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A Summer To Remember

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“So, are you in, or are you in?” He asked, crossing his arms over his chest and covering the god-awful shirt depicting a pile of smuppet ass he was wearing.

You level him a deadpan stare mirroring his movements and crossing your own arms. “No.”

He raised an eyebrow, going past the ridiculous expensive aviators he wore around everywhere he went. Then he very casually shrugs his shoulders and pushed himself off the lockers. “Suit yourself. It’s your loss.” He tells you with the most disinterested voice he can. Which is basically his normal voice. Whatever. He disappears in the crowded hallway and you couldn’t care less.

Heaving a heavy sigh, you slammed your locker closed and locked that shit up before holding your books close to your chest and making your way to your next class.

 

≈≈≈ ~ ✧ ~ ≈≈≈

 

“Whaaaaaaaaaat? Karkat’s opting out?” The dark-haired glasses girl slammed her hands palm first on the table as she approached, effectively catching the whole table’s attention. The violet-eyed girl and a few more perked up at the news.

Kanaya frowned, putting down her fork of hash browns down after making it halfway to her mouth. She fixed you a questioning stare that you dutifully ignored, taking great fascination at the contents of your sandwich. “You’re not coming? How come?”

“Yeah, why’re you opting out, Karkat? It’s gonna sooooo much more fun with you there!” Egbert pipes up as well from the other side of the long rectangular table you all sat at. You can feel even more eyes on you as the chattered amped up after the news Harley delivered to your table. You can feel the groan bubble up from your throat before it’s even fully vocalized for all to hear.

Rose raised a quizzical eyebrow, eyeing her brother from the corner of her eyes. “It really is a once in a lifetime offer, Karkat. For once, I’d say it’s wise to join us and ‘party it up like the wild youth the media presents us to be’. We wouldn’t want you feeling left out since everyone else has agreed to come.”

Jade was nodding enthusiastically. “Yeah! Literally, everyone is gonna be there! And like, if you’re worried about the financial ramifications of joining, don’t! We’ve totally got everyone’s expenses already covered!”

“Damned rich people.” You mumbled under your breath, and Jade simply laughed. This makes you roll your eyes as well.

“C’mon Karkat. It’s just two months at sea. And it’s a fucking luxury cruise for Christ’s sake! And it’s free!” The blue-eyed boy also chipped in, trying to persuade you to join as well. You huff in frustration and glared at the two cousins who were grinning from ear to ear.

“Why the fuck does it even matter whether I join or not? I don’t give two shits whether it’s a luxury cruise or not, I am not spending an extended period of time stuck on a boat with Strider. Especially if it’s his treat in the first fucking place.” You growled into your water bottle as you took a long sip. The green-eyed girl pouted.

“It’ not just Dave’s treat though! All four of us are pitching in to make this happen! It’s going to be our last year next year and we wanted to have an unforgettable summer with everyone while we still can! Who knows if everyone will be available next summer after graduation and everything! This could be the last we have at all being together!” Jade insisted, finally taking a seat next to Rose, her body turned in your direction.

You get out a guttural groan of frustration, keeping your glare on the shades-wearing douche directly across from you. “Just leave him alone, guys. If he says he doesn’t want to than he doesn’t. He can make shitty life decisions on his own.” Strider finally spoke up after a while, never lifting his eyes from the screen of his phone.

John plucked the phone from the blond’s hands and tossed it over to Jade behind Dave and Rose who sat in between the two of them. Dave levelled his best friend an unamused look while Rose simply lifted the corner of her lips into a small smile as she turned the page of her book. “Take this seriously, Dave! We talked about leaving nobody behind, so set your rivalry with him aside for a moment! We’re his friends too and we want him there even if you don’t!” Jade huffed, throwing the phone into her backpack. The fact that Dave just got his phone confiscated by his freshman year ex-girlfriend is a little funny to you that you can’t help but snicker a little at his expense.

He rolled his eyes, something you know despite his shades from the slight movement of his head. “Whatever. Show him the brochure or the website or something and let him decide whether he wants to join or not. He’s got a week to decide before finals start up.”

Kanaya touched your shoulder and you turn to give her your full attention while Harley continued to scold the blond with Rose quietly letting it happen. “Seriously Karkat, why don’t you want to join us? It’s really going to be a shame if you’re not there. The group’s not complete without you.”

You bite your lip, eyeing your sandwich as if it had the answer.

