as an actual human. She had once, well more than once, donned a human disguise before but to be turned into a lowly inferior species?

It was unthinkable, and yet, here she was. Ondine Peixes, a clever name for her alternate, a good way to separate herself from their other alternate.

Two versions of herself, both human and so utterly weak .

Ondine trembled slightly, fear instinctively piling inside her as the horned woman before her exuded an otherwordly aura of royal nobility and utter terror. This was not a mere version of her anymore…

She was a fucking apex predator .

And Ondine was the prey.

And like most prey, they tried to escape. Ondine quickly turned a heel, about to run away only to cry out in pain as The Condesce pinned her down by her hair, using her double-ended trident as a surprisingly effective pin.

FUCK!”

The action was abrupt and forced her down the moment her hair was pinned, Ondine’s hands flew up to her hair on instinct as her skull twinged with pain. Her breath hitched as the horned being leaned over, her own hair encompassing and falling to cover most of Ondine as The Condesce barred her teeth against her in a mocking smile.

Pathetic try guppy, can’t abscond from me bea-yatch~” She purred smugly , fuschia eyes glowing, pupil slit like the predator that she was while Ondine’s eyes were round and small in fear like prey. “Shame I can’t cull ya for real, this be a dream I know but I can’t wait to get there myshellf. Got a lot of irons and fishies to put in the fire, ‘specially that blue bouy, ain’t done with him.” Blue bouy? Boy? What boy? Who?

Ondine’s head was whirling a bit but her attention was brought back to the Condesce when she slammed her enormous hand right beside Ondine’s head, “Listen up human me, ya’ll betta prepare cause shit’s gonna go down when I get there.” She said semi-sweetly, her eyes sharp, calculating, but there was something behind the predator visage that she was putting on, apprehension, what was she scared about? “Betta pray that I’ll get there first in fact, boss man skull fuck ain’t too happy with what’s been happenin’…” Her smile turned into a frown.

Just what the fuck was actually going on?!

Suddenly, the Condesce scoffed, standing back up, freeing Ondine by taking her trident from the ground. “Why the fuck am I talkin’ to you of all people, ya probably won’t even remember everyfin.” She growled, visibly displeased by the thought.

Ondine looked at her incredulously, what? At first she was all threatening her but now it was like she didn’t care anymore.

The Condesce huffed, scowling as she looked over to the green moon that hung high above her planet. She always hated that moon, even before the whole ‘recruitment’ shit that came with it. After a tense moment of silence, the Condesce looked back to Ondine, her scowl prominent but for some reason Ondine wasn’t running for the hills the moment she turned her attention back to her. “Yo, human me, Ondine… If ya ever do remember this shit. Here’s what ya gotta do, get ready motha’glubber cuz if you think carp’s crazy now , it’s just gonna blow up even more by the time I get there.”With that, the tyrant Empress raised her trident, “ I’d say good luck, you’d really glubbin’ need it but… Somefin tells me ya’ll don’t need it,” Her eyes flashed brightly in alternating colors, “Whether tha’s a good fin or not, tha’s up to you n’ the brats over there… Tell Johnny boy I said hi.

She brought the trident down--


Ondine gasped for breath, her conscious suddenly punting her into waking reality. She panted, skin sweaty and head throbbing for the darnest of reasons that she couldn’t remember.

Had it been a nightmare?

She hadn’t had one since… Who knows how long.

Whatever the nightmare was, she was glad she didn’t remember but also, disappointed and anxious.

Weird nightmare shit.

The eldest Peixes grumbled, running a hand through sweaty locks and grimaced, time for a bath. She looked over at the clock and was displeased at the sight of the time, it was too goddamn early to be properly awake but here she was, she sighed before climbing out of the bed. Taking her towel with her, she passed her mirror, pausing, she looked towards her reflection.

For a moment…

Ondine scoffed, and shook away the strange thought. For a moment, she had thought her had black skin for a moment. Damn, that must have been one heck of a nightmare.

Ondine Peixes continued on with her day, though, for some reason when she had been passing a hair parlor, she went inside and asked for a hair cut. Her long glorious hair, cut short. She should be horrified, she had worked goddamn hard on her hair! And yet…

Staring at the giant pile of hair on the floor, she couldn’t help but feel so relieved.


tipsyGnostalgic [TG] has opened a PRIVATE memo CONGRATS JAKEKAT

tipsyGnostalgic [TG] has invited turntechGodhead [TG] to the memo
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] has invited ectoBiologist [EB] to the memo
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] has invited golgathasTerror [GT] to the memo
tipsyGnostalgic [TG] has invited carcinoGeneticist [CG] to the memo

CG: …
CG: GODDAMIT LALONDE

TG: :DDDD
TG: :DDDDDDDDD

GT: Darn it I had hoped this wasn’t going to be a big deal!

TG: woah really you guys got together
TG: fucking finally

EB: awww!!!!!!!! thats great you guys!
EB: congrats!
EB: i knew youd both get together eventually!

CG: SHUT UP EGBERT!
CG: ALL OF YOU CAN SHUT THE FUCK UP AND FUCK OFF TO HUMAN HELL!
CG: EXCEPT YOU JAKE YOU’RE IN THE SAME BOAT AS ME SO YOU DON’T GET TO FUCK OFF.

GT: :B

TG: so adorbs istg
TG: my pale OTP has been achieved! It fuccing came truuuUU!! :DDDDdDDD
TG: <3 <3 <3 <#
TG: no wait rong sign
TG: <> <> ,>
TG: better!
TG: *<>

CG: I SWEAR TO FUCK!
CG: IT REALLY ISN’T THAT BIG OF A DEAL!

TG: no point in lyin dude we know how big of a deal this is for you

EB: yeah! werent you the one who kept telling us how important a moirail was before??
EB: also you congratulated roxy dave and i for our moirallegiance!
EB: did i type that right??

TG: ye ur good johnny

EB: oh
EB: good :B

GT: Well even so, at least karkat didn’t create a whole memo about it!
GT: Let us enjoy our newfound relationship in peace, please!

TG: hmm
TG: nah :P
TG: its more fun this way

TG: so whens the pale honeymoon between you two

CG: FUCK OFF STRIDER THAT IS NOT A THING YOU IDIOTIC MORON

TG: it is so totally a thing
TG: aint that right rox we had a pale honeymoon with john and shit
TG: it is a totally 100% thing i swear

EB: wait we did????????

TG: sssshsssshhhhh johnny babe
TG: n yea we TOTALLy did like fuck ever ago
TG: and it was
TG: AMAZEBALLS
TG: u guys def need a pale honeymoon

GT: Er, is that a thing karkat?

CG: NO
CG: FUCK YOU BOTH ‘PALE HONEYMOONS’ ARE NOT A FUCKING THING!!
CG: **I** AM THE QUADRANTS EXPERT HERE YOU SHITS AND IF I SAY ‘PALE HONEYMOON’ ISN’T A THING THEN IT’S NOT A GODDAMN THING!!

TG: but u can make it a thing rite??? ;D

CG: SKJBFWEF
CG: COME ON JAKE WE DON’T HAVE TO FUCKING DEAL WITH THIS.
CG: LET’S GET OUT OF HERE AND DO SOMETHING ELSE

GT: Alrighty then!
GT: What should we do?

CG: HOLD ON I’LL PESTER YOU

carcinoGeneticist [CG] has left the memo
golgathasTerror [GT] has left the memo

TG: awww

EB: pfft

TG: theyre totally doing the pale honeymoon thing

TG: ye

EB: when did we go on a pale honeymoon by the way????????

TG: omg john
TG: XD XD

TG: never but lets change that
TG: get all pale romantic and shit
TG: almost titanic like fucking romance
TG: but without the drama and the sinking ship
TG: dont even know where to find a sinking ship

TG: aw but i want some1 to draw me like a french girl tho
TG: tho the ship sinking thing i can def do without tbh hehe

EB: pfft you guys are dorks XB
EB: though having a night to ourselves sounds kind of nice

TG: gr8 ill pick u guys up 2night

EB: wait what

TG: fuck yes

TG: the pale honeymoon thing is totes gonna happen now wonk wonk wonk
TG: karkles n jakey r doin it so lets do it!!!
TG: i want some gwnuine time w my pale loves ;3333
TG: *genuine

TG: you got it

EB: were doing it tonight?

TG: fuck yeah were doing it 2night

TG: where doing it
TG: where doing this man

EB: um okay then


Dammek paced around the block, a pensive look on his face while his beloved moirail was sitting at the side and watching with shocked and worried eyes. “What are we going to dot?” Xefros blurted out after a tense moment, instantly he hurriedly continued as Dammek paused in his pacing, “I-I mean, she’s is Her Benevolence but, r-revealing ourselves, to the Aspects, the-the heroes! Why...” He trailed off, looking helpless, confused and lost.

“I don’t know,” Dammek admitted through gritted teeth. He was loyal to his Empress, he really was and he saw her as a kind and wise monarch who’s lived through much in her lifetime, and yet, he couldn’t help but doubt her latest decision-- granted, this hadn’t been the first time he had doubted her word but this was the first time that he was actually considering going against orders.

Revealing their alien status to the most powerful group on the planet? These, Aspects, they had powers that exceeded their most powerful psionic and psychic trolls! They could probably go against the legendary goldblood himself! The Psiioniic!

Time travel, blood manipulation, weather manipulation, summoning items from what could be the literal void, they had no real idea on what Hope could do, so far he was only seen assisting the others but the hero was a master marksman, he, along with Void were some people that Dammek would have hypothetically go against in a shooting contest since he was pretty handy with guns himself. Back to the point; they didn’t know the full extent on Hope’s powers, and that was as equally dangerous, others might underestimate Hope but Dammek was very paranoid and wary and theorized that Hope was just as powerful in terms of actual powers compared to the others, maybe he was even a secret weapon among the group. Who knows!

And now the Empress wanted them to contact them?!

Dammek took in a deep breath, “… Fuck… Well, I’d say that we wouldn’t have a choice but we do.” The Empress had given them an order yes, but she also gave them a choice, she was beginning to pull other trolls back from their mission and back to Beforus. However three teams would stay back on Earth, to continue their original mission and to come into contact with the heroes, afterwards they would await further orders depending on which mission was fulfilled or if anything else came up.

Those three teams had been picked out, his, Galekh’s and Tegiri’s teams to be exact. But she was giving them a choice, should they accept the order and mission, they would continue to stay and continue their original scout mission with the added responsibility in trying to contact with the heroes for the sake of their empire, but if they decline then another team would be picked and they would return to their home planet.

It was tempting, either way.

Each decision had its pros and cons and Dammek would be lying if he said he wasn’t missing Beforus, and he would continue to lie if he said that Earth was something he wasn’t interested in.

The brownblooded leader sighed and went over to sit beside Xefros, the rustblood immediately leaning into him for comfort, both in providing it and seeking it. Dammek was more than happy to return it, wrapping a hand around the rust’s shoulders as they shared a moment of comfortable pale silence. Just the two of them.

After a moment, Dammek spoke and with it, came a slew of future problems that had him somewhat wishing that they returned to Beforus instead of staying on Earth.

But for now, it didn’t occur to Dammek, he had a new mission to focus on.


Sollux gritted his teeth, glaring heavily at his screen even though it physically hadn’t done anything to him at all.

carcinoGeneticist [CG] is offline!

The dual-eyed teen sighed heavily and pushed away from his desk, letting his chair roll back as he looked up his ceiling with a sulking look.

Karkat had been offline for days, and when he was online he was apparently ‘busy’ and had no time for him or anyone else! He had asked the others and they admitted that Karkat had been insociable lately, even moreso than usual.

What the hell was going on with Karkat lately? Actually, not even fucking lately!

Ever since the monster attack, the very first one, Karkat had been acting strange. Even before that actually, asking about some game and then waving it off later on when they asked him about it.

Hell, Karkat didn’t even talk to him as much anymore!

And damn if that didn’t hurt the computer genius.

He was his best friend! They’ve known each other since fucking diapers dammit!

Karkat would have told him almost everything before, but now he was keeping secrets. That was clear by how he was acting, he’s been shutting everyone out and talking to other people that weren’t them-- how did he know? Jake.

Jake, Jake, Jake, Jake…

Who the fuck was Jake?!

He remembered the strange name that appeared in Karkat’s cellphone from months ago, back when Karkat was really acting strange. Sollux had heard about Jake in bits and pieces from Karkat himself whenever he talked or mumbled to himself when he thought no one was listening during the times they met up to hang out with everyone. And Karkat was doing that less and less, fucking hell Sollux couldn’t remember the last time he and Karkat hung out alone!

And it wasn’t just Jake, sometimes Sollux heard other names. John, someone who’s name started with a D, and the other was an R, Ro-something. Who were these people and how did Karkat know them? What were their relationship with his best friend? Why wasn’t his best friend not telling him anything?

Sollux would’ve been fine if Karkat had made new friends. Not really. He really would’ve. But Karkat was trying to keep them a secret for whatever fucking reason and it was getting on his nerves. Though, Karkat mentioned Jake the most.

Jake would’ve like that.’ Karkat mumbled once, looking at some dumb movie poster when they were at the mall. Karkat snorted as he stared at some weird booty shorts in the store, ‘Didn’t Jake have a pair of these one time?’ He seemed so somber when he looked at a skull prop in another store, ‘Wonder what’s Jake’s doing right now...

It was grating his nerves.

And whenever Sollux or anyone else tried to ask of Jake, Karkat would either wave it away, change the subject, or something would happen and distract everyone from what they were asking for. When had Karkat gotten so good at shifting the conversation?

Sollux groaned, getting up from his chair to stomp over to his bed, flopping down and landing on his bed with a small bounce. “Dammit Karkat what the fuck ith going on with you...” He mumbled, hugging his pillow as he tried not to feel even more hurt just from thinking over things.

After a few minutes, he returned to his computer and was glad to see that Karkat was online! He immediately went to pester him.

twinArmaggedons [TA] began pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG]

TA: yo KK!

CG: THE FUCK DO YOU WANT.

TA: ii ju2t want two talk to my be2tfriiend ii2 that 2o bad?

CG: IF YOU WANT TO TALK THEN IT’S A BAD TIME
CG: I’M KIND OF BUSY RIGHT NOW SO YOU CAN FUCK THE RIGHT OFF.

TA: what?
TA: dude youve been bu2y 2o much the2e day2
TA: what ii2 up wiith you?

CG: NOTHING.
CG: NOTHING IS UP WITH ME I’M JUST REALLY BUSY RIGHT NOW.

TA: what the fuck ii2 keepiing you bu2y now of all tiime2
TA: you hardly hang out wiith everyone anymore
TA: you hardly hang out wiith me anymore
TA: cmon KK
TA: you know you can talk to me riight?

CG:
CG: I KNOW
CG: FUCK LOOK
CG: I’M NOT KIDDING THAT I’M BUSY RIGHT NOW BUT LATER ON AFTER I’M NOT SO BUSY I’LL FUCKING TALK TO YOU OKAY?

TA: really?
TA: karkat?
TA: you there?

carcinoGeneticist [CG] is idle!

What?

Well, at least he had something to look forward later on. But the way that Karkat had suddenly disappeared, with how he’s been acting lately- all wistful and shit, not to mention the frequent but private mentioning of this ‘Jake’ person...

Did Karkat have a secret boyfriend?

Just the thought made his heart twinge in pain and he balled his fist to try and force that pain away.

The cons of having a crush on your childhood best friend.


Karkat fidgeted slightly, though he tried not to show it as he waited patiently for Jake to appear.

It’s been a few days since he and Jake had become moirails, and honestly, Karkat couldn’t be any more happier at the moment. Jake was going to visit him today, like an actual visit, in his house-- thankfully Kankri and Kelvin weren’t home and presumably wouldn’t be home until the end of the day. Giving Karkat and Jake plenty of time to themselves.

They’d have a physical pale date.

Their first physical pale date.

Over the days, they had just been talking over Pesterchum, both too busy to actually meet up in real life, either in the base or otherwise. Thankfully there hadn’t been an attack over the few days and today, they were both free and could finally hang out and do the pale date that Karkat had been looking forward too ever since they got together.

Though, to be honest, Karkat had mixed feelings about the moirallegiance between he and Jake. His previous one with Gamzee, normal troll Gamzee not the human one obviously, had been rocky, he didn’t know whether it was because he had neglected his role as a responsible moirail or it was because it was Gamzee who had neglected it. The others might say it was Gamzee but Karkat was just as responsible since moirallegiance was a two-way street.

He was suppose to keep Gamzee stable, and yet he had been blinded by his own actions and woes to actually take notice of Gamzee. He could have at least tried and yet, he didn’t.

He was a failure of a moirail.

In comes Jake –not literally, he hasn’t arrived yet–, who had no experience whatsoever in moirallegiance, what if Karkat fucked up again? What if he messed it up and he was so incompetent to even have a working and stable relationship with another fucking species? It didn’t matter if he was now said species, he was a troll at heart and had his memories as a troll in the forefront of his mind.

