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-- terminallyCapricious [TC] started trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG] --

TC: so yeah hi

It's hard to believe his eyes at first. Karkat has seen Gamzee's handle lit up here and there in the last weeks -- often winking off a couple minutes after he goes online himself.

He's been okay with it, kind of, in not-really-okay, afraid-to-make-it-worse ways. He's not really feeling like he has digested the last meeting they had, like he has figured out what he thinks and is ready to tackle more. But for Mister If I Pretend It's Not Here It Will Go Poof Somehow to contact him first?

He supposes he can see how this goes.

CG: HI.
TC: hey
CG: HELLO.
CG: IS THIS GOING SOMEWHERE, OR ARE WE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON A GREETINGS-OFF?
TC: haha shit yeah, that could all up and be funny.

Karkat doesn't feel very funny.

Or patient, much, either. He counts to ten and tells himself Jade will thwap him if-when she sees this log and he has behaved like an impatient, defensive asshole this early into the conversation.

It's easier than admitting to himself that he doesn't want to end it here, that "live and let live, I might forgive you but only if you stay away from now on" is... perhaps not what he truly wants, deep down, despite how stupid he feels to think Gamzee could change, that if he took him back it would be different.

TC: soooo...
TC: what's the haps over at your fine-ass hive, bro?

Karkat erases and retypes several incensed, dubious, hurt messages.

CG: BEFORE WE PROCEED WITH THIS LIGHT AND INCONSEQUENTIAL BIT OF CONVERSATION, I MUST ASK.
CG: ARE YOU TRYING TO EASE US INTO A CONVERSATION ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP, OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO KEEP IT CASUAL TO THE BITTER END AND HOPE THAT NONE OF THE BAD SHIT IN OUR PAST EVER COMES UP AGAIN?
CG: BECAUSE I REFUSE TO PRETEND NONE OF IT HAS EVER HAPPENED, GAMZEE.

There's silence for so long he expects to see the idle message go up any second now, and then a hour or a day later Gamzee will come back online with a little laugh and say he spaced out or there was a whale outside or who the shit even knows. And then Karkat will know for sure that there is nothing to salvage, never was, never will be.

TC: well
TC: to up and bring the honesty to a brother, i kind of really fucking want we do the second.

Karkat is torn between bristling and -- well, no, he needs to breathe. Gamzee never admits when he's avoiding something, because being upfront about avoidance is kind of. Not his MO, at all. Is he -- trying?

CG: I KNOW YOU DO.
CG: BUT YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU WILL NOT HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH ME THEN WE WILL HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT, EVER AGAIN. DON'T YOU?

He breathes in, and out, hands shaking, and throws caution and his heart to the wind.

CG: AND I
CG: REALLY WANT THERE TO BE THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.

One second and then three and then ten and then--

TC: me too.
TC: brother, i been missing the fuck out of you.