Okay, honestly, it might be a little petty of you to refuse an offer this fucking good just to spite Strider. Okay, no, this was completely one hundred percent petty and you honestly don’t have much of an excuse to refuse. Looking at your table of friends, you realize that what Jade did say was true. Your junior year is ending and the next comes senior and after all, everybody will be busy with trying to forge their own path in life. You might never be together all in one place again like this. Was being petty fueled by spite for a blond bastard who’s tormented you the past three ears really worth missing out on this?

Looking at Kanaya and her pleading eyes makes you rethink your decision. “I mean… I don’t even know if my parents would be down to let me go on a cruise ship all on my own for two whole months of summer vacation?” At this point, you’re just trying to make excuses to justify your pettiness. Fuck your stubbornness.

Kanaya gives you a deadpan look. “I’m sure we can talk them into it. You’re not going to be completely alone after all, we’re all going to be there. And from what I heard, some college siblings of Rose and the other three are gonna be there to chaperone us to an extent.” Yep. She just called you out on your bullshit. You let out a long puff of air.

Running your hand through your hair, you use your other hand to pick up your sandwich and finally take a bite into it to avoid having to answer her. 

“It won’t be so bad. You can always just avoid him after all, the cruise ship is gonna be big.” Kanaya continued, waving a lazy hand towards Dave who was now in a playful shoving match with John. It was… Kind of endearing to see actually.

You swallow down your bite of sandwich. “Vriska and Eridouche are gonna be there too, right?” Still grasping at straws here, Vantas. That’s just three people you absolutely hate over the other thirteen people you like who’s going.

Kanaya gives you an exasperated sigh. “You’re so stubborn.” She simply stated, taking a bite from her hashbrowns finally. You can’t help but smile a little.

“Alright, fine. I’ll check out this cruise thing we’re going on and what the shit we can even do while we’re there and then I’ll decide. Don’t hold your breath though, just saying.” You finally say, continuing in the consumption of your lunch. Honestly, this ham sandwich is kinda stale.

The green-eyed girl beside you smiled fondly and poked you in the ribs with her elbow. “I suppose having you consider it is good enough. But I’m sure once you see the marvellous place we’ll be staying at, you’ll be hooked.” She said this matter-of-factly and you roll your eyes despite smiling.

“Whatever you say, Kan.”

 

≈≈≈ ~ ✧ ~ ≈≈≈

 

Home. Home always smelled of something faintly floral in the air along with the familiar scent of spices coming from the kitchen. The mixture of the smells always gets your whole body to relax upon contact with it.

Shuffling out of your converse, you leave it by the door and set your backpack right beside it before walking inside and locking the door behind you. The living room was sparse but you can hear the sizzling of something and the scrape of the spatula on something metal from the kitchen. Poking your head around the corner, you find your father cooking. As he always does. 

“I’m home.” You announce and he lifts his head to grin at you. You return the smile.

“I’m glad you’re home, Karkat. How was school?” He always asks this.

“It was fine.” You always answer in return, leaning against the archway into the wide kitchen space. “I have something I wanted to ask though..."

He whistled. “That’s something new. What’s up?”

You shrug, watching his wrist making flicking motions as he sauteed whatever vegetables were in the pan. “Well, I’m seventeen and all that, right? I’m basically just a year away from being a legal adult and moving out…”

He looked at you then back at the thing he’s cooking, before settling back on you. “Uh huh. Where’s this going?”

You bite the inside of your cheek. “Okay, um… Would you be okay if I went away with some friends for two months at the start of summer…? It’s like, a two-month long cruise so like…  I mean, like, some college student siblings of some of my friends will be tagging along too so we’re not completely unsupervised! But I can totally understand if you like, find that kind of shit too… Too much to ask or something. I totally get it if you don’t trust me to go- hell I don’t think I trust even myself but. I just thought I’d ask either way?”

He stares at you for a long moment before chuckling. He reached over to turn the stove off and put the spatula down on the counter and rubbed his hands on his jeans. “I trust you, Karkat. You’re a good kid. I honestly don’t really find anything wrong with that- as long as you’re not doing anything illegal or anything. And if you can keep me updated while you’re out wherever this trip is, I’ll be fine. I get it. You’re getting to an age where you’ll have to go to places without my supervision pretty soon and live a life of your own so I don’t think this is a bad start.” He shrugged. “You can go. Just. Tell me the exact details? Like when you’ll be going and when I can expect you to be back and all that.”

You bite the inside your cheek harder to stop yourself from smiling too widely. “Alright. Just give me a sec, I gotta clear shit up with my friends and then I’ll tell you everything.” You say with a nod, pushing yourself away from leaning on the entryway. “Um… Thanks. For trusting me enough to do this and all.”