Karkat didn’t want to fuck up. Not again, not with Jake.

Knock knock knock

“Karkat!”

He was pulled out of his self-deprecating thoughts to the sound of someone knocking on the glass of his window and the saying of his name. The red-eyed teen blinked and looked over to see Jake floating outside his window, using his pants and shoes.

Instantly Karkat was scrambling towards the window in a slight panic, opening it and dragging the Page of Hope inside his room. “Jake! What the ever loving shit are you doing?! Do you want to get caught!?” He hissed, looking out the window, trying to see if anyone had seen the buck-toothed teen floating right outside in plain daylight.

Jake laughed, unaffected by the paranoia, “Don’t worry old chum! I managed to come unsighted and whatnot, I just wanted to surprise you!” He said, grinning toothily. Karkat’s annoyance melted slightly and he sighed, god he was head over heels in pity over this idiot.

“You could have surprised me by knocking on the door instead of my window.” He pointed out with a grumble, closing his window as Jake switched from his God Tier pants and shoes to his normal attire.

He got a cheeky grin in response, “And where would the fun be in that?”

Karkat sighed once more, already his new moirail was proving to be slightly difficult. Not that Karkat minded in the slightest.

“Well, now that I’m here, what should we do now Karkat?” Jake asked, smiling eagerly at his new moirail. And wasn’t that a bit strange to think? He was in an alien relationship with Karkat! This was going to be interesting, an adventure he didn’t think he’d be taking again, somewhat, he wasn’t in a romantic relationship with Karkat, it was different. And for all the eager and casual bravado he was putting on at the moment, he was admittedly nervous about the whole thing.

He wasn’t really cut out for relationship, see Dirk and Jane for an example. Dirk especially. He had messed up so much, he wasn’t really sure about this alien coupling, honestly, what was he thinking before when he had confessed?

However, he doesn’t think he can really regret it since he’s seen improvement in Karkat’s behavior and mood over the few days already over Pesterchum.

Karkat sucked in a tense breath, forcing himself to calm down with little success. He lead Jake to the pile. This was going to be fine, everything was going to be fine.


Everything was not going to be fine. Past Karkat was a fucking liar as always, everything was not going to be fine!

Karkat squirmed slightly as he sat besides Jake on their living room couch, a pack of ice cubes wrapped in a towel pressed against his bruised cheek while he tried hard not to burst, both literally and figuratively. His nervousness was stirring his blood and soon he would need an outlet, he had been steadily letting it out with the nosebleed earlier but now he was holding it in because dammit Kelvin and Kankri came home too early.

He had thought he had time, Kelvin was going to check on a few things at work while Kankri was going out with Cronus to the park. They should’ve been away from home for most of the day, but unfortunately his ‘father’ had left some important paperwork at his desk at home while Kankri went home early because Cronus had to go home early as well, something about Alpheus needing his help or something.

But of course things didn’t go his way. They almost never go his way.

At least Jake was nearby, and the fact he was with him was kind of helpful.

Now if only Karkat could properly explain what happened without digging himself further into the hole that he and Jake had unwittingly dug themselves into.

Kelvin and Kankri sat across them, both sporting an unreadable expression on their faces. Really, if it weren’t for their different clothing and age, they probably would have looked like twins-- then again, they were essentially the same person but different iteration.

“Now, who is this young gentleman sitting beside you Karkat?” Kelvin finally spoke, unreadable expression turning into a calm smile, though Karkat could tell he was tense underneath that smile.

Jake straightened, giving his most charming smile, “Salutations! I am Jake Harley. It’s a pleasure to meet you Karkat’s dad!” He said, managing not to fuck up and say ‘English’, thankfully he had gotten used to saying Harley instead of his original name. Even though in this universe Harley was his original name.

“Jake Harley?” Kankri murmured, raising a brow and clearly recognizing that name, “So this is the mysterious Jake that Karkat hasn’t been talking about?” He questioned flippantly, eyes narrowing when both teens shrunk slightly at his stern gaze.

Karkat never really acknowledged the fact that both Vantas’ were really his family, as in as a ‘brother’ and ‘father’ way but with how things were currently? He was definitely acknowledging it. He gulped and nodded, “Yes, that Jake.” He confirmed, there really was no way he could deny it.

Kelvin hummed, red gaze looking over to Jake with a scrutinizing look. He looked to be around his youngest son’s age but then again some people could seem to be older but be younger in reality, he was certainly charming though- the smile said it all but he wasn’t overly so, plus, Jake had been helping his son with his sudden nosebleed, something that he should address. “So, how would you like to explain what Kankri and I walked into? Nosebleed, crying, the bruise. Not to mention why Jake is in our house? And why you haven’t told us about Jake?” He gave Karkat a pointed and protective look as his eyes honed in on the bruised cheek.

The Knight of Blood had faced enemies that were so much more powerful than the man that was sitting before him, and honestly he found that he preferred to face those enemies instead of facing Kelving-- how the fuck was that possible? This man was a mere human while Karkat was a god of blood.

But then again this human was his father.

Karkat cringed but before he could explain, Jake was the one to take the reigns, looking determined and apologetic.

“I am very sorry Mr. Vantas but I accidentally hit Karkat on the cheek and it was hard enough to bruise, it also knocked him into the door and caused the nosebleed. I am very sorry! I didn’t mean to do that, I really didn’t.” He exclaimed, bowing his head, surprising all three Vantas’.

Well, that was half of it. Kind of. Jake did accidentally hit him, he had been deep into explaining one of his favorite movies, getting very enthusiastic. He hadn’t notice Karkat being so close, and Karkat had been distracted by Sollux who pestered him out of nowhere right after he logged into Pesterchum to check a few things.

Speaking of him, Karkat realizes he’d left the ex-goldblood hanging. He’d deal with him later.

Anyway, continuing on, what ensued was an extreme apologizing session with Karkat trying to calm Jake and reassure him that he was fine. The way that Jake was apologizing and the fact he had already been so anxious made his nosebleed- which was better than vomiting blood like before. Of course that triggered Jake to apologizing even more and freaking out over his well being.

Feeling so embarrassed, he ended up crying and bleeding more.

I-I’m a fucking fai-ailure of a moirail!” Karkat had sobbed, finally breaking down as Jake panicked.

Jake was quick to reassure him, as well as to take a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe and stem the blood coming from Karkat’s nose. “No you aren’t! You’re a great moirail! Well, I might be a wee bit biased since you’re my first and only moirail right now but you’re a great chap Karkat! Anyone would have been lucky have you as their moirail and I am that anyone right now! I’m dearly sorry for smacking you like that,” He said, hugging Karkat closely.

Being the gentleman that he was, he took Karkat into his arms, easily lifting him up with some help from his powers to strengthen himself. “Let’s get you some ice for that bruise darling.” He said softly, making Karkat blush and calm down slightly.

Still, he couldn’t stop crying until Jake took him to the kitchen to get ice for his bruised cheek. It would heal faster than normal yes but it didn’t change the fact that it hurt as any other normal bruise.

Jake set Karkat down on the chair and reassured him one more time by leaning in to bump their foreheads together, acting on instinct in comforting his moirail- that and he read a thing or two about it from Karkat’s quadrant advice and literature that he sent him from before. He wasn’t a professional or an expert obviously, but he did what he could in hoping to comfort Karkat and to stop him from crying.

Everything’s alright Karkat, you’re not a bad moirail I swear.” He told him, smiling gently.

Karkat sniffed and smiled back, about to reply only for Kelvin and Kankri to find them in the kitchen and interrupt.

And that’s how they ended up on the couch, facing Karkat’s family.

At least it was only his family so far and not the rest of his friends.


carcinoGrievance [CG] has joined the memo
carcinoGrievance [CG] has changed the name of the memo Karkat Important Update

CG: It has seems that Karkat has 6een keeping quite the secret fr9m us.
CG: He has a 69yfriend and his name is Jake Harley.

twinArmaggedons [TA] has joined the memo
apocalypseArisen [AA] has joined the memo
arsenicCatnip [AC] has joined the memo

TA: he has WHAT

AC: :OO < GASP

AA: 0h n0

cuttlefishculler [CC] has joined the memo
arachnidsGrip [AG] has joined the memo
grimAuxiliatrix [GA] has joined the memo


Karkat sighed, laying against Jake on his-their pile.

It had been harrowing earlier, but finally Kelvin and Kankri let both him and Jake go back upstairs to his room.

“I’m sorry about that Karkat, I probably shouldn’t have come today.” Jake said somberly, looking up on the ceiling as he laid back on the surprisingly comfortable pile while cuddling up to Karkat. He had read about them and he hadn’t thought that he’d end up on one so soon.

The Blood player shook his head, “No, it’s okay.” Karkat mumbled, “I shouldn’t have asked you to come today. Or rather, We should have gone to the base in-fucking-stead.” He huffed, “I should be the one to say sorry, now they think we’re dating in that way.”

It was somewhat accurate but not really, they were moirails, not boyfriends.

The amount of trouble this caused would really surprise them.

“It’s fine Karkat, we both messed up today… sorry again for your cheek.” Jake apologized, smiling slightly when Karkat obviously rolled his eyes and papped his face.

“Don’t say sorry you fucking dork. You’ve said it enough today.”

Both SBURB players chatted and playfully bickered a bit more before eventually drifting off into sleep.

Elsewhere, a heartbroken Gemini raged in his room while a brownblooded troll planned for an encounter.


 

Chapter Text


The Aspects were a group of real life superheroes, it was both old and new news as the world marveled and speculated about the group.

Their first appearance were at the first attack from the snake-like monsters that attacked a suburban neighborhood, the appearance of the monsters shocked the world at the fact that monsters, literal fantasy-like monsters that had supernatural powers, were in fact real. And with it, came superheroes.

The Aspects.

There were five in all, each called over the power that they had.

Breath seemed to be their main leader and face, having spoke first out of the five to the world. He controlled over the wind with ease and toted around giant hammers like they were nothing, same hammers somewhat ridiculous looking but every hammer was devastating in practice. It showed when Breath whirled around a colorful bright blue hammer with a pink smiling face at the end of one side, the hammer slammed into monsters with ease and did not break even as Breath missed and cracked the pure cement floor, creating a crater in its wake.

Time was a big player within their group, possibly one of the strongest considering his moniker was Time, meaning he had a hold over it like the others. His weapon was just as strange as Breath’s, he wielded swords, which itself wasn’t that strange if it weren’t for the fact he seemed to prefer fighting with a broken sword but sometimes, the sword would magically repair itself somehow while Time fought. In recent event, they’ve just discovered Time’s ‘cloning’ ability, which might just be his ‘future’ selves coming back to help him, or so many theorized.

Those two were the most obvious to explain, but it was the other three where things were a bit more complicated to explain.

Blood was both the least liked and yet most observed, opinions about him varied from person to person. He fought with sickles, both he and Hope, were the only ones in their group to dual-wield a weapon, though sickles weren’t the only one in his arsenal; his own blood was frequently used as such. He injured himself to access his blood, doctors were concerned over the amount of blood that Blood used in every fight, it was an impossible amount. Adults were concerned over how easily he would cut his wrists, or even stab himself to gain access to his own blood, why not use the enemies’ blood instead? Many asked, they had seen a few times that Blood would use the blood of the monsters against them but most of the time, Blood used his own which was concerning.

Void was the only female within the group, and her power seemed to be the second most mysterious and unexplainable. She summoned things from literal nowhere, for some reason she liked to summon pumpkins the most and generic green squares. She usually fought with a rifle or with her bare hands, possessing skill in hand-to-hand combat. She could also hide herself effortlessly, and there were confirmed reports of how Void was interfering with recordings and pictures, direct contact at her blacked out recording devices and pictures, whether it was intentional or not, they didn’t know but it seemed to be sometimes.

Hope was the last and most mysterious power, to some he may seem weak, but others thought otherwise. There were many things that Hope could do, hope was powerful after all despite what some would think. If you gave hope to the people, they could start a revolution. Hope was the second person in their group to fight with dual-handedly, he fought with dual pistols. His power was mostly unknown but he seemed to be the only healer in the group, or at least, he could heal bruises and cuts and seemingly give boosts and buffs to the group. They had yet to see the full extent of what Hope could do.

But really, they had yet to see the full extent of what all five could do.

Actually there was one event that they had seen all five of them combining their powers, or at least, to an extent.

The first attack, the one with the strange but giant and dangerous monsters that escaped the ‘rifts’, the rips of space and time that no one could deal with, not even the government. It seemed that the only ones who could properly close the rifts were the Aspects themselves. Whether closing it themselves or defeating the monsters and collecting whatever material it seemed that they had left behind.

At any rate, the first attack, there had been a bright light, five gigantic beams of light that encompassed the sky and actually changed the weather. It killed the monsters in an instant.

All that was left, were the strange objects that the monsters dropped whenever they were killed. The government still had no idea what it was completely, it was another impossibility made real, weightless and utterly indestructible even though some were confirmed to be made of ruby and other precious material, they had a breaking point but the material that was left by the monsters? They were really indestructible. Nothing could phase them.

Nothing but the Aspects.

They collected them, they disappeared once the Aspects touched them and were probably sent somewhere else. No one knew where it went, just as they didn’t know where the Aspects went after each battle.

At any rate, months after they first appeared and started protecting them from other-wordly enemies. The Aspects were both old and new news. There was an ever-growing fan base about them. Each attack was brought the Aspects back to spotlight. Of course there were those who were against the Aspects, because there would always be a force that would oppose something. But thankfully they weren’t much of a threat.

Yet.

The Aspects were the heroes of their world.

So naturally, when a hero dies…


` No.

Hope was falling.

Hope was-Alex was falling.

ALEX!!Blood screamed, heart stuck in his throat as he saw his boyfriend falling in the air. “ALEX! Al-” He was interrupted by an imp- how dare it-- with a snarl, he twisted himself, aimed a hard kick to the foolish imp’s skull. “Let go of me you piece of shit!” He shrieked, desperate to catch Alex in time before he hit the ground.

A lex had been high in the sky, there was still--Time--

Elliot caught him, thank the stars, Elliot had caught Alex before he had hit the ground.

Alex! Alex, shit-Julian was interrupted, John was there, stopping him from getting to Alex.

Even with the mask, Julian could practically see the concern and the grimaced look on his face. “Go. Void and I can deal with the rift Blood. Go to him.” He said, thankfully not stopping him. Julian let out a thankful noise, closing his eyes, he willed himself to transport to his boyfriend’s location. Which would be at the base, Elliot would take Alex to the cave.

Alex!” Julian said as soon as he appeared at the cave, he tugged off his mask and threw off his hood, panting slightly from the effort he had put into the fight. But really, he needed to see- “Alex!” His blood ran cold his veins.

Alex was laying down on the stone slab, gasping for breath as Elliot tried to stem the bleeding and deal with the wounds- but he couldn’t, he wasn’t the medic of the team, that was Alex. Alex who was laying bleeding and burnt, on the stone slab.

Julian, help me he’s-” Elliot begged, Elliot never begged, everything was wrong and Alex was- Alex was--

He snapped into action, out of everyone else, Julian was the second most skilled in the group when it came to first aid. He wasn’t a healer like Alex or Vanya, or she was supposed to be the healer, where was she?!

Speak of the devil and he will come.

Nature, Vanya, came with a burst of green, leaves fluttering behind her as she came into existence within their base just as Julian was ripping Alex’s costume to deal with the major wounds that he had, the amount of blood Alex was spilling was enough to make anyone nauseous, even Julian who had gotten used to it.

Vanya covered her mouth in horror, her usually pristine short white hair dirty and frazzled, her red eyes fully seen without her green mask. The punk girl of the school was suppose to be the main healer of their team! And yet, at the sight of the injured wielder of Hope, she was frozen still as a statue.

Vanya!” Julian barked, snapping her out of her horror, “HELP ME!” He screamed because he could not do this alone! He could not heal wounds like she and Alex could.

I-I--” She stammered, she couldn’t be stammering, she needed- she needed to

HEAL HIM VANYA! HEAL HIM!” He can’t loose Alex. Not Alex. Never Alex.

Elliot pushed her forward, Vanya yelped, if it was possible, she paled further at the sight of the injured Alex right before her laid out like this. Could she heal something of this caliber? She had only just joined the team weeks ago! She had never healed so many wounds at the same time, nor how big they were!

Still, she had to. Or else Alex was dead. Alex was dying.

Vanya tried to take in a shaky break, only to flinch at Julian’s shout, Julian, the kindest boy she had ever met, that didn’t even seem capable of shouting in anything other than glee and other positive emotions, “HEAL HIM VANYA!!” There was fear, anger, sadness, and most of all, desperation.

I’ll try don’t fucking rush me!” She instinctively snapped, despite being a hard-headed punk, she hated working underneath intense pressure. She was still getting used to this fucking new job as a new member of the Aspects for Christ sakes!

She wasn’t sure about her powers, she hadn’t gotten used to it. She didn’t know why the fuck the Nature orb chose her of all people. She wasn’t the healing type, she wasn’t kind, she preferred to beat people up instead of heal them and patch them up. She was a punk, not a doctor. Alex had more experience than her, but Alex was the one hurt before her.

The same Alex that tried to teach her how to use her powers. She inhaled and focused, trying to will her hands to stop shaking as she laid them above Alex’s bleeding body. His breaths were getting slower and the bleeding was slowed, slightly, thanks to Julian.

Alex’s healing factor didn’t seem to be kicking in, and if it was, then it was doing a shit job in healing him.

Come on Alex,” Julian whimpered, holding Alex’s hand as Vanya tried her best in trying to heal him. “Vanya, please.”

I’m trying.” Vanya said through gritted teeth as her eyes changed from their red to an unnatural bright green with flicks of blue littered around the iris, her hands were glowing in the same color, translucent leaves fell from her fingers and entered Alex’s injuries.

Try harder!”

He wasn’t going to lose Alex, not Alex, god please not him- `

“John!”

Blue eyes blinked incredulously as he was snapped out of the story he had been reading intensely. The story was another about him and his friends, though again, it was vastly different from what their own lives obviously. But it was entertaining and eye-catching nonetheless.

“Hey Jane.” He greeted with a smile, he had been in the living room, reading on his phone instead of in his room reading with his other computing devices. “What’s up?” He asked his beloved younger cousin, making room on the couch so she could sit down.

Jane smiled, taking a seat beside him with a thankful nod, “Nothing really, though I was calling your name for a minute straight and you hadn’t answered. You must have been really engrossed in whatever you were doing with your phone.” She told him, looking at his phone with obvious interest. “Pestering Dave again?” She questioned semi-teasingly.

“No, just, reading.” John answered honestly with a smile, oblivious to her teasing tone.

Jane blinked and her interest doubled, “Oh, really? What is it about?”

“Something about the Aspects. Fanfiction. I hadn’t known there was fanfiction about the superhero group until recently and I uh, kind of got caught up with it haha.”

“Ah. Well, they are quite popular, and with popular things there would obviously be fans of such things so fanfiction was an inevitability.” Jane hummed, peeking over John’s shoulder to read the fanfiction on his phone. John let her.

“Yeah that makes sense I guess. Still, kind of surprising to see.”

His cousin nodded in agreement, though, then again the only reason she had known about the existence of Aspect fanfiction was from Roxy and she had been just as surprised as John had when she first found out.

“What’s your favorite pairing?” Jane asked out of the blue, looking curious.

It was a somewhat unexpected question but he answered nonetheless, “Time and Breath.” He answered with a grin, it was biased of course but hey, who cared. He and Dave were his favorite pairing because dammit Dave was his boyfriend! Their relationship didn’t deserved to be one of the least liked pairings out there! “Time, Breath and Void are my second favorite pairing while Blood and Hope are my third.”

Jane looked surprised, “Really? I didn’t think you’d like those pairings.” She admitted, she had honestly expected him to immediately go for a pairing with Void since she was the only female in the group and he was, and she quotes and sometimes says for herself, ‘was not a homosexual’.

John merely shrugged and grinned at her, “Eh, I know a good pairing when I see one.” He replied before getting off of the couch. “I’m gonna head in my room now. I feel like a nap.”

The Heir of Breath hummed as he went towards his room for a nap, though he’d continue to read the fanfiction he had been reading first before he napped. There wasn’t that much else to do since Dave was busy with his brothers, Roxy was busy doing some maintenance in the future server thing for their base, Karkat and Jake were busy with each other so he had the day to himself.

He never thought he’d be so entranced with fanfiction before, but some of these things were really good and the one he had been reading before Jane had interrupted had been going into the climax of the ‘arc’ they had been going into.

John threw himself into his bed after locking his door so he could get his computer out of his sylladex, wanting to continue the chapter he had been on.

He quickly found where he had left off and continued to read, only to tear up by the end of the chapter. “Alex no!” He cried out, finding Alex’s death pretty sad as Julian sobbed and begged Vanya to do something. But she wasn’t a Life Player, she had no ability to resurrect Alex, and Alex was no SBURB God Tiered Player, so he couldn’t resurrect on his own. And even then, he had died a heroic death, saving Vanya from the death blow way earlier in the chapter.

The funeral at the end of it just made things worse.

He was surprised that the author went the whole, ‘identity reveal’ route. The whole world now knew that Alex was Hope now, and that the other’s identities were at risk now.

Actually the chapter made him think.

What would happen if one of the actual Aspects died? Well, in front of a lot of people, where their deaths were recorded in front for the whole world. How would they react? Especially when their immortality comes to light?

John isn’t able to nap as his head was filled with contemplating thoughts and what-if scenarios.


Eric Valiant didn’t like the Aspects. There were a lot of things that he didn’t like and one of them was teenage superheroes.

Eric Valiant was a military general that was assigned to a new department that government had created in the new event of monsters and superhero teens, one that would oversee the attacks and evacuate the area where the monsters and heroes fought. Protect the civilians when the heroes couldn’t and provide back up if the event that the monsters were too much for the heroes and so far, they didn’t need to provide back up.

That wasn’t their only objective. They had to recover any of the strange material that the monsters dropped for research purposes, though he heard that that objective would be dropped soon since they really had no idea what to do with the damned things. Nothing could be done about them but to just leave them for the heroes who seemed to be able to get rid of them for whatever reason even though they weren’t that hazardous to humanity or so they thought. They really had no idea, all they could do was speculate.

Anyway, General Eric Valiant didn’t like the Aspects.

It wasn’t because that they caused property damage, or that they were getting really popular amongst humanity.

The damage they caused themselves wasn’t that much and most of it was because of the monsters and they understood that what’s done was done or had to be done like when Blood had to destroy a gate when it was stuck and trapping civilians within the park. If it weren’t for the gate’s destruction, they would have dead civilians on their hands.

It was because they were teenagers that made him dislike Aspects.

Teenagers.

The hormonal humans that were going through the age of ‘puberty’ and were dealing with normal life… Or, that was all what they were suppose to be dealing with. They were suppose to be worried for their futures as upstanding citizens, they were suppose to be worrying about their romantic life and be normal teens in life.

What they weren’t suppose to be worrying about, was the fate of the goddamn world or whatever the fuck was going on with the rifts and the monsters.

They weren’t suppose to have powers, they were suppose to be sporting acne, go through hormonal changes and…

Eric Valiant looks at the Aspects and doesn’t see heroes. He sees kids risking their lives. He sees his own son, a fourteen year old, going up against a gigantic monster that shoots lasers out of their multiple eyes. Thankfully, it wasn’t literally his son but it was someone’s kid and dammit didn’t their parents notice that their child was getting hurt? Being slammed into buildings, taking lasers to the face, cutting their themselves for weapons.

Blood was naturally his least liked hero. But he was the one that caused the most concern. What was his home life like?

He doesn’t even know how old they are but they were definitely teens. One of them could be at the age of his son and he was apprehensive about that. He doesn’t know where they go after each fight, to what home they went back to, what they do for ‘training’ because Hope and Void can shoot pistols and rifles better than most military men and that took training and experience so what the fuck was going on with the group?

Eric Valiant was a general of the military as well as a father. He doesn’t like the Aspects because he sees not heroes, but teens doing what they can, all alone, against a dangerous enemy that should have been left for the adults.

He would have liked the Aspects if they had been adults, in fact he would have cheered them on maybe. But all he wants is to take the group of five, bundle them up and keep them away from danger.

With each hit they take, he wants to snap and tell them to stop. That they’ve done enough and it was time for the adults to fight.

But the adults couldn’t fight. Not really.

The monsters, the ‘imps’, ‘cyclops’, ‘basilisks’, whatever label the Aspects put on each monster. They were strong. The imps could have been dealt with, with a half a hundred bullets each or so but the giant ‘ogre’s’? They could withstand most tank rounds. The sons of bitches could catch the tank rounds and throw them somewhere else-

They didn’t have much of a choice but to rely on the Aspect for cavalry and as a main method of attack. And Eric hated that.

It was bad enough that some saw the teens as dangerous, which they were because goddamn their powers weren’t sunshine and rainbows, dangerous menaces that needed to be locked away.

At any rate though, Eric Valiant didn’t like the Aspects.

So when a series of orders comes in to somehow establish contact with the Aspects and find out who they are- Eric was almost ecstatic.

They would finally find out more about the mysterious Aspects.

They could finally help like the adults they were.

And if they could find out how the teens got their powers, their weapons and somehow replicate it or something; the teens could stop fighting and wouldn’t be in any danger of dying.

Whatever mysterious force was behind the powers be damned, teens weren’t suppose to fight in the front line, they weren’t suppose to die- that was an adult’s job.

Of course…

They don’t find out in time, they don’t find out anything because they haven’t been given the chance to contact or try to establish a connection with the Aspects.

General Eric Valiant doesn’t like the Aspects, because he doesn’t want one of them to die.

Reality is different from ‘cartoons’, ‘comics’, ‘fiction’, ‘fantasy’ or ‘anime’.

And it shows, when one of the Aspects dies in real life.


“For the last time, it is none of your fucking business.” Karkat snapped, fingers pinched over the bridge of his nose.

“Aw but Karbro!”
“Kaaaaaaaarkaaaaaaaat!”
“Karkles! Come on!”
“Kar! Come on, this just isn’t fair!”
“Karcraab! Pleeaase?”

Karkat scowled ignoring the whining that came from almost half of his, friends. Currently they were all back at the Peixes house, in for another reunion meeting thing that the adults were having once more for whatever reason. Some day he should eavesdrop on them somehow, maybe somehow alchemize a listening device or something? Or a hidden recording device? He’d have to talk to Roxy or Jake about that.

Speaking of Jake however…

Kanaya sighed, looking at him apologetically for the other’s behavior but there was undoubtedly a glint of curiosity in her eyes about the whole situation. “Will you at least tell us how you met him and how you hooked up?” Vriska asked, looking annoyed but also very eager for information on the latest topic for gossip;

Karkat’s love life.

Curse Kankri for revealing the relationship between him and Jake- fuck, he really fucking wished that they were all trolls again just so he would be able to say ‘We’re pale, leave it at fucking that!’ And be over it. But of course, they were all human with no recollection about quadrants or moirallegiance at all.

Just before he could rebuff Vriska’s words, Aranea stepped in, an unreadable look on her face. “Please Karkat? We, well, some of us are just… concerned about this whole relationship, we have no idea who this ‘Jake Harley’ truly is so we’re quite paranoid that he might be- bad for you.” She said carefully, looking at Karkat intensely.

Karkat would have been suspicious if he wasn’t too busy being offended by Aranea’s implication that Jake would ever be ‘bad’ for him. “Bad?!” He questioned loudly, almost snarling but managing to hold back, “Fuck no! Jake would never be bad for me! I p-care for him dammit! And he cares for me!” He says with conviction, a hint of despair and relief in his tone that he didn’t notice at all as he remembered the last time they had personally spent time together. Cuddled up on Karkat’s pile and safe from the outside world, for a moment, Karkat had thought he wasn’t a shit moirail and that nothing was wrong at all.

Only a few people caught the tone of despair and relief in his voice, and that planted a seed of suspicion and doubt. Especially for two people.

“What about the fact he hit you on the fathe?” Sollux piped in, a sneer on his face. For most of the conversation he had kept silent and stubbornly tried not to look at Karkat with a great amount of failure. “Are you thure he’th not bad for you?” He questioned dryly.

It had been a point that Kankri brought up and caused some trouble with the people that knew Karkat and cared for him, though most of them were convinced that was indeed an accident and nothing else. But the others weren’t as convinced and had their suspicions.

Karkat glared at him and Sollux was taken back at the fierce look he got from the youngest Vantas, “That was a fucking accident Captor, get it through your thick skull about that!” He growled, arms crossed and tightly gripping his elbows. “That was mostly my fault anyway, I wasn’t paying attention...” He mumbled to himself, remembering how he had been distracted by talking with Sollux himself.

That mumble didn’t go unheard of by everyone.

“Karkat, please. I’d like to know more about Jake.” Kankri said, going between Karkat and Sollux with a soft look.

Karkat faltered slightly at the look and huffed, “Fine. I met Jake in some forum on a movie review website.” He fibbed, thankfully he and Jake had worked on a believable backstory that might just work. “He’s a movie fanatic like me, and we were talking- fucking arguing really, on a romantic adventure movie. We were about to get kicked off the website if we didn’t stop arguing so we exchanged chumhandles and I started talking to him from time to time.” There was some truth on it, they did somewhat argue on a romantic adventure movie they had saw together before.

“I’ve been talking to him for months, after a while we wanted to meet in real life- and don’t flip your shit Kankri of course I was fucking careful about my privacy and shit but you saw Jake, he’s not some motherfucking creepy old ass geezer, jegus fuck- so we did.” Karkat shifted uncomfortably, hating being the center of attention, everyone was listening to him and staring at him- he took in a deep breath and trudged on, “Before we knew it, we were dating. Didn’t even fucking notice until Jake’s friend, Roxy, pointed it out to us. We were in denial for a short while but just went with it, so yeah, he’s… he’s my boyfriend now.” He said, the word of ‘boyfriend’ so foreign on his tongue.

He definitely liked moirails better. Damn their human lives. Damn everything and whatever made them human.

“Aww, Karkitty that sounds so romantic!” Nepeta cooed, seeing it all in a positive light as always. Meulin nodding with her in agreement, a sweet smile on her face. “Can we meet Jake soon?”

“No.” Karkat immediately deadpanned. He wished he had more control over the conversation but it was obvious that everyone wanted to talk more about his love life.

Sollux in the meanwhile stared at Karkat with an incredulous look, “You jutht met him on thome fucking movie forum? Monthth ago?” He asked with disbelief. There was anger underneath that disbelief. Aradia threw him a sharp look and he bites his tongue, managing to prevent himself from saying more as Karkat rolled his eyes.

Yes, now leave the fucking subject alone! Fuck. I’ll be right back, I need to use the bathroom.” He sighed, standing up and leaving the living room.

Back in the living room, Aranea stewed in her thoughts, looking very thoughtful and contemplative as she tuned out the outside world and how her friends and their siblings gossiped to each other about Karkat’s newest boyfriend.

Jake Harley.

Something in her mind niggled at the name, she had a bad feeling about everything and for some reason it tied to that name.


“Karcrab’s got himself a boy toy?” Ondine asked with an intrigued look, chin propped by her hand as she leaned in towards Kelvin to hear more. “Tell me more.”

“Ondine! I doubt that you gathered us all again to gossip about Karkat’s romantic life!” Corinna scolded, scowling, though just like her daughter, she had a silver of interest in her eyes- but she wasn’t going to outright ask right now of all times.

Kelvin scowled, rolling his eyes at Ondine’s question, “Corin’s right, we aren’t here to discuss my youngest son’s boyfriend… we can talk about afterwards if you want.” He said dryly and that made Ondine smirk with satisfaction.

“By the way Ondine...” Griselda said, gaining attention as the Asian woman stared at Ondine’s new hairdo. “Your hair? What happened?” She questioned, saying the one question that was in each adult’s mind since they came to the woman’s house.

What had happened to Ondine’s hair?

It was a known fact that Ondine was quite proud and protective of her luscious long locks. But now, instead of being almost impossibly long, it was not cut short. The tips curling around Ondine’s ears, fashioned to look quite lovely on her yes but, it was a bizarre sight to see from a woman who had refused to cut her hair more than the tips or an inch for years.

Ondine elegantly rose a brow and smirked, “It fits me does it not?” She replied, flipping her shorter and admittedly much more manageable hair. Strangely enough, she felt no regret in cutting it whatsoever. “I merely thought of changing of a few things is all.” She said pompously with her usual sharp smirk.

Moira snorted, “So you say, and yet you’re still the bitch we all know and grew up with.” She said casually, flipping her longer hair with subtle smugness. She grinned when her reply was a simple sweetly saccharine smile.

Her boyfriend chuckled, “Amusing as this is, why are we here again Ondine?”

The rest of the adults nodded, wanting to know why they were together again. Ondine hadn’t said over the phone, suddenly calling them together for a meeting.

The eldest Peixes blinked and nodded curtly, “Right. Anyway, I have news about the Aspects...”

At this, all the adults straightened and leaned in to listen carefully.

Whenever it involved the Aspects, they were sure to listen as carefully as they could.

They didn’t know why but for whatever reason, the Aspects caught their attention like no other.