The older man simply smiled lightly and nodded. “No problem. Dinner should be ready in a few more minutes. Come down when you’re ready.”

And with that, you duck your head and leave the kitchen.

Honestly, your father’s too kind to you. Even if you were adopted, he’s always treated you like his own even after your mother died when you were ten.

You’ve always known you were adopted. It wasn’t like, a thing they tried to hide from you even though they did adopt you when you were still an infant. About a year and two months. They didn’t hinder you from finding out your own real mom either, but you never bothered to look for her anyway. You didn’t need anyone else but them. Plus, what was the point in reaching out to someone who didn’t want you in the first place? So even if the option to go find your birth mother was there, you never took it. You just didn’t see the logic in it, nor were you curious to find out who she is. And even though you were their only child, they seemed content enough with you that there wasn’t much of a problem.

Although looking over at the empty living room, you realize that you’ll be leaving your father all alone for two whole months. It brings a new wave of guilt through you. The house has always been so much quieter after your mother died from a hereditary heart disease in her family. It’s… Depressing to think that he’ll be spending that long all alone in silence. You just hope he’ll find some way to get himself out of the house every now and again.

After lingering for a few minutes at the first steps of the stairs and staring at the dusting living room, you finally get your feet moving up and into your bedroom. You flop onto your nice single bed at the corner of the room and pull your phone out.

Time to do some research.

Rose had informed you that you’ll all be boarding one of the ships from Skaia Cruise Lines. A quick google search brings you to their page. She said that you’ll be embarking on it at July fourth, just a week after summer vacation officially starts and will be docking back to port at August thirty-first, also just one week before senior year starts up for all of you.

Looking through what they all have to offer… Well, let’s just say you’re a bit fucking starstruck at the sheer ludicracy of what you’re planning on signing up on. Damn rich people.

First of all, you did some math. From what you know, about twenty people will be joining you on the fifty-eight-day cruise. Rose also mentioned that each of you will get a top of the line suite which is about sixteen thousand and nine hundred sixty per person. That fucking means the whole trip costs around three hundred forty thousand approximately. Jesus fucking christ. Rich people.

The amount of things the cruise offers is fucking absurd too. There’s a small indoor strip mall, top deck swimming pool with fucking slides. Slides. Spa treatments, indoor arcades, a bar (expected), along with dozens of more activities included while you’re at sea waiting for the next landing destination. They’re literally going all fucking out for this to make the last time you’re all together as memorable as possible. It’s fucking ridiculous. And… Really touching actually. Going out with a big bang.

Fuck, now your pettiness seems really fucking insignificant now. Really, how can you say no to an offer like this especially when it’s being offered free by the ridiculously rich people in your friend group? Fucking hell.

Rose told you she’d give you the schedule for the whole trip on your way to the cruise ship. Apparently, the ones that pitched in to have this whole trip planned were Rose, Jade, John, Dave, Feferi, and Eridan. Fucking rich people.

Kanaya wasn’t kidding when she said that after seeing exactly what you’re signing up for, your mind would change its stance on the whole thing.

You spent a good few hours exploring the site further and reading up on shit that can be found in your impending cruise trip. Excitement is bubbling up in your insides the more you find out and sooner than later, you’re texting Rose to admit defeat. You’ll be joining the rest of them on the cruise just like they were insisting you on doing.

You endured her smugness about the whole thing. A minor sacrifice for the greater good of your life in general.

Lesbian no.2 (Rose)

Really though, I'm glad you've decided to join us, Karkat.

It really wouldn't be the same without your abrasive self there to keep us in check.

THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT ON MY WONDERFUL PERSONALITY, LALONDE.

REAL FUCKING SINCERE.

ANYWAY, JUST GIVE ME THE DETAILS SO I KNOW HOW THIS IS GOING TO GO DOWN.

Alright. Give me a moment to type it all out. I'll send you a calendar with the dates and destinations we'll have for the next fifty-eight days we'll be spending on the cruise ship too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, Kanaya calls you and proceeds to geek out about how excited she is about the whole thing. It makes you smile. Terezi and a few others started buzzing you up the rest of the night after they found out that you’ve finally given up being stubborn and you all talked about the upcoming trip. You totally forgot to do the last few assignments you have left before the finals start. Whoops.

Near ten at night, you got showered, toothbrushed, and did your nightly routines. You found it kind of hard to sleep, thinking all about what's to come in a mere few days. It makes you smile.

Man. This was a summer you’ll surely never fucking forget.