???!!!! began pestering stagPioneer [SP]

?!: testing testing four fuck three

SP: =O What the fuck O=
SP: =O Who the hell is this O=
SP: =O How did you get this handle O=

?!: fuck you thats how

SP: =O You shouldn’t have this handle who the fuck is this O=

?!: you can try to trace this shit but it aint gonna work motherfucker
?!: this shits tighter than your own tightassed ass
?!: just dropping by to leave ya something important for the future

SP: =O What the ever loving shit grubbing fuck O=

?!: youre gonna need it if you want to get past our defenses when you find em
?!: 612 bilious slick
?!: got that asshole?
?!: looking forward in meeting you in the future dude
?!: real goddamn pleasure

SP: =O I swear to fuck if this is some prank O=

?!: not a prank and you know it idiot
?!: welp see you later shithead
?!: or maybe sooner who the fuck knows
?!: you suck by the way

SP: =O are you O=
SP: =O Are you pitch flirting with me? O=

?!: no

???!!! ceased pestering stagPioneer [SP]

SP: =O Hold the fuck up! O=

???!!! does not exist! Message failed to send.

SP: =O What the fuck O=

???!!! does not exist! Message failed to send.


The Aspects were a group of real life superheroes, it was both old and new news as the world marveled and speculated about the group.

The Aspects were the heroes of their world.

Some might think that just because they were heroes, they were invincible, or at least hard to kill. It proved with how much damage they could take head on, or their ability to dodge.

A lot of people tend to forget that the world they lived in was not some comic-book world, nor was it a story where people lived forever. They lived in the real world, where the Aspects were human -or so it was speculated.

The world got a full taste of reality one simple morning, during one of the worst attacks that they’ve ever seen.

In the living room with her mother and sister, Aranea watched with wide and tense eyes at the still figure shown on the screen.

In their base, Dammek watched wide-eyed in surprise from behind his shades at the still bleeding figure shown on the screen.

On the street, General Valiant and his troops watched with wide horrified eyes at the still bleeding, broken, figure laid down in a crater in the concrete street.

All around the globe, the whole world held their breaths at the sight of Void, bleeding, broken, burnt and dead, in the middle of a crater within a concrete street as above them, Hope, Blood and Time were fighting.

Maybe she wasn’t dead, some argued, but with the broken neck clear on the screen made their stomachs queasy, many even lost their stomachs at the horrifying sight.

The neck confirmed it though, the still chest, the unnatural amount of blood that escaped her body, too much blood lost for a human to survive, only Blood was proven to survive that with the amount of blood he used but Void wasn’t Blood was she?

Breath appeared above Void in a flash of bright blue, appearing bloody, wounded and silent. He touched down into the crater, kneeling to gently take Void’s body in his arms, her head lolling back as Breath floated upwards, cradling Void’s body in his arms.

He goes over to General Valiant, laying her before him and his troops. A serious and sad tone in his voice. “… Look after her for us…

He disappears in a burst of blue, back to join the fight.

In that one morning, one of their dearest heroes died.

And yet, it wasn’t the end as they thought it would.

TICK

A sound came from Void’s body.

TOCK


 

Chapter Text

It was just suppose to be another day.

--e’s falling, I repeat, Void is falling it seems she took a bad hit dear god--

How did it end up like this?

Void is down. The Aspect heroine Void is down, sweet Jesus Christ. H-Her neck- it’s crooked, no broken my god- warning if there are any children watching I advise in looking awa--

Around the country- hell, the damn world, watched with horror as the known heroine laid in the crater. Crashed into the cement ground hard with a clear broken neck that no normal human could ever hope to survive.

In a certain home, two females watched with horror. Though it felt different compared to the rest of the world’s horror.

Within the Lalonde household, Rose’s heart plummeted and something in her stomach shifted.

R0x& you reckless irresponsible girl--

Roxanne shivered, dropping her -thankfully empty- wine glass on the carpeted floor, a strange sensation coming from her own neck, one of her hands was on her throat before she even realized it as she stared at the clear broken neck Void sported as she sprawled wide within the crater, terrifyingly still- was her chest even moving?

No.

No it wasn’t and it terrified them.

A different kind of upset and mourning settled in the Lalonde household, different from the rest of the world, different from the normal humans that littered the Earth.

They could only watch helplessly as Breath appeared above her corpse, silent and gentle in taking her body out of the crater.

How did it end up like this?


CG: JUST
CG: KILL ME
CG: THROW ME OFF OF SOMEWHERE WHERE I CAN LAND AND BREAK MY NECK AND SOMEHOW MAKE THAT INTO A HEROIC DEATH SO I CAN WANDER THE DREAMBUBBLES CURSING FOR ALL ETERNITY
CG: THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD AFTERLIFE FOR ME

GT: Well certainly not for me!!
GT: I’d rather not have you dead karkat, who would i lay and convey my woes?? You are not leaving me in the world in the living to deal with all this nonsense and shenanigans alone!!

TG: wow thx jakey 4 mentionin us n stuff

EB: (ssh roxy let it get out of their systems, the snark and sarcastic but self-deprecating comments need to come out first before we can properly deal with what happened.)

TG: (that vaguely sounded somewhat like rose would say)

CG: YOU’D PROBABLY DO FINE.
CG: IN FACT YOU MIGHT PROBABLY DO BETTER IF I WASN’T AROUND. IF I WASN’T AROUND THIS SHIT PROBABLY WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED!

EB: (i have been talking to her more and more lately)

TG: (ye, he has. rosies been plannin somethin, idk what it is but it has somethin 2 do w u n johnny)

GT: I’d rather have you around my dearest of dearest chums! >:[
GT: I certainly don’t regret coming together, and i don’t care what happened though admittedly we should have planned and prepared better in retrospect.

TG: (seriously? well thanks for the warning john and i will keep watch for her machinations)

CG: YEAH WE DEFINITELY SHOULD HAVE PLANNED BETTER.
CG: I MEAN SERIOUSLY, TALK ABOUT TIMING! THE BOTH OF US ARE HANGING OUT WHEN FUCKING ***BOOM*** KELVIN AND KANKRI COME OUT OF NOWHERE AND SEES YOU CLEANING UP MY FUCKING BLOODY MESS!
CG: PUN NOT FUCKING INTENDED BUT UNFORTUNATELY ACKNOWLEDGED

GT: Indeed, and it was also my fault for your bloody mess :[
GT: I should have paid more attention to where my hands were flapping about, but like the gosh-darned fool i was i managed to hit you and again i’m really sorry about that karkat

EB: (i had a feeling but wasn’t really sure so yeah! thanks rox!! :B)

CG: DON’T. JAKE, DON’T FUCKING APOLOGIZE AGAIN.
CG: I SWEAR TO THE HIGHEST GOG TO EVER EXIST.
CG: DO NOT TEST ME WITH YOUR APOLOGIES AGAIN.

TG: (i feel like this shouldn’t be happening with us in this chat)
TG: (did they forget we were here)

CG: WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT YOUR APOLOGIES JAKE?!

TG: (like wtf are these parenthesis actually working in making us unseen by them or what)

EB: (i have no idea.)

GT: Er,,
GT: Not to apologize to you again??

TG: (actually kinda, im cheatin here w my voidy secrecy powers rn, i did the whole coding thing somehow don’t ask, so the three of us are havin our own private chats while watching this show right here)
TG: (cool huh :DDDD)

EB: (what seriously? :00)

TG: (woah)

CG: FUCKING EXACTLY
CG: YOU’VE SAID YOUR APOLOGIES MULTIPLE TIMES YOU ABSOLUTE SOFT HEARTED BUCKTOOTHED SHITSTAIN AND I HAVE ALREADY FORGIVEN YOU SO STOP THAT.
CG: STOP THAT RIGHT NOW OR SO HELP ME.
CG: I WILL SHOOSH YOU.

EB: (so parenthesis can hide stuff now??)

TG: (mhmm, enclose the sentence in the thing and it’ll now be hidden from sight.)
TG: (you can only see the messages if you do the parenthy thingy too)
TG: (like it has to be in your message bar and send thing with the two things and stuff)

GT: Alright… But still! My point stands karkat and i don’t really regret becoming your moirail!

CG: I DON’T EITHER!

TG: (dude thats wicked rad)

TG: (yeeee :3)

EB: (i’m feeling kind of guilty since here we are chatting and stuff but we’re also looking into the chat between karkat and jake)

TG: (you were the one who said to let them be dude)

EB: (yeah but this was before the whole hidden message thing between the three of us)

TG: (u rite u rite but they kinda forgot they were in a memo w us???)

GT: Good :B

CG: <>

GT: <>

TG: (awww thats adorbs)

EB: (well it’s nice that they made up!)

CG: HOLD THE FUCK A MINUTE

GT: ???

TG: (did he finally notice)

CG: WHERE THE FUCK IS EVERYONE ELSE

TG: (yeah he finally noticed)

GT: Everyone…?
GT: Jiminy christmas! You’re right!! Where is everyone???

EB: we’re still here!! we uh, never left haha, sorry

CG: WHAT THE SHITLOVING FUCK DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?!?

GT: Uh??????

TG: weeeeelllll…..


Dave had to keep back his snort as he watched the rant that Karkat unloaded once he, Roxy and John explained what happened while Karkat and Jake were having their pale little moment in the memo board.

Hilarious as always Kitkat.

The blond typed that very sentence he had thought just now into the memo and watched with mirth as Karkat exploded again, accusing Dave on pitch-intentioned teasing but nope, just Dave being a teasing dick to Karkat. Humans didn’t really feel pitch-troll-stuff, at least, Dave wasn’t.

He didn’t hate Karkat like that, or if at all, he just liked to set him off every once in while. Plus the new and additional response from Jake was nice, the green-eyed teen taking his new moirail title seriously and was scolding Dave for setting Karkat off while simultaneously calming the troll.

It was a weird pairing to think, Karkat and Jake and yet it kind of worked. Roxy was pretty much fucking elated it the moment Jake finally fessed up to the ex-troll, and her elation didn’t let up even though she was acting normal now. They all knew she was glad that the two were finding happiness and support in each other, especially Jake and while she didn’t knew Karkat like she did the adventurous Page of Hope, she relied and trusted in John and Dave’s opinion and description of the Knight of Blood.

Karkat and Jake would keep each other happy in the weird but totally awesome troll pale way.

Though, others wouldn’t see it that way. Case in point; the whole shenanigans that both had seemed to have stumbled into accidentally soon after they had established an official pale relationship with each other. Which was both sort of hilarious but also concerning.

Hilarious on how things went, but concerning on how things ended up and how it was going to be viewed over. Now, Dave wasn’t really a relationship guru despite the fact he had a boyfriend- shocking, he knows, Dave Strider, not good at something? Fucking unbelievable.

But having Jake and Karkat in a semi-fake but semi-real? Relationship? Together? It just spelled trouble, which was already happening apparently in Karkat’s side of things. His friends and family were totally nosing in the ex-nubby, hornless Karkat’s business. He missed the dude’s cute nubby horns, everyone does especially the male himself.

With that going on… What about Jake’s side?

How the fuck was Jake going to deal with it when the others found out? Would they really have to play out the relationship? How would they react? How would Dirk react?

He knew of his, little –little brother, still kind of weird but alright, he can deal, Dirk should be his age but yeah-- brother’s subtle crush on Jake. Jake and Roxy telling him about what happened before kind of helped and Dave was able to spot the signs of Dirk’s interest in their resident Hope Player though it seemed that he wasn’t really doing anything about it, yet.

So how would he react on the issue of Jake suddenly having a boyfriend?

One that he didn’t know of until recently?

Shit was definitely going to go down when Jake announced it.

And he was definitely going to announce it, committed into the fake-not-really-fake relationship he had with Karkat. If only to solidify their lie with Kankri and the others if they come sniffing about in Jake’s side of things, but hey! That would, give them a kind of reason to meet with the ex-trolls now?

Jake introducing Karkat to the others, they all hang out…

Yeah they were totally winging everything from the start and they would definitely continue to wing everything to the end but it was fine.

Everything was fine.

(Everything was not really fine. For once Karkat was kind of right to curse their past selves and their stubborn denial and purposeful stupidity over everything, but at least it was somewhat entertaining to look back to. Kind of.)

Dave was snapped out of his thoughts when his phone reminded him he was on pesterchum and the others were asking about his absence.

Whoops, got caught up in his thoughts again. Time to focus back on the others


“I jutht can’t believe he didn’t talk to any of uth about him!” Aradia, Nepeta and Kanaya merely sighed as Sollux went on to rant once more about the newest and hottest news that was known between them and their group of family and friends.

Karkat’s boyfriend, Jake Harley.

Someone who they would be officially meeting tomorrow. After everyone managed to wear Karkat down and get to have their little meet up as they had wanted. Even Sollux wanted to meet him despite his… intense thoughts on the incoming mysterious teen.

Just who was he really? This Jake Harley that Karkat held in such a high pedestal? Like seriously, everything negative that he and the others have tried to throw at the figure of Jake, Karkat was there to block it and rebuff their negativity, saying that Jake was genuinely nice and wasn’t anything like they were thinking he was.

It was confusing to say the least, and somewhat concerning, to see Karkat so worked up in a frenzy over someone they had never met before, but then again that ‘someone’ was Karkat’s supposed boyfriend. Which again, was kind of hard to wrap their heads around of.

They had indeed thought that Karkat would have at least let them know about the existence of a possible love interest but nope, he just went ahead and started dating some random ass teenager that he met on a fucking movie review website. Like, are you serious, who does that? Karkat fucking Vantas and Jake fucking Harley apparently.

God this sucked.

Or at least, those were Sollux’s thoughts.

He was pretty hung over the whole thing- mostly because of his crush on Karkat.

“Sollux, please, just- stop.” Aradia pleaded, looking at him with exasperation but as well as understanding. She knew very well on how he felt, since he’s been ranting on about it for a while now. “No more rants, I know you’re angry about the whole thing but at least be tolerable tomorrow instead of a douche? It’s pretty clear that Karkat actually likes this Jake character and he won’t be happy if you go on and be rude to him.” She pointed out to the still pissed off nerd.

Said nerd opened his mouth before closing it with a click of his tongue, looking away as he reluctantly acknowledged that she did have a point.

Damn Aradia and her logic.

Nepeta and Kanaya nodded in agreement with her, “While it is unprecedented that Karkat failed to inform us about Jake’s existence but at least he’s letting us meet him tomorrow instead of hiding him away any longer.” She said, smiling slightly, a bit more accepting about the matter since it made Karkat so happy. Which, now a days, seemed like a hard thing to do. Something just kept bothering the poor lad and whenever someone asked, he’d act like there was nothing wrong.

“Yeah! And who knows, maybe Jake will be someone you can get along with Sollux!” Nepeta chirped even if it was unlikely that Sollux would get along with Karkat’s boyfriend on the account of the teen being Karkat’s boyfriend. She had known that Sollux had a crush on Karkat for far longer than she had before, and yes, she did have a crush but it was a brief little thing that just happened. She got over it and had been originally supporting Sollux with his crush on the angry Cancer-signed boy.

Though, it had been too late and now Karkat was taken. A shame really, she thought that Sollux and Karkat would do great together. She and Meulin both. And though right now she was trying to stay optimistic for Karkat, she was also disappointed that Karkat went for someone outside of their group for romance instead of the very obvious dual-eyed nerd that was standing and sulking before her.

“Pah! Like fucking hell I’d get along with thomeone like him!” Sollux sneered, turning his nose at the thought of getting along with Karkat’s boyfriend- nevermind the fact he had never even met him yet. He just had this distinct feeling he wasn’t going to get along with Karkat’s boyfriend whatsoever! No matter what! He just knew it!

Aradia sighed again, “Sollux you can’t just hate someone before you even meet them or get to know them!”

“Oh yeah? Watch me! Thith guy, whoever the fuck he ith, I already hate him to the point I hope he get’th hit in the fathe with a beehive! In fact, I’d happily throw that very thaid beehive at him!”

“Sollux! Don’t throw beehives at your friends boyfriends!”

“Fucking watch me AA!!”


Jake sneezed violently, startling Karkat and the others as they stood in their base.

“Jegus fuck what the fuck was that?!” Karkat asked, instantly fussing over Jake, “Are you cold? Sick?”

The Page of Hope flailed slightly as the Knight of Blood went to check his temperature, “Blimey Karkat! I’m quite alright, please! Stop!” Jake whined but also laughed as he tried to push away his concerned moirail. Karkat huffed but stopped fussing over him with a muttered ‘fine’.

The two ignored the small snicker their three other friends shared at the display. Adorable. The two of them have been just adorable ever since they got together as moirails, though both would heavily deny it.

Roxy cleared her throat and grinned brightly at them, “Sooo, meeting continuing! As I was about to propose before someone just sneezed to interrupt me.” She grinned at Jake who rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out at her, “I was thinking… we...shouuuuuuuuuuuuuu--.” She drawled, smiling coyly as she did so.

“Oh my god not again.” Karkat muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose as Roxy continued to unnecessarily drawl out the word ‘should’, going out of breath and inhaling again and just continuing her nonsense.

John and Dave laughed, waiting patiently for Roxy to finish. “Alright Roxy, come on, we still have the rest of the meeting to do.” John told her, Roxy pouted but bounced back and nodded, grinning widely.

Currently, they were in a meeting within their base. Their meeting room was a nifty little thing that Roxy made sure was safe and secure for them to talk in. It was a big room with an oval table, they all had their own colored customized chairs- sure they kind of use a lot of grist to make them and the totally high-tech table that they used in their meeting room but it was definitely worth it. They were so comfy and the table was amazing. Not to mention each of their chairs were connected with the table, there was a USB port and connection ports that they could use to connect their devices to their chairs and thus the table as well.

Roxy’s chair was pink and blue, Dave’s were different shades of red, John’s was different shades of blue, Jake’s was green and yellow and finally Karkat’s chair was grey and bright red. Each chair was labeled with their respective Aspect signs.

“We should start posting on the media!” Roxy proposed with an excited chirp, grinning at them all at her proposal.

“We should what?!” Karkat shrieked, he definitely wasn’t the only one surprised at the proposal. “What the fuck does that mean?!”

Roxy waved over the table, bringing up the apps of Twitter, Instagram and other social medias. “I mean we should be like, making social media accounts and start posting stuff that we’re doing in here. Now before you all lose your shit and stuff, we’ll always be in our costumes when we do shit like that and we won’t show everything just, little tidbits and stuff on what we do in our base! I mean, come on, wouldn’t it be cool?” She questioned with a gigantic grin, looking hopeful and giving them a pleading look.

The rest of them shared wary looks, thinking over Roxy’s proposal. “I don’t know Roxy, I mean, we did just get almost everything in our base organized and stuff…” John trailed off with a frown, looking concerned and cautious. He didn’t want people to start realizing where they had bunked down and made their base out of. They had most of their rooms functional, it wasn’t complete and wouldn’t be complete for a while but at least it was better than when it was empty and dusty.

“We don’t have to do it right away, I just wanted to get the idea out there for a bit. The reason why I’m suggesting it is kind of selfish, I got hella mad when I found that there were people online trying to trick other people that they were us. Like, bitch what the hell!” She huffed, upset from the times she had stumbled over some accounts that had tried to trick others that they were them, the ‘Aspects’- she was quick in tearing those accounts down and proving their falsity but the problem was still there.

Dave soured, nodding in understanding. He had dealt the same when it came to his comic website Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. It had been irritating to deal with the imposters that popped up from time to time.

“… We’ll think about it.” John told her with a sigh, still unsure about the idea even though it did sounded nice.

Roxy drooped but kept her smile, nodding to John’s words in acceptance. They still had to be careful after all, no matter how good things were going- Karkat and Jake were slightly exposed now, and tomorrow Jake would have to meet with Karkat’s friends and family and tell Dirk and the others about his new relationship.


Things were definitely going to get messy.


Oh boy, J@k3 and K@r*@t sure have cornered themselves there. While I am glad they have each other, I am very concerned on how things will go, especially with @r@n3@’s plans will be with.

Well excuuuuuuuuse me, communicating with my human self had been hard enough! I can only hope my words have not been twisted too horribly in my attempt of communication.

What I’m finding hard to believe ith how idiotic my human thelf ith acting towardth KK.

As if you’d act anywway else S0l.

Thhut up ED.

Bouys!

Sorry Fef.

Sorry FF.

Amusing as it is to watch your human selves deal with unknown xenocultural relationships and also the incoming misunderstandings I am very concerned towards the state of Human Condesce. Her dream was blocked from our peripheral vision, but the result of it obviously disturbed her.

Fuck yeah it disturbed her, it glubbin' disturbed the shell outta me too! Cool adult human me’s cut off her rad fucking locks! The fuck was all a trout?!

I have no idea. But guys? We have a purroblem here! Incoming!

SHIT, ARE THOSE-

They are! And they are trying to break through our barrier!

There’s too many of them!

Shit!

Let’s hope that K@rK@7 doesn’t relapse at the sight of them!

He took on his honorable tyranny, he can take on these drones!

Some of them hawve buckets!

Oh dear.

Nevermind he’s doomed.


It was just suppose to be another day.

Not.

It was actually suppose to be the day Jake met Karkat’s friends and family.

Jake stood stiffly in front of the crowd, smiling sheepishly at the twenty numbered group of friends plus one brother that stood in front of him. Eleven of Karkat’s now human friends eyed him up and down along with each of their siblings.

Cronus was the one to speak up first, being the closest along with Kankri, “So, mini-chief, this is your boyfriend?”

Really, it was just suppose to be that day, it had been exciting enough for Jake and Karkat to do that. Especially since a few of them clearly didn’t like Jake.

Jake let out a surprised yelp as he was shoved against the bathroom’s wall, a certain nerd having followed him to the place.

I don’t trutht you you thon of a bitch.” Sollux hissed to him angrily, gripping his shoulders tightly. “But if you fucking hurt KK I will make thure you pay.”

But of course, things almost never came their way.

RIFT!” Nepeta shrieked, pointing up to the giant tear of space and time in the sky.

Karkat and Jake jolted, staring wide at the giant tear with shock and horror.

And things went bad.

Karkat recognized those red figures that came through and started terrorizing their surroundings. Painted bright red with a certain symbol of a three pronged trident on their metallic shells. “Drones?!

To worse.

VOID LOOK OUT!

Roxy didn’t have enough time to react, suddenly smashed downwards, feeling and practically hearing something break inside her as she crashed down and snapped her neck.

Immortality was something they originally didn’t want to be found out with, too many things adding up and triggering their paranoia. Worries of being captured and being experimented on for the ‘secret of immortality’ was something none of them were keen on, even if it was unlikely it was still possible.

Tick

Unfortunately.

Tock

Some things just don’t go their way half the time.

Undecided


Chapter Text


Sollux frowned as he looked at the computer screen before him. Now, usually he’d be in a surlier mood now-a-days, mostly because of a certain… subject that he was currently avoid thinking at the moment. But right now, his frown was at the weird program he had copied and downloaded from Karkat’s computer.

He had almost forgotten about the thing, what with… yeah. But he had recently remembered it and decided to look into it to distract himself over the incoming meeting he’d have with Karkat’s boyfriend.

The dual-eyed human scowled, shaking his head to clear his thoughts about that and focused at the task at hand. He had a file to look into, plus, this weird file had been in Karkat’s computer. Who knows what it contained, did Karkat know? Or had he accidentally download it when he visited whatever website he visited to to watch romcom movies for free. Like a virus or something. A currently, not activated virus since Karkat’s computer actually seemed fine while Sollux had been operating it to snoop look at Karkat’s activity. Because nothing described a person as well as the insides of their personal computer.

Then Sollux had found that weird file that made no sense at all. Not really. It still felt, strangely familiar but other than that it didn’t really seem like anything.

“What the fuck are you and why were you on Kk’th computer.” Sollux murmured to himself as he dived deeper into the file, going as far as to take a peek into the programming. Only to be met with more confusion and mystery as not only did the font characters of the file were there, but they were used as a programming language. “Holy thhit.”

Seriously, why was this on Karkat’s computer? Karkat was balls at programming! He doubted that his best friend could even learn this programming language- which was based on what? These characters made no sense to him at all.

“Jethuth fuck KK, what aren’t you telling uth?” Again, did he even know about this file?

Sollux huffed before rolling his shoulders and neck then cracking his fingers, well, the mystery was enticing enough for him to try and figure out what the fuck was in the file. He just needed to find out what language the file was in and find a suitable and reliable translator for it.

Easy enough right?

Hahaha.

Nope. But good try me.


TG: babes
TG: babes
TG: babes look

tipsyGnostalgic [TG] sent ICALLHERMARY;D,png

EB: roxy what

TG: oh my gog

TG: wonk wonk wonk ;;;DddDDD

EB: roxy

TG: hahahahahhahahahaha

EB: roxy explain what the heck

TG: language johnny :} but ye i was bored earlier so i just
TG: started gluin goggly eyes on my shit
TG: *glueing *googly
TG: then this totes amazeballs idea hit me lik a pair of dream shoes to the face

EB: *glares*

TG: * wonks*
TG: aannywaay
TG: it hits me
TG: and now my tatas gots eyes
TG: MY CHEST IS A FACE 8D

EB: please tell me you didn’t literally glue googly eyes to the top of your breasts roxy

TG: pffftfttt
TG: lol but no
TG: course not
TG: look my bra makes it look like its smiling 8)

TG: jegus fucking christ roxy killing me with the chest face boob eyes

TG: HER NAME
TG: is mary ;)

EB: i see…

turntechGodhead [TG] sent yomeetdick.png

TG: sup
TG: dick says sup too obviously

TG: 8DDDD

EB: *oh my god dave why*

TG: why not

TG: YAS QUEEN HANDSOME DICK XXDDDDD
TG: you even drew a little smile!!!@!!@!!
TG: ilysm

EB: jegus christ you two

TG: john

EB: ??

TG: jooooohn

EB: what

TG: yo egderp come join the chest party

EB:
EB: no

TG: jooooooooooooohn cmoooooooooon
TG: plsssssss???
TG: 4 me n davey only???

TG: come on egdork let me see that smexy chest of yours

EB: *d a v e*

TG: jooooooooooohnnyyyyyyyy

EB: …
EB: i dont have googly eyes

TG: no fucking problem

EB: DAVE SERIOUSLY

TG: he timeported into ur room to give u googly booby eyes didnt he

TG: yep

TG: noice

EB: you guys are so ridiculousssss

TG: you love us
TG: now introduce us to your chest face!!

EB: no i hate you both

ectoBiologist [EB] sent ...bobby.png

EB: here
EB: his name is bobby

TG: XXXXDDDD

TG: noice

EB: you guys are ridiculous


Roxy grinned, giggling as Dave and John entered a playful banter when Dave pointed out that John was just as ridiculous as they were. Which was correct since the Heir of Breath was such a dork. Her earlier picture of the googly-eyed chest bra had been a huge success, though soon afterwards she changed into a legitimate shirt and moved to the couch on the living room.

“And what has you so amused this night sister?” Roxy blinked, tilted her head back to see Rose walking into the room, holding her laptop in her hand as she went to sit besides her. The pink-eyed Rogue made some room for her sister to sit besides her on the couch, grinning as Rose settled down as gracefully as she could.

“Oh nothing, just messing around with John and Dave.” She said casually, knowing she’d caught her sister’s attention at the mention of the two of her best friends. “What about you Rosie? What’re you doin’?” She asked curiously after Rose opened her laptop on her lap.

Rose had paused, wondering what Roxy wanted with her two best male friends- or rather, what they were doing ‘messing’ around. Did Roxy know about the two’s unfortunate situation of being infatuated with each other but stubbornly believing otherwise? Maybe she could enlist her help in the matter of bringing both boys together, it’d be a sisterly bonding project they could do.

“Currently? I’m opening my laptop and surfing the interwebs for something interesting.” Rose admitted, booting up her laptop and doing as she said.

Roxy giggled, “And by ‘something interesting’ you mean news about the Aspects huh?” She questioned and teased at the same time, looking all too amused by the other’s actions.

Not even denying it, Rose nodded.

The Aspects were a constant thing on the internet and daily life now, no matter where you went, there’d be at least some mention of the super heroic group that fought the otherworldly enemies that came from the mysterious rifts. Be it good or bad mentions, they were a point of extreme interest now in the modern age.

The Rogue of Void hummed before leaning against Rose and basically cuddling up to her, though she made sure that Rose couldn’t see her phone as she continued to chat with John and Dave. Rose made no complaints, adjusting herself so Roxy could lean against her comfortably while she, herself could use the computer with no problems.

Lately, or rather, the past few months, Roxy had been extremely affectionate. Hugging herself, their mother, her friends- she was being extremely-touchy-feely for whatever reason but no one complained, after all, it was just Roxy. Still, the sudden growth of affection was slightly weird but not too concerning.

“Hey sis?”

“Yes Roxy?”

“Got any weird dreams lately?”

Rose barely paused in her typing, “No, why do you ask?”

Her reply was a noncommittal hum, though the odd undertone of relief and slight disappointment made her twitch, why? It took Roxy a small moment to answer, “Dirk had this weird dream the other day, asked us if we had any. It just popped in my head and I wanted to ask.” She lied smoothly, smiling at her sister with a fairly innocent look.

So that was a no to Rose then.

The others had asked their siblings earlier on -with the exception of Dave-, it had slipped Roxy’s mind to ask until now.

So no one else but Dirk had had that strange dream that somehow connected John to him to a possible dream bubble. And so far Dirk had no such other dreams to their knowledge, none that had connected to John once more or any other player.

It was a strange phenomenon that went unexplained for the time being. And that was unsettling but as long as it didn’t put them into any danger, it would be fine, right?

They had no idea about the fact that Ondine had experienced the same thing.

“Well, if I do have any strange or unusual dreams I’ll be sure to report to you.” Rose said dryly with a tinge of amusement making Roxy laugh slightly.

This was a nice sibling moment that Roxy enjoyed immensely, just, sitting slash platonic sisterly cuddling on the couch in an enjoyable silence. There was no scent of salty sea air whatsoever, nor the background noise of carapacians scuttling around the neighborhood, scavenging for food and hunting mutant cats- Roxy somewhat missed those mutant kitties but at least she had her sister and mother with her now.

And she was going to work hard to keep that.


CG: OKAY
CG: READY JAKE?

GT: I believe so!
GT: Well, admittedly i’m still very nervous about this karkat but i think i’ll be able to do this!

CG: FUCK IT
CG: IT’LL HAVE TO BE GOOD ENOUGH BECAUSE WE CAN’T REALLY BACK THE FUCK OUT NOW

GT: Righto!
GT: I’ll see you there karkat!

CG: SEE YOU THERE JAKE
CG: <>

GT: :B <>


Karkat’s nerves soothed slightly at the goofy emoticon and the diamond that Jake sent him, his worries of course didn’t go away but were quelled slightly. His worries would never completely go away, it was impossible to do that but at least he had Jake to calm him down to an extent.

He took in a deep breath, looking into the mirror with grim determination. He had gotten rid most of his troubled blood, old blood flushed down the toilet while the new blood was stashed in his sylladex. He could only hope things would go well enough that he could avoid popping a blood vessel, whether it be his or anyone else’s. Or gog forbid him actually vomiting blood in front of the others!

The black-haired Knight shivered at the thought, shaking his head and looked back to his phone at the message, soothed once more.

Karkat!” Came Kelvin’s voice through the bathroom door, “You alright in there son? We’re leaving in a few minutes!” He reminded him, sounding worried. Months ago Karkat would have been so freaked out by the fact an adult was concerned over him -muchlesshisancestor- but living with Kelvin and being backed up by the others helped a lot so he was able to answer without much problem.

“I’m fucking fine! I’m ready to go!” He shouted back with ‘irritation’, pocketing his phone and unlocking the bathroom door to face his human father. Kelvin smiled down at Karkat who fought the urge to shiver slightly at the action, despite the fact he was somewhat used to Kelvin’s presence didn’t make it any less weird. Swe-years of instinctual wary for your own species’ adults didn’t just go down the drain after all, even though he was no longer a troll but the point still stood. “Let’s just go and get this over with.”

Kelvin chuckled slightly, nodding and stepping aside so Karkat could go past him. “I’m looking forward to meet with Jake once more, he seems like a nice young man.” He told him. Jake had been on his best behavior during that visit, apologizing over and over again to him for accidentally jabbing Karkat’s nose hard enough to cause some bleeding. Oh, he was still wary over the boy who he had no idea about but he tried his best for Karkat’s sake. His first impression of Jake was that of a polite boy but first impressions could be wrong for certain people and he wanted to know who Jake really was to his son.

Also, it hurt slightly, to not know who Jake really was or the fact that Karkat had actually been dating underneath his nose like that. Even Kankri had to voice out his intentions to date Cronus! After Cronus asked Kelvin of course. It had been, a somewhat tense moment but Cronus was good to Kankri so that was all that mattered.

Jake on the other hand…

“Jake’s one of the nicest humans out there,” Karkat said bluntly, wondering briefly if his use of ‘human’ was alright in this context and deciding that yes it was, “He wouldn’t hurt a fly… Not on purpose anyway.” Karkat added with some after though, his hand reaching up to rub his nose slightly, a brief phantom pain of how Jake had accidentally hit his nose.

Kelvin frowned but nodded, “Right.”

Kankri was already waiting patiently in front of the car, perking when both his little brother and father finally left the house. He greeted them both and got into the car when Kelvin unlocked the doors, taking front seat once more after Karkat rejected the offer of being at the front, preferring to be at the back of the car instead of the front. He didn’t really like the thought of sitting besides his ‘father’ for long periods of time, he’d do it if he didn’t have a choice but he’d prefer to stay away most of the time. Something that Kelvin was starting to pick up on.

After making sure they were all ready, they headed off to the park within the city, it was where they would meet with the others as well as with Jake.

Jake himself would be going by himself, excusing himself from Jake and his grandpa by lying and saying he was going to the movies by himself. After some reassurance and promises, Jake was able to go on his own, he even checked to make sure that Jade or Grandpa wouldn’t be following him, which thankfully they weren’t.

The reason he hadn’t told them- well, he hadn’t told them he was ‘dating’ Karkat yet, he totally would in the future! Just, not now, not when he was going to be dealing with Karkat’s friends and family today. It was a beautiful day outside, things were surely going to be alright!

They should really stop tempting Paradox Space and practically inviting it to prove them wrong.


Aranea smiled and greeted the others as she, Vriska and their mother arrived. They weren’t the first to do so but they weren’t the last, that was reserved for the Zahhaks once more.

Karkat and his family had arrived already, along with Meulin’s, Rufioh’s, Kurloz’s and Latula’s. The others had yet to arrive yet but they would arrive before Karkat’s mysterious paramour.

Said mysterious paramour was a subject of current interest, Karkat looking ready to explode as teens and adults alike prodded him for further information over this ‘Jake Harley’ that was his romantic partner that they had previously no knowledge about.

How suspicious.

They had no idea who the young man was and Karkat’s story of how they met didn’t sit right with Aranea.

... Don't r... trusti... in Jake...

Those words resonated in her mind for some reason. How in the world did her subconscious know about Jake before she had? Or well, before they even knew the significance of who Jake was. He had been a random name that Karkat had dropped, nothing more, nothing less, but now for some reason he was a character of near extreme interest. Thankfully she wasn’t the only one who thought so, even if it was for the wrong reasons.

Not only that, there was the whole matter of… Breath dying before her, Meulin and Rufioh. They hand’t been seeing things! He had legitimately died! Rufioh had checked his pulse- no, he had done the procedure right goddammit!

It had been frustrating to talk about it with their friends, but with how it all went, they could understand that it was hard to believe it without seeing with their own eyes. Though that didn’t mean that she wanted one of the heroes to die, not at all! She had a very good feeling that death wasn’t that all pleasant.

A bloody red sword made a sickening squelch as it retracted from the blue-and-now-red-covered chest.

Breath falling lifelessly to the ground from high in the air with a loud THUD.

Aranea tried to suppress the shiver that happened in her body, an odd ache around her neck. Yes, it certainly didn’t seem pleasant at all. So she didn’t wish death upon the heroes, though she did wish to understand it more.

Unfortunately, or fortunately it all depended, some wishes were granted, even the unwanted wishes.

The eldest Serket daughter focused back to reality as Kankri saved Karkat, placating both him and the others while scolding them to be patient. Poor Karkat looked like he was about to froth at the mouth, ill even, was he okay?

Before she could even ask, Karkat suddenly perked, taking out his phone that had vibrated and chimed in his pocket. “Ah, fucking finally.” He mumbled to himself before continuing louder for everyone to hear, “Jake’s here! Well, he just entered the park, he’s coming over soon!” He announced. That fed into the frenzy that was both their friends and family, Aranea looking amused as Vriska, Eridan and Terezi tried to weasel some more information from Karkat again while simultaneously looking around to see if they could spot Karkat’s boyfriend even though they had no idea what he looked like aside from what Kankri and Karkat -begrudgingly- described him as. Kanaya was tidying her already neat clothes, ever concerned over first impressions and secretly preparing herself to judge Jake for herself. Aradia was trying to be jubilant but also trying to placate the very moody Sollux by her side, Nepeta was trying to help but also joined Terezi, Eridan and Vriska in trying to spot Jake. Equius, Tavros, and surprisingly Gamzee, were giving Karkat his space and respectfully and patiently waiting for Jake quietly in the background.

Then, in no time at all, the aforementioned and infamous Jake Harley appeared in the flesh, causing Karkat to brighten and escape the grasps of his friends to greet his now not-so-mysterious boyfriend with a tight and relieved hug, one which was returned fully with a bright grin.

Jake Harley was…

Not what they were expecting.

He was a few inches taller than Karkat, which wasn’t much since Karkat was the smallest male among them. He was around Tavros’ height, maybe an inch taller. He had messy black hair, bright green eyes behind thin square glasses, a wide buck-toothed grin. He wore an open green plaid shirt over a white tee with an image of a green skull on it, beige cargo pants served as his lower clothing held by a green belt and he wore black sneakers with white skull designs.

All in all.

He looked like a dork.

“Thank fuck you’re here, I am not going to suffer from this alone.” Karkat tells Jake with mock-seriousness, relaxing just by being in the vicinity of the male. The hug had helped as well. It was, strange to see Karkat like this. He acted so casual around the unknown stranger that was his boyfriend, even more casual with than his own friends.

It…

It hurt a bit.

Especially for those who were particularly close to Karkat.

“So this is crabcake’s new bouyfrond?” Meenah mutters to Aranea, looking at Karkat with a not-so-subtle critical eye. Almost everyone was looking at Jake with observant eyes but at least most of them were being subtle, the others weren’t even trying to hide that they were eying Jake and trying to figure out his worth.

Jake was making an admirable effort to seem that he didn’t notice or seem too nervous.

Among the scrutinizing gazes, Aranea’s look of suspicion was natural and unquestioned. The cerulean female’s head ringing slightly with echoing words in her head.

... Don't r... trusti... in Jake…

... Don't r... trusti... in Jake…

... Don't r... trusti... in Jake...

Oh gog damn it.


Jake stood stiffly in front of the crowd, smiling sheepishly at the twenty numbered group of friends plus one brother that stood in front of him. Eleven of Karkat’s now human friends eyed him up and down along with each of their siblings.

Cronus was the one to speak up first, being the closest along with Kankri, “So, mini-chief, this is your boyfriend?”

From the background he could spy on the adults that were also doing the same, he tried not to gulp as he continued to plaster the smile on his face as Karkat snorted and glared at Cronus with an obvious ‘duh’ look on his face. The elder Ampora held his hands up in surrender, chuckling, “Alright, alright, he is.” He amended.

Kankri offered a smile and a hand of greeting to the poor nervous green-eyed boy, “Greetings Jake, it is nice to see you once more.”

Jake beamed, taking the hand and shaking it firmly, “And you as well Karkat’s bro-uh, Kankri.” He said, quickly interrupting himself as he remembered that Kankri had told him to call him by name. He hoped that he had made a good first impression on Karkat’s family and while Karkat was quick to reassure him that he did, he couldn’t help but doubt it slightly. He took in a deep breath and mentally prepped himself for the incoming assault of familial and friendly concern that would come from Karkat’s friends, he let’s go of Kankri’s hand and beams at the others. “Salutations! I am Jake Harley, Karkat’s m-uh-boyfriend.” He said, almost stumbling over his words.

And just like that, he was practically pounced on by Karkat’s friends.

Maybe he was regretting acting as Karkat’s boyfriend the tiniest bit. Or at least, agreeing to meet with Karkat’s friends in the park today. Maybe.

Though he didn’t regret becoming Karkat’s moirail.

Not one bit.


“So… Shoutkat’s new boy toy...” Ondine mused, she and the others watching the ambush from afar. They’d give the boy some mercy and let him suffer to their children, maybe give him some reprieve before getting him to face the final bosses of this encounter. The parents. Eventually Jake would confront them, but first, he had to survive their kids first.

Kelvin hummed, nodding his head, “Yes, he is Jake Harley.” He confirmed, looking amused as Jake tried to answer the barrage of questions that were aimed at him by Karkat’s friends. Porrim was even flirting with him, testing his loyalty, Karkat was naturally offended but Jake was doing a good job so far, flustering over Porrim’s actions and words but rebuffing somewhat impressively and keeping to Karkat’s side.

Alpheus squinted as he looked at the boy, “He seems oddly familiar.” He muttered, mostly to himself as Terezi tried to gross Jake out by licking his hand, Karkat shrieked at her and scolded her but Jake was easily calming him down and reassuring him that it was fine- an admirable and almost awing skill, to effortlessly calm Karkat like that, though for some reason, the way the bucktoothed teen tenderly papped the other’s cheek. Karkat flushed but was calm and quiet in the end.

“What exactly do you mean by that?” Archer asked, watching Kanya prod and question Jake, deciding that his fashion choice wasn’t too bad. At least he wasn’t wearing crocs or anything that horrifying, though the skull motif that he took up was only slightly questionable.

“Hm, I don’t knoww.”

“Oof, Sollux really doesn’t seem to like him.” Jasper commented, seeing the way Sollux was scowling at Jake, attempting to question him harshly but thankfully it seemed that Aradia and Nepeta had a good hold on him. Mituna was even helping by distracting Jake and Karkat from Sollux’s clear murderous gaze.

Dexter winced slightly, “Ah, right. Almost forgot about that...” He muttered, though rose a brow when strangely enough, Jake seemed to be enjoying the slight conversation with Equius and Horuss. Later he, Archer and the others would be surprised to find out that Jake was actually interested in robotics and was quite knowledgeable over the subject.

“Poor Sollux, I really thought that he and Karkitten would end up together.” Leonor sighed, watching with sympathetic and sad eyes at the group, “Looks like I was wrong.” She had to hide her snort though, when Kurloz managed to scare Jake into cursing weirdly when he appeared from seemingly out of nowhere, who in the world cursed like that any more? Or uses the phrase, ‘Blimey!’ Anymore? Was the teen part British or something?

Corinna nodded in agreement, “Yes, I had thought that Sollux and Karkat would eventually come together after Sollux either gathered his courage or someone else intervened.” She admitted, frowning slightly but it turned into a smile when Feferi and Eridan tag-teamed on Jake, Feferi playing good cop while Eridan played bad cop. Cronus and Meenah distracted Karkat and Kankri for a bit while their younger siblings handled Jake.

“Someone else did intervened, but Karkat is not with Sollux.” Gretchen said, watching her daughters try to help Karkat and Kankri in reeling both their friend groups from getting to Karkat’s unfortunate boyfriend. Though Damara was also making sure that Jake was treating Karkat right, smiling politely and using her cunning words to work for her. That’s her girl.

Keiran frowned at the boy, not looking very amused by the small teen- just how old was Jake again? “I don’t like him.” He said bluntly, he watched his youngest son and Meulin poke at Jake. “He comes from literally motherfucking nowhere and we don’t know who he is.” He deadpans, roughly rubbing his eyelids with annoyance.

“Keiran! Please, he’s just a boy. Not some, suspicious man.” Cosima scolded him, her oldest daughter now probably asking him what kind of video games he liked to play, “Really. Just because he’s from outside our circle of familiarity doesn’t mean you should instantly be wary of him.” She continued, knowing just why he felt like that. Keiran preferred familiarity, he liked their tight-knit group of friends that lasted two generations. Their kids being close friends just like them. Having an outsider butt in didn’t seem exactly right to the older Makara.

Moira chuckled, nodding in agreement with Cosima, “True, though it wouldn’t hurt to do a background check on the boy no? His family could be involved with something baaaaaaaad~” She half-joked, but was half-serious as well. Something about this whole situation just seemed so fishy to her. Like there was something going on underneath it though much to her frustration, she couldn’t really figure it out. Plus, she could see the way her eldest daughter was regarding Jake with a different kind of suspicion. And for some reason, it resonated with her.

The Captor patriarch snorted, “Just look at him Moira, he looks like a total dork. I don’t really think his family is involved with anything bad.” He deadpanned, motioning to the sheepishly smiling Jake who had somehow managed to survive his rounds with their children.

“Ah, but looks can be deceiving Dexter.” Moira retorted with a pointed and slightly smug look, knowing she had a point there. Something that Keiran seemed to agree with whole heartedly.

The others snorted, “Ah look, Jake bouy there managed to escape. Looks like he’s headin’ to the bathroom.” Ondine pointed out, the black-haired male heading over towards the nearest bathroom within the park.

They didn’t notice Sollux sneak off until they recounted their kids and found themselves one Captor short. Which lead to Karkat storming towards the bathroom in a fit of rage.

Oh dear.

And then the sky exploded when Sollux came back.


Jake sighed as he had a brief moment of reprieve all to himself, he had gone to the bathroom for a small break from Karkat’s very eccentric and apparently overprotective friends. And he hadn’t even met the parents yet! Aside from Kelvin of course.

He’s heard plenty about the adults from Karkat, and the ones he was most dreading to meet -aside from all of them of course- was Keiran and Ondine. The two most intimidating adults among the group. Ondine was obvious, she was the human version of that dastardly witch that killed his grandmother! But, she was human now, and had no memories of that and… well, she was still intimidating as hell. Keiran though, trounced her in intimidation. For a good reason, he knew each adult’s life as a troll, Karkat was a lovely story teller when it came to it, and Keiran, aka the Grand Highblood was one of the trolls he didn’t like from Karkat’s retellings of his history.

At any rate though, he was determined to get through this meeting without much problem! “Alright, c’mon Jake you can do this! For Karkat!” He cheered for himself quietly, nodding to his reflection in the mirror before turning to leave the bathroom. Only to be stopped.

Jake let out a surprised yelp as he was shoved against the bathroom’s wall, a certain nerd having followed him to the place.

“I don’t trutht you you thon of a bitch.” Sollux hissed to him angrily, gripping his shoulders tightly. “But if you fucking hurt KK I will make thure you pay.”

Sollux Captor to say the least, was pissed.

Main reason? Jake Harley.

Though there was also that troubling file on his computer that he had barely even managed to crack- he couldn’t find anything on it, not a single thing. He couldn’t, for the life of him, figure it out! No translator on the internet could translate the damned thing! The language he had on his computer, and had originally came from Karkat’s computer practically didn’t exist! And yet, it was there!

But now, he was pinning his main reason he was pissed against the bathroom wall. Karkat’s boyfriend. This stupid, dork looking teen was Karkat’s boyfriend?

Sollux wanted to scream, but currently, he had a teen to intimidate.

Also, as much as he wants to tell Jake to scram, to break up with Karkat and leave to never come back- but no doubt Karkat would hate him for that and that was one thing he didn’t want from his best friend and crush. So for now, he’d be overprotective and make sure that Jake knew not to mess with Karkat.

Still, if he made him mess up from time and again, well, that was only for him to know and no one else to find out.

Jake blinked incredulously, laughing nervously at Sollux, getting over his stunned state to try and placate the obviously angry blue and red-eyed teen in front of him. “I assure you Sollux, I do not intend to purposefully hurt Karkat in anyway! I swear to my grandmother’s ashes!” He insisted, not wanting irk the Gemini any more than he was already.

Sollux narrowed his eyes at him, “’Purpothefully?’” He repeated with a suspicious tone making Jake grin sheepishly. He couldn’t guarantee that he couldn’t totally hurt Karkat, he know’s himself enough that he could make mistakes that could hurt his moirail but he’d try his damned best for him!

Before the both of them could say anything else, the bathroom door was practically kicked down by one angry Cancer-signed teen.

“Karkat!” “KK?!”

Karkat squinted his eyes at the scene before him, “Sollux, for all that is unholy- let. Him. Go.” The smaller teen snarled at the taller and lankier male, Sollux grimaced but did as he said, wanting to avoid Karkat’s wrath and anger. Though he couldn’t exactly stomp down the feeling of jealousy when Karkat immediately fussed over Jake, questioning him if he was alright or not.

“Karkat I’m fine! Really I am!” Jake laughed, smiling fondly as Karkat huffed at him, though he interrupted his moirail before he could go off against Sollux, “Hey! It’s okay! He’s just, really concerned over you Karkat, don’t get angry at him. Or at your other friends, I can understand that they really do care for you because of this!”

Karkat narrowed his eyes at him then looked at Sollux who tried to look as casual as possible against the bathroom wall, “… Fine. Still doesn’t give them the fucking right to mess with you.” He grumbled, though he relaxed a bit when Jake slung an arm around his shoulder. “Sollux, Mituna and the others are looking for you.” He informed the Captor, scowling at him, though it wasn’t as angry as it should be.

“Whatever...” Sollux grumbled, trying not to make it seem like he was sulking as he left, though he totally was.

When the Gemini left, Karkat even peeked through the doors and checked using his Blood Powers, they both let out a sigh of relief.

“Sweet Jiminy Christmas Karkat, I know your friends and family was eccentric but really.” Jake sighed, shaking his head and stretching slightly with a groan.

Karkat nodded in agreement, tiredly whining, “Gog, they’re fucking worse as humans than they are as trolls!” He exclaimed, burying his face in his hands as he tried to hide his embarrassed flush. Though, who knows, maybe the others might have acted worse if they had been trolls. But really, at least they’d get that he and Jake were moirails and not matesprits!

Jake laughed slightly, “Well I do stand by my words earlier. At least we know that they really do care for you.” The Page of Hope said with a slightly dry tone. Being manhandled by about twenty or so teens was quite a thing to go through, and if that didn’t say, ‘WE CARE ABOUT THIS BOY YOU BETTER NOT FUCK UP’ then Jake would eat one of his pistols.

The Knight of Blood nodded in agreement, not as embarrassed anymore or angry, he actually looked quite fond.

After a few minutes of recuperating in the bathroom, thankfully throughout the whole situation no one else had been inside any of the other stalls, they headed out side.

Only for things to go oh so terribly wrong.

Nepeta had been looking up at the sky, watching some birds fly from their nests when she saw it first. She screamed so loud that Jake and Karkat heard it from where they were outside the bathroom.

RIFT!” Nepeta shrieked, pointing up to the giant tear of space and time in the sky.

Karkat and Jake jolted, staring wide at the giant tear with shock and horror.

Immediately panic kicked in from the humans in the park, screaming and scrambling to get away before whatever monster popped out of the rift. Only to be too late as red figures began to spill from the giant rift in the sky.

Karkat recognized those red figures that came through and started terrorizing their surroundings. Painted bright red with a certain symbol of a three pronged trident on their metallic shells.Drones?!

Jake looked over at him with shock, “Drones?! You mean those-” “Yes!” Karkat hissed, hackles raised along with some of his panic as seemingly thousands of drones came out from the tear. Dropping from the sky and unto the ground with heavy THUDS.

Jake! Karkat! Both teens whirled to see Kelvin, Keiran and Jasper running towards them, trying to get to them- Shit if they succeeded then it would be hard for them to sneak away and deal with the attacking drones! Fortunately, or unfortunately on how you saw it, a group of drones dropped between the two players and the three adults before they could even reach them.

.* CEASE AND DESIST. ALL NON TROLL LIFE FORMS SHALL BE DETAINED, ANY FORM OF RESISTANCE SHALL BE CULLED *.

That was Alternian and it talked about-RUN!Karkat screamed at the adults.Run! We-We’ll find you but for gog’s sake run!!He shouted as Jake took his hand and ran the opposite direction.

They needed a place to ‘hide’ and get to work on these shits!

The adults hesitated, with Kelvin heavily doing so until the red-drones turned their way.NO! KARKAT! KARKAT!Kelvin howled as Keiran and Jasper forcefully ran with him, the father shouting at them to let him go so he could go after his son but the they knew if they let him he’d die and they just couldn’t let that happen.


CODE 612 GET TO THE PARK RIGHT THE FUCK NOW

~Karkat

Three teens instantly got to work, disappearing from their houses and heading towards the park. Unknowing of what was ahead of them.

Jegus fucking Christ these guys are crazy!

Guys! They’re not game enemies- THEY’RE NOT DROPPING GRIST!

WHAT?!

VOID LOOK OUT!


Chapter Text


Facing one of your childhood’s greatest fears is no easy feat.

.*CEASE AND DESIST. ALL NON TROLL LIFE FORMS SHALL BE DETAINED, ANY FORM OF RESISTANCE SHALL BE CULLED*.

From the moment Karkat understood just how dire his situation was.

.*CEASE AND DESIST. ALL NON TROLL LIFE FORMS SHALL BE DETAINED, ANY FORM OF RESISTANCE SHALL BE CULLED*.

He tried not to be found, hiding to his best abilities and making sure he didn’t bleed. The exact opposite of what he had been doing over the last few months or ever since the game had started. Honestly he had been so relieved, to find that Alternia was being destroyed in the wake of the game because that meant he could live and that drones would never come after him.

.*CEASE AND DESIST. ALL NON TROLL LIFE FORMS SHALL BE DETAINED, ANY FORM OF RESISTANCE SHALL BE CULLED*.

Until now.

“Karkat? Karkat!”

Karkat sucked in a breath, snapping out of his terrified mental state. Jake gripping his shoulders with a look of extreme concern on his face, “Karkat, are you okay? Stay with me, come on dear chap.” The Page of Hope said, taking him into his arms and hugging him close. Shakily, he returned the hug, flinching as the echo of the drone’s declaration reached his ears.

.*CEASE AND DESIST. ALL NON TROLL LIFE FORMS SHALL BE DETAINED, ANY FORM OF RESISTANCE SHALL BE CULLED*.

“Do you want to stay out of this Karkat? The others and I can take care of this ourselves.” Jake says softly, looking out of the alley they were hiding in. They had escaped the drone but now they had to move, whether to escape again or to change into their godhoods and fight.

The ex-troll inhaled and shook his head, gently shoving Jake back, “Fuck you, I can do this. Those drones won’t fucking know what hit them.” He said, looking determined and changing into his godhood with the help of his sylladex. “Come on Hope, we’ve got shit to do.

Jake looked hesitant before he nodded, looking just as determined, his green clothing turning bright yellow.

Karkat-now Blood, took out his phone, sending off a text message to the three other superheroes that needed to be there at the moment.

CODE 612 GET TO THE PARK RIGHT THE FUCK NOW

~Karkat


“Those are drones- those are drones, why are there drones escaping that rift?!” Dammek shrieked, hands clenched and slammed unto the table as he and the others were in the meeting block, the news playing on the screen before them.

Xefros and the others trolls watched with stunned eyes as drones, Beforan drones, were attacking the human city that they were currently situated in. Fortunately for them, they were at the edge of the city where the drones hadn’t gone to. Yet.

.*CEASE AND DESIST. ALL NON TROLL LIFE FORMS SHALL BE DETAINED, ANY FORM OF RESISTANCE SHALL BE CULLED*.

“It even knows about trolls, but why is it culling humans?” Lynera asks, confused and concerned- Drones were not suppose to cull humans, they were infantry, robots made for the purpose of being part of the empire’s army and security defense. Guards and soldiers that could also be considered canon fodder that trolls could hide behind when it came to it.

Polypa narrowed her eyes, clawed hands clenched slightly as she watched the drones terrorize the humans, “I don’t think that they’re actually culling the humans… they’re trying to kill them, and call it culling.” She said aloud, breath hitching as she watched a small human child just barely dodge the weaponized hand that the drone used to try and harm it. Polypa wasn’t that much of a fan for most humans, but she had a soft spot for a lot of their young, they were just… so small and squishy. They needed to be taken care of constantly, by their parents and the adults of the species.

Kind of like grubs. But even more fragile since they had flesh and not slightly hard chitin as skin.

It was weird.

The oliveblood let out a small sigh of relief when the child was saved- “Blood and Hope have arrived.” Zebede said, looking relieved and glad when the two heroes had appeared. Their dark red and yellow outfits a beacon among the red robotic drones that seemed so similar to the drones back on their planet.

“But this brings us back to the question of where the drones came from- kind of, they came from the rift but still? And what they’re doing on Earth? Why are they attacking Earth?”

Dammek had no idea who asked that but they had asked a good question, why the fuck were they attacking Earth? Where had they come from? Why the fuck did the rift spit those out?

The brownblood blinked when he heard his huskcell ping, it came from the leader’s memo board.


CN: We need to discuss this.
CN: Now.

TS: Agreed.

SP: =0 No kidding. The amount of shit we’ll have to deal with after this won’t be pretty. 0=
SP: =0 Did any of the higher ups say anything about drones in your debriefings or is this really something that came out of those godforsaken riftst? 0=

CN: None on my end.

TS: Nothing from mine either.

SP: =0 Fuck. 0=


Fuck.

The main expletive that Karkat was thinking at the moment was fuck.

These drones are quite persistent!” Jake shouted, dodging another drones’ sharp claws, pointing out his gun and shooting them down. “And durable!” It would take more than a few bullets to take them down it seems.

No shit! Their exoskeletons are made of high grade metal! Normal fucking bullets won’t do jack shit!” Karkat replied, snarling as he aimed for the joints of the drone, managing to cut the hand of one drone, “Aim for the fucking joints and soft spots! Between the armor!” The Hero of Blood advised as he dodged another drone.

Jake tried hard to follow Karkat’s advice, aiming his bullets for the joints of the robotic figures, “Blast! Where are the others, we need their assistance- there are too many drones and some of them are trying to get away!” They had to keep all the drones’ attention, all of them, prevent them from going anywhere else and causing havoc on their own.

Blood, four o’clock sharp!” Jake shrieked, struggling against a drone, spying a flock of drones trying to fly away from the ensuing fight.

Karkat snarled, he was busy but they really couldn’t let drones stray away from them- they had to keep them in one spot, they couldn’t afford to hunt the drones down through the city! “Fuck! I-” Fortunately, it was this exact time that their help arrived.

The swarm of drones found themselves suddenly contested in the air, by the air it seemed, wind gathering around them and forcefully pulling them back into the fight. And from above, a hair of large hammers rained from the sky, nailing two drones, destroying their heads and making them explode. “Nailed it!” John hooted, appearing in a burst of wind.

On your right!” Roxy hollered as she materialized besides Jake, aiming her scope right at a particularly feisty drone, firing without hesitation and ending up headshotting the robotic figure painted in red, the bullet was specialized and electrocuted the drone, frying its systems and causing to shut down. “Three-sixty no scope bitches!” She continued to shout, Jake ducking underneath the barrel of her rifle when the Void Player turned completely around to shoot at another drone, doing the same, though she couldn’t headshot the drone but she did manage to nail its shoulder, thankfully it was still close enough that it would fry its circuits in the long run.

The drone that Karkat had been dealing with suddenly lost its head. “Cue the cool shit I say when I appear just in time.” Dave deadpanned in the wake of clocks and bells when he appears behind the drone, sword drawn and at the ready, the blond grunted and swiftly swung his sword towards the other drones that surrounded them.

Karkat huffed, giving the other a glare even as a hard smirk came unto to his face, “I didn’t fucking need your help Time.” He snarked, twirling his sickles as he and Dave turned their backs on each other. Trusting each other as they faced the other drones. “You’re all late by the way.

I’m offended. Do you know who I am?

A moron with a broken sword.

Says the idiot with the sickles.

Less talking and more fighting!” John shouted at them as he flew past them, a trail of drones going after him in his awake, making them crash into the drones that were around Karkat and Dave.

Both Knights of their respective Aspects shared a look before shaking their heads and focusing back on the fight.


So instead of weird creatures that spilled from the damned rift of space, time whatever, this time, it was robots. Deadly robots. Deadly robots bent on to do whatever hell knows what they want to do. He didn’t know what they wanted but one thing for sure, they weren’t going to get it.

“Move, move, move!” Eric bellowed, motioning for his men to follow his orders. Military vehicles and plenty of soldiers marched determinedly through the streets, “Help any civilians, escort them to the safe zone!”

His men bellowed after him, “Sir yes sir!”

“General sir! It’s been confirmed, Breath, Void and Time have appeared and are currently assisting Blood and Hope with the robots at the main source!” His Lieutenant informed him tersely, tense and concerned.

Eric grimaced but nodded, “Continue the evacuating, make sure no one is in the area and that these things are kept away from the safe zone and the civilians, find anyone in need of help and get them out of here- then forward to the main scene.”

They had moved instantly when the rift appeared, quickly setting up a safe zone that was estimated to be the safest area of the city. Civilians were being escorted to that area where they could get assistance, medical and other wise.

Twelve certain families would cause a tizzy in the zone when they were escorted there, no sight of a familiar angry boy and his dork of a boyfriend were to be scene on the sight. It would be concerning but it wouldn’t really catch the military’s attention. Yet.

At any rate, General Eric Valiant was currently doing his best in managing his troops, slowly making their way towards the main fight where the Aspects were currently fighting, helping out people along the way.

His troops and himself were to be a sort of rescue team, made for the fact that these ‘otherwordly’ attacks that came from those mysterious rifts didn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. And most casualties came from the fact that people couldn’t clear the area and evacuate fast enough to get to safety. The Aspects obviously did their best not to make casualties and collateral but they had to focus on the enemies and the rift themselves if they wanted to help effectively. They would try to get it to close as soon as possible, and that was a good thing.

Though, it wasn’t the only thing his branch was supposed to do, he was suppose to become a link to the Aspects. A bridge between them and the government since right now, the Aspects were labeled as an outside organization that was obviously not part of the government whatsoever despite what some of the people on the internet thought. They were completely independent, and that was as terrifying to know along with the fact they were independent teenagers with superpowers.

His superiors wanted him to establish contact with the Aspects, and Eric was no fool, he knew that they wanted those teenagers under control or at least under adult supervision. And if they had adult supervision, something that Eric somewhat doubted, then it would be adult government supervision. They couldn’t go on on their owns forever.

Not to mention he knew that the government were interested in the teen’s weapons and powers. Who wouldn’t? And that lead to some… darker thinking admittedly, but Eric would do his damned best to prevent that from happening.

They were teens.

They were still human.

At least, that’s what he thought they were.


Roxy had no idea how long they’ve spent fighting. Dave might know, Roxy would ask but they were currently preoccupied with fightingas she had said earlier on. Too preoccupied with fighting to ask Dave on how long they’ve spent being preoccupied with fighting.

But anyway, Roxy was getting really annoyed by the fighting. Even with Dave’s help of added cavalry in his time clones- future selves, past selves, whatever- it was quite the harrowing battle. How in the hell were these robots so much more difficult to deal with than the imps? It felt that way.

They didn’t seem to be as hard back when she was on the apocalyptic version of Earth, her Earth, with water covering all of the planet and she fought with a laser rifle, she fought inebriated, and they had seemed easier to deal with even as fire burned all around them.

Did she have to go all Jackie Chan drunken fist style on them?

No, that would interfere with her streak of being sober for a long time.

She had already broken once.

She wasn’t going to break again.

But still, the drones here were so different from the drones then.

Then again, the damned waterbitch batterwitch had sent them in a sense of them having to rush into entering the game faster.

Jegus fucking Christ these guys are crazy!” John pants into the microphone of his communicator. Currently he was with Roxy, Dave was on his own- somewhat, he had his time clones accompanying him while Karkat and Jake were sticking together. It was then that the Heir of Breath noticed something peculiar, something that he hadn’t noticed at the start, too busy with dealing with the drones to notice originally. Disbelief filling him as he sees the parts and mechanical bodies that littered around the ground, not dispersing into familiar game source. “Guys! They’re not game enemies- THEY’RE NOT DROPPING GRIST!” He shouted, form tensing as he swung his hammer at a group of drones, sending a powerful blast of air towards them and knocking them out of said air.

The chorused reply came in various degrees of his friend’s voices, but they all came to one word- “WHAT!?

That’s impossible! Even His Fucking Tyranny turned into grist in the end! These- These shits aren’t turning into it?!” Karkat said with obvious dread and disbelief.

Back then, he had been able to deal with the giant crustacean-like monster that was His Horrible Tyranny because he hadn’t known much about the damned creature. When it had turned into grist he had never felt so relieved, it meant it had been from the game. Possibly a copy from his world somehow pasted in a shy version of its glory. It had meant that it wasn’t really real, not in a sense that the possibility of his fucked up world was still somehow kicking.

But this?

The fact these drones weren’t turning into grist meant… that they were real.

These were actual drones that were sent by someone.

Blood! Focus!” He snapped out of it, his curse interrupted by a damaging slam to his stomach and a pained wheeze escaping him. “Blood!

Instinctively Roxy turned to see Karkat rocketing past her from the force of the painful punch that snapped him out of his internal thoughts, unfortunately that instinct costed her just as she was about to go help Karkat-

VOID LOOK OUT!

From above, a drone appeared, arms up and ready to smash her down-

Which it did.

Roxy didn’t have enough time to react, suddenly smashed downwards, feeling and practically hearing something break inside her as she crashed down and snapped her neck.

VOID!!

From afar, Eric Valiant and other humans watched with horror as the heroine Void fell to the ground, creating a crater in her wake.

Shit! Breath go to her, we’ll deal with the drones!” Jake said, John could escape the rabble of the drones the easiest and come back to fight the fastest. They couldn’t have Roxy stay in the crater, not with the drones still up in the air above her.

John merely replied in a terse nod that the other’s didn’t see but knew he was on it, he always was.

John appeared above Roxy in a flash of bright blue, appearing bloody, wounded and silent to those who were watching him but his mind was racing a thousand miles a minute. He touched down into the crater, kneeling to gently take the Rogue of Void’s body in his arms, her head lolling back as the Heir of Breath floated upwards, cradling her body in his arms.

He needed to put her somewhere safe where she could revive- she had to revive, surely that death was not Heroic and like hell it was Just. She had been taken by surprise, dying in the middle of battle with no actions other than fighting to her name, clearing the drones. That wasn’t a Heroic or Just. John just knew it.

Still, having the risk of something getting to Roxy’s body before she revived would be troublesome, they hadn’t really tested on how that would affect their revivals but John wasn’t going to risk it happening to Roxy of all people. He quickly looked around. There.

He spots a group of people at the sidelines, they looked like soldiers, how had they not notice them before? They looked shocked and he grimaced, thankful for the mask that hid his face. He floated up from the crater. They really wanted to avoid this dilemma but unfortunately it looks like it was too late to do anything about it. Not to mention John still needed a safe place for Roxy to come back to.

The soldiers would have to do. It was safer to be surrounded by the armed humans than to get Roxy somewhere else, plus, he didn’t have much. He needed to get back into the fight.

He goes over to one of the men that looked like he was in charge, Was he the General? He laid her before him and his troops. A serious and sad tone in his voice. “Look after her for us…

John disappears in a burst of blue, back to join the fight. Leaving a sad, confused and concerned group of soldiers and news cast behind.


Breath appeared above Void in a flash of bright blue, appearing bloody, wounded and silent. He touched down into the crater, kneeling to gently take Void’s body in his arms, her head lolling back as Breath floated upwards, cradling Void’s body in his arms.

He goes over to General Valiant, laying her before him and his troops. A serious and sad tone in his voice. “Look after her for us…

He disappears in a burst of blue, back to join the fight.


This was what Eric Valiant was fearing for the entire time he had been assigned to the Aspects.

The real world was not like the comic books, or the superhero shows and movies, or of the stories out there, or of those ‘animes’ his son watched.

The Aspects were a superhero group with wonderful powers and were composed of practical children.

And one of those children died today.

General Valiant grimaced as his Lieutenant stoically made her way to Void’s body, the small impossible hope that the heroine was still alive -shewasn’t,notwiththatneck- was crushed moments after the woman bit her lip the moment she took hold of the teen’s wrist. Searching for a pulse.

“… She’s dead.”

He released his breath with a tense and steady sigh, around him his men were showing their own reactions to the news but they were all obviously upset. Some looked away, some looked angry, some looked sad, heartbroken- it went on.

The civilian news cast was worse off, why were they there again? How had he not noticed them.

“Stop filming-” He said, turning to the nearest camera man, reaching for the camera to stop filming the fact that a teenage heroine was dead for all the world to see. Void didn’t need that. Nor did her comrades need that later on when they finished the fight.

It was kind of surprising though, the way Breath had just stoically came down, breaking away from the fight to take Void’s body away from the crater and towards them with such silence. He hadn’t broken down to mourn her, nor had the others came with him to do so. They had barely faltered from their battle to pay attention to Void other than point Breath to her direction it seemed.

Were they in shock? Was Breath? Did the others even know that Void had died?

Or had they known and were resigned about it?

That was a chilling question, did these heroes know of the risks that they were taking? Surely they had to know. But…

Tick

“Sir!”

His Lieutenant’s voice snapped him out of his mental thoughts and stopped him from trying to get the cameramen to stop filming Void’s corpse-

Tock

Wait, what was that noise? “Sir, look!”

He does, and what he sees shocks him. Shocks everyone.

Lietenant Olivia had stepped back from Void’s body, which was starting to glow.

Tick

A myriad of colors overtook Void’s body, taking the shape of a flame that was covering her whole body. And with it, the ticking of the grandfather clock sounded in their ears and something felt heavy within their chests.

Tock

Slowly, Void’s body began to rise, her neck didn’t seem as broken as before as she began to float in mid-air. To all that was near, they could hear something akin to a symphony in their ears.

Ding

And like that-

DONG

Void’s body exploded in a star-like flame. An undetermined voice whispered in their ears just as the symphony of music and sound ended, and the explosion died down, the colorful flame dripping off of Void who stayed mid-air.

Undetermined

There. Floating in front of them, was Void. Neck, no longer broken and alive, telling by the fact she let out a tense groan.

Hooly shit.” She groaned, not noticing her audience as she stretched, craning her neck and rubbing it. “That was awful, damn, my neck is aching.” It was then that she finally noticed the crowd of adults that were before her. “… Uh oh… Uh, hi there?” She greeted awkward, cringing from behind her mask.

They didn’t know how to react, the fact that Void had came back to life had completely stunned them.

Crap.” A loud explosion sounded, gaining all their attention, “Oh shit! It’s still going on?! I need to-” She turned back to them, smiling awkwardly, “I’m just gonna, go, my peeps need me. Sorry for, dying, I… yeah… Bye!” With that, Void rocketed away from the soldiers and news cast people as they watched her fly away.

The internet would crash not long after with comments and theories and everything going on.

Somewhere else, three certain teens were telling their friends ‘I told you so’, they had seen Breath die in the mall! And no one believed them!

In other secret bases, a certain alien species watched with stunned eyes, their leaders snapping out of it and immediately discussing the new information with the fellow commanders of each base, all the while wondering how the fuck they would have to report this to their species’ Empress.


Well that cat is out of the bag.

Oh dear.

This is not going to go well for them later on is it?

No. No it will not.


It took longer than they had wanted to deal with the drones and the rift.

With Roxy back in the fight, they had managed to turn the tides and close the rift.

The it left with a ton of drone parts littering around the streets, not to mention the amount of property damage that was around. It was probably the most property damage to happen in the attack since the Honorable Tyranny appeared months back and destroyed Dave’s apartment, causing him to move to John’s neighborhood.

We can’t let these things just lay around! As much as I’m suspicious about the troll fucks hiding around here, it’s a bad idea to let Alternian tech get into the hands of the human government.” Karkat hissed to them, the five of them all in the air, above the collateral and a pile of drone corpses.

They all shared a look and nodded in agreement, it was a better idea to just take the parts for themselves. Jake and Roxy could use them for their own projects in the future probably.

So they started to gather the drone parts, stashing them in their sylladexes. Thank gog that they had a practically infinite amount of cards in their sylladexes.

They had forgotten though, the fact that Roxy had died earlier and John had left her with a bunch of adults.

Adults, who wanted answers.

And just as they were cleaning up the piles of drones and shoving robotic parts into their inventory, they were confronted by adults.

Fuck!” Blood cursed as they were confronted by the news cast.

“Void! Void! How did you-”
“Breath! You-”
“Hope, Blood and Time, did you know-”

“That’s enough! Please step away-”

Thankfully it seemed that the military soldiers were trying to reign the news casters and cameramen away from the teenage superheroes. But it was clear that they had their own questions for them, no doubt that once they managed to get the reporters away, they would try to get to them and answer their questions instead.

Either way.

The Aspects really didn’t want to confront with adults at the moment.

They were tired, and they had places to be- specifically Karkat and Jake. They had to reunite with Karkat’s friends and family.

With Dave’s help, they would be able to meet up with them in the past hour or so, appearing just in time to stop Kelvin from throttling a few soldiers on his own.

Karkat would be grounded of course but at least they were back with the others now.

But in the meanwhile, they disappeared from the crowd of reporters and soldiers, Dave exhausting himself as he gathered the drones himself afterwards and dumping it in a random room within their base.

Of course, the fact that Roxy died was still somewhat forgotten.

Until the internet and media blew up about it.


VOID GOT HIT I GOT SAVED BY BLOOD [3 minutes, 3 seconds]
- Youtube
Posted
6 hours ago, 4.3 million views

*click*

[Video starts shaky, taken through a window, video quality was somewhat blurry but it was clear enough that they could see the battle. Color flashing in the air as the Aspects fought. Camera ducks occasionally, heavy breathing and cursing.]

“Holy shit you guys holy shit.”

[Camera comes back up just in time to see a Void being smashed down to the ground by a red robot.]

“HOLY FUCK VOID !”

[Drone suddenly appears before window. Loud scream, camera scrambles back in fear as drone lifts arm to break window.]

“NONONONO AAH!!”

[Drone is suddenly wrapped by glowing red chains, gets pulled away from the window. Suddenly Blood is by the window just as the camera drops, showing the floor but Blood’s voice is clearly heard .]

What the fuck are you doing?! Get out of here!

[ The camera is picked up, shaking as it returns to the window, the angle changes and is now peering out the window. Shows crater in the video, camera zooms in to see blurry figure of Breath carrying something.]

“O-Oh my god, i-is that… Void?”

[Suddenly Blood is back in the view, a scream is heard just as Blood is screaming at the camera.]

I told you to get out of here! Go, go go!

“I-I’m sorry I’ll go!”

[Camera quickly goes away from the window, heavy panting as the camera shakes and bobs.]

“Oh my god, oh my god, ohmygod-”

[Video Ends.]

KingkOng 6 hours ago
holy shit dude voID GOT HIT IS SHE OKAY?!!
1.2 likes
       Saitama_PunchOne 6 hours ago
       No. She’s not.
       Oh my god she’s dead.
       [Link to news stream.]
               KingkOng 6 hours ago
               NOOOOOOO
               View all 298 replies

SassyMaster 6 hours ago
SHE’S ALIVE!!! OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!
[Link to video clip]
12k likes 1.3 dislikes
View all 11k replies

*click*

VOID REVIVES???? HOLY SHIT??? [13 seconds]

[Video clip starts with Void glowing in the air. Obviously cut from news stream. Someone whispers.]

“Oh my god.”

[Void EXPLODES in colorful fire, the camera shakes a bit but stays on Void. The explosion clears, colorful flame dripping off her body. She groans.]

Hooly shit.

[Video clip end s.]

*click*

Trending: #WHATTHEFUCK #Immortality?! #VoidDiesandLives?! #Aspects
6.5 million tweets

Aspect-Club @Aspect_Watch OH MY GOD PLEASE BE ALIVE DON’T DIE #VOIDNO #Aspects #DONTDIE

Aspect-Club @Aspect_Watch Oh my god what #Void??? #She’sglowing #Whatishappen ing

Aspect-Club @Aspect_Watch OH MY GOD VOID YOU’RE ALIVE!!! HOW THE HECK #WHATTHEFUCK #Immortality #VoidDiesandLives #Aspects #Whathappened

*click*

Void Dies and Revives! Aspects Immortal?!
- The New York Times

Death and Resurrection?! Beloved Heroine Dies and Comes Back!
- Buzzfeed

“Interesting. How interesting.”

“Hm? Oh my, what is this?”

*click*

LIVESTREAM: HELLO WORLD! FIRST ASPECT STREAM EVER!!
LIVE NOW (o) by ActualAspects [Somehow it’s streaming to all media platforms capable of streaming]
2,234 watching now- 4,556 watching now [Numbers keep rising as stream continues]

[Stream starts with a sudden party popper, loud and startling, Void pops into the camera.]

" HELLO WORLD!

[She waves into the camera. She’s grinning.]

Hi there. Uh, so, this is like pretty sudden I guess? Anyway, hello! Again. I’m Void as you all know...

[She trails off, frowning off screen as a voice comes from behind the camera.]

Void this clearly won’t work until you prove you’re actually you.

Oh right… Hmm, here you guys, let’s prove that this is the real thing and not some prank- I mean. So, this is all live right? So like, this cannot be faked since this is live and it’s actually happening and uh… Blood help me out here!

[She shouts, stepping backwards, revealing more of the room. Another voice comes from off camera.]

"What?! Why the fuck do I have to help?!

Because you’re Blood and it’s easiest to do Blood shit right? On camera, they’ll believe you right?!

[Loud cursing before Blood floats into the camera.]

I can’t believe we’re actually doing this.

[Another voice comes in off camera as Blood summons a sickle from out of nowhere, tugging down his sleeve as the camera gets closer to his very scarred wrist.]

I’m afraid we don’t have much else choice. It was either this or actually go public with an interview.

[The stream shows the sickle digging into his wrist, blood beginning to show, the camera backs up a bit as the blood begins to move. The camera backs up again to show the blood flowing around Blood, making shapes and floating around. Void squeals, going over to hug Blood who moves the red liquid away from the dark blue heroine.]

Perfection! Amazing as always Blood! Anyway, does that clear the fact this is an actual stream from us the actual aspects?

[They wait a bit before another voice behind the camera speaks s.]

Looks like it, holy crap they’re all coming in now oh my god haha.

[Void beams at the camera, saluting at it. Blood grumbles, floating off camera as it focused back on Void who sits in the air, lotus style, smiling a bit nervously at the camera.]

Okay! So, verification done . Hello again world! Th at is like, the fourth time I said that I think. But anyway, here we are! Sooo… A lot has happened today, like, the whole, drones appearing and me dying… I’m sure you all have questions. So, welcome to the stream! Time to ask questions you’ve all been raring to ask since the beginning! This is our first stream, and hey! We are now on social media, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, social media! ActualAspects, that’s all five of us on one account, our MAIN account. And since this is our first stream, we’ll be answering questions live! No promises on solid answers, or like answering EVERY question but hey! It’s a chance to ask us something wink wink nudge nudge, finger pistols and another wink~!

[Void says with a grin, supposedly doing what she just said, giving the camera ginger pistols. Suddenly the camera moves to reveal Breath behind the camera, both Time and Hope behind him.]

Well, you heard her guys, ask us what you want and we’ll do our best to answer!

[Stream continues…]


Chapter Text


LIVESTREAM: HELLO WORLD! FIRST ASPECT STREAM EVER!! 
LIVE NOW (o) by ActualAspects [Somehow it’s streaming to all media platforms capable of streaming] 
2,234 watching now- 4,556 watching now [Numbers keep rising as stream continues]

[Stream starts with a sudden party popper, loud and startling, Void pops into the camera.]

HELLO WORLD! 

[She waves into the camera. She’s grinning.]

“ Hi there. Uh, so, this is like pretty sudden I guess? Anyway, hello! Again. I’m Void as you all know... 

[She trails off, frowning off screen as a voice comes from behind the camera.]

“ Void this clearly won’t work until you prove you’re actually you. 

Oh right… Hmm, here you guys, let’s prove that this is the real thing and not some prank- I mean. So, this is all live right? So like, this cannot be faked since this is live and it’s actually happening and uh… Blood help me out here!

[She shouts, stepping backwards, revealing more of the room. Another voice comes from off camera.]

"What?! Why the fuck do I have to help?! 

“ Because you’re Blood and it’s easiest to do Blood shit right? On camera, they’ll believe you right?! 

[Loud cursing before Blood floats into the camera.]

“ I can’t believe we’re actually doing this. 

[Another voice comes in off camera as Blood summons a sickle from out of nowhere, tugging down his sleeve as the camera gets closer to his very scarred wrist.]

“ I’m afraid we don’t have much else choice. It was either this or actually go public with an interview. 

[The stream shows the sickle digging into his wrist, blood beginning to show, the camera backs up a bit as the blood begins to move. The camera backs up again to show the blood flowing around Blood, making shapes and floating around. Void squeals, going over to hug Blood who moves the red liquid away from the dark blue heroine.]

“ Perfection! Amazing as always Blood! Anyway, does that clear the fact this is an actual stream from us the actual aspects? 

[They wait a bit before another voice behind the camera speaks s.]

“ Looks like it, holy crap they’re all coming in now oh my god haha. 

[Void beams at the camera, saluting at it. Blood grumbles, floating off camera as it focused back on Void who sits in the air, lotus style, smiling a bit nervously at the camera.]

Okay! So, verification done . Hello again world! Th at is like, the fourth time I said that I think. But anyway, here we are! Sooo… A lot has happened today, like, the whole, drones appearing and me dying… I’m sure you all have questions. So, welcome to the stream! Time to ask questions you’ve all been raring to ask since the beginning! This is our first stream, and hey! We are now on social media, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, social media! ActualAspects, that’s all five of us on one account, our MAIN account. And since this is our first stream, we’ll be answering questions live! No promises on solid answers, or like answering EVERY question but hey! It’s a chance to ask us something wink wink nudge nudge, finger pistols and another wink~!

[Void says with a grin, supposedly doing what she just said, giving the camera ginger pistols. Suddenly the camera moves to reveal Breath behind the camera, both Time and Hope behind him.]

Well, you heard her guys, ask us what you want and we’ll do our best to answer! 

[Stream continues…]


alison.B 4 minutes ago
I can’t believe this actually happening.
The Aspects are STREAMING THIS IS SO COOL
         KingkOng 3 minutes ago
        I KNOW
        AND JUST EARLIER VOID WAS DYING LIKE WHAT THE FUCK

AshKetchup Now
i think they’re in their secret base and so far, it looks cool. can’t really see it all with the aspects in the way but hey, maybe one day they’ll give like a tour of the place???


[The stream continues, it’s silent for a bit as Void waits, sitting in mid air before she asks.]

So… What’s the first question?

Hold on Void, there’s like, a ton of questions and comments and, our inbox is already like, full dear gog.

[Breath answers from behind the camera, apparently looking through the inbox.]

Okay, I got one. From Woop_Woo on Twitter, aimed at you and Blood, it says, ‘Are you two okay? Void you just got killed and Blood you cut yourself to use your powers?!?!’ With two alternating exclamation